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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 Fredas, 21st of Morning Star


2021 Year in Review

While times have been tough these past couple of years, we at the library have been striving to continue to produce content for the community. We have done so by creating new sections of the library, making sure our texts are up to date, and finding exclusive content to present to the community. As we begin 2022 we thought it would be great to look back at 2021 and everything that we have accomplished this past year.
 
Starting us off in January we recovered an in character interview with Divayth Fyr, from a mod that several former librarians worked on. Then we had an exclusive interview and Scenario for Skyrim Call to Arms that was done in collaboration with UESP's podcast. And finally we had the promotion of Benefactor to full Librarian.
 
Then in March we added the new books from the Flames of Ambition DLC for Elder Scrolls Online(ESO). And to celebrate Oblivion's 15th anniversary we released high quality concept art from it's creation.
 
In April we had the pleasure of being invited by Zenimax Online Studios(ZOS) to participate in the preview event for the Blackwood Chapter of ESO. We released two articles previewing what was to come. One previewing the content of the chapter and another showing how locations have changed from one game to antoher.
 
May brought us another exclusive this time with ZOS interviewing us for a community spotlight on the ESO official site.
 
With the release of Blackwood in June we added all of the new books from the chapter to the Library and created a recommended reading list.
 
In July the library debuted a new section called the Game Data which holds the data from each of the games. This allows anyone to download the file to be able to search for text from any of the games.
 
August we added more books to the library with the release of the Waking Flame DLC for ESO. We also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Daggerfall with a reading list.
 
October the library debuted another new section called the Community Archives. This section of the library features significant fan works that were worked on by the community in collaboration with developers or ex-developers. To start with this section featured ESO's Critical Role sessions, Loranna's RP, and Morrowind Advanced.
 
November was jam packed with updates due to the Skyrim's Anniversary. We started the month out by releasing the new ESO Deadlands books alongside a recommended reading list. Then we had Skyrim's Anniversary which brought with it a batch of Creation Club releases and the associated books with them. And finally we were graciously given a translation dictionary from Bethesda for the full Dragon language.
 
And finally to end the year we created a New Life Festival for the community were we released tons of old developer posts that were recovered from the wayback machine and other archives. These included the threads Magic vs Technology, Dwem little Dwemer, Psijic Order, Altmer, and Lorkhan. Also included were the updated developer posts sections for Kurt Kuhlmann, Mark Nelson, Ted Peterson, GT Noonan, Douglas Goodall, and Leamon Tuttle. Two obscure texts were also released The Ayleid Creation Myth and Bourn in Wood. And to end the New Life Festival we updated the Community Archives section with the much requested 2nd Pocket Guide to the Empire that is celebrating it's 10th anniversary.
 
As we enter 2022 we hope to continue to have more exciting developments so stay tuned for what we have in store.

Pocket Guide to the Empire: Second Edition — 10th Anniversary Retrospective

On New Years Day 2012, Michael Kirkbride and Temple Zero unveiled the Pocket Guide to the Empire: Second Edition. The strange collection of texts became an instant classic, a capstone to the golden years of the Elder Scrolls Lore forum. Parts of its heresy bled into the collective psyche, were mistaken for orthodoxy, became the building blocks of new ideas, both official and fan-made.

Today, on the 10th anniversary of its publication, I am proud to bring you a behind the scenes look at the creation of the PGE2, never-before-seen info on its unreleased chapters, and an official compilation of released artwork and writing for the project.

Head over to its new home in the Community Archives and give it a read!

 

Deadlands DLC: Recommended Reading

The Imperial Library has added nearly 80 new books from the latest DLC of The Elder Scrolls Online - Deadlands. To prepare yourself for the chapter we have put together a small list of spoiler free books that help to introduce and expand upon the lore of the Daedra and the Deadlands.

Books about Mehrunes Dagon and his Realm:

A Guide to the Deadlands
Food of the Deadlands
Epics of Mehrunes Dagon, Volume 1
Epics of Mehrunes Dagon, Volume 2

Books about the nature of Daedra:

On the Nature of Oblivion
On the True Nature of Daedra
On Inferniums
On Dremora Clans
Dremora Stories about Mortals
The Legend of Deadlight

Books introducing Fargrave:

The Bearers of Fargrave
Fargrave Happenings
Visitor's Guide to Fargrave
Visitor's Guide to the Shambles
The Stricture and the Grasp

Official Dragon Dictionary

To celebrate Skyrim's 10th anniversary, Bethesda has given the Imperial Library an official Dragon dictionary! We have updated our translation page with over 300 official terms, including a dozen never before known words. 
 
