If you needed proof that the 36 Lessons were written for the Nerevarine and not for Nerevar, here it is. How could this Sermon exist if the 36 Lessons were written by Vivec during the Tribunal's apotheosis? I suppose you could argue that the 36 Lessons change over time, but I'm pretty sure someone would've noticed by now. Or perhaps, by the time the Tribunal figured out how to work the Heart of Lorkhan, they'd already detected the awakening of Voryn Dagoth new form.

This Sermon allows Dagoth Ur to voice his counter-argument. If you need reminding, Dagoth Ur, or "The Sharmat," is the principle Big Bad Guy in Morrowind's main quest line. Thousands of years before the events of the video game, Dagoth Ur was known as Voryn Dagoth, and was the head of his own house, House Dagoth. Not much is known about the head of House Dagoth except that he knew a great deal about the Dwemer, and his council on the enigmatic enemy was trusted by Nerevar himself.

There are areas we can speculate about. Some rather flowery language in some documents lead us to believe that Nerevar and Voryn were quite close friends. But even without direct evidence, we can infer that Voryn Dagoth must have been a very interesting Dunmer.

Consider the relationship the Dunmer have with the Dwemer. At the time Nerevar is alive, the two races have been at war for centuries. Between conflicts, relations are strained at best. So if the head of a major House becomes interested enough in the Dwemer to be considered an expert, he would have to spend quite a lot of time learning and studying Dwemer culture and technology.

One of the librarians at the Imperial Library, Lady Nerevar, once commented that Voryn Dagoth was "the kid who sat in the back of the class and read too much Lovecraft," and I think that's an apt comparison. Despite being the head of a House, Voryn Dagoth was probably very eccentric. At least, he'd need to be, if he was going to go against politic and study an enigmatic enemy like the Dwemer.

This is a key point: this interest, or even obsession, with the enemy would have caused other Dunmer to distrust Voryn and the members of House Dagoth.

Still, after the Dwemer were defeated and vanished, Voryn Dagoth was asked by Nerevar to protect the Heart of Lorkhan and the Tools of Kagrenac for a time, until Nerevar could determine what should be done with them. However, during his watch over the artifacts the Heart of Lorkhan "spoke" to him, poisoning his mind and driving him insane. When Nerevar returned, intent on destroying the Heart of Lorkhan, Voryn Dagoth fought to protect it, and was slain.

Voryn's body was destroyed, but his spirit remained, trapped Red Mountain by the Heart of Lorkhan, and over time he began to rematerialize as a new and terrible spirit. Calling himself "Dagoth Ur," which could be interpreted as "the First Dagoth," or "the Prime Dagoth," he now spreads his infectious Corprus disease throughout Morrowind, infecting the Dunmer and converting them into diseased and mindless monsters.

In Morrowind, Sermon 15 grants a bonus to the Unarmored skill. It is worth 200 Septims and weighs 3 units. A copy can be found in the Andrano Ancestral Tomb, and in the Tower of Dusk, at Ghostgate.

Sermon 29 names this Sermon "The Redeeming Force." Its number is 110, which references the word "crime."

There has been some debate, even in these commentaries, that the 36 Lessons of Vivec are written either for Nerevar, the Nerevarine, or the general consumption of Dunmer everywhere. While the last point is possible in any scenario, I think this Sermon clearly confirms that the Nerevarine is the intended audience.

This is a familiar trope of many student / master relationships, and though this might seem cliche, there is a primal meaning behind it. While it might remind one of the Enantiomorphic relationship, of the Rebel usurping the King, it is also a trope common to many ancient legends and myths. The old King must die so that the Prince can become the new King.

Ze must die (or be removed) so that the Nerevarine can become the new Ruling King. It is not a matter of choice. The removal is inevitable, because just as all things are transitory, just as all mortals must die, because things fall apart and the center cannot hold, Vivec must pass away and make room for the next generation.

The Father must die so that the Son can become an adult. This is why Vivec says that ze is the Nerevarine's "maker."

Jung proposed that the old Hero must die so that the new Hero can come to light, and that is also what Vivec is asserting here. For what is a Ruling King if not a Hero? And a King who sees in another his equivalent rules nothing.

