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sheogorath

Chamberlain Haskill Answers Your Questions

Author: 
Chamberlain Haskill

June 6, 2015
 

“To Haskill,

I have found myself wondering if there is some reason the Mad God is so fond of cheese. Is there a significant reason for this? I mean no disrespect, of course, but I find the taste of cheese to be, well, disgusting. Does the Mad God just like the taste of cheese, or is it something deeper? I apologize if I offend you by saying this, but one must truly be mad to love the foulness of... cheese. I am merely a curious Nord with far too much time on her hands, but I am hoping you will have the extra time to answer my brief - and hopefully not insulting - question."

Sincerely, Aniki Frostward of Windhelm

Chamberlain Haskill says, “I am not, myself, fond of cheese, and cannot explain the Master's predilection for it. Unless he does it just to be irritating. Sometimes he does things just to be irritating."

 

“Hi! I think I'm not mad, but may you read the following like I am so.

How is it possible to a Daedra Lord, an et'Ada spirit of chaos, to be the Prince of Order like is Jyggalag, the antagonist of Sheogorath?

And another question for you: Have you ever considered that all of us, et'Ada and mortals, are nothing but characters of a game being played by unknown entities from outside the Aurbis? Maybe then that Sheogorath is the amused voice of the game creators.

And another more question for you: Is the cheese a corpse of milk?" - Shanke-Naar Righthorn

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Oh, yes. Very funny. In my position I get a lot of this sort of thing, as you might expect. You might even wonder if I'm tired of it yet. I'd wager that, if you thought hard, you could come up with the answer. Maybe.

“Nonetheless, the Master has given me the task of answering these questions, so I shall duly answer them. In my experience, Daedric Princes are much like cheese: some of them are hard, some of them are soft, and some of them have blue veins running through their substance. Thus: Jyggalag.

“And if we are nothing but characters in an elaborate game played by unknown entities, well, why aren't I having any fun?"

 

“Dear Haskill (or otherwise servant of Sheggorath, yes?),

I was wondering. In my people's Pantheon - the Khajiit Pantheon, yes, it seems my people believe in Sheogorath, or, well, Sheggorath as we call him as a Mad God, understandably. Do my people even worship Sheggorath? Or is he just labelled as a bad omen, and, why is his name put in unison for the drug addiction that comes with Skooma and Moon Sugar, eh? I do not understand - but this is probably because I am not a very cultured Khajiit. Cultured in my own terms, that is. I am cultured in, like. Stabbing Daedra.

I hope you fade into the Dark Behind the World, Vadanni"

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Ah, the cats. I have never liked cats personally, but the Mad God enjoys their company, I suppose because they're inexplicable and unpredictable. I am told that the Khajiit revere both the Aedra and the Daedra, worshiping whichever Divine seems most applicable to whatever they're praying for or swearing by. But then, to a cat, immediate personal convenience is everything. In fact, you're not even paying attention anymore, are you?"

 

“Are the mortal inhabitants of the Shivering Isles subject to the effects of Time? Those who have departed Tamriel under Lord Sheogorath's wing seem to live for centuries in between Greymarches if the ravings of madmen are to be believed. Knowledge of their fate might help assuage the grief of certain members of the Mages Guild who have had recent dealings with the Madgod."

Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Oh, of course, 'Doyen,' because assuaging the grief of mortals is so important to me. Let me be clear: inhabitants of the Shivering Isles are affected by Time, but we are not subject to it. We are subjects of Lord Sheogorath, who subjects us to whatever subjects he is in the mood to subjudicate. Because Time is subjective."

 

“Ah, the transmission worked. Lots of interference in the transliminal barriers today. Haskill, is it? I'm led to believe you're the Chamberlain to Lord Sheogorath himself. I imagine this is an administrative office that handles a wide array of interesting duties. I'm not sure if the following inquiry is within your area of expertise, but I've been curious about some of the inhabitants of Sheogorath's realm for some time. I acquired a tome a while back. (Well, "acquired" is a rather mundane way of describing a book popping out of thin air from a tiny portal and landing on my head hard enough to knock me out for the better part of an hour, but there are a lot of unusual things happening during this Planemeld.)

Getting back to the point, I found the subject matter fascinating. This tome seems to have originated in the realm you administrate for your Lord, and concerns some of the native flora and fauna. Several species were named which are quite alien to my home sphere of Nirn, such as Elytra and Grummites. Interestingly enough, despite inhabiting a Daedric realm, these creatures are said to lay eggs and reproduce in much the same way mortal animals of Mundus do. I found this quite strange, as I've always been taught that only Daedra live in Oblivion realms, and that Daedra do not reproduce as we do. Was my research misleading, or are these creatures not Daedra at all? If not, where do they originate and why do they live within your Lord's sphere?"

- Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Chamberlain Haskill says, “You don't know very much about Oblivion realms, 'Legate,' if you don't know that they reflect, and are indeed physical manifestations of, the Princes who rule over them. My master is the Prince of Madness, yet for some reason you expect his realm to follow the same rules that regulate your own bland little world. Do you wonder why I have no interest in visiting Tamriel? It's an act of mad charity that Lord Sheogorath pays it any attention at all.

“What is a Legate, anyway? Is it like a Doyen? I hope not."

 

“Scribed verbatim by Svarnor Far-Traveled, on request of his brother Svalti of the same clan. Svarnor apologizes for his brother's condition and hopes this letter will not influence his application into the service of Arkay.

Dear Haskill, Chamberlain of He Who Is Seen In Storms, bringer of many fears and destroyer of pleasure, may his name be worshipped above all else,

I find of late a new and all-encompassing fear has encompassed me. This fear is the terror that perhaps my ears only imagine and the Mad God speaks to me not. After pondering this new and beautiful nightmare for thirty-three days, I must ask of you, please answer to me this- with all the thousands of fools in the world, believing themselves insane when they have merely said the wool and offered up words and cabbages whilst eating soul gems, how can one truly be sure they listen to the whispers echoing from the Madhouse? The neighbors whisper to, almost as often as they listen, and the walls are thin.

What, I ask you, Haskill, Secretary of He Who Laughs in Terror, is the method with which I can attain most perfect worry? How can I master and grow in my recognition of the things which are dangerous, and the people whom I must Not Trust? Of all the thousand worships of the Bearded Man, the Mad Star, which is the trustworthy one? There are fools in the world who would think to behave in such ways as would make even the most yellow seem purpled and I will not be one of them. I have searched the libraries, but one cannot trust what is written in books- books even can be traps for the mind even as the nightmares can release them into perfect awareness.

Please, Haskill, Doorman of the Shivering Isles, please answer me. I have searched for so long to become perfect in what others call madness and fully aware of the perils which surround me. I must know- I must must must know if I have been praying and listening and seeing a farce. What of the Khajiit who live beyond the walls? Their Skooma Cat provides for them, and they see him sometimes too. Must I warn them, or watch them? Depart with them, or dispose of them? I know you, Haskill, are not perfect in your awareness. Only He is, but I beg to know things to know things to know things to know things YES THAT IS FOUR, BROTHER DO NOT INTERRUPT back to the letter oh Haskill please inform me of the answers to which I need to know the questions to listen to the dreams more closely while waking and to enter to the entrance without missing and being trapped by the deceivers they are here deceiving me always I hear their whispers in the darkness when the torches burn and in the light when they are silenced.

Sign it Svalti Far-Traveled NO DO NOT SAY YOU WROTE IT BROTHER WHAT ARE YOU WRITING NOW-

At this point, my brother collapsed into a furious fit and began to tear at the walls. I am writing this now, several hours later. I hope that it would be healing for my brother to receive a response from one who he evidently holds so close to his heart and, in addition, if this is (as I suspect) a hoax and a scam and this will go no further than some shack outside Bruma, I wish you to know that if my brother does not receive a response, we will personally hunt down those responsible for the lies and punish them severely in honor of the Lord of the Never There, king of the True-Seers and Laughing-Terrors and the Two-Faced Men. I hope that my application to study the service of Arkay is not influenced by this"

Svarnor Far-Traveled, with assistance from Svalti of the same name.

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Here, Svarnor, this never fails. Tell your brother, 'Svalti, you must eat the eggplant. You know which one I mean. You can trust me, because I'm your friend. Not like the Others.'"

 

“Greetings Haskill, Chamberlain to the Mad God.

Rumors and stories abound regarding the deeds of your master, but there are some hidden things I would dare to inquire about.

Firstly, I have heard whispers of a Daedric Prince of Order, long since lost. As this being must be considered the embodiment of all things abhorred by your lord, I wonder if you have any knowledge of this “Jyggalag"? Has Sheogorath banished him? Or is he perhaps merely uninterested with the disorder that makes Tamriel?

