Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Morrowind Day 123 - The World On My Shoulders

15 Evening Star
I woke this morning at Ald'ruhn surrounded by clutter both worthless and valuable intent on delivering some of it to Mournhold in exchange for what is likely a piece of Lord Nerevar's broken blade. But the thought of traveling back to the dismal city ruled by another mad god of the Dunmer was sufficient reason to divert myself to a place only slightly less hated. Solstheim.

The island is a much quieter place since Hircine's little game was thwarted, so perhaps I don't hate it like I used to. Still, I do not think it is going to be warmer any time soon and I still do not enjoy my time there. However, it made for a good distraction today and kept me out of Almalexia's city for one day, so at least it has that going for it.

Still burdened with the artifacts I had hoped to be rid of at Mournhold's museum, I walked from my small Redoran manor to the north coast to see about securing passage aboard S'virr's smuggling vessel. As luck would have it, he was busy loading his ship with crates as I arrived. For a few Septims and an hour of helping his load his ship, I was back on my way to the icy land. The crates were labeled 'Foodstuff', but I am not sure what food I would want to eat that rattled and clanked as those crates did on the way over.

The little colony of Raven Rock has made much progress since I saw it last and everyone there seems fairly pleased to be there. The tradehouse I recommended be built had been completed, but no merchant has yet been found to take up residence.
When I spoke to Falco about any tasks he might have for me, he brightened and suggested that I go to the fort so that I could tell Carnius that the tradehouse is waiting for an occupant. Unsurprisingly, Carnius holds the deeds required for anyone to open a business at the colony and he has been less than helpful in finding a wayward merchant to open up the store. 

By the time I walked back from the fort to the colony it was already well into the early night, but Falco was still pacing fretfully as he always does. There was another problem. The ship that Carnius hired to replace the one that ran aground arrived at Raven Rock yesterday, but the captain refused to unload his goods or load the colony's ore until he received additional payment. Falco refused and the two men had been at an impasse all day today. Naturally Falco thought I could re-arrange this matter to his advantage.

The captain was a very boastful fellow with little to support his arrogance, the kind of man that seem to exclusively inhabit the worst inns and drinking halls of every major city in Cyrodil and never one to be a friend to Khajiit. After speaking to him for a few minutes I knew this was going to be no easy task unless I resulted to murder, which Falco helpfully warned me against prior.

His name was 'Baro Egnatius', a fact delivered with pride enough to propel his ship back home, though I saw nothing to be particularly boastful of. He told me that he would not accept what Elberoth was being paid and demanded more. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but I could not place it. Fortunately, Baro was the gregarious type, as many Imperials are. 

Elberoth was the Bosmer the undead Nord had been making a meal of several days ago. He was the captain of the first ship and according to Baro a "hell of a fighter", but offered little more than that. I decided to ask the only surviving member of Elberoth's unfortunate voyage.

Apronia outright laughed when I described the former captain as a skilled warrior. She said he had been a completely incompetent captain and spent more time describing his likely imaginative combat exploits than sailing the ship effectively. Perhaps he was in the middle of a tale when he ran it aground. According to her, he lasted for about three seconds against the Draugr, enabling her to scoop up his saber and defend herself, which explained the dead Draugr I found in front of her. Impressive, really.

She still had the blade under the considerable volume of her gown, but said she had no skill or use for the thing anymore and gave it to me. I was at a loss as to what I needed it for as well before a rather cruel idea grew within my mind.

Brandishing Elberoth's saber, I sauntered up to Baro and stuck the point of the sword just under his chin, loudly declaring that he was not the only captain to underestimate Shema: Khajiit and renowned scourge of  the coasts of  Vvardenfell. If he did not agree to Falco's demands, then I would have no choice but to run him through and sell his cargo to Falco myself!

Of course I had no intention of killing the man and I felt Falco's stare at my back as he had specifically told me not to kill anyone. But Baro's bravado collapsed like the facade it was and he started stammering that he was only joking, it was all a misunderstanding, and so on, that he would happily unload his cargo right now and load Raven Rock's ore for sale to the mainland. 

Falco had watched the whole exchange and was nearly laughing while thanking me for resolving another tiny crisis for his colony. My reward was a healthy one thousand Septims, making me wonder what Baro's demand was to make it so unreasonable.

I thought my day over then, but Falco had a more pressing matter than uncooperative captains on his hands. He had been reviewing the mine's logs and the numbers were not adding up. Falco suspected theft, specifically a miner named 'Uryn Maren'. I was given the key to the man's house and told to take a look around, but I found nothing that indicated he was stealing. He was obviously not at home and there was not yet an inn to be drinking at, so I assumed Uryn was still working in the mine.
He was, not with shovel or pick, but a canvas sack I watched him stuff rough-hewn chunks of stone embedded with ebony ore into. I waited until he entered a dead-end to confront him and he comically dropped the bag in shock, spilling all the ore he had been furtively hiding away. He readily admitted to stealing the ore before I even had a chance to open my mouth, babbling that Carnius had put him up to it, threatening to kill the man if he did not cooperate. This sounded unbelievable to me, even for Carnius, but Falco revealed that the true suspect the whole time was Carnius, not Uryn. Evidently relations between the two men have been dropping faster than I expected.

Carnius laughed off Uryn's confession as the fictional story of a madman and liar, but I have not the energy to walk back to the colony tonight. I will deliver Carnius's completely useless response to Falco tomorrow. Everything I have done today could have easily been done by far less adventurous individuals, yet it seems people delight in saving these petty problems just for me to solve.

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