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On the Nords' Lack of a Creation Myth

Michael Kirkbride

"Creation myth? Hoo boy. First off, that whole phrase smacks of Monkey Talk-- and we thank Talos to this day for their turn at Glenumbria-- or the Wheel-Eyed Wonderment of the east devils-- who at least have the wheel part right, but that's so obvious as to offend your own navel, which is to say, wasting the time of even wasting time-- but I guess that's what you want to hear about, really: time. Our place in it now, our place in it then. Well, you've earned the truth of it then: you've taken your first tusk and been kissed by a Kyne Wife, so fine.

"The Nords you know are the Nords that were, and any formalization beyond that is southern comfort. We came from Skyrim since the end of the beginning of the last end... and so on as sung by the ysgrimskalds of the world. What's that now? We're descended from the gods? So that must mean, what, they went away at some point and then we started? Sure, that's all true, and, yes, there was a war with the gods of Old Mary where Shor died, and, yes, Old Mary's own stories of "how everything started" are just as true as ours. The untangling of it all, though, is where examining the tree nets you nothing for the basket because the fruit is all dead by the time you've reached any sensible conclusion. Which is to say, there is no conclusion, my lad, there is only the telling, and only time will tell the dead, for only by the dead can we tell the time, and so of course it all must fit together, all versions of every last telling, whereso or whensoever it comes from. Yes? Elsewise we'd never have time to tell it again.

"See now why asking the Nords for their creation myth is as unbearable to hear for them as it is for you to hear their never-really-an-answer? We'll never think that way, at least not long enough for what some would consider the "proper" amount of time-- it's just not how our brainpans were built. As a rule, we change our minds a lot, and properly so, which drives the other take on properlarity crazy. It's intrinsic to our nature; to live in the North is to live with a mind that dances near the hearth lest it slow like old Herkel's lot. (That's what happened to the Dwarves, by the way: their minds froze to death by thinking one thing over and over until poof, gone in a belch of a mountain.)

"But I can see by the droop of your shoulders that none of this has met to your satisfaction. Let me show you then, the proper way to ask the Nords their proper place in history: ask them to tell you the oldest story they know that's also the best. That will get you as close to a creation myth as anything else, even if the next telling changes it a bit, but that's beside the point of being the point.

"Just because we hate to waste time in Skyrim, we have lots of it to use with nothing else to do, and there's no better way to use up time without wasting it than by telling a good story. And the best of the oldest stories we still know is [untranslatable], which I guess you'll probably want to hear after you get me another round."


Another story for another time, maybe. Cyrus got tired of listening to the old man go on and on and on.

Merry X-Mas, everyone, the snows a'comin',


Shor, son of Shor

Michael Kirkbride


"And the awful fighting ended again.

"Kyne's shout brought our tribe back to the mountaintop of Hrothgar, and even our recent dead rode in on the wind of her breathing, for there had been no time to fashion a proper retreat. Their corpses fell among us as we landed and we looked on them in confusion, shaken as we were by this latest battle in the [untranslateable]. The chieftains of the other tribes still held their grudge against our own, Shor son of Shor; more, they had united finally to destroy us and used skin-magic to trick us into disarray.

"Shor was disgusted with the defeat, and disgusted more when reminded by Jhunal that our withdrawal had been wise, for we were outnumbered eight to one. Shor took on the form of the [untranslateable] then, which he used to better shape his displeasure, rather than to shout it aloud and risk more storm-death. His shield thanes, the brothers Stuhn and Tsun, bowed their heads, collecting the spears and swords and wine-knives Shor threw about the broken pillars of the easternmost sky-temple. The rest of us looked away and to our own, not even to acknowledge the thunderclap that signaled our Queen's arrival, who stepped in from the tunnel of her own breath last.

"Kyne had taken the head of Magnar, the jarl that betrayed the weakness of our spear-lines and fled the field. Shor shook his scaled mane. "That isn't Magnar," he said, "Magnar, I fear, fell at sunrise and became replaced by mirrors. The other chieftains are using our forms to lead us astray."

