2nd Hearthfire, 3rd Hearthfire
The past two days have been busier than usual and given that I worked through the night, today's journal entry will span both today and yesterday. Note to self: don't make this a habit!
I woke at the Vivec Mages Guild late, at 8am and grabbed a mobile breakfast before walking out into a dreary overcast morning. I wonder what it would take for the sun to shine on Morrowind once in a while.
|A typical morning in Vivec|
Aurane was glad to receive her Roland's Tears and exchanged a rare fate potion for them. I never put much stock into the fate potions myself, but drinking one was said to somehow link you to the Gods, increasing your chances of succeeding at anything...until it wore off. I can't see how a potion that relies on beings so capricious can always be said to have positive results, but I'll hang on to it until I can barter it for something more predictable.
With nothing else to do in Vivec, I decided to take care of some unfinished business back in Balmora. Ajira greeted me cheerfully when I popped into existence in her "lab" and I bartered the remaining gems I had taken from Arkngthand to her in exchange for various restorative vials.
I also reported my progress on the task my friend had given me and he seemed pleased, but said he would need more time to digest the material I had given him. He gave me some scrolls of Divine Intervention which would teleport me to the nearest Imperial Shrine and promoted me in his organization. What benefits, if any, come with my promotion remain to be seen. So I have some free time from my semi-official obligations for the time being and plan on making the most of it.
By "most of it" I mean, "wander around Balmora wondering what to do". Working for Ranis at the Mages Guild was an option, but both Ajira & Sharn had recommended speaking with Edwinna at the Ald'ruhn Guild instead. I was about to teleport over to Ald'ruhn before Ygfa suddenly came to mind for some reason. The Nord had mentioned I would be a decent recruit for the more militant side of the Imperial Cult and I thought it would be a nice change from the Mages Guild, so I teleported back to Vivec, much to Ajira's amusement.
The walk to Ebonheart was much like the walk anywhere has been lately: cold, damp, and boring. I need to find more reasons to spread my travels around, so far I've been stuck on the Bitter Coast. I had been hoping that joining the Imperial Cult would widen the scope of my journey, but it did not, as further events would prove.
A few inquiries pointed me towards Ruccia Conician, head of the Morrowind chapter for the Imperial Cult. She was quite relaxed about my joining, accepting my fifty Septim 'donation' and welcoming me to the organization. She recommended I speak with Lalatia Varian within the Ebonheart Chapel about duties. We spoke about my history and what I was looking She in turn directed me to Kaye, a Redguard in charge of the shrine sergeants of the Imperial Cult.
My first task was to track down an Altmer, Caryarel, who had been a patient at the local infirmary up until a few days ago, when both he and a valuable limeware bowl disappeared from the Chapel. Kaye had no information as to his whereabouts and suggested I speak to the local Altmer living in Ebonheart. This simple task would in some ways wind up being my most trying so far.
An Altmer by the name of Fainertil was able to point me to the fishing village of Gnaar Mok when I asked him if he had heard of Caryarel. The combination of his Altmer skin and the brutish iron armor favored by the Nords made it easy to mistake him for an Orc until he spoke. While certainly not unheard of, it an Altmer wearing heavy armor, especially Nordic iron, was a rare sight and I wonder what his business in Ebonheart was.
|An easy mistake to make|
I took the boat from Vivec to the fishing village of Hla Oad, but the trip took seven hours, owing to having to sail against Vvardenfell's counter-clockwise coastal currents. It's due to those currents that this journal entry spans two days, since I spent most of those seven hours dozing. The young shipmaster was surprised that I was willing to sleep on the small craft, but shrugged and mumbled her consent. The Dunmer as a whole are not to be sought for their skills in idle conversation.
She gently shook me awake when we finally reached the village and I was startled to see that the overcast afternoon had slipped into an overcast evening. My aquatic guide told me she figured it was about ten in the evening, which proved correct. I had no desire to spend the evening in the village and I wasn't tired anyway, so I hired a second shipmaster to take me to Gnaar Mok immediately.
The second leg of my trip was mercifully shorter and I finally arrived at the village at two in the morning. I hadn't napped on the trip over, but I wasn't tired yet either, so I walked around the town for a few minutes, getting my bearings and trying to locate my prey. Caryarel turned out to be easy to find, being the only Altmer in town. A limeware bowl is a large thing and certainly nothing he would be carrying on him, but I didn't know which house was his. A stranger poking around everyone's houses would certainly raise some ire, so I had to settle on more subtle methods. A Khajiit who called himself Wadarkhu pointed me to Caryarel's home after my "gift" of one hundred Septims, saying something about not liking independent competitors anyway.
