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Y'ffre's Beckoning

Gwaering, the Green Lady

The song-story of the Green, now loud in my bones, has awakened me. I hear the tale as life in motion, the weave made real second by second, spun gleaming thread over gleaming thread. Every fleeting footfall is a drumbeat, a word, a thought blessed with shape. Each loosed arrow becomes an exclamation, a twist in the telling, a beginning in an end.  I am dissolved into we.

I have become the Hunter, the Protector, the Vengeance of the Green. My memories are drawn from the rivers of history known by Bosmer since the formless times. It was my hand that carved out the heart of the Bracken Malice, the writhing foe that devoured our children and made mothers and fathers wail in torment. My own arrow pierced the eye of Dulohoth the Axehaft, vile Orc who ordered his crowd-surge of followers to burn and hew tree and frond. When sickness came to the beasts of Grahtwood, I hunted without rest a hundred nights to feed the hungry. I will hunt a hundred more.

All of these things I have done, I will do again when I am called. The cries of Y’ffre’s children—their joy, fear, rage, and sorrow—only grow stronger in my heart. They are the thrumming of life in the deepest woods. I hear them in my dreams; their emotions become my own and echo a thousand times louder within me. Nothing will stop me from calling out my response. I will answer them until my blood soaks the loam and feeds the roots of graht-oaks.

Though I hear the tale the Earth Bones tell, some fear yet remains; some worry still haunts me. I am the Green Lady, and in my spirit there is no doubt that it is so. But in my mind, I am just Gwaering, archer-girl, brave but small. I am afraid. Will Gwaering fade away? Can she withstand the torrent of primal emotion that now rises? Is she strong enough to answer the Green and play her part? Can she protect her people and the Silvenar?

But I take some small solace knowing that my doubts and fears carry little consequence. They are a small digression, the interruption of an impatient child as the Spinner tells his tale. Time will carry on, and the story will be told without pause, never reaching an end, but ebbing and flowing. I will be called, and if my voice is not strong enough to answer, my role will end and another will emerge. Such, I see now, is the way of the world.



Wood Elves of the Aldmeri Dominion

Unlike their Altmeri and Dunmeri brethren, the Bosmer have an attitude that is almost affable in particular respects. Certain Imperial diplomats have likened this breezy amiableness to the mellow intoxication a greenmote addict might first experience. But hasten not to categorize those as you would an Argonian skooma fiend; these tree-folk are vicious, adept at banditry, and worthy of your concern and attention, if not your respect.

The Bosmeri race is governed -- if only can describe this loose hegemony as such -- by the aristocratic Camoran Dynasty. There seems little rigidity or exertion of jurisdiction among the disorganized tribes of the Bosmer. Only slightly more stringent are the clan lines, which are matrilineal in nature. Ruled by the Treethane, or head tribesman, these serve little purpose other than providing protection during times of war. The real power is wielded by the priests of the forest deity Y’ffre, known as Spinners, who enforce the Green Pact, a bizarre rule of conduct forcing the Bosmer to feed carnivorously and never use living vegetation of any kind, for any means.

These are no woodland nymphs. Wood Elves go to war not to conquer lands or covet precious resources; they do it for sport. Unless a threat to Valenwood presents itself, Bosmer consider the slaying of others to be simply unnecessary, and wagers are even made prior to raids regarding the theft of prized possessions without a drop of blood spilled. But when called upon, they excel at the bow. Youngsters are trained to a formidable degree to snipe using both range and speed to their advantage. When you walk the woods near Arenthia, hold your purse or satchel close, and report Bosmeri brigands to your local town watch.

I was bundled onto the first ship out of Firsthold like a common cutpurse, and it was only by good fortune that the Night Heron was sailing to Malabal Tor. My companions were surly merchants, and my writ of passage might as well have been written in the ancient tongue of the dragons for all the good it did me. A fellow absconder named Borongothlor shared my destination: Velyn Harbor, an Altmeri port on the Strident Coast of Valenwood.

