The Elder Scrolls

A Theory: The Elder Scrolls are Alduin’s Poop

I know, the title might seem a bit odd, but let me explain myself. This applies to every deity of world-eating and creation, all the way up to the creation of the Aurbis.

Simply put, we know that there are many types of “magic” in the world, from the literal “magicka” to tonal manipulation to other (d)aedric powers, so I propose that there could also be story/event magic.

When the world is eaten or reborn, each kalpa has great stories within it which have no physical or spiritual form. They cannot be reshaped into a new creation because they themselves no longer have a space or time within which they can properly exist. Despite this, they still have immense power, and thus these tales are condensed into what we perceive as an elder scroll when Alduin or some other deity “recycles” it. Each scroll gives the same constellation, as each tells the story of Mundus, yet each can give the reader very different messages. They are not written in any language, but instead its own language, which is why they all look the same. Since we don’t exactly have anyone fluent in Elder Language, they are limited greatly by translation error.

Imagine coming across the message:

“A tower of brass controls the world”

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Any moth priest who knew their history would know that this is referencing the Numidium, as their understanding is built off of their current knowledge.

Yet, for people who do know not what the Numidium is, it might be interpreted as a physical tower which whoever controls rules the world, or just a tower which has the power to control Nirn itself. Few people would assume that it’s a giant robot.

Those interpretations would still be true however, and thus you could say it was “prophecy”, but that is simply confirmation bias.

This is why any events which already happened on Mundus all appear the same to every priest, because their preexisting knowledge fills in the gap and prevents them from misinterpreting it.

On the same note, scrolls can differ too much from the current reality simply cannot be translated, and still attempting to will cause the seer to be consumed by madness. Imagine training your whole life to read a scroll, which you assume to hold some hint about the future or a secret to life, and instead, all you see is a loop of Caramella Girls – Caramelldansen. This would probably drive you at least a little insane.

If you think of Elder Scrolls in this form, then every prophecy is never really predicting the future, it is stating that in one reality this event occurred. Which is why prophecies which are stated as coming from the elder scrolls are able to become completely false, and any events which now can no longer ever occur are now simply uninterpretable by the translator.

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Now for the magic part. Let’s say in one reality it wasn’t three warriors who fought Alduin with an Elder Scroll, but instead a great mage or group of mages who were able to learn a spell to do that by themselves. This would be an event notable enough that it would be written in the Elder Scroll of that kalpa. The warriors would then be able to use the essence of that specific Elder Scroll as sort of a “shortcut”. When used correctly, the essence of that kalpa would seep into this reality, and cause a similar event to what had occurred.

The other existence of story magic in the Elder Scrolls is probably what most people would write off as a gameplay mechanic: Skill Books. While some skill books may actually be a tutorial, the vast majority actually detail events or people in the past. An argument could be made that these books actually possess a small amount of story magic within them, which is why it gives the player a buff when they read them. Now, if one of these books could increase how well a person does something just by reading them. Imagine reading an entire universe’s worth of skill books. A race could probably create technologies millennia ahead of their time, and they would have to hold immense power. If only we had a way to translate the language of creation.

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