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16 Accords of Madness: Molag Bal

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Sheogorath stood and watched among his children, a proud and loving shepherd of his Mad flock, and noticed a few had gone astray.

 Only recently had the Madgod recovered from a bout of melancholy, one so severe that he commanded all things from the walls of his palace to every blade of grass painted black, executed every jester and merrymaker in his kingdom and remained on his throne, unmoving, for days at a time. During this dismal period the prince Molag Bal came forth, greedily claiming the untended and unwatched as his own to have their souls howling in the pits of his realm.

 Noticing this, the Madgod called to the King of Rape and admonished him.

 "You would steal from my flock, brother? To take that which is not yours?"

 "Might makes right, Mad-brother." Molag Bal retorted with a snort, bestial tail swinging behind him as he stalked around the prince. "My strength is greater than yours, and so in your weakness I take your souls as my own. The screams and pleadings of your minions please and strengthen me, even now."

 "Do they?" And the Madgod smiled, for it was here he saw an opportunity for sport. "I fear you are wrong, brother. There are forces greater than strength, things even chains cannot bind, and they are what will undo you. Take of my children, then, if you would dare even now." With that and much to do in mind, the Prince of Madness vanished.

 Molag Bal was wary, for though he challenged and took from his brother, he knew him to be crafty. Yet the reward of souls unchallenged tempted him, and as he took one, then another, then thrice more with no punishment, he indulged in cruelty upon them.

 All the while, Sheogorath was busy. He went among his people, not protecting them - indeed, even demanding some let themselves be taken - but teaching them a song.

 "I sing my little song with glee,

  And even chained, I shall be free,

  My punishment I’ll never fear,

  I fear not Molag’s little spear!”

 It was a foolish ditty but easily remembered, and soon every worshiper of Sheogorath was singing it as they played, loved, murdered. It was when the hundredth was condemned to Coldharbour they began to sing, and for each soul that the mocked Prince stole, another voice was added to his realm.

He crushed them, beat them, sent the hunt upon them and let leeches tear them to shreds. He disemboweled them, hung them, burned them to chars and defiled them, yet the nature of his realm meant their pain would never end - they would return whole and sing again. What did they fear punishment? Their souls were already bound, their fate one of endless pain and torment, regardless of their actions. Whether they sang or not, they would be hunted, devoured, reborn.

 So they sang.

 The rhyme began to spread to other prisoners, who found even briefly hope and strength in the foolish tune, and spread further still. For every soul silenced, their spirits broken and chained once more, two more sang in their stead.

 And so it was that Sheogorath deemed to visit his brother, finding him enraged, and smiled.

 "The size of your flock does not serve you here, brother, and where your strength fails, my wit prevails. Will you still seek to claim mine as yours? Does your might still make right?"

 The battle that ensued was bloody, and though a prince can never truly die, the Madgod was left broken and violated for his mockery. Greatly weakened through the loss of many followers, more still by the battle, the Prince struggled to even summon the energy to return home.

 And yet, as the portal to the Shivering Isles appeared, he quietly sang a little tune, grinning a bloody grin all the while.

 " I sing my little song with glee,

  And even chained, I shall be free,

  My punishment I’ll never fear,

  I fear not Molag’s little spear!”