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, May 03, 2006

Chapter 121: Infection

The sea-caverns of Ilunibi were very deep: I could feel it as soon as I entered them. Any noise made floated off into the darkness, to echo back much later; a faint shadow of itself. The first chambers were washed by salt water rushing through them, and falling in cascades down the walls. Those first chambers were not unlike the Urshilaku burial caverns in some ways: but where the burial caverns were filled with the feeling of ages-old sadness, the Ilunibi caves were burdened with a sense of dread.

The fresh sea-water did not reach far into the caves. A little further on, I was wading through stagnant, stinking pools of trapped salt-water. The revolting, soupy liquid reeked of rotten fish - and of blood that had sat until it spoiled. The red candles glued to the occasional natural stone shelf cast the barest glow over the scene. I knew then, beyond a doubt, that what I had seen in Telasero and Falasmaryon was also the work of the Sixth House. Apart from the distinctive smell of corruption that found its way to my nose from somewhere up ahead - even through the stink of the foul water around me - the red candles were of a unique kind. They seemed to promote darkness more than they dispelled it.

Soon, I realised that I could hear a chant echoing through the honeycombed caverns: coming from somewhere nearby. It was in a male voice, and went:

"Fire, poisons, claws, pincers, wheels... Fire, poisons, claws, pincers, wheels... Fire, poisons..." Those same five words, repeated over and over, in a hoarse, scratchy voice.

I rounded a corner and was surprised to find myself facing the source of the chant - the many echoes in that place made it difficult to judge the exact origin of a sound. It was a naked Dunmer man - a Dreamer - but upon seeing me, he did not attack; only saying:

"Fire, poisons, claws, pincers, wheels... What slave knows what the lover feels?"

The emaciated man began spouting odes and venerations to his 'lord', Dagoth Ur; his breath hot on my face all the while.

"Lord Dagoth has sent the blight to destroy the foreigners, and to chasten those Dunmer who bend to foreign will!" The Dreamer cried, reaching out as if to grasp my shoulders. "Those who oppose Lord Dagoth shall wither and die, while those who join Lord Dagoth shall be healed and strengthened, filled with the power and glory of Red Mountain, and inspired by the dreams of Dagoth Ur!"

I knocked his reaching hands away, and took a step back. 'Inspired by the dreams of Dagoth Ur', he said. It made me think. Those Dunmer who later became 'Dreamers': the dreams they complained of - were they being 'sent' somehow by Dagoth Ur?

The Dreamer still spouted his fanatic declarations:

"Now, we Dunmer who once ruled ourselves, in our own land - our Resdayn... are weak. We are no more than slaves -- ruled by foreigners who serve false gods. But now Lord DAGOTH, Dagoth UR, Lord of the Sixth House, has awakened! Now the restless shall wake from sleep, and this will once more be the land of the free and proud Dunmer!"

It was as the Dreamer - or 'Sleeper' - in Maar Gan had said: Dagoth Ur wanted to drive the outlanders from Morrowind; just as the Nerevarine was supposed to do. It was strange: the Ashlanders I had met - the ones who worshipped the Nerevarine - called Dagoth Ur an enemy; but from what the Dreamers said - the ones who worshipped Dagoth Ur - both the Nerevarine and Dagoth Ur wanted the same thing.

I listened to the Dreamer's ravings for a while longer, but he said nothing else of interest: merely different variations on "you and all outlanders should leave Morrowind while you still can." I had to knock him out with my Sleep spell to stop him following me.

Searching through the empty, stinking honeycombed caverns, my legs slosh-sloshing through the stagnant water, I eventually encountered some real resistance: another of those horribly disfigured 'tentacle-faced men'; with the stumpy, useless arms of a Dunmer person jutting out the side of their swollen robes. Staying true to my promise to Sirilonwe, I hung back and engaged the creature with my poison and ice spells - hoping to stay clear of any disease it might have carried.

I was able to dodge the destructive spells it threw back my way, and soon it was dead; dissolved into a putrid yellow dust (save for the deformed skull). I was horrified to see the thing. I had thought that the tentacle-faced man I had killed in Telasero was unique; a tragic mutation of some kind. Now though, I was faced with the idea that those things were men corrupted by a plague - or by a plan.

These Sleepers - these agents of Dagoth Ur - talked about the people of Morrowind 'joining him in the flesh'. Could these disfigurements to the flesh of what had once been Dunmeri people be deliberate?

