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Tapestries of the Failed Incarnates - the Fool and The Warseeker

Eporem
Eporem
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Would any know who these ones might represent...

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  • TheImperfect
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    'The fool hears only his own poor advice' is on the first tapestry. 'To seed only war is to find only death' is on the second one. I have poor memory of this so went to the guides here:

    https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Failed_Incarnate

    Purely based off what it says there I think the fool might be Idrenie Nerothan and the warseeker might be Chodala but I could definitely be wrong because I'm no expert.

    Edit: Looking at what it says for Aduri - they could definitely be the warseeker https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Incarnate_Aduri

    Edit2: It looks like Danaat is the fool from this https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Incarnate_Danaat (unless it's me)
    Edited by TheImperfect on August 10, 2020 4:52PM
  • Aigym_Hlervu
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    The second tapestry of the Warseeker contains the message: "To seek only war is to find only death". Agree with @mrsrobot regarding the first one.

    I think the tapestries represent the features of a Failed Incarnate in general with no reference to any of them particularly. Chodala alone could be both the Fool and the Warseeker - something he shows during the quest in ESO. Though, yes, the source of his fall was the feature of the Fool he said in 3E 427 - "I was an ashkhan. I led my people against the Akaviri while the Cyrodiil dogs fled before them like kagouti. I quested deep into the strongholds and Red Mountain, cleansing the unclean things in their own blood. I did not heed the counsel of the women, and, to my shame, I craved glory, but never saw my real enemies. My axe and boots are yours, with my blessing.".
    So the tapestry of the Fool could represent both Chodala and Danaat who said - "The Nerevarine must listen as well as proclaim. I refused to accept wise counsel, which led to the doom of my tribe and the end of my quest to embody the spirit of Nerevar. Take my scroll and remind the Wise Woman that wisdom ignored is ignorance.".

    Likewise the tapestry of the Warseeker can represent both Aduri ("To fulfill the prophecy, I followed a path of blood and war. In the end, my path became a road that led to nowhere and I was cast down from my lofty spot. Take my scroll and help the Wise Woman understand the futility of a senseless war.") and Chodala as well as Erur-Dan, an early Third Era Incarnate, who said it directly that he died fighting - "I saw Morrowind fall to the Empire. I lived through the humiliation of the surrender, swore hatred and vengeance against Imperial and Tribunal alike for their betrayals. In later years, I despaired, and turned to Red Mountain, where I grew old and died fighting the blight and Red Mountain monsters. Take my weapons and armor. I have no further use for them.".

    P.S. When I was performing the main quest of the Morrowind DLC, one of the tasks was to depose Chodala's claims to be the Nerevarine, so I thought: "What could be easier? He obviously does not fit the requirements of any of the 4 known prophecies (The Seven Visions, The Seven Curses, Nerevar Moon-and-Star and The Lost Prophecy) I had to fit in TES III." But not even a single NPC mentioned them, the quest line forced me to speak to the fallen Incarnates and invent some other very odd way to depose Chodala's claims to be recognized as the Nerevarine through comparing his features to the ones of the Failed Incarnates. So I wondered why can't I simply take the texts of the prophecies and rub their noses into them, why do I have to go that complicated way?

    The quest really embarrassed by it's stupidity till it's very end.. Only later, after thinking over it, I understood: the only answer to this question is that the four known Nerevarine Prophecies that will make us the Nerevarines in 741 years ahead are not written yet - the incident with Conoon Chodala's claim to be the Nerevarine in Morrowind DLC wouldn't have happened at all in case they existed these days. Indeed, all they know today about the Nerevarine is said by Chodala's sister - "The Nerevarine is a promise and a prophecy. We believe that, through the power of Azura, Nerevar will return to unite all Dunmer—House and Ashlander alike—and make Morrowind great again. The returned Nerevar will be known as the Nerevarine" .. "Azura proclaimed that someday Indoril Nerevar, a hero from our ancient past, would return to unite the Dark Elves and right the wrongs of Nirn. We call the returned incarnate the Nerevarine". See it? No references to Dagoth Ur who's, indeed, still thought to be dead (he will awake only in 300 years, 2E 882), no reference to the Ring, to the title of the Hortator, Chodala knows nothing about the fact that the Nerevarine has to be an outlander, etc. - nothing. Those features are not yet invented in 2E 582. The incident with Chodala could have become a good reason for Azura to create them, because without them the Ashlander Wise Woman had to tell us what she actually told in order to depose Chodala through the means of comparison to the Failed Incarnates. So, that leaves only two options - she is either dumb or simply unaware of what we had to pass through in TES III, what an Incarnate had to pass through, to become the True One. I believe in the second option - she is unaware because the prophecies do not exist in 2E 582.

