A couple months ago, I posted here asking for your thoughts on the relationship between TES Lore and Design. Since then, I've been working on an illustrated poem; a re-imagining of The Father of The Niben. I was drawn to how vague the original text was, and how creative I could get with the illustrations. Not to mention, a lot of the text itself is ripe for personal interpretation. The following is my poem:
By Crystal’s Order; South, East, West.
Traverse the ocean’s angry foam!
Sail on, over the tides of Time
to find where memory doth roam.
Alas, Topal, our blazing Son,
His glory inked throughout Scribe’s Tome.
Hark, now, his tales through land and sea
from whence good tides hath drawn him home.
To North, then East, onwards Topal!
Through flame and mist alone he went
into the Bay of Fallen Stars,
the shadow of Divine lament.
The cries of Beasts, storming the Glen,
a war with crooked swords and stones.
Our Sons emerged and on they sailed,
but blood-stained tides did not lead home.
Back South, North-East, sailed Old Topal,
round peaks through which the sun had shone.
He charted coasts of broken Bones
until at last all land was gone.
A Haunted Sea did push him South
to find an island all alone.
Unfurling sails to pass the coast
with hopes those tides might lead him home.
And from a nest of branches rose
a gust of wings and fang and claw!
The maw unlatched! A Shout unleashed
that pierced the mortals’ fragile core.
But Topal’s bow will strike at fear,
may Time’s arrow bring it’s repose.
The creature’s Drum takes final Beat,
its pounding led them South till home.
The Seas of Change did test our Sons,
long plagued with marsh and stenches foul.
With lizards poised in mock of man,
they reached blue seas before Night’s Cowl.
Onwards, North-West, through sprawling sea.
Hark, newfound land blocks Crystal’s drone!
The prospect of return now lost,
as tides deceived them far from home.
Betrayed by chart, misled by map,
Chaos ravaged our Pilot’s mind.
But star-blessed quest did steel his heart.
Home Crystalline, he knew to find.
Within this Bay he faced new lands
for his mistakes he must atone.
Corrected sails from land’s embrace,
may moving North at last lead home.
His wave-kissed hull traversed new streams,
past grounded roots of tropics sweet.
The Sibling Moons illuminate
feline marauders of deceit.
From canopy, exotic gifts,
a yield from feral lands unknown.
While razored paws stand fast in soil,
the taste of fruit, it took them home.
A pristine lake, and islands Eight,
from shadowed jungles, something stirred.
Enamoured, Our Sons turned to find
an oddity of man and bird.
With plumage of refracted light,
their words held a familiar tone.
Topal believed they mocked his tongue,
winged mimics echoed cries of Home!
While Sun’s Eye watched from overhead,
Our Sons taught beasts to write and read.
The line did blur as Winged-Men were
inducted to their holy creed.
And in return, these birds did gift
Our Children lake and land and throne.
Topal, our Pilot, took their crown.
Could this fresh land become their home?
Now Summerset, Topal had reached,
recounting tales to folk and Throne.
A Pilot who, alas, had failed,
but new lands found he had made known.
And popular, though Topal was,
He nonetheless did feel alone.
So took to sea he did once more,
in search of somewhere more like Home.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on both my interpretation, and the original text. I wanted the story to be accessible enough that it's clear what's happening, as this was for my university dissertation, but I also wanted it to be grounded in the TES lore, with my own interpretation of the events in there. Would love to talk about what I've done!
Looking forward to hearing what y'all think 🙂
Source: Original link
© Post "I rewrote The Father of The Niben as my own interpretation!" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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