"And then Shor walked away from his War-Wife to enter the cave that led to the [untranslateable]. He needed to take counsel with his father yet again. "Our chieftain loses heart," Dibella said, Bed-Wife of Shor, hefting another body onto the corpse pile some of us were making, "And so goes to the speak to one that has none anymore. Mirrors, indeed, and in that I see no logic."

"Tsun took her by the hair, for he was angered by her words and heavy with lust. He was a berserker despite his high station, and beauty followed battle to his kind. "You weren't made for that kind of thinking," Stuhn said, dragging Dibella towards a whaleskin tent, "Jhunal was. And no one should be speaking to him now." Tsun eyed the Clever Man who had heard him. "Logic is dangerous in these days, in this place. To live in Skyrim is to change your mind ten times a day lest it freeze to death. And we can have none of that now."

"Kyne could have stopped all of this but did nothing but stare at the crowd of Nords around her. Stuhn and Tsun were shifting and it was still uncouth to prevent this kind of neighboring. She looked on Jhunal and did not know if he should be spoken to or not. Rules were changing. Even her handmaiden was gone, and that lack of attendance was a transgression, but Kyne knew Mara was no doubt making treaties with one of the other chieftains, and the Pact still allowed for Tear-Wives to do that. After her husband Shor had forgotten to kiss her, a tradition among the War-Married when they returned from the field together, Kyne kept her storms to herself and knew there was no true understanding until the [untranslateable] was lifted."


World-Eating 101

Michael Kirkbride

These two texts come to us from the World-Eating 101 thread, and operate on the following premise: 

Assume "The Dawn Era was the End of the Previous Kalpa. The new Kalpa begins with the first day of the Merethic Era."

Then put on your lore-hats and start looking hard at the ramifications of that.

Besides being interesting in terms of chronology and myth, they also offer insight into the Nordic worldview. The original thread can still be found here

Analysis on Sermon Zero


One night while conducting research at the library, I feel asleep. When I awoke, I discovered a letter from Jobasha (or AFFA MU, a Dev who helped create Morrowind). Here is part of what it said:

"Jobasha found this sermon in an unusual place. Jobasha cannot say anything about the truth of this sermon. Jobasha is no priest or Psijic. Jobasha only shares what Jobasha finds."

...the whole Jobasha's sermon can be read here.

After reading through it once, I couldn’t help but noticing the word aminreaV. It is the name of the Daedric Prince Vaernima spelled backwards. I tucked that information into the back of my head for later use.

Another thing I noticed was the lowercase letters in the thrice-secret word. I decided to see if they spelled anything. I was amazed to discover that they did—but they are written backwards (more on this message later).

I then decided to call it a night. When I return a few days later, I discovered another letter. This one came from Bendu Olo:

"This has been very entertaining! I wish Jobasha luck! Please let us know you are ok!

Look at the first and last letters of each sentence in Sermon Zero. There is another message here, but it doesn't help! I bet there are more, too. Maybe something about the 3 and 72? I don't know what the first one means. About the second one, the crime of Vivec, maybe he stole something? That would be in line with the "three thieves" being the Tribunal..."

I began to look through the Sermon once again using this new information. Alas, I was able to discern two other messages.

...and then Sermon Zero Revealed!

Now comes the difficult decision. I wrestled with this for days, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to post any information, thus, ruining it for some. In the end, I was reminded of one of my earlier quotes from this thread:

"Knowledge is truly precious--like gold, diamonds and jewelry. But some seek to amass it all for themselves! When it is taken and shared with others, they are afraid. Afraid of what might be learned."

With that being said, I feel I must, at the very least, guide you to the secrets. Therefore, I will share what some of us have learned from Sermon Zero.

If you take the first letter of each sentence and read them in that order, you will discover a message relating to gods and men:

If you take the last letter of each sentence and read them in reverse order, you will discover a message about Vivec:

In the thrice-secret word, if you take the lowercase letters and read them in reverse order, you will discover a message about the Dwemer:

The Fourth Secret Message is found in the thrice-secret word. The capital letters form a Vigenere cipher which requires the name 'Vivec' as its key:

With this, I hope you can learn the secret and decide yourself the implication...

Sermon Zero of the Thirty-and-Six-and-Nine Sermons of Vivec

This is the truth of Sermon Zero, which is neither one.

