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, June 07, 2006

Chapter 136: Gods' end

"Blood Vampire." Dagoth Ur's voice - smooth and deep - was in my head, rather than sounding as if it came from the masked figure before us. "It is kind of you to come bearing Kagrenac's Tools. I have... desired Wraithguard for such a long time. I shall relieve you of their burden shortly - so it is only right to thank you for coming all this way to deliver them."

Dagoth Ur gave a smooth bow, his odd muscles rippling, and a trickle of ash falling from the three 'chimneys' atop his mask as his head tilted forward. I felt almost as I had in the presence of Vivec: as if drawn to the man (being?) by an irresistible tide. The feeling this time was even more sinister: like the inexorable current that ensnared me dwelt within a body of rancid oil - rather than seawater.

"I might have offered you immortality in exchange;" he said; "change your blood for ash. But you are a vampire - you will already last forever; and you already have a power rising within your bones. It is a gift you do not need. So: your gift of the Tools to me will have to be a selfless one."

"I will ask you nothing," Dagoth Ur went on; "as you mean nothing to me. However, should you flee from here, I would have my intentions known to the world. You may ask me questions."

I kept my shield and blade up before me, my whole body tense. My skin felt as if it was about to crawl - or jump - off my flesh; my every sense screamed "danger!" at me.

"I will not surrender the Tools, fiend;" I managed to force the words out - "and I do not need to ask you your intentions. You would corrupt all the land to bring it under your rule."

"Corruption?" The heartwight asked. He had not yet moved from his station near the shrine. "I use the Heart to spread the divine power on the blight winds: to touch each and every soul in Vvardenfell - and one day the rest of Morrowind... and perhaps all Tamriel. I would have every mortal in Tamriel feel the touch of the divine. I will make everyone gods."

Even as my instincts urged me otherwise, I took a step closer to the masked, ashen figure.

"A touch of the divine?" I remarked. "You would call the deformations and misery of Corprus divine?"

Dagoth Ur's voice became cold, its tone seeming to change in my head; making it ache.

"You speak of things outside your ability to comprehend." He said shortly. "A guar trying to understand the will of its owner. I will say this, though you have shown that you are unlikely to understand: Those who cannot reach the divine dream-world will still know the touch of the divine. Those too weak or unworthy for even that will be purged."

He was obviously quite insane... or telling a truth I would never know. In either case, the outcome was the same for me. I gathered myself for the attack, biting out the words:

"There is nothing else to say."

I lashed out with my 'Blizzard' spell, but Dagoth Ur was gone before it reached him. I span wildly about, trying to find where he had gone, but Sirilonwe muttered:

"An illusion!"

Sure enough, there was no-one to be seen in the chamber but us. We cast about feverishly, looking for a possible ambush, but nothing moved there - save for a Dwemer door set into the stone wall; swinging slowly open to reveal a glimpse of a cavernous space behind. Dagoth Ur was there; standing at a distance, waiting for us.

We charged through the door, and into the Heart Chamber. It was truly massive: I have never seen a larger space. We - and Dagoth Ur - stood upon a platform of Dwemeri metal that projected out over a spectacular drop; down to a lake of molten rock. This lava gave the chamber much of its light; a lurid red glow. Standing ankle-deep in the molten rock was what appeared to be a statue in the shape of a man or mer: only it was as tall as three or more of the district cantons in the holy city of Vivec, if they were stacked atop one another. It reminded me of the statues of Dwemer people I had seen around certain Dwemer ruins - only in parts it appeared more angular and machine-like, and in other ways it looked like a grotesque imitation of a decaying body, with hunks of flesh torn from the bone.

It was Akulakhan - the 'Second Numidium'; the god-construct built by the Dwemer Craftlord Kagrenac, and intended to be powered by the Heart of the dead god, Lorkhan. Dagoth Ur stood - framed by the massive, fan-like 'head-dress' of Akulakhan behind him - near the edge of the metal platform. This turned out to be a mistake on his part.

Sirilonwe and I rushed the heartwight; he swiped at us with his gnarled, taloned hands - but by virtue of our combined attacks, we drove him back to the very edge of the platform. I gave Dagoth Ur one almighty shove with my shield - and he was off the edge; plummeting down into the molten lava far below, without a word.

I did not believe for one moment that he was dead: he was supposed to be completely indestructible, after all... at least while his link to Lorkhan's Heart remained. Looking down after the heartwight, I could see a hewn stone path leading from the metal platform and winding around the cavern wall, going down and down until it terminated at around the height of Akulakhan's belly. A wood and rope bridge was slung across from the stone path to the gargantuan construct, and I could see that the thing's belly was open and hollow. A red, throbbing object at the end of a mess of pipes jutting from Akulakhan's exposed 'spine' sat near the base of the hollow: it had to be the Heart of Lorkhan.

