Madman97: And we are back! After a brief interlude, Bluesonic1, Dave, and I are here to finish our discussion by getting in deep with the big questions of lore. So let's not waste anymore time! Let's jump right in. This is a question that most actually have not asked. Normally I ask people simpler stuff, like where the Dwemer went and you know, they usually respond as expected: They melded with the Nimidium's skin, they were transported out of Nirn and to a different plane, or just straight up out of existence. It was suggested to me that I ask about the lost continent of Aldmeris, which is said to have disappeared very early on in the timeline after a destructive event, but there is little to no information regarding it which makes it rather hard to talk about.
Dave: Only thing I know is that the Moth Priests think it's a myth, which I agree since it's corroborated by the Elder Scrolls themselves and lack of evidence for its location. But I think it would make a kick-@$$ plot to a game to try and find it and have it take place on another continent for a change.
Madman97: A little while ago, I was searching for something to write a blog about because at the time, I had not done anything for a while. Took a hiatus. But I wanted to get back into the game. So when I saw down and started thinking of something, I was just randomly typing, seeing if something would pop up, and lo and behold, I have a new question (not new new, but recent) for all of you loremasters out there and for Bluesonic1, and that is to take a look at the Daedric Prince Peryite. Dave, give them the run-down.
(Dave points to his chalkboard that harbors really crappy illustrations of a dragon being worshipped by stick-men)
Dave: Peryite, often called the Taskmaster, is the Daedric Prince of Pestilence, Tasks, and Natural Order. Note here that Natural Order doesn't mean the kind of Order Jyggalag wanted to bring. I think he was trying to bring about a completely blank world, static and unchanging as it was with Anu whereas Peryite focuses on the balance of nature in the existing world. He is considered the weakest of the Princes and has only appeared a couple time within the game.
Madman97: And that's what makes him so bloody interesting. We hardly know anything about him, but after sitting down and writing about it, I started to weld together a pattern to the Prince's behavior. Conducting a few tests of inductive reasoning where we take a look at specific observations to make a broad generalization and then infer a theory, I have concluded that there is more to this Prince than we think. He is strangely absent in most pantheons, and often regarded as one of the most evil. Blue, what do you think? Is there something odd about the Prince based off what you know about him?
Bluesonic1: I definitely agree that there is more to him than meets the eye. However, I think that it requires quite an open mind to understand what his intention is with the "Natural Order" he maintains (at least, for my theory anyway). Your first blog covered my theory really well, you just never mentioned the real life "Natural Order" theory that I know of.
Madman97: Which is?
Bluesonic1: Natural Selection. For those who don't know, natural selection is a theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin (think Darwin's finches) in the field of evolutionary biology. It essentially states that the individual that cannot adapt to a changing environment is eliminated, along with those individuals who happen to get a disadvantageous mutation (like a disability). It also says that those who achieve an adventitious mutation will succeed even more than the general population- so much so that the mutation will eventually become the norm for the population until a new one appears and adds to the gene pool.
Now, how does this relate to the controversial "Natural Order" that Peryite establishes? When thinking about animals in general, natural selection is generally accepted as being "that's just how life is" when something like a duckling with no wings is born and quickly dies after being eaten while it's winged brothers escape. But when applied to humans, things get very messy. For example, where do you stand on allowing users with disadvantageous mutations to remain, and procreate, within society?
Dave: That's actually a very good question, one I am not sure I know how to answer.
Bluesonic1: For the most part, society does all it can to help these users have a normal life, and attempt to integrate them into the population as normal. Is that ethically correct to do though? Take for example, I had a friend who had an extremely rare disease (the name was long and escapes me now) which was passed down genetically through the male side of the family. His grandfather had it but got off well, his father had it which was a little worse and now he has it and is bed-ridden most of the time because it has deteriorated to that point from being passed down through the generations. Is that fair on him, and the human population in general to have bugged genetics like this? Enter controversy.
