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fourth era

House Redoran's Reply

Dralis Rorlen

Councilor Morvayn,

While I appreciate the urgency of the situation on Solstheim, I'm afraid that I can't approve the request for supplies and funds at this time. This is nothing personal, Lleril. Your island is one of seventy-four outlying settlements of Morrowind at this time. House Redoran must rank these outposts in terms of economic and strategic importance. We have limited coin in our coffers to send to these settlements, so we have to decide which ones take precedence. Unfortunately, Solstheim is very low on the list. I'm doing everything I can for you. All I ask is that you hang on a little longer.

Dralis Rorlen
Councilmember, House Redoran

The Reclamations

Thara of Rihad

The Reclamations:
The Fall of the Tribunal and the Rise of the New Temple

Thara of Rihad

The destruction of Vivec City and the subsequent eruption of Red Mountain in 4E 5 was not just a crisis in terms of the physical destruction it caused - it also cut deeply into the ancient religious beliefs of the Dunmer. The fall of the Ministry of Truth was the last straw in the tottering support for the Temple's worship of Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec. With all three of the Tribunes now widely believed dead or disappeared, what had been a simmering schism within the ranks of the Temple priesthood burst into the open.

While outsiders may never know the full tale of this internal struggle, when the smoke cleared a few years later, the former Dissident Priests were in full control of the Temple heirarchy, with Tribunal loyalists either purged or recanted. The so-called "New Temple" now declared the worship of the Tribunes a result of misguided teaching, blaming the mistakes on the former Tribunal. The Temple now taught that the daedra venerated by the Ashlander tribes (Azura, Mephala and Boethia) were the "true way" and should be revered by the Dunmer people. Fittingly, the daedra were named the "Reclamations," as if they were reclaiming their status from the Tribunal.

In an elegant comprise, no doubt intended to reconcile the large majority of the Temple priesthood who were neither Dissidents nor fanatic Tribunal loyalists, Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec were relegated to the status of "saints," a traditional way to venerate the most honored Dunmer ancestors. This apparently satisfied enough of the existing priesthood that the New Temple was able to maintain at least a semblance of outward continuity.

The rise of the New Temple almost completely vindicated the previously persecuted Ashlanders, who had continued to worship the three daedra throughout the Tribunal's rule. The Ashlanders are now lauded as the keepers of the old ways and having "true vision." It is now quite common for many of the Dunmer people to make the arduous pilgrimages into the ash wastes to seek the counsel of the Wise Women. These women have supposedly opened the eyes of those who they claim were "blinded by the Tribunal," and directly connect the eruption of the Red Mountain and the Argonian invasion to the anger of the three daedra.

House Indoril, whose fortunes were so entwined with the Tribunal Temple, suffered greatly from its fall. While House Indoril still technically exists, the priesthood of the Temple are now considered one and the same with House Indoril - those who become priests are now considered to have "joined Indoril." The political power of the Indoril has thus passed entirely into the hands of the Temple (although members of the old House Indoril are still over-represented in the priesthood).

The rise of the New Temple has a number of interesting parallels with the rise of House Redoran - each filled the vacuum of power resulting from the crisis of Red Year. How durable these new arrangements will prove, religious and political, remains to be seen. The span of two centuries is quite brief in the long history of the ancient Dunmer people.

Keepers of the Razor



Current Descendants of the Inner Circle

Jorgen of Morthal, 8th generation of Clan Axe-Bearer to bear the Hilt of Mehrunes' Razor. Son of Halnir, son of Hroi, son of Koli, son of Malte, son of Lygrleid, son of Neddrir, son of Lenne.

Ghunzul, leader of the Cracked Tusk Bandits, and 8th to bear the blade shards of Mehrunes' Razor. Son of Shelakh, son of Mog, son of Grul, son of Durgob, son of Uzgakh, son of Ramolg, son of Othmash.

Drascua, leader of the Forsworn of Dead Crone Rock, and 8th to bear the pommel of Mehrunes' Razor. Daughter of Cairine, daughter of Edana, daughter of Malvina, daughter of Muriel, daughter of Riane, daughter of Cayleigh, daughter of Sorcha.



