Alice in Vvardenfell

Alice in Vvardenfell
I’m grateful to Danae for allowing me to publish a part of my fan fiction on her website.
This fan fiction of mine is a 36 chapter long story of a settled Ashlander girl named Elisamsi, who was not the Nerevarine, but happened to be alive in Vvardenfell at the time when the Nerevarine changed the Dunmer nation’s history. Her personal story is intertwined with the Nerevarine’s story: she was an orphan, raised under the wings of the Temple, who became an Ordinator in the Order of Inquisition, and who was tasked with hunting down the heretic.
You could say that my fan fiction presents the well-known story of the Main Quest from the perspective of “somebody on the other side,” however, during the story, she switches sides and becomes a Dissident Priest, and later, being disappointed by them too, an apostate.
This particular chapter (Chapter 16 out of 36) is an episode. The Nerevarine has just finished uniting the Ashlander tribes and they were already negotiating with the Telvanni Council to name them Hortator. Elisamsi follows them to Tel Vos, and to keep her real business a secret, she decides to take care of the Corprus Stalker problem in Tel Mora as a pretext for being there.

Alice in Vvardenfell by

Chapter 16

Summary: In which Alice takes care of a Corprus monster in Tel Mora.

I arrived to Tel Mora by ship. As for the first time, when I had to cure a villager there, I noticed the same thing: There were no males around, only females. Now I was certain that it couldn’t have been a coincidence, and something prevented males from entering this town. My real goal, Tel Vos was at the other side of the bay, and the shipmaster offered to ferry me over there, however according to my cover story, I was in the vicinity because a shopkeeper named Berwen had a problem with a Corprus Stalker which entered her shop. I wanted to take care of that before I went over to Tel Vos to meet with Master Aryon. A citizen gave me directions to the shop, and I entered. Inside there was a Bosmer whom I assumed to be Berwen. I addressed her:

– Good afternoon. I’m the one the Temple sent to take care of your Corprus Stalker.

– Thank the Nine! – She exclaimed, in spite of the fact that the Tribunal Temple sent somebody to help her – I was able to trap it upstairs, but no one wants to risk disease by getting close to it.

– I want to see that. – I told her, and went upstairs. It was indeed trapped, behind some crates, in an area which seemed to be a bedroom, based on the fact there was a bed with several pillows inside, a wooden bathtub, and even a closet. The monster behaved in a similar manner, as all Corprus monsters – First, it didn’t want to attack me, but it showed signs of suffering: It held its head between its hands, as if it had some kind of headache, then it looked at me with desperation. Perhaps it was Dagoth Ur himself who gave it orders inside its head, as the next moment, it snapped and started crawling towards me to kill me. I drew my mace, but it couldn’t even climb over the crates to reach me. I was safe. It was crawling tirelessly towards me, as if the only thing that mattered was killing me, without realizing that the crates between us prevented it from doing that. When I trained as an Ordinator, I heard that according to some experts, most Sixth House creatures may have a hive mind, and are incapable of thinking on their own. The way this particular monster wanted to kill me tirelessly, without the ability to solve the problem of the crates between us, proved that theory. I left it alone, and went back to Berwen.

– I have a couple of questions. – I announced.

– Aren’t you going to take care of the Corprus Stalker first?

– It cannot harm anyone, unless they are foolish enough to climb over those crates. So, how did this monster actually end up here?

– How could I know? Perhaps I have forgotten to lock my door and it entered.

– Do you want to tell me that it left some Sixth House shrine, crawled through the wilderness, and then the whole town without anyone noticing?

– Well, you call them Corprus “Stalkers,” don’t you?

– I guess we do, although as you may have noticed, they hardly deserve that name, considering how loud and easy to notice they are. Especially their stench. Are you sure you don’t have a basement or something, from where it could come? The Sixth House digs tunnels underground all the time.

– I’m sure. Are you going to take care of it now, or not?

– Something is not right with this story. How could you trap it there?

– I used the crates to block its way.

– And what did the Corprus Stalker do until that? Twiddled its thumbs? As I’m looking at you, I see that you show no symptoms, so it didn’t attack you. Tell me your secret, we could use it when we fight with these creatures at Red Mountain. – I told her, sarcastically.

