10 Evening Star
Today a solemn oath to never set foot in another sewer system after leaving Mournhold. I spent nearly the entire day in the filthy depths of the city and have little to show for it.
The day started promising. Fedris was very pleased that the goblins' war-chiefs and trainers were dead and rewarded me with a staggering fifteen thousand Septims in the form of fifteen small gold ingots. He had nothing for me to do and suggested I see Gavis Drin, the Archcanon of the Temple. Fedris said that the Archcanon had been in consultation with Almalexia, so I anticipated a much more grueling task than I received.
The Archcanon did not bother himself with anything approaching politeness. Upon receiving me in his office he commented that I smelled like I was familiar with the sewer system, but that it was a good sign, for he required that I go deep into the ruins of Old Mournhold once again.
I should have walked out.
He explained that there was an ancient shrine known as the 'Shrine of the Dead' within Old Mournhold that used to allow the Dunmer to speak with their ancestors in order to receive counsel and grow wise. With much of Almalexia's attention drawn to the difficulties on Vvardenfell the shrine grew corrupted and drew powerful undead to it that neither Almalexia nor King Helseth wanted to dedicate warriors to eliminate. The elimination was now up to me to accomplish.
But I was not alone! Assigned to me was an acolyte named Urvel who would perform the ritual required to 'cleanse' the shrine of its affliction. Once we both left the Archcanon's office he stammered that he was completely unsuited to combat and doubted his ability to survive the city's sewers. I readily agreed and offered to clear the way to the shrine if he would wait in the temple's basement where the entrance to the relevant sewer was located. Relieved, he wished me luck as I descended, once again, in to the city's sewers.
Rather than Helseth's brutish goblins, I had only to contend with Bonewalkers, ghosts, and skeletons, all of whom I could have bested with my eyes closed. The ruins in this part of the sewers were much more interesting than under Godsreach and better preserved too. It must have been quite a place before it was destroyed.
The shrine's undead were in the form of clothed skeletons that had some very powerful magicka at their command. Fortunately they were unarmed aside from their spells and were content to remain at a distance while I answered their spells with arrows. The silvered arrows cracked and shattered their bones, eventually loosening the energies that held their bodies together. Once the three undead shrine guardians were dead I turned around and walked all the way back to the Temple's basement to fetch Urvel.
Despite there being no opposition against our trip back to the Shrine, Urvel insisted on halting at every corner and doorway so that I could go far ahead to make sure the way was clear. This being a sewer built upon the ruins of a city, we cam in frequent contact with corners and doors, making the unopposed walk take twice as long as the initial one I had to fight to complete.
At least he was able to perform his duty at the shrine quickly. It seemed all he did was wave his hands over the shrine, mutter some incantation, and walk back down the platform.
If I had any hope that Urvel would be more interested in leaving the sewers than imagining enemies around every corner it would have been quickly dashed. The man was just as terrified about absolutely nothing going back to the Temple as he was going away from it. By the time we were safely back in the Temple's basement it was well into the evening and Urvel simply stumbled off back to what I assume were his quarters with not a word of thanks to me. Nice guy.
The Archcanon was a bit more appreciative, though not to the tune of thousands of Septims. Rather my reward was a valuable Ebony spear that had been "blessed" by Almalexia, though if it was I could not tell. It was strongly enchanted, but I cannot tell with what. A good enough reason to visit Balmora, if I can get away from this city for a few days.
He also said he had nothing more for me to do, but that Fedris had more tasks for anyone looking to make some coin. I suspect Fedris had those tasks this morning, but I was diverted to the Archcanon for some sort of evaluation.
Unsurprisingly, Fedris's latest task is for me to go back into the sewers after an artifact called 'Barilzar's Mazed Band', an ancient ring that Fedris said has lost all of its power. He said that Almalexia had a personal interest in recovering the ring, but that he did not know why. Her personal interest did not, of course, extend to sending her own guards into the sewers, so once again I am to go into the sewers.
I am thinking it may be better to simply live in the sewers and have a messenger run to the surface now and then to collect more work.
Thanks to Urvel, the relatively simple task of cleansing the 'Shrine of the Dead' took nearly the entire day. The Band will have to wait until tomorrow.