Well, hello there! You're a new face. A fresh addition to our ranks, then? Goodness. It's not often that anything new happens around here. Then again, that's Paradise for you. Everlasting, unchanging. Stagnant.
Anyway, hello! Welcome! Greet the New Day! You were one of the Mythic Dawn, I presume? Almost all of us here were. Yes, servants of the Master in life and in death... Although I'm sure none of us ever expected it to turn out this way. Promises were made, so many promises... You've read the Master's Commentaries, of course? All those vows of power and paradise and liberty?
Hah. If liberty involves an eternity of being trapped in this hellish garden, then yes. We have liberty! Come, share in this beautiful paradise with us! Drink your fill of this liberty, we have enough for everyone.
Oh, yes, we all had such high hopes for this, our eternal rest. Our rebirth. Mankar Camoran's words are seductive indeed. When I read them myself, I was lost right away - swept away on a current of his dreams, his gospel, his lies. Joining the Mythic Dawn itself was a similar experience... I still remember the satisfaction of first uncovering the Path of Dawn. "Green Emperor Way Where Tower Touches Midday Sun." Just a few words, but the epiphany upon discovering them was amazing. It meant so much to me. It made me special, one of the "enlightened ones"! I assume you understand?
I still remember my initiation ceremony, even though it seems so long ago now. There are many reasons for joining the Dawn, of course. Some join for power, some for knowledge. Some of us were drawn in by bloodlust, for the love of war and Mehrunes Dagon - they always seemed a little odd, just between you and me. It's hypocritical for one cultist to say that of another, I know... I just always thought they'd have been better off in the Dark Brotherhood. Then there's Ruma and Raven Camoran, of course - raised from birth to learn the Master's ways. Me? Oh, I joined for the sense of belonging, I suppose. I was an only child, and just being called "sister" made me happy. Although, if that's all I'd wanted, I could have become a priestess in one of the Nine's temples... So it wasn't just that. Why try and make myself sound innocent? How silly! I confess that I also craved the power, the sense of superiority. Knowing that I was special, chosen - it was intoxicating.
Of course, none of that matters here, does it? We're all chosen! Chosen to be damned to rot here in this twisted Paradise forevermore. Aren't we lucky?
It mattered then, though. The Mythic Dawn was almost like a drug to someone as weak as myself. After the first sacrifice at my initiation, after slaking Dagon's thirst for red-drink, I knew then that I was his forever. That's just how it works. You join Mankar Camoran's little band of devotees, filled with promises, then you hurt and maim and kill and slaughter and do every bad thing imaginable - all to keep that feeling yours. To gain more glory for the Mythic Dawn. To serve the Master. It all feels so perfect that you don't even realise what a monster you've become. Until, one day, you're out doing your job and you get skewered by someone who happens to take offense to your views.
Funny how often that happens when you're trying to kill the Emperor. Yes, the population of Paradise increased tenfold that day! I was one of the new arrivals. My last day on Tamriel was spent bleeding to death in a filthy sewer, stabbed in the stomach by one of the Blades before I could even strike a blow. Such a waste. To have one more day in the world of the living, I... I would...
Oh. I'm going to get upset if I carry on. That just wouldn't do, would it? Come, I'll show you around.
I'm sure you've noticed. It looks so beautiful here when you first arrive. Like a true Paradise. Crystalline waters, delicate flowers, vibrant blossom decorating the trees, dainty Ayleid-style architecture... So beautiful. The smell is the thing that stands out the most in my memories of the first day, I think. A heady, floral, sweet scent that made me feel like I was finally home. At peace. I... I don't smell it anymore. I must have got used to it. Tell me, can you smell it? Is it as wonderful as I remember?
Sorry. I got a little distracted again. Silly, to get so upset over a mere whiff of perfume! Now, where was I...? Ah, yes. It seems heavenly here at first. Truly a place of splendour! Perfect and breathtaking and sublime. Until you get murdered.
Haha, everyone always looks so surprised when they learn about that! This is Paradise's true face. There's a sickness hiding behind that alluring exterior. Monsters and demons lurk in the sunny meadows and clear waters. You will bleed before the day is out, my friend. You will be slain, experience the agony of death, only to be reborn to live it once more. Nu-mantia! Liberty! Eternal life! Eternal torture! It's all the same, here. Paradise is rotten, deformed, corrupted. A beautiful prison, where we are killed over and over and over, enduring the pain of being ripped apart time and again until we are deemed worthy.
Worthy? Are we not the chosen ones? Did we not all die in the service of our master? What more must we do?
But no, we were only the chosen in life. We must earn that status again in death. Only then can we move on from this hellish heaven, this so-called Paradise. Who's to say that the next place will be any improvement in this, anyway? There are no guarantees, not here. Is it really possible that we are all just striving to attain a new level of suffering without even realising it?
Ah, but I must not think that way. Hope is such a rare commodity in this place. I must not waste it or throw it aside. To even contemplate this is to betray the master. Unthinkable, even though he has already committed the ultimate betrayal himself by bringing us here. He has doomed us all, sentenced us to an infinite number of deaths. Eternal suffering in return for our servitude.
It hurts. The slaughter hurts my flesh, and the treachery pains my heart. To think that I brought this on myself, damned my soul to this beautiful torment forever all because I was foolish enough to chase the Dawn... That hurts most of all. I feel it, a physical pain, just here. I sometimes think I can see it, the pain bleeding out of me like I'm bursting. I think I must be going mad. Maybe that wouldn't be so horrible.
Oh, there I go again. I should not be speaking to you like this. Why sour you against Paradise before you've had the chance to see its deceptive beauty? It is most rude of me. I must apologise profusely for my behaviour. Come, let's be optimistic! I know, it would take a madman to be happy in this place, but we can still pretend. Maybe soon I'll be happy for real. Smile with me, friend, we will bear this together. Every day is a new adventure! It could almost be a game.
Dawn is breaking, my brothers! Greet the new day, sisters! How many times will we die today?