Of all the groups that pledged to eradicate the Mythic Dawn from Tamriel, none were as inadvertently successful as the Keepers of the Razor. Originally a militia group founded to destroy the remnants of the Mythic Dawn, the group was renamed the after discovering the legendary artifact of Mehrunes Dagon that became their namesake. How they found the Razor is a secret that I have been unable to uncover, but it is clear that they were not part of Frathen Drothan's failed expedition to Varsa Baalim, and in fact the group does not first appear in Imperial records until fifty years later.

The Razor was divided among the three highest ranking members of the order's inner circle, to be passed down from oldest child to oldest child "until the twin moons themselves disappeared from the skies." Although this pledge seems to have been loosely interpreted, as the moons did vanish from the heavens during The Void Nights of 4E98-4E100, yet the Razor's pieces were still being bequeathed through the generations during and after this time.

Tracing the lineages of the inner circle proved especially difficult thanks to the group's unusual membership. While the leader of the Keepers of the Razor was a Nord and thankfully was easily researched through the clan's family histories, the other two members were an Orc and a native daughter of the Reach, whose culture's paucity of respect for literacy made tracking them down less straightforward. Fortunately, Othmash gro-Gularz and his sons are well-recorded for their service in the Imperial Legion. Yet the daughters of Sorcha proved nearly impossible to find until I uncovered Markarth's meticulously thorough tax records, which recorded each birth of Sorcha's kin in order to administer certain petty fees. Sorscha's current descendent, Drascua, fled to Dead Crone Rock after the Markarth Incident, and is considered by the Jarl to be a major threat to the safety of the hold.

Of Crossed Daggers

Dwennon Wyndell

Of Crossed Daggers:
The History of Riften

Dwennon Wyndell

Situated on the eastern banks of Lake Honrich, the city of Riften serves as a reminder of a bygone era. The once-proud streets and buildings have vanished and been replaced with a collection of wooden structures and rough stonework shrouded in a permanent fog-like mist. In order to understand how such a large city became nothing more than a glorified fortress, one need only look to the history books for answers.

Riften was a major hub of activity for trade caravans and travellers to and from Morrowind. Fishing skiffs could be seen dotting the lake at all hours of the day and the bustling city was alive with activity at night. The city guard was formiddable and maintained a tight grasp on its populace, keeping them safe from harm. The marketplace in Riften was also quite a draw, containing numerous stands offering wares from across Tamriel.

In 4E 98, amidst the confusion of the Void Nights, Hosgunn Crossed-Daggers was installed as Jarl when the previous Jarl had been assassinated. Although many believe that Hosgunn was responisble, and cries of protest filled the streets of Riften, the Jarl took the throne and immediately took action to protect his station. Using the city guard, he had the streets cleared of protesters and initiated a curfew. Any caught breaking the curfew was immediately jailed without process or executed if it was a repeat offence.

For over 40 years, Hosgunn ruled Riften with a black heart and an iron fist. He imposed ridiculous taxes upon his subjects and any merchants that wished to sell their wares within the city walls. Hosgunn kept most of the coin for himself, using it to construct a massive wooden castle with unecessarily lavish quartering within. The castle took seven years to build, and became a visual reminder of the people's oppression which earned it the nickname "Hosgunn's Folly." Towards the end of his reign, the streets of Riften became littered with refuse and it's people plagued by disease and hunger.

Then, in 4E 129, the people had finally had enough. With their numbers, they were able to temporarily overhwhelm the city guard long enough to set Hosgunn's Folly on fire with the greedy Jarl still within. As the fighting recommensed, the fire spread through the city unchecked. By the morning, the people had emerged victorious, but not without great cost. Most of the city was now in ruins and many had died.

It took five years to rebuild Riften into the smaller city that it is today. And even though over fifty years had passed since then, it still has yet to fully recover. Some believe it will never achieve the level of affluence it saw at the beginning of the Fourth Era, but there are a few who still hold on to the hope that Riften can return from the ashes and become a center of commerce once again.

On the Great Collapse

Archmage Deneth

To the esteemed Jarl Valdimar of Winterhold,

First, please allow me to offer my most sincere condolences. I understand that you, like many others, have lost family and you have my deepest sympathies.

I also understand that some on your council have placed the blame for this horrible disaster on my colleagues at the College. While I can certainly appreciate the shock at the scope of recent events, and the desire to comprehend what has happened, I must strongly urge you to consider the full situation.

You know as well as any the College's history and reputation in Winterhold. It has long been a source of pride for your city, a unique fixture in Skyrim. Some of the greatest wizards have studied here, and the College has always promoted positive relations with the other provinces of Tamriel.