Here are some of the new translations: 
  • Laar – Water
  • Naaktiid - Begin (literally "eat time")
  • Naas - Tooth
  • Pelaan = Wrote
  • Qalos - Bow
  • Ros - Love
  • Sindungahvon - Unyielding
  • Vos - Claw

 

Or check them all out in our Dragon Dictionary page

Introducing the Community Archives

Since 1998, the goal of the Imperial Library has been to preserve all Elder Scrolls lore — including out-of-game material, such as new texts, posts, threads, interviews, and roleplays by developers. The community has always been a large part of what makes Elder Scrolls lore unique, and today we are happy to officially announce a new section of the Library: the Community Archives. Supplementing our expansive developer posts and forum thread archives, the Community Archives will preserve important community-driven media.

This is not to say that the Imperial Library will now be freely hosting fan fiction, mods, roleplays, etc. While we strongly believe that these creations are wonderful, important, and deserving of preservation, the Imperial Library must keep the Archive very selective. To be included in the Community Archives, a work must meet at least 3 of these criteria:

  • Collaboration - it must be a joint creation between fans and representatives (current or former) of Zenimax Media, or a fan project officially sanctioned and approved by Zenimax Media.
  • Notability - it must have made an impact on officially published lore or a significant impact on the discussion of lore.
  • Completion - it must be readable as a self-contained text or collection of texts, rather than an ongoing or open-ended project.
  • Accessibility - the text must be difficult to access elsewhere, in danger of being lost, or presented in a medium that makes it accessible to more people.

 

We're kicking the section of with three projects to start: 

  • Loranna's RP - a forum roleplay that began with the Trial of Vivec and lasted through 2007. In addition to many of that era's preeminent lore scholars, TES writer Ted Peterson participated in the roleplay, and some of its ideas found their way into the 3rd Pocket Guide to the Empire and into TESIV: Oblivion. 
  • Morrowind Advanced - texts from the Morrowind Advanced mod by Bethesda developer Gary Noonan, created in collaboration with fans. 
  • Critical Role D&D Campaign - Blackwood-themed one-shots played by the Critical Role team as part of ESO:Blackwood promotion. 

Daggerfall 25th anniversary: Reading list

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Daggerfall! To celebrate we have put together a list of links to help you navigate our extensive archive of texts to maximize your research into TES II: Daggerfall.

Daggerfall's books: A list of all available in game books for Daggerfall

Daggerfall's Story: A transcription of the full Daggerfall story from start to finish. 

Major Realms of the Iliac Bay: A guide to the realms of the Iliac Bay during and after the events of Daggerfall.

As a bonus, have you ever wondered what occurred in the aftermath of the activation of the Numidium and what became of the many political factions of the Illiac bay? Below is a list of texts from the sequels that serve as a epilogue of sorts to the events that occurred in Daggerfall..

The Warp in the West: This text describes the warp in the west and the political fallout from the activation of the Numidium

A Game at Dinner: Describes prince Helseth's return to Morrowind after his half-sister gained the throne of Wayrest but before he ascended to the throne as King of Morrowind.

Night Falls on Sentinel: A book that follows up on the The Third Prince of Sentinel quest from Daggerfall

Arkay the Enemy: Mannimarco's words to his followers after his ascension to godhood.

The Firsthold Revolt: A follow-up to Morgiah's Letter quest and her marriage to the King of Firsthold

Lord Kelvyn's Will: A will for Battlehorn Castle in Cyrodiil that describes the failed revolt of Lord Kain of Lainlyn

Lord Jaren's Journal: Reveals the final fate of Lord Kain in Battlehorn Castle.

Blackwood Chapter: Recommended Reading

The Imperial Library has added nearly 140 new books from the latest Chapter of The Elder Scrolls Online - Blackwood. To prepare yourself for the chapter we have put together a small list of spoiler free books that help to introduce and expand upon the lore of the Blackwood region which includes the major cities of Leyawiin and Gideon.