– I don’t know, okay? It just left me alone.

– And of all the places available, it came to this place. Do you know what I think? Maybe this monster is in love with you! – I teased her and laughed, perhaps for the first time since I was released from the Ministry of Truth.

– If you won’t help me, leave me alone! – She snapped at me.

– I’ll help you, but I think that you are hiding something from me. So: Either you tell me the whole story, or I’ll find it out myself. I would recommend the former, because I have better things to do, and I would get really angry if I had to spend more time with this than what is absolutely necessary.

– Just kill it then, and go to Oblivion already!

I ignored the first part of her request, and left the shop. I went over to the tavern of the town, “The Covenant.” I wanted to report my progress to the local Temple informant, acquire some information concerning the Corprus Stalker and later change my armor to my Ashlander clothes to approach Master Aryon. The tavern looked remarkable due to its Telvanni architecture. I approached the publican, and told her that I would like to rent a room and my name was “Rithari.” She showed me to my room, where I could put my backpack down. I sat onto my bed, and waited. A few minutes later, a Dunmer woman entered my room, without knocking. She closed the door behind herself and addressed me:

– Report, Rithari. – The Temple informant commanded me.

– I learned that the heretic may approach Master Aryon first, as he is the most open-minded member of the Telvanni council. I’ll head to Tel Vos, as soon as I have taken care of that Corprus Stalker. I bought a set of Ashlander clothes, and I could convince the Mouth of Aryon to give me a chore. I have a good reason to approach him, I’ll leave my armor here, will you take care of it until I return?

– Good job and good thinking! The only problem is that the heretic has already approached Aryon, and Dratha, the Telvanni Mistress of this town too. We don’t know where they may head next time, but probably to Sadrith Mora, to convince Master Neloth too.

– Damn! I just came from Sadrith Mora! I should have stayed.

– It doesn’t matter. As long as they are in Telvanni territory, we cannot make a move, in order not to break the fragile peace between the Telvanni and the Temple. Go to Tel Vos anyway, gain Master Aryon’s trust, find a reason to stay. Offer your services to Aryon, or talk with Yakin Bael, the Temple priest of Vos to give you tasks. The heretic will return there. A caravan approached Tel Vos this morning. I bribed one of the guards, and it was revealed that they were transporting the Robe of the Hortator to Aryon, the symbol of the Telvanni Hortator. If the heretic becomes the Hortator, they must return to Tel Vos to acquire the symbol as proof of their new status. And then you’ll have an opportunity to contact the Nerevarine and gain their trust, and acquire as much information as you can.

– Good plan. If I followed the Nerevarine to Sadrith Mora, then by the time I arrive there, they would have been gone to somewhere else. It’s wiser to wait in a location that we know they would visit later.

– All right. I’ll take care of your armor, no one is going to enter your room here while you are at the other side of the bay. Any questions? – The informant asked.

– What do you know about Berwen? – I asked her – I think that something is not right about that Corprus Stalker story. Your job is spying on people for the Temple, right? Anything you know about her?

– You do realize that your real job is following the Nerevarine, right?

– Yes, but if I wanted a plausible cover story, I should complete these tasks too.

– She has a big secret. A horrible secret! She has a boyfriend!

– That’s… tragic? – My tone was somewhere between sarcastic and confused. Many Temple people preached the necessity of virtuous life, part of which was sexual abstention, so somehow I understood that this Temple informant would get outraged by that, however even by Temple standards, having a boyfriend was all right, as long as the couple either showed restraint, or were ready to marry each other in the near future.

– You don’t understand. Have you ever noticed that there are no males in this town?

– Oh yeah, I wanted to ask about that… – I told her.

– Mistress Dratha hates males, and forbids them from entering her town.

– Interesting. – I commented. What an eccentric old Telvanni wizard. I thought that all the stories were true about them and all of them were lunatics, or at least extraordinary enough to be beyond what one would consider “normal.”

