_____ _     _             _____                _ _       _____
       |  ___| |   | |           /  ___|              | | |     |____ |
       | |__ | | __| | ___ _ __  \ `--.  ___ _ __ ___ | | |___      / /
       |  __|| |/ _` |/ _ \ '__|  `--. \/ __| '__/ _ \| | / __|     \ \
       | |___| | (_| |  __/ |    /\__/ / (__| | | (_) | | \__ \ .___/ /
       \____/|_|\__,_|\___|_|    \____/ \___|_|  \___/|_|_|___/ \____/

             ___  ___                             _           _
             |  \/  |                            (_)         | |
             | .  . | ___  _ __ _ __ _____      ___ _ __   __| |
             | |\/| |/ _ \| '__| '__/ _ \ \ /\ / / | '_ \ / _` |
             | |  | | (_) | |  | | | (_) \ V  V /| | | | | (_| |
             \_|  |_/\___/|_|  |_|  \___/ \_/\_/ |_|_| |_|\__,_|

                        Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
                              Book FAQ V1.0
                               By Stevmill
      This file is Copyright (c)2003 Steve Miller. All rights reserved.





=============================================================================
Table of Contents
=============================================================================

Section 1: Authors Note
Section 3: What's New
Section 2: How to Navigate This Guide
Section 4: Books to Learn From
Section 5: Book Texts
Section 6: Version History
Section 7: Credits
Section 8: Copyright
Section 9: Contact Information

=============================================================================
Section 1: Authors Note
=============================================================================

I created this guide because I noticed the interest among Morrowind fans for
collecting the many books in the game. Bethesda has done a wonderfull job of
writing some interesting stories as a way of fleshing out the world of the
Elderscrolls. Now with this guide you can read all of the books in the game
without having to find them all. I hope you all enjoy reading all of the
texts. I intend to continue to work on this guide by adding the locations for
all of the books, as well as updating some of the special notes about the
books. Please be patient with me as I update this guide. Thank you.


=============================================================================
Section 2: How to Navigate This Guide
=============================================================================

The easiest way to locate the sections in this guide is as follows:

Step 1: Highlight the section you want to find from the table of contents and
        hit Ctrl-C

Step 2: Hit Ctrl-F

Step 3: Place your cursor in the find field and hit Ctrl-V

Step 4: Hit the find next button until you are at the section you want to
        Read


=============================================================================
Section 3: What's New
=============================================================================

8-30-2003  v 1.0   The first draft of the guide.


=============================================================================
Section 4: Books to Learn From
=============================================================================

There are certain books across the world that when read will raise one of your
skills by one point. There are five books for each skill, and multiple copies
of those books. Reading a particular title that will raise your skill, will do
so only once, For example if you read “A Game At Dinner” twice, or two copies
of that book you will only gain one point of alchemy, but if you read “A Game
At Dinner” and “The Cake And The Diamond” you will get two points in alchemy.



NAME OF BOOK                    SKILL RAISED    # IN WORLD
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Realizations of Acrobacy        Acrobatics      5
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 1      Acrobatics      6
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 4      Acrobatics      6
The Black Arrow, Volume I       Acrobatics      4
Mystery of Talara, Part 1       Acrobatics      4
A Game at Dinner                Alchemy         8
The Cake and the Diamond        Alchemy         5
Song of the Alchemists          Alchemy         6
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 2   Alchemy         5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 18  Alchemy         4
Breathing Water                 Alteration      5
The Dragon Break Re-Examined    Alteration      5
Sithis                          Alteration      5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 13  Alteration      4
The Lunar Lorkhan               Alteration      5
The Armorer's Challenge         Armorer         5
Last Scabbard of Akrash         Armorer         6
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 6   Armorer         5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 25  Armorer         5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 29  Armorer         4
The Ransom of Zarek             Athletics       6
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 3      Athletics       6
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 1   Athletics       4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 8   Athletics       3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 29  Athletics       4
The Third Door                  Axe             7
The Axe Man                     Axe             6
The Seed                        Axe             6
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 5   Axe             4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 16  Axe             3
Death Blow of Abernanit         Block           4
The Mirror                      Block           5
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 2      Block           5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 7   Block           4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 32  Block           4
The Hope of the Redoran         Blunt Weapon    6
The Importance of Where         Blunt Weapon    5
Night Falls On Sentinel         Blunt Weapon    3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 3   Blunt Weapon    5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 9   Blunt Weapon    3
Feyfolken II                    Conjuration     5
Feyfolken III                   Conjuration     6
2920, Hearth Fire               Conjuration     5
2920, FrostFall                 Conjuration     5
The Warrior's Charge            Conjuration     3
The Horror of Castle Xyr        Destruction     6
Response to Bero's Speech       Destruction     5
A Hypothetical Treachery        Destruction     5
The Art of War Magic            Destruction     5
Mystery of Talara, Part 3       Destruction     3
Feyfolken I                     Enchant         6
The Wolf Queen, Book VIII       Enchant         5
Palla, Book II                  Enchant         6
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 19  Enchant         4
The Final Lesson                Enchant         5
The Prayers of Baranat          Hand-to-Hand    5
The Wolf Queen, Book II         Hand-to-Hand    5
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 2     Hand-to-Hand    4
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 4     Hand-to-Hand    3
Master Zoaraym's Tale           Hand-to-Hand    3
Hallgerd's Tale                 Heavy Armor     6
2920, MidYear                   Heavy Armor     4
Chimarvamidium                  Heavy Armor     3
How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs Heavy Armor     5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 12  Heavy Armor     4
The Wolf Queen, Book III        Illusion        4
Silence                         Illusion        4
Incident in Necrom              Illusion        4
Palla, Book I                   Illusion        4
Mystery of Talara, Part 4       Illusion        4
The Rear Guard                  Light Armor     5
Ice and Chilton                 Light Armor     5
Lord Jornibret's Last Dance     Light Armor     4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 21  Light Armor     3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 28  Light Armor     5
Words and Philosophy            Long Blade      6
2920, Morning Star              Long Blade      4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 17  Long Blade      5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 20  Long Blade      4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 23  Long Blade      3
The Gold Ribbon of Merrit       Marksman        4
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 5      Marksman        5
Vernaccus and Bourlor           Marksman        4
The Marksmanship Lesson         Marksman        5
The Black Arrow, Volume II      Marksman        3
Cherim's Heart of Anequina      Medium Armor    5
Bone, Part One                  Medium Armor    4
Bone, Part Two                  Medium Armor    4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 22  Medium Armor    4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 33  Medium Armor    4
The Buying Game                 Mercantile      5
The Wolf Queen, Book IV         Mercantile      5
2920, Sun's Height              Mercantile      4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 6   Mercantile      5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 7   Mercantile      4
Mystery of Talara, Part 5       Unknown         3
The Firsthold Revolt            Mysticism       5
2920, Sun's Dawn                Mysticism       5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 4   Mysticism       5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 36  Mysticism       5
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 3     Mysticism       4
Withershins                     Restorations    6
Notes on Racial Phylogeny       Restorations    5
The Four Suitors of Benitah     Restorations    5
2920, Rain's Hand               Restorations    5
Mystery of Talara, Part 2       Restorations    3
The Locked Room                 Security        5
The Wolf Queen, Book I          Security        5
The Dowry                       Security        5
Chance's Folly                  Security        5
Surfeit of Thieves              Security        4
Unnamed Book                    Short Blade     5
2920, Sun's Dusk                Short Blade     4
2920, Evening Star              Short Blade     4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 10  Short Blade     5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 30  Short Blade     4
The Wolf Queen, Book VI         Sneak           4
2920, Last Seed                 Sneak           4
Azura and the Box               Sneak           5
Trap                            Sneak           3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 26  Sneak           5
Smuggler's Island               Spear           4
2920, First Seed                Spear           4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 14  Spear           3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 24  Spear           5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 35  Spear           4
Biography of the Wolf Queen     Speechcraft     5
The Wolf Queen, Book V          Speechcraft     5
2920, Second Seed               Speechcraft     4
The Wolf Queen, Book VII        Speechcraft     5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 27  Speechcraft     6
The Wraith's Wedding Dowry      Unarmored       5
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume I     Unarmored       3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 11  Unarmored       5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 15  Unarmored       3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 34  Unarmored       3


=============================================================================
Section 5: Book Texts
=============================================================================

In the subsection for each book I have included the following information:

ID:            This is the books id from the condtruction set, Players of the
               PC version of the game can enter this with the add item
               command to get a copy of the book. The console command is as
               follows

               player->additem "book ID" 1

Weight:        This is the weight of the book

Value:         This is how much gold the book is worth

Special Notes: This line tell you if the book teaches you a skill, adds
               conversation topics, or has quest importance.



To find the text of the book you want to read follow these directions...

Step 1: Highlight the title you want to find from the list below and
        hit Ctrl-C

Step 2: Hit Ctrl-F

Step 3: Place your cursor in the find field and hit Ctrl-V

Step 4: Hit the find next button until you are at the book you want to
        Read


2920, Evening Star
2920, First Seed
2920, FrostFall
2920, Hearth Fire
2920, Last Seed
2920, MidYear
2920, Morning Star
2920, Rain's Hand
2920, Second Seed
2920, Sun's Dawn
2920, Sun's Dusk
2920, Sun's Height
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 1
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 2
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 3
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 4
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 5
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 6
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 7
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 8
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 9
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 10
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 11
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 12
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 13
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 14
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 15
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 16
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 17
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 18
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 19
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 20
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 21
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 22
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 23
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 24
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 25
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 26
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 27
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 28
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 29
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 30
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 31
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 32
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 33
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 34
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 35
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 36
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 1
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 2
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 3
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 4
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 5
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 6
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 7
A Fair Warning
A Game at Dinner
A Hypothetical Treachery
A Less Rude Song
A Short History of Morrowind
ABCs for Barbarians
Aedra and Daedra
Ancestors and the Dunmer
Antecedants of Dwemer Law
Arcana Restored
Arkay the Enemy
Ashland Hymns
Azura and the Box
Biography of Barenziah v I
Biography of Barenziah v II
Biography of Barenziah v III
Biography of the Wolf Queen
Blasphemous Revenants
Boethiah's Glory
Boethiah's Pillow Book
Bone, Part One
Bone, Part Two
Book of Life and Service
Book of Rest and Endings
Breathing Water
Brief History of the Empire v 1
Brief History of the Empire v 2
Brief History of the Empire v 3
Brief History of the Empire v 4
Brown Book of 3E 426
Caldera Ledger
Capn's Guide to the Fishy Stick
Chance's Folly
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 1
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 2
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 3
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 4
Cherim's Heart of Anequina
Children of the Sky
Chimarvamidium
Chronicles of Nchuleft
Confessions of a Skooma-Eater
Corpse Preparation v I
Corpse Preparation v II
Corpse Preparation v III
Darkest Darkness
Death Blow of Abernanit
Divine Metaphysics...
Dren's shipping log
East Empire Company Ledger
Elante's Notes
Fellowship of the Temple
Feyfolken I
Feyfolken II
Feyfolken III
Fighters Guild Charter
Five Songs of King Wulfharth
For my Gods and Emperor
Fort Pelagiad Prisoner Log
Fragment: On Artaeum
Frontier, Conquest...
Galerion The Mystic
Galur Rithari's Papers
Gnisis Eggmine Ledger
Grasping Fortune
Guylaine's Architecture
Hallgerd's Tale
Hanging Gardens...
Hanin's Wake
Hlaalu Vaults Ledger
Homilies of Blessed Almalexia
Honor Among Thieves
How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs
Ice and Chiton
Incident in Necrom
Invocation of Azura
Journal of Tarhiel
Kagouti Mating Habits
Kagrenac's Journal
Kagrenac's Planbook
Last Scabbard of Akrash
Legions of the Dead
Lives of the Saints
Lord Jornibret's Last Dance
Mages Guild Charter
Master Zoaraym's Tale
Mixed Unit Tactics v1
Mysterious Akavir
Mystery of Talara, Part 1
Mystery of Talara, Part 2
Mystery of Talara, Part 3
Mystery of Talara, Part 4
Mystery of Talara, Part 5
Mysticism
Nchunak's Fire and Faith
Nerevar Moon-and-Star
N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!
Night Falls On Sentinel
No-h's Picture Book of Wood
Notes on Racial Phylogeny
Odral's History of the Empire 1
Odral's History of the Empire 2
Odral's History of the Empire 3
Odral's History of the Empire 4
On Morrowind
On Oblivion
Ordo Legionis
Origin of the Mages Guild
Overview of Gods and Worship
Palla, Book I
Palla, Book II
Poison Song I
Poison Song II
Poison Song III
Poison Song IV
Poison Song V
Poison Song VI
Poison Song VII
Progress of Truth
Realizations of Acrobacy
Red Book of 3E 426
Redoran Cooking Secrets
Redoran Vaults Ledger
Reflections on Cult Worship
Response to Bero's Speech
Saryoni's Sermons
Saryoni's Sermons Manuscript
Secret Caldera Ledger
Secrets of Dwemer Animunculi
Sharn's Legions of the Dead
Silence
Sithis
Smuggler's Island
Song of the Alchemists
Sottilde's Code Book
Special Flora of Tamriel
Spirit of Nirn, God of Mortals
Spirit of the Daedra
Starlover's Log
Surfeit of Thieves
Tal Marog Ker's Researches
Tamrielic Lore
Tarer's Aedra and Daedra
Telvanni Vault Ledger
The Affairs of Wizards
The Alchemists Formulary
The Annotated Anuad
The Anticipations
The Arcturian Heresy
The Armorer's Challenge
The Art of War Magic
The Axe Man
The Black Arrow, Volume 1
The Black Arrow, Volume II
The Black Glove
The Blue Book of Riddles
The Book of Daedra
The Book of Dawn and Dusk
The Brothers of Darkness
The Buying Game
The Cake and the Diamond
The Cantatas of Vivec
The Changed Ones
The Consolations of Prayer
The Doors of the Spirit
The Dowry
The Dragon Break Re-Examined
The Eastern Provinces...
The Egg of Time
The Final Lesson
The Firmament
The Firsthold Revolt
The Five Far Stars
The Four Suitors of Benitah
The Gold Ribbon of Merit
The Hope of the Redoran
The Horror of Castle Xyr
The House of Troubles
The Importance of Where
The Legendary Scourge
The Locked Room
The Lunar Lorkhan
The Lusty Argonian Maid
The Madness of Pelagius
The Marksmanship Lesson
The Mirror
The Monomyth
The Old Ways
The Pig Children
The Pilgrim's Path
The Posting of the Hunt
The Prayers of Baranat
The Ransom of Zarek
The Real Barenziah v I
The Real Barenziah v II
The Real Barenziah v III
The Real Barenziah v IV
The Real Barenziah v V
The Real Nerevar
The Rear Guard
The Red Book of Riddles
The Ruins of Kemel-Ze
The Seed
The Third Door
The True Nature of Orcs
The True Noble's Code
The Vagaries of Magicka
The War of the First Council
The Warrior's Charge
The Waters of Oblivion
The Wild Elves
The Wolf Queen, Book I
The Wolf Queen, Book II
The Wolf Queen, Book III
The Wolf Queen, Book IV
The Wolf Queen, Book V
The Wolf Queen, Book VI
The Wolf Queen, Book VII
The Wolf Queen, Book VIII
The Wraith's Wedding Dowry
The Yellow Book of Riddles
Trap
Unnamed Book
Vampires of Vvardenfell, v I
Vampires of Vvardenfell, v II
Varieties of Faith...
Vernaccus and Bourlor
Vivec and Mephala
Warehouse shipping log
Where Were You ... Dragon Broke
Withershins
Words and Philosophy
Words of Clan Mother Ahnissi
Words of the Wind
Yellow Book of 3E 426
Yngling's Ledger

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Evening Star
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Short Blade3
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Short Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Evening Star
Book Twelve of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

1 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Balmora, Morrowind

The winter morning sun glinted through the cobweb of frost on the window, and
Almalexia opened her eyes.  An ancient healer mopped a wet cloth across her
head, smiling with relief.  Asleep in the chair next to her bed was Vivec.
The healer rushed to a side cabinet and returned with a flagon of water.

"How are you feeling, goddess?" asked the healer.

"Like I've been asleep for a very long time," said Almalexia.

"So you have.  Fifteen days," said the healer, and touched Vivec's arm.
"Master, wake up.  She speaks."

Vivec rose with a start, and seeing Almalexia alive and awake, his face broke
into a wide grin.  He kissed her forehead, and took her hand.  At last, there
was warmth again in her flesh.

Almalexia's peaceful repose suddenly snapped: "Sotha Sil --"

"He's alive and well," replied Vivec. "Working on one of his machines again
somewhere.  He would have stayed here too, but he realized he could do you
more good working that peculiar sorcery of his."

The castellan appeared in the doorway. "Sorry to interrupt you, master, but I
wanted to tell you that your fastest messenger left late last night for the
Imperial City."

"Messenger?" asked Almalexia. "Vivec, what has happened?"

"I was to go and sign a truce with the Emperor on the sixth, so I sent him
word that it had to be postponed."

"You can't do me any good here," said Almalexia, pulling herself up with
effort. "But if you don't sign that truce, you'll put Morrowind back to war,
maybe for another eighty years.  If you leave today with an escort and hurry,
perhaps you can get to the Imperial City only a day or two late."

"Are you certain you don't need me here?" asked Vivec.

"I know that Morrowind needs you more."

6 Sun's Dusk, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

The Emperor Reman III sat on his throne, surveying the audience chamber.  It
was a spectacular sight: silver ribbons dangled from the rafters, burning
cauldrons of sweet herbs simmered in every corner, Pyandonean swallowtails
sweeping through the air, singing their songs.  When the torches were lit and
servants began fanning, the room would be transfigured into a shimmering
fantasy land.  He could smell the kitchen already, spices and roasts.

The Potentate Versidue-Shaie and his son Savirien-Chorak slithered into the
room, both bedecked in the headdress and jewelry of the Tsaesci.  There was
no smile on their golden face, but there seldom was one.  The Emperor still
greeted his trusted advisor with enthusiasm.

"This ought to impress those savage Dark Elves," he laughed. "When are they
supposed to arrive?"

"A messenger's just arrived from Vivec," said the Potentate solemnly. "I
think it would be best if your Imperial Majesty met him alone."

The Emperor lost his laughter, but nodded to his servants to withdraw.  The
door then opened and the Lady Corda walked into the room, with a parchment in
her hand.  She shut the door behind her, but did not look up to meet the
Emperor's face.

"The messenger gave his letter to my mistress?" said Reman, incredulous,
rising to take the note. "That's a highly unorthodox way of delivering a
message."

"But the message itself is very orthodox," said Corda, looking up into his
one good eye.  With a single blinding motion, she brought the letter up under
the Emperor's chin.  His eyes widened and blood poured down the blank
parchment.  Blank that is, except for a small black mark, the sign of the
Morag Tong.  It fell to the floor, revealing the small dagger hidden behind
it, which she now twisted, severing his throat to the bone.  The Emperor
collapsed to the floor, gasping soundlessly.

"How long do you need?" asked Savirien-Chorak.

"Five minutes," said Corda, wiping the blood from her hands. "If you can give
me ten, though, I'll be doubly grateful."

"Very well," said the Potentate to Corda's back as she raced from the
audience chamber.  "She ought to have been an Akaviri, the way the girl
handles a blade is truly remarkable."

"I must go and establish our alibi," said Savirien-Chorak, disappearing
behind one of the secret passages that only the Emperor's most trusted knew
about.

"Do you remember, close to a year ago, your Imperial Majesty," the Potentate
smiled, looking down at the dying man. "When you told me to remember 'You
Akaviri have a lot of showy moves, but if just one of our strikes comes
through, it's all over for you.'  I remembered that, you see."

The Emperor spat up blood and somehow said the word: "Snake."

"I am a snake, your Imperial Majesty, inside and out.  But I didn't lie.
There was a messenger from Vivec.  It seems he'll be a little late in
arriving," the Potentate shrugged before disappearing behind the secret
passage. "Don't worry yourself.  I'm sure the food won't go bad."

The Emperor of Tamriel died in a pool of his own blood in his empty audience
chamber decorated for a grand ball.  He was found by his bodyguard fifteen
minutes later.  Corda was nowhere to be found.

8 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Caer Suvio, Cyrodiil

Lord Glavius, apologizing profusely for the quality of the road through the
forest, was the first emissary to greet Vivec and his escort as they arrived.
A string of burning globes decorated the leafless trees surrounding the
villa, bobbing in the gentle but frigid night breeze.  From within, Vivec
could smell the simple feast and a high sad melody.  It was a traditional
Akaviri wintertide carol.

Versidue-Shaie greeted Vivec at the front door.

"I'm glad you received the message before you got all the way to the City,"
said the Potentate, guiding his guest into the large, warm drawing room. "We
are in a difficult transition time, and for the moment, it is best not to
conduct our business at the capitol."

"There is no heir?" asked Vivec.

"No official one, though there are distant cousins vying for the throne.
While we sort the matter out, at least temporarily the nobles have decided
that I may act in the office of my late master," Versidue-Shaie signaled for
the servants to draw two comfortable chairs in front of the fireplace. "Would
you feel most comfortable if we signed the treaty officially right now, or
would you like to eat something first?"

"You intend to honor the Emperor's treaty?"

"I intend to do everything as the Emperor," said the Potentate.

14 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Tel Aruhn, Morrowind

Corda, dusty from the road, flew into the Night Mother's arms.  For a moment,
they stayed locked together, the Night Mother stroking her daughter's hair,
kissing her forehead.  Finally, she reached into her sleeve and handed Corda
a letter.

"What is it?" asked Corda.

"A letter from the Potentate, expressing his delight at your expertise,"
replied the Night Mother. "He's promised to send us payment, but I've already
sent him back a reply.  The late Empress paid us enough for her husband's
death.  Mephala would not have us be greedy beyond our needs.  You should not
be paid twice for the same murder, so it is written."

"He killed Rijja, my sister," said Corda quietly.

"And so it should be that you struck the blow."

"Where will I go now?"

"Whenever any of our holy workers becomes too famous to continue the crusade,
we send them to an island called Vounoura.  It's not more than a month's
voyage by boat, and I've arranged for a delightful estate for your
sanctuary," the Night Mother kissed the girl's tears. "You meet many friends
there, and I know you will find peace and happiness at last, my child."

19 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

Almalexia surveyed the rebuilding of the town.  The spirit of the citizens
was truly inspirational, she thought, as she walked among the skeletons of
new buildings standing in the blackened, shattered remains of the old.  Even
the plantlife showed a remarkable resilience.  There was life yet in the
blasted remains of the comberry and roobrush shrubs that once lined the main
avenue.  She could feel the pulse.  Come springtide, green would bolt through
the black.

The Duke's heir, a lad of considerable intelligence and sturdy Dunmer
courage, was coming down from the north to take his father's place.  The land
would do more than survive: it would strengthen and expand.  She felt the
future much more strongly than she saw the present.

Of all the things she was most certain of, she knew that Mournhold was
forever home to at least one goddess.

22 Sun's Dusk, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

"The Cyrodiil line is dead," announced the Potentate to the crowd gathered
beneath the Speaker's Balcony of the Imperial Palace.  "But the Empire lives.
The distant relatives of our beloved Emperor have been judged unworthy of the
throne by the trusted nobility who advised his Imperial Majesty throughout
his long and illustrious reign.  It has been decided that as an impartial and
faithful friend of Reman III, I will have the responsibility of continuing on
in his name."

The Akaviri paused, allowing his words to echo and translate into the ears of
the populace.  They merely stared up at him in silence.  The rain had washed
through the streets of the city, but the sun, for a brief time, appeared to
be offering a respite from the winter storms.

"I want to make it clear that I am not taking the title Emperor," he
continued. "I have been and will continue to be Potentate Versidue-Shaie, an
alien welcomed kindly to your shores.  It will be my duty to protect my
adopted homeland, and I pledge to work tirelessly at this task until someone
more worthy takes the burden from me.  As my first act, I declare that in
commemoration of this historical moment, beginning on the first of Morning
Star, we will enter year one of the Second Era as time will be reckoned.
Thus, we mourn the loss of our Imperial family, and look forward to the
future."

Only one man clapped at these words.  King Dro'Zel of Senchal truly believed
that this would be the finest thing to happen to Tamriel in history.  Of
course, he was quite mad.

31 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Ebonheart, Morrowind

In the smoky catacombs beneath the city where Sotha Sil forged the future
with his arcane clockwork apparatus, something unforeseen happened.  An oily
bubble seeped from a long trusted gear and popped.  Immediately, the wizard's
attention was drawn to it and to the chain that tiny action triggered.  A
pipe shifted half an inch to the left.  A tread skipped.  A coil rewound
itself and began spinning in a counter direction.  A piston that had been
thrusting left-right, left-right, for millennia suddenly began shifting
right-left.  Nothing broke, but everything changed.

"It cannot be fixed now," said the sorcerer quietly.

He looked up through a crick in the ceiling into the night sky.  It was
midnight.  The second era, the age of chaos, had begun.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, First Seed
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Spear2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Spear skill 1 point the first time the book is read


First Seed
Book Three of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

15 First Seed, 2920
Caer Suvio, Cyrodiil

From their vantage point high in the hills, the Emperor Reman III could still
see the spires of the Imperial City, but he knew he was far away from hearth
and home.  Lord Glavius had a luxurious villa, but it was not close to being
large enough to house the entire army within its walls.  Tents lined the
hillsides, and the soldiers were flocking to enjoy his lordship's famous hot
springs.  Little wonder: winter chill still hung in the air.

"Prince Juilek, your son, is not feeling well."

When Potentate Versidue-Shaie spoke, the Emperor jumped.  How that Akavir
could slither across the grass without making a sound was a mystery to him.

"Poisoned, I'd wager," grumbled Reman. "See to it he gets a healer.  I told
him to hire a taster like I have, but the boy's headstrong.  There are spies
all around us, I know it."

"I believe you're right, your imperial majesty," said Versidue-Shaie. "These
are treacherous times, and we must take precautions to see that Morrowind
does not win this war, either on the field or by more insidious means.  That
is why I would suggest that you not lead the vanguard into battle.  I know
you would want to, as your illustrious ancestors Reman I, Brazollus Dor, and
Reman II did, but I fear it would be foolhardy.  I hope you do not mind me
speaking frankly like this."

"No," nodded Reman. "I think you're right.  Who would lead the vanguard
then?"

"I would say Prince Juilek, if he were feeling better," replied the Akavir.
"Failing that, Storig of Farrun, with Queen Naghea of Riverhold at left
flank, and Warchief Ulaqth of Lilmoth at right flank."

"A Khajiit at left flank and an Argonian at right," frowned the Emperor. "I
never do trust beastfolk."

The Potentate took no offense.  He knew that "beastfolk" referred to the
natives of Tamriel, not to the Tsaesci of Akavir like himself. "I quite agree
your imperial majesty, but you must agree that they hate the Dunmer.  Ulaqth
has a particular grudge after all the slave-raids on his lands by the Duke of
Mournhold."

The Emperor conceded it was so, and the Potentate retired.  It was
surprising, thought Reman, but for the first time, the Potentate seemed
trustworthy.  He was a good man to have on one's side.

18 First Seed, 2920
Ald Erfoud, Morrowind

"How far is the Imperial Army?" asked Vivec.

"Two days' march," replied his lieutenant. "If we march all night tonight, we
can get higher ground at the Pryai tomorrow morning.  Our intelligence tells
us the Emperor will be commanding the rear, Storig of Farrun has the
vanguard, Naghea of Riverhold at left flank, and Ulaqth of Lilmoth at right
flank."

"Ulaqth," whispered Vivec, an idea forming. "Is this intelligence reliable?
Who brought it to us?"

"A Breton spy in the Imperial Army," said the lieutenant and gestured towards
a young, sandy-haired man who stepped forward and bowed to Vivec.

"What is your name and why is a Breton working for us against the Cyrodiils?"
asked Vivec, smiling.

"My name is Cassyr Whitley of Dwynnen," said the man. "And I am working for
you because not everyone can say he spied for a god.  And I understood it
would be, well, profitable."

Vivec laughed, "It will be, if your information is accurate."

19 First Seed, 2920
Bodrums, Morrowind

The quiet hamlet of Bodrum looked down on the meandering river, the Pryai.
It was an idyllic site, lightly wooded where the water took the bend around a
steep bluff to the east with a gorgeous wildflower meadow to the west.  The
strange flora of Morrowind met the strange flora of Cyrodiil on the border
and commingled gloriously.

"There will be time to sleep when you've finished!"

The soldiers had been hearing that all morning.  It was not enough that they
had been marching all night, now they were chopping down trees on the bluff
and damming the river so its waters spilled over.  Most of them had reached
the point where they were too tired to complain about being tired.

"Let me be certain I understand, my lord," said Vivec's lieutenant. "We take
the bluff so we can fire arrows and spells down on them from above.  That's
why we need all the trees cleared out.  Damming the river floods the plain
below so they'll be trudging through mud, which should hamper their
movement."

"That's exactly half of it," said Vivec approvingly. He grabbed a nearby
soldier who was hauling off the trees. "Wait, I need you to break off the
straightest, strongest branches of the trees and whittle them into spears.
If you recruit a hundred or so others, it won't take you more than a few
hours to make all we need."

The soldier wearily did as he was bade.  The men and women got to work,
fashioning spears from the trees.

"If you don't mind me asking," said the lieutenant. "The soldiers don't need
any more weapons.  They're too tired to hold the ones they've got."

"These spears aren't for holding," said Vivec and whispered, "If we tired
them out today, they'll get a good night's sleep tonight" before he got to
work supervising their work.

It was essential that they be sharp, of course, but equally important that
they be well balanced and tapered proportionally.  The perfect point for
stability was a pyramid, not the conical point of some lances and spears.  He
had the men hurl the spears they had completed to test their strength,
sharpness, and balance, forcing them to begin on a new one if they broke.
Gradually, out of sheer exhaustion from doing it wrong, the men learned how
to create the perfect wooden spears.  Once they were through, he showed them
how they were to be arranged and where.

That night, there was no drunken pre-battle carousing, and no nervous
neophytes stayed up worrying about the battle to come.  As soon as the sun
sank beneath the wooded hills, the camp was at rest, but for the sentries.

20 First Seed, 2920
Bodrum, Morrowind

Miramor was exhausted.  For last six days, he had gambled and whored all
night and then marched all day.  He was looking forward to the battle, but
even more than that, he was looking forward to some rest afterwards.  He was
in the Emperor's command at the rear flank, which was good because it seemed
unlikely that he would be killed.  On the other hand, it meant traveling over
the mud and waste the army ahead left in their wake.

As they began the trek through the wildflower field, Miramor and all the
soldiers around him sank ankle-deep in cold mud.  It was an effort to even
keep moving.  Far, far up ahead, he could see the vanguard of the army led by
Lord Storig emerging from the meadow at the base of a bluff.

That was when it all happened.

An army of Dunmer appeared above the bluff like rising Daedra, pouring fire
and floods of arrows down on the vanguard.  Simultaneously, a company of men
bearing the flag of the Duke of Mournhold galloped around the shore,
disappearing along the shallow river's edge where it dipped to a timbered
glen to the east.  Warchief Ulaqth nearby on the right flank let out a bellow
of revenge at the sight and gave chase.  Queen Naghea sent her flank towards
the embankment to the west to intercept the army on the bluff.

The Emperor could think of nothing to do.  His troops were too bogged down to
move forward quickly and join the battle.  He ordered them to face east
towards the timber, in case Mournhold's company was trying to circle around
through the woods.  They never came out, but many men, facing west, missed
the battle entirely.  Miramor kept his eyes on the bluff.

A tall Dunmer he supposed must have been Vivec gave a signal, and the
battlemages cast their spells at something to the west.  From what
transpired, Miramor deduced it was a dam.  A great torrent of water spilled
out, washing Naghea's left flank into the remains of the vanguard and the two
together down river to the east.

The Emperor paused, as if waiting for his vanquished army to return, and then
called a retreat.  Miramor hid in the rushes until they had passed by and
then waded as quietly as he could to the bluff.

The Morrowind army was retiring as well back to their camp.  He could hear
them celebrating above him as he padded along the shore.  To the east, he saw
the Imperial Army.  They had been washed into a net of spears strung across
the river, Naghea's left flank on Storig's vanguard on Ulaqth's right flank,
bodies of hundreds of soldiers strung together like beads.

Miramor took whatever valuables he could carry from the corpses and then ran
down the river.  He had to go many miles before the water was clear again,
unpolluted by blood.

29 First Seed, 2920
Hegathe, Hammerfell

"You have a letter from the Imperial City," said the chief priestess, handing
the parchment to Corda.  All the young priestesses smiled and made faces of
astonishment, but the truth was that Corda's sister Rijja wrote very often,
at least once a month.

Corda took the letter to the garden to read it, her favorite place, an oasis
in the monochromatic sand-colored world of the conservatorium  The letter
itself was nothing unusual: filled with court gossip, the latest fashions
which were tending to winedark velvets, and reports of the Emperor's ever-
growing paranoia.

"You are so lucky to be away from all of this," wrote Rijja. "The Emperor is
convinced that his latest battlefield fiasco is all a result of spies in the
palace.  He has even taken to questioning me.  Ruptga keep it so you never
have a life as interesting as mine."

Corda listened to the sounds of the desert and prayed to Ruptga the exact
opposite wish.

The Year is Continued in Rain's Hand.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, FrostFall
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Conjuration4
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Conjuration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


Frostfall
Book Ten of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

10 Frostfall, 2920
Phrygias, High Rock

The creature before them blinked, senseless, its eyes glazed, mouth opening
and closing as if relearning its function.  A thin glob of saliva burbled
down between its fangs, and hung suspended.  Turala had never seen anything
of its kind before, reptilian and massive, perched on its hind legs like a
man.  Mynistera applauded enthusiastically.

"My child," she crowed. "You have come so far in so short a time.  What were
you thinking when you summoned this daedroth?"

It took Turala a moment to recall whether she was thinking anything at all.
She was merely overwhelmed that she had reached out across the fabric of
reality into the realm of Oblivion, and plucked forth this loathsome
creature, conjuring it into the world by the power of her mind.

"I was thinking of the color red," Turala said, concentrating. "The
simplicity and clarity of it.  And then -- I desired, and spoke the charm.
And this is what I conjured up."

"Desire is a powerful force for a young witch," said Mynistera. "And it is
well matched in this instance.  For this daedroth is nothing if not a simple
force of the spirits.  Can you release your desire as easily?"

Turala closed her eyes and spoke the dismissal invocation.  The monster faded
away like a painting in sunlight, still blinking confusedly.  Mynistera
embraced her Dark Elf pupil, laughing with delight.

"I never would have believed it, a month and a day you've been with the
coven, and you're already far more advanced than most of the women here.
There is powerful blood in you, Turala, you touch spirits like you were
touching a lover.  You'll be leading this coven one day -- I have seen it!"

Turala smiled.  It was good to be complimented.  The Duke of Mournhold had
praised her pretty face; and her family, before she had dishonored them,
praised her manners. Cassyr had been nothing more than a companion: his
compliments meant nothing.  But with Mynistera, she felt she was home.

"You'll be leading the coven for many years yet, great sister," said Turala.

"I certainly intend to.  But the spirits, while marvelous companions and
faultless tellers of truth, are often hazy about the when and hows.  You
can't blame them really.  When and how mean so little to them," Mynistera
opened the door to the shed, allowing the brisk autumn breeze in to dispel
the bitter and fetid smells of the daedroth. "Now, I need you to run an
errand to Wayrest.  It's only a week's ride there, and a week's ride back.
Bring Doryatha and Celephyna with you.  As much as we try to be self-
sufficient, there are herbs we can't grow here, and we seem to run through an
enormous quantity of gems in no time at all.  It's important that the people
of the city learn to recognize you as one of the wise women of Skeffington
coven.  You'll find the benefits of being notorious far outweigh the
inconveniences."

Turala did as she was bade.  As she and her sisters climbed aboard their
horses, Mynistera brought her child, little five-month-old Bosriel to kiss
her mother good-bye.  The witches were in love with the little Dunmer infant,
fathered by a wicked Duke, birthed by wild Ayleid elves in the forest heart
of the Empire.  Turala knew her nursemaids would protect her child with their
lives.  After many kisses and a farewell wave, the three young witches rode
off into the bright woods, under a covering of red, yellow, and orange.

12 Frostfall, 2920
Dwynnen, High Rock

For a Middas evening, the Least Loved Porcupine tavern was wildly crowded.  A
roaring fire in the pit in the center of the room cast an almost sinister
glow on all the regulars, and made the abundance of bodies look like a
punishment tapestry inspired by the Arcturian Heresies.  Cassyr took his
usual place with his cousin and ordered a flagon of ale.

"Have you been to see the Baron?" asked Palyth.

"Yes, he may have work for me in the palace of Urvaius," said Cassyr proudly.
"But more than that I can't say.  You understand, secrets of state and all
that.  Why are there so many damned people here tonight?"

"A shipload of Dark Elves just came in to harbor.  They've come from the war.
I was just waiting until you got here to introduce you as another veteran."

Cassyr blushed, but regained his composure enough to ask: "What are they
doing here?  Has there been a truce?"

"I don't know the full story," said Palyth. "But apparently, the Emperor and
Vivec are in negotiations again.  These fellas here have investments they
were keen to check on, and they figured things on the Bay were quiet enough.
But the only way we can get the full story is to talk to the chaps."

With that, Palyth gripped his cousin's arm and pulled him to the other side
of the bar so suddenly, Cassyr would have had to struggle violently to
resist.  The Dunmer travelers were spread out across four of the tables,
laughing with the locals.  They were largely amiable young men, well-dressed,
befitting merchants, animated in gesture made more extravagant by liquor.

"Excuse me," said Palyth, intruding on the conversation. "My shy cousin
Cassyr was in the war as well, fighting for the living god, Vivec."

"The only Cassyr I ever heard of," said one of the Dunmer drunkenly with a
wide, friendly smile, shaking Cassyr's free hand. "Was a Cassyr Whitley, who
Vivec said was the worst spy in history.  We lost Ald Marak due to his
bungling intelligence work.  For your sake, friend, I hope the two of you
were never confused."

Cassyr smiled and listened as the lout told the story of his failure with
bountiful exaggerations which caused the table to roar with laughter.
Several eyes looked his way, but none of the locals sought to explain that
the fool of the tale was standing at attention.  The eyes that stung the most
were his cousin's, the young man who had believed that he had returned to
Dwynnen a great hero.  At some point, certainly, the Baron would hear about
it, his idiocy increasing manifold with each retelling.

With every fiber in his soul, Cassyr cursed the living god Vivec.

21 Frostfall, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

Corda, in a robe of blinding whiteness, a uniform of the priestesses of the
Hegathe Morwha conservatorium, arrived in the City just as the first winter
storm was passing.  The clouds broke with sunlight, and the beauteous
teenaged Redguard girl appeared in the wide avenue with escort, riding toward
the Palace.  While her sister was tall, thin, angular, and haughty, Corda was
a small, round-faced lass with wide brown eyes.  The locals were quick to
draw comparisons.

"Not a month after Lady Rijja's execution," muttered a housemaid, peering out
the window, and winking to her neighbor.

"And not a month out of the nunnery neither," the other woman agreed,
reveling in the scandal. "This one's in for a ride.  Her sister weren't no
innocent, and look where she ended up."

24 Frostfall, 2920
Dwynnen, High Rock

Cassyr stood on the harbor and watched the early sleet fall on the water.  It
was a pity, he thought, that he was prone to sea-sickness.  There was nothing
for him now in Tamriel to the east or to the west.  Vivec's tale of his poor
spycraft had spread to taverns everywhere.  The Baron of Dwynnen had released
him from his contract.  No doubt they were laughing about him in Daggerfall,
too, and Dawnstar, Lilmoth, Rimmen, Greenheart, probably in Akavir and Yokuda
for that matter.  Perhaps it would be best to drop into the waves and sink.
The thought, however, did not stay long in his mind: it was not despair that
haunted him, but rage.  Impotent fury that he could not assuage.

"Excuse me, sir," said a voice behind him, making him jump. "I'm sorry to
disturb you, but I was wondering whether you could recommend an inexpensive
tavern for me to spend the night."

It was a young man, a Nord, with a sack over his shoulder.  Obviously, he had
just disembarked from one of the boats.  For the first time in weeks, someone
was looking at Cassyr as something other than a colossal, famous idiot.  He
could not help, black as his mood was, but be friendly.

"You've just arrived from Skyrim?" asked Cassyr.

"No, sir, that's where I'm going," said the fellow. "I'm working my way home.
I've come up from Sentinel, and before that Stros M'kai, and before that
Woodhearth in Valenwood, and before that Artaeum in Summurset.  Welleg's my
name."

Cassyr introduced himself and shook Welleg's hand. "Did you say you came from
Artaeum?  Are you a Psijic?"

"No, sir, not anymore," the fellow shrugged. "I was expelled."

"Do you know anything about summoning daedra?  You see, I want to cast a
curse against a particularly powerful person, one might say a living god, and
I haven't had any luck.  The Baron won't allow me in his sight, but the
Baroness has sympathy for me and allowed me the use of their Summoning
Chambers." Cassyr spat. "I did all the rituals, made sacrifices, but nothing
came of it."

"That'd be because of Sotha Sil, my old master," replied Welleg with some
bitterness. "The Daedra princes have agreed not to be summoned by any
amateurs at least until the war ends.  Only the Psijics may counsel with the
daedra, and a few nomadic sorcerers and witches."

"Witches, did you say?"

29 Frostfall, 2920
Phrygias, High Rock

Pale sunlight flickered behind the mist bathing the forest as Turala,
Doryatha, and Celephyna drove their horses on.  The ground was wet with a
thin layer of frost, and laden down with goods, it was a slippery way over
unpaved hills.  Turala tried to contain her excitement about coming back to
the coven.  Wayrest had been an adventure, and she adored the looks of fear
and respect the cityfolk gave her.  But for the last few days, all she could
think of was returning to her sisters and her child.

A bitter wind whipped her hair forward so she could see nothing but the path
ahead.  She did not hear the rider approach to her side until he was almost
upon her.  When she turned and saw Cassyr, she shouted with as much surprise
as pleasure at meeting an old friend.  His face was pale and drawn, but she
took it to be merely from travel.

"What brings you back to Phrygias?" she smiled. "Were you not treated well in
Dwynnen?"

"Well enough," said Cassyr. "I have need of the Skeffington coven."

"Ride with us," said Turala. "I'll bring you to Mynistera."

The four continued on, and the witches regaled Cassyr with tales of Wayrest.
It was evident that it was also a rare treat for Doryatha and Celephyna to
leave Old Barbyn's Farm.  They had been born there, as daughters and grand-
daughters of Skeffington witches.  Ordinary High Rock city life was exotic to
them as it was to Turala.  Cassyr said little, but smiled and nodded his
head, which was encouragement enough.  Thankfully, none of the stories they
had heard were about his own stupidity.  Or at the very least, they did not
tell him.

Doryatha was in the midst of a tale she had heard in a tavern about a thief
who had been locked overnight in a pawnshop when they crossed over a familiar
hill.  Suddenly, she halted in her story.  The barn was supposed to be
visible, but it was not.  The other three followed her gaze into the fog, and
a moment later, they rode as fast as they could towards what was once the
site of the Skeffington coven.

The fire had long since burned out.  Nothing but ashes, skeletons, and broken
weaponry remained.  Cassyr recognized at once the signs of an orc raid.

The witches fell from their horses, racing through the remains, wailing.
Celephyna found a tattered, bloody piece of cloth that she recognized from
Mynistera's cloak.  She held it to her ashen face, sobbing.  Turala screamed
for Bosriel, but the only reply was the high whistling wind through the
ashes.

"Who did this?" she cried, tears streaking down her face. "I swear I'll
conjure up the very flames of Oblivion!  What have they done with my baby?"

"I know who did it," said Cassyr quietly, dropping from his horse and walking
towards her. "I've seen these weapons before.  I fear I met the very fiends
responsible in Dwynnen, but I never thought they'd find you.  This is the
work of assassins hired by the Duke of Mournhold."

He paused.  The lie came easily.  Adopt and improvise.  What's more, he could
tell instantly that she believed it.  Her resentment over the cruelty the
Duke had shown her had quieted, but never disappeared.  One look at her
burning eyes told him that she would summon the daedra and wreak his, and
her, revenge upon Morrowind.  And what's more, he knew they'd listen.

And listen they did.  For the power that is greater than desire is rage.
Even rage misplaced.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Hearth Fire
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Conjuration3
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Conjuration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


Hearth Fire
Book Nine of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

2 Hearth Fire, 2920
Gideon, Black Marsh

The Empress Tavia lay across her bed, a hot late summer wind she could not
feel banging the shutters of her cell to and fro against the iron bars.  Her
throat felt like it was on fire but still she sobbed, uncontrollably,
wringing her last tapestry in her hands.  Her wailing echoed throughout the
hollow halls of Castle Giovese, stopping maids in their washing and guards in
their conversation.  One of her women came up the narrow stairs to see her
mistress, but her chief guard Zuuk stood at the doorway and shook his head.

"She's just heard that her son is dead," he said quietly.

5 Hearth Fire, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

"Your Imperial Majesty," said the Potentate Versidue-Shaie through the door.
"You can open the door.  I assure you, you're perfectly safe.  No one wants
to kill you."

"Mara's blood!" came the Emperor Reman III's voice, muffled, hysterical,
tinged with madness. "Someone assassinated the Prince, and he was holding my
shield!  They could have thought he was me!"

"You're certainly correct, your Imperial Majesty," replied the Potentate,
expunging any mocking qualities from his voice while his black-slitted eyes
rolled contemptuously. "And we must find and punish the evildoer responsible
for your son's death.  But we cannot do it without you.  You must be brave
for your Empire."

There was no reply.

"At the very least, come out and sign the order for Lady Rijja's execution,"
called the Potentate. "Let us dispose of the one traitor and assassin we know
of."

A brief pause, and then the sound of furniture scraping across the floor.
Reman opened the door just a crack, but the Potentate could see his angry,
fearful face, and the terrible mound of ripped tissue that used to be his
right eye.  Despite the best healers in the Empire, it was still a ghastly
souvenir of the Lady Rijja's work in Thurzo Fortress.

"Hand me the order," the Emperor snarled. "I'll sign it with pleasure."

6 Hearth Fire, 2920
Gideon, Cyrodiil

The strange blue glow of the will o' the wisps, a combination, so she'd be
told, of swamp gas and spiritual energy, had always frightened Tavia as she
looked out her window.  Now it seemed strangely comforting.  Beyond the bog
lay the city of Gideon.  It was funny, she thought, that she had never
stepped foot in its streets, though she had watched it ever day for seventeen
years.

"Can you think of anything I've forgotten?" she asked, turning to look back
on the loyal Kothringi Zuuk.

"I know exactly what to do," he said simply.  He seemed to smile, but the
Empress realized that it was only her own face reflected in his silvery skin.
She was smiling, and she didn't even realize it.

"Make certain you aren't followed," she warned. "I don't want my husband to
know where my gold's been hiding all these years.  And do take your share of
it.  You've been a good friend."

The Empress Tavia stepped forward and dropped from sight into the mists.
Zuuk replaced the bars on the tower window, and threw a blanket over some
pillows on her bed.  With any luck, they would not discover her body on the
lawn until morning, at which time he hoped to be halfway to Morrowind.

9 Hearth Fire, 2920
Phrygias, High Rock

The strange trees on all sides resembled knobby piles crowned with great
bursts of reds, yellows, and oranges, like insect mounds caught fire.  The
Wrothgarian mountains were fading into the misty afternoon.  Turala marveled
at the sight, so alien, so different from Morrowind, as she plodded the horse
forward into an open pasture.  Behind her, head nodding against his chest,
Cassyr slept, cradling Bosriel.  For a moment, Turala considered jumping the
low painted fence that crossed the field, but she thought better of it.  Let
Cassyr sleep for a few more hours before giving him the reigns.

As the horse passed into the field, Turala saw the small green house on the
next hill, half-hidden in forest.  So picturesque was the image, she felt
herself lull into a pleasant half-sleeping state.  A blast of a horn brought
her back to reality with a shudder.  Cassyr opened his eyes.

"Where are we?" he hissed.

"I don't know," Turala stammered, wide-eyed. "What is that sound?"

"Orcs," he whispered. "A hunting party.  Head for the thicket quickly."

Turala trotted the horse into the small collection of trees. Cassyr handed
her the child and dismounted.  He began pulling their bags off next, throwing
them into the bushes.  A sound started then, a distant rumbling of footfall,
growing louder and closer.  Turala climbed off carefully and helped Cassyr
unburden the horse.  All the while, Bosriel watched open-eyed.  Turala
sometimes worried that her baby never cried.  Now she was grateful for it.
With the last of the luggage off, Cassyr slapped the horse's rear, sending it
galloping into the field.  Taking Turala's hand, he hunkered down in the
bushes.

"With luck," he murmured. "They'll think she's wild or belongs to the farm
and won't go looking for the rider."

As he spoke, a horde of orcs surged into the field, blasting their horns.
Turala had seen orcs before, but never in such abundance, never with such
bestial confidence.  Roaring with delight at the horse and its confused
state, they hastened past the timber where Cassyr, Turala, and Bosriel hid.
The wildflowers flew into the air at their stampede, powdering the air with
seeds.  Turala tried to hold back a sneeze, and thought she succeeded.  One
of the orcs heard something though, and brought another with him to
investigate.

Cassyr quietly unsheathed his sword, mustering all the confidence he could.
His skills, such as they were, were in spying, not combat, but he vowed to
protect Turala and her babe for as long as he could.  Perhaps he would slay
these two, he reasoned, but not before they cried out and brought the rest of
the horde.

Suddenly, something invisible swept through the bushes like a wind.  The orcs
flew backwards, falling dead on their backs.  Turala turned and saw a
wrinkled crone with bright red hair emerge from a nearby bush.

"I thought you were going to bring 'em right to me," she whispered, smiling.
"Best come with me."

The three followed the old woman through a deep crevasse of bramble bushes
that ran through the field toward the house on the hill.  As they emerged on
the other side, the woman turned to look at the orcs feasting on the remains
of the horse, a blood-soaked orgy to the beat of multiple horns.

"That horse yours?" she asked.  When Cassyr nodded, she laughed loudly.
"That's rich meat, that is.  Those monsters'll have bellyaches and flatulence
in the morning.  Serves 'em right."

"Shouldn't we keep moving?" whispered Turala, unnerved by the woman's
laughter.

"They won't come up here," she grinned, looking at Bosriel who smiled back.
"They're too afraid of us."

Turala turned to Cassyr, who shook his head. "Witches.  Am I correct in
assuming that this is Old Barbyn's Farm, the home of the Skeffington Coven?"

"You are, pet," the old woman giggled girlishly, pleased to be so infamous.
"I am Mynista Skeffington."

"What did you do to those orcs?" asked Turala. "Back there in the thicket?"

"Spirit fist right side the head," Mynista said, continuing the climb up the
hill.  Ahead of them was the farmhouse grounds, a well, a chicken coop, a
pond, women of all ages doing chores, the laughter of children at play.  The
old woman turned and saw that Turala did not understand. "Don't you have
witches where you come from, child?"

"None that I know of," she said.

"There are all sorts of wielders of magic in Tamriel," she explained. "The
Psijics study magic like its their painful duty.  The battlemages in the army
on the other end of the scale hurl spells like arrows.  We witches commune
and conjure and celebrate.  To fell those orcs, I merely whispered to the
spirits of the air, Amaro, Pina, Tallatha, the fingers of Kynareth, and the
breath of the world, with whom I have an intimate acquaintance, to smack
those bastards dead.  You see, conjuration is not about might, or solving
riddles, or agonizing over musty old scrolls.  It's about fostering
relations.  Being friendly, you might say."

"Well, we certainly appreciate you being friendly with us," said Cassyr.

"As well you might," coughed Mynista. "Your kind destroyed the orc homeland
two thousand years ago.  Before that, they never came all the way up here and
bothered us.  Now let's get you cleaned up and fed."

With that, Mynista led them into the farm, and Turala met the family of the
Skeffington Coven.

11 Hearth Fire, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

Rijja had not even tried to sleep the night before, and she found the somber
music played during her execution to have a soporific effect.  It was as if
she was willing herself to be unconscious before the ax stroke.  Her eyes
were bound so she could not see her former lover, the Emperor, seated before
her, glaring with his one good eye.  She could not see the Potentate
Versidue-Shaie, his coil neatly wrapped beneath him, a look of triumph in his
golden face.  She could feel, numbly, the executioner's hand touch her back
to steady her.  She flinched like a dreamer trying to awake.

The first blow caught the back of her head and she screamed.  The next hacked
through her neck, and she was dead.

The Emperor turned to the Potentate wearily, "Now that's done.  You said she
had a pretty sister in Hammerfell named Corda?"

18 Hearth Fire, 2920
Dwynnen, High Rock

The horse the witches had sold him was not as good as his old one, Cassyr
considered.  Spirit worship and sacrifice and sisterhood might be all well
and good for conjuring spirits, but it tends to spoil beasts of burden.
Still, there was little to complain about.  With the Dunmer woman and her
child gone, he had made excellent time.  Ahead were the walls surrounding the
city of his homeland.  Almost at once, he was set upon by his old friends and
family.

"How went the war?" cried his cousin, running to the road. "Is it true that
Vivec signed a peace with the Prince, but the Emperor refuses to honor it?"

"That's not how it was, was it?" asked a friend, joining them. "I heard that
the Dunmer had the Prince murdered and then made up a story about a treaty,
but there's no evidence for it."

"Isn't there anything interesting happening here?" Cassyr laughed. "I really
don't have the least interest in discussing the war or Vivec."

"You missed the procession of the Lady Corda," said his friend. "She came
across the bay with full entourage and then east to the Imperial City."

"But that's nothing.  What was Vivec like?" asked his cousin eagerly. "He
supposed to be a living god."

"If Sheogorath steps down and they need another God of Madness, he'll do,"
said Cassyr haughtily.

"And the women?" asked the lad, who had only seen Dunmer ladies on very rare
occasions.

Cassyr merely smiled.  Turala Skeffington flashed into his mind for an
instant before fading away.  She would be happy with the coven, and her child
would be well cared for.  But they were part of the past now, a place and a
war he wanted to forget forever.  Dismounting his horse, he walked it into
the city, chatting of trivial gossip of life on the Iliac Bay.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Last Seed
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Sneak2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Sneak skill 1 point the first time the book is read


Last Seed
Book Eight of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

1 Last Seed, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

They were gathered in the Duke's courtyard at twilight, enjoying the smell
and warmth of a fire of dry branches and bittergreen leaves.  Tiny embers
flew into the sky, hanging for a few moments before vanishing.

"I was rash," agreed the Duke, soberly. "But Lorkhan had his laugh, and all
is well.  The Morag Tong will not assassinate the Emperor now that my payment
to them is at the bottom of the Inner Sea.  I thought you had made some sort
of a truce with the Daedra princes."

"What your sailors called a daedra may not have been one," said Sotha Sil.
"Perhaps it was a rogue battlemage or even a lightning bolt that destroyed
your ship."

"The Prince and the Emperor are en route to take possession of Ald Lambasi as
our truce agreed.  It is certainly typical of the Cyrodiil to assume that
their concessions are negotiable, while ours are not," Vivec pulled out a
map. "We can meet them here, in this village to the north-west of Ald
Lambasi, Fervinthil."

"But will we meet them to talk," ask Almalexia. "Or to make war?"

No one had an answer to that.

15 Last Seed, 2920
Fervinthil, Morrowind

A late summer squall blew through the small village, darkening the sky except
for flashing of lightning which leapt from cloud to cloud like acrobats.
Water rushed down the narrow streets ankle-deep, and the Prince had to shout
to be heard by his captains but a few feet away from him.

"There's an inn up ahead!  We'll wait there for the storm to pass before
pressing on to Ald Lambasi!"

The inn was warm and dry, and bustling with business.  Barmaids were rushing
back and forth, bringing greef and wine to a back room, evidently excited
about a famous visitor.  Someone who was attracting more attention than the
mere heir to the Empire of Tamriel.  Amused, Juilek watched them run until he
overheard the name of "Vivec."

"My Lord Vivec," he said, bursting into the back room. "You must believe me,
I knew nothing about the attack on Black Gate until after it happened.  We
will, of course, be returning it to your care forthwith.  I wrote you a
letter to that effect at your palace in Balmora, but obviously you're not
there," he paused, taking in the many new faces in the room. "I'm sorry, let
me introduce myself.  I'm Juilek Cyrodiil."

"My name is Almalexia," said the most beautiful woman the Prince had ever
seen. "Won't you join us?"

"Sotha Sil," said a serious-looking Dunmer in a white cloak, shaking the
Prince's hand and showing him to a seat.

"Indoril Brindisi Dorom, Duke-Prince of Mournhold," said the massively-built
man next to him as he sat down.

"I recognize that the events of the last month suggest, at best, that the
Imperial Army is not under my control," said the Prince after ordering some
wine. "This is true.  The army is my father's."

"I understood that the Emperor was going to be coming to Ald Lambasi as
well," said Almalexia.

"Officially, he is," said the Prince cautiously. "Unofficially, he's still
back in the Imperial City.  He's met with an unfortunate accident."

Vivec glanced the Duke quickly before looking at the Prince: "An accident?"

"He's fine," said the Prince quickly. "He'll live, but it looks like he'll
lose an eye. It was an altercation that has nothing to do with the war. The
only good news is that while he recovers, I have the use of his seal.  Any
agreement we make here and now will be binding to the Empire, both in my
father's reign and in mine."

"Then let's start agreeing," smiled Almalexia.

16 Last Seed, 2920
Wroth Naga, Cyrodiil

The tiny hamlet of Wroth Naga greeted Cassyr with its colorful houses perched
on a promontory overlooking the stretch of the Wrothgarian mountain plain and
High Rock beyond.  Had he been in a better mood, the sight would have been
breathtaking.  As it was, he could only think that in practical terms, a
small village like this would have meager provisions for himself and his
horse.

He rode down into the main square, where an inn called the Eagle's Cry stood.
Directing the stable boy to house and feed his horse, Cassyr walked into the
inn and was surprised by its ambience.  A minstrel he had heard play once in
Gilderdale was performing a jaunty old tune to the clapping of the mountain
men.  Such forced merriment was not what Cassyr wanted at that moment.  A
glum Dunmer woman was seated at the only table far from the noise, so he took
his drink there and sat down without invitation.  It was only when he did so
that he noticed that she was holding a newborn baby.

"I've just come from Morrowind," he said rather awkwardly, lowering his
voice. "I've been fighting for Vivec and the Duke of Mournhold against the
Imperial army.  A traitor to my people, I guess you'd call me."

"I am also a traitor to my people," said the woman, holding up her hand which
was scarred with a branded symbol. "It means that I can never go back to my
homeland."

"Well, you're not thinking of staying here, are you?" laughed Cassyr. "It's
certainly quaint, but come wintertide, there's going to be snow up to your
eyelashes.  It's no place for a new baby.  What is her name?"

"Bosriel.  It means 'Beauty of the Forest.' Where are you going?"

"Dwynnen, on the bay in High Rock.  You're welcome to join me, I could use
the company." He held out his hand. "Cassyr Whitley."

"Turala," said the woman after a pause.  She was going to use her family's
name first, as is tradition, but she realized that it was no longer her name.
"I would love to accompany you, thank you."

19 Last Seed, 2920
Ald Lambasi, Morrowind

Five men and two women stood in the silence of the Great Room of the castle,
the only sound the scrawl of quill on parchment and the gentle tapping of
rain on the large picture window.  As the Prince set the seal of Cyrodiil on
the document, the peace was made official.  The Duke of Mournhold broke out
in a roar of delight, ordering wine brought in to commemorate the end of
eighty years of war.

Only Sotha Sil stood apart from the group.  His face betrayed no emotion.
Those who knew him best knew he did not believe in endings or beginnings, but
in the continuous cycle of which this was but a small part.

"My Prince," said the castle steward, unhappy at breaking the celebration.
"There is a messenger here from your mother, the Empress.  He asked to see
your father, but as he did not arrive --"

Juilek excused himself and went to speak with the messenger.

"The Empress does not live in the Imperial City?" asked Vivec.

"No," said Almalexia, shaking her head sadly. "Her husband has imprisoned her
in Black Marsh, fearing that she was plotting a revolution against him.  She
is extremely wealthy and has powerful allies in the western Colovian estates
so he could not marry another or have her executed.  They've been at an
impasse for the last seventeen years since Juilek was a child."

The Prince returned a few minutes later.  His face betrayed his anxiety,
though he took troubles to hide it.

"My mother needs me," he said simply. "I'm afraid I must leave at once.  If I
may have a copy of the treaty, I will bring it with me to show the Empress
the good we have done today, and then I will carry it on to the Imperial City
so it may be made official."

Prince Juilek left with the fond farewells of the Three of Morrowind.  As
they watched him ride out into the rainswept night south towards Black Marsh,
Vivec said, "Tamriel will be much healed when he has the throne."

31 Last Seed, 2920
Dorsza Pass, Black Marsh

The moon was rising over the desolate quarry, steaming with swamp gas from a
particularly hot summer as the Prince and his two guard escort rode out of
the forest.  The massive piles of earth and dung had been piled high in
antiquity by some primitive, long-dead tribe of Black Marsh, hoping to keep
out some evil from the north.  Evidently, the evil had broken through at
Dorsza Pass, the large crack in the sad, lonely rampart that stretched for
miles.

The black twisted trees that grew on the barrier cast strange shadows down,
like a net tangling.  The Prince's mind was on his mother's cryptic letter,
hinting at the threat of an invasion.  He could not, of course, tell the
Dunmer about it, at the very least until he knew more and had notified his
father.  After all, the letter was meant for him.  It was its urgent tone
that made him decide to go directly to Gideon.

The Empress had also warned him about a band of former slaves who attacked
caravans going into Dorsza Pass.  She advised him to be certain to make his
Imperial shield visible, so they would know he was not one of the hated
Dunmer slavers.  Upon riding into the tall weeds that flooded through the
pass like a noxious river, the Prince ordered that his shield be displayed.

"I can see why the slaves use this," said the Prince's captain. "It's an
excellent location for an ambush."

Juilek nodded his head, but his thoughts were elsewhere.  What threat of
invasion could the Empress have discovered?  Were the Akaviri on the seas
again?  If so, how could his mother from her cell in Castle Giovese know of
it?  A rustle in the weeds and a single sharp human cry behind him
interrupted his ponderings.

Turning around, the Prince discovered that he was alone.  His escort had
vanished.

The Prince peered over the stretch of the moonlit sea of grass which waved in
almost hypnotic patterns to the ebb and flow of the night wind billowing
through the pass.  It was impossible to tell if a struggling soldier was
beneath this system of vibrations, a dying horse behind another.  A high,
whistling wind drowned out any sound the victims of the ambush might be
making.

Juilek drew his sword, and thought about what to do, his mind willing his
heart not to panic.  He was closer to the exit of the pass than the entrance.
Whatever had slain his escort must have been behind him.  If he rode fast
enough, perhaps he could outrun it.  Spurring his horse to gallop, he charged
for the hills ahead, framed by the mighty black piles of dirt.

When he was thrown, it happened so suddenly, he was hurdling forward before
he was truly conscious of the fact.  He landed several yards beyond where his
horse had fallen, breaking his shoulder and his back on impact.  A numbness
washed over him as he stared at his poor, dying steed, its belly sliced open
by one of several spears jutting up just below the surface of the grass.

Prince Juilek was not able to turn and face the figure that emerged from the
grass, nor able to move to defend himself.  His throat was cut without
ceremony.

Miramor cursed when he saw the face of his victim more clearly in the
moonlight.  He had seen the Emperor at the Battle of Bodrum when he had
fought in His Imperial Majesty's command, and this was clearly not the
Emperor.  Searching the body, he found the letter and a treaty signed by
Vivec, Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and the Duke of Mournhold representing Morrowind
and the Prince Juilek Cyrodiil, representing the Cyrodiil Empire.

"Curse my luck," muttered Miramor to himself and the whispering grass. "I've
only killed a Prince.  Where's the reward in that?"

Miramor destroyed the letter, as Zuuk had instructed him to do, and pocketed
the treaty.  At the very least, such a curiosity would have some market
value.  He disassembled the traps as he pondered his next step.  Return to
Gideon and ask his employer for a lesser reward for killing the heir?  Move
on to other lands?  At the very least, he considered, he had picked up two
useful skills from the Battle of Bodrum.  From the Dunmer, he had learned the
excellent spear trap.  And abandoning the Imperial army, he had learned how
to skulk in the grass.

The Year is Continued in Hearth Fire.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, MidYear
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Heavy Armor2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Mid Year
Book Six of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

2 Mid Year, 2920
Balmora, Morrowind

"The Imperial army is gathered to the south," said Cassyr. "They are a two
weeks march from Ald Iuval and Lake Coronati, heavily armored."

Vivec nodded.  Ald Iuval and its sister city on the other side of the lake
Ald Malak were strategically important fortresses.  He had been expecting a
move against them for some time.  His captain pulled down a map of
southwestern Morrowind from the wall and smoothed it out, fighting a gentle
summer sea breeze wafting in from the open window.

"They were heavily armored, you say?" asked the captain.

"Yes, sir," said Cassyr. "They were camped out near Bethal Gray in the
Heartland, and I saw nothing but Ebony, Dwarven, and Daedric armor, fine
weaponry, and siege equipment."

"How about spellcasters and boats?" asked Vivec.

"A horde of battlemages," replied Cassyr. "But no boats."

"As heavily armored as they are, it will take them at least two weeks, like
you said, to get from Bethal Gray to Lake Coronati," Vivec studied the map
carefully. "They'd be dragged down in the bogs if they then tried to circle
around to Ald Marak from the north, so they must be planning to cross the
straits here and take Ald Iuval.  Then they'd proceed around the lake to the
east and take Ald Marak from the south."

"They'll be vulnerable along the straits," said the captain. "Provided we
strike when they are more than halfway across and can't retreat back to the
Heartland."

"Your intelligence has once again served us well," said Vivec, smiling to
Cassyr. "We will beat back the Imperial aggressors yet again."

3 Mid Year, 2920
Bethal Gray, Cyrodiil

"Will you be returning back this way after your victory?" asked Lord Bethal.

Prince Juilek barely paid the man any attention.  He was focused on the army
packing its camp. It was a cool morning in the forest, but there were no
clouds.  All the makings of a hot afternoon march, particularly in such heavy
armor.

"If we return shortly, it will be because of defeat," said the Prince.  He
could see down in the meadow, the Potentate Versidue-Shaie paying his
lordship's steward for the use of the village's food, wine, and whores.  An
army was an expensive thing, for certes.

"My Prince," said Lord Bethal with concern. "Is your army beginning a march
due east?  That will just lead you to the shores of Lake Coronati.  You'll
want to go south-east to get to the straits."

"You just make certain your merchants get their share of our gold," said the
Prince with a grin. "Let me worry about my army's direction."

16 Mid Year, 2920
Lake Coronati, Morrowind

Vivec stared across the blue expanse of the lake, seeing his reflection and
the reflection of his army in the cool blue waters.  What he did not see was
the Imperial Army's reflection.  They must have reached the straits by now,
barring any mishaps in the forest.  Tall feather-thin lake trees blocked much
of his view of the straits, but an army, particularly one clan in slow-moving
heavy armor could not move invisibly, silently.

"Let me see the map again," he called to his captain. "Is there no other way
they could approach?"

"We have sentries posted in the swamps to the north in case they're fool
enough to go there and be bogged under," said the captain. "We would at least
hear about it.  But there is no other way across the lake except through the
straits."

Vivec looked down again at his reflection, which seemed to be distorting his
image, mocking him.  Then he looked back on the map.

"Spy," said Vivec, calling Cassyr over. "When you said the army had a horde
of battlemages, what made you so certain they were battlemages?"

"They were wearing gray robes with mystical insignia on them," explained
Cassyr. "I figured they were mages, and why else would such a vast number
travel with the army?  They couldn't have all been healers."

"You fool!" roared Vivec. "They're mystics schooled in the art of Alteration.
They've cast a spell of water breathing on the entire army."

Vivec ran to a new vantage point where he could see the north.  Across the
lake, though it was but a small shadow on the horizon, they could see gouts
of flame from the assault on Ald Marak.  Vivec bellowed with fury and his
captain got to work at once redirecting the army to circle the lake and
defend the castle.

"Return to Dwynnen," said Vivec flatly to Cassyr before he rode off to join
the battle. "Your services are no longer needed nor wanted."

It was already too late when the Morrowind army neared Ald Marak.  It had
been taken by the Imperial Army.

19 Mid Year, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

The Potentate arrived in the Imperial City amid great fanfare, the streets
lined with men and women cheering him as the symbol of the taking of Ald
Marak.  Truth be told, a greater number would have turned out had the Prince
returned, and the Versidue-Shaie knew it.  Still, it pleased him to no end.
Never before had citizens of Tamriel cheered the arrival of an Akaviri into
their land.

The Emperor Reman III greeted him with a warm embrace, and then tore into the
letter he had brought from the Prince.

"I don't understand," he said at last, still joyous but equally confused.
"You went under the lake?"

"Ald Marak is a very well-fortified fortress," explained the Potentate. "As,
I might add, the army of Morrowind has rediscovered, now that they are on the
outside.  To take it, we had to attack by surprise and with our soldiery in
the sturdiest of armor.  By casting the spell that allowed us to breathe
underwater, we were able to travel faster than Vivec would have guessed, the
weight of the armor made less by the aquatic surroundings, and attack from
the waterbound west side of the fortress where their defenses were at their
weakest."

"Brilliant!" the Emperor crowed. "You are a wonderous tactician, Versidue-
Shaie!  If your fathers had been as good at this as you are, Tamriel would be
Akaviri domain!"

The Potentate had not planned to take credit for Prince Juilek's design, but
on the Emperor's reference to his people's fiasco of an invasion two hundred
and sixteen years ago, he made up his mind.  He smiled modestly and soaked up
the praise.

21 Mid Year, 2920
Ald Marak, Morrowind

Savirien-Chorak slithered to the wall and watched through the arrow slit the
Morrowind army retreating back to the forestland between the swamps and the
castle grounds.  It seemed like the idea opportunity to strike.  Perhaps the
forests could be burned and the army within them.  Perhaps with Vivec in
their enemies' hands, the army would allow them possession of Ald Iuval as
well.  He suggested these ideas to the Prince.

"What you seem to be forgetting," laughed Prince Juilek. "Is that I gave my
word that no harm to the army or to their commanders during the truce
negotiations.  Do you not have honor during warfare on Akavir?"

"My Prince, I was born here in Tamriel, I have never been to my people's
home," replied the snake man. "But even so, your ways are strange to me.  You
expected no quarter and I gave you none when we fought in the Imperial Arena
five months ago."

"That was a game," replied the Prince, before nodding to his steward to let
the Dunmer battle chief in.

Juilek had never seen Vivec before, but he had heard he was a living god.
What came before him was but a man.  A powerfully built man, handsome, with
an intelligent face, but a man nonetheless.  The Prince was pleased: a man he
could speak with, but not a god.

"Greetings, my worthy adversary," said Vivec. "We seem to be at an impasse."

"Not necessarily," said the Prince. "You don't want to give us Morrowind, and
I can't fault you for that.  But I must have your coastline to protect the
Empire from overseas aggressions, and certain key strategic border castles,
such as this one, as well as Ald Umbeil, Tel Aruhn, Ald Lambasi, and Tel
Mothrivra."

"And in return?" asked Vivec.

"In return?" laughed Savirien-Chorak. "You forget we are the victors here,
not you."

"In return," said Prince Juilek carefully. "There will be no Imperial attacks
on Morrowind, unless in return to an attack by you.  You will be protected
from invaders by the Imperial navy.  And your land may expand by taking
certain estates in Black Marsh, whichever you choose, provided they are not
needed by the Empire."

"A reasonable offer," said Vivec after a pause.  "You must forgive me, I am
unused to Cyrodiils who offer something in return for what they take.  May I
have a few days to decide?"

"We will meet again in a week's time," said the Prince, smiling. "In the
meantime, if your army provokes no attacks on mine, we are at peace."

Vivec left the Prince's chamber, feeling that Almalexia was right.  The war
was at an end.  This Prince would make an excellent Emperor.

The Year is Continued in Sun's Height.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Morning Star
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Long Blade2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Morning Star
Book One of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

1 Morning Star, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

Almalexia lay in her bed of fur, dreaming.  Not until the sun burned through
her window, infusing the light wood and flesh colors of her chamber in a
milky glow did she open her eyes.  It was quiet and serene, a stunning
reverse of the flavor of her dreams, so full of blood and celebration.  For a
few moments, she simply stared at the ceiling, trying to sort through her
visions.

In the courtyard of her palace was a boiling pool which steamed in the
coolness of the winter morning.  At the wave of her hand, it cleared and she
saw the face and form of her lover Vivec in his study to the north.  She did
not want to speak right away: he looked so handsome in his dark red robes,
writing his poetry as he did every morning.

"Vivec," she said, and he raised his head in a smile, looking at her face
across thousands of miles. "I have seen a vision of the end of the war."

"After eighty years, I don't think anyone can imagine an end," said Vivec
with a smile, but he grew serious, trusting Almalexia's prophecies. "Who will
win?  Morrowind or the Cyrodilic Empire?"

"Without Sotha Sil in Morrowind, we will lose," she replied.

"My intelligence tells me the Empire will strike us to the north in early
springtide, by First Seed at the latest.  Could you go to Artaeum and
convince him to return?"

"I'll leave today," she said, simply.

4 Morning Star, 2920
Gideon, Black Marsh

The Empress paced around her cell.  Wintertide gave her wasteful energy,
while in the summer she would merely sit by her window and be grateful for
each breath of stale swamp wind that came to cool her.  Across the room, her
unfinished tapestry of a dance at the Imperial Court seemed to mock her.  She
ripped it from its frame, tearing the pieces apart as they drifted to the
floor.

Then she laughed at her own useless gesture of defiance.  She would have
plenty of time to repair it and craft a hundred more.  The Emperor had locked
her up in Castle Giovesse seven years ago, and would likely keep her here
until he or she died.

With a sigh, she pulled the cord to call her knight, Zuuk.  He appeared at
the door within minutes, fully uniformed as befitted an Imperial Guard.  Most
of the native Kothringi tribesmen of Black Marsh preferred to go about naked,
but Zuuk had taken a positive delight to fashion.  His silver, reflective
skin was scarcely visible, only on his face, neck, and hands.

"Your Imperial Highness," he said with a bow.

"Zuuk," said Empress Tavia. "I'm bored.  Lets discuss methods of
assassinating my husband today."

14 Morning Star, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

The chimes proclaiming South Wind's Prayer echoed through the wide boulevards
and gardens of the Imperial City, calling all to their temples.  The Emperor
Reman III always attended a service at the Temple of the One, while his son
and heir Prince Juilek found it more political to attend a service at a
different temple for each religious holiday.  This year, it was at the
cathedral Benevolence of Mara.

The Benevolence's services were mercifully short, but it was not until well
after noon that the Emperor was able to return to the palace.  By then, the
arena combatants were impatiently waiting for the start of the ceremony.  The
crowd was far less restless, as the Potentate Versidue-Shaie had arranged for
a demonstration from a troupe of Khajiiti acrobats.

"Your religion is so much more convenient than mine," said the Emperor to his
Potentate by way of an apology. "What is the first game?"

"A one-on-one battle between two able warriors," said the Potentate, his
scaly skin catching the sun as he rose. "Armed befitting their culture."

"Sounds good," said the Emperor and clapped his hands. "Let the sport
commence!"

As soon as he saw the two warriors enter the arena to the roar of the crowd,
Emperor Reman III remembered that he had agreed to this several months before
and forgotten about it.  One combatant was the Potentate's son, Savirien-
Chorak, a glistening ivory-yellow eel, gripping his katana and wakizashi with
his thin, deceptively weak looking arms.  The other was the Emperor's son,
Prince Juilek, in ebony armor with a savage Orcish helm, shield and longsword
at his side.

"This will be fascinating to watch," hissed the Potentate, a wide grin across
his narrow face. "I don't know if I've even seen a Cyrodiil fight an Akavir
like this.  Usually it's army against army.  At last we can settle which
philosophy is better -- to create armor to combat swords as your people do,
or to create swords to combat armor as mine do."

No one in the crowd, aside from a few scattered Akaviri counselors and the
Potentate himself wanted Savirien-Chorak to win, but there was a collective
intake of breath at the sight of his graceful movements.  His swords seemed
to be a part of him, a tail coming from his arms to match the one behind him.
It was a trick of counterbalance, allowing the young serpent man to roll up
into a circle and spin into the center of the ring in offensive position.
The Prince had to plod forward the less impressive traditional way.

As they sprang at each other, the crowd bellowed with delight.  The Akaviri
was like a moon in orbit around the Prince, effortlessly springing over his
shoulder to attempt a blow from behind, but the Prince whirled around quickly
to block with his shield.  His counter-strike met only air as his foe fell
flat to the ground and slithered between his legs, tripping him.  The Prince
fell to the ground with a resounding crash.

Metal and air melted together as Savirien-Chorak rained strike after strike
upon the Prince, who blocked every one with his shield.

"We don't have shields in our culture," murmured Versidue-Shaie to the
Emperor. "It seems strange to my boy, I imagine.  In our country, if you
don't want to get hit, you move out of the way."

When Savirien-Chorak was rearing back to begin another series of blinding
attacks, the Prince kicked at his tail, sending him falling back momentarily.
In an instant, he had rebounded, but the Prince was also back on his feet.
The two circled one another, until the snake man spun forward, katana
extended.  The Prince saw his foe's plan, and blocked the katana with his
longsword and the wakizashi with his shield.  Its short punching blade
impaled itself in the metal, and Savirien-Chorak was thrown off balance.

The Prince's longblade slashed across the Akavir's chest and the sudden,
intense pain caused him to drop both his weapons.  It a moment, it was over.
Savirien-Chorak was prostate in the dust with the Prince's longsword at his
throat.

"The game's over!" shouted the Emperor, barely heard over the applause from
the stadium.

The Prince grinned and helped Savirien-Chorak up and over to a healer.  The
Emperor clapped his Potentate on the back, feeling relieved.  He had not
realized when the fight had begun how little chance he had given his son at
victory.

"He will make a fine warrior," said Versidue-Shaie. "And a great emperor."

"Just remember," laughed the Emperor. "You Akaviri have a lot of showy moves,
but if just one of our strikes comes through, it's all over for you."

"Oh, I'll remember that," nodded the Potentate.

Reman thought about that comment for the rest of the games, and had trouble
fully enjoying himself.  Could the Potentate be another enemy, just as the
Empress had turned out to be?  The matter would bear watching.

21 Morning Star, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

"Why don't you wear that green gown I gave you?" asked the Duke of Mournhold,
watching the young maiden put on her clothes.

"It doesn't fit," smiled Turala. "And you know I like red."

"It doesn't fit because you're getting fat," laughed the Duke, pulling her
down on the bed, kissing her breasts and the pouch of her stomach.  She
laughed at the tickles, but pulled herself up, wrapping her red robe around
her.

"I'm round like a woman should be," said Turala. "Will I see you tomorrow?"

"No," said the Duke. "I must entertain Vivec tomorrow, and the next day the
Duke of Ebonheart is coming.  Do you know, I never really appreciated
Almalexia and her political skills until she left?"

"It is the same with me," smiled Turala. "You will only appreciate me when
I'm gone."

"That's not true at all," snorted the Duke. "I appreciate you now."

Turala allowed the Duke one last kiss before she was out the door.  She kept
thinking about what he said.  Would he appreciate her more or less when he
knew that she was getting fat because she was carrying his child?  Would he
appreciate her enough to marry her?

The Year Continues in Sun's Dawn


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Rain's Hand
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Restoration4
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Restoration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Rain's Hand
Book Four of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

3 Rain's Hand, 2920
Coldharbour, Oblivion

Sotha Sil proceeded as quickly as he could through the blackened halls of the
palace, half-submerged in brackish water.  All around him, nasty gelatinous
creatures scurried into the reeds, bursts of white fire lit up the upper
arches of the hall before disappearing, and smells assaulted him, rancid
death one moment, sweet flowered perfume the next.  Several times he had
visited the Daedra princes in their Oblivion, but every time, something
different awaited him.

He knew his purpose, and refused to be distracted.

Eight of the more prominent Daedra princes were awaiting him in the half-
melted, domed room.  Azura, Prince of Dusk and Dawn; Boethiah, Prince of
Plots; Herma-Mora, Daedra of Knowledge; Hircine, the Hunter; Malacath, God of
Curses; Mehrunes Dagon, Prince of Disaster; Molag Bal, Prince of Rage;
Sheogorath, the Mad One.

Above them, the sky cast tormented shadows upon the meeting.

5 Rain's Hand, 2920
The Isle of Artaeum, Summurset

Sotha Sil's voice cried out, echoing from the cave, "Move the rock!"

Immediately, the initiates obeyed, rolling aside the great boulder that
blocked the entrance to the Dreaming Cavern.  Sotha Sil emerged, his face
smeared with ash, weary.  He felt he had been away for months, years, but
only a few days had transpired.  Lilatha took his arm to help him walk, but
he refused her help with a kind smile and a shake of his head.

"Were you ... successful?" she asked.

"The Daedra princes I spoke with have agreed to our terms," he said flatly.
"Disasters such as befell Gilverdale should be averted.  Only through certain
intermediaries such as witches or sorcerers will they answer the call of man
and mer."

"And what did you promise them in return?" asked the Nord boy Welleg.

"The deals we make with Daedra," said Sotha Sil, continuing on to Iachesis's
palace to meet with the Master of the Psijic Order. "Should not be discussed
with the innocent."

8 Rain's Hand, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

A storm billeted the windows of the Prince's bedchamber, bringing a smell of
moist air to mix with the censors filled with burning incense and herbs.

"A letter has arrived from the Empress, your mother," said the courier.
"Anxiously inquiring after your health."

"What frightened parents I have!" laughed Prince Juilek from his bed.

"It is only natural for a mother to worry," said Savirien-Chorak, the
Potentate's son.

 "There is everything unnatural about my family, Akavir.  My exiled mother
fears that my father will imagine me of being a traitor, covetous of the
crown, and is having me poisoned," the Prince sank back into his pillow,
annoyed. "The Emperor has insisted on me having a taster for all my meals as
he does."

"There are many plots," agreed the Akavir. "You have been abed for nearly
three weeks with every healer in the empire shuffling through like a slow
ballroom dance.  At least, all can see that you're getting stronger."

"Strong enough to lead the vanguard against Morrowind soon, I hope," said
Juilek.

11 Rain's Hand, 2920
The Isle of Artaeum, Summurset

The initiates stood quietly in a row along the arbor loggia, watching the
long, deep, marble-lined trench ahead of them flash with fire.  The air above
it vibrated with the waves of heat.  Though each student kept his or her face
sturdy and emotionless, as a true Psijic should, their terror was nearly as
palpable as the heat.  Sotha Sil closed his eyes and uttered the charm of
fire resistance.  Slowly, he walked across the basin of leaping flames,
climbing to the other side, unscathed.  Not even his white robe had been
burned.

"The charm is intensified by the energy you bring to it, by your own skills,
just as all spells are," he said. "Your imagination and your willpower are
the keys.  There is no need for a spell to give you a resistance to air, or a
resistance to flowers, and after you cast the charm, you must forget there is
even a need for a spell to give you resistance to fire.  Do not confuse what
I am saying: resistance is not about ignoring the fire's reality.  You will
feel the substance of flame, the texture of it, its hunger, and even the heat
of it, but you will know that it will not hurt or injure you."

The students nodded and one by one, they cast the spell and made the walk
through the fire.  Some even went so far as to bend over and scoop up a
handful of fire and feed it air, so it expanded like a bubble and melted
through their fingers.  Sotha Sil smiled.  They were fighting their fear
admirably.

The Chief Proctor Thargallith came running from the arbor arches, "Sotha Sil!
Almalexia has arrived on Artaeum.  Iachesis told me to fetch you."

Sotha Sil turned to Thargallith for only a moment, but he knew instantly from
the screams what had transpired.  The Nord lad Wellig had not cast the spell
properly and was burning.  The smell of scorched hair and flesh panicked the
other students who were struggling to get out of the basin, pulling him with
them, but the incline was too steep away from the entry points.  With a wave
of his hand, Sotha Sil extinguished the flame.

Wellig and several other students were burned, but not badly.  The sorcerer
cast a healing spell on them, before turning back to Thargallith.

"I'll be with you in a moment, and give Almalexia the time to shake the road
dust from her train," Sotha Sil turned back to the students, his voice flat.
"Fear does not break spells, but doubt and incompetence are the great enemies
of any spellcaster.  Master Welleg, you will pack your bags.  I'll arrange
for a boat to bring you to the mainland tomorrow morning."

The sorcerer found Almalexia and Iachesis in the study, drinking hot tea, and
laughing.  She was more beautiful than he had remembered, though he had never
before seen her so disheveled, wrapped in a blanket, dangling her damp long
black tresses before the fire to dry.  At Sotha Sil's approach, she leapt to
her feet and embraced him.

"Did you swim all the way from Morrowind?" he smiled.

"It's pouring rain from Skywatch down to the coast," she explained, returning
his smile.

"Only a half a league away, and it never rains here," said Iachesis proudly.
"Of course, I sometimes miss the excitement of Summurset, and sometimes even
the mainland itself.  Still, I'm always very impressed by anyone out there
who gets anything accomplished.  It is a world of distractions.  Speaking of
distractions, what's all this I hear about a war?"

"You mean the one that's been bloodying the continent for the last eighty
years, Master?" asked Sotha Sil, amused.

"I suppose that's the one I mean," said Iachesis with a shrug of his
shoulders. "How is that war going?"

"We will lose it, unless I can convince Sotha Sil to leave Artaeum," said
Almalexia, losing her smile.  She had meant to wait and talk to her friend in
private, but the old Altmer gave her courage to press on. "I have had
visions; I know it to be true."

Sotha Sil was silent for a moment, and then looked at Iachesis, "I must
return to Morrowind."

"Knowing you, if you must do something, you will," sighed the old Master.
"The Psijics' way is not to be distracted.  Wars are fought, Empires rise and
fall.  You must go, and so must we."

"What do you mean, Iachesis?  You're leaving the island?"

"No, the island will be leaving the sea," said Iachesis, his voice taking on
a dreamy quality. "In a few years, the mists will move over Artaeum and we
will be gone.  We are counselors by nature, and there are too many counselors
in Tamriel as it is.  No, we will go, and return when the land needs us
again, perhaps in another age."

The old Altmer struggles to his feet, and drained the last sip of his drink
before leaving Sotha Sil and Almalexia alone: "Don't miss the last boat."

The Year Continues in Second Seed.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Second Seed
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Speechcraft3
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Speechcraft skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Second Seed
Book Five of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

10 Second Seed, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

"Your Imperial Majesty," said the Potentate Versidue-Shaie, opening the door
to his chamber with a smile. "I have not seen you lately.  I thought perhaps
you were ... indisposed with the lovely Rijja."

"She's taking the baths at Mir Corrup," the Emperor Reman III said miserably.

"Please, come in."

"I've reached the stage where I can only trust three people: you, my son the
Prince, and Rijja," said the Emperor petulantly. "My entire council is
nothing but a pack of spies."

"What seems to be the matter, your imperial majesty?" asked the Potentate
Versidue-Shaie sympathetically, drawing closed the thick curtain in his
chamber.  Instantly all sound outside the room was extinguished, echoing
footsteps in the marble halls and birds in the springtide gardens.

"I've discovered that a notorious poisoner, an Orma tribeswoman from Black
Marsh called Catchica, was with the army at Caer Suvio while we were encamped
there when my son was poisoned, before the battle at Bodrum.  I'm sure she
would have preferred to kill me, but the opportunity didn't present itself,"
The Emperor fumed. "The Council suggests that we need evidence of her
involvement before we prosecute."

"Of course they would," said the Potentate thoughtfully. "Particularly if one
or more of them was in on the plot.  I have a thought, your imperial
majesty."

"Yes?" said Reman impatiently. "Out with it!"

"Tell the Council you're dropping the matter, and I will send out the Guard
to track this Catchica down and follow her.  We will see who her friends are,
and perhaps get an idea of the scope of this plot on your imperial majesty's
life."

"Yes," said Reman with a satisfied frown. "That's a capital plan.  We will
track this scheme to whomever it leads to."

"Decidedly, your imperial majesty," smiled the Potentate, parting the curtain
so the Emperor could leave.  In the hallway outside was Versidue-Shaie's son,
Savirien-Chorak.  The boy bowed to the Emperor before entering the
Potentate's chamber.

"Are you in trouble, father?" whispered the Akaviri lad. "I heard the Emperor
found out about whatshername, the poisoner."

"The great art of speechcraft, my boy," said Versidue-Shaie to his son. "Is
to tell them what they want to hear in a way that gets them to do what you
want them to do.  I need you to get a letter to Catchica, and make certain
that she understands that if she does not follow the instructions perfectly,
she is risking her own life more than ours."

13 Second Seed, 2920
Mir Corrup, Cyrodiil

Rijja sank luxuriantly into the burbling hot spring, feeling her skin tingle
like it was being rubbed by millions of little stones.  The rock shelf over
her head sheltered her from the misting rain, but let all the sunshine in,
streaming in layers through the branches of the trees.  It was an idyllic
moment in an idyllic life, and when she was finished she knew that her beauty
would be entirely restored.  The only thing she needed was a drink of water.
The bath itself, while wonderfully fragrant, tasted always of chalk.

"Water!" she cried to her servants. "Water, please!"

A gaunt woman with rags tied over her eyes ran to her side and dropped a
goatskin of water. Rijja was about to laugh at the woman's prudery -- she
herself was not ashamed of her naked body -- but then she noticed through a
crease in the rags that the old woman had no eyes at all.  She was like one
of those Orma tribesmen Rijja had heard about, but never met.  Born without
eyes, they were masters of their other senses.  The Lord of Mir Corrup hired
very exotic servants, she thought to herself.

In a moment, the woman was gone and forgotten. Rijja found it very hard to
concentrate on anything but the sun and the water.  She opened the cork, but
the liquid within had a strange, metallic smell to it.  Suddenly, she was
aware that she was not alone.

"Lady Rijja," said the captain of the Imperial Guard. "You are, I see,
acquainted with Catchica?"

"I've never heard of her," stammered Rijja before becoming indignant. "What
are you doing here?  This body is not for your leering eyes."

"Never heard of her, when we saw her with you not a minute ago," said the
captain, picking up the goatskin and smelling it. "Brought you neivous ichor,
did she?  To poison the Emperor with?"

"Captain," said one of the guards, running up to him quickly. "We cannot find
the Argonian.  It is as if she disappeared into the woods."

"Yes, they're good at that," said the captain. "No matter though. We've got
her contact at court.  That should please his Imperial Majesty.  Seize her."

As the guards pulled the writhing naked woman from the pool, she screamed,
"I'm innocent!  I don't know what this is all about, but I've done nothing!
The Emperor will have your heads for this!"

"Yes, I imagine he will," smiled the captain. "If he trusts you."

21 Second Seed, 2920
Gideon, Black Marsh

The Sow and Vulture tavern was the sort of out-of-the-way place that Zuuk
favored for these sorts of interviews.  Besides himself and his companion,
there were only a couple of old seadogs in the shadowy room, and they were
more unconscious from drink than aware.  The grime of the unwashed floor was
something you felt rather than saw.  Copious dust hung in the air unmoving in
the sparse rays of dying sunlight.

"You have experience in heavy combat?" asked Zuuk. "The reward is good for
this assignment, but the risks are great as well."

"Certainly I have combat experience," replied Miramor haughtily. "I was at
the Battle of Bodrum just two months ago.  If you do your part and get the
Emperor to ride through Dozsa Pass with a minimal escort on the day and the
time we've discussed, I'll do my part.  Just be certain that he's not
traveling in disguise.  I'm not going to slaughter every caravan that passes
through in the hopes that it contains Emperor Reman."

Zuuk smiled, and Miramor looked at himself in the Kothringi's reflective
face.  He liked the way he looked: the consummate confident professional.

"Agreed," said Zuuk. "And then you shall have the rest of your gold."

Zuuk placed the large chest onto the table between them.  He stood up.

"Wait a few minutes before leaving," said Zuuk. "I don't want you following
me.  Your employers wish to maintain their anonymity, if by chance you are
caught and tortured."

"Fine by me," said Miramor, ordering more grog.

Zuuk rode his mount through the cramped labyrinthine streets of Gideon, and
both he and his horse were happy to pass through the gates into the country.
The main road to Castle Giovese was flooded as it was every year in
springtide, but Zuuk knew a shorter way over the hills.  Riding fast under
trees drooping with moss and treacherous slime-coated rocks, he arrived at
the castle gates in two hours' time.  He wasted no time in climbing to
Tavia's cell at the top of the highest tower.

"What did you think of him?" asked the Empress.

"He's a fool," replied Zuuk. "But that's what we want for this sort of
assignment."

30 Second Seed, 2920
Thurzo Fortress, Cyrodiil

Rijja screamed and screamed and screamed.  Within her cell, her only audience
was the giant gray stones, crusted with moss but still sturdy.  The guards
outside were deaf to her as they were deaf to all prisoners.  The Emperor,
miles away in the Imperial City, had likewise been deaf to her cries of
innocence.

She screamed knowing well that no one would likely hear her ever again.

31 Second Seed, 2920
Kavas Rim Pass, Cyrodiil

It had been days, weeks since Turala had seen another human face, Cyrodiil or
Dunmer.  As she trod the road, she thought to herself how strange it was that
such an uninhabited place as Cyrodiil had become the Imperial Province, seat
of an Empire.  Even the Bosmer in Valenwood must have more populated forests
than this Heartland wood.

She thought back.  Was it a month ago, two, when she crossed the border from
Morrowind into Cyrodiil?  It had been much colder then, but other than that,
she had no sense of time.  The guards had been brusque, but as she was
carrying no weaponry, they elected to let her through.  Since then, she had
seen a few caravans, even shared a meal with some adventurers camping for the
night, but met no one who would give her a ride to a town.

Turala stripped off her shawl and dragged it behind her.  For a moment, she
thought she heard someone behind her and spun around.  No one was there.
Just a bird perched on a branch making a sound like laughter.

She walked on, and then stopped.  Something was happening.  The child had
been kicking in her belly for some time now, but this was a different kind of
spasm.  With a groan, she lurched over to the side of the path, collapsing
into the grass.  Her child was coming.

She lay on her back and pushed, but she could barely see with her tears of
pain and frustration.  How had it come to this?  Giving birth in the
wilderness, all by herself, to a child whose father was the Duke of
Mournhold?  Her scream of rage and agony shook the birds from the trees.

The bird that had been laughing at her earlier flew down to the road.  She
blinked, and the bird was gone and in its place, a naked Elf man stood, not
as dark as a Dunmer, but not as pale as the Altmer.  She knew at once it was
an Ayleid, a Wild Elf.  Turala screamed, but the man held her down.  After a
few minutes of struggle, she felt a release, and then fainted away.

When she awoke, it was to the sound of a baby crying.  The child had been
cleaned and was lying by her side.  Turala picked up her baby girl, and for
the first time that year, felt tears of happiness stream down her face.

She whispered to the trees, "Thank you" and began walking with babe in her
arms down the road to the west.

The Year Is Continued in Mid Year.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Sun's Dawn
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Mysticism2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Mysticism skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Sun's Dawn
Book Two of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

3 Sun's Dawn, 2920
The Isle of Artaeum, Summurset

Sotha Sil watched the initiates float one by one up to the oassom tree,
taking a fruit or a flower from its high branches before dropping back to the
ground with varying degrees of grace.  He took a moment while nodding his
head in approval to admire the day.  The whitewashed statue of Syrabane,
which the great mage was said to have posed for in ancient days, stood at the
precipice of the cliff overlooking the bay.  Pale purple proscato flowers
waves to and fro in the gentle breeze.  Beyond, ocean, and the misty border
between Artaeum and the main island of Summurset.

"By and large, acceptable," he proclaimed as the last student dropped her
fruit in his hand. With a wave of his hand, the fruit and flowers were back
in the tree.  With another wave, the students had formed into position in a
semicircle around the sorcerer.  He pulled a small fibrous ball, about a foot
in diameter from his white robes.

"What is this?"

The students understood this test.  It asked them to cast a spell of
identification on the mysterious object.  Each initiate closed his or her
eyes and imagined the ball in the realm of the universal Truth.  Its energy
had a unique resonance as all physical and spiritual matter does, a negative
aspect, a duplicate version, relative paths, true meaning, a song in the
cosmos, a texture in the fabric of space, a facet of being that has always
existed and always will exist.

"A ball," said a young Nord named Welleg, which brought giggles from some of
the younger initiates, but a frown from most, including Sotha Sil.

"If you must be stupid, at least be amusing," growled the sorcerer, and then
looked at a young, dark-haired Altmer lass who looked confused. "Lilatha, do
you know?"

"It's grom," said Lilatha, uncertainly. "What the dreugh meff after they've
k-k-kr-krevinasim."

"Karvinasim, but very good, nonetheless," said Sotha Sil. "Now, tell me, what
does that mean?"

"I don't know," admitted Lilatha.  The rest of the students also shook their
heads.

"There are layers to understanding all things," said Sotha Sil. "The common
man looks at an object and fits it into a place in his way of thinking.
Those skilled in the Old Ways, in the way of the Psijic, in Mysticism, can
see an object and identify it by its proper role.  But one more layer is
needed to be peeled back to achieve understanding.  You must identify the
object by its role and its truth and interpret that meaning.  In this case,
this ball is indeed grom, which is a substance created by the dreugh, an
underwater race in the north and western parts of the continent.  For one
year of their life, they undergo karvinasim when they walk upon the land.
Following that, they return to the water and meff, or devour the skin and
organs they needed for land-dwelling.  Then they vomit it up into little
balls like this.  Grom.  Dreugh vomit."

The students looked at the ball a little queasily.  Sotha Sil always loved
this lesson.

4 Sun's Dawn, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

"Spies," muttered the Emperor, sitting in his bath, staring at a lump on his
foot. "All around me, traitors and spies."

His mistress Rijja washed his back, her legs wrapped around his waist.  She
knew after all these many years when to be sensual and when to be sexual.
When he was in a mood like this, it was best to be calmly, soothingly,
seductively sensual.  And not to say a word unless he asked her a direct
question.

Which he did: "What do you think when a fellow steps on his Imperial
Majesty's foot and says 'I'm sorry, Your Imperial Majesty'? Don't you think
'Pardon me, Your Imperial Majesty' is more appropriate? 'I'm sorry,' well
that almost sounds like the bastard Argonian was sorry I am his Imperial
Majesty.  That he hopes we lose the war with Morrowind, that's what it sounds
like."

"What would make you feel better?" asked Rijja. "Would you like him flogged?
He is only, as you say, the Battlechief of Soulrest.  It would teach him to
mind where he's stepping."

"My father would have flogged him.  My grandfather would have had him
killed," the Emperor grumbled. "But I don't mind if they all step on my feet,
provided they respect me.  And don't plot against me."

"You must trust someone."

"Only you," smiled the Emperor, turning slightly to give Rijja a kiss. "And
my son Juilek, I suppose, though I wish he were a little more cautious."

"And your council, and the Potentate?" asked Rijja.

"A pack of spies and a snake," laughed the Emperor, kissing his mistress
again.  As they began to make love, he whispered, "As long as you're true, I
can handle the world."

13 Sun's Dawn, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

Turala stood at the black, bejeweled city gates.  A wind howled around her,
but she felt nothing.

The Duke had been furious upon hearing his favorite mistress was pregnant and
cast her from his sight.  She tried again and again to see him, but his
guards turned her away.  Finally, she returned to her family and told them
the truth.  If only she had lied and told them she did not know who the
father was.  A soldier, a wandering adventurer, anyone.  But she told them
that the father was the Duke, a member of the House Indoril.  And they did
what she knew they would have to do, as proud members of the House Redoran.

Upon her hand was burned the sign of Expulsion her weeping father had branded
on her.  But the Duke's cruelty hurt her far more.  She looked out the gate
and into the wide winter plains.  Twisted, sleeping trees and skies without
birds.  No one in Morrowind would take her in now.  She must go far away.

With slow, sad steps, she began her journey.

16 Sun's Dawn, 2920
Senchal, Anequina (modern day Elsweyr)

"What troubles you?" asked Queen Hasaama, noticing her husband's sour mood.
At the end of most Lovers' Days he was in an excellent mood, dancing in the
ballroom with all the guests, but tonight he retired early.  When she found
him, he was curled in the bed, frowning.

"That blasted bard's tale about Polydor and Eloisa put me in a rotten state,"
he growled. "Why did he have to be so depressing?"

"But isn't that the truth of the tale, my dear?  Weren't they doomed because
of the cruel nature of the world?"

"It doesn't matter what the truth is, he did a rotten job of telling a rotten
tale, and I'm not going to let him do it anymore," King Dro'Zel sprang from
the bed.  His eyes were rheumy with tears. "Where did they say he was from
again?"

"I believe Gilverdale in easternmost Valenwood," said the Queen, shaken. "My
husband, what are you going to do?"

Dro'Zel was out of the room in a single spring, bounding up the stairs to his
tower.  If Queen Hasaama knew what her husband was going to do, she did not
try to stop him. He had been erratic of late, prone to fits and even
occasional seizures.  But she never suspected the depths of his madness, and
his loathing for the bard and his tale of the wickedness and perversity found
in mortal man.

19 Sun's Dawn, 2920
Gilverdale, Valenwood

"Listen to me again," said the old carpenter. "If cell three holds worthless
brass, then cell two holds the gold key.  If cell one holds the gold key,
then cell three hold worthless brass. If cell two holds worthless brass, then
cell one holds the gold key."

"I understand," said the lady. "You told me. And so cell one holds the gold
key, right?"

