General: Uutak Mythos
- "Welcome to Yneslea, foreigner. And, please, do mind the drop... it's been known to break those of lesser worth." —A Traditional Echmeri Greeting to Tamrielics
The Uutak Mythos (pronounced [u:ta:kʰ], so it sounds similar to the phrases "You Talk" or "Ooh Talk") is a popular and extensive community-created project centered around the island of Yneslea in the lore of the Elder Scrolls universe. It was founded by LaJaveyon Saunders (known as IceFireWarden in most Elder Scrolls communities, except for Reddit and Tamriel Foundry, where he now goes by the username Al-Hatoor), a prominent member of the lore community, with the help of former Bethesda developer Michael Kirkbride in February 2014. It officially ended in the later part of 2017 after IceFireWarden found himself swamped with personal life matters and inter-community conflict that resulted in him ending the project. After a year of sitting in stagnation, IceFireWarden returned to the project with renewed interest and announced a reboot of the Uutak Mythos during the Fall of 2019, which he is currently working on with old and new project members alike.
- 1 Conception and Development
- 2 Project Members
- 3 Themes and Ideas
- 4 Literature
- 5 Potential Uutak Easter Eggs
- 6 Gallery
- 7 External Reading and Media
- 8 References
Conception and Development
In early February 2014, IceFireWarden had the idea to create a world-building project centered around a sparsely developed place in the lore of the games. In his own words, he originally settled on the strange idea of bat-elves because he thought "making a Batman joke in TES would be funny". He went on to contact Michael Kirkbride, who had worked on the development team in the past and still did some contract work occasionally for the games, to help in this endeavor. Kirkbride gave him tips, advice, and much needed direction in regards to the project and eventually IceFireWarden started posting some pieces (originally just titled "Uutak") on Reddit to largely negative reviews, mostly due to the esoteric and confusing nature of the pieces. Slightly discouraged, IceFireWarden slowed down writing the Uutak pieces and began to work giving the project its own unique tone and individuality.
When C0DA was released to the public later on in that same month, Warden and Kirkbride created a small, entertaining joke comic centered around the early incarnation of Echmer and their god-hero Hrahndeyl invading Jubal and Vivec's Amaranth (with the caption "I AM THE NIGHT") and posted it on the original Bethesda Game Studios Forum discussion for the out-of-game work as the "first" piece to demonstrate the true nature and purpose of C0DA. This stunt of course caused the world-building project to receive much more negativity in the community, but ironically renewed it at the same time.
After three years of continued development (and with the support of friends and fellow community members, who created lore, concept art, music, maps, and more to support the project), the Uutak Mythos rose in popularity and had attained something of a cult status in the Elder Scrolls community. In an ask me anything segment conducted by the writers of ZOS, Loremaster Lawrence Schick even described the Echmer theory as "a lot of fun", even though he wasn't quite sure where they could use it in the Elder Scrolls Online. Despite this, ESO may or may not have a few not-so-noticeable shout-outs to the Uutak Mythos that can be found in the game (see below). While the project did shutdown for a year, the original Uutak Mythos team struggled to create mods depicting its contents for the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and ultimately gave up on it altogether (as the race mod failed to work, and the book mod eventually became outdated).
Even though IceFireWarden (as stated earlier) left the community, he did find it surprising that the Uutak Mythos had managed to "grow so big" out of something that was originally intended as a joke. As time passed, he eventually returned to being more active in the Elder Scrolls community. In March 2019 he conducted a interview with the Tel Mora Independent Press in one of their issues to discuss the Uutak Mythos and the state of the lore community, and also returned to participating in the Selectives Lorecast series started by some of the more knowledgeable Loremasters in the community. In October 2019 IceFireWarden announced that he would be returning to work "full-time" on the Uutak Mythos, which he declared would be getting a reboot (casually and jokingly referred to as NUutak) in order to address "both personal and community-wide grievances that he had come to recognize and wished to fix, in order to create something that nearly everyone could like and appreciate". Shortly after this announcement, a journalist wrote on an article on the PC Gamer website in November 2019 that discussed the idea of canon within the Elder Scrolls community, and referred to the Uutak Mythos as one of the more "prominent fan-based projects executed with technical skill".
