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second era

The Chorrol Crier

Author: 
Anonymous

THE CHORROL CRIER

Issue 21
Morning Star, 579

Greetings to my loyal readers. Here's what happened in town since Issue 20:

Seems that everyone has recovered from the New Life Festival, though Verene continues to celebrate.

Darvell is at it again. He passed out several times near the Oak and Crosier this month. He claims not to have been drinking but overcome by fumes from the ground. Darvell insists that there's something underground, something only he can sense. Fumes indeed; poor Vanny!

The Quickstep Bandits struck again, stealing hay and rope from Zegol's storehouse. That should improve Zegol's ever-sunny disposition, no?

Prefect Doran swears she'll do something about the clamor of the merchants around Little Oak Place. The constant bickering over display space must end. Something needs to be done to cut down on the merchants in town. Porcia should have Domitius throw out every other one.

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THE CHORROL CRIER

Issue 23
Sun's Height, 579

Apologies to my readers—the events of the last months have prevented me from writing the Crier. But now I resume my duties.

The upheavals in Chorrol, both personal and physical, continue. The quakes never stop while the chasm grows ever wider and its list of victims longer. I can't bear to name all those we lost during the cataclysm. Every family has suffered. A walk through town highlights the missing more than the still-present.

Still no explanation for the upheaval. Folks here call it the "Sundering." Darvell insists that he smelled the chasm before Chorrol was torn asunder. He's acting even odder than before, if that's possible.

When Prefect Doran was taken by a creature from the chasm, we looked to Domitius for leadership, but he refused. I have taken up the role, until someone else wants it. I sent Ethyan and Larian to the Imperial City, to see if more is known of these events. And to request aid for our ruined town.

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THE CHORROL CRIER

Issue 24
Hearthfire, 579

As most know, Ethyan and Larian returned from their journey last week. None of the news was good. They didn't make it to the city. The bridges are gone and monsters roam the banks of Lake Rumare. Our scouts heard rumors from refugees fleeing the city. No aid is coming; the city lies in ruins.

The cataclysm that split Chorrol in half also devastated the Imperial City. Some say it originated there. Larian reports the city folk called it the "Soulburst," though none knew why.

Emperor Varen is missing. Some say he died in the upheaval, others that he was just badly injured. Maybe it was his soul that burst? The Five Companions are all missing as well. Some say that Sai Sahan killed the emperor and stole the Amulet of Kings. Others claim it was Lyris. Only confusion reigns in the Imperial City now.

And in Chorrol as well. Creatures of flame lurk in the chasm now, seizing any who venture near. Fumes from the fiery depths have caused several Chorrolians to pass out while crossing the bridge and topple to their deaths. At least the fumes and monsters have chased away the merchants who used to infest Little Oak Place. I suspect we'll miss them in the months to come though.

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THE CHORROL CRIER

Issue 25
First Seed, 580

It's been many months since my last issue. I don't seem to have the energy for it anymore. I'll try to be better.

Chorrol teeters on the edge. Quakes shake the town almost every day. Our homes fall down around us. The chasm almost feels like part of the town now. It's hard to remember what Chorrol was like without it.

Many have left. Those who remain either have nowhere else to go or are too stubborn to give up. We're all just hanging on, waiting for we know not what.

Nowhere else is any better. They say the Tharns have seized control of the Empire, though they control little more than the city and Lake Rumare's environs. Clivia Tharn is now Empress Regent; may the she-wolf choke on the title.

Armed gangs roam the countryside, Imperial Army deserters gone bad. True soldiers are rarely seen, as they hide in their keeps. Rumors of war with the barbarian nations outside Cyrodiil are heard every day. They smell the Empire's weakness and look to conquer the jewel of Tamriel. The gods help us all.

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THE CHORROL CRIER

Final Issue
Sun's Dusk, 580

Sorry, but I can't do this anymore. This is the last issue of the Crier, unless someone else takes it up.

I keep hoping things will get better, but they only get worse. Each quake brings another piece of my house down and slides it a little closer to the chasm. I keep expecting it to fall in any day. When it does, I'll go with it. Ethyan does his best, but the house is more patches than holes now.

Armies march past the town, sometimes right through it. Never the Imperial Army, always troops from the Covenant or Dominion. Food is scarce, crops stolen or trampled by the invaders. We're slowly starving here.

No place else to go. War is everywhere. Bandits pillage at will. Travelers tell of monsters roaming the countryside. The few merchants who made it here are too scared to leave. Not that they have much to sell.

Who can fix this? It can't be fixed. This is the way things are now, until we die. The gods have left Cyrodiil. I wish you all luck, but you won't find it.

The Time of the Ebonheart Pact

Author: 
Alla Lalleth

The Wheel of Time turns: in the dawn, it was the day of the Aldmeri, and then came the time of Men—but now, as the decay and chaos in the Empire makes clear, the time of Men has past. Of the Men of Tamriel, only the Eastern Nords had the strength of character to join Dunmeri and Argonians in repelling the recent invasion of Snake-Men from Akavir, thereby showing that of all Men, only they may be trusted.

Time and again Men have shown that without proper guidance, their meddling with External Powers leads to disaster. Men's reckless dabbling with beings beyond Nirn must stop forever. Now it is the time of the Ebonheart Pact, which shall and must become the Tamriel Pact. Within the Pact, the Aedra, Daedra, and Hist are all revered … from an appropriate distance. Within the Pact is the Tribunal, three Living Gods who abide among us here on Nirn and whose interest therefore coincides with that of all residents of Nirn. Only they have shown how to treat successfully with powers beyond Nirn.

