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A Shezarrine is an influential and sometimes god-like figure who is believed to be a mortal incarnation of the Missing God, Lorkhan, or one of his aspects. Several such individuals are believed to have appeared throughout various historical periods. The term "Shezarrine" is derived from the god Shezarr, the Cyrodilic interpretation of Lorkhan, and was first used in reference to Pelinal Whitestrake in the Song of Pelinal books. Many famous individuals throughout the Tamrielic history are believed to actually have been Shezarrines. They are considered to be the greatest champions of humankind, often appearing to defend their people against Elven aggressors, similar to how many old myths portray the roles of Shor and Shezarr.
The Shezarrines are believed to find their origins after the defeat of Lorkhan, at the ending of the Dawn Era. Auri-El and Trinimac, who, according to Elven legend, were unable to destroy Lorkhan's Heart, so instead they decided to hide it where they thought no being would ever find it. The Heart was launched to Nirn from Auriel's Bow, and where it landed the Red Mountain formed.[OOG 1] Though Lorkhan's body was all but destroyed, his soul could not be extinguished due to his extant, but sundered, divine spark, and is doomed to wander the creation of the Et'Ada for eternity. For this reason, is believed that whenever a Shezarrine appears, Lorkhan is actually physically walking Nirn in the form of a mortal. This is indicated through Khajiiti and Yokudan myths of Lorkhan's demise stating "We curse you, noisy Lorkhaj, to walk Nirni for many phases," and "Sep could only slink around in a dead skin, or swim about in the sky." It is possible that these avatars of Lorkhan may have resulted from his own purposeful failure in the Psijic Endeavor,[OOG 2] as Mankar Camoran's teachings state that this process is a method in which gods can revert themselves into mortal form.
Elven chronicles of the late Merethic Era and onward, record varying accounts of a legendary and immortal human persona, wandering Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering kingdoms, ruling them, then leaving to wander again. This cyclical abandonment is seen again in old Cyro-Nordic myths, where Shezarr is said to defend the ancient Nedes from the Ayleids before mysteriously vanishing, presumably to help humans elsewhere. Then, without his leadership, the Nedes are conquered and enslaved. This is all possibly in reference towards Lorkhans stated inability to manifest himself for any long period of times due to his own limitations. These champions are noted to reincarnate back into the mortal realm on various occasions. Pelinal Whitestrake, for example, was prophesied by Morihaus to return to Nirn as either a "fox animal or light."
- Main article: Pelinal Whitestrake
Pelinal Whitestrake was the great hero of the Alessian Slave Revolt that occurred during the early years of the First Era, and is possibly one of the first and most conspicuous of the Shezarrines.
Pelinal's ties to Lorkhan are quite apparent, evidence coming from lines found in The Song of Pelinal stating that Pelinal was born into the world by the god Sithis and that he had lacked an actual heart, both factors that can be seen to reflect legends of Lorkhan. This is supported by the fact that Pelinal was as the books stated to be a "Myth-Echo" of some sort, most likely in reference to Lorkhan's myth. It was even said that the Nords of Falkreath had mistook Pelinal for their dead god Shor, the Nordic interpretation of Lorkhan, after his victory at the Bridge of Heldon. Despite clear connections to Lorkhan, Pelinal was said to deny all ties to the god, and killed all those who spoke of "god-logic" in his presence, save for the slave queen herself. In some cases, those who claimed him to be a Shezarrine were suspiciously smothered by moths in their sleep.
Other evidence that can associate Pelinal's divine connection is the claims that he was either immortal or reincarnated many times as separate individuals. Pelinal, as he was during the Alessian slave revolts, was sometimes referred to as "Pelinal the Third," with reasonings for this speculating that he had already been incarnated twice before. This is supported by certain texts stating that Pelinal was one of the individuals who wandered Tamriel during the late Merethic Era. It is also asserted that, held within the twelfth vault of Coldharbour's Library of Dusk, lies a rare tome written by Pelinal himself, known as the "Conversations with the Heart of Lorkhan", which supposedly elaborated on the nature of the Aurbis. Further connections can be seen with the speculative claim that the "red rage shaped diamond" that stood in place of Pelinal's Heart, was truly the Amulet of Kings, which myth states was formed from the solidified blood of Lorkhan's Heart.
- Main article: Zurin Arctus
Zurin Arctus has been confirmed to be a Shezarrine,[OOG 3] but evidence backing this is less distinct as that surrounding Pelinal Whitestrake. Zurin Arctus was an Imperial Battlemage during the beginning of the Septim Empire.