The first major release for the NUutak Mythos will be what IceFireWarden has called Dawn Sings Towards the Starry Sea: The Emperor's Guide to Yneslea, which will be a guide similar in structure and scope to the Pocket Guides to the Empire and Emperor's Guide to Tamriel officially released by Bethesda Game Studios and Zenimax Online Studios in the hopes of creating a decent-sized primer for former readers and newcomers alike. For those interested in joining the project or just seeing how they operate, their main base of operations is within the official Uutak Mythos discord.
On June 23rd, 2020, the team members behind the Uutak Mythos project created a a fundraiser on the website Gofundme in order to raise funds to commission additional artwork for the project, to surprising success. So far as of July 5th, 2020, the fundraiser has reached $715 in donations out of the overall $800 goal.
Note: Due to the nature of this reboot being a reboot, all previously linked information and texts on this page should be regarded with a grain of salt unless stated otherwise by IceFireWarden and other senior members of the Uutak project.
A list of people who have worked on or are still working on the Uutak Mythos.
- IceFireWarden: Project Lead, Lead Echmer Developer
- DrachenKoenig: Project Lead, Lead Hyu-Ket Developer
- Captain Carrot: Assistant Lead, Writer
- Audin: Writer
- Silence of Autumn: Writer
- R-Aters: Artist
- Wulkos: Artist, Map Design
- Le Noodle: Assistant Lead, Writer
- The One True Kaos: Writer
- Councilor Hler'ivanu: Writer
- Stygies VII: Writer
- SuleTheArtisticLetdown: Concept Artist
- ToastyTheTyrant: Editor
Themes and Ideas
As stated above, the Uutak Mythos expands upon the lore of the island kingdom of Yneslea described in the books Disaster at Ionith and Brief History of the Empire, of which practically nothing is known about. It follows the stories of the Echmer and their god-hero Hrahndeyl, whose dealings and conflict with the denizens of Tamriel, the other natives of their homeland, and the warlike races of the continent of Akavir.
Note: This section has yet to be fully brought up to speed with the changes being made in NUutak. Please be advised that some of it may not reflect recent expansions and rewrites of the lore, and are subject to change.
The Yneslean archipelago (its actual Ek'hi name being In’eslae, the original Dwarven name being Duahvardn-Zel, and Lapis Lazuli being the poetic term used to refer to it in mythohistory) officially consists of seventy-two landmasses that were conquered by the Echmer during the First Era, but only eight are considered under the true authority of the Echmeri Directorate. The two largest islands of Yne and Slea (which were condensed into 'Yneslea' by Uriel Septim V as a name for the entire archipelago) are the ancestral homes of the bat elves and are where their vast underground cities are partially located. The other five islands of Morubii, Pa'vasaga, Al'saia, and Hrahanti's Isles (which consists of three islands) are less strategically important, but are home to notable settlements that are considered valuable to the Echmeri as a whole.
The archipelago itself lies in-between the Starry Heart and the Dragon Land within the Padomaic Ocean, the largest body of water on Nirn. Sailors of all races have noted that the waves are always in a state of turmoil and are dangerous to navigate, being host to whirlpools and deadly sea creatures. Although the Echmer have never been particularly interested in voyaging too far from their lands, they have also admitted that the majority of the reasoning behind this decision stems from the deadly waters that surround them.
According to Echmer scholars, the reason why the waters surrounding Yneslea are so anarchic is because the Noraken used some form of archaic sound magic to manipulate them into creating an ideal environment for researching purposes. Although this has never been proven, the seas do seem to contain some otherworldly element that confuses both natives and foreigners alike. Hagreger the Calm, the most famous Echmer seafarer to have ever lived, was the first individual to sail the waves around Yneslea and named the three bodies of water that surrounded the archipelago: the Bitter Sea, the Chaotic Sea, and the Channel of Tru'Gitet.
