Elder Scrolls
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Elder Scrolls

One of the many crystalline structures dotted around the Soul Cairn.

The Ideal Masters are mysterious entities that lord over the Soul Cairn, controlling every aspect of its reality, similar to how a Daedric Prince does with their plane of Oblivion.

They are an enigma to the inhabitants of Tamriel, and only those who make deals with them or have visited the Soul Cairn know of their existence. Most individuals who deal with the Masters are deceived, and subsequently their souls are condemned to the Soul Cairn. While there are theories, exactly why the Ideal Masters crave souls is unknown.

Physical form[]

It has been speculated that the Ideal Masters have transcended beyond physical manifestation and now exist as non-corporeal beings. When they do interact with others, be it to feed on their victims or speak to their underlings, they do so through the crystalline structures that dot the Soul Cairn.[1]

Sustenance[]

The Ideal Masters' weakness is their hunger for pure souls. This hunger is believed to be the reason for the existence for the Soul Cairn itself, and it is often the only leverage necromancers have when bargaining with them. In return, the Ideal Masters grant them the ability to conjure powerful undead guardians in a similar manner that conjurers would summon an Atronach or Daedra.

However, the Ideal Masters are known to trick anyone who enters into a bargain with them, and they often condemn the person to the Soul Cairn as a harvested soul[1]

Interactions[]

An Ideal Master when spoken to in Battlespire.

"Blessed are the Masters, for they bridge the past and span the future."
―Unknown[src]

Level 3[]

In An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, the player will speak to the Ideal Masters as part of the Soul Cairn questline. Since the Daedric armies of Mehrunes Dagon invaded the Soul Cairn, the Ideal Masters needed assistance in ridding the Soul Cairn of the Daedra. The Daedra planned to use it as a waystation between their own realms and their newly conquered domains. The Daedra killed the Masters' servants and plundered their treasure, although they also released the souls of several prominent mortal allies whom Dagon had betrayed into the realm. An apprentice battlemage from the Battlespire entered the realm, following the retreating army. Most of the Ideal Masters are unwilling to help the player, but when they learned of the Daedric invaders who would supposedly continue to regularly pass through their realm, one Master instructs the player on how to use the Emerald Gates to leave the realm and continue stalking Dagon's army. The gates can then be used to travel to the Shade Perilous.

Dialogue[]

Level 3

If the gem is uncooperative:

"Who disturbs our rest?"

No one. No one at all. Beg pardon. Just leaving. Sorry. Goodbye.
A humble mortal who begs your aid. "You are not invited here. WHY DO YOU DISTURB OUR REST?!"
A celebrated master of arts martial and arcane, intent on a quest, and worthy of your aid. "You are not invited here. WHY DO YOU DISTURB OUR REST?!"
Well, I'm not sure, really. Actually, I seem to be stuck here, wherever here is, and I'm looking around for something or someone who can help me out.
I, a poor, desperate creature of flesh, have chosen to contest with the Princes of Oblivion and their minions, and I humbly seek your aid.
"Would you enter our service, mortal?"
No. I do not offer service. "Unless you join our service, we offer you no aid. Affairs of mortals are not our concern. Each mote of mana spent diminishes our eternity. Go and trouble me no more. But you speak with our brethren, who perhaps better recall wearing flesh, and who may look more generously upon your request."
I shall certainly be happy to speak with any of your more generous brethren. Lots of you talking crystals floating in coffins around here, I take it? Dandy. I sure hope they are much more generous than you are. But thank you for your patience. Goodbye.
I am surprised and honored by the prospect, but am curious. How might I enter your service? "Put off your mortal garments, and stand naked in the spirit. Your stained tablet must first be washed white by the fires of mana."
That sounds very nice. And how would I go about getting my tablet washed? "Seek the twin Fingers of Life in the Chapel of Love. Stand upon the pedestal and bathe yourself in the manabeams. The corruption of the flesh shall fall away, and the spirit shall be revealed in its glory. Then may you stand before us and serve for eternity in peace and joy."
This is truly a glorious miracle. I must ponder its mysteries.
Uh. Bathe myself in MANAbeams. Yes. Flesh. Falls away. In chunks, I bet. Sorry. I'll struggle along with my comfortable old stained tablet, thank you.
"Unless you join our service, we offer you no aid. Affairs of mortals are not our concern. Each mote of mana spent diminishes our eternity. Go and trouble me no more. But you speak with our brethren, who perhaps better recall wearing flesh, and who may look more generously upon your request."
I shall certainly be happy to speak with any of your more generous brethren. Lots of you talking crystals floating in coffins around here, I take it? Dandy. I sure hope they are much more generous than you are. But thank you for your patience. Goodbye.
You can't fool me. You're talking about making me into an undead creature. If that's how I join your service, I'm not interested. Goodbye.
I can take a hint. You want me to go away and leave you alone. Fine. Just don't expect me to do YOU any favors. Goodbye.
'A traveler through the outer realms, I have come upon your world, and found it wondrous strange. I seek to learn more of its mysteries. What is this place, and what is its purpose? "You stand within the precincts of the Soul Cairn, an otherworldly refuge dedicated to peace, love, eternal rest and harmony. You stand before one of its Makers, whose name is so exalted you may not even speak it. You walk among its servants, who have pledged themselves in service to us, and who in reward have been gifted with life eternal and the peace that passes all mortal understanding.
I am humbled before the splendor of your creation, and the glory of its faithful servants.
All this religious mumbo jumbo is making me nervous. Are you going to help me, nor not?
"Would you enter our service, mortal? (Leads to the same options as listed before)"
Look. I don't know what's going on here, but it smacks of necromancy, and I won't stand for it. Goodbye.

