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Vastarie's Notes

Author: 
Vastarie

Like many relics left by the Ayleidoon, the tablet's secrets are confused by illusory wards and laced with enough destructive cantrips to make even the slightest divination an exercise in mortal danger.

Even so, with effort — and no small amount of magicka — I have managed a transcription:

"Epevoy an anyadena av <<1>>e pado an sunnand.
Can an canomora racuvarima.
Arctane va ceye av <<1>>e.
Malatu ye nemalatuis shauta ry relle asva relleis."

Unfortunately, my understanding of Ayleid is limited to the books available to me. My translation is woefully incomplete:

"— the life-treaty of — before the blessed-stone.
Call the Daedric herald who was —.
Accept the shadow of —.
— and not — come as water within many-waters."

Even so, my efforts provide enough information to act upon. One word, '<<1>>e,' appears twice in the script.

Acting on a hunch, I cross-referenced it with a history of known daedra and their inclinations.

'<<1>>,' one of the Winged Twilights, appears several times in service to Azura. If this is the same creature, it would appear the Ayleidoon had some manner of accord with the beast.

Indeed, it appears likely the stone bears a ritual designed to summon it forth!

I will act upon this knowledge at first light on the morrow.

— Vastarie

With the assistance of several apprentices, I was able to make a closer study of the wards surrounding the tablet. They are certainly a summoner's binding, but there is something else.

Where traditional summoning spells afford the caster complete control of the daedra subjected to them, the bindings of this particular enchantment appear to summon only.

They do not afford the caster protection from the daedra itself, nor do they compel the beast to obey commands.

While it is unlikely any daedra affiliated with Azura would be outwardly violent to mortal summoners, they are fickle creatures.

We would be wise to take precautions if we are to summon it here.

— Vastarie

Riekr of Wrothgar: Observations

Author: 
Anonymous

Day 1

Upon applying Master Sterone's Goblin-stench formula, the Riekrs seem to have accepted me into their number. They are very social creatures, with each Riekr expected to do his part.

I have been assigned the task of smashing rocks with a hammer. I have yet to determine the purpose of this task, but that does not seem to trouble the other rock-breakers, who have taken to the task with gleeful cackling.

Day 2

More rock-breaking. I fear I have pulled some kind of muscle in my forearm.

Day 3

Further observation of the Riekr social structure reveals a strange attitude toward magic and its practitioners. Being creatures of limited intelligence, they lack the kind of formal training in magic that one sees in other parts of Tamriel. They make up for this through an innate connection to the magic of the world, so to speak.

When a Riekr demonstrates a connection to magic, he is immediately shunned by his brothers. They throw stones, such as the ones we broke when I first joined the clan, to drive him off. The mage must then flee into the wilderness or face certain death. After a period of exile, the Riekr mage buys his way back into the clan with an offering of food, such as freshly slain deer, bear, or echatere.

After that, the mage is elevated into a revered member of the clan, suddenly gaining power and influence with the Riekr chief.

Day 5

The mages have gathered in a council and the signal has been given for a migration. It seems a new food source has been located.

Day 6

We have arrived in a cavern filled with food crates. It is clear this was some encampment, though I have yet to see the owners.

Day 7

One of the Riekrs found a book among the crates. He asked me what it was. It appeared to be a book of recipes. I told him as much and he eagerly took a bite out of it.

"Recipes no taste good," he said and spit the book out.

Day 8

My rock-breaking has not kept pace with my fellow Riekrs, and I'm afraid the others are starting to look upon me with suspicion. The Riekrs do not take kindly to those who can't pull their own weight. I should probably leave soon, before I am completely found out.

 


Pre-release version, extracted March 2015

 Day 1

Upon applying Master Sterone's Goblin-stench formula, the Riekr seem to have accepted me into their number. They are very social creatures, with each Riekr expected to do his part.

I have been assigned the task of smashing rocks with a hammer. I have yet to determine the purpose of this task,but that does not seem to trouble the other rock-breakers,who have taken to the task with gleeful cackling.

Day 2

More rock-breaking. I fear I have pulled some kind of muscle in my forearm.

Day 3

Further observations of Riekr social structure reveal a strange attitude toward magic-users. Being creatures of limited intelligence, they lack the kind of formal training in magic use that one sees in other parts of Tamriel. They make up for this through an innate connection to the magic of the world, so to speak.

When a Riekr demonstrates this connection, that one is immediately shunned by his brothers, with the throwing of stones (this is apparently what the rock-breaking was for.) The exiled mage must then go into the wild. After a period of exile, he buys his way back into the clan with the offering of food - a bear or a freshly-killed echaterre or a deer.

