The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search


TO: Urag gro-Shub, Grand Vizier of Arboreal Librarianship Arcanaeum, College of Winterhold, Winterhold, Skyrim, Tamriel, Mundus

FROM: Wylandriah, Witch of the Sordid Court Seventh Door of the Seventh Hall, East Wing, Mistveil Keep, Riften, Skyrim, Tamriel, Mundus

DATE: First Seed, 3E 203/4/5?

Dear Urag,

Well, and it's been some time since I've talked with you, you bushy faced duffer, and you know that's never a good thing; after all you're the only one who actually UNDERSTANDS when I start ranting about the importance of quasi-symbolic analysis of the traditional texts, even if you don't engage in it as much as you should. So here's a letter from your Wylandriah, wishing you lived closer to Mistveil. It's really quite nice, once you get down to it; I don't think there's one single spot in Skyrim where the household arachnids are so close to the woodland variety, and I actually did find a nest of those, too, down in the dungeons - have you ever been down there? Really fascinating, the variety of structural supports the Jarls have used through the years - they were living cheek-to-jowl with each other because there'd been a collapse, so I cleared the blockage away and set them free. They're docile creatures, really, if you know how to handle them - which I do, of course, I always have; just show me something with eight legs that I can't sweet-talk into submission - and you'll be interested to learn that their silk makes a potent preservative for textiles and texts both.

Oh, texts. Yes, indeed, that's what this letter is about and why I'm spending time writing to you instead of doing actual work - no offense intended, because you know I love you, but you must also know my priorities lie with experimentation - for I recently acquired a document I think you'll find interesting. The implications are, quite frankly, astounding; who would have thought that the bardic tradition of the Nords had its genesis in ancient Atmoran dragon-skalds? It sheds not a small bit of light on the obtuseness of Nordic poetry - I never could stand all the sideways skald talk; those blighters in the Bard's College never say anything straightways - as it's quite clear that draconic verse is barely verse at all but rather near pure image exemplification, which really is only to be expected from the primeval Tongues. The translator's note - no idea who he was, though I'd assume some Nord bard from the late first era; sorry about that, but you'll just have to look into that facet yourself - implies that this fragment was part of a much longer epic engraved at some central site - apparently dragons engrave, of all things, and reading their words could be even more devastating than hearing them, for mortals - in Atmora, though I'm really not sure I believe in Atmora. Where the dermographic dovah of antiquity – and there’s something else to tittle your tat; dragons get tattoos? I wonder, is that common, would the ones flying about now do it? Maybe – I ought to – find someone – or have the Jarl find someone – to kill a dragon for me and look at its skin – where the old supposed Atmoran dragon-skald got all these strange ideas about the Demon of Knowledge I’m sure I don’t know.

I guess you'll want to know where I got this and what it is. I bought it off a Dunmer, oddly enough, as a huge slab of petrified wood, if you can believe that, and with it an ancient fixed-charcoal rubbing and translator's journal, because of course since this is supposed to have been taken from Atmora originally it could only have been brought to Skyrim as part of the graven hull-history of the Five Hundred. The original symbols look like chicken scratch to me, but I guess that's all draconic runes really are. And note the interesting quasi-dialect the translator uses; the dragon language must have only been partially extirpated from the Nord tongue when he did his work; I've taken the liberty of translating it further into modern grammar and spelling, though there wasn't too much to do.

Anyway here's the text package itself, with love from: Wylandriah

[...] … of Aenshint Tyme told as Writ bye won tattu ring'd Dovah of Forgottenne sekt, partte of the faebl'd Kliff of Dahmaan. Onlii thiiz Wordde preserv'd of all the Runne ther, for biifr ond aftr tu Graet wos the Pour of Dovah script for Menne to riid; all whu try'd wer diistroy'd. [...]

The Ogmismol[edit]

Original Translation

Lothe, myn clawwe | to ryf thiiz runne

of hermetik fynd | in taproote tyme.

The shiif-tattere kast | osyde to the Sea

their ink to ronne | and dygramme diikhey;

to moldring kriip | with mysiilyel skhrii.

