The Doom of the Hushed

Author: Leramil the Wise
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Apocrypha holds many dangers for the mortal visitor. Some places within this plane are guarded by terrible Daedric creatures. Other regions appear as dolorous mazes of seemingly infinite scope. And in still other places, a traveler can become lost in fates that never came to pass, strange realities that can imprison the unwary in worlds of their own making.

Yet no peril is so insidious or terrifying as the Hush.

This is the awful truth of Apocrypha, the trap that waits in the heart of any bargain with Hermaeus Mora. Those who come to Apocrypha, hoping to learn things mortals were not meant to know, do so at the peril of their very minds.

When a mortal learns a secret too great for their intellect to contain, the mind's contents are displaced. Memories of life before Apocrypha, the faces and names of loved ones, the ambitions or desires that led the mortal to Hermaeus Mora's realm—one by one these memories are lost. Yet the thirst to know more drives the mortal to delve deeper still, casting aside their very self in the pursuit of forbidden knowledge.

The Ciphers of the Eye refer to this siren song of destruction as the Hush. And those who succumb to this doom, they call the Hushed.

The Hushed are little more than vessels for the secrets they hold, their original identities and purposes forgotten. They do not speak or interact. Most silently prowl the stacks of Apocrypha, searching out ever more obscure tomes and taking no notice of those around them. But a few become unbalanced and violent, lashing out at anyone they encounter. There is simply no way to know what any given Hushed will do.

Some scholars believe that Hermaeus Mora uses his secrets as bait to ensnare mortals in the Hush, maliciously luring them to their doom. However, I believe the Hushed are victims of indifference, not malice. The Prince of Fate honors his word. When a mortal bargains with Mora for something, Mora gives it to them—even if that thing is the mortal's own destruction.

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