Secondly, I must ask about your own nature. In a realm defined by madness of all sorts, you seem to be a most sane being. Indeed, your nature seems rather opposite to that of your lord. Who and what are you? I have heard some say that you are in fact an aspect of the Mad God, as Barbas is to Clavicus Vile. Personally, I think it more likely that you are simply (if that word applies to anything related to Sheogorath) the steward of the Shivering Isles. Still, the rumor is interesting."

Sincerely as is possible when discussing the Mad God, Takrios the Indomitable

Chamberlain Haskill says, “I have had similar questions about my 'nature' from Alessandra, Legoless, and an Unnamed One, so I suppose I must address the matter. I am a Vestige, all that remains of a mortal from your world who 'mantled' Sheogorath during an event in a previous time. As a fragment, my memory of the event is … fragmentary. I am hazy on the entire concept of 'mantling,' but it had something to do with Lord Sheogorath, myself, and this Jyggalag of whom you speak. I have asked the Mad God to explain it to me, but he just laughs and says maybe he'll tell me about it 'next year,' whatever that means.

“Sometimes the Master irritates even me. I can't remember why I put up with it, actually."

 

“Most esteemed Haskill,

It is an honour to speak to one who knows the Mad God so intimately. Although I would have preferred an audience with the enigmatic Sheogorath himself, I suppose your deep knowledge of him would suffice. I have heard from many a people how much your Lord delights in the noble taste of cheese, although I have also heard he enjoys flaying his guests first and sipping their blood at later. Chilling. But let us focus on the cheese! What kind of mortal cheese, if any, does your lord enjoy? We Bretons are famous for our cheeses, and I would be most interested to learn if your Master has tasted the delicacies of High Rock. Do tell him of our wonderful La Chèvre Loren and the Langre du Ollere - they are best relished with a cup of blackberry wine! But enough of my ramblings! Please, relay my question to your Lord. If you would like a sample of our cheeses, I would be delighted to send you a batch when I return to my mansion in Gavaudon, provided there is a way to do so."
Yours excitedly, Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte, of the Wayrest Mages Guild

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Your application for a position in the Shivering Isles has been accepted, and you will start on Morndas as High Fromage Sommelier to Lord Sheogorath. Bring your own grapefruit spoon, and don't wear too much cologne—he hates that."

 

“I pen this letter with little patience or love for yourself or the Daedric Prince that you serve, corner of the House of Troubles and purveyor of chaos that he is.

However, I must confess, despite my loyalty to the Three and my boundless disdain for your domain, I do have one question burning in the back of my mind.

Many years ago, in my younger years, I had the gross misfortune of finding myself within the Shivering Isles after a Fredas night involving a shrine of Sheogorath, a copy of the Lusty Argonian Maid and more sujamma than I'd care to admit. Upon awaking back on Tamriel (how or why I was transported away from this dread realm I cannot say), I began studying the various texts and writings that discuss Sheogorath's most foul domain.

While doing so, I discovered that the Shivering Isles are also variously referred to as the Madhouse and the Asylums. I then came to wonder - is the Shivering Isles the name for Sheogorath's entire plane, or could it stretch even farther? Are the Shivering Isles perhaps a mere region, a single territory, of a larger Madhouse, a greater collection of Asylums? And how great a length, exactly, does the bewildering realm of Sheogorath truly span?

I thank you in advice for any reply as I excuse myself to atone for this sinful correspondence by saying my devotions to the Three,"

- Neldam Indrano

Chamberlain Haskill says, “My best advice to you, friend Neldam, is to go on wondering about this, devoting ever more effort to it until it dominates your every waking moment, and everything you do is overshadowed by your need to find the answer. Go do that.

“Because then, one day, you will be in a position to find out for yourself."

 

“I am but a humble servant of the lady of light and life, blessed Meridia. I ask this of the servant of the madgod: The number of princes is not static, Meridia proves that by her existence as a fallen star child, is the number 16 arbitrary? Are there Daedric princes in Oblivion that are unknown to us mere mortals? Princes who have never felt the need to interact with Mundus?" - Lami Wind-Speaker, Priestess of Meridia

Chamberlain Haskill says, “The best answer to this question is another: How many, Lami Wind-Speaker, are the Accords of Madness?"

 

“To Haskill, Sheogorath's Chamberlain,

In relation with the repatriation of Eyevea, I have heard recently Sheogorath bargained the ancient Abecean island in a confrontation with the Arch-Mage Shalidor. I have always wondered how could Eyevea disappear...

So, I ask you: is Sheogorath interested in expanding the Shivering Isles with new acquisitions after the loss of Eyevea? I fear my people in Herne or in the rest of the Abecean Archipelago could be in danger as many freemen and most nobles have left our home to fight in Cyrodiil for the Daggerfall Covenant. And I have to know if I have to reinforce Herne's defenses."

Regards, Baron Yashu al-Aydin of Herne

Chamberlain Haskill says, “My dear Baron, I have relayed your real estate proposal to Lord Sheogorath, and he is considering the terms under which he would agree to acquire your island of … what was the name? Herne? However, he would like to know your island's shape, as the Master likes his islands to fit into a nice paisley pattern. He doesn't like shapes that are too regular, and has a particular abhorrence for the rhombus. Herne isn't a rhombus, is it?"

Myths of Sheogorath

Author: 
Mymophonus

Sheogorath Invents Music

In the earliest of days, in a time when the world was still raw, Sheogorath decided to walk amongst the mortals. He donned his guise of Gentleman With a Cane, and moved from place to place without being recognized. After eleven days and eleven nights, Sheogorath decided that life among mortals was even more boring than his otherworldly existence.

"What can I do to make their lives more interesting?" he said to himself. At that same moment, a young woman nearby commented wistfully to herself, "The sounds of the birds are so beautiful."

Sheogorath silently agreed with her. Mortals could not make the beautiful and inspired calls of birds. Their voices were wretched and mundane. He could not change the nature of mortals, for that was the purview of other Daedric Princes. However, he could give them tools to make beautiful sounds.

Sheogorath took hold of the petulant woman and ripped her asunder. From her tendons he made lutes. From her skull and arm bones he made a drum. From her bones he made flutes. He presented these gifts to the mortals, and thus Music was born.

 

Sheogorath and King Lyandir

King Lyandir was known to be an exceedingly rational man. He lived in a palace that was a small, simple structure, unadorned with art and ugly to look upon. "I do not need more than this," he would say. "Why spend my gold on such luxuries when I can spend it on my armies or on great public works?"

His kingdom prospered under his sensible rule. However, the people did not always share the king's sense of practicality. They would build houses that were beautiful to look upon, although not necessarily very practical. They devoted time and energy to works of art. They would celebrate events with lavish festivals. In general, they were quite happy.

King Lyandir was disappointed that more of them did not follow his example and lead frugal, sensible lives. He brooded on this for many years. Finally, he decided that his subjects simply didn't understand how much more they could accomplish if they didn't waste time on those frivolous activities. Perhaps, he reasoned, they just needed more examples.

The king decreed that all new buildings must be simple, unadorned, and no larger than was necessary for their function. The people were not happy about this, but they liked their king and respected the new law. In a few short years, there were more plain buildings than ornate ones. The citizens used the money saved to make and buy even more lavish art and hold even more excessive celebrations.

Once again, King Lyandir decided to provide them a strict example of how beneficial it would be to use their time and resources for more practical purposes. He banned all works of art in the city. The people were quite put out by this, but they knew that their king was doing what he thought was best for them. However, human nature is not so easily denied. In a few more years the city was filled with plain, simple buildings, and devoid of any sort of art. However, the people now had even more money and time to devote to their parties and festivals.

With a heavy heart, King Lyandir decided that his people were to be treated like children. And like all children, they needed rules and discipline laid down by great figures of authority to make them understand what was truly important in life. He decreed that there should be no revelry in the city. Singing, dancing, and music were all banned. Even food and drink were limited to water and simple foodstuffs.

The people had had enough. Revolt was out of the question, since King Lyandir had a very well trained and equipped army. They visited the shrines and temples in droves, praying to all the gods, and even to some of the Daedric Princes, that King Lyandir would revoke these new, oppressive laws.

Sheogorath heard their pleas and decided to visit King Lyandir. He appeared to the king in his dreams as a field of flowers, each with arms instead of petals and the face of the Madgod in the center. "I am Lord of the Creative and Lord of the Deranged. Since you have no use for my gifts of creativity, I have decided to bless you with an abundance of my other gift."

