Just south from the Breton outpost at Martyr’s Crossing I stumble across a small camp where an Imperial Mage has successfully summoned a large daedric watcher from the realms of Oblivion. The tentacled creature with many eyes appears to float docile before the summoner as she attempts by binding spell to impose her will upon it.
Growing up in rural Cyrodiil my parents raised me to have an almost Nordic distrust of mages and their magicka. Yet as I grew older and began to travel throughout the province, I quickly learnt that my parents attitude was rather parochial and that, especially in larger towns where magicka was an everyday source used by healers, becoming a mage was considered about as honourable an occupation as a scholar or a banker. And of course later, whilst serving in the Legion, I began training to control magicka myself, in the ancient Akaviri martial arts tradition.
Battle Mages of the Imperial army were among the most feared people in all Cyrodiil, and yet also perhaps the most fascinating. When the Legions would pass through our town on their way to campaign in some far flung lands, every child would line the streets, not to cheer the legionnaire’s march, but in hope of catching a glimpse of those almost mythical, enigmatic figures. Only we would be left feeling disappointed when instead of seeing some effervescent figure, riding on a back of huge daedric clanfear or elemental beast, full of pomp and grandiosity, we would instead see but a rather unvarnished, solemn looking hooded figure riding upon a dull bay horse, looking utterly disinterested in the world about.
Despite my recent experiences working closely with the Mages Guild, I still retain a distrust for any who dabble in the school of conjuration, that arcane art of summoning creatures from Oblivion into Nirn. Why would one invite such horrors into your homelands? Is it solely to satisfy a lust of power, or a comfort to the wretched to have a companion in their misery? For me, the act of turning a barbaric daedra into an obedient dog, is but a small step away from vile necromancy.
Some say that once the doorway to Oblivion has been opened within you, it remains forever ajar. Summoners argue that men who fear Oblivion see Oblivion everywhere, and that conjuration is little more dangerous then attempting to control the elements of Nirn. To them I say this, be sure your daedric thrall dies before you do; because the moment you exhale your last breath, your thrall returns home to Oblivion, and who knows what part of you it will take with it.