You know me... you just don't know it.
Principal character. (Spoiler alert)
Sheogorath is the Daedric Prince of Madness. His realm in Oblivion is known as the Shivering Isles, otherwise known as the Madhouse, or the Asylums by the Imperial Census of Daedra Lords. It is separated into two communities: Mania, the fantastic, colorful side, where art enthusiasts and insane revelers reside, and Dementia, the horrific, dark and ominous side, which carries a much greater resemblance to New Sheoth than the former.
"Sheogorath is already inside each of us. You have already lost. "
Sheogorath is one of the few Daedric Princes whose creation may be linked to the change or destruction of an Aedra; others include Malacath and Meridia. Aldmeri creation stories attribute his creation to the removal of Lorkhan's "divine spark". In one of these myths, he is described as the "Sithis-shaped hole" of the world.
Throughout the course of the expansion, the Champion of Cyrodiil learns that Sheogorath is in fact Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order. Jyggalag explains to The Champion that he was one of the more powerful Daedra Lords. The influence of his sphere was so great that the other Daedric Princes grew jealous. They cursed him to live as Sheogorath, the incarnation of the thing he hated most.
At the end of every Era, Jyggalag is allowed to take on his true form once again, and bring order to his realm, an event known as the Greymarch. After the Greymarch, however, he is transformed back into Sheogorath, who spreads madness upon the realm once more. The Champion can end this cycle by defeating Jyggalag during the Greymarch occurring at the end of the Third Era. This releases him from his curse, allowing him to remain in his true form instead of transforming back into Sheogorath. After defeating Jyggalag at the end of the expansion, the Champion is named the new Sheogorath.
Sheogorath's avatar may surprise those who have only heard his name and of his Sphere. He often appears on Nirn as a well-dressed elderly gentleman, which many mortals do not expect. The reasoning behind his appearance is to lead unsuspecting mortals down the path to insanity, "The Golden Road." It is later believed that the Hero of Kvatch gains immortality by replacing him as the new Madgod. He reappears in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Reverence and worship
Originally, Sheogorath was one of the Daedric Princes whom the Chimer, now Dunmer, revered in their ancient ancestral worship. However, when the Tribunal Temple became the dominating religion in Morrowind, Sheogorath - along with Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath, and Molag Bal - became known as one of the "Four Corners of the House of Troubles." He was said to rebel against the Tribunal, and thus worship of Sheogorath became punishable by death. His role in Dunmeri culture is to test them for any psychological weakness, and is associated with the fear other races have of the Dunmer.
When he rebelled against the Tribunal, Sheogorath tricked the moon Baar Dau, inspiring it to hurl itself at the city of Vivec. Sheogorath justified his actions by claiming Vivec was built in mockery of the heavens. Vivec is then said to have frozen Baar Dau in its descent, and the moon swore itself to the Tribunal's service forever. Today, the Tribunal Temple requires a pilgrimage to this moon, called the Shrine of Daring.
Sheogorath is one of the many prominent Daedric Princes in the culture of the Khajiit people. In the Khajiit myth of creation, Sheogorath is called "Sheggorath." By the Khajiit, he is known as the Skooma Cat.
Personality and traits
"Madness is a bitter mercy, perhaps, but a mercy nonetheless."
Sheogorath savors the act of driving mortals insane or making them perform actions which can be seen as trivial or silly. He is completely unpredictable and often comments in nonsensical or otherwise socially unacceptable statements. He often refers to the removal of entrails and has a curious obsession with cheese, which is taken to near hysterical levels in Oblivion.
Sheogorath's attitude reflects the madness over which he rules. He spreads the madness of the Shivering Isles in Nirn to savour his demonic pleasures. As one of the "Four Corners of the House of Troubles," he is known for a rebellious streak. He speaks with an exaggerated mix of Irish and Scottish accents, which is likely to be a stretch from his usual voice for when he is angry. This may be a legacy trait from his appearance as an Irishman/Scotsman in an earlier Elder Scrolls game. A region in Morrowind, Sheogorad, is named in his honor.