The tentacle-faced man had been guarding a door to some deeper and (surprisingly) drier caverns. I pushed my way through the door and continued my mission: scouring the sea-caverns of all life - save for those who could still be called 'Dunmer' and not 'monster'. I sped through the dark chambers like the wind; fast enough that most of the naked Dreamers ranged throughout the 'base' did not even perceive that I was there - and fast enough that the first the ashen-skinned, zombie-like figures (with dark cavities in their faces where their eyes and nose should be) knew of my presence was the burning acid and ice of my magic on their backs.

Eventually, I found the room with the whispering shrine the deceased Legion trooper had mentioned - and within it, I found the trooper's comrades. They were in a frightening state: their infected flesh was swollen, jaundiced and raw; their cracked, warped armour broken and falling off. And they were moving about. They were not dead; they were Corprus beasts.

As I watched, two of the Corprus-men lumbered over to a metal trough just like the ones in Telasero, and proceeded to tear pieces of their own swollen flesh from their bodies, before depositing the oozing chunks in the trough. They tore themselves right to the bone in places - only to have the sickening, yellow wound bubble and run as the flesh began to grow back; almost instantly.

I quickly ended their suffering (at a healthy distance), using my destructive spells. It was a quick death; I do not think any of them knew I was even there. In fact, I doubt any of them had even known that they were still alive.

I did not want to go anywhere near that sinisterly whispering shrine, if I could help it; so I cast a quick glance around the room from the doorway. I was just turning to leave when something stirred in the deep shadows at the rear of the chamber. A figure emerged: one of those ashen-skinned 'men' with a single thick growth protruding from the black cavity in his face. He was tall and thin, and wore a grey, ash-caked robe.

He identified himself; the mouth squashed below his facial protuberance somehow still able to produce intelligible words:

"The Sixth House greets you, blood vampire. I am known as Dagoth Gares, priest of Ilunibi Shrine and minister to my Sixth House servants."

"Minister?" I called out, as the disfigured creature came to stand beside the whispering shrine. "You make it sound as if you are doing these Dunmer some kind of service - as if they are here by choice!"

The ghoulish thing's hands hung at its sides, arcane power crackling and dripping from the fingers.

"Ah, yes;" he rumbled; "the Sleepers... the Dreamers... You still think of them as part of your world - as belonging to their old lives - because they are newly come to Lord Dagoth, and not yet blessed with his power. But later they will be blessed as Children of the Lord. Yes... the Children of His Flesh, they are deep in the heart of his mysteries. Their bodies swell to contain his glory, and to yield the rich sacraments of our Lord's feasts. And we are the least of his servants, for Ash Poets, Ascended Sleepers, and Ash Vampires stand high above us in the Lord's bountiful grace."

"A... 'Child of His Flesh'? Is that what you call yourself? You... want to be disfigured like that?"

Speaking with that monster without eyes; that perversion of a Dunmer, was revolting. However, I was in sufficient control of myself to realise that I needed more information if I was to find and kill more members of the Sixth House. I was trying to keep him talking - to learn as much as I could.

"It is, and I do." Dagoth Gares replied. "And you, blood vampire... or 'Edward Frost' as you decide to call yourself; I can see in your mind the name Nerevarine. You are consumed with this name. You wonder what it means. It consumes your mind and your purpose. You wonder if you are something greater - bound for a place in history. Are you the Nerevarine? My Lord Dagoth Ur wishes to extend his friendship to the one called the Nerevarine. You may come to him - at his citadel on Red Mountain - and discover if you are the one."

I was without words for a moment. That this 'Dagoth' had apparently read my mind gave me pause.

"What say you, blood vampire?" The creature asked, taking a step towards me. "Will you go to Red Mountain in friendship, and submit to our Lord Dagoth Ur? Will you put away your weapons and join me in friendship?"

I looked about me, at the sinister whispering shrine, the grisly troughs of infected flesh, the ruined, deformed bodies of the dead Legionnaires... and I began to laugh. I laughed and laughed, my voice ringing harshly off the stone walls of the cavern.

"I am here to destroy you, Gares;" I said eventually - "and I aim to destroy your 'lord' Dagoth Ur, as well. This -" I indicated our horrific surrounds with a sweep of my arm - "is obscene, and evil. It revolts me. I will obliterate the Sixth House - wherever I find it."

