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> The Story of Trey- Chapter 2
treydog
post Mar 1 2015, 05:44 AM
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Joined: 13-February 05
From: The Smoky Mountains



Chapter 2


"Not everyone who [dumps] on you is your enemy; not everyone who pulls you out is your friend; but most of all, when you are up to your chin in [sewage]- keep your damned mouth shut!"

Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) in “My Name is Nobody”



It is now the middle of Last Seed here on Vvardenfell, near the anniversary of my arrival so many years ago. If you were to ask me what I had for supper last night, I would be hard pressed to say. But if you asked me to recall my first days in Morrowind, I would do so with ease. And so I shall.

As I went north out of Seyda Neen, I remembered a promise I had made to a Khajiit and two Argonians. Turning west to the sea, I cast a spell of Water Walking and traveled out to deep water. Once there, I dropped three slave bracers, symbols of a practice I hated with every fiber of my being. Having been a victim of forced servitude myself, a slave in all but name, I would do whatever I could to cripple the foul practice. Promise fulfilled, I turned back toward shore and discovered one of the major limitations of magic: spells do not last forever, nor even as long as one might wish. In fact, spells often expire at particularly unfortunate moments. For example, when the spell-caster is well out into the sea and preaching the evils of slavery to an audience of one. One moment I was gliding across the surface of the water, composing one of the greatest anti-slavery speeches in the history of the Empire, the next I was gasping and trying not to swallow a significant portion of the Inner Sea. For future reference, it is better to compose great speeches and plan grand crusades from a comfortable chair in front of a warm fire.

My situation was quickly noticed by several small green fish, which seemed to be composed mostly of mouths full of long, needle-sharp teeth. If my sword technique on land had improved any, it was not noticeable in the water. My thrashing and cursing would have proved highly entertaining to anyone watching; I believe I overcame the slaughterfish as much by churning the water as by swordplay. Once my attackers floated on the surface, I was able to examine them and discover that, in addition to their impressive teeth, they possessed scales with some properties useful for the making of potions, such as Water Walking. Such as... the spell that I had cast to get out here, the spell that I still knew, the spell that I had sufficient magicka to cast perhaps another 9 TIMES! If the water had churned when I fought the slaughterfish, it positively boiled as I realized that I could have just cast a simple spell. I was much damper and much quieter as I slunk back to shore. On a happier note, I didn't quite drown when I noticed some kollops and dove to check them for pearls.

Back on more or less dry land, I downed one of Thavere's healing potions and decided to practice with that bane of my existence, the chitin short bow. My targets of choice were mudcrabs; they tended to be slow and not require 50 or 60 arrows to kill. That may seem cruel to some, but I had several good reasons. First, I was not a ranger; I didn't go flitting through the forest singing songs to the birds and furry creatures. Second, I needed the crab meat to keep me going- there weren't any provisioners out there. And, finally, I really needed to improve my skill with the bow if I wanted to survive. There were plenty of creatures that could hurt me badly if I allowed them into close range. Other than the mudcrabs and a few rats, I met no opposition. Of course, I did bypass several tombs and caves, feeling that my equipment and skills simply weren't up to the kind of trouble I might find. Besides, undead sort of, um, what's the word ... scared me.

I didn't hurry, but I didn't want to waste time either- I had probably left some enemies behind me- enemies that might prove powerful. I needed to get to a town large enough to lose myself and to perhaps join a guild or two. Guilds can be annoying, what with rules, duties, and membership dues, but they also provide some protection. In the real world, most lone wolves either starve to death or get taken down by the pack. It's a romantic image, but I had to think about survival, not image. As I passed the wizard-shaped depression in the road where Tarhiel had discovered one of the fundamental laws of physics, I turned east, wanting to work my way inland. The coast was humid and muddy; I hoped to find more pleasant travel conditions across the foothills. Also, I had just about all the mushrooms I would ever want; I hoped to find different plants farther inland.

My efforts were rewarded with a large variety of plants, including some that would provide healing. Best of all, no Imperial guards jumped out of the bushes to accuse me of lurking with the intent to loiter or treason or whatever else they could make up. As I came up the path to Pelegiad, I almost thought I had been magically transported to High Rock. The buildings looked so much like my home province that I felt a twinge of homesickness. That was quickly dispelled by the sight of an Imperial fort hovering like a black cloud at the north edge of town. Whenever I began to feel that I could breathe freely, I was reminded that the iron fist of the Empire was wrapped around my throat. Seeking a friendly, non-Imperial face, I spied Kunthar, a Nord barbarian. Generally, I find Nords to be likable; they have a simple outlook on life- smash it, spend it, eat it, or drink it. He explained that the Imperial wart, I mean fort, was only one part of the problem. There were also retired soldiers who had settled here and established farms. Pelegiad would not be the best place for me to settle, then. Besides, I had no way of knowing if the Imperial authorities in Seyda Neen were getting ready to send a message for all garrisons to pick up "one Trey, Breton, to be held on suspicion."

Kunthar was a good fellow; he told me about the services available in Pelegiad- the Halfway tavern and inn, two smiths, a trader, even an Imperial Cult shrine. The inn was of greatest interest to me- I needed a chance to clean off the grime of the road and perhaps sleep in a bed. Inside the tavern, I met a peculiar Dunmer by the name of Yakum who spoke a strange variety of Elvish. Among other odd subjects, he mentioned something about a prophecy, apparently some belief of the Ashland Dunmer. It all had to do with something or someone called the Nerevarine. I hardly understood a thing he said, but I liked the old boy; he seemed like my kind of person. After politely ending my conversation with Yakum, I approached the owner, who offered a selection of drinks, food, and best of all, beds. After buying some kwama eggs, I mentally counted my gold and decided I had enough to take a room. That would give me a chance to repair my gear, mix potions, and rest.