In the previous comment, we touched upon how the Father must die for the Son to become an adult. This seems a bit more extreme than what must absolutely happen, which is often the way with the language of mysticism. For starters, of course, the "Son" could be a daughter, just as the "Father" could be a mother.

A huge moment in the development of a child's psychology is when the child's mental image of their father moves from an absolute authority to a human being - a regular person just as flawed as the child. This can often be a terrible paradigm shift for the child for a wide range of reasons. There is the sensation that there is no longer a "safety net," a reliable support system when things get difficult.

Many children deal with this realization early in life, far too early to deal with this reality with any capacity. Such sudden disillusionment can be developmentally catastrophic. However, it is critical that this shift in perception happens later in a person's development. A central feature of a well-balanced psyche is the ability to understand that everyone is imperfect, that even the mythical Father figure is capable of making mistakes. And this principle can be continued beyond our parents to celebrities, role models, even the average person on the street. The ability to recognize both the greatness and the flaws in everyone is critical to the development of a balanced and healthy personality.

This perception of perfection in others is often called "hero worship," which I hope nicely connects this with the previous comment's points.

Sure, okay, this sounds like the Amaranth. But the metaphysics of Morrowind extend the term "dreamer" to more than just dreamers like Anu or the Godhead.

Who else could be considered a dreamer? Try watching the intro cinematic to Morrowind again. It depicts a dream experienced by the Nerevarine before being woken by the now-sainted Jiub. Got it? Okay. Now let's talk about Zhuangzi, a famous Chinese philosopher who once contemplated a dream involving the relationship between himself and a butterfly:

"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things."

Among the many philosophical discussions this text has caused, one of the more popular ones is the "Dream Argument," which proposes that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether any state that is dependent on our senses is real or "true" when the validity of those senses are called into question. So when Morrowind's intro cinematic ends, is the Nerevarine waking up, or only just beginning to dream? How can we be certain?

Or perhaps (and this is my favorite part of this theory) you are dreaming. You. The player.

Still not convinced? What about the first question Jiub asks you? "What's your name?" What happens next?

The game asks you for the Nerevarine's name. Why doesn't the Nerevarine know? Why does the game need to ask you?

Is it possible the Nerevarine didn't have a name before waking?

Did the Nerevarine even exist before that moment? It is said that the Nerevarine was born on a certain date by uncertain parents. No one knows who your parents are. Do you even have parents? Were you born on the day the game started?

Who is the true dreamer?

Does this even matter? Read on...

We've spoken of this metaphor before, in Sermon 10. This is a warning to the Hortator that Sithis favors (or targets) only the SHARMAT or the Hortator, but not both, and so you cannot depend on Sithis. As the elemental force of undirected (and some would say destructive) change, Sithis doesn't care so much who wins, just so long as structures get destroyed in the process.

At the same time, try to think of SITHISIT as the act or force of destruction. If a person is the thing for which SITHISIT will destroy everything, then in a way that person is either harnessing the force of destruction or is the force of destruction itself. Maybe there's no difference? Anyway, Vivec's point here is that the Hortator can be a force of evil, of destruction without poetry, mercy, or skill. Or Dagoth Ur can be this force. One of them is guaranteed to cause the sundering of the whole, the death of the world, but not both.

Alternatively, perhaps Sithis' "go unto Dagoth Ur as a friend" is out of Sithis' desire for both his favorite children to be together. For all forces of change to unite, and not fight within themselves. That Sithis would favor Dagoth Ur slightly more than the Hortator does seem to make sense. After all, there are no structures that the Hortator destroys that Dagoth Ur will not also destroy. The Tribunal falls from struggling internally with the loss of their source of power, and the Houses fall along with Veloth. If the Nerevarine destroys Dagoth Ur, Sithis probably counts it as a good second-place finish. Sithis might encourage the Hortator to join forces with Dagoth Ur because it would guarantee the total glorious obliteration of the world.

I don't think there's a bad walking way, necessarily, so much as there are less than ideal ones, or perhaps there are some paths that might not be as effective as others. However, it's clear that Vivec favors the fifth way, CHIM, a walking way that ze has used hirself, after stealing its secret from Molag Bal.

Vivec cautions the Nerevarine against sparing Dagoth Ur.

