Antiquities Codexes: Treasures

The items in this category do not have in-game art, but are instead just inventory items that can be sold for gold.

Akaviri Lord’s Banner

Now here’s something I didn’t expect to find in Skyrim: a lord’s banner from distant Akavir. Leaders in Akaviri armies fastened these banners to the back of their armor so their soldiers could easily identify them in the thick of the fight. —Reginus Buca

Not so surprising–Akaviri armies fought their way across Morrowind and Skyrim during the First Akaviri Invasion, 1E 2703. The invaders conquered huge parts of both realms before Reman stopped them at the Pale Pass. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Ah, the origin of the Dragonguard. The Akaviri recognized Reman I as the Dragonborn and swore allegiance to him. This lord may have been one of the last Akaviri to raise sword against the future Emperor–or one of the first to bend the knee to him. —Verita Numida

Location: The Rift

Al-Esh Ascension Coin

This may be the rarest coin ever minted by Tamrielic hands. Shortly after Akatosh’s final Alessian visitation, a renowned Ayleid smith named Lirulorne struck a handful of masterwork coins for the fallen empress’s consort, Morihaus. Some interpreted the gesture as reparations for humanity’s long enslavement, others considered it simple tribute. Whatever the case, the peerless craftsmanship and extravagant composition proves that even the conquered recognized the divine legitimacy of Alessia’s rule. —Reginus Buca

Location: Western Skyrim

Ancient Dragonguard Lure

By Syrabane’s ring, this is magnificent! I never thought an iron sphere could look so beautiful. There’s something about it that’s just so … intriguing. I can almost hear it whispering to me. Even now, my hands tremble with the thought of letting go! These symbols here—unlike any I’ve seen. Akaviri? Or even Dovah? No. that’s not possible. Seems the charming magic imbued into this iron is still quite potent. Meant to lure a beast to its doom, no doubt! Someone take this thing away from me! —Amalien

Location: Southern Elsweyr

Ancient Fertility Totem

This looks Ayleid, and given the area it was found, it makes sense. Though, there are a few Bosmer touches to the design that make me think this was some kind of collaboration. —Gabrielle Benele

As I understand it, these totems in Ayleid culture were only used as a last resort. It wasn’t common practice to have one unless a couple was truly having trouble conceiving. —Reginus Buca

There’s a theory that Ayleid culture died out in this area because they became unable to reproduce with one another, and mated with the local Bosmer instead. I wonder if this was a gradual shift that was met with resistance? —Amalien

Location: Greenshade

Ancient Fishing Rod

Despite it’s age, this design doesn’t look too different from modern day fishing rods. The embellishments are certainly unique, though. A lot of Khenarthi specific imagery. I doubt the additional weight made it any easier to fish. —Reginus Buca

Keep in mind, the Khajiit of this area were renowned fishermen. Their innovations vastly exceeded others of the time, and they took it very seriously. These embellishments were likely a token of respect and revereance rather than functionality. —Verita Numida

There are stories of a famous fisherman around this time named Fazjum. In one of them, he caught a Desert Sucker the size of a horse that was terrorizing the waters. He was said to have a fishing rod exactly like this! —Amalien

Location: Khenarthi’s Roost

Apostle’s Scourge

Some kind of religious scourge. Used for self-flagellation no doubt. Mauloch’s jawbone, this tool is ancient. The Daedric script here–see how it gives way to these more geometric runes? What were these Dark Elves punishing themselves for?—Ugron gro-Thumog

I know precious little about Sotha Sil’s followers, but a mad mage I spoke to insisted that Sotha Sil’s followers–the Clockwork Apostles–worship Sotha Sil, obviously, but they’ve also turned their back on Daedra-worship entirely! Can you imagine? —Amalien

I can’t. No matter who they worship now, the Dark Elves are still children of the Velothi tradition. Then again, if a living god tells you to abandon a belief, who would refuse? Present day apostles probably can’t even remember the Good Daedra’s names. —Reginus Buca

Location: Clockwork City

Apraxic Decanter

Can’t say as I’ve ever seen an object like this in Summerset. Everything there is so pristine. This vessel appears misshapen and cheap. Even so, the glass appears almost iridescent. Why would someone use such beautiful materials for something so hideous? —Gabrielle Benele

Yeah, looks like aetherquartz to me. High Elf aldarchs use it in their scred chalices, and the like. I doubt this started as a shoddy decanter. Someone melted an object down and reshaped it into this. —Ugron gro-Thumog

It was a calian–one of the precious spheres we High Elves receive as youths. If we commit a grave offense, an ascendent curate smashes it and demands we repair it. Seems an apraxic mer chose to make a decanter of it instead. It’s … disheartening. —Amalien

Location: Summerset

Aquiline Calian Sphere

I can’t overstate the magnitude of this discovery. An aetherquartz sphere like this–also known as a calian–is the physical embodiment of a High Elf’s honor and status in the High Elf community. I keep mine in a small willow wood box, but it’s a fraction of the size and it’s completely transparent. Whoever created this one managed to embed a translucent eagle in the rose-colored glass! This had to belong to a Grand Athelan or similarly important religious figure. Marvelous! —Amalien

Location: Auridon

Armless Stone Effigy

The face is worn off which makes it difficult to determine who the artist was attempting to depict. Given that it came from Wrothgar, it might be some totem or figure from the first Orcs? Ugron can shed some light on it this, I’m sure. —Reginus Buca

The size and weight seem wrong. Orcish effigies are heavier–more roughly hewn. Judging by the figure’s attire, it could be a tiny depiction of King Thagore. Though even that feels like a stretch. One of the arms is missing. I wonder what it carried. —Verita Numida

Looks like a little Diagna to me. Redguard sword-god. Apparently, fighters from the Order of Diagna kept totems like this for luck during the siege of Orsinium. It probably fell from the purse of a Redguard warrior as an Orcish warrior struck them down. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Orsinium

Augur’s Bones

The runes marked on these small bones can predict the future, if you know how to read them. The augur shakes them up in a bag, then pours them out on the ground, looking for alignments and connections. Casting the runes is a rare talent! —Amalien

Is the talent in the bones, or in the caster? I suspect that more than a few augurs put on a good show of pouring out the bones before telling their visitors what their visitors want to hear. Still, this set is old and well-preserved. —Verita Numida

Casting-bones are passed from teacher to student down through the generations; they get their power from the skill and renown of their previous owners. Each new augur adds a bone and its rune to the collection–and this is a large set indeed. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: The Rift

Ayleid Statuette

Interesting. This gold statuette appears to be a representation of the Daedric Prince Meridia–the personification of the element of light, at least to the Ayleids. A small sculpture such as this probably resided in a noble’s house shrine.

The figure lacks the cowl and wings often seen in Meridia’s depictions. That would seem to date it to the waning days of the Ayleid Empire, when Elves like the Barsaebics distanced themselves from their Heartland kin who served darker masters.

Many Ayleid clans fled to the Valenwood in the aftermath of the Alessian Rebellion. I believe this to be a Bawn or Anutwyll heirloom carried away from one of those fallen strongholds around 1E 243. That means it could date back to the Merethic Era!