    So, all they have to do without those 4 prophecies is just to follow the image of Nerevar - to heed the counsel, to abstain from waging of sensless wars, to be powerful, but decent, etc. - I think the tapestries serve this goal only, and they do not depict an image of any of the particular Incarnates.
    Edited by Aigym_Hlervu on August 10, 2020 9:05PM
  • TheImperfect
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    @Cygemai_Hlervu yes I am in agreement with you and it's a nice well thought out post although it is possible they represent specific failed incarnates I think what you suggested is more likely. The translation was a typo, your version is correct.
  • Eporem
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    thanks so much @mrsrobot and @Cygemai_Hlervu
    Edited by Eporem on August 11, 2020 11:14AM
  • VaranisArano
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    That's an interesting idea about the chronology of the prophecies! Its possible that the Nerevarine prophesies hadn't been written yet, but I don't think its the only explanation.

    Reasoning for prophecies already existing: The Urshilaku do seem to have a habit of sending out Incarnates who don't quite match the prophecies the way the actual Nerevarine does. The actual Nerevarine fulfills them clearly, in ways the Urshilaku didn't entirely foresee.

    Part of that is vagueness. The Urshilaku Wise Women seem to have been very accepting of claims to the 2nd Trial, such as allowing Peakstar's blight disease. That the Nerevarine survives corprus is clear in hindsight.

    Unless I missed it, we don't hear anything about Chodala and Seryn's parentage, making the 1st trial hard for us to judge. It would seem to be an easy case if his parents were known or he wasn't born on the certain day.

    Finally, the smoking gun is the Lost Prophecy where it announces that the Nerevarine will be Outlander Incarnate. Its heavily implied this was lost for a reason - no one really wanted to admit the Nerevarine was going to be an Outlander (a bias we see in the Ashlander legends recorded in Nerevar Moon-and-Star). So if the prophecy was already lost, we see Chodala following the steps of the Nerevarine he expects from his legends.


    So I see a couple possibilities:
    1. You are right and Azura sat down after the whole Chodala Incident and said, "Alright, I'd better write some prophesies to make it clear that my Nerevarine isn't going to be some jumped up Ashlander warlord."
    2. The Prophecies already exist and Chodala does pass the first Trial. We've seen the Urshilaku accept weak claims to the Second Trial before - and its possible he cheesed the Second Trial with Sunna'rah making him invulnerable - so he's pushing on to the Third Trial when we spoil his plan.
    3. Here's where I examine why we have to talk to the Incarnates, though it applies if #2 is true as well: let's say Chodala failed the First Trial. Why doesn't the Wisewoman just tell him "Nope!"? Well, he's the Ashkhan, has a significant private army who aren't part of any tribe and thus don't respect her authority or that of any Wisewoman as we see with Seryn, has a daedric artifact making him invulnerable, and makes it crystal clear that he expects to be named Nerevarine or there will be war. What's a pious Wisewoman to do to avert a bloodbath?

    Well, she can't just explain the prophecies to Seryn, who'd run off proclaiming that Chodala isn't the Nerevarine and cause all sorts of issues. (Seryn is a Wisewoman, but not the senior wise woman of the Urshilaku.)
    And she can't just get up and recite the prophecies. Chodala and his people won't listen. Besides, interpreting the prophecies is the job of the Wise Women, not for debating among the people (as we see in TES 3 when the Urshilaku direct us to Nibani for interpretation). So how can she sway the court of public opinion without getting into the nitty gritty details? The plan she goes with is simple: get some failed Incarnates to make Chodala look bad. And it works, baiting Chodala into overreaction and thus sinking his own chance to pass the Fifth Trial and unite the Tribes.

