Lore:Fate

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Threads of Fate as depicted in Tales of Tribute

Fate is a metaphysical concept which posits that events develop as determined by a higher power. While the nature and identity of the power that authors fate remain in contention, it is clear that fate is a present force within Aurbis and that certain deities such as the Daedric Princes Hermaeus Mora and Ithelia have dominion over at least some aspects of it.[1][2][3]

Threads of Fate[edit]

Tem the Omen of Destiny, a Daedra with the ability to perceive fate's threads

Each individual has their own fateline, the tapestry of their fate made of up the many strands of the choices and events of their lives. The force of Fate, comprised of all the accumulated fatelines, is therefore visualized as either a loom that constantly spins out the threads of destiny, or as a vast ocean with currents and tibes that ebb and flow forever into the future.[4][1]

There are those who can perceive and scry the fate-threads in order to gain information, including the possible futures that might unfold and the likelihood of them occuring, the objects and beings tied to an event, where it might take place, and when a thread becomes frayed and when it is ultimately resolved.[5][2]

This ability to perceive fate is known to exist among the Daedric servants of Hermaeus Mora, whose Watchers can discern future events ranging from the insignificant to cataclysmic disasters. They even observe and locate contradictions and distortions in the fabric of fate and, as a result, are tasked with discovering their cause and fixing them by repairing the fatelines and resolving any contradictions to fates recorded in Apocrypha, serving the Prince as "auditors of fate".[6] Especially powerful servants of Mora have been known to acquire detailed information about the fates and lives of those they encounter at a glance, witnessing the events that have happened, that might or may never happen, and even unwoven fates that one might've lived. Using the proper ingredients and summoning rituals, these Daedric agents of Mora can be bound to answer the questions of the one who invoked them.There are mortals who possess abilities to observe fate similar to those of Mora's agents, and can share their gift with others, should they desire to.[7][8][9][5]

Though the threads of fate can be scried, many possible paths branch from each choice one makes, therefore knowing too much about what is to come poses a risk of changing the outcome. In addition, according to Hermaeus Mora, it is the nature of mortals to always have a chance to succeed and reach a desired outcome even when it would otherwise be impossible, a quality not possessed by immortal beings like himself who would inevitably fail in the same circumstances. Lastly, certain individuals like the Vestige and the Unseen, servants of the Daedric Prince Ithelia, have the ability to cause fate to warp around them and forge their own fate, and so their actions and their consequences can't be accurately predicted. Because of this even the ability to perceive fate's threads can't always accurately predict an outcome when such factors are involved. [5][2][UOL 1]

It is said that sufficient damage to the fabric of fate can endanger all of reality.[2]

Unwoven Fates[edit]

A Frayed Fate

For each strand that might become part of one's fate there comes a threshold, a point past which it either becomes inextricably woven into their fateline or is rejected from it, becoming an "unwoven" fate. These unlived fates are likened to paths unwalked, shadows one's life casts, or scattered debris it leaves behind, creating a chain that links back to its very first moment.[4]

Through the use of Magic it is possible to peer through the veil of reality in order to look beyond one's own life and into the unwoven fates one might've lived much like Hermaeus Mora and his agents can, allowing for the unwalked paths to be accessed in order to learn from them. Such magic can even allow for unlived fates to become "frayed" from the universe and become manifest within the world, a state in which they can be incorporated directly to gain the knowledge and power they represent. However, this phenomenon is highly dangerous, as frayed fates can develop their own awareness and seek to absorb their counterpart fates, or even replace their originator, themselves. Such aware fates can not be vanquished so long as the anchor that manifested them into the world remains. It is unknown where frayed fates are sent after being vanquished, but Azandar-al-Cybiades theorizes that such a place exists and is confident it's deeply unpleasant.[4][9][8][10]

Magic and artifacts that tap into unwoven fates can function and be enhanced through blood, as fates are blood-bound to an individual.[4][9]

Fate and Apocrypha[edit]