Books relating to Leyawiin and Imperials:

Traveler's Guide to Leyawiin
An Interview with Countess Caro
On the Chamber of Legates
On the Ivory Brigade
Pirates of Topal Bay
Notes of Lovirithel the Sage
A Legionary's History of Fort Redmane
The Feast of Saint Coellicia

Books relating to Gideon and Argonians:

Traveler's Guide to Gideon
Tribes of Blackwood
Chimes of Silver
Gift of the Lilmothiit
The Making of Wading-Nests
On Marsh Giants: A Study

Books about Daedra and Dagon:

Leovic's Great Spirits Proclamation
The Order of the Waking Flame
Havocrel: Strangers from Oblivion

 

Blackwood Preview: Locations Then and Now

While exploring Blackwood you will come across many locations new and old. Many will bring back a nostalgic feeling for TES IV: Oblivion or even further back. This guide will show you some of these locations and what they looked like 700 years before during The Elder Scrolls Online.
 
Leyawiin:
 
 
Leyawiin is a bustling city often called the Jewel of the Topal Bay. Unlike it's third era counterpart the Leyawiin you will find in the second era features a port, canal gates to let goods into the city, and much less flooding in the city proper. The city-state has managed to so far stay out of the Three Banner War by utilizing the Ivory Brigade who took up defending the city after the fall of the longhouse emperors. Some things remain the same no matter the time such as the city being ruled by a Countess Caro and the towering landmark of the Chapel of Zenithar.
 
Gideon:
 
 
The second major city you will find yourself visiting is Gideon. This is a city that hasn't been seen since Arena so quite a lot has changed. Gideon in the second era is ruled by Keshu the Blackfin a war hero for the Ebonheart Pact. It's most notable features you will find is that it is build on top of an Ayleid ruin that it's inhabitants consider an eyesore, a chapel of Dibella where those who practice the Dibellan arts can find refuge, and it's proximity to the ruins of Castle Giovesse most notable for appearing in the 2920 book series.
 
Fort Blueblood:
 
 
The location with the biggest glow-up is by far would have to be Fort Blueblood. It goes to show just what time to do to a once busy fort. While in the third era the fort was crumbling and almost overgrown, the fort in the second era is quite active and is used as an outpost by the Ivory Brigand.
 
Borderwatch:
 
 
Borderwatch varies greatly from it's third era counterpart. Instead of being a town of Khajiit who believe in a prophecy by the Mad god Sheogorath you will instead find a small Imperial town towered over by Fort Borderwatch. The fort is is currently in an ongoing hostage situation and you will find it is in need of your help. 
 
Deepscorn Hollow:
 
 
While in the third era this cave system is the base of the Crimson Scars, the second era finds it overrun by Sithis cultists. This is where you can meet and join forces with your companion Bastian who is on his current quest. Undertake his mission to encounter familiar names and to take on the so called Daughter of Sithis.
 
Shrine of Nocturnal:
 
 
While Nocturnal's shrine has definitely undergone renovation over the years one thing remains the same, thieves are always attracted to stealing artifacts from the Night Mistress. You will find the same to be true this time around as well as you can elect to recover another of Nocturnal's stolen artifacts by accepting a quest from the Ur-Dra herself.
 
Veyond:
 
 
Veyond is an Ayleid ruin that hasn't really changed much from the 700 year time difference. Instead you will find this ruin is being used in a Telvanni experiment with Remus Demnevanni who is attempting new magic to banish ghosts. Will you travel to Veyond to assist?

Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood Preview

 
Thanks to the generosity of Zenimax Online Studios I had the opportunity to participate in this year's preview event for Blackwood. In my time playing the preview I got the chance to explore a story that ties back into TES IV: Oblivion, a new companion system that harkens back to companion mods for Skyrim, and even a new system that allows you to obtain crown crate items without having to purchase crates. This year's chapter takes you to both familiar and new areas of southern Cyrodiil and part of Black Marsh. Blackwood has much to offer both new and returning players. I will attempt to give a small preview of what I experienced below.
 
Please be warned that while I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum there will be some spoilers in this article so read with caution.
 
