Official Lore on Atmora from the Elderscrolls RPG Titles
- Atmora means "Elder Wood";
"Before the Ages of Man":
- "Merethic Era" is the Nordic term for "Elves age";
- King Harald's bards date it back to -2500 years before the start of the first age, the founding of "Camoran Dynasty" by Elves, only Dawn Age before (mystical creation); (Adamantine tower in High Rock build that year, according to these bards)
- Nedic Peoples come from Atmora to northern Tamriel; Ysgramor lead a colonization fleet and developed runic transcription
- They arrive at "Hsaarik Head" at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape
- They built Saarthal, Night of Tears follows, and finally Ysgramor returns with the 500 Companions
- Pelinal Whitestrake = Harald Hairy-Breeks = Ysmir = Hans the Fox wanders and does n
- about religious comparison of elf and man beliefs, not explicitly Atmorans
"Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition":
- For hundreds of years in the Merethic Era, raiders crossed the Sea of Ghosts to invade Tamriel from the frozen lands of Atmora, becoming after generations of living in our land the Nords, Cyrodiils, and the Bretons of today.
- The last invasion — if that is the word for two ships, largely laden with corpses, begging to make port — occurred in the 68th year of the First Era.
- The description of the land these raiders had left changes radically over the years, leaving many to believe that it was gradually dying, smothered by frost.
- Expeditions to Atmora in modern times describe a place of permanent winter, with little life and no sign of human habitation.
- Whatever population did not succeed in fleeing to Tamriel doubtless succumbed to the ever-worsening climate many centuries ago.
- Even before the frost fall, Atmora was apparently not a temperate place.
- The early Nedic peoples who came from Atmora were hunters with no knowledge of agriculture.
- A land where every denizen was a predator doubtless insured that only the most brutal and savage survived.
- It is easy to see how these traits passed the Raider men and down to the nature of the Arena of Tamriel.
"Pocket Guide of the Empire, First Edition":
- Exactly when the Nords first crossed the ice-choked Sea of Ghosts from Atmora, their original homeland, is uncertain. As recorded in the Song of Return, Ysgramor and his family first landed in Tamriel at Hsaarik Head, at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape, fleeing civil war in Atmora (then rather warmer than at present, as it seems to have supported a substantial population).
"Songs of the Return, Volume 2":
Our great lord Ysgramor, the harbinger of us all, did then send forth his two beloved sons (with him the only other survivors of the brutalities of Saarthal) to seek out the bravest warriors of the land and mount the great return. Yngol and Ylgar, they were called, and they were known among Atmora as fine warriors with bright eyes and dawning futures. Yngol, the Elder, was the brave strategist, bringing his learnings to bear on the battlefield that his enemies would be defeated before they even know the battle had begun. Ylgar, the younger, was possessed of an unwavering spirit that drove his singular prowess to overwhelming feats in war. Together, the mind and the arm, they were capable of sowing a destruction most thorough and glorious to any for who stood before them.
Before they parted ways to gather their crews, the two clasped arms and necks in the old fashion and laughed at the heavens for their stories to come. Young Ylgar than took the massive shipyards of Jylkurfyk at the southern point and commissioned two ships for himself and his brother. He would command the Darumzu, and his brother the Harakk, thus carrying the names of the two favored stars of their heavens. The shipmakers spirits had been suitable filled by Ysgramor's tales of the savage elves, and they set about to birth ships that befit their noble homeland. Arrangements having been made, Ylgar set forth to the academies of honored soldiers, seeking out his most trusted friends and advisors to join him on the venture of the Return. By now the stories of the new land to the south were spreading before him, and the mere emergence of his presence was enough to cause the finest warriors to lay down their present undertakings and follow him. So was he able to call to his side the great Shield-sisters, Froa and Grosta (who thought and spoke as one), and they brought with them the wise war-teacher Adrimk, who first taught them to dance among the blades. She in turn mustered all the students at her command, whose names were not yet made, but some of whom would one day be known: Hermeskr (Who Threw His Shield), Urlach (Who Breathed Fire), Ramth the Greater, Merkyllian Ramth, and the Far-Sighted Uche, who would see the first of many dawns. On the Day of Final Passage, when the many-oared fleet would last see the distant green summers of Atmora, the brothers were near in their father's wake as the freshly joined Five Hundred would eagerly press onwards toward Tamriel. Ylgar would see his well-minded brother smiling from afar across the waves, and they shouted war-cries to each other, longer for the soon-day when their assembled crews would draw the treacherous elf blood into the ground which they would now claim for their own rights. But Kyne's ministrations are not to be taken lightly, and though her blessings gave wind to drive those brave sailors to their destiny, so too did her mighty tears fall to drive them apart. When the Storm of Separation first arose, young Ylgar had no fear, for his crew was strong and able, and their ship drove true through the forest of swells as though pulled by the rope of fate. When the skies cleared and Ylgar glimpsed again, with new eyes, the land of his past and future home, he knew his brother's vessel was not with his horizon. The Darumzu, arriving late, drew forth onto the sands and Ylgar rushed to his father to seek word of his brother. The great Ysgramor, harbinger of us all, wept for his lost son, and sought comfort in the arms of his only remaining joy. The crew of the Harakk became the first deaths among the Five Hundred and Ylgar, so enraged with love for his brother that his crew would soon be counted as the first among the many noble and honored names in The Companions.
