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Lore Discussion: The Bridge of Heldon

Tags: #ESO  #Geography  #Midyear Mayhem  #Pelinal  #Heroes  #History 
  • Member
    July 27

    So we're already starting to approach the end of the Midyear Mayhem event over at ESO and having talked about lore discussions aimed at the event with Patriarch and Phil/Paws I thought it was my turn to throw a good old question your way.

    So the Midyear Mayhem event is essentially a large tournament in honor of one of Pelinal's great victories. So for those who don't know who Pelinal is, it depends on whom you ask but to the Imperials he's essentially what Ysgramor is to the Nords. A great hero that is particularly well known for their near indiscriminate murder of elves. Which is also why to most Elves he's more often seen as a bit of a psychopath. If you want to discuss him a bit in further detail I would recommend you go have a look at Phil's thread to which you'll find a link down below.

    Anyway back to the question at hand. On the official ESO website we find this:

    Prepare for battle! Celebrate the legendary hero Pelinal Whitestrake and his victory at the Bridge of Heldon by taking part in our first Midyear Mayhem PvP event and earning the Midyear Victor's Laurel Wreath collectible hat. It is said that those who wear the Midyear Laurel feel themselves infused with the holy rage of the spirit of Pelinal himself!

    The tournament/event has been held in honor of Pelinal's battle at the bridge of Heldon. Which seems fine at first glance but where the hell is Heldon?

    A quick look into the Song of Pelinal V4 (the main source material concerning this guy) teaches us the following:

    [And after] the first Pogrom, which consolidated the northern holdings for the men-of-'kreath, he stood with white hair gone brown with elfblood at the Bridge of Heldon, where Perrif's falconers had sent for the Nords, and they, looking at him, said that Shor had returned, but he spat at their feet for profaning that name. He led them anyway into the heart of the hinterland west, to drive the Ayleids inward, towards the Tower of White-Gold, a slow retreating circle that could not understand the power of Man's sudden liberty, and what fury-idea that brought.

    This seems however to be the only reference in Lore to this fabled bridge of Heldon. So I was wondering where do you guys think it is?

    If you want to read the Song of Pelinal for yourself (at least the parts from Skyrim as I believe the event added a few new volumes) have a look at the Imperial Library's copy: https://www.imperial-library.info/content/skyrim-song-pelinal

    If you want to further discuss Pelinal and his deeds, personality and of course the classic: who did he bang? Have a look at Phil's thread over here: http://tamrielvault.com/groups/topic/view/page/1/group_id/1/topic_id/9061

  • Member
    July 27

    Nice one Tein! :D Yeah, I like this question a lot. So, the Song references the "men of 'Kreath" which we could say are a Nedic tribe from what is the Falkreath region. The battle of Heldon bridge took place after the high highness, Pelly, Mor "consolidated the northern holdings" for the 'Kreathmen. A bridge implies water, and very close to Falkreath is a nice, big lake - the Ilinalta. I like to think that is the location of the battle, that four thousand years or so before a Dragon rescues a Dragonborn from Helgen, another Shezarrine fought in that area.

  • Member
    July 27

    Paws said:

    Nice one Tein! :D Yeah, I like this question a lot. So, the Song references the "men of 'Kreath" which we could say are a Nedic tribe from what is the Falkreath region. The battle of Heldon bridge took place after the high highness, Pelly, Mor "consolidated the northern holdings" for the 'Kreathmen. A bridge implies water, and very close to Falkreath is a nice, big lake - the Ilinalta. I like to think that is the location of the battle, that four thousand years or so before a Dragon rescues a Dragonborn from Helgen, another Shezarrine fought in that area.

    Between the mention of Kreath and Heldon I'm thinking it could be near Falkreath or even Helgen (can't say there are no similarities in the name) however, you may notice that as far as I remember there's only one bridge in the entirety of Falkreath. It is near that mill on the shore of the Illinalta but I still don't think that could be the one.

    Another option would be that at the time the Kreath's territory was a lot larger than modern Falkreath in which case I guess the bridge at 4E Riverwood could be close enough to make stuff work. Seems unlikely though. Neither bridge seems super interesting and with the number of nearby crossing points (the water around riverwood, for example, comes up to your character's abdomen at its deepest points) I doubt either would be a significant tactical location. So why would they have fought there?

    Anyway, if we're indeed making a parallel between Heldon of the Kreathmen and Helgen in Falkreath I do love the parallels it could start to make between the last DB and Pelinal.

  • Member
    July 27

    It's hard to say, we're talking a long old time ago.The gorge where Riverwood now stands may have been much wider. The gap between the mountains to the north and south is pretty huge, so we could theorise that the river once raged wall-to-wall. But is 4k years enough time to account for that? Or would that be millenia of glacial action? 

    Having the Battle of Heldon in the Falkreath area also adds something to that cemetery. The folks there talk about all the wars and death there, how the graveyard is the biggest in Skyrim and such, but there's little to account for that. With Nedic ruins added to the area by the Horns of the Reach dlc, it might suggest that the area was of greater significance then than now, a centre of religious worship maybe.

    I'm almost tempted to want the bridge spanning the lake in a straight line between the Brittleshin Pass and Shriekwind Bastion, but that moves it quite aways from Helgen. So if Heldon was the old name of Helgen, perhaps it was a Nedic city and capital of the region, therfore greater then than now in size.

