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Draugr sometimes say "Unstaad Krosis" when attacking. I understand that means "many apologies" in dragon tongue (convo with Paarthurnax).

Does this hint that they are doing something against their wishes?

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Lore questions are most welcome, in fact, I find them much more interesting than "how does xyz work.." type questions. +1 –  DrFish Feb 6 '12 at 17:18
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+1 This is an interesting question. I hope someone can find an answer! –  spugsley Feb 6 '12 at 17:23
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The only lore I know in this regards to the Draugr is that they are entombed with Dragon Priests in order to sustain them (they are kind of like the Dragon Priests food). I do not know however is this was a volunteer, honor or forced setup, so I do not feel capable of giving this as an answer.. Its tricky finding general lore on UESP with out stumbling across the book or quest that happens to touch on the topics :) Maybe this info will have someone with better searching skills than me find the related lore however. –  James Feb 6 '12 at 17:37
    
I like this question! However, I don't want to read the answers because they might contain spoilers! –  gameaddict Feb 7 '12 at 3:12
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Are you wearing a dragon priest mask when they say that? –  Evgeni Feb 7 '12 at 12:46

7 Answers 7

up vote 74 down vote accepted

[Not a complete answer, but too big to be a comment.]

Unslaad Krosis, literally means, "Eternal sorrow", according to UESP, and the lore page on draugr confirms that they do indeed say it.

However, the draugr were in life the servants of dragon priests, and upon their priest's death they would be entombed with him as his eternal servants and guardians; there appears to be nothing unwilling about it, and the lore article even specifically debunks the common Nord misconception that draugr are cursed. Draugr are, in fact, the undead servants and guardians of their immortal dragon priests.

This leads me to conclude that they are not, in fact, apologizing to the Dovahkiin as they attempt to disembowel him/her, especially alongside another common phrase listed in the aforementioned lore article, Daanik Ah Dov, or "Doomed dragonhunter", which appears to clearly be a threat.

I cannot, however, offer a clarification of the meaning of Unslaad Krosis in the context of the draugr mutterings, other than to offer my personal observation that dragon language appears to be at least somewhat idiomatic, and that oftentimes words seem to have deeper philosophical meanings than what a direct English translation would suggest.

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Perhaps it means "You will have Eternal sorrow for desecrating this tomb". –  aviangentile Feb 6 '13 at 21:39
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Seeing as Krosis is also the name of a priest, they could be saying "unending krosis" like "immortal dude" or "my master will slap you boi" –  DCA- Aug 28 '13 at 9:39
    
They are men of constant sorrow. They've seen trouble all their days. They bid farewell to old Korvanjund, the place where they were born and raised. –  Greg R. Jul 18 at 9:42

It actually means "Unending Sorrow." "Krosis" can mean both "sorry" (as Paarthurnax uses it) and "sorrow," apparently. Otherwise we'd have a Dragon Priest named "Sorry." It would seem like Paarthurnax's usage is less literal than elsewhere.

The word wall for the last word of Storm Call uses it thus:

Qethsegol vahrukiv sahsunaar
Do daniik vundeheim ag
Nahlaas naal qo do
Unslaad krosis

(This) stone commemorates (the) villagers
of doomed Vundeheim, burned
alive by (the) Lightning of
Unending Sorrow.

As for draugr being held against their wishes, there's some lore on a researcher who managed to gain their trust and infiltrate them. They seem more fiercely territorial than anything.

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upvoted, stackexchange users always leave me in a dilemma on what answer to accept :) –  aditya menon Feb 6 '12 at 18:12
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thanks for the link to the book, that really lit up my imagination :) –  aditya menon Feb 6 '12 at 18:23
    
+1 That is the book I could not remember the name of! –  James Feb 6 '12 at 19:28
    
I'm still wondering why so different from Bloodmoon where the draugr were just mindless undead guardians of tombs plus no Stahlrim here which gives a thought that the material is only found in the Solstheim :( –  Sergey Benner Feb 7 '12 at 11:53
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@SergeyBenner The draugr in Solstheim are different from those in Skyrim -- the former were cursed by the All-Maker for feasting on the flesh of their dead, whereas the latter are as described in my answer. Both varieties are mentioned in the lore article linked from my answer. –  Kromey Feb 7 '12 at 17:59

They are just being sarcastic....."Really sorry but im gonna have to kill you now"

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Interesting point of view.. –  DrFish Feb 10 '12 at 13:03
    
Sarcastic or tough guy talk for "Sorry, but you are now a dead man". :-) –  ヴァイシャリ Feb 10 '12 at 13:25
    
More like James-Bond-esque, "I'm about to rip your heart out, and I'm gonna look cool doing it". –  DrFish Feb 10 '12 at 17:29

This also caught my attention the first few times I heard it. As I understood it, they were apologizing profusely for attacking, and that confused me. I kind of thought that it was against their will, like the ghosts at that one place (I can't remember it right off the top of my head) where they say things such as, "I'm sorry! This isn't what I want!" But like the lore explains, the draugr were willing to worship dragons and the such, in life AND in death. Maybe they say it right before they are about to die for real, as an apology to those they worship. Like, "sorry, I'm about to be slashed by this guy, so I can't worship you anymore." -shrug- that's just what I think.

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Immortal Sorrow, in Nordic speech and speech native to Nordic legends sorrow was a past tense of sorry. Draugr are enslaved Nords, who were enslaved by the dragon priests during their lives to commit unspeakable horrors in the names of the world eater Alduin against their will.

As a result it was thought that the gods, aka the Nine Divines, cursed them for their cowardice for not resisting the will of the dragon priests and the dragons. As far as the doomed dragon hunter thing goes, it is probably a reference to the Blades, as in the draugr in particular that states it was probably a blade in the past enslaved by certain circumstances by the dragon priests for whatever reason.

Krosis was one of the main and most powerful dragon priests, and more often than not the ancient catacombs that you will find throughout Skyrim, and Solstheim (even those that do not have dragon priests in them) will most likely reference Krosis, as their enslaver. And even if that be the case I referenced the game to be sure and found that this is what the draugr are actually saying "Un unslaad Krosis". There is an extra "un". I listen to the media I recorded multiple times and even slowed it down to make sure. There is an extra "un", which changes the meaning quite a bit. It translates literally as Our unending sorrow, which shows us that they are indeed doing this against their will. Their minds and souls are still intact, but their bodies are what is being controlled.

In Conjuration you learn that the mind and soul are separate entities, and without restoring a portion of the soul you cannot use reanimation spells, and without restoring the mind your reanimated corpses cannot attack, but you control their bodies in actuality, like a puppet master. Seriously you should read the books in the Arcaneum on conjuration. it explains it all. I hope this helps.

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Krosis is a dragon priest. Unslaad means Eternal or Immortal.

They say Immortal Krosis.

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That's an interesting translation, essentially dedicating their attack to Krosis. Do you have any source for the word meaning 'Immortal'? –  Coronus Feb 6 '13 at 20:53

I'm not entirely familiar with the topic but after reading all the attempted answers and comments I think it's fairly obvious they mean "long live Krosis". After studying a few languages I find that literal translations can lead you astray from the intended meaning.

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