    Essentially, the reason we have to use the Failed Incarnates to reveal Chodala's weakness is that Dovrosi must remain outwardly impartial to prevent a bloodbath, while also engineering Chodala's failure as Nerevarine. And I think that's the most interesting part of Dovrosi's plan: she realizes that Chodala might pass the Third Trial by trickery (Sunna'rah) so she sets up a situation that completely destroys his chance to pass the Fifth Trial and unite the tribes. Its a gambit, and it works.

    And the Devs never stop to explicitly spell all that out, which is a very TES 3 approach to things. Its there in the background if you want it, its ignorable if you don't, and in the meantime the player gets to do quests that don't quite retread exactly the same ground as TES 3 figuring out prophecies.
  • Aigym_Hlervu
    Aigym_Hlervu
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    Thank you, @VaranisArano :)! Well, of course, it is just my explanation and I'm not claiming it to be the only truth. The inexistence of the Prophecies in 2E 582 was just an idea that finally came up to my mind after completing the quest and after thinking over various other possibilities. For now I find it the only logical explanation to me, though our ways of thinking on this topic were much similar :). The reason I prefer to believe in the inexistence of the Prophecies in 2E 582 rather than the other explanations were several questions I asked myself and could not find answers. I had too many doubts before finally I found an explanation based on chronology - what if the prophecies were not yet created?

    Here are some of those doubts I was thinking over:
    First, yes, I doubted Chodala passed the very first trial too. Indeed, there is no reference to his and Seryn's parents, but I recalled he was an Ashlander. A shut-in society, a tribe, to be more specific, i.e. a union of families based on kinship and disregarding all those who do not belong to that circle. Quite the opposite custom to the Houses' traditions. The highest rank an outlander (the one who does not belong to a tribe by birth) can achieve is a clanfriend, even the True Incarnate could rise up to a Hearthfriend only (as you remember it, it's the second lowest rank after the Clanfriend among 10 of them in TES III). Chodala was an Ashkhan, he also implied to the importance of kinship himself - "Because you are Ashlanders, and our blood calls one to another.". That all made me think his parents were quite certain to the Ashlanders.

    Second, I doubted his ability to pass the second trial either - Sunna'rah is indeed a powerful artifact that made him "practically invincible, and swifter than the fastest Ashlander scout" as Seryn said it, but Sunna'rah was depicted as a tool of war only, and Chodala used it only to demonstrate his physical invincibility and never shared his thoughts of it's other properties, and thus I decided that it had nothing common with the second trial: "Neither blight nor age can harm him. The Curse-of-Flesh before him flies".

    Third, I figured only the fifth trial among the seven Chodala tried to fulfill all along but finally failed - "A stranger's hand unites the Velothi. Four Tribes call him Nerevarine". He didn't even plan to fulfill any of the other seven trials and was directly opposing the requirements of the fourth trial of uniting the Houses and becoming their Hortator, all he wanted was: "While the House Elves squabble and fight to carve up our land, the Nerevarine will step forth to end their tyranny once and for all!", "The faithless Houses dare to threaten our land. But we shall meet them in battle and I will lead us to victory!". Not even a word of uniting them in order to face some common threat the way we did in TES III.
    Moreover, it is said "a stranger's hand[/b]" there. I have to apologize here - writing that post above I forgot of the 5th and most common prophecy called the "Stranger". I'll speak of it a bit later, but what I want to say here is that Chodala was definitely not a stranger mentioned both there and in the Seven Visions.

    Fourth, I remembered the initial Chodala's trial we performed in ESO. Chodala gave three arguments of why he claimed himself to be the Nerevarine:
    1. "My strength alone proves I am the Nerevarine!";
    2. "The faithless Houses dare to threaten our land. But we shall meet them in battle and I will lead us to victory!";
    3. "I need no counsel but my own, as befits my status as the Nerevarine!".
    All the three arguments have no reference to any of the seven trials.

