The Greymarch was a recurring event that occurred at the end of every era, or every thousand years.[1] The Greymarch heralded the arrival of the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag, and the destruction of Sheogorath's realm, the Shivering Isles.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Quotebg.png
"The Greymarch starts, Order appears, and I become Jyggalag and wipe out My whole Realm."
Sheogorath[src]

The Greymarch traces its origins to a curse placed upon Jyggalag by the other Daedric Princes out of fear of Jyggalag's growing power. The curse transformed Jyggalag into Sheogorath, the antithetical Daedric Prince of Madness.[3]

At the end of every era, Jyggalag was able to break free from the curse and lead his Forces of Order against the inhabitants of the Shivering Isles in an attempt to cleanse the realm of madness and reclaim it as his own. However, the curse would renew itself after the Greymarch was over with Sheogorath returning to rebuild the Shivering Isles, never quite sure where everything used to be, leading to a succession of ruins of the previous capital cities.[4][5] As Jyggalag had done with any remnant of madness he could find, Sheogorath destroyed any remnant of Order left behind, with the exception of Dyus.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

Each Greymarch begins with the emergence of large obelisks and the arrival of Knights of Order, who use the obelisks as conduits into the Isles.[7] These obelisks are maintained by Priests of Order, residents of the Shivering Isles who had abandoned Sheogorath to serve Jyggalag.[8]

Gradually, more obelisks would appear, turning the vibrant realm of madness into a gray and monotone area. The Knights of Order would then begin to attack anyone they can find, killing the residents and guards who remain loyal to Sheogorath.[9]

During the course of the Greymarch, Sheogorath gradually loses his madness and develops moments of clarity,[10] until he "dies" and transforms into Jyggalag.[11] The Prince of Order would then proceed to the throne room of the Shivering Isles, and, in doing so, mark the victory of Order and the defeat of Madness.[12]

Soon after, Jyggalag himself "dies" and is replaced by Sheogorath. The process of the curse's renewal may be either instantaneous or gradual, as it has never been clarified. Sheogorath reveals only that the realm remains in ruins each time he returns. Due to Jyggalag lacking any originality,[13] the Greymarch occurs in the same manner each cycle.[14]

Breaking the cycle[edit | edit source]

Sheogorath had attempted to break the cycle of the Greymarch at least once. This earliest known attempt involved digging a pit and filling it with clowns, which failed to prevent Jyggalag's advance.[15][16]

During 3E 433, Sheogorath devised a second known attempt to avert the Greymarch. This plan involved finding a mortal champion to mantle him, ensuring the throne of the Shivering Isles would not be empty when Jyggalag arrived and enabling there to be someone powerful enough to stop his invasion.

To this end, Sheogorath opened a portal in Niben Bay as an invitation to any mortal willing to enter the Shivering Isles and attempt to become said champion. Belmyne Dreleth lost his sanity after he entered the portal and soon ran out, only to be slain. The Hero of Kvatch would then enter to become this champion.[17]

To become the new Sheogorath, the Hero had to restart Xedilian, learn the ways of Mania and Dementia, replace either the Duke of Mania or the Duchess of Dementia, rebuild a new Gatekeeper, and acquire the Staff of Sheogorath, all the while fighting off the advancement of the Forces of Order and making sure few residents dared to turn traitor.[18]

During the course of the Hero's journey, Sheogorath noted several times that new things were happening during this Greymarch cycle, which he took as a sign that things were finally changing and there was hope of ending the Greymarch once and for all.[19] One major change was the betrayal by either the Duke of Mania or the Duchess of Dementia in response to the murder of the other.

The traitor would go on to offer useful insights for the Forces of Order, directing them to either Brellach or Pinnacle Rock to cut off the supply of Sheogorath's army[20] and to the Pools of Mania and Dementia, poisoning them and causing Sheogorath's Staff to lose power and be unable to be recharge.[21]

Sheogorath ultimately transformed into Jyggalag before the Hero could complete their accession by receiving the Staff of Sheogorath. With the assistance of Haskill and Dyus, the Hero was able to acquire a new staff and fight Jyggalag directly after slaying the traitor and cleansing the pools.[21]

The Hero of Kvatch and Jyggalag fought each other on the grounds of New Sheoth Palace. Though Jyggalag doubted the mortal champion could win, the Hero was able to defeat him in single combat.[22]

Jyggalag's defeat signaled the end of the Greymarch once and for all, along with the end of the curse. Jyggalag used this newfound freedom to explore Oblivion while the Hero remained as the new Sheogorath.[23] For the first time, the Shivering Isles survived the Greymarch with most of its inhabitants alive and, with the departure of Jyggalag, the Forces of Order retreated.[22]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Predecessors
  2. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "Understanding Madness" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  3. Dialogue with Jyggalag during "The End of Order" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  4. The Predecessors
  5. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "Ritual of Accession" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  6. Dialogue with Dyus during "Symbols of Office" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  7. Dialogue with Haskill during "Understanding Madness" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  8. Dialogue with Haskill during "The Cold Flame of Agnon" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  9. Events of "Retaking the Fringe" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  10. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "The Helpless Army" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  11. Events of "Symbols of Office" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  12. Dialogue with Haskill during "Symbols of Office" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  13. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "Understanding Madness" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  14. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "Ritual of Accession" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  15. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "Ritual of Accession" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  16. Dialogue with Haskill during "Ritual of Accession" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  17. Events of "A Door in Niben Bay" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  18. Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  19. Dialogue with Sheogorath during "Ritual of Accession" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  20. Events of "The Helpless Army" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  21. 21.0 21.1 Events of "The Roots of Madness" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  22. 22.0 22.1 Events of "The End of Order" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
  23. Dialogue with Jyggalag during "The End of Order" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
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