The Bitter Sea is the expanse of water that surrounds Yneslea to the north and west, and is filled with jagged rocks (resulting in the natives giving it the ill nickname "The Bites") and perpetual thunderstorms. It meets the Chaotic Sea to the south and east. According to his preserved journals, Hagreger came up with the name due to the taste of the water and the intensely cold winds that swept through the area. In more northern areas, icebergs are common alongside a fine frozen mist.
The Chaotic Sea to the south and east is considered much more dangerous than the Bites due to its powerful whirlpools and abundance of violent sea beasts. Because of the volcanic activity of the small islands located within it, the Chaotic is considerably hotter than the Bites and is covered with a thick haze. Because of this haze, Akaviri forces are sometimes able to sneak up on the Yneslean archipelago, something the Echmer have always hated. Hagreger's journals state that the seafarer got lost in the Chaotic for a considerable amount of time, and was badly burned when a volcano erupted and set fire to his ship.
Where the two seas meet between the islands of Yne and Slea lies the Channel of Tru'Gitet ("Channel of Gentle Winds"), the only calm waters in the Yneslean archipelago. Ships sailing from the eastern coast of Yne to the western coast of Slea (and vice versa) are able to conduct their business safely and effectively with little to no issue besides from brigands operating on the open water and underwater creatures.
To read more about the various races introduced within the Uutak Mythos project, please consider reading the full UM Races subpage which can be found here.
The Echmer (pronounced [/ek-mer]) are without question the most dominant race of their archipelago homeland and serve as the leaders of the Yneslean Directorate. A common misconception (as well as a topic of high debate amongst nearly every literary and/or magical academic found in Tamriel) is that the Echmer are literal elves; this is not true—at least, not in the conventional sense of truth. The Echo Elves were originally normal bats that inhabited the subterranean caverns of the Yneslean archipelago. It was through the mysterious actions of Clan Noraken, a Dwemer splinter group that sailed eastward and made landfall in ancient Yneslea as a result of some schism they had with their brethren, that resulted in the evolution of what would later become the Echmer.
The average bat elf stands at a height of around five to six feet, and weighs in at around 100-300 Imperial pounds depending on profession and lifestyle; boasting greater physical strength than their more merish cousins (except for the Orcs, or Orsimer). Underneath the light-fur that covers their bodies (which ranges from shades of orange, brown, white, grey, and black), their skin tends to be of darker tones. Echmer often dye their fur in patterns similar to tattoos, and prefer to stylize their hair in various types of braids, dreadlocks, ponytails, and mohawks, although baldness is quite common as well. The Echmer are also quite long-lived, with their average lifespan being between 100-250 years (although reaching the ripe age of 300 is possible, just rare).
Though they are perhaps not as famous or as recognizable as the Echmer, the aboriginal insect goblins known as the Hyu-Ket are the oldest race on Yneslea, predating even the arrival of the Noraken dwemer by several centuries. The Hyu-Ket originated on Tamriel with the rest of goblin-kind and journeyed East across the padomaic ocean and landed on the islands later known as Hrahn's isles where they made their homes. Originally preferring a simple hunter gatherer society, they would eventually be enslaved wholesale by the Echmer Cakophon monarchy and remain in bondage until the third era.
The Hyu-Ket were once indistinguishable from the goblins that still roam Tamriel. However, through exposure to a now extinct mutagenic mushroom, their forms took on insectile features. They stand slightly taller than Tamrielic goblins with brownish red skin. They have the characteristic bulbous noses of goblins and enormous compound eyes that can be a variety of scintillating colors like green, blue, pink, and red. Their insectile features are further augmented by a pair of antennae that protrude from their forehead and chitinous growths on their joints.
To explore and understand in-depth the historical events of the Uutak Mythos (and see how it relates to the actual Elder Scrolls timeline and everything else in-universe), please read the UM Timeline subpage that can be found here.
