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【书籍搬运】16 Accords of Madness, v. IX 16 疯狂纪事, v. IX

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达利乌斯·萨诺发觉自己正尽全力奔跑。

他不清楚自己从何跑来,或将奔向何方,但他不在乎。期望填满他的大脑 — 世界除了飞驰别无所求。他寻找着任何可以安身、标记的地方,但徒劳无功。 —在他冲刺的视野里,平凡的大草原广袤无垠。“只能继续奔跑”,他告诉自己“我必须全力奔跑”。他的眼里心中,奔跑永无止境……

当达利乌斯·萨诺静静地躺在自己床上时,站在一边的有他的女主人,织梦者(Dreamweaver)维耶米拉,和癫神希奥格拉丝。维耶尼玛低下头去,得意的看着这个自己的信徒,夸赞起这个小家伙。

“他有如此大的潜力!通过梦境启发,我已经培育出他文学天赋的果实,现在他将以一个新吟游诗人和作家的身份受到赞誉!在我厌倦他之前,他还会得到更响亮的名号。”希奥格拉丝同样注视着这个年轻的布莱顿艺术家,看出他确实比其他凡人更卓越。

“嗯,”希奥格拉丝沉吟一会,“但你铸造了多少个恨那凡人的家伙呢?唯遭憎恨才伟大,而不是被爱慕。想必你也能做好这一点了?”

维耶尼玛眯起眼睛。“是,的确凡人总愚蠢又狭隘,实际上许多狂妄自大的人都不值一提。别担心,颠者,因为以我的力量能够实现许多形式的伟绩于此人,包括人们的仇恨。”

“也许吧,织梦者,展示谁有这样的力量不是很有意思吗?用十年时间启发这个凡人的愚蠢,傲慢仇恨。届时我也去做同样的事。在切断帮助或用迪德拉力量做出干涉的方面上,我们比比谁的才能更有效率。”

而后,自信的她感到十分轻松。“癫神的确强大,但这工作更适合我。凡人被疯狂击溃,却很少想到仇恨更有价值。我很乐意把这展示给你,我将从这个凡人的潜意识里带出更微妙的恐怖。”

于是,在达利乌斯·萨诺19年的生活里,他的梦为际遇所改变。以前恐惧总在夜色伴随他,但现在多了其他东西。一片阴影开始蔓延至他的沉睡中,席卷他所有的触感和色彩,于后仅留下虚空。每当如此,他就张嘴嘶喊,却发现阴影也带走他的声音。他曾经害怕和空虚,每夜出现的那些都让他对死亡有新的理解。不过,他醒来时却并不感到恐惧,因为他相信女主人这么做自有缘由。

的确,某一夜里,维耶尼玛自己从虚空中现身了。她俯下身在他耳边低语。

“看仔细些,我的宝贝!”,她边说,边把虚空扯开,每晚几小时,她都展示给达利乌斯·萨诺最可怕扭曲的景象。一个男人被其他男人和拥有许多四肢、嘴巴的野兽活剥并咀嚼,所有人被烈焰焚烧 — 他们的悲鸣响彻他的每一夜。随着时光的流逝,这些异象撕扯着他的灵魂,他的作品便开始记录噩梦中的人物。画像表明他在纸上重现夜晚之景,恐怖残忍而邪恶空虚。有人对画像的每一处都无比厌恶。有人公然拿出他那骇人的材料欣赏。在一部分人眼里受尊敬的他,相反,在另一部分人眼里只会更加衍生出厌恶。达留斯的臭名不断远扬。而后到他29岁时,毫无警告的情况下,他的梦想及噩梦消失。

达留斯如释重负,他不用再忍受每夜折磨,却困惑不已。“我做了什么而冒犯我的女主人?”,他想大声叫喊。“她为什么要抛弃我?”维耶米拉不再回应他的祷告。没人回答他,不安的梦渐渐远去,只留下深沉的睡眠。

达利乌斯·萨诺对创造的兴趣衰退了。他的散文变得陈腐老套,他的念头无法再挑起他们曾有的震撼和愤怒。随时间推移,人们对他恶名和骇人梦境的记忆随风消逝,于是最后他的脑海里充满对那位他的前女主人,维耶米拉的怨恨。怨恨化为仇恨,仇恨变成嘲讽,再随时间推移,嘲讽终于到背弃信仰。事态渐渐清晰 — 维耶米拉至终也未与他开过口;他的梦想仅是脑子有病且自认正确的产物。他被自己的潜意识欺骗。愤怒和耻辱吞没了他。这个曾与神平稳交流的男人,终于沦为异端。