    The forts and ruins already there, like Ilinalta's Deep, may well be Reman-era constructs, built upon more ancient trade routes. Having the bridge in line with the mountain passes is almost feasible.

     

  • July 28

    Men-of-Kreath is a deliberate mistranslation by Cyrodiilic supremacists in order to stake a claim on land that does not belong to them. The name of the people who originally inhabited the area was Men of Karth, the ancient ancestors of the Reachmen! :P

  • Member
    July 28

    Veloth the Prophet said:

    Men-of-Kreath is a deliberate mistranslation by Cyrodiilic supremacists in order to stake a claim on land that does not belong to them. The name of the people who originally inhabited the area was Men of Karth, the ancient ancestors of the Reachmen! :P

    It would kind of fit your theory of the Reachmen coming from the Nedes, I believe the Songs mention that the Kreath were a Nede tribe. Do you have anything else to substantiate your claim? XD

    Do keep in mind that there's a whole lot of important bridges in the Reach, so if you can find something that sounds like it could be Heldon you may actually be onto something.

    Paws said:

    It's hard to say, we're talking a long old time ago.The gorge where Riverwood now stands may have been much wider. The gap between the mountains to the north and south is pretty huge, so we could theorise that the river once raged wall-to-wall. But is 4k years enough time to account for that? Or would that be millenia of glacial action? 

    Having the Battle of Heldon in the Falkreath area also adds something to that cemetery. The folks there talk about all the wars and death there, how the graveyard is the biggest in Skyrim and such, but there's little to account for that. With Nedic ruins added to the area by the Horns of the Reach dlc, it might suggest that the area was of greater significance then than now, a centre of religious worship maybe.

    I'm almost tempted to want the bridge spanning the lake in a straight line between the Brittleshin Pass and Shriekwind Bastion, but that moves it quite aways from Helgen. So if Heldon was the old name of Helgen, perhaps it was a Nedic city and capital of the region, therfore greater then than now in size.

    The forts and ruins already there, like Ilinalta's Deep, may well be Reman-era constructs, built upon more ancient trade routes. Having the bridge in line with the mountain passes is almost feasible.

     

    Lake Illinalta is a bit strange to be honest. There's several indicators that the lake used to be smaller and then there's a sunken Nord ship that seems to indicate the opposite (that thing is really out of place to be honest).

    What they all could indeed indicate is that the lake could have had more of a trade importance back in the day. The fact that there's a clearly marked path leading to the nothern end of Brittleshin pass would also suggest the place may have been more important than it seems.

    In fact just east of where you've drawn your hypothetical bridge there's this small sunken Nordic ruin. It's guarded by a good amount of slaughterfish so I tend to stay away (Slaughterfish are a pain to kill) but it could have been the base for a bridge (with a bit of imagination).

  • July 28

    Ummm Hroldan?

  • Member
    July 28

    Veloth the Prophet said:

    Men-of-Kreath is a deliberate mistranslation by Cyrodiilic supremacists in order to stake a claim on land that does not belong to them. The name of the people who originally inhabited the area was Men of Karth, the ancient ancestors of the Reachmen! :P

    To riff on that, perhaps after the men of 'Kreath had their holdings consolidatd and headed south to join the rebellion, when they returned they found the Nords had un-consolidated their holdings and were then pushed west to join the men of Karth. I'm thinking how our own native Britains were pushed more and more to the west into Wales and Cornwall with the coming of the Roman and then the Saxons. 

    Teineeva said:

    Lake Illinalta is a bit strange to be honest. There's several indicators that the lake used to be smaller and then there's a sunken Nord ship that seems to indicate the opposite (that thing is really out of place to be honest).

    What they all could indeed indicate is that the lake could have had more of a trade importance back in the day. The fact that there's a clearly marked path leading to the nothern end of Brittleshin pass would also suggest the place may have been more important than it seems.

    In fact just east of where you've drawn your hypothetical bridge there's this small sunken Nordic ruin. It's guarded by a good amount of slaughterfish so I tend to stay away (Slaughterfish are a pain to kill) but it could have been the base for a bridge (with a bit of imagination).

    I'd forgotten about that ship! A mine for Nordic Barnacles for a low-level alchemist. 

    But yeah, I like that idea of the ruin being the original base of the bridge. All we really have is imagination unless we're overlooking something obvious, and as all ruins look the same in the game it is hard to tell. Normally I see a fort and think Ice and Chitin:

    Jutting out on a promontory of rock, it was like many other abandoned castles in northern Skyrim, remnants of Reman Cyrodiil's protective shield against the continent of Akavir.

    However, as we have nothing else, I am willing to head-canon your ruin as being the original Bridge of Heldon:D What with that almost direct line between Falkreath and the Brittleshin Pass, a bridge for trade between Northern Whiterun would have been of strategic importance. I guess.

  • July 28

     

    To riff on that, perhaps after the men of 'Kreath had their holdings consolidatd and headed south to join the rebellion, when they returned they found the Nords had un-consolidated their holdings and were then pushed west to join the men of Karth. I'm thinking how our own native Britains were pushed more and more to the west into Wales and Cornwall with the coming of the Roman and then the Saxons. 

     

    I actually have a whole headcanon\fanic in my head about the Reach being separated in a Highland\Lowland style cultures involving the Colovians.