If being ignored:

[[You address the gem, but there is no response.]]

If the gem is cooperative:

"Who disturbs our rest?"

No one. No one at all. Beg pardon. Just leaving. Sorry. Goodbye.
A humble mortal who begs your aid. "You are not invited here. WHY DO YOU DISTURB OUR REST?!"
A celebrated master of arts martial and arcane, intent on a quest, and worthy of your aid. "You are not invited here. WHY DO YOU DISTURB OUR REST?!"
Well, I'm not sure, really. Actually, I seem to be stuck here, wherever here is, and I'm looking around for something or someone who can help me out.
I, a poor, desperate creature of flesh, have chosen to contest with the Princes of Oblivion and their minions, and I humbly seek your aid.
"Would you enter our service, mortal?"
No. I do not offer service. Goodbye.
I am surprised and honored by the prospect, but am curious. How might I enter your service? "You must die and be born again. The form your spirit may take afterwards varies. You will have seen the servants of our realm."
I'm amazed. This is a thing of great wonder. Excuse me while I withdraw to contemplate this miracle.
You mean I die and become a walking skeleton or a howling ghost? If that's how it works, then I'm not joining your service. "Perhaps you can explain why we would wish to lavish our favors on one so churlish as to refuse us service?"
Daedra have invaded the Battlespire, the War College and Celestial Citadel of my Emperor. They have slain its guards and mages, looted its libraries and armories, and despoiled its arts and treasures. "And how would this possibly interest me?"
The daedra who invaded the Battlespire are here, destroying your servants and plundering YOUR treasures. They clearly plan to hold this place as a waystation between their own realms and their newly conquered domains. I doubt you would welcome the traffic, or the quality of guests that might travel this way. "Yes. I take your point. I would not wish to stand between you and your vengeance upon these daedric marauders. Very well. Listen carefully."
I hear, and mark your words. "Look carefully at the pillars which support our halls. Around some of these pillars are four bars. If you look closely, you will see that most are square in cross-section. Three of these are exceptional, round in cross-section. One is found in a Coffin Chapel. Another is found in the room with whirling disks. Yet another is found in the antechamber to the Chapel of Love. These three rods are the control rods for the Mana Font in the Chapel of Love."
Let me make sure I have this straight. Most of the bars around pillars are square in cross-section. Three are different, and round in cross-section. These are control rods for a Mana Font in the Chapel of Love. Is that correct?? Is this Chapel of Love nearby? How will I recognize the Mana Font? "The Chapel of Love is close by to the southwest. Seek the twin Fingers of Life which you must first kindle."
Right. Step One. Kindle the Fingers of Life in the Chapel of Love. Then? "Step into the pool before the Emerald Gates, and you will be transported to the top of the vault."
Okay. Step Two. Jump in the pool and teleport to the top of the vault. "Then take the three rods -- the Rod of the Pilot, the Rod of the Pillar, and the Rod of the Passage -- and place each, one by one, into the socket in the pedestal."
Yes. Step Three. Three rods go into the socket in the pedestal. "Then the Mana Font will send you to any of the known outer realms, provided only that you know the name of that realm, and that you speak that name at the Emerald Gates of the vault that encloses the portal."
And. Finally. Step Four. Speak the name of the destination at the Emerald Gates "You DO know the name of the realm you seek, don't you?"
Yes, I know where I'm going. Thank you for your help. I am in your debt. Farewell.
No. But I will discover the name, somehow. Thank you, and goodbye.
You will lavish your favors on this churlish one or I'll batter your servants to dust, take everything I can pry loose, and wreck anything I can't. "Well, then. If you can make good on such threats, then surely you have no need of our aid. You must have a lot to do, so I won't keep you. Goodbye."
Goodbye.
I can take a hint. You want me to go away and leave you alone. Fine. Just don't expect me to do YOU any favors.
A traveler through the outer realms, I have come upon your world, and found it wondrous strange. I seek to learn more of its mysteries. What is this place, and what is its purpose? "You stand within the precincts of the Soul Cairn, an otherworldly refuge dedicated to peace, love, eternal rest and harmony. You stand before one of its Makers, whose name is so exalted you may not even speak it. You walk among its servants, who have pledged themselves in service to us, and who in reward have been gifted with life eternal and the peace that passes all mortal understanding."
I am humbled before the splendor of your creation, and the glory of its faithful servants.
All this religious mumbo jumbo is making me nervous. Are you going to help me, nor not?
"Would you enter our service, mortal?"
Look. I don't know what's going on here, but it smacks of necromancy, and I won't stand for it. Goodbye. "Clearly you have little or no comprehension of necromancy, and are therefore in no position to judge. You are clearly mortal, ignorant, and pitiable, so I will overlook your impertinence. Now. Introduce yourself, or leave."
As you have guessed, I'm a mortal. I arrived here through no will of my own, and ask for your help. "You are not invited here. WHY DO YOU DISTURB OUR REST?!"
I scorn your pity, and resent your manner. Goodbye.

