Lore:Ritual of the Ancestor Moth

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"Deciphering one of the Elder Scrolls is nothing like reading a simple book. There's quite a bit of ritual and concentration required. It can take months or even years to complete a single scroll and even then, months to recover." — Dexion Evicus

The Ritual of the Ancestor Moth is a ritual performed by Moth Priests in order to read an Elder Scroll. The reading of these ancient scrolls of prophecy allow the priests to divine the future and aid the Empire.[1]

The ritual takes place within one of the many secluded Ancestor Glades scattered across Tamriel. It involves carefully removing the bark of a canticle tree with a traditional draw knife, which in turn attracts the Ancestor Moths who inhabit the glade. Once enough moths are in the vicinity of the Moth Priest, they grant them the second sight needed to decipher the scroll.[1]

Moth Priests maintain that the voice of the Ancestor Moth has always been an integral part of reading an Elder Scroll. The moths maintain a connection to the ancient magic that allows the Moth Priest to decipher them. Moths emanate a soft harmonious trilling that, when amplified, taps into a form of primal augur. This allows the moths themselves to become a conduit for deciphering the scrolls. By having the moths close to the Moth Priest, they can utilize the conduit and share the moth's augury. Every Moth Priest is taught this ritual, but only the most resilient can read the scrolls in this manner as it takes years of practice to interpret the harmony. As such, few ever get the chance to perform it.[1]

In 4E 201, the Last Dragonborn performed the ritual with three Elder Scrolls to reveal the location of Auriel's Bow in an effort to stop the fulfillment of the Tyranny of the Sun prophecy.[2]

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  1. ^ a b c Dexion Evicus's dialogue in Skyrim
  2. ^ Events of Dawnguard