Hermaeus Mora, Master of the Tides of Fate

While the nature and identity of the force fate issues from remain in contention, the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora is said to have dominion over at least one aspect of fate. Described as the ever-seeing-eyes that constantly scry fate to see what is destined to happen next, Mora is likened to a great eye either suspended above or always submerged in fate's ocean, gazing into the depths to track the currents of fate. Thus he is called the "Master of the Tides of Fate", not because he controls fate, but because he knows its every possibility and outcome intimately, perceiving all that may come to pass. This is also reflected in his realm of Apocrypha, which takes the form of an endless ocean of knowledge and secrets, though it's unclear if the idea of Mora as a vast entity cataloging the tides of fate or the shape of the realm came first, with one perhaps being just a reflection of the other.[1][2] Mora's reach and gaze even extend beyond the veil of reality and what is and into possibilities that may be or might have been.[4][9]

The currents of fate flow strongly in Apocrypha, a quality which makes the realm the ideal place for one seeking to understand the mysteries of fate and the Abyssal Sea, but also makes it highly dangerous, containing regions where it is possible for a traveler to become lost in fates that never came to pass, strange realities that can imprison the unwary in worlds of their own making. This holds especially true in certain regions of the realm like the Underweave, described as a powerful and dangerous nexus of fated potential, a locus of might-have-beens and never-will-bes, where fate shifts constantly like the tides of the Abyssal Sea and fatelines flex and fray.[9] [11][12]

Potent fates with the potential to influence the very fate of the planes are transcribed within crystalline artifacts called Glyphics, described as the physical manifestation of that potential fate or other knowledge which can be coaxed to transform into a tangible version of the concept they contain. Of those fated Glyphics, those containing fates which ultimately didn't come to pass are "uncatalogued" and unmade by being fed into the Nemesis Looms, devices that unravel parts of reality that reside in the Heart of the Underweave, as failed fates that aren't destroyed can latch onto reality and cause havoc. This process also serves to accumulate immense amounts of magicka, as the unmade fates are dissolved into arcane energies and "temporal dust", which the Heart than stores. It is suggested that through doing this Mora somehow "refills" the well of knowledge within Aurbis so it doesn't become exhausted, though Mora's servants refuse to provide more information. The power in the Heart can be tapped into to manipulate time, but doing so is highly dangerous as it can potentially cause realm-tearing temporal anomalies.[13][5][14]

Agents of Hermaeus Mora with the ability to perceive the threads of fate serve the Prince as fate's "auditors", given the task of seeking out distortions in fate that result when something that contradicts a fate recorded by Hermaeus Mora occurs and repairing the threads by discovering and addressing the cause. Once an important contradiction in fate has been resolved a summation of the associated events is recorded in the Chronicle of Apocrypha, where it is commemorated eternally. [6][5]

Apocrypha and Nirn are said to share a powerful connection, the fates of the two worlds are inextricably linked and, because of this and its role in regulating fate, were Apocrypha to be destroyed, the resulting ripples of fate would also unravel the mortal world, and the ensuing destruction would ripple throughout reality.[2][5]

Apocrypha contains sprawling facilities dedicated to scrying fate and storing prophecies. Within the Sidereal Cloisters, Daedric orreries chart the light and movements of the stars and celestial bodies to predict the future. These prohecies, the result of centuries of perfected fate-scrying and translating the stars, after having undergone a process of refinement whereby the pure unrefined predictions of the orreries are scryed and sorted in the facility's Divinatory Forums, are inscribed into tomes stored in the Cloister libraries.The contents of the tomes can vary, ranging from less momentous predictions such as the changing of grain prices or the formation of new valleys by rivers, to primordial predictions that could cause dire consequences across all the planes if misinterpreted, such as realm spanning conflicts. Ever-changing prophecies that can be affected by the mundane and ordinary are recorded in the Loggia Infinitum section of the Cloisters, prophecies of dangerous events are kept in the Calamitous Gallery where the Cloister caretakers begin their study in order to test their resolve, and prophecies that predict the changing of regimes and dynasties are stored in the Empyrean Ascent. Due to their importance, Hermaeus Mora has been known to take direct action to prevent valuable tomes from leaving the Cloisters, on one occasion trapping the whole facility in a time loop to prevent a text from being lost.[15][16][2]

