Skip navigation
Library

second era

The Windhelm Letters

Author: 
Reylia, Stessl, Shapl

The following transcribed letters were recovered from a strongbox found after a fire consumed a house in Solitude in the early part of the 3rd Era. Nobody by the addressed name lived at the home, and it is unknown how long the family had owned the strongbox. The letters are believed to have been written during the reign of Jarl Elgryr the Unminded, who ruled Windhelm in the Second Era and about whom few other records are extant.

My dearest Thessalonius,

I hope this letter reaches you, and finds you well. It is getting more difficult to find paper within the city, but I still save the scraps sent by the city's tax agents. I hope you don't mind a household reckoning on the reverse of this.

Windhelm remains as cold as ever, but nothing compared to the heart of her king. Smoke and revelry rise from the palace daily, while we have little wood or coal to keep the chill off. I fear for the little ones, but they're so brave, having never known any other kind of life. We all speak of you daily, and hope that we may come to see you soon.

Yours,
Reylia

 

Dear Thessalonius,

Your last message arrived safely, but the promised gold mentioned within did not. When I mentioned this to the courier, she shrugged and turned to the door with no other word. While hearing from you brings joy to us all, I would caution you to not trust that particular woman again.

The minds of the city grow numb with cold and silence. We starve, and the unminded one makes no appearance, no speech, nothing to succor his people. His wizard has been seen walking the streets of the city at odd hours, visiting homes. I saw him paint some horrid symbol on one door -- it dripped like blood before vanishing like sand in the wind. The next dawn, nobody who lived there still drew breath. I am a friend to one of the scullery maids who was sent to clean out the house. She described the most horrible things to me and the children, but I will spare you the details.

The worst of it is, that was a house that supported the king. If that's what happens to his friends, what will be the fate of the rest of us?

But don't let this shift your mind from its important tasks. We all know you work to free us, and pray for your success and swift return.

Love,
Reylia

 

This next letter was scribbled onto a piece of cloth with what appears to be charcoal.

Thess.,

I hope you didn't actually ... [illegible] ... efforts are important, but our sufferings must remain ... [illegible] ... retaliation can be swift and terrible. If you no longer care for me, at least think of your ... [illegible] .... Love always, R

 

Dear Thessalonius,

Weeks go by and we have no word from Solitude. I tell the children that you're simply very busy, but it's getting harder to make excuses for you. If you can no longer send money (and I understand, smuggling anything of value into the city has become a fool's errand), at least send word that you still live and work for the freedom of Windhelm.

As regards your issue that I mentioned previously, worry not. With food shortages being what they are, I have removed it from my concerns.

Always yours,
Reylia

 

My dearest Thessalonius,

It was good to hear from you at last. Please forgive the rantings of a starving mind. We have at last depleted the basement stores of food, even with the strictest rationing. I see the little ones' faces growing thin and my heart weeps for them. They are, in some ways, brave. I think they're looking after me moreso than I them.

Please come home. I strongly desire to look upon your face.

-- R

 

Papa,

Ma said to write you, so we love and miss you. Ma is tired a lot, but has lots of visitors, so we are being good and helpping.

Love,
Stessl and Shapl

 

Thessalonius,

I don't have much time. The city has finally broken. The gates of the palace will not keep us out. The storming begins soon. I have gathered those who still have a spirit to live, and we are taking our own fortunes to hand. I hope to see you on the other side of this. Pray for us as we once prayed for you.

Your Reylia

Death Blow of Abernanit

Author: 
Geocrates Varnus, ed.

The Death Blow of Abernanit

With Explains by the sage
Geocrates Varnus

Broken battlements and wrecked walls
Where worship of the Horror (1) once embraced.
The bites of fifty winters (2) frost and wind
Have cracked and pitted the unholy gates,
And brought down the cruel, obscene spire.
All is dust, all is nothing more than dust.
The blood has dried and screams have echoed out.
Framed by hills in the wildest, forlorn place
Of Morrowind
Sits the barren bones of Abernanit.

When thrice-blessed Rangidil (3) first saw Abernanit,
It burnished silver bright with power and permanence.
A dreadful place with dreadful men to guard it
With fever glassed eyes and strength through the Horror.
Rangidil saw the foes' number was far greater
Than the few Ordinators and Buoyant Armigers he led,
Watching from the hills above, the field and castle of death
While it stood, it damned the souls of the people
Of Morrowind.
Accursed, iniquitous castle Abernanit.

The alarum was sounded calling the holy warriors to battle
To answer villiany's shield with justice's spear,
To steel themselves to fight at the front and be brave.
Rangidil too grasped his shield and his thin ebon spear
And the clamor of battle began with a resounding crash
To shake the clouds down from the sky.
The shield wall was smashed and blood staunched
The ground of the field, a battle like no other
Of Morrowind
To destroy the evil of Abernanit.

The maniacal horde were skilled at arms, for certes,
But the three holy fists of Mother, Lord, and Wizard (4) pushed
The monster's army back in charge after charge.
Rangidil saw from above, urging the army to defend,
Dagoth Thras (5) himself in his pernicious tower spire,
And knew that only when the heart of evil was caught
Would the land e'er be truly saved.
He pledge then by the Temple and the Holy Tribunal
Of Morrowind
To take the tower of Abernanit.

In a violent push, the tower base was pierced,
But all efforts to fell the spire came to naught
As if all the strength of the Horror held that one tower.
The stairwell up was steep and so tight
That two warriors could not ascend it side by side.
So single-file the army clambered up and up
To take the tower room and end the reign
Of one of the cruellest petty tyrants in the annals
Of Morrowind,
Dagoth Thras of Abernanit.

They awaited a victory cry from the first to scale the tower
But silence only returned, and then the blood,
First only a rivulet and then a scarlet course
Poured down the steep stairwell, with the cry from above,
"Dagoth Thras is besting our army one by one!"
Rangidil called his army back, every Ordinator and
Buoyant Armiger, and he himself ascended the stairs,
Passing the bloody remains of the best warriors
Of Morrowind
To the tower room of Abernanit.

Like a raven of death on its aerie was Dagoth Thras
Holding bloody shield and bloody blade at the tower room door.
Every thrust of Rangidil's spear was blocked with ease;
Every slash of Rangidil's blade was deflected away;
Every blow of Rangidil's mace was met by the shield;
Every quick arrow shot could find no purchase
For the Monster's greatest power was in his dread blessing
That no weapon from no warrior found in all
Of Morrowind
Could pass the shield of Abernanit.

As hour passed hour, Rangidil came to understand
How his greatest warriors met their end with Dagoth Thras.
For he could exhaust them by blocking their attacks
And then, thus weakened, they were simply cut down.
The villain was patient and skilled with the shield
And Rangidil felt even his own mighty arms growing numb
While Dagoth Thras anticipated and blocked each cut
And Rangidil feared that without the blessing of the Divine Three
Of Morrowind
He'd die in the tower of Abernanit.

But he still poured down blows as he yelled,
"Foe! I am Rangidil, a prince of the True Temple,
And I've fought in many a battle, and many a warrior
Has tried to stop my blade and has failed.
Very few can anticipate which blow I'm planning,
And fewer, knowing that, know how to arrest the design,
Or have the the strength to absord all of my strikes.
There is no greater master of shield blocking in all
Of Morrowind
Than here in the castle Abernanit.

My foe, dark lord Dagoth Thras, before you slay me,
I beg you, tell me how you know how to block."
Wickedly proud, Dagoth Thras heard Rangidil's plea,
And decided that before he gutted the Temple champion,
He would deign to give him some knowledge for the afterlife,
How his instinct and reflexes worked, and as he started
To explain, he realized that he did not how he did it,
And watched, puzzled, as Rangidil delivered what the tales
Of Morrowind
Called "The death blow of Abernanit."