Originally, I had planned to just camp on the road and do my maintenance there. But then it struck me that the "clank, clank, ting, clank, clank" of armor repair might be as good as a dinner bell to any creatures in the area. I might as well just start shouting, "Yoo hoo, monster, come and eat me. Got your nice fresh Breton on the half-shell." No, civilization had its benefits, even if I did have to put up with the presence of Imperials. In the quiet of my room, I was able to mix up some Restore Fatigue potions and repair the worst of the wear on my armor and weapons. Best of all, I got to sleep in a bed. It was expensive, but I kind of liked it. Back home, I generally had to share my straw pile in the stable with whatever kind of "wildlife" might be there. That might be one reason why the silt strider bothered me so much; a flea that size would do a lot more than just leave a tiny bump if it bit you. In fact, YOU would be the tiny bump in the silt strider's stomach. The next morning, feeling rested and well fed for the first time, I got back on the road- ready to find adventure, fame, and fortune. What I found was romance.

This post has been edited by treydog: Mar 5 2015, 01:31 AM


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The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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hazmick
post Mar 1 2015, 01:38 PM
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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



An excellent start to the chapter! laugh.gif I was chuckling to myself all the way through - Trey's inner voice is hilarious.

I admit that I was expecting Balmora as the first stop (since that's where I usually go) but this is a refreshing surprise.

and we finish with a juicy cliffracerhanger! Looking forward to the next adventure.



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Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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mplantinga
post Mar 1 2015, 05:54 PM
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I enjoyed Trey's explanation for heading to town rather than camping in the wilderness. I wish the game really was that reactive, where repairing your armor would draw the attention of the belligerent wildlife. I'm not certain that his fellow guests in the inn would have been much more accommodating, however, if he was up too late fixing his armor!
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Grits
post Mar 4 2015, 04:12 PM
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Oh my gosh, the water-walk failure scene! I just love the whole paragraph with the fish, Trey’s realization that he could have re-cast the spell, and the ending as already soaked to the skin he dives for pearls.

At the very end of the segment I’m not sure if there’s a missed punctuation mark or some dropped words, just checking. After the break at the inn it feels like Chapter 2 is ready to launch into adventure. smile.gif


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treydog
post Mar 5 2015, 01:48 AM
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From: The Smoky Mountains



@hazmick- Trey’s inner monologues bear a strong resemblance to my own in RL…. Except I think he is funnier than I am- as well as more athletic and far better-looking. I can’t remember now why he took the road to Pelegiad instead of the direct route- of course, he was not going to ride the giant flea- but beyond that it was probably just a poor sense of direction (which sometimes affects NPCs as well- see following installment).

@mplantinga!!!!!- Dr. Planty! So thrilled to see you. Hope life has been treating you well. If I had known that returning to the scene of the crime… um…. "The Adventures of Trey" would bring you back, I would have done it long ago. I think the idea that banging and clanging with hammers on one’s armor might attract critters was a Dungeons & Dragons holdover- and I agree that the fellow guests might be less than pleasant if he worked too late or started too early on the same task.

@Grits- The thing about that whole fiasco with the water-walking and the fish is… it really happened in the game, including the epic (snort) battle with the slaughterfish instead of just casting the spell. Trey may be funnier than me- but his mind is equally distracted. Chased down the wandering period from the copy-pasta and put it back. It was probably chasing after a willowy semi-colon…

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In the spirit of total honesty (at least as far as you know), I must confess that one of my reasons for leaving my joyous existence as an indentured servant in High Rock was the hope of finding romance. Although I was not a bad-looking fellow, my station in life told against me. And it was probable that I was not always able to remove the marks (and smells) of my work in the stable. That, too, had a negative effect on my chance for romance. Of course, I had no firsthand experience of love, anyway; what little I thought I knew came from books. For some reason, the innkeeper and his wife did not begrudge me the privilege of reading books. Perhaps because they were themselves illiterate, they did not recognize the value of being able to read. I had been fortunate enough to come to the attention of a wandering alchemist, who sensed my talent and taught me my letters. "Books," he said, "are the most powerful thing in the world. They can outlast any empire, defeat any sword ever forged." All that may have been true, but what I loved were stories of adventure and daring escapes, of a young man with a mysterious birthmark who overcame great odds and was revealed to be the lost prince. The only marks I had were from the knotted rope the innkeeper used on me if he felt I was moving too slowly. I even read the so-called "ladies' books" of poetry and romance. Some of them struck me as foolish, but still, the idea of a beautiful noblewoman falling in love with a commoner had some appeal. And, to my great surprise, I found out that that sort of thing really did happen. Of course, as with most revelations, it was not exactly the way I expected it to be.

Getting an early start, I left Pelegiad by the north road, making my slow way to Balmora and this Caius Cosades person I was supposed to meet. Although I had tried, I had not forgotten the package I was to deliver, nor the instructions that accompanied it. The words, "...suffer the fate of all traitors" had a way of staying in one's mind. I had not walked far when I saw a breath-taking woman standing beside the road, looking clearly distressed. She was beautiful; she was wealthy; best of all, she was a Breton, one of my own people. I approached her carefully; it wouldn't do to appear threatening; Breton noblewomen are delicate creatures, easily frightened. Sweeping a low bow, I said,

"May I be of some assistance to you, my lady?"

"Yes. Have you perhaps seen a bandit in the area?"

My heart skipped, for a variety of reasons. Should I reveal myself as the charming and mysterious rogue, Trey of High Rock? Or should I exercise caution? As it turned out, neither was necessary, for she continued:

"He was a dark elf--a strong, dashing dark elf. He took my jewels."

It appeared my reputation had not preceded me after all. She simply needed someone to recover her lost valuables. Still, might it not seem heroic if I overcame the fierce bandit and..? But no, she really wasn't concerned about the jewels; she wanted to find the bandit. She was rather taken with him. She said his name was Nelos Onmar and that she expected he was in Pelegiad, for he had said something about heading north. That last confused me somewhat, for I had just left Pelegiad behind me to the south, but perhaps love befuddles one's sense of direction. What she needed was for some kind person to carry her glove to Nelos as a token of her regard. Perhaps I was as soppy as Maurrie, or perhaps I wanted to believe that if ONE lovable rogue could find romance, so might another; in any event, I agreed to deliver the glove. Besides, I happened to know exactly where Nelos Onmar was; I had left him in the common room of the Halfway Tavern in Pelegiad. Turning south I retraced my steps and soon delivered the glove and all that it conveyed. To his credit, Nelos seemed genuinely moved; he had felt a spark of something, too. He, in turn, gave me a note to carry to Maurrie. If this didn't resolve itself soon, I was going to become very familiar with the road north of Pelegiad. Trey of High Rock, rogue, thief…, messenger boy. Gah! This was what reading those romances did to you.