One indication that Zurin Arctus was indeed a Shezarrine, is a particular quote of the King of Worms that listed Zurin Arctus amongst the other Shezarrines, Pelinal and Ysmir, as beings who were able to recall where they were during the Middle Dawn Dragon Break. The quote also refers to Zurin as "Arnand the Fox," "The Fox" being a title known to be used by other Shezarrines, such as Hans the Fox, as it was even said that Pelinal would be reborn as a "fox." The King of Worms reference to Zurin also implies that like Pelinal, Zurin was either immortal, or incarnated more than once, as the Middle Dawn occurred roughly 2700 years before Zurin's actual role during the creation of the Septim Empire. It has been stated that the Cyrodiilic Lorkhan, Shezarr, is associated with the creation of the Imperial Battlemages, in which it so happens that Zurin Arctus was the first person to be given that title.
Other evidence includes Zurin's claim that he removed his own heart to create the Mantella that would power the Numidium. The missing heart being the most prominent factor when regarding the myths of Lorkhan, who lost his own heart creating the world. A skeptical, but noteworthy piece of evidence could be found with Zurin Arctus' creation, the "Dragonbone Mail." It is said that this great armor piece Zurin enchanted was unable to stay in one place for extended periods of time. This statement can be alluded to Lorkhan, as Lorkhan is said to be more of a limit than a nature and "could never last long anywhere." This same connection can be found in Pelinal who was known to wander Tamriel gathering armies, conquering kingdoms, then leaving to wander again; never staying in the same place for too long.
- Main article: Hjalti Early-Beard
Hjalti Early-Beard was a man native to the city of Alcaire in High Rock. He is heavily associated with the two Shezarrines Zurin Arctus and Ysmir Wulfharth. Though Hjati Early-Beard is often considered to be a name synonymous with Talos or Tiber Septim, it is possible that these two names refer more so to Hjalti's own connections with his fellow Shezarrines, Zurin Arctus and Ysmir Wulfharth.
While there is little info actually surrounding the individual Hjalti, and in turn little evidence of Hjalti actually being a Shezarrine; it has been stated that Hjalti was truly an avatar of Lorkhan.[OOG 3]
- Main article: Wulfharth
During his reign as the High King of Skyrim, he was referred to as "Shor's Tongue" for his intense zealotry and the re-institution of the Nordic faith. At one point during Wulfharth's rulership, legends speak of the evil god, Orkey, summoning the spirit of Alduin back into the world, to eat the lifespans of the Nords. Wulfharth pleaded to Shor to save them and so Shor's ghost answered his calls fighting Alduin, as Lorkhan had once fought Auri-El at the end of the Dawn Era, and defeating him. Observing the fight, Wulfharth learned how to use a Thu'um with the capabilities of manipulating time itself, but in the process of using this shout to fix the Nordic people, Wulfharth accidentally made himself too old and died. It should be noted that other sources claim that it was actually Shor that removed the curse from the Nords, which could imply that people actually mistook Wulfharth for Shor, much like how Pelinal was once mistaken for a god in the same manner.
Centuries after his death, Shor's ghost "remade" Wulfharth to be a general in his army to reclaim the Heart of Shor lost millenia ago but rediscovered at Red Mountain. After Shor was defeated by Nerevar at Red Mountain, Wulfharth was said to have had trouble keeping his own form without the presence of his god. Many years pass and Wulfharth is adopted into Nordic worship as "Ysmir the Grey Wind," but his own identity is lost through his profound connection to Lorkhan. Like other Shezrrines, Wulfharth was said to have lost his heart, being used to power Tiber Septim's Numidium. Not only does Wulfharth's loss of his heart reflect Lorkhan's tragic fate, but the fact that the Numidium was specifically created to be powered by the Heart of Lorkhan seems to provide undeniable proof that Wulfharth was an avatar of Lorkhan.
Other evidence that Wulfharth is a Shezarrine comes from a quote he says; "Don't you see where you really are? Don't you know who Shor really is? Don't you know what this war is?" This quote is actually him referring to the fact that the Battle of Red Mountain was taking place during the Red Moment Dragon Break.[OOG 4] This points to Wulfharth being a Shezarrine, as Shezarrines are one of the few beings who are actually able to comprehend a Dragon Break.
