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Vvardenfell Flora and Fauna

Tilenra Sildreth

By Tilenra Sildreth, Telvanni Naturalist

The Vvardenfell landscape undergoes a constant cycle of death and rebirth. Red Mountain's lava flows, eruptions and ash-fall cause die-back in the deciduous woodlands and mushroom jungles, violent upheaval alters the landscape and buries (or exposes!) the fallen ruins of ancient civilizations. But the island expands as lava hardens, and new plants and fungi emerge from the cooling ashes among the formations of igneous rock.

Plant life flourishes in the rich soil fertilized by volcanic activity, and so Vvardenfell serves as home to a diverse set of habitats and environments.

Fungi quickly absorb rich nutrients from the volcanic soil and grow to enormous proportions and dominate the landscape. The large ink-cap mushrooms along the Bitter Coast thrive on the detritus of decaying swamp life, while smaller fungus varieties cover the rocks, trees and even some animals, such as the fungus-encrusted shroom beetle. Adorable!

Balmora, in the southwest and inland from the Bitter Coast, is still forested, though ash from Red Mountain eruptions threatens to denude the slopes.

Though barren, the Ashlands host a remarkable number of species. Ash hoppers skitter through the dry ash dunes and giant xylaria fungi extend their tendrils into the sky. Travelers beware! Hungry, reptilian cliff-striders lurk atop the crags.

Fetcherflies build their hives where they can tap volcanic heat to gestate their eggs. When they hatch, the queen taps a source of magma to animate the nest and it transforms into a walking hive golem that relocates the swarm to new surroundings.

Nix-oxen roam the Grazelands in the northeastern part of the island, and though generally considered to be mild-mannered, they will not hesitate to defend their territory.

Two-legged vvardvarks romp through the grasses and feed on small bugs. Some people keep these delightful creatures as pets, despite their terrible smell.

Ancestral tombs dot the landscape, and powerful Daedra known as Hunger have recently been seen within.

The largest mushrooms in Morrowind appear in Zafirbel Bay. This majestic species is cultivated by Telvanni wizards and take a wizard's lifetime (a thousand years) to grow. These fungus forests have a special ecology of their own - but that's a subject for another book.

Tribunal - Living Lies


Have you ever noticed how you never see Vivec and Almalexia in the same place? Or how the water the Temple priests serve smells just a little … off? I have. And I've been on the run trying to spread the word about what I know ever since. The Temple doesn't like me, and there's a damn good reason why. The Tribunal are going to eat our souls.

They aren't the benevolent guardians the Temple wants us to think they are. I've read all the texts, the 36 Lessons, seen the patterns in the numbers. They aren't three loving gods. They are one giant monster from beyond the Void, and they're going to harvest souls for their true master. Think about it! The alliance with the Nords and Argonians, of all people? A war to conquer Cyrodiil? And we know that leads to trying to conquer all of Tamriel; the idea of a "war to protect our homeland" is ludicrous. It all adds up, just a means to gather more and more souls for the big day. Open your eyes!

It's everywhere. All around us. Every day they are getting into your head. Think that guard is looking at you? He is. Ever had a bee fly too close to your ear? That's their work, too. It's the pollen—magical. Lets them hear your thoughts. Lets them find people like me who are trying to get the truth out there! The evening chants you can hear across the city? Mind control spells. Keeps the people quiet.

All I can say is I'm not drinking any of the well-water in Mournhold anymore. Don't take it from me. Think for yourself. The signs are everywhere, and know that you know how to look, you won't be able to ignore what's right in front of your nose.

