I remember as a young lad in Glenumbra Moors
my first Broken Diamonds holiday. The big noisy festivals
I remember very well -- Harvests' End, Mid Year, New Year,
the Emperor's Day.
All of these I have memories of that stretch
back before I became truly aware of the meaning of our celebrating.
On the 19th of Frost Fall, every year, my family and I would
walk to a ruined castle in the middle of the wilderness, together
with everyone else we knew in the Moors. Hands clutched in
hands, we would form an enormous circle around the ruins,
and head reverently bowed we would sing a song, the Sepharve.
For years, we did this and I never asked why.
It is an odd thing that normally curious children, from my
experience, never ask questions about Broken Diamonds, and
adults seldom volunteer information. Gradually, as we learn
about our homeland through university or the prattling of
ancient relatives, we come to guess and then know the meaning
of Broken Diamonds.
I cannot be objective as a native of Glenumbra
Moors, but visitors have told me that the sorrow -- more often
they use the word shame -- of the natives is almost overwhelming.
There is a sense that a great and ancient crime still burns
in the conscience of the people of the Moors. Though it did
not happen in our lifetimes, we know that the debt is not
I refer, of course, to the murder of Her Terrible
Majesty, Kintyra II, Emperess of Tamriel, on the frozen morning
of the 23rd of Frost Fall, in the year 3E 123.
We do not know the name of the castle where
she was held; we do not know the name of her murderer (though
the man who ordered the murder was her cousin and usurper,
Uriel III); we do not know where she was buried. But our ancestors
knew that their rightful ruler was imprisoned somewhere in
their land, and did nothing to help her. For that, we bear
On that morning, when our great-great grandparents
heard of Kintyra's death, all were stricken with horror and
regret at their lack of action. All the people of Glenpoint
and Glenumbra Moors searched out those responsible in every
Imperial castle. They formed barriers with their bodies to
hold the killer within. Flags bearing the Red Diamond of the
Septim family were torn and scattered, and broken diamonds
littered the snow.
The song we sing every Broken Diamonds, as
I mentioned before, is the Sephavre. I asked everyone in Glenumbra
Moor what the meaning of the song is, for it is in Old Bretic,
and each generation only knows it because they were taught
by their parents. No one knew the exact meaning of the words,
not even the tone and emotion the words can be easily translated.
When I later talked to a scholar who gave me an accurate translation
of the Sephavre, I began to understand both why our ancestors
chose it as the anthem for the great injustice of the murder
of Kintyra II and the sorrow that still prevades Glenumbra
Moors since that dark morn.
Souls of our fathers, suffer
For you have led us to the dark time,
When our own souls, filled with air,
Allowed ignorance and villiany to thrive
In what used to be our land.
Howl, ancestors, howl and bring us
Memories of our conformance with evil.
We do anything we can to survive,
Giving up our minds and hearts and bodies
We will not fight, and we will be torn
And like flotsam in a whirling tide
We will be forever the agents of injustice
But we will mourn it forever.
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