The Littlest Tomeshell

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Author (in-game): Cipher Mukheesh

A True-ish Story by Cipher Mukheesh

There once was a Daedric spirit, floating through the effluvium of Oblivion. It had no realm to call its own, no Prince to command it, no form to inhabit. It had nothing but a name, Torgu, and a desire to drift wherever the planar currents carried it.

Eventually, as happens to all things, Torgu was drawn into the realm of knowledge and secrets, Apocrypha. The mountains of books that stretched in all directions fascinated the spirit. It had never seen so many tomes of all descriptions stacked so high or wide. As it drifted among the volumes, it tried to imagine the information contained in each. It conjured up visions of distant places, powerful beings, and wondrous relics. But without physical form, Torgu could not turn a page or open a cover to read even a single word.

Feeling dejected, it took Torgu a long time to realize there was a commotion happening nearby. The spirit followed the shouts and the roars and the cry of pain until it drifted into a dead end where two mountains of books converged. Trapped with their back to the wall of volumes was a young cipher, new to the ways and dangers of the realm. Over him loomed a Dremnaken, standing on four stout legs, its maw dripping with sharp, pointed fangs.

The young cipher held the only object he carried before him as a shield. It was a tiny book, its cover no larger than the palm of his hand and maybe half again as thick. They say that words are sharper than blades, but as a weapon, this tiny book left much to be desired. And it didn’t give the Dremnaken even a moment’s pause.

As the great creature reared up to strike, Torgu rushed forward and slid into the tiny book. The spirit let itself fill every corner of the little tome, turning the pages into its body and the covers into its wings. Torgu occupied the little tome the way a mudcrab occupies its shell. Then it flapped furiously, rising into the air to impose itself between the Dremnaken and the cipher.

Confused, the Dremnaken stared at the flapping, hovering little book. It clearly didn’t know what to make of this very un-book-like behavior. With a sudden burst of speed, Torgu flew straight into the Dremnaken’s snout. The great creature yelped more in surprise than pain, but the action was enough. The Dremnaken turned away and fled, disappearing around a bend in the unending wall of books.

The young cipher thanked the newly born tomeshell, for that is what such spirit-possessed books are called in Apocrypha. With a waggle and a flap, Torgu seemed to acknowledge the gratitude. Then it too flew off, ready to do whatever tomeshells do.

As for the young cipher, he went on to become an older and wiser cipher who may or may not be me.

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