From that day forward, every child born in the city was born into madness. Since infants do not reveal illnesses of the mind, it was several years before this was realized. The king's own son was among the victims, suffering from seizures and delusions. Yet, King Lyandir refused to change his ways.

When his son, Glint, was 12 years old, he stabbed his father while Lyandir was sleeping. With his dying breath, King Lyandir asked, "Why?" His son replied, "It is the most practical thing I could do."

The new, young king ordered all the palace servants slaughtered. He ordered a grand festival to celebrate his new reign and the repeal of Lyandir's laws. He served the crowds a stew made from the carcasses of the palace servants. He ordered the east facing walls of every building painted red, and the west facing walls painted in stripes. He decreed that all citizens wear ornate masks on the backs of their heads. He then burned down the palace and began construction of a new one.

In the new palace, the young king ordered his personal chambers to not have any doors; for fear that small woodland creatures would attack him. He ordered that it have no windows for fear that the sun and moon were jealous of him and plotting his death.

And thus ended the line of King Lyandir. The people of the city returned to their grand works of art and raucous celebrations. They talked and acted as if they still had a living king, and even kept up the palace, using it to house and care for their mad children. Sheogorath was mightily pleased with this outcome. From that day forward the city was blessed with more than the normal number of gifted artists and deranged citizens.

 

The Contest of Wills

A mighty wizard named Ravate once walked the Winds of Time to find Lord Sheogorath. His intent was to win a favor from this most capricious of the Daedric Princes. Upon finding Sheogorath, Ravate spoke humbly to him, "Lord Sheogorath, I beg a favor of you. I would gladly drive a thousand men mad in your name if you would but grant me the greater magical powers."

Fortunately for Ravate, Sheogorath was in a playful mood. He proposed a game, "I will grant your wish, if you are still sane in three days. During that time, I will do my utmost to drive you mad. It shall be great fun."

Ravate was not so certain that he liked this new deal. He had been really looking forward to driving a thousand men mad. "Lord Sheogorath, I regret having disturbed you with my shallow, selfish request. I withdraw my unfortunate plea and will humbly leave this place."

Sheogorath just laughed, "Too late, mighty Ravate. The game is afoot, and you must play." Ravate fled, only to find that all exits from the Daedric realm were now sealed. He wandered aimlessly, constantly looking over his shoulder, jumping at every noise. Each moment brought new terror as he waited for Sheogorath to begin.

After three days, Ravate was convinced that every plant and animal was a tool of Sheogorath. He hadn't eaten or drunk for fear that Sheogorath had poisoned the food or drink. He hadn't slept for fear of Sheogorath invading his dreams. (Which was foolish, as dreams are the domain of Vaermina, may She grant us Restful Sleep.)

It was then that Sheogorath appeared to him. Ravate cried out, "You have set the whole world to watching me! Every creature and plant are doing your bidding to drive me mad."

Sheogorath replied, "Actually, I have done nothing. You have driven yourself mad with your fears. Your delusions prove that you are truly deranged, and therefore I win. While you wanted to make a thousand men mad, I only wanted to break one man's mind, yours."

From that day forward Ravate served Sheogorath's every whim. Whenever daring travelers try to approach Sheogorath, Ravate warns them, "Sheogorath is already inside each of us. You have already lost."

 

The Book of Daedra

Author: 
Anonymous

Azura, whose sphere is dusk and dawn, the magic in-between realms of twilight, known as Moonshadow, Mother of the Rose, and Queen of the Night Sky.

Boethiah, whose sphere is deceit and conspiracy, and the secret plots of murder, assassination, treason, and unlawful overthrow of authority.

Clavicus Vile, whose sphere is the granting of power and wishes through ritual invocations and pact.

Hermaeus Mora, whose sphere is scrying of the tides of Fate, of the past and future as read in the stars and heavens, and in whose dominion are the treasures of knowledge and memory.

Hircine, whose sphere is the Hunt, the Sport of Daedra, the Great Game, the Chase, known as the Huntsman and the Father of Manbeasts.

Malacath, whose sphere is the patronage of the spurned and ostracized, the keeper of the Sworn Oath, and the Bloody Curse.

Mehrunes Dagon, whose sphere is Destruction, Change, Revolution, Energy, and Ambition.

Mephala, whose sphere is obscured to mortals; known by the names Webspinner, Spinner, and Spider; whose only consistent theme seems to be interference in the affairs of mortals for her amusement.

Meridia, whose sphere is obscured to mortals; who is associated with the energies of living things.

Molag Bal, whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals; whose desire is to harvest the souls of mortals and to bring mortal souls within his sway by spreading seeds of strife and discord in the mortal realms.

Namira, whose sphere is the ancient Darkness; known as the Spirit Daedra, ruler of sundry dark and shadowy spirits; associated with spiders, insects, slugs, and other repulsive creatures which inspire mortals with an instinctive revulsion.

Nocturnal, whose sphere is the night and darkness; who is known as the Night Mistress.

Peryite, whose sphere is the ordering of the lowest orders of Oblivion, known as the Taskmaster.

Sanguine, whose sphere is hedonistic revelry and debauchery, and passionate indulgences of darker natures.

Sheogorath, whose sphere is Madness, and whose motives are unknowable.

Vaernima, whose sphere is the realm of dreams and nightmares, and from whose realm issues forth evil omens.

[Especially marked for special interest under the heading "Malacath" you find a reference to SCOURGE, blessed by Malacath, and dedicated to the use of mortals. In short, the reference suggests that any Daedra attempting to invoke the weapon's powers will be expelled into the voidstreams of Oblivion.]

"Of the legendary artifacts of the Daedra, many are well known, like Azura's Star, and Sheogorath's Wabbajack. Others are less well known, like Scourge, Mackkan's Hammer, Bane of Daedra...."

"...yet though Malacath blessed Scourge to be potent against his Daedra kin, he thought not that it should fall into Daedric hands, then to serve as a tool for private war among caitiff and forsaken. Thus did Malacath curse the device such that, should any dark kin seek to invoke its powers, that a void should open and swallow that Daedra, and purge him into Oblivion's voidstreams, from thence to pathfind back to the Real and Unreal Worlds in the full order of time."  

The Doors of Oblivion

Author: 
Seif-ij Hidja

"When thou enterest into Oblivion, Oblivion entereth into thee." -- Nai Tyrol-Llar

 

The greatest mage who ever lived was my master Morian Zenas. You have heard of him as the author of the book 'On Oblivion,' the standard text for all on matters Daedric. Despite many entreaties over the years, he refused to update his classic book with his new discoveries and theories because he found that the more one delves into these realms, the less certain one is. He did not want conjecture, he wanted facts.

For decades before and after the publication of 'On Oblivion,' Zenas compiled a vast personal library on the subject of Oblivion, the home of the Daedra. He divided his time between this research and personal magickal growth, on the assumption that should he succeed in finding a way into the dangerous world beyond and behind ours, he would need much power to wander its dark paths.

Twelve years before Zenas began the journey he had prepared his life to make, he hired me as his assistant. I possessed the three attributes he required for the position: I was young and eager to help without question; I could read any book once and memorize its contents; and, despite my youth, I was already a Master of Conjuration.

Zenas too was a Master of Conjuration - indeed, a Master at all the known and unknown Schools - but he did not want to rely on his ability alone in the most perilous of his research. In an underground vault, he summoned Daedra to interview them on their native land, and for that he needed another Conjurer to make certain they came, were bound, and were sent away again without incident.

I will never forget that vault, not for its look which was plain and unadorned, but for what you couldn't see. There were scents that lingered long after the summoned creatures had left, flowers and sulfur, sex and decay, power and madness. They haunt me still to this very day.

Conjuration, for the layman unacquainted with its workings, connects the caster's mind with that of the summoned. It is a tenuous link, meant only to lure, hold, and dismiss, but in the hands of a Master, it can be much stronger. The Psijics and Dwemer can (in the Dwemer's case, perhaps I should say, could) connect with the minds of others, and converse miles apart - a skill that is sometimes called telepathy.

Over the course of my employment, Zenas and I developed such a link between one another. It was accidental, a result of two powerful Conjurers working closely together, but we decided that it would be invaluable should he succeed in traveling to Oblivion. Since the denizens of that land could be touched even by the skills of an amateur Conjurer, it was possible we could continue to communicate while he was there, so I could record his discoveries.

The 'Doors to Oblivion,' to use Morian Zenas's phrase, are not easily found, and we exhausted many possibilities before we found one where we held the key.

The Psijics of Artaeum have a place they call The Dreaming Cave, where it is said one can enter into the Daedric realms and return. Iachesis, Sotha Sil, Nematigh, and many others have been recorded as using this means, but despite many entreaties to the Order, we were denied its use. Celarus, the leader of the Order, has told us it has been sealed off for the safety of all.