 

Geocrates Varnus explains:
(1) "The Horror" refers to the daedra prince Mehrunes Dagon.
(2) "Fifty winters" suggests that the epic was written fifty years after the Siege of Abernanit, which took place in 3E 150.
(3) "Thrice-blessed Rangidil" is Rangidil Ketil, born 2E 803, died 3E 195. He was the commander of the Temple Ordinators, and "thrice-blessed" by being blessed by the Tribunal of Gods.
(4) "Mother, Lord, and Wizard" refers to the Tribunal of Almalexia, Vivec, and Sotha Sil.
(5) "Dagoth Thras" was a powerful daedra-worshipper of unknown origin who declared himself the heir of the Sixth House, though there is little evidence he descended from the vanished family.

Second Era

Author: 
Librarians

2E 1

Potentate Versidue-Shaie, a Tsaesci of Akavir, has taken over the Cyrodiilic empire after the assassination of the last of the Reman Dynasty.
Source: Mysterious Akavir

2E 12

Tjurhane Fyrre, an Ayleid sage of the University of Gwylim, published "Nature of Ayleidic Poesy". He is known as one of the Ayleids that speaks freely of his people and religion.
Source: On Wild Elves

2E 101 Muhay at-Turna, an aprentice Star Gazer, accidentally discovers the ruins of Kardala in Craglorn.
Source: The Unearthing of Kardala
2E 120 Beginning of the reign of Viana the Pure as baroness of Lainlyn.
Source: Ghraewaj and the Harpies
2E 129 A researcher uncovers a recording device in the Dwemer ruin of Mzulft.
Source: Mzulft Researcher's Journal
2E 148 Presumed death of Viana the Pure.
Source: Ghraewaj and the Harpies
c. 2E 200 The reign of Mane Zebiden-jo in Elsweyr
Source: Elder Scrolls Online dialog

2E 227

Death of Tjurhane Fyrre.
Source: On Wild Elves.

2E 230

The first Mages Guild is formed by Vanus Galerion the Mystic and Rilis XII in Firsthold, as an answer to the reluctance of the Psijic Order to deal with Mannimarco, the leader of the Necromancers. In the following centuries, the Guild spreads all over Tamriel.
Source: Galerion the Mystic, Origin of Mages Guild, Imperial Charter of the Guild of Mages, Mannimarco, King of Worms

Around this time, the Isle of Artaeum vanishes from the shores of Summurset Isle. It returns approximately 500 years later, but nobody can offer any explanation for the island's whereabouts during that time, or the fate of Iachesis and the original council of Artaeum.
Source: Fragment: On Artaeum

2E 231

The knightly Order of the Lamp is formed to support and protect the newly formed Mages Guild.
Source: Origin of Mages Guild

2E 283

Potentate Versidue-Shaie faces rebellions throughout the Empire. At the Imperial Council meeting of Bardmont, he declares universal martial law and forces rulers to give up their armies. Most of the princes resist and bloody wars erupt throughout Tamriel. Over the next decades, the Potentate slowly manages to crush all other armies, but in doing so drains the Imperial treasury and creates chaos and poverty in the subjugated regions.
Source: History of the Fighters Guild, First Edition

2E 301 The kingdom of Camlorn is founded.
Source: Mystery of Talara
2E 307 The Menevia Catacombs in High Rock are abandoned following the Ghost Harrowing of the same year.
Elder Scrolls Online loading screens

2E 309

Anequina and Pellitine are united to form the state of Elsweyr.

Keirgo of Ne Quin-al and Eshita of Pa'alatiin marry, uniting their kingdoms. Various classes and tribes among the Khajiit are dissatisfied with the division of power, though some of the political division begins to mend, and the conflict almost necessitates intervention from the already burdened Empire. Peace is restored by the Mane, the spiritual leader of the Khajiit, who creates a rotating system of power based on the phases of the moons.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire (1st Edition): Elsweyr, Anequina and Pellitine: An Introduction

2E 311 The Mane unveils the Riddle'Thar Epiphany. This revelation is a key event in contemporary Khajiiti theology.
Elder Scrolls Online loading screens

2E 320

Dinieras-Ves, a Tsaesci warlord, forms an order of mercantile warriors-for-hire, used by nobility in lieu of a standing army. Briefly known as The Syffim, it later became the Fighters Guild.
Source: History of the Fighters Guild, First Edition

2E 321

Ratification of the Guild Act, which officially sanctions the guilds of Mages and Fighters, as well as those of various other professions.
Source: History of the Fighters Guild, First Edition, Imperial Charter of the Guild of Fighters

2E 324

The Morag Tong assassinates Potentate Versidue-Shaie in his Senchal palace, and is outlawed as a result. Savirien-Chorak, the son of Potentate Versidue-Shaie, continues the Akaviri rule over Tamriel.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: Cyrodiil, The Brothers of Darkness

2E 336 Khajiiti rebels sack Ne Quin-al, killing most of the royal dynasty.
Source: Anequina and Pellitine: An Introduction

c. 2E 358

Earliest traces of a conflict between the Dunmer Morag Tong and a new, more interregional splinter organization that is less strict in its procedures for selecting and accepting contracts.
Source: The Brothers of Darkness, Fire and Darkness

2E 388 A monument to Saint Stental is constructed.
Source: Saint Stental
c. 2E 395 Morian Zenas comes to the Imperial city to help set up the Arcane University.
Source: Racial Motifs
2E 401 King Anton of Daggerfall is coronated on the 17th of Hearthfire.
Source: Journal of Magiul Shiana, Elder Scrolls Online
2E 406 A scandal rocks the Camoral court of Valenwood after it is discovered that the town of Cormount may hold dozens of heirs to the Camoran throne. The little town nearly doubles its population within one week, and weddings become a daily occurrence. Bosmer from outside Valenwood migrate to the area and found a new village named New Joy.
Source: The Rise of Cormount
2E 408 Queen Sylvie, mother of King Anton, dies on the 11th of Rain's Hand.
Source: Journal of Magiul Shiana
2E 409 King Anton of Daggerfall survives an assassination attempt. His senechal does not, and the palace's head cook, Magiul Shiana, is appointed as his replacement.
Source: Journal of Magiul Shiana
2E 412 First mention of the name Dark Brotherhood, in the journals of Blood Queen Arlimahera of Hegathe.
Source: The Brothers of Darkness
2E 418

Doctor Alfidia Lupus is appointed Imperial  Ethnographer for Potentate Savirien-Chorak.
Source: Racial Motifs

Abnur Tharn, future High Chancellor of the Empire, is born.
Chronicles of the Five Companions

cira 2E 420 The four grand mercantile houses of Abah's Landing begin to take shape. Over time, they become major criminal enterprises and rule the city.
Source: Abah's Landing Merchant Lords, V. 1
2E 420 The settlement of New Joy is burned to the ground due to tensions between the native Wood Elves of Cormount and the imperialized migrants of New Joy.
Source: The Rise of Cormount
2E 425 An assassin attempts to poison King Anton. Both Magiul and his wife partake of the poisoned food, and she soon dies. The king remains unharmed.
Source: Journal of Magiul Shiana
2E 428 A werewolf crisis known as the Curse of the Crimson Moon raveges High Rock. Adeliza Silver-Axe founds the Order of the SIlver Dawn after she is forced to kill her son, who had been infected with lycanthropy.
Source: Purifier's Journal

2E 430

Potentate Savirien-Chorak, along with every one of his heirs, is murdered by the Dark Brotherhood. With the line of the Potentates extinguished, the Second Empire is left leaderless and quickly begins to dissolve due to civil wars and insurrection. This marks the beginning of the period known as the Interregnum. Note that the first Pocket Guide to the Empire marks these events as taking place in 431.
Source: The Brothers of Darkness, Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: Cyrodiil, Pocket Guide to the Empire 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, Pocket Guide to the Empire 3rd Edition: Cyrodiil

2E 431

The Orcish kingdom of Orsinium is once again sacked and loses the status of Imperial territory. Baron Fulvert Guimard is elevated to the status of Duke for his martial exploits during the sack of the city.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: The Wild Regions, Pocket Guide to the Empire 3rd Edition: Orsinium, The Royal House of King Eamond