    Dovrosi appeals to the False Incarnates during the final trial - I think any refusal would lead to bloodshed she feared (and it actually did as we saw it ourselves, but were around to prevent it), so I asked myself "What difference the reason of it would have caused?". I suppose, no difference. So she said - "We thought the Incarnates were possessed by the spirit of Nerevar, but each had a critical flaw that made them destined to fail to fulfill the prophecy". Indeed, their actual death proved it ;)..
    And as we see it from her dialogue, it was Azura who instructed Dovrosi and us to act that way instead of speaking of the seven trials during the final judgement of Chodala - "Use what the Incarnates shared with you. Their failures point the way toward Chodala's downfall". Once again, not even a word from the 5 prophecies. So, I think it is no matter what way could be used to depose Chodala - be it an appeal to the faults of the previous False Incarnates or the Seven Visions, - each of them would lead to bloodbath she feared. Nonetheless, she used the method ordered by Azura herself before letting us speak to her in the Cavern, so I think it is the only reason Dovrosi chose this option.

    Regarding the Lost Prophecy - well, according to the report of Caius' Blades agent actually three of the four prophecies I mentioned are considered to be lost including that called "The Lost" one (this is the thing apologized, because, I've forgotten about the 5th prophecy called the "Stranger" in my post above there) - "Three Nerevarine prophecies in particular are said to have been lost: 1. The Lost Prophecies; 2. The Seven Curses; and 3. Seven Visions of Seven Trials of the Incarnate. Perhaps these lost prophecies will someday be found, either in forgotten accounts written by literate travelers, or in the memories of isolated Ashlanders, or in the secret traditions of the wise women and shamans". So, I don't think thd name of the "Lost ProphdcAsy" implies to something specific here - in spite of their names, three of them were considered to be lost. But as it turned out, none of them actually were.

    Regarding Peakstar's miracle of the second trial, I don't think it was a Wise Woman's fault to recognize it figuratevely, while doing the same, but literally, towards us. From the Skin Blights By Any Other Name written by Ravosa Ildram, House Healer, we know that - "The Council of Dunmer Healers, where healing masters from each House gather to exchange information and work together to deal with plagues and diseases at the behest of the Tribunal, have dubbed all skin-related illnesses as "corprus," using the ancient Velothi word for "skin blight". Peakstar claims to have survived it using one word, while the spells she used to do it ("Strong Resist Corprus Disease", "Variable Resist Corprus Disease") use another. So, I doubt there is any vagueness the Urshilaku Wise Women show accepting the second trial performed both by Peakstar and the True Incarnate - they were judged equally, I think.

    Peakstar was the first among the False Incarnates to speak of the 5 prophecies and the closest "old style" False ones lived in times of the Armistice, I suppose that Azura preached them sometime between 2E ~898 - 377 - the years between the Armistice and the possible birth of Peakstar in order she could reach at least 20 years by the year of 397 when she was reported to be active.

    So, in other words, all the characters in ESO and all the False Incarnates in TES III except Peakstar, avoid speaking, mentioning and referencing to the 5 prophecies. Chodala spoke of, planned and tried to perform only the fifth trial that leads me to thinking he was following his warmongering desire rather than the prophecies we fulfilled in TES III. It would be a very strange choice if the 5 Prophecies existed by that time. So these are some of the things that made me doubt much of the existence of the prophecies in 2E 582. Thank you for reading, Varanis! Perhaps, sometimes we'll catch some other thoughts and they will give us some extra explanations to choose from.
    Edited by Aigym_Hlervu on August 12, 2020 12:07AM
  • VaranisArano
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    You've certainly given me much to think about! Much like the 1st Trial, The Stranger makes it clear that the Nerevarine will have an uncertain sire, and I tend to agree that Chodala's parentage was probably known.

    There's some interesting speculation to be made if Azura did indeed write the prophecies later: did she always intend for the Nerevarine to be a Stranger and decide to spell that out? Or did she change that later, perhaps feeling like the Ashlanders had lost that chance following Chodala's blasphemous bargain with Clavicus Vile?


    For a non-lore perspective, I suspect the Devs didn't want to rehash the same ground as TES3 by having us focus on the content of the prophecies. But that's my suspicion, and its not quite as fun as speculating from the lore.
    Edited by VaranisArano on August 12, 2020 11:29AM
  • Aigym_Hlervu
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    The questions for speculation you asked are indeed very interesting, @VaranisArano! Here is what I think on this topic. The first thing I asked myself was "Why did Azura invent those TES III prophecies at all? Why did she ordered Nerevar to fight the Dwemer, what threat personally to her did they pose? Why did she bother about that Tribunal's broken oath?" and many other. I answered them to myself and they suit me quite well. At least for today.

