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Lore:Topal the Pilot

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Saint Topal the Pilot
OB-place-Leyawiin (Torval the Pilot).jpg
A statue of Topal the Pilot
Race Aldmer Gender Male
Born Merethic Era
Died Merethic Era
Resided in Summerset Isles

Topal the Pilot (also known as Topal the Explorer[1] and Torval the Pilot)[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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".[3] The Udhendra Nibenu (Aldmeris for "Father of the Niben") is an epic describing Topal's voyages, but only fragments of the poem have survived.[4] 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 in Coldharbour.[5] By the late Third Era he was recognized as the patron saint of Leyawiin, where a statue of him could be found in the southwest corner of town.[2][6]:363



  • Topal is the namesake of Topal Bay,[4] and likely also Topal Island and Grand Topal Hideaway.
    • As Topal is also known as Torval,[2] it is possible that the Elsweyr city of Torval is named after him. Indeed, Topal once documented in his journal so-called "cat demons", which are speculated to be the ancient ancestors of the Khajiit, the modern-day inhabitants of Elsweyr.[4]


  1. ^ Ayrenn: The Unforeseen QueenHeadmaster Tanion of the College of Aldmeri Propriety
  2. ^ a b c Decentius Opsius' dialogue in Oblivion
  3. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Black MarshFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  4. ^ a b c d Father Of The NibenFlorin Jaliil
  5. ^ The Library of Dusk: Rare Books
  6. ^ The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Official Game Guide — Peter Olafson — "Statue of Torval the Pilot: The First Era High Elf explorer who charted the sea lanes around Tamriel and who discovered the River Niben."