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Daedra Dossier: Meridia

Tags: #Daedra Dossier  #Meridia  #Phil 
  • Member
    May 18, 2018

    Dragonborn1921 said:

    Have I...have I never read this before? God damn this was interesting. The Knights of the Gleaming Blade are beyond interesting, is there anything more about them or just that single lore article? Eh, bah, whatever okay I'm planning a build for it now, just, way to make it difficult for me Phil :P

    Anyway, featured this over on Twitter (which has really made me want to read more stuff).

    Then do what Vargr did for his Druid of Galen, extrapolate what little there is, as well as your own headcanon. Also need to get to that Knight of the Dragon-Banner build. I remember when Phil posted that idea in the Recycling Bin

  • Member
    May 19, 2018
    What's this, paleontology weekend on the Vault? :D To really see more of that faction you need to play through the Fighters Guild questline in ESO. They had a very specific goal, and it is quite a tragic tale, but it's worth it to see some of their dialogue (we see visions of the past) and how they have these cultural terms. Like, I think they refer to Merid in different ways than we're used to, one was the Sunburst iirc. For a project like a build or something it might be worth looking at those quests and nailing down the differences so as to capture that, maybe.
  • Member
    February 27

    Post resurrection time!

    I'm so glad I remembered to check the Vault while fleshing out Meridia in my lastest story, other resources have in game texts, but joining the dots, making sense of why Meridia is the way she is is without a different viewpoint is tricky at best. Trying to establish lore valid, but not canon reasons for events involving Meridia in the 2E have been difficult, this however, is perfect inspiration and also helps tie in with other NPC back stories :-)

  • Member
    February 28

    Meli said:

    Post resurrection time!

    I'm so glad I remembered to check the Vault while fleshing out Meridia in my lastest story, other resources have in game texts, but joining the dots, making sense of why Meridia is the way she is is without a different viewpoint is tricky at best. Trying to establish lore valid, but not canon reasons for events involving Meridia in the 2E have been difficult, this however, is perfect inspiration and also helps tie in with other NPC back stories :-)

    Ha! Are you practising the dark arts now, Meli? Or maybe just riding the rainbow road to stretch the dragon and bend time and space to your will? Or did you master the Psijic's ultimate ability during your travels in Summerset and Artaeum and use Temporal Guard to step back in time?

    I'm trying to think of the things we have learned since this article was written. As you probably know, Meridia's more sinister side crops up again at the end of the Summerset questline in Darien's final message to us, Words of the Fallen. Since then, it seems when she does get mentioned in quests or stories, the focus has shifted away from Meridia's benevolence towards her darker side.

    We see this darkness in lore brought to us by Northern Elsweyr which established Meridia as part of the Kahjiiti pre-ri'Datta pantheon as an "adversarial spirit." The text of these books does wonders for kitty lore and gives insight into us the cat's view of Meridia.

    Merid-Nunda. False Spirit of Greed. The Orphaned Glimmer. She is the daughter of Magrus, who loved only himself and his own creations. Magrus did not take a mate, but instead forged children of the aether. Merid-Nunda is a cold spirit, born of light without love. She is intellect without wisdom, knowledge without purpose. She is the consort of demons, and some songs blame her for orchestrating the death of mighty Lorkhaj. When Merid-Nunda dared assault the Lattice, Azurah struck her down before the Varliance Gate and dragged her away from it. She then cast Merid-Nunda into the Void and bound her there with mirrors. The nomads say she has since escaped.

    Southern Elsweyr continued that as the Meridia theme crops up again in a world boss and associated daily quests. The daily quest-giver, Bruccius Baenius has some interesting dialogue exploring/elaborating upon the selfishness mentioned in Adversarial Spirits. (While you're in Senchal, check out the other daily quest-giver, Guybert Flaubert. He is probably my favourite NPC in the game :D)

    More recently, Greymoor has us explore Meridia's Temple at Mount Kilkreath in Western Skyrim. The related quest explains why the temple became the abandoned ruin we see several centuries later in 4E 201 and, in the dialogues with the priests and priestesses, explores the Prince's capriciousness. It isn't explained why Meridia abandoned her people, although when we last spoke to the Lady of Infinite Energies in Summerset, she was rushing off to protect her realm from the other Lords of Misrule. It could be the Oblivion War is still raging and she was too busy, or maybe she really is a cold spirit, born of light without love.

