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 24, 2006

Chapter 130: Immortal

Though he did not say as much, Ashkhan Sul-Matuul seemed as sceptical as I about my being the incarnation of Indoril Nerevar. Wise-woman Nibani had sent me on to speak to her Ashkhan about the Third Trial (of the seven mentioned in the 'Seven Trials of the Incarnate' prophecy), as for some reason that she was unwilling to relate, she was forbidden to speak of that particular trial.

If you are wondering why I am suddenly speaking of a third trial when I have not mentioned the overcoming of the first two, it is because I had already passed the First and Second Trials. This was according to Nibani Maesa, at any rate. I passed the First Trial because of my birth-date and because I did not know my parents: I was born 'on a certain day to uncertain parents'. I passed the Second Trial because as a vampire I was 'immune' to aging; and thanks to Divayth Fyr's treatment I was immune to Corprus disease. 'Neither blight nor age' could harm me.

As it turned out, Sul-Matuul was also unwilling to speak about the Third Trial of the Incarnate: at least at first:

"Many have gone before you," Sul-Matuul rumbled, "saying they are the Incarnate. All are dead or proven cowards now. The Nerevarine must be strong - a warrior - so for every hopeful that comes to me, I set this test; to see if they are a warrior. Though for you, vampire, I think it will test your loyalty and determination to our cause, more than anything." He looked me up and down slowly. "For you are already proven a killer by virtue of your vampiric nature."

He described an ancient Velothi stronghold to me - and it was not one of the ten I already knew of that housed the propylon chambers that I used to teleport around the island. This one was called Kogoruhn, and from the Ashkhan's description, it was obvious to me that it had become a lair for the Sixth House.

The three 'tokens' Sul-Matuul wanted me to retrieve from Kogoruhn (as proof of my willingness as a thrall of the Urshilaku - as I darkly suspected) were what gave it away. The first was a sample of Corprus weepings - which of course could be gathered (rather revoltingly) from a Corprus beast - and as I had seen, sufferers of Corprus gathered at Sixth House lairs like flies to places of stinking corruption. The second token was a cup with the mark of House Dagoth on it, and it was here that the Ashkhan admitted that he knew very well what Kogoruhn was:

"Yes, a House Dagoth cup. Dark Kogoruhn is the lair of our enemy, and it is too close to our camp for our comfort. I will not lie: that is why I send you there; in the hope you will... lessen the danger in that place."

Knowing that Kogoruhn was a Sixth House base, I would have gone regardless of what the Ashkhan wanted; and he did not have to hope that I would kill as many of the monsters there as I could - I would be glad to do it.

In any case: the final token Sul-Matuul wanted was the 'Shadow Shield', an enchanted item that apparently lay on the tomb of a 'Dagoth Morin', in the lava tunnels beneath the stronghold. The name Dagoth Morin brought to mind - uncomfortably - Dagoth Gares, the deformed creature who had cursed me with Corprus. Kogoruhn sounded like a dangerous place indeed.

So I was surprised when Sirilonwe said that she would go with me into the stronghold.

"I have waited outside too often while you go alone into dangerous places." She said. "I will watch your back, and you will watch mine. I believe we are safer together, anyway."

For my part, I believed that there had been good reasons for all the recent occasions on which Sirilonwe had stayed behind while I did something dangerous - and that there was another good reason for her to do the same while I went into Kogoruhn:

"Siri, it will probably be just like the other Sixth House bases I've seen -" I told her; "crawling with disease."

"And I am not immune to Corprus like you probably are -" Sirilonwe replied; "I know. You came out of Telasero and Falasmaryon perfectly healthy, though - from what you tell me. In any case; I have my spells to protect against Corprus, and if I see a 'Dagoth' like that Gares, I will go invisible and you can kill it for me, alright?" She gave a smile, showing her fangs.

In the end I relented and agreed to her company. I would feel safer with her watching my back - as she had said.

We elected to go to Kogoruhn immediately, leaving directly from the Urshilaku camp. We were already wearing our armour and had our travel supplies with us - as always when travelling in the wilderness - so there was no real reason to wait.

The trek only took an hour or two, heading south-east from the Urshilaku camp, and Kogoruhn was just where Sul-Matuul said it would be: over a steep ridge of worn, wind-blasted stone from the Falasmaryon stronghold. Kogoruhn reminded me in some ways of Telasero: they were both built in the same Velothi style, and both squatted in a barren depression in the ground. The depression protected Kogoruhn from view - and from the harshest of the Ashlands' winds - but a restless breeze still blew gently across the massive stone platform, brushing over the drifts of soil and ash that half-buried the ancient structure.

