188. Hidden motives

188 (a). Hidden motives188 (b). Hidden motives188 (c). Hidden motives188 (d). Hidden motives188 (e). Hidden motives188 (f). Hidden motives188 (g). Hidden motives

I receive word from Shalidor that Valaste of the Mages guild has managed to translate Sheogorath’s book, and they have need of my blade and shield once more.

The Arch-mage opens a portal for us to what is reputedly the most aberrant realm of Oblivion, the Shivering Isles.  We are met by the serf Haskill, who has been awaiting us with instructions to retrieve two relics from the past.  In doing so we must face two legendary figures, the dragon priest Korthor, and Prince Maleel, the Scythe of Yokuda.

Clearly we have been led to this Mad Lord’s realm to play for his entertainment, but there is something more beyond, some hidden motivation for sending us upon tasks which the Prince of Madness could achieve far quicker himself.

The temple priests would have us believe that the motives of the Gods are beyond mortal comprehension, and hide their ignorance behind meaningless expressions like ‘the Gods move in mysterious ways’.  To simply accept without question makes us little more than a drift of sheep spending our entire lives being driven from wolf maw, to durzog maw.  There is always some unspoken motive to be revealed, and no matter whether they be mortal, immortal, or divine, it is a motive as primitive and animalistic in its nature as pride, greed, lust, envy or wrath.

As a young man back in Cyrodill, such naive motives led me into a fist-fight with an Orc in a fair-ground fighting pit.  It was there I learned that some games are not about winning, but simply about surviving.  About taking everything your opponent has to throw at you and still be standing at the end.  It is what we mortals do, we endure, no matter the odds we keep on playing the game, because some games are not about the winning, it’s about not losing.

I will not lose this game to the Mad God, and come the end, whatever end, I shall still be standing.

S.K

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