- I'm so happy I could just tear out your intestines and strangle you with them!
- Jyggalag! He is the Prince of Order. Or biscuits...no, no, Order! And not in a good way. Bleak. Colorless. Dead. Boring, boring, BORING! And not a fan of my work, I can tell you. Hates it, hates me. You've seen his knights. Not the warm and cuddly sort.
- Jyggalag's forces are gathering in the Fringe... And I HATE IT when people gather forces in my Fringe!
- I once dug a pit and filled it with clouds....or was it clowns.... it doesn't matter, it didn't slow him down. But it really began to smell! Must have been clowns. Clouds don't smell, they taste of butter. And tears.
- ... and OUT comes the intestines! And I skip rope with them!
- I'm a little busy here! I'm trying to decide what to have for dinner. Oh, how I love to eat. One of my favorite things to do. Go talk to Haskill, he's got more brains than a brain pie! Ooh...brain pie... perfect! ...Care to donate?
- I hate indecision! ... or maybe I don't. Well, make up your mind. Or I'll have your skin made into a hat. Maybe one of those arrowcatchers. I love those hats!
- Ta! Come visit again! Or I'll pluck out your eyes, ha ha ha!
- Malacath is more popular at parties! And Malacath is NOT popular at parties!
- Wonderful! Time for a celebration... Cheese for everyone! Wait, scratch that. Cheese for no one. That can be just as much of a celebration, if you don't like cheese, true? You've run a maze like a good little rat. But no cheese for you yet. Well, maybe a little.
- And Xedilian? Seeing as you're standing here, I assume you've succeeded. Or you're terribly confused. Or really lacking in good judgment.
- The Isles. THE ISLES! They're a wonderful place to be, except when they are horrible. Then they are HORRIBLY WONDERFUL! Good for a visit! Or for an eternity.
- YOU dare interrupt ME? Only I interrupt me! Like just then.
- You're making my teeth itch!
- It'll move mountains! It'll mount movements!
- Daedra are the embodiment of change, change and permanency. I'm no different. Except in the ways that I am.
- Woops! I guess the cat's out of the bag on that one! Who puts cats in bags anyhow? Cats HATE bags.
- You really shouldn't have done that. Enjoy the view.
- Now get out of here before I change my mind....or my mind changes me.
- Wondering why I let him/her go, don't you? I can see it in your face... mostly in your eyes. I may take those from you when all of this is over.
- More tea, Pelly my dear?
- You are far too hard on yourself, my dear, sweet, homicidally insane Pelagius. What would the people do without you? Dance? Sing? Smile? Grow old?
- You are the best Septim that's ever ruled. Well, except for that Martin fellow, but he turned into a dragon god, and that's hardly sporting...
- You know, I was there for that whole sordid affair. Marvelous times! Butterflies, blood, a Fox and severed head... Oh, and the cheese! To die for.
- H'afrumph! Well then, if you're going to be like that... Perhaps it's best I take my leave. A good day to you sir. I said good day!
- Was it Molag? No, no... Little Tim, the toymaker's son? The ghost of King Lysandus? Or was it... Yes! Stanley, that talking grapefruit from Passwall.
- Jolly good guess. But only half right. I'm a mad god. The Mad God, actually. ---- It's a family title. Gets passed down from me to myself every few thousand years.
- "WRONG!! Actually, you do. Sort of."
- I am a part of you, little mortal. I am a shadow of your subconscious, a blemish on your fragile little psyche. You know me. You just don't know it.
- Now you. You can call me Ann Marie. But only if you're partial to being flayed alive and having an angry immortal skip rope with your entrails. If not... Then call me Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness. Charmed.
- Now that's the real question, isn't it? Because honestly, how much time off could a demented Daedra really need?