He was born a poor Netchiman, but rich in his Wife and in Wisdom. Eternal are their names, mother and father of Vehk, Berahzic and Irdri.

Generous silver chalice, sword in the clouds, dying-radiant lady-star. He entered the Temple, passed the seven veils, beheld his wife, Berahzic. O: the word, the deed, the end inevitable: O!

She asked of him truths beyond words, and he answered without words, but added in completion:

"There is nothing beyond bliss, after death comes the void. Only then are we free to love. Figuring father Peryite would stamp it and catalogue it. And Mephala mother, embracing black hands, would smother it. Gods such as us must be gentle with all our children, both flesh and spirit, a seed-apple potpourri."

On that night Berahzic named her children but did not know their sum.

Dreams of peasants, a Netchiman's dream. IRDRI HLAFEM VEHK HYKRO.

Silence is the command of the Aedra, the howling horror in the cavern of the heart, the laughter of Berahzic. Nocturnal's Black Skies, Peryite's Golden Order, Meridia's greeyellow Generations, Mehrunes' Red Rage, the Sighs of Berahzic. O, her diamonds and crescents a crimson dawn over armies arrayed for battle, her dark and silent eyes the blinding snows of Solitude.

Many thousand millions are the visions of aminreaV. A, awake, the first and last, the King of I.

Netchiman Irdri on the next day took his wife and newfound treasure to meet the Dwarf-King at the end of Bthuangthuv.

There Kagrenac gave him the thrice-secret word:


Here the true key lies. Vivec is the lesser or false key.

For in the beginning was the Word: Spoken by a Great Ape.
For in the beginning was the Word: Three by Seventy-two.
For in the beginning was the Word: ALMSIVI.

The ghost of a god is no man.

Vivec committed no crime.

To the Dwemer and Oblivion belong this treasure and they are there dead.

White Gold netch merchants Cherim Muzariah

Hold the key on twelve hundred

And the lightning struck Dragon Tower.

I bind these Daedra guardians under the Seed-apple Lattice.

Jobasha has this to say about the secret message: "Cherim is Jobasha's good friend, shared much sugar, many sands. Cherim is famous tapestry maker, puts the ja'Kha'Jay in every one. White Gold is one of his best, one of the least often seen. It shows the White Tower, a dragon spirals around it, a moth priest at the top. Very famous moment, but few men remember."

"Have you not heard of Muzariah and her death at the hands of the Three Angry Men? Muzariah was Indoril by birth and a painter by choice. Her best painting lies in the cellars of the Imperial Palace by Imperial decree. No one wishes to destroy such beauty, but no one wishes it to be seen. A dilemna."

"But Jobasha says too much."

It appears that Jobasha is refering to this: Cherim's Heart of Anequina.

Another reminder from Jobasha: "Jobasha reminds you of the greeyellow generations, the seed apples, the "significant form" of Jobasha's good friend Cherim."

Sotha Sil's Last Words...

Sotha Sil

Sotha Sil:

Friend Divayth, it is too long since we have spoken. And it is too often recently I have seen your words.

You toy with the minds of these curious mortals. The Tools of Kagrenac in your possession? I think not. Were you to have them, I would fear for your life. They are not tools for mortals, Fyr, as you well know.

And what of your own mortality? How does that stand? If you live longer than a god, are you any less sublime? There has always been something different in you, though, I think. I believe you find a certain joy in your own mortality, thin stretched though it may be. It is a good quality in you.

Your curiosity is troublesome. You are a wizard, a scholar, a delver into pasts and futures. This I understand, as I have been all these things and more.

Curiosity is an odd thing. It is a bright path surrounded by brambles.

You are an interesting creature, my friend, and I would not wish you ill. I implore you take greater care with your words. The mortal mind is easily fractured by the divine.

For now, I will watch you entertain yourself as you toy with so much talk of the How and the Where. These are the questions most easily answered, but they will be the least satisfying.

Sotha Sil:

Thieves? An interesting concept. Did we steal the essence of the Divine, or was it given to us freely, that we might lead our people into a new age?

Few called us thieves when by words and by rite the Princes of Oblivion were bound to a truce. Fewer still when Mehrunes Dagon broke that truce and himself was broken on the soil of Mournhold.

