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"The New Man becomes God becomes Amaranth..."

"The red sands of the moon. The wreckage of Nirn is eclipsed by the towering Numidium, a robot made of brass spikes, from head to toe, doing battle with the tiny various gods and heroes that oppose it. Some fly on strange beasts, some fly of their own accord, some use beam-weapons from a bygone age, others blast magic from their hands, eyes, or chests. The Numidium is winning this battle, though. Easily."

C0DA is a web graphic novel script written by former The Elder Scrolls series developer Michael Kirkbride. It was released to the public on February 14, 2014.

C0DA is set on Nirn in the far distant future of the late Fifth Era. Numidium, the Reality Warping Humongous Mecha of Dwemer construction, presumed destroyed following the events of Daggerfall, returns after having been caught in a time warp. It continues its war on the Aldmeri Dominion, led by the fascistic Thalmor, leading to an apocalyptic event known as "Landfall", which has forced the remaining inhabitants of Nirn to take refuge on the moon Masser. The story centers around the Dunmer noble, Jubal-lun-Sul, who seeks the means to shepherd his people to a safe world, away from Landfall.

The story is told in Kirkbride's signature writing style, with plenty of New Weird and Mind-Screwy elements. Cosmic Retcons, Time Crashes, Physical Gods, and even some Leaning on the Fourth Wall are prevalent.

C0DA is the final text in a loosely connected series of "Obscure Texts", including Loveletter From the Fifth Era, The Prophet of Landfall, the "partially released" Landfall: Day One, and two intentionally Missing Episodes: Dies Irae and Stringendo.note  (The situation is reminiscent of the missing portions of The Trojan Cycle, in which it is generally known what happens, but the details are lost.)

According to Kirkbride, the main purpose for C0DA is to encourage the idea of The Elder Scrolls lore as a living open-source world that anyone can freely contribute to and reinterpret in their own personal manners. The text itself can not really be interpreted as "canon," more so it attempts to persuade the reader to deconstruct the idea of canon entirely. That said, the text does flesh out some of the ideas and concepts discussed in Kirkbride's other "Obscure Text" works, like the idea of Amaranth and a possible explanation of what happened to the Dwemer.

To that end, C0DA and its supplementary works have inspired many fantastic fan works, such as Hircine1's Landfall: Day -1''.

Not to be confused with the works Coda (2013), Coda (2019), or CODA (2021), which are spelled with an O instead of a 0.

C0DA and its supplementary texts provides examples of:

  • Advert-Overloaded Future: The "Videoverse" of The Intellective, which is attempting to invade the reality of the work. "MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF COMMERCIALS!"
  • After the End: Numidium has made Landfall. Time is unbound. Nirn is uninhabitable and the survivors eke out a living under the surface of the moon. Humans are ambiguously extinct, as the only races seen in the comic outside of flashbacks are Dunmer, Khajiit, and Hist.
  • Anachronic Order: The scenes in C0DA itself jump between the current time and various points in the past. The pages where this happens are usually labeled with the location and date to help keep track, but not always.
  • Anti-Human Alliance: The Aldmeri Dominion is still going strong and continues to be led by the Thalmor.
  • Arc Villain: The Intellective, "a bionic despot of a parallel reality", is one for the "Pseudo-6th-House" portion of the plot.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Jubal voluntarily has Khajiit surgeons remove his hands. It is implied to be part of his realizing that he is in a work of fiction, and, having achieved CHIM, uses "ghost hands" to give himself a Story-Breaker Power.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Amaranth. After one becomes aware of the nature of the Godhead's dream (the universe) and is able to maintain a sense of self (CHIM), one can exit the dream and create their own.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Jubal easily defeats a horde of Morag Tong assassins sicced on him by Hlaalu Hir.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The "Giant Size" form Vivec takes to "chase the demons away" in a flashback "voiced over" by Jubal.
  • Back from the Dead: Almalexia, Sotha Sil, Dagoth Ur, Lorkhan, Numidium... Only Numidium gets an explanation as to how or why, and even then it's a pretty big Hand Wave.
  • Big Bad: Numidium is the closest thing to it in terms of a plot-driving malevolent force.
  • Bizarro Apocalypse: Numidium (a Humongous Mecha Reality Warper thought destroyed centuries in the past) reappears and causes the apocalyptic event known as "Landfall". Time is "unbound", Numidium uses its ability as the walking embodiment of refutation to bring "erasure" upon the Altmer (High Elves), it "stomps" Hammerfell into sea, and it outright kills several gods causing a myriad of bizarre effects on the universe while leaving Nirn explicitly uninhabitable. The survivors have fled to Nirn's moon Masser where they eek out a living under the surface.
  • Bling of War: Hlaalu Hir, a wealthier Dunmer than Jubal. His armor shows all the signs of money: amber lacquered edges, badges of station, and a small front cape with the crest of his House.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The only kind of battle the Numidium can be involved with. It crushed the Second Aldmeri Dominion at the Battle of Alinor in the 2nd Era, and returns here. It effectively Unpersons the Altmer, brings the Landfall upon Nirn, and even wins "easily" in a battle against multiple gods. Only the Nerevarine (the Morrowind Player Character), piloting Akulakhan (another Humongous Mecha built from Numidium's blueprints), even slows it down. Numidium is only finally defeated using words.
  • Death of the Old Gods: The Un-Installment Dies irae focuses on a catastrophe that ends with the deaths of the three "Good Daedra" in the Dunmeri religion - Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala.
  • Delinquents: A flashback reveals that a teenage Vivec, while dirty and homeless, led such a gang. "They’d do almost anything for money. Kill, steal, whore themselves out. They were catamites with a grudge and a skill set to focus it."
  • Doomed Contrarian: Numidium. It is the literal embodiment of the Dwemer idea of refutation, and Jubal calls it a "serial contrarian to the last".
  • Eldritch Abomination: Numidium, crossing over with Mechanical Abomination. It is the living embodiment of the Dwemer's concept of refutation, or to have Jubal-lun-Sul put it bluntly:
    "Let’s face it. You were made to say “fuck it”. That’s not an answer that lasts."
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The story is set as Nirn is the process of being destroyed in the Landfall, with the survivors fleeing to the moon Masser.
  • Engagement Challenge: Jubal, combined with a seemingly Impossible Task, as he seeks to marry the daughter of Almalexia (who turns out to be Vivec).
    Jubal: "I must hunt and kill a Numidium!"
  • Face–Heel Turn: Yagrum Bagarn, the last living Dwemer who greatly assists the Player Character in Morrowind, is now the villain "The Intellective". He is trying to invade the reality of the work by spreading his "Videoverse" into it. The introduction of the "Pseudo-6th-House" has them working to stop him.
  • Famous Ancestor: Alandro Sul for Jubal. Alandro was a shield-bearer for the original Nerevar.
  • Fantastic Honorifics: The series standard Dunmer honorifics return. At one point, Jubal refers to Hlaalu Hir as "muthsera", to which Hir tells Jubal to not be so formal.
  • Future Badass: Yagrum Bagarn is a villainous version. In Morrowind, he's so badly affected by the Corprus Disease that he has lost the use of his legs and his bloated body is carried around on a set of steam-powered spider legs. Here, he has become the villain The Intellective. To note:
    "His “body” is in two halves: the massive bone-white jelly-mass of his GIGANTIC BRAIN-HEAD being lowered into a hundred-legged servo-walker. His bloated “face” splits into a perpetually maniacal grin, his eyes held open by hooks and wires to survey the cosmic channel surfing that is his home."
  • Gender Bender: Vivec, already established in the series' lore to be a hermaphrodite, turns out to be Almalexia's daughter appearing as a full woman.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
  • Horny Vikings: Talos takes it up to eleven, stated to be "more Viking than Viking":
    "His helmet has curled goat horns that are longer than his arms. His beard has to be wrapped up in his gigantic leather belt. In either hand, he carries a flagon of mead."
