Sermon 24 serves these narrative steps:

  1. Establish Vivec's Buoyant Armigers
  2. The body of Horde Mountain gives Vivec the material for laying the foundations of hir city
  3. The other Tribunal members come to bless their sibling's seat of power

In Morrowind, Sermon 24 grants a bonus to the Spear skill. It is worth 200 Septims and weighs 3 units. A copy can be found in the Office of the Archanon in Mournhold Temple, the Tower Services office in Tel Mora, the High Fane in Vivec, and in Ulvil Llothas's Farmhouse in Vos.

Sermon 29 names this Sermon "The Star Wound." Its number is 44, which references the word "free."

As are many of Vivec's children, Horde Mountain's appearance is mostly symbolic in nature. But it is also practical, as we shall discover later in this Sermon.

In this case, Horde Mountain symbolizes a mass of powerful, skilled warriors - a mountain of martial might. As we learned in the previous Sermon, Vivec requires a city of Swords. Horde Mountain will serve as a mass of the requisite skill to wield those sharp edges.

The configuration of the Horde is important - it's broad at the base and narrow at the top. Because this child will serve as the "bones" of Vivec's city, each building in Vivec city becomes conical in shape - broad at the base and narrow at the top. This explains why Vivec's city appears to be built of buildings that are specific only to it and nowhere else.

What about Molag Mar, I hear you say? Give me a second, okay?

This is a reference to the martial arts taught to hir by Fa-Nuit-Hen and his bladed carriage.

This word means "responsibility," more or less, and it is Vivec's statement of purpose. Ze has a responsibility to rid the world of hir imperfect children. But because hir children are a part of hir, ze also cuts hirself into a better shape.

The names of these specific lower houses may not matter, but that there are three of them is significant in the usual ways.

Doubtful doctrine isn't useful for much, since doctrine is supposed to be strict and infallible, like laws. But it serves a purpose here, since its flexibility allows it to entangle the gigantic Kaiju-child. Either way, it's not ideal, and Vivec will take the opportunity to correct those doubts later.

Dick hat!

The original pitch for Buoyant Armigers was, in short, "Gay Samurai" who would directly serve Vivec as elite warriors and secret agents. They have a friendly rivalry with the Temple Ordinators, who serve ALMSIVI as a whole.

The takeaway from this action is that Vivec has transformed hir child from a useless and violent monster into a collection of bones. These share more than a passing similarity with the Earth Bones, the Aedra, in that they are to be used as the rigid structures of creation, as the Aedra became the rigid laws of the Aurbis. And I'm not sure if these are more phalluses, as we saw with the headdress of mating bones, but they could be.

The doubtful doctrine of the three unnamed lower houses have been converted into "right scripture," a more useful set of beliefs and guidelines that can be combined with the bone-laws of hir children to become something better. Vivec throws the net to the North East, in the direction of what is now Molag Mar, and that isn't a coincidence.

Now we've finally found the explanation for why Vivec City's cantons do not resemble any other building in Morrowind - they are made from the bones of a monster-child, dreamed into creation by Vivec's poetry and Will. The only other building that bears a resemblance is Molag Mar, stronghold of the Buoyant Armigers, where Vivec's right scripture landed.

Almalexia's blessing gives Vivec's city the protection of House Indoril, which arrives in the shape of Indoril's Ordinators: anonymous, masked guards who are more than happy to remind you that they are watching you, scum...

Sotha Sil's blessing allows safety through the "dark corners" left behind by Horde Mountain's association with Molag Bal. He also grants the city a "mind," which is apparently enough to allow it to receive the full power of the Three-In-One. This has interesting metaphysical connotations, not just in that Sotha Sil may have granted a large collection of structures a single consciousness, but also in that it infers that a conscious mind is a requirement to receive "the full power" of ALMSIVI's blessing. When weapons are blessed before combat, are they not receiving the full benefit? Or is there something about the endorsement of ALMSIVI that it requires a consciousness to fully function?

