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Today is Middas, 21st of Sun's Dawn


Links to the Past

In my work for the Library, I spent the first month of the new year looking back into the years gone by. Our developer archives have always been one of my favorite parts of our collection, and they are now more up to date and easier to browse than ever. 

First, the Forum Archives section has been split into Post Archives and Thread Archives. The Post Archives document individual lore-related posts by developers on forums, websites, or social media, while the Thread Archives are backups of whole threads that feature interesting discussions or a lot of answers from developers. 

The Thread Archives now hosts each thread as its own book in the library, which makes them easier to read by cutting away all the clutter of the forum backup (signatures, post dates, etc.) as well as selectively editing down the posts so that only those pertinent to the discussion remain. The original backed up threads are also available, of course. Another bonus to this structure is that the threads now show up in searches. There are still quite a few threads to add to the collection, and if you've got any in mind that the original archives were missing, please let me know.

The Post Archives section has also gotten an expansion. Tons of new quotes were added to the pages for Ken Rolston, GT Noonan, Ted Peterson, Michael Kirkbride, and Lawrence Schick. The latter two have had their archives split into chronological sections. This both gives added context to the quotes and makes linking things easier. As with the threads, this section will continue to be updated in the coming weeks. 

While the Obscure Texts section saw no new additions, I did go through and add dates of publication to many of the texts. The dates provide much needed context to the works. Redguard Forum Madness, previously hosted under Obscure Texts, has moved to the Thread Archives. 

Last, but certainly not least, I added an "interview" with Julian "LeFay" Jensen, who was one of the chief programmers and designers behind Arena and Daggerfall, and is considered to be the "Father of the Elder Scrolls" because of it. The interview collects lore-related answers from a r/daggerfall reddit AMA conducted late last year. If you're interested in the origin of TES and in its evolution, this is a must read.

I'd also like to give a shout out to everyone who has provided me with links to old posts or with corrections to TIL's existing materials. Keep it coming!

Happy New Year!

Festive greetings, scholars!

2017 was a big year for the Library. In addition to Elder Scrolls Online keeping us very busy adding hundreds of new books, we added a number of new sections to our collection. Let's take a look back at some of our biggest additions. 

  • We started the year off with several new alphabet pages, including the Dragon and Mage scripts from Skyrim, the Akaviri script from Oblivion, and the Ancient Nordic runes from Elder Scrolls Online. 
  • Later on, we started documenting the main quest and DLC storylines for ESO. The story of the Daedric siege of the Imperial City and the waning of Vivec's power in Morrowind are both complete. 
  • The storylines of the latest addition to the TES family - Elder Scrolls Legends - have also been documented. You can check out its main quest here and the Fall of the Dark Brotherhood DLC here
  • With the release of ESO:Morrowind came an all-new, in-universe text for you to own: Naryu's Journal. It, too, is available in full on the library, with the generous help and permission of Zenimax Online and Lawrence Schick. 
  • After covering the recent releases, we took a look back in time to add all of the text from the very first Elder Scrolls game, Arena. While there are no actual books in that section, there are plenty of dialogs, place descriptions, and quests that let you see what Tamriel looked like in its earliest stages.  
  • We also added an interview and a gallery looking back at the nebulous time between Daggerfall and its sequel, which would eventually become Morrowind but once looked very, very different. 
  • The Astronomy and Astrology section was wholly redone to round out the year. 
  • We got a Discord server! It's pretty small and very informal, perfect for talking to some of the library patrons and staff in a casual setting. 

Last, but certainly not least, we've gained a few new staff members. Acer and The Lusty Dovahkiin have joined Tailin Sero (promoted late last year) as Assistant Librarians, and have already contributed greatly to the library. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank others who help us out without a formal title - you guys are the best!

There are things to come in 2018, but for now, go forth and celebrate! 

Have a joyous, lore-filled 2018,

The Imperial Library Staff

New Astronomy and Astrology Section

Last month saw the total overhaul of our Astronomy and Astrology section. It features descriptions of the constellations and depictions of them from every game, alongside all new star charts, videos of the orreries we've encountered in our travels, information on the moons, as well as gifs and graphs to illustrate the celestial movements. 

It's located in the Religion & Mythology section of the sidebar, do check it out! 

Update Roundup: October

Happy autumn, everyone!

This month's big news is the addition of Elder Scrolls Online's Morrowind chapter storyline, transcribed by our newest Assistant, The Lusty Dovahkiin. She's been a long time community member and a bureaucrat on the Polish Elder Scrolls wiki, and we're happy to welcome her to the Imperial Library team. The Morrowind chapter strikes a balance between evocative familiarity and wholly new content, and should be an interesting read to any lore fan. 

Lusty has also updated our Meet the Character archives, which are now back up to date. All the entries are worth checking out if you've not seen them already, but the news ones are Naryu Virian, Eerika Skjoralmor, Sun-in-Shadow, Provost Aruni Arvel, Proctor Luciana, Dominaus the Bloody HornedDivayr Fyr

And, as always, I've been on book upload duty. Here's a few of my favorites from this month's crop: 

Finally, I've also added a Boethiah's Bidding to the Cut Content section. It was a quest intended to follow Skyrim's quest for the prince Boethiah, and features the player assassinating Elisif the Fair. 