After that, the mage is elevated as a food-bringer, one of the revered members of the clan, and so the others are all in command of the mages.

Day 5

The mages have gathered in a council and the signal has been given for a migration. It seems a new food source has been located.

Day 6

We have arrived in a cavern that is filled with food crates. It is clear this was some encampment, though I have yet to see the owner.

Day 7

One of the Riekr found a book among the crates. He asked me what it was. It appeared to be a book of recipes. I told him as much, and he eagerly took a bite out of it.

"Recipes no taste good" he said and spit the book out.

Day 8

My rock-breaking has not kept pace with my fellow Riekr, and I'm afraid the others are starting to eye me suspiciously. The Riekr do not take kindly to those who do not pull their weight. I should probably leave soon, before I am found out.

Stitching Flesh

Author: 
Apprentice Veriasa

3rd of Rain's Hand
"There is no such thing as life and death; there is only flesh and fluid."

Today we begin our work, dissecting corpses from the Imperial Prisons. My master insists that samples be taken from each. I'm to begin with the eyeballs, and then proceed to cutting off chunks of back-fat for further examination.

26th of Rain's Hand
"Day in and day out, the flesh weakens or becomes diseased, and eventually it loses its ability to contain and channel fluids. At this point, it becomes necrotic …."

My master feels we've made a landmark discovery. It seems that what we consider to be dead flesh has merely become more porous. The implication is that if we could restore the impermeability of the tissue, the possibilities are endless ….

1st of Second Seed
"Do you see? This tissue has vascularity. It's been restored …."

My master has begun dissecting the soggy remains of a Ra-Netu that was shipped here from Sentinel just for her. It looks like a zombie to me. She believes this specimen may give us the answers we seek ….

6th of Second Seed
"The study of necrotic flesh has yielded few revelations, but the mechanisms of undeath hold great promise …."

Our efforts to restore the tissue's vascular integrity have come to naught, but Master Shadakul is unwilling to give up. We've been working without sleep for days, but she believes we're close ….

17th of Mid Year
"Sacks. Necrotic sacks. The Flesh Colossi have the secrets that we seek."

Hordes of Daedra and undead have descended upon the city, and my master says this is our opportunity. Gods help us, we're going to the Arboretum District.

Apprentice Veriasa

Lufiya af-Frandar

Author: 
Endarwe

This is the body of Lufiya af-Frandar, niece of the Redguard hero Frandar Hunding. Although little is known about her, we can infer from her symmetrical bone structure that she may have possessed legendary beauty, unrivaled in this modern era.

— Donated to the Merethic Society by Endarwe

Ysmir the Forefather, Volume IV

Author: 
Anonymous

At the end of his life, Ysmir, who had ruled the peoples for over a thousand years in the time before history, the time of myth, sought a burial place and death befitting a king of men and dragons.

He summoned his champions and men-at-arms and asked them: "Where can I find a burial place and death befitting a king of men and dragons?"

The first housecarl stepped forward and said "Go East, where the ocean touches the sky."

The second bowed humbly and said "Go West, where the sun kisses the earth."

And again the third said "North to the very frozen tips of Nirn, to a tomb of ice."

And the fourth, "South to the pillars of smoke and fire."

But Ysmir. king of men and dragons, whose greatness preceded time, despaired and said "I have traveled the whole of Mundus and conquered many peoples, but where will I rest my head? If I rest to the East or the West or the North or the South, it will only cause division.

"The local peoples will claim my tomb as their own. They will say, 'Ysmir is our king, for he rests among us.' And my children will fight amongst themselves and divide my body among them, sending my head one way, my hands another, and my feet, and my mighty heart."

From among his thanes and housecarls, a young man, not more than a boy, whom none of them had seen before, then dared to speak. Bowing low, he said "Then do not go anywhere on Nirn, but go to the sky, where you can watch over all your peoples."

Ysmir king of men and dragons liked this idea. He said, "But boy, how would I reach the sky? Is there a mountain, or a ladder built by men that can reach so high?"

And the boy said "There is no such thing, neither mountain nor ladder nor staircase. But I know of a place, a single stone. This is the path to Aetherius."

"Where can I find this stone?" cried the king of men and dragons, intent on ascending to the sky.

"Follow me," the boy beckoned.

And Ysmir summoned all of his champions and housecarls and told them how he was intent to end his life by ascending to the sky. And all of them, every one, agreed to follow him to the place where the boy led.

And when they reached the place, they found as the boy promised, a single stone. And Ysmir, who was by now very old, laid at the foot of the stone and was taken up into the stars.

