I've spent a few days being fascinated with the Sinistralmer/Left-Handed Elves (LHE) and their origins
Many theories exist about who they were (or weren't) and what they believed.
To be clear this is not me saying "your head-canon sucks" this is me delving into some of said theories and asking questions.
I am also trying to not go too far into unofficial lore, although may stray into it while looking at towers and such
I also get very off-topic later on and spend a lot of time talking about Yokuda as a whole.
#1 – Trinimac and Lorkhan
Since their tower is made of Orichalc, one prevailing theory takes this to mean they were ancient followers of Trinimac and therefore became Orcs. This leads me to my first Rumination, But first we must establish some more lore.
The Redguard pantheon runs a similar narrative to that of the Altmer, with lorkhan/Sep being a trickster who prevents prevents ascension beyond the mortal plane.
Lorkhan, the creator of Mundus, was defeated by Trinimac, who cast his heart into the red mountain
Trinimac spoke against the Chimer for worshiping the Daedra.
Boethiah consumed Trinimac and cursed his followers to become the Orsimer.
So if the LHE were indeed followers of Trinimac, who became Orsimer, this would mean they had the same view of existence as the Redguard's ancestors (Na-Totambu)
Sharing this belief could be proof of co-existence in some way.
It could also explain why tales of orcs and "giant goblins" appear in Yokudan texts.
An Argument against this, is that races of men and mer in Tamriel often run apposed to their partner race, for example Men believing that they are not descendants of the Aedra and were created alongside Mundus/Nirn so Lorkhan is venerated by them as a creator.
If this theme were carried across to Yokuda, the LHE would oppose the Na-Totambu and Venerate Lorkhan/Sep.
This spiritual opposition could be a strong motive for the wars between them.
#2 – Towers
Something else to consider with these issues, is the point of Towers.
Merethic (Mer-Made) towers are thought of as anchors for reality and also tools for divine ascension.
In Elder scrolls online: Summerset, the story revolves around the crystal tower and it's purpose, a tower that exists in the same place on all planes of reality, therefore stabilising Mundus.
This brings to mind a question:
Why would those who believe they must escape mundus, work to stabilise it and prevent planar travel?
Specifically, Why would followers of Trinimac create the Orichalc tower that compounds the acts of Lorkhan?
Or was that the purpose of the tower at all?
Walk-brass, also known as the Brass-tower or Numidium, was created by the Dwemer.
This colossal god was powered by Lorkhan's heart and was thought to be what allowed the Dwemer to "Ascend" therefore disappearing from Nirn.
If you take this as truth, it runs closer to the general beliefs of Mer, but also closer to the Redguard.
So now we have two opposing purposes for Towers
It could be that towers are simply powerful magical constructs and have no connection to each other, each simply serving the purpose put upon it by it's creators
It could be also be that if Mundus collapses before the Mer can truly ascend, they would no longer be able to do so, meaning that stabilising mundus in the short term is a necessary measure
Another thing to note about these towers, is that they all work in unity with a "stone" that allows the wielder to control the tower
The Heart of Lorkhan was the First stone, and was used in both the red tower (Red Mountain) and Walk-Brass
The Stone of the white-gold tower is the Amulet of Kings
The Crystal tower has the Transparent Law as it's stone
An Unofficial source says the Orichalc Stone is a sword
#3 – Vivec and his egg-wife
After the "defeat" of the Dwemer; Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil used Kagrenac's tools on the heart of Lorkhan.
The Tribunal of living God-kings was created
Vivec being the Warrior-Poet, wrote sermons for his followers, these fantastical stories detail the adventures of Vivec and contain secret messages about his betrayal of Nerevar
Among the stories one details Vivec and Nerevar visiting various continents
First they visit Akavir, then Atmora and finally on to "the west where the black men dwelt"
For a year, the two studied under the sword saints
For another, Vivec taught them "the Virtue of the little reward"
Then Vivec: " chose a king for a wife and made another race of monsters which ended up destroying the west completely "
Through many of Vivec's sermons, beings are gendered twice or changed in some way
The Netchimen's wife (Vivec's mother) is talked about in the first few sermons:
"changing her sex so that she might give birth to the image as an egg"
Seht to Netchimen's Wife: "In you is an egg of my brother-sister"
A Recurring sentence: "offer instructions to its son-daughter, the future glorious invisible warrior-poet of Vvardenfell, Vivec."
So setting aside the exact details of this King-wife and how they made monsters, this could be referring to the creation of LHE after the Men of Yokuda.
