Su-Diang Qergo, or Meditation On Triumph

An early work by the prolific playwright Kambuja, known in Cyrodiil as Cambyses, whose future son would become a celebrated folk hero in Hammerfell's struggle against the Cyrodiil Empire. Short one act plays such as the one below are traditionally played by a host of voice actors whose only responsibility is to read the appropriate character's lines, while their counterparts on stage concentrate solely on performing the often dangerous sword-fighting techniques that the genre abounds in.



SCENE: An environment vaguely reminiscent of the Dak'fron steppes. Central on the stage is a monolithic rocky plateau, against which Mosedesi is leaning.
Enter Kaludu. Kaludu explores the scene.
Mosedesi So wide, these lands. So much to see and know and take in. Does it ever make your head hurt, raga?
Kaludu draws a sword.
Kaludu You were not here last time I passed.
Mosedesi Here, there. If every man said "I am here", where would we be at all? Deixis Shift, fifteenth Book of the Hena-Pishatri Doctrine.
Kaludu Only fourteen Doctrines came to us from the Western Shore, raha.
Mosedesi You question my knowledge, yet you address me with respect, even before you know my name. Careful, now.
Kaludu With reason.
Kaludu sheaths his sword.
Kaludu I have trained under Kezzadogo of Skaven and Heiyanji of Nenapesh and was sword pupil to Djongi, who lives nowhere for long. Then, when there was nothing left to be taught, I came here to seek out Mosedesi, the fabled instructor of the Dakfron steppes. Kezzadogo told me he was nothing but a didactic ideal, upon which I beat my duel-master the next day. Heiyanji saw him in dreams of which she never remembered the ultimate lesson. Djongi met him once in a thirst-vision, before a passing caravan saved him from the sun.
Mosedesi You believe you have found him at last, then?
Kaludu Surely, the only condition under which a man might quote the Fifteenth Doctrine must be that its secrets would have been useless to him to begin with. I salute you, Raha Mosedesi.
Mosedesi Once more I urge you to be cautious. Though my name may be Mosedesi, I would prefer you do not call me 'raha', for that title belongs to my brother. He is a nobler yet more foolish man than I, and we disagree on a great many things.
Kaludu Forgive me, raga.
Mosedesi Better. What can I teach you?
Kaludu Anything my previous tutors could not without losing their own advantage. To win.
Mosedesi Fourteen Doctrines you have read and yet you fail to properly define the problem. Win you can - yours, however, is a theoretical issue. Assured victory is what you want. The only victory.
Kaludu Will you teach me?
Mosedesi Did you not find me? It would seem I have already started.
Mosedesi draws a sword.
Mosedesi We shall duel now, until you learn the secret of assured victory, which is Raga Mosedesi's secret, which is all I or anyone can ever teach you. Choose your style.
Kaludu Every movement: real, virtual and hypothetically conceivable under the Circle Laws of Ei-Leki - fifteenth Book of the Hena-Pishatri Doctrine.
Mosedesi You learn fast. Begin.
Kaludu assumes the Throwaway Charge.
Kaludu Seven seconds from foot to clavicle. Given proper parrying, initiated before I spoke this phrase, three bones of your lower arm shatter with the first blow.
Mosedesi Fool yourself until performance becomes good fortune -- five seconds. It will hold.
Kaludu An unorthodox trajectory, but yes, correct. Very well; your turn.
Mosedesi Anticipation Riposte.
Kaludu Why would you -
Mosedesi Because you just -
Kaludu Impact-In-Hindsight.
Mosedesi Exactly. Continue.
Kaludu Two-Dimensional Strike. Does a null-width cut bleed?
Mosedesi Two-Dimensional Parry. That is debatable but there is no doubt I can block a null-width blade with my bare hand.
Mosedesi effortlessly removes the sword from Kaludu's hand and returns it immediately.
Mosedesi You may carry on; the duel bores me.
Kaludu Raga, before I continue: if you teach me assured victory, a secret you too are partial to, how can that secret's promise ever hold true for the both of us? Surely, you cannot surpass me forever and neither can I ?
Mosedesi A just question. To answer it we shall start our battle over, but this time as a thought-experiment, which is sibling to proper swordplay, though it often leaves a cleaner cut. Your task is to best me at every opportunity. Allow me to start off easily.
Mosedesi sheaths his sword and raises his empty left hand.
Mosedesi No threat in an empty palm, is there?
Kaludu On the contrary, raga. Your smile betrays five right-hand strikes that you can count on your left. However, given that digits can only count so far, I counter you with djanensei-trengo, which is one for each of Tava's favored flagships.
Mosedesi Right you are! Better yet, let us not linger in figures that can exist outside of the symbolic. How about, for instance, one for every Walkabout-Way-Beacon that Paparuptga made to light our way? No one has ever counted them, but their number is undoubtedly Too -messa- Big -ra- For Our Heads -dogei !
Kaludu Messa-ra-dogei may be too great for our heads, but, surely, that is simply a matter of finding a bigger head. I therefore propose an even greater number of wounds that I -with all due respect, raga- could inflict.
Mosedesi Sep osundi?
Kaludu If we counted one for each of Tall Papa's many, many children, then surely that number would rank in the uncountable!
Mosedesi Sep osundi?
Kaludu And at this point any further attempts of yours to add onto this number are doomed to fail, for surely they cannot move it out of the realm of the infinite.
Mosedesi Surely.
Kaludu Which leads me to conclude that your previous statement cannot -
Mosedesi And what if, amwa, one of Papa's many, many beloved children would Walk About for a long time and eventually reach the Shore and say: "Kind father, now that I am here and my Walking days are over, I too, would like to have children." And Paparuptga would broaden his eternal grin and answer: "Yes, child, you may." And afterwards, every other child would follow suit and each would beget many, many children in its own right. Answer me then, how many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on would Ruptga have sired?
Kaludu This reeks of forbidden knowledge. These are feeble eastern sophisms!
Mosedesi A compelling argument and nothing more. Say the words, raga. How many?
Kaludu A greater infinity.
Mosedesi Surely.
Kaludu An utmost curious idea. Nonetheless, you have shown your skill, raga, and you have bested me. I shall take my leave.
Mosedesi You will do no such thing. Learn from it.
A flurry of sand obscures Mosedesi's figure, who re-emerges wearing a clay-and-feather mask.
Mosedesi Answer me, raga. Who am I?
Kaludu You are Raga Mosedesi, anon Messa-Ra-Dogei, Too-Big-For-Our-Heads. Your brother is Messa-Ra-Dohei, who is Too-Big-For-Our-Mouths, who is full of words, but nothing more.
Mosedesi Correct. You have seen my face and have therefore seen the secret of The Greater Infinity, which is all I or anyone can ever teach you. You can surpass anyone, forever, and cannot be defeated but on your own terms. This then, I hope, is an adequate answer to your question. You may triumph over me, simply because I let you. I salute you, raha.
Another flurry of sand, in which Mosedesi disappears entirely. Exit Mosedesi. Kaludu reflects upon the event for a short while and then leaves. Exit Kaludu.