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Glories and Laments Among the Ayleid Ruins

Author: 
Alexandre Hetrard

Having arrived at Gottlesfont Priory, halfway on the Gold Road between Skingrad and the Imperial City, I resolved to make a side trip to view the magnificent ruins of Ceyatatar, or "Shadow of the Fatherwoods' in the ancient Ayleid tongue. After many hours of difficult travel through tangled hawthorn hells and limberlosts, I was suddenly struck dumb by the aspect of five pure white columns rising from a jade-green mound of vines to perfect V-shaped arches and graceful capitals towering above the verdant forest growth. This spectacle caused me to meditate on the lost glories of the past, and the melancholy fate of high civilizations now poking like splinter shards of bone from the green-grown tumulus of time-swept obscurity.

Within the forest tangle I discovered an entrance leading down into the central dome of a great underground edifice once dedicated to Magnus, the God of Sight, Light, and Insight. Dimly lit by the faded power of its magical pools, the shattered white walls of the enclosure shimmered with a cold blue light.

The marble benches of the central plaza faced out across the surrounding waters to tall columns and sharp arches supporting the high dome. From the central island, stately bridges spanned the still pools to narrow walkways behind the columns, with broad vaulted avenues and limpid canals leading away through ever-deeping gloom into darkness. Reflected in the pools were the tumbled columns, collapsed walls, and riotous root and vine growth thriving the dark half-light of the magical fountains.

The ancient Ayleids recognized not the four elements of modern natural philosophy -- earth, water, air, and fire -- but the four elements of High Elf religion -- earth, water, air, and light. The Ayleids considered fire to be but a weak and corrupt form of light, which Ayleid philosophers identified with primary magical principles. Thus their ancient subterranean temples and sanctuaries were lit by lamps, globes, pools, and fountains of purest magic.

It was by these ancient, faded, but still active magics that I knelt and contemplated the departed glories of the long-dead Ayelid architects. Gazing through the glass-smooth reflections of the surrounding pools, I could see, deep below, the slow pulse, the waxing and waning of the Welkynd stones.

The chiefest perils of these ruins to the explorer are the cunning and deadly mechanisms devised by the Ayleids to torment and confound those would invade their underground sanctuaries. What irony that after these many years, these devices should still stand vigilant against those who would admire the works of the Ayleids. For it is clear... these devices were crafted in vain. They did not secure the Ayleids against their true enemies, which were not the slaves who revolted and overthrew their cruel masters, nor the were they the savage beast peoples who learned the crafts owar and magic from their Ayleid masters. No, it was the arrogant pride of their achievements, their smug self-assurance that their empire would last forever, that doomed them to fail and fade into obscurity. 

Aldmeri Alphabets

Author: 
Lady Nerevar

 

All Merish languages share similar forms due to their common origin the Aldmeri. Back in the early days of lore scholarship, the nature of this alphabet was one of the biggest mysteries of the Elder Scrolls. Now, between Skyrim's fonts for Dwemer and Falmer, Oblivion's examples of the Ayleid language, and a newly released pre-Morrowind Dwemer alphabet, the translation of these alphabets has become commonplace. There are, of course, lingering secrets, and we hope that this page will perhaps help you in making your own discovery.

Dwemer (Runes) - This version of the alphabet is found throughout Hammerfell's Stros M'kai ruins and on documents in Morrowind. It was the first variant of the font to be designed, and features two glyphs not found in other alphabets (see below). Its J, P, X and Z runes are quite different than their alternatives in other alphabets.
Dwemer (Script) - A more calligraphic variant of Dwemeris, found on pipes and doors throughout Vvardenfell. Since only two examples exist, this is an incomplete alphabet. The letters that we do have are quite different than their runic counterparts. All are significantly looser, and the A, D, F, G, I, and N glyphs vary in shape.
Dwemer (Skyrim) - This is the Skyrim variant of the Dwemer script, available in True Type format in the game's files. Its letters are curvier than the traditional runes, but largely retain the same shape. The P and S glyphs are notable exceptions.

Ayleid - Very similar to Dwemer, though less angular. Like the Dwemer script, this alphabet is incomplete due to lack of references. The letter B is the biggest difference.

Falmer - Also found in Skyrim, this font is beautifully embellished with additional strokes, and its lines are very calligraphic, varying in weight and ending in serifs. However, once stripped down, the letters are largely identical to the Dwemer runes (this can be seen in the Simple variant). The letter H is perhaps the only differing glyph.

The Alphabet

In addition to the alphabet above, the Dwemer Runes font (found in both Hammerfell and Morrowind) makes use of two special glyphs: , which capitalizes the letter it precedes and hence marks the start of a sentence; and , which indicates that the following glyph is to be read as a number rather than a letter. Interestingly, there does not appear to be a number for zero, despite its presence in Dwemeri writings. These two symbols don't appear to be found in the other scripts.

Reading & Pronunciation

There are three styles of translation for the Dwemer, Ayleid, and Falmer languages. The first, most complex, and, in my opinion, most interesting assigns sounds to the glyphs, and uses them to form words in Dwemeri, just like real life letters do. The second, simpler version is to assign an English letter to each glyph, and use that to form words in Dwemeri, Ayleid, or Falmeri. The third version assigns English letters and uses them to directly write English words.