Esqoo of Dhalmora answers your questions


April 17, 2015

"Greetings, marsh-brother. I hope you are sunned and warmed, yes? Even in my earliest memories, back when I was an angry slave-boy at the beginning of the Second Era, our people have always had an affinity for and an interesting relationship with guar. The Dark Elves ordered us to herd the creatures, feed them, tend to them, clean them…oh, I remember my guar friend Kaj-Meht! I hated the Old Master so much when he cooked him for dinner. But I think the point I'm trying to make here is that without us Saxhleel, the Dunmer would almost have no idea about taking care of their prized animals. Even in the ancient yet fragmented Chimeri records, which imply our race was forced vassals of their predecessors in the mid First Era, there are mentions of the 'lizards taking care of lizards'. There are even debates between the Imperial Geographical Society and the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits over whether guar and Argonians are, and don't laugh egg-brother, related! In their eyes, guar are simply Saxhleel with little to no intelligence and this information has simply been lost to our people for generations, like many other things before the Dunmer came. I personally have my doubts, but since guar are almost as common to Black Marsh as they are in Morrowind I would like to ask you what you think about this yourself? What is our people's special relationship with the guar?" – Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Ha ha, the Warden makes a funny joke, is it not so? It is true that I call my guar herd my little family, but it is not because they are of my blood. That is not to say that I do not watch over their eggs as zealously as any Keeper at the Hatching Pools, because I do. And the infant guar are so cute, I simply must tickle their tummies, yes, I must!"


“I share your love for guar and I'm particularly fascinated by their relatives like the fierce Alit and Kagouti. This interest led me to read up on some sort of like reptiles on two legs but apparently staying away from the pastures of Morrowind or Black Marsh, dwelling in the territories of the Daggerfall Covenant, since they were spotted near Dragonstar. I'm talking about the so-called "Worm Mouth" and the "Clawrunner". Because in my travels I have met no one who has come across them, I wondered if you possessed some information about such a peculiar specie." – Shanke-Naar Righthorn

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Alas, Shanke-Naar, I know nothing of this 'clawrunner' you mention, but it is with gladness that I can confirm that the wormmouth of remote Hammerfell is a distant relative of our friends the guar, alit, and kagouti! I am told that Hammefell is not moist, no, no, not moist at all, so any guar and their cousins that lived there would be sad lizards indeed. Not so the wormmouth, which I understand lives by siphoning the sap of living creatures, whether animal or plant! I myself would like to see that. It would be instructive to watch, no?"


“I've always found the physical ambiguity of the creatures of Black Marsh and the borderlands. The guar move like fellrunners with avian limbs, yet they have the belly, head, and eyes of a snake.

And what of the alit and kagouti who are even more monstrous and serpentine to the point of losing their arms altogether?" – Dravar gro-Dragakh

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Indeed! So fascinating! Black Marsh and its surrounding lands are home to a seemingly infinite variety of lizards and lizardly relations, so different and manifold, and yet all so pleasingly moist! Truly, there are no boundaries nor limits to the imagination of the Hist!"


“I recently purchased a banded guar charger for riding into battle on the frontlines of Cyrodiil. For such a steep price, the beast has a remarkably foul temperament and I have been unable to find a guar-herd willing to help train him. Might this breed be related to the feral tiger guars of the Deshaan Plain, or are those monsters simply an old Legion myth?" – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Indeed, such is their heritage, Legoless! But if you think a banded guar is a handful, you should try mounting a golden-eye—if it will let you! They have even more wild guar blood in them than the bandeds! Ha ha, how we laughed when Fetches-Glitter tried to get on Pejureel's golden-eye, and it threw him right on his tail! The jocularity shook all Dhalmora!"


“As guar are both pack animal and mount, how long does it take the average guar to be trained to carry a rider or pack? Are they considered a stronger mount then a horse? More able to scale rough terrain or what? – Sincerely, Alynne Hearthvan"

“First, I hope you are well. Second, I have noticed that guar can sometimes be difficult to herd and train. How long does it usually take for a guar to become domesticated to its master?" – Razum'dara, Wayward Khajiit Scholar

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Oh, thank you, Alynne and Razum-dara, the answers to your questions are known to me, yes! A well-bred domestic guar, if hand-raised by a loving herder, can be broken to the pack between one Morndas and the next. To saddle-break a guar takes longer, as much as a month, for they must be persuaded not to pursue their inborn instinct, which is to turn and bite great chunks out of any creatures that land on their backs. This snapping is so adorable when they are little ones, but it is wisest to train them out of it when their mouths become large enough to swallow one's arm.

