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With Regards to the Ebony Blade


The following is an intercepted Morag Tong memorandum in full, noted here for conjecture on the Daedric artifact Ebony Blade:

Before I begin, let me preface by stating: the Daedric Prince Mephala and her worshippers value arcanum above all else—you will learn this, in time. To Hermaeus Mora, knowledge is power, but Mephala concerns herself with only the choicest morsels: knowledge secluded, undisclosed.

The various Daedric artifacts associated with Mephala share this disposition, chief among them, the Ebony Blade, of which little is known. The records of the Tong themselves disagree on the properties locked within the Blade's metal. But I'll share what I know about it, and in return, you will complete your first assignment for the guild. I hope you'll find the Flowers of Gold a suitable base of operations. Your room is a favorite of mine. Warm and dry.

First: the Blade initially passed into the Morag Tong's notice (this decade, at least) when our brother Orndras obtained it, taking it from Rivis, another brother. Rivis had the Blade kept in a safehouse for years, hidden from his fellow Morag Tong. How did Orndras find Rivis out? He'll take that secret to his grave, but his handlers whispered that the Web Spinner herself had told him. Even the Tong is unsure how the Blade is connected to Mephala, whether it is an extension of her physical form, or if her essence is bound to it, but it's important to her. And that makes it important to us.

Second: Rivis was an ambitious mage, one of the Tong's most powerful. And he was not about to allow Orndras to leave his safehouse with the Ebony Blade in tow. There was a duel between them, and when Orndras drew first blood with the Blade—and failed to kill—he was surprised Rivis did not engulf him in a fiery spell. It's possible the Blade can silence a mage, stymie the flow of magicka, or simply absorb it.

Third: Rivis was keen with an edge, and better skilled than Orndras. But Orndras wielded the Ebony Blade, and the wounds he suffered stitched themselves together as the battle continued—as Orndras dealt his less-precise cuts. Perhaps a restorative property of the Blade.

Fourth: Rivis' last words were, "The Vampire will be the end of us all." Orndras believed he was referring to the Blade, that Rivis had hidden it out of legitimate fear. I believe that even the most venerable of the Morag Tong will say anything when backed into a corner. I have.

Fifth: Orndras retrieved the Blade, made a detailed report to his handlers—and then attempted to slaughter them. He murdered all but one. His actions had no discernible rhyme or reason or motive, and he was last seen on the third floor of the Flowers of Gold.

Return the Ebony Blade to us, whether Orndras comes with it or not. Look for a Dunmer with a scar under his left eye.

To Posterity


Witches and witch-hunters are, by nature, uncivil to one another, but the witches of Eastmarch and my clan, the Direfrost witch-hunters, have particularly bad blood between us. I cannot say I blame the witches for their hatred—we have clashed often in these mountainous regions, and we Direfrosts have become very good at slaying them. Eastmarch was once infested with the heathens, the landscape dotted with their covens.

Everywhere one turned, one found sordid hovels built in honor of some Daedric Prince. Thanks to the efforts of my family over several generations, that number has dwindled to a scant few. They're there, to be sure—the schemes of Oblivion are myriad—but the witches move in fear, ducking between the narrowing shadows cast by the Flame of Direfrost.

In the days of their abundance, they abducted innocents, murdered children, desecrated corpses. I will not mourn them when finally, and with great, glorious fanfare, we stamp them from the face of Eastmarch forever.
I list below the most infamous leaders of those covens who have committed crimes such that Direfrosts of my generation can never forget them, lest we disrespect the desecrated dead. Daedric Pacts grant these witches long life, and I fear I may not live to see all of this lot rounded up and slain, but when the last of them falls I implore posterity to raise a monument in remembrance of their victims, detailing their crimes and their death at Direfrost hands:

Hranvard Frostfinger. Thirteen known victims sacrificed in flames to Mehrunes Dagon. Fled to the Sea of Ghosts where a final standoff with hunters saw a silver bolt pass through a summoned flesh atronach into Frostfinger herself. Confirmed deceased.*

Henghild of Wittestadr. Twenty known victims sacrificially bled to death to appease an unidentified Daedra Lord. Captured from the mountain passes to the south of Eastmarch and perished under torture. Confirmed deceased.**

Lorgar the Plague. Twenty-seven known victims, causes of death vary, all executed to appease an unidentified Daedra. Search went on in vain for months before Lorgar challenged Odrama, wife of Adegrel Direfrost, and was beheaded on the steps of Direfrost Keep. The stone was clean before supper. Confirmed deceased.***

Drodda of Icereach. One hundred and seven known victims, frozen and soul-trapped to appease Molag Bal. Still at large and incredibly dangerous. She is the oldest of the Eastmarch Coven, and only grows in strength with the passage of time.****

*Revised for total victim count and particulars of death by Lord Logangar
**Revised as above by Lady Stodrir
*** Revised as above by Lord Ogondar
**** Revised for current victim count by Lord Agomar

Dark Ruins

Cyrillo the Deranged

They call me mad and have branded me insane. I accept the title they have given me, and wear it proudly as a badge of honor. For the name I now carry shows that I was willing to enter the dark places, over and over again. To brave the ruins of madness and chaos to bring knowledge to the world. The Three protect me from the things I have discovered, and keep my mind clear long enough to share this knowledge with the world!

