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.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chapter 118: Prophecy

Nibani Maesa, the surprisingly young-looking wise-woman of the Urshilaku Ashlander clan, did not seem to care at all that I was a vampire. In fact, she casually addressed me as 'vampire' - at the expense of my actual name! Still, I did not mind much; it was certainly better than the general distrust and outright fear that most people exhibited when in my presence.


Sirilonwe and I sat in the wise-woman's yurt and listened to her for the longest time. For an Ashlander wise-woman, recording history through memory and spoken stories is very important - it is one of their main roles in life, in fact. One of the reasons why the wise-women were so revered and protected by their clans was because these histories were never written down. All Ashlander knowledge was verbal - and most of it was kept by the wise-women of the clans.

So Nibani simply stared into the middle-distance and recited what she knew - what she had learned by heart - of the Nerevarine prophecies. I was forcibly reminded that she was the spiritual leader of the Nerevarine cult as well as the Urshilaku wise-woman; her knowledge of the prophecies was so extensive and intricate that both Sirilonwe and I had to take notes at a feverish pace, if we were to have any chance of remembering precisely what she said.

I will try to summarise for you - briefly - all she told us, because it is important - and interesting - even if I wasn't sure how much of it I actually believed.


According to Nibani, there were many Nerevarine prophecies, and each of them described things that the 'Incarnate' would do, or things that would identify him. The first she spoke of was called 'Aspect and uncertain parents' - and it was the prophecy that had apparently prompted Emperor Septim and his advisors to release me from prison and send me to Morrowind with the hopes that I might become an Imperial-controlled Nerevarine - or at least a 'persuasive impostor', as Caius had once put it. It was also a prophecy that I satisfied, as I was born 'on a certain day to uncertain parents', as the words of the prophecy went.

However, as the wise-woman bluntly put it, many people had the same birthday, and were not sure of their parentage. Onto the next one, then.

"'The moon-and-star'..." Nibani began; "it is an important symbol of Indoril Nerevar. Some say his family standard bore the design of a moon and a star. Some say he had a moon-and-star birthmark. Others say (and I believe) that he had a magic ring with this sign imprinted on it. Although I must say..." and at this, the wise-woman abruptly reached out and lifted my forelock so that she could see the glowing crescent-moon mark on my face - "it is interesting that you have this mark of the moon here. I might be inclined to believe that you are the Nerevarine - but there is no star to go with the moon on your face." It sounded quite unflattering when she put it like that.

She gave a light smile.

"You are not the Nerevarine."

For a moment, there was a feeling of lightness in my chest - I could stop pretending to believe that I was the incarnation of a figure of legend. It was a relief. But then:

"Listen though, vampire, to what I have to say - and to the request I will make. This might not be the end of the matter for you."

Without waiting for a reply, she continued her lecture. The next topic she spoke on was not a Nerevarine prophecy, but something related to them. 'Sleepers'. She mentioned the crazy 'Sleepers' appearing in the towns around Vvardenfell and claiming that Dagoth Ur had awoken and would 'drive the outlanders from Morrowind'. The word 'Sleepers' made me start, and Nibani linking them to the Nerevarine prophecies and to this mysterious Dagoth Ur made my mind race. It was seeming more and more likely that the Nerevarine cult, the Sixth House cult, and Dagoth Ur - the ancient enemy of the Tribunal Temple - were all related somehow.

Nibani said that the appearance of the Sleepers supported the Nerevarine prophecies, and was evidence that the time of the Nerevarine had come (in her words) - but that was all she had to say on the subject.

The next prophecies the wise-woman spoke on described how the Nerevarine would be identified by what he did. The one called 'The Stranger' was apparently the best-known of them all, and I will recount it here, so that you can see the kind of ambiguity I had to struggle with:


When earth is sundered, and skies choked black,
And sleepers serve the seven curses,
To the hearth there comes a stranger,
Journeyed far 'neath moon and star.

Though stark-born to sire uncertain
His aspect marks his certain fate.
Wicked stalk him, righteous curse him.
Prophets speak, but all deny.

Many trials make manifest
The stranger's fate, the curses' bane.
Many touchstones try the stranger.
Many fall, but one remains.


