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Welcome to the Imperial Library, your source for Elder Scrolls lore since 1998. Browse our collections to the left, or join the discussion on the Storyboard above.

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Today is Tirdas, 31st of First Seed


Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Lore & Story

I’m not a fan of vampires (or werewolves, for that matter), I’ve played a ton of TESV, and Rivenspire wasn’t my favorite part of the Daggerfall Covenant. So, when this year’s big chapter was revealed to focus on vampires in Skyrim, I wasn’t anywhere as excited as I had been for Sload and Psijics in 2018’s Summerset, or Khajiit and Blades in last year’s Elsweyr. At the same time, I’m a huge fan of Elder Scrolls in general, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for more content based solely on marketing.

So, does Greymoor hold value for someone like me? Short answer: yes.

The upcoming Chapter has plenty to offer fans of vampires, werewolves, and general gothic spookiness, but if you’re ambivalent towards all that there is also tons politicking, many references to pre-Eight Divines Nordic religion, Reachmen, Dragon cult(s), and no less than four books on cheeses. The Antiquities system (which I wrote about in detail here) and the Bard’s College offers even more for the lore-minded player and roleplayer, and, as always, Western Skyrim is full of distinctive, larger than life characters for fans to fall in love with.

Click through below to read my full first impressions of this new Chapter.

 

A quick note on spoilers: while I will discuss some of what you’ll do and who you'll encounter in Western Skyrim, I'm going to be vague about any specific plot revelations. Nonetheless, if you want to be completely surprised, you may want to skip this preview.

Click here to read more!

Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Antiquities

That belongs in a Museum!

Antiquities and the Antiquarian Circle

 

When Graymoor was announced in January, the Antiquities system is what had me the most excited. I’ve played a lot of Skyrim, and am pretty meh on vampires, but the potential of an endlessly extensible minigame that’s also a lore delivery vehicle? Sign this nerd right up!

After getting to play around with Graymoor last week, my enthusiasm hasn’t wavered. While the system was not complete in the preview build we were given (the UI was still very much work in progress, and there were comparatively few artifacts to excavate), it’ll be a great way to spend time doing something that isn’t just murder. And the Antiquarian Circle -- the guild introduced alongside the system -- will surely become a favorite among roleplayers and lore scholars alike.

Check out below the break for my overview of the Antiquities system and its rewards, as well as a look at some of characters you’ll encounter in the Antiquarian Circle.

 

Click here to continue reading

Update Roundup: February

In addition to the Legends storylines, there were a few smaller updates to the Library in February that I wanted to highlight. 

I've also kicked off a new series on our Facebook and Twitter: Map Morndas. Every Monday, we'll be featuring a new map of Tamriel and the lands beyond, both official and fan made. If you've made a cool map you'd like us to showcase, send me a note here or on Discord. 

Legends Storylines Complete

The storylines of Elder Scrolls Legends: Return to the Clockwork City and the Isles of Madness are now available in the Library! Big thanks to Zebendal for letting us borrow some of his screenshots for the Clockwork City chapter. 

I've also updated the entries for Fall of the Dark Brotherhood and the main quest with screenshots and fixes. 

2019 Year in Review

Happy New Life Festival, one and all! With the new year now underway, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things added to the Imperial Library in 2019. 

Of course, we've got some big things planned for 2020 as well! 

Creation Club Books

Thanks to the efforts of Benefactor, the over 150 books from Skyrim's Creation Club are now documented in the library!

Here are a few notable volumes to get you started: 

  • The Crimson Dirks (Alternative Armor) - a mostly fictional series about the exploits of a prolific bandit gang. 
  • The Restless (Dead Man's Dread) - the legend of Cyrus the Restless. 
  • Forebear's Note (Dead Man's Dread) - A bit of new Yoku, and Forebear/Crown political relations. 
  • Lost Caravan Guard's Note (Sunder & Wraithguard) - journal of a guard transporting a pair of artifacts. Contains interesting info regarding Morrowind around the time of the Red Year. 
  • Velyne's Letter (Sunder & Wraithguard) - info on how the Tools ended up in Skyrim, and a bit about their manufacture. 
  • Crafting with Netch Leather (Netch Leather Armor) - a bit on the properties and construction of netch leather armor. 
  • Crypt of the Heart - Draft (Spell Knight Armor) - the history of a Breton knightly order. 
  • To Raise the Living (Staff of Hasedoki) - a necromancer reflects on motherhood and legacy. 
  • Forgotten Seasons, V1 (Forgotten Seasons) - a mage's journey to obtain a Dwemeri artifact capable of controlling the weather.
  • Blue God's Journal (Goblins) - an orc accidentally becomes the Blue God worshiped by a tribe of goblins. 

And, finally, this adorable drawing of a Riekling hunting party going after some netch: 

Dragon Dictionary Update

Our Dragon dictionary page is complete! With over 615 words, most of them officially translated, it is our biggest dictionary to date. It includes all words from Skyrim as well as new ones added by Elder Scrolls Online's Season of the Dragon this year. 

While several other places already have big dictionaries, I wanted to make sure that ours reflected only official translations whenever possible. Official translations, here, mean ones provided by Bethesda directly and preferably out of character, such as in Creation Kit script notes or as part of the Prima official guides. This helps keep things as accurate as possible, as idiomatic translations sound good but aren't always accurate when translated back. For example: wahlaan is officially translated as create/build. However, in Dragon Language: Myth No More, wahlaan is translated back to English as "raised." While "raised this stone" has the same meaning as "created/built this stone," "raised a child" or "raised the sea" does not.

TES25 Gallery Updates

We've got some very special old new art for you guys today. Thanks to TheRockWithAMedicineCupOnHisHead, we've been able to obtain some never-before-seen Arena and Daggerfall concept art, as well as high resolution scans of the Redguard intro movie. Our very own Benefactor uncovered a treasure trove of Oblivion concept art, which has never before been posted on the internet. And I, meanwhile, compiled all of Ray Lederer's Skyrim concept art into one big gallery. As far as I'm aware, this is the first time most of this art has been gathered in one place!

Together, these galleries tell a story of evolution, starting in 1993 with an Arena that was not yet an RPG (much less an Elder Scrolls game), and ending in the most successful TES title of all time. In the coming months we will be updating our galleries with even more artwork to cover Elder Scrolls Online, Legends, Blades, and beyond. 

Check out a few choice pieces below, and click each gallery for more wonderful art. 

1993 — Arena location paintings by David Lee Anderson

1994 — Daggerfall concept art by Mark Jackson. (Warning: Like the game, this gallery contains nudity. Not suitable for work or for minors.)

1994-95 — Daggerfall logo concepts and 1995 CES mockup cover, by David Lee Anderson.

Circa 1998 — Redguard Movie stills, by Mark Jackson

Circa 2003-2005 — Oblivion concept art, by R. Todd Broadwater and Matt Carofano

Circa 2009-2010 — Skyrim concept art, by Ray Lederer

Please do not republish or rehost this art without explicit permission from the artists and from Bethesda. 

Cartography Update

It's been over a year since the last update to the cartography section, and a lot has come out since then. In addition to the in-game maps for ESO's recent updates, I've also uploaded some of their beautiful and evocative concept art maps: 

And the less pretty, but definitely still interesting (especially for other cartographers!) heightmaps extracted from Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim's data files: 

Check out the full set of updates in the Cartography section.