If this is taken a step further and connected to the idea of LHE being Orsimer, this could be interpreted as Vivec taking credit for Boethiah's curse upon Trinimac's followers
I do not consider Vivec a wholly reliable narrator, but also feel it unwise to disregard him completely
#4 – The Occult is not good for you
This leads to an answer given during an ESO loremaster's archive.
The question is regarding the Maormer king Orgnum, who professes himself as the serpent god Satakal, and a possible connection with the LHE
"but as to their Full-Truth, I am unable to aver it. We speak no more of the Left-Handed Elves (may curses follow them into the Eight Abysses), for to recall their abominations but darkens our days"
Wording such as "atrocities" or "evil" would have been vague, but "recall their abominations" feels to me like a very specific thing, the first thing that comes to mind is to point again at the Orsimer, but the cause of championing Trinimac and condemning lorkhan should not be abominable to the Na-Totambu
If anything, Preventing a soul from reaching the far shore, much like Sep, is the most abominable thing someone could do to a Redguard or their ancestors.
Could this mean the LHE were Necromancers?
To support this, there are real world inspirations that could have influenced the "abominations" and naming of the LHE
"The left hand has been associated with weakness and subversion for a very long time. The word Left comes from the Anglo-Saxon lyfy which literally means weak.1 The left hand in some cultures, had always been considered to be the weaker hand, and the right hand was known as stronger one.
The Latin word, sinister2 was related to the use of the word left, and also of evil. This relation with left and the reversal of the natural order of things illustrates the meaning behind what the left-hand path represents."
"In Western esotericism the Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path are the dichotomy between two opposing approaches to magic. This terminology is used in various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious black magic or black shamanism"
This leads to more questions though.
The Redguard will not strike down a risen ancestor, this is why the Ash'abah are needed.
ESO details the beginning of the Asha'bah, after a conflict with Altmer on an island near Hammerfell (not Aldmer) who killed and resurrected the Ra Gada King, he was slain by one of his sons who was then exiled for this sin.
This was in the First era, which is much later than the Merethic struggles on Yokuda.
Given this, how would the Na-Totambu have defeated Necromancers before this?
Is this why they needed to sink the continent?
Because they could no longer "fight" the elves and their abominations?
#5 – Holy hand G̶r̶e̶n̶a̶d̶e̶s̶ Swords
The continent was destroyed by the use of the "pankratosword"
To put it bluntly, this sword technique splits atoms, and causes a nuclear explosion.
Sword techniques play a large role in the military of the Redguard
A description of Leki "Saint of the Spirit Sword" details:
Daughter of Tall Papa, Leki is the goddess of aberrant swordsmanship. The Na-Totambu of Yokuda warred to a standstill during the mythic era to decide who would lead the charge against the Lefthanded Elves. Their swordmasters, though, were so skilled in the Best Known Cuts as to be matched evenly. Leki introduced the Ephemeral Feint. Afterwards, a victor emerged and the war with the Aldmer began.
So at this point I wouldn't begrudge you to stop reading
"well it says right there that they were Aldmer right?"
That's fair, but all Mer were Aldmer at some point.
Becoming LHE/Sinistralmer shows to me that they became their own distinct people
So back to Swords.
Fighting over who fights the LHE. It doesn't specify that the Winner leads the charge, only that a victor emerged and therefore the war could start, it also does not say who the winner was.
Another thing to note is that this paints the Na-Totambu as incapable of Feint moves before Leki. Therefore Leki is dubbed as the goddess of aberrant (deviation from the normal) swordsmanship.
Did Leki not exist/was not known before this intervention?
Is this simply a comment on the Na-Totambu learning how to fight/duel in real combat?
Here is the description of Diagna (Orichalc God of the Sideways Blade):
Hoary thuggish cult of the Redguards that originated in Yokuda during the Twenty-Seven Snake Folk Slaughter. Diagna was an avatar of the HoonDing (the Yokudan God of Make Way, see below) that achieved permanence. He was instrumental to the defeat of the Lefthanded Elves, as he brought Orichalc weapons to the Yokudan people to win the fight. In Tamriel, he led a very tight-knit group of followers against the Orcs of Orsinium during the height of their ancient power.
This means the Elves were already known to the Yokudans before they received these Orichalc weapons
And that the Yokudans did not create these Orichalc weapons, they were given them.
This could be interpreted as:
The LHE had already become proficient in crafting with Orichalc
Had also, most likely, already built the Orichalc Tower
Diagna Stole the weapons from the LHE
Bonus: It does not specify swords.