Location: Grahtwood

Ayleid Tendrilled Eye

This spherical stone eye has numerous winding tendrils curving out from its surface. I’ve counted them eight times and gotten eight different results. It does faintly emit a Daedric energy, but there’s no enchantment that would alter its shape. —Gabrielle Benele

Given the Ayleid’s enthusiastic veneration of Daedra, this eye probably represents Hermaeus Mora, Daedric Prince of knowledge. He’s not often idolized. Maybe because he’s reclusive compared to so many of the Princes … or because he’s hard to depict. —Amalien

Third time’s a charm! And a pattern! The Ayleids here must have considered Hermaeus Mora their patron. If they held knowledge in such high regard, some of these ruins may have been part of a college. I can practically hear the library calling! Can you? —Amalien

Location: Betnikh

Basalt Table-Game Set

A traditional Dematah gaming set, eh? Incomplete, but still lovely. Basalt is a rather heavy and coarse stone for delicate work such as this, but the carver chose a deliberately abstract style for the pieces. Not uncommon in early Dunmer craftsmanship. —Verita Numida

The pieces look so oddly proportioned! I suppose these smaller tokens represent slave races? Argonians have complained about Dematah’s troubling themes for centuries. I’d say this vindicates those claims! Is it just me, or is this board larger than usual? —Amalien

Each side has an extra token because this set is a variation known as Traitor’s Dematah. A very popular variant among Dunmer nobles in the middle of the First Era. You could replace an opponent’s “slave” with one of your own—”turning a traitor,” you see? —Reginus Buca

Location: Bal Foyen

Bleeding Beetle Door Lock

Tribunal priests and religious enforcers make it very difficult to learn much about the mysterious Sixth House. From what little information we can find, this noble house played a major role in the War of the First Council between the Chimer and the Dwarves. Always a secretive group, House Dagoth deployed these strange, beetle-shaped locks on their doors to taste the blood of those who sought entry–a valuable precaution in wartime, and consistent with the Dark Elves’ inherent wariness. —Reginus Buca

Location: Vvardenfell

Book of Dark Rites

We’ve stumbled upon something truly dangerous here. The cover should serve as your first clue; black leather that seems to shiver into goosebumps at the slightest touch. And the contents are no better. Page after blood-stained page depicting murders of every variety. What I find most disturbing is this “Rite of Penance.” It’s not like the Black Sacrament. The sigils and physical components feel consistent with a summoning ritual. But what could an assassin summon that’s worse than himself? —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Gold Coast

Bosmer Hunting Horn

Wood elf work, this. The horn is made from the end of a timber-mammoth tusk, and the mouth-piece is carved bone. The inscribed image depicts a hunting scene, of course. Likely the owner sounded it to mark the start of the chase. —Ugron gro-Thumog

A hunting scene, or a scene of the Wild Hunt? It seems to me that the monstrous figures are chasing the human-shaped figures, not the other way around. The Bosmer rarely depict their ancient ritual–this is an unusual find! —Amalien

Sounding a horn to commence a hunt? I doubt it. The last thing a wood elf would do is announce the beginning of a hunt to the whole forest. Nor do the Bosmer use the Wild Hunt for mere decoration. No, this horn is blown to signal the end of the hunt. —Reginus Buca

Location: Grahtwood

Brittle Linen Pilgrimage Map

At first I wondered why this specific slice of Tamriel would be painted in such detail. With Gabriel’s help, I discovered someone magically marked a trail on it from Summerset to Morrowind. This could be the precise path that Saint Veloth himself walked on his pilgrimage! Such fortune that some early Dunmer used linen instead of parchment or it may not have survived the centuries. We placed it in a stasis spell to prevent further degradation, which sadly means no one may touch it. —Amalien

Location: Deshaan

Bronzed War Horn

A delightful instrument. This is Nord made, probably from a mammoth tusk considering the size. The bronze bands are scuffed and without decoration, suggesting this was a practical item and not decorative. —Reginus Buca

I believe this dates to sometime early in the First Era. Stonefalls endured an invasion by the First Empire of the Nords in that time. It seems likely that this horn heralded the army’s rampage upon the land. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Yes, perhaps a blast from this announced Vrage the Butcher himself. We know he enjoyed traveling to survey his conquered territory. I gave the horn a small toot and it has quite a nice tone. Sounded regal, and not terrifying as I imagined. —Reginus Buca

Location: Stonefalls

Child’s Ragged Tree Doll

How adorable! The doll resembles the mysterious Hist trees found in Black marsh. Don’t dolls usually look like the children they’re intended for? Perhaps this is hard evidence that Argonian children start off as Hist saplings? —Amalien

An interesting idea, but we may not need to go that far. I surmise these dolls were used to imprint a connection between Argonian hatchlings and the Hist. Notice how the bark still feels tacky? Perhaps it was once covered in sap for early exposure. —Reginus Buca

Magical analysis dates the doll to sometime in the Merethic. I exposed the doll to a vial of Hist sap and the leaves grew iridescent. Perhaps if we had a Circle member more knowledgeable in Argonian history, they could help explain these mysteries. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Shadowfen

Chimer Military Insignia

Chimer military insignia stand out as unique among Mer since their designs didn’t incorporate House sigils. Nonetheless, I can determine this belonged to the legendary General Balreth by the striking flourishes of color that signify unparalleled honors. I must admit to feeling some sadness while holding these badges. Balreth sacrificed everything to protect his people from the Nede hoard. These represent the last remnants of his life before his transformation. —Amalien

Location: Stonefalls

Cloven Ritual Mask

Here’s a real find! This was a Dragon Cult mask. Dragon Priests believed that they became living vessels of their dragon-gods’ spirits and spoke with divine authority when they donned these masks. An oaken one like this probably belonged to lesser clergy. —Amalien

Of course it’s a Dragon Cult mask–anyone can see that. Let me offer a more scholarly assessment: The mask’s warlike design suggests a more aggressive posture–something that a Dragon worshipper might wear into battle. —Verita Numida

As Verita notes, this is a Dragon Faithful’s war-mask. I’m no carpenter, but the way it’s been hewn right down the center might indicate a sword stroke. Perhaps this fellow met his end under the blade of a rebelling Nord. —Reginus Buca

Location: Bleakrock

Coiled Serpent Lock

More snakes! Honestly, it seems like they appear in every corner of Tamriel! I don’t recognize the aesthetic here. It certainly isn’t Yokudan. The locking mechanism seems quite sophisticated, though. —Gabrielle Benele

Look closer. These snakes bear all the traits of early Maormer craftsmanship. In fact, I think it would be more accurate to call them sea serpents. You can tell from the shape of the snout and that distinctive head-frill. —Verita Numida

The hinterlands of Hew’s Bane crawled with Maomer slavers in ther latter years of the First Era. According to local legends, one group used “snake magic” and ensorcelled locks when capturing slaves to ensure that they remained docile and compliant. —Reginus Buca

Location: Hew’s Bane

Coiled Snake Candlestick

The bronze work and distinct etched patterns point to a First Era Dunmer creation. I’d guess the three prominent figures on its base almost confirm it. But its spiraling snake design is unlike any I’ve seen from the Dark Elves. —Reginus Buca

My apologies Reginus, but I don’t think the figures represent the Tribunal. See the postures? These are the “Good Daedra” as Ashlanders call them. But why would nomads from the last era have such intricate metalwork?

Fine eye, Amalien! An Ashlander work with this snake design points to one answer: the Mabrigiash tribe. Amazing that they already occupied Deshaan so soon after the split. Perhaps they believed lit candle fixtures would placate their angry Ghost Snake. —Reginus Buca

Location: Deshaan

Cornerstone of Reman II

This lends a shred of credence to the so-called Almanac of Betony as more than florid Breton embellishment. While I’ve seen little evidence of an impregnable fortress carved from this island’s imposing cliffs, this foundation block proves the Empire did construct fortifications here during Reman II’s reign. If Skyspire Keep did exist, it was likely constructed according to conventional legion codices. I suspect most of the keep’s stone was used to create Stonetooth Fortress. —Verita Numida

Location: Betnikh

Cracked Serpent Pendant

There doesn’t look to be anything inherently magical about this, but this is no ordinary piece of jewelry. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s Nedic. The serpent cradling the stone seems reminiscent of the ones I’ve seen in Craglorn’s ruins. —Gabrielle Benele

Yes, a prime example of Nedic stonecraft-jewelry! A stonesmith likely created it for a Nede of high station–a queen, or a princess perhaps? You’re right to point out that serpents often appear in Nedic ruins, but I’ve never seen one in their jewelry. —Reginus Buca

Yes, many Nedes wisely kept their reverence for the Serpent constellation at arm’s length. Recent events in Craglorn make the dangers of flirting with such a powerful entity abundantly clear. —Verita Numida

Location: Craglorn

Den of the Eldest Shoes

There are a great many tales about the Eldest and the pilgrims of Valenwood. One describes a mother and her young daughter seeking refuge in the Den of the Eldest. As promised, the mother bequeaths her firstborn to the Eldest in exchange for wisdom. It is said that the daughter stays there for many years until she is a woman grown. She buries her childhood shoes in the soil in hopes they will help the Eldest grow. Could the tales be true? Are these the shoes of the girl raised by the Eldest? —Amalien

