Skip navigation
Library

vivec

A Brief History of Ald Sotha

Author: 
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.

GT Noonan's Posts

Author: 
GT Noonan

Scribs in Morrowind society

You have all seen the Scrib. It's what you would get if you stepped on a Spider, a Roach, and a Puppy all at the same time. I imagine that if and when the children in Vvardenfell come out from hiding, you might see them walking these Scribs around the block on a leash. Fairly tamed little buggers until you kick one. Then it turns on ya with quite a punch.

On Khajiit and Argonian variants (08/08/00)

The Pocket Guide explains the Khajiit rather well. They basically are one race, but range from very humanoid to perhaps an actual cat-like appearance. You could probably mistaken the most humanoid one for a human, while the most beast-like one you might take as a cheetah or something. This is my best idea/suggestion anyways. The same can probably be said for the Argonians. They may range from either a very humanlike apprearance to a crocodile-like appearance. I guess it depends on how many times they decide to lick the tree (refer to the PGE).

On Khajiit

Remember, Khajiit come in many forms. The closer you get to their homelands, the more wild they may appear. Though wild looking, this does not mean they are more primitive thinkers. There may or may not be different forms of the Khajiit in MW (I'm not the animator, so I wouldnt know) so just keep your eyes open for them.

Also, another point to be taken is that since Dark Elves use Khajiit and Argonian slaves, the nature of these slaves is most likely to be more Kitty-like, or primitive. There are reasons for the look, so dont think that it was just a snap decision.

[...]

5) Perhaps in future products, you can have the choice to play different types of Khajiit. Gentlemen prefer Ohmes... although I have to admit I like the way the Suthay-raht (sometimes called ja-Khajiit, though this is either a deliberate insult or a translation error) in Vvardenfell have turned out.
6) If Khajiit have six breasts, which I will neither confirm nor deny, only the top two have visually-pleasing fat deposits in most "beeds."
7) Only three "breeds" of Khajiit have the, um, adaptation discussed in The Real Barenziah which occurs in Earth-cats for entirely different reasons.
8) Khajiit are not like cats in every way. They are not exactly like humans either. I should know because I made all this stuff up.

What are Argonians like, biologically? (01/15/01)

Because they ARE "morphically diverse" (as you put it), I would seriously say that Argonians can be very mammalian or reptilian. They can be warm blooded or cold blooded. They can lay eggs or have very humanlike deliveries. Remember, given the nature of their being, they can appear as simple crocodile-like creatures or humans with scales and tails. The possibilities are quite great actually.

Do they have matched upper and lower teeth sets, like humans? (01/15/01)

Well, once again, they can. And then there are the ones that allow birds to clean their teeth.

Argonians can't kiss. (01/15/01)

Very UNtrue, given the structuring of the Argonian in question.

What Earth reptile are Argonians most like? (01/15/01)

Unanswerable. They can look like whatever reptilian creature you wanna imagine in my mind. Hell, maybe even turtle-like if you wish.

Are Argonians emotional? (01/15/01)

Depends on the evolved status of the particular Argonian. The less "humanlike", the more out of touch with its feelings and emotions (I would imagine). We can honestly tell if a crocodile or a salamander shows emotions, so I can only pretend to know this answer. Specualtion probably depends on how far you want to go into a character.

What is a typical Argonian view of each of the other races? (01/15/01)

I take it you are talking about an Argonian of humanlike evolution and STILL residing in Black Marsh. If so, their feelings are probably more geared towards the Dark Elves and the Cyrodils. There may be some disgust for the Dark Elves due to enslavement and there may be some, but very little, lack of trust for the Cyrodils. They tolerate all races however, and most likely fear none of them. Afterall, who is gonna risk conquering Black Marsh at the expense of getting the Fever?

Are the Argonians naturally diverse, or are there multiple species of Argonains? (01/15/01)

No, not another race, simply a version of the same. 

The Hist Sap may very well play a large part in this. The sap is the possible agent for their evolved or de-evolved appearance? I think so. You heard the term "licking trees" from MK once? Secreted sap from the trees lends a powerful toxin which may allow an Argonian to "graduate" to another stage of evolution. This may be a ritual event for certain members of clans or perhaps citizens who are awarded the "right" to evolve. I cant actually say its "evolving" but thats a more comprehensible term to use for this case. If you take on the form of a crocodile or newt, this doesnt exactly mean you are "lower" or "unintelligent". I think the sap only alters the appearance and not the mental. This is ONE race, not a series of subraces. There is only ONE Argonian species. Just as Obsidian said, dogs are all one species too, but they take on many appearances. The same can be seen with the Khajiit.

Why do Argonians look different in each TES game? (01/15/01)

The reason for the Argonians looking differeht all the time in different TES games really is just part of OUR evolution in design and such. With the ability for Argonians to look different due to their ritual tree licking, it allows us to keep the pace of the game going steady and looking new and almost original in all of the upcoming games. Seeing the same characters over and over could lend itself to some real boredom. But, this isnt just some excuse that we use for making changes either. It was simply an idea that sounded cool and works well within the game and for our design purposes also.

