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    Book Guide by Stevmill

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 09/18/03 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                            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
    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
                   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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "Would you like me to come with you as well, your Imperial Majesty?" asked
    "Or I?" asked King Dro'Zel of Senchal, a newly appointed advisor to the
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    '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
    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
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Blunt Weapon4
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Blunt Weapon skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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,
    The secret to doom is within this Sermon.
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 4
    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
    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
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 5
    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
    '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
    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
    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
    Through me you are desired, unlike the prophets that have borne your name
    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
    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
    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
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Blunt Weapon5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Blunt Weapon skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Short Blade4
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Short Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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.
    Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
    Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
    Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
    Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
    Vivec says unto the Hortator remember the words of Vivec.
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 11
    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
    '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
    "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.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 12
    Object ID:     bookskill_heavy armor5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    'Where must it go?' he said.
    'I told you,' Vivec said, 'I am meant to be the teacher of the king of the
    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
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Alteration4
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Alteration skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    '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
    '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.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 14
    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
    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
    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
    '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.'
    '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
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 16
    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
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 17
    Object ID:     bookskill_long blade3
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 19
    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.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 20
    Object ID:     bookskill_long blade4
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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
    '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
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 21
    Object ID:     bookskill_light armor4
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Light Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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.'
    '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. '
    'The enlightened are those uneaten by the world.'
    '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.'
    '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
    'The heart of the second serpent holds the secret triangular gate.'
    'Look at the secret triangular gate sideways and you see the secret Tower.'
    '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
    Object ID:     bookskill_medium armor4
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    Object ID:     bookskill_long blade5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Long Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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.'
    '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.'
    '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
    'The immobile warrior is never fatigued. He cuts sleep holes in the middle of
    a battle to regain his strength.'
    '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
    '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
    '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.'
    '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
    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
    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
    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
    '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
    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
    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
    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.'
    '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
    '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
    '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.'
    'The first meaning is always hidden.'
    '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
    'The sage who suppresses his best aphorism: cut off his hands, for he is a
    '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
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 28
    Object ID:     bookskill_light armor5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Light Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Short Blade5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Short Blade skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.'
    '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?'
    '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?'
    'The sage who is not an anvil: a conventional sentence and nothing more. By
    which I mean dead, the fourth walking way.'
    'A proper comprehension of the virtues: stage-managed and to be murdered.'
    '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.'
    'The suspicious is spectacle and the lie is only a theoretical inspiration.'
    '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
    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
    36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 33
    Object ID:     bookskill_medium armor5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         200
    Special Notes: Raises Medium Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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
    (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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    Scotti thought the man might be speaking perfect gibberish, but he nodded his
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "Probably one of the monkey folk," snorted the Nord. "Nothing to be concerned
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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,
    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!
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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 ...
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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.
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    INZOLIAH: From my experience, hypothetically, no.  She doesn't sound like a
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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,
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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.
    "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?"
    "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
    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
    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
    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 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.]
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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-
    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
    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
    I feel confident in saying that we are very close to Azura's Star.
    Your Friend,
    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
    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
    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,
    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-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
    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,
    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
    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
    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.
    Syrix Goinithi,
    Former Estate Banker
    P.S.: Charwich -- Turn around now, or don't.  Your choice.  Your friend,
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Heavy Armor3
    Weight:        4
    Value:         225
    Special Notes: Raises Heavy Armor skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Feyfolken I
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Enchant1
    Weight:        4
    Value:         300
    Special Notes: Raises Enchant skill 1 point the first time the book is read
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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-
    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
    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
    "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-
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    Lord Jornibret's Last Dance
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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,
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "Explain yourself," said Lord Strale.
    So she did.  And he listened.
    Mystery of Talara, Part 3
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Destruction5
    Weight:        3
    Value:         250
    Special Notes: Raises Destruction skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    "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
    "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.
    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
    "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
    "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
    "I'm sorry, milord," groaned Gnorbooth. "I tried to warn you as soon as I
    "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
    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
    "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 ...
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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."
    Object ID:     bk_Mysticism
    Weight:        4
    Value:         25
    Special Notes: None
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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
    The priestess bowed again humbly, and began the walk.  Ulliah was
    "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
    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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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
    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.
    "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
    Compiled by the Dissident Priests
    EXCERPT: concerning the points of Temple doctrine challenged by the Dissident
    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
    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
    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
    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,
    "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
    "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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    [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 --
    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
    [This is the original book that Archcanon Tholer Saryoni used to write his
    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 --
    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.
    Object ID:     bookskill_illusion2
    Weight:        4
    Value:         230
    Special Notes: Raises Illusion skill 1 point the first time the book is read
    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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    Object ID:     BookSkill_Alteration3
    Weight:        3
    Value:         275
    Special Notes: Raises Alteration skill 1 point the first time the book is
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    We do not die. We do not fear death.
    Destroy the Body, and the Animus is cast into The Darkness. But the Animus
    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.
    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.
    We serve by choice. We serve the strong, so that their strength might shield
    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.
    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 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
    "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
    The names got stranger.
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    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