The Prior’s Fulcrum

Author: Abbot Ilvel
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Many tales are told of Prior Durdryn, founder of the Necrom Necropolis and the order of the Keepers of the Dead. He knew all the herbs and fungi of Morrowind, and could recite the alchemical properties of each one simply by smelling them. He studied soil, ash, and stone, discerning a hundred distinct varieties in the land between the Inner Sea and the Sea of Ghosts. He was obsessed with the ancient history of Necrom, and knew the names of seventy-seven Daedra.

Now, for most mortals, dealing with Daedra becomes a perilous endeavor. Even the best of intentions can be perverted to serve a Daedra’s secret ends. But Prior Durdryn was a monk both righteous and wise, well tutored in ancestral doctrines and unswerving in his faith. In his heart, Daedric whispers and temptations found no purchase. Armored by his piety, Prior Durdryn learned much that was hidden to other mortals through strange discourses with the powers of Oblivion.

Prior Durdryn counted the Tribunal as close associates as well as Living Gods. At one point, Lord Vivec awarded the prior with a souvenir from one of the Warrior-Poet’s grand adventures, the tusk of some massive and fabulous beast. He charged Durdryn with using his Daedric connections to turn the memento into a relic of great power. And so Durdryn conceived of the Fulcrum Obscura. Literally, the key of secrets, he imagined a tool for recovering forgotten memories, names or faces lost to time, knowledge once read or heard but no longer remembered—even the secrets of the dead might be brought back into the light.

After many days of prayer and reflection, he decided on the Daedric Prince to help him create this relic. He summoned Hermaeus Mora, the Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge and the Lord of Secrets. No record exists of the bargain struck between the prior and Hermaeus Mora, but soon after Prior Durdryn presented the Fulcrum Obscura to Lord Vivec.

If Lord Vivec used the relic, the Warrior-Poet has never said. But at some point he returned it to the prior, who was rumored to have used it to settle the affairs of the dead and right injustices. He solved murders, found lost treasures, and fairly divided inheritances as desired by those who died before they could make their wills known. Others suggest Prior Durdryn profited from secrets he pillaged from Necrom’s dead. And still others believe the Fulcrum Obscura proved to be a tool too dangerous for any mortal to use. Each question Prior Durdryn answered fed his hunger for more secrets, until he spent every waking hour studying whatever the relic revealed to him.

In the last years of his life, Prior Durdryn withdrew to his chambers with the Fulcrum Obscura. What he saw or studied, no one knows. It is said that at the end he starved to death, unwilling to set aside the relic long enough to eat even a single meal. No other Keeper of the Dead dared to take up the relic after Durdryn passed. If the relic overpowered him, it would be sure to destroy anyone less wise or sure in their faith. So the keepers interred the Fulcrum Obscura in the tomb of the great monk, and there it remains to the present day.

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