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Jorunn the Skald-King: Lore Discussion


Started by umpteen
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We've recently had a little book released to us on the Elder Scrolls Online website. This is the first bit of new lore for a while, and there's quite a few things to discuss. It tells the story of how Jorunn, high king of Skyrim and of the Ebonheart Pact, ascended to the throne of Skyrim.

There's a few interesting bits relating to its conflicts and resolutions with history. I'll list them briefly.

First, this book claims that Jorunn went to the Greybeards, who raised Wulfharth from Sovngarde to fight alongside him. Previous reports of this have claimed that it was Almalexia, the Dunmer goddess of the Tribunal, who raised Wulfharth. Also, the songs of Wulfharth imply that he would have been under Red Mountain with the Heart of Lorkhan (Shor), rather than Sovngarde, and player experience of Sovngarde in TES V supports this. Who really raised Wulfharth?

Secondly, the battle ends with the Akaviri snow-demons, the Kamal, being driven into the sea. In traditional Morrowind history, Vivec flooded Morrowind after teaching the Dunmer to breathe water, drowning all the Kamal in the process. Is this just allegory, or is the truth some combination of the two?

Thirdly, the battle itself is full of interesting moments, considering that this is set before the alliance of the Ebonheart Pact itself. The Dunmer seem happy to ally themselves with the Nords, even though they are ancient enemies, and the Nords are even led by ghost of the famously intolerant warlord who played an important part at the Battle of Red Mountain, many years ago. There is no mention of Nord looting, and they are portrayed as vengeful and even honorable.

Then finally, the Argonians tip the balance even though we have no records of Argonians taking an interest in the conflict before - and this proactive role is very different to the attitude Black Marsh has taken in many other invasions of Eastern Tamriel (such as the Oblivion Crisis).

So, here's a question. How much of this do you believe? What do you think of the character of the Skald-King we have portrayed in this short story?

Personally, I'm quite interested in the idea of a more philosophical and subtle Nord ruler. I hope we get to read some of his writings in the game.
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Hentmereb
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Been posted at http://www.tesof.com/topic-the-stories-o...1#pid15471 if you want to move this post to there to keep the conversation in one spot.


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I'm pretty happy with the description of the king, although I to expected him to be a little more warlike. In the type of Egill Skallagrímsson(c.910-c.990).
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(December 5th 2012 05:05 PM)umpteen Wrote:  We've recently had a little book released to us on the Elder Scrolls Online website. This is the first bit of new lore for a while, and there's quite a few things to discuss. It tells the story of how Jorunn, high king of Skyrim and of the Ebonheart Pact, ascended to the throne of Skyrim.

There's a few interesting bits relating to its conflicts and resolutions with history. I'll list them briefly.

First, this book claims that Jorunn went to the Greybeards, who raised Wulfharth from Sovngarde to fight alongside him. Previous reports of this have claimed that it was Almalexia, the Dunmer goddess of the Tribunal, who raised Wulfharth. Also, the songs of Wulfharth imply that he would have been under Red Mountain with the Heart of Lorkhan (Shor), rather than Sovngarde, and player experience of Sovngarde in TES V supports this. Who really raised Wulfharth?

Secondly, the battle ends with the Akaviri snow-demons, the Kamal, being driven into the sea. In traditional Morrowind history, Vivec flooded Morrowind after teaching the Dunmer to breathe water, drowning all the Kamal in the process. Is this just allegory, or is the truth some combination of the two?

Thirdly, the battle itself is full of interesting moments, considering that this is set before the alliance of the Ebonheart Pact itself. The Dunmer seem happy to ally themselves with the Nords, even though they are ancient enemies, and the Nords are even led by ghost of the famously intolerant warlord who played an important part at the Battle of Red Mountain, many years ago. There is no mention of Nord looting, and they are portrayed as vengeful and even honorable.

Then finally, the Argonians tip the balance even though we have no records of Argonians taking an interest in the conflict before - and this proactive role is very different to the attitude Black Marsh has taken in many other invasions of Eastern Tamriel (such as the Oblivion Crisis).

So, here's a question. How much of this do you believe? What do you think of the character of the Skald-King we have portrayed in this short story?

Personally, I'm quite interested in the idea of a more philosophical and subtle Nord ruler. I hope we get to read some of his writings in the game.

Your posts are more interresting than the ones in the other threads. still you would be well advised to look for the search option before making a thread like this.

