Sunday, May 26, 2013

Morrowind Day 48 - Of Smugglers and Daedra

1 Frost Fall
In the past, I have always woken up in the mornings rather reluctantly, first in the Temple due to simply being young and second in the Auxillaries, due to not wanting to get mauled by whatever bears we would be facing that day. These were times when I felt I had little control over my life and no particular reason to look forward to the next day. Vvardenfell has changed that. Largely on my own, I have greatly grown in strength and skills and I doubt that if a portal into the past were opened, that myself during my first day on the island would recognize me now. 

With my weapons acquired and a home secured, I now have a plan for how to handle my responsibilities as the possible Nerevarine, as well as the threat from Dagoth Ur. For now I am treating the two separately, but I have no doubt that Dagoth Ur seeks to eliminate any potential Nerevarines, be they genuine or imposter.

To become the Nerevarine, I feel that I should be able to fight within the Red Mountain beyond Ghostgate, a task that will require that I really work on my magicka and my marksmanship. While I am much better with the bow than I used to be, firing silvered arrows and missing is a much more expensive error to recover from. I suspect I have a lot more to work on than just those two things, but only a journey into the Red Mountain will bring any further deficiencies to light.

In addition to being able to fight, joining one of the Houses of Morrowind would help secure a base for popular support, should I ever progress that far into becoming the Nerevarine . Several people have recommended House Redoran for me, which I wound up joining today.

My plan for combating Dagoth Ur's aggressions is not nearly as defined. It is obvious that his influence spreads far outside the Red Mountain, as I have been encountering many more malicious-sounding, sleep-walking people lately. How to free these people though, I do not yet know.

I spent the morning with Estirdalin, paying her to craft weaker versions of spells that I know, but cannot cast. To that end, she crafted 'Eyedust' (Blinding), 'Minor Slowfall', 'Wavering Image' (Sanctuary), and 'Near Silence'. A weak spell you can cast is much more useful than a powerful spell you cannot. I also purchased a weak Levitation spell before teleporting into the Ald'ruhn guild.

Inquiries led me to the giant crab shell of Ald'ruhn: Skar. Anything within the shell was known to be "Under-Skar". Quite simple. The Redoran Council Manor was Under-Skar and the woman in charge of hiring new retainers was a Redguard named Neminda. She regarded my request to join the House with some surprise, evidently wondering, but not questioning as to where my equipment had come from.

She accepted my request to become a hireling of the House and asked that I travel to the farm of Drulene Falen to eliminate mudcrabs that had been carrying off her guar. But I remembered hearing that name before and realized I had already taken care of her problem some time back. When I told Neminda that I had already seen Drulene, she went to her desk and picked an unopened scroll. Evidently Drulene had written to the Redoran Council that their services were no longer required, courtesy of a traveling Khajiit who had killed the mudcrabs for her. The coincidence was amazing.

Neminda promoted me to the second rank of Retainer immediately, requesting that I travel north to Ald Velothi to deliver a simple Cure Disease potion. Ald Velothi is at the extreme northwest of the island, almost directly north of Gnisis. Of course, there are no Dunmer fortresses anywhere near the small outpost, so I had to walk from Berandas, through Gnisis, and towards Ald Velothi.

It started to rain about halfway through the trip and I could just see the broken spires of a Daedric shrine through the mist when I found the mine entrance. Should anyone else ever read this journal, they would know by now that my experience with abandoned mines has been mixed and never in my favor. 

The cave was small, easily the smallest one I have explored so far and the smugglers had set their camp up right at the entrance. There was really no other place to, the cave was a former tomb of some sort, with a small alcove stuffed with manacled skeletons and impaled skulls around a large hewn stone throne. Another alcove ultimately led outside via the river, no doubt why the smugglers were attracted to this place.
However, their ambitions wound up greatly exceeding their means. When I found them, they had been reduced to naked corpses and bloody bones. Many Scamps were slinking about, but the lumbering Ogrim required my immediate attention. It was across the pit where the smugglers lay, so I took a shot from my bow, more to see how well it shot rather than to kill the monster.
The bow was awkward to hold and my aim went high. The Ogrim collapsed with a bone-shaking thud, leaving me quite confused as to what happened. I did not see the arrow in flight, nor had I thought to have hit the creature. The Scamps were immediately alarmed and upon spotting me one let out a very shrill screeching, bringing all the Scamps scurrying towards me. They were not a bright lot, all of them clustering around the one ladder leading up from the pit, allowing me to pick them off with my spear.

The Ogrim's end was quite a surprise. The bow is so powerful that it not only flung the arrow faster than I could track, but blasted the straight through the creature's body, killing it instantly, but also destroying the arrow in the process. I suspect a Daedric arrow would survive, but they will have to wait until I am more confident with my usage of the bow.

With the monsters dead I was free to explore at my leisure. As I mentioned earlier, one of the alcoves was built into a primitive tomb, complete with throne and, according to a book the smugglers had been reading, slaves for the afterlife. There was not much treasure to the place, just a few gems and pearls more likely originating from the smugglers than the late warlord.
The smugglers received my attention last, due to knowing what I would find. The Ogrim had killed the two smugglers whose bodies were mostly intact, the woman's torso was pulped and the man's chest looked as if every single bone had been broken. A brutal way to die. The knowledge of what had killed their comrades died with them, for all that remained was a pile of shattered bones and a cauldron filled with steaming meat that I was not going to investigate further. 

I was just about to leave the sad place when I heard a voice imploring me for release and escape. I only noticed the man after the voice had asked me to look up instead of all around me. A Bosmer named Palansour was in a crude cage far above the main area and was stuck. His story revealed what had happened.

He was light on the details, but he had been hired by the smugglers to summon the Ogrim and Scamps to assist them with their smuggling jobs. The summoning went awry and the smugglers were quickly overwhelmed by the Daedra which literally tore them apart. The rogue Daedra afforded Palansour the dubious honor of temporary survival, demanding that he wear one of the female smuggler's clothing as they butchered the smugglers and force-fed him their remains. Eventually he managed to snatch a levitation potion from his alchemy table and flee to the ledge, safe from the Ogrim and Scamps, but with no extra potion, doomed to either suicide or eventual starvation.

His request was simple: Fetch two more levitation potions and bring him one so that he could escape. While the man had honestly taken blame for the gruesome death that permeated the place, I felt that the torture he then suffered was enough for penance. Per his instructions, there were three potions in his little workshop and drank one and delivered the other. He offered the clothing he was wearing as a reward and I politely declined, having no desire to see a naked Bosmer. He promised to keep his business clean after today, but I left the cave with him safely on the floor and after what he's been through, I wonder if he'll ever have the courage to leave.

Arriving at Ald Velothi was very anti-climatic after that and I delivered the potion to Theldyn Virith, a ranking Redoran scout who is in charge of the small outpost since the Redoran Lord normally assigned has not been seen in some time. Theldyn asked that I keep him in mind if I ever need work, but there was nothing else to do there, so I used a Scroll of Leaguestep from the Balmora guild to teleport myself back to my home in Ald'ruhn. 

Quite a day today. Tomorrow I will report my success to Neminda and maybe find someone local to train me with the bow. Ever so much to do and little time to do it in.

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