Dagoth Gares said nothing more; merely rushing at me, giving a snort as he came that expelled a puff of ash from his facial protuberance. I sent my 'Blizzard' spell at him: once with my right hand, and then a second time with my left. With two great, concussive -booms-, the spells exploded against his spindly form; cracking the stone floor of the cavern and leaving Gares a broken mess on the ground. Most of his dry, ashen flesh had been blasted from his bones.

Cautiously, I drew closer to the body, to get a better look. I wanted to be sure that he was really, conclusively, dead.

Without warning, his bones twisted horribly beneath the ragged shreds of his flesh, and Gares pointed the remains of his hand right at my face. Some kind of force leapt from his hand; worming, forcing its way into my body. My vision blurred, and I felt as if I was losing my balance. I felt as if I was falling over backwards, but at the same time as if it might only be a trick of my mind: I could not work out which was actually happening. I heard Gares' voice sound out as consciousness left me:

"You shall come unto the Lord Dagoth Ur in the flesh, then; if not the mind. Yea, even as my Master wills, you shall come to him, in his flesh, and of his flesh."

When I came back to myself, I was standing outside the entrance to Ilunibi, under the open sky. The first rays of the morning sun were just peeking out over the horizon, searing my skin. Sirilonwe was staring at me in horror, and pointing at my wrist. Feeling too dizzy to simply look down, I raised my wrist to my eyes to see what was wrong. There was an exposed patch of skin there, and it was swelling and bubbling up, as if in huge blisters.

Just like the diseased Imperial Legion soldiers in the shrine. Dagoth Gares had cursed me with Corprus disease: incurable and almost always fatal.

I threw my head back and screamed out in rage, fear, and frustration.


Anonymous DaBigPman said...

freakin awesome chapter oh mighty one! The way you described gares giving him the disease was awesome. In the game nothing really happens so that makes it seem perfect. good job joseph.

OBLIVION TRIVIA: Who gives the quest, and where do you start the quest for the draconian madstone of the Arkavians?

Thursday, May 04, 2006 12:24:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

Neat chapter dude!

Dagoth Ur ain't really a bad guy he's just a bit... loony and has weird ways of getting what he wants.

*Wonders whitch path you will take*

Thursday, May 04, 2006 12:38:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thursday, May 04, 2006 12:44:00 am  
Blogger Xikorolkel said...

If he uses the Great House Dagoth mod, how far can you go without barring yourself from the normal game? Is the whole thing irreperable or can you double cross Dagoth Ur and return? I'm thinking that it's one-way, but if not, Frost should give it a shot.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 2:07:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think that in Great House Dagoth
after you do some quests (and advance to an Ash Vampire) you get a ring which causes you to return to your normal self and people treat you normally. And after finishing the quests you're treated as a hero.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 2:14:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

Oh yeah forgot to ask. Can you post your mod list? I am bored and wanna see what mods ya got.

... forgot what chap you posted on before...

Thursday, May 04, 2006 6:36:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oblivion triva: The countess of Bruma gives u the quest n u start it at the Serpent caveners i belive

Thursday, May 04, 2006 6:50:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DaBigPman: Like anonymous said, you get the quest from countess of Bruma and you start following the AKAVIR'S map at the Dragonclaw Rock. It is not Arkavians, it is the Akavirian soldier.

Wow. I really like how Frost feels that way. Well, I mean I like how you portrayed and all that.

OBLIVION TRIVIA: The name of the bandit in Vilverin is Two-Coins. You find his name in a note on a table next to a pile of Welkynd stones in the first level of Vilverin. I guess I'm just smarter than you all! Just kidding, but it was pretty trivia!

OBLIVION TRIVIA: Who is the master trainer of Blade and the master trainer of Alteration, and where can you find them? If you only know one, say it anyway!

MORROWIND TRIVIA: Who is the master trainer of Block and the master trainer of Heavy Armor, and where can you find them? If you only know one, say it anyway!


Thursday, May 04, 2006 7:10:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the companions like in OBLIVION... Are they the same pain in the ass... As the Morrowind companions/fighters... That are allways in the way - die too easly, or just an pain in the you know!!! I'd read, that they rush too there deaths far too easly...

Thursday, May 04, 2006 10:09:00 am  
Blogger Malaki Tarion said...