Fortunately, Maurrie had no further need of Trey's Messenger Service for Lonely Ladies; she suggested I look up her friend Emusette Bracques in Tel Aruhn and then departed for Pelegiad with a smile and a good turn of speed for someone wearing a long skirt. I, on the other hand, felt a sudden lack of motivation. I moped slowly north, thinking morose thoughts, and felt it was fitting that a thunderstorm blew up and began soaking me to the skin. Finally shaking off my gloom, I decided that suffering for love was all well and good, but what I needed was shelter. Just then, I saw a cave to the left of the trail. Either the identifying marks had worn off or there never were any; I believed the cave was unoccupied.

It is useful to remember that when you are depressed and caught in a rainstorm on the road, that there are worse things than getting wet. And some of those things live in caves.


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The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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ArtemisNoir2
post Mar 5 2015, 02:22 AM
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Wonderful! In my part of the world Winter is transitioning rapidly to Spring, and the situation is causing me much distraction. These two chapters were exactly what I needed to ground myself a little. biggrin.gif

I seriously loved that water walking scene... especially when Trey realised he could have just recast the spell. *snort* That sounds exactly like the type of thing I would do, inner monologue and all. Indeed, recently while engaged in some internal debate... I poured dry cat food into my cereal bowl.. Thankfully I realised this before adding the yoghurt! wacko.gif ohmy.gif
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Colonel Mustard
post Mar 5 2015, 08:29 PM
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From: The darkest pit of your soul. Hi there!



I'm reading this a few chapters at a time so I've got a good amount of stuff to say with each post, but I'm really enjoying this so far. It's still funny and fun, but you're excellent at getting down into the gritty details of things as well; the way the fight with the bandits in Addamasartus was handled was an excellent example of this, and Trey's reaction to the slaves was a great way to show his overall character as a person.

In fact, this is a great example of packing in a lot of character stuff into a very short space, and I'm really enjoying the current interplay between Trey's pride and independent spirit and his fear of Imperial retribution.

Looking forwards to more, especially seeing how Trey will deal with Caius Cosades. I always found that man a delight, and it'll be fun to see how him and Trey will get along.
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mplantinga
post Mar 6 2015, 12:21 AM
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I have always found the situation with Maurrie and Nelos to be highly amusing, partly due to its equally high likelihood of NEVER happening. I know, I know, Stockholm syndrome is a real thing, but even the most flighty naive woman shouldn't suffer from it that easily. I enjoyed the insight into Trey's rapidfire thoughts before she revealed the identity of the thief; in some ways, they reveal that he is nearly as naive as she is.

I would have thought his experience in Seyda Neen would have taught Trey a valuable lesson about entering unknown caves in Morrowind, but I guess his overconfidence in his underworld sign language is going to get him into some serious trouble.

@Treydog: I wouldn't miss this reprise of one of my favorite fan-fictions ever. My new job keeps me pretty busy, but I'll drop in as often as I can.
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hazmick
post Mar 7 2015, 02:54 AM
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Mouth
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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



"a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge."

aah the brief joy of young love, and the gloomy aftermath. We can all identify with young Trey here. I especially identify with the gloomy part - I'm naturally pessimistic.

Good use of pathetic fallacy with the weather, and I loved his thoughts about the confusing directions. These little things are what bring the story to life.


--------------------
Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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McBadgere
post Mar 7 2015, 10:07 AM
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Love it!!... biggrin.gif ...Just thought I'd get that out of the way... laugh.gif ...

Ah...Apologies for missing the two 'till now...It's just...Life...*Sigh*... biggrin.gif ...

Aaaamywho...

I absolutely loved that bit with the "Nobody" quote...Does really make me want to finally root that out and watch it again...As you know, bit of a Terrence Hill fan, me... biggrin.gif ...

The whole water bit made I laugh...Very fuunie... biggrin.gif ...Slaughterfish battling in Oblivion was always an exercise in a kind of Zen/Myagi-esque "Like a manic conductor!! - left-right-left-right" watching... smile.gif ...

And the romance thing...D'awwwww...What a softie!...Bless Bethesda and their attempts at Pride and Prejudice!...Or summat!...

That bit with the

QUOTE
and then departed for Pelegiad with a smile and a good turn of speed for someone wearing a long skirt.


Mad I laugh too...Ah, game mechanics!...

QUOTE
It is useful to remember that when you are depressed and caught in a rainstorm on the road, that there are worse things than getting wet. And some of those things live in caves.


That's a fave line, right there...

Y'know...Every time I read something of yours I want to start writing...Not because I want to try and do better, of course... tongue.gif ...But because you make it look so much fun... biggrin.gif ...

Awesome stuff, matey...

Love it!!...(redux)...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds heartily*...
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treydog
post Mar 7 2015, 10:42 PM
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From: The Smoky Mountains



@ArtemisNoir2- I am happy to have Trey’s fantasies about romance bring you back to reality- or what passes for same…

I can relate to your cat food/cereal episode… I made myself a peanut butter and balsamic vinaigrette sandwich the other day. In my defense, both the jelly and the dressing bottles reside in the door of the fridge and have similarly colored and sized tops…

@Colonel Mustard- Many thanks. I am doing much the same, reading only enough to decide what will make the next post, and then “fixing” a few little things here and there. Because, let’s face it, a story is never really “finished.” One of the advantages (for me) of writing the story in first person (besides the fact that I find it easier), is that it forces me into “show- don’t tell.” There is no omniscient narrator hanging around to explain everything to death- only Trey and his particular, callow point of view. Caius is one of the best NPCs ever from a video game.