Our best example of the pronunciation of Dwemeri glyphs comes from the game Redguard, where Cyrus must speak a passage in Dwemeri to open a door. The passage, learned in the Book of Dwarven Lore, reads "Shahbth ih awerk. Stuh ndah bthahhrk. Awerd sheh ahhmzrteh." Contrary to previous theories, it does not have anything to do with the inscription on the door (more on that in the Translation section below). In Dwemeri, the phrase would read "". The pronunciation of the rest of the letters (found in the chart above) comes to us from a Redguard-era concept document, courtesy of Michael Kirkbride. Note that the letter for H is actually a different pronunciation of A.

The names of most Dwemer ruins can also be pronounced in this system. For example, the ruin Mzahnch in Morrowind can be spelled as MHN: . Other names, like Mzark (which can be spelled MR, ), have vowels added for easier pronunciation  The biggest hickup is the syllable Zel, which is found in many Skyrim ruins but is absent from this version of the alphabet, perhaps indicating a shift in pronunciation.

More examples exist for the direct glyph to letter to Aldmeri word translation. Most interesting is a "Rosetta Stone" which includes both Falmer and Dwemer inscription. The Dwemeris on this stone varies quite a bit from the pronunciations above, indicating, once again, a change in the language. It is also possible that there existed several forms of transcription or formal and informal versions of the language. Both the Falmeri, which is strikingly similar to Ayleid, and Dwemeri versions of the text will be described below.

 

Translation

Most examples of Dwemeri text are, sadly, just random letters. This may be in part due to the fact that no font for the language existed in the Morrowind and Redguard days, when most of the texts were made. Of the Falmer alphabet, most examples are simply Falmer glyphs standing in for English letters, and have not been preserved here.

This example of the Dwemer Script style, found on doors throughout Vvardenfell, is an homage to GT Noonan's father. It reads:

In loving memory,
Gary Noonan,
Sr.

The image depicts Dumac and features a tiny scarab.

Another example of the Script style, these pipes read "Wormgod." This was the online name of GT Noonan, a Morrowind developer.

Golem plans, found on both Vvardenfell and Stros M'kai. The two columns at the left read:

A  B
F  G
L  M
Q  R
V  W

The small text at the bottom, below the columns, reads:

ESTU
WXWZ

The three large letters at the bottom are "S U V," and the two small letters, one pair next to the golem's head, the other in the bottom left of the paper, are "B D"

These airship plans are found on both Vvardenfell and Stros M'kai. The text in the bubble, enlarged at right, says:

B G M R

The _ symbol at the top is used to denote a capital letter. The | next to the B does not seem to match up to any Dwemeri letter. This is the same sequence as in the right column in the golem plans (minus the W), and again below in the limeware pottery and Stros M'kai ruins. The sequence is also found on the robe of the Dwemer depiction of the Lord constellation.

These letters correspond to the constellations Ritual, Shadow, Lady, and Golem. They might function as ideographs rather than letters in some contexts.

This pattern, found on limeware pottery popular with Vvardenfell's elite, repeats the B G M R sequence. It is unclear whether this pottery is a Dwemer original or an artist's copy.

The left column is another example of the B G M R sequence, this time from a floor panel in Stros M'kai.

The same letters are repeated again out of order on the right side.

This is the carving from the door mentioned above. Contrary to what Cyrus reads, the letters actually say:

HI
NO
ST

This bit is actually an Easteregg. According to Michael Kirkbride, who made the area, the door was originally not accessible (hence, "no street"), and you had to take another way around. Later, they included the bookshop and the secret password, but left the texture as a joke to themselves.

Inscriptions found on a broken golem in Stros M'kai. They read:

1. U O T Y P K

2. L ? ? Y ?

3.U P Y T R

4. # P K H

5. # Y O U T

This is the Vvardenfell variant, a similar emblem is found in brass on Stros M'kai. The letters on it are "M M E"

An oscillating machine connected to the steam pipes which run through Stros M'kai. It reads:

M  N  O
R   E   T
W  X  Y

Architectural trim found in Stros M'Kai. They read:

G W # O P
S H _ V T B S Q R

The _ indicates the start of a new sentence.

This type of lexicon appears twice in Skyrim, once to store the "accumulated memories of centuries of Dwemer" in Avanchnzel, and again to record an Elder Scroll. Interestingly, it used the Dwemer Runes from Morrowind, rather than the Skyrim script.

Most of the text is too small to make out, even when enhanced. That which we can read appears to be random.

This lexicon also uses the runic script. The lefthand edge reads:

- H
UMH-
YKXF-
-XNC
-KORA
G_CQ-
FL IT
UEZF
-PZL
-S -

The top triangle:

EB
G--O
--PTE-
-E-HM --QTY
-- - V --- -
C---Y -GUK- ---

And the bottom triangle:

--KYVT-L----
-BNBXCEKHHFG
G_RBCEXA-
ADIF
-DB-

We also have two more extensive examples in the form of two Dwemer texts which we were able to get translated in Morrowind. Baladas Demnevanni gives us their contents, but the actual letters appear to be gibberish. In the transcriptions, the underscore (_) represents the glyph indicating a capital letter and start of a new sentence. The number sign (#) indicates the glyph that means the letters should be read as numbers, and any letters following # that have a numerical equivalent have it listed in superscript. You'll see that both these glyphs are not properly used.