If you've played the Morrowind DLC for Elder Scrolls Online, you'd find it obvious that the city was constructed by the hands of the Dunmer, not the will of Vivec. I suppose one could argue that the city was being expanded in ESO, however, and that the cantons already standing are the original, 36 Lessons portions of the city. But that seems a little weak.

As we've discussed before, many (if not all) of Vivec's children represent flaws that ze wishes to expunge or correct. We can argue that Horde Mountain represents a huge array of unwanted traits, including the desire of Vivec's Warrior aspect to arrange hirself in an orderly (and by extension, fragile) fashion. Personally, I'm fond of the idea, as inspired by Michael Kirkbride, that Horde Mountain's similarity to Bruegel's Tower of Babel suggests that it represents a unification of the inhabitants of Vivec City. The Tower of Babel story (and similar myths) are used to explain why there are so many disparate languages in the world, a fact that is difficult to explain if we suppose that all of mankind were created at once. In these myths, various languages are forced upon mortals by the Gods to prevent them from working together. Vivec's "correction" of Horde Mountain might be hir attempt to unify the inhabitants of Vivec City under a common "language," or "right scripture."

The simple act of understanding each other is always the first step towards unity and peace. A common language is vital to facilitate that understanding, as has been suggested by L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, the world's most widely-spoken constructed language. If we could somehow speak in a common tongue, using understood terms, at least some small amount of unity would be felt, without effort or accident.

We've already established that language and words are important to Vivec, and we'll see that demonstrated in the next Sermon. Additionally, the creation of this City fulfills another step in the Promise of the PSJJJ, which we will discuss extensively in the next Sermon.

Lesson Twenty-four

Synopsis | Narration

Then Vivec left the house of assassins and went back to the space that was not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle world to find the third monster, called Horde Mountain. It was made of modular warriors running free but spaced according to pattern, and from the highest warrior who could cut clouds they spread out beneath him like a tree, a skirt whose bottom circle was an army that ran through the ash.

Vivec admired the cone-shape of his child and remembered with joy the whirlwind of fighting styles that instructed him during the days before life.

Vivec moved into Veloth, saying, 'Onus.'

But before he could even get within sword-span of the monster, a trio of lower houses had trapped Horde Mountain in a net of doubtful doctrine. When they saw their lord, the Velothi cheered.

'We are happy to serve you and win!' they said.

Vivec smiled at those brave souls around him and summoned celebration demons to cleave unto the victors. There was a great display of love and duty around the netted monster, and Vivec was at the center with a headdress made of mating bones. He laughed and told mystical jokes and made the heads of the three houses marry and become a new order.

'You shall forever be now my Buoyant Armigers,' he said.

Then Vivec pierced Horde Mountain with Muatra and made of it all a big bag of bones. At the touch of his right hand the net became right scripture and he threw it all northeasterly. The contents spread out like sugar-glows and Vivec and the Buoyant Armigers ran under it laughing.

Finally the bones of Horde Mountain landed and became the foundation stones for the City of Swords, which Vivec named after his own sigil, and the net fell across it all and between, or became as bridges between bones, and since its segments had been touched by his holy wisdom they became the most perfect of all city streets in the known worlds.

Throngs of Velothi came to the new city and Ayem and Seht gave it their blessing. The streets were filled with laughter and love and the strength of tree-shaped enemy children.

Ayem said:

'To my sister-brother's city I give the holy protection of House Indoril, whose powers and thrones know no equal under heaven, wherefrom came the Hortator.'

Seht said:

'To my sister-brother's city I give safe passage through the dark corners still left of Molag Bal, and I give it this spell as well: SO-T-HA SIL, which is my name to the mighty. It will protect the lost unless their flight is on purpose and fill all the roads and alleys with the mystery paths of civilization, and give the city a mind and make of it a conduit to the full concentrate of the ALMSIVI.'

Thus was founded the city of Vivec in the days of Resdaynia.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.