To your points:

About Wulfhart and the Akaviri Invasion: you are talking about two different battles. The Akaviri Invasion that Vivec drowned was not the invasion of the Kamal, but most likeley a Tsaeci invasion that, if i know the timeline correctly happened 200 years before. However the "and many of them drowned" analogy fits perfectly and would fit in with Vivecs other lies he told to present himself as the hero.
On the other hand, Vivec has CHIM so he might aswell had it happen that way. But since it aperently didnt he either lied or it was, as ive mentioned a different Invasion alltogether.

As for the battle of the Red mountain, again. Not to same one. But yess i can see that the appearance of Wulfhart in Morrowind would certainly cause distress among the Dunmer. Also i dont quite understand why he is called the "Ash King" he is the Underking. And as far as i know Ysmir claimed this title before or at the Battle of the Red Mountain.

The portrayal of the nords is justified by the fact that this is an in universe book, most likeley written by a nord.

The Argonians are, to me, the most interresting part. Mostly because it makes absoluteley no sense. And is also not realy called for. Wulfhart and Almalexia should be more than enaugh to drive off the Akaviri that are already in a terrible position.
A Phalanx of Argonian "Shellbacks" is that a proper word? Is it a description of an Argonian War unit? And who are those unnamed battlemages? Honestly id much rather have the Argonian leader named. Or the Chiefs leading them. We know that the Dunmer are most likeley led by almalexia as shes the one on duty for the mainland, while Vivec resides in Vvardenfell and Sotha sil hides in his city of heart-tubes

I certainly want some clarification on the matter as the story is very vague and might aswell be ebonhart propaganda in order to stop the racial tension between its members.
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I'm sure umpteen knows what he's doing and posted this knowingly of the first thread. Anyways, it does have a different focus and belongs here. It's like having a warning sign: "Lore Nerds Inside! Enter At Own Risk!" Winking_tongue_out


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Hentmereb
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No, this thread is indeed a mistake caused by lack of search-usage. I don't usually venture beyond the lore board. However, my reason for posting here is that this seems to be indisputably a matter of story & lore, unless you are discussing the in-game implementation of Jorunn himself. So, I guess there is some sense in having this here, but really the other thread has the right to primacy, being first and all. And as for hanging "lore nerd" warning signs: I hope that that's something I can never be accused of. This is an open and friendly place for discussion.

As for the discussion at hand: you may be interested to know that, according to Varieties of Faith, the battle with the Kamal in "Jorunn the Skald-King" and the water-breathing event occurred in the same year: 572. It's unlikely that they refer to different battles. They match up far too well.

Shellbacks: I like to think that these are Hist-manipulated "genetically modified" Argonians, possibly made to resist projectile weapons. Of course, they could just be skilled users of shields. Either way works.

Most interesting about the Argonians is that they are led by precisely three battlemages. This must be significant, or else they likely wouldn't be mentioned in a Nordic account. Now, for only three mages to have been a notable strategic advantage, they must have been pretty powerful. We haven't heard of such force of Argonian battle-magic before, especially not applied beyond their home soil. In fact, this is a pretty significant event for Morrowind, so they are in a way comparable to the Tribunal themselves. These are obviously important characters in TESO. I don't doubt they'll play some part in Ebonheart's main plot.

I have no problem with this being skewed by Nordic perception and Jorunn's own political maneuvering. After all, think about the difference between the Five Songs of King Wulfharth and official Tribunal Temple accounts of Red Mountain. They barely match up at all.

And for the more inquisitive lore-monkeys around: putting aside whoever raised Wulfharth, there's probably going to be some nice parallels between Jorunn and another, more famous hero of Skyrim about three or four hundred years later, also accompanied on his conquests by the Ash King. I wouldn't be surprised if we even start hearing of "Ysmir Jorunn".

In fact, my favourite thing about the Skald-King is that he isn't a typical Nord hero by any stretch. He makes no claim to Dragon blood. No skill with the Voice is mentioned, nor any attempts at it. He learns as little swordcraft as he can get away with. His prowess lies not in fighting, but in the manipulation of his people's hearts. It's a really fanastic opportunity for a new sort of Nord. Mayhap he will have more trouble winning over his own nation (particularly the west, which sounds isolated and possibly even in conflict with the east in this account) than he will winning over Mournhold.
This post was last modified: December 6th 2012 06:29 AM by umpteen
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I wouldnt say jorunn is a different kind of nord. but he upholds traditions that are not featured as prominently in the lore so far. while most nord kings are the grim angry nords.
He is the creative, boisterous good to be around nord.
As for the voice. we dont know it. I wouldnt be suprised if he would have mastered the thu uhm. but you are right there are no mentions on it.