We arrived without fanfare. Some puffed-up dockside administrator was reading over my deportation order when Borongothlor yelled to the deckhands, “By Hircine’s pelt! Maormer squadron!” This was no ruse; the port was surprised by Sea Elves, some lithely leaping aboard the ship and many swarming the harbor. Bows were notched with haste, and fierce fighting commenced.

The blank-eyed raiders fought under the sign of the sea serpent with their colorless skin and snake conjurations, overwhelming the ship’s crew in mere moments. My paperwork fell from the administrator’s hands as he clutched his face and toppled from the jetty, an arrow protruding from his eye. High Elf harbor guards crouched behind firm barricades as the air filled with arrows. During a brief lull, I saw shapes flit from the forest.

The Wood Elves appeared, helping their Altmeri brethren repel the raiders and send them back to their boats. Mer of the sea and woods make an interesting contrast; the Maormer resemble the High Elves in the relative sophistication of their equipment, and the discipline of their medium-armored marines is impressive. But facing the cheerful ferocity and superior marksmanship of Bosmeri bowmen, the Sea Elves lost heart and withdrew.

During the preceding assault, I had prudently jumped down and hid under a tarp in a bumboat. Peeking out to take in the conflict, I shrank back as I watched a ferocious fight along the quayside. A Maormeri commander was waylaid from his progress by a Bosmeri Treethane’s bone-handled blade meeting his finely polished sword.

The Sea Elf parried strongly, forcing the Treethane back on her haunches. Laughing, she bounded around his heavier armor, shouting “Y’ffre’s bones!” and thrusting a sharp horn stiletto up through the Maormer’s arm. She spun with brutal dexterity, slashing her main blade deep into the commander’s neck and out the other side.

The head flew past mine as the commander’s corpse sagged, then fell into the deep mooring water below the Night Heron. I was surprised at a second splash; the Wood Elf lost her balance and followed the corpse into the reddening harbor, where she floundered with none of her previous grace. Instinctively, I offered a hand and pulled her out, saving her life. I was more surprised at my act of valor than she was.

With the battle over, I rambled on about my tale of woe to my gracious new friend. As my paperwork was lost with the customs officer in Velyn Bay, the High Elf watch seemed thankful when Serenarth offered me safe passage to Elden Root.

Serenarth introduced me to a pair of imposing guardians (I refrained from asking where they were when they were needed), a tracker, a cook, porters, her dogs, and various hangers-on in her ragtag gang. This caravan travels to Elden Root with “assets for the Aldmeri Delegation,” but no more information was imparted (or needed). Any cheer I mustered was stifled, as I expected a road but was greeted by dense thickets and swamp water. I felt a sense of reflective melancholy as my boots soaked through; the paintings of Black Marsh could be pasted here with my idiot superiors none the wiser.

Valenwood is dark, soggy, and filled with awful creatures. Not the Bosmer of Serenarth’s lot, although they seemed to jaunty I contemplated strangling one. No, I witnessed huge hoarvor ticks scuttling out from a leafy deen to meet a deflated end on a Wood Elf’s spear tip before they could suck my blood. Grim spriggans -- plant creatures with inexplicable breasts -- reared at us from what Serenarth told us were their sacred glades.

Splendid, more singsong rubbish about “Y’ffre’s bones” and a damp camp. I’m beginning to suspect Mannimarco has bought my fate and toys with me here, in the mangroves with the Tree-Sap folk. The food they cooked had all the savor and flavor of an Orc raider’s boot; squirrel preserves won’t be brought back to Bravil as a taste sensation. And the slouchbear surprise? The “surprise” was that my gullet opened wide enough to digest such tough and highly salted meat.

Our encounters with the local wildlife didn't fill me with joy either: One of the pack dogs ventured too close to a shrub, which came alive, its tendrils dragging the animal into a black maw. The Green Pact was suspended temporarily to cut the dog free.But at least this strangler plant wasn't able to give chase. At every swamp or stream we forded, we were met by mudcrabs. The incessant clacking of pincers and cracking of shells further irritates me. Oh, for a spell of swift transport to Elden Root.