The function of the Infinite Archive, a subrealm of Apocrypha which lies within that realm's greater fabric and takes the form of an endless library that contains written records of events that were or could yet be from across Aurbis, revolves around a system of fateline manipulation. All objects and beings within the Archive are connected to an arcane orb known as the Index, which serves as both catalogue and safeguard. Threads of fate are spun between the Index and the contents of the catalogue and, when some sort of danger damages the recorded object and causes the fateline to snap, the Index restores the version of it from just before the break occured, not a copy or recreation but the thing itself from a different moment in its fateline. The Archive contains tomes dedicated to recording information pertaining to possible outcomes, such as the Book of Infinite Questions and Potent Possibilities, in which all the potential questions one could ask at a given moment are recorded.[17][18]

The Unravelling Palimpsest, a tome of Apocrypha with contents that take a different form unique to each observer, allows its reader knowledge of any secret as long as it pertains to their own life and fate, thus "unravelling" the secrets of their fateline. It is actually a supernatural phenomenon formed in response to the realm's endless ocean of knowledge.[9]

Should the personal recollections of Hermaeus Mora stored within the Eyes of Mora somehow be altered, the event the memory depicts itself will be rewritten.[2][5][19]

Fate and the Magna Ge[edit]

Ithelia, Prince of Paths
The Blue Star among Akatosh, Nirn, and two other stars

While Hermaeus Mora is called the "Master of the Tides of Fate" and perceives all that may come to pass, he can not freely select which possibility comes to pass, as it is choice and chance which determine which outcome actually occurs. Contrasting Mora's sphere, the Daedric Prince Ithelia, Mistress of the Untraveled Road is said to possess the power to unravel the strands of fate and rearrange them to suit her every whim, shaping destiny itself to her liking.[2][5][19] As a Magna Ge before becoming a Daedric Prince, Ithelia, the White Star and Queen of Fates Unwritten, was said to dictate that fate have a chance to be born. Additionally, she is said to will that a Prisoner Unbound, beings that can forge their own fate, always exist.[3] Mora perceived that Ithelia's power had already caused irreparable damage to the fabric of fate and that, if allowed to continue, her very existence endangered all of reality. Because of this Mora erased all memory of Ithelia from existence and imprisoned her within the Mythos, the core of Apocrypha.[2][5][19][20]

Ithelia's Daedric servants, the Unseen, such as the Dremora Torvesard, also possess a degree of ability to manipulate the strands of fate. This allows them to accomplish tasks such as entering the Eyes of Mora without the corresponding key and even to alter the memories of the Prince contained there, thereby rewriting the event depicted itself. They are not visible even to the gaze of Hermaeus Mora, but their presence can be felt indirectly through the distortion they cause in fate's threads.[2][5][19]

The Magna-Ge Mnemo-Li, the Blue Star of the Nine Coruscations, is also said to be linked to endless possibility, frozen moments of unfettered destiny, rewritten narratives, including those of the Elder Scrolls, and the emergence of the Prisoners Unbound, as per the will of the Prime Archon, Ithelia.[3] Some texts credit Mnemo-Li as being the keeper of the Elder Scrolls.[UOL 2]

Fate Magic[edit]

Though Hermaeus Mora's sphere, unlike Ithelia's does not include control over fate itself,[2] some of the Prince's agents have shown some limited ability to influence the threads of fate. In 2E 582, Leramil the Wise, an agent of Mora, used her magic to rearrange the threads of fate in order to force the entrance to the Infinite Panopticon to return to a location it had already moved on from, though doing so placed great strain on her. Later Leramil, Torvesard, and the Vestige who had been granted some ability to align the threads of fate by Mora due to their role as Fate's Proxy, worked together to align the lines and open the portal to the Mythos, the core of Apocrypha. While accompanying the Vestige Leramil influenced fate in order to revitalize and aid them in combat.[5][19]