Location: Greenshade

Direnni Palatial Art

A palatial portrait of the Direnni royal family! This likely would have hung in the halls of the Adamantine Tower at the heights of their rule. I’d love to know more of who’s depicted here, but there’s a lack of distinguishing features. In fact, the family resemblance borders on simulacra. It’s hard to believe a royal artist would be so lazy. Though, despite mingling with Nedes, only pureblooded Direnni rose to power. That would mean … ew, no. Maybe they really did reproduce through sorcery? —Amalien

Location: Stormhaven

Dwemer Astrological Charts

I first thought all the divots on these Dwarven metal plates to be more of their typically abstract art or the result of some sort of projectile testing, but I finally figured it out! They’re plots of stars in the night sky! I was thrown off by the sheer volume of points on each plate compared to what I can observe by the naked eye. Perhaps their observatory is powerful enough to peer through to Aetherius itself? Could it have guided the Dwemer there and that’s why they left Tamriel behind? —Amalien

Location: Stros M’Kai

Dwemer Trade Bar

For such a far flung and advanced civilization, we know very little about Dwemer daily life. While they were notoriously reclusive, it’s presumed that they engaged in some for of commerce, if only with each other. This bar of Dwarven metal if more than a simple ingot. It has a band of beautiful blue crystal through it with the name Arkngthamz-Phng inlaid and a series of Dwarven numerals. These could represent the volume, or weight, or identifier, or its harmonic resonance, or even a secret code! —Amalien

Location: Bankorai

Eligiac Vessel

Is this a pot? Or a vase? Or an urn of some kind? I’ve never seen such an oddly shaped vessel. It appears to be made of some strange, striated stone. Something artificial no doubt. It’s almost like the craftsman built it in layers—one on top of the other. And what’s inside? Roland’s Tear flowers, perfectly preserved. And a note, as well? It simply says, “Forgive me.” How perplexing. Nonetheless, this would likely fetch a king’s ransom in a Vvardenfell auction house. Quite a find! —Reginus Buca

Location: Clockwork City

Faded Khajiit Claw

If you look close, you can tell this is a fabrication. A real claw would have faded over time. This looks made out of some kind of stone, and though the inscription is faded, there’s definitely something written on it. —Reginus Buca

When Elsweyr was divided, Anequina had a reputation for being a land of warriors. But Pellentine had money, and they could hire the muscle they needed. This may have been a calling card of sorts. —Verita Numida

Could this be the famed killing claw of Vashrjo the Killer? He was a famed Pellitine assassin that was rumored to have killed high ranking officials in Anequina. Apparently he’d leave a fake claw by the body so they knew who committed the deed. —Amalien

Location: Elsweyr (Northern)

Faded Psijic Folio

Is this some kind of Psijic folio? At last! A chance to reveal their shrouded mysteries! Their hidden truths! Wait—why is it blank? Is this a joke? An unused booklet? An Elf tries not to get her hopes up…. How depressing. —Amalien

Giving up so soon? That’s hardly the Amalien I know. Look closer. Just there, near the spine and along the edges. See those glypsh? Barely visible to the eye? This book may have played a role in secret Psijic correspondence. —Verita Numida

Of course! A group as powerful and secretive as the Psijic Order wouldn’t just set ink to parchment like some common mage. I onlt wonder how they managed to make these markings. A magic plume, or do they simply will the glyphs into being? —Amalien

Location: Artaeum

Festival of Defiance Token

Well, this is an easy one: the token itself proclaims it to be from the Festival of Defiance, which clearly references Skywatch’s celebration of freedom from the Sload. —Reginus Buca

Perhaps a favor from the very first one? In 1E 2260? I read a journal account from that very festival stating that several different favors passed around, including ribbons for those whose families served in the All Flags Navy. —Amalien

I have to disagree, Amalien. The ship portrayed on one side exhibits a later art style, as does the lettering on the other. I’d say more like early 2E given the lettering style alone. I know that disappoints you, but I do know my engraving history. —Reginus Buca

Location: Auridon

Giant Chieftain’s Crown

Oh, that’s immense! The sheer size of the piece makes it clear: This headdress belonged to a Giant … and not just any Giant. Here we see unusually deft workmanship and ornamentation for a Giantish artifact. These tusk-like horns are shaped from mammoth ivory, and the prongs securing them in place are made of hammered gold. Only a Giant of great importance–a high chieftain such as the legendary Sinmur, say–would claim authority over their fellows by wearing anything like a crown! —Amalien

Location: The Rift

Goblin Steam Mill

It resembles a tiny waterwheel made from iron and the flexible bark of tropical trees. It would have crumbled to dust long ago if not for a thick grease smeared over everything. It looks just the right size to fit on the end of a Dwemer steam pipe! —Amalien

It does appear to be Goblin in make, though the markings are different from the Dogeater tribe who currently reside here. Goblins were likely the only inhabitants of these isles between the Dwemer’s disappearance and the Redguard colonization. —Ugron gro-Thumog

I was skeptical, but I decided to test Amalien’s theory and sure enough the wheel fit over the end of a broken steam pipe. It’s a bit unstable, but the moving parts whir around at a surprising speed. This mechanism could easily power a number of tools. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Stros M’Kai

Great House Gold Chalice

A sinister motif rendered in such a lovely medium! The chalice is exquisite, as you can see; Dunmeri work of the highest quality. But if you look closely at these figures depicted around the base, you can see the collars and chains. They’re slaves. —Gabrielle Benele

Figures of Dark Elves at ease repose around the upper rim, supported in their indolence by those whom they have enslaved. Rather cynical, in its way. Likely this great cup graced the table of a high-ranked noble from one of the Dunmeri Great Houses. —Verita Numida

House Dres, I believe. They have been at the forefront of the Dunmeri slave trade since the middle of the First Era; here is the House Dres linked-chain symbol. And these slave figures appear to be laboring in a saltrice field. 1E, 26th century. —Amalien

Location: Bal Foyen

Halved Lion’s Mane Wig Piece

What an incredible piece! I’m sure the lion hair was incredibly expensive, especially at the time. This probably belonged to one of the powerful merchant families of Hew’s Bane. Maybe a symbol of their power passed down through generations! —Amalien

This thing is hideous. I don’t think any self-respecting merchant lord would wear this, much less have it specifically made for them. There has to be something more to this. Look at the stitching! That kind of detail would take months to perfect. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Music rarely offers a true account, but one Redguard folksong describes several bizarre costuming fads that took hold in Prince Hubalajad’s court. Fake beards, not wigs, were briefly in fashion. Sadly, tailors often died trying to procure the materials. —Verita Numida

Location: Hew’s Bane

Hegathe Divining Rod

I’m amazed this glass rod has survived intact for thousands of years. It’s light as a feather and remarkably hard, thanks to the magicka still clinging to it. It vibrates when stuck into sand. After some experimenting, I determined the intensity would rise and fall in proximity to water. Ancient Elves must have used these to travel safely across the Alik’r Desert. Well, as safely as would be possible, there would still need to be water within a half-day’s travel for this to detect it. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Alik’r

High King Sunstone

What have we here? The old sagas of the proto-Nords describe glass-like sunstones that allowed a longship captain to see the sun’s location even on a cloudy day, but their secret was lost long ago. Yet here we have a stone as clear as glass–just as the legends claim. The mighty Ysgramor himself was said to have used a stone such as this in his voyages! And these runes inscribed around the stone’s perimeter identify it as a gift of great favor from a Nord High King. Truly, a remarkable find! —Reginus Buca

Location: Bleakrock

House Tamrith Official Seal

It’s remarkable how little the Tamrith house seal has changed over the course of centuries. It makes this hard to date, but it’s real and it’s old. Impressive, since these were widely counterfeited during King Ranser’s war to falsify correspondence. —Gabrielle Benele

The telltale mark of authenticity here is the inscription. It’s written in Aldmeris, signifying pride in their Elven heritage. Breton nobility ceased the practice around the time that High Rock joined the Alessian Empire. —Verita Numida