We had hopes of using the ruins of the Battlespire to access Oblivion. The Weir Gate still stands, though the old proving grounds of the Imperial Battlemages itself was shattered some years ago in Jagar Tharn's time. Sadly, after an exhaustive search through the detritus, we had to conclude that when it was destroyed, all access to the realms beyond, the Soul Cairn, the Shade Perilous, and the Havoc Wellhead, had been broken. It was probably for the good, but it frustrated our goal.

The reader may have heard of other Doors, and he may be assured we attempted to find them all.

Some are pure legend, or at any rate, not traceable based on the information left behind. There are references in lore to Marukh's Abyss, the Corryngton Mirror, the Mantellan Crux, the Crossroads, the Mouth, a riddle of an alchemical formula called Jacinth and Rising Sun, and many other places and objects that are said to be Doors, but we could not find.

Some exist, but cannot be entered safely. The whirlpool in the Abecean called the Maelstrom of Bal can make ships disappear, and may be a portal into Oblivion, but the trauma of riding its waters would surely slay any who tried. Likewise, we did not consider it worth the risk to leap from the Pillar of Thras, a thousand foot tall spiral of coral, though we witnessed the sacrifices the sloads made there. Some victims were killed by the fall, but some, indeed, seemed to vanish before being dashed on the rocks. Since the sload did not seem certain why some were taken and some died, we did not favor the odds of the plunge.

The simplest and most maddeningly complex way to go to Oblivion was simply to cease to be here, and begin to be there. Throughout history, there are examples of mages who seemed to travel to the realms beyond ours seemingly at will. Many of these voyagers are long dead, if they ever existed, but we were able to find one still living. In a tower off Zafirbel Bay on the island of Vvardenfell in the province of Morrowind there exists a very old, very reclusive wizard named Divayth Fyr.

He was not easy to reach, and he was reluctant to share with Morian Zenas the secret Door to Oblivion. Fortunately, my master's knowledge of lore impressed Fyr, and he taught him the way. I would be breaking my promise to Zenas and Fyr to explain the procedure here, and I would not divulge it even if I could. If there is dangerous knowledge to be had, that is it. But I do not reveal too much to say that Fyr's scheme relied on exploiting a series of portals to various realms created by a Telvanni wizard long missing and presumed dead. Against the disadvantage of this limited number of access points, we weighed the relative reliability and security of passage, and considered ourselves fortunate in our informant.

Morian Zenas then left this world to begin his exploration. I stayed at the library to transcribe his information and help him with any research he needed.

'Dust,' he whispered to me on the first day of his voyage. Despite the inherent dreariness of the word, I could hear his excitement in his voice, echoing in my mind. 'I can see from one end of the world to the other in a million shades of gray. There is no sky or ground or air, only particles, floating, falling, whirling about me. I must levitate and breathe by magickal means...'

Zenas explored the nebulous land for some time, encountering vaporous creatures and palaces of smoke. Though he never met the Prince, we concluded that he was in Ashpit, said to be the home of Malacath, where anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash filled the bitter air.

'The sky is on fire,' I heard him say as he moved on to the next realm. 'The ground is sludge, but traversable. I see blackened ruins all around me, like a war was fought here in the distant past. The air is freezing. I cast blooms of warmth all around me, but it still feels like daggers of ice stabbing me in all directions.'

This was Coldharbour, where Molag Bal was Prince. It appeared to Zenas as if it were a future Nirn, under the King of Rape, desolate and barren, filled with suffering. I could hear Morian Zenas weep at the images he saw, and shiver at the sight of the Imperial Palace, spattered with blood and excrement.

'Too much beauty,' Zenas gasped when he went to the next realm. 'I am half blind. I see flowers and waterfalls, majestic trees, a city of silver, but it is all a blur. The colors run like water. It's raining now, and the wind smells like perfume. This surely is Moonshadow, where Azura dwells.'

Zenas was right, and astonishingly, he even had audience with the Queen of Dusk and Dawn in her rose palace. She listened to his tale with a smile, and told him of the coming of the Nevevarine. My master found Moonshadow so lovely, he wished to stay there, half-blind, forever, but he knew he must move on and complete his journey of discovery.

'I am in a storm,' he told me as he entered the next realm. He described the landscape of dark twisted trees, howling spirits, and billowing mist, and I thought he might have entered the Deadlands of Mehrunes Dagon. But then he said quickly, 'No, I am no longer in a forest. There was a flash of lightning, and now I am on a ship. The mast is tattered. The crew is slaughtered. Something is coming through the waves ... oh, gods ... Wait, now, I am in a dank dungeon, in a cell ...'

He was not in the Deadlands, but Quagmire, the nightmare realm of Vaernima. Every few minutes, there was a flash of lightning and reality shifted, always to something more horrible and horrifying. A dark castle one moment, a den of ravening beasts the next, a moonlit swamp, a coffin where he was buried alive. Fear got the better of my master, and he quickly passed to the next realm.

I heard him laugh, 'I feel like I'm home now.'

Morian Zenas described to me an endless library, shelves stretching on in every direction, stacks on top of stacks. Pages floated on a mystical wind that he could not feel. Every book had a black cover with no title. He could see no one, but felt the presence of ghosts moving through the stacks, rifling through books, ever searching.

It was Apocrypha. The home of Hermaeus-Mora, where all forbidden knowledge can be found. I felt a shudder in my mind, but I could not tell if it was my master's or mine.

Morian Zenas never traveled to another realm that I know of.

Throughout his visits to the first four realms, my master spoke to me constantly. Upon entering the Apocrypha, he became quieter, as he was lured into the world of research and study, the passions that had controlled his heart while on Nirn. I would frantically try to call to him, but he closed his mind to me.

Then he would whisper, 'This cannot be...'

'No one would ever guess the truth...'

'I must learn more...'

'I see the world, a last illusion's shimmer, it is crumbling all around us...'

I would cry back to him, begging him to tell me what was happening, what he was seeing, what he was learning. I even tried using Conjuration to summon him as if he were a Daedra himself, but he refused to leave. Morian Zenas was lost.

I last received a whisper from him six months ago. Before then, it had been five years, and three before that. His thoughts are no longer intelligible in any language. Perhaps he is still in Apocrypha, lost but happy, in a trap he refuses to escape.

Perhaps he slipped between the stacks and passed into the Madhouse of Sheogorath, losing his sanity forever.

I would save him if I could.

I would silence his whispers if I could.

Wabbajack

Author: 
Anonymous

Little boys shouldn't summon up the forces of eternal darkness unless they have an adult supervising, I know, I know. But on that sunny night on the 5th of First Seed, I didn't want an adult. I wanted Hermaeus Mora, the daedra of knowledge, learning, gums, and varnishes. You see, I was told by a beautiful, large breasted man who lived under the library in my home town that the 5th of First Seed was Hermaeus Mora's night. And if I wanted the Oghma Infinium, the book of knowledge, I had to summon him. When you're the new king of Solitude, every bit of knowledge helps.

Normally, you need a witches coven, or a mages guild, or at least matching pillow case and sheets to invoke a prince of Oblivion. The Man Under the Library showed me how to do it myself. He told me to wait until the storm was at its height before shaving the cat. I've forgotten the rest of the ceremony. It doesn't matter.

Someone appeared who I thought was Hermaeus Mora. The only thing that made me somewhat suspicious was Hermaeus Mora, from what I read, was a big blobby multi-eyed clawed monstrosity, and this guy looked like a waistcoated banker. Also, he kept calling himself Sheogorath, not Hermaeus Mora. Still, I was so happy to have successfully summoned Hermaeus Mora, these inconsistencies did not bother me. He had me do some things that didn't make any sense to me (beyond the mortal scope, breadth, and ken, I suppose), and then his servant happily gave me something he called the Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

Wabbajack.

Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

Maybe the Wabbajack is the Book of Knowledge. Maybe I'm smarter because I know cats can be bats can be rats can be hats can be gnats can be thats can be thises. And that doors can be boars can be snores can be floors can be roars can be spores can be yours can be mine. I must be smart, for the interconnective system is very clear to me. Then why, or wherefore do people keep calling me mad?

Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

16 Accords of Madness

Author: 
Anonymous

Hircine's Tale

Ever proud and boastful, Oblivion's Mad Prince stood one fifth day of mid year among the frigid peaks of Skyrim, and beckoned forth Hircine for parlay. The Huntsman God materialized, for this was his day, and the boldness of Sheogorath intrigued him.