之后,达留斯把所有的痛苦、怀疑和亵渎,都汇集到他一个创造性理论中。这由他后来的工作完成。他质疑神灵本身,和那些祭祀神灵的幼稚人群与腐败国度。他用倒行逆施的漫画嘲笑所有人,无一例外。他公开挑战神灵,请求神灵击倒他倘若其真的存在,嘲笑信徒们这样做根本毫无报应。这一切,使人们的怒火燃烧得比对他曾经的作品更加旺盛。他在早期职业生涯伤害的仅是人们的情感,现在他直接刺痛人们的心。

他的创作强度和规模更大了。庙宇、贵族和平民皆是他的标靶。终于,在他39岁时,达留斯写了一篇关于“最高贵的傻子”的文章,嘲笑了帝国之神泰伯·赛普丁,将其归入于自己分类的“可怜的九圣灵邪教”。迪尼亚的王,被这个没落新贵羞辱,并找到了自己报仇的机会 — 因达利乌斯·萨诺对帝国的亵渎,他被判处死刑。在行刑的刀锋下,百人欢呼的前方,他最后苦涩的话语,是饱含鲜血的汩汩声。
20年后,于下赌注处,维耶尼玛和希奥格拉丝在达利乌斯·萨诺的无头尸体旁会面。织梦者一直盼望这次见面;她等了很多年,想跟这个什么都不做的迪德拉王子对质。

“我被你骗了,希奥格拉丝!”我做完一半的事,但这十年你根本没有碰过这凡人一次。他之所以没有变得伟大,都因为没有得到你的才能和影响!”

“胡说,”癫神低沉地说。“我一直和他一起!当你的时间结束而我的时间开始,你对他耳边的低语打破了沉默,在他觉得最舒适和有意思的时候,我切断了你和他的联系,并小心的隐藏了这家伙最渴望和想要的东西。没有他的女主人,这个男人的性格会在不满和仇恨下逐渐成熟。现在他的痛苦已成型,靠以愤怒来助燃的疯狂来击败他的仇恨,他会成为我的仆人,永远地在我的领域侍奉我。”

希奥格拉丝朝一旁的虚无空间说。

“毫无疑问;达利乌斯·萨诺是个光荣的凡人,被他的人民,他的王,甚至是他嘲笑的神鄙视。因我的胜利,我会纳入60个维耶尼玛的信徒为我服务。还有做梦者(dreamers)会作为疯子被唤醒。"

而因此,希奥格拉丝教给维耶尼玛,若无疯狂,则无梦和创造。维耶米拉永远不会忘记这个教训。

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原文:
 
Darius Shano found himself running as fast as he could.

He had no idea what he was running from or towards, but he didn't care. The desire saturated his mind -- there was nothing in the world except flight. He looked around for landmarks, anything to place himself or to use as a target, but to no avail -- the featureless grasslands through which he was sprinting extended as far as the eye could see. "Just have to keep running", he thought to himself. "I have to run as fast as I can". On and on he ran, with no end in sight or in mind....

Standing over Darius Shano while he lay quietly in his bed were his mistress, Vaermina the Dreamweaver, and the Madgod Sheogorath. Vaernima looked down with pride at this disciple of hers, and was boastful of her little jewel.

"Such potential in this one! Through dreams of inspiration, I have nurtured literary talent into fruition, and now he stands in acclaim as an emerging bard and poet! He will gain much favor before I tire of him." Sheogorath, too, gazed at the young Breton artist and saw that he was indeed famous among the other mortals.

"Hmmm," mused Sheogorath, "but how many are there who hate this mortal whom you have built? It is the hatred of the mortals which confirms greatness, and not their love. Surely you can accomplish this as well?"

Vaernima's eyes narrowed. "Yes, the mortals are indeed often foolish and petty, and it is true that many of their most bold have been despised. Do not worry, mad one, for I have the power to achieve many forms of greatness with this one, hatred among them."

"Perhaps, Dreamweaver, it would be amusing to show who has this power? Inspire foolish, arrogant hatred of this mortal for ten years, and then I will do the same. We shall see whose talents are most efficient, free of aid or interference from any of the Daedra."

At this, she relaxed into confident pleasure. "The Madgod is indeed powerful, but this task is suited to my skills. The mortals are repulsed by madness, but rarely think it worthy of hate. I shall take pleasure in revealing this to you, as I bring the more subtle horrors out of this mortal's subconscious."

