412. The Chamber of Humiliation

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In the malefic Halls of Torment in Coldharbour we are greeted with the sight of a doppelganger of Abnur Tharn interrogating the captured Redguard. Growing up in Cyrodiil, doppelgangers were but phantoms told of in fireside ghost stories.

Like the story of the commander at Chalman Keep who was woken one night by a night-watch captain who told him of an apparition that had been seen walking the ramparts looking just like the commander in both appearance and manner. When the commander got up and went out to investigate the claim however the apparition was nowhere to be seen.

The next night and the same thing happened again, but yet once more he arose too late to catch sight of the phantom. So resolute was the captain in his claims that the apparition was the commanders mirror double that on the third night the commander resolved to keep watch with his soldiers on the walls of the keep.

Lo and behold that very night just as the captain had said, the apparition walked the ramparts again and indeed, the commander was aghast to see that the figure was his exact reflection in look, dress and walk.

Fearing the phantom to be some harbinger of misery or catastrophe to come, the panicked commander ordered his soldiers to shoot at it with their bows. To the shock of the archers their arrows struck and brought down the ghostly figure, but when they turned back to their commander for guidance, he had disappeared. The next day the entire nights-watch were hung for the murder of the commander of Chalman Keep.

Another popular story I recall was that of the first era Emperor Kastav. One Frost Fall eve a maid was said to have entered his chambers to find the Emperor sat at the end of his bed, seemingly oblivious to a figure standing over him. The figure was his exact replica only dressed in rags looking down on him with a mournful expression. Then the ragged figure sat down on the bed next to the Emperor and buried its face in its hands, as if in deep despair.

Within a week the Emperor was deposed by Reman Cyrodiil II and was to spend his remaining days incarcerated in the Blackrose Prison in Murkmire, eventually dying in rags some six years later.

Yet for Tharn however his ego is such that on the face of it he seems to have taken this experience of meeting, and fighting, his own doppelganger as a compliment.

I was warned never to turn my back on Tharn, but I now wonder, after watching me strike down his reflection, will he ever again be able to turn his back on me?

S.K

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