"No," said the carpenter. "Let me start from the top."

"Mama?" said the little boy, pulling on his mother's sleeve.

"Just one moment, dear, mother's talking," she said, concentrating on the
riddle. "You said 'cell three holds the golden key if cell two holds
worthless brass,' right?"

"No," said the carpenter patiently. "Cell three holds worthless brass, if
cell two --"

"Mama!" cried the boy.  His mother finally looked.

A bright red mist was pouring over the town in a wave, engulfing building
after building in its wake.  Striding before was a red-skinned giant.  The
Daedra Molag Bal.  He was smiling.

29 Sun's Dawn, 2920
Gilverdale, Valenwood

Almalexia stopped her steed in the vast moor of mud to let him drink from the
river.  He refused to, even seemed repelled by the water.  It struck her as
odd: they had been making excellent time from Mournhold, and surely he must
be thirsty.  She dismounted and joined her retinue.

"Where are we now?" she asked.

One of her ladies pulled out a map. "I thought we were approaching a town
called Gilverdale."

Almalexia closed her eyes and opened them again quickly.  The vision was too
much to bear.  As her followers watched, she picked up a piece of brick and a
fragment of bone, and clutched them to her heart.

"We must continue on to Artaeum," she said quietly.

The Year continues in First Seed.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Sun's Dusk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Short Blade2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Short Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Sun's Dusk
Book Eleven of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

2 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Tel Aruhn, Morrowind

"A man to see you, Night Mother," said the guard. "A Kothringi tribesman who
presents his credentials as Lord Zuuk of Black Marsh, part of the Imperial
Garrison of Gideon."

"What makes you think I'd have even the slightest possible interest in seeing
him?" asked the Night Mother with venomous sweetness.

"He brings a letter from the late Empress of the Cyrodilic Empire."

"We are having a busy day," she smiled, clapping her hands together with
delight. "Show him in."

Zuuk entered the chamber.  His metallic skin, though exposed only at his face
and hands, caught the light of the fireplace and the lightning of the stormy
night from the window. The Night Mother noted also that she could see herself
as he saw her: serene, beautiful, fear-inspiring.  He handed her his letter
from the Empress without a word.  Sipping her wine, she read it.

"The Duke of Morrowind also offered me an appreciable sum to have the Emperor
murdered earlier this year," she said, folding the letter. "His payment sunk,
and never was delivered.  It was a considerable annoyance, particularly as I
had already gone to the trouble of putting one of my agents in the palace.
Why should I assume that your more-than-generous payment, from a dead woman,
will arrive?"

"I brought it with me," said Zuuk simply. "It is in the carriage outside."

"Then bring it in and our business is complete," smiled the Night Mother.
"The Emperor will be dead by year's end.  You may leave the gold with
Apaladith.  Unless you'd care for some wine?"

Zuuk declined the offer and withdrew.  The moment he left the room, Miramor
slipped noiselessly back from behind the dark tapestry.  The Night Mother
offered him a glass of wine, and he accepted it.

"I know that fellow, Zuuk," said Miramor carefully. "I didn't know he worked
for the old Empress though."

"Let's talk about you some more, if you don't mind," she said, knowing he
would, in fact, not mind.

"Let me show you my worth," said Miramor. "Let me be the one to do the
Emperor in.  I've already killed his son, and you saw there how well I can
hide myself away.  Tell me you saw one ripple in the tapestry."

The Night Mother smiled.  Things were falling into place rather nicely.

"If you know how to use a dagger, you will find him at Bodrum," she said, and
described to him what he must do.

3 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

The Duke stared out the window.  It was early morning, and for the fourth
straight day, a red mist hung over the city, flashing lightning.  A freakish
wind blew through the streets, ripping his flags from the castle battlements,
forcing all his people to close their shudders tightly.  Something terrible
was coming to his land.  He was not a greatly learned man, but he knew the
signs.  So too did his subjects.

"When will my messengers reach the Three?" he growled, turning to his
castellan.

"Vivec is far to the north, negotiating the treaty with the Emperor," the man
said, his face and voice trembling with fear. "Almalexia and Sotha Sil are in
Necrom.  Perhaps they can be reached in a few days time."

The Duke nodded.  He knew his messengers were fast, but so too was the hand
of Oblivion.

6 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Bodrum, Morrowind

Torchlight caught in the misting snow gave the place an otherworldly quality.
The soldiers from both camps found themselves huddled together around the
largest of the bonfires: winter bringing enemies of four score of warring
close together.  While only a few of the Dunmer guard could speak Cyrodilic,
they found common ground battling for warmth.  When a pretty Redguard maiden
passed into their midst to warm herself before moving back to the treaty
tent, many a man from both army raised their eyes in approval.

The Emperor Reman III was eager to leave negotiations before they had ever
begun.  A month earlier, he thought it would be a sign of good will to meet
at the site of his defeat to Vivec's army, but the place brought back more
bad memories than he thought it would.  Despite the protestations of
Potentate Versidue-Shaie that the rocks of the river were naturally red, he
could swear he saw splatters of his soldier's blood.

"We have all the particulars of the treaty," he said, taking a glass of hot
yuelle from his mistress Corda. "But here and now is not the place for
signing.  We should do it at the Imperial Palace, with all the pomp and
splendor this historic occasion demands.  You must bring Almalexia with you
too.  And that wizard fellow."

"Sotha Sil," whispered the Potentate.

"When?" asked Vivec with infinite patience.

"In exactly a month's time," said the Emperor, smiling munificently and
clambering awkwardly to his feet. "We will hold a grand ball to commemorate.
Now I must take a walk.  My legs are all cramped up with the weather.  Corda,
my dear, will you walk with me?"

"Of course, your Imperial Majesty," she said, helping him toward the tent's
entrance.

"Would you like me to come with you as well, your Imperial Majesty?" asked
Versidue-Shaie.

"Or I?" asked King Dro'Zel of Senchal, a newly appointed advisor to the
court.

"That won't be necessary, I won't be gone a minute," said Reman.

Miramor crouched in the same rushes he had hidden in nearly eight months
before.  Now the ground was hard and snow-covered, and the rushes slick with
ice.  Every slight movement he made issued forth a crunch.  If it were not
for the raucous songs of the combined Morrowind and Imperial army gathered
about the bonfire, he would not have dared creep as close to the Emperor and
his concubine.  They were standing at the curve in the frozen creek below the
bluff, surrounded by trees sparkling with ice.

Carefully, Miramor removed the dagger from its sheath.  He had slightly
exaggerated his abilities with a short blade to the Night Mother.  True, he
had used one to cut the throat of Prince Juilek, but the lad was not in any
position to fight back at the time.  Still, how difficult could it be to stab
an old man with one eye?  What sort of blade skill would such an easy
assassination require?

His ideal moment presented itself before his eyes.  The woman saw something
deeper in the woods, an icicle of an unusual shape she said, and darted off
to get it.  The Emperor remained behind, laughing.  He turned to the face of
the bluff to see his soldiers singing their song's refrain, his back to his
assassin.  Miramor knew the moment had come.  Mindful of the sound of his
footfall on the icy ground, he stepped forward and struck.  Very nearly.

Almost simultaneously, he was aware of a strong arm holding back his striking
arm and another one punching a dagger into his throat.  He could not scream.
The Emperor, still looking up at the soldiers, never saw Miramor pulled back
into the brush and a hand much more skilled than his slicing into his back,
paralyzing him.

His blood pooling out and already crystallizing on the frozen ground, Miramor
watched, dying, as the Emperor and his courtesan returned to join the camp up
on the bluff.

12 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Mournhold, Morrowind

A gout of ever-erupting flame was all that remained of the central courtyard
of Castle Mournhold, blasting skyward into the boiling clouds.  A thick,
tarry smoke rolled through the streets, igniting everything that was wood or
paper on fire.  Winged bat-like creatures harried the citizens from their
hiding places out into the open, where they were met by the real army.  The
only thing that kept all of Mournhold from burning to the ground was the wet,
sputtering blood of its people.

Mehrunes Dagon smiled as he surveyed the castle crumbling.

"To think I nearly didn't come," he said aloud, his voice booming over the
chaos. "Imagine missing all this fun."

His attention was arrested by a needle-thin shaft of light piercing through
his black and red shadowed sky.  He followed it to its source, two figures, a
man and a woman standing on the hill above town.  The man in the white robe
he recognized immediately as Sotha Sil, the sorcerer who had talked all the
Princes of Oblivion into that meaningless truce.

"If you've come for the Duke of Mournhold, he isn't here," laughed Mehrunes
Dagon. "But you might find pieces of him the next time it rains."

"Daedra, we cannot kill you," said Almalexia, her face hard and resolute.
"But that you will soon regret."

With that, two living gods and a prince of Oblivion engaged in battle on the
ruins of Mournhold.

17 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Tel Aruhn, Morrowind

"Night Mother," said the guard. "Correspondence from your agent in the
Imperial Palace."

The Night Mother read the note carefully.  The test had been a success:
Miramor had been successfully detected and slain.  The Emperor was in very
unsafe hands.  The Night Mother responded immediately.

18 Sun's Dusk, 2920
Balmora, Morrowind

Sotha Sil, face solemn and unreadable, greeted Vivec at the grand plaza in
front of his palace.  Vivec had ridden day and night after hearing about the
battle in his tent in Bodrum, crossing mile after mile, cutting through the
dangerous ground at Dagoth-Ur at blinding speed.  To the south, during all
the course of the voyage, he could see the whirling red clouds and knew that
the battle was continuing, day after day.  In Gnisis, he met a messenger from
Sotha Sil, asking him to meet at Balmora.

"Where is Almalexia?"

"Inside," said Sotha Sil wearily.  There was a long, ugly gash running across
his jaw. "She's gravely injured, but Mehrunes Dagon will not return from
Oblivion for many a moon."

Almalexia lay on a bed of silk, tended to by Vivec's own healers.  Her face,
even her lips, was gray as stone, and blood stained through the gauze of her
bandages.  Vivec took her cold hand.  Almalexia's mouth moved wordlessly.
She was dreaming.

She was battling Mehrunes Dagon again amid a firestorm.  All around her, the
blackened husk of a castle crumbled, splashing sparks into the night sky.
The Daedra's claws dug into her belly, spreading poison through her veins
while Almalexia throttled him.  As she sank to the ground beside her defeated
foe, she saw that the castle consumed by fire was not Castle Mournhold.  It
was the Imperial Palace.

24 Sun's Dusk, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

A winter gale blew over the city, splashing the windows and glass domes of
the Imperial Palace.  Quivering light rays illuminated the figures within in
surreal patterns.

The Emperor barked orders to his staff in preparations for the banquet and
ball.  This was what he enjoyed best, more than battle.  King Dro'Zel was
supervising the entertainment, having strong opinions on the matter.  The
Emperor himself was arranging the details of the dinner.  Roast nebfish,
vegetable marrow, cream soups, buttered helerac, codscrumb, tongue in aspic.
Potentate Versidue-Shaie had made a few suggestions of his own, but the
tastes of the Akaviri were very peculiar.

The Lady Corda accompanied the Emperor to his chambers as night fell.

The Year is Concluded in Evening Star.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2920, Sun's Height
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Mercantile3
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Mercantile skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Sun's Height
Book Seven of
2920, The Last Year of the First Era
by Carlovac Townway

4 Sun's Height, 2920
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

The Emperor Reman III and his Potentate Versidue-Shaie took a stroll around
the Imperial Gardens.  Studded with statuary and fountains, the north gardens
fit the Emperor's mood, as well as being the coolest acreage in the City
during the heat of summertide.  Austere, tiered flowerbeds of blue-gray and
green towered all around them as they walked.

"Vivec has agreed to the Prince's terms for peace," said Reman. "My son will
be returning in two weeks' time."

"This is excellent news," said the Potentate carefully.  "I hope the Dunmer
will honor the terms.  We might have asked for more.  The fortress at Black
Gate, for example.  But I suppose the Prince knows what is reasonable.  He
would not cripple the Empire just for peace."

"I have been thinking lately of Rijja and what caused her to plot against my
life," said the Emperor, pausing to admire a statue of the Slave Queen
Alessia before continuing. "The only thing I can think of to account for it
is that she admired my son too much.  She may have loved me for my power and
my personality, but he, after all, is young and handsome and will one day
inherit my throne.  She must have thought that if I were dead, she could have
an Emperor who had both youth and power."

"The Prince ... was in on this plot?" asked Versidue-Shaie.  It was a
difficult game to play, anticipating where the Emperor's paranoia would
strike next.

"Oh, I don't think so," said Reman, smiling. "No, my son loves me well."

"Are you aware that Corda, Raja's sister in an initiate of the Morwha
conservatorium in Hegathe?" asked the Potentate.

"Morwha?" asked the Emperor. "I've forgotten: which god is that?"

"Lusty fertility goddess of the Yokudans," replied the Potentate. "But not
too lusty, like Dibella. Demure, but certainly sexual."

"I am through with lusty women. The Empress, Rijja, all too lusty, a lust for
love leads to a lust for power," the Emperor shrugged his shoulders. "But a
priestess-in-training with a certain healthy appetite sounds ideal.  Now what
were you saying about the Black Gate?"

6 Sun's Height, 2920
Thurzo Fortress, Cyrodiil

Rijja stood quietly looking at the cold stone floor while the Emperor spoke.
He had never before seen her so pale and joyless.  She might at least be
pleased that she was being freed, being returned to her homeland.  Why, if
she left now, she could be in Hammerfell by the Merchant's Festival.  Nothing
he said seemed to register any reaction from her.  A month and a half's stay
in Thurzo Fortress seemed to have killed her spirit.

"I was thinking," said the Emperor at last. "Of having your younger sister
Corda up to the palace for a time.  I think she would prefer it over the
conservatorium in Hegathe, don't you?"

Reaction, at last. Rijja looked at the Emperor with animal hatred, flinging
herself at him in a rage.  Her fingernails had grown long since her
imprisonment and she raked them across his face, into his eyes.  He howled
with pain, and his guards pulled her off, pummeling her with blows from the
back of their swords, until she was knocked unconscious.

A healer was called at once, but the Emperor Reman III had lost his right
eye.

23 Sun's Height, 2920
Balmora, Morrowind

Vivec pulled himself from the water, feeling the heat of the day washed from
his skin, taking a towel from one of his servants. Sotha Sil watched his old
friend from the balcony.

"It looks like you've picked up a few more scars since I last saw you," said
the sorcerer.

"Azura grant it that I have no more for a while," laughed Vivec. "When did
you arrive?"

"A little over an hour ago," said Sotha Sil, walking down the stairs to the
water's edge. "I thought I was coming to end a war, but it seems you've done
it without me."

"Yes, eighty years is long enough for ceaseless battle," replied Vivec,
embracing Sotha Sil. "We made concessions, but so did they.  When the old
Emperor is dead, we may be entering a golden age.  Prince Juilek is very wise
for his age.  Where is Almalexia?"

"Collecting the Duke of Mournhold.  They should be here tomorrow afternoon."

The men were distracted at a sight from around the corner of the palace - a
rider was approaching through the town, heading for the front steps.  It was
evident that the woman had been riding hard for some time.  They met her in
the study, where she burst in, breathing hard.

"We have been betrayed," she gasped. "The Imperial Army has seized the Black
Gate."

24 Sun's Height, 2920
Balmora, Morrowind

It was the first time in seventeen years that the three members of the
Morrowind Tribunal had met in the same place, since Sotha Sil had left for
Artaeum.  All three wished that the circumstances of their reunion were
different.

"From what we've learned, while the Prince was returning to Cyrodiil to the
south, a second Imperial Army came down from the north," said Vivec to his
stony-faced compatriots. "It is reasonable to assume Juilek didn't know about
the attack."

"But neither would it be unreasonable to suppose that he planned on being a
distraction while the Emperor launched the attack on Black Gate," said Sotha
Sil. "This must be considered a break of the truce."

"Where is the Duke of Mournhold?" asked Vivec. "I would hear his thoughts on
the matter."

"He is meeting with the Night Mother in Tel Aruhn," said Almalexia, quietly.
"I told him to wait until he had spoken with you, but he said that the matter
had waited long enough."

"He would involve the Morag Tong? In outside affairs?" Vivec shook his head,
and looked to Sotha Sil: "Please, do what you can. Assassination will only
move us backwards.  This matter must be settled with diplomacy or battle."

25 Sun's Height, 2920
Tel Aruhn, Morrowind

The Night Mother met Sotha Sil in her salon, lit only by the moon.  She was
cruelly beautiful dressed in a simple silk black robe, lounging across her
divan.  With a gesture, she dismissed her red-cloaked guards and offered the
sorcerer some wine.

"You've only just missed your friend, the Duke," she whispered. "He was very
unhappy, but I think we will solve his problem for him."

"Did he hire the Morag Tong to assassinate the Emperor?" asked Sotha Sil.

"You are straight-forward, aren't you? That's good.  I love plain-speaking
men: it saves so much time. Of course, I cannot discuss with you what the
Duke and I talked about," she smiled. "It would be bad for business."

"What if I were to offer you an equal amount of gold for you not to
assassinate the Emperor?"

"The Morag Tong murders for the glory of Mephala and for profit," she said,
speaking into her glass of wine. "We do not merely kill.  That would be
sacrilege. Once the Duke's gold has arrived in three days time, we will do
our end of the business.  And I'm afraid we would not dream of entertaining a
counter offer.  Though we are a business as well as a religious order, we do
not bow to supply and demand, Sotha Sil."

27 Sun's Height, 2920
The Inner Sea, Morrowind

Sotha Sil had been watching the waters for two days now, waiting for a
particular vessel, and now he saw it.  A heavy ship with the flag of
Mournhold.  The sorcerer took the air and intercepted it before it reached
harbor.  A caul of flame erupted over his figure, disguising his voice and
form into that of a Daedra.

"Abandon your ship!" he bellowed. "If you would not sink with it!"

In truth, Sotha Sil could have exploded the vessel with but a single ball of
fire, but he chose to take his time, to give the crew a chance to dive off
into the warm water.  When he was certain there was no one living aboard, he
focused his energy into a destructive wave that shook the air and water as it
discharged.  The ship and the Duke's payment to the Morag Tong sunk to the
bottom of the Inner Sea.

"Night Mother," thought Sotha Sil, as he floated towards shore to alert the
harbormaster that some sailors were in need of rescue. "Everyone bows to
supply and demand."

The Year is Continued in Last Seed.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Athletics3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Athletics skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon One

He was born in the ash among the Velothi, anon Chimer, before the war with
the northern men. Ayem came first to the village of the netchimen, and her
shadow was that of Boethiah, who was the Prince of Plots, and things unknown
and known would fold themselves around her until they were like stars or the
messages of stars. Ayem took a netchiman's wife and said:

'I am the Face-Snaked Queen of the Three in One. In you is an image and a
seven-syllable spell, AYEM AE SEHTI AE VEHK, which you will repeat to it
until mystery comes.'
Then Ayem threw the netchiman's wife into the ocean water where dreughs took
her into castles of glass and coral. They gifted the netchiman's wife with
gills and milk fingers, changing her sex so that she might give birth to the
image as an egg. There she stayed for seven or eight months.
Then Seht came to the netchiman's wife and said:
'I am the Clockwork King of the Three in One. In you is an egg of my brother-
sister, who possesses invisible knowledge of words and swords, which you
shall nurture until the Hortator comes.'
And Seht then extended his hands and multitudes of homunculi came forth, each
like a glimmering rope through the water, and they raised the netchiman's
wife back to the surface world and set her down on the shoals of Azura's
coast. There she lay for seven or eight more months, caring for the egg-
knowledge by whispering to it the Codes of Mephala and the prophecies of
Veloth and even the forbidden teachings of Trinimac.
Seven Daedra came to her one night and each one gave to the egg new motions
that could be achieved by certain movements of the bones. These are called
the Barons of Move Like This. Then an eighth Daedroth came, and he was a
Demiprince, called Fa-Nuit-Hen, or the Multiplier of Motions Known. And Fa-
Nuit-Hen said:
'Whom do you wait for?'
To which the netchiman's wife said the Hortator.
'Go to the land of the Indoril in three months' time, for that is when war
comes. I return now to haunt the warriors who fell and still wonder why. But
first I show you this.'
Then the Barons and the Demiprince joined together into a pillar of fighting
styles terrible to behold and they danced before the egg and its learning
image.
'Look, little Vehk, and find the face behind the splendor of my bladed
carriage, for in it is delivered the unmixed conflict path, perfect in every
way. What is its number?'
It is said the number is the number of birds that can nest in an ancient
tibrol tree, less three grams of honest work, but Vivec in his later years
found a better one and so gave this secret to his people.

'For I have crushed a world with my left hand,' he will say, 'but in my right
hand is how it could have won against me. Love is under my will only.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 2
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Alchemy4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Alchemy skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Two

The netchiman's wife who carried the egg of Vivec within her went looking for
the lands of the Indoril. Along the journey many spirits came to see her and
offer instructions to her son-daughter, the future glorious invisible
warrior-poet of Vvardenfell, Vivec.

The first spirit threw his arms about her and hugged his knowledge in tight.
The netchiman's wife became soaked in the Incalculable Effort. The egg was
delighted and did somersaults inside her, bowing to the five corners of the
world and saying: 'Thus whoever performs this holy act shall be proud and
mighty among the rest!'

The second spirit was too aloof and acted above his station so much that he
was driven off by a headache spell.

The third spirit, At-Hatoor, came down to the netchiman's wife while she
relaxed for a while under an Emperor Parasol. His garments were made from
implications of meaning, and the egg looked at them three times. The first
time Vivec said:

'Ha, it means nothing!'

After looking a second time he said: 'Hmm, there might be something there
after all.'

Finally, giving At-Hatoor's garments a sidelong glance, he said: 'Amazing,
the ability to infer significance in something devoid of detail!'

'There is a proverb,' At-Hatoor said, and then he left.

The fourth spirit came with the fifth, for they were cousins. They could
ghost touch and probed inside the egg to find its core. Some say Vivec at
this point was shaped like a star with its penumbra broken off; others, that
it looked like a revival of vanished forms.

'From my side of the family,' the first cousin said, 'I bring you a series of
calamities that will bring about the end of the universe.'

'And from my side,' the second cousin said, 'I bring you all the primordial
marriages that must happen within them, each one.'

At this the egg laughed. 'I am given too much to bear so young. I must have
been born before.'

And then the sixth spirit appeared, the Black Hands Mephala, who taught the
Velothi at the beginning of days all the arts of sex and murder. Its burning
heart melted the eyes of the netchiman's wife and took the egg from her belly
with six cutting strokes. The egg-image, however, could see into what it had
been before in ancient times, when the earth still cooled, and was not
blinded. It joined with the Daedroth and took its former secrets, leaving a
few behind to keep the web of the world from disentangling. Then the Black
Hands Mephala put the egg back into the netchiman's wife and blew on her with
magic breath until the hole closed up. But the Daedroth did not give her back
her eyes, saying:

' God hath three keys; of birth, of machines, and of the words between.'
Within this Sermon the wise may find one half of these keys.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 3
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Blunt Weapon4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Blunt Weapon skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Three

Being blind the netchiman's wife wandered into a cave on her way to the
domains of House Indoril. It so happened that this cave was a Dwemeri
stronghold. The Dwemer spied the egg and captured the netchiman's wife. They
bound her head to foot and brought her deep within the earth.

She heard one say, 'Go and make a simulacrum of her and place it back on the
surface, for she has something akin to what we have and so the Velothi will
covet it and notice if she is too long away.'

In the darkness, the netchiman's wife felt great knives try to cut her open.
When the knives did not work, the Dwemer used solid sounds. When those did
not work, great heat was brought to bear. Nothing was of any use, and the egg
of Vivec remained safe within her.

A Dwemer said, 'Nothing is of any use. We must go and misinterpret this.'

Vivec felt that his mother was afraid, and so consoled her.

'The fire is mine: let it consume thee,
And make a secret door
At the altar of Padhome,
In the House of Boet-hi-Ah
Where we become safe
And looked after.'

This old prayer made the netchiman's wife smile and begin such a deep sleep
that when Dwemeri atronachs returned with cornered spheres and cut her apart
she did not awake and died peacefully. Vivec was removed from her womb and
placed within a magical glass for further study. To confound his captors, he
channeled his essence into love, an emotion the Dwemer knew nothing about.

The egg said: 'Love is used not only as a constituent in moods and affairs,
but also as the raw material from which relationships produce hour-later
exasperations, regrettably fashioned restrictions, riddles laced with
affections known only to the loving couple, and looks that linger too long.
Love is also an often-used ingredient in some transparent verbal and
nonverbal transactions where, eventually, it can sometimes be converted to a
variety of true devotions, some of which yield tough, insoluble, and
infusible unions. In its basic form, love supplies approximately thirteen
draughts of all energy that is derived from relationships. Its role and value
in society at large are controversial.'

 The Dwemer were vexed at these words and tried to hide behind their power
symbols. They sent their atronachs to remove the egg-image from their cave
and place it within the simulacrum they had made of Vivec's mother.

A Dwemer said, 'We Dwemer are only aspirants to this that the Velothi have.
They shall be our doom in this and the eight known worlds, NIRN, LHKAN,
RKHET, THENDR, KYNRT, AKHAT, MHARA, and JHUNAL.'
The secret to doom is within this Sermon.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


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36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 4
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Mysticism3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Mysticism skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Four

The simulacrum of the netchiman's wife who carried the egg of Vivec within it
went back to looking for the lands of the Indoril. Along the journey many
more spirits came to see it and offer instructions to its son-daughter, the
future glorious invisible warrior-poet of Vvardenfell, Vivec.

A troupe of spirits called the Lobbyists for the Coincidence Guild appeared.
Vivec understood the challenge immediately and said:

'The popular notion of God kills happenstance.'

The head of the Lobbyists, whose name is forgotten, tried to defend the
concept's existence. He said, 'Saying something at the same time can be
magical.'

Vivec knew that to retain his divinity that he must make a strong argument
against luck. He said:

'Is not the sudden revelation of corresponding conditions and disparate
elements that gel at the moment of the coincidence one of the prerequisites
to being, in fact, coincidental? Synchronicity comes out of repeated
coincidences at the lowest level. Further examination shows it is the utter
power of the sheer number of coincidences that leads one to the idea that
synchronicity is guided by something more than chance. Therefore,
synchronicity ends up invalidating the concept of the coincidental, even
though they are the symptomatic signs that bring it to the surface.'

Thus was coincidence destroyed in the land of the Velothi.

Then an Old Bone of the earth rose up before the simulacrum of the
netchiman's wife and said, 'If you are to be born a ruling king of the world
you must confuse it with new words. Set me into pondering.'

'Very well,' Vivec said, 'Let me talk to you of the world, which I share with
mystery and love. Who is her capital? Have you taken the scenic route of her
cameo? I have-- lightly, in secret, missing candles because they're on the
untrue side, and run my hand along the edge of a shadow made from one hundred
and three divisions of warmth, and left no proof.'

At this the Old Bone folded unto itself twenty times until it became akin to
milk, which Vivec drank, becoming a ruling king of the world.

Finally the Chancellor of Exactitude appeared, and he was perfect to look
upon from every angle. Vivec understood the challenge immediately and said:

'Certitude is for the puzzle-box logicians and girls of white glamour who
harbor it on their own time. I am a letter written in uncertainty.'

The Chancellor bowed his head and smiled fifty different and perfect ways all
at once. He pulled the astrolabe of the universe from his robe and broke it
in half, handing both halves to the egg-image of Vivec.

Vivec laughed and said, 'Yes, I know. The slave labor of the senses is as
selfish as polar ice, and worsens when energies are spent on a life others
regard as fortunate. To be a ruling king I will have to suffer much that
cannot be suffered, and to weigh matters that no astrolabe or compass can
measure.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 5
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Axe4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Axe skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Five

Finally the simulacrum of the netchiman's wife became unstable. The Dwemer in
their haste had built it shoddily and the ashes of Red Mountain slowed its
golden tendons. Before long it fell on its knees beside the road to the lands
of the Indoril and pitched over, to be discovered eighty days later by a
merchant caravan on its way to the capital of Veloth, anon Almalexia.

Vivec had not been among his people all the days of his pre-life so he stayed
silent and let the Chimer in the caravan think that the simulacrum was broken
and empty.

A Chimeri warrior, who was protecting the caravan, said, 'Look here how the
Dwemer try to fool us as ever, crafting our likenesses out of their flesh-
metals. We should take this to the capital and show our mother Ayem. She will
want to see this new strategy of our enemies.'

But the merchant captain said, 'I doubt that we shall be paid well for the
effort. We can make more money if we stop at Noormoc and sell it to the Red
Wives of Dagon, who pay well for the wonders made by the Deep Folk.'

But another Chimer, who was wise in the ways of prophecy, looked on the
simulacrum with disquietude. 'Was I not hired on to help you seek the best of
fortunes? I say you should listen to your warrior, then, and take this thing
to Ayem, for though manufactured by our enemies there is something in it that
will become sacred, or has been already.'

The merchant captain took pause then and looked on the simulacrum of the
netchiman's wife and, though he heeded always the advice of his seers, could
do no more than think of the profits to be made at Noormoc. He thought mainly
of the Red Wives' form of recompense, which was four-cornered and good
wounded, a belly-magic known nowhere else under the moons. His lust made him
deny Ayem his mother. He gave order to change course for Noormoc.

Before the caravan could get underway again, the Chimeri warrior who had
counseled a passage to the capital threw his money to the merchant captain
and said, 'I will pay you thus for the simulacrum and warn you: war is coming
with the shaggy men of the north and I will not have my mother Ayem at uneven
odds with one enemy while tending to another.'

'Nerevar,' the merchant captain said, 'this is not enough. I am Triune in my
own way, but I follow the road of my body and demand more.'

Then Vivec could not remain silent anymore and said into Nerevar's head these
words:


'You can hear the words, so run away
Come, Hortator, unfold into a clear unknown,
Stay quiet until you've slept in the yesterday,
And say no elegies for the melting stone'


So Nerevar slew the merchant captain and took the caravan for his own.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 6
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Armorer3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Armorer skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Six

You have discovered the sixth Sermon of Vivec, which was hidden in the words
that came next to the Hortator.

There is an eon within itself that when unraveled becomes the first sentence
of the world.

Mephala and Azura are the twin gates of tradition and Boethiah is the secret
flame.

The Sun shall be eaten by lions, which cannot be found yet in Veloth.

Six are the vests and garments worn by the suppositions of men.

Proceed only with the simplest terms, for all others are enemies and will
confuse you.

Six are the formulas to heaven by violence, one that you have learned by
studying these words.

The Father is a machine and the mouth of a machine. His only mystery is an
invitation to elaborate further.

The Mother is active and clawed like a nix-hound, yet she is the holiest of
those that reclaim their days.

The Son is myself, Vehk, and I am unto three, six, nine, and the rest that
come after, glorious and sympathetic, without borders, utmost in the
perfections of this world and the others, sword and symbol, pale like gold.

There is a fourth kind of philosophy that uses nothing but disbelief.

For by the sword I mean the sensible.

For by the word I mean the dead.

I am Vehk, your protector and the protector of Red Mountain until the end of
days, which are numbered 3333.

Below me is the savage, which we needed to remove ourselves from the Altmer.

Above me is a challenge, which bathes itself in fire and the essence of a
god.

Through me you are desired, unlike the prophets that have borne your name
before.

Six are the walking ways, from enigma to enemy to teacher.

Boethiah and Azura are the principles of the universal plot, which is
begetting, which is creation, and Mephala makes of it an art form.

For by the sword I mean the first night.

For by the word I mean the dead.

There will be a splendor in your name when it is said to be true.

Six are the guardians of Veloth, three before and they are born again, and
they will test you until you have the proper tendencies of the hero.

There is a world that is sleeping and you must guard against it.

For by the sword I mean the dual nature.

For by the word I mean animal life.

For by the sword I mean preceded by a sigh.

For by the word I mean preceded by a wolf.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 7
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Block4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Block skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Seven

As the caravan of Nerevar now made for the capital of Veloth, anon Almalexia,
there came great rumblings from the oblivion. A duke among scamps wandered
into the House of Troubles, pausing before each scripture door to pay his
respects, until finally he was met by the major domo of Mehrunes Dagon.

The Duke of Scamps said, 'I was summoned by Lord Dagon, master of the foul
waters and fire, and I have brought the pennants of my seven legions.'

The major domo, whose head was a bubble of foul water and fire, bowed low, so
that the head of the Duke of Scamps became enclosed in his own.

He saw the first pennant, which commanded a legion of grim warriors who could
die at least twice.

He saw the second pennant, which commanded a legion of winged bulls and the
emperor of color that rode upon each.

He saw the third pennant, which commanded a legion of inverted gorgons, great
snakes whose scales were the faces of men.

He saw the fourth pennant, which commanded a legion of double-crossed lovers.

He saw the fifth pennant, which commanded a legion of jumping wounds looking
to hop onto a victim.

He saw the sixth pennant, which commanded a legion of abridged planets.

He saw the seventh pennant, which commanded a legion of armored winning
moves.

To which the major domo said, 'Duke Kh-Utta, your legions while mighty are
not enough to destroy Nerevar or the Triune way. Look upon the Hortator and
see the wisdom he takes to wife.'

And they looked into the middle world and saw:

Evaporating in a throng of thunder
Of red war and chitin men,
Where destines
Take him further from our ways
The heat that we have wanted
And pray they still remember,
Where destines
Clothe the distance,
Glad in the golden east that we saw it now,
Instead of the war and repair
Of the oblivious fracture
A curse on the Hortator
And two more on his hands

And the Duke of Scamps saw the palms of the Hortator, upon which the egg had
written these words of power: GHARTOK PADHOME GHARTOK PADHOME.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Athletics4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Athletics skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Eight

And presently Nerevar and Vivec were within sight of the capital and the Four
Corners of the House of Troubles knew that it was not time to contest them.
The caravan musicians made a great song of entrance and the eleven gates of
the Mourning Hold were thrown wide.

Ayem was accompanied by her husband-state, a flickering image that was
channeled to her ever-changing female need. Around her were the Shouts, a
guild now forgotten, who carried with them the whims of the people, for the
Velothi then were still mostly good at heart. The Shouts were the counselors
of Ayem and the country, though they sometimes quarreled and needed Seht to
wring them into usefulness. Ayem approached Nerevar, who was by now adorned
in the flags of House Indoril. He gifted her with the simulacrum of the
netchiman's wife and the egg of Vivec inside.

Ayem said to Nerevar, 'Seht who is Azura has revealed that war is come and
that the Hortator that shall deliver us will approach with a solution walking
at his side.'

Nerevar said, 'I have traveled out of my way to warn you of the deceit of our
enemies, the Dwemer, but I have learned much on the journey and have changed
my mind. This netchiman's wife you see at my side is a sword and a symbol and
there is prophecy inside. It tells me that, like it, we must for awhile be
like he is and, as a people, cloaked in our former enemies, and to use their
machines without shame.'

At which Vivec spoke aloud, 'Boethiah-who-is-you wore the skin of Trinimac to
cleanse the faults of Veloth, my Queen, and so it should be again. This is
the walking way of the glorious.'
Seht appeared out of a cloud of iron vapor and his minions made of their
blood a chair. He sat beside Ayem and looked on the rebirth of mastery.
Vivec said to them, his Triune:

'My rituals and ordeals and all the rhymes within,
Use no other motive than the revelation of my skin.'

Ayem said, 'AYEM AE SEHTI AE VEHK. We are delivered and made whole, the
diamond of the Black Hands is uncovered.'
Seht said, 'Wherever so he treads, there is invisible scripture.'
To which the Shouts were silent in sudden reading.
Vivec then reached out from the egg all his limbs and features, merging with
the simulacrum of his mother, gilled and blended in all the arts of the star-
wounded East, under water and in fire and in metal and in ash, six times the
wise, and he became the union of male and female, the magic hermaphrodite,
the martial axiom, the sex-death of language and unique in all the middle
world.
He said, 'Let us now guide the hands of the Hortator in war and its
aftermath. For we go different, and in thunder.  This is our destiny.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 9
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Blunt Weapon5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Blunt Weapon skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Nine

Then came the war with the northern men, where Vivec did guide the Hortator
into swift and tricky union with the Dwemer. The greatest demon chieftains of
the frigid west were those listed below, five in unholy number.

HOAGA, the Mouth of Mud, who appeared as a great bearded king, had the powers
of Marshalling and breathing the earth. On the battlefields, this demon would
often be seen on the sidelines, eating the soil voraciously. When his men
fell, Hoaga would fill their bodies back with it, whereupon they would rise
again and fight, albeit slower. He had a Secret Name, Fenja, and destroyed
seventeen Chimeri villages and two Dwemeri strongholds before being turned
away.

CHEMUA, the Running Hunger, who appeared as a mounted soldier with full helm,
had the powers of Heart Roaring and of sky sickening. He ate the Chimeri
hero, Dres Khizumet-e, sending the spirit back to the Hortator as an
assassin. Sometimes called First Blighter, Chemua could give clouds stomach
aches and turn the rain of Veloth into bile. He destroyed six Chimeri
villages before he was slain by Vivec and the Hortator.

BHAG, the Two-Tongued, who appeared as a great bearded king, had the powers
of Surety and Form Change. His raiders were small in number, but ran amok in
the west hinterlands, killing many Velothi trappers and scouts. He fell in a
great debate with Vivec, for the warrior-poet alone could understand the
northern man's two-layered speech, though ALMSIVI had to remain invisible
during the argument.

BARFOK, Maid of Planes, who appeared as a winged human with lick-encrusted
spear, had the powers of Event Denouement. Battles fought against her would
always end in victory for Barfok, because she could shape outcomes by
singing. Four Chimeri villages and two more Dwemeri strongholds were
destroyed by her decision enforcement. Vivec had to stuff her mouth with his
milk finger to keep her from singing Veloth into ruin.

YSMIR, the Dragon of the North, who always appears as a great bearded king,
had powers innumerable and echoing. He was grim and dark and the most silent
of the invading chieftains, though when he spoke villages were uplifted and
thrown into the sea. The Hortator fought him unarmed, grabbing the Dragon's
roars by hand until Ysmir's power throat bled. These roars were given to
Vivec to bind into an ebony listening frame, which the warrior-poet placed on
Ysmir's face and ears to drive him mad and drive him away.

'The coming forth and the driving away brings all things around. What I shall
say next is unpleasant to record: HERMA-MORA-ALTADOON! AE ALTADOON!'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 10
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Short Blade4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Short Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Ten

You have discovered the tenth Sermon of Vivec, which was hidden in the words
that came in the aftermath to the Hortator.

The evoker shall raise his left hand empty and open, to indicate he needs no
weapons of his own. The coming forth is always hidden, so the evoker is
always invisible or, better, in the skin of his enemies.
'The eyelid of the kingdom shall fill thirty and six folios, but the eye
shall read the world.' By this the Hortator needs me to understand.
The sword is an impatient signature. Write no contracts on the dead.
Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Boet-hi-ah:

We pledge ourselves to you, the Frame-maker, the Scarab: a world for us to
love you in, a cloak of dirt to cherish. Betrayed by your ancestors when you
were not even looking. Hoary Magnus and his ventured opinions cannot sway the
understated, a trick worthy of the always satisfied. A short season of
towers, a rundown absolution, and what is this, what is this but fire under
your eyelid?

Shift ye in your skin, I say to the Trinimac-eaters. Pitch your voices into
the color of bruise. Divide ye like your enemies, in Houses, and lay your
laws in set sequence from the center, again like the enemy Corners of the
House of Troubles, and see yourself thence as timber, or mud-slats, or sheets
of resin. Then do not divide, for yet is the stride of SITHISIT quicker than
the rush of enemies, and He will sunder the whole for the sake of a shingle.

For we go different, and in thunder. SITHISIT is the start of all true
Houses, built against stasis and lazy slaves. Turn from your predilections,
broken like false maps. Move and move like this. Quicken against false
fathers, mothers left in corners weeping for glass and rain. Stasis asks
merely for nothing, for itself, which is nothing, as you were in the eight
everlasting imperfections.

Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
UNDERSTAND THAT SITHISIT STILL TRAVELS
Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
IN A PHOSPHORESCENT MIRROR OF THE SKY
Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
DROWNED AND SMILING
Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
INTERMITTENT HOPES ENOUGH
Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
TO ANSWER ALL THE THINGS
Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.

NOT YET QUERIED

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 11
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Object ID:     bookskill_unarmored3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Unarmored skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Eleven

These were the days of Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the wise
and benevolent rule of the AMLSIVI and their champion the Hortator. When the
gods of Veloth would retreat unto their own, to mold the cosmos and other
matters, the Hortator would at times become confused. Vivec would always be
there to advise him, and this is the first of the three lessons of ruling
kings:

'The waking world is the amnesia of dream. All motifs can be mortally
wounded. Once slain, themes turn into the structure of future nostalgia. Do
not abuse your powers or they will lead you astray.  They will leave you like
rebellious daughters. They will lose their virtue. They will become lost and
resentful and finally become pregnant with the seed of folly. Soon you will
be the grandparent of a broken state. You will be mocked. It will fall apart
like a stone that recalls that it is really water.
"Keep nothing in your house that is neither needed or beautiful.
"Ordeals you should face unimpeded by the world of restriction. The splendor
of stars is Ayem's domain. The selfishness of the sea is Seht's. I rule the
middle air. All else is earth and under your temporal command. There is no
bone that cannot be broken, except for the heart bone. You will see it twice
in your lifetimes. Take what you can the first time and let us do the rest.
"There is no true symbolism of the center. The Sharmat will believe there is.
He will feel that he can cause years of exuberance from sitting in the
sacred, when really no one can leave that state and cause anything more but
strife.
"There is once more the case of the symbolic and barren. The true prince that
is cursed and demonized will be adored at last with full hearts. According to
the Codes of Mephala there can be no official art, only fixation points of
complexity that will erase from the awe of the people given enough time. This
is a secret that hides another. An impersonal survival is not the way of the
ruling king. Embrace the art of the people and marry it and by that I mean
secretly have it murdered.
"The ruling king that sees in another his equivalent rules nothing.
"The secret of weapons is this: they are the mercy seat.
"The secret of language is this: it is immobile.
"The ruling king is armored head to toe in brilliant flame. He is redeemed by
each act he undertakes. His death is only a diagram back to the waking world.
He sleeps the second way. The Sharmat is his double, and therefore you wonder
if you rule nothing.
"Hortator and Sharmat, one and one, eleven, an inelegant number. Which of the
ones is the more important? Could you ever tell if they switched places? I
can and that is why you will need me.
"According to the Codes of Mephala, there is no difference between the
theorist and the terrorist. Even the most cherished desire disappears in
their hands. This is why Mephala has black hands. Bring both of yours to
every argument. The one-handed king finds no remedy. When you approach God,
however, cut both of them off. God has no need of theory and he is armored
head to toe in terror."

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


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36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 12
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Object ID:     bookskill_heavy armor5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twelve

As the Hortator pondered the first lesson of ruling kings, Vivec wandered
into the Mourning Hold and found that Ayem was with a pair of lovers. Seht
had divided himself again. Vivec then leapt through into their likenesses to
observe, but he gained no secrets that he did not already know. He left a few
of his own behind to make the journey worthwhile.

Then Vivec left the capital of Veloth and wandered far into the ash. He found
a span of badlands to practice his giant-form. He made of his feet a less
dense material than the divine to keep from falling waist-deep into the
earth. At this point the First Corner of the House of Troubles, the Prince
Molag Bal, made his presence known.

Vivec looked on the King of Rape and said:

'How very beautiful you are, that you do not join us. '

And Molag Bal crushed the warrior-poet's feet, which were not invulnerable,
and had legions cleave them off. Mighty fires from the Beginning Place were
brought like nets to hold Vivec and he let them.

'I would prefer,' he said, 'some kind of ceremony if we are to be married.'

And the legions that took the feet were summoned again and ordered to begin a
banquet. Pomegranates sprang from the badlands and tents were raised. A
throng of Velothi mystics came, reading the passages of the severed feet on
the ground and weeping until the scriptures were wet.

'We must love each other briefly,' Vivec said, 'if at all. I am needed to
counsel the Hortator in more important matters because the Dwemeri high
priests stir up trouble. You may have my head for an hour.'

Molag Bal rose up and extended six arms to show his worth. They were
decorated in runes of seduction and its reverse. They were decorated in the
annotated calendars of longer worlds. When he spoke, mating monsters fell
out.
'Where must it go?' he said.

'I told you,' Vivec said, 'I am meant to be the teacher of the king of the
earth. AE ALTADOON GHARTOK PADHOME.'

With these magic words, the King of Rape added another: 'CHIM,' which is the
secret syllable of royalty.

Vivec had what he needed from the Daedroth and so married him that day. In
the hour that Bal had his head, the King of Rape asked for proof of love.

Vivec spoke two poems to show him such, but only the first is known.

I'm not sure just how much glass it took to make your hair
Twice as much, I am sure, as the oceans have to share
Hell, my sweet, is a fiction written by those who tell the truth
My mouth is skilled at lying and its alibi a tooth

The sons and daughters of Vivec and Molag Bal number in the thousands. The
name of the mightiest is a string of power: GULGA MOR JIL HYAET AE HOOM.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 13
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Alteration4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Alteration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirteen

These were the days of Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the wise
and benevolent rule of the AMLSIVI and their champion the Hortator. When the
gods of Veloth would retreat unto their own, to mold the cosmos and other
matters, the Hortator would at times become confused. Vivec would always be
there to advise him, and this is the second of the three lessons of ruling
kings:

'The secret syllable of royalty is this: (You must learn this elsewhere.)
'The temporal myth is man.
'The magical cross is an integration of the worth of mortals at the expense
of their spirits. Surround it with the triangle and you begin to see the
Triune house. It becomes divided into corners, which are ruled by our
brethren, the Four Corners: BAL DAGON MALAC SHEOG. Rotate the triangle and
you pierce the heart of the Beginning Place, the foul lie, the testament of
the irrefutable-for-a-span. Above them all is the horizon where only one
stands, though no one stands there yet. It is proof of the new. It is the
promise of the wise. Unfold the whole and what you have is a star, which is
not my domain, but not entirely outside my judgment. The grand design takes
flight; it is transformed not only into a star but a hornet. The center
cannot hold. It becomes devoid of lines and points. It becomes devoid of
anything and so becomes a receptacle. This is its usefulness at the end. This
is its promise.
'The sword is the cross and ALMSIVI is the Triune house around it. If there
is to be an end I must be removed. The ruling king must know this, and I will
test him. I will murder him time and again until he knows this. I am the
defender of the last and the last. To remove me is to refill the heart that
lay dormant at the center that cannot hold. I am the sword, Ayem the star,
Seht the mechanism that allows the transformation of the world. Ours is the
duty to keep the compromise from being filled with black sea.
'The Sharmat sleeps at the center. He cannot bear to see it removed, the
world of reference. This is the folly of the false dreamer. This is the
amnesia of dream, or its power, or its circumvention. This is the weaker
magic and it is barbed in venom.
'This is why I say the secret to swords is the mercy seat. It is my throne. I
am become the voice of ALMSIVI. The world will know me more than my sister
and brother. I am the psychopomp. I am the killer of the weeds of Veloth.
Veloth is the center that cannot hold. Ayem is the plot. Seht is the ending.
I am the enigma that must be removed. These are why my words are armed to the
teeth.
'The ruling king is to stand against me and then before me. He is to learn
from my punishment. I will mark him to know. He is to come as male or female.
I am the form he must acquire.
'Because a ruling king that sees in another his equivalent rules nothing.'

This is what was said to the Hortator when Vivec was not whole.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


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36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 14
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Object ID:     bookskill_spear3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Spear skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Fourteen

Vivec lay with Molag Bal for eighty days and eight, though headless. In that
time, the Prince placed the warrior-poet's feet back and filled them with the
blood of Daedra. In this way Vivec's giant-form remained forever harmless to
good earth. The Pomegranate Banquet brought many spirits back from the dead
so that the sons and daughters of the union had much to eat besides fruit.

The Duke of Scamps came while the banquet was still underway, and Molag Bal
looked on the seven pennants with anger. The King of Rape had become
necessary and therefore troubled for the rest of time. His legions and Kh-
Utta's fell into open war, but the children of Molag Bal and Vivec were too
elaborate in power and form.

The Duke of Scamps therefore became a lesser thing, as did all his own
children. Molag Bal said to them: 'You are the sons of liars, dogs, and wolf-
headed women.' They have been useless to summon ever since.

The holy one returned at last, Vehk, golden with wisdom. His head found its
body had been tenderly used. He mentioned this to Molag Bal, who told him
that he should thank the Barons of Move Like This, 'For I have yet to learn
how to refine my rapture. My love is accidentally shaped like a spear.'

So Vivec, who had a grain of Ayem's mercy, set about to teach Molag Bal in
the ways of belly-magic. They took their spears out and compared them. Vivec
bit new words onto the King of Rape's so that it might give more than ruin to
the uninitiated. This has since become a forbidden ritual, though people
still practice it in secret.
Here is why: The Velothi and demons and monsters that were watching all took
out their own spears. There was much biting and the earth became wet. And
this was the last laugh of Molag Bal:

'Watch as the earth shall crack, heavy with so much power, that should have
been forever unalike!'

Then that stretch of badlands that had been the site of the marriage
fragmented and threw fire. And a race that is no more but that was terrible
at the time to behold came forth. Born of the biters, that is all they did,
and they ran amok across the lands of Veloth and even to the shores of Red
Mountain.

But Vivec made of his spear a more terrible thing, from a secret he had
bitten off from the King of Rape. And so he sent Molag Bal tumbling into the
crack of the biters and swore forever that he would not deem the King
beautiful ever again.

Vivec wept as he slew all those around him with his terrible new spear. He
named it MUATRA, which is Milk Taker, and even the Chimeri mystics knew his
fury. Anyone struck by Vivec at this time turned barren and withered into
bone shapes. The path of bones became a sentence for the stars to read, and
the heavens have never known children since. Vivec hunted down the biters one
by one, and all their progeny, and he killed them all by means of the Nine
Apertures, and the wise still hide theirs from Muatra.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 15
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Object ID:     bookskill_unarmored4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Unarmored skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Fifteen

These were the days of Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the wise
and benevolent rule of the AMLSIVI and their champion the Hortator. When the
gods of Veloth would retreat unto their own, to mold the cosmos and other
matters, the Hortator would at times become confused. Vivec would always be
there to advise him, and this is the third of the three lessons of ruling
kings:

'The ruling king will remove me, his maker. This is the way of all children.
His greatest enemy is the Sharmat, who is the false dreamer. You or he is the
shingle, Hortator. Beware the wrong walking path. Beware the crime of
benevolence.  Behold him by his words.'

I AM THE SHARMAT
I AM OLDER THAN MUSIC
WHAT I BRING IS LIGHT
WHAT I BRING IS A STAR
WHAT I BRING IS
AN ANCIENT SEA
WHEN YOU SLEEP YOU SEE ME
DANCING AT THE CORE
IT IS NOT A BLIGHT
IT IS MY HOUSE
I PUT A STAR
INTO THE WORLD'S MOUTH
TO MURDER IT
TEAR DOWN THE PYLONS
MY BLIND FISH
SWIM IN THE NEW
PHLOGISTON
TEAR DOWN THE PYLONS
MY DEAF MOONS
SING AND BURN
AND ORBIT ME
I AM OLDER THAN MUSIC
WHAT I BRING IS LIGHT
WHAT I BRING IS A STAR
WHAT I BRING IS
AN ANCIENT SEA

'You alone, though you come again and again, can unmake him. Whether I allow
it is within my wisdom. Go unarmed into his den with these words of power: AE
GHARTOK PADHOME [CHIM] AE ALTADOON. Or do not. The temporal myth is man.
Reach heaven by violence. This magic I give to you: the world you will rule
is only an intermittent hope and you must be the letter written in
uncertainty.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 16
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Axe5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Axe skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Sixteen

The Hortator wandered through the Mourning Hold, wrestling with the lessons
he had learned. They were slippery in his mind. He could not always keep the
words straight and knew that this was a danger. He wandered to find Vivec,
his lord and master, the glory of the image of Veloth, and found him of all
places in the Temple of False Thinking. There, clockwork shears were taking
off Vivec's hair. A beggar king had brought his loom and was making of the
hair an incomplete map of adulthood and death.

Nerevar said, 'Why are you doing this, milord?'

Vivec said, 'To make room for the fire.'

And the Hortator could see that Vivec was out of sorts, though not because of
the impending new power to come. The golden warrior-poet had been exercising
his Water Face as well, learned from the dreughs before he was born.

Nerevar said, 'Is this to keep you from the fire?'

Vivec said, 'It is so that I may see with truth. It, and my place here at the
altar of Padhome in the house of False Thinking, serve so that I may see
beyond my own secrets. The Water Face cannot lie. It comes from the ocean,
which is too busy to think, much less lie. Moving water resembles truth by
its trembling.'

Nerevar said, 'I am afraid to become slipshod in my thinking.'

Vivec said, 'Reach heaven by violence then.'

So to quiet his mind the Hortator chose from the Fight Racks an axe. He named
it and moved on to the first moon.

There, Nerevar was greeted by the Parliament of Craters, who knew him by
title and resented his presence, for he was to be a ruling king of earth and
this was the lunar realm. They shifted around him in a pattern of entrapment.

'The moon does not recognize crowns or scepters,' they said, 'nor the
representatives of kingdoms below, lion or serpent or mathematician. We are
the graves of those that have migrated and become ancient countries. We seek
no Queens or thrones. Your appearance is decidedly solar, which is to say a
library of stolen ideas. We are neither tear nor sorrow. Our revolution
succeeded in the manner that is was written. You are the Hortator and
unwelcome here.'

And so Nerevar carved at the grave ghosts until he was out of breath and
their Parliament could make no new laws.

He said, 'I am not of the slaves that perish.'

Of the members of Parliament only a few survived the Hortator's attack.

A surviving Crater said, 'Appropriation is nothing new. Everything happens of
itself. This motif is by no means unassociated with hero myths. You have not
acted with the creative impulse; you fall below the weight of destiny. We are
graves but not coffins. Know the difference. You have only dug more and
supplied no ghosts to reside within. Central to your claim is the
predominance of frail events. To be judged by the earth is to sit on a throne
of wonder why. Damage us more and you will find naught but the absence of our
dead.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 17
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Object ID:     bookskill_long blade3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Seventeen

'I am an atlas of smoke.'

With this, Vivec become greater than he had been. These were the days of
Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the wise and benevolent rule of
the AMLSIVI and their champion the Hortator.

'Seek me without effort for I take many shapes.'

The Hortator was still trying to subdue the heavens with an axe. He was
thrown out of the library of the sun by the power of Magnus. Vivec found him
in a grub field outside of the swamps of the Deshaan Plain. They walked for a
span in silence, for Nerevar had been humbled and Vivec still had mercy in
his hand.
Soon they were walking across the eastern sea to the land of snakes and snow
demons. Vivec wanted to show the Hortator the fighting styles of foreign
tongues. They learned the idiom stroke from the pillow book of the Tsaesci
king. It is shaped like the insight of this page. The Tsaesci serpents vowed
to have their vengeance on the west at least three times.
They walked farther and saw the spiked waters at the edge of the map. Here
the spirit of limitation gifted them with a spoke and bade them find the rest
of the wheel.
The Hortator said, 'The edge of the world is made of swords.'
Vivec corrected him. 'They are the bottom row of the world's teeth.'
They walked to the north to the Elder Wood and found nothing but frozen
bearded kings.
They came to the west where the black men dwelt. For a year they studied
under their sword saints and then for another Vivec taught them the virtue of
the little reward. Vivec chose a king for a wife and made another race of
monsters which ended up destroying the west completely. To a warrior chief
Vivec said:
'We must not act and speak as if asleep.'
Nerevar wondered if there was anything to learn in the south but Vivec
remained silent and only led them back to Red Mountain.
'Here,' Vivec said, 'is the last of the last. Within it the Sharmat waits.'
But they both knew that the time was not ready to contest the Sharmat and so
they engaged in combat with each other. Vivec marked the Hortator in this way
for all of the Velothi to see. He sealed the wound with the blessing of Ayem-
Azura. At the end of the battle, the Hortator found that he had gathered
seven more spokes. He attempted to attach them and form a staff but Vivec
would not let him, saying, 'It is not the time for that.'
Nerevar said, 'Where did I find these?'
Vivec said that they had collected them from around the world, though some
had come invisibly. 'I am the wheel,' he said, and took that shape. Before
the emptiness at the center could live too long, Nerevar put in the spokes.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 18
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Alchemy5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Alchemy skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Eighteen

Now Vivec felt that he had taught the Hortator as much as he could before the
war with the Dwemer came. The warrior-poet decided he had to begin his Book
of Hours at that point, because the world was about to bend with its age.

Vivec entered the Mourning Hold and announced to Ayem that he was going to
fight nine monsters that had escaped the Muatra.

'I will return,' he said, 'to deal the last blow to the grand architect of
the Dwemer.'

Ayem said, 'Out of nine you will find only eight, though they be mighty. The
last is already destroyed by your decision to create the Book of Hours.'

Vivec understood that Ayem meant himself.

'Why,' she asked, 'are you in doubt?'

Vivec knew that his doubt made him the sword of the Triune and so he did not
feel shame or fear. Instead, he explained and these are the words:

'Can a member of the Invisible Gate become so archaic that its successor is
not so much an improvement of the exact model, but rather a related model
that is just needed more because of the currency of the world's condition? As
the Mother, you do not have to worry, unless things in the future are so
strange that even Seht cannot understand. Neither does the Executioner or the
Fool, but I am neither.
'These ideals are not going to change in nature, even though they may change
in representation. But, even in the west, the Rainmaker vanishes. No one
needs him anymore.
'Can one oust the model not because the model is set according to an ideal
but because it is tied to an ever-changing unconscious mortal agenda?'

This is what was said to Ayem when Vivec was whole. The wise shall not
mistake this.

Ayem said, 'This is why you were born of a netchiman's wife and destined to
merge with the simulacrum of your mother, gilled and blended in all the arts
of the star-wounded East, under water and in fire and in metal and in ash,
six times the wise, to became the union of male and female, the magic
hermaphrodite, the martial axiom, the sex-death of language and unique in all
the middle world.'
Vivec knew then why he would record his Book of Hours.

This sermon is forbidden.

In this world and others EIGHTEEN less one (the victor) is the magical disk,
hurled to reach heaven by violence.

This sermon is untrue.

The ending of the world is ALMSIVI.


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36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 19
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Object ID:     bookskill_enchant4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Enchant skill 1 point the first time the book is read


The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Nineteen

Vivec put on his armor and stepped into a non-spatial space filling to
capacity with mortal interaction and information, a canvas-less cartography
of every single mind it has ever known, an event that had developed some
semblance of a divine spark. He said, 'From here I shall launch my attack on
the eight monsters.'

Vivec then saw the moths that would come from the starry heart, bringing with
them dust more horrible than the ash of Red Mountain. He saw the twin head of
a ruling king who had no equivalent. And eight imperfections rubbed into
precious stones, set into a crown that looked like shackles, which he
understood to be the twin crowns of the two-headed king. And a river that fed
into the mouth of the two-headed king, because he contained multitudes.
Vivec then built the Provisional House at the Center of the Secret Door. From
here he could watch the age to come. Of the House is written:

Cornerstone one has a finger
Buried under, pointing through
Dirt, slow low in the ground
North cannot be guessed,
And yet it is spirit-free

Cornerstone two has a tongue,
And even dust can be talkative,
Listen and you will see the love
The ancient libraries need

Cornerstone three has a bit of string,
Shaped like your favorite color,
A girl remembers who left it there
But she is afraid to dig it out,
And see what it is attached to

Cornerstone four has nine bones,
Removed carefully from a black cat,
Arranged in the fashion of this word,
Protecting us from our enemies

Your house is safe now

So why is it--

Your house is safe now

So why is it--

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


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36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 20
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Object ID:     bookskill_long blade4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty

The first monster was actually two, having been born twice like his mother-
father, Vivec. He was not the mightiest of the eight to escape Muatra, but
his actions were the most worrisome. He was known as Moon Axle, and he
harvested the leftovers foibles of nature. This he did twice, as was said,
and the second harvest always brought ruin or unwritten law. His aspect was
faceted like a polyhedron.

No perils are mentioned in the finding of Moon Axle, but it was known that he
was immune to spears, so Vivec had to use the sword not held against him.
Before he took issue with the monster, the warrior-poet asked:

'How came you to be immune to spears?'

To which Moon Axle replied, 'Mine is a dual nature, and protean. I am in fact
made of many straight lines, though none last too long. In this way I have
learned to ignore all true segments.'

Luckily, the sword not held was curved and therefore could cut into Moon
Axle, and before the sun was up he was bleeding from many wounds. Vivec did
not slay him outright for to do so would to keep the foibles of nature within
him and not back where they belonged. Soon Vivec had traced geography right
again, and Moon Axle was ready to be slain.

Vivec rose up in his giant-form, to be terrible to look upon. He reached into
the west and pulled out a canyon, holding it like a horn. He reached east and
ate a handful of nix hounds. Blowing their spirits through the canyon made a
terrible wail, not unlike an unsolved woman. He said:

'Let this overtake you,' and Moon Axle was overtaken by the curvatures of
stolen souls. They wrapped about the monster like resin, until finally he
could not move, nor could his dual nature.

Vivec said, 'Now you are solved,' and pierced his child with Muatra. Moon
Axle had been reduced to something static, and therefore shattered.

The lines of Moon Axle were collected by Velothi philosophers and taken into
caves. There, and for a year, Vivec taught the philosophers how to turn the
lines of his son into the spokes of mystery wheels. This was the birth of the
first Whirling School. Before, there had only been the surface thought of
fire.

Vivec looked at his first wheeling students and observed:

'Alike the egg-layered universe is this morbid possession of three-distant
coverage, soul-wrecked and alive, like my name is alive. In this cloister you
have discovered one walking path, hilled like a sword but more coarsened. So
edged it is that it has to be whispered to keep the tongue from bleeding,
where its signs evacuate their former meanings, like empires that tarry too
long.

'The sword is estrangement from statesmanship.

'Look on the estimable lines of my son, now crafted star-wise, his every limb
equidistant from the center. Is he solved because I will it so? There cannot
be a second stage. Think on the theory that my existence promulgates the five
elements and alike the egg-layered universe I am cause for great density.
Here is a thought that can break the wagon's axle; here is another that can
soar.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 21
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Object ID:     bookskill_light armor4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Light Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-One

The Scripture of the Wheel, First:

'The Spokes are the eight components of chaos, as yet solidified by the law
of time: static change, if you will, something the lizard gods refer to as
the Striking. That is the reptile wheel, coiled potential, ever-preamble to
the never-action.'

Second:

'They are the lent bones of the Aedra, the Eight gift-limbs to SITHISIT, the
wet earth of the new star our home. Outside them is the Aurbis, and not
within. Like most things inexplicable, it is a circle. Circles are confused
serpents, striking and striking and never given leave to bite. The Aedra
would have you believe different, but they were givers before liars. Lies
have turned them into biters. Their teeth are the proselytizers; to convert
is to place oneself in the mouth of falsehood; even to propitiate is to be
swallowed. '

Third:

'The enlightened are those uneaten by the world.'

Fourth:

'The spaces between the gift-limbs number sixteen, the signal shapes of the
Demon Princedoms. It is the key and the lock, series and manticore.'

Fifth:

'Look at the majesty sideways and all you see is the Tower, which our
ancestors made idols from. Look at its center and all you see is the begotten
hole, second serpent, womb-ready for the Right Reaching, exact and without
enchantment.'

Sixth:

'The heart of the second serpent holds the secret triangular gate.'

Seventh:

'Look at the secret triangular gate sideways and you see the secret Tower.'

Eighth:

'The secret Tower within the Tower is the shape of the only name of God, I.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 22
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Object ID:     bookskill_medium armor4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Two

Then Vivec left the first Whirling School and went back to the space that was
not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle world to
find the second monster, which was called the Treasure Wood Sword. Within
years of the Pomegranate Banquet, it had become a lessoning tune to the lower
Velothi houses. They preached of its power:

'The Treasure Wood Sword, splinter scintilla of the high and glorious! He who
wields it becomes self-known!'

The warrior-poet appeared as a visitation in the ancestor alcove of House
Mora, whose rose-worn prince of garlands was a hero against the northern
demons. Vivec congregated with the bones. He said:

'A scavenger cannot acquire a silk sash and expect to discover the greater
systems of its predecessor: perfect happiness is embraced only by the
weeping. Give me back (and do so freely) what is barren of my marriage and I
will not erase you from the thought realm of God. Your line has a notable
enchantress that my sister Ayem is fond of and from her murky wisdom alone do
I condescend to ask.'

A bone-walker emerged from a wall. It had three precious stones set in its
lower jaw, a magical practice of old. One was opal, the color of opal. The
bone-walker bowed to the prince of the middle air and said:

'The Treasure Wood Sword will not leave our house. Bargains were made with
the Black Hands Mephala, the greater shade.'

Vivec kissed the first precious stone and said:

'Animal picture, rude-walker, go back to the lamp that stays lit in water and
store no more messages of useless noise. Down.'

He kissed the second precious stone and said:

'Proud residue, soon dispersed, serve no guarantees made in my fore-image and
demand nothing of its under-skin. I am master evermore. Down.'

He kissed the opal and said:
'Down I take thee.'

And then Vivec withdrew into the hidden places and found the darkest mothers
of the Morag Tong, taking them all to wife and filling them with undusted
loyalty that tasted of summer salt. They became as black queens, screaming
live with a hundred murderous sons, a thousand murderous arms, and a hundred
thousand murderous hands, one vast moving event of thrusting-kill-laughter in
alleys, palaces, workshops, cities and secret halls. Their movements among
the holdings of the Ra'athim were as rippled endings, heaving between times,
with all fates leading to swallowed knives, murder as moaning, God's holy
rape-erasure of wet death.

The King of Assassins presented to Vivec the Treasure Wood Sword.

'Milord,' the King of Assassins said. 'The prince of House Mora is now fond
of you, as well. I placed him in the Corner of Dagon. His eyes I set into a
fire prayer for the wicked. His mouth I stuffed with birds.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 23
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Object ID:     bookskill_long blade5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Three

The Scripture of the Sword, First:

'The sword, treated as a delicate meal, is the Symbolic Collage. It serves
you well in the first half of life. Name one dynasty that knows this not.'

Second:

'The unity of my approach is understood by the immobile warrior. True eyes
are acquired. Rejoice as my own subjects and realms. I build for you a city
of swords, by which I mean laws that cut the people who live there into
better shapes.'

Third:

'Girls burn their dresses on my arrival if I am armored. They crawl to me as
bled pilgrims. Minor spirits die without trace. Follow me of all the ALMSIVI
if you are to mark your days with killing. AE ALTADOON, the third law of
weaponry.'

Fourth:

'The immobile warrior is never fatigued. He cuts sleep holes in the middle of
a battle to regain his strength.'

Fifth:

'Instinct is not reflex action, but mini-miracles held in reserve. I am the
welfare that decides which warrior will emerge. Beg not for luck. Serve me to
win.'

Sixth:

'The span of the apparently inactivated is your love of the absolute. The
birth of God from the netchiman's wife is the abortion of kindness from
love.'

Seventh:

'The true sword is able to cut chains of generations, which is to say, the
creation myths of your enemies. Look on me as the exiled garden. All else is
uncut weed.'

Eighth:

'I give you an ancient road tempered by the second walking way. Your hands
must be huge to wield any sword the size of an ancient road, and yet he who
is of right stature may irritate the sun with only a stick.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 24
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Object ID:     bookskill_spear4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Spear skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Four

Then Vivec left the house of assassins and went back to the space that was
not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle world to
find the third monster, called Horde Mountain. It was made of modular
warriors running free but spaced according to pattern, and from the highest
warrior who could cut clouds they spread out beneath him like a tree, a skirt
whose bottom circle was an army that ran through the ash.

Vivec admired the cone-shape of his child and remembered with joy the
whirlwind of fighting styles that instructed him during the days before life.

Vivec moved into Veloth, saying, 'Onus.'

But before he could even get within sword-span of the monster, a trio of
lower houses had trapped Horde Mountain in a net of doubtful doctrine. When
they saw their lord, the Velothi cheered.

'We are happy to serve you and win!' they said.

Vivec smiled at those brave souls around him and summoned celebration demons
to cleave unto the victors. There was a great display of love and duty around
the netted monster, and Vivec was at the center with a headdress made of
mating bones. He laughed and told mystical jokes and made the heads of the
three houses marry and become a new order.

'You shall forever be now my Buoyant Armigers,' he said.

Then Vivec pierced Horde Mountain with Muatra and made of it all a big bag of
bones. At the touch of his right hand the net became right scripture and he
threw it all northeasterly. The contents spread out like sugar-glows and
Vivec and the Buoyant Armigers ran under it laughing.

Finally the bones of Horde Mountain landed and became the foundation stones
for the City of Swords, which Vivec named after his own sigil, and the net
fell across it all and between, or became as bridges between bones, and since
its segments had been touched by his holy wisdom they became the most perfect
of all city streets in the known worlds.

Throngs of Velothi came to the new city and Ayem and Seht gave it their
blessing. The streets were filled with laughter and love and the strength of
tree-shaped enemy children.

Ayem said:
'To my sister-brother's city I give the holy protection of House Indoril,
whose powers and thrones know no equal under heaven, wherefrom came the
Hortator.'
Seht said:
'To my sister-brother's city I give safe passage through the dark corners
still left of Molag Bal, and I give it this spell as well: SO-T-HA SIL, which
is my name to the mighty. It will protect the lost unless their flight is on
purpose and fill all the roads and alleys with the mystery paths of
civilization, and give the city a mind and make of it a conduit to the full
concentrate of the ALMSIVI.'


Thus was founded the city of Vivec in the days of Resdaynia.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 25
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Armorer4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Armorer skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Five

The Scripture of the City:

'All cities are born of solid light. Such is my city, his city.

'But then the light subsides, revealing the bright and terrible angel of
Veloth. He is in his pre-chimerical form, demonic VEHK, gaunt and pale and
beautiful, skin stretched painfully thin on bird's bones, feathered serpents
encircling his arms. His wings are spread out behind him, their red and
yellow ends like razors in the sun. The wispy mass of his fire hair floats as
if underwater, milky in the nimbus of light that crowns his head. His
presence is undeniable, the awe too much to bear.

'This is God's city, different from others. Cities from foreign countries put
their denizens to sleep and walk to the star-wounded East to pay homage to
me. The capital of the northern men, crusty with eon's ice, bows before Vivec
the city, me it together.

'Self-thought streets rush through tunnel blood. I have rebuilt myself. Hyper
eyed signposts along my traffic arm, soon to be an inner sea. My body is
crawling with all gathered to see me rising up like a monolithic instrument
of pleasure. My spine is the main road to the city that I am. Countless
transactions are taking place in veins and catwalks and the roaming, roaming,
roaming, as they roam over and through and add to me. There are temples
erected along the hollow of my skull and I will ever wear them as a crown.
Walk across the lips of God.

'They add new doors to me and I become effortlessly trans-immortal with the
comings and goings and the stride-heat of the market where I am traded for,
yell of the children hear them play, scoffed at, amused, desired, paid for in
native coin, new minted with my face on one side and my city-body on the
other. I stare with each new window. Soon I am a million-eyed insect
dreaming.

'Red-sparking war trumpets sound like cattle in the ribcage of shuffling
transit. The heretics are destroyed on the plaza knees. I flood over into the
hills, houses rising like a rash, and I never scratch. Cities are the
antidotes to hunting.

'I raise lanterns to light my hollows, lend wax to the thousands the
candlesticks that bear my name again and again, the name innumerable,
shutting in, mantra and priest, god-city, filling every corner with the
naming name, wheeled, circling, running river language giggling with
footfalls mating, selling, stealing, searching, and worry not ye who walk
with me. This is the flowering scheme of the Aurbis. This is the promise of
the PSJJJ: egg, image, man, god, city, state. I serve and am served. I am
made of wire and string and mortar and I accede my own precedent, world
without am.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 26
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Object ID:     bookskill_sneak5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Sneak skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Six

Then Vivec left his architectural rapture and went back to the space that was
not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle world to
find the fourth monster, called The Pocket Cabal.

The monster hid itself in the spell-lists of the great Chimeri wizards of the
extreme east, where the Emperor Parasols grow wild. Vivec disguised himself
as a simple traveler, but radiated a tenuous sense-fabric so that the wizards
would seek him out. Of Muatra he made a simple walking dwarf.

Before long the invisible one was among the libraries of the east, feeding
the essential words of The Pocket Cabal to his walking dwarf and then running
when the magic would fail. After a year or two of this thievery, Muatra was
sick to its stomach, and the walking dwarf exploded near the slave pens of a
wizard's tower. The Pocket Cabal then slipped itself into the mouths of the
slaves and hid again.

Vivec then watched as the slaves erupted into babble and breaking magic. They
rattled their cages and sung out half-hymns that formed into forbidden and
arcane knowledge. Litany fiends appeared and drank from the excess. Grabbers
from the Adjacent Place came into the world sideways, the slave talking
having disrupted the normal non-cardinal points.

So of course a giant bug appeared, with the greatest eastern wizard inside
it. He could see past Vivec's disguise and knew of the warrior-poet's
divinity but he thought himself so powerful that he talked harshly:

'See what you have wrought, silly Triune! Columns of nonsense and litany
fiends! I cannot believe how reason or temperance can be made whole again due
to your eating, eating, eating! Consort with more demons, why don't you?'

Vivec stabbed the wizard through his soul.

The giant bug harness fell on the slave cages and the slaves ran about free
and reckless, too reckless more with pregnant words. Colors bent into the
earth. Vivec created a dome-head demon to contain it all.

'The Pocket Cabal is therefore interred here forever. Let this be a cursed
land where sorcery is broken and maligned.'

Then he picked up Muatra by the beard and left the ghostly hemisphere of the
dome-head demon. On its boundaries, Vivec placed a warning and a song of
entrance that contained errors in it. With mock bones of half-dead Muatra he
created the tent poles of a fortress-theory and fatal languages were
imprisoned for all time.

Seht appeared and looked on what his brother-sister had created. The
Clockwork King said:
'Of the eight monsters, this is the most confusing. May I treasure it?'

Vivec gave Seht leave to do so, but told him never to release The Pocket
Cabal into the middle world. He said:

'I have hidden secrets in my travels here and made a likeness of Muatra to
ward against the unwise. Under this dome, the temporal myth is no longer
man.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_speechcraft5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Speechcraft skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Seven

The Scripture of the Word, First:

'All language is based on meat. Do not let the sophists fool you.'

Second:

'The third walking path explores hysteria without fear. The efforts of madmen
are a society of itself, but only if they are written. The wise may
substitute one law for another, even into incoherence, and still say he is
working within a method. This is true of speech and extends to all
scripture.'

Third:

'Do not go to the realm of apology for absolution. Beyond articulation, there
is no fault. The Adjacent Place, where the Grabbers live, is the illusion of
the vocal or the middle realms of thought, by which I mean the constructed.
This is how I stole the certainty of the Chancellor of Exactitude, perfect to
look upon from every angle. When you come out of the vocal, you can never be
certain.'

Fourth:

'The truest body of work is made up of silence: as in the silence that
results from no reference. By the word I mean the dead.'

Fifth:

'The first meaning is always hidden.'

Sixth:

'The realm of apology is perfection and impossible to attack. Thus, the wise
avoid it. Trinity in unity is the world and word of action: the third walking
path.'

Seventh:

'The sage who suppresses his best aphorism: cut off his hands, for he is a
thief.'

Eighth:

'The clothes of the broken map are worn only by fools and heretics. The map
is an exit for laziness. It is the dusty tongue, which is to say the given
chart that most take as a story that is complete. No word is true until it is
eaten.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 28
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Object ID:     bookskill_light armor5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Light Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Eight

Then Vivec left Seht to look after the dome-head demon and went back to the
space that was not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the
middle world to find the fifth monster, called The Ruddy Man.

When the dreughs ruled the world, the Daedroth Prince Molag Bal had been
their chief. He took a different shape then, spiny and armored and made for
the sea. Vivec, in giving birth to the many spawn of his marriage, had
dropped an old image of Molag Bal into the world: a dead carapace of memory.
It would not have been a monster if a Velothi child had not wanted to impress
his village by wearing it.

The Ruddy Man, of the eight monsters, was the least complicated. He made
those who wore him into mighty killers and nothing more. He existed in the
physical. Only geography makes him special.
When Vivec found him near the boy's village, anon Gnisis, there was a violent
clash of arms and an upheaval of the earth. Their battle created the West
Gash. Wanderers that still go there hear still the sounds of it: sword across
the crust, the grunt of God, the snapping of his monster child's splintered
legs.

After his victory, Vivec took the shell of The Ruddy Man to the dreughs that
had modified his mother. The Queen of Dreughs, whose name is not easy to
spell, was in a period of self-incubation. Her wardens took the gift from
Vivec and promised to guard it from the surface world. This is the first
account of dreughs being liars.

In ten years, The Ruddy Man appeared again, this time near Tear, worn by a
wayward shaman who followed the House of Troubles. Instead of guarding it,
the dreughs had imbued the living armor with mythic inflexibility. It molted
soon after skill-draping the shaman and stretched his bones to the five
corners.

When Vivec met the monster in battle again he saw the remains of three
villages dripping from its feet. He took on his giant form and slew The Ruddy
Man by way of the Symbolic Collage. Since he no longer trusted the Altmer of
the sea, Vivec gave the carapace of the monster to the devout and loyal
mystics of the Number Room. He told them:

'You may make of The Ruddy Man a philosopher's armor.'

The mystics began by wrapping one of their sages in the shells, a series of
flourishes by two supra numerates, one hormonally tall and the other just
under his arms. They ran around the carapace and through each other, applying
holy resin drawn from the carcasses of the now-useless numbers between twelve
and thirteen. Golden straws were quickly stuck through the mythic epidermal
so the sage could breathe. After the ceremonial etchings were drawn into
hardening resin, long lists of dead names and equations whose solutions were
to be found in the mouth of the Chimer inside, there came the illuminations,
inscribed by the bright, terrible fingernail of Vivec. From the nail's tip
flowed a searing liquid, filling the grooves of the ceremonial etchings. They
bled out to form veined patterns about the sage-shell that theologians would
decipher forever after.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 29
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Armorer5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Armorer skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Twenty-Nine

The Scripture of the Numbers:

1. The Dragon Break, or the Tower. 1
2. The Enantiomorph.  68
3. The Invisible Gate, ALMSIVI. 112
4. The Corners of House of Troubles.  242
5. The Corners of the World. 100
6. The Walking Ways. 266
7. The Sword at the Center. 39
8. The Wheel, or the Eight Givers. 484
9. The Missing. 11
10. The Tribes of the Altmer. 140
11. The Number of the Master. 102
12. The Heavens. 379
13. The Serpent. 36
14. The King's Cough. 32
15. The Redeeming Force. 110
16. The Acceptable Blasphemes. 12
17. The Hurling Disk. 283
18. The Egg, or Six Times the Wise.
19. The Provisional House. 258
20. The Lunar Lattice. 425
21. The Womb. 13
22. Unknown. 453
23. The Hollow Prophet. 54
24. The Star Wound. 44
25. The Emperor. 239
26. The Rogue Plane. 81
27. The Secret Fire. 120
28. The Drowned Lamp. 8
29. The Captive Sage. 217
30. The Scarab. 10
31. The Listening Frame. 473
32. The False Call. 7
33. The Anticipations. 234
34. The Lawless Grammar. 2
35. The Prison-Shirt. 191
36. The Hours. 364

'The presence of deaf witness, this is what the numbers are. They hang onto
the Aurbis as the last nostalgia of their godhood. The effigies of numbers
are their current applications; this is folly, as above. To be affixed to a
symbol is too, too certain.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 30
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Short Blade5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Short Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirty

Then Vivec left the mystics of the Number Room and went back to the space
that was not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle
world to find the sixth monster, called City-Face. He was vexed when he could
not find it and went back to the Mourning Hold in secret anger, killing a
mystic that asked about higher order.

Nerevar, the Hortator, witnessed this and said, 'Why do this, milord? The
mystics look to you for guidance. They work to make your temple better
stoned.'

Vivec said, 'No one knows what I am.'

The Hortator nodded and went back to his studies.

Here is how City-Face hid from his mother-father: it had been born named as
Ha-Note, a bare urge of power, an esoteric wind nerve tuned to the frequency
of huddled masses. It found root in villages and multiplied, finding in the
minds of the settled a veiled astrology, the star charts of culture, and this
resonance made its head swim. Ha-Note moved sideways into the Adjacent Place,
growing and unbeknownst. Above the vocal, it trembled with new emotions,
immortal ones, absorbing more than the thirty known to exist in the middle
world. When Ha-Note became gravely homesick, the Grabbers took it.

A Grabber said, 'New emotions to the lonely occur only of madness. This thing
is gone. It is ours now.'

Grabbers had never made a city of their own, and their glimpse of Vivec's,
which shone with holiness through all the spheres, had taken their attention.

'Under this reason did the issue of Vehk slide into our realm, drawn by our
coveting, hidden in loss. We shall build our tower-hope upon its face.'

Now many years had passed in Resdaynia, and the high priests of the Dwemer
were building something alike as Vivec and alike as the new Ha-Note of the
Grabbers. The Hortator was engaged with an army of theirs that had become too
brave, talking foolish words, and Nerevar helped destroy them with the help
of the orphan legion of Ayem. When he went to give trophy to Vivec, he saw
his lord under attack by the City-Face. The monster was saying this:

'Here we are to replace your city, Vehk and Vehk. We are from the place of
the more-than-known emotions, and our citizenry has died from it. Two things
we came for, but can stay for only one. Either we ask you to correct our
error of culture, or merely take yours by dint of force. The second is
easiest, we think.'

Vivec sighed.

'You would replace my direction,' he said. 'I weary of this, though I wanted
to kill you an age before. Resdaynia is fallen ill, and I have no time for
one more imaginary analogy of an unknown incident. Here, take this.'

At which he touched the tower-hope of the City-Face and corrected the error
of the Grabbers.

'And this.'

At which he stabbed the heart of the City-Face with the Ethos Knife, which is
to say RKHT AI AE ALTADOON AI, the short blade of proper commerce.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 31
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Athletics5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Athletics skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirty-One

Many more years passed in Resdaynia, and the high priests of the Dwemer were
almost ready to make war on the rulers of Veloth. The Hortator had become the
husband of Ayem during this time, and the first saint of the Triune way.
Vivec had tired of fighting his sons and daughters, and so took a respite
from trying to find them.

The Hortator said to his wife, 'Where is Vivec, my teacher? I love him still,
though he grows cold. His lamentations, if I may call them that, have changed
the skin of the whole country. He is hardly to be found anywhere in Veloth of
late. The people grow dark because of it.'

And Ayem took mercy on her troubled husband and told him that the sword of
the Triune had been fighting minor monsters stirred up by the Dwemer as they
worked on their brass siege machines. She took the Hortator inside her and
showed him where his master was.
ALMSIVI, or at least that aspect that chose to be Vivec, sat in the Litany
Hall of the False Thinking Temple after his battle with the Flute-and-Pipe
Ogres of the West Gash. He began writing, again, in his Book of Hours. He had
to put on his Water Face first. That way he could separate the bronze of the
Old Temple from the blue of the New and write with happiness. Second, he had
to take another feather from the Big Moon, further rendering it dead. That
way he could write about mortals with truth. Third, he recalled the
Pomegranate Banquet, where he was forced to marry to Molag Bal with wet
scriptures to cement his likeness as Mephala and write with black hands. He
wrote:

The last time I heard his voice, showing the slightest sign of impatience, I
learned to control myself and submit to the will of others. Afterwards, I
dared to take on the sacred fire and realized there was no equilibrium with
the ET'ADA. They were liars, lost roots, and the most I can do is to be an
interpreter into the rational. Even that fails the needs of the people. I sit
on the mercy seat and pass judgment, the waking state, and the phase aspect
of the innate urge. Only here can I doubt, in this book, written in water,
broadened to include evil.

Then Vivec threw his ink on this passage to cover it up (for the lay reader)
and wrote instead:

Find me in the blackened paper, unarmored, in final scenery. Truth is like my
husband: instructed to smash, filled with procedure and noise, hammering,
weighty, heaviness made schematic, lessons learned only by a mace. Let those
that hear me then be buffeted, and let some die in the ash from the striking.
Let those that find him find him murdered by illumination, pummeled like a
traitorous house, because, if an hour is golden, then immortal I am a secret
code. I am the partaker of the Doom Drum, chosen of all those that dwell in
the middle world to wear this crown, which reverberates with truth, and I am
the mangling messiah.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 32
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Object ID:     BookSkill_Block5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Block skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirty-Two

The Scripture of the Mace, First:

'The pleasure of annihilation is the pleasure of disappearing into the
unreal. All those that would challenge the sleeping world will seek
membership in this movement. I denounce the alienation of the Cloven Duality
with a hammer.'

Second:

'Take from me the lessons as a punishment for being mortal. To be made of
dirt is to be treated as such by your jailers. This is the key and the lock
of the Daedra. Why do you think they escaped the compromise?'

Third:

'Velothi, your skin has become the pregnant darkness. My brooding has brought
this on. Remember that Boethiah asked you to become the color of bruise. How
else to show yourselves people of the exodus into the vital: pain?'

Fourth:

'The sage who is not an anvil: a conventional sentence and nothing more. By
which I mean dead, the fourth walking way.'

Fifth:

'A proper comprehension of the virtues: stage-managed and to be murdered.'

Sixth:

'In the end, rejoice as a hostage released from drumming torment but that
savors his wound. The drum breaks and you find it to be a nest of hornets,
which is to say: your sleep is over.'

Seventh:

'The suspicious is spectacle and the lie is only a theoretical inspiration.'

Eighth:

'But then why, you ask, do the Daedra wish to meddle with the Aurbis? It is
because they are the radical critique, essential as all martyrs. That some
are more evil than others in not an illusion. Or rather, it is a necessary
illusion.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 33
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Object ID:     bookskill_medium armor5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirty-Three

Then Vivec left the Litany Hall of the False Thinking Temple, where he had
brooded for so long creating the scripture of the pounding light, and went
back to the space that was not a space. From the Provisional House he looked
into the middle world to find the seventh monster, called Lie Rock.

Lie Rock was born of Vivec's Second Aperture and was thrown out of the
Pomegranate Banquet by a member of the Sweeps, another forgotten guild. The
Sweep did not take it for the monster that it was and so he did not expect it
to fly from his hand and into the heavens.

'I am born of golden wisdom and powers that should have forever been unalike!
With this nature I am invited into the Hidden Heaven!'

By which he meant the Scaled Blanket, made of not-stars, whose number is
thirteen. Lie Rock became full of foolishness, haggling with the Void Ghost
who hides in the religions of all men. The Void Ghost said:

'Stay with me a full hundred years and I will give you a power that no
divinity will dare disobey.'

But before the hundred years was up, Vivec was already looking for Lie Rock
and found him.

'Stupid stone,' Vivec said. 'To hide in the Scaled Blanket is to make a mark
on nothing. His bargains are only for ruling kings!'

So Vivec sent the Hortator to the heavens to shave Lie Rock asunder by the
named axe. Nerevar made peace with the south-pole-star of thieving and the
north-pole-star of warriors and the third-pole-star, which existed only in
the ether, which was governed by the apprentice of Magnus the sun. They gave
him leave to wander among their charges and gave him red sight by which to
find Lie Rock in the Hidden Heaven.

By chance, Nerevar met the Void Ghost first, who told him that he was in the
wrong place to which the Hortator said, 'Me or you?' and the Void Ghost said
both. This sermon does not tell what else was said between these masters.

Lie Rock, however, used the confusion to launch his own attack on the city-
god, Vivec. He was hastened by all three of the black guardians, who wanted
him swiftly gone, though they meant no hostility to the lord of the middle
air.

The citizenry of Vivec screamed as they saw a shooting star come down out of
the sky hole like a toll-road of hell. But Vivec merely raised his hand and
froze Lie Rock just above the city and then he pierced the monster with
Muatra.

(The practice of piercing the Second Aperture is now forbidden.)

When Nerevar returned, he saw the frozen comet above his lord's city. He
asked whether or not Vivec wanted it removed.

'I would have done so myself if I wanted, silly Hortator. I shall keep it
there with its last intention intact, so that if the love of the people of
this city for me ever disappear, so shall the power that holds back their
destruction.'

Nerevar said, 'Love is under your will only.'

Vivec smiled and told the Hortator that he had become a Minister of Truth.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 34
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_unarmored5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Unarmored skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirty-Four

Then Vivec left the Ministry of Truth and went back to the space that was not
a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle world to find
the eighth and final and mightiest monster, called GULGA MOR JIL and more.
The wise must look elsewhere for this string of power.

Vivec called to his side the Hortator and this was the first time that
Nerevar had ever been to the Provisional House. He had the same vision that
Vivec had so many years ago: that of the two-headed ruling king.

'Who is that?' he wondered.

Vivec said, 'The red jewel of conquest.'

Nerevar, perhaps because he was frightened, became vexed at his lord's
answer. 'Why are you always so evasive?'

Vivec told the Hortator that to be otherwise was to betray his nature.

Together they moved into the middle world, to a village near where Vivec had
been found by Ayem and Seht. The eighth monster was there, but he did not act
much like a monster. He sat with his legs in the ocean and with a troubled
look on his face. When he saw his mother-father, he asked why he should have
to die and return to oblivion.

Vivec told the eighth monster that to be otherwise was to betray his nature.
Since this did not seem to satisfy the monster and Vivec still had a touch of
Ayem's mercy he said:

'The fire is mine: let it consume thee,

And make a secret door

At the altar of Padhome,

In the House of Boet-hi-Ah

Where we become safe

And looked after.'


The monster accepted Muatra with a peaceful look and his bones became the
foundation for the City of the Dead, anon Narsis.

Nerevar put away his axe, which he had at the ready, and frowned.

'Why,' he said, 'did you ask me to come if you knew the eighth monster would
give in so easily?'

Vivec looked at the Hortator for a long time.

Nerevar understood. 'Do not betray your nature. Answer as you will.'

Vivec said, 'I brought you here because I knew the mightiest of my issue
would succumb to Muatra without argument, if only I gave him consolation
first.'

Nerevar looked at Vivec for a long time.

Vivec understood. 'Say the words, Hortator.'

Nerevar said, 'Now I am the mightiest of your children.'

Let this sermon be consolation to those who read it that are destined to die.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 35
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_spear5
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Spear skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Sermon Thirty-Five

The Scripture of Love:

'The formulas of proper Velothi magic continue in ancient tradition, but that
virility is dead, by which I mean at least replaced. Truth owes its medicinal
nature to the establishment of the myth of justice. Its curative properties
it likewise owes to the concept of sacrifice. Princes, chiefs, and angels all
subscribe to the same notion. This is a view primarily based on a prolific
abolition of an implied profanity, seen in ceremonies, knife fighting,
hunting, and the exploration of the poetic. On the ritual of occasions, which
comes to us from the days of the cave glow, I can say nothing more than to
loosen your equation of moods to lunar currency. Later, and by that I mean
much, much later, my reign will be seen as an act of the highest love, which
is a return from the astral destiny and the marriages between. By that I mean
the catastrophes, which will come from all five corners. Subsequent are the
revisions, differentiated between hope and the distraught, situations that
are only required by the periodic death of the immutable. Cosmic time is
repeated: I wrote of this in an earlier life. An imitation of submersion is
love's premonition, its folly into the underworld, by which I mean the day
you will read about outside of yourself in an age of gold. For on that day,
which is a shadow of the sacrificial concept, all history is obliged to see
me for what you are: in love with evil. To keep one's powers intact at such a
stage is to allow for the existence of what can only be called a continual
spirit. Make of your love a defense against the horizon. Pure existence is
only granted to the holy, which comes in a myriad of forms, half of them
frightening and the other half divided into equal parts purposeless and
assured. Late is the lover that comes to this by any other walking way than
the fifth, which is the number of the limit of this world. The lover is the
highest country and a series of beliefs. He is the sacred city bereft of a
double. The uncultivated land of monsters is the rule. This is clearly
attested by ANU and his double, which love knows never really happened.
Similarly, all the other symbols of absolute reality are ancient ideas ready
for their graves, or at least the essence of such. This scripture is directly
ordered by the codes of Mephala, the origin of sex and murder, defeated only
by those who take up those ideas without my intervention. The religious elite
is not a tendency or a correlation. They are dogma complemented by the
influence of the untrustworthy sea and the governance of the stars, dominated
at the center by the sword, which is nothing without a victim to cleave unto.
This is the love of God and he would show you more: predatory but at the same
time instrumental to the will of critical harvest, a scenario by which one
becomes as he is, of male and female, the magic hermaphrodite. Mark the norms
of violence and it barely registers, suspended as it is by treaties written
between the original spirits. This should be seen as an opportunity, and in
no way tedious, though some will give up for it is easier to kiss the lover
than become one. The lower regions crawl with these souls, caves of shallow
treasures, meeting in places to testify by way of extension, when love is
only satisfied by a considerable (incalculable) effort.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 36
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Mysticism4
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Mysticism skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec: Thirty-Six

For these were the days of Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the
wise and benevolent rule of the AMLSIVI and their champion the Hortator,
though the Dwemer had become foolish and challenged their masters.

Out of their fortresses they came with golden ballistae that walked and
mighty atronachs and things that spat flame and things that made killing
songs. Their king was Dumac Dwarf-Orc, but their high priest was Kagrenac the
Blighter.

Under mountains and over them the war with the Dwemer was raged, and then
came the northern men to help Kagrenac and they brought Ysmir again.

Leading the armies of the Chimer was the slave that would not perish, the
Hortator Nerevar, who had traded his axe for the Ethos Knife. He slew Dumac
at Red Mountain and saw the heart bone for the first time.

Men of brass destroyed the eleven gates of the Mourning Hold and behind them
came the Dwemeri architects of tone. Ayem threw down her cloak and became the
Face-Snaked Queen of the Three in One. Those that looked upon her were
overcome by the meanings of the stars.

Under the sea, Seht stirred and brought the army he had been working on in
the castles of glass and coral. Clockwork dreughs, mockeries of the Dwemeri
war machines, rose up from the seas and took their counterparts back beneath,
where they were swallowed forever by the sea.

Red Mountain exploded as the Hortator went too far inside, seeking the
Sharmat.

Dwemeri high priest Kagrenac then revealed that which he had built in the
image of Vivec. It was a walking star, which burnt the armies of the Triune
and destroyed the heartland of Veloth, creating the Inner Sea.

Each of the aspects of the ALMSIVI then rose up together, combining as one,
and showed the world the sixth path. Ayem took from the star its fire, Seht
took from it its mystery, and Vehk took from it its feet, which had been
constructed before the gift of Molag Bal and destroyed in the manner of
truth: by a great hammering. When the soul of the Dwemer could walk no more,
they were removed from this world.

Resdaynia was no more. It had been redeemed of all the iniquities of the
foolish. The ALMSIVI drew nets from the Beginning Place and captured the ash
of Red Mountain, which they knew was the Blight of the Dwemer and that would
serve only to infect the whole of the middle world, and ate it. ALTADOON
DUNMERI!

The beginning of the words is ALMSIVI. I give you this as Vivec.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Acrobatics2
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Acrobatics skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

A Dance In Fire, Chapter I
by Waughin Jarth

Scene: The Imperial City, Cyrodiil
Date: 7 Frost Fall, 3E 397

It seemed as if the palace had always housed the Atrius Building Commission,
the company of clerks and estate agents who authored and notarized nearly
every construction of any note in the Empire.  It had stood for two hundred
and fifty years, since the reign of the Emperor Magnus, a plain-fronted and
austere hall on a minor but respectable plaza in the Imperial City.
Energetic and ambitious middle-class lads and ladies worked there, as well as
complacent middle-aged ones like Decumus Scotti.  No one could imagine a
world without the Commission, least of all Scotti.  To be accurate, he could
not imagine a world without himself in the Commission.

"Lord Atrius is perfectly aware of your contributions," said the managing
clerk, closing the shutter that demarcated Scotti's office behind him. "But
you know that things have been difficult."

"Yes," said Scotti, stiffly.

"Lord Vanech's men have been giving us a lot of competition lately, and we
must be more efficient if we are to survive.  Unfortunately, that means
releasing some of our historically best but presently underachieving senior
clerks."

"I understand.  Can't be helped."

"I'm glad that you understand," smiled the managing clerk, smiling thinly and
withdrawing. "Please have your room cleared immediately."

Scotti began the task of organizing all his work to pass on to his successor.
It would probably be young Imbrallius who would take most of it on, which was
as it should be, he considered philosophically.  The lad knew how to find
business.  Scotti wondered idly what the fellow would do with the contracts
for the new statue of St Alessia for which the Temple of the One had applied.
Probably invent a clerical error, blame it on his old predecessor Decumus
Scotti, and require an additional cost to rectify.

"I have correspondence for Decumus Scotti of the Atrius Building Commission."

Scotti looked up.  A fat-faced courier had entered his office and was
thrusting forth a sealed scroll.  He handed the boy a gold piece, and opened
it up.  By the poor penmanship, atrocious spelling and grammar, and overall
unprofessional tone, it was manifestly evident who the writer was.  Liodes
Jurus, a fellow clerk some years before, who had left the Commission after
being accused of unethical business practices.


"Dear Sckotti,


I emagine you alway wondered what happened to me, and the last plase you
would have expected to find me is out in the woods.  But thats exactly where
I am.  Ha ha.  If your'e smart and want to make lot of extra gold for Lord
Atrius (and yourself, ha ha), youll come down to Vallinwood too.  If you
have'nt or have been following the politics hear lately, you may or may not
know that ther's bin a war between the Boshmer and there neighbors Elswere
over the past two years.  Things have only just calm down, and ther's a lot
that needs to be rebuilt.

Now Ive got more business than I can handel, but I need somone with some
clout, someone representing a respected agencie to get the quill in the ink.
That somone is you, my fiend.  Come & meat me at the M'ther Paskos Tavern in
Falinnesti, Vallinwood.  Ill be here 2 weeks and you wont be sorrie.




-- Jurus

P.S.: Bring a wagenload of timber if you can."


"What do you have there, Scotti?" asked a voice.

Scotti started.  It was Imbrallius, his damnably handsome face peeking
through the shutters, smiling in that way that melted the hearts of the
stingiest of patrons and the roughest of stonemasons.  Scotti shoved the
letter in his jacket pocket.

"Personal correspondence," he sniffed. "I'll be cleared up here in a just a
moment."

"I don't want to hurry you," said Imbrallius, grabbing a few sheets of blank
contracts from Scotti's desk. "I've just gone through a stack, and the junior
scribes hands are all cramping up, so I thought you wouldn't miss a few."

The lad vanished.  Scotti retrieved the letter and read it again.  He thought
about his life, something he rarely did.  It seemed a sea of gray with a
black insurmountable wall looming.  There was only one narrow passage he
could see in that wall.  Quickly, before he had a moment to reconsider it, he
grabbed a dozen of the blank contracts with the shimmering gold leaf ATRIUS
BUILDING COMMISSION BY APPOINTMENT OF HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY and hid them in
the satchel with his personal effects.

The next day he began his adventure with a giddy lack of hesitation.   He
arranged for a seat in a caravan bound for Valenwood, the single escorted
conveyance to the southeast leaving the Imperial City that week.  He had
scarcely hours to pack, but he remembered to purchase a wagonload of timber.

"It will be extra gold to pay for a horse to pull that," frowned the convoy
head.

"So I anticipated," smiled Scotti with his best Imbrallius grin.

Ten wagons in all set off that afternoon through the familiar Cyrodilic
countryside.  Past fields of wildflowers, gently rolling woodlands, friendly
hamlets.  The clop of the horses' hooves against the sound stone road
reminded Scotti that the Atrius Building Commission constructed it.  Five of
the eighteen necessary contracts for its completion were drafted by his own
hand.

"Very smart of you to bring that wood along," said a gray-whiskered Breton
man next to him on his wagon. "You must be in Commerce."

"Of a sort," said Scotti, in a way he hoped was mysterious, before
introducing himself: "Decumus Scotti."

"Gryf Mallon," said the man.  "I'm a poet, actually a translator of old
Bosmer literature.  I was researching some newly discovered tracts of the
Mnoriad Pley Bar two years ago when the war broke out and I had to leave.
You are no doubt familiar with the Mnoriad, if you're aware of the Green
Pact."

Scotti thought the man might be speaking perfect gibberish, but he nodded his
head.

"Naturally, I don't pretend that the Mnoriad is as renowned as the Meh
Ayleidion, or as ancient as the Dansir Gol, but I think it has a remarkable
significance to understanding the nature of the merelithic Bosmer mind.  The
origin of the Wood Elf aversion to cutting their own wood or eating any plant
material at all, yet paradoxically their willingness to import plantstuff
from other cultures, I feel can be linked to a passage in the Mnoriad,"
Mallon shuffled through some of his papers, searching for the appropriate
text.

To Scotti's vast relief, the carriage soon stopped to camp for the night.
They were high on a bluff over a gray stream, and before them was the great
valley of Valenwood.  Only the cry of seabirds declared the presence of the
ocean to the bay to the west: here the timber was so tall and wide, twisting
around itself like an impossible knot begun eons ago, to be impenetrable.  A
few more modest trees, only fifty feet to the lowest branches, stood on the
cliff at the edge of camp.   The sight was so alien to Scotti and he found
himself so anxious about the proposition of entering the wilderness that he
could not imagine sleeping.

Fortunately, Mallon had supposed he had found another academic with a passion
for the riddles of ancient cultures.  Long into the night, he recited Bosmer
verse in the original and in his own translation, sobbing and bellowing and
whispering wherever appropriate.  Gradually, Scotti began to feel drowsy, but
a sudden crack of wood snapping made him sit straight up.

"What was that?"