Divine Metaphysics, is, according to Baladas Demnevanni, "an explanation of how the Dwemer tried to make a new god, Anumidium, using Kagrenac's tools and the sacred tones on Lorkhan's Heart."

VTEL ITSATDBNB CEK
PAG_LQNDF ADIF GLNQ
KORAB SG RBLEXAOP
EDTF TXKIHM N#QXY U
UGBL BUH B V RZFH B
VM CVMCW CGUKC UM
XFSODI KY VTDL ITS
Q_AXBYE_G# A1 FS WAV
HL WCGPYA XOAPD ZK
Z ERUZF GZ H BAW
XNC ATDBNB CEK HFGD
IV_LQOGSE G IMOQRN
BCREM PZLAD YFTKI#
F6#G7A1WI8 GBZIPWEHK C

ZM NGFTS C#YD4Y BA_L
HWI AN_RBI PQ_VWR
KR_#UPN VELNHR XZO
RV TWZYX NU RX#STB2
OS _ROAQ OQPFK EGY
LP HL_ROIWHC DYOF
BFR XWVAK UMHO _R
XFV Y T #OG7 HFX RH
U NGCA RW SHV VR B
R D_ KGN VL TAQN SG
QLI VHFMYZ_UDCKN H
_#OHE5Y O GFF_P YO
D XWCWTH SIQPN W#ND4
O N IQGAH FVC KWYB

 

Egg of Time, by Bthuand Mzahnch, is, ironically, "a refutation of the idea that linking to a divine source of power can be dangerous if interrupted."

Q_AXBYE_G# E FX NAV
IV_LQOFSE G IMOQRN
F#G7A1WH8 GBZIPWEHK C
EDTG TCKIHM N#QXZ U
UGBL BUH B V RZF H B
VM CVMCW CGUKC UM
HL WCGPYA XOAPD YK
XFSODI KY VTDC ITS
XNC ATDBNB CEK HFGD
KORAB SG RBCEXEOP
PAG_CQNDF ADIF GLNQ
VTDL ITSATDBNB CEK
S ERUZF GZ H BEW
BCREM PZLAD YFTKI#

YFTKI# XNC GZ T BEW
CEK GNLQATDBNB V
CVMCW RBCEXAOP VM B
KORAB SG ADIF TGFD
PZLAD ITSATDBNB BUH
XOAPD CEK Z ERUZF
VTDL VTDL PAG_CQNDF
ITS C BCREM WCGPYA
XFSOFI KY HL YK XY
UM CGUKC RZFH UGBL
EFTF H U TCKIHM N#Q
F#G7A1W B G IMOQRN E
GBZIPWGHK IV_LQOGSE
Q_AXBYE_G# FS WAV

We have only two examples of Ayleid script, one presumably from the 1st era, and another from the end of the 3rd.

A carved pillar in the middle of Cloud Top. Why the only extant Ayleid text is found in the middle of an Imperial fort, we'll probably never know. It reads:

Av latta magicka
av molag anyamis

This translates to "From light, magic; from fire, life." This is a reversal on the phrase as seen in Ayleid Inscriptions and their Translations. The second M in "anyammis" has been omitted.

This inscription was found in Anvil's Chapel of Dibella, written in the priest's blood. It says:

As oiobala Umarile, Ehlnada racuvar.

According to the Prophet, this translates to "by the eternal power of Umaril, the mortal gods shall be cast down." This same text is found on the trim of the Knights of the Nine box.

 

Although there are numerous examples of Falmer script, they all translate directly into English, and we have not listed them here (you can find them all in the Skyrim Books section of the library).

There is however one Falmer example that is signification: a "Rosetta Stone" like stele found in Calcelmo's tower in Markarth. It features both Dwemer and Falmer script, and presumably says the same in both. Due to the similarity between Ayleid and Falmeri, we are able to translate some parts.

The Dwemer text at the top reads:

Chun thuamer arkngd chend duathand, th ahvardn btham. Amz thuamer ahrkanch kemelmzulchond aka Mora, th thuangz ahrk, th duum melz thuabtharng, th kanthaln duabcharn mzin thuastur, btharumz thua mer zel. Abakch duumarkng tuathumz amakai, th abakch avatheled kagr tuamkingth mzan. Du chal fahl ngark, che du fahl bthun ur. Du chal fahl ngalft, che du bthun ur. Du abak chal thu abazun nchur duabthar, nchul duanchard. Th ur thuanchuth irknd, ur irkngth eftardn, thunch fahlz. Bthun abak dua mzual th nchuan duarkng, chun fahlbthar thuanchardch anum ralz, th eftar thuachendraldch kagren thua vanchningth.