The events of Red Mountain happened so long ago. What has Lord Vivec told you about that day? Did he wrap it in riddles, give you an array of possible pasts all leading to the same inevitable future? That is his way.

Do not curse him for this, as this is what he is. A puzzle. The opposition to his own viewpoint.

Almalexia would tell the story best, I think. She of us all was the closest to Nerevar. Lover. Counsel. General. And she of us all wears the mantle of a god most proudly. She has walked among the people and learned their frailties. Learned them well.

Men of god? Gods of men? Which should you fear most?

You wonder where the Dwemer have gone? Perhaps better to wonder why one remains. Even gods dislike the absolute, for it stinks of something larger than themselves.

Still I watch.

Sotha Sil:

I watch. I wonder. I build. I tear down.

Am I a god? A surely as any are.

Gods have forever to measure their words. Mortals only moments to hear them.

Is the Lord Vivec a god? As surely as I am.

Vivec is a poet. Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to sieze the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth.

Is the Lady Almalexia a god? As surely as is Lord Vivec.

Almalexia is a warrior. Beware the warrior, as her steel may not distinguish friend from foe. But in a true hand, a sharp blade may carve history.

Again you ask, am I a god?

I am Sotha Sil. I am the Mage. I am the Clockmaker.

You ask where my Clockwork City is? Some say in the swamps of Black Marsh. Others claim it is deep in the ground beneath Ebonheart. I have even heard it told that my city is contained within a jar on the Lady Almalexia's mantle. These are all true, and false. My city is where I live, and I live in my city. Its location is unimportant, as I am its only citizen.

The Dwemer were the Dwemer. The Chimer were the Chimer. Now the Dwemer are gone and the Chimer are changed. Azura's words weigh heavy, but we have discussed the words of gods already, have we not?

I am Sotha Sil.

I watch. I wonder. I build. I tear down.

Divayth Fyr the Psijic:

Just a note on Sotha Sil my friends....

That was not the entire City. No indeed. It was Master Sil's main hall within his hidden city of Clockwork madness. Just as, outside of the pearly gates in Mournhold, exists a crawling area of numerous homes, citizens, and vendors. Sotha Sil is quite expanse and houses many more inhabitants. I have seen them in person, and my, what a sight! In the case of the Nerevarine, I hear tale that when he was teleported in by Almalexia, the machina lift door behind him was caved in. For whatever reason (did Almalexia do it or did Sotha Sil?), this barred him from venturing further. Where the Nerevarine actually was, is Sotha Sil's workshop/lair.

Think about it though.... if this were a city, who could possibly call this place home? More intelligent fabricant type inventions? I dare not tell, although I have seen it with mine own eyes. Perhaps one day, the location will be openly known, and visitors can venture forth into the Clockwork City entire.

Divayth Fyr the Psijic:

I have made sense of the vision. It WAS a vision indeead. During my travels to other planes, I meditate to pass the time. Travel between planes is quite disorienting and one who is not used to the action may succumb to a sensation of his body being ripped apart. Meditation eases the sensation. My journey back took longer than usual. The "vision", or what could also be considered a nightmare, strayed me from my original path. I was unable to abandon the vision as it held me physically and mentally. Once the vision had ceased, I found myself lying nude, in some brush just outside of Tel Vos. Weakened from this extraordinary incident, I was able to still find my way back to my stronghold, where I slept for days, to regain my strength.

In speaking with the council on the matter, they too believe it to be a mere vision. Not one that holds any meaning, but perhaps merely a sign that I have been straining myself too hard on the matter of the Dwemer. This is very possible, although it seems a bit more to me. Rest is indeed what I lack, and I believe I shall take leave of such journeys for some time to regain my self being.

Yagrum, on the other hand, seems to have regained much in the past. He still shows signs of corprus, but his memory seems to slowly be coming back from time to time. He spends quite a bit of time on his own now and wishes to remain alone. I am sure that glimpses of his past, coming freshly back to him, give him much to ponder over. I feel for my old friend. I only wish there was more I could do. A temper seems to rattle him every now and then and I have instructed my sister-wives to leave him be. In time, he will come to and understand what fate holds for him.

