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- Main article: Books (Online)
The rolling verdant hills of southern High Rock are unmistakable in the previous verse (Fragment One), recognizable to anyone who has been there. The question, of course, is what is to be made of this apparent reference to Orcs occupying the region? Tradition has it that the Orcs were not born until after the Aldmer had settled the mainland, that they sprung up as a distinct race following the famous battle between Trinimac and Boethiah at the time of Resdayn.
It is possible that the tradition is wrong. Perhaps the Orcs were an aboriginal tribe predating the Aldmeri colonization. Perhaps these were a cursed folk—"Orsimer" in the Aldmeris, the same word for "Orc"—of a different kind, whose name was to be given the Orcs in a different era. It is regrettable that the fragment ends here, for more clues to the truth are undoubtedly lost.
What's missing between the first fragment and the second is appreciable. It must be more than eighty months that have passed, because Topal is on the opposite side of mainland Tamriel now, attempting to sail southwest to return to Firsthold, after his failure at finding Old Ehlnofey.
No passage westward could be found in the steely cliffs
That jutted up like giant's jaw, so the Niben
As it passed a sandy, forested island that promised
Sanctuary and peace, the crew cheered in joy.
Then exultation turned to terror as a great shadow rose
From the trees on leathered wings like a unfurling Cape.
The great bat lizard was large as the ship, but good pilot
Topal merely raised his bow, and struck it in its head.
As it fell, he asked his bosun, "Do you think it's dead?"
And before it struck the white-bearded waves, he
Shot once more its heart to be certain.
And so for another forty days and six, the Niben sailed south
We can see that in addition to Topal's prowess as a navigator, cartographer, survivalist, and raconteur, he is a master of archery. It may be poetic license, of course, but we do have archeological proof that the Merethic Aldmer were sophisticated archers. Their bows of layers of wood and horn drawn by silver silk thread are beautiful, and still, I have heard experts say, millennia later, very deadly.
It is tempting to imagine it a dragon, but the creature that Topal faces at the beginning of this fragment sounds like an ancestor of the cliff-racer of present day Morrowind. The treacherous cliff coastline sounds like the region around Necrom, and the island of Gorne may be where the nest of the "bat lizard" is. No creatures like that exist in eastern Morrowind to my knowledge at the present day.