As for the historical accuricies of the book. well its written by biased side. the records of wulfhart might have been altered, we dont know when this book is made anyway. it might have been created after tiber septims rise, to actually create a bond between talos and jorunn (jorunn beeing the more well known king at that time)
Talos is known for spending great deals of his propaganda to manifest his "Nordic" ancestry (wich is lies for the most part)

When it comes to the genetically engineered argonians i think you might be overthinking this one just a bit. as for battlemages. it kind of makes sense for the skillset of the argonians. its been mentioned in the lore that every single argonian knows some kind of illusion magic.

I think we can conclude by saying that at least 2 of the sources lie. but we dont know wich one. or if not all of them are liars.
However i still like the idea that this disproves vivecs claim. and actually. it makes it even more clear what kind of liar vivec is, he didnt even take part in the battle.
Oh the Vekh mongers will cry, cry so many tears.
This post was last modified: December 6th 2012 10:39 AM by Sordak
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(December 6th 2012 06:01 AM)umpteen Wrote:  No, this thread is indeed a mistake caused by lack of search-usage. I don't usually venture beyond the lore board.

Bad umpteen, bad! You're missing out!

(December 6th 2012 06:01 AM)umpteen Wrote:  However, my reason for posting here is that this seems to be indisputably a matter of story & lore, unless you are discussing the in-game implementation of Jorunn himself. So, I guess there is some sense in having this here, but really the other thread has the right to primacy, being first and all.

As I've said, different enough purpose to justify two threads. This one is more in-depth and about the lore background rather than being informative and about how you like the story.

(December 6th 2012 06:01 AM)umpteen Wrote:  And as for hanging "lore nerd" warning signs: I hope that that's something I can never be accused of. This is an open and friendly place for discussion.

Most certainly not!

All lore - enthusiasts? sages? masters? - well, everyone versed in TES lore has been and is very open, friendly and helpful around here. Thanks for that folks!

It's just that not all people want to dive as deep into lore as you guys do and the "warning sign" is just more of a notice there's more in-depth discussion ahead and not necessarily the place for jesting around.

I've tried to make a joke there. And you seem to have taken it rather seriously. This either proves my point or just shows we Germans are anything, but funny. [<-JOKE!]

I promise to stop disturbing now and want to draw everyone's attention back to:

(December 6th 2012 06:01 AM)umpteen Wrote:  As for the discussion at hand: you may be interested to know that, according to Varieties of Faith, the battle with the Kamal in "Jorunn the Skald-King" and the water-breathing event occurred in the same year: 572. It's unlikely that they refer to different battles. They match up far too well.

Shellbacks: I like to think that these are Hist-manipulated "genetically modified" Argonians, possibly made to resist projectile weapons. Of course, they could just be skilled users of shields. Either way works.

Most interesting about the Argonians is that they are led by precisely three battlemages. This must be significant, or else they likely wouldn't be mentioned in a Nordic account. Now, for only three mages to have been a notable strategic advantage, they must have been pretty powerful. We haven't heard of such force of Argonian battle-magic before, especially not applied beyond their home soil. In fact, this is a pretty significant event for Morrowind, so they are in a way comparable to the Tribunal themselves. These are obviously important characters in TESO. I don't doubt they'll play some part in Ebonheart's main plot.

I have no problem with this being skewed by Nordic perception and Jorunn's own political maneuvering. After all, think about the difference between the Five Songs of King Wulfharth and official Tribunal Temple accounts of Red Mountain. They barely match up at all.

And for the more inquisitive lore-monkeys around: putting aside whoever raised Wulfharth, there's probably going to be some nice parallels between Jorunn and another, more famous hero of Skyrim about three or four hundred years later, also accompanied on his conquests by the Ash King. I wouldn't be surprised if we even start hearing of "Ysmir Jorunn".

In fact, my favourite thing about the Skald-King is that he isn't a typical Nord hero by any stretch. He makes no claim to Dragon blood. No skill with the Voice is mentioned, nor any attempts at it. He learns as little swordcraft as he can get away with. His prowess lies not in fighting, but in the manipulation of his people's hearts. It's a really fanastic opportunity for a new sort of Nord. Mayhap he will have more trouble winning over his own nation (particularly the west, which sounds isolated and possibly even in conflict with the east in this account) than he will winning over Mournhold.


