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(Dr. Lupus was Imperial Ethnographer for Potentate Savirien-Chorak from 2E 418 to 431)
The Imperial City. I used to love it here. When I was young my native town of Skingrad seemed hopelessly provincial to me, and I looked forward all year long to going along with mother on her annual trip to the Heartland. For me, the capital was the epitome of learning, of culture, of everything I held dear.
I walk the avenues now, from district to district. And I look. Skingrad seemed provincial, yes, but it wasColovian: direct, forthright, with clean lines and a certain spare, ascetic look to it. And its people are much the same way.
The Imperial City, except for the walls and the Tower, which are Ayleid, is … Nibenese. Refined. Decorative. Subtle. Nuanced.
Like its people. And the people it attracts.
I was too late.
Morian is gone. With the help of Divayth, cursed Divayth, he fulfilled his dream and traveled toOblivion. According to Seif-ij, he went to Moonshadow as planned, but he didn't stay there. He went on, to Ashpit, to Coldharbour, to Quagmire. To Apocrypha.
And there, in Apocrypha, he stayed.
Seif-ij told me, emotion quivering even in his flat reptilian voice, of how once he entered Oblivion Morian seemed to become more reckless, more enraptured, with each portal to a new plane. How he ignored his assistant's pleas to return. How Apocrypha … entranced him.
Seif-ij Hidja was beside himself, holding his head with its drooping spines, clearly at his wit's-end. It was up to me. I ran to Divayth's room, though Seif-ij said he was gone, hoping he'd left some way to get in touch with him, hoping he would respond to my appeals for help. I found only a book, open on his desk, a book titled "Fragmentae Abyssum Hermaeus Morus." It was open to what seemed to be a summoning ritual for the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora, specifying that "whatever price is named shall be met."
A ritual to Hermaeus Mora. The Lord of Apocrypha.
I ran to Morian's laboratory. It was looted, ransacked. The only thing of interest was a crumpled note. It read, "When thou enterest into Oblivion, Oblivion entereth into thee."
Morian is gone. Gone to Apocrypha. Where he stays.
And so I walk, from district to district. Wondering. What price had the Lord of Apocrypha named to Divayth Fyr? What price for the entrancement, the captivity of Morian Zenas?
I walk the streets, the avenues and alleys. Wondering.
Wondering when I, too, will be ready to pay the price.