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The fate of the Vestige

Inyhel
Inyhel
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I've read a number of books throughout my playtime of Skyrim and none of them mention the Vestige (for obvious reasons). Aside from the real-world timeline issues, what does everyone think could have happened to the Vestige? Given the number of ridiculous super-human heroic feats he/she accomplished to date with all the expansions and DLCs, you'd think the Vestige would have left some sort of historical mark on Tamriel as a legendary hero of sorts.

It both amuses and annoys me when NPCs refer to my Vestige as a "mortal" when I'm clearly in Stage 4 Vampirism.
The thought that canonically he/ she might have just grown old and died is very anti-climatic and kind of saddening. At least, this is what Hermaeus Mora hints at during your conversation with him in Summerset- "..I can see your future...and your past. The yarn of your life is interesting, perhaps even amusing, one might say... It's spun from a strong thread, to be sure, but all threads will eventually run out". An ominous foretelling. But we know that Hermaeus Mora is not omniscient and most likely can't see till the end of time (in Skyrim the DLC quest involves a trade of knowledge with the being), so this could be seen as a general prediction.

Also after the events of the main story, Molag Bal hints that he could possibly return in the Vestige's lifetime to make use of him/ her at some point in the future- "My grand scheme has only begun to unfold. Excellent. Your power shall prove useful in the coming conflicts. You've made a great and terrible enemy this day. Your world would have been better off if the planemeld had succeeded. Had you bowed before me and had accepted eternal servitude. I would have protected you. There are worse masters than I. Far worse."
In the game world, could the lack of records about the Vestige be a result of some sort of Daedric influence? Perhaps he/she has been whisked away to a Daedric realm and bound in some form or another?
  • redgreensunset
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    Inyhel wrote: »
    I've read a number of books throughout my playtime of Skyrim and none of them mention the Vestige (for obvious reasons). Aside from the real-world timeline issues, what does everyone think could have happened to the Vestige? Given the number of ridiculous super-human heroic feats he/she accomplished to date with all the expansions and DLCs, you'd think the Vestige would have left some sort of historical mark on Tamriel as a legendary hero of sorts.

    It both amuses and annoys me when NPCs refer to my Vestige as a "mortal" when I'm clearly in Stage 4 Vampirism.
    The thought that canonically he/ she might have just grown old and died is very anti-climatic and kind of saddening. At least, this is what Hermaeus Mora hints at during your conversation with him in Summerset- "..I can see your future...and your past. The yarn of your life is interesting, perhaps even amusing, one might say... It's spun from a strong thread, to be sure, but all threads will eventually run out". An ominous foretelling. But we know that Hermaeus Mora is not omniscient and most likely can't see till the end of time (in Skyrim the DLC quest involves a trade of knowledge with the being), so this could be seen as a general prediction.

    Also after the events of the main story, Molag Bal hints that he could possibly return in the Vestige's lifetime to make use of him/ her at some point in the future- "My grand scheme has only begun to unfold. Excellent. Your power shall prove useful in the coming conflicts. You've made a great and terrible enemy this day. Your world would have been better off if the planemeld had succeeded. Had you bowed before me and had accepted eternal servitude. I would have protected you. There are worse masters than I. Far worse."
    In the game world, could the lack of records about the Vestige be a result of some sort of Daedric influence? Perhaps he/she has been whisked away to a Daedric realm and bound in some form or another?

    (Emphasis mine)
    Why though? You get to outlive most of your enemies, except the odd daedric prince and that one necromancer knowing that none of the succeeded in defeating or killing you. What better and greater victory than living long and well and dying after a life fulfilled at your own time?
  • Inyhel
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    (Emphasis mine)
    Why though? You get to outlive most of your enemies, except the odd daedric prince and that one necromancer knowing that none of the succeeded in defeating or killing you. What better and greater victory than living long and well and dying after a life fulfilled at your own time?

    Maybe I'm just projecting too much but irl I'm afraid of growing old more than I'm afraid of death itself. The idea of become a weakened, pathetic shadow of my former self is kind of horrifying. If things I take for granted everyday like being able to jog and walk up the stairs become a herculean effort I think dying young would be better.
  • redgreensunset
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    Inyhel wrote: »

    (Emphasis mine)
    Why though? You get to outlive most of your enemies, except the odd daedric prince and that one necromancer knowing that none of the succeeded in defeating or killing you. What better and greater victory than living long and well and dying after a life fulfilled at your own time?

    Maybe I'm just projecting too much but irl I'm afraid of growing old more than I'm afraid of death itself. The idea of become a weakened, pathetic shadow of my former self is kind of horrifying. If things I take for granted everyday like being able to jog and walk up the stairs become a herculean effort I think dying young would be better.