Scouts attempting to navigate the overgrown and infested forests of Valenwood must learn that sharp knives and undergrowth-cutting instruments are frowned upon by the backward cousins of the Altmer; any pruning of Bosmeri territories is likely to result in hostilities. But the Wood Elf isn’t the only concern for the Imperial tracker or gallivant. There are dangerous denizens of the low forests to concern yourself with. These three are the most foul: the hoarvor, strangler, and spriggan.

Usually hiding among the dense foliage in the lowest and dampest recesses of the forest floor is the hoarvor. This giant tick would dwarf a large dog and inserts its filthy mandible into sleeping mammals, guzzling the blood from a helpless form before scuttling away. Even Valenwood’s plant life has a taste for flesh. Be on your guard for the strangler, a vine that waits for its warm prey to brush by. It attracts its victim with the promise of a sweet, sickly nectar called stranglesap. This paralyzes the small animal, which the plant then devours slowly and unpleasantly. Picking wild toadstools in the woods? Then be watchful for the spriggan, guardian spirits and protectors that whip up forceful blasts of magic and inflict terrible injuries with hardened, limblike branches. Their affinity with the more base beings of the forest allows them to set wild animals on intruders like trained guard dogs.

The Valenwood creatures continued to cause bother, but it wasn't until we reached a jungle waterfall that my guide slowed me to a quiet creep. The water was cascading down on a wondrous bathing nymph, glistening and laughing in the humid air. I was later informed this was a nereid, unrelated to the spirits of High Rock. As I attempted a closer investigation, a sinewy arm barred my path. One of the Treethane’s heavily armed bodyguards urged me to make my sketches from afar.

With the Green Pact stringently adhered to, many Wood Elves choose arms and armor imported from lands without ludicrous covenants. With only coal or peat to feed a forge, metal implements are hard to come by. What remains are minerals and animal matter harvester from the creatures of the forest before the mold or insects get them. Alchemy is employed to stiffen specific insect resins that are sculpted in a similar manner to the ways the Altmer use glass. Bones for axe handles, shells for shields,and leather all offer crafting and decorative options.

[They also boil hides in various solutions to shape and stiffen them.]

Besides the lesser spirits the wilder Wood Elves believe in, the Bosmer have eight major deities to worship, many of which share aspects of our own Eight Divines.

Y’ffre is the god of the forest and spirit of the present. If a Wood Elf begins speaking of the Storyteller, steer the conversation away unless you have hours to spend. A vital part of the pantheon, Y’ffre’s Ehlnofey, or “Earthbones,” were created from his corporeal form to establish safety and the laws of nature. These laws took the shape of stories, and there is great debate (and occasional uprising) between tribes competing to interpret Y’ffre’s ways and knowledge of the times of chaos, before Y’ffre arrived on the mortal plane.

Auri-El is the Elven aspect of Akatosh. Although Wood Elves believe themselves descended from the soul of Anu the Everything and occasionally offer venerations (mainly at the beginning of each year) which take the form of charitable work ignored from previous months, they have little affection for him. Arkay appears in an untarnished form and is invoked when solving transgressions of the Green Pact. Mara appears as the goddess of love and fertility, as in other cultures. Stendarr is known for his compassion and judicial qualities, but also as an Apologist of Man.

It is Z'en, the god of toil, that is invoked when a Treethane wishes to dispense justice or nullify a vendetta. Xarxes offers the Bosmeri mage opportunities to learn the magical arts that are not naturally occurring and influences each Wood Elf's being. Finally, Baan Dar is an aspect of the Khajiiti trickster idol. Despite being linked to acts of kindness and cleverness, every Wood Elf usually seeks his guidance, as he is also the god of archery.

Sunshine at last! I basked awhile as we stepped out of the dark jungle, our clothes steaming and our backs warming in the blessed heat. The city of Elden Root rose up from the woods to greet us. Wildflower meadows swayed in gentle breeze. Lush greenery and wandering paths (some with oddly strewn bones, dropped from the trees above), along with a perfect union of Bosmeri and Altmeri architecture, proved this to be a magnificent settlement, its people in proud ascendancy.

I felt almost energetic, too, filled with a mystical happiness for the first time since my arrival in this province. I spent the afternoon capturing the serene nature of this place and its immense and inhabited graht-oak, which towered over the Mer-made structures below its shrouding canopy.