And so, in the 19th year of his life, the dreams Darius Shano had been experiencing began to change. Fear had always been part of the night for him, but now there was something else. A darkness began to creep into his slumber, a darkness that sucked away all feeling and color, leaving only emptiness behind. When this happened, he opened his mouth to scream, but found that the darkness had taken his voice as well. All he had was the terror and the void, and each night they filled him with a new understanding of death. Yet, when he woke, there was no fear, for he had faith that his Lady had a purpose.

Indeed, one night Vaernima herself emerged from the void. She leaned in close to whisper into his ear.

"Watch carefully, my beloved!" With that, she pulled the void away, and for hours each night she would reveal to Darius the most horrible perversions of nature. Men being skinned and eaten alive by other men, unimaginable beasts of many limbs and mouths, entire populations being burned -- their screams filled his every evening. In time, these visions gnawed at his soul, and his work began to take on the character of his nightmares. The images revealed to him at night were reproduced on the page, and the terrible cruelty and hollow vice that his work contained both revolted and fascinated the public. They reveled in their disgust over every detail. There were those who openly enjoyed his shocking material, and his popularity among some only fed the hatred of those who found him abhorrent. This continued for several years, while the infamy of Darius grew steadily. Then, in his 29th year, without warning, the dreams and nightmares ceased.

Darius felt a weight lifted, as he no longer endured the nightly tortures, but was confused. "What have I done to displease my Mistress?", he wondered aloud. "Why has she abandoned me?" Vaernima never answered his prayers. No one ever answered, and the restless dreams faded away to leave Darius in long, deep sleeps.

Interest in the works of Darius Shano waned. His prose became stale and his ideas failed to provoke the shock and outrage they once had. As the memory of his notoriety and of his terrible dreams faded, the questions that raced in his mind eventually produced resentment against Vaernima, his former mistress. Resentment grew into hatred, from hatred came ridicule, and over time ridicule became disbelief. Slowly it became obvious -- Vaernima had never spoken to him at all; his dreams were simply the product of a sick mind that had righted itself. He had been deceived by his own subconscious, and the anger and shame overwhelmed him. The man who once conversed with a deity drifted steadily into heresy.

In time, all of the bitterness, doubt, and sacrilege focused in Darius a creative philosophy that was threaded throughout all of his subsequent work. He challenged the Gods themselves, as well as the infantile public and corrupt state for worshiping [sic] them. He mocked them all with perverse caricatures, sparing no one and giving no quarter. He challenged the Gods in public to strike him down if they existed, and ridiculed them when no such comeuppance was delivered. To all of this, the people reacted with outrage far greater than they had shown his previous work. His early career had offended only sensibilities, but now he was striking directly at the heart of the people.

His body of work grew in size and intensity. Temples, nobles, and commoners were all targets of his scorn. Finally, at age 39, Darius wrote a piece entitled "The Noblest Fool," ridiculing The Emperor God Tiber Septim for integrating into the pathetic Nine Divines cult. The local King of Daenia, who had been humiliated by this upstart in the past, saw his chance -- for his sacrilege against the Empire, Darius Shano was executed, with a ceremonial blade, in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds. His last, bitter words were gurgled through a mouthful of his own blood.

20 years after their wager was first placed, Vaernima and Sheogorath met over Darius Shano's headless corpse. The Dreamweaver had been eager for this meeting; she had been waiting for years to confront the Daedric Prince over his lack of action.

"I have been deceived by you, Sheogorath! I performed my half of the bargain, but during your ten years you never contacted the mortal once. He owes none of his greatness to you or your talents or your influence!"

"Nonsense," croaked the Madgod. "I was with him all along! When your time ended and mine began, your whispers in his ear were replaced with silence. I severed his link to that from which he found the most comfort and meaning, and withheld the very attention the creature so desperately craved. Without his mistress, this man's character could ripen under resentment and hatred. Now his bitterness is total and, overcome by a madness fueled by his rage, he feeds me in my realm as an eternal servant."

Sheogorath turned and spoke to the empty space by his side.

"Indeed; Darius Shano was a glorious mortal. Despised by his own people, his kings, and even by the Gods he mocked. For my success, I shall accept three-score followers of Vaernima into my service. And the dreamers will awaken as madmen."

And thus did Sheogorath teach Vaernima that without madness, there are no dreams, and no creation. Vaernima will never forget this lesson.

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