Author's note - This is the sequel to one of my older stories, The War Of Independence. You don't need to read that story to know what is going on in this one but it may give you more insight into the characters. This also contains War Of Independence spoilers! Enjoy!
The Daedric Child
Chapter 1 - Prologue
Theories on the Madness of Sheogorath" (excerpts)
Known to be the Prince of Madness, Sheogorath's nature has long fascinated scholars. His behaviour is entirely unpredictable - once almost causing untold destruction to the fledgling Dunmer by hurling an enormous rock at their city of Vivec, then many years later seeking a mortal champion, notably deeming another mortal worthy of receiving Wabbajack, one of his most treasured artifacts.
I believe the root of Sheogorath's madness lies in his duality. One must remember that Sheogorath exists merely to be a counterpart to Jyggalag, who had grown too powerful for the remaining Daedra to be able to control. Sheogorath and Jyggalag oppose each other - madness opposing order - and herein lays the reason for Sheogorath's dementia.
It could be possible that Sheogorath was once a fairly uninteresting Daedric Prince, simply building a kingdom whose capital city happened to be split into two halves. Of course, where there are two opposing factions, conflict will occur. Although it has never been documented that Houses Mania and Dementia have never faced each other in open war, one must only see the rivalry between the Golden Saints and Dark Seducers, the soldiers of the two Houses, to see an example of the opposition between these two factions.
If we consider that everything in Sheogorath's realm, in order to exist there, must be bound to Sheogorath in some way or contain his essence, we see how madness could arise in Sheogorath. Two opposing factions, each representing one half of his personality, constantly at odds with each other - schizophrenia. This is a constant torment to Sheogorath and the reason for his often-irrational behaviour. In order to stop this, Sheogorath must defer to one House whilst either a double of Sheogorath, or a being that possesses enough of his spirit to be considered a double to Sheogorath, must defer to the other. Is it possible that Sheogorath's madness can be cured?
-Anonymous document, found in Mystic Archives
…the Marsh Spirit transpired to be a weapon, but not of the nature that was imagined – supposedly it caused every tree in Black Marsh to become a sentient being, similar to the Gnarls of the Shivering Isles, to fight for Black Marsh. The weapon was found in a shrine to Meridia deep in the wilderness of Black Marsh, at the end of a tunnel originating in an Ayleid ruin in Cyrodiil…
…the weapon was destroyed by the Dunmer Falas Assurrani, working for the good of the Empire…
… "Three heroes, drawn together by fate, to take on an even greater event"
… the Chim-el Adabal is a huge gemstone of Ayleid origin, originally situated atop White Gold Tower. Part of the stone was used to forge the Amulet of Kings…
Sacellum Arden-Sul, New Sheoth
The mysterious woman sat silently in the pews of the chapel, seemingly ignoring the preachings of the priest of Mania who was standing in the pulpit. She appeared Elven, with long, flowing golden hair, dressed in a white robe. Nobody seemed to know how she had entered the Isles, or made it as far as New Sheoth, but mysterious orders had come from Sheogorath himself stating that no-one was to harm her. Yet the townspeople had become suspicious after repeatedly seeing her conversing with the Golden Saint and Dark Seducer guards under nightfall.
Suddenly, the woman snapped to attention, causing the preacher to stop mid-sentence. Two Golden Saints strode into the chapel as the woman stood up and spoke to them.
"Did you find anything, Staada?" she asked to one of the Golden Saints.
"Only one was left alive, Meri" Staada replied. "A Bosmer woman. She is outside – we brought her here to be healed"
"Bring her to me" Meri replied. The preacher watched the situation in amazement, wondering who this woman could be who seemed to have command over General Staada, the highest-ranking soldier in the Isles, the Golden Saint who had complete control over Sheogorath's armies, including the Dark Seducers.
Staada and the other Golden Saint helped the Bosmer into the chapel. She staggered forward slowly towards Meri, barely alive. She wore a tattered, bloodstained grey robe and nothing else. Almost every exposed inch of her flesh was covered in scorch marks where she had been repeatedly struck by lightning. A deep cut ran the length of her left thigh. Her brown hair was caked in blood, seeping from wounds inflicted where her head had been repeatedly hit with a blunt object. Most alarming, though, was the fact that her right foot had been severed. Meri took the Bosmer by the hands and looked her in the eye – she was visibly scared and concussed.
"You're safe here," Meri said gently, as healing magic flowed from her hands into the Bosmer. "What's your name?"
"Aendel" the Bosmer said weakly.
"You can stay in this chapel until you are healed" Meri said. "Then you are going to help us find and kill the person who did this to you"
"It was Relmyna Verenim" Aendel said, looking Meri in the eye. "She took me from Hale… I don't know when… it feels like I've been in there forever"
Tears began to well up in Aendel's eyes as Meri motioned her to stop speaking. Meri turned to face the second Golden Saint soldier.
"Take her into the Gardens of Mania. Feed her the fruit of the alocasia tree – it is the best natural medicine in the Isles. Staada, might I speak with you?"
"Certainly" Staada said. The Aureal waited until her comrade had helped Aendel to her feet and led her out of the building before continuing.
"You were right – we found her in Xaselm, Relmyna Verenim's lair. Verenim wasn't in there. I believe she must be in Passwall, tending to the Gatekeeper. I do not think she knows we are onto her"
"Her days are numbered" Meri said darkly. "If Sheogorath discovers what she is doing to his followers, her death warrant will be signed"
"I must say that Our Lord seems to be taking a lot of interest in necromancy recently" Staada mused.
"How so? Was it not me who told you to invade Xaselm and bring back whoever you find alive?"
"There was the incident in Cyrodiil too"
"A follower of Sheogorath publicly executed a known necromancer on the streets of the Imperial City. Did you not know?"
"No" Meri said softly. "I did not"
For the Eyes of Emperor Namiah Carius only
From Grandmaster Jauffre
Your Highness, I have compiled a record of the group who will be taking on this new threat. They consist mostly of veterans of the Marsh Spirit incident.
Falas Assurrani – Dunmer, male, aged 41. Former Morag Tong agent, now freelance. Specialisation – Marksmanship, assassination, stealth
Camri Everlight – Imperial, male, age 33. Former outlaw and explorer of note. Specialisation – Stealth and infiltration, marksmanship, swordsmanship, navigation, alchemy, trap evasion
Knight-Bachelor Marlus Halisman – Imperial, male, age 31. Noted Imperial Legion soldier, currently based in High Rock. Specialisation – Melee combat (adept at swordsmanship and hand-to-hand)
Ariel Lasaille – Breton, female, age 26. Highly skilled mage and scholar, of no fixed location or employment. Specialisation – Mysticism, problem-solving
Eldred Moravahn – Dunmer, male, age 46. Buoyant Armiger of the Tribunal Temple of Morrowind. May not be present. Specialisation – Healing, alchemy and explosives, heavy weapons.
Areen – Argonian, male, age 29. Agent and kinsman of the Royal Court of Argonia. Specialisation – Blunt weapons, unarmed combat, athletics, stealth
Latta – Female, age and race unknown. Freelance adventurer. Specialisation – swordsmanship, destructive magic