The Falmer, at the bottom:

Ye sa sou meldi calne tarn va nou molagnenseli,ye trumbi nou bala. Ilpen av sou meldi nagaiale as guntumnia, spantelepe-laelia arani Morae, ye sou liebali racuvane, ye nu rautane sye, ye nu hautalle nou buroi gume sou gravuloi, sa metane sye garlis. Frey as gandra dwemera tarcellane sou agea, ye frey as emeratis Avatheledia carelle sou anyamissi bisia silya. Nu hecta sou arcten, rias nu nemalauta ge. Nu hecta sou epegandra, rias ne nemalauta ge. Nu frey sepa sye arcta varlor denai, cullei noue staneia.Ye ry sou alasil auta, ry loria shanta, abagaiavoy. Malautavoy fey nou darre ye alata nou malae, asma moraga sou anyamis av sercen pado, ye gethena sou wend narilia vey emeratu sou oia bisia.

The translation of the text was recently provided to us by Kurt Kuhlmann, its author. You can find a line by line translation here.

And so it was that your people were given passage to our steam gardens, and the protections of our power. (literally “protection of our mathematics”) Many of your people had perished under the roaring, snow-throated kings of Mora, and your wills were broken, and we heard you, and sent our machines against your enemies, to thereby take you under.Only by the grace of the Dwemer did your culture survive, and only by the fifteen-and-one tones did your new lives begin.We do not desire thanks, for we do not believe in it. We do not ask for gratitude, for we do not believe in it.We only request you partake of the symbol of our bond, the fruit of the stones around us. [lit. “we only ask you to accept”] (literally “the fruit of our stones”)And as your vision clouds, as the darkness sets in, fear not.Know only our mercy and the radiance of our affection, which unbinds your bones to the earth before, and sets your final path to the music of your new eternity.

 

Constellations

Certain Dwemer runes also symbolize constellations on the Orrery in Stros M'Kai. Although there does not appear to be a connection between each glyph and the constellation it represents, this subject merits further study. You can read more about Dwemeri constellation depictions here.

Glyph Translation Constellation
A, aah, 1 Thief
B, bth, 2 Ritual
D, nd, 4 Lover
E, eh, 5 Lord
F, ft, 6 Mage
G, ngth, 7 Shadow
H, ah, 8 Steed
I, ih, 9 Apprentice
K, rk Warrior
M, mz Lady
N, nch Tower
R, rd Golem

 

Special thanks to: Aquiantus and Nigedo, authors of the original Dwemer Runes article and webmasters of the Academy for Dwemer Studies. To Michael Kirkbride, for providing the original alphabet, and his stories about its use and creation. To Gary Noonan, for his translations. To Zaethron, for his creation of the Ayleid runes. To everyone who has over the years worked to figure out these tongues, created resources, theorized, dreamt and wondered. To all who remember magic.

The Seat of Sundered Kings: Cyrodiil

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

Map of Cyrodiil

Like the diamond in the center of the Amulet of Kings, Cyrodiil is the heart of the Septim Empire and Tamriel. Still largely forested and almost landlocked, the beauty of the land has been sung of since time immemorial. Three Empires have wielded their power from the strategic center of the continent, so it is little wonder that Cyrodiil is widely known simply as The Imperial Province.

History

The early Aldmeri settlers to Tamriel established strongholds on the islands of Summerset and along the coasts, but did not venture far inland. Only oral histories and the fragmented ballad of Topal the Pilot offer glimpses of the ancient beast races that inhabited the land, but they are shadowy, mist-drawn portraits of time before reckoning. It is not until the coming of the Ayleid that Cyrodilic history truly begins.

Imperial RaceThe Ayleids were ancient Aldmer, cousins of all the elven races that exist to this day. Over time, they became a distinct people, crafting a civilization whose ruins still puzzle and fascinate modern archeologists and adventurers. The ancient Nedic people, spreading south from Skyrim, became the slave labor for their ambitions, centered around the White Gold Tower.

The slave rebellion of Alessia in the 242nd year of the First Era is a seminal event in the history of Cyrodiil, and all of Tamriel. While humans and Elves had been battling in Skyrim for some time and the Slave Queen's revolt could not be called the first victory of men over mer, it represents a turning point in the continental power structure. The heart of Tamriel was going to belong to these former slaves, present day Cyrodilics or Imperials, forever more.

With the aid of the Nords of Skyrim, the Cyrodilics consolidated their power, forming a loose alliance between the two sometimes disparate regions: the rich Nibenay Valley and the remote, rough Colovian Highlands. While the Alessian Empire continued to push westward towards the Direnni lands in High Rock, the greatest change was a cultural and religious one. The prophet Maruhk's teachings both brought identity to Cyrodiil, codifying the pantheon most civilized Tamriellians worship to this day, and brought conflict due to the more severe strictures he espoused.

The next great transformation of the land came from distinctly external forces. The foiled Akaviri invasion of 2703 brought about a new dynasty, and a new spirit of cooperation among independent nations, dedicated to fighting the common threat. Under the Emperor Reman I, Cyrodiil became truly cosmopolitan, incorporating aspects of High Rock, Colovia, Nibenay and the sophisticated if strange culture of the defeated Akaviri into a common whole. The Cyrodilic Empire, also called the Second Empire, began again the process of expansion, founding a strong single nation, if not actually succeeding in conquering the entire continent.