I believe Peryite is simply acting out this natural selection, by creating diseases to kill off the weak so only the strong survive, and provide faster opportunities for evolution of a population, and thus make them stronger and smarter. Like you said, it's commonly seen as malevolent, but it does seem to have a noble cause if you will. Likewise, it plays on the idea of death being a part of the balance of life- the death of an individual usually provides life for another, biologically speaking. The death of a tree gives nutrients to many fungi species, and the death of an animal provides food to worms and soil bacteria. This will eventually be taken up by the living again; live plants absorb nutrients in the soil, fungi fuse with plants to transform the nutrients they absorb into something useful for plants, herbivorous eat these plants and carnivores eat them. Without death, life fails really- this also relates to your note about keeping human growth under control too.
Madman97: Peryite certainly is an interesting one, considering how odd something like a Daedra would care for such a thing.
Bluesonic1: All of that aside, I do believe in the comments you made about the Daedric chaos requiring some order still at its core/foundations. All chaos--when analyzed--can still display order within them, as contradictory as that sounds. I experienced it myself on trips to visit family in Argentina. The traffic there is terrible- terrible in the sense that there's no regard for laws and rules. The roads are chaos- people just switch "lanes" (I say this because roads don't even have lanes painted on them), they run red lights all the time and I've even seen someone reverse down the ramp of a motorway because they realized they were going the wrong way. Despite all this, the accident numbers are actually pretty low. How? Everyone knew that everyone else doesn't follow the rules, so they learned to expect the unexpected.
Madman97: Hey Dave.
(Madman97 turns Dave into a beetle and smashes it with his foot)
Bluesonic1 (unaware of Dave's fate, continues): Swerving and changing lanes, or driving on the wrong side of the road, becomes normal. People know what they're doing. Naturally, people began tooting horns when running red lights to alert others from the opposite side of the lights that someone was coming. There was some small level of order within this chaos, that actually allowed the chaos to exist and helped to maintain it too. So with all this said, I support your premise that the Daedric princes would want to maintain some sense of order, if they were aware such a thing was needed in Oblivion. It doesn't necessarily say though that Peryite was pushed into this, under the premise that he is now less powerful than he was before, and I'll explain why.
"Power" I feel is too subjective of a term to describe any Daedric Prince, because power can come from many different things. Each prince has their role to play, their thing to do, and that's what makes them powerful in their own right--including Peryite. I think that his role in Oblivion is much the same as on Mundus: keeping the balance. To take the armies of others and take over realms would destroy the balance.
Madman97 (leaning back into his chair and folding his hands): Hmm, now there's a concept. 'Nother idea. If Peryite was this sort of supervisor for the going-on's of the Daedric offices and Jyggalag came in and started to tip that balance, perhaps it was Peryite who conceived the idea to curse him in the first place? To protect the...ah, what's the word?
Bluesonic1: It all kinda functions like an ecosystem--
Madman97: That's it.
Bluesonic1: Looking at it overall, it seems like some could be removed from the system or something could be added without too much of an issue. But analyzed at an individual level, each has its role to play, and they only interact with other things close to them on the web but essentially this becomes important because everyone ends up interacting in some way, so breaking the chain at one end will cannon effects down to the end of the line. This is why pest introduction was such a big issue back in the day and why it's so protected now- we've realized through the science of ecosystems just how much one small change can affect this balance. Looking at it this way, Peryite is very powerful in his own right where he is now, and I definitely wouldn't consider it a "downgrade" of any sort. He's doesn't make a major appearance but instead acts as a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight.
Madman97: Oh good show, old boy. Anything else?
Bluesonic1: I love the link you make between Peryite and the events of Morrowind- it does make a lot of sense. However, it can also make sense without Peryite being "in possession of" Lorkhan's heart [As you put into your blogs], and simply serves to protect it because any user could take it and disrupt the balance like you said. As to why the Daedra haven't grabbed the heart from themselves, I think the heart is more than meets the eye. It's essentially a part of Lorkhan and provides for his presence on Nirn; a foot in each plane almost, or even a form like an Avatar. I think it represents something much greater that the Daedra understand, but that mortals do not and instead view the heart as a giant soul gem if you will, which is why they try and use it but the Daedra know to leave it be (and is also why sh*t hits the fan every time the mortal attempt to use the heart themselves).