Update Roundup: September

With the test release of the Clockwork City DLC for Elder Scrolls Online, books are once again at the forefront here at the library. The DLC added a lot of interesting texts about the city itself, as well as a few that have an impact on Tamriel in general. Here are a few of my favorites: 

 

There have also been a few updates to the Gallery section of the library. The Redguard concept art page has been updated with quotes from an interview with John Pearson, lead artist of Redguard, which originally appeared on the old redguard.elderscrolls.com site. The quotes provide wonderful insight into the creation of the game. 

I've also added a brand new galley and interview to the site with the help of Benefactor, our friend from Tamriel Foundry and TES history extraordinaire. The galley is dedicated to an 1996 Clyde Cadwell cover for a game that was supposed to be the sequel to Daggerfall. The cover bears no resemblance to the Morrowind that eventually came to be, but is a fascinating look into the early history of the franchise (and a really cool piece of art!). Check out the gallery here and read the interview with the artist here. 

The Arena Archive Project

 

The Elder Scrolls: Arena is a fascinating artifact. While its map formed the canvas on which future titles painted their conception of the universe, very little of its background made it into its sequels, and most of its lore was never documented.

Until now.

The Game Books > Arena section now includes most of the text from the game, from local rumors to mythical artifacts to the stuff people carry in their pockets. While none of them are books, I felt that this would be the most logical location for them (for now, at least).

You'll quickly notice that much of it bears little resemblance to Elder Scrolls as we know it today. Look a little deeper, however, and you'll notice that some very large parts of TES lore got their start as throw-away Arena mentions. The Underking was once just an evil necromancer, Kynareth a spirit with a legendary crypt, and the Blades an extrajudicial organization of epic warriors. 

  • Artifact Dialog - Rumors and conversations about the mythical artifacts of Tamriel. Many of these artifacts are also found in later titles, sometimes with nearly identical backstories. 
  • City Descriptions - Welcome messages and brief descriptions of each city found in Arena.
  • Exclamations - "By the Wood of Elborn!" Region-based exclamations and curses from around the Empire.
  • Holidays - Descriptions of Arena's holidays and what the people have to say about them.
  • Jokes - Pretty lame jokes.
  • Location Entry Messages - Messages displayed based on season when you enter an audience chamber, tavern, shop, temple, or mages guild.
  • Occupations and their Descriptions - Various occupations available to NPCs in Arena. Unlike later games, which focused more on classes (fighter, assassin, etc.) these are all very utilitarian occupations.
  • Organizations - The various guilds of Tamriel, and messages for when the player faces their members in combat. 
  • Rumors - Stuff the people tell you, general and quest-related.
  • Stolen Items - Describes the contents of people's pockets. 

 

In addition to all those new pages, the Arena Storyline has also been extensively updated to include rumors and the quest dialog related to finding each location. The manual's Introduction has been split off into its own page, and the French Introduction has been graciously translated by Tailin Sero. The English version takes place after Jagar Tharn has imprisoned the Emperor and is told by "Talin," who takes the role of the player character. The French version, meanwhile, focuses on Tharn himself and how he came up with his evil plan.

Enjoy!

Update Roundup: June

In addition to the two big news items this month, we have a several smaller ones as well. 

First off, a section for Akaviri scripts has been added to the Tamrielic Alphabets page. It includes what we know about both the symbols seen in Sky Haven Temple in Skyrim and in the Akaviri messenger diary found in Pale Pass during TESIV:Oblivion. Thanks to Tailin Sero for putting that page together with the help of the community. 

Second, the uploading of books from The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is now complete. Here are a few notable volumes added since I did my last roundup:

  • On the Clockwork City - Barilzar describes his experiences in Sotha Sil's private masterpiece
  • Silt Strider Caravaner's Log - an amusing travel log that reveals a bit about Silt Strider physiology 
  • Red Mountain's Might - a prophetic, mysterious look at the volcano and what lies beneath
  • Hlaalu Construction Syndic - a Redoran report on their dealings with the Hlaalu in Vvardenfell. Explains some of the politics behind the architectural oddities in 2nd era Vvardenfell
  • From Old Life to New - this is an older book, recounting some of the folklore behind the Old Life Festival

As a final change, the Forum Archive's Developer Posts section has received a minor update in preparation for a series of bigger updates. Each developer now has their own page. There's a lot of great stuff in there, both for learning about lore and for seeing into the minds of the people who created it. 

Travel Through Tamriel with Naryu's Journal

Missed your chance to get Naryu's Journal with The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind's collector's edition? Don't despair, because we now have the full text available! In it, the titular assassin takes us through the territories added to ESO post-launch as she hunts seven traitors of the Morag Tong

Check it out for a sassy romp through Tamriel.

Storyline Updates

A few developments in the storyline department. 

First, the plot of the Elder Scrolls Legends: Fall of the Dark Brotherhood is now (mostly) complete. The only thing missing is the final dialog branch for the player siding with Uther. The artwork is still pending as well. 

Second, I've uploaded the storyline to Elder Scrolls Online's Imperial City DLC. A big thanks is due to Xui'al, who did all the transcription work. Since the Imperial City is a Player-versus-Player combat zone in the game, this transcription is especially helpful to those of us who prefer to play ESO strictly solo. 

At this point you might be wondering what happened to the storyline of Skyrim or of ESO proper. Simply put, while we love having the storylines of the site and know that they contain a lot of important lore information, we're stretched pretty thin around here and can't prioritize them. If you've got some time on your hands and want to transcribe some portion of either game, please let me know!