And interesting thing.... Yagrum confronted me after my arrival from the council, and wished to know if I still had the Tools in my possession. Upon hearing that the Hortator had taken leave and carried the items off with him, Yagrum seemed quite upset. What is going in that mind of my old friend's. I shall keep a close eye on him, for I worry about his well being.

Divayth Fyr the Psijic:


"This is the truth of Sermon Zero, which is neither one."

From these "so called" hidden messages, which I applaud you on, do you see truth? The first line, through strange misconception, leads one to believe that this message can be taken as false word also. Much of what I already know is quite alarming, and the truth is just around the corner from all unknowing citizens of the Empire. I do hope, for the sake of Tamriel, that we are prepared for any upcoming revelations or long tucked away truths. If the "ghost" is indeed walking among us, the times we are all witnessing, may be in for quite a shock.

Divayth Fyr the Psijic:

Upon arriving at my tower, I was informed by one of my wives that a wonderous discussion has taken place without my knowlege. Bear with me, for my long journey has left me weary.

And so, the debate over the Tribunal, Kagrenac's tools, and the Dwemer has arisen once again! My dear up-and-coming scholars, the facts are there! Can you not see the truth? Allow me to prod a bit on your senses in order to bring some light into this topic.

The Tribunal....
Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil are God heroes, are they not? Self made upon using Kagrenac's tools (which I will discuss in a bit) upon Lorkhan's Heart. Azura punished them, and their peoples (yes, including me!). The dark skin and fiery eyes is a visible and alarming reminder. Is this coincidence that the change happened upon the breaking of the oath? Azura is indeed the culprit. Had the "Tribunal" not undergone this deed, Azura would have taken no action. Did Azura take the lives of the Dwemer for attepting use of the Heart? A question that only the Goddess can answer, but I do not believe so. Nobody knows what plans Kagrenac had for the Heart. Perhaps Kagrenac's use of the Heart was the undoing of the Dwemer. Either by plan or by mistake. This is of little concern to the Tribunal. They got what they came for. To walk in the "Shadows of Gods". To send their general off to a Battle and recover their prize. Nerevar was, in my opinion, expendable, to them. Nerevar would know the truth behind the Dwemer and the Tribunal hunger for Power. This brings me to another matter.... did Nerevar indeed die of his wounds, or did the Tribunal fear his knowlege of the truth, and silence him, forever? Surely the Tribunal and Azura would know. Azura was quite fond of Nerevar, and it is possible that *IF* the Tribunal did exterminate Nerevar, Azura cursed the Tribunal and the chimer for this. The Dissident Priests seem to believe this aspect, as do I.

Kagrenac's Tools....
Keening, Sunder, and Wraithguard. The very same tools that Kagrenac designed and constructed to harness the Power of the Heart. Can these tools also be used to destroy the Heart? Are they intended to send the Heart back to it's origin? Or are they simply used as tools to draw forth Power for individual consumption? Well, we know how the Tribunal used them. The mystery is, what were Kagrenac's plans for them? Sotha Sil was able to decipher their use for tapping into the Power. The Tribunal paid a visit to Red mountain with the Tools and did just that, thus, becoming "God-Men".

The Dwemer....
First and foremost, one must ask themselves, were the dwemer a carefree or a careless race? Were they tolerable or were they tyrants? Did they create machines of offensive or defensive? What *IS* known is, they were great inventors of machine and construct. Magic was not favored by them, but it is rumored that there was some practice within their numbers. Did the Tribunal fear them? We know that in order for the Tribunal to gain their "God-Men" Power, they had to defeat the Dwemer to recover what they had in their possession. It is not very likely that the Tribunal feared the Dwemer, they simply feared what the dwemer could become. Afterall, an entire race that was as poswerful as the small Tribunal would be quite a power to be reconned with.

Their disappearance is still a mystery that grows deeper and deeper with every step taken forward. We know that *ALL* Dwemer (with the exception of my good friend Yagrum) vanished when Kagrenac struck the Heart with his tools. Where they went is the true mystery. Many theories say they were transported to Oblivion. Quite a harsh place to *want* to go, if that was their plan. It is possible they went somewhere by accident. It is even possible they just ceased to exist at all. The idea that they are lost in time is quite new to me. I highly doubt that since the laws behind time would govern us to not even recall they even existed. Trully something supernatural, indeed. I *DO* know what happened, but in all reality, I do NOT know where they have gone or is they are in all truth, dead.