– A few months ago, one of them tried to enter, he was murdered. If a female wanted to smuggle a male into the town, their punishment would be the same too, but I only heard rumors of that, I’m not an informant in this town for that long. But I know that Berwen meets with a male almost each night. They think that they are sneaky, but nothing can be hidden from Almsivi. – She smiled. – I haven’t seen him for a while, though…

– Who is this boyfriend?

– Ferndis Girith, a Dunmer. He is the brother of a trader named Athanden Girith.

I thanked the informant for telling me what she knew. We said goodbye to each other, and I left the tavern. I walked down the street of the town and entered Berwen’s shop again. I addressed her:

– So, how is Ferndis, outlander? Still up there? – I asked from her. The case was obvious to me: When I looked at the Corprus Stalker earlier, it was clear that it was a male Corprus Stalker. Interestingly, Corprus Monsters could keep some of the secondary sexual characteristics of their original self, in addition to which, their clothes which were torn by their swollen flesh sometimes also pointed out their original gender, unless the original person was a rebellious girl who liked wearing pants, or an eccentric man who wore skirts, the latter of which was not as rare in Morrowind as in other parts of Tamriel. The only way that Corprus Stalker could enter the shop without anyone noticing was if he was there from the beginning. His reluctance to attack Berwen, when she trapped him may have been a remnant of his original personality, which included love towards the woman. I assumed that Berwen didn’t want to tell me the truth, because she was afraid that I would tell Mistress Dratha about the fact that she hid a man in the town.

– What? What are you…? – She protested.

– I told you that I would find the truth out.

– Please… don’t tell Mistress Dratha about it! I can explain it. It’s forbidden to have male company in this town. Many citizens like girls, and those can be freely together in the town, but those of us who prefer men must meet with them at other settlements. I couldn’t do that, because I have a shop to run. He had to come here to meet with me…

– Do you really think I’m interested in that? – I snapped at her. I have to admit that I may have blushed a little when she talked about girls liking other girls that way… it was a thought which occurred to me when I was a teenager and discovered my body, but perhaps due to my rigorous Temple education, I could have never assumed that some girls actually do it too and that it could be anything else than a harmless fantasy. However, I really wasn’t interested in the love story between this outlander and that creature. – How did he turn into a Corprus monster, Bosmer? – I asked.

– He was a sort of… adventurer. He cleaned out smuggler caves and brought the wares to me to sell them. One day, he returned, in the middle of the night, as usual, so that no one would notice his presence, and he changed. First, only his eyes were bloodshot. Then his skin started to crack…

– I’m an Ordinator of the Temple, spare me the details, I heard and saw that enough. – I commanded her in disgust.

– Right. Sorry. His condition got worse, and couldn’t leave the building. I couldn’t call a healer either, because then it would have been revealed that I hid a man here. I didn’t know what this illness was, and I tried all kinds of home remedies, like preparing a bath with different herbs for his skin problem, and making him drink potions, but nothing helped. And then one day, he turned.

– You foolish, air headed n’wah! You buffoon! – I yelled. – To keep your secret, you jeopardized the whole town. Such a sick person as your boyfriend should either be shipped to the Corprusarium or killed, as soon as possible. Corprus is lethal and it cannot be cured! Do you know how dangerous Corprus is? It’s a miracle that you didn’t turn into a monster yourself. Home remedies? Potions? A bath? The only way you touch a Corprus victim is with the end of your mace. Out of my way! – I exclaimed, and climbed the stairs. The stairs were trembling from my feet, as I stepped onto them with my anger. I drew my mace, and it was lucky that there was a Corprus Monster around, because I was so outraged by this Bosmer, that I felt the temptation to bash her skull instead.

I bashed the monster with my shield, and then, from the safety of the crates between us, I killed him with two swings of my mace at his skull. He couldn’t reach me, because of the crates, however the mace extended my arm enough that I could reach him. He dropped dead on the floor. The only remedy for Corprus. I climbed through the crates to the other side, where the monster’s corpse was, and I put my mace away.

I started pushing the crates away to clear the way. The n’wah may have heard the commotion, as she ran up in the stairs and saw what I was doing. She exclaimed:

– What are you doing?

– What do you think? I’ll drag the carcass out from here and burn it outside. Get me a bottle of alcohol, preferably flin, and a torch.

