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.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Chapter 137: Descent

Once more, we raced against the coming dawn to make it safely home. Before even washing the ash and dust of our climactic journey to Red Mountain from ourselves, we paid Hunter a visit in the hidden tomb. After giving most of my blood to Sirilonwe, so that her body would mend itself, I had availed myself of a vial of blood to keep myself going; but I - both of us, really - still desperately needed more.

Our early daylight hours were spent recovering from the taxing events of the night before: washing ourselves, leaving our armour and weapons with Ulfred to be cleaned and repaired, re-setting teleportation Marks in the castle (in Sirilonwe's case, at least), and generally trying to calm ourselves after our battle with a living god - or perhaps I should say a living devil.

Once the daylight hours were passed, I meant to visit Vivec; to confirm with him that our efforts in the Heart Chamber had had the desired effect. Thinking that bringing the full set of Kagrenac's Tools near one of the Tribunal might be considered an error in judgement - after all that had happened - I hid Sunder and Keening in Wolfen castle's secret vault. They would, of course, have been the museum exhibit to put all others to shame - but by the same token they would attract too much attention. No-one knew what I had done; the distinctive hammer and blade would draw too many questions.

It was a strange feeling, going about my usual duties at the Mages Guild that day; everything was so mundane compared to the struggle of the extraordinary night before.

In the late afternoon, reports began to come in that the Ghostfence had fallen - or, to put it in more accurate and less dramatic terms; the wall of magical power (that had once used the physical part of the Ghostfence as its frame) was gone. In addition (and much to the relief of everyone who stood aghast at the report of the Ghostfence failing), the Blight storms were blowing themselves out; the diseased ash and dust that had been carried upon the foul winds coming to settle on the lower slopes of Red Mountain, inside the Ghostfence. The red glow in the sky above Red Mountain was fading.

This was the only topic of conversation on everyone's lips as Sirilonwe and I left the guild hall. It was frustrating, obviously: we knew the answer that everyone craved. We could relieve everyone of the misery of fear and conjecture... if they would believe us. No-one would, though, of course. It was just too much of a disclosure: the Tribunal had been accepted as gods of apotheosis for thousands of years. Who would believe us - a couple of vampires - if we told them the truth of what happened between the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur?

No: the secret - and the power to make people believe in it - still lay very much with Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil. I had already intended to visit Vivec in his palace as soon as the sun went down, but now I had something else to ask him: What would the Tribunal - and the Temple - do next? Would they tell everyone what had happened?

"I have been in discussion with the Temple leaders." Vivec said, conspicuously seated in a wooden chair at his desk. He seemed a long way from floating above his triangular dais, as he had before. "I am not a god much longer. With our connection to the Heart severed, our divine powers diminish. I have told the priests that I will withdraw from the world, and that the Temple should return to its original worship of Mephala, Boethiah, and Azura... the good Daedra. We are still discussing how to do this, and also how to reveal all that has happened to the people."

Vivec sat and gazed into the middle distance for a long while. I noticed that he was now blinking every now and then - rather than the unnerving, endless stare of before. I wondered if he had spent his whole godhood never-blinking; as if frozen in time.

"I met with Almalexia today." He said eventually. "She never wore the mantle of divinity as lightly as I. She tends to brood - and our loss weighs heavily on her... I almost wonder if she actually agrees that destroying Kagrenac's enchantment on the Heart was the right thing to do! But - no, no. She has never been afraid to do what was necessary."

The man-god fell into another uneasy silence.

"And what of Sotha Sil?" I asked, unable to resist. While I had only ever heard a little about Almalexia, I knew next to nothing about Sotha Sil.

"I have not spoken with him yet." Vivec replied absently. "We have not really communicated regularly for many years now. His divine powers go the same way as mine and Almalexia's... but I doubt he will even notice." A sad smile shadowed his face. "Always so fascinated by the hidden world... I doubt he can lift his head from its mysteries for long enough to even notice us most of the time."

We left Vivec smiling sadly to himself after that. I had been the one to strip him of his divinity. However civil he may have been, I doubted he really wanted to see me.

Over the following week, the news of the disappearance of the Ghostfence and the Blight Storms spread. Rumours proliferated: Vivec was dead or absent; the whole Tribunal was dead; the volcano Red Mountain had erupted and fallen in on Dagoth Ur; Dagoth Ur had finally been defeated by the Tribunal... some even nervously joked that the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur had mended their differences and formed a truce.

And still no announcement came from the Temple... it was a time of great unease for the people of Vvardenfell. Sirilonwe and I were soon to become somewhat distracted and removed from the mire of doubt, fear, rumours and speculation that infested the minds and speech of everyone on the island, however.

One week after the death of Dagoth Ur, an unremarkable letter arrived at the Vivec Mages Guild, addressed to the Archmage - me. There was no indication of a return address, and it read simply:

It was Helseth. Be careful. Regards, C.C.

So Caius had finally lived up to his word, and revealed the identity of the one who had purchased the Dark Brotherhood contract on my life. King Hlaalu Helseth... figurehead of Morrowind's royal family; a family I had not even heard of before travelling to Mournhold itself, the king's place of residence. Such was the meagre influence they had on life and politics in Morrowind.

Why would the king want me dead? Were his agents still plotting my downfall? Had another contract been drawn up with the Dark Brotherhood? I had to know; and I had to see to it that it would not happen - that it would not get as far as fending off assassins that attacked while I slept. And I had to see justice done: I could not forgive the terror visited upon me in my first weeks on Vvardenfell.

It was time to return to the holy city of Almalexia.