The inscription appears to be: “By Arkay’s grace we live and die, but there is no end to the Tanith line.” I’d say they were tempting fate with that creedo, but they’ve made good on their word thus far. —Amalien

Location: Rivenspire

Hunding Sextant

A bit rusty, but still in good condition. Late First-Era by the look of it. These appear to be modelled after the designs of the Dwemer observatory found on Stros M’kai. The Hunding name is inscribed, but this device is far younger than that bloodline. —Reginus Buca

Frandar Hunding was a master navigator. He’d have to be to guide a fleet the size of the first Ra Gada to undiscovered lands without losing any ships. It may bear his name in honor of his legacy, even if he had nothing to do with its creation. —Ugron gro-Thumog

I wouldn’t be too quick to rule out Frandar’s influence. The Yokudans were advanced enough to have their own navigational devices prior to encountering the observatory. It’s entirely possible that Frandar was the first to adopt this design. —Verita Numida

Location: Stros M’Kai

Hunt-Lord’s Djerid

A Khajiiti djerid, 1E, twelfth or thirteen century. It’s a hunting dart–more of a small javelin, really. This one is noteworthy for the exceptional decorative carving of the shaft and the colorful streamers affixed just behind the barbed head. —Verita Numida

This djerid belonged to a very important Khajiit; the streamers are a badge of high rank. I believe this was the weapon of a hunt-lord, leader of one of the March’s nomadic tribes. Naturally, skill in the hunt was a vital test of fitness to lead. —Reginus Buca

Hunt-lords were skilled hunters, but the nomadic tribes saw war as a hunt, too. A great hunt-lord was a warrior of high renown as well as a provider for the people–leader of a fierce army and master of wide lands. A king, in other words. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Reaper’s March

Inert Daedric Manacles

Strange. These are magically inert and without mechanical locks, leading me to believe they were ensorceled shackles. They’re also quite fashionable, don’t you think? If I had to be imprisoned I wouldn’t be too unhappy about these. Any thoughts? —Gabrielle Benele

Given where this was found, I wonder if we should consider the possibility of this being from the Lightless Oubliette. The blue crystal residue might be a clue! There were no white or gold colored crystals allowed inside the prison. —Amalien

While I agree these are from Coldharbour itself, I’m hesitant to jump to conclusions based on mere residue. The Lightless Oubliette was a detention facility for servants of Meridia. Manacles seem too kind a punishment for what goes on in that place. —Verita Numida

Location: Coldharbour

Inert Daedric Spellstone

I’ve read about objects like this, but I’ve never actually seen one. The great mage, Shalidor, apparently traveled to several planes of Oblivion, gathering crystals from at least five different realms. Using an exceedingly dangerous transmutation spell, he managed to merge these crystals into an alloyed spell-focus like this. Centuries of neglect have left this one inert, but you’re not likely to find a denser agglomeration of Padomaic matter. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Eyevea

Jeweled Ayleid Scabbard

This is no Bosmeri work. See, the scabbard is made of thin wood staves beneath the fine leather, and the gemstones are precisely faceted in a style commonly found in Ayleid jewelry. Not very practical for a weapon of war. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Many Ayleid clans fled to the Valenwood during the collapse of their empire, but the style is representative of the height of their civilization: ME 850 or 900, I think. Most likely this was a noble’s treasure carried away into exile. —Verita Numida

Perhaps, but some Ayleid ruins in these lands predate the collapse of their empire. This storm-cloud emblem, here, belongs to the lords of Ilayas, a stronghold founded centuries before the empire’s decline. This scabbard has been here a long time! —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Malabal Tor

Jurisreeve’s Eye

This appears to be an ancient badge of office. And what’s this symbol? A great eye with three ebony pupils floating in a viridian iris. I suppose it could be literal. What creature in Summerset has three eyes? —Verita Numida

It’s not literal. High Elf jurisreeves—inspectors of a sort—travel in groups of three, just as they have since the Aldmer first arrived on Summerset Isle. One member of a qurom is called the admanen, or “listening eye.” I’ve never seen one wear a badge.—Amalien

I beg your pardon, Amalien, but I don’t think this belonged to a jurisreeve. At least not a jurisreeve as we currently understand the term. This looks like a religious talisman of some kind. Perhaps the jurisreeve tradition began as a religious order? —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Summerset

Khajiit Plague Mask

Interesting design here, it’s made for a Khajiit face certainly but it doesn’t look all that well constructed. There are inadequacies there that can’t be attributed to just time. —Reginus Buca

The Thrassian Plague came down along trade routes in Elsweyr. It’s likely they didn’t have any means to combat it, and even once they started, by then it was already too late. This may have been an early attempt at protection. —Ugron gro-Thumog

In the earliest days of the Thrassian Plague, Khajiit healers started with simple masks like these to prevent the spread of infection. It quickly became evident that they were not sufficient, however, so they were abandoned and never iterated on. —Verita Numida

Location: Elsweyr (Northern)

Khajiit Prayer Cloth

While I’m sure this would be a controversial opinion, I feel in my gut that this cloth belonged to Queen Anequina Sharp-Tongue. It’s widely agreed upon that the queen spent time meditating in the temple of Jode’s Light during her time. Many times her story is overshadowed by Khunzar-ri, but she was an equal force, one that is awe-inspiring even today! If the stories are to be believed, this cloth holds the tears of the queen, when she returned to her temple after Khunzar-ri’s death. —Amalien

Location: Elsweyr (Northern)

Khenarthi Skooma Pipe

A beautiful piece. Someone very meticuously carved this to resemble a winged-cat, but still took the time to make it a functioning pipe, though it’s thicker than most modern ones. —Reginus Buca

This has to be Khenarthi, right? I wonder if all pipes made around this time were modeled after her. Or if they started as idols and then turned into pipes along the way? It looks like this one is holding something in its claws. —Amalien

Upon closer inspection, I wonder if these were made ironically. Khenarthi is said to carry the souls to the Sands Behind the Stars. Perhaps she’s carrying the soul of someone who indulged a bit too much. —Reginus Buca

Location: Khenarthi’s Roost

King’s Belt Plate

The belt or girdle of a Nord king is nearly as important as his crown. It symbolizes strength, vitality, martial prowess, and of course wealth. The sheer magnificence of this huge gold buckle indicates that it was part of a king’s regalia in the early decades of the First Nordic Empire. Look, here, you can see the depiction of victory over the Dragon Cult, and here you can see the very first Moot of the Nords, which King Harald summoned to his mead-hall sometime around 1E 184. Extraordinary! —Verita Numida

Location: Western Skyrim

Kinlord’s Tree of Aldmeris

I can scarcely believe it. This is a genuine kinlord’s tree! This grand document details the bloodline of a High Elf calan, all the way back to the first Aldmer ancestor who stepped foot on Tamriel’s shores! Notice the Jephrine motifs and twisting branches? Very few High Elves can trace their lineage back this far. The resources that went into creating a chart like this … let’s just say it would take far more gold than I’m likely to see in this lifetime. And we High Elves live a long time! —Amalien

Location: Summerset

Mane’s Frayed Crown

Incredible! This is the ceremonial headdress of an ancient Mane of the Khajiit. Each single braids comes from a highly honored Khajiit warrior or clan-mother; when the Mane put on this crown, he figuratively donned the strength and wisdom of an entire people. Pity that some of the hair is lost, and the silver clasps haved dulled somewhat. Still, it’s astonishingly well preserved! A rare find, indeed! —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Reaper’s March

Manmer Coupled Idol

How odd. This figure of an Elven woman bears hallmarks of Aldmeri depictions of Mara, but it’s too rudimentary. Was it the work of a child? Maybe it was unfinished. —Amalien

That’s Nedic sculpting, actually. Devotional idols were common, though I’ve never seen one depicting an Elven Divine before. Her pose suggests she’s in a lover’s embrace. It’s clear that there’s another piece to this figure. —Gabrielle Benele

You were right! This new figure fits snugly with the Mara, but I never expected her lover to be a Man! Is he meant to be Lorkhan? I don’t think I’ve ever seen evidence of Aldmeri culture being welcomed with such open … arms. —Amalien

