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 10, 2006

Chapter 124: Madness

"No, not much of a choice at all..." Divayth Fyr was saying. "I can tell you that the poor devils down there in the Corprusarium have a wretched existence. Constant pain. Ferocious appetites and passions... and barking mad. Marvellous too, though; in their own way. Completely immune to disease - and old age, for that matter; though I suppose that that's nothing special to you, vampire. Still, it is quite incredible. For these Corprus-sufferers, anything short of an instantly fatal injury is not the end: their flesh will grow back after almost any wound... though more horribly twisted and deformed than before."

The ancient Dunmer wizard stared into the middle distance for a long moment, before turning to me once more.

"I want you to go down into the Corprusarium, vampire." He said. "See what's in store for you if you don't try this potion."

This seemed a cruel joke to me. I knew exactly what was in store for me if my Corprus disease ran unchecked - and this much was obvious to anyone that looked at me. I could not have 'caught' the disease in the first place had I not had a close encounter with Corprus beasts.

"While you're down there," Divayth continued, "you can pick up a pair of boots from one of the victims. Yagrum Bagarn; my oldest patient. He's a handy fellow: fixes things for me. Bring me the boots, and I'll give you the potion. A trade. I've put a lot of time into researching a cure for Corprus, after all. A lot of time." I turned to go, but he was not quite finished: "One last thing, vampire: do not harm the inmates. People may call them 'Corprus beasts' - and indeed they may attack you - but do not hurt them. They have enough suffering in their lives already."

Down in the winding bowels of Divayth's great fungus-tower was a door leading underground, to a series of natural caverns. It appeared that Tel Fyr had been purposefully built on top of them. A red-skinned Argonian - wearing (strangely) a steel breastplate but no pants - stopped Sirilonwe and I at the entrance. Like the ancient Dunmer wizard, he seemed to hardly care that we were vampires; only telling us, in his low, hissing voice, that he was Vistha-Kai; Warden of the Corprusarium. He reiterated Divayth's warning that we were not to harm the 'inmates':

"They are sad, distorted monsters," Vistha-Kai said, gesturing towards the door - which I gathered to be the threshold of the Corprusarium; "angry, and cruel, and desperate. Their suffering is great - but they still live and feel. Do not even think that death would be a mercy to them - an end to their suffering. There is always hope. Divayth Fyr works to cure them. You are their guests here, vampires. You will answer to me if you hurt them."

Marvelling at the obvious compassion Vistha-Kai and Divayth felt for such hideous creatures as Corprus beasts (even if they were once man or mer), Sirilonwe and I nodded our agreement and continued on into the Corprusarium.

...Although Sirilonwe did not follow me very far. Unsurprisingly, the Corprusarium was a horrible, depressing place. The inmates, some so corpulent and swollen with infected growths that they could barely move, shuffled about the dark, uneven passages, pausing occasionally to fitfully rub their raw, weeping wounds against the rough stone walls. At the sight of these sickening Corprus weepings smeared over every surface of the caverns, it occurred to me that even keeping a healthy distance between ourselves and any Corprus men might not be enough for Sirilonwe to avoid infection. I opened my mouth to voice my concerns, but Sirilonwe beat me to it, saying:

"I'll wait outside the door." She returned to the antechamber, and I heard her strike up an awkward conversation with Vistha-Kai.

It was for the best that I went alone. I did not have to worry about infection myself, of course: I already had the disease.

After searching through the dark tunnels for a short while, racing along at a great pace so as to avoid the vicious, heavy swings of the irritable 'inmates', I found a larger cavern that was home to more than just pitiful Corprus monsters. In the pool of light cast from a crackling fire sat a Dunmer woman and another, quite extraordinary, individual.

He appeared as a very fat man with a long, charcoal-grey beard, suffering from a (relatively) mild case of Corprus. I would have picked him for an obese human; only his ears were pointed, like those of an elf. I had never seen a fat elf before. Truth be told, I had never seen anyone so fat as this strange person. Even stranger, though, was the steam-powered contraption in which he sat. It looked like one of the spider-constructs I had encountered in Dwemer ruins, only... more chair-like. It was a great metal chair that could walk about, in other words.

This grossly overweight figure was Yagrum Bagarn; the one Divayth had sent me to find. He made some quite extraordinary claims - and he also seemed starved for company.