Another thing to note is that being a HoonDing is like being a blessed saviour, it has happened only twice
Frandar Hunding being the second. Frandar led an army of Ansei Sword-singers in a civil war with the last king of Yokuda, this is the last known event (as far as I can see in official timelines) referring to Yokuda
This leads me to wonder about the exact events that led to the destruction of Yokuda
While it is not certain, the prevailing theory is Destruction by Pankratosword.
It is not suggested in the stories of Frandar that his war ended with the destruction of Yokuda, but that after the sheer amount of bloodshed in this war, he and his army were no longer welcome in Yokuda, so they boarded a fleet and eventually landed in Hammerfell.
One tale tells that a band of these Ansei rebelled, calling themselves the Hiradirge, they wielded "stone magic" and used this to get their revenge on the continent.
Another tale, titled "The Hunger of Sep"
"But some there were among the people who decided that a little more than what they needed was not as much as they did want. And in their avarice they fell away from proper reverence, and were taken, yea, body and soul, with the Hunger of Sep. And this was an ill thing, for the Hunger of Sep can never be sated.
Then evil came to Yokuda, and red war, and forbidden rites were practiced, and fell things were summoned that should never have been called forth. It was a Time of Ending. Satakal arose from the starry deeps, and Yokuda was pulled down beneath the waves."
Red war would indeed fit in with Frandar's war of excessive bloodshed
"fell things" is an interesting way to describe what was summoned
This could be interpreted, yet again, as Undead
As the first instance of undead within Yokuda, predating the Asha'bah incident, this could be good motive for a god to intervene
"Arose from the starry deeps" also Piques my interest, the stars are thought of by some as holes in the barrier to Aetherius, but could arriving from Aetherius be referred to as arising from the deeps?
What other things could be described as "fell things" though?
This event, as far as I can tell, is thought to have happened some time after the complete extinction of the LHE, could it be a summoning/resurrection of them by the Hiradirge?
If defeating these elves required Both saint Leki and Diagna, the previous avatar of HoonDing, A weakened Frandar and a broken empire might have had great trouble defeating the LHE once again.
#6 – The real elves were the enemies we made along the way
This is a theory I have trouble with. not just because its not evidence in official works.
The Theory is that the LHE weren't elves at all, in fact that they were simply other Yokudan men who were thought of as evil.
After being defeated and the Yokudans coming to Tamriel, they encountered elves such as the Corelanya, and retroactively labelled the LHE as elves because they were also evil
So aside from the new text mentioned earlier which specifies them as Aldmer (which I believe was released after this theory was made, so this is not a case of ignorance) it also assumes that the LHE were only called elves in one text and only "left handers" in other, unofficial, texts
So yea, sorry I said I wouldn't go against anyone's head-cannon but I guess I kinda did a bit with that one. oops.
#7 – Conjuring up a conclusion
So in my brief obsession I have looked through quite a bit of information, by no means have I reviewed all possible theories or relevant information, but i feel satisfied having written all this down
I do not feel I have fully debunked any possibilities for the race, even that last one is still technically possible
But upon review of this Semi-Rant. one last rumination came to mind…
The ideas I have proposed about necromancy may seem very easy to fit in and indeed this document may have provided a strong basis for necromantic Aldmer as fact.
But does it need to be necromancy?
In Asian folklore, the Jinn are supernatural creatures, sometimes conflated with demons and spirits, Inhabiting deserts and unclean places.
Snakes are also often associated with Jinn.
Perhaps the Dwemer were not the only mer to attempt ascension?
As we know from the Pantheon of the Redguards, There are many forms of spirit, not all of them are helpful… Sep, for example, who's hunger lives on as a void in the stars…
Spirit swords and Orichalc magic, used in an ephemeral feint, may be vital in the defeat of a Physically elemental being…
Atronachs are elemental creatures, comprising almost entirely of a single element
Fire, Frost, Storms, Flesh, Air, iron…Stone…
Perhaps the Sinistralmer sought to ascend with their tower, but unlike the Dwemer, they only shed their physical bodies.
Becoming Jinn-spirits of the desert, consuming various elements of Creation and then wielding them to shift the very ground underneath the.
Those who felt betrayed by their people, sought revenge through stone of the desert.
Forbidden Rites, Awakening Fell Abominations who swallowed the earth they once inhabited.
Thank you for reading
Source: Original link
© Post "I got very obsessed with the Left-Handed elves this weekend and wrote a 2600 word think-piece about them." for game The Elder Scrolls.
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