Doctor Alfidia Lupus' tenure as Imperial Ethnographer comes to an end.
Source: Racial Motifs

Magiul Shiana, seneschal to the king of Daggerfall, dies. Somehow, he is able to remain as a ghost, serving his king for all eternity.
Source: Journal of Magiul Shiana

 2E 432 Cavor Merula, warrior-priest of Akatosh, establishes the most recent incantation of the Order of the Hour as a response to the recent rise of the Longhouse Emperors. Justia Desticus and Rusio Olo are two influential founding members.
Source: Order of the Hour , Statue of Rusio Olo, Statue of Justia Desticus
2E 434

King Maxevian of Shornhelm establishes a 5-year mandatory station at Watcher's Hold, to protect the kingdom's borders against any Orcish uprisings following the latest distribution of Orsinium. An alternate letter instead has Queen Prolyssa of Daggerfall establishing this order.
Source: King Maxevian's Orders, Letter from Queen Prolyssa

c. 2E 435

Following the fall of Orsinuium, an Orc chieftain named Yashnag establishes a new Orcish kingdom in Falkreath Hold in Skyrim. The king of West Skyrim, Svartr, cannot hold back the Orcs or Reachmen in his kingdom.
Source: Orcs of Skyrim

The Lamia Invasion. The invasion is preceded by a large storm believed to have originated on Tempest Island.
Source: Maormer Correspondence Vol. 2

2E 437 The Order of the Black Worm infest Kvatch. Rusio Olo of the Order of the Hour is instrumental in stopping them.
Source: Statue of Rusio Olo
2E 442 The knights of Watcher's Hold stop receiving letters from Daggerfall. Some attempt to leave, and are whipped for their sedition.
Source: Ruined Watchmaster's Journal
2E 450 King Anton of Daggerfall dies. His seneschal's ghost is locked up in the tomb with him.
Source: Journal of Magiul Shiana
2E 455 Homfrey, a historian at the University of Gwylim, publishes his treatise on the Ayleid diaspora in Valenwood
Source: Ayleid Cities of Valenwood
2E 458 Supplies at Watcher's Hold dwindle.
Source: Letter to King Maxevian
2E 459 Officers at Watcher's Hold attempt to mutiny, and are executed by the Watchmaster.
Source: Ruined Watchmaster's Journal
2E 460 The Watchmaster and Quartermaster of Watcher's Hold lie to the garrison in order to maintain morale. They forge a letter from King Maxevian's heir, stating that they must maintain their garrison indefinitely. The soldiers have begun marrying and abandoning military readiness.
Source: Ruined Watchmaster's Journal
2E 461 Vastarie, a necromancer formerly of Mannimarco's cult, traps her husband in a prison after he turns their dead son into a golem.
Source: Vastarie's Journal
2E 465 Abnur Tharn first becomes advisor to the Emperor.
Chronicles of the Five Companions
2E 466-467 A blight devastated the crops wheat crops of the Gold Coast, leading to riots in Kvatch.
Source: Order of the Hour
2E 467

Yashnag is slain by Hakkvilld Yashnag-Slayer, and the new Orcish kingdom crumbles.
Source: Orcs of Skyrim

Bread riots break out in Kvatch as peasants attempt to burn the Temple of Akatosh. Sister Severa of the Order of the Hour, the militant arm of the temple of Akatosh, kill half the mob before a single torch can be thrown.
Source: Order of the Hour

2E 470 The Watchmaster of Watcher's Hold dies, leaving the Quartermaster, Gisbourne, in charge of the garrison.
Source: Ruined Watchmaster's Journal
2E 480 The Prelate of Akatosh authorizes the Order of the Hour to act as an army in times of religious emergency.
Source: Order of the Hour
2E 481 A tourists' guide to the Dunmeri capital of Mournhold is published.
Source: A Pocket Guide to Mournhold

2E 486

A Maormeri assault force is spotted off the coast of Alinor, and chased back by the Altmeri fleet to their homeland of Pyandonea. This proved to be a trap that destroyed all but one of the Altmeri ships.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 3rd Edition: Pyandonea.

2E 489 The Blacksap Movement is founded in Cormount. It aims to formalize the Green Pact to prevent misunderstandings in its application.
Source: The Rise of Cormount
2E 512 Underpall cave, containing Underpall Keep and the Sword of the Crusader, collapses in on itself.
Source: Elder Scrolls Online loading screens
2E 521 King Emeric Cumberland, future king of Wayrest, is born.
Source: Triumphs of a Monarch, Chapter 3
2E 522 King Hurlburt ascends to the throne of Shornhelm.
Source: Shornhelm, Crown City of the North
2E 532 Prince Phylgeon, son of King Hurlburt, is born. He has an older, illegitimate brother named Ranser.
Source: Shornhelm, Crown City of the North
2E 540 The Order of the Hour saves Primate Phrastus from assassination.
Source: Order of the Hour
2E 541 Chancellor Aubnur Tharn discovers the "Scroll of Precursor Saints" in the vaults below the White-Gold Tower. It claims to disprove the Tharn's connection to a famous massacre in the 1st era.
Source: House Tharn of the Nibenay
2E 541-542

Durcorach The Black Drake and his Reachmen ravages High Rock, sacking the cities of Evermore and Camlorn, besieged Wayrest, and marched as far as the gates of Daggerfall. The first Daggerfall Covenant is formed to repel the invasion - it consists of the kingdoms of Daggerfall, Wayrest, Camlorn, Evermore, and Shornhelm.

King Heseph Moile, of Evermore, dies in the sack and Duke Blaise Guimard is elected king for his role in retaking the city.

Source: The Royal House of King Eamond, Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant

2E 545 The Bonestap goblin tribe occupies the Moravagarlis ruin, preventing further Mages Guild excavation at the site. Prior to leaving, the excavators reported a "sense of wrongness," and experienced bad dreams.
Source: Mysteries of Moravagarlis

2E 546

Jorunn, future High King of Skyrim and leader of the Ebonheart Pact, is born to Queen Mabjaarn Flame-hair. He spends his youth studying as a bard and traveling Tamriel, and is nicknamed the Skald Prince.
Source: Jorunn Skald the King

King Hurlburt of Shornhelm dies. The succession is unclear, with both Prince Phylgeon, Hurlburt's legitimate son, and Prince Ranser, an illegitimate one, laying claim to the throne. After a narrow vote, Ranser is elected king.
Source: Shornhelm, Crown City of the North

Circa 2E 547

"Arcturian Heresy" records that Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal, a Snow Demon King of Kamal (in Akavir), attempts to invade Morrowind. The Underking (who is here Wulfharth, rather than Zurin Arctus) and Almalexia halt his efforts at Red Mountain.
Source: Arcturian Heresy

2E 551 A fight breaks out between houses Tamrith and Montclair when they disagree about the ownership of a gravesite in the Sanguine Barrows. This incident becomes known as the Bloody Funeral.
Source: The Barrows of Westmark Moor

2E 555

Ayrenn, future Queen of Summurset and ruler of the Aldmeri Dominion, is born on the 5th of Second Seed to King Hidellith and Kinlady Tuinden. The date (5/5/555) is considered auspicious, and her birth is supposedly celebrated for 55 days.
Source: Ayrenn – The Unforeseen Queen

2E 560-2E 601

The Knahaten Flu plagues south east Tamriel, destroying human tribes in Black Marsh and much of the Khajiiti population. The Argonians are immune to the plague, leading to speculation, not entirely discredited by modern researchers, that a genocidal Argonian mage created the plague.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire (1st Edition): The Wild Regions, Pocket Guide to the Empire (1st Edition): Elsweyr.

