[Book] The Collected Ysmritis

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[Book] The Collected Ysmritis

Post by Tristior » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:12 am

A collection of tales concerning the Ysmirs or “Dragons of the North”, referring to those heroic Nords exalted by Shor himself. Though the term is best known as a title of Tiber Septim during his conquest of the north, its usage stretches back to the beginnings of Nordic history. In keeping with the mythic tradition of Shor’s deep hatred for everything elven, the most obvious shared trait amongst the Ysmirs is their great thirst for and success at elf-killing - whether the title precedes such slaughter, or vice-versa, is historically ambiguous.

Unlike the saints of Cyrodiil or the ancestor-worship of the Dark Elves, the figures of Nordic legend are timeless and quite untethered from notions of causality. It is left to the individual scholar whether this is due to the enduring immediacy of their legends or the temporal inconsistency of the entire mythic cycle . Regardless, though they have been listed here in something approaching a chronological order, traditionally the Ysmritis drift timelessly around one another.

Songs of the Return (abridged)
[The first Ysmriti is built of excerpts taken from the famous and ancient Songs of the Return. These selected passages exalt Ysgramor as the first Nord to claim the knowing of Ysmir, and the Harbinger who led the Nords back to Tamriel. His mighty axe, Wuuthrad, practised at the killing of Snow Elves, is forged by his son Yngol, greatest smith of the Atmorans and captain of the Harakk. Collecting the ebony tears wept by his father, as Shor wept during the first war, Yngol forges an axe of pure sorrow, that the Harbinger might bring the vengeance of Atmora upon the plunderers of Saarthal. Although the Songs of the Return are uncounted and many, the Ysmriti of Ysgramor forms the core of early Nordic canon.]

The Sea-Drake’s Hoard
[The second Ysmriti is an ancient oar-song concerning the Dreaded Bomundl, Dragon of the Sea - one that is sung to this day by sailors on the Sea of Ghosts. True to Nordic form, the song is eye-wateringly crass and given to quite pornographic descriptions of both sex and violence, which goes some way to explaining its enduring popularity. Bomundl was an Atmoran fleet-jarl and reaver whose ships followed Ysgramor out of Jylkurfyk, but rather than remain in the north he chose to raid down the western coast of Tamriel. For the fury of the storms he can Shout and for his celebrated atrocities against the Sea Elves of Pyandonea, he is given the knowing of Ysmir. The song itself, legend goes, will reveal the location of Bomundl’s improbable hoard, though not even the Woodland Man has sung it under the right stars and on the right wind, and thus the treasure remains unclaimed.]

76 Oaths of the Wolf-Pants
[The third Ysmriti is a recitation of oaths that were, so the tradition goes, sworn upon the famous breeches of High King Harald Hairy-Breeks. Like Ysgramor and Bomundl, Harald was a mythic Atmoran who came to Tamriel during the time of the Return, although he alone survived from myth into the historical record. The knowing of Ysmir is conferred upon him as the seventy-sixth oath, sworn by Shor himself as the increasingly-improbable pledges of Harald’s seventy-five thanes, jarls and kings - and the attendant howling of his trousers - supposedly draw the dead god’s notice. Harald’s reign notably encompasses the final purging of the Snow Elves from Skyrim.]

Shor’s Tongue
[The fourth Ysmriti concerns High King Wulfharth, famous Nordic ruler and, until Talos, best-known of the Ysmirs. The song relates his accession to the throne of the Old Empire and how he comes by the knowing of Ysmir. Supposedly the strength of his thu’um is so great that he cannot verbally take the oaths of office, and his first act as High King is to Shout the Alessians out of Skyrim. For his deeds, and ashamed “for so long indulging the monkey”, his vassals acclaim him the Tongue of Shor’s own warband and the Ysmir of their age. There exists another obscure song which poetically vindicates their devotion, with Wulfharth’s dying Shout - recorded as “Licking the Devils from the Great Dead Mouth” - giving his dead self form as the literal tongue of Shor during the final invasion of Morrowind.]

[The fifth Ysmriti is a song of Talos, told in the neo-Nordic style popular in the Bards College of Haafingar (and generally unpopular beyond). Nonetheless, it is the first and thus seminal song of Tiber Septim’s conquests, which has earned its disjointed and shouty lines a place in the Ysmrithic tradition. Talos is the dragon-headed scion of Atmora, followed on his solitary journey from the Nords’ ancient home by a mighty stormcloud that seemingly - the song is decidedly abstract - serves to tether him to the fury of the gods. Upon taking the Ruby Throne, the knowing of Ysmir slips through the slit in his voiceless throat and all Nords know that he is truly the exalted of Shor. Talos achieved the unthinkable in shattering the twin elven bastions of Morrowind and the Aldmeri Dominion, forever subjugating the races of elves to a son of the Sky.]

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