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Curano's Journal

Author: 
Curano

Molag Bal's ravenous hordes claw at the gates to Delodiil. The wave of undeath comes from the city of Abagarlas, as always. And Meridia has shown us a dire warning. Their king has begun plans for a magical rite. A ritual with a focus of power that will drain all the life from our home. Without some kind of dramatic act, Delodiil will be lost. King Cenedelin himself has asked me to form a plan. We have the power, the magicka, the skill. We must be able to stop these inhuman monsters.

- - - - - - - -

The plan has begun. We've forged a weapon. It took … much sacrifice. But the weapon will stop the ritual, end this Mortuum Vivicus we've learned about. Our group has been tasked with entering the hated city of Abagarlas and ending the threat. Meanwhile King Cenedelin will ride against the dark city's walls. With his full host and the might of Meridia behind him, we can win the day.

- - - - - - - -

It is done. King Anumaril's entire family is put to the sword, and Abagarlas itself destroyed by the righteous lightning of Meridia. The ritual is stopped but … we cannot go home.

The weapon was ruined in the attempt. We've salvaged the Prismatic Core at its heart, and carry with us the plans to construct the weapon anew. We are hunted by beasts of Molag Bal. We must get the crystal to safety, but we dare not lead these creatures home.

- - - - - - - -

Almost a week, all the while hunted by death. We dare not return to Delodiil now. The beasts would destroy our home and take the crystal. Instead, we've determined we must try to hide the core and the tome of instructions. A Dwarven ruin called Mzeneldt is close by. It should suffice as a final resting place for these precious relics.

I just pray Valasha is ready for what must be done.

Knights of the Gleaming Blade

Author: 
Lateesh

Curano, Exarch and Brightblade, First in the Name of the High King and beloved by the Lady Herself. In her name you are hereby ordered to make haste for the city of Abagarlas. The king has authorized your requested soldiery, and you are permitted to leave Delodiil with the following people of faith:

— Lanath, the Former Exarch of Dark Abagarlas and Newborn in Her Service
— Endarre, Primarch and Brightblade in Her Lady's Service
— Valasha, High Priestess and Sunwalker in Her Lady's Service
— Ostarand, Paladric Blade and Beholden in Her Lady's Service

You are to escort the Blade Ostarand and safeguard the relic he carries. Every effort has been made to ensure your success in this quest, and all weapons and armors in the city stores are at your disposal. The Vivicus must be destroyed at all costs!

In faith, eyes turned toward the Sunburst,
— Lateesh

Tears of Anurraame

Author: 
Anonymous

Once there was a shining city, Erokii, and its princess was the radiant Anurraame. She was considered the envy of all the Ayleid nobility for her beauty, grace, and wisdom were unsurpassed.

In time, she was married to the prince of a distant but great city. It was to be an alliance that spread across Tamriel. The prince was renowned for his martial prowess and stubborn honor, but he loved his new bride Anurraame dearly.

For a time, they were happy, or, at least, they seemed so. But as the years wiled away, Anurraame's husband was away more and more, and duty proved a poor substitute for passion.

So it came to pass that Anurraame took a young champion of Erokii for a lover. Strong and gleaming with youthful light and energy, Anurraame's lover gave her what the old, distant prince could not—the thrill of infatuation and friendship.

Anurraame was careful at first to keep her affair a secret, lest she shame her husband. But caught up in passion's capricious winds, she became more and more reckless, and soon her dalliance was discovered. 

Spurned and infuriated, Anurraame's husband arrayed his full army before Erokii and laid siege to the city. The princess vowed to face him with fortitude and called on her lover to muster his forces in defense of the city, which he promised he would.

But when the day of battle came, her lover's forces appeared beside her husband's. His undying passion had been subverted by coin.

Desperate and enraged at her lover's betrayal, Anurraame called on the Daedra for help destroying her enemies and defending her city. Mephala answered and commanded Anurraame to pour all her tears into a basin. Mephala then imbued the tears with the power of the princess's hatred for her traitorous lover, hatred which had formed from the potent seed of the princess's love.

The tears, so empowered, hardened into an artifact, the Tear of Anurraame. When the time of battle came, Anurraame took the artifact to the highest tower of the city and as the armies raged outside the city's walls, she unleashed its power, destroying the armies and the city in the flash of an eye.

All that remains of Erokii, and of Anurraame herself, is a ruined crypt, but there have been whispers throughout the ages that the Tear was not destroyed, and that it's waiting in the rubble, still to be found.

Worship in Fanacas

Author: 
Anonymous

There is fear, as in every venture into the unknown. But the others will follow my lead, I do not doubt it. I need only show a confident face to the rest, no matter what qualms I feel inside. They will follow; they always do.