Mallon smiled: "I like it too. 'Convocation in the malignity of the moonless
speculum, a dance of fire --'"

"There are some enormous birds up in the trees moving around," whispered
Scotti, pointing in the direction of the dark shapes above.

"I wouldn't worry about that," said Mallon, irritated with his audience. "Now
listen to how the poet characterizes Herma-Mora's invocation in the
eighteenth stanza of the fourth book."

The dark shapes in the trees were some of them perched like birds, others
slithered like snakes, and still others stood up straight like men.  As
Mallon recited his verse, Scotti watched the figures softly leap from branch
to branch, half-gliding across impossible distances for anything without
wings.  They gathered in groups and then reorganized until they had spread to
every tree around the camp.  Suddenly they plummeted from the heights.

"Mara!" cried Scotti. "They're falling like rain!"

"Probably seed pods," Mallon shrugged, not turning around. "Some of the trees
have remarkable --"

The camp erupted into chaos.  Fires burst out in the wagons, the horses
wailed from mortal blows, casks of wine, fresh water, and liquor gushed their
contents to the ground.  A nimble shadow dashed past Scotti and Mallon,
gathering sacks of grain and gold with impossible agility and grace.  Scotti
had only one glance at it, lit up by a sudden nearby burst of flame.  It was
a sleek creature with pointed ears, wide yellow eyes, mottled pied fur and a
tail like a whip.

"Werewolf," he whimpered, shrinking back.

"Cathay-raht," groaned Mallon. "Much worse.  Khajiti cousins or some such
thing, come to plunder."

"Are you sure?"

As quickly as they struck, the creatures retreated, diving off the bluff
before the battlemage and knight, the caravan's escorts, had fully opened
their eyes.  Mallon and Scotti ran to the precipice and saw a hundred feet
below the tiny figures dash out of the water, shake themselves, and disappear
into the wood.

"Werewolves aren't acrobats like that," said Mallon. "They were definitely
Cathay-raht.  Bastard thieves.  Thank Stendarr they didn't realize the value
of my notebooks.  It wasn't a complete loss."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Block3
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Block skill 1 point the first time the book is read

A Dance in Fire, Chapter 2
by Waughin Jarth

It was a complete loss.  The Cathay-Raht had stolen or destroyed almost every
item of value in the caravan in just a few minutes' time.  Decumus Scotti's
wagonload of wood he had hoped to trade with the Bosmer had been set on fire
and then toppled off the bluff.  His clothing and contracts were tattered and
ground into the mud of dirt mixed with spilt wine.  All the pilgrims,
merchants, and adventurers in the group moaned and wept as they gathered the
remnants of their belongings by the rising sun of the dawn.

"I best not tell anyone that I managed to hold onto my notes for my
translation of the Mnoriad Pley Bar," whispered the poet Gryf Mallon. "They'd
probably turn on me."

Scotti politely declined the opportunity of telling Mallon just how little
value he himself placed on the man's property.  Instead, he counted the coins
in his purse.  Thirty-four gold pieces.  Very little indeed for an
entrepreneur beginning a new business.

"Hoy!" came a cry from the wood.  A small party of Bosmer emerged from the
thicket, clad in leather mail and bearing arms. "Friend or foe?"

"Neither," growled the convoy head.

"You must be the Cyrodiils," laughed the leader of the group, a tall
skeleton-thin youth with a sharp vulpine face. "We heard you were en route.
Evidently, so did our enemies."

"I thought the war was over," muttered one of the caravan's now ruined
merchants.

The Bosmer laughed again: "No act of war.  Just a little border enterprise.
You are going on to Falinesti?"

"I'm not," the convoy head shook his head. "As far as I'm concerned, my duty
is done.  No more horses, no more caravan.  Just a fat profit loss to me."

The men and women crowded around the man, protesting, threatening, begging,
but he refused to step foot in Valenwood.  If these were the new times of
peace, he said, he'd rather come back for the next war.

Scotti tried a different route and approached the Bosmer.  He spoke with an
authoritative but friendly voice, the kind he used in negotiations with
peevish carpenters: "I don't suppose you'd consider escorting me to
Falinesti.  I'm a representative for an important Imperial agency, the Atrius
Building Commission, here to help repair and alleviate some of the problems
the war with the Khajiit brought to your province.  Patriotism --"

"Twenty gold pieces, and you must carry your own gear if you have any left,"
replied the Bosmer.

Scotti reflected that negotiations with peevish carpenters rarely went his
way either.

Six eager people had enough gold on them for payment.  Among those without
funds was the poet, who appealed to Scotti for assistance.

"I'm sorry, Gryf, I only have fourteen gold left over.  Not even enough for a
decent room when I get to Falinesti.  I really would help you if I could,"
said Scotti, persuading himself that it was true.

The band of six and their Bosmer escorts began the descent down a rocky path
along the bluff.  Within an hour's time, they were deep in the jungles of
Valenwood.  A never-ending canopy of hues of browns and greens obscured the
sky.  A millennia's worth of fallen leaves formed a deep, wormy sea of
putrefaction beneath their feet.  Several miles were crossed wading through
the slime.  For several more, they took a labyrinthian path across fallen
branches and the low-hanging boughs of giant trees.

All the while, hour after hour, the inexhaustible Bosmer host moved so fast,
the Cyrodiils struggled to keep from being left behind.  A red-faced little
merchant with short legs took a bad step on a rotten branch and nearly fell.
His fellow provincials had to help him up.  The Bosmer paused only a moment,
their eyes continually darting to the shadows in the trees above before
moving on at their usual expeditious pace.

"What are they so nervous about?" wheezed the merchant irritably. "More
Cathay-Raht?"

"Don't be ridiculous," laughed the Bosmer unconvincingly. "Khajiiti this far
into Valenwood?  In times of peace?  They'd never dare."

When the group passed high enough above the swamp that the smell was somewhat
dissipated, Scotti felt a sudden pang of hunger.  He was used to four meals a
day in the Cyrodilic custom.  Hours of nonstop exertion without food was not
part of his regimen as a comfortably paid clerk.  He pondered, feeling
somewhat delirious, how long they had been trotting through the jungle.
Twelve hours?  Twenty?  A week?  Time was meaningless.  Sunlight was only
sporadic through the vegetative ceiling.  Phosphorescent molds on the trees
and in the muck below provided the only regular illumination.

"Is it at all possible for us to rest and eat?" he hollered to his host up
ahead.

"We're near to Falinesti," came the echoing reply. "Lots of food there."

The path continued upward for several hours more across a clot of fallen
logs, rising up to the first and then the second boughs of the tree line.  As
they rounded a long corner, the travelers found themselves midway up a
waterfall that fell a hundred feet or more.  No one had the energy to
complain as they began pulling up the stacks of rock, agonizing foot by foot.
The Bosmer escorts disappeared into the mist, but Scotti kept climbing until
there was no more rock left.  He wiped the sweat and river water from his
eyes.

Falinesti spread across the horizon before him.  Sprawling across both banks
of the river stood the mighty graht-oak city, with groves and orchards of
lesser trees crowding it like supplicants before their king.  At a lesser
scale, the tree that formed the moving city would have been extraordinary:
gnarled and twisted with a gorgeous crown of gold and green, dripping with
vines and shining with sap.  At a mile tall and half as wide, it was the most
magnificent thing Scotti had ever seen.  If he had not been a starving man
with the soul of a clerk, he would have sung.

"There you are," said the leader of the escorts. "Not too far a walk.  You
should be glad it's wintertide.  In summertide, the city's on the far south
end of the province."

Scotti was lost as to how to proceed.  The sight of the vertical metropolis
where people moved about like ants disoriented all his sensibilities.

"You wouldn't know of an inn called," he paused for a moment, and then pulled
Jurus's letter from his pocket. "Something like 'Mother Paskos Tavern'?"

"Mother Pascost?" the lead Bosmer laughed his familiar contemptuous laugh.
"You won't want to stay there?  Visitors always prefer the Aysia Hall in the
top boughs.  It's expensive, but very nice."

"I'm meeting someone at Mother Pascost's Tavern."

"If you've made up your mind to go, take a lift to Havel Slump and ask for
directions there.  Just don't get lost and fall asleep in the western cross."

This apparently struck the youth's friends as a very witty jest, and so it
was with their laughter echoing behind him that Scotti crossed the writhing
root system to the base of Falinesti.  The ground was littered with leaves
and refuse, and from moment to moment a glass or a bone would plummet from
far above, so he walked with his neck crooked to have warning.  An intricate
network of platforms anchored to thick vines slipped up and down the slick
trunk of the city with perfect grace, manned by operators with arms as thick
as an ox's belly.  Scotti approaches the nearest fellow at one of the
platforms, who was idly smoking from a glass pipe.

"I was wondering if you might take me to Havel Slump."

The mer nodded and within a few minutes time, Scotti was two hundred feet in
the air at a crook between two mighty branches.  Curled webs of moss
stretched unevenly across the fork, forming a sharing roof for several dozen
small buildings.  There were only a few souls in the alley, but around the
bend ahead, he could hear the sound of music and people.  Scotti tipped the
Falinesti Platform Ferryman a gold piece and asked for the location of Mother
Pascost's Tavern.

"Straight ahead of you, sir, but you won't find anyone there," the Ferryman
explained, pointing in the direction of the noise. "Morndas everyone in Havel
Slump has revelry."

Scotti walked carefully along the narrow street.  Though the ground felt as
solid as the marble avenues of the Imperial City, there were slick cracks in
the bark that exposed fatal drops into the river.  He took a moment to sit
down, to rest and get used to the view from the heights.  It was a beautiful
day for certain, but it took Scotti only a few minutes of contemplation to
rise up in alarm.  A jolly little raft anchored down stream below him had
distinctly moved several inches while he watched it.  But it hadn't moved at
all.  He had.  Together with everything around him.  It was no metaphor: the
city of Falinesti walked.  And, considering its size, it moved quickly.

Scotti rose to his feet and into a cloud of smoke that drifted out from
around the bend.  It was the most delicious roast he had ever smelled.  The
clerk forgot his fear and ran.

The "revelry" as the Ferryman had termed it took place on an enormous
platform tied to the tree, wide enough to be a plaza in any other city.  A
fantastic assortment of the most amazing people Scotti had ever seen were
jammed shoulder-to-shoulder together, many eating, many more drinking, and
some dancing to a lutist and singer perched on an offshoot above the crowd.
They were largely Bosmer, true natives clad in colorful leather and bones,
with a close minority of orcs.  Whirling through the throng, dancing and
bellowing at one another were a hideous ape people.  A few heads bobbing over
the tops of the crowd belonged not, as Scotti first assumed, to very tall
people, but to a family of centaurs.

"Care for some mutton?" queried a wizened old mer who roasted an enormous
beast on some red-hot rocks.

Scotti quickly paid him a gold piece and devoured the leg he was given.  And
then another gold piece and another leg.  The fellow chuckled when Scotti
began choking on a piece of gristle, and handed him a mug of a frothing white
drink.  He drank it and felt a quiver run through his body as if he were
being tickled.

"What is that?"  Scotti asked.

"Jagga.  Fermented pig's milk.  I can let you have a flagon of it and a bit
more mutton for another gold."

Scotti agreed, paid, gobbled down the meat, and took the flagon with him as
he slipped into the crowd.  His co-worker Liodes Jurus, the man who had told
him to come to Valenwood, was nowhere to be seen.  When the flagon was a
quarter empty, Scotti stopped looking for Jurus.  When it was half empty, he
was dancing with the group, oblivious to the broken planks and gaps in the
fencework.  At three quarters empty, he was trading jokes with a group of
creatures whose language was completely alien to him.  By the time the flagon
was completely drained, he was asleep, snoring, while the revelry continued
on all around his supine body.

The next morning, still asleep, Scotti had the sensation of someone kissing
him.  He made a face to return the favor, but a pain like fire spread through
his chest and forced him to open his eyes.  There was an insect the size of a
large calf sitting on him, crushing him, its spiky legs holding him down
while a central spiral-bladed vortex of a mouth tore through his shirt.  He
screamed and thrashed but the beast was too strong.  It had found its meal
and it was going to finish it.

It's over, thought Scotti wildly, I should have never left home.  I could
have stayed in the City, and perhaps found work with Lord Vanech.  I could
have begun again as a junior clerk and worked my way back up.

Suddenly the mouth released itself.  The creature shivered once, expelled a
burst of yellow bile, and died.

"Got one!" cried a voice, not too distantly.

For a moment, Scotti lay still.  His head throbbed and his chest burned.  Out
of the corner of his eye he saw movement.  Another of the horrible monsters
was scurried towards him.  He scrambled, trying to push himself free, but
before he could come out, there was a sound of a bow cracking and an arrow
pierced the second insect.

"Good shot!" cried another voice. "Get the first one again!  I just saw it
move a little!"

This time, Scotti felt the impact of the bolt hit the carcass.  He cried out,
but he could hear how muffled his voice was by the beetle's body.
Cautiously, he tried sliding a foot out and rolling under, but the movement
apparently had the effect of convincing the archers that the creature still
lived.  A volley of arrows was launched forth.  Now the beast was
sufficiently perforated so pools of its blood, and likely the blood of its
victims, began to seep out onto Scotti's body.

When Scotti was a lad, before he grew too sophisticated for such sports, he
had often gone to the Imperial Arena for the competitions of war.  He
recalled a great veteran of the fights, when asked, telling him his secret,
"Whenever I'm in doubt of what to do, and I have a shield, I stay behind it."

Scotti followed that advice.  After an hour, when he no longer heard arrows
being fired, he threw aside the remains of the bug and leapt as quickly as he
could to a stand.  It was not a moment too soon.  A gang of eight archers had
their bows pointing his direction, ready to fire.  When they saw him, they
laughed.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you not to sleep in the western cross?  How're we
going to exterminate all the hoarvors if you drunks keep feeding 'em?"

Scotti shook his head and walked back along the platform, round the bend, to
Havel Slump.  He was bloodied and torn and tired and he had far too much
fermented pig's milk.  All he wanted was a proper place to lie down.  He
stepped into Mother Pascost's Tavern, a dank place, wet with sap, smelling of
mildew.

"My name is Decumus Scotti," he said. "I was hoping you have someone named
Jurus staying here."

"Decumus Scotti?" pondered the fleshy proprietress, Mother Pascost herself.
"I've heard that name.  Oh, you must be the fellow he left the note for.  Let
me go see if I can find it."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Athletics2
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Athletics skill 1 point the first time the book is read

A Dance in Fire, Chapter 3
by Waughin Jarth

Mother Pascost disappeared into the sordid hole that was her tavern, and
emerged a moment later with a scrap of paper with Liodes Jurus's familiar
scrawl.  Decumus Scotti held it up before a patch of sunlight that had found
its way through the massive boughs of the tree city, and read.


Sckotti,

So you made it to Falinnesti, Vallinwood!  Congradulatens!  Im sure you had
quit a adventure getting here.  Unfortonitly,  Im not here anymore as you
probaby guess.  Theres a town down rivver called Athie Im at.  Git a bote and
join me!  Its ideal!  I hope you brot a lot of contracks, cause these peple
need a lot of building done.  They wer close to the war, you see, but not so
close they dont have any mony left to pay.  Ha ha.  Meat me down here as son
as you can.

-- Jurus


So, Scotti pondered, Jurus had left Falinesti and gone to some place called
Athie.  Given his poor penmanship and ghastly spelling, it could equally well
be Athy, Aphy, Othry, Imthri, Urtha, or Krakamaka.  The sensible thing to do,
Scotti knew, was to call this adventure over and try to find some way to get
back home to the Imperial City.  He was no mercenary devoted to a life of
thrills: he was, or at least had been, a senior clerk at a successful private
building commission.  Over the last few weeks, he had been robbed by the
Cathay-Raht, taken on a death march through the jungle by a gang of giggling
Bosmeri, half-starved to death, drugged with fermented pig's milk, nearly
slain by some kind of giant tick, and attacked by archers.  He was filthy,
exhausted, and had, he counted, ten gold pieces to his name.  Now the man
whose proposal brought him to the depths of misery was not even there.  It
was both judicious and seemly to abandon the enterprise entirely.

And yet, a small but distinct voice in his head told him: You have been
chosen.  You have no other choice but to see this through.

Scotti turned to the stout old woman, Mother Pascost, who had been watching
him curiously: "I was wondering if you knew of a village that was at the edge
of the recent conflict with Elsweyr.  It's called something like Ath-ie?"

"You must mean Athay," she grinned. "My middle lad, Viglil, he manages a
dairy down there.  Beautiful country, right on the river.  Is that where your
friend went?"

"Yes," said Scotti. "Do you know the fastest way to get there?"

After a short conversation, an even shorter ride to Falinesti's roots by way
of the platforms, and a jog to the river bank, Scotti was negotiating
transport with a huge fair-haired Bosmer with a face like a pickled carp.  He
called himself Captain Balfix, but even Scotti with his sheltered life could
recognize him for what he was.  A retired pirate for hire, a smuggler for
certain, and probably much worse.  His ship, which had clearly been stolen in
the distant past, was a bent old Imperial sloop.

"Fifty gold and we'll be in Athay in two days time," boomed Captain Balfix
expansively.

"I have ten, no, sorry, nine gold pieces," replied Scotti, and feeling the
need for explanation, added, "I had ten, but I gave one to the Platform
Ferryman to get me down here."

"Nine is just as fine," said the captain agreeably. "Truth be told, I was
going to Athay whether you paid me or not.  Make yourself comfortable on the
boat, we'll be leaving in just a few minutes."

Decumus Scotti boarded the vessel, which sat low in the water of the river,
stacked high with crates and sacks that spilled out of the hold and galley
and onto the deck.  Each was marked with stamps advertising the most
innocuous substances: copper scraps, lard, ink, High Rock meal (marked "For
Cattle"), tar, fish jelly.  Scotti's imagination reeled picturing what sorts
of illicit imports were truly aboard.

It took more than those few minutes for Captain Balfix to haul in the rest of
his cargo, but in an hour, the anchor was up and they were sailing downriver
towards Athay.  The green gray water barely rippled, only touched by the
fingers of the breeze.  Lush plant life crowded the banks, obscuring from
sight all the animals that sang and roared at one another.  Lulled by the
serene surroundings, Scotti drifted to sleep.

At night, he awoke and gratefully accepted some clean clothes and food from
Captain Balfix.

"Why are you going to Athay, if I may ask?" queried the Bosmer.

"I'm meeting a former colleague there.  He asked me to come down from the
Imperial City where I worked for the Atrius Building Commission to negotiate
some contracts," Scotti took another bite of the dried sausages they were
sharing for dinner. "We're going to try to repair and refurbish whatever
bridges, roads, and other structures that got damaged in the recent war with
the Khajiiti."

"It's been a hard two years," the captain nodded his head. "Though I suppose
good for me and the likes of you and your friend.  Trade routes cut off.
Now they think there's going to be war with the Summurset Isles, you heard
that?"

Scotti shook his head.

"I've done my share of smuggling skooma down the coast, even helping some
revolutionary types escape the Mane's wrath, but now the wars've made me a
legitimate trader, a business-man.  The first casualties of war is always the
corrupted."

Scotti said he was sorry to hear that, and they lapsed into silence, watching
the stars and moons' reflection on the still water.   The next day, Scotti
awoke to find the captain wrapped up in his sail, torpid from alcohol,
singing in a low, slurred voice.  When he saw Scotti rise, he offered his
flagon of jagga.

"I learned my lesson during revelry at western cross."

The captain laughed, and then burst into tears, "I don't want to be
legitimate.  Other pirates I used to know are still raping and stealing and
smuggling and selling nice folk like you into slavery.  I swear to you, I
never thought the first time that I ran a real shipment of legal goods that
my life would turn out like this.  Oh, I know, I could go back to it, but
Baan Dar knows not after all I've seen.  I'm a ruined man."

Scotti helped the weeping mer out of the sail, murmuring words of
reassurance.  Then he added, "Forgive me for changing the subject, but where
are we?"

"Oh," moaned Captain Balfix miserably. "We made good time.  Athay's right
around the bend in the river."

"Then it looks like Athay's on fire," said Scotti, pointing.

A great plume of smoke black as pitch was rising above the trees.  As they
drifted around the bend, they next saw the flames, and then the blackened
skeletal remains of the village.  Dying, blazing villagers leapt from rocks
into the river.  A cacophony of wailing met their ears, and they could see,
roaming along the edges of the town, the figures of Khajiiti soldiers bearing
torches.

"Baan Dar bless me!" slurred the captain. "The war's back on!"

"Oh, no," whimpered Scotti.

The sloop drifted with the current toward the opposite shore away from the
fiery town.  Scotti turned his attention there, and the sanctuary it offered.
Just a peaceful arbor, away from the horror.  There was a shudder of leaves
in two of the trees and a dozen lithe Khajiit dropped to the ground, armed
with bows.

"They see us," hissed Scotti. "And they've got bows!"

"Well, of course they have bows," snarled Captain Balfix. "We Bosmer may have
invented the bloody things, but we didn't think to keep them secret, you
bloody bureaucrat."

"Now, they're setting their arrows on fire!"

"Yes, they do that sometimes."

"Captain, they're shooting at us!  They're shooting at us with flaming
arrows!"

"Ah, so they are," the captain agreed. "The aim here is to avoid being hit."

But hit they were, and very shortly thereafter.  Even worse, the second
volley of arrows hit the supply of pitch, which ignited in a tremendous blue
blaze.  Scotti grabbed Captain Balfix and they leapt overboard just before
the ship and all its cargo disintegrated.  The shock of the cold water
brought the Bosmer into temporary sobriety.  He called to Scotti, who was
already swimming as fast as he could toward the bend.

"Master Decumus, where do you think you're swimming to?"

"Back to Falinesti!" cried Scotti.

"It will take you days, and by the time you get there, everyone will know
about the attack on Athay!  They'll never let anyone they don't know in!  The
closest village downriver is Grenos, maybe they'll give us shelter!"

Scotti swam back to the captain and side-by-side they began paddling in the
middle of the river, past the burning residuum of the village.  He thanked
Mara that he had learned to swim.  Many a Cyrodiil did not, as largely land-
locked as the Imperial Province was.  Had he been raised in Mir Corrup or
Artemon, he might have been doomed, but the Imperial City itself was
encircled by water, and every lad and lass there knew how to cross without a
boat.  Even those who grew up to be clerks and not adventurers.

Captain Balfix's sobriety faded as he grew used to the water's temperature.
Even in wintertide, the Xylo River was fairly temperate and after a fashion,
even comfortable.  The Bosmer's strokes were uneven, and he'd stray closer to
Scotti and then further away, pushing ahead and then falling behind.

Scotti looked to the shore to his right: the flames had caught the trees like
tinder.  Behind them was an inferno, with which they were barely keeping
pace.  To the shore on their left, all looked fair, until he saw a tremble in
the river-reeds, and then what caused it.  A pride of the largest cats he had
ever seen.  They were auburn-haired, green-eyed beasts with jaws and teeth to
match his wildest nightmares.  And they were watching the two swimmers, and
keeping pace.

"Captain Balfix, we can't go to either that shore or the other one, or we'll
be parboiled or eaten," Scotti whispered. "Try to even your kicking and your
strokes.  Breath like you would normally.  If you're feeling tired, tell me,
and we'll float on our backs for a while."

Anyone who has had the experience of giving rational advice to a drunkard
would understand the hopelessness.  Scotti kept pace with the captain,
slowing himself, quickening, drifting left and right, while the Bosmer moaned
old ditties from his pirate days.  When he wasn't watching his companion, he
watched the cats on the shore.  After a stretch, he turned to his right.
Another village had caught fire.  Undoubtedly, it was Grenos.  Scotti stared
at the blazing fury, awed by the sight of the destruction, and did not hear
that the captain had ceased to sing.

When he turned back, Captain Balfix was gone.

Scotti dove into the murky depths of the river over and over again.  There
was nothing to be done.  When he surfaced after his final search, he saw that
the giant cats had moved on, perhaps assuming that he too had drowned.  He
continued his lonely swim downriver.  A tributary, he noted, had formed a
final barrier, keeping the flames from spreading further.  But there were no
more towns.  After several hours, he began to ponder the wisdom of going
ashore.  Which shore was the question.

He was spared the decision.  Ahead of him was a rocky island with a bonfire.
He did not know if he were intruding on a party of Bosmeri or Khajiiti, only
that he could swim no more.  With straining, aching muscles, he pulled
himself onto the rocks.

They were Bosmer refugees he gathered, even before they told him.  Roasting
over the fire was the remains of one of the giant cats that had been stalking
him through the jungle on the opposite shore.

"Senche-Tiger," said one of the young warriors ravenously. "It's no animal --
it's as smart as any Cathay-Raht or Ohmes or any other bleeding Khajiiti.
Pity this one drowned.  I would have gladly killed it.  You'll like the meat,
though.  Sweet, from all the sugar these asses eat."

Scotti did not know if he was capable of eating a creature as intelligent as
a man or mer, but he surprised himself, as he had done several times over the
last days.  It was rich, succulent, and sweet, like sugared pork, but no
seasonings had been added.  He surveyed the crowd as he ate.  A sad lot, some
still weeping for lost family members.  They were the survivors of both the
villages of Grenos and Athay, and war was on every person's lips.  Why had
the Khajiiti attacked again?  Why -- specifically directed at Scotti, as a
Cyrodiil -- why was the Emperor not enforcing peace in his provinces?

"I was to meet another Cyrodiil," he said to a Bosmer maiden who he
understood to be from Athay. "His name was Liodes Jurus.  I don't suppose you
know what might have happened to him."

"I don't know your friend, but there were many Cyrodiils in Athay when the
fire came," said the girl. "Some of them, I think, left quickly.  They were
going to Vindisi, inland, in the jungle.  I am going there tomorrow, so are
many of us.  If you wish, you may come as well."

Decumus Scotti nodded solemnly.  He made himself as comfortable as he could
in the stony ground of the river island, and somehow, after much effort, he
fell asleep.  But he did not sleep well.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Acrobatics3
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Acrobatics skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

A Dance in Fire, Chapter 4
by Waughin Jarth

Eighteen Bosmeri and one Cyrodilic former senior clerk for an Imperial
building commission trudged through the jungle westward from the Xylo River
to the ancient village of Vindisi.  For Decumus Scotti, the jungle was
hostile, unfamiliar ground. The enormous vermiculated trees filled the bright
morning with darkness, and resembled nothing so much as grasping claws, bent
on impeding their progress. Even the fronds of the low plants quivered with
malevolent energy. What was worse, he was not alone in his anxiety. His
fellow travelers, the natives who had survived the Khajiit attacks on the
villages of Grenos and Athay, wore faces of undisguised fear.

There was something sentient in the jungle, and not merely the mad but
benevolent indigenous spirits. In his peripheral vision, Scotti could see the
shadows of the Khajiiti following the refugees, leaping from tree to tree.
When he turned to face them, the lithe forms vanished into the gloom as if
they had never been there. But he knew he had seen them. And the Bosmeri saw
them too, and quickened their pace.

After eighteen hours, bitten raw by insects, scratched by a thousand thorns,
they emerged into a valley clearing. It was night, but a row of blazing
torches greeted them, illuminating the leather-wrought tents and jumbled
stones of the hamlet of Vindisi. At the end of the valley, the torches marked
a sacred site, a gnarled bower of trees pressed closed together to form a
temple. Wordlessly, the Bosmeri walked the torch arcade toward the trees.
Scotti followed them. When they reached the solid mass of living wood with
only one gaping portal, Scotti could see a dim blue light glowing within. A
low sonorous moan from a hundred voices echoed within. The Bosmeri maiden he
had been following held out her hand, stopping him.

"You do not understand, but no outsider, not even a friend may enter," she
said. "This is a holy place."

Scotti nodded, and watched the refugees march into the temple, heads bowed.
Their voices joined with the ones within. When the last wood elf had gone
inside, Scotti turned his attention back to the village. There must be food
to be had somewhere. A tendril of smoke and a faint whiff of roasting venison
beyond the torchlight led him.

They were five Cyrodiils, two Bretons, and a Nord, the group gathered around
a campfire of glowing white stones, pulling steaming strips of meat from the
cadaver of a great stag. At Scotti's approach, they rose up, all but the Nord
who was distracted by his hunk of animal flesh.

"Good evening, sorry to interrupt, but I was wondering if I might have a
little something to eat. I'm afraid I'm rather hungry, after walking all day
with some refugees from Grenos and Athay."

They bade him to sit down and eat, and introduced themselves.

"So the war's back on, it seems," said Scotti amiably.

"Best thing for these effete do-nothings," replied the Nord in between bites.
"I've never seen such a lazy culture. Now they've got the Khajiiti striking
them on land, and the high elves at sea. If there's any province that
deserves a little distress, it's damnable Valenwood."

"I don't see how they're so offensive to you," laughed one of the Bretons.

"They're congenital thieves, even worse than the Khajiiti because they are so
blessed meek in their aggression," the Nord spat out a gob of fat which
sizzled on the hot stones of the fire. "They spread their forests into
territory that doesn't belong to them, slowly infiltrating their neighbors,
and they're puzzled when Elsweyr shoves back at them. They're all villains of
the worst order."

"What are you doing here?" asked Scotti.

"I'm a diplomat from the court of Jehenna," muttered the Nord, returning to
his food.

"What about you, what are you doing here?" asked one of the Cyrodiils.

"I work for Lord Atrius's building commission in the Imperial City," said
Scotti. "One of my former colleagues suggested that I come down to Valenwood.
He said the war was over, and I could contract a great deal of business for
my firm rebuilding what was lost. One disaster after another, and I've lost
all my money, I'm in the middle of a rekindling of war, and I cannot find my
former colleague."

"Your former colleague," murmured another of the Cyrodiils, who had
introduced himself as Reglius. "He wasn't by any chance named Liodes Jurus,
was he?"

"You know him?"

"He lured me down to Valenwood in nearly the exact same circumstances,"
smiled Reglius, grimly. "I worked for your employer's competitor, Lord
Vanech's men, where Liodes Jurus also formerly worked. He wrote to me, asking
that I represent an Imperial building commission and contract some post-war
construction.  I had just been released from my employment, and I thought
that if I brought some new business, I could have my job back. Jurus and I
met in Athay, and he said he was going to arrange a very lucrative meeting
with the Silvenar."

Scotti was stunned: "Where is he now?"

"I'm no theologian, so I couldn't say," Reglius shrugged. "He's dead. When
the Khajiiti attacked Athay, they began by torching the harbor where Jurus
was readying his boat. Or, I should say, my boat since it was purchased with
the gold I brought. By the time we were even aware of what was happening
enough to flee, everything by the water was ash. The Khajiiti may be animals,
but they know how to arrange an attack."

"I think they followed us through the jungle to Vindisi," said Scotti
nervously. "There was definitely a group of something jumping along the
treetops."

"Probably one of the monkey folk," snorted the Nord. "Nothing to be concerned
about."

"When we first came to Vindisi and the Bosmeri all entered that tree, they
were furious, whispering something about unleashing an ancient terror on
their enemies," the Breton shivered, remembering. "They've been there ever
since, for over a day and a half now. If you want something to be afraid of,
that's the direction to look."

The other Breton, who was a representative of the Daggerfall Mages Guild, was
staring off into the darkness while his fellow provincial spoke. "Maybe. But
there's something in the jungle too, right on the edge of the village,
looking in."

"More refugees maybe?" asked Scotti, trying to keep the alarm out his voice.

"Not unless they're traveling through the trees now," whispered the wizard.
The Nord and one of the Cyrodiils grabbed a long tarp of wet leather and
pulled it across the fire, instantly extinguishing it without so much as a
sizzle. Now Scotti could see the intruders, their elliptical yellow eyes and
long cruel blades catching the torchlight. He froze with fear, praying that
he too was not so visible to them.

He felt something bump against his back, and gasped.

Reglius's voice hissed from up above: "Be quiet for Mara's sake and climb up
here."

Scotti grabbed hold of the knotted double-vine that hung down from a tall
tree at the edge of the dead campfire. He scrambled up it as quickly as he
could, holding his breath lest any grunt of exertion escape him. At the top
of the vine, high above the village, was an abandoned nest from some great
bird in a trident-shaped branch. As soon as Scotti had pulled himself into
the soft, fragrant straw, Reglius pulled up the vine. No one else was there,
and when Scotti looked down, he could see no one below. No one, that is
except the Khajiiti, slowly moving toward the glow of the temple tree.

"Thank you," whispered Scotti, deeply touched that a competitor had helped
him. He turned away from the village, and saw that the tree's upper branches
brushed against the mossy rock walls that surrounded the valley below. "How
are you at climbing?"

"You're mad," said Reglius under his breath. "We should stay here until they
leave."

"If they burn Vindisi like they did Athay and Grenos, we'll be dead sure as
if we were on the ground," Scotti began the slow careful climb up the tree,
testing each branch. "Can you see what they're doing?"

"I can't really tell," Reglius stared down into the gloom. "They're at the
front of the temple. I think they also have ... it looks like long ropes,
trailing off behind them, off into the pass."

Scotti crawled onto the strongest branch that pointed toward the wet, rocky
face of the cliff. It was not a far jump at all. So close, in fact, that he
could smell the moisture and feel the coolness of the stone. But it was a
jump nevertheless, and in his history as a clerk, he had never before leapt
from a tree a hundred feet off the ground to a sheer rock. He pictured in his
mind's eye the shadows that had pursued him through the jungle from the
heights above. How their legs coiled to spring, how their arms snapped
forward in an elegant fluid motion to grasp. He leapt.

His hands grappled for rock, but long thick cords of moss were more
accessible. He held hard, but when he tried to plant his feet forward, they
slipped up skyward. For a few seconds, he found himself upside down before he
managed to pull himself into a more conventional position. There was a narrow
outcropping jutting out of the cliff where he could stand and finally exhale.

"Reglius. Reglius. Reglius," Scotti did not dare to call out. In a minute,
there was a shaking of branches, and Lord Vanech's man emerged. First his
satchel, then his head, then the rest of him. Scotti started to whisper
something, but Reglius shook his head violently and pointed downward. One of
the Khajiiti was at the base of the tree, peering at the remains of the
campfire.

Reglius awkwardly tried to balance himself on the branch, but as strong as it
was it was exceedingly difficult with only one free hand. Scotti cupped his
palms and then pointed at the satchel. It seemed to pain Reglius to let it
out of his grasp, but he relented and tossed it to Scotti.

There was a small, almost invisible hole in the bag, and when Scotti caught
it, a single gold coin dropped out. It rang as it bounced against the rock
wall on the descent, a high soft sound that seemed like the loudest alarm
Scotti had ever heard.

Then many things happened very quickly.

The Cathay-Raht at the base of the tree looked up and gave a loud wail. The
other Khajiiti followed in chorus, as the cat below crouched down and then
sprung up into the lower branches. Reglius saw it below him, climbing up with
impossible dexterity, and panicked. Even before he jumped, Scotti could tell
that he was going to fall. With a cry, Reglius the Clerk plunged to the
ground, breaking his neck on impact.

A flash of white fire erupted from every crevice of the temple, and the moan
of the Bosmeri prayer changed into something terrible and otherworldly. The
climbing Cathay-Raht stopped and stared.

"Keirgo," it gasped. "The Wild Hunt."

It was as if a crack in reality had opened wide. A flood of horrific beasts,
tentacled toads, insects of armor and spine, gelatinous serpents, vaporous
beings with the face of gods, all poured forth from the great hollow tree,
blind with fury. They tore the Khajiiti in front of the temple to pieces. All
the other cats fled for the jungle, but as they did so, they began pulling on
the ropes they carried. In a few seconds time, the entire village of Vindisi
was boiling with the lunatic apparitions of the Wild Hunt.

Over the babbling, barking, howling horde, Scotti heard the Cyrodiils in
hiding cry out as they were devoured. The Nord too was found and eaten, and
both Bretons. The wizard had turned himself invisible, but the swarm did not
rely on their sight. The tree the Cathay-Raht was in began to sway and rock
from the impossible violence beneath it. Scotti looked at the Khajiiti's
fear-struck eyes, and held out one of the cords of moss.

The cat's face showed its pitiful gratitude as it leapt for the vine. It
didn't have time to entirely replace that expression when Scotti pulled back
the cord, and watched it fall. The Hunt consumed it to the bone before it
struck the ground.

Scotti's own jump up to the next outcropping of rock was immeasurably more
successful. From there, he pulled himself to the top of the cliff and was
able to look down into the chaos that had been the village of Vindisi. The
Hunt's mass had grown and began to spill out through the pass out of the
valley, pursuing the fleeing Khajiiti. It was then that the madness truly
began.

In the moons' light, from Scotti's vantage, he could see where the Khajiiti
had attached their ropes. With a thunderous boom, an avalanche of boulders
poured over the pass. When the dust cleared, he saw that the valley had been
sealed. The Wild Hunt had nowhere to turn but on itself.

Scotti turned his head, unable to bear to look at the cannibalistic orgy. The
night jungle stood before him, a web of wood. He slung Reglius's satchel over
his shoulder, and entered.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Marksman2
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Marksman skill 1 point the first time the book is read

A Dance in Fire, Chapter 5
by Waughin Jarth

"Soap! The forest will eat love!  Straight ahead!  Stupid and a stupid cow!"

The voice boomed out so suddenly that Decumus Scotti jumped.  He stared off
into the dim jungle glade from which he only heard animal and insect calls,
and the low whistling of wind moments before.  It was a queer, oddly accented
voice of indiscriminate gender, tremulous in its modulations, but
unmistakably human.  Or, at very least, elven.  An isolated Bosmer perhaps
with a poor grasp of the Cyrodilic language.  After countless hours of
plodding through the dense knot of Valenwood jungle, any voice of slight
familiarity sounded wondrous.

"Hello?" he cried.

"Beetles on any names?  Certainly yesterday yes!" the voice called back.
"Who, what, and when, and mice!"

"I'm afraid I don't understand," replied Scotti, turning toward the brambled
tree, thick as a wagon, where the voice had issued. "But you needn't be
afraid of me.  My name is Decumus Scotti.  I'm a Cyrodiil from the Imperial
City.  I came here to help rebuild Valenwood after the war, you see, and now
I'm rather lost."

"Gemstones and grilled slaves ... The war," moaned the voice and broke down
into sobs.

"You know about the war?  I wasn't sure, I wasn't even sure how far away from
the border I am now," Scotti began slowly walking toward the tree.  He
dropped Reglius's satchel to the ground, and held out his empty hands. "I'm
unarmed.  I only want to know the way to the closest town.  I'm trying to
meet my friend, Liodes Jurus, in Silvenar."

"Silvenar!" the voice laughed.  It laughed even louder as Scotti circled the
tree. "Worms and wine!  Worms and wine!  Silvenar sings for worms and wine!"

There was nothing to be found anywhere around the tree. "I don't see you.
Why are you hiding?"

In frustration born of hunger and exhaustion, he struck the tree trunk.  A
sudden shiver of gold and red erupted from a hollow nook above, and Scotti
was surrounded by six winged creatures scarcely more than a few inches long.
Bright crimson eyes were set on either side of tunnel-like protuberances, the
animals' always open mouths.  They were legless, and their thin, rapidly
beating, aureate wings seemed poorly constructed to transport their fat,
swollen bellies.  And yet, they darted through the air like sparks from a
fire.  Whirling about the poor clerk, they began chattering what he now
understood to be perfect nonsense.

"Wines and worms, how far from the border am I!  Academic garnishments, and
alas, Liodes Jurus!"

"Hello, I'm afraid I'm unarmed?  Smoken flames and the closest town is dear
Oblivion."

"Swollen on bad meat, an indigo nimbus, but you needn't be afraid of me!"

"Why are you hiding?  Why are you hiding?  Before I begin to friend, love me,
Lady Zuleika!"

Furious with the mimics, Scotti swung his arms, driving them up into the
treetops.  He stomped back to the clearing and opened up the satchel again,
as he had done some hours before.  There was still, unsurprisingly, nothing
useful in the bag, and nothing to eat in any corner or pocket.  A goodly
amount of gold (he smiled grimly, as he had done before, at the irony of
being financially solvent in the jungle), a stack of neat blank contracts
from Lord Vanech's building commission, some thin cord, and an oiled leather
cloak for bad weather.  At least, Scotti considered, he had not suffered
rain.

A rolling moan of thunder reminded Scotti of what he had suspected for some
weeks now.  He was cursed.

Within an hour's time, he was wearing the cloak and clawing his way through
mud.  The trees, which had earlier allowed no sunlight in, provided no
shelter against the pounding storm and wind.  The only sounds that pierced
the pelting of the rain were the mocking calls of the flying creatures,
flitting just above, babbling their nonsense.  Scotti bellowed at them, threw
rocks, but they seemed enamored of his company.

While he was reaching to grab a promising looking stone to hurl at his
tormentors, Scotti felt something shift beneath his feet.  Wet but solid
ground suddenly liquefied and became a rolling tide, rushing him forward.
Light as a leaf, he flew head over feet over head, until the mudflow dropped
and he continued forward, plunging down into a river twenty-five feet below.

The storm passed quite as instantly as it had arrived.  The sun melted the
dark clouds and warmed Scotti as he swam for the shore.  There, another sign
of the Khajiiti incursion into Valenwood greeted him.  A small fishing
village had stood there once, so recently extinct that it smoldered like a
still-warm corpse.  Dirt cairns that had once housed fish by the smell of
them had been ravaged, their bounty turned to ash.  Rafts and skiffs lay
broken, scuttled, half-submerged.  All the villagers were no more, either
dead or refugees far away.  Or so he presumed.  Something banged against the
wall of one of the ruins.  Scotti ran to investigate.

"My name is Decumus Scotti?" sang the first winged beast. "I'm a Cyrodiil
from?  The Imperial City?  I came here to help rebuild Valenwood after the
war, you see, and now I'm rather lost?"

"I swell to maculate, apeneck!" agreed one of its companions. "I don't see
you.  Why are you hiding?"

As they fell into chattering, Scotti began to search the rest of the village.
Surely the cats had left something behind, a scrap of dried meat, a morsel of
fish sausage, anything.  But they had been immaculate in their complete
annihilation.  There was nothing to eat anywhere.  Scotti did find one item
of possible use under the tumbled remains of a stone hut.  A bow and two
arrows made of bone.  The string had been lost, likely burned away in the
heat of the fire, but he pulled the cord from Reglius's satchel and restrung
it.

The creatures flew over and hovered nearby as he worked: "The convent of the
sacred Liodes Jurus?"

"You know about the war!  Worms and wine, circumscribe a golden host,
apeneck!"

The moment the cord was taut, Scotti nocked an arrow and swung around,
pulling the string tight against his chest.  The winged beasts, having had
experience with archers before, shot off in all directions in a blur.  They
needn't have bothered.  Scotti's first arrow dove into the ground three feet
in front of him.  He swore and retrieved it.  The mimics, having likewise had
experience with poor archers before, returned at once to hovering nearby and
mocking Scotti.

On his second shot, Scotti did much better, in purely technical terms.  He
remembered how the archers in Falinesti looked when he pulled himself out
from under the hoarvor tick, and they were all taking aim at him.  He
extended his left hand, right hand, and right elbow in a symmetrical line,
drawing the bow so his hand touched his jawline, and he could see the
creature in his sight like the arrow was a finger he was pointing with.  The
bolt missed the target by only two feet, but it continued on its trajectory,
snapping when it struck a rock wall.

Scotti walked to the river's edge.  He had only one arrow left, and perhaps,
he considered, it would be most practical to find a slow-moving fish and fire
it on that.  If he missed, at least there was less of a chance of breaking
the shaft, and he could always retrieve it from the water.  A rather torpid,
whiskered fish rolled by, and he took aim at it.

"My name is Decumus Scotti!" one of the creatures howled, frightening the
fish away. "Stupid and a stupid cow!  Will you dance a dance in fire!"

Scotti turned and aimed the arrow as he had done before.  This time, however,
he remembered to plant his feet as the archers had done, seven inches apart,
knees straight, left leg slightly forward to meet the angle of his right
shoulder.  He released the last arrow.

The arrow also proved a serviceable prong for roasting the creature against
the smoking hot stones of one of the ruins.  Its other companions had
disappeared instantly after the beast was slain, and Scotti was able to dine
in peace.  The meat proved to be delicious, if scarcely more than a first
course.  He was picking the last of it from the bones, when a boat sailed
into view from around the bend of the river.  At the helm were Bosmer
sailors.  Scotti ran to the bank and waved his arms.  They averted their eyes
and continued past.

"You bloody, callous bastards!" Scotti howled. "Knaves!  Hooligans! Apenecks!
Scoundrels!"

A gray-whiskered form came out from a hatch, and Scotti immediately
recognized him as Gryf Mallon, the poet translator he had met in the caravan
from Cyrodiil.

He peered Scotti's direction, and his eyes lit up with delight, "Decumus
Scotti!  Precisely the man I hoped to see!  I want to get your thoughts on a
rather puzzling passage in the Mnoriad Pley Bar!  It begins 'I went weeping
into the world, searching for wonders,' perhaps you're familiar with it?"

"I'd like nothing better than to discuss the Mnoriad Pley Bar with you,
Gryf!" Scotti called back. "Would you let me come aboard though first?"

Overjoyed at being on a ship bound for any port at all, Scotti was true to
his word.  For over an hour as the boat rolled down the river past the
blackened remnants of Bosmeri villages, he asked no questions and spoke
nothing of his life over the past weeks: he merely listened to Mallon's
theories of merethic Aldmeri esoterica.  The translator was undemanding of
his guest's scholarship, accepting nods and shrugs as civilized conversation.
He even produced some wine and fish jelly, which he shared with Scotti
absent-mindedly, as he expounded on his various theses.

Finally, while Mallon was searching for a reference to some minor point in
his notes, Scotti asked, "Rather off subject, but I was wondering where we're
bound."

"The very heart of the province, Silvenar," Mallon said, not looking up from
the passage he was reading. "It's somewhat bothersome, actually, as I wanted
to go to Woodhearth first to talk to a Bosmer there who claims to have an
original copy of Dirith Yalmillhiad, if you can believe it.  But for the time
being, that has to wait.  Summurset Isle has surrounded the city, and is in
the process of starving the citizenry until they surrender.  It's a tiresome
prospect, since the Bosmeri are happy to eat one another, so there's a risk
that at the end, only one fat wood elf will remain to wave the flag."

"That is vexing," agreed Scotti, sympathetically. "To the east, the Khajiiti
are burning everything, and to the west, the High Elves are waging war.  I
don't suppose the borders to the north are clear?"

"They're even worse," replied Mallon, finger on the page, still distracted.
"The Cyrodiils and Redguards don't want Bosmer refugees streaming into their
provinces.  It only stands to reason.  Imagine how much more criminally
inclined they'd be now that they're homeless and hungry."

"So," murmured Scotti, feeling a shiver. "We're trapped in Valenwood."

"Not at all.  I need to leave fairly shortly myself, as my publisher has set
a very definite deadline for my new book of translations.  From what I
understand, one merely petitions to the Silvenar for special border
protection and one can cross into Cyrodiil with impunity."

"Petition the Silvenar, or petition at Silvenar?"

"Petition the Silvenar at Silvenar.  It's an odd nomenclature that is typical
of this place, the sort of thing that makes my job as a translator that much
more challenging.  The Silvenar, he, or rather they are the closest the
Bosmeri have to a great leader.  The essential thing to remember about the
Silvenar --" Mallon smiled, finding the passage he was looking for, "Here! 'A
fortnight, inexplicable, the world burns into a dance.' There's that metaphor
again."

"What were you saying about the Silvenar?" asked Scotti. "The essential thing
to remember?"

"I don't remember what I was saying," replied Mallon, turning back to his
oration.

In a week's time, the little boat bumped along the shallow, calmer waters of
the foaming current the Xylo had become, and Decumus Scotti first saw the
city of Silvenar.  If Falinesti was a tree, then Silvenar was a flower.  A
magnificent pile of faded shades of green, red, blue, and white, shining with
crystalline residue.  Mallon had mentioned off-hand, when not otherwise
explaining Aldmeri prosody, that Silvenar had once been a blossoming glade in
the forest, but owing to some spell or natural cause, the trees' sap began
flowing with translucent liqueur.  The process of the sap flowing and
hardening over the colorful trees had formed the web of the city.  Mallon's
description was intriguing, but it hardly prepared him for the city's beauty.

"What is the finest, most luxurious tavern here?" Scotti asked one of the
Bosmer boatmen.

"Prithala Hall," Mallon answered. "But why don't you stay with me?  I'm
visiting an acquaintance of mine, a scholar I think you'll find fascinating.
His hovel isn't much, but he has the most extraordinary ideas about the
principles of a Merethic Aldmeri tribe the Sarmathi --"

"Under any other circumstances, I would happily accept," said Scotti
graciously. "But after weeks of sleeping on the ground or on a raft, and
eating whatever I could scrounge, I feel the need for some indulgent creature
comforts.  And then, after a day or two, I'll petition the Silvenar for safe
passage to Cyrodiil."

The men bade each other goodbye.  Gryf Mallon gave him the address of his
publisher in the Imperial City, which Scotti accepted and quickly forgot.
The clerk wandered the streets of Silvenar, crossing bridges of amber,
admiring the petrified forest architecture.  In front of a particularly
estimable palace of silvery reflective crystal, he found Prithala Hall.

He took the finest room, and ordered a gluttonous meal of the finest quality.
At a nearby table, he saw two very fat fellows, a man and a Bosmer, remarking
how much finer the food was there than at the Silvenar's palace.  They began
to discuss the war and some issues of finances and rebuilding provincial
bridges.  The man noticed Scotti looking at them, and his eyes flashed
recognition.

"Scotti, is that you?  Kynareth, where have you been?  I've had to make all
the contacts here on my own!"

At the sound of his voice, Scotti recognized him.  The fat man was Liodes
Jurus, vastly engorged.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_mercantile4
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Mercantile skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

A Dance in Fire, Chapter 6
by Waughin Jarth

Decumus Scotti sat down, listening to Liodes Jurus. The clerk could hardly
believe how fat his former colleague at Lord Atrius's Building Commission had
become.  The piquant aroma of the roasted meat dish before Scotti melted
away.  All the other sounds and textures of Prithala Hall vanished all around
him, as if nothing else existed but the vast form of Jurus. Scotti did not
consider himself an emotional man, but he felt a tide flow over him at the
sight and sound of the man whose badly written letters had been the
guideposts that carried him from the Imperial City back in early Frost Fall.

"Where have you been?" Jurus demanded again. "I told you to meet me in
Falinesti weeks ago."

"I was there weeks ago," Scotti stammered, too surprised to be indignant. "I
got your note to meet you in Athay, and so I went there, but the Khajiiti had
burned it to the ground.  Somehow, I found my way with the refugees in
another village, and someone there told me that you had been killed."

"And you believed that right away?" Jurus sneered.

"The fellow seemed very well-informed about you.  He was a clerk from Lord
Vanech's Building Commission named Reglius, and he said that you had also
suggested that he come down to Valenwood to profit from the war."

"Oh, yes," said Jurus, after thinking a moment. "I recall the name now.
Well, it's good for business to have two representatives from Imperial
building commissions here.  We just need to all coordinate our bids, and all
should be well."

"Reglius is dead," said Scotti. "But I have his contracts from Lord Vanech's
Commission."

"Even better," gasped Jurus, impressed. "I never knew you were such a
ruthless competitor, Decumus Scotti.  Yes, this could certainly improve our
position with the Silvenar.  Have I introduced you to Basth here?"

Scotti had only been dimly aware of the Bosmer's presence at the table with
Jurus, which was surprising given that the mer's girth nearly equaled his
dining companion.  The clerk nodded to Basth coldly, still numb and confused.
It had not left his mind that only any hour earlier, Scotti had intended to
petition the Silvenar for safe passage through the border back to Cyrodiil.
The thought of doing business with Jurus after all, of profiting from
Valenwood war with Elsweyr, and now the second one with the Summurset Isle,
seemed like something happening to another person.

"Your colleague and I were talking about the Silvenar," said Basth, putting
down the leg of mutton he had been gnawing on. "I don't suppose you've heard
about his nature?"

"A little, but nothing very specific.  I got the impression that he's very
important and very peculiar."

"He's the representative of the People, legally, physically, and
emotionally," explained Jurus, a little annoyed at his new partner's lack of
common knowledge. "When they're healthy, so is he.  When they're mostly
female, so is he.  When they cry for food or trade or an absence of foreign
interference, he feels it too, and makes laws accordingly.  In a way, he's a
despot, but he's the people's despot."

"That sounds," said Scotti, searching for the appropriate word. "Like ...
bunk."

"Perhaps it is," shrugged Basth. "But he has many rights as the Voice of the
People, including the granting of foreign building and trade contracts.  It's
not important whether you believe us.  Just think of the Silvenar as being
like one of your mad Emperors, like Pelagius.  The problem facing us now is
that since Valenwood is being attacked on all sides, the Silvenar's aspect is
now one of distrust and fear of foreigners.  The one hope of his people, and
thus of the Silvenar himself, is that the Emperor will intervene and stop the
war."

"Will he?" asked Scotti.

"You know as well as we do that the Emperor has not been himself lately,"
Jurus helped himself to Reglius's satchel and pulled out the blank contracts.
"Who knows what he'll choose to do or not do?  That reality is not our
concern, but these blessings from the late good sir Reglius make our job much
simpler."

They discussed how they would represent themselves to the Silvenar into the
evening.  Scotti ate continuously, but not nearly so much as Jurus and Basth.
When the sun had begun to rise in the hills, its light reddening through the
crystal walls of the tavern, Jurus and Basth left to their rooms at the
palace, granted to them diplomatically in lieu of an actual immediate
audience with the Silvenar.  Scotti went to his room.  He thought about
staying up a little longer to ruminate over Jurus's plans and see what might
be the flaw in them, but upon touching the cool, soft bed, he immediately
fell asleep.

The next afternoon, Scotti awoke, feeling himself again.  In other words,
timid.  For several weeks now, he had been a creature bent on mere survival.
He had been driven to exhaustion, attacked by several jungle beasts, starved,
nearly drowned, and forced into discussions of ancient Aldmeri poetical
works.  The discussion he had with Jurus and Basth about how to dupe the
Silvenar into signing their contracts seemed perfectly reasonable then.
Scotti dressed himself in his old battered clothes and went downstairs in
search of food and a peaceful place to think.

"You're up," cried Basth upon seeing him. "We should go to the palace now."

"Now?" whined Scotti. "Look at me.  I need new clothes.  This isn't the way
one should dress to pay a call on a prostitute, let alone the Voice of the
People of Valenwood.  I haven't even bathed."

"You must cease from this moment forward being a clerk, and become a student
of mercantile trade," said Liodes Jurus grandly, taking Scotti by the arm and
leading him into the sunlit boulevard outside. "The first rule is to
recognize what you represent to the prospective client, and what angle best
suits you.  You cannot dazzle him with opulent fashion and professional
bearing, my dear boy, and it would be fatal if you attempted to.   Trust me
on this.  Several others besides Basth and I are guests at the palace, and
they have made the error of appearing too eager, too formal, too ready for
business.  They will never be granted audience with the Silvenar, but we have
remained aloof ever since the initial rejection.  I've dallied about the
court, spread my knowledge of life in the Imperial City, had my ears pierced,
attended promenades, eaten and drunk of all that was given to me.  I dare say
I've put on a pound or two.  The message we've sent is clear: it is in his,
not our, best interest to meet."

"Our plan worked," added Basth. "When I told his minister that our Imperial
representative had arrived, and that we were at last willing to meet with the
Silvenar this morning, we were told to bring you there straightaway."

"Aren't we late then?" asked Scotti.

"Very," laughed Jurus. "But that's again part of the angle we're
representing.  Benevolent disinterest.  Remember not to confuse the Silvenar
with conventional nobility.  His is the mind of the common people.  When you
grasp that, you'll understand how to manipulate him."

Jurus spent the last several minutes of the walk through the city expounding
on his theories about what Valenwood needed, how much, and at what price.
They were staggering figures, far more construction and far higher costs than
anything Scotti had been used to dealing with.  He listened carefully.  All
around them, the city of Silvenar revealed itself, glass and flower, roaring
winds and beautiful inertia.  When they reached the palace of the Silvenar,
Decumus Scotti stopped, stunned.  Jurus looked at him for a moment and then
laughed.

"It's quite bizarre, isn't it?"

That it was.  A frozen scarlet burst of twisted, uneven spires as if a rival
sun rising.  A blossom the size of a village, where courtiers and servants
resembled nothing so much as insects walked about it sucking its ichor.
Entering over a bent petal-like bridge, the three walked through the palace
of unbalanced walls.  Where the partitions bent close together and touched,
there was a shaded hall or a small chamber.  Where they warped away from one
another, there was a courtyard.  There were no doors anywhere, no any way to
get to the Silvenar but by crossing through the entire spiral of the palace,
through meetings and bedrooms and dining halls, past dignitaries, consorts,
musicians, and many guards.

"It's an interesting place," said Basth. "But not very much privacy.  Of
course, that suits the Silvenar well."

When they reached the inner corridors, two hours after they first entered the
palace, guards, brandishing blades and bows, stopped them.

"We have an audience with the Silvenar," said Jurus, patiently. "This is Lord
Decumus Scotti, the Imperial representative."

One of the guards disappeared down the winding corridor, and returned moments
later with a tall, proud Bosmer clad in a loose robe of patchwork leather.
He was the Minister of Trade: "The Silvenar wishes to speak with Lord Decumus
Scotti alone."

It was not the place to argue or show fear, so Scotti stepped forward, not
even looking toward Jurus and Basth.  He was certain they were showing their
masks of benevolent indifference.  Following the Minister into the audience
chamber, Scotti recited to himself all the facts and figures Jurus had
presented to him.  He willed himself to remember the Angle and the Image he
must project.

The audience chamber of the Silvenar was an enormous dome where the walls
bent from bowl-shaped at the base inward to almost meet at the top.  A thin
ray of sunlight streamed through the fissure hundreds of feet above, and
directly upon the Silvenar, who stood upon a puff of shimmering gray powder.
For all the wonder of the city and the palace, the Silvenar himself looked
perfectly ordinary.  An average, blandly handsome, slightly tired-looking,
extra-ordinary Wood Elf of the type one might see in any capitol in the
Empire.  It was only when he stepped from the dais that Scotti noticed an
eccentricity in his appearance.  He was very short.

"I had to speak with you alone," said the Silvenar in a voice common and
unrefined. "May I see your papers?"

Scotti handed him the blank contracts from Lord Vanech's Building Commission.
The Silvenar studied them, running his finger over the embossed seal of the
Emperor, before handing them back.  He suddenly seemed shy, looking to the
floor.  "There are many charlatans at my court who wish to benefit from the
wars.  I thought you and your colleagues were among them, but those contracts
are genuine."

"Yes, they are," said Scotti calmly.  The Silvenar's conventional aspect made
it easy for Scotti to speak, with no formal greetings, no deference, exactly
as Jurus had instructed: "It seems most sensible to begin straightaway
talking about the roads which need to be rebuilt, and then the harbors that
the Altmeri have destroyed, and then I can give you my estimates on the cost
of resupplying and renovating the trade routes."

"Why hasn't the Emperor seen fit to send a representative when the war with
Elsweyr began, two years ago?" asked the Silvenar glumly.

Scotti thought a moment before replying of all the common Bosmeri he had met
in Valenwood.  The greedy, frightened mercenaries who had escorted him from
the border.  The hard-drinking revelers and expert pest exterminating archers
in the Western Cross of Falinesti.  Nosy old Mother Pascost in Havel Slump.
Captain Balfix, the poor sadly reformed pirate.  The terrified but hopeful
refugees of Athay and Grenos.  The mad, murderous, self-devouring Wild Hunt
of Vindisi.  The silent, dour boatmen hired by Gryf Mallon.  The degenerate,
grasping Basth.  If one creature represented their total disposition, and
that of many more throughout the province,  what would be his personality?
Scotti was a clerk by occupation and nature, instinctively comfortable
cataloging and filing, making things fit in a system.  If the soul of
Valenwood were to be filed, where would it be put?

The answer came upon him almost before he posed himself the question.
Denial.

"I'm afraid that question doesn't interest me," said Scotti. "Now, can we get
back to the business at hand?"

All afternoon, Scotti and the Silvenar discussed the pressing needs of
Valenwood.  Every contract was filled and signed.  So much was required and
there were so many costs associated that addendums and codicils had to be
scribbled into the margins of the papers, and those had to be resigned.
Scotti maintained his benevolent indifference, but he found that dealing with
the Silvenar was not quite the same as dealing with a simple, sullen child.
The Voice of the People knew certain practical, everyday things very well:
the yields of fish, the benefits of trade, the condition of every township
and forest in his province.

"We will have a banquet tomorrow night to celebrate this commission," said
the Silvenar at last.

"Best make it tonight," replied Scotti. "We should leave for Cyrodiil with
the contracts tomorrow, so I'll need a safe passage to the border.  We best
not waste any more time."

"Agreed," said the Silvenar, and called for his Minister of Trade to put his
seal on the contracts and arrange for the feast.

Scotti left the chamber, and was greeted by Basth and Jurus.  Their faces
showed the strain of maintaining the illusion of unconcern for too many
hours.  As soon as they were out of sight of the guards, they begged Scotti
to tell them all.  When he showed them the contract, Basth began weeping with
delight.

"Anything about the Silvenar that surprised you?" asked Jurus.

"I hadn't expected him to be half my height."

"Was he?" Jurus looked mildly surprised. "He must have shrunk since I tried
to have an audience with him earlier.  Maybe there is something to all that
nonsense about him being affected by the plight of his people."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dance in Fire, Chapter 7
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_mercantile5
Weight:        3
Value:         150
Special Notes: Raises Mercantile skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

A Dance in Fire, Chapter 7
by Waughin Jarth

Scene: Silvenar, Valenwood
Date: 13 Sun's Dusk, 3E 397

The banquet at the palace of the Silvenar was well attended by every jealous
bureaucrat and trader who had attempted to contract the rebuilding of
Valenwood.  They looked on Decumus Scotti, Liodes Jurus, and Basth with
undisguised hatred.  It made Scotti very uncomfortable, but Jurus delighted
in it.  As the servants brought in platter after platter of roasted meats,
Jurus poured himself a cup of Jagga and toasted the clerk.

"I can confess it now," said Jurus. "I had grave doubts about inviting you to
join me on this adventure.  All the other clerks and agents of building
commissions I contacted were more outwardly aggressive, but none of them made
it through, let alone to the audience chamber of the Silvenar, let alone
brokered the deals on their own like you did.  Come, have a cup of Jagga with
me."

"No thank you," said Scotti. "I had too much of that drug in Falinesti, and
nearly got sucked dry by a giant tick because of it.  I'll find something
else to drink."

Scotti wandered about the hall until he saw some diplomats drinking mugs of a
steaming brown liquid, poured from a large silver urn.  He asked them if it
was tea.

"Tea made from leaves?" scoffed the first diplomat. "Not in Valenwood.  This
is Rotmeth."

Scotti poured himself a mug and took a tentative sip.  It was gamy, bitter
and sugared, and very salty.  At first it seemed very disagreeable to his
palate, but a moment later he found he had drained the mug and was pouring
another.  His body tingled.  All the sounds in the chamber seemed oddly
disjointed, but not frighteningly so.

"So you're the fellow who got the Silvenar to sign all those contracts," said
the second diplomat. "That must have required some deep negotiation."

"Not at all, not at all, just a little basic understand of mercantile
trading," grinned Scotti, pouring himself a third mug of Rotmeth. "The
Silvenar was very eager to involve the Imperial state with the affairs of
Valenwood.  I was very eager to take a percentage of the commission.  With
all that blessed eagerness, it was merely a matter of putting quill to
contract, bless you."

"You have been in the employ of his Imperial Majesty very long?" asked the
first diplomat.

"It's a bite, or rather, a bit more complicated than that in the Imperial
City.  Between you and me, I don't really have a job.  I used to work for
Lord Atrius and his Building Commission, but I got sacked.  And then, the
contracts are from Lord Vanech and his Building Commission, 'cause I got em
from this fellow Reglius who is a competitor but still a very fine fellow
until he was made dead by those Khajiiti," Scotti drained his fifth mug.
"When I go back to the Imperial City, then the real negotiations can begin,
bless you.  I can go to my old employer and to Lord Vanech, and say, look
here you, which one of you wants these commissions?  And they'll fall over
each other to take them from me.  It will be bidding war for my percentage
the likes of which no one nowhere has never seen."

"So you're not a representative of his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor?" asked
the first diplomat.

"Didn't you hear what I'm said? You stupid?" Scotti felt a surge of rage,
which quickly subsided.  He chuckled, and poured himself a seventh mug. "The
Building Commissions are privately owned, but they're still representatives
of the Emperor.  So I'm a representative of the Emperor.  Or I will be.  When
I get these contracts in.  It's very complicated.  I can understand why
you're not following me.  Bless you, it's all like the poet said, a dance in
fire, if you follow the illusion, that is to say, allusion."

"And your colleagues?  Are they representatives of the Emperor?" asked the
second diplomat.

Scotti burst into laughter, shaking his head.  The diplomats bade him their
respects and went to talk to the Minister.  Scotti stumbled out of the
palace, and reeled through the strange, organic avenues and boulevards of the
city.  It took him several hours to find his way to Prithala Hall and his
room.  Once there, he slept, very nearly on his bed.

The next morning, he woke to Jurus and Basth in his room, shaking him.  He
felt half-asleep and unable to open his eyes fully, but otherwise fine.  The
conversation with the diplomats floated in his mind in a haze, like an
obscure childhood memory.

"What in Mara's name is Rotmeth?" he asked quickly.

"Rancid, strongly fermented meat juices with lots of spices to kill the
poisons," smiled Basth. "I should have warned you to stay with Jagga."

"You must understand the Meat Mandate by now," laughed Jurus. "These Bosmeri
would rather eat each other than touch the fruit of the vine or the field."

"What did I say to those diplomats?" cried Scotti, panicking.

"Nothing bad apparently," said Jurus, pulling out some papers. "Your escorts
are downstairs to bring you to the Imperial Province.  Here are your papers
of safe passage.  The Silvenar seems very impatient about business proceeding
forward rapidly.  He promises to send you some sort of rare treasure when the
contracts are fulfilled.  See, he's already given me something."

Jurus showed off his new, bejeweled earring, a beautiful large faceted ruby.
Basth showed that he had a similar one.  The two fat fellows left the room so
Scotti could dress and pack.

A full regiment of the Silvenar's guards was on the street in front of the
tavern.  They surrounded a carriage crested with the official arms of
Valenwood.  Still dazed, Scotti climbed in, and the captain of the guard gave
the signal.  They began a quick gallop.  Scotti shook himself, and then
peered behind.  Basth and Jurus were waving him goodbye.

"Wait!" Scotti cried. "Aren't you coming back to the Imperial Province too?"

"The Silvenar asked that we stay behind as Imperial representatives!" yelled
Liodes Jurus. "In case there's a need for more contracts and negotiations!
He's appointed us Undrape, some sort of special honor for foreigners at
court!  Don't worry!  Lots of banquets to attend!  You can handle the
negotiations with Vanech and Atrius yourself and we'll keep things settled
here!"

Jurus continued to yell advice about business, but his voice became
indistinct with distance.  Soon it disappeared altogether as the convoy
rounded the streets of Silvenar.  The jungle loomed suddenly and then they
were in it.  Scotti had only gone through it by foot or along the rivers by
slow-moving boats.  Now it flashed all around him in profusions of greens.
The horses seemed even faster moving through underbrush than on the smooth
paths of the city.  None of the weird sounds or dank smells of the jungle
penetrated the escort.  It felt to Scotti as if he were watching a play about
the jungle with a background of a quickly moving scrim, which offered only
the merest suggestion of the place.

So it went for two weeks.  There was lots of food and water in the carriage
with the clerk, so he merely ate and slept as the caravan pressed endlessly
on.  From time to time, he'd hear the sound of blades clashing, but when he
looked around whatever had attacked the caravan had long since been left
behind.  At last, they reached the border, where an Imperial garrison was
stationed.

Scotti presented the soldiers who met the carriage with the papers.  They
asked him a barrage of questions that he answered monosyllabically, and then
let him pass.  It took several more days to arrive at the gates of the
Imperial City.  The horses that had flown so fast through the jungle now
slowed down in the unfamiliar territory of the wooded Colovian Estates.  By
contrast, the cries of his province's birds and smells of his province's
plant life brought Decumus Scotti alive.  It was if he had been dreaming all
the past months.

At the gates of the City, Scotti's carriage door was opened for him and he
stepped out on uncertain legs.  Before he had a moment to say something to
the escort, they had vanished, galloping back south through the forest.  The
first thing he did now that he was home was go to the closest tavern and have
tea and fruit and bread.  If he never ate meat again, he told himself, that
would suit him very nicely.

Negotiations with Lord Atrius and Lord Vanech proceeded immediately
thereafter.  It was most agreeable.  Both commissions recognized how
lucrative the rebuilding of Valenwood would be for their agency.  Lord Vanech
claimed, quite justifiably, that as the contracts had been written on forms
notarized by his commission, he had the legal right to them.  Lord Atrius
claimed that Decumus Scotti was his agent and representative, and that he had
never been released from employment.  The Emperor was called to arbitrate,
but he claimed to be unavailable.  His advisor, the Imperial Battlemage Jagar
Tharn, had disappeared long ago and could not be called on for his wisdom and
impartial mediation.

Scotti lived very comfortably off the bribes from Lord Atrius and Lord
Vanech.  Every week, a letter would arrive from Jurus or Basth asking about
the status of negotiations.  Gradually, these letters ceased coming, and more
urgent ones came from the Minister of Trade and the Silvenar himself.  The
War of the Blue Divide with Summurset Isle ended with the Altmeri winning
several new coastal islands from the Wood Elves.  The war with Elsweyr
continued, ravaging the eastern borders of Valenwood.  Still, Vanech and
Atrius fought over who would help.

One fine morning in the early spring of the year 3E 398, a courier arrived at
Decumus Scotti's door.

"Lord Vanech has won the Valenwood commission, and requests that you and the
contracts come to his hall at your earliest convenience."

"Has Lord Atrius decided not to challenge further?" asked Scotti.

"He's been unable to, having died very suddenly, just now, from a terribly
unfortunate accident," said the courier.

Scotti had wondered how long it would be before the Dark Brotherhood was
brought in for final negotiations.  As he walked toward Lord Vanech's
Building Commission, a long, severe piece of architecture on a minor but
respectable plaza, he wondered if he had played the game, as he ought to
have.  Could Vanech be so rapacious as to offer him a lower percentage of the
commission now that his chief competitor was dead?  Thankfully, he
discovered, Lord Vanech had already decided to pay Scotti what he had
proposed during the heat of the winter negotiations.  His advisors had
explained to him that other, lesser building commissions might come forward
unless the matter were handled quickly and fairly.

"Glad we have all the legal issues done with," said Lord Vanech, fondly. "Now
we can get to the business of helping the poor Bosmeri, and collecting the
profits.  It's a pity you weren't our representative for all the troubles
with Bend'r-mahk and the Arnesian business.  But there will be plenty more
wars, I'm sure of that."

Scotti and Lord Vanech sent word to the Silvenar that at last they were
prepared to honor the contracts.  A few weeks later, they held a banquet in
honor of the profitable enterprise.  Decumus Scotti was the darling of the
Imperial City, and no expense was spared to make it an unforgettable evening.

As Scotti met the nobles and wealthy merchants who would be benefiting from
his business dealings, an exotic but somehow faintly familiar smell rose in
the ballroom.  He traced it to its source: a thick roasted slab of meat, so
long and thick it covered several platters.  The Cyrodilic revelers were
eating it ravenously, unable to find the words to express their delight at
its taste and texture.

"It's like nothing I've ever had before!"

"It's like pig-fed venison!"

"Do you see the marbling of fat and meat?  It's a masterpiece!"

Scotti went to take a slice, but then he saw something imbedded deep in the
dried and rendered roast.  He nearly collided with his new employer Lord
Vanech as he stumbled back.

"Where did this come from?" Scotti stammered.

"From our client, the Silvenar," beamed his lordship. "It's some kind of
local delicacy they call Unthrappa."

Scotti vomited, and didn't stop for some time.  It cast rather a temporary
pall on the evening, but when Decumus Scotti was carried off to his manor
house, the guests continued to dine.  The Unthrappa was the delight of all.
Even more so when Lord Vanech himself took a slice and found the first of two
rubies buried within.  How very clever of the Bosmer to invent such a dish,
the Cyrodiils agreed.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Fair Warning
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     Cumanya's Notes
Weight:        4
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

This being an account of my limited journeys into the Uncharted Depths of the
Greater Caverns of Dubdilla.  FAIR WARNING to the would-be adventurer seeking
fortune and fame in these uncharted halls.  The flooded paths of Lower
Dubdilla hold certain death to those ill-prepared.  The way is treacherous
and foul, the riches meager.  Only those of certain aptitude and reason
should venture into these depths.

BE WARNED.  These caverns and galleries are exceedingly damp and footing
unsure.  Sudden and sheer RAVINES and UNSCALEABLE PITS await the unwary.  If
not for my specific skills and abilities, I would have certainly met my doom
in the Blackest Depths.  My SPELLS, SCROLLS and POTIONS, allowed me to escape
ONE OF THE MANY sheer walled chambers.  ALWAYS have a remedy at hand, for
once you are committed to these depths, NO EXIT IS ASSURED!

Navigation is not your only trial.  The denizens of the twisted passages are
of a fiendish and fell brood.  Beware the gnashing of their teeth and the
death-flutter of their wings.  The sound of talon upon rock and flicking of
tongue may be the last you hear.

If only I had access to a dependable rope, perhaps this route would not have
been so tortuous.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Game at Dinner
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Alchemy1
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Alchemy skill 1 point the first time the book is read

A Game At Dinner
by An Anonymous Spy

Forward From The Publisher:
The history behind this letter is almost as interesting and dark as the story
it tells.  The original letter to the mysterious Dhaunayne was copied and
began circulating around the Ashlands of Vvardenfell a few months ago.  In
time, a print found its way to the mainland and Prince Hlaalu Helseth's
palace outside Almalexia.  While the reader may conclude after reading this
letter that the Prince would be furious about such a work, impugning his
highness with great malevolence, quite the reverse was true.  The Prince and
his mother, Queen Barenziah, had it privately printed into bound copies and
sent to libraries and booksellers throughout Morrowind.

As matter of record, the Prince and the Queen have not officially stated
whether the letter is a work of pure imagination or based on an actual
occurrence.  The House Dres has publicly denounced the work, and indeed, no
one named Dhaunayne, despite the suggestions in the letter, has ever been
linked to the house.  We leave the reader to interpret the letter as he or
she believes.

-- Nerris Gan, Publisher

***

Dark Liege Dhaunayne,

You asked for a detailed description of my experience last night and the
reasons for my plea to House Dres for another assignment.  I hope I have
served you well in my capacity as informant in the court of Prince Helseth, a
man who I have stated in many previous reports could teach Molag Bal how to
scheme.  As you know, I've spent nearly a year now working my way into his
inner circle of advisors.  He was in need of friendship when he first arrived
in Morrowind and eagerly took to me and a few others.  Still, he was
disinclined to trust any of us, which is perhaps not surprising, given his
tenuous position in Morrowind society.

For your unholiness's recollection, the Prince is the eldest son of
Barenziah, who was once the Queen of Morrowind and once the Queen of the High
Rock kingdom of Wayrest.  At the death of her husband, Prince Helseth's
stepfather, King Eadwyre, there was a power struggle between the Prince and
Eadwyre's daughter, the Princess Elysana.  Though details of what transpired
are imperfect, it is clear that Elysana won the battle and became Queen,
banishing Helseth and Barenziah.  Barenziah's only other child, Morgiah, had
already left court to marry and become Queen of the Summurset Isle kingdom of
Firsthold.

Barenziah and Helseth crossed the continent to return to Morrowind only last
year.  They were well received by Barenziah's uncle, our current king, Hlaalu
Athyn Llethan, who had taken the throne after Barenziah's abdication more
than forty years ago.  Barenziah made it clear that she had no designs on
reclaiming the throne, but merely to retire to her family estates.  Helseth,
as you know, has lingered in the royal court, and many have whispered that
while he lost the throne of Wayrest, he does not intend to lose the throne of
Morrowind at Llethan's death.

I've kept your unholiness informed of the Prince's movements, meetings, and
plots, as well as the names and characters of his other advisors.  As you may
recall, I've often thought that I was not the only spy in Helseth's court.  I
told you before that a particular Dunmer counselor of Helseth looked like a
fellow I had seen in the company of Tholer Saryoni, the Archcanon of the
Tribunal Temple.  Another, a young Nord woman, has been verified to visit the
Imperial fortress in Balmora.  Of course, in their cases, they might well
have been on Helseth's own business, but I couldn't be certain.  I had begun
to think myself paranoid as the Prince himself when I found myself doubting
the sincere loyalty of the Prince's chamberlain, Burgess, a Breton who had
been in his employ since his days in the court of Wayrest.

That is the background on that night, last night.

Yesterday morning, I received a curt invitation to dine with the Prince.
Based only on my own paranoia, I dispatched one of my servants, who is a good
and loyal servant of the House Dres, to watch the palace and report back
anything unusual.  Just before dinner, he returned and told me what he had
witnessed.

A man cloaked in rags had been given entrance into the palace, and had stayed
there for some time.  When he left, my servant saw his face beneath the cloak
-- an alchemist of infamous repute, said to be a leading suppliers of exotic
poisons.  A fine observer, my servant also noticed that the alchemist entered
the palace smelling of wickwheat, bittergreen, and something alien and sweet.
When he left, he was odorless.

He had come to the same conclusion as I did.  The Prince had procured
ingredients to prepare a poison.  Bittergreen alone is deadly when eaten raw,
but the other ingredients suggested something far deeper.  As your unholiness
can doubtless imagine, I went to dinner that night, prepared for any
eventuality.

All of Prince Helseth's other counselors were in attendance, and I noticed
that all were slightly apprehensive.  Of course, I imagined that I was in a
nest of spies, and all knew of the Prince's mysterious meeting.  It is just
as likely that some knew of the alchemist's visit, while others were simply
concerned by the nature of the Prince's invitation, and still others merely
unconsciously adopted the tense disposition of their fellow, better informed
counselors.

The Prince, however, was in fine mettle and soon had everyone relaxed and at
ease.  At nine, we were all ushered into his dining hall where the feast had
been laid out.  And what a feast!  Honeyed gorapples, fragrant stews, roasts
in various blood sauces, and every variety of fish and fowl expertly and
ostentatiously prepared.  Crystal and gold flagons of wine, flin, shein, and
mazte were at our seats to be savored as appropriate with each course.  As
tantalizing as the aromas were, it occurred to me that in such a maze of
spices and flavors, a discreet poison would be undetectable.

Throughout the meal, I maintained the illusion of eating the food and
drinking the liquor, but I was surreptitious and swallowed nothing.  Finally,
the plates and food were cleared from the table, and a tureen of a spicy
broth was placed in the center of the banquet.  The servant who brought it
then retired, closing the banquet hall door behind him.

"It smells divine, my Prince," said the Marchioness Kolgar, the Nord woman.
"But I cannot eat another thing."

"Your Highness," I added, feigning a tone of friendliness and slight
intoxication. "You know that every one at this table would gladly die to put
you on the throne of Morrowind, but is it really necessary that we gorge
ourselves to death?"

The others at the table agreed with appreciative groans.  Prince Helseth
smiled.  I swear by Vaernima the Gifter, my dark liege, even you have never
seen a smile such as this one.

"Ironic words.  You see, an alchemist visited me today, as some of you
already doubtless know.  He showed me how to make a marvelous poison and its
antidote.  A most potent potion, excellent for my purposes.  No Restoration
spell will aid you once you've ingested it.  Only the antidote in the tureen
will save you from certain death.  And what a death, from what I've heard.  I
am eager to see if the effects are all that the alchemist promised.  It
should be horribly painful for the afflicted, but quite entertaining."

No one said a word.  I could feel my heart beating hard in my chest.

"Your Highness," said Allarat, the Dunmer I suspected of alliance with the
Temple. "Have you poisoned someone at this table?"

"You are very astute, Allarat," said Prince Helseth, looking about the table,
eying each of his advisors carefully. "Little wonder I value your counsel.
As indeed I value all in this room.  It would be perhaps easiest for me to
say who I haven't poisoned.  I haven't poisoned any who serve but one master,
any whose loyalty to me is sincere.  I haven't poisoned any person who wants
to see King Helseth on the throne of Morrowind.  I haven't poisoned anyone
who isn't a spy for the Empire, the Temple, the House of Telvanni, the House
of Redoran, the House of Indoril, the House of Dres."

Your unholiness, he looked directly at me at his last words.  I know that in
certainty.  My face is practiced at keeping my thoughts from showing, but I
immediately thought of every secret meeting I've had, every coded message I
sent to you and the House, my dark liege.  What could he know?  What could
he, even without knowing, suspect?

I felt my heart beating even faster.  Was it fear, or poison?  I couldn't
speak, certain as I was that my voice would betray my calm facade.

"Those loyal to me who wish harm on my enemies may be wondering how can I be
certain that the poison has been ingested.  Is it possible that the guilty
party, or dare I say, parties were suspicious and merely pretended to eat and
drink tonight?  Of course.  But even the craftiest of pretenders would have
to raise a glass to his or her lips and put empty forks or spoons in their
mouths to play the charade.  The food, you see, was not poisoned.  The cups
and cutlery were.  If you did not partake out of fear, you're poisoned just
the same, and sadly, missed an excellent roast."

Sweat beaded on my face and I turned from the Prince so he would not see.  My
fellow advisors, all of them, were frozen in their seats.  From the
Marchioness Kolgar, white with fear, to Kema Inebbe, visibly shaking; from
the furrowed, angry brow of Allarat to the statue-like stare of Burgess.

I couldn't help thinking then, could the Prince's entire counsellorship be
comprised of nothing but spies?  Was there any person at the table loyal?
And then I thought, what if I were not a spy myself, would I trust Helseth to
know that?  No one knows better than his advisors both the depth of the
Prince's paranoia and the utter implacability of his ambition.  If I were not
a spy for the House Dres, even then would I be safe?  Could a loyalist be
poisoned because of a not-so-innocent misjudgment?

The others must have been thinking the same, loyalists and spies alike.

While my mind whirled, I could hear the Prince's voice, addressing all
assembled: "The poison acts quickly. If the antidote is not taken within one
minute from now, there will be death at the table."

I couldn't decide whether I had been poisoned or not.  My stomach ached, but
I reminded myself it might have been the result of sitting at a sumptuous
banquet and not partaking.  My heart shook in my chest and a bitter taste
like Trama Root stung my lips.  Again, was it fear or poison?

"These are the last words you will hear if you are disloyal to me," said
Prince Helseth, still smiling that damned smile as he watched his advisors
squirming in their seats. "Take the antidote and live."

Could I believe him?  I thought of what I knew of the Prince and his
character.  Would he kill a self-confessed spy at his court, or would he
rather send the vanquished back to his masters?  The Prince was ruthless, but
either possibility was within his manner.  Surely the theatricality of this
whole dinner was meant to be a presentation to instill fear.  What would my
ancestors say if I joined them after sitting at a table, eventually dying of
poison?  What would they say if I took the antidote, confessing my allegiance
to you and the House Dres, and was summarily executed?  And, I confess, I
thought of what you might to do me even after I was dead.

I had grown so light-headed and filled with my own thoughts, that I didn't
see Burgess jump from his seat.  I was only suddenly aware that he had the
tureen in his hands and was gulping down the liquid within.  There were
guards all around, though I never noticed them entering.

"Burgess," said Prince Helseth, still smiling. "You have spent some time at
Ghostgate.  House Redoran?"

"You didn't know?" Burgess laughed sourly. "No House.  I report to your
stepsister, the Queen of Wayrest.  I've always been in her employ.  By
Akatosh, you poisoned me because you thought I was working for some damnable
Dark Elves?"

"You're half right," said the Prince. "I didn't guess who you were working
for, or even that you were a spy.  But you're also wrong about me poisoning
you.  You poisoned yourself when you drank from the tureen."

Your unholiness, you don't need to hear how Burgess died.  I know that you
have seen much over the many, many years of your existence, but you truly
don't want to know.  I wish I could erase the memory of his agonies from my
own mind.

The council was dismissed shortly thereafter.  I do not know if Prince
Helseth knows or suspects that I too am a spy.  I do not know how many others
that night, last night, were as close as I was from drinking from the tureen
before Burgess did.  I only know that if the Prince does not suspect me now,
he will.  I cannot win at the games he mastered long ago at the court of
Wayrest, and I beg your unholiness, my dark liege Dhaunayne to use your
influence in the House Dres and dismiss your loyal servant from this charge.

****

Publisher's Note:
Of course, the anonymous writer's signature has not been on any reprint of
the letter since the original.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Hypothetical Treachery
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_destruction3
Weight:        3
Value:         175
Special Notes: Raises Destruction skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

A Hypothetical Treachery
A One Act Play
by Anthil Morvir

Dramatis Personae
Malvasian: A High Elf battlemage
Inzoliah:  A Dark Elf battlemage
Dolcettus: A Cyrodiil healer
Schiavas: An Argonian barbarian
A Ghost
Some bandits

Scene: Eldenwood

As the curtain rises, we see the misty labyrinthian landscape of the
legendary Eldengrove of Valenwood.  All around we hear wolves howling.  A
bloodied reptilian figure, SCHIAVAS, breaks through the branches of one of
the trees and surveys the area.

SCHIAVAS: It's clear.

INZOLIAH, a beautiful Dark Elf mage, climbs down from the tree, helped by the
barbarian.  There is the sound of footsteps nearby.  Schiavas readies his
sword and Inzoliah prepares to cast a spell.  Nothing comes out.

INZOLIAH: You're bleeding.  You should have Dolcettus heal that for you.

SCHIAVAS: He's still drained from all the spells he had to cast down in the
caves.  I'm fine.  If we get out of this and no one needs it more, I'll take
the last potion of healing.  Where's Malvasian?

MALVASIAN, a High Elf battlemage, and DOLCETTUS, a Cyrodiil healer, emerge
from the tree, carrying a heavy chest between the two of them.  They
awkwardly try to get down from the tree, carrying their loot.

MALVASIAN: Here I am, though why I'm carrying the heavy load is beyond me.  I
always thought that the advantage of dungeon delving with a great barbarian
was that he carried all the loot.

SCHIAVAS: If I carried that, my hands would be too full to fight.  And tell
me if I'm wrong, but not one of the three of you has enough magicka reserved
to make it out of here alive.  Not after you electrified and blasted all
those homunculuses down below ground.

DOLCETTUS: Homunculi.

SCHIAVAS: Don't worry, I'm not going to do what you think I'm going to do.

INZOLIAH (innocently): What's that?

SCHIAVAS: Kill you all and take the Ebony Mail for myself.  Admit it -- you
thought I had that in mind.

DOLCETTUS: What a perfectly horrible thought.  I never thought anyone, no
matter how vile and degenerate --

INZOLIAH: Why not?

MALVASIAN:  He needs porters, like he said.  He can't carry the chest and
fight off the inhabitants of Eldengrove both.

DOLCETTUS: By Stendarr, of all the mean, conniving, typically Argonian --

INZOLIAH:  And why do you need me alive?

SCHIAVAS: I don't necessarily.  Except that you're prettier than the other
two, for a smoothskin that is.  And if something comes after us, it might go
for you first.

There is a noise in some bushes nearby.

SCHIAVAS: Go check that out.

INZOLIAH:  It's probably a wolf.  These woods are filled with them.  You
check it out.

SCHIAVAS:  You have a choice, Inzoliah.  Go and you might live.  Stay here,
and you definitely won't.

Inzoliah considers and then goes to the bushes.

SCHIAVAS (to Malvasian and Dolcettus): The king of Silvenar will pay good
money for the Mail, and we can divide it more nicely between three than four.

INZOLIAH: You're so right.

Inzoliah suddenly levitates up to the top of the stage.  A semi-transparent
Ghost appears from the bush and rushes at the next person, who happens to be
Schiavas.  As the barbarian screams and thrashes at it with his sword, it
levels blasts of whirling gas at him.  He crumbles to the ground.  It turns
next to Dolcettus, the healer, and as the Ghost focuses its feasting chill on
the hapless Dolcettus, Malvasian casts a ball of flame at it that causes it
to vaporize into the misty air.

Inzoliah floats back down to the ground as Malvasian examines the bodies of
Dolcettus and Schiavas, who are both white-faced from the draining power of
the ghost.

MALVASIAN: You had some magicka reserved after all.

INZOLIAH: So did you.  Are they dead?

Malvasian takes the potion of healing from Dolcettus's pack.

MALVASIAN:  Yes.  Fortunately, the potion of healing wasn't broken when he
fell.  Well, I guess this leaves just the two of us to collect the reward.

INZOLIAH: We can't get out of this place without each other.  Like it or not.

The two battlemages pick up the chest and begin plodding carefully through
the undergrowth, pausing from time to time at the sound of footsteps or other
eerie noises.

MALVASIAN: Let me make sure I understand.  You have a little bit of magicka
left, so you elected to use it to make Schiavas the ghost's target, forcing
me to use most of my limited reserve to destroy the creature so I wouldn't be
more powerful than you.  That's first-rate thinking.

INZOLIAH: Thank you.  It's only logical.  Do you have enough power to cast
any other spells?

MALVASIAN:  Naturally.  An experienced battlemage always knows a few minor
but highly effective spells for just such a trial.  I take it you, too, have
a few tricks up your sleeve?

INZOLIAH:  Of course, like you said.

They pause for a moment before continuing as a fearful wail pierces the air.
When it dies away, they slowly trudge on.

INZOLIAH: Just as an intellectual exercise, I wonder what spell you would
cast at me if we made it out of here without any more combat.

MALVASIAN: I hope you're not implying that I would dream of killing you so I
would keep the treasure all to myself.

INZOLIAH: Of course not, nor would I do that to you.  It is merely an
intellectual exercise.

MALVASIAN: Well, in that case, purely as an intellectual exercise, I would
probably cast a leech spell on you, to take away your life force and heal
myself.  After all, there are brigands on the road between here and Silvenar,
and a wounded battlemage with a valuable artifact would make a tempting
target.  I'd hate to survive Eldengrove merely to die in the open.

INZOLIAH: That's a well-reasoned response.  As for myself, again, not saying
I would ever do this, but I think a simple, sudden electrical bolt would
serve my purposes admirably.  I agree about the danger of brigands, but don't
forget, we also have a potion of healing.  I could easily slay you and heal
myself to full capacity.

MALVASIAN: Very true.  It would end up a question then of whose spell was
more effective at that instant.  If our spells counteracted one another and I
leeched your life energy only to be crippled by your lightning bolt, then we
could both be killed.  Or so near death that a mere potion of healing would
scarcely help either one of us, let alone both.  How ironic it would be if
two scheming battlemages, not saying we are scheming but for the purpose of
this intellectual exercise, were left on the brink of death, completely
drained of magicka, with one healing potion to choose from.  Who would get it
then?

INZOLIAH: Logically, whoever drank it first, which in this case would be you
since you're holding it.  Now, what if one of us were injured, but not
killed?

MALVASIAN: Logic would dictate that a scheming battlemage would take the
potion, leaving the injured party to the mercy of the elements, I suppose.

INZOLIAH: That does seem most sensible.  But suppose that the battlemages,
while certainly scheming types, had a certain respect for one another.
Perhaps in that case, the victorious one might, for instance, put the potion
up a tree near his or her gravely wounded victim.  Then when the wounded
party had enough magicka replenished, he or she would be able to levitate to
the tree branches and recover the potion.  By that time, the victorious
battlemage would have already collected the reward.

They pause for a moment at the sound of something in the bushes nearby.
Carefully, they climb across the branches of a tree to bypass it.

MALVASIAN: I understand what you're saying, but it seems out of character for
our hypothetic scheming battlemage to allow his or her victim to live.

INZOLIAH: Perhaps.  But it's been my observation that most scheming
battlemages enjoy the feeling of having bested someone in combat, and having
that person alive to live with the humiliation.

MALVASIAN: These hypothetical scheming battlemages sound ... (excitedly)
Daylight!  Do you see it?

The two scurry across the branch dropping behind a bush, so we can no longer
see them.  We can, however, see the shimmering halo of sunlight.

MALVASIAN (behind the tall bush): We made it.

INZOLIAH (likewise, behind the tall bush): Indeed.

There is a sudden explosion of electrical energy and a wild howling aura of
red light, and then silence.  After a few moment's pause, we hear someone
climbing up the tree.  It is Malvasian, putting the potion high up in the
bough.  He chuckles as he climbs back down and the curtain drops.

Epilogue.

The curtain rises on a road to Silvenar.  A gang of bandits have surrounded
Malvasian, who is propped up on his staff, barely able to stand.  They pull
his chest away from him with ease.

BANDIT #1: What have we got here?  Don't you know it ain't safe to be out on
the road, all sick like you are?  Why don't we help you with your load?

MALVASIAN (weakly): Please ...  Let me be ...

BANDIT #2: Go on, spellcaster, fight us for it!

MALVASIAN:  I can't ... too weak ...

Suddenly, Inzoliah flies in, casting lightning bolts from her fingers at the
bandits, who quickly scramble away.  She lands on the ground and picks up the
chest.  Malvasian collapses, dying.

MALVASIAN:  Hypothetically, what if ... a battlemage cast a spell on another
which didn't harm him at once, but ... drained his life force and his
magicka, bit by bit, so he wouldn't know at the time, but ... feel confident
enough to leave the potion of healing behind?

INZOLIAH: A most treacherous battlemage she'd be.

MALVASIAN: And ... hypothetically ... would she be likely to help her fallen
foe ... so that she could enjoy the humiliation of him continuing ... to
live?

INZOLIAH: From my experience, hypothetically, no.  She doesn't sound like a
fool.

As Inzoliah lugs the chest off toward Silvenar, and Malvasian expires on the
stage, we drop the curtain.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Less Rude Song
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_istunondescosmology
Weight:        3
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

A Less Rude Song
by Anonymous

They say
The Iliac Bay
Is the place to barrel around
Without a bit of apparel on,
As advertised in that carol song
A tune that's sung as the west wind blows
About it lovely not wearing any clothes.
Ladies singing high notes, men singing lows,
Implying that the most luscious depravity
And complete absence of serious gravity
Can only be found in the waterous cavity
Of Iliac Bay.

If you are the type who is more a sinner than a sinned,
You'll find it all in Morrowind.

But the truth, my child,
Is that nothing more wild
That an ordinary fashion
Kind of slightly mad passion
Can be detected if at all
In Sentinel and Daggerfall.

Whatever your odd needs: feathered, scaled, or finned,
You'll find it all in Morrowind

It's an invention of bards
That Bretons and Redguards
Have more than some staid fun
And suffer deviant fornication.
For the most of madness, not the least,
The wise debaucher heads out east.

Where your once steely reserve is now merely tinned,
You'll find it all in Morrowind.

In Morrowind,
There is sin.
But, pray, do not confuse Dunmer variety
With that found in tepid Western society
Compared to which, it nearly is piety.
It isn't terribly ingenious calling it prudery
Observing the Dark Elf aversion to nudity.
After all, the preferred sort of lewdity
In these parts is far more pernicious.
From the Ashlanders to the wettest fishes
You'll find pleasure and pain quite delicious
In Morrowind.

If you find yourself with unkind kinship with your kin
You'll find it all in Morrowind.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Short History of Morrowind
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ShortHistoryMorrowind
Weight:        4
Value:         5
Special Notes: None

A Short History of Morrowind
by Jeanette Sitte

[from the Introduction]

Led by the legendary prophet Veloth, the ancestors of the Dunmer, exiles from
Altmer cultures in present-day Summerset Isle, came to the region of
Morrowind. In earliest times the Dunmer were harassed or dominated by Nord
sea raiders. When the scattered Dunmer tribes consolidated into the
predecessors of the modern Great House clans, they threw out the Nord
oppressors and successfully resisted further incursions.

The ancient ancestor worship of the tribes was in time superseded by the
monolithic Tribunal Temple theocracy, and the Dunmer grew into a great nation
called Resdayn. Resdayn was the last of the provinces to submit to Tiber
Septim; like Black Marsh, it was never successfully invaded, and was
peacefully incorporated by treaty into the Empire as the Province of
Morrowind.

Almost four centuries after the coming of the Imperial Legions, Morrowind is
still occupied by Imperial legions, with a figurehead Imperial King, though
the Empire has reserved most functions of the traditional local government to
the Ruling Councils of the Five Great Houses....

[on Vvardenfell District]

In 3E 414, Vvardenfell Territory, previously a Temple preserve under Imperial
protection, was reorganized as an Imperial Provincial District. Vvardenfell
had been maintained as a preserve administrated by the Temple since the
Treaty of the Armistice, and except for a few Great House settlements
sanctioned by the Temple, Vvardenfell was previously uninhabited and
undeveloped. But when the centuries-old Temple ban on trade and settlement of
Vvardenfell was revoked by King of Morrowind, a flood of Imperial colonists
and Great House Dunmer came to Vvardenfell, expanding old settlements and
building new ones.

The new District was divided into Redoran, Hlaalu, Telvanni, and Temple
Districts, each separately administered by local House Councils or Temple
Priesthoods, and all under the advice and consent of Duke Dren and the
District Council in Ebonheart. Local law became a mixture of House Law and
Imperial Law in House Districts, jointly enforced by House guards and Legion
guards, with Temple law and Imperial law enforced in the Temple district by
Ordinators. The Temple was still recognized as the majority religion, but
worship of the Nine Divines was protected by the legions and encouraged by
Imperial cult missions.

The Temple District included the city of Vivec, the fortress of Ghostgate,
and all sacred and profane sites (including those Blighted areas inside the
Ghostfence) and all unsettled and wilderness areas on Vvardenfell. In
practice, this district included all parts of Vvardenfell not claimed for
Redoran, Hlaalu, or Telvanni Districts. The Temple stubbornly fought all
development in their district, and were largely successful.

House Hlaalu in combination with Imperial colonists embarked on a vigorous
campaign of settlement and development. In the decades after reorganization,
Balmora and the Ascadian Isles regions have grown steadily. Caldera and
Pelagiad are completely new settlements, and all legion forts were expanded
to accommodate larger garrisons.

House Telvanni, normally conservative and isolationist, has been surprisingly
aggressive in expanding beyond their traditional tower villages. Disregarding
the protests of the other Houses, the Temple, the Duke, and the District
council, Telvanni pioneers have been encroaching on the wild lands reserved
to the Temple. The Telvanni council officially disavows responsibility for
these rogue Telvanni settlements, but it is an open secret that they are
encouraged and supported by ambitious Telvanni mage-lords.

Under pressure from the Temple, conservative House Redoran has steadfastly
resisted expansion in their district. As a result, House Redoran and the
Temple are in danger of being politically and economically marginalized by
the more aggressive and expansionist Hlaalu and Telvanni interests.

The Imperial administration faces many challenges in the Vvardenfell
district, but the most serious are the Great House rivalries, animosity from
the Ashlander nomads, internal conflicts within the Temple itself, and the
Red Mountain blight. Struggles between Great House, Temple, and Imperial
interests to control Vvardenfell's resource could at any time erupt into
full-scale war. Ashlanders raid settlements, plunder caravans, and kill
foreigners on their wild lands. The Temple has unsuccessfully attempted to
silence criticism and calls for reform within its ranks.

But most serious are the plagues and diseased hosts produced by the blight
storms sweeping out from Red Mountain. Vvardenfell and all Morrowind have
long been menaced by the legendary evils of Dagoth Ur and his ash vampire kin
dwelling beneath Red Mountain. For centuries the Temple has contained this
threat within the Ghostfence. But recently the Temple's resources and will
have faltered, and the threat from Red Mountain has grown in scale and
intensity. If the Ghostfence should fail, and hosts of blighted monsters were
to spill out across Vvardenfell's towns and villages, the Empire might have
no choice but to evacuate Vvardenfell district and abandon it to disease and
corruption.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABCs for Barbarians
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ABCs
Weight:        2
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

A is for Atronach.

B is for Bungler's Bane.

C is for Comberry.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aedra and Daedra
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_AedraAndDaedra
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Aedra and Daedra

The designations of Gods, Demons, Aedra, and Daedra, are universally
confusing to the layman. They are often used interchangeably.

"Aedra" and "Daedra" are not relative terms. They are Elvish and exact. Azura
is a Daedra both in Skyrim and Morrowind. "Aedra" is usually translated as
"ancestor," which is as close as Cyrodilic can come to this Elven concept.
"Daedra" means, roughly, "not our ancestors." This distinction was crucial to
the Dunmer, whose fundamental split in ideology is represented in their
mythical genealogy.

Aedra are associated with stasis. Daedra represent change.

Aedra created the mortal world and are bound to the Earth Bones. Daedra, who
cannot create, have the power to change.

As part of the divine contract of creation, the Aedra can be killed. Witness
Lorkhan and the moons.

The protean Daedra, for whom the rules do not apply, can only be banished.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ancestors and the Dunmer
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_AncestorsAndTheDunmer
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Ancestors and the Dunmer

Ghosts Walk Among Them

The departed spirits of the Dunmeri, and perhaps those of all races, persist
after death. The knowledge and power of departed ancestors benefits the
bloodlines of Dunmeri Houses. The bond between the living family members and
immortal ancestors is partly blood, partly ritual, partly volitional. A
member brought into the House through marriage binds himself through ritual
and oath into the clan, and gains communication and benefits from the clan's
ancestors; however, his access to the ancestors is less than his offspring,
and he retains some access to the ancestors of his own bloodline.

The Family Shrine

Each residence has a family shrine. In poorer homes, it may be no more than a
hearth or alcove where family relics are displayed and venerated. In wealthy
homes, a room is set aside for the use of the ancestors. This shrine is
called the Waiting Door, and represents the door to Oblivion.

