Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions

The Craglorn Welwa. What?

Tags: #Zoology  #Welwa  #Craglorn 
  • Member
    May 5, 2017

    This is the Craglorn Welwa, currently available from ESO's Crown Store. Here's the blurb:

    “'Cute'? What use have I for 'cute'? I am Undaunted—give me a monster!" Credit for the irresponsible and foolhardy project of domesticating the Craglorn Welwa is usually claimed by the Iron Orcs, who were looking for ways to prove they're “more bad-tusk" than the Orcs of Wrothgar or Skyrim.

    Firstly, I love that Orcs like their beasts, an idea backed up by Fedar Githrano in the Durzog Whistle quest, who mentions wanting to train and sell Durzogs to the Orsimer because savage and slobbering beasts appeal to them. Orcs like beasts from echatere to pocket mammoths, that's clear. However, what of the Welwa? 

    I needed to look it up. The name was familiar, a memory bringing to mind the Crystal Tower in the Summerset Isles. Old memory still half reliable, but this was the extent of it:

    The treasury of the Crystal Tower and the private collections in Summerset offer suggestions of other creatures the early Aldmer may have met in their new home, portrayed in sculpture and tapestry. Some of the beasts are surely (and hopefully) the work of the artist’s imagination, but others appear with such regularity, it can only be that they once existed, as bizarre as they seem. Though no one alive has ever seen them, they have names out of legend: Gheatus, a man or a group of men who are formed by the earth itself; the Welwa, strange, holy beasts of horns and savage teeth, depicted as ravagers and saviors of the land... ~PGE 3Ed

    So, these creatures are extinct in the Blessed Isles, further backed up by The Improved Emperor's Guide:

    Over thousands of years, these immigrants became the Altmer, creating a robust civilization and extinguishing indigenous species they could not subjugate. Ask the many-eyed forest giant, the Ilyadi, how bucolic life became after sharing the land with the early Aldmer and you'll get no answer, for they are as extinct as the Gheatus or Welwa.

    That means a dig into newer ESO lore is in order, and so discovered that there is a journal of someone who raised a pair of cubs:

    I take pride in a secret passion. I take pride in raising my beloved welwas, Vosh and Rakh, from cute and cuddly cubs into the loyal and ferocious beasts they are today.

    I acquired the cubs when I was forced to kill an adult welwa in the barrens near the ruins of ancient Skyreach. After dispatching the savage beast, I discovered the cubs in a nearby cave. I almost killed the young creatures then and there, but one of them looked into my eyes and cooed. Then it rose up on shaky legs and rubbed against my leather boot. That's when another option presented itself to me... ~ Vosh and Rahk

    But I still don't know: Is the Craglorn Welwa the same as the holy, legendary, and very extinct Welwa of the Altmer lands?

  • Member
    May 6, 2017

    Interesting thing to consider Phil. It isn't unheard of that "extinct" species were simply unobserved for a large period of time rather than gone and it could be this is a similar case. The distrubtion of this species lore wise is a bit odd to me; after all the Summerset isles and Craglorn are quite far away from each other. Do you think the Direnni could have brought some along with them? It's the simplest way to explain this strange gap between the two populations even if it would still feel a bit odd.

    If anything though;

    extinguishing indigenous species they could not subjugate

    Those altmer probably feel really stupid now if those are the same Welwas they couldn't tame being trained by iron orcs of all people.

  • Member
    May 6, 2017

    That's a thought, the Direnni may have taken them. Also, looking at the PGE and Emperor's Guide, I wonder if there is a possibility that, if this is the same Welwa, the Orsimer took it with them when that tribe split from the Aldmeri. Can't look to myth for answers, though.

    Also, how seriously should we take the source? "... the Welwa, strange, holy beasts of horns and savage teeth, depicted as ravagers and saviors of the land..." There are no horns on this Welwa, so is that indicative that this Welwa is not that Welwa?

  • Member
    May 6, 2017

    Actually, that brings up a few interesting points.

    Could it be either the Orsimer or the Direnni found the Craglorn Welwa and named them after the mythical monsters? Maybe they found the things resembled the imagery described by the pocket guide, or they simply liked the name. It's a bit weak but yeah, there's no way that the Welwa that are described in the pocket guide are the creatures we find in Craglorn.

  • May 6, 2017
    Look up the "The Lay of Firsthold" Might shed little bit light on it too. Thing is, this is Aldmer we're talking about. Merethic Era, right? Weird shit all the time those days. It could be as you say, one of the tribes took Welwas with them, but maybe, they just evolved into those creatures from Craglorn. Or..devolved? Merethic Era to Second Era. Remember that everything is kinda decaying over the Eras.
  • Member
    May 6, 2017

    They disembarked upon the shore,
    Built Kinhouse, gardens, forge, and hive.
    They tamed the meadows, beaches, fields,
    And made a home where Elves could thrive.
    Then howling from the hills in hate
    Came horrors horned, bedight with eyes.
    Gheatus; Welwa; Ilyadi—
    All sought the Aldmers' cruel demise.
    Some said they should take ship anew
    And seek a farther, safer shore.
    But bold Torinaan valor steeled,
    And drawing on ancestral lore,
    Hierogram with Varla Stones
    He wove upon Auridon's loom,
    Drew power down from stars above,
    And drove fell monsters to their doom.
    He harried them 'cross hills and heights,
    All smiting them with magics dire,
    Till one by one they fell at last
    To blast of lightning, ice, or fire.

    Nice! Don't see much "holy beast" in that, throwing the whole source into question. It's PGE, though, and that always happens :D

    I do like the Tein's idea that the Craglorn Welwa was named after this mythical beast. I also quite like that maybe the pariah tribes actually felt some sympathy with the beasts described, and were prompted to take them, thus making the Welwa of 2E the descendents of those, as you say Lorc. Or, that the "He harried them 'cross hills and heights" was somehow indentifiable to the tribes who left.

    I do like that Varla Stone - power from the stars - Craglorn link, though. It has a nice mythic resonance to it. Holy light from the heavens banishing the beasts, and retroactively solving the "holy" mention from PGE.