Scruut, a Watchling fate auditor in the service of Hermaeus Mora, believed that influencing fate the way Leramil did was a power not meant for mortals, and that using it would prove her undoing one day.[6]

Artifacts[edit]

The Unravelling Palimpsest[edit]

An arcane tome of Apocrypha the contents of which transform depending on the reader, taking a form unique to each. In actuality a manifest supernatural phenomenon created in response to the endless seas of knowledge within Apocrypha, the tome allows its reader to learn any secret as long as it pertains to their own life and fate, in essence "unravelling" the secrets of their fateline. In 2E 582 Azandar-al-Cybiades delved into Quires Wind, a facility in Apocrypha where the tome was stored, and used it to discern which defining moments of his life anchored the Adversary, a frayed fate intent on absorbing its alternate fates and replacing its originator, to him.[9]

The Fateweaver Key[edit]

Replica Fateweaver Key

A powerful key shaped artifact created by Azandar-al-Cybiades, an exceptionally skilled Arcanist and mage of world-class power and knowledge said to be comparable to that of Morian Zenas, after a lifetime of research and experimentation. The Fateweaver Key was created in order to allow Azandar to replicate the ability of Hermaeus Mora to gaze beyond the veil of reality, allowing its wielder to observe his unwoven fates, the "might have beens" of his life, for knowledge. The Key, however, exceeded its creator's expectations, causing his unlived fates to become "frayed" from the universe and become manifested within the world. During his efforts to track down these frayed fates and use the Key to "stitch" them back into the universe Azandar encountered the Adversary, a hostile frayed fate that sought to absorb its counterparts and take his place using its own version of the Fateweaver Key. As the Adversary could not be vanquished as long as his anchor to the world, the Fateweaver Key itself, remained, Azandar instructed the Vestige to burn the artifact out using a font of Magicka and the Adversary was banished. Acknowledging the danger and temptation the Key represented, Azandar elected to have the now inert relic cast into the ocean.[9][21][10][8]

Notes[edit]

  • Qualities that resemble the ability of Hermaeus Mora to perceive all of fate's possible paths and outcomes are also attributed to a number of other gods. These include Alkosh who, like Khenarthi, is said to be able to see across all the Many Paths of time.[22]. Jyggalag whose library is said to have contained accurate predictions of every event and every action ever taken by any creature be they mortal or Daedric, based on formulae of logical deduction.[23]. And Sotha Sil, who is likewise described as able to make accurate and detailed predictions of how events will unfold long in advance through simulations.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Master of the Tides of FateLeramil the Wise
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hermaeus Mora's dialogue in ESO
  3. ^ a b c The Nine CoruscationsStar-Queen Varalias
  4. ^ a b c d e The Never-Woven text in ESO
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Leramil's dialogue in ESO
  6. ^ a b c Scruut's dialogue in ESO
  7. ^ Predestination and Paradox: A Treatise text in ESO
  8. ^ a b c Tem's dialogue in ESO
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Azandar-al-Cybiade's dialogue in ESO
  10. ^ a b The Adversary's dialogue in ESO
  11. ^ The Underweave loading screen in ESO
  12. ^ The Doom of the HushedLeramil the Wise
  13. ^ Ogle's dialogue in ESO
  14. ^ Thaddeus Cosma's dialogue in ESO
  15. ^ Meenai-Shai's dialogue in ESO
  16. ^ Morbid Observer's dialogue in ESO
  17. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Infinite ArchiveMaster Malkhest
  18. ^ Master Malkhest's dialogue during the quest The Margins of Ire in ESO
  19. ^ a b c d e Torvesard's dialogue in ESO
  20. ^ Adept Rakzzin-jo's dialogue in ESO
  21. ^ Meet the Character - Azandar al-CybiadesElydrina Nathriin
  22. ^ Ja'darri's dialogue in ESO:Dragonhold
  23. ^ Dyus' dialogue in Oblivion: Shivering Isles
  24. ^ Sotha Sil's dialogue in ESO
  25. ^ Sotha Sil's dialogue in Legends

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.