Of course, we can assume that, because Vivec is a God and possesses a heightened sense of reality, ze might be better than most at differentiating between right and wrong, between crime and justice. Or this could just be another attempt at manipulating the Nerevarine for Vivec's own selfish purposes.

Still, if that was the case, it's hard to estimate why Vivec would want the Nerevarine to destroy the Heart of Lorkhan, since doing so would remove all chance of Vivec's return to full "divinity." Surely, if there was any other way to defeat Dagoth Ur, Vivec would have discovered it.

Anyway, the use of the word "crime" goes a long way to illustrate how vital it is that Dagoth Ur be destroyed. It would be criminal in the respect that it would endanger the wellbeing of Vivec's culture, or in other words, the Dunmer as a whole. But if the Player learns the history of how Dagoth Ur came to be, there might be more than a moment's hesitation. This temptation to spare Dagoth's life, even a moment's hesitation, could prove to be the Nerevarine's undoing.

The origin of the word "Sharmat" is the Persian phrase "shah mat" which means "the king is trapped" or "the king is dead." The term was probably used in Persia to express the state of what we now call "checkmate" in Chess (which was created around or near Persia).

Which for all I know means that Todd Howard suggested this name. Fuck yeah, chess club!

This direct reference to a "king" further cements the relationship between the Sharmat and the Nerevarine. They are both Kings, or at least attempting to become them. In the end, after each has faced his opposite, one or the other will become the Ruling King.

That Dagoth Ur is a "trapped" king speaks to one of the most tragic aspects of the character. Having been corrupted by the Heart of Lorkhan's chaotic vibrations, Dagoth Ur has become trapped both literally and spiritually at the center of Red Mountain. This is not a fate Voryn Dagoth would have wished for himself, but it happened out of ignorance and not malintent.

Perhaps it might seem odd that the Heart of Lorkhan, being a portion of the aspect to which many Mannish races and the Dunmer gratefully attribute their existence, might do something so seemingly malicious as to corrupt the mind of a seemingly innocent bystander. But aside from Voryn Dagoth's obsession with all things Dwemer as a contributing factor, remember that Lorkhan is the "son" of Sithis, or of Padhome, and these spirits cannot and should not be attributed personalities or even the assignment of "good" or "evil." They simply are what they are. And Lorkhan is heavily inclined towards destruction, manipulation, corruption, revolution, and many of the other aspects of change.

It is sometimes helpful to consider the Aedra as "alien" entities, in the respect that mortal minds are incapable of comprehending any aspect of their existence. For all we know, Lorkhan's heart was simply trying to communicate with Voryn Dagoth, lonely after centuries of study under the strange manipulations of the enigmatic Dwemer. Perhaps the simple act of creating a dialog shattered poor Voryn's mind.

This is, in fact, the approach I personally take. I would suggest that Lorkhan's Heart spoke to Voryn Dagoth in visions or dreams, and that these insane flashes of insight were partially what drove Voryn crazy. But I would also suggest that their content was a contributing factor, since I suspect Lorkhan tried to communicate the most important fact he understood, the piece of information Lorkhan considered to be the most critical: the true nature of reality.

Consider that Lorkhan, having glimpsed the true structure of the Aurbis, understood the endless Kalpas and (I'd argue) the eternal cycle of betrayal. Some would argue that the entire purpose of Mundus and Nirn is to serve as an environment from which an escape could evolve.

In this respect, I think Lorkhan tried to tell Voryn Dagoth about the Tower, about the Aurbic Wheel. But the exposure to this Aedra's God-like radiating consciousness ruined any chance of a constructive exchange.

And thus was born Dagoth Ur, God-like by intense exposure to the Heart of Lorkhan, trapped with it in spirit, lunatic (HAH!) by misunderstanding, and obsessed with a misinterpretation of Lorkhan's message.

What was that message? Lorkhan tried to tell Voryn Dagoth that he is part of a dream, to deliver the "I ARE ALL WE" message of unification in all things. This realization is used by those who achieve CHIM. But thanks to the alien and indescribable nature of Lorkhan's communication, or perhaps due to Voryn Dagoth's hypothetical general metaphysical ignorance, Voryn Dagoth did not fully understand the message. Instead, his conclusion was more akin to "ALL ARE I." The difference is: instead of believing that all things are one, that he and the universe are one and the same dream, Voryn Dagoth believes that everything can become his House - himself. He may not even be fully aware that he is dreaming at all.

