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【书籍搬运】Fire and Darkness 火与黑暗

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Fire_and_Darkness

中文翻译:

火与黑暗

——伊尼尔·戈明

“兄弟,我依旧称你为兄弟,只因我们血脉相连,这关系虽经受憎恨之考验却不可斩断。即便我被害不可避免,兄弟,你也要明白,你我都不是清白之人,所以我们源自共享彼此敌意之祝福并非是悲剧,而是彻头恐怖。这场寂静而又阴影笼罩的战争,秘密毒药使人在睡梦中挣扎于床上,四处都是暗箭与优雅凌厉的匕首,此种状态以我所见绝无终结。绝无和平的可能性。虽然房中烛火凝静,我却能见到阴影蠢蠢而动。我知道这乃是预兆,我将……”

这张字条在第二纪元的第358年被发现于诺德村庄嘉伦海姆(Jallenheim)的一间废屋内,其时已经落到了地板下面。住在房中的应该是一个安静的鞋匠,但流言里却悄声相传他是可怕的莫拉格帮的成员——这个刺客行会在三十四年前就在泰姆瑞尔大陆全境被宣告为非法组织。房内自是秩序井然,仿佛只有鞋匠人间蒸发了一般。字条上有单独的一滴血迹。

黑暗兄弟会前来拜访了。

这张字条以及其他类似的记录都很罕见。莫拉格帮以及其憎恶的孩子黑暗兄弟会都行事极为谨慎,不会留下任何证据——行会成员都很清楚泄露组织机密乃是重罪。于是很明显,历史学家要追踪搜寻他们的历史就变得十分困难了。

根据大多数学者的观点,莫拉格帮自诞生的那一刻起就体现为晨风文化的一个侧面。毕竟瑞斯丹也就是远古晨风的历史富含暗杀、血祭以及宗教狂热,所有这些都是秩序的标志。众所公认莫拉格帮在当时就同现在一样,以迪德拉亲王梅法拉之名施行暗杀,但大众的看法很少有完全准确的。我的个人看法是帮会在最早期也要同时崇拜另外一名比梅法拉更古老且更恶毒的神灵。尽管他们正如湮灭地狱亲王本人一样令人恐怖,他们却曾经、如今也在崇敬着一名远更邪恶的存在。

来自第一纪元的暗杀令罕见地向我们透露出了微须莫拉格帮的最早期哲学。它们实际上同如今的暗杀令差不多,但其中许多包含有令我们的学者困扰了数百年的诗节片段。“咬舌咝音嘶嘶作响”,“以太之甜蜜支配”,“流逝罪责之腐臭之吻”,以及其他奇怪乃至近乎疯狂的插入暗杀令中的字句,这些都是提供了暗杀对象姓名、位置以及死期的密文。他们也直接提到了名为“希提斯”的神灵。

证明莫拉格帮暗杀术精妙的证据基本上完全不必需。极少数逃过他们暗杀的情况都是稀罕又值得大书特书,这反过来证明了他们当时是,现在依然是耐心又能干的杀手,种种工具技术娴熟。混在一位知名盔甲匠的作品中的一封信件残章已经被锁在我们的仓库中有一段时间了。这封信大概是由一个不知名的帮会刺客为定制武器而写,提供了一些他们对刀具需求的解释,也同时提到了沃瑙拉(Vounoura),作为帮会会员退休之地的岛屿——

“我为你的艺术才能与你匕首的平衡性和重量向你表示祝贺。刀刃薄如轻语,外形优雅,但并不实用。刃区必须更宽,因为动脉一经切断就会自动收缩,导致失血量不够。我将在两周后离开沃瑙拉来检查你的新作品,希望那些能够更令人满意。”

莫拉格帮在第二纪元的早期在整片泰姆瑞尔安静扩散,一如既往地以血崇拜梅法拉和希提斯。

当莫拉格帮在第一纪元的2920年暗杀了皇帝莱曼,又在第二纪元的324年暗杀了他的继任者君王维斯度-沙耶之后,一直隐藏在阴影中的刺客们突然曝光于光天化日之下。他们变得无耻且沉醉于杀戮,直接用君王的鲜血在墙上刷上了“莫拉格帮”的大字。