“As for comparing guar to horses—there is no comparison whatsoever! Guar are stronger, greener, have larger feet, are smarter, more loving, and moister than any horse ever foaled! I believe that is why the Dark Elves ride their guar and eat their horses."


“To the honorable Esqoo,

When I was just a one young, my nanny started telling a legend of the Gift-Giving Guar. My parents quickly interrupted her and I forgot about this until I found it mentioned on an old piece of paper alongside the Brave Little Squib. Are you familiar with this legend and can you elaborate? With high regards, Felosa Elthara"

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “I believe you refer, Handsome Felosa, to this well-known hatching-pool rhyme:
“There once was a gift-giving guar

“More gen'rous than kwama by far

“The snorkel it gave me

“Was later to save me

“When pursued by slavers from Nar!"


“To Esqoo of Dhalmora,

I recently purchased for myself a tessallated guar to ride on and to carry my things. Being an Argonian, I figured I would look less silly riding on a scaly guar than I would riding on a tall white horse. However, after purchasing the beast, I realized how little I knew about guar care. What must I do to keep it healthy and happy (at least enough to do what I want it to do)? What is its diet? Do I need to trim its nails on occasion?

By the way, the pages of this letter carry a deadly disease of my choosing. Just an incentive for you to respond to my questions in a timely manner, you understand. When I receive your reply, I will send you the antidote. I am an Argonian of my word." – Dodges-Death

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Ha ha, Dodges-Death! Always you make with the jests so moist, yes? As for taking care of your guar, nothing could be easier! A diet of live, whole rodents, the larger the better, will keep their eyes sparkling bright and their scales sticky! I like to toss skeevers to my little lovelies from ten paces away and watch them snap them out of the air! Remember that their lower colons are prone to parasitic infestations, but these are easily dealt with, as if you tickle a guar at the base of its tail, its sphincter will relax. As for having to trim their nails, that's just an old joke that veteran guar-herds tell to greenspines to see if they'll try it. How we laughed when young Jorrixel fell for it and was nearly disemboweled! Ha ha!

“By the way, this reply's parchment is impregnated with a deadly variation of daril juice! I got it from a Shadowscale at the Enclave, and he told me it has NO antidote whatsoever! Ha ha!"


“To Guarherder Esqoo with respect,

Recently I have seen much larger number of guar abroad in Tamriel than in prior months. What health issues might a guar rider encounter in their mount that can result from these forays outside of the areas they are native to? With regards, Rohais of Auridon"

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “Indeed, Rohais, you must be careful never to let your guar snack on scathecraw, for though they love the taste, you will not enjoy the ensuing blasts of flatulence. Unless the scent of many-moons-dead carrion is to your taste, of course!"


“Dearest Esqoo,

I must first apologize as I normally preface my letters with a playful and affectionate address to “My Dear Pet", but feel reluctance to so now as to avoid the possibility that I may offend you. The name Esqoo suggests to me that you are either an Argonian or a Dunmer born ill-favored by his mother and I am truly sorry if either is true. If you are an Argonian know that I do not wish to make unfortunate reference to your bestial heritage or peoples' long history of toil under the yoke of the cursed elves of Morrowind.

If you feel this precaution on my part deprives you of the warmth and joy of being referred to as mine, then I implore you to send a request for a revised copy of this letter to my estate. I would be more than happy to supply you with one along with a personal frame to ensure that it remains in pristine condition despite the likely state of your dwelling. Onward to my inquiry.

I have noticed an increasing number of individuals within the Aldmeri Dominion have taken up the practice of guar riding. I have little personal experience with the creature as my mounts are selected from the finest stock of horses and senche tigers. I also find the lackadaisical movements of the guar ill-fitting for one such as I who was born an exemplar of the Lover's gifts. However, I find myself greatly amused by the practice of slapping the behind of the creature. Would you be so kind to elaborate on this?