"Songs of the Return, Volume 7":
- It was said to be heard on the distant and chilling green shores of Atmora and the ancestors knew their time had come to cross the seas.
"Song of Hrormir:"
Hrormir Son of Hrorgar, Summoned to the Court of Vjindak, Son of Vjinmore, King of Evensnow." Mighty caster of magic, I charge thee to go to Aelfendor, For its hoary Warriors do threaten my Land And bring forth their cousin Demons To terrify my People." Hrormir, Son of Hrorgar Heard the Words of Vjindak Evensnow. "By Icestaff" Surely I would help thee But I have already a Quest to drink Twelve Flagons of Mead in one Hour, And then to bed four Wenches, Twice each. So I must with grace decline." The King he did not smile At Hrormir and his jolly Spirit. "By thine Honor Must thou aidest my Cause For must thou takest up the Sword Of thy Companion Darfang Who took the Quest and failed." Hrormir laughed. "Now I know thou jest. My boon Mate Darfang wouldst not fail. There be no finer Bladesman. If thou chargest him, he wouldst not fall." "I did not say he fell. He joined the Dark Kings of Aelfendor And by doing so dishonored Himself and thee, his Friend." Hrormir could not believe the Words, And yet, he knew Eversnow Didst not lie. So for twenty Days and three rode he To the Land of Night, the Kingdom of Fear, Where the Peasants ever carried Candles Knowing what Evil awaiteth them Should they stray beyond the Glow. The Sovereigncy of three Dark Kings: Aelfendor. There, Torch in Hand, didst Hrormir Pass through haunted Countryside And frightened Villages, And through the black Gates Of the blacker Castle of Aelfendor. The three Dark Kings didst sneer At the sight of mighty Hrormir And summoned they their Champion Darfang the Blade. "My boon Companion!" Hrormir called in the Hall of Night. "I dare not trust my Eyes, For then I wouldst believe That thou hast joined with Evil, And turned thy Way from Honor And Brotherhood!" "Hrormir!" Darfang the Blade didst cry. "If thou dost not go now, One of us must die, for I hate thee!" But Hrormir was battle ready, And in the echoing Halls of Night The Blade of Darfang And the Staff of Hrormir Didst strike again and yet again. Mighty Warriors and Mages both, The boon Companions now Foes, Shook Mundus with their War. They might have fought for a Year If there were Sun in Aelfendor To mark Time, And either Hrormir or Darfang May verily have won. But Hrormir saweth through the Dark The Tears in the Eyes of his former Friend, And then he saweth the Shadow of Darfang Wert not his own. And so with Icestaff, he did strike Not Darfang, but his Shadow, which cried. "Hold, Mortal Man!" The Shadow becameth the Hag, Bent and twisted, in her Cloak and Hood. From her faceless Shadows, she hissed. "Mortal Man called Hrormir The Soul of thy boon Companion Is my Plaything, But I will take thine in trade, For though ye both have strong Arms, Thou hast the more clever Mind Which my Sons the Dark Kings need For a Champion of Aelfendor." Hrormir the brave didst not take a Breath Or pause before he boldly said. "Shadowy Hag, release Darfang, And thou mayst use me as thou will." The Hag didst laugh and freed Darfang. "To save thine Honor this thou hast done, But now thou must be without Honor Mortal Man, as the Champion Of the Dark Kings, my Heirs of Gray Maybe, Thou must help them divide Aelfendor, And love me, Thy Shadowy Hag and thy Mistress well." For his loss of Honor, And his dear Friend's Sacrifice, Noble Darfang prepared to take his Dagger And plunge it in his good Heart, But Hrormir stayed his Brother's Hand and whispered. "No, boon Companion, Wait for me at the Village Banquet Hall." And then did Darfang the Blade leave the Castle While Hrormir took the withered Claw Of the Hag, and pressed it to his Lips. "Shadowy Hag, to thee I pledge To only honor thy black Words To turn my back