It is well-known that those relations have been, shall we say, strained over the last few decades. After the Oblivion Crisis, it was only natural that the people of Skyrim showed a distrust for mages, even though the vast majority of us actively worked to counter the actions of the Mythic Dawn cult. The College expected such a reaction, and hoped that distrust would fade over time.

And then, the Red Year. No one foresaw the explosion of Red Mountain, or the devastating effect it would have on the Dunmer culture. Your predecessor was kind enough to welcome many of the refugees, particularly those who could contribute to the College's studies. We were quite grateful.

When Solstheim was generously offered to the Dunmer as a new home, I was as surprised as any. I did not, however, share the apparent expectation that all dark elves would leave Skyrim. It did not go unnoticed that many in Winterhold were unhappy at how many mages chose to stay at the College rather than relocate.

And now, the storms that have wracked the coast of Skyrim for close to a year have finally broken, but at great cost to us all. This great collapse that has devastated Winterhold was unexpected, I assure you. That the College has remained unaffected is only a testament to the protective magicks placed around it so long ago. It in no way implies that we were somehow prepared specifically for this event, and is certainly no indication that the College was somehow responsible.

I certainly would never hold you accountable for the gossip spread amongst the people of Winterhold. I would urge you, though, to not allow that gossip to take root and become a commonly held belief. I do not wish to see our relationship crumble like Winterhold has, as I assure you the College will remain here a very, very long time.

Your persistent advocate,

Arch-Mage Deneth

The Holds of Skyrim


The Holds of Skyrim:
A Field Officer's Guide

For Use by Officers of the Imperial Legion


Welcome, loyal officer of the Empire. You have been given this guide to help you, and those men under your command, better understand the geography of Skyrim. Since you will be serving in Skyrim for a lengthy period of time, this information should prove invaluable.

Skyrim is organized into nine holds. A hold is a large area of land roughly equivalent to a county in Cyrodiil. Each hold is governed by a Jarl who maintains his court in the hold's capital city.

Four of these holds are fairly small and sparsely populated. As a result, the capitals are little more than towns. The five major cities of Skyrim act as capitals for the larger holds.

Following is a detailed review of each hold.

Located in the eastern reaches of Skyrim, Eastmarch shares a common border with Morrowind. Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak rules from the ancient city of Windhelm, and he and his followers should be considered your most serious threat.

Do not tread lightly in Eastmarch, for the Stormcloaks are at their strongest and most organized in these lands. As an Imperial soldier, you will find few friends here.

Solitude, the seat of High King of Skyrim and the capital of Haafingar hold, has always welcomed the Empire with open arms. Much commerce flows along the rivers here, and you will find the folk of this hold to be among the most hospitable in Skyrim.

As you venture forth in your campaigns, be sure to maintain a secure supply line back to Solitude. The Empire maintains ample provisions in Castle Dour, from which General Tullius commands all the legions stationed in Skyrim.

This hold is divided evenly between wind-swept tundra dotted with farms and a huge, stinking salt marsh. There is little of interest here, save perhaps for the hold's capital, Morthal.

Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone has been cooperative enough with the Empire in the past, but will ultimately look out for her own iterests if put in a difficult position.

While the hold offers minimal strategic value to the Empire, it would make an ideal staging ground for a Stormcloak siege of Solitude, and so must be held against the enemy.

The Pale is a barren realm covered by vast fields of ice and snow. Its boundaries stretch from the center of Skyrim all the way to its northern coast. Here, at the capital city of Dawnstar, can be found one of the busiest ports in the province.

With access to the coastal waterways of Skyrim, Dawnstar could prove vital in the war effort. Should the Stormcloaks choose to attack Solitude from the river, this port would make a tempting target due to its close proximity.

Dominating the western border of Skyrim, the Reach is made up almost entirely of steep, craggy mountains. Little grows in this forbidding realm, but the capital city of Markarth is a nigh-impregnable stone fortress that would make an excellent defensive position for either side in the war.

Be aware that this dangerous region of Skyrim is home to the Forsworn, the rebellious natives of the Reach. They know the terrain, can strike without warning, and count the Empire as an enemy. If they attack, you must neither give nor expect any mercy.

