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Loremaster's Archive Q&A

Author: 
Anonymous

This page catalogues the question and answer sections of the Loremaster's Archive feature on elderscrollsonline.com 

May 23rd, 2014

How many Et'Ada are there actually? Are there millions? Thousands? Only a handful? This is a little bit complicated, because when you hear about creation, it only mentions a handful of et'Ada but there are tons of Daedra in Oblivion and millions of stars in the sky, from the Magna-Ge that escaped Mundus. - jack-wagon-jacob

Lady Cinnabar says: “The et’Ada are the ‘original spirits’ whose existence predates creation of the Mundus. Those with a more Anuic, or orderly, valence became the Aedra, who sacrificed themselves to give birth to the mortal arena. Those with a more Padomaic, or chaotic, valence, became the Daedra, who inhabit the metamorphic realms of Oblivion, and the Magna-Ge, who left both Mundus and Oblivion, but are said to be capable of visitation. To encompass or number the et’Ada is a futile endeavor, for they are beyond mortal comprehension, and our perceptions of these beings are but faulty shadows of their complex reality. Many a savant has been driven mad by the attempt.”

What the heck could these Celestials be? – Darkweaver

Lady Cinnabar says, “We count on you, O Darkweaver, to prove worthy of your name in unraveling the dark enigma of the Celestials. Steel yourself, then, to face the perils of Craglorn, and wrest from the Celestials the secret of their origins. Please send your findings to Lady Cinnabar, Tower of the Fifth Doctrine, Taneth, Hammerfell, and I will turn them into literature that will astound all Tamriel. And may Onsi’s bright blade guide you.”

June 6th, 2014

Much is known about how both lycanthropy and vampirism spread, but the tales surrounding Molag Bal's creation of the first vampires are as gruesome and horrid as the God of Schemes himself. Yet my scales run dry with aggravation for never having found any legends surrounding the original creation of werewolves. So I ask you, do you have arcane lore or ancient legend to divulge on the matter of Hircine's creation of the first werewolves? -Rasheel of Moonmarch, scholar, explorer, adventurer

Svari says, “My researches into the subject continue, but to date I have discovered no definitive account of the origin of werewolves, though no one doubts that Lord Hircine was involved, if not instrumental. This lacuna is not really surprising, as the curse (or, some say, gift) of lycanthropy has been known in Tamriel since the early Merethic Era. No written accounts date from that time, as it was before Ysgramor brought writing to humankind, but I hold out hope of finding a later recording of an oral tradition.”

In Noxiphilic Sanguivoria, it was stated that "One of the more wild theories is that it is the result of some sort of Daedric backroom deal between Hircine and Molag Bal that has given sufferers of Noxiphilic Sanguivoria a werewolf-like love of moonlight." This is very interesting, could you expand upon the origin of this theory? – Dylan Barnes

Svari says, “Despite his name, Cinna Scholasticus, author of the book in question, is regarded by most serious scholars as a self-aggrandizing sensationalist. That said, the work is not entirely without merit, as most of it is cribbed from Doctor Zoorophim’s ‘Comprehensive Index of Cursed Afflictions,’ especially his chapter on Infectious Banes. However, the idea of an infernal bargain between Hircine and Molag Bal first appeared in a work of fiction, the notorious ‘Seventeen Tastes of Infamy’ by the Porphyry Caryatid, and must therefore be regarded as irresponsible speculation.”

What is the difference between Sanies Lupinus and Canis Hysteria? Canis Hysteria was mentioned in the Emperor's Guide from the ESO Collector's Edition: "[Glenmoril Witches] hold the secrets of Porphyric Hemophilia and Canis Hysteria in their jealous grasps." If they were referring to C. Hysteria as a species, then why would they pair that next to the vampire disease? Wouldn't Canis Hysteria also be disease too? – Kinetiks

Svari says: “The terms ‘Sanies Lupinus’ and ‘Canis Hysteria’ can be used interchangeably, though the former is more common, at least here in Skyrim.”

 

June 20th, 2014

Vivec and Mephala stated, "As known in the West, Mephala is the demon prince of murder, sex, and secrets. All of these themes contain subtle aspects and violent ones (assassination/genocide, courtship/orgy, tact/poetic truths); Mephala is understood paradoxically to contain and integrate these contradictory themes." How does this make him/her a "Good" Daedra? If anything, Mephala is just a "Better" Daedra. – Dylan Barnes

Divayth says: “Your question can most charitably be described as simple-minded. See my enclosed essay.”

Good morning, I'm a soldier in the army of the Ebonheart Pact, and there's Nord calling himself Bruhn Crimson Fur. He is very dumb and can't even get the basics of Four Corners of the House of Troubles, but he asked me to write this question to you. I apologize in advance, but here it is: "Hey, Dark Elf. I battled a Dremora a couple of months ago and he called his master Malog Bear, Keeper of Coldharbour since the fall of Lyg. I don’t give a damn about that Lyg, but ask that magic-pagic guy of yours if that means Molag Bear wasn't such a huge bastard before, but started out as a lowly Dremora." - Teryn Redoran

Divayth says: “Your attempts at humor are both feeble and dim. Therefore I predict a great future for you as a comedian in the cornerclubs, as you will surely appeal to the masses.”

I have often heard that Mephala's sphere of influence is obscured to mortals. Yet, from all available evidence, we can (with a fair amount of certainty) conclude that her sphere is spiders, and spiderweb-like manipulation of mortal fates, or “schemes,” to put it plainly. This sphere is, however, held by Molag Bal, the God of Schemes. Considering that Mephala is a "Good Daedra" whereas Molag Bal is a "Bad Daedra," I am curious to know if there is any known conflict between the two. – Sathron

Divayth says: “Though your question is poorly stated, there is a germ of sense in what you ask. Suffice to say that the schemes of the Prince Molag Bal, though ambitious in scale, are entirely lacking in the subtlety and nuance of those of the Webspinner.”

So I've been thinking about the Ebony blade and Ebony Mail, which are both artifacts for their respective Daedric Princes' champions. However, we know that Ebony is the blood of Lorkhan's heart solidified. How, then, is it that not one, but two Daedric Princes have artifacts specifically made from Ebony? Did Boethiah and Mephala trick Lorkhan into believing that they would both sacrifice themselves to creation and later tell Auri-El and Trinimac (after creation) when they knew that the Aedra were pissed? – Mr_Flippers

Divayth says: “Ah, the transmundane entity who jocularly styles himself ‘Mister Flippers’ deigns to grace us with a question. And a good one—as any question I cannot definitively answer is, by definition, a good question. Boethiah and Mephala are certainly among the Princes whose existence antedates the creation of the (current) Mundus, and given their natures it is beyond conjecture that they couldn’t resist meddling with said creation in some way, shape, or form. But could they ‘trick’ Lorkhan, whose very essence was chicanery? Consider: Ebony is a substance whose acquisition and use tempts mortals into acts of achievement that transcend their usual limitations. Did Lorkhan ‘intend’ this? Alas, the concept is self-referential, and therefore nugatory.”

July 3rd, 2014

I have always been fascinated by enchanting and soul gems in particular. Is it possible to utilize the souls in Soul Gems in other ways than powering enchantments and spells? Could one extract the soul and manipulate it outside of the gem? Surely it is the intent of Molag Bal to use the power of soul magic—so why can we not do the same? – Araeynir Fireheart

Telenger the Artificer says: “Though there is currently a great deal of investigation into soul-trapping and soul-manipulation occurring on continental Tamriel, as an Altmer I cannot in good conscience condone such experiments, which in the Summerset Isles would be rightfully banned as darkest necromancy. I advise you to turn the fire in your heart to other, brighter pursuits.”

I am a humble Breton battlemage who has only recently started learning the art of Enchanting. My search for runes is slow going, even with the assistance of a hireling. I find I am often lacking in aspect runes. On the opposing side of the spectrum, I have an over-abundance of essence runes. I have a number of potency runes, but they are beyond my level of comprehension. Have you any recommendations for learning this art more quickly? – Marola Eponine

Telenger the Artificer says: “Ah, you young Bretons – sometimes talented, but always hasty! My advice is to seek out the companionship of others with the same interests to form a society of mutual support – an enchanters’ guild, if you will. In this way, you will be able to pursue different approaches simultaneously, and all will benefit from the resulting knowledge. You will also be able to trade runes amongst yourselves.”

I read with great interest your volume on the "Enigma of the Runestones," certainly the most comprehensive account to date on this fascinating topic. I would be interested in knowing more about the words associated with the runestones. What language are they? I am aware of the theory proposed by Nolin the Many-Hued, according to which runestones would be the result of an Ayleid wizard's experiment. And yet the Ayleid word for "fire" is "molag," whereas the essence runestone associated with fire is "rakeipa." And what is your personal opinion on the origin of runestones? – Salagar Feynn, Evermore Mages Guild

Telenger the Artificer says: “A fascinating question, which I myself have spent some time researching. Study of the runes shows that they are made of repeating figures, each of which is expressed as a verbal syllable: thus ‘Jora,’ the trifling rune that translates as ‘develop,’ combines the two angled slashes that we know as ‘jo’ and ‘ra.’ When ‘je’ is added, the result is ‘Jejora,’ the slight rune that means ‘raise.’

“So the rune names clearly form a language that is coherent and consistent, if limited. The question is, What language is it? This is where we begin to run out of answers, as the rune-language seems to derive from no known historic or pre-dawn culture. My personal best guess is that it is a language that was entirely invented by some Dawn Era enchanter or school of enchanters who left no other record of their existence than the spread of runestones across Tamriel.”

August 1st, 2014

I was reading the book Glinting Talons, but the numerous references to light and the sun seemed out of place, given what we know about Tava being the Yokudan version of Kynareth. I was reminded of a discussion that mentioned a possible relationship between Merida and Kyne. Due to Meridia's position among the Ayleids and their cultural identification with birds and feathers, I was wondering if the book Glinting Talons purposefully drew parallels between these deities, thus making Tava the ‘missing link,’ so to speak. – Phil W.

The Unveiled Azadiyeh says: “Be not misled, O Phil, by the confused misunderstandings of the Tamrielics, whose minds are clouded by blood and darkness. Tava, as spirit of the air and goddess of weather, has dominion over all elements of sun and storm, save only for the stars, which belong to Ruptga (may praises ever follow his name). Kyne and Kynareth are but her shadows, images seen dimly through the dust of Cyrodiil and the snow of Skyrim. Of course, it is praiseworthy for the Nedelings and Nordlings to worship the gods in any manner, even if their understanding is faulty and misguided. We can but hope that they come to the True Way before Satakal returns to take us all.

As for Meridia, speak not the name of a daemon in consanguinity with that of a god. She is an intruder from beyond Mundus, and no part of our world. Go, O Phil, contemplate your mistake, and step no more upon the Path of Error.

I read somewhere that the Maormer ruler King Orgnum is said to be ‘the Serpent God of the Satakal.’ What does this mean for Yokudan mythology and history? We know the Maormer are obsessed with serpents, and Redguards are, too. Maybe there's a link between the Left-Handed Elves and the Maormer? – MareloRyan

The Unveiled Azadiyeh says: “It may be as you say, Marelo at-Ryan, for your words waft the aroma of wisdom, but as to their Full-Truth, I am unable to aver it. We speak no more of the Left-Handed Elves (may curses follow them into the Eight Abysses), for to recall their abominations but darkens our days—and who can say how many each of us shall have before Tu’whacca beckons us, save that they will be too few?

As for the Maormer, whatever their burden of association with the Sinistral Mer, they come not north of Stros M’Kai, for our fearless sea-warriors have taught them to keep well clear of the shores of Hammerfell. Orgnum, their so-called ‘Immortal Monarch,’ will find he is not so deathless at the coming of the true Satakal (may it be long from today, inevitable though it is).

Are there any other somewhat isolated Redguard communities like the Ash'abah? I also have another question, what is the official name of the nomads of Alik'r? Are they just called the Alik'r? – WaywardSwordsman

The Unveiled Azadiyeh says: “The Ash’abah, though an unclean tribe of pariahs, nonetheless perform a function blessed by Tu’whacca, and they have sibling-tribes in southern Hammerfell as well. I have heard tell of a wayward tribe of Redguards far in the chilly north known only as the Horsemen, but this may be merely legend. Then, of course, there are the Exiled Sun-Eaters of Numaneh, but to tell their tale is forbidden.”

August 15th, 2014

I have acquired a strong interest in Altmeri religious perspectives. It would be of great interest to me to hear your thoughts on the role Anui-El plays in the Altmeri pantheon. An acolyte of the Temple of Auri-El tells me Anui-El is the Soul of Anu the Everything and the 'soul-father' of Auri-El. She says the temple was built in Anui-El's honor, not Auri-El's, and is one of many. I have also read that the Altmer aim to advocate the ‘will of Anuiel.’ Is Anui-El, then, a kind of high king, supreme above even Auri-El? Or is there a conflation of roles going on within Altmeri religion? Does this perception travel across into the Breton faith, given that it contains Elven influences? – Aythan Uthywyr

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “It is a cardinal error to personify Anuiel, the essence of order, just as it is to personify Sithis, the essence of chaos. It is more useful to think of them as cosmic principles that pervade the Aurbis. Insofar as Anuiel is the orderly essence of all the Aedra, it is fair to say that every Elven temple is dedicated to Anuiel. When a High Elf says that she ‘advocates the will of Anuiel,’ this is just a flowery Elvish way of saying that she wants to make up new rules for others to follow.”

I still get a little confused by the whole Aedra vs. Daedra thing. Why are there ‘good’ Daedra like Azura and Meridia, etc? They seem to be a lot more complicated than just 'demons.' – Rick

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Insofar as the Daedra are the et’Ada of chaos, complexity is part of their very nature. They refused to participate in the creation of the Mundus, and most of them are deliberately or casually inimical to mortals, but the Daedric Princes are beyond such simple categorizations as ‘good’ or ‘evil’—with the notable exception of Molag Bal and Mehrunes Dagon, who are especially abominable.”

Do minor Aedric spirits exist? Can they be summoned/contacted? Like the opposite of summoning a minor Daedra. Also, if Aedra are all dead and/or currently disabled due to partaking in the creation of Nirn, could someone summon a spirit from Aetherius, perhaps a Magna-Ge? – Fimmp

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Minor Aedric spirits definitely exist, but they are rarely encountered, as Mundus is considered off-limits since Magnus withdrew from it at the moment of creation. I know of no successful attempts to contact such spirits, probably because Aedric entities simply do not respond to mortals—at least not since the ages of myth.”

OK, so I know when Mundus was being created that the Aedra sacrificed a large amount of power to solidify the creation of the plane and now they are essentially shells of their original selves. But my question is whether their loss of power is permanent or if they are slowly regaining their power over time. – Captain_P

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “It seems unlikely, inasmuch as we abide within the reality created by that sacrifice, and restoration of the Aedra would seem to imply a diminishment or weakening of the Mundus. No such diminution has been detected.”

August 28th, 2014

As a Nord, I know that my soul may end up in Sovngarde, with Shor's leave, but could my soul leave Sovngarde and go into other realms of Aetherius if I so choose, or is my soul bound within that realm? – Rhaegar Volker

Abbot Crassius Viria says, “Conjured or summoned souls of those who have passed on rarely tell of their sojourns in Aetherius, but it is the belief of our order that acts of will, such as travel, are rare where there is no need of volition. There is no choosing where there is no incentive for choice.”

In a book by Sage Svari of Fallowstone Hall, I have read that Hircine will claim the soul of any lycanthrope upon their death. That leads me to the question of who actually has 'the final say' about where the soul of a mortal goes after death, as this example would suggest that Daedric Princes have a greater say in this than Aedra have. Are there instances in which some kind of conflict between the divine forces over the soul of a mortal may occur, and if so, what would be the deciding factors in such a conflict? – Inkwolf

Abbot Crassius Viria says, “Sage Svari’s statement that Hircine ‘claims’ the souls of lycanthropes is poetic but misleading. It is the mortals themselves who decide the destinations of their souls by the choices they make during life. However, that said, there have been reports that Worm Cult necromancers have devised a way of hijacking the souls of mortals sacrificed in a certain Daedric ritual. This would be horrid, if true, but so far we have not received definite confirmation of it.”

I've noticed an unusual number of sentient, friendly ghosts during my travels through Tamriel. Do you think this has something to do with the Planemeld, or is something else at work? – Basha-jo

Abbot Crassius Viria says, “It is undeniable that the appearance of restless or unmoored spirits has increased within the last year or two—in fact, by our estimates, such apparitions are at a historical high. The fact that our world is simultaneously under assault by Daedra and the so-called ‘Dark Anchors’ is unlikely to be a coincidence. The tapestry of our reality is fraying, I fear, and the Scrolls are ambiguous as to the outcome.”

Anointed Abbot, I come with a simple question relating to a diverse and complex topic: that of facial hair and its metaphysical significance. What role do beards (and other forms of bodily hair, if applicable) play in the Cult of the Ancestor Moth, and the ancient culture of Nibenay? Do they, in some way, relate to our collective spiritual role and our place in the Aurbis? – Yours with Love and love, Vivul Maloren, of Ald-Cyrod

Abbot Crassius Viria says, “It is indeed true that most male Moth Priests sport chins that are significantly, even resplendently, hirsute, and many, various, and sundry are the mystic theories and esoteric hypotheses as to why this should be so. However, the wise student will simply reflect upon how ocular infirmity must complicate the task of shaving one’s chin.”

 

September 12th, 2014

I am having trouble understanding the teachings of Boethiah. I have done some searches but am only coming up with the basic definitions. What are the rituals and practices of followers/cultists of Boethiah? What is Boethiah’s main goal among us? – marinsam

Thendaramur Death-Blossom says: “Boethiah tests our worthiness! Only the victorious are worthy, and victory is the only value. You wish to know of our rituals and practices? Come to one of our Obstreperances and accept the challenge of the Gauntlet. We will test you, marinsam—test you to the utmost! Seek out Dragonstar Arena! Do you think you can prevail? Or do you lack the daring even to try?”

Why are Boethiah and Molag Bal arch enemies? I find these two the most interesting out of all the Princes and it's even more interesting that they're enemies. – kevkev21

Thendaramur Death-Blossom says: “Molag Bal is Boethiah’s enemy because he is weak! His methods are crude, his schemes no deeper than triple-dealing, and he fails to recognize that sometimes you must build in order to destroy. Boethiah is more than merely cruel and ruthless—the Dark Warrior is also cunning at need, patient till culmination, and wise to the follies of mortals. Molag Bal seeks for strength only in himself, while the enlightened Boethiah seeks also for strength in others. All praise Boethiah, He-Who-Destroys and She-Who-Erases!”

How do the Orcs view Boethiah? Do they revere her for turning Trinimac and his followers? Or do they loathe her for it? – SaxonsLaugh

Thendaramur Death-Blossom says: “Trinimac was vain and arrogant, and he and his followers paid for their weakness by being transformed to show what they truly are: brutish Betmer without guile or finesse. How do the Orcs view Boethiah? From a great distance, if they were wise—but we already know the answer to that!”

September 26, 2014

I am often confused regarding the distinction between the Fists of the Thalmor, or Justiciars, and the diplomats and nobility known as the Thalmor. Would you perhaps explain the difference between the two groups and the duties they fulfill in the Dominion? – TheAxrat

Aicantar of Shimmerene says, “The Thalmor, which was originally a bureau responsible for safeguarding Altmeri heritage, was expanded by Queen Ayrenn and now functions as the executive arm of the Aldmeri Dominion. It incorporates representatives from all three of the Dominion’s member races, in ratios appropriate to their administrative abilities. The Fists of Thalmor is an effectuation unit of officers deployed when stern measures must be taken to enforce adherence to Thalmor dicta. The Justiciars are more conventional law-enforcement officers, often local in origin and jurisdiction.”

Who are the members of the Thalmor Inner Council and why were they chosen to be a part of it?

Aicantar of Shimmerene says, “The membership of the Inner Council is personally chosen by and serves at the pleasure of Queen Ayrenn. They are said to be all individuals whom Her Majesty trusts implicitly. The exact membership is confidential, but it is no secret that the Inner Council includes King Aeradan Camoran of Valenwood and Lord Gharesh-ri, the Speaker for the Mane.

As an Imperial, I am fully aware of the bitter differences that divide the Altmer and my people. However, I wish that one day we will set aside our hatred and prejudice for each other. What will it take for our two races to coexist in peace and friendship? Do you even think it possible? – Alessandra of Cyrodiil

Aicantar of Shimmerene says, “Your question, Imperial, is either naïve or disingenuous. The Empire of Cyrodiil was founded on the blood of Elves, and battened on Elven genocide. For thousands of years central Tamriel has whelped human empires, each bloodier than the last, spreading grief and savagery to every corner of the continent. We Altmer have long stood by, patiently waiting for Men to exhaust their penchant for warfare and embrace civilized behavior, but we can no longer abet the cycle of bloodshed by abstention. Now the Aldmeri Dominion marches to Cyrodiil. There will be peace, yes—once the cancer of human imperialism is extirpated utterly. This is a nice dry wine, by the way—is it local?”

I would like to know the Thalmor's official stance on the "lesser" races, specifically the other races of Elves. Would they be allowed to join us, much like the Bosmer and Khajiit? Many thanks! – Othelion Ralnor

Aicantar of Shimmerene says, “I must assume your question is a delicate reference to the Dunmer, as the Maormer are mere pirates who are beneath all consideration. Our unfortunate cousins of Morrowind are double apostates, of course, having rejected both the Aedra and the Daedra, and have been doubly punished by divine curse for their sins of hubris and heresy. However, they do have certain, shall we say, talents that have been honed by hardship, skills that will enable them to find appropriate employment in the Tamriel-wide Dominion to come. If they trust to our wisdom and guidance, they will survive, and even thrive, as citizens of the Dominion. Once they earn that status, of course.”

October 13th, 2014

To many, Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal seem very similar. Can you point out the major differences between these two hated Daedric Princes? – TheHumanFloyd

Flaminius Auctor says, “To mere mortals who find themselves on the receiving end of Daedric devastation, distinctions between the worst of the Princes may seem academic at best. However, though the ends of Dagon and Bal seem similar, their means could not be more distinct. Mehrunes Dagon revels in direct destruction—his cultists will set your city on fire and burn it to the ground. Molag Bal exists to dominate and deceive—his cultists will persuade you that a plague is loose, and the only way to stop it is to burn your city down yourself.”

What of Mehrunes Dagon's claim to Tamriel? He can't have given it up, since his most vigorous attempt to enforce it is in the future. How does he feel about Molag Bal encroaching on ‘his’ property? – Vivian Unshadowed

Flaminius Auctor says, “Though your question is somewhat confusingly phrased, I’ll answer as best I can. We all must fear and beware Dagon’s future plans, for his hunger for destruction is insatiable, and there can be no doubt but that his cultists plan deep and long-burgeoning conspiracies. It’s also well known that Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal are bitter rivals, and will thwart each other’s schemes if given the opportunity. Indeed, such events may occur and never come to public knowledge!”

If the Dragonfires are not lit [during ESO], wouldn't it be free reign for Mehrunes Dagon to also attempt to invade Tamriel with Oblivion Gates? – KowalRoyale

Flaminius Auctor says, “I’m by no means a scholar of such matters, but it seems to me that the affairs of the Divines are not that simple, and there is probably a lot more involved in things like cross-planar invasions than we know—possibly even more than we CAN know. The Mundus is no flimsy tissue of conjecture; the gods wrought well when they made the world, and it is not so easily unmade.”

October 24, 2014

“This one knows that the Bosmer pride themselves on being among the best hunters across Tamriel. This leads M'Vakhu to wonder about the prominence of the Prince of The Hunt, Hircine, in their culture (Y'ffre notwithstanding). This one could not imagine how such a people could not be tempted into serving one who seems to so inherently embody their way of life. This one appreciates your time.” – M’Vakhu

The Green Lady says, “Invocation of Hircine the Hunter can be benign and harmless, as when an archer asks him for luck when drawing a bead on a stag. Taken too far, however, the Cult of Hircine can serve as a justification for cruelty and a rationalization for oppression and murder. We saw an example of this in our own recent history, leading up to my Handfasting to the Silvenar. The Daedra exist, and when they intrude upon mortal affairs, sometimes we must deal with them—but doing so is always perilous. This is something the foolish and greedy among us often forget.”

“As many outsiders do, I find the Green Pact a bit puzzling. Two of the tenets appear to be 'eat no plants' and 'eat only meat.' These are not really the same thing. Do strict adherents to the Green Pact not consume dairy products, honey, mushrooms, or insects?” – Ravenna Brightwing

The Green Lady says, “Though the Green Pact appears simple on the surface, its doctrinal details can be baffling to outsiders, and indeed, even the wisest of our Spinners disagree on some of its aspects. The first tenet you mention would be better stated as “Harm no living plants,” and this we strive not to do, even when we sing the house-songs to the trees so they will form lodgings for us. But does it harm a living plant to eat its fallen fruit? Indeed not—in fact, in this way the plant’s seeds are spread. The second tenet you mention is better known as the Meat Mandate, but how strictly it is followed varies from tribe to tribe and, indeed, from individual to individual. However, dairy products, honey, mushrooms, and insects are eaten with zest by all but the most ultra-zealous of Pact Bosmer.”

“How powerful are the spinners and is their power limited to Valenwood? Adding thoughts to someone’s memories as it happens in the quest for the Wilderking is pretty powerful, as is seeing the stories of others by touching them or their items.”

The Green Lady says, “A Spinner’s power is in the strength of his storytelling, fostered by talent and increased by experience. As you say, a great Spinner can actually SEE the stories of the nearby world—and these stories can reveal the true natures of persons or objects. But to change a story, a Spinner must engage its protagonist, who on some level must accept the new turns in the tale.”

 

November 7, 2014

Vicecanon Heita-Meen! The last time I was in Shadowfen, I was forced to leave before you could tell me about the ancient stone ruins of our ancestors. While the dryskin races try to make it seem that the Saxhleel are unable to create such works, we are undeniably the builders. What happened that our people stopped building the xanmeers of old, the ones in our legends that now lay in ruin? – Eis Vuur, Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Vicecanon Heita-Meen says, “Alas, egg-sibling, I myself am no scholar, having been raised as a house-slave by the Dres, and since the Liberation War I have been too busy with the affairs of today to pay attention to the affairs of ages gone by. However, I understand from the Vicecanon of Gideon that others are as curious as you, and Saxhleel researchers in Murkmire are delving into exactly this question. Perhaps when the roads to Murkmire open after the monsoons you will be able to journey there yourself and find out what they have learned. Until then, stay moist!”

I want to understand the connection between Argonians and Hist trees. Do you have rituals or pray to these trees? How do the Hist influence your lives? What does it feel like to stand before these conscious trees? – Sashlyr

Vicecanon Heita-Meen says, “This is a difficult question to answer in tongue-words, especially since, like most of our people, I do not ‘worship’ entities of a so-called divine nature, and don’t understand the feelings and behavior of those who do. Since neither of us comprehends the inner mind of the other, how are we to find a mutually meaningful analogy? But I will try. We have rituals, of course, for rituals are the mud that holds together the house of society, but we do not ‘pray to’ the Hist, because our thoughts and desires flow together. The Hist is the river, and we Saxhleel are the standing waves where the river flows over rocks. That is clear, is it not?”

I have always been fascinated by the Saxhleels' perception of time. It is said that you see your entire lives as a single moment. Can you explain how this works? Do you not look to the future and reminiscence on the past? – TheHumanFloyd

Vicecanon Heita-Meen says, “You humans often depict time as a series of events, as a story or narrative. This seems to us a strangely narrow way to look at it, skewing your thinking into curiously flawed patterns of repetition. We do not see time as a line from past to future, but rather like the broad wave that sweeps across the sand as the tide comes in, or like the line of storms that crosses the marsh during the monsoons. Cause and effect are not separate, they are a single event, regardless of the duration between the event’s denser nodes. How could it be otherwise?”

I’ve heard Argonians have amazing regenerative properties. If an Argonian limb is severed, will it grow back? – TheHumanFloyd

Vicecanon Heita-Meen says, “I erect the spine of baffled incredulity. Where DO you humans come by these notions? Waxhuthi!”

December 5, 2014

I have a question in regards to the Undaunted guild—more specifically, the size of the guild. Is it true that the Undaunted was once a large guild with a membership rivaling that of the Fighters Guild and the Mages Guild combined? – Runs-In-Mud

Turuk Redclaws says, “This one does not know how many members the Fighters and Mages Guild boast, though Turuk has heard they possess a much higher retention of new recruits. Let them have it. Life is easier for mercenaries and lunatics in dresses. No offense to mercenaries and lunatics in dresses—the Undaunted have many of those.”

“As to your specific question, membership in the Undaunted waxes and wanes like the Moons. In fair weather, there is always a surge of interest from hot-blooded youth as well as the infirm. They come looking for adventure, or an honorable way to pass on, and come in droves, perhaps because the Fighters Guild won’t accept the very old or very young. But the Undaunted are happy to oblige them, and in early Rain’s Hand, Turuk personally vouches for dozens of recruits who pass their initial trials. Then, as the year marches on, those numbers are eviscerated by Tamriel’s dark depths. Unfortunate, but it is in those depths that true Undaunted are forged.”

“Turuk’s friend Talisse just pointed out that Turuk still hasn’t answered your question. That one thinks she is so great. Looking around Turuk sees—give Turuk a moment to count. Turuk sees five. Five Undaunted. Turuk never counts the rest as alive until he confirms it with his eyes. Is that more or less than the combined might of the Fighters and Mages Guild? Turuk may never know.”

“It occurs to Turuk perhaps this would have been a better question for Mighty Mordra, who keeps a superior headcount.”

Since I first met you, you’ve taught me several helpful things. But I still feel that there is more I could learn from you. Some sort of ultimate knowledge, a technique perhaps, that would help my allies and me while we investigate Tamriel’s dungeons. Have you thought about letting us into such a secret someday? – Larenia Moonshine

Turuk Redclaws says, “Turuk would like to say that he remembers the illustrious Lady Moonshine, but Turuk lives in taverns and sadly does not. He hopes you were not one of the ones he taught Blood Altar construction to while under the influence of drink. Those poor souls will spend the rest of their lives wishing they could forget that night and Turuk is still picking hideous crust out of his ears.”

“As for new techniques, the Undaunted are forever refining their skills, but it is difficult to improve on the basics. It sounds like you have learned everything the Undaunted have to teach. Except, perhaps, that success in the depths isn’t about techniques. It’s not even about the weapons you carry into battle. It’s about shrewdness. Yours, and your friends’.”

“Besides, you already know how to make a Blood Altar. What more do you need? The Blood Altar fixes all of Turuk’s problems. It’s becoming an issue.”

What is the normal attrition rate for new bloods within the Undaunted? – Kii-Nam

Turuk says, “Turuk believes he has answered this question in some form or another before, but he has had plenty of moon sugar tonight. The Undaunted recruit new bloods often. There have been a great many of them. Sva ‘The Saw’ Crenshaw,  Severio ‘the Full Nelsonius’ Nelsonius, Lex Pilper—so many of them were here and are absent now (Turuk swears he has non-Imperial comrades who have passed on, but he can’t remember them).”

“Many ask Turuk when he says this, ‘Why then, do we never see them?’ They are around us, always. In Turuk’s heart. They are dead, but they are there.”

December 19, 2014

“Do you know the reasoning for the straight line down the middle of the facial mask on Dwemer helms? Was this merely an aesthetic design or does it serve some functional purpose as well?” – Solus Lighthawke, Dwemer Scholar-in-Training

Kireth Vanos says, “Bilateral, and even multilateral, symmetry is such a common element in Dwemer design that it’s often hard to know when it’s functional, when it’s stylistic, or even both. In most cultures, dualism symbolizes the dual, Anuic/Padomaic nature of the aurbis, but as the Deep Elves were said to have rejected the Divines, that seems unlikely to be the explanation in their case. Of course, drawing a line down the middle of a mortal’s face instantly makes that face more intimidating, so the explanation could be as simple as that.”

“Is the Dwarven Ore we find on the surface in Tamriel not actually the metal used in creating Dwemer armor, but instead a ‘fool's’ Dwarven ore mistaken for the metal the Dwarves used to create their legendary un-rusting armor, weapons, and other assorted metal things?” ­– ICEbweaka9

Kireth Vanos says, “Common so-called ‘Dwarven Ore’ is, in fact, given that name because of its resemblance to the metal forged by the long-lost Dwemer. As a metallurgist I can tell you that while Dwarven Ore is a tough substance indeed, it’s not nearly as durable as actual metal harvested from actual Dwemer devices. That’s why forging in the Dwemer style requires actual Dwemer metal as material.”