The origin of the Dwemer - includes some interesting contradictions with later lore (01/22/01)

This myth and legend takes place long, long ago, before the Empire was established, and even before the northerners touched foot on Tamrielic shorelines. Elves (Dunmer) were the predominant race of the continent, alongside the much smaller races of beastmen. A traveling band of elves were crossing through a mountainous range in the northeastern region of Tamriel. They encountered a friendly group giants and established relations amongst the two races. The giants had never encountered any human-like races and were bewildered at the small appearance of the elves. The towering giants stood many, many heads over them. The elves of course, were really not too much different in appearance or size than a typical human, but the giants were not aware of this since they had never seen a human. The giants labeled the elves as "Dwarves", claiming that they were just smaller versions of themselves. Over several years, this tag became a widespread label, and these Elves were known as Dwarves.

The Dumner translation of the word Dwarf is Dwemer. So, strangely enough, all Dunmer would use the term "Dwemer", while the northerners/newcomers rerered to this ancient race as Dwarves, taking on the translation of the giants. It is unknown, but perhaps the newcomers encountered the ginats before they did the elves.

Little is known as to the significance of this legend, but it is told to children all over Tamriel. Many would swear by it while many others will claim it is simply a bogus story.

[...]

Ok, "according" to the legend, the Dunmer originated from the Dwemer. They WERE once also known as Dwemer. The giants thought they were small people, and so called them Dwarves (just as we call short people midgets and dwarves). After many many generations perhaps, the name Dwarf, or the translation "Dwemer", finally just became the tag. I am not saying that the labeled Dunmer accepted the name, they may have just tolerated it. I mean afterall, to them it just meant "a short person". Remember, they have/had no concept of the D&D Dwarves, so would not think of themselves as being compared to them. It also doesnt make them a different race. They were by no means a different race. This was many many years before the Empire was even a thought, so the Houses didnt even exist back then either. The Dunmer operaterd their race through a network of tribes. When the Dwemer was heard about by other Dunmer tribes, they were considered as another tribe. But, for reasons perhaps unknown (hehehe) to many, this tribe was not accepted by other Dunmer tribes. Many things would occur in the years following the creation of the Dwemer, right up until the disappearance.

On horses in Morrowind (04/09/01)

Sorry, the Empire got smart and discontinued use of horses in Morrowind. For 2 main reasons....

1: The environemt is not suitable for horses. The ashy air creates bad vegetation for horses and upon munching on grass and such, they drop dead. Ashgut sounds like a good term for the ash/gastro poisoning. Imagine having charcoal fill up your digestive tract. Cant be a pretty picture, especially when black goo starts leaking from every hole on your body, right before you pop.

2: Dark Elves find horses to be a great dish. The Alpo Bistro! No Imperial guard wants to walk outside his house and see a Dark Elven family picnicking on his steed.

The Empire adopted using Guar and Siltstriders since they are more indiginous to the area. In many cases, Guar and Siltstriders are more advantageous than horses anyways.

On Hist (04/16/01)

This is neither a typo nor bad grammar. The PGE will tell you that the Hist are "a relatively intelligent strain" of Argonians. The Guide contains many inaccuracies, and this is one of them. You will also notice that the Guide mentions "a certain type of spore tree" that native Argonians might worship. Speaking generally, it is these trees that are the Hist. As for the relationship, I'm not talking yet. :)

On the ALMSIVI (04/19/01)

This brings us back to the topic of Vivec and company. Speaking only about Vivec (this goes for his pals of course too), is he REALLY considered a God who lives among people? General Patton swept across a many battlefield, and many think him a great man. But, that doesnt exactly make him a God ya know. In a fantasy setting now, Vivec once did the same. He faught in a great battle and currently uses his "aquired" magics to hold off the blighted forces. More can be learned about him in Morrowind, but from what we "currently" know about him, we cannot trully label him a God can we? Maybe he is no more than a simple hero. *shrugs* Almalexia may be no more either. Just as many (in OUR existense of course) may believe Jesus to have just been a considerate, caring human being. I think its all a matter of personal belief, but interesting all the same.

So, this raises the question.... "Are the 'Gods' in Morrowind an excuse for the existence of magic and the absense of other things (like the Dwarves)? Or are they actual, existing entities of great and bewildering power?" *ticking of machinery in many minds begins*

On the 1st PGE and its contradictions with modern (Morrowind era) lore (04/22/01)

Remember! The PGE was written in a "tourists" view. Much like reading a diary. You cannot expect the "fictional" author of the writing to be right about everything. By putting something in concrete, you limit yourself downplay suspense and originality for further developments and such. Not everything we say is always true. Sometimes, even we developers speak out of personal beliefs and idealisms about certain aspects of TES. And it is NOT always correct.... many times, it is INcorrect purposely. ;)

Not to be cruel, but its keeps everything very dynamic and ever evolving. Just because we tell you a red stick is white, it doesnt mean it isnt really green.

Slavery, beast races, and the PGE (04/24/01)

All opinions are very acceptable and I understand (although I may not agree ) any resentment towards the direction of the evolving TES game world. With all due respect, however, there are TONS of events and such in the TES world that are STILL yet unknown to the general fanbase, yet, most is known to the developers. Of course, things such as slavery of the beast races in Morrowind are not something new and pulled out of the developer compost heap. Slavery was a known issue since Daggerfall, believe it or not. It may not have been an issue in Daggerfall, but it is being used now. Even in the game Morrowind, visiting as a beast race, you are known as an Imperial citizen and are NOT looked at as a slave or a worthy slave. You are treated as any other Imperial citizen. Argonians and Khajiit alike. The fact that you may have played as a beast race in Arena and visited a town in Morrowind would still have nothing to do with the fact that there was slavery. I played extensivelt through Arena years and years ago, and this fact does not at all phase me. It is simply something that I look at now and think, "Wow. I visited Morrowind as a Khajiit in Arena and didnt notice a slave/servant situation anywhere. Wonder why I notice it now in THIS game." Sure, that's a thought of mine, but I accept it. As a gamer, a TES fan, and a developer, I totally agree on the direction things have taken thus far.