This hold occupies the southeast corner of Skyrim, and much like the Reach in the west, is dominated by tall mountain peaks. The climate in the Reach is milder than in the northern holds, and there is more vegetation to be found here. Farming thrives as a result.

A word of warning about Riften, the hold's capital city. Our agents have reason to suspect that the Thieves' Guild makes it home here, though it is now much diminished from its strength of previous years.

Nevertheless, mind that your men keep an eye on their coin purses should they have reason to spend any length of time in the city.

This central hold is characterized by wide, grassy plains that are home to numerous farms. Many roads pass through Whiterun, joining the more distant holds together.

The hold's capital city, also called Whiterun, sits high on a rocky promontory amid a large, flat swath of scrubland. Among the wealthiest cities of Skyrim, Whiterun has usually proven friendly to the Emperor's soldiers.

This bleak, snow-blown hold in the northeast corner of Skyrim is utterly inhospitable. Perhaps the mages at the College of Winterhold chose to make their home there because they knew they would be left largely alone.

As with Whiterun, the name Winterhold describes both the hold and its capital city, though the word "city" hardly applies. The hold capital is a meager village built near the mages' college.

Few other noteworthy settlements exist in this frozen waste, and it is unlikely to play any significant part in the war.


The Dunmer of Skyrim

Athal Sarys


That is our name. Yet you deny us even this courtesy. You, the white-skinned, jaundice-haired apes of this godsforsaken frozen wilderness. To you Nords, we are the gray ones, the ashen-skinned, the "dark elves" of Morrowind who have as much place in your land as an infection in an open wound.

Oh yes, we have read your great cultural work, "Nords of Skyrim," in which you extol the many virtues of your people and province, and invite any visitors to come experience your homeland for themselves. Well come we did, Nords, and the reception was less than was promised - but exactly what we expected.

So I, Atal Sarys, Dunmer and immigrant to Skyrim, have decided to answer your beloved book with a work of my own. And let all who read it know that Nords are not the only race to reside in this cold and inhospitable realm. For we dark elves have come, and little by little, shall claim Skyrim as our own.

But where, you may ask, have we taken up residence? Why none other than the ancient city of Windhelm, once the capital of the First Empire. Yes, Nords, in the shadow of your own Palace of the Kings, where the Nord hero Ysgramor once held court, we now thrive. Oh yes. Your beloved Five Hundred Companions may have driven our ancestors from Skyrim, but that was then. This is now.

Indeed, one might be surprised as to just how well we've settled into Windhelm. The district once known as the Snow Quarter is thus named no more. Now, they call it the Gray Quarter, for such is the reality of the Dunmer occupation. The district is now populated entirely by my kind, a victory not lost on its residents.

Oh, but the peaceful occupation goes even further. Thirsty? You'll find no Nord mead hall in the Gray Quarter. But the spirits flow well enough in the New Gnisis Cornerclub. Seeking a respected family? You'll find no Gray-Manes within these walls. But perhaps you'd like to pay a visit to the home of Belyn Hlaalu, descendant of one of the most noble houses in all of Morrowind. Ah, but no. You Nords don't come to the Gray Quarter, do you? You fear our streets as you fear our skin.

So now, "children of Skyrim," you have the truth of it. You may call this province home, but you can no sooner claim to own it than a cow can claim to own its master's field. You are just another breed of domestic animal, grazing stupidly while higher beings plot your slaughter.

Thalmor Dossier: Esbern


Status: Fugitive (Capture Only), Highest Priority, Emissary Level Approval

Description: Male, Nord, late 70s

Esbern was one of the Blades loremasters prior to the First War Against the Empire. He was not a field agent, but is now believed to have been behind some of the most damaging operations carried out by the Blades during the pre-war years, including the Falinesti Incident and the breach of the Blue River Prison. His file had remained dormant for many years, an inexcusable error on the part of my predecessor (who has been recalled to Alinor for punishment and reeducation), in the erroneous belief that he was unlikely to pose a threat due to his advanced age and lack of field experience. A salutary reminder to all operational levels that no Blades agent should be considered low priority for any reason. All are to be found and justice exacted upon them.