The rash actions of those who sit the Ruby Throne, or who pull their strings, have brought Tamriel to the verge of irretrievable doom. They must be scoured from the face of Cyrodiil, and the decaying remains of the Empire of Men must be swept away. It shall be replaced by the Pact, which will enforce peace across the continent and strictly regulate all involvement in dangerous magical pursuits.

Onward, warriors of the Pact! We will never know peace and freedom until we occupy White-Gold Tower!

A Royal Embarrassment

Author: 
Aemilianus Falto

By Aemilianus Falto, "A Concerned Citizen"

Can we be frank, just one citizen to another? It's dismayingly obvious that what we have left for a royal family here in Bangkorai is just not going to suffice. Nothing against the late King Eamond, who was a reasonably strong voice from the throne—though it was a shame the way he planned to allow Moneybags Emeric to get away with giving nominal rulership over the Fallen Wastes to Fahara'jad (who's never even been there, so far as I know).

However, now that Eamond's gone, we're in deeper trouble. Princess Elara acts more like a flighty Wood Elf than an honest Breton maid, and Prince Adrien—well, you've heard about his gambling debts, haven't you? And that he's a little too fond of the old spiced wine? All true, from what I've heard. In fact, that story about his half-Orc bastard might even be true too, so far as I know.

And as for Queen Arzhela, to be charitable, let's just say she isn't playing bowls with a full set of pins. Sewing with her thimble on the wrong finger. Fishing for mudcrabs without a net. You know, waltzing barefoot on oyster-shards with a duck egg, a nose-flute, and a nine-pound hammer. Got me?

So where does that leave us? Dangerously bereft of strong leadership, that's where. And I'm not about to accept another bird-brained, gift-wrapped import from Wayrest, I can tell you.

Where, then, can we turn? Personally, I've got my eye looking east, toward Cyrodiil. The Empire's a proven source of strong leaders when we Bretons are in the soup, going all the way back to Empress Hestra. And they worship the proper Eight Divines, too—none of your weird Tall Papas or Malacaths for me, thank you very much.

The Empire. Think about it. I'm pretty sure you'll agree.

Yours for the Taking!

Author: 
Anonymous

By Catonius Libo, Aide-de-Camp to General Lavinia Axius
Freeborn Colovians! You are hereby called to Serve your Homeland—and in the process, serve Yourself, your Family and Heirs.

EXTRAORDINARY NEWS

Be It Known that the region south of the River Strid, formerly known as Arenthia Vale of Valenwood, has been re-designated the South Weald of the Colovian Estates, as Decreed by the Count of Skingrad and Ratified by the Elder Council of the Empire of Cyrodiil. The Legion of the West Weald, under command of General Lavinia Axius, has been given the Honor of Annexing the South Weald and Securing its new Borders.

OPPORTUNITIES IN THE WEST WEALD LEGION

Be It Further Known that, upon Cessation of Hostilities in the South Weald, members of the Occupying Legion will be Mustered Out and Granted Land—Farms for Soldiers, Estates for Officers. Previous Ownership of all said Lands has been declared Null and Void by the Elder Council. Current Squatters will be Deported or Indentured and put to Useful Labor on behalf of the New Owners.

GLORY, ADVENTURE, AND PRIZE MONEY

Serve in the South Weald and earn the Plaudits of a Grateful Colovia! Consider also that after Previous Conflicts, many freeborn Colovians were able to enter the Lower Nobility by virtue of the Copious Ransoms elicited from the Families of Important Prisoners. This may be the Best Chance for Advancement in this generation—don't miss out due to Fretting, Timidity, or Trivial Entanglements.

The Fury of King Ranser

Author: 
Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)

In the year 563, after the formation of the second Wayrest dynasty, young King Emeric began a search for his bride. His first choice was Rayelle, daughter of King Ranser of Shornhelm, but before the marriage contracts were wrought, Emeric instead married Maraya, Redguard princess of Sentinel. This stunned courtiers across the land, and prompted bards to sing songs of Maraya's bewitching beauty. However, strategists saw the move as strengthening the trade between High Rock and Hammerfell. After Emeric's wedding in 566, High Rock readied itself for a golden age of commence. Three moons later, it was bracing for a bloody civil war.

Rivenspire was known as the backwater of High Rock. Ranser was one of these surly hillmen, a child of the north, known for his bitter temper and brutal rule. Emeric's slight was too much for him to bear. With an army of Northern Tamriel's surliest mercenaries and a host of his own people, he descended from the mountains to cut a bloody swath to the Iliac Bay. Emeric was caught unprepared. It was only the spirited defense of his Lion Guard that saved Wayrest from being razed. Ranser had hoped for a swift victory. Instead, he was forced into a protracted siege.

The long siege dragged on into spring, when the Daggerfall Covenant—a mutual defense pact, sworn by all the Breton kingdoms at the conclusion of the Reachmen Invasion—finally paid dividends, drawing Camlorn, Evermore, and Daggerfall into the fray. Some counseled letting Wayrest fall, but trade with the richest city in the region was too important to allow that. Attacked from the city and the surrounding countryside, Ranser's army stood firm; his mercenaries were well paid and prepared for bloodshed. But the crimson sails and battalions of elite Redguard warriors from across the bay turned the tide. Ranser's forces were routed, and Shornhelm was already ablaze when Ranser returned. This was the work of Orcs under the blood-rule of Kurog gro-Bagrakh.

Caught between the Breton hammer and the Orcish anvil, Ranser's troops were utterly annihilated in the Battle of Markwasten Moor. Ranser hadn't counted on Emeric's canniness; the King of Wayrest had sent emissaries into the Wrothgar Mountains with a pledge to return Orsinium to the Orcs if they attacked their hated enemy in Shornhelm. Rivenspire was despoiled, and some Orcs remembered how the Bretons of Shornhelm had led the assault that toppled Orsinium some 135 years before. These debts were paid to Shornhelm in full. Ranser's War built the Daggerfall Covenant as it is today: Stormhaven, Rivenspire, and Wrothgar are all indelibly marked by these events.

