Newer Edda: Introduction

  •       They of Skyrim tell that in the olden days when there was civil-war upon the land, and also cultists, vampires, and dragons or any other number of miscreants making overt gestures towards the Ending of Nirn, there was nowhere else to be found in any time a merrier band of murderous champions as those who brought peace back to the fatherland. It was generally agreed that this was an awful thing for these champions to do, for the end of existence also meant things could finally settle down, there would be fairer weather, and no more warring and divvying up land via the axe and sword. Such was the folly of that generation’s youth, the elderly folk of the Old Kingdom remark.

          As it was, the tale tells these fabled warriors became discontent with the mundane goings on at their hearths and farms, and at the violent hubbub of civil strife often carrying on within earshot of their farms, and the tramplings of Imperial soldiers upon the struggling crops of their farms. Many imperial messengers and armed envoys came to offer ultimatums to many villages and farmsteads in the early days before the civil war began in earnest. At first the farmers would use the trespassing legionnaires as target practice, stringing them up from sacred trees and filling them with arrows for the honor of Talos, or they would capture and sell the more docile off into slavery to pirates along the coast. But soon even this sport bored them, and the pirates soon stopped paying premium on the abundant Cyrodillian thralls. Yet they were content to grumble misgivings in front of the hearthfire, and did not rouse themselves at this time to sally forth for battling and quarrelling like the court of Ulfric Stormcloak had.

          They of Skyrim tell also that at this time, the High Elves were running amok the homeland, blaspheming the great and eternal Talos, and His displeasure at having His name thus sullied without retaliation led to many crops being tardy throughout the country. Without hops to brew into ale, native farmer-warriors became grim of aspect. Left then were these fighting-men with no recourse save to leave home, grumbling and groping for their axes, and  set all wayward matters aright until such time as there was quiet restored in their neighborhood.

          It is also worthwhile to note that though these champions are celebrated equally today, in the times of the events recorded in the tale some were notorious outlaws, others unremarkable farmers or sailors, merchants, etcetera. Many of Skyrim’s menfolk had gone off to die in the Great War against the Aldmeri Dominion years before, leaving the native populace disillusioned with Imperial rule and prone to violent political protest. And being a proud, storied, and warlike people, the remaining Nords conducted themselves in grand fashion, then scribed the happenings for longevity. The distance of those troubled times from the present fifth era ultimately lends a romanticism to the events and personalities found in the saga; thus when we come across crude happenings, violent reactions to ideas or otherwise innocuous circumstances, and oft times outright prejudice it is well to keep in mind that these Nords were a loud people with great and rude souls, who eked a life out of the harsh winterlands of the north, prodded incessantly by outsiders, and that they did not mind going to feast eternally in Sovngarde should the opportunity arise.

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