I made my way to the other side of the shell, and into the Redoran council chambers. Inside, I found a fantastically huge room.

There was a guide near a table, so I decided to ask her about the council members.    


"Ah, the council members?" she asked. "Certainly, I can help you there."

She pointed to a book on the table.

"They are all listed in that book." she said. "They are also all currently in the building here. You should have no trouble finding them."   


It was the Red Book of Great House Redoran, and it listed the current council members as of 3rd Era year 426.

Lord Bolvyn Venim, Lord Miner Arobar, Lord Hlaren Ramoran, Lady Brara Morvayn, Lord Archyn Sarethi, and Lord Garisa Llethri were all in residence here in Ald'ruhn. 


Since all the homes were in a circle within this shell, I decided to start from one end and work my way around to the other end.

The first home was that of Hlaren Ramoran. I told him my story about how I came into possession of the Moon-and-Star ring, but he said he wanted to talk with the other members of the council.

My next stop was at the home of Athyn Sarethi. I told him my story, and asked to be confirmed at Hortator.   


"You have told me a remarkable story." he said. "It has the ring of truth. You may have been deceived, but I believe you. I may be able to persuade other councilors to believe you as well."

".......but?" I asked, fearing yet another string attached.

"But, as a condition of my support," he replied, "I require a favor. Rescue my son, Varvur Sarethi, from Venim Manor."

"Isn't that right here?" I asked, half expecting a dungeon full of monsters miles away, and being half glad that it didn't require a long walk, but half nervous that it involved a dispute with another member of the Redoran council.

"Yes, my son." he said. "He is being held in Venim Manor. I have heard that Bolvyn Venim is keeping him in the right wing of his manor. You must be careful not to kill Bolvyn Venim himself, or the other councilors will turn against you."

It turned out that Venim was holding the son on a charge of murder, but that he might not have actually been responsible. Still, as long as I could get the guy's son out of there without killing Bolvyn Venim, I might have a shot at getting everyone's support.    


I made my way to the other side of the shell and entered Venim Manor using the Amulet of Shadows. I figured I'd better locate the kid before doing much of anything else

Once inside, I counted two guards that might mean trouble for us. In the Right Wing of the manor, I found yet another guard, and a piece of paper with a key holding it down.

The note clearly indicated the son was being held nearby.


I had to re-spell the amulet of shadows twice as the spell wore off, but I finally found a door hidden behind a tapestry on the wall. The door was locked, but a little spell of un-hinging made quick work of that problem. 


The door made a squeak but it didn't seem as if the guard heard it, as he was patrolling a different part of the room. 


Inside the room, I found Varvur Serethi.

He was surprised to see his door open, but nothing else but a gentle breeze.

A few seconds later, the spell from the amulet of shadows wore off.

"Who are you?" he asked. "Are you here to rescue me?"

I explained to him that his father sent me here to bring him back to Sarethi Manor, and told him to follow close to me.

That was the easy part. While I had the Amulet of Shadows, he didn't. As expected, the guard in the next room attacked on sight. A spell of Medusa's Gaze stopped him dead in his tracks.

Varvur wanted to attack the guard, but I held him back and used the spell of God's Fire. That took care of one guard, but there were still two more of them out there, and Varvur was unarmed.

Once we made our way to the next room, the other two guards attacked as well. Medusa's Gaze all around, while the other members of the Manor kept their distance. Once God's Fire had done it's work, we quickly made our way out of that place and ran back to his father's home.       


As soon as Athyn saw his son back safe and sound, he let out of cry of joy.

"You have rescued my son, and I am forever in your debt." he proclaimed. "Words cannot express my gratitude. Therefore, I name you Hortator of House Redoran. I also promise that I will use my influence with the other councilors. Alas, there is one obstacle. Bolvyn Venim will never name an outlander Hortator. But if you have the full support of the council, he may agree to an honorable duel."

He went on to explain how a dual is an honorable tradition dating back to the founding of Resdayn (what the dark elves used to call this province before it was given the name of 'Morrowind'). He said that most duels are fought until one admits defeat or falls in battle. A duel to the death is less common, and, as is obvious, ends when one party is dead. The winner of such a duel has the right to take the loser's possessions, but this is not considered an honorable thing to do.

I thanked him for his support, and visited each and every one of the other council members. All it took was a good story and 2,000 gold pieces to win their approval. This seemed like it was much easier than I thought it was going to be.

That is, until I ended up at the door of Venim Manor.


Oh, it was not a pretty sight.

"Are you trying to manipulate me? Do you take me for a fool? Do you think I can be so easily won over?"

I tried to respond. "Well, I......"

"You are a fraud!" he countered. "Cunning, for an outlander, but a complete fraud! No! You will never be Hortator. I will not permit it!"

I told him I had the support of all of the other council members, but that just made him turn a lovely shade of red with anger.    


"You have played your tricks with the other councilors," he spat, "but they will not work on me." He took a step forward, glaring at me, eye-to-eye. "This has gone far enough." he shouted, for all his household to hear. "I will put a stop to your ambitions at the Arena in Vivic. I will meet you there, if you dare face me in a duel to the death."


With that, he just turned his back on me, growling "Leave my Manor before I have the guards throw you out."

There was just nothing I could say that would change his mind; no amount of honey-covered words, no amount of gold, no amount of intimidation would work.

I figured, rather than get my good clothes all messy, I should leave and meet him in the Arena in Vivic.


It was getting late, so I decided to go back to the Mage's Guild offices, get Laurenna, and get something to eat.

I was upset at the fact that I had failed to get all of the council members to agree, that just one nay-sayer could mess the entire operation up with nothing more than a bad attitude, but that was the way things work here.

I picked up my wife, and we strolled over to the Rat-in-the-Pot for dinner, then headed back to the Mage's Guild for some much needed rest.

I would need to be my best for this battle in the morning.


After dinner, I told Laurenna what had happened, and how I would have to duel it out with Venim in the morning.

"You're a mage." she reminded me. "You've slain 4 dragons."

"Yes," I replied, "but no magic can change a person's heart. I would rather have had his approval."

"Some people are just blinded by hate." she said. "There is nothing you can do about that."

She was right, and rather than dwell on the problem, we decided to get some sleep.

After an hour or so, I woke, sensing the presence of something in the hallways. I got up and went out into the hallways to make sure everything was ok.

It wasn't.


Yet another one of Dagoth Ur's little children, coming to attack. How he managed to break into the Mage's Guild is something I'll have to ask the guards in the morning.

I hit the creature, knocking him on his duff. The noise woke Laurenna.

"Eldorf, it's one of those things again!" she shouted.

"I know, dear." I replied. "Stay there, I'll take care of him. in a second."


A spell of God's Fire blasted the creature into the next world within seconds.

It seemed that Dagoth Ur still considered me a threat to him and whatever he was planning for the people here.

It was a shame that people like Venim weren't here to witness the kinds of evil I was going to have to face on his behalf.

Once the room was silent again, I headed back off to bed, making sure I had a dagger hiding under the pillow.

If anyone else wanted to play nasty tonight, they'd regret it.



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