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Dragon Break Study

Author: 
B

The "Dragon Break" is a mysterious phenomenon that has occurred several times in Tamriel. Very little is actually known, but a book called "Where were you when the Dragon Broke?" was recently discovered in Morrowind that shed some light on the subject. I will begin the analysis of the document by dividing it into five sections so it will be easier to make comments:

The Dragon Break: Section One

Where were you when the Dragon Broke

1E1200-2208 The Dragon Break

Scholar-priests of the Alessian Order tamper with the Dragon God of Time.

A fanatical sect of the Alessian Order, the Maruhkati Selective, becomes frustrated by ancient Aldmeri traditions still present within the theological system of the Eight Divines. Specifically, they hated any admission that Akatosh, the Supreme Spirit, was indisputably also Auriel, the Elven High God.

Newly invented rituals were utilized to disprove this theory, to no avail. Finally, the secret masters of the Maruhkati Selective channeled the Aurbis itself to mythically remove those aspects of the Dragon God they disapproved of. A staff or tower appeared before them. The secret masters danced on it until it writhed and trembled and spoke its protonymic.

The tower split into eight pieces and Time broke. The non-linearity of the Dawn Era had returned.

Tamriel slept through the disaster, which 'lasted one thousand and eight years', until the pieces of the tower came to rest on the mortal plane.

Every culture on Tamriel remembers the Dragon Break in some fashion; to most it is a spiritual anguish that they cannot account for. Several texts survive this timeless period, all (unsurprisingly) conflicting with each other regarding events, people, and regions: wars are mentioned in some that never happen in another, the sun changes color depending on the witness, and the gods either walk among the mortals or they don't. Even the 'one thousand and eight years,' a number (some say arbitrarily) chosen by the Elder Council, is an unreliable measure.

Whether or not the secret masters of the Maruhkati Selective were successful is unknown, and any records of their survival were destroyed by the War of Righteousness that ended the Alessian Order a hundred years later.

It seems that this Maruhkati Selective was upset and tried to channel Aurbis or alter Time. A Tower or staff appeared, and they danced on it until it split. The only reference to a possible tower that seemed to make sense was the Adamantine Tower where Gods convened to discuss what to about Mundus or the Mortal Plane (see Dawn Era). I am not sure if this is the tower to which the text refers.

After further consideration, I now believe that "The Tower" refers to the ideal that Vehk mentions in his new teachings on the Forums. From ...the Tower:

What is the Tower?
The Tower is an ideal, which, in our world of myth and magic, means that it is so real that it becomes dangerous. It is the existence of the True Self within the Universal Self, and is embodied by the fourth constellation, and is guarded by the Thief, the third. The Thief is another metaphorical absolute; in this case, he represents the "taking of the Tower" or, and sometimes more importantly, the "taking" of the Tower's secret.

What is the Tower's Secret?
How to permanently exist beyond duplexity, antithesis, or trouble. This is not an easy concept, I know. Imagine being able to feel with all of your senses the relentless alien terror that is God and your place in it, which is everywhere and therefore nowhere, and realizing that it means the total dissolution of your individuality into boundless being. Imagine that and then still being able to say "I". The "I" is the Tower.

Interesting side note: Kier-jo once said, "Your monkeys dance on the Tower and the stars change and you do not remember." I found that The Alessian Order enforced the Alessian Doctrines which were "the very strict religious teachings of the monkey prophet, Maruhk" (see First Era). That would explain the "Monkey" reference by Kier-jo, and obvioulsy the name Maruhkati Selective.

This Tower or staff split into eight pieces and Time broke. This lasted until the eight pieces came to rest on the mortal plane. If your read through Shezarr and the Eight Divines, it will provide some additional insight on Queen Alessia. Could the "eight pieces" be the Eight Divines?

Finally, the line "The non-linearity of the Dawn Era had returned" makes me think of time seemingly shifting at random or a Warp in Time. A theory that I will work with throughout this analysis.