Wow that was an amaaaaazing chapter. Once again, you outdo yourself in your ability to bring Morrowind to life in ways the game never did. I can't wait to see how Frost goes about the corprus cure quest, and how it affects his "condition."

Thursday, May 04, 2006 11:57:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Joseph - Zee Oh Em Gee. That was just... beyond words. Excellent.

Noozooroo - The Heavy Armour Master Trainer is an Altmer in the Arena Training area. I'm not sure about the Block Master Trainer.

To Anonymous last chapter - Correct!

Matar - I think it's pretty obvious which path Frost will take. But no, we can't be certain.

Morrowind Trivia - Who is Bolrin?

Thursday, May 04, 2006 2:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Constant said...

I actually had a dream of Frost last night, too. Lord, this journai is illegally compelling!

Thursday, May 04, 2006 3:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

Frost WILL take?


Story = past tense'd.

Constant said...

I actually had a dream of Frost last night, too. Lord, this journai is illegally compelling!

I had a dream about a girl I like last night.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Constant said...

I think Frosty is cute in a way, though he always has that vacant expression on his face. ^_^

Thursday, May 04, 2006 10:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

Constant- I am going to move away from you now...verrrry slowly....


Friday, May 05, 2006 12:04:00 am  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...


good job and sorry bout that spelling error. yeah that waas a fun mission for me. i was falling asleep when a messenger comes up and was.... the countess wants u! yeah...i was freakin out. yeah so.......

MORROWIND TRIVIA: what is my favorite weapon in Morrowind? Good Luck!

Friday, May 05, 2006 5:36:00 am  
Anonymous Constant said...

Uh, Chitin club?

Random: Please don't, I'm not that scary!

Friday, May 05, 2006 6:08:00 am  
Anonymous dabigpman said...

i will give you all a hint. LOTR-self enchanted. guess the enchantment! you will all BURN!!!!!

Friday, May 05, 2006 7:19:00 am  
Anonymous Lord Dnomyar said...

Oh no! Whatever shall Frost do now!? Will he go to Caius and then Fyr and then fulfill the pr- Erm, yay. And I think Siri's gonna be mad. Really, really, really mad. With a capital 'T'. Or rather, 'M'.

Friday, May 05, 2006 7:21:00 am  
Anonymous Styg said...

I love it when everyone ignores me.

Friday, May 05, 2006 8:21:00 am  
Anonymous Random said...

We all dream about girls, styg(maybe except for constant).

Morrowind Trivia: In which year (SE format) did the first Tiber Septim come to rule the empire?

Friday, May 05, 2006 12:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

I don't dream so, yeah. Can't really sympathise with you there.

What's her name?

Morrowind Trivia - Who is Bolrin?

Friday, May 05, 2006 12:59:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Ooh uh. Give me some time to think about it.

Friday, May 05, 2006 1:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

2E 896!

Friday, May 05, 2006 1:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

Person, you seriously know too much about the Tamrielic region. No idea who Bolrin is, I don't play much Morrowind these days, not since I got European Air War. Seriously, EAW is the best WW2 flying game you'll ever play, especially when you have Highway to the Danger Zone playing in the background.

The name of the girl I dreamt about was Whitney.

Friday, May 05, 2006 1:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seanwen the altmer is in the arena training quarters he's the master trainer of heavy armour.

the master of block is at fort buckmoth in a corner of the yard
don't remember her name though..

Friday, May 05, 2006 3:24:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks very much, everyone. :-)

Constant: "I think Frosty is cute in a way, though he always has that vacant expression on his face. ^_^"

Well, thanks: I guess I can sort of take that as a compliment, since Edward's face texture actually uses my own eyes, nose and mouth (digital camera). The rest was hand-painted, though, so he doesn't really look that much like me. Vampy Frost's face and mine especially have little in common. ;-)

Stygian: "I love it when everyone ignores me."