Let's contrast this with the state of CHIM, in which we realize the non-existence of the reality dreamstate and our impermanence within it. Dagoth Ur believes that everything is real, and that his dream, (if he even understands it to be a dream) is becoming a reality. It could be that Dagoth Ur believes that he is wishing, or purposefully willing his Blight / House into reality, instead of dreaming it. The difference is critical, because dreams are almost impossible to control, especially if you are not aware of their true nature.

The origins of music are possibly as old as prehistoric life itself, but observations of more primitive animals suggest that music develops only in relatively mentally evolved organisms and that it is not, in fact, a behavior common to all organisms.

It's considered by some that music originated after the development of Intentionality, a state of mental and philosophical development within which a person becomes aware of the relationship between cause and effect. From this, a person gains the ability to reflect on the intentions that led to cause the events that still linger in memory. The use of music, therefore, can cause associations and intentions to be reinforced or, in some cases, created when none previously existed.

Or perhaps music is a form of early ritual, or an evolution of the rhythmic relationship between mother and child, or an evolved product of pattern recognition, or maybe you could just read that wikipedia article I linked.

Well it's hard to explain the symbolism of light in any context because of its incredible complexity and breadth of meaning in philosophy, religion, mysticism, and mythology. So I'm going to try to hit on the big notes.

Nearly every culture on Earth and Tamriel associates light with a positive presence or event. Be it illuminating knowledge, a holy light that drives away darkness, or the divine illumination of the spirit. It's not clear which of these Dagoth Ur might refer to, but it's very probably could be all of them.

There's another connection with the "Drowned Lamp," in the respect that a light is a memory that retains its brilliance (and by extension its existence) even after being drowned under water, which would have normally extinguished it.

Let's hit this one from two angles: first Thelema, then in-game lore.

One of Crowley's more famous sayings is "Every man and every woman is a star." What he speaks of is the innate divinity inside every mortal on Earth. Much of Thelema deals with the practical communication between a human mortal's soul and this divine spirit.

In the Elder Scrolls, however, a star is the mark left by the flight of Gods as they fled the creation of Mundus. In this respect, a direct metaphor is created between the stars in the sky over Nirn and the divine beings that created them.

In both of these, it can be said that Dagoth Ur intends to bring a divine spirit, a God, to Nirn. It might seem obvious that he intends to be this God, but he could also mean Akulakhan, the Second Numidium, a giant walking world-ending God.

The connection between memory and water has been established quite clearly by an important NPC in the Elder Scrolls Online, and in retrospect the connection is so obvious that I'm ashamed that no one, including me, put it together before Lawrence Schick spelled it out for us. At least no one that I'm aware of.

As suggested by Elder Scrolls Online, when a mortal dies, that mortal's memories "flow" into the waters of Nirn. As a result, the seas, and possibly all water on Nirn, contains the memories of every deceased mortal in history.

This works well with a huge number of previously-discovered connections. For example:

Anyway, I could go on. There's a lot out there that I haven't mentioned, because finding these connections yourself is incredibly rewarding. It's juicy stuff.

But what does it mean in the context of Dagoth Ur's message? He could be speaking of a long-forgotten and ancient memory of magnificent proportion, which could only be the resurrection of his own Sixth House.

Additionally, he could be alluding to the end-game of the Blight, and the way the risen Sixth House members are described as sharing Dagoth Ur's mind, or dream, and the way the blight infects and changes bodies until they are indistinguishable from each other.

This brings to mind the idea of a collective mind, not unlike the Borg Collective of the Star Trek universe. To some, becoming a fragment of a greater deity's mind might seem like some kind of heaven. But this goes directly against the entire fundamental principle of the Elder Scrolls mythos, where individuality is a gift. Only by creating the "impossible" realm of Mundus, where the once limitless becomes imperfect and mortal, where death and pain forge the souls of men into better shapes, can the impossible be achieved: a dreamer who understands and accepts his non-existence while simultaneously maintaining his individuality.

Freedom has always been the common thread in every Elder Scrolls game, in both plot and play. The "open world" setting allows players to choose where they go, what they do, and when they do it. The character creation system gives every player the freedom to play in any style they like. The open modding platform allows players to change the game itself, to alter or remove anything they dislike, to add anything they want, to change the fabric of Elder Scrolls reality and their experience at once. Also waifu mods.

