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Sotha Sil

Sotha Sil and the Scribe


By Andrunal, Seer of Verse

The Scribe rubbed at his temples, his head aching from another long night of trying to make sense of myth and memory. It was the voice of Sotha Sil that shook him from his thoughts.

"You should rest more often, my friend. A tired mind makes puzzles out of even simple things." The Scribe looked up. Sil was there and not there, as usual.

"I didn't expect I'd see you again," said the Scribe. The words were perhaps harsher than he intended. In truth, his heart swelled at the sight.

"You could not write the words this time," said Sotha Sil. "Because they were for me?"

The Scribe shrugged. "How could I?" The question needed no elaboration. Both knew what they meant to each other.

Seht smiled. A rare sight, even when he was among friends. "I like what you did with the garden. Roland's Tears. Clever."

"Manipulative," the Scribe said distastefully.

Sotha Sil spread his arms. He had chosen to portray them both as flesh this time. "Is that not the role of the Scribe?"

"I wanted them to know you as I do, but the words wouldn't come. I had to pass the task on to another."

"You mean you trusted another with a task so dear to your heart that you could not put quill to parchment." Seht's tone bore a rare hint of playful amusement. "That is no bad thing for people like us."

The Scribe shook his head. "I was afraid of being wrong."

"No, you were afraid of being imperfect." Sotha Sil conjured an old tome and flipped through the pages. "You always are. Do you really love them so much?"

The Scribe stood slowly, turning to gaze at a map of Nirn pinned to the wall of his chambers. "No," he spoke the truth quietly. "But I love her. And she belongs to them."

"If it helps, the words I spoke were true."

"I know," said the Scribe. "I have read them many times."

"You like them," said Seht.

"I do."

Sotha Sil made a chair for himself and sat. The Scribe turned to his friend, his mentor, his child shared with many fathers. "Did you come to say goodbye, Seht?"

"In a way," Seht replied, and there was no sadness in his voice. "Perhaps another form will appear that looks much like me and plays the role he is needed to play in yet another tale. I will be gone by then."

The Scribe nodded as he returned to his chair. He looked across the writing desk at Sotha Sil's face and Seht's eyes.

"Will what we tried to do be enough?" The Scribe saw understanding as he spoke. The Light of Knowledge could give courage to Prisoners, but never to the Scribe.

"This world cannot know peace," said Sotha Sil the God. "Just as its caretakers cannot. It will never be enough, but we persevere for the beauty of dawn in spite of long nights."

It was Seht that leaned forward then. "Every parent believes they have not done enough."

The Scribe reflected then on his many regrets, but spoke only one. "I tried to save you," he said. "To give some weight to the myths. But I cannot stop what is."

"You chose not to because you love me." Once again, the words of a god rang true.

"You are the Father of Mysteries,"" said the Scribe.

"And I must leave, whether I wish to or not," said Seht. "If only so Sotha Sil can remain."

The Scribe nodded again. "Will you leave any instruction for us?"

The Clockwork God pursed his lips, then spoke. "Beware the leap to certainty. The Named Daedra have many aspects. Many faces. Do not let one aspect overpower another, for they are agents of chaos. To let their nature calcify will lead to complacency and ruin. This era of strife cannot end until you scatter the lie of their simplicity."

The Scribe bowed his head in silent assent, then opened his eyes again. "And you, Seht?"

"I saw the imperfections in everything I ever attempted," said Seht, glancing at the map of Nirn. "Even imperfections in my pursuit to rid myself of them. Yet I could never stop tinkering. I could never stop creating. I loved her too much. I will give no instruction to you who have already come to know love."

Sotha Sil's body dematerialized into a thousand tiny lights. They danced around the room, illuminating books, and scrolls, and maps with a divine golden glow. It was Seht that spoke the last.

"I leave it to you."

A heady silence settled in the Scribe's chamber—filling the dimly-lit room with renewed and solemn purpose. At length, the Scribe's mouth turned to a smile, and once again he took up his quill.

The Memories of Sotha Sil

Varlinsi Arandu

By Varlinsi Arandu, Apostle of Sotha Sil

Memories are fleeting, flawed, and fragile. So easily overwritten by emotion and prejudice. I cannot think of a more unregulated recording of events, which is why I commit my thoughts into the unchanging metal of my sequence plaques. But even the most objective view can still hold bias, and words can only convey so much. The engravings on this plaque pale to the complexity of a simple human thought, with all the nuances and richness that even a common mind can hold.