By four in the morning I was ready to put my plan in effect. Wasn't a big plan: wait until Caryarel wasn't facing his house, then try my unlocking spell to gain entry and hopefully recover the bowl before he noticed what had happened. Sometimes the simple plans are best, because it worked beautifully.
Luck must have been with me, for he never saw me press my palm to the lock and slip into his house. The bowl was secreted in a worn barrel in the corner of his modest dwelling and I delicately lifted it out. With luck he won't notice it's gone for quite some time and he'll probably blame one of his fellow residents. Now that I had the bowl, leaving was going to be a bit trickier. I had no desire to kill the man, so I had to leave the hut before he decided to come back. In the end I simply trusted fate and sneaked back out as quickly as possible. Fate again was on my side (without drinking the potion!): he was preoccupied on the far side of the village and never saw me lock the door as I left.
I was not looking forward to the boat trip home, but then I remembered the scrolls I was given when my "friend" promoted me. I ducked behind Caryarel's shack, unfurled one of the scrolls and after a moment of disorientation found myself in the Buckmoth Legion Fort at Ald'ruhn, far to the east of Gnaar Mok. A short walk to the Ald'ruhn Mages Guild and I was making the journey from Vivec back to Ebonheart yet again.
Kaye was pleased that I had not killed the Altmer thief and gave me two hundred Septims, plus another three scrolls of Divine Intervention. He also promoted me one rank and I am now a Novice in the Imperial Cult. He was also quick to assign me another task, this time in the much more civilized town of Caldera. A Bosmer had been complaining to the Cult that his house, which he recently moved into, was haunted by a malevolent spirit that kept chasing him out.
By now it was eight in the morning and I hadn't slept since three in the afternoon the previous day, but I was still feeling pretty good. I am growing tired of walking between Ebonheart and Vivec though. If I had more confidence in my water walking spell I could probably jog across the bay to the city. As usual, the weather was grey and wet.
|Does the sun ever shine on Vvardenfell?|
I exchanged pleasantries with the members of the Caldera Mages Guild on my way out and managed to run into the Bosmer, Nedhelas, all by myself. He was embarrassingly grateful for my assistance despite having received none yet and gave me the key to his basement, where he said the spirit seems to live.
The house was quite nice by the standards of most I've seen so far on Vvardenfell and the Bosmer had apparently tried to solve his problem by piling crates over the basement's trapdoor. After several minutes of exertion I was able to open the trapdoor and descend down into the basement.
There was something odd about how the "basement" looked and the long descending stairway right after the ladder made it seem even odder. The mystery wasn't a long-lived one, I was greeted by an armed skeleton as soon as I opened the door at the end of the stairs. It was quickly dispatched and I took a moment to examine the crates stacked in the corners of the room, but they contained mundane sundries and utensils. The door opposite the one I entered from opened to a small ancestral shrine, from which streamed an angry (I assume) ghost. It was no different than the few spirits I had fought already and it passed on without much fuss.
Nedhelas was still full of gratitude for myself, the Imperial Cult, and the Empire. I managed to get away from him before he started naming thanks to any Gods he could think of. It was starting to get late by now and I was actually growing tired, so I teleported back to Vivec and walked, again, back to Ebonheart, a trip quickly wearing out its welcome.
|Closest thing to a sunny day so far|
I stumbled into the Ebonheart Chapel at about dinner time and Kaye immediately set upon me another task before I even said anything to him. I've been asked to track down a Dunmer cultist who fled an Imperial Cult raid on a Daedric shrine she had been inhabiting. For whatever reason, she is thought to be hiding in an egg mine near Khuul . Kaye handed me a sack of Septims for my expenses and bade me be on my way. He said not a word about Nedhelas and I was too tired to even bring it up.
Ten Septims later at the Six Fishes got me the bed I'm barely staying conscious in and it's only six in the evening. Hopefully I'll wake up at my normal time tomorrow morning so that I can get an early start towards Khuul. It will be the farthest north I've traveled so far, which is pretty exciting. I'm getting tired of Vivec and the rest of the Bitter Coast.