At night, this is a very different place (at least to my eyes). Dark shapes dart away from the corner of my eye. Other appear all too real and frequently. The ghost of Falarel the jester creeps from the shadows to whisper jokes bereft of humor: “Master Terentius, it looks like you've taken ‘root’ here!”

I cannot rid myself of this shade.

My one escape has been the drink. Intoxication among the Bosmer is not only tolerated, but also encouraged. I began a heavy session with the various Wood Elf liquors. I found rotmeth rancid, Sun’s Dusk Ale too gamey, and by the time I discovered jagga was actually fermented pig’s milk, I was too far gone to care.

An entire province of timber, but no tree must be harmed: One would suspect the Treaty of Frond and Leaf would incapacitate a Wood Elven architect to the point of ruin, but working within these nonsensical rules has strengthened the quality of workmanship of the Bosmer and their settlements.Although hide stretched and tied over frames of bone may appear temporary, they are usually cocooned within sacred tree hollows and range dramatically in size. Wander the rivers and coast, where traders can provide quality imported lumber without breaking the Green Pact, and you will find more traditional wooden abodes.

Journey deeper into the forest if you dare, and you may stumble across the city of Elden Root or Silvenar. [Place or person? Confusing] Both have dwelling on the forest floor (typically built by other races, usually the Altmer), but many homes are both concealed and cradled within the canopy of graht-oak trees. Citified tree-folk favor a life among the branches and have woven them together to form limbed pathways without contravening the law of the land. Trails of thick, living vines anchor dozens of platforms that carry goods and people among the graht-oak. These platforms are hoisted by strong, often foreign, laborers.

Bone, resin, and sinew are employed in Bosmeri bridge design. A secondary market in such scraps allows the tree-dweller to tip their animal waste to the ground below, where it is scavenged and reworked into a variety of items -- certainly better than the refuse-strewn thoroughfares of Skyrim. As the moons rise, additional light is provided by luminous lichen, molds, and fungal growths living at the perpetually shadowed base of the oaks. Higher up, nocturnal flowers feed from the graht-oak, attracting torchbugs, whose hives light the branch platforms without the aid of fire. Adaptation to overcome self-imposed and crippling shortcomings has allowed the Wood Elves to survive, even thrive, despite their rigorous restrictions.

I sit here, perplexed and sorry for myself. My stay in Elden Root is extended as I wait (impatiently) for an Imperial courier from Haven. I’ve known Mactator Caprenius since his service with our family, and his timekeeping was never this tardy. But I pin my hopes on him extricating me from Valenwood and bundling me back into Cyrodiil as my guide nears completion. In the meantime, I sketch obsessively, lose sleep, and put up with Falarel’s verbal torture: “My master, all your chickens have been killed. ‘Twas murder most fowl!”

Falarel’s jokes are now laced with threats, many violent and threatening specific parts of my person. I am close to despair. I have not slept for many nights; the dark jester sees to that. There shall be no further Imperial snippets. I threw the remaining pages of the Emperor’s Guide to Tamriel into a fat-fire. Stendarr grant me mercy, for I cannot tell night from day. During one of Falarel’s brief disappearances, I sought out the priest, a Spinner, and pleaded for his help.

My Spinner friend Thorongil thought it best we see a tree sacred to Y’ffre. “Aren’t they all?” I asked, quite seriously, and was met with a chortle. His comedic nature continued when he asked me to carry him to our destination. I dismissed this as a lark until he told me his kind never move unless borne on the backs of others. Fortunately, my delicate vertebrae were saved as his servants maneuvered him to the foot of a towering, thickly branched specimen of oak, planted before the First Era.

There we sat, him talking the day away while I sat listening and sketching Thorongil with his many belongings. He revealed his inner thoughts and his communications with Y’ffre, which he recalls to the Treethanes of his tribe. “I’ve told you the story of my mind and its changes in perception,” he explained, untying a pouch and producing a bone smoking pipe. “Now, we alter our understanding of the physical realm by inhaling dried insects.” If it meant missing out on a dead jester for a few hours, I was game. I breathed deeply. The experience was simultaneously repulsive and strangely soothing.