Madman97: I suppose they would know the workings of the Heart because technically, the only difference between the Aedra and the Daedra is by name really, basically making them the same race. Differences can extend to Primordial Blood theory as mentioned in Annotated Anuiad-id-id, blah, but that's if we're being extremely technical. But yeah, for those users who didn't know, I put it together that Peryite was watching over the Heart and was is perhaps linked to the events of Morrowind, specifically Dagoth Ur's Blight scheme seeing as he is the Prince of Pestilence, but perhaps he felt that would throw things out of balance and worked with Azura to ensure the Nerevar-va-ver, blah, completed his task. But I could go on and on about that stuff. To keep it simple, I want to take a look at a question I ask everyone: Where did the Dwemer go? However, I would like to offer my own answer this time and you can respond however you see fit. I researched into Arniel Gaine's experiment with the warped gem, and have concluded that his experiment was a success based on the science of convection. Sit tight, there is plenty to go over.
(TL;DR version: I think the Dwemer were sent to places no one thought possible. Arniel Gaine's quest was a success.)
During the quest in Skyrim, Arniel's Endeavor, you were tasked with obtaining a warped soul gem, one of Kagrenac's tools--Keening--and bring them to him. You had to bring the warped soul gem to three Dwemer Convectors found throughout Skyrim and put it in there for three seconds in order for the location to count. Afterwards, once everything was in place, Arnial heated the soul gem using the spell Arniel's Convection.
Convection is the concerted, collective movement of groups or aggregates of molecules within fluids (e.g., liquids, gases) and rheids, either through advection or through diffusion or as a combination of both of them.
If you complete the quest, we know what happens to poor Arniel, forever wandering around as a shade, and you are probably wondering what this has to do with the Heart of Lorkhan and Peryite. A Convector is basically a stove for liquids and gases and rheids, or non-molten solids (Like a giant heart perhaps). The warped soul gem is the substitute for the Heart of Lorkhan, and Keening is the trigger. Arniel was trying to recreate the circumstances of the Dwemer's disappearance by trying to tap into the Dwemer convected soul gem with Keening. While not exactly the same result, I think it essentially happened the same way.
The warped soul gem is by no means comparable to the power of Lorkhan's heart, and the factor of Arniel missing one of the tools used in harnessing its power--Sunder--might be irrelevant. I am sure Keening, if it's as powerful tool as it is often revered, can handle a soul gem. I think Arniel probably provided more answers in his experiment than maybe we realized. Not only can we now grasp the process of how the Dwemer disappeared, but where they are.
First and foremost, you need heat, and lots of it. It very well could be this that determines how far you are sent from Mundus as well as the power source you are heating. Arniel cooked a gem in a stove and set it on fire. He can be seen as a ghost wandering around the College of Winterhold and can be summoned, so he did not get very far, but he succeeded in transporting his body somewhere else, either that or destroying it, which may also be a clue to the Dwemer's current status. Perhaps they too lost their bodies. But their spirit was sent Beyond...
The Heart of Lorkhan is inside a volcano, hooked up to a giant Dwemer robot that, though the Heart was supposed to power the Numidium, could very well serve as a large convector of sorts to increase the temperature within the Heart to at least 100 million Kelvin. Rheids are only formed in extreme conditions of pressure, pressure that is required to create fusion. With the Heart of Lorkhan being a nuclear reactor compared to a tiny soul gem, with a dash of magic on the side, it would provide infinitely more power than a small soul gem ever will, and thus had the ability to really send the Dwemer places they never would have even thought of reaching.
Well Loremaster, what do you think?
Bluesonic1: I think you kinda covered it pretty well because I completely agree with you--
Madman97: Ha! Take that Dovahesbroom, brom, blah! It is TOO credible!...Though you were right in saying we took rather big inductive leaps with what little we knew, so...disregard my outburst...
Bluesonic1: I believe the Dwemer did indeed succeed in their cause and now live out their immortal lives on a different plane (I assume somewhere in Oblivion unless perhaps Lorkhan has his own plane) just as Daedric worshippers/servants live forever in servitude in their Prince's realm.
Madman97: My first guess for Lorkhan's realm, or at least a form of him, would be Sovngarde.
