433. The Wyrd camp

Of the Wyrd sisters nothing can be certain.

At a Wyress camp in the Viridian Woods I am welcomed to the forest, but am also warned that the creatures of the forest are neither enemies nor friends, but only hunters and prey.

These Wyrd sisters claim to speak for the forest as they see themselves as not just its guardians, but as being ‘of the forest’ itself. Indeed they claim direct lineage from the Ehlnofey, and that it was Y’ffre who charged them to become the wardens of nature. Yet some locals accuse them of witchery, and of worshipping the daedric prince Hircine.

Perhaps this is just the visible Wyrd, the guards of the forest edge as it were. For all I see here in this sparse camp are strong young women, no sign of children, no elderly, no men. Most ignore my questions, but the few who are open to talking of their past tell of being born in cities and towns, of being rescued and brought up in the wilds by their sisters. These Wyrd sisters are an enigma, do they worship the forest, protect it, or are they indeed part of it?

Nature is full of mysteries, of awe, of grace and of wonder, and the Wyrd are certainly that.


432. A ruin, a bandit gang, and a Baandari parable


Most of the watch towers that once wreathed High Rock’s volatile borders with the Reach and Skyrim have long ago fallen into ruin, but as is common in Tamriel, it is not the crumbling monuments themselves that are of interest, but what lies beneath.


Beneath the Viridian Watch lies a subterranean fort, a complex of corridors and chambers once abandoned and forgotten but now the hidden home to a bandit gang who call themselves the Bjoulsae Boys. Despite sounding like a Summerset dance troupe, this eclectic gang of Bretons, Nords, Redguard and Argonians, have garnered quite the notoriety in the local area, perhaps necessitating them to hide from the nearby Bangkorai Garrison like rats and skeevers in these dank, unpleasant ruins.

Their leader however, a Redguard named Curnard, seems to have originally formed his gang with good intentions, to steal only from the rich and share their loot with those less fortunate. However, nothing corrupts morals quicker than greed, and now they are but just another bandit gang preying upon those unable to defend themselves for want rather then need.

Wealth is much like seawater, the more you drink of it, the thirstier you become.

There is an old Baandari parable on greed that tells the story of how a poor and humble Khajiit whilst scavenging the ruins of an old temple in Elsweyr for pottery to sell to feed his family, came across a beautiful bejewelled bowl. Upon his discovery the Khajiit began to weep for he knew that by selling this valuable antique he could feed his whole family for months.

The bowl however was more then it first seemed as the Khajiit was soon to discover, for as his tears fell into the bowel they turned into small gems. The bowl quickly started to fill with tiny sapphires, rubys, diamonds and emeralds.

The Khajiit rushed home to share the wonder with his loved ones, but try as he might to make himself cry he found he could not replicate the miracle and so began to despair. It was only now he discovered that only sincere tears would work, not only that, the more sincere the tears the larger the jewels became. He soon realized he had to find new ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich.

The story comes to a sad, if not predictable end, with the Khajiit weeping helplessly sitting beside a mountain of giant gems… Bejewelled bowl in one hand, dagger in the other, and his beloved family dead at his feet.


431. Wispmother of a Silaseli dream


As I wander the Silaseli dreamscape searching for the lost emotions of the Breton mage, I spy the wraith-like figure of a Wispmother gliding with forlorn grace through the ancient ruins.

The nature of the Wispmother has always been more speculation then certainty, for example, some cultures believe that these mournful figures are the vengeful ghosts of women wronged in life, whilst others hold that they are in fact the last fading remnants of a lost Merithic race of elves. Others still have speculated that they were a first era coven of female necromancers who, much like a Lich, achieved their goal of eternal life through undeath. Finally, and perhaps the most widespread held theory, is that they are elemental manifestations of Nirn itself, similar to Spriggans.

What we do know of them is that, again like Spriggan, to human eyes they always manifest in a female form, and can usually be found near areas of magicical or mystical significance, such as here at the Alyleid ruins of Siliesta.

As I get closer I become aware of the azure tinted wisps dutifully attending her; it is these same enchanting wisp-lights that are said to draw the Wispmother’s victims to her. Some have speculated that the wisps are actually the beguiled spirits of her former victims forever enslaved to her in the afterlife; their only hope of release coming with the demise of their dreadful muse. However, it is now more commonly accepted that they are but conjurations summoned by the Wispmothers themselves; although I do recall whilst traveling through northern Stormhaven seeing wisps roam freely along the coast without a Wispmother in sight.

When she finally notices my cautious approach the Wispmother screeches like a startled Bantam Guar and suddenly under the hateful glare of those shriven eyes the air about me turns deathly cold. I quickly have to ready my shield to defend against both the Wispmother and her ethereal wisps.

Soon I am under attack from all angles, as first wisplights fall like rain from above, and then the Wispmother herself seems to split into three as two identical shades appear and I am defending myself on three fronts. Whilst these shades are dangerous and one can quickly find oneself overwhelmed, it is important to remember that it little more then an illusion aimed to confuse, rather like a sea-dog on a pier with three shells and a pebble, the trick is to find the correct shell.

As I finally manage to strike her down, I become enrapt in the sight of a solitary silver tear falling down her pale face. Her cry is no longer hateful, but a mournful wail, and as she evaporates into mist upon the breeze before my eyes, the air about feels dreadfully heavy, as if weighed down with sorrow. I look down and all that is left of the wispmother and her wisps is a single lucent tear.

I cannot pretend to know more then a scholar and thus will not speculate as to the true nature of the Wispmother. But what I do know is that whilst the Wispmother seems to us a most terrible, and fearful creature… for a moment after her fall, it felt as if Nirn itself mourned her loss.





430.The iron mage


On the southern shores of the Halcyon Lake in Bangkorai I meet with Zaag, a member of the Dragonstar Caravan Company who requests my aid in her seemingly simple assignment of accompanying a mage through the nearby Silaseli Ruins. However the mage, who has somehow managed to turn himself into iron, claims to have lost his emotions and refuses to leave the wisp infested ruins without them.

An Orc mercenary fretting over a supine iron Breton in an ancient Elven ruin, I touch the relic certain that even an Ayleid dreamstate couldn’t be any more surreal then this.




429. A dishonorable sacrifice


The Captain’s daughter has become another victim of the Reachmen’s foul magics, even as we speak before the gates of Evermore the rotten Bloodthorn seed begins to take root deep in her heart. In what is painted as an honourable sacrifice, she allows the Wyress sister to kill her in front of her father and comrades before the corruption takes full hold.

I see no honour in this scene before me, just a meek surrender to fate; a soldier should either live with honour or die with honour.

I’d like to think that if I knew the coming hour of my doom I’d ring it in with a clash of my sword upon shield and take a few of those bastards with me, to at least inspire those comrades I leave behind, and perchance sate my vengeance enough that I might earn a more restful slumber beyond.