"Oho, what's this?" He called out, and rapped a short tattoo on his expansive paunch to underline the statement. "A visitor! Come, lad - take a seat near Yagrum and tell me what's happening out in the fresh air. Oh - but you're a vampire!" He said as I came closer. "Well, you won't be wanting my blood, befouled as it is. Heh." He indicated the Corprus sores that festered in his skin.

The Dunmer woman tending to him briefly introduced herself as Uupse Fyr (one of Divayth's daughters), and slapped down a ratty cushion near the obese man; gesturing that I should take a seat. She was giving me such suspicious looks that I believe she offered the cushion because she would have felt safer having me sitting down, rather than out of any genuine sense of hospitality.

"Er..." I addressed Yagrum awkwardly, his grotesque appearance putting me off slightly; "a pleasure to meet you. Divayth sent me to fetch a pair of boots..."

Yagrum sighed.

"Too busy for conversation then, I see." With a series of hisses and clanks, the mechanical chair scuttled sideways to a table containing a cluttered mess of tools and pieces of metal. Stretching a pudgy arm out with a grunt of effort, Yagrum caught up a pair of metal Dwemer boots, then scuttled back over to me. "Well, here; take them, with a message. Tell my gracious host that I have done what I can with them; only a Dwemer magecrafter could have done so much. But only idiots could have made these boots. It shames my race that we must be judged by the works of such incompetent blunderers."

I took the boots absently, staring at him. Did he just say...? But it could not be that... no, he must be mad; as Divayth Fyr said. The Dwemer race disappeared all-at-once thousands of years ago. What had really happened to them was one of the great mysteries of the world... Still, I had to ask:

"A Dwemer? Did you just say that you're a Dwemer?"

Yagrum grinned, and I got the sudden feeling that he had dropped the phrase 'Dwemer magecrafter' on purpose, as a conversation-starter.

"Yes lad, I did indeed. The last of the Dwemer - or so I call myself. I looked to see if any others remained, of course... but no. It seems I am the last."

I shook my head slowly, and looked to Uupse Fyr for help - but her expression did not change. She was obviously not about to let me know her opinion on whether Yagrum Bagarn was genuine, or merely mad from Corprus.

"But then..." I struggled, "you would know... what happened to the Dwemer? Where did they go?"

But the self-styled Dwemer shook his head, too.

"That I do not know. I wasn't there when it happened; I was in an Outer Realm at the time - and then when I came back... Everyone was gone."

"Ah," I said, inclining my head, "an Outer Realm. I see." It seemed obvious that Bagarn was indeed quite mad.

He gave me a sharp look, and snapped:

"Even with all the long years at my disposal here, lad, I have no time for rudeness. Come back with better manners in your mouth, and I'll tell you about the Dwemer. Until then, take the boots and remove yourself from here."

I did just that; mulling over the strange meeting as I picked my way back to the antechamber where Sirilonwe was waiting. Yagrum Bagarn must have represented quite a unique case of Corprus, in that he retained a semblance of civility and intelligence - and was not violently aggressive - but there was little doubt in my mind that he was still somewhat... confused.

"Ah, excellent. Give me the boots, if you please. Thankyou. Now, take a seat, close your eyes, and open your mouth." Divayth Fyr pointed at the same chair he had sat me in earlier, when he had examined me. "I must give you the potion now, so that I can observe its effects."

I hesitated, staring at the chair. What if the potion did not work? What if it killed me outright, as it had Divayth's other test subjects? These same thoughts were in Sirilonwe's mind, I am sure: she pulled me into an embrace, and... well, what lovers say when they think they may lose each other is something too painful and embarrassing for me to repeat here.

After a moment though, my resolve returned. I did not want to become like the miserable creatures in the Corprusarium - and I certainly did not want to die a final death.

I did as Divayth had asked, and felt him tilt my head back and pour the potion (uncomfortably quickly) down my throat. The liquid burned on the way down, the heat turning into a sensation of numbness that spread out from my belly and enveloped my whole body. When I realised that I had slid off the chair and was lying crumpled on the floor, I became quite frightened. Was my blurred view of Divayth's feet the last thing I would ever see?

But slowly, feeling returned to my body, my vision cleared... and I was alright. Better than 'alright', in fact: I was cured!

The red, swollen lumps on my limbs were going down, and the oozing sores and blisters were sloughing from my skin, leaving raw patches behind. Even those healed over quickly, though; as my vampiric body regenerated itself. The effect was quite dramatic, and needless to say, I think; a huge relief. Sirilonwe - sounding quite unlike her usual self - let out an excited squeak, and threw her arms around me.