    Meridia is also behind the events of the Garlas Malatar dungeon in ESO, Depths of Malatar. This dungeon forms part of the Season of the Dragon storyline and explores Meridia by showing us both sides of her and filling in a few of the gaps left after TES Oblivion's Knights of the Nine story. The Frostbitten Journal sheds some light on Ayleid life after the death of Umaril the Unfeathered, while the dungeon's story looks at the hope and loyalty of those left behind to guard the Wrathstone. As a dlc dungeon, Depths of Malatar is quite hard compared to base-game dungeons, but it's definitely worth doing and taking it slow so as to soak up all the good lore.

    Whatever the truth of Meridia is, I think when she enters the story again, she will be presented to us as an antagonist. Her character, both good and bad, seems defined by the need for affection and loyalty she herself is incapable of returning.

  • Member
    February 28

    I think Meridia herself may have been meddling again, either that or Dorcas-Anya's reaction to Summerset has managed to bend reality to her will. I can't help it if you produce well written, useful dossiers!

    The additional texts above are useful, thank you, I still have lots of in-game reading to do, and so far haven't been through the dungeon's (I really must get to that). Meridia certainly continues to be a complex character, it may be that when she has appeared to show loyalty or care, that it ultimately suited her own ends or was just a side-effect.The time aspect also intrigues me, it appears that she can affect the rate at which time moves forward, but for her own perception of it, how far could that extend? Past or future?

    As the story develops I'm hoping to show the different aspects of Meridia in a way that is relevant to each individual part, so there may be some benevolence when it's logical oor suits her purpose, and other times, well, we'll see how bad she gets :-)

  • Member
    February 28

    Meli said:

    I think Meridia herself may have been meddling again, either that or Dorcas-Anya's reaction to Summerset has managed to bend reality to her will. I can't help it if you produce well written, useful dossiers!

    The additional texts above are useful, thank you, I still have lots of in-game reading to do, and so far haven't been through the dungeon's (I really must get to that). Meridia certainly continues to be a complex character, it may be that when she has appeared to show loyalty or care, that it ultimately suited her own ends or was just a side-effect.The time aspect also intrigues me, it appears that she can affect the rate at which time moves forward, but for her own perception of it, how far could that extend? Past or future?

    As the story develops I'm hoping to show the different aspects of Meridia in a way that is relevant to each individual part, so there may be some benevolence when it's logical oor suits her purpose, and other times, well, we'll see how bad she gets :-)

    That story sounds fascinating! Meridia is a complicated thing, but if you are able to convey her different aspects, it would be really interesting to see her portrayed and possibly make her seem very human. Flawed, but relatable. I'm curious to know more!

    Regarding time and light, especially time and the past, it's a very complicated thing in physics to which I'm not sure there is a definite answer. My view is that the Exegesis of Merid-Nunda describes time dilation, length contraction and special relativity as we understand it within this passage:

    "… thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the Dragon, at the other end compressing him …."

    If you complete the main quest, you can do Cadwell's Silver. This magic of Meridia puts you at the start of the story as if you had just rolled a character, allowing you to experience another Alliance's storyline. While you can't do the main Molag Bal questline again (that remains fixed in time), you have essentially been transported back in time. This is how I justify that:

    Time is weird in that it's conceivable the future is already fixed in exactly the same way the past is. I mean, we can intuitively say what is happening right now, you know? Like, right now I'm typing while a car outside is driving by, a dog is barking and a bird is flying over the house. What makes it weird is that, because motion slows time's passage, if a person ten billion light-years away is sitting still, then what's happening for that person right now exists within the same slice of time as what is going on around me because he is relative to me.