on Truth To aid thy Dark Kings' Ambition To divide their Inheritance fairly To love thee To think thee beautiful." Then to the Chamber in the Heart of Night Hrormir and the Hag did retire Kissed he there her wrinkled Lips And her wrinkled, sagging Breasts, For ten Days and Nights and three did Hrormir And his Icestaff Battle thus. Then Sweet Kynareth blew honeyed Winds O'er the Hills and Forest Glens of Aelfendor, And the Caress of warm blooded Dibella Coaxed the Blossoms to wanton Display So that Aelfendor became a Garden Of all the Senses. The frightened Servants of the Dark Kings Woke to find there was naught to fear And through the once dark Streets of the Village Came the Cries of Celebration. In the Banquet Hall of the Village Hrormir and his boon Companion Darfang Embraced and drank of rich Mead. The Shadowy Hag too was smiling, Sleeping still in her soft Bed, Until the morning Sun touched her naked Face And she awoke, and saw All, And knew All saw her. And she cried out: "Mortal Man!" Night fell fast upon the Land As the Hag flew into the Banquet Hall Casting blackest Darkness in her Wake But all the Celebrants still could see Her Anger In her monstrous Face And they shook with Fear. The Hag had said the Kingdom was To be divided among her Heirs. But Aelfendor had been kept whole While her Children divided, Drawn and quartered. Hrormir was mightily amused. He swallowed his Laughter In his Mead, For none should laugh outright At the Daedra Lord Nocturnal Without her gray cowl of shadowed Night, Her hideous Face forced the Moons To hide themselves. Hrormir the mighty did not quail. "Wherest be thine Hood, shadowy hag?" "Mortal Man hast taken it from me unaware. When I awoke, my Face unmasked, My Kingdom cast into the Light, My Dark King Heirs in Pieces cast, And here, my Champion smiles. Yet in truth, thou kept thy Promise truly, To never keep thy Promise true." Hrormir Son of Hrorgar Bowed to the Hag, his Queen. "And evermore, 'Til thou releaseth me, will I serve thee so." "A clever Mind in a Champion Is a much overvalued Trait." The Hag released Hrormir's Soul And he released her Hood. And so in the Light of darkest Dark, She left Aelfendor evermore. And after drinking twelve Flagons of Mead, And bedding four Wenches Twice each, Did Darfang return to Eversnow With Hrormir Son of Hrorgar
"Shor son of Shor":
"And the awful fighting ended again.
"Kyne's shout brought our tribe back to the mountaintop of Hrothgar, and even our recent dead rode in on the wind of her breathing, for there had been no time to fashion a proper retreat. Their corpses fell among us as we landed and we looked on them in confusion, shaken as we were by this latest battle in the war of twilight. The chieftains of the other tribes still held their grudge against our own, Shor son of Shor; more, they had united finally to destroy us and used skin-magic to trick us into disarray.
"Shor was disgusted with the defeat, and disgusted more when reminded by Jhunal that our withdrawal had been wise, for we were outnumbered eight to one. Shor took on the form of his Totem then, which he used to better shape his displeasure, rather than to shout it aloud and risk more storm-death. His shield thanes, the brothers Stuhn and Tsun, bowed their heads, collecting the spears and swords and wine-knives Shor threw about the broken pillars of the easternmost sky-temple. The rest of us looked away and to our own, not even to acknowledge the thunderclap that signaled our Queen's arrival, who stepped in from the tunnel of her own breath last.
"Kyne had taken the head of Magnar, the jarl that betrayed the weakness of our spear-lines and fled the field. Shor shook his scaled mane. "That isn't Magnar," he said, "Magnar, I fear, fell at sunrise and became replaced by mirrors. The other chieftains are using our forms to lead us astray."