The Warmest Regards,

Lady Turelie Sillvari, Noble Sorceress and Mistress of the Dibellan Arts"

Esqoo of Dhalmora says, “This humble guar-herd is confused—why, noble lady, would I address a reply to your estate? Is your ladyship deceased? If so, do you conduct your correspondence by some sort of necromancy? I am very curious—very curious indeed, yes.

“Ah, but to your question, which I must assume is a so-funny jest, like that of Dodges-Death's. Do you two know each other? But to proceed: we slap the guar's behind because behinds were made to be slapped! I believe this is something every Mistress of the Dibellan Arts knows full well, if what I've been told is true. Though it is possible that what Denskar told me of your Lady of Lechery was somewhat … exaggerated. In fact, now that I think on it, his story did resemble what the Elves down at the port call 'dirty jests.' Ha ha! This one's on me. Wait till I tell my herd about this!"

Settling the Debate

Ralevyn Nerano

Flexibility or maximum protection? Netch or guar? Maybe you've heard one of the heated arguments, fueled by a few too many cups of mazte at your local cornerclub. Almost every craftsman takes an almost religious stance on this matter, believing his own approach, traditions, and products to be superior to all others, but I want to present both sides and some of their considerations in an unbiased manner to help inform your own opinion.

The best leather in Tamriel comes from Morrowind, courtesy of the native guar and netches. This is an indisputable fact, and no other leathers produced in Tamriel come close to their quality. The naturally-exposed hides of these beasts and the ease of processing them, combined with ancient tanning techniques, produce a material that is more durable and tougher than bear, mammoth, or any of the hides commonly used outside Morrowind. Though both are of very high quality, the debate rages on—which makes superior armor?

Netch leather is thinner by quite a bit. It bends and flexes easily, and it is much more receptive to dyes than guar hide, and therefore more suitable for finer, more ornamental works. It is likewise ideal for the combatant who prefers mobility, but it is much more readily punctured and torn, even when boiled to increase toughness. Another difficulty is that it requires relatively high maintenance—to keep it in fighting shape, it must be oiled and treated with dreugh wax weekly. Netch leather is harder to harvest, as well; the beasts are quite dangerous when riled and have a nasty poison that even experienced netchimen fear.

Guar hide, on the other hand, is much thicker, resulting in heavier armors overall (though still not as heavy, obviously, as armors crafted from metal). This makes it more difficult to work with, but the end product offers more protection and durability. Staunch traditionalists frequently claim that guar hide has been used longer than netch leather, and that we honor our ancestors in favoring it, but I have been able to locate no proof of this point. If you're more interested in protection than in mobility, guar hide armor is likely a better choice for you.

Even though every craftsman seems to have an unwavering opinion on which leather results in superior armors, I am not swayed by either side. It occurs to me that the choice is largely on the wearer, depending on his or her own fighting style (though armorers are never shy to offer recommendations in this regard, either). Hopefully, you are more informed now about your options, and whether you choose netch, guar, or an unorthodox combination of both, I wish you luck on the battlefield.

War of the First Council

Agrippa Fundilius

(This account by the Imperial scholar Agrippa Fundilius is based on various Imperial and Dunmer sources, and written for Western readers.)

The War of the First Council was a First Era religious conflict between the secular Dunmer Houses Dwemer and Dagoth and the orthodox Dunmer Houses Indoril, Redoran, Dres, Hlaalu, and Telvanni. The First Council was the first pan-Dunmer governing body, which collapsed over disputes about sorceries and enchantments practiced by the Dwemer and declared profane by the other Houses.

The Secular Houses, less numerous, but politically and magically more advanced, and aided by Nord and Orc clans drawn by promise of land and booty, initially campaigned with great success in the north of Morrowind, and occupied much of the land now comprising the Redoran, Vvardenfell, and Telvanni Districts. The Orthodox Houses, widely dispersed and poorly organized, suffered defeat after defeat until Nerevar was made general of all House troops and levies.

