Ulfsild’s Notes

Ulfsild’s Notes: The Impossible Riddle

If a riddle has multiple possible answers, then it has a greater chance of being solved. And when you’re up against a master of riddles, the fewer possible answers you can give her, the better your chances are of stumping her.

What is the thing that in order to have, you must give it up? There is one answer: the answer to an impossible riddle. An elegant solution from Mizbi, but it only works once.

I couldn’t give the Dragon an riddle with no answer. Or one that I don’t know the answer to. But what about a paradox?

If I scribed a grimoire that could create every possible grimoire, would it also create itself? That was my riddle. I gave her time to answer. Whatever answer she gave, I was able to argue against it. Our conversation ran in circles and at last, happily sated, she conceded.

My magic was forever altered. But I was already thinking ahead. I was thinking of you. When I said my farewell to the Scholarium, I told the Dragon about you. This was for your benefit, I promise. I told her three things:

I said that you would have a mind worthy of her riddles.
I said you would bring her what she asked for—a new impossible riddle.
And I said, very carefully, that you would never claim to be my inheritor.

Hopefully you see where this is headed. I have faith that you do. And if you don’t, never be afraid to ask for help.

I’ve learned that we need not all struggle alone in pursuit of something as simple and joyous as a good riddle.

Ulfsild’s Notes: The Origin of Luminaries

An ode to the joy of a good mystery! I asked each of the Luminaries in turn about the origins of their kind, and they all returned vastly different answers. I plan to use this to craft my impossible riddle for the Dragon.

Owing to the nature of the Gryphon’s birth, his answer changes each day. One day it’s all magical might, the next its amount of magic expended. But his unwavering belief that he’s finally got it right is always the same.

The Indrik thinks he was manifested from pure thought. An invention of a mind that craved to make sense of the world through stories. The Netch refuses to give me one answer, rotating through as many tales as it has tendrils.

The Dragon seems almost angry that I care about this as much as I do. She is perfectly content to focus on “the universe within”, as she puts it. Rather than contemplating the past.

Here are, in no particular order, my own theories.

1. Luminaries are fallen tears of Aetherius. We have observed Aetherial energy in many different forms, mostly crystalline. Why not as spirits with physical manifestations?

2. Luminaries are experimental beings made by the Aedra and placed deliberately in our plane to guide and protect us. They are to Aetherius what Daedra are to Oblivion, just much rarer.

3. They’re a natural part of the “magic cycle.” If we imagine magic is like water, the Luminaries are like aqueducts, carrying it to our plane and casting it around them like a glowing lamp.

4. The Gryphon believes it was created as an after-effect of a powerful mage’s spell. Perhaps there is something to these Luminaries being made or shaped by someone in our plane. Or are they pure manifestations of thought, like the Indrik says? Feats of great magic? If someone made a Luminary, even accidentally, can it be done again?

That none of the Luminaries truly know their origin made me wonder if knowing their origin was dangerous somehow. Would comprehending the nature of their existence alter something within them?

I considered this a possible strength of my riddle, then. If the Dragon could not conceive of the answer, there was no way she could guess it.

Satisfied with this line of thinking, I went to the Dragon with my riddle. “What is the origin of the Luminaries?” I compelled her to seek council from her fellow Luminaries if she needed help. I did this so she could see that her answer could not possibly be the absolute truth.

This was a tremendous mistake on my part. Luminaries don’t feel the passage of time the way we do. The ensuing argument lasted nearly five moon cycles. I sought Shal’s advice, but he was busy in his own studies and I could tell he thought the whole ordeal was rather petty.

In the end, I could not bear to see my friends argue like that. I rescinded my riddle and asked the Dragon for another chance. After so long crafting that first riddle, I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I’m taking a break from Eyevea. I’ll head to Sunnamere, my quiet little sanctum near Sunhold, and think on where to go from here.

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