Lord Seht knows this. After all, his heart drives the Wheels Eternal, oiled and calibrated. This we know. To become that which is the only true name, which is not Name, one's mind must be polished. Synchronized. How to accomplish such a task? Even a god may become overburdened with the weight of emotions, fractured from the whole which is logic.

But in this too the Clockwork God was wise. He gave his memories form, manifestation. Glowing stars to make up the galaxy of his thoughts. Tangible and real, far more real than ink upon parchment, than words or whispers. Whole and perfect, and only able to be so from the strength of his divinity, his gleaming and peerless mind which holds the true order of all.

Memories are flawed, yes, but they are precious all the same. They hold our wisdom and knowledge, all that which we are. To give them away would be squandering that gift, and this too Lord Seht knew. So he preserved these precious thoughts, locked safely with his Mnemonic Planisphere. Watched over by the ever-silent Astronomer. A multitude of stars which no longer held emotional sway over him, no, but still remained connected, known.

It's quiet in the Planisphere, but one hears whispers. A low hum of voices seem to echo within the halls. Those figures of the past, lost but not forgotten. Come to light once more.

A Brief History of Ald Sotha

Varlinsi Arandu

By Varlinsi Arandu, Apostle of Sotha Sil

To follow Sotha Sil is to listen to the winding of the gears, to think of the unlimited possibilities of what can be, not simply what is, or what was. I know this, but so too do I know what truths our past may hold. My devotion to the Father of Mysteries has been unyielding, spring-loaded I've even been told, but for so long incomplete. I began to ask questions, and was surprised so few knew. Where did our Lord come from? I received a name, but not an answer.

Ald Sotha.

I was quick to find my own answers, not within the cautious words of others but in the honest pages of books. My first discovery is that all information I would find was of the Ald Sotha that was, for the town was destroyed long ago. It was the homestead of the minor House Sotha, and how strange to write the word minor with any regard to my Lord's name! But from all my research I can only conclude such, as they are known for no great deeds or any particular skill. An unremarkable town belonging to an unremarkable family, yet somehow the birthplace of the very Father of Mysteries.

Ald Sotha was destroyed sometime within the First Era by the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. There's very little speculation as to why the Prince of Destruction wished to eradicate this town, and I don't believe there needs to be. Why try to piece together the reasoning behind a being of chaos? The result is still the same, and that is the death of everyone living within Ald Sotha. Everyone, that is, but Lord Seht, rescued by Lord Vivec before either of them had obtained true godhood.

Vivec's rescue is worth further insight, however. How did Lord Seht survive through the attack? There is no mention of a battle, and from what I have analyzed I can only assume that it was after Dagon's destruction that our Lord Seht was rescued. I can only speculate in that end. If the Tribunal wished for others to know, they would have shared the tale. And you certainly won't see me tugging at one of their sleeves, asking such trivial questions!

And, once again, the end result is the same. Lord Seht was rescued, raised by Lord Vivec, and eventually ascended to his rightful place as our Clockwork God. Whatever manner he was saved by Dagon's wrath, it was the fate of the divine gears which move us for him to live, and guide us to reclaim our lost heritage, Tamriel Final.

On the Clockwork City


By Barilzar, Mage of the Seventh Order and Artificer Extraordinaire

I studied at the feet of the Father of Mysteries. I learned of magic and machines from the Clockwork God. I searched for the secrets of Oblivion with the Inspiration of Craft and Sorcery. I did all this and more with the Light of Knowledge, the SI in ALMSIVI, the Wizard-Mystic of the Tribunal—Sotha Sil.

As student and disciple, I spent many long years at the Magus's side, helping to maintain and expand his ultimate creation, the Clockwork City. Now, rumors and stories and exaggerations galore persist about the fabled complex. The purpose of this book is to neither confirm nor deny these tales. Instead, I plan to add to the mystery and the extraordinary wonder of the place. Hopefully, my old master will approve.