- "I am the thought in your mind made verbal, the words just now reaching your tongue. I am Hrahndeyl, dear mortal, and I will have you know me well." — Hrahndeyl
Hrahndeyl (which translates into 'New Sound' from Ek'hi; sometimes capitalized as HRAHNDEYL) is the well-loved goddess-hero of the Echmeri race, who was born mortal but later apotheosized after traveling Nirn during her twenty years and attaining a great deal of metaphysical knowledge. She resides within the Pleonastic Spire, a great and majestic obelisk-like librarium that descends downwards from the ceiling of the Dweech; some Imperial scholars believe it to be one of the towers discussed in Tower Lore.
Spirits of the House, a book that talks about Echmer "religion", describes Hrahndeyl as such: The Goddess of Sound, Words, Talk, and Language. As a mortal she was born Hrahanti Della’I, but upon her apotheosis she took on the name Hrahndeyl (a word from our archaic verse that means “I speak, therefore, I be”). Hrahndeyl is both the greatest Venerant (I’d advise reading the book In Veneration of our Ancestors if you wish to learn more about Echmeri saints) of my people and a birth-god as well, due to the nature of the path she took to godhood. As a finite being within N’urnani’s Theater, Hrahanti was a genius and a radical who strove to improve the Echmeri way of life but was shunned and mocked due to the risky nature of her experiments. Ultimately, she was exiled from the archipelago and spent more than twenty years exploring the world in search of the secret to life and a purpose for our people (even traveling to the Underworld, which killed a part of her soul). Hrahanti wandered so far, she wandered outside of time, resulting in P’hanoikhei becoming her mother, and when she returned from her travels she was anointed in divine language and proved her godhood by attuning the souls of my people to the Space Beyond the Auribex, something we had desperately wished to achieve. Lapis Lazuli dwells within the Pleonastic Spire, a majestic fortress and librarium in the center of the Dweech, where she advises the Council of Dull Chimes and protects our people during times of strife.
Before her godhood, her name was Hrahanti Della’I and she worked as well-recognized but eventually mocked spirit-researcher and inventor during the First Era, whose experiments became so dangerous not only to herself but to those around her that the King of Yneslea at the time had her banished. Because of this exile, Hrahanti is remembered and revered by most of the cultures on Nirn (Harrun-Zhirra to the Khajiit, Hran of the Dale for the Bretons, Hoodoc amongst the Yokudans/Redguards, At-Hatoor during hers time with the Warrior-Poet of Morrowind, and more) in some obscure form or fashion. It was also through the lessons given to her by Vivec, the Hist, and other mentors she learned from around the world that motivated her into finding the real reason behind Nirn's existence, resulting in her "wandering outside of time" and acquiring CHIM, a metaphysical state of spiritual enlightenment. She later returned to Yneslea and confirmed her deification to a skeptical populace by attuning Echmeri souls to the Void so that they may cease to exist when they die, granting her peoples' wish to no longer be bound by the Aurbic Prison. Although this Gift was well-received by the Bat Elves, it also left their souls more prone to the acts of spiritual and otherworldly possession, which gave rise to the need for witch-hunters and other aspects of spiritual purity within their society.
Over the years, the Uutak Mythos has accumulated several texts written by various authors. With the NUutak revival resulting in the reexamination of several of these lore texts and out-of-universe supplementary materials, many things have been rewritten and reorganized in order to make better sense and fit better into the Elder Scrolls universe as a whole. If you wish to check out these writings, please consider going to the UM Literature subpage which can be found here.
Potential Uutak Easter Eggs
Although these have yet to be confirmed (and due to the nature of Easter eggs, probably never will be), there are a couple of possible shout-outs to the world-building project in ESO, the only game to have been released around the same time the Mythos rose in popularity.
- In the Loremaster's Archives, the use of the word echkin as a synonym for giant bat in some of the questions seems to be accepted and even acknowledged as an alternative name for the species in-universe, although the word itself is never used in the Loremaster's answers to those questions.
- Also in the Archives, Hoodoc is mentioned in one of the answers. He was mentioned beforehand in another Archive, where he was stated to be an enemy of Demiprince Fa-Nuit-Hen.