Wry without equal, Sheogorath holds in his realm giggling loons, flamboyant auteurs, and craven mutilators. The Mad Prince will ply profitless bargains and promote senseless bloodshed for nothing more than the joy of another's confusion, tragedy, or rage. So it was that Sheogorath had set a stage on which to play himself as rival to Hircine.

Without haste, the coy Prince proffered his contest; each Prince was to groom a beast to meet at this place again, three years to the hour, and do fatal battle. Expressionless behind his fearsome countenance, Hircine agreed, and with naught but a dusting of snow in the drift, the Princes were gone to their realms.

Confident, but knowing Sheogorath for a trickster, Hircine secretly bred an abomination in his hidden realm. An ancient Daedroth he summoned, and imbued it with the foul curse of lycanthropy. Of pitch heart and jagged fang, the unspeakable horror had no peer, even among the great hunters of Hircine's sphere.

In the third year, on the given day, Hircine returned, where Sheogorath leaned, cross-legged on a stone, whistling with idle patience. The Prince of the Hunt struck his spear to the ground, bringing forth his unnatural, snarling behemoth. Doffing his cap, sly as ever, Sheogorath stood and stepped aside to reveal a tiny, colorful bird perched atop the stone. Demurely it chirped in the bristling gusts, scarcely audible.

In a twisted, springing heap, the Daedroth was upon the stone, leaving only rubble where the boulder had been. Thinking itself victorious, the monster's bloodied maw curled into a mock grin, when a subdued song drifted in the crisp air. The tiny bird lightly hopped along the snout of the furious Daedroth. Sheogorath looked on, quietly mirthful, as the diminutive creature picked at a bit of detritus caught in scales betwixt the fiery eyes of the larger beast. With howling fury, the were-thing blinded itself trying to pluck away the nuisance. And so it continued for hours, Hircine looking on in shame while his finest beast gradually destroyed itself in pursuit of the seemingly oblivious bird, all the while chirping a mournful tune to the lonesome range.

Livid, but beaten, Hircine burned the ragged corpse and withdrew to his realm, swearing in forgotten tongues. His curses still hang in those peaks, and no wayfarer tarries for fear of his wrathful aspect in those obscured heights.

Turning on his heel, Sheogorath beckoned the miniscule songbird to perch atop his shoulder, and strolled down the mountain, making for the warm breezes and vibrant sunsets of the Abecean coast, whistling in tune with the tiniest champion in Tamriel.

Vaermina's Tale

Darius Shano found himself running as fast as he could.

He had no idea what he was running from or towards, but he didn't care. The desire saturated his mind -- there was nothing in the world except flight. He looked around for landmarks, anything to place himself or to use as a target, but to no avail -- the featureless grasslands through which he was sprinting extended as far as the eye could see. "Just have to keep running", he thought to himself. "I have to run as fast as I can". On and on he ran, with no end in sight or in mind....

Standing over Darius Shano while he lay quietly in his bed were his mistress, Vaermina the Dreamweaver, and the Madgod Sheogorath. Vaernima looked down with pride at this disciple of hers, and was boastful of her little jewel.

"Such potential in this one! Through dreams of inspiration, I have nurtured literary talent into fruition, and now he stands in acclaim as an emerging bard and poet! He will gain much favor before I tire of him." Sheogorath, too, gazed at the young Breton artist and saw that he was indeed famous among the other mortals.

"Hmmm," mused Sheogorath, "but how many are there who hate this mortal whom you have built? It is the hatred of the mortals which confirms greatness, and not their love. Surely you can accomplish this as well?"

Vaernima's eyes narrowed. "Yes, the mortals are indeed often foolish and petty, and it is true that many of their most bold have been despised. Do not worry, mad one, for I have the power to achieve many forms of greatness with this one, hatred among them."

"Perhaps, Dreamweaver, it would be amusing to show who has this power? Inspire foolish, arrogant hatred of this mortal for ten years, and then I will do the same. We shall see whose talents are most efficient, free of aid or interference from any of the Daedra."

At this, she relaxed into confident pleasure. "The Madgod is indeed powerful, but this task is suited to my skills. The mortals are repulsed by madness, but rarely think it worthy of hate. I shall take pleasure in revealing this to you, as I bring the more subtle horrors out of this mortal's subconscious."

And so, in the 19th year of his life, the dreams Darius Shano had been experiencing began to change. Fear had always been part of the night for him, but now there was something else. A darkness began to creep into his slumber, a darkness that sucked away all feeling and color, leaving only emptiness behind. When this happened, he opened his mouth to scream, but found that the darkness had taken his voice as well. All he had was the terror and the void, and each night they filled him with a new understanding of death. Yet, when he woke, there was no fear, for he had faith that his Lady had a purpose.

Indeed, one night Vaernima herself emerged from the void. She leaned in close to whisper into his ear.

"Watch carefully, my beloved!" With that, she pulled the void away, and for hours each night she would reveal to Darius the most horrible perversions of nature. Men being skinned and eaten alive by other men, unimaginable beasts of many limbs and mouths, entire populations being burned -- their screams filled his every evening. In time, these visions gnawed at his soul, and his work began to take on the character of his nightmares. The images revealed to him at night were reproduced on the page, and the terrible cruelty and hollow vice that his work contained both revolted and fascinated the public. They reveled in their disgust over every detail. There were those who openly enjoyed his shocking material, and his popularity among some only fed the hatred of those who found him abhorrent. This continued for several years, while the infamy of Darius grew steadily. Then, in his 29th year, without warning, the dreams and nightmares ceased.

Darius felt a weight lifted, as he no longer endured the nightly tortures, but was confused. "What have I done to displease my Mistress?", he wondered aloud. "Why has she abandoned me?" Vaernima never answered his prayers. No one ever answered, and the restless dreams faded away to leave Darius in long, deep sleeps.

Interest in the works of Darius Shano waned. His prose became stale and his ideas failed to provoke the shock and outrage they once had. As the memory of his notoriety and of his terrible dreams faded, the questions that raced in his mind eventually produced resentment against Vaernima, his former mistress. Resentment grew into hatred, from hatred came ridicule, and over time ridicule became disbelief. Slowly it became obvious -- Vaernima had never spoken to him at all; his dreams were simply the product of a sick mind that had righted itself. He had been deceived by his own subconscious, and the anger and shame overwhelmed him. The man who once conversed with a deity drifted steadily into heresy.

In time, all of the bitterness, doubt, and sacrilege focused in Darius a creative philosophy that was threaded throughout all of his subsequent work. He challenged the Gods themselves, as well as the infantile public and corrupt state for worshiping them. He mocked them all with perverse caricatures, sparing no one and giving no quarter. He challenged the Gods in public to strike him down if they existed, and ridiculed them when no such comeuppance was delivered. To all of this, the people reacted with outrage far greater than they had shown his previous work. His early career had offended only sensibilities, but now he was striking directly at the heart of the people.

His body of work grew in size and intensity. Temples, nobles, and commoners were all targets of his scorn. Finally, at age 39, Darius wrote a piece entitled "The Noblest Fool," ridiculing The Emperor God Tiber Septim for integrating into the pathetic Nine Divines cult. The local King of Daenia, who had been humiliated by this upstart in the past, saw his chance -- for his sacrilege against the Empire, Darius Shano was executed, with a ceremonial blade, in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds. His last, bitter words were gurgled through a mouthful of his own blood.

20 years after their wager was first placed, Vaernima and Sheogorath met over Darius Shano's headless corpse. The Dreamweaver had been eager for this meeting; she had been waiting for years to confront the Daedric Prince over his lack of action.

"I have been deceived by you, Sheogorath! I performed my half of the bargain, but during your ten years you never contacted the mortal once. He owes none of his greatness to you or your talents or your influence!"

"Nonsense," croaked the Madgod. "I was with him all along! When your time ended and mine began, your whispers in his ear were replaced with silence. I severed his link to that from which he found the most comfort and meaning, and withheld the very attention the creature so desperately craved. Without his mistress, this man's character could ripen under resentment and hatred. Now his bitterness is total and, overcome by a madness fueled by his rage, he feeds me in my realm as an eternal servant."

Sheogorath turned and spoke to the empty space by his side.

"Indeed; Darius Shano was a glorious mortal. Despised by his own people, his kings, and even by the Gods he mocked. For my success, I shall accept three-score followers of Vaernima into my service. And the dreamers will awaken as madmen."

And thus did Sheogorath teach Vaernima that without madness, there are no dreams, and no creation. Vaernima will never forget this lesson.