    Those answers touch your question too, so I'll try to make it as brief as I can. Sorry, for another wall of text. Ok, first we have to understand why did Azura ever bother to take care of the Chimer since the very beginning of their history in the Late-Middle Merethic Era when Veloth left Summerset. Yes, I think it is a crucial question because the answer to it makes many later things a more clear, including your questions. The Dunmeri tradition gives no answer to it, as well as any of the Imperial or Altmeri sources. The Canonic Tribunal Temple preaches that "Azura was the ancestor who taught the Chimer how to be different from the Altmer. Her teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is often encountered more as a communal progenitor of the race as a whole rather than as an individual ancestor". But unlike, say, the Orcish Cult of Malacath, it is never explained why did Azura ever decide to interfere into the Aldmeri business, to teach some of them to be different from the other, to accompany them to Vvardenfell and support them in their lives. Neither Hierographa nor Apographa give us the reasons of her support.

    I found the answer in the books of the pre-Riddle'Thar priests, the priests of a Khajiiti religion existed before their prophet Rid-Thar-ri'Datta brought his new faith (well, not that completely new in fact) to the Khajiiti people in 2E 311 through the the Riddle'Thar Epiphany. You might be interested to read about it further in the Riddle'Thar section of my Guide to Religions of Tamriel with all the links included there, I published a month ago. I also made a brief comparison of the Riddle'Thar and the pre-Riddle'Thar beliefs there (with all the sources included, of course) and I'll just copy it from my own commentary there, because I think it is important in our speculation here:

    "3. In Riddle'Thar Lorkhaj is the last son of Fadomai, the first dro-m'Athra whose heart was filled with the Great Darkness, who tricked his siblings and was severely punished for that by those spirits who survived his trickery - in the pre-ri'Datta religion Lorkhaj and the Dark Heart of Lorkhaj are viewed separately with Lorkhaj viewed as a true hero, the Fadomai's Favored Son, the beloved noble leader whose courage inspired all those he encountered so much that he united the spirits to make the World and gave his very life to do this and was highly praised for his sacrifice while his Heart, the Darkness itself, he received it because Ahnurr made his mother Fadomai flee into it to give him life. All his life Lorkhaj resisted that darkness until Azura took his dark heart away from him before he died in light, but his heart became the Moon Beast, the first dro-m'Athra".

    Here is one of the links on that crucial thing in order to understand my idea here, The Favored Daughter of Fadomai by Amun-dro, the Silent Priest, - "And Azurah tried to return to Fadomai-Mother, but her tears had formed a great sea. Beyond it was a black gate that opened into a hungering dark. Lorkhaj stood in the doorway. He was broken and bleeding, and there was a hole in his chest. But the Great Darkness was still in his blood, and it filled the hole where his heart had been. The dark mass beat like a heart, and black blood spilled out onto the threshold. Azurah heard each beat of the heart like the beating of a drum, and each drop of blood tapped to form a rhythm she felt in her tail. And Azurah tore out the dark heart of Lorkhaj, and all of the darkness in him came with it, and she cast it beyond the sea."

    So, unlike that myth of a laughing Heart tied to an arrow shot by Auriel, the ancient Khajiiti religion states that it was Azura who tore out the Heart of Lorkhan and placed it inside Red Mountain. It explains the words Azura told us personally in ESO - "By Dawn and Dusk, evil creeps through the shadows of my beloved Vvardenfell" and "Vvardenfell must stand. Everything I do in this regard serves that single goal. Best that you remember that, Mortal".

    Thanks to the Khajiiti sources, this is the only reason stated directly of why it has been Vvardenfell, a land mass itself, all along. According to them she buried the Dark Heart of her brother there. It was all ok until someone tried to obtain it's powers. The Dwemer were the first to excavate it - this was the first time since the Exodus she interfered - "Nerevar was further troubled, and made pilgrimage to Holamayan, the sacred temple of Azura, and Azura confirmed that all that Dagoth Ur said was indeed true and that the creation of a New God of the Dwemer should be prevented at all costs". The second time she interfered when the Dwemer threat was eleminated - "And though Nerevar voiced his grave misgivings, he was willing to be ruled by our counsel, under one condition: that we all together should swear a solemn oath upon Azura that the tools would never be used in the profane manner that the Dwemer had intended". But the oath was broken, Nerevar died and she made her first prophecy of the Incarnate who would right all the wrongs of the Tribunal we witness in the ESO. Everything was ok, but something happened, something really terrible, a new threat, that made her develop those new prophecies we had to fulfill in TES III.