    I could see that because my own view have shifted as I've become older. Yes I've lost some of my ability due to chronic illness and resulting disability but I treasure each day as much now, if not more so. Life is precious and I'm not prepared to surrender it until I absolutely have to, and if I can outlive all, or just some, of the people that have harmed me and have a good life so much the better. I can think of no better way of getting back at them.

    Man I sound like an old coot don't I though I'm only a few months short of 40. My point remains though that growing old and losing (some of) my ability doesn't hold the same terror that it did when I was 20. In fact, it holds no terror at all.
  • Inyhel
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    The Vestige is missing from history because they are an avatar of the the Missing God ("Missing" not because it is not there, but because its presence is not allowed to be detected either by mortals or by gods).

    One of the first things the Prophet tells the Vestige is that they are a wound in time that should not exist and will not long endure. Eventually the wound will heal over.

    When the Vestige's "To Do List" has been fulfilled they will simply cease to exist. As far as history is concerned they will never have existed...

    Are you saying the Vestige is an avatar of Lorkhan? I don't remember this being hinted at in any lorebooks and never heard of this theory before. My interpretation of the Prophet's vague blabbing was that he kept going on about how you are an oddity with no soul.
    If the Vestige just simply disappears that would be a convenient (and boring) way for the storywriters to just ignore or retcon ESO for the sake of the canon timeline. Also as far as I'm aware the Aedra/ Daedra very much remember and are aware of Lorkhan.
  • Aigym_Hlervu
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    This topic was discussed in 2016. Personally, I think the @RaddlemanNumber7's point of view stated here is the most reliable today. Though, I raised that thread again some months ago to leave some new speculation, you might find interesting. This is commentary I left there:
    Sorry for raising this thread from the dead, but I've read all the posts and haven't found another observation I'd like to share here for the sake of history. Let those who seek answers find this one too.

    There is only one way to permanently kill a Soul Shriven or a Vestige like us: first a murderer has to kill us until we run out of soulgems. Second, he has to kill us once more to make that Soul Summons ability work, thus reviving us without any soulgems. Third, he has to destroy all our homes or some sort of an "Anuic beacon" in them that allows us to teleport to them. Fourth, a murderer has to extinguish fires or destroy all the wayshrines both in Tamriel and Oblivion. Maybe it is enough to deal with the wayshrines, because we all know the future of the 3rd Era - all the wayshrines (along with our houses) are either off like in Cyrodiil or destroyed like in Skyrim (well, except those several Falmeri wayshrines anchoring those specific Falmeri ghosts) and in Vvardenfell and there are no Soul Shriven left around neither in the streets, nor in the books or dialogues.

    This makes me think something should have happened with those wayshrines, something really global like that, say, All Flags Navy event, but the same time kept in secret, because it seems the only way to destroy us - after we banish all those Daedra invaders back to Oblivion and destroy their plots, we, the Soul Shriven, are obviously the only real and the main threat to every political party in Tamriel be it the Tribunal, the Thalmor or the "United Kingdoms of Emerica". So some secret "Order of the Fire Extinguishers" could do the job. I presume the lore is still unwritten here, but the only logical way out is to use the wayshrines absent in the previous games and use it as an explanation by writing a story of how the Soul Shriven became "very bad" and were finally banished forever or of how we left for good due to some agreement. Well, that's details, so we'll leave it to the Scribes :). Absent wayshrines - this is the key!
  • VaranisArano
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    Canonically, as far as we know, this whole era was lost to history until Tiber Septim except as a vague idea that it was a sucky time to live, lots of wars and short-lived emperors.

    See, that's what we knew before ESO happened.

    Now? I dunno how the TES series will handle it going forward.

    Personally, I like to imagine that Molag Bal, the Daedric Triad, the Tribunal, the Psijic Order, the Sapiarchs, and everyone else were so embarrassed to be defeated/need help that they collectively agreed to pretend this whole "Vestige" thing never happened.
  • Elsonso
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    Inyhel wrote: »
    I've read a number of books throughout my playtime of Skyrim and none of them mention the Vestige (for obvious reasons). Aside from the real-world timeline issues, what does everyone think could have happened to the Vestige? Given the number of ridiculous super-human heroic feats he/she accomplished to date with all the expansions and DLCs, you'd think the Vestige would have left some sort of historical mark on Tamriel as a legendary hero of sorts.

    The thought that canonically he/ she might have just grown old and died is very anti-climatic and kind of saddening.