Of course, with the exclusion of Khajiit and Argonians in Battlespire, I dont know what to say. That was just a design decision. It doesnt mean that they were NOT in the TES universe, it just meant that we did not implement them. Who knows, it may go deeper. Perhaps, at that time, the Imperial Battlemages did not allow beast races to join the Elite Battle college. That's just an idea, not an answer. In all, it was an action shooter. Not a TRUE BEEF TES RPG. On that note, certain different rules had to be applied anyways.

With Redguard, you only played a Redguard. Couldnt play another race. Well, another case of "an action/adventure game", so alternate rules applied. Of course, Redguard was the game that initially hinted on at the slavery and multiple beast breeds, so it was a stepping stone game. It was a good build up to the deeper stuff within the TES universe. And trust me, it gets so much deeper that decades of games will need to be made to find out more and more of the dirt within Tamriel.

The PGE.... what can I say? Of course, depending on what individual, what race, or what class of character wrote it, it would be biased in some manner. IT IS NOT A TES BIBLE. It was never intended to be. It was a fun little "insight" about "ones" visit to various provinces around Tamriel. I thought it was a fairly informative reading and provided readers with some clues, gossip, myths, and mysteries. It was a sort of Dante's Inferno, so to speak, set within Tamriel. Like when National Gepgraphic goes to the wild rain forests of Peru to study the Madrigal Spider Monkey, we take their word for it that they did indeed study this thing for 4 years, through harsh rains, blistering heat, and monsoons. It did indeed swing from tree to tree as a nocturnal creature. It has a mating cycle much like the chimpanzee. It even has a fairly high intelligence. They then come back to the states, edit this hour long program to bring us an exclusive Ntional Geographic Undercover show on Discovery Channel, and they tell us all they had to learn about this creature. An hour later, the credits roll and we sit and ponder what an incredible find this is, and we wonder just how much they ACTUALLY had correct through their 4 year study. Then, more skeptisism sets in and you realise that NONE of this may be true. This monkey doesnt even exist. This may all be for entertainment reasons. Discovery Channel just won the nightly rating with millions of viewers. Hmmm. Basically, you know deep down inside, you wont believe it unless you could actually see this monkey (do you recall the mammoth that was dug up? funny how we see so little of it, yet we believe). Tjis goes back to the PGE. It "states" many things, but these things are a ploy, perhaps, to get the reader to more involve themselves in the subject and do a little research on their own. That's the way I look at it anyways.

So there you have it. My own little Reading Rainbow. But you dont have to take MY word for it.

Background on Hircine (04/25/01)

My knowlege of the Daedra is limited. What I do know though is, Hircine is an antlered Daedric fiend. I wouldnt call him the God Of Hunt, but he is a great Hunter. The Hunter of Mortal Souls and a favored high ranking General of Mehrunes Dagon, the Prince of Destruction. Clavicus Vile may perhaps even be of some blood relation to Hircine. Clavicus is the owner of a shapeshifting beats that takes the typical appearance of a large dog. Dont get the two mistaken. :p

On Khajiit in Morrowind (06/18/01)

Many of the Khajiit in Morrowind will appear to be more "wild", if thats the right way to put it. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that most are slaves. A Khajiit with this appearance may be better suited for slavery. As with Argonians. Maybe the more "beast-like" forms are just bred that way by Dark Elves because they can manage more and heavier work. I dunno, but it sounds good to me. :)

On dragons (09/02/01)

Dragons are not native to Vvardenfell due to the harsh environment. In Redguard, the present dragon is in control of the Empire. Could it be that the existing dragons work with the Empire in return for protection and spoils? If this "were" the case, many dragons probably reside in or around the Cyrodilian/Imperial province. Remember, the symbol of a dragon appears in the Imperial crest. Of course, like in Redguard, they could be dispatched to regions where the Empire needs them. As for Morrowind, there is little protection, if any that the Empire could offer them, especially in Vvardenfell. As for the Skylamps, that's a strange idea that they are natural predators to dragons. If anything, the Cliff Racers may be a natural predator if they attacked dragons in packs, or flocks. I guess the Cliff Racers could be much like the creatures that were in the movie Pitch Black. Not totally, but just in their predatory nature. This could be one theory why dragons either moved out or never existed in Vvardenfell.

More on dragons and their relationship to the empire (09/04/01)

It is also hinted in Battlespire within a journal and in the remains, that the Imperial Battlemages used dragonmounts for security on the Battlespire. In level 1, you will find the remains of an Imperial dragon names Dragonne Papre' and his rider. The journal contains tidbits about the troubles in the spire and what may have happened so that only their decayed bodies remain.

As far as the Empire actually being in alliance with dragon's, there are many hints that lead on to this. Lord Richton was able to summon the Imperial Dragon, N'falilaargas for support in the Battle of Stros M'kai. The Battlespire incident. The look of the Imperial crest. Even the rumors that Tiber Septim WAS a dragon, shapeshifted into human form. Oh, dragon's exist, and there is proof that they do, but in what quantities? Hmmm.....

