Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions


The Gauldur amulet, redefining the law of Firsts?

Tags: #Teineeva  #Magic  #Enchanting  #Gauldur  #Artefacts 
  • Member
    July 5

    There has been quite a bit of chatter regarding Saarthal and the family of one of its denizens; Gauldur and his sons. After having discussed both whether or not the second era Nords knew what the eye of Magnus was and in what way Yrik Gauldurson was involved with the artefact, and the race of his father: Gauldur, I believe it is time we take a look at the artefact belonging to Gauldur himself; the artefact that sparked so much political unrest in the second Era that it was decided to bury its existence.

    Let’s keep that in mind for a second and look at a primer on advanced enchanting methods: “Twin secrets”. This text provides information on a law of enchanting known as the law of the Firsts;

    The best enchanters of this age can imbue almost any spells into the metal and leather of armor and weapons. However, once enchanted, such an item will not enchant again. It is called the Law of Firsts. The first enchantment is the only one that takes.

    Another quote in this book describes how in old times this law didn’t exist and as a matter of fact; we know as much from Oblivion and Morrowind. From there the rule could have appeared out of Uncle Sheo’s arse for all we know. What is however interesting is that Gauldur’s amulet appears to be enchanted with an effect englobing three smaller enchantments; at a glance; nothing strange for its age. But I would like to invite you to think of how it appears to have been made.

    Unlike other enchanted items in the game, the Gauldur amulet is made out of three different already enchanted fragments; each carrying one of the three smaller enchantments that make up the one we know. A ritual only known by Gauldur himself allows for the three fragments to become one.

    If we assume that the law of first probably wasn’t in place yet at the time this method seems extremely over complicated; after all as far as we know, at that point in time, all you had to do to add another enchantment was to just repeat the enchanting process. Yet, to the more modern enchanter, this might look like a lot more of an opportunity.

    I propose that whatever ritual Gauldur uses to merge the fragments could be used to bypass the law of firsts and even the more advanced method proposed by Twin secrets by enchanting the different components that make an item and using the ritual to merge them.

    Three different parts of one whole. Where have we heard that before? :P

    It’s too bad the actual game doesn’t allow us to test that theory. Damn Gauldur keeps hold of his secrets like the tomb he haunts. Anyway, what do you think about the subject?

  • Member
    July 5

    Nice, I'd not thought of it in that way before. Are there other items we can think of that the Law of Firsts doesn't apply to from that early First Era?

    It's an interesting time, the last ships from Atmora had only landed less than a century ago, The Dragon Cult was still topical and fresh in people's memories, and the events of the Merethic Era and the fate of the Falmer are prominent in the Nordic psyche. The Bretons as we know them aren't formed, they may either be more merish in appearence or more Nedic - debateable, but the Direnni have not risen to prominence in High Rock, so old Nedic ways may still be extant.

    It really is a time almost like the Mythic era, so many secrets from so many now-lost races may have been known.

  • Member
    July 5

    Paws said:

    Nice, I'd not thought of it in that way before. Are there other items we can think of that the Law of Firsts doesn't apply to from that early First Era?

    It's an interesting time, the last ships from Atmora had only landed less than a century ago, The Dragon Cult was still topical and fresh in people's memories, and the events of the Merethic Era and the fate of the Falmer are prominent in the Nordic psyche. The Bretons as we know them aren't formed, they may either be more merish in appearence or more Nedic - debateable, but the Direnni have not risen to prominence in High Rock, so old Nedic ways may still be extant.

    It really is a time almost like the Mythic era, so many secrets from so many now-lost races may have been known.

    From the top of my head, I can't really think of many artifacts that break the rule of Firsts at all, except for some things that we know were made during the events of Morrowind or Oblivion..

    After the law of firsts came into being only two daedric artifacts have more than two enchantments and even then those cases are easily debatable, besides those the only really old stuff that I can think of right now are Wuuthrad, the Helm of Yngol and the Saarthal Amulet (on the Nordic/Atmoran side at least). Can't say I know any more than that off the top of my head. Most Dwemer stuff also seems to be following the rule with the black bow of fate being a bit debatable (in the same way as the champion's cudgel but that thing dates back to the events of Morrowind so no surprise there).

    Essentially none of those seem to break the rule.

     

  • July 10

    The only other weapons that I've been able to find was Keening and Harkon's sword. Both absorb Stamina, Health, and Magick, which is technically three separate enchantments. Keening goes back to the first Era so that matches the timeline, and (according to my knowledge) we don't know exactly when Harkon became a vampire only that is was before the third Era (as shown by Serana not knowing about the Cyrodiilic Empire, which began in 3E). Harkon's sword has its vampire rule though, so that might not count.

  • Member
    July 16

    Legion's Blood of the Ancients in the RP thread about Progression reminded of this thread, that and the feature. I'd completely forgotten about it.