Against the Snakes

Author: 
Denskar

Been thinking about our fight against the Akaviri. I've got opinions. Think I'll write them down.

The whole damned war could have been avoided if those idiots in Windhelm had the sense to throw the Snakes back into the sea. Shor take them!

Still wish Jorunn had moved to reinforce Windhelm. Lost some good men that day.

Jorunn fortified Riften, but the Snakes rolled right past. Why go straight to the Ashlands?

The fighting south of Riften, north of Fort Virak, isn't given enough respect. Those men were pinned and outmanned, and still they held.

Wulfharth was the only reason the men kept fighting that day. Jorunn was just a pup. He couldn't rally a mead hall.

The Snakes push into Stonefalls after the fall of Fort Virak. Why? What were they after?

Heard rumors some of the Dark Elves turned their blades on the Shellbacks at first. Couldn't stand the thought of being rescued by Argonians. Damned fools.

Shor take the whole Snake island. Let them send another tiger demon! We'll take them again!

Second Invasion: Reports

Author: 
Anonymous

7 Sun's Height
The Akaviri land their ships in force. Several have been turned away or sunk, but more slip past our guard. Our forces move forward to meet them on the cliffs above the beaches, where we hold the high ground.

From our vantage point, the queen watches their approach. She will get to see firsthand the ferocity and strength of the Blood Claws!

8 Sun's Height
The Akaviri ships have dropped anchor back from the beach. Perhaps they fear our blades. I say let them starve themselves in their ships, but Princess Nurnhilde believes they plot, rather than cower. She is wiser than I, so I have sent scouts to find and foil any cowardly, underhanded tactics they might be ready to deploy.

19 Sun's Height
More than a week, and still the Akaviri do not attack. The soldiers grow restless, and Princess Nurnhilde broods. Scouts have returned without any information. Still, I continue to send them out day after day. None have spoken against me, but I see their looks as I order yet another patrol along the beaches.
The Blood Claws were made for slaughter, not waiting.

22 Sun's Height
Arguments and fighting in the camp, and the Akaviri still wait with their fleet, just beyond of our grasp. We've heard reports of attacks north and south of us, along the coast, even as far south as the Dark Elf lands. The troops wonder why we wait when fighting takes place elsewhere. And wonder begins to turn to anger.
Princess Nurnhilde insists that this is their main fleet, and that they are trying to lure us away from our position. When she speaks, the soldiers become calm and thoughtful. She cuts right through their anger and bitterness. I wish she would address them more often.

26 Sun's Height
An Akaviri ship landed today. It hit the beach in the darkness just before morning. Our soldiers surrounded it, expecting a hail of arrows from within, but none came. It was odd that such a large ship beached itself, but the troops were bored and hungry for blood. The magical traps on the ship claimed the lives of seven warriors.
I have never seen the troops so angry. Even the Princess had trouble calming them. When the Akaviri land, they will be torn to shreds. If we don't tear ourselves apart first, that is.

29 Sun's Height
Reports of the Dark Elf lands being overrun. There is little love lost between Nords and Dark Elves, but at this moment we share the frustration they must feel. The report talks of Akaviri in their fields, and our warriors hunger for combat.

I spoke with the Princess. I told her this news may have pushed the Blood Claws to a new level of rage. She said nothing, only pressed her lips together. She's always several steps ahead of the rest of us, and I fear she has seen something I have yet to notice.

2 Last Seed
The Akaviri landed this morning, a massive wave of destruction crashing upon the beach. Our soldiers were whipped into a frenzy as the call to arms rang out. They were reckless, and the first rush was cut down by archers before a proper line could be formed. Our recklessness cost us the beach, and the invaders now have a foothold in our land.

3 Last Seed
We had to fall back. Fighting was too intense and Princess Nurnhilde ordered the troops back to Windhelm. We'll fight from the walls and use the strength of the city to crush the invaders once and for all!

4 Last Seed
Tension runs high tonight, as we wait for the Akaviri to press forward. I saw Nurnhilde donning armor. The Blood Claws will follow her, listen to her orders like the voice of the Dragon itself, but the risk is so great. Word has come to us the princes are nearby, fighting their way to the city. I pray they arrive in time to help.

7 Last Seed
Queen Mabjaarn and Princess Nurnhilde are dead. Nurnhilde led the Blood Claws into combat when the gates of Windhelm fell. They fought like I have never seen anyone fight before, raging in perfect coordination. When the queen went down, the rage took over, though Nurnhilde donned the crown and try to restore order to our lines. The Akaviri were driven from the city. They thought to goad us, and they did, but the beast they awoke was more than they could handle.

But then they came back. Now Queen Nurnhilde is dead. I should have been able to command my warriors, control them. It should have been me, not her. The responsibility for their deaths is mine, and I will explain that to the princes personall

Elder Scrolls Online Lore Answers

Author: 
Zenimax Online

What role will the Tribunal play on the Ebonheart side and in general?
At the time of the Alliance War in The Elder Scrolls Online, Almalexia is handling most of the daily affairs of the Tribunal. Vivec and Sotha Sil are occupied with “other matters” – but rest assured, what those matters are will eventually be revealed.

The Aldmeri Dominion foundation doesn't match established lore.
Over time, there have been several federations in southwestern Tamriel known as the Aldmeri Dominion. None lasted very long, and due to the insular nature of the High Elves, their histories are poorly understood in Cyrodiil and the other provinces. The Aldmeri Dominion founded by Queen Ayrenn in 2E 582 is the First Dominion; the federation founded in 2E 830 is the Second Dominion; while the Elven empire of the Fourth Era (as seen in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) is the Third Dominion – or possibly the Fourth. (It’s a matter of some debate among historians of Elven affairs.)