I woke alone in the Spinner’s tent, feeling more relaxed and carefree than I had in weeks. But as my haze cleared and the dusk of long shadows fell over the glades, my spirits started to sag once more. As the torchbugs began flickering in their jars, I felt that familiar pain. I opened my tunic and watched the bran on my chest begin to crawl, as if worms burrowed beneath the scars. One of the Spinner’s trophies -- a skull thing hung on a post -- started to clack its jaws at me. The tent seemed to spin and close in. Then blackness.

Tired. Alone and deep in the woods at night. I must have been sleepwalking for quite some time. Shafts of light from Masser and Secunda filtered down through the canopy above. I was surrounded by gnarled trees and indistinct shapes, quicker at darting than my eyes. There is a fog within me, as if I’m a long way away.

Odd clicking noises and chirruping of insects. The faint rustling of forest animals. These sounds don’t unnerve me anymore. Grim and terrible images remain behind my eyes, waiting to scream their way out of my head. I have the strange sense that I’ve been following somebody. I don’t want to think about who that is. So I distracted myself and sat down to paint the midnight jungle.

My painting hand seems less arthritic and almost bewitched. I completed the image of the night jungle and turned the page. I began another picture, rapidly and obsessively scattering blues and grays over the parchment. A different view began to form beneath my pen and brush. How in the name of Akatosh do I know this place?

It was the cold, dead nightmare land from my dreams that I’d been drinking to forget. Cracked, frozen earth with black shapes lurking just below the surface. Was I doomed to wander this forgotten realm? No, I’m still in Valenwood. More jagga and bloodfroth to blot out the half-remembered horrors.

They came back with a jolt. Hulking, reptilian Daedric brutes that had chased me through that landscape. I feel compelled to sketch them too.

Eerie animal-faced people, or people wearing animal heads, creep from the shadows to sit and watch me while I work. They seem to stare intently, muttering short and unclear whispers and nodding to each other. Occasionally, I catch the bird skulls adorning their armor also turning to gaze at me from eyeless sockets. I dare not look upon them. Are they even really there?

The deep void of sleep caught me and I dreamed of my home in Cyrodiil. But this was not the place I left months ago. No, Cyrodiil had become a war-torn, anguished realm. The Bravil castle bailey was under heavy bombardment by the siege machines of an invading army. Councilor Lucasta's chambers were smashed to rubble, and the castle walls breached. Enemy foot soldiers rushed in like a river. Innocents and city watchmen were slain indiscriminately. My house was ablaze. I saw my brother, sword in hand, stumble through smoke and falling timbers, dragging a charred body. He headed back into the inferno. No, brother. Run!

Wake up, you fool.

An evil face carved on black stone leers at me and grimaces in approval.

The world of my nightmares converges with Tamriel, melding into a great and lamentable darkness. I must still be asleep; such horrors cannot exist on Nirn. Yet here I sit, rooted to the spot, and paint this as if it is real for all to see. I witness a terrible vision of Valenwood in ashes. Wood Elf corpses burn next to the black bark of their leveled homes. Thousand-year-old graht-oaks are steaming, monumental husks. All have suffered.

Figures wearing black cloaks and red helms … are those Worm Cultists patrolling these ashen lands? A robed figure stands and watches, a worm twisting on his staff. Then he strides over the embers of the world.


Wake up! Wake up!

The evil face sneers in wicked glee.


I’m aware of my sleepwalking again. I now find myself in the realm of the nightmare I fought to enclose within the walls of my slumber. A Bosmeri village has been defiled and destroyed. It is now festooned with the skin, bones, and other regalia of Daedra worshipers and necromancers. The smell of burning wood and flesh was not present before and forces me to retch in disgust and tie a cloth across my face. To complete my misery, that damnable ghost appears to taunt once more.

“Good news, my master. I’ve set fire to the forests and burned alive all your enemies in Valenwood.”

“But, Falarel,” I manage to say, “I have no enemies in Valenwood.”

“You do now!”

The flesh beneath my chest mark begins to crawl. I clutch it tightly, fearing it might burst.