The champions and housecarls looked up into the heavens and saw their king, the great Warrior, riding across the sky. And he was accompanied by three servants, a Lord, his Lady, and his mighty Steed.

And the champions and housecarls all pledged to guard the valley and the way to Aetherius. But when they looked for the boy who had shown them the way, he was nowhere to be found.

The True Nature of Tolvir

Author: 
Volas Night-Eyes

Knowing your enemy is the first step to defeat him.

Tolvir Bearstorm, or Tolvir the Child-Eater, has led the greater Wrothgar pack for at least fifty years. We don't know much about his early life. He has never been seen in human form. Some say he was never a child—that he clawed his way out of the Hunting Grounds, fully grown and full of wrath.

When Tolvir first arrived in the mountains of Wrothgar, he snatched up scores of children in the dead of night—presumably to eat them. The Order has not ruled out the possibility that he turned these youngsters into the first members of his pack. I'm not sure which possibility upsets me more.

I have fought Tolvir twice, and nearly lost my life on both occasions. He is not particularly swift, nor is he quiet. He doesn't need to be. During our last confrontation, my blade struck true at least three times, but he didn't even flinch. This has led some in the Order to believe that he is invincible. Some even suggest that he might be Hircine himself masquerading as a savage moon-beast. This is all preposterous, of course. Mark me, recruits: Tolvir is mortal and I'm going to kill him to prove it.

Volas Night-Eyes

Collected Works of Wee-Zeeus

Author: 
Anonymous

Here are the collected works of Wee-Zeeus, celebrated satirist, most active during the reign of Emperor Reman I. After her execution in 1E 2750, most circulating copies of Wee-Zeeus' texts were destroyed. The collection here is one of only three complete collections known to exist.

— Property of the Merethic Society

Blood-Sealed Contract

Author: 
Angof the Gravesinger

Before the sight of Molag Bal, we seal this bargain between the Bloodthorn and the Hag Fen coven with fresh blood.

In exchange for any undamaged women we capture in the conquest of Glenumbra, Mother Murk and her coven will oppose the Beldama Wyrd and keep them occupied. My servants shall deliver the women to the ruined tower in the bog, where they will be transformed and brought into the coven.

Should either party break this bargain, their lives shall be forfeit.

— Angof the Gravesinger

 


 

Old Version

In the sight of Molag Bal, we make this bargain with the coven of the bog and its matron, Mother Murk.

In exchange for women taken in the conquest of Glenumbra, the coven will work against the troublesome Beldama Wyrd.

Servants of my cult will deliver the women to the ruined tower in the marsh, so the hags can transform them and bring them into the coven.

Should either party break this bargain, whether cult or coven, their lives shall be forfeit.

— Angof the Gravesinger

The Art of Crafting

Author: 
Defessus Lector

The Basics

Bardus,
Your father still hasn't forgiven you for destroying his prized beehives when you decided to use them as practice targets for your sword thrusts. If I remember correctly, the incident required you to spend three days in the healer's tent. And still you didn't learn a thing.

Your mother, likewise, hasn't forgotten the episode with the serving maid and the love potion. The poor lass has to shave her back every full moon.

So, martial and magical training are out of the question. Your parents have now charged me to educate you in the virtues of tradecraft. They hope that with this basic knowledge (and a large honorarium) they can apprentice you to a master crafter. I have written this primer to reinforce today's lesson and to provide you with something you can review at your leisure.

All tradecrafts follow the same fundamental principles. Whether you intend to bake a pie, forge a sword, or craft and enchantment, the methodology is the same.

Ingredients

In any tradecraft, you combine two or more ingredients to create a single superior product. This is not like the time you tried to smash two pony guar together to make a larger pack guar. You must combine the correct ingredients and use the correct tools: a hammer and anvil, mortar and pestle, or cauldron and fire, depending on the craft. Only then can you succeed.

Most crafted items require at least two ingredients. For example, a sword needs smelted iron for the blade and tanned leather for the hilt. Potions require dried flowers and pure water. Enchantments need gems and setting materials.

You must gather the raw ingredients from the wilderness or, knowing your approach to everything you do, find them in an unattended crate.

Next, the raw ingredients must be refined. Smelt the ore into ingots, spin the raw cotton into cloth, and cut and polish the gems. Then, at your workbench, you can create something your father might actually be proud of.

Additives

With basic ingredients you can craft basic items. You can create improved items by increasing the quantity and quality of ingredients. As you discovered last year, a ten-pound sledge is more effective in smashing your mother's urns than a one-pound hammer -- though, as you learned, the ten-pound sledge is also more difficult to control.