Even more on dragons in Tamriel

All of the dragons didnt die. They have their own means of remaining "hidden" from Tamriel's populace. Whether its shapeshifting, hiding deep in the mountains or jungles, or even in very protective custody of secret Imperial strongholds, they do exist.

The reason the dragons left Morrowind was because of the food chain being broken. Cliffracers were in such great numbers that they food became scarce for the dragons, so they moved on. Even if they stuck around and killed the cliffracers off, the food would still be at a shortage.

The dragon from Redguard fell easily for many reasons. Cyrus was more than just a Redguard. Playing the game will explain much about his abilities. Also, no matter big the dragon was, he was confined in a rather tight space. Try wrestling with someone in a box the size of a microwave. Plus, Naffy wasnt the smartest of dragons, as working for Lord Richton should say that much alone. His greed got the better of him. Not such a noble dragon.

Also, as Battlespire hinted, there is (or was) an elite Imperial dragon mount guard (TES Dragoons). Search for a document relaying a wing mounted guard's final words about his mount, PaprDragn.

On Dunmeri strongholds

Best Westerns. The were basically fortified stronghold/checkpoint/hotels for travelers. There are no records of any of the strongholds ever being held under siege or used in any battles/wars, but it is quite possible that they were used for warriors as layover posts while travelling.

Was Dyviath Fyr the Hero of Battlespire? (10/10/05)

While Fyr is not the hero of the event that occured at the Battlespire, it is not known if he has any connection to the actual hero. Even devs sometimes like a mystery.

What is Fyr's connection to the throne of Tamriel? (10/10/05)

It's mostly personal. Access to Imperial facilities which house documents and such are of great interest. Fyr has a great respect for the throne even though he may not believe in it.

Fyr is not exactly an active member of the Telvanni Council. He is more like a consultant or advisor to them. Though, he respects their command and WILL carry out most requests laid down by them.

In all, the Telvanni Council and the Imperial Throne are treated quite the same in Fyr's eyes. Fyr is kinda what you could call the Flower Child of Tamriel.

 

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.

 

On Morrowind, the Imperial Province

Author: 
Erramanwe of Sunhold

After the conquest of Hammerfell, Imperial legions massed along the northeastern borders of Cyrodiil, and invasion fleets prepared in Skyrim.

Initially, though the Imperial legions and navy were widely considered undefeatable, House Indoril and the Temple hierarchy proposed to resist to the death. Redoran and Dres stood by Indoril, with Telvanni remaining neutral. Hlaalu proposed accommodation.

Contrived border incidents in Black Marsh ended inconclusively, but the swampy terrain did not favor legion and navy coordination. Against the legions massed west of Silgrad Tower and Kragenmoor, and the legions west of Blacklight and Cormaris View, Morrowind had pitifully small militias stiffened by small companies of Redoran mercenaries and elite units of house nobles and Temple Ordinators and Armigers. Further complicating matters was the refusal of Indoril, Dres, Hlaalu, and Telvanni to garrison the western borders; Indoril and Dres proposed, rather than defend the western border, instead to withdraw to the interior and fight a guerilla war. With Hlaalu advocating accommodation, and Telvanni remaining neutral, Redoran therefore faced the prospect of standing alone against the Empire.

The situation changed radically when Vivec appeared in person in Vivec City to announce his negotiation of a treaty with Emperor Tiber Septim, reorganizing Morrowind as a province of the Empire, but guaranteeing "all rights of faith and self-government." A shocked Temple hierarchy, which apparently had not been consulted, greeted the announcement with awkward silence. Indoril swore they would resist to the death, with the loyal support of Dres, while Redoran, grateful for a graceful excuse to avoid facing the legions unsupported, joined with Hlaalu in welcoming the agreement. Telvanni, seeing which way the wind blew, joined with Hlaalu and Redoran in supporting the treaty.

Nothing is known of the circumstances of the personal meeting between Septim and Vivec, or where it took place, or the preliminaries which must have preceded the treaty. The public reason was to protect the identities of the agents involved. In the West, speculation has centered around the role of Zurin Arctus in brokering the agreement; in the East, rumors suggest that Vivec offered Numidium to aid in the conquest of the Altmer and Sumerset Isle in return for significant concessions to preserve self-rule, house traditions, and religious practices in Morrowind.

The Lord High Councilor of the Grand Council, an Indoril, refused to accept the treaty, and refused to step down. He was assassinated, and replaced by a Hlaalu. House Hlaalu took the opportunity to settle some old scores with House Indoril, and a number of local councils changed hands in bloody coups. More blood was shed in these inter-house struggles than against the Imperial Legions during Morrowind's transition from an independent nation to a province of the Empire.

The generals of the legions had dreaded an invasion of Morrowind. The Dunmer were widely regarded as the most dreadful and fanatic foes, further inspired by their Temple and clan traditions. The generals had not grasped the political weaknesses of Morrowind, which Emperor Tiber Septim recognized and exploited. At the same time, given the tragic depopulation and destruction experienced by the other provinces conquered by Septim, and the swift and efficient assimilation of Morrowind into the Imperial legal systems and economy, with relatively small impact on lower or upper classes of Morrowind's citizens, the Tribunal also deserves some credit for recognizing the hopelessness of Morrowind's defense, and the chance of gaining important concessions at the treaty table by being the first to offer peace.