2E 561

The Knahaten Flu breaks out in Stillrise Village, a Kothringi town in Black Marsh. The residents make a deal with Clavicus Vile in a misguided attempt at a cure.
Source: Knahaten Flu Confirmed, A Final Appeal, Elder Scrolls Online gameplay

The biggest Orichalcum deposit in history is discovered in near Wayrest. The Knahatten flu sweeps through the city, killing the entire royal household. Emeric, of house Cumberland, is elevated to the throne.
Source: Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant

Royal Camoran Fishing Tournament is held, an engraved gold trophy shaped like a leaping trout is the prize.
Source: Elder Scrolls Online

The Order of the Hour, militant arm of the Temple of Akatosh in Kvatch, rescues a caravan of priests and pilgrims from bandits.
Source: Order of the Hour

2E 563

A ship filled with Kothringi seeking to escape the Knahaten Flu sets out from Black Marsh. After unsuccessfully trying to find safe harbor, it sets out west across the Abeccean Sea and is never seen again. This is commemorated in the Iliac Bay with a holiday known as the Day of Shame.
Source: Daggerfall Chronicles.

Ayrenn disappears on her way to a ceremony. Her brother, Prince Naemon, is named the heir to the throne of the Summerset Isles.
Source: Ayrenn – The Unforeseen Queen

Emeric is crowned King of Wayrest.
Source: Triumphs of a Monarch, Chapter 6

c. 2E 565

The Knahaten Flu hits Elsweyr in full force, leading to instability in the region.

The four criminal syndicates of Abah's Landing take a step back from public dealings, though the continue to operate in secret.
Source: Abah's Landing Merchant Lords, V. 1

2E 565

Naemon, crown prince of the Summurset Isles, is matriculated to the Sapiarchs' Labyrinth.
Source: Ayrenn – The Unforeseen Queen

The

Silvenar Rangers win the Mammoth-Ball championship.
Source: Elder Scrolls Online

2E 566

King Emeric of Wayrest marries Princess Maraya of Sentinel instead of Rayelle, princess of Shornhelm. King Ranser, Rayelle's father, feels betrayed and launches a rebellion against Wayrest. The Second Daggerfall Covenant is formed to fight Ranser's War, consisting of the Breton kingdoms of Camlorn, Evermore, Daggerfall, and Wayrest, as well as Orsinium and Sentinel. Ranser besieges Wayrest, but is eventually defeated at the Battle of Markwasten Moor.
Source: Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant, The Fury of King Ranser

Astinia Isauricus' Gold Coast Guide is published.
Source: Gold Coast Guide

2E 567

King Emeric creates the Daggerfall Covenant between his High Rock, the Hammerfell kingdom of Sentinel, and the Orcish Orsinium.
Source: Introduction to the Lore of the Elder Scrolls Online

2E 568

Brother Annulus writes Annals of the Dragonguard

Bonorion the Wanderer chronicles his observations of the Mabrigash
Source: Legend of the Ghost Snake

King Blaise of Evermore dies. He is succeeded by King Eamond.
Source: The Royal House of King Eamond

2E 572

Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal attacks north-eastern Tamriel. For unknown reasons his armies bypass Morrowind and land on the White River of Skyrim. Skyrim's Queen Mabjaarn and crown princess Nurnhilde are killed in the defense of Winterhold, and Jorrun is named king. Jorunn requests help from the Graybeards, who once again summon Wulfharth. Meanwhile, the Akaviri proceed south into Morrowind, where they are met at Stonefalls by the armies of Almalexia. Together, the Nords, Dunmer, and Argonians fight off the invaders. Vivec teaches his people to breath water before he floods Morrowind to eradicate all Akaviri invaders.

Following the Akaviri defeat, the alliance persists as the Ebonheart Pact, ruled over by the newly-crowned King Jorrun and the Great Moot.
Source: Varieties of Faith in the Empire, Jorunn Skald the King, The Second Akaviri Invasion

2E 573 Emperor Leovic commissions the first Emperor's Guide to Tamriel. It features a pro-Reachman stance to appease the Emperor's heritage.
Source: Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Cyrodiil
2E 576

Euraxia Tharn becomes Queen of Rimmen following the Frostfall Coup.

Euraxia Tharn, younger half-sister of Chancellor Aubnur Tharn, is sent to Rimmen on a diplomatic mission. After she is welcomed by King Hemakar, she and her Nibenese mercenaries execute the royal family and take control of the city. She consolidates her power over Northern Elsweyr from Rimmen to Riverhold using a combination of mercenary forces and necromancer allies.
Source: House Tharn of the Nibenay, The Frostfall Coup

Nuros Raloro, a Tribunal scholar, uncovers and publishes Benorion's observations on the Mabrigash, despite doubts about their validity.
Source: Legend of the Ghost Snake

2E 576

Varen's Rebellion.

Following the legalization of Daedra worship by Emperor Leovic of the Longhouse Emperors, Varen Aquilarios, the Duke of Kvatch, leads a rebellion against the dynasty, eventually overthrowing them and crowning himself Emperor. To legitimize his rule, he and his four companions set out to find the Amulet of Kings.
Source: Chronicles of the Five Companions 1

The city-states of the Gold Coast begin building a massive fortification known as Varen's Wall to separate their region from the Colovian Highlands. The Imperial Prefect of Anvil and Count Ephrem Benirus of Anvil send Imperial troops to attack Kvatch, which is ruled by Varen's nephew, Carolus. They are repelled four times. Following Varen's rise to the throne, Carolus becomes Count of Kvatch.
Source: Pirate Queen of the Gold Coast, The Wolf and the Dragon

2E 577

Under Anvil's Fortunata ap Dugal, the Gold Coast declares independence from the Empire.

Varen's Wall is completed. Fortunata ap Dugal, a shipping magnate from the Gold Coast Trading Company, takes advantage of local rebellions and weakened forces due to attacks on Kvatch to defeat the remains of the Imperial Navy in Anvil. She easily takes control of the city and declares herself Provincial Governor. She then declares the Gold Coast an independent state apart of the Empire, despite Kvatch not wanting to join her.
Source: Pirate Queen of the Gold Coast, The Wolf and the Pirate Queen

2E 578

Kvatch becomes part of the independent Gold Coast.

Following the Soulburst (see below), Governor Fortunata of Anvil attempts to first persuade Kvatch to join her independent Gold Coast and then annexes them by force. Although Kvatch's Count Carolus Aquilarios initially resists her attacks, his legions are wiped out in the Gottshaw Massacre and Kvatch becomes part of the independent Gold Coast.
Source: The Wolf and the Pirate Queen

Chancellor Aubnur Tharn commissions a new version of the Emperor's Guide to Tamriel. A nobleman and painter named Flaccus Torentius is assigned to the task.
Source: Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Author Foreward

The Wood Orc Chief Orhg is hung in Vulkwasten.
Source: Elder Scrolls Online

The first performance of The Cannonreeve's Conundrum, on the first Fredas of Rain's Hand.
Source: The Cannonreeve's Conundrum

2E 578-579

The Soulburst occurs and Molag Bal starts to draw Nirn into his realm of Cold Harbour. Dark Anchors, similar to Oblivion Gates, begin to appear across Tamriel. The Imperial City is secretly ruled by Bal's followers, and Mannimarco, his lieutenant, controls the Arcane University through his Worm Cult. Emperor Varen disappears, and, in his absence, Clivia Tharn, consort to both Emperors Leovic and Varen, is appointed regent.

"An arcane explosion in the Imperial City set off aftershocks in every corner of Nirn. Mages died or went mad. Disasters and freakish weather lashed every province of Tamriel. Red Mountain flared and trembled in Morrowind, earthquakes shook Skyrim, and massive storms devastated the coastlines of Elsweyr and Valenwood. The constellation of the Serpent reappeared in the skies and grew so large that it seemed to threaten every star sign at once."

All this is the result of an attempt to legitimize the rule of Varen Aquilarios as Emperor by performing a modified lighting of the Dragonfires. Instead, Mannimarco, one of Varen's advisors, corrupted the ritual to gain power for himself and his master, Molag Bal.

Documents can't seem to agree on the date of this event, listing it as either 578 or 579. We have chosen to assume that it took place over the course of those two years.

