Hravn Silverbeard, Priest of Borhamu and Clever-Man
My clan is one of the oldest in Skyrim. If you don’t believe me, you can consult the genealogy at the back of this book, which goes all the way back to my ancestor Felgrim who fought as one of Ysgramor’s 500 companions, and even further back ten generations prior in old Atmora. Since those days we’ve been priests, priests of the Nord gods. My father was a clever-man, as was his father, and his fathers father, and so on all the way back to the good old days.
Nords these days don’t really know the old lore. Some of em know about the twilight gods, the hearth gods, the animal totems, the cycles, and other such things but that’s just scratching the surface. Most can’t read the Dragon-Runes. I’d reckon that other than the Greybeards I’m one of the only folks who can. Even many of those who still call themselves “clever-men” have forgotten. And so they’ve forgotten the Great Dragon Borhamu who is also called Aka-Tusk, Sheidbrother of Shor. To our peril they’ve forgotten the ancient prophesies. The rituals to ask for Borhamu’s blessing and the rites to keep Alduin sleeping. They’ve forgotten those too.
Having had the uncommon fortune to live 100 winters, I write this book on my deathbed with no heir or kin left, in the hope that it’s not too late. That someone will listen for once rather than laughing at the “crazy old witchman”.
————————————————————————— The Begining of the World
Shor the All-Maker gathered together his kin and bound them to his cause with clever bargaining, chief among them his brother Borhamu and his wife Kyne, and he created the world, and seeing that it was good he invited many of the lesser spirits to dwell within the paradise he had created. One of the younger spirits though, the one called Auri-El was jealous of Shor’s rightful rulership and sought to usurp his place.
Treacherous Auriel spun lies about Shor, saying that he had tricked the other spirits. The more arrogant and foolish among their number believed him and then conspired to murder the All-Maker. They fashioned a great bow and with it cast out Shor’s heart. But Shor laughed at them when they tried to destroy his heart saying that the world was molded by his own flesh and bone, and even though they had destroyed his body as long as the world still lived so too would would Shor’s heart. This was how Shor became a dead god.
Borhamu and Kyne gathered the mortal spirits who still gave homage to Shor and brought them to the throat of the world where Kyne breathed life into them. Those who were faithful went North to Atmora with Kyne and Aka-Tusk so they would be safe from the servants of Auriel, who in those days hunted them like animals. The gods appointed the Dragons, Cheif among them Alduin-Firstborn, to rule over and protect mankind.
————————————————————————— The Return
When Ysgramor came from the North and made war against the Snow Elves he brought the Dragons with him, and they ruled Skyrim much in the same way as they had in Atmora.
Over the centuries however they became more domineering and more tyrannical. Alduin decreed that Borhamu was to be worshiped as the sole head of the pantheon, and that he himself was to be venerated as Borhamu’s eldest. Eventually in his hubris, Alduin even replaced the worship of Borhamu with worship of himself as the only Great Dragon.
————————————————————————— The Dragon War
As Alduin grew fat and powerful from the souls he consumed from mortals sacrificed to him, Borhamu who was already embittered by his eldest sons betrayal and enraged at his tyranny, began to suspect that Alduin was planning to consume the world before the proper time. As the Nords were rebelling Borhamu created the first Dragonborn, a mortal who could learn Thu’um as the dragons do, could kill dragons by absorbing their souls, and the only being capable of truly defeating Alduin.
Though he rebelled against the dragons, the first Dragonborn forsook his destiny and abandoned mankind by bringing himself into the service of Herma-Mora instead of defeating Alduin. Kyne then took it upon herself to save mankind, and with the assistance of Parthunaax taught the Nords the voice.
The first and most valiant of the ancient Tongues, Gormlaith, Hakon, and Feldir the Old, shouted Alduin to the ground and cast him out onto the currents of time with ancient and powerful magic. We were safe from Alduin rage; for a time.
————————————————————————— The Forgetting
Though Alduin had been defeated his tyranny had lasted so long that most of the Nords had forgotten that there was any other Great Dragon. Though they venerated the Dragonborn still many thought that the Dragonblood was a gift from Shor or Kyne rather than Borhamu. (Note: most Dragonborns have two blessings, the Dragonblood itself which comes from Aka-Tusk, and the ability to manipulate fate which comes from Shor).
For a while the men of the South gave Aka-Tusk homage in Covenant, but the heirs of Aless foolishly insulted him by associating him with the demon Auri-El and giving him the foreign name “Akatosh”. Thus when the Alessian Line was gone there was no one gifted with the sacred blood. The pact was twice renewed by Nord conquerers, but with both their lines spent Borhamu has not seen fit to bless anyone with the dragonblood.
Most Nords who claim to follow the “old ways” still think that Alduin is the only great dragon. Those who worship Borhamu only worship him in his false southern-form. Worse still the Imperials (fools all of them!) assert that Aka-Tusk, Auri-El, and Alduin are the same. By virtue of their stupidity whenever they try to invoke great Borhamu by his false southern name they invoke his enemies as well! They invoke Alduin and bring him ever so closer to waking up! They invoke Auri-El and give the elves ever more power even while forbidden us to worship Ysmir the god of man!
————————————————————————— The Coming Doom
Ahrk fin Kel lost prodah, do ved viing ko fin krah, tol fod zeymah win kein meyz fundein! Alduin, feyn do jun, kruziik vokun staadnau, voth aan bahlok wah diivon fin lein!
“And the Scrolls have foretold, of black wings in the cold, that when brothers wage war come unfurled! Alduin, Bane of Kings, ancient shadow unbound, with a hunger to swallow the world!”
So is fortold our doom. We few who could have prevented it were idle. One by one the signs were all fulfilled. The scrolls speak of fate turning on the last Dragonborn, but the scrolls often speak of what might be, not always of what will be. Scroll or not however, Alduin will try to break through the barrier soon. I have read it in the oracle bones. I have seen it marked in the heavens.
Sing praise to Borhamu, regale the dragon-god with tales of your valor and that of your kin. Ask him to bless a warrior in our ranks. Our last desperate chance is repentance for our apostasy, and we all burn in Alduin’s flame if found unworthy. For even if he sends us a Dragonborn, it will be the last, and they’ll need the blessings of Shor and Ysmir too.
I fear that the gods may forsake us as we have forsaken them. Ulfric’s rebellion is too little and too late to properly revive the old ways. If our fate is to die under the black wings unfurled, I pray that the last of the Nords die with swords in their hands and fury in their hearts.
- None Found
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