"And then Shor walked away from his War-Wife to enter the cave that led to the Underworld. He needed to take counsel with his father yet again. "Our chieftain loses heart," Dibella said, Bed-Wife of Shor, hefting another body onto the corpse pile some of us were making, "And so goes to the speak to one that has none anymore. Mirrors, indeed, and in that I see no logic."
"Tsun took her by the hair, for he was angered by her words and heavy with lust. He was a berserker despite his high station, and love followed battle to his kind. "You weren't made for that kind of thinking," Stuhn said, dragging Dibella towards a whaleskin tent, "Jhunal was. And no one should be speaking to him now." Tsun eyed the Clever Man who had heard him. "Logic is dangerous in these days, in this place. To live in Skyrim is to change your mind ten times a day lest it freeze to death. And we can have none of that now."
"Kyne could have stopped all of this but did nothing but stare at the crowd of Nords around her. Stuhn and Tsun were shifting and it was still uncouth to prevent this kind of neighboring. She looked on Jhunal and did not know if he should be spoken to or not. Rules were changing. Even her handmaiden was gone, and that lack of attendance was a transgression, but Kyne knew Mara was no doubt making treaties with one of the other chieftains, and the Pact still allowed for Tear-Wives to do that. After her husband Shor had forgotten to kiss her, a tradition among the War-Married when they returned from the field together, Kyne kept her storms to herself and knew there would be no true understanding until the twilight was lifted.
"Shor breathed the lamplights of the Underworld to life with small whispers of fire. The dark did not frighten him-- he had been born in a cave much like this-- but nevertheless it added to the mounting disgust in his spirit. Ever since the Moot at the House of We, where the chieftains of the other tribes had accused him of trespass and cattle-theft and foul-mouthery, he knew it would come to a war we could not win. Any of those words were enough for the treason-mark, and traitors were only met with banishment, disfigurement, or half-death. He had taken the first with pride, roaring a chieftain's gobletman into dust to underscore his willingness to leave, knowing we would follow. He had taken the second by drawing a circle on the House's adamantine floor with his tailmouth-tusk which broke with a keening sound, showing the other chieftains that it would all come around again. And he took the third by vomiting his own heart into the circle like a hammerclap, guarding his wraith in the manner of his father and roaring at the other tribes, "Again we fight for our petty placements in this House, in the Around Us, and all it will amount to is a helix of ghosts like mine now spit into the world below where we fight again! I can already feel the war below us starting, and yet you have not yet thrown your first spears even here!" We took our leave of the House and would never reconvene again in this age.
"The Moot looked to the tribe of Ald son of Ald but he would break no oath of the Pact, saying "Shor has paid ransom now three times for the the sins we accused him of, and by that we will hold him as dead and shake not our spears against him or his kin. Of the below he speaks, he is confused by it, for under us is only a prologue, and under that still is only a scribe that hasn't written anything yet. Shor as always forgets the above, and condemns himself and any other who would believe him into this cycle." Ald's shield thane Trinimac shook his head at this, for he was akin to Tsun and did not care much for logic-talk as much as he did only for his own standing. He told his chieftain that these words had been said before and Ald only sighed and said, "Yes, and always they will be ignored. As for the war you crave, bold Trinimac, and all of you assembled, do not worry. A spear will be thrown into this soon, from Shor's own tribe, and the House of We will be allowed our vengeance."
"Shor found the alcove at the core of the world and spoke to his dead father. He said a prayer to remove any trickery of mirrors and the ghost of Shor father of Shor appeared, saying "Ald and the others have paid time and again for the the sins we accused them of, and by that you should hold them as dead and shake not the spears of your tribe against any of their kind again. Of the above he speaks, Ald is confused by it, for above us is only an ending, and above that still is only a scribe that hasn't written anything yet. Ald as always forgets the ground below him, and condemns himself and any other who would believe him into this cycle." But Shor shook his head at this, for he was akin to Ald and did not care much for logic-talk as much as he did only for his own standing. He told his father that these words had been said before and Shor only sighed and said, "Yes, and always they will be ignored. As for the counsel you crave, bold son, and in spite of all your other fathers here with me, that you create every time you spit out your doom, do not worry. You have again beat the drum of war, and perhaps this time you will win." Shor son of Shor returned then to us on the mountaintop.