Ond othre minutye | unfaerseene be Dey

Ond shrudest of thiiz | in skhematik-squiiz:

the bolbus bryn-braen, | the eyt-sokhr’d flox

whuz skin engolf’d | hise selcuth siblinggez.

ond nerse-nest hosk: | Wuld ye know yet morr?

He who ‘graves heritans | opon the roots of tyme

in the Dan-dewii hommoks | of Old Mary’s shore-shelffe,

Kall’d Tsar of the Seae | for hise sol-skin's ryme

of kryptik koloration | to the daan-domb elffe.

Bot profoundlii poygnant | pruv the tonii knotte

of the wumb-webb’d elffe | to the lonlii skrybe,

Hise skriven’d hide flexes, | rosles hise restles haertte,

ond to the Sea he dives: | Wuld ye know yet morr?

Thanne froth’d the wavve | and eddiee spiral’d in

opon the detritos den, | the Onderkliff's glomm,

where blaekh trunkke | stak gallerrie in brim

ond heart-hollow falle | to rite the lomm

Op lurch’d the moss | with squamos hyde twiche

Ond a sioptik ball | blink’d traeserrie doun

to the limp cuttle stranded | on the Onderkliff's iche

ond its wyrm-Hyrmit's froun: | Wuld ye know yet morr?

To the mold-mounded dragon | the bryne-braen spaek:

"O Hyrmit, laernne mii | your grow-glossii misterie,

for without Wyfe, Mothor, Dohtor | myn empty haertte aek

Where is Love’s nym | writ in thiis triie?”

Ond the Hyrmit chokl’d | at the tynii oktopus.

Hise ragged clawe jabbed | to the eyt-bottress’d Trii,

the touering spyne | in bonn-spyral tross,

aflott opon the Sea:| Wuld ye know yet morr?

That tortyle-torchur, | that peritrykhos Trii;

the serpent-ribb’d spyre | where the moth nestte rest;

shelter of dosk-baethed doff | ond Dan-blazon’d Kanopii

wher the Hyrmit hords | engravingge of rost.

[… … …]

Thanne spaek the dragon: | “Siik ye ther

In the xylem sliiv | of the riilyz’d siid,

in the exizhon enakted, | in the labrinthiin daer,

riid your solas criid.” | Wuld ye know yet morr?

So op wriggled | the iiger bryne-braen

from the Onderkliff’d littre | of the siiping rhizosfiir.

Drovv hise ey-nib thru | the bottress-whorl’d graen

ond squirm-blink’d in | to the xylem smiir

In mannish-mutant coul | he fervent whisper-sirches

Atmora’s crag’d and canyon’d grovvee. | Ond hise spellbuk sarrow

rivets the ash-brou’d Nordde; | bynds their haertte in lurchee,

ond siids their iirre to grow: | Wuld ye know yet morr?

Bot Ysgramor’s ey | sytes the skrybe-scrolle

of hise charcol menne | biigyl’d into prozz

Ond from hise drom-longge | a tempest-ripple squalls,

skours bak the forest fiind | to the Sea-gardyn’d grottozz.

The bryne-braen spaek: | “Love is not writ

in the world trii’s veyns; | not the warmth of the wumb.

nor the ogham-scribblee | of my word-witch’s clitte.

abyde in that dum.” | Wuld ye know yet morr?

The wyrm-Hyrmit’s clawe | cliived to blaekhen’d bark

split a hollow haert-scroll | ond unroll’d its ring’d runne

The Sonne dazzled doun | thru the lignin-letter lok,

its kriptic-skript glitter’d | and emboss’d the mossii dunne.

Thanne spaek the dragon: | “Her skin is the vellom.

of Historii’s skroll; | amber-asid the ink

in ye, the ey-nib. | The nym ye thrum

is the love ye drink.” | Wuld ye know yet morr?

“Nou wiild, little skrybe, | this twyse-nibbed quill

on yorn bryne-braen skin and | Her wonder-wuden flesh.”

Ond the Tsar of the Seas | squelched up the lentiselle.

of the wyrm-wing’d Kanopii, | in suckle-suckered treys.