    Sadly, that is not the case. The Vestige went on a veteran-level quest in Maelstrom Arena to get a much sought after perfected weapon, and died of old age after several years of searching. The body was never recovered. :smile:

    More lore appropriately, for some reason, this part of the 2nd Era was censored, probably some time shortly after the rise of Tiber Septim. I would suggest that it had something to do with the Three Banners War, but they probably just burned all of the stories.

    Edited by Elsonso on August 3, 2020 1:44AM
    PC NA/EU: @Elsonso
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  • Inyhel
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    This topic was discussed in 2016. Personally, I think the @RaddlemanNumber7's point of view stated here is the most reliable today. Though, I raised that thread again some months ago to leave some new speculation, you might find interesting. This is commentary I left there:

    I'll have a proper read through that after work! As for the whole revival thing, the wayshrine/ teleport system is likely just a game mechanic rather than an in-world means of transportation and revival hub since it's never actually mentioned by NPCs or lorebooks as such. I wouldn't put too much weight on that as proof a character is near un-killable.

    And thanks everyone for the replies so far.

    It seems the general consensus was that the history was either lost or wiped out for some unknown reason, and the Vestige along with it. It reminds me of what happened to the Dwemer. My memory's a bit sketchy at the moment but if I remember correctly the Dwemer had a war with the Chimer and lost (something to do with the Daedra) and disappeared from history.
  • RaddlemanNumber7
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    Inyhel wrote: »
    The Vestige is missing from history because they are an avatar of the the Missing God ("Missing" not because it is not there, but because its presence is not allowed to be detected either by mortals or by gods).

    One of the first things the Prophet tells the Vestige is that they are a wound in time that should not exist and will not long endure. Eventually the wound will heal over.

    When the Vestige's "To Do List" has been fulfilled they will simply cease to exist. As far as history is concerned they will never have existed...

    Are you saying the Vestige is an avatar of Lorkhan? I don't remember this being hinted at in any lorebooks and never heard of this theory before. My interpretation of the Prophet's vague blabbing was that he kept going on about how you are an oddity with no soul.
    If the Vestige just simply disappears that would be a convenient (and boring) way for the storywriters to just ignore or retcon ESO for the sake of the canon timeline. Also as far as I'm aware the Aedra/ Daedra very much remember and are aware of Lorkhan.

    This is, of course, just one possible reading of the Lore:

    The Dawn era is Lorkhan's story. Lorkhan creates the path of mortal existence by walking it himself. At the end of that journey he achieves transcendence and "dies". Lorkhan achieves transcendence by unifying with Nir to become a single entity, the unified Anu-Padomay. Lorkhan "dies" in that his now-redundant body is disassembled and the parts recycled back into the world.

    Lorkhan doesn't exist as a distinct entity after the end of the Dawn Era. At the time of ESO, in the 2E, what was Lorkhan has become part of the Spirit of Nirn, a.k.a. Anu-Padomay, the Missing God, the Void Ghost, <remains silent>, etc, etc.

    It is suggested in Lore that before the Vestige becomes the Vestige they were created by Nirn as a mortal Paragon. "Paragon" is not further defined in Lore, but what can a perfect mortal be other than one who has passed Lorkhan's test. A Paragon is a transcendent mortal. In my headcannon I assume that the Spirit of Nirn creates the future Vistige using the "empty skin" of a mortal Paragon. The Vestige is the empty skin that walks the face of Nirn.

    The Prophet has seen the Elder Scrolls. He knows the absolute truth of things, or at least as much of it as his human mind can contain as it teeters on the edge of sanity. The Prophet's commentary in the Wailing Prison is delivered when the Vestige is pretty much just a vestige, before they absorb the first skyshard. The skyshard radically alters the Vestige. Skyshards are the real stuff that Heroes are made from. The Prophet associates them with Nirn and Lorkhan.

    The Vestige disappearing from history is so convenient for TES story writers I find it hard to believe it is not part of their design.

    Edit: I think I also need to say that Lorkhan’s story is “Missing” as well. It is told only through the hostile witness of adversarial spirits like Ur Daedra and fugitive Aedra, through narrative counterpoint, and through allusion to IRL lore. Vivec is both a counterpoint to Lorkhan and an allusion to IRL lore. Vivec's violence and coercion are in stark contrast to the love and the exercise of freewill that are required by Lorkhan's test.
    Edited by RaddlemanNumber7 on August 3, 2020 11:12AM
    PC EU
  • Aigym_Hlervu
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    Inyhel wrote: »
    I'll have a proper read through that after work! As for the whole revival thing, the wayshrine/ teleport system is likely just a game mechanic rather than an in-world means of transportation and revival hub since it's never actually mentioned by NPCs or lorebooks as such. I wouldn't put too much weight on that as proof a character is near un-killable.