I found my first Daedric ruin when I was a very young man. It was a hidden shrine from the past, dedicated to the Anticipations of the Tribunal. I was rounding up a number of kwama scribs that had wandered away from the herd. I followed the scribs into a hidden canyon, when I heard the pathetic cry of a lost scrib emerging from a crack in the canyon wall. I squeezed through the narrow gap to find that it opened into a large depression in the rock. But no simple cave had I wandered into. No, this space was full of carved stone that at once filled me with both wonder and deep fear. For the oppressive blocks of set stone were decorated with patterns of webbing and spider motifs, and the statue at the center of the space depicted none other than the Anticipation of Vivec, the Webspinner Mephala.

Words carved into the base of the statue burned into my memory, never to be forgotten: "Lust is love. Lies are truth. Death is life." They frightened me, but also excited me. The experience set me on a path that led to madness and knowledge, though where one ends and the other begins, I cannot tell.
I returned to my family's kwama mine, escorting the scribs back to the herd. Then I packed a bag, said goodbye to my mother, and started my search for the hidden shrines and dark places where the Daedric ruins wait to be discovered.

Not every ruined shrine waits beneath the ground. Some hide in open places that are far from inhabited lands. These might be overgrown with vegetation or lost within the folds of rolling hills and craggy canyons. I have even visited a shrine that was hidden beneath the sea.

Those shrines located in underground caves and complexes tend to appear more ominous and oppressive than those happened upon in the great outdoors, but that could just be the influence of the ever-present darkness and awareness of the crushing walls of stone. Some of these ancient shrines stand alone in the darkness, but others serve as the focal points of great complexes, many of which are guarded by elaborate traps or vicious monsters—or both.

I have visited more than a dozen of these Daedric ruins, and a few were not as abandoned and unused as the Temple would have you believe. There are still those among us who honor and even worship the Daedric Princes, and I discovered more than a few fresh offerings and sacrifices in these dark places. But the true secret, the knowledge that has earned me my new name? For that, I must ask you to keep an open mind and a firm resolve, because what I am about to reveal may sound unbelievable. It may even sound like the beginning of a campfire story, one intended to frighten before bedtime. But I assure you, this is no story.

What did I find at that first shrine to the Webspinner that I wandered into by luck and accident? What drove me from my parents' home in search of other Daedric ruins? It was the voice. Beautiful and seductive. It whispered to me, told me secrets that I never should have heard. The whispers emanated from the ancient, cracked statue. They echoed from the cavern walls. They reverberated through my mind, building in volume and intensity until they drowned out my own thoughts and memories. They frightened me, these whispers. But they also excited me, and I had to hear more. But the Webspinner was done with me. She imparted her words of wisdom and dark secrets and fell silent. The place was once more abandoned, desolate.

If I wanted to hear more—and I so very much wanted to hear more—I would have to find another shrine. And so my life's work was set before me. I had to find other secret places, other hidden ruins. I had to hear what the other Daedra had to say. Not because I worship them. Not because I had fallen under some dark spell. No, I needed to learn more so that I could share it with the world. It was imperative! It was my duty! But, as I write these words, I find that I can't reveal what the whispers told me. My hand won't put the whispers to paper. It refuses no matter how hard I try!

It seems I have failed in my mission. All I can do is tell you that there are secrets to learn. But it appears that if you want to learn them, you'll have to make the trip yourself. Visit the dark ruins, listen to the whispers. Perhaps you'll fare better than I, and the whispers won't drive you mad.

Dreamers Our Time Has Come


Dreamers! Our time has come!

You have traveled far to walk with us, brother. You have walked far, sister, wandering across a broken world of lies and suffering.

You have journeyed long to chant with us. We shall extol the beatific wonders of Vaermina! May her dream be unending!

Stormhaven lies before us, and we must share her dream. Those who can see, those who will awaken will join us. We call to the humble and the mighty. Those who are weak, those who are blind, she will cast down into madness.

Go forth!