“Good Vanos, I wonder—what initially drove you to the study of Dwemer armor?” – Razum’dara, Wayward Khajiit Scholar

Kireth Vanos says, “Something about the simple, geometric elegance of Dwemer design spoke to my inner need for structure and organization. The Deep Elves might have been unholy heretics, but by the Eight, they understood the importance of doing a thing right.”

January 9, 2015

“Your Royal Highness, as leader of the Daggerfall Covenant, you know firsthand of the decline of the Second Empire. What are your thoughts on this Alliance War? What will it achieve? Your alliance has a noble cause, but it seems to me that good soldiers are fighting and killing each other while Molag Bal, our true enemy, succeeds.” – Alessandra of Cyrodiil

King Emeric says, “Though orators and demagogues will tell you otherwise, in politics matters are rarely as simple as just choosing one course over another, and a monarch must take thought for the future as well as the present. Though the Dark Anchors are falling across Tamriel, the epicenter of the invasion is the Imperial City of Cyrodiil. This is no coincidence: the city of Alessia and the Remans is itself a source of great power, both symbolic and actual. Who controls the Imperial City once the invasion is repulsed is a matter of profound consequence for all of Tamriel. We Bretons of High Rock remember the oppressive rule of Elvenkind, and are determined that Tamriel shall not be ruled again by such tyrants, whether from Alinor or Mournhold.”

“My King, I'm currently working on the rulers of the Second Empire, but the sources are obscure at best: the archives of Imperial College say that Sidri-Ashak is the ‘last strong Akaviri Potentate’ but also a ruler of Cyrodiil during the First Era. Who exactly is he? Did he rule after Versidue-Shaie and Savirien-Chorak, or sometime during the Reman Dynasty, or both?” – Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild

King Emeric says, “Each Emperor of the Second Empire was advised by the leader of the Akaviri faction on the Elder Council, who bore the title Akaviri Potentate. Sidri-Ashak was Potentate to the little-known Emperor Brazollus Dor, who occupied the Ruby Throne between the reigns of Reman II and Reman III. Dor was not a particularly capable ruler, nor was he much interested in matters of state, preferring to spend most of his time at his country estate near Skingrad. The details of rule, and eventually nearly all issues of policy and politics, were delegated to his Potentate, Sidri-Ashak. This was Emperor Dor’s one wise decision during his reign, for Sidri-Ashak proved to be both a gifted administrator and a man of integrity. It is a shame that he is not better remembered today; I have a rare copy of his ‘Recollections of a Humble Potentate,’ and often enjoy dipping into it before bedtime.”

“Your Majesty, your great admiration for Reman Cyrodiil and his heirs is famous in these lands, but what's lesser known is your stance on his Akaviri successors. In your opinion, is there anything the Potentates did right, and are any of their policies worth reinstating in your future vision for a unified Tamriel under the Covenant banner?” – Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Renewal Society

King Emeric says, “As mentioned above, the prudent monarch could do far worse than to model his polices upon those of Sidri-Ashak, who so capably served under Brazollus Dor, but I gather your question pertains to the regencies of Versidue-Shaie and Savirien-Chorak, who administered the Empire after the assassination of Reman III. Despite not being true Emperors, these latter-day Potentates ruled, for the most part, wisely and long. Versidue-Shaie was a peacemaker who ratified the Cervant Truce that ended the disastrous Four Score War with Morrowind, and suppressed the private armies of the Imperial nobility. But perhaps his greatest achievement was the Guild Act, which established and standardized regulation of trade and transactions across the Empire—and indeed, was adopted as de facto law across Tamriel, and even in the Summerset Isles. His successor, Savirien-Chorak, was not quite so able an administrator, and often responded poorly to the crises that began, in his era, to pull the Empire apart. But he was wise enough to recognize that it’s better to have the Orcs of Wrothgar as your friends than as enemies, and it was he who finally brought Orsinium into the Empire.”

“Your Majesty, I ask this question on behalf of the citizens of Belkarth and Dragonstar, loyal subjects of the once-great Second Empire, but apparently second-class to the Daggerfall Covenant. Craglorn in eastern Hammerfell is under severe threat from the so-called Scaled Court and these beings they call Celestials. Is Hammerfell not part of the Covenant? Why has there been no aid from Wayrest to combat the Celestial threat in these Covenant homelands?” – Enodoc Dumnonii, Savant of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

King Emeric says, “So far, only the parts of Hammerfell that owe fealty to the noble King Fahara’jad have joined the Daggerfall Covenant. Belkarth and Dragonstar are home to many brave and accomplished citizens with admirable aspirations, but until Northeast Hammerfell is represented by some kind of centralized authority, there is no one for the Covenant to sign a treaty with, and no one for the citizens of Craglorn to hold accountable for their protection. It is time for the people of Craglorn to band together and find a leader they can stand behind. The Daggerfall Covenant needs to use the east-west caravan road to supply our troops in Cyrodiil, so naturally we try to maintain order along that corridor, but we cannot commit to more than that under current circumstances. I’m sure a scholar such as yourself will understand.”

“Your Royal Highness (for that is your title), written history teaches us that Men cannot rule Cyrodiil. The First Empire collapsed after the War of Righteousness, and the defeat of those fanatics from the Alessian Order placed the Akaviri, foes of every race in Tamriel, on the throne. Aren’t both of these failures enough proof of the weakness of the human race and its inability to rule an empire that matches its arrogance?” – Bobcat

Chancellor Regina Troivois says, “That brings the audience with High King Emeric to an end for today. His Majesty apologizes for his abrupt departure; Scholars will kindly remain in place for a few moments while our intruding impostor is conducted by the Elite Lion Guard to another chamber for further … conversation. Thank you again for your fascinating questions, and if you write accounts of your audience with His Majesty, be sure to remark upon his warmth and easy approachability. That is all.”

January 23, 2015

“Esteemed Moon Bishop, in the wake of the horrific events in the Reaper's March region, many non-Khajiiti citizens wonder at the true nature of the dro-m'Athra. The majority of your people refuse to speak of these dark spirits, who have long been deemed by scholars to be the inverse of the Khajiit. In a word, they are seen as Daedra. Is the Den of Lorkhaj therefore a realm of Oblivion? How did the Dark Mane become dro-m'Athra, and what did the Tharns hope to gain from trafficking with these forces?” – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “This subject is dangerous even to speak about, especially on moons-less nights, when the pull of the Darks is strong, and one’s tail twitches to the Bent Dance. I have addressed these matters in this one’s pamphlet entitled ‘Litter-Mates of Darkness,’ but perhaps you have not been afforded an opportunity to read it.

“The Den of Lorkhaj, like everything relating to the Lost Runt, is a thing of the Mundus. Though a true cat’s spirit is bathed in the spirit-light of the moons, every cat also knows the drawing of the Darks, and feels the urge to join the Bent Dance. A true cat who listens too much to the Darks becomes a Bent Cat, whose spirit is carried by Namiira down into the Dark Behind the World, eventually to become dro-m’Athra. This is what happened to the unfortunate so-called Dark Mane.

“As to the motives of the Tharns of Nibenay, this one cannot speak. They are known to traffic with Daedra, however, and seem to find some profit in it. Insofar as ‘Daedra’ means ‘not-Aedra,’ the term can certainly be applied to the dro-m’Athra; perhaps the Tharns hoped to employ them in the same manner as they use the Daedra of Oblivion.”

"Khajiit hold that Masser and Secunda existed before Lorkhaj was born, whereas The Lunar Lorkhan states that they were created after Trinimac the Valiant ripped out Lorkhan's heart. Your people also believe that Lorkhaj's body was flung to the moons, and The Moon Cats and their Dance whisper of a Dead Moon in the Lunar Lattice. Are the moons really Lorkhan's corpse? And what is the 'Dead Moon?'”– Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “When true cats commune with the moons and their spirits climb the Lunar Lattice, then can a Khajiit see the Dead Moon sailing behind Jone and Jode. This moon is the corpse of Lorkhaj. After he made the world for Nirni’s children to live in, the Darks in the heart of Lorkhaj also made a prison of the world—for he did not know the First Secret. Thus his heart was cut out and buried in the Dark Behind the World, and his body was hurled on high to follow the moons forever. This all true cats learn from their Clan Mothers.”

“This one greets you, yes? This one has long wondered how the Khajiit view werewolves. This one knows the natural dislike between Canine and Feline, but both are influenced by Jone and Jode. If a Khajiit was, say, a long-time werewolf, would this impact their worship of Jone and Jode any? Bright Moons and Warm Sands, To'raji.”

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “Every Khajiiti hunter respects Lord Hircine—and what true cat is not a hunter, at times? But not all the Hungry Cat’s gifts are proper for true cats to accept. The Lunar Lattice grants Khajiiti their skins, and to change those skins for others is impermissible. This one considers the werewolves’ worship of the moons a parody of the true lunar faith.”

“Our scribes are currently working on the transcription of the 'Ri'datta-ssabavezi.' In this story, your people are climbing 'cat upon cat' and finally reach Jone, where they founded something called 'Lleswer.' But we failed to understand the meaning of this. Some at the Guild suggest it has to be taken literally, but it seems impossible. Am I right?" – Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “It is the nature of myth to be true and yet at the same time mere allegory. Are you ‘right’? In this context, the question is without meaning. But do not be offended, hairless one. Many stories are puzzles with more than one solution.”

“Moon Bishop Hunal, many Khajiit have ingested Skooma, although many nations frown on the consumption of such a substance and forbid it entirely. As a Moon Bishop yourself, what is your opinion of the consumption of Skooma for religious ceremonies?” - J'Kierr Solhir, Simple Khajiit Merchant and Sellsword.

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “Skooma is the scourge of our people; its continued usage inevitably leads a Khajiit into the Darks. It is true that it can be used to achieve a state of religious ecstasy, but the visions therefrom are all false and heretical.”

“Many have heard the stories that a Khajiit's form is determined by the cycle of the moons. Would it then be possible for an Alfiq (housecat sized Khajiit) to give birth to a Senche-Raht battlecat, said to be as tall as two Altmer? – TheHumanFloyd

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “Ah, hairless ones. What imaginations they have! The simple answer is yes; it is absolutely true that the ja-Kha’jay determines a Khajiit’s furstock, or ‘breed,’ as some say. However, the extent to which we catfolk vary in size has been exaggerated in certain Imperial sources. During the Reman Conquests, when the Cyrodiils were seeking justification for invasion of the Khajiiti kingdoms, we were tagged with the epithet ‘beast-men,’ and propaganda was spread emphasizing our similarities to our cousins of lesser sentience. For what could be wrong with liberating a fertile land such as ours from lowly ‘beast-men’? Indeed, curious one, there are truly seventeen distinct furstocks of Khajiiti, but do not be taken in by the exaggerations of Imperial propaganda.”

February 6, 2015

Lord Tharn, your noble family's role in the Alessian slave rebellion is well known, but one figure that always intrigued me is the mysterious Arch-Prelate Fervidius Tharn himself. Details about the man are rare. Would the kind Chancellor be willing to shed some light on the matter? - Archivist Jimeee of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “I am pleased by your question, good archivist, for it gives me an opportunity to set the record straight about a man who is often mischaracterized and misunderstood. My ancestor, Fervidius Tharn, began his calling with the Alessian Order as a humble oblate, but as his merits and character became apparent—good breeding always tells, does it not?—he was given greater and greater responsibility, in time becoming arch-prelate of the entire order. Though at that period the arch-prelate wielded power almost as great as that of the emperor, Fervidius still had powerful enemies, both inside and outside the order. The greatest of these threats was a fanatical schism of the Alessians called the Marukhati Selective. Arch-Prelate Fervidius learned that the zealots of the Selective were scheming to bring about some sort of mystical re-engineering of the Aurbis by finding and combining the eight parts of an artifact called the Staff of Towers. These segments had been deliberately separated and hidden early in the First Era due to the threat posed by the complete Staff. Fervidius sent agents of the Order out to find these segments—not, as some have said, to assist the Marukhati Selectives, but to sequester the segments where the Selectives could not get at them. Alas, in the end the arch-prelate, ever a trusting man, was betrayed by his closest allies, and his courageous stand against the Selectives cost him his very life."

My question for you, Chancellor, is that during the Alessian Rebellion, why were the Barsaebic Ayleids of my native Black Marsh not targeted as a potential threat or source of allies for the two conflicting sides (and the same for the Saxhleel ourselves)? I would think their proximity would result in some action from them, but nothing seems to be recorded in The Imperial Library. But we know how much you care for authenticity and accuracy, eh Tharn? – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “My dear Warden, you wound me, truly you do, with your implications. Those who put the boot into another should take care, lest they become boots themselves, if you take my meaning. But I digress. The Barsaebics, of course, were on the Aedric side in the Ayleid civil conflict known as the Narfinsel Schism, and were driven out of Cyrodiil by the Daedra-worshipers in the Scouring of Wendelbek. As this took place only a half-century before Alessia's Slave Revolt, the humiliation of exile still stung for the Barsaebics; when King Glinferen of Atatar sent an envoy to Gideon call for aid against the rebellious Nedes, the Barsaebic king (I'm afraid his name is lost to history) sent him back with a blunt refusal. Why didn't Alessia, who had other Ayleids among her allies, call on the Barsaebics to join her? We don't know that she didn't—all we know is that such an alliance never took place."

Let's get the facts straight. Was Morihaus a bull, or a man, or a man-bull, or what? We need to know! -Imperial Scholar Aidius Lutrus

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “As one Imperial scholar to another, Aidius, I am surprised to hear you use the word 'facts' about an individual known to us only through the medium of myth. In 'fact,' it matters not whether Morihaus was man, bull, or Eidar cheese—what matters is how his saga supports the national narrative of the Empire, and how belief in the might and righteousness of Morihaus informs the self-image of the average Cyrodiil. The creation story of the Empire has no purpose or meaning beyond its support of the Empire's continuation. If this is news to you, perhaps it is time to review the continuation of your Imperial stipend."

I wish to know your opinion on Alessia. Why did Akatosh favor her cause—indeed, the cause of all Imperials, and grant her the Amulet of Kings? - Alessandra of Cyrodiil

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “Ah, but of course you already know the answer, loyal Alessandra. Do you simply wish to hear the truth spoken again from the very lips of the High Chancellor? If so, I am happy to indulge you. Repeat, along with me, the words that cannot be gainsaid, the truth that cannot be questioned: 'Saint Alessia, through her purity and wisdom, earned the love of all good beings, mortal and immortal. At Sancre Tor she prayed to Akatosh for the liberation of her people, and the Time Dragon granted her Three Visions to guide her in this task. Though the road was long and filled with hardship, her faith sustained her. When at last all three visions had come to pass and her people were freed of Elven domination, her purpose was fulfilled and she was called to Apotheosis. Then was she inducted into sainthood by Akatosh himself, and granted the Amulet of Kings, for the sacred rulers of the Empire to wear for ever and beyond.' There, Alessandra. Blessed be the Divines."

As a young woman, I was taught that our ancestors were called 'Nedes'. Some historical texts suggest the Nedes are the aboriginal humans of Tamriel. Others, such as the Dunmeri sagas, suggest they came from Atmora, and were cousins of the Nords. I know you have a deep interest in the genealogy of your own esteemed bloodline, milord, as well as a strong nationalistic pride in Nibenay and its accomplishments, so I'll assume you have an opinion on the matter of the identity of Nedes. Just who were our enigmatic ancestors, sire, and where did they come from? – Laurina Berne, Master Enchanter, Battlemage Corps

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “Excellent questions, upon matters to which many of our finest scholars have devoted their entire lives. Before Khosey's 'Tamrilean Tractates,' which date to around 1E 200, the historical record is fragmentary to entirely nonexistent. This places us in the realm of conjecture, but from common elements in the oral traditions of the Cyro-Nedic tribes, certain probabilities can be adduced. The origin of the Nedes was undoubtedly the northern continent of Atmora, but the Nedic tribes did not all come to Tamriel at once; they came in waves, over a period of centuries, one tribal group at a time. These tribes were far from homogeneous: though all came from Atmora, some were as different from each other as Reachman and Redguard. The term 'Nedic Tribes' actually covers a wide panoply of different human cultures from different parts of Atmora, with a variety of traditions and practices. For the Nedes, Tamriel became a great mixing cauldron—some Atmoran practices were retained, but many were lost. In Nibenay alone do we find the kind of continuity that sheds light on original Nedic culture, for only here were the great, old traditions maintained in any fidelity. Thus, when you look at a Nibenese, you see the closest thing to a pure-bred Nede still remaining on this continent."

February 27, 2015

“Are the Reachmen their own race of man?" – CodyWatsonDCI

Arthenice Belloq says, “If not their own race, the Reachmen are definitely their own breed. In blood they are closest to the Bretons, but with other tribes mixed in, as they will kidnap the children of every mortal race and interbreed with them. This is, perhaps, the only way in which they are tolerant of outsiders."

“Where do the hagravens come from? Are they, too, a twisted descendant of Aldmer?" – p4r4digm

Arthenice Belloq says, “The hagravens are abominations. Their eyes are flat and dead, and they live only for injury and domination. The Reach clans do not revere them so much as placate them, and they are hated even by their hag-husbands. Where do they come from? They come from our worst nightmares."

“A fellow Breton seeks knowledge from one who has undergone a harrowing experience and come out victorious. Your account and others mention the Reachmen's wanton veneration of demented Daedra lords like Hircine and Namira, but I've also heard references to 'Old Gods,' and have heard rumors that the Reachmen sometimes keep amulets or statues depicting the Divines. Did you personally witness any instances of Reach religious practice that didn't involve veneration of Daedra or human sacrifice, or is it just the hopeless romantic in me grasping to find some humanity and nuance in the tribes of the Reach? Divines keep you, kinswoman." – Bardon of Clan Crimthann, hamlet of Stokmarket, Kingdom of Wayrest

Arthenice Belloq says, “The clan that held me, the Crow-Wives, are primarily worshipers of Namira, though I sometimes heard them utter oaths naming other Daedra Lords. The only active reverence I witnessed among the Reachmen was for Daedric Princes. That said, the clan did possess other strange totems, ancient fetishes I couldn't identify. They were never named within my hearing, and I never asked about them."

“The Reachmen seem to view the Daedra, specifically the Daedric Princes, as the 'Old Gods' and therefore revere them while scorning the Aedra, which are almost demonic in their eyes. These Old Gods are also associated with their chaotic nature magic, which I have always found interesting while studying them in my travels. They especially venerate Molag Bal, Namira, and Hircine among others. Why are the Princes so associated with nature for the Reachmen? And what about their view for other ones such as Peryite, Nocturnal, and Vaermina?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Arthenice Belloq says, “I believe the Reachmen associate the Princes with nature because they are tribal barbarians, and brute nature is all they know. They disdain civilization and the civilized, which I think is why they have no use for the more 'sophisticated' Princes such as Sanguine and Clavicus Vile. Subtlety and nuance, they believe, are for the weak."

March 6, 2015

“I have two questions. Firstly, what is the Sloads' relationship like with the Maormer? They seem like the only race that would deal with them frequently. Secondly, do they have any connection to the rise of the Worm Cult on the mainland? Many thanks for your wisdom, and may Mauloch guide your staff and light your way." - Urgazul gro-Brashnuk, Orsinium Historian and Keeper of the Forge-Secrets

Telenger the Artificer says, “Welcome, fellow scholar! As far as we in Summerset can tell—and we have more experience of the Sload than any other folk—the Sload are hostile to all other mortal races. Though there is some evidence of diplomatic traffic between the Sload and the Maormer—see 'A Loathsome Civilization'—there are also plenty of accounts of conflict between the Slugmen and the Sea Elves. This is no surprise, since both Sea Elves and Sload are at war with all other mortal races. The Maormer's grievance seems to be that they got stuck with Pyandonea, a sad and swampy archipelago of malodorous islets; why the Sload are so belligerent to all others is unknown.

“As to your second question: I have heard speculation about an entente between the Sload and the self-styled King of Worms, but facts? Someone in Cyrodiil may know more, but I do not. I suppose the Eyes of the Queen might know something, but if so, they haven't told me. And why would they?"

“Most proficient Artificer, the grim fate of Bendu Olo's lost expedition members has recently come to light in the depths of Coldharbour. Was this Coral Tower encountered by the All-Flags Navy similar in nature to the other Towers of Nirn, or was it simply a Daedric perversion?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Telenger the Artificer says, “Since the Coral Tower has fallen, at this point the best we can do is make educated guesses. In their own perverse way, the Sload are very capable sorcerers, and from all accounts the Coral Tower acted as both a focus and a projector of mystical power. I am not a scholar of Tower Lore—my interests tend more toward the practical—but this accords (somewhat) with what the mythohistorians claim is the purpose and practice of the so-called Towers of Nirn. Was the Coral Tower a 'real' Tower like Lawful Crystal, here in Alinor, or was it a failed imitation, like the Doomspire? I do not think we have an answer based on what little we know."

“Oh most high of Artificers, I ask that you impart any knowledge you have (which I don't doubt is extensive) regarding the Sloads' presence in Black Marsh. When was the first report of their appearance there? Could they still be lurking in the swamps to this day? Do the Argonians have any particular relationship with the Sload?" – TheHumanFloyd

Telenger the Artificer says, “The Sload? In Black Marsh? You surprise me, TheHumanFloyd—dare I ask what are your sources for this interesting claim? If true, certain advisors to the Queen on security matters must be notified immediately!"

“In my travels, I've heard about the Pillar of Thras. It is true that the Sload perform sacrifices here? If so, what is their motive? Also, is it true that some of the victims disappear before they touch the ground? What happens to them? On another note, how is Sload Soap made? I've heard rumors of an entire factory in High Rock dedicated to its production by crushing Sload larvae!" – Bertille Montrose, Breton bookseller and amateur scholar

Telenger the Artificer says, “So many questions! You Bretons always seem so frenetic to us, trying to cram so much activity into your brief lives. I suppose it's understandable, however.

“Anyway, to your questions: Pillar of Thras? Are you referring to the fallen Coral Tower that sank at the time of the All-Flags Navy, or some new edifice? If it's a new erection, this 'Pillar' of yours may square with certain rumors I have heard that the Sload intend to rebuild their Tower, and indeed may already have commenced. The Thrassians command powerful magics, of course: not just necromancy and portal spells, but the ability to command the coral they live among in a manner analogous to the Wood Elves' communion with the plants of Valenwood. Could they induce the coral to grow rapidly out of the Sea of Pearls, spiraling skyward so as to create their tower anew? This bears further investigation. Perhaps the Sapiarch of Scrying….

“But enough speculation—on to a subject about which, for once, we can be certain: Sload Soap! There are many misconceptions about the origin of Sload Soap, and I am happy to have an opportunity to clear it up. First, let us consider the metamorphic biology of the Sload. They begin life on the Thrassian Atolls as, in the words of Admiral Bendu Olo, 'disgusting little amorphous grubs.' Ignored by their pendulous parents, these grubs somehow squirm their way to the sea, where they mutate into aquatic quasi-cephalopods known as 'polwygles.' Due to their corpulence, adult Sloads spend a great deal of time in the shallow lagoons of their atolls, wallowing among the polwygles. Those larvae that prove too slow to avoid their parents' pseudopods are caught and harvested, culling out the weak and providing the raw material for Sload Soap.

“Captured polwygles are tossed into an ever-bubbling cauldron where they gradually deliquesce into a slimy broth. This broth undergoes an alchemical commixture with materials known only to the Sload, after which it is poured into molds and allowed to cool. Once solid, the bars are scooped out and wrapped in the viscera of hagfish for preservation.

“It is believed that the Sload use this soap as a primary component in their necromantic rituals. I'm no expert on necromancy, but apparently having an emulsified reagent concocted from one's own descendants acts as profound intensifier in the magic of undeath. Sload Soap is rarely seen away from Thras, and when it is it commands high prices from alchemists, who prize its unique properties for creating potions of agility and, rarest of all, the mutation of personality. Alianora the Red, our Sapiarch of Alchemy, says that Sload Soap has never been thoroughly analyzed outside of Thras, and may contain many more undiscovered alchemical properties. Plus, it's an exceptional cleanser, deep-cleaning yet mild, that leaves your skin feeling youthful and refreshed."

"First thing's first; I want my tome on the Whet Fang back, Telenger. Second, several scholars suggest that the Thrassian Plague was supernatural in nature, the result of bargains with Daedric Princes like Namira the Prince of Rot and Peryite the Prince of Pestilence. Do you personally think there is any credence to these claims, old friend?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Telenger the Artificer says, “Eis Vuur! Of course, I'll collect that book as soon as I get back to my laboratory and have it sent to you by Black Horse Courier. I'll just need to find another object the right size to, er, prop up my lillandrilic calcinator. (Ahem.)

“The Thrassian Plague, scourge of the First Era, was known to the common people as the Slug Famine because the wriggling gastropods that carried the flesh-eating disease infected not just people, but livestock and wild animals as well. It's easy to see why one might associate the Plague with Namira or Peryite, as the Spirit Daedra's sphere includes slime and slugs, while the Taskmaster's includes disease and contamination. It's well known that the Sload traffic with the Princes, so the involvement of Namira or Peryite is quite credible. However, there is also the Pestilent Progeny Thesis of that reprobate Divayth Fyr, which postulates that the infectious slugs that invaded Tamriel were mutated versions of the Sloads' own infantile larvae. However, since the Plague was wiped out by Syrabane, we have no extant samples to test to determine which of these hypotheses is correct. Indeed, these theories are by no means mutually exclusive, and it could be that the truth lies somewhere in between. Only the Sload know for sure. Perhaps, Eis Vuur, in your wayward and peripatetic travels, you could stop off at Thras and ask them!"

March 23, 2015

“Our order came into possession of a tome that speaks of a mighty king named Ysmir the Forefather who ascended to the heavens to become The Warrior constellation. Do your archives hold any knowledge of this previously unknown king of men and dragons, who oddly shares a name with the Ash King? Do the other Guardian constellations have a similar mythic origin that you could reveal?" – Archivist Jimeee of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

High Astrologer Caecilus Bursio says, “The association of figures of myth and legend with one constellation or another is a common theme across Tamriel: usually a hero or monarch is identified with the powerful aspects of whatever stars she or he was said to be born under. For example, St. Alessia, the First Empress, is traditionally associated with the constellation of The Thief, while her consort Morihaus took as his device the constellation of The Lord, and wore the Lord's Mail. So let us consider Ysmir, whose legend, as it happens, is known to me: did he ascend to the heavens to become The Warrior? That implies that the constellation was not there previously, which seems unlikely to me. Did he ascend to heaven by passing through his birthsign of The Warrior to achieve Aetherius beyond? Poetic, but possible, I suppose, at least for a figure of myth. Did Ysmir take The Warrior as his sigil because the Warrior represented his strengths, and was thus associated with that constellation even after his death (or passing, or assumption, or ascendance)? This seems to me the most likely explanation of all. However, others will certainly differ, and you may find their arguments more persuasive than mine."

 

“What are the 'unstars' or 'not-stars' which are said to make up the constellation of The Serpent? Also, as the position of stars relative to each other (or at least to the Sun) is not fixed: if stars are holes in the sky, how do they move around?" – Feynn

High Astrologer Caecilus Bursio says, “It is exactly this matter that has engaged some of our surviving Star-Gazers, a matter which they are studying under my direction. Though we have but an imperfect understanding of The Serpent, I believe the answer to your questions is implied in their statement: unlike the 'holes in the sky,' which are unmoving (at least in relation to each other), the so-called 'unstars' of The Serpent can move precisely because they are NOT stars. They resemble stars, however, in that they shine by night—but what is the nature of the light they are shining down upon us? It certainly isn't Varliance. What is it? Is it benevolent to mortals, or malevolent? These questions, I feel, are important, and much may depend on the answers."

 

"I have a question about the constellation of The Shadow: with the exception of Sep the Serpent, we always heard that the stars are linked to Aetherius. But The Shadow seems odd, with the stories about the Shadowscales, and now I found this book in our archives called 'The Dark Husband' who links The Shadow with Sithis. Is that true? Is The Shadow a herald of Sithis? Is it really linked to Aetherius?" – Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild

High Astrologer Caecilus Bursio says, “Interesting, Iszara. I shall have to seek out the tome of which you speak. Certainly, in poetry and myth, The Shadow has been thematically linked by some with the unbeing and the void. However, some see The Shadow otherwise, as the mere obverse of Magnus' light, simply one of the many manifestations of the Anuic/Padomaic duality of the Mundus. In this regard, The Shadow would represent the void through which the stars shine—which once again associates it with the Abyss Beyond, albeit in a backhanded fashion. It is probably wisest to think about these aspects of reality as essences or qualities rather than personalities—though when we, as mere mortals, interact with them, our minds can only grasp them by perceiving them as personae."

 

April 2nd, 2015

"The only certainty regarding Elder Scrolls I have ever heard is that they hold great power and are often used for prophecy. Yet I cannot help but wonder... have there ever been any events that have contradicted an Elder Scroll without having been foretold in another Elder Scroll? If so, how did such a phenomenon occur? Was it brought on by mortal intervention? Divine intervention? If such an event has never happened, do you believe there is any such thing as true freedom? Or are we all slaves to fate?" - Drafo

Sister Terran Arminus says, “This is a good question with which to start, for answering it enables me to address some misconceptions about the Elder Scrolls that are common among the … er … commoners. The Scrolls are often described as tools of prophecy—indeed, 'the Aedric Prophecies' is another name for them in some quarters—but the fact that the Scrolls speak of future events is merely a side-effect of their intrinsic nature. The Scrolls tell of our future because they are woven into that future—as well the present, and the past, and every other aspect of this reality we call the Mundus. It is a mistake to think that events prophesized in the Scrolls are fixed and unchangeable; again and again we in the Order of the Ancestor Moth have seen the prophecies alter as the future changes in response to the acts of mortals. Future events foretold in the Scrolls may be deemed likely to occur, so likely as to seem almost certain—but no event is fixed in the Scrolls until it actually happens."

"Firstly Sister, I hope you are well. I understand that the strain of being a Moth Cultist is tough. As a linguist, I have studied the language of Oblivion. I have taken charcoal rubbings from dolmens themselves. So naturally something has bothered me: Has anyone in your order attempted to transcribe the Elder Scrolls?" -D'arht-si, daughter of Ra Gada.

Sister Terran Arminus says, “D'arht-si, your handwriting is quite small, and hard for these cloudy eyes to see clearly. Perhaps if I hold it up to the taper just so: what's this? 'Stain of being a Moth Cultist'? Is membership in the Order now considered shameful? We have never received due respect, but this, this is too much!

“Oh. Wait. 'STRAIN of being a Moth Cultist.' I must apologize, Daughter of Hammerfell. In fact, we are under a great deal of strain these days, and it can manifest in a certain irritability. I shall try to answer your question as best I can."

“In fact, though every Novice of the Order is warned that attempts to transcribe the Scrolls are useless, every one of us tries it at some point, only to discover upon reading what we have carefully copied out that it is gibberish, utter nonsense of no meaning to anyone. The words of the Elder Scrolls must be graven upon one's soul and spirit, for they are comprehended through affinity and rapport, not calculation or cognition."

"To the esteemed Terran Arminus,
It seems that not even the Elder Scrolls are safe from this accursed conflict, as each faction tries to lay claim to them by conquest. The brutish legions claim that possession of the scrolls grants them various boons in combat. Surely, this can be attributed purely to the good morale these soldiers find in desecrating our great bastion of knowledge, can it not? I dare not imagine that the very scrolls would deign to lend aid to the profiteers that soil our land." -Scholar-in-Exile, Querulus Praeco

"Honoured Sister,
First let me express my condolences over the loss of several members of the Order, who I have heard were killed during invasions of the Temple by troops from the three Alliances, who then proceeded to abscond with a number of Elder Scrolls. Following this abhorrent act of larceny, I have heard soldiers in passing mention feeling more powerful, or more resistant to damage, thanks to the benefits of the Scrolls. But how do the Scrolls confer such specific bonuses, particularly if only members of the Order are able to understand their contents?" - Enodoc Dumnonii, Savant of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Sister Terran Arminus says, “I shall answer the two preceding questions together, as they are really but two sides of the same drake. However, it will be a test of my temper, as nothing has ever been so vexing as the Alliance militaries' recent appropriations of the Elder Scrolls! So infuriating … some days I just want to kill all their housecats. You know, to show them. Soldiers!