Nerevar secured the aid of nomad barbarian tribesmen, and contrived to force a major battle at the Secular stronghold of Red Mountain on Vvardenfell. The Secular forces were outmaneuvered and defeated with the help of Ashlander scouts, and the survivors forced to take refuge in the Dwemer stronghold at Red Mountain.

After a brief siege, treason permitted Nerevar and his troops to enter the stronghold, where the Secular leaders were slain, and Nerevar mortally wounded. General slaughter followed, and Houses Dwemer and Dagoth were exterminated. Nerevar died shortly thereafter of his wounds.

Three of Nerevar's associates among the Orthodox Houses, Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil, succeeded to control of the re-created First Council, re-named the Grand Council of Morrowind, and went on to be come the god-kings and immortal rulers of Morrowind known as the Tribunal, or Almsivi.

To Do What is Needed


Would you stand by while your village or town burned? Then why do you do nothing while Morrowind suffers? The Tribunal may be too busy to do the right thing, but we're not. The Maulborn, a society of like-minded Dark Elves who want to help the poor and protect the weak, was formed to take care of the problems that are too mundane, too inconsequential, or too difficult to attract the attention of the Tribunal and its agents.

We have a plan for the Llodos plague ravaging our population. We have a plan for the plague husks terrorizing our towns. We have a plan, and that's more than the Great Houses or the Tribunal can say. But we can't accomplish our plans without your help. Join the Maulborn and become part of the solution. Our volunteers are already making a difference in such diverse locations as the Serk, the Obsidian Gorge, and the Narsis wilderness. We'd be happy to allow you to help us in our important work.

Who are the Maulborn? We're your friends and neighbors. Your cousins. Your sons and daughters. We're the gathering storm and the strong arm of judgment. We're the cleansing wind that will soon blow across the entirety of Morrowind. We are healers and wizards, warriors and caregivers. We are the Maulborn, and we are you.

Come make a difference. Come join the Maulborn.

Our recruitment liaisons are anxious to meet you.

End of the Journey


It was during the time of Great Despair when Saint Veloth and his people reached the land of Resdayn. For untold weeks they had climbed a mighty range of mountains under Veloth's leadership. Many among the Chimer considered this path to be folly, but they were driven by Veloth's unyielding certainty and commitment.

They came upon a great pass, a deep scar in the mountain covered in ice and snow. Veloth drove them onward, chasing a vision that had come to him in a dream. He claimed to see a great hawk in the sky. He vowed that the hawk would lead the Chimer to a new home. They drudged through the pass, but after a time the Chimer could go no farther. A great wall of ice blocked their way.

Then a powerful voice boomed from the mountains. "Who are you and why have you come to this place?"
"We are a people without a home," replied Veloth to the mountain.

A young woman stepped out of the wall of ice.

"And who are you?" asked Veloth.

"I am Chimer-Friend. I have come to lead you home, if you are willing to accept my challenge. I demand a sacrifice of you, Veloth. Swear an oath that will make you a better Mer."

Veloth hoisted his mighty hammer and proclaimed, "Never again shall I wield this tool or any other to slay a foe. I have given my heart to my people, but now I shall give them more. I shall dedicate my life and my soul to them."

The woman turned and waved at the wall of ice. It melted away in moments. Beyond lay an alien land of fungus and ash. She began to walk forward and the Chimer followed.

Veloth spoke to his people. "We are home," he declared. "This is the anvil upon which we shall forge a new people. One journey ends here, but another journey begins."

The Coiled Path


Ghost Snake blesses the worthy.

Ghost Snake devours the unworthy.

Ghost Snake lives upon the Coiled Path. Once, the river that ran beside the Coiled Path was straight and long, but Ghost Snake did not like that. He commanded the beasts to dig. He commanded the People to carve the ground. He commanded the rocks and water to move. Now path and river together coil like a waiting snake.