The rope bridge was almost directly below us - and quite a long way down. There was no time to lose: I leapt down onto it, Sirilonwe following just behind me. The bridge bucked from the impact, but we were vampires: supernatural agility was ours. I could see the Heart: a vivid red, glistening thing around twice the size of my head, with a faint nimbus of magical light around it. I rushed over, hurriedly pushing my Daedric katana into its sheath, and gingerly pulling out the hammer Sunder.

A single, pure (and very loud) tone rang out as I struck the Heart with the hammer; actually, it sounded as if it was all tones at once - from the deepest to the highest - at least, that is the only way I can describe it. A voice cried out from behind me: it was Dagoth Ur, and this time the voice definitely came from behind the golden mask, and not inside my own head:

"Stop!" He sounded desperate now. "You will undo eons of toil and history! You will ruin it all!"

The heartwight had appeared on the wood and rope bridge, surrounded by a shimmering red fire-shield. Bright molten lava sloughed off the protective magical barrier and onto the thick wooden slats of the bridge, setting them alight.

He ran forward to stop me, and Sirilonwe rushed to meet him on the bridge, shouting:

"Finish it quickly, Edward!"

I turned away from Sirilonwe - her blade wreathed in magical fire and flashing back and forth as she held Dagoth Ur back - to draw the blade Keening and strike the Heart. At the first blow, the pure tone that had been resonating through the chamber splintered into a dissonant, screeching noise - and it only got louder and more painful on the ears as I struck the Heart again and again with the crystalline blade.

With one final strike, the Heart was hewn from the mess of pipes, flopping onto the base of Akulakhan's stomach-hollow. The nimbus of light around it vanished, and a single, very deep pulse swept through the chamber. I had to swallow to release the sudden pressure in my ears. Was it the sound of a god's end? Dagoth Ur began to curse and scream terribly:

"NO! You and your families be DAMNED! Would-be saviours, the genocide of a race of GODS is on your heads!" The heartwight swayed on the wooden bridge, flames licking at his feet. Several gashes on his body - that had previously only dribbled a minute trace of ash - now spewed the grey dust everywhere.

"I will smear you across the WALLS!" He bellowed.

Dagoth Ur rose his hand to strike at Sirilonwe, but I shot across and swept my blade through his chest, casting his finally lifeless body down into the pit of fire below.

The chamber began to shake and tremor violently, as if in an earthquake, and I sped across the protesting wood-and-rope bridge, Sirilonwe behind me. I reached the hewn stone path at the edge of the chamber and span around; to see the bridge snap in two and collapse - with Sirilonwe still on it. She jumped; and I - my heart lurching painfully - darted forward, catching her by the arm and hauling her up, just in time.

It was only then that I realised she had been badly wounded by Dagoth Ur: the armour over her stomach had been torn open and to the side, and she was bleeding heavily.

"It hurts..." she gasped, barely audible over the roar of the quaking cavern.

I caught her up and threw her over my shoulder, then sprinted up and around the carved stone path, as the convulsing chamber grew dark with smoke and dust. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the monstrous figure of Akulakhan collapsing in on itself; sliding down into a bed of molten rock.

In the chamber with the shrine, where I had spoken with Dagoth Ur, I set Sirilonwe down and drew the Dwemer door to the Heart Chamber closed, locking it magically against whatever destruction was happening on the other side. Sirilonwe's eyes were closed, and her face was horribly pale. She needed blood desperately if the wound to her stomach was to be mended: more than could be had from a single glass vial.

I bit open my wrist and held the wound to her mouth. She - thankfully - began to drink; weakly at first, and then with more insistence. I began to feel faint as Sirilonwe drank away my blood - my head was swimming... the world grew darker, and darker...

I was on my knees, and a female figure appeared before me; luminous in my darkened eyes. She appeared as a Dunmer woman, in an azure dress, but somehow I felt that she was not a Dunmer - not really... she was not even mortal.

She spoke, and I recognised her voice; from her great shrine on the south-east coast. Azura: the Daedra goddess who had given me an artefact of legend: 'Azura's Star'.

"Edward Frost... Moon-and-Star. You carry my star with you, and you wear a crescent-moon mark upon you. You have acted as the blessed Nerevarine, even if none have called you such; and even if you do not yourself believe. You should be proud: the Heart is freed, the Blight is gone, and the devil, Dagoth Ur, is dead. Few will know or acknowledge what you have done for this world tonight... but you have my thanks - and my blessing."