To the tumultuous strife of Wind Keep, go forth!

To the tears of the suffering in Weeping Giant, go forth!

Spread the word! Herald the dream!

We will gather our armies of dreamers.Then we will all return to the city of lies: the city of Wayrest. The heresy of the Eight will be torn down. The dreamers will ascend! Wayrest will become our City of Dreams!

Our new age has begun. We will join her in eternity.

All praise the name of Vaermina!

Dream of a Thousand Dreamers


Dream of a thousand dreamers!
Revelations of endless elation!
Beacon for lost souls.
Bliss for strong souls.
Madness for weak souls.

Daedra Worship: The Ayleids

Phrastus of Elinhir

The reasons why the Daedra are reviled and their worship forbidden among all the civilized races of Tamriel are well understood, and as this series of papers will show, are grounded in historical events. The opinions of the so-called academic who styles herself "Lady Cinnabar" notwithstanding, the evidence supporting my assertions is incontrovertible and generally accepted by all accredited scholars of antiquity.

The Aldmeri, who'd been first to begin organized worship of the Aedra, were also the first to venerate the Daedra Lords. This probably began on a small scale among the Ayleids, those Elves who left the Summerset Isles to create splinter cultures in central and southwest Tamriel—in some cases specifically to evade the strictures of Aldmeri regulation, which forbade (among many other things) the worship of Daedra.

As Ayleid culture flourished, drawing ever further from Alinor, in the last millennium of the Merethic Era Daedric worship took hold and spread among the Heartland High Elves. The Aedra were still widely revered, with probably a majority of the Ayleids continuing to pay them homage, but cults devoted to the various Daedric Princes sprang up across Cyrodiil, tolerated and then celebrated. Unlike the Chimer, the Ayleids made no distinction between "good and bad" Daedra—indeed, even some of the more heinous Princes received mass veneration, especially when their worship was adopted and endorsed by Ayleid kings and aristocrats.

Widespread Daedra worship among the Heartland Elves was particularly ill news for the tribes of Nedic humans who were then arriving in Tamriel. The Ayleids enslaved the immigrant tribes of Men, at first occasionally but then systematically, and the Nedic people found themselves subject to masters who, in many cases, worshiped the Princes—including those who encouraged slavery, domination, and cruelty. Under the Ayleids, the human thralls found themselves the subjects of such Daedra-inspired "arts" as flesh-sculpture and gut-gardening. In fact, the revulsion for Daedra-worship that pervades most human cultures in Tamriel probably originated in this period.

The Alessian slave-revolt of the early First Era was largely fueled by desperate rage against the Ayleids' Daedra-inspired cruelty. The Ayleid kings who aligned themselves with the rebellion were largely Aedra-worshipers, which in part explains why, once the Ayleids were overthrown, Queen Alessia incorporated the leading Elven Aedra into the First Empire's worship of the Eight Divines. Her new Empire of Cyrodiil outlawed the worship of the Daedric Princes, and Daedra-worshiping Ayleids were exterminated wherever they were found.

Thus, by the middle of the First Era, large-scale Daedra-worship was extinct in central Tamriel, surviving only among the Chimer in the northeast of the continent, and among the Orcs (ever a pariah people) who worshiped Malacath (or Mauloch) as their god-ancestor. Elsewhere, among Men, Mer, and Beast-Peoples, Daedra-worship survived only at the level of cults which were more-or-less forbidden. Lady Cinnabar's assertions to the contrary are so much horsewash.

The Whithering of Delodiil


There was, in those days, a city in the Heartland, Delodiil by name. And it was a city of pleasant promenades, of learned scholars, of meticulous artisans, and of lissome dancers. And also did Delodiil have warriors fierce and proud, who protected the promenades, and the scholars, and the artisans, and the dancers. And though the warriors were few, they were bold.

Now the people of Delodiil worshiped many gods, for they were devout and held all the Divines in reverence. But above all others they did venerate the Lady of Light, building for Merid-Nunda a chapel of colored rays and beams, which was for glory like a piece of Aetherius brought down to the mortal world. And the people of Delodiil were proud thereon.

But across the valley was another city, Abagarlas, which was to the darkness as Delodiil was to the light. Now Abagarlas had as many citizens as Delodiil, but few were dancers, artisans, and scholars, because most were warriors fierce and proud. These warriors were lended to other states and cities for the making of war in return for wealth. And thus did Abagarlas, in its own way, prosper.