"Yes, yes... good." Divayth spoke up. "But not very surprising. As I said earlier, the problem I've had with this particular concoction is that it produced death in my test subjects. You, of course, are already dead, so... this may not be the breakthrough my inmates are waiting for. Still! Good news for you, vampire! You still have Corprus," he said, to my surprise, "so you cannot catch it again - but you also have no harmful symptoms. So that much of the cure, at least, worked as I intended."

He leant over his desk and made a note in one of his books.

"Oh -" he added, casting a knowing glance at Sirilonwe, who was still holding me tightly - "and you're not contagious anymore either, so you two may go drink each other's blood to your heart's content... or whatever it is proper loving vampire couples do."

The ancient wizard waved a hand, dismissing us.

"In any case, you're welcome for me saving your hide, vampire. You can show yourselves out."


Anonymous Constant said...

Joseph: I simply loved this chapter, AND it's long enough now. Double length, double pleasure reading this great text of yours.

Fyr sure is an interesting personality. :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006 2:46:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice chapter (as always)

Thursday, May 11, 2006 2:56:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fyr funny.....*claps hands again in simple-minded way*


Thursday, May 11, 2006 9:02:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Fyr funnay! hyukhyukhyuk... *smacks self in head* uh... ehem.

To anonymous last chapter - Correct! And to answer Constant's question, the Watchmans Eye is a unique lamp in that it never goes out, unless you douse it in water.

I liked your description of the Corprusarium a lot Joseph. Do you think you might be able to do the dungeon plunder quest that Fyr offers visitors? I thought it was fun. I'd like to hear you description of Lord Dregas Volar.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is BlueDev's ring of Viewing?

Thursday, May 11, 2006 2:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

In the eye of the CliffRacer after beating the Bloodmoon campaing.

The Cliffracer is in the Hallthing were the Nord leader of Skall is... or was as it were :P.

A wish Drosty kept it :(. But oh well.

Good chapter!

Thursday, May 11, 2006 3:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Well, Correct in all but one way. The Ring is in the mouth of the racer.

Morrowind Trivia - Who is Aeta Wave-Breaker?

Thursday, May 11, 2006 4:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine charater is female, the game is kindner to females, you get less attacked!! I use CanadianIce's Oblivion Mithril Armor which is a few pounds lighter then Glassarmor having all it's stenghs and weakness! Then useing the Helm of Tohan that has Restore Health 1-10 pts Constant Effect.. Being my charater is female har major his light armor having a minor in medium armor.. Block and Blunt weapon are Major skills, LongBlade is an Minor skill. Having both Skull Crusher and Chrysamere.. Yes mine charater is both Primate and Knight of the Dragon, as well as Master of these Guilds, Thieves, Temple, Fighters, Morag Tong and Mages Guilds.. I used my cheat to jion both the Fighters and the Thieves Guilds.. And no I do not become the Patriarch, not after the way she's gets treated during the Never.. Why??

It's good to have, Constant Restore Effect. "BUT" This does not mean you are safe form any harm! I use the hard setting, things like the Deamora and the Bloodmoon's Rickling Raider's all have automic reflect.. So any Cast when Used/Strikes, just gets reflected back at you... Some times 10 to 100 times that same effect. So having your cast when Strikes, gets yourself killed!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006 11:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aeta wave breaker is a female nord outside caldera, she gives you a mission to get her stolen family heirlooms back from a gang of thieves.

and: please don't brag, i bet about all the people who comment this blog is just as good as you

Friday, May 12, 2006 4:08:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you on the Wave-Breaker! NO I'am not bragging someone wanted to know the pro/cons of having enchanted effects on weapons.. Downside is that using these weapons, can kill your character...

Bloodmoon's BloodAxe what or you do you get this axe. Why, that it can be the most danger-ish weapon in Bloodmoon...

Friday, May 12, 2006 7:02:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...


Yes, please don't brag. I'm sure all of us could say our characters are as good or better than yours.

Morrowind Trivia - Where can you find the book 'Chance's Folly'?

Friday, May 12, 2006 9:30:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you remember?

Friday, May 12, 2006 1:04:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thankyou everyone. :-)

Anonymous: "Joseph..

Do you remember?"

Um... what the...?

- Joseph.

Friday, May 12, 2006 5:42:00 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home