“But I digress. When the generals and legates first came among us demanding custody of the Elder Scrolls, we refused, stating it was absurd to believe that possession of the Scrolls would grant them any benefit, tangible or temporal. They took them anyway, and soon began to attribute their military fortunes, good or ill, to loss or acquisition of Scrolls on the battlefield. Most of us scoffed, but one priest, Brother Euclidius Bonum, decided to investigate for himself. He subjected one month's history of Cyrodilic warfare to a rigorous analysis—battles won and lost, Scrolls captured and recaptured—and he found that there was a small, but significant and definite, correlation between military success and Elder Scroll possession on the part of the Alliance militaries.

“How are we to account for this? My cat has no idea. It seems impossible that the Scrolls could actually be conferring military aid upon their possessors—they are mighty artifacts, perhaps the mightiest of all, but their power is passive and descriptive, not active or prescriptive. Brother Euclidius, who it must be admitted is an original thinker, theorizes that the soldiers in an army possessing an Elder Scroll are open, on some unconscious level, to a collective osmotic absorption of the prophecies therein—and that insofar as the soldiers' goals all align toward triumph over their enemies, they therefore tend to collectively make choices that align with the prophecies foretold in the Scroll. By swimming with the flow of history, as it were, an army with a Scroll is therefore somewhat more likely to make decisions that coincide with the probability of events, which leads to a preponderance of victories.

“That said, Brother Euclidius' calculations were based upon a rather small statistical sample, so it would be premature to give them the imprimatur of proof. The good brother feels that with enough data—say, thirty or forty more years of warfare—he should be able to arrive at some fairly reliable conclusions. I cannot say that I hope the war will last long enough to give him this data. But perhaps I am selfish."

"Moth Sister Arminus, it has been said that the Elder Scrolls can pierce the veil of Time, that they contain the prophecies of every major event on Nirn. To my knowledge, there must also be a hero to meet each of those events. I wonder, then, as someone who has studied the Scrolls, do you know if the hero—or their soul—is bound to the Elder Scrolls? Is this hero as constant as the events and prophecies foretold by the Scrolls?" - Alessandra of Cyrodiil

Sister Terran Arminus says, “Though the great events of history garner the most attention, think not that the Scrolls solely commemorate acts of lasting significance. The Elder Scrolls are bound by threads of time to the warp and weft of the entire Mundus, and every soul, 'great' or otherwise, has a place therein. Many speak of 'heroes' as if they were born great and the key roles of history were fated to be enacted by them. But is that so? A careful study of the Scrolls leads me to believe that no mortal is 'born great,' but that a person becomes a Hero by making choices and taking actions other mortals refuse. The Scrolls do not select such people, but they do record and reflect their actions, and note the difference made thereby."

"To be given into the care of Moth Sister Terran Arminus:
I've heard the Elder Scrolls can move on their own. To what extent are they aware of their surroundings? Respectful regards, Rohais of Aurido"

Sister Terran Arminus says, “Though we in the Order who deal with the Scrolls sometimes jocularly personalize them, it's a mistake to think of them as cats. As I learned in my first days in the Order, when I served as Scroll Drudge to Librarian Strombus, if a priest wants to study an Elder Scroll, someone has to bring it to him."

"Greetings, Sister Terran! I haven't held conversation with a member of your order in centuries, not since that one incident with the…er, never mind that, it was probably before your time anyways, my dear. My question today for you is one detailing the strange glyphs that dot the Elder Scrolls, like and unlike Mage Script. These esoteric symbols seem to be associated with the constellations at one moment, with the planets at other moments, the Daedric Princes in even more moments, and – which is the strangest in my opinion – all of the above at once! As we both know, these glyphs have a habit of swirling, disappearing, and outright readjusting themselves, which makes jotting them down to better understand them an extremely hard task. Is there any insight you can give me into this mystical and perhaps outright unknowable language, Sister?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Sister Terran Arminus says, “Your description of the strange and even commingled runes and alphabets that comprise an Elder Scroll's text is accurate, but only for the experience of the beginning or novice reader. The more a Priest of the Ancestor Moth communes with the Scrolls, the more legible they become, even as our vision fails and the letters grow more obscure. In fact, the symbols and characters of a Scroll's text gradually take on the character of whichever language is most familiar to the reader. This makes the decay of our eyesight all the more mournful, as the loss of the ability to read the Scrolls feels like the death of a close friend."

April 17, 2015

"Greetings, marsh-brother. I hope you are sunned and warmed, yes? Even in my earliest memories, back when I was an angry slave-boy at the beginning of the Second Era, our people have always had an affinity for and an interesting relationship with guar. The Dark Elves ordered us to herd the creatures, feed them, tend to them, clean them…oh, I remember my guar friend Kaj-Meht! I hated the Old Master so much when he cooked him for dinner. But I think the point I'm trying to make here is that without us Saxhleel, the Dunmer would almost have no idea about taking care of their prized animals. Even in the ancient yet fragmented Chimeri records, which imply our race was forced vassals of their predecessors in the mid First Era, there are mentions of the 'lizards taking care of lizards'. There are even debates between the Imperial Geographical Society and the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits over whether guar and Argonians are, and don't laugh egg-brother, related! In their eyes, guar are simply Saxhleel with little to no intelligence and this information has simply been lost to our people for generations, like many other things before the Dunmer came. I personally have my doubts, but since guar are almost as common to Black Marsh as they are in Morrowind I would like to ask you what you think about this yourself? What is our people's special relationship with the guar?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Ha ha, the Warden makes a funny joke, is it not so? It is true that I call my guar herd my little family, but it is not because they are of my blood. That is not to say that I do not watch over their eggs as zealously as any Keeper at the Hatching Pools, because I do. And the infant guar are so cute, I simply must tickle their tummies, yes, I must!"

 

“I share your love for guar and I'm particularly fascinated by their relatives like the fierce Alit and Kagouti. This interest led me to read up on some sort of like reptiles on two legs but apparently staying away from the pastures of Morrowind or Black Marsh, dwelling in the territories of the Daggerfall Covenant, since they were spotted near Dragonstar. I'm talking about the so-called "Worm Mouth" and the "Clawrunner". Because in my travels I have met no one who has come across them, I wondered if you possessed some information about such a peculiar specie." – Shanke-Naar Righthorn

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Alas, Shanke-Naar, I know nothing of this 'clawrunner' you mention, but it is with gladness that I can confirm that the wormmouth of remote Hammerfell is a distant relative of our friends the guar, alit, and kagouti! I am told that Hammefell is not moist, no, no, not moist at all, so any guar and their cousins that lived there would be sad lizards indeed. Not so the wormmouth, which I understand lives by siphoning the sap of living creatures, whether animal or plant! I myself would like to see that. It would be instructive to watch, no?"

 

“I've always found the physical ambiguity of the creatures of Black Marsh and the borderlands. The guar move like fellrunners with avian limbs, yet they have the belly, head, and eyes of a snake.

And what of the alit and kagouti who are even more monstrous and serpentine to the point of losing their arms altogether?" – Dravar gro-Dragakh

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Indeed! So fascinating! Black Marsh and its surrounding lands are home to a seemingly infinite variety of lizards and lizardly relations, so different and manifold, and yet all so pleasingly moist! Truly, there are no boundaries nor limits to the imagination of the Hist!"

 

“I recently purchased a banded guar charger for riding into battle on the frontlines of Cyrodiil. For such a steep price, the beast has a remarkably foul temperament and I have been unable to find a guar-herd willing to help train him. Might this breed be related to the feral tiger guars of the Deshaan Plain, or are those monsters simply an old Legion myth?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Indeed, such is their heritage, Legoless! But if you think a banded guar is a handful, you should try mounting a golden-eye—if it will let you! They have even more wild guar blood in them than the bandeds! Ha ha, how we laughed when Fetches-Glitter tried to get on Pejureel's golden-eye, and it threw him right on his tail! The jocularity shook all Dhalmora!"

 

“As guar are both pack animal and mount, how long does it take the average guar to be trained to carry a rider or pack? Are they considered a stronger mount then a horse? More able to scale rough terrain or what? – Sincerely, Alynne Hearthvan"

“First, I hope you are well. Second, I have noticed that guar can sometimes be difficult to herd and train. How long does it usually take for a guar to become domesticated to its master?" – Razum'dara, Wayward Khajiit Scholar

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Oh, thank you, Alynne and Razum-dara, the answers to your questions are known to me, yes! A well-bred domestic guar, if hand-raised by a loving herder, can be broken to the pack between one Morndas and the next. To saddle-break a guar takes longer, as much as a month, for they must be persuaded not to pursue their inborn instinct, which is to turn and bite great chunks out of any creatures that land on their backs. This snapping is so adorable when they are little ones, but it is wisest to train them out of it when their mouths become large enough to swallow one's arm.

“As for comparing guar to horses—there is no comparison whatsoever! Guar are stronger, greener, have larger feet, are smarter, more loving, and moister than any horse ever foaled! I believe that is why the Dark Elves ride their guar and eat their horses."

 

“To the honorable Esqoo,

When I was just a one young, my nanny started telling a legend of the Gift-Giving Guar. My parents quickly interrupted her and I forgot about this until I found it mentioned on an old piece of paper alongside the Brave Little Squib. Are you familiar with this legend and can you elaborate? With high regards, Felosa Elthara"

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “I believe you refer, Handsome Felosa, to this well-known hatching-pool rhyme:
“There once was a gift-giving guar

“More gen'rous than kwama by far

“The snorkel it gave me

“Was later to save me

“When pursued by slavers from Nar!"

 

“To Esqoo of Dhalmora,

I recently purchased for myself a tessallated guar to ride on and to carry my things. Being an Argonian, I figured I would look less silly riding on a scaly guar than I would riding on a tall white horse. However, after purchasing the beast, I realized how little I knew about guar care. What must I do to keep it healthy and happy (at least enough to do what I want it to do)? What is its diet? Do I need to trim its nails on occasion?

By the way, the pages of this letter carry a deadly disease of my choosing. Just an incentive for you to respond to my questions in a timely manner, you understand. When I receive your reply, I will send you the antidote. I am an Argonian of my word." – Dodges-Death

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Ha ha, Dodges-Death! Always you make with the jests so moist, yes? As for taking care of your guar, nothing could be easier! A diet of live, whole rodents, the larger the better, will keep their eyes sparkling bright and their scales sticky! I like to toss skeevers to my little lovelies from ten paces away and watch them snap them out of the air! Remember that their lower colons are prone to parasitic infestations, but these are easily dealt with, as if you tickle a guar at the base of its tail, its sphincter will relax. As for having to trim their nails, that's just an old joke that veteran guar-herds tell to greenspines to see if they'll try it. How we laughed when young Jorrixel fell for it and was nearly disemboweled! Ha ha!

“By the way, this reply's parchment is impregnated with a deadly variation of daril juice! I got it from a Shadowscale at the Enclave, and he told me it has NO antidote whatsoever! Ha ha!"

 

“To Guarherder Esqoo with respect,

Recently I have seen much larger number of guar abroad in Tamriel than in prior months. What health issues might a guar rider encounter in their mount that can result from these forays outside of the areas they are native to? With regards, Rohais of Auridon"

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Indeed, Rohais, you must be careful never to let your guar snack on scathecraw, for though they love the taste, you will not enjoy the ensuing blasts of flatulence. Unless the scent of many-moons-dead carrion is to your taste, of course!"

 

“Dearest Esqoo,

I must first apologize as I normally preface my letters with a playful and affectionate address to “My Dear Pet", but feel reluctance to so now as to avoid the possibility that I may offend you. The name Esqoo suggests to me that you are either an Argonian or a Dunmer born ill-favored by his mother and I am truly sorry if either is true. If you are an Argonian know that I do not wish to make unfortunate reference to your bestial heritage or peoples' long history of toil under the yoke of the cursed elves of Morrowind.

If you feel this precaution on my part deprives you of the warmth and joy of being referred to as mine, then I implore you to send a request for a revised copy of this letter to my estate. I would be more than happy to supply you with one along with a personal frame to ensure that it remains in pristine condition despite the likely state of your dwelling. Onward to my inquiry.

I have noticed an increasing number of individuals within the Aldmeri Dominion have taken up the practice of guar riding. I have little personal experience with the creature as my mounts are selected from the finest stock of horses and senche tigers. I also find the lackadaisical movements of the guar ill-fitting for one such as I who was born an exemplar of the Lover's gifts. However, I find myself greatly amused by the practice of slapping the behind of the creature. Would you be so kind to elaborate on this?

The Warmest Regards,

Lady Turelie Sillvari, Noble Sorceress and Mistress of the Dibellan Arts"

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “This humble guar-herd is confused—why, noble lady, would I address a reply to your estate? Is your ladyship deceased? If so, do you conduct your correspondence by some sort of necromancy? I am very curious—very curious indeed, yes.

“Ah, but to your question, which I must assume is a so-funny jest, like that of Dodges-Death's. Do you two know each other? But to proceed: we slap the guar's behind because behinds were made to be slapped! I believe this is something every Mistress of the Dibellan Arts knows full well, if what I've been told is true. Though it is possible that what Denskar told me of your Lady of Lechery was somewhat … exaggerated. In fact, now that I think on it, his story did resemble what the Elves down at the port call 'dirty jests.' Ha ha! This one's on me. Wait till I tell my herd about this!"

April 30, 2015
 

“While being an explorer and a scholar requires of one an extensive travel, it also supplies her with fascinating encounters. In one of my recent expeditions to the Hollow City, I met an intriguing creature named Gibbers. While one can mistake him for a scamp from a distance, upon a closer examination, he has horns, like a banekin and back spikes, like a daedroth. Centuries of close encounters with Padomaic creatures, we still know so little about their physiology, creation and decay. As I despise any forms of slavery, conjuration was never one of my research methods. Therefore, the only sources I can rely on in my studies are personal encounters, not all of them non-violent, unfortunately, and works of my fellow explorers. Recently, Doctor Rhythandius gifted us with his pioneering work, Chaotic Creatia: The Azure Plasm. According to it, a Padomaic vestige is what preserves the creature's morphotype, while the body is formed from the Azure Plasm which accretes around the vestige. So, back to Gibbers. I am wondering, if the form is kept within a vestige, how is it possible for such a hybrid to exist? Thank you in advance!" -- Shuryard, Scholar of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Nine of every ten of your words are folly and blather. Typical mortal. Vestiges? They are vulnerable; malleable; corruptible. Place no trust in your perception of a Daedra, for mortal vision is unreliable, and all is temporary."

 

“Lyranth,
I know that Aurorans and Golden Saints are different Daedra, but I was wondering if you could enlighten us on how they view each other, given how similar they are. Do they view one another as lesser copies? Or are they outright hostile towards each other?
Much appreciated, Jeancey, Loremaster of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits"

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Aurorans? Idiot tools of the Glister Witch, who intruded herself so indecently into the Master's realm of Coldharbour. The Madgod's Golden Saints are simpletons as well, but at least they have the Daedric decency to conform to a comprehensible hierarchy. As for how they view each other, since both exhibit pretensions beyond their worth, I have no doubt they regard each other with contempt. Which is, of course, entirely deserved."

 

“I have a question for his awfulness Lyranth, but I think it concerns more the relationship between some kinds of lesser Daedra than the ranks topic treated here. I hope it will be worth the attenction of your lordship. We all recognize the fierce reptile daedroth, but I've also heard of another unspecified so-called “fire daemon", that appears to be physically related to the daedroth, but it seems to be more intelligent. I've once seen something similar when I came across into the dreaded “Haunter of the Cliffs". An analogous doubt arises about the nasty banekin and the “homunculi" whereof we can read in the “A Hypothetical Treachery" script. Are they the same creatures? And is there a relationship between the dire Nightmare Courser, whereof is said to be the breed of Mehrunes Dagon, and the legendary fire-spitting Hell Hound?
With your grace, I'd want to finally acknowledge what connection there's between all those creatures, that certainly share a common origin in the planes of Oblivion." – Shanke-Naar Righthorn

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Your problem, mortal, is exemplified by your words, 'share a common origin in the planes of Oblivion.' There is nothing 'common' about, between, or across the planes of Oblivion—they are the very definition of change and variation, manifesting all possibilities, and validating all understanding and misunderstanding. You seek similarities where there are only differences, a classification of chaos. You think that, because you perceive a superficial resemblance between the outward appearance of the Nightmare Courser and the Hell Hound, that they must share a 'relationship.' Ever the mortal mind defends itself against the reality of what it cannot comprehend by the pathetic imposition of familiar patterns on entities of inconvenient hyperagonal morphology. Bah. Reflect on the fact that you have failed to understand a single word of my explanation, and burden me with no more such questions."

 

“Apart from the more commonly known Daedric Princes (and Jyggalag), are there any Princes most of the denizens of Tamriel simply don't know about? Are all Dremora bound to a Prince or are those who are, for lack of a better term, independent contractors? Are all Dremora warlike and clan-based, or are some more, for lack of a better term, civilized?" – Benyamin Soto

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “The Dremora are civilized BECAUSE we are warrior clans, ignorant mortal. In Oblivion, order and hierarchy are wrested from the roil of chaotic creatia by the imposition of the will of the mover. Thus rank and order are glory, for they exhibit strength of will. It is our nature, therefore, to serve those who exhibit even stronger will, and in their service we gain stature and reward. So our oath of fealty is ironclad—but eternity is change. As for what 'most of the denizens of Tamriel simply don't know about,' that subject is far too vast to address here."

 

“With the Planemeld raging across Tamriel, it is not difficult to encounter many different variants of Dremora. The United Explorers possess some information about the most common ones, but there are also some more exotic types, for example Kyngald, Narkynaz, Fearkyn, Hauzkyn, or Harstryl. Are all of these just ranks, or perhaps they correspond to the role played by the bearer? Or maybe they are some kind of clan names?" – Vordur Steel-Hammer, Pundit of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Dremora are named and titled to suit our own purposes, and not for the convenience of mortals; your existence is so brief, it's pointless to explain our hieronymics to you, as you lack the lifespan to comprehend their nuances. Ranks? Roles? Titles? Clans? They are all these things, though mortal minds may render them as little more than jumbles of syllables."

 

“I summon you, Lyranth Foolkiller, Wehkehpneht-kamdo, and bind you with this paleonymic. Answer, or return to the Wellspring of Oblivion from whence you came!
“Despite your people's infinitely complex hierarchy, the mortals of Tamriel know next to nothing of your clans. The Kyn seem to readily provide details on the various ranks of your foul society once they've been coaxed a little, but even the Imperial Battlemages have failed to obtain any meaningful information on clan structure. The most well-known clan prior to the Planemeld identifies itself only as 'Dremora Clan', and is led by Lord Imago Storm, Oathkin of Mehrunes Dagon. Can you shed some light on the origins of the Foolkillers and the Deathbringers, and how they came to owe allegiance to Molag Bal? What are your clan's relations like with Imago and his ilk?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “I answer, forced by the vexatious constraints of your vulgar conjuration, Legoless, but rest assured that your name shall be duly entered in my Oghma of Inevitable Retribution. Foolkiller, Deathbringer, even Dremora are but arena-terms, nicknames for use when trafficking with mortals; the real, protracted tribunymics of the Kyn are never spoken, never revealed, lest they be used as weapons against us. And no mortal has yet contrived a spell strong enough to force us to disclose them."

 

"Lyranth…well, I am certainly not pleased to see you again after all these years, yet at the same time I must say I am pleased to know you haven't been locked away and tortured for the events that led to our subsequent departure and which placed me on the path of scholarhood in the first place. But I raise the spine of digression, my dear Nirn-bounded Kyn. I have three questions that need answering my old Dremora compatriot, if you so deign to do so:
The very Essence of Oblivion is Change, and the Daedra are often considered to just be chaotic beings by amateur scholars. Despite this, the Daedra seem to have a caste system so rigid and perfect that it seems forestall any form of alteration and allows the Second Void to function on a level mortal minds aren't able to fathom. In sharp contrast, are few trustworthy texts on Aetherius seems to indicate it holds no caste system whatsoever and simply ebbs and flows without any controlling. If the Aedra are supposed to be 'Orderly' entities that help stabilize the lives of mortals, then why do they exhibit more chaotic properties than the more predictable and organized Daedra?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “I omit your second and third questions, because though you claim the title 'Vuur,' you are by no means of Inquisitor status, and therefore lack the prestige to ask more than one. Truly, the vainglory of you mortals is without limit, and only regular and harsh rebukes can keep it in check.
“As to your remaining query, it is blithering folderol, but I shall address it. First, I direct your attention to my answer to Benyamin Soto, above, as to the requirements of order when all around is chaos. We proudly adhere to a rigid caste system because we will it to be so! Second, you make the common mortal error of conflating the craven et'Ada who fled creation to Aetherius with the foolish et'Ada who sacrificed their power to create the Mundus, that theater that serves as their cemetery. But foolish or no, the so-called Divines who created the mortal theater undoubtedly wrought order from chaos through a great act of will, which is a brutal coercion we Daedra must admire. They cannot have achieved what they were aiming at, for you mortals and your 'world' are quite ridiculous, but the folly was a noble one."

 

"Ah, I see my memospore transmission was a success. You understand why I choose not to appear before a being such as yourself in the flesh. I'm no fool, as was I assume the one who earned you your title. To the questions, then.
Firstly, just how common is it for one of the Kyn to receive a field promotion, as it were? I understand your people operate off a strict military hierarchy, and that constant wars are being fought in Oblivion. This must surely mean that rapid promotions and demotions occur, presumably when a commanding officer is temporarily separated from his body through shameful defeat. Can you enlighten me on that, fearful warrior?
One other thing - your rowdy "cousins" the Xivilai. What are your opinions on them? I've heard they're physically imposing, but are difficult to train as soldiers, and only operate as mercenaries and Auxiliaries of the Princes they serve. Is there any truth to that? Also, who would win in a fight between you and a Xivilai, if you don't mind me asking? I can't resist that question, especially since I'm in a different dimension from yourself currently." ~ Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Though you are a lowly worm, I shall answer both your questions, in hopes that it will infuriate Eis Vuur Warden, so that he will seek you out 'in the flesh' to enact revenge for my blatant favoritism. (It is, after all, what I would do.) Regarding promotions and demotions: a rigid hierarchy such as we Dremora glory in defines the relationship between ranks, but does not dictate what rank an individual must fill. (Except, of course, when it does, but explaining further exceeds the scope of my willingness to answer.) In the service of a great and warlike Master, discorporation of individuals is frequent, but the hierarchy must persist! In such cases change of rank is necessary, that the web of command be maintained.
“Ah, the Xivilai. Are there any Daedra, in all the infinite worlds of Oblivion, more pompous and filled with unwarranted conceit than those impertinent and unruly louts? It is true that their combination of brute strength and low cunning makes them effective agents in certain rare situations, but for most purposes they are sadly unreliable. As you may be aware, our Master's personal guard, the Xivkyn, are the result of experiments with vestigial hybridization in the Vile Laboratory. At first blush they seem acceptable allies, but before we Dremora can fully trust them, we need to see an archaeon or two pass to give us some track record."

 

“Greetings Lyranth,
I humbly apologise if this letter did not reach you in the correct manner; I am fairly new to dealing with Daedra and hope to keep this record as small as possible. Contrary this, I am still working to regain my soul from Molag Bal, the thrice-cursed fiend.
Although I have not personally shown any affiliation with the Lord of Destruction, I have shown great fascination in Mehrunes Dagon's royal guard, the Valkyn. One member of this elite has posed me questions regarding his biology in general, and has had me suffer many hours of research and questioning of those brave enough to meet him in person; Valkyn Skoria. You see, I had always assumed that the Valkyn (and indeed, any of Dagon's favoured Daedra in general) were Dremora, like yourself. However, on observation of Skoria, he does not look anything like a Dremora; indeed, he seems to be made of the fire and brimstone making up a Flame Atronach, but built in the shape of an Imperial-Daedric-armoured soldier. So my question to you is this: What exactly is Valkyn Skoria?
Signed, Vulcanos-Draco, patron of Tamriel's House Draco"

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “A sad tale—but instructive. The Valkyn and their allied clans are too weak to serve mighty Molag Bal, and have thus had to find lesser employment with Mehrunes Dagon. The Prince of Ambition is never satisfied with his servants, and often seeks to enhance their destructive power through vestige mutation. These experiments often have unhappy side-effects for the mutants in question, and such is the case with Valkyn Skoria, a Dremora who was imbued with certain aspects of the atronachs from Infernace. This achieved Dagon's goal of making him more destructive, but in order to maintain his molten condition Skoria must ever abide in close proximity to magma. It also means that he eternally suffers the agony of immolation, as if you, 'Vulcanus-Draco,' were being roasted by the flames of that Dragon whose name you have so pretentiously assumed."

 

“Powerful Lyranth,
Hoping in a reply to my answers, I'm so humbled to have a chunk of your endless time available for me.
I know that each Prince has different Daedra among their ranks and gives them power following the Prince's preference. I'm leading a group of Sanguine cultists and, despite the disgust that this could provoke in you, I'd ask more information about the mutual relations between the single Daedroths in my Master's service.
This ignorance comes because, even if I'm quite familiar with Seducer Trilvath, for I often indulge in the Master's Demesne in Shadowfen, every time I go there to learn more about my Master, I inexplicably forget always what I had to ask her, so I would dare to ask help to you about this matter. I know what mortal said about ranks in Varieties of Daedra but I'd also know if it's that ranking true also for the Master.
I know that my question can be hardly considered not foolish. In fact maybe it is so foolish than I will not deserve your attentions except a simple reply to this letter.
Curse the Deathbringers, Kharas Fortemartello - Rise of Sanguine's Cult Leader"

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Ah, but Kharas, it is the foolish who receive my PARTICULAR attention—and I assure you, your question proves you worthy of it. But first I will answer your question before proceeding to your well-deserved punishment.
“Sanguine, of course, is one of the weaker Princes, so naturally he is served by weak Daedra: scamps, banekin, Dark Seducers, and the ogrim he uses as bouncers at his parties. This is as it must be. And it is no coincidence that his servants among mortals are … those such as yourself.
“And now, mortal, flee to the imagined security of Sanguine's Demesne, and console yourself there as you may, for your allotted lifespan nears its end."

 

“Greetings Immortal one,
Recent rumors speak of your cunning and ingenious defeat of an enemy clan, I offer my congratulation as well as my sincerest admiration. Since you have graciously consented to discuss the ranks and hierarchies of the spawn of Padomay, I humbly request your enlightenment on the nature of the Dremora Clans. Current reserach indicates that Dremora exist in the service of at least two Lords. Do there exist Dremora in the service of others? Are dremora from the same clan ever sworn to the service of different lords, and finally how do the inter-clan hierarchies interact with the rank structure imposed by the Lords themselves? I thank you for your time and such wisdom and knowledge as you care to impart." – Furoniil Telvanni, Mage's Guild Magister, Blacklight Guildhall

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “A Telvanni, eh? I will answer your questions, for the hubris of your House will then lead you to further traffic with the Daedra, a mistake I am confident you will make one time too many. Though the Dremora find their greatest glory in the service of mighty Molag Bal, not all Dremora are able enough to belong to our ranks, and must find places elsewhere. Less-fortunate Dremora can be found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon, of Vaermina, of Clavicus Vile, and some poor Caitiffs and Churls even serve Peryite. All members of a given clan serve the same Prince, and preserve (to the best of their ability) the standard Dremora hierarchies."

 

I have a new question for Lyranth, about the concept of the "demiprince" as seen in the 36 Lessons of Vivec:
"As you may know, we Redguards are devoted to our sword. But some of us prefer to choose the sword-teachings of the Barons of Move Like This and Fa-Nuit-Hen instead of the Ansei. The Dunmer I encountered say that Fa-Nuit-Hen is a Daedric 'demiprince'. I know the Daedric Princes, but what is a demiprince? Are there others like Fa-Nuit-Hen?" – Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild

Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “A demiprince is a by-blow of a Daedric Prince or Daedra Lord and a lesser entity, perhaps even a mortal. A demiprince often inherits aspects of its princely parent, but it may also be curiously lacking in characteristics such as foresight, memory, cruelty, or willfulness. Some acquire, or are given, minor realms to rule, and many of these of these pocket realities are bizarre or eccentric, even by the standards of Oblivion. Some demiprinces, such as Fa-Nuit-Hen, are known to occasionally visit the Mundus for the express purpose of interacting with mortals. As I said: eccentric."

May 15, 2015

“To Bishop Artorius Ponticus of the Temple of Akatosh. Greetings.

Given the large number of casualties due to recent calamities, the afterlife has recently drawn the attention of my studies. I have some previous knowledge of the Far Shores that claim heroes of Redguard lineage and the Aetherial realm of Sovngarde, but few other references seem to refer to the destinations of dead souls beyond Aetherius as a whole. What other realms of Aetherius do the Divines call their followers to upon death, and what ceremonies are necessary to ensure safe passage for the deceased?

Respectful regards, Rohais of Auridon"

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “Though other faiths may have fanciful names for the realm of the afterlife, to us in the Chantry of Akatosh it is simply known as Heaven. We followers of the Eight rely upon the Consecrations of Arkay to protect a soul in its heavenward journey."

 

"Dear Bishop Ponticus,

I would be humbled if you could explain a question that has baffled me for years and still gnaws at my curiosity. I am just a mage and a scholar and I have not the insight for such spiritual matters. As far as I know, both the priests of the Divines and the Altmer of Summerset agree that Akatosh and the Elven Auri-El are indeed the same deity. And yet again, I fail to see similarities between the Golden Eagle and the Time Dragon. I have yet to encounter any depiction or mention of Auri-El ever being depicted as a dragon, or Akatosh being in some way inspired by or related to Auri-El. Could you explain how the two deities are related and if one precedes the other? Are they, in fact, the same God of Time so many of us pray to?

Yours, Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte"

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “All but the most dogmatic of theologians agree that the Imperial Akatosh and the Elven Auri-El are one and the same, though the Elves' worship of Auri-El is skewed by their unfortunate racial biases. But Auri-El is indubitably the God of Time for both the Altmer and Bosmer, and in their creation myths we easily recognize the acts of our own Father Akatosh. As to your penultimate question, since both Akatosh and Auri-El are credited with commencing the flow of time, by definition neither could 'precede' the other."

 

"Dear Bishop Ponticus,

I would be humbled if you could answer a question that I dare not share with my friends and kin. It does not pertain to almighty Akatosh, but to the loving and forgiving Mara. It is always a joy to see young couples exchange their wedding vows in the temples of the Divine Mother, but I have not witnessed a wedding between two men or two women. Do Mara and her priests allow the union between two men or two women, and what is their opinion of such relations? Does Mara embrace all, or is it that two men or mer of the same gender should not marry?

Yours, Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte"

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “Mother Mara loves all her children regardless of form. She cherishes their souls, not their bodies, and it is the souls that are united when two mortals take the Pledge of Mara."

 

"You're a Bishop of Akatosh is that so? Well, there is two things that I don't understand about this aberrant 'Divine' of yours:
As a Singer I study both Words and Swords. And if my etymology serves me well, the name of "Akatosh" is constituted of the Aldmeri 'Aka' meaning 'Dragon' and the word 'Tosh' from an obscure Nedic dialect, meaning 'Dragon' too. So 'Akatosh' means 'Dragon Dragon'. But when I look to your representations of Akatosh, I see a bicephalous god with a dragon head and a human head, why not two dragon heads as suggested by his name?

The second question is: why do you consider that Akatosh is the 'first of the Divines'? The time is not that important. I mean, even if the Nords are dumb, their mythology makes sense with the role of Alduin, in a way. In other hand your mythology seems totally artificial. Well, I guess it's because of that crazy 'prophet' Marukh who destroyed all your Nedic heritage, so you had to build a new mythology out of nowhere. But still, I had to ask.
Seriously, you Cyrodiil folks are fools.

Tobr'a" Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild"

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “Though you bluster, Restless Iszara, I sense that your questions are sincere, so I will overlook your irreverence, the better to tend to lessening your ignorance.

“Your etymology is not without merit, but it oversimplifies a matter of some complexity. Lord Akatosh wears both a dragon's face and a human's to symbolize the Covenant with the Empire of Man, that covenant made between the Divine and St. Alessia when the humanity of Cyrodiil was freed from the Elves. And the linguists will tell you that, to the Nedes, 'Tosh' means not just 'Dragon,' but also (depending on usage or placement) either 'Tiger' or 'Time.' Thus: Akatosh the Time Dragon.

“Your second question also has two answers. Akatosh was the first of the Divines to assume form in the Beginning Place; his was the example that all others followed. And, of course, as the god who set time running forward, he is the Prime Mover of Duration, and thus First of the Divines on that basis."