Here the family members pay their respects to their ancestors through
sacrifice and prayer, through oaths sworn upon duties, and through reports on
the affairs of the family. In return, the family may receive information,
training, and blessings from the family's ancestors. The ancestors are thus
the protectors of the home, and especially the precincts of the Waiting Door.

The Ghost Fence

It is a family's most solemn duty to make sure their ancestor's remains are
interred properly in a City of the Dead such as Necrom. Here the spirits draw
comfort from one another against the chill of the mortal world. However, as a
sign of great honor and sacrifice, an ancestor may grant that part of his
remains be retained to serve as part of a ghost fence protecting the clan's
shrine and family precincts. Such an arrangement is often part of the family
member's will, that a knucklebone shall be saved out of his remains and
incorporated with solemn magic and ceremony into a clan ghost fence. In more
exceptional cases, an entire skeleton or even a preserved corpse may be bound
into a ghost fence.

These remains become a beacon and focus for ancestral spirits, and for the
spirit of the remains in particular. The more remains used to make a ghost
fence, the more powerful the fence is. And the most powerful mortals in life
have the most powerful remains.

The Great Ghost Fence created by the Tribunal to hold back the Blight
incorporates the bones of many heroes of the Temple and of the Houses Indoril
and Redoran who dedicated their spirits to the Temple and Clan as their
surrogate families. The Ghost Fence also contains bones taken from the
Catacombs of Necrom and the many battlefields of Morrowind.

The Mortal Chill

Spirits do not like to visit the mortal world, and they do so only out of
duty and obligation. Spirits tell us that the otherworld is more pleasant, or
at least more comfortable for spirits than our real world, which is cold,
bitter, and full of pain and loss.

Mad Spirits

Spirits that are forced to remain in our world against their will may become
mad spirits, or ghosts.
Some spirits are bound to this world because of some terrible circumstances
of their death, or because of some powerful emotional bond to a person,
place, or thing. These are called hauntings.

Some spirits are captured and bound to enchanted items by wizards. If the
binding is involuntary, the spirit usually goes mad. A willing spirit may or
may not retain its sanity, depending on the strength of the spirit and the
wisdom of the enchanter.

Some spirits are bound against their wills to protect family shrines. This
unpleasant fate is reserved for those who have not served the family
faithfully in life. Dutiful and honorable ancestral spirits often aid in the
capture and binding of wayward spirits.

These spirits usually go mad, and make terrifying guardians. They are
ritually prevented from harming mortals of their clans, but that does not
necessary discourage them from mischievous or peevish behavior. They are
exceedingly dangerous for intruders. At the same time, if an intruder can
penetrate the spirit's madness and play upon the spirit's resentment of his
own clan, the angry spirits may be manipulated.

Oblivion

The existence of Oblivion is acknowledged by all Tamriel cultures, but there
is little agreement on the nature of that otherworld, other than it is the
place where the Aedra and Daedra live, and that communication and travel are
possible between this world and Oblivion through magic and ritual.

The Dunmer do not emphasize the distinction between this world and Oblivion
as do the human cultures of Tamriel. They regard our world and the otherworld
as a whole with many paths from one end to the other rather than two separate
worlds of different natures with distinct borders. This philosophical
viewpoint may account for the greater affinity of Elves for magic and its
practices.

Foreign Views of Dunmeri Ancestor Worship and Spirit Magic

The Altmeri and Bosmeri cultures also venerate their ancestors, but only by
respecting the orderly and blissful passage of these spirits from this world
to the next. That is, Wood Elves and High Elves believe it is cruel and
unnatural to encourage the spirits of the dead to linger in our world. Even
more grotesque and repugnant is the display of the bodily remains of
ancestors in ghost fences and ash pits. The presentation of fingerbones in a
family shrine, for example, is sacrilegious to the Bosmer (who eat their
dead) and barbaric to the Altmer (who inter their dead).

The human cultures of Tamriel are ignorant and fearful of Dark Elves and
their culture, considering them to be inhuman and evil, like Orcs and
Argonians, but more sophisticated. The human populations of Tamriel associate
Dunmeri ancestor worship and spirit magic with necromancy; in fact, this
association of the Dark Elves with necromancy is at least partly responsible
for the dark reputation of Dunmer throughout Tamriel. This is generally an
ignorant misconception, for necromancy outside the acceptable clan rituals is
a most abhorrent abomination in the eyes of the Dunmer.

The Dark Elves would never think of practicing sorcerous necromancy upon any
Dark Elf or upon the remains of any Elf. However, Dark Elves consider the
human and orcish races to be little more than animals. There is no injunction
against necromancy upon such remains, or on the remains of any animal, bird,
or insect.

Imperial Policy officially recognizes the practices of Dunmeri ancestor
veneration and spirit magic as a religion, and protects their freedom to
pursue such practices so long as they do not threaten the security of the
Empire. Privately, most Imperial officials and traders believe Dark Elf
ancestor worship and displays of remains are barbaric or even necromantic.

Telvanni "Necromancy"

The Telvanni are adept masters of necromancy. They do not, however, practice
necromancy upon the remains of Dark Elves. Sane Telvanni regard such
practices with loathing and righteous anger. They do practice necromancy upon
the remains of animals and upon the remains of Humans, Orcs, and Argonians --
who are technically no more than animals in Morrowind.


Publisher's Note: This book was written by an unknown scholar as a guide for
foreign visitors to Morrowind shortly after the Armistice was signed. Many of
these practices have since fallen into disfavor. The most obvious changes are
those regarding the practice of Necromancy and the Great Ghostfence. Dunmer
today regard Necromancy upon any of the accepted races as an abomination. The
Ghostfence has forced many changes in the practice of ancestor worship. With
the vast majority of ancestors' remains going to strengthen the Great
Ghostfence around the mountain of Dagoth Ur, there are very few clan ghost
fences in Morrowind. The Temple discourages such practices among the Houses
as selfish. The upkeep of family tombs and private Waiting Doors has also
fallen into disfavor, as very few remains have been buried in these tombs and
shrines since the Armistice. In recent years most Dunmer venerate a small
portion of their ancestor's remains kept at a local temple.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Antecedants of Dwemer Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_AntecedantsDwemerLaw
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Antecedents of Dwemer Law

[This book is a historical account of the development of Dwemer law and
custom from its roots in High Elven culture.]

In short, so far as I am able to trace the order of development in the
customs of the Bosmeri tribes, I believe it to have been in all ways
comparable to the growth of Altmeri law. The earlier liability for slaves and
animals was mainly confined to surrender, which, as in Sumerset Isles, later
became compensation.

And what does this matter for a study of our laws today? So far as concerns
the influence of the Altmeri law upon our own, especially the Altmeri law of
master and servant, the evidence of it is to be found in every judgment which
has been recorded for the last five hundred years. It has been stated already
that we still repeat the reasoning of the Altmeri magistrates, empty as it
is, to the present day. And I will quickly show how Altmeri custom can be
followed into the courts of the Dwemer.

In the laws of Karndar Watch (P.D. 1180) it is said, "If one who is owned by
another slays one who owns himself, the owner must pay the associates three
fine instruments and the body of the one who his owned." There are many other
similar citations. And the same principle is extended even to the case of a
centurion by which a man is killed. "If, at the common workbench, one is
slain by an Animunculi, the associates of the slain may disassemble the
Animunculi and take its parts within thirty days."

It is instructive to compare what Dhark has mentioned concerning the rude
beasts of the Tenmar forests. "If a marsh cat was killed by an Argonian, his
family were in disgrace till they retaliated by killing the Argonian, or
another like it; but further, if a marsh cat was killed by a fall from a
tree, his relatives would take their revenge by toppling the tree, and
shattering its branches, and casting them to every part of the forest."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arcana Restored
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ArcanaRestored
Weight:        3
Value:         75
Special Notes: None

Arcana Restored
A Handbook
By Wapna Neustra
Praceptor Emeritus

FORM THE FIRST:  Makest thou the Mana Fountain to be Primed with Pure Gold,
for from Pure Gold only may the Humors be rectified, and the Pure Principles
coaxed from the chaos of Pure Power. Droppest thou then the Pure Gold upon
the surface of the Mana Fountain. Takest thou exceeding great care to
safeguard yourself from the insalubrious tempests of the Mana Fountain, for
through such Assaults may one's health be utterly Blighted.

FORM THE SECOND: Make sure that thou havest with you this Excellent Manual,
so that thou might speak the necessary Words straightaway, and without error,
so that thou not in carelessness cause thyself and much else to discorporate
and disorder the World with your component humors.

FORM THE THIRD: Take in hand the item to be Restored, and hold it forth
within the Primed Fountain, murmuring all the while the appropriate phrases,
which are to be learned most expeditiously and faultlessly from this Manual,
and this Manual alone, notwithstanding the vile calumnies of Kharneson and
Rattor, whose bowels are consumed by envy of my great learning, and who do
falsely give testament to the efficacies of their own Manuals, which are in
every way inferior and steeped in error.

FORM THE FOURTH: Proceed instantly to Heal thyself of all injuries, or to
avail yourself of the Healing powers of the Temples and Healers, for though
the agonies of manacaust must be borne by any who would Restore a prized
Arcana to full Potency, yet it is not wise that suffering be endured unduly,
nor does the suffering in any way render the Potency more Sublime,
notwithstanding the foolish speculations of Kharneson and Rattor, whose
faults and wickednesses are manifest even to the least learned of critics.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arkay the Enemy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ArkayTheEnemy
Weight:        4
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

Hear me, children. Once I was a lowly man such as yourselves. By my will I
entered the ranks of the gods. By your unquestioning devotion, you can share
my glory.

Most Necromancers are fools and weaklings. Fodder for the witchhunters. But
you, my servants, you are among the chosen. In the days to come, few will
dare to stand against your might. But one obstacle remains. His name is
Arkay.

He was also a man who entered the ranks of the gods. The similarities between
his mortal life and my own astonish even me. It is only proper that we should
be enemies.

Arkay's Blessing prevents the souls of men, beastmen, and elves from being
used without consent. Arkay's Law prevents those buried with the proper
rituals from being raised to serve my children's will. As you know, my
children, Arkay's Blessing is flexible to those with daring, but Arkay's Law
is unwavering.

To the Scholars: Humiliate the priests of Arkay. Reveal the primitive burial
customs to be mere superstition. Befriend kings with honeyed words and bind
them to your will. Look to my children in Cyrodiil for guidance.

To the Priests: Use your servants sparingly, let none be seen by the living.
Let the memories of the undead waste away from the people. Send missionaries
to the unbound dead, to the Vampires and the Liches. Let all the nations of
dead carry my banner and my banner alone.

To the Hidden: Wait, as always, in the darkness.

For soon we shall strike. The Temples of Arkay will be torn stone from stone.
The blood of his priests will sate our thirst; their bones will rise as our
servants. The name Arkay will be stuck from the records. Only I shall hold
sway over life and death. Only one name shall be whispered in fear. The name
of your lord and master.

KW


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ashland Hymns
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Ashland_Hymns
Weight:        4
Value:         35
Special Notes: None

Ashlands Hymns

[This is a volume of folk verses collected from Ashlanders. 'Wondrous Love'
is from the Urshilaku Ashlanders of the northern Ashlands.]

What a wondrous love it is
To bind two souls in faith,
Chained completely together
With never a false word,
Weal and woe, wish and real,
Woven each together
From first kiss to last breath,
First and last whispered in love.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Azura and the Box
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Sneak3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Sneak skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Azura and the Box
Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, Part XI
By Marobar Sul

Nchylbar had enjoyed an adventurous youth, but had grown to be a very wise,
very old Dwemer who spent his life searching for the truth and dispelling
superstitions.  He invented much and created many theorems and logic
structures that bore his name.  But much of the world still puzzled him, and
nothing was a greater enigma to him that the nature of the Aedra and Daedra.
Over the course of his research, he came to the conclusion that many of the
Gods were entirely fabricated by man and mer.

Nothing, however, was a greater question to Nchylbar than the limits of
divine power.  Were the Greater Beings the masters of the entire world, or
did the humbler creatures have the strength to forge their own destinies?  As
Nchylbar found himself nearing the end of his life, he felt he must
understand this last basic truth.

Among the sage's acquaintances was a holy Chimer priest named Athynic.  When
the priest was visiting Bthalag-Zturamz, Nchylbar told him what he intended
to do to find the nature of divine power.  Athynic was terrified and pleaded
with his friend not to break this great mystery, but Nchylbar was resolute.
Finally, the priest agreed to assist out of love for his friend, though he
feared the results of this blasphemy.

Athynic summoned Azura.  After the usual rituals by which the priest declared
his faith in her powers and Azura agreed to do no harm to him, Nchylbar and a
dozen of his students entered the summoning chamber, carrying with them a
large box.

"As we see you in our land, Azura, you are the Goddess of the Dusk and Dawn
and all the mysteries therein," said Nchylbar, trying to appear as kindly and
obsequious as he could be. "It is said that your knowledge is absolute."

"So it is," smiled the Daedra.

"You would know, for example, what is in this wooden box," said Nchylbar.

Azura turned to Athynic, her brow furrowed.  The priest was quick to explain,
"Goddess, this Dwemer is a very wise and respected man.  Believe me, please,
the intention is not to mock your greatness, but to demonstrate it to this
scientist and to the rest of his skeptical race.  I have tried to explain
your power to him, but his philosophy is such that he must see it
demonstrated."

"If I am to demonstrate my might in a way to bring the Dwemer race to
understanding, it might have been a more impressive feat you would have me
do," growled Azura, and turned to look Nchylbar in the eyes. "There is a red-
petalled flower in the box."

Nchylbar did not smile or frown.  He simply opened the box and revealed to
all that it was empty.

When the students turned to look to Azura, she was gone.  Only Athynic had
seen the Goddess's expression before she vanished, and he could not speak, he
was trembling so.  A curse had fallen, he knew that truly, but even crueler
was the knowledge of divine power that had been demonstrated.  Nchylbar also
looked pale, uncertain on his feet, but his face shone with not fear, but
bliss.  The smile of a Dwemer finding evidence for a truth only suspected.

Two of his students supported him, and two more supported the priest as they
left the chamber.

"I have studied very much over the years, performed countless experiments,
taught myself a thousand languages, and yet the skill that has taught me the
finally truth is the one that I learned when I was but a poor, young man,
trying only to have enough gold to eat," whispered the sage.

As he was escorted up the stairs to his bed, a red flower petal fell from the
sleeve of his voluminous robe.  Nchylbar died that night, a portrait of peace
that comes from contented knowledge.

Publisher's Note:

This is another tale whose origin is unmistakably Dwemer. Again, the words of
some Aldmeris translations are quite different, but the essence of the story
is the same. The Dunmer have a similar tale about Nchylbar, but in the Dunmer
version, Azura recognizes the trick and refuses to answer the question. She
slays the Dwemer present for their skepticism and curses the Dunmer for
blasphemy.

In the Aldmeris versions, Azura is tricked not by an empty box, but by a box
containing a sphere which somehow becomes a flat square. Of course the
Aldmeris versions, being a few steps closer to the original Dwemer, are much
more difficult to understand. Perhaps this "stage magic" explanation was
added by Gor Felim because of Felim's own experience with such tricks in his
plays when a mage was not available.

"Marobar Sul" left even the character of Nchylbar alone, and he represents
many "Dwemer" virtues.  His skepticism, while not nearly as absolute as in
the Aldmeris version, is celebrated even though it brings a curse upon the
Dwemer and the unnamed House of the poor priest.

Whatever the true nature of the Gods, and how right or wrong the Dwemer were
about them, this tale might explain why the dwarves vanished from the face of
Tamriel.  Though Nchylbar and his kind may not have intended to mock the
Aedra and Daedra, their skepticism certainly offended the Divine Orders.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Biography of Barenziah v I
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BiographyBarenziah1
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Biography of Queen Barenziah
by Stern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe

Late in the Second Era, a girl-child, Barenziah, was born to the rulers of
the kingdom of Mournhold in what is now the Imperial Province of Morrowind.
She was reared in all the luxury and security befitting a royal Dark Elven
child until she reached five years of age.  At that time, His Excellency
Tiber Septim I, the first Emperor of Tamriel, demanded that the decadent
rulers of Morrowind yield to him and institute imperial reforms.  Trusting to
their vaunted magic, the Dark Elves impudently refused until Tiber Septim's
army was on the borders. An Armistice was hastily signed by the now-eager
Dunmer, but not before there were several battles, one of which laid waste to
Mournhold, now called Almalexia.

Little Princess Barenziah and her nurse were found among the wreckage.  The
Imperial General Symmachus, himself a Dark Elf, suggested to Tiber Septim
that the child might someday be valuable, and she was therefore placed with a
loyal supporter who had recently retired from the Imperial Army.

Sven Advensen had been granted the title of Count upon his retirement; his
fiefdom, Darkmoor, was a small town in central Skyrim.  Count Sven and his
wife reared the princess as their own daughter, seeing to it that she was
educated appropriately-and more importantly, that the imperial virtues of
obedience, discretion, loyalty, and piety were instilled in the child.  In
short, she was made fit to take her place as a member of the new ruling class
of Morrowind.

The girl Barenziah grew in beauty, grace, and intelligence.  She was sweet-
tempered, a joy to her adoptive parents and their five young sons, who loved
her as their elder sister.  Other than her appearance, she differed from
young girls of her class only in that she had a strong empathy for the woods
and fields, and was wont to escape her household duties to wander there at
times.

Barenziah was happy and content until her sixteenth year, when a wicked
orphan stable-boy, whom she had befriended out of pity, told her he had
overheard a conspiracy between her guardian, Count Sven, and a Redguard
visitor to sell her as a concubine in Rihad, as no Nord or Breton would marry
her on account of her black skin, and no Dark Elf would have her because of
her foreign upbringing.

"Whatever shall I do?" the poor girl said, weeping and trembling, for she had
been brought up in innocence and trust, and it never occurred to her that her
friend the stable-boy would lie to her.

The wicked boy, who was called Straw, said that she must run away if she
valued her virtue, but that he would come with her as her protector.
Sorrowfully, Barenziah agreed to this plan; and that very night, she
disguised herself as a boy and the pair escaped to the nearby city of
Whiterun.  After a few days there, they managed to get jobs as guards for a
disreputable merchant caravan.  The caravan was heading east by side roads in
a mendacious attempt to elude the lawful tolls charged on the imperial
highways.  Thus the pair eluded pursuit until they reached the city of
Rifton, where they ceased their travels for a time.  They felt safe in
Rifton, close as it was to the Morrowind border so that Dark Elves were
enough of a common sight.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Biography of Barenziah v II
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BiographyBarenziah2
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Biography of Queen Barenziah, Vol 2
by Stern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe

The first volume of this series told the story of Barenziah's origin-heiress
to the throne of Mournhold until her father rebelled against His Excellency
Tiber Septim I and brought ruin to the province of Morrowind.  Thanks largely
to the benevolence of the Emperor, the child Barenziah was not destroyed with
her parents, but reared by Count Sven of Darkmoor, a loyal Imperial trustee.
She grew up into a beautiful and pious child, trustful of her guardian's
care.  This trust, however, was exploited by a wicked orphan stable boy at
Count Sven's estate, who with lies and fabrications tricked her into fleeing
Darkmoor with him when she turned sixteen.  After many adventures on the
road, they settled in Rifton, a Skyrim city near the Morrowind borders.

The stable boy, Straw, was not altogether evil.  He loved Barenziah in his
own selfish fashion, and deception was the only way he could think of that
would cement possession of her.  She, of course, felt only friendship toward
him, but he was hopeful that she would gradually change her mind.  He wanted
to buy a small farm and settle down into a comfortable marriage, but at the
time his earnings were barely enough to feed and shelter them.

After only a short time in Rifton, Straw fell in with a bold, villainous
Khajiit thief named Therris, who proposed that they rob the Imperial
Commandant's house in the central part of the city.  Therris said that he had
a client, a traitor to the Empire, who would pay well for any information
they could gather there.  Barenziah happened to overhear this plan and was
appalled.  She stole away from their rooms and walked the streets of Rifton
in desperation, torn between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for her
friends.

In the end, loyalty to the Empire prevailed over personal friendship, and she
approached the Commandant's house, revealed her true identity, and warned him
of her friends' plan.  The Commandant listened to her tale, praised her
courage, and assured her that no harm would come to her.  He was none other
than General Symmachus, who had been scouring the countryside in search of
her since her disappearance, and had just arrived in Rifton, hot in pursuit.
He took her into his custody, and informed her that, far from being sent away
to be sold, she was to be reinstated as the Queen of Mournhold as soon as she
turned eighteen.  Until that time, she was to live with the Septim family in
the newly built Imperial City, where she would learn something of government
and be presented at the Imperial Court.

At the Imperial City, Barenziah befriended the Emperor Tiber Septim during
the middle years of his reign.  Tiber's children, particularly his eldest son
and heir Pelagius, came to love her as a sister.  The ballads of the day
praised her beauty, chastity, wit, and learning.  On her eighteenth birthday,
the entire Imperial City turned out to watch her farewell procession
preliminary to her return to her native land.  Sorrowful as they were at her
departure, all knew that she was ready for her glorious destiny as sovereign
of the kingdom of Mournhold.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Biography of Barenziah v III
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BiographyBarenziah3
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Biography of Queen Barenziah, Vol 3
by Stern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe

In the second volume of this series, it was told how Barenziah was kindly
welcomed to the newly constructed Imperial City by the Emperor Tiber Septim
and his family, who treated her like a long-lost daughter during her almost
one-year stay.  After several happy months there learning her duties as
vassal queen under the Empire, the Imperial General Symmachus escorted her to
Mournhold where she took up her duties as Queen of her people under his wise
guidance.  Gradually they came to love one another and were married and
crowned in a splendid ceremony at which the Emperor himself officiated.

After several hundred years of marriage, a son, Helseth, was born to the
royal couple amid celebration and joyous prayer.  Although it was not
publicly known at the time, it was shortly before this blessed event that the
Staff of Chaos had been stolen from its hiding place deep in the Mournhold
mines by a clever, enigmatic bard known only as the Nightingale.

Eight years after Helseth's birth, Barenziah bore a daughter, Morgiah, named
after Symmachus' mother, and the royal couple's joy seemed complete.  Alas,
shortly after that, relations with the Empire mysteriously deteriorated,
leading to much civil unrest in Mournhold.  After fruitless investigations
and attempts at reconciliation, in despair Barenziah took her young children
and travelled to the Imperial City herself to seek the ear of then Emperor
Uriel Septim VII.  Symmachus remained in Mournhold to deal with the grumbling
peasants and annoyed nobility, and do what he could to stave off an impending
insurrection.

During her audience with the Emperor, Barenziah, through her magical arts,
came to realize to her horror and dismay that the so-called Emperor was an
impostor, none other than the bard Nightingale who had stolen the Staff of
Chaos.  Exercising great self-control she concealed this realization from
him.  That evening, news came that Symmachus had fallen in battle with the
revolting peasants of Mournhold, and that the kingdom had been taken over by
the rebels.  Barenziah, at this point, did not know where to seek help, or
from whom.

The gods, that fateful night, were evidently looking out for her as if in
redress of her loss.  King Eadwyre of High Rock, an old friend of Uriel
Septim and Symmachus, came by on a social call.  He comforted her, pledged
his friendship-and furthermore, confirmed her suspicions that the Emperor was
indeed a fraud, and none other than Jagar Tharn, the Imperial Battlemage, and
one of the Nightingale's many alter egos.  Tharn had supposedly retired into
seclusion from public work and installed his assistant, Ria Silmane, in his
stead.  The hapless assistant was later put to death under mysterious
circumstances-supposedly a plot implicating her had been uncovered, and she
had been summarily executed.  However, her ghost had appeared to Eadwyre in a
dream and revealed to him that the true Emperor had been kidnapped by Tharn
and imprisoned in an alternate dimension.  Tharn had then used the Staff of
Chaos to kill her when she attempted to warn the Elder Council of his
nefarious plot.

Together, Eadwyre and Barenziah plotted to gain the false Emperor's
confidence.  Meanwhile, another friend of Ria's, known only as the Champion,
who apparently possessed great, albeit then untapped, potential, was
incarcerated at the Imperial Dungeons.  However, she had access to his
dreams, and she told him to bide his time until she could devise a plan that
would effect his escape.  Then he could begin on his mission to unmask the
impostor.

Barenziah continued to charm, and eventually befriended, the ersatz Emperor.
By contriving to read his secret diary, she learned that he had broken the
Staff of Chaos into eight pieces and hidden them in far-flung locations
scattered across Tamriel.  She managed to obtain a copy of the key to Ria's
friend's cell and bribed a guard to leave it there as if by accident.  Their
Champion, whose name was unknown even to Barenziah and Eadwyre, made his
escape through a shift gate Ria had opened in an obscure corner of the
Imperial Dungeons using her already failing powers.  The Champion was free at
last, and almost immediately went to work.

It took Barenziah several more months to learn the hiding places of all eight
Staff pieces through snatches of overheard conversation and rare glances at
Tharn's diary.  Once she had the vital information, however -- which she
communicated to Ria forthwith, who in turn passed it on to the Champion-she
and Eadwyre lost no time.  They fled to Wayrest, his ancestral kingdom in the
province of High Rock, where they managed to fend off the sporadic efforts of
Tharn's henchmen to haul them back to the Imperial City, or at the very least
obtain revenge.  Tharn, whatever else might be said of him, was no one's
fool-save perhaps Barenziah's -- and he concentrated most of his efforts
toward tracking down and destroying the Champion.

As all now know, the courageous, indefatigable, and forever nameless Champion
was successful in reuniting the eight sundered pieces of the Staff of Chaos.
With it, he destroyed Tharn and rescued the true Emperor, Uriel Septim VII.
Following what has come to be known as the Restoration, a grand state
memorial service was held for Symmachus at the Imperial City, befitting the
man who had served the Septim Dynasty for so long and so well.

Barenziah and good King Eadwyre had come to care deeply for one another
during their trials and adventures, and were married in the same year shortly
after their flight from the Imperial City.  Her two children from her
previous marriage with Symmachus remained with her, and a regent was
appointed to rule Mournhold in her absence.

Up to the present time, Queen Barenziah has been in Wayrest with Prince
Helseth and Princess Morgiah.  She plans to return to Mournhold after
Eadwyre's death.  Since he was already elderly when they wed, she knows that
that event, alas, could not be far off as the Elves reckon time.  Until then,
she shares in the government of the kingdom of Wayrest with her husband, and
seems glad and content with her finally quiet, and happily unremarkable,
life.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Biography of the Wolf Queen
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Speechcraft1
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Speechcraft skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Biography of the Wolf Queen
by Katar Eriphanes

Few historic figures are viewed as unambiguously evil, but Potema, the so-
called Wolf Queen of Solitude, surely qualifies for that dishonor.  Born to
the Imperial Family in the sixty-seventh year of the third era, Potema was
immediately presented to her grandfather, the Emperor Uriel Septim II, a
famously kindhearted man, who viewed the solemn, intense babe and whispered,
"She looks like a she-wolf about ready to pounce."

Potema's childhood in the Imperial City was certainly difficult from the
start.  Her father, Prince Pelagius Septim, and her mother, Qizara, showed
little affection for their brood.  Her eldest brother Antiochus, sixteen at
Potema's birth, was already a drunkard and womanizer, infamous in the empire.
Her younger brothers Cephorus and Magnus were born much later, so for years
she was the only child in the Imperial Court.

By the age of 14, Potema was a famous beauty with many suitors, but she was
married to cement relations with King Mantiarco of the Nordic kingdom of
Solitude.  She entered the court, it was said, as a pawn, but she quickly
became a queen.  The elderly King Mantiarco loved her and allowed her all the
power she wished, which was total.

When Uriel Septim II died the following year, her father was made emperor,
and he faced a greatly depleted treasury, thanks to his father's poor
management.  Pelagius II dismissed the Elder Council, forcing them to buy
back their positions.  In 3E 97, after many miscarriages, the Queen of
Solitude gave birth to a son, who she named Uriel after her grandfather.
Mantiarco quickly made Uriel his heir, but the Queen had much larger
ambitions for her child.

Two years later, Pelagius II died -- many say poisoned by a vengeful former
Council member -- and his son, Potema's brother Antiochus took the throne.
At age forty-eight, it could be said that Antiochus's wild seeds had yet to
be sown, and the history books are nearly pornographic in their depictions of
life at the Imperial court during the years of his reign.  Potema, whose
passion was for power not fornication, was scandalized every time she visited
the Imperial City.

Mantiarco, King of Solitude, died the springtide after Pelagius II.  Uriel
ascended to the throne, ruling jointly with his mother.  Doubtless, Uriel had
the right and would have preferred to rule alone, but Potema convinced him
that his position was only temporary.  He would have the Empire, not merely
the kingdom.  In Castle Solitude, she entertained dozens of diplomats from
other kingdoms of Skyrim, sowing seeds of discontent.  Her guest list over
the years expanded to include kings and queens of High Rock and Morrowind as
well.

For thirteen years, Antiochus ruled Tamriel, and proved an able leader
despite his moral laxity.  Several historians point to proof that Potema cast
the spell that ended her brother's life, but evidence one way or another is
lost in the sands of time.  In any event, both she and her son Uriel were
visiting the Imperial court in 3E 112 when Antiochus died, and immediately
challenged the rule of his daughter and heir, Kintyra.

Potema's speech to the Elder Council is perhaps helpful to students of public
speaking.

She began with flattery and self-abasement: "My most august and wise friends,
members of the Elder Council, I am but a provincial queen, and I can only
assume to bring to issue what you yourselves must have already pondered."

She continued on to praise the late Emperor, who was a popular ruler in spite
of his flaws:  "He was a true Septim and a great warrior, destroying -- with
your counsel -- the near invincible armada of Pyandonea."

But little time was wasted, before she came to her point: "The Empress Magna
unfortunately did nothing to temper my brother's lustful spirits.  In point
of fact, no whore in the slums of the city spread out on more beds than she.
Had she attended to her duties in the Imperial bedchamber more faithfully, we
would have a true heir to the Empire, not the halfwit, milksop bastards who
call themselves the Emperor's children.  The girl called Kintyra is popularly
believed to be the daughter of Magna and the Captain of the Guard.  It may be
that she is the daughter of Magna and the boy who cleans the cistern.  We can
never know for certain.  Not as certainly as we can know the lineage of my
son, Uriel.  The last of the Septim Dynasty."

Despite Potema's eloquence, the Elder Council allowed Kintyra to assume the
throne as the Empress Kintyra II.  Potema and Uriel angrily returned to
Skyrim and began assembling the rebellion.

Details of the War of the Red Diamond are included in other histories:  we
need not recount the Empress Kintyra II's capture and eventual execution in
High Rock in the year 3E 114, nor the ascension of Potema's son, Uriel III,
seven years later.  Her surviving brothers, Cephorus and Magnus, fought the
Emperor and his mother for years, tearing the Empire apart in a civil war.

When Uriel III fought his uncle Cephorus in Hammerfell at the Battle of
Ichidag in 3E 127, Potema was fighting her other brother, Uriel's uncle
Magnus in Skyrim at the Battle of Falconstar.  She received word of her son's
defeat and capture just as she was preparing to mount an attack on Magnus's
weakest flank.  The sixty-one-year-old Wolf Queen flew into a rage and led
the assault herself.  It was a success, and Magnus and his army fled.  In the
midst the victory celebration, Potema heard the news that her son the Emperor
had been killed by an angry mob before he had even made it for trial in the
Imperial City.  He had been burned to death within his carriage.

When Cephorus was proclaimed Emperor, Potema's fury was terrible to behold.
She summoned daedra to fight for her, had her necromancers resurrect her
fallen enemies as undead warriors, and mounted attack after attack on the
forces of the Emperor Cephorus I.  Her allies began leaving her as her
madness grew, and her only companions were the zombies and skeletons she had
amassed over the years.  The kingdom of Solitude became a land of death.
Stories of the ancient Wolf Queen being waited on by rotting skeletal
chambermaids and holding war plans with vampiric generals terrified her
subjects.

Potema died after a month long siege on her castle in the year 3E 137 at the
age of 90.  While she lived, she had been the Wolf Queen of Solitude,
Daughter of the Emperor Pelagius II, Wife of King Mantiarco, Aunt of the
Empress Kintyra II, Mother of Emperor Uriel III, and Sister of the Emperors
Antiochus and Cephorus.  Three years after her death, Antiochus died, and his
-- and Potema's -- brother Magnus took the throne.

Her death has hardly diminished her notoriety.  Though there is little direct
evidence of this, some theologians maintain that her spirit was so strong,
she became a daedra after her death, inspiring mortals to mad ambition and
treason.  It is also said that her madness so infused Castle Solitude that it
infected the next king to rule there.  Ironically, that was her 18-year-old
nephew Pelagius, the son of Magnus.  Whatever the truth of the legend, it is
undeniable that when Pelagius left Solitude in 3E 145 to assume the title of
the Emperor Pelagius III, he quickly became known as Pelagius The Mad.  It is
even widely rumored that he murdered his father Magnus.

The Wolf Queen must surely have had the last laugh.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blasphemous Revenants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BlasphemousRevenants
Weight:        3
Value:         55
Special Notes: None

Blasphemous Revenants

...not into the world, nor out of it, but between worlds they linger, held to
the hearth and tomb by blood and loyalty. And if they come unbidden, from
love of kin or faith to duty, it is not unholy. It is but the answering of
the ancestors, the awakening of those who never sleep, the summoning to
service of those bound through Hearth and House to the protection of the
clan.

But if sorcerers bring them forth, then such a summons is blasphemy, an
abomination before the Tribes and Temple, and a sin so great that ages of
burning cannot cleanse the fault. Abide not the sorcerer among you, for he
comes to steal the bones of your fathers and dust of your tombs. He seeks to
bind by power what is yours by right, to drag forth the warm spirits from
their world between and bind them to their service like slaves and beasts.

Who can know the shame of the dead, the ceaseless weeping of the
necromancer's thrall? Cruel enough is the ancestor's service given in love to
Hearth and Kin. But ghost or guardian, bonewalker or bonelord, summoned by
profane ritual and bound by force to the corpse miner's will, how may such a
spirit ever find rest? How may it ever find its way back to its blood and
clan?

Only a righteous Dunmer, bound by blood to hearth and kin, bound by oath and
service to the Temple, can call upon the spirits of the Dunmer dead. Those
foreign sorcerers of other races that invade our shores, shall they be
permitted to rob our tombs, to bind our kin-spirits into sorcerous slavery,
to steal the lives of our dead as well as our land of the living? No, I say,
no, and no, three times more. Such necromancers must die, and their profane
magicks must die with them.

And shall we tolerate the hidden hosts of the undead, the arrogant princes of
necromancers, the ancient vampire demons who creep from their lairs in the
West, seeking refuge in profane Daedric shrines, abandoned Dunmer
strongholds, and corrupted subterranean labyrinths of the detested Dwemer
race? For ages the Great Houses and the Temple have kept our land clean of
the vampire's taint, but now these undead lords and their vile cattle have
returned. These vampires must die, and their corrupt cattle with them, and
their blood taint must be forever erased by fire and stake.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boethiah's Glory
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Boethiah's Glory_unique
Weight:        2
Value:         25
Special Notes: Part of the Thieves Guild Quests

Boethiah's Glory

Look upon the face of Boethiah and wonder. Raise your arms that Boethiah may
look on them and bestow a blessing. Know that battle is a blessing. Know that
death is an eventuality. Know that you are dust in the eyes of Boethiah.

Long is the arm of Boethiah, and swift is the blade.

Deep is the cut, and subtle is the poison.

Worship, o faithful. Pray your death is short.

Worship, o faithful. Pray your death is quiet.

Worship, o faithful. Worship the glory that is Boethiah.


Into battle strides the Daedra Prince, blade at the ready to cleave the
unworthy.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boethiah's Pillow Book
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BoethiahPillowBook
Weight:        10
Value:         0
Special Notes: Part of a thieves guild quest

[No words can describe what you see. Or what you think you see.]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bone, Part One
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Medium Armor2
Weight:        4
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Bone, Part I
By Tavi Dromio

"It seems to me," said Garaz, thoughtfully looking into the depths of his
flin. "That all great ideas come from pure happenstance.  Take for instance,
the story I told you last night about my cousin.  If he hadn't fallen off
that horse, he never would have become one of the Empire's foremost
alchemists."

It was late one Middas night at the King's Ham, and the regulars were always
especially inclined toward philosophy.

"I disagree," replied Xiomara, firmly but politely. "Great ideas and
inventions are most often formed slowly over time by diligence and hard work.
If you'll recall my tale from last month, the young lady -- who I assure you
is based on a real person -- only recognized her one true love after she had
slept with practically everyone in Northpoint."

"I put it to you that neither is the case," said Hallgerd, pouring a topper
on his mug of greef. "The greatest inventions are created by extraordinary
need.  Must I remind you of the story I told some time ago about Arslic Oan
and the invention of bonemold?"

"The problem with your theory is that your example is entirely fictional,"
sniffed Xiomara.

"I don't believe I remember the story of Arslic Oan and the invention of
bonemold," frowned Garaz. "Are you sure you told us?"

"Well, this happened many, many, many years ago, when Vvardenfell was a
beauteous green land, when Dunmer were Chimer and Dwemer and Nord lived
together in relative peace when they weren't trying to kill one another,"
Hallgerd relaxed in his chair, warming to his theme. "When the sun and moons
all hung in the sky together--"

"Lord, Mother, and Wizard!" grumbled Xiomara. "If I'm going to be forced to
hear your ridiculous story again, pray don't embellish and make it any longer
than it has to be."

This all happened in Vvardenfell quite some time ago (said Hallgerd, ignoring
Xiomara's interruption with admirable restraint) during an era of a king you
would never have heard of.  Arslic Oan was one of this king's nobles and
very, very disagreeable fellow.  Because of his allegiance to the crown, the
king had felt the need to grant him a castle and land, but he didn't
necessarily want him as a neighbor so the land he granted was far from
civilization.  Right in an area of Vvardenfell that is, even today, not quite
civilized to this day.  Arslic Oan built a walled stronghold and settled down
with his unhappy slaves to enjoy a quiet if somewhat grim life.

It was not long before his stronghold's integrity was tested.  A tribe of
cannibalistic Nords had been living in the valley for some time, mostly
dining on one another, but occasionally foraging what they liked to call dark
meat, the Dunmer.

Xiomara laughed with appreciation. "Marvelous!  I don't remember that from
before.  It's funny how you don't hear much about the Nords' rampant
cannibalism nowadays."

This was obviously, as I've said, quite some time ago (said Hallgerd, glaring
at part of his audience with civil malevolence) and things were in many ways
quite different.  These cannibalistic Nords began attacking Arslic Oan's
slaves in the fields, and then slowly grew bolder, until they held the very
stronghold itself under siege.  They were quite a fearsome sight you can
imagine: a horde of wild-eyed men and women with dagger-like teeth filed to
tear flesh, wielding massive clubs, cloaked only in the skins of their
victims.

Arslic Oan assumed that if he ignored them, they'd go away.

Unfortunately, the first thing that the Nords did was to poison the stream
that carried water into the walled stronghold.  All the livestock and most of
the slaves died very quickly before this was discovered.  There was no hope
of rescue, at least for several months when the king's emissaries would come
reluctantly to visit the disagreeable vassal.  The next closest source of
water was on the other side of the hill, so Arslic Oan sent three of his
slaves with empty jugs to bring some back.

They were beaten with clubs and eaten before they were a few feet outside the
stronghold gates.  The next group he sent through he gave sticks to defend
themselves.  They made it a few feet farther, but were also overwhelmed,
beaten, and devoured.  It was obvious that better personal defensive was
required.  Arslic Oan went to talk to his armorer, one of his few slaves with
specific talents and duties.

"The slaves need armor if they're going to make it to the river and back," he
said. "Collect every scrap of steel and iron you can find, every hinge,
knife, ring, cup, everything that isn't needed to keep the walls sturdy,
smelt it, and give me the most and the best armor you can, very, very
quickly."

The armorer, whose name was Gorkith, was used to Arslic Oan's demands, and
knew that there could be no compromise on the quality and quantity of the
armor, or the speed at which he worked.  He labored for thirty hours without
a break - and, recall, without any water to slake his thirst as he struggled
with the kiln and anvil - until finally, he had six suits of mixed-metal
armor.

Six slaves were chosen, clad in the armor, and sent with jars to collect
river water.  At first, the mission progressed well.  The Nord attacked the
armored slaves with their clubs, but they continued their march forward,
warding off the blows.  Gradually, however, the slaves seemed to be walking
uncertainly, dazed by the endless barrage.  Eventually, one by one, they
fell, the armor was peeled from their bodies, and they were eaten.

"The slaves couldn't move quickly enough in that heavy armor you made," said
Arslic Oan to Gorkith. "I need you to collect all the cadavers of the
poisoned livestock, strip their skin, and give me the most and the best
leather armor you can, very, very quickly."

Gorklith did as he was told, though it was a particularly repulsive task
given the rancid state of the livestock.  Normally it takes quite a time to
treat and cure leather, so I understand, but Gorklith worked at it
tirelessly, and in a half a day he had twelve suits of leather armor.

Twelve slaves were chosen, clad in the armor, and sent with jars to collect
river water.  They progressed, at first, much better than the earlier
expedition.  Two fell almost immediately, but the others had some luck out-
maneuvering their assailants while deflecting an occasional blow of the club.
Several got to the river, three were able to fill up their jars, and one
fellow very nearly made it back to the stronghold gates.  Alas, he fell and
was eaten.  The Nords possessed a remarkably healthy appetite.

"What we need before I completely run out of slaves," said Arslic Oan
thoughtfully to Gorkith. "Is an armor sturdier than leather but lighter than
metal."

The armorer had already considered that and taken stock of the materials
available.  He had thought about doing something with stone or wood, but
there were practical problems with demolishing more of the stronghold.  The
next most prevalent stuff present in the stronghold was skinned dead bodies,
hunks of muscle, fat, blood, and bone.  For six hours, he toiled relentlessly
until he produced eighteen suits of bonemold, the first ones ever created.
Arslic Oan was somewhat dubious at the sight (and smell) but he was very
thirsty, and willing to sacrifice another eighteen slaves if necessary.

"Might I suggest," Gorklith queried tremulously, "Having the slaves practice
moving about in the armor, here in the courtyard, before sending them to face
the Nords?"

Arslic Oan coolly allowed it, and for a few hours, the slaves wandered about
the stronghold courtyard in their suits of bonemold.  They grew used to the
give of the joints, the rigidity of the backplate, the weight pushed onto
their shoulders and hips.  They discovered how to plant their feet slightly
askew to keep their balance steady; how to quickly turn, pivoting without
falling down; how to break into a run and stop quickly.  By the time they
were sent out of the castle gates, they were easily very nearly almost
amateurs in the use of their medium weight armor.

Seventeen of them were killed and eaten, but one made it back with a jar of
water.

"It's perfect nonsense," said Xiomara. "But my point is still valid even so.
Like all great inventors, even in fiction, the armorer worked diligently to
create the bonemold."

"I think there was a good deal of happenstance as well," frowned Garaz. "But
it is an appalling story.  I wish you hadn't told me."

"If you think that's appalling," grinned Hallgerd. "You should hear what
happened next."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bone, Part Two
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Medium Armor3
Weight:        4
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Bone, Part II
By Tavi Dromio

"What do you mean the story gets more appalling?" Garaz was incredulous. "How
in Boethiah's name could it get more appalling?"

"It's a ruse," Xiomara scoffed, ordering two more mugs of greef and a glass
of flin for Garaz.  "How much worse can a tale get which prominently features
cannibalism, abuse of slaves, and the regular placement of rotting animal
carcasses?"

"Don't you dare dare me," growled Hallgerd, annoyed by his listeners' lack of
appreciation of his prose styling. "Remind me where we were?"

"Arslic Oan is the owner of a stronghold under siege by savage, cannibalistic
Nords," said Xiomara, keeping a straight face. "After a lot of deaths and
several unsuccessful attempts to get water, he had his armorer with the
unlikely name of Gorkith outfit his slaves with the first ever bonemold
armor.  One of them finally makes it back with some water."

It was only one jarful of water (said Hallgerd, pulling back in his chair and
continuing the tale), and Arslic Oan drank most of it, passing the remains to
his dear armorer Gorkith and the last dribbles to the few dozen slaves who
still lived.  It was hardly enough to sustain health and well-being.  Another
expedition was necessary, but they had only one suit of bonemold left, as
there was only one survivor of the trip.

"One out of eighteen slaves made it through the gauntlet of Nords wearing
that marvelous bonemold armor of yours," said Arslic Oan to Gorkith. "And one
can only carry back enough water for one.  Therefore, mathematically, as we
have, counting you and me, fifty-six remaining people at the stronghold, we
need armor for fifty-four.  Since we already have one, you only need to make
fifty-three to make the total.  That way, three will make it back, with
enough water for you and me and whoever's in the best condition to partake.
I don't know what we'll do after that, but if we wait, we won't have enough
slaves to fetch even a couple days' worth of water."

"I understand," whimpered Gorkith. "But how am I going to make the armor?  I
used all the livestock bones to make the first batch of bonemold."

Arslic Oan gave an order which Gorkith fearfully complied with.  In eighteen
hours -

"What do you mean 'Arslic Oan gave an order which Gorkith fearfully complied
with'?" asked Xiomara. "What was the order?"

"All will be clear," smiled Hallgerd. "I have to chose what to reveal and
what to conceal.  Such is the way of the tale teller."

In eighteen hours, Gorkith had fifty-three suits of bonemail (said Hallgerd,
continuing, not really minding the interruption) prepared for the slaves.
Without prompting, he ordered the slaves to practice using the armor, and
even allowed them more training time than their predecessors.  They not only
learned how to move and stop quickly in bonemold, but how to adjust their
peripheral vision to see a blow before it came, and to sway to dodge, and
where the sturdiest reinforcement points on the arm were -- the center of the
chest and the abdomen -- and how to position themselves to take blows there,
against their natural instincts.  The slaves even had time for a mock battle
before being sent out among the cannibals.

The slaves handled themselves admirably.  Very few, just fifteen slaves, were
killed and eaten out right.  Only ten were killed and eaten when they reached
the river.  That was when things did not go according to Arslic Oan's plans.
Twenty-one slaves with jars of water took off for the hills.  Only eight
returned to the castle, largely because they were blocked by the cannibal
Nords.  It was a larger percentage than he had anticipated surviving, but
Arslic Oan felt righteous indignation at the paucity of loyalty.

"Are you absolutely certain you wouldn't rather flee?" he hollered from the
battlements.

Finally, he allowed the survivors in.  Three had been killed waiting for the
gate to open.  Two more died almost upon stepping into the courtyard.  One
was delirious, walking around in circles, laughing and dancing before
suddenly collapsing.  That meant five jars of water for four people, the two
surviving slaves, Arslic Oan, and Gorkith.  As the lord of the manor, Arslic
Oan took the extra jar, but he was democratic with the others.

"You're quite correct," frowned Garaz. "This story is getting more and more
appalling."

"Just wait," smiled Hallgerd.

The next morning (Hallgerd continued) Arslic Oan awoke to a perfectly still
and quiet stronghold.  There was no murmuring in the corridors, no sound of
hard labor in the courtyard.  He dressed and surveyed the scene.  It appeared
that the fortress was utterly deserted.  Arslic Oan walked down to the
armorer's quarters, but the door was locked.

"Open up," said Arslic Oan, patiently. "We need to speak.  Thirty out of
fifty-four slaves successfully made it to the river and gathered water.
Admittedly, some then fled, and a couple didn't survive because I needed to
correct their fickleness, but mathematically, that's a fifty-five percent
survival rate.  If you and I and the two remaining slaves made the next run
to the river, we two should survive."

"Zilian and Gelo left last night with their armor," cried Gorklith through
the door.

"Who are Zilian and Gelo?"

"The two remaining slaves!  They don't remain anymore!"

"Well, that's vexing," said Arslic Oan. "Still we must continue on.
Mathematically--"

"I heard something last night," whimpered Gorklith in a funny voice. "Like
footsteps, only different, and they were moving through the walls.  And there
were voices too.  They sounded strange, like they couldn't move their jaws
very well, but I knew one."

Arslic Oan sighed, humoring his poor armorer: "And who was it?"

"Ponik."

"And who is Ponik?"

"One of the slaves that died when the Nords poisoned our water.  One of the
many, many slaves that died, and we made use of.  He was always a nice,
uncomplaining fellow, that's why I noticed his voice above all the others,"
Gorklith began to sob. "I understood what he was saying."

"Which was what?" asked Arslic Oan with a sigh.

"'Give me back my bones!'" Gorklith's voice shrieked.  There was silence for
a moment, and then more hysterical sobbing.

"I saw that coming," laughed Xiomara.

There was nothing more to be done with the armorer for the time being (said
Hallgerd, a trifle annoyed at the regular interruptions), so Arslic Oan
stripped one of the dead slaves of his suit of bonemold and put it on.  He
practiced in the courtyard, impressing himself with his natural comfortably
with medium weight armor.  For hours, he boxed, feinted, dodged, sprinted,
skipped, jumped, and generally cavorted about.  When he felt tired, he
retired to the shade and took a nap.

The sound of the king's trumpet woke him with a start.  Night had fallen, and
for a moment, he thought he had been dreaming.  Then the alarum sounded
again, far in the distance, but clear.  Arslic Oan leapt to his feet and ran
to the ramparts.  Several miles away, he could see the emissaries and their
vast and well-armed escort approach.  They were there early!  The cannibal
Nords below looked at one another with consternation.  Savages they might be,
but they knew when a superior force was approaching.

Arslic Oan joyously dashed down the stairs to Gorklith's chamber.  The door
was still locked.  He beat on it, cajoling, demanding, threatening.  Finally,
he found a key, one of the few scraps of metal that had not been smelted days
before.

Gorklith appeared to be sleeping, but as Arslic Oan approached, he noticed
that the armorer's mouth and eyes were wide open and his arms were folded
unnaturally behind his back.  On closer inspection, the armorer was obviously
dead.  What was more, his face and whole body were sunken, like an empty
pig's bladder.

Something moved through the walls, like a footfall only... squishy.  Arslic
Oan expertly and gracefully turned to face it, completely in balance.

At first, it seemed like nothing more than a bubble expanding through one of
the cracks in the stone.  As more of the flesh-colored gelatinous matter
emerged, it more clearly resembled part of a face.  A flaccid, almost
shapeless face with a low brow and a slack, toothless jaw.  The rest of the
body oozed out of the crack, a soft bag of muscle and blood.  Behind Arslic
Oan and to the side, there was more movement, more slaves welling up through
the cracks in the stone.  They were all around him, reaching out.

"Give us," moaned Ponik, his tongue rolling about his hanging jaw. "Give us
back our bones."

Arslic Oan began to rip off his bonemold, throwing it to the floor.  A
hundred figures, more, pooled into the small chamber.

"That's not enough."

The cannibals had cleared away by the time the king's emissaries arrived at
Arslic Oan's gates.  They had not been looking forward to this visit.  It was
best, they though philosophically, to begin with the worst of the king's
noblemen, so to end their trip well.  They sounded the alarum once again, but
the gates did not open.  There was no sound from Arslic Oan's stronghold.

It took a few hours to gain access.  If the emissaries had not brought a
professional acrobat with them for entertainment, it might have taken longer.
The place seemed to be abandoned.  They searched every room, until finally
they came to the armorer's.

There they found the master of the manor, folded neatly, legs behind his
head, arms behind the legs, like a fine gown.  Not a bone in his body.

"The first part of your story was complete nonsense," cried Xiomara. "But now
it doesn't hold true on any level.  How could bonemold be made again if the
armorer who invented it died before he could tell anyone how he did it?"

"I said that this was the first time it was created, not the first time
people learned the craft."

"And when did someone first teach someone else the craft?" asked Garaz.

"That, my friends," replied Hallgerd with a sinister smile. "Is a tale for
another night."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Book of Life and Service
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BookOfLifeAndService
Weight:        3
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

THE RANKS OF THE BLESSED

Blessed are the Bonemen, for they serve without self in spirit forever.
Blessed are the Mistmen, for they blend in the glory of the transcendent
spirit.
Blessed are the Wrathmen, for they render their rage unto the ages.
Blessed are the Masters, for they bridge the past and span the future.

THE LITANY OF SERVICE

The Boneman's Oath

We die.
We pray.
To live.
We serve.

The Master's Voice

You swore.
To Serve.
Your Lord.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Book of Rest and Endings
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BookOfRestAndEndings
Weight:        3
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

[The pages of the BOOK OF REST AND ENDINGS are filled with obscure bits of
cult mumbo-jumbo.]

THE RITUAL FOR ENDING OF WRATHMEN

From fifty Fathers
Frozen in slavepast
Rip from the wraithloom
Sunder the lifeweave
Lock tight in earthgrip
Hold firm in gravefast



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Breathing Water
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Alteration1
Weight:        2
Value:         400
Special Notes: Raises Alteration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Breathing Water
by Haliel Myrm

He walked through the dry, crowded streets of Bal Fell, glad to be among so
many strangers.  In the wharfs of Vivec, he had no such anonymity.  They knew
him to be a smuggler, but here, he could be anyone.  A lower-class peddler
perhaps.  A student even.  Some people even pushed against him as he walked
past as if to say, "We would not dream of being so rude as to acknowledge
that you don't belong here."

Seryne Relas was not in any of the taverns, but he knew she was somewhere,
perhaps behind a tenement window or poking around in a dunghill for an exotic
ingredient for some spell or another.  He knew little of the ways of
sorceresses, but that they always seemed to be doing something eccentric.
Because of this prejudice, he nearly passed by the old Dunmer woman having a
drink from a well.  It was too prosaic, but he knew from the look of her that
she was Seryne Relas, the great sorceress.

"I have gold for you," he said to her back. "If you will teach me the secret
of breathing water."

She turned around, a wide wet grin stretched across her weathered features.
"I ain't breathing it, boy.  I'm just having a drink."

"Don't mock me," he said, stiffly. "Either you're Seryne Relas and you will
teach me the spell of breathing water, or you aren't.  Those are the only
possibilities."

"If you're going to learn to breath water, you're going to have to learn
there are more possibilities than that, boy.   The School of Alteration is
all about possibilities, changing patterns, making things be what they could
be.  Maybe I ain't Seryne Relas, but I can teach how to breathe water," she
wiped her mouth dry. "Or maybe I am Seryne Relas and I won't.  Or maybe even
I can teach you to breath water, but you can't learn."

"I'll learn," he said, simply.

"Why don't you just buy yourself a spell of water breathing or a potion over
at the Mages Guild?" she asked.  "That's how it's generally done."

"They're not powerful enough," he said. "I need to be underwater for a long
time.  I'm willing to pay whatever you ask, but I don't want any questions.
I was told you could teach me."

"What's your name, boy?"

"That's a question," he replied.  His name was Tharien Winloth, but in Vivec,
they called him the Tollman.  His job, such as it was, was collecting a
percentage of the loot from the smugglers when they came into harbor to bring
to his boss in the Camonna Tong.  Of the value of that percentage, he earned
another percentage.  In the end it was very small indeed.  He had scarcely
any gold of his own, and what he had, he gave to Seryne Relas.

The lessons began that very day.  The sorceress brought her pupil, who she
simply called "boy," out to a low sandbank along the sea.

"I will teach you a powerful spell for breathing water," she said. "But you
must become a master of it.  As with all spells and all skills, you more you
practice, the better you get.  Even that ain't enough.  To achieve true
mastery, you must understand what it is you're doing.  It ain't simply enough
to perform a perfect thrust of a blade -- you must also know what you are
doing and why."

"That's common sense," said Tharien

"Yes, it is," said Seryne, closing her eyes. "But the spells of Alteration
are all about uncommon sense.  The infinite possibilities, breaking the sky,
swallowing space, dancing with time, setting ice on fire, believing that the
unreal may become real.  You must learn the rules of the cosmos and then
break them."

"That sounds ... very difficult," replied Tharien, trying to keep a straight
face.

Seryne pointed to the small silver fish darting along the water's edge: "They
don't find it so.  They breath water just fine."

"But that's not magic."

"What I'm saying to you, boy, is that it is."

For several weeks, Seryne drilled her student, and the more he understood
about what he was doing and the more he practiced, the longer he could breath
underwater.  When he found that he could cast the spell for as long as he
needed, he thanked the sorceress and bade her farewell.

"There is one last lesson I have to teach you," she said. "You must learn
that desire is not enough.  The world will end your spell no matter how good
you are, and no matter how much you want it."

"That's a lesson I'm happy not to learn," he said, and left at once for the
short journey back to Vivec.

The wharfs were much the same, with all the same smells, the same sounds, and
the same characters.  His boss had found a new Tollman, he learned from his
mates. They were still looking out for the smuggler ship Morodrung, but they
had given up hope of ever seeing it.   Tharien knew they would not.  He had
seen it sink from the wharf a long time ago.

On a moonless night, he cast his spell and dove into the thrashing purple
waves.  He kept his mind on the world of possibilities, that books could
sing, that green was blue, that that water was air, that every stroke and
kick brought him closer to a sunken ship filled with treasure.  He felt
magicka surge all around him as he pushed his way deeper down.  Ahead he saw
a ghostly shadow of the Morodrung, its mast billowing in a wind of deep water
currents.  He also felt his spell begin to fade.  He could break reality long
enough to breath water all the way back up to the surface, but not enough to
reach the ship.

The next night, he dove again, and this time, the spell was stronger.  He
could see the vessel in detail, clouded over and dusted in sediment.  The
wound in its hull where it had struck the reef.  A glint of gold beckoning
from within.  But still he felt reality closing in, and he had to surface.

The third night, he made it into the steerage, past the bloated corpses of
the sailors, nibbled and picked apart by fish.  Their glassy eyes bulging,
their mouths stretched open.  Had they only known the spell, he thought
briefly, but his mind was more occupied by the gold scattered along the
floor, the boxes that contained them shattered.  He considered scooping as
much he could carry into his pockets, but a sturdy iron box seemed to bespeak
more treasures.

On the wall was a row of keys.  He took each down and tried it on the locked
box, but none opened it.  One key, however, was missing.  Thalien looked
around the room.  Where could it be?  His eyes went to the corpse of one of
the sailors, floating in a dance of death not far from the box, his hands
tightly clutching something.  It was a key.  When the ship had begun to sink,
this sailor had evidently gone for the iron box.  Whatever was in it had to
be very valuable.

Thalien took the sailor's key and opened the box.  It was filled with broken
glass.  He rummaged around until he felt something solid, and pulled out two
flasks of some kind of wine.  He smiled as he considered the foolishness of
the poor alcoholic.  This was what was important to the sailor, out of all
the treasure in the Morodrung.

Then, suddenly, Thalien Winloth felt reality.

He had not been paying attention to the grim, tireless advance of the world
on his spell.  It was fading away, his ability to breath water.  There was no
time to surface.  There was no time to do anything.  As he sucked in, his
lungs filled with cold, briny water.

A few days later, the smugglers working on the wharf came upon the drowned
body of the former Tollman.  Finding a body in the water in Vivec was not in
itself noteworthy, but the subject that they discussed over many bottles of
flin was how did it happen that he drowned with two potions of water
breathing in his hands.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brief History of the Empire v 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire1
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part One
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

Before the rule of Tiber Septim, all Tamriel was in chaos.  The poet Tracizis
called that period of continuous unrest "days and nights of blood and venom."
The kings were a petty lot of grasping tyrants, who fought Tiber's attempts
to bring order to the land.  But they were as disorganized as they were
dissolute, and the strong hand of Septim brought peace forcibly to Tamriel.
The year was 2E 896.  The following year, the Emperor declared the beginning
of a new Era-thus began the Third Era, Year Aught.

For thirty-eight years, the Emperor Tiber reigned supreme.  It was a lawful,
pious, and glorious age, when justice was known to one and all, from serf to
sovereign.  On Tiber's death, it rained for an entire fortnight as if the
land of Tamriel itself was weeping.

The Emperor's grandson, Pelagius, came to the throne.  Though his reign was
short, he was as strong and resolute as his father had been, and Tamriel
could have enjoyed a continuation of the Golden Age.  Alas, an unknown enemy
of the Septim Family hired that accursed organization of cutthroats, the Dark
Brotherhood, to kill the Emperor Pelagius I as he knelt at prayer at the
Temple of the One in the Imperial City.  Pelagius I's reign lasted less than
three years.

Pelagius had no living children, so the Crown Imperial passed to his first
cousin, the daughter of Tiber's brother Agnorith.  Kintyra, former Queen of
Silvenar, assumed the throne as Kintyra I.  Her reign was blessed with
prosperity and good harvests, and she herself was an avid patroness of art,
music, and dance.

Kintyra's son was crowned after her death, the first Emperor of Tamriel to
use the imperial name Uriel.  Uriel I was the great lawmaker of the Septim
Dynasty, and a promoter of independent organizations and guilds.  Under his
kind but firm hand, the Fighters Guild and the Mages Guild increased in
prominence throughout Tamriel.  His son and successor Uriel II reigned for
eighteen years, from the death of Uriel I in 3E64 to Pelagius II's accession
in 3E82.  Tragically, the rule of Uriel II was cursed with blights, plagues,
and insurrections.  The tenderness he inherited from his father did not serve
Tamriel well, and little justice was done.

Pelagius II inherited not only the throne from his father, but the debt from
the latter's poor financial and judicial management.  Pelagius dismissed all
of the Elder Council, and allowed only those willing to pay great sums to
resume their seats.  He encouraged similar acts among his vassals, the kings
of Tamriel, and by the end of his seventeen year reign, Tamriel had returned
to prosperity.  His critics, however, have suggested that any advisor
possessed of wisdom but not of gold had been summarily ousted by Pelagius.
This may have led to some of the troubles his son Antiochus faced when he in
turn became Emperor.

Antiochus was certainly one of the more flamboyant members of the usually
austere Septim Family.  He had numerous mistresses and nearly as many wives,
and was renowned for the grandeur of his dress and his high good humor.
Unfortunately, his reign was rife with civil war, surpassing even that of his
grandfather Uriel II.  The War of the Isle in 3E110, twelve years after
Antiochus assumed the throne, nearly took the province of Summurset Isle away
from Tamriel.  The united alliance of the kings of Summurset and Antiochus
only managed to defeat King Orghum of the island-kingdom of Pyandonea due to
a freak storm.  Legend credits the Psijic Order of the Isle of Artaeum with
the sorcery behind the tempest.

The story of Kintyra II, heiress to her father Antiochus' throne, is
certainly one of the saddest tales in imperial history.  Her first cousin
Uriel, son of Queen Potema of Solitude, accused Kintyra of being a bastard,
alluding to the infamous decadence of the Imperial City during her father's
reign.  When this accusation failed to stop her coronation, Uriel bought the
support of several disgruntled kings of High Rock, Skyrim, and Morrowind, and
with Queen Potema's assistance, he coordinated three attacks on the Septim
Empire.

The first attack occurred in the Iliac Bay region, which separates High Rock
and Hammerfell.  Kintyra's entourage was massacred and the Empress taken
captive.  For two years, Kintyra II languished in an Imperial prison believed
to be somewhere in Glenpoint or Glenmoril before she was slain in her cell
under mysterious circumstances.  The second attack was on a series of
Imperial garrisons along the coastal Morrowind islands.  The Empress' consort
Kontin Arynx fell defending the forts.  The third and final attack was a
siege of the Imperial City itself, occurring after the Elder Council had
split up the army to attack western High Rock and eastern Morrowind.  The
weakened government had little defence against Uriel's determined aggression,
and capitulated after only a fortnight of resistance.  Uriel took the throne
that same evening and proclaimed himself Uriel III, Emperor of Tamriel.  The
year was 3E 121.  Thus began the War of the Red Diamond, described in Volume
II of this series.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brief History of the Empire v 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire2
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part Two
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

Volume I of this series described in brief the lives of the first eight
Emperors of the Septim Dynasty, beginning with the glorious Tiber Septim and
ending with his great, great, great, great, grandniece Kintyra II.  Kintyra's
murder in Glenpoint while in captivity is considered by some to be the end of
the pure strain of Septim blood in the imperial family.  Certainly it marks
the end of something significant.

Uriel III not only proclaimed himself Emperor of Tamriel, but also Uriel
Septim III, taking the eminent surname as a title.  In truth, his surname was
Mantiarco from his father's line.  In time, Uriel III was deposed and his
crimes reviled, but the tradition of taking the name Septim as a title for
the Emperor of Tamriel did not die with him.

For six years, the War of the Red Diamond (which takes its name from the
Septim Family's famous badge) tore the Empire apart.  The combatants were the
three surviving children of Pelagius II-Potema, Cephorus, and Magnus-and
their various offspring.  Potema, of course, supported her son Uriel III, and
had the combined support of all of Skyrim and northern Morrowind.  With the
efforts of Cephorus and Magnus, however, the province of High Rock turned
coat.  The provinces of Hammerfell, Summurset Isle, Valenwood, Elsweyr, and
Black Marsh were divided in their loyalty, but most kings supported Cephorus
and Magnus.

In 3E127, Uriel III was captured at the Battle of Ichidag in Hammerfell.  En
route to his trial in the Imperial City, a mob overtook his prisoner's
carriage and burned him alive within it.  His captor and uncle continued on
to the Imperial City, and by common acclaim was proclaimed Cephorus I,
Emperor of Tamriel.

Cephorus' reign was marked by nothing but war.  By all accounts, he was a
kind and intelligent man, but what Tamriel needed was a great warrior -- and
he, fortunately, was that.  It took an additional ten years of constant
warfare for him to defeat his sister Potema.  The so-called Wolf Queen of
Solitude who died in the siege of her city-state in the year 137.  Cephorus
survived his sister by only three years.  He never had time during the war
years to marry, so it was his brother, the fourth child of Pelagius II, who
assumed the throne.

The Emperor Magnus was already elderly when he took up the imperial diadem,
and the business of punishing the traitorous kings of the War of the Red
Diamond drained much of his remaining strength.  Legend accuses Magnus' son
and heir Pelagius III of patricide, but that seems highly unlikely-for no
other reason than that Pelagius was King of Solitude following the death of
Potema, and seldom visited the Imperial City.

Pelagius III, sometimes called Pelagius the Mad, was proclaimed Emperor in
the 145th year of the Third Era.  Almost from the start, his eccentricities
of behaviour were noted at court.  He embarrassed dignitaries, offended his
vassal kings, and on one occasion marked the end of an imperial grand ball by
attempting to hang himself.  His long-suffering wife was finally awarded the
Regency of Tamriel, and Pelagius III was sent to a series of healing
institutions and asylums until his death in 3E153 at the age of thirty-four.

The Empress Regent of Tamriel was proclaimed Empress Katariah I upon the
death of her husband.  Some who do not mark the end of the Septim bloodline
with the death of Kintyra II consider the ascendancy of this Dark Elf woman
the true mark of its decline.  Her defenders, on the other hand, assert that
though Katariah was not descended from Tiber, the son she had with Pelagius
was, so the imperial chain did continue.  Despite racist assertions to the
contrary, Katariah's forty-six-year reign was one of the most celebrated in
Tamriel's history.  Uncomfortable in the Imperial City, Katariah travelled
extensively throughout the Empire such as no Emperor ever had since Tiber's
day.  She repaired much of the damage that previous emperor's broken
alliances and bungled diplomacy created.  The people of Tamriel came to love
their Empress far more than the nobility did.  Katariah's death in a minor
skirmish in Black Marsh is a favorite subject of conspiracy minded
historians.  The Sage Montalius' discovery, for instance, of a
disenfranchised branch of the Septim Family and their involvement with the
skirmish was a revelation indeed.

When Cassynder assumed the throne upon the death of his mother, he was
already middle-aged.  Only half Elven, he aged like a Breton.  In fact, he
had left the rule of Wayrest to his half-brother Uriel due to poor health.
Nevertheless, as the only true blood relation of Pelagius and thus Tiber, he
was pressed into accepting the throne.  To no one's surprise, the Emperor
Cassynder's reign did not last long.  In two years he joined his predecessors
in eternal slumber.

Uriel Lariat, Cassynder's half-brother, and the child of Katariah I and her
Imperial consort Gallivere Lariat (after the death of Pelagius III), left the
kingdom of Wayrest to reign as Uriel IV.  Legally, Uriel IV was a Septim:
Cassynder had adopted him into the royal family when he had become King of
Wayrest.  Nevertheless, to the Council and the people of Tamriel, he was a
bastard child of Katariah.  Uriel did not possess the dynamism of his mother,
and his long forty-three-year reign was a hotbed of sedition.

Uriel IV's story is told in the third volume of this series.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brief History of the Empire v 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire3
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part Three
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

The first volume of this series told in brief the story of the succession of
the first eight Emperors of the Septim Dynasty, from Tiber I to Kintyra II.
The second volume described the War of the Red Diamond and the six Emperors
that followed its aftermath, from Uriel III to Cassynder I.  At the end of
that volume, it was described how the Emperor Cassynder's half-brother Uriel
IV assumed the throne of the Empire of Tamriel.
It will be recalled that Uriel IV was not a Septim by birth.  His mother,
though she reigned as Empress for many years, was a Dark Elf married to a
true Septim Emperor, Pelagius III.  Uriel's father was actually Katariah I's
consort after Pelagius' death, a Breton nobleman named Gallivere Lariat.
Before taking the throne of Empire, Cassynder I had ruled the kingdom of
Wayrest, but poor health had forced him to retire.  Cassynder had no
children, so he legally adopted his half-brother Uriel and abdicated the
kingdom.  Seven years later, Cassynder inherited the Empire at the death of
his mother.  Three years after that, Uriel once again found himself the
recipient of Cassynder's inheritance.
Uriel IV's reign was a long and difficult one.  Despite being a legally
adopted member of the Septim Family, and despite the Lariat Family's high
position -- indeed, they were distant cousins of the Septims -- few of the
Elder Council could be persuaded to accept him fully as a blood descendant of
Tiber.  The Council had assumed much responsibility during Katariah I's long
reign and Cassynder I's short one, and a strong-willed "alien" monarch like
Uriel IV found it impossible to command their unswerving fealty.  Time and
again the Council and Emperor were at odds, and time and again the Council
won the battles.  Since the days of Pelagius II, the Elder Council had
consisted of the wealthiest men and women in the Empire, and the power they
wielded was conclusive.
The Council's last victory over Uriel IV was posthumous.  Andorak, Uriel IV's
son, was disinherited by vote of Council, and a cousin more closely related
to the original Septim line was proclaimed Cephorus II in 3E268.  For the
first nine years of Cephorus II's reign, those loyal to Andorak battled the
Imperial forces.  In an act that the Sage Eraintine called "Tiber Septim's
heart beating no more," the Council granted Andorak the High Rock kingdom of
Shornhelm to end the war, and Andorak's descendants still rule there.
By and large, Cephorus II had foes that demanded more of his attention than
Andorak.  "From out of a cimmerian nightmare," in the words of Eraintine, a
man who called himself the Camoran Usurper led an army of Daedra and undead
warriors on a rampage through Valenwood, conquering kingdom after kingdom.
Few could resist his onslaughts, and as month turned to bloody month in the
year 3E249, even fewer tried.  Cephorus II sent more and more mercenaries
into Hammerfell to stop the Usurper's northward march, but they were bribed
or slaughtered and raised as undead.
The story of the Camoran Usurper deserves a book of its own.  (It is
recommended that the reader find Palaux Illthre's The Fall of the Usurper for
more detail.)  In short, however, the destruction of the forces of the
Usurper had little do with the efforts of the Emperor.  The result was a
great regional victory and an increase in hostility toward the seemingly
inefficacious Empire.
Uriel V, Cephorus II's son and successor, swivelled opinion back toward the
latent power of the Empire.  Turning the attention of Tamriel away from
internal strife, Uriel V embarked on a series of invasions beginning almost
from the moment he took the throne in 3E268.  Uriel V conquered Roscrea in
271, Cathnoquey in 276, Yneslea in 279, and Esroniet in 284.  In 3E288, he
embarked on his most ambitious enterprise, the invasion of the continent
kingdom of Akavir.  This ultimately proved a failure, for two years later
Uriel V was killed in Akavir on the battlefield of Ionith.  Nevertheless,
Uriel V holds a reputation second only to Tiber as one of the two great
Warrior Emperors of Tamriel.
The last four Emperors, beginning with Uriel V's infant son, are described in
the fourth and final volume of this series.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brief History of the Empire v 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire4
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part Four
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

The first book of this series described, in brief, the first eight Emperors
of the Septim Dynasty beginning with Tiber I.  The second volume described
the War of the Red Diamond and the six Emperors who followed.  The third
volume described the troubles of the next three Emperors-the frustrated Uriel
IV, the ineffectual Cephorus II, and the heroic Uriel V.

On Uriel V's death across the sea in distant, hostile Akavir, Uriel VI was
but five years old.  In fact, Uriel VI was born only shortly before his
father left for Akavir.  Uriel V's only other progeny, by a morganatic
alliance, were the twins Morihatha and Eloisa, who had been born a month
after Uriel V left.  Uriel VI was crowned in the 290th year of the Third Era.
The Imperial Consort Thonica, as the boy's mother, was given a restricted
Regency until Uriel VI reached his majority.  The Elder Council retained the
real power, as they had ever since the days of Katariah I.

The Council so enjoyed its unlimited and unrestricted freedom to promulgate
laws (and generate profits) that Uriel VI was not given full license to rule
until 307, when he was already 22 years old.  He had been slowly assuming
positions of responsibility for years, but both the Council and his mother,
who enjoyed even her limited Regency, were loath to hand over the reins.  By
the time he came to the throne, the mechanisms of government gave him little
power except for that of the imperial veto.

This power, however, he regularly and vigorously exercised.  By 313, Uriel VI
could boast with conviction that he truly did rule Tamriel.  He utilized
defunct spy networks and guard units to bully and coerce the difficult
members of the Elder Council.  His half-sister Morihatha was (not
surprisingly) his staunchest ally, especially after her marriage to Baron
Ulfe Gersen of Winterhold brought her considerable wealth and influence.  As
the Sage Ugaridge said, "Uriel V conquered Esroniet, but Uriel VI conquered
the Elder Council."

When Uriel VI fell off a horse and could not be resuscitated by the finest
Imperial healers, his beloved sister Morihatha took up the imperial tiara.
At 25 years of age, she had been described by (admittedly self-serving)
diplomats as the most beautiful creature in all of Tamriel.  She was
certainly well-learned, vivacious, athletic, and a well-practised politician.
She brought the Archmagister of Skyrim to the Imperial City and created the
second Imperial Battlemage since the days of Tiber Septim.

Morihatha finished the job her brother had begun, and made the Imperial
Province a true government under the Empress (and later, the Emperor).
Outside the Imperial Province, however, the Empire had been slowly
disintegrating.  Open revolutions and civil wars had raged unchallenged since
the days of her grandfather Cephorus II.  Carefully coordinating her
counterattacks, Morihatha slowly claimed back her rebellious vassals, always
avoiding overextending herself.

Though Morihatha's military campaigns were remarkably successful, her
deliberate pace often frustrated the Council.  One Councilman, an Argonian
who took the Colovian name of Thoricles Romus, furious at her refusal to send
troops to his troubled Black Marsh, is commonly believed to have hired the
assassins who claimed her life in 3E 339.  Romus was summarily tried and
executed, though he protested his innocence to the last.

Morihatha had no surviving children, and Eloisa had died of a fever four
years before.  Eloisa's 25-year-old son Pelagius was thus crowned Pelagius
IV.  Pelagius IV continued his aunt's work, slowly bringing back under his
wing the radical and refractory kingdoms, duchies, and baronies of the
Empire.  He exercised Morihatha's poise and circumspect pace in his
endeavours-but alas, he did not attain her success.  The kingdoms had been
free of constraint for so long that even a benign Imperial presence was
considered odious.  Nevertheless, when Pelagius died after an astonishing
forty-nine-year reign, Tamriel was closer to unity than it had been since the
days of Uriel I.

Our current Emperor, His Awesome and Terrible Majesty, Uriel Septim VII, son
of Pelagius IV, has the diligence of his great-aunt Morihatha, the political
skill of his great-uncle Uriel VI, and the military prowess of his great
grand-uncle Uriel V.  For twenty-one years he reigned and brought justice and
order to Tamriel.  In the year 3E389, however, his Imperial Battlemage, Jagar
Tharn, betrayed him.

Uriel VII was imprisoned in a dimension of Tharn's creation, and Tharn used
his sorcery of illusion to assume the Emperor's aspect.  For the next ten
years, Tharn abused imperial privilege but did not continue Uriel VII's
schedule of reconquest.  It is not yet entirely known what Tharn's goals and
personal accomplishments were during the ten years he masqueraded as his
liege lord.  In 3E399, an enigmatic Champion defeated the Battlemage in the
dungeons of the Imperial Palace and freed Uriel VII from his other-
dimensional jail.

Since his emancipation, Uriel Septim VII has worked diligently to renew the
battles that would reunite Tamriel.  Tharn's interference broke the momentum,
it is true -- but the years since then have proven that there is hope of the
Golden Age of Tiber Septim's rule glorifying Tamriel once again.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brown Book of 3E 426
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BrownBook426
Weight:        3
Value:         75
Special Notes: Opens Telvanni councilor conversation topics

Brown Book of Great House Telvanni

[The Brown Book is a yearbook of the affairs of the Telvanni Council of
Vvardenfell District for 3E 426. It lists the current members of the council,
their residences, and their representatives in Sadrith Mora. It also
chronicles significant events and council actions for the year.]

Councilors of House Telvanni, Vvardenfell District, Imperial Era 426

Archmagister Gothren, Lord High Magus of Telvanni Council, Vvardenfell
District, Tower of Tel Aruhn, East Molag Amur, District of Vvardenfell,
Province of Morrowind

Master Aryon, Mage Lord of Telvanni Council, Vvardenfell District, Tower of
Tel Vos, Village of Vos, The Grazelands, District of Vvardenfell, Province of
Morrowind

Master Neloth, Mage Lord of Telvanni Council, Vvardenfell District, Tower of
Tel Naga, Sadrith Mora, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Mistress Dratha, Mage Lord of Telvanni Council, Vvardenfell District, Tower
of Tel Mora, The Grazelands, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Mistress Therana, Mage Lord of Telvanni Council, Vvardenfell District, Tower
of Tel Branora, Azura's Coast, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Councilor Representatives of House Telvanni, Council Hall, Sadrith Mora

For Archmagister Gothren: Mouth Mallam Ryon, Mage
For Master Aryon: Mouth Arara Uvulas
For Master Neloth: Mouth Raven Omayn
For Mistress Therana: Felisa Ulessen
For Mistress Dratha: Mouth Mallam Ryon

Council Actions

In response to repeated protests from Duke Dren and representative of the
other Great Houses, Telvanni Council reminded them that, according to ancient
law and custom, Telvanni Council places no constraint on the ambitions and
enterprise of its individual members. If the Empire or other House Councils
wish to dispute Telvanni exploration and colonization of the wastes and
wildernesses of Vvardenfell, they are welcome to do so, with the Councilors'
best wishes, but Telvanni Council will not contribute its resources or
authority to such endeavors.

The council renews its objection to proposals placed before Duke Dren and the
Grand Council concerning slavery and slave trading in Vvardenfell District.
The right to own and trade slaves is guaranteed by the terms of the Treaty of
the Armistice, and Telvanni Council will not entertain any discussion of
abridgements of those rights.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Caldera Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_CalderaRecordBook1
Weight:        3
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

[This book shows the ebony mined in and shipped from Caldera. You don't see
anything suspicious in the figures.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capn's Guide to the Fishy Stick
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_fishystick
Weight:        2
Value:         5
Special Notes: None

[This book is supposedly the definitive reference to fishy sticks throughout
Tamriel, but the pages are so smeared with fishy stick sauce it is impossible
to read any of them.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chance's Folly
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_security4
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Security skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Chance's Folly
by Zylmoc Golge

By the time she was sixteen, Minevah Iolos had been an unwelcome guest in
every shop and manor in Balmora. Sometimes, she would take everything of
value within; other times, it was enough to experience the pure pleasure of
finding a way past the locks and traps. In either situation, she would leave
a pair of dice in a prominent location as her calling card to let the owners
know who had burgled them. The mysterious ghost became known to the locals as
Chance.

A typical conversation in Balmora at this time:

"My dear, whatever happened to that marvelous necklace of yours?"

"My dear, it was taken by Chance."

The only time when Chance disliked her hobby was when she miscalculated, and
she came upon an owner or a guard. So far, she had never been caught, or even
seen, but dozens of times she had uncomfortably close encounters. There came
a day when she felt it was time to expand her reach. She considered going to
Vivec or Gnisis, but one night at the Eight Plates, she heard a tale of the
Heran Ancestral Tomb, an ancient tomb filled with traps and possessing
hundreds of years of the Heran family treasures.

The idea of breaking the spell of the Heran Tomb and gaining the fortune
within appealed to Chance, but facing the guardians was outside of her
experience. While she was considering her options, she saw Ulstyr Moresby
sitting at a table nearby, by himself as usual. He was huge brute of a Breton
who had a reputation as a gentle eccentric, a great warrior who had gone mad
and paid more attention to the voices in his head than to the world around
him.

If she must have a partner in this enterprise, Chance decided, this man would
be perfect. He would not demand or understand the concept of getting an equal
share of the booty. If worse came to worse, he would not be missed if the
inhabitants of the Heran Tomb were too much for him. Or if Chance found his
company tiresome and elected to leave him behind.

"Ulstyr, I don't think we've ever met, but my name is Minevah," she said,
approaching the table. "I'm fancying a trip to the Heran Ancestral Tomb. If
you think you could handle the monsters, I could take care of unlocking doors
and popping traps. What do you think?"

The Breton took a moment to reply, as if considering the counsel of the
voices in his head. Finally he nodded his head in the affirmative, mumbling,
"Yes, yes, yes, prop a rock, hot steel. Chitin. Walls beyond doors. Fifty-
three. Two months and back."

"Splendid," said Chance, not the least put off by his rambling. "We'll leave
early tomorrow."

When Chance met Ulstyr the next morning, he was wearing chitin armor and had
armed himself with an unusual blade that glowed faintly of enchantment. As
they began their trek, she tried to engage him in conversation, but his
responses were so nonsensical that she quickly abandoned the attempts. A
sudden rainstorm swelled over the plain, dousing them, but as she was wearing
no armor and Ulstyr was wearing slick chitin, their progress was not impeded.

Into the dark recesses of the Heran Tomb, they delved. Her instincts had been
correct -- they made very good partners.

She recognized the ancient snap-wire traps, deadfalls, and brittle backs
before they were triggered, and cracked all manners of lock: simple tumbler,
combination, twisted hasp, double catch, varieties from antiquity with no
modern names, rusted heaps that would have been dangerous to open even if one
possessed the actual key.

Ulstyr for his part slew scores of bizarre fiends, the likes of which Chance,
a city girl, had never seen before. His enchanted blade's spell of fire was
particularly effective against the Frost Atronachs. He even saved her when
she lost her footing and nearly plummeted into a shadowy crack in the floor.

"Not to hurt thyself," he said, his face showing genuine concern. "There are
walls beyond doors and fifty-three. Drain ring. Two months and back. Prop a
rock. Come, Mother Chance."

Chance had not been listening to much of Ulstyr's babbling, but when he said
"Chance," she was startled. She had introduced herself to him as Minevah.
Could it be that the peasants were right, and that when mad men spoke, they
were talking to the daedra prince Sheogorath who gave them advice and
information beyond their ken? Or was it rather, more sensibly, that Ulstyr
was merely repeating what he heard tell of in Balmora where in recent years
"Chance" had become synonymous with lockpicking?

As the two continued on, Chance thought of Ulstyr's mumblings. He had said
"chitin" when they met as if it had just occurred to him, and the chitin
armor that he wore had proven useful. Likewise, "hot steel." What could
"walls beyond doors" mean? Or "two months and back"? What numbered "fifty-
three"?

The notion that Ulstyr possessed secret knowledge about her and the tomb they
were in began to unnerve Chance. She made up her mind then to abandon her
companion once the treasure had been found. He had cut through the living and
undead guardians of the dungeon: if she merely left by the path they had
entered, she would be safe without a defender.

One phrase he said made perfect sense to her: "drain ring." At one of the
manors in Balmora, she had picked up a ring purely because she thought it was
pretty. It was not until later that she discovered that it could be used to
sap other people's vitality. Could Ulstyr be aware of this? Would he be taken
by surprise if she used it on him?

She formulated her plan on how best to desert the Breton as they continued
down the hall. Abruptly the passage ended with a large metal door, secured by
a golden lock. Using her pick, Chance snapped away the two tumblers and bolt,
and swung the door open. The treasure of the Heran Tomb was within.

Chance quietly slipped her glove off her hand, exposing the ring as she
stepped into the room. There were fifty-three bags of gold within. As she
turned, the door closed between her and the Breton. On her side, it did not
resemble a door anymore, but a wall. Walls beyond doors.

For many days, Chance screamed and screamed, as she tried to find a way out
of the room. For some days after that, she listened dully to the laughter of
Sheogorath within her own head. Two months later, when Ulstyr returned, she
was dead. He used a rock to prop open the door and remove the gold.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_unarmored2
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Unarmored skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Charwich-Koniinge Letters, Book I
6 Suns Height, 3E 411
Kambria, High Rock

My Dear Koniinge,

I hope this letter reaches you in Sadrith Mora.  It's been many weeks since
I've heard from you, and I hope that the address that I have for you is still
up-to-date.  I gave the courier some extra gold, so if he doesn't find you,
he is to make inquiries to your whereabouts.  As you can see, after a rather
tedious crossing, I've at long last made my way from Bhoriane to my favorite
principality in High Rock, surprisingly literate and always fascinating
Kambria.  I at once ensconced myself in one of the better libraries here,
becoming reacquainted with the locals and the lore.  At the risk of being
overly optimistic, I think I might have struck on something very interesting
about this mysterious fellow, Hadwaf Neithwyr.

Many here in town remember him, though few very fondly.  When Hadwaf Neithwyr
left, so too did a great plague.  No one thinks it a coincidence.

According to my contacts here, Azura is not his only master.  It may be that
when he summoned forth the Daedra and accepted her Star, he was doing so for
someone named Baliasir.  Apparently, Neithwyr worked for this Baliasir in
some capacity, but I never could find out from anyone exactly what Baliasir's
line of business was, nor what Neithwyr did for him.  Zenithar, the God of
Work and Commerce, is the most revered deity in Kambria, which served my
(that is to say our) purposes well, as the people are naturally receptive to
bribery.  Still, it did me little good. I could find nothing specific about
our quarry.  After days of inquiry, an old crone recommended that I go to a
nearby village called Grimtry Garden, and find the cemetery caretaker there.
I set off at once.

I know you are impatient when it comes to details, and have little taste for
Breton architecture, but if you ever find yourself in mid-High Rock, you owe
it to yourself to visit this quaint village.  Like a number of other similar
towns in High Rock, there is a high wall surrounded it.  As well as being
picturesque, it's a remnant of the region's turbulent past and a useful
barrier against the supernatural creatures that sometimes stalk the
countryside.  More about that in a moment.

The cemetery is actually outside of the city gates, I discovered.  The locals
warned me to wait until morning to speak to the caretaker, but I was
impatient for information, and did not want to waste a moment.  I trekked
through the woods to the lonely graveyard, and immediately found the
shuffling, elderly man who was the caretaker.  He bade me leave, that the
land was haunted and if I chose to stay I would be in the greatest danger.  I
told him that I would not go until he told me what he knew about Hadwaf
Neithwyr and his patron Baliasir.  On hearing their names, he fled deeper
into the jumble of broken tombstones and decrepit mausoleums.  I naturally
pursued.

I saw him scramble down into an enormous crypt and gave chase.  There was no
light within, but I had planned enough to bring with me a torch.  The minute
I lit it, I heard a long, savage howl pierce the silence, and I knew that the
caretaker had left quickly not merely because he feared speaking of Neithwyr
and Baliasir.  Before I saw the creature, I heard its heavy breath and the
clack of its clawed feet on stone moving closer to me.  The werewolf emerged
from the gloom, brown and black, with slavering jaws, looking at me with the
eyes of the cemetery caretaker, now given only to animal hunger.

I instantly had three different instinctive reactions.  The first was, of
course, flight.  The second was to fight.  But if I fled, I might never find
the caretaker again, and learn what he knew.  If I fought, I might injure or
even kill the creature and be even worse off.  So I elected to go with my
third option: to hold my ground and keep the creature within its tomb until
the night became morning, and the caretaker resumed his humanity.

I've sparred often enough unarmored, but surely never with so much at stake,
and never with so savage an opponent.  My mind was always on danger not only
of injury but the dread disease of lycanthropy. Every rake of its claw I
parried, every snap of its foaming jaws I ducked.  I sidestepped when it
tried to rush me, but closed the distance to keep it from escaping into the
night.  For hours we fought, I always on the defense, it always trying to
free itself, or slay me, or both.  I have no doubt that a werewolf has
greater energy reserves than a man, but it is a beast and does not know how
to save and temper its movements.  As the dawn rose, we were both nearly
unconscious from fatigue, but I received my reward.  The creature became a
man once again.

He was quite considerably friendlier than he had been before.  In fact, when
he realized that I had prevented him from going on his nocturnal rampage
through the countryside, he became positively affable.

Here's what I learned: Neithwyr never returned to High Rock.  As far as the
old man knows, he is still in Morrowind.  I visited the gravesite of his
sister Peryra, and learned that it was probably through her that Neithwyr
first met his patron.  It would seem that she was quite a well-known
courtesan in her day, and very well traveled, though she chose to return home
to die.  Unlike Neithwyr, Baliasir is not far away from me.  He is a shadowy
character, but lately, according to the caretaker, he has been paying court
to Queen Elysana in Wayrest.  I leave at once.

Please write to me as soon as possible to tell me of your progress.  I should
be in Wayrest at the home of my friend Lady Elysbetta Moorling in a week's
time.  If Baliasir is at court, Lady Moorling will be able to arrange an
introduction.

I feel confident in saying that we are very close to Azura's Star.

Your Friend,

Charwich



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_hand to hand3
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Hand-to-Hand skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read


The Charwich-Koniinge Letters, Book II
3 Last Seed, 3E 411
Tel Aruhn, Morrowind

My Good Friend Charwich,

I only just last week received your letter dated 6 Sun's Height, addressed to
me in Sadrith Mora. I did not know how to reach you before to tell you of my
progress finding Hadwaf Neithwyr, so I send this to you now care of the lady
you mentioned in your letter, the Lady Elysbetta Moorling of Wayrest. I hope
that if you have left her palace, she will know where you've gone and can
send this to you. And I hope further that you receive it in a timelier manner
that I received your letter. It is essential that I hear from you soon so we
may coordinate our next course of action.

My adventures here have two acts, one before I received your letter, and one
immediately after. While you searched for the elusive possessor of Azura's
Star in his homeland to the west, I searched for him here where we understood
he conjured up the Daedra Prince and received from her the artifact.

Like you, I had little difficulty finding people who had heard of or even
knew Neithwyr. In fact, not long after we parted company and you left for the
Iliac Bay, I met someone who knew where he went to perform the ceremony, so I
left at once to come here to Tel Aruhn. It took some time to locate my
contact, for he is a Dissident Priest named Minerath. The Temple and
Tribunal, the real powers of Morrowind, tend to frown on his Order, and while
they haven't begun so much of crusade to stamp them out, there are certainly
rumors that they will soon. This tends to make priests like Minerath skittish
and paranoid. Difficult people to set appointments with.

Finally I was told that he would be willing to talk to me at the Plot and
Plaster, a tiny tavern without even a room to rent. Downstairs, there were
several cloaked men crammed around the tavern's only table, and they searched
me to see if I had any weaponry. Of course, I hadn't. You know that isn't my
preferred method of doing business.

When it decided that I was harmless, one of the cloaked figures revealed
himself to be Minerath. I paid him the gold I promised and asked him what he
knew about Hadwaf Neithwyr. He remembered him well enough, saying that after
he received the Star, the lad intended to return to High Rock. It seemed he
had unfinished business there, presumably of a violent nature, which Azura's
Star would facilitate. He had no other information, and I did not know what
else to ask.

We parted company and I waited for your letter, hoping you had found Neithwyr
and perhaps even the Star. I confess that as I lingered in Morrowind and
never heard from you, I began to have doubts about your character. You'll
forgive me for saying so, but I began to fear that you had taken the artifact
for yourself. In fact, I was making plans to come to High Rock myself when
your letter came at last.

The tale of your adventure in the cemetery at Grimtry Garden, and the
information you gathered from the lycanthropic caretaker inspired me to have
another meeting with Minerath. Thus began the second act of my story.

I returned to the Pot and Plaster, reasoning that the priest must frequent
that area of the city to feel so comfortable setting clandestine meetings
there. It took some time searching, but I finally found him, and as luck
would have it, he was alone. I called his name, and he quickly drew me to a
dark alleyway, nervous that we would be seen by a Temple ordinator.

It is a rare and beautiful thing when a victim insists on dragging his killer
to a remote location.

I began at once asking about this fellow you mentioned, Neithwyr's mysterious
patron Baliasir. He denied ever having heard the name. We were still in that
easy, fairly conversational state when I attacked the priest. Of course, he
was completely taken by surprise. In some ways, that can be more effective
than an ambush from behind. No matter how many times I've done it, no one
ever expected the friendly man they're talking to grip them by the neck.

I pressed hard against my favorite spot in the soft part of the throat, just
below the thyroid cartilage, and it took him too long to react to my lunge
and try pushing back. He began to lose consciousness, and I whispered that if
I released my grip a little so he could talk and breath, but he tried to call
for help, I would snap his neck. He nodded, and I relaxed the pressure, just
a bit.

I asked him again about Baliasir, and he shook his head, insisting that he
had never heard the name. As frightened as he was, it seemed most likely that
he was telling the truth, so I asked him more generally if he knew anyone
else who might know something about Hadwaf Neithwyr. He told me that there
was a woman present also during the ceremony, someone he introduced as his
sister.

I remembered then the part of your letter about seeing the grave of
Neithwyr's sister, Peryra. When I mentioned the name to the priest he nodded
frantically, but I could see that the interrogation had reached an ending.
There is, after all, something about being throttled that causes a man to
answer yes to every question. I snapped Minerath's neck, and returned home.

So now I'm again unsure how to proceed. I've made several more inquiries and
several of the same people who met Neithwyr remember him being with a woman.
A few recall him saying that she was his sister. One or two believe they
remember her name as being Peryra, though they're not certain. No one,
however, has heard of anyone named Baliasir.

If I do not hear word from you in response to this in the next couple of
weeks, I will come to High Rock, because it's there that most people believe
Neithwyr returned. I will only stay here long enough to see if there are
other inquiries I can make only in Morrowind to bring us closer to our goal
of recovering Azura's Star.

Your Friend,

Koniinge



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Mysticism5
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Mysticism skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Charwich-Koniinge Letters, Book III
13 Last Seed, 3E 411
Wayrest, High Rock

My Dear Koniinge,

Please forgive the quality of the handwriting on this note, but I have not
long to live. I can only reply in detail to one part of your letter, and that
is that I fear Baliasir, contrary to what you've heard, is very much real.
Had he been but a figment of that caretaker's imagination, I would not be
feeling life ebb from me as I write this.

Lady Moorling has sent for healers, but I know they won't arrive in time. I
just need to explain what happened so that you'll understand, and then all my
affairs in this world will be ended. The one advantage of my condition is
that I must be brief, without my habitually ornamental descriptions of people
and places. I know that you will appreciate that at least.

It started when I came to Wayrest, and through my friend Lady Moorling and
her court connections was introduced to Baliasir himself. I had to proceed
carefully, not wanting him to know of our designs on Azura's Star which I
presumed he possessed, given to him by his servant Hadwaf Neithwyr. His
function in Queen Elysana's court seemed to be decorative, like so many of
her courtiers, and it was not hard to differentiate myself from the others
when we began conversing on the school of mysticism. Many of the other
hangers-on at the palace can speak eloquently on the subject of the magickal
arts, but it seemed that only he and I had deep knowledge of the craft.

Many a nobleman or adventurer who aren't mages by profession learn a spell or
two from the useful schools of restoration or destruction. I told Baliasir
quite truthfully that I had never learned any of that (oh, but I wish I knew
some healing spells of the school of restoration now), but that I had
developed some small skill in mysticism. Not enough to be a Psijic, of
course, but in telekinesis, password, and spell reflection I had some amateur
ability. He responded with compliments, which allowed me to segue into the
topic of another spell of mysticism, the soul trap.

I told him I was unlearned but curious about that spell. And very naturally
and comfortably, I was able to bring up the subject of Azura's Star, the
endless well of souls.

Imagine how I had to hold back my excitement when he leaned in and whispered
to me, "If that interests you, come to Klythic's Cairn west of the city
tomorrow night."

I couldn't sleep at all. The only thing I could think of was how I would get
the Star when he showed it to me. I still knew so little about Baliasir, his
past and his power, but the opportunity was too great to let pass. Still, I
must admit that I held hopes that you would arrive, as you threatened you
might in your letter, so I might have someone of physical strength to aid me
in my adventure.

I am growing weaker and weaker as I write this, so I must proceed with the
basic facts. I went to the crypt the following night, and Baliasir led me
through the maze of it to the repository where he kept the Star. We were
talking quite casually, and as you've so often said, it seemed an excellent
time for an ambush. I grabbed the Star and unsheathed my blade in what I felt
was amazing speed.

He turned to me and I suddenly felt that I was moving like a snail. In a
flash, Baliasir changed his form and became his true self, not man or mer,
but daedra. A colossal daedra lord who swiped back the Star from my grasp and
laughed at my sword as it thudded against his impenetrable hide.

I knew I had been beaten, and I threw myself towards the corridor. A blue
flash of energy coursed through me, flung by Baliasir's claws. At once, I
began to feel death. He could have smote me with a thousand spells, but he
chose the one where I could lie down, and suffer, and hear him laugh. At the
very least, I did not give him that pleasure.

Already struck, it was too late for me to cast a counterspell of mysticism,
one to dispel the magicka, reflect it or absorb it as my own. But I did still
know how to teleport myself, what mystics term 'Recall,' to whatever place
I'd last set a spiritual anchor. I confess that at the time, I didn't
remember where that would be. Perhaps in Bhoriane when I arrived in the Iliac
Bay, or in Kambria, or in Grimtry Garden where I met the caretaker, or my
hostess's palace in Wayrest. I prayed that I had not set the anchor last when
I was with you in Morrowind, for it said that if the distance is too great,
one can be caught between dimensions. Still, I was willing to take that
chance, rather than being the plaything of Baliasir.

I cast the spell and found myself back on the doorstep of Lady Moorling's
palace. To be out of the crypt and away from the daedra was a relief, but I
had so hoped that I had been smart enough to cast an anchor near a Mages
Guild or a temple where I could find a healer. Instead, knowing I was too
weak to walk far, I beat on the door and was taken here, where I write this
letter, lying in my bed.

As I wrote those words, dear Elysbetta, Lady Moorling, came in, quite
tearfully and frantic, to tell me the healers should be hre withn but a few
minute. But I wil be ded ere they arrve. I know thes are m last wors. Der
frend, stay away frm this cursd place.

Yr Frend,

Charwich



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_hand to hand4
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Hand-to-Hand skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Charwich-Koniinge Letters, Book IV
8 Sun's Dawn, 3E 412
Amiglith, Summurset Isle

My Good Friend, Lord Gemyn,

You must forgive me for not meeting you at the palace personally, but I've
been unavoidably, tragically detained.  I've left the front gate and door
unlocked, and if you're reading this, you must have made it at least as far
the antechamber to the east drawing room.  Perhaps you've already wandered
the estate and seen some of its delights before coming to this chamber: the
seven fountains of marble and porphyry, the reflecting pool, the various
groves, the colonnades and quincunx.  I don't think you would have already
gone to the second floor suites and the west wing as you would have had to
pass this room first, and picked up this letter.  But believe me, they're
beautifully appointed with magnificent balustrades, winding staircases,
intimate salons, and bedchambers worthy of your affluence.

The price of this property is exorbitant, certainly, but for a man like you
who seeks only the best, this is the villa you must have.  As you undoubtedly
noticed as you arrived through the gates, there are several smaller buildings
ideally suited to be guard stations.  I know you are concerned with security.

I am an intensely greedy man, and there is nothing I would have liked more
than to meet you here today, show you the grounds, fawn on you obsequiously,
and collect a fat percentage of the cost of the sale when you bought this
marvelous palace, as I'm sure you would have.  My dilemma that caused my
inexcusable absence began shortly after I arrived here early to make certain
the villa was well-cleaned for your inspection.  A man named Koniinge crept
up behind me, and gripped me by the throat.  Clamping his left hand over my
mouth and nose, and throttling me with his right hand, crushing the soft spot
on my throat just below the thyroidal cartilage, he effectively strangled me
in a few quick but very painful minutes.

I am currently buried in a pile of leaves in the north statuary parterre,
close to the exceptional sculptural representation of the Transformation of
Trinimac.  It should not be too long before I am discovered: someone at my
bank will surely notice my absence in due time.  Koniinge might have buried
me deeper, but he wanted to be ready for the arrival of his old partner,
Charwich.

Perhaps part of you thinks it best to stop reading now, Lord Gemyn.  You are
looking around the antechamber and seeing nothing but doors.  The large one
you took to come in from the garden is locked now behind you, and without a
better knowledge of the layout of the estate, I could not recommend you
attempt to flee down a corridor that might easily come to a dead end.  No.
Much better to keep reading, and see where this is going.

Koniinge, it seems, was in a partnership with his friend Charwich to try to
recover Azura's Star.  They understood it to be in the possession of someone
named Hadwaf Neithwyr, a man who conjured up the Daedra Prince Azura herself
to acquire it.  As Neithwyr originally haled from High Rock, Charwich went
there to look for him, while his partner searched Morrowind.  They planned to
communicate their findings by letters sent through couriers.