Location: Glenumbra

Massive Ash-herder Grapnel

Not really sure what I’m looking at here. Seems like some kind of rough-forged grappling hook, but judging by the size, it could probably bear a mammoth’s weight. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Crabs, Ugron! Chimer used these to guide the movements of truly massive creatures. Sure, places like Ald’ruhn make it seem like Ashlanders simply killed giant crabs like Skar, but who’s to say these creatures weren’t used for transportation as well? —Amalien

Dark Elves do have a long (and disturbing) tradition of bizarre animal husbandry. My question would be, where’s the evidence of similar creatures? Ald’ruhn proves the crabs’ remains last a long time. I’ve never seen any remains that approach that size. —Verita Numida

Location: Vvardenfell

Meteoric-Iron Pavise

Well, this shield is certainly … tall. Lugging this around would have taken a considerable amount of effort. But the thickness makes it almost impenetrable. And what is this ironwork? It’s unlike any I’ve seen. —Gabrielle Benele

Oh, sweet Gabrielle, that’s because the material is extremely rare. Meteoric-Iron was used to construct this monstrosity of war. The question is why? Over compensation at its finest. Perhaps its gaudy nature is meant to be ornamental. —Verita Numida

No soldier would strap this to their arm like a tower shield. More likely, they planted it in the ground like a pavise. Meteoric-Iron is resistant most elements, so if you wanted to avoid getting burnt to a crisp fighting Dragons, this would help. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Southern Elsweyr

Naga Skull-Trap

Some kind of trap. Difficult to say if it’s for animals or people. Knowing Nagas, it’s the latter. Looks like they repurposed a crocodile’s skull so it latches onto the torso of any who trigger it. Look at the size of it. Never seen a crocodile that size. —Ugron gro-Thumog

A member of an extinct species, if memory serves. Helstrom crocodiles died out during the Second Empire’s march on Black Marsh and the subsequent environmental disaster called the “Great Burn” in 1E 2828. Good riddance. Today’s crocodiles are big enough! —Verita Numida

Pretty remarkable that it’s lasted this long! I believe it’s the work of the Dead-Water Tribe. No tribe in Black Marsh comes close when it comes to carcass dressing and taxidermy. —Amalien

Location: Murkmire

Na-Totambu Two-Finger Gauntlet

What exquisite steel. Dark whorls of gray flow through a sea of silver like the Ra Gada themselves. I’ve seen the stylistic elements etched in this metal worn by members of the Crowns in Sentinal, but this nominal gauntlet is clearly ceremonial. —Reginus Buca

Not necessarily. Stories of the Firehide Clan’s battles with the Yokudans in Alik’r persist in the oral tradition. They describe warriors for whom war was a dance and could turn aside a blade with two fingers. —Ugron gro-Thumog

This steel is nearly as strong as orichalcum, but it still wouldn’t survive the full force of a blow. If there’s truth to the stories of Yokudan’s catching swords with their fingers, it wasn’t due to the strength of their armor. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Alik’r

Nedic Hex Totem

This wooden figure appears to be an Orc, but its features are greatly exaggerated to appear menacing. Based on the deliberate defacement and hostile appearance, I believe the Nedes did not have a friendly relationship with local Orc clans. —Verita Numida

It depends on the clan. There’s ample evidence of harmony between Nedes and Orcs in Craglorn. But you’re right–clans in Stormhaven tended to take a more offensive posture againt non-Orc neighbors and each other. We hadn’t learned the value of unity yet. —Ugron gro-Thumog

I believe the metal objects protruding from this effigy was stabbed into the figure with ritual intent, for cursing, if you will, but I’ve found no evidence of spellcraft. It might have been used in prayers to Daedra though, or simply just cathartic. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Stormhaven

Nedic Wineskin

While certainly brittle from lack of care over the centuries, I’m impressed by how well the skin held together. The Nedes were accomplished leatherworkers, perhaps due to a nomadic nature. Though I’m curious about the quality of their wine. —Verita Numida

Note the shape of the neck and design of the strap. This is a warrior’s wineskin. The owner may have raided Stonefalls during Nedic the campaign against the Chimer in this area. Such brutal work would require easy access to intoxicants. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Yes, brutal indeed. These faded symbols on the sides are marks of the Rontha, the largest of the tribes to invade Stonefalls. Uniquely vicious, they branded items or people captured from battle. I suspect they were not this skin’s original crafters. —Verita Numida

Location: Stonefalls

Nord Copper Shield Boss

A decorative shield boss, Nordic, mid-4th century First Era. Nord shields grew larger over time in the later years of the Nordic Empire, and accomplished warriors began to adorn the center boss with scrollwork and natural designs. —Verita Numida

Lovely! The stylized leaves in the design appear to represent ash trees, renowned for the strength and durability of their wood. Perhaps the owner held a special reverence for the Kynesgrove and sought the Keepers’ blessing? —Amalien

This belonged to a fighter, not a priest. The ash-leaves are also emblems of Shor’s hall that lies in a distant grove of Sovngarde, guarded by god-touched heroes; the bearer of this shield meant to find death in battle and join their ranks. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Eastmarch

Nord Scrimshaw Pendant

A handsome piece! Horker-tusk ivory, if I’m not mistaken. Nord ivory-hunters waiting for the sea-ice to thaw often passed the time by carving small toys and trinkets for their sweethearts. The weathered runes probably commemorate a loved one. —Gabrielle Benele

The small figures depicted in the design have bared weapons, so I doubt that this was some lonely hunter’s love-token. More likely, the runes were meant as a charm or prayer for protection in battle. A shame they are too worn to make out clearly. —Ugron gro-Thumog

You’re half-right, Ugron. The bared weapons in the design tell us that this pendant depicts a scene of conflict. But no self-respecting Nord warrior would seek magical advantage in battle. No, this image commemorates an old warrior’s victories. —Reginus Buca

Location: Western Skyrim

Northpoint Founding Coin

Now these are quite hard to come by. Yric Flowdys had these gold coins specially minted to commemorate the completion of Northpoint’s construction in c.1E 900. Only a few hundred were stamped and most remain in private collections. —Reginus Buca

Incorrect. Those figures were a deliberate attempt by unscrupulous archeologists to inflate their value. My own research suggests Flowdys circulated these coins through all Northpoint’s trade to spread word of his new trade port. —Verita Numida

The archeologist weren’t the only ones. These coins are a little on the light side. The difference in gold weight wouldn’t have been noticeable without finer instruments than were commonly employed by traders in the middle-First Era. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Rivenspire

Onyx Shadowscale Scroll Case

A most curious scroll case. One single piece of carved onyx with no apparent way of opening the cylinder to remove its contents. Sigils etched in silver suggest some connection to ancient Argonian royalty. The few texts we have about Shadowscale mention a protection compact for the old rulers. Such an ornate case could indeed carry such a document. I won’t destroy such a unique case, but I see no other way of getting inside. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Shadowfen

Orcish Siege Gear

Sapping tools from the Seamount Clan’s conquest of Betnikh, formerly Betony. Contrary to claims by the current chief, Stonetooth Fortress was likely built on the bones of Breton defenses. This chisel could split a keystone if properly applied. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Heavy, oricalc screws with a ring for attaching rope or chain. These would have been driven into wood gates and palisades under cover of darkness to allow the Orcs to pull down barricades from a safe distance prior to an attack. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Whale-bridle, from the clan’s seafaring days. Their stories claim their ancestors tamed killer whales in the Abecean Sea and trained them for war. Riders could harpoon ships and steer them using the whales’ strength. Evidence of a long-lost tradition. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Betnikh

Ornate Nose Ring

Here’s a pretty thing. This resembles the rings one might find in the nose of an unruly bull. Far more ornate, though. Much larger, too. This is an odd discovery. The rocky terrain around Kvatch is better suited for goats than cattle. —Reginus Buca

Let’s not sidestep the obvious, Reginus. This clearly hung from the snout of an ancient minotaur. It displays a level of craftsmanship we don’t typically see in Minotaur attire, though. And what are these etchings. Clasped hands? —Verita Numida