 

"Ah, good Bishop. It is an honor to be in correspondence with one who keeps the true Imperial faith in these benighted times. I hope you can forgive me for applying scholarly curiosity to sacred subjects, but nonetheless I have a pertinent question regarding the faith and the faithful. I'm curious as to the origins of the Imperial worship of Akatosh himself, and I assume you must be an expert on the theology surrounding him, so I'm curious to hear your input. I was dutifully reading a tome from the library at Wayrest, called "Shezarr and the Divines", which suggests that the Nords who assisted Alessia in the formation of the Eight Divines church were reluctant to include Akatosh in the Alessian pantheon, because he was an Elven god. I find this odd for two reasons. Firstly, I was under the impression the Aldmeri name for the Time God was always Auri-El, who is depicted as an Eagle or a tall Altmer with a crown. Secondly, some further research into the heathen faith of the ancient Nords suggests that some form of Dragon idol was imported from Atmora in ancient days. Could this primitive, no doubt Pagan god be some brutal, misunderstood iteration of our beloved Akatosh, or does this idol represent some savage barbarian god best left forgotten? I'm fascinated by the possibilities, and eagerly await your response, good sir."

Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “The Nords who aided Alessia in the Slave Rebellion were, as you put it, 'reluctant to include Akatosh' in the new pantheon not only because he was worshiped by the Elves, albeit under another name. Even more important was the Nords' fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Dragon God of Time, whom they conflate with their myth of Alduin, the Dragon Who Eats the World. This was, indeed, a 'brutal misunderstanding,' an error that lives on even today in the beliefs of the less educated folk of Skyrim. As the book you refer to explains, the Nords were only mollified when Alessia agreed to adopt their beloved Shor into the pantheon as Shezarr, the Missing God. And this was appropriate, as it both recognized the importance of Shezarr, and emphasized his absence."

 

“Salutations Bishop Ponticus,

My question to you is: how the state church deals with the bastardizations of the worship of the Eight Divines, such as those practiced by the Khajiit, or the worship of the Living Gods of the Dunmeri Tribunal?

Does the Church acknowledge such variation in the faith and, if so, how does it reconcile these differences in worship?"

The lonely Ayleid

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “Reconcile differences in worship? What a quaint idea. The world abounds in ignorance and error, and it is the task of the Faithful to set this right. The Covenants instruct us in the proper ways to worship Akatosh and the other seven Divines. To teach other peoples the truth of the Covenants is one of the Three Purposes of the Chantry of Akatosh."

 

“Dear Artorius Ponticus.

My question revolves around the "Daedric Prince" Meridia.
Meridia is quite a unique entity amongst the Daedric Princes, if she can even be called one.
For one, Meridia seems to possess many Anuic qualities that are common amongst Aedra and many Aetherian et'Ada but not Daedric Princes. Furthermore, Meridia was on Nirn during its creation, and left alongside Magnus, in fact, according to some research she was one of the
Magna Ge, and was also related to the Light in Ayleid mythology. I have interacted with her and her servants before, and she does not seem to have ill will against Nirn or its inhabitants. In fact, she seems willing to assist mortals, particularly against those who corrupt life.

I would like to hear your opinion of why she is considered a Daedric Prince: is it because she created a realm in Oblivion out of the Sun's light instead of returning to Aetherius? Also is Magnus considered a Daedra as well? He did, like Meridia, not give his powers up when Nirn was being formed."

Melanion, Templar of Stendarr and Meridia

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “I assume from your name, Melanion, that you are some breed of Elf, which may help to explain how you have fallen into such heinous error. Meridia may speak fair to mortals when she wishes to use them or command their obedience, but here in Cyrodiil we remember her for what she was: a patron and mentor to the Heartland High Elves, and complicit in the bondage and oppression of as much of humanity as the Ayleids could enslave. Her honeyed words hide devious purposes. Heed instead the words of the Covenants, and trust not in the promises of Daedra!

“As regards Magnus, he is not considered one of the Eight Divines, for though he gave much, he did not give all. When he withdrew from the Mundus, he left mortals the gift of magic, a dubious contribution that does the world at least as much ill as good—however, there is no doubt as to his Aedric nature. But I invite you to come to Kvatch, Melanion, that we may discuss these matters further, and clear up your many misconceptions."

 

“Letter - To Be Delivered Posthaste Via Courier On Horseback To:
Bishop Artorius Ponticus
Cathedral of Akatosh
City of Kvatch, Province of Cyrodiil
Remainder Of Delivery Fee (12 Coins) Enclosed

Most Reverend Bishop Ponticus,
I was very pleased to hear that you had offered to answer questions regarding the nature of worship of the Eight Divines throughout Tamriel (may it be filled with the blessings of Akatosh and all the divines). Do forgive me, Father, if I become too wordy. Firstly, I would like to know about the liturgies which you yourself celebrate in the holy cathedral. Is there some certain ritual performed at the central altar in the cathedral? How is the laity involved in worship? Are there certain liturgies for certain days of the week, or of certain times of the day? Do you engage in worship reading from or utilizing certain texts? Secondly, I would like to know about the personal devotions of your flock and congregation. Do they worship in their homes? Do they pray upon beads, or perhaps using devotional books? Do you yourself prescribe certain prayers or devotional acts? Thank you kindly for your attention.
Praise be to Akatosh and all the Divines,
Abeachy"

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “In every church, chapel, or cathedral where Akatosh is worshiped, his mass is held exactly at noon, as determined by the presiding priest's Buoyant Sundial floating in the Vessel of the Hours. Except on days holy to Akatosh the mass is brief, consisting of a reading of the appropriate daily liturgy from the Augmented Covenants, after which the priest leads the congregation in the Orison of Gratitude.

“Home worship, or personal worship when one cannot attend mass, is even simpler: the layman of Akatosh merely pauses for a full minute to count out the Seconds of Requital, thereby giving thanks for his or her mortal life and every hour it endures, however few."

 

"Greetings, my dear Bishop. There has been a matter weighing down on my heart for some time now, and you being a worshipper of the Akatosh may finally result in some closure on this subject – it is about a possible connection between the Daedric Prince Peryite and the Dragon God of Time. Some months ago, a grizzled gentleman of the Imperial College mentioned to me that worshippers of the Taskmaster regard his likeness to the Dragon Gold as some form of unknowable jest from the beginning of time. Both are also represented by dragons, and where Akatosh upholds the Aedric Order, Peryite's sphere of Natural Order seems to do the same for the Daedra. I have also noticed that statues of the two used by priests and cultists alike often only have a few minor derivations. Are these similarities simple coincidences, or is there in fact some hidden connection between these two immortals? As Akatosh's Bishop, what are your thoughts about this?"

– Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “Daedra again! I will never understand people's fascination with those hateful and malicious demons. They are false gods, paragons of selfish willfulness, incapable of the sacrifice the Aedra made to create our world, unreliable of purpose and unworthy of worship.

“And yet some dare compare mighty and beneficent Akatosh to one of these so-called 'Princes' solely because the demon has stolen a Dragon's form and uses it as his symbol. If it were done out of admiration one could almost excuse it, but admiration is not a trait of the Daedra. This is theft, pure and simple, an attempt to gain unearned power and majesty by adopting another's guise. The Taskmaster? Pfah! Say, rather, The Impostor!

“We shall speak no more of this matter."

 

“In the standard Tamrielic worship, in specific the cults to Dibella, how do they go on about picking their Sibyl, or is this selected by divine inspiration via Dibella herself or otherwise?"

Valaria Aritus, Apprentice of the Mages Guild.

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “How the Sibyl of a House of Dibella is selected is one of their cult mysteries—if I knew the answer, I couldn't tell you, as I would be sworn to secrecy! It is said by some that Dibella herself chooses her Sibyls, communicating her choice to a congregation through some form of divine revelation. Others, myself included, deem this rather unlikely, as the Self-Sacrificed Gods are no longer active presences in our world. Father Akatosh might be considered the most 'active' Aedra of all, as we sense him every second in the passage of time—but if I, a Bishop of Akatosh, have never communed with my Divine, then (with no disrespect to the Lady of Love) how likely is it that a Sibyl of Dibella can commune with hers? Not at all. No, not likely at all."

 

“To Artorius Ponticus, Bishop of Akatosh at the Temple in Kvatch,
Every Cyrodiil knows about the Covenant between Father Akatosh and St. Alessia, but this amateur scholar does not understand how Molag Bal could bypass this agreement between the Divine and Al-Esh when the Daedra Prince destroyed Gil-Var-Delle in the final year of the First Era. Could you explain in terms that even the simplest of Nords could understand?"

Quintillius Trebates of the Grand Library of Leyawiin

Bishop Artorius Ponticus says, “That challenge may be beyond me, Honorable Quintillius, as the matter is … complicated. The issue of protecting Nirn from the depredations of the Daedra is not simply binary, with Tamriel either defended or undefended. The Mundus is multiplex, and both contains and is surrounded by the unnumbered planes of Oblivion. This is paradox, but it is true nonetheless. The Covenant of Akatosh is sacred and peerless, of course … but there may be ways by which it could be weakened, or even, unthinkably, sundered.

“The God of Time may be First of the Aedra, but there are many other powers in the Mundus, and others we will not speak of in the Beyond. Some defend us; some contest with our defenders; and even the acts of mortals may not be inconsequential. We have unyielding faith that Father Akatosh defends us—but still we pray in times of peril."

 

May 30, 2015
 

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “So many, many questions! I am honored by your desires for knowledge and advice, but forgive me for being unable to answer every question—for Dancing Day is only a few weeks off, and there is still much to prepare!"

 

"Dear Augustine Viliane, Esteemed Sibyl of Dibella

I write to you in the hopes that you will guide me in my struggle to win the heart of an elven lad I have laid eyes upon. He is of Altmeri stock and recently arrived from fair Summerset to work at our Mage's Guild librarium. Dear Fellandril seems more friendly and informal than most his kin, and yet my Breton passion and charm do not suffice. There is fire in his eyes, but keeps that typical Altmeri aloofness. I have failed to win him over with our Breton poetry and witful remarks, so I ask you - how does one court the golden-skinned beauties of Summerset? How do I breach that frigid countenance?
Yours sincerely, Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte, of the Wayrest Mage's Guild"

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “The High Elves are famous for their interest in lineage and heritage. If you are one of the Dumontes of Gavaudon, your family is known for having considerable Direnni contributions to your bloodline. You might mention that casually in Fellandril's hearing and see if it piques his interest. Or, as you are in Wayrest, you might stop by the Temple sometime, and we can discuss it personally."

 

“Most Esteemed Sybil of Dibella,

To put my question bluntly, what is Dibella's stance on more than two lovers in a single relationship? Right now, I am not in any relationship of the sort, nor do I have any inclination to start one.

Until I have my answer, however, my scholarly curiosity shall not be sated.

Especially in these troubled times, it seems that people would seek companionship with as many as they can, and what stronger bond is there between people than that of love?

Perhaps I am being arrogant in my speculation, but it seems to me that a trio or quad of lovers would be even more content than a pair.

After all, more people means more love, right?

I beg your forgiveness if I am displaying the ignorance of a brute.

Nevertheless, I am curious as to what Dibella's judgement is on this.

Thank you for your time.

Divines be with you, Theophilus Drafonius

PS The first letter of each sentence is not mere coincidence. We know where it is, and how to get it."

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “Ah, but the Passion Dancer bids us remember that quality of love is of the essence, not quantity. If the dance transports us, what matter the number of dancers?

“As to the other matter: see me Fredas night, after the service."

 

“Most Venerable Augustine Viliane, Sibyl of Dibella at the Wayrest Temple,

I am a loyal follower of the ancient traditions of my people, but I respect those of yours. I love my homeland, but I wish Morwha would have one more hand to comfort my grief.

I know Dibella says: Open your heart to the noble secrets of art and love. Treasure the gifts of friendship. Seek joy and inspiration in the mysteries of love. But I wonder if those noble secrets of love are open to men as they are open to women. I wonder if the Eight Divines are different enough for me to change.

I fell in love with him when I was fourteen. We were friends since we were five. Since I first saw him in that way, I have never told him anything about it. We share the food, the steel and the blood, but I fear to share my feelings. I have killed and I have bled for him. But we are nobles and our families cannot waste a profitable marriage. So, I ask you and I ask Dibella: Could I seek joy and inspiration in the body of my beloved companion? Could such a strange love be acceptable to Dibella's eyes? Could I open my heart to him freely as I wish without fear? Could he love me?

Respectful regards, Baron Yashu al-Aydin of Herne"

 

“Dear Madame Viliane, may this letter finds you healthy and lighthearted.

As an Argonian hatched and raised in Daggerfall, I have a fairly good understanding of how most see intimate relationships with those that are deemed uncivilized. Being newly matured in such a place has been... er... lonely; until recently that is, but now I find myself on the other side of the debate.

Four months ago I was exploring just off the shores of Glenumbra looking for any sunken item that I could sell, when i overheard the loud cries of a harpy; I came ashore to help. To my surprise I did not find some astray tourist under attack by a flock, but the reverse. A single harpy Matron -the ones with dark feathers and jewelry- was being robbed by three Redguards not just of her finery, BUT OF HER EGGS! As a male Argonian this sent me into a rage. After driving off the trio, the Matron had rewarded me... quite affectionately. I have been visiting her each week and each time I leave she seems even sadder to see me go.

I have made up my mind to make this relationship permanent; while I know how others will see it; i'll willingly take their insults, but my greatest concern is that the Goddess of Affection will see our love as blasphemous or tainted. Am I over-reacting or must I live in fear of the Divine?

Sincerely: Dives-For-Treasure"

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “The heart seeks what it desires, noble Baron and lusty Argonian, regardless of the chest it beats within. If your affection is pure and untainted by coercion, it is blessed in the eyes of Dibella. For has she not said, 'No matter the seed, if the shoot is nurtured with love, will not the flower be beautiful?'"

 

“Hail Augustine Viliane,

I am Alaesir Morellian, a humble Breton Apprentice within the Camlorn Mages' Guild, and I beg for your aid. I am besotted by the beauty of two of my Masters: one an Altmer with the most noble bearing and countenance; the other a Dunmer whose red eyes and grey, ashen skin deeply intrigue me for their exotic beauty. I think on them every night hoping for inspiration from Dibella as to how to win their favour, but this has only resulted in complaints from the Guildhouse servants that I ought to wash my own bedclothes from now on...

How should I court the noble Estirdalin given that Altmer, generally, view Men as inferior and are allegedly so concerned about purity of bloodline?

I have turned to my fellow Apprentices for advice but they have no more idea of how to court and win the affections of these Mer than they do about casting a competent healing spell. They tell me that High Elves must surely be “stuffy and pompous" within the bedchamber and that I ought to focus on Brelayne Hllervu given the reputation of Dark Elves. Is there any truth in that?

How should I go about winning her favour? She doesn't seem to like any other races very much, persisting in calling out “N'Wah" and “S'wit" at anyone who wanders past her study.

Kind regards, Alaesir Morellian."

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “A dilemma indeed! Regarding the High Elf, see my answer to Enchanter Dumonte above—perhaps you can intrigue your fair Altmer with something along those lines. As for the Dark Elf, I can confirm their reputation for an appetite for amorous dalliance from personal experience. If she wears her neck-scarf with the point on the left, toward her heart, this may be taken as a signal that she is open to approach. But if it points to the right, beware.

“More to the point, as it were, is where YOUR true feelings lie, young Alaesir. Consult your own heart on this matter—and don't be too shy to speak to our Camlorn Sibyl, Lady Siquine."

 

"Hello Sibyl, I have a question for you:

After reading various nordic narratives from our libraries, it seems that the old Nords were practicing the polygamy, notably in the famous recital of the Five Hundred Companions during the Feast of the Dead, where the Companions are cited with their numerous husbands and/or wives.

But I fail to find any modern reference about it. I wondering; what's happenned to this practice? Is the polygamy still a thing among the Nords?" Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “I'm afraid that you have fallen into a common misconception about the early Nords, one based on their use of the term 'War-Wives.' This phrase is used interchangeably with 'Shield-Sisters,' and refers to the Nords' women warriors, rather than to wedded wives. Though a War-Wife might be married to a Shield-Brother, or even to a non-warrior, such relationships were (mostly) monogamous."

 

"Ah, dearest Sybil of our Blessed Lady. It's nice to converse with somebody local for a change, especially one so venerated as yourself. My question for you pertains less to courtship rituals and more towards the perception of the Lady herself in High Rock. Recently, I took a trip to Daggerfall to visit the various alchemy and enchanting shops in that fair city, and stopped by the Chapel of the Divines to listen to a sermon while I was there. I was shocked and dismayed to hear the priest tell his flock to "beware" the "charms of Dibella" or some such. He had spoken so highly of the other seven Divines, and I found it odd that the Lady of Love, Beauty, Art and Music would be vilified in such a fashion. Is she not one of the blessed Eight? Did Akatosh not choose the others to serve at His side? What should I tell people who imply that the Lady is somehow craven or unworthy of our praise? I feel particularly strongly about this, as it was the cult of Dibella which brought me into the faith of the Divines in the first place. I want people to understand how kind and benevolent she is. Will you help me to find the words, O Sybil?" – Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “By Her Lips! You've been listening to the sermons of Father Pitof of the Daggerfall Cathedral, haven't you? The pious father is devoted to theology, but as I have reason to know, he is not passionate only about our duty to worship the Eight. But it doesn't do, after one night of worship to Dibella, to get all proprietary about one's ardor-partner. I fear I spoke more sternly than he liked, and may have sent him back to Daggerfall with a grudge against Our Lady and those who serve her. Hopefully, with time, he will find his way back to joy."

 

“Faithful Sibyl, with the Kothringi people all but gone from this world, a great cultural gap has appeared in the depopulated mangroves of their native Argonia. As a direct link to Dibella, surely you must feel the goddess's pain from the loss of some of her most devout worshippers. We know that the Lady of Love was held in high regard by the Kothringi, but historians regretfully know very little of their courtship traditions. Can you speak on their behalf, that we might honour their memory?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “The Kothringi, though tragically extinct, have not been gone for long, and are well-remembered by their former neighbors. Many of the Lustrous Folk lived in the vicinity of Gideon in the region known as Murkmire. It is my understanding that, due to recent trade agreements, the road between Gideon and Leyawiin will soon be reopened, and traffic with the old Kothringi homelands will then resume. When that occurs, I will forward your interesting question to my Sister Sibyl in Gideon—though if your curiosity is so great, you might even choose to make the journey yourself."

 

“Dear Augustine Viliane, Sybil of Dibella

I have a question of a rather unnatural,perhaps to some even disgusting, nature. No, I'm not trying to court a Daedra. A certain young Bosmer girl caught my eye a couple of weeks ago, mainly because she managed to drink half of the Nords in the Horker's Tusk tavern under the table without passing out. I was instantly smitten, but she kept ignoring my advances. Then one day, as I left the inn I saw her take someone along in an alley. She had a strange air about her, so I followed them. Moments later I saw her, bent over a hapless victim, piercing red eyes and skin white as moonlight. Ysmir's beard! I'd been trying to flirt with a vampire! And yet, even though I know what she is, it doesn't change my feelings for her. Would Dibella shun me for my abnormal affection, or does she believe in love for all, regardless of form? How should does someone court a vampire without getting killed?" – Jonnlur the Willful, Nord

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “Alas, Jonnlur, such a path is perilous, and if you choose to follow it, you are more likely to need the advice of a Priest of Arkay than of a Sibyl of Dibella. For Undeath is corruption, and one who willingly remains a vampire and feeds on others is impure of spirit. I have spoken to Father Rangouze, the leading Priest of Arkay here in Wayrest, and he says that the pull you feel toward this Wood Elf is not love, nor even joyous lust, but a darker urge that you must try to put behind you. Be not willful, but rather strong, and turn away, for you are in danger, both body and soul."

 

My Lady Sybil,

I write to you, in hope of clarity on a matter of faith and, perhaps, guidance as I seek to find my partner in life.

I am blessed with two loving parents, thank Mara. I was raised by my mother in the traditional Altmeri way and on the whole my Nordic father accepted this. Unfortunately, this concord broke down whenever the subject of Dibella was raised. As you'll know, Dibella is missing from the Altmeri pantheon. Yet Father would insist Dibella's patronage was required when seeking love. I'm told he was a patron of the Dibellan Arts but the less spoken of this, the better.

When I asked Mother about this apparent courtship requirement, she would say, “Jephre is the god of natural beauty. He told the tale of Creation that all may know their role and form. He blessed the Altmer and the Summerset Isles with beauty unsurpassed. He taught the birds to sing and inspired even the stars with his songs. Dibella is a poorly understood song-echo of Jephre, misinterpreted by foolish Nords who care only for the pleasures of the body and nothing of the soul. Seek Jephre's blessing and you'll find your soulmate".

Meanwhile, father would say, “Jephre? Shor's bones! A pale imitation of the full-figured Dibella, fit only for milk-drinkers! The prudish elves are so found of blathering about the loftiness of their gods because their heads are in the clouds. Seek Dibella's counsel to satisfy your urges."

My own suspicion is that both gods are aspects of the same deity. Whether one is an aspect of the other or a 'more accurate' Aedric interpretation seems pure semantics. I say Auri-El, you say Akatosh. Of course, I take nothing for granted so I invoke both whenever pursuing any creative endeavour or partaking in any courtship ritual. Yet, despite this careful piety, I remain single!

Tell me, dear Sybil, am I going about this the right way? Or am I doomed to an eternity alone because I hedge my bets? Who can understand the will of the Aedra? What do they WANT from us? The panic is literally spewing from me! I can't take it anymore! Must… find… smelling salts…

Yours desperately,

Lady Aereda, Author of “Lamentations of Phynaster: A Study in the Grief Symbolism of Hawks"

Sibyl Augustine Viliane says, “My Lady Aereda, you are an academic, and I fear you have fallen into the scholar's trap of thinking too hard about a matter where thinking is of little value. 'Careful piety' may have its uses (though I admit, none come to mind at the moment), but it is standing between you and finding your heart's desire. Seek beauty that gives you joy, and don't concern yourself with its theological origins."

June 6, 2015
 

“To Haskill,

I have found myself wondering if there is some reason the Mad God is so fond of cheese. Is there a significant reason for this? I mean no disrespect, of course, but I find the taste of cheese to be, well, disgusting. Does the Mad God just like the taste of cheese, or is it something deeper? I apologize if I offend you by saying this, but one must truly be mad to love the foulness of... cheese. I am merely a curious Nord with far too much time on her hands, but I am hoping you will have the extra time to answer my brief - and hopefully not insulting - question."

Sincerely, Aniki Frostward of Windhelm

Chamberlain Haskill says, “I am not, myself, fond of cheese, and cannot explain the Master's predilection for it. Unless he does it just to be irritating. Sometimes he does things just to be irritating."

 

“Hi! I think I'm not mad, but may you read the following like I am so.

How is it possible to a Daedra Lord, an et'Ada spirit of chaos, to be the Prince of Order like is Jyggalag, the antagonist of Sheogorath?

And another question for you: Have you ever considered that all of us, et'Ada and mortals, are nothing but characters of a game being played by unknown entities from outside the Aurbis? Maybe then that Sheogorath is the amused voice of the game creators.

And another more question for you: Is the cheese a corpse of milk?" - Shanke-Naar Righthorn

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Oh, yes. Very funny. In my position I get a lot of this sort of thing, as you might expect. You might even wonder if I'm tired of it yet. I'd wager that, if you thought hard, you could come up with the answer. Maybe.

“Nonetheless, the Master has given me the task of answering these questions, so I shall duly answer them. In my experience, Daedric Princes are much like cheese: some of them are hard, some of them are soft, and some of them have blue veins running through their substance. Thus: Jyggalag.

“And if we are nothing but characters in an elaborate game played by unknown entities, well, why aren't I having any fun?"

 

“Dear Haskill (or otherwise servant of Sheggorath, yes?),

I was wondering. In my people's Pantheon - the Khajiit Pantheon, yes, it seems my people believe in Sheogorath, or, well, Sheggorath as we call him as a Mad God, understandably. Do my people even worship Sheggorath? Or is he just labelled as a bad omen, and, why is his name put in unison for the drug addiction that comes with Skooma and Moon Sugar, eh? I do not understand - but this is probably because I am not a very cultured Khajiit. Cultured in my own terms, that is. I am cultured in, like. Stabbing Daedra.

I hope you fade into the Dark Behind the World, Vadanni"

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Ah, the cats. I have never liked cats personally, but the Mad God enjoys their company, I suppose because they're inexplicable and unpredictable. I am told that the Khajiit revere both the Aedra and the Daedra, worshiping whichever Divine seems most applicable to whatever they're praying for or swearing by. But then, to a cat, immediate personal convenience is everything. In fact, you're not even paying attention anymore, are you?"

 

“Are the mortal inhabitants of the Shivering Isles subject to the effects of Time? Those who have departed Tamriel under Lord Sheogorath's wing seem to live for centuries in between Greymarches if the ravings of madmen are to be believed. Knowledge of their fate might help assuage the grief of certain members of the Mages Guild who have had recent dealings with the Madgod."

Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Oh, of course, 'Doyen,' because assuaging the grief of mortals is so important to me. Let me be clear: inhabitants of the Shivering Isles are affected by Time, but we are not subject to it. We are subjects of Lord Sheogorath, who subjects us to whatever subjects he is in the mood to subjudicate. Because Time is subjective."

 

“Ah, the transmission worked. Lots of interference in the transliminal barriers today. Haskill, is it? I'm led to believe you're the Chamberlain to Lord Sheogorath himself. I imagine this is an administrative office that handles a wide array of interesting duties. I'm not sure if the following inquiry is within your area of expertise, but I've been curious about some of the inhabitants of Sheogorath's realm for some time. I acquired a tome a while back. (Well, "acquired" is a rather mundane way of describing a book popping out of thin air from a tiny portal and landing on my head hard enough to knock me out for the better part of an hour, but there are a lot of unusual things happening during this Planemeld.)

Getting back to the point, I found the subject matter fascinating. This tome seems to have originated in the realm you administrate for your Lord, and concerns some of the native flora and fauna. Several species were named which are quite alien to my home sphere of Nirn, such as Elytra and Grummites. Interestingly enough, despite inhabiting a Daedric realm, these creatures are said to lay eggs and reproduce in much the same way mortal animals of Mundus do. I found this quite strange, as I've always been taught that only Daedra live in Oblivion realms, and that Daedra do not reproduce as we do. Was my research misleading, or are these creatures not Daedra at all? If not, where do they originate and why do they live within your Lord's sphere?"

- Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Chamberlain Haskill says, “You don't know very much about Oblivion realms, 'Legate,' if you don't know that they reflect, and are indeed physical manifestations of, the Princes who rule over them. My master is the Prince of Madness, yet for some reason you expect his realm to follow the same rules that regulate your own bland little world. Do you wonder why I have no interest in visiting Tamriel? It's an act of mad charity that Lord Sheogorath pays it any attention at all.

“What is a Legate, anyway? Is it like a Doyen? I hope not."

 

“Scribed verbatim by Svarnor Far-Traveled, on request of his brother Svalti of the same clan. Svarnor apologizes for his brother's condition and hopes this letter will not influence his application into the service of Arkay.

Dear Haskill, Chamberlain of He Who Is Seen In Storms, bringer of many fears and destroyer of pleasure, may his name be worshipped above all else,

I find of late a new and all-encompassing fear has encompassed me. This fear is the terror that perhaps my ears only imagine and the Mad God speaks to me not. After pondering this new and beautiful nightmare for thirty-three days, I must ask of you, please answer to me this- with all the thousands of fools in the world, believing themselves insane when they have merely said the wool and offered up words and cabbages whilst eating soul gems, how can one truly be sure they listen to the whispers echoing from the Madhouse? The neighbors whisper to, almost as often as they listen, and the walls are thin.

What, I ask you, Haskill, Secretary of He Who Laughs in Terror, is the method with which I can attain most perfect worry? How can I master and grow in my recognition of the things which are dangerous, and the people whom I must Not Trust? Of all the thousand worships of the Bearded Man, the Mad Star, which is the trustworthy one? There are fools in the world who would think to behave in such ways as would make even the most yellow seem purpled and I will not be one of them. I have searched the libraries, but one cannot trust what is written in books- books even can be traps for the mind even as the nightmares can release them into perfect awareness.

Please, Haskill, Doorman of the Shivering Isles, please answer me. I have searched for so long to become perfect in what others call madness and fully aware of the perils which surround me. I must know- I must must must know if I have been praying and listening and seeing a farce. What of the Khajiit who live beyond the walls? Their Skooma Cat provides for them, and they see him sometimes too. Must I warn them, or watch them? Depart with them, or dispose of them? I know you, Haskill, are not perfect in your awareness. Only He is, but I beg to know things to know things to know things to know things YES THAT IS FOUR, BROTHER DO NOT INTERRUPT back to the letter oh Haskill please inform me of the answers to which I need to know the questions to listen to the dreams more closely while waking and to enter to the entrance without missing and being trapped by the deceivers they are here deceiving me always I hear their whispers in the darkness when the torches burn and in the light when they are silenced.

Sign it Svalti Far-Traveled NO DO NOT SAY YOU WROTE IT BROTHER WHAT ARE YOU WRITING NOW-

At this point, my brother collapsed into a furious fit and began to tear at the walls. I am writing this now, several hours later. I hope that it would be healing for my brother to receive a response from one who he evidently holds so close to his heart and, in addition, if this is (as I suspect) a hoax and a scam and this will go no further than some shack outside Bruma, I wish you to know that if my brother does not receive a response, we will personally hunt down those responsible for the lies and punish them severely in honor of the Lord of the Never There, king of the True-Seers and Laughing-Terrors and the Two-Faced Men. I hope that my application to study the service of Arkay is not influenced by this"

Svarnor Far-Traveled, with assistance from Svalti of the same name.

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Here, Svarnor, this never fails. Tell your brother, 'Svalti, you must eat the eggplant. You know which one I mean. You can trust me, because I'm your friend. Not like the Others.'"

 

“Greetings Haskill, Chamberlain to the Mad God.

Rumors and stories abound regarding the deeds of your master, but there are some hidden things I would dare to inquire about.

Firstly, I have heard whispers of a Daedric Prince of Order, long since lost. As this being must be considered the embodiment of all things abhorred by your lord, I wonder if you have any knowledge of this “Jyggalag"? Has Sheogorath banished him? Or is he perhaps merely uninterested with the disorder that makes Tamriel?

Secondly, I must ask about your own nature. In a realm defined by madness of all sorts, you seem to be a most sane being. Indeed, your nature seems rather opposite to that of your lord. Who and what are you? I have heard some say that you are in fact an aspect of the Mad God, as Barbas is to Clavicus Vile. Personally, I think it more likely that you are simply (if that word applies to anything related to Sheogorath) the steward of the Shivering Isles. Still, the rumor is interesting."

Sincerely as is possible when discussing the Mad God, Takrios the Indomitable

Chamberlain Haskill says, “I have had similar questions about my 'nature' from Alessandra, Legoless, and an Unnamed One, so I suppose I must address the matter. I am a Vestige, all that remains of a mortal from your world who 'mantled' Sheogorath during an event in a previous time. As a fragment, my memory of the event is … fragmentary. I am hazy on the entire concept of 'mantling,' but it had something to do with Lord Sheogorath, myself, and this Jyggalag of whom you speak. I have asked the Mad God to explain it to me, but he just laughs and says maybe he'll tell me about it 'next year,' whatever that means.

“Sometimes the Master irritates even me. I can't remember why I put up with it, actually."

 

“Most esteemed Haskill,

It is an honour to speak to one who knows the Mad God so intimately. Although I would have preferred an audience with the enigmatic Sheogorath himself, I suppose your deep knowledge of him would suffice. I have heard from many a people how much your Lord delights in the noble taste of cheese, although I have also heard he enjoys flaying his guests first and sipping their blood at later. Chilling. But let us focus on the cheese! What kind of mortal cheese, if any, does your lord enjoy? We Bretons are famous for our cheeses, and I would be most interested to learn if your Master has tasted the delicacies of High Rock. Do tell him of our wonderful La Chèvre Loren and the Langre du Ollere - they are best relished with a cup of blackberry wine! But enough of my ramblings! Please, relay my question to your Lord. If you would like a sample of our cheeses, I would be delighted to send you a batch when I return to my mansion in Gavaudon, provided there is a way to do so."
Yours excitedly, Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte, of the Wayrest Mages Guild

Chamberlain Haskill says, “Your application for a position in the Shivering Isles has been accepted, and you will start on Morndas as High Fromage Sommelier to Lord Sheogorath. Bring your own grapefruit spoon, and don't wear too much cologne—he hates that."

 

“I pen this letter with little patience or love for yourself or the Daedric Prince that you serve, corner of the House of Troubles and purveyor of chaos that he is.