“Welcome, Flaccus Terentius,” says Falarel, now speaking with Mannimarco’s voice.

“Welcome to Gil-Var-Delle.”

The Journal of Indring the Patient

Indring the Patient

The city will return. I know it. We've been waiting for so long. All we need is a sign. Something to let us know what happened and allow us to bring Falinesti back!

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm so tired of listening to the hopes and prayers of some of the Faithful here. They seem to think that's all they need to bring back the city, but there has to be something more. There must be.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Today a group from the Mages Guild set up a camp nearby. They are here to investigate the site, led by an Altmer named Telenger. They call him the Artificer. I think I've heard of him, a little. I'm curious what they'll discover. We'll have to watch them closely.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Telenger uearthed a Daedric temple in his excavations. I knew it! This must be the reason why Falinesti hasn't returned. We must get inside. I've formed a group of the Faithful that will speak to Telenger with me. We can finally get the city back!

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Artificer is a fool! He refuses to allow us to attempt to open the temple. I know it's the reason why the city hasn't returned. I can feel it calling to me. There's something inside, and once unleashed, Falinesti will return!

Secrets of Treehenge


Author of "Treehenge's Roots," "The Mammoths of Treehenge," and "Treehenge: Home of the Lady"

Those who wish to see the sacred Treehenge, wherein the physical remains of the Bosmer Green Lady are interred, must be prepared. Though it may not be obvious, the site is well-protected by a combination of incantations and even more subtle guardians.

Approach the site with caution and reverence. Bring an offering, and spend time in meditation amongst the trees. As your senses heighten, you may see visions of former Green Ladies walking the woods. You may also notice their likenesses in the trees from which Treehenge derives its name.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply, the scent of decaying wood, flowers in full bloom, and earth. Listen to the waterfalls, the buzz of insects, and whisper of leaf and branch.

When you feel these things within your heart, you will know the secrets of Treehenge in ways I cannot describe.

Reward for Information: Silvenar


People of Silvenar:

Your lives have been disrupted, your celebrations halted, your ways of life threatened. I, Ulthorn, am aware of my role in these troubles, but we are a people at war!

We must fight for our very way of life. The Aldmeri Dominion seeks to rule us from Elden Root, strip our rulers of their power, and corrupt our sacred rituals. The Dominion "invited" our previous Green Lady and Silvenar to join them on the island of Khenarthi's Roost, and it was an Altmer who was responsible for their deaths. Why? So they could replace them with puppets under their control!

Our new Green Lady, Gwaering, was duped by the Dominion. But Indaenir, the current "choice" to be the Silvenar, is working with the Domnion  and his presence in the city will be the advent of our doom!

The evidence is all around you. Would the true Silvenar abandon the Green Lady along the road, as he did in Velyn Harbor? Would he stop to consort with Wood Orcs in Jathsogur, rather than come straight to the city that bears his name? Would he hesitate to come to the Handfast when the Green Lady has already arrived and awaits him? No!

The Dominion's false Silvenar skulks about Malabal Tor. He may look for a way into this city, but he will not find it. And, any of you who help locate any of the traitors who support Indaenir, or the false Silvenar himself, will gain great favor with me and reward from all the Bosmer.

— Ulthorn


The Massacre at Cormount

Camoran Gorinir

The Jade Butcher brought her army in at night, like thieves. The good citizens of Cormount, no matter their faith in the True King, Camoran Gelthior, could not stand in the face of High Elf treachery.

The soldiers set fire to the trees. Burned Valenwood itself! As the families fled their homes, the cavalry rode them down. Children were rounded up and strangled in the streets. The Jade Butcher's thugs forced the parents to watch!

I personally led the Blacksap's response, I saw what they had done. Our anger was swift and righteous. We drove the Butcher's forces to the ruins outside of Cormount. We called the Green to aid us in destroying these invaders.

But the Jade Butcher's real treachery had only just begun. Her mages had poisoned the Green! Without our true ally to aid us—Valenwood itself—her forces rallied and resumed their slaughter. Though outnumbered four to one, the Blacksap fought on—for Valenwood, for Elden Root, for Cormount.