Charwich's first letter stated that he had found information that Neithwyr
had a mysterious patron named Baliasir, a fact he had learned at a cemetery
with a gravestone of Neithwyr's sister Peryra and a lycanthropic caretaker.
Koniinge replied back that he could find nothing about Baliasir, but believed
that Neithwyr had returned to High Rock with Peryra after getting the Star.
Charwich's last letter was a written on his deathbed, having sustained mortal
wounds from his battle with Baliasir, who it seemed had been a mighty daedra
lord.

Koniinge grieved for his friend, and traveled the span of the Empire to
Wayrest, to pay his call of condolences on Lady Moorling, the woman at whose
house Charwich had been staying.  After making some inquiries, Koniinge
learned that her ladyship had left the city, quite suddenly.  She had been
entertaining a guest named Charwich, and it was understood that he had died,
though no one ever saw the body.  Certainly no healers had been sent to her
house on the 13th of Last Seed of last year.  And no one in Wayrest, just
like no one in Tel Aruhn, had ever heard of Baliasir.

Poor Koniinge was suddenly unsure of everything.  He retraced his late
partner's path through Boriane and Grimtry Gardens, but found that the
Neithwyr family crypt was elsewhere, in a small town in the barony of
Dwynnen.  There was indeed a lycanthropic caretaker, fortunately in human
form at the time.  When questioned (using the technique of strangulation,
release, strangulation, release), he told Koniinge the story that he had told
Charwich many months before.

Hadwaf and Peryra Neithwyr had returned to Dwynnen, intent on settling old
business.  As the Star requires potent spirits for power, they thought they
would begin small by capturing the spirit of the werewolf they knew of in the
family graveyard.  Sadly, for them, their grasp exceeded their reach.  When
the poor caretaker resumed his human form one morning, he found himself lying
next to the shredded, bloody bodies of the Neithwyr siblings.  Distressed and
fearful, he brought the corpses and all their possessions down into the
crypt.   They were still there when Charwich came, and so too was Azura's
Star.

Koniinge now saw things clearly.  The letters he had received from Charwich
were lies, intended to keep him away.  Undoubtedly with the assistance of
Lady Moorling, his new partner, he had concocted stories, including one of
his own demise, to trick Koniinge into abandoning the quest for the Star.  It
was clearly a sad statement on the nature of friendship, and one that needed
immediate correction.

It took the better part of six months for Koniinge to find his old partner.
Charwich and Lady Moorling had used the power of the Star to make themselves
very wealthy and powerful.  They assumed a number of different identities in
their travels through High Rock and Skyrim, and then down to Valenwood and
the Summurset Isle.  Along the way, of course, the Star itself disappeared,
as great daedric artifacts always do.  The couple still had much wealth, but
their love sadly fell on troubled times.  When they reached Alinor, they
parted ways.

One must assume that during their months together, Charwich must have told
Lady Moorling about Koniinge.  It's pleasant to think of the loving couple
laughing over the stories they were telling him about the mythical and
dangerous Baliasir.  Charwich must not have given his former beloved a very
accurate physical description, however, because when Lady Moorling (then
under the identity of the Countess Zyliana) met Koniinge, she had no idea who
he was.  It came as quite a surprise to her when he began strangling her and
requesting information about her former paramour.

Before she died, she told Koniinge what Charwich's new name and title was,
and where he was looking for a new palace.  She even told him about me.
Given all the twists and bends the last months' chase took him on, it was not
difficult to find which palace Charwich was looking to buy, and what time his
appointment was to view it.  Then he had merely to arrive early, dispose of
me, and wait.

There our story must sadly end.  I look forward to seeing you soon.

Yours,

Syrix Goinithi,
Former Estate Banker

P.S.: Charwich -- Turn around now, or don't.  Your choice.  Your friend,
Koniinge.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cherim's Heart of Anequina
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_medium armor1
Weight:        4
Value:         225
Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Interviews With Tapestrists
Volume Eighteen
Cherim's Heart of Anequina
by Livillus Perus
Professor at the Imperial University

Contemporary with Maqamat Lusign (interviewed in volume seventeen of this
series) is the Khajiti Cherim, whose tapestries have been hailed as
masterpieces all over the Empire for nigh on thirty years now. His four
factories located throughout Elsweyr make reproductions of his work, but his
original tapestries command stellar prices.  The Emperor himself owns ten
Cherim tapestries, and his representatives are currently negotiating the sale
of five more.

The muted use of color contrasted with the luminous skin tones of Cherim's
subjects is a marked contrast with the old style of tapestry.  The subjects
of his work in recent years have been fabulous tales of the ancient past: the
Gods meeting to discuss the formation of the world; the Chimer following the
Prophet Veloth into Morrowind;  the Wild Elves battling Morihaus and his
legions at the White Gold Tower.  His earliest designs dealt with more
contemporary subjects.  I had the opportunity to discuss with him one of his
first masterpieces, The Heart of Anequina, at his villa in Orcrest.

The Heart of Anequina presents an historic battle of the Five Year War
between Elsweyr and Valenwood which raged from 3E 394 (or 3E 395, depending
on what one considers to be the beginning of the war) until 3E 399.  In most
fair accounts, the war lasted 4 years and 9 months, but artistic license from
the great epic poets added an additional three months to the ordeal.

The actual details of the battle itself, as interpreted by Cherim, are
explicit.  The faces of a hundred and twenty Wood Elf archers can be
differentiated one from the other, each registering fear at the approach of
the Khajiti army.  Their hauberks catch the dim light of the sun.  The
menacing shadows of the Elsweyr battlecats loom on the hills, every muscle
strained, ready to pounce in command.  It is not surprising that he got all
the details right, because Cherim was in the midst of it, as a Khajiti foot
soldier.

Every minute part of the Khajiti medium-weight armor can be seen in the
soldiers in the foreground.  The embroidered edging and striped patterns on
the tunics.  Each lacquered plate on loose-fitting leather in the Elsweyr
style.  The helmets of cloth and fluted silver.

"Cherim does not understand the point of plate mail," said Cherim. "It is
hot, for one, like being both burned and buried alive. Cherim wore it at the
insistence of our Nord advisors during the Battle of Zelinin, and Cherim
couldn't even turn to see what my fellow Khajiit were doing.  Cherim did some
sketches for a tapestry of the Battle of Zelinin, but Cherim finds that to
make it realistic, the figures came out very mechanical, like iron golems or
dwemer centurions.  Knowing our Khajiti commanders, Cherim would not be
surprised if giving up the heavy plate was more aesthetic than practical."

"Elsweyr lost the Battle of Zelinin, didn't she?"

"Yes, but Elsweyr won the war, starting at the next battle, the Heart of
Anequina," said Cherim with a smile. "The tide turned as soon as we Khajiit
sent our Nordic advisors back to Solitude.  We had to get rid of all the
heavy armor they brought to us and find enough traditional medium armor our
troops felt comfortable wearing. Obviously, the principle advantage of the
medium armor was that we could move easily in it, as you can see from the
natural stances of the soldiers in the tapestry.

"Now if you look at this poor perforated Cathay-raht who just keeps battling
on in the bottom background, you see the other advantage.  It seems strange
to say, but one of the best features of medium armor is that an arrow will
either deflect completely or pass all the way through. An arrow head is like
a hook, made to stick where it strikes if it doesn't pass through.  A soldier
in medium armor will find himself with a hole in his body and the bolt on the
other side. Our healers can fix such a wound easily if it isn't fatal, but if
the arrow still remains in the armor, as it does with heavier armor, the
wound will be reopened every time the fellow moves. Unless the Khajiit strips
off the armor and pulls out the arrow, which is what we had to do at the
Battle of Zelinin. A difficult and time-consuming process in the heat of
battle, to say the least."

I asked him next, "Is there a self portrait in the battle?"

"Yes," Cherim said with another grin. "You see the small figure of the
Khajiit stealing the rings off the dead Wood Elf?  His back is facing you,
but he has a brown and orange striped tail like Cherim's. Cherim does not say
that all stereotypes about the Khajiit are fair, but Cherim must sometimes
acknowledge them."

A self-deprecating style in self-portraiture is also evident in the
tapestries of Ranulf Hook, the next artist interviewed in volume nineteen of
this series.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Children of the Sky
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ChildrenOfTheSky
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Children of the Sky

Nords consider themselves to be the children of the sky. They call Skyrim the
Throat of the World, because it is where the sky exhaled on the land and
formed them. They see themselves as eternal outsiders and invaders, and even
when they conquer and rule another people; they feel no kinship with them.

The breath and the voice are the vital essence of a Nord. When they defeat
great enemies they take their tongues as trophies. These are woven into ropes
and can hold speech like an enchantment. The power of a Nord can be
articulated into a shout, like the kiai of an Akaviri swordsman. The
strongest of their warriors are called "Tongues." When the Nords attack a
city, they take no siege engines or cavalry; the Tongues form in a wedge in
front of the gatehouse, and draw in breath. When the leader lets it out in a
kiai, the doors are blown in, and the axemen rush into the city. Shouts can
be used to sharpen blades or to strike enemies. A common effect is the shout
that knocks an enemy back, or the power of command. A strong Nord can instill
bravery in men with his battle-cry, or stop a charging warrior with a roar.
The greatest of the Nords can call to specific people over hundreds of miles,
and can move by casting a shout, appearing where it lands.

The most powerful Nords cannot speak without causing destruction. They must
go gagged, and communicate through a sign language and through scribing
runes.

The further north you go into Skyrim, the more powerful and elemental the
people become, and the less they require dwellings and shelters. Wind is
fundamental to Skyrim and the Nords; those that live in the far wastes always
carry a wind with them.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chimarvamidium
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Heavy Armor3
Weight:        4
Value:         225
Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Chimarvamidium
Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, Part VI
By Marobar Sul

After many battles, it was clear who would win the War.  The Chimer had great
skills in magick and bladery, but against the armored battalions of the
Dwemer, clad in the finest shielding wrought by Jnaggo, there was little hope
of their ever winning.   In the interests of keeping some measure of peace in
the Land, Sthovin the Warlord agreed to a truce with Karenithil Barif the
Beast.  In exchange for the Disputed Lands, Sthovin gave Barif a mighty
golem, which would protect the Chimer's territory from the excursions of the
Northern Barbarians.

Barif was delighted with his gift and brought it back to his camp, where all
his warriors gaped in awe at it.  Sparkling gold in hue, it resembled a
Dwemer cavalier with a proud aspect.  To test its strength, they placed the
golem in the center of an arena and flung magickal bolts of lightning at it.
Its agility was such that few of the bolts struck it.  It had the wherewithal
to pivot on its hips to avoid the brunt of the attacks without losing its
balance, feet firmly planted on the ground.  A vault of fireballs followed,
which the golem ably dodged, bending its knees and its legs to spin around
the blasts.  The few times it was struck, it made certain to be hit in the
chest and waist, the strongest parts of its body.

The troops cheered at the sight of such an agile and powerful creation.  With
it leading the defense, the Barbarians of Skyrim would never again
successfully raid their villages.  They named it Chimarvamidium, the Hope of
the Chimer.

Barif has the golem brought to his chambers with all his housethanes.  There
they tested Chimarvamidium further, its strength, its speed, its resiliency.
They could find no flaw with its design.

"Imagine when the naked barbarians first meet this on one of their raids,"
laughed one of the housethanes.

"It is only unfortunate that it resembles a Dwemer instead of one of our
own," mused Karenithil Barif. "It is revolting to think that they will have a
greater respect for our other enemies than us."

"I think we should never accepted the peace terms that we did," said another,
one of the most aggressive of the housethanes. "Is it too late to surprise
the warlord Sthovin with an attack?"

"It is never too late to attack," said Barif. "But what of his great armored
warriors?"

"I understand," said Barif's spymaster. "That his soldiers always wake at
dawn.  If we strike an hour before, we can catch them defenseless, before
they've had a chance to bathe, let alone don their armor."

"If we capture their armorer Jnaggo, then we too would know the secrets of
blacksmithery," said Barif. "Let it be done.  We attack tomorrow, an hour
before dawn."

So it was settled.  The Chimer army marched at night, and swarmed into the
Dwemer camp.  They were relying on Chimarvamidium to lead the first wave, but
it malfunctioned and began attacking the Chimer's own troops.  Added to that,
the Dwemer were fully armored, well-rested, and eager for battle.  The
surprise was turned, and most of the high-ranking Chimer, including
Karenithil Barif the Beast, were captured.

Though they were too proud to ask, Sthovin explained to them that he had been
warned of their attack by a Calling by one of his men.

"What man of yours is in our camp?" sneered Barif.

Chimarvamidium, standing erect by the side of the captured, removed its head.
Within its metal body was Jnaggo, the armorer.

"A Dwemer child of eight can create a golem," he explained. "But only a truly
great warrior and armorer can pretend to be one."

Publisher's Note:

This is one of the few tales in this collection, which can actually be traced
to the Dwemer. The wording of the story is quite different from older
versions in Aldmeris, but the essence is the same. "Chimarvamidium" may be
the Dwemer "Nchmarthurnidamz." This word occurs several times in plans of
Dwemer armor and Animunculi, but it's meaning is not known. It is almost
certainly not "Hope of the Chimer," however.

The Dwemer were probably the first to use heavy armors. It is important to
note how a man dressed in armor could fool many of the Chimer in this story.
Also note how the Chimer warriors react. When this story was first told,
armor that covered the whole body must have still been uncommon and new,
whereas even then, Dwemer creations like golems and centurions were well
known.

In a rare scholarly moment, Marobar Sul leaves a few pieces of the original
story intact, such as parts of the original line in Aldmeris, "A Dwemer of
eight can create a golem, but an eight of Dwemer can become one."

Another aspect of this legend that scholars like myself find interesting is
the mention of "the Calling."  In this legend and in others, there is a
suggestion that the Dwemer race as a whole had some sort of silent and
magickal communication. There are records of the Psijic Order which suggest
they, too, share this secret. Whatever the case, there are no documented
spells of "calling." The Cyrodiil historian Borgusilus Malier first proposed
this as a solution to the disappearance of the Dwemer.  He theorized that in
1E 668, the Dwemer enclaves were called together by one of their powerful
philosopher-sorcerers ("Kagrnak" in some documents) to embark on a great
journey, one of such sublime profundity that they abandoned all their cities
and lands to join the quest to foreign climes as an entire culture.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chronicles of Nchuleft
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ChroniclesNchuleft
Weight:        2
Value:         250
Special Notes: None

Chronicles of Nchuleft

[This is a chronicle of events of historical significance to the Dwemer
Freehold Colony of Nchuleft. The text was probably recorded by an Altmer, for
it is written in Aldmeris.]

23. The Death of Lord Ihlendam

It happened in Second Planting (P.D. 1220) that Lord Ihlendam, on a journey
in the Western Uplands, came to Nchuleft; and Protector Anchard and General
Rkungthunch met him there, and Dalen-Zanchu also came to the meeting.  They
talked together long by themselves; but this only was known of their
business, that they were to be friends of each other.  They parted, and each
went home to his own colony.

Bluthanch and her sons came to hear of this meeting, and saw in this secret
meeting a treasonable plot against the Councils; and they often talked of
this among themselves.  When spring came, the Councils proclaimed, as usual,
a Council Meet, in the halls of Bamz-Amschend. The people accordingly
assembled, handfasted with ale and song, drinking bravely, and much and many
things were talked over at the drink-table, and, among other things, were
comparisons between different dwemer, and at last among the Councilors
themselves.

One said that Lord Ihlendam excelled his fellow Councilors by far, and in
every way. At this Councilor Bluthanch was very angry, and said that she was
in no way less than Lord Ihlendam, and that she was eager to prove it.
Instantly both parties were so inflamed that they challenged each other to
battle, and ran to their arms.  But some citizens who were less drunk, and
more understanding, came between them, and quieted them; and each went back
to his colony, but nobody expected that they would ever meet in peace again
together.

But then, in the fall, Lord Ihlendam received a message from Councilor
Bluthanch, inviting him to a parlay at Hendor-Stardumz. And all Ihlendam's
kin and citizens strongly urged him not to come, fearing treachery, but Lord
Ihlendam would not listen to counsel, not even to carrying with him his honor
guard. And sadly, it came to pass that, while traveling to Hendor-Stardumz,
in Chinzinch Pass, a host of foul creatures set upon Lord Ihlendam and killed
him, and all of his party. And many citizens said thereafter that Bluthanch
and her sons had conjured these beasts and set them upon Lord Ihlendam, but
nothing was proven. Lord Ihlendam lies buried at a place called Leftunch.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Confessions of a Skooma-Eater
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Confessions
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

CONFESSIONS OF A DUNMER SKOOMA-EATER

Nothing is more revolting to Dunmer feeling than the sorry spectacle of
another Dunmer enslaved by that derivative moon-sugar known as 'skooma.' And
nothing is less appetising than listening to the pathetic tales of
humiliation and degradation associated with a victim of this addictive drug.

Why, then, do I force myself upon you with this extended and detailed account
of my sins and sorrows?

Because I hope that by telling my tale, the hope of redemption from this
sorry state shall be more widely known. And because I hope that others who
have also fallen into the sorry state of skooma addiction may therefore hear
of my story, of how I fell into despair, and how I once again found myself
and freed myself from my own self-imposed chains.

Because it is widely known to all Khajiit, who may be expected to know, that
there is no cure for addiction to skooma, that once a slave to skooma, always
a slave to skooma. Because this is widely known, it is taken to be true. But
it is not true, and I am living proof.

There is no miracle cure. There is no potion to be taken. There is no magical
incantation which frees you from the thrill of skooma running through your
blood.

But it is through the understanding of that thrill, and the acceptance of the
lust within oneself for that thrill, and the casting aside of the shame that
the thrillseeker feels when he cannot set aside what becomes in the end his
only comfort and pleasure, it is through this knowledge and understanding
that the victim comes to the place where choices may be made, where despair
and hope may be separated.

In short, only knowledge and acceptance can deliver into the slave's hands
the key that opens his shackles and sets him free.


[The narrative of Tilse Sendas' tale carries the reader through the stages of
early infatuation, ecstatic obsession, and profound degradation of her
addiction, and in the course of the story she subtly enables the reader to
discover that the hopelessness of the addict comes from the addict's own
unconscious assumption that only a helpless and foolish person could become
addicted to skooma, and that, consequently, no such helpless and foolish
person could ever achieve the admittedly difficult task of renouncing, once
tasted, the exquisite delights of the skooma. Tilse Sendas shows that once
the addict overcomes the burden of her own self-despising, that there is the
possibility of redemption. And, against all of society's dearly held beliefs,
she says that it is not altogether clear that the addict SHOULD renounce the
sugar, but that it is only one of the choices that the skooma addict must
make. Tilse Sendas' casual proposition that skooma addiction is not
necessarily a sign of moral and personal weakness is essential to her thesis
that a cure is possible, but it has not endeared her or her book to the
upright and conservative elements of Dunmer society.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corpse Preparation v I
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_corpsepreperation1_c
               Or
               bk_corpsepreperation1_o
Weight:        2
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

On the Preparation of the Corpse
Volume One: The Acquisition of the Corpse

While the Arts of Necromancy are only illegal in the province of Morrowind,
few citizens of the Empire have an enlightened view of our Art. Thus, the
acquisition of corpses on which to experiment is often difficult.

In Cyrodiil, a few Necromancers who have served the Empire are given the
corpses of criminals and traitors to use legally. This provides those who
have acquired such a post with a fresh supply of corpses, most of them young,
strong, and intact.

In Morrowind, the outlawing of Necromancy would make its practice impossible
were it not for the fortunate institution of slavery. While the Temple will
investigate obvious signs of Necromancy such as hastily emptied graves or ash
stolen from one of their ashpits, a careful and discrete Necromancer can
thrive in Morrowind by taking slaves at a modest rate. Most will assume the
slave escaped or died in the Ashlands.

Finding suitable corpses in Black Marsh is nearly impossible due to their
rapid decay. There are also diseases, Argonian tribesmen, and other
difficulties that must be dealt with. I know of only a few Sload Necromancers
who operate successfully in Black Marsh, and even they stay near coast.

While the forests of Elsweyr pose some of the same problems as those of Black
Marsh, the deserts preserve corpses for hundreds of years in a way that
requires very little preparation. Khajiit of the desert tribes are often
buried with only a small cairn of stones which are easy to find and uncover.
The Khajiit show remarkably enlightened indifference to graves being
uncovered. It is said that in the port of Senchal, one may purchase anything
one desires. This is true if you desire fresh corpses.

While few Bosmer perform Arkay's rituals when burying the dead, the more
primitive Bosmer still practice cannibalism upon their enemies, which reduces
the number of available corpses. As would be expected from such a backwards
people, they have an intolerance of Necromancy that goes beyond all reason.
Many Necromancers who practice our Arts in Valenwood become "one with the
trees" themselves.

Summerset Isle is even worse in some ways. Some Altmer born into the most
respected noble and scholarly families are actually allowed to study the dead
in the open. Their research, however, seems to be centered on finding ways to
extend their lives even further rather than the more practical uses of our
Art. A Necromancer of any other race caught in Summerset Isle can expect the
worst possible punishments.

In Hammerfell, where worship of Arkay is strongest, the dead are almost
always subject to Arkay's Law. There are exceptions after large battles or in
remote areas where death occurs far from meddlesome priests. Fortunately, the
dangerous terrain and creatures in the deserts and mountains of Hammerfell
makes the acquisition of corpses possible, though they are often in poor
condition and require special care in preparation.

The newly formed Orsinium presents a unique opportunity. As you know, Orc
corpses are among the most sought after for the durability of their skin and
the strength of their bones. If King Gortwog will listen to reason, we could
offer the services of our Art in defense of his young nation in exchange for
disposing of the Orcish dead. A mutually beneficial arrangement as I'm sure
the Orcs will agree. To this end, a delegation has been sent to Orsinium,
though we have not yet heard any word on the state of these negotiations.

In my native High Rock, traditions dating back to the witch kings and nomadic
horsemen mandate cremation of the dead. This is practiced almost without
exception in the north, through an Imperial burial in a tomb or city cemetery
is more common in the south. There are still many corpses easily taken from
the battlefields of the War of Betony and the lawless times that followed.
There are even rumors that King Gothryd of Daggerfall may institute the
Imperial practice of donating the corpses of criminals for Necromantic study
as a deterrent to the bandits and pirates that still threaten the Iliac Bay.

In Skyrim, the cold weather and isolated terrain allow a few Necromancers to
operate freely. Alas, the availability of corpses is limited to Nords who die
from exposure or in battle. While the cold is preservative, the snow makes
these corpses difficult to find. More research dedicated to the magical
detection of corpses would be invaluable to the Necromancers of Skyrim.

The Sload are the most famous Necromancers, but little is known of their
native Thras. In Tamriel, Sload only practice Necromancy on other races. It
is uncertain whether this is true in Thras as well. If so, it would explain
the number of slaves that are purchased in Tear by Sload merchants and the
rumors of Sload airships carrying corpses from Senchal.

These difficulties lead many Necromancers to create their own corpses. While
I prefer to work with those who have died a natural death, a more expedient
approach is sometimes necessary to further the study of the Art.

While the Arts of Necromancy can be practiced on animals, such experiments
rarely produce interesting results. The servant's ability to follow
directions seems to be related to the subject's intelligence in life. While
raising the corpse of a man, elf, or beastman can produce a useful servant,
the corpses of animals produce mere guard dogs at best. Often a raised animal
is unable to distinguish its master from the rest of the living and many
amateur practitioners have been torn apart by the animal servants they
created. Let such stories be a lesson to you.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corpse Preparation v II
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_corpsepreperation2_c
Weight:        2
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

On the Preparation of the Corpse
Volume Two: The Skeletal Corpse

When raising a skeleton servant, it is most important that the body of the
skeleton be complete. If the skeleton is missing crucial bones, the results
can be frustrating. One should only attempt to raise skeletons when you are
sure that all or nearly all the bones are present.

While the magic involved in raising a skeleton will assemble the bones in the
proper order, skeletons may be strengthened considerably by the addition of
support on their joints. The most common are leather straps that bind the
bones together more tightly. Some practitioners also drive metal spikes are
between the joints, which is more expensive and time consuming, but they
protect the servant where it is weakest. The details of this are unimportant
as even an amateur can strengthen a skeleton significantly. Only practice
will reveal the best methods of binding and reinforcing the skeletal servant.
Amateurs often make the mistake of binding the bones too tightly, limiting
the skeleton's movements and making it useless. Again, only practice can give
the necessary experience in these matters, though it is best to err towards
tight bindings. One may always loosen them at a later date.

One more note to the student: While most undead can be raised again and
again, skeletons are often damaged in ways that make raising them again
impossible. This is another reason that care should be given to the
skeleton's preparation. Too many young Necromancers raise every skeleton they
see with little or no preparation at all. Given the difficulty of obtaining
corpses, this kind of inefficiency cannot be tolerated.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corpse Preparation v III
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_corpsepreperation3_c
Weight:        2
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

On the Preparation of the Corpse
Volume 3: The Fresh Corpse

Fresh and decayed corpses are those that still have flesh upon them. If their
decay is advanced, or if you wish a skeletal servant instead, place the
corpse along a coast or in a swamp or marsh. Animals are the Necromancer's
greatest allies when it comes to stripping the flesh from a corpse. The
ravenous mudcrabs of Morrowind can strip a corpse down to its bones in a
matter of days. Lesser crabs in other provinces can do the same in a matter
of weeks.

If you wish to create a zombie servant, one need only bring the corpse to a
suitable site and enact the proper rituals. However, there are a few tips
that a young Necromancer might want to know. For instance, a decayed servant
may be raised many times, even if they have been dismembered by those who do
not appreciate our Art. If one of your servants comes to an unfortunate end,
you may raise the servant again by carefully gathering as many parts as you
can find, binding the bones with leather straps, and sewing the flesh (if it
not too decayed) with catgut. Your servant may be weaker each time this is
done, but with care and maintenance, one may raise zombies dozens of times.

However, creating a mere zombie is a method best left to lazy or desperate
practitioners. With only a bit more time and effort, one may create a far
more useful mummified servant.

The first step to creating a mummified servant is to soak the decaying corpse
in a bath of salt or natron for at least one month. This will halt the decay
of the corpse, and if the corpse is fresh enough to have an unpleasant odor,
the salts will remove that as well. In a moist climate, such as Argonian or
Thras, you may have to apply more salts if they become saturated. Some
Necromancers remove the vital organs before or after this process, but I have
never found any practical reason for doing this.

The next step is to wrap the servant in cloth or linen. This will further
preserve the body against decay and, if done properly, will offer some
protection as well. Do not worry if the corpse seems too stiff or desiccated
to be a useful servant, the proper rituals will imbue the mummified corpse
with the strength to move itself. Most importantly, you will have a much
stronger servant who will follow your commands with more independence and
understanding.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Darkest Darkness
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_darkestdarkness
Weight:        4
Value:         60
Special Notes: None

Darkest Darkness

In Morrowind, both worshippers and sorcerers summon lesser Daedra and bound
Daedra as servants and instruments.

Most Daedric servants can be summoned by sorcerers only for very brief
periods, within the most fragile and tenuous frameworks of command and
binding. This fortunately limits their capacity for mischief, though in only
a few minutes, most of these servants can do terrible harm to their summoners
as well as their enemies.

Worshippers may bind other Daedric servants to this plane through rituals and
pacts. Such arrangements result in the Daedric servant remaining on this
plane indefinitely -- or at least until their bodily manifestations on this
plane are destroyed, precipitating their supernatural essences back to
Oblivion. Whenever Daedra are encountered at Daedric ruins or in tombs, they
are almost invariably long-term visitors to our plane.

Likewise, lesser entities bound by their Daedra Lords into weapons and armor
may be summoned for brief periods, or may persist indefinitely, so long as
they are not destroyed and banished. The class of bound weapons and bound
armors summoned by Temple followers and conjurors are examples of short-term
bindings; Daedric artifacts like Mehrunes Razor and the Mask of Clavicus Vile
are examples of long-term bindings.

The Tribunal Temple of Morrowind has incorporated the veneration of Daedra as
lesser spirits subservient to the immortal Almsivi, the Triune godhead of
Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec. These subordinate Daedra are divided into
the Good Daedra and the Bad Daedra. The Good Daedra have willingly submitted
to the authority of Almsivi; the Bad Daedra are rebels who defy Almsivi --
treacherous kin who are more often adversaries than allies.

The Good Daedra are Boethiah, Azura, and Mephala. The hunger is a powerful
and violent lesser Daedra associated with Boethiah, Father of Plots -- a
sinuous, long-limbed, long-tailed creature with a beast-skulled head, noted
for its paralyzing touch and its ability to disintegrate weapons and armor.
The winged twilight is a messenger of Azura, Goddess of Dusk and Dawn. Winged
twilights resemble the feral harpies of the West, though the feminine aspects
of the winged twilights are more ravishing, and their long, sharp, hooked
tails are immeasurably more deadly. Spider Daedra are the servants of
Mephala, taking the form of spider-humanoid centaurs, with a naked upper
head, torso, and arms of human proportions, mounted on the eight legs and
armored carapace of a giant spider. Unfortunately, these Daedra are so fierce
and irrational that they cannot be trusted to heed the commands of the
Spinner. As a consequence, few sorcerers are willing to either summon or bind
such creatures in Morrowind.

The Bad Daedra are Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath, Sheogorath, and Molag Bal. Three
lesser Daedra are associated with Mehrunes Dagon: the agile and pesky scamp,
the ferocious and beast-like clannfear, and the noble and deadly dremora. The
crocodile-headed humanoid Daedra called the daedroth is a servant of Molag
Bal, while the giant but dim-witted ogrim is a servant of Malacath.
Sheogorath's lesser Daedra, the golden saint, a half-clothed human female in
appearance, is highly resistant to magic and a dangerous spellcaster.

Another type of lesser Daedra often encountered in Morrowind is the Atronach,
or Elemental Daedra. Atronachs have no binding kinship or alignments with the
Daedra Lords, serving one realm or another at whim, shifting sides according
to seduction, compulsion, or opportunity.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Death Blow of Abernanit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Block1
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Block skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Death Blow of Abernanit
With Explains by the sage Geocrates Varnus

Broken battlements and wrecked walls
Where worship of the Horror (1) once embraced.
The bites of fifty winters (2) frost and wind
Have cracked and pitted the unholy gates,
And brought down the cruel, obscene spire.
All is dust, all is nothing more than dust.
The blood has dried and screams have echoed out.
Framed by hills in the wildest, forelorn place
Of Morrowind
Sits the barren bones of Abernanit.

When thrice-blessed Rangidil (3) first saw Abernanit,
It burnished silver bright with power and permanence.
A dreadful place with dreadful men to guard it
With fever glassed eyes and strength through the Horror.
Rangidil saw the foes' number was far greater
Than the few Ordinators and Buoyant Armigers he led,
Watching from the hills above, the field and castle of death
While it stood, it damned the souls of the people
Of Morrowind.
Accursed, iniquitous castle Abernanit.

The alarum was sounded calling the holy warriors to battle
To answer villiany's shield with justice's spear,
To steel themselves to fight at the front and be brave.
Rangidil too grasped his shield and his thin ebon spear
And the clamor of battle began with a resounding crash
To shake the clouds down from the sky.
The shield wall was smashed and blood staunched
The ground of the field, a battle like no other
Of Morrowind
To destroy the evil of Abernanit.

The maniacal horde were skilled at arms, for certes,
But the three holy fists of Mother, Lord, and Wizard (4) pushed
The monster's army back in charge after charge.
Rangidil saw from above, urging the army to defend,
Dagoth Thras (5) himself in his pernicious tower spire,
And knew that only when the heart of evil was caught
Would the land e'er be truly saved.
He pledge then by the Temple and the Holy Tribunal
Of Morrowind
To take the tower of Abernanit.

In a violent push, the tower base was pierced,
But all efforts to fell the spire came to naught
As if all the strength of the Horror held that one tower.
The stairwell up was steep and so tight
That two warriors could not ascend it side by side.
So single-file the army clambered up and up
To take the tower room and end the reign
Of one of the cruellest petty tyrants in the annals
Of Morrowind,
Dagoth Thras of Abernanit.

They awaited a victory cry from the first to scale the tower
But silence only returned, and then the blood,
First only a rivulet and then a scarlet course
Poured down the steep stairwell, with the cry from above,
"Dagoth Thras is besting our army one by one!"
Rangidil called his army back, every Ordinator and
Buoyant Armiger, and he himself ascended the stairs,
Passing the bloody remains of the best warriors
Of Morrowind
To the tower room of Abernanit.

Like a raven of death on its aerie was Dagoth Thras
Holding bloody shield and bloody blade at the tower room door.
Every thrust of Rangidil's spear was blocked with ease;
Every slash of Rangidil's blade was deflected away;
Every blow of Rangidil's mace was met by the shield;
Every quick arrow shot could find no purchase
For the Monster's greatest power was in his dread blessing
That no weapon from no warrior found in all
Of Morrowind
Could pass the shield of Abernanit.

As hour passed hour, Rangidil came to understand
How his greatest warriors met their end with Dagoth Thras.
For he could exhaust them by blocking their attacks
And then, thus weakened, they were simply cut down.
The villain was patient and skilled with the shield
And Rangidil felt even his own mighty arms growing numb
While Dagoth Thras anticipated and blocked each cut
And Rangidil feared that without the blessing of the Divine Three
Of Morrowind
He'd die in the tower of Abernanit.

But he still poured down blows as he yelled,
"Foe!  I am Rangidil, a prince of the True Temple,
And I've fought in many a battle, and many a warrior
Has tried to stop my blade and has failed.
Very few can anticipate which blow I'm planning,
And fewer, knowing that, know how to arrest the design,
Or have the the strength to absord all of my strikes.
There is no greater master of shield blocking in all
Of Morrowind
Than here in the castle Abernanit.

My foe, dark lord Dagoth Thras, before you slay me,
I beg you, tell me how you know how to block."
Wickedly proud, Dagoth Thras heard Rangidil's plea,
And decided that before he gutted the Temple champion,
He would deign to give him some knowledge for the afterlife,
How his instinct and reflexes worked, and as he started
To explain, he realized that he did not how he did it,
And watched, puzzled, as Rangidil delivered what the tales
Of Morrowind
Called "The death blow of Abernanit."

(1) "The Horror" refers to the daedra prince Mehrunes Dagon.
(2) "Fifty winters" suggests that the epic was written fifty years after the
Siege of Abernanit, which took place in 3E 150.
(3) "Thrice-blessed Rangidil" is Rangidil Ketil, born 2E 803, died 3E 195.
He was the commander of the Temple Ordinators, and "thrice-blessed" by being
blessed by the Tribunal of Gods.
(4) "Mother, Lord, and Wizard" refers to the Tribunal of Almalexia, Vivec,
and Sotha Sil.
(5) "Dagoth Thras" was a powerful daedra-worshipper of unknown origin who
declared himself the heir of the Sixth House, though there is little evidence
he descended from the vanished family.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Divine Metaphysics...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_DivineMetaphysics
Weight:        4
Value:         1000
Special Notes: Adds Divine Metaphysics conversation topic

[Undecipherable runes]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dren's shipping log
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Dren_shipping_log
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

[This appears to be the records of Orvas Dren's incoming and outgoing
shipments, complete with dates and business partners.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
East Empire Company Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_eastempirecompanyledger
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

[This ledger records the items bought and sold by the East Empire Company
here in Vvardenfell.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elante's Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Ibardad_Elante_notes
Weight:        0.2
Value:         10
Special Notes: None

At last! After these many years of searching, I'm sure I've located the
proper caverns. The Crystals are just as the stories describe; "...wrapped in
crystalline embrace, the silver pierced brow of the Traitors shall ward his
sleep." This must be the place! This must be Mordrin Hanin's tomb!

Badama and I have established quarters here. No one shall steal my discovery.
To imagine what treasures are hidden within this stone. Those Guild fools!
Mocking my studies. The Powers I shall unleash upon their miserable skins.
Tomorrow we will summon workers to begin excavation.

The Summoning was successful, although Badama lacks concentration. We nearly
had a Storm Atronach, but her poor skills allowed it to escape. We shall make
do with vermin. To think of the earth we could have riven with the Atronach.
Now we are forced to watch the Scamps scrape the surface with picks and
shovels. Hideous, miserable creatures.

Otherworldly, vermin, bastards! Fodder for my cauldron! Scamps are the most
untrue of servants. I should enlist the efforts of the Giant Rats of the
wilderness and have greater success. Whining, thieving, lazy and
treacherous...Scamps! One attempted to flee, stealing a number of potions in
his flight. I made short work of him. Perhaps the others will think deeply
before following his path. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate one of my
best Potions of Rising Force.

Success! I discovered the traces of worked stone, which when inspected
closely were obviously of Daedric workmanship. After great effort and much
moving of earth and stone, the remaining blockage fell away with a great
splash into a pool of loathsome water. The foul and noisome air which escaped
nearly choked me. The Scamps broke into a great frenzy, trying to hurl
themselves through the opening, shrieking with either terror or joy. The
creatures are clearly insane.

I've been forced to erect a gate at the opening. The Scamps still attempt to
escape into its maw. I've placed Badama as sentry to monitor the worthless
creatures. Perhaps they'll tear her to pieces in her sleep. No, I still
require her talents in the upcoming search.

The baleful effects of this place are telling on me. I've only just managed
to distill some potions to aid us in our endeavor. Soon though, we will enter
the chambers and finally realize a life's ambition. Still, though we find the
tomb, it may be for naught if we cannot locate the "Key Guardian". Sometimes
I hear voices in my dreams calling on Mordins's name. Is it terror or
adulation?



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fellowship of the Temple
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_fellowshiptemple
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Fellowship of the Temple
by Archcanon Tholer Saryoni

I have been asked to write this guidebook for outsiders who are unfamiliar
with the Tribunal Temple, and interested in joining.

All those who are earnest, and who are willing to submit to the wisdom of
Blessed Almsivi, Triune Grace, the saints, and the priests, are welcome to
the Fellowship of the Tribunal Temple. The Temple is the religion of
Morrowind and Dunmer people, and has been for generation upon generation.
With guidance and counsel of Almalexia, Vivec, and Sotha Sil, the
Anticipations, and all the hosts of saints of ancestors, the Temple guards
and protects the lands and peoples of Morrowind.

Those who follow the Tribunal must have the Personality to lead others and
the Willpower to resist the world's temptations. When violence is needful, we
fight with staves and hammers, armored only in our faith. We study
Restoration and Alchemy to heal the people, and Mysticism to learn more of
the divine. We must also study Conjuration to speak with the spirits of our
ancestors and protect against those who traffic with the Four Corners.

Those interested in joining the Tribunal Temple should speak to priests at
the temples in Ald'ruhn, Balmora, Molag Mar, and Ghostgate, or with priests
at the High Fane in the Temple Compound in Vivec.

Articles of Faith

The Temple believes that Almalexia, Vivec, and Sotha Sil were mortal
guardians of Morrowind who walked the earth, defeated the Dunmer's greatest
enemies, the Nords and the Dwarves, and achieved divine substance through
superhuman discipline and virtue and supernatural wisdom and insight. Like
loving ancestors, they guard and counsel their followers. Like stern parents,
they punish sin and error. Like generous relatives, they share their bounty
among the greatest and least, according to their needs.

Duties of the Faithful

Your fourfold duties are to: Faith, Family, Masters, and all that is good.
Perform holy quests and bring luster to the Temple. Never transgress against
your brothers or sisters, and never dishonor your house or your ancestors.
Serve and protect the poor and weak, and honor your elders and clan.

For those who would be wise, these sacred books will be of interest.

Saryoni's Sermons

Learn from the teachings of Vivec, and from the Archcanon's sermons on the
Seven Graces.

Lives of the Saints

Members of the Temple who wish to be virtuous will model their lives on the
lives of the saints.

The Pilgrim's Path

The path to wisdom and self-knowledge is through pilgrimage. Those who would
rise in the ranks of the faithful may retrace the steps of the Lords and
Saints, and gain blessings and learn virtue by suffering and overcoming
hardships.

The Consolations of Prayer

Learn what bounties and blessing might be gained by prayer at the shrines
found in temples, and in places of pilgrimage, and in the tombs of our
ancestors.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Feyfolken I
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Enchant1
Weight:        4
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Enchant skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Feyfolken
Book One
by Waughin Jarth

The Great Sage was a tall, untidy man, bearded but bald. His library
resembled him: all the books had been moved over the years to the bottom
shelves where they gathered in dusty conglomerations.  He used several of the
books in his current lecture, explaining to his students, Taksim and
Vonguldak, how the Mages Guild had first been founded by Vanus Galerion.
They had many questions about Galerion's beginnings in the Psijic Order, and
how the study of magic there differed from the Mages Guild.

"It was, and is, a very structured way of life," explained the Great Sage.
"Quite elitist, actually.  That was the aspect of it Galerion most objected
to.  He wanted the study of magic to be free.  Well, not free exactly, but at
least available to all who could afford it.  In doing that, he changed the
course of life in Tamriel."

"He codified the praxes and rituals used by all modern potionmakers,
itemmakers, and spellmakers, didn't he, Great Sage?" asked Vonguldak.

"That was only part of it.  Magic as we know it today comes from Vanus
Galerion.  He restructured the schools to be understandable by the masses.
He invented the tools of alchemy and enchanting so everyone could concoct
whatever they wanted, whatever their skills and purse would allow them to,
without fears of magical backfire.  Well, eventually he created that."

"What do you mean, Great Sage?" asked Taksim.

"The first tools were more automated than the ones we have today.  Any layman
could use them without the least understanding of enchantment and alchemy.
On the Isle of Artaeum, the students had to learn the skills laboriously and
over many years, but Galerion decided that was another example of the
Psijics' elitism.  The tools he invented were like robotic master enchanters
and alchemists, capable of creating anything the customer required, provided
he could pay."

"So someone could, for example, create a sword that would cleave the world in
twain?"  asked Vonguldak.

"I suppose, in theory, but it would probably take all the gold in the world,"
chuckled the Great Sage.  "No, I can't say we were ever in very great danger,
but that it isn't to say that there weren't a few unfortunate incidents where
a unschooled yokel invented something beyond his ken.  Eventually, of course,
Galerion tore apart his old tools, and created what we use today.  It's a
little elitist, requiring that people know what they're doing before they do
it, but remarkably practical."

"What did people invent?" asked Taksim. "Are there any stories?"

"You're trying to distract me so I don't test you," said the Great Sage. "But
I suppose I can tell you one story, just to illustrate a point.  This
particular tale takes place in city of Alinor on the west coast of Summurset
Isle, and concerns a scribe named Thaurbad.

This was in the Second Era, not long after Vanus Galerion had first founded
the Mages Guild and chapter houses had sprung up all over Summurset, though
not yet spread to the mainland of Tamriel.

For five years, this scribe, Thaurbad, had conducted all his correspondence
to the outside world by way of his messenger boy, Gorgos. For the first year
of his adoption of the hermit life, his few remaining friends and family --
friends and family of his dead wife, truth be told -- had tried visiting, but
even the most indefatigable kin gives up eventually when given no
encouragement. No one had a good reason to keep in touch with Thaurbad
Hulzik, and in time, very few even tried.  His sister-in-law sent him the
occasional letter with news of people he could barely remember, but even that
communication was rare.  Most of messages to and from his house dealt with
his business, writing the weekly proclamation from the Temple of Auri-El.
These were bulletins nailed on the temple door, community news, sermons, that
sort of thing.

The first message Gorgos brought him that day was from his healer, reminding
him of his appointment on Turdas. Thaurbad took a while to write his
response, glum and affirmative. He had the Crimson Plague, which he was being
treated for at considerable expense -- you have to remember these were the
days before the School of Restoration had become quite so specialized.  It
was a dreadful disease and had taken away his voicebox.  That was why he only
communicated by script.

The next message was from Alfiers, the secretary at the church, as curt and
noxious as ever: "THAURBAD, ATTACHED IS SUNDAS'S SERMON, NEXT WEEK'S EVENTS
CALENDAR, AND THE OBITUARIES. TRY TO LIVEN THEM UP A LITTLE. I WASN'T HAPPY
WITH YOUR LAST ATTEMPT."

Thaurbad had taken the job putting together the Bulletin before Alfiers
joined the temple, so his only mental image of her was purely theoretical and
had evolved over time. At first he thought of Alfiers as an ugly fat sloadess
covered with warts; more recently, she had mutated into a rail-thin, spinster
orcess. Of course, it was possible his clairvoyance was accurate and she had
just lost weight.

Whatever Alfiers looked like, her attitude towards Thaurbad was clear,
unwavering disdain. She hated his sense of humor, always found the most minor
of misspellings, and considered his structure and calligraphy the worst kind
of amateur work. Luckily, working for a temple was the next most secure job
to working for the good King of Alinor. It didn't bring in very much money,
but his expenses were minimal.  The truth was, he didn't need to do it
anymore.  He had quite a fortune stashed away, but he didn't have anything
else to occupy his days.  And the truth was further that having little else
to occupy his time and thoughts, the Bulletin was very important to him.

Gorgos, having delivered all the messages, began to clean and as he did so,
he told Thaurbad all the news in town.  The boy always did so, and Thaurbad
seldom paid him any attention, but this time he had an interesting report.
The Mages Guild had come to Alinor.

As Thaurbad listened intently, Gorgos told him all about the Guild, the
remarkable Archmagister, and the incredible tools of alchemy and enchanting.
Finally, when the lad had finished, Thaurbad scribbled a quick note and
handed it and a quill to Gorgos.  The note read, "Have them enchant this
quill."

"It will be expensive," said Gorgos.

Thaurbad gave Gorgos a sizeable chunk of the thousands of gold pieces he had
saved over the years, and sent him out the door.  Now, Thaurbad decided, he
would finally have the ability to impress Alfiers and bring glory to the
Temple of Auri-El.

The way I've heard the story, Gorgos had thought about taking the gold and
leaving Alinor, but he had come to care for poor old Thaurbad.  And even
more, he hated Alfiers who he had to see every day to get his messages for
his master.  It wasn't perhaps for the best of motivations, but Gorgos
decided to go to the Guild and get the quill enchanted.

The Mages Guild was not then, especially not then, an elitist institution, as
I have said, but when the messenger boy came in and asked to use the
Itemmaker, he was greeted with some suspicion.  When he showed the bag of
gold, the attitude melted, and he was ushered in the room.

Now, I haven't seen one of the enchanting tools of old, so you must use your
imagination.  There was a large prism for the item to be bound with magicka,
assuredly, and an assortment of soul gems and globes of trapped energies.
Other than that, I cannot be certain how it looked or how it worked.  Because
of all the gold he gave to the Guild, Gorgos could infuse the quill with the
highest-price soul available, which was something daedric called Feyfolken.
The initiate at the Guild, being ignorant as most Guildmembers were at that
time, did not know very much about the spirit except that it was filled with
energy. When Gorgos left the room, the quill had been enchanted to its very
limit and then some.  It was virtually quivering with power.

Of course, when Thaurbad used it, that's when it became clear how over his
head he was.

And now," said the Great Sage. "It's time for your test."

"But what happened?  What were the quill's powers?" cried Taksim.

"You can't stop the tale there!" objected Vonguldak.

"We will continue the tale after your conjuration test, provided you both
perform exceptionally well," said the Great Sage.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Feyfolken II
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Conjuration1
Weight:        4
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Conjuration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Feyfolken, Book Two
by Waughin Jarth

After the test had been given and Vonguldak and Taksim had demonstrated their
knowledge of elementary conjuration, the Great Sage told them that they were
free to enjoy the day.  The two lads, who most afternoons fidgeted through
their lessons, refused to leave their seats.

"You told us that after the test, you'd tell us more of your tale about the
scribe and his enchanted quill," said Taksim.

"You've already told us about the scribe, how he lived alone, and his battles
with the Temple secretary over the Bulletin he scripted for posting, and how
he suffered from the Crimson Plague and couldn't speak. When you left off,
his messenger boy had just had his master's quill enchanted with the spirit
of a daedra named Feyfolken," added Vonguldak to add the Great Sage's memory.

"As it happens," said the Great Sage. "I was thinking about a nap.  However,
the story does touch on some issues of the natures of spirits and thus is
related to conjuration, so I'll continue.

Thaurbad began using the quill to write the Temple Bulletin, and there was
something about the slightly lopsided, almost three-dimensional quality of
the letters that Thaurbad liked a lot.

Into the night, Thaurbad put together the Temple of Auri-El's Bulletin. For
the moment he washed over the page with the Feyfolken quill, it became a work
of art, an illuminated manuscript crafted of gold, but with good, simple and
strong vernacular. The sermon excerpts read like poetry, despite being based
on the archpriest's workmanlike exhortation of the most banal of the Alessian
doctrines. The obituaries of two of the Temple's chief benefactors were stark
and powerful, pitifully mundane deaths transitioned into world-class
tragedies. Thaurbad worked the magical palette until he nearly fainted from
exhaustion. At six o'clock in the morning, a day before deadline, he handed
the Bulletin to Gorgos for him to carry to Alfiers, the Temple secretary.

As expected, Alfiers never wrote back to compliment him or even comment on
how early he had sent the bulletin. It didn't matter. Thaurbad knew it was
the best Bulletin the Temple had ever posted. At one o'clock on Sundas,
Gorgos brought him many messages.

"The Bulletin today was so beautiful, when I read it in the vestibule, I'm
ashamed to tell you I wept copiously," wrote the archpriest. "I don't think
I've seen anything that captures Auri-El's glory so beautifully before. The
cathedrals of Firsthold pale in comparison. My friend, I prostrate myself
before the greatest artist since Gallael."

The archpriest was, like most men of the cloth, given to hyperbole. Still,
Thaurbad was happy with the compliment. More messages followed. All of the
Temple Elders and thirty-three of the parishioners young and old had all
taken the time to find out who wrote the bulletin and how to get a message to
congratulate him. And there was only one person they could go through for
that information: Alfiers. Imaging the dragon lady besieged by his admirers
filled Thaurbad with positive glee.

He was still in a good mood the next day when he took the ferry to his
appointment with his healer, Telemichiel. The herbalist was new, a pretty
Redguard woman who tried to talk to him, even after he gave her the note
reading "My name is Thaurbad Hulzik and I have an appointment with
Telemichiel for eleven o'clock. Please forgive me for not talking, but I have
no voicebox anymore."

"Has it started raining yet?" she asked cheerfully. "The diviner said it
might."

Thaurbad frowned and shook his head angrily. Why was it that everyone thought
that mute people liked to be talked to? Did soldiers who lost their arms like
to be thrown balls? It was undoubtedly not a purposefully cruel behavior, but
Thaurbad still suspected that some people just liked to prove that they
weren't crippled too.

The examination itself was routine horror. Telemichiel performed the regular
invasive torture, all the while chatting and chatting and chatting.

"You ought to try talking once in a while.  That's the only way to see if
you're getting better.  If you don't feel comfortable doing it in public, you
could try practicing it by yourself," said Telemichiel, knowing his patient
would ignore his advice. "Try singing in the bath. You'll probably find you
don't sound as bad as you think."

Thaurbad left the examination with the promise of test results in a couple of
weeks. On the ferry ride back home, Thaurbad began thinking of next week's
temple bulletin. What about a double-border around the "Last Sundas's
Offering Plate" announcement? Putting the sermon in two columns instead of
one might have interesting effects. It was almost unbearable to think that he
couldn't get started on it until Alfiers sent him information.

When she did, it was with the note, "LAST BULLETIN A LITTLE BETTER. NEXT
TIME, DON'T USE THE WORD 'FORTUITOUS' IN PLACE OF 'FORTUNATE.' THE WORDS ARE
NOT, IF YOU LOOK THEM UP, SYNONYMOUS."

In response, Thaurbad almost followed Telemichiel's advice by screaming
obscenities at Gorgos. Instead, he drank a bottle of cheap wine, composed and
sent a suitable reply, and fell asleep on the floor.

The next morning, after a long bath, Thaurbad began work on the Bulletin. His
idea for putting a light shading effect on the "Special Announcements"
section had an amazing textural effect. Alfiers always hated the extra
decorations he added to the borders, but using the Feyfolken quill, they
looked strangely powerful and majestic.

Gorgos came to him with a message from Alfiers at that very moment as if in
response to the thought. Thaurbad opened it up.  It simply said, "I'M SORRY."

Thaurbad kept working. Alfiers's note he put from his mind, sure that she
would soon follow it up with the complete message "I'M SORRY THAT NO ONE EVER
TAUGHT YOU TO KEEP RIGHT-HAND AND LEFT-HAND MARGINS THE SAME LENGTH" or "I'M
SORRY WE CAN'T GET SOMEONE OTHER THAN A WEIRD, OLD MAN AS SCRIBE OF OUR
BULLETIN." It didn't matter what she was sorry about. The columns from the
sermon notes rose like the massive pillars of roses, crowned with unashamedly
ornate headers. The obituaries and birth announcements were framed together
with a spherical border, as a heartbreaking declaration of the circle of
life. The Bulletin was simultaneously both warm and avant-garde. It was a
masterpiece. When he sent it off to Alfiers late that afternoon, he knew
she'd hate it, and was glad.

Thaurbad was surprised to get a message from the Temple on Loredas. Before he
read the content, he could tell from the style that it wasn't from Alfiers.
The handwriting wasn't Alfiers's usual belligerent slashing style, and it
wasn't all in Alfiers's usual capital letters, which read like a scream from
Oblivion.

"Thaurbad, I thought you should know Alfiers isn't at the Temple anymore. She
quit her position yesterday, very suddenly. My name is Vanderthil, and I was
lucky enough (let me admit it now, I begged pitifully) to be your new Temple
contact. I'm overwhelmed by your genius. I was having a crisis of faith until
I read last week's Bulletin. This week's Bulletin is a miracle. Enough. I
just wanted to say I'm honored to be working with you. -- Vanderthil."

The response on Sundas after the service even astonished Thaurbad. The
archpriest attributed the massive increase in attendance and collection plate
offerings entirely to the Bulletin. Thaurbad's salary was quadrupled. Gorgos
brought over a hundred and twenty messages from his adoring public.

The following week, Thaurbad sat in front of his writing plank, a glass of
fine Torvali mead at his side, staring at the blank scroll. He had no ideas.
The Bulletin, his child, his second-wife, bored him. The third-rate sermons
of the archbishop were absolute anathema, and the deaths and births of the
Temple patrons struck him as entirely pointless. Blah blah, he thought as he
scribbled on the page.

He knew he wrote the letters B-L-A-H B-L-A-H. The words that appeared on the
scroll were, "A necklace of pearl on a white neck."

He scrawled a jagged line across the page. It appeared in through that damned
beautiful Feyfolken quill: "Glory to Auri-El."

Thaurbad slammed the quill and poetry spilled forth in a stream of ink. He
scratched over the page, blotting over everything, and the vanquished words
sprung back up in different form, even more exquisite than before. Every daub
and splatter caused the document to whirl like a kaleidoscope before falling
together in gorgeous asymmetry. There was nothing he could do to ruin the
Bulletin. Feyfolken had taken over. He was a reader, not an author.

Now," asked the Great Sage. "What was Feyfolken from your knowledge of the
School of Conjuration?"

"What happened next?" cried Vonguldak.

"First, tell me what Feyfolken was, and then I'll continue the story."

"You said it was a daedra," said Taksim. "And it seems to have something to
do with artistic expression.  Was Feyfolken a servitor of Azura?"

"But the scribe may have been imagining all this," said Vonguldak. "Perhaps
Feyfolken is a servitor of Sheogorath, and he's gone mad.  Or the quill's
writing makes everyone who views it, like all the congregation at the Temple
of Auri-El go mad."

"Hermaeus Mora is the daedra of knowledge ... and Hircine is the daedra of
the wild ... and the daedra of revenge is Boethiah," pondered Taksim. And
then he smiled, "Feyfolken is a servitor of Clavicus Vile, isn't it?"

"Very good," said the Great Sage. "How did you know?"

"It's his style," said Taksim. "Assuming that he doesn't want the power of
the quill now that he has it.  What happens next?"

"I'll tell you," said the Great Sage, and continued the tale.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Feyfolken III
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Conjuration2
Weight:        4
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Conjuration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Feyfolken, Book 3
by Waughin Jarth

"Thaurbad had at last seen the power of the quill," said the Great Sage,
continuing his tale. "Enchanted with the daedra Feyfolken, servitor of
Clavicus Vile, it had brought him great wealth and fame as the scribe of the
weekly Bulletin of the Temple of Auri-El.  But he realized that it was the
artist, and he merely the witness to its magic.  He was furious and jealous.
With a cry, he snapped the quill in half.

He turned to finish his glass of mead.  When he turned around, the quill was
intact.

He had no other quills but the one he had enchanted, so he dipped his finger
in the inkwell and wrote a note to Gorgos in big sloppy letters.  When Gorgos
returned with a new batch of congratulatory messages from the Temple,
praising his latest Bulletin, he handed the note and the quill to the
messenger boy.  The note read: "Take the quill back to the Mages Guild and
sell it.  Buy me another quill with no enchantments."

Gorgos didn't know what to make of the note, but he did as he was told.  He
returned a few hours later.

"They wouldn't give us any gold back for it," said Gorgos. "They said it
wasn't enchanted.  I told 'em, I said 'What are you talking about, you
enchanted it right here with that Feyfolken soul gem,' and they said, 'Well,
there ain't a soul in it now.  Maybe you did something and it got loose.'"

Gorgos paused to look at his master.  Thaurbad couldn't speak, of course, but
he seemed even more than usually speechless.

"Anyway, I threw the quill away and got you this new one, like you said."

Thaurbad studied the new quill.  It was white-feathered while his old quill
had been dove gray. It felt good in his hand.  He sighed with relief and
waved his messenger lad away.  He had a Bulletin to write, and this time,
without any magic except for his own talent.

Within two days time, he was nearly back on schedule. It looked plain but it
was entirely his. Thaurbad felt a strange reassurance when he ran his eyes
over the page and noticed some slight errors. It had been a long time since
the Bulletin contained any errors. In fact, Thaurbad reflected happily, there
were probably other mistakes still in the document that he was not seeing.

He was finishing a final whirl of plain calligraphy on the borders when
Gorgos arrived with some messages from the Temple. He looked through them all
quickly, until one caught his eye.  The wax seal on the letter read
"Feyfolken."  With complete bafflement, he broke it open.

"I think you should kill yourself," it read in perfectly gorgeous script.

He dropped the letter to the floor, seeing sudden movement on the Bulletin.
Feyfolken script leapt from the letter and coursed over the scroll in a
flood, translating his shabby document into a work of sublime beauty.
Thaurbad no longer cared about the weird croaking quality of his voice. He
screamed for a very long time. And then drank. Heavily.

Gorgos brought Thaurbad a message from Vanderthil, the secretary of the
Temple, early Fredas morning, but it took the scribe until mid-morning to
work up the courage to look at it. "Good Morning, I am just checking in on
the Bulletin. You usually have it in on Turdas night. I'm curious. You
planning something special? -- Vanderthil."

Thaurbad responded, "Vanderthil, I'm sorry. I've been sick. There won't be a
Bulletin this Sunday" and handed the note to Gorgos before retiring to his
bath.  When he came back an hour later, Gorgos was just returning from the
Temple, smiling.

"Vanderthil and the archpriest went crazy," he said. "They said it was your
best work ever."

Thaurbad looked at Gorgos, uncomprehending.  Then he noticed that the
Bulletin was gone.  Shaking, he dipped his finger in the inkwell and scrawled
the words "What did the note I sent with you say?"

"You don't remember?" asked Gorgos, holding back a smile.  He knew the master
had been drinking a lot lately.  "I don't remember the exact words, but it
was something like, 'Vanderthil, here it is. Sorry it's late. I've been
having severe mental problems lately. - Thaurbad.'  Since you said, 'here it
is,' I figured you wanted me to bring the Bulletin along, so I did.  And like
I said, they loved it.  I bet you get three times as much letters this
Sundas."

Thaurbad nodded his head, smiled, and waved the messenger lad away.  Gorgos
returned back to the Temple, while his master turned to his writing plank,
and pulled out a fresh sheet of parchment.

He wrote with the quill: "What do you want, Feyfolken?"

The words became: "Goodbye. I hate my life. I have cut my wrists."

Thaurbad tried another tact: "Have I gone insane?"

The words became: "Goodbye. I have poison. I hate my life."

"Why are you doing this to me?"

"I Thaurbad Hulzik cannot live with myself and my ingratitude. That's why
I've put this noose around my neck."

Thaurbad picked up a fresh parchment, dipped his finger in the inkwell, and
proceeded to rewrite the entire Bulletin. While his original draft, before
Feyfolken had altered it, had been simple and flawed, the new copy was a
scrawl. Lower-case I's were undotted, G's looked like Y's, sentences ran into
margins and curled up and all over like serpents. Ink from the first page
leaked onto the second page. When he yanked the pages from the notebook, a
long tear nearly divided the third page in half. Something about the final
result was evocative. Thaurbad at least hoped so. He wrote another note
reading, simply, "Use this Bulletin instead of the piece of shit I sent you."

When Gorgos returned with new messages, Thaurbad handed the envelope to him.
The new letters were all the same, except for one from his healer,
Telemichiel. "Thaurbad, we need you to come in as soon as possible. We've
received the reports from Black Marsh about a strain of the Crimson Plague
that sounds very much like your disease, and we need to re-examine you.
Nothing is definite yet, but we're going to want to see what our options
are."

It took Thaurbad the rest of the day and fifteen drams of the stoutest mead
to recover. The larger part of the next morning was spent recovering from
this means of recovery. He started to write a message to Vanderthil: "What
did you think of the new Bulletin?" with the quill.  Feyfolken's improved
version was "I'm going to ignite myself on fire, because I'm a dying no-
talent."

Thaurbad rewrote the note using his finger-and-ink message.  When Gorgos
appeared, he handed him the note.  There was one message in Vanderthil's
handwriting.

It read, "Thaurbad, not only are you divinely inspired, but you have a great
sense of humor.  Imagine us using those scribbles you sent instead of the
real Bulletin.  You made the archbishop laugh heartily.  I cannot wait to see
what you have next week.  Yours fondly, Vanderthil."

The funeral service a week later brought out far more friends and admirers
than Thaurbad Hulzik would've believed possible. The coffin, of course, had
to be closed, but that didn't stop the mourners from filing into lines to
touch its smooth oak surface, imagining it as the flesh of the artist
himself. The archbishop managed to rise to the occasion and deliver a better
than usual eulogy. Thaurbad's old nemesis, the secretary before Vanderthil,
Alfiers came in from Cloudrest, wailing and telling all who would listen that
Thaurbad's suggestions had changed the direction of her life. When she heard
Thaurbad had left her his quill in his final testament, she broke down in
tears. Vanderthil was even more inconsolable, until she found a handsome and
delightfully single young man.

"I can hardly believe he's gone and I never even saw him face-to-face or
spoke to him," she said. "I saw the body, but even if he hadn't been all
burned up, I wouldn't have been able to tell if it was him or not."

"I wish I could tell you there'd been a mistake, but there was plenty of
medical evidence," said Telemichiel. "I supplied some of it myself. He was a
patient of mine, you see."

"Oh," said Vanderthil. "Was he sick or something?"

"He had the Crimson Plague years ago, that's what took away his voice box,
but it appeared to have gone into complete remission. Actually, I had just
sent him a note telling him words to that effect the day before he killed
himself."

"You're that healer?" exclaimed Vanderthil. "Thaurbad's messenger boy Gorgos
told me that he had just picked up that message when I sent mine,
complementing him on the new, primative design for the Bulletin. It was
amazing work. I never would've told him this, but I had begun to suspect he
was stuck in an outmoded style. It turned out he had one last work of genius,
before going out in a blaze of glory. Figuratively. And literally."

Vanderthil showed the healer Thaurbad's last Bulletin, and Telemichiel agreed
that its frantic, nearly illegible style spoke volumes about the power and
majesty of the god Auri-El."

"Now I'm thoroughly confused," said Vonguldak.

"About which part?" asked the Great Sage. "I think the tale is very straight-
forward."

"Feyfolken made all the Bulletins beautiful, except for the last one, the one
Thaubad did for himself," said Taksim thoughtfully. "But why did he misread
the notes from Vanderthil and the healer?  Did Feyfolken change those words?"

"Perhaps," smiled the Great Sage.

"Or did Feyfolken changed Thaurbad's perceptions of those words?" asked
Vonguldak. "Did Feyfolken make him mad after all?"

"Very likely," said the Great Sage.

"But that would mean that Feyfolken was a servitor of Sheogorath," said
Vonguldak. "And you said he was a servitor of Clavicus Vile.  Which was he,
an agent of mischief or an agent of insanity?"

"The will was surely altered by Feyfolken," said Taksim, "And that's the sort
of thing a servitor of Clavicus Vile would do to perpetuate the curse."

"As an appropriate ending to the tale of the scribe and his cursed quill,"
smiled the Great Sage. "I will let you read into it as you will."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighters Guild Charter
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_charterFG
Weight:        3
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

Imperial Charter of the Guild of Fighters

I. Purpose

The Guild of Fighters provides employment to free-swords and mercenaries and
contracts to local citizens. Citizens may contract with the Guild for the
removal of creatures and pests, the delivery of goods on dangerous routes,
the collection of beasts for the arenas, and other duties defined by the
Guild Stewards.

II. Authority

The Guild of Fighters was established under the section 4 of the "Guilds
Act," and this charter was first confirmed under the Potentate Versidue-Shaie
in the 321st year of the Second Era.

III. Rules and Procedures

Any member of the Guild of Fighters who strikes or steals from another member
shall be expelled from the Guild. Re-admittance is at the discretion of the
Guild Stewards.

Citizens who contract with the Guild of Fighters and have a dispute may
appeal first to the Guild Steward who accepted the contract and second with
the authorities of each Province.

IV. Membership Requirements

The Guild selects candidates who are strong and healthy. A candidate must
have some proficiency with long blades, axes, blunt weapons, and shields.
Guildsmen must be able to use and maintain heavy armor.

V. Applications for Membership

Candidates must present themselves to the Steward of the Guild Hall for
examination and approval.

ATTACHMENT A: Fighters Guild Chapters in Vvardenfell District, Province of
Morrowind

Chapters are established in Guild-owned, free-standing guildhalls in the
towns of Ald'ruhn and Balmora. The chapter in Sadrith Mora is established in
Wolverine Hall under lease from the Telvanni Council. The chapter in Vivec is
established in the Foreign Quarter under lease from the Tribunal Temple.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Five Songs of King Wulfharth
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_fivesongsofkingwulfharth
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Five Songs of King Wulfharth

Shor's Tongue

The first song of King Wulfharth is ancient, circa 1E500. After the defeat of
the Alessian army at Glenumbria Moors, where King Hoag Merkiller was slain,
Wulfharth of Atmora was elected by the Pact of Chieftains. His thu'um was so
powerful that he could not verbally swear into the office, and scribes were
used to draw up his oaths. Immediately thereafter the scribes wrote down the
first new law of his reign: a fiery reinstatement of the traditional Nordic
pantheon. The Edicts were outlawed, their priests put to the stake, and their
halls set ablaze. The shadow of King Borgas had ended for a span. For his
zealotry, King Wulfharth was called Shor's Tongue, and Ysmir, Dragon of the
North.

Kyne's Son

The second song of King Wulfharth glorifies his deeds in the eyes of the Old
Gods. He fights the eastern Orcs and shouts their chief into Hell. He
rebuilds the 418th step of High Hrothgar, which had been damaged by a dragon.
When he swallowed a thundercloud to keep his army from catching cold, the
Nords called him the Breath of Kyne.

Old Knocker

The third song of King Wulfharth tells of his death. Orkey, an enemy god, had
always tried to ruin the Nords, even in Atmora where he stole their years
away. Seeing the strength of King Wulfharth, Orkey summoned the ghost of
Alduin Time-Eater again. Nearly every Nord was eaten down to six years old.
Boy Wulfharth pleaded to Shor, the dead Chieftain of the Gods, to help his
people. Shor's own ghost then fought the Time-Eater on the spirit plane, as
he did at the beginning of time, and he won, and Orkey's folk, the Orcs, were
ruined. As Boy Wulfharth watched the battle in the sky he learned a new
thu'um, What Happens When You Shake the Dragon Just So. He used this new
magic to change his people back to normal. In his haste to save so many,
though, he shook too many years out on himself. He grew older than the
Greybeards, and died. The flames of his pyre were said to have reached the
hearth of Kyne itself.

The Ash King

The fourth song of King Wulfharth tells of his rebirth. The Dwarves and
Devils of the eastern kingdoms had started to fight again, and the Nords
hoped they might reclaim their ancient holdings there because of it. They
planned an attack, but then gave up, knowing that they had no strong King to
lead them. Then in walked the Devil of Dagoth, who swore he came in peace.
Moreover, he told the Nords a wondrous thing: he knew where the Heart of Shor
was! Long ago the Chief of the Gods had been killed by Elven giants, and they
ripped out Shor's Heart and used it as a standard to strike fear into the
Nords. This worked until Ysgramor Shouted Some Sense and the Nords fought
back again. Knowing that they were going to lose eventually, the Elven giants
hid the Heart of Shor so that the Nords might never have their God back. But
here was the Devil of Dagoth with good news! The Dwarves and Devils of the
eastern kingdom had his Heart, and this was the reason for their recent
unrest. The Nords asked the Devil of Dagoth why he might betray his
countrymer so, and he said that the Devils have betrayed each other since the
beginning of time, and this was so, and so the Nords believed him. The
Tongues sung Shor's ghost into the world again. Shor gathered an army as he
did of old, and then he sucked in the long-strewn ashes of King Wulfharth and
remade him, for he needed a good general. But the Devil of Dagoth petitioned
to be that general, too, and he pointed out his role as the blessed harbinger
of this holy war. So Shor had two generals, the Ash King and the Devil of
Dagoth, and he marched on the eastern kingdoms with all the sons of Skyrim.

Red Mountain

The fifth song of King Wulfharth is sad. The survivors of the disaster came
back under a red sky. That year is called Sun's Death. The Devil of Dagoth
had tricked the Nords, for the Heart of Shor was not in the eastern kingdoms,
and had never been there at all. As soon as Shor's army had got to Red
Mountain, all the Devils and Dwarves fell upon them. Their sorcerers lifted
the mountain and threw it onto Shor, trapping him underneath Red Mountain
until the end of time. They slaughtered the sons of Skyrim, but not before
King Wulfharth killed King Dumalacath the Dwarf-Orc, and doomed his people.
Then Vehk the Devil blasted the Ash King into Hell and it was over. Later,
Kyne lifted the ashes of the ashes of Ysmir into the sky, saving him from
Hell and showing her sons the color of blood when it is brought by betrayal.
And the Nords will never trust another Devil again.

The Secret Song of Wulfharth Ash-King

The Truth at Red Mountain

The Heart of Shor was in Resdayn, as Dagoth-Ur had promised. As Shor's army
approached the westernmost bank of the Inner Sea, they stared across at Red
Mountain, where the Dwemeri armies had gathered. News from the scouts
reported that the Chimeri forces had just left Narsis, and that they were
taking their time joining their cousins against the Nords. Dagoth-Ur said
that the Tribunal had betrayed their King's trust, that they sent Dagoth-Ur
to Lorkhan (for that is what they called Shor in Resdayn) so that the god
might wreak vengeance on the Dwarves for their hubris; that Nerevar's peace
with the Dwemer would be the ruin of the Velothi way. This was the reason for
the slow muster, Dagoth-Ur said.

The Armies Grow

And Lorkhan (for that is what they called Shor in Resdayn) said: "I do not
wreak vengeance on the Dwarves for the reasons that the Tribunal might
believe I do. Nevertheless, it is true that they will die by my hand, and any
whoever should side with them. This Nerevar is the son of Boethiah, one of
the strongest Padomaics. He is a hero to his people despite his Tribunal, and
he shall muster enough that this battle will be harder going still. We will
need more than what we have." And so Dagoth-Ur, who wanted the Dwarves as
dead as the Tribunal did, went to Kogoran and summoned his House chap'thil,
his nix-hounds, his wizards, archers, his stolen men of brass. And the Ash
King, Wulfharth, hoary Ysmir, went and made peace with the Orcs in spite of
his Nordic blood, and they brought many warriors but no wizards at all. Many
Nords could not bring themselves to ally with their traditional enemies, even
in the face of Red Mountain. They were close to desertion. Then Wulfharth
said: "Don't you see where you really are? Don't you know who Shor really is?
Don't you know what this war is?" And they looked from the King to the God to
the Devils and Orcs, and some knew, really knew, and they are the ones that
stayed.

The Doom Drum

Nerevar carried Keening, a dagger made of the sound of the shadow of the
moons. His champions were Dumac Dwarfking, who carried a hammer of divine
mass, and Alandro Sul, who was the immortal son of Azura and wore the Wraith
Mail. They met Lorkhan at the last battle of Red Mountain. Lorkhan had his
Heart again, but he had long been from it, and he needed time. Wulfharth met
Sul but could not strike him, and he fell from grievous wounds, but not
before shouting Sul blind. Dagoth-Ur met Dumac and slew him, but not before
Sunder struck his lord's Heart. Nerevar turned away from Lorkhan and struck
down Dagoth-Ur in rage, but he took a mortal wound from Lorkhan in turn. But
Nerevar feigned the death that was coming early and so struck Lorkhan with
surprise on his side. The Heart had been made solid by Sunder's tuning blow
and Keening could now cut it out. And it was cut out and Lorkhan was defeated
and the whole ordeal was thought over.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
For my Gods and Emperor
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_formygodsandemperor
Weight:        4
Value:         25
Special Notes: None


For My Gods and Emperor
A Handbook for the Imperial Cult

What is the Imperial Cult?

The missionary arm of the great faiths, the Imperial cult brings divine
inspiration and consolation to the Empire's remote provinces. The cults
combine the worship of the Nine Divines, the Aedra Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay,
Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, and Julianos, and the Talos cult,
veneration of the divine god-hero Tiber Septim, founder and patron of the
Empire. Imperial cult priests provide worship and services for all these gods
at Imperial shrines in settlements throughout Vvardenfell.

What is the Virtuous Life?

Our doctrines are simple. We acknowledge the divinity of the Nine Divines:
Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, Julianos, and
Tiber Septim. We preach the Nine Virtues: Humility, Inspiration, Piety, Work,
Compassion, Justice, Ambition, Learning, and Civility. Our Emperor is the
Defender of the Faith, and the Empire is the worldly working of the Divine
Plan. We pledge aid and comfort to all citizens in need, and serve the
Emperor and Empire at his will.

The Imperial cults look to the Nine Divines as models for living a good and
virtuous life. Each of the Nine represents different aspects of life, and how
it should be lived. But the simplest statement of our doctrines is -- help
and protect one another. The stronger one is, the wealthier one is, the more
one bears responsibility for helping and protecting others. One's first duty,
of course, is to one's fellow members of the Imperial Cult. But after that,
one should help and protect any needy persons.

We also say, "do not harm one another." It is forbidden to attack another
person of the Imperial cult, and of course, forbidden to kill another member.
It is forbidden to steal from another member, whether by open theft or by
covert pickpocketing. It is forbidden to trespass upon the private property
of another member. Break any one of these rules, and be expelled from the
cult.

How can I join the Imperial cult?

The Imperial cult accepts all citizens of good character and earnest faith.
We ask only a one-time pledge of 50 drakes to aid us in our good works.
Thereafter, the only cost of membership comes when you use our health,
healing, and blessing shrines -- modest fees which help us spread the
blessings of the Nine to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Those who wish to join the Imperial cult in Vvardenfell will find a warm
welcome from our cult greeters: Ygfa at Fort Pelagiad, Syloria Siruliulus at
Buckmoth Legion Fort, Somutis Vunnis at Moonmoth Legion Fort, Ruccia Conician
in the Grand Council Chambers in Ebonheart, or Lalatia Varian in the Imperial
Chapels at Ebonheart.

What are the requirements for advancement in the Imperial cult?

Seekers who wish to advance in the service of the Nine must dedicate time and
resources to serving the cult, and must strive for personal improvement in
their attributes and skills. Only the most distinguished are worthy of
advancement to the higher ranks in the Imperial cults.

To serve and glorify the Nine Divines, the faithful must cultivate a noble
personality and a strong will. Respect the magical arts, especially the
colleges of Restoration, Mysticism, and Conjuration. Those who swear to avoid
bloodshed, to take the field unarmored to fight only with blunt weapons, are
especially praiseworthy. Knowledge of enchantments and the gift of diplomatic
speech are other qualities we value in our initiates.

Imperial cult services

You can find Imperial cult services in Buckmoth Legion Fort, Moonmoth Legion
Fort, Pelagiad Legion Fort, Gnisis Legion Fort, Wolverine Hall in Sadrith
Mora, Vivec Foreign Quarter, and Imperial chapels in Ebonheart. Seek training
at Wolverine Hall, Buckmoth Fort, Moonmoth Fort, Ebonheart Imperial Chapels,
Governor's Hall in Caldera, and Ald Velothi Outpost.

Many Imperial cult locations have healing altars. You may pray at Imperial
cult healing altars and receive blessings which cure common and blight
diseases, cure poisons, and restore damaged attributes. Non-members pay 25
drakes. Non-members pay 25 drakes. Newer members pay 10 drakes, while higher-
ranking members receive blessings free. Healing altars are found in: Vivec
Foreign Quarter; Wolverine Hall in Sadrith Mora; Buckmoth Legion Fort;
Moonmoth Legion Fort; Pelagiad Legion Fort; Gnisis Legion Fort; and Imperial
Chapels in Ebonheart.

Opportunities for service

Lay healers gather ingredients for health and healing potions, and minister
to the sick and hurt in poor and isolated communities. It is difficult and
sometimes dangerous work, but the spiritual rewards are great. Lay healers
need only the skills of the prudent traveler, being often on the road and in
the wilderness, gathering herbs and potion components. They should avoid
trouble where possible, and so need not be masters of the arts of war. Those
interested should speak to Synnolian Tunifus at the Imperial Chapels in
Ebonheart.

Almoners gather alms from members and friends of the faith. We depend on
donations to fund most of our good works. Almoners who are successful at
bringing in generous donations may rise in the ranks of Imperial Cults
service. Almoners must travel in town and village, and should be skilled in
persuasion and mercantile matters. Also, almoners with personal wealth are in
a position to better serve the cult. Those interested should speak to Iulus
Truptor at the Imperial Chapels in Ebonheart.

A shrine sergeant helps keep order at the shrines, carries messages and
packages, and sometimes escorts priests and lay servants on dangerous
missions. This occasional service is ideal for bold, free-spirited
adventurers. Shrine sergeants are called upon to serve the Nine with weapon,
armor, and spell. New shrine sergeants are given the easiest tasks, but
later, missions may demand higher levels of combat proficiency. Those
interested should speak to Kaye at the Imperial Chapels in Ebonheart.

Oracle's Quests are the most demanding of all Imperial cult missions. Only
members of the higher ranks are invited to assist the Oracle, and the
challenges require the skill and courage found only in heroes of legend.

How do the Imperial cults view the other factions of Vvardenfell?
The Imperial cults have a very close relationship with the Imperial legions,
and a friendly and supportive relationship with the Imperial Guilds --
especially the Fighters and Mages Guilds. We also have a friendly and
supportive relationship with House Hlaalu, which strongly supports the
Emperor and Imperial principles. Though we cannot condone the actions of the
Thieves Guild, we praise their faithful dedication to the Emperor and to
Imperial culture.

The Imperial cults have the greatest respect for the high moral principles of
House Redoran and the Morag Tong, and honors their different but noble
conceptions of Divine Inspiration.

We disapprove of the primitive heathen beliefs of the Ashlanders, and of the
impious and inhumane practices of the Telvanni. The Imperial cult especially
disapproves of the practice of slavery, and looks forward to the day when
slavery is illegal in all Imperial provinces. The Imperial cult also
disapproves of the lawless and greedy Camonna Tong, and their ruthless
exploitation of the poor and weak.

Historically, our relationship with the Tribunal Temple is difficult and
unfriendly. Though the Imperial cults acknowledges the lords and saints of
the Temple pantheon as worthy inspirations, the Temple falsely insists that
theirs is the One True Faith, and that the Imperial cults worship false gods.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fort Pelagiad Prisoner Log
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_fortpelagiadprisonerlog
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None


Prisoners currently held in Pelagiad:

Morbash gro-Shagdub, Orc male, good condition

Held for brawling at the Halfway Inn. Fines to be paid in hard labor for
damages to three chairs, a table, and two windows at the Halfway Inn.

New-Shoes Bragor, Bosmer male, fair condition

Held for theft, attempted robbery, conspiracy, consorting with thieves, and
resisting arrest.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fragment: On Artaeum
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_fragmentonartaeum
Weight:        2
Value:         20
Special Notes: None


On Artaeum
By Taurce il-Anselma

The Isle of Artaeum (ar-TAY-um) is the third largest island in the Summurset
archipelago, located south of the Moridunon village of Potansa and west of
the mainland village of Runcibae.  It is best known for being home to the
Psijic Order, perhaps the oldest monastic group in Tamriel.
The earliest written record of Psijics is from the 20th year of the First Era
and tells the tale of the renowned Breton sage and author Voernet, traveling
to the Isle of Artaeum to meet with Iachesis, the Ritemaster of the Psijics.
Even then, the Psijics were the counsellors of kings and proponents of the
"Elder Way," taught to them by the original race that inhabited Tamriel.  The
Elder Way is a philosophy of meditation and study said to bind the forces of
nature to the individual will.  It differs from magicka in origin, but the
effects are much the same.
That said, it is perhaps more than coincidence that the Isle of Artaeum
literally vanished from the shores of Summurset at the beginning of the
Second Era at about the time of the founding of the Mages Guild in Tamriel.
Various historians and scholars have published theories about this, but
perhaps none but Iachesis and his own could shed light on the matter.
Five hundred years passed and Artaeum returned.  The Psijics on the Isle
consisted of persons, mostly Elves, who had disappeared and were presumed
dead in the Second Era.  They could not or would not offer any explanation
for Artaeum's whereabouts during that time, or the fate of Iachesis and the
original council of Artaeum.
Currently, the Psijics are led by the Loremaster Celarus, who has presided
over the Council of Artaeum for the last two hundred and fifty years.  The
Council's influence in Tamrielan politics is tidal. The kings of Sumurset,
particularly those of Moridunon, have often sought the Psijics' opinion.
Emperor Uriel V was much influenced by the Council in the early, most
glorious parts of his reign, before his disastrous attack on Akavir. It has
even been suggested that the fleet of King Orghum of Pyandonea was destroyed
by a joint effort of Emperor Antiochus and the Psijic Order.  The last four
emperors, Uriel VI, Morihatha, Pelagius IV, and Uriel VII, have been
suspicious of the Psijics enough to refuse ambassadors from the Isle of
Artaeum within the Imperial City.
The Isle of Artaeum is difficult to chart geographically.  It is said that it
shifts continuously either at random or by decree of the Council.  Visitors
to the island are so rare as to be almost unheard of.  Anyone desirous of a
meeting with a Psijic may find contacts in Potansa and Runcibae as well as
many of the kingdoms of Summurset.
Were it more accessible, Artaeum would be a favored destination for
travelers.  I have been to the Isle once and still dream of its idyllic
orchards and clear pastures, its still and silent lagoons, its misty
woodlands, and the unique Psijic architecture that seems to be as natural as
its surroundings as well as wondrous in its own right.  The Ceporah Tower in
particular I would study, for it is a relic from a civilization that predates
the High Elves by several hundred years and is still used in certain rites by
the Psijics.  Perhaps one day I might return.

[Note:  The author is currently on the Isle of Artaeum by gracious consent of
Master Sargenius of the Council of Artaeum.]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frontier, Conquest...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_frontierconquestaccommodat
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation:
A Social History of Cyrodiil
University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344

Historians often portray the human settlement of Tamriel as a straightforward
process of military expansion of the Nords of Skyrim.  In fact, human
settlers occupied nearly every corner of Tamriel before Skyrim was even
founded.  These so-called "Nedic peoples" include the proto-Cyrodilians, the
ancestors of the Bretons, the aboriginals of Hammerfell, and perhaps a now-
vanished Human population of Morrowind. Strictly speaking, the Nords are
simply another of these Nedic peoples, the only one that failed to find a
method of peaceful accommodation with the Elves who already occupied Tamriel.

Ysgramor was certainly not the first human settler in Tamriel.  In fact, in
"fleeing civil war in Atmora", as the Song of Return states, Ysgramor was
following a long tradition of migration from Atmora; Tamriel had served as a
"safety valve" for Atmora for centuries before Ysgramor's arrival.
Malcontents, dissidents, rebels, landless younger sons, all made the
difficult crossing from Atmora to the "New World" of Tamriel.  New
archeological excavations date the earliest human settlements in Hammerfell,
High Rock, and Cyrodiil at ME800-1000, centuries earlier than Ysgramor, even
assuming that the twelve Nord "kings" prior to Harald were actual historical
figures.

The Nedic peoples were a minority in a land of Elves, and had no choice but
to live peacefully with the Elder Race.  In High Rock, Hammerfell, Cyrodiil,
and possibly Morrowind, they did just that, and the Nedic peoples flourished
and expanded over the last centuries of the Merethic Era.  Only in Skyrim did
this accommodation break down, an event recorded in the Song of Return.
Perhaps, being close to reinforcements from Atmora, the proto-Nords did not
feel it necessary to submit to the authority of the Skyrim Elves. Indeed, the
early Nord chronicles note that under King Harald, the first historical Nord
ruler (1E 113-221), "the Atmoran mercenaries returned to their homeland"
following the consolidation of Skyrim as a centralized kingdom.  Whatever the
case, the pattern was set -- in Skyrim, expansion would proceed militarily,
with human settlement following the frontier of conquest, and the line
between Human territory and Elven territory was relatively clear.

But beyond this "zone of conflict", the other Nedic peoples continued to
merge with their Elven neighbors.  When the Nord armies of the First Empire
finally entered High Rock and Cyrodiil, they found Bretons and proto-
Cyrodiils already living there among the Elves.  Indeed, the Nords found it
difficult to distinguish between Elf and Breton, the two races had already
intermingled to such a degree.  The arrival of the Nord armies upset the
balance of power between the Nedic peoples and the Elves.  Although the
Nords' expansion into High Rock and Cyrodiil was relatively brief (less than
two centuries), the result was decisive; from then on, power in those regions
shifted from the Elves to the Humans.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Galerion The Mystic
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_galerionthemystic
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Galerion The Mystic
By Asgrim Kolsgreg

During the early bloody years of the Second Era, Vanus Galerion was born
under the name Trechtus, a serf on the estate of a minor nobleman, Lord
Gyrnasse of Sollicich-on-Ker. Trechtus' father and mother were common
laborers, but his father had secretly, against the law of Lord Gyrnasse,
taught himself and then Trechtus to read. Lord Gyrnasse had been advised that
literate serfs were an abomination of nature and dangerous to themselves and
their lords, and had closed all bookstalls within Sollicich-on-Ker. All
booksellers, poets, and teachers were forbidden, except within Gyrnasse's
keep. Nevertheless, a small scale smuggling operation kept a number of books
and scrolls in circulation right under Gyrnasse's shadow.

When Trechtus was eight, the smugglers were found and imprisoned. Some said
that Trechtus's mother, an ignorant and religious woman fearful of her
husband, was the betrayer of the smugglers, but there were other rumors as
well. The trial of the smugglers was nonexistant, and the punishment swift.
The body of Trechtus' father was kept hanging for weeks during the hottest
summer Sollicich-on-Ker had seen in centuries.

Three months later, Trechtus ran away from Lord Gyrnasse's estate. He made it
as far as Alinor, half-way across Summerset Isle. A band of troubadours found
him nearly dead, curled up in a ditch by the side of the road. They nursed
him to health and employed him as an errand boy in return for food and
shelter. One of the troubadours, a soothsayer named Heliand, began testing
Trechtus' mind and found the boy, though shy, to be preternaturally
intelligent and sophisticated given his circumstances. Heliand recognized in
the boy a commonality, for Heliand had been trained on the Isle of Artaeum as
a mystic.

When the troupe was performing in the village of Potansa on the far eastern
end of Summurset, Heliand took Trechtus, then a boy of eleven, to the Isle of
Artaeum. The Magister of the Isle, Iachesis, recognized potential in Trechtus
and took him on as pupil, giving him the name of Vanus Galarion. Vanus
trained his mind on the Isle of Artaeum, as well as his body.

Thus was the first Archmagister of the Mages Guild trained. From the Psijics
of the Isle of Artaeum, he received his training. From his childhood of want
and injustice, he received his philosophy of sharing knowledge.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Galur Rithari's Papers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_galur_rithari's_papers
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: Part of the Vampire cure quest

Private Papers of Galur Rithari, Buoyant Armiger

 [hand-written manuscripts bound as folios; excerpts]

"Outnumbered and isolated, I yielded to my foe. The creature dressed like a
gentleman, and I hoped for honorable treatment. Instead, I found myself a
feast for a blood-drinking monster.

"Shamed by my corruption, and despairing of my own welfare, I passively
acquiesced in my gradual integration into the affairs of Clan Aundae. I made
no human my prey, only beasts, and kept myself apart from the other clankin;
nonetheless, I abandoned hope and lived like a beast.

"Drawn by intimations of my former life, I visited my former post at Bal Ur,
hoping perhaps to atone in some for my crimes by preying upon its monsters,
or perishing under their attacks. It is there that, by chance, I made
petition to the Lord of Troubles, Molag Bal, at an altar deep in the caverns
beneath the pilgrim's shrine. I was surprised, and thrilled, and terrified,
when Molag Bal, or some aspect or agent of that Daedra Lord, offered me a
chance to cure myself of vampirism, in return for a favor. However, with no
hope for my soul or spirit unless I might be cured, I undertook his quest.

 [Rithari sought and obtained a cursed soul gem of mysterious nature from a
deep cavern on the northern slopes of Dagoth Ur, delivering it to Molag Bal's
shrine in Bal Ur.]

"I placed the gem within the basin before the altar, and instantly
experienced a blinding of pain and terror that I cannot express in words,
except that it seemed afterward that I had been asleep and dreaming that I
was being sliced by thousands of tiny knives from my bowels inside out. I
awoke before the altar, and gazed in the reflection of my own sword blade at
my own face - no longer a blood-seeking beast of teeth and empty eyes."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gnisis Eggmine Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_gnisiseggmineledger
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

Zebdusipal    4 eggs
Shanud    9 eggs
Mausur    5 eggs
Kummi    6 eggs


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grasping Fortune
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_graspingfortune
Weight:        3
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

Grasping Fortune
by Serjo Hlaalu Dram Bero

I am a councilor of House Hlaalu and chose to write this short guide for
those who seek to understand us or join us. House Hlaalu is the most open and
modern of the Great Houses. We are the only Great House who has embraced the
irresistible tides of Imperial law and custom. And thus we have profited by
the Empire's new policies, rising from obscurity as the Greatest of the
Houses.

In the great wind of progress, tradition cannot stand.

The Redoran may surpass us on the field of battle, but when the dust clears,
they will find themselves indebted to us. The Telvanni may know many arcane
secrets, but they fight among themselves more than against each other, and
they cannot adapt to the ways of the Empire. Ancient and powerful though a
Telvanni wizard may be, no individual can withstand the march of history. The
Indoril are loved by the people for their gifts and donations, but when the
money runs dry, will the people remember? The Dres know how to make money,
but they have not learned how not to make enemies.

Grasp fortune by the forelocks. When you see your chances, seize them.

When you see a chance to turn a profit, take it. But do not follow money
blindly. There is value in reputation, more than many young Hlaalu realize.
This value must be carefully balanced against the more tangible coins in any
deal. Theft and murder are bad for business. You can steal from someone, but
will he trade with you after that? You can't bargain with a dead man.

There are many ways to do business.

In House Hlaalu you must be fast and agile. You must be able to keep up with
business and with the times. You must be able to speak quickly and
convincingly. You must be able to trade with the best of merchants and make a
profit. You must learn to protect your own property by securing it with
hidden chests, locks, and even traps. And when confrontation is unavoidable,
it is best to fight quickly in comfortable, light armors with short blades,
or to fight from a distance with a marksman's weapons.

Then, reader, would you seize this opportunity to join House Hlaalu? Would
you have yourself be counted among the victors in the race for success? Then
submit yourself for examination at the Balmora Council Manor. If you have the
skills, you will be welcome. And if you have the will, you may serve House
Hlaalu, and advance in the ranks, for above all things, House Hlaalu prizes
initiative and ambition.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guylaine's Architecture
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_guylainesarchitecture
Weight:        4
Value:         60
Special Notes: None


Guylaine's Architecture of the Second Empire

[This is Guylaine Marilie's outdated but entertainingly written and well-
illustrated reference on late Dwemer architecture. Excerpt is from the
chapter describing the Second Empire style of approaches and defenses, and
mentioning the common formal convention of the "Four Tests". The book also
mentions that the Telvanni have adopted this Four Tests convention as an
aesthetic element in their defenses and approaches to their towers.]

"The Test of Pattern requires the observer to examine and analyze for
patterns before he acts, with the understanding that many patterns are subtle
or hidden.

"The Test of Disorder requires the observer to proceed systematically when no
pattern is perceived. When the observer recognizes that many things must be
done, and in no specific order; the procedure is to perceive and order all
the things to be done, and, upon doing a thing, to recall how and when that
thing has been done. For example, the observer must remember the initial
position of a thing, and also the new position of that thing.

"The Test of Evasion requires the observer to examine the obstacle, and
compare his resources and abilities; if the obstacle is too difficult, seek
for a path around the difficulty.

"The Test of Confrontation requires the observer to examine the obstacle, and
compare his resources and abilities; if the obstacle is too difficult, look
for a path around the difficulty... but if no path around can be found,
confront the obstacle directly."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hallgerd's Tale
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_heavy armor1
Weight:        4
Value:         325
Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Hallgerd's Tale
by Tavi Dromio

"I think the greatest warrior who ever lived had to be Vilus Nommenus,"
offered Xiomara.  "Name one other warrior who conquered more territory."

"Tiber Septim obviously," said Hallgerd.

"He wasn't a warrior, he was an administrator, a politician," said Garaz.
"And besides, acreage conquered can't be final means of determining the best
warrior.  How about skill with a blade?"

"There are other weapons than blades," objected Xiomara. "Why not skill with
an axe or a bow?  Who was the greatest master of all weaponry?"

"I can't think of one greatest master of all weaponry," said Hallgerd.
"Balaxes of Agia Nero in Black Marsh was the greatest wielder of a lance.
Ernse Llervu of the Ashlands is the greatest master of the club I've ever
seen.  The greatest master of the katana is probably an Akaviri warlord we've
never heard of.  As far as archery goes --"

"Pelinal Whitestrake supposedly conquered all of Tamriel by himself,"
interrupted Xiomara.

"That was before the First Era," said Garaz. "It's probably mostly myth.  But
there are all sorts of great warriors of the modern eras.  The Camoran
Usurper?  The unknown hero who brought together the Staff of Chaos and
defeated Jagar Tharn?"

"We can't declare an unknown champion as the greatest warrior.  What about
Nandor Beraid, the Empress Katariah's champion?" suggested Xiomara.  "They
said he could use any weapon ever invented."

"But what happened to him?" smiled Garaz.  "He was drowned in the Sea of
Ghosts because he couldn't get his armor off.  Call me overly particular, but
I think the greatest warrior in the world should know how to take armor off."

"It's kinda hard to judge ability to wear armor as a skill," said Xiomara.
"Either you have basic functionality in a suit of armor or you don't."

"That's not true," said Hallgerd. "There are masters in that as well, people
who can do things while wearing armor better than we can out of armor.  Have
you ever heard of Hlaalu Pasoroth, the King's great grandfather?"

Xiomara and Garaz admitted that they had not.

"This was hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and Pasoroth was the ruler of a
great estate which he had won by right of being the greatest warrior in the
land.  It's been said, and truly, that much of the House's current power is
based on Pasoroth's earnings as a warrior.  Every week he held games at his
castle, pitting his skill against the champions of the neighboring estates,
and every week, he won something.  His great skill wasn't in the use of
weaponry, though he was decent enough with an axe and a long sword, but in
his ability to move quickly and with great agility wearing a full suit of
heavy mail.  There were some who said that he moved faster while wearing
armor than he did out of it.

"Some months before this story begins, he had won the daughter of one of his
neighbors, a beautiful creature named Mena who he had made his wife.  He
loved her very much, but he was intensely jealous, and with good reason.  She
wasn't very pleased with his husbandly skills, and the only reason Mena never
strayed was because Pasoroth kept a close eye on her.  She was, to put it
kindly, naturally amorous and resentful of her position as a prize.  Wherever
he went, he always brought her with him.  At the games, she was placed in a
special box so that he could see her even while he competed.

"But his real competition, though he didn't know it, was from a handsome
young armorer he also had won at one of his competitions.  Mena had noticed
him, and the armorer, whose name was Taren, had certainly noticed her."

"This has all the makings of a dirty joke, Hallgerd," said Xiomara, with a
smile.

"I swear that it's entirely true," said Hallgerd.  "The problem facing the
lovers was, of course, that they could never be alone.  Perhaps because of
this, it became a burning obsession to both of them.  Taren decided that the
best time for them to consummate their love was during the games.  Mena
feigned illness, so she didn't have to stay in the box, but Pasoroth visited
the sickroom every few minutes between fights, so Taren and Mena could never
get together.  The sound of Pasoroth's armor clunking up the stairs to visit
his sick wife gave Taren the idea.

"He crafted his lord a new suit of armor, strong, and bright, and beautifully
decorated.  For his purposes, Taren rubbed the leg joints with luca dust so
the more he sweated and the more he moved them, the more they'd stick
together.  After a little while, Taren figured, Pasoroth wouldn't be able to
walk very quickly, and wouldn't have enough time in between fights to visit
his wife.  But just in case, Taren also added bells to the legs which rung
loudly when they moved, so the couple would be able to hear him coming in
plenty of time.

"When the games commenced the following week, Mena feigned illness again and
Taren presented his lord with the new armor.  Pasoroth was delighted with it,
as Taren hoped he would be, and donned it for his first fight.  Taren then
stole upstairs to Mena's bedchamber.

"All was silent outside as the two began to make love.  Suddenly, Mena
noticed a peculiar expression on Taren's face and before she had a chance to
ask him about it, his head fell off at the neck.  Pasoroth was standing
behind him with his axe in hand."

"How did he get upstairs so quickly, with his leg joints gummed up?  And
didn't they hear the bells ringing?" asked Garaz.

"Well, you see, when Pasoroth realized he couldn't walk on his legs very
quickly, he walked on his hands."

"I don't believe it," laughed Xiomara.

"What happened next?" asked Garaz.  "Did Pasoroth kill Mena also?"

"No one knows exactly what happened next," said Hallgerd. "Pasoroth didn't
return for the next game, nor for the next.  Finally, at the fourth game, he
returned to fight, and Mena appeared in the box to watch.  She didn't appear
to be sick anymore.  In fact, she was smiling and had a light flush to her
face."

"They did it?" cried Xiomara.

"I don't have all the salacious details, except that after the battle, it
took ten squires thirteen hours to get Pasoroth's armor off because of all
the luca dust mixed with sweat."

"I don't understand, you mean, he didn't take his armor off when they -- but
how?"

"Like I said," replied Hallgerd.  "This is a story about someone who was more
agile and accomplished in his armor than out of it."

"Now, that's skill," said Garaz.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hanging Gardens...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_hanginggardenswasten
Weight:        4
Value:         55
Special Notes: Adds Hanging Gardens conversation topic

Hanging Gardens of Wasten Coridale

[This book was apparently written in Dwemer and translated to Aldmeris. Only
fragments of the Aldmeris is readable, but it may be enough for a scholar of
Aldmeris to translate fragments of other Dwemer books.]

...guide Altmer-Estrial led with foot-flames for the town-center where lay
dead the quadrangular gardens...
...asked the foundations and chains and vessels their naming places...
...why they did not use solid sound to teach escape from the Earth Bones nor
nourished them with frozen flames...
....the word I shall have once written of, this "art" our lesser cousins
speak of when their admirable ignorance...
...but neither words nor experience cleanses the essence of the strange and
terrible ways of defying our ancestors' transient rules.

[The translation ends with a comment in Dwemer in a different hand, which you
can translate.]
Put down your ardent cutting-globes, Nbthld. Your Aldmeris has the correct
words, but they cannot be properly misinterpreted.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hanin's Wake
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_bartendersguide
               Or
               bk_bartendersguide_01
Weight:        6
Value:         10
Special Notes: None

...and upon that year of the Reign of Wulfharth and his Son's, the
Magnificence that was Mordrin Hanin ended in this world. Representative of
Ashalmawia, Maelkashishi and Ald Sotha gathered in a great host at the
vastness of Assurnabitashpi. Even Hilbongard and Dorach Gusal were lured from
their Forge, and for a time the Fires of Anudnabia were silent.

And thus on the Ninth Day of Mourning, many slaves and enemies were
sacrificed and the Cup of Passage was mixed according to the direction of
Hanin's Formulae:

  2 Parts Blood of Traitors
  1 Part Heart of Daedra
  1 Part mixed Bittergreen Petals, Void Salts, Green Lichens and Bonemeal
  1 Part Moonsugar
  5 Parts Flin

Combine Blood, Heart, Moonsugar in Large Ebony Alembic. Heat fire fed by
Bones of Traitors. Condense vapors into a large Ebony flask. For a hot drink,
strain contents through Scamp Skin and mix with Flin in large mug, slowly
stirring with a glass rod. For a chilled drink, mix in flask with pure Skyrim
Ice and shake vigorously. Strain through Winged Twilight membrane and served
in gem encrusted goblet.