And of course, there's Bethesda's approach to canon, and the excellent way Zenimax's Lead Loremaster Lawrence Schick phrases it:

"Make up your own mind. Make up your own beliefs of what happened. You're playing a world, and you're playing a character in that world. What you think happened is as legitimate as what that NPC thinks."

This freedom to interpret the Elder Scrolls reality is what separates Elder Scrolls lore from (to my knowledge) every other game series in history. This series now gives you not only the freedom to do what you want (within the constraints of the game) but the ability to experience that game without fear of contradiction or constraint.

Also, for those of you playing Rotten Deadite's Multi-Genre Reference Bingo Spectacular, you can now tick off "Star Trek - TES connection."

Dagoth Ur's dream is a dream within a dream (within a dream) and has similar properties to the dreams of higher beings. In a way, Dagoth Ur resembles the Amaranth in that he is dreaming a new reality, but the difference is that the Amaranth's dream is a new, independent reality, whereas Dagoth Ur's dream is infecting Tamriel's. In this respect (among others) Dagoth Ur's House is inferior to the Amaranth's dream because it refuses to let go of the past, to leave the eternal cycle of betrayal and pain.

Many of the "awakened" dreamers in Morrowind describe seeing Dagoth Ur in their sleep. Dagoth Ur himself communicates with the Player in a dream at points during the game. It seems that this is the first indication that Dagoth Ur communicates with Corprus victims when they dream, lending a more literal sense to Dagoth Ur's title as a dreamer.

Music plays a large part in the rituals of worship in many cultures, but in Morrowind it seems most prevalent in the Sixth House. Early concept art for Morrowind indicates that several forms of the Ash Creatures had some sort of flute instruments growing out of their faces. Many of the Sixth House bases in Morrowind featured a row of bells that, when struck, produced a specific tone, although sadly the quest connected to these instruments was never implemented.

Music is also closely tied to the lore of the Elder Scrolls, even down to the very fabric of the Aurbis and the means of its creation.

Quite a few theories are thrown around about where this "core" might be. Some think it refers to an actual physical place, like the center of Red Mountain, which can certainly be considered to be the core of Morrowind. Some say it might be the center of the Dreamsleeve, the dimensional wormhole through which all souls travel to and from Aetherius. I don't think any of these are bad ideas.

Dagoth Ur's Blight spreads on winds that blow down from the peak of Red Mountain, from the heart of Dagoth Ur himself. It is the means by which Dagoth's dream infects Tamriel, the vehicle for his ephemeral mind.

The nature of the Blight is revealing, as well. There are two versions, one that destroys the host's body, and one that riddles the body with growths. But both accomplish the same goal: they cause the body of the victim to transition from its normal, unique state into one that conforms to all other Blight victims.

Both versions, however, destroy the victim's consciousness. As the curse progresses, the victim's mind "becomes one" with Dagoth Ur, much like the collective concept we discussed before.

In that respect, and this is the key point, the Blight transforms its victims into a single organism, of one mind and one body.

It's obvious to conclude that the goal of the Blight is therefore to transform all its victims into Dagoth Ur himself. Eventually, all of Tamriel could become "one" with Dagoth Ur.

I wonder if Dagoth Ur is even aware of the Blight's existence? One does wonder how much of his transformation and existence is under his own control.

Continuing from the previous comment, if the Blight transforms all living mortals into Dagoth Ur's mind and body, it's easy to see how it could be called a House.

In both concepts, a House unifies its members behind a single direction, and whether it is led by a single "Lord" or a council is irrelevant. In this respect, the House could be said to actually be the leader, since the leader metaphorically and sometimes literally embodies the spirit of his House. You've heard people referring to a King's domain as "his kingdom," or "his people," and these words are not idly chosen. But we've covered the connection between the King and his domain back in Sermon Eight anyway.

So when Dagoth Ur describes the Blight as his House, sure, yeah, it's the Sixth House, risen again. But it's also Dagoth Ur's will spreading out into Tamriel. This new Sixth House, I'd suggest, is Dagoth Ur's dream taking over the Aurbis, and the dream of Tamriel.