What is the motivation for the orcs and the orsinium kingdom in joining the Daggerfall Covenant? What connects these three races of unlikely allies to band together as they have?
As a race, the Orcs have what we would call an inferiority complex. They’ve been kicked around Tamriel and looked down upon by the other races since the beginning of time, and they crave respect. It was a big deal for the Orcs when, in relatively recent history, Orsinium was finally admitted into the Second Empire as a full province. The clans that have joined the Daggerfall Covenant remember that period of recognition, and seek to revive it. The Bretons promised the Orcs could revive Orsinium unmolested, and that once the Covenant re-established the Empire, Orsinium would once again be an Imperial province.

What effect will the Green Pact have on gathering ingredients and hunting animals in Valenwood?
The Green Pact affects the behavior of Wood Elf NPCs who are devout regarding it, limiting what they can do to living plants. How the Green Pact affects player character behavior is entirely up to the player. (This is an Elder Scrolls game, after all!)

Is Cyrodiil a jungle?
Based on current Tamriel lore, Cyrodiil is not a jungle in The Elder Scrolls Online. To quote the scholar Phrastus of Elinhir: "The use of the phrase 'endless jungle' to describe Cyrodiil appears to be an error in transcription. Close study of the original, badly faded manuscript reveals that the phrase was miscopied, and should be more accurately rendered as 'extensive uplands.' The adjectives 'an equatorial rain' as applied to the Nibenay forest do not appear in the original manuscript at all, and I would posit were added by the scribe in support of his previous erroneous use of 'jungle.' Lady Cinnabar of Taneth, of course, takes issue with this exegesis, but the flaws in her methods of scholarship have been well-documented elsewhere."

Some people are worried that The Elder Scrolls Online’s Alderi Dominion isn’t as extreme as they were described in the “Pocket Guide to the Empire.” Is this Dominion a less extreme precursor?
Yes – and remember, the “Pocket Guide to the Empire” was written by enemies of the Dominion – every Elder Scrolls lore book reflects the point of view of its author(s), even the PGE. The Aldmeri think their cause is just and actions taken in its name are righteous. Their opponents, on the other hand, regard them as racist authoritarians out to return the humans of Tamriel to a condition little better than slavery.

How do you intend to portray the jungle, culture, and cannibalism of the Bosmer? Any Ayleid enclaves deep in the jungles?
For the Wood Elves, cannibalism is a matter of ritual significance, and typically quite private within a family or tight-knit group. There’s actually a lot of background on Valenwood and the Bosmer in Elder Scrolls lore, though you may have to dig a little to find it.  After Empress Alessia’s “slave army” drove the Ayleids from Cyrodiil, many of them took refuge in Valenwood, so Ayleid ruins are actually rather common in the southern jungles.

Will the Khajiit players in The Elder Scrolls Online also get a choice in sub-species, or will the default still be Suthay-raht?
Among the Khajiit, the race of feline humanoids who originate from Elsweyr, the Suthay-raht are indeed the most common breed, and at launch, all player-character and non-player-character Khajiit in The Elder Scrolls Online will be Suthay-raht. Now, will you glimpse more Khajiit sub-species in ESO in the future? Only time will tell!

How did the Aldmeri Dominion come to be formed in the first place?
It was really the brainchild of Queen Ayrenn after she assumed the throne of Alinor. Having traveled Tamriel extensively before returning to Summerset, she was aware of the dire threats menacing the world and saw it as the proper duty of the Elves to put things right. At the same time, the Wood Elves and Khajiit were facing troubles of their own and in need of allies, so they came together to form the Dominion.

What is the social and legal opinion of slavery in Tamriel during this time period?
It varies by jurisdiction. The Clans of the Reach, for example, certainly keep captured enemies as slaves – but they’re barbarians. In most civilized realms, slavery is illegal, with the obvious exception being Morrowind. Under the terms of the Ebonheart Pact, the Dark Elves have had to liberate their Argonian slaves, but they still have slaves of other races, the most common of which are Khajiit.

Will Elsweyr be in The Elder Scrolls Online?
Yes. At launch, you will be able to explore two corners of Elsweyr: an island off the south coast, and the far northwest corner of Anequina, around the city of Dune and Fort Sphinxmoth. Most of Elsweyr is still in the grip of the Knahaten Flu, and isn’t a place you really want to go until the epidemic has run its course.

You’ve mentioned the playable areas of Elsweyr and Summerset; what will the playable areas of Valenwood be?
A great deal of Valenwood will be playable, from Haven on the Elsweyr border, west past Southpoint, Greenheart, Woodhearth, and north all the way up the Strid Estuary to the border with Colovia. That includes the entire interior between those points, so prepare for lots of Wood Elven goodness.

Who rules Elsweyr? Do they have nobles, ruling families, or something similar? Will the Mane make an appearance in game?
In the northern deserts of Elsweyr, the nomadic tribes are ruled by tribal chiefs while southern Elsweyr with its merchants, farms, and arts has a long-established Khajiiti nobility. The Mane, who is the Khajiiti spiritual leader and combines these two ways of life into one culture, will definitely be making an appearance in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Elsweyr is infamous for its Moon Sugar production. What do Altmer and Bosmer think about this?
Most of the uses of moon-sugar are benign, and just satisfy the Catfolk’s insatiable craving for sweets. It’s only when moon-sugar is refined into the dangerous narcotic skooma that it becomes a problem. No government approves of skooma.

I’d like to know more about the Knahaten Flu. How did it come to be and how was it treated?
There are many theories as to the origin of the Knahaten Flu – some believe in natural causes, while others blame the Argonians since they are immune to it. There are also many, er, entrepreneurs who claim they have effective cures. As a player, you’ll have to decide for yourself what to believe.