Operational Notes:
As we are still in the dark as to the cause and meaning of the return of the dragons, I have made capturing Esbern our top priority, as he is known to be one of the experts in the dragonlore of the Blades. Regrettably, we have yet to match their expertise on the subject of dragons, which was derived from their Akaviri origins and is still far superior to our own (which remains largely theoretical). The archives of Cloud Ruler Temple, which is believed to have been the primary repository of the oldest Blades lore, were largely destroyed during the siege, and although great effort has been made to reconstruct what was lost, it now appears that most of the records related to dragons were either removed or destroyed prior to our attack. Thus Esbern remains our best opportunity to learn how and why the dragons have returned. It cannot be ruled out that the Blades themselves are somehow connected to the dragons' return.

We have recently obtained solid information that Esbern is still alive and hiding somewhere in Riften. Interrogation of a possible eyewitness is on-going. We must proceed carefully to avoid Esbern becoming alerted to his danger. If he is indeed in Riften, he must not be given an opportunity to flee.

The Bear of Markarth

Arrianus Arius

The Bear of Markarth
The Crimes of Ulfric Stormcloak

Arrianus Arius
Imperial Scholar


Ulfric Stormcloak is considered a hero by many for his part in quelling the Forsworn Uprising. It is said that when the Empire abandoned Skyrim, and the natives of the Reach rebelled (undoubtedly due to the Nords poor treatment of them), Ulfric Stormcloak and his militia was there to retake "their" land from the Forsworn. In all the bravado and epic yarns the skalds compose of his exploits, you would think Ulfric to be a giant of a man, equal to that of Tiber Septim in his cunning, leadership, and decisive actions.

But the truth is far more revealing. Yes, from 4E 174-176, the Forsworn did in fact rule over the Reach as an independent kingdom from Skyrim. Yes, this was accomplished while the Empire was beset by Aldmeri Dominion forces and could not send the Legion to re-establish order. And yes, Ulfric Stormcloak did quell the rebellion without Imperial assistance. That much is true, but what the bards often fail to tell in their stories is that the Forsworn Kingdom was quite peaceful for those 2 years they were in power.

True, some crimes were committed against former Nord landowners (often those accused of being the harshest towards their native workers), but on the whole the Forsworn ruled their lands fairly, and were making overtures to be recognized by the Empire as a legitimate kingdom.

In the wake of the aftermath of the Great War, you can imagine the backlog on stately matters the Empire had. Before a peace treaty could be resolved with the Forsworn, a militia led by Ulfric Stormcloak sieged the gates of their capital, Markarth. What happened during that battle was war, but what happened after the battle was over is nothing short of war crimes.

Every official who worked for the Forsworn was put to the sword, even after they had surrendered. Native women were tortured to give up names of Forsworn fighters who had fled the city or were in the hills of the Reach. Anyone who lived in the city, Forsworn and Nord alike, were executed if they had not fought with Ulfric and his men when they breached the gates. "You are with us, or you are against Skyrim" was the message on Ulfric's lips as he ordered the deaths of shopkeepers, farmers, the elderly, and any child old enough to lift a sword that had failed in the call to fight with him.

So when a "grateful" Empire accepted Ulfric's victory and sent soldiers to re-establish the rule of law in the Reach, it was no surprise that he would demand to be allowed to worship Talos freely before the Legion could enter. With chaos running through the streets of Markarth and the reports of deaths rising every day, the Empire had no choice but to grant Ulfric and his men their worship.

We allowed them to worship Talos, in full violation of the White-Gold Concordat with the Aldmeri Dominion (which recognizes the elven belief that Talos, as a human, cannot be one of the Divines). In jeopardizing the treaty that so many sacrificed for during the Great War, the Empire was wrong. But what choice did they have, I ask you? Against the Bear of Markarth, Ulfric Stormcloak, "no" is not an answer.

Cicero's Journal


18th of Evening Star, 4E 186
As I begin this new phase of my life, I have decided to finally keep a journal. So much has happened to me thus far, both within the Brotherhood and without - when I think there is no record of what has transpired, it almost seems an affront to Sithis himself. So I am determined to make amends. Yes, the Dark Brotherhood has its own scribes and chroniclers, but it is their solemn task to record those events deemed important to the organization as a whole. Let this volume serve as the personal record of one man, a lowly assassin who has pledged his blade and his life for the Dark Brotherhood.