@mplantinga- Trey is definitely close to Maurrie in the “Naivete Sweepstakes.” The good news is, he will survive the lessons he learns. And everyone here will be happy to see you whenever you can come visit.

@hazmick- That is a most excellent quote- I shall appropriate it for my own use. Trey’s experience of that first brief flame of love being doused by a cold bucket of reality came purely from my imagination, rather than my experience. Yeah, right. And yes, the bad directions issue is one that shows up in Morrowind a number of times. That may be the origin of the hated “quest compass” in Oblivion…

@McBadgere- Time for more “Truth in Authorship,” regarding the opening quotes for each chapter. For some reason, known only to my Past Self (shakes fist- curse you younger version of Me!), I did not keep the quotations with the chapter files as I saved them in Word. And so- when the original forums went pear-shaped and then pruned all of “the Story,” the quotes were lost. I kinda, sorta vaguely remember some of the ones I used, the Jack Beauregard was not one of them, but… it seems appropriate.

As noted previously, the real humor of the Rumble in the Sea (with Bonus Fish!) is the fact that it happened because the player (me) forgot that the character (Trey) could just water walk and avoid it. And the whole Maurrie and the Bandit thing just played so perfectly into Trey’s image of himself. If it makes you want to write again, that is a very good thing ™.

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Once I had gotten in out of the rain, a momentary flash of sanity caused me to remember what had happened the last time I entered a cave. A short passageway led to a second door; before attempting to explore further, I cast Beggar's Nose. As I had suspected, the cave was inhabited, and at least three of the inhabitants were of the non-human variety. As I approached the inner door, I heard an ominous growling. Perhaps the intelligent thing to do would have been to go back out into the rain, but I was just drying off. And I was curious. What creature made such a noise? My training in alchemy, such as it was, included the study of creatures and their habits. As I leaned closer to the door, I brushed it with my left shoulder and triggered some sort of magical trap. The flare of released magicka was followed by a feeling of a great weight settling upon me. However, my possessions were few, and I preferred light armor; so I was still able to move. Hoping that the trap had not alerted whatever creature was on the other side, I swung the door open. At the time, it didn't occur to me that creatures don't set magical traps.

Before I could take in the room behind the door, a scaly, green, four-legged creature with glowing red eyes bounded forward, growling. I went into a guard position with my sword and shield and let it approach, hoping the narrow doorway would hamper its movement. When it was within a few feet, it swiped at me with a massive 3-toed forefoot. The doorway and my armor provided adequate protection and I was able to fell the strange creature with a few blows of the sparksword. After making sure it was dead, I knelt to examine the body. It soon became apparent that this was what was known as a nix-hound, a nuisance animal that was common to the wilder parts of the Empire. They could be trained and used as guard beasts if captured young enough and hand-raised. The flesh could provide fatigue restoration, although it was rather stringy and had a faint taste of chlorine. I was so fascinated with my natural history studies that it took me a moment to notice the Dunmer woman on the raised wooden platform on the right side of the cavern. In fact, it wasn't until she drew her sword that I became aware of her.

There was a closed gate between us, and she seemed reluctant to open it. Remembering the trap on the door, I believed I knew why. I moved closer, thinking perhaps she was a prisoner; but if that were the case, why would she pull a sword on me? Just then, a second nix-hound bounded up from the tunnel behind her. The large beast ignored the woman and stood growling at the gate, clearly waiting for a chance to rend my flesh. I stepped nearer to examine the gate and got a bit too close. In a flash, the woman's sword and the hound's claws reached through the slats and wounded my unarmored legs. In fact, the hound managed to hold me pinned against the gate for several agonizing seconds as his mistress attempted to get a clear angle for a killing blow. With difficulty, I broke free and cast Hearth Heal. Still, they did not come through the gate; it was clear that there was a trap on it which they feared. Studying the situation, I realized that it was possible to strike at them around the right side of the gate; the gatepost would shield me from most of their return attacks. As soon as I thought of it, I put my plan into action, with mostly satisfactory results. So eager were the hound and the Dunmer to attack me, they took my return blows without thinking of retreat. I suffered some wounds, but the enchantment of my sword proved too much for them and they quickly fell.

Now there was the problem of the gate. It was built in such a way that I could not climb over it; neither did I possess a spell, scroll, or potion that would allow me to levitate. Finally, trusting to my ability to heal myself, I decided on the direct approach. Grasping the latch, I received a severe shock, which I healed with a spell. I was going to have to find some way of dealing with these traps besides suffering the damage. The woman carried nothing extraordinary, so I moved deeper into the cave. Perhaps getting rained on had washed some of the cobwebs out of my head; perhaps I was learning from experience; but in either case, I remembered that my detection spell had indicated THREE creatures. Two nix-hounds were dealt with; where and what was the third creature? I decided to move in the shadows and as quietly as I could. When I reached a cross-corridor, I cast the detection spell again. As it showed the third and final creature far back in the cave, I silently thanked my mother for birthing me during Frostfall. To the right was an open gate; from the bones and scraps of flesh, this was clearly a kennel. Still worse, some of the bones were human.

Again staying in the shadows as much as possible, I continued down the main passage. The third, and (I hoped) final nix-hound attacked me a few feet beyond the kennel. Again, Tarhiel's sword provided the advantage I needed. Also, although I hardly noticed at the time, my sword work was getting smoother. Finally, I came to yet another “worn” door. I began to wonder if there were any “new” doors anywhere on Vvardenfell. Perhaps the smugglers could forget skooma and start a black market in doors. This portal I checked for traps; I didn't know what I would do if I found one, but it paid to be cautious. I opened the door and was instantly rushed by a Dunmer with a peculiar hairstyle- a strip of hair standing straight up that ran down the center of his scalp. Shouting, "There is no escape!" he charged me with his fists raised. At first I thought he was referring to his own situation, but no, he expected to beat my sword and armor with his bare hands. I might have understood if he was a Nord.... His death at my hands proved that his final words had portended his own fate. Papers in his pockets indicated that he was named Gilyn Drobar. I wondered what desperation could have caused him to attack an armed opponent with his fists. Maybe the bad haircut had driven him to madness.