However, I must confess, despite my loyalty to the Three and my boundless disdain for your domain, I do have one question burning in the back of my mind.

Many years ago, in my younger years, I had the gross misfortune of finding myself within the Shivering Isles after a Fredas night involving a shrine of Sheogorath, a copy of the Lusty Argonian Maid and more sujamma than I'd care to admit. Upon awaking back on Tamriel (how or why I was transported away from this dread realm I cannot say), I began studying the various texts and writings that discuss Sheogorath's most foul domain.

While doing so, I discovered that the Shivering Isles are also variously referred to as the Madhouse and the Asylums. I then came to wonder - is the Shivering Isles the name for Sheogorath's entire plane, or could it stretch even farther? Are the Shivering Isles perhaps a mere region, a single territory, of a larger Madhouse, a greater collection of Asylums? And how great a length, exactly, does the bewildering realm of Sheogorath truly span?

I thank you in advice for any reply as I excuse myself to atone for this sinful correspondence by saying my devotions to the Three,"

- Neldam Indrano

Chamberlain Haskill says, “My best advice to you, friend Neldam, is to go on wondering about this, devoting ever more effort to it until it dominates your every waking moment, and everything you do is overshadowed by your need to find the answer. Go do that.

“Because then, one day, you will be in a position to find out for yourself."

 

“I am but a humble servant of the lady of light and life, blessed Meridia. I ask this of the servant of the madgod: The number of princes is not static, Meridia proves that by her existence as a fallen star child, is the number 16 arbitrary? Are there Daedric princes in Oblivion that are unknown to us mere mortals? Princes who have never felt the need to interact with Mundus?" - Lami Wind-Speaker, Priestess of Meridia

Chamberlain Haskill says, “The best answer to this question is another: How many, Lami Wind-Speaker, are the Accords of Madness?"

 

“To Haskill, Sheogorath's Chamberlain,

In relation with the repatriation of Eyevea, I have heard recently Sheogorath bargained the ancient Abecean island in a confrontation with the Arch-Mage Shalidor. I have always wondered how could Eyevea disappear...

So, I ask you: is Sheogorath interested in expanding the Shivering Isles with new acquisitions after the loss of Eyevea? I fear my people in Herne or in the rest of the Abecean Archipelago could be in danger as many freemen and most nobles have left our home to fight in Cyrodiil for the Daggerfall Covenant. And I have to know if I have to reinforce Herne's defenses."

Regards, Baron Yashu al-Aydin of Herne

Chamberlain Haskill says, “My dear Baron, I have relayed your real estate proposal to Lord Sheogorath, and he is considering the terms under which he would agree to acquire your island of … what was the name? Herne? However, he would like to know your island's shape, as the Master likes his islands to fit into a nice paisley pattern. He doesn't like shapes that are too regular, and has a particular abhorrence for the rhombus. Herne isn't a rhombus, is it?"

Lawrence Schick, ESO’s Lead Loremaster, has been in contact via dreamsleeve transmission with his beeko Jee-Lar, an Argonian emigrant from Murkmire. Jee-lar serves Cyrodilic Collections in the capacity of Black Marsh historian, of which he may be the only one—ever. He has kindly consented to provide answers as best he can to some of your questions.

Greetings, dryskins and fellow Argonians, Jee-Lar welcomes you to this inquiry-dance! Studying many things and remembering what I’ve learned is what I do, so I hope to be able to answer your many questions, and that’s a fact!

Does the term "Saxhleel” (a word the Argonians use to describe themselves) also apply to the Nagas? - Legoless

Indeed it does! "Saxhleel” in our Jel language is the term for all the people you dryskins commonly call Argonians. Sometimes other Tamrielic mortals are confused that we come in a variety of shapes, but that is just the will of the Hist, and therefore cannot be otherwise. All humanoid lizard-folk exist due to the gloor, the pervasive will/desire/need of the Hist to engender multiple inevitabilities. Right-right? "Hist gloor, Saxhleel become.” It’s obvious!

Why is Murkmire home to creatures that bear such a close resemblance to Morrowind’s native species? – Zebendal

Good question, but tail-forward! To fix: why are so many Morrowind beasts clearly related to creatures from southern Black Marsh? The answer is outside the realm of the records of history, but consider these general facts and draw your own conclusion. One: many regions of Morrowind, I am told, are damp due to climate and warm due to volcanism, creating a wholesomely muggy environment much like that of our subtropical swamps! Two: for several thousand years the Dark Elves have been raiding our borders for slave labor, and in the process picked up and took with them anything else that was portable and might be valuable, including livestock and critters. Does the picture emerge now from the mist?

I've heard Vicecanon Heita-Meen speaking of Murkmire as being part of the Ebonheart Pact, together with Shadowfen and Thornmarsh. If this is true, why is this small patch of Black Marsh in the far south part of the Pact, while most of the region is not? - Saleel

I cannot speak for the vicecanon, but I would assume her remarks were more aspirational than descriptive, for though there are certainly Pact envoys in Murkmire working to add our region to their confederacy, the area at present remains autonomous, and that’s a fact! The additional fact that Murkmire has no central authority that could sign with the Pact might also have something to do with it.

Has there been a point in history when Argonians were more unified than in the Second Era (given they’re members of the Ebonheart Pact)? - Jeancey

Ah ha, a two-part question! Though the second part isn’t really a question, more of a statement that needs slight correction, so I’ll start with that. Black Marsh is a land of many tribes, mostly self-ruled, and the tribes that have joined the Pact, which are largely in the northern region, are still in the minority. (I think; no one keeps an exact count of these things, you know.)

As to when we Argonians "in history” (ha ha!) have been more unified than now, the answer is never, because we have no "history” as such! That said, there are tales and legends going back to mythic times of the tribes joining together to repel invasions and threats. Some may be true!

I've heard you're rather knowledgeable regarding the Murkmire region of Black Marsh, so I'd like to know where the Lilmothiit are! Or, at least, if there's anything leftover since they supposedly lived in that region? - Ta’asi

Ah, the answer to your question is sad-sad! Our vulpine neighbors the Lilmothiit had been in decline for many of their generations, the closest clans having withdrawn from the coastal areas inland toward the city of Blackrose, just north of Murkmire. Alas, the Knahaten Flu, so dreadful for dryskins, struck the Fox-Folk with near-total lethality. No one I’ve spoken to in Murkmire has seen a living Lilmothiit for many swims.

I am just beginning my adulthood, and I have recently undertaken a foray into the land of my people, Black Marsh. They call me a "Lukiul." I've never tasted the sap of the Hist, and while now I have the opportunity, I find myself frightened by the prospect of coming under the control of a force I do not understand and how it might impact my afterlife. I am told I do not have a soul until I join myself to the Hist. Is this true? When I join the Hist, what will happen to me? Do I lose my individual self? – Echoes-of-Starlight

As a part-time Lukiul myself, it moistens my scales to be able to give a reassuring answer to this one! I was born in the tribe the dryskins call Bright-Throats because of our colorful neck wattles, and communed happily with our Hist since egg-birth. Even when I felt the calling to wander, which would take me beyond daily contact with our Hist, I felt no fear, for I always knew that I would be welcomed whenever I returned—and that’s how it’s been! My wattles may fade when I’m in Cyrodiil for many swims, but they regain their hue once I return to Murkmire.

Now, to your situation: like all Argonians, you are descended from a particular tribe, even if you were born away from that tribe and its Hist. Find out to which tribe your fore-lizards belonged, travel to their domain, and you will be welcomed "home” as if you had never been anywhere else! Unless, of course, your parents were from one of those tribes that abhors Lukiuls and slays them on sight, but there aren’t many of those, so why worry? It just makes your spines droop.

If I understood well, impermanence is a concept that is pervasive in Argonian culture and way of living. How does someone originating from such a culture come to be a historian, whose function is to preserve relics, to extract knowledge from the past, and give it a form of permanence in collective memory? Or do you think your purpose isn’t that? How do you think of the word "historian” itself? Are you a "History-an” or a "Hist-orian”? – Oilbhreis Wind-Hearkener

Ha ha ha! Jee-Lar finds your Tamrielic wordplay amusing, though of course the joke cannot be translated into Jel as our language lacks cognates for the terms in your so-very-funny jest! But the first part of your question is as serious as a fleshfly swarm, so I will address it seriously. Impermanence is pervasive in Argonian culture, and that’s a fact! So pervasive that even impermanence lacks permanence, and Black Marsh will occasionally erupt in phases where certain Saxhleel decide to build in stone or declare inflexible dogma. It happens! And it happens that I am an Argonian of a mindset that perceives patterns of cause and effect and itches to string them together on a timeline, much like my uncle Nomeesh feels compelled to string colored beads on gruntweed fibers to create mosaic shoulder sashes. Right-right?

Famed Argoinian “historian” Jee-Lar returns to once again answer your Murkmire-themed questions about the Saxhleel people, their culture, and their history. If you missed it, don’t forget to check out part one of this series as well!

Greetings, dryskins and fellow Argonians, Jee-Lar welcomes you again to the inquiry-dance! Studying many things and remembering what I’ve learned is what I do, so I hope once more to be able to answer your many questions, and that’s a fact!

Since it’s established that the Lamia are intelligent sentient creatures capable of fluent speech and verbal communication, why haven't they established more permanent dwellings? They have hands capable of making and using tools, so what's stopping them from advancing? – Arch Mikem

I’m not sure where in Tamriel you hail from, Beeko Arch, but it must be one of those provincial locales where a temporary economic uptick has resulted in a construction boom, which in turn has led the local mortals to conclude that “building” equals “advancement” of some sort. How wry! How fanciful! Really, I love you dryskins. Anyway, as it happens, you have come to the right Saxhleel with your question, for I once met a lamia on the border of Blackwood and had a long conversation with her, during which many subjects were addressed. I came across her in some Barsaebic ruins where she was drowsing in the sun, belly distended and leisurely digesting—well, I didn’t think it would be tactful to ask what. I asked her why lamias so often resided in ruins, and she flicked her tongue and hissed, “Where else? Are there not more civic scars in Tamriel than solid structures? The humans and Elveses, so silly, they set up city after city, surrender to struggle and discord, and succumb to the scourge of strife. The sequel? Expanses of ruins, all set for snatching. It’s simple! Edifice assembly is for suckers.”

This one holds an artisanal bakery of sweet and sugary specialties and has heard stories about a delicious ingredient from Argonia called “daril.” What is it exactly? Do you know of recipes mixing daril and sugar? Surely there are coins to be made, yes? - Hazazhun-dar the Bittersweet

Ah, daril, so much fun-fun! One drop on a Saxhleel tongue, and vossa-satl tangos taste like peppermint prickly pears, and an egg-sibling can dance all night with a torchbug! But rare, not easy to get, oh no, for you must first catch a moon-adder and express its venom, and then ferment it for many swims in a swamp jelly gas bladder. Also, no-no fun for dryskins because it kills them instantly, so if you have some daril, Baker-Beeko, you should not taste it but instead save it for Jee-Lar. Right?

When I was a hatchling, I played amongst places that often were forbidden by the grownup dull-scales. I remember one time I saw drawings that looked old of half-Saxhleel, half-tree creatures. Was this symbolic to show the bond between us and the Hist, or was there a time when we were of a different form? It is also said that even if a human consumes Hist-sap and grows up with it, that they are also Argonian enough. Are the Hist so generous to all? – Hunts-for-Wisdom

Ah, Hunts-for-Wisdom, it sounds like your youthful self stumbled upon some lithographs of the Parable of Becoming, albeit in a crude and ambiguous depiction, which may be why your elders tried to steer you clear of it. You know the story I mean: the allegory of the Hist perceiving humans and Elves, admiring “their walking legs and clever hands,” and then molding and re-molding the swamp’s Useful Lizards until they found they had made Argonians.

As for the effects of Hist sap on dryskins, I have heard that certain ill-advised High Elves tried to experiment with this but were prevented by Others. Probably for the best, right-right?

What is a name of your Province in Jel? Now it is known as Argonia, or worse, Black Marsh. Both names are alien, and both are given by other races, but then why do all guides and scholarly works use alien names for your beautiful and mysterious land? It is unfair! Therefore, I ask you to write a true name, given by Saxhleel! – Maximus Ferras

That is not as easy to answer as you might think, Maximus! First of all, “province” is an Imperial concept that most Argonians struggle with, though I think I’ve finally got it. I mean, why use a single name to describe so much varied difference? An Argonian’s idea of their home place rarely extends beyond their Hist’s farthest root-hairs. I did hear a Gee-Rusleel once use the wide-swamp gesture along with the term “kronka-thatith,” roughly everything-egg, and that may be as close to a province name as you’re going to get in Jel.

This one hopes you can tell him about the general history between Argonian and its Imperial neighbors, and maybe even between Argonian and its Khajiit neighbors. Are relationships overall good? – Recremen

Alas and woe, we are in sad-sad times, Recremen, because the mild illness we called the Half-Swim Sniffles passed out of our marshes and into the lands of the dryskins, who called the illness the Knahaten Flu and did not find it mild at all, oh, no. Your people, the furred ones who live to our west, were struck particularly hard—perhaps you have been traveling? The Khajiiti folk suffered greatly, and blamed us Saxhleel for inflicting the epidemic upon them. Which is so terribly, terribly unfair! We would never wish such a thing upon our friends the furred ones! The Gray Elves, sure, but that’s different, nobody likes them.

Being a priestess of our loving Mother Mara, I’m trying to find as much information on Tamrielic wedding traditions as I can. However, when I tried to learn about Argonian wedding traditions, I was rather confused after discovering a horrible book! It stated that Argonians don’t have weddings at all, and that mating is a simple call to procreation. Moreover, it said mating is a kind of annual trial event – only trial winners are allowed to mate. I always imagined an Argonian wedding as a complex, delicate, and ethereal ritual. Please, let me know the truth, whatever is it, in name of our loving Mother! – Leonidas Tavicus

Oh, yes, well—“weddings.” We don’t have an exact cognate of that word in Jel, probably because the concept of procreational partnership varies so much from tribe to tribe. There’s, let’s see, “uvastuxith,” nest-becoming, and there’s “tumjum,” or house-weaving, which is more allegorical, and “thtithatei,” which is, er, egg-stomach. And so many more! The gloor of its Hist mandates each tribe’s pattern of affection-sharing and egg-quickening. And as Argonians are adaptable-by-induction to their Hist’s gloor, numerous possibilities eventuate! And as for inter-tribal bonding rites, well, anything can happen! You can believe Jee-Lar when he says that no Saxhleel who reaches the age of interfertility is bored. We have even adopted the dryskins’ quaint custom of gifting each other with Rings of Mara, a practice we find surprisingly moving. Anyway, good question, Leonidas, but I sense my Deer-Naza erecting the spine of… um, must go now! Later! Xuth!

June 26, 2015

“Greetings,

A man of your skills could make, if you excuse the pun, a KILLING in my profession. Do you really feel that the Imperial City is worth saving? I grew up in the city, and some of my best memories happened there. But my worst memories were there as well, and they make me think we should just let the whole place burn. We can rebuild it from the ashes. Excuse me for signing my professional name instead of my personal one. You never know when letters may be intercepted. If you do decide to change businesses, look me up in the Daggerfall Covenant. I know some people you can make connections with." – 'The Shaman' - Professional assassin

The Drake of Blades says, “Why do you think I'm a man? Is it the mask? Or is it just an assassin thing to be insulting, as, you know, a challenge? I mean, don't get me wrong. But you're wrong.

“And, um. Well. Actually, worse things can happen to a city than burning. No offense. But what it looks like to us inside the ring of chains is that Molag Bal is trying to pull Tamriel to pieces by dragging the City bodily into Coldharbour. Was that sentence too long? I never know. Anyway, burning. Would be better. Yes."

 

"I hope this encrypted letter finds you well, and that you or any accomplices you may have were able to decipher the magical seals laid upon it without injury or difficulty. You must understand the precautions all too well, considering your current lifestyle. I am a soldier in the Daggerfall Covenant. I pride myself on fighting the good fight and trying to preserve Imperial culture, such as it is, in my corner of Tamriel. The closest I've been to the Imperial City was during a recent skirmish outside of Fort Aleswell, where I was called in to oversee the construction of siege engines. How is it that you continue to find the faith and willpower to fight on in this dire situation? As bloody and prolonged as the war outside the gates has been, at least we have access to supplies and escape routes if need be. You are in the belly of the proverbial beast, and I can scarcely imagine the hardship. King Emeric's generals are devising strategies for getting into the city and liberating it, but in the meantime, how do you keep yourself supplied and hidden among all the cultists and Daedra, or is that a trade secret? Please accept this small gift of rations, and my Amulet of Akatosh. I don't know if you're particularly religious, but hopefully you or someone with you can benefit from the blessings of the Dragon. Gods bless you." – Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

The Drake of Blades says, “Thanks. For the gift. So, supplies: the legions laid in a lot of them. For the siege. Tharn is no fool. Lots of supplies stored under the streets, away from the Daedra. Or there were, for a while—now they're running low. Have to steal stuff from the invaders. It's dangerous. If you get into the city alone, stay underneath where it's maybe mostly not so dangerous. Or so blue. If you have a squad, you can try coming up, into the streets. To fight. It's very blue, though. Real tired of that."

 

"Drakus, I erect the spine of civility and the spine of caution. I had to take extraordinary precautions to make this trip, as well as exploiting the more unusual effects generated by Daedra hearts and Echkin fangs...eugh, I'm not going to be able to sit down for a week because of that explosion. The state of the Imperial City reminds me of the state of Sutch, whose past with the Daedra is by all means disturbing. As I sneaked through the Market District, I noticed what seems to be subtle anomalies like surreal flora, streets oozing chaotic creatia, and buildings floating out of one world and into another, which I can only assume is Coldharbour. If the Imperial City is merging with the Second Void, what kind of effect is it having on the citizenry? Are your organization's efforts being negated by this subtle yet growing aurbical shift? If so, are there any plans to rectify the situation and how can travelers help with this endeavor?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

The Drake of Blades says, “Ugly rocks. Ugly beasts. Blue slime. Coldharbour has come to town. Citizens? The ones that didn't flee early on are dead. The lucky ones, anyway. Some are slaves. Captives—they have to fight each other.

“But some of us are rats. Magpies. Alley cats. We know the old ways. We learn the new ones. Sneaking. Ambushing. Setting prisoners free, getting them out. The City is not yet torn away, and it goes deep. Deep. It's very … old. Everything down there. So old. And some of the old things? Useful. Yes."

 

“To the mysterious Drake of Blades,

I have heard you are one of many in Cyrodiil who oppose the vile forces of Daedra without swearing allegiance to the alliances. I have heard whispers of shadows in the dark who stalk the spawn of Oblivion and save the lives of innocents. If you truly are one of these shadows, I would be grateful if you could help me understand the gravity of the situation as it is hard to do so from fair Wayrest. Were you a member of the Dragonguard, and how many of your kind are there to resist the foul Daedra? Do you fight them, or track them, or perhaps aid the alliances in their battles? The battles of the Covenant, Pact and the Dominion appear almost childish when compared to the sheer horror of Oblivion, and you most likely understand this better than most. Do you work on your own, or make temporary alliances? I'm afraid I lack in knowledge on war and survival, but I'm most interested to learn of the experience of someone who faces the danger of death every day.

Yours sincerely, Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte, of the Wayrest Mage's Guild"

The Drake of Blades says, “The Dragonguard? Gone. With the Remans. Some have used the name since. Some probably meant well. But. Real Dragonguards? No.

“Well, not exactly, anyway.

“Temporary allies? Yes. But, all allies: temporary. We do what we must. Every minute: another decision. Life? Death? Be quick. And choose your allies well."

 

“To the Drake of Blades, may all the Divines be with you;

The reports I have heard of Daedra in the streets I first believed to be nothing more than overblown rumors, but that does not appear to be the case. I would expect a certain level of disorganization after the apparent death of Emperor Varen, but the Imperial City should still have had sufficient resources to repel Daedra. What happened between then and now that allowed an incursion of this sort?

Kind regards, Rohais of Auridon"

The Drake of Blades says, “Dumb question. Not you, but the question. Dumb. Sorry. Imperial City? Has fought off lots of sieges. Big walls, towers keep attackers out. But, heh. Walls don't keep Daedra out. Blue gates. Dark fissures. And monsters drop, right out of the sky. Not what legions are trained to repel. And one legion betrayed us: Legion Zero. So, not much repelling, for our part. But ambush them? Yes. Murder them? Yes. We do. On and on."

 

“Comrade, I don't believe we've had the pleasure. Very few reports have come from City Isle since the chains landed, but it's to my understanding that the Order of the Black Worm has been given an imperial charter after the recent exile of the Mages Guild. Is it therefore right to assume that the Necromancers are currently in control of the Arcane University and its Imperial Orrery? If not, has anything been done to protect the invaluable Mystic Archive from Coldharbour's flames?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

The Drake of Blades says, “Ah. Just a moment. See next question. All right?"

 

“A correspondence letter to the Drake of Blades,

I am writing here to inquire about the current state of the Arcane University, the former headquarters of the Guild of Mages, which the Tharns ceded to the Order of the Black Worm after the Mages Guild was unceremoniously expelled from Cyrodiil.

Do you know if it is still held by the Worm Cult in light of the recent disappearance of the King of Worms, or is it under Daedric occupation right now? That brings me to another question, what is the state of the Worm Cult, as far as you are aware? Do they now serve the Tharns, are they working directly under Molag Bal himself, or did the King of Worms return from wherever he had gone?

The Council of Mages has requested this information in hopes of gaining further intelligence on the Worm Cult, the Tharns, and the Daedric threat in the Imperial City." – Wizard Solinar, Daggerfall Mages Guild

The Drake of Blades says, “Worm Cult. Heh. Thought they were going to run things. After. Sorry now, I bet. The ones who are left. Doing drudge work for the Daedra. Might as well be Soul-Shriven.

“The University? Plundered. Partly. Some things—some of the best things—we helped take those away. To safe places. Very deep, very safe places.

“Haven't seen the Worm King. You know—Mannimarco. Not lately. And when the Big Chains came down, the Tharns? Went on holiday. Somewhere. Good riddance."

 

“To the Honored Drake of Blades,
I pray that this missive reaches you. We of the Sugar Claw Clan's external forces have encountered the sealed Imperial City in our ventures to Cyrodiil to aid in the destruction of the Dark Anchors that plague the land. We could see no viable way inside, and I implore the gods to your survival.
I am the healer of the Sugar Claw Clan, and should our scouts discover a way into the City, it might be beneficial for me to know of the conditions you are currently facing. Are there many wounded, or is disease beginning to spread throughout your ranks? Is there a shortage of weapons or armor? Should you be able to reply, I will begin stocking medicinal supplies as per your specifications.
Gods preserve you, Donvyn Sarethi, physician to the Sugar Claw Clan"

The Drake of Blades says, “Bring everything. Also everybody. We are finding ways past the barriers. Daedra, you know? They must not use sewers. Have no idea. We'll find ways—open grates, crack the locks, pry off the hinges. And then: in you come! Help us fight back."

 

“Greetings Drake,
Do you perchance show any affiliation with the Blades, also previously known as the Dragonguard of Akavir? Or is this simply a coincidence?
I send this message on behalf of my various allies - we have mustered forces to aid your resistance against the Daedra. Molag Bal has been (temporarily) struck down and we have the light of Meridia at our backs. My only questions then are, when and how can we assist you? I understand that communication links are difficult, but if there are any mages in there with you, tell them to make portals to the sewers . . . we eagerly await your reply." – Vulcanos Draco, Patriarch of House Draco

The Drake of Blades says, “Yes. Exactly. Working on it. Soon, we'll open the ways. But not one at a time, all at once. Everybody in! A surprise for the Daedra.

“Blades? Just a good name. Don't you think? Sharp. Edgy. Internal rhyme with 'Drake' is good. Catchy. That's all! Trust me."

 

“Dearest Drake (of Blades, is that your occupation?),

My name is Vadanni, hello! I am part of a very zealot organization called the Golden Flame, you see, and despite the fact it is unsurprisingly led by a very strange cathay called Dro'Khaj, who desires none other than to purge Tamriel rid of Daedric corruption, I would like to know if you have any suggestions or advice to deal with Daedric corruption, especially when you must live under the influence of it. How can one best deal with Daedra, and how are you doing it in Cyrodiil? Is there a special way to it, or is it just stabbing best? By the way, if one worshiped Meridia, is that entirely bad? Illegal? Like, she is a good Daedra, or so Dro'Khaj says. I think so, anyway. What're your thoughts on all of that, eh?

Jone and Jode dance kindly with you, Vadanni"

The Drake of Blades says, “Against Daedra? Stabbing is good. Reliable. And gratifying. But destruction magic? Also effective. For the big, plodding Daedra, ballistas are good. Oh, yes: very good. I am enthusiastic. About ballistas.

“Meridia? Why not? This used to be the City of a Thousand Cults. Or, you know, maybe not a thousand, but a lot. Never counted, actually. Also, sorry. For calling you a cultist. No offense."

 

“I have heard tell of a resistance fighter in the Imperial City. If this is true, I hope my words reach you, whoever you might be. I have always had a home in the city, and ever since the Daedra took control, I have been trying to find ways to stop their foul deeds, but I've no illusions—I know I can never do this on my own. Without a legitimate Emperor, we are leaderless, and the people here are afraid. Tell me then, brave warrior in the shadows, how can I aid your efforts? If your mission is to rid our home of Mannimarco and his minions, then I am compelled to help you; I am skilled with a blade and some magic, and my resentment of the Daedra far outweigh my fear of them. I will not sit idly by while my friends and neighbors suffer under our tormentors.

Yours in faith, Alessandra of Cyrodiil"

The Drake of Blades says, “Aid our efforts? Good idea! Glad you had it! So: gather your allies. If you don't have any allies, make some. Dangerous allies are best. Dangerous allies with good gear. Prepare! We will open the ways. All at once, and suddenly. Or should that be 'abruptly'? Not sure. Either way, allies, right? Then, you come in, and together, we shut the gates. Break the chains. Erase the blue. We kill—all the Daedra. All of them.

“Oh. And take their stuff."

July 10, 2015

“Pacrooti, I must thank you for your last shipment of nightwood logs. However, I have to ask: where do you find this wood? In all my travels, I've never seen anything that resembles a living nightwood tree here on Tamriel. Is it just my untrained eye?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Pacrooti says, “This one also has never seen a nightwood tree, and Pacrooti still remembers the day a client first demanded some. Pacrooti did not know what to send the client, and admits that he was dismayed, until he remembered that a Khajiit is always resourceful. This one waited until night fell, and then went to a lumber yard. Pacrooti is thoughtful of others, and was very quiet as he took some wood that no one was using. This one could not tell what kind of wood it was, as it was dark, but Pacrooti sent it to the client, and the client was satisfied. This system has never failed Pacrooti when nightwood is requested. This one believes that disappointing a client is a greater crime than petty theft. Also, crime obviously pays, or there would be no crime, yes?"

 

"Dearest Pacrooti, or well, fellow Khajiit,

You know, I will admit to you, I have never actually woodworked in my entire life. Then again, most of my life was spent in slavery and fighting, so I suppose I never would have the time for it. Tell me, Pacrooti, how hard is it to handle wood? As a woman I have no idea, you see, as I have never handled wood, firm or soft, in my entire life (as I said before, yes). Do you find it difficult, or adventurous, fun even? Would you mind visiting me in Windhelm sometime too, by the way? So I can handle wood with you? I'd be happy for you to bring your own wood. I'm sure it's better than any I could find around here in Skyrim. It'd be good for someone like me - eager to woodwork - to have a hands-on experience with a master acquirer of wood, such as yourself, no?

Jone and Jode dance kindly with you, Vadanni"

Pacrooti says, “Ah, you wish to be a client for Pacrooti, yes? This one perceives that you are interested in Pacrooti's nightwood. It is very popular, and for this transaction, Pacrooti can guarantee satisfaction. At least for Pacrooti."

 

“Dear Pacrooti,

I always wondered what happened to you! You were a loyal and efficient gatherer. I could not help but wonder if you were alright after that comment about horses.

Could I, perchance, convince you to come back and work for me for a while?

Your former employer, Elsonso"

Pacrooti says, “Pacrooti has been very busy, taking a vacation. After some very strenuous wood acquisition in which this one was forced to engage in actual labor—very uncomfortable, even stressful!—Pacrooti went to Khenarthi's Roost for a relaxing beach getaway. But on beach only getaway was fleeing from savage alits, which were rife, if 'rife' means what this one thinks it means. Finally Pacrooti found a beach without alits, but it was also rife, this time with driftwood and planks from shipwrecks, which made Pacrooti think about work again. It was a dark, dark time, so this one went to Mistral to drink many sweet cocktails with friendly Khajiit with vertical fur on his head. Rash? Radz? Not sure, but we made many jokes about Elves, and this one forgot all about work. Until Pacrooti was reminded by you."

 

"Greetings M-A-M-A (Interesting acronym),

Allow this one to introduce herself. This one is named is Anurri, Riverhold's best carpenter and seamstress as well as wandering merchant and mercenary. She has questions for you if you are willing to answer.

Anurri has found numerous abandoned workshops scattered across much of the Dominion's territory and this one's recent shift in sensitivity to paranormal and extraplanar energy has led her to discover that these workshops have an unusual energy to them. For example, creating a full set of medium armor at the abandoned station found in northern Auridon and wearing it tends to make Anurri have a rather conflagrant case of sneezes in the middle of a melee with one of this one's enemies (painful for them) among other lesser effects. While creating another full set of medium armor at the workshop in the western area of Reaper's March makes this one feel more invigorated and energetic, able to fight on for longer and hit a little harder with this one's (fairly) small collection of long range magicka spells.

Do you know what the story (or stories) are for these seemingly abandoned workshops? Is the energies this one feels within their vicinities somehow enchanting the cloth armor Anurri creates? Or is it some other unique feature of these places that imparts temporary knowledge of particular crafting skill to create these special effects within the product?

And as Anurri hears you are also a carpenter, this one would love to trade tips with you at some point. Anurri knows of a technique when applying a temper to the wood during the shellacking process that this one thinks you might have interest in.

Regards, Anurri
Master Carpenter & Seamtress of Riverhold Wandering Merchant & Mercenar"

Pacrooti says, “Interesting coincidence! After six shots of Two-Moon Cordial, Pacrooti can also sense paranormal energies—in fact, this one can feel entire planet of Nirn swaying around him! But you ask sharp-clawed question. Though he has not seen them, Pacrooti too has heard from clients of crafting sites that seem to bestow sweetly unique attributes upon items created there. This one often is most inspired when alchemically enhanced, so Pacrooti drank a skin of moon-sugar double rum and thought about this. And he had an idea! This one has heard that the creativity of Tamrielic mortals was a gift of the gods back in the beginning times. So creation is exercise of the divine spark, yes? Pacrooti likes to think that master craftworkers, who work at the peak of their art, are as magical as mages, and have the equivalent ability to transform local reality—not on purpose, like pointy-hat wizard, but over time just as effectively. So their workshops absorb this artfulness, and pass it on to items crafted there, even if not made by original master crafter. Good theory, yes? Pacrooti is very pleased with it. He will celebrate tonight by returning to tavern, because this one is sure everybody will want to hear it, in great detail."

 

“As most purists will tell you, ebony and malachite are traditionally held to be the quintessential materials to forge armor and weapons with, given their Lorkhanic nature. Recently, however, we've been seeing much greater use of more exotic metals at the forge. Everything from calcinium to voidsteel is being used to forge equipment nowadays, due to their supposed superiority. Is there some truth to this fad? If so, why did the old masters stop at ebony?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Pacrooti says, “This one asked Valinka Stoneheaver your question, but she was thirsty, and it was many drinks before she got around to answering it. Why are Nords always so thirsty? They do not live in a desert, like Redguards, but Pacrooti has noticed that Nords drink much more than Redguards. But not more than Khajiit—Pacrooti was well able to keep up with Valinka. Pacrooti sometimes thinks he should not drink so much, but he knows better than to take advice from a drunk. The following morning, when Pacrooti woke up in the stable, he was able to remember most of what she said. Valinka told Pacrooti that the use of exotic metals has increased many-fold since the passage of the Guild Act two centuries ago. Establishment of pan-Tamrielic guilds resulted in greater diffusion of knowledge. Smiths learned of interesting metals used only in distant lands, and this drove demand and trade for those materials. Mages Guild pointy-hats also learned how to refine magical ores, and then everyone wanted those too! Very confusing to the old-fashioned, but very lucky for otherwise-unemployable Master Assistant Materials Acquirers!"