This is why Dagoth Ur is the "false dreamer." His dream is taking over Morrowind, turning it into his own. Therefore the "true dreamer" would be Dagoth Ur's enemy, the Nerevarine. Or, if you like, you. The player.

How can the world have a mouth? Stay tuned, we'll reveal it all in Sermon 17.

We discussed having something "secretly murdered" in Sermon 11, but this line leans towards an alternate interpretation that I happen to enjoy. If you remove the aspect of emotion from the act of murder, the concept simply becomes destruction, and as we've discussed in previous sermons, destruction is simply another form of transformation. In a universe where complete obliteration does not exist (something the Elder Scrolls universe seems to share with ours), "murder" can be another (rather colorful) word for "transform," if that transformation is not something to which the transformed volunteers.

And I think that's what Dagoth Ur is getting at, here. He intends to transform the world, but his intent to do this without anyone's graces is what connects transformation with murder.

This might remind one of the Towers, the supporting structures of Mundus that allow it to exist in a universe that otherwise abhors its structure. But I wonder at what reason Dagoth Ur would have to destroy Mundus entirely.

I'd suggest instead that this is a plea to his followers to destroy the array of pylons that support the Ghostgate - the magical fence that prevents Dagoth Ur's sleepers from spilling out of Red Mountain and the surrounding territories.

Although this might seem like a bit of a hasty response to Dagoth Ur's blight, it is by no means ineffective. Only the few monsters that manage to sneak through underground tunnels make it past the Ghostgate, and many Dunmer sacrifice their souls to become Ancestor Guardians, ancient spirits of protection that guard the perimeter of the gate.

It's possible to interpret this in the Christian mindset, which places the Sharmat as a "fisher of man" From Mark 1:16-18 :

"And passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they left the nets, and followed him."

Generally people consider this passage to speak to the process of drawing new followers, since there is a similar philosophy to both fishing and preaching: you have to understand fish in order to attract them, and similarly you must understand your fellow men if you are to preach to them.

Probably Dagoth Ur calls his followers "blind" to infer that they require guidance from one who is wiser than they. But many (but not all) of the Ash Creatures lack eyes, so this might be more literal than that.

Phlogiston is an old scientific theory from the 17th century that attempted to explain why some materials were combustible. Dagoth Ur uses it here to refer to the "fire" of his divine being, I suspect.

Calling his followers "moons" speaks to the lunar relationship to the objects they orbit. While Dagoth Ur may refer to Akulakhan as a "Star," it's revealing that he considers himself to be a planet. Specifically, of course, Dagoth Ur believes that he is, or is becoming, Nirn, the centerpoint of the Aurbis.

The correlation between CHIM, the Tower, and Nirn is easy to see. Mundus was created at the centerpoint of the Aurbis - the universe literally revolves around Nirn. This was done so that Nirn could become the Tower of the Aurbic Wheel. It is the center within which the great "secret" of the Aurbis is kept, which of course that all of reality is a dream, and we are trapped and helpless within it. Mundus serves as the "Arena" within which Lorkhan's children (mortals) can refine their nature until they can escape the kalpic cycle, which is, as we've discussed, the entire point of Lorkhan's creation.

False Incarnates were a serious problem for the Tribunal and its temple. The Dunmer worshipped Nerevar as their cultural hero even when he was alive, but the "cult" of Nerevar's personality truly exploded after he died at the hands of… Well, whomever you think. So if a Dunmer hero showed signs of being a reincarnation of Nerevar, that Dunmer became incredibly influential in both Velothi and Ashlander culture, and that undermined the authority of the Tribunal and their temple. Considering Azura has never forgiven the Tribunal for Nerevar's death, this clearly would have pleased the Daedric Prince.

While it is suggested that Azura created incarnations of Nerevar before the Player starts playing Morrowind, there's enough wiggle room left to suggest that these False Incarnates simply believed that they were Nerevarines. And whether that is true or not is left up to speculation.

But it may not matter whether the False Incarnates were truly Nerevar reborn, or simply believed that they were. Much of the functionality of Mantling, the Fourth Walking Way, relies in believing that you are the legend you're impersonating, or in fooling other people into believing the same, or both. So does it really matter whether the False Incarnates were truly Nerevarines?