Whatever his reasons, Drobar had a cozy hideaway with a wood plank floor, circular fire pit, rugs, cushions, and benches. In fact, there were two cushions for sitting, but he was the only person I had seen in this part of the cavern- perhaps there was someone else nearby. An earthen ramp led upward and deeper inside. Still trying to emulate the shadows, I moved on. In the final cavern of this section, I saw another raised wooden platform with someone standing beneath it. Unseen, I crept up to a stone column and tried to think what I could do. I knew what excess planning had done for me in Addamasartus- nearly gotten me killed- but I couldn't just jump out with my sword raised and yell. Actually, why not? It had the great advantage of being so simple even I couldn't get mixed up. Otherwise, I could try a Fireball, with a 1 in 4 chance of even getting it to work. Or perhaps I could use one of Tarhiel's Scrolls of Icarian Flight, jump really high, and bang my brains out on the ceiling? No, simple may have lacked style, but it had the advantage of working. Besides, only one person was ever going to know how I did it- the other was going to be dead and wouldn't care. In the end, I did cast Dragon Skin before jumping out. Surprise worked to my advantage, but my opponent still managed to bash my legs several times with her club before I prevailed. I needed to think seriously about getting a pair of greaves.

Finding very little of interest, I again healed myself and set off to explore the passage across from the hound kennel. My magicka was getting low, but I didn't want to rest in a cave with an unknown number of enemies. Across from the kennel was still another “worn door”- maybe I should have been a carpenter instead of a thief. Opening this door revealed a passage that sloped upward, leading to another balcony-style platform. Partway up the passage, with her back to me, was a white-haired Dunmer woman. On the platform was another Dunmer, a male. I got the woman's attention by the simple expedient of missing her with an arrow. (Note to self: get better bow. P.S.- Or else get better WITH bow. Thx- love, Trey).

This action had the advantage of luring her toward the door without her companion noticing. She shouted, "Die, fetcher" and ran at me. "Fetcher?" Did everyone on this blighted island already know that I had fetched and carried for Maurrie? Getting my mind back on the task at hand, I cleverly caused her sword to become slippery by bleeding on it, and when she got tired of hitting me, I managed to finish her. She was carrying an interesting instrument called a "Fat Lute;" while I pondered what that could mean, the man noticed what was happening and charged down at me, swinging an axe. I also defeated him, but not before having to use the last of Thavere's restore health potions. But it was worth it, for this cavern turned out to contain a great treasure, indeed.


--------------------
The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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hazmick
post Mar 7 2015, 11:27 PM
Post #12


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Joined: 28-July 10
From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



ooh a cave crawl! My favourite! Loved hearing Trey's train of thought chugging along as he dealt with the inhabitants and their poor door upkeep - I'll have to remember that 'bleeding on the handle' trick. Deceptively clever, I think.

Ending with a cliffhanger? I shall patiently remain here on the edge of my seat for the next segment.


--------------------
Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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ArtemisNoir2
post Mar 8 2015, 05:51 PM
Post #13


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Joined: 28-January 15



QUOTE
"Fetcher?" Did everyone on this blighted island already know that I had fetched and carried for Maurrie?


laugh.gif biggrin.gif

I just loved that line! The dry, self-deprecating, humour very nearly put my keyboard at risk (again).
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mplantinga
post Mar 8 2015, 11:53 PM
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From: Bluffton, SC



"Maybe the bad haircut had driven him to madness." - Personally, I think one would have to already be mad to think that such a haircut was a good idea!

I really enjoyed Trey's note-to-self about the bow; it reminds me of the major problem with weapons at low levels in Morrowind, which is that you miss far more than you hit. I'm glad that he survived to find the great treasure; my gut says it will be books and not something of great monetary value, but I'm content to wait and see!
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treydog
post Mar 12 2015, 01:26 AM
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From: The Smoky Mountains



@hazmick- One of the great joys of Morrowind (for me) after playing Daggerfall was that the dungeons were navigable without an advanced degree in 4-dimensional spatial astrophysics. And the “worn door” remark is another slight tweak at Bethsoft’s less-than-imaginative interior labels. And this cliff-hanger will be relieved- but I cannot promise not to do it again.

@ArtemisNoir2- Another of the places I had fun with Morrowind was the epithets hurled by various enemies. “S’wit” in Addamasartus and “fetcher” here. Given that Trey is not versed in Dunmer curses adds to the fun.

@mplantinga- I tend to agree that the Dunmner “faux-hawk” hairstyle is a sign of serious mental illness. And evidence of that will be seen again, if I ever get Trey to Balmora. The “note to self” was another place where I wavered over “breaking the fourth wall,” but… it felt like it fit in with Trey’s awareness that someone else is watching over his shoulder. And the treasure will be revealed in a moment.

----------------------------------------------

I examined several crates and barrels, revealing the standard assortment of ingredients, armor, and clothing. I was beginning to wonder if there was no textile industry on Vvardenfell. Which reminded me, I was going to have to find a trader soon; all this material was beginning to weigh me down. A couple of locked chests contained around 30 drakes and some cheap jewelry. Then, under a hammock, I found a chest with a better quality lock. Clearly, this was going to be the major trove. Using the better of my lock picks (thanks, Fargoth), I was able to force the lock. And inside, there were--- books. That's right, books. "Ancestors and the Dunmer," "The Annotated Annuad," "The Anticipations," and "The Book of Dawn and Dusk." On a nearby table was the "36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 16." I was so pleased I settled down for a long night of reading.

From the first four books, I learned a great deal about the dark elves and their beliefs. Some of it was confusing, some was frightening, but I mainly came away with a feeling of admiration for these people. They did not like foreigners, "outlanders" as they called us; it was only recently that they had even acknowledged that non-Dunmer races were human. Still, they had fascinating beliefs and I resolved to learn more about them. I tossed a netch leather cuirass out of my pack to make room for the books and lay down in the hammock to rest. Eight hours later, I was working my way steadily north toward Balmora, gathering blooms, roots, and berries for my potion-making.