The wake was considered a great success as the beverage killed a great many
guests and thus Mordrin Hanin was supplied with companions in the next world.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hlaalu Vaults Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Hlaalu_Vaults_Ledger
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

[This book contains meticulous records of all commerce and transactions via
the Hlaalu Vaults as well as an up to date account of the current inventory.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homilies of Blessed Almalexia
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_HomiliesOfBlessedAlmalexia
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

The Homilies of Blessed Almalexia

Sotha Sil and the Scribs

Young Sotha Sil, while playing in the egg mines, saw a number of scribs in a
deep shaft, and he began to cast stones upon them, snickering as they
skittered and scattered, until one of the scribs, lifting its head up in
agony, cried out to Sotha Sil: "Please, please, have mercy, little boy, for
what is sport to you is suffering and death to us."

And so Sotha Sil discovered that the idle of amusements of one may be the
solemn tortures of another.

Lord Vivec and the Contentious Beasts

A shalk and a kagouti were strutting back and forth in a foyada, casting
aspersions of one another's looks. "You are the ugliest creature alive," the
shalk told the kagouti. "No, YOU are the ugliest creature alive," the kagouti
told the shalk. For each thought himself most handsome, and the other most
ugly.

Then Lord Vivec chanced by, and settled their dispute. "No, you BOTH are the
ugliest creatures alive, and I will not have my pleasant sojourn spoiled by
your unseemly squabbling." So he dealt them both mighty blows, shattering
their skulls, and silencing their argument, and went merrily upon his way.

And thus Lord Vivec proved that ugliness is as much in one's manner as in
one's appearance.

The Boiled Kagouti

It is said that if a kagouti steps into a boiling pool, he will leap out
immediately to avoid harm.

But if the kagouti is standing in a pool, and a wizard slowly raises the
temperature, measure by measure, to boiling, the kagouti will calmly stand in
place until he is boiled.

Thus we see that we must be alert not only to the obvious danger, but also to
the subtle degrees by which change may result in danger.

The Dubious Healer

Once upon a time, a Telvanni issued forth from his tower and proclaimed to
all the world that he was a mighty and learned healer, master of all alchemy
and potions, and able to cure all diseases.

Lord Vivec looked upon this wizard, and listened to his boasting, then asked
him, "How can you pretend to prescribe for others the cure to all diseases,
when you are unable to cure yourself of your own manifest arrogance and
foolishness?"

The Guar and the Mudcrabs

The Guar were so tormented by the other creatures they did not know where to
go. As soon as they saw a single beast approach them, off they dashed in
terror.

One day they saw a pack of Nix-hounds ranging about, and in a desperate panic
all the Guar scuttled off towards the sea, determined to drown themselves
rather than live in such a continual state of fear. But just as they got near
the shoreline, a colony of Mudcrabs, frightened in their turn by the approach
of the Guar, scuttled off, and threw themselves into the water.

'Truly,' said one of the Guar, "things are not so bad as they seem. For there
is always someone worse off than you."

The Wounded Netch

A wounded Netch lay himself down in a quiet corner of its feeding-ground. His
healthy companions came in great numbers to inquire after his health, yet
each one helped himself to a share of the fodder which had been placed there
for his use; so that the poor Netch died, not from his wounds, but from the
greed and carelessness of his erstwhile friends.

And so it is clear that thoughtless companions may bring more harm than help.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Honor Among Thieves
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_honorthieves
Weight:        3
Value:         100
Special Notes: None

Honor Among Thieves
by Arnie the Scrib

Many admirers ask, "Arnie, how can I become a flash and prosperous fellow
like you?"

And I tell them, "You want to join the Guild. Make friends. Be a part of
something."

"But who can join?" they ask.

We're just like any other trade guild. We've got requirements. And if you
want to advance in the ranks, we've got standards.

You want to be fast and agile. You want to move undetected. You want to know
about security -- locks, traps, and how to get around them. You want to
defend yourself. You travel light and fast, and want light arms like daggers
and shortswords. You don't want to get into a slugging match, so you want the
marksman's weapons -- the bow, crossbow, throwing star, and dart. You want
light armor, so you can keep moving, and moving fast.

Why belong? Simple. Everybody needs friends.

The help of friends includes information. Your friends at the Thieves Guild
know where the action is, and where the action is safe, and where it is not.
The help of friends includes a place to rest, and a place to buy supplies and
services -- training and tools. The help of friends includes fixing things
with the guards at a discount rate. That's where the 'honor among thieves'
part comes in. Friends stick together, and help each other.

"But what about the competition?" my admirers ask.

The competition is the Camonna Tong. And you don't want to join them, because
they don't want you. They have this thing about outlanders. They want them
all dead. So, unless your ambition is to be dead, you don't want to join
them.

And the Camonna Tong are bad people. The Camonna Tong don't mind killing
people. Heck, they LIKE killing people. The Thieves Guild, on the other hand,
thinks killing people is bad business. You want to be good people, right? So
join the Thieves Guild, and stay far, far away from the Camonna Tong.

So you want to join. But where do you look?

Being a thief is not like being a fighter. You don't just go to the local
guild Hall. The Thieves Guild doesn't have Guild Halls. But thieves like to
be where their friends are. And where are their friends? At the local
cornerclub or tradehouse. In Vvardenfell, look for friends in Balmora,
Ald'ruhn, Sadrith Mora, and the Foreign Quarter of Vivec.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_heavy armor4
Weight:        2
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs
by Menyna Gsost

The year was 3E 399 and standing on a mountainside overlooking a vast tract
of land between the lands of Menevia and Wayrest was a great and learned
judge, an arbitrator and magistrate, impartial in his submission to the law.

"You have a very strong claim to the land, my lad," said the judge. "I won't
lie to you about that.  But your competition has an equal claim.  This is
what makes my particular profession difficult at times."

"You would call it my competition?" sneered Lord Bowyn, gesturing to the Orc.
The creature, called Gortwog gro-Nagorm, looked up with baleful eyes.

"He has ample documentation to make a claim on the land," the magistrate
shrugged. "And the particular laws of our land do not discriminate between
particular races.  We had a Bosmer regency once, many generations ago."

"But what if a pig or a slaughterfish turned up demanding the property?
Would they have the same legal rights as I?"

"If they had the proper papers, I'm afraid so," smiled the judge. "The law is
very clear that if two claimants with equal titles to the property are set in
deadlock, a duel must be held.  Now, the rules are fairly archaic, but I've
had opportunity to look them over, and I think they're still valid.  The
Imperial council agrees."

"What must we do?" asked the Orc, his voice low and harsh, unused to the
tongue of the Cyrodiils.

"The first claimant, that's you, Lord Gortwog, may choose the armor and
weapon of the duelists.  The second claimant, that's you, Lord Bowyn, may
choose the location.  If you would prefer, either or both you may choose a
champion or you may duel yourself."

The Breton and the Orc looked at one another, evaluating.  Finally, Gortwog
spoke, "The armor will be Orcish and the weapons will be common steel long
swords.  No enchantments.  No wizardry allowed."

"The arena will be the central courtyard of my cousin Lord Berylth's palace
in Wayrest," said Bowyn, looking Gortwog in the eye scornfully. "None of your
kind will be allowed in to witness."

So it was agreed.  Gortwog declared that he would fight the duel himself, and
Bowyn, who was a fairly young man and in better than average condition, felt
that he could not keep his honor without competing himself as well.  Still,
upon arriving at his cousin's palace a week before the duel was scheduled, he
felt the need to practice.  A suit of Orcish armor was purchased and for the
first time in his life, Bowyn wore something of tremendous weight and limited
facility.

Bowyn and Berylth sparred in the courtyard.  In ten minutes times, Bowyn had
to stop.  He was red-faced and out of breath from trying to move in the
armor: to add to his exasperation, he had not scored one blow on his cousin,
and had dozens of feinted strikes scored on him.

"I don't know what to do," said Bowyn over dinner. "Even if I knew someone
who could fight properly in that beastly steel, I couldn't possibly send in a
champion to battle Gortwog."

Berylth commiserated.  As the servants cleared the plates, Bowyn stood up in
his seat and pointed at one of them: "You didn't tell me you had an Orc in
your household!"

"Sir?" whined the elderly specimen, turning to Lord Berylth, certain that he
caused offense somehow.

"You mean Old Tunner?" laughed Berylith. "He's been with my house for ages.
Would you like him to give you training on how to move in Orcish armor?"

"Would you like me to?" asked Tunner obsequiously.

Unknown to Berylith but known to him now, his servant had once ridden with
the legendary Cursed Legion of High Rock.  He not only knew how to fight in
Orcish armor himself, but he had acted as trainer to other Orcs before
retiring into domestic service.  Desperate, Bowyn immediately engaged him as
his full-time trainer.

"Your try too hard, sir," said the Orc on their first day in the arena. "It
is easy to strain yourself in heavy mail.  The joints are just so to let you
to bend with only a little effort.  If you fight against the joints, you
won't have any strength to fight your foe."

Bowyn tried to follow Tunner's instructions, but he quickly grew frustrated.
And the more frustrated he got, the more intensity he put into his work,
which tired him out even quicker.  While he took a break to drink some water,
Berylith spoke to his servant.  If they were optimistic about Bowyn's
chances, their faces did not show it.

Tunner trained Bowyn hard the next two days, but her Ladyship Elysora's
birthday followed hard upon them, and Bowyn enjoyed the feast thoroughly.  A
liquor of poppies and goose fat, and cock tinsh with buttered hyssop for a
first course; roasted pike, combwort, and balls of rabbit meat for a second;
sliced fox tongues, ballom pudding with oyster gravy, battaglir weed and
beans for the main course; collequiva ice and sugar fritters for dessert.  As
Bowyn was settling back afterwards, his eyes weary, he suddenly spied Gortwog
and the judge entering the room.

"What are you doing here?" he cried. "The duel's not for another two days!"

"Lord Gortwog asked that we move it to tonight," said the judge. "You were
training when my emisary arrived two days ago, but his lordship your cousin
spoke for you, agreeing to the change of date."

"But there's no time to assemble my supporters," complained Bowyn. "And I've
just devoured a feast that would kill a lesser man.  Cousin, how could you
neglect to tell me?"

"I spoke to Tunner about it," said Berylith, blushing, unused to deception.
"We decided that you would be best served under these conditions."

The battle in the arena was sparsely attended.  Saturated with food, Bowyn
found himself unable to move very quickly.  To his surprise, the armor
responded to his lethargy, rotating smoothly and elegantly to each stagger.
The more he successfully maneuvered, the more he allowed his mind and not his
body to control his defensive and offensive actions.  For the first time in
his life, Bowyn saw what it was to look through the helmet of an Orc.

Of course, he lost, and rather badly if scores had been tabulated.  Gortwog
was a master of such battle.  But Bowyn fought on for more than three hours
before the judge reluctantly called a winner.

"I will name the land Orsinium after the land of my fathers," said the
victor.

Bowyn's first thought was that if he must lose to an Orc, it was best that
the battle was largely unwatched by his friends and family.  As he left the
courtyard to go to the bed he had longed for earlier in the evening, he saw
Gortwog speaking to Tunner.  Though he did not understand the language, he
could see that they knew each other.  When the Breton was in bed, he had a
servant bring the old Orc to him.

"Tunner," he said kindly. "Speak frankly to me.  You wanted Lord Gortwog to
win."

"That is true," said Tunner. "But I did not fail you.  You fought better than
you would have fought two days hence, sir.  I did not want Orsinium to be won
by its king without a fight."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ice and Chiton
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Light Armor2
Weight:        3
Value:         325
Special Notes: Raises Light Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Ice and Chitin
By Pletius Spatec

The tale dates to the year 855 of the Second Era, after General Talos had
taken the name Tiber Septim and begun his conquest of Tamriel.  One of his
commanding officers, Beatia of Ylliolos, had been surprised in an ambush
while returning from a meeting with the Emperor.  She and her personal guard
of five soldiers barely escaped, and were separated from their army.  They
fled across the desolate, sleet-painted rocky cliffs by foot.  The attack had
been so sudden, they had not even the time to don armor or get to their
horses.

"If we can get to the Gorvigh Ridge," hollered Lieutenant Ascutus, gesturing
toward a peak off in the mist, his voice barely discernible over the wind.
"We can meet the legion you stationed in Porhnak."

Beatia looked across the craggy landscape, through the windswept hoary trees,
and shook her head: "Not that way.  We'll be struck down before we make it
halfway to the mountain.  You can see their horses' breath through the
trees."

She directed her guard toward a ruined old keep on the frozen isthmus of
Nerone, across the bay from Gorvigh Ridge.  Jutting out on a promontory of
rock, it was like many other abandoned castles in northern Skyrim, remnants
of Reman Cyrodiil's protective shield against the continent of Akavir.  As
they reached their destination and made a fire, they could hear the army of
the warchiefs of Danstrar behind them, making camp on the land southwest,
blocking the only escape but the sea.  The soldiers assessed the stock of the
keep while Beatia looked out to the fog-veiled water through the casements of
the ruin.

She threw a stone, watching it skip across the ice trailing puffs of mist
before it disappeared with a splash into a crack in the surface.

"No food or weaponry to be found, commander," Lieutenant Ascutus reported.
"There's a pile of armor in storage, but it's definitely taken on the
elements over the years.  I don't know if it's salvageable at all."

"We won't last long here," Beatia replied. "The Nords know that we'll be
vulnerable when night falls, and this old rock won't hold them off.  If
there's anything in the keep we can use, find it.  We have to make it across
the ice floe to the Ridge."

After a few minutes of searching and matching pieces, the guards presented
two very grimy, scuffed and cracked suits of chitin armor.  Even the least
proud of the adventurers and pirates who had looted the castle over the years
had thought the shells of chitin beneath their notice.  The soldiers did not
dare to clean them: the dust looked to be the only adhesive holding them
together.

"They won't offer us much protection, just slow us down," grimaced Ascutus.
"If we run across the ice as soon as it gets dark--"

"Anyone who can plan and execute an ambush like the warchiefs of Danstrar
will be expecting that.  We need to move quickly, now, before they're any
closer."  Beatia drew a map of the bay in the dust, and then a semicircular
path across the water, an arc stretching from the castle to the Gorvigh
Ridge. "The men should go the long way across the bay like so.  The ice is
thick there a ways from the shoreline, and there are a lot of rocks for
cover."

"You're not staying behind to hold the castle!"

"Of course not," Beatia shook her head and drew a straight line from the
castle to the closest shore across the Bay. "I'll take one of the chitin
suits, and try to cross the water here.  If you don't see or hear me when
you've made it to land, don't wait -- just get to Porhnak."

Lieutenant Ascutus tried to dissuade his commander, but he knew that she was
would never order one of her men to perform the suicidal act of diversion,
that all would die before they reached Gorvigh Ridge if the warlords' army
was not distracted.  He could find only one way to honor his duty to protect
his commanding officer.  It was not easy convincing Commander Beatia that he
should accompany her, but at last, she relented.

The sun hung low but still cast a diffused glow, illuminating the snow with a
ghostly light, when the five men and one woman slipped through the boulders
beneath the castle to the water's frozen edge.  Beatia and Ascutus moved
carefully and precisely, painfully aware of each dull crunch of chitin
against stone.  At their commander's signal, the four unarmored men dashed
towards the north across the ice.

When her men had reached the first fragment of cover, a spiral of stone
jutting a few yards from the base of the promontory, Beatia turned to listen
for the sound of the army above.  Nothing but silence.  They were still
unseen.  Ascutus nodded, his eyes through the helm showing no fear.  The
commander and her lieutenant stepped onto the ice and began to run.

When Beatia had surveyed the bay from the castle ramparts, the crossing
closest to shore had seemed like a vast, featureless plane of white.  Now
that she was down on the ice, it was even more flat and stark: the sheet of
mist rose only up their ankles, but it billowed up at their approach like the
hand of nature itself was pointing out their presence to their enemies.  They
were utterly exposed.  It came almost as a relief when Beatia heard one of
the warchiefs' scouts whistle a signal to his masters.

They didn't have to turn around to see if the army was coming.  The sound of
galloping hoofs and the crash of trees giving way was very clear over the
whistling wind.

Beatia wished she could risk a glance to the north to see if her men were
hidden from view, but she didn't dare.  She could hear Ascutus running to her
right, keeping pace, breathing hard.  He was used to wearing heavier armor,
but the chitin joints were so brittle and tight from years of disuse, it was
all he could do to bend them.

The rocky shore to the Ridge still looked at eternity away when Beatia felt
and heard the first volley of arrows.  Most struck the ice at their feet with
sharp cracking sounds, but a few nearly found home, ricocheting off their
backs.  She silently offered a prayer of thanks to whatever anonymous
shellsmith, now long dead, had crafted the armor.  They continued to run, as
the first rain of arrows was quickly followed by a second and a third.

"Thank Stendarr," Ascutus gasped. "If there was only leather in the keep,
we'd be pierced through and through.  Now if only it weren't... so rigid..."

Beatia felt her own armor joints begin to set, her knees and hips finding
more and more resistance with every step. There could be no denying it: they
were drawing closer toward the shore, but they were running much more slowly.
She heard the first dreadful galloping crunch of the army charging across the
floe toward them.  The riders were cautious on the slippery ice, not driving
their horses at full speed, but Beatia knew that they would be upon the two
of them soon.

The old chitin armor could withstand the bite of a few arrows, but not a
lance driven with the force of a galloping horse.  The only great unknown was
time.

The thunder of beating hooves was deafening behind them when Ascutus and
Beatia reached the edge of the shore.  The giant, jagged stones that strung
around the beach blockaded the approach.  Beneath their feet, the ice sighed
and crackled.  They could not stand still, run forward, nor run back.
Straining against the tired metal in the armor joints, they took two bounds
forward and flew at the boulders.

The first landing on the ice sounded an explosive crack.  When they rose for
the final jump, it was on a wave of water so cold it felt like fire through
the thin armor.  Ascutus's right hand found purchase in a deep fissure.
Beatia gripped with both hands, but her boulder was slick with frost.  Faces
pressed to the stone, they could not turn to face the army behind them.

But they heard the ice splintering, and the soldiers cry out in terror for
just an instant.  Then there was no sound but the whining of the wind and the
purring lap of the water.  A moment later, there were footsteps on the cliff
above.

The four guardsmen had crossed the bay.  There were two to pull Beatia up
from the face of the boulder, and another two for Ascutus.  They strained and
swore at the weight, but finally they had their commander and her lieutenant
safely on the edge of Gorvigh Ridge.

"By Mara, that's heavy for light armor."

"Yes," smiled Beatia wearily, looking back over the empty broken ice floe,
the cracks radiating from the parallel paths she and Ascutus had run. "But
sometimes that's good."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Incident in Necrom
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_illusion3
Weight:        3
Value:         225
Special Notes: Raises Illusion skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Incident in Necrom
by Jonquilla Bothe

"The situation simply is this," said Phlaxith, his face as chiseled and
resolute as any statue. "Everyone knows that the cemetery west of the city is
haunted by some malevolent beings, and has been for many years now.  The
people have come to accept it.  They bury their dead by daylight, and are
away before Masser and Secunda have risen and the evil comes forth.  The only
victims to fall prey to the devils within are the very stupid and the
outsiders."

"It sounds like a natural solution to filtering out the undesirables then,"
laughed Nitrah, a tall, middle-aged woman with cold eyes and thin lips.
"Where is the gold in saving them?"

"From the Temple.  They're re-opening a new monastery near the cemetery, and
they need the land cleansed of evil.  They're offering a fortune, so I
accepted the assignment with the caveat that I could assemble my own team to
split the reward.  That's why I've sought you each out.  From what I've
heard, you, Nitrah, are the best bladesman in Morrowind."

Nitrah smiled her unpleasant best.

"And you, Osmic, are a renowned burglar, though never once imprisoned."

The bald-pated young man stammered as if to refute the charges, before
grinning back, "I'll get you in where you need to go.  But then it's up to
you to do what you need to do.  I'm no combatter."

"Anything Nitrah and I can't handle, I'm sure Massitha will prove her
mettle," Phlaxith said, turning to the fourth member of the party. "She comes
on very good references as a sorceress of great power and skill."

Massitha was the picture of innocence, round-faced and wide-eyed.  Nitrah and
Osmic looked at her uncertainly, particularly watching her fearful
expressions as Phlaxith described the nature of the creatures haunting the
cemetery.  It was obvious she had never faced any adversary other than man
and mer before.  If she survived, they thought to themselves, it would be
very surprising.

As the foursome trudged toward the graveyard at dusk, they took the
opportunity to quiz their new teammate.

"Vampires are filthy creatures," said Nitrah. "Disease-ridden, you know.
They say off to the west, they'll indiscriminately pass on their curse
together with a number of other afflictions.  They don't do that here so
much, but still you don't want to leave their wounds untreated.  I take it
you know something of the spells of Restoration if one of us gets bit?"

"I know a little, but I'm no Healer," said Massitha meekly.

"More of a Battlemage?" asked Osmic.

"I can do a little damage if I'm really close, but I'm not very good at that
either.  I'm more of an illusionist, technically."

Nitrah and Osmic looked at one another with naked concern as they reached the
gates of the graveyard. There were moving shadows, stray specters among the
wrack and ruins, crumbled paths stacked on top of crumbled paths. It wasn't a
maze of a place; it could have been any dilapidated graveyard but even
without looking at the tombstones, it did have one very noticeable feature.
Filling the horizon was the mausoleum of a minor Cyrodilic official from the
2nd Era, slightly exotic but still harmonizing with the Dunmer graves in a
complimentary style called decay.

"It's a surprisingly useful School," whispered Massitha defensively. "You
see, it's all concerned with magicka's ability to alter the perception of
objects without changing their physical compositions.  Removing sensual data,
for example, to cast darkness or remove sound or smell from the air.  It can
help by--"

A red-haired vampire woman leapt out of the shadows in front of them,
knocking Phlaxith on his back.  Nitrah quickly unsheathed her sword, but
Massitha was faster.  With a wave of her hand, the creature stopped, frozen,
her jaws scant inches from Phlaxith's throat.  Phlaxith pulled out his own
blade and finished her off.

"That's illusion?" asked Osmic.

"Certainly," smiled Massitha. "Nothing changed in the vampire's form, except
its ability to move.  Like I said, it's a very useful School."

The four climbed up over the paths to the front gateway to the crypt.  Osmic
snapped the lock and disassembled the poison trap.  The sorceress cast a wave
of light down the dust-choked corridors, banishing the shadows and drawing
the inhabitants out.  Almost immediately they were set on by a pair of
vampires, howling and screaming in a frenzy of bloodlust.

The battle was joined, so no sooner were the first two vampires felled than
their reinforcements attacked.  They were mighty warriors of uncanny strength
and endurance, but Massitha's paralysis spell and the weaponry of Phlaxith
and Nitrah clove through their ranks.  Even Osmic aided the battle.

"They're crazy," gasped Massitha when the fight finally ended and she could
catch her breath.

"Quarra, the most savage of the vampire bloodlines," said Phlaxith. "We have
to find and exterminate each and every one."

Delving into the crypts, the group hounded out more of the creatures.  Though
they varied in appearance, each seemed to rely on their strength and claws
for attacking, and subtlety did not seem to be the style of any.  When the
entire mausoleum had been searched and every creature within destroyed, the
four finally made their way to the surface.  It was only an hour until
sunrise.

There was no frenzied scream or howl.  Nothing rushed forward towards them.
The final attack when it happened was so unlike the others that the questors
were taken utterly by surprise.

The ancient creature waited until the four were almost out of the cemetery,
talking amiably, making plans for spending their share of the reward.  He
judged carefully who would be the greatest threat, and then launched himself
at the sorceress.  Had Phlaxith not turned his attention back from the gate,
she would have been ripped to shreds before she had a chance to scream.

The vampire knocked Massitha across a stone, its claws raking across her
back, but stopped its assault in order to block a blow from Phlaxith's sword.
It accomplished this maneuver in its own brutal way, by tearing the warrior's
arm from its socket.  Osmic and Nitrah set on it, but they found themselves
in a losing battle.  Only when Massitha had pulled herself back up from
behind the pile of rocks, weak and bleeding, that the fight turned.  She cast
a magickal ball of flame at the creature, which so enraged it that it turned
back to her.  Nitrah saw her opening and took it, beheading the vampire with
a stroke of her sword.

"So you do know some spells of destruction, like you said," said Nitrah.

"And a few spells of healing too," she said weakly. "But I can't save
Phlaxith."

The warrior died in the bloodied dust before them.  The three were quiet as
they traveled across the dawn-lit countryside back toward Necrom.  Massitha
felt the throb of pain on her back intensify as they walked and then a
gradual numbness like ice spread through her body.

"I need to go to a healer and see if I've been diseased," she said as they
reached the city.

"Meet us at the Moth and Fire tomorrow morning," said Nitrah. "We'll go to
the Temple and get our reward and split it there."

Three hours later, Osmic and Nitrah sat in their room at the tavern, happily
counting and recounting the gold marks.  Split three ways, it was a very
comfortable sum.

"What if the healers can't do anything for Massitha?" smiled Osmic dreamily.
"Some diseases can be insidious."

"Did you hear something in the hall?" asked Nitrah quickly, but when she
looked, there was no one there.  She returned, shutting the door behind her.
"I'm sure Massitha will survive if she went straight to the healer.  But we
could leave tonight with the gold."

"Let's have one last drink to our poor sorceress," said Osmic, leading Nitrah
out of the room toward the stairs down.

Nitrah laughed. "Those spells of illusion won't help her track us down, as
useful as she keeps saying they are.  Paralysis, light, silence -- not so
good when you don't know where to look."

They closed the door behind them.

"Invisibility is another spell of illusion," said Massitha's disembodied
voice.  The gold on the table rose in the air and vanished from sight as she
slipped it into her purse.  The door again opened and closed, and all was
silent until Osmic and Nitrah returned a few minutes later.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Invocation of Azura
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_InvocationOfAzura
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Invocation of Azura
by Sigillah Parate

For three hundred years I have been a priestess of Azura, the Daedric
Princess of Moonshadow, Mother of the Rose, and Queen of the Night Sky.
Every Hogithum, which we celebrate on the 21st of First Seed, we summon her
for guidance, as
well as to offer things of worth and beauty to Her Majesty.  She is a cruel
but wise mistress.  We do not invoke her on any Hogithum troubled by
thunderstorms, for those nights belong to the Mad One, Sheogorath, even if
they do coincide with the occasion.  Azura at such times understands our
caution.

Azura's invocation is a very personal one.  I have been priestess to three
other Daedric Princes, but Azura values the quality of her worshippers, and
the truth behind our adoration of her.  When I was a Dark Elven maid of
sixteen, I joined my grandmother's coven, worshippers of Molag Bal, the
Schemer Princess.  Blackmail, extortion, and bribery are as much the weapons
of the Witches of Molag Bal as is dark magic.  The Invocation of Molag Bal is
held on the 20th of Evening Star, except during stormy weather.  This
ceremony is seldom missed, but Molag Bal often appears to her cultists in
mortal guise on other dates.  When my grandmother died in an attempt to
poison the heir of Firewatch, I re-examined my faith in the cult.

My brother was a warlock of the cult of Boethiah-and from what he told me,
the Dark Warrior was closer to my spirit than the treacherous Molag Bal.
Boethiah is a Warrior Princess who acts more overtly than any other Daedroth.
After years of skulking and scheming, it felt good to perform acts for a
mistress which had direct, immediate consequences.  Besides, I liked it that
Boethiah was a Daedra of the Dark Elves.  Our cult would summon her on the
day we called the Gauntlet, the 2nd of Sun's Dusk.  Bloody competitions would
be held in her honor, and the duels and battles would continue until nine
cultists were killed at the hands of other cultists.  Boethiah cared little
for her cultists-she only cared for our blood.  I do think I saw her smile
when I accidentally slew my brother in a sparring session.  My horror, I
think, greatly pleased her.

I left the cult soon after that.  Boethiah was too impersonal for me, too
cold.  I wanted a mistress of greater depth.  For the next eighteen years of
my life, I worshipped no one.  Instead I read and researched.  It was in an
old and profane tome that I came upon the name of Nocturnal-Nocturnal the
Night Mistress, Nocturnal the Unfathomable.  As the book prescribed, I called
to her on her holy day, the 3rd of Hearth Fire.  At last I had found the
personal mistress I had so long desired.  I strove to understand her
labyrinthine philosophy, the source of her mysterious pain.  Everything about
her was dark and shrouded, even the way she spoke and the acts she required
of me.  It took years for me to understand the simple fact that I could never
understand Nocturnal.  Her mystery was as essential to her as savagery was to
Boethiah or treachery was to Molag Bal.  To understand Nocturnal is to negate
her, to pull back the curtains cloaking her realm of darkness.  As much as I
loved her, I recognized the futility of unraveling her enigmas.  I turned
instead to her sister, Azura.

Azura is the only Daedra Princess I have ever worshipped who seems to care
about her followers.  Molag Bal wanted my mind, Boethiah wanted my arms, and
Nocturnal perhaps my curiosity.  Azura wants all of that, and our love above
all.  Not our abject slavering, but our honest and genuine caring in all its
forms.  It is important to her that our emotions be engaged in her worship.
And our love must also be directed inward.  If we love her and hate
ourselves, she feels our pain.  I will, for all time, have no other mistress.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Journal of Tarhiel
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_falljournal_unique
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: Unique item

I believe I may have found the correct formula for the spell I am developing.
With it, I will be able to travel great distances without the need to pay
others for the service.

If all goes well, I will test out the new spell tomorrow. I believe I have
worked out all of the possible complications. It will allow me to leap great
distances, covering many hundreds of miles. Never before has one been able to
travel in this manner: vaulting from the ground, sailing through the sky, all
without that terrible disorientation of a spell of flying.

The time is almost upon me. My research is finished, and all of my
calculations are checked and rechecked. They laughed at me when I suggested
this. We'll see who laughs after I leap to the top of their towers and scream
out my success.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kagouti Mating Habits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_notes-kagouti mating habits
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Notes - Kagouti Mating Habits
Edras Oril

Observations made on wild kagouti in southeastern Morrowind.

Kagouti do not seem to travel in large packs, as previously believed. Perhaps
they group into larger packs when mating season is imminent.

Females seem to be dominant sex. Males will bring gifts of food in exchange
for mating advantage. Males sometimes attacked.

Loud vocalizations heard exchanged (believed to be from males), especially at
night. Fascinating.

Males do not seem to engage in physical confrontation for reproductive
rights. Some posturing, but no conflict.

All kagouti display increased aggressiveness during mating. Must be careful
not to be seen.

Mating kagouti found to be increasingly territorial.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kagrenac's Journal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_kagrenac'sjournal_excl
Weight:        2
Value:         400
Special Notes: Part of the alternate path to finishing the main quest

Kagrenac's Journal

[The contents of this handwritten journal are in an unfamiliar script in an
unknown language. There are many complex diagrams heavily annotated with
numbers and strange symbols. The title page, however, is clearly marked in
Aldmeris -- 'Kagrenac's Journals'.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kagrenac's Planbook
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_kagrenac'splans_excl
Weight:        2
Value:         400
Special Notes: Part of the alternate path to finishing the main quest

Kagrenac's Planbook

[The contents of this handwritten journal are in an unfamiliar script in an
unknown language. There are many complex diagrams heavily annotated with
numbers and strange symbols. The title page, however, is clearly marked in
Ald Aldmeris -- 'Kagrenac's Planbook'.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Scabbard of Akrash
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Armorer2
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Armorer skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Last Scabbard of Akrash
by Tabar Vunqidh

For several warm summer days in the year 3E 407, a young, pretty Dunmer woman
in a veil regularly visited one of the master armorers in the city of Tear.
The locals decided that she was young and pretty by her figure and her poise,
though no one ever saw her face.  She and the armorer would retire to the
back of his shop, and he would close down his business and dismiss his
apprentices for a few hours.  Then, at mid-afternoon, she would leave, only
to return at precisely the same time the next day. As gossip goes, it was
fairly meager stuff, though what the old man was doing with such a well
dressed and attractively proportioned woman was the source of several crude
jokes.  After several weeks, the visits stopped, and life returned to normal
in the slums of Tear.

It was not until a month or two after the visits had stopped, that in one of
the many taverns in the neighborhood, a young local tailor, having imbibed
too much sauce, asked the armorer, "So whatever happened to your lady friend?
You break her heart?"

The armorer, well aware of the rumors, simply replied, "She is a proper young
lady of quality.  There was nothing between her and the likes of me."

"What was she doing at your shop every day for?" asked the tavern wench, who
had been dying to get the subject open.

"If you must know," said the armorer. "I was teaching her the craft."

"You're putting us on," laughed the tailor.

"No, the young lady had a particular fascination with my particular kind of
artistry," the armorer said, with a hint of pride before getting lost in the
reverie. "I taught her how to mend swords specifically, from all kinds of
nicks and breaks, hairline fissures, cracked pommels, quillons, and grips.
When she first started, she had no idea how to secure the grips to the tang
of the blade... Well, of course she was green to start off with, why wouldn't
she be?  But she weren't afraid to get her hands dirty.  I taught her how to
patch the little inlaid silver and gold filigree you find on really fine
blades, and how to polish it all to a mirror sheen so the sword looks like
the gods just pulled it from their celestial anvil."

The tavern wench and the tailor laughed out loud.  No matter what he alleged,
the armorer was speaking of the young lady's training as another man speaks
of a long lost love.

More of the locals in the tavern would have listened to the armorer's
pathetic tale, but more important gossip had taken precedence.  There was
another murdered slave-trader found in the center of town, gutted from fore
to aft.  That made six of them total in barely a fortnight.  Some called the
killer "The Liberator," but that sort of anti-slavery zeal was rare among the
common folk.  They preferred calling him "The Lopper," as several of the
earlier victims had been completely beheaded.  Others had been simply
perforated, sliced, or gutted, but "The Lopper" still kept his original
sobriquet.

While the enthusiastic hooligans made bets about the condition of the next
slave-trader's corpse, several dozen of the surviving members of that trade
were meeting at the manor house of Serjo Dres Minegaur.  Minegaur was a minor
houseman of House Dres, but a major member of the slave-trading fraternity.
Perhaps his best years were behind him, but his associates still counted on
him for wisdom.

"We need to take what we know of this Lopper and search accordingly," said
Minegaur, seated in front of his opulent hearth. "We know he has an
unreasonable hatred of slavery and slave-traders.  We know he is skilled with
a blade. We know he has the stealth and finesse to execute our most well-
secured brethren in their most secure abodes.  It sounds to me to be an
adventurer, an Outlander.  Surely no citizen of Morrowind would strike at us
like this."

The slave-traders nodded in agreement.  An Outlander seemed most likely for
their troubles.  It was always true.

"Were I fifty years younger, I would take down my blade Akrash from the
hearth," Minegaur made an expansive gesture to the shimmering weapon. "And
join you in seeking out this terror.  Search him out where adventurers meet -
- taverns and guildhalls.  Then show him a little lopping of my own."

The slave-traders laughed politely.

"You wouldn't let us borrow your blade for the execution, I suppose, would
you, Serjo?" asked Soron Jeles, a young toadying slaver enthusiastically.

"It would be an excellent use for Akrash," sighed Minegaur. "But I vowed to
retire her when I retired."

Minegaur called for his daughter Peliah to bring the slavers more flin, but
they waved the girl away.  It was to be a night for hunting the Lopper, not
drinking away their troubles.  Minegaur heartily approved of their devotion,
particular as expensive as the liquor was getting to be.

When the last of the slavers had left, the old man kissed his daughter on the
head, took one last admiring look at Akrash, and toddled off to his bed.  No
sooner had he done so then Peliah had the blade off the mantle, and was
flying with it across the field behind the manor house.  She knew Kazagh had
been waiting for her for hours in the stables.

He sprung out at her from the shadows, and wrapping his strong, furry arms
around her, kissed her long and sweet.  Holding him as long as she dared to,
she finally broke away and handed him the blade.  He tested its edge.

"The finest Khajiiti swordsmith couldn't hone an edge this keen," he said,
looking at his beloved with pride. "And I know I nicked it up good last
night."

"That you did," said Peliah. "You must have cut through an iron cuirass."

"The slavers are taking precautions now," he replied. "What did they say
during their meeting?"

"They think it's an Outlander adventurer," she laughed. "It didn't occur to
any of them that a Khajiiti slave would possess the skill to commit all these
'loppings.'"

"And your father doesn't suspect that it's his dear Akrash that is striking
into the heart of oppression?"

"Why would he, when every day he finds it fresh as the day before?  Now I
must go before anyone notices I'm gone.  My nurse sometimes comes in to ask
me some detail about the wedding, as if I had any choice in the matter at
all."

"I promise you," said Kazagh very seriously. "You will not be forced into any
marriage to cement your family's slave-dealing dynasty.  The last scabbard
Akrash will be sheathed into will be your father's heart.  And when you are
an orphan, you can free the slaves, move to a more enlightened province, and
marry who you like."

"I wonder who that will be," Peliah teased, and raced out of the stables.

Just before dawn, Peliah awoke and crept out to the garden, where she found
Akrash hidden in the bittergreen vines.  The edge was still relatively keen,
but there were scratches vertically across the blade's surface.  Another
beheading, she thought, as she took pumice stone and patiently rubbed out the
marks, finally polishing it with a solution of salt and vinegar.  It was up
on the mantle in pristine condition when her father came into the sitting
room for his breakfast.

When the news came that Kemillith Torom, Peliah's husband-to-be, had been
found outside of a canton, his head on a spike some feet away, she did not
have to pretend to grieve.  Her father knew she did not want to marry him.

"It is a shame," he said. "The lad was a good slaver.  But there are plenty
of other young men who would appreciate an alliance with our family.  What
about young Soron Jeles?"

Two days nights later, Soron Jeles was visited by the Lopper.  The struggle
did not take long, but Soron had had armed himself with one small defense --
a needle dipped in the ichor of poisonplant, hidden up his sleeve.  After the
mortal blow, he collapsed forward and stuck Kazagh in the calf with the pin.
By the time he made it back to the Minegaur manorhouse, he was dying.

Vision blurring, he climbed up to the eaves of the house to Peliah's window
and rapped.  Peliah did not answer immediately, as she was in a deep,
wonderful sleep, dreaming about her future with her Khajiiti lover.  He
rapped louder, which woke up not only Peliah, but also her father in the next
room.

"Kazagh!" she cried, opening up the window.  The next person in the bedroom
was Minegaur himself.

As he saw it, this slave, his property, was about to lop off the head of his
daughter, his property, with his sword, his property.  Suddenly, with the
energy of a young man, Minegaur rushed at the dying Khajiit, knocking the
sword out of his hand.  Before Peliah could stop him, her father had thrust
the blade into her lover's heart.

The excitement over, the old man dropped the sword and turned to the door to
call the Guard.  As an after thought, it occurred to him to make certain that
his daughter hadn't been injured and might require a Healer.  Minegaur turned
to her.  For a moment, he felt simply disoriented, feeling the force of the
blow, but not the blade itself.  Then he saw the blood and then felt the
pain.  Before he fully realized that his daughter had stabbed him with
Akrash, he was dead.  The blade, at last, found its scabbard.

A week later, after the official investigations, the slave was buried in an
unmarked grave in the manor field, and Serjo Dres Minegaur found his resting
place in a modest corner of the family's opulent mausoleum.  A larger crowd
of curious onlookers came to view the funeral of the noble slaver whose
secret life was as the savage Lopper of his competitors.  The audience was
respectfully quiet, though there was not a person there not imagining the
final moments of the man's life.  Attacking his own daughter in his madness,
luckily defended by the loyal, hapless slave, before turning the blade on
himself.

Among the viewers was an old armorer who saw for one last time the veiled
young lady before she disappeared forever from Tear.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Legions of the Dead
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_legionsofthedead
Weight:        1
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

Legions of the Dead

Undead commonly occur in three basic types: spirit, flesh, and fleshless.
Spirit revenants like the ancestor ghost, wraith, and dwarven ghost, can only
be harmed by weapons that are enchanted or made of refined substances such as
silver. Ancestor ghosts, the most common spirit revenant, are harmless, apart
from the minor curses they lay upon their victims. Wraiths are similar to
ghosts, but they are capable of inflicting wounds to the careless explorer.
Dwarven ghosts are more dangerous still, but they generally appear only in
Dwarven ruins.

Flesh revenants, or 'zombies' as they are often called in the West, are known
as 'bonewalkers' in Morrowind. Magic preserves the bonewalker's fleshy
remains along with the bones and spirit. Bonewalkers are readily identified
by the sharp protuberances of bone and metal employed in the rituals that
bind them to this plane. All bonewalkers are malevolent and dangerous, but
the greater bonewalkers are far worse than the more common 'lesser'
bonewalkers. Thankfully, normal weapons harm bonewalkers.

It is difficult to generalize about fleshless revenants, or skeletons. The
agility and fighting ability of the animated remains may depend on the
abilities of the revenant's former life, and may therefore be weak or strong,
or more or less capable with weapons and shields. Fortunately, enchanted
weapons are not needed to destroy skeletons. An exception is the bonelord, a
peculiar form of revenant that seems to derive its powers more from its
spirit energies than from the substance of its skeletal remains. Bonelords
are very powerful, and very dangerous. Normal weapons do not affect them.

Vampires were believed to be extinct in Morrowind for centuries. Dunmer
culture has a special hatred for vampires, and in earlier times the
Ordinators and Buoyant Armigers hunted them to extinction. In recent years,
however, vampires have either begun to sneak into Morrowind, or long-dormant
ones have been awakened. Vampires vary in their substance and power according
to their age and accumulated lore, but even the weakest vampire is
immeasurably stronger than most other undead. Note: Ash vampires are not
vampires, and are not undead. Ash vampires are extremely dangerous. While
their spirit and substance may indeed be preserved by some magical process,
the holy warriors of the Tribunal Temple report that spell effects known to
affect the undead have no effect on ash vampires.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lives of the Saints
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_LivesOfTheSaints
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Lives of the Saints

If you would be wise, model your lives on the lives of the saints.

If you would learn valor, follow St. Nerevar the Captain, patron of Warriors
and Statesmen. Lord Nerevar helped to unite the barbarian Dunmer tribes into
a great nation, culminating in his martyrdom when leading the Dunmer to
victory against the evil Dwemer and the traitorous House Dagoth in the Battle
of Red Mountain.

If you would learn daring, follow Saint Veloth the Pilgrim, Patron of
Outcasts and Spiritual Seekers. Saint Veloth, prophet and mystic, led the
Dunmer out of the decadent home country of the Summerset Isles and into the
promised land of Morrowind. Saint Veloth also taught the difference between
the Good and Bad Daedra, and won the aid of the Good Daedra for his people
while teaching how to carefully negotiate with the Bad Daedra.

If you would learn generosity, follow Saint Rilms the Barefooted, Patron of
Pilgrims and Beggars. Saint Rilms gave away her shoes, then dressed and
appeared as a beggar to better acquaint herself with the poor.

If you would learn self-respect and respect for others, follow Saint Aralor
the Penitent, Patron of Tanners and Miners. This foul criminal repented his
sins and traveled a circuit of the great pilgrimages on his knees.

If you would learn mercy and its fruits, follow Saint Seryn the Merciful,
Patron of Brewers, Bakers, Distillers. This pure virgin of modest aspect
could heal all diseases at the price of taking the disease upon herself.
Tough-minded and fearless, she took on the burdens of others, and bore those
burdens to an honored old age.

If you would learn fierce justice, follow Saint Felms the Bold, Patron of
Butchers and Fishmongers. This brave warlord slew the Nord invaders and drove
them from our lands. He could neither read nor write, receiving inspiration
directly from the lips of Almsivi.

If you would learn pride of race and tribe, follow Saint Roris the Martyr,
Patron of Furnishers and Caravaners. Captured by Argonians just before the
Arnesian War, Roris proudly refused to renounce the Tribunal faith, and
withstood the cruel tortures of Argonian sorcerers. Vengeance and justice for
the martyred Saint Roris was the rallying cry of the Arnesian War.

If you would learn the rule of law and justice, follow Saint Olms the Just,
Patron of Chandlers and Clerks. Founder of the Ordinators, Saint Olms
conceived and articulated the fundamental principles of testing, ordeal, and
repentance.

If you would learn benevolence, follow Saint Delyn the Wise, Patron of
Potters and Glassmakers. Saint Delyn was head of House Indoril, a skilled
lawyer, and author of many learned treatises on Tribunal law and custom.

If you would learn the love of peace, follow Saint Meris the Peacemaker,
Patron of Farmers and Laborers. As a little girl, Saint Meris showed healing
gifts, and trained as a Healer. She ended a long and bloody House War,
intervening on the battlefield in her white robe to heal warriors and
spellcrafters without regard to faction. The troops of all House adopted
white robes as her standard, and refused to shed the blood of their brethren.

If you would learn reverence, follow Saint Llothis the Pious, Patron of
Tailors and Dyers. Contemporary and companion of the Tribunals, and the best-
loved Alma Rula of the Tribunal Temple, he formulated the central rituals and
principles of the New Temple Faith. Saint Llothis is the symbolic mortal
bridge between the gods and the faithful, and the archetypal priest.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lord Jornibret's Last Dance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_light armor3
Weight:        4
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Light Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Lord Jornibret's Last Dance
(Traditional)

Women's Verse I:
Every winter season,
Except for the reason
Of one war or another
(Really quite a bother),
The Queen of Rimmen and her consort
Request their vassals come and cavort.
On each and every ball,
The first man at the Hall
Is Lord Ogin Jornibret of Gaer,
The Curse of all the Maidens Fair.

Women's Refrain:
Oh, dear ladies, beware.
Dearest, dearest ladies, take care.
Though he's a very handsome man,
If you dare to take his handsome hand,
The nasty little spell will be cast
And your first dance with him will be the last.

Men's Verse I:
At this social event
Everyone who went
Knew the bows and stances
And steps to all the dances.
The Queen of Rimmen and her consort
Would order a trumpet's wild report,
And there could be no indecision
As the revelers took position.
The first dance only ladies, separate
Away from such men as Lord Jornibret.

Men's Refrain:
Oh, dear fellows, explain.
Brothers, can you help make it plain:
The man's been doing this for years,
Leaving maidens fair in tears
Before the final tune's been blast.
And her first dance with him will be the last.

Women's Verse II:
Lord Ogin Jornibret of Gaer
Watched the ladies dance on air
The loveliest in the realm.
A fellow in a ursine-hide helm
Said, "The Queen of Rimmen and her consort
Have put together quite a sport.
Which lady fair do you prefer?"
Lord Jornibret pointed, "Her.
See that bosom bob and weave.
Well-suited for me to love and leave."

Women's Refrain.

Men's Verse II:
The man in the mask of a bear
Had left the Lord of Gaer
Before the ladies' dance was ending.
Then a trumpet sounded, portending
That the Queen of Rimmen and her consort
Called for the men to come to court.
Disdainful, passing over all the rest,
Ogin approached she of bobbing breast.
She was rejected, saved a life of woe,
For a new maiden as fair as snow.

Men's Refrain.

Women's Verse III:
At the first note of the band,
The beauty took Ogin's hand.
She complimented his stately carriage
Dancing to the tune about the marriage
Of the Queen of Rimmen and her consort.
It is very difficult indeed to comport
With grace, neither falling nor flailing,
Wearing ornate hide and leather mailing,
Dancing light as the sweetest of dreams
Without a single squeak of the seams.

Women's Refrain.

Men's Verse III:
The rhythms rose and fell
No one dancing could excel
With masculine grace and syncopation,
Lord Jornibret even drew admiration
From the Queen of Rimmen and her consort.
Like a beauteous vessel pulling into port,
He silently slid, belying the leather's weight.
She whispered girlishly, "The hour is late,
But I've never seen such grace in hide armor."
It 'twas a pity he knew he had to harm her.

Men's Refrain

Women's Verse IV
The tune beat was furious
He began to be curious
Where had the maiden been sequest'ed.
"Before this dance was requested
By the consort and his Queen of Rimmen
I didn't see you dance with the women."
"My dress was torn as I came to the dance,"
She said smiling in a voice deep as a man's,
"My maids worked quickly to repair,
While I wore a suit of hide, a helm of a bear."

Women's Refrain.

-- End


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mages Guild Charter
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_charterMG
Weight:        3
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

Imperial Charter of the Guild of Mages

I. Purpose

The Guild of Mages provides benefits to scholars of magic and established
laws regarding the proper use of magic. The Guild is dedicated to the
collection, preservation, and distribution of magical knowledge with an
emphasis on ensuring that all citizens of Tamriel benefit from this
knowledge.

II. Authority

The Guild of Mages was established on Summerset Isle in the year 230 of the
Second Era by Vanus Galerion and Rilis XII. It was later confirmed by the
"Guilds Act" of Potentate Versidue-Shaie.

III. Rules and Procedures

Crimes against fellow members of the Guild are treated with the harshest
discipline. Whether a member may regain their status in the Guild is
determined by the Arch-Mage.

IV. Membership Requirements

The Guild of Mages only accepts candidates of keen intelligence and dominant
will. Candidates must exhibit mastery in the great schools of magic:
Destruction, Alteration, Illusion, and Mysticism. Candidates must also
display practical knowledge of enchantments and alchemical processes.

V. Applications for Membership

Candidates must present themselves to the Steward of the Guild Hall for
examination and approval.

ATTACHMENT A: Mages Guild Chapters in Vvardenfell District, Province of
Morrowind

Chapters are established in Guild-owned, free-standing guildhalls in the
towns of Ald'ruhn, Balmora, and Caldera. The chapter in Sadrith Mora is
established in Wolverine Hall under lease from the Telvanni Council. The
chapter in Vivec is established in the Foreign Quarter under lease from the
Tribunal Temple.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master Zoaraym's Tale
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_hand to hand5
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: Raises Hand-to-Hand skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Master Zoaraym's Tale
By Gi'Nanth

The Temple of Two-Moons Dance in Torval has for many hundreds of years been
the finest training ground in all Tamriel for warriors of foot and fist.  The
masters teach students of all ages from all parts of the Empire the most
ancient techniques and the most modern variations, and many a former pupil
has graduated to great fame.  I myself trained there, and as a young child I
remember asking my first master, Zoaraym, which former student he felt had
best learned the lessons of the Temple.

"I was not a teacher when I met this man, but a student myself," he said,
smiling in reminiscence, his great wrinkled face becoming even more like the
withered fruit of the bathrum tree. "This was long ago, before your parents
were born.  For many years I had trained at the Temple, rising to study in
more difficult and demanding classes taught by the wisest and most learned
Masters of the Two-Moons Dance.

"Gi'Nanth, you will come to understand that the tempering of your body must
attend the tempering of your mind, and there is a prescribed order of
training we at the Temple have designed over the years in concordance with
the way of Riddle'Thar.  I had reached the highest level, where my power and
skill were such that even by supernatural, magical means, few could ever
could ever best me in weaponless combat.

"There was a servant at the Temple at the time, a Dunmer a few years older
than myself and those in my class.  We had never noticed him but in passing
over the years, for he would enter the training chambers quietly, clean for a
few minutes' time, and leave without saying a word.  Not that we would have
listened if he spoke, so enraptured were we in our exercises and lessons.

"When our last Master told some of us, myself included, that the time had
come for us to leave the Temple or become teachers, there was a great
festival of celebration.  The Mane itself deigned to visit and observe our
ceremony.  As we were and are a Temple of philosophy and combat, there were
contests of debate and competitions in the Temple's war arena, not only among
the elite few, but open to all students.

"On the first day of the festival, I was examining the gladiatorial roster to
see who I would fight with first, when I heard a conversation behind me: the
servants speaking to the archpriest of the Temple.  It was the first time I
heard the Dunmer's voice, and the first time I heard his name.

"'I understand you wish to rejoin your people's struggle in Morrowind,
Taren,' the archpriest was saying. 'I am sorry to hear it.  You have been an
institution here for many, many years, and you will be missed.  If there's
anything I can do for you, please name it.'

"'Thank you for your kindness,' the Dunmer replied. 'I do have a request, but
I fear you would be loath to grant it.  Ever since I first came to the
Temple, I have been watching the students learn, and practiced myself when my
duties allowed for it.  I know I am but a servant here, but I would be
honored if you would allow me to compete in the war arena.'

"I stifled back my gasp at the mer's impertinence, to even suggest that he
would be worthy to fight with those of us who had trained so hard.  To my
surprise, the archpriest agreed, adding the name Taren Omathan to the roster
at the beginners' level.  I was eager to whisper the news to my fellow elite
students, but my first bout was scheduled to begin in a few minutes' time.

"I fought eighteen competitions in a row, besting all.  The crowd gathered in
the arena knew of my prowess, and gave polite, unsurprised applause at the
end of each fight.  As much as I focused on my own battles, I could not help
noticing that other competitions were receiving more and more attention in
the arena.  The spectators whispered among themselves, and more began
drifting away to see something that was evidently more spectacular and
unusual than my unbroken string of victories.

"One of the most important lessons we teach from the Two-Moons Dance is the
lesson of rejecting one's vanity.  I understood then the importance of
achieving a personal synchronicity with one's body and mind, of rebuffing
outside influences of no importance, but I admit I had not accepted the
lesson in my heart.  I knew I was good, but my pride was hurt.

"It came down to a contest of champions, and I was one of the two.  When I
saw who the other fighter would be, my mood turned from one of wounded
dignity to complete disbelief.  My adversary was the servant, Taren.

"It must be a joke, or some final philosophical test, I reasoned.  Then I
looked into the crowd, and saw anticipation of a great battle to come in
every eye.  We gave one another the sign of respect, I stiffly and he with
great elegance and modesty.  The fight began.

"Initially, I sought to end it quickly, still thinking that he was unworthy
to be cleaning the arena, let alone fighting in it.  In retrospect, I was
being illogical, as I must have known he had bested as many students as I to
had reach that final level.  He offered simple counterblows to my attacks,
and responded in kind.  His style was expansive, encompassing sophisticated
arcane foot play one moment and simple jabs and kicks the next.  I tried
assailments intended to dazzle, but his face never showed either fear or
contempt of my abilities.

"The fight lasted for a long time.  I don't recall when I realized I was
destined to lose, but when it ended, I was not surprised with the outcome.
With a sense of unusual and true modesty, I bowed to him.  But I could not
resist asking him as we left the arena to the sound of thunderous applause
how he had so secretly grown to become a Master.

"'I never had a choice to rise in the Temple,' Taren replied. 'Every day, I
cleaned the training chambers of the elite classes and then the beginners'.
So you see, I never had the misfortune to forget those early mistakes,
lessons, and techniques while observing and learning the ways of the
Masters.'

"He left Torval early the next morning to return to his homeland, and I never
saw him again, though I've heard people saw that he's become a priest and a
teacher.  I became a teacher as well, for children just beginning their
training in the Two-Moons, as well as the elite.  And I make certain to bring
my best pupils to see the how the unlearned fight, so that they might never
forget."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mixed Unit Tactics v1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_MixedUnitTactics
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Mixed Unit Tactics in the Five Years War
Volume One
By Codus Callonus

The Legions could learn from the unconventional tactics used by the Khajiit
in the Five Years War against Valenwood. I was stationed at the Sphinxmoth
Legion Fort on the border near Dune and witnessed many of the northern
skirmishes firsthand.

The war started with the so-called "Slaughter of Torval." The Khajiit claim
that the Bosmer invaded the city without provocation and killed over a
thousand citizens before being driven off by reinforcements from a nearby
jungle tribe. The Bosmer claim that the attack was in retaliation for Khajiti
bandits who were attacking wood caravans headed for Valenwood.

In the spring of 3E 396 the war moved closer to Fort Sphinxmoth. I was posted
on lookout and saw parts of the conflict. I later spoke with both Khajiit and
Bosmer who fought in the battle, and it will serve as an excellent example of
how the Khajiit used a mixture of ground and tree units to win the war.

The Khajiit began the fight in an unusual way by sending tree-cutting teams
of Cathay-raht and the fearsome Senche-raht or "Battlecats" into the
outskirts of Valenwood's forests. When word reached the Bosmer that trees
were being felled (allegedly a crime in the strange Bosmeri religion), a unit
of archers were dispatched from larger conflicts in the south. The Bosmer
were thus goaded into splitting their forces into smaller groups.

The Bosmer archers took up positions in the remaining trees whose branches
were now twenty or more feet apart, allowing some light into the forest
floor. The Bosmer bent the remaining trees with their magics into small
fortifications from which to fire their bows.

When the tree-cutters arrived the next morning, a half dozen Khajiit fell to
the Bosmer arrows in the first volley. After that the Khajiit took large
wooden shields from the backs of the Senche-raht and made a crude shelter.
The Khajiit, even the enormous Senche-raht, were able to hide between this
shelter and one of the larger trees. When it became apparent that the Khajiit
would not leave their shelter, some Bosmer choose to descend and engage the
Khajiit sword-to-claw.

When the Bosmer were nearly upon the shelter, one of the Khajiit began
playing on a native instrument of plucked metal bars. This was a signal of
some kind, and a small group of the man-like Ohmes and Ohmes-raht emerged
from covered holes on the forest floor. Although outnumbered, they were
attacking from behind by surprise and won the ground quickly.

The Bosmer archers in the trees would have still won the battle were they not
having troubles of their own. A group of Dagi and Dagi-raht, two of the less
common forms of Khajiit who live in the trees of the Tenmar forest, jumped
from one tree to another under a magical cover of silence. They took up
positions in the higher branches that could not hold a Bosmer's weight. When
the signal came, they used their claws and either torches or spells of fire
(accounts from the two survivors I spoke with vary on this point) to distract
the archers while the battle on the ground took place. A few of the archers
were able to flee, but most were killed.

Apparently the Dagi and Dagi-raht have more magical ability than is widely
believed if they were able to keep themselves magically silenced for so long.
One of the surviving Bosmer told me that he saw a few ordinary cats among the
Dagi and even claimed that these ordinary cats are known as 'Alfiq' and that
they were the spellcasters, but Bosmer are almost as unreliable as the
Khajiit when it comes to the truth, and I cannot believe that a housecat can
cast spells.

At the end of the day the Khajiit lost perhaps a half-dozen fighters out a
force of no more than four dozen, while the Bosmer lost nearly an entire
company of archers. The survivors were unable to report back before a second
company of archers arrived and this strategy was repeated again, with similar
results. Finally, a much larger force was sent and the Bosmer won that battle
with the help of the native animals of Valenwood. That third skirmish and the
Khajiti response I will discuss in the second volume of this series.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mysterious Akavir
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_MysteriousAkavir
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Mysterious Akavir

Akavir means "Dragon Land". Tamriel means "Dawn's Beauty." Atmora means
"Elder Wood". Only the Redguards know what Yokuda ever meant.

Akavir is the kingdom of the beasts. No Men or Mer live in Akavir, though Men
once did. These Men, however, were eaten long ago by the vampiric Serpent
Folk of Tsaesci. Had they not been eaten, these Men would have eventually
migrated to Tamriel. The Nords left Atmora for Tamriel. Before them, the
Elves had abandoned Aldmeris for Tamriel. The Redguards destroyed Yokuda so
they could make their journey. All Men and Mer know Tamriel is the nexus of
creation, where the Last War will happen, where the Gods unmade Lorkhan and
left their Adamantine Tower of secrets. Who knows what the Akaviri think of
Tamriel, but ask yourself: why have they tried to invade it three times or
more?

There are four major nations of Akavir: Kamal, Tsaesci, Tang Mo, and Ka Po'
Tun. When they are not busy trying to invade Tamriel, they are fighting with
each other.
Kamal is "Snow Hell". Demons live there, armies of them. Every summer they
thaw out and invade Tang Mo, but the brave monkey-folk always drive them
away. Once Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal, a king among demons, attempted to conquer
Morrowind, but Almalexia and the Underking destroyed him at Red Mountain.

Tsaesci is "Snake Palace", once the strongest power in Akavir (before the
Tiger-Dragon came). The serpent-folk ate all the Men of Akavir a long time
ago, but still kind of look like them. They are tall, beautiful (if
frightening), covered in golden scales, and immortal. They enslave the
goblins of the surrounding isles, who provide labor and fresh blood. The
holdings of Tsaesci are widespread. When natives of Tamriel think of the
Akaviri they think of the Serpent-Folk, because one ruled the Cyrodilic
Empire for four hundred years in the previous era. He was Potentate Versidue-
Shaie, assassinated by the Morag Tong.

Tang Mo is the "Thousand Monkey Isles". There are many breeds of monkey-folk,
and they are all kind, brave, and simple (and many are also very crazy). They
can raise armies when they must, for all of the other Akaviri nations have,
at one time or another, tried to enslave them. They cannot decide who they
hate more, the Snakes or the Demons, but ask one, and he will probably say,
"Snakes". Though once bitter enemies, the monkey-folk are now allies with the
tiger-folk of Ka Po' Tun.

Ka Po' Tun is the "Tiger-Dragon's Empire". The cat-folk here are ruled by the
divine Tosh Raka, the Tiger-Dragon. They are now a very great empire,
stronger than Tsaesci (though not at sea). After the Serpent-Folk ate all the
Men, they tried to eat all the Dragons. They managed to enslave the Red
Dragons, but the black ones had fled to (then) Po Tun. A great war was raged,
which left both the cats and the snakes weak, and the Dragons all dead. Since
that time the cat-folk have tried to become the Dragons. Tosh Raka is the
first to succeed. He is the largest Dragon in the world, orange and black,
and he has very many new ideas.

"First," Tosh Raka says, "is that we kill all the vampire snakes." Then the
Tiger-Dragon Emperor wants to invade Tamriel.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mystery of Talara, Part 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Acrobatics5
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Acrobatics skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Mystery of Princess Talara
Part I
By Mera Llykith

The year was 3E 405.  The occasion was the millennial celebration of the
founding of the Breton Kingdom of Camlorn.  Every grand boulevard and narrow
alley was strung with gold and purple banners, some plain, some marked with
the heraldic symbols of the Royal Family or the various principalities and
dukedoms which were vassals of the King.  Musicians played in the plazas
great and small, and on every street corner was a new exotic entertainer:
Redguard snake charmers, Khajiiti acrobats, magicians of genuine power and
those whose flamboyant skill was equally impressive if largely illusion.

The sight that drew most of the male citizens of Camlorn was the March of
Beauty.  A thousand comely young women, brightly and provocatively dressed,
danced their way down the long, wide main street of the city, from the Temple
of Sethiete to the Royal Palace.  The menfolk jostled one another and craned
their necks, picking their favorites.  It was no secret that they were all
prostitutes, and after the March and the Flower Festival that evening, they
would be available for more intimate business.

Gyna attracted much of the attention with her tall, curvaceous figure barely
covered by strips of silk and her curls of flaxen hair specked with flower
petals.  In her late twenties, she wasn't the youngest of the prostitutes,
but she was certainly one of the most desirable.  It was clear by her
demeanor that she was used to the lascivious glances, though she was far from
jaded at the sight of the city in splendor.  Compared to the squalid quarter
of Daggerfall where she made her home, Camlorn at the height of celebration
seemed so unreal.  And yet, what was even stranger was how, at the same time,
familiar it all looked, though she had never been there before.

The King's daughter Lady Jyllia rode out of the palace gates, and immediately
cursed her misfortune.  She had completely forgotten about the March of
Beauty.  The streets were snarled, at a standstill.  It would take hours to
wait for the March to pass, and she had promised her old nurse Ramke a visit
in her house south of the city.  Jyllia thought for a moment, picturing in
her mind the arrangement of streets in the city, and devised a shortcut to
avoid the main street and the March.

For a few minutes she felt very clever as she wound her way through tight,
curving side streets, but presently she came upon temporary structures, tents
and theaters set up for the celebration, and had to improvise a new path.  In
no time at all, she was lost in the city where she had lived all but five
years of her life.

Peering down an alley, she saw the main avenue crowded with the March of
Beauty.  Hoping that it was the tale end, and desirous not to be lost again,
Lady Jyllia guided her horse toward the festival.  She did not see the snake-
charmer at the mouth of the alley, and when his pet hissed and spread its
hood, her charge reared up in fear.

The women in the parade gasped and surged back at the sight, but Lady Jyllia
quickly calmed her stallion down.  She looked abashed at the spectacle she
had caused.
"My apologies, ladies," she said with a mock military salute.

"It's all right, madam," said a blonde in silk. "We'll be out of your way in
a moment."

Jyllia stared as the March passed her.  Looking at that whore had been like
looking in a mirror.  The same age, and height, and hair, and eyes, and
figure, almost exactly.  The woman looked back at her, and it seemed as if
she was thinking the same thing.

And so Gyna was.  The old witches who sometimes came in to Daggerfall had
sometimes spoke of doppelgangers, spirits that assumed the guise of their
victims and portended certain death.  Yet the experience had not frightened
her: it seemed only one more strangely familiar aspect of the alien city.
Before the March had danced it way into the palace gates, she had all but
forgotten the encounter.

The prostitutes crushed into the courtyard, as the King himself came to the
balcony to greet them.  At his side was his chief bodyguard, a battlemage by
the look of him.  As for the King himself, he was a handsome man of middle
age, rather unremarkable, but Gyna was awed at the sight of him.  A dream,
perhaps.  Yes, that was it: she could see him as she had dreamt of him, high
above her as he was now, bending now to kiss her.  Not a one of lust as she
had experienced before, but one of small fondness, a dutiful kiss.

"Dear ladies, you have filled the streets of the great capitol of Camlorn
with your beauty," cried the King, forcing a silence on the giggling,
murmuring assembly.  He smiled proudly.  His eyes met Gyna's and he stopped,
shaken.  For an eternity, they stayed locked together before His Highness
recovered and continued his speech.

Afterwards, while the women were all en route back to their tents to change
into their costumes for the evening, one of the older prostitutes approached
Gyna: "Did you see how the King looked at you?  If you're smart, you'll be
the new royal mistress before this celebration ends."

"I've seen looks of hunger before, and that wasn't one of them," laughed
Gyna. "I'd wager he thought I was someone else, like that lady who tried to
run us over with her horse.  She's probably his kin, and he thought she had
dressed up like a courtesan and joined the March of Beauty.  Can you imagine
the scandal?"

When they arrived at the tents, they were greeted by a stocky, well-dressed
young man with a bald pate and a commanding presence of authority.  He
introduced himself as Lord Strale, ambassador to the Emperor himself, and
their chief patron.  It was Strale who had hired them, on the Emperor's
behalf, as a gift to the King and the kingdom of Camlorn.

"The March of Beauty is but a precursor to the Flower Festival tonight," he
said.  Unlike the King, he did not have to yell to be heard.  His voice was
loud and precise in its natural modulations. "I expect each of you to perform
well, and justify the significant expense I've suffered bringing you all the
way up here.  Now hurry, you must be dressed and in position on Cavilstyr
Rock before the sun goes down."

The ambassador needn't have worried.  The women were all professionals,
experts at getting dressed and undressed with none of the time-consuming
measures less promiscuous females required.  His manservant Gnorbooth offered
his assistance, but found he had little to do.  Their costumes were
simplicity itself: soft, narrow sheets with a hole for their heads.  Not even
a belt was required, so the gowns were open at the sides exposing the frame
of their skin.

So it was long before the sun had set that the prostitutes turned dancers
were at Cavilstyr Rock.  It was a great, wide promontory facing the sea, and
for the occasion of the Festival of Flowers, a large circle of unlit torches
and covered baskets had been arranged.  As early as they were, a crowd of
spectators had already arrived.  The women gathered in the center of the
circle and waited until it was time.

Gyna watched the crowd as it grew, and was not surprised when she saw the
lady from the March approaching, hand-in-hand with a very old, very short
white-haired woman.  The old woman was distracted, pointing out islands out
at sea.  The blonde lady seemed nervous, unsure of what to say.  Gyna was
used to dealing with uneasy clients, and spoke first.

"Good to see you again, madam.  I am Gyna of Daggerfall."

"I'm glad you bear me no ill will because of the whores, I mean horse," the
lady laughed, somewhat relieved. "I am Lady Jyllia Raze, daughter of the
King."

"I always thought that daughters of kings were called princess," smiled Gyna.

"In Camlorn, only when they are heirs to the throne.  I have a younger
brother from my father's new wife whom he favors," Jyllia replied.  She felt
her head swim.  It was madness, speaking to a common prostitute, talking of
family politics so intimately. "Relative to that subject, I must ask you
something very peculiar.  Have you ever heard of the Princess Talara?"

Gyna thought a moment: "The name sounds somewhat familiar.  Why would I
have?"

"I don't know.  It was a name I just thought you might recognize," sighed
Lady Jyllia. "Have you been to Camlorn before?"

"If I did, it was when I was very young," said Gyna, and suddenly she felt it
was her turn to be trusting.  Something about the Lady Jyllia's friendly and
forthcoming manner touched her. "To be honest, I don't remember anything at
all of my childhood before I was nine or ten.  Perhaps I was here with my
parents, whoever they were, when I was a little girl.  I tell you, I think
perhaps I was.  I don't recall ever being here before, but everything I've
seen, the city, you, the King himself, all seem ... like I've been here
before, long ago."
Lady Jyllia gasped and took a step back.  She gripped the old woman, who had
been looking out to sea and murmuring, by the hand.  The elderly creature
looked to Jyllia, surprised, and then turned to Gyna.  Her ancient, half-
blind eyes sparkled with recognition and she made a sound like a grunt of
surprise.  Gyna also jumped.  If the King had seemed like something out of a
half-forgotten dream, this woman was someone she knew.  As clear and yet
indistinct as a guardian spirit.

"I apologize," stammered Lady Jyllia. "This is my childhood nursemaid,
Ramke."

"It's her!" the old woman cried, wild-eyed.  She tried to run forward, arms
outstretched, but Jyllia held her back.  Gyna felt strangely naked, and
pulled her robe against her body.

"No, you're wrong," Lady Jyllia whispered to Ramke, holding the old woman
tightly. "The Princess Talara is dead, you know that.  I shouldn't have
brought you here.  I'll take you back home." She turned back to Gyna, her
eyes welling with tears. "The entire royal family of Camlorn was assassinated
over twenty years ago.  My father was Duke of Oloine, the King's brother, and
so he inherited the crown.  I'm sorry to have bothered you.  Goodnight."

Gyna gazed after Lady Jyllia and the old nurse as they disappeared into the
crowd, but she had little time to consider all she had heard.  The sun was
setting, and it was time for the Flower Festival.  Twelve young men emerged
from the darkness wearing only loincloths and masks, and lit the torches.
The moment the fire blazed, Gyna and all the rest of the dancers rushed to
the baskets, pulling out blossoms and vines by the handful.

At first, the women danced with one another, sprinkling petals to the wind.
The crowd then joined in as the music swelled.  It was a mad, beautiful
chaos.  Gyna leapt and swooned like a wild forest nymph.  Then, without
warning, she felt rough hands grip her from behind and push her.

She was falling before she understood it.  The moment the realization hit,
she was closer to the bottom of the hundred foot tall cliff than she was to
the top.  She flailed out her arms and grasped at the cliff wall.  Her
fingers raked against the stone and her flesh tore, but she found a grip and
held it.  For a moment, she stayed there, breathing hard.  Then she began to
scream.

The music and the festival were too loud up above: no one could hear her -
she could scarcely hear herself.  Below her, the surf crashed.  Every bone in
her body would snap if she fell.  She closed her eyes, and a vision came.  A
man was standing below her, a King of great wisdom, great compassion, looking
up, smiling.  A little girl, golden-haired, mischievous, her best friend and
cousin, clung to the rock beside her.

"The secret to falling is making your body go limp.  And with luck, you won't
get hurt," the girl said.  She nodded, remembering who she was. Eight years
of darkness lifted.

She released her grip and let herself fall like a leaf into the water below.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mystery of Talara, Part 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Restoration5
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Restoration skill 1 point the first timwe the book is
               read

The Mystery of Princess Talara, Part II
By Mera Llykith

She felt nothing, darkness enveloping her body and mind.  Pain surged through
her leg and with that sensation, a great feeling of cold washed over her.
She opened her eyes and saw that she was drowning.

Her left leg would not move at all, but using her right one and her arms, she
pulled herself up toward the moons above.  It was long way through the
swirling currents that wrenched back at her.  At last she broke the surface
and sucked in the cold night air.  She was still close to the rocky shoreline
of the capitol city of the kingdom of Camlorn, but the water had carried her
quite a ways from the point where she fell at Cavilstyr Rock.

Not fell, she thought, correcting herself.  She had been pushed.

Further down current, she allowed herself to drift.  There the steep cliff
walls sloped lower until they were close to the water's edge.  The silhouette
of a large house on the shore loomed ahead, and as she neared it, she could
see smoke rising from the chimney and the flicker of firelight within.  The
pain in her leg was great, but greater still was the chill of the water.  The
thought of a warm hearth fire was all the motivation she needed to begin
swimming again.

At the shore's edge, she tried to stand but found she couldn't.  Her tears
mixed with the sea water as she began to crawl across the sand and rock.  The
simple white sheet which had been her costume at the Flower Festival was
tattered and felt like a weight of lead across her back.  Beyond the point of
exhaustion, she fell forward and began to sob.

"Please!" she cried. "If you can hear me, please help!"

A moment later, the door to the house opened and a woman stepped out.  It was
Ramke, the old lady she had met at the Flower Festival.  The one who had
started and cried "It's her!" even before she herself knew who she was.  By
contrast, when the old woman came to her, this time there was no glimmer of
recognition in her eyes.

"By Sethiete, are you hurt?" Ramke whispered, and helped her up, acting as
her crutch. "I've seen that gown before.  Were you one of the dancers at the
Flower Festival tonight?  I was there with Lady Jyllia Raze, the daughter of
the King."

"I know, she introduced us," she groaned. "I called myself Gyna of
Daggerfall?"

"Of course, I knew you looked familiar somehow," the old woman chuckled, and
led her hop by hop across the beach and into the front door. "My memory isn't
as good as it used to be.  Lets get you warm and have a look at that leg."

Ramke took Gyna's soaking rags and covered her with a blanket as she sat at
the fire.  As the numbness of the chill water began to leave her, it cruelly
abandoned her to the intense agony of her leg.  Until then, she had not dared
to look at it.  When she did, she felt vomit rise at the sight of the deep
gash, fish-white dead flesh, plump and swollen.  Thick arterial blood bubbled
up, splashing on the floor in streams.

"Oh dear," said the old woman, returning to the fire. "That must rather
sting.  You're lucky that I still remember a little of the old healing
spells."

Ramke seated herself on the floor and pressed her hands on either side of the
wound.  Gyna felt a flare of pain, and then a cool soft pinching and prickle.
When she looked down, Ramke was slowly sliding her wrinkled hands towards one
another.  At their approach, the lesion began to mend before her eyes, flesh
binding and bruises fading.

"Sweet Kynareth," Gyna gasped. "You've saved my life."

"Not only that, you won't have an ugly scar on your pretty leg," Ramke
chuckled. "I had to use that spell so many times when Lady Jyllia was little.
You know, I was her nursemaid."

"I know," Gyna smiled. "But that was a long time ago, and you still remember
the spell."

"Oh, when you're learning anything, even the School of Restoration, there's
always a lot of study and mistakes, but once you're as old as I am, there's
no longer any need to remember things.  You just know.  After all, I've
probably cast it a thousand times before.  Little Lady Jyllia and the little
Princess Talara was always getting cut and bruised.  Small wonder, the way
they was always climbing all over the palace."

Gyna sighed. "You must have loved Lady Jyllia very much."

"I still do," Ramke beamed. "But now she's all grown and things are
different.  You know, I didn't notice it before because you were all wet from
the sea, but you look very much like my lady.  Did I mention that before when
we met at the Festival?"

"You did," said Gyna. "Or rather I think you thought I looked like Princess
Talara."

"Oh, it would be so wonderful if you were the Princess returned," the old
woman gasped. "You know, when the former royal family was killed, and
everyone said the Princess was killed though we never found the body, I think
the real victim was Lady Jyllia.  Her little heart just broke, and for a
while, it looked like her mind did too."

"What do you mean?" asked Gyna. "What happened?"

"I don't know if I should tell a stranger this, but it's fairly well-known in
Camlorn, and I really feel like I know you," Ramke struggled with her
conscience and then released. "Jyllia saw the assassination, you see.  I
found her afterwards, hiding in that terrible blood-stained throne room, and
she was like a little broken doll.  She wouldn't speak, she wouldn't eat.  I
tried all my healing spells, but it was quite beyond my power.  So much more
than a scraped knee.  Her father who was then Duke of Oloine sent her to a
sanitarium in the country to get well."

"That poor little girl," cried Gyna.

"It took her years to be herself again," said Ramke, nodding. "And, in truth,
she never really returned altogether.  You wonder why her father when he was
made king didn't make her his heir?  He thought that she was still not
exactly right, and in a way, as much as I would deny it, he's correct to
think so.  She remembered nothing, nothing at all."

"Do you think," Gyna considered her words carefully. "That she would be
better if she knew that her cousin the Princess Talara was alive and well?"

Ramke considered it. "I think so.  But maybe not.  Sometimes it's best not to
hope."

Gyna stood up, finding her leg to be as strong as it looked to be.  Her gown
had dried, and Ramke gave her a cloak, insisting she protect herself against
the cold night air.  At the door, Gyna kissed the old woman's cheek and
thanked her.  Not only for the healing spell and for the cloak, but for
everything else of kindness she had ever done.

The road close to the house went north and south.  To the left was the way
back to Camlorn, where secrets lay to which she alone held the key.  To the
south was Daggerfall, her home for more than twenty years.  She could return
there, back to her profession on the streets, very easily.  For a few
seconds, she considered her options, and then made her choice.

She had not been walking for very long, when a black carriage drawn by three
horses bearing the Imperial Seal, together with eight mounted horses, passed
her.  Before it rounded the wooded pass ahead, it stopped suddenly.  She
recognized one of the soldiers as Gnorbooth, Lord Strale's manservant.  The
door opened and Lord Strale himself, the Emperor's ambassador, the man who
had hired her and all the other women to entertain at court, stepped out.

"You!' he frowned. "You're one of the prostitutes, aren't you?  You're the
one who disappeared during the Flower Festival?  Gyna, am I right?"

"All that is true," she smiled sourly. "Except my name I've discovered is not
Gyna."

"I don't care what it is," said Lord Strale. "What are you doing on the south
road?  I paid for you to stay and make the kingdom merry."

"If I went back to Camlorn, there are a great many who wouldn't be merry at
all."

"Explain yourself," said Lord Strale.

So she did.  And he listened.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mystery of Talara, Part 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Destruction5
               Or
               BookSkill_Destruction5_open
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Destruction skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

The Mystery of Princess Talara, Part III
By Mera Llykith

Gnorbooth was leaving his favorite pub in Camlorn, The Breaking Branch, when
he heard someone calling his name.  His was not the sort of a name that could
be mistaken for another.  He turned and saw Lord Eryl, the Royal Battlemage
from the palace, emerge from the darkness of the alley.

"Milord," said Gnorbooth with a pleasant smile.

"I'm surprised to see you out this evening, Gnorbooth," grinned Lord Eryl
with a most unpleasant smile. "I have not seen you and your master very much
since the millennial celebration, but I understand you've been very busy.
What I've been wondering is what you've been busy doing."

"Protecting the Imperial interests in Camlorn is busy work, milord.  But I
cannot imagine you would be interested in the minutiae of the ambassador's
appointments."

"But I am," said the battlemage. "Especially as the ambassador has begun
acting most mysteriously, most undiplomatically lately.  And I understand
that he has taken one of the whores from the Flower Festival into his house.
I believe her name is Gyna?"

Gnorbooth shrugged: "He's in love, I would imagine, milord.  It can make men
act very strangely, as I'm sure you've heard before."

"She is a most comely wench," laughed Lord Eryl. "Have you noticed how much
she resembles the late Princess Talara?"

"I have only been in Camlorn for fifteen years, milord.  I never saw her late
majesty."

"Now I could understand it if he had taken to writing poetry, but what man in
love spends his days in the kitchens of the palace, talking to old servants?
That hardly sounds like molten passion to me, even based on my limited
experience." Lord Eryl rolled his eyes. "And what is this business he has now
in - oh, what is the name of that village?"

"Umbington?" replied Gnorbooth, and immediately wished he hadn't.  Lord Eryl
was too canny an actor to reveal it, but Gnorbooth knew at the pit of his
stomach that the battlemage did not even know Lord Strale had left the
capitol.  He had to get away to let the ambassador know, but there was still
a game to be carefully played. "He's not leaving for there until tomorrow.  I
believe it's just to put a stamp on some deed that needs the Imperial seal."

"Is that all?  How tedious for the poor fellow.  I suppose I'll see him when
he returns then," Lord Eryl bowed. "Thank you for being so informative.
Farewell."

The moment the royal battlemage turned the corner, Gnorbooth leapt onto his
horse.  He had drunk one or two ales too many, but he knew he must find his
way to Umbington before Lord Eryl's agents did.  He galloped east out of the
capitol, hoping there were signs along the road.

Seated in a tavern that smelled of mildew and sour beer, Lord Strale marveled
at how the Emperor's agent Lady Brisienna always found the most public of
places for her most private of conferences.  It was harvest time in
Umbington, and all of the field hands were drinking away their meager wages
in the noisiest of fashions.  He was dressed appropriately for the venue,
rough trousers and a simple peasant's vest, but he still felt conspicuous.
In comparison to his two female companions, he certainly was.  The woman to
his right was used to frequenting the low places of Daggerfall as a common
prostitute.  Lady Brisienna to his left was even more clearly in her element.

"By what name would you prefer I call you?" Lady Brisienna asked
solicitously.

"I am used to the name Gyna, though that may have to change," was her reply.
"Of course, it may not.  Gyna the Whore may be the name writ on my grave."

"I will see to it that there is no attempt on your life like that the Flower
Festival," Lord Strale frowned. "But without the Emperor's help, I won't be
able to protect you forever.  The only permanent solution is to capture those
who would do you harm and then to raise you to your proper station."

"Do you believe my story?" Gyna turned to Lady Brisienna.

"I have been the Emperor's chief agent in High Rock for many years now, and I
have heard few stranger tales.  If your friend the ambassador hadn't
investigated and discovered what he has, I would have dismissed you outright
as a madwoman," Brisienna laughed, forcing a smile onto Gyna's face to match.
"But now, yes, I do believe you.  Perhaps that makes me the madwoman."

"Will you help us?" asked Lord Strale simply.

"It is a tricky business interfering in the affairs of the provincial
kingdoms," Lady Brisienna looked into the depths of her mug thoughtfully.
"Unless there is a threat to the Empire itself, we find it is best not to
meddle.  What we have in your case is a very messy assassination that
happened twenty years ago, and its aftermath.  If His Imperial Majesty
involved itself in every bloody hiccup in the succession in each of his
thousand vassal kingdoms, he would never accomplish anything for the greater
good of Tamriel."

"I understand," murmured Gyna. "When I remembered everything, who I was and
what happened to me, I resolved to do nothing about it.  In fact, I was
leaving Camlorn and going back home to Daggerfall when I saw Lord Strale
again.  He was the one who began this quest to resolve this, not me.  And
when he brought me back, I only wanted to see my cousin to tell her who I
was, but he forbade me."
"It would have been too dangerous," growled Strale. "We still don't know yet
the depths of the conspiracy.  Perhaps we never will."

"I'm sorry, I always find myself giving long explanations to short questions.
When Lord Strale asked if I would help, I should have begun by saying 'yes,'"
Lady Brisienna laughed at the change in Lord Strale and Gyna's expressions.
"I will help you, of course.  But for this to turn out well, you must
accomplish two things to the Emperor's satisfaction.  First, you must prove
with absolute certainty who is the power behind this plot you've uncovered.
You must get someone to confess."

"And secondly," said Lord Strale, nodding. "We must prove that this is a
matter worthy of His Imperial Majesty's consideration, and not merely a minor
local concern."

Lord Strale, Lady Brisienna, and the woman who called herself Gyna discussed
how to accomplish their goals for a few hours more.  When it was agreed what
had to be done, Lady Brisienna took her leave to find her ally Proseccus.
Strale and Gyna set off to the west, toward Camlorn.  It was not long after
beginning their ride through the woods that they heard the sound of galloping
hoof beats far up ahead.  Lord Strale unsheathed his sword and signaled for
Gyna to position her horse behind him.

At that moment, they were attacked on all sides.  It was an ambush. Eight
men, armed with axes, had been lying in wait.

Lord Strale quickly yanked Gyna from her horse, pulling her behind him.  He
made a brief, deft motion with his hands.  A ring of flame materialized
around them, and rushed outward, striking their assailants.  The men roared
in pain and dropped to their knees.  Lord Strale jumped the horse over the
closest one, and galloped at full speed westward.

"I thought you were an ambassador not a mage!" laughed Gyna.

"I still believe there are times for diplomacy," replied Lord Strale.

The horse and rider they had heard before met them on the road.  It was
Gnorbooth. "Milord, it's the royal battlemage!  He found out you two were in
Umbington!"

"With considerable ease, I might add," Lord Eryl's voice boomed out of the
woods.  Gnorbooth, Gyna, and Lord Strale scanned the dark trees, but they
showed nothing.  The battlemage's voice seemed to emanate from everywhere and
nowhere.

"I'm sorry, milord," groaned Gnorbooth. "I tried to warn you as soon as I
could."

"In your next life, perhaps you'll remember not to trust your plans to a
drunkard!" laughed Lord Eryl.  He had them in his sight, and the spell was
unleashed.

Gnorbooth saw him first, by the light of the ball of fire that leapt from his
fingertips.  Later, Lord Eryl was to wonder to himself what the fool had
intended to do.  Perhaps he was rushing forward to pull Lord Strale out of
the path.  Perhaps he was trying to flee the path of destruction, and had
simply moved left when he should have moved right.  Perhaps, as unlikely as
it seemed, he was willing to sacrifice himself to save his master.  Whatever
the reason, the result was the same.

He got in the way.

There was an explosion of energy that filled the night, and an echoing boom
that shook birds from the trees for a mile around. On the few square feet
where Gnorbooth and his horse had stood was nothing but black glass.  They
had been reduced to less than vapor.  Gyna and Lord Strale were thrown back.
Their horse, when it recovered its senses, galloped away as fast as it could.
In the lingering glowing aura of the spell's detonation, Lord Strale looked
straight into the woods and into the wide eyes of the battlemage.

"Damn," said Lord Eryl and began to run.  The ambassador jumped to his feet
and pursued.

"That was an expensive use of magicka, even for you," said Lord Strale as he
ran. "Don't you know well enough not to use ranged spells unless you are
certain your target won't be blocked?"

"I never thought - that idiot -" Lord Eryl was struck from behind and knocked
to the wet forest floor before he had a chance to finish his lamentation.

"It doesn't matter what you thought," said Lord Strale calmly, flipping the
battlemage around and pinning his arms to the ground with his knees. "I'm not
a battlemage, but I knew enough not to use my entire reserve on your little
ambush.  Perhaps it's a matter of philosophy, as a government agent, I feel
inclined toward conservatism."

"What are you going to do?" whimpered Lord Eryl.

"Gnorbooth was a good man, one of the best, and so I'm going to hurt you
quite a lot," the ambassador made a slight movement and his hands began to
glow brightly. "That's a certainty.  How much more I'm going to hurt you
after that depends on what you tell me.  I want to hear about the former Duke
of Oloine."

"What do you want to know?" Lord Eryl screamed.

"Let's start with everything," replied Lord Strale with perfect patience.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mystery of Talara, Part 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_illusion5
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Illusion skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Mystery of Princess Talara
Part IV
By Mera Llykith

Gyna never saw the Emperor's agent Lady Brisienna again, but she kept her
promise.  Proseccus, a nightblade in the service of the Empire, arrived at
Lord Strale's house in disguise.  She was an apt pupil, and within days, he
had taught what she needed to know.

"It is a simple charm, not the sort of spell that could turn a raging
daedroth into a love-struck puppy," said Proseccus. "If you do or say
anything that would normally anger or offend your target, the power will
weaken.  It will alter temporarily his perception of you, as spells of the
school of illusion do, but his feelings of respect and admiration for you
must be supported by means of a charm of a less magickal nature."

"I understand," smiled Gyna, thanking her tutor for the two spells of
illusion he had taught her.  The time had come to use her new-found skill.

The Prostitutes Guildhouse of Camlorn was a great palace in an affluent
northern quarter of the city.  Prince Sylon could have found his way there
blindfolded, or blind drunk as he often was.  Tonight, however, he was only
lightly inebriated and he resolved to drink no more.  Tonight he was in the
mood for pleasure.  His kind of pleasure.

"Where is my favorite, Grigia?" he demanded of the Guildmistress upon
entering.

"She is still healing from your appointment with her last week," she smiled
serenely. "Most of the other women are in with clients as well, but I saved a
special treat for you.  A new girl.  One you will certainly enjoy."

The Prince was guided to a sumptuously decorated suite of velvet and silk.
As he entered, Gyna stepped from behind a screen and cast her spell quickly,
with her mind open to belief as Proseccus had instructed.  It was hard to
tell if it worked at first.  The Prince looked at her with a cruel smile and
then, like sun breaking through clouds, the cruelty left.  She could tell he
was hers. He asked her her name.

"I am between names right now," she teased. "I've never made love to a real
prince before.  I've never even been inside a palace.  Is yours very ...
big?"

"It's not mine yet," he shrugged. "But someday I'll be king."

"It would be wonderful to live in such a place," Gyna cooed. "A thousand
years of history.  Everything must be so old and beautiful.  The paintings
and books and statues and tapestries.  Does your family hold onto all their
old treasures?"

"Yes, hoarded away with a lot of boring old junk in the archive rooms in the
vaults.  Please, may I see you naked now?"

"First a little conversation, though you may feel free to disrobe whenever
you like," said Gyna. "I had heard there was an archive room, but it's quite
hidden away."

"There's a false wall behind the family crypt," said the Prince, gripping her
wrist and pulling her towards him for a kiss.  Something in his eyes had
changed.

"Your Highness, you're hurting my arm," Gyna cried.

"Enough talk, you bewitching whore," he snarled.  Holding back a sharp jab of
fear, Gyna let her mind cool and perceptions whirl.  As his angry mouth
touched her lips, she cast the second spell she had learned her illusionist
mentor.

The Prince felt his flesh turn to stone.  He remained frozen, watching Gyna
pull together her clothing and leave the room.  The paralysis would only last
for a few more minutes, but it was all the time she needed.

The Guildmistress had already left with all her girls, just as Gyna and Lord
Strale had told her to.  They would tell her when it was safe to return.  She
had not even accepted any gold for her part in the trap.  She said it was
enough that her girls would not be tortured anymore by that most perverse and
cruel Prince.

"What a terrible boy," thought Gyna as she raised the hood on her cloak and
raced through the streets toward Lord Strale's house. "It is good that he
will never be king."

The following morning, the King and Queen of Camlorn held their daily
audience with various nobles and diplomats, a sparse gathering.  The throne
room was largely empty.  It was a terribly dull way to begin the day.  In
between petitions, they yawned regally.

"What has happened to all the interesting people?" the Queen murmured.
"Where's our precious boy?"

"I've heard he was raging through the north quarter in search of some harlot
who robbed him," the King chuckled fondly. "What a fine lad."

"And what of the Royal Battlemage?"

"I've sent him to take care of a delicate matter," the King knit his brow.
"But that was nearly a week ago, and I haven't heard one word from him.  It's
somewhat troubling."

"Indeed it is, Lord Eryl should not be gone so long," the Queen frowned.
"What if a rogue sorcerer came and threatened us?  Husband, don't laugh at
me, that is why all the royal houses of High Rock keep their mage retainers
close to their side.  To protect their court from evil enchantments, like the
one that our poor Emperor suffered so recently."

"At the hand of his own battlemage," chuckled the King

"Lord Eryl would never betray you like that, and you well know it.  He has
been in your employ since you were Duke of Oloine.  To even make that
comparison between he and Jagar Tharn, really," the Queen waved her hands
dismissively. "It is that sort of lack of trust that is ruining kingdoms all
over Tamriel.  Now, Lord Strale tells me -"

"There's another man that's gone missing," mused the King.

"The ambassador?" the Queen shook her head. "No, he's here.  He was desirous
to visit the crypts and pay homage to your noble ancestors, so I directed him
there.  I can't think what's keeping him so long.  He must be more pious than
I thought."

She was surprised to see the King rise up, alarmed. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Before she had a chance to reply, the subject of their conversation was
coming through the open door to the throne room.  At on his arm was a
beautiful fair-haired woman in a stately gown of scarlet and gold, worthy of
the highest nobility.  The queen followed her startled husband's gaze, and
was likewise amazed.

"I had heard he was taken with one of the harlots from the Flower Festival,
not a lady," she whispered. "Why, she looks remarkably like your daughter,
the Lady Jyllia."

"That she does," the King gasped. "Or her cousin, the Princess Talara."

The nobles in the room also whispered amongst themselves.  Though few had
been at court twenty years ago when the Princess had disappeared, presumed
murdered like the rest of the royal family, there were still a few elder
statesmen who remembered.  It was not only on throne that the word "Talara"
passed through the air like an enchantment.

"Lord Strale, will you introduce us to your lady?" the Queen asked with a
polite smile.

"In a moment, your highness, but I'm afraid I must first discuss pressing
matters," Lord Strale replied with a bow. "Might I request a private
audience?"

The King looked at the Imperial ambassador, trying to read into the man's
expression.  With a wave of his hand, he dismissed the assembled and had the
doors shut behind them.  No one remained in the audience room but the King,
the Queen, the ambassador, a dozen royal guards, and the mysterious woman.

The ambassador pulled from his pocket a sheaf of old yellowed parchment.
"Your Highness, when you ascended the throne after your brother and his
family were murdered, anything that seemed important, deeds and wills, were
of course kept with the clerks and ministers. His entire incidental,
unimportant personal correspondence was sent to archive which is standard
protocol. This letter was among them."

"What is this all about, sir?" the King boomed. "What does it say?"

"Nothing about you, your majesty.  In truth, at the time of your majesty's
ascension, no one reading it could have understood its significance.  It was
a letter to the Emperor the late king your brother was penning at the time of
his assassination, concerning a thief who had once been a mage-priest at the
Temple of Sethiete here in Camlorn.  His name was Jagar Tharn."

"Jagar Tharn?" the Queen laughed nervously. "Why, we were just talking about
him."

"Tharn had stolen many books of powerful and forgotten spells, and lore about
such artifacts as the Staff of Chaos, where it was hidden and how it could be
used.  News travels slowly to westernmost High Rock, and by the time the King
your brother had heard that the Emperor's new battlemage was a man named
Jagar Tharn, many years had passed. The king had been writing a letter to
warn the Emperor of the treachery of his Imperial Battlemage, but it was
never completed." Lord Strale held up the letter. "It is dated on the day of
his assassination in the year 385.  Four years before Jagar Tharn betrayed
his master, and began the ten years of tyranny of the Imperial Simulacrum."

"This is all very interesting," the King barked. "But what has it to do with
me?"

"The late King's assassination is now a matter of Imperial concern.  And I
have a confession from your Royal Battlemage Lord Eryl."

The King's face lost all color: "You miserable worm, no man may threaten me.
Neither you, nor that whore, nor that letter will ever see the light of day
again.  Guards!"

The royal guards unsheathed their blades and pressed forward.  As they did
so, there was a sudden shimmering of light and the room was filled with
Imperial nightblades, led by Proseccus.  They had been there for hours,
lurking invisibly in the shadows.

"In the name of His Imperial Majesty, Uriel Septim VII, I arrest you," said
Strale.

The doors were opened, and the King and Queen were led out, heads bowed.
Gyna told Proseccus where he would most likely find their son, Prince Sylon.
The courtiers and nobles who had been in the audience chamber stared at the
strange, solemn procession of their King and Queen to their own royal prison.
No one said a word.

When at last a voice was heard, it startled all.  The Lady Jyllia had arrived
at court. "What is happening?  Who dares to usurp the authority of the King
and Queen?"

Lord Strale turned to Proseccus: "We would speak with the Lady Jyllia alone.
You know what needs to be done."

Proseccus nodded and had the doors to the throne room closed once again.  The
courtiers pressed against the wood, straining to hear everything.  Though
they could not say it, they wanted an explanation almost as much as her
Ladyship did.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mystery of Talara, Part 5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_mystery5
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: None

The Mystery of Princess Talara, Part V
The Final Chapter and Solution
By Mera Llykith

"By what right do you arrest my father?" cried the Lady Jyllia. "What has he
done?"

"I arrest the King of Camlorn, the former Duke of Oloine, by my right as an
Imperial Commanding Officer and Ambassador," said Lord Strale. "By the right
of law of the Emperor of Tamriel which supercedes all provincial royal
authority."

Gyna came forward and tried to put her hand on Jyllia's arm, but she was
coldly rebuffed.  Quietly, she sat down at the foot of the throne in the now
empty audience chamber.

"This young lady came to me, having completely recovered her memory, but the
story she told was beyond incredible, I simply couldn't believe it," said
Lord Strale. "But she was so convinced of it, I had to investigate.  So I
talked to everyone who was here at the palace twenty years ago to see if
there could be any truth to it.  Of course, at the time of the King and
Queen's murder, and the Princess's disappearance, there was a full inquiry
made, but I had different questions to ask this time.  Questions about the
relationship between the two little cousins, Lady Jyllia Raze and the
Princess."

"I've told everyone over and over again, I don't remember anything at all
about that time in my life," said Jyllia, tears welling up.

"I know you don't.  There has never been a question in my mind that you
witnessed a horrible murder, and that your memory lapse and hers," said Lord
Strale, gesturing toward Gyna "Are both very real. The story I heard from the
servants and other people at the palace was that the little girls were
inseparably close.  There were no other playmates, and as the Princess's
place was to be close to her parents, so the little Lady Jyllia was always
there as well.  When the assassin came to murder the Royal Family, the King
and Queen were in their bedroom, and the girls were playing in the throne
room."

"When my memory came back to me, it was like opening a sealed box," said Gyna
solemnly. "Everything was so clear and detailed, like it all happened
yesterday not twenty years ago.  I was on the throne, playing Empress, and
you were hiding behind the dais, pretending you were in a dungeon I had sent
you to.  A man I had never seen burst into the room from the Royal
bedchamber, his blade soaked in blood.  He came at me, and I ran for my life.
I remember starting to run for the dais, but I saw your face, frozen in fear,
and I didn't want to lead him to you.  So I ran for the window.

"We had climbed on the outside of the castle before, just for fun, that was
one of the first memories that came back to me when I was holding onto that
cliff.  You and I on the castle wall, and the King calling up to me, telling
me how to get down.  But that day, I couldn't hold on, I was trembling so
much.  I just fell, and landed in the river.

"I don't know if it was entirely the horror of what I had seen, or that
combined with the impact of the fall and the coldness of the water, but
everything just went blank in my mind.  When I finally pulled myself out of
the river, many miles away, I had no idea who I was.  And so it stayed," Gyna
smiled. "Until now."

"So you are the Princess Talara?" cried Jyllia.

"Let me explain further before she answers that, because the simple answer
would just confuse you, as it did me," said Lord Strale. "The assassin was
caught before he managed to escape the palace - in truth, he had to know he
was going to be caught.  He confessed immediately to the murders of the Royal
Family.  The Princess, he said, he had thrown out the window to her death.  A
servant down below heard the scream, and saw something fly past his window,
so he knew it to be true.

"It was not for several hours that little Lady Jyllia was found by her
nursemaid Ramke hiding behind the dais, coated with dust, shivering with
fear, and unable to speak at all.  Ramke was very protective of you," Strale
said, nodding to Jyllia. "She insisted on putting you to your room right
away, and sent word the Duke of Oloine that the Royal Family was dead, and
that his daughter had witnessed the murders but survived."

"I'm beginning to remember a little of that," said Jyllia, wonderingly. "I
remember lying in bed, with Ramke comforting me.  I was so muddled and I
couldn't concentrate.  I remember I just wanted it all to be play time still,
I don't know why.  And then, I remember being bundled up and taken to that
asylum."

"It'll all come back to you soon," Gyna smiled. "I promise.  That's how I
began to remember.  I just caught one detail, and the whole flood began."

"That's it," Jyllia began to sob in frustration. "I don't remember anything
else except confusion.  No, I also remember Daddy not even looking at me as I
was taken away.  And I remember not caring about that, or anything else."

"It was a confusing time for all, so particularly so for little girls.
Especially little girls who went through what you two did," said Lord Strale
sympathetically. "From what I understand, as soon as he received the message
from Ramke, the Duke left his palace at Oloine, gave orders for you to be
sent to a private sanitarium until you'd recovered from your ordeal, and set
to work with his private guard torturing the assassin for information.  When
I heard that, that no one but the Duke and his personal guard saw the
assassin after he gave his initial confession, and that no one was present
but the Duke and his guards when the assassin was killed trying to escape, I
thought that very significant.

"I spoke with Lord Eryl, who I knew was one of those present, and I had to
bluff him, pretending I had more evidence than I did.  I got the reaction I
was hoping for, though it was a dangerous gambit.  At last he confessed to
what I already knew to be true.

"The assassin," Lord Strale paused, and reluctantly met Jyllia's eyes, "Had
been hired by the Duke of Oloine to kill the Royal Family, including the
Princess as heir, so that the crown might be passed to him and to his
children."

Jyllia stared at Lord Strale, aghast. "My father -"

"The assassin had been told that once the Duke had him in custody, he would
be paid and a prison break would be arranged.  The thug picked the wrong time
to be greedy and try to get more gold.  The Duke decided that it would be
cheaper to silence him, so he murdered him then and there, so the man would
never tell anyone what really happened," Lord Strale shrugged. "No tragic
loss as far as murders go.  In a few years' time, you returned from the
sanitarium, a little shaken but back to normal, except for a complete absence
of memory about your childhood.  And in that time, the former Duke of Oloine
had taken his brother's place as the King of Camlorn. It was no small
maneuver."

"No," said Jyllia, quietly. "He must have been very busy.  He remarried and
had another child.  No one ever came to visit me in the sanitarium but
Ramke."

"If he had visited and seen you," said Gyna. "This story might have turned
out very differently."

"What do you mean?" asked Jyllia.

"This is the most amazing part," said Lord Strale. "The question has long
been whether Gyna is the Princess Talara.  When her memory returned, and she
told me what she remembered, I put several pieces of evidence together.
Consider these facts.

"The two of you look remarkably alike now after twenty years of living very
different lives, and as little girls and constant playmates, you looked
nearly identical.