Not clasped, Verita. The hands seem to be struggling over the same object–trying to steal it from one another. Is it the Amulet of Kings? Might this imply some discontent about Imperial governance? Or even stand as a call to rebellion? —Amalien

Location: Gold Coast

Orsinium Cracked Iron Bell

Much of the archeological evidence of the first Orsinium vanished during the thirty-year siege, but this looks like a relic of Chieftain Torug gro-Igron to me. Torug died long before the siege began, but I’ve read numerous accounts describing a bell he erected in the gathering-place of that first modest village that eventually became Orsinium. The chief rang this bell to gather the clan for for fellowship at first. Later, they rang it to gather the clan for war. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Orsinium

Phynastic Scroll Case

Direnni scholars have long held the belief that Prince Aiden’s brilliance as a strategist was what carried the day for his vastly outnumbered forces, but a controversial theory speculates that the Direnni army’s movements on the battlefield bordered on prophetic and attributes their success to superior methods of communication. The enchantments on this case suggest it is an anchor for some form of teleportation. If only I had another to test the idea. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Glenumbra

Pilazjo’s Training Blade

Pilazjo was a legendary Khenarthian Rawlith Khaj master who trained from an early age on the Isle of Three Temples. A jealous king traded him to Ne Quin-al as part of a pact of friendship between their two kingdoms. Common practice at the time, but very difficult for Pilazjo himself. The warrior left a collection of blunted training swords in his home adeptiorium as a reminder to the hadaliit he left behind. These swords became precious heirlooms–locked away in adeptoriums throughout Elsweyr. —Reginus Buca

Location: Khenarthi’s Roost

Portrait of Lady Vadaya

You may have discovered the spoils of the fledgling Theives Guild’s first heist in Abah’s Landing! Few families could match the power of the Vadaya family during the high days of merchant rule. Lady Vadaya comissioned an elaborate portrait of herself, only have it stolen out from under her nose and replaced with a fake. Unwilling to lose face, the Vadayas accused the rival Mizh family of orchestrating the theft, pitting the two houses against one anotherto this very day.—Reginus Buca

Location: Hew’s Bane

Protective Tar Warding Sigil

I’ve never seen a Bosmer sigil like this. It seems like a mark of protection made with graht-oak, but it looks sinister in nature, as though whatever it was protecting the wearer from was a great evil. This would have been worn with serious intent. —Reginus Buca

The talisman itself is made out of tar. We might be looking at something from the tar-pit burial sites in Ouze where the Bosmer who were rejected from the Green Pact were buried. Some say alive. —Ugron gro-Thumog

It’s said the spirits of Ouze were restless … maybe that means they haunted the surrounding area? These could have been talismans the locals wore to ward off ghosts! Or to keep the spirits from crawling back out of those creepy tar-pits. —Amalien

Location: Greenshade

Refitted Dwarven Rod

This definitely seems Dwemeric in origin, but it’s not something I recognize. As you all know, discerning the function of Dwarven machines is thirsty work. It looks like someone repurposed it, though. Some ancient scavenger, perhaps.

I think this used to be a Dwarven rod of some kind; a device used to direct animunculi, or inscribe their strange maths on hard surfaces. These modifications don’t appear to incorporate any of the devices complex machinery, though. —Amalien

Chimer fell into a real rut in the latter days of the Merethic. You don’t often see Chimer-modified tools like this, but my best guess is that some opportunistic herder repurposed the rod’s shaft as a simple nix-prod. Probably blasphemous, but effective. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Vvardenfell

Resdayni Signet Ring

A rare find. The ring bears two emblems: one Dwemeri, one Chimeri. This, then, is a token of high office from the short-lived peace of Resdayn, in the days of the First Council. The Dark Elf Nerevar and the Dwarf-King Dumac ruled jointly and wisely . . . for a time. Soon enough Dwemer and Chimer turned against each other in a bitter war, to no one’s surprise. Ah, well. The size of this signet and the royal flourishes show that this ring belonged to a high councilor of the realm. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Bal Foyen

Rislav Tryptic Panel

I’m intrigued by the religious overtones in this depiction of Rislav smiting his brother Dorald. I’d always assumed the appellation “Rislav the Righteous” was ascribed to him by historians, but this panel dates to the time of his rule. —Reginus Buca

Your penchant for assumption is intolerable, Reginus. Dorald was a priest of the Alessian Order who attempted to impose a theocracy on the Colovians. Rislav’s defiance of the Empire was seen as the rebuke of a tyrannical cult. —Verita Numida

So Dorald’s hirsute appearance is symbolic, as a stand in for Marukh. I suppose Rislav’s unlikely victory over Emperor Gorieus’s legions were viewed as divine favor. Did you notice Queen Belene’s resemblance to Gabreille in the coronation panel? —Reginus Buca

Location: Glenumbra

Ritemaster’s Slate

I’ve never seen one of these! A famed Ritemaster’s Slate. According to Psijic tomes, Ritemasters like Iachesis used these unassuming objects to write theorums and spells, then store them in a harmless demi-plane for later use. A journal unlike any other! I only wish I could travel to the strange realm these theorums reside in. Do the thoughts move, or talk? Are they reduced to ash, then reasembled? I fear we’ll never know. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Artaeum

Royal Ivory Hilt

No common warrior could afford a sword-hilt of mammoth ivory. The dragon-head motif also marks this as the heirloom of a royal line. The metal here is bronze, not gold–a weapon of war, not a lord’s decoration. This, then, is what’s left of a battle-sword belonging to a Nord king or prince from the time of the Ysgramor Dynasty. I wish I could have seen the blade itself. It must have been marvelous. By Nord standards, at least. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Eastmarch

Rune-carved Steering Oar

A longship’s steering oar, early 2E 1st century. This one belonged to a successful raiding captain, I think. The runes are boasts about the plunder they took during each of the captain’s voyages. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Curious that a wooden artifact of this age is in such good condition. These are no common runes–an ancient enchantment clings to the oar. Perhaps the oar’s owner followed the Old Ways of the Nord and sought the blessing of their animal gods? —Gabrielle Benele

Nord captains of the time often took their steering oar from ship to ship. A carved oar was the emblem of an experienced navigator, something that showed other Nord warriors that they could trust the captain’s ability to find a way across the seas. —Verita Numida

Location: Bleakrock

Sacrificed Weapon of the Four

Mamireh, Akamon, Roshadon, and Rok’dun the Flame, referred to as the Four, were among the most prominent Yokudan warriors of the first invasion of the Nedic homelands. They were first Ansei, of course, and before undergoing initiation they were required to give up their most treasured weapons. Supposedly, Akamon’s sandal-bearer carried the shards of his master’s first dagger as a daily reminder of his sacrifice.—Verita Numida

Location: Craglorn

Satakal Skinrazer

The tip of this spade-shaped tool forks like the tongue of a serpent, but the only sharpened edge sits along a slot at the base, facing the handle. I can’t help but liken it to the cheese servers of Wayrest, but religious engravings suggest otherwise. —Reginus Buca

It’s safe to say that the serpent imagery throughout this piece represents the First Serpent, Satakal, in Redguard mythology, best known for devouring itself. Modern devotees are said to shed their skin in gruesome rituals with winding daggers. —Reginus Buca

Testing on a moist—but firm—cheddar, showed that even this long-dull edge can slice a layer thin enough for light to pass through, suggesting that the flensing rituals of Satakal were more restrained in earlier eras. Self-consumption remains unconfirmed. —Reginus Buca

Location: Alik’r

Scale-Etched Slither Pipe

The scales on this snake pipe possess so much detail, but who would want to press their lips to it, unless… Maormer? That explains the shape—a snake—but what kind? The blue and green bands shift into each other hypnotically. Does it charm people? —Amalien

Charm people? Hardly. That feeling you have is natural reaction to peerless craftsmanship. And the presence of a snake does not always mean Maormer were involved. I could see a Mer crafting this elegant item simply because they like snakes! —Reginus Buca

Don’t be dense! Look at the contours of the face, and this salt-glazing technique! You’re just being contrary. The residue inside looks green and flaky–perhaps the ashy remains of some seaweed they find particularly aromatic. I bet it smelled terrible! —Amalien