Hise ring-runed wordde | in spyral-spynn’d flox

erode the starrii bront | with hise blaekh-bryne whorl,

where epokhs intermingle | in the south-poynt dosk

of most-misterie’s rul: | Wuld ye know yet morr?

Myre-spynne rattle | their shock’d leavve in laffe

at the gilt-stilted gliim | of hise waeve-waevered worded

They konjugaet konshosness | in aurgone phlom’d draftte

and sip hise mannish miin | for straenge and skaeled warded

Ond the eyt sukhered sak | tombled back to the mold

“Myn wordde do not wynd | the world to myn wish;

ond mortalitii mocks | the skript-silkke I fold,”

sorry-spaek the kottlefish: | Wuld ye know yet morr?

The moss-mound stirred | with the wyrm-Hyrmit’s squint

ond hise aperchur-eye flash’d | thru misterie-mottled skin.

Thanne spaek the dragon, | “Ay, lore-bound lint;

for love requyres lyfe | to polse from within.”

Thanne piil’d the wyrm | asku the splinter’d skale.

of hise lykhen-likhed chest, | unto its haertwud hollow,

ond the kuttlefish saeng | that knowledge, nu-born-frael,

“By sakrifishyl ultrifidy | alon dos Awe grow:

not dead-lettre’d desynne | bot impaerfekt translaeshon.

Myn time-rhymme bot siid; | all else is mutaeshon.

Ond the dragon’s daggerre | gashed and rent the saeg,

thrii pith-paegge pull'd: | the faet-triplet haertte.

to the starrii trii bestow’d; | Infinitii of each Aeg.

Thanne raeng the krox-tronk | with lurid living art;

with textuel oergy| tattu’d in ruted runne

and liif-splinter’d Sonne: | or both, siil’d in Love:

for Onderkliff rutte | twig-tangle and crun

with the Kanopii’s stemme | that prickle-pirse the doff.

Thanne mash’d the maw | of the mossy wyrm-Hyrmit,

socked doun the slit squid : | autosarkofagii incarnaet.

Hise spyneless bulk slinks | round hise wud rondelet wyfe;

ond the douny-trunk thrills | ond shivers with stryfe

as hise paper pulse pounds | hidden-Historii to lyfe.

Hise twisted-tongue twiches | in whisper-tender draul:

“All lore lives in Love | for ye, myn Ogmismol.”

Lothe, myn clawwe | to ryfe thiiz runne

of hermetik fynd | in taproote tyme

[... ... ...]

Loathe, my claws | to rife these runes

of hermetic find | in taproot time.

The sheaf-tatters cast | aside to the sea

their ink to run | and diagrams decay;

to moldering creep | with mycelial scree,

and other minutiae | unforeseen by Day.

And shrewdest of these | in schematic-squeeze:

the bulbous brine-brain | the eight-sucker’d flux

whose skin engulfed | his selcouth siblings,

and nurse-nest husk: | Would you know yet more?

He who ‘graves heritance | upon the roots of time

in the Dawn-dewy hummocks | of Old Mary’s shore-shelves.

Called Tsar of the Seas | for his soul-skin's rhyme

of cryptic coloration | to the doom-dumb elves.

But profoundly poignant | prove the tawny knots

of the womb-webb’d elves | to the lonely scribe.

His scriven’d hide flexes |rustles his restless hearts,

and to the Sea he dives: | Would you know yet more?

Then froth’d the waves | and eddies spiraled in

upon the detritus den, | the Undercliff's gloam,

where black trunks | stack galleries in brim

and heart-hollow fall | to write the loam.

Up lurch’d the moss | with squamous hide twitch.

And a scioptic ball | blinked traceries down

to the limp cuttle stranded | on the Undercliff's itch

and its wyrm-Hermit's frown: | Would you know yet more?

To the mold-mounded dragon | the brine-brain spake:

"O Hermit, teach me | your grow-glossy mysteries,

for without Wife, Mother, Daughter | my empty hearts ache.

Where is Love’s name | writ in these trees?"

And the Hermit chuckled | at the tiny octopus.

His ragged claw jabbed | to the eight-buttress’d Tree,

the towering spine | in bone-spiral truss,

afloat upon the Sea: | Would you know yet more?