Turning west, I entered a narrow pass and came upon a scene of desolation. The trees were shattered and stunted, largely without leaves; there did not seem to be a single growing thing. The ground itself was covered with ash and lava. As I neared the road to Balmora, I heard a now-identifiable growl and spotted a Nix-Hound up ahead. The creature wasn't blocking the path I needed to take, so I decided to try to slip past. As I moved behind a pile of rocks, a nerve-grating "Skreee" sounded high overhead. It began to rain again; I hoped that would mask my footsteps and lower the visibility. To my relief, the hound moved away and whatever had screamed flew over the ridge.

Near the top of the trail, I made out another Legion fort, which I gave a wide berth. Although it was not a welcome sight, I knew the fort meant I was near a town or city; the Legion soldiers don't like to be far from their comforts. Passing the fort, I moved into a greener country. There was still a fair amount of bare rock, but the trees were healthier than those in the blasted area I had passed through. Even in the rain, it was a lovely place. Soon, I heard the familiar lowing trill of a silt strider and saw a stone bridge and a city limit obelisk. I had reached Balmora.

I stood just outside Balmora, the place where I hoped to find some answers and to perhaps return to my interrupted life. Crossing the two bridges and nearing the silt strider landing, I got my first look at the city. It rested between high, rugged ridges and was split into two sections by a small river. The buildings constructed mostly of plaster over stone, with flat roofs to capture the rainfall. Colorful banners or wooden placards indicated numerous shops and guilds. I had a feeling I was going to like Balmora. Although the plunder from the outlaw cave was weighing me down, the package from the Imperial captain weighed even more, at least in my mind. There would be time to engage in commerce later; for now I needed to discharge what I hoped would be my last duty for the Empire. Passing through the arched entry in the wall of the city, I looked for someone who could direct me to the South Wall Cornerclub and Caius Cosades.

My eye was immediately drawn to an Argonian, who approached with the peculiar gait of her kind. I was momentarily taken aback by her greeting, "The prey approaches," but quickly realized that for Argonians, that was the equivalent of "Good day." At least I hoped so. Her name was Hul, and she was the first free Argonian I had met since coming to Morrowind. Hul cheerfully told me about Balmora; it had chapter houses for the Mages and Fighters Guilds, as well as numerous general traders and specialty shops. The South Wall Club was across the river, at the south end of Labor Street. Thanking the Argonian politely (I always try to be polite to people who have mouths full of pointy teeth), I turned my steps in that direction. It was interesting to see that, although the Empire claimed sovereignty over all of Vvardenfell, there were no Imperial guards. The guards I noticed, and I had picked up the habit of noticing guards, were dressed in yellowish armor, including full-face helms with a flaring neckpiece at the rear. Otherwise they were just like all guards- patrolling, making sure that no one was loitering or looting- in other words, being a pain in the neck for your average thief.

I soon reached the South Wall and paused a moment to examine the building before I went in. It appeared to possess two stories, and possibly a basement. It was well built, but had seen better days. As I approached the main door, indicated by a banner containing what I took to be a picture of a guar, I noted a series of apparently random scratches low down on the left side of the door frame. Then I recalled the words of Yakum, the Ashlander in Pelegiad- "...the Thieves Guild doesn't have public guild halls, they mostly meet in corner clubs or tradehouses." Welcome to Balmora, indeed. Feeling as if a world of possibilities was about to open before me, I stepped inside.

At the bend of the first floor hall was a young Nord woman who served as a greeter and apparently sold a limited selection of goods. She was friendly enough, in a cautious way, so I asked some general questions. She told me a bit about the services available in Balmora and then mentioned the guilds, including the Thieves Guild. When I asked for further information about the Thieves Guild, all she would say was, "Talk to Sugar-Lips Habasi. She's around here somewhere." When I met her, I discovered that Sugar-Lips was a Khajiit and the Mastermind of the Balmora Thieves Guild; not surprising since the Khajiiti's natural stealth and agility allow them to be among the best thieves in Tamriel. She asked me a series of questions designed to determine my skills and pronounced me acceptable to the Guild. I signed the secret ledger and was admitted as a Toad. Not the most attractive title, but I wasn't joining in order to make a good name.

When I inquired about Caius Cosades, Sugar-Lips directed me to Bacola Closcius, the owner of the club.
I then found Bacola on the second floor. When I asked him where I might find Caius, he responded, "Who? Why do you want to know? Who sent you to me? What's this about?" When he finally took a breath, no doubt preparing to fire more questions at me, I interrupted and explained about the package. I also made the guild sign Sugar-Lips had taught me, which calmed him considerably. I was starting to wonder what this Caius fellow did, that he worked so hard to stay out of sight. Bacola directed me to a small house at the north end of the next street to the east, telling me to enter on the ground floor. I thanked him and left, pleased that I now had the backing of a guild and was about to get out of the Imperial Messenger Service (I hoped). My happiness was tempered by the fact that I was about to meet a major player in the strange circumstances that surrounded my exile to Vvardenfell. What was in the package I was supposed to give him? Should I have tried to open it and read it? What if the package simply contained a note that said, "Kill the person who brings this to you"? My thoughts were morbidly drawn to those novels I had read involving lost princes. How did I really know who my father was? What if I was an embarrassment to the Empire, one that they needed to remove quietly, in a backwater city of a backwater province? A body could easily be dropped into that river in the dark of night and no one would wonder, "Whatever became of that fellow, Trey- you know, Breton, liked plants?" And with that thought, I was at the door to Caius Cosades house. Stepping firmly on my fears, I knocked and entered.


--------------------
The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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hazmick
post Mar 12 2015, 04:52 AM
Post #16


Mouth
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Joined: 28-July 10
From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Hooray for books! Many-a-time Haa-Rei has found himself chucking away useless things like armour and weapons so he can carry more books, I'm happy to see Trey doing the same.

What would an upstanding Imperial citizen like Trey want with the Thieves Guild though? wink.gif

Next to the mysterious Caius' house. Can't wait to hear what our young friend has to say about him!