Source: Introduction to the Lore of the Elder Scrolls Online, Chronicles of the Five Companions 1, Triumph of a Monarch: Chapter 10

2E 579 Nicolas, guildmaster of the Thieves Guild of Abah's Landing, pens a journal outlining his rise to power, the new tenants of the guild, and his ambition to unionize thieves across Tamriel.
Source: Loremasters Archive - Messages from Hew's Bane
2E 580 King Hidellith of Summurset dies. Before Naemon, his son and heir apparent, can take the throne, Ayrenn returns to claim her birthright. She is crowned Queen on the 7th of Frost Fall. She establishes the Aldmeri Dominion in the same year.
Source: Ayrenn – The Unforeseen Queen
2E 582

The Three Banners War. The Aldmeri Dominion (Alinor, Valenwood, Elsweyr), Daggerfall Covenant (High Rock, Hammerfell, Orsinium), and Ebonheart Pact (Morrowind, Skyrim, Black Marsh) fight over the Ruby Throne, while Molag Bal attempts to pull Nirn into Cold Harbour.Valenwoods is frequently raided by Colovians, and Elsweyr by the Nibenese.
Source: Introduction to the Lore of the Elder Scrolls Online

These events are part of the plot of Elder Scrolls Online.

Following the distruction of their old headquarters, the Thieves Guild of Abah's Landing establish a new one.
Source: Loremasters Archive - Messages from Hew's Bane

2E 603

Last documented case of the Knahaten Flu.
Source: The Daggerfall Chronicles

2E 612

Dram's last incarnation is born. He is the assassin that works under Amiel Richton in Stros M'Kai, and the nemesis of Cyrus in the TESA: Redguard.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Website.

2E 638

The Mages Guild of Stros M'Kai is fully chartered.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.

c. 2E 730 The isle of Artaeum returns following 500 years of absence.
Source: Fragment: On Artaeum

2E 798

S'rathra is born. He is the future Wayrest syndicate boss of Cyrus.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Website.

2E 803

Rangidil Ketil, future leader of the Ordinators and subject of the poem Death Blow of Abernanit, is born.

2E 807 Tobias, a Colovian captain and close friend of Cyrus, is born. He aids Cyrus in TESA: Redguard.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Website.

2E 812

The city-state of Rimmen once again submits to the protection of the Mane of Elsweyr. Previously, the Akaviri of Rimmen had joined their brethren in Cyrodiil to rebuild the Empire, and refused to submit to the Khajiit.
Source: Pocket Guide to The Empire 1st Edition: Elsweyr.

2E 816 Amiel Richton, admiral of the Imperial Navy and Provisional Governor of Stros M'kai, is born. He is the chief antagonist during TESA:Redguard.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Website.

2E 827

Talos (or Hjalti Early-Beard), later is known as Tiber Septim, the first Emperor of Septim dynasty, is born. His birthplace is unclear, being listed to us as both Atmora and Anticlere.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: CyrodiilHolidays of the Iliac Bay.

2E 830

The Aldmeri Dominion is reformed when Summurset Isles intervenes in the power struggles of the Camoran Dynasty and places Camoran Anaxemes on the throne. The Thalmor is established as a provisional government.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion.

This Aldmeri Dominion should not be confused with the earlier Dominion of 2E 580s, nor with that of the 4th era.

2E 831

Cyrus the Redguard mercenary is born. He is the central figure in the TESA: Redguard.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Website.

2E 841

Attrebus, a guard in Hammerfell during the 2nd Battle of Stros M'Kai, is born.
Source: The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Website.

2E 852

General Talos destroys the allied Nord and Breton in the citadel of Sancre Tor. The Nord captives and generals eventually join General Talos' army. They play a crucial role in General Talos' succeeding campaigns which consolidated the Colovian and Nibenean into the core of the Cyrodilic Empire, and which resulting in the crowning of General Talos as Emperor Tiber Septim.
Source: The Battle of Sancre Tor, The Legendary City of Sancre Tor.

2E 854

The Emperor Cuhlecain (later is known as Emperor Zero) of Cyrodiil is assassinated by a High Rock nightblade. General Talos takes the throne of the Empire and adopts a Cyrodiilic name, Tiber Septim. He starts his conquest to unite all Tamriel under the Cyrodiil Empire.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: Cyrodiil.

2E 862

Tiber Septim's army sweeps Tamriel, and, one by one, all independent kingdoms are consolidated into the Empire. Only Hammerfell, under the High King Thassad II, resists all Septim's attempts. The death of Thassad II plunges Hammerfell into a war between the traditionalist Crowns and the progressive Forbears. The Forebears makes a pact with Tiber Septim to secure their victory. The Crowns are crushed and Hammerfell eventually falls to Tiber Septim.

The last leader of the Crowns, Prince A'tor, tries desperately to resist the Empire from his stronghold in Stros M'kai. The Battle of Hunding Bay ends with the death of Prince A'tor and the conquest of Hammerfell. Amiel Richton is appointed Provisional Governor of Stros M'Kai.
Source: Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition: Hammerfell, The Origin of Cyrus, Intro to Redguard.

2E 864

Cyrus, a mercenary, and the Restless League, a group of revolutionary pirates, start a rebellion in Stros M'kai and successfully overthrow Admiral Richton and imperial rule. Iszara, Cyrus' sister and lover to the late Prince A'tor, is installed as governess of the city. Emperor Tiber Septim is forced to sue for peace on terms favorable to Hammerfell. This is the story of TESA: Redguard.
Source: The Story of Redguard.

The first edition of the Pocket Guide to the Empire is released.

2E 865

Symmachus, future husband to Barenziah, is born.
Source: The Daggerfall Chronicles

2E 882

In Morrowind, Dagoth Ur and his Ash Vampires awake and emerge from lower Red Mountain into the Heart Chamber, immediately taking control of the Heart of Lorkhan. The secret construction of the second Numidium is started.

The Tribunal arrive at Red Mountain for their annual ritual bathing in the heart's power. Dagoth Ur and his Ash Vampires ambush the Tribunal. The Tribunal is driven away, and prevented from restoring themselves with Kagrenac's tools at the Heart of Lorkhan.
Source: Dagoth Ur's Plan.

2E 882-3E 417

The Tribunal and supporting forces seek to force access to the Heart Chamber, but are repeatedly driven back. Dagoth Ur recruits Sleepers and Dreamers through dream sendings. Weaker cultists become corprus beasts; stronger cultists advance through stages towards the powers of the Ascended Sleepers.
Source: Dagoth Ur's Plan.

2E 893

Barenziah, future Queen of Morrowind and later Queen of Wayrest, is born.
Source: The Daggerfall Chronicles

2E 896

After negotiating treaties with Hammerfell and Morrowind, Tiber Septim turns his attention fully to the Aldmeri Dominion. The joined Elven kingdoms prove too powerful for outright conquest, and Septim's Armada is repeatedly defeated.

Tiber Septim seeks to use his latest weapon, the Numidium - Dwemeri construct gained of the treaty with Morrowind. Zurin Arctus brings its pieces to Elsweyr for reconstruction, and a localized Dragon Break results. To power the Numidium in place of Lorkhan's heart, Tiber Septim uses the Mantella, a gem which holds the soul of the Underking. According to one story, the Underking is Zurin Arctus, and sacrifices his heart willingly. According to another, the Underking is Wulfharth, who is tricked by Zurin and Tiber into giving up his soul. Either way, Arctus was killed in the process. The now-operational Numidium crushes the Aldmeri armada and armies, and in short time, the Aldmeri Dominion surrenders.

After the demise of the Aldmeri Dominion, disagreements arise between Zurin Arctus and Tiber Septim. Arctus tries to reclaim his soul in Mantella and is opposed by Septim’s forces. Their final battle shatters the Numidium into pieces, and hurls the Mantella into Aetherius.