The Coiled Path is not an easy path to walk, for Ghost Snake does not wish it to be. Ghost Snake hunts the path for prey, and his victims rise as spirits. These spirits forever walk the path's twists and turns, never to escape, until Ghost Snake devours their essence as he consumed their weak flesh.

The Coiled Path is more than a road or a river. It is a path to wisdom, to cunning, to insight. Ghost Snake's servants do not see the straight and narrow path. Instead, Ghost Snake grants his blessings so his servants may overcome treachery and hardship. Ghost Snake hisses his wisdom so that his servants may navigate the perils of life.

The Coiled Path is not for the weak. Ghost Snake must feed, and if his servants cannot secure prey, Ghost Snake will rightfully devour those who serve them.

Ghost Snake is the father of a thousand-thousand serpents. Wherever the spirits of Ghost Snake's victims gather, his serpentine children thrive.

We who serve Ghost Snake have learned our lessons well. Do not take the easy path. Do not forget what lies underfoot, waiting to betray you. Do not forget that unseen forces watch and wait for you. Do not forget the hidden daggers of your foes. And always listen for slithering whispers on the wind.

I write these words to receive Ghost Snake's righteous blessing. Life contains no justice. Life offers no mercy. Life is not easy. The only truth lies along the deceptive shores of the Coiled Path, and it is whispered by Ghost Snake.

Know this or flee. Flee, and we will find you.

When Ghost Snake finds you, he will bless you. Or you will die.

Varieties of Faith: The Dark Elves

Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College

The Dunmer are descended from the Chimer, who were apostates of the Aldmeri's Aedra worship. As the Alessian Reforms never took hold in Morrowind, their pantheon bears little resemblance to the rest of Tamriel. The Dark Elves' original religion was worship of several Daedric Princes, the so-called "Good Daedra," but that has been largely superseded by reverence for the "Living Gods" of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal
Almalexia (Mother Morrowind):
Most traces of Auri-El disappeared from ancient Chimer legends during their so-called "exodus," primarily due to that god's association and esteem with the Altmeri. However, most aspects of Auri-El that seem so important to the mortal races—namely immortality, historicity, and genealogy—have conveniently resurfaced in Almalexia, the most popular of Morrowind's divine Tribunal.

Vivec (Master of Morrowind):
Warrior-poet god of the Dunmer. Vivec is the invisible keeper of the holy land, ever vigilant against the dark gods of the Volcano. He/she has saved the Dunmeri people from certain death on numerous occasions.

Sotha Sil (Mystery of Morrowind):
God of the Dunmer, Sotha Sil is the least known of the divine Tribunal. He is said to be reshaping the world from his hidden, clockwork city.

The "Good" Daedra

Boethiah (Prince of Plots):
Heralded by the Prophet Veloth, Boethiah is the original god-ancestor of the Dark Elves. Through his/her illuminations, the eventual "Chimer," or Changed Folk, renounced all ties to the Aldmer and founded a new nation based on Daedric principles. All manner of Dark Elven cultural "advances" are attributed to Boethiah, from philosophy to magic to "responsible" architecture. Ancient Velothi allegories are uniformly heroic successes of Boethiah over enemies of every type, serving as foundation stories of Chimeri struggle. Also known as the Anticipation of Almalexia.

Mephala (Androgyne):
Mephala is the Webspinner or Spider God. In Morrowind, he/she was the ancestor who taught the Chimer the skills they would need to evade their enemies or murder them in secret. Enemies were numerous in those days, since the Chimer were a small faction. He/she, along with Boethiah, organized the clan systems that eventually became the basis for the Great Houses. He/she founded the Morag Tong. Also called the Anticipation of Vivec.

Azura (Goddess of Dusk and Dawn):
Azura was the god-ancestor who taught the Chimer the mysteries needed to be different than the Altmer. Some of her more conventional teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is often more a communal cosmic force for the race as a whole than an ancestor or a god. Also known as the Anticipation of Sotha Sil.

