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 17, 2006

Chapter 127: Keeping a secret

"You might try thinking of it this way;" I told the vampire hunter; "in your mind, you wanted to stop us from feeding on people, correct?" When the Dunmer woman did nothing but continue to glare at me sullenly, I went on: "Well - this way, we won't need to hunt anymore: not while we have your blood. So... it seems you will get your wish."

Still our attacker said nothing; merely standing there stiffly in the robe Sirilonwe and I had given her after stripping her of her weapons, armour, and equipment. We had used our healing magic to counter her blood-loss, too, of course. She was no use to us dead.

"What is your name, Dunmer?" Sirilonwe asked her.

"Your death, fiend." Was all she said.

She never did tell us her name. In the end, I came to always call her simply 'Hunter'.

It soon became apparent that as far as plans went, keeping Hunter as 'cattle' was rife with complications. A few minutes after we overcame the vampire hunter, Rhek'feer - the Khajiiti martial arts trainer and unofficial captain of my guardsmen at the castle - was hammering at my chamber door. My attention was not on what Rhek'feer was shouting, but on Hunter, for she had opened her mouth in a deep breath and looked to be about to call out for help.

I dashed across and rendered her unconscious with my Sleep spell - fortunately before she could make a sound. Demonstrating her knack for quick-thinking, Sirilonwe pointed at the prone form of the Dunmer woman, and she vanished beneath an invisibility spell. I unbolted the door and let Rhek'feer in.

"One of the men stationed on the battlements was found knocked-out cold, Mister Frost!" He exclaimed. "An intruder, maybe! Has Mister Frost seen anything?"

My mind was racing. If I said no, then Rhek'feer would likely order the guards to search the entire keep and castle grounds for an intruder; something I did not want if I was trying to conceal the existence of Hunter.

"Yes," I replied, "someone came in through the window and attacked us." That was that, but what to say next? That our attacker escaped?

Sirilonwe again came to my aid:

"And I incinerated him." She said.

Rhek'feer appeared surprised, and glanced around the room - obviously looking for some kind of remains.

"As I said," Sirilonwe went on; "I incinerated him."

After only a moment's hesitation, my captain of the guard was satisfied by our explanation, but it was obvious that we needed to do something about Hunter quickly if we wanted to keep her secret from the castle staff.

At sunset, when everyone was either having their evening meal in the dining room or on duty on the castle grounds, we smuggled the invisible and magically silenced vampire hunter downstairs to the underground passages beneath the keep. We accomplished this by Sirilonwe also going invisible, and keeping a tight hold on Hunter as I went on ahead and opened doors for them so that the invisibility spells would not be disrupted. On the way, I hid the Dunmer's armour, weapons and equipment in the secret vault.

It all worked perfectly; we arrived next to a certain secret door down there without incident.

I pointed to the back corner of the concealed tomb underneath Wolfen Keep - the chamber in which I had disturbed the Wolfen castle Guardian and found the Wolfen ring several months earlier - indicating that Hunter should enter. She made no move to comply, so I grasped her by the neck and carried her bodily into the tomb. It was to be her holding cell from that point on. The skeletal corpse of the late Master Wolfen (the previous owner of the castle) was still there on a stone slab. I had discovered that - strangely - the skeleton could not be moved from its place in the tomb; it was as if it was stuck fast to that stone slab. I suppose that Master Wolfen - whoever he had been - really did want to stay in his castle forever.

It was obvious that Hunter relied heavily on magic to carry out her... mission in life: levitation magic to reach the chamber window she had used to enter the keep, spells to let her move as fast as a vampire, her enchanted weapons and armour... So if we were to keep her, we needed a way to prevent her escaping through magical means.

I remembered the slaves I had freed (back on my second day on Vvardenfell) from the smuggler's cave just outside Seyda Neen. They had been restrained by 'slave bracers'; enchanted manacles that drained the wearer's magicka reserves to naught - effectively preventing him or her from casting spells. One - or even a pair - of those was just what we needed.