To solve this problem, tradecrafters infuse their ingredients with additives. Resins and oils make wood more supple and strong. A dash of Imp Stool makes a health potion more effective. (Wipe that smirk from you face. You know I was talking about the mushroom, young man.)

Additives also interact with each other to imbue a crafter item with magical properties. It requires three different additives for a magical effect to take hold. What combinations of additives produce what effects we shall save for another lesson.

(Note to Self: Edit this before delivering it to the young master.) 

Bardus,

You are, no doubt, celebrating my sudden turn to ill health. I don't believe that you purposefully poisoned me with that sweet roll you made, only because I don't believe you have the skill to make anything on purpose.

Never-the-less this brush with death has brought one element of your education to the fore. An element that I have avoided to broach because, to be frank, my lack of success in teaching you has provided me a well paying job, courtesy of your parents.

I speak of how to improve yourself in your chosen skill.

In the end it is the responsibility of each crafter to train themselves. Most craftmasters just allow their apprentices to use their tools in exchange for work. They do not share their secrets. So what to do once I am gone? Well the traditional way is to make something and then test it until it falls apart. Then you see where the item failed and the next time you make it avoid that mistake.

Of course making the same thing over and over, only to destroy it, really doesn't improve your skill very much. It also fills the store room with broken iron daggers.

The key is to gain examples of other's works, and see how they made them. See their points of failure and compare them to how you make the same item. And then make them better.

That is how you learn, both in crafting and in life. Study and research your failures and the failures of others. Take those lessons to heart and apply them the next time you craft something or solve a problem.

And of course this philosophy fits in well with your own destructive personality. I am sure you will do well. 

Bardus,

Today's lesson is about the tempers and tannins used by armorers and weaponsmiths. As you have noticed while hiding from the nightwatch in your father's armory, each race has its own style of arms and armor: for example, Redguard swords are curved, while Dunmeri leathers are smoky blue. These different styles are achieved by the use of tempers and tannins.

Tempers and tannins are used by the crafter to balance hardness and resilience in armor and weapons. A hardened sword can hold a sharper edge, but might shatter when struck. A flexible blade will bend rather than break but cannot hold much of an edge. Thus weaponsmiths use tempters in their quenching troughs to strike a balance between the two.

Likewise a leather chestpiece can be treated to be as rigid as a board, able to turn an assassin's knife -- but if it is too rigid, the wearer is unable to turn his body. Thus, armorers use tannins on leathers and fabrics to strike a balance between stiffness and flexibility.

What does this have to do with the look of a Redguard sword or Dunmeri leather? If only you had asked that question in your lessons rather than daydreaming about impressing the scullery maid with that wisp of a mustache.

The tempers and tannins used by each race also imbue them with basic properties that are characteristic of the race's gear. The flexibility that must be forge into the curve Redguard swords is achieved by adding Yokudan sands to the smith's quenching trough. Likewise the distinctive bluish sheen of Dunmeri leather is achieved by using Volcanic Ash-based tannin.

The only race that does not employ tempers and tannins is the Argonian. Culturally they cling to their ancient methods of crafting armor and weapons. Before they were enslaved by the Dark Elves, Argonians used flints and feathers to enhance their obsidian axes and padded armors, rather than metals and leathers. When the first Argonian flint axe shattered on the iron breastplate of a Dunmeri warrior, they started to change. Their adoption of modern methods came too late to stop the enslavement of their race, by change they eventually did.

Argonian weapons and armor now use traditional metals, leathers and cloth as their bases. But Argonian smiths decorate them with ancient materials, such as flints and feathers, to honor their ancestors. The Wood Elves of Valenwood also decorate their armor with bone for the same reason, but they have always used iron and other metals in their weapons and armor, which explains why their tribes avoid the enslavement visited on the Lizard-Folk. 

Auridon Explored, Chapter XII

Author: 
Fenlil the Wayfarer

I'm often asked when the Ancients first arrived in the Archipelago. My researches indicate that it was in the middle of the Early Merethic Period.

The farthest northern tip of Auridon, now called Nine Prows Landing, is by tradition the first place within the Summerset Isles to feel the tread of the Ancients. From Summerset, the Ancients spread to the shores of Tamriel, settling almost every region of that great, contentious continent. There they built new societies, and found both glory and destruction.

 


Old version, prior to a patch in April 2015

I'm often asked where the Ancients first arrived in the Archipelago. The "traditional home" of the High Elves is, in fact, just the latest home for our ancient and proud race.

The farthest northern tip of Auridon is, in fact, the first place within the Summerset Isles to see the tread of the Ancients. All throughout Valenwood their ruins and influence can be seen.

But we can all agree: it is here in the Isles that the fleeing Ayleids of the heartland finally found a home.