The Elder Scrolls

From the Ysmirethvinga: the First Song of Ysmir Man-King

Content of the article: "From the Ysmirethvinga: the First Song of Ysmir Man-King"

So Altmora was Atmora, and all was well in the reign of Ysmir Man-King, who men called Thunder-Child for his was the Voice of his mother.

Now in these days, the son-daughters of the Adversary still roamed the lands, and among them was the witch-god Hirsin who desired a totem for himself. So Hirsin came down to Atmora, and promised to great hunters his boons so that they would carve him a totem alongside the gods. And when the hunters whaled and tracked and killed, Hirsin gave them the speed of fawn and the sight of deer. And the hunters were thankful, and they carved his totem to be a mighty stag.

But Hirsin was not happy with this, and he spoke to hunters, “am I not a hunter, like you? Do I not deserve my totem to be that of one who hunts, and not the hunted?”

The hunters shook their heads, for all the hunting beasts they knew had been claimed; even the fang-cat had been claimed by Zurah (who was the half-sister of Hirsin by the Adversary), who knew them as her children. So Hirsin raged, for he desired the mane of the wolf, and he cursed the hunters to be so. And the hunters turned into beasts, and men called them Vargr. Those hunters who had been wolf-turned were brave and hoary, yet for Hirsin’s curse from Sovngarde they were shunned.

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In his fane, Ysmir bellowed from on high to the lands below in rage, for Hirsin had defiled the totem-beast of Mara (whom Ysmir loved dearly). And Hirsin hid in the forests with his prey and waited for Ysmir to appear, as a hunter might. But Ysmir did not walk into the forests as prey to be slaughtered but came to the Elder Wood as its King. The aspen and pine bent down to the Man-King, and Hirsin was revealed among the elk and faun. With the wind did Ysmir fall upon the hunter, and shouted Hirsin down.

So Ysmir spoke to Hirsin, “know this deceiver, that I am not prey, for I am King here, and no fiend like you should be my hunter. Know your totem and leave my lands, for my Voice is Royal, and my Words are the Seasons!”

And Ysmir ripped from an elk its skull and sunk it upon Hirsin’s brow. The Man-King shouted Hirsin back to his Grounds. Ysmir then threw the Vargr across the Sea so that Atmora would be plentiful and green, and all was well in the reign of Ysmir Man-King.


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