Gabrielle Benele Answers Your Questions

Author: Gabrielle Benele
Released In:

July 25, 2015

“Dearest Gabrielle,

According to the old annals, the ancient Akaviri spoke of the prophecy of Alduin, the mythical harbinger of the end times still revered by some Nords. This prophecy references 'the time after Oblivion opened' and the 'return' of the long-dead dragons.

As we know, Molag Bal's transliminal portals released armies of fiendish Daedric Titans into the skies above Tamriel, some of which must obviously still remain on Nirn. Does the Mages Guild have any indication of an approaching end to this kalpa? With the Alliance War raging on, what's to stop the other Princes from violating Alessia's Covenant?” – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Gabrielle Benele says, “Scholarly Legoless: Though it's difficult to think beyond the current crisis while Tamriel's skies are raining Daedra and Dark Anchors, the Mages Guild acknowledges the necessity of it, and indeed has a few Researchers devoted to the task. Though the exact nature of Alessia's Covenant is not yet (and may never be) completely understood, Guild Researchers have delved into the event known as the 'Soulburst' which appears to have triggered the Planemeld crisis. The Soulburst seems to have resulted from a plot by the God of Schemes, and as such provided an opportunity that only Molag Bal was in a position to exploit. (So far, at least.)

“As for the inactivity of the other Princes, Guild Researchers are tracking down rumors of a so-called 'Coldharbour Compact' that may limit their behavior vis-à-vis Nirn. However, we are not yet in possession of the facts regarding this 'Compact,' if it exists.”


“Oh, Gabrielle! I haven't seen you since we both attended that meeting with Abnur Tharn at the Imperial Palace a few months ago. Ha, I remember when you were a child and I visited your parents at the University of Gwylim…but alas, I erect the spine of rambling. This old Saxhleel just has too many years and too many memories. But you've pleasantly become much more enlightened than me in terms of magic, so I wish to ask you this question if you would be so kind to answer it: Whereas Aetherius is a realm of magicka, Oblivion is instead a realm of chaotic creatia. Where magicka builds and creates, chaotic creatia destroys and corrupts. But the two 'substances' boast several similarities, and affect entities in drastic ways. I have noticed both Daedra and mortals physically changing in areas seemingly untouched by the Planemeld, and so I wonder if Coldharbour – and therefore other realms of Oblivion – subconsciously emits chaotic creatia that waves outward from an intrusion point and therefore mutates non-Oblivion entities. If so, it would explain quite a few things! What do you think, my dear?” – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Gabrielle Benele says, “According to Guild doctrine, change and deformation of local reality occurs when magicka is focused and projected by exertion of mortal or immortal will. This is Alteration Magic as it functions on Nirn. However, in the realms of Oblivion, where the very substance of the planes is subject to the will of its Daedric overlord, something else is clearly going on, or at least something additional. Near Dark Anchors and Coldharbour portals we often see disrupted matter that appears to have intruded upon Tamriel from Oblivion. But I believe that explanation—intrusion from Oblivion—is too simple, and that something else is happening there. It appears to me that in those locations the very substance of Nirn is being infused with chaotic creatia, which then responds to the will of the invading Daedric Prince, adopting the 'template,' as it were, of matter from the intruding realm—in this case, Coldharbour. Though we see this as a collateral side-effect in the vicinity of Oblivion portals, it could be deliberately invoked even at a considerable range by spell-casting cultists, which may account for the 'mutations' you refer to.”


“Hey Gabrielle,

Do you have a split personality? Or possibly an egg-sister or relative by the same name? I've met you or someone with your name in High Rock and you seemed bubbly and determined at the time. But a friend of mine dug up some notes in Pact territory—again, by someone with your name—where you were writing about using “lower life forms” for combat and setting people on fire for flirting with you, which seemed unlike you if you are the person I met. And I can't ask my friend if this is a normal smoothskin thing as she's still kind of angry with me for trying to break her out of mind control with the bucket of ice water and live crawdads, so I'm just asking you directly: are you two different people?

Signed, Away-From-Keyboard”

Gabrielle Benele says, Oh, and I suppose you've never had a bad day? Try working for a bitchy Arch-Mage during an interplanar crisis. Then you might

“Ahem. Ah, the notorious 'lower life forms' letter of cruel advice to General Serien. I was confronted with this, to my surprise, on Eyevea by a Dark Elf member of the Guild. That letter is clearly some kind of Pact military intelligence disinformation intended to give Breton mages a bad name. Why, it doesn't even look like my handwriting!”


“To Gabrielle Benele of the Mages' Guild, greetings;

It is widely known that the Dark Anchors being summoned across Tamriel are pulling Nirn into Coldharbor. But how, in your opinion, is this affecting Nirn in relation to the other Daedric realms and planes of existence—Sovngarde, the Far Shores, and so on? Has the Planemeld process been interfering with the interference of the other Princes, or should we expect to be subject to another Daedric invasion concurrent with this one?