Malacath's Tale

In the days before the Orsinium's founding, the spurned Orc-folk were subjected to ostracism and persecutions even more numerous and harsh than their progeny are accustomed to in our own age. So it was that many champions of the Orsimer traveled, enforcing what borders they could for the proliferation of their own people. Many of these champions are spoken of yet today, among them the Cursed Legion, Gromma the Hairless, and the noble Emmeg Gro-Kayra. This latter crusader would have certainly risen to legendary status throughout Tamriel, had he not been subject to the attention of certain Daedric Princes.

Emmeg Gro-Kayra was the bastard son of a young maiden who was killed in childbirth. He was raised by the shaman of his tribe, the Grilikamaug in the peaks of what we now call Normar Heights. Late in his fifteenth year, Emmeg forged by hand an ornate suit of scaled armor, a rite of ascension among his tribe. On a blustery day, he pounded the final rivet, and draping a heavy cloak over the bulky mantle, Emmeg set out from his village for the last time. Word of his exploits always returned home, whether defending merchant caravans from brigands or liberating enslaved beast folk. News of the noble Orc crusader began to grace even the lips of Bretons, often with a tinge of fear.

Less than two years after ascending to maturity, Gro-Kayra was making camp when a thin voice called out from the thickening night. He was surprised to hear the language of his people spoken by a tongue that obviously did not belong to an Orc.

'Lord Kayra', said the voice, 'tales of your deeds have crossed the lips of many, and have reached my ears.' Peering into the murk, Emmeg made out the silhouette of a cloaked figure, made wavy and ephemeral by the hazy campfire. From the voice alone he had thought the interloper an old hag, but he now decided that he was in the presence of a man of slight and lanky build, though he could discern no further detail.

'Perhaps,' the wary Orc began, 'but I seek no glory. Who are you?'

Ignoring the question, the stranger continued, 'Despite that, Orsimer, glory finds you, and I bear a gift worthy of it.' The visitor's cloak parted slightly, revealing nothing but faintly glinting buttons in the pale moonlight, and a bundle was withdrawn and tossed to the side of the fire between the two. Emmeg cautiously removed the rags in which the object was swathed, and was dazzled to discover the item to be a wide, curved blade with ornately decorated handle. The weapon had heft, and Emmeg realized on brandishing it that the elaborate pommel disguised the more practical purpose of balancing the considerable weight of the blade itself. It was nothing much to look at in its present condition, thought the Orc, but once the tarnish was cleaned away and a few missing jewels restored, it would indeed be a blade worthy of a champion ten times his own worth.

'Her name is Neb-Crescen' spoke the thin stranger, seeing the appreciation lighting Gro-Kayra's face. 'I got her for a horse and a secret in warmer climes, but in my old age I'd be lucky to even lift such a weapon. It's only proper that I pass her on to one such as yourself. To possess her is to change your life, forever.' Overcoming his initial infatuation with the arc of honed steel, Emmeg turned his attention back to the visitor.

'Your words are fine, old man,' Emmeg said, not masking his suspicion, 'but I'm no fool. You traded for this blade once, and you'll trade for it again tonight. What is it that you want?' The stranger's shoulders slumped, and Emmeg was glad to have unveiled the true purpose of this twilight visit. He sat with him a while, eventually offering a stack of furs, warm food, and a handful of coins in exchange for the exotic weapon. By morning, the stranger was gone.

In the week following Emmeg's encounter with the stranger, Neb-Crescen had not left its scabbard. He had encountered no enemy in the woods, and his meals consisted of fowl and small game caught with bow and arrow. The peace suited him fine, but on the seventh morning, while fog still crept between the low-hanging boughs, Emmeg's ears pricked up at the telltale crunch of a nearby footfall in the dense snow and forest debris.

Emmeg's nostrils flared, but he was upwind. Being unable to see or smell his guest, and knowing that the breeze carried his scent in that direction, Emmeg's guard was up, and he cautiously drew Neb-Crescen from its sheath. Emmeg himself was not entirely sure of all that happened next.

The first moment of conscious memory in Emmeg Gro-Kayra's mind after drawing Neb-Crescen was the image of the curved blade sweeping through the air in front of him, spattering blood over the virginal powder coating the forest floor. The second memory was a feeling of frenzied bloodlust creeping over him, but it was then that he saw for the first time his victim, an Orc woman perhaps a few years younger than himself, her body a canvas of grisly wounds, enough to kill a strong man ten times over.

Emmeg's disgust overwhelmed the madness that had overtaken him, and with all his will enlisted, he released Neb-Crescen from his grip and let the blade sail. With a discordant ringing it spun through the air and was buried in a snowdrift. Emmeg fled the scene in shame and horror, drawing the hood of his cloak up to hide himself from the judging eyes of the rising sun.

The scene where Emmeg Gro-Kayra had murdered one of his own kind was a macabre one. Below the neck, the body was flayed and mutilated almost beyond recognition, but the untouched face was frozen in a permanent expression of abject terror.

It was here that Sheogorath performed certain rites that summoned Malacath, and the two Daedric Lords held court in the presence of the disfigured corpse.

'Why show me this, Mad One?' began Malacath, once he recovered from his initial, wordless outrage. 'Do you take such pleasure in watching me grieve the murder of my children?' His guttural voice rumbled, and the patron of the Orismer looked upon his counterpart with accusing eyes.

'By birth, she was yours, brother outcast,' began Sheogorath, solemn in aspect and demeanor. 'But she was a daughter of mine by her own habits. My mourning here is no less than your own, my outrage no less great.'

'I am not so sure,' grumbled Malacath, 'but rest assured that vengeance for this crime is mine to reap. I expect no contest from you. Stand aside.' As the fearsome Prince began to push past him, Lord Sheogorath spoke again.

'I have no intention of standing between you and vengeance. In fact, I mean to help you. I have servants in this wilderness, and can tell you just where to find our mutual foe. I ask only that you use a weapon of my choosing. Wound the criminal with my blade, and banish him to my plane, where I can exact my own punishment. The rights of honor-killing here belong to you.'

With that, Malacath agreed, took the wide blade from Sheogorath, and was gone.

Malacath materialized in the path of the murderer, the cloaked figure obscured through a blizzard haze. Bellowing a curse so foul as to wilt the surrounding trees, the blade was drawn and Malacath crossed the distance more quickly than a wild fox. Frothing with rage, he swung the blade in a smooth arc which lopped the head of his foe cleanly off, then plunged the blade up to its hilt in his chest, choking off the spurts of blood into a steady, growing stain of red bubbling from beneath the scaled armor and heavy cloak.

Panting from the unexpected immediacy and fury of his own kill, Malacath rested on a knee as the body before him collapsed heavily backwards and the head landed roughly upon a broad, flat stone. The next sound broke the silence like a bolt.

'I - I'm sorry...' sputtered the voice of Emmeg Gro-Kayra. Malacath's eyes went wide as he looked upon the severed head, seeping blood from its wound, but somehow kept alive. Its eyes wavered about wildly, trying to focus on the aspect of Malacath before it. The once-proud eyes of the champion were choked with tears of grief, pain, and confused recognition.

To his horror, Malacath recognized only now that the man he had killed was not only one of his Orismer children, but very literally a son he had blessed an Orc maiden with years hence. For achingly long moments the two looked upon each other, despondent and shocked.

Then, silent as oiled steel, Sheogorath strode into the clearing. He hefted Emmeg Gro-Kayra's disembodied head and bundled it into a small, grey sack. Sheogorath reclaimed Neb-Crescen from the corpse and turned to walk away. Malacath began to stand, but kneeled again, knowing he had irreversibly damned his own offspring to the realm of Sheogorath, and mourned his failure as the sound of his son's hoarse pleas faded into the frozen horizon.

The Trial of Vivec

Author: 
Various

After the whole episodes of Nerevarine Prophecies finished, and the passing of Almalexia and Sotha Sil, a trial is proposed by a scholar named Zingbat and Vivec agrees to be tried. He appoints Allerleirauh, Hasphat Antabolis and Nigedo as the judges/Tribunal.

In the trial, Vivec denies that he murders Nerevar, although he once hid a message in his Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec. The message says, "He was not born a god. His destiny did not lead him to this crime. He chose this path of his own free will. He stole the godhood and murdered the Hortator. Vivec wrote this."

Vivec uses his water-face (a condition that makes him cannot lie) and says, "As Vehk and Vehk I hereby answer, my right and my left, with black hands. Vehk the mortal did murder the Hortator. Vehk the God did not, and remains as written. And yet these two are the same being. And yet are not, save for one red moment. Know that with the Water-Face do I answer, and so cannot be made to lie."

