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Lore:Night Mother Rituals!

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"And won't be tolerated!"
warns Imperial Legion.
by Agnes "the quill is mightier than the ebony sword" Earheardt
A newspaper article on the presence of the Dark Brotherhood in Cyrodiil

The Imperial City -- pinnacle of art, entertainment, scholarship... and ritualistic murder? So says Adamus Phillida, commander of the Imperial Legion forces in the Imperial City, and a staunch opponent of the mysterious assassin's guild known as the Dark Brotherhood. According to Phillida, Imperial Legion soldiers have discovered thirteen separate instances of the macabre "Black Sacrament," a sinister rite purportedly used to summon a member of the Dark Brotherhood, in order to arrange an assassination.

Whether or not a card-carrying killer shows up on a ritual performer's doorstep remains to be seen, but the Black Sacrament itself is very real, and truly the stuff of nightmares. As documented in the rare and taboo work "A Kiss, Sweet Mother," the Black Sacrament involves an effigy of the intended victim -- created from actual body parts, including a heart, skull, bones and flesh -- within a circle of candles. To proceed with the ritual, one must stab the effigy repeatedly with a dagger rubbed with the petals of a Nightshade plant, while whispering the plea, "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear." As gruesome as this ritual may be, even more frightening is its intention -- the summoning of a mysterious assassin (who some witnesseses [sic] claim is always clad in a black hooded robe) who will then receive money to kill an innocent victim. No remorse. No regret. It is, as the merchant's [sic] say, simply business. And that's what worries Adamus Phillida.

"This brazen increase in Night Mother rituals is an affront to the decent, peace-loving citizens of the Empire. The Imperial Legion exists for one reason and one reason only -- to protect and serve the people of Tamriel. How in Azura's name can we do that when people take it upon themselves to contact paid assassins and have innocent people murdered? How can I sleep at night knowing my Legion can't possibly save the life of someone marked for death by the Dark Brotherhood? Anyone who carries out this "Black Sacrament" makes a mockery of the Imperial Legion, and as Commander, that's something I just can't tolerate. From this point forward, any citizen found in the possession of items related to the Night Mother ritual will be incarcerated in the Imperial Prison indefinitely, and their property seized by the Empire. There's no fine high enough, no standard prison sentence long enough, for the type of malcontent who would show such a blatant disregard for our dear Emperor's laws and the wellfare [sic] of the fine people of Tamriel"

To be sure, Adamus Phillida is not one to issue empty threats. Indeed, the Black Horse Courier has learned that one Claudius Arcadia, until recently a resident of the Talos Plaza District of the Imperial City, is now residing in a cold, dank cell in the Imperial Prison, and his house has become the newest Imperial Legion outpost. So before you take the law into your own hands, dear reader, remember -- you'll go further in life with a warm smile than a cold blade. And if you've got a grudge that won't be soothed, a score that can't be settled, you can always move to Morrowind and have the government-sanctioned Morag Tong do the killing for you.