- Main article: Tiber Septim
Tiber Septim is confirmed to be the oversoul mixture of Talos Stormcrown and Zurin Arctus,[OOG 6] which was most likely formed after Zurin Arctus crowned Talos as the Emperor "Tiber Septim." Arctus and Talos supposedly joined together as one in order to fortify the throne and protect both Cyrodiil and its people. The oversoul created from Talos and Arctus was collectively referred to as "The Enantiomorph" by some.[OOG 6] Tiber's moniker as the "Heir to the Seat of Sundered Kings," can be seen as a reference to this union. The Seat of Sundered Kings is a term sometimes used to refer to Cyrodiil in reference to the cultural, and often national, split between the Kingdoms of Colovia and Nibenay. This merging between Talos and Arctus symbolically represents the consolidation of Colovia and Nibenay into the greater Cyrodiil, in which is represented by Tiber Septim himself.[OOG 6]
Tiber Septim is also alluded to being more than one person in the 36 Lessons of Vivec where he is referred to as the "two-headed" king.
The Two-heads seem to be referring to both Talos and Arctus being Tiber Septim. This may have been hinted at with the Two-Headed Septim that is seen in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which depicts a seemingly normal gold piece, but with both sides depicting the head of Tiber Septim. Though this is, obviously, very speculative.
The Mortal TalosEdit
The individual known as Talos Stormcrown, or General Talos, is believed to possibly be the combined oversoul of Wulfharth and Hjalti Early-Beard. The reasoning behind this possible Stormcrown bridging between the two is based in Wulfharth's supposed visit to Hjalti's camp at the Battle of Old Hroldan. During his visit, Wulfharth spoke with Hjalti and helped him destroy the walls of Old Hroldan, it is also implied, though not directly stated, that Hjalti's Thu'um was actually the work of Wulfharth. This is seen through quotes that state that Hjalti actually lied about his throat being cut as a means to excuse his inability to use the Thu'um after the Battle of Old Hrol'dan. However, at Old Hroldan, Ysmir takes the form of a storm which guards Talos from the Reachmen arrows, and Talos shouts down the walls himself. Seeing as Wulfharth states that Hjalti was never a Tongue, this implies Talos, who is normally believed to be Hjalti, may have in actuality been the two acting as one individual. Likewise, Wulfharth is never actually recorded as ever being physically present during any of Talos' conquests outside of the The Arcturian Heresy. As it is stated, Wulfharth occasionally acted as a double for Tiber Septim so that he could administer his Empire while also conquering at the same time.
Talos Stormcrown was also the entity that was given the title "Ysmir" by the Greybeards, a spiritual title originally held, and almost completely associated with, Wulfharth. Strangely enough the name "Tiber Septim" itself apparently translates to 'Dragon of the North,' or in other words, 'Ysmir.' Other evidence which implies a crossing between these two people is the claim that the individual "Talos" was born on the frozen continent of Atmora, despite the fact that Hjalti, who is generally accepted to have been Talos, was seemingly a native of Alcaire. Wulfharth on the other hand is often stated to have been a native of Atmora. While it could be said that Hjalti was merely claiming to be an Atmoran to build his legend, an image made by ex-developer Michael Kirkbride, heavily implies that Talos was truly a supernatural native to Atmora.
Talos Stormcrown, like Tiber Septim, has also been said to have multiple heads. He was referred to as the "Many-Headed Talos" during his use of CHIM to remove the jungles of Cyrodiil, seemingly implying he is multiple people.[OOG 7]
- Main article: Underking
The identity of the Underking has been contested between the two beings Ysmir Wulfharth, and Zurin Arctus. Wulfharth claims to have been the Underking since his awakening to defend Tamriel from the Kamal Invasion, but Arctus claims to have become the Underking after his betrayal at the hands of Tiber Septim.
It is suspected that like Tiber Septim, the Underking is a the result of the Shezarrine souls of Arctus and Wulfharth mixing to become a single oversoul. This is supported by the fact that the Mantella was believed to be made from Zurin Arctus' heart (though possibly Tiber Septims') and used to hold Wulfharth's Heart. The existence of both Wulfharth's and Zurin's hearts being contained in the Mantella and the Underking's wish to be reunited with his Heart implies that the Underking could have been a mixture of the two. Another notable quote from the Arcturian Heresy states that, with his last breath, Ysmir Wulfharth's heart roars a hole into Arctus' chest, killing him. With the loss of both their Hearts possibly implying some unity between the two.