Remember this massacre, my brothers and sisters. Remember the Jade Butcher and the Dominion that considers her a hero. Remember that my father, the True King, vanished that day. Though he is thought to be among the dead, I still hold out hope.

Hope that Valenwood itself will rise again. That those loyal to the True King will rise with it.

The Dominion's Duty: Marbruk


— An Entry by the Altmeri Travel Guild —

Much ink has been spilled, and much information and misinformation spread, about the new city the Dominion has constructed in Valenwood.

The most pernicious rumor is that Marbruk has been constructed, not in cooperation with the Wood Elf inhabitants of the region, but as a city for Altmer by the Altmer—an act of Dominon civic aggression.

This could not be further from the truth: if Marbruk has been built with Altmeri tastes in mind, it is for the sake of unity, not in spite of it.

We can't say, on the one hand, that the Dominion is meant to foster cooperation and amity among Khajiit, Wood Elf, and High Elf, while at the same time keeping our living arrangements separate—the Khajiit primarily in Elsweyr, the High Elf sequestered on Summerset, the Wood Elf deep in Valenwood.

Cyrodiil casts a long shadow from the north over Valenwood. Are we to defend our brothers and sisters in Greenshade from a distance?

No less damaging is the rumor that the Dominion has paid Altmer residents to move to Marbruk. The only Altmer on the Dominion's payroll in Marbruk are those that have to do with the government and protection of the city, as would be the case in any other Dominion city. Wood Elves and Khajiit are included in this number as well and receive identical compensation.

The only payment the Dominion promises to those who will relocate to Marbruk is a spot in the land and housing lottery for the remaining available property. These are in limited quantities, but are given to ensure the thriving of the settlement, as required by trade and the defense of the region.

It bears repeating that it is the duty of loyal Dominion citizens to support their queen and their fellow races by joining in the defense of our common territory and shoring up the bonds of unity. Marbruk is only the latest city in the Dominion to symbolize those values. May it ever prosper!

Maormer Correspondence


Bring this to the attention of Stormreeve Neidir. The following is a copy of an Altmer text regarding Tempest Island, written by esteemed geographer, Angalmo. The Island is close enough to Malabal Tor for our needs, and considering its history of bizarrely inclement weather, it's a perfect launching point for our assault. The Dominion will never see us coming:

Angalmo's Travels: The Island of Storms Volume 1

The shrouded islands off the coast of Malabal Tor are as treacherous as they are beautiful. None more so than the Island of Storms, which some have come to call Tempest Island. The island is beautiful, but holds a secret that none have been able to decipher. Violent storms and gale winds have originated from the island for years—extremely unusual weather for the region—and scholars have risked its shores only to be stranded or killed on its storm-wracked coast.

I have seen these storms first-hand; I was with one such expedition, and spent a month on Tempest Island when my ship, the Summerset Blade, was smashed to splinters by a black storm that seemed to appear from nowhere. I had misgivings about the stories before, but what explanation could there be besides magic to conjure such a swift tempest out of calm seas? Rescue eventually came, as a second crew of surveyors came to look for my party, but I pledged never to sail anywhere near the Island again.

It's a promise I intend to keep.

This is another volume to bring to Stormreeve Neidir's attention. The following is a copy of an Altmer text regarding Tempest Island, written by esteemed geographer, Angalmo. The Island is close enough to Malabal Tor for our needs, and considering its history of bizarrely inclement weather, it's a perfect cover for our assault. The Dominion will never see us coming:

Angalmo's Travels: The Island of Storms Volume 2

I will never forget my experience at Tempest Island, where I nearly lost my life in the wake of one of the Island's infamous storms. My ship was destroyed and I was left landlocked for an entire month. I lived on ship's rations in the relative safety of the Island's cave network before rescue came for me.

During that time, I found no signs of the Island's rumored magical properties, though obviously there were the unexplained storms to account for it. I swear that these storms are like none that I have ever seen—swifter, fiercer, and manifesting in a region known for much milder conditions.