 

"Master Assistant Materials Acquirer Pacrooti,

I'm but a soldier, with no patience for smithing or related crafts. However after seeing too many boastful warriors clad in the silver, was hoping you could enlighten me to the origin of the rare metal mithril?
-Teo Secundus, former Nibenay river guard"

Pacrooti says, “Pacrooti has heard tell of this metal, a material so rare, it no longer even exists! Once smiths in Tamriel could use it to create special arms and armor, but then one day, poof! All gone! Life is indeed strange, no? Is it not humorous to live in a world where even history can change? Even history of future! It makes Pacrooti's head hurt sometimes. Usually in the morning, now that this one thinks about it."

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."

August 10, 2015

“To the most esteemed Chancellor Abnur Tharn,

With the recent legalization and advocacy of the necromantic arts within Cyrodiil as well as the institutionalization of The Order of the Black Worm, will prospective students of necromancy be provided an opportunity to study at the Imperial City? Furthermore, after this business of the so called 'Three Banners War' is over, how will a new Emperor be chosen to replace the glorious Empress Regent, Clivia Tharn?

Sincerely, Othelion Ralnor"

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “After the expulsion of the treacherous Mages Guild from the Imperial City, the Empire of Cyrodiil needed to endorse a more inclusive and responsible caretaker of the magical arts, so the Arcane University was turned over to the stewardship of the Fellowship of Anchorites, sometimes jocularly known as the Order of the Black Worm. Unfortunately, since the University has been occupied by invading Daedra, we haven't had time to assess their new policies, and must hold judgment in abeyance.

“Once these parvenu Alliances have been beaten back to their provinces, as they always are, the Empire will return to its normal practices: prospective Emperors will arise in times of need, and those who are worthy will be recognized by the Elder Council and ascend to the Ruby Throne. But until such a time of need arises, there will be no need to 'replace' our Empress Regent, who is beloved by her subjects, and who reigns by divine right."

 

“To the illustrious Abnur Tharn, Chancellor of the Elder Council and Lord of Nibenay,
Fair and humble greetings from another son of Nibenay, and much gratitude for your attention in these trying times. Many of us here in Cyrodiil know of your efforts to save the Empire, and pray for your success. Anyway, to business. I have always been fascinated with Imperial culture and the ways of government. I know that you have served as Chancellor for many years, but it is the role of Imperial Battlemage that intrigues me most. I have seen documents recording several different Imperials family names holding the post at different times in history, implying that it isn't an inherited post, but nothing as to how one is selected. Hence, my question: how is the Imperial Battlemage chosen, and in what capacity do they serve the Empire?

My prayers, and the prayers of all Cyrod are with you, Chancellor. May Akatosh keep you safe and Reman see you victorious." – Aurelius Aelius of Leyawiin, Episcopate of the Cult of Reman, sometime Freedom Fighter

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “An excellent question, my dear Episcopate, and one that requires a somewhat discursive answer, as the phrase 'Imperial Battlemage' has more than one meaning. Early in the annals of the Empire, the distinction between mages and warriors was more pronounced than it is today. The idea of combining a wizard with an armored warrior was innovative at first, and the original Imperial Battlemages were an elite unit separate from the Imperial Legions. They were further exalted under the Reman Emperors, who granted the title 'Imperial Battlemage' to the unit's leader, and made him an advisor to the Elder Council. Nowadays, when every cohort includes a cadre of spellcasters, 'Imperial Battlemage' just refers to a legion's war-caster troops. But to a student of Imperial history such as I, the name still carries weight, and I wear the title 'Imperial Battlemage' with pride!"

 

“Esteemed Chancellor Abnur Tharn,

My Lord Abnur Tharn, I pray this message reaches you. Due to recent events I imagine we will need all the Divine help we can get to place this letter into your hands.

As a deserter from the Imperial Legion I now live in High Rock, away from my friends and family trapped in the Heartland. Can you tell this homesick soldier what the state of living is for those still in Cyrodiil? Due to the obvious instability (and madness) of the central government, have local leaders stepped up to keep their people safe and fed?

Signed, Flonius Oaken-Hull"

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “Have local leaders stepped up to protect our people? More so than you, deserter. Conditions in Cyrodiil, particularly in the vicinity of the Imperial City, will remain difficult until such time as our invaders are inevitably repulsed. That time is delayed, and the suffering of the Cyrods is prolonged, so long as deserters like yourself value safety over your Imperial duty. Return now, Flonius Oaken-Hull, help your fellow citizens, and the terms of your punishment for desertion will be … mitigated. Probably."

 

"Chancellor Abnur Tharn, I presume. You appear rather blue and translucent to me, but that's an effect of viewing you through the memospore. Otherwise, you resemble your official portrait fairly closely. I have a question for you pertaining to the Imperial cultural identity. You are famously a Nibenese nationalist who will wax poetic about the superior nature of the Nibenese, and their various accomplishments, especially when it pertains to your own noble lineage. I was born a Breton, though I later changed my name to an Imperial one, so I can understand this pride in bloodlines and heritage. It's prevalent among my native people as well.

To the meat of the inquiry: The Longhouse Emperors never really fit in, did they? They were seen as alien usurpers at worst, and as uncouth provincials at the best of times. Do you think it's possible that an Emperor of, say, civilized Bretonic or Nordic blood would integrate any better into Imperial society? Both of these peoples have been vassals of the Cyrodiilic Empire in the past. I do believe the Bretons were first brought into the fold by the militant but far-sighted Hestra back in the First Era, although the...excesses of the Alessian Priesthood later caused them to secede.

Would a Breton who has more fully embraced Imperial culture and values be seen any differently? Is there any hope that such a monarch and his descendants could form a lasting dynasty in time? I ask this because I admittedly am a Battlemage fighting for the Daggerfall Covenant, and it has occurred to me that my liege King Emeric may face tough opposition from the Elder Council were we to successfully seize the Imperial City. What course of action would you suggest, hypothetically, for a foreign-born monarch to be well received by both the common folk and the nobility of Cyrodiil?" – Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “What is the Empire of Cyrodiil, really? It is the Empire of Humanity, and has welcomed all men and women into its embrace since its beginning in St. Alessia's Slave Rebellion, which fought for all the tribes enslaved by the Heartland Elves. Under Alessia's banner, Colovian fought beside Nede, Nord fought beside Nibenese, and the accursed Ayleids were overthrown. White-Gold Tower, the hub of Tamriel, came into human hands, and so it has been ever since.

“Historically the folk of Nibenay, the most sophisticated and subtle of our human societies, have provided the lion's share of Emperors to the Ruby Throne, but there have also been Emperors of Colovian or Nord extraction, some of whom made very creditable rulers. The Empire has always welcomed new peoples under the Red Diamond, regardless of background. After the crossbred Breton folk finally threw off the yoke of their Elven masters, did not Empress Hestra reach out to beckon them to join us? Even such latecomers to Tamriel as the Redguards were admitted to the Imperial brotherhood when Hammerfell was made an official province.

“So I say to, yes, Cyclenophus, yes—even a noble Breton like your Warchieftain Emeric could conceivably, under conditions that are unlikely but by no means beyond the realms of possibility, be found worthy to ascend the throne of Cyrodiil. It would help if he followed your lead, noble legate, and showed a becoming respect by adopting a less harsh-sounding and more Imperial name—perhaps Emeritus, or Emicio. Perhaps you could persuade him to it?"

 

“Chancellor Tharn,

Before Mannimarco's recent departure from the City, what role did the King of Worms play in post-Soulburst Imperial politics? Your daughter Clivia has de jure regency following Emperor Varen's disappearance, but it is commonly claimed that Mannimarco is, in fact, the one who sits the Ruby Throne. Additionally, how does Clivia mean to reassert her right to rule, given that the Alliances sent forth a new pretender almost daily?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “Alas, Sir Doyen, you are ill-informed, but you are probably not to blame—the Alliance spy services put so much effort into disparaging and discrediting our recent governing nobility that it should come as no surprise that credulous folk believe their lies. Take, for example, your use of the title 'King of Worms' regarding Mannimarco. Really, man, just think for a moment: who would actually call himself 'King of Worms'? That should have been a clear indication that whatever followed was going to be slander and character assassination.

“In point of fact, Lord Mannimarco has never been more than an advisor to the throne. Though valued for his wisdom and experience, he is ineligible on several counts for actual rule in Cyrodiil. Furthermore, in the current temporary disarray, his whereabouts are unknown. Doubtless, like everyone else in this troubled time, he is simply doing his best to help his people get through it.

“As for the Alliance pretenders, they are beneath contempt. As ephemeral as moths, they flare for a moment in the candle flame and are gone, soon to be forgotten. Their widows and widowers may remember their names, but Cyrodiil will not."

 

“Hail Chancellor, while many harbor ill feelings about your involvement in the Planemeld I feel more sympathetic toward your situation, you were tricked and in the shock that resulted upon you learning this you chose the most logical path of survival, who are we to criticize when none of us have faced such a dilemma? I ask you this: considering the state of flux within Cyrodiil at this time, and the lack of Imperial leadership; who cares for the interests of the Imperials of Cyrodiil? Their land is disputed on all sides by foreigners, the few Imperial soldiers that remain do so in small groups spread thin and seemingly not in contact with each other, nobody stands by the gates of the Imperial City, attempting to regain access. The only organized effort I have witnessed from the once proud people of Cyrodiil comes from your niece, who wages war in Bangkori against the fearsome and united Daggerfall Covenant. Does Septima hold the interests of those in Cyrodiil at heart as she wages war, or does your daughter, Clivia? And if Clivia is in fact ruling as Empress-Regent where is she, and how does she contact her people to co-ordinate anything? Your family seems to hold what is left of Imperial power Chancellor Tharn, I wonder whether you feel confident they can keep it, and bring your people back from the brink of despair.

With Regards, Asrien Lagerborn, scholar of Kerbol's Hollow"

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “As Dark Anchors fall, Daedra swarm, and provincials strut and posture in the Heartland of Cyrodiil, all may appear to be chaos and ruin. But so long as the Empire exists as an idea in the heart of humanity, so long as true men and women refuse to accept the shackles of Elven overlords or Daedric Princes, the Empire of Cyrodiil can never truly fall. Rest assured, the Empress Regent and her loyal Elder Council are taking active steps to ensure that no trespasser in Cyrodiil, from Alliance or Oblivion, shall long profit from their invasion. Measures are being adopted that will once more bring the Empire to the fore. The course of history tends inevitably toward a Tamriel under the Red Diamond, with all mortals beholden to the wise decrees that issue from the White-Gold Tower. Such is our future, for I have seen it."

 

“Chancellor Tharn,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Mages Guild today to inquire on our fallout with the Empire, the legalization of Necromancy, and the future of our order in the Imperial City.

First off, what was your stance on the affair of our expulsion at the time? I imagine that you played a major role in it due to your associations with the King of Worms. Speaking of the Order of the Black Worm, how did the general public react to Necromancy suddenly being made legal, a practice condemned for many years in history? I understand Arch-Mage Vanus Galerion was always strongly opposed to the practice, and I cannot imagine that he had any kind words for you on that, which leads to my final question for you. Should the Mages Guild reestablish itself in the Arcane University, an order strongly opposed to Necromancy, do you think that the Black Arts will once again be declared an illegal practice?

Thank you for your time today, and I sincerely hope that you have learned from your mistakes in the past on allying with Mannimarco, otherwise we will have to come for you.

Wizard Solinar, Daggerfall Mages Guild"

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “Once again I am confronted with ignorance and misunderstanding, and must make an effort to educate a benighted provincial who has fallen prey to libelous propaganda. Urgencies impend, but I must be patient, for a wise ruler leads by example.

“The Mages Guild of Cyrodiil was implicated in the event some call 'the Soulburst,' allegations that were substantiated after due process of investigation. The organization's legal standing under the Guilds Act was revoked, and stewardship of the Arcane University was awarded to Mannimarco's Fellowship of Anchorites—on a probationary basis, of course. Lord Mannimarco is a broad-minded wizard who declared an intention to nullify some of the arbitrary strictures formerly imposed by the Mages Guild. I believe some Colovians objected to this liberalization, but frankly, such arcane matters don't have much to do with the pursuit of good governance in a time of turmoil, so I paid little attention. As to what the Mages Guild might do should they somehow redeem themselves and return to a position of responsibility in Cyrodiil, you are in a better position to address that than I."

 

"Hmm? Oh, did my astral projection go through? Well then, dearest Chancellor, I hope you still aren't hiding-er, I mean I hope you're still under heavy guard to prevent you from becoming prey to the many horrors that reside within the Imperial City. Never mind the fact that your daughter and several of your friends and family are risking their lives to free the Ruby Isles from the influence of Molag Bal, but...like a swarm of Vvardenfell echkin I erect the spine of irritation and digress. I really do hope you're alright old...friend? No, associate – that's a much more neutral word! Anyway Tharn, I had a question that needs answering and since you're the only person still alive that may know the answer then I decided to risk contacting you. I have heard rumors that my associates at the Imperial Geographical Society and the Imperial Census have been forced to scatter to the wind now that their headquarters in the Imperial City have been destroyed. Because of this, I fear for the 'proper' collection and recordation of the many arts, literature, and ideas that will spring forth from this troubled time. Without such sanctioned groups working to store away present knowledge, how do you and the rest of the Elder Council believe our descendants in the coming eras will view these troubled times we live in?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “In fact, this is no trivial problem! Your question is astute, especially from an Argonian. (You were tutored by an Imperial, weren't you? I've always said that, given the right mentor, even the children of Black Marsh can be taught useful skills.) Reliable records are essential to a government's fair and efficient administration of the law. The wanton destruction of archives and scriptoriums by the invading Alliances may, in the end, be their most heinous crime. And the Daedra are even worse! Though citizens may be slaughtered, in time a new generation will rise to replace them—but history, once lost, is gone forever. How will taxes be accurately assessed when there are no documents to tell us who owns what? How will the Cyrods of the future be taught about their glorious antecedents if no one knows of their trials and triumphs? Why, a thousand years from now, even my own wise and heroic leadership may be forgotten, or at least not properly appreciated in its entirety. Paper and parchment are so very vulnerable. (Hmm. Stone statues? Graven tablets? Journals hurled forward through time? There must be a solution….)"

 

“Dear Chancellor,
I'm interested in your opinion on the ways soul gems are currently handled and on the way humanoid souls are caught.
The Mages Guild has already expressed criticism in this respect, but it doesn't feel able to do something about it.
Is it the handling of humanoid souls something currently accepted because of politics, or are we to expect an Imperial ban if the good relations between the Imperial Throne and the Realm of Oblivion should come to an end.
At the moment I have to assume that the current state is a concession to Molag Bal and his followers.
In times past it was only possible to bind humanoid souls in special black soul gems which, as I heard, are much better suited to harvest the full potential of humanoid souls, while the knowledge to use them was available only to more educated magicians and mystics.
With respect, Alessia Tharn, wandering magician"

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “With respect, 'Alessia Tharn,' these arcane matters have nothing to do with law or governance, and are far beyond the competence of a simple politician like myself. However, it is my understanding that these Black Soul Gems one hears of are a recent invention—though who is responsible for their creation and spread among the wizardry of Tamriel is beyond me. Until recent times, the trapping and binding of souls into prepared crystals was a hit or miss proposition, uncertain and not well understood. Yet now it seems any hedge wizard who obtains a Black Soul Gem can accomplish it. It seems to me that this is a matter that must be sorted out by a consensus among Tamriel's magical community, though I don't know who might manage that since the Mages Guild has fallen into disrepute."

 

“Chancellor Tharn as an Argonian mage, this one once had chance to hear you speak before the current problems which engulf the Imperial city and it was obvious to all not only your brilliance but you loyalty to the imperial cause as such it is difficult for this humble Argonian to see how the Imperial city which you controlled now appears to be in ruins and little more than a playground for Molag Bal? Perhaps the more important question is what plans do you have to restore the city and restore your place as chancellor not outlaw?
Ash-Tal Argonian Sorcerer"

Chancellor Abnur Tharn says, “Outlaw? The Elder Council may have temporarily relocated to an undisclosed location, but as the legitimate governing body of the Empire of Cyrodiil, it is we, and only we, who decide who or what is within the law. War has come to the Imperial City before, but eventually the invaders will be repulsed, and as always, the people of the Heartland of Tamriel will rebuild! The fact that a few buildings here and there have been knocked down just shows that those structures were weak and in need of replacement. The strong structures are the ones that survive! The situation may look bleak, but that is when the people of the Nibenay Valley are at their most resilient—and loyal! For our true Cyrods know that their proven leadership is hard at work on their behalf to restore order, not just in the Imperial City, but in all Cyrodiil. And not just in Cyrodiil, but across Tamriel! For eventually, the peoples of Nirn always look to the heart of Tamriel for guidance and reassurance. They know that when the Empire is stable and all are deferential to Imperial will and regulation, peace and prosperity shall reign throughout the provinces, and the days of dissension and disorder will be past. For millennia the White-Gold Tower has stood for the rule of law—Imperial law!—and it always shall!"

August 24, 2015

“Lady Clarisse Laurent,

I understand you enjoy searching for artifacts with the Guild of Mages, namely around High Rock, and I was curious as to the legal process you must go through to adventure into these ruins. Are you required to go through any sort of authority? After gaining access to a ruin, would you encounter any further legality if you happen upon a powerful magical artifact, such as a Great Welkynd Stone in an Ayleid ruin? How do these legalities differ from the places around Tamriel in which you have explored so far?

P.S. I did not forget we were supposed to go for tea the other day. I had to assist Gabrielle Benele with an important project. I hope you understand.

Wizard Solinar of the Mages Guild"

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “Legal process? What a curious notion! But perhaps you are a Cyrodilic, or even from Summerset, where such encumbrances are common. I am a Breton noble, and therefore accustomed to deciding for myself such matters of propriety and legality. I would never do anything so gauche as to plunder the ancestral tomb of living aristocrats, but beyond that, well … the pursuit of knowledge takes one where it will!"

 

"Well, if it isn't my dear friend Clarisse. I erect the spine of enjoyment! It has been, what? Five years now? We never did meet up again after that drunken night in the Screeching Echkin Tavern in Farrun where we...(cough), well, never mind that now my dear. What I wanted to ask you about my Lady is the decline, ostracization, and now disappearance of the minotaurs. The 'Men of Tor/Taur', depending on the context, are commonly believed to be the descendants of Saint Alessia the Free and the demiprince Morihaus son of Kyne. The second emperor, Belharza the Man-Bull, was the first Minotaur and their son according to the ancient fables. The Imperials of the First Era seemed to view the minotaurs as brethren, and coexisted with them peacefully. But as I read documents reaching all the way into the modern day I see repeated mentions of the Minotaurs as 'savages' and 'rampaging monsters', especially in the Imperial tomes. Why did respect for the Minotaur's dissolve near the beginning of the Second Era? And why have they disappeared from Cyrodiil entirely?" Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “For the answer to this you must look further back, into the early and middle First Era, when the Alessian Order was in power in the Empire of Cyrodiil. Though the documentary record of that time is fragmentary, one thing is clear: the Alessians' dislike of nonhuman races was not confined to their hatred for Elves. Minotaurs, always a target of suspicion and fear because of their size and strength, were redefined by the Alessians as 'monsters' and classed with creatures like ogres and trolls. They were driven into the hills and forests, and whatever culture they previously had was lost.

“However, they were never entirely wiped out, and Minotaurs are said to roam the backwoods and hills of the Colovian Highlands and the Gold Coast even today. I may just look into this myself, after I complete my planned expedition into the Wrothgarian Mountains! Travel to the Gold Coast has been difficult recently, thanks to the whims of the so-called Pirate Queen of Anvil, but it's my understanding that, within the next year, it may be possible for us to resume visits to the towns of Anvil and Kvatch. I shall have Stibbons see to the arrangements as soon as it's feasible."

 

“Greetings, I am Hundorian. It warms my scales to be writing this to you Lady Clarisse Laurent. I would like to know more about this vulpine like race called the Lilmothiit. Is it true that they may have been wiped out by the Knahaten Flu? My tribe is nomadic and I heard that the Lilmothiit may have also been nomadic and tribal like. Are all of these just myths and rumors or could there be some truth to this? I hope my letter reaches you safely and that you will be able to respond. I have also included a pouch of dirt with the letter. You may use it for anything you wish as long as you use it wisely. Dirt guide you Lady Clarisse Laurent." – Hundorian, Lord of Dirt

 

“Greetings, Lady Clarisse:

During my studies, I have come across a few references to the extinct Lilmothiit, a nomadic race of fox-like people from Black Marsh. They are said to be related to the Khajiit, though I am not sure this is true (although it does seem supported by their name: from what some of my Khajiiti allies have told me, Lilmothiit translates to "one who is from Lilmoth" in Ta'agra. which suggests that they spoke this language as well, or a similar one - unless this is simply a name given to them, in the same way Altmer like myself are called "High Elves"). I have not been able to find much else on them, besides the fact that they founded the city of Blackrose. Do you know anything more about this mysterious race?

Thank you,

Alarra – Advisor of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits"

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “Ah, the late, lamented, and now lost Lilmothiit! By all accounts, the entire race did succumb to the terrible Knahaten Flu, and we shall never now speak to a living member of the Fox-Folk. However, we can rejoice in the fact that they have undoubtedly left newly-empty and untouched settlements behind them, and thus we can bring the Lilmothiit back to life through the discipline of archeology! Of course, they lived on the remote and opposite side of Tamriel from High Rock, so they are almost unknown to us Breton scholars—but I plan to personally remedy this lack! After visiting the Gold Coast, I hope to continue by sea to Leyawiin, and then journey overland to Murkmire in Black Marsh. Then we shall see what we can find!"

 

"Dear Lady Laurent,

I am most delighted to have the opportunity to talk to someone so versed in the arts of history and archeology. I have followed your career and must say your enthusiastic and pedantic approach to matters and peoples most ancient shames your more "professional" and "learned" colleagues. I have contacted you in the hopes you will shed light on our enigmatic ancestors: the Nedes. Many scholars in Wayrest can discuss in length Dwemer technology and Ayleid magics, but few take an interest in the history and culture of our ancestors. My Nordic colleagues insist Nedics were nothing but Nordic tribes, enslaved by elves, while the imperials claim Nedes were of Atmoran origin, but a different peoples. And yet some claim the Nedes were indigenous to Tamriel in the first place, completely separate from the Atmorans. What, in your scholarly opinion, is the origin and birthplace of the Nedics? Do you believe they were Atmoran, or something else entirely? In that line of thought, is there a significant difference between the Nedes that inhabited the different provinces, like the proto-Bretons and proto-Cyrodiils? And lastly, do you know what kind of unique magics and practices the Nedes possessed, and how they relate to their culture? I truly hope you will be able to shed light into our most mysterious and underappreciated of ancestors, dear Lady.

Yours sincerely,

Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte, of the Wayrest Mage's Guild"

 

“To the Lady Laurent,

As a scholar of many disciplines, I would like to enquire about one of the more obscure points of archaeology. This subject, which is lacking in my own research as well as that of many others, concerns the early mannish cultures of Tamriel, the Nedes and their contemporaries. What, if anything, do you know about races such as the Keptu, the "Men-of-Ket", Orma, Yerpest, Horwalli, Al-Hared, Al-Gemha, et cetera? I fear that with the dearth of written records from these tribal people, the only sources available to a scholar of the written word such as myself are those rare scraps from the Ayleids and their like, who were most often writing from the perspective of subjugators, with no care for the actual culture of the subjugated. Many thanks in advance for any illumination you can provide.

Scholar-in-Exile, Querulus Praeco"

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “Though I have dug only a few Nedic sites, I am rather ridiculously well-read on the subject. Which means I've read the mere half-dozen books that address the matter in depth, all of which contradict each other. However, that only obliges me, as a proud amateur scholar of aristocratic descent, to form my own opinions on the subject. These opinions are as follows: the catch-all term 'Nede' is applied so broadly to Merethic-Era humans as to be almost worthless. It is indisputable, to my mind, that all the human tribes of Northern Tamriel (pre-Ra Gada, of course) had their origins in mythic Atmora, but that they emigrated here from different parts of it, and at different times, over a period of many lifetimes. Each tribe came with its own culture, and their cultures were further mixed and admixed after arrival in Tamriel. Once dear Emeric settles that silly conflict in Cyrodiil, I hope to be able to personally investigate some Keptu and Perena sites I have marked on my map, and follow up with a monograph that will shed some much-needed light on the matter."

 

“Warm greetings to Lady Clarisse Laurent,

I hope you have been well since we last met, and thank you again for accepting my inquiries on this subject. I will ask for your patience, as my queries are somewhat varied in scope:

First, the Nedes. Nede culture is fascinating but tragically obscure. They seem to have had a fascination with the stars that rivaled (if not surpassed) that of the Ayleids, before they eventually turned to worship of Nereids and other entities. It is of the latter that I wish to ask: I have been exploring ruins in Craglorn rumored to be of Nedic origin and the carvings therein have a common pattern of four symbols: a tusked visage, a stag's skull, a serpent with wings and a pair of serpents. Given the proximity of several Orcish settlements I would hazard that the tusked face represents Mauloch, and the stag skull may be a reference to Hircine as there have been reports of werewolves in the vicinity. Only the serpents bear any similarity to the known constellations, but the wings are somewhat puzzling as is the depiction of two serpents. Can you shed any light on this?

Second, while traveling in Valenwood I have had extreme difficulty tracking down any sort of artifact or settlement associated with the Imga in spite of the fact that, to my knowledge, they still exist. (Finding individuals of that race has likewise proven problematic, but that is beyond the scope of this query.) I have visited portions of Black Marsh and seen the remains of Kothringi villages, and my understanding of the Lilmothiit is that they did not have much in the way of settlements, being nomadic, so the absence of artifacts from their culture doesn't trouble me. But the Imga should still be around, making or using tools. Why have they left no signs?

Finally, a compatriot of mine has recently taken up the task of tracking down a stolen Akaviri burial mask (I suspect Tsaesci Akaviri rather than Kamal, given its alleged age), incidentally alerting me that there is or at least was a practice of burial masks in Akavir. Do you know if this practice is related to the Dragon Priest masks of Skyrim? It seems too similar to be a coincidence, especially with the dragon connection.

I once again must thank you for your time and I apologize for being long-winded.

Kindest regards,

Rohais of Auridon"

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “By Julianos, Mater Rohais! You are nearly as inquisitive as I. And you ask questions on deep matters—some beyond even my depth! But I shall do what I can to assuage your curiosity.

“First of all, I envy you your trip to Craglorn, a region I've not yet had the opportunity to visit! Regarding the recurring symbols you found there, I daresay your guesses about the first two are good ones. The appearance of the standard serpent may be attributed with confidence to the ancient Craglorn Nedes' fascination—even obsession—with the constellations. As to the winged serpent, might not this symbol be Redguard in origin? I understand that flying snakes are known to occur in southern Hammerfell, and perhaps they were once more widespread. I hope to see some of these so-called 'winged vipers' when I pass through the port of Abah's Landing, on my way to the Gold Coast—they're said to be quite common there.

“Regarding the Imga, I think Summerset author Cirantille has written on the subject, opining that the Imga have gone 'to visit Falinesti' until this current Planemeld and Alliance War nonsense is good and over. Not that you can trust anything Cirantille has to say, of course.

“As for Akaviri burial masks, the subject sounds simply fascinating, but I admit to knowing next to nothing about our distant neighbors of far-eastern Akavir. Perhaps Lady Cinnabar would have an opinion, or Divayth Fyr? Stibbons, take a letter."

 

“Greetings Lady,

Having studied a number of old Yokudan ruins, I am fascinated by the mystery surrounding these people. Whilst sifting through debitage for clues to the nature of Walkabout, I've found several tablets mentioning serpents and snakeskin. Since the Serpent constellation factors prominently in Yokudan history, I was wondering if you had come across any interesting finds regarding Walkabout, or if you have found a connection between the Serpent and the Walk. It is my understanding that Walkabout involves a form of transliminal passage, and my theory is that the un-stars of the Serpent are involved in some way, since the un-stars themselves seem to travel at 'strange' angles akin to those who first Walked. Your expertise would be invaluable in my research, perhaps we could collaborate for a co-authored manuscript?

Regards,

Correlon Menetieri"

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “Do you know, while the Redguards seem to be such a reserved and dignified folk, if you express a polite interest in their rustic civilization, they will often become quite chatty about it. I certainly found this to be the case with a young poet named Azadiyeh whom I met in Satakalaam. She told me that the modern tradition of Walkabout, a sort of rite of passage for Redguard youth, is based on the ancient Yokudan legend of the Hero's Labors, in which a great warrior of the Dawn Era traveled through the zodiac, facing a challenge at each constellation. I regret to say her name escapes me at this juncture, but this hero's story could certainly be seen as supporting your (otherwise rather fanciful) hypothesis."

 

“To the illustrious Lady Laurent of Daggerfall, from a fellow seeker of lost treasures and forgotten lore,

I trust this letter finds you well, though there's no telling, given that couriers in Covenant lands seem to have a terrible habit of forgetting to deliver their messages.

In either case; I am writing to you to inquire if, in your rather extensive travels, you have come across any mention of the ancient Falmer, or Snow Elves, of Skyrim. As any student of ancient history, or any self-respecting Nord could tell you, the Snow Elves were here long before our ancestors ever made the journey from Atmora of old. Having seen the majestic ruins and arcane remnants of the proud Ayleid peoples scattered across Tamriel, one would assume that their Northern cousins in Skyrim would have been similarly advanced, in both culture and spell-craft. As a mage and scholar of Skyrim, I have been scouring tomes and personal accounts for any clue as to what became of the Falmer, and if any ruins or artifacts of their people remain. The potential breakthroughs in spell-craft alone are astounding! (Never mind the wealth and fame due to any who might uncover the secrets of the forgotten Snow Elves). If you have any leads that might aid in my search, please, send word immediately! (Though again, I strongly recommend against using any of the local messenger services.)

I'll be sure to credit you in my next book, should my search come to fruition,

Respectfully, and expectantly,

Asgautr Grey-Wind, Mage of Winterhold"

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “Physical remains of the long-lost Snow Elves are indeed few and far between—mute testament to how thoroughly the race, and all it created, was eradicated by your ancestors, Mage of Winterhold. At least we Breton nobles had the decency to allow our Direnni oppressors to withdraw to their little island in the Iliac. But you're quite right, any genuine discovery of Falmeri relics or ruins could make a scholar's career. On my visit to the Wrothgarian Mountains I intend to be alert for any evidence our new allies the Orcs may have of former Snow Elf sites, but frankly I am not optimistic."

 

“Lady Laurent, I trust that you and Stibbons made it back safely from the Hollow City. It must be an exciting time to be an archaeologist, given the myriad of discoveries being made by these supposedly immortal adventurers who might otherwise have never returned to tell their tales. I was hoping you could provide some insight into the origin of two of these surprising discoveries.

Classic Imperial history is infamous for glossing over the various Ayleid cities that blossomed outside the Heartlands following the fall of White-Gold, but even the staunchest of Ayleid Revivalists admit that the Wild Elves never extended their borders beyond the Jeralls. And yet despite the millennia of Falmeri and Nordic rule over Skyrim, the ruins of an Ayleid outpost has seemingly been excavated beneath the ruined fort as Greenwall, in the centre of the Rift. How do we reconcile this discovery with the region's history?

My second question is in regards to a rather infamous den of outlaws beneath the streets of Belkarth. I'm sure a lady of your standing would have little to do with a place such as that, but the stonework within is of exceptional Nedic craftsmanship. The recently discovered Nedic city of Reinhold's Retreat, a crumbling ruin even before the first Yokudan set foot on Tamriel, is also located beneath Belkarth. Are these perhaps part of an interconnected and intact complex?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Lady Clarisse Laurent says, “As I mentioned in reply to a previous question, I haven't personally had the privilege of inspecting Craglorn's Nedic relics, but if such ruins are in close proximity beneath Belkarth, my instinct would be that it's no coincidence. In my case, I would immediately task Stibbons with finding some connection between the two. Discovering a site both complete and intact, however, is probably too much to hope for.

“Ayleid ruins? In Skyrim? Impossible. According to my copy of Hrerm House-builder's 'Subterranean Eastmarch,' the works beneath Fort Greenwall are entirely Nord in nature. Elven ruins in that area would have to be Falmeri, in any event. Unless … unless that skeever Hrerm has discovered a lost Snow Elf site he hasn't shared with the rest of us. That would be just like him! Stibbons: take a letter."

 

“Stibbons, my friend, I see you enduring the hardships of travel and baggage weight everywhere Lady Laurent goes. How exactly did you end up in her establishment? And, just between you and me, would you rather be working for someone else?