Early that evening, we (Sirilonwe, as ever, deciding to come along) paid a visit to the Grand Council Chambers in Ebonheart, looking for Asciene Rane. Asciene was the mage who had, at the time of my previous visit to Almalexia, offered an unauthorised teleportation service to Mournhold, Almalexia's holy district. I was hoping she still did, as it would save a lot of time and effort.

We found her writing in a notebook at one of the many long tables reserved for Council meetings during the day. It became necessary to Charm her, as it was obvious that she was too afraid and distrustful of our vampiric natures for conversation to proceed otherwise; but she agreed to send both of us across the Inner Sea to inland Almalexia.

As soon as we arrived in the reception area of Mournhold's Royal Palace, we were approached by a nervous-sounding Royal Guard, in his full set of dusky-red armour.

"Edward Frost." He stated. "My Captain, Tienius Delitian, wishes to speak with you."

The guard's voice sounded a little forced; as if he was concentrating on keeping a tremor out of it.

"What is this regarding?" I asked. Hearing that an officer of the law wanted words with me always made me wary. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

"It concerns the matter of the group of Dark Brotherhood men slain in the catacombs some weeks past, as I understand it. Do not worry!" He added hastily. "You are not under arrest. P-perhaps this is speaking out of turn, but I would actually say that the Captain was impressed, more than anything. Er... if you would follow me?"

The Royal Guardsman led us through a series of richly appointed chambers and corridors to the Palace throne-room, and there introduced me to his captain.

"Tienius Delitian, Captain of the Guard." The smiling, strong-jawed Imperial man said, extending his hand.

I took a brief moment to observe that the king was not present in the throne-room, then clasped the man's hand.

"Yes... Mister Frost. I must say, it is good to meet the one who routed the Dark Brotherhood from Almalexia. They were quite the thorn in our side!" He gestured around the room at the guardsmen standing on duty.

"What leads you to believe that that was my doing?" I asked curiously.

Delitian's grin widened.

"Afraid I can't reveal my sources. In any case;" he shrugged - "it's my job to know such things. Now: you must be wanting to know the reason I asked to see you. Well, this is it: you are obviously a powerful and capable individual - with a powerful and capable friend." He added, giving Sirilonwe a wink. "I always have need of such people for tasks that... do not really fit in with the general roles and responsibilities of a member of the Royal Guard."

The man had a pleasant enough manner; but I found it somewhat difficult to trust his sincerity. (I had good reason to, after all).

"For example;" Delitian went on; "if you were to work with me, then the first thing I would ask you to look into is this persistent rumour about the death of our previous ruler, King Llethan. I would like to know the source of this rumour. Not too difficult. A few questions here and there. After all; who would say no to you?" He exclaimed with a laugh, eyeing my fangs. "Now, I report directly to our King Helseth; and I do talk to him about those in my service who do admirable work. This could be quite the opportunity, you know; even for someone like you."

Captain Delitian was quite right, I thought. It was the perfect opportunity; although perhaps not exactly in the way he had meant. I could hardly imagine a better way to get close to the king than to work closely with his Captain of the Guard. I might almost have considered it a gift of fate from the gods - were I not certain that I had only been approached by Delitian because he had been tasked with keeping an eye on me.

So... each would watch the other - and I hoped that I would not be the first to reveal a weakness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This part of Tribunal, had allways anguard me.. That they can be it so bold, an act of treason.. To openly have an agent for the empiral killed by the "DB" DarkBrotherHold.. Then say it just, misunder-standing.. I hope you can wright, Edwards's feeling on this..

-Cannot Spell..

Saturday, June 10, 2006 2:38:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

Hehe neat chapter though I still hope you find a way to do the Bloodmoon campaign...

Saturday, June 10, 2006 7:45:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think he can!! He will have two cruses - Vampire/Werewolf.. The vampire cannot live by day!! Then the werevoles nightly cruse, too slowly lose his life by the werevoles.. And then on top of these two he cannot heal himself, only my blood "or" the death of the NPC.. Unless there are werewvoles mods that may lessing this combination...

-Cannot Spell..

Saturday, June 10, 2006 8:19:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

You're not forced to become a werewolf in the bloodmoon add on as I recall - you get infected, but it can be cured with a cure disease potion before it has any effect.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 8:51:00 am  
Anonymous master inferno said...

That's correct, you don't have to become a werewolf in Bloodmoon. Besides, since corprus and vampirism both provide immunity to disease, Frost may not be able to contract it. (Yes, I know it's scripted in the game that you get infected after the werewolf attack, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Joseph does, assuming he does finish up Bloodmoon...)

Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:10:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

I use the werewolf mod that makes you transform only once per full moon...

Saturday, June 10, 2006 11:26:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think?? The werewolf transformation, it that moon or moons.. Edward, will need to do alot of MARK/RECALLs.. During the Ritral of the Gifts.. Completeing this Ritral of STONEs I have allways forgotten to return to one.. Can you name the werewolfs mods that you use..

-Cannot Spell..

Sunday, June 11, 2006 4:44:00 am  
Anonymous Constant said...

Well, if you don't want to be a werewolf during the Bloodmoon main quest, after it there is always Hircine's Ring. ;)

Sunday, June 11, 2006 8:15:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you every one:
We know that, Bloodmoon - the werewolf being infection is, in game scripted.. And that you may use Hircine's Ring to become one!! Matar and myself are talking, on how to use the werewolf/vampire combination.. Using MODs to lessing the deathly effects of the two combinations.. Anyways, sometimes, Bloodmoon does not allow you to have the werewolfs hand-to-hand.. Like mine now has..
So if someone knows how to fix this, without Uninstall/Reinstalling the game, I would be happly to thank you!!

-Cannot Spell..

Sunday, June 11, 2006 9:00:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

Werewolf Vampire would rock SOOOOOO much.

Plus the irony would be HILLARIOUS.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 8:12:00 pm  

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