"He didn't need to explain what he had learned, for we had been there with him. Trinimac left Dibella in his tent as we assembled, and he had not touched her, frozen in the manner of the Nords when we are unsure of our true place, and asked his brother to rearm him. Stuhn was confused for a moment, thinking this an odd shift, but Mara was returned and had made great headway into a treaty with the other tribes, telling him that such Totems here in the twilight could now be trusted. Our Queen merely nodded to her War-Husband and shouted us back to the fields of our enemies, towards a weakened spot among their spear-lines that Magnar our scout would light for us.
"And the awful fighting began again."
Some comments on "Shor son of Shor":
- It takes place during the Dawn Era of a Kalpa (aka the last era of the previous kalpa). More specifically it takes place during the Wars of Convention when Ald/Auriel and his allies sought to bring Shor to justice for his apparent crimes.
- To underline the fact that this fight like all the fights before will result in the same thing; Shor's heart being ripped from his body. Bear in mind that this happens when Shor is chastising Ald for continuing the Kalpic cycle.
- The Nords do not really believe Shor loses the way Lorkhan is believed to have lost. I don't have a source for this, but Shor draws a circle on the ground and tosses his Heart into it, out of spite, or compassion, we do not know. Depends on the account. So Shor had a much more active role in his own loss of divinity than Lorkhan or myth. As long as the Mundus exists, he wins. Kyne will make sure his battle will continue.
- The Nords came into existence atop the Throat of the World and during the War of Convention they invaded Altmora and took it from the Elves. However, the War of Convention was truly cataclysmic and left the ancestors of the Nords stranded on that continent. Then Ysgramor led his people back across the Sea of Ghosts in the Return to their homeland. The Return was a reference to the return of Ysgramor and the Companions after the sack of Saarthal, it has double meaning.
- I think Shor son of Shor is mythical in the sense that it represents a Nord perspective. It's statements of fact are therefore cultural allegories. However, the actual things being described might be 'beyond reason' either way. Or not.
- Shor comes from Shor when Shor's heart is removed. It's the whole Kalpic Cycle again. Basically, whenever Lorkhan loses his heart, the Shor of that time is created. Whenever the Kalpa ends, the Shor from that time fights in the war between Auriel and Lorkhan before Convention.
"Forefathery Ysmir": A mythical tale of Ysmir's ascension to Aetherius
At the end of his life, Ysmir, who had ruled the peoples for over a thousand years in the time before history, the time of myth, sought a burial place and death befitting a king of men and dragons.
He summoned his champions and men-at-arms and asked them: "Where can I find a burial place and death befitting a king of men and dragons?"
The first housecarl stepped forward and said "Go East, where the ocean touches the sky."
The second bowed humbly and said "Go West, where the sun kisses the earth."
And again the third said "North to the very frozen tips of Nirn, to a tomb of ice."
And the fourth, "South to the pillars of smoke and fire."
But Ysmir. king of men and dragons, whose greatness preceded time, despaired and said "I have traveled the whole of Mundus and conquered many peoples, but where will I rest my head? If I rest to the East or the West or the North or the South, it will only cause division.
"The local peoples will claim my tomb as their own. They will say, 'Ysmir is our king, for he rests among us.' And my children will fight amongst themselves and divide my body among them, sending my head one way, my hands another, and my feet, and my mighty heart."
From among his thanes and housecarls, a young man, not more than a boy, whom none of them had seen before, then dared to speak. Bowing low, he said "Then do not go anywhere on Nirn, but go to the sky, where you can watch over all your peoples."
Ysmir king of men and dragons liked this idea. He said, "But boy, how would I reach the sky? Is there a mountain, or a ladder built by men that can reach so high?"
And the boy said "There is no such thing, neither mountain nor ladder nor staircase. But I know of a place, a single stone. This is the path to Aetherius."
"Where can I find this stone?" cried the king of men and dragons, intent on ascending to the sky.
"Follow me," the boy beckoned.
And Ysmir summoned all of his champions and housecarls and told them how he was intent to end his life by ascending to the sky. And all of them, every one, agreed to follow him to the place where the boy led.
And when they reached the place, they found as the boy promised, a single stone. And Ysmir, who was by now very old, laid at the foot of the stone and was taken up into the stars.
The champions and housecarls looked up into the heavens and saw their king, the great Warrior, riding across the sky. And he was accompanied by three servants, a Lord, his Lady, and his mighty Steed.
And the champions and housecarls all pledged to guard the valley and the way to Aetherius. But when they looked for the boy who had shown them the way, he was nowhere to be found.