It was simply so vague that without more information, it could really apply to almost anyone. I was glad when Nibani went on to the next prophecy; the 'Seven Visions of Seven Trials of the Incarnate'. This one was a little more straightforward (but that's not saying much), in that it detailed a series of tasks the Nerevarine must complete - if he was indeed the Nerevarine, that is. Again, I will recount the verses of the prophecy here:


Seven trials.
What he puts his hand to, that shall be done.
What is left undone, that shall be done.

The First trial.
On a certain day to uncertain parents
Incarnate moon and star reborn.

The Second trial.
Neither blight nor age can harm him.
The Curse-of-Flesh before him flies.

The Third trial.
In caverns dark Azura's eye sees
and makes to shine the moon and star.

The Fourth trial.
A stranger's voice unites the Houses.
Three Halls call him Hortator.

The Fifth trial.
A stranger's hand unites the Velothi.
Four Tribes call him Nerevarine.

The Sixth trial.
He honours blood of the tribe unmourned.
He eats their sin, and is reborn.

The Seventh trial.
His mercy frees the cursed false gods,
Binds the broken, redeems the mad.

One destiny.
He speaks the law for Veloth's people.
He speaks for their land, and names them great.


Nibani explained most of the verses to us, saying that she had spent much of her life thinking on their possible meanings:

"The 'Seven trials' verse says that the Incarnate will finish the great tasks that Indoril Nerevar began when he lived." She began - as Sirilonwe and I continued to scribble down notes. "It also means that he cannot fail; he shall succeed in all his endeavours. The 'First trial' verse, again, says that the Nerevarine will be born on a certain day to uncertain parents. The 'Second trial' verse... is one that I do not fully understand. Perhaps it means that the Incarnate will come to us as a spirit - unharmed by blight or age, as it were. Or..."

The Dunmer woman gave me a sly look.

"Or perhaps he will come to us as a vampire - an immortal." She shrugged. "In any case, I think that 'Curse-of-Flesh' refers to the blight disease Corprus - which as you should know, is incurable. Maybe the Nerevarine will be able to heal this disease? I just do not know."

Nibani shifted in her seat, as if uncomfortable. Not knowing the answer to something obviously displeased her.

"The 'Third trial' verse..." she continued, with a hesitant note in her voice - "there is a shrine to Azura called the 'Cavern of the Incarnate'. There are things I may not tell you about that cavern. Do not ask me." With that intriguing remark, she went on to the Fourth trial: "The 'Hortator' mentioned in this verse is a war-leader chosen by the Dunmer Great Houses on Vvardenfell. A Hortator must be chosen by all three Great Houses, and it has only ever happened when a threat becomes apparent that is significant enough to prompt the Houses to put aside their normal feuds and unite against a common enemy."

I was becoming more and more convinced that even the mere act of impersonating the Nerevarine would be an impossible task. The rivalry and political battles between the Great Houses of the Dunmer was well-known. How could anyone hope to persuade them all to agree on anything?

"The 'Velothi' mentioned in the 'Fifth trial' verse are the Ashlanders." Nibani went on. "It is another word for us. There are four major tribes on Vvardenfell - of which the Urshilaku are one. This verse says that the Nerevarine cannot truly earn that name until he has persuaded all the Ashlander tribes to call him by it. The Nerevarine is to the Ashlanders what the Hortator is to the Great Houses; and an agreement between the tribes on such a thing would be just as difficult to obtain."

Again, I began to dread the report I would have to make to Caius. He - or his ultimate master, the Emperor - would not be likely to release me from my duties to the Empire simply because impersonating the Nerevarine would be intensely difficult. I was no longer afraid of any one man; but earning the wrath of the Empire - and its Legion - by refusing the Emperor... that was something I did not want.

"The 'Sixth trial' verse," Nibani was saying, "is another puzzling one. The 'tribe unmourned' may refer to the Sixth House - House Dagoth." (There were those names - linked again). "The verse could also be referring to the Dwemer, though. It is hard to say. 'Eating sin' means to atone for another's sin - that part is easy to understand, at least. Now - finally, in the verse on the last trial, the 'cursed false gods' mentioned must be the Tribunal. Surely they are false gods: necromancers and evil sorcerers. They murdered Nerevar so that they might set themselves up as gods."

I chose not to argue with her on this point. She appeared to feel quite strongly about it. When Sirilonwe and I made no response other than to continue copying down all she said, Nibani continued - and mercifully, she was almost finished.