– You can’t do that! – She protested.

– What? – I demanded.

– It can be seen that this is the corpse of a male. I would get into trouble. Please, just go away, I’ll burn him myself after nightfall. I only needed help with the killing.

– And how do you plan to burn it yourself? Do you have a full set of armor with a closed helm and gloves that protects you from the disease to at least some extent? Or are you the head of House Telvanni who could cast such a powerful telekinesis spell that would help getting the corpse outside without touching it?

– I don’t know! – She started crying in front of my eyes – But I don’t want Mistress Dratha’s wrath. A few years ago, somebody hid a boyfriend in the town, and she skinned both of them alive. Everything but that. I’d rather risk Corprus. – She was sobbing. – Please, just go away. Take anything you want from my shop, it’s yours. Take everything, if you want. All my gold! Just leave me, it’s not your problem.

– Do you think that I’m a young Telvanni girl interested in your pathetic trinkets? And you are wrong, it’s my problem, if the whole town turns into Corprus monsters due to your recklessness, and I would have to come back to kill you all. – I proceeded to drag the carcass outside.

– Please… have mercy… – she begged.

– I’m having mercy. I save you from Corprus. However you deal with Dratha is what is not my problem. – I dragged the carcass down the stairs, and through the floor, until it was outside the shop. I went back to the shop to take a bottle of flin and a torch from the outlander’s wares. I poured the flin onto the carcass, and ignited it with the torch. I went back to the shop and turned to the outlander: – Now listen to me. You are in danger. Everything your boyfriend touched must be burned. The bed, that bathtub, everything behind those crates. I’ll take those outside and put them onto the fire. Until that, you should mix a bottle of flin with a bucket of water and wash up everywhere, especially the area behind the crates, and where I dragged the carcass through. It seems that for some reason, alcohol destroys the disease. Then, just to be on the safe side, mix another bucket of water with a cure blight disease potion and wash up with that too. Corprus monsters sometimes carry different types of blight diseases too, in addition to their Corprus.

The outlander nodded, and stared at me blankly, like a person who was just sentenced to death.

– Understood? – I asked.

– Yes… yes… – She replied, and did as I asked. Outside, a few Telvanni guards inquired about the fire that I had started, and I explained everything about the Corprus Stalker. When we finished disinfecting Berwen’s shop, I said goodbye to her, and returned to “The Covenant.” I reported to the Temple informant about what had happened, knowing that Mistress Dratha would punish this Bosmer anyway, and by the way she expressed her fear, she may have been better off if the Temple locked her up for being reckless about the Corprus disease instead of Dratha punishing her for hiding a male in Tel Mora. However, if she was wise, she wouldn’t have waited for any of that, but rather packed whatever she could, and leave the town, perhaps even the province with the next ship.

For me, the way the events unfolded were rather fortunate. I was certain that if the Nerevarine had spies or sympathizers in the town, they couldn’t possibly figure out that the blonde Dunmer girl followed the heretic, as from all the commotion that I had caused that day because of a mere Corprus Stalker, I had my intentions covered perfectly. Surely, if I only wanted to follow the Nerevarine, I wouldn’t have gone as far as to burning all the items the monster may have touched so that the disease wouldn’t spread further.

I went to my room, and took my Indoril armor off, and put my Ashlander clothes on. It was too late to ferry over the bay, so I decided that I would spend the night at the “The Covenant,” with a dinner and a cup of mazte. Following that, I thought that I would take a walk at the shore. The other side of the bay, and the lights of the town of Vos and Tel Vos could be seen. It was still cold somewhat, as it was early spring only, and I was next to a body of water. I was eager to meet with a Telvanni master, so eager that I wanted to go immediately, and it felt bad that I would have to wait until the morning to ferry over there.

About Alice

I'm an autodidact modder of Morrowind. I'm mostly interested in the roleplaying aspect of the game, therefore I chiefly release new quest mods or tweaks of vanilla quests. (New choices and visible consequences) My mods are available on the Nexus. Besides modding I have also written a fan fiction set in Morrowind. I also have an Elder Scrolls-themed website which serves as a mirror for my mods, and has some other content as well (such as roleplay ideas).