5 months, 3 weeks ago
The Foreseen One
The first song tells of her birth. But this song comes from the Southern Lands, so it isn't really a song. It tells of how the Underqueen was born in 2E 555 to the Devils of the Isles, but fled to travel Nirn instead. She was not the Underqueen at this time, and to the Devils she was their pre-ordained queen and saviour. She knew Mundus needed rulers (though she didn't yet know what that word really means, because it is a Secret Word) and this is why she chose to Wander. It was said she spent lifetimes or ages wandering Nirn before returning to the Isles to claim her queendom, by which point many in the Isles had talked themselves into forgetting her as a Historical error. But some knew and remembered, mainly the very old and the very young.
But some other in the Isles remembered the Wanderers from the Before Time, and they were afraid of her return. The Devils feared her dangerous trickery would cause the Isles themselves to Wander, such that they could never again be charted on a map. And because the Devils of the Isles value Order and Mapmaking and above all else need to Be Seen, they cast her out and called her Unforeseen (because the Devils cannot hear the Wind-Whisper of Blessed Kyne) and would not honour her.
On Her Name and Deeds
Ayarynne (for this is what she was called at that time) was to become Queen of the Isles, but because she had sought the counsel of those outside the Isles and wished to reinstate the old mythogeneaolosophy of the giants before they had been elves, she was branded a heretic and a blasphemer and this is why she was then called the Witch-Queen. Queen Ayarynne knew that she was destined to rule, but that she would have to once again travel outside the Isles to do so. With her eyes set on the Imperial City's Ruby Throne, she first journeyed east to seek allies among the forest dwellers and cat people of the wild kingdoms.
The Empire was in ruins, and pretenders to its name and corpse vied for the throne. Each wielded an army of necromancers who fought tooth and claw in service of Memory such that the Imperial Province of Cyrodiil would not be drowned and sunk under the rainstorms of Kyne. The Shaman-Queen of the Isles made her way across Tamriel to Cyrodiil herself, but she did not seek the crown for the same reasons the others did or that they might believe she would: She was guided by the Hawk, whose voice was hers, and she rallied her troops of elves and cats and men under her banner of wings. Under her own auspices, Queen Ayarynne found and wielded the Staff of the Sun's Missing Eye, which remembered the Truth-That-Was-Not in Ald Mora and pointed her North. It was said by some that she knew in that moment where her destiny called her, but she spoke on none of it.
The True Identity of the Once and Future Queen
Queen Ayarynne is Of Tamriel, and this is why we still call her Shaman-Queen. Daughter of Kyne and Nirn, her breath brought voice and unity to men, elves and beasts through framework. As was ordained by the stars, she was destined to rule her destiny, which was One Tamriel. This is how we know her in our songs and stories, but the Southerners also speak of her in the tales of their own. This is how they sing song-stories of Ayarynne Shaman-Queen:
To the Southerners, Ayarynne was Queen Ayrenn of the First Aldmeri Dominion. In 2E 582 during the Imperial Interregnum, she is fated to lead her alliance of Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit in a storm on the Imperial City. Ayrenn and her Aldmeri forces crossed swords with Jorunn Skald-King of the Ebonheart Pact and King Emeric of the Daggerfall Covenant over the Ruby Throne, because it is said Queen Ayrenn wanted to conquer all of Tamriel. She wanted to Bring It All Back To The Start Of All Things, when we were all giants, and felt that she and she alone possessed the qualities and right to lord over us all. In the end, Ayrenn and Jorunn and Emeric all sign a temporary truce to combat the Soulburst of Molag Bal, Lord of Rape.
But Old Knocker and the Dragon stole these years away with Southern time-magick so that their voices would drown out the Real Story of She Who Would Be the Once and Future Queen.
Song of the Emperor And His Missing
So Then a youth named Hjalti from High Rock took the Ruby Throne instead. We to this day still bless him with the name TalosTiberSeptim and call him Dohahkiin, even though he wasn't. But, the Storm of Kyne's Ash-King followed him all around, and he tended to Shout Very Loud, so we all had to listen to him. Hjalti wanted to take all of Tamriel, to Bring It All Back To The Start Of All Things, when we were all giants, and, and felt that he and he alone possessed the qualities and right to lord over us all. Hjalti didn't think very highly of the elves, you see, because he declared them womanly and barbaric, especially elven women, who were even more so.
Hjalti (or maybe one of his advisers, I'm not entirely certain and it doesn't really matter) was gifted in the power of divination. He could see the Past and the Future though a telescope, and ordered his men to plot a course accordingly. Hjalti knew the importance of When: He knew of Events and the Heroes who Make Them, and he knew that Events must be Recorded in the Scrolls. He thought upon this and developed a solar complexion, which horrified him, so in his anger and shame he turned on the elven women and their sundials with a frightful rage. Hjalti was a student of elven numerology and mythkeeping, but he wasn't a very good one: He thought elves had no names, just equally magickal and artificial sequences of numbers, a fact he found eminently and sufficiently dehumanizing.
So because Hjalti was Ego in search of Enlightenment, he searched His Own Name. He sent spies to the past and learned of The One Who Was Named Ayrenn and how she was destined to unite Tamriel in her kalpa. And in his rage, Hjalti reached back into the ice and summoned a mighty army of Time Dragons flying backwards to take this history and sacrifice it in the name of Men. Hjalti cast a spell that translated Ayrenn into the Language of Magnus Magne-Ge (to his undying shame), transmuting it into the year 2E 986, and made the day. And on the day, he marched across Tamriel in the Stolen Brass God of the Dwarves, choruses of world-refusals orbiting In His Name. Hjalti made war with Ayrenn as all of Tamriel fell under the Black Wings of Alduin World-Eater while the Dwemer sang songs of Is Not Will Not Can Not. In the end of all things, Ayrenn was blasted into Hell and Talos was made King. And it was in this way that the Aldmeri Dominion of Queen Ayrenn became Tiber Septim's Empire of Men, and why we now know it as such.
Song of the Return
Those of us who choose to remember remember the truth of names and numbers. Kyne took pity on The One They Called Ayrenn, because she was her daughter and she. Gathering her snow back from Hell, she set it aloft on a breeze, eventually falling to once more caress the soils of The Beginning if All Things. And it was then that the Shaman-Queen took her first breath again and opened her eyes, for then she remembered. She really remembered, and she knew.
So she went North, chasing a forgotten dream. And when she stepped out she saw that All The Awful Fighting had Begun Again, as it was in days of yore. She heard the thunder-speech of the Grey Ones, and followed their Voice back in time to the place where the universe began. The Grey Ones greeted her by Shouting, but they could not Shout her down, and at this time she was not blasted into ash. Then the Grey Ones said “It is possible to reach heaven by violence, but not Advisable. You are Kingmaker, not King, Queen Ayarynne, and ours is a different Way”. And this is why, I think, it is said that Ayarynne Shaman-Queen was named Underqueen.
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