The assassination of Reman III and his son and heir Juilek at the end of the Four Score War with Morrowind marked the end of an era, if not the end of the Second Empire. Under the Akaviri Potentates, the system of governing continued to evolve throughout the Second Era, progresses that abruptly ended with the assassination of the last Potentate in the year 2E 430.

CyrodiilThe rest of the Second Era was a time of great darkness and chaos throughout Tamriel, nowhere moreso than in Cyrodiil. Without a central government, Nibenay and Colovia split apart, farms fell fallow, villages were left in ruin and the former Imperial highways became no man's land, the realm of bandit kings. The Imperial City itself became the prize for an endless series of would-be emperors, fought over for centuries until its glory was only a faded shadow of the great days when it ruled Tamriel.

The rise of Tiber Septim has been amply documented in the history, and in a hundred books besides. In Cyrodiil, his influence could not be overemphasized. He gave the land back its traditional power and more, and became the symbol of it. He founded the dynasty that reigns to this very day. Cyrodiil, of course, helped Tiber Septim as much as he helped it. It gave legitimacy and a sense of history to his legend, which grew even ahead of his conquests.

The Imperial City and Cyrodiil rose again in splendor, occasionally tarnished by the weakness of some of Septim's descendants, the war of the Red Diamond and the Imperial Simulacrum, but never again did it loose its luster.

Current Events

The Imperial Province has continued to be the stable heart of the Empire, offering a model to its satellites of a government that settles disputes by diplomacy, not by force of arms. The recent marriage of Lady Alessia, daughter of the Countess of Chorrol to Count Marius Caro of Leyawiin typifies this, a perfect blend of love and sound political judgement.

Nevertheless, there have been a few frightening moments in Cyrodiil in the recent years. A suspected outbreak of the Knahaten Plague, a threat for the first time in hundreds of years, sparked panic along the southern border with Black Marsh. It was revealed to be a hoax, perhaps created by Argonians fighting back against Imperial excursions led by the Blackwood Company, and the fear was dissipated. Family strife in Kvatch claimed the lives of both sons of Count Haderus Goldwine, vying for the inheritance. While peace has been restored, the Count, at the time of this writing is still in mourning and has not designated a new heir.

In the Imperial Court, there is thankfully no such tragedy. While the Emperor chose not to remarry following the Empress death more than fifty years ago, she left to him three healthy boys who have spent their adult years learning the arts of politics from their masterful liege and father. Crown Prince Geldall has already taken many of Uriel's responsibilities, and has impressed one and all with his acumen. As the heart of the Empire is solid, all of Tamriel is strong.

Ayleid Inscriptions and their Translations

Author: 
Raelys Anine

The following inscriptions were painstakingly transcribed and interpreted over many long years, and are preserved here for all time.

--
Av molag anyammis, av latta magicka.
"From fire, life; from light, magic."

--
Barra agea ry sou karan.
"Wear lore as your armor."

--
Agea haelia ne jorane emero laloria.
"Wisdom learned by pain is a reliable guide in dark times." [literally, "Terrible wisdom never betrayed the loremasters."]

--
Nou aldmeris mathmeldi admia aurane gandra sepredia av relleis ye brelyeis ye varlais.
"Our exiled Elven ancestors heard the welcoming gifts of peace in the streams and beech trees and stars." ["Mathmeldi" means literally "from-home-driven." ]

--
Suna ye sunnabe.
"Bless and blessed be."

--
Va garlas agea, gravia ye goria, lattia mallari av malatu.
"In the caverns of lore, ugly and obscure, shines the gold of truth."

--
Vabria frensca, sa belle, sa baune, amaraldane aldmeris adonai.
"The foaming wave, so thunderous, so mighty, heralds the lordly Elves."

The Song of Pelinal

Author: 
Anonymous

[Editor's Note: Volumes 1-6 are taken from the so-called Reman Manuscript located in the Imperial Library. It is a transcription of older fragments collected by an unknown scholar of the early Second Era. Beyond this, little is known of the original sources of these fragments, some of which appear to be from the same period (perhaps even from the same manuscript). But, as no scholarly consensus yet exists on dating these six fragments, no opinions will be offered here.]

That he took the name "Pelinal" was passing strange, no matter his later sobriquets, which were many. That was an Elvish name, and Pelinal was a scourge on that race, and not much given to irony. Pelinal was much too grim for that; even in youth he wore white hair, and trouble followed him. Perhaps his enemies named Pelinal of their own in their tongue, but that is doubtful, for it means "glorious knight", and he was neither to them. Certainly, many others added to that name during his days in Tamriel: he was Pelinal the Whitestrake because of his left hand, made of a killing light; he was Pelinal the Bloody, for he [drank] it in victory; he was Pelinal Insurgent, because he gave the crusades a face; he was Pelinal In Triumph, as the words eventually became synonymous, and men-at-arms gave thanks to the Eight when they saw his banner coming through war; he was Pelinal the Blamer, for he was quick to admonish those allies of his that favored tactics that ran counter to his, that is, sword-theory; and he was Pelinal the Third, though whether this was because some said he was a god guiser, who had incarnated twice before already, or that, simpler, he was the third vision given to Perrif, anon Alessia, in her prayers of liberation before he walked among the quarters of rebellion, is unknown.