By contrast, many Indoril nobles chose to commit suicide rather than submit to the Empire, with the result that the House was significantly weakened during the period of transition, guaranteeing that they would lose much of their influence and power to House Hlaalu, whose influence and power was waxing with its enthusiastic accommodation with the Empire. The Temple hierarchy more skillfully managed their loss of face, remaining aloof from political struggles, and earning the good will of the people by concentrating on their economic, educational, and spiritual welfare.

Loveletter From the Fifth Era, The True Purpose of Tamriel

Author: 
Michael Kirkbride

Hello, everyone. While visiting the demons of the Haight last night, I was handed the document that follows. I was drunk, so I cannot describe the courier, but I can verify that it is, indeed, from the Fifth Era (!) of Tamriel from an author unknown to me, even in visions.

It will be of interest to many lore scholars here; indeed, since it concerns Vivec’s “Scripture of Love” it was very much of interest to me.

Enjoy.

--

Ald Sotha Below, 5E911
House Sul Progenitor House, duly noted under the digital house,
Whirling School Prefect Approved
Chronocule Delivery: souljewel count: 78888-00-00-00-000

My name is Jubal-lun-Sul, of House Sul, whose name is known and heard throughout the Scathing Bay and the Nine times Nine Thrones. Our lord is High Alma Jaroon, of House Jaroon, whose city is the First City of the New North, where all who Went Under from Landfall settled and made peace with the Worm, when we were not Eighty and One separate peoples but One, carrying the tibrols on our back together and cutting tunnels by the light and heat that all mer wore, with equal dust in every mouth. My family’s name comes from the first child born in the Velothiid, Haeko-dol-Sul, and, like him, we are salt merchants. Our crest is the tusk of the bat-tiger. Our bloodline is registered by C0DA.

The Digitals say we come from another star, but so many have forgotten. I have not, for my lineage granted me audience with Memory, and I have spoken with the Wheels of Lull. I have seen proof, as any who come Up during Landfall Season, when the winds die down enough Above that all may make pilgrimage under the banner of Vehk and Vehk. Though many Above have renounced Memory, they too remember.

--

I tell you now, brothers and sisters of the coming 4th, that the holy Scripture of Love contains all you need to avoid the perils of the Landfall. By chronocules granted by the ‘neers of Lull, this warning is given freely and by Love. Sermon 35 begins properly:

“The formulas of proper Velothi magic continue in ancient tradition, but that virility is dead, by which I mean at least replaced. Truth owes its medicinal nature to the establishment of the myth of justice. Its curative properties it likewise owes to the concept of sacrifice. Princes, chiefs, and angels all subscribe to the same notion. This is a view primarily based on a prolific abolition of an implied profanity, seen in ceremonies, knife fighting, hunting, and the exploration of the poetic. On the ritual of occasions, which comes to us from the days of the cave glow, I can say nothing more than to loosen your equation of moods to lunar currency.”

The C0DA broke when Twice Vehk appeared again from Aether, but they captured enough of Him to render the words stable again. In this passage, He describes the goal of the Lunar God, who some of you still ascribe the name “Lorkhan”. When stabilized, the words become proof:

All creation is subgradient. First was Void, which became split by AE. Anu and Padomay came next and with their first brush came the Aurbis.

Void to Aurbis: naught to pattern.

“Later, and by that I mean much, much later, my reign will be seen as an act of the highest love, which is a return from the astral destiny and the marriages between. By that I mean the catastrophes, which will come from all five corners. Subsequent are the revisions, differentiated between hope and the distraught, situations that are only required by the periodic death of the immutable. Cosmic time is repeated: I wrote of this in an earlier life. An imitation of submersion is love's premonition, its folly into the underworld, by which I mean the day you will read about outside of yourself in an age of gold. For on that day, which is a shadow of the sacrificial concept, all history is obliged to see me for what you are: in love with evil.”

The marriages of the Aether describe the birth of all magic. Like a pregnant [untranslatable], the Aurbis exploded with its surplus. Will formed and, with it, the Potential to Action. This is the advent of the first Digitals: mantellian, mnemolia, the aetherial realm of the etada. The Head of this order is Magnus, but he is not its Ward, for even he was subcreated by the birth of Akatosh.

Aurbis to Aetherius: possibility to maintenance by time.

“To keep one's powers intact at such a stage is to allow for the existence of what can only be called a continual spirit. Make of your love a defense against the horizon. Pure existence is only granted to the holy, which comes in a myriad of forms, half of them frightening and the other half divided into equal parts purposeless and assured. Late is the lover that comes to this by any other walking way than the fifth, which is the number of the limit of this world. The lover is the highest country and a series of beliefs. He is the sacred city bereft of a double. The uncultivated land of monsters is the rule. This is clearly attested by ANU and his double, which love knows never really happened.”

Lull calls this a refutation of sorts, but the wise may know it as the first appearance of Nu-Mantia, which is Liberty. Rather, the road to Liberty.

Another subcreation happened to the wheels of the etada, a shore that all of creation crashed against, the terminus of limits known as Oblivion. An echo of the Void before but unalike, many spirits fled here and came to power by merely harnessing the impossibility of Limit+All.

Aetherius to Oblivion: creation to destruction.

