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Lore:The Annotated Dream of Kasorayn

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The Annotated Dream of Kasorayn
by Zamshiq af-Halazh, Associate Folklorist at the University of Gwylim
Analysis of the Dream of Kasorayn

Note: This is a scholars interpretation of an incomplete version of The Dream of Kasorayn. His analysis misses the final stanza included in The Final Dream of Kasorayn.

The druids of the Systres Archipelago are keepers of a vast body of folklore that is mostly unknown to the rest of Tamriel. Their tales include fables, songs, and stories dating back to the early centuries of the First Era. Perhaps the most important details the prophecy known as the Dream of Kasorayn. Every druid on Galen knows it by heart, but what do the words of the prophecy truly mean? This humble scribe shall attempt to explore that question in the pages that follow.

First, let us consider the prophecy as it appears, carved upon the Telling Stone of Galen:

Three seeds I saw upon one tree
Of rowan, ash, and oak.
With care I set them in the dust
To guide and teach our folk.

Three trees, nine limbs, five hundred leaves
One season for each root.
Let each seed sleep in slumber deep
And then the throne renew.

When mountain shakes and Sower wakes
The throne shall bloom again.
One choice, one will, one binding word
Shall bless or scourge all lands.

It seems to be a lovely poem full of interesting imagery, yet each line is packed with hidden references and allusions. Let us explore these deeper meanings.

"Three seeds upon one tree" refers to the three druid circles of the Systres. The rowan stands for wisdom and humble service, the path of the Stonelore druids. The ash represents mystical power and rebirth, an emblem of the reclusive Firesong druids. And the oak, of course, is a symbol of strength and courage, representing the Eldertide Circle. Here Kasorayn, the last Druid King, eludes to the establishment of the three druid circles.

Now we come to some very curious numbers, thrown at the reader all at once. The limbs and leaves and roots are not important. Instead, the Dream is asking us to find a number: 3 times 9 times 500, which yields 13,500. And since it is "one season for each," we have a span of 3,375 years. If the Dream was set down sometime in the 4th century of the First Era, this span of years will run its course by the end of the 6th century of the Second Era. We cannot be certain, because we do not know exactly when the Dream was composed. And of course the Dragon Break complicates things even more. Still, it seems whatever event this promises is not far off.

The third stanza begins with more signs to watch for as the prophecy nears fulfillment. The "mountain" mentioned here is Mount Firesong, the great volcano of Y'ffelon. As one might expect, the druids of the Systres pay very close attention to the mountain. No one is really certain what "Sower" Kasorayn refers to, although some scholars believe it has something to do with the seeds mentioned in the first stanza. Your humble scribe disagrees, however. The Sower may just be more imagery.

But what exactly are we expecting from the Dream of Kasorayn? Here we come to the heart of the prophecy. The throne mentioned in both the second and the third stanzas is, in fact, the Ivy Throne. According to druid legends, the Druid King reigned from a ceremonial place of authority on Galen, where he sat upon a throne of living wood and ivy. This prophecy in fact deals with the anointing or return of a new Druid King—the first to hold the title in more than three thousand years.

Presumably, the "one choice" at the end of the last stanza refers to the decision of who claims the renewed Ivy Throne. And the "binding word" most likely acknowledges the Druid King's purported authority to bind and command the very spirits of nature. As for the bit about blessing or scourge all lands, your scribe has found very little to clarify the meaning. The druids I spoke to refuse to discuss it, but it seems to me that the prophecy can end on either a good or bad note. But not even the druids of the Systres are agreed on the true meaning of the Dream of Kasorayn.