In the centuries that follow, Septim's Blades collect the pieces of the Numidium. The Underking also sends his agents to find a way to recover Mantella, and becomes the enemy of the Septim Dynasty.

Source: The Story of Daggerfall, Skeleton Man's interview, Arcturian Heresy, A Brief History of the Empire.

 

The Seat of Sundered Kings: Cyrodiil

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

Map of Cyrodiil

Like the diamond in the center of the Amulet of Kings, Cyrodiil is the heart of the Septim Empire and Tamriel. Still largely forested and almost landlocked, the beauty of the land has been sung of since time immemorial. Three Empires have wielded their power from the strategic center of the continent, so it is little wonder that Cyrodiil is widely known simply as The Imperial Province.

History

The early Aldmeri settlers to Tamriel established strongholds on the islands of Summerset and along the coasts, but did not venture far inland. Only oral histories and the fragmented ballad of Topal the Pilot offer glimpses of the ancient beast races that inhabited the land, but they are shadowy, mist-drawn portraits of time before reckoning. It is not until the coming of the Ayleid that Cyrodilic history truly begins.

Imperial RaceThe Ayleids were ancient Aldmer, cousins of all the elven races that exist to this day. Over time, they became a distinct people, crafting a civilization whose ruins still puzzle and fascinate modern archeologists and adventurers. The ancient Nedic people, spreading south from Skyrim, became the slave labor for their ambitions, centered around the White Gold Tower.

The slave rebellion of Alessia in the 242nd year of the First Era is a seminal event in the history of Cyrodiil, and all of Tamriel. While humans and Elves had been battling in Skyrim for some time and the Slave Queen's revolt could not be called the first victory of men over mer, it represents a turning point in the continental power structure. The heart of Tamriel was going to belong to these former slaves, present day Cyrodilics or Imperials, forever more.

With the aid of the Nords of Skyrim, the Cyrodilics consolidated their power, forming a loose alliance between the two sometimes disparate regions: the rich Nibenay Valley and the remote, rough Colovian Highlands. While the Alessian Empire continued to push westward towards the Direnni lands in High Rock, the greatest change was a cultural and religious one. The prophet Maruhk's teachings both brought identity to Cyrodiil, codifying the pantheon most civilized Tamriellians worship to this day, and brought conflict due to the more severe strictures he espoused.

The next great transformation of the land came from distinctly external forces. The foiled Akaviri invasion of 2703 brought about a new dynasty, and a new spirit of cooperation among independent nations, dedicated to fighting the common threat. Under the Emperor Reman I, Cyrodiil became truly cosmopolitan, incorporating aspects of High Rock, Colovia, Nibenay and the sophisticated if strange culture of the defeated Akaviri into a common whole. The Cyrodilic Empire, also called the Second Empire, began again the process of expansion, founding a strong single nation, if not actually succeeding in conquering the entire continent.

The assassination of Reman III and his son and heir Juilek at the end of the Four Score War with Morrowind marked the end of an era, if not the end of the Second Empire. Under the Akaviri Potentates, the system of governing continued to evolve throughout the Second Era, progresses that abruptly ended with the assassination of the last Potentate in the year 2E 430.

CyrodiilThe rest of the Second Era was a time of great darkness and chaos throughout Tamriel, nowhere moreso than in Cyrodiil. Without a central government, Nibenay and Colovia split apart, farms fell fallow, villages were left in ruin and the former Imperial highways became no man's land, the realm of bandit kings. The Imperial City itself became the prize for an endless series of would-be emperors, fought over for centuries until its glory was only a faded shadow of the great days when it ruled Tamriel.

The rise of Tiber Septim has been amply documented in the history, and in a hundred books besides. In Cyrodiil, his influence could not be overemphasized. He gave the land back its traditional power and more, and became the symbol of it. He founded the dynasty that reigns to this very day. Cyrodiil, of course, helped Tiber Septim as much as he helped it. It gave legitimacy and a sense of history to his legend, which grew even ahead of his conquests.

The Imperial City and Cyrodiil rose again in splendor, occasionally tarnished by the weakness of some of Septim's descendants, the war of the Red Diamond and the Imperial Simulacrum, but never again did it loose its luster.

Current Events

The Imperial Province has continued to be the stable heart of the Empire, offering a model to its satellites of a government that settles disputes by diplomacy, not by force of arms. The recent marriage of Lady Alessia, daughter of the Countess of Chorrol to Count Marius Caro of Leyawiin typifies this, a perfect blend of love and sound political judgement.

Nevertheless, there have been a few frightening moments in Cyrodiil in the recent years. A suspected outbreak of the Knahaten Plague, a threat for the first time in hundreds of years, sparked panic along the southern border with Black Marsh. It was revealed to be a hoax, perhaps created by Argonians fighting back against Imperial excursions led by the Blackwood Company, and the fear was dissipated. Family strife in Kvatch claimed the lives of both sons of Count Haderus Goldwine, vying for the inheritance. While peace has been restored, the Count, at the time of this writing is still in mourning and has not designated a new heir.

In the Imperial Court, there is thankfully no such tragedy. While the Emperor chose not to remarry following the Empress death more than fifty years ago, she left to him three healthy boys who have spent their adult years learning the arts of politics from their masterful liege and father. Crown Prince Geldall has already taken many of Uriel's responsibilities, and has impressed one and all with his acumen. As the heart of the Empire is solid, all of Tamriel is strong.

All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of Our History

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

What follows is only a brief overview of what has preceded this time, for those who lack even a basic knowledge of the prehistory and history of Tamriel. Those who find their appetites whetted will be no doubt avail themselves of the many fine works of history in the libraries and bookshops of the Empire

The Elder Wilds

Eras of ManHistory, of course, begins with creation. Sadly, all the objectivity and solid evidence we require of other events in our records must be dismissed at this early point. Within each province, each culture, each religion, each family there exists a different understanding of how this world came to be. It defines us, this belief in where we came from, and the Imperial Geographic Society prefers to leave that to you, gentle reader.

That said, one persistent story that is accepted by many cultures is that as the world congealed into reality, the Gods made a great tower to discuss how best to proceed with the making of Mundus. The physical, temporal, spiritual, and magical elements of Nirn were set at this Convention, and the tower itself remained behind even as some of the Gods disappeared into Aetherius. Today it is the Adamantine Tower on the little island of Balfiera between High Rock and Hammerfell in the Iliac Bay. That such a humanoid structure remains the sole footprint of the Aedra speaks perhaps of the essentially mortal nature of our world.

It is generally understood that neither proto-elves, or Aldmer, nor the proto-men, or Nedics, lived in Tamriel during the earliest years of creation. The Hist trees of Black Marsh, most say, were the original life forms on our continent, followed by the progenitors of the modern Khajiit, the modern Argonian, the modern Sload, the modern Dreugh, and other "beast folk," some now gone our land, some so shy or rare that their presence is seldom detected.

In what historian called the Merethic (or Mythic) Era, the years before formal historical reckoning, the Aldmer came to Tamriel from the legendary mysterious land called Old Ehlnofey or Aldmeris. They settled in Summerset Isle, and then began to spread out eastward. The Nedic people meanwhile came from the frozen land of Atmora to the north to what is today Skyrim. Where elves and men met, inevitably, there was hostility.

The Aldmer changed over time culturally according to their new environments, being at first temperamentally and then physically very distinct "races" separate from one another. The ones who stayed in Summerset became known as the Altmer; in Valenwood, Bosmer; in Morrowind, Chimer and Dwemer; in Cyrodiil, Ayleid; and in High Rock, a mix between Nedic and Aldmer birthed the Bretons. The Orsimer or Orcs were also created at this time; Altmer warped by the destruction of their leader Trinimac, who it is said became the Daedra Prince Malacath. This disparate chorus may have been crafted consciously by the Daedra or by the shifts of the earthbones, but the reason why is not necessary for this history. Change they did.