The Dragon Break: Section Two

Corax, Cyrodiil, Elder Council:

"No one understands what happened when the Selectives danced on that tower. It would be easy to dismiss the whole matter as nonsense were it not for the Amulet of Kings. Even the Elder Scrolls do not mention it-let me correct myself, the Elder Scrolls _cannot_ mention it. When the Moth priests attune the Scrolls to the timeless time their glyphs always disappear. The Amulet of Kings, however, with its oversoul of emperors, can speak of it at length. According to Hestra, Cyrodiil became an Empire across the stars. According to Shor-El, Cyrodiil became an egg. Most say something in a language they can only speak sideways. The Council has collected texts and accounts from all of its provinces, and they only offer stories that never coincide, save on one point: all the folk of Tamriel during the Middle Dawn, in whatever 'when' they were caught in, tracked the fall of the eight stars. And that is how they counted their days."

Okay, the dying Queen Alessia is transformed into the first of the Cyrodilic saints by Shezarr, AKA Lorkhan, and becomes the first gem in the Cyrodilic Amulet of Kings (First Era). I guess this Amulet of Kings [and Queens :D] can keep track of time during this phenomenon.

One last comment, this text "The Council has collected texts and accounts from all of its provinces, and they only offer stories that never coincide, save on one point: all the folk of Tamriel during the Middle Dawn, in whatever 'when' they were caught in, tracked the fall of the eight stars. And that is how they counted their days," seems to indicate a shifting in time or multiple times existing at once (A Warp in Time). 

The Dragon Break: Section Three

Mehra Nabisi, Dunmer, Triune Mistress of the New Temple:

"Accounts of the Middle Dawn are the province of the Empire of Men, and proof of the deceit that call themselves the Aedra. Eight stars fell on Tamriel, one for each iniquity that Lorkhan made clear to the world. Veloth read these signs, and he told Boethiah, who confirmed them, and he told Mephala, who made wards against them, and he told Azura, who sent ALMSIVI to steer the True Folk clear of harm. Even the Four Corners of the House of Troubles rose to protect the periphery of your madness. We watched our borders and saw them shift like snakes, and saw you run around in it like the spirits of old, devoid of math, without your if-thens, succumbing to the Ever Now like slaves of the slim folly, stasis. Do not ask us where we were when the Dragon Broke, for, of all the world, only we truly know, and we might just show you how to break it again."

I don't know if this backs up the idea that the eight pieces of the tower are the Eight Divines or Aedra. It appear to do so. Veloth saw this event and told the Daedra, who in turn, sent ALMSIVI (Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec) to help the True Folk (probably Chimer/Dunmer).

"Even the Four Corners of the House of Troubles rose to protect the periphery of your madness" refers to the four Deadra: Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, Mehrunes Dagon. From Skeleton Man's Interview:

Lakelos Char, Steam Gate Quarter, Vivec:
The Rebel Daedra [Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, Mehrunes Dagon], in their arrogance and pride, refused to swear fealty to the Tribunal (Blessed Be Their Holy Names), and were cast out of Morrowind forthwith. These Rebel Daedra thus became the Four Corners of the House of Troubles, and they continue to plague our tranquility and tempt the unwary into Heresy and Dark Worship.

The Dragon Break: Section Four

Rh'leyt-harhr, Khajiit, Tender to the Mane:

"Do you mean, where were the Khajiiti when the Dragon Broke? I'll tell you where: we were recording it. 'One thousand and eight years,' you've all heard it. You probably believe that the Cyro-Nordics came up with that all on their own. You humans are better thieves than even Rajhin! While you were fighting wars with phantoms and giving birth to your own fathers, it was the Mane that watched the ja-Kha'jay, because the moons were the only constant, and you didn't have the sugar to see it. We'll give you credit: you broke Alkosh something fierce, and that's not easy. Just don't think you solved what you accomplished by it, or can ever solve it. You did it again with Big Walker, not once, but _twice_! Once at Rimmen, which we'll never learn to live with. The second time it was in Daggerfall, or was it Sentinel, or was it Wayrest, or was in all three places at once? Get me, Cyrodiil? When will you wake up and realize what _really_ happened to the Dwarves?"

The Khajiit also confirm that this phenomenon lasted "'One thousand and eight years.'" Rh'leyt-harhr compares the Cyro-Nordics to the thief Rajhin. Rajhin is the Thief god of the Khajiiti, who grew up in the Black Kiergo section of Senchal. The most famous burglar in Elsweyr's history, Rajhin is said to have stolen a tattoo from the neck of Empress Kintyra as she slept (see Tamriel Gods: Elsweyr). He's also associated with the "Ring of Khajiit." From Tamrielic Lore:

Ring of Khajiit
The Ring of the Khajiit is an ancient relic, hundreds of years older than Rajhin, the thief that made the Ring famous. It was Rajhin who used the Ring's powers to make himself invisible and as quick as the breath of wind. Using the Ring, he became the most successful burglar in Elsweyr's history. Rajhin's eventual fate is a mystery, but according to legend, the Ring rebelled against such constant use and disappeared, leaving Rajhin helpless before his enemies.