Now the King of Abagarlas saw the chapel of lights that was the pride of Delodiil, and he said, "Is not Abagarlas as great a city as Delodiil? We shall have a great chapel of our own." And he decreed that much of the wealth of Abagarlas be spent in the building of a shrine to his own patron Divine, who was the Lord Mola Gbal. And the people of Abagarlas reared up a vast shrine to Mola Gbal, but they were but rude soldiers rather than artisans, and the shrine was misshapen, ill-colored, and burdensome to look upon. But it was, nonetheless, larger than Delodiil's chapel of lights, and thus the King of Abagarlas boasted that his city was greater therefore than Delodiil. But the people of Delodiil evinced no dismay, and went about their business as before.

And this unconcern of the Delodiils ate a hole into the heart of the King of Abagarlas, and he was vexed unto madness. He sent soldiers to profane the small shrine to Merid-Nunda in Abagarlas, and then went to his vast shrine to Mola Gbal, where he swore a mighty oath. And slaying a family of visiting Delodiils on the altar, the King vowed that he would gather his army, march across the valley, and capture all the Delodiils, sacrificing them to Mola Gbal within the chapel of lights.

And the King of Abagarlas mustered all his soldiers, and on a night in which the skies were lit by a furious racing aurora, he marched them across the valley to Delodiil. But when the King and his army arrived they found the land empty, for the city of Delodiil was gone, unto every brick!

And the King thought he heard laughter in the lights in the skies, mirth that turned to shrieks of fear that came, not from above, but from back across the valley. In haste the King marched his soldiers back to his city, but when they arrived at Abagarlas, they found it utterly destroyed as if by scorching light. And of the families of the soldiers and the King, nothing could be found but their shadows burnt into the walls of the city.
Thus Abagarlas. But of the fate of Delodiil, nothing more was known.

Daedra Worship: The Chimer

Phrastus of Elinhir

The history of Daedra worship by the Elves once known as the Chimer provides a valuable object lesson in the dangers of traffic with the so-called Lords of Oblivion. It's a tale of peril that modern-day apologists for Daedric worship, such as Lady Cinnabar, would do well to heed.

Let's begin with a few facts that not even the Shrew of Taneth could deny. The Aedra (the Gods, the Divines) created Nirn out of the chaos of Oblivion. They assumed physical form within the mortal plane—the Mundus—and according to Elven myth were the direct ancestors of the Aldmeri. The Aedra were the natural objects of holy reverence for the Elves of the Dawn Era, and the first organized religions venerated these Divines.

However, after Nirn was born the Aedra withdrew from their creation, becoming distant, aloof, and disinterested in the affairs of mortals. But beyond the Mundus, in the infinite variation of Oblivion, there were other godlike entities of great power known as the Daedra (literally the "not-Aedra"), who began to take a malign interest in the realm the Aedra had created. Some of the more powerful of these entities, the so-called Daedric Princes, who ruled entire Oblivion planes of their own, were nonetheless jealous of the mortals of Nirn—for they had inherited the Aedric capacity of creation. This ability was beyond the Daedra who, though masters of change and metamorphosis, create nothing new that has not been before.

However, one quality the Daedric Princes shared with the young mortals of Nirn was a lust for power in all its forms. This corrupting desire is the foundation of all mortal worship of the Daedra: the Princes offer power in return for service and worship. Most often this power comes in the form of knowledge, the most seductive and least perilous-seeming of the Daedric temptations.

To show how seductive this temptation can be, reflect upon the early Aldmer of Summerset. Though in their arrogance they considered themselves the lineal descendants of the Aedra, nonetheless the first large-scale religious sect espousing Daedra-worship was born in the heart of Summerset itself. There, in the rainbow shadow of the Crystal Tower, the so-called Prophet Veloth communed with the Daedric Prince Boethiah and agreed to accept her gifts. He inscribed the Velothi Prophecies, which expounded the doctrine of worship of the "Good Daedra" (Boethiah, Azura, and Mephala), along with ways to propitiate and negotiate with the "Bad Daedra" (Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, and Mehrunes Dagon).

To the more foolish of the Summerset Aldmeri, the arts and skills the Good Daedra offered to teach them seemed more useful than the maxims and platitudes of the priests of the Aedra, and a number of Elven clans accepted Veloth as their prophet and guide. When the Sapiarchs of Alinor rightfully prohibited this schism, Veloth led the clans loyal to him out of the Isles and across the seas to the far side of Tamriel, where they colonized the domain now known as Morrowind. The followers of Saint Veloth, who became known as the Chimer, were willing to trade the paradise of golden Summerset for the purgatory of ashen Morrowind, all in return for the illusory "gifts" of the Daedra. The Chimer built mighty temples to Boethiah, Azura, and Mephala, and established the traditions of worship in Morrowind that were later co-opted by the Tribunal.