23rd of Evening Star, 4E 186
I have arrived safely in the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, and have been greeted warmly by Rasha and the others. Indeed, the level of support and acceptance shown by my new family is rather overwhelming. For this Sanctuary knows suffering, knows sorrow, for the ghosts of Purification still haunt its halls. So, who better to understand the plight of a brother who has lost home and heart? Who better to comfort one whose Sanctuary is no more? The Bruma Sanctuary may be gone, but my dearest brothers and sisters will live forever in my dreams, just as their souls live forever by the Dread Father's side.


1st of Rain's Hand, 4E 187
Completed the baroness contract. She died well. Her handmaiden, less so.


12th of Rain's Hand, 4E 187
Cheydinhal suits me. With the destruction or abandonment of the other Sanctuaries, our contracts are plentiful, as are our bonuses. Still, we seem to be losing our footholds throughout Tamriel at an alarming rate. There are rumors that the Black Hand is split on our continued direction. Some favor expansion, the others consolidation. My personal feeling is that the Dark Brotherhood needs to, at the very least, maintain the illusion of being everywhere at once. It has become exceedingly difficult to fulfill (or even establish) contracts in provinces where we no longer have a physical presence, like Hammerfell. The more we ignore Tamriel, the more people lose faith in the Dark Brotherhood - our power, our services, our dedication to the Void.


27th of Rain's Hand, 4E 187
The Listener, Alisanne Dupre, has been visiting with us for several days, down from her private residence in Bravil. She and Rasha had been discussing the possibility of re-opening the Shadowscale training facility of Archon, in Black Marsh, but ultimately decided we lacked the resources to follow through with the plan.


27th of Rain's Hand, 4E 187
Completed the Arena contract. I ultimately decided to pose as a starstruck fan, and immediately got into the Grand Champion's good graces. While escorting the arrogant fool through the Great Forest, I slashed his throat and left the corpse for the bears.


7th of Sun's Height, 4E 188
Wayrest is lost. The city fell to corsairs, and it's just a matter of time before the Sanctuary is breached. May the Night Mother watch over her children in their hour of need.


5th of Last Seed, 4E 188
We received word today - the Wayrest Sanctuary was raided and destroyed by the corsairs. There were no survivors.

There are now only three active Dark Brotherhood strongholds remaining: The Cheydinhal Sanctuary, here in the Imperial Province; a remote Sanctuary located in a forest in Skyrim; and the Corinthe Sanctuary of Elsweyr.

The Black Hand has ordered the Corinthe Sanctuary closed, and its members integrated into our own ranks here, in Cheydinhal. I will embrace those new family members as warmly as I was, when I first made my home here.


27th of Hearthfire, 4E 188
The situation in Bravil grows more dire. The city has erupted in violence, due to a war of control being waged by Cyrodiil's two largest skooma traffickers. The Listener, Alisanne Dupre, has been forced to employ sellswords to protect her own residence.


1st of Sun's Dusk, 4E 188
Things in Bravil have come to a head. The statue of the Lucky Old Lady has been destroyed, and Alisanne Dupre has left her residence to guard the crypt of the Night Mother, hidden below the remains of the statue. If the crypt is discovered, Alisanne Dupre will, of course, protect the remains of the Unholy Matron until her dying breath.

Rasha is sending Garnag and Andronica to aid in the crypt's defense. I begged to accompany them, but Rasha wouldn't have it. He says my place is here, defending this Sanctuary, and I must of course respect that decision.


12th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 188
Botched my contract and forfeited the bonus. The silk merchant was already cold, and I was halfway through the window, when her daughter stepped into the room. I had little choice at that point.


21st of Sun's Dusk, 4E 188
So much has happened since my last entry. After Garnag and Andronica left for Bravil, we stopped receiving communications from the city. We feared the worst. This morning, those fears were confirmed, when Garnag returned alone, transporting a most precious cargo - the great stone coffin of the Night Mother herself.

The story Garnag told could curl the blood of even the most hardened of Sithis' servants. The crypt of the Night Mother, raided. Dearest sister Andronica, cut to pieces. And the Listener herself, the most honored Alisanne Dupre, burned alive in a storm of mage fire.

Garnag, though gravely injured (he will most certainly lose his right eye), managed to fend off the attackers, and transport the Night Mother's coffin safely out of the city. He has been on the road, making his way back here, since that tragic night.