Location: Auridon

Secession Stamp Block

Unfinished wood block, stained black with ink. Circa 2300 of the First Era. Took a rubbing of the carved face. It is a diatribe calling citizens of Wayrest to demand secession from the Alessian Empire, citing prejudice against Elven heritage. —Ugron gro-Thumog

An expert, if dry, assessment, Ugron. This sort of vague, incendiary language smacks of propaganda meant to weaponize the populace for private interest. It strains credulity that Wayrest endured a thousand years of oppression before revolting. —Verita Numida

Then you might find Lost Orsinium and The Pig Children enlightening. You’d be surprised the number of indignities people are willing to suffer. The emphasis on increasing Imperial tithes does support your assertion money was behind this movement. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Stormhaven

Series Two Animo Core

For once in my august career, I am at a loss. This object clearly performs some vital function in Sotha Sil’s secret lair. Beyond that, I have no idea. I hope you won’t try to regale me with tales of his fanciful “clockwork kingdom.” It’s preposterous. —Verita Numida

Don’t be so quick to dismiss such things, Verita. The Clockwork City is a very real place. I think. In any case, this looks like some sort of ancient vessel. I see a crystaline residue inside. Residual accumulation from some kind of alchemical solution? —Gabrielle Benele

Just so, Gabrielle! Sotha Sil borrowed all manner of ideas from the dwarves. This vessel is his answer to the Dwemeric dynamo core. If you conducted a test on that residue, I think you’ll find it shares many of the same propertiers as soul gems! —Amalien

Location: Clockwork City

Shattered Camoran Antler Crown

Don’t be deceived by the common materials of this headpiece—it’s a wood elf treasure. This is a crown of the Camoran Dynasty, rulers of the “walking city” of Falinesti. From season to season the great Elden Tree moves to different sites within the Valenwood, although no one seems to have seen it in some time. Naturally, the wood elf monarchs had a different crown for each of Falinesti’s seasons. This is a winter crown, which would have been worn when Falinesti took its rest in Grahtwood.

Location: Grahtwood

Shattered Iron Maiden

Torture devices recovered from Coldharbour aren’t unexpected. To find one so well preserved, however, is exciting. But that’s not the most astounding part about this piece. It’s what’s inside that really boggles the mind. (Nothing greusome, don’t worry, Amalien). It seems to be a scrap of regalia, one that would only be found on the uniforms of commanding officers aboard the All Flags Navy. Perhaps one of the captains that was brought into Coldharbour was tortured in this device. Gruesome.—Gabrielle Benele

Location: Coldharbour

Sheogorath Madness Cube

Even a paradise holds danger–especially one that once resided in a Daedric realm. Notice the six equal sides, each marked with a different symbol. Disturbing, yes? And don’t roll it! That way lies madness. Literally. We should lock this away immediately. —Ugron gro-Thumog

A Sheogorath relic? Maybe, but it may relate to the Altmer. This could be a meditation hexahedron. They considered the numbers 3, 5, and 8 to be sacred. Hmm. In retrospect, they used meditation octagons. Very well. A Madness Cube it is. —Amalien

You and your fancies. This is made of bone. From a sea animal. And the age places it in the First Era, when the Altmer ruled the island. It’s a chance cube, used in the ancient Altmer practice of creating stories in a group. Harmless, but entertaining.

Location: Eyevea

Silvenar’s Scepter

Throughout the centuries, the Silvenars of the Bosmer have worn no special badge of office; every Wood Elf of the Valenwood knows the Silvenar on sight. But from time to time, Silvenars find it useful to carry some token of authority that outsiders can easily recognize. The extravagant carving of this bone scepter shows that a Wood Elf artisan crafted this to impress foreigners. The leaves in the scrollwork are actually stranglers–a subtle warning, it would seem. A truly unique find. —Amalien

Location: Malabal Tor

Silver Wish Medallion

At first glance, I thought this was an oversized coin. Clavicus Vile’s unmistakable image often appears on early currency intended as an offering to the Daedra. But the hinged clasp shows it was meant to be worn. What is this other figure here? —Amalien

Based on the region, the posture of supplication to Vile, and the obvious lack of any clothing, I believe the figure to be Kothringi. This must date to before their shift to worship of Z’en. Or belong to a lone cult that held on to the old ways. —Verita Numida

Analysis shows that the medallion is extremely old—early Merethic era or even perhaps before. But that makes no sense so perhaps my ritual was faulty. Also, despite appearances this isn’t silver. It’s some other metal I haven’t seen before. Strange. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Shadowfen

Silvered Nord Drinking Horn

The silver filigree clearly show that this horn belonged to an important thane. I don’t recognize this ivory, though. A horn from a supernatural beast such as a dragon might confer magical strength or good fortune on any who imbibe from it! —Amalien

Dragon-horn is too rare a commodity to serve as some Nord’s lucky mead-cup. Still, the silver chasing on this piece is exceptional. In my estimation, this is an early 1E 22nd-century funerary piece commissioned for a jarl’s burial. —Verita Numida

Could this horn have belonged to Jarl Vundarr Openhand of Hjaalmarch? The skalds of his day composed songs about his wealth and generosity. He was said to have been buried with a king’s ransom in barrow-treasure. —Reginus Buca

Location: Western Skyrim

Spiked Scalebreaker Bolt

What a unique and fascinating weapon! It’s spear-like in shape, but massive in size. Only a giant could properly wield such a tool! A Pahmar-Raht, maybe? No, it’s still too big. —Amalien

That’s because it’s not a traditional weapon. The spiked shaft here is meant to penetrate heavy scale and not let go, but only if loosed at great velocity. From a ballista or similar weapon, I wager. —Ugron gro-Thumog

I defer to Ugron on matters military, of course. It’s the cutural motifs I find most interesting! The Dragonguard were the children of two worlds: Imperial and Akaviri. This bolt reflects those merging aesthetics. —Reginus Buca

Location: Southern Elsweyr

Spinner’s Singing Bone

Wood elf priests have venerated Y’ffre through song and story since time immemorial. The images inscribed on this bone illustrate an ancient Bosmer tale–and the hollowed-out bone can be played like an instrument, a traditional accompaniment. —Gabrielle Benele

Gryphon or harpy bone, perhaps? It resembles a large bird’s femur, but it’s much too big for any ordinary avian. I suspect that the creature whose bone this was may have played an important part in the story inscribed here. —Amalien

You’re close, Amalien. It’s the femur of a terror bird, more commonly found in the plains east of the Valenwood. I recognize the story: It’s the account of a bold chief’s raid against the khajiit of Anequina, 6th century 1E. —Reginus Buca

Location: Malabal Tor

Spire of Erokii Frieze

It’s so rare to find Ayleid architectural art still intact! The Alessian Order took a special glee in wiping out Elven culture. I think the only reason there’s any left at all was because they were more interested in wiping out the Elves themselves. This beautiful relief pictures the legendary Spire of Erokii while it still stood. Now the inglorious ruins are simple known as Doomcrag. One day I’ll convince someone to carry me to the summit to study the spire’s remains. —Amalien

Location: Rivenspire

Stone-Chief’s Xul-Vaat

What a beautiful stone-carving! Argonians don’t often dwell on death, but they do like to commemorate it with one of these grave stakes (or xul-vaat’s in the lizard’s native tongue). When an Argonian dies, their kin plant this stake as a memorial. —Reginus Buca

Try again, Reginus. Argonians use their grave stakes to pin down their dead so they don’t rise again as bog blights. But that’s not all that noteworthy. What is interesting is the material. Argonians rarely work in stone. This xul-vaat is clearly ancient. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Yes, Argonians abandoned stonework milleniae ago, making this stake a true oddity. Apparently, ancient and modern Argonians exercised similar burial traditions. It’s really too bad that the Argonians will react to this insight with a collective shrug. —Verita Numida

Location: Murkmire

St. Pelin’s Clod

What could rightly be confused for an ugly, ruddy gemstone appears to be a lacquered clod of reddish-brown dirt. The insignia of the Knights of St. Pelin is pressed into the surface. This could be a relic of the late Pelin’s martyrdom. —Verita Numida