    Ruined Crown above talks about Harkon's sword absorbing health, stamina and magicka. The Gauldur Amulet fortifies those three attributes. Both come from a time long ago, the Bloodspring dating to the First Era and the Sword possibly also, seeing as it has clear Akaviri design along with serpent motifs. Vampires and Tsaesci are like Cinderella and slippers:

    Long glory was wife to the all the knights of the dragon-banner, who knew no other and were brothers before beyond many seas and now were brothers under the law named the blade-surrender of Pale Pass. And having vampire blood these brother-knights lived for ages through and past Reman and then kept guard over his ward, the coiled king, Versidue-Shaie. The snake-captain Vershu became Renald became the protector of the northern west when the black dart was hooked into Savirien-Chorak.

    The book The Legend of Vastarie hints that black soul gems were unknown before her's and Manimarco's daring entry up Bal's back passage, and that could be borne out by the Guild Memo on Soul Trapping and Ahzidal's Descent.

    Is this Law of First mentioned by Tein in the OP restricted to the modern ways of enchanting? Is there a connection between blood magic and being able to produce three magickal effects?

    When we think in terms of memory and water, or light and magicka and the relationship between each, what does blood magick actually do? For a vampire, blood is quite potent, life-giving shit. I'm just thinking that noodling that one out could provide a clue as to how these two artefacts are able to defy this Law of Firsts.

    Add to this Veloth's thoughts about the Nedes and their star-worship, the serpent motifs abound in Craglorn Nedic sites, and I'm starting to form a vague idea of the connections between blood, magicka, light, and liquid.

    If water holds memory (and I use water very loosley here to mean "liquid"), and blood holds magicka/soul (Dragon-blooded/Dragon-souled are used interchangeably), is combing them a way to get around the Law? If Gaulder was a Nede, which seems likely given the time period, perhaps the ways of the Akaviri and the practices of the Nedes weren't too dissimilar.

  • July 17

    There is one more item that has more than two enchantments, the robes of the Arch-Mage. And I really doubt that all the Arch-Mages of all times wore the same robes or even owned only one set of those. Which means that there have been known ways around the Law of Firsts. The most obvious idea that comes to my mind is that some technique allows to enchant the different components or parts of an item separately and later merge them together in a way not unlike Gauldur's amulet. However, I really doubt that every enchanter in Tamriel would know those techniques. They are probably known to a very small minority of people.

  • July 18

    Nice!  Considering I'm about to finally get back to making a working Archmage Gauldur build, I'll be giving this a very thorough read this afternoon. :D

  • Member
    July 20

    I could be thinking of this wrong, but the Law of Firsts might not be violated by artifacts like Harkon's sword. All the Law states is that "the first enchantment is the one that takes". And in fact, even when playing Oblivion or Morrowind, you can apply multiple enchantments *only if they are applied simultaneously*. That is, you can't re-enchant something that has been already enchanted; you can't add another enchantment to an already-enchanted item.

    So it's possible that other artifacts with multiple enchantments were created the same way a Third-Era enchanter would craft his stuff: by sitting down and doing it all at once.

    The big difference is that the Gauldur Amulet seems to be forged out of 3 already-enchanted items - but maybe this simply because it was a pre-existing item that had been broken. So Gauldur's action at the end of the questline is just to *re*combine something - not violating the Law of Firsts, but merging 3 items.

  • August 1

    I have that quest with my Bosmer Arcane Archer Scout. he likes discovering things and being called "the Outcast" of his tribe.

  • Member
    Mon at 6:53 AM

    Paul England said:

    I could be thinking of this wrong, but the Law of Firsts might not be violated by artifacts like Harkon's sword. All the Law states is that "the first enchantment is the one that takes". And in fact, even when playing Oblivion or Morrowind, you can apply multiple enchantments *only if they are applied simultaneously*. That is, you can't re-enchant something that has been already enchanted; you can't add another enchantment to an already-enchanted item.

    So it's possible that other artifacts with multiple enchantments were created the same way a Third-Era enchanter would craft his stuff: by sitting down and doing it all at once.

    The big difference is that the Gauldur Amulet seems to be forged out of 3 already-enchanted items - but maybe this simply because it was a pre-existing item that had been broken. So Gauldur's action at the end of the questline is just to *re*combine something - not violating the Law of Firsts, but merging 3 items.

    That is indeed a bit more what I was going for. The interesting thing about Gauldur's amulet lies not in its power or the enchantment itself but in the ritual that was used to reform it. I've got to wonder whether or not it would work to combine three items that weren't already part of a one.

    Actually, Skyrim, and as an extension TES lore, is full of weird crafting methods that allow the enchanting items while you're crafting them. We know of two forges that for an obscure reason enhance the weapons made in them, these being the Lunar Forge and the Sky Forge (funny how both are named after the sky in a way actually). Not to mention the practice of mixing your molten ebony with the blood (and more particularly the heart) of a Daedroth to ensnares their essence in the crafted item.

    I've got to wonder if these methods enchant the entire item or the parts. After all, despite the fact that the entire item tends to gain the attributes, it has not taken shape at the moment where the magic happens.