Fanacas excites me like no other Ayleid ruin I've seen. A vast, evil presence saturates the air, exuded from the ground and structures all over the site. Great offerings, of blood and souls, must have been made here once, for their auras to be felt even now.

What would I not give to have been here then, back during the glory years of the Ayleids! How I would have reveled in the sounds, sounds, and smells of the sacrifices. Longing for those golden days sustained me through the years of study it took to reach this point, trembling on the precipice of greatness.

Tonight, when Masser and Secunda align, we enact the final ritual.

Tonight, we cast open the pathway to the glorious ancient Ayleids, beseeching their aid in our transformations, that we may better worship them.

Tonight, we become one with the immortals.

Tonight, the name of Mabrel Pierel will at long last inspire fear and awe across all of Tamriel!

The Faceless

Author: 
Anonymous

He calls my name at night, when the others are quiet.

I serve him. I bring him sacrifices. Only then does he cease calling, for a time. But never for long.

They are easy to convince, greed drives them. "Come with me, to Vahtacen," I whisper. "Treasure lies there, for the bold to take. A king's treasure, riches of the ancient Ayleids." By twos, threes, more, they follow me down to the lake and into the catacombs. To Vahtacen, to Vahtacen. But only I return.

He spares me, bids his minions let me pass, because of the lives I bring to him. So long as I lead hot blood to his altar, I live. But there must always be more.

Come with me, to Vahtacen.

Ayleid Survivals in Valenwood

Author: 
Cuinur of Cloudrest, 4th Tier Scholar of Tamrielic Minutiae

This report was commissioned by the Thalmor Committee of Alliance Relations to investigate whether there might be an indoctrinal advantage to emphasizing the Ayleid lineage woven into the bloodlines of our cousins the Wood Elves. My extensive travels in Valenwood have enabled me to determine the historical facts behind the matter; whether these facts can support a useful campaign promoting alliance fellowship is up to the Committee and the Sapiarch of Indoctrination.

As Pluribel of Dusk has noted in her magisterial "Collapse of the Ayleids," blame for the White-Gold Catastrophe of 1E 243 can be attributed to a half-dozen disastrous factors, of which the bloody insurrection by indentured human laborers may not be the most important. Pluribel emphasizes, quite rightly in my belief, the Narfinsel Schism of the late Merethic Era, which pitted the more conservative Aedra-worshiping Ayleid clans against those decadent yet undeniably vigorous clans that had adopted Daedra-worship. This conflict reached its climax in 1E 198 at the Scouring of Wendelbek, when King Glinferen of Atatar led a combined force of Daedraphile warriors against the traditionalist Barsaebics of Ayleidoon. The Barsaebics were driven out of the Heartland into northwest Argonia, and thereafter organized opposition to Daedra-worship in Cyrodiil was effectively over.

In any event, by most measures Ayleid civilization had been in decline for several generations by the time the White-Gold Tower fell to the savagery of the Nedes. Standing amid the ruins of a great Elven culture, the victors concocted a justification for the blood on their hands by painting the defeated clans as vicious Daedraphiles who reveled in torture and cruelty. An exception was made for those clans, mainly Aedric adherents, who had thrown in their lot with the hordes of the Slave-Queen. Of course, this only delayed their extermination, for the barbarous Nedes inevitably came after their former allies once the other Elves of Cyrodiil had been hunted to extinction.

Thus began the Ayleid Diaspora, in which the Heartland Elves sought to find new homes elsewhere in Tamriel—to decidedly mixed success. Those who fled north into the lands once held by the Falmer were slaughtered by Nords led by the infamous Vrage the Butcher. The Barsaebics, by that time well established in Argonia, refused admittance to their former persecutors the Atatarics, and most of that clan died on an ill-fated expedition into the lands of the Cat-Men. Several clans set out on the long march through Hammerfell to the Iliac Bay, and some actually made it, where they joined with (and were absorbed by) the long-established Direnni of Balfiera.

Most successful—and they were more than a few—were the clans that fled southwest beneath the canopy of Valenwood. The clans of Anutwyll, Vilverin, Talwinque, Bawn, and Varondo all escaped largely intact to carve out a new life under the trees. These clans all worshiped Daedric Princes, but they seem to have done so with less fervor after their enforced migration to Valenwood—possibly due to the fact that the Princes, when called upon, had offered little or no help to the forsaken clans. Fortunately their new hosts, the Bosmer, were remarkably generous in welcoming the Ayleids into their realm, so long as the Heartland Elves agreed to adopt aspects of the Green Pact and refrain from harming the forest. Having little choice, the Ayleids agreed, and this probably contributed to the dilution of their culture.

For diluted it was, absorbed over time, and eventually forgotten. I have walked the great Ayleid ruins of Valenwood—Hectahame, Rulanyil's Fall, Belarata, Laeloria, and a dozen more—and none of them, not one, was still occupied only two thousand years after the Diaspora. For some reason, once the Ayleids were under the great graht-oaks they, and their distinctive culture, simply melted away.

