Frost in Morrowind

Edward Frost's time in Morrowind has come to an end; but his struggles are recorded here for any to read. A year in the making, and spanning one hundred and fifty chapters… Violence, suspicion, loss, betrayal, revenge, power with a price, a fight for survival, ages-old mysteries... all thrust in the way of Edward Frost, a man simply trying to rebuild his life.

Chapter 1 can be found here.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Chapter 114: Initiation

"Even after all my studies - all that training, to have someone like him -" Sirilonwe almost spat the word at Trebonius Artorius' body - "just... render me helpless like that. He was yet to be born when I... Gah!" She exclaimed in frustration - before continuing in a more sombre tone: "To be trapped like that by him... After all this time..."

She shook her head slowly, those large eyes of hers fixed on mine. Other Mages Guild members, informed of Trebonius' actions by Sirilonwe before her departure for the Arena, were arriving and grouping around the late Arch-Mage's body - a little way from us. Everything had happened so quickly - and no-one in the guild (save for Sirilonwe and I) knew of the duel until it was underway - so I think there were some suspicions as to the exact circumstances of Trebonius' death.

I was not surprised to see Ranis Athrys among them; even though her position as Steward of the Balmora guild hall (physically a long way from Vivec) made her fast appearance at the scene somewhat suspicious. I suspected that she had in fact hoped that I would kill Trebonius - and that pushing he and I into a confrontation was the reason for my rapid series of promotions. Before I could consider the ramifications and reasons for all this, however, Sirilonwe broke her momentary silence:

"After all this time..." She repeated. "I am old, Edward... though I may not look it. Any longer and it will show, I think. Oh, you look so shocked! But why do you think I have all those books on magically extending one's life? Why do you think I study vampires so closely? Why do you think I am still by your side? Why do you think I am willing to share a bed with a vampire?"

I just stared at her. I have mentioned before that I had no idea how old Sirilonwe was - I was like that with most elves (some lived for hundreds of years, after all) - but I had never imagined her to be a truly old woman - not as old as she was insinuating.

"I have used those books: I have extended my life through magic - for a long time now. It will not last any longer. The thought of dying - of aging, even... it terrifies me." Sirilonwe's expressive eyes portrayed this fear eloquently. "Without magic I am weak - and old. I want to be with you - and I want to be strong - and I want to live forever."

I finally found my voice:

"Siri, I... I just thought... I thought you didn't like what I've become... I had no idea..."

"I am sorry I put you through so much over... the necessary aspects of being a vampire." Sirilonwe said ruefully. "It was... to see such things, right before my eyes - and to think that that was what my future held, should I manage the... the change... I was afraid." She shook her head again. "But you, Edward: when you decided, you just left... and then you came back, a vampire. How did you make yourself do it?"

"I was able to do it without hesitation for the same reason I think you are able to ask me for it now." I replied. "A greater fear - the same fear that compels you now - spurred me on."

At that moment, Steward Ranis approached, with some interesting news:

"Based on Sirilonwe and Janand's testimonies, it has been decided that the... skirmish between you and the late Arch-Mage Trebonius Artorius constitutes an official and legally binding duel. Congratulations, Frost." Ranis smiled, a cunning look in her eyes.

I clasped her hand for a moment - stiffly. I had not forgotten the questionable, self-serving things she had once ordered me to do in the name of the guild.

"Thankyou, Ranis. It is a relief to know that I will not be held responsible for his death."

There was a pregnant pause. Ranis gave me a strange look, then grinned abruptly; never-mind the still-cooling body of the late Arch-Mage just behind her.

"You don't realise what it means, do you? There are only a few ways the Arch-Mage of a province may be replaced. The Mages Council in Cyrodiil must vote in favour of making a replacement, or a current Arch-Mage must choose a successor - again usually in consultation with the Council. The other way - an old law, but still a valid one - is through a duel. Both parties must agree to the challenge - so obviously it is quite unusual for an Arch-Mage to accept a challenge to a duel, let alone be the one to issue the challenge himself..."

I thought I understood then why Ranis had manoeuvred Artorius and I into that fight: she wanted him removed from power, and saw (through me) a way to achieve that.

"In any case, Arch-Mage Frost," Ranis continued, "this means you have a new office to call your own."

My initiation ceremony took place later in the day: after a service in honour of Trebonius Artorius (not the actual funeral; just a Mages Guild ritual). I (and Sirilonwe too, I'm sure) had no good memories of the late Arch-Mage, so I spent the duration of the service studying the skull-and-dagger amulet (which I later learned to be called the 'Amulet of the Necromancer'). No-one was aware of this, as all I had to do was grasp the amulet in my hand and concentrate on the magical effects emanating from it.

It was an item of extraordinary power. Just by holding it, I could feel my mental faculties expanding: everything suddenly seemed so clear and simple - as if I could solve any problem with but a moment's consideration. On top of that, the amulet projected an invisible, intangible shell around me; there was a great possibility that any offensive spell sent my way would be caught by this shell before it hit me, its energies transformed harmlessly into magicka that I could then make use of for my own spells. If that was not enough, when the amulet was in contact with my skin, I felt as if any weapon - save for one made of some supernatural material - would barely scratch me.

Needless to say, perhaps, I decided to wear it from that day onwards. Once I had finished my analysis, I glanced sideways at Sirilonwe. She had remained silent since her revelations in the Arena; and she was still staring into the middle-distance, quite pre-occupied.