Bluesonic1: The disappearance of the Dwemer always fascinated me because I think it part, it may have been based on different "disappearance" stories in the mythologies of ancient civilizations. Considering your question contains a lot of what you wrote in the Peryite Theory 2 blog, I'll bring the reply I left there to here as well to touch on further what I believe Lorkhan's heart represents and how this affected the Dwemer in the way the Warped Soul gem affected poor Arniel:
I think a major piece of description is missing with regards to the jump between "convection" and heat and 'energy' transfer. Convection is the method of heat, or energy in electrons, being transferred via the movement of a current (be it air or fluid- think of a fan heater in a room). This method is used to heat this Warped Soul gem but this scientific principle alone isn't enough to describe the change we see in-game. Unless the gem is heated enough to create a structural change within the gem so that the gem ends up acting different as a result (think plastic spoon is shaped like spoon- heat it so it melts- let it cool so it re-hardens- now plastic spoon is shaped like a flat puddle), I don't think there's enough evidence to support this because the gem has to be taken to multiple convectors. To support this theory, you would have to have it at one convector and heat it up A LOT. And no, the theory of heating and cooling to change structural properties doesn't apply here because the heating and cooling needs to be rapid- so the game should have had us using fire and then ice spells. So what does make sense? Well, pseudo-science gets into this.
Madman97: Like what's on the History Channel most of the time now. I watched a documentary about Atlantis one time. It was pretty cool. Ancient Aliens is always good for a laugh. But then again, I think Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a better substitute if I wanted a theory from that. In the context of the Elder Scrolls though...
Bluesonic1: I think it's applicable considering this is just a video game, so the creators don't really have to stick to hard science. Some fields of pseudo-science describe that heat is one of many forms of "energy" but not in the way energy is described by science.
Dave: Like your chi or some sh*t.
Madman97: Dave! How did you get back?
Dave: I used a Dragon Break so I could go back in time and warn myself that I would be here, so myself went to myself to inform myself to go back in time myself to warn you to warn myself to go forward in time, make myself rich off an almanac, then go back and burn the almanac, and then you disappeared with lightning, and then--
Madman97 and Dave: Ahem.
Bluesonic1: Heating it up at multiple convectors, allows the warped gem to conserve this "energy" you and the convectors put into it (not heat, because when something heated cools down, it loses its [heat] energy- scientifically, things don't "get cold", they lose heat). This then erupts out when Arniel goes to use it, and provides the power for his experiment. I hope with this you can see why "heat" alone doesn't go as far to explain the Heart's function within the Numidium--the "dash of magic on the side" is what does it really. It's the heart of a God after all, it will be full to the brim of powerful "energy". It really is just a giant and unique Soul gem, considering soul gems capture the "energy" of souls and use this to power enchantments. If you want an example of pseudo-science energy stuff, look up "Reiki healing". They essentially describe it as channeling "energy" to heal others, and this manifests in a physical form of heat coming off the healer's hands. Heat is technically a form of energy, but it's not the same kind of energy described in this healing technique to be the source of their "power", if you will.
Dave: So yeah, it's like Dragonball Z sh*t.
Bluesonic1: I think this idea translates well to the game and the Dwemer disappearance- -the intense power or "energy" the Heart contained, was channeled effectively in the way the Dwemer wanted thanks to their tools and this gave them the boost they needed to cross to the other side. Considering they had the ability to decipher the knowledge of the Elder Scrolls, I think it's a safe guess that they knew how to cross the barrier but simply lacked the power to do so, which the Heart inevitably provided. Arniel did the same with the Warped Soul gem, only he didn't get as far because that gem is nothing compared to the power the heart of a god must have.
Madman97: You have made excellent points, Blue, most excellent. I think you have exceeded all expectations with this interview, and it is my distinct pleasure to give you this prize in your efforts to forward theoretical science within games the developers probably threw together without giving it a single scientific thought.
(Madman97 snaps his fingers and a giant wheel of cheese appears out of thin air and drops into Blueosonic1, accidentally crushing him to death)
Madman97: Eww...Dave, clean that up.
Dave: Already on it.
Madman97: Well, I hope you all enjoyed this most recent two-part interview, and I invite you all to voice your opinions in the comments below. Do our theories hold merit? Are there any burning question you would like to see answered? Put it below! Maybe one day, we will figure out the inner workings of the more subtle details of the game instead of comparing the answer to an unanswerable question to my hand.
Dave: How is that and your hand related in anyway related?
Madman97 (borrowing from Zero Punctuation for a moment): It beats the f*ck outta me!
(Madman Tonight is sponsored by Lorkhan, Steve Harvey, and ironically, Vivec)