Kindest regards, Rohais of Auridon”

Gabrielle Benele says, “Rohais, please refer to my answer above to Doyen Legoless as regards possible interference from other Daedric realms. However, your question does give me an opportunity to correct a common misconception, which is that all realms beyond Nirn are part of Oblivion. The planes of Sovngarde, the Far Shores, et al., are Aetherial realms of the afterlife, and not the provinces of Daedra at all. (I realize the phrasing of your question is ambiguous and you probably didn't mean to imply any such thing, but it was useful for educational purposes to read it the other way. Accept my apologies.)”


“Lady Benele,

This one trusts that you are well, and that the Mages Guild thrives. A fellow scholar once told Razum'dara that in order to defeat the Daedra and their magic, you have to fight magic with magic, and thus, you can never have too much magic. However, a few moons ago this one met a traveling mage who said that there is such a thing as using too much magic. “Too much,” the mage said, “and Tamriel will be lost.” However, the scholar said, “Too much…well, you can never have too much magic when dealing with Daedric invasions.” Who's right, and if there is such a thing as using too much magic, where does one draw the line?

Yours respectfully, Razum'dara, Wayward Khajiiti Scholar”

Gabrielle Benele says, “Hmm. It's difficult to evaluate these statements without knowing more about the contexts in which they were spoken, but warnings about 'too much magic' are often quite sensible. As mentioned above, magic changes or distorts reality, usually on a local basis and usually temporarily. Changing reality is a risky business, and the larger the scale of the change, the greater the risk. I venture to guess that's what your traveling mage was referring to.”


“Dearest Gabrielle Benele,

First off, I would like to offer my humble apologies for those love letters I sent to you when I first arrived in High Rock from the Summerset Isles. I was still rather naive at the time, but if you did not receive those letters, I suppose I am just making things awkward right now. Now, onto the inquiry that I had. I was actually curious on the subject of inter-planar travel into the Daedric realms, and was wondering if you knew if the Soulburst event that appeared to weaken the barriers held between Mundus and Oblivion would make travelling to and from the realms of Oblivion easier? Would it now require less magicka expenditure to accomplish such a thing? Additionally, on this particular subject, has your research shown that summoning Daedra from these realms is now less difficult as well? I hope that we can discuss this further on Eyevea over tea at a later date if you have time in your busy schedule.” – Wizard Solinar, Daggerfall Mages Guild

Gabrielle Benele says, “Guildmate Solinar, I fear I've been so busy, given the recent threats to High Rock, and indeed to all of Tamriel, that I have quite neglected my personal correspondence. I've entirely overlooked your letters, if in fact I ever received them. But perhaps that's for the best. You know, considering.

“Regarding your inquiry: the weakening of the barriers between Nirn and the other planes seems to have primarily affected travel to and from Coldharbour—as might be expected, given the origin and nature of the Soulburst. However, Guild Researchers have detected other effects as well, perhaps most notably a fraying of the veils between Tamriel and the Aetherial realms of the afterlife. Sightings of ghosts, revenants, and wraiths are at record levels, such spirits appearing visible and audible even to average mortals. The necromancers of the vile Order of the Black Worm have taken advantage of this situation to summon and animate undead on a scale heretofore unknown. We can only hope that staving off the Planemeld will return our beloved Tamriel to its former stability, and all the translucent blue people will go back where they belong.”


“Maga Gabrielle Benele,

There is a persistent rumor that when the soul burst occurred in the Imperial City that all the mages and magically gifted of Cyrodiil went insane. As I was traveling and out of Cyrodiil at the time of the soul burst, I was not affected. Can you go into a little more detail on the affliction that has occurred to these Mages and how might be the best way to handle their treatment? Is the insanity permanent, or only temporary? What long term health effects can we expect to see?

Healer Kassandra Velarian, formerly of the Imperial Legion”

Gabrielle Benele says, “Healer Kassandra: the Soulburst was indeed a mystical catastrophe for Nirn, but statements such as 'all the mages … of Cyrodiil went insane' grossly overstate the case. The effects were most strongly felt in the immediate vicinity of the Imperial City—in fact, the Arcane University was hit so hard that they were unable to resist when the Mages Guild was blamed for the Soulburst and exiled by the Elder Council. Other mages in the Heartland were injured as well, but though the event was detected by the magically-sensitive across all of Tamriel, the damage decreased rapidly with distance from the White-Gold Tower. Most mages recovered their faculties within a few days, or weeks at the most. As to long-term effects, the disruptions due to the subsequent Planemeld have made them hard to measure. It may be a long time before the full consequences of the Soulburst are known.”

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