There was no-one outside, guarding the stronghold; but when we began our search for the three tokens with the smaller buildings that sat on the great stone table, we found that there was more than enough resistance on the inside. Even in those confined spaces, the tentacle-faced men and ash-skinned 'zombies' we fought there threw their powerfully destructive magic about with abandon. If Sirilonwe and I had not been experts at countering spells and dispelling harmful magic, we would likely have been burnt to a cinder.

In one of the small, domed buildings on top of the stronghold, I found two of the items Sul-Matuul had requested: some Corprus weepings were smeared along the wall in a long, sticky trail; and an ornate goblet (that shared the colouring and engravings of the sinister 'whispering shrines' I had seen before in Sixth House lairs) was sitting on a table.

That left only the 'Shadow Shield' to find, and only the largest structure on the stronghold to search. As I had suspected, this building was the entrance to the Kogoruhn stronghold proper. It was rife with sickening creatures. We went from room to room, killing every deformed monster we found. There were no Dreamers - no-one that still looked like man or mer - to be found in those halls.

Kogoruhn actually appeared as if it had been inhabited by humans in the not-too-distant past, and that the Sixth House had taken the stronghold from them by force: either by driving them out, or simply killing them all. I say this because there was furniture all through those dark chambers, whereas there had been none in Falasmaryon, Telasero, or Ilunibi.

In a vaguely disturbing fashion, in almost every room, the furniture - soiled by Corprus weepings - had been stacked into elaborate and precariously-balanced piles. Stools on top of chairs on top of tables, with ceramic bowls and jugs perched on the very top. I still cannot imagine why those mindless Corprus beasts or ashen zombies would have done such a thing.

We pushed on deeper into the complex, and found something I had definitely not expected: an ancient waterway, reminiscent of a sewer. The place was rank with the stench of the fetid, reddish water collected in the canals. I was very glad of the walkways that flanked the canals. Even water-walking on the surface of that red muck would have been extraordinarily unpleasant.

Beyond the canals were the lava tunnels Sul-Matuul had spoken of; and they were nearly unbearably hot. Sirilonwe and I gave any open lava pits we encountered a wide berth. Vampires are not fond of fire and extreme heat.

It was searching gingerly through those tunnels that we met what was possibly one of the most fearsome opponents I had ever known. At first glance, he - or it - appeared as a Dunmer man of great stature - but on closer inspection, the beast - which was naked but for a golden loincloth and golden head-dress - had a long charcoal beard (unlike any Dunmer I had ever seen), a strange pattern of muscles to his body, and long talons for fingernails.

He was a tough opponent. I sliced again and again at his body, but only ash trickled from the wounds. Sirilonwe set him on fire - but the magical flames died down quickly, leaving blackened skin that hardly seemed to pain - or even slow - him at all. In the end, Sirilonwe managed to pierce him through the abdomen with her Daedric blade; which served to halt his twisting, erratic movements long enough for me to remove his head with my own blade.

The creature had left us both with several ragged cuts from its vicious talons, and a number of bruises from its powerful limbs. Our vampiric constitutions seemed to be stopping the wounds from bleeding too much, but there was nothing much we could do to treat them properly until we could feed again: fresh blood would heal us.

I was distracted by fond thoughts of Hunter's rich blood, waiting for us back at home, when Sirilonwe clutched my arm, staring fearfully back at the body of the bearded 'man' we had defeated. His arm was reaching out slowly, the taloned hand searching along the stone ground for something. The creature was not dead!

As we watched, horrified, the monster's hand found its head, lying on the tunnel floor; and grasped it by the long, charcoal beard, to draw it back to its body.

At that, we turned and ran. I thought then that I knew what the thing was: an 'Ash Vampire': very different from 'blood vampires' like Sirilonwe and I. They were said to be Dagoth Ur's immortal servants: highest in his service - and believably so, if the tales were to be believed, and they were truly immortal.

For what if they were really, truly immune to death? I was immortal, but I could still be destroyed. How could I fight something like an Ash Vampire, if it could not die?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abaelun Mine the only diamond mine.. Its about 3/5ths of the passage between Balmora/Moonmoth Legion Hall and the Ghostgate.. Up and over to the west of the Foyada Mamaca..

Correct on the Ring..

I think its time to play head keep away! On those Ash Vampires..