A strange feeling flooded through me: a sense of certainty and assurance. I knew suddenly that Dagoth Ur had fallen for good, and that the Sixth House would soon follow. For once there was no doubt in my mind. Azura smiled as she faded from my sight, and I realised that Sirilonwe was shaking my arm: apparently somewhat recovered from her wounds.

"Are you alright?" She asked. "What are you staring at?"

"A truth I will never know." I replied.


Anonymous Constant said...

That was worth of waiting. How long do you plan to write about Edward's adventures?

Thursday, June 08, 2006 1:14:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Heh, nice. What now though? That is the question...

Thursday, June 08, 2006 3:29:00 am  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

*monstrous round of applause*


Thursday, June 08, 2006 3:31:00 am  
Anonymous Master Inferno said...

I vote that Ed and Siri do the following:

1. Go back to Vivec City and talk to Vivec
2. Go to Mournhold and finish up the Tribunal quests

Thursday, June 08, 2006 3:32:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOOHOO! w00t!!!!!!!!! GO EDWARD! GO SIRILONWE! GO EVERYBODY WHO IS EDWARD AND SIRILONWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

That was so cool. I'm just disappointed that Tim's Morrowind journal hasn't gotten there yet even though he is around his 250- 290th entry. I hope his climactic ending will be just as awesome. Seriously, that was really, really good. Really. F***ing. Good.

What is Frost going to do next, I wonder?


Thursday, June 08, 2006 10:53:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Care-re-on, please if you do??
Raven Rock maybe best!! Up there you have to find a place you can call a home.. Ulfgar the Unending cave near Brodir Grove may be best!! For this quest, you need the book, buy/sold in Thirsk, Soungarde, a Reexamination.. Give Ulfgar this book - he asks you, end his unending life.. Plus you get the extra bonus that each of the stone's gives.. Brodir Grove is just an hour walk away (Gametime).. The last thing to need is to keep killing bloodmoon's Tombs little pest, that each and every tomb has.. And most quest take place near/around Raven Rock.. All but three I think?? Knowing that most of Bloodmoon is outside - Creatures all come in packs of two/three's or more.. It just take to long to fight your way around Bloodmoon..
And most quest, like the STONE's can take as long as two days.. That's DAY/NIGHT to go too and back!!

OR maybe you have some vampire mods quest that you can play!!

-Cannot Spell..

Thursday, June 08, 2006 12:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful chapter I must say absolutely wonderful,though im wondering... is it over or will Edward's adventure continue, I truly enjoy reading this and will anticipate the next marvelous chapter... of course if you decide to make one..

Thursday, June 08, 2006 12:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! And lots of pictures too, i have to admit that i myself hadn't much time to look around while i was playing that part of the game, cause everything was kinda very hectic =)

I hope too that Jospeh continues writing about Edwards and Sirilonwe's adventures.

(i started my own little journal [of course it's not in english, so nobody can't read it =P] and i named my character after Sirilonwe Siri, cause i liked the nickname you, Jospeh, gave her so much =))

Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Oh come on am I the only one who was rooting for Dagoth? He was, like my fav character!

So what's next? That the end or will we get to see Bloodmoon?

Screw Mournhold though. I like Bloodmoon more >.<.

Man wouldn't it rock? Frosty becomeing a Werewolf-Vampire-Corpse dude all in one >.<.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 8:02:00 pm  
Anonymous master inferno said...

I also prefer Bloodmoon to Tribunal, but it seems like Tribunal would be the next logical step in the storyline, since it deals with the decline of the Tribunal after they lose their divinity...

Friday, June 09, 2006 3:45:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thankyou very much, everyone. That was actually quite a fun chapter to write... :-)

To all the speculation, I will only say this: you will know when it is over. :-P

Moonike: You know, there's actually a character in Morrowind already called 'Siri'; one of the Quarra vampires. :-) Good luck with your journal.

Personally, I can't really decide which of Morrowind's expansions I like more (though I like them for different reasons). Tribunal does fit in better with the main story of Morrowind, though.

- Joseph.

Friday, June 09, 2006 2:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'am asking?? Have you played as an werewolf.. At lest for the vampires' they maynot heal themselfs - only by blood or blood potions.. The werewolf loses health every two hours, being the werewolf.. Werewolves without feeding nightly could very well die!!

-Cannot Spell..

Friday, June 09, 2006 10:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And last.. I forgotten.. If Edward is the vampire/werewolf.. Who keeps Frost from tiering out Sirilonwe's neck!! Frost the werewolf will allways be the danger to Sirilonwe.. Who saves Sirilonwe from Edward..

-Cannot Spell..

Friday, June 09, 2006 10:35:00 pm  

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