General: Interview With Two Denizens of the Shivering Isles
In 2007, Kurt Kuhlmann and Bruce Nesmith of Bethesda Softworks took part in an in-universe interview, playing the roles of Haskill and Dyus from the Shivering Isles expansion released that year. The interview was conducted by The Imperial Library.
Soon after news about the dramatic events in the realm of the Mad God reached Cyrodiil, the Imperial Library requested permission to enter the Shivering Isles and inquire about the land's current state. The librarians were escorted to a hillside cave in which they were introduced to two of the Isles' most remarkable inhabitants: one white-haired and pale, wearing a drab grey robe, the other looking stern and serious, yet flamboyantly dressed.
Good day, gentlemen. It is an honor to converse with two respectable... entities such as yourselves. Would you perhaps like to introduce yourselves?
- Dyus: My name is Dyus of Mytheria, former chamberlain to the Daedric Lord Jyggalag. Can we get on with this? Being around others grates on my nerves.
- Haskill: I am Haskill. Chamberlain to the Lord Sheogorath. As you know very well. But don't worry, my duties encompass many activities more distasteful than answering pointless questions.
If our information is correct, you both are or were -my condolences, Dyus- chamberlains to Sheogorath or. How did two fine gentlemen end up in this rather peculiar employment niche? What do your duties entail? Do you enjoy your profession?
- Dyus: My employment, as you describe it, was at the whim of Lord Jyggalag. I served him because he willed it to be so. As for my former life, I no longer remember it. That may be because I had none, or it may be because Lord Jyggalag blessed me with forgetfulness. I am not even certain if Mytheria is a true place or not.
- My duties were whatever Jyggalag commanded. At first I merely managed his library. However, the time came when he decided a chamberlain was needed to take care of all the mundane affairs of running a realm. That task fell to me. In short I did all those things Jyggalag found distasteful.
- Did I enjoy my profession? As a librarian, I found a certain satisfaction in my work. As chamberlain, everyday I yearned for death. It was Lord Jyggalag’s whim that I would despise the role I was molded to fit. After my first few deaths, he grew impatient with me and stripped my mortality away. However, even he did not anticipate that I would survive his downfall. Lord Sheogorath could have ended me, but he chose to imprison me instead, in case he needed my services. Now I wait for the end of times, when I might be allowed to die.
- Haskill: I must remember to visit more often, Dyus. I feel more cheerful already, just knowing that you still live and suffer.
- I am Lord Sheogorath's man of business. I carry out his will in all things, in order to keep the affairs of the Realm in order. Ah, me, a pun. The Realm of Madness is rarely in order, of course -- that is my distinguished colleague's ; rather, it is as Sheogorath wills it.
- My enjoyment is entirely beside the point. I exist to serve the Realm. Nothing more, nothing less. As to how I came into Lord Sheogorath's service... all I will say is that he and I go back to the beginning. You might say that I am the one constant in the ever-changing whims of the Madgod.
If you will excuse our boldness: we realized that either of you carries a name that, with a little imagination, seems to have a rather morbid undertone. Has the Mad God already blessed our ears and minds or do you mean something by it?
- Dyus: How nice of you to imply that my very name means death. I suppose you find my robe to be in poor taste as well? Perhaps my face frightens small children? Bah! I had no role in choosing my name, nor am I aware of any intended pun. Lord Jyggalag chose my name for reasons that are likely to remain unknown forever.
- Haskill: My master welcomes you to the Shivering Isles. You will fit in well here.
Thank you... His welcoming is appreciated.
Haskill, for a long time it was assumed that the Dark Seducers were minions of your Lord's unbrother Mehrunes Dagon. However, we find them here, in the Isles, dutifully guarding the lands of Dementia and they seem to have been doing so for a long time already. Have the loyalties of the Seducers always been this divided, or has the Mad God's charisma persuaded a few of these fine specimens to work in His service?