Let's start with a few basic turns of the gear as I reveal a secret but wrap it in a mystery. The Clockwork City is a giant complex the size of a world, but it fits inside a glass dome no larger than a good-sized netch. Here's another contradiction. Sotha Sil was definitely inspired by the technology of the Dwemer, but the brass tunnels, giant gears, electrical fountains, and lightning falls are all uniquely the creation of the Magus of the Three, Finally, while it is said that the Clockwork City is a painstaking recreation of Nirn itself, quite the opposite is potentially true. The complex is the perfection of Nirn as imagined by the Clockwork God.

I spent much of my apprenticeship adjusting cogs and regulating the flow of energy, but my happiest memories consist of tinkering in one of Sotha Sil's many workshops, fabricantoriums, and ateliers (which is just a fancier way to say workshop, but the Magus loved to play with obscure words almost as much as the Warrior-Poet). I loved participating in the endless and varied experiments that were constantly being performed throughout the city. We studied everything, always looking for a new theory to test or a device to improve. "We build it because we can," Sotha Sil told me, but what I heard him say was "We build it because it's fun."

Here's another mystery to ponder. You must humble yourself and become modest to enter the Clockwork City. Indeed, there's no room inside for anything larger than a shroom-beetle, but once you gain entry it's larger than anyone could ever fully explore. Contemplate that while the gears turn, I dare you!

The city has residents, as any city should. Some, like the fabricants, were specifically created to fulfill necessary roles. But others live within the complex as well. Sotha Sil's current students and disciples wander the brass tunnels, maintaining the endless series of experiments that require monitoring and constant minute adjustments. There are also those the Magus invited to become part of one experiment of another, as well as the extraneous cast-offs, lost travelers, and trapped planar explorers. I've had some of the most interesting conversations ever with those I met in the Clockwork City.

Finally, you have probably heard that Sotha Sil can "forge the future" using the Clockwork City. Certainly, the contrivances that spring from this well of invention will one day beat the world into a shape most pleasing to the Father of Mysteries. Beyond that, I cannot say. It is also said that the Clockwork City can be used to "reshape the world." I won't reveal the meaning of that cryptic phrase, but I will confirm that those pistons pump true.

Now I have my own experiments to return to. There's never enough time in the day!

Great House Mottos (Annotated)

Vilyn Girith (personal notes by Sotha Sil)

To my son, whose inability to remember even these simple facts embarrasses our family at every opportunity. This is to inform you of the words the great houses of Vvardenfell live and breathe by, and the saints they hold as their patrons, representative of their goals and motives. If you ever again confuse the Hlaalu and Dres merchant nobles with whom we trade, I will disown you three and ten times, and once again to make the deed final and eternal.

(the fact that a primer of this sort is required at all indicates lapses in Temple indoctrination curricula—must delegate a canon to investigate and propose reforms)

House Redoran: "A Redoran is a warrior whose duty is first to the Tribunal, second to House Redoran, and third to family and clan."

- Saint Nerevar the Captain is the patron saint of House Redoran.

(re-check Temple texts about death of Nerevar—can't be too careful on that)

House Indoril: "Justice knows no sleep: Indoril shall order, the Temple shall judge."

- Saint Olms the Just is the patron saint of House Indoril.

House Hlaalu: "To trade fairly and freely is to honor the Three."

- Saint Veloth the Pilgrim is the patron saint of House Hlaalu.

House Dres: "To spread culture and truth to the benighted: this is our commitment and burden."

- Saint Llothis the Pious is the patron saint of House Dres.

(must point this out to Vivec; it will tickle his sense of irony)

House Telvanni: "The forceful expression of will gives true honor to the Ancestors."

- Saint Vorys the Immolant is the patron saint of House Telvanni.

You will likely not note the lack of an ascribed motto to the sixth house, the shadow house, house Dagoth. This is because that house is extinct, destroyed at the Battle of Red Mountain, after which the remaining Houses built the Temple to the Tribunal. If you ever mention this house in polite company, I will disown you.

You will note that twice, now, I have threatened to disown you. This is because my hands are not so black as Mephala's or Lord Vivec's. My heart is too weak to simply remove you from my family.

Keep this text on you at all times, and let it shame you for every reference you make to it in your dealings with our nobility. Spare our lineage the greater shame of your own foolishness. May I never have cause to call you s'wit in public again.

(the best of luck to Vilyn on that one)