“Similarly, all the other symbols of absolute reality are ancient ideas ready for their graves, or at least the essence of such. This scripture is directly ordered by the codes of Mephala, the origin of sex and murder, defeated only by those who take up those ideas without my intervention. The religious elite is not a tendency or a correlation. They are dogma complemented by the influence of the untrustworthy sea and the governance of the stars, dominated at the center by the sword, which is nothing without a victim to cleave unto. This is the love of God and he would show you more: predatory but at the same time instrumental to the will of critical harvest, a scenario by which one becomes as he is, of male and female, the magic hermaphrodite.”

We begin to see the first inkling of emergence, which by its nature requires the merging of two-fold powers. Inevitably, this leads to another gradient, but this time by forceful process: the Trap of the Lunar God. The Aedra are Named at this time, having lent their hands to what was to be the arena of the eternally impossible: Mundus, or Exactness.

Oblivion to Mundus: debris of all possibility to anchor of all things.

“Mark the norms of violence and it barely registers, suspended as it is by treaties written between the original spirits.”

When one visits Memory, you become filled with the first ideas of the Lunar God, and see the trap within the trap. Vehk knows it at this point, and sees for all of you, and realizes the need for treaty: avenue of escape, first stone.

C0DA translation: if all previous gradients continue along this path, especially given that there is now a centerpoint, impossible Mundus, the process of continuation can be pre-figured.

The echo of the Void is Oblivion. The echo of Oblivion is now mortal death. Death results in reappropriation of spirit towards its aligned AE—either to the god-planet Aedra or the Principalities of Oblivion. Vehk’s name for this transaction, mentioned above, is “lunar currency”.

AE CHIM NU-MEN NU-MANTIA

Mundus to Mortal Death: centerpoint to the soon recycled.

“This should be seen as an opportunity, and in no way tedious, though some will give up for it is easier to kiss the lover than become one.”

Here we come to the Scripture’s greatest resignation: to imagine the subcreation AFTER mortal death, which by pattern would mean an echo of Mundus, and through this imagining, the failures of so many.

The Digitals' record of the Lunar God’s involvement in all of this is called the Great Pain: “The Lunar God failed by his own devices, to show the new progeny how they might not.”

You in the Fourth Era have already witnessed many of the attempts at reaching the final subgradient of all AE, that state that exists beyond mortal death. The Numidium. The Endeavor. The Prolix Tower. CHIM. The Enantiomorph. The Scarab that Transforms into the New Man.

Simply put, as the Gods cannot know joy as mortals, their creation, so mortals may only understand the joy of Liberty by becoming the progenitors of the models that can make the jump past mortal death.

And so many of you give up.

Mortal Death to Z (Z being the state-gradient echo of Mundus Centerex): antinymic to [untranslatable].

“The lower regions crawl with these souls, caves of shallow treasures, meeting in places to testify by way of extension, when love is only satisfied by a considerable (incalculable) effort.”

Those who do not fail become the New Men: an individual beyond all AE, unerased and all-being. Jumping beyond the last bridge of all existence is the Last Existence, The Eternal I.

I AM.

A whole World of You.

God.

God outside of all else but his own free consciousness, hallucinating for eternity and falling into love: I AM AND I ARE ALL WE.

C0DA Digitals have confirmed that a subject in sensory deprivation begins to hallucinate after only twenty minutes. Scale unto this along the magical spectrum and maintenance of time, which is forever, and you begin to see the Lunar God’s failure as Greatest Gift. As above, “This is the love of God.”

Why Love?

Know Love to avoid the Landfall, my brothers and sisters of the past.

The New Man becomes God becomes Amaranth, everlasting hypnogogic. Hallucinations become lucid under His eye and therefore, like all parents of their children, the Amaranth cherishes and adores all that is come from Him.

I ARE ALL WE.

God is Love.

COME TO THE HOUSE OF WE.

God is Love.

ONE WORLD IN SPIRIT I AM.

God is Love.

--

--

And that is how the message ended. Do with it what you will and freely discuss. I know what I am doing with it, but then, I’ve been trying and trying for years. “Considerable effort”, indeed.

And perhaps it is no accident that this falls on 9/11. Love to its Memory. And my love to Kurt Kuhlmann, whose birthday was destroyed by the will of critical harvest.

-MK

 

Approaching Vivec

Author: 
Anonymous

Art Design Notes for the Warrior-Poet

Who is Vivec?

Morrowind is holy country, and its gods are flesh and blood. Collectively, these gods are called the Tribunal, three deities exemplifying Dunmeri virtues. Almalexia is Mercy, Vivec is Mastery, and Sotha Sil is Mystery. Vivec is easiest the most popular of them all.

He is also the most public, for he is the beloved Warrior-Poet of the True People, paradoxically beautiful and bloody. Vivec is an artistic violence. He is transcendent of the Dark Elven demon that anticipated him, Black Hands Mephala, a foundation figure of the earliest Chimer. Modern Vivec mirrors the ur-Mephala. We shall take them hand in hand.

Who is Mephala?

Each of the three Tribunes were present at the dawn of Chimeri culture, at least in spirit. According to legend, three demons, or Daedra, helped a discontented throng of Altmer become a new people and found a new land. These Altmer became the Chimer, or “the Changed Folk”. This was more than an ideological shift or political statement; the Chimer _physically_ changed as well. Details of this transformation can be found elsewhere, but each of the three demons represented a crucial part of its metaphysics. If Boethiah, the so-called Prince of Plots, represented the method needed to bring about change, Mephala was the shadowy enforcer of that scheme.

