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.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Chapter 144: Allies and enemies

"This is just awful, Edward." Sirilonwe was wringing her hands. "How long must we continue doing such horrible things?"

After the massacre in the printing room of 'The Common Tongue', we had quickly teleported away to the Mournhold temple. There was no better vehicle for escaping a scene of conflict than teleportation. I was now sitting on the edge of the public water-pump I had used to wash the blood from myself, watching Sirilonwe pace up and down before me. She was a little agitated.

"I am sorry that it turned out that way;" I told her; "and I'm sorry that you had to see it." I took a deep breath. "However: I will continue until I can get close enough to Helseth to... take action to ensure that he no longer poses a threat to me. I don't ask for you to help me with this, Siri. It is unpleasant... I know. So... you don't have to go through all this with me."

It was a very uncomfortable thing for me to say - and I hoped that she did not misunderstand me. What she did do was display her knack for saying things I did not really expect:

"You killed many men and mer in the time before we met, didn't you?" She stopped pacing and stood there, watching me intently. "You never hesitated when those Dunmer attacked us; you did not even try to subdue them."

I did not answer. I could not think of what to say. Self-defence was only an excuse here: Sirilonwe was right - the encounter could have gone better, and those men need not have died. We both knew it. I stared back at her, for the longest time; a lump rising in my throat.

"I don't want to lose you." I said eventually, my voice almost a croak.

Now it was Sirilonwe's turn to be surprised.

"What? No!" She exclaimed, stepping forward to take my hands. "Edward, I... will be with you, regardless of what you decide - but... Must you pursue this matter with the king? The way you tell it, you have seen and heard nothing of the Dark Brotherhood since your... visit to their lair here - and you saw and heard nothing of them for quite some time prior to that, as well! Can you even be sure he still wants you dead?"

I shook my head, and swallowed the lump in my throat.

"Helseth would not have to hurry." I said. "Dunmer live a long time... and I mean to outlast him. I don't know what will happen, or... what I will need to do to reach him. You can remain clear of all this, if you want to."

Sirilonwe squeezed in beside me on the water-pump, and sat for a long time without speaking; just holding my hand. Eventually:

"No: we are safer together." She said firmly.

Captain Delitian was visibly gladdened to hear of the carnage in the secret printing room.

"You have done great work - again and again - and so far, for no reward." The Imperial hefted a sizeable, jangling sack in his hand. "I aim to rectify that now. Please accept this, on behalf of the king."

He tossed the sack to me; it contained something in the order of five thousand septims. Only a third of what the Temple had given to Sirilonwe and I, but still quite a generous amount.

"I am sure His Majesty would be impressed with your simple and elegant solution to the problem that broadside sheet represented." Delitian went on. "In fact, if you would return tomorrow evening, I will try to arrange a meeting for you."

My mind raced. This was it! I was finally getting somewhere!

"Thankyou." I replied, and added, though it made me sick to the stomach to say such a thing: "It would be - and has been - an honour."

I expected the evening to be a tense one: if Delitian did manage to arrange a meeting between Helseth and I, of course. When the night did come around again, and we made our way to the Ebonheart Council Chambers to be teleported back to Almalexia, we were wearing full armour - save for our helmets. It may not have been entirely appropriate dress for meeting a king, but I was certainly not appearing before the man who tried to have me killed wearing anything less.

The evening did turn out to be tense, though for quite unexpected reasons. When we arrived, the palace was in an uproar. Royal Guardsmen were pelting down the corridors, heading for the courtyard outside. One of them stopped and addressed us:

"Hey - you're the ones working for the Captain! Quickly - we need your help! Enchanted machines have come up out of the ground in the Plaza Brindisi Dorom - they're killing everyone! Please - come with me!"

The guardsman started off down the corridor again, watching us over his shoulder. We followed him, strapping our helmets on and readying our shields.

The first thing I noticed was the great dust-cloud rising from the centre of the massive plaza - completely obscuring the statue of Almalexia fighting Mehrunes Dagon that stood there. Strange creatures (or were they machines?) swarmed about the plaza. Some looked vaguely lizard-like; walking on their hind legs, their shorter forelegs held up to their chest. Others appeared almost like giant scorpions. They all groaned and growled in metallic tones, and indeed their joints were mechanical hinges, rather than flesh and bone. Having said that, much of their bulk was made up of a substance that looked - and behaved - disturbingly like flesh.

High Ordinators and Royal Guardsmen - groups usually at odds with each other - were fighting shoulder to shoulder against the horde of constructs; and Sirilonwe and I joined in. The things were fast, and powerful - especially the scorpion-like ones. They were difficult to put down, too: simply carving away at them did little good - it was as if they were armoured on the inside. My katana kept meeting metal inside their fibrous flesh - and while I am sure the Daedric blade would have found a path through their bodies eventually, if I could strike the same place a number of times - in practice this was difficult when they continued to thrash about so violently. I attacked their joints instead, levering them apart with noisy, metallic -cracks- and -snaps-; all the while trying to avoid their slashing and gouging attacks. Some I was able to blast apart with a Blizzard spell, if there was no-one nearby to get caught in the explosion as well.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the occasional glimpse of Sirilonwe doing what she did best: burning things to a cinder with the merest touch. Eventually the strange creatures seemed to be all defeated: strewn across the plaza in twitching, groaning heaps. The metallic moans sounded subtly forlorn, actually.

"You... you've been... working for... the Captain, right?" A Royal Guardsman limped up to us; panting heavily, and nursing his arm.