Yours sincerely,

Alena-Draco, Chief Paladin and Matriarch of House Draco"

Stibbons says, “I consider it a rare privilege for one of my station to be able to serve a noble like Lady Laurent in whatever fashion I can, no matter how mundane. I have no scholarly training, but in my capacity as manservant to Her Ladyship I am able nonetheless to advance Breton scholarship—and that, after all, is the important thing. So long as it benefits scholarship, inconveniences such as ancient malefic curses, petrifaction, and Daedric torture are mere … actually, sir, where would this new employment take place? Hypothetically speaking, of course."

September 4, 2015
 

“Greetings Lady Honnorah,

I know the beasts are not known to be found in Hammerfell, and therefore I would understand your limited understanding on them, but could netches (both betty and bull) be utilised as mounts? Due to their ability to float it would seem they would be able to bypass obstacles such as steep climbs, allowing the rider to be able to get to places that were seemingly inaccessible beforehand.

Also, out of curiosity, are you familiar with Merric at-Aswala? If so, do you know what creature he might have preferred to ride into battle? I never got the chance to ask him due to his sudden workload as the Fighter's Guild's new guild-master.

Yours sincerely, Alena-Draco, Chief Paladin and Matriarch of House Draco"

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “Do I know Merric? He is my cousin! As a Redguard Gallant, and more importantly an Aswala, quite naturally he rides a Yokudan Charger.

“I have never seen a netch, of course, but I have heard of them. When I was a child I had a Dark Elf nanny, and she used to tell me Dunmeri folk tales about a character called 'the N'wah Boy,' whose foolish decisions always got him into hilarious predicaments. One story was called 'The N'wah Boy Rides the Netch,' and while I don't remember all the details, I recall that it ended with the lad stranded atop a windmill and stinking of netch gas, which my Elven nanny said was 'worse even than human flatulence.'

“Funny stories aside, I'm afraid flying mounts are entirely a figment of the imagination, and not something anyone will ever see in Tamriel. The idea is attractive, but quite absurd. And unnecessary—when I gallop my mare Asphodel across the dune sea, I might as well be flying, or at least that's how it feels to me!"

 

"Greetings to you Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq, Mistress of Mounts! Word has reached my ear of your expertise and knowledge of great steeds new and old. I come bearing a question that arose, as many things do here in East-Skyrim, from a very intense spat in one of our time-honored taverns.

A Nordic hunter and a 'City Orc' both stood about a table quarreling with one another about whether or not the Orcs of the West truly road great, woolly caterpillar-like beasts as steeds. The local orc proclaimed that his stronghold-dwelling cousins have used the unique beasts for generations, as they allegedly 'were useful for navigating the rocky crags and slopes of The Reach and Wrothgar '. My kinsman disagreed vehemently with the pigman's assertions and demanded that he get his thick skull checked, naturally. According to the hunter the only unique mounts he had seen the wild Orcs ride in the western mountains were bears, not furred caterpillars. Furthermore, he insisted that his Clan had hunted in The Reach since High-King One-Eye had conquered the region and not once had they encountered such a creature.

And so, honored Lady, I believe you might have already guessed my question: Are the woolly, caterpillar-steeds of the mountain Orcs a true form of mount to the ever-savage orcs? Or, are they simply fictitious nonsense; a myth conjured up by the barbarians? (It isn't hard to imagine that Orcs, with such naturally low intelligence, could mistake a bear for this 'woolly worm'.) I can only presume that the warriors of the sands would have encountered such steeds during their sacking of Wrothgar had they been real.

I'd appreciate any insight you may have on this matter. As would a great many tavern-owners.

May Owl spread your knowledge,

Jorvald Fjord-Heart, Shaman of the Old-Ways & Keeper of Northern Legends."

< The end of the parchment is stamped with silver wax sigil in the shape of two embattled dragons >

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “Well, I don't know—I've never seen a bear, but I have seen pictures of them, and I think at a glance one might very well be mistaken for a great woolly caterpillar! Only with too few legs. And the face of a beast rather than an insect. And the distinct lack of a segmented thorax.

“All right, maybe a bear can't be easily mistaken for a giant woolly caterpillar. However, no such beast is mentioned in either De Brazy's 'Steeds of Tamriel' or Luponio's 'Mounts of the World,' so it's probably safe to regard them as mythical. (I've always found the Orcs to be more fanciful than most people think!)"

 

"Greetings Honnorah, I erect the spines of welcome and grace. I remember buying a horse from your grandfather...may his soul find forever joy underneath the watchful eye of Tu'whacca in the Far Shores. But let us move that matter behind us, for I came here to speak with you about a somewhat...interesting matter regarding ancient war mounts. Do you remember that talk I had with your grandpapa about my trip to the Wrothgarian Mountains for my studying of the giant bats there? Oh, of course you don't...you were practically a baby. But as I was studying these creatures, I was contacted by a strange Orc named Turok who told me that back during the First Era his people, as well as the Breton city-tribes they fought against, once domesticated the echkin and utilized them as steeds and cattle. At first I was highly suspicious and believed this tardigrade rancher was just merely swinging my tail...before I came into the possession of a famous engraving depicting the making of 'bat-cheese' from the 'long-lost giant dairy bats of Goldfolly'. I found this interesting for two things: one, the idea of bat-cheese sounds delicious; and two, in the background of the engraving you can see armored warriors riding what appears to be outfitted giant bats, and keeping guard over them. Well, I know this may seem out of your field of expertise, but your family are probably the most knowledgeable individuals in regards to Tamrielic Mount Lore that I know in the immediate vicinity. If you would care to share just a little insight into this dear, I would be very grateful." – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “Bat-cheese not only sounds delicious, it tastes that way, too! Have you ever been to Ska'vyn? In the Caverns of Wry, just north of town, the Skav bat-herds breed their own giant dairy bats, fermenting from their milk a delectable cheese that is moist, crumbly, and piquant. Quite delightful, and it pairs well with pomegranate wine! If the bat-cheese of Goldfolly was half as good, it's a shame it's no longer produced there.

“As for riding giant bats, I'm afraid that, large as they are, the creatures simply aren't up to the task of supporting a person's weight while flying. Though quite intimidating with their wings at full spread, giant bats are really quite light—bearing persons two or three times their weight is quite out of the question. But the idea of a flying mount is so appealing that it's a persistent theme in legends and tales from all cultures. However, the dream of a flying mount is really no more than that—a fantasy."

 

"Greetings, my good Lady. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions from this humble battlemage. I recently visited the former location of the Aswala Stables on an official Covenant matter (a polite way of saying I was militarily deployed to aid in the forcible removal of the Dark Anchor there) and I was saddened to see what had become of the place. I wish you the best of fortune in its eventual restoration and return to its former glory.

I understand you're an expert on both contemporary and historical war mounts, and while I have a scholarly fascination with the subject at large, I must focus my questions on the available resources of the Daggerfall Covenant as a matter of practicality and duty. Thus, I'll keep my inquiries concise.

Firstly, the Yokudan Charger is legendary, and quite a powerful beast as well as a gorgeous one to behold. I must say, the horses of your people rival those from Breton song. Even the steeds of Saint Pelin and Ryain Direnni would have met their match, it seems. However, I'm curious as to the overall absence of another famous Hammerfell mount among the Covenant forces. When I visited Sentinel in my youth, there were rather more than a few camels to be seen, both as pack animals and as mounts. I've seen several tapestries in High Rock and Colovia depicting full cavalry charges on camelback. Was this ever a common war mount in Hammerfell or Yokuda, or is this the fancy of Tamrielic natives trying to understand the culture of the Raga?

Secondly, in lieu of a question about Bretonic breeds of horses (I grew up there, and trained extensively for mounted combat, as many young Breton knights and battlemages do), I'd like to hear your opinion on the origin of the Tamrielic horse. Were the Elves already utilizing them before the Nedes arrived from Atmora, or was it my Human ancestors who brought them across on longboats? Or, perhaps, did both Man and Mer bring their own strains, and if so, are modern Tamrielic horses hybridizations of Atmoran, Aldmeri and Yokudan stocks? For that matter, is there any record of the Akaviri bringing war mounts with them? I've only ever heard of their sailors and foot soldiers. Any input would be appreciated!" – Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “There is nothing wrong with camels, as either mounts or pack beasts, and I have the greatest respect for them! Their recent scarcity in Sentinel just shows the power of fad and fashion. Though the Aswala, as keepers of a precious Yokudan legacy, are naturally Crowns, our family was friendly with young Prince Fahara'jad, although he and his family are Forebears, and provided him with several fine steeds in his youth. When he became king (at least of northern Hammerfell), my cousin Merric suggested that, as a gesture to the Crowns, his majesty might make a strong statement reinforcing the tradition that the most prestigious mount for a Redguard is, and always has been, a well-bred horse, and not the camels the Ra Gada found here when they arrived on these shores. King Fahara'jad took Merric's suggestion, and suddenly every rider in Sentinel had to be mounted on a horse! (This also happened to be a fortunate turn of events for Aswala Stables.) However, though horses are the finest mounts gallants can ride, they are thirsty beasts, and expensive to maintain, particularly compared to the hardier and less finicky camels. I predict that, within the year, camels will once again be seen on a regular basis in Sentinel, and throughout northern Hammerfell.

“As for the origin of our steeds, mythohistory tells us that since the dawn of time, wherever there have been humans, there have been horses. They seem to have been an integral part of our civilizations going well back into tribal times, which implies that they came from the same places we did: Tamriel, Atmora, and Yokuda. As to the Akaviri, all we know is that the folk of that continent have invaded Tamriel twice, and brought no war-mounts with them either time. Whether that's because they don't use them, or it was just prohibitively difficult to bring them across the broad eastern ocean, I cannot say."

 

“Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq,
Only a few among the race of Men dwelling in your land, which we shall soon be pleased to call Hegathe once more, deserve to be addressed as honoured adversaries. I count you among those few. The fame of the Aswala Stables has reached even Summerset proper, and one would look quite the fool pretending to deny the peerless virtues of the Yokudan Charger. Moreover, I cannot help but feel that, having devoted your life to breeding perfection from stock brought over from a long-lost continent, you may understand us better than most.
I should be grateful, then, to receive your expert judgement of our own methods of equine husbandry. Have you had the privilege of examining the mounts ridden by the winged Royal Altmeri Hussars in their signature charge? Further, do you think the graceful kirin has much to recommend it as a steed of war?
With respect, Battlereeve Romilcano of Alinor"

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “Again with the flying mounts? This has gone far enough. 'Winged Royal Altmeri Hussars' indeed! Next you'll try to persuade me that Dragons and Unicorns are real. I'm afraid your Elven humor is lost on this respectable Redguard matron."

 

“To Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq, greetings:

In regards to your invitation for queries, I submit the following: what circumstances lead to the domestication of some of the more unusual steeds? And how was it accomplished? The horse seems to be the most widespread of mounts I have seen in my travels, why do you believe this to be the case?

Kind regards, Rohais of Auridon"

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “I believe horses are so common among the human cultures because we have always shared a special bond with them. And Elves like them, of course, because they admire anything that embodies grace and elegance. But it must be admitted that horses are not the ideal mount for every climate and terrain, and so other kinds of steeds have been domesticated in various parts of Tamriel: bears in the Wrothgarian Mountains, senche-tigers in the cat-lands of the south, camels in Hammerfell, and of course the many charming breeds of guar bred by the Dark Elves in Morrowind. Still, as you say, the horse is undoubtedly Tamriel's most popular mount."

 

“Pleb Honnorah af-Lahreq,

I've read your pamphlet on the Legend of the Yokudan Chargers; however, I would put forward that a strong and stout Colovian bred steed can outmatch one of these sand-eating equine of your people any day! But on to my question, I see many roaming the lands atop Senche Tigers, how are these creatures tamed to a ride able state and are they not just Khajiit in another form?

Brutus Verulus, the Hound of Anvil."

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “I have been told that the senche-mounts of the Khajiit folk are not nearly as intelligent as their riders, though—confusingly for us non-Khajiit—they do share a name, in part, with two of the cat-folks' furstocks. I must also admit that the Baandari Pedlar who told me this accompanied his explanation with a broad feline wink, so perhaps the information is not entirely reliable. In order to find out for myself, I've entered into negotiations with a Riverhold stablemaster to purchase a black senche-panther mount. This is partly for professional reasons, and partly because, I must confess, I think they look quite fabulous. I can hardly wait to ride it into Tava's Blessing on market day!"

September 19, 2015

 

“Greetings Lady Eloisse,

A lady's beautiful, sweeping gown in particular has always caught my eye. I have a number of these, myself, but I have a slight dilemma. There is a ball coming up that I must attend, and I want to dress accordingly, but I simply do not know which out of my array of gorgeous gowns I should wear. I want to go for a princess-like look, so the bigger and flouncier the skirt, the better! Could you perhaps suggest a type of dress I could go for?

Also, are there any particular traits found in each race's noble dress? For example, Bretons are known for a more conservative look, while the High Elves often use ornamentation in their designs.

Yours sincerely, Alena-Draco, Chief Paladin and Matriarch of House Draco"

Lady Eloisse says, “Layers are the way to go, Alena—petticoats and underskirts will provide that blooming and burgeoning 'flouncing' ballroom look. And I think you'll find exactly that in some of this season's higher-end designs from House Manteau, as shown in the sketch below. In High Rock this year we're all about layers, layers frilled, crumpled, and ruched, layers tiered, ruffled, and stiffened. Add a petticoat, then add one more, and I'll wager you'll love the result.

“As you say, every culture has its own look, but at House Manteau we don't like to be too dogmatic about 'staying Breton.' We take a little something from here, another little something from there, try them out together, and are often surprised by unexpectedly well such mixing and matching can work. Wood Elf antlers atop Dunmeri shoulder pads? Why not?"


 

“Beautiful Lady Eloisse,

In my travels to Morrowind I encountered a trader, Sadril Radveso, who offered me many wondrous and beautiful wares - carpets, rugs, fabrics, and clothes. Some of them were even silks. It seemed very exotic and exquisite, and I asked him where he got it. He told me that he got it from another trader in the Foreign Quarter of Vivec city, who, in turn, receives such wares from various Ashlander craftsmer. Fascinated, I bought a small decorated rucksack for about 50 drakes and a bottle of Cyrodilic brandy. In fact, my colleagues are jealous of it, 'cause it looks worth even for a noble!

So, what I want to ask you - what they make such goods from? Some Vvardenfellic species of a moth, or maybe a silk spider? I will be very grateful for your answer, my Lady.
Your obedient servant,
Scintius Aravellus Abarbus the Framer, St. Alessia's Apothecary"

Lady Eloisse says, “That was a lucky find! Silk comes from an abundance of sources across Tamriel, but few varieties can compare with the spidersilk of Morrowind. Not many outside the clothing trade know that it comes in several grades, known to the Dark Elf tailors as 'shimmer,' 'Azura's-breath,' and 'contraspun.' Shimmer, the most common, is the fine rippling fabric you see on the skirts modeled below. Azura's-breath is even lighter, so fine it is often translucent, but it's no less strong and durable than shimmer. Furthermore, it's particularly receptive to enchantment, and is often employed as the magicka-bearing fabric in spellwear. Contraspun, on the other hand, is so dense and impervious it's said it can turn a knife blade—and yet it retains silk's signature soft ductility. A contraspun garment provides a measure of protection without compromising on appearance!"


 

“Greetings, mortal,
Recently I have noticed many mortals roaming about my home plane of Coldharbour in strange attire resembling ornate cloth robes that seem to offer little to no protection in combat. This strange state of dress is not just limited to spellcasters, however, I have observed all castes of mortals charge into battle wearing them. The few Soul Shriven I have interrogated about this odd trend have told me that these robes are in fact called "gowns" and that they are primarily worn by mortal "nobles". However not one of them could in fact answer why mortal warriors would voluntarily engage in combat wearing such ill-suited armor! So my questions are threefold!
One: Why would any mortal wear these "gowns" into combat?
Two: What possible advantages could they offer over proper cloth armor, like a robe?
Three: Where would one find a "gown" of proper style and size to suit a Kynaz of my station?
Respond swiftly mortal! My time is not limited, but my patience is!
- Diraxion, Kynreeve of Clan Deathbringer"

Lady Eloisse says, “Surely a Daedra should know not to be deceived by appearances! There's no reason why practical combat gear cannot be ornamental and pleasing to the eye—even delicate and pretty! Really, the way you Dremora put spikes and flanges on everything, I wonder sometimes how you can even don such garb without doing yourself an injury. Does everything have to look so, what was that Undaunted term, so 'bad-ass' all the time? Think light! Think flowing! Think colorful!

“And in the name of Dibella, don't assume that just because a warrior wears something that looks like a wedding gown that such a combatant isn't fully protected! Beneath that crinoline there are probably layers of tough material hardened enough to deflect an arrow. Not to mention the possibility of magical augmentation!

“Kynreeve, take a glance at the fashions modeled below, confections designed by some of our new friends in Orsinium. Now imagine yourself in one of these splendid robes, perhaps covering a suit of mail. Wouldn't it just make the other Dremora pale with jealousy? Not to mention the cheer it would bring to your otherwise dreary realm of Coldharbour. Think about it!"


 

"Greetings, Lady Eloisse!

I, um, wish to erect the spine of apology for accidentally teleporting myself directly into your private chambers earlier this morning. You can never find a good portal spell ingredient list these days, I tell you, and do hope you can forgive me over it. But let me move on to the reason why I requested to meet with you in the days prior to this one: I have three questions dealing with a subject I have little to no knowledge of, Tamrielic Attire, and I believe you are just the lady that can answer them for me. Let's begin shall, we?

My first question deals with the Nibenese and their legendary tattoo parlors. Amongst the Niben, tattoos are considered respectable, honorable, and as physical representations of one's inner strengths and emotions; some Niben subcultures even view them with a spiritual sense. For the Nibenese, tattoos are a part of their attire -- cloths made of ink instead of silk and wool. What is your opinion on this practice, my lady, and why do you believe the Colovians do not partake in it as much as their eastern brethren?

For my second question, I ran into a Mages Guild member named Octavius Mede during my travels through Sutch recently and he convinced me to buy a few robes off of his person that his sister had made at home. When I asked him about the quality of the fabric, he told me that the best robes are always 'mage-made, reinforced silk with layers of softening and anti-wrinkling enchantments' woven into them, and that they offer the best protection. The idea of warlock-tailors and witch-seamstresses entices me greatly, and I wonder if it is advised for nobles to wear magical clothing. If so, that would explain why I never see men and women of import wearing rumpled clothing!

And for my final question, I wish to inquire about the suspicious absence of cloaks in the provinces. When I was a young hatchling at the beginning of the Second Era, post my enslavement to the Dark Elves of Tear, my Dres master once told me that cloaks were signs of nobility and grace within the cultures higher than my own 'primitive civilization' after I accidentally dirtied his. Ever since then I became fascinated with cloaks and aspired to have tailored just for me, embroidered with symbols of my native province, tribe, and village. And when I eventually became a scholar in Cyrodiil, I did just that; imagine how elated I was to see cloaks embroidered with Nibenese, Colovian, Yokudan, and even Akaviri heraldry! But over the years I have noticed that cloaks now seem to be going out of style, and I was bewildered when a Druadach man told me to take my 'oversized table napkin' from between my shoulders. Can you please inform me on why cloaks seem to be less important in Tamriel than they used to be, for I haven't worn mine since that day and I do not wish to publicly embarrass myself again."

– Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar"

Lady Eloisse says, “Ah, tattoos—such a divisive subject for those of our profession! Do they enhance one's appearance with a personalized expression of individuality, or do they compromise one's ability to adopt a different appearance for a new situation or condition? It's a personal decision, but certainly some cultures lean more toward tattooing than others—including, as you point out, the Nibenese. The sophisticated folk of the Niben Valley, unlike, say, the wilder Wood Elves or Reachmen, prefer their tattoos to be subtle, even understated. They often proclaim the wearer's allegiance to a cult, lifestyle, or political faction, enabling members of such groups to recognize each other quickly and easily.

“Your friend Octavius Mede did not misinform you—spell-tailoring is an ancient art, and simple protective spells have been bound into garments since time immemorial. The art arguably reached its height in the early-mid First Era, when the Empress Hestra was said to have a Gown of State magically augmented to repel inimical spells, stave off fatigue, and enable levitation at will! While we have no such abilities today, the art still persists, and most great nobles have a spell-tailored item or two in their wardrobes.

“As to cloaks, well—those are SO fifth-century. House Manteau made its name tailoring cloaks for King Joile and his court, but I don't believe we've had a request for a cloak, other than as a costume prop for a stage-play, in at least fifty years. One would have to be eccentric indeed to want to wear something as old-fashioned as a cloak in the year 582 of the Second Era! You're an Argonian, so just look at the lovelies below modeling some of the latest fashions out of Gideon. Would you really want them, and their outfits, covered up in fusty old capes or cloaks? Of course not!"


 

“Greetings Lady Eloisse,

I am Hundorian and over several years of searching I have come across several dresses. The most comfortable and the one I'm currently wearing is the Noble Dress. I wear it every day for every task I am doing such as digging, tending to the plants, eating the plants, or accidentally swallowing rocks and it fits perfectly. The problem I have come across however is that I am always having trouble getting it off to take my dirt bath. Most recently I had to get help because I didn't realize you had to lift the dress up and untie the strings in the back to get it off. I finally had my dirt bath after wrestling with the dress and put it back on when I was done. I would like to ask if there is an easier way to get the dress off and who made it as well? I would hate to have to stea- I mean borrow another one. Oh and before I forget, could the holes in dresses also be larger? I always get my tail stuck when trying to maneuver it through. Dirt guide you and please use the pouch of dirt I sent you wisely.

- Hundorian, Lord of Dirt"

Lady Eloisse says, “Dibella's cheek, I hope the dress subjected to such treatment wasn't a House Manteau creation! Indeed, generally speaking, the more noble the attire, the more intricate its construction, and the more likely one is to need assistance when putting it on or taking it off. I still recall giving Clarisse Laurent's manservant Stibbons his first lesson in how to help a lady into—and out of—her stomacher. How he blushed!

“Adapting to tails is a thorny problem for even the most experienced couturier to solve. Most don't even try! My best advice to you, my feline friend, is to stick to clothing made by Khajiit, for Khajiit. Note how naturally they deal with the tail issue. Trust the experts!"

 

"Most graceful Lady Eloisse,

You must know I am most delighted to write back to you after you so kindly arranged for my sister's evening gown to be made - most gracious of you! I must say the embroidery and level of detail are absolutely stunning, not to mention the lavender accents on the sleeves. The shape, the material, all is marvelous dear Countess. Accept our heartfelt gratitude in the bottle of raspberry wine my father Lord Gaspard hand-picked for you. I believe he will be visiting you sometime soon to take advantage of your personal clothier. In any case, some foreign dignitaries at court were not particularly impressed by the astounding Breton fashion that is my sister's gown, and even went so far as to deride it! Can you imagine?! Comparing our attire with the boring Altmer, Redguard and even Imperial fashion styles! They said it was "quaint" and "pleasant" at best. Preposterous! Tell me, dear Countess, how would you compare our Breton fashion with the styles of the other races? Certainly you would agree we are the most stylish of all the peoples of Tamriel, yes?

Respectfully yours,
Grand Enchanter Etienne Dumonte, of the Wayrest Mage's Guild"

Lady Eloisse says, “I don't think it's controversial at all to say that the dressmakers and haberdashers of High Rock are the most subtle and sophisticated clothiers in Tamriel. The sniping aimed at your sister's elegant dress is just the same carping, born of envy and ignorance, that we here at House Manteau are all too familiar with. These 'foreign dignitaries,' now—were they Orcs? They were Orcs, weren't they? All too typical. Yet such is the world we now live in.

“On the other hand, look at the latest offerings from Sar'aq of Sentinel, modeled below, which display traditional Alik'r pomp reined in by a certain newfound restraint, which I must attribute to the cross-cultural influence of High Rock upon the design sense of our allies to the south. Quite splendid, don't you think? And yet thoroughly modern—not the least bit 'quaint.'"


 

“Lady Eloisse,
This one shows you the claw of greeting, as a humble Argonian sorcerer and a follower of customs it is important to wear robes showing not only this one's profession but to ensure that the local peasants do not come too close due to the fear of being turned into a toad or some other animal a step up from their existence. However having tried many styles only the Bretons seem to have constructed robes which not only contain a pouch for this one's gold while also removing those absurd hip flaps. Can you explain why all other styles have not followed the Breton lead and what these hip flaps do other than flap around in annoying manner, one human thought this Argonian was a fool and claimed it was armour to protect the hip. Having been in many battles this one can assure you no-one has ever attempted to kill his fine self by stabbing him in the hip.
Ash-Tal Argonian Sorcerer"

Lady Eloisse says, “To be fair, what you refer to as 'hip-flaps' are properly known as 'tassets,' and they are indeed intended to act as protection for the outside of the hips and upper thighs. That said, I agree that exaggerated tassets look simply absurd, completely ruining the body-lines of otherwise fine suits of armor. And the fad for extended faux-tassets on civilian wear currently seen on the would-be fashionable youth of our larger cities is, frankly, just in bad taste. It's no wonder the more upscale taverns and inns are beginning to refuse service to these 'flapdoodles.' Who can blame them?

“Little-known fact: pockets for men's clothes, which have been universally adopted in High Rock, were actually invented by the Nords! The denizens of Skyrim, of course, are fond of their hip flasks of mead, but external flask-holsters are too vulnerable to the depredations of pickpockets, especially when one is 'in his cups,' as the Nords say. The solution: interior pockets, cunningly wrought! Look at the Nord models below, showing off the finery of Jork the Tailor-Thane of Windhelm. I guarantee you every one of these fellows has a flask on his hip or in his lapel, but do you see a telltale bulge? Not in a Jork tunic, you won't!"


 

October 3, 2015

“Greetings, Architect,

I've a very important question I've needed answered for several decades. I feel some explanation is required as to the nature of my question.

Upon my arrival within Imperial City some several decades ago I found myself on the wrong end of a drunken night of "fun" perpetrated by what I can only assume were Colovians. It wasn't a span of five minutes before I was asked why I was so far from home. Black Marsh, I thought, but alas I believe they meant the sewers. At least I think they did because I very quickly found myself within them. With such large, similar rooms and total darkness I spent a week navigating the labyrinthian design of the sewer systems. I had only rats to eat for days. Not that I mind, they make for good meals. Nevertheless, I digress.

If you are in fact the designer of the systems in which I found myself lost I simply ask the following: why would you design such a monstrosity of engineering that has such large, apparently useless rooms, with so very little actual plumbing? Honestly, the Black Marsh seems to have a more efficient method of disposing of waste than those sewers do.

If you are not the designer, then I ask for your knowledge on who built such catacombs with high ceilings and so few exits.

I await your anwser.

Shocks-When-Touched
Formerly of the Arcane University's Faculty"

Mycaelis Julus says, “The short answer is that the original architects of the Imperial City sewers were the Ayleids, who left behind no records as to how it was designed and why it was laid out as it was. It is clear, however, that the system of sewers beneath the city was built for more than just drainage. It seems to have been designed to facilitate the subterranean movement of large items, as if there was something, or someone, that they Ayleids did not wish exposed to sunlight or the elements. But the full extent of the system is unknown, because over time some regions have partially collapsed, so that while the sewage still moves through, people cannot, while other areas have entirely collapsed, and have had to be bypassed or rerouted by new excavations. But as a civil architect, what I find remarkable is that, despite the ravages of time, the sewers still do their job, efficiently draining the waste and runoff of the great city overhead."

“Honorable Mycaelis,

I hope this letter finds you in some haven far from the bitter fighting that dominates the capital. In my line of work I've learned to seek out and memorize the hidden tunnels every Tamrielic city seems to hide beneath her skirts. From there I can better spy upon the wretched practitioners of the Black Art - who are often masters of cloak and dagger themselves. From there I can better strike.

My question regards the sewer network beneath the Imperial City. I know the majority of the system was constructed long ago, but what can you tell me about the original purpose behind the narrow corridors that branch from each major chamber? When I'm pursuing a mark in that winding morass, and we enter a blind tunnel only to have me crash into a spur of daedric stone or slip up on a fungal cluster - that's when I wonder at the reasoning behind all of these serpentine hallways.

I can only think that some early, prescient necromancer built this accursed network to insidiously foil attempts at bringing his future counterparts to justice.

Thank you in advance for any offered insight, and may the All-Revealer keep you in his grace.

V.E."

Mycaelis Julus says, “The labyrinthine layout of the sewer system is difficult to explain at first glance, but we must recall that it was designed to drain the capital city of the Heartland Elves, which looked very different from the Imperial City of today—bath buildings, fountain locations, entire districts have changed since Alessia's slave army ejected the Ayleids and took the city for humanity. In many places, the plumbing beneath the streets has been entirely reworked and bears no resemblance to the original construction. Some parts of the system now see very little use, while a heavy rain may cause other channels to overflow or back up. It requires constant maintenance, I assure you—a civic architect's work is never done! And now there are all these blue Daedralithic protrusions spiking in and out of the walls, in many cases blocking proper flow and drainage. Once the city is liberated, if those blue rocks don't go back where they came from, I simply have no idea how we're going to manage—certainly not on the budget we had before the crisis, which was already woefully insufficient, in my professional opinion."

“Greetings Architect Julus,

I have made many trips into the Imperial Sewers since the Alliance Captains flung open the doors, and have managed to nearly document every nook and cranny. I have a few questions that I'd like to get your ultimate opinion on . . .

Firstly, I assume you are aware of the presence of both the Barathrum Centrata area at the root of the White-Gold Tower and the Dragonfire Cathedral deep under the Imperial City. Was there a reason you decided to merge the former into your design, and hide the latter? You may want to look into the latter when the war above has finished by the way . . .

Secondly, why make the sewers traversable at all? With all manner of magic spells available, is a manual group actually required to go down there and do whatever it is they need to? This would also reduce the ridiculous amount of creatures you have down there . . . as if hoarvor weren't bad enough, there's crocodiles and skeevers! Not to mention the ungodly amount of Daedric forces . . . so I ask you, why can you not just have simple pipelines instead of 10 feet diameter tunnels? And if you know the architect of the Wayrest version, give him a piece of my mind too.

Finally, have you not even thought about the consequences of where all this waste is going to? I ran into two officers in the Shadowfen region of Black Marsh, where I was pleased to see one of them actually cared about the indigenous Argonians to actually clean up the pollution. Please alert me if you decide to do something about it.

Other than these three points, it's an excellent system. Congratulations on a remarkable feat of engineering.

Yours sincerely, Alena-Draco, Chief Paladin and Matriarch of House Draco"

Mycaelis Julus says, “Julianos' little teapot! Don't mistake me for the original designer of the sewer system—I merely do my humble best to understand it and keep it in working order despite very limited resources. You ask why the sewers are traversable at all: I assure you, about four-fifths of them are not, as they consist of narrow drainpipes that bring sewage and runoff into the larger conduits. The traversable tunnels provide access to key areas and make maintenance of the system possible. They also seem to have served the Ayleids as a system of subsurface transport, the purpose of which has been lost. As for the Wayrest sewers, it's my understanding that they were built in emulation of the Imperial City system, which accounts for any apparent similarities.

“As for what happens to the Imperial City's waste once it washes away down the Niben, well, let bygones be gone, as we say in Cyrodiil. It's not our way to worry about the detritus of the past."

The Rat whispers, “Heh. True. Forgotten detritus."

“Master Architect Julus, I trust this letter reaches you well.

I was hoping you could offer some insight into the sewer systems beneath the Imperial Palace. Obviously this section of the city substructure can be difficult to accurately map due to the underlying Ayleid architecture, but recent intelligence suggests that all three Alliance forward bases are positioned close to passages leading directly to manholes in Green Emperor Way.

Most sewer maps assert that the Barathrum Centrata drainage pit is located directly below White-Gold Tower, but scouts report nothing but 'unending legions of Daedra' in this highly-contested chamber, and zero surface access. Are the Alliance generals mistakenly pushing deeper underground in their haste to take the Ruby Throne? What is the intended function of these mysterious side passages, and where exactly do they lead in relation to the Palace District?"

– Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Mycaelis Julus says, “We don't actually have a definitive answer to this question, but I do have a theory: I believe that the maze of side-tunnels serves the purpose of diverting the flow of drainage into locations where it percolates slowly to lower conduits, allowing waste to settle out so that the water that eventually makes its way into Lake Rumare is relatively clean.

“And if I may stretch the metaphor, the Imperial City sewers serve as a catch-basin not only for human waste, but for the dregs of humanity, those individuals so low and degraded that they seep down into the levels below the city, removing those unfit for society into an existence appropriate to their status. These scum … hello, what? Who are you? No, don't, that looks sharp…."