It's said that no scholar or mage has ever been able to discern the cause of this weather, but the Island has been thought to be the source of multiple phenomena, such as the Flood of the Era, as well as the storm that preceded the Lamia Invasion of 435. Both incidents have fostered interest in the Island over the years by researchers and academics, though none could find a cause for the storms.

For all the scholars can tell, Tempest Island simply sits in a swath of sea that's prone to extreme weather—nothing more nor less.

Want More than Middens?


I see you down there, living amid the refuse that falls from the Elden Tree. You think you're invisible, or that you're helpless, or that you just aren't worth anything to anyone.

That's where you're WRONG!

My friends, don't wallow in filth and obscurity when you can revel in the light of fame! A little ambition, a little toil, and a little blood is all it will take for you to rise up out of the muck and become known, to be someone who is counted!

With our fair city of Elden Root now the capital of the Aldmeri Dominion, we will draw people from all over Tamriel. They will marvel at the Elden Tree and walk in the shadows of Valenwood and bathe in the great river to their hearts' content—and then they will grow bored.

That, my friends, is where YOU come in!

Make no mistake—the Dominion is at war, and tales of strife and heroism have reached us even here, deep in the Valenood. But those who come to our city will be eager to see valor with their own eyes. That is why Elden Root is going to start its own GLADIATORIAL ARENA! We'll show our visitors that the heart of the Valenwood is a warrior's heart!

Do you have a warrior's heart? Do you want to hear the cheers of the crowds? Do you want to eat the best food, sleep in the best beds, and never have to hide your face in the Middens again? Well, come up into the light and join the Elden Root's own gladiator team!

See Milgor Sharp-Tongue in the Elden Tree in for more information. But don't wait—the ranks of the valorous are filling up fast.

Heroes of the Sanctuary

Emulator of Eldamar

You've no doubt heard the story of the Heroes of the Sanctuary. Of the three Altmer who braved stormy seas, monsters from the deep, and the hostilities of a wild and uncivilized race to found a safe port for Summerset's ships along the coast of Valenwood.

The tale is timeless. Eldamar was their leader, true-hearted, who envisioned adventure limitless across the sea and would not be deterred when others told him his vision was foolishness. Hirume slew the the serpent of the underdepths who guarded that craggy coast, diving deep below the sea to cut out its heart. You will have heard of how she held her breath for a full rising and setting of the sun, even until her companions thought her dead, only to emerge in the wake of the great serpent's demise.

Nor will any one ever forget the name of Meluuran, who fashioned a marvelous new sailing vessel specifically for the task, a vessel that cut swiftly across the sea, and did not slow even when the winds died. They say the great craftsman made a deal with the Divines, or some long forgotten god, to bind the winds and see the ship safely to those foreign shores.

And lastly, we tell of how our three heroes reached that hostile shore and found the people there were warlike and feasted on the flesh of their enemies. How their crew clamored to fight the savages and drive them away, a conquered people, but the Heroes of the Sanctuary did not listen to the council of rash and foolish Elves.

Instead they met with the leaders of the Wood Elves, and studied their customs. They learned of the Green Pact, which forbids damage to the forest, and of the Meat Mandate, which commands these Elves to eat those they defeat in battle, and most importantly of all, they learned of the Rite of Theft.

It was customary that the Wood Elves would steal from each other, and on return of the stolen item, demand a boon commensurate to the item's worth.

It happened that the Heroes of the Sanctuary had brought a staff of great value with them. So they made a deal with the Wood Elves. If the Wood Elves could steal the staff from them, they would leave and never return. However, if they could steal an item from each of the Wood Elf treethanes, then they would be allowed to found a settlement on the shores of Valenwood.

The deal was struck, and the Heroes swiftly and cleverly set about stealing from the treethanes. From one they stole a prized bow. Another they tricked into handing over a valued necklace in exchange for "all of the most valuable thing in the world that they could hold in their hands." The most valuable thing in the world, as any one knows, is air—for without it we could not live.

At the end of the appointed time, all of the treethanes' items had been stolen, but the Wood Elves had not managed to steal the staff. And that is how Seaside Sanctuary came to be, thanks to the bravery, cleverness, and vision of Eldamar, Hirume, and Meluuran.