Friday, July 29, 2016

16 Accords of Madness, v. III: Hermaeus Mora's Tale

Author's Note: This came from a question on the TESLore subreddit

Are Hermaus mora Sheogorath connected?

March 20, 2016

Cynara's hand trembled as she lifted the book from the pedestal. The leather of the cover felt warm and seemed the slither under her touch - sucking at her fingertips like tacky mud, but hungrier.

The search had been long, but she finally held the knowledge in her hand. She licked her lips, oblivious to the two Daedric Princes watching her. A small smile flickered around Sheogorath's lips, and Hermaeus Mora's expression was much the same as it always ways.

"She is already mine, MadGod," said old Herma, his voice bubbling up from the writhing darkness.

"I give her a year," said Sheogorath, stifling a yawn.

"A year? For what?" asked Mora.

Oblivious to the conversation, Cynara opened the book and a tentacle, much the same temperature as the tome, slid around her neck and pulled her into Apocrypha. Without even a thought, both Princes followed the mortal.

"Before she gets bored of your slimy stacks," he replied, leaning on his cane.

"There is no boredom in my realm - endless knowledge is at her fingertips. She will never leave," he said, his voice oozed with smugness.

"I changed my mind," said Sheogorath. "Six months. And you will kick her out."

And the Mad Star vanished, leaving behind a scattering of butterflies wings that turned gray as the color slowly leeched from them.

After a a month, Cynara had read non-stop. Her fingers were smudged black with ichor. Three months had passed, and she was pulling books from the stacks.

"Where is it? No! I've read this one. And this one! I know the roads to Aetherius! I know how many stars sing in the sky and the names of their cousins! I know the words that will rent the Towers and sunder Mundus. Where is the rest?"

As the time crawled on in its sideways manner that it did in the dark corridors of Apocypha, suddenly the hush was cut by laughter. Then the sound of pages being torn.

"I see it! I see it now!" she screamed. By the time the Lurkers found her, she was surrounded by the broken shells of hundreds of books, naught but empty bindings, looking for all the world like dead birds. She had ripped their precious secrets asunder and swallowed them, pausing only to laugh and reach for another book. Ink dribbled from her mouth and her stomach bulged with destroyed knowledge.

As tentacles wrapped around her neck choking her laugh to silence, Hermaeus Mora heard another laugh all around him, and Cynara's body was no longer in his grip, and his scream of wrath was terrible.

"They may start in your realm, brother. But eventually, they all belong to me."

And it was a lesson the Old Man in the Forest would never forget.

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