[And then] Perrif spoke to the Handmaiden again, eyes to the Heavens which had not known kindness since the beginning of elven rule, and she spoke as a mortal, whose kindle is beloved by the Gods for its strength-in-weakness, a humility that can burn with metaphor and yet break [easily and] always, always doomed to end in death (and this is why those who let their souls burn anyway are beloved of the Dragon and His Kin), and she said: "And this thing I have thought of, I have named it, and I call it freedom. Which I think is just another word for Shezarr Who Goes Missing... [You] made the first rain at his sundering [and that] is what I ask now for our alien masters... [that] we might sunder them fully and repay their cruelty [by] dispersing them to drown in the Topal. Morihaus, your son, mighty and snorting, gore-horned, winged, when next he flies down, let him bring us anger." ... [And then] Kyne granted Perrif another symbol, a diamond soaked red with the blood of elves, [whose] facets could [un-sector and form] into a man whose every angle could cut her jailers and a name: PELIN-EL [which is] "The Star-Made Knight" [and he] was arrayed in armor [from the future time]. And he walked into the jungles of Cyrod already killing, Morihaus stamping at his side froth-bloody and bellowing from excitement because the Pelinal was come... [and Pelinal] came to Perrif's camp of rebels holding a sword and mace, both encrusted with the smashed viscera of elven faces, feathers and magic beads, which were the markings of the Ayleidoon, stuck to the redness that hung from his weapons, and he lifted them, saying: "These were their eastern chieftains, no longer full of their talking."

Pelinal Whitestrake was the enemy of all elfkind that lived in Cyrod in those days. Mainly, though, he took it upon himself to slay the sorcerer-kings of the Ayleids in pre-arranged open combats rather than at war; the fields of rebellion he left to the growing armies of the Paravania and his bull nephew. Pelinal called out Haromir of Copper and Tea into a duel at the Tor, and ate his neck-veins while screaming praise to Reman, a name that no one knew yet. Gordhaur the Shaper's head was smashed upon the goat-faced altar of Ninendava, and in his wisdom Pelinal said a small plague spell to keep that evil from reforming by welkynd-magic. Later that season, Pelinal slew Hadhuul on the granite steps of Ceya-Tar, the Fire King's spears knowing their first refute. For a time, no weapon of the Ayleids could pierce his armor, which Pelinal admitted was unlike any crafted by men, but would say no more even when pressed. When Huna, whom Pelinal raised from grain-slave to hoplite and loved well, took death from an arrowhead made from the beak of Celethelel the Singer, the Whitestrake went on his first Madness. He wrought destruction from Narlemae all the way to Celediil, and erased those lands from the maps of Elves and Men, and all things in them, and Perrif was forced to make sacrifice to the Gods to keep them from leaving the earth in their disgust. And then came the storming of White-Gold, where the Ayleids had made pact with the Aurorans of Meridia, and summoned them, and appointed the terrible and golden-hued "half-Elf" Umaril the Unfeathered as their champion… and, for the first time since his coming, it was Pelinal who was called out to battle by another, for Umaril had the blood of the 'ada and would never know death.

[Pelinal] drove the sorcerer armies past the Niben, claiming all the eastern lands for the rebellion of the Paravania, and Kyne had to send her rain to wash the blood from the villages and forts that no longer flew Ayleid banners, for the armies of Men needed to make camps of them as they went forward. ...[and] he broke the doors open for the prisoners of the Vahtache with the Slave-Queen flying on Morihaus above them, and Men called her Al-Esh for the first time. He entered the Gate at ... to win back the hands of the Thousand-Strong of Sedor (a tribe now unknown but famous in those days), which the Ayleids had stolen in the night, two thousand hands that he brought back in a wagon made of demon-bone, whose wheels trailed the sound of women when ill at heart... [Text lost]... [And after] the first Pogrom, which consolidated the northern holdings for the men-of-'kreath, he stood with white hair gone brown with elfblood at the Bridge of Heldon, where Perrif's falconers had sent for the Nords, and they, looking at him, said that Shor had returned, but he spat at their feet for profaning that name. He led them anyway into the heart of the hinterland west, to drive the Ayleids inward, towards the Tower of White-Gold, a slow retreating circle that could not understand the power of Man’s sudden liberty, and what fury-idea that brought. His mace crushed the Thundernachs that Umaril sent as harriers on the rebellion's long march back south and east, and carried Morihaus-Breath-of-Kyne to Zuathas the Clever-Cutting Man (a nede with a keptu name) for healing when the bull had fallen to a volley of bird beaks. And, of course, at the Council of Skiffs, where all of the Paravania's armies and all of the Nords shook with fear at the storming of White-Gold, so much so that the Al-Esh herself counseled delay, Pelinal grew furious, and made names of Umaril, and made names of what cowards he thought he saw around him, and then made for the Tower by himself, for Pelinal often acted without thought.