Stygian, I hereby acknowledge your existence. :-P

Person: You seriously don't dream? That's pretty odd. I mean, it seems strange to me, because I dream more than I sleep. I start dreaming before I fall asleep (it's how I know I'm about to fall asleep), and sometimes keep dreaming for a little while after I wake up. One time, I didn't stop dreaming until I hopped in the shower (a few minutes after waking up). And that is odd too, I know. :-)

Matar: Okay, here is my current modlist, copied from my Morrowind.ini file (again, a lot of these are mods I'd actually forgotten I had installed, and haven't tried):

GameFile0=Assassins Armory.esm
GameFile1=Beyond YsGramor v2.5.esm
GameFile9=Akavirian Armor V 1.0.esp
GameFile10=Amulet of Scrye.esp
GameFile11=Amulet of Vampire Becoming.esp
GameFile12=Animal Behaviour.esp
GameFile15=Armored SkeletonsV2f.esp
GameFile16=ASE Bloodmoon Expansion.esp
GameFile17=ASE Tribunal Expansion.esp
GameFile18=Assassins Armory - Arrows.esp
GameFile19=Assassins Armory - Bolt Rifles.esp
GameFile20=Assassins Armory - Unofficial Patch 7.7.esp
GameFile21=AstralFyziks- Undead Revival.esp
GameFile26=Better Bodies.esp
GameFile29=Birdies by Cait and Leeloo.esp
GameFile30=Blight Idol.esp
GameFile34=DM_DB Armor Replacer-Ranks.esp
GameFile35=Dracus's Durzog Armor Tribumal V1.1.esp
GameFile38=GIANTS Ultimate Control file.esp
GameFile39=Gothic&Regal Dresses_1.1.esp
GameFile40=Great House Dagoth ( Master Index Compatibility ).esp
GameFile41=Great House Dagoth.esp
GameFile42=Haunted Tombs v1.06.esp
GameFile43=HelioS - Better Necromancers Amulet.esp
GameFile44=HelioS - Giants Fix.esp
GameFile45=House of Mannequins v1.0.esp
GameFile49=Illuminated Order v1.0 - Bloodmoon Compatibility Extras.esp
GameFile50=Illuminated Order v1.0.esp
GameFile51=Illuminated Windows - Bloodmoon.esp
GameFile52=Illuminated Windows.esp
GameFile55=JCS - Gogetto's Stalhrim Weapons.esp
GameFile56=LBS_Lite v1.4(trib).esp
GameFile58=Light Death's Doorstep.esp
GameFile62=Morrowind Crafting patch V1-1.esp
GameFile63=Morrowind Crafting.esp
GameFile64=MTT Vol III.esp
GameFile65=Necessities of Morrowind 2.02.esp
GameFile66=Netch Adamantium Armor II.esp
GameFile67=New fire damage effect v1.1 .esp
GameFile69=Nymeria's Faster Walk.esp
GameFile70=Nymeria's Monthly Respawn.esp
GameFile71=Obsidian Armor (v1.0).esp
GameFile72=Provincial_Bath _Shoppe_for_Stinkers.esp
GameFile75=Ring Texture Fix.esp
GameFile80=Sixth House Advanced 2.1.esp
GameFile83=Slof's Better Beasts b.esp
GameFile84=Slof's Goth Shop 1.1.esp
GameFile85=Slof's Goth Shop II.esp
GameFile86=Slof's Vampire Faces.esp
GameFile88=Statue Replacer - Gold.esp
GameFile89=Stealth Enhancements-LD 1.5b (Tribunal).esp
GameFile92=Tales of Miridian.esp
GameFile93=Temperature 1.13.esp
GameFile94=Temperature LoKKen addon.esp
GameFile95=The Clockwork Tower.esp
GameFile96=The Ebony Blade V1.02.esp
GameFile97=The Undead.esp
GameFile100=Vampire Birthsigns.esp
GameFile101=Vampire Realism II - BM Add-On.esp
GameFile102=Vampire Realism II - TB Add-On.esp
GameFile103=Vampire Realism II - VE Patch.esp
GameFile104=Vampire Realism II.esp
GameFile109=Vampiric Hunger - SU.esp
GameFile110=Vampiric Hunger Base.esp
GameFile111=Vampiric Hunger MGE Addon for MGE 1.11+.esp
GameFile114=WC_Indoril Greaves.esp
GameFile115=Weapon collection.esp
GameFile117=Wolfen Castle.esp

- Joseph.

Friday, May 05, 2006 4:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

That is a hell of a lot of mods. I'm mod-free(XBOX) I was hoping that the Tiber Septim question would have stopped you person.

Allright, when did the Akivirian War between the Empire and the Akivirians begin?

Friday, May 05, 2006 6:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Constant said...

What made you think I'm a guy in the first place? :>

Friday, May 05, 2006 8:25:00 pm  

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