Lore:Testimonials on Baar Dau
Baar Dau looms large over Vivec City—both literally and figuratively. The official explanation is remarkably vague. Apparently, the Mad-Prince Sheogorath flung the giant rock at Nirn. No one seems to know why or how. It's a curious account, even by Dark Elf standards. I took the question to the streets to see what the common folk think of Baar Dau. These were their stories. Names have been changed to protect the speakers from Temple reprisals.
I began by speaking to a harried Dark Elf merchant named Tolvasa. She stopped sorting kwama eggs just long enough to recount this tale:
"Oh, my mother used to tell me all kinds of bedtime-tales about Baar Dau. I doubt any of them are true. My favorite was 'The Tale of the Lonely Magna Ge.' It begins at the Beginning. In the story, a Star-Orphan named Una fled into the sky with all her brothers and sisters, but got lost in the dark. She cried out for help, but one-by-one, her stronger, faster kin fled into Aetherius. Eventually, their songs faded away and Una was left alone—adrift in the void. Just when she'd lost all hope, she heard a quiet sobbing. It was lonely Nirn, stumbling through the black—weeping like a babe and trying to lull itself to sleep. Seeing a kindred spirit, Una sailed back to Mundus to comfort the lonesome planet. She named herself Baar Dau, and nestled in close, right here above Vvardenfell. Now the Star-Orphan and Nirn are never lonely, because they have each other. Lovely story, isn't it?"
A Nord miner called Hodstag took a more pragmatic view:
"It's a goldmine, that's what it is! Mark me, there's some kid of precious metal in that thing. My mate's a geologist—works for the Gold Coast's mining operations, y'know? He says it's got all the signs of a rich deposit. He's got a divining rod, see? It's a Dwarf contraption, I think. I'm not supposed to talk about it. Anyway, he aimed it at Baar Dau and the thing started chirping like a snow-wren in springtime! All that's left to do is get up there with a few picks and get a sample. Been looking for someone who could float me up there—no luck though. Say, you don't know how to make a man float, do you?"
Of course, not everyone was keen to talk about Baar Dau. A grizzled longshoreman named Donoven had this to say:
"It's a rock. I don't know how it got there. Magic I guess? Look, I've got work to do, all right? Get lost."
Most accounts were fairly prosaic. Given enough time and exposure, even the fantastical becomes mundane. Of course, there were a few truly extraordinary accounts—like that of Tiram, an excitable Dark Elf scholar:
"It's an egg, obviously. I often hear the wastrels and peasants calling it a 'rock.' Hmph. Ignorant twaddle. Only a great fool could look at such an imposing celestial body and call it a 'rock.' Baar Dau is the chrysalis from which will emerge the last child of Vivec and Molag Bal's ill-fated union. On that day, our glorious lord Vehk will spring forth from his temple and do battle with the emerging nightmare-child. After forty-seven days of pitched combat, Vivec will strike the final blow and cast the beast's ruin down into the frothing sea, where it shall break into thirty-six pieces—none of which will be recovered. It should be quite spectacular. And also horrifying."
Perhaps the most colorful explanation came from an inebriated Orc named Narkhozug:
"What, that big rock? Yeah, it's a giant hunk of dung. No, seriously! Way I hear it, Vivec and Malacath were up late one night, drinking and talking about godly things. You know how it is. Well, I guess you don't. Anyway, Vivec said something about ogres that rubbed old Mauloch the wrong way, so he popped a squat over the city and dropped a stink-pickle right on Vivec's head! Gross, right? Hrmph. That's Malacath for you. Does make me wonder though, what is it with Malacath and dung?"
When I asked the Doctrinal Inquisitors for an official statement, this was the only reply:
"You'd be wise to leave such matters to the Tribunal. The precise nature of Baar Dau is a mystery. Vivec's divine mercy keeps it from destroying us. That is all you need know."
Despite the Temple's best efforts, the moonlet Baar Dau remains the subject of vigorous debate, many long centuries after its arrival. The diversity of opinion is remarkable—especially in a city so thoroughly policed by religious zealots. I find it heartening that even in a society this restrictive, folk tales and wild theories can still bubble beneath the surface.