As even the beginning student of history knows, this large-scale dabbling with Daedra led inevitably to warfare and catastrophe. Chimer civilization fell at the Battle of Red Mountain, and the curse of Azura, their erstwhile mistress, transformed the brilliant Chimer into the sullen and haunted Dunmer. After that time Morrowind, under the Tribunal, turned its back on worship of the Daedra — but by then the damage had been done.

Today, the Daedra are feared and abhorred across the length and breadth of Tamriel — and rightly so. Yet, despite the clear lessons of history, some misguided souls still insist that traffic with Daedra Lords can be tolerated, even accepted. To those such as you, Lady Cinnabar, I say: beware. What pact with the Daedra ever ended well?

A Bound Dremora


Once bound, a Dremora's uses are nearly limitless — with or without its cooperation.

The sacrifices stand upon each altar as sentries against the Dremora's power. Take care not to disturb the blood, or the bonds will weaken precipitously.

Chaotic Creatia: The Azure Plasm

Doctor Rhythandius

As a Doctor of Transliminal Mythomysticism, I have long been interested in the soul/body problem, the reformation of the Daedric body post-banishment, and the formation of the body around the essence commonly known as the "vestige." Since our enforced relocation to Coldharbour, courtesy of Our Luminous Lady, I have had considerable opportunity to observe these processes first-hand, and am now in a position to confirm many hypotheses that, upon Mundus, were fated to remain mere conjecture.

It has long been understood that a Daedra, who lacks the Anuic animus known as the “soul,” is not killed when its body is destroyed. A Daedra slain upon Mundus is merely “banished” back to its plane of origin, where its morphotype, or “vestige,” gradually forms a new body, so that eventually the Daedra lives again. (This happens as well when a Daedra is slain in its native Oblivion.)

Furthermore, we have long known from the Daedra themselves that their bodies are formed from the very stuff of chaos, the "creatia" of Oblivion, a shapeless but energetic material that accretes around a vestige until it conforms to the morphotype's inherent pattern.

Back on Mundus I had naively envisioned this creatia as some sort of misty, amorphous material swirling in a void somewhere. After our arrival in Coldharbour, it was some time before I realized that its ubiquitous pools of blue slime, the substance we've come to call “Azure Plasm,“ was in fact the form that creatia takes upon this plane. By extension, I reasoned that chaotic creatia takes a different but planar-appropriate form in every realm of Oblivion — and this theory was later confirmed for me by the rogue Xivilai known as the Sojourner, who has had direct experience of numerous planes of existence.

In fact, it was the Sojourner who first introduced me to one of those secret grottoes where one can observe the process of plasm-accretion in action. (To find such grottoes, where Daedra are “born,” it is necessary only to observe the slow flow of the Azure Plasm and follow it to its destination—for plasm-accretion causes a slow drain on adjacent pools.) It was fascinating to watch a vestige gradually absorbing Azure Plasm and converting it from the general to specific, so that over time it slowly took on the size and shape of a hulking, reptilian daedroth.

Then there are the poor slaves known as the Soul Shriven. Each is a mortal kidnaped from Mundus at the moment of death, his or her soul stolen by Molag Bal for some unthinkable purpose, and given in exchange the vestige that enables him or her to form a counterfeit body here in Coldharbour. But they are not native to Oblivion, so a Soul Shriven’s body is a sad imitation of the body worn in life, suffering rapid wear and decay until it dies—a death that is no liberation, for its vestige only forms a body once again, over and over, ad infinitum…

Such are the facts. What follows is speculation, born of conversations with the Sojourner during his infrequent and unpredictable visits. His theory is that the Soul Shriven’s bodies are flawed because they have lost the focusing principle of their Anuic souls, so their vestiges are imperfect patterns. I concurred that this was likely, and then proposed the theoretical possibility of a Soul Shriven who, despite having lost his or her soul, possessed some other intrinsic Anuic aspect. This shall-we-say “paragon” Soul Shriven would form an unflawed body in Coldharbour that was a perfect duplicate of the body worn in Mundus. In fact, if this paragon bore a sufficiently high Anuic valence, upon contact with Padomaic creatia its body would form almost instantaneously.

The Sojourner scoffed at my theory, but seemed taken with the idea nonetheless. He went on to speculate that if such a thing were possible, it would probably occur in a situation where the Mundus was in existential jeopardy. In that case the Heart of Nirn would spontaneously generate such "paragon" individuals as a way of defending itself from destruction, in a manner analogous to the way the mortal body fights off infection.

Ah, Sojourner—how I miss your stimulating conversation. Such flights of fantasy! And yet, given the wonders I've seen in my prolonged existence upon this plane, is anything really impossible?