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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 Morndas, 10th of Second Seed


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.

Happy 15th Anniversary, Oblivion!

Today marks not only the first day of Spring, but also the 15th anniversary of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. While Morrowind was the game that saved Bethesda, Oblivion was the one to really put them on the map as a mainstream developer. It's 2006 release introduced millions to the Elder Scrolls universe, and reinvigorated the lore community with many new topics of discussion from both in and out of game sources.

To commenorate this occasion, Bethesda has allowed us to exclusively release seven high definition concepts of the Oblivion realm itself. While these previously appeared in the Japanese game guide and in the Oblivion Collector's Edition documentary, this is the first time they are available online in HD glory. (As usual, please do not redistribute these without explicit permission from us and from Bethesda).

Check them out below, or head to our Oblivion Concept Art gallery to see all collected concepts.

Oblivion Citadel

Deadlands landscapes

Citadel and Gate

This image appeared in the Making Of video, and is labeled as "Molag Bal's Oblivion." It is not clear how this realm was supposed to feature in the game.

Benefactor Promoted to Librarian

We are very happy to announce that Benefactor has been promoted to Librarian! 
 
In his time as Assistant Librarian, Benefactor has contributed frequently and at the highest quality, uploading dozens and dozens of books, tracking down old texts long thought missing, and setting up new interviews. He is also a pillar of the community, representing TIL in podcast, providing up to date info and theories on the latest TES news, and even attending the Greymoor reveal last year. In short, he has been a great help in both maintaining and improving the Library, and we're happy to formally recognize him for it.
 
Please join us in giving Benefactor a much deserved round of applause for his great work! 

Call to Arms Interview and Exclusive Scenario

This past week in collaboration with UESP we had the pleasure to interview Modiphius, the developers of The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms tabletop wargame. You can listen to the interview on the UESP podcast here. Listen to the end of the podcast to hear a special announcement from Modiphus regarding their next Elder Scrolls product they are working on. 

The Imperial Library also received an exclusive Call to Arms scenario to expand your game. This scenario finds the Stormcloaks and Imperial Legion fighting to gain allies in Riverwood to prepare for the coming civil war. You can find this Scenario below.

ESO Markarth Books & Highlights

Benefactor recently completed the monumental task of adding all upcoming Elder Scrolls Online: Markarth books to the library! There's a ton of new information (including juicy details on the Reachmen's history and culture), but if you're overwhelmed by the idea of reading 90+ books, here are a few highlights. 

New Daedra concept art

We've added several Daggerfall-era concept images to our gallery, featuring early designs for the Daedra princes. While these drawings are very similar to their final sprites, there are some notable differences in the names, such as Moloch Baal for Molag Bal and Mala-Car for Malacath. Thanks to Mark Jackson for drawing these back in 1994 and allowing us permission to rehost, and to TheRockWithAMedecineCupOnHisHead for bringing them to our attention. 

Antiquities, Documented

The upcoming Greymoor chapter for Elder Scrolls Online comes with a brand new system that focuses on digging up all manner of ancient artifacts. With those artifacts come reams and reams of lore, covering every conceivable topic from Ayleids to Yokuda, and diving into topics previously only covered in our Obscure Texts section. 

While Greymoor is only available on the test server (and thus some of this may change), I've just completed documenting all the codex entries and item descriptions for the Antiquities which you can unearth. With the exception of a few, most items also have images, most of which have graciously been provided by AzureAlay and KwarcPL. 

Head on over to read them all

 

Greymoor Preview Books

Do you like books? Of course you do! We'll be posting a new book from the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online Chapter, Greymoor, every day until the chapter's release on the public test server.

Check back to this post daily, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, to stay in the loop. And make sure to hop on PTS on Monday the 20th to help test the chapter before it is released.