于是莫拉格帮被立刻且毫无异议地在除他们故乡省份晨风之外的泰姆瑞尔各个角落被宣告非法了。在晨风他们继续在家族的祝福之下运作,同他们在西方的小弟们切断了全部联系。他们在晨风继续作为准合法的组织存在,不受任何惩罚地接受黑色暗杀令并施行谋杀。

大多数学者相信,那个为钱杀人的世俗化刺客行会黑暗兄弟会的诞生正是莫拉格帮宗教分裂的结果。由于两个组织都是极为隐秘,要得到分裂的确切原因很是困难,但对此还是能做出一定的逻辑推演。

为了存在下去,莫拉格帮一定是向晨风的最高统治者求助了,而在第二纪元当时,那些人只能是阿玛莱西亚、索塔·希尔以及维瓦克的审判席。帮会同希提斯一同崇拜的梅法拉被称为维瓦克的前身。如果说为了让自身的存在能够继续被容忍下去,帮会便将崇拜对象从梅法拉转成维瓦克,这样的假设难道不符合逻辑吗?

如我们所知,莫拉格帮继续崇拜希提斯。黑暗兄弟会在大多数人眼中都不是宗教团体,只是个世俗化的组织,为钱杀人。但我曾经在兄弟会的暗杀令中见过证据显示希提斯依旧高于一切。

于是读者们会问,分裂的原因是什么?当双方都如此接近,一场寂静之战又是如何兴起的?两个刺客行会都还是崇拜希提斯,但另一个形象自历史中浮现,会给予赞同这种假说的人一个暂驻。

夜母。

夜母究竟是谁,来自何处,功用为何,这些无人知晓。卡洛瓦克·镇路(Carlovac Townway)在他考证翔实的历史小说《2920:第一纪元的最后一年》中试图让她成为莫拉格帮的首领。但她从未与帮会有任何历史性的联系,有联系的只是黑暗兄弟会。

我亲爱的朋友,夜母就是梅法拉。西方的黑暗兄弟会不受审判席命令的束缚,继续崇拜着梅法拉。他们也许不会以她的姓名称呼她,但暗杀、性与秘密的迪德拉依旧是他们的领袖。而他们过去没有,到如今也依然没有原谅他们的表亲,因为那些人把她弃置一旁了。

那个在第二纪元死期降临,又见不到黑暗兄弟会与帮会间战争终止的鞋匠,他的看法是正确的。在帝国的阴影中,死亡的兄弟们依旧在交战中胶着,而他们极有可能持续此种状态到永远。

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Fire and Darkness: The Brotherhoods of Death
by Ynir Gorming
The history of the Morag Tong assassin guild


