Topal the Pilot (also known as Topal the Explorer and Torval the Pilot) was an Aldmer explorer and poet. He was the first known Aldmer to explore Tamriel, charting Tamriel's sea lanes in the Merethic Era on his ship the Niben, after which the Niben River was named. Topal sailed into Topal Bay (which was subsequently named after him) and up through the Niben River until he was deep in Cyrodiil. Here he taught the native Bird Men how to read and write in exchange for the Eight Islands, the future site of the Imperial City and White-Gold Tower.
He made wide-ranging voyages, penetrating even into hostile environments such as Black Marsh, where he made some of the first recorded observations of Argonians: "manlike reptiles, fleet of foot and running the length of this great mire". Father Of The Niben is an epic describing Topal's voyages, but only fragments of the poem have survived. He supposedly also kept a record of his voyages, named "The Southern Coast as Far as the Eastern Sea", which were later kept in the Library of Dusk. By the late-Third Era he was recognised as the patron saint of Leyawiin, where a statue of him could be found in the southwest corner of town.:363