Further on, the Daedric Prince of Madness, Sheogorath also shows up in the trial. The discussion of the Mad God and the Last Living God is interesting to observe. Vivec has stated that he did not so much divert worship from The Black Hand Mephala as he did become Hir living celebrant on this plane, the implication being that he did no disservice to the Daedric Princes or the natural order of the universe in assuming godhood with his fellows. In speaking with Sheogorath the Mad Lord (his appointed defense counsel) Vivec attempted to illustrate that his replacement of Mephala in the pantheon of Morrowind worship was hardly noticed by the Dunmer people. Though many Temple priests would no doubt agree, it is a difficult point to argue from either side, and will likely be better asked of Mephala herself or Azura come the Hogithum summoning.

Eventually, Vivec proposes to summon the Daedric Prince Azura, and hear the testimony of the great daedroth. The Council agrees on this and prepares to summon the Prince of Dusk and Dawn in the next Hogithum, 21st First Seed. In order to summon Azura, the High Priest Ainoryl says that the Council needs four items; the artifact Azura's Star, the antlers of the beast King Dead Wolf-Deer, a single ringlet from the Wraithmail of Alandro-Sul, and a shadow stripped, willingly and permanently, from one who watches this trial.

A Breton scholar Louis D'Onus agrees to give his shadow. Stri'Ker, the Khajiit scholar, and a scholar named Mafafu travel to the High Rock to procure the antlers of the King Dead Wolf-Deer. Ainoryl gives information about the antlers, he says, "King Dead Wolf-Deer is one of the surviving monster-mer of the Wild Hunt that slew Borgas of Skyrim. He is thus one of the oldest creatures in Tamriel, and therefore no trifle. That he exists still to haunt High Rock thousands of years later speaks to the danger of retrieving his antler-crown."

However the hunting in the High Rock does not work well. Stri'Ker is killed in the process, although he manages to kill the beast. Mafafu comes back to the council with the antlers and the bad news. The Council mourns the death of the Khajiit scholar. Vivec says that the day (4th of First Seed) will be known as "Dusk And Dusk."

Harold Trontskii with the help from Solyn Kaerethi, eventually finds the Ringlet of Alandro-Sul's Wraithmail, in the deep Urshilaku burial caverns. And Lugagius, an Imperial Scholar, finds the last location of the artifact Azura's Star; the Mortrag Glacier in Solstheim. With the help of Korst-Windeye, he manages to uncover the artifact.

There is a problem with the verification of the Ringlet. Aynoril says, "The verification of the ringlet shall be so: Harold Trontskii must place the ringlet in his mouth. Almost immediately he shall feel heavy, yet light-headed. And a Voice will speak through him, carrying a simple yet beautiful yet powerful message from the greyness between times. If the ringlet is true, Master Vehk shall hear his lover-liar Alandro Sul in this Voice, and this part of our quest is done, and much glory will there be in the name of Harold Trontskii. If the ringlet is false, the speaker will die."

Harold Trontskii is willing to take the risk, and then he put the Ringlet into his mouth. His mouth opens, and a whispery voice come forth, without any movement of jaw or throat. "I am Alandro Sul. Why have you disturbed the resting place of my child and conjured me forth in this grotesque fashion?" The whispery voice speaks once more: "I am tired of this haggling. For three centuries after the battle I was the center of debate, for I opposed the Tribunal, the new leaders. Eventually, I knew I could no longer live among them, and so left. It has been a half and three millennia since the battle. Though I still miss my lord, I will no longer disrupt these proceedings with my words. I have said what I can; let another who is better known step forth. I yearn for rest. Let these rude conducts continue; what was done was done, and I will always remember that, Vehk, no matter what decision these foolish young ones come to. I will stay here no longer." The ringlet suddenly shoots from Harold's mouth, who promptly begins to swear in a slightly muffled tone. It's confirmed.

The preceding interests more people. Loremaster Celarus, Gosleigh and Divayth Fyr of the Psijics among them, also worth noted is the presence of the Emperor Uriel Septim VII himself. He comes and speaks to the Council, "I speak here only because it is my duty to speak for Tamriel and the Empire. I have already placed my faith and sanction in the integrity and authority of the court. The court is a thing of the Law, The Empire is the Law, and the Law is Holy. I would only say... let no mortal man presume to judge this immortal Vivec. Such things as these eyes have seen -- such things as MY eyes have seen -- these things are weighed in the hands of the Gods. That Vivec has chosen to place himself in the hands of the Law pleases us, and does him honor. His acknowledgement and acceptance of the Law brings him within our countenance. We neither smile, nor frown, but say... let Justice and the Law be done."

Against all the accusation of stealing the godhood, Vivec says, "The Tribunal gloriously usurped the worship of our Anticipations, as was foretold in the words of Veloth. That you would categorize this as a crime is confusing to me. Perhaps you wish to know true history so that you will not go longer unlearned. Providence. That is my plea regarding my replacement of the Black Hands Mephala. I spoke of this in an earlier life, but earlier than myself were Ayem and Seht. They had supplanted in the orbit of the Chimeri soul those Daedra that predated them, Boethiah and Azura respectively. None of us did this out of criminal intent. Rather, as I have said, these beings were our Anticipations in the truest sense, the fore-images of the gods that would come for Morrowind. We hold the original Triune in honor as the bringers of knowledge and culture, and difference, and revere them as the harbingers of the glory of ALMSIVI. And never did we question their divinities or remove them from our holy books. But as I once spoke of the Rainmaker, the needs of the people change, and those that provide guidance to them must also change. While it may seem strange to imply that our fore-images, being Daedra, were adverse to change, they were, and they are. In this they are very alike to the Aedra in their fundaments. While born of Padhome, they are of too much ego to give up their realms entirely, especially for altruism, which is perhaps what they most hate. And so from their basis did we spring, called to heaven by violence, our people throwing our mantles to us across stars, and across time, and magic and dream, and here we remain. Even those of us who are dead. Or are destined to die."

After lots of discussions, in the appointed day, 21st First Seed, the Council gathers in the Hogithum Hall in the Imperial City and ready to perform the summoning. The air is thick with clouds of incense. Ainoryl begins his incantation. "Hir ylu ghelibrulen, cojet handu alu ma. En sen di toen ambri el. En ense el ambiolis cemn solu neht, solu sequesenhet. Cortu den se bjhaten kalem ir ne trame se vasdo nipex sooh. Se mehwe quesne lirrimo si treste atu del. Azura en Vehk garjes mustra, cen cae sirtremil trenbien. Je en el entra se, Je en eltru cemn setru natra seen olon."

Then Azura appears, "AZURA IS COME"

Allerleirauh says, "Gracious Azura, Prince of Moonshadow, Mother of the Rose, Queen of the Night Sky, we who are assembled here seek your wisdom, according to the ancient custom, on this your sacred day, the 21st day of First Seed, called Hogithum. We thank you for favoring us with your presence and we hope that you will indulge us regarding the matter which lies before us now."

Azura: "YES I AM PLEASED"

Nigedo: "Great Azura, Vehk of the Tribunal, known also as the god-king Vivec, has submitted himself to our judgement, according to Dunmer law. We understand that the Hortator Indoril Nerevar required Vehk and the other Tribunes to swear that they would never to use the tools of Kagrenac and that they swore this oath upon your name. We also understand that Vehk then murdered Indoril Nerevar and, foreswearing their oath, the Tribunal used the tools of Kagrenac to make themselves the gods of the Dunmer. Further, we understand that you swore you would cause Nerevar to return and avenge himself against the Tribunal and now your servant, the Nerevarine Incarnate, has destroyed Kagrenac's enchantments upon the Heart of Lorkhan, severing the Tribunal's connection to the source of their power and making them mortal again. For these reasons, because you are intimately tied to these events, and because you have witnessed what is long past as no other has, we hope that you will share your insight by answering some questions we have prepared for you."

Azura: "GIFTS? WRAITHRING SHADOW MONSTER CROWN STAR GOOD QUESTION"

However Vivec halts the preceeding, "Silence. There will be no questions. This is something different now."

Azura: "DEVIL DEVIL MOCK DEVIL DEVIL SPEAK NOT"

Vivec: "Rude spirit, you should never have come. Not here. Not to the world of the liars, where your power is fleshed to law, bound by the bones of the compromise. Shallow changer, whorescamp, say you that you rule dusk and dawn? Let me show you the power of the true Dawn, when Gods walked."

Azura: "WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT IS THAT I FEEL?"

Vivec: "I am the Thief of this World, with stars, and by my Charges I put you down."

A shadow leaves Vivec, snapping off him to wrap around the Daedric Prince, cracking the air as it stiffens.

Vivec: "With my Charges I put you down. By this Shadow, I call your neonymic forth, your chosen throne, sundown and sunrise, death and birth of shadow. You are bound to this place."