I think the symbolism is clear, but my research indicates that these were carried by the entire Bankorai Garrison in the decades following his self-sacrifice. Given their penchant for bloodletting rites, these were likely created by the knightly order. —Reginus Buca

I can confirm that the dirt within the lacquer is from Bankorai and that the blood soaked into it came from the same person, but I can’t identify who that would have been. Unfortunately, this new information could support either theory. —Gabrielle Benele

Location: Bankorai

Tormentors Roller

This is incredible! Dark and horrible, of course, but still incredible! Given the markings, this could have been part of a torture rack within Heart’s Grief itself. —Amalien

I don’t like the look of this. While I agree with Amalien on it being part of a rack, I think it’s more likely it came from the Vile Laboratory. The material on the ends mimics Dwarven metal – but it’s colder and lighter or something. Daedric simulacra? —Gabrielle Benele

Oh, you’re right! How did I not see that? It’s so obvious when you look closely. That mechanism is incredibly sophisticated. In that case, perhaps it belonged to a Xivilai torturer. How exciting! —Amalien

Location: Coldharbour

Torn Netch-leather Mask

Such a grotesque visage. The sharp features resemble a Mer, and the crude leather-wrapped wood construction suggest Ashlander work. I don’t recognize the syntax of the Daedric script on the forehead. Clearly, this is more than a simple war mask. —Verita Numida

These aren’t full Daedric sentences; they’re more like words of power. An attempt to infuse the mask with healing hedge magic. Seems this was a shamanic medicine mask. However, words like “stasis”, “wither”, and “barren” confuse me. —Gabrielle Benele

Daedric meanings often shift over time. Given the context, these words hew closer to “return”, “deflate”, and “dry out”. Could be references to the Thrassian Plague? We know it reached this far east, so I’d guess tribes used the mask to heal victims. —Amalien

Location: Deshaan

Two Moons Censer

Khajiiti work, for certain–brass, with silver filigree. This is a temple censer, used to burn aromatic incense pleasing to the divinity or spirit being honored. The figures in the decorative scrollwork appear to be priests greeting the moons. —Amalien

Priests? No, these figures are warrior-monks, not priests. I think this censer comes from one of the temples of the Two-Moons Dance. The prominence of the moons in the design and the martial poses of the Khajiit would seem to make that pretty clear. —Gabrielle Benele

I believe this censer hung in the temple at Rawl’kha–the very place where Rid-Thar-ri’Datta revealed his epiphany. You can tell by the alignment of Jone and Jode in the scrollwork. Could it have been hanging in the sacred hall at that very hour? —Reginus Buca

Location: Reaper’s March

Vakka Bok Sun Bowl

By Auri-El, look at this crystal bowl! Difficult, given those shimmering facets in the glass. It seems to gather up sunlight, doesn’t it? I can barely look at it without squinting! Legends tell of a tribe of Argonians who could wield the power of Magnus with precious stones. The sheer radiance of this crystal makes me think those stories are true. I just can’t believe they fashioned it into a bowl. Not a weapon or jewelry, or armor. A bowl. It must have contained something truly marvelous. —Amalien

Location: Murkmire

Warped Scrying Dipper

Appears to be some kind of wand. Beech or Hickory, I think. So plain in appearance that some might use it in a game of fetch with the family dog. But I’d advise against that. There’s a powerful magic at its core. —Gabrielle Benele

Old Elves and their crazy magic. It reminds me of a pestle of some kind. For dipping, stirring, or crushing. I hear the Psijics can read water. Some kind of powerful augury based on watching ripples. Maybe they make the ripples with this? —Ugron gro-Thumog

You may be right, Ugron. The tip of the wand seems darker and more gnarled than the rest. I suspect the Order’s scriers tap the surface of their basins with this ensorcelled tool to get a better view of the world, and perhaps even the future! —Amalien

Location: Artaeum

Watcher’s Ritual Stole

Looks Nedic to me. The stitching makes it irrefutable. The design suggests whoever wore this was important, in a position of power or worship. Maybe it belonged to a member of the Perena’s clergy? —Reginus Buca

I’d defer to your and Verita on matters Nedic, but this cloth seems saturated in arcane residue. I’ve seen the work of hedge mages trying to master “soul magic.” This bears all the telltale signs. Did any of the Nedes meddle with anima? —Gabrielle Benele

Meddle? I suppose. Based on my research, a sect of Nedic mages called the Eternal Watchers, used their souls as a means to lock away a lich called Virmaril the Betrayer. This could belong to one of them. —Verita Numida

Location: Craglorn

Water-worn Anvil Bust

According to Imperial histories, Anvil enjoyed a rich statuary tradition in the early years of the First Empire–before the Alessian Order made such artistic expression more difficult. This face appears very eroded, though. —Verita Numida

Look at the position of the neck. It seems to be looking up, to me. Fishermen in Anvil swear that broken statues rest at the bottom of the pond under the famous mermaid. Could something or someone be looking up at her? I’d check, but I can’t swim! —Amalien

We don’t have nearly enough evidence to be able to associate this disembodied head with the Mermaid of Anvil. I’ll grant you, the stone appears similar in composition, but the face looks like statues of regency council lords in nearby Kvatch to me. —Reginus Buca

Location: Gold Coast

Wolf-head Brooch

This is unusual. One might attribute it to Haafingar heraldry, but I think it’s far older than Solitude’s standard. In the Old Way of the Nords, the She-Wolf embodied commitment and fertility; I suspect this brooch belonged to ancient sword maiden. —Reginus Buca

Sorry, but that animal’s face does not say “commitment and fertility” to me. The snarling expression reminds me of carved doorposts I’ve seen near the River Yorgrim. I think this brooch is a warlike thane’s house-emblem. —Gabrielle Benele

Warlike? No, cursed! The connection is clear: The brooch is the emblem of a family whose lords are werewolves. The Jurgalds ruled Lower Yorgrim for centuries, and they embraced Hircine’s curse. Could this be the cloak-clasp of a Jurgald thane? —Amalien

Location: Eastmarch

Worn Orcish Cauldron

Judging by rugged styling and extreme aging, I’d pin this as early First Era. Definitely Orcish, but I’m not sure if any of it is distinctive enough to determine which area it’s from, or which clan. It is quite large, even by Orc standards. —Reginus Buca

Yes, definitely Orcish make. The material looks like coal-hardened potash. According to Thugbo gro-Thutt’s “History of the 13 Clans” map, clan Nazhag was closest to reported deposits at the time. It must be from them. —Verita Numida

More likely, it’s from clan Barzanakh. According to the stronghold tales, the entire Barzanakh clan ate out of a single bowl. The tradition supposedly ensured that everyone took their share, and no more. Always assumed that was metaphorical. Fascinating. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Orsinium

Wyrd Root Figure

This tree root has been shaped, by unconventional means, into the appearance of a woman with stag horns and cloven feet. The wood is unmarred by tool marks and the bark remains intact. This was likely a work of magic by a local wyrd. —Verita Numida

This root is similar to the one Verita studied, though it depicts a scaled woman similar to a Lamia, but retaining more human qualities than any of the beastfolk I’ve seen. I can’t tell if these figures are different aspects of one woman or several. —Gabrielle Benele

Another figure, another animal. This one is a wolf woman with six breasts. My theory was that these figures were representations of Hircine, but this latest one casts doubt on that. Perhaps these are totemic Divines, like the Atmorans worshiped? —Amalien


Yellowed Grummite Pearl

Ha! Do you know what this is? It’s no treasure from a clam, I can tell you that. This is a genuine grummite pearl! According to Divayth Fyr’s tome of oddities, these creatures lurk in bogs all over Sheogorath’s realm, the Shivering Isles. —Amalien

The works of Divayth Fyr aren’t exactly the most reliable books on the subject, Amalien. Even so, this doesn’t resemble any pearl I’ve seen before. Was it always this yellow? Is that a unique property of grummite pearls? —Gabrielle Benele

I read about some mage from High Rock who tried to transport grummites to Tamriel so he could harvest them for pearls. Locals razed his tower to the ground, with him inside. Good thing too. Can you imagine creatures like that making it into our waterways? —Ugron gro-Thumog

Location: Eyevea

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