Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions


Cul-de-sac of the Voice

  • Member
    July 22

    So, Jurgen Windcaller was a badass.  He's a veteran of the Morrowind invasions, and a survivor of the failure at Red Mountain.  He stands against the 17 Disputants - presumably Voice-masters of some significance - and swallows their Shouts.  He founds a new philosophy, the Way of the Voice, that is so profoundly influential that - for, what, thousands of years? - use of the Thu'um seems vanishingly rare, despite the fact that Skyrim as a whole hasn't exactly retreated from military involvements.  And when he dies, he gets his very own ancient Nordic tomb, complete with Daedric runic inscriptions.

     

    The problem is (a problem from the POV of roleplaying, mostly) - Windcaller seems not to have left a path for his adherents to follow.  AFAIK his 'disciples' accomplish little or nothing worthy of note.  They retreat to the mountaintops; their only significant contribution seems to be to announce important events.  

     

    If you'll forgive the real-world analogy, this strikes me as incredibly odd - as though Christ had no Apostles to perform mighty works and miracles after the Ascension - like if the New Testament ended with John's Gospel.  I mean, how inspiring can Jurgen really have been if nobody *does anything*?  (Well, cynics might claim that "doing nothing" IS the MO of the Greybeards ...)

     

    So, please, tell me how I'm wrong in all this - how I'm missing some crucial piece of lore or how I'm just not looking at it the wrong way.  I know lots of people have played (and, heck, made builds) around the idea of their character following the Way of the Voice.  How do you make it *cool*?

     

     

  • Member
    July 22

    It's messed up, innit? Skyrim's mightiest weapon silenced because, presumably, Jurgen met Paarthurnax. That dragon is the master of the Way. Did Jurgen teach him, or did he teach Jurgen? But it does limit RP - to speak only in "true need" and then be shown that the end of the world isn't quite important enough to qualify as such is totally out there. That said, someone like Ulfric who studied it but ultimately rejected it could be interesting to explore.

    Could be "The Whitebeards" were born, a rival faction who studied less passive philosophies.

     

  • Member
    July 22

    Yeah - and I view the "the Dragonborn is an exception to all the rules, so go nuts and shout an old lady off a cliff, we're good!" as a *total* disappointing copout.  

    Trying to noodle with some of the stuff that claims the Greybeards view violence as just one of the lesser uses of the Voice.  I mean, sure, that's fine, but then this is *Skyrim* we're talking about, where "I yield, I yield!" is never to be trusted, and Calm spells last all of 60 seconds.  You can do a pacifist Shout run (or at least I assume you can...), but it seems gamey.  

    I would've *loved* to see some rival Thu'um faction explored - or even suggested!  I just can't imagine that, for all these eras, the people of Skyrim have been content to view the incredible power of the Thu'um through the essentially pacifist lens of the Way of the Voice.  

    When do you think Tongues stopped being used in battle?  It seems as though the practice dropped off right after Jurgen's establishment of the Way.  But then again, Children of the Sky seems to have been written *after* Jurgen's time (it appears first in Morrowind, but then apparently in 2nd-era Online... either way, it would have to have been written probably after Reman's time, since it mentions Akaviri, right?), and it seems to describe Nordic use of the Voice - very powerful use of the Voice, in fact - as happening contemporaneously.

  • Member
    July 22
    Children of the Sky is like the PGE First Edition in that it is full of setting details that don't hold up to what we see in game. But I love it, and like the PGE, is how I use the setting. The Pocket Guide section on Nords and Skyrim details these old, isolated clans practicing the old ways. Even a newer source, Alduin/Akatosh Dichotomy mentions this sort of thing as the priest talks to a rugged clan chief. So I think there is still room for these more barbaric Nords from remote valleys or ancient mountain passes.
  • Member
    August 3

    I recall Arngeir stating that as long as the Dragonborn used the Voice in alignment with the path set forth by Akatosh, they would remain true to the Way of the Voice. I couldn't find Arngeir's dialogue, but I remember hearing that on my most recent playthrough as a Kyne follower.