- Haskill: How typical. You mortals love to take a pebble of information and construct entire realms of conjecture upon it. Your lore of those disparate beings that you lump together as "daedra" is based on nothing -- lies and half-truths told by traitors, rebels, miscontents and weaklings who have had the misfortune to become involved with mortals. Or with Mehrunes Dagon. Do not speak his name to me again. The Master of Scum. The pawn of every Prince of true power, the dupe of every schemer in the Nineteen Voids. Do you think you know anything of the politics, factions, feuds, vendettas, wars of Oblivion? Do you think Oblivion such a simple place, that the tale of the loyalties of a great people such as the Mazken could be encompassed in a brief tale?
- Ah, excuse me. I seem to have become rather ... excessive. I am usually better at controlling myself. Forgive me. Pray continue with this most enthralling conversation.
Dyus, your master, too, has personal servants. Since the last Greymarch, there have been reports of mighty hulking creatures known as "Knights of Order". Strangely, they seem to be nothing more than empty crystalline shells. Can these beings be considered "Daedra" as well, or are they entirely Jyggalag's creation and thus outside of the usual classification of Daedra?
- Dyus: The limited imaginations of Mundus' inhabitants are very amusing. There are as many types of servants as stars in the sky. Daedra, as you call them, are but one of the more useful. The Knights of Order are yet another. My Lord Jyggalag is partial to their lack of creativity and independence.
Each of you, gentlemen, has resided in the Mad God's realm for a long time. Haskill, as right hand of the Lord himself at New Sheoth; Dyus as keeper of... what is left of the library of Jyggalag. However, has either of you ever been to the Mortal plane? What is your opinion on a world full of personal choice?
- Dyus: Personal choice is an illusion. I chose not to delude myself with it. However, I must admit that the quaint mortals of Tamriel have a distressing habit of interfering with the plans and plots of Daedric Princes. And quite successfully, I might add. It has given me a new respect for Lorkhan's choice.
- I have studied Mundus extensively, but have never set foot in it. My lord Jyggalag led me to believe that I would not find the experience... what was the word he used... oh, yes. Healthy.
- Haskill: What need do I have to visit Tamriel? I have more than enough irritating mortals to deal with here. Excepting your delightful self, of course.
Now we are talking about personal choice anyway: again, pardon us for being so bold, but stories of the Aldmeri creation mythos say that the Lord Sheogorath was 'born' when Lorkhan's divine spark was removed and the free Mundus, the mortal world, first came into existence. Might this relate to the curse that Jyggalag's jealous unbrothers placed on him?
- Dyus: The Aldmer really think that? How amusing.
- Haskill: Ah, the elves. That most self-centered of mortal races. It is inconceivable that anything could occur that has nothing at all to do with them. Do you really think that Oblivion exists solely as a shadow of Mundus? That everything that happens here is connected in some way with your pitifully limited world? I can tell you, speaking only for myself, of course, that sometimes entire minutes pass without me thinking of mortal affairs.
Since the last Greymarch, many things seem to have changed in the Shivering Isles. Jyggalag disappeared after his curse was lifted. With all respect, Dyus, your master is gone forever. How do you feel about this?
- Dyus: Feel? I have not 'felt' anything for millennia. I await my ending or my return to service, either of which will happen at Jyggalag's whim. I find it amusing that you believe him gone forever. He may never return to this realm, but he still walks the voids of Oblivion. He may choose to seek revenge against those that cursed him. He may have loftier goals. I would not presume to guess.
For you too, things have changed, Haskill. Lord Sheogorath has ridden himself of his fiercest opponent. It seems there will be no more Greymarches, which will undoubtedly lighten the burden of administrative work for you. Are you perhaps planning on taking up a hobby in your spare time?
- Haskill: Spare time? Ah, you refer to my apparently carefree existence, always available to be summoned on a whim or trotted out to interview a curious mortal. Yes, I will have to think deeply on which hobby to take up in my copious free time. Perhaps taxidermy.
This concludes our enlightening interview. Before we travel back to our beloved Tamriel, we would like to thank the both of you. Dyus, we thank you for your precious time and for providing us with a suitable location. Haskill, thank you for your pleasant company and insightful explanations.
- Dyus: Time I have in abundance. As for this place, it's a mess.
- Haskill: The pleasure was all mine.