It is a solid truth that Morihaus was the son of Kyne, but whether or not Pelinal was indeed the Shezarrine is best left unsaid (for once Plontinu, who favored the short sword, said it, and that night he was smothered by moths). It is famous, though, that the two talked of each other as family, with Morihaus as the lesser, and that Pelinal loved him and called him nephew, but these could be merely the fancies of immortals. Never did Pelinal counsel Morihaus in time of war, for the man-bull fought magnificently, and led men well, and never resorted to Madness, but the Whitestrake did warn against the growing love with Perrif. "We are ada, Mor, and change things through love. We must take care lest we beget more monsters on this earth. If you do not desist, she will take to you, and you will transform all Cyrod if you do this." And to this the bull became shy, for he was a bull, and he felt his form too ugly for the Parvania at all times, especially when she disrobed for him. He snorted, though, and shook his nose-hoop into the light of the Secunda moon and said, "She is like this shine on my nose-hoop here: an accident sometimes, but whenever I move my head at night, she is there. And so you know what you ask is impossible."

[And it is] said that he emerged into the world like a Padomaic, that is, borne by Sithis and all the forces of change therein. Still others, like Fifd of New Teed, say that beneath the Pelinal's star-armor was a chest that gaped open to show no heart, only a red rage shaped diamond-fashion, singing like a mindless dragon, and that this was proof that he was a myth-echo, and that where he trod were shapes of the first urging. Pelinal cared for none of this and killed any who would speak god-logic, except for fair Perrif, who he said, "enacts, rather than talks, as language without exertion is dead witness." When those soldiers who heard him say this stared blankly, he laughed and swung his sword, running into the rain of Kyne to slaughter their Ayleid captives, screaming, "O Aka, for our shared madness I do this! I watch you watching me watching back! Umaril dares call us out, for that is how we made him!" [And it was during] these fits of anger and nonsense that Pelinal would fall into the Madness, where whole swaths of lands were devoured in divine rampage to become Void, and Alessia would have to pray to the Gods for their succor, and they would reach down as one mind and soothe the Whitestrake until he no longer had the will to kill the earth in whole. And Garid of the men-of-ge once saw such a Madness from afar and maneuvered, after it had abated, to drink together with Pelinal, and he asked what such an affliction felt like, to which Pelinal could only answer, "Like when the dream no longer needs its dreamer."

[Editor's Note: This fragment comes from a manuscript recovered from the ruins of the Alessian Order's monastery at Lake Canulus, which dates it to sometime prior to the War of Righteousness (1E 2321). However, textual analysis suggests that this fragment actually preserves a very early form of the Song, perhaps from the mid-sixth century.]

Pelinal battles Umaril

 

[And so after many battles with] Umaril's allies, where dead Aurorans lay like candlelight around the throne, the Pelinal became surrounded by the last Ayleid sorcerer-kings and their demons, each one heavy with varliance. The Whitestrake cracked the floor with his mace and they withdrew, and he said, "Bring me Umaril that called me out!" ... [And] while mighty in his aspect and wicked, deathless-golden Umaril favored ruin-from-afar over close combat and so he tarried in the shadows of the white tower before coming forth. More soldiers were sent against Pelinal to die, and yet they managed to pierce his armor with axes and arrows, for Umaril had wrought each one by long varliance, which he had been hoarding since his first issue [of challenge.]... [Presently] the half-Elf [showed himself] bathed in [Meridian light] ... and he listed his bloodline in the Ayleidoon and spoke of his father, a god of the [previous kalpa's] World-River and taking great delight in the heavy-breathing of Pelinal who had finally bled... [Text lost] ... [And] Umaril was laid low, the angel face of his helm dented into an ugliness which made Pelinal laugh, [and his] unfeathered wings broken off with sword strokes delivered while Pelinal stood [frothing]... above him insulting his ancestry and anyone else that took ship from Old Ehlnofey, [which] angered the other Elvish kings and drove them to a madness of their own... [and they] fell on him [speaking] to their weapons... cutting the Pelinal into eighths while he roared in confusion [which even] the Council of Skiffs [could hear]... [Text lost] ...ran when Mor shook the whole of the tower with mighty bashing from his horns [the next morning], and some were slain-in-overabundance in the Taking, and Men looked for more Ayleids to kill but Pelinal had left none save those kings and demons that had already begun to flee... It was Morihaus who found the Whitestrake's head, which the kings had left to prove their deeds and they spoke and Pelinal said things of regrets... but the rebellion had turned anyway... [and more] words were said between these immortals that even the Paravant would not deign to hear.

[Editor's Note: This is the oldest and most fragmentary of all the existant Pelinal texts. It is, however, likely closest to the original spoken or sung form of the Song, and therefore has great value despite its brevity. Strangely, it appears that Pelinal is present at Alessia's deathbed, although he was killed by Umaril earlier in the saga (years before Alessia's death). Some scholars believe that this fragment is not actually a part of the Song of Pelinal, but most accept its authenticity although there is still much debate as to its significance.]

"... and left you to gather sinew with my other half, who will bring light thereby to that mortal idea that brings [the Gods] great joy, that is, freedom, which even the Heavens do not truly know, [which is] why our Father, the... [Text lost]... in those first [days/spirits/swirls] before Convention... that which we echoed in our earthly madness. [Let us] now take you Up. We will [show] our true faces... [which eat] one another in amnesia each Age."