The Nedic people also changed over the centuries of their invasion from Atmora. The original Nedics of Skyrim are known as the Nords. The ones who crossed west to High Rock, as we have said, interbred with the aldmer there to create the Bretons, who are most commonly considered men, not mer. The Nedics who crossed south became the Cyrodiils, eventually the prisoners and slaves of the bellicose Ayleids of that region.
 

The First Era

The First Era

We begin counting time forward at the founding of the Camoran Dynasty in Valenwood. It is perhaps an arbitrary starting date, but Dynasty (discussed in the section on Valenwood below) and King Eplear himself were visionaries of the civilizations to come. In the center of Tamriel, the Ayleids were creating an empire of their own with Cyrodilic slaves; while to the north, the Nords began to unite into a common whole that was to be called Skyrim.

The Nordic influence on their southern cousins was equally dramatic, inspiring the Cyrodiils to revolt against their Ayleid masters, under the banner of Alessia, former slave turned queen. The Alessian Empire of Cyrodiil was born in 1E 243. The expansionist Nord also harried the kingdoms of the Dwemer and Chimer in Resdayn, which is today called Morrowind. Eventually, in response, the embattled clans formed their own alliance with the Dwemer king Dumac and the Chimer king Nerevar ruling jointly in 1E 416.

In a few hundred years, however, the alliance between Dwemer and Chimer disintegrated into bloody battle, the War of the First Council. The aftermath of the war is legendary: the Dwemer were vanquished into extinction, and the Chimer were transformed into the red-eyed dark-skinned Dunmer.

Together with the Nords, the Alessians turned their eyes west towards the fertile land of High Rock, ruled by the hated elves. For much of the First Era, the west was disputed land, until the Bretons rose as the empires, too extended, fell back.

The Ra Gada, or "Warrior Wave," from Yokuda arrived in Volenfell to the west in 1E 808, conquering the land and renaming it Hammerfell. Once settled, the Ra Gada, or Redguards, joined with the Breton kingdoms in destroying an empire in its infancy, the Orcish homeland of Orsinium.

As the various Tamrielic cultures battled one another, there were threats beyond its shores. The Thrassian Plague from the Sloads washed over the land, decimating the population from coast to coast. The Tsaesci of Akavir preferred a more straightforward attack, invading Tamriel in 1E 2703, only to be defeated by the Cyrodilic emperor Reman I.

The death of the Emperor Reman III in 1E 2920 left the Cyrodilic Empire with no heirs. The reigns of power were ably taken up by Reman's Akaviri chancellor, whose ancestors had entered the Imperial service after their defeat by Reman I. Thus began the line of Akaviri Potentates at the opening of the Second Era, who continued to rule the Cyrodilic Empire until its demise more that four centuries later.

 

The Second Era

The Second Era

The Cyrodilic Empire continued to be a force of great power for the first four hundred and thirty years under the rule of the Akaviri Potentates. Though alien to our culture, they established some of the great traditions of our land, granting charters to organizations such as Mages and Fighters Guilds. Another sign of peace and prosperity occurred in the year 2E 309, when Elsweyr was created by the unison of two Khajiit tribelands, Anequina and Pellitine.

When the last Potentate, Savirien-Chorak, was assassinated in 2E 430, leaving no heirs, the great Empire was finally destroyed. Black Marsh forcibly split from the lands of men, as the Knahaten Plague made the land uninhabitable by all but the Argonians themselves. Akavir once again invaded Tamriel, barely rebuffed after attacking Morrowind in 2E 572. From one end of the continent to the other, war and rebellion struck at the heart of every great tradition of the land.

The first sign of reunification occurred in the west. The Altmer of Summerset, long concerned with their own wars with other island kingdoms, allied with Valenwood to form the Aldmeri Dominion for their common good. Still greater, however, was the force that rose from the ancient seat of emperors, Cyrodiil. A great general, Talos, liegeless after his lord's assassination, began his career as the greatest conqueror in the history of the land.

Better known by his Cyrodilic name, Tiber Septim and his armies conquered all of Tamriel, creating the Empire that bears name even today, and ushering in the Third Era.

 

The Third Era

The Third Era

Mountain TowerFor thirty-eight years, the Emperor Tiber Septim reigned, bequeathing the throne of Tamriel to his grandson Pelagius on his deathbed. The Septim family, occasionally inclusive of adopted and married members, has ruled ever since.

Within a few generations, however, the family had begun to develop rivalries and jealousies which exploded into a civil war in the year 3E 120. The War of the Red Diamond ended with the death of Uriel III and his mother Queen Potema of Solitude, but its reverberations may still be felt today. The unity of Empire was never again to be assumed.

The Emperors who followed, such as the Sheogorath-kissed Pelagius III, yielded to the authority of the Elder Council to keep some semblance of order in the land. It was only too evident what occurred when the Empire was without a strong leader. In the most horrible example, the people of Valenwood, the Colovian West, and Hammerfell suffered under the depredations of the Camoran Usurper, who ravaged their land with unded and Daedric hordes for nearly twenty years before his defeat in 3E 267.

Beginning with the Empress Morihatha, however, the rulers of Tamriel have been extraordinarily strong and capable. This has not meant that the last one hundred and twenty years have been the most peaceful in Tamriel's history, utterly devoid of bloodshed, merely that the wars and troubles of our recent past are a pale imitation of what has occurred before.

The most famous trouble of recent years came early in the reign of our current emperor, Uriel Septim VII. By wile and sorcery, his trusted battlemage Jagar Tharn imprisoned and impersonated his liege. The ten years that Tharn reigned, the so-called Imperial Simulacrum, was a time when old troubles resurfaced, forgotten grudges rekindled, and wars flared throughout the land. In the east, Morrowind attacked Black Marsh in the Arnesian War; in the north, Skyrim battled High Rock and Hammerfell in the War of Bend'r-Mahk; in the south, Elsweyr took arms against Valenwood in the Five Year War; in the west, Valenwood also lost land to its old ally Summerset in the War of the Blue Divide.

Yet all these troubles, and the even more recent bizarre circumstances in the Iliac Bat and Morrowind, paint only a picture with blood. In the year 3E 432, the year of this Guide's publication, the Empire stands strong and united. In the chapters that follow, a more detailed portrait of the history and current events of each Province is presented.

History of the Fighters Guild, First Edition

Author: 
Anonymous

In the 283rd year of the 2nd Era, Potentate Versidue-Shaie was faced with a disintegrating empire. The vassal kingdoms throughout Tamriel had reached a new height of rebellion, openly challenging his rule. They refused his taxes and led sorties against the Imperial garrisons throughout the land. At the destruction of his fortress in Dawnstar, he gathered the Imperial Council in what would be called the Council of Bardmont, after the town south of Dawnstar where they met. There the Potentate declared catholic and universal martial law. The princes of Tamriel would dissolve their armies or face his wrath.

The next thirty-seven years were perhaps the bloodiest in the violent history of Tamriel.

In order to crush the last of the royal armies, Versidae-Shaie had to sacrifice many of his best legions, as well as spend nearly every last piece of gold in the Imperial treasury. But he accomplished the unthinkable. For the first time in history, there was but one army in the land, and it was his own.

The problems that immediately surfaced were almost as staggering as the triumph itself. The Potentate had impoverished the land by his war, for the vanquished kingdoms had also spent the last of their gold in defense. Farmers and merchants alike had their livelihood ruined. Before the princes of Tamriel would not pay his taxes - now, they could not.

The only persons who benefited from the war were criminals, who preyed upon the ruins of the lawless land, without fear of arrest now that all the local guards and militia were gone. It was a crisis the Akavir had seen coming long before he destroyed the last of his subjects' armies, but for which he had no solution. He could not allow his vassals their own armies again, but the land was deeper into the stew of anarchy that it had ever been before. His army sought to fight the rise of crime, but a central authority was no threat against the local underworld.

In the dawn of the year 320, a kinsman of Versidae-Shaie, Dinieras-Ves "the Iron", presented himself with a host of companions before the Potentate. It was he who suggested an order of mercantile warriors-for-hire, who could be hired by nobility in lieu of a standing army. The employment would be temporary, and a percentage of the fee would go to the Potentate's government, thus putting salve on two of Versidae-Shaie's greatest pains.