- ESO's Update 6 introduced Contraband items that you can steal in-game, each of which comes with flavor text. Two of them appear to be sneaky references to Echmer: "Framed engraving of the famous scene showing the making of bat-cheese from the long-lost giant dairy bats of Goldfolly." refers to their cream-making, while "A set of ivory spice shakers, in stylized shapes of bat-winged men. Considered to be in poor taste by certain Rivenspire nobles." refers to their appearance.
- A "Screeching Echkin Tavern" in Ska'vyn was mentioned in two official in-universe interviews conducted with Lawrence Schick (New Life Festival Interview Part 2 and Homestead Interview).
- In the Uutak Mythos 1.0, some of the concept art depicted the Echmer as resembling the more vulpine-looking bat breeds. Because of this, as well as the prevalence of shadow magic in their culture, many[citation needed- Who is many?] believe that the Glimmering Foxbat that wrote the in-game books Stepping Through Shadows and Shadow Draining: A Hypothesis is a reference to the Echmer (although whether or not the Glimmering Foxbat him/herself is a bat elf remains to be seen).
General Concept Art
Landscapes and Cartography
External Reading and Media
- Note: All Texts Considered Out-Dated As Of 10/27/19
- The Uutak Mythos Bible: The ultimate encyclopedia of knowledge in regards to the entire Mythos. Contains a timeline, lexicon, details on the Echmeri government, religion, way of life, and much more in a package of over 140 pages and can be downloaded in .pdf format.
- The Uutak Mythos Bible, Supplementary I: The first update to the UMB, including several of the more well-liked texts and books that build up the world of the Uutak Mythos.
- Echmer Playable Race Mod at Skyrim Nexus: The official playable Echmer mod for Skyrim.
- Uutak Mythos Discord: The official Uutak Mythos Discord.
- Hrahndeyl's Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless: An 'interquel' set between Lord Vivec's Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless and Tiber Septim's Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless, the infamous sellsword embarks on a journey into the Padomaic Ocean at the bequest of a Telvanni and finds more than he bargained for when he attracts the attention of the Echmeri god-hero. Is in the midst of a rewrite, and is also expecting a sequel sometime in the future.
- Beasts of Tamriel: The Echkin: More information about the echkin, or giant bats, that plague Tamriel and their mysterious origins.
- Death From A Thousand Cuts: A Memoir On Echmeri Swordsmanship: Written from the perspective of an aging Echmer, this treatise explains the importance of swords in Bat Elf culture and society, as well as revealing the true reason why the fight.
- Uutak Mythos Conversations I: Aither, an Echmeri Exul, answers questions about his homeland and mentions things not found in any other Uutak work.
- Al-Hatoor, Spirit of Meaning: A book that goes into great detail about Hrahndeyl and how he rose into godhood from the perspective of an Echmeri vampire, as well as his ties with Vivec and the Dunmer. Considered 'heresy' in the Yneslea archipelago and elsewhere.
- Uutak C0DA, Issue 1 of 1: Taking place during MK's C0DA, it follows Inati, an Echmer High Hypothesian whose travels with Hrahndeyl in the Post-Landfall Aurbis groom him into becoming a true leader of the Echmeri people and discovering the beauty and meaning of existence. Reading any other material (as well as the ability to understand some esoteric things) is definitely required before attempting to read this piece.
- Landfall Day Zyr: A community project that also takes place in Post-Landfall Aurbis. It follows the perspectives of different individuals who are related in some way to an enigmatic group of soldiers known as Ghost Choir 9. One of the characters is Anubis, an Echmer God-Killer who travels with a Khajiit warrior-prophet named Ra'zhiin in order to kill GC9 and 'save' his daughter in the short stories Road to Hell and Doors of Heaven. Warning: very morbid and dark, with a lot of esoteric concepts.
- Official Uutak Mythos Soundtrack: Music inspired by the Echmer and Yneslea, created by the artist Seyda Neen for the Uutak Mythos mod.
- Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq Answers Your Questions — Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq
- Members of the Hew's Bane Thieves Guild Answer Your Questions — Walks-Softly, Kari Coin-Counter, Velsa, Zeira, Thrag, Andarri