In explaining the extinction of the Valenwood Ayleids, my predecessor Gelgarad the Velaspid was very attached to his "Theorem of Disheritage," which held that for some reason the Forest Ayleids became unable to breed with each other and could only generate offspring by mating with the local Bosmer. This would certainly account for the Ayleids' gradual disappearance, but unfortunately Gelgarad's theorem is supported only by old stories and legends, and absent facts it cannot be proven.

It is worth mentioning here the competing theory of Doctor Thetis of the Shimmerene Academy. Her explanation blames Ayleid decline on over-consumption of the unusually potent beverages of the Bosmer. Doctor Thetis believes the Ayleids, vulnerable in their grief over their losses, fell prey to the Wood Elves' paralyzing brews and simply gave up trying. In this they may have been encouraged by the Bosmer themselves, who often seem insulted by others' displays of industrious effort.

And what did our forest-dwelling cousins learn from the Ayleids? Precious little, apparently, other than some advanced techniques of stonework and masonry. Heartland Elven culture seems to have made little lasting impression on the culture of the Wood Elves. Their attitude seems to me summed up by the statement of Fonlor, the Yorethane of Elden Root, whose response when I asked him about the Ayleids was as follows: "The Ayleids? Oh, yes. Nice fellows. Took themselves too seriously, though, and what did it get them?"

Journal of Culanwe

Author: 
Culanwe

It seems fitting that the servant of the Queen of Dawn and Dusk should try to broker peace between the Nedes and the Ayleids. Her realm is between times, between places, and between realities. If I can help two peoples who have such hatred of each other find peace, I will have accomplished something, at least, in my time in this mortal realm. I sense Azura guiding me, and her strength flows within me, but it is her wisdom I need now.

23 Sun's Height
Did I say I needed Azura's wisdom? Nay, I need her patience. Only an immortal could put up with these … people! The Nedes are well-named. Yes, they spent many years shackled and tormented by the Ayleids, but none alive today remember that suffering first-hand! The recompense they demand continues to escalate, even as the pride of the Ayleids swells. I sense they will break off negotiations any day now, and we may go from uneasy peace to outright war.

Ah, Azura—keep me from speaking with them! The power of my voice can change their reality, but that would be a bandage on an infected wound. Nothing but true change can allay the anger between these peoples.

27 Sun's Height
The worst has happened. One of the Ayleids is dead, a messenger killed while running errands. The Ayleids suspect the Nedes and they do not deny it. Rather, they take umbrage … as if the death of one messenger cannot be measured against the long suffering they endured. This will not go well. My voice may be the only answer.

29 Sun's Height
I stand amazed. I did use my voice, but only … adjusted reality somewhat, to forestall conflict. The true miracle came from a Nede and an Ayleid. Both outsiders to the negotiation, they joined together to solve the mystery of the murdered messenger … and found the culprit neither Nede nor Ayleid! A servant of Molag Bal was responsible, his aim to sabotage these negotiations!

The two heroes have done what I could not. They've brought Nede and Ayleid together against a common foe. I foresee hostilities between these two peoples ended.

 

2 Last Seed
With the wedding of the two heroes, the breach has been closed. But I cannot imagine Molag Bal will let this go unchallenged. I will seek an answer … a way to shield these peoples in Azura's name. As long as I live, the Harvester of Souls shall not touch what we have created here today. Azura, give me strength. Let my voice change the world as long as I am in it.

Daedra Worship: The Ayleids

Author: 
Phrastus of Elinhir

The reasons why the Daedra are reviled and their worship forbidden among all the civilized races of Tamriel are well understood, and as this series of papers will show, are grounded in historical events. The opinions of the so-called academic who styles herself "Lady Cinnabar" notwithstanding, the evidence supporting my assertions is incontrovertible and generally accepted by all accredited scholars of antiquity.

The Aldmeri, who'd been first to begin organized worship of the Aedra, were also the first to venerate the Daedra Lords. This probably began on a small scale among the Ayleids, those Elves who left the Summerset Isles to create splinter cultures in central and southwest Tamriel—in some cases specifically to evade the strictures of Aldmeri regulation, which forbade (among many other things) the worship of Daedra.

As Ayleid culture flourished, drawing ever further from Alinor, in the last millennium of the Merethic Era Daedric worship took hold and spread among the Heartland High Elves. The Aedra were still widely revered, with probably a majority of the Ayleids continuing to pay them homage, but cults devoted to the various Daedric Princes sprang up across Cyrodiil, tolerated and then celebrated. Unlike the Chimer, the Ayleids made no distinction between "good and bad" Daedra—indeed, even some of the more heinous Princes received mass veneration, especially when their worship was adopted and endorsed by Ayleid kings and aristocrats.