I interpret the line "...fighting wars with phantoms and giving birth to your own fathers... as a reference to the shifting in time.

Rh'leyt-harhr claims that the moons remained constant but humans did have the sugar (Moon Sugar) to see it. He confirms that Alkosh (the God of Time has many names: see Tamriel Gods) broke.

Qwerty says: the line about not having sugar allows for different interpretations. One, as B suggests, goes along the line "you need to be high on Moon Sugar, like us, so that you can see". But alternatively, remember that Khajiits use "sugar" as a metaphor for soul, or lifeforce. See PGE: "leaking one's sugar in the sand" stands for attacking and/or killing. That considered, "you didn't have the sugar" might've meant "you didn't have the right kind of thinking/feeling/awareness". Just like in English, where "not having guts (or balls)" might be used to describe a mental state, and has nothing to do with one's intestines (or testicles).

In "You did it again with Big Walker, not once, but _twice_! Once at Rimmen, which we'll never learn to live with. The second time it was in Daggerfall, or was it Sentinel, or was it Wayrest, or was in all three places at once? Get me, Cyrodiil?," the Big Walker refers to the Numidium. From Skeleton Man's Interview:

dro'Mhakij, "Prophet of Rajhin," a Khajiit sugar addict outside of Yul's shop:
Jodenjone! Don' let Marshee lie to you about Big Walker. The Blades took It from here, sure, but they din' take It back to Cyrodiil and rebuild the thing. Talos, he "annexed" a swath of our bounty-land in Ana'quinal and cleared the Khajiiti out by force. There's where he built the Hall of Colossus - a mighty name for a secret testing warehouse - and that's where Big Walker was born. And that's why that part of our Elsweyr is still poisoned glow-rock, where no cats go. Ach, for the lunacy of you Wayward Folk!

"Once at Rimmen...refers to a place in Elsweyr. We know that the "Big Walker" was rebuilt at the Hall of Colossus in Elsweyr, but it is several miles south of Rimmen (see Map of Tamriel). So what really happened at Rimmen?

I'm assuming that "The second time..." refers to the Warp in the West when the Numidium was used by many different people at the same time.

Finally, here is the infamous line "When will you wake up and realize what _really_ happened to the Dwarves?"

The Dragon Break: Section Five

Mannimarco, God of Worms, the Necromancers:

"The Three Thieves of Morrowind could tell you where they were. So could the High King of Alinor, who was the one who broke in the first place. There are others on this earth that could, too: Ysmir, Pelinal, Hans the Fox (but, then, this is really my warning to you, Arctus; I now know who you are). The Last Dwarf would talk, if they would let him. As for myself, I was here and there and here again, like the rest of the mortals during the Dragon Break. How do you think I learned my mystery? The Maruhkati Selective showed us all the glories of the Dawn so that we might learn, simply: as above, so below."

I take "'The Three Thieves of Morrowind'" to mean the Tribunal. "'High King of Alinor, who was the one who broke in the first place'" refers to Auriel, I would think. And "'The Last Dwarf'" refers to Yagrum Bagarn who resides in the Divayth Fyr's Corprusarium.

Now the line, "'There are others on this earth that could, too: Ysmir, Pelinal, Hans the Fox (but, then, this is really my warning to you, Arctus; I now know who you are).'" According to The Imperial Library, during the Merethic Era, "An immortal hero, warrior, sorceror, and king variously known as Pelinal Whitestrake, Harrald Hairy Breeks, Ysmir, Hans the Fox, etc., wanders Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering lands, ruling, then abandoning his kingdoms to wander again" (see Merethic Era). It appears that Mannimarco, The God of Worms is claiming that The immortal hero, known by many names, is also Zurin Arctus (Tiber Septim's Battlemage and The Underking).

Finally, "'As for myself, I was here and there and here again, like the rest of the mortals during the Dragon Break. How do you think I learned my mystery? The Maruhkati Selective showed us all the glories of the Dawn so that we might learn, simply: as above, so below.'" This seems to fit into the theory of a shift or Warp in time.