- Well, I suppose it's back to the Shivering Isles. The trouble Haskill can get into while I'm gone simply boggles the mind...
- And as for you, my little mortal minion... Feel free to keep the Wabbajack. As a symbol of my... Oh, just take the damn thing.
- You take care of yourself, now. And if you ever find yourself in New Sheoth, do look me up. We can share a strawberry torte. Ta ta!
- Ooh, ooh, what kind of message? A song? A summons? Wait, I know! A death threat written on the back of an Argonian concubine? Those are my favorite.
- You know, you remind me of myself at a young age. All I cared about was riding narwhales and sleeping in honeycombs and drinking babies' tears. Word of advice, if you ever ride a narwhale, mind the pointy end.
- Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
- Mortal, insufferable.
- Hmmmm... "Fixed" is such a subjective term. I think "treated" is far more appropriate, don't you? Like one does to a rash, or an arrow in the face.
- Time to go I guess, let me check everything. Clothes? Check. Beard? Check! Luggage? Now where did I leave my luggage?
Alternate character (spoiler alert)
Cicero is a lethal jester and the keeper of the Night Mother's coffin. He is found on the road north of Whiterun, near Loreius Farm, transporting the coffin of his "mother". Thereafter, he may be found within the Falkreath Sanctuary or the Dawnstar Sanctuary, depending on the Dragonborn's progress through the Dark Brotherhood questline.
"Is there singing in the Void? Dancing? Surely the Dread Lord will at least allow poor Cicero to caper..."
"He he he... Crazy? Cicero? He he he he! That's... madness..."
Widely regarded as bothersome, obnoxious, strange, and mad, Cicero sports flamboyant attire and speaks with a high-pitched voice. Because he seemingly speaks to himself (when he is really speaking to the Night Mother's remains), he is considered insane. As Keeper of the Night Mother, Cicero takes his vocation very seriously, willing to wound and kill anyone who questions or ignores the Night Mother's authority, although he was not always like this; as evinced by his first two journals, before becoming Keeper, Cicero was quite sane, comparatively speaking. His final contract involved killing a jester, and slowly, Cicero descended into madness, obsessing over his kill, and adopting aspects of her persona.
The Cure for Madness
Cicero is suspected of treason against the Dark Brotherhood when he continuously locks himself in a room with the Night Mother. He can be heard mumbling, but no one can hear what he is saying. Suspecting that Cicero and another member of the brotherhood are conspiring to betray the other members, Astrid sends the Dragonborn to investigate. The Dragonborn hides in the Night Mother's coffin, eavesdropping on Cicero and his conspirator. While hiding, the Dragonborn learns that Cicero is, in fact, speaking to the Night Mother's remains, although she does not speak back; his private sessions with her were his attempts to verify himself as being the Listener, the one person who can hear the Night Mother speak. Shortly after this discovery, the Dragonborn hears the Night Mother's voice, becoming the Listener. Exiting the coffin, Cicero at first suspects the Dragonborn of defiling the Night Mother's remains, but soon realizes that she has selected the Dragonborn as the Listener. Bitter that he was not made Listener, he still congratulates the Dragonborn.
Astrid barges into the room, accusing Cicero of conspiring against the Brotherhood. Cicero explains that the Dragonborn is the new Listener; however, despite this Astrid gets ready to attack him. Violence is averted when the Dragonborn explains that the Night Mother spoke to them. Astrid sends the Dragonborn on several contracts, until she can sort out the mess.
After killing Gaius Maro on his inspection route, the Dragonborn returns to the Falkreath Sanctuary, finding Veezara wounded, Arnbjorn missing, and Astrid quite disgruntled. In a fit of defiance, Cicero attacked Astrid for challenging the Night Mother's authority, but was intercepted by Veezara. Surviving the skirmish, Cicero fled to the Dawnstar Sanctuary, Arnbjorn following close behind. Arriving at the sanctuary, the Dragonborn finds Arnbjorn bleeding heavily and searches the sanctuary for Cicero. Battling through several Spectral Assassins, the Dragonborn finds Cicero, wounded and babbling. The Dragonborn has the option to kill Cicero, but if they decide not to, Cicero remains at the Dawnstar Sanctuary, even after the Penitus Oculatus destroys the Falkreath Sanctuary.