The Missing God

Lorkhan (The Missing God):
This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. His most popular name is the Aldmeri "Lorkhan" or Doom Drum. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane. This upset the status quo, much like his father, Padomay, who introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhan is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and eventually wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the "scheme of things" is interpreted a variety of ways. In Morrowind, he is a being related to the Psijic Endeavor, a process by which mortals are charged with transcending the gods that created them.

Four Corners of the House of Troubles, "Testing Gods"

Enemy gods, more to be placated and appeased than worshiped.

Molag Bal (God of Schemes, Lord of Brutality):
Daedric power of much importance in Morrowind. There, he is always the archenemy of Boethiah, the Prince of Plots. He is the main source of the obstacles to the Dunmer (and preceding Chimer) people. In legends, Molag Bal always tries to upset the bloodlines of Great Houses or otherwise ruin Dunmeri "purity." A race of supermonsters, said to live in Molag Amur, are the result of his seduction of Vivec during the previous era.

Malacath (God of Curses):
In Dunmer myth, Boethiah swallowed Aldmer hero-god Trinimac and excreted him as Malacath. A somewhat weak but vengeful Daedra, the Dark Elves say he is also Malak, the god-king of the Orcs. He always tests the Dunmer for physical weakness.

Sheogorath (The Mad God):
The fearful obeisance of Sheogorath is widespread, and it is found in most Tamrielic quarters. Contemporary sources indicate that his roots are in Aldmeri creation stories; therein, he is "born" when Lorkhan's divine spark is removed. One crucial myth calls him the "Sithis-shaped hole" of the world. He tests the Dunmer for mental weakness and tempts the Great Houses into treachery against each other.

Mehrunes Dagon (God of Destruction):
Popular Daedric power. He is associated with natural dangers like fire, earthquakes, and floods. In some cultures, Dagon is merely a god of bloodshed and betrayal. He is an especially important deity in Morrowind, where he represents its near-inhospitable terrain.

The Brothers of Strife

Nili Omavel

My fellow scholars would have you believe the Elves of the Ashlands are unstoppable. They point to Red Mountain and other triumphant, if hard-fought, battles against the Dwemer as proof. But once long ago, our people were as fair as a mountainside in Skyrim. In that distant time, we were driven to the edge of defeat.
In the time before Red Mountain, we were known as the Chimer. We were just another race of mer eking out a living on the edge of the Inner Sea.

Then came the Nedes. Though the Nords of today are allies, the Nedes were adversaries of the darkest nature. They sought only land, conquest, and spoils. We extended open hands of diplomacy, which they lopped off. Any Elf in the horde's path was fair game—man, woman, or child.

The greatest generals of the age were brothers. Balreth and Sadal led armies of willing warriors against the horde. At first, this was an attempt to drive them from the ash. As the war went on, their actions turned purely to defense and redirection. If a force of Chimer could spend their blood allowing a village to evacuate, then that was blood well spent.

The Nedes, after a few short years, controlled most of what we now call Stonefalls. The Chimer armies were cut off from the Inner Sea and reinforcements from Vvardenfell. The brothers retreated again and again until finally, they were left with a small elite force of sorcerers and troops. This force then took shelter in an ancient Daedric ruin.

What happened at that ruin has been lost to time, but the massive statues that now mark the site endure as a mute testament. The death of the Chimer generals ended the war, but at what cost?

At this ruin, the so-called Brothers of Strife were born. My research shows that Chimer mages from Vvardenfell eventually bound the beasts, but not before the Brothers ended the lives of hundreds of men and mer. One of the darkest chapters in our people's history followed. The unstoppable beasts made the ash run red with blood, Chimer and Nede alike.

We can only speculate what brought the Brothers to Nirn. Perhaps a Daedric Prince summoned them to that ruin. Maybe it was Sheogorath having a laugh or a grim survival test from Boethiah.

When the two beasts were finally bound into the twin spires of Stonefalls, they went to their rest with the blood of history staining their claws. We must hope and pray to the Three that their like will never be seen in the Ashlands again.