Some of his armour had broken off, and he was missing his helmet. His face was very pale - and after a moment I realised that his arm was broken. He drew back in alarm when I reached out to touch his arm - and then froze in surprise when the healing magic spread through the limb, mending the bones.

"Er... thankyou!" He said, flexing his arm gingerly, but still staring fearfully at my fangs. "Listen... we've secured the plaza -" he motioned at the Ordinators and Guardsmen behind him, checking over the remains of the creatures - "but someone needs to tell the Captain what's happening. Could you go?"

We were not at the palace for long.

"Yes Frost, I know." A harried-looking Tienius Delitian said. "I've already sent the scout back to see about putting a ladder down the hole he found. Right under the Memorial statue; can you believe it? Look, it's good you're here, though: I'll get you two to go down there and see if you can find where those things came from. If there's any foul air down there, it won't matter for you two, will it? The scout said he caught a glimpse of some Dwemer ruins down there, and since these creatures are mechanical - at least partly - maybe they're just some old Dwemer guard-dogs. Still, we need to know if there are more of them - so if you could go straight away, that would be fantastic."

Without waiting for a reply, the captain turned back to the grim-faced guardsmen he had been addressing when we arrived. We returned to the Plaza Brindisi Dorom.

The dust had mostly settled around the Memorial statue at the centre of the plaza - and I could see that it had been broken into pieces by the passage of the odd mechanical creatures. The remains of the beasts themselves were being gathered into a great pile on the pavement a little way from the statue. I suspected that the Ordinators and Royal Guard were going to burn them.

Just as Delitian had said, there was a wooden ladder descending into a dark hole between the cracked marble feet of Almalexia and Mehrunes Dagon. I climbed down - Sirilonwe following behind me - and we found ourselves in a narrow, twisting tunnel that wound down into the ground for a way, until opening into a truly massive chamber, near its ceiling. It was not a natural cavern: it was a great rectangular hall, made of now-familiar Dwemer metal. In terms of architectural style, it looked somewhat different to the other underground Dwemer ruins I had seen - and it was certainly a much larger space than any I had seen previously in such places.

Far down below us was a spectacular sight: a score of the mysterious flesh-and-metal creatures we had seen in the plaza were engaging all kinds of Dwemer constructs in battle! Sparks flew, and small storms of electrical energy flashed and boomed throughout their massed ranks. I had never seen Dwemer constructs attack each other - and had never heard of such a thing. It was obvious - even just to look at them next to the Dwemer machines - that the flesh-and-metal beasts were not Dwemer-made. Perhaps they had come from elsewhere, and the Dwemer machines were defending their home - as they did against all intruders.

Venturing down to the chamber floor with such violence going on would have been extremely foolhardy - and the fact that the strange beasts had obviously not originated from the Dwemer ruins there was something that needed to be reported to Delitian. We slipped back out to the Plaza Brindisi Dorom and returned once more to the palace.

To my surprise, King Helseth was there in the throne-room when we arrived. He was a relatively young-looking Dunmer; with a neat beard, very fine robes, and a golden circlet on his brow. He was watching me from the throne - Delitian met us at the door.

"They were fighting the Dwemer constructs?" The captain's eyebrows shot halfway up his forehead. "This cannot be good... Listen, though: the king has actually asked to hear your report himself. If you would step this way?"

In a moment, Sirilonwe and I were standing before King Helseth - the man who had ordered my death all those months ago. His voice was smooth and deep:

"Ah... here he is. The vampire. We've heard a lot about you..."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Chapter 145: Dead Guys and Live Guys"

I unsheathed my sword and ran straight at Helseth, beheading him before anyone could so much as blink. Siri an d I teleported away.

I used the Wolfen Castle's teleportation pillar to teleport to the Balmora Mage's Guild, then took the guild guide to Caldera. From there I woke up Folms and had him transport me to the Berandas stonghold. I ran all the way to Khuul, and set my eyes on Solstheim...

That is how the next chapter should be.


Monday, June 26, 2006 12:37:00 am  
Anonymous Lila--Matar said...

Yes... yes it should >.>. But witha fast trip to Seyda neen for a certain sword :P.

Monday, June 26, 2006 4:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What sword in Seyda Neen?
Yes, the next chapter should be like this, but Helseth is stronger than he seems. And he has the cool ring to.
Anyway Frosty is more diplomatic than this (yeah, right...)


Monday, June 26, 2006 6:37:00 am  
Blogger Blog-na said...


Damn you and your cliffhangers

Monday, June 26, 2006 9:37:00 am  
Anonymous Persnom said...

Good chapter. I very much liked the description of the Fabricants.

Can't wait until next chapter. Helseth has a bit of explaining to do, doesn't he?

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the Yassu Mine?

Monday, June 26, 2006 1:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to ask?? Did you - when visiting the Llethan Manor, talking too the old king's widow Ravain Llethan.. You can vow to avenge King Llethan's death!! This I think is the first/last trigger needed in setting up the personal meeting within Helseth's PR room.. For the throne room is not the place - the guards will kill you!!

Monday, June 26, 2006 2:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Constant said...

Aargh the cliffhanger!

Ahriman, I dare to assume he talks about Lilarcor ;) But you are correct about Helseth being stronger than se seems. I saw a video where he defeated many opponents in row (for example Karrod, Dagoth Ur, Tharsten Heart-Fang), all in a fair fight in Vivec Arena. There were many more but I can't remember at the moment.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 2:34:00 am  
Anonymous I'm a nerd hear my roar said...

where did you see that video?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 3:05:00 am  
Anonymous Constant said...

Searched from YouTube "morrowind".

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 8:03:00 am  

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