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(December 6th 2012 10:37 AM)Sordak Wrote:  it might have been created after tiber septims rise, to actually create a bond between talos and jorunn (jorunn beeing the more well known king at that time)
Talos is known for spending great deals of his propaganda to manifest his "Nordic" ancestry (wich is lies for the most part)
I like this idea. We don't know who "Helgreir Lute-Voice" is yet. He might have been the author of the original work (which would of course be much longer and more vulgar than this version) but the text we are presented with is an Imperially sanctioned-and-doctored summary. But then again, it's possible that this book will appear in-game, sadly disproving this.

(December 6th 2012 10:37 AM)Sordak Wrote:  However i still like the idea that this disproves vivecs claim. and actually. it makes it even more clear what kind of liar vivec is, he didnt even take part in the battle.
Oh the Vekh mongers will cry, cry so many tears.
An interesting thing about that, stolen from Lady N (says she played it in October) on the Imperial Library boards: there's a Dunmer Priestess actually in TESO who claims that Vivec flooded Morrowind and did the whole water-breathing thing. This being in the 580s, she of course saw it first-hand. The only two explanations I can think of are: that the Dunmer really want to believe in the power of ALMSIVI, so as far as they're concerned, the Dunmer account is true. Alternatively, you could decide both accounts are true to some extent. Perhaps the flooding occurred before the Kamal attacked Mournhold, and that the Dunmer had in fact dealt with an entirely different portion of the Akaviri army to that which had landed in Skyrim and moved East. The first Kamal invasion, the flooding, the second, and the rise of Jorunn all would occur in 2E573.
This post was last modified: December 6th 2012 11:31 AM by umpteen
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(December 6th 2012 11:30 AM)umpteen Wrote:  
(December 6th 2012 10:37 AM)Sordak Wrote:  it might have been created after tiber septims rise, to actually create a bond between talos and jorunn (jorunn beeing the more well known king at that time)
Talos is known for spending great deals of his propaganda to manifest his "Nordic" ancestry (wich is lies for the most part)
I like this idea. We don't know who "Helgreir Lute-Voice" is yet. He might have been the author of the original work (which would of course be much longer and more vulgar than this version) but the text we are presented with is an Imperially sanctioned-and-doctored summary. But then again, it's possible that this book will appear in-game, sadly disproving this.

(December 6th 2012 10:37 AM)Sordak Wrote:  However i still like the idea that this disproves vivecs claim. and actually. it makes it even more clear what kind of liar vivec is, he didnt even take part in the battle.
Oh the Vekh mongers will cry, cry so many tears.
An interesting thing about that, stolen from Lady N (says she played it in October) on the Imperial Library boards: there's a Dunmer Priestess actually in TESO who claims that Vivec flooded Morrowind and did the whole water-breathing thing. This being in the 580s, she of course saw it first-hand. The only two explanations I can think of are: that the Dunmer really want to believe in the power of ALMSIVI, so as far as they're concerned, the Dunmer account is true. Alternatively, you could decide both accounts are true to some extent. Perhaps the flooding occurred before the Kamal attacked Mournhold, and that the Dunmer had in fact dealt with an entirely different portion of the Akaviri army to that which had landed in Skyrim and moved East. The first Kamal invasion, the flooding, the second, and the rise of Jorunn all would occur in 2E573.

or to spin this even further: both versions happened simultaniously.
you know where im going.

ill call it: dragon break. Vivec used his lie-magic to break the dragon. again.

as for lady N: i dont like her very much.
This post was last modified: December 6th 2012 11:33 AM by Sordak
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This is why I love the Elder Scrolls lore. The stuff keeps contradicting itself every once in a while. As it should. The real world's history ain't "These are the facts." But portrayed as "These are the facts" based on our location, nationality and culture. Same applies for TES lore.


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(December 5th 2012 05:05 PM)umpteen Wrote:  First, this book claims that Jorunn went to the Greybeards, who raised Wulfharth from Sovngarde to fight alongside him. Previous reports of this have claimed that it was Almalexia, the Dunmer goddess of the Tribunal, who raised Wulfharth. Also, the songs of Wulfharth imply that he would have been under Red Mountain with the Heart of Lorkhan (Shor), rather than Sovngarde, and player experience of Sovngarde in TES V supports this. Who really raised Wulfharth?

I want some clarification: How can a Nord Hero be summoned from Sovngarde?

In TES V: Skyrim you can summon the three guys with a shout, "Call of Valor". But you receive it from Tsun, in Sovngarde. So can either the Greybeards or Almalexia be abled to even know this shout?