I would run across to the smuggler-cave to fetch the bracers (if they were still there), and Sirilonwe would stay behind to watch over Hunter - while at the same time consulting her books to find a way to create the spells and enchantments we would need to keep our 'guest' safely - and secretly - locked away. Firstly we needed a variation of a permanent Silence spell on the chamber; one that would (in simple terms) mean that someone on one side of the door to the concealed tomb could not hear anything that took place on the other side. That way, if Hunter decided to call for help, no-one would hear her.

We also needed a strong Locking spell for the secret door - and decided that it should be made to last for a week after being cast (unless Sirilonwe or I dispelled it first, of course). It was our intention to stock Hunter's cell with enough food and water to last for over a week; and with a spell like that on the door, she would not starve to death in the event that we were (for whatever reason) unable to return to the castle for some time.

Of course, if this were to happen and the door were to simply unlock... well, having an angry vampire hunter let loose in the castle could be quite bad for us. Sirilonwe had the idea of incorporating a contingency into the spell: so that if a week passed and the door did unlock, Hunter would - if she touched the door - be teleported far away; to somewhere on the mainland, probably. It would then be difficult for her to return to Wolfen castle - at least straight away. And if she did come back, then at least she would be on the outside of the castle-defences, rather than inside the keep.

It all sounded very complicated to me. I was glad Sirilonwe was taking on the challenge, while I had the simple task of locating a slave bracer or two.

And it was very simple, in the end. In the smuggler's cave, the bracers were still lying exactly where Baadargo and his fellow slaves had discarded them; barely even touched by mud or dust. The key to the bracers was still with them too: although I suppose this is not as surprising as one might think. Even if the caves had been well-scoured for valuables in the time since I had last been there, only a few 'sorts' were interested in things like slave bracers.

I picked up a pair of the bracers, plus the key, and returned home.

Once the bracers were safely snapped onto Hunter's wrists, I set about gathering up enough food from the kitchen to last her a week. The castle-cook Ancois might wonder what I had done with all the kitchen-stores, but I doubted she would question me seriously over it; I was the one who paid for the food, after all. After carrying in a great barrel of fresh water, plus another of (much easier to obtain) sea-water, accompanied by some soap and a sponge so that Hunter might keep herself clean, I scrounged together a small stack of books for her to read during her days of confinement. A straw mattress and some blankets were also needed.

All this may seem somewhat extravagant for a prisoner, but understand that keeping this woman as 'cattle' did not make me feel like a good person. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Sirilonwe and I both thought that keeping her there was the best (and safest) course of action we could take: save for resorting to the sort of vicious behaviour Hunter obviously thought we were prone to, and killing her outright. Still, keeping her prisoner was unpleasant for me; and I'm sure I was compensating for that.

As it turned out, I did not escape the difficult task of working on the spells and enchantments we required for Hunter's cell after all. Once my own tasks were all complete, Sirilonwe enlisted my help in searching through her books on magic research and creation. We stayed in for the rest of the night, and for all of the next day; Hunter's presence of course meaning that we did not need to go out to hunt.

By the following evening, it was done. Both Hunter and our new, relatively safe source of blood were secured.

I was now burning with curiosity about those 'lost prophecies of the Nerevarine' - and about the Dissident Priests, with their secret monastery. Did they really believe that the three living gods of the Tribunal were no more than powerful sorcerers, their power gained from some mysterious, profane source inside Red Mountain? Moreover, did they have any proof?

The 'Progress of Truth' pamphlet I had - a manifesto of sorts for the Dissident Priests - said the Tribunal had used 'profanely enchanted tools' to achieve god-like status, and that these tools were originally made by a Dwemer sorcerer named Kagrenac, in order to 'create the False Construct Numidium'. I had no idea what that last part meant - and I did want to find out - but what really piqued my interest was the section of the pamphlet that compared Dagoth Ur - and his powers - to the Tribunal. As I have made clear, I wanted to destroy the Sixth House and Dagoth Ur... but was it even possible, if he had the powers of a god?

It was time to travel to the Holamayan monastery, and (perhaps) find out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Hunter.......oh well, who cares.


Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:52:00 am  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

I certainly don't care, sounds yummy!