Mephala is the demon of murder, sex, and secrets. All of these possess subtle aspects and violent ones (assassination/ genocide, courtship/orgy, tact/ poetic truths); Mephala was meant to embody those dichotomies, and this made it (Mephala is hermaphroditic) a difficult deity to understand. It is no surprise that Vivec exploits the more popular characteristics of his progenitor: combat and art.

Mephala has both male and female genitalia, and both are grossly exaggerated in the idols, drawings, and carvings that depict it. Androgyny is sometimes depicted in Vivec as well, but not as overtly. He (notice the pronoun) is almost always represented as a male, though often with homosexual or bisexual tendencies.

As has been said, reverence of Mephala was co-opted into the worship of Vivec. Legends and myths attributed to the demon now serve as a relief to the god to come later. This is not to say that Mephala has entirely disappeared from contemporary Dunmeri worship; it has not, and survives to small extent in various thuggish mystery cults, sexual specialists, covert fashion clubs, and elsewhere. Mephala is most famous as the psychopomp of the Morag Tong, the elite assassins guild of Morrowind.

Vivec and Mephala

Author: 
Anonymous

Who is ALMSIVI?

Morrowind is holy country, and its gods are flesh and blood. Collectively, these gods are called the Tribunal, the triune ALMSIVI, three deities exemplifying Dunmeri virtues. Almalexia is Mercy, Vivec is Mastery, and Sotha Sil is Mystery. Vivec is easily the most popular of them all. Vivec is also the most public, for he is the beloved Warrior-Poet of the True People, paradoxically beautiful and bloody. Vivec is an artistic violence. Vivec is represented in Temple literature and liturgy as one of the divine kings of Morrowind. He guards the sacred Velothi subcontinent of Vvardenfell, and stands guard over Red Mountain, the gate to hell. He is part of the holy Tribunal, a god of the New Temple, and an aspect of the blessed and righteous ALMSIVI.

This explicit presentation of Vivec the Guardian God-King and Warrior-Poet is the one most accessible and familiar to Westerners. However, it is important to remember that Vivec is also known to the Dunmer as the transcendent evolution of the daedra that anticipated him, Black Hands Mephala, a foundation figure of the earliest Chimer. This darker side of Vivec does not appear in the popular literature and liturgy, but is instinctively understood and accepted by the Dunmer as an integral part of Vivec's divine aspect. A more complete appreciation of the complex nature of Vivec requires an understanding of the nature of Vivec's Anticipation, Mephala, and the darker themes represented by this Daedra Lord's modes and motivations.

Who is Mephala?

Each of the three Tribunes of the Temple were represented in the dawn of Chimeri culture by their Anticipations. These Anticipations are known to the West as the sinister Daedra Lords Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. In Temple theology, however, Azura is the Anticipation of Sotha Sil, the Mage-Lord of Almsivi. Boethiah is the Anticipation of Almalexia, Almsivi's Mother and Lady. Mephala is the Anticipation of Vivec. According to legend, under the guidance of these three Daedra Lords, a discontented throng of Altmer transformed themselves into a new people and founded a new land. And while Boethiah, the so-called Prince of Plots, provided the revolutionary methods needed to bring about this transformation, Mephala was the shadowy implementer of those methods.

As known in the West, Mephala is the demon of murder, sex, and secrets. All of these themes contain subtle aspects and violent ones (assassination/genocide, courtship/orgy, tact/poetic truths); Mephala is understood paradoxically to contain and integrate these contradictory themes. And all these subtle undercurrents and contradictions are present in the Dunmer concepts of Vivec, even if they are not explicitly described and explained in Temple doctrine.

The Dunmer do not envision Lord Vivec as a creature of murder, sex, and secrets. Rather, they conceive of Lord Vivec as benevolent king, guardian warrior, poet-artist. But, at the same time, unconsciously, they accept the notion of darker, hidden currents beneath Vivec's benevolent aspects.

For example, one of the most striking persistent myths associated with Vivec is the story that Vivec conspired with his co-rulers Almalexia and Sotha Sil in the murder of Lord Nerevar, the greatest of Dunmer heroes and generals. The story is derived from Ashlander oral tradition, and is flatly contradicted by all Temple traditions. Nonetheless, the tale is firmly established in the Dunmer imagination, as if to say, "Of course Vivec would never have conspired to murder Lord Nerevar, but it happened so long ago... who can know the truth?"

The public face of Vivec is benign, sensitive, compassionate, and protective of his followers. At the same time, the Dunmer seem irrationally comfortable with the hidden aspects of Vivec, the darker components of violence, lust, and conspiracy associated the more primitive and ruthless impulses of the Anticipations.

The Pilgrim's Path

Author: 
Tribunal Temple

The pilgrim must visit each of the Shrines of the Seven Graces. At each site the pilgrim must stand before the three-sided stone triolith and read the inscription. To ease the pilgrim's task, the Temple has made this list of shrines along with directions and advice to pilgrims. The blessings of each shrine last at least a half day.

The Fields of Kummu: Shrine of Humility

Here Lord Vivec met a poor farmer whose guar had died. The farmer could not harvest his muck without his guar, and he could not provide for his family or his village. So the Lord Vivec removed his fine clothes and toiled in the fields like a beast of burden until the crop was harvested. It is at the Fields of Kummu we go to pray for the same humility Lord Vivec showed on that day.