Perhaps, with the meeting of our minds and studies, we can find more meaning and resolve to these matters at hand. I have dedicated much of my time and work to this subject and expect to find some sense in it.

And beware the Tribunal. For years, they have known what we do not. They speak in odd Tongues and bite like snakes in tall wickwheat. Their secret is their true Power. For, the return of the Nerevarine Prophecy will bring them into the light and their true identities shall be known. Their words should be taken with a grain of skooma.

Divayth Fyr the Psijic:

Ah, B, my good friend, you overestimate my intentions. I am but a student. A student of the mysteries that engulf the land entire. It is not my way to tackle obstacles. It is my way to solve them. One may know how to climb a mountain, yet one may never climb it. I do not seek the Power of the Heart. I yearn to understand it. Just as the Dwemer may have. We do not know for sure that they wished to weild such power. Perhaps they simply wished to understand it's uses. Not necessarily use them. One can only speculate.

I had the opportunity of gaining audience with Sotha Sil some time ago. Indeed, it was long ago. He has since then gone into complete seclusion. He had little to say but would listen with an ever alert sense. I tried to persuade him into working with me on some theories involving the fluxuation of power that the Dwemer seemed to have mastered in their steam driven machina. Although he appeared quite interested, he was pressed for another duty. One which he did not, and would not mention. I bid him farewell and took my leave. He was nil seen after that meeting. I do agree, that Sotha Sil shares an interest as I do, but we are very much different. As I wish to understand, he wishes to utilise. He is the farthest thing from Psijic. I believe Sotha Sil cared not for Psijic Ways. There is order in the Ways, and Sotha Sil tends to follow only HIS order.

In the past, it would appear that the Tribunal have lost much communication with one another. With the reversing of Sotha Sil's Clockwork and his silence and seclusion, Vivec straining all power to hold aloft the mighty Blight, and Mournhold on the horizon of becoming a major Capital, the Man-Gods have their hands full. And with the Nerevarine Prophecy knocking on their doors, I would imagine there is nil cheer, but fear, in their hearts. What does the Prophecy have in store for them.

Divayth Fyr the Psijic:

Bump indeed! My studies and research has had me so preoccupied recently that I have been careless about these discussions. The Psijic Endeavor. Why, were I not a Psijic myself, I may have had the time to discuss this subject more promptly.

Man becoming Godly? Perhaps a mere shadow of a God is more appropriate? And to "surpass" a God, well, now we are speaking of a grand gift. One really must be thoughtful of the "Gods" before one can even imagine gaining such a high power/command. Who and what are the Gods? Are they true beings of power? Are they merely Man with incredible ability? Are they figments of our frightened imaginations; something that comforts us in our time of loss and fright? IF, indeed, these "Gods" are beings that scripture and ink bring us to believe, then any Man could fathom the idea of being One.

This brings up many other interesting revelations. The Dwemer apparently had the Gods on the virge of fear with their new and amazing power (thus, the term, "technology" could be used). Did the Dwemer seek out such Godly power and attempt to achieve a sort of Nirvana? Not much different than the Psijic Endeavor one would imagine, BUT, were the Dwemer Psijics, or of the sort? Did they get close enough to frighten even the Gods, and find a heavy punishment awaiting? The Heart of Lorkhan was, by Legend, cast into Vvardenfell, creating Red Mountain. The Dwemer were native to this region, and had they uncovered this Heart, it seems likely that they would have the ability to gain something from it. Why else would Lorkhan and Dagoth Ur storm the Mountain? Surely, Lorkhan would dearly love to retrieve his Heart, but Dagoth Ur was also intent on the unknown power of the Heart. The Dwemer were merely an obstacle, no? Expendable. Dagoth Ur had no love for the Dwemer. Surely, the Endeavor is an idea to all mortals, but is is possible? One is led to believe that, had the Dwemer or Dagoth Ur succeeded in controlling this Heart, would it perhaps be The Key to opening the door? The Heart of a "God" in possession of a mortal. The idea is very exciting yet horrifying.