There was a period of general speech-giving at the end of my initiation, though most of the addresses were vague and garbled. I think that from the point of view of the other members of the guild, everything seemed to be taking place behind a veneer of shock and uncertainty. Ranis was the exception, and her speech was cleverly worded so as to assure everyone present of the legality of my advancement to Arch-Mage; while at the same time making it seem as if that was not the focus of the speech at all. After her conclusion, she added:

"... So Frost: don't forget those who got you there, now." Ranis said, to a round of subdued laughter. Everyone assembled had taken it as a joke - as Ranis had no doubt intended them to - but I caught the deeper meaning behind her words: a message meant for my ears alone.

She wanted to remind me of the (admittedly very generous) aid she had given me when my fragile self had just recently stepped off the prison boat. She thought that I would feel indebted to her. She was, no doubt, looking forward to having the ear of the Arch-Mage of Vvardenfell.

"I have not forgotten, Ranis." I replied, and everyone fell silent. "I will not remove you - or anyone else, for that matter - from your position." There were a number of satisfied nods from the other members. "However, Ranis; the only reason you will continue to be a part of this guild is because of the kindness you showed me when I first joined. If I am truly to be the Arch-Mage, then your behaviour to date, Ranis - the behaviour I witnessed working under you - will not be tolerated. You know of what I speak. If I become aware of any such conduct from you again, I will remove you from the guild." Everyone looked uncomfortable at my emphasis on the word 'remove'. "This will be your only warning." I added.

Ranis' luminous red eyes flared brightly, but she made no reply. There was no need, either: her expression made her displeasure plain to see.

As soon as we possibly could, Sirilonwe and I made our excuses and left the hall, teleporting back to Wolfen castle. In search of some privacy, we proceeded directly to my chambers.

"Are you sure you want this?" I asked her, taking her hands in mine.

Sirilonwe swallowed fearfully, but replied:


With a small dagger, I made a cut in my palm, and then in hers, before pressing the wounds together.

I held her hand until it was over.


Anonymous Person said...

Wow. The best chapter so far. Very emotional. i could actually feel it. You are truly excellent my friend.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the book 'The Last Scabbard of Akrash'?

Sunday, April 16, 2006 10:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

Nice chapter.

Morrowind Trivia -- Can I cheat and us the CS?

Monday, April 17, 2006 1:42:00 am  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

Sorry gotta fix my comment.

Silly siri, too obsessed with her looks.

Monday, April 17, 2006 2:19:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Preferably not, but meh... I can't stop you. :)

Monday, April 17, 2006 10:59:00 am  
Blogger Devlin said...

Morrowind Trivia
Part A
What are the "treated bittergreen petals" for?

Part B
Who gives them to you?

Part C
Who did I accidentally sell them to, causing me to spend almost a full day scouring the continent AND Solsteim looking for them to buy them back?

Dontcha hate it when that happens?

Monday, April 17, 2006 11:54:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

The Treated Bittergreen Petals are given to you by Taros Dral inside the Morag Tong Guild Headquarters. He asks you to take care of a 'sensitive matter'. Apparently, a member of the guid, Balyn Omarel is performing illegal assassinations. Taros wants you to kill him, because he is dishonoring Mephala. You have to go inside his house in Balmora and place the Petals into his cooking pot.

After returning to the guild, Taros tells you to approach the shrine near him. Mephala then speaks to you and thanks you. She also rewards you with the Ring of Khajiit.

Hmm... as for who you sold them to... absolutely no idea whatsoever. I have done similar things too.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the book 'The Last Scabbard of Akrash'?

Monday, April 17, 2006 3:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

I think one person giving trivia is enough >_>

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:18:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it gives us something to do while we wait to play OB. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:27:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Noop. I like to answer trivia too. How about you give me one Stygian?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:29:00 am  
Anonymous Styg said...

Because I suck at the trivia.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

C'mon! Anything you can think of!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 10:14:00 pm  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...

ok person here is your trivia:

Where is the Shield called Spellbreaker and who weilds it?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:46:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

I am back! My windows crashed!

Curse you windows and degrading over time!

Curse you I say!

Oh and I caught up on your story!

I am still loving it!

A question. You seem to be able to kill everything in one shot... isn't that just a bit boring?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:26:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks everyone. :-)

Matar: "A question. You seem to be able to kill everything in one shot... isn't that just a bit boring?"

You mean boring for me to play? Well I suppose it is, in some ways. One of the reasons my MW characters almost always end up becoming vampires is because it adds more and different challenges when your character starts to become overpowering.

There are many enemies out there that still pose a threat to Frost, in any case. For example those shades (from the Giants Ultimate mod) near Nchuleftingth got him down to 1/3 health. :-)

- Joseph.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Huummm. Hoommm.

The Spellbreaker is an Enchanted Dwarven shield that is part of a Quest to free a Vampire inside an Ancestral Tomb inside the Ghostfence. This Vampire, Mastrius, has been cursed by Azura to never be able to leave the tomb and says he can break the spell with the Spellbreaker.

Only by activating this Quest does the sheild appear. The sheild itself is located in the ruins of Bthuand near Druschati.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the book 'The Last Scabbard of Akrash'?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:59:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

The Last Scabbard of Arkash is... in......Damn!Forgot! I've read it though, tis a funny book

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 7:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

It's one of my favourites. The other two I like are: The Gold Ribbon of Merit and Smugglers Island.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about the Black Arrow volumes?

Thursday, April 20, 2006 6:18:00 am  

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