Vivec decides if an Incarnate is false or not because, well, because ze's a God. But also because ze can perceive the difference between the Sharmat and the Hortator. And by taking this stance, as judge, jury, and executioner of Nerevarines, ze cements hir place in the process of reincarnation and regains some of the political influence over hir kingdom that ze might've lost to the hero reborn.

"The Hands of Change become the Weapons of Royalty."

Perhaps now the Hortator is the Royal Weapon of Padhome? After all, this is the last of the three lessons of ruling kings, and a Ruling King allied with Padhome is almost literally a royal weapon.

This isn't Vivec trying to be cool. "You know, do these things or, like, whatever man. I'm not a cop." Ze likely means "do these things or fail."

Or perhaps ze is admitting that ze does not have complete authoritative control over the Nerevarine. It would be counter-productive to train someone to be a Ruling King and then insist that they obey your commands. Part of Vivec's gambit is that the Nerevarine might not destroy Dagoth Ur as ze needs. Perhaps the Nerevarine will learn from the 36 Lessons and leave Morrowind, taking the magic overseas to dominate some other realm. Or perhaps the Nerevarine will remove Vivec and replace hir as ruler of Morrowind, fighting an endless battle with Dagoth Ur.

I'll explain this phrase at length in the next Sermon because it's sometimes easier to explain how to do something while someone else demonstrates how not to do it.

Remember the words of Vivec? "Intermittent hopes enough to answer all the things not yet queried." This is related.

In this case, Vivec calls Morrowind, or possibly all of Mundus, as an "intermittent hope," a temporary plan of escape, as is the purpose of Lorkhan's creation. "Intermittent," in the respect that it vanishes with every turning of the Kalpa, and "hope," in the respect that it is the hope of Lorkhan.

As mentioned in the commentaries on Sermon 04, this could well be a nod to CHIM. But, as I also mentioned in Sermon 04, it's probably a metaphor for a concept written without the certitude of puzzle box logicians and girls of white glamour.

And as I mentioned in a previous comment, Vivec's understanding of the unpredictability of the Nerevarine is also part of the Nerevarine's power. The only being that can defeat Dagoth Ur, who is beyond Vivec's influence, is another being beyond hir influence.

Voryn Dagoth is certainly one of the more tragic figures in Elder Scrolls lore. His fate was not due to his own actions, but rather by the decision made in ignorance by his close friend, Nerevar. And instead of actively trying to destroy his betrayer, Voryn Dagoth has risen and waits in the caves of Red Mountain for his brother in arms to return to him.

Dagoth Ur is the False Dreamer. The Player is the True Dreamer. Therefore Dagoth Ur thinks the whole world (or, if you like, the video game) is his. Which means Morrowind is a dream that you, the Player, are having. And part of that dream thinks that the dream is his.

The idea that the Player's character did not exist prior to the start of the game isn't particular to Morrowind. At the start of TES IV: Oblivion, the first character you speak with is Valen Dreth, a Dunmer who, judging by his dialog, has never seen you before that moment. And the Emperor's guards comment that your cell was supposed to be unoccupied. Perhaps the Champion of Cyrodiil simply appeared out of thin air?

A similar event happens in TES V: Skyrim, when the other prisoners of your cart observe that your character must have been "picked up during the night," which indicates that they woke up and found you there. Was the Last Dragonborn another one of these heroes created moments before the game begins?

Lesson Fifteen

Synopsis | Narration

These were the days of Resdaynia, when Chimer and Dwemer lived under the wise and benevolent rule of the AMLSIVI and their champion the Hortator. When the gods of Veloth would retreat unto their own, to mold the cosmos and other matters, the Hortator would at times become confused. Vivec would always be there to advise him, and this is the third of the three lessons of ruling kings:

'The ruling king will remove me, his maker. This is the way of all children. His greatest enemy is the Sharmat, who is the false dreamer. You or he is the shingle, Hortator. Beware the wrong walking path. Beware the crime of benevolence. Behold him by his words.'



























'You alone, though you come again and again, can unmake him. Whether I allow it is within my wisdom. Go unarmed into his den with these words of power: AE GHARTOK PADHOME [CHIM] AE ALTADOON. Or do not. The temporal myth is man. Reach heaven by violence. This magic I give to you: the world you will rule is only an intermittent hope and you must be the letter written in uncertainty.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.