Sunday, January 19, 2014

Morrowind Day 74 - The Indifference of the Telvanni

27 Frost Fall
I was not going to make the same mistake I made yesterday. This morning I visited Balmora to stock up on supplies before re-visiting the Telvanni holdings along the east coast. The Mages Guild was well stocked in greetings and friendly faces, but not in potions or scrolls of levitation. I left the magical dagger, two rings, and the two gloves with Galbedir to see if she could figure out what they actually were.

For levitation I needed to see Nalcarya. It was still very early in the morning and the sky was absolutely clear. I cannot even remember the last time I was able to see the stars and moons from Vvardenfell. It was quite a beautiful sight.
Nalcarya had what I needed, but only in small amounts. She had a single magicka restorative available and only two vials of levitation, neither particularly potent. But that was the best I was able to get, so off to Tel Vos and Master Aryon I went, once again.

I used the same route I did yesterday: from Caldera to Indoranyon, then a walk along the coast. I had several hostile encounters, one merely annoying and two very alarming.

The first one was annoying. While walking along the beach I heard a man shout at me to stop moving and drop my weapons. Looking inland I saw an unarmored Dunmer armed with a chitin sword running at me. The man must not have been too bright, for I was visibly holding my bow and he was a good distance away. He did not make it much closer. He had a friend that must have been hiding beyond the hill, but why this second man decided to attack me after his friend had died is a mystery. His end was similarly filled with arrows. Neither had anything worth taking.
The next two encounters were far more dangerous and ominous. After fighting the two bandits I turned inland, figuring I was north enough to not miss Tel Vos regardless of how I proceeded. While walking on the idyllic green plain, I was greatly startled to see one of the female Daedra enjoying a walk of her own. Where did she come from?
She was a long way off, but the best arrows I had were only steel-tipped and the creature shrugged off six good hits as she charged across the grass with a screech. While my spear is also just steel, it managed to be more effective than the arrows. Where did she come from and where was she going? It would be interesting to talk with one I suppose, though conversing with Daedra is not something I see in my future.

What I took to be Tel Vos loomed ahead in the haze and became increasingly erratic in appearance as I drew closer. It looks as though a Telvanni wizard inherited a Redoran stronghold and decided to remodel it. Huge tree roots twisted and enveloped the sturdy rectangular buildings, joining together above the structure to support a bulb-like mushroom.
However, this was not the Telvanni tower of Tel Vos, but the fishing village of Vos. A helpful fisherman pointed me west to Tel Vos, which also embraced a mixed architectural style. The small keep was very Imperial looking, but the giant roots were unmistakably Telvanni.
I wandered around the seemingly abandoned castle trying to find the entrance and only succeeded in finding the jail. The bored jail guard pointed out that speaking to Aryon required levitating to the top of the structure where the door to his study was. 

Just inside the study was the captain of his mercenary guard, an Imperial named Turedus. He offered me some work and the task sounded simple: He needs someone to speak with the Zainab Ashlanders to evaluate the possibility of establishing trade relations with them. He offered me one hundred Septims  to speak with them and learn what goods they need. I agreed to the work, though I wound up not taking care of it today.

Aryon was surprisingly cordial and accommodating, definitely not the reaction I expected from a Telvanni speaking with a Khajiit stating that she wants him to name her the savior of his people. Aryon gave me a book listing all of the Telvanni councilors and agreed to vote that I be named Telvanni Hortator. He warned that the other councilors would not be so easy to convince, with the exception of Mistress Dratha who would support me simply because I am female. Strange.

I decided to speak with Dratha first, as she was the easiest to get to: Her tower is in Tel Mora, just across the water from Tel Vos. After that, Master Neloth in Sadrith Mora would be my next visit.

Tel Mora was so close that I felt I had time to wander a bit more and during this wandering I encountered the second female Daedra wandering amongst the trees. She proved just as resilient to the steel arrows and just as vulnerable to my spear. It is a very bad sign that Daedra are now wandering away from the Daedric ruins, though I am not sure if this would be connected to Dagoth Ur. Releasing Blight-infected monsters upon Morrowind seems more his style than releasing Daedra that would barely be under his control. It is a concern either way.
Trying to avoid any further combat with Daedra, I turned around and went straight to Tel Mora. The settlement lacks the variety of Vos and Tel Vos, but the windings and turns of the roots gives the settlement a certain sort of grace. The first person I spoke to was a Redguard woman who sarcastically asked me if I had seen any men walking around. That I found the question puzzling must have been obvious, for she apologized and told me that there were no men at Tel Mora at all. Mistress Dratha has, for whatever reason, an undying distaste for menfolk of any kind and has forbidden any to enter Tel Mora for any reason. Her retainers and mercenaries are all women. The Redguard (I never got her name) described Dratha as "...a little crazy, but a good patron", which was not at all reassuring. 

I had no cause to be worried though. Taking my cue from Tel Vos, I did not waste time on the ground searching for an entrance but instead drank another levitation vial and floated to the highest platform I could find. This proved to be Mistress Dratha's study and the Telvanni councilor immediately mistook me for a serving girl as soon as I entered.

She did prove receptive to my tale of the difficulties and trials I have gone through to become Nerevarine and Hortator and seemed greatly amused by the idea that the savior of the Dunmer might be a woman after all. That I am also Khajiit was pointedly not mentioned. She assured me of her support when the vote was called and handed me four scrolls she said would summon 'Golden Saints'. Perhaps they would be useful as a distraction next time I am exploring Red Mountain. 

It was late into the afternoon by then, but I made an effort towards getting Master Neloth's vote before the day ended. It was quickest to use my amulet to recall back to Ald'ruhn, then teleport to the Mages Guild in Wolverine Hall. Neloth's tower, Tel Naga, sat a short distance away from the Imperial fortress.
I used my last levitation potion to drift up to the highest door I could see and my luck held, for it led to Neloth's audience chamber or whatever the barren throne room was. He dismissed me as soon as I opened my mouth and I irritably (and foolishly, I am sure) asked him if I could buy enough time to finish a sentence. He seemed surprised at my rudeness and his guards tensed up, but he relaxed, laughed, and said three hundred Septims would be enough to buy his attention. 

My story failed to interest him and he suggested that an additional one hundred Septims would be enough to purchase his vote in my favor for Telvanni Hortator. I paid my money and he proclaimed me Hortator for House Telvanni, then bade me go away. He really cared not at all for anything to do with me and I wonder how he would fare with a Morrowind overrun by Dagoth Ur. I guess I could be less critical of him, his vote was an easy one to acquire.

By then it was late into the evening and there was no point in pressing my unusually good luck today any further. I recalled back home for the last time today and tidied things up a bit. Tomorrow I will tackle the remaining councilors and see if I cannot be named Hortator before Sun's Dusk.

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