    If we combine both the historical facts and the contents of the new prophecies she wrote, we'll see that it were not Chodala, the Ashlanders and not even her warm feelings towards Vvardenfell and the Dunmer that made her write it in order to save her chosen people or something: a new horrific and unexpected threat to the Heart arose - Dagoth Ur. Ur has never been prophecised to resurrect, everyone in 2E 582 including Vivec acted as if they were sure Dagoth Ur was dead and became history. I wrote much about it in the Guide. Anyway, what we see is that Ur resurrects in 2E 882, then the Empire comes to Morrowind about 2E 898- 3E 0 and after it Azura writes those new prophecies telling that the Nerevarine must destroy all these new threats, not just "return to unite all Dunmer—House and Ashlander alike—and make Morrowind great again" as it is believed today, in 2E 582 (see the link to Seryn's dialogue in the previous post).

    Azura always interfered only when someone or something threatened the Heart, be it the Dwemer, the Tribunal or Voryn Dagoth. While Nerevar was alive he did everything she told him (just like Dovrosi does today) in order to protect the Heart only. When Nerevar died, she was left with no champion to fulfill her will and she prophecised for the first time in order to cast down the Tribunes. This is the side speculation here, but I think I have to mention it, that the only price for not interfering into the affairs of mortals Sotha Sil could offer Azura during the Coldharbour Compact, was possibly an obligation to return the Heart to her or somehow do something else with it. In 3E 427 the price was paid - the Heart disappeared from Nirn, so no mortal can obtain it up to these days. I think if anyone wants to find it, the first place that should be checked should be Moonshadow, the realm of Azura.

    So, speculating on Azura's original intention for the Nerevarine to be a Stranger and her decision to spell that out, speculating on her feelings like the Ashlanders had lost that chance following Chodala's blasphemous bargain with Clavicus Vile, I think that neither Chodala and his bargain with Vile, nor the Ashlanders and not even the Dunmeri nation itself have ever been an end in itself to her. She knows something of the Heart of Lorkhan and it is the only thing that seems to bother her.

    The event log chronology shows us that she took the Heart and put it deep into the crater of Red Mountain seemingly to hid it from everyone so nobody could obtain the dark power of Lorkhan. Then the Dwemer came to the place. We know they denied her as well as everything and everyone of her kind and accepted only Reason and Logic. So she appealed to Veloth and his followers leading them exactly to Vvardenfell, the now lands of the Dwemer. The threat to the Heart seemed to be much lowered since the Dwemer were occupied with their new neighbours. Then the Nords came and it took the efforts of both the merethic nations to fight them off. Then the Dwemer found the Heart and it made her do everything in order to destroy them, make them vanish - whatever it was necessary to protect the Heart. Then Voryn Dagoth decided to use the Heart's powers too and it doomed him - Nerevar, the champion of Azura, destroyed him. Then the Tribunes desired to do the same mistake, but Nerevar had been dead to fulfill her will, so she created the first prophecies waiting for a Hero to come and cast down the Tribunal. Then Dagoth Ur resurrected and the Empire came to Morrowind, so she changed the prophecies to make it fit the new unexpected circumstances. And finally, she got what she wanted - the Heart is coffined somewhere so no mortal can reach it.

    This is what I believe happened actually, and this is why, I think, she created two editions of her prophecies that way. At least this is what I saw through the chronology of the events, books, dialogues and certain actions of the in-game characters. Perhaps, I'll look at this all from some other perspective in some time, but for now this explanation suits me well. So, this is only my own speculation. What could be yours, Varanis? It would be very interesting to read it!
  • VaranisArano
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    I like that theory! Seems pretty solid and gives a lot of the background for Azura's connection to the Heart. It's certainly epic in scope! My personal idea for why Azura protects Vivec in ESO's Morrowind is rather more petty: pride in her own prophecy, namely, "Nobody gets to bring down the Tribunal except for MY Nerevarine, so quit your messing around in my business, Clavicus Vile!" :smiley: But I do like the epicness of Azura's grand plan to protect/gain the Heart.