Are we only going to see Ayleid ruins in Cyrodiil, or will they be found in other provinces like High Rock and Valenwood?
The Ayleids were considerably more widespread than in just the province of Cyrodiil – at the height of their civilization, they were spread across Tamriel from High Rock to Black Marsh, and though their ruins are most frequently encountered in Cyrodiil, you might find one in any province but Skyrim, Morrowind, and Summerset. Outside Cyrodiil they are most common in Valenwood, because after the Slave Revolt of St. Alessia, the Ayleids who fled Cyrodiil largely took refuge among the Wood Elves of the south.

How much has the influence of the Eight Divines grown, and will we see an involvement in ESO?
The Imperial Eight Divines are devoutly worshiped in Cyrodiil and much of the Daggerfall Covenant. In other regions reverence for the Eight varies—even which divinities make up the Eight varies from culture to culture.

Are we going to encounter Dragonborns in ESO or learn shouts ourselves?
The line of Reman Cyrodiil of the Second Empire was certainly Dragonborn, but they died out at the end of the First Era, and between then and the date of The Elder Scrolls Online, no “legitimate” Dragonborn has been confirmed by being able to light the Dragonfires in the Imperial City.

As for shouts (i.e., thu’ums), at the time of ESO, they are considered a legend out of the distant past.

Are many changes being made to the province of Skyrim to make it differ or stand out from the Skyrim of TESV?
The Elder Scrolls Online is set 1,000 years earlier than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, so you may notice that some of the ancient Nord ruins are a little less worn and weathered than in Skyrim’s time. You’ll also find towns, like Nimalten in the Rift, that are gone and nearly forgotten by the Fourth Era but still alive and thriving in the Second Era.

What are the meanings of these Ebonheart Pact insignia you used for the facebook and twitter icons?
The Nord dragon insignia honors the Dragonborn and the history of their people's struggle against the power of the dragons. The three spikes of the Morrowind insignia refer to the three living gods of the Tribunal honored by most Dark Elves--Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec. The insignia for Black Marsh is a stylized rendering of an Argonian's face—but whether it depicts some ancient hero or ruler of Black Marsh history, or just represents the race as a whole, only the Argonians know. And they're not telling.

Are the nations in the Ebonheart Pact entirely happy with the alliance?
The foundation on which the Ebonheart Pact was built—a mutual desire for survival—makes for a deeply complex and ever-shifting political atmosphere. The Argonians, Nords, and Dark Elves have set aside their differences, for now, to unite under one banner against their shared enemies, but it would be a far cry from the truth to say that everyone is happy or even content with the Alliance. A certain level of distrust and resentment smolders just beneath the surface for many members of the Pact.

While some are openly accepting or critical of the Alliance, most Pact members you’ll encounter fall somewhere in between, and hold their true feelings about the arrangement close to their chest. It really depends on each individual character’s perspective and life experiences. Most of those you'll encounter are not willing to reveal their personal feelings to a stranger, but you will meet some who are very open with their praise or disdain for the choices their leaders have made.

Will we learn anything more about the race, history, or culture of the Falmer (Snow Elves) in ESO?
In the Second Era, the Snow Elves are a near-forgotten legend, and the fact that they’ve degenerated underground into the feral Falmer of Skyrim is a deep secret. But secrets can be discovered, and the Falmer may make a future appearance in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Where is the main base of the Ebonheart Pact?
The throne of Eastern Skyrim is in Windhelm, but the great city of Mournhold is the capital of the Ebonheart Pact, and it is there that Jorunn presides over the Great Moot.

Will the Forsworn faction be implemented in The Elder Scrolls Online?
The Forsworn are a faction of the Reachmen that exists in the Fourth Era during the time of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. While the Reachmen are mainly of Breton stock, they have their own culture and society and don't consider themselves Bretons – and the Bretons agree. The Reachmen definitely appear in The Elder Scrolls Online, as they've allied themselves with dark Daedric forces that have sacked the Imperial City. Reachmen clans have been giving trouble both to the Bretons of the Daggerfall Covenant and the Nords of the Ebonheart Pact.

How are the Breton and Redguard peoples reacting to the alliance with the Orcs?
It’s definitely an alliance of convenience, much as when the Nords and Orcs marched to the aid of the Dwarves at the Battle of Red Mountain. Individual Bretons and Redguards may not be happy about it, but the residents of their border towns say it’s better to have the Orcs marching against their enemies than raiding their flocks and their farms. The Redguards and Orcs have always respected each other as honorable opponents – and while the Orcs may not trust the Bretons, as a general thing, they do trust King Emeric, who’s proven reliable. And serving side-by-side is building trust between the races.

Will we have an opportunity to join the Great Houses of Morrowind?
The rivalries between the Great Houses of the Dark Elves have deep roots, and they are all important players in the politics of Morrowind. In fact, House Telvanni—the people of the mushroom towers—are estranged from the other Houses at the time of The Elder Scrolls Online, and they refused to join the Ebonheart Pact. (We’ll share more about them in the future, you can be sure.) Your characters will have opportunities to help (or hinder) the other Great Houses of Morrowind, though formal adoption into their ranks won’t be part of the game at launch.

To what extent will the Tribunal and the pretender to the Tribunal feature in the Ebonheart Pact storyline?
As the spiritual and political rulers of Morrowind, the Tribunal members are quite prominent in the Ebonheart Pact—especially Almalexia, who’s been handling temporal affairs since the recent Akaviri invasion. But a pretender to the Tribunal? Mother Morrowind would dismiss the idea as absurd. Clearly impossible.

Will we be able to travel through Black Marsh?
All members of the Ebonheart Pact will have an opportunity to visit Shadowfen, the northwestern region of Black Marsh that borders on Morrowind and includes the ancient city of Stormhold.

