Meet the Character: Master Malkhest

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Originally published 10/05/2023. Original article can be found here.


If you wish to explore the wings of the Infinite Archive, you must first encounter Master Malkhest, the subject of today’s Meet the Character!

Filers,

We should discuss Master Malkhest. He’s the mortal who came here to survey the archive and join us in keeping it organized. I heard he was a researcher, but I have yet to determine what he studies. I know he reads books about Apocrypha. He’s invested in this realm’s histories and Hermaeus Mora’s dealings with other planes. Less so the well-documented interferences with his home plane of Nirn, but more the speculative theories on Apocrypha’s interactions with the other Daedric realms. He could ask us to find him more accurate books, but I don’t think he’s interested in the facts. He’s interested in what mortals perceive as the truth—which is a distinction most researchers avoid.

Malkhest reads very widely as well, which makes it harder to pin down what his research topic is. I saw him muttering over a tome naming all of Apocrypha’s lakes, but then he set it aside to peruse a cookbook. Why? Like all mortals serving in Apocrypha, he doesn’t need to ingest food, so why the sudden switch? When I asked him, he said he was tracking the handwriting in the margins. But notes and defilements are never as important as the text itself. This mortal is curious. I don’t like curious things.

I refuse to attempt to understand Master Malkhest on my own. Compile the tales of your interactions with Master Malkhest. Let us all reveal his nature.

Filer Xess

* * *

Xess,

I got your note. Absolutely genius idea! I concur with utmost haste and fervor. We must get to the very bottom of who this Malkhest creature actually is! Now, who is the Malkhest creature? The pale one with foot coverings? There used to be so many mortals in the archive that I’m still struggling to tell them all apart.

Never mind, of course I’m sure I’ve met the Malkhest mortal! His arms are thin and untested. I found the floor around his designated seat littered with recipes for herbal remedies. Which led me to this staggering revelation—this mortal is old! His joints are in decline and these recipes offer him some relief. This explains his constant unjolly mood.

Still, his unfortunate aging process does not stop him from moving about the archive with remarkable speed, though he does sit down a lot. Facing down the bodily pain of his mortal deterioration is an impressive thing to do. It shows bravery! I say hurrah to that mortal. Hurrah indeed!

Filer Eru

* * *

Xess,

We’re making a record of the most recent mortal sent to the archive? I’ve seen him a few times in the archival wings. When he finds the books he’s looking for, he can’t stop himself from reading them. It’s a good thing we have the Index set up properly, because I saw Malkhest walk off a ledge. That’s incredibly dangerous for a creature that can’t fly! He could have lost the book he was reading forever! He could have lost himself to the archive with no way of making it back to safety. I think we may need to convince him to set up guard rails to keep this from happening again. Our books are irreplaceable!

I made sure to keep all my eyes on him the next time he ventured into the archive. He did it again! You’d think mortals would take more care with their short lives, but I suppose the call of knowledge is too irresistible for this so-called Malkhest.

He was not always a devotee of Hermaeus Mora, you know. I asked him about it after the second near-fatal fall. Master Malkhest was a teacher of young mortals in his youth. But then he became drawn to research and quickly proved himself quite capable. I don’t think he misses having students. He said they were a lot of work. Perhaps that’s true. I know we teach mortals important lessons—like not walking off cliffs while reading. And do they follow our lessons? So far, no. But one day. I have hope.

Filer Kyf

* * *

Xess and company,

Why are you so concerned with this mortal? I haven’t noticed anything odd or untoward from him, and I doubt any of us are going to. He seems to be exactly as he appears—a mortal sent to the archive to care for it. A temporary version of ourselves. He does notice things that we don’t, which is useful (if not a little annoying). He pointed out several light fixtures within the archive that needed adjustments and sent some books off for repair when he spotted their fraying spines. It didn’t take long for him to make a few repairs to our archive, and I have to admit that the archive looks better for his efforts. How did we not notice these issues before?

Like Kyf, I resolved to keep my eyes open on the upkeep of our archive, but once again the mortal surpassed me. Master Malkhest noticed that one of the wings was beginning to smell like sweetrolls. (They’re some mortal delicacy. I looked it up.) I, of course, noticed no change in the scent of the chamber. Not at first. But after some time familiarizing myself with the pastries and breads of Nirn, I must admit that Malkhest was right.

There’s something strange happening in the archive. Something is introducing variables into the wings, and I fear that we are too familiar with the space to take full note of them. Master Malkhest may have fewer eyes than us, but he has different eyes. I believe he will be the one to determine the cause of these changes and help set everything to rights. We just need to help him until that happens.

Filer Jun

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