    I only have the tiniest nitpick, which is that I think the ESO writers do reference Vivec's knowledge that Dagoth Ur can return at the start of the questline when we question Farena Andrano. He asks about the safety of the heart, and then:

    Lord Vivec asks, "Has the enemy of old returned, so devious and bold?"
    "An enemy of old, yes, but not the one Vivec presumes."
    https://en.m.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Farena_Andrano

    While not directly named in the game, in context, that's very likely to refer to Dagoth Ur (not that Vivec doesn't have other enemies, but that's the most obvious one to ask about when worrying about the heart or loss of his powers from the heart). Out of game, it makes sense in context because it serves as a signal to the TES3 player that it isn't Dagoth Ur. Moreover, Vivec is right to fear Dagoth Ur, since his reawakening and the attack on the Tribunal happens in 2E 882, and the Sixth House cult is already actively moving into Kogoruhn (Forgotten Wastes public dungeon), creating Ash statues like we see in TES3, and teaching that the Sixth House only slumbers: https://en.m.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Wakener's_Sermon (In the event that Vivec didn't know before we do the Forgotten Wastes quest, he almost certainly does once the Ordinator we help returns to the Temple with info.)

    I'm certainly open to other explanations of the enemy Vivec refers to, though!
  • Aigym_Hlervu
    Aigym_Hlervu
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    Yes, I touched the topic both of the three questions of Vivec and the Sixth House of 2E 582 in the commentaries (speculations) sections in my guide too (here on the question asked in Farena's tomb and here on the Sixth House) :). So, if you don't mind, I'll just quote myself here.

    On the reference to Vivec's knowledge that Dagoth Ur can return at the start of the questline when we question Farena Andrano.
    "2. The second remark that should be made here regards the main religious enemy of the Temple who threatened it the entire period of the Tribunal history. You might think it was Dagoth Ur, the main antagonist of TES III, but don't be too certain on that thought - he became that very evil to the whole world, but at least not before the year of 2E 882 (300 years ahead of the ESO's period). The first main quest of the ESO: Morrowind called the "Divine Conundrum" shows us the three fears of Vivec: he fears for the safety of the Heart of Lorkhan, the source of his power; he fears that his divinity simply shrivels and fades; and finally, he fears the return of some old enemy. That was someone whom the Tribunal "waited, blind, and in darkness, mere shadows, drained of our ardent vision, in shame of our folly, in fear of our judgement, and in hope of our deliverance". Since the Sharmat did not survive the battle with Nerevar physically, I'm disposed to believe in the words of the Apographa stating that since the Battle of Red Mountain Dagoth Ur was thought to be dead. The Tribunes possessed the Kagrenac's Tools, the Heart and the Numidium. The Sharmat has never been prophesized to return neither by Azura and any of the 4 known Nerevarine prophecies, nor by any of the books. Nobody expected Dagoth Ur to reawake until his initial ambush the Tribunes unexpectedly faced in 2E 882 during their annual pilgrimage to Red Mountain. So today, in 2E 582, Vivec has no reason to presume Dagoth Ur to be that "old enemy" as the UESP states it without any reference to the source grounding such a declaration. Because there's no such reference.

    So what could be the answer? Since Vivec is not that good at knowing of Future as it might seem in his 36 Lessons, the only serious "old enemy" he can fear in 2E 582 can be Lord Indoril Nerevar reborn only, the Nerevarines, us, who threatened the faith of Vivec's followers and thus his power from the very beginning when Azura prophesized our coming (unlike Dagoth Ur's one) and the fall of the Tribunal by our hand. This was his own confession, this is why the Nerevarine Cult in TES III is the most hated faction by the Tribunal Temple with the suprisingly almost off-scale -8 points of attitude while the Sixth House Cult is only second to it along with the vampires both with only -3 points. "Now circumstances are altered. I need you, and you need me" as Vivec said it explaining the change in that persecution policy he changed only standing on the brink of abyss. This is why the Tribunal religion publicly described Dagoth Ur as one of the enemies of a distant past only; named the Nords, the Dwemer, the rivaling Daedra and even the Akaviri Kamal folk as demons, etc. For too long the Tribunal was simply unaware of the true threat they had to face, but when they finally faced it, it was too late to change anything in their public religious scriptures after more than a 3 thousand years of reign, so that even the most of the High Priesthood of their own Temple was unaware of what was actually going on and those who knew it misunderstood it's scales."