--------------------
Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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mplantinga
post Mar 13 2015, 12:52 AM
Post #17


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Joined: 20-September 05
From: Bluffton, SC



Collecting and reading books in Morrowind was one of my greatest joys; I even had a mod that would place them on special shelves and tell you how many of the total you had, as a way to encourage OCD collectors like me to find them all.

I agree with Trey's assessment about his new guild rank. I'm not sure how anyone ought to feel about being called a Toad; on the other hand, the very existence of a "secret" guild of thieves pushes the boundaries of my suspension of disbelief.

I'm definitely looking forward to what happens when Trey walks through that door.
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McBadgere
post Mar 13 2015, 05:33 AM
Post #18


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Joined: 21-October 11



Loved the cave crawl...Fantastic stuff!...

QUOTE
Maybe the bad haircut had driven him to madness.


laugh.gif ...I know that one!... biggrin.gif ...

And the brief journey to Balmorra...A journey which would have taken me considerably longer...And likely featuring being impeded by a tribe of teleporting Moai... huh.gif ...Yes...

Looking forward to much more...

Proper loved it all...

Nice one!!...

*applauds heartily*...
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treydog
post Mar 22 2015, 02:23 PM
Post #19


Master
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Joined: 13-February 05
From: The Smoky Mountains



@hazmick- There will come a time when we will see one result of Trey’s obsession with books… it is still one of my favorite moments from the game. The interesting thing about Trey identifying himself as a “thief” is- he really never did much thieving…. Early life experiences and all that, I suppose. And Caius remains one of my favorite characters from any game.

@mplanting- The books in Morrowind struck the perfect balance (for me, at least). They were detailed enough to be interesting, had the chance of giving skill boosts, and some even contained a hidden message about what really happened at Red Mountain…. As for the Thieve’s Guild… the idea that everyone seems to know where they live does kind of negate the whole “secret society” aspect of their business.

@McBadgere- Having been the victim of a bad haircut or two- I can understand the whole “Are you looking at me?” reaction it might provoke. Of course, most of the “outlaws” of Morrowind are suicidally homicidal… (eyes cross)… or something. The thing of the Balmora trip was… and why I still recall this is somewhat worrisome… Trey did run across several beasties that would have been happy to eat him… and he dodged them all. Since I felt that defined his nature- and his awareness of his less-than-stellar skills- I kept it that way.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whatever I had expected, it was not the tiny, squalid room I found, nor the shirtless, seemingly elderly Imperial who was the only occupant. The bed was rumpled as if the sleeper had been a victim of violent nightmares; empty bottles and discarded clothing were strewn about the floor. As I stared at the chaos, the well-muscled old man barked, "You lost, boy? Or did you want something?" In spite of his bloodshot eyes and the fact that he could have used a bath, there was an unmistakable aura of power about him. Those eyes missed nothing and I somehow felt as if I had accidentally stepped into a tiger's cage. This was a dangerous man, and to underestimate him would be a grave mistake. Or perhaps that is mostly hindsight. Maybe when I looked then, I only saw a man past his prime, suffering from over-indulgence in drink or drugs or both. However it was, his sharp tone reminded me of my errand and I stated my reason for intruding- I was to deliver a package to Caius Cosades.

He took the package, which contained a number of interesting papers, and turned away from me to examine them. After a long, tense period he turned back and said,

"Very well Trey. The Emperor wants you to be a Novice in the Blades and follow my orders. Do you think you can do that?"

Of all the possible outcomes of this errand, I had not anticipated that one. No one knew much about the Blades; some said they didn't even exist, were just a bogeyman to scare people into obedience. But now, it appeared, they were all too real, and I was somehow ensnared in their web of intrigue. When I asked, Caius described the organization as the Emperor's "eyes and ears" in the provinces, there to make sure that any information the Emperor needed got to him quickly and accurately. He then spent the better part of an hour drilling me on the political situation in Morrowind, including the names of the major factions. He told me about the three Great Houses of the Dunmer, about the temples and guilds, and about the criminal organizations.

That last particularly caught my interest, for it seemed that the Thieves Guild was in a life-and-death struggle with a native organization called the Camonna Tong. Finally, he gave me 200 drakes and recommended that I go get better equipment and more "seasoning" before I got hurt. That last stung a bit, but deep inside, I knew he was right. His advice was to join a guild or two and do some easy jobs for them to establish an identity and gain experience. He finished with,

"Then when you're ready, you can come back for more orders."

I thought, but wisely did not say, "What if I'm never ready to work for the Emperor?" My head still reeling, as much from the political lecture as from the idea that I was in the Blades, I made my way back outside.

Thinking about Caius, I wondered what could drive the Empire to entrust such a man with so sensitive a position. As was often the case, that was the wrong question. I should have wondered what could drive a man in such a sensitive position to become a skooma addict.

Whether I wanted it or not, I had been made a Novice in the Blades, the Empire's spy organization. There was a saying, or really more of a whisper, that no one ever retired from the Blades. It was a guaranteed lifetime assignment. There just wasn't any guarantee how long your life would be. Caius himself had given me an out; he said I was inexperienced and should join some guilds and do some quests before reporting back for further orders. And he was a skooma user- he might even forget all about me in a week or two. Maybe. Or maybe not- he sure was able to recall a vast amount of information regarding who was who in Morrowind and why it mattered. If he was that sharp while on skooma, I didn't want to think what he would be like sober. Still, he had given me an excuse to stay away for a while. A lot could happen in a few days or weeks. Meanwhile, I wanted to unload some gear that the former owners wouldn't miss and see what Balmora had to offer the new thief in town.

So I wandered around, looking for shops and services, finally crossing to the west side of the Odai River. Meldor the armorer took the extra armor and weapons, including that cursed chitin short bow. I had not given up on using a bow; I just planned to find a better one. Although I didn't get as much as I had hoped for the extra gear, I did make enough to feel somewhat more secure. Best of all, Meldor had a pair of chitin greaves. My bruised and battered legs finally had some protection. Unfortunately, most of the better armor Meldor offered was that brown-yellow material called "bonemold"- good armor, but medium weight, not a style with which I was comfortable.