Azura: "WHAT NO DEVIL PLEASE NO NO NO"

Vivec: "How does it feel, Lord Azura? To so fully manifest here is the Mundus, stripped down only to your name? Perhaps it feels a bit like my sister did, when your machinations split her, name from land, nymic eth maliache velot, thoughtless save for domain. AE ALTADOON DUNMERI for my sister's madness I eat you."

Azura: "NO DEVIL NO PLEASE STOP"

Ainroyl steps forward. His eyes are dead. But he smiles anyway.

Vivec: "Do you remember which mortal you bound herein with your jealousy and your spite? She has need of vengeance, too. GHARTOK PAHOME."

Ainoryl explodes. "Milord...serve..." Viscera shower the crowd.

Vivec: "These are my people, Azura. See how they serve? You should have stayed replaced." Vehk nods to Nigedo, his bravest. "Nigedo, curse this heshe-bitch as she has done our people."

Nigedo: "Lattice-bound creature of the Ever Now, experience for yourself the inexorable progress of the Wheel, know the drumming torment of Time giving way to Time and share in the despair of souls trapped within the Dragon's Boned Cage."

Vivec: "By this Lover, I call your protonymic forth, your secret throne, youth and return, the lover's morning, the loved one's end. You are buried in this place."

A shape unfolds from within Azura's Star and coalesces into a lovely female form.

"And so, the last of those you called "False Gods" seeks his revenge against you, Azura; you, false to me, false to all my people, petty and vengeful spirit, enemy of all my happiness. It is I, Azura, I whom you never thought to see again. You swore in the Halls of Oblivion that no mortal such as I was worthy to be paired with a Prince of the Daedra. You thought, by binding me within this prison of your own invention, to place me forever beyond the reach of one who can transcend the bounds of life and death - my love, my soul - to stop even my rebirth into the world in another form, lest we two find one another again. You have lost and I have won. But what I have suffered at your hands I will not forget, not though I die a thousand deaths and live a thousand lifetimes. It is your turn, Azura, Mother of the Blasted Canker, Stain upon the Night Sky, Prince of nothing but your own envy. May you be cast into outermost darkness and uttermost cold. May you cry out to those who loved you and hear nothing, not even your own voice. Never again show yourself in this fair form to the mortal fools who have been your slaves; and let what is offered to you be carried, steaming and redolent of spices, to my Lord's table. My Lord, my lover who would never have forsaken me, Clavicus Vile!"

Azura: "GAHAAAAA NO NO NO PLEASE NO WHATTTTTTttT NO DEVIL PLEASE NO I CANNOT"

Vivec: "There now. Better. How does one feel when weighted down by their heaviest of mysteries? When one gazes into their soul and sees their own eyes staring back? Perhaps it's how my brother felt, folding into himself like a prism until your darts were thrown, nymic sel sulimet elhnodidan, thought thinking thought. AE ALTADOON DUNMERI for my brother's wasting I eat you."

Azura: "I CANNOT FEEL CANNOT WHAT FEEL CANNOT WHO FEEL THIS WHAT I CANNOT"

In the confusion, some scholars tried to stop Vivec, but Vivec magically silence them. Then Vivec draws forth the antlers, breaking off one of its bloodied tips.

Vivec: "Recognize this? The blood, I mean, not the silly bone-frozen Bosmer. No? It's from one of yours. He died in your name. And so by the blood of this khajiit, I climb you, moon and moon, and Dance on your Tower. AE CHIM CE ALTADOON for my own revenge I eat you. AE CHIM CE ALTADOON for my own revenge I eat you."

Azura: "CHIM? HOW?"

Vivec assembles a spear from the bones of his armor.

Vivec: "Here, this is Muatra. Guess what it represents."

Vivec stuffs Muatra into Azura's mouth. Azura chokes!

Vivec: "YOU ARE BANISHED FROM THIS STARRY HEART"

Azura explodes.

Vivec: "HA HA HA HA HA HA I give my thanks to all assembled, my dumb, deaf dreamers! You've proven a convicing ruse for so long now! I would ask that you bear me no ill will for my use of you, but I am Vivec, born of powers which should have forever been unalike, Vehk and Vehk, murderer of the last and last, anon ALMSIVI, whose name is Alive, and so really do not care! HA HA HA HA HA HA My vengeance on this prophesying harlot has waited an age! I am DONE! Good night, my whirling, my snowskin, my silent doubter! Good night, the dead! Good night, the law! Good night, the madness and the worm! Good night, scholar and sword! Good night all who have spoken or lurked or cast stone! Good night, for Vehk and Vehk shall speak here NO MORE! This was my last gift to all of you, which as they all have ever been, was a gift unto MYSELF! The time of the Empire is come! Good night! Farewell! I am VIVEC."

Halted, Vivec says, "Oh, yes, the ringlet. What was this for, you might wonder. Here:"

Vivec places ringlet in his mouth, and a Voice issues out.

"He was not born a god. His destiny did not lead him to this crime. He chose this path of his own free will. He stole the godhood and murdered the Hortator."

Vivec removes ringlet

Vivec: "VIVEC WROTE THIS"

Vivec vanishes. And then the revenge of Vivec against Azura is finished. Vivec uses his own trial in order to bind and banish the Prince of Dusk and Dawn after what the Prince did to the Chimer/Dunmer and the Tribunal. After this event, the regular gateways to Moonshadow, the realm of Azura, is inaccessible. Whether this has to do with the unlawful incidents at Hogithum Hall in the Capital City or mere whim of Azura herself, no one can say.

 

Death Decree

Author: 
Sheogorath

Sheogorath, Prince of Madness, Lord of the Never-There, Sovereign of the Shivering Isles, does, on this day, hence-forth make this decree:

Robert Wisnewski
Citizen of the Shivering Isles, Resident of Bliss, and Honored Madman

has broken the laws and covenants of the Shivering Isles and offended the austere personage of Our Lord, through the following actions:

Attempting the Growth of a Beard, an Action Deemed Unseemly in the Eyes of Our Lord

It is further decreed that the actions of this citizen merit the strictest of punishments to be meted out at the earliest possible hour, in a manner to be chosen according to the Whims and Fancies of Our Lord Sheogorath
 

Heretical Thoughts

Author: 
Anonymous

Zealotry is an abomination that must be wiped from the Shivering Isles. We cannot suffer their beliefs to spread to even one more soul. They name us Heretics for our lack of belief. We gladly accept the name, and will make a honorable one.

It is not heresy to speak truth. It is not heresy to speak out against an unjust lord. It is not heresy to take arms and action in defense of true belief. We are the so-called Heretics of the Shivering Isles, but we do not speak heresy. We speak the truth.

Our Lord, Sheogorath, is but a man. He is only flesh and blood, not a god, and certainly not a Daedric Prince. There are no princes in the realms of the Daedra, only vile servitors such as the Hungers that we summon to do our bidding.

Sheogorath the False is a mad despot. Years of dabbling in foul magic and consorting with Daedra have driven him mad. He is not a fit ruler, let alone divine. He perverts the teachings of Arden-Sul, He Who Gave His Heart's Blood.

When the truth of our cause is common knowledge among the people, we will drive him from New Sheoth and put that cesspool to the sword. His four limbs will be scattered to the four winds. His head will rest upon the Hill of Suicides and his heart shall be burnt in the flames of freedom. His entrails shall be fed to the dogs.

We will make all the people of the Shivering Isles wear the robes of the Heretics. By these robes we know each other to be true non-believers. The people shall return to the wilderness and live among the wild things, as we do. They will see the wisdom and purity of the life we lead and they will hail us as saviors.
 

The Blessings of Sheogorath

Author: 
Anonymous

For Our Lord Sheogorath, without Whom all Thought would be linear and all Feeling would be fleeting.

Blessed are the Madmen, for they hold the keys to secret knowledge.

Blessed are the Phobic, always wary of that which would do them harm.

Blessed are the Obsessed, for their courses are clear.

Blessed are the Addicts, may they quench the thirst that never ebbs.

Blessed are the Murderous, for they have found beauty in the grotesque.

Blessed are the Firelovers, for their hearts are always warm.

Blessed are the Artists, for in their hands the impossible is made real.

Blessed are the Musicians, for in their ears they hear the music of the soul.

Blessed are the Sleepless, as they bask in wakeful dreaming.

Blessed are the Paranoid, ever-watchful for our enemies.

Blessed are the Visionaries, for their eyes see what might be.

Blessed are the Painlovers, for in their suffering, we grow stronger.

Blessed is the Madgod, who tricks us when we are foolish, punishes us when we are wrong, tortures us when we are unmindful, and loves us in our imperfection.