The Dangers of Truth

Author: Anonymous
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By Cipher Fandinninlur

Those odd Scribes of Mora believe that knowledge is the most important concept in all of Oblivion’s realms. Their assumption is incorrect. Truth is the only worthwhile attribute to strive toward. Assumptions, fallacies, and misinformation tarnishes knowledge. It has no more substance than thoughts which flit across the sky like ink in the wind. Truth remains the only constant. It is the rock which directs the stream and transforms the shape of the waterway.

To understand something so monumental and steadfast is not a simple feat. Have you ever actually observed a rock in a stream? The water tries to cling to it, to feel the shape of the rock entirely, but it is forever whisked away. So, too, will we never understand the scope of the truth we strive to attain. We are forever changed by the truth we seek, but there is not one among us who comprehends more than the dark shadow of the truth in our stream.

This is as much of the truth as we are ever able to understand. Truth is a dangerous quality. It contains negative aspects and suggests implications the likes of which even the most steadfast of Daedric minds cannot comprehend. Hermaeus Mora alone holds dominion over truth, fate, and their related fields.

At best, discovering the truth guarantees the death of any hypothesis regarding the nature of the subject being researched. All of the knowledge gathered gets smashed against the rock and washed away in the current. The collapse of hypothesis and theory often results in a drastic and fundamental change in understanding. This shift is not limited to the subject originally researched. Instead, it quickly swells and overturns all that was previously understood. Truth is not linear or finite. Any truth discovered has a lasting impact on how we perceive reality.

For example, an Imperial grows up in farmland, an area flat and devoid of trees. In fact, only one tree grows in the three villages surrounding the farmstead. That Imperial, naturally, attains old age with the knowledge that only one tree exists in all the world. Imagine, if you can, the experience that Imperial undergoes the first time they see a forest. Now you begin to understand the difference between knowledge and truth. Feel how much more weight the truth carries?

This example covers only the smallest of truths. Think now on what understanding of larger truths can do. Can there exist a truth so large that it causes lasting harm, not just alternation? Can a truth lead to injury? Death? Of course! Just look at the course of history! Truth, secrets, and discoveries of all sorts have caused countless deaths. Mortals kill each other over secrets. They hunt each other down in all the dark corners of Mundus.

If this is the retribution for uncovering mortal truths, what is the implication for discovering the truth of the Daedra? It is obviously much worse. Unlike mortals, Daedra have eons to plan their perfect revenge. They have schemes in place for how to deal with interlopers and nosy mortals. Daedric Princes are even more thorough. Hermaeus Mora especially regulates truth. He allows us to perceive only what he deems acceptable. His secrets far exceed the scope of truth that we can comprehend, let alone survive.

An example of the level of truth we deal in. Known Things are truths that are so powerful that exposure to their magnitude can cause madness. Which isn’t to say that a Known Thing is one particular type of truth, or even a truth in and of itself. I have heard rumors that some Known Things appear as books whose pages record events of the past otherwise missing from history. Others may be creatures from long-lost realms or a meal from the greatest chef no one has ever heard of. The exact nature of Known Things, why they are known, or what exactly binds them together remains unknown, but their impact is well-documented. Any mortal exposed to a Known Thing is usually driven instantly insane. Their influence and the weight of the truth they bear is far too heavy a weight for the mortal mind to contain.

So to answer the question, which is a greater aspiration? To collect knowledge or to comprehend truth? In this, truth wins out. But that doesn’t mean all truth-seekers understand the weight of their commitment, nor are they prepared to understand what they uncover. Most of us, like the water in the stream, flow through our lives with our hands outstretched, only to feel the barest touch of the rock before we are swept past it.

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