"Brother, I still call you brother for we share our bonds of blood, tested but unbroken by hatred. Even if I am murdered, which seems inevitable now, know that, brother. You and I are not innocents, so our benedictions of mutual enmity is not tragedy, but horror. This state of silent, shadowed war, of secret poisons and sleeping men strangled in their beds, of the sudden arrow and the artful dagger, has no end that I can see. No possibility for peace. I see the shadows in the room move though the flame of my candle is steady. I know the signs that I …"
This note was found where it had fallen beneath the floorboards of an abandoned house in theNordic village of Jallenheim in the 358th year of the second era. It was said that a quiet cobbler lived in the house, whispered by some to be a member of the dread Morag Tong, the assassin's guild outlawed throughout Tamriel thirty-four years previously. The house itself was perfectly in order, as if the cobbler had simply vanished. There was a single drop of blood on the note.
The Dark Brotherhood had paid a call.
This note and others like it are rare. Both the Morag Tong and its hated child, the Dark Brotherhood, are scrupulous about leaving no evidence behind — their members know that to divulge secrets of their orders is a lethal infraction. This obviously makes the job of the historian seeking to trace their histories very difficult.
The Morag Tong, according to most scholars, had been a facet of the culture of Morrowind almost since its beginning. After all, the history of Resdayn, the ancient name of Morrowind, is rife with assassination, blood sacrifice, and religious zealotry, hallmarks of the order. It is commonly said that the Morag Tong then as now murdered for the glory of the Daedra Prince Mephala, but common assumptions are rarely completely accurate. It is my contention that the earliest form of the Tong additionally worshipped an even older and more malevolent deity than Mephala. As terrifying as that Prince of Oblivion is, they had and have reverence for a far greater evil.
Writs of assassination from the first era offer rare glimpses into the Morag Tong's earliest philosophy. They are as matter of fact as current day writs, but many contain snatches of poetry which have perplexed our scholars for hundreds of years. "Lisping sibilant hisses,' 'Ether's sweet sway,' 'Rancid kiss of passing sin,' and other strange, almost insane insertions into the writs were codes for the name of the person to be assassinated, his or her location, and the time at which death was to come. They were also direct references to the divine spirit called Sithis.
Evidence of the Morag Tong's expertise in assassination seems scarcely necessary. The few instances of someone escaping a murder attempt by them are always remarkable and rare, proving that they were and are patient, capable murderers who use their tools well. A fragment of a letter found among the effects of a well-known armorer has been sealed in our vaults for some time. It was likely penned by an unknown Tong assassin ordering weapons for his order, and offers some illumination into what they looked for in their blades, as well the mention of Vounoura, the island where the Tong sent its agents in retirement —
'I congratulate you on your artistry, and the balance and heft of your daggers. The knife blade is whisper thin, elegantly wrought, but inpractical [sic]. It must have a bolder edge, for arteries, when cut, have a tendencies to self seal, preventing adequate blood loss. I will be leaving Vounoura in two weeks time to inspect your new tools, hoping they will be more satisfactory.'
The Morag Tong spread quietly throughout Tamriel in the early years of the second era, worshipping Mephala and Sithis with blood, as they had always done.
When the Morag Tong assassinated the Emperor Reman in the year 2920 of the first era, and his successor, Potentate Versidae-Shae [sic] in the 324th year of the second era, the assassins so long in the shadows were suddenly thrust into the light. They had become brazen, drunk with murder, literally painting the words 'MORAG TONG' on the wall in the Potentate's blood.
The Morag Tong was instantly and unanimously outlawed in all corners of Tamriel, with the exception of its home province of Morrowind. There they continued to operate with the blessings of the Houses, apparently cutting off all contact with their satellite brothers to the west. There they continue their quasi-legal existence, accepting black writs and murdering with impunity.
Most scholars believe that the birth of the Dark Brotherhood, the secular, murder-for- profit order of assassins, was as a result of a religious schism in the Morag Tong. Given the secrecy of both cults, it is difficult to divine the exact nature of it, but certain logical assumptions can be made.
In order to exist, the Morag Tong must have appealed to the highest power in Morrowind, which at that time, the Second Era, could only have been the Tribunal of AlmalexiaSotha Sil, and Vivec. Mephala, whom the Tong worshipped with Sithis, was said to have been the Anticipation of Vivec. Is it not logical to assume that in exchange for toleration of their continued existence, the Tong would have ceased their worship of Mephala in exchange for the worship of Vivec?
The Morag Tong continues, as we know, to worship Sithis. The Dark Brotherhood is not considered a religious order by most, merely a secular organization, offering murder for gold. I have seen, however, proof positive in the form of writs to the Brotherhood that Sithis is still revered above all.
So where, the reader, asks, is the cause for the schism? How could a silent war have begun, when both groups are so close? Both assassin's guilds, after all, worship Sithis. And yet, a figure emerges from history who should give those with this assumption pause.
The Night Mother.
Who the Night Mother is, where she came from, what her functions are, no one knows. Carlovac Townway in his generally well-researched historical fiction 2920: The Last Year of the First Eratries to make her the leader of the Morag Tong. But she is never historically associated with the Tong, only the Dark Brotherhood.
The Night Mother, my dear friend, is Mephala. The Dark Brotherhood of the west, unfettered by the orders of the Tribunal, continue to worship Mephala. They may not call her by her name, but the daedra of murder, sex, and secrets is their leader still. And they did not, and still do not, to this day, forgive their brethren for casting her aside.
The cobbler who met his end in the second era, who saw no end in the war between the Brotherhood and the Tong, was correct. In the shadows of the Empire, the Brothers of Death remain locked in combat, and they will likely remain that way forever.

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