23rd of Sun's Dusk, 4E 188
Now that things have settled down, the reality of our situation has finally come to bear - we are a Dark Brotherhood without a Listener. With no Listener, the Black Sacrament will go unheard. Surely the Night Mother will speak to someone soon, thus choosing a new Listener to take Alisanne Dupre's place. Until that happens, though, we must take to the streets. We must hear the pleas of the desperate and vengeful.  The people of Tamriel must not know, must never know, that their prayers to the Night Mother are going unheeded.


24th of Morning Star, 4E 189
 It is a new year, and two months since the Night Mother first arrived here at the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, and still the Unholy Matron has not seen fit to speak to any one of us.

And so, Rasha has decided to revive an ancient Dark Brotherhood tradition - the appointing of a Keeper, a guardian whose sole duty is the safeguarding of the Night Mother's remains. The remaining members of the Black Hand will make their decision tomorrow.


25th of Morning Star, 4E 189
I have been chosen. By some incomprehensible twist of fate, the Black Hand has named me the Night Mother's Keeper. In all honesty, I am both incredibly honored and deeply saddened.  This means the end of my contracts. I'll be lucky to lift a blade again. Thankfully, Rasha has promised me one final contract before I accept my new duties.


30th of Morning Star, 4E 189
The jester lies dead. My final contract has been completed. Oh, how he laughed and laughed. Until he didn't.


3rd of First Seed, 4E 189
I have settled well into my new role as Keeper. It is my duty to not only keep the Night Mother's shrine clean, and the candles lit, but to tend to the body as well.
The Night Mother's crypt was a consecrated place - shroud-kissed, absent of sunlight, and safe from the world above. Removed from there, the remains are subject to the filth and corruption of the living. The body is perfectly preserved, so the concern is not physical, but rather spiritual - the remains must be sanctified regularly, so that they may continue to serve as a conduit for the Night Mother's soul. Our Matron's eternal spirit may travel the Void freely, but it is through her own earthly remains that she communicates with the Listener.

And so, I wash the corpse weekly with the requisite oils, recite the ancient incantations, and personally see to the extermination of any insects or rodents. If the Night Mother does not speak, it will be because she chooses not to - not because she is unable. This is my responsibility. This is my vow.


12th of Mid Year, 4E 189
Months and months and months and no Listener. Why won't the Night Mother speak to me? I am worthy as Keeper, but not as Listener? I protect our Lady, keep her sanctified, but still she will not grace me with her voice?


4th of Sun's Height, 4E 189
So long since I worked my blade. So long since I saved a soul. But I am now Keeper. No longer a taker.
I think back fondly on my hours with the jester. His laughter, his screams, his pitiful cries. And then, as the end drew near, his laughter once more. Merry in death as well as life. I was honored to know him.


1st of Hearthfire, 4E 189
Cheydinhal has erupted into violence and chaos, like so many other cities before it. The Sanctuary has remained unbreached, but for how long?

Our numbers are few, and with no Speaker, the contracts have dwindled almost to nothingness. Rasha's hold on the Sanctuary is slipping.


26th of Frostfall, 4E 189
Silence! Deafening silence! In my head in my head in my head. It is the silence of death, the silence of the Void. Seeping into me, through the Mother. The silence is hatred. The silence is rage. The silence is love.


4th of Evening Star, 4E 189
Today, Rasha declared himself Listener, claiming the Night Mother spoke to him at last. But when questioned, he could not name the Binding Words. Liar! Deceiver! His charade must not stand.


5th of Evening Star, 4E 189
Rasha is dead.

As commanded by the silence, so did I obey.  I did not wield the knife, oh no, but dipped the honey softly sweet, into Garnag's eager ear. He is a good brother. A loyal brother. To both Cicero and our Matron. He did the deed, gladly.


10th of Sun's Dawn, 4E 190
Only three of us left. Cicero, Garnag, Pontius.


15th of Sun's Dawn, 4E 190
The Night Mother remains silent. I remain unworthy. The Sanctuary remains doomed.


3rd of First Seed, 4E 190
I can hear it. Deeper, and deeper. Louder and louder, punctuating the silence like thunder on a calm evening. Laughter.


4th of First Seed, 4E 190
Laughing, laughing, laughing, laughing! It is the jester! A voice from the Void, to cheer poor Cicero! I accept your gift, dearest Night Mother. Thank you for my laughter. Thank you for my friend.


16th of Rain's Hand, 4E 191
Pontius is dead. A Dark Brotherhood assassin was killed by a common bandit while walking the streets of Cheydinhal. How can something so sad be so funny?