If approached again:

"Who disturbs us?"

Sorry. It's just me. Look. Could you repeat the business about the rods, the Fingers of Life, the pool, and the Emerald Gates? I am SO sorry, but with all the dead things shambling around pounding on me and running around in the dark studying pillars, well -- "Look carefully at the pillars which support our halls. Around some of these pillars are four bars. If you look closely, you will see that most are square in cross-section. Three of these are exceptional, round in cross-section. One is found in a Coffin Chapel. Another is found in the room with whirling disks. Yet another is found in the antechamber to the Chapel of Love. These three rods are the control rods for the Mana Font in the Chapel of Love."
Let me make sure I have this straight. Most of the bars around pillars are square in cross-section. Three are different, and round in cross-section. These are control rods for a Mana Font in the Chapel of Love. Is that correct?? Is this Chapel of Love nearby? How will I recognize the Mana Font? "The Chapel of Love is close by to the southwest. Seek the twin Fingers of Life which you must first kindle."
Right. Step One. Kindle the Fingers of Life in the Chapel of Love. Then? "Step into the pool before the Emerald Gates, and you will be transported to the top of the vault."
Okay. Step Two. Jump in the pool and teleport to the top of the vault. "Then take the three rods -- the Rod of the Pilot, the Rod of the Pillar, and the Rod of the Passage -- and place each, one by one, into the socket in the pedestal."
Yes. Step Three. Three rods go into the socket in the pedestal. "Then the Mana Font will send you to any of the known outer realms, provided only that you know the name of that realm, and that you speak that name at the Emerald Gates of the vault that encloses the portal."
And. Finally. Step Four. Speak the name of the destination at the Emerald Gates "You DO know the name of the realm you seek, don't you?"
Yes, I know where I'm going. Thank you for your help. I am in your debt. Farewell.
No. But I will discover the name, somehow. Thank you, and goodbye.

Durnehviir[]

At some point in history, a dragon named Durnehviir turned to necromancy to gain an advantage over his rivals. He was granted the power to accomplish feats such as summoning legions of undead. In exchange for this power, the Masters tasked him with guarding the Soul Cairn until a powerful necromancer named Valerica, who was imprisoned there, died. Durnehviir accepted, but he did not know that Valerica was a vampire and therefore immortal. As result, Durnehviir was doomed to guard the Soul Cairn for eternity.[2]

Trivia[]

  • Shard of the Ideal Masters can be found in The Elder Scrolls Online.[3]
  • The Ideal Masters were once mortals and formed an early order of sorcerers who practiced necromancy, trafficking in souls, great, small, and fragmentary. They became very powerful, and eventually found their physical forms to be unacceptably weak and limiting. They transcended those forms and became beings of soul-energy.[4]

Appearances[]

References[]

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