    So, I believe that the "old enemy" Vivec fears today is the Nerevarine (or Azura, since the Nerevarine is her champion, - the difference is not crucial). Not specifically us, but he fears anyone who claims to be the Incarnate. There are no sources saying anything about Dagoth Ur's resurrection in 2E 582. Based on what I see in the sources, his return in 2E 882 was unexpected by everybody - Azura, the Tribunal, the Temple, the Ashlanders and all the mortals. It is also possible that Vivec's question meant the Nerevarine while Farena being a resident of the otherworld, could mean Dagoth Ur indeed :). We can't know for sure. Regarding the return of the Ordinator - we don't know what happens when he returns and, specifically, if he returns. Anyway, it all will happen after the events of the current prophecies' edition and that mess with Chodala and after we visit Farena (based on the quest giving NPC appearance order), or in case the devs would return to that character, they left standing in the Forgotten Wastes by the end of the quest, in some future DLC. Dratha is the only person who undoubtly receives a very clear vision of the Sharmat and the threat he will pose. It's the only reference to Dagoth Ur in the ESO I found. Even the Sixth House cultists keep silence on him. And instead of sending us to notify the Temple Dratha.. strikes a deal with Xykenaz to prepare for that day herself only. I doubt she will ever tell of her visions to anyone. And I doubt the Tribunes would have been ambushed that easily, lost 2 of the 3 Tools of Kagrenac, lost access to the Heart and done nothing to prepare for the return of Dagoth Ur had they at least a quick thought of such a possibility. Everything, including the Temple books, the Tribune's actions and words tell me they do not expect it in 2E 582.

    On the Sixth House in 2E 582.
    "1. Well, here is an example of what the difference a single cult bears from a religion, an example of how cults are formed before they progress into religions. The Sixth House Cult is exactly a cult, a sect, not a religion. It had all the reasons to become the one, but it's history is written, so, we'll use it just as an example of a failed to materialize religion. I have to remind it here, that this period of history (2E 582) is the very beginning of the Sixth House Cult, it is either the time of it's foundation (it's story is depicted in the Forgotten Wastes public dungeon) or the time of the very first encounters of the Morrowind authorities with this cult. In 2E 582 it's even a group of diggers than a cult. Nevertheless, no remnants of the Unmourned House are found yet except an Ancient Dagoth Brandy Snifter, an Ancient House Dagoth Goblet and a Banner of House Dagoth. The Tribunal Temple receives the very first ash statue for study as a result of excavations from a remote dig site (in ESO this statue is mentioned only, but there are plenty of them in the Forgotten Wastes depths and by the 3E 427 there will be 349 ash statues in Vvardenfell), yet absolutely unaware of what it is and what threat it poses. Nevena Nirith is among the first House Dagoth descendants to "wake from a dream". Mistress Dratha is the only person who received the vision of the events that will happen in 741 years ahead, however, it happened after our visit to the Andrano tomb and she seems to prefer to keep her visions a secret. In other words, 2E 582 is the date the Sixth House Cult made it's first steps out of the abyss it was sent to thousands of years ago. Though the cult is not defeated during our crusade in the Forgotten Wastes, the only reason it survived is it's high secrecy - you won't see any slightest cue of the cult's goal, no reference to what they are digging for, nobody even mentions Dagoth Ur - Dagoth Ur is still considered dead even by the Tribunal itself. The primary goals of the Cult at this moments of time are to retrieve the Ash statues and to wake the House's true descendants."
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    Yeah, the second most likely option I considered was that Vivec meant Azura.
    Other options included Molag Bal, who depending on the messed up ESO chronology is actively attempting the Planemeld, or Sheogorath, who might have decided to hurry Baar Dau along. I"m not convinced its either of them, but they are on list.
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