Chapter 1 – Arrival in Morrowind
Last Seed 16 (Day 1)
I no longer remember why I was sent to prison. Perhaps I never knew. All my memories are of a long series of days, each like the other, stretching backwards for an unknown number of months or years. When confined to a cell one no longer measures time by the cycles of the sun or the changing of the seasons. Only the rituals of the arrival of food or the removal of the chamber pot exist to mark the passing of time. I ceased to count them long ago.
My name is Aldarian, of the Redguard people. Unlike my kin, I was never one to seek the open battle of combat. Instead, I fought battles with my mind and my wits, an Agent who sought information and secrets which would allow me to advance myself and my clan.
Perhaps that was my downfall. Perhaps I learned some bit of information that should have been kept secret. It would be impossible for me to know; I knew many such bits of information. Some I reported to my superiors while others I kept for myself. Perhaps I failed to keep one I should have. All I know is that they came for me one night and took me to the Imperial prison where I spent an unknown part of my life.
Then, a few days ago, I was told that I would be set free! I was removed from my cell and taken by a sealed carriage to a ship where I was immediately incarcerated in a cabin below decks, my stone cell walls exchanged for walls of wood. There I was kept for several days; my only companion a Dark Elf by the name of Jiub.
After my long time in my cell I was unaccustomed to sea travel and spent much of the journey ill in my bunk, my sleep disturbed by strange dreams.
The last night was the worst. Another of the dreams came to me. In my dream, I saw what seemed to be a place of fire. A woman’s voice could be heard, speaking of a prophecy. A great fear came upon me and I tried to run but the voice continued. “Fear not, for I am watchful.” it said. “You have been chosen.” With a sudden start, I awoke.
The prison ship arrives in Seyda Neen
Jiub was shaking me awake and telling me that we had arrived. I did not have time to talk to him further as a guard appeared and escorted me to the upper deck. There, blinking in the sunlight, I was told that I was to be released! The shock of that welcome news overwhelmed me and, in stunned silence, I followed another guard into the Census and Excise Office.
A clerk named Socucius Ergalla asked me several questions to confirm I was who I said I was. He seemed very interested in some minor points from my life and specifically asked my birth sign for some reason. Eventually, he seemed satisfied and handed me a paper detailing my release. Glancing at it, I was surprised to see that my release had been requested by the Emperor himself! I did not have time to ask Ergalla about this as the guard quickly ushered me out of his office and told me to give the papers to Captain Sellus Gravius in the next building.
I found myself in a hallway without a guard escort for the first time I could remember in years. Glancing behind me, I noticed that Ergalla and the guard were engaged in a low conversation. I quickly ducked into a side room and out of their sight.
The room in which I found myself seemed to be a small dining hall as there was a table on which a meal had been set and a shelf nearby held several plates and goblets. The aroma, for someone who had been living on prison rations for far too long, was irresistible and I quickly helped myself to some crab meat on the table and a loaf of bread from the sideboard. Then I took a moment to look further around the room.
Someone had left a dagger on the table. A note nearby requested that it be sharpened and I noted that it could indeed use some work. Still, I took it for myself and felt much better when, after making a few swipes at the air to test its balance, I tucked it into my waistband. I also picked up a lockpick that was lying on the table for some reason. It was of low quality but I had found many times that such things could be useful.
The lockpick felt uncomfortable in my hand and I realized that my skills had probably deteriorated during my time in prison. Looking around, I noticed a locked box sitting on a lower shelf. I attempted to open it and was depressed at how long it took me to master the primitive lock. I resolved to spend some time practicing my skills again and took the few coins I found inside the box to encourage myself. I also helped myself to several silver goblets and candlesticks from the shelves as well.
I could still hear the low conversation continuing so I stealthily crept back into the hall and searched for the correct exit. The first door I opened led to a room with several casks and sacks and I quickly searched them for items of possible usefulness. Someone had set up a bedroll in this room but I ignored it and left as quietly as I had entered. I eventually found the correct exit in the dining room I had entered earlier and stepped through it into an outside courtyard.
A storm had come up while I was in the Census and Excise Office and I stood there for a moment and allowed the rain to wash some of the dust off of me. A barrel stood beside the entrance to the next building and, idly glancing inside, I saw something glimmer in the bottom. Reaching in, I discovered it to be a ring. Furthermore, on closer examination, the ring proved to be enchanted with a Healing spell! Smiling at my good fortune, I slipped the ring onto a finger and entered the next building.
There, I met Sellus Gravius. His sour expression did nothing to encourage conversation and I could sense that he didn’t particularly care for me so I simply answered his questions as he gave them. I learned that I was in the town of Seyda Neen on the island of Vvardenfell in the district of Morrowind. Gravius also confirmed that I had been released specifically on the orders of Emperor Uriel Septim VII. Why, he did not seem to know. However, he did tell me that my release was not unconditional; the Emperor apparently expected some service out of me. I was given a letter of introduction and a sealed package and told to deliver them to a man named Caius Cosades in the town of Balmora.
Gravius did not know where Caius was staying in Balmora. His only advice was that I go to the South Wall Corner Club there and ask for Cosades. Someone in the club would certainly know where he could be found.
With that out of the way I was given a small pouch of coins and told to be on my way. I stepped through the door of the Census and Excise Office and into the streets of Seyda Neen a free man!
Again, I stood for a few minutes in the rain and watched the citizens of Seyda Neen go about their business. I tensed briefly as a guard approached but he simply spoke a greeting and continued on his way.
I suddenly felt the need to get away, perhaps in fear that someone would suddenly decide that they had made a mistake and that I would be taken back to my cell again. On the other hand, I did not know anything about Morrowind and Vvardenfell; only that they were far from my home of Daggerfall. Not knowing what else to do, I decided to go to Balmora and see what this Caius Cosades could tell me.
I quickly made my way through Seyda Neen and found my way to the Silt Strider. The driver readily agreed to take me to Balmora and soon I was on my way. I finally felt myself able to relax and that, combined with the swaying of the Strider, lulled me into a brief sleep.