Widespread Daedra worship among the Heartland Elves was particularly ill news for the tribes of Nedic humans who were then arriving in Tamriel. The Ayleids enslaved the immigrant tribes of Men, at first occasionally but then systematically, and the Nedic people found themselves subject to masters who, in many cases, worshiped the Princes—including those who encouraged slavery, domination, and cruelty. Under the Ayleids, the human thralls found themselves the subjects of such Daedra-inspired "arts" as flesh-sculpture and gut-gardening. In fact, the revulsion for Daedra-worship that pervades most human cultures in Tamriel probably originated in this period.

The Alessian slave-revolt of the early First Era was largely fueled by desperate rage against the Ayleids' Daedra-inspired cruelty. The Ayleid kings who aligned themselves with the rebellion were largely Aedra-worshipers, which in part explains why, once the Ayleids were overthrown, Queen Alessia incorporated the leading Elven Aedra into the First Empire's worship of the Eight Divines. Her new Empire of Cyrodiil outlawed the worship of the Daedric Princes, and Daedra-worshiping Ayleids were exterminated wherever they were found.

Thus, by the middle of the First Era, large-scale Daedra-worship was extinct in central Tamriel, surviving only among the Chimer in the northeast of the continent, and among the Orcs (ever a pariah people) who worshiped Malacath (or Mauloch) as their god-ancestor. Elsewhere, among Men, Mer, and Beast-Peoples, Daedra-worship survived only at the level of cults which were more-or-less forbidden. Lady Cinnabar's assertions to the contrary are so much horsewash.

The Whithering of Delodiil

Author: 
Anonymous

There was, in those days, a city in the Heartland, Delodiil by name. And it was a city of pleasant promenades, of learned scholars, of meticulous artisans, and of lissome dancers. And also did Delodiil have warriors fierce and proud, who protected the promenades, and the scholars, and the artisans, and the dancers. And though the warriors were few, they were bold.

Now the people of Delodiil worshiped many gods, for they were devout and held all the Divines in reverence. But above all others they did venerate the Lady of Light, building for Merid-Nunda a chapel of colored rays and beams, which was for glory like a piece of Aetherius brought down to the mortal world. And the people of Delodiil were proud thereon.

But across the valley was another city, Abagarlas, which was to the darkness as Delodiil was to the light. Now Abagarlas had as many citizens as Delodiil, but few were dancers, artisans, and scholars, because most were warriors fierce and proud. These warriors were lended to other states and cities for the making of war in return for wealth. And thus did Abagarlas, in its own way, prosper.

Now the King of Abagarlas saw the chapel of lights that was the pride of Delodiil, and he said, "Is not Abagarlas as great a city as Delodiil? We shall have a great chapel of our own." And he decreed that much of the wealth of Abagarlas be spent in the building of a shrine to his own patron Divine, who was the Lord Mola Gbal. And the people of Abagarlas reared up a vast shrine to Mola Gbal, but they were but rude soldiers rather than artisans, and the shrine was misshapen, ill-colored, and burdensome to look upon. But it was, nonetheless, larger than Delodiil's chapel of lights, and thus the King of Abagarlas boasted that his city was greater therefore than Delodiil. But the people of Delodiil evinced no dismay, and went about their business as before.

And this unconcern of the Delodiils ate a hole into the heart of the King of Abagarlas, and he was vexed unto madness. He sent soldiers to profane the small shrine to Merid-Nunda in Abagarlas, and then went to his vast shrine to Mola Gbal, where he swore a mighty oath. And slaying a family of visiting Delodiils on the altar, the King vowed that he would gather his army, march across the valley, and capture all the Delodiils, sacrificing them to Mola Gbal within the chapel of lights.

And the King of Abagarlas mustered all his soldiers, and on a night in which the skies were lit by a furious racing aurora, he marched them across the valley to Delodiil. But when the King and his army arrived they found the land empty, for the city of Delodiil was gone, unto every brick!

And the King thought he heard laughter in the lights in the skies, mirth that turned to shrieks of fear that came, not from above, but from back across the valley. In haste the King marched his soldiers back to his city, but when they arrived at Abagarlas, they found it utterly destroyed as if by scorching light. And of the families of the soldiers and the King, nothing could be found but their shadows burnt into the walls of the city.
Thus Abagarlas. But of the fate of Delodiil, nothing more was known.

Ceyran, Warlord of Rulanyil's Fall

Author: 
Anonymous

Ceyran was a minor Ayleid warlord of the middle First Era, most famous for building and losing three separate dominions during his long life. It is not clear whether he was a refugee from the Ayleid purges in Cyrodiil, or was born after his clan fled to Valenwood. Rumored to be a devotee of Molag Bal, Ceyran was eventually killed by an unknown assassin in 1E 1102.