    However, if that person were to get up and start running farther away, then his slice of "now" time is no longer the same as mine. The extreme distance between us and the fact he is now moving away relative to me means his "now" slice of time includes events that happened on earth two-hundred years ago.

    If that person were to then turn around and start running towards me, his slice of "now" time would include events here on earth that won't happen for another two-hundred years.

    Of course, this person would never be able to get to where I am before those events occur because he's got ten billion light-years to travel before he gets to where I am. That is to say, it would take him ten billion years to travel to me if he were travelling at the speed of light.

    But it isn't that simple because something weird happens - distances get smaller in the direction of motion, which is length contraction.

    For example, if a spaceship is travelling at 90% speed of light towards an object 10 light-years away, it would make sense to say the object would arrive in 11 years. This is true if I was standing still, watching and timing it because I would say it took 11 years. But for the people onboard, length contraction occurs to make the journey only 4.4 years.

    So, what if that spaceship could travel at 100% the speed of light? Einsteinian physics says it isn't possible - the spaceship's length would contract to zero and a time would stop relative to me. The journey might well be instantaneous for the people aboard that spaceship.

    If we are Meridia, however, then we are the speed of light because we are light itself. So, if that person who is ten billion light-years away were to start running away from me, his "now" includes my past. If he were to grab hold of Meridia, turn around travel to me... It's possible he would arrive at my destination instantaneously, which would be for him "now" but in fact 200 years ago according to me (who now won't exist for another 200 years).

    At least, I think that's how it works :D

  • Member
    March 7
    I'm still taking this in, I think I need to head back to Elsweyr before I descend on Markarth. As always, your insights are helpful and well written :-) Thank you Paws, I may pop some snippets in Sotek's "What are you working on" thread, not completely sure this one should be posted in full yet.
  • Member
    March 7

    That's kind of you, thank you Meli :) I reckon you should take my pop-physics with a pinch of salt, though, and not dwell on that last post too much. Time in TES is something I've given a lot of thought to, especially since ESO Summerset landed, but I'm not much closer to figuring out what even my own opinions are. Using modern physics to explain what is going on in a fantasy setting is probably a total fallacy, but it's fun and interesting to me all the same :D

    For the sake of completeness (or just a note to self I can refer back to), a Dragonbreak was thought to be the reason behind a lot of the timey-whimey weirdness seen in ESO. However, Loremaster Leamon Tuttle pretty much put that to bed during the Loreseeker's Live interview:

    Dragonbreaks are basically the complete dissolution and breakdown of linear time. [laughs] It's not a great time. Well, it's not any time, it's a mishmash of, you know... you could wake up your own grandmother, and like it's bonkers. You don't want to live through a Dragonbreak. Nobody's playing a game of telephone, they're all losing track of where they are... We have the Augur of the Obscure, [he] talks about it for a second. You know imagine you're being born right after you died or whatever isn't that wild. You don't wanna be in a Dragonbreak. It's bad bad news.

    Good to know the Dragon is hale and hearty! Kinda raises a problem or two, though, in that there is a lot of temperal shenannigans going on in ESO, even actual time travel (Ebon Stadmont, Psijic Order, Thaddeus Cosma etc). Previous games haven't delved into time's territory to such an extent ESO has, and when they did it was normally because of a Dragonbreak such as the Warp in the West. Something similar to the Warp in the West would have been convenient to describe a lot of things in ESO, not least the whole Cadwell's Silver/Gold quests. That probably just makes things more interesting, though, because we learn something quite important: To affect time in The Elder Scrolls, one needn't necessarily have to inconvenience Akatosh.

    I think it was the whole Cadwell's Silver thing that really introduced modern physics into TES in a big way. Gold Coast Experience Scrolls have this in their description: "Created by a Priestess of Meridia, for whom time is relative." Time is indeed relative, as we have seen. A massless photon doesn't experience time, for example, as every journey is instantaneous from the point of view of something travelling at the speed of light.