"At the time of the assassination, the murderer who had never been there
before, only saw one girl on the throne, who he assumed to be his quarry.

"The woman who found Lady Jyllia was her nursemaid Ramke, a creature of
unstable mind and fanatical devotion to her charge - the type would never
accept the possibility that her beloved little girl had been the one who
disappeared.  The nursemaid was the only single person who knew both Princess
Talara and the Lady Jyllia who visited you while you were in the sanitarium.

"Finally," said Lord Strale, "Consider the fact that when you returned to
court from the sanitarium, five years had past, and you had grown from a
child to a young lady.  You looked familiar, but not quite the same as your
family remembered you, which is only natural."

"I don't understand," cried the poor girl, her eyes wide, because she did
understand.  Here memory was falling together like a terrible flood.

"Let me explain it like this," said her cousin, wrapping her in her arms. "I
know who I am now.  My real name is Jyllia Raze.  That man who was arrested
was my father, the man who murdered the King - your father.  YOU are the
Princess Talara."



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mysticism
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Mysticism
Weight:        4
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Mysticism
The Unfathomable Voyage
by Tetronius Lor

Mysticism is the school of sorcery least understood by the magical community
and the most difficult to explain to novice mages.  The spell effects
commonly ascribed to the School of Mysticism are as extravagantly disparate
as Soul Trap, the creation of a cell that would hold a victim's spirit after
death, to Telekinesis, the manipulation of objects at a distance.  But these
effects are simply that: effects.  The sorcery behind them is veiled in a
mystery that goes back to the oldest civilizations of Tamriel, and perhaps
beyond.

The Psijics of the Isle of Artaeum have a different term for Mysticism: the
Old Way.  The phrase becomes bogged in semantic quagmire because the Old Way
also refers to the religion and customs of the Psijics, which may or may not
be part of the magic of Mysticism.

There are few mages who devote their lives to the study of Mysticism.  The
other schools are far more predictable and ascertainable.  Mysticism seems to
derive power from its conundrums and paradoxes; the act of experimentation,
no matter how objectively implemented, can influence magicka by its very
existence.  Therefore the Mystic mage must consign himself to finding
dependable patterns within a roiling imbroglio of energy.  In the time it
takes him to devise an enchantment with a consistent trigger and result, his
peers in the other schools may have researched and documented dozens of new
spells and effects.  The Mystic mage must thus be a patient and relatively
uncompetitive philosopher.

For centuries, mostly during the Second Era, scholarly journals published
theory after theory about the aspect or aspects of magicka lumped together
under Mysticism.  In the Mages Guild's tradition of finding answers to all
things, respected researchers suggested that Mysticism's penultimate energy
source was the Aetherius Itself, or else Daedric Beings of unimaginable power
-- either rationale would explain the seemingly random figurations of
Mysticism.  Some even ventured that Mysticism arose from the unused elements
of successfully, or even unsuccessfully, cast spells.  Discussion within the
Order of Psijics after Artaeum's reappearance has led some scholars to
postulate that Mysticism is less spiritual in nature as was originally
supposed, and that either the intellect or the emotional state of the
believer is sufficient to influence its energy configuration and flow.

None of these explanations is truly satisfactory taken by itself.  For the
beginning student of Mysticism, it is best simply to learn the patterns
distinguishable in the maelstrom of centuries past.  The more patterns are
discovered, the clearer the remaining ones become.  Until, of course, they
change.  For inevitably they have to.  And then the journey begins anew.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nchunak's Fire and Faith
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_nchunaksfireandfaith
Weight:        4
Value:         60
Special Notes: None

Nchunak's Fire and Faith

[This book is a translated account of Nchunak's travels among the various
colonies of the Dwemer explaining the theories of Kagrenac.]

I made inquiry as to the state of enlightenment among the people he spoke
for.  He answered that with respect to the theories of Kagrenac, there was
but one scholar near who could guide the people through the maze that leads
to true misunderstanding.

He informed me, however, that in Kherakah the precepts of Kagrenac were
taught.  He said that nothing pleased him more than to see the Dwemer of
Kherakah, the most learned people in the world, studying Kagrenac's words and
giving consideration to their place in the life to come, and where neither
planar division nor the numeration of amnesia nor any other thing of utility
was more valued than the understanding of the self and its relationship to
the Heart.

I was gracious enough to receive this as a high compliment, and, removing my
helm, I thanked him and departed with an infinity of bows.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nerevar Moon-and-Star
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_NerevarMoonandStar
Weight:        2
Value:         200
Special Notes: None

Nerevar Moon-and-Star

[This is a selection from a series of monographs by various Imperial scholars
on Ashlander legends.]

In ancient days, the Deep Elves and a great host of outlanders from the West
came to steal the land of the Dunmer. In that time, Nerevar was the great
khan and warleader of the House People, but he honored the Ancient Spirits
and the Tribal law, and became as one of us.

So, when Nerevar pledged upon his great Ring of the Ancestors, One-Clan-
Under-Moon-and-Star, to honor the ways of the Spirits and rights of the Land,
all the Tribes joined the House People to fight a great battle at Red
Mountain.

Though many Dunmer, Tribesman and Houseman, died at Red Mountain, the Dwemer
were defeated and their evil magicks destroyed, and the outlanders driven
from the land. But after this great victory, the power-hungry khans of the
Great Houses slew Nerevar in secret, and, setting themselves up as gods,
neglected Nerevar's promises to the Tribes.

But it is said that Nerevar will come again with his ring, and cast down the
false gods, and by the power of his ring will make good his promises to the
Tribes, to honor the Spirits and drive the outsiders from the land.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_NGastaKvataKvakis_c
               Or
               bk_NGastaKvataKvakis_o
Weight:        2
Value:         200
Special Notes: None

N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!

[an obscure text in the language of the Sload, purportedly written by the
Second Era Western necromancer, N'Gasta.]

N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!

N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis! ahkstas so novajxletero (oix jhemile)  so Ranetauw.
Ricevas gxin pagintaj membrauw kaj aliaj individuauw, kiujn iamaniere tusxas
so raneta aktivado. En gxi aperas informauw unuavice pri so lokauw  so
cxiumonataj kunvenauw, sed nature ankoix pri aliaj aktuasoj aktivecauw so
societo. Ne malofte enahkstas krome plej diversaspekta materialo eduka oix
distra.

So interreta Kvako (retletera kaj verjheauw) ahkstas unufsonke alternativaj
kanasouw por distribui so enhavon  so papera Kva! Kvak!. Sed alifsonke so
enhavauw  so diversaj verjheauw antoixvible ne povas kaj ecx ne vus cxiam
ahksti centprocente so sama. En malvaste cirkusonta paperfolio ekzemple ebsos
publikigi ilustrajxauwn, kiuj pro kopirajtaj kiasouw ne ahkstas uzebsoj en so
interreto. Alifsonke so masoltaj kostauw reta distribuo forigas so spacajn
limigauwn kaj permahksas pli ampleksan enhavon, por ne paroli pri gxishora
aktualeco.

Tiuj cirkonstancauw rahkspeguligxos en so aspekto  so Kvakoa, kiu ja cetere
servos ankoix kiel gxeneraso retejo so ranetauw.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Falls On Sentinel
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_blunt weapon3
Weight:        4
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Blunt Weapon skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Night Falls On Sentinel
By Boali

No music played in the Nameless Tavern in Sentinel, and indeed there was very
little sound except for discreet, cautious murmurs of conversation, the soft
pad of the barmaid's feet on stone, and the delicate slurping of the regular
patrons, tongues lapping at their flagons, eyes focused on nothing at all.
If anyone were less otherwise occupied, the sight of the young Redguard woman
in a fine black velvet cape might have aroused surprise.  Even suspicion.  As
it were, the strange figure, out of place in an underground cellar so modest
it had no sign, blended into the shadows.

 "Are you Jomic?"

The stout, middle-aged man with a face older than his years looked up and
nodded.  He returned to his drink.  The young woman took the seat next to
him.

"My name is Haballa," she said and pulled out a small bag of gold, placing it
next to his mug.

"Sure it be," snarled Jomic, and met her eyes again. "Who d'you want dead?"

She did not turn away, but merely asked, "Is it safe to talk here?"

"No one cares about nobody else's problems but their own here.  You could
take off your cuirass and dance bare-breasted on the table, and no one'd even
spit," the man smiled. "So who d'you want dead?"

"No one, actually," said Haballa. "The truth is, I only want someone ...
removed, for a while.  Not harmed, you understand, and that's why I need a
professional.  You come highly recommended."

"Who you been talking to?" asked Jomic dully, returning to his drink.

"A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend."

"One of them friends don't know what he's talking about," grumbled the man.
"I don't do that any more."

Haballa quietly took out another purse of gold and then another, placing them
at the man's elbow.  He looked at her for a moment and then poured the gold
out and began counting.  As he did, he asked, "Who d'you want removed?"

"Just a moment," smiled Haballa, shaking her head. "Before we talk details, I
want to know that you're a professional, and you won't harm this person very
much.  And that you'll be discreet."

"You want discreet?" the man paused in his counting. "Awright, I'll tell you
about an old job of mine.  It's been - by Arkay, I can hardly believe it -
more 'n twenty years, and no one but me's alive who had anything to do with
the job.  This is back afore the time of the War of Betony, remember that?"

"I was just a baby."

"'Course you was," Jomic smiled. "Everyone knows that King Lhotun had an
older brother Greklith what died, right?  And then he's got his older sister
Aubki, what married that King fella in Daggerfall.  But the truth's that he
had two elder brothers."

"Really?" Haballa's eyes glistened with interest.

"No lie," he chuckled. "Weedy, feeble fella called Arthago, the King and
Queen's first born.  Anyhow, this prince was heir to the throne, which his
parents wasn't too thrilled about, but then the Queen she squeezed out two
more princes who looked a lot more fit.  That's when me and my boys got hired
on, to make it look like the first prince got took off by the Underking or
some such story."

"I had no idea!" the young woman whispered.

"Of course you didn't, that's the point," Jomic shook his head. "Discretion,
like you said.  We bagged the boy, dropped him off deep in an old ruin, and
that was that.  No fuss.  Just a couple fellas, a bag, and a club."

"That's what I'm interested in," said Haballa. "Technique.  My... friend who
needs to be taken away is weak also, like this Prince.  What is the club
for?"

"It's a tool.  So many things what was better in the past ain't around no
more, just 'cause people today prefer ease of use to what works right.  Let
me explain: there're seventy-one prime pain centers in an average fella's
body.  Elves and Khajiiti, being so sensitive and all, got three and four
more respectively.  Argonians and Sloads, almost as many at fifty-two and
sixty-seven," Jomic used his short stubby finger to point out each region on
Haballa's body. "Six in your forehead, two in your brow, two on your nose,
seven in your throat, ten in your chest, nine in your abdomen, three on each
arm, twelve in your groin, four in your favored leg, five in the other."

"That's sixty-three," replied Haballa.

"No, it's not," growled Jomic.

"Yes, it is," the young lady cried back, indignant that her mathematical
skills were being question: "Six plus two plus two plus seven plus ten plus
nine plus three for one arm and three for the other plus twelve plus four
plus five.  Sixty-three."

"I must've left some out," shrugged Jomic. "The important thing is that to
become skilled with a staff or club, you gotta be a master of these pain
centers.  Done right, a light tap could kill, or knock out without so much as
a bruise."

"Fascinating," smiled Haballa. "And no one ever found out?"

"Why would they?  The boy's parents, the King and Queen, they're both dead
now.  The other children always thought their brother got carried off by the
Underking.  That's what everyone thinks.  And all my partners are dead."

"Of natural causes?"

"Ain't nothing natural that ever happens in the Bay, you know that.  One
fella got sucked up by one of them Selenu.  Another died a that same plague
that took the Queen and Prince Greklith.  'Nother fella got hisself beat up
to death by a burglar.  You gotta keep low, outta sight, like me, if you
wanna stay alive."  Jomic finished counting the coins. "You must want this
fella out of the way bad.  Who is it?"

"It's better if I show you," said Haballa, standing up.  Without a look back,
she strode out of the Nameless Tavern.

Jomic drained his beer and went out.  The night was cool with an unrestrained
wind surging off the water of the Iliac Bay, sending leaves flying like
whirling shards.  Haballa stepped out of the alleyway next to the tavern, and
gestured to him.  As he approached her, the breeze blew open her cape,
revealing the armor beneath and the crest of the King of Sentinel.

The fat man stepped back to flee, but she was too fast.  In a blur, he found
himself in the alley on his back, the woman's knee pressed firmly against his
throat.

"The King has spent years since he took the throne looking for you and your
collaborators, Jomic.  His instructions to me what to do when I found you
were not specific, but you've given me an idea."

From her belt, Haballa removed a small sturdy cudgel.

A drunk stumbling out of the bar heard a whimpered moan accompanied by a soft
whisper coming from the darkness of the alley: "Let's keep better count this
time.  One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven..."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
No-h's Picture Book of Wood
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryofWood
               Or
               bk_BriefHistoryofWood_01
Weight:        4
Value:         10
Special Notes: None

Wood is pretty
Wood is nice
If one looks good
I'll make it twice!

[Upon reaching the last page of the book, the words 'Boat Ack', are seen
scrawled about the margin in a vandalistic manner.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes on Racial Phylogeny
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_restoration2
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Restoration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Notes on Racial Phylogeny and Biology, Seventh Edition
by the Council of Healers, Imperial University

After much analysis of living specimens, the Council long ago determined that
all "races" of elves and humans may mate with each other and bear fertile
offspring.  Generally the offspring bear the racial traits of the mother,
though some traces of the father's race may also be present. It is less clear
whether the Argonians and Khajiit are interfertile with both humans and
elves. Though there have been many reports throughout the Eras of children
from these unions, as well as stories of unions with daedra, there have been
no well documented offspring. Khajiit differ from humans and elves not only
their skeletal and dermal physiology -- the "fur" that covers their bodies --
but their metabolism and digestion as well. Argonians, like the dreugh,
appear to be a semi-aquatic troglophile form of humans, though it is by no
means clear whether the Argonians should be classified with dreugh, men, mer,
or (in this author's opinion), certain tree-dwelling lizards in Black Marsh.

The reproductive biology of orcs is at present not well understood, and the
same is true of goblins, trolls, harpies, dreugh, tsaesci, imga, various
daedra and many others.  Certainly, there have been cases of intercourse
between these "races," generally in the nature of rape or magickal seduction,
but there have been no documented cases of pregnancy.  Still the
interfertility of these creatures and the civilized hominids has yet to be
empirically established or refuted, likely due to the deep cultural
differences.  Surely any normal Bosmer or Breton impregnated by an orc would
keep that shame to herself, and there's no reason to suppose that an orc
maiden impregnated by a human would not be likewise ostracized by her
society.  Regrettably, our oaths as healers keep us from forcing a coupling
to satisfy our scientific knowledge. We do know, however, that the sload of
Thras are hermaphrodites in their youth and later reabsorb their reproductive
organs once they are old enough to move about on land. It can be safely
assumed that they are not interfertile with men or mer.

One might further wonder whether the proper classification of these same
"races," to use the imprecise but useful term, should be made from the
assumption of a common heritage and the differences between them have arisen
from magickal experimentation, the manipulations of the so-called "Earth
Bones," or from gradual changes from one generation to the next.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Odral's History of the Empire 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire1_oh
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part One
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

Before the rule of Tiber Septim, all Tamriel was in chaos.  The poet Tracizis
called that period of continuous unrest "days and nights of blood and venom."
The kings were a petty lot of grasping tyrants, who fought Tiber's attempts
to bring order to the land.  But they were as disorganized as they were
dissolute, and the strong hand of Septim brought peace forcibly to Tamriel.
The year was 2E 896.  The following year, the Emperor declared the beginning
of a new Era-thus began the Third Era, Year Aught.

For thirty-eight years, the Emperor Tiber reigned supreme.  It was a lawful,
pious, and glorious age, when justice was known to one and all, from serf to
sovereign.  On Tiber's death, it rained for an entire fortnight as if the
land of Tamriel itself was weeping.

The Emperor's grandson, Pelagius, came to the throne.  Though his reign was
short, he was as strong and resolute as his father had been, and Tamriel
could have enjoyed a continuation of the Golden Age.  Alas, an unknown enemy
of the Septim Family hired that accursed organization of cutthroats, the Dark
Brotherhood, to kill the Emperor Pelagius I as he knelt at prayer at the
Temple of the One in the Imperial City.  Pelagius I's reign lasted less than
three years.

Pelagius had no living children, so the Crown Imperial passed to his first
cousin, the daughter of Tiber's brother Agnorith.  Kintyra, former Queen of
Silvenar, assumed the throne as Kintyra I.  Her reign was blessed with
prosperity and good harvests, and she herself was an avid patroness of art,
music, and dance.

Kintyra's son was crowned after her death, the first Emperor of Tamriel to
use the imperial name Uriel.  Uriel I was the great lawmaker of the Septim
Dynasty, and a promoter of independent organizations and guilds.  Under his
kind but firm hand, the Fighters Guild and the Mages Guild increased in
prominence throughout Tamriel.  His son and successor Uriel II reigned for
eighteen years, from the death of Uriel I in 3E64 to Pelagius II's accession
in 3E82.  Tragically, the rule of Uriel II was cursed with blights, plagues,
and insurrections.  The tenderness he inherited from his father did not serve
Tamriel well, and little justice was done.

Pelagius II inherited not only the throne from his father, but the debt from
the latter's poor financial and judicial management.  Pelagius dismissed all
of the Elder Council, and allowed only those willing to pay great sums to
resume their seats.  He encouraged similar acts among his vassals, the kings
of Tamriel, and by the end of his seventeen year reign, Tamriel had returned
to prosperity.  His critics, however, have suggested that any advisor
possessed of wisdom but not of gold had been summarily ousted by Pelagius.
This may have led to some of the troubles his son Antiochus faced when he in
turn became Emperor.

Antiochus was certainly one of the more flamboyant members of the usually
austere Septim Family.  He had numerous mistresses and nearly as many wives,
and was renowned for the grandeur of his dress and his high good humor.
Unfortunately, his reign was rife with civil war, surpassing even that of his
grandfather Uriel II.  The War of the Isle in 3E110, twelve years after
Antiochus assumed the throne, nearly took the province of Summurset Isle away
from Tamriel.  The united alliance of the kings of Summurset and Antiochus
only managed to defeat King Orghum of the island-kingdom of Pyandonea due to
a freak storm.  Legend credits the Psijic Order of the Isle of Artaeum with
the sorcery behind the tempest.

The story of Kintyra II, heiress to her father Antiochus' throne, is
certainly one of the saddest tales in imperial history.  Her first cousin
Uriel, son of Queen Potema of Solitude, accused Kintyra of being a bastard,
alluding to the infamous decadence of the Imperial City during her father's
reign.  When this accusation failed to stop her coronation, Uriel bought the
support of several disgruntled kings of High Rock, Skyrim, and Morrowind, and
with Queen Potema's assistance, he coordinated three attacks on the Septim
Empire.

The first attack occurred in the Iliac Bay region, which separates High Rock
and Hammerfell.  Kintyra's entourage was massacred and the Empress taken
captive.  For two years, Kintyra II languished in an Imperial prison believed
to be somewhere in Glenpoint or Glenmoril before she was slain in her cell
under mysterious circumstances.  The second attack was on a series of
Imperial garrisons along the coastal Morrowind islands.  The Empress' consort
Kontin Arynx fell defending the forts.  The third and final attack was a
siege of the Imperial City itself, occurring after the Elder Council had
split up the army to attack western High Rock and eastern Morrowind.  The
weakened government had little defence against Uriel's determined aggression,
and capitulated after only a fortnight of resistance.  Uriel took the throne
that same evening and proclaimed himself Uriel III, Emperor of Tamriel.  The
year was 3E 121.  Thus began the War of the Red Diamond, described in Volume
II of this series.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Odral's History of the Empire 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire2_oh
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part Two
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

Volume I of this series described in brief the lives of the first eight
Emperors of the Septim Dynasty, beginning with the glorious Tiber Septim and
ending with his great, great, great, great, grandniece Kintyra II.  Kintyra's
murder in Glenpoint while in captivity is considered by some to be the end of
the pure strain of Septim blood in the imperial family.  Certainly it marks
the end of something significant.

Uriel III not only proclaimed himself Emperor of Tamriel, but also Uriel
Septim III, taking the eminent surname as a title.  In truth, his surname was
Mantiarco from his father's line.  In time, Uriel III was deposed and his
crimes reviled, but the tradition of taking the name Septim as a title for
the Emperor of Tamriel did not die with him.

For six years, the War of the Red Diamond (which takes its name from the
Septim Family's famous badge) tore the Empire apart.  The combatants were the
three surviving children of Pelagius II-Potema, Cephorus, and Magnus-and
their various offspring.  Potema, of course, supported her son Uriel III, and
had the combined support of all of Skyrim and northern Morrowind.  With the
efforts of Cephorus and Magnus, however, the province of High Rock turned
coat.  The provinces of Hammerfell, Summurset Isle, Valenwood, Elsweyr, and
Black Marsh were divided in their loyalty, but most kings supported Cephorus
and Magnus.

In 3E127, Uriel III was captured at the Battle of Ichidag in Hammerfell.  En
route to his trial in the Imperial City, a mob overtook his prisoner's
carriage and burned him alive within it.  His captor and uncle continued on
to the Imperial City, and by common acclaim was proclaimed Cephorus I,
Emperor of Tamriel.

Cephorus' reign was marked by nothing but war.  By all accounts, he was a
kind and intelligent man, but what Tamriel needed was a great warrior -- and
he, fortunately, was that.  It took an additional ten years of constant
warfare for him to defeat his sister Potema.  The so-called Wolf Queen of
Solitude who died in the siege of her city-state in the year 137.  Cephorus
survived his sister by only three years.  He never had time during the war
years to marry, so it was his brother, the fourth child of Pelagius II, who
assumed the throne.

The Emperor Magnus was already elderly when he took up the imperial diadem,
and the business of punishing the traitorous kings of the War of the Red
Diamond drained much of his remaining strength.  Legend accuses Magnus' son
and heir Pelagius III of patricide, but that seems highly unlikely-for no
other reason than that Pelagius was King of Solitude following the death of
Potema, and seldom visited the Imperial City.

Pelagius III, sometimes called Pelagius the Mad, was proclaimed Emperor in
the 145th year of the Third Era.  Almost from the start, his eccentricities
of behaviour were noted at court.  He embarrassed dignitaries, offended his
vassal kings, and on one occasion marked the end of an imperial grand ball by
attempting to hang himself.  His long-suffering wife was finally awarded the
Regency of Tamriel, and Pelagius III was sent to a series of healing
institutions and asylums until his death in 3E153 at the age of thirty-four.

The Empress Regent of Tamriel was proclaimed Empress Katariah I upon the
death of her husband.  Some who do not mark the end of the Septim bloodline
with the death of Kintyra II consider the ascendancy of this Dark Elf woman
the true mark of its decline.  Her defenders, on the other hand, assert that
though Katariah was not descended from Tiber, the son she had with Pelagius
was, so the imperial chain did continue.  Despite racist assertions to the
contrary, Katariah's forty-six-year reign was one of the most celebrated in
Tamriel's history.  Uncomfortable in the Imperial City, Katariah travelled
extensively throughout the Empire such as no Emperor ever had since Tiber's
day.  She repaired much of the damage that previous emperor's broken
alliances and bungled diplomacy created.  The people of Tamriel came to love
their Empress far more than the nobility did.  Katariah's death in a minor
skirmish in Black Marsh is a favorite subject of conspiracy minded
historians.  The Sage Montalius' discovery, for instance, of a
disenfranchised branch of the Septim Family and their involvement with the
skirmish was a revelation indeed.

When Cassynder assumed the throne upon the death of his mother, he was
already middle-aged.  Only half Elven, he aged like a Breton.  In fact, he
had left the rule of Wayrest to his half-brother Uriel due to poor health.
Nevertheless, as the only true blood relation of Pelagius and thus Tiber, he
was pressed into accepting the throne.  To no one's surprise, the Emperor
Cassynder's reign did not last long.  In two years he joined his predecessors
in eternal slumber.

Uriel Lariat, Cassynder's half-brother, and the child of Katariah I and her
Imperial consort Gallivere Lariat (after the death of Pelagius III), left the
kingdom of Wayrest to reign as Uriel IV.  Legally, Uriel IV was a Septim:
Cassynder had adopted him into the royal family when he had become King of
Wayrest.  Nevertheless, to the Council and the people of Tamriel, he was a
bastard child of Katariah.  Uriel did not possess the dynamism of his mother,
and his long forty-three-year reign was a hotbed of sedition.

Uriel IV's story is told in the third volume of this series.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Odral's History of the Empire 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire3_oh
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part Three
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

The first volume of this series told in brief the story of the succession of
the first eight Emperors of the Septim Dynasty, from Tiber I to Kintyra II.
The second volume described the War of the Red Diamond and the six Emperors
that followed its aftermath, from Uriel III to Cassynder I.  At the end of
that volume, it was described how the Emperor Cassynder's half-brother Uriel
IV assumed the throne of the Empire of Tamriel.
It will be recalled that Uriel IV was not a Septim by birth.  His mother,
though she reigned as Empress for many years, was a Dark Elf married to a
true Septim Emperor, Pelagius III.  Uriel's father was actually Katariah I's
consort after Pelagius' death, a Breton nobleman named Gallivere Lariat.
Before taking the throne of Empire, Cassynder I had ruled the kingdom of
Wayrest, but poor health had forced him to retire.  Cassynder had no
children, so he legally adopted his half-brother Uriel and abdicated the
kingdom.  Seven years later, Cassynder inherited the Empire at the death of
his mother.  Three years after that, Uriel once again found himself the
recipient of Cassynder's inheritance.
Uriel IV's reign was a long and difficult one.  Despite being a legally
adopted member of the Septim Family, and despite the Lariat Family's high
position -- indeed, they were distant cousins of the Septims -- few of the
Elder Council could be persuaded to accept him fully as a blood descendant of
Tiber.  The Council had assumed much responsibility during Katariah I's long
reign and Cassynder I's short one, and a strong-willed "alien" monarch like
Uriel IV found it impossible to command their unswerving fealty.  Time and
again the Council and Emperor were at odds, and time and again the Council
won the battles.  Since the days of Pelagius II, the Elder Council had
consisted of the wealthiest men and women in the Empire, and the power they
wielded was conclusive.
The Council's last victory over Uriel IV was posthumous.  Andorak, Uriel IV's
son, was disinherited by vote of Council, and a cousin more closely related
to the original Septim line was proclaimed Cephorus II in 3E268.  For the
first nine years of Cephorus II's reign, those loyal to Andorak battled the
Imperial forces.  In an act that the Sage Eraintine called "Tiber Septim's
heart beating no more," the Council granted Andorak the High Rock kingdom of
Shornhelm to end the war, and Andorak's descendants still rule there.
By and large, Cephorus II had foes that demanded more of his attention than
Andorak.  "From out of a cimmerian nightmare," in the words of Eraintine, a
man who called himself the Camoran Usurper led an army of Daedra and undead
warriors on a rampage through Valenwood, conquering kingdom after kingdom.
Few could resist his onslaughts, and as month turned to bloody month in the
year 3E249, even fewer tried.  Cephorus II sent more and more mercenaries
into Hammerfell to stop the Usurper's northward march, but they were bribed
or slaughtered and raised as undead.
The story of the Camoran Usurper deserves a book of its own.  (It is
recommended that the reader find Palaux Illthre's The Fall of the Usurper for
more detail.)  In short, however, the destruction of the forces of the
Usurper had little do with the efforts of the Emperor.  The result was a
great regional victory and an increase in hostility toward the seemingly
inefficacious Empire.
Uriel V, Cephorus II's son and successor, swivelled opinion back toward the
latent power of the Empire.  Turning the attention of Tamriel away from
internal strife, Uriel V embarked on a series of invasions beginning almost
from the moment he took the throne in 3E268.  Uriel V conquered Roscrea in
271, Cathnoquey in 276, Yneslea in 279, and Esroniet in 284.  In 3E288, he
embarked on his most ambitious enterprise, the invasion of the continent
kingdom of Akavir.  This ultimately proved a failure, for two years later
Uriel V was killed in Akavir on the battlefield of Ionith.  Nevertheless,
Uriel V holds a reputation second only to Tiber as one of the two great
Warrior Emperors of Tamriel.
The last four Emperors, beginning with Uriel V's infant son, are described in
the fourth and final volume of this series.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Odral's History of the Empire 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_BriefHistoryEmpire4_oh
Weight:        4
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

A Brief History of the Empire
Part Four
by Stronach k'Thojj III
Imperial Historian

The first book of this series described, in brief, the first eight Emperors
of the Septim Dynasty beginning with Tiber I.  The second volume described
the War of the Red Diamond and the six Emperors who followed.  The third
volume described the troubles of the next three Emperors-the frustrated Uriel
IV, the ineffectual Cephorus II, and the heroic Uriel V.

On Uriel V's death across the sea in distant, hostile Akavir, Uriel VI was
but five years old.  In fact, Uriel VI was born only shortly before his
father left for Akavir.  Uriel V's only other progeny, by a morganatic
alliance, were the twins Morihatha and Eloisa, who had been born a month
after Uriel V left.  Uriel VI was crowned in the 290th year of the Third Era.
The Imperial Consort Thonica, as the boy's mother, was given a restricted
Regency until Uriel VI reached his majority.  The Elder Council retained the
real power, as they had ever since the days of Katariah I.

The Council so enjoyed its unlimited and unrestricted freedom to promulgate
laws (and generate profits) that Uriel VI was not given full license to rule
until 307, when he was already 22 years old.  He had been slowly assuming
positions of responsibility for years, but both the Council and his mother,
who enjoyed even her limited Regency, were loath to hand over the reins.  By
the time he came to the throne, the mechanisms of government gave him little
power except for that of the imperial veto.

This power, however, he regularly and vigorously exercised.  By 313, Uriel VI
could boast with conviction that he truly did rule Tamriel.  He utilized
defunct spy networks and guard units to bully and coerce the difficult
members of the Elder Council.  His half-sister Morihatha was (not
surprisingly) his staunchest ally, especially after her marriage to Baron
Ulfe Gersen of Winterhold brought her considerable wealth and influence.  As
the Sage Ugaridge said, "Uriel V conquered Esroniet, but Uriel VI conquered
the Elder Council."

When Uriel VI fell off a horse and could not be resuscitated by the finest
Imperial healers, his beloved sister Morihatha took up the imperial tiara.
At 25 years of age, she had been described by (admittedly self-serving)
diplomats as the most beautiful creature in all of Tamriel.  She was
certainly well-learned, vivacious, athletic, and a well-practised politician.
She brought the Archmagister of Skyrim to the Imperial City and created the
second Imperial Battlemage since the days of Tiber Septim.

Morihatha finished the job her brother had begun, and made the Imperial
Province a true government under the Empress (and later, the Emperor).
Outside the Imperial Province, however, the Empire had been slowly
disintegrating.  Open revolutions and civil wars had raged unchallenged since
the days of her grandfather Cephorus II.  Carefully coordinating her
counterattacks, Morihatha slowly claimed back her rebellious vassals, always
avoiding overextending herself.

Though Morihatha's military campaigns were remarkably successful, her
deliberate pace often frustrated the Council.  One Councilman, an Argonian
who took the Colovian name of Thoricles Romus, furious at her refusal to send
troops to his troubled Black Marsh, is commonly believed to have hired the
assassins who claimed her life in 3E 339.  Romus was summarily tried and
executed, though he protested his innocence to the last.

Morihatha had no surviving children, and Eloisa had died of a fever four
years before.  Eloisa's 25-year-old son Pelagius was thus crowned Pelagius
IV.  Pelagius IV continued his aunt's work, slowly bringing back under his
wing the radical and refractory kingdoms, duchies, and baronies of the
Empire.  He exercised Morihatha's poise and circumspect pace in his
endeavours-but alas, he did not attain her success.  The kingdoms had been
free of constraint for so long that even a benign Imperial presence was
considered odious.  Nevertheless, when Pelagius died after an astonishing
forty-nine-year reign, Tamriel was closer to unity than it had been since the
days of Uriel I.

Our current Emperor, His Awesome and Terrible Majesty, Uriel Septim VII, son
of Pelagius IV, has the diligence of his great-aunt Morihatha, the political
skill of his great-uncle Uriel VI, and the military prowess of his great
grand-uncle Uriel V.  For twenty-one years he reigned and brought justice and
order to Tamriel.  In the year 3E389, however, his Imperial Battlemage, Jagar
Tharn, betrayed him.

Uriel VII was imprisoned in a dimension of Tharn's creation, and Tharn used
his sorcery of illusion to assume the Emperor's aspect.  For the next ten
years, Tharn abused imperial privilege but did not continue Uriel VII's
schedule of reconquest.  It is not yet entirely known what Tharn's goals and
personal accomplishments were during the ten years he masqueraded as his
liege lord.  In 3E399, an enigmatic Champion defeated the Battlemage in the
dungeons of the Imperial Palace and freed Uriel VII from his other-
dimensional jail.

Since his emancipation, Uriel Septim VII has worked diligently to renew the
battles that would reunite Tamriel.  Tharn's interference broke the momentum,
it is true -- but the years since then have proven that there is hope of the
Golden Age of Tiber Septim's rule glorifying Tamriel once again.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Morrowind
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_OnMorrowind
Weight:        3
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

On Morrowind
the Imperial Province
by Erramanwe of Sunhold

After the conquest of Hammerfell, Imperial legions massed along the
northeastern borders of Cyrodiil, and invasion fleets prepared in Skyrim.

Initially, though the Imperial legions and navy were widely considered
undefeatable, House Indoril and the Temple hierarchy proposed to resist to
the death. Redoran and Dres stood by Indoril, with Telvanni remaining
neutral. Hlaalu proposed accommodation.

Contrived border incidents in Black Marsh ended inconclusively, but the
swampy terrain did not favor legion and navy coordination. Against the
legions massed west of Silgrad Tower and Kragenmoor, and the legions west of
Blacklight and Cormaris View, Morrowind had pitifully small militias
stiffened by small companies of Redoran mercenaries and elite units of house
nobles and Temple Ordinators and Armigers. Further complicating matters was
the refusal of Indoril, Dres, Hlaalu, and Telvanni to garrison the western
borders; Indoril and Dres proposed, rather than defend the western border,
instead to withdraw to the interior and fight a guerilla war. With Hlaalu
advocating accommodation, and Telvanni remaining neutral, Redoran therefore
faced the prospect of standing alone against the Empire.

The situation changed radically when Vivec appeared in person in Vivec City
to announce his negotiation of a treaty with Emperor Tiber Septim,
reorganizing Morrowind as a province of the Empire, but guaranteeing "all
rights of faith and self-government." A shocked Temple hierarchy, which
apparently had not been consulted, greeted the announcement with awkward
silence. Indoril swore they would resist to the death, with the loyal support
of Dres, while Redoran, grateful for a graceful excuse to avoid facing the
legions unsupported, joined with Hlaalu in welcoming the agreement. Telvanni,
seeing which way the wind blew, joined with Hlaalu and Redoran in supporting
the treaty.

Nothing is known of the circumstances of the personal meeting between Septim
and Vivec, or where it took place, or the preliminaries which must have
preceded the treaty. The public reason was to protect the identities of the
agents involved. In the West, speculation has centered around the role of
Zurin Arctus in brokering the agreement; in the East, rumors suggest that
Vivec offered Numidium to aid in the conquest of the Altmer and Sumerset Isle
in return for significant concessions to preserve self-rule, house
traditions, and religious practices in Morrowind.

The Lord High Councilor of the Grand Council, an Indoril, refused to accept
the treaty, and refused to step down. He was assassinated, and replaced by a
Hlaalu. House Hlaalu took the opportunity to settle some old scores with
House Indoril, and a number of local councils changed hands in bloody coups.
More blood was shed in these inter-house struggles than against the Imperial
Legions during Morrowind's transition from an independent nation to a
province of the Empire.

The generals of the legions had dreaded an invasion of Morrowind. The Dunmer
were widely regarded as the most dreadful and fanatic foes, further inspired
by their Temple and clan traditions. The generals had not grasped the
political weaknesses of Morrowind, which Emperor Tiber Septim recognized and
exploited. At the same time, given the tragic depopulation and destruction
experienced by the other provinces conquered by Septim, and the swift and
efficient assimilation of Morrowind into the Imperial legal systems and
economy, with relatively small impact on lower or upper classes of
Morrowind's citizens, the Tribunal also deserves some credit for recognizing
the hopelessness of Morrowind's defense, and the chance of gaining important
concessions at the treaty table by being the first to offer peace.

By contrast, many Indoril nobles chose to commit suicide rather than submit
to the Empire, with the result that the House was significantly weakened
during the period of transition, guaranteeing that they would lose much of
their influence and power to House Hlaalu, whose influence and power was
waxing with its enthusiastic accommodation with the Empire. The Temple
hierarchy more skillfully managed their loss of face, remaining aloof from
political struggles, and earning the good will of the people by concentrating
on their economic, educational, and spiritual welfare.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Oblivion
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_onoblivion
Weight:        3
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

On Oblivion
by Morian Zenas

It is improper, however customary, to refer to the denizens of the dimension
of Oblivion as "demons."  This practice probably dates to the Alessian
Doctrines of the First Era prophet Marukh -- which, rather amusingly, forbade
"trafficke with daimons" and then neglected to explain what daimons were.

It is most probable that "daimon" is a misspelling or etymological rendition
of "Daedra," the old Elven word for those strange, powerful creatures of
uncertain motivation who hail from the dimension of Oblivion.  ("Daedra" is
actually the plural form; the singular is "Daedroth.")  In a later tract by
King Hale the Pious of Skyrim, almost a thousand years after the publication
of the original Doctrines, the evil machinations of his political enemies are
compared to "the wickedness of the demons of Oblivion... their depravity
equals that of Sanguine itself, they are cruel as Boethiah, calculating as
Molag Bal, and mad as Sheogorath."  Hale the Pious thus long-windedly
introduced four of the Daedra lords to written record.

But the written record is not, after all, the best way to research Oblivion
and the Daedra who inhabit it.  Those who "trafficke with daimons" seldom
wish it to be a matter of public account.  Nevertheless, scattered throughout
the literature of the First Era are diaries, journals, notices for witch
burnings, and guides for Daedra-slayers.  These I have used as my primary
source material.  They are at least as trustworthy as the Daedra lords I have
actually summoned and spoken with at length.

Apparently, Oblivion is a place composed of many lands -- thus the many names
for which Oblivion is synonymous:  Coldharbour, Quagmire, Moonshadow, etc.
It may be correctly supposed that each land of Oblivion is ruled over by one
prince.  The Daedra princes whose names appear over and over in ancient
records (though this is not an infallible test of their authenticity or
explicit existence, to be sure) are the afore-mentioned Sanguine, Boethiah,
Molag Bal, and Sheogorath, and in addition, Azura, Mephala, Clavicus Vile,
Vaernima, Malacath, Hoermius (or Hermaeus or Hormaius or Herma -- there seems
to be no one accepted spelling) Mora, Namira, Jyggalag, Nocturnal, Mehrunes
Dagon, and Peryite.

From my experience, Daedra are a very mixed lot.  It is almost impossible to
categorize them as a whole except for their immense power and penchant for
extremism.  Be that as it may, I have here attempted to do so in a few cases,
purely for the sake of scholastic expediency.

Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, Peryite, Boethiah, and Vaernima are among the most
consistently "demonic" of the Daedra, in the sense that their spheres seem to
be destructive in nature.  The other Daedra can, of course, be equally
dangerous, but seldom purely for the sake of destruction as these five can.
Nor are these previous five identical in their destructiveness.  Mehrunes
Dagon seems to prefer natural disasters -- earthquakes and volcanoes -- for
venting his anger.  Molag Bal elects the employment of other daedra, and
Boethiah inspires the arms of mortal warriors.  Peryite's sphere seems to be
pestilence, and Vaernima's torture.

In preparation for the next instalment in this series, I will be
investigating two matters that have intrigued me since I began my career as a
Daedra researcher.  The first is on one particular Daedroth, perhaps yet
another Daedra prince, referred to in multiple articles of incunabula as
Hircine.  Hircine has been called "the Huntsman of the Princes" and "the
Father of Man-beasts," but I have yet to find anyone who can summon him.  The
other, and perhaps more doubtful, goal I have is to find a practical means
for mortal men to pass through to Oblivion.  It has always been my philosophy
that we need only fear that which we do not understand -- and with that
thought in mind, I ever pursue my objective.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ordo Legionis
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ordolegionis
Weight:        3
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

Ordo Legionis

The most disciplined and effective military force in history, the Imperial
Legions preserve the peace and rule of law in the Empire. At need, the legion
garrisons can be swiftly mobilized to protect against invasions or internal
disorders, but in Vvardenfell District of Morrowind, the local forts help to
insure law and order, providing guards to supplement the local guard units of
the Temple and Great Houses Hlaalu, Redoran, and Telvanni.

There are five legion garrisons in Vvardenfell District. The three town
garrisons -- Moonmoth Legion Fort in Balmora, Buckmoth Legion Fort in
Ald'ruhn, and Fort Pelagiad in Pelagiad -- are at full complement. The
Hawkmoth Legion garrisoned at Castle Ebonheart is an elite honor guard unit,
and also at full complement. The frontier installation, Fort Darius in Gnisis
village, is currently the only under-strength garrison on Vvardenfell.
Qualified citizens seeking enlistment in the Imperial Legion should apply to
the commander of that garrison, General Darius.

The Legion selects candidates on the basis of superior endurance, the
soldierly virtue, and trustworthy personality, the citizen's virtue, for
service in the Legion is the model for the duties of Imperial citizenship.
Troopers are expected to demonstrate mastery of the long blade, the spear,
and blunt weapons. Legion troops train with shield and heavy armor, and so
must be skilled at blocking and moving in heavy armor.

As a trooper or knight, you must master the long blade, spear, and blunt
weapons. You must block whatever blows you can, and take unblocked blows upon
your heavy armor. Recruit must also be proficient at athletics, both to march
long distances with heavy packs, and to advance and maneuver, charge and
retreat on the field of battle.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin of the Mages Guild
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_OriginOfTheMagesGuild
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Origin of the Mages Guild
by The Archmage Salarth

The idea of a collection of Mages, Sorcerers, and assorted Mystics pooling
their resources and talents for the purpose of research and public charity
was a revolutionary concept in the early years of the Second Era.  The only
organization then closest in aim and structure to what we know today as the
Mages Guild was the Psijic Order of the Isle of Artaeum.  At the time, magic
was something to be learned by individuals, or at most within intimate
covens.  Mages were, if not actually hermits, usually quite solitary.

The Psijic Order served the rulers of Summurset Isle as counsellors, and
chose its members through a complex, ritualized method not understood by
outsiders.  Its purposes and goals likewise went unpublished, and detractors
attributed the worst evils as the source of the Order's power.  Actually, the
religion of the old Order could be described as ancestor worship, an
increasingly unfashionable philosophy in the Second Era.

When Vanus Galerion, a Psijic of Artaeum and student of the famed Iachesis,
began collecting magic-users from around Summurset Isle, he attracted the
animosity of all.  He was operating out of the urban center of Firsthold, and
there was a common (and not entirely unfounded) attitude that magical
experiments should be conducted only in unpopulated areas.  Even more
shocking, Galerion proposed to make magical items, potions, and even spells
available to any member of the general public who could afford to pay.  No
longer was magic to be limited either to the aristocracy or intelligentsia.

Galerion was brought before Iachesis and the King of Firsthold, Rilis XII,
and made to state the intentions of the fraternity he was forming.  The fact
that Galerion's speech to Rilis and Iachesis was not recorded for posterity
is doubtless a tragedy, though it does afford opportunity for historians to
amuse one another with speculation about the lies and persuasions Galerion
might have used to found the ubiquitous organization.  The charter, at any
rate, was approved.

Almost immediately after the Guild was formed, the question of security had
to be addressed.  The Isle of Artaeum did not require force of arms to shield
it from invaders -- when the Psijic Order does not wish someone to land on
the Isle, it and all its inhabitants simply become insubstantial.  The new
Mages Guild, by contrast, had to hire guards.  Galerion soon discovered what
the Tamrielan nobility has known for thousands of years:  Money alone does
not buy loyalty.  The knightly Order of the Lamp was formed the following
year.

Like a tree from an acorn, the Mages Guild grew branches all over Summurset
Isle and gradually the mainland of Tamriel.  There are numerous records of
superstitious or sensibly fearful rulers forbidding the Guild in their
domains, but their heirs or heirs' heirs eventually recognized the wisdom of
allowing the Guild free rein.  The Mages Guild has become a powerful force in
Tamriel, a dangerous foe if a somewhat disinterested ally.  There have been
only a few rare incidents of the Mages Guild actually becoming involved in
local political struggles.  On these occasions, the Guild's participation has
been the ultimate decider in the conflict.

As begun by Vanus Galerion, the Mages Guild as an institution is presided
over by a supreme council of six Archmagisters.  Each Guildhall is run by a
Guildmagister, assisted by a twofold counsel, the Master of Incunabula and
the Master at Arms.  The Master of Incunabula presides over an additional
counsel of two mages, the Master of Academia and the Master of the Scrye.
The Master at Arms also has a counsel of two, the Master of Initiates and the
Palatinus, the leader of the local chapter of the Order of the Lamp.

One need not be a member of the Mages Guild to know that this carefully
contrived hierarchy is often nothing more than a chimera.  As Vanus Galerion
himself said bitterly, leaving Tamriel to travel to other lands, "The Guild
has become nothing more than an intricate morass of political infighting."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overview of Gods and Worship
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_OverviewOfGodsAndWorship
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

An Overview Of Gods and Worship In Tamriel
By Brother Hetchfeld

Editor's Note:
Brother Hetchfeld is an Associate Scribe at the Imperial University, Office
of Introductory Studies

Gods are commonly judged upon the evidence of their interest in worldly
matters. A central belief in the active participation of Deities in mundane
matters can be challenged by the reference to apparent apathy and
indifference on the part of Gods during times of plague or famine.

From intervention in legendary quests to manifestations in common daily life,
no pattern for the Gods of Tamriel activities is readily perceived. The
concerns of Gods in many ways may seem unrelated or at best unconcerned with
the daily trials of the mortal realm. The exceptions do exist, however.

Many historical records and legends point to the direct intervention of one
or more gods at times of great need. Many heroic tales recount blessings of
the divinity bestowed upon heroic figures who worked or quested for the good
of a Deity or the Deity's temple. Some of the more powerful artifacts in the
known world were originally bestowed upon their owners through such reward.
It has also been reported that priests of high ranking in their temples may
on occasion call upon their Deity for blessings or help in time of need. The
exact nature of such contact and the blessings bestowed is given to much
speculation, as the temples hold such associations secret and holy. This
direct contact gives weight to the belief that the Gods are aware of the
mortal realm. In many circumstances, however, these same Gods will do nothing
in the face of suffering and death, seeming to feel no need to interfere. It
is thus possible to conclude that we, as mortals, may not be capable of
understanding more than a small fraction of the reasoning and logic such
beings use.

One defining characteristic of all Gods and Goddesses is their interest in
worship and deeds. Deeds in the form of holy quests are just one of the many
things that bring the attention of a Deity. Deeds in everyday life, by
conforming to the statutes and obligations of individual temples are commonly
supposed to please a Deity. Performance of ceremony in a temple may also
bring a Deity's attention. Ceremonies vary according to the individual Deity.
The results are not always apparent but sacrifice and offerings are usually
required to have any hope of gaining a Deity's attention.

While direct intervention in daily temple life has been recorded, the exact
nature of the presence of a God in daily mundane life is a subject of
controversy. A traditional saying of the Wood Elves is that "One man's
miracle is another man's accident." While some gods are believed to take an
active part of daily life, others are well known for their lack of interest
in temporal affairs.

It has been theorized that gods do in fact gain strength from such things as
worship through praise, sacrifice and deed. It may even be theorized that the
number of worshippers a given Deity has may reflect on His overall position
among the other Gods. This my own conjecture, garnered from the apparent
ability of the larger temples to attain blessings and assistance from their
God with greater ease than smaller religious institutions.

There are reports of the existence of spirits in our world that have the same
capacity to use the actions and deeds of mortals to strengthen themselves as
do the Gods. The understanding of the exact nature of such creatures would
allow us to understand with more clarity the connection between a Deity and
the Deity's worshipers.

The implication of the existence of such spirits leads to the speculation
that these spirits may even be capable of raising themselves to the level of
a God or Goddess. Motusuo of the Imperial Seminary has suggested that these
spirits may be the remains of Gods and Goddesses who through time lost all or
most of their following, reverting to their earliest most basic form.
Practioners of the Old Ways say that there are no Gods, just greater and
lesser spirits. Perhaps it is possible for all three theories to be true.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palla, Book I
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_illusion4
Weight:        3
Value:         400
Special Notes: Raises Illusion skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Palla
Book I
by Vojne Mierstyyd

Palla.  Pal La.  I remember when I first heard that name, not long ago at
all.  It was at a Tales and Tallows ball at a very fine estate west of Mir
Corrup, to which I and my fellow Mages Guild initiates had found ourselves
unexpectedly invited.  Truth be told, we needn't have been too surprised.
There were very few other noble families in Mir Corrup -- the region had its
halcyon days as a resort for the wealthy far back in the 2nd era -- and on
reflection, it was only appropriate to have sorcerers and wizards present at
a supernatural holiday.  Not that we were anything more exotic than students
at a small, nonexclusive charterhouse of the Guild, but like I said, there
was a paucity of other choices available.

For close to a year, the only home I had known was the rather ramshackle if
sprawling grounds of the Mir Corrup Mages Guild.  My only companions were my
fellow initiates, most of which only tolerated me, and the masters, whose
bitterness at being at a backwater Guild prompted never-ending abuse.

Immediately the School of Illusion had attracted me.  The Magister who taught
us recognized me as an apt pupil who loved not only the spells of the science
but their philosophical underpinnings.  There was something about the idea of
warping the imperceptible energies of light, sound, and mind that appealed to
my nature.  Not for me the flashy schools of destruction and alteration, the
holy schools of restoration and conjuration, the practical schools of alchemy
and enchantment, or the chaotic school of mysticism.  No, I was never so
pleased as to take an ordinary object and by a little magic make it seem
something other than what it was.

It would have taken more imagination than I had to apply that philosophy to
my monotonous life.  After the morning's lessons, we were assigned tasks
before our evening classes.  Mine had been to clean out the study of a
recently deceased resident of the Guild, and categorize his clutter of
spellbooks, charms, and incunabula.

It was a lonely and tedious appointment.  Magister Tendixus was an inveterate
collector of worthless junk, but I was reprimanded any time I threw something
away of the least possible value.  Gradually I learned enough to deliver each
of his belongings to the appropriate department: potions of healing to the
Magisters of Restoration, books on physical phenomena to the Magisters of
Alteration, herbs and minerals to the Alchemists, and soulgems and bound
items to the Enchanters.  After one delivery to the Enchanters, I was leaving
with my customary lack of appreciation, when Magister Ilther called me back.

"Boy," said the portly old man, handing me back one item. "Destroy this."

It was a small black disc covered with runes with a ring of red-orange gems
like bones circling its periphery.

"I'm sorry, Magister," I stammered. "I thought it was something you'd be
interested in."

"Take it to the great flame and destroy it," he barked, turning his back on
me. "You never brought it here."

My interest was piqued, because I knew the only thing that would make him
react in such a way.  Necromancy.  I went back to Magister Tendixus's chamber
and poured through his notes, looking for any reference to the disc.
Unfortunately, most of the notes had been written in a strange code that I
was powerless to decipher.  I was so fascinated by the mystery that I nearly
arrived late for my evening class in Enchantment, taught by Magister Ilther
himself.

For the next several weeks, I divided my time categorizing the general debris
and making my deliveries, and researching the disc.  I came to understand
that my instinct was correct: the disc was a genuine necromantic artifact.
Though I couldn't understand most of the Magister's notes, I determined that
he thought it to be a means of resurrecting a loved one from the grave.

Sadly, the time came when the chamber had been categorized and cleared, and I
was given another assignment, assisting in the stables of the Guild's
menagerie.  At least finally I was working with some of my fellow initiates
and had the opportunity of meeting the common folk and nobles who came to the
Guild on various errands.  Thus was I employed when we were all invited to
the Tales and Tallows ball.

If the expected glamour of the evening were not enough, our hostess was
reputed to be young, rich, unmarried orphan from Hammerfell.  Only a month or
two before had she moved to our desolate, wooded corner of the Imperial
Province to reclaim an old family manorhouse and grounds.  The initiates at
the Guild gossiped like old women about the mysterious young lady's past,
what had happened to her parents, why she had left or been driven from her
homeland.  Her name was Betaniqi, and that was all we knew.

 We wore our robes of initiation with pride as we arrived for the ball.  At
the enormous marble foyer, a servant announced each of our names as if we
were royalty, and we strutted into the midst of the revelers with great
puffery.  Of course, we were then promptly ignored by one and all.  In
essence, we were unimportant figures to lend some thickness to the ball.
Background characters.

The important people pushed through us with perfect politeness.  There was
old Lady Schaudirra discussing diplomatic appointments to Balmora with the
Duke of Rimfarlin.  An orc warlord entertained a giggling princess with tales
of rape and pillage.  Three of the Guild Magisters worried with three
painfully thin noble spinsters about the haunting of Daggerfall.  Intrigues
at the Imperial and various royal courts were analyzed, gently mocked,
fretted over, toasted, dismissed, evaluated, mitigated, admonished,
subverted.  No one looked our way even when we were right next to them.  It
was as if my skill at illusion had somehow rendered us all invisible.

I took my flagon out to the terrace.  The moons were doubled, equally
luminous in the sky and in the enormous reflecting pool that stretched out
into the garden.  The white marble statuary lining the sides of the pool
caught the fiery glow and seemed to burn like torches in the night.  The
sight was so otherworldly that I was mesmerized by it, and the strange
Redguard figures immortalized in stone.  Our hostess had made her home there
so recently that some of the sculptures were still wrapped in sheets that
billowed and swayed in the gentle breeze.  I don't know how long I stared
before I realized I wasn't alone.

She was so small and so dark, not only in her skin but in her clothing, that
I nearly took her for a shadow.  When she turned to me, I saw that she was
very beautiful and young, not more than seventeen.

"Are you our hostess?" I finally asked.

"Yes," she smiled, blushing. "But I'm ashamed to admit that I'm very bad at
it.  I should be inside with my new neighbors, but I think we have very
little in common."

"It's been made abundantly clear that they hope I have nothing in common with
them either," I laughed.  "When I'm a little higher than an initiate in the
Mages Guild, they might see me as more of an equal."

"I don't understand the concept of equality in Cyrodiil yet," she frowned.
"In my culture, you proved your worth, not just expected it.  My parents both
were great warriors, as I hope to be."

Her eyes went out to the lawn, to the statues.

"Do the sculptures represent your parents?"

"That's my father Pariom there," she said gesturing to a life-sized
representation of a massively built man, unashamedly naked, gripping another
warrior by the throat and preparing to decapitate him with an outstretched
blade.  It was clearly a realistic depiction.  Pariom's face was plain, even
slightly ugly with a low forehead, a mass of tangled hair, stubble on his
cheeks.  Even a slight gap in his teeth, which no sculptor would surely have
invented except to do justice to his model's true idiosyncrasies.

"And your mother?" I asked, pointing to a nearby statue of a proud, rather
squat warrior woman in a mantilla and scarf, holding a child.

"Oh no," she laughed. "That was my uncle's old nurse.  Mother's statue still
has a sheet over it."

I don't know what prompted me to insist that we unveil the statue that she
pointed to.  In all likelihood, it was nothing but fate, and a selfish desire
to continue the conversation.   I was afraid that if I did not give her a
project, she would feel the need to return to the party, and I would be alone
again.  At first she was reluctant.  She had not yet made up her mind whether
the statues would suffer in the wet, sometimes cold Cyrodilic climate.
Perhaps all should be covered, she reasoned.  It may be that she was merely
making conversation, and was reluctant as I was to end the stand-off and be
that much closer to having to return to the party.

In a few minutes time, we tore the tarp from the statue of Betaniqi's mother.
That is when my life changed forevermore.

She was an untamed spirit of nature, screaming in a struggle with a misshapen
monstrous figure in black marble.  Her gorgeous, long fingers were raking
across the creature's face.  The monster's talons gripped her right breast in
a sort of caress that prefaces a mortal wound.  Its legs and hers wound
around one another in a battle that was a dance.  I felt annihilated.  This
lithe but formidable woman was beautiful beyond all superficial standards.
Whoever had sculpted it had somehow captured not only a face and figure of a
goddess, but her power and will.  She was both tragic and triumphant.  I fell
instantly and fatally in love with her.

I had not even noticed when Gelyn, one of my fellow initiates who was leaving
the party, came up behind us.  Apparently I had whispered the word
"magnificent," because I heard Betaniqi reply as if miles away, "Yes, it is
magnificent.  That's why I was afraid of exposing it to the elements."

Then I heard, clearly, like a stone breaking water, Gelyn: "Mara preserve me.
That must be Palla."

"Then you heard of my mother?" asked Betaniqi, turning his way.

"I hail from Wayrest, practically on the border to Hammerfell.  I don't think
there's anyone who hasn't heard of your mother and her great heroism, ridding
the land of that abominable beast.  She died in that struggle, didn't she?"

"Yes," said the girl sadly. "But so too did the creature."

For a moment, we were all silent.  I don't remember anything more of that
night.  Somehow I knew I was invited to dine the next evening, but my mind
and heart had been entirely and forever more arrested by the statue.  I
returned back to the Guild, but my dreams were fevered and brought me no
rest.  Everything seemed diffused by white light, except for one beautiful,
fearsome woman.  Palla.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palla, Book II
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_enchant3
Weight:        3
Value:         400
Special Notes: Raises Enchant skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Palla
Book II
by Vojne Mierstyyd

Palla.  Pal La.  The name burned in my heart.  I found myself whispering it
in my studies even when I tried to concentrate on something the Magister was
saying.  My lips would silently purse to voice the "Pal," and tongue lightly
flick to form the "La" as if I were kissing her spirit before me.  It was
madness in every way except that I knew that it was madness.  I knew I was in
love.  I knew she was a noble Redguard woman, a fierce warrior more beautiful
than the stars.  I knew her young daughter Betaniqi had taken possession of a
manorhouse near the Guild, and that she liked me, perhaps was even
infatuated.  I knew Palla had fought a terrible beast and killed it.  I knew
Palla was dead.

As I say, I knew it was madness, and by that, I knew I could not be mad.  But
I also knew that I must return to Betaniqi's palace to see her statue of my
beloved Palla engaged in that final, horrible, fatal battle with the monster.

Return I did, over and over again.  Had Betaniqi been a different sort of
noblewoman, more comfortable with her peers, I would not have had so many
opportunities.  In her innocence, unaware of my sick obsession, she welcomed
my company.  We would talk for hours, laughing, and every time we would take
a walk to the reflecting pond where I would always stop breathless before the
sculpture of her mother.

"It's a marvelous tradition you have, preserving these figures of your
ancestors at their finest moments," I said, feeling her curious eyes on me.
"And the craftsmanship is without parallel."

"You wouldn't believe me," laughed the girl. "But it was a bit of scandal
when my great grandfather began the custom.  We Redguards hold a great
reverence for our families, but we are warriors, not artists.  He hired an
traveling artist to create the first statues, and everyone admired them until
it was revealed that the artist was an elf.  An Altmer from the Summurset
Isle."

"Scandal!"

"It was, absolutely," Betaniqi nodded seriously. "The idea that a pompous,
wicked elf's hands had formed these figures of noble Redguard warriors was
unthinkable, profane, irreverent, everything bad you can imagine.  But my
great grandfather's heart was in the beauty of it, and his philosophy of
using the best to honor the best passed down to us all.  I would not have
even considered having a lesser artist create the statues of my parents, even
if it would have been more allegiant to my culture."

"They're all exquisite," I said.

"But you like the one of my mother most of all," she smiled. "I see you look
at it even when you seem to be looking at the others.  It's my favorite
also."

"Would you tell me more about her?" I asked, trying to keep my voice light
and conversational.

"Oh, she would have said she was nothing extraordinary, but she was," the
girl said, picking a flower from the garden. "My father died when I was quite
young, and she had so many roles to fill, but she did them all effortlessly.
We have a great many business interests and she was brilliant at managing
everything.  Certainly better than I am now.  All it took was her smile and
everyone obeyed, and those that didn't paid dearly.  She was very witty and
charming, but a formidable force when the need arose for her to fight.
Hundreds of battles, but I can never remember a moment of feeling neglected
or unloved.  I literally thought she was too strong for death.   Stupid, I
know, but when she went to battle that -- that horrible creature, that freak
from a mad wizard's laboratory, I never even thought she would not return.
She was kind to her friends and ruthless to her enemies.  What more can one
say about a woman than that?"

Poor Betaniqi's eyes teared up with remembrance.  What sort of villain was I
to goad her so, in order to satisfy my perverted longings?  Sheogorath could
never have conflicted a mortal man more than me.  I found myself both weeping
and filled with desire.  Palla not only looked like a goddess, but from her
daughter's story, she was one.

That night while undressing for bed, I rediscovered the black disc I had
stolen from Magister Tendixus's office weeks before.  I had half-forgotten
about its existence, that mysterious necromantic artifact which the mage
believed could resurrect a dead love.  Almost by pure instinct, I found
myself placing the disc on my heart and whispering, "Palla."

A momentary chill filled my chamber.  My breath hung in the air in a mist
before dissipating.  Frightened I dropped the disc.  It took a moment before
my reason returned, and with it the inescapable conclusion: the artifact
could fulfill my desire.

Until the early morning hours, I tried to raise my mistress from the chains
of Oblivion, but it was no use.  I was no necromancer.  I entertained
thoughts of how to ask one of the Magisters to help me, but I remembered how
Magister Ilther had bid me to destroy it.  They would expel me from the Guild
if I went to them and destroy the disc themselves.  And with it, my only key
to bringing my love to me.

I was in my usual semi-torpid condition the next day in classes.  Magister
Ilther himself was lecturing on his specialty, the School of Enchantment.  He
was a dull speaker with a monotone voice, but suddenly I felt as if every
shadow had left the room and I was in a palace of light.

"When most persons think of my particular science, they think of the process
of invention.  The infusing of charms and spells into objects.  The creation
of a magickal blade, perhaps, or a ring.  But the skilled enchanter is also a
catalyst.  The same mind that can create something new can also provoke
greater power from something old.  A ring that can generate warmth for a
novice, on the hand of such a talent can bake a forest black." The fat man
chuckled: "Not that I'm advocating that.  Leave that for the School of
Destruction."

That week all the initiates were asked to choose a field of specialization.
All were surprised when I turned my back on my old darling, the School of
Illusion.  It seemed ridiculous to me that I had ever entertained an
affection for such superficial charms.  All my intellect was now focused on
the School of Enchantment, the means by which I could free the power of the
disc.

For months thereafter, I barely slept.  A few hours a week, I'd spend with
Betaniqi and my statue to give myself strength and inspiration.  All the rest
of my time was spent with Magister Ilther or his assistants, learning
everything I could about enchantment.  They taught me how to taste the
deepest levels of magicka within a stored object.

"A simple spell cast once, no matter how skillfully and no matter how
spectacularly, is ephemeral, of the present, what it is and no more," sighed
Magister Ilther. "But placed in a home, it develops into an almost living
energy, maturing and ripening so only its surface is touched when an
unskilled hand wields it.  You must consider yourself a miner, digging deeper
to pull forth the very heart of gold."

Every night when the laboratory closed, I practiced what I had learned.  I
could feel my power grow and with it, the power of the disc.  Whispering
"Palla," I delved into the artifact, feeling every slight nick that marked
the runes and every facet of the gemstones.  At times I was so close to her,
I felt hands touching mine.  But something dark and bestial, the reality of
death I suppose, would always break across the dawning of my dream.  With it
came an overwhelming rotting odor, which the initiates in the chambers next
to mine began to complain about.

"Something must have crawled into the floorboards and died," I offered
lamely.

Magister Ilther praised my scholarship, and allowed me the use of his
laboratory after hours to further my studies.  Yet no matter what I learned,
Palla seemed scarcely closer.  One night, it all ended.  I was swaying in a
deep ecstasy, moaning her name, the disc bruising my chest, when a sudden
lightning flash through the window broke my concentration.  A tempest of
furious rain roared over Mir Corrup.  I went to close the shutters, and when
I returned to my table, I found that the disc had shattered.

I broke into hysterical sobs and then laughter.  It was too much for my
fragile mind to bear such a loss after so much time and study.  The next day
and the day after, I spent in my bed, burning with a fever.  Had I not been a
Mages Guild with so many healers, I likely would have died.  As it was, I
provided an excellent study for the budding young scholars.

When at last I was well enough to walk, I went to visit Betaniqi.  She was
charming as always, never once commenting on my appearance, which must have
been ghastly.  Finally I gave her reason to worry when I politely but firmly
declined to walk with her along the reflecting pool.

"But you love looking at the statuary," she exclaimed.

I felt that I owed her the truth and much more. "Dear lady, I love more than
the statuary.  I love your mother.  She is all I've been able to think about
for months now, ever since you and I first removed the tarp from that blessed
sculpture.  I don't know what you think of me now, but I have been obsessed
with learning how to bring her back from the dead."

Betaniqi stared at me, eyes wide.  Finally she spoke: "I think you need to
leave now.  I don't know if this is a terrible jest --"

"Believe me, I wish it were.  You see, I failed.  I don't know why.  It could
not have been that my love wasn't strong enough, because no man had a
stronger love.  Perhaps my skills as an enchanter are not masterful, but it
wasn't from lack of study!" I could feel my voice rise and knew I was
beginning to rant, but I could not hold back. "Perhaps the fault lay in that
your mother never met me, but I think that only the caster's love is taken
into account in the necromantic spell. I don't know what it was!  Maybe that
horrible creature, the monster that killed her, cast some sort of curse on
her with its dying breath!  I failed!  And I don't know why!"

With a surprising burst of speed and strength for so small a lady, Betaniqi
shoved herself against me.  She screamed, "Get out!" and I fled out the door.

Before she slammed the door shut, I offered my pathetic apologies: "I'm so
sorry, Betaniqi, but consider that I wanted to bring your mother back to you.
It's madness, I know, but there is only one thing that's certain in my life
and that's that I love Palla."

The door was nearly shut, but the girl opened it crack to ask tremulously:
"You love whom?"

"Palla!" I cried to the Gods.

"My mother," she whispered angrily. "Was named Xarlys.  Palla was the
monster."

I stared at the closed door for Mara knows how much time, and then began the
long walk back to the Mages Guild.  My memory searched through the minutiae
to the Tales and Tallows night so long ago when I first beheld the statue,
and first heard the name of my love.  That Breton initiate, Gelyn had spoken.
He was behind me.  Was he recognizing the beast and not the lady?

I turned the lonely bend that intersected with the outskirts of Mir Corrup,
and a large shadow rose from the ground where it had been sitting, waiting
for me.

"Palla," I groaned. "Pal La."

"Kiss me," it howled.

And that brings my story up to the present moment.  Love is red, like blood.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song I
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong1
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book I
By Bristin Xel

It was beginning again.  Even though everything seemed serene (the last
embers crackling in the hearth; young servant girl and her child slumbering
in a chair by the door; a tapestry half-finished against the wall, waiting to
be completed tomorrow; one of the moons visible through a milky cloud outside
the window; a lone bird, out of sight in the rafters, cooing placidly), Tay
heard the first chords of the Song strike dissonantly somewhere far away.

The bird in the rafters croaked and took flight through the window.  The baby
in the girl's arms woke and began to scream.  The Song swelled in intensity,
yet still remained subtle and stately in tempo.  The movement of everything
seemed to take on the rhythm of the music as if strange choreography had been
staged: the girl rising to the window, the clouds reflecting back red from
the inferno below, her scream, all muted, consumed by the Song.  Everything
that came thereafter Tay had seen so many times, it had almost ceased to be a
nightmare.

He did not remember anything of his life before coming to the island of
Gorne, but he understood that there was something different in his past that
set him apart from his cousins.  It wasn't simply that his parents were dead.
His cousin Baynarah's parents had also died in the War.  Nor were the other
Housemen on Gorne or nearby Mournhold unusually cruel to him.  They treated
him with the same polite indifference that any Indoril has for every other
eight-year-old boy that got underfoot.

But somehow, with absolutely certainty, Tay knew he was alone.  Different.
Because of a Song he always heard, and his nightmares.

"You're certainly imaginative," his aunt Ulliah would smile patiently, before
waving him away so she could return to her scriptures and chores.

"Different?  Everyone in the world thinks they're 'different,' that's what
makes it such a common sentiment," said his older cousin Kalkorith who was
studying to be Temple priest and had a firm grasp on paradoxes.

"If you tell anyone else that you keep hearing music where there's no music
to be heard, they'll call you mad and bury you in the Shrine of Sheogorath,"
his uncle Triffith would snarl, before striding away to attend his business.

Only his nursemaid Edebah would listen to him seriously, and just nod with a
faint look of pride.  But she would never say another word.

His cousin and chief playmate Baynarah was by far the least interested in the
stories of his Song and his dreams.

"How tiresome you are with all this, Tay," said Baynarah, after luncheon the
summer of his eighth year. He, she, and a younger cousin Vaster walked into a
clearing in the midst of flowering trees. The grass was very low, barely up
to their ankles, and there were big black piles of leaves from the previous
autumn.  "Now, shall we get back to it?  What shall we play?"

Tay thought for a moment. "We could play the Siege of Orsinium."

"What's that?" asked Vaster, their constant companion, three years their
junior.

"Orsinium was the home of the orcs, off in the Wrothgarian Mountains. For
hundreds of years, it kept growing bigger and bigger and bigger. The orcs
would come down out of the mountains and rape and pillage all over High Rock.
And then, King Joile of Daggerfall and Gaiden Shinji of the Order of Diagna
and someone else, I forget, from Sentinel all joined together against
Orsinium. For thirty years they fought and fought. Orsinium had walls made
out of iron and, try as they might, they couldn't break through."

"So what happened?" asked Baynarah.

"You're so good at making up things that never happened, why don't you make
it up?"

So they did. Tay was the King of the Orcs, perched up in a tree they called
Orsinium. Baynarah and Vaster played King Joile and Gaiden Shinji and they
threw pebbles and sticks up at Tay while he taunted them in his most guttural
voice. The three decided that the Goddess Kynareth (played by Baynarah in
dual role) answered the prayers of Gaiden Shinji and drenched Orsinium in a
torrent of rain. The walls rusted and dissolved. On cue, Tay obligingly fell
from the tree and let King Joile and Gaiden Shinji mangle him with their
enchanted blades.

For the most of that summer, the year 675 of the First Era, Tay was nearly
insensible by the power of the sun.  There were no clouds, but it rained most
every night, so the vegetation on the island of Gorne was bewildering lush.
The stones themselves seemed to glow with sunlight, and the ditches burned
with white meadowsweet and parsleydown; all around him were soft smells of
flower and tree untroubled by wind; the foliage was purple green, blue green,
ash green, white green. The wide cupolas, twisting cobbled streets, and
thatched roofs of the little village of Gorne, and massive bleached rock of
Sandil House all were magical to him.

Yet the dreams haunted his nights and the Song continued whether he was awake
or not.

Against Aunt Ulliah's admonishments, Tay, Baynarah, and Vaster had breakfast
outdoors every morning with the servants. Ulliah would hold an interior
breakfast for herself and any visiting dignitaries: guests were rare, so she
often ate alone. At first the servants would dine in silence, attempting
gentility, but they broke down and would regale the children with gossip,
reports, stories, and rumors.

"Poor Arnyle is laid up with a fever again."

"I'm telling you, they're cursed. The whole lot of 'em. Piss on the faerie
and they piss right back on you."

"Doesn't Little Miss Starsia look, oh, just a wee bit tight around the belly
region late-ly?"

"She's not!"

The only servant who didn't speak at all was Tay's nursemaid Edebah.  She
wasn't pretty like the other maids, but the scars on her face did not deform
her. Her poorly set broken nose and her short hair gave her a certain alien
mystique. She would merely quietly smile at the gossip, and look at Tay with
almost frightening love and devotion.

One day, after breakfast, Baynarah whispered to Tay and Vaster, "We have to
go to the hills on the other side of the island."

She had used such imperatives before and always had something wonderful to
show: a waterfall, tucked away behind ferns and tall rocks; a sunny grove of
figs; a discreet still some peasants had set up; a sickly oak, twisted into a
kneeling human figure; a collapsed stone wall that they imagined was
thousands of years old, the last refuge of a doomed princess they named
Merella.

The three walked across through the forest until they came to a clearing.  A
few hundred feet beyond, the meadow sank to a dry creek bed, filled with
small, smooth stones. They followed that into the dark woods where trees
canopied high over their heads. Sporadic red and yellow blossoms burst along
the moist underbrush, but they became rarer and rarer as the children marched
on under the umbrageous oaks and elms. The air crackled with birds ticking a
staccato choral piece, a minor chord of the Song.

"Where are we going?" asked Tay.

"It's not where we're going, it's what we're going to see," replied Baynarah.

The forest surrounded the three children completely, bathed them in its
tenebrous hues, and breathed on them with wet chirrups and sighs. It was easy
for them to imagine that they were within a monster, walking along its
twisted spine of stones.

Baynarah scrambled up the steep hill and peered through the thick mass of
shrub and tree.  Tay lifted Vaster out of the creek bed and climbed out,
gripping soft grass for support. There was no path through the forest here.
Brambles and low hanging branches struck at them like the claws of chained
beasts. The cries of the birds became ever more stentorious, as if angered at
the invasion. One limb drew blood on Vaster's cheek, but he didn't cry out.
Even Baynarah, who could pass like an ethereal creature through impenetrable
forests, had a braid catch on a bramble, ruining the intricate pattern a
servant had woven hours before. She paused to pull out the other braid, so
her bright unruly tresses fell freely behind her. Now she was something wild,
a nymph guiding the other two through her woodland domain.  The Song began to
beat like a wild pulse.

They were on a shelf of stone below a cliff overlooking a tremendous gorge,
staring over an expanse of cinder.  It looked like the scene of a tremendous
battle, a holocaust of fire.  Charred boxes, weaponry, animal bones, and
detritus too annihilated to be identifiable littered the ground.  Speechless,
Tay and Vaster stepped into the black field.  Baynarah smiled, proud that she
had finally found something of true wonder and mystery.

"What is this place?" asked Vaster at last.

"I don't know," Baynarah shrugged. "I thought at first that it was some kind
of ruin, but now I think it's a junk pile, just not like any junk pile I've
ever seen.  Just look at this stuff."

The three began an unorganized survey of the dusty mounds of refuse.
Baynarah found a twisted sword only lightly blackened by flame and began
polishing it to read the inscriptions on the blade.  Vaster amused himself by
breaking brittle boxes with his hands and feet, imagining himself a giant of
unbelievable strength.  A battered shield attracted Tay: there was something
about it that reverberated with the sound of the Song.  He pulled it out, and
wiped its surface clean.

"I've never seen that crest before," said Baynarah, looking over Tay's
shoulder.

"I think I have, but I don't remember," Tay whispered, trying to conjure the
memory from his dreams. He was sure he had seen it there.

"Look at this!" Vaster cried, interrupting Tay's thoughts.  The boy was
holding up a crystal orb.  As his hand moved over the surface, brushing away
grit and dust, a key in the Song rose which sent a shiver through Tay's
entire body.  Baynarah ran over to look at Vaster's treasure, but Tay felt
paralyzed.

"Where did you find that?" she gasped, gazing into the swirl beneath the
crystal surface.

"Over in that wagon," Vaster gestured toward a heap of blackened wood, barely
discernible from the other piles but for its cart spokes.  Baynarah began
digging into the half-collapsed structure, so only her feet could be seen.
The Song built in potency, sweeping over Tay.  He began walking toward Vaster
slowly.

"Give me that," he whispered in a voice he could barely recognize as his own.

"No," Vaster whispered back, his eyes locked on the colors reflected in the
heart of the globe.  "It's mine."

Baynarah dug through the remains of the wagon for several more minutes, but
she could find no treasures like Vaster's.  Most everything within was
destroyed, and what remained was common-place by any standards: broken
arrows, armor shards, guar bones.  Frustrated, she pulled herself out into
the sunlight.

Tay was alone, at the edge of the great gorge.

"Where's Vaster?"

Tay blinked and then turned back to his cousin with a shrug and a grin: "He
went back to show everyone his new plunder.  Did you find anything
interesting?"

"Not really," said Baynarah. "We probably ought to get back home before
Vaster tells them anything that'll get us in trouble."

Tay and Baynarah started the walk back at a quick pace.  Tay knew that Vaster
would not be there when they got back.  He would never be returning home
again.  The crystal globe rested snugly in Tay's satchel, hidden under a pile
of junk he had picked up.  With all his heart, he prayed for the Song to
return and drown out the memory of the gorge and the long, silent fall down.
The boy had been so surprised, he hadn't even time to scream.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song II
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong2
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book II
By Bristin Xel

Tay felt no guilt, which frightened him.  All through the long, fast walk
away from the gorge, through the woods, across the dry creek bed, he chatted
merrily with Baynarah, fully aware that he had just committed murder.
Whenever his mind strayed from the conversation, and he thought back on the
last moments of Vaster's short life, the Song would soar.  He could not think
of the boy's death, but Tay knew he was responsible.

"You're a mess!" cried Aunt Ulliah the moment she saw the two children
emerging from the woods onto the grounds of Sandil House. "Where have you
been?"

"Didn't Vaster already tell you?" asked Tay.

The scene played itself out as Tay knew it would, every dancer in the Song
performing their steps as choreographed.  Aunt Ulliah saying that she had not
seen Vaster.  Baynarah, not yet frightened, making up an innocent lie about
the threesome not having strayed far, saying he must have gotten lost.  A
slow but steady rhythm of panic intensifying as night began to fall, and
Vaster had not yet returned.  Baynarah and Tay tearfully (he was surprised
how easy it was for him to cry without feeling) admitting where they had
been, and leading Uncle Triffith and a crowd of servants to the junk pile and
gorge.  The tireless search through the woods as night turned to dawn.  The
weeping. The light punishment, merely cries of anger, that Baynarah and Tay
suffered for losing their young cousin.

It was thought, from their stricken expressions, that the children felt
guilty enough.  They were sent to bed at dawn while the hunt through the
woods continued.

Tay was drifting to sleep when his nursemaid Edebah came into his room.  The
look of unwavering love and devotion had not left her eyes, and he sank
gratefully into his dreams and nightmares with her holding his hand.  The
Song wafted almost imperceptibly through his consciousness as he again had
the vision of the room in the castle.  The girl and her baby.  The bird in
the rafters.  The dying fire.  The sudden explosion of violence.  Breathless,
Tay opened his eyes.

Edebah was stealing out the door, softly humming the Song to herself.  In her
hand was the crystal globe from his satchel.  For a moment, he hesitated,
about to cry out.  How did she know the Song?  Was she aware that he had
murdered another boy to get the globe?

Somehow he knew that she was helping him, that she knew all and loved him and
sought only to protect him.

The next day, and the next week, and the next month were all the same.  No
one spoke very much, and when they did it was to suggest new places to look
for the missing boy.  Everywhere had been searched thoroughly.  Tay was
curious why they never looked in the gorge, but he understood how
inaccessible it was.

A side-effect of Vaster's absence was that the tutorial sessions with Kena
Gafrisi took on a more serious, even academic quality.  The younger boy's
high spirits and meager attentiveness had always cut the lessons short, but
sensible Baynarah and quiet Tay were ideal pupils.  He was particularly
impressed by how focused they became during a rather dry history lecture
about the heraldic symbols of Houses of Morrowind.

"The crest of the Hlaalu features a scale," he sniffed disdainfully. "They
see themselves as the great compromisers, as if that were something
honorable.  Many hundreds of years ago, they were the tribesmen following
Resdayn who chose--"

"Pardon me, Kena," asked Baynarah. "But what is the crest with the insect on
it?"

"You don't know House Redoran?" asked the tutor, lifting up one of the
shields.  "I know you have a sheltered life on Gorne, but you're surely old
enough to recognize--"

"Not that one, Kena," replied Tay. "I think she means the other crest with an
insect."

"I see," nodded Kena Gafrisi, brow furrowed. "Yes, you would be too young to
have ever seen the crest of the Sixth House, the House of Dagoth.  Our
enemies together with the accursed heretical Dwemer in the War of the Red
Mountain, now totally destroyed, thanks be to Lord, Mother, and Wizard.  That
House was a curse on our land for millennia, and when at last their
pestilence was snuffed out, the very earth itself breathed a cloud of fire
and ash in relief, bringing night to day for over a year's time."

Baynarah and Tay knew they could not speak, but they exchanged knowing
glances at one another as the tutor enlarged on the theme of the great
wickedness of the Dwemer and the House Dagoth.  As soon as the lesson ended,
they walked silently out of Sandil House until they were far from all ears
and eyes.

The afternoon sun stretched out the shadows of the spear-like trees
surrounding the meadow.  Off in the distance, they could hear the sounds of
the workers beginning their preparations for the autumntide harvest, yelling
to one another unintelligibly in coarse and familiar accents.

"That was definitely the symbol on that shield you found at the garbage
heap," Baynarah said at last. "Everything there must be a remnant of the
House Dagoth."

Tay nodded.  His mind was on the strange crystal globe.  He felt a light
vibration of soundless music touch his body, and knew he was discovering a
new cadence of the Song.

"Why would our people have burned and discarded all that?" he asked
thoughtfully. "Do you think the House Dagoth was so evil that everything
associated with them could have been cursed?"

Baynarah laughed.  At the height of day, all talk of curses and the evil
Sixth House were pure supposition: something to add romance to one's life,
but nothing to worry about.  The two children walked back to the castle for
yet another in a series of cold, quiet dinners.  As the night fell, Baynarah
looked through the treasures she had picked up in the junk heap.  By the
light of the moons, the small jars, the torc with orange gemstones, the bits
of tarnished silver and gold of no obvious purpose, all took on a sinister
aspect.

Revulsion overtook her feeling of admiration instantly.  There was a strange
energy to them, a tincture of death and corruption that was undeniable.
Baynarah ran to the window and vomited.

Looking out to the dark open lawn below, she saw a figure below lighting an
arrangement of candles in the shape of a large insect, the symbol of the
House Dagoth.  When it looked in her direction, she pulled back, but she saw
the face illuminated by the tallows.  It was Edebah, Tay's nursemaid.

The next morning, Baynarah left the castle grounds early, bearing a large
sack filled with her treasures.  She carried them to the dumping ground and
left them there.  Then she returned, and told her Uncle Triffith what she had
seen the night before, leaving out only what had made her sick in the first
place.

Edebah was banished from the isle of Gorne without discussion.  She wept,
begging to be allowed to say goodbye to Tay, but all believed that would be
too dangerous.  When Tay asked what had become of her, he was told she had to
return to her family on the mainland.  He had grown too old for a nursemaid.

Baynarah never told him what she knew.  For she was afraid.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song III
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong3
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book III
By Bristin Xel

Tay was eighteen in the year 685 of the First Era when he first saw
Mournhold, the city of spires, home of the goddess. His cousin Kalkorith,
already a senior initiate in the Temple, gave him a couple rooms on the
ground floor of the house he had purchased.  They were small and unfurnished,
but bittergreen grew outside the windows, and when the wind blew, they filled
his bedroom with a lovely spicy air.

The chords of the Song did not trouble him anymore.  Sometimes he was even
unconscious to it, so low and melodic it had become.  Occasionally when he
was passing through the streets on the way to the Temple for his instruction,
someone would pass him and the Song would rise in intensity before falling
away again.  Whatever was different about those people, Tay never tried to
ascertain.  He remembered the last time he had let the Song lead him, and
called for him to murder his young cousin Vaster.  The memory did not trouble
him unduly, but he did not want to hurt anyone again unless he had to.

House couriers regularly brought Tay letters from Baynarah, still back in
Sandil House on the island of Gorne.  She might have gone to study at the
Temple, she was certainly intelligent enough, but she chose not to.  In a
year or two at most, she would have to leave and assume her place in House
Indoril, but she was not in a hurry.  Tay welcomed the trivial gossipy news
the letters brought, and responded back with news of his own studies and
romances.

In his third month in Mournhold, he had already met a girl.  She was also a
student at the Temple, and her name was Acra.  Tay wrote enthusiastically
about her to Baynarah, describing her as having the mind of Sotha Sil, the
wit of Vivec, and the beauty of Almalexia.  Baynarah replied back merrily
that if she had known how blasphemous students of the Temple were allowed to
be, she might have become an initiate herself.

"You are very devoted to your cousin," Acra laughed when Tay showed her the
letter. "Am I looking at the last remains of a thwarted romance?"

"She's lovely, but I never thought of her that way," Tay scoffed. "Incest
never particularly interested me."

"Is she a very close cousin then?"

Tay thought for a moment: "I don't know.  Truthfully, no one spoke much of
either her parents or mine, so I really don't know how we were connected.
They were casualties of the War of the Red Mountain, that I know, and it
seemed to cast rather a pall on the adults' humor whenever we asked about her
parents or mine.  After a while, we stopped asking.  But you're an Indoril
too.  Perhaps you're a closer cousin to me than Baynarah."

"Perhaps so," Acra smiled, rising from her chair.  She uncoiled her hair,
which had been pulled up in the formal arrangement reserved for well-born
priestesses.  As Tay watched transfigured, she removed the small brooch that
fastened her robe to her shoulder cape.  The soft silken fabric slipped down
slowly, exposing her dark, slender body to him for the first time. "If we
are, does incest particularly interest you now?"

As they made love, the Song began a slow, rhythmic ascension in Tay's head.
The vision of Acra before him darkened and was replaced by images from his
nightmares before returning again.  When finally he collapsed, spent, the
room seemed filled with the fiery red clouds of his dream, and the scream of
the woman and her child facing death echoed in his head.  He opened his eyes,
and there was Acra, smiling at him.  Tay kissed her, grateful to have her in
his arms.

For the next two weeks, Tay and Acra were never far apart.  Even when they
were at study in opposite wings of the Temple, Tay thought of her, and
somehow knew she was thinking of him.  They would rush to be together
afterwards, ravishing one another in his rooms every night, and in a private
corner of the Temple garden every day.

It was while Tay was rushing to see his beloved one afternoon that the Song
rose up in powerful strident tones at the approach of an old, ragged woman.
He closed his eyes and tried to quiet it, but when he looked again at her
purchasing corkbulb papyrus from a street vendor, he knew who she was.  His
old nursemaid from Gorne, Edebah.  She who had abandoned him without even a
farewell to join her family on the mainland.

She didn't see him, and as she passed down the street, Tay turned and began
to follow.  They walked through shadowy passageways into the very poorest
part of the city, a quarter which was as alien to him as the wildest
principality of Akavir.  She unlocked a small wooden door on a street without
a name, and he finally called out her name.  She didn't turn, but when he
followed, he found that the door had been left ajar.

The chamber was murky and damp like a cave.  She stood facing him, her face
even more wrinkled than he had remembered it, etched with lines of sorrow.
He closed the door behind him, and she took his hand and kissed it.

"You are so tall and strong," Edebah said, beginning to weep. "I should have
killed myself before I let them take me away from you."

"How is your family?" Tay asked coldly.

"You are my only family," she whispered. "The Indoril pigs forced me to
leave, thrusting their blades in my face, when they discovered that I serve
you and your family, not them.  That bitch girl Baynarah saw me at a prayer
of mourning."

"You're speaking like a madwoman," Tay sneered. "How could you love me and my
family, but hate the House Indoril?  I am of the House Indoril."

"You are old enough to know the truth," Edebah said fiercely.  Tay had
bitterly joked about her madness, but he saw something close to it burning in
her ancient eyes. "You were not born of House Indoril; they brought you into
their house after the War, like they and the other Houses brought in all the
orphans. It was the only way they saw to erase history and remove all traces
of their enemies, by raising their enemies as one of them."

Tay turned toward the door: "I can see why you were taken away from Gorne,
old woman.  You are delusional."

"Wait!" Edebah cried, rushing to a musty cabinet. She retrieved from it a
glass globe that shimmered with a spectrum of color even in the chamber's
gloom. "Do you remember this?  You slew that little boy Vaster because he
possessed it, and I took it from your room because you were not ready to face
the facts of your inheritance and responsibility then.  Did you not wonder
why this bauble drew you so?"

Tay gasped, and though he did not want to, he said, "I hear a Song
sometimes."

"That is the Song of your ancestors, of your true family," she said, nodding.
"You must not fight it, for it is a song of destiny.  It will lead you to do
what must be done."

"Shut up!" Tay howled, "Everything you say is a lie!  You're insane!"

Edebah threw the globe to the ground with all her might, shattering it with a
deafening retort.  The shards melted into the air.  All that was left was a
small silver ring, simply wrought with a flat crown.  The old woman quietly
picked it up and handed it to him, while he stood with his back against the
door, trembling.

"This is your inheritance, as the bearer of the Sixth House."

The ring's crown was meant for stamping and sealing official House
proclamations.  Tay had seen his uncle Triffith's similar ring, crested with
the wing which was the seal of House Indoril.  This ring was different, with
an insect design which he remembered from the day when Kena Gafrisi had
taught the House heraldry to Baynarah and him.

It was the symbol of the accursed House Dagoth.

The Song took over all of Tay's senses.  He heard its music, smelled its
horror, tasted its sadness, felt its power, and the only thing he could see
before him was the flames of its destruction.  When he took the ring and
placed it on his finger, his mind was not aware of what he was doing.  Nor
was Tay aware of anything but the Song when he removed his dagger from its
sheath and thrust it into his old nursemaid's heart.

Tay did not even hear her final words, when Edebah fell bleeding to the
ground, and groaned with a blood-streaked smile, "Thank you."

When the veil of the Song lifted, Tay did not realize at first he was no
longer dreaming.  Before him had been flames, the very ones that destroyed
the home of his birth, and flames were before him again.  But they were
flames from a fire he had struck outside the crumbling tenement that were
already bursting through walls, consuming the body of his old nursemaid.

Tay fled through the streets as people began to call for the guards.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song IV
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong4
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book IV
By Bristin Xel

Acra sat by the hearth in Tay's room, reading her book by the fire.  It
concerned some minutiae of theosophy that she did not believe in, but
nevertheless found morbidly compelling.  When the door opened and she heard
Tay enter, she finished the paragraph she was reading before looking up.

"I've been here for hours, darling.  If I knew you were going to be so late,
I would have brought more books," she giggled.  When she saw Tay's face and
the state of his clothing, her manner lost all frivolity. "What happened to
you?  Are you all right?"

"I've been to see my old childhood nursemaid, Edebah," he said in a strange
voice. "It was a sudden change of plans.  I hadn't realized she was in
Mournhold."

"I wish I had known where you were going," she said, rising slowly from her
chair. "I would have loved to have met her."

"Well, it's too late now.  I've killed her."

Acra inhaled deeply, studying Tay's frozen face.  She took his hand. "Perhaps
you ought to tell me everything."

Tay let his beloved lead him to the hearth, where he sat blinking at the
fire.  He looked down at the silver ring on his finger. "Before I killed her,
she gave me this.  It's the sealing ring of the House Dagoth.  She told me I
was the bearer of the inheritance, and the Song I hear all the time in my
head, the one that called me to kill another boy when I was young, and then
Edebah herself, is the Song of my ancestors."

Tay fell silent.  Acra knelt by his side, stroking his ringed hand. "Tell me
more."

"My tutor Kena Gafrisi taught us that the House Dagoth was a curse on
Morrowind.  He said that when they were all destroyed at the end of the War,
the very earth itself breathed in relief," Tay closed his eyes. "I can see
the obliteration.  I can even hear it in the Song.  Edebah told me that the
five Houses adopted the orphan children of Dagoth, raising them in their own
traditions.  I thought she was mad or a liar, but the real lie was all those
years I thought my family was House Indoril."

"What are you going to do?" Acra whispered.

"Well, Edebah told me to follow the Song to my destiny," Tay laughed
bitterly. "But the Song led me to kill her, so I don't know if she'd still
give me that recommendation now.  I know that I need to leave Mournhold.
Before I knew what I was doing, I set a fire in her tenement.  The guards
were called.  I just don't know where I'd go."

"You have many friends to shield you if you prove yourself to be the new
leader of the return of the Sixth House," Acra kissed the ring. "I will help
you find them."

Tay stared at her.  "Why would you help me?"

"When you thought I was your cousin of the House Indoril, you did not mind
having me though it might well have been incestuous," Acra replied, meeting
his eyes. "I have heard the Song too.  It is not as strong with me as it was
with you, but I never chose to ignore it.  It taught me more than the
ridiculous Temple priests and priestesses ever could.  I knew that my true
name was Dagoth-Acra, and I knew that I had a brother."

"No," Tay said through gritted teeth. "You're lying."

"You are Dagoth-Tython."

Tay shoved Acra hard against the wall and ran from the room.  As he fled
through the hall, he heard the sound of Kalkorith's footfall on the stairs
behind him, a percussive instrument in the Song that was rising in his heart
and head

"Cousin," the senior initiate was saying. "Have you heard about the fire--"

Tay unsheathed his dagger and turned, burying it to the hilt in Kalkorith's
throat.  "Cousin," he hissed. "I am not your cousin."

The streets of Mournhold were lit by the red glow of the tenement fire,
spreading through the tight alleyways by a steady and intense gust of wind.
It was as if Dagoth-Ur himself was looming over the city, fanning the flames
his heir had struck.  A House guard, running toward the blaze, stopped at the
sight of Tay, standing uncertainly, swaying, before the front door of
Kalkorith's house, a bloodied blade in his hand.

"What you done, serjo?"

Tay ran for the forest, his cape whipping behind him by the force of the
howling wind.  The guard clambered after him, sword drawn.  He had no need to
investigate the house to see the murder.  He knew.

For hours, Tay raced through the wilderness, the Song pushing him onward.
The sound of his pursuer faded away.  At last, the trees thinned, and he saw
nothing before him but air and water.  A cliff, a hundred foot long plunge
into the Inner Sea.

The Song told him no.  It pulled him north, sweetly promising a place to rest
among friends.  More than friends -- people who would worship him as the heir
of Dagoth.  As he slowly walked toward the edge of the cliff, the Song became
more threatening, warning him not to seek to avoid his fate.  There was no
escape in death.

Tay spat a curse upon his House and threw himself head first over the cliff.

It was another glorious day on the island of Gorne, the first one in weeks
that Baynarah could truly enjoy.  Uncle Triffith had important company,
Housemen from far away, and she had been required to attend every dinner,
every meeting, every ceremony.  As a child, she remembered, she had hoped for
some attention.  Now nothing was more blissful than time away from her
duties.

There was only one thing she wanted to do that she had to do indoors, and
that was writing a letter to her cousin.  But that could wait until the
evening, she told herself.  After all, he had not written her in many days.
It was the influence of that girl, Acra.  Not that she seemed disagreeable,
but Baynarah knew how one's first love can be all-consuming.  At least, she
had read about it.

As she walked idly through the wildflower meadow, Baynarah was so distracted
with her thoughts that she did not hear her maid Hillima calling.  She was
quite startled when she turned to see the young servant running up.

"Serjo," she said, breathlessly. "Please come!  Someone has washed up on the
shore!  It's your cousin, Serjo Indoril-Tay!"


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song V
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong5
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book V
By Bristin Xel

For two days, the House healers attended Tay in his bed, and Baynarah sat by
his side, holding his hand.  He was feverish, neither asleep nor awake,
screaming at invisible phantoms.  The healers complimented the young man's
fortitude.  Bodies had washed ashore on the island of Gorne several times,
many during the War, but never once had they seen one that lived afterwards.

Aunt Ulliah came in several times to bring Baynarah food: "You must be
careful, dear, or when he's all well, he'll have to attend you on your
sickbed."

Tay's fever broke, and at last he was able to open his eyes and see the young
woman with whom he had spent seventeen years, all but the first year of his
life.  She smiled at him, and called for food.  In silence, she helped him
eat.

"I knew you wouldn't die, cousin," she whispered fondly.

"I hoped to, but somehow I knew I wouldn't either," he groaned. "Baynarah, do
you remember all those nightmares I told you about?  They're all true."

"We can talk about it when you've rested some more."

"No," he croaked. "I must tell you everything now, so you'll know what kind
of a monster you call your dear cousin Tay.  If there was some way you could
have known before, you might not have been so eager to see me well again."

A tear rolled Baynarah's cheek.  She had grown into a beauty, even in the few
months he had been away in Mournhold. "How can you think I would stop loving
you, no matter what you've done?"

"I saw my old nursemaid Edebah, and spoke to her."

"Oh," Baynarah had feared this moment. "Tay, I don't know what she told you,
but it was all my fault.  You remember when Kena Grafisi taught us about the
House Dagoth, and its corruption.  That night, I saw your nursemaid making
some kind of altar out on the north lawn, using the symbol of the Sixth
House.  She must have been doing it for years, but I never knew what it
meant.  I told Uncle Triffith, and he sent her away.  I've wanted to tell you
so many times now, but I was afraid to.  She was so devoted to you."

Tay smiled. "And didn't it frighten you even more to wonder if there was any
connection between her devotion to me, and her devotion to the accursed
House?  I know you, Baynarah.  You're not one of those women who doesn't
choose to use her mind."

"Tay, I don't know what she told you, but I think she was very troubled, and
whatever she thought about you and the Sixth House was wrong.  You have to
remember that.  The ramblings of one madwoman are proof of nothing."

"There's more," Tay sighed, and held up his hand.  For a moment he blinked,
and then turned to Baynarah angrily. "What happened to my ring?  If you saw
it, you must have known already that everything I'm saying to you is true."

"I threw the filthy thing away," Baynarah stood up. "Tay, I'm going to let
you rest now."

"I am the heir of House Dagoth," Tay was wild-eyed, almost screaming. "Raised
after the War as House Indoril, but driven by the Song of my ancestors.  When
we were young, I killed Vaster because the Song told me he had stolen my
inheritance.  When Edebah told me who I was and gave me this ring, I killed
her and burned her house to the ground, because the Song told me she had
served her purpose.  When I returned to Kalkorith's house, my love was there,
telling me that she was of the House Dagoth too, and my sister.  I fled, and
when Kalkorith tried to stop me, I slew him, because the Song told me he was
an enemy."

"Tay, stop," Baynarah sobbed. "I don't believe a word of it.  You've been
feverish..."

"Not Tay," he shook his head, breathing heavily. "The name my parents gave me
was Dagoth-Tython."

"You can't have killed Edebah, you loved her.  And Vaster and Kalkorith?
They were our cousins!"

"They were not my true cousins," Tay said coldly. "The Song told me they were
my foes.  Just as it's telling me now that you're my foe, but I won't listen.
And I'll keep from listening... as long as I can."

Baynarah fled from the room, slamming the door behind her.  She took a key
from the her startled maid Hillima, and secured the lock.

"Serjo Indoril-Baynarah," Hillima whispered, with great sympathy. "Is all
well with your cousin, Serjo Indoril-Tay?"

"He'll be perfectly fine once he rests," Baynarah recovered her dignity,
wiping the tears from her face. "No one is to disturb him under any
circumstances.  I'll take the key with me.  Now I have much work to do.  I
don't suppose anyone's spoken to the fishermen about restocking Sandil
House's supplies?"

"I don't know, serjo," said the maid. "I don't think so."

Baynarah marched down to the docks, and relieved her troubled heart the only
way she knew how, by concentrating on small things.  Tay's words never left
her, but she found temporary comfort talking to the fishermen about their
haul, helping determine how much should be smoked, how much should be sent to
the village, how much should be delivered fresh to the House larder.

Her aunt Ulliah joined the discussion, oblivious to Baynarah's well-disguised
agony.  Together, they discussed how many provisions Uncle Triffith and his
commanders had devoured during their weeks on the island, when they would be
expected to return, and how best to prepare.  One of the fishermen on the
docks called out, interrupting.

"A boat is coming!"

Ulliah and Baynarah greeted the visitor as she arrived.  It was a young woman
dressed in the robes of a Temple priestess.  As she docked her small boat,
Baynarah marveled at how beautiful she was, and strangely familiar.

"Welcome to Gorne," said Baynarah. "I am Indoril-Baynarah and this is my aunt
Indoril-Ulliah.  Have we met before?"

"I don't believe so, serjo," the woman bowed. "I was sent by the Temple to
inquire whether word had come from your cousin, Indoril-Tay.  He has been
missing from his classes for some days now, and the priests have become
concerned."

"Oh, we should have sent word," Ulliah fretted. "He came here a few days ago,
half-drowned.  He's better now.  Let us escort you up to the house."

"Tay's resting now, and I asked that he not be disturbed," Baynarah
stammered. "Actually, I know it's dreadful manners, but I need to talk to my
aunt for a moment.  Would it be too terrible if I asked you to wait for us at
the house?  You have only to follow the path up the hill and across the
lawn."

The priestess bowed again humbly, and began the walk.  Ulliah was
scandalized.

"You know better than to treat a representative of the Temple that way," she
snapped. "You can't be so exhausted from tending your cousin to have lost all
sense of civility."

"Aunt Ulliah," Baynarah whispered, drawing the woman away from the ears of
the fishermen. "Is Tay truly my cousin?  He believes himself to be ... of the
House Dagoth."

Ulliah took a moment to respond.  "It's true.  You were just a baby yourself
during the War, so you couldn't know what it was like.  There was not a part
of Morrowind that wasn't ravaged.  There was even a battle here on the
island.  Do you remember that burned pile of wreckage you and Tay and poor
little Vaster discovered so many years ago?  That was the remains.  And after
the War, when that accursed House was finally defeated, we saw the little
innocents, the orphans whose only crime had been born to wicked parents.  I
admit there were some in our armies, the combined forces of the Houses, who
would have had them all slaughtered to annihilate the legacy of Dagoth.  In
the end, compassion prevailed, and the children of the Sixth House were
adopted into the other five.  And so we thought that we had won the war and
the peace."