Cicero has five journals that are scattered throughout his room at the Sanctuary telling the story of his slow descent into madness.
As is detailed by his journals, Cicero was an accepted member of the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, renowned for his cloak-and-dagger killing style. He mentions riots in Bravil leading to the death of Alisanne Dupre, the Night Mother's previous Listener, and the desecration of the Night Mother's crypt beneath The Lucky Old Lady. Voted Keeper of the Night Mother by the remaining brotherhood members, Cicero fulfilled one last contract before transporting his Unholy Matron to Skyrim; he was scheduled to kill a jester, with whom he became obsessed. His attire and flamboyant manner mimic this jester. Trapped alone in the Cheydinal Sanctuary, Cicero grew insane trying to talk to the Night Mother and become her Listener. He killed another assassin of the guild, who falsely claimed to be the next Listener.
-Ho ho ho, he he he, break that lute across my knee, and if the bard should choose to fight, why then I'll set his clothes alight!
-Let's kill someone!
-Cicero is hungry...Need a sweetroll...or a carrot.
-Cicero will be right here. Spiders could eat my face off, faithful Cicero would not move an inch!
-Oohhh...Cicero's heard about the Butcher. Interesting knifework. Just...stab, stab, stab, stab, stab! And then...stab, stab, stab, stab, stab!
-Does it involve sneaking and stabbing? Please say yes!
-Oohh! Listener! That tickles!
-Home again, home again! I will return to Mother immediately!
-Need to oil Mother soon. Get all the hard-to-reach places.
-Cicero wants Skyforge Steel! Sharp, sharp for easy stabbing!
-Oh! Cicero will go to Jorrvaskr and dance for the Companions! Maybe they'll...um, on second thought, maybe not.
-Oh yes, Cicero and the Listener, he he, on the hunt! He he!
-Solitude...Lonely Cicero could tell you a thing or two about...solitude.
-The court needs a jester. But not me. Oh no, not Cicero. The Fool of Hearts is far too busy, thank you very much!
-...when I next meet that fair maid Nelly, I'll plunge my knife into her belly...
-...and if I spy a singing bird, I'll snap its neck before it's heard...
-...madness is merry and merriment's might, when the jester comes calling with his knife in the night...
-...and he says to the man, "That's not a horker! That's my wife!" Ha ha ha ha ha...Ah...I love that one...
-...need to get Mother some flowers...pretty, pretty flowers...
-...dear Cicero will keep you from harm, sweet Mother. Forever and always...
-What? Mother? Is that your voice I hear? Hmm? No, no...just my head playing tricks. Foolish Cicero.
-Our sweet Lady is maiden, mother...and crone...
-He he he...Crazy? Cicero? He he he he! That's...madness...
-Is there singing in the Void? Dancing? Surely the Dread Lord will at least allow poor Cicero to caper...
-...and I said to the baker, "You're not dead! You're a faker! But if that's your wish, I'll oblige..."
-...oh, if I chance to see a cat, I'll feed its corpse to my pet rat...
-He he he he he he he he he he.
-...need to sharpen my blade...make it shiny, gleamy, and oh so deadly...
-Cicero never understood thieves, really. Take someone's things before you kill them? And they call me crazy...
-Riften. Cicero likes Riften. Cheats and ruffians and cutthroats abound. Finally, some fun.
-Cicero saw a dwarf! Right there! A dwarf! Oh wait...Sorry...No dwarf.
-Forsworn, think they're so scary. Cicero will show you scary. Stupid Forsworn.