    To be fair, though, I think classical and quantum physics have always underpinned TES lore. For a start, the concept of a time god and a space god who are intrinsically linked suggests the concept of spacetime as the framework for a 4D universe much like our own, while the idea of Anu dreaming this universe based on experiences from his past is very reminiscent of the holographic universe in modern physics. Not to mention the strange Tonal Architecture which might suggest string theory. Then Summerset came along and kept suggesting theoretical physics concepts left and right. From the Augur of the Obscure discussing trans-dimensional entities and parallel universes, Pjsijic Monks whose magicka seems to have a mass-like effect, to Tower-lore discussing Crystal-Like-Law existing in every realm while White Gold exists in every point in time.

    All that said, it makes it harder to understand what is actually going on, especially as handwaving something away as being "magic" doesn't satisfy. Back to Meridia, then, what is actually going on with her relation to time, and how does that affect Cadwell's Silver? The Exegesis of Merid-Nunda really does spell the relativity part out:

    "… thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him …."

    A curious passage indeed. The "dragon," of course, traditionally refers to the Divine we know as Akatosh, the God of Time. This seems to suggest that by traveling the "rainbow road" (a reference to the prismatic refraction of light?), Meridia can in some sense alter the rate at which time flows forward.

    Therein also lies the difficulty, because relativity should only have an effect on the future. Ie, one could travel at the speed of light and reach a destination many light-years away instantly, but everybody else not travelling at that speed would age as normal. How, then, does Meridia manage to seemingly send us backwards using the rules of relativity and modern physics as Exegesis does?

    Cadwell isn't much help:

    "Touch Meridia's light and see the world through the eyes of your former enemies.
    But fair warning—you will no longer be seen as a great champion. Even familiar faces will see you as a soulless drifter, lost in an unfamiliar land. What say you?"

    It's a head-scratcher. Doubly so when we realise that we're not sent back into our exact past, but rather our past as it could have been. It's almost like she somehow anchored that state of superposition we were in when making a character. Like Schroedinger's Cat is both alive and dead, we were an Orc from the Daggerfall Covenant, a Bosmer of the Aldmeri Dominion and a Dumner from the Ebonheart Pact during our state of superposition. The waveform collapsed and our future became solidified as soon as we hit the final button to confirm our choice, locking all those possibilities away from us.

    Theoretical physics, though, tells us all those other possibilities may have actually happened. This is the Many Worlds theory which suggests all possible scenarios play out, that reality splits when a choice is made to create an infinite number of parallel realities. We happen to find ourselves in this particular reality in which we chose a Breton Templar.

    The idea of alternate realities is not new to TES lore, though. Lyg has been a concept for as long as I can remember. MK said, "...it's one of the Adjacent Places. It's still there. I wouldn't call it a different kalpa so much as a parallel version of Tamriel."

    My jury is still out on it all, but maybe (just maybe) by travelling the "rainbow road", Meridia is able to go to parallel Tamriels to a point in time right after a waveform collapse? It would be a trivial matter for the Jills of Akatosh to bind these disparate realities into one cohesive whole, as they did for the Warp in the West in which every potential outcome to every possible choice (waveform collapse) happened.

    Edit: Woah. Is Lyg the answer here? There is a definite connection between Lyg and the Magna Ge (the family of et'ada Merid belongs to) as seen in Manky C's Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes:

    I give my soul to the Magna Ge, sayeth the joyous in Paradise, for they created Mehrunes the Razor in secret, in the very bowels of Lyg, the domain of the Upstart who vanishes. Though they came from diverse waters, each Get shared sole purpose: to artifice a prince of good, spinning his likeness in random swath, and imbuing him with Oblivion's most precious and scarce asset: hope.

    Maybe for a massless photon, travelling to a place in space and time in which it is possible to travel between realities (a White Hole, perhaps?) is no big deal, especially if it has been there before.

    In TES, light is magicka which means souls are light. Meridia snatched our Vestige's soul after we defeated Molag Bal. Only after we have our soul back are we presented with Cadwell's Silver. I quite like the implications of that idea.