    Why never mentioned? It actually is mentioned in the lore in the Wayshrines of Tamriel by Beredalmo the Signifier - "Corvus theorized that, if one only knew how, the wayshrines could be used as a permanent portal network by which one could travel rapidly across Tamriel. He speculated that such a "fast traveler" would need to somehow attune himself to a wayshrine, which would add its "node" to the traveler's "web of sojourn." However, in order to learn how to do this, the great Direnni wizard believed a mortal's soul would have to be, temporarily or permanently, "unmoored from the Mundus."
    I wouldn't have written that were it a simple game mechanic with no reference in the lore :). Anyway, it is still an in-game theory, of course, so it's up to personal tastes and choices. Perhaps, you will find something more suitable to you, my part here was just to provide another perspective to choose from :). Have a good day and good read there, mate!
  • Inyhel
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    The Dawn era is Lorkhan's story. Lorkhan creates the path of mortal existence by walking it himself...

    It is suggested in Lore that before the Vestige becomes the Vestige they were created by Nirn as a mortal Paragon. "Paragon" is not further defined in Lore, but what can a perfect mortal be other than one who has passed Lorkhan's test. A Paragon is a transcendent mortal...

    I've never paid much attention to Lorkhan's history. All I remember is that the Aedra were pissed at him for tricking them into creating Nirn, and tore him up or something. That's how his heart ended up eventually being used by the false gods/ tribunal. I'll definitely have to read up on that more.
    Why never mentioned? It actually is mentioned in the lore in the Wayshrines of Tamriel by Beredalmo the Signifier - "Corvus theorized that, if one only knew how, the wayshrines could be used as a permanent portal network by which one could travel rapidly across Tamriel. He speculated that such a "fast traveler" would need to somehow attune himself to a wayshrine, which would add its "node" to the traveler's "web of sojourn." However, in order to learn how to do this, the great Direnni wizard believed a mortal's soul would have to be, temporarily or permanently, "unmoored from the Mundus."

    I completely missed this book! But then does that mean after the events of the main story when the Vestige recovers the soul that he/ she can no longer use Wayshrines?

    One of the theories in the older thread mentioned the Vestige's body being made of "azure plasm", the blue stuff of Coldharbour which is confusing because it actually makes sense. You were killed by Mannimarco so your real body was probably rotting in dungeon somewhere, and yet humans and Daedra alike still refer to you as "mortal", implying that even plasm ages like a normal body.

    Also, that other thread was kind of depressing with everyone agreeing on the "growing old and fading away" theory. Definitely not my character!
  • Aigym_Hlervu
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    Inyhel wrote: »
    I completely missed this book! But then does that mean after the events of the main story when the Vestige recovers the soul that he/ she can no longer use Wayshrines?

    I guess, this is the point where a theory within another theory starts :). Beredalmo could have described the theory of Corvus with some distortions, or it was Corvus himself who did not complete his work - we don't know. What we do know is that we can still use those wayshrines. Maybe Meridia tricked us, and we received no soul back at all. Maybe we should pay more attention to those temporarily or permanently, "unmoored from the Mundus" words and speculate on the real changes we encounter before the sacrifice, during our Main Quest and after it. Maybe it is something else. I'm not aware of any new lore sources supporting Corvus' theory, so it's up to speculating only until they are created and someone shares their knowledge of it.
  • Eporem
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    Inyhel wrote: »

    One of the theories in the older thread mentioned the Vestige's body being made of "azure plasm", the blue stuff of Coldharbour which is confusing because it actually makes sense. You were killed by Mannimarco so your real body was probably rotting in dungeon somewhere, and yet humans and Daedra alike still refer to you as "mortal", implying that even plasm ages like a normal body.

    I don't feel Azure Plasm would age like a normal body skin would only because Cadwell does not seem to age at all,

    and from this I wonder of the possibility that what is taken in Coldharbour are our Shadows that this Azure Plasm forms around.

    It is possible that souls are composed of various parts and influenced by variables that are yet to be understood, for example a Shadow of the soul can be separated from it and transformed into an independent entity, leaving original soul in a weakened state. Other anomalies of soul mechanics include the odd nature of Cadwell, who shared his consciousness between his old body and the one formed by his Vestige, resulting in two distinct versions of the same person.

    https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Souls#Vestiges

    Inyhel wrote: »
    I completely missed this book! But then does that mean after the events of the main story when the Vestige recovers the soul that he/ she can no longer use Wayshrines?

