Aedra: Tsun

  • My name is Einwulf Trollsbane and I'm here today to tell you about Tsun. I've 'erd it said people in the south call 'im Zenithar and that he is different in those parts than he is in Skyrim. But that don't matter, see, because it's all just stories - the snows melt and then freeze again and in the end it is all still so much water.


    Let me explain. To us Nords Tsun is dead. By dead I mean dead, killed while defending his King, Shor son of Shor. But death ain't the end for the Children of the Sky, so why would it be any different for a god? No, Tsun guards his bone-bridge before the Hall of Valour in the mists of Sovngarde, granting only those worthy of passage a place at Shor's Table.


    That's the important part, see? He is the god of trials against adversity. In death he tests the worth of those seeking admittance to the hall just as in life he tested the worth of those hunters of the great whale.


     You think it's a coincidence his symbol in Cyrodiil is an anvil? Let me guess: you all thought he was a blacksmith's god, a trader waving a friendly hello to passers by each morning while whistling a merry tune! Ha!


    Here, that anvil holds more meaning besides the obvious. Sure it means endurance and strength, creativity and pride just like it does for you, but it is also that upon which we throw ourselves to test our mettle. We are made sharper by Tsun's tempering. And in the north you need to be sharp.

    In the old days which are remembered and honoured in our stories, Ysgramor and his legendary Five Hundred returned after the betrayal seeking to forge a life in this hard land. They needed tools, they needed trade and they needed sustenance. Who better to show them the path to success than Tsun; and what better of all Kyne's creatures to provide those things than the mighty whale?


    You might mock, but hunting whale is no small thing. Out in the ocean, the whale's domain and at the mercy of Kyne's mood with only a plank of wood between yerself and the drink, being the best is the difference between life and death. This is why Kyne and Tsun are often associated with each other.


    Bringing such a catch home provided food and fuel for many families over the harsh winter, while the bones and ivory provided tools and trade. Fine carvings depicting the mighty gods and heroes were traded between communities as payment for deeds or goods.


    So next time you see one of the carvings in The Hall of Stories in any of Skyrim's ruins (assuming you're brave enough to enter that is) look out for the whale and the boat. That is why Tsun winnows the souls of the dead in Sovngarde, allowing only the best of the best to get in.


    So you can see that Tsun is also a god of souls. He is the final arbiter of worth and the last obstacle to the Hall of Valour. In the heat of battle (not that any of you milk-drinkers will likely ever get close to one) you may hear a Nord warrior call out to Tsun to guide his soul to the afterlife, or shout a challenge invoking Tsun to take his enemy's soul.


    Notice that? Imperials pray. Nords invoke. The gods ain't going to reach down and soothe you like a mother with a child, but they may help if they see you helping yourself. That is what they truly are, see. They are role models whose footprints we can follow to be the best we can possibly be.


    Now go. All this talking is thirsty work and I have talked far too much already.


8 Comments   |   Meli and 11 others like this.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  October 1, 2016
    Reminds me a teeny bit of the function of Anubis in Egyptian myth, the one who weighed your life, and of course, we cannot deny Isis and Osiris elements to Kyne and Shor, but I digress.  I like these lore articles in the perspective of in character i...  more
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  September 30, 2016
    Glad this went down well, Zenithar is not generally well know for his oral skills but rather his handiwork. Don't get too excited, though, as this is a very old project I have simply transferred to blogs to fit the TSC: Lore tag for in-universe presentati...  more
  • Zonnonn
    Zonnonn   ·  September 29, 2016
    'Imperials pray. Nord invoke' This is really sticking with me for some reason, great stuff as always, Phil. It made me laugh and learn, and as that results in alliteration, it must be good.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  September 29, 2016
    Once again Phil,you've out done yourself. Looking superb as always.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  September 29, 2016
    Very nice, Phil. You added it to In-Character Lore section already? :)
  • Veloth the Prophet
    Veloth the Prophet   ·  September 29, 2016
    Hey Phil the link in the Lore Archive doesn't seem to be working.

    Also I always get my Nordic stuff mixed up but I thought Stuhn was the whale and Tsun was the bear?
  • Edana
    Edana   ·  September 29, 2016
    This is a lovely little short! A perfect fusion of lore and storytelling. :) Perfectly digestible little lore snack. (pi)(pi)(pi)
  • Veloth the Prophet
    Veloth the Prophet   ·  September 29, 2016
    Ah good old Tsunimac :P