Tutorial:
Just like every other chapter Blackwood introduces a brand new tutorial but unlike previous years it is set to standardize the tutorial for years to come. The tutorial opens on the Isle of Balfiera where you will meet Norianwe, a Direnni. The tutorial takes you through the usual bits with you picking your weapon of choice, combat training, and learning about skyshards. Where this tutorial differs from previous ones is the fact that at the end you get the chance to choose your starting location making it easy to choose if you want to start in the alliance zone or a DLC of your choice. Even if you have played through a previous tutorial I would highly recommend you play through this new tutorial as well. Not only do you get gorgeous visuals of the Isle of Balfiera you will also learn more lore about the Direnni Clan, Skyshards, and even learn about a unique artifact called the Helix, that may or may not be related to the Adamantine Tower.
 
Story:
This year's main storyline revolves around investigating and thwarting Mehrunes Dagon's plans in Blackwood that involve the mysterious Four Ambitions of Mehrunes Dagon. Along the way you will explore Leyawiin a Cyrodiil City-state that has been protected against the Three Banner War by the Ivory Brigand. Besides Leyawiin you will also explore Gideon, a major stronghold in the swamps of Black Marsh that is ruled by Keshu the Blackfin, a renown hero of the Ebonheart Pact.
 
The main quest is not the only thing for players who enjoy story content to look forward to. Blackwood also has a variety of side quests for players that can be quite enjoyable. These side quests boast a great cast of new and returning characters including many fan favorites such as Revus Demnevanni, Stibbons, and even Alchemy. These quest will have you doing everything from tracking down a lost book of Azra Nightwielder to solving the mystery of a Xanmeer which clones people. No matter the type of quest you like there is sure to be one that you find enjoyable and tons of lore to uncover along the way.
 
Companions:
One of the major highlights of this Chapter is the highly anticipated companion system. No longer do you have to wander Tamriel alone if your friends are not online. Now you can have NPCs that will follow you and fight beside you in both solo and group content, except in solo arenas. Each companion comes with story, a rapport system based on their personality, and can be used in a variety of situations to supplement your play style. Companions are fully customizable allowing you to change their outfit, mount, skills, and even have their own special companion gear with unique traits only available to them. These NPCs are not just cardboard cutouts that follow and fight for you, they also have their own likes and dislikes. The personality of each companion ties into how you play, for instance if you steal and your companion doesn't like thieves then your rapport will go down and as a consequence they may not trust you enough to offer you their quests. These quests help to further flesh out their character while giving the player an incentive to get to know their companion better. A small preview of the companions and their personality is below.
 
Bastian Hallix:
The first companion I'd like to introduce is Bastian Hallix. Bastion is a Breton who works as a retainer for a noble family of Daggerfall. He considers himself an honorable man and doesn't take kindly to thieves and murderers. Bastian also loves to play his flute and read books, in fact doing so yourself while in his company may improve his rapport with you. But nobody is without flaws and Bastion shows his with a small temper when stressed casuing him to have difficulty putting his words together. Bastian is the perfect companion for someone that will always try to do the right thing and wants to fight for the side of justice.
 
Mirri:
Our other companion you can ally yourself with is Mirri. Mirri is a Dunmer adventurer who comes from a family of adventurers who she deeply cares for. Unlike Bastian she doesn't mind thieves nearly as much but she does have deep hatred for slavery. In many ways she reminds me of Indiana Jones such as the fact she doesn't like snakes and cares for cultural artifacts and treats them with respect. She even has a certain artifact she is after, sadly this is not the Eye of Argonia. Mirri would be a great companion for one who loves adventures and isn't afraid to get their hands dirty every now and again.
 
Endeavors:
Last but definitely not least I'd like to talk about Endeavors. Endeavors is a new system that will allow players a way to be able to obtain crown crate items without purchasing crates. Yes, you heard right, that shiny Radiant Apex mount you have your eyes set on can now be earned entirely in game. The Endeavor system works just like what you can find in traditional FPS games where you have a set of objectives that you can complete by doing certain tasks. The objectives have both daily and weekly ones both of which are account based. These objectives range from killing a certain number of a mob, clearing a delve, or even crafting items. Whether you are new to the game or a veteran there is sure to be some Endeavor you can accomplish. 
 
If you are excited to experience Blackwood you can check out the first part of the Chapter now with the Flames of Ambition dungeons and the prologue quest which are available now.