As a Psijic of the New Ways, the Dwemer appear to have been most successful in the Endeavor than any mortal. Their Endeavor is not the shared Endeavor of the Old Way. The New Way, so I speak with no REAL title, is the Way in which I have devoted my research to. I find this New Way to be most delightful a study. The Dwemer have taught me more about the "ideals" of the Endeavor than any Psijic could have in 1,000 years. So many questions, so little time. Finding answers appears to be the primary purpose of mortal existence.


Gosleigh's letter - 20 Rain’s Hand


20 Rain’s Hand
Nicrythe Tower,

My Dear Xal,

It's been ten days and I've yet to receive any word from you. I'm hoping that you're not dead. I'm hoping further that the seeds and saplings I asked you to send are en route with a letter. Springtide is turning to Summertide and if I don't have the plants soon, it will be too late to set them properly.

I've instructed my assistant Jolfer to take care of anything I receive over the next couple of days or weeks. I can't go into the details, but suffice it to say, I will be in the Dreaming Cave. Yes. And to your next question, no, there is no one but me who can go on this. Believe me, Direnni, who is a fool (which is made plainer every day) would take my place if he could.

So you see there is no telling how long I will be gone. I've specifically told Jolfer not to open any letters addressed to me (fearing that you might make reference to my recent shipment, which the Council of Artaeum might frown upon), but don't let that hold you back. I demand as my right as your friend to hear everything about your trip.

Now I must go. They must tattoo me for my trip. I'm sure I'll look like a perfect ass. The daedra should be very amused.


P.S.: Do you know anything about an imp named Erator? I seem to be getting his mail. Very puzzling fellow.

Gosleigh's letter - 10 Rain’s Hand


10 Rain’s Hand
Nicrythe Tower,

My Dear Xal,

This will probably be the third of the letters you receive in Port Telvanni when you arrive. I received your letter within hours after sending off a copy of the Scroll, which you’ll learn in the first of the letters, was not my initial impulse. It’s too early to say what the repercussions will be sending it to you, but I hope it will help. I will be fascinated to hear how the Nerevarine Prophecies play out, as I understand they will, and very soon. I count on you to keeping me informed about that, whatever you hear.

I’m fascinated by your story about Kemel-Re. Was it a special ceremony you witnessed, a festival, something religious in nature? Is this anything that happens in Vvardenfell as well, or is it a strictly mainland ritual?

On the Ayleids, ah yes. Don’t tell me you saw any of them in Morrowind did you? You might look for a series of books I understand are being published there about the last year of the First Era, which feature an encounter with the Ayleids in the middle of the series, maybe book 4 or 5. I would appreciate it if you would give me a copy if you come across it, together with those roots and seeds I mentioned before.

Now I must finish and send this letter off. I am being called to a meeting of the Masters of Artaeum.



Xal's letter - Day of the Power/Knowledge


Day of the Power/Knowledge
Deshaan Plain

Dear Gosleigh,

The Cacophany wear gold and hideous masks and their instruments are built into their armor. Most have flute helms that span a foot or more, while the leader plays his ribs like a xylophone with broken bird bones. Their bottom halves all dance the same kind of impetuous, exaggerated march, kicking up dust, scaring off scribs. The natives say this is all that’s left of Sotha Sil. Maybe that’s why there are so many Swooners, silk-webbed women (or painted men) that crawl behind them, crawl or wriggle in the dirt, an entourage of excess in the din. That’s what strikes you most.

What strikes you most is the clamor, their red noise wandering, a boom-boom-blare as they advance through the plain. They say this is a membership drive or a spell or a reenactment. They say this might all be a great joke of Sotha Sil. One Swooner dies or pretends to. The priest beside me, a Mephalite sporting a sigil-halo in lieu of the regular horned abbot’s hat, tells me that these are the last dead leaves of the Velothi south. Seeing that I don’t understand, he tries to correct himself: ‘but the music they make is a skill that has been useful to ALMSIVI many times since. Songs are words reborn.’ By which, I guess, he meant to counteract the common saying, ‘By the word I mean the dead.’

Ach, if only you were here, Gosleigh! Your notions that the Ayleid shaper talents have moved east and into melody are proved correct!