The Rat says, “Heh. 'Human waste.' It's fine, the blood will wash down the drains. It always washes down the drains. Let bygones be gone."

“Mycaelis Julus,

Greetings! I am a scholar of the ancient Ayleid language. We at Gwylim are always looking for new inscriptions and artifacts to aid our understanding. Lately we have been greatly distressed by the damage the war has done to the many historical buildings of Ayleid origin that lie within the city. What's worse - we are consistently denied in our requests to study these damaged buildings before they are demolished and rebuilt by your guild. Rumor has it that far more Ayleid ruins extend beneath the city. Soon it may be that these legendary crypts are all that is left of the Imperial City's Ayleid heritage. I beg you to answer - What are the extents of the ruins beneath the city? What sort of inscriptions have you uncovered in your excavations? And for the love of Akatosh, would you please consider preserving them for proper study instead of consigning them to Oblivion for the sake of sewage!

Toh Sacchus,

Ayleid Linguist, University of Gwylim"

The Rat says, “Plenty of ruins, Sir Linguist, no worries there. Deep they go, and deeper still. Come, and I will be your guide. I will show you inscriptions. If there aren't enough, I can carve more. There's time, down here, time enough for everything. But bring supplies. Lots of supplies. We have plenty of time and inscriptions, but not enough supplies. Turkey legs are good—bring those.

“Leovic was curious, like you. He also wondered about the 'legendary crypts' under the city. Now he doesn't have to wonder."

“Architect,

I write in hope that a man of your profession may help to elucidate the truth behind some of the stories the soldiers tell while on their leaves-of-adoration here in Cloudrest. They tell the most illimitable fables, tales of the cultural practices of your people I can only assume to be the fabrications of minds traumatized by the horrors of war. For example, although it is widely known that your ravaged city suffers the effects of ghastly sanitation, I have heard it claimed that even before these troubled times the effluence of the city was allowed to drain directly into the source waters of your lake Rumare, without sedimentation, filtration, or even basic creatia-colloid clarification! Surely this must be due to the ravages of war and the hordes of Oblivion - I cannot imagine that any sentient beings would so thoughtlessly pollute their very source of hydration! Even the noisome Maormer are known to understand the rudiments of water purification!

Please, I require your reassurance in this matter. Can it really be that your people have always drawn their drink from wells of water swimming with their own excrement? Is it remotely true that the scarlet tint to the already turpid waves of your Rumare, stained by the sanguinary dribblings of your populace's infected posteriors, is in fact the native condition of this body? Are those creatures I hear spoken of as 'Rust drakes' truly transmogrified crocodilians that churn the noisome waters of their spoilage with spindly extra limbs, or is there a nobler origin behind these monstrosities? When it rains, do the sewers truly flood the streets with their overflow of repressed scatological memory, and do your people truly consider this as nothing more than healthy fertilization for their gardens?

I anxiously await your clarification in this matter, and wish you well in your doubtlessly tireless efforts to rectify the state of your city's sewerage.

Ardari Ilmion, Nonagenarian of the School of Thoughts and Calculations in Cloudrest"

The Rat says, “You talk too much. Clever words, cutting words meant to hurt, to carve new inscriptions, to injure and shame. But The Rat is not cut by words. There is no survival in words. You will learn. Come to the sewers, Nonagenarian, and bring your words. Those who live down here have survived fire and claw and fang. Try to hurt them with your many, many words, to keep them away from your soft throat. We will teach you new words, Elf. You will say them loudly, but only once."

 

October 19, 2015

“Please accept this bottle of Glendis Red 143. Every sip of this rare wine conjures up the memories of a gladiator's last fight in the arena, a vivid image of the strikes and styles that were lost with his or her death. It's a meager offering for a demiprince such as yourself, I know, but it's still exceedingly rare here on Nirn -- after making just 9 bottles, Glendis of the Bloodworks was executed for grave robbing, suspected necromancy, and the brewing of corpses into wine without a license.

Now, as to the reason I'm writing. It is commonly believed among mortal scholars that the realms of the Daedric Princes are extensions of those Princes themselves. I've encountered instances of the same being true on a smaller scale -- the infamous Mages Guild report on the so-called "Bad Man" of Daggerfall, as well as in my own experimentation on lesser Daedra. However, in all the infinite expanses of Oblivion, this can't be the only way a realm can be maintained. Is your realm a part of yourself, or otherwise invested of your essences? Do you know of any other pocket realms that were created without involving a Daedroth's morphotype?

You have my utmost gratitude for your time. If I ever make it to your corner of Oblivion, please do save a glass of Glendis for me -- that was my last bottle, after all.

Sincerest regards,

The Spellwright"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “To answer your questions, Spellwright, I shall go from the specific to the general! In common with the greater Princes, my realm of Maelstrom and myself are indistinguishable—my pocket reality is a projection of my mind, nature, and will. Indeed, reality as personal manifestation is the norm in all the highly-organized realms I have visited. Exceptional realms deviate from this norm in several ways. There are physical realms, such as Infernace, home of the flame atronachs, that exist as collective extensions of their numerous, less-powerful inhabitants. In my experience, such 'collective realms' tend to be rather mundane and uninteresting, lacking the distinctive qualities of the more personal Oblivion planes. There are regions of incomplete and half-finished demi-planes, the so-called 'inchoate realms,' that were for some reason abandoned by their projectors—dangerous places for even powerful Daedra to visit, as it's easy to become discorporated in a Roamver ambush, or by getting caught up in a realm-rip. Then there are what we call the 'sundered realms,' pocket realities that were shattered by interplanar war or Princely expungement. To answer your final question, I know of no organized Oblivion realms created or maintained by other than individual or collective will. But I haven't seen everything in Oblivion. Who could?"

“Since we're talking about Oblivion Pocket Realms, I would eagerly like to know what exactly is a Slipstream Realm instead. It is said to be a sort of pocket dimension located between Mundus and Oblivion, but what it really means? I also heard it is not inhabited by Daedra nor mortals, so who precisely owns it? And where is this so called “Weir Gate" used to get inside it?

Please, excuse me if I prefer to remain anonymous, but I want to prevent someone stopping me to searching for those places.

The Quidnunc Battlemage"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Ah! The 'Weir Gate' leads, or will lead, to the Slipstream Realm where you mortals have or will establish your Battlespire Academy. Regarding the 'Slipstream' designation: mortals, of course, can only perceive Oblivion and the astronomical regions of the Mundus in terms of their own frames of reference. They 'see' only what they can comprehend, and often that isn't much. Furthermore, what they do comprehend often seems to drive them insane, though the rate of mental deterioration varies with individuals. Twice upon a time, the Imperial Mananauts regularly ventured beyond Nirn, and in doing so learned that the mortal mind is best acclimated to other realities by gentle degrees. This is one of the reasons why Maelstrom seems to resemble aspects of your world—I wished it to be mortal-friendly, or at least friendly enough for mortals to experience my arenas without distorting their mentalities! Anyway, the Mananauts will learn that it's best to train for Oblivion in a transition zone, a place where differing truths can co-exist without conceptual abrasion. At certain points, transliminal forces balance in standing waves, and these regions are designated 'Slipstream Realms.' We haven't actually been to Battlespire yet, have we, my Tutor? Would you please remember forward for me to tell the Quidnunc about this 'Weir Gate'?"

Tutor Riparius says, “Of course, Lord Demiprince! The Weir Gate is a semi-permanent portal between Tamriel and the Battlespire that has been, is sometimes, or will be blocked or destroyed. Sooner or later, we'll know more than that."

“Fa-Nuit-Hen,

Although my fellow colleagues are not pleased with contacting a Daedric Demiprince, if that is what you are, we here at the Guild of Mages were recently wondering about the creation of pocket realms of Oblivion. How are these miniature realms formed in the first place? Would it in any way be possible for a skilled mage to be able to create one for themselves, or is it exclusively done by Daedric entities like yourself? Finally, should the former be true here, were there any historical cases of mortal races creating their own planes? I suspect that the Ayleids would have known how to accomplish such a thing. However, we have found no evidence to support this so far. I thank you for your time, and your personal insight would be more than helpful in our research on this.

Wizard Solinar of Firsthold, Mages Guild"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “So far as I know, pocket realms can be created and maintained only by immortals such as the greater Daedra—though, of course, it's well known that mortals have the capacity to ascend to immortality. Such ascended mortals often become great pests as far as we Daedra are concerned, so I don't think I'll go into the means of such ascension. Who wants more pests? But I will give you an example: the Ideal Masters who rule the Soul Cairn pocket realm were once mortals like yourself. If you get a chance to visit that, frankly, rather unattractive little reality, perhaps the Ideal Masters will tell you how they worked it. I wouldn't count on it, though: they're notoriously short on empathy, and at the first excuse will confine you inside a tight little crystal 'for all eternity,' whatever that means."

“Great Prince Fa-Nuit-Hen,

A few years ago I managed to travel to the Soul Cairn. I saw many frightening new things, tasted new plants, listened to the saddening to stories of hopeless souls, and possibly even saw an undead dragon, but what piqued my interest the most was the existence of the area itself. The realm was considerably large, and when I met a large soul gem-like Ideal Master, they referred to themselves as "one of the Makers".

My question is how these mysterious beings created such a place, and why they did so. I would have asked one of them, but the last time I saw one was when I found a shard of an Ideal Master in a nobleman's chest.

Cyan Fargothil of Seyda Neen"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Wasn't I just talking about that place? I believe I was—but now, I have moved on! Riparius, old friend, I leave this one to you."

Tutor Riparius says, “But of course! Perhaps I can shed a bit more light on the subject. Long ago, as you reckon such things, the Ideal Masters were an early order of sorcerers who practiced necromancy, trafficking in souls, great, small, and fragmentary. They became very powerful, and eventually found their physical forms to be unacceptably weak and limiting. By means which I shall not articulate, they transcended those forms and became beings of soul-energy. They entered Oblivion as immortals, selected an area of chaotic creatia, and crafted it into a pocket realm ideal for their purposes as soul merchants. They dubbed this pocket the Soul Cairn and, pleased with themselves, adopted the name Ideal Masters as a title."

“Fa-Nuit-Hen, Multiplier of Motions Known, I offer the soul of this fallen warrior as sacrifice, and in return request only a drop of your knowledge. My questions for you today are threefold:

Firstly, I must ask of your nature. Which of the Princes sired you? We know of your involvement with Vivec, but is it true that you also taught new Motions to dissident Redguards who rejected the Ansei?"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “I interrupt, for I become impatient to return to my affairs, which are quite pressing! I, of course, am a scion of Boethiah. Why would such as I teach new motions to dissident Redguards? Not that I disdain those people, who fight well, for mortals—and even I learned a new motion or two when I observed the HoonDing making way!"

“For my second question, I'd like to inquire into the matter of your Aedric counterparts. Many obscure texts describe Morihaus-Breath-of-Kyne as a Demiprince, but this is hard to reconcile with what little we know of Daedric Demiprinces such as yourself."

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Morihaus! It's long indeed since I thought of him. How we would drink and dice together! As far as I'm concerned, to call him a 'demiprince' is clearly a misnomer. He was a demigod—or so he was termed by the mortals of his time. If you go then, you'll see what I mean."

“Lastly, I hope that you could provide some information on the pocket realm of Infernace, home of the highly intelligent Flame Atronachs. Even the most inexperienced mortal conjurer knows of the existence of this realm and its endless supply of fiery guardians, but it has rarely been visited due to the extreme conditions within. Does it have a clan structure? We know that the Flame Atronachs can collectively swear allegiance to a Prince, but how do such alliances affect this plane politically?

– Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Infernace, as alluded to above, is one of the dullest realms I've ever visited. Magma, fumaroles, and more magma—even the Deadlands has more variety! But it must suit the Flame Atronachs, as it was crafted to their collective specifications. Regarding their clan structure and hierarchy, I was too bored to inquire. I admit it: to me, all Flame Atronachs look alike. Some may be bigger than others, but whether the larger ones rule the lesser ones, I couldn't say. …I believe I shall take just one more question for today."

“To Fa-Nuit-Hen, courtesy of The Loremaster;

I was intrigued to hear that the Maelstrom Arena is considered an Oblivion pocket realm; one of yours, I assume? I have always had an interested in pocket realms, being that there is so little documentation about them in existing scholarly works - some sources say there are over 37,000. The Monomyth states how the sixteen Daedric Princes "created the Daedric Realms, and all the ranks of Lesser Daedra, great and small", so I was wondering, how do the pocket realms fit into the Daedric hierarchy? Does every pocket realm belong originally to one of the sixteen Princes? If so, who do you owe allegiance to?

Now, on to the Arena - I have heard rumors that an entrance has appeared up in Wrothgar, but no specifics on its location. Are you able to elaborate? Is it up in the Black Mountain, near Orsinium, or perhaps in one of the other regions of Wrothgar? I very much look forward to seeing it myself someday.

Enodoc Dumnonii, Savant of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Over 37,000? There are more than that in the Ur-Mora Clarion region alone! But most are too strange for mortal comprehension—you're better off just thinking about those planes associated with the Princes, Demiprinces, and Daedra Lords, as those all partake of concepts that are at least somewhat familiar to you. Of them all, if you are as warlike as most Tamrielics, you're sure to find the Maelstrom Arena the most welcoming! If you're up for the challenge, you'll find the portal to my handsome little realm currently anchored in the foothills of the Wrothgarian Mountains, just northeast of where the Orcs are building their new capital city of … Orsinium, I think they call it. The gate to Maelstrom might take a little finding, but it's worth the search! Trust me, I'm a Daedra."

 

October 30, 2015

“Greetings, Multiplier of Motions Known! I erect the spines of respect and honesty, respectively, that you may know I come to communicate with you in good faith. It wasn't easy for me to create a portal to your realm, running out of echkin fang you see, but after hearing you were accepting visitors I thought you wouldn't mind speaking to a warrior-scholar like myself over Daedric matters...especially one who used to be involved in such matters on a more personal level. I have also brought you a token, the sword of the fallen Redguard warrior Laja Saun, a follower of Hoodoc, the Yokudan God of Talks and Makes Others Listen and one of your ancient enemies, to ensure you that I hold no ill against you, m'lord. Now with all of the niceties out of the way, I have some questions I hope you would not mind answering.

For my first question, I would to know more about the procedures and hierarchy that revolves around the “ownership" of a pocket realm in the Second Void. If I recall correctly, only Daedra Lords, Demiprinces, and mortals of much prestige may possess a “permanent" personal realm of their own in the Oblivion. However, a majority of the pocket realms I have seen are actually isolated sections of what appears to be the “main realms," the domains of the Daedric Princes. Does this mean that the Princes, who by definition of their very beings are entities that crave absolute control of their spheres of influence, allow minor functionaries to have control over parts of their personal kingdoms? Or are these realms merely created by the Princes themselves for their distinguished subjects to use, but is in essence every part of their domain in all the ways that matter? This would explain how such Princes like Sanguine can have over a thousand personal realms to do as they see fit with, without governing over them themselves constantly by leaving those duties to trusted servants.“

- Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “For a mortal, you make pretty good guesses, O scholar. Tutor Riparius, would you care to go into detail?"

Tutor Riparius says, “Certainly, Lord Demiprince! The catch-all term 'pocket realm' may apply to any minor plane of Oblivion, whether linked to the major plane of a Daedric Prince or not, that is, whether incorporated, semi-autonomous, or autonomous. The Princes themselves are, almost by definition, quite distinct and different from each other, each with his or her own ideas of hierarchy and allegiance. So their methods of managing their realms, sub-realms, and pocket realms vary wildly. A major Oblivion plane is an expression of its Prince's very nature, so to say that each 'craves absolute control' of his or her sphere is inexact, as a desire for 'absolute control' is not central to every Prince's nature. To use the example you chose yourself, Sanguine's Myriad Realms of Revelry is a congeries of pocket and sub-realms, within which Sanguine grants his guests considerable latitude for personal customization, as each mini-realm can be refashioned to meet the needs and desires of its visitants. It is in Sanguine's nature to indulge the natures of others, particularly their darker desires—so to Sanguine, 'absolute control' is anathema."

“Salutations, Demiprince Fa-Nuit-Hen,

I have read much about you and your Motions, which intrigue me to no end, as does your own nature. So, if you would allow this sorcerer, possessor of some degree of expertise and experience with the dealings of the Daedra, the honor of having some questions answered by your royalty, I would be very much grateful. But, in case you aren't moved by flattery, please just ignore this previous section for none is marked with true sentiment.

Firstly, from whom did you learn the Motions? Or is it you that invents them and so can multiply them according to your own imagination? And more, are the Barons your loyal subjects or are you their subject? And yet another question on the same topic, what are the Barons and where have they come from?"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “I interrupt, to parry a diffident thrust! The answer to your question is inherent in my title: the Multiplier of Motions Known! Every martial discipline is founded upon its own set of basic moves which, once learned, form the bases of more elaborate moves. Across the planes, from mortals and immortals, I collect these 'known motions,' cross-reference and synergize them to elaborate even further—and thus the Motions Known are Multiplied! The results are incarnated in my Barons, each of which represents the ultimate expression of a martial discipline. And that's where they come from!"

“And, after reading Vivec's Lessons, that for this Mer is only rubbish written by a false demon, I come to ask how it is you can tell what is to come next? Have you come from the realm of the Tides of Fate so to know when war is to come and where one is to go to fulfill its own destiny? Do you serve Hermaeus Mora? And more, are your Moves contained within the Infinite Library and so can they be learned from one who explores the Realm of Apocrypha?"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Again I interrupt! The mighty Fa-Nuit-Hen, a servant of Hermaeus Mora? By no means! I am a scion of Boethiah, a sovereign demiprince, and I serve no will but my own! As for time, cause, and consequence, let's just say that the laws of the Dragon God do not apply to Oblivion. Oh, it's useful to adopt the trappings of duration when dealing with mortals, so you'll find Maelstrom quite familiar in that regard. We know how lost you feel away from the hand of Akatosh! Maelstrom is far easier to comprehend than Apocrypha—and much more generous in that we award victorious competitors with fabulous prizes!"

“And lastly, about the Moves, what exactly are they? By all evidence they seem to be fighting styles, elaborated and refined to be the most effective and beautiful to behold, but is it so? Is there a deeper meaning to them and what can they offer for a great mage such as I? And how could a superior mortal, for I am far from mere commoner or a street-rat abomination as the Dunmer "god," capture your attention so you would come to me along with your Barons to teach what you taught Vivec?

Please, do answer this letter via the same Oblivion Stream I have sent it and that I shall keep open as quickly as possible for I am a busy Sorcerer with many more pressing matters to attend to."

- Lattiaran, Sorcerer of the Mighty Aldmeri Dominion.

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “So you, Lattiaran of the Mighty Aldmeri Dominion, are superior to the Warrior-Poet of Morrowind? It may well be so, for even Vivec was once a mortal. But you must prove it! Journey to Wrothgar, to the city of Orsinium, where you'll find the portal to Maelstrom just a bit northeast from the city walls. Come to Maelstrom Arena, challenger, and show us what you're made of!"

“Greetings, honored Fa-Nuit-Hen. I am but a humble Breton Battlemage of the Daggerfall Covenant, and by no means a sword master, although swordplay was part of my education as a Battlemage. I've won a tournament or two in my day, although this Maelstrom Arena of yours seems to attract warriors of a more rare caliber in comparison. I look forward to testing my mettle against theirs and showing some of these kids why Battlemages are feared.
I am fascinated to see you in person. I must admit, I've done some digging, and you've apparently influenced Swordmasters in both Hammerfell and Morrowind. Two very different lands, with two very different dominant races, and yet some of the techniques of their respective sword masters seem to originate with you. In fact, one myth I heard from an old Dunmer sailor involved you teaching techniques to one of their living gods, Vivec. Is this story true, Grandmaster? If so, what is the significance in the symbolism of the Sword as it pertains to divinity?

I have often had a dream or vision of some deity I don't recognize. He is a tall man. Probably Nordic. He wears a coat of mail and stabs downward at a serpent he has pinned beneath his boots. Is this a vision of Shezzar? Wulfharth or Reman perhaps? Did you ever give lessons to any of these people?"

- Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Not just Hammerfell and Morrowind! I have collected the known motions of every martial discipline in Nirn, all the way back to the Prismatic Vector Dance of the Ehlnofey. But whoever I deal with, I always repay those I learn from with motions previously unknown to them. So the knowledge gets around! Sload-fencing, for example, has evolved a fascinating regimen they call 'Welcoming the Cut.' I'd tell you about it, but I'm not bartering moves at present—and as they say, 'Contiguous doesn't mean continuous.' (They do still say that, don't they?)

“As for the dreams of mortals, that's more in Riparius' portfolio than mine. Tutor? Can you assist the Legate?"

Tutor Riparius says, “I believe so. I'm no Vaermina, but I'll do what I can. Let me just sleevestroke his concept-organ … aha! Yes, I see it: a Foreshadowing Vision. You have received a sending—divine in origin, of course, and not mortal, as you mortals are subject to time and its maddening limitations. I may not reveal whence it comes, but I can say this, Tamrielan: your Interregnum will not last forever."

“For the esteemed Fa-Nuit-Fen,

Greetings esteemed one, I humbly pen this letter for your illustrious Daedric perfection in order to ascertain information on the Maelstrom Arena.

I have slain many in order to indulge in heroism as I remove cowards from the holy land which is the battlefield. I forever seek greater challenge, greater strength and greater heroism; the Maelstrom Arena is one place I must know more of – for I must overcome any and all challenges in the name of glory. I'm curious to know what I should expect from overcoming the Maelstrom Arena, if anything.

I understand that many benevolent and esteemed beings such as yourself find pleasure in rewarding the lesser mortal races for providing ample entertainment as we engage in heroic acts for glory. What can a mortal expect from the Maelstrom Arena in specific? Reputation and increased standing? Perhaps a slave or maybe even power in some shape or form? Would such power be strong alone or perhaps it would require something more, something else to be most effective when used be a heroic individual?

I give you my sincere thanks for taking the time to receive the words of a mere mortal and look forward to your response.

With great respect and admiration,

Jhael'vyll, Loyalist of Boethiah"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “It has long been my observation that, given the option to choose between an intangible like wisdom and a tangible such as a suit of armor, a mortal will invariably select the suit of armor. Well, we heard you loud and clear on that score, so in the Maelstrom Arena look for awards of armor for both novices and veterans, as well as the latest in master weapons. In short: prime gear!

“Oh, and glory, of course—as much as you'd like! We have an unlimited supply."

“Demiprince of the Illimitable Oscillation, his Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen,

Hello! I write regarding a topic I hope is dearly near to your essence – the currents of Oblivion and their fluctuations. How does the ebb and flow of the firmament influence the manifold bubble realms of your purview? Do they ride them, like waves, or perhaps harness them for their creative and destructive potential? My studies indicate that these daedron fields both affect and are affected by the use of magicka on Nirn – does the same hold true for their interactions with aetherial streams? Are they then, ultimately, driven by the emanations of Heaven? If so, is this also the fundamental impetus underlying the actions of Daedric entities such as yourself? How does that make you feel?

Warmest vibrations,

Ardari Ilmion, Nonagenarian of the School of Thoughts and Calculations in Cloudrest"

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Riparius?"

Tutor Riparius says, “You mortals—so good at acquiring knowledge, and so quick to learn the wrong lessons from it! Allow me to misinterpret: particles of chaotic creatia, when flowing in reaction to the exertion of will, become daedrons that, though injurious to the mortal form, can nonetheless perform work. Underutilized daedrons usually return to quiescence—but if imbued with sufficient purpose, they may escape and coalesce to form potentia vortices. These are dangerous if allowed to self-optimize into realm-rips, so it's best to damp them out early. Trying to keep ahead of it all keeps Peryite mighty busy, but nobody's really sorry for him—after all, he earned it."

“Do you demiprinces ever get jealous of prince-princes? Or do you have your own demi-demiprinces to make you feel all important?"

- Skjal the Godless

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Tutor Riparius, could you take … oh, sorry—that was rather tactless, wasn't it?"

“Hello? Can you hear me? Yes? Good! That scroll cost me far too much to fail... I'll have to recommend that enchanter to my colleagues, or at least the ones with enough funds to throw around.
In any case, on to my query, if you would indulge me! In all my research of the various planes of Oblivion, I have come across no clarification on one particular matter of Daedric politics: What is it that makes a Prince a Prince? Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen is of course a Demiprince by virtue of parentage, or so I have it from recorded correspondence with Lyranth, and there are literally innumerable Daedric Lords, but what sets a Prince apart from the rest? Is it something inherent to their nature, or is it more of a station occupied?
There are camps among my colleagues which insist that Princes are designated in both number and nature in relation to the Wheel structure of Mundus, but this strikes me as preposterous, given the usual (and perhaps deserved) Daedric disdain for our affairs. I hope you will find it in you to shed some light on this matter for a curious mortal."

- Silbarius Stentor, College of Winterhold

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “What makes a Prince a Prince? A broad and well-defined sphere of influence that enables clarity of purpose and focused expression of will. My sphere of influence is well-defined but not particularly broad, so I am a mere demiprince—an entity of power and consequence far outstripping that of any mortal, but trivial compared to the Greater Princes. I have ambitions, of course, like every Ada, but I keep them within my sphere, lest I suffer the same fate as you-know-who."

“We greet you warmly, multiplier of motions known. I am Rotan Dres, Sospital-Major of the Triune Church, and it is my immeasurable honor to be tasked with authoring commentaries on the 36 Lessons of Vivec.

Your role in the earliest days of our Lord Vivec's life is well-known, but many of my fellow scholars are confused about the nature of the Unmixed Conflict Path, the number of which is described in your perfect bladed carriage. Is there anything you can say that might render this mystery exoteric?

As we say in House Dres, may your feet never know the weight of chains."

- Rotan Dres

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “The Unmixed Conflict Path? Now that is a great secret indeed, a mystery your Lord Vehk unraveled only after prolonged hallucination upon Premeditated Modesty. But at last he found the answer, and shared it with you all, right there at the end of the First Sermon: 'I have crushed a world with my left hand, but in my right hand is how it could have won against me. Love is under my will only.'"

 

Fellow Thieves in Abah's Landing,

I write to you all because of the dire rumors stiring through the rest of Tamriel. If the rumors holds but little truth, I fear there must be taken stronger measures to evade any everlasting impact to our blossoming guild. I write for our comrades near Morrowind, and we wish to know the precise details of this supposed “Iron Wheel", who have struck at you one too many times.

If you will provide what little information you can, then we shall sent our best folk to aid you. We will be pleased with the names of those who stand in charge of the Iron Wheel, and their whereabouts. But what are their weaknesses? Do they have a hideout of which we can tear apart? Anything that may be useful in freeing you from this cursed wheel.

If we don't hear from you before the 7th of First Seed, then we will come to your aid, whenever you wish for it, or not.

May the Mistress of Shadows embrace you all,

- Nighren

Walks-Softly says, “Before their raids, we knew nothing. Now? We know they enjoy branding, sload-marching our guildmates to their prison ships, and shouting “Halt, thief!" The force in Abah's Landing is led by Chief Inspector Rhanbiq, who has the worst sort of reputation: one of principle. And Nighren, while it pains me to dampen such obvious zeal on your part, the Iron Wheel should not be approached! They were once the Taneth chapter of the Bailiffs Guild—a fearsome organization for thieves such as us, even when there was an Empire."

 

Greetings,

I am Hundorian and I have recently been in the sewers in Riften looking for people to give my dirt too. I found some shady individuals that claimed to be part of the Thieves Guild. I handed them some of my best dirt. I hope to give some to those in Abah's Landing and was wondering how welcoming they would be to me. Are they easy to find or will you have to go through many confusing puzzles that hurt my head to get in contact with them. Oh! I would also like to know what kinds of things the Camel's eat. I have plenty of flowers to bring but I am unsure whether or not they will like them. I myself think flowers are very tasty. I have also included a pouch of sand dirt in this letter.

- Hundorian

Kari Coin-Counter says, “All sorts are welcome in the Thieves Guild, Hundorian—even Argonians such as yourself. However, sending sand to Hew's Bane is a lot like sending mud to Black Marsh (or so I imagine, never having been there myself). The kind of dirt we are interested in here is more like blackmail-worthy scandal among the Merchant Lords. Still, I imagine you can make yourself useful nonetheless. Can you count to a hundred?"

 

[This long and weathered note seems to have been through an unnatural, perhaps otherworldly ordeal. Several spots on the paper are blackened with soot, and the parchment itself smells faintly of echkin fang and spriggan sap. Judging by its contents, the letter was meant for a mage but something went wrong with its transportation. A magical instant reply rune has been etched on the seal.]

"To the Head of the Hew's Bane Mages Guild Guildhall,

I apologize for being several months late of my scheduled appointment to speak with you, my good matron. My dealings with a certain demiprince and my participation in his arena have left me wandering the vastness of Oblivion, and I currently find myself stranded in Shade Perilous. The Nocturnals here are cold but accommodating, but I must erect the spine of annoyance and admit I grow weary of this dreary place.

When I arrive on Hew's Bane, I will begin my work on carving stone sculptures of the Redguard gods in an Argonian style as you requested. But to be honest, I do not have enough information on the island's faith to proceed. Do you follow the Forebears in worship of Arkay and Julianos? Do you follow the Crowns and pray to Tava and the Hoonding? Or do you revere even more obscure Yokudan deities like Hoodoc, the Bat God of Talks and Makes Others Listen? I must say I have become fascinated by Redguard culture as of late and your aid and information would be appreciated. Contact me when you can."

- Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Velsa says, “Julianos, Tava, Hoodoc? This is the Thieves Guild, bookworm—we worship the Gold Drake in all its sacred forms! In fact, though they may say they're Crowns or Forebears, most residents of Abah's Landing show a profound reverence for money before gods. By the way, what's in the pouch, bookworm? It looks like it might be too heavy for a bookworm to carry all by himself."

 

To whom it may concern,

I know not to who I am writing to, but I understand you have some knowledge regarding the Thieves Guild, as well as the city of Abah's Landing and its home peninsula of Hew's Bane. I have a few questions about these topics, and will be very thankful if you are to supply the answers.

My first question is regarding the guild's origins. Before the Father of Coldharbour's anchors fell, I spent a few weeks reading books and records in the Imperial City. I found some interesting info such as Alessian Emperor Ami-El's crowining in 1E 322 following his father Belharza's death, as well as a few publications of the University of Gwylim detailing the Sinistral Elves time in Yokuda derived from ancient Ra Gada texts, though I could not find anything relating to the origins of the Thieves Guild.

My question to you is how the Thieves Guild was created. As the Brotherhood worships Sithis, it is my understanding the Thieves Guild has some relation to Nocturnal of the Evergloam. My best guess is that the Daedric Prince guided a group of thieves to form a faction, though if you know how it was created, I would be delighted to know.

My second question is regarding the alternate names of Hew's Bane. I encountered a Khajiit known as Zabani who said Abah's Landing was the jewel of Khefrem, and a damaged document in Sentinel which referred to the southern peninsula of Hammerfell as "Hnes Rax". I found a book mentioning an "Academy of Yokudan Heritage" in Khefrem, and I would guess Hnes Rax is old Yoku for Hew's Bane. Perhaps you could confirm and/or expand on these topics?

My third and final question is about Abah's Landing it self. I presume the name comes from the ancient Ash'abah tribe arriving in Hew's Bane, though it is my understanding they inhabited the Alik'r desert north of the city. I don't know if they founded the city, or if a settler came later on and founded Abah's Landing in the tribe's honor, but at the moment those are my best theories. Could you shed some light on the subject?

Thank you for your time, I hope you can get back to me soon.

―Cyan Fargothil of Seyda Neen

Zeira says, “As to your first question, there have always been thieves' guilds. What we haven't had before is proper organization, and a decent set of rules for outlaws to live by. If our Abah's Landing Thieves Guild is successful, who knows—maybe outlaws elsewhere in Tamriel will adopt our tenets."

Thrag interjects, “Hew's Bane was known as Khefrem's Boot until long after Prince Hubalajad's death. Near as I can tell, locals began calling it Hew's Bane toward the end of the First Era. The waters we share with Taneth were once known as 'Hubalajad's Bay,' so maybe that's how it happened. As for 'abah,' I've read that word could mean 'filthy' or 'unclean' in the time of Prince Hew. Perhaps the first settlers caught a whiff of the Abah's Landing harbor under the noonday sun. Best not to tell the Ash'abah. They might take issue with being known as the 'Stench People.'"

Andarri adds, “Tell Zabani she owes me a bottle of Orsinium Pink Zinfandel!"