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Developer Emeritus
18 Nov 2003

"on self","50","65","Proud Nord warrior disregards threat of disease","Morrowind, Balmora","Nord, Dunmer"

An Adventures End
By Veryn Llethyr

Magnus Firetongue was a mighty Nord warrior, descended from a long line of Nord warriors. As such he was predisposed at an early age to a life of adventuring around the frozen North, where he had defeated many fearsome beasts of the Skyrim tundra. He had killed his first snow bear at the age of fourteen, thus passing his rites of passage and showing his tribe that he was a man. After several years spent in this manner, roving around Skyrim looking for challenges to his might, he had become bored with his homeland, and had yearned to travel farther afield.

He had known already where he was going, years spent listening to his elders about tales of fiery Morrowind and its mysterious Dark Elf inhabitants had piqued his adventuring curiosity. He would be the first of his tribe in many generations to journey into this dark country, and there to make his name.

Which was how he found himself now, several months later, sitting alone in a dark and dingy tavern in Balmora. He had come to Vvardenfell because he had found that the mainland of Morrowind had been tamed by years of Imperial influence. Only Vvardenfell, it seemed, had remained relatively pristine for a warrior to adventure in. He sat in a corner and nursed his weak Dark Elven ale, something the locals called sujamma, whilst listening for any information that may spill out in drunken conversation.

Infact, so engrossed was he in eavesdropping the patrons of the tavern, that he failed to notice the cloaked figure approaching his table. He looked up as a shadow fell across him, to find a kindly looking Elf staring down at him with a bemused smile.

"I have not seen you around before", he said, "new to Balmora are you?"

Magnus sized him up, and judged that he could easily defeat this man should trouble arise.

"I came in on the last ship to Seyda Neen, but there was no interest there for an adventurer like me, so i travelled here on one of those damned insects. Worst ride of my life, and i thought the ship from Skyrim was bad. Damn thing nearly threw me off when it moved."

The man before him smiled, "Ah yes, the Silt Striders can be quite an experience for those new to Morrowind. Allow me to introduce myself, i am Davic Ruthys, a healer from up at the Temple. Perhaps i could offer you my expertise for your adventuring here on Vvardenfell, i know much about the dangers you are likely to face."

Magnus considered the man before him, and measured his words carefully. "Thank you for your kind offer sir, but i believe i will be able to handle it myself. Back in Skyrim i used to wrestle snow wolves with no armour or weapons, and still come out of the fight uninjured, i doubt there is much to fear from the wildlife here in Morrowind."

The man took his bravado without comment, but a slight frown formed on his face. "There are many dangers in Morrowind that you have not faced before i am sure. Nix-Hounds that hunt in packs, fierce Jagoutis, and those blighted Cliff Racers. You would do well to be wary, even the commonest of creatures here can carry disease. Many fear the blight, but it is a fact that the common diseases can be just as deadly if left untreated. I could offer you my help in these matters if you would like, as a healer i could teach you simple magic to cure a common disease."

The Nord laughed at the man. "I am a great warrior, healer, i fear not your creatures, nor any mere disease, it will take more than a simple cold to fell me. You teach magic though? Perhaps you could teach me to increase my strength, then? I could always do with being able to carry more."

"I am sorry serah," said the healer calmly, "As i said i am a healer only, my expertise does extend to other magics, perhaps you could visit the Mages Guild here in Balmora, they may teach you the spells you seek."

"Yes, perhaps i will at that, thank you healer". With that Magnus got to his feet and headed out into the sunlight, strolling toward the Mages Guildhall. The healer followed him out and trailed him past the Guild, before continuing on to the Temple to continue his work. Magnus stepped out of the entrance to watch him go, and was sure he saw the healer shake his head as he climbed the steps toward the Temple.

Once inside the Mages Guild he spoke with the Guildmaster, a rather moody looking Dark Elf woman, and was directed to a mage who could teach him a spell to fortify his strength. It took most of the afternoon in practice, but eventually he had mastered its workings, and felt confident enough to strike out the next day.

At dawn, he left Balmora by the north gate, heading towards the Imperial settlement of Caldera. As he laboured along the path, heaving his heavy pack, he thought he say glimpses of large creatures moving in the rocks around him, but they never revealed themselves, apparently happy to watch him from afar. As the day wore on and he had still not reached Caldera, he sat down to eat the lunch he had bought in Balmora, bread with slices of thick salty meat, washed down with more sujamma.

The attack came from behind him, two large green beasts that he identified as nix-hounds by drawings he had seen in a book in the booksellers in Balmora. There were two of them, and he knew they were the beasts that had shadowed him all day, awaiting their opportunity to strike. He just had time to pull the gleaming Nordic longsword from its scabbard when the first nix-hound leapt at him. He rolled to the side, bringing the sword slashing up into its neck, and the beast crashed to the ground. The second creature did not delay its attack, but charged straight at him, careless of its own life. In one smooth move he spun around the charge, and brought his sword down hard on the animals back. The nix-hound was fatally wounded, and dropped like a stone, leaving Magnus to finish it with a blow that severed its neck. Just as he thought the danger had gone, he spotted two more beasts coming toward him, the rest of the pack that had hung back to watch, and were now joining the fray. Magnus remembered what the mage had taught him the day before, and soon he felt new strength flowing through his muscles. The other nix-hounds were killed just as easily as the others, but by then the spell was wilting and the Nord felt his legs give way.

The exhaustion hit him hard, and he lay against his pack, too tired to move. His eyes roved the landscape looking for more danger, and soon alighted on movement behind a nearby ridge. Soon however, he saw that there was no real danger, as a strange small creature ambled over toward him. He believed it to be a scrib, from the description he had been given by an egg miner he had chatted to in the tavern. The scrib approached slowly, cautiously sniffing at the ground before it. It showed little fear as it reached him, but casually began to nibble at the sleeve of his shirt. Feeling some strength returning, he swatted lazily at the creature, knocking it away from him. The animal squealed, before thumping its tail into the ground. Again it came towards him, but this time it gave him a nasty nip on the arm, enough to draw blood. Angered, he smashed a fist onto its head, dazing the creature, which staggered away from him in obvious pain. Good, he thought to himself, perhaps that would teach it caution when around humans.

He rested further, lounging against his pack. Glancing up into the sky he saw it was getting late, and the sky was darkening. Where had the time gone he wondered?? There was now no sign of the Scrib, but his arm ached and he couldn't seem to muster the strength to get up. His head felt woozy and his thoughts were blurred. All he could focus on were the words of the healer in Balmora.

"Common diseases can be just as deadly if left untreated", the words echoed in his head. Was that it, was he diseased? If only he had heeded the healer, he now regretted his time spent learning the strength spell instead, it could not help him now. Yet the nix-hounds had never even scratched him ... unless, surely the little Scrib could not have done this! As his eyes dimmed and he fell into unconsciousness, his last thought was of how he had been brought down by such a pathetic creature, it was a most dishonourable way to die .....

The healer found his body the next day, surrounded by dead Nix-hounds, whilst on a mission of mercy for the Temple. He was not surprised to see the man, and found no amusement in noticing that the only mark on his body was a small scrib bite.

As he continued on his way he could be heard to say only, "These Adventurers, will they never learn?"
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