Thursday, December 6, 2012

Morrowind Day 28 - Propylon Progress

12 Hearthfire
I woke up this morning in an unusually optimistic mood. I've accomplished a lot more than I thought possible and I'm resolved to continue to push myself further. If someone had told me a year ago that I'd be in Morrowind, pretty much on my own and doing whatever I felt like doing, I'd have told that person they were mad. Why would an orphaned Khajiit barely accepted into the most-ignored branch of the Imperial military be in Morrowind?

I still don't have an answer to that question, but my skills have reached heights far higher than they would have back in Cyrodiil and the creatures I've vanquished a far cry from the bears and desperate bandits I previously fought. I find myself looking forward to what the next day brings and what I'll encounter or learn.

I'm enjoying being in Morrowind.

Using a scroll of Almsivi Intervention in the Six Fishes shifted me to the Temple Canton just under the rock the Temple calls "Baar Dau". I don't know a whole lot about it, other than that Vivec (the god), stopped its fall upon Vivec (the city) a long time ago. I assume it is still only Vivec that keeps the rock from crashing into the city, though the Temple is confident enough to construct something inside, judging by the scaffolding ringing around it. Khajiit I may be, but I would not  feel comfortable being that high in something that should not be in the air in the first place.
The disquieting sight of Baar  Dau
A lot of my time wasted today because of Folms's confusing directions. He said that the propylon index for the fortress of Marandus would be in a "storage area" in St. Olm's Temple. The Foreign Quarter canton has a storage area. The St. Olm's Temple canton has a storage area. It seemed simple.

Yesterday I had searched the St. Olm's storage rooms with no luck, but did find a locked door that my meager lockpicking skills could not open. Today, after a good night's rest, I was able to magically unlock the door, hoping that the stone would lay beyond. There was no stone, just a confusing series of events leading to no payoff. The door opened into a short hallway which turned to the right and into another storage chamber...with three Bonewalkers.
I fought an aggressive retreat, keeping them at bay and giving ground in an effort to trap the shambling group in the doorway. That plan didn't work very well, they simply pushed past one another in their desire to rend the flesh from my bones. I managed to kill one of them as the group worked their way through and killed another through another doorway into the first room of the storage area. I dealt with the third creature more conventionally in the middle of the first room, but had taken several blows from their claws by then and was suffering a persistent headache that  was making it difficult to think clearly. I pressed forwards through the storage room the creatures had chased me out of, only to be startled by another Bonewalker. Fortunately, they are not particularly difficult alone. I made a quick search of the crates in the room I had cleared, but only found plates, spoons, and other worthless sundries.

Through the room and down some stairs were a few atypical stone tombs, but nothing of value. Stairs leading up were the only way forward, but they led only to a shrine...and a dead end. That was it. What was the reason for the four Bonewalker guardians? Social status for the entombed? I'll never know why things occur in Morrowind they way they do. Overall, the entire episode led to empty hands, a dozen fewer arrows, and a splitting headache.

Discouraged, I decided to reverse my approach, working from the top of the canton instead of from the bottom. By the time I got to the plaza the headache had dulled along with my thinking and I could not remember why I had walked to the Plaza. Helpfully, a Dunmer recoiled from me when I walked by him, demanding that I keep my distance, lest I infect him too. When I asked him with what, he spat out some Dunmer word I didn't understand and pointed to the Temple, back pedaling from me the entire time.

The Temple is rather large, but is only staffed by a single soft-spoken Dunmer, Vaval Selas, who isn't even officially part of the Temple, but was hired as a sort of merchant custodian in charge of selling simple healing wares and maintaining the property. He instantly knew what was wrong with me when I stumbled in and provided me a chair while he prepared a potion. There was a small mirror nearby and I was curious to know what the Dunmer in the Plaza had seen.

I had not been infected for more than an hour by this time, but I looked terrible. The whites of my eyes had turned a bloodshot dull orange and seemed to me to vibrate in tempo with the pounding of my head. One (or more) of the Bonewalkers had infected me with Witbane, a disease affecting the functioning of the mind. Though it is not fatal, it is debilitating and makes you act very stupidly, such as my forgetting why I had come to the canton's Plaza. In time, I would have lost my ability to cast any sort of spell and in severe cases victims have lost the power of speech, though this is rare.

Fortunately, my case was quite light and recent enough to be quickly dispelled with a simple potion. Vaval asked no questions of me, but I told him how I had contracted the disease anyway, thinking he could shed some light on my quest. He expressed surprise and gratitude at my story, thanking me for cleaning out the storage rooms, but had no better idea of why the creatures were there than I did. I described the Propylon Stone and he had seen something like that in one of the back rooms awhile ago, but the rooms had become infested with rats (courtesy of a pregnant rat hiding in a delivery crate) and he was no fighter. I agreed to kill the rats in exchange for his permission to perform a search for the Stone.

The rats were...rats. Not much to write about. The Propylon Stone was on the floor in one of the small storage closets, looking like nothing more than an oblong, worthless piece of stone. I thanked Vaval and purchased some potions on my way out, leaving him to his peaceful solitude once again.
Judging by my stomach it was late in the afternoon when I left the Temple and I walked from the St.Olm's Temple canton to the Foreign Quarter, enjoying the cool Morrowind evening. I teleported from the Vivec Mages Guild back to Caldera and handed Folms the Propylon Stone, receiving a generous five hundred Septims for the task. My next target is the Propylon Stone for the fortress of Falasmaryon, Folms guess is that the stone is sitting on a donation plate somewhere in Maar Gan.

It was too late in the day to start out for Maar Gan, so I spent several hours in the Caldera Mages Guild training in various Alteration spells. When it got late I teleported over to comfortable Balmora and collapsed into an empty bunk. Tomorrow will be a long day of travel to Maar Gar, I'm hoping the stone is more easily found than today's was.

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