"At last we come to what you might do for me - for us, vampire Frost." The wise-woman's piercing red eyes were now fixed on mine. "I do not know all of the prophecies regarding the Nerevarine - and I do not think any Ashlander does. Some, like the 'Seven curses of the Sharmat' are known to us only by name - and there may be more that I have not heard of. If an old wise-woman forgets, or keeps it secret, or if a tribe is all killed, or if a prophecy is deliberately forgotten..." Again, Nibani shuffled uncomfortably. "We - the wise-women - are the memory of the Ashlanders; but it is a faulty memory. We age and die, and so does our knowledge and history. The books of the settled people, though; the words in those books do not die."

The wise-woman licked her lips as if in anticipation.

"I have heard of a group called the Dissident Priests, that collects history even if they are told not to by the Temple. I have heard that they study the Nerevarine prophecies. It could be that they have some of the lost prophecies in their books. You must go to them and ask for these books - and bring them to me."

Before I could object to her assumption that I was hers to command, she continued:

"You must do this because as I told you, your role in this matter may not be finished. You are not the Nerevarine - this is true. But you might be. You are one who might become the Incarnate."

11 Comments:

Anonymous Matar said...

Like the new chapter dude!

Hey umm what's your Hand-To-Hand stat?

My fav way to fight is with my hands, magic, and spear...

So what's your hand to hand?

Thursday, April 27, 2006 12:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAN YOU BECOME A VAMPIRE WHEN YOU'RE IMMUNE TO DISEASE.
IS IT AN EXCEPTION?

Thursday, April 27, 2006 2:15:00 am  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

no you cannot become a vampire. Prophyric Hemophilia is a common disease.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:30:00 am  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...

That is not entirely true. I have become a vampire even when i had immunity. It is very rare and takes forever. It took me and my friend a total of seven hours of waiting. thankfully we enchanted a shield to constantly restore 10 points of health every second so death was virtually impossible. but like mindstroller said...dont bother trying.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:38:00 am  
Anonymous rarr said...

You can curse yourself with Weakness to Common Disease and then contract Porphyric Hemophilia.

Good chapter, by the way.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 6:02:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dangit Joseph!!! Why, why did you have to go back to that gay main quest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Noozooroo

Thursday, April 27, 2006 7:13:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks everyone.

And yes - like rarr said, weakness to common disease is the way to go. You'll need to find someone who sells the spell, so that you can get the weakness to common disease spell effect in your repertoire. I have memories of someone in the Caldera Mages Guild hall having that spell - but I could be wrong. Anyway once you have the spell, you'll want to create a 'cast-on-self' spell or enchantment with that effect (the higher the value of the spell effect the better), use it when going into battle with a vampire, and let them hit you until you get the message at the bottom of the screen that says 'You have contracted Porphyric Hemophilia'.

Matar - I can't remember off the top of my head. I think his Hand-To-Hand skill was around 45 - before he became a vampire and it was boosted accordingly. It's probably gone up a couple of points since then, too.

Noozooroo - As I was hinting at in a recent comments section, I'm going to approach the main quest somewhat differently... so hopefully it won't be too much of a trial for you to read. :-P

Personally I think that most of the main quest in MW is very interesting; especially the parts relating to the Dwemer, Chimer, Tribunal gods, House Dagoth and the Temple. Bethesda's writers did a great job.

- Joseph.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:20:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

To anonymous last comments section, correct.

To Constant's Trivia Question, the book Fall of the Snow Prince is located in the Jolgeirr(sp?) Barrow, West of Lake Fjalding. An Altmer in the Tavern at Raven Rock asks you to find information about the Falmer, a race of Elves that used to live in colder climates, who were wiped out by the Nords, and this book is the proof he wants of their existance.

As I said before, how Bethesda got lazy about quests as Archmage, it certainly doesn't apply to the main quest, which was spot on.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the Snow Prince's Helmet?

Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under the Lake "Lake Fjalding" is an dead body!! On this skeaton is an wet note.. That gives the Loction of the Caves of Frykte...
Frykte is near Hrothmond's Bane.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 7:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Correct! The note mentions a woman named Angria and her 'rabble' taking the Helm to Frykte Ice Cave, which is just east of Castle Karstaag. The Helm is on a Corpse pinned to the roof.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the Frostgore?

Thursday, April 27, 2006 9:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANKS

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:56:00 pm  

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