Are Bretons considered half-elves?
Though the Bretons have some Elven blood in them, both the Bretons and the Elves consider them to be humans.

How long ago was it that the High Elves were pushed back out of Hammerfell and High Rock? Are there any lingering effects of the invasion still felt during ESO?
The Direnni Hegemony, in which High Elves ruled most of what is now the Daggerfall Covenant, was in decline by 1E 500, so it’s a good 3,000 years since the Bretons began home rule in High Rock. When the Redguards arrived in Hammerfell a few centuries later, Clan Direnni had already retreated to Balfiera Island in the Iliac Bay, where they still reside.

Why did the Aldmeri Dominion change Valenwood’s capital city? And why is a Bosmer city the capital of the Dominion, despite the fact that the Altmer are the true leaders?
The High Elves proposed Elden Root in Valenwood as the capital of the Aldmeri Dominion for strategic reasons – it helps bind the continental races to the Elves of Summerset to have the capital on Tamriel – and for mystical reasons, about which we can say no more!

Will we see the buildings of Alinor that look like they are “made from glass or insect wings?” And will we see the Crystal Tower for that matter?
When The Elder Scrolls Online launches, the playable part of the Summerset Isles will be Auridon, the big island between Summerset and the continent that includes the cities of Firsthold and Skywatch. The architecture of the High Elves is fanciful, certainly, but it’s also practical, constructed of real-world materials. Architects can’t make buildings out of poetry!

Will the Camoran Dynasty be somehow involved in the Dominion’s politics?
The Camoran dynasty ruled (or at least influenced) Valenwood ever since it was founded back in 1E 1. With the end of the second Empire the Camoran dynasty is trying to return to its former glory. At the time of The Elder Scrolls Online, Camoran Aeradan is King of the Wood Elves – so, yes, the Camorans play a definite role. The politics of those in and around the Camoran dynasty continue to inform everything that happens in Valenwood.

What made the Bosmer decide to join the Dominion?
After the recent civil war between the Camorans, Valenwood was in disarray and vulnerable to external threats. The Cabal who ran the Imperial City took advantage of this by sending Colovian troops to seize some of the Wood Elves’ northern territory. Seeking an ally to help drive back the Colovians, the Bosmer King Aeradan turned to Queen Ayrenn and her new Dominion.

Will leaders like Queen Ayrenn get involved in the actual fighting between alliances, or does she prefer to pull strings from the safe capitol?
The three alliance leaders have distinct personalities and will make different choices. Queen Ayrenn is less tradition-bound than most Elves, and she wants to see the situation for herself rather than rely on reports. She prefers to be where the action is.

What do the Aldmeri Dominion symbols represent?
The Aldmeri Dominion has adopted as its symbol the eagle sigil of the High Elves of Summerset. For the Altmer, the high-soaring eagle represents their ancestors the Aedra, who came from the heavens and were trapped in physical form by the creation of Nirn. The Khajiiti symbol depicts Nirn's two moons—Masser and Secunda—and the Cat-folks' claws, while the Bosmeri symbol represents the Green Pact with Y'ffre the Forest Deity.

What is the significance of a lion adorning the crests of both the Bretons and the Daggerfall Covenant as a whole?
When the Breton Lion Guard became High King Emeric’s elite knightly order, he adopted the lion as his personal crest, and thereafter it became the martial symbol of the Daggerfall Covenant.

Will we see any level of enmity towards Orsimer NPCs and players contained in quest-giver dialog or general NPC chatter?
A political treaty like the Daggerfall Covenant doesn't necessarily change the attitudes of the people whose leaders signed the treaty. Some people, tired of conflict between the races, have embraced the alliance, while others still regard their old antagonists with suspicion or even open hostility.

What is the relationship between the mercantile pursuits and politics in High Rock, and how does it definite the Daggerfall Covenant’s motives for seeking the Ruby Throne?
Certainly “Free Trade in Tamriel” is one of the stated goals of the Daggerfall Covenant, which to the Pact and Dominion just means “Let merchants from Wayrest and Sentinel dominate all trade.

Why is the alliance called the Daggerfall Covenant?
It’s an accident of history. The First, or Breton, Daggerfall Covenant was a treaty of mutual defense signed by the Breton Kings after the defeat of Durcorach’s Reachmen Horde – which took place at Daggerfall. That battle before the gates of Daggerfall was also the first major victory of the young Emeric of Cumberland.

Will the religious differences within the three races, particularly those of the Orcs and Redguards, be emphasized? Will there be Daedra-worshipping cults?
Political alliances and enmities can either mitigate or exaggerate religious differences. The leaders of the Covenant are eager to suppress religious conflicts between Bretons, Redguards, and Orcs in the interest of solidarity. And Orcish leaders, such as King Kurog, emphasize that the Orcs of Orsinium worship Mauloch, who absolutely isn’t a Daedric Prince at all, honest. It’s those other Orcs who worship the Daedra Lord Malacath.

What are the plans for including “The Way of the Sword,” the Ansei, and the Shehai as part of Redguard history and combat mastery?
Many, if not most, Redguards admire and revere skill with swordplay, and they visit schools like the one at Leki's Blade to hone their mastery. Alas, it seems the Ansei's ability to summon the Shehai, or "spirit sword," was lost when the Ansei died out in the long First Era. Lost forever? Who can say?

Will there be quests for the gods of Yokuda like there were in previous games for the Divines?
The old Yokudan gods are definitely worshiped by the Redguards of Hammerfell, particularly the Crowns, who try to maintain the traditions of Yokuda in their new homeland. You'll find that the priests of Redguard Divines such as Tu'whacca, Zeht, and Ruptga have an active presence in Hammerfell.