Next, I found Ra'Virr, a Khajiit trader who took the liquor, jewelry, and miscellaneous clothing. He also tried to sell me some "Daedric" weapons, which turned out to normal weapons with minor enchantments. He took it with good humor when I pointed this out, and I had to admire him for trying. As I wandered the streets, several people noticed the "fat lute" I was carrying and told me I should go to The Eight Plates if I was a player. No one seemed to want to buy the blasted thing, and somehow, I just couldn't throw it away. Maybe I would learn to play it, if I ever got time off from dodging the Empire. But that raised another issue- I needed a place to keep the things I wasn't going to sell, but didn't want to carry all over the wilderness. Renting a bed every night was a good way to go broke. Some guilds offered accommodations for members, so I began looking for the unsleeping eye symbol of the Mages Guild. It pleased my perversity to consider resting under the protection of that sign.

Besides accommodations, the Mages Guild could offer me access to alchemical equipment, better prices on ingredients, and even spell training. Although I had been forced by circumstances to become primarily a thief, magic could provide a valuable edge. I had considered and discarded the notion of joining the Fighters Guild- they tended to offer "Go kill so-an-so" missions- exactly the kind I did not want. The Fighters weren't always picky about where the money or the contract came from; if someone said a certain person "needed killing" and gave them enough gold, they didn't ask any questions.

So I located the Mages Guild and entered, anxious to make a good impression. The first person I met was Ranis Athrys, an expensively-dressed Dunmer who was the Guild Steward. When I asked about membership, she raised one eyebrow and looked over my armor and swords. I felt like checking my boots for guar dung. Finally, she questioned me about the various schools of magic and I was able to discuss alchemy and restoration to her satisfaction. At last, I had accomplished the goal that had carried me to Cyrodiil; I was an Associate of the Mages Guild. Eagerly, I asked her what duties I could perform, envisioning dangerous and exhilarating magical research in some ruined stronghold. Those visions were quickly dispelled when she told me that I was not advanced enough in my studies to be of any use to her; I should instead see Ajira for direction in my tasks.

Into the basement I went, and saw a scene that filled me with happiness. There were worktables and a lecture room and mages everywhere, talking, mixing mysterious ingredients, reading books and scrolls. It was wonderful. Finally, I located Ajira, a harassed-looking Khajiit working behind an apothecary table. I liked her immediately, but then I've always had a soft spot for the cat-people of Elsweyr; perhaps they remind me of the barn cats from the stable where I slept. When I inquired about duties, she explained that she was studying to become a Journeyman and needed four kinds of mushrooms that could be found on the Bitter Coast. Could I go and collect the mushrooms? I knew that one; it was the old "run the legs off the Apprentice" routine. Like sending me out to get a "left-handed hay fork." The game was designed to test my resolve, but also to get a good laugh at my expense. Instead of rushing out the door, I casually reached into my pack and pulled out several varieties of mushroom.

"Will these do?" I asked, innocently.

She was so pleased she gave me some Restore Health potions, which I was glad to get. Since that had gone so well, I asked for another job. It seemed that Ajira had a bet with Galbedir, another student, as to which of them would achieve Journeyman rank first. Ajira had crafted a fake soul gem that she wanted me to slip into Galbedir's desk while she was away. Khajiit are naturally sneaky; that may be another reason I like them. It took a few minutes to stash the fake amongst the real gems in the desk. Then I wandered back downstairs to report my success. I didn't mind being asked to participate in a practical joke- it made me feel like I belonged. Besides, you can always expect some competitiveness among apprentices. Still hoping to get something more, I don't know, magical, to do, I asked Ajira for another job. Now she needed flowers. "Go to the Lake Amaya region." Right. And get attacked by beasties and highwaymen and gods knew what else. I went back into my pack and produced some more of the samples I had collected. Again, Ajira expressed her appreciation by giving me some inexpensive potions- Restore Magicka, this time.

All that was fine, and it was nice to be making friends in the Mage Guild, but I wasn't making any money or learning any magic. I decided to go see Ranis, and stepped out into the main work area. As I did, for the first time, I noticed an alcove with beds, a table, and a large wardrobe. Upon asking, I was told that the room was for the use of anyone in good standing with the guild. Excellent. My sleeping and storage problems were solved. When I tried to open the wardrobe, it was locked, so I asked about a key. "Oh, we lost the key ages ago. No one uses that wardrobe anymore." You have to love mages- they are smart as a whip and dumb as a brick at the same time. Probably anyone in that room could have cast a simple Unlock spell, but they didn't think of it! Rather than waste a spell myself, I used my picks and thus, my books had a new home out of the rain.

I also put the iron saber I had bought shortly after landing into the wardrobe- I suppose I could have sold it, but it had given good service. Also, it was the first sword I had ever owned. After lightening my load, I asked Ranis about my status. She still didn't want to offer me any work, but did advance me two ranks in the guild- from Associate to Apprentice, and from Apprentice to Journeyman. At that rate, I would be the head of the guild before the week was out. Which would be great- if I wanted to be head of the guild.

What I wasn't doing was improving my skills or making money. I needed to get outfitted so that I could seek a paying job. Therefore, I decided it was time to look around town for a better bow, anything but chitin. I finally found a battered long bow at the Razor Hole. It looked as if the previous owner had had the same experience with bows as I did, and used it to bludgeon his last opponent. Whatever the reason for its condition, Thorek let me have it for a fraction of the usual price. I figured I could repair it and maybe learn more about bows while I did. With the preparations done, I decided to get a good night's rest at the Mage Guild and spend tomorrow looking for a way to make some money. Or to at least look for some trouble.

What I didn't know was that you don't always have to look for trouble; often enough, trouble finds you.


--------------------
The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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hazmick
post Mar 22 2015, 07:00 PM
Post #20


Mouth
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Joined: 28-July 10
From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



aah the Mages Guild, always a good start. Perfect demonstration on the usefulness of random plants, you never know when you'll need them.

Also enjoyed the keen perception of Caius, and the fact that it may be shadowed by hindsight - really helps make it feel like an actual journal that we're reading.

Trouble brewing? Trey's beginning to sound life a proper, if slightly reluctant, adventurer.


--------------------
Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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