We left earlier than expected. I doubt our correspondence will be as immediate as it has been in the past. Perhaps you have already responded; if so, forgive my delay, as the road through the south mainland is full of listening frames that I dare not compromise. Again, I urge you to procure for me the Adompha scroll, and hope that you will not meet with hindrance.

Begging your patience,


Gosleigh's letter - 9th Rain’s Hand


9 Rain’s Hand
Nicrythe Tower,

My Dear Xal,

Please reply back at your earliest convenience.

I sent the potion, and I understand it wasn’t quite what you were asking for, but if you have read my letters and understand the frailty of my position politically, you would understand that it would be very dangerous for me to ship items like the Scroll of Adompha to Morrowind Mephalites at this time. I hope you are merely furious at me and that’s why you haven’t written back, but I have heard, well, frankly, I’ve heard rumors of strange goings on in Morrowind of which I hope, for your sake, you are not a part. I fear though, knowing you, that you are involved.

Life on Artaeum has not been without its drama either.

A scandal erupted in my own college where one of my students (a Nord, a very sweet girl but given to brooding as so many of her kind are far from their chilly home) sought to explain the difference between possession and mind control by demonstrating them both. Chaos obviously ensued until I, Master Direnni, and Master il-Anselma were able to soothe the angry ancestral spirits.

An extremely ugly statue of Iachesis was destroyed (no great loss), but the part of my garden where I had all the marshmerrow and trama root you were so good to send me last springtide (and some Hammerfedlian poppies I had bought myself in Runcibae) and has been laid waste, utterly. And the blooms were growing so well too, even in our climate (if “climate” is really a meaningful word in Artaeum) it truly broke my heart.

It also made me reconsider your request.

I have set one of my more discreet scribes to copying the Scroll for you, and I was hoping that in return, you might send me some marshmerrow seeds or rootlings and some trama cuttings for my garden, knowing how plentiful such weeds at out your way. Please reply back with all haste. At the end of next month, it will be too late for me to begin a new harvest.

Yours very fondly,


Gosleigh's letter - 6th Rain’s Hand


6th Rain’s Hand
Nicrythe Tower,

My dear Xal,

How dramatic things are in Morrowind. I had scarcely shot off my letter, and within but a few hours, I had your reply. Imagine how much more efficient the Empire would run if they had our sort of delivery service. Why Uriel Septim VII would have some idea of the sort of … well, we can certainly get to that at a later date.

So, what I burnt was anointed by the Mephalites. They do make such a bother about things, don’t they? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone had to be sacrificed to the sixth spirit, old Black Hands the Spinner herself. Is the Morag Tong still in operation? We lose touch of such things down our way.

You needn’t tell me about this “B.” Despite the attempts of our agent, Sheogorath (the lad who took the name of the daedra to inspire fear, though he hardly lives up to it), he continues to delve. I can see the use of the Scroll, but it seems – and you must excuse my, oh let me say it, Psijic protectionism on this – a little bit much. I mean to say, honestly. Really. Seriously. What is the worst that can happen?

I know I shouldn’t say that. But I do.

Half-way through this letter, I paid a visit on Master Balec Frel, and was informed that he had gone out for the evening. Inquiring further, I found he had been eaten. Though he would not be the first of the Psijics to be eaten by a hound of Oblivion and survived, I must admit a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Perhaps in lieu of the Scroll of Adompha, you will accept in my sincere appreciation, this, a very, very rare recipe for a potion which will cause whatever person is to the immediate left of you to be cured of lycanthropy, regardless of their years under its spell. I can see how this might not be of much value in Morrowind, where lycanthropy is more rare than a sexually normal Telvanni mage, but it took considerable expertise, and not a little bit of luck, to perfect it.

Oh, and if you have an opportunity while in Kemel-Ze, would you be so kind as to ask a question about the Kothringi for me to that ... you know who I'm talking about it, but her name escapes me ... she's kind of big, and ugly ... and she smells like death? ... anyhow, if you could ask her to reply to the letter I sent her a fortnight ago about whether the Kothringi and the Argonians had, well, certain relations, that would be very helpful. Primary sources, of course.

And now, I’m off to bed. I wonder why they call them Seducers …

Yours ever,