I guess it´s no problem for the Greybeards knowing the shout, cause they study the dragon language and strongly believe in Sovngarde. If they didn´t learned on their own, they could have had "A Dream of Sovngarde" (Book in Skyrim). It is claimed, that Nord can have a dream that takes them as visitors to Sovngarde. On such a "trip" a Greybeard could have learned the shout.

But how about Almalexia? She is a goddes, but I don´t think she´s capable of using even one word of the dragon toungue.

And there is another problem:

Nord Heroes from Sovngarde are no Daedras summoned to serve their master: Sovngarde is meant to be Walhall, a paradise for the fallen warriors. If I was wouldn´t want to leave if there wasn´t something really urgent stuff happening on Mundus.

I don´t think a Dunmer, even if she was a goddes, could convince a proud and most likely racist Nord to leave his paradise.

After all I have a problem with Sovngarde, cause it´s a Nord only paradise...

So I think -if I don´t get something wrong- most probably the Greybeards have raised Wulfharth and not Almalexia.
This post was last modified: December 8th 2012 04:19 AM by Idriar


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Shes a god. that kind of gives it away. also if you think about it. its most likeley a lie of the tribunal.
Also keep in mind wulfhart is a shezzarine, wich links him to the heart of lorkahn.

as for racism. its realy played up way more than its prominent in the universe. its mostly something for poor people and stuck up nobles. Most warriors dont realy worry about those affairs. But for Wulfhart, someone tinkering with the heart of Shor might not be something easily forgiven,and it might be a cause he would join.
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I definitely feel like this functions primarily as a work of propaganda, and that's not a bad thing; Jorunn's clearly a cleverer sort of High King than I would have initially expected.

Perhaps this is really far off base, but I'm playing with an idea: the Greybeards summoning Wulfharth seems far too convenient, but for more reasons than just undermining the power of the Tribunal. The Greybeards themselves are an enigmatic group with goals and methods that the average Nord wouldn't presume to understand. Who better to dig up an old ghost for "reasons that have not been divulged"? Had something "gone wrong" (vague, I know), then the blame could have been conveniently placed on the shoulders of a group the Nords will emphatically trust no matter what they do. But if Almalexia truly summoned Wulfharth and things went badly, then the Nord-Dunmer alliance, in all its fragility, would have shattered. After all, I don't think the Nords need too much coaxing to go back to hating those Devils. If Jorunn supervised the writing of this little tract, then it was probably safest for his alliance to keep the Tribunal off of center stage.

Likewise, the addition of Argonians also seems like a deliberate propaganda embellishment. What reason would these "shellbacks" have for being there in the first place? Personally, I'd attribute it less to heroism and more that they were conveniently there to loot and burn in the chaos, but I'm not convinced they were even there at all. Whatever the truth is, Jorunn artfully manages to weave it into a narrative that lends legitimacy to the Tamriel's weirdest alliance.

But these assumptions only really work if the book is contemporary to Jorunn's reign, and the very strong Hjalti-Jorunn parallel makes me think that this is also just as likely to be a bit of Septim propaganda attempting to harken back to the grand, romantic days of Northern kings. Maybe it's both? A Jorunn-era propaganda tract reused and revised by Tiber Septim?

Anyway, I do like it, and I only like it more because a Northern bard king makes me think of Mance Rayder.
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This is kind of the thing isnt it? we need to know when this was actually published in the first place. i also liked my tiber septim propaganda idea.
About wulfhart you need to understand that you are mixing up two stories here. The battle of the Red mountain and the Akaviri invasion.
Wulfhart was summoned by almalexia (probably, we actually dont know) at the red mountain.
But that was a long time ago. Even by elder scrolls standarts.
It could be that almalexia summoned wulfhart again. But why? This is set before the alliance was made, there were no nords around where almalexia was, so either she summoned wulfhart when Jorunns men arrived, making the notion of him battling in Rifton invalid, further destroying the story, or it couldnt have been her.
While wulfhart is a powerfull ally. Almalexia certainly didnt want him as another soldier, but to keep the nords in check, and keep him to fight on their side.
I would actually argue the opposit would be true. having wulfhart been there for other reasons, and the tribunal just said it was them.
It would not be the first time, hell it would not be the first time in this exact moment (vivecs "flooding")

Then again of the battle of the red mountain, it can be said that, the Ash king is the shezzarine, wich makes him inevitably bound to the heart of shor-lorkahn.
So once the doom drum starts beating i wouldnt be too suprised for Ysmir to show up in some form or another.
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