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:26:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well only one, knows of that dungun cell - the Caslte grounds keeper, whats his name!!

As before we need a better location.. "SW" of Gnaar Mok is Shurinbaal, the Abandoned Shack and some old Shipwerck.. "SE" is Abernanit.. The only things I so have found are, Quality Potion of Invisibility and a Skull with an glass dagger in it...

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:49:00 am  
Blogger Devlin said...

so... they adopted a name, because they could not figure out the hunter's real name... and they did all this BEFORE the castle gaurds alerted them?

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:53:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the Wolfen say that whoever defeated the Guardian could have the castle as long as they didn't disturb his tomb ever again? And what's to keep Hunter from starving herself to death? Just because she has food doesn't mean she'll eat it. Frost is losing his humanity fast though.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:40:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Anonymous: "Well only one, knows of that dungun cell - the Caslte grounds keeper, whats his name!!"

You make a good point; but the crypt *is* a secret one, behind a hidden door. Falorn the groundskeeper might know about it - and might not. Even if he does, though - and even if he had a reason to try to access it - he won't be able to now. ;-)

Devlin: "so... they adopted a name, because they could not figure out the hunter's real name... and they did all this BEFORE the castle gaurds alerted them?"

Actually, Edward said that he came to call her Hunter - not that he did so right away. And anyway, calling a vampire hunter something as *ahem* 'creative' as Hunter would only take an instant to think up. ;-)

Anonymous: "Didn't the Wolfen say that whoever defeated the Guardian could have the castle as long as they didn't disturb his tomb ever again?"

That's right: the journal did say that. Edward seems to have forgotten - or is ignoring - that fact, though. I guess we'll see if there are any repercussions...

- Joseph.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:02:00 am  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...

what exactly were the Wolfens? were they werewolves, vampire, horible mages, demi-gods, mortals, rich people who thought they were somebody? throw me a bone here

Thursday, May 18, 2006 12:18:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

DaBigPman: "what exactly were the Wolfens? were they werewolves, vampire, horible mages, demi-gods, mortals, rich people who thought they were somebody? throw me a bone here"

I don't think anyone actually knows - not in the story, or in real life - except maybe for the creator of the Wolfen Castle mod.

It's never explained/revealed in the mod, to put it simply. I sort of like the sense of mystery, personally. :-)

- Joseph.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Okay. I think we should never again post anything so obscure as the last couple of trivia questions. It's all to confusing.

But yeah, I agree with Frost. It does sound a bit difficult to keep hunter down there.

Morrowind Trivia - What is the name of the Lighthouse in Seyda Neen?

Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is the cattle so well dressed?

Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

frost wanted to be nice to her right?

Friday, May 19, 2006 1:41:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how is your oblivion character now?

Friday, May 19, 2006 1:47:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it has a name! Most in Seyda Neen just call it the Lighthouse! If you known something we don't, well tell us!!

Friday, May 19, 2006 11:38:00 am  
Anonymous person said...

Oh yes. It does have a name. Most people just call it the Lighthouse but it does have a name.

Morrowind Trivia - What is the name of the Lighthouse in Seyda Neen?

Friday, May 19, 2006 12:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guide to Vvardenfell

The piercing light of the Grand Pharos at the mouth of the harbor of the port village of Seyda Neen..

Friday, May 19, 2006 2:48:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Anonymous: Hunter appears relatively well-dressed because Edward is rich, basically. :-) That 'exquisite' robe is really the only spare robe he had to hand.

Anonymous mark 2: Both my Oblivion characters are going quite well. Of all the main factions/guilds, I only have the Fighters Guild and Thieves Guild quests to finish. Thieves Guild quests are almost over, but there is a way to go yet on the Fighters Guild, I think.

Actually, I talk about my characters a bit on this forum:

Check the screenshot threads in the 'Morrowind General' and 'Oblivion General' sections; I post pictures of my characters there, sometimes. I frequent that forum quite a bit, actually - under the name 'Antistar'.

- Joseph.

Friday, May 19, 2006 4:55:00 pm  
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