Skip navigation

Happy 15th Anniversary, Oblivion!

Today marks not only the first day of Spring, but also the 15th anniversary of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. While Morrowind was the game that saved Bethesda, Oblivion was the one to really put them on the map as a mainstream developer. It's 2006 release introduced millions to the Elder Scrolls universe, and reinvigorated the lore community with many new topics of discussion from both in and out of game sources.

To commenorate this occasion, Bethesda has allowed us to exclusively release seven high definition concepts of the Oblivion realm itself. While these previously appeared in the Japanese game guide and in the Oblivion Collector's Edition documentary, this is the first time they are available online in HD glory. (As usual, please do not redistribute these without explicit permission from us and from Bethesda).

Check them out below, or head to our Oblivion Concept Art gallery to see all collected concepts.

Oblivion Citadel

Deadlands landscapes

Citadel and Gate

This image appeared in the Making Of video, and is labeled as "Molag Bal's Oblivion." It is not clear how this realm was supposed to feature in the game.

Benefactor Promoted to Librarian

We are very happy to announce that Benefactor has been promoted to Librarian! 
In his time as Assistant Librarian, Benefactor has contributed frequently and at the highest quality, uploading dozens and dozens of books, tracking down old texts long thought missing, and setting up new interviews. He is also a pillar of the community, representing TIL in podcast, providing up to date info and theories on the latest TES news, and even attending the Greymoor reveal last year. In short, he has been a great help in both maintaining and improving the Library, and we're happy to formally recognize him for it.
Please join us in giving Benefactor a much deserved round of applause for his great work! 

Call to Arms Interview and Exclusive Scenario

This past week in collaboration with UESP we had the pleasure to interview Modiphius, the developers of The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms tabletop wargame. You can listen to the interview on the UESP podcast here. Listen to the end of the podcast to hear a special announcement from Modiphus regarding their next Elder Scrolls product they are working on. 

The Imperial Library also received an exclusive Call to Arms scenario to expand your game. This scenario finds the Stormcloaks and Imperial Legion fighting to gain allies in Riverwood to prepare for the coming civil war. You can find this Scenario below.

ESO Markarth Books & Highlights

Benefactor recently completed the monumental task of adding all upcoming Elder Scrolls Online: Markarth books to the library! There's a ton of new information (including juicy details on the Reachmen's history and culture), but if you're overwhelmed by the idea of reading 90+ books, here are a few highlights. 

New Daedra concept art

We've added several Daggerfall-era concept images to our gallery, featuring early designs for the Daedra princes. While these drawings are very similar to their final sprites, there are some notable differences in the names, such as Moloch Baal for Molag Bal and Mala-Car for Malacath. Thanks to Mark Jackson for drawing these back in 1994 and allowing us permission to rehost, and to TheRockWithAMedecineCupOnHisHead for bringing them to our attention. 

Antiquities, Documented

The upcoming Greymoor chapter for Elder Scrolls Online comes with a brand new system that focuses on digging up all manner of ancient artifacts. With those artifacts come reams and reams of lore, covering every conceivable topic from Ayleids to Yokuda, and diving into topics previously only covered in our Obscure Texts section. 

While Greymoor is only available on the test server (and thus some of this may change), I've just completed documenting all the codex entries and item descriptions for the Antiquities which you can unearth. With the exception of a few, most items also have images, most of which have graciously been provided by AzureAlay and KwarcPL. 

Head on over to read them all


Greymoor Preview Books

Do you like books? Of course you do! We'll be posting a new book from the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online Chapter, Greymoor, every day until the chapter's release on the public test server.

Check back to this post daily, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, to stay in the loop. And make sure to hop on PTS on Monday the 20th to help test the chapter before it is released. 

Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Answering Your Questions

I wanted to wrap up our coverage of Greymoor by doing a short Q&A session to answer some of the lore related questions you may have had. This preview is a bit spoilery, so click through if you'd like to know more! 

Click here to keep reading

Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- The Bard's College

Mythical Musical Instruments

Exploring the Bard’s College

In the high school movie version of Tamriel, the Antiquarian Circle are the kids that eat lunch in the library, and the Bard’s College are the band nerds, complete with club drama that seems petty to outsiders and deadly serious to those in the know. The drama, in this case, is a big debate over whether their historical instruments should be actively played or carefully preserved, and the subsequent theft of those instruments by a now-dead former member who just wanted everyone to get along.

When the player arrives at the scene, they are quickly recruited by the College to solve a riddle embedded in a song, and return all these mythical instruments to safety.

The first loot you collect is, naturally, a lute. After that, the questline follows in the footsteps of Orsinium’s House of Orsimer Glories or Summerset’s Vault of Moawita: find relic, return relic, get a lore-filled description. Here are three of my favorites:


This tablestrings was presented to King Svargrim by a delegation from Lord Vivec of Vvardenfell. Not accustomed to Dunmer tonal structures, the court musicians declared it "grossly untunable and overly complicated." For many years the instrument sat the Jarl's hall as a curiosity until it was discovered by Master Bard Endroni Selvilo of House Redoran.

King Svargrim generously donated this instrument to the college to further the understanding of the Dunmeri arts.

("Still sounds like shrieking eels!" is scratched into the metal plaque.)


Revered as the tool of choice for Master Bard and Nirn-renowned musician Callisos. This instrument toured Tamriel with him for decades.

Callisos would often tell the tale of how he tricked the Mad God himself into giving him this lyre. Encountering Sheogorath, Callisos, already an skilled bard, played the most arousing love song Sheogorath had ever heard. Callisos convinced the Prince of Madness that his plain lyre had been imbued by Dibella with her raw passion.

Sheogorath wanted it, and in exchange gave Callisos an instrument he called Lodestone. A lyre that he tied to Callisos soul as he claimed it would bring him glory and fame — which it did.

After some time, Callisos' great deeds and talent became legendary among the Bards College alumni. However, one morning Lodestone was found in a practice room at the College and Callisos was never seen or heard from again. It has long been surmised that Callisos constantly toured Tamriel to escape Sheogorath's wrath, but he was finally caught.


Brought by one of the few famous traveling Argonian bards, Soft-Beak, in the 3rd century to spread its teachings, it is regarded in the College as one of the most difficult instruments to master.

Over centuries, it was more often used for hazing than playing — at one point senior students would tell fledgling bards that they should take up the vossa-satl, as it was easy to learn and certain notes would make any Argonian swoon in their favor. If it didn't make the right sound, it was because they weren't blowing with enough spittle.

Bards College staff did eventually put a stop to this, and this particular vassa-satl was taken up with pride as the favorite instrument of the current Adjunct Professor of Argonian Music Theory, Twains-the-Night.

In addition to these three, and the Petraloop which you have to liberate from an auction to join the College, the collection contains more than a dozen other instruments, including a war drum from Reman’s march against the Akaviri, a Khajiiti esraj, Yokudan tanbur, and a flute made out of human bone. Each reveals a little (or a lot!) about the culture that constructed it, and gives us a little glimpse into the everyday lives of Mundus. In a world full of apocalyptic harrowstorms and vampire-