17th of Rain's Hand, 4E 191
I love the laughter, dearest Night Mother, but still I long to hear your voice. It's not too late! Speak to me, my mother! Speak to me, that I may set things right! I can save the Sanctuary, I can save the Brotherhood!

You can have the laughter! Take it back! An exchange, then? The laughter for your voice?


2nd of Second Seed, 4E 191
It's not safe to leave the Sanctuary. We'll stay here. All is well.


29th of Last Seed, 4E 191
Garnag is gone. Gone gone gone gone gone. Left to get food, but he'll be back. It's only been three months. Three months. Tree months? Twelve moths? Four sloths!


21st of Sun's Dusk, 4E 192
Cicero is dead! Cicero is born!

The laughter has filled me, filled me so very completely. I am the laughter. I am the jester. The soul that has served as my constant companion for so long has breached the veil of the Void finally and forever. It is now in me. It is me.

The world has seen the last of Cicero the man. Behold Cicero, Fool of Hearts - laughter incarnate!


28th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 200
Found the old journal, decided to write, a treatise on silence, sound, darkness and light!

How long has it been since the Night Mother first came here? How long since I was made Keeper? How long since I became the fool? Since I've been alone? Since Cheydinhal fell? Since they started pounding on the door, like so many hammered heartbeats?

It's dark in here, and quiet. Poor Cicero no longer hears the laughter, for he is the laughter. There is no Listener in Cheydinhal. No Listener in Cyrodiil. No Listener in me.

We must leave here.  Before the Sanctuary falls. Before the Night Mother burns. Before the Dark Brotherhood withers. Before the laughter dies.


29th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 200
I took a stroll, and spied a maid, but Matron's duty stayed my blade. So busy now, I miss the thrill, if only I had time to kill.

30th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 200
I have written the letters. So polite. So official! To Astrid, in Skyrim. Her Sanctuary still stands. Still operates. But how? No Listener means no Black Sacrament, no Black Sacrament means no contracts. Her family can abandon the Old Ways, and still survive, still kill, but is that family still Brotherhood? Or something else? Something new. Something different. Something wrong?

Something wrong.

Still, we must go! Tomorrow, we set sail. Float on a boat through the moat called the sea her and me!


22nd of Evening Star, 4E 200
Sick sick sick of the rocking tossing rolling throwing upon the gray gray waves!

I've been reading of Skyrim, of the good days, the old days, of the Old Ways. There was another Sanctuary once. A Dawnstar Sanctuary. Good, ancient and strong. Blessed by Sithis. Cicero will go there! No need of Astrid!

The Mother and I will settle, and she will speak to me, finally, and we will build the Old Ways anew, together.


23rd of Evening Star, 4E 200
The passphrase is mine! I have found it, in a letter ancient as the Sanctuary itself.

The Black Door will ask - "What is life's greatest illusion?"

I am to answer - "Innocence, my brother."

Finally, a space, a place, to call my own! A joker's retreat for the Fool of Hearts!!!!


4th of First Seed, 4E 201
The Sanctuary is home! As I had dared hope! Cool and dark and lovely. My Sanctuary, Sanctuary from all.

I know its every corner, every hall, every shadowed nook and alcove. My Sanctuary. The guardians know me, recognize me as Keeper. They leave poor Cicero alone. The big ugly beast - a different story. He'd eat me if he could, but to bind me, grind me, he'd need to find me. And Cicero will make sure that does not happen. For I have Sanctuary!

Sanctuary from all.


13th of First Seed, 4E 201
The Sanctuary is safety, and salvation. But silent, so silent. I give my love to the Unholy Matron. I give my laughter freely. But I do not hear her. The silence has returned. Now that I am laughter, and no longer hear laughter, I once again hear the silence. The silence of the Void. It reaches across time and space. Its silence is deafening, once more.


1st of Rain's Hand, 4E 201
Mother and Keeper must go. I am not the Listener, and never will be. But I am the Keeper. I must serve my Mother's will above my own. I must find her Listener. I must teach Astrid the error of her ways, the beauty and necessity of the Old Ways.
I have sent the letter to Astrid. We leave soon. But Cicero will keep this Sanctuary as his Sanctuary!

A place to rest and ply my trade, for I once more take up the blade, and send some lucky souls to Him, when laughter strikes, as fits my whim!