 

 

Lithnilian's Research Notes

Author: 
Lithnilian

As I entered the final chamber of Bramblepoint Cave, my eyes fell upon the goal of my expedition. In the inky blackness, the familiar aquamarine glow of the Welkynd Stone beckoned me in silent reverence. I was the first here in ages; evidenced by the thick layers of dust and debris strewn about. I don't remember how long I stood there, in awe of the beautiful crystals outside their natural environment.

They all said I was crazy; a fool, a buffoon. Crystals growing outside Ayleid ruins? Preposterous! I spent nearly a decade and all the money I had crossing Cyrodiil and exploring the many natural caves dotting her landscape. Then, on that fateful night, a Orc stumbled into the Imperial Bridge Inn where I happened to be drinking. He spouted off a line of nonsense about creatures that came out of the darkness, and I dismissed him as drunk, until he said something that gripped my heart with hope. He spoke of a light in the darkness "as blue as the lady sea." Could it be the Welkynd Stones I was seeking? I had to know more. A few gold and many drinks later, the Orc told me he'd been in Bramblepoint Cave. As I made my way through the night to the cave, my mind was racing. The stories had to be true! The Ayleid culture had mastered the art of creating these crystalline structures and was just beginning to cultivate them outside of their underground communities when they disappeared from history. That meant one thing; with the proper materials, magic and research the Welkynd Stone could adapt to any environment. I had to get to Bramblepoint and study them before anyone else found them. This would be my mark on history, my moment to shine.

And now, after climbing through the cave I've arrived at this chamber. After I finish this entry in my logbook, I'll have so much to do. So much to do indeed. This will be the day that Lithnilian will be remembered as the first to unlock the secrets of the Welkynd Stone.

 

Lithnilian's drawing, shows a cluster of Weklynd stones

Lithnilian's drawing, shows the cavern and a Weklynd cluster

On Wild Elves

Author: 
Kier-Jo Chorvak

In the wilds of most every province of Tamriel, descended philosophically if not directly from the original inhabitants of the land, are the Ayleids, commonly called the Wild Elves. While three races of Elven stock -- the Altmer (or High Elves), the Bosmer (or Wood Elves), and the Dunmer (or Dark Elves) -- have assimilated well into the new cultures of Tamriel, the Ayleids and their brethren have remained aloof toward our civilization, preferring to practice the old ways far from the eyes of the world.

The Wild Elves speak a variation of Old Cyrodilic, opting to shun Tamrielic and separating themselves from the mainstream of Tamriel even further than the least urbanized of their Elven cousins. In temperament they are dark-spirited and taciturn -- though this is from the point of view of outsiders (or "Pellani" in their tongue), and doubtless they act differently within their own tribes.

Indeed, one of the finest sages of the University of Gwilym was a civilized Ayleid Elf, Tjurhane Fyrre (1E2790-2E227), whose published work on Wild Elves suggests a lively, vibrant culture. Fyrre is one of the very few Ayleids to speak freely on his people and religion, and he himself said "the nature of the Ayleid tribes is multihued, their personalities often wildly different from their neighbor[ing] tribes" (Fyrre, T., Nature of Ayleidic Poesy, p. 8, University of Gwilym Press, 2E12).

Like any alien culture, Wild Elves are often feared by the simple people of Tamriel. The Ayleids continue to be one of the greatest enigmas of the continent of Tamriel. They seldom appear in the pages of written history in any role, and then only as a strange sight a chronicler stumbles upon before they vanish into the wood. When probable fiction is filtered from common legend, we are left with almost nothing. The mysterious ways of the Ayleids have remained shrouded since before the First Era, and may well remain so for thousands of years to come.

The Wild Elves

Author: 
Kiergo Chorvak

In the wilds of most every province of Tamriel, descended philosophically if not directly from the original inhabitants of the land are the Ayleids, commonly called the Wild Elves. While three races of elven stock, Salache (or High), Boiche (or Wood), and Moriche (or Dark) have assimilated well to the new cultures of Tamriel, the Ayleids and their brethren have remained aloof of our civilization, preferring to practice the old ways far from the eyes of the world.

The Wild Elves speak a variation of Old Cyrodilic and not Tamrielic, separating themselves further even than their more urbanized Elven cousins. In temperament they are dark-spirited and taciturn, though they doubtless act differently with outsiders (or "Pellani" in their tongue) than within their own tribes. Indeed, one of the finest sages of the University of Gwilym was a civilized Ayleid elf, Tjurhane Fyrre (1E 2790 - 2E 227) whose published work on Wild Elves suggests a lively, vibrant culture. Fyrre is one of the very few Ayleids to speak freely on his people and religion, and even he said "the nature of the tribes of Ayleid are multi-hued, their personalities often wildly different from their neighbor tribes." (Fyrre, T. "Nature of Ayleidic Poesy" p. 8, Univ of Gwilym Press, 2E 12) Like any alien culture, Wild Elves are often feared by the simple people of Tamriel.

The Ayleids continue to be one of the greatest enigmas of the continent of Tamriel. They seldom appear in the pages of written history in any role, and then only as a strange sight a chronicler stumbles upon before they vanish into the wood. When probable fiction is filtered from common legend, we are left with almost nothing. The mysterious ways of the Ayleids have remained shrouded since before the first era, and may well remain so for thousands of years to come.