The Elder Scrolls – Hermaeus Mora

I find Hermaeus Mora, Prince of Knowledge and Memory, the most interesting of the Daedric Princes.  Known for scrying the tides of Fate and the past and present as read in the heavens, he calls himself “…The riddle unsolveable. The door unopenable. The book unreadable. The question unanswerable…” and has numerous epithets including The Golden Eye, Gardener of Men, and (my favorite) Old Antecedent.  The Nords, and the Skaal, call him Herma-Mora, and there are numerous tales of Ysgramor escaping his clutches…and I shall call him such in the rest of this post because it’s slightly shorter of a name.

Herma-Mora’s realm of Oblivion is called Apocrypha, and it is characterized by a constantly shifting landscape – stairways move, halls shift, and piles of books litter the walls and floor, sometimes making up buildings in their own right.   This makes sense; as Prince of Knowledge it stands to reason that he has quite a collection of reference material.  Aside from the Prince himself, Apocrypha is populated only by Seekers and Lurkers; these denizens of Apocrypha are not quite as unsettling as Herma-Mora himself, but they’re deadly enough in their own right.  Mortals only venture to Apocrypha through reading one of the seven Black Books, and then only at Herma-Mora’s whim.

Unlike most other Daedric Princes, Herma-Mora does not have a humanoid form; when he appears to mortals at all, he is seen as a mass of eyes, tentacles, and claws that form and reform, or as a purple vortex.  His “alignment” (can’t think of a better word) is also less tangible than that of other Princes – when one is dedicated purely to knowledge, there is only what is known and what is unknown…and all things are worth knowing and therefore worth pursuing.

This last bit appeals to me immensely, for what is worth chasing if not knowledge?

I don’t worship Herma-Mora myself, largely because I feel like I already have so many gods to worship…but there’s also a part of me so seduced by the idea of gathering hidden knowledge that I am fairly sure I could end up pitching myself headlong into something I’m not prepared for.  With knowledge comes transformation and change, as evidenced by Herma-Mora himself, and I am not ready for additional liminal work, and tracing of threads, and peering into shadows.  This doesn’t mean I might not petition him at some point, but I am nowhere near doing so now.

For those who would approach him, offer something from the deepest recesses of your mind, something you’ve never breathed aloud to any other being.  Such things please Herma-Mora immensely.


3 responses to “The Elder Scrolls – Hermaeus Mora

  1. I resonate quite well with the idea that knowledge should be sought, no matter the content. I also like the idea of offering up something unspoken, that deep secret knowledge of your own that is uniquely yours, that you have never given any other being.

  2. I wonder….
    …were the seekers and lurkers once mortals themselves? Did they wander into Apocrypha and become so seduced by the pursuit of hidden knowledge they became trapped there?
    ….where did Ulfric Stormcloak learn the shout that killed Torygg? Did he read from a Black Book? Has he been to Apocrypha?

  3. Pingback: The Elder Scrolls – Mephala | Fluid Morality

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