Then Vivec left Seht to look after the dome-head demon and went back to the space that was not a space. From the Provisional House he looked into the middle world to find the fifth monster, called The Ruddy Man.
When the dreughs ruled the world, the Daedroth Prince Molag Bal had been their chief. He took a different shape then, spiny and armored and made for the sea. Vivec, in giving birth to the many spawn of his marriage, had dropped an old image of Molag Bal into the world: a dead carapace of memory. It would not have been a monster if a Velothi child had not wanted to impress his village by wearing it.
The Ruddy Man, of the eight monsters, was the least complicated. He made those who wore him into mighty killers and nothing more. He existed in the physical. Only geography makes him special.
When Vivec found him near the boy's village, anon Gnisis, there was a violent clash of arms and an upheaval of the earth. Their battle created the West Gash. Wanderers that still go there hear still the sounds of it: sword across the crust, the grunt of God, the snapping of his monster child's splintered legs.
After his victory, Vivec took the shell of The Ruddy Man to the dreughs that had modified his mother. The Queen of Dreughs, whose name is not easy to spell, was in a period of self-incubation. Her wardens took the gift from Vivec and promised to guard it from the surface world. This is the first account of dreughs being liars.
In ten years, The Ruddy Man appeared again, this time near Tear, worn by a wayward shaman who followed the House of Troubles. Instead of guarding it, the dreughs had imbued the living armor with mythic inflexibility. It molted soon after skill-draping the shaman and stretched his bones to the five corners.
When Vivec met the monster in battle again he saw the remains of three villages dripping from its feet. He took on his giant form and slew The Ruddy Man by way of the Symbolic Collage. Since he no longer trusted the Altmer of the sea, Vivec gave the carapace of the monster to the devout and loyal mystics of the Number Room. He told them:
'You may make of The Ruddy Man a philosopher's armor.'
The mystics began by wrapping one of their sages in the shells, a series of flourishes by two supra numerates, one hormonally tall and the other just under his arms. They ran around the carapace and through each other, applying holy resin drawn from the carcasses of the now-useless numbers between twelve and thirteen. Golden straws were quickly stuck through the mythic epidermal so the sage could breathe. After the ceremonial etchings were drawn into hardening resin, long lists of dead names and equations whose solutions were to be found in the mouth of the Chimer inside, there came the illuminations, inscribed by the bright, terrible fingernail of Vivec. From the nail's tip flowed a searing liquid, filling the grooves of the ceremonial etchings. They bled out to form veined patterns about the sage-shell that theologians would decipher forever after.
The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
|36 Lessons of Vivec|
|36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 27||36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 29|