However, this pairing is not as likely as the above two oversouls, as certain situations regarding the Underking seems to imply that both Zurin and Wulfharth were both separate individual Underkings, most notably the events after the destruction of Numidium. When Numidium was defeated by the Underking, it was said that Arctus-Underking went into a period of semi-slumber in a subterranean vault to due to his loss of the Mantella, and did not wake up until the events of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.[OOG 8] However, Wulfharth-Underking claims that directly after Tiber Septim's death, he became a secret adviser for his grandson Pelagius Septim. Also during the Blood of the Divines quest, it was said that Zurin cursed a group of Blades Tiber Septim sent to his shrine in Sancre Tor, despite the fact that he was in a comatose state during the time, and that Zurin's followers have stated that he wished no harm against any of the Blades. It has been implied before that there are multiple Underkings.[OOG 9]
Apotheosis of TalosEdit
The God Talos, and his deification, has been speculated and challenged by many of Tamriel's inhabitants. Some claiming that he was so great in life that the gods ascended him to the heavens and made him a god., and others claiming he isn't a god at all. Talos, as a god, is believed to actually be Hjalti, Zurin, and Wulfharth combined into a new oversoul through a process known as the Enantiomorph.[OOG 10] This combined soul was so identical to Lorkhan that it was actually able to mantle his place in the Aurbis.[OOG 11]This quote states that Talos became a god by mantling through the fourth walking way. Due to Talos' already heavy connection to the god Lorkhan through his multitude of Shezarrine souls, and mantling requiring one to be so similar to a god that "they must walk like you," it can be assumed that Talos mantled Lorkhan.[OOG 11] Other evidence that appears to hint that Talos mantled Lorkhan is his statue that appears in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which depicts him overshadowing a serpent, a symbol commonly used to represent Lorkhan. Other sources depict Talos transforming into Lorkhan.[OOG 12] Evidence supporting Talos' use of the Enantiomorph to achieve godhood would be that Tiber Septim himself was infrequently known as "the Enantiomorph."[OOG 6]
Due to the lack of reference to Talos being a god in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, it is normally assumed that Talos didn't actually become a god until after the event known as the Warp in the West, which occured in 3E 417. This shows the Underkings place in Talos' ascension as it wasn't until the Warp that he actually died, implying that his death may have been the final step in the apotheosis of Talos.
The following list was created by the ex-developer Michael Kirkbride and was made to list Lorkhan's avatars. The lists exclusion of Pelinal Whitestrake has led many to believe that it is only listing the Shezarrines associated with the god Talos. Note how it lists names normally believed to be synonymous (such as Hjalti, Talos, Septim) as separate entities.
Lorkhan and his avatars:
- 1. Wulfharth L
- 2. Hjalti O
- 3. Ysmir R
- 4. Talos K
- 5. Arctus H
- 6. Septim A
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Before the Ages of Man
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Song of Pelinal, Book V
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Five Songs of King Wulfharth
- ↑ The Song of Pelinal, Book II
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 The Arcturian Heresy
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Varieties of Faith in the Empire
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 The Monomyth
- ↑ The Lunar Lorkhan
- ↑ Words of Clan Mother Ahnissi
- ↑ Mythic Dawn Commentaries 3
- ↑ Shezarr and the Divines
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 The Adabal-a
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 The Song of Pelinal, Book I
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Song of Pelinal, Book VI
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 The Song of Pelinal, Book IV
- ↑ The Library of Dusk: Rare Books
- ↑ Chim-El Adabal: A Ballad
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 Where Were You When the Dragon Broke?
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Tamrielic Lore
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Letter from the Underking
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Dialogue of The Prophet (Knights of the Nine)
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Cyrodiil
- ↑ 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 19
- ↑ Battle of Sancre Tor
- ↑ Dialogue of Arngeir
- ↑ Dialogue in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Topic: Talos
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Dialogue of Hrongar
- ↑ Rislav The Righteous
- ↑ Wulfharth's plaque in Windhelm
- ↑ Anonymous Letter (Daggerfall)
- ↑ Dialogue of an Agent of the Underking in the quest "Stronghold of the Blades"
- ↑ Dialogue of Ondolemar
- ↑ Dialogue of Elenwen
- ↑ Events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- ↑ Events of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- ↑ The Warp in the West
- ↑ Nu-Mantia Intercept, Letter #4
- ↑ More on the Psijic Endeavor
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lorkhan and his avatars: MK's Posts
- ↑ MK IRC Q&A
- ↑ ...The Tower
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Skelton Man's Interview with the Denizens of Tamriel
- ↑ From The Many-Headed Talos
- ↑ The Daggerfall Chronicles (Narrative here)
- ↑ Michael Kirkbride - Reddit AMA
- ↑ Fireside Chats
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Nu-Hatta of the Sphinxmoth Inquiry Tree
- ↑ C0DA