  • Humongous Mecha: Numidium, with an emphasis on the "humongous" part. Even gods are made to look "tiny" in comparison.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Three Good Daedra (Azura, Mephala, and Boethiah) are killed off at the beginning, in unknown circumstances. The entire Altmer race follows them to the grave when Numidium makes its Landfall.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Tsaesci who work for The Intellective wear them.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: It is strongly implied that Jubal has achieved CHIM, giving him an intentional Story-Breaker Power. He can manipulate events like the author of the work using his "ghost hands".
  • Literal Change of Heart: Lorkhan has a hole in his chest from where his heart was "violently" ripped out. It is now full of "neon blood".
  • Mecha-Mooks: The survivors on Masser are assisted by "mechanical servitors", machine servants which float about "leaving trails of blue-white mathematical symbols".
  • Mind Screw: It is a Michael Kirkbride work, after all. To note:
    • The Digitals, massive talking fingers which are believed to related to Jubal and CHIM. Essentially, they are Jubal working behind the scenes of the writing.
    • The "artist's note" upon Vivec's first appearance:
      "... outside of the above details, feel free to add your own. We’re staring at a god here. Nothing you add necessarily has to make sense."
    • Almost everything dealing with the The Intellective and the Videoverse. Melting video screens and advertisements everywhere.
  • Noodle Incident: The adventures of the "Pseudo-6th-House", consisting of the deities Vivec, Sothal Sil, Almalexia, Dagoth Ur, and Molag Bal. It is mentioned that they've stopped "Thalmor Superscientists", "Hist Psychopaths", "Tal(os) Masterminds", "Giant planet breathing demons", and more.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Due to the Un-Installment Missing Episodes, we don't get to see the details of Numidium's "erasure" of the Altmer, its confrontation with the Nerevarine and Akulakhan, its reclaiming "Tone-Shouts" from Atmora", or it "stomping" all of Hammerfell into the ocean.
  • Organic Technology: Plenty of it, as is standard for the Dunmer. One notable piece are the "Netch Zeppelins".
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: The Nerevarine, the Player Character from Morrowind, appears in Landfall: Day One piloting Akulakhan to battle Numidium. Taking Bethesda's habit of describing past player characters as little as possible so as not to make any one version of them "canon" up to eleven, the Nerevarine is described as a shapeless, multi-racial being.
  • Retirony: Alandro Sul mentions being two weeks away from retirement.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Offers a possible explanation for the enduring series mystery regarding the disappearance of the Dwemer - they became the skin of Numidium.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The entire setting. Refugees from a High Fantasy world have traveled to and settled on a moon. A Mechanical Abomination Humongous Mecha terrorizes them. They also have "servitor" Mecha-Mooks and there are significant Steampunk/Clock Punk technologies. Despite this, armor made from bone and insect chitin is still in use, as are melee weapons like spears and swords.
    • Pulse Plaza, a "Neo-Victorian" version of Times Square being invaded by The Intellective. It's best just to let the text describe it:
      "More than half of the people have TELEVISION SETS for heads, and these are chasing the others. The TELEVISION SET HEADS are only unified in their strange, replaced heads; otherwise, they are people from all walks of life: businessmer, construction workers, tourists of all stripes and races, vagrants. The speaking TELEVISION SET HEADS are spaced around the panel, each one chasing an uninfected CITIZEN. Their SPEECH BALLOONS are static-laden and jagged at the edges."
  • Sizeshifter: One of the abilities of the Numidium. When Jubal confronts it, he talks it into shrinking down to "proper size".
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Jubal-lun-Sul to Numidium. Somewhat literally, as he beheads it with an empty speech balloon. Also Discussed, as Jubal points out that no one had tried talking to it before to see what it wanted. They simply fought it and always got curb-stomped.
  • Time Crash:
    • Rather than being destroyed by the Underking, Numidium was caught in a time warp from the Siege of Alinor (end of the 2nd Era) until the time of the story in the late 5th Era.
    • Jubal's conversation with Akatosh, the series' draconic God of Time, implies that the events of the story ALL take place during a time crash ("clocks broken"). (Numidium is known to have caused them before...) Further reinforced when Jubal speaks to the man-bull demi-god Morihaus, who mentions having had an uncle (Pelinal) who had difficulty sorting out "when was when".
  • Underground City: Ald Sotha, a city built under the surface of the moon Masser in a connected series of caverns.
  • Un-Installment: The intentionally missing episodes Dies Irae and Stringendo. The events of those works are mentioned via Secondhand Storytelling in C0DA and the other supplementary works, but the details are lost.
  • Unperson: The "ancestroscythe" ability of Numidium causes this. Picking up where it left off in the 2nd Era, Numidium wages war on the Aldmeri Dominion and uses the ancestroscythe to refute the entire Altmer race from existence. (Known as the "Erasure of the Altmer".)
  • Willfully Weak: It is implied from the start that Jubal has achieved CHIM, an ultimate Story-Breaker Power. However, he doesn't use it to defeat Numidium, as he doesn't want to appear to cheat in his Engagement Challenge. An example of what he is capable of when not holding back occurs when he is attacked by a horde of Morag Tong assassins and Hlaalu Hir. He defeats them all with minimal effort.
  • Worthy Opponent: Jubal and Talos/Lorkhan trade verbal blows during Jubal's bachelor party. After a stern talking-to from Kyne and a few drinks, the two make up and Jubal admits this (in a way) toward Talos/Lorkhan. Later, Lorkhan officiates Jubal's wedding to the daughter of Almalexia.
  • Written by the Winners: Part of Jubal's Talking the Monster to Death speech to Numidium:
    "...fuck it, we won, we do what we want.”
    “...fuck it, they won, they get to do what they want.”