    I guess, this is the point where a theory within another theory starts :). Beredalmo could have described the theory of Corvus with some distortions, or it was Corvus himself who did not complete his work - we don't know. What we do know is that we can still use those wayshrines. Maybe Meridia tricked us, and we received no soul back at all. Maybe we should pay more attention to those temporarily or permanently, "unmoored from the Mundus" words and speculate on the real changes we encounter before the sacrifice, during our Main Quest and after it. Maybe it is something else. I'm not aware of any new lore sources supporting Corvus' theory, so it's up to speculating only until they are created and someone shares their knowledge of it.

    I know of ones in Summerset who believe there are ley lines connecting all the wayshires and it is these that they tap into when recalling to other places :).


    Edited by Eporem on August 3, 2020 11:06PM
  • kaisernick
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    Inyhel wrote: »

    The Dawn era is Lorkhan's story. Lorkhan creates the path of mortal existence by walking it himself...

    It is suggested in Lore that before the Vestige becomes the Vestige they were created by Nirn as a mortal Paragon. "Paragon" is not further defined in Lore, but what can a perfect mortal be other than one who has passed Lorkhan's test. A Paragon is a transcendent mortal...

    I've never paid much attention to Lorkhan's history. All I remember is that the Aedra were pissed at him for tricking them into creating Nirn, and tore him up or something. That's how his heart ended up eventually being used by the false gods/ tribunal. I'll definitely have to read up on that more.
    Why never mentioned? It actually is mentioned in the lore in the Wayshrines of Tamriel by Beredalmo the Signifier - "Corvus theorized that, if one only knew how, the wayshrines could be used as a permanent portal network by which one could travel rapidly across Tamriel. He speculated that such a "fast traveler" would need to somehow attune himself to a wayshrine, which would add its "node" to the traveler's "web of sojourn." However, in order to learn how to do this, the great Direnni wizard believed a mortal's soul would have to be, temporarily or permanently, "unmoored from the Mundus."

    I completely missed this book! But then does that mean after the events of the main story when the Vestige recovers the soul that he/ she can no longer use Wayshrines?

    One of the theories in the older thread mentioned the Vestige's body being made of "azure plasm", the blue stuff of Coldharbour which is confusing because it actually makes sense. You were killed by Mannimarco so your real body was probably rotting in dungeon somewhere, and yet humans and Daedra alike still refer to you as "mortal", implying that even plasm ages like a normal body.

    Also, that other thread was kind of depressing with everyone agreeing on the "growing old and fading away" theory. Definitely not my character!

    it technally mentions that when loading into the villege of the lost public dung
    "The blue fluid found everywhere in Coldharbour is called Azure Plasma, and is unformed "chaotic creatia," the stuff from which all Oblivion matter is formed. When a Daedra is "killed," its morphotype, or vestige, gradually forms a new body by accretion of Azure Plasma."
  • Elsonso
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    Canonically, as far as we know, this whole era was lost to history until Tiber Septim except as a vague idea that it was a sucky time to live, lots of wars and short-lived emperors.

    See, that's what we knew before ESO happened.

    Now? I dunno how the TES series will handle it going forward.

    Personally, I like to imagine that Molag Bal, the Daedric Triad, the Tribunal, the Psijic Order, the Sapiarchs, and everyone else were so embarrassed to be defeated/need help that they collectively agreed to pretend this whole "Vestige" thing never happened.

    My expectation is that TES 6 will have lore content that is derived from ESO.
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  • Dark_Lord_Kuro
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    My guess is, as our body isnt a mortal body anymore but one made out of azure plasm, we cant age or die as we basicly(in a really simplified way) are a mortal soul in the body of a daedra
    Edited by Dark_Lord_Kuro on August 7, 2020 11:11PM
  • Sheridan
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    Inyhel wrote: »
    In the game world, could the lack of records about the Vestige be a result of some sort of Daedric influence?
    "I will ensure no tales are told of your valor" (c) Molag Bal

    Edited by Sheridan on August 20, 2020 5:25AM
  • Phanex
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    I always rolled my toons (from TES III-->ESO) in a way that each one is the same "sole" being reborn into a new body in the time of need.

    I found it awesome that in ESO our original soul was ripped from our bodies and we had to fight to get it back.

    This left our soul "marked" thus allowing us to reincarnate into a new body when we're needed; to awake only to find ourselves facing mirror images that were not our own, and driven by an unknown force to change history, and for Tarmerial for the better. And so we finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap... wait...where was I?
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