Though it was then called The Syffim, after the Tsaesci word for 'soldiers,' the organization that was to be known as the Fighters Guild had been born.

Dinieras-Ves "the Iron" initially believed that the entirety of the order should be composed of Akaviri. This belief of his is not disputed by any historian, though his motivation is often debated. The traditional, simple explanation is that he knew his countrymen well, trusted them, and felt that their tradition of fighting for profit would be of use. Others believe, with reason, that he and the Potentate sought to use the order to effectively complete the conquest of Tamriel begun over five hundred years earlier. When Akavir attacked Tamriel in the 2703rd year of the 1st era, they had been beaten back by the Reman Dynasty. Now they had a Potentate on the throne, and with Dinieras-Ves's machinations, the local armies would also be Akaviri. What they had failed to do by combat, they would have successfully accomplished by patience. A traditional strategem, many scholars suggest, of the immortal snake men, the Tsaesci of Akavir, who always had time on their side.

The point, however, is largely academic. Though the Syffim did establish themselves in some kingdoms neighboring Cyrodiil, it became quickly apparent that local warriors were needed. Part of the problem was simply that there were not enough Akaviri for the work that needed to be done. Another part was that the snake men did not understand the geography and politics of the regions they were assigned.

It was evident that some non-Akaviri were needed in the Syffim, and by the mid point of the year, three Nords, a warrior-sorceress, a rogue, and a knight were admitted into the order.

The knight, whose name has been lost in the sands of time, was also a great armorer, and probably did more to strengthen the organization than anyone but Dinieras-Ves himself. As has often been stated, the Akaviri, particularly the Tsaesci, understood weaponry better than armor. Even if they could not wear it themselves, the knight was able to explain to the other Syffim what the weaknesses were in their opponent's armor, explaining to them how many joints there were in a pauldon and a grieve, and the differences between Aketons and Armkachens, Gorgets and Gliedshrims, Palettes and Pasguards, Tabards and Tassettes.

With this knowledge, they made long strides in defeating the brigands, doing far better than their meager numbers would suggest. It is a joke among historians that if Akavir had a Nord armorer in their employ in the first era, they would have won the invasion.

The success of these first three outsiders to the Syffim opened the door for more local members. Before the year was through, Dinieras-Ves had spread his business throughout the Empire. Young men and women, for a variety of reasons - because of desperate poverty, for love of action and adventure, in order to aid their crime-stricken neighbors - joined his new order en masse. They received training, and were immediately put to work helping the aristocracy's problems, assuming the roles of guards and soldiers within their locality.

The early success of the Syffim in combating crime and defeating local monsters so inspired Potentate Versidae-Shaie that he entertained representatives from other organizations interested in Imperial sanction. Though formed much earlier, the Mages Guild had always been viewed with suspicion by the government. In the 321st year of the 2nd Era, the Potentate gave his approval to the Guilds Act, officially sanctioning the Mages, together with the Guilds of Tinkers, Cobblers, Prostitutes, Scribes, Architects, Brewers, Vintners, Weavers, Ratcatchers, Furriers, Cooks, Astrologers, Healers, Tailors, Minstrals, Barristers, and the Syffim. In the charter, they were no longer called the Syffim, however: bowing to the name it had become known as by the people, they were to be called the Fighters Guild. All the Guilds, and those that followed by later sanctions throughout the second and third eras, would be protected and encouraged by the Empire of Cyrodiil, recognizing their value to the people of Tamriel. All would be required to pay to expand their influence throughout the land. The Empire was strengthened by their presence, and the Imperial coffers were filled once again.

Shortly after Versidae-Shaie's death, only three years after the Guild Act, his heir Savirien-Chovak, allowed the reforming of local armies. The Fighters Guild was no longer the principal arm of the local aristocracy, but their worth had already been established. Though there were certainly strong individuals who sought their own fortunes in the past, many historians have suggested that Dinieras-Ves was the ancestor in spirit of the modern phenomenon of the Adventurer, those men and women who dedicate their lives to questing for fame and fortune.

Thus, all owe a debt of gratitude to the Fighters Guild -- not only its members, and the people who have been helped by its neutral policy of offering strong arms for a fee within the boundaries of the law. Without them, there would be no guilds of any kind, and it may be argued, no model for even the independent Adventurer.

 

Origin of the Mages Guild

Author: 
The Archmage Salarth

The idea of a collection of Mages, Sorcerers, and assorted Mystics pooling their resources and talents for the purpose of research and public charity was a revolutionary concept in the early years of the Second Era. The only organization then closest in aim and structure to what we know today as the Mages Guild was the Psijic Order of the Isle of Artaeum. At the time, magic was something to be learned by individuals, or at most within intimate covens. Mages were, if not actually hermits, usually quite solitary.

The Psijic Order served the rulers of Summurset Isle as counsellors, and chose its members through a complex, ritualized method not understood by outsiders. Its purposes and goals likewise went unpublished, and detractors attributed the worst evils as the source of the Order's power. Actually, the religion of the old Order could be described as ancestor worship, an increasingly unfashionable philosophy in the Second Era.

When Vanus Galerion, a Psijic of Artaeum and student of the famed Iachesis, began collecting magic-users from around Summurset Isle, he attracted the animosity of all. He was operating out of the urban center of Firsthold, and there was a common (and not entirely unfounded) attitude that magical experiments should be conducted only in unpopulated areas. Even more shocking, Galerion proposed to make magical items, potions, and even spells available to any member of the general public who could afford to pay. No longer was magic to be limited either to the aristocracy or intelligentsia.

Galerion was brought before Iachesis and the King of Firsthold, Rilis XII, and made to state the intentions of the fraternity he was forming. The fact that Galerion's speech to Rilis and Iachesis was not recorded for posterity is doubtless a tragedy, though it does afford opportunity for historians to amuse one another with speculation about the lies and persuasions Galerion might have used to found the ubiquitous organization. The charter, at any rate, was approved.

Almost immediately after the Guild was formed, the question of security had to be addressed. The Isle of Artaeum did not require force of arms to shield it from invaders -- when the Psijic Order does not wish someone to land on the Isle, it and all its inhabitants simply become insubstantial. The new Mages Guild, by contrast, had to hire guards. Galerion soon discovered what the Tamrielan nobility has known for thousands of years: Money alone does not buy loyalty. The knightly Order of the Lamp was formed the following year.

Like a tree from an acorn, the Mages Guild grew branches all over Summurset Isle and gradually the mainland of Tamriel. There are numerous records of superstitious or sensibly fearful rulers forbidding the Guild in their domains, but their heirs or heirs' heirs eventually recognized the wisdom of allowing the Guild free rein. The Mages Guild has become a powerful force in Tamriel, a dangerous foe if a somewhat disinterested ally. There have been only a few rare incidents of the Mages Guild actually becoming involved in local political struggles. On these occasions, the Guild's participation has been the ultimate decider in the conflict.

As begun by Vanus Galerion, the Mages Guild as an institution is presided over by a supreme council of six Archmagisters. Each Guildhall is run by a Guildmagister, assisted by a twofold counsel, the Master of Incunabula and the Master at Arms. The Master of Incunabula presides over an additional counsel of two mages, the Master of Academia and the Master of the Scrye. The Master at Arms also has a counsel of two, the Master of Initiates and the Palatinus, the leader of the local chapter of the Order of the Lamp.

One need not be a member of the Mages Guild to know that this carefully contrived hierarchy is often nothing more than a chimera. As Vanus Galerion himself said bitterly, leaving Tamriel to travel to other lands, “The Guild has become nothing more than an intricate morass of political infighting.”

Galerion The Mystic

Author: 
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 Sumurset Isle. A band of troubadours found him nearly dead, curled up in a ditch by the side of the road, 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 Sumurset, 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 Artium, 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.