The Translated Works of Tosmorn, I

Author: Vateshran Tosmorn, Xandier Edette (translator)

Editor's Note
Xandier Edette's book, The Translated Works of Tosmorn, has proven to be controversial since it was published posthumously nearly two decades ago.

Taken at his word, Edette spent his life combing the lands of the Reach in search of rare artifacts. In the course of this search, he claims to have discovered ancient Reachfolk manuscripts. These manuscripts, which Edette insisted were written in a now-dead script from a time when the Reach culture was at its apex, contained a cycle of epic poems, composed by the legendary vateshran, Tosmorn.

Edette spent decades translating these manuscripts into the modern tongue. His results are incomplete, which Edette contributed to the advanced deterioration of the manuscripts and his own imperfect knowledge of the script he sought to translate. He died shortly after completing his work and selling the manuscript for publication.

Almost immediately after their release, scholars decried the poems as fakes and Edette's story as a fabrication. Most point to the fact that Reachfolk of today are a people with only an oral tradition, and nothing in the historical record suggests they ever used any sort of writing in the past. Other opponents of Edette's narrative claim the Reachfolk are incapable of the level of artistic expression attributed to Tosmorn. This argument is facile, and often made by academics with no experience of the Reach or its vateshrans (lore keepers).

In opposition to those that cry forgery are those that extol Edette's work for bringing attention to the under-appreciated genius of Vateshran Tosmorn. In particular, they appreciate the fluidity, evocativeness, and rustic purity of the poetic fragments—a far cry from the rigid poetic forms of the Bretons and Imperials. They also point out that lost arts are not a rarity in Tamriel's historical record. Thus, Edette's claim of a lost Reach script is hardly an upheaval, especially when considering how little academic research has been devoted to the culture of Reachfolk in comparison to the other peoples of Tamriel.

Both sides bemoan the lack of the one thing that could definitively prove or disprove Edette's claims: the manuscripts he claims to have found and translated. Those who knew him in life said Edette was a reclusive and lonely soul, often isolating himself to wilderness camps for long stretches of the year while conducting his research and working on his translations. He was thought to have dozens of campsites throughout the Reach, though only a handful of these have been located by enterprising scholars, hopeful to rediscover Edette's manuscripts. Opponents of Edette claim the reason the manuscripts are absent is because they never existed in the first place. Proponents of Edette posit the manuscripts, already decomposing when they were discovered, have likely rotted into nothingness.

And so the matter stands, trapped upon a knife's edge, caught between doubt and adulation. The years I have spent poring over the poetical fragments have offered me no answers. And so I invite you, dear reader, to read for yourself and wonder if what follows are our only window into the works of the acclaimed Reach vateshran, Tosmorn, or nothing but an elaborate forgery.

Vanesse Aurilie
5 Morning Star, 2E 322

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