"By the Mother, Lord, and Wizard, if all that Tay believes is true, then
there is no peace," Baynarah trembled. "He claims that the Song of his
ancestors called to him, and forced him to slay three people, two of them our
Housemen.  Cousin Kalkorith and ... when he was a little boy ... Vaster."

Ulliah held her hands over her tearful face and could not speak.

"And it is only beginning," said Baynara. "The Song still calls to him.  He
said there were others who knew, who would help him raise up the Sixth House.
His sister..."

"It must be an evil fantasy," Ulliah murmured.  She noticed that Baynarah's
gaze was now upon the path leading from the docks towards the house. "Niece,
what are you thinking?"

"Did that priestess give us her name?"

The two women ran up the path, calling for guards.  The fishermen, who had
never seen the mistresses of the house so undone, looked briefly at one
another and then followed quickly behind, pulling out their hooks and blades.

The front gate to Sandil House stood wide open, the first of the corpses
lying close within.  It was now an abattoir, painted fresh with blood.  There
was Aner, uncle Triffith's valet, gutted but still seated at the foyer table
where he had been enjoying his afternoon glass of flin.  Leryne, one of the
chambermaids, had been decapitated while carrying some once-clean linens up
the stairs.  The bodies of guards and servants sprawled about the hall like
blown leaves.  At the top of the stairs, Baynarah had to hold back a sob when
she saw Hillima.  She lay like a broken doll, slain as she tried to pull
herself out onto the narrow window ledge.

No one spoke, not Baynarah, nor Aunt Ulliah, nor the fishermen, as they
walked slowly through the blood-drenched house.  They passed Tay's sick-room,
its door broken open, and no one within.  When they heard the sound of
footsteps in Baynarah's room down the hall, they approached slowly,
cautiously, with great dread.

The priestess from the docks was standing by the bed.  In her hand was the
silver ring Baynarah had taken from Tay's finger.  In her other hand was a
long, curved blade, splashed like her once pristine gown, with gore.  She
smiled prettily and bowed when she saw she was no longer alone.

"Acra, I should have recognized you by Tay's description in his letters,"
Baynarah said in her steadiest voice. "Where is my cousin?"

"I prefer to call myself Dagoth-Acra," she replied. "Your false cousin, my
true brother, has already gone to fulfill his destiny.  I'm sorry you were
not here so he could give you a more permanent farewell."

Baynarah's face twisted in fury.  She motioned for the fishermen, who
advanced with their weaponry.  "Tear her apart."

"The Sixth House will rise again, and Dagoth-Tython will lead us!" Acra
laughed.  Her words were still echoing as she gave the sign of Recall and
vanished like a ghost.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song VI
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong6
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book VI
By Bristin Xel

The magnificent sprawl of the stronghold of Indoranyon was aglow in the light
of the setting sun.  Commander Jasrat watched it slowly disappear into the
horizon as he led the caravan southwestward.  It was a strange practice for
him to lead a night operation, but scarcely more bizarre than anything else
he was facing.  He was only seventy years of age, far from old for a Bosmer,
and yet he felt like he belonged to another era.

He had known the land of east Vvardenfell his entire life.  Every forest,
every garden, every small village between Red Mountain and the Sea of Ghosts
had been home to him.  But now it was all different, twisted into a world he
did not recognize since the eruption and the year of Sun's Death.  It made
night travel all the more treacherous, but it was a risk he was ordered to
take.

The ashmire appeared quite suddenly.  If a sharp-sighted scout hadn't seen it
and given the signal, the entire caravan might have been swallowed whole.
Jasrat cursed.  It had not been on the map, but that was hardly surprising.

It was a huge unnamed scathe stretching as far as anyone could see.  The
commander considered his options.  He might lead his party to the southeast
toward Tel Aruhn and then try an approach due west.  As he consulted his map,
he noticed a glimmer of a campfire in the distance.  Accompanied by his
lieutenants, Jasrat drove his guar forward to investigate what appeared to be
an Ashlander man and woman.

"This is no longer your realm," he bellowed. "Don't you know it's been ruled
by the Temple that these are House lands now?"

The couple shuffled to their feet, and began quietly walking away, toward a
narrow ridge between hill and ashmire.  Jasrat called them back.

"Do you know a way around the scathe?" he asked.  They nodded, their eyes
still to the ground.  Jasrat signaled to his caravan. "You will lead us
then."

It was a treacherous winding crossing, almost too tight for the guars.  The
wagons themselves scraped as the drivers pulled to avoid the ashmire.  The
Ashlander man and woman whispered to one another as they led the caravan.

"What are you mumbling about, n'wah?" Jasrat hollered.

The man did not turn around. "My sister and I were talking about the Dagoth
rebellion, and she was guessing that you were bringing arms to the stronghold
at Falensarano, which is why you chose to cross the ashmire rather than
taking a road."

"I might have known," Jasrat laughed. "You Ashlanders are so hopeful whenever
you see signs of trouble in the Houses and the Temple.  I hate to dampen your
spirits, but what you're speaking of is hardly a rebellion.  Merely a few
isolated incidents of... unpleasantness.  Tell your sister that."

As they plodded onward, the narrow ridge began to taper even more.  The
Ashlanders found a low jagged crevasse in the hills, a crack from a lava flow
even predating Sun's Death.  The caravan scored the rock walls at it moved
through.  Commander Jasrat, after twenty years of uncertainty in a land he
did not understand, felt a twinge of his old instinct.  This, he thought to
himself, would be a fine place for an ambush.

"Ashlander, how close are we?" he shouted.

"We've arrived," Dagoth-Tython replied, and gave the signal.

The assault was over in mere minutes, as it had been calculated from the
start.  When the last body of the House guard had sunk beneath the ashmire,
only then was the inventory of the caravan revealed.  It was better than they
had hoped, virtually everything the rebellion needed.  Daedric swords, dozens
of suits of armor, quivers of fine ebony bolts, and rations enough to last
for weeks.

"Go on ahead to the camp," Tython smiled at his sister. "I'll lead the
caravan.  We should be there within a few hours' time."

Acra kissed him passionately, and gave the sign of Recall.  In an instant,
she was back in her tent, exactly as she had left it.  Humming the Song, she
removed the Ashlander rags and chose an appropriately diaphanous gown from
her trunks.  Precisely the sort of dress Tython would love seeing her in when
he returned.

"Muorasa!" she called to her servant. "Summon the troops together!  Tython
and the others will be here very soon with all the weapons and rations we
need!"

"Muorasa can't hear you now," said a voice Acra hadn't heard in weeks.  She
turned, expertly removed every trace of surprise from her face.  It was
indeed Indoril-Baynarah, but not the quivering creature she had left behind
at the massacre at Sandil House.  This woman was an armored warrior, who
spoke with mocking confidence. "She wouldn't be able to summon the troops if
she could.  You may have weapons and rations, Acra, but there's no one left
to arm or feed."

Dagoth-Acra made the sign of Recall, but nothing happened.

"The moment we heard you banging around in the tent, my battlemages cast a
diffusion of all magicka," Baynara smiled, opening the tent further to invite
a dozen House soldiers in. "You won't be leaving."

"If you think that my brother will walk into your trap, you underestimate his
allegiance to the Song," Acra sneered. "It tells him everything he needs to
know.  I have convinced him to no longer fight it, and let it lead him and us
to our ultimate victory."

"I've known him longer and better than you ever did," said Baynarah coldly.
"Now, I want to hear what the Song is saying to you.  I want to know where I
can find Tay."

"Tython, my lady," Acra corrected her. "He is no longer a slave to your House
and the Temple's lies.  You can torture me all you wish, but I swear to you
the next time you see him, it will be because he wishes it, not you.  And
that will be your very last moment alive."

"Don't you worry, serjo," Baynarah's nightblade winked at her. "Everyone says
they won't break under torture, but everyone always does."

Baynarah left the tent.  It was all a part of warfare, she understood that,
but there would be little relish in witnessing it.  She could not even watch
as the House soldiers disposed of the rebel corpses.  She had hoped she would
grow numb to the bloodshed after weeks of following Tython and Acra, massacre
after massacre.  It didn't matter to her that now the bodies were of her
enemies.  Death was still death.

She had only been in her tent for a few minutes when her nightblade appeared.

"Not so tough as she appeared, that one," he grinned. "In point of fact, all
I had to do is ask her nice and point my dagger at her belly, and she was
blubbering everything. Not too surprising really.  It's always the ones that
talk big that crumble fast.  I remember way back a couple years ago, before
you was even born -"

"Garuan, what did she say?" Baynarah asked.

"The Song, whatever that is, told her brother that she got herself caught,
and not to return to camp," the nightblade replied, only a trifle annoyed at
having his fascinating story cut short. "He's got a half dozen mer with him,
and they're going to try to assassinate the fella that led the Indoril army
in the War. General Indoril-Triffith."

"Uncle Triffith," Baynarah gasped. "Where is he stationed now?"

"I'm not sure myself, serjo.  Do you want me to ask if she knows?"

"I'll come with you," said Baynarah.  As they walked towards Acra's tent,
cries of alarm sounded.  The situation became abundantly clear even before
they reached the site.  Three guards were dead, and the prisoner had escaped.

"Interesting woman," said Garuan. "Weak heart, but a strong arm.  Should we
send word of warning to General Indoril-Triffith?"

"If we can find where he is in time," said Baynarah



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poison Song VII
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_poisonsong7
Weight:        4
Value:         30
Special Notes: None

The Poison Song
Book VII
By Bristin Xel

Triffith stood on the parapets of Barysimayn and considered the volcano.
Metaphors the poets used fell rather flat in his view.  A festering wound it
could be called with its blood-like lava.  The King of Ash, too, could be
applied, when one looked at its perpetual crown of smoke.  And yet, none of
that would do, for nothing in his experience could convey the sheer magnitude
of the mountain.  Red Mountain was many miles away from the fortress, and yet
it filled the horizon utterly.

Before he could feel too small, however, he heard his name being called
within.  It was some consolation that though he was insignificant compared to
the mountain, he was still in possession of certain power and influence.

"General Indoril-Triffith," said Commander Rael. "There's trouble at the east
gate."

The trouble was scarcely more than a skirmish.  An Ashlander, drunk perhaps
on shein, had begun a fight with the House guards at the back gate.  As they
tried to drive him away, his cousins joined him, and soon there were six
Ashlanders altogether brawling with a dozen of Triffith's guards.  If the
n'wahs had not been well-armed, the fight could have been finished almost
before it began.  As it was, by the time the General arrived with more of his
guards, two of the Ashlanders were dead and the others had taken flight.

"It's the smoke in their brains," Rael shrugged. "Makes them mad."

Triffith climbed back up the stairs and returned to his chamber to dress for
dinner.  General Redoran-Vorilk and Counselor Hlaalu-Nothoc would be arriving
very shortly to discuss the Temple's plans for reorganizing the House lands
of Morrowind.  Mournhold was to be renamed Almalexia.  A great new city in
honor of Vivec was to be built, but with whose gold? It made his head hurt.
There were so many details, a long night of argument, threats, and
compromises were ahead.

The General's mind was so occupied that he nearly put his House robes on
backwards.  He also did not notice the shadowy figure steal out from behind
the tapestry and close the door to the bedchamber.  It was not until Triffith
heard the sound of the latch-bolt fall that he turned around.

"Slipped in when I was distracted by the fracas at the back gate.  Very
clever, Tay," he said simply. "Or do you call yourself Dagoth-Tython these
days?"

"You should know all my names," the young man snarled, unsheathing his sword.
"I was Tython before you butchered my family and sought to dispel my tribe.
I was Tay when you brought me into your House to poison me against my own
people.  Now you may call me Vengeance."

There was a knock on the door.  Tython and Triffith did not move their eyes
from one another.  The knocking became a loud pounding.  "General Indoril-
Triffith, are you well?  Is there something wrong?"

"If you're going to kill me, boy, you'd best do it quickly," Triffith
growled. "My men will have that door down in two minutes."

"You don't tell me what to do, 'Uncle,'" Tython shook his head. "I have the
Song of my ancestors to instruct me.  It tells me you made my father beg for
his life before you killed him, and I want to see you do the same."

"If your ancestors are all-knowing," Triffith smiled. "Why are they all
dead?"

Tython made an inhuman noise in the back of his throat and advanced.  The
door began to buckle at the pounding, but it was sturdy and secure.  The
general's estimate of its life expectancy at two minutes seemed clearly
erroneous.

The pounding suddenly stopped.  A familiar voice replaced the sound.

"Tay," called Baynarah. "Listen to me."

Tython smirked, "You're just in time to hear your uncle beg for his miserable
life, 'cousin.' I was afraid you'd be too late.  The next sound you'll hear
will be the death rattle of the man who slaved my House."

"The Song is what's enslaved you, not Uncle Triffith.  You can't trust it.
It's poisoning you.  It let you be manipulated first by that mad old woman,
and now by that evil witch Acra who calls herself your sister."

Tython pressed the tip of his sword so it touched the general's throat.  The
older man stepped backwards and Tython advanced.  His eyes followed the
length of his arm to the grip of the blade.  The silver ring of Dagoth caught
the red light of the volcano from the battlements outside the window.

"Tay, please don't hurt anyone anymore.  Please.  If you just listen to me,
and not the Song just a moment, you'll know what's right.  I love you."
Baynarah stifled her sobs to keep her voice clear and calm.  There was a
noise on the stairwell behind her.  The general's guard had finally arrived
with the battering ram.

The door splintered and burst open in two strikes.  General Indoril-Triffith
was holding his throat, staring out the window.

"Uncle!  Are you all right?" Baynara ran to him.  He nodded his head slowly,
and removed his hand.  There was only the barest of scratches on his neck.
"Where's Tay?"

"He jumped out the window," said Triffith, pointing out into the distance
where a figure was riding a guar toward the volcano. "I thought he was going
to kill himself, but he had an escape figured out."

"We'll get him, serjo general," said Commander Rael, calling to the guards to
get their mounts.  Baynarah watched them go, and then kissed her uncle
quickly and ran out to her own guar in the courtyard.

Sweat drenched Tay's body as he rode closer and closer toward the summit of
Red Mountain.  The guar was breathing hard, trudging along even more slowly,
letting out little grunts of complaint about the heat.  Finally, he abandoned
his steed and began to climb the near vertical surface.  Ash blew down the
face of the volcano into his eyes.  Near-blind, it was almost impossible to
ignore the persistent, clamorous notes of the Song.

A silken stream of crimson lava studded with crystalline formations surged a
few feet away, close enough that Tay could feel his flesh begin to burn and
blister.  He turned from it, and saw a figure emerge through the smoke.
Baynarah.

"What are you doing, Tay?" she cried over the howl of the volcano. "Didn't I
tell you not to listen to the Song?"

"For the first time, the Song and I both want the same thing!" he yelled
back. "I can't ask you to forgive me, but please try to forget!"

He pulled himself higher, out of Baynarah's sight.  She screamed his name,
scaling the rocks until she found she was close to the open crater.  Waves of
boiling gas washed over her, and she dropped to her knees, gasping.  Through
the rippling miasma, she saw Tay standing at the mouth of the volcano.
Flames erupted from his clothes and hair.  He turned to her just for a moment
and smiled.

Then he leapt.

Baynarah was in a daze as she began the long, treacherous climb down the
volcano.  She began to think of the projects ahead.  Were there enough
provisions in storage at her house in Gorne for the meeting of the Houses?
The councilors were bound to stay there for weeks, maybe months.  There was
much work to be done.  Slowly, as she descended, she began to forget.  It
would not last, but it would be a start.

Dagoth-Acra stood as near to the mouth of the volcano as she could stand,
blinking her eyes at the ash, soaked by the heat.  She watched all, and
smiled.  On the ground was the silver ring with the seal of the House Dagoth.
Tython had been sweating so much, it had slipped off.  She picked it up and
put it on her own finger.  Touching her belly, she heard a new refrain of the
Poison Song of Morrowind begin.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Progress of Truth
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_progressoftruth
Weight:        4
Value:         150
Special Notes: None

PROGRESS OF TRUTH
Compiled by the Dissident Priests

EXCERPT: concerning the points of Temple doctrine challenged by the Dissident
priests:

1. the divinity of the Tribunal

Temple doctrine claims their apotheosis was miraculously achieved through
questing, virtue, knowledge, testing, and battling with Evil; Temple doctrine
claims their divine powers and immortality are ultimately conferred as a
communal judgement by the Dunmer ancestors [including, among others, the Good
Daedra, the prophet Veloth, and Saint Nerevar]. Dissident Priests ask whether
Dagoth Ur's powers and the Tribunal powers might ultimately derive from the
same source -- Red Mountain. Sources in the Apographa suggest that the
Tribunal relied on profanely enchanted tools to achieve godhead, and that
those unholy devices were the ones originally created by the ungodly Dwemer
sorceror Kagrenac to create the False Construct Numidium.

2. the purity of the Tribunal

The Dissident Priests say that the Temple has always maintained a public face
[represented by the Heirographa -- the "priestly writings"] and a hidden face
[represented by the Apographa -- the "hidden writings"]. The public account
portrays the actions of the Tribunal in a heroic light, while the hidden
writings reveal secrets, untruths, inconsistencies, conflicting accounts and
varying interpretations which hint at darker and less heroic motives and
actions of the Tribunes. In particular, conflicting accounts of the battle at
Red Mountain raise questions about the Tribunal's conduct, and about the
source of their subsequent apotheosis. Also, there is good evidence that the
Tribunal have been concealing the true nature of the threat posed by Dagoth
Ur at Red Mountain, misleading the people about the Tribunal's ability to
protect Morrowind from Dagoth Ur, and concealing a recent dramatic
diminishing of the Tribunal's magical powers.

3. Temple accounts of the Battle of Red Mountain

Ashlander tradition does not place the Tribunal at Red Mountain, and holds
that the Dwemer destroyed themselves, rather than that Nerevar destroyed
them. Ashlander tradition further holds that Nerevar left Dagoth Ur guarding
the profane secrets of Red Mountain while Nerevar went to confer with the
Grand Council [i.e., the Tribunal], that Nerevar died at the conference [not
of his wounds, according to the Ashlanders, but from treachery], and that
subsequently the Tribunal confronted a defiant Dagoth Ur within Red Mountain,
then drove Dagoth Ur beneath Red Mountain when he would not yield to their
will.

4. veneration of the Daedra, Saints, and Ancestors

While challenging the divinity of the Tribunal, the Dissidents do not
challenge the sainthood or heroism of the Tribunal. In fact, the Dissident
Priests advocate restoring many of the elements of Fundamentalist Ancestor
Worship as practiced by the Ashlanders and by Saint Veloth. Exactly how this
would work is debated inconclusively within the Dissident Priests.

5. denial of the prophecies of the Incarnate, and persecution of the
Nerevarines

Though no consensus exists among the Dissidents about whether the Nerevarine
prophecies are genuine, all agree that the persecution of the Nerevarines is
unjust and politically motivated. The Dissident Priests do not reject
mysticism, revelation, or prophecy as part of the religious experience. The
Dissidents have not resolved the issue of true or false insights. They have
studied the mysticism of the Ashlander Ancestor Cults, in particular the
rites of the Ashlander seers and wise women, and the prophecies of the
Incarnate. Many among the Dissident Priests have come to believe that the
Nerevarine prophecies are genuine, and have made a systematic study of
prophecies recorded in Temple archives.

6. Authority of the Archcanon and the Ordinators

The Dissident Priests reject the authority of the Archcanon and the
Ordinators. The temple hierarchy has been corrupted by self-interest and
politics, and no longer acts in the best interests of the Temple or its
worshippers. The Dissident Priests believe the Archcanon and Ordinators speak
for themselves, not for the Tribunal.

7. the Inquisition and the use of terror and torture by the Ordinators

Within the Temple hierarchy it is an open secret that the Ordinators rely on
abduction, terror, torture, and secret imprisonment to discourage heresy and
dissent. The Dissident Priests feel the Ordinators are either out of control,
or tools used to maintain a corrupt priesthood in power.

8. fundamentals of Temple doctrine - Charity for the Poor, Education for the
Ignorant, Protection for the Weak

Though the Dissident Priests acknowledge that most rank-and-file priests
honor the best traditions of the Temple, they believe that many priests in
higher ranks are interested more in love of authority and luxury than in the
welfare of the poor, weak, and ignorant.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Realizations of Acrobacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_acrobatics1
Weight:        4
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Acrobatics skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Realizations of Acrobacy
by Master Rhunen Zebavi

Master Gothren agreed to see the acrobats because he needed entertaining. For
months now, he had been struggling with his fellow Telvanni Councilor, Master
Neloth. Recently he always found himself on the defensive. It was intolerable
- Master Gothren losing a battle with the contemptible Neloth. Inspired by
their master's weapon, Mehrunes' Razor, Neloth's normally cowardly troops had
been nigh invincible. Gothren's own troops had no hope, except to pray that
Mehrunes Dagon would reclaim his artifact. Considering how much havoc it was
causing, it seemed likely that the daedra prince would allow Master Neloth
its use for some time to come.

An acrobatic distraction would be a welcome relief.

"What tricks can your troupe perform?" asked the wizard to the lead acrobat,
Rhunen.

"Mighty Gothren, alas, we know no tricks. All the realizations of acrobacy we
perform are real with no illusions. We wish we knew tricks, for it's far too
time-consuming to have to master actual feats."

"Very well, what realizations of acrobacy can you perform?" asked Gothren
with what almost looked like a smile.

"Master Jereth will dazzle you as he juggles fifteen flaming globes while
hopping across broken glass. Master Tulkiande will astound you as she
supports her body with one finger while rotating hoops in ornate patterns
with her legs. Master Mearvis will take a simple ebony blade --"

"And the outlander female?" asked the Ashkhan with some disapprobation and a
dismissive gesture toward the Redguard woman in the troupe.

"Master Senyndie? Ah, Mighty Gothren, she hails from the Alik'r Desert of
Hammerfell where she won renown for her skill at climbing sheer surfaces. You
must see her at work to believe it. She moves vertically like you and I move
horizontally."

"That is all very well, but I do not like outlanders in my court," said the
Ashkhan. "Many are spies."

"Oh, well, Master Neloth felt similiarly that --"

"Neloth?!" roared Gothren. "You entertained that whoreson?!"

"Two days ago, yes. I remember that he said there have been strained
relations between you two. He also had some concerns about the outlanders in
our troupe, though it was our Khajiit tumbler Master S'Rabba who he was
particularly suspicious of. In fact, the irony is that he thought S'Rabba was
a spy for you. Well, you know Khajiit. Actually, maybe you don't."

 "They are a slave race who hold little interest to me," growled Gothren.

"You're like Master Neloth then," said Rhunen quickly, fully aware of
Gothren's growing rage, which that particular comment had only enflamed. "He
wasn't used to Khajiit either. Or their dark sense of humor. He took some
sarcastic comments from Master S'Rabba literally, and we all ended up being
tortured for information about you and your troops. You probably haven't had
the experience of being tortured for information you don't have, have you? I
wouldn't recommend it. Eventually, we were let go on the understanding that
we would never set foot in Sadrith Mora again. Actually, not all of us were
let go. Master S'Rabba had apparently died under torture. You have probably
had experience torturing the slave races and know how easily they break."

"No, I haven't," replied Master Gothren. The fury was dead.

"We should have probably left then, but we decided that he still owed us for
the entertainment we provided under torture. We weren't sure how to collect,
but he mentioned during the course of his ravings that he had a very valuable
bauble. A razor of some kind."

"Mehrunes' Razor," he gasped. "What -- what did you do?"

"Masters Harakostil and Thelegorm compressed themselves low enough to squirm
under the gates so they could lower the bridge into the main courtyard of the
stronghold. Masters Tulkiande, Mearvis, Jereth, and I formed a pyramid to
give Master Senyndie a boost up to the tower of Tel Naga. She scaled it to
the top --"

"She scaled it?" asked Gothren, who was familiar with the tower.

"It was high, but the surface of these Telvanni mushrooms is practically a
ladder to someone of Master Senyndie's skills. In a few minutes' time, she
was in the room with the razor in hand. In a few more minutes, she was back
down the tower and we were running for the Gateway Inn. Now, with all
humility, I would say that no one is faster on their feet than our troupe,
but Master Neloth's guards were surprisingly quick. I sent the troupe through
the gate to the docks while I distracted the guards."

"I confess, I never associated brave actions with traveling acrobats," said
Gothren.

"It wasn't bravery, it was economics," smiled Rhunen. "I considered the
amount of gold and time it takes to train a good troupe, and it seemed
smarter to try to save everyone. In any case, I lured the guards around to
the back of the Gateway Inn, far from the others, and when I was sure they
were safe, I jumped off the wall and into the water."

"You jumped off the wall?"

"Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I did. It's pretty tall. It was a simple
matter, especially since I could land in the water. Still, it's only a matter
of rolling and twisting the body like so. I'll demonstrate it if you want."

"Later, if you please," said the Ashkhan. "What happened then?"

"We arrived here at court," said Rhunen simply.

"And when did Master Neloth get Mehrunes' Razor back from you?"

"Mighty Gothren, that part of the story hasn't happened yet," said Rhunen.
"Are you ready for us to perform for you now? I hadn't told you yet about our
latest realization of acrobacy when Master Mearvis takes a simple ebony blade
and juggles it in one hand and a handful of marshmerrow reeds in the other. I
don't want to give the whole effect away, but at the end of the act, you have
some very fine sheets of papyrus."

"It sounds delightful, Master Rhunen," said Gothren. "I look forward to
seeing it in a few days time, but I must leave now to meet Master Neloth on
the field. I will soon return for a victory celebration, and I want to see
all your realizations of acrobacy. In the meantime, you will be honored
guests with every luxury the  Archmagister of House Telvanni can afford."

"So the room and board will be almost as nice as a third rate show in Rihad,"
said Senyndie as they took their rooms a few hours later. "Why do we bother
with these backwoods performances?"

"There are already so many jugglers in Rihad," said Rhunen with a shrug.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Red Book of 3E 426
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_redbook426
Weight:        3
Value:         60
Special Notes: Adds Redoran Councilor conversation topic

Red Book of Great House Redoran

[The Red Book is a yearbook of the affairs of the Redoran Council of
Vvardenfell District for 3E 426. It lists the current members of the council
and their residences. It also chronicles significant events and council
actions for the year.]

Councilors of House Redoran
Vardenfell District
Imperial Era 426

Archmaster Lord Bolvyn Venim, by Grace of Almsivi, Chief Councilor of Redoran
Council, Vvardenfell District, Lord Ald'ruhn of Bolvyn Manor, Manor District,
Ald'ruhn, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Master Lord Miner Arobar, by Grace of Almsivi, Honored Councilor of Redoran
Council, Vvardenfell District, Lord of North Gash, of Arobar Manor, Manor
District, Ald'ruhn, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Master Lord Hlaren Ramoran, by Grace of Almsivi, Honored Councilor of Redoran
Council, Vvardenfell District, Lord of West Gash, of Ramoran Manor, Manor
District, Ald'ruhn, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Mistress Lady Brara Morvayn, by Grace of Almsivi, Honored Councilor of
Redoran Council, Vvardenfell District, Lady of Maar Gan, of Morvayn Manor,
East Ald'ruhn, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Master Lord Athyn Sarethi, by Grace of Almsivi, Honored Councilor of Redoran
Council, Vvardenfell District, Lord of South Gash, of Sarethi Manor, Manor
District, Ald'ruhn, District of Vvardenfell, Province of Morrowind

Master Lord Garisa Llethri, by Grace of Almsivi, Honored Councilor of Redoran
Council, Vvardenfell District, Lord of The northern Ashlands, of Llethri
Manor, Manor District, Ald'ruhn, District of Vvardenfell, Province of
Morrowind

Council Affairs of Note

King Hlaalu Athyn Llethan, High Councilor and Lord of Morrowind, imposes
favorable tariffs on flin [an imported fortified Imperial alcoholic
beverage]. The council protests the continuing burdensome tariffs on the
native beverages sujamma, greef, and shein.

Smuggling and organized crime have become increasingly aggressive and violent
in the Redoran House Districts. The councilors blame local corruption,
weakened enforcement, and aggressive competition between the Thieves Guild
and the Camonna Tong.

An unfortunate tax revolt in Balmora was put down after significant property
damage and loss of life. The council warned that such disturbances might
spread to Ald'ruhn if the heavy burden of Imperial taxes were not alleviated.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Redoran Cooking Secrets
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_redorancookingsecrets
Weight:        4
Value:         20
Special Notes: None

Redoran Cooking Secrets

Crab Meat and Scuttle

2 handfuls of scuttle
4 pinches of wickwheat
1 large kwama egg
the meat of one mudcrab (two portions)
1 handful of chopped bittergreen

Beat eggs, wickwheat, and scuttle in a large bowl. Slowly stir in crabmeat
and bittergreen. Bake covered in a hot over for one half hour to one hour
(when a knife comes out clean).

The Hound and Rat

1 pie crust
1 pound of ground meat (mixed rat and hound)
a hand and a half of cooked saltrice
1 handful of scuttle
1 small kwama egg
a pinch of ash salts

Cook the mixed meat in a pan over an open flame. When the meat begins to
brown, add the saltrice. Stir for a few moments and add the scuttle and kwama
egg. When the kwama egg is fully cooked and the scuttle has melted, pour from
the pan into the pie crust. Sprinkle with ash salts and cover the pie crust.
Bake for one quarter hour in a hot oven.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Redoran Vaults Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Redoran_Vaults_Ledger
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

Redoran Vaults Ledger

[This book contains meticulous records of all commerce and transactions of
the Redoran Vaults as well as an up-to-date account of the current reserves.]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reflections on Cult Worship
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_reflectionsoncultworship...
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Reflections on Cult Worship in the Empire

[from the correspondence of Cuseius Plecia, Imperial trader, writing from the
Vos Tradehouse in Vvardenfell District, Province of Morrowind]

"...I have noted that Heartlanders like myself, and assimilated Imperial
Citizens of other races, tend to impersonal and formal relationships with
their gods and spirits. For us, cults are first and foremost social and
economic organizations. We typically think of the Eight Divines in the most
abstract terms -- as powerful but indifferent spirits to be propitiated, and
do not think of their relationships as personal. Notable exceptions include
minor charismatic sub-cults of Akatosh and Dibella. The Imperial Cult of
Tiber Septim also has a significant charismatic sub-cult.

With the exception of the Alessian Order, which Heartlanders regard as a dark
age, religious cults have played only minor parts in Heartlander and Imperial
history. The Septim emperors have made it a policy to limit the influence of
cult authorities in aristocratic, military, and bureaucratic affairs. Cult
worship is regarded as a private and practical matter, and public
pronouncements by religious figures are not welcomed.
Nordic hero-cults provide a strong counter-current to the dominant secularism
of the Empire. The Imperial cult of Tiber Septim is just such a hero-cult,
and among the military, provincial colonists, and recently assimilated
foreigners, the cult is particularly strong and personal.

The Tribunal Temple in Morrowind, and its predecessor, house ancestor cults,
are, by contrast with Imperial cults, extremely intimate and personal. In
ancestor cults, the worshipper has a direct relationship with a blood family
ancestor spirit, and the Temple cultist's relationship with the Tribunal is a
relationship with a living, breathing god who walks the earth, speaks in
person with priests and cultists, and whose daily actions are prescribed
models for the daily actions of their followers.

The differences in religious temperament between Heartlanders and Morrowind
Dunmer accounts in large part for consistent political and social
misunderstanding between the two cultures. Heartlanders do not consider cult
affairs as serious matters, where the Dunmer consider cult affairs, and in
particular, ancestral spirit veneration, to be very serious matters indeed.

Heartlanders are casual and tolerant in religious matters; Dunmer are
passionate and extremely intolerant. Heartlanders do not speak with their
gods, and do not think of their actions as under constant review and
judgement by their gods; the Dunmer feel that all they think and do is under
the ever-watchful eye of the Tribunal and family ancestor spirits...."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Response to Bero's Speech
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_destruction2
Weight:        4
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Destruction skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Response to Bero's Speech
by Malviser, Battlemage

On the 14th of Last Seed, an illusionist by the name of Berevar Bero gave a
very ignorant speech at the Chantry of Julianos in the Imperial City.  As
ignorant speeches are hardly uncommon, there was no reason to respond to it.
Unfortunately, he has since had the speech privately printed as "Bero's
Speech to the Battlemages," and it's received some small, undeserved
attention in academic circles.  Let us put his misconceptions to rest.

Bero began his lecture with an occasionally factual account of famous
Battlemages from Zurin Arctus, Tiber Septim's Imperial Battlemage, to Jagar
Tharn, Uriel Septim VII's Imperial Battlemage.  His intent was to show that
where it matters, the Battlemage relies on other Schools of Magicka, not the
School of Destruction which is supposedly a Battlemage's particular forte.
Allow me first to dispute these so-called historical facts.

Zurin Arctus did not create the golem Numidium by spells of  Mysticism and
Conjuration as Bero alleges.  The truth is that we don't know how Numidium
was created or if it was a golem or atronach in any traditional sense of
those words.  Uriel V's Battlemage Hethoth was not an Imperial Battlemage --
he was simply a sorcerer in the employ of the Empire, thus which spells he
cast in the various battles on Akavir are irrelevant, not to mention heresay.
Bero calls Empress Morihatha's Battlemage Welloc "an accomplished diplomat"
but not "a powerful student of the School of Destruction."  I congratulate
Bero on correctly identifying an Imperial Battlemage, but there are many
written examples of Welloc's skill in the School of Destruction.  The sage
Celarus, for example, wrote extensively about Welloc casting the Vampiric
Cloud on the rebellious army of Blackrose, causing their strength and skill
to pass on to their opponents.  What is this, but an impressive example of
the School of Destruction?

Bero rather pathetically includes Jagar Tharn in his list of underachieving
Battlemages.  To use an insane traitor as example of rational behavior is an
untenable position.  What would Bero prefer?  That Tharn used the School of
Destruction to destroy Tamriel by a more traditional means?

Bero uses his misrepresentation of history as the basis for his argument.
Even if he had found four excellent examples from history of Battlemages
casting spells outside their School -- and he didn't --  he would only have
anecdotal evidence, which isn't enough to support an argument.  I could
easily find four examples of illusionists casting healing spells, or
nightblades teleporting.  There is a time and a place for everything.

Bero's argument, built on this shaky ground, is that the School of
Destruction is not a true school.  He calls it "narrow and shallow" as an
avenue of study, and its students impatient, with megalomaniac tendencies.
How can one respond to this?  Someone who knows nothing about casting a spell
of Destruction criticizing the School for being too simple?  Summarizing the
School of Destruction as learning how to do the "maximum amount of damage in
the minimum amount of time" is clearly absurd, and he expounds on his
ignorance by listing all the complicated factors studied in his own School of
Illusion.

Allow me in response to list the factors studied in the School of
Destruction.  The means of delivering the spell matters more in the School of
Destruction than any other school, whether it is cast at a touch, at a range,
in concentric circles, or cast once to be triggered later.  What forces must
be reigned in to cast the spell: fire, lightning, or frost? And what are the
advantages and dangers of each?  What are the responses from different
targets from the assault of different spells of destruction?  What are the
possible defenses and how may they be assailed?  What environmental factors
must be taken into consideration?  What are the advantages of a spell of
delayed damage?  Bero suggests that the School of Destruction cannot be
subtle, yet he forgets about all the Curses that fall under the mantle of the
school, sometimes affecting generation after generation in subtle yet sublime
ways.

The School of Alteration is a distinct and separate entity from the School of
Destruction, and Bero's argument that they should be merged into one is
patently ludicrous.  He insists -- again, a man who knows nothing about the
Schools of Alteration and Destruction, is the one insisting this -- that
"damage" is part of the changing of reality dealt with by the spells of
Alteration.  The implication is that Levitation, to list a spell of
Alteration, is a close cousin of Shock Bolt, a spell of Destruction.  It
would make as much sense to say that the School of Alteration, being all
about the actuality of change, should absorb the School of Illusion, being
all about the appearance of change.

It certainly isn't a coincidence that a master of the School of Illusion cast
this attack on the School of Destruction.  Illusion is, after all, all about
masking the truth.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saryoni's Sermons
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_SaryonisSermons
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

SARYONI'S SERMONS
BLESSED ALMSIVI, MERCY, MASTERY, MYSTERY

[This volume of the Hierographa (i.e., 'priestly writings') was written and
collected with commentary by Archcanon Tholer Saryoni. It is the best selling
of the Temple annotated texts, and therefore inexpensive and commonly found
in most Dunmer households. Saryoni collects Vivec's most famous sermons and
the popular explanations of his Gospels. This text exists in many editions.
More elaborate editions are handsomely illuminated with Vivec's quotations
from the Gospels for days, seasons, and festivals.]

Listen, faithful, to Vivec's words, for he says five times and five ways --
Forge a keen Faith in the crucible of suffering.
Engrave upon thy eye the image of injustice.
Death does not diminish; the ghost gilds with glory.
Faith conquers all. Let us yield to Faith.
Better to suffer a wrong than to do one.

Hear the words of Lord Vivec, and heed his sermons on the Seven Graces, for
he names them seven times and seven ways --

VALOR
DARING
JUSTICE
COURTESY
PRIDE
GENEROSITY
HUMILITY

The Grace of Valor
Thank you for your valor, Lord Vivec. I shall not quail, nor turn away, but
face my enemies and my fear.

The Grace of Daring
Thank you for your daring, Lord Vivec. I shall not shun risk, nor hide behind
the mask of cautious counsel, for fortune favors the bold.

The Grace of Justice
Thank you for your justice, Lord Vivec. I shall be neither cruel nor
arbitrary, for fair dealing earns the love, trust, and respect of our people.

The Grace of Courtesy
Thank you for your courtesy, Lord Vivec. I shall speak neither hurtful nor
harsh word, but shall speak respectfully, even of my enemies, for temperate
words may turn aside anger.

The Grace of Pride
Thank you for your pride, Lord Vivec. I shall not doubt myself, or my people,
or my gods, and shall insist upon them, and my ancient rights.

The Grace of Generosity
Thank you for your generosity, Lord Vivec. I shall neither hoard nor steal,
nor encumber myself with profitless treasures, but shall share freely among
house and hearth.

The Grace of Humilty
Thank you for your humility, Lord Vivec. I shall neither strut nor preen in
vanity, but shall know and give thanks for my place in the greater world.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saryoni's Sermons Manuscript
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_saryonisermonsmanuscript
Weight:        4
Value:         50000
Special Notes: None

SARYONI'S SERMONS
BLESSED ALMSIVI, MERCY, MASTERY, MYSTERY

[This is the original book that Archcanon Tholer Saryoni used to write his
sermons.]

Listen, faithful, to Vivec's words, for he says five times and five ways --
Forge a keen Faith in the crucible of suffering.
Engrave upon thy eye the image of injustice.
Death does not diminish; the ghost gilds with glory.
Faith conquers all. Let us yield to Faith.
Better to suffer a wrong than to do one.

Hear the words of Lord Vivec, and heed his sermons on the Seven Graces, for
he names them seven times and seven ways --

VALOR
DARING
JUSTICE
COURTESY
PRIDE
GENEROSITY
HUMILITY

The Grace of Valor
Thank you for your valor, Lord Vivec. I shall not quail, nor turn away, but
face my enemies and my fear.

The Grace of Daring
Thank you for your daring, Lord Vivec. I shall not shun risk, nor hide behind
the mask of cautious counsel, for fortune favors the bold.

The Grace of Justice
Thank you for your justice, Lord Vivec. I shall be neither cruel nor
arbitrary, for fair dealing earns the love, trust, and respect of our people.

The Grace of Courtesy
Thank you for your courtesy, Lord Vivec. I shall speak neither hurtful nor
harsh word, but shall speak respectfully, even of my enemies, for temperate
words may turn aside anger.

The Grace of Pride
Thank you for your pride, Lord Vivec. I shall not doubt myself, or my people,
or my gods, and shall insist upon them, and my ancient rights.

The Grace of Generosity
Thank you for your generosity, Lord Vivec. I shall neither hoard nor steal,
nor encumber myself with profitless treasures, but shall share freely among
house and hearth.

The Grace of Humilty
Thank you for your humility, Lord Vivec. I shall neither strut nor preen in
vanity, but shall know and give thanks for my place in the greater world.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Secret Caldera Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_CalderaRecordBook2
Weight:        3
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

[This book shows the ebony mined in and shipped from Caldera. It shows a
steady flow of ebony from the mines to something called the "Ashlands
Management Fund." Apparently someone in Caldera is using the mines to fund a
personal project.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Secrets of Dwemer Animunculi
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_SecretsDwemerAnimunculi
Weight:        4
Value:         450
Special Notes: Adds Summon Centurion spell to players spell list

[Undecipherable runes]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sharn's Legions of the Dead
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_sharnslegionsofthedead
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Legions of the Dead

[Sharn gra-Muzgob's personal copy.]

Undead commonly occur in three basic types: spirit, flesh, and fleshless.
Spirit revenants like the ancestor ghost, wraith, and dwarven ghost, can only
be harmed by weapons that are enchanted or made of refined substances such as
silver. Ancestor ghosts, the most common spirit revenant, are harmless, apart
from the minor curses they lay upon their victims. Wraiths are similar to
ghosts, but they are capable of inflicting wounds to the careless explorer.
Dwarven ghosts are more dangerous still, but they generally appear only in
Dwarven ruins.

Flesh revenants, or 'zombies' as they are often called in the West, are known
as 'bonewalkers' in Morrowind. Magic preserves the bonewalker's fleshy
remains along with the bones and spirit. Bonewalkers are readily identified
by the sharp protuberances of bone and metal employed in the rituals that
bind them to this plane. All bonewalkers are malevolent and dangerous, but
the greater bonewalkers are far worse than the more common 'lesser'
bonewalkers. Thankfully, normal weapons harm bonewalkers.

It is difficult to generalize about fleshless revenants, or skeletons. The
agility and fighting ability of the animated remains may depend on the
abilities of the revenant's former life, and may therefore be weak or strong,
or more or less capable with weapons and shields. Fortunately, enchanted
weapons are not needed to destroy skeletons. An exception is the bonelord, a
peculiar form of revenant that seems to derive its powers more from its
spirit energies than from the substance of its skeletal remains. Bonelords
are very powerful, and very dangerous. Normal weapons do not affect them.

Vampires were believed to be extinct in Morrowind for centuries. Dunmer
culture has a special hatred for vampires, and in earlier times the
Ordinators and Buoyant Armigers hunted them to extinction. In recent years,
however, vampires have either begun to sneak into Morrowind, or long-dormant
ones have been awakened. Vampires vary in their substance and power according
to their age and accumulated lore, but even the weakest vampire is
immeasurably stronger than most other undead. Note: Ash vampires are not
vampires, and are not undead. Ash vampires are extremely dangerous. While
their spirit and substance may indeed be preserved by some magical process,
the holy warriors of the Tribunal Temple report that spell effects known to
affect the undead have no effect on ash vampires.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Silence
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_illusion2
Weight:        4
Value:         230
Special Notes: Raises Illusion skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Silence
by Ganpheril Kimeth

"I've heard of you," said the old vagabond, very impressed. "Aren't you the
adventurer who slew all those ash vampires in Ghostgate a couple of months
back?"

"That I am," said Oristian Silverthorn with a weary smile for his admirer.
He knew that his name was not yet legendary, and it was best to be polite.
"And you are?"

"My name would have no meaning to you, but I'm Erer Darothil," he said,
raising a glass of greef. "I hail from the region of Ghostgate which is how I
heard your name.  Are you on an adventure as we speak?"

"Yes," said Silverthorn, with a grim expression. "I'm challenged to rid The
Grazelands of a rogue battlemage by the name of Egroamaro."

"I've heard of him as well," said Darothil. "He is said to be very powerful,
an implacable foe."

"That is why I'm drinking now," sighed Silverthorn. "So tell me, what is your
profession?"

"I do nothing," said Darothil with some measure of pride. "But in my youth, I
used to teach the skills of Illusion at the University of Gwylim."

"Perhaps you can help me then," said Silverthorn, suddenly excited. "Can you
teach the spell Silence?  I can certainly pay you."

"I know that spell," said Darothil. "You might find Invisibility very helpful
as well, or perhaps Darkness which would allow you to sneak up on old
Egroamaro."

"No," said Silverthorn firmly. "I only have time to learn one spell.  I have
to kill Egroamaro, collect the award, and be back in Gnisis as quickly as
possible.  My wife worries when I'm away."

Darothil agreed and, as the two settled back in their seats at the cornerclub
and tossed back glasses of greef, the old man shared his knowledge of the
spell.  He explained what it truly meant to bend sound, creating a cone of
silence as glass can bend light.   He had Silverthorn close his eyes while he
tapped the side of his glass, making him picture the sound as the physical
entity it was, before it was extinguished.

The adventurer, after a few hours of instruction, paid the old teacher and
set off on his way.  Indoranyon, Egroamaro's stronghold, was not far from
Sadrith Mora, and he soon saw the blight and ruin that was the battlemage's
calling card.  Delving into the depths of the ruins, Silverthorn was set upon
by the servitors of Egroamaro, living and undead.  With his enchanted ebony
blade, he cut through legions before facing the master himself in the
desolate main hall.

Egroamaro bowed to his adversary sardonically, and then prepared to unleash a
fireball to incinerate him.  Before he had uttered the first word of the
spell, he suddenly found that all the creaking and sighing of the ruins
around him had been stilled.  He opened his voice to speak, but there was no
sound.  Silverthorn took his time, strolling across the length of the hall,
before dispatching the battlemage with one stroke of his blade.

The adventurer rushed back to the Tribunal Temple where he had received his
quest, accepted the gold and the thanks, and was back in his house in Gnisis
but a few days later.  His wife Liah was beside herself with worry.

"All I could do night after night is toss and turn.  I kept imagining you
burned to ashes by that battlemage, and where would that leave me?  Do we
have enough gold that I could support myself if you, Saint Seryn let it not
be so, were killed during one of these jaunts?  I don't think so.  Why
couldn't you get a nice position at the Fighters Guild right here in town?  I
hear they're looking for a trainer for the Imperial Guard.  I know, I know,
you want a life of adventure and danger and freedom, but if you'd only take
one moment to think of me, stuck here all by myself, worrying about you.  I
suppose you'd like it if I took more of an interest in your work, but it's
like I was telling Ser Calissiah Vignum the other day, I said Calissah, what
good is a husband--"

Liah continued to talk, deaf to the fact that her words were dead before they
left her mouth.  Silverthorn smiled and nodded his head, enjoying the
silence.  He could have killed Egroamaro without the spell, he considered,
but he could not have survived his wife.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sithis
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Alteration3
Weight:        3
Value:         275
Special Notes: Raises Alteration skill 1 point the first time the book is
               read

Sithis

Sithis is the start of the house. Before him was nothing, but the foolish
Altmer have names for and revere this nothing. That is because they are lazy
slaves. Indeed, from the Sermons, 'stasis asks merely for itself, which is
nothing.'

Sithis sundered the nothing and mutated the parts, fashioning from them a
myriad of possibilities. These ideas ebbed and flowed and faded away and this
is how it should have been.

One idea, however, became jealous and did not want to die; like the stasis,
he wanted to last. This was the demon Anui-El, who made friends, and they
called themselves the Aedra. They enslaved everything that Sithis had made
and created realms of everlasting imperfection. Thus are the Aedra the false
gods, that is, illusion.

So Sithis begat Lorkhan and sent him to destroy the universe. Lorkhan!
Unstable mutant!

Lorkhan had found the Aedric weakness. While each rebel was, by their nature,
immeasurable, they were, through jealously and vanity, also separate from
each other. They were also unwilling to go back to the nothing of before. So
while they ruled their false dominions, Lorkhan filled the void with a myriad
of new ideas. These ideas were legion. Soon it seemed that Lorkhan had a
dominion of his own, with slaves and everlasting imperfections, and he
seemed, for all the world, like an Aedra. Thus did he present himself as such
to the demon Anui-El and the Eight Givers: as a friend.

Go unto the Sharmat Dagoth Ur as a friend.

AE HERMA MORA ALTADOON PADHOME LKHAN AE AI.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Smuggler's Island
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_spear1
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: Raises Spear skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Smuggler's Island
by Quarde Anarion

It took a little over an hour for Harithoel to search the island from one end
to the other.  He turned back to S'Riizh who was were he left him, half
buried in the sand to pack his broken bones.  One of the crates of moon sugar
was open.

"You're sampling the merchandise?" asked Harithoel angrily.

"It takes away the pain," said S'Riizh. "How far away are we?"

"We didn't make it as far as the mainland," said Harithoel. "I can't see the
coastline at all.  But that's not all.  I haven't found anything edible
anywhere.  Just weeds and a few scraggly trees."

"And no other survivors?" asked S'Riizh.

"No, it looks like we're the only ones.  I guess, the nice way to look at it
is that if we're rescued, we can divide the profits between two rather than
between twelve."

"So we'll either be rich or dead," said S'Riizh. "That's a comfort."

S'Riizh was too battered to be of much help, but Harithoel was able to
construct a crude shelter, weaving the sand weeds.  As night fell on the
small island, the two men discussed the smuggling operation and what went
wrong.  Their boat, laden with five crates of moon sugar, was supposed to
meet another, the Sanchariot, off the coast of Hla Oad.  Who could have
predicted the storm?  Who could have predicted that everyone would drown,
from the bold captain to the mysterious figure with ties to one of the royal
Houses, everyone except for S'Riizh and Harithoel.  They decided that it was
all the whim of Boethiah or one of the other daedra with cruel senses of
humor.

Finding fresh water was their first goal, and it turned out to be a fruitless
quest. Harithoel dug deeply, but there were no springs under the island, just
sand and rock.  S'Riizh felt panic seizing his soul, until he saw the small,
quick, golden fish swimming at the edges of the island.  He had read
somewhere that fish not only were food, but there was always a little fresh
water within them.  If he could catch one, the two men could be saved.  With
his broken legs, he was a pathetic predator and he was soon reduced to
hurling rocks at the alert and nimble little fish.

Harithoel watched S'Riizh's futile endeavor for a little while before getting
to work.  He used his small knife to whittle a point on a long, straight tree
branch until he had fashioned a spear.  Again and again, he thrust the spear
at the fish, but he had no more success than S'Riizh and his stones.

"Have you never used a spear before?" asked S'Riizh.

"It's not my weapon of choice," said Harithoel, quietly, watching his prey
and missing another with a splash and a curse. "Nchow!"

S'Riizh laughed:  "Do you want a rock?"

Harithoel ignored S'Riizh, murmuring, "The trick as I've heard it is to
anticipate where your target's going to go and aim your spear there, not
where they are now.  I just have to observe them a little longer.  Why can't
the little fechers swim in straight lines?"

After an hour of flailing about, Harithoel, by luck, managed to spear a fish.
The men tore it apart and ate it raw.  As the days and weeks went by,
Harithoel got better and better until he was able to strike quickly and with
great accuracy.  He could hit a fish by throwing the spear or by plunging at
one at his feet.  S'Riizh made fire, but being lame, he had to rely on
Harithoel for all the food.

It was nearly two months after washing ashore that the men saw a boat on the
horizon.  They set a large fire, and the crew saw them.  As it approached,
they saw that it was the Sanchariot, the very boat they were to have met on
the night of the storm.  The smugglers aboard would pay them good money for
the moon sugar.  Luckily, S'Riizh had used only a little bit of it, and they
still had five nearly full crates.  They were not only going to be saved,
they were going to be rich, just as Harithoel had said.

Harithoel excitedly started to help S'Riizh to his feet, but the man rose on
his own.

"You can walk!" he said, laughing. "It's a miracle!"

"S'Riizh is not too steady, though," said S'Riizh. "Would you gather up the
crates?"

Harithoel, overjoyed at rescue at long last, began picking up the crates and
stacking them. "I wish you had told me that you could walk though, mate.  I
could have used your help spearing dinner all these months."

"S'Riizh watches though," said S'Riizh. "You'd be surprised how much you can
learn just by watching.  Don't forget the fifth crate over by the tree."
S'Riizh shuffled over to the shore and saw that the boat was only a few
minutes from landing.  "And S'Riizh listens.  When you said that a fortune
divided by two was more profitable than a fortune divided by twelve, S'Riizh
listened to that too."  S'Riizh shuffled back to the crate by the tree.  "And
it occurred to S'Riizh that a fortune divided by one was even better."
S'Riizh pulled the spear out of Harithoel's skull.  The trajectory had been
perfect: it had fallen down from the branches as soon as the crate was
removed, just as he had planned. "Like you said, the trick is to anticipate
where your target's going to go and aim your spear there."

S'Riizh pushed the crate to the shore and waved the boat in.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Song of the Alchemists
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     BookSkill_Alchemy3
Weight:        3
Value:         200
Special Notes: Raises Alchemy skill 1 point the first time the book is read

The Song of the Alchemists
Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, Part V
By Marobar Sul

When King Maraneon's alchemist had to leave his station
After a laboratory experiment that yielded detonation,
The word went out that the King did want
A new savant
To mix his potions and brews.
But he declared he would only choose
A fellow who knew the tricks and the tools.
The King refused to hire on more fools.

After much deliberation, discussions, and debates,
The King picked two well-learned candidates.
Ianthippus Minthurk and Umphatic Faer,
An ambitious pair,
Vied to prove which one was the best.
Said the King, "There will be a test."
They went to a large chamber with herbs, gems, tomes,
Pots, measuring cups, all under high crystalline domes.

"Make me a tonic that will make me invisible,"
Laughed the King in a tone some would call risible.
So Umphatic Faer and Ianthippus Minthurk
Began to work,
Mincing herbs, mashing metal, refining strange oils,
Cautiously setting their cauldrons to burbling boils,
Each on his own, sending mixing bowls mixing,
Sometimes peeking to see what the other was fixing.

After they had worked for nearly three-quarters an hour,
Both Ianthippus Minthurk and Umphatic Faer
Winked at the other, certain he won.
Said King Maraneon,
"Now you must taste the potions you've wrought,
Take a spoon and sample it right from your pot."
Minthurk vanished as his lips touched his brew,
But Faer tasted his and remained apparent in view.

"You think you mixed silver, blue diamonds, and yellow grass!"
The King laughed, "Look up, Faer, up to the ceiling glass.
The light falling makes the ingredients you choose
Quite different hues."
"What do you get," asked the floating voice, bold,
"Of a potion of red diamonds, blue grass, and gold?"
"By [Dwemer God]," said Faer, his face in a wince,
"I've made a potion to fortify my own intelligence."

Publisher's Note:

This poetry is so clearly in the style of Gor Felim that it really does not
need any commentary. Note the simple rhyming scheme of AA/BB/CC, the sing-
song but purposefully clumsy meter, and the recurring jokes at the obviously
absurd names, Umphatic Faer and Ianthippus Minthurk. The final joke that the
stupid alchemist invents a potion to make himself smarter by pure accident
would have appealed to the anti-intellectualism of audiences in the
Interregnum period, but would certainly be rejected by the Dwemer.

Note that even "Marobar Sul" refuses to name any Dwemer gods. The Dwemer
religion, if it can even be called that, is one of the most complex and
difficult puzzles of their culture.

Over the millennia, the song became a popular tavern song in High Rock before
eventually disappearing from everything but scholarly books. Much like the
Dwemer themselves.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sottilde's Code Book
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_sottildescodebook
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: Part of a fighters guild quest

SSF ZAFL
DVWDTQDVFQE TYLSE

BSQ FOF
TZSFHK TOY PCJEK NSZUVWBSR

EAL DVFQE GX
SWSHL LCLQS

XKH ZQG
LGSBFY GXS PAXWC RSXINOFSP

IDV AWD
FGEF PAXWC

BOK DWKB
SUGZD PCJEK


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special Flora of Tamriel
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_specialfloraoftamriel
Weight:        3
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

Special Flora of Tamriel
by Hardin the Herbalist

The Poppy, in both black and white varieties, may be found growing wild in
the mountains of Hammerfell.  Their succulent pods are often the only
nourishment for adventurers who find themselves in the wilderness without
rations.  It is said that black and white poppies imbibed together have
magical properties.  When they are crushed and mixed with the milk of the
agile-footed mountain goat, the resulting potion allows the user to glide
safely aboveground.

Fire Fern, a perennial herb, is native to the province of Morrowind.  The
flowers are inconspicuous and often hidden.  The glossy, evergreen foliage
and blossoms are resistant to conditions of high heat and bright light.  A
petal from this plant placed under the adventurer's tongue will provide
protection from the heat and fire of the lava pits and thermal streams around
Dagoth-Ur.

Dragon's Tongue, a common name for a fernlike herb found in Black Marsh, is
especially prolific around the area of the Ultherus Swamp.  It is a beautiful
wildflower whose name comes from the fire-red fronds that protect its golden
efflorescence.  As pretty as it is, however, it is a deadly poison to most
living beings and needs to be avoided by adventurers, especially unprotected
ones, as it is lethal to the touch.  It is said, however, that Argonians can
handle the plant and use the sap derived from its roots to enhance their
endurance.

Domica Redwort is an herb grown by many residents of Valenwood for their
beautiful and showy flowers.  They attain a height of about three feet and
sport feathery leaves; the flowers are usually bright red.  In addition to
their beauty, they are said to have the magical ability of enhancing the
appearance of anyone who carries or wears one of the blooms.

Ironwood Nut is a hard-shelled fruit that comes from the ironwood trees
growing deep in the forests of Skyrim.  The wood of these trees is hard as
the metal after which it is named.  The very rare black variety of ironwood
is said to produce a nut which is very succulent and believed to greaten the
strength of the adventurer who is able to crack its shell and partake of it.

The Ginko leaves which are found along the banks of rivers and lakes in
Hammerfell are most inconspicuous, only their peculiar half-moon shape making
them noticeable.  The edible foliage is very sweet and quite tasty.  Legend
has it that when mixed properly with the pulp of the aloe plant, the
resulting concoction has the ability of increasing one's stamina for a short
while.

The Somnalius Fern can be found in the swamps of Black Marsh.  The fronds of
this plant are light green and quite delicate.  Picking a frond can be very
difficult, as they usually crumble to the touch, but once retrieved it can be
used to put an enemy to sleep for a short while by passing it under his nose.

Arrowroot is a thick, rubbery tuber that can be found in the province of
Valenwood.  The plant is quite difficult to find as its aboveground foliage
is very meager and scrawny.  But the root itself can be most beneficial to
the gatherer as it has magical properties.  The paste made from grinding the
root is quite wholesome and can improve the user's accuracy with a bow and
arrow, or other missile weapon.

Nightshade is reputed to be a very poisonous herb.  However, the variety
found in many parts of Elsweyr is cherished by Khajiits who have taken up
careers in thievery.  Many Khajiits will tuck a piece of Nightshade inside
their armor to increase their abilities to skulk, hide, and become invisible.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spirit of Nirn, God of Mortals
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_spiritofnirn
Weight:        3
Value:         40
Special Notes: None

Spirit of Nirn

Lorkhan is the Spirit of Nirn, the god of all mortals. This does not mean all
mortals necessarily like him or even know him. Most Elves hate him, thinking
creation as that act which sundered them from the spirit realm. Most Humans
revere him, or aspects of him, as the herald of existence. The creation of
the Mortal Plane, the Mundus, Nirn, is a source of mental anguish to all
living things; all souls know deep down they came originally from somewhere
else, and that Nirn is a cruel and crucial step to what comes next. What is
this next? Some wish to return to the original state, the spirit realm, and
that Lorkhan is the Demon that hinders their way; to them Nirn is a prison,
an illusion to escape. Others think that Lorkhan created the world as the
testing ground for transcendence; to them the spirit realm was already a
prison, that true escape is now finally possible.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spirit of the Daedra
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_SpiritOfTheDaedra
Weight:        3
Value:         100
Special Notes: None

HOW YOU SHOULD KNOW US

DEATH, DEFEAT, AND FEAR

We do not die. We do not fear death.

Destroy the Body, and the Animus is cast into The Darkness. But the Animus
returns.

But we are not all brave.

We feel pain, and fear it. We feel shame, and fear it. We feel loss, and fear
it. We hate the Darkness, and fear it.

The Scamps have small thoughts, and cannot fear greatly.

The Vermai have no thoughts, and cannot fear.

The Dremora have deep thoughts, and must master fear to overcome it.


THE CLAN BOND

We are not born; we have not fathers nor mothers, yet we have kin and clans.

The clan-form is strong. It shapes body and thought.

In the clan-form is strength and purpose.


THE OATH BOND

We serve by choice. We serve the strong, so that their strength might shield
us.

Clans serve by long-practice, but practice may change.

Dremora have long served Dagon but not always so.

Practice is secure when oath-bonds are secure, and trust is shared.

When oath-bonds are weak, there is pain, and shame, and loss, and Darkness,
and great fear.


HOW WE THINK ABOUT MAN

Perhaps you find Scamps comic, and Vermai brutish.

How then do you imagine we view you humans?

You are the Prey, and we are the Huntsmen.

The Scamps are the Hounds, and the Vermai the Beaters.

Your flesh is sweet, and the chase is diverting.

As you may sometimes praise the fox or hare, admiring its cunning and speed,
and lamenting as the hounds tear its flesh, so do we sometimes admire our
prey, and secretly applaud when it cheats our snares or eludes pursuit.

But, like all worldly things, you will in time wear, and be used up. You age,
grow ugly, weak, and foolish. You are always lost, late or soon.

Sometimes the prey turns upon us and bites. It is a small thing. When wounded
or weary, we fly away to restore. Sometimes a precious thing is lost, but
that risk makes the chase all the sweeter.


MAN'S MYSTERY

Man is mortal, and doomed to death and failure and loss.

This lies beyond our comprehension - why do you not despair?


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Starlover's Log
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_SamarStarloversJournal
Weight:        3
Value:         350
Special Notes: None

6th moon ....... "Alas, the Battlespire appears to be falling into the hands
of evil. Their many attempts in the past have failed, until now. Dagon seems
to have new minions at his side this time. These new horrors are not at all
too powerful beyond our magicks and weaponry, but their numbers are
feverishly great. We grow low on supplies and soldiers for this holdout. I
fear the worst."

8th moon ....... "I have presented to the few remaining Battlemages my last
hope plan. I will fight my way to the bowels of the Battlespire, where I will
mount Dragonne Papre, my Dragon companion. From his lair, we will take
flight. Since the Weir Gate has been taken, teleportation is not possible.
Only Papre can make such a journey to the Imperial Palace. There, we will
report the evil infection and return with a regimental force of rescue. May
the Powers be with me."

9th moon........ "It is as I feared. A carcass is all I have come to find.
They have sealed the main gate so Papre could not escape. I am not sorrowful
though, for I will be eternally reunited with Dragonne Papre. Hope for the
living is lost. My name is Samar Starlover. Tell my sister I am dead, and if
all the seas were ink, I could not write enough how I shall miss her."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Surfeit of Thieves
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bookskill_security5
Weight:        4
Value:         350
Special Notes: Raises Security skill 1 point the first time the book is read

Surfeit of Thieves
by Aniis Noru

"This looks interesting," said Indyk, his eyes narrowing to observe the black
caravan making its way to the spires of the secluded castle.  A gaudy, alien
coat of arms marked each carriage, the lacquer glistening in the light of the
moons. "Who do you suppose they are?"

"They're obviously well-off," smiled his partner, Heriah. "Perhaps some new
Imperial Cult dedicated to the acquisition of wealth?"

"Go into town and find out what you can about the castle," said Indyk. "I'll
see if I can learn anything about who these strangers are.  We meet on this
hill tomorrow night."

Heriah had two great skills: picking locks and picking information.  By dusk
of the following day, she had returned to the hill.  Indyk joined her an hour
later.

"The place is called Ald Olyra," she explained. "It dates back to the second
era when a collection of nobles built it to protect themselves during one of
the epidemics.  They didn't want any of the diseased masses to get into their
midst and spread the plague, so they built up quite a sophisticated security
system for the time.  Of course, it's mostly fallen into ruin, but I have a
good idea about what kind of locks and traps might still be operational.
What did you find out?"

"I wasn't nearly so successful," frowned Indyk. "No one seemed to have any
idea about the group, even that that there were here.  I was about to give
up, but at the charterhouse, I met a monk who said that his masters were a
hermetic group called the Order of St Eadnua.  I talked to him for some time,
this fellow name of Parathion, and it seems they're having some sort of
ritual feast tonight."

"Are they wealthy?" asked Heriah impatiently.

"Embarrassingly so according to the fellow.  But they're only at the castle
for tonight."

"I have my picks on me," winked Heriah. "Opportunity has smiled on us."

She drew a diagram of the castle in the dirt: the main hall and kitchen were
near the front gate, and the stables and secured armory were in the back.
The thieves had a system that never failed.  Heriah would find a way into the
castle and collect as much loot as possible, while Indyk provided the
distraction.  He waited until his partner had scaled the wall before rapping
on the gate.  Perhaps this time he would be a bard, or a lost adventurer.
The details were most fun to improvise.

Heriah heard Indyk talking to the woman who came to the gate, but she was too
far away to hear the words exchanged.  He was evidently successful: a moment
later, she heard the door shut.  The man had charm, she would give him that.

Only a few of the traps and locks to the armory had been set.  Undoubtedly,
many of the keys had been lost in time.  Whatever servants had been in charge
of securing the Order's treasures had brought a few new locks to affix.  It
took extra time to maneuver the intricate hasps and bolts of the new traps
before proceeding to the old but still working systems, but Heriah found her
heart beating with anticipation.  Whatever lay beyond the door, she thought,
must be of sufficient value to merit such protection.

When at last the door swung quietly open, the thief found her avaricious
dreams paled to reality.  A mountain of golden treasure, ancient relics
glimmering with untapped magicka, weaponry of matchless quality, gemstones
the size of her fist, row after row of strange potions, and stacks of
valuable documents and scrolls.  She was so enthralled by the sight, she did
not hear the man behind her approach.

"You must be Lady Tressed," said the voice and she jumped.

It was a monk in a black, hooded robe, intricately woven with silver and gold
threads.  For a moment, she could not speak.  This was the sort of encounter
that Indyk loved, but she could think to do nothing but nod her head with
what she hoped looked like certainty.

"I'm afraid I'm a little lost," she stammered.

"I can see that," the man laughed. "That's the armory.  I'll show you the way
to the dining hall.  We were afraid you weren't going to arrive.  The feast
is nearly over."

Heriah followed the monk across the courtyard, to the double doors leading to
the dining hall.  A robe identical to the one he was wearing hung on a hook
outside, and he handed it to her with a knowing smile.  She slipped it on.
She mimicked him as she lowered the hood over her head and entered the hall.

Torches illuminated the figures within around the large table.  Each wore the
uniform black robe that covered all features, and from the look of things,
the feast was over.  Empty plates, platters, and glasses filled every inch of
the wood with only the faintest spots and dribbles of the food remaining.  It
was a breaking of a fast it seemed.  For a moment, Heriah stopped to think
about poor, lost Lady Tressed who had missed her opportunity for gluttony.

The only unusual item on the table was its centerpiece: a huge golden
hourglass which was on its last minute's worth of sand.

Though each person looked alike, some were sleeping, some were chatting
merrily to one another, and one was playing a lute.  Indyk's lute, she
noticed, and then noticed Indyk's ring on the man's finger.  Heriah was
suddenly grateful for the anonymity of the hood.  Perhaps Indyk would not
realize that it was she, and that she had blundered.

"Tressed," said the young man to the assembled, who turned as one to her and
burst into applause.

The conscious members of the Order arose to kiss her hand, and introduce
themselves.

"Nirdla."

"Suelec."

"Kyler."

The names got stranger.

"Toniop."

"Htillyts."

"Noihtarap."

She could not help laughing: "I understand.  It's all backwards.  Your real
names are Aldrin, Celeus, Relyk, Poinot, Styllith, Parathion."

"Of course," said the young man. "Won't you have a seat?"

"Sey," giggled Heriah, getting into the spirit of the masque and taking an
empty chair. "I suppose that when the hourglass runs out, the backwards names
go back to normal?"

"That's correct, Tressed," said the woman next to her. "It's just one of our
Order's little amusements.  This castle seemed like the appropriately ironic
venue for our feast, devised as it was to shun the plague victims who were,
in their way, a walking dead."

Heriah felt herself light-headed from the odor of the torches, and bumped
into the sleeping man next to her.  He fell face forward onto the table.

"Poor Esruoc Tsrif," said a neighboring man, helping to prop the body up.
"He's given us so much."

Heriah stumbled to her feet and began walking uncertainly for the front gate.

"Where are you going, Tressed?" asked one of the figures, his voice taking on
an unpleasant mocking quality.

"My name isn't Tressed," she mumbled, gripping Indyk's arm. "I'm sorry,
partner.  We need to go."

The last crumb of sand fell in the hour glass as the man pulled back his
hood.  It was not Indyk.  It was not even human, but a stretched grotesquerie
of a man with hungry eyes and a wide mouth filled with tusk-like fangs.

Heriah fell back into the chair of the figure they called Esruoc Tsrif.  His
hood fell open, revealing the pallid, bloodless face of Indyk.  As she began
to scream, they fell on her.

In her last living moment, Heriah finally spelled Tressed backwards.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tal Marog Ker's Researches
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_TalMarogKersResearches
Weight:        4
Value:         450
Special Notes: None

Harvest's End, 3E 172

Chimere, Master Sorcerer, Summoner, and Direnni retainer:

Chimere Graegyn was a retainer of the ambitious Direnni clan. The Direnni
derived the bulk of their power from their traffickings with Daedra, a very
profitable but risky path to success. Chimere was perhaps the cleverest and
most ambitious of the Direnni summoners. He dared to scheme against Lord
Dagon, and won. When his trick succeeded, Dagon was cast into Oblivion.
However, in the instant of his betrayal, Dagon struck out against the mortal
who tricked him. Chimere's pact assured that he would live forever in his
home town among the happy voices of his friends and countrymen. Twisting the
literal words of Chimere's pact, Dagon scooped up tiny Caecilly Island (a
small island off the coast of Northmoor) and hurled in into the void. All
Chimere's friends and countrymen were instantly killed, though the sounds of
their voices remained to torment Chimere's memory. Chimere was condemned to
live forever, to grow progressively old and crippled with arthritis, and to
contemplate the tragic consequences of his defiance of fate and fortune in
cheating a Daedra Lord.

Armor of the Saviour's Hide:

Created by the Daedra Lord Malacath, this armor has the marvelous property of
turning the blow of an oathbreaker. Chimere tricked Dagon into swearing an
oath against the Powers which he had no intention of keeping. The Hide of the
Savior turned Dagon's titanic fury long enough for Chimere to deliver his own
attack -- an incantation invoked upon Dagon's "Protonymic" (i.e., Incantory
True Name). Unfortunately, like many of Malacath's gifts, the armor is a
mixed blessing. It also makes its wearer exceptionally vulnerable to magical
attacks, so one should only wear it for particular occasions.

Dagon's Protonymic:

Chimere used Dagon's Protonymic in an incantation to invoke a sorcery that
would gradually drain all of Dagon's power into the void. Chimere
miscalculated, however, not realizing that Dagon's resistance could slow the
draining of his power, even if it could not stop it. As a result, Dagon had
the time to curse Chimere with a literal fulfillment of the terms of his
bargain with Chimere. Rather than let his power drain into the void, Dagon
cast it all into his curse. As a result, Caecilly Island was cast into the
void, all its citizens were horribly slain, and Chimere was condemned to live
forever among the ruins of his greatest ambition.

Rituals of the Hunt:

The Chapel of the Innocent Quarry: Chimere believes that Dagon had Caecilly
Island established as the site of the Chapel of the Innocent Quarry to
personally mock and torment Chimere. The green crystal structure was created
by enchantments, and is the only building on the island erected since it was
ripped from Tamriel and loosed in the void.

The Spear:

Supposedly the Spear of Bitter Mercy used in the Wild Hunts could not be
handled by any mortal or immortal save the ones sanctified to the Hunt and
bound by its strictures. However, Chimere has determined that though the
Spear's power is great, it is not unlimited, and that certain enchanted items
-- for instance, the Armor of the Savior's Hide, forged by Malacath -- are
sufficient to protect a mortal or immortal bearer from its maleficent
energies.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tamrielic Lore
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Yagrum's_Book
Weight:        3
Value:         250
Special Notes: None

Tamrielic Artifacts

The following are notes I have gathered, over the past centuries, of items of
unimaginable significance. All have been seen, owned, and lost, again and
again throughout Tamriel. Some may be myth, others may be hoax, but
regardless, many have lost their lives attempting to find or protect these
very coveted items.

Lord's Mail

Sometimes called the Armor of Morihaus or the gift of Kynareth, this is an
ancient cuirass of unsurpassable quality. It grants the wearer power to
absorb health, resist the effects of spells, and cure oneself of poison when
used. It is said that whenever Kynareth deigns the wearer unworthy, the
Lord's Mail will be taken away and hidden for the next chosen one.

Ebony Mail

The Ebony Mail is a breastplate created before recorded history by the Dark
Elven goddess Boethiah. It is she who determines who should possess the Ebony
Mail and for how long a time. If judged worthy, its power grants the wearer
added resistance of fire, magicka, and grants a magical shield. It is
Boethiah alone who determines when a person is ineligible to bear the Ebony
Mail any longer, and the goddess can be very capricious.

Spell Breaker

Spell Breaker, superficially a Dwemer tower shield, is one of the most
ancient relics of Tamriel. Aside from its historical importance in the Battle
of Rourken-Shalidor, the Spell Breaker protects its wielder almost completely
from any spell caster, either by reflecting magicks or silencing any mage
about to cast a spell. It is said that Spell Breaker still searches for its
original owner, and will not remain the property of anyone else for long. For
most, possessing Spell Breaker for any length of time is power enough.

Chrysamere

The Paladin's Blade is an ancient claymore with offensive capabilities
surpassed only by its own defenses. It lends the wielder health, protects him
or her from fire, and reflects any spells cast against the wielder back to
the caster. Seldom has Chrysamere been wielded by any bladesman for any
length of time, for it chooses not to favor one champion.

Staff of Magnus

The Staff of Magnus, one of the elder artifacts of Tamriel, was a
metaphysical battery of sorts for its creator, Magnus. When used, it absorbs
an enemy's health and mystical energy. In time, the Staff will abandon the
mage who wields it before he becomes too powerful and upsets the mystical
balance it is sworn to protect.

Warlock's Ring

The Warlock's Ring of the Archmage Syrabane is one of the most popular relics
of myth and fable. In Tamriel's ancient history, Syrabane saved all of the
continent by judicious use of his Ring, and ever since, it has helped
adventurers with less lofty goals. It is best known for its ability to
reflect spells cast at its wearer and to improve his or her speed and to
restore health. No adventurer can wear the Warlock's Ring for long, for it is
said that the Ring is Syrabane's alone to command.

Ring of Phynaster

The Ring of Phynaster was made hundreds of years ago by a man who needed good
defenses to survive his adventurous life. Thanks to the Ring, Phynaster lived
for hundreds of years, and since then it has passed from person to person.
The Ring improves its wearer's overall resistance to poison, magicka, and
shock. Still, Phynaster was cunning and cursed the ring so that it eventually
disappears from its holder's possessions and returns to another resting
place, discontent to stay anywhere but with Phynaster himself.

Ring of Khajiit

The Ring of the Khajiit is an ancient relic, hundreds of years older than
Rajhin, the thief that made the Ring famous. It was Rajhin who used the
Ring's powers to make himself invisible and as quick as the breath of wind.
Using the Ring, he became the most successful burglar in Elsweyr's history.
Rajhin's eventual fate is a mystery, but according to legend, the Ring
rebelled against such constant use and disappeared, leaving Rajhin helpless
before his enemies.

Mace of Molag Bal

Also known as the Vampire's Mace, the Mace of Molag Bal drains its victims of
magicka and gives it to the bearer. It also has the ability to transfer an
enemy's strength to its wielder. Molag Bal has been quite free with his
artifact. There are many legends about the Mace. It seems to be a favorite
for vanquishing wizards.

Masque of Clavicus Vile

Ever the vain one, Clavicus Vile made a masque suited to his own personality.
The bearer of the Masque is more likely to get a positive response from the
people of Tamriel. The higher his personality, the larger the bonus. The best
known story of the Masque tells the tale of Avalea, a noblewoman of some
renown. As a young girl, she was grossly disfigured by a spiteful servant.
Avalea made a dark deal with Clavicus Vile and received the Masque in return.
Though the Masque did not change her looks, suddenly she had the respect and
admiration of everyone. A year and a day after her marriage to a well
connected baron, Clavicus Vile reclaimed the Masque. Although pregnant with
his child, Avalea was banished from the Baron's household. Twenty one years
and one day later, Avalea's daughter claimed her vengeance by slaying the
Baron.

Mehrunes Razor

The Dark Brotherhood has coveted this ebony dagger for generations. This
mythical artifact is capable of slaying any creature instantly. History does
not record any bearers of Mehrune's Razor. However, the Dark Brotherhood was
once decimated by a vicious internal power struggle. It is suspected that the
Razor was involved.

Cuirass of the Savior's Hide

Another of Hircine's artifacts was the Cuirass of the Savior's Hide. The
Cuirass has the special ability to resist magicka. Legend has it that Hircine
rewarded his peeled hide to the first and only mortal to have ever escaped
his hunting grounds. This unknown mortal had the hide tailored into this
magical Cuirass for his future adventures. The Savior's Hide has a tendency
to travel from hero to hero as though it has a mind of its own.

Spear of Bitter Mercy

One of the more mysterious artifacts is the Spear of Bitter Mercy. Little to
nothing is known about the Spear. There are no recorded histories but many
believe it to be of Daedric origin. The only known legend about it is its use
by a mighty hero during the fall of the Battlespire. The hero was aided by
the Spear in the defeat of Mehrunes Dagon and the recapturing of the
Battlespire. Since that time, the Spear of Bitter Mercy has made few
appearances within Tamriel.

Daedric Scourge

The Daedric Scourge is a mighty mace forged from sacred ebony in the Fires of
Fickledire. The legendary weapon of Mackkan, it was once a fierce weapon used
to send spirits of black back into Oblivion. The weapon lhas the ability to
summon creatures from Oblivion, Once a tool used against the Daedric Lords in
the Battlespire, it now roams the land with adventurers.

Bow of Shadows

Legend has it that the Bow of Shadows was forged by the Daedra Nocturnal. The
legendary ranger, Raerlas Ghile, was granted the Bow for a secret mission
that failed, and the Bow was lost. Raerlas did not go down without a hearty
fight and is said to have, with the aid of the Bow, taken scores of his foes
with him. The Bow grants the user the ability of invisibility and increased
speed. Many sightings of the Bow of Shadows have been reported, and it is
even said that the sinister Dark Elf assassin of the Second Era, Dram, once
wielded this bow.

Fists of Randagulf

Randagulf of Clan Begalin goes down in Tamrielic history as one of the
mightiest warriors from Skyrim. He was known for his courage and ferocity in
battle and was a factor in many battles. He finally met his fate when King
Harald conquered Skyrim. King Harald respected this great hero and took
Randagulf's gauntlets for his own. After King Harald died, the gauntlets
disappeared. The King claimed that the Fists granted the bearer added
strength.

Ice Blade of the Monarch

The Ice Blade of the Monarch is truly one of Tamriel's most prized artifacts.
Legend has it that the Evil Archmage Almion Celmo enchanted the claymore of a
great warrior with the soul of a Frost Monarch, a stronger form of the more
common Frost Atronach. The warrior, Thurgnarr Assi, was to play a part in the
assassination of a great king in a far off land, and become the new leader.
The assassination failed and the Archmage was imprisoned. The Ice Blade
freezes all who feel its blade. The Blade circulates from owner to owner,
never settling in one place for long.

Ring of Surroundings

Little is known of this prize but it is said that it lends the wearer the
ability to blend in with their surroundings.

Boots of the Apostle

The Boots of the Apostle are a true mystery. The wearer of the boots is
rumored to be able to levitate, though nobody has ever seen them used.

The Mentor's Ring

This ring is a prized possession for any apprentice to magic. It lends the
wearer the ability to increase their intelligence and wisdom, thus making
their use of magic more efficient. The High Wizard Carni Asron is said to be
the creator of the Ring. It was a construct for his young apprentices while
studying under his guidance. After Asron's death, the Ring and several other
possessions vanished and have been circulated throughout Tamriel.

Ring of the Wind

No facts are known about this Ring, but the title and the few rumors lend one
to think it grants the wearer added speed.

Vampiric Ring

One of the more deadly and rare artifacts in Tamriel is the Vampiric Ring. It
is said that the Ring has the power to steal its victim's health and grant it
to the wearer. The exact nature and origin of the Ring is wholly unknown, but
many elders speak of its evil creation in Morrowind long, long ago by a cult
of Vampire followers. The Vampiric Ring is an extremely rare artifact and is
only seen every few hundred cycles of the moons.

Eleidon's Ward

Eleidon was a holy knight of legend in Breton history. He was a sought after
man for his courage and determination to set all wrongs right. In one story,
it is said that he rescued a Baron's daughter from sure death at the hands of
an evil warlord. For his reward, the Baron spent all of his riches to have an
enchanted shield built for Eidelon. The Shield granted Eleidon the
opportunity to heal his wounds.

Staff of Hasedoki

Hasedoki was said to have been a very competitive wizard. He wandered the
land in search for a wizard who was greater than he. To the best of all
knowledge, he never found a wizard who could meet up to his challenge. It is
said that he felt so lonely and isolated because so many feared his power,
that he bonded his life-force into his very own staff, where his soul remains
to this very day. Magic users all over Tamriel have been searching for this
magical staff. Granting its wielder a protection of magicka, it is a sure
prize for any magic user.

Bloodworm Helm

The King of Worms was said to have left behind one of his prized possessions,
the Bloodworm Helm. The Helm is a construct of magically formed bone. The
Helm allows the user to summon skeletons and control the undead. It would be
a prized artifact to a necromancer.

Dragonbone Mail

This cuirass is one of the greatest artifacts any collector or hero could
own. It is constructed of real dragon bone and was enchanted by the first
Imperial Battlemage, Zurin Arctus, in the early years of the Third Era. It is
a truly exquisite piece of work and many have sought to possess it. The
properties of the Cuirass allow the wearer to be resist fire, and to damage
an enemy with a blast of fire. Little is known about the involvement of Zurin
Arctus with the enchantment of the Cuirass, but an old tale speaks of a debt
that he owed to a traveling warrior. Like the warrior, the Dragonbone Mail
never stays put for long.

Skull Crusher

The Skull Crusher is an amazingly large, and powerful weapon. The Warhammer
was created in a fire, magically fueled by the Wizard, Dorach Gusal, and was
forged by the great weaponsmith, Hilbongard Rolamus. The steel is magically
hardened and the weight of the weapon is amazingly light, which makes for
more powerful swings and deadly blows. The Warhammer was to be put on display
for a festival, but thieves got it first. The Skull Crusher still travels
Tamriel in search of its creators.

Goldbrand

This magical Sword is almost a complete mystery. Thieves tell tales about its
golden make and how it was actually forged by ancient dragons of the North.
Their tales claim that it was given to a great knight who was sworn to
protect the dragons. The Sword lends its wielder the ability to do fire
damage on an enemy. Goldbrand has not been sighted in recent history and is
said to be awaiting a worthy hero.

Fang of Haynekhtnamet

Black Marsh was once known to be inhabited with what the Argonians called the
Wamasus. Northern men considered them to be intelligent dragons with
lightning for blood. One such mighty beast, Haynekhtnamet, was slain by the
Northern men, though it took 7 days and nights, and a score of men. One of
the surviving men took a fang home as a trophy. The fang was carved down into
a blade and fashioned into a small dagger. The Dagger mysteriously houses
some of the beast's magical properties and grants the user the ability to do
shock damage on an opponent. This unique Dagger is seen occasionally by
traveling heroes.

Umbra Sword

The Umbra Sword was enchanted by the ancient witch Naenra Waerr, and its sole
purpose was the entrapment of souls. Used in conjunction with a soul gem, the
Sword allows the wielder the opportunity to imprison an enemy's soul in the
gem. Naenra was executed for her evil creation, but not before she was able
to hide the Sword. The Umbra Sword is very choosy when it comes to owners and
therefore remains hidden until a worthy one is found.

Denstagmer's Ring

All that is known of this Ring is that it may grant the user protection from
certain elements. Even the name Denstagmer is a mystery.

Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw

One of Valenwood's legendary heroes is Oreyn Bearclaw. Son of King Faume
Toad-Eye, he was a respected clan hunter and a future leader. Wood Elven
legend claims Oreyn single handedly defeated Glenhwyfaunva, the witch-serpent
of the Elven wood, forever bringing peace to his clan. Oreyn would go on to
accomplish numerous other deeds, eventually losing his life to the Knahaten
Flu. His Helm stood as a monument of his stature for future generations to
remember. The Helm was lost eventually, as the Clan split, and is now a
treasured artifact for adventurers. The Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw is rumored to
improve the wearers agility and endurance.
Daedric Crescent Blade

Probably the most rare and even outlawed item of all the great prizes is the
Daedric Crescent Blade. The Blade was used by Mehrunes Dagon's Daedric forces
in the capture of the Imperial Battlespire. These extremely unique Blades
were gathered up and destroyed after the Battlespire was recaptured by the
Empire. All but one it seems. Though the Empire believes them all to be
destroyed, it is rumored that one still remains in existence, somewhere in
Tamriel, though none have ever seen it. The Blade lends it's weilder the
ability to do great damage on an enemy and allows him to paralyze and put
heavy wear on his enemy's armor. Quite the prize for any mighty warrior, if
it does indeed exist.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tarer's Aedra and Daedra
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Aedra_Tarer_Unique
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

Aedra and Daedra

The designations of Gods, Demons, Aedra, and Daedra, are universally
confusing to the layman. They are often used interchangeably.

"Aedra" and "Daedra" are not relative terms. They are Elvish and exact. Azura
is a Daedra both in Skyrim and Morrowind. "Aedra" is usually translated as
"ancestor," which is as close as Cyrodilic can come to this Elven concept.
"Daedra" means, roughly, "not our ancestors." This distinction was crucial to
the Dunmer, whose fundamental split in ideology is represented in their
mythical genealogy.

Aedra are associated with stasis. Daedra represent change.

Aedra created the mortal world and are bound to the Earth Bones. Daedra, who
cannot create, have the power to change.

As part of the divine contract of creation, the Aedra can be killed. Witness
Lorkhan and the moons.

The protean Daedra, for whom the rules do not apply, can only be banished.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Telvanni Vault Ledger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Telvanni_Vault_Ledger
Weight:        2
Value:         0
Special Notes: None

[This book contains meticulous records of all commerce and transactions via
the Telvanni Vault as well as an up to date account of the current
inventory.]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Affairs of Wizards
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_AffairsOfWizards
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

The Affairs of Wizards
by Turedus Talanian
In the Service of Master Aryon

Want to Become Part of House Telvanni?

Outsiders learning of the rabid isolationist and outlander-hating temperament
of House Telvanni wizards often assume it would be impossible to obtain
positions in service to House Telvanni.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, since the Telvanni vigorously defend the right to own slaves,
and since they keep many Argonian and Khajiit as slaves, many Argonians and
Khajiit assume they would not be accepted for service with House Telvanni.

Not true. Telvanni accept all races as candidates for membership.

And, since the Telvanni are ruled by wizard-lord nobles, many assume they
accept only candidates of the highest intelligence and willpower.

Not true. Telvanni accept candidates of modest intelligence and willpower.

It is true that advancement in Telvanni ranks depends on high intelligence
and willpower, and that candidates proficient in the arts of magic --
especially Mysticism, Conjuration, Illusion, Alteration, Destruction, and
Enchanting -- can expect to advance faster and higher in the ranks.

But adventurers of all races and abilities who apply to Telvanni Mouths at
the Telvanni Council Hall in Sadrith Mora for acceptance in House Telvanni
can expect a cordial welcome.

(Telvanni Councilors do not serve on their house councils in person. Instead,
they are represented by a 'Mouth', a trusted subordinate in residence at the
Council Hall, acting on his patron's behalf, receiving messengers from their
patrons and casting their patron's votes in Council affairs.)

The truth is that House Telvanni wizard-lords depend on loyal, well-paid,
skilled retainers for most services. Though House Telvanni does recruit from
their own lower classes, they must go outside their house to hire the
craftsmen and specialists they need. And since for political reasons House
Telvanni has chosen to reduce its reliance on Redoran mercenaries for
protection and security, it has been forced to turn to Western mercenaries
for guards and agents.

Promotion in the ranks of House Telvanni, however, is very difficult for
outsiders. Most disconcerting for some potential candidates is House
Telvanni's casual acceptance of murder and assassination of rivals as a means
to advancement. Those reluctant to prove their worthiness by killing off the
competition, and those uncomfortable about competing in such a ruthless
atmosphere, might better employ their time and efforts in the Mages Guild.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Alchemists Formulary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_AlchemistsFormulary
Weight:        3
Value:         300
Special Notes: None

The Alchemist's Formulary

Healers' Recipes

Healers should all know the recipes for the following popular potions.
Fortunately, in most cases, the ingredients are common and cheaply obtained.

To restore health to the afflicted and wounded, combine in equal parts two or
more of the following cheap and common ingredients: marshmerrow, wickwheat,
corkbulb root, and saltrice. Marshmerrow is an important crop of the Ascadian
Isles, but it also grows wild in the Grazelands and on Azura's Coast.
Wickwheat is a wild Ashland grain that grows in the Grazelands. Corkbulb
grows best in the Ascadian Isles. Most saltrice comes from southeastern
Morrowind, but there are also some new and prospering farms and plantations
in the Ascadian Isles. Saltrice occasionally grows wild in the Grazelands and
on Azura's Coast.

To restore fatigue after heavy exertion, combine two or more of the
following: crab meat, bread, small kwama egg, and chokeweed. Crabmeat is
taken from the mud crab, commonly found along all coasts. Bread in Morrowind
is usually baked from saltrice flour. Kwama eggs are harvested from egg
mines, and sold everywhere in Morrowind; the smaller eggs retain properties
lost in later states of gestation. Chokeweed is a tough shrub growing in the
rocky highlands of the West Gash.

To cure common diseases, combine gravedust and green lichen. Gravedust is
spirit-affinitive dust taken from remains buried in consecrated ground. Green
lichen is a hardy primitive plant that grows in the Ascadian Isles and
Azura's Coast.

To restore magicka for spellcasting, combine comberry and frost salts.
Comberry is a bitter berry, used to make wines. It grows mainly in the
Ascadian Isles. Frost salts, by contrast, are rare and expensive. These
crystalline compounds precipitate from elemental frost in solution. Such
residues may be collected from the remains of frost atronachs that have been
banished from the mortal plane.


Travelers' Recipes

Pilgrims and travelers will find the following inexpensive recipes of
particular interest.

Feather reduces the weary traveler's burdens and can be gained from heather
and scuttle. Heather is a low evergreen shrub of the Ascadian Isles, known
for its small, pinkish-purple flowers. Scuttle, Vvardenfell's favorite local
dish, is similar to cheese and made from the flesh of local beetles.

Levitation can be produced from any two of the following ingredients: trama
root, racer plumes, and coda flowers. A thick, bitter-tasting root of the
trama shrub grows in the Ashlands, Molag Amur, and Red Mountain regions.
Racer plumes are plucked from dead cliff racers. Coda flowers are collected
from the primitive draggle-tail plant of the Bitter Coast.

The power of Water Breathing is handy for travelers. A potion may be made
from two or more of the following ingredients: luminous russula, hackle-lo
leaf, and kwama cuttle. Luminous russula is a squat, mottled-brown-and-green
toadstool mushroom of the Bitter Coast region. Hackle-lo leaf is a succulent
leaf of the Grazelands, prized for its taste and its roborative powers. Kwama
cuttle is a tough, waxy substance that comes from sacs in the mouths of
kwama.


Adventurers' Recipes

Unfortunately, the potions most favored by adventurers require more rare and
expensive ingredients. There are exceptions, like the easy and affordable
recipe for fire shield. But most such potions require at least one ingredient
with high cost in coin or blood.

Fire Shield potions can be made from comberry and sload soap. Comberry is the
bitter berry of the Ascadian Isles. Sload soap is a waxy substance made from
the immature non-sentient forms of the sload. Sload soap is not expensive,
but is only rarely stocked by apothecaries or alchemists, and cannot be
collected locally.

An adventurer can fortify his strength with a potion made from ash yams and
dreugh wax. Ash yam is a tough tuberous root vegetable common to the Ascadian
Isles region. Dreugh wax is a tough, waxy substance scraped from dreugh
shells. Dreugh are powerful aquatic creatures, and hunting them for their
hides and wax is a dangerous occupation.

Invisibility, one of the most prized effects of potions, can be made only
from crushed diamonds and bittergreen petals. Bittergreen is a red flowering
plant growing in the Red Mountain region. Diamonds, on the other hand, are
very rare and expensive and usually must be purchased from fine alchemists.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Annotated Anuad
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_AnnotatedAnuad
               Or
               bk_ChildrensAnuad
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

The Anuad Paraphrased

The first ones were brothers:  Anu and Padomay.  They came into the Void, and
Time began.

As Anu and Padomay wandered the Void, the interplay of Light and Darkness
created Nir.  Both Anu and Padomay were amazed and delighted with her
appearance, but she loved Anu, and Padomay retreated from them in bitterness.

Nir became pregnant, but before she gave birth, Padomay returned, professing
his love for Nir.  She told him that she loved only Anu, and Padomay beat her
in rage.  Anu returned, fought Padomay, and cast him outside Time.  Nir gave
birth to Creation, but died from her injuries soon after.  Anu, grieving, hid
himself in the sun and slept.

Meanwhile, life sprang up on the twelve worlds of creation and flourished.
After many ages, Padomay was able to return to Time.  He saw Creation and
hated it.  He swung his sword, shattering the twelve worlds in their
alignment.  Anu awoke, and fought Padomay again.  The long and furious battle
ended with Anu the victor.  He cast aside the body of his brother, who he
believed was dead, and attempted to save Creation by forming the remnants of
the 12 worlds into one -- Nirn, the world of Tamriel.  As he was doing so,
Padomay struck him through the chest with one last blow.  Anu grappled with
his brother and pulled them both outside of Time forever.

The blood of Padomay became the Daedra.  The blood of Anu became the stars.
The mingled blood of both became the Aedra (hence their capacity for good and
evil, and their greater affinity for earthly affairs than the Daedra, who
have no connection to Creation).

On the world of Nirn, all was chaos.  The only survivors of the twelve worlds
of Creation were the Ehlnofey and the Hist.  The Ehlnofey are the ancestors
of Mer and Men.  The Hist are the trees of Argonia.  Nirn originally was all
land, with interspersed seas, but no oceans.

A large fragment of the Ehlnofey world landed on Nirn relatively intact, and
the Ehlnofey living there were the ancestors of the Mer.  These Ehlnofey
fortified their borders from the chaos outside, hid their pocket of calm, and
attempted to live on as before.  Other Ehlnofey arrived on Nirn scattered
amid the confused jumble of the shattered worlds, wandering and finding each
other over the years.  Eventually, the wandering Ehlnofey found the hidden
land of Old Ehlnofey, and were amazed and joyful to find their kin living
amid the splendor of ages past.  The wandering Ehlnofey expected to be
welcomed into the peaceful realm, but the Old Ehlnofey looked on them as
degenerates, fallen from their former glory.  For whatever reason, war broke
out, and raged across the whole of Nirn.  The Old Ehlnofey retained their
ancient power and knowledge, but the Wanderers were more numerous, and
toughened by their long struggle to survive on Nirn.  This war reshaped the
face of Nirn, sinking much of the land beneath new oceans, and leaving the
lands as we know them (Tamriel, Akavir, Atmora, and Yokuda).  The Old
Ehlnofey realm, although ruined, became Tamriel.  The remnants of the
Wanderers were left divided on the other 3 continents.

Over many years, the Ehlnofey of Tamriel became the Mer (Elves):
The Dwemer (the Deep Ones, sometimes called Dwarves)
The Chimer (the Changed Ones, who later became the Dunmer)
The Dunmer (the Dark or Cursed Ones, the Dark Elves)
The Bosmer (the Green or Forest Ones, the Wood Elves)
The Altmer (The Elder or High Ones, the High Elves).

On the other continents, the Wandering Ehlnofey became the Men: the Nords of
Atmora, the Redguards of Yokuda, and the Tsaesci of Akavir.

The Hist were bystanders in the Ehlnofey war, but most of their realm was
destroyed as the war passed over it.  A small corner of it survived to become
Black Marsh in Tamriel, but most of their realm was sunk beneath the sea.

Eventually, Men returned to Tamriel.  The Nords were the first, colonizing
the northern coast of Tamriel before recorded history, led by the legendary
Ysgramor.  The thirteenth of his line, King Harald, was the first to appear
in written history.  And so the Mythic Era ended.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Anticipations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_Anticipations
Weight:        3
Value:         50
Special Notes: None

The Anticipations

The Daedra are powerful ancestor spirits, similar in form and substance to
the Tribunal (Blessed Be Their Holy Names), but weaker in power, and more
arbitrary and removed from the affairs of mortals. In old times, the Chimer
worshiped the Daedra as gods. But they did not deserve this veneration, for
the Daedra harm their worshippers as often as help them.

The Advent of the Tribunal (Blessed Be Their Holy Names) changed this unhappy
state. By the Apotheosis, the Tribunal (Blessed Be Their Holy Names) became
the Protectors and High Ancestor Spirits of the Dunmer, and bade the Daedra
to give proper veneration and obedience. The Three Good Daedra, Boethiah,
Azura, and Mephala, recognized the Divinity of the Triune Ancestors (Blessed
Be Their Holy Names). The Rebel Daedra, Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, and
Mehrunes Dagon, refused to swear fealty to the Tribunal (Blessed Be Their
Holy Names), and their worshippers were cast out.

These Rebel Daedra thus became the Four Corners of the House of Troubles, and
they continue to plague our tranquility and tempt the unwary into Heresy and
Dark Worship. The Priests of the Temple remain ever vigilant for signs of the
Adversaries' return, sometimes aided by the loyal Three Good Daedra, who are
familiar with the wiles of their rebellious kin.

The Good Daedra are known to the Temple as the Anticipations, since they are
the early ancestral anticipations of the loving patronage of the Tribunal.
The Anticipations are the Daedra Lords Boethiah, Mephala, and Azura.

Boethiah is the Anticipation of Almalexia but male to her female. Boethiah
was the ancestor who illuminated the elves ages ago before the Mythic Era. He
told them the truth of Lorkhan's test, and defeated Auriel's champion,
Trinimac. Boethiah ate Trinimac and voided him. The followers of Boethiah and
Trinimac rubbed the soil of Trinimac upon themselves and changed their skins.

Mephala is the Anticipation of Vivec, but manifold and androgynous. Mephala
taught the Chimer to evade their enemies or kill them with secret murder. The
Chimer were few in those days and threatened on all sides. Mephala taught the
Chimer to build Houses. Later, Mephala created the Morag Tong.

Azura is the Anticipation of Sotha Sil, but female to his male. Azura was the
ancestor who taught the Chimer how to be different from the Altmer. Her
teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is
often encountered more as a communal progenitor of the race as a whole rather
than as an individual ancestor. She is associated with Dusk and Dawn, and is
sometimes called the Mother Soul. Azura's Star, also called the Twilight
Star, appears briefly at dawn and dusk low on the horizon below the
constellation of the Steed. Azura is associated with mystery and magic, fate
and prophecy.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Arcturian Heresy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Object ID:     bk_ArcturianHeresy
Weight:        2
Value:         25
Special Notes: None

The Arcturian Heresy

The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker

With his god destroyed, Wulfharth finds it hard to keep his form. He staggers
out of Red Mountain to the battlefield beyond. The world has shaken and all
of Morrowind is made of fire. A strong gale picks up, and blows his ashes
back to Skyrim.

Wulfharth adopts and is adopted by the Nords then. Ysmir the Grey Wind, the
Storm of Kyne. But through Lorkhan he lost his national identity. All he
wants the Nords for is to kill the Tribunal. He raises a storm, sends in his
people, and is driven back by Tribunal forces. The Dunmer are too strong now.
Wulfharth goes underground to wait and strengthen and reform his body anew.
Oddly enough, it is Almalexia who disturbs his rest, summoning the Underking
to fight alongside the Tribunal against Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal, the Akaviri
demon. Wulfharth disappears after Ada'Soom is defeated, and does not return
for three hundred years.

It is the rumbling of the Greybeards that wake him. Though the Empire has
crumbled, there are rumors that a chosen one will come to restore it. This
new Emperor will defeat the Elves and rule a united Tamriel. Naturally,
Wulfharth thinks he is the figure of prophecy. He goes directly to High
Hrothgar to hear the Greybeards speak. When they do, Ysmir is blasted to ash
again. He is not the chosen one. It is a warrior youth from High Rock. As the
Grey Wind goes to find this boy, he hears the Greybeards' warning: remember
the color of betrayal, King Wulfharth.

The Western Reach was at war. Cuhlecain, the King of Falkreath in West
Cyrodiil, was in a bad situation. To make any bid at unifying the Colovian
Estates, he needed to secure his northern border, where the Nords and
Reachmen had been fighting for centuries. He allies with Skyrim at the Battle
of Old Hrol'dan. Leading his forces was Hjalti Early-Beard. Hjalti was from
the island kingdom of Alcaire, in High Rock, and would become Tiber Septim,
the First Emperor of Tamriel.

Hjalti was a shrewd tactician, and his small band of Colovian troops and Nord
berserkers broke the Reachman line, forcing them back beyond the gates of Old
Hrol'dan. A siege seemed impossible, as Hjalti could expect no reinforcements
from Falkreath. That night a storm came and visited Hjalti's camp. It spoke
with him in his tent. At dawn, Hja