Will we be visiting a city of Crown nature, such as Hegathe, in ESO?
We won’t be getting as far south as Hegathe until sometime after launch, but you’ll definitely be seeing Crown-dominated towns such as Bergama and Lainlyn in the northern reaches of the Alik’r.

What kind of prominent Argonian figures will we meet?
You will meet the Archcanons, such as Heita-Meen, who administer Argonian affairs above the tribal level (at least in northern Black Marsh), as well as the Keeper of the Hatching Pool in Shadowfen.

Will we be able to meet the leaders of the Ebonheart Pact?
Yes, if you create an Ebonheart Pact character in The Elder Scrolls Online and make certain choices as you play, you will have the opportunity to meet Jorunn the Skald-King and members of the Tribunal.  As for Argonia’s royalty, Black Marsh (“Argonia”) isn’t ruled by a monarchy at this point in Elder Scrolls history—but there are certainly plenty of other prominent Argonians to meet in the game.

Can you tell us the life expectancy of the Elven races?
Elves live two to three times as long as humans and the “beast-races” (Orcs, Khajiiti, Argonians). A 200-year-old Elf is old; a 300-year-old Elf is very, very old indeed. Anyone older than that has prolonged his or her lifespan through powerful magic.

Will I be able to build on crafting knowledge from previous Elder Scrolls games in ESO?
Yes, many of the plants and crafting ingredients that you’ll be able to find in The Elder Scrolls Online will be very familiar if you’ve played other Elder Scrollsgames. Nirnroot, Mountain Flowers, and Vampire Dust are just a few of the familiar items you’ll find, and we aim to give them similar alchemic properties as the ones they have in previous Elder Scrolls games. However, ESO’s crafting system is expansive by nature and has required us to make a few changes. There won’t be a perfect one-to-one match with item properties between past games and The Elder Scrolls Online, but discovering what something does 1,000 years before the return of the Dragon King is half the fun of crafting.

I read in your last article about the Daggerfall Covenant that the city of Lainlyn would be featured in the game. Does that mean we’ll learn more about the origin and the culture of the harpies?  Will we be allowed to attend Riglametha?  Will the Dragonsword of Lainlyn be featured in the game?
There will be adventures set in the Alik’r Desert port town of Tava’s Blessing, which is the precursor of Lainlyn. You will meet members of the Lainlyn family, for whom the town will later be renamed, and there are adventures in the desert with harpies, but that’s all we’ll reveal at present!

In the time the game takes place does Orsinium exist as a major city? Or as a kingdom?
Thanks to the treaty with the Daggerfall Covenant, Orsinium has been restored to the Orcs of Wrothgar, and they are rebuilding and reoccupying it. Southern Wrothgar is under the control of King Kurog of Orsinium, but north of the city the region is still a patchwork of strongholds.

I am a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls games and I have played a Breton since Morrowind, so I'm definitely joining the Daggerfall Covenant. My question has to deal with the Forsworn faction. Will they be implemented in the game, either as a faction or through quests? I always thought that their story was very interesting and wanted to know if it will be explored in ESO, since they have been around at least since the First Era, well within the time the game takes place.
Though the Reachmen are related to the Bretons, they consider themselves a separate race (and so do the Bretons). The Reachmen are not a playable race, as they’re basically enemies to everyone (and like it that way), but you will see them causing trouble in High Rock, Hammerfell, Skyrim, and even Cyrodiil. The Forsworn are a Fourth-Era faction of the Reachmen that actually hearkens back to the Reach culture of ESO’s era, so they don’t appear as such, but the Reachmen of our time resemble them.

The oldest structure in Tamriel, the Adamantine Tower (or Direnni Tower) is in High Rock. Are we going to be able to visit this building, and if so, how are you going to represent it to us?
From the shores of the Iliac Bay you can see the Adamantine Tower rising from the heights of Balfiera Island. Can you visit it? Time will tell.

In The Elder Scrolls V, players found that a number of Orcish Strongholds dotted the Skyrim landscape. What’s their history? Now that the Orcs and Nords are on opposite sides, how will they play a role in the storyline?
Orcs live in strongholds in the mountains throughout northern Tamriel. Most of them keep to themselves, staying out of the wars of Men and Elves. The Orcs of Wrothgar, who are signatories to the Daggerfall Covenant, are the exception, having long had ambitions of nationhood.

Based on known lore and from previous Elder Scrolls titles, the Orcs traditionally seem to keep to themselves and to their strongholds, with the odd exception. What is the motivation for the Orcs and the Orsinium Kingdom in joining the Daggerfall Covenant? What connects these three races of unlikely allies to band together as they have?
As mentioned above, the Orcs of Wrothgar have long been ambitious to have their own state, and these ambitions have been repeatedly crushed over the millennia. Their membership in the Covenant is one more attempt at organization and recognition.

I was wondering, besides the title Mane, is there a prefix that is attached to his name? Tied into this question is the absence of Manes. Who rules between Manes? Roughly ten to fifteen years would pass before one could be found or properly trained to take over. In days of old, they transitioned power between the many states based on the phases of the moons, but with only two states remaining, Pellitine and Anequina, it would seem more likely that they would transition with every ruler with the exception of Manes.
The selection and accession of a new Mane is, in fact, one of the key events in which players can get involved in northern Valenwood and western Elsweyr. How is a new Mane chosen and accepted? You’ll get to see for yourself.