That tortile-torture, | that peritrichous Tree;

the serpent-ribbed spire | where the moth nests rest;

shelter of dusk-bathed duff | and Dawn-blazon’d Canopy

where the Hermit hoards | engravings of rust.

[… … …]

Then spake the dragon: | "Seek ye there.

In the xylem sleeve | of the realiz’d seed,

in the excision enacted, | in the labyrinthine dare,

read your solace creed." | Would you know yet more?

So up wriggled | the eager brine-brain

from the Undercliff’d litter | of the seeping rhizosphere.

Drove his eye-nib through | the buttress-whorl’d grain

and squirm-blink’d in | to the xylem smear.

In mannish-mutant cowl | he fervent whisper-searches

Atmora’s crag’d and canyon’d groves. | And his spellbook sorrow

rivets the ash-browed Nords; | binds their hearts in lurches,

and seeds their ears to grow: | Would you know yet more?

But Ysgramor’s eye | sights the scribe-scrawls

of his charcoal men | beguil’d into prose.

And from his drum-lungs | a tempest-ripple squalls,

scours back the forest fiend | to the sea-garden’d grottoes.

The brine-brain spake: | "Love is not writ

in the world tree’s veins; | not the warmth of the womb

nor the ogham-scribbles | of my word-witch’s clit

abide in that doom ." | Would you know yet more?

The wyrm-Hermit’s claw | cleaved to blacken’d bark

split a hollow heart-scroll | and unroll’d its ring’d runes.

The Sun dazzled down | through the lignin-letter lock,

its cryptic-script glittered | and emboss’d the mossy dunes.

Then spake the dragon: | "Her skin is the vellum

of History’s scroll; | amber-acid the ink

in you, the eye-nib. | The name you thrum

is the love you drink." | Would you know yet more?

"Now wield, little scribe, | this twice-nibbed quill

on your brine-brain skin and | Her wonder-wooden flesh."

And the Tsar of the Seas | squelched up the lenticels

of the wyrm-wing’d Canopy, | in suckle-suckered trace.

Those ring-runed words | in spiral-spined flux

erode the starry brunt | with his black-brine whorl,

where epochs intermingle | in the south-point dusk

of must-mystery’s rule: | Would you know yet more?

Mire-spines rattle | their shuck’d leaves in laughs

at the gilt-stilted gleam | of his wave-wavered words.

They conjugate consciousness | in aurgone phloem’d drafts

and sip his mannish mien | for strange and scaled wards.

And the eight suckered sac | tumbled back to the mold.

"My words do not wind | the world to my wish;

and mortality mocks | the script-silks I fold,"

sorry-spake the cuttlefish: | Would you know yet more?

The moss-mound stirred | with the wyrm-Hermit’s squint

and his aperture-eye flashed | through mystery-mottled skin.

Then spake the dragon, | "Aye, lore-bound lint;

for love requires life | to pulse from within."

Then peeled the wyrm | askew the splintered scale

of his lichen-licked chest, | unto its heartwood hollow,

and the cuttlefish sang | that knowledge, newborn-frail.

"By sacrificial ultrifidy | alone does Awe grow;

not dead-letter’d design | but imperfect translation.

”My time-rhymes but seed; | all else is mutation."

And the dragon’s daggers | gashed and rent the sage,

three pith-pages pulled: | the fate-triplet heart

to the starry tree bestowed; | Infinity of each Age.

Then rang the crux-trunk | with lurid living art;

with textual orgy| tattoo’d in rooted rune

and leaf-splinter’d Sun: | or both, seal’d in Love:

for Undercliff roots | twig-tangle and croon

with the Canopy’s stems | that prickle-pierce the duff.

Then mash’d the maw | of the mossy wyrm-Hermit,

sucked down the slit squid : | autosarcophagy incarnate.

His spineless bulk slinks | round his wood rondelet wife;

and the downy-trunk thrills | and shivers with strife

as his paper pulse pounds | hidden-History to life.

His twisted-tongue twitches | in whisper-tender drawl:

"All lore lives in Love | for you, my Ogmismol."

Loathe, my claws | to rife these runes

of hermetic find | in taproot time.

[... ... ...]