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"Feel the solidity of the ground under your feet, and taste the wind. By his will is our world manifest, and the rocks, and the trees, and the birds in the sky. Y'ffre is with you at every turn, in every moment."Bones of the Forest

Y'ffre (or Jephre), the Storyteller, God of Song and Forest, and Spirit of the Now, is the most important deity of the Bosmeri pantheon, also worshipped by the Altmer, Bretons, and Snow Elves.[1] He (occasionally she[2]) was one of the strongest of the recognizable spirits that crystallized shortly after the beginning of time, and played an important role in the coalescing of the physical world during the Dawn Era.[3] He is said to have been the first to transform himself into the Ehlnofey, or Earth Bones, giving rise to the rules and principles of nature and life on Nirn. [4] He thus formed the frame upon which Nature is woven, loomed through with his own song-echoes and sight-perception for mortals to interpret through study of the Sea's mystery, but seeing and hearing nothing himself. Day, night, and the places between are the manifestation of his interpretation of the time-law Anui-El is said to have established within Nirn.[5]

Out of the primordial Ooze, he first brought forth the Green, consisting of all plant life in the forests of Valenwood, from mosses to the mighty graht-oaks, teaching the birds to sing and the waves to lap against the beach and gaining sight-perception of all that occurs within the sight of birds and the reflection of waters.[2][5] Next to materialize were Y'ffre's people, the Bosmer. He instituted the Green Pact between the Bosmer and the Green, which forbade any harm to the plant life of Valenwood. In exchange, the elves could request the forest shape itself to their needs, providing food and shelter, and also were able to tap into certain atavistic forces of nature, reflecting their chaotic origins.[6] Bosmeri legend holds that any who break the terms of the Pact will be consigned back into the Ooze, their song in the world replaced with silence.[2] In modern times, the Pact is enforced by regional "treethanes", who are responsible for a certain jurisdiction and dedicated to the preservation of the natural resources therein.[7]

An Argonian heresy relating to Y'ffre emerged among the refugees who fled to Valenwood from Black Marsh after the creation of the Ebonheart Pact. Having severed their ties to the Hist, many of these Argonians turned to Y'ffre and the trees of Valenwood in the hope that he could allow them to reproduce. This heresy was ended in 2E 582 when ex-Shadowscale refugees assassinated those responsible for abandoning the Hist.[8]

The Storyteller

"Heavy-bearded Y'ffre, speak through me. Tell us of the time before time. Let the story grow in me. Let my heart echo to the pounding of your feet along the story-lines, the bones of the world. I will walk Your steps, and know Your story."The Green Singing

Y'ffre is strongly associated with songs and stories, as a mythical expression of his role in shaping the story of nature. His acts of creation are described as "tales",[2] and he is said to have given the first name to every living creature, solidifying their place in the world.[9] Y'ffre sang to Aetherius, weaving songs so beautiful that stars were compelled to dance and sway, continuing to wink and blink afterward in memory of that song.[5] Y'ffre's priests, called Spinners, also experience life as one long story, as they not only keep the histories and laws of their people, but also narrate events that have yet to occur.[10] As Y'ffre instructed the world and the first Bosmer through tales, so too do the Spinners elucidate and educate their kin through elaborate, sometimes befuddling, metaphors, that nonetheless always contain an essential truth.[11] Spinners can use their "narrative magic" to profoundly alter the stories of others, even altering their memories of past events.[12]