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The Constant Gardener of Men

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cpt.Od's picture
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Herma Mora, Gardener of Men, Scryer of the Tides of Fate, is vaguely related to the cult origins of the Morag Tong ('Foresters Guild'), if only by association with his brother/sister, Mephala.

I built a monastery for the Morag Tong, and I need dialogue bad. We become the Grandmaster, yet we're kept distant from the cultus mysteries, such as Mora's role in the tong's origins - why? Why's Sanguine the color of night? (Hint: What do people do at night?) How did the Threads get into the Brotherhood's hands, and why are the  Threads so coveted?

I'm of the mind that Mora is the Past, but so what? How does that qualify him an association to the Morag Tong? Any help connecting the dots would be appreciated.

Stygies VIII's picture
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Hermaeus Mora is also the collector of secrets. The Daedric Prince of fate and secret knowledge. Mephala is also somehow connected to secrets and whispers. Herma-Mora likes the whispers Mephala hears...

Though Hermaeus Mora's involvement is not talked about much -mostly because the whispers are secret. Secondly, Morag Tong offically deals with murder, not knowledge.

Fiore1300's picture
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Joined: 07/24/2011

Hmm... 

So I've long been interested in that title of his; "Gardener of Men." What does it imply? In one sense, a gardener evokes a caretaker. In other words someone who pours their time and love into growing healthy and productive plants. But in a darker sense a gardener evokes the image of a reaper as someone who comes at the harvest. As a daedric prince I lean towards the latter image but it could very much be both. Hermaeus Mora cultivates the minds of men only to reap the result of his labors at a later date. His Summoning Day is the 5th of First Seed, so maybe this is symbolic of his role in planting seeds within the minds of mankind.

The relevance of all this to this discussion being that the idea of a reaper is closely associated with the Dark Brotherhood, where brothers and sisters envision themselves as instruments of a bloody harvest (well, at least in Oblivion's version).

As to the close relationship between Hermaeus Mora and Mephala, even the UESP points out what is seemingly the most obvious connection - between Mephala's association with secrets and webspinning and Mora's own association with secret knowledge and prophecy. Both, I'd imagine, would resonate strongly with IRL conspiracy theorists. But I can't help but feel there is a deeper connection here. I just cannot put my finger on it.

On the topic of "Sanguine is the color of night," I assume they are straight forward in meaning that the color of night is blood red. I wonder if this is a reference to the Lunar Lorkhan. In our own reality, we tie the night and murder together in our cultural mythology because at night we feel most vulnerable and because we'd expect a murderer to take advantage of the dark to remain hidden both to his victim and to possible witnesses. But in the Elder Scrolls there is literally a corpse of a dead god hanging around in the sky every night. Nighttime on Nirn is a literal crime scene.

Full disclosure, but this kind of all fits with my theory of the Dark Brotherhood as an organization that worships limitation. Or rather more specifically, the greatest limitation; mortality. Playing maybe to closely to Boethia's portrayal in Skyrim, the Dark Brotherhood sees the act killing and/or being killed as possibly the most powerful single act one can accomplish as a mortal creature. So yeah, maybe in direct opposition to the stereotypical loooooooong list of characters obsessed with obtaining immortality, the Dark Brotherhood revels in mortality to the point of worshiping its power achieved through its own end. But yeah, #headcanon and all that.

cpt.Od's picture
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I never made the First Seed connection to cultivation of minds; that's perfect for my purposes. I definitely don't want to be like, "So we're the Morag Tong. We worship Mephala, brother/sister to Secret Knowledge. Oh, by the way, Mora's growing us - Its a cookbook." and shit. I want the lore to be low key, and only hint at these threads, like vanilla Morrowind does.

So, actually, you've given me enough to work with. I doubt, three thousand years later, the Tong will know anything more about Mora's involvement than a couple mantras they learned in juvie assassins school. Thanks Fiore!

The former: walk like them until they must walk like you. This is the death children bring as the Sons of Hora." - Nu-Hatta

It occurred to me Hora is Herma Mora. Hora, the God of Fate, is privy over the succession of secrets and knowledge. It's possible he presided over the first murder of a Grandmaster.

Proweler's picture
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Joined: 06/14/2010

Hermaus is made out of ideas that were not used in creation, he is a giant blob of conspiracy theories, outmoded ideas of reality, alternative medicine, alternative religions, ect, ect. His followers are the feeble minded who believe such useless knowledge to be true.

So I don't think the title "Gardener of Men" is a positive one. A gardener takes out the weeds. Anybody who follows him and falls into his realm was weed that has been removed.

Perhaps my personal bias is showing here but I think "culling those with useless knowledge" fits very well with the Nord Ethos. :)

cpt.Od's picture
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Jhunal, right. He would have been tricked by the Woodland Man. 

The tradition of murdering the Grandmaster began as mere pragmatism. The death children bring to their parents. The Velothi had to adapt.

Proweler's picture
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Jhunal? What are you referencing exactly?

cpt.Od's picture
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Wasn't he the rune god they left behind in Atmora? Perhaps he went extinct, because old Hora tricked his clan into staying. The allure of secret knowledge might have been his undoing.

Proweler's picture
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Do you have a source for that? I don't recall any such thing.

He and his are mentioned in the The Five Hundred Mighty Companions or Thereabouts of Ysgramor the Returned.

 

 

cpt.Od's picture
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Then I'm mistaken, my bad. I thought he was forgotten, because he stayed behind. That's what I get for thinking aloud. :P

... I build for you a city of swords, by which I mean laws that cut the people who live there into better shapes.

The true sword is able to cut chains of generations, which is to say, the creation myths of your enemies. Look on me as the exiled garden. All else is uncut weed.

And the Foresters Guild do the cutting.

Proweler's picture
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Mmh. What made you think he stayed behind? I haven't been keeping up too well, perhaps I'm missing it. Also keep in mind that the vague suggestion of it being one way in one source does not exclude the existence of it being suggested otherwise elsewhere.

Not sure if the other bit match up though. They're all examples of gardening but the motivation and goals seem to differ.

Hermaus is culling the useless which improves the quality of the remainder. Lorkhanic dead cults murder the old to make room for new. The first somewhat resembles with the Altmeri attempts to retain stability and avoid change. The other just adds to the chaos.

Vivec is talking reshaping a race by creating a  history in which its enemies are no longer formidable (or some such) which (if I understood it correctly) deals with the way out of the petty squabbles of the interplay that were discussed before. Though when keeping Hermaus Mora as the Gardener in mind the uncutweed can be read as a metaphor for all else being useless knowledge.

 

cpt.Od's picture
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I read it as such, that Vivec was saying, "You don't want to be the weeds when the Gardener shows up."

I just assumed Jhunal was left behind, with the rest of the garbage. Something seemed karmic about the self-absorbed wiseguy of the pantheon ignoring the perils to chase illusive and uncertain knowledge. I must have missed his presence on the 500's flotilla in the parts I glossed.

Thanks for the insights, Prow.

Proweler's picture
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Ah bummer. Would make a nice bit of Coda.