Will we find cookies in dungeons?
As you are probably aware, in this time period there are no cookies. No one is certain why there are no cookies. Some believe it was due to the Knahaten Flu outbreak being directly linked to circular baked goods, which explains the oblong bread shapes prevalent at this time. Still others believe that Sheogorath made it so sugar became salt when used for baking cookies. It is rumored he did this over what he believed was an inappropriate bout of familiarity when his servant used a certain term of endearment. There is probably little truth to either of those theories. It is far more likely that a very bad batch of Bosmer Meat Cookies, meant as a sincere gift, soured the old emperor’s stomach and he ordered an edict to kill all bakers who even had cookies on their menu. So, no. No cookie for you.

Jorunn the Skald-King

Author: 
Helgreir Lute-Voice, Bard of Windhelm

Born in 2E 546 to Queen Mabjaarn Flame-Hair, Prince Jorunn grew up knowing that his elder sister, Nurnhilde, was fated to take the throne. A singer of rare talent in a culture that reveres the power of the human voice, Jorunn studied at Skald's Retreat on the Isle of Gold outside Riften. There he learned all that could be taught by the most renowned bards of the Eastern Kingdom. He was dubbed the “Skald Prince” of Skyrim.

Jorunn spent most of his youth in artistic and philosophical pursuits, cultivating a broad array of artists, artisans, and performers throughout Eastern Skyrim and beyond. He spent time in Mournhold, Stormhold, Sutch, Elinhir, and is even reputed to have visited Solitude,the capital of Western Skyrim, in disguise. Though he claimed to have no interest in politics or the business of rule, his natural leadership qualities made him the unofficial leader of the creative community wherever he found himself. Though he received little formal schooling in the arts of arms and warfare – as little as a prince of the Nords could manage, anyway – traveling across Tamriel was always a dangerous activity. His travels taught him less orthodox ways of dealing with trouble.

Jorunn was in Riften when the Akaviri of Dir-Kamal assaulted the northeast coast of Skyrim in 2E 572. Jorunn and his closest comrades, the “Pack of Bards,” fought their way up the coast to Windhelm, arriving just in time to see its gates breached by the Akaviri.

Jorunn hurled himself into the fray, street-fighting being something he had experience with, but was unable to prevent the fall of the city and the slaying of Queen Mabjaarn and the Princess Nurnhilde, who both went down fighting.

Wounded and devastated, Jorunn barely escaped the sack of Windhelm alive. Feeling for the first time the responsibility of his royal birth, he decided to appeal to the Greybeards for aid, and so made his way, stealthily but quickly, to High Hrothgar. For reasons that have not been divulged, the Greybeards summoned a hero from Sovngarde, Wulfharth the Ash-King, to fight at Jorunn's side.

Together Wulfharth and Jorunn, now claiming the title Skald King, rallied the Nords of Eastern Skyrim, mustering an army from the Rift and the outer regions of Eastmarch, then fortifying Riften. Dir-Kamal, moving south from Windhelm, found Riften defended by angry Nords inspired by the presence of Wulfharth and eager to fight. So Dir-Kamal bypassed Riften and marched on Mournhold, the Akaviri leader assuming that the Nords would be glad to see him go.

That choice was a fatal mistake. Jorunn and Wulfharth led their army in pursuit of the Akaviri force, and a Nordic army entered Morrowind for the first time since the Battle of Red Mountain. The Akaviri army was caught at Stonefalls between the Nords and a Dunmer legion led by Almalexia, but the outcome of the great battle hung in the balance -- until a surprise intervention from a phalanx of Argonian shellbacks, led by a trio of reptilianbattlemages. The Akaviri line was broken and they were driven into the sea, where they drowned by the thousands.

The Ash King, his purpose fulfilled, returned to Sovngarde. In Windhelm, three weeks later, Jorunn was crowned High King in the throne room of the Palace of Kings.

Galerion the Mystic

Author: 
Anonymous

Galerion The Mystic

by
Asgrim Kolsgreg

 

During the early bloody years of the Second Era, Vanus Galerion was born under the name Trechtus, a serf on the estate of a minor nobleman, Lord Gyrnasse of Sollicich-on-Ker. Trechtus' father and mother were common laborers, but his father had secretly, against the law of Lord Gyrnasse, taught himself and then Trechtus to read. Lord Gyrnasse had been advised that literate serfs were an abomination of nature and dangerous to themselves and their lords, and had closed all bookstalls within Sollicich-on-Ker. All booksellers, poets, and teachers were forbidden, except within Gyrnasse's keep. Nevertheless, a small scale smuggling operation kept a number of books and scrolls in circulation right under Gyrnasse's shadow.

When Trechtus was eight, the smugglers were found and imprisoned. Some said that Trechtus's mother, an ignorant and religious woman fearful of her husband, was the betrayer of the smugglers, but there were other rumors as well. The trial of the smugglers was nonexistant, and the punishment swift. The body of Trechtus' father was kept hanging for weeks during the hottest summer Sollicich-on-Ker had seen in centuries.

Three months later, Trechtus ran away from Lord Gyrnasse's estate. He made it as far as Alinor, half-way across Summerset Isle. A band of troubadours found him nearly dead, curled up in a ditch by the side of the road. They nursed him to health and employed him as an errand boy in return for food and shelter. One of the troubadours, a soothsayer named Heliand, began testing Trechtus' mind and found the boy, though shy, to be preternaturally intelligent and sophisticated given his circumstances. Heliand recognized in the boy a commonality, for Heliand had been trained on the Isle of Artaeum as a mystic.

When the troupe was performing in the village of Potansa on the far eastern end of Summurset, Heliand took Trechtus, then a boy of eleven, to the Isle of Artaeum. The Magister of the Isle, Iachesis, recognized potential in Trechtus and took him on as pupil, giving him the name of Vanus Galarion. Vanus trained his mind on the Isle of Artaeum, as well as his body.

Thus was the first Archmagister of the Mages Guild trained. From the Psijics of the Isle of Artaeum, he received his training. From his childhood of want and injustice, he received his philosophy of sharing knowledge.