The Fields of Kummu are west of Suran on the north shore of Lake Amaya as you head towards Pelagiad. The shrine is between two rocks, and most easily noticed while traveling east along the road. Alof's farm nearby has a small dock on the north bank of Lake Amaya. This is the only dock nearby which Alof kindly allows servants of the Temple to use. It is customary to leave a portion of muck at the shrine to represent Vivec's humility.

To Stop the Moon: The Shrine of Daring

When Sheogorath rebelled against the Tribunal, he tricked the moon Baar Dau into forsaking its appointed path through Oblivion. The Mad Star inspired the moon to hurl itself upon Vivec's new city, which Sheogorath claimed was built in mockery of the heavens. When Vivec learned of Sheogorath's scheme, he froze the rogue moon in the sky with a single gesture and the grace of his countenance. Overwhelmed by the courage and daring of Vivec, the moon Baar Dau swore itself to eternal service of the Tribunal and all its works. Thus the moon now stands guard over the palace, and serves as a citadel for the Temple's Ordinators.

The Shrine of Daring is found in the city of Vivec, in the Temple District, along the western wall of the High Fane, the great Temple of Vvardenfell. When you address the shrine, it is customary to leave behind a Potion of Rising Force. Suitable potions may be purchased from the Temple. Homemade potions are not acceptable.

The Palace: Shrine of Generosity

Long after Lord Nerevar and the Tribunal triumphed over Dagoth Ur, the people wished to build a monument to the heroes of that war. Vivec thanked them, but said that it would be better to dedicate a monument not only to the glorious heroes, but to all people, great and small, who suffered and died in the war. It became the custom to make offerings here, either in thanks of our good fortune, or for those less fortunate.

The Shrine of Generosity is on the top steps of Vivec's Palace, the southernmost Canton of Vivec City. The customary donation for those in good fortune is 100 gold.

The Puzzle Canal: The Shrine of Courtesy

In a battle with Mehrunes Dagon, Vivec gave his own silver longsword to the Daedra Lord rather than dishonor himself by fighting an unarmed foe. This so impressed the Dremora, the most honorable and chivalrous of Mehrunes Dagon's Daedric servants, that they now share a bond of respect and courtesy with the followers of the Tribunal, though we must never forget that they are our enemies.

The Shrine of Courtesy is found in the heart of the Puzzle Canal, a labyrinth beneath Lord Vivec's Palace in the city of Vivec. The journey though the Puzzle Canal can be confusing and it is suggested that common pilgrims carry a scroll of ALMSIVI Intervention in case they get lost. The Dremora Krazzt is found in the center of the Puzzle Canal, and will accept a plain silver longsword if spoken to with courtesy. After Krazzt accepts the sword, pilgrims must read the inscription on the triolith.

The Mask of Vivec: Shrine of Justice

Near the altar is Vivec's Ash Mask. In the Days of Fire when Dagoth Ur first crept back into Red Mountain and awakened it, Vivec led refugees here as they fled the ash and blight. Weary, they rested here a while. When Vivec awoke, he found himself and all his followers encased in casts of grey ash. Frozen like a sleeping statue and unable to free himself or help his people, Vivec was filled with despair. Vivec's tears weakened his ash cast. He tore the ash from his perished followers, breathed life into their lungs, and cured them of the blight. This is Vivec's heroism -- his tender heart provides strength when his might fails.

The Shrine of Justice is guarded within the Gnisis Temple, in the village of Gnisis, northwest by road from the town of Ald'ruhn. When you address the shrine, it is customary to leave a potion of Cure Common Disease as a token of your respect for justice. Suitable potions may be purchased from Temple. Homemade potions are not acceptable.

Koal Cave: The Shrine of Valor

Within the Koal Cave, Vivec fought a battle with Ruddy Man, the father of the Dreugh. When he defeated Ruddy Man, Vivec spared his life, on the condition that Ruddy Man and his children would give up their tough hides to serve as armor for the Dunmer.

The Shrine of Valor is inside the Koal Cave, a cavern on the seacoast west of the ancient stronghold Berandas and south of Gnisis. The cave mouth faces south, towards the sea, and is marked by a large natural arch of stone. The region is wilderness, and finding the cave mouth can be difficult. Dreugh within the cave itself are fearsome enemies; only experienced and capable adventurers should attempt to re-enact the epic battle with the dreugh in the cave. Dreugh wax may be bought at the Temple in Gnisis. When you address the shrine, it is customary to leave a portion of dreugh wax as a token of Vivec's victorious struggle with Ruddy Man.

The Ghostfence: The Shrine of Pride

The Ghostfence is a lasting symbol of the indomitable will and power of ALMSIVI, and a monument to Dunmer pride in overcoming its enemies.

The Shrine of Pride is found within the Ghostfence, just northeast of the Ghostgate itself. The safest route to Ghostgate is along the Foyada Mamaea, a volcanic ravine running from the top of Red Mountain southwest to its end just below Balmora. An old Dwemer bridge crosses the foyada near Fort Moonmoth. A pilgrim may follow the Foyada Mamaea all the way to Ghostgate. Any journey inside the Ghostfence is dangerous, but even the most timid pilgrim should be safe, so long as he does not stray too far from the Ghostgate and flees from any minions of Dagoth Ur. When you address the shrine, it is customary to leave a soul gem in remembrance of our ancestors who were bound to the Tribunal's service.