-Cannot Spell

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the double post!!
Mine computer shut down again!!
I need a new one.. Just don't have the money!!

-Cannot Spell

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Man your story's good.

I was thinking of making my own story.. my wrinting ability... sucks and I need to get better.

In order to do so though I need morrowind again. Man I need to find that damn disk.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 12:52:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can't find it. Maybe you can download it! I have the, Morrowind's Game of the Year Edition. That has Morrowind, Tribunal, Bloodmoon and TES3 CDs..
One downside I have only Dial-up
thats realy slow!!

-Cannot Spell

Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:46:00 am  
Anonymous Constant said...

Cannot Spell:
That is illegal, you know.

Interesting chapter, Joseph. I think it'll get even more interesting while Frosty learns about his new position as Nerevarine...

Thursday, May 25, 2006 2:30:00 am  
Blogger Moonike said...

This was a very good chapter!

Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:18:00 am  
Blogger Blog-na said...

i like the sort of built in DUN DUN DUNNNNN at the end.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:33:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are allowed one copy..
It didnot say to who!!

Any-way if it was true we would be billed "charged" for ever download on the Net..

Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:33:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So once more I have put my foot into my mouth!! You can make a copy, but only from an PC to an Laptop.. Anyway, as I said haveing dial-up, would take amost 3days to copy-download one CD.. Most likely mine computer would quit-shut down, anyways..

Cannot Spell..

Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:04:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks everyone. :-)

Cannot Spell: Constant is right about that being illegal; copyright laws for computer games actually specifically prohibit copying a game to give to someone else.

Blog-na: Well, I do like a good DUN DUN DUNNNNN.

- Joseph.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:26:00 am  
Anonymous wabbajack said...

morrowind trivia: where is the orc who believes he is a khajiit

Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the orc who beleives he's a khajiit
is in ald daedroth

Thursday, May 25, 2006 4:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Cannot Spell was correct! The Abaelun mine is slightly nothwest of caldera over the hills.

Liked the part about the Crprus Weepings on the walls. Added a real atmosphere to the writing.

Morrowind Trivia - Who asks you to travel to Andasreth to find the patrol of Redorans?

Friday, May 26, 2006 12:31:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Cannot Spell's idea: Ash Vampy head keepaway! You could use it as a soccer ball!

Person: I think it is Master Aryon, the Telvanni councilor.....I think.


Friday, May 26, 2006 12:54:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Noozooroo: "I like Cannot Spell's idea: Ash Vampy head keepaway! You could use it as a soccer ball!"

It would be pretty funny; but knowing Edward's luck, the Ash Vampire's head would probably bite him - or the beard would come to life and try to strangle him, or something.

- Joseph.

Friday, May 26, 2006 1:22:00 am  
Blogger Star said...


It would be pretty funny; but knowing Edward's luck, the Ash Vampire's head would probably bite him - or the beard would come to life and try to strangle him, or something.

How do you strangle something that does not breathe? Its interesting how Frost was afriad of dying of old age due to the cresent moon, and now has double aging immunity, once from being a vampire and once from the corpus.

Friday, May 26, 2006 1:48:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good point

Friday, May 26, 2006 4:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andasreth is given by Lloros Sarano, in the Ald'ruhn Temple.. This is an Redoran quest.. I have been given this same quest, I belive only after the defeat of Dagoth Ur.. Being an member of Hlaalu and Telvanni Houses.. To complete this quest you need the four Redoran shields!

The Ash Vamp heads - nobody home at.. I take it there no-one at Valenvaryon.. Maybe you lock the heads in heavly chests, into one of the stone huts.. Before the final battle on Dagoth Ur..

Cannot Spell..

Friday, May 26, 2006 6:25:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Star: "How do you strangle something that does not breathe?"

Yes, I know: I was thinking that as I was writing. Still, I said it might try to strangle him - not that it would actually do much good. ;-)

Anyway, I was only joking. :-)

- Joseph.

Friday, May 26, 2006 10:50:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Cannot Spell is correct! The Redorans are in a locked room on the first level and the Banner shields are on their corpses. Lloros lets you keep one as a reward.

Morrowind Trivia - Who asks you to aquire three Redas artifacts from a tomb near Molag Mar?

Friday, May 26, 2006 10:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's redoran missions right?
not all of us can answer you know

Friday, May 26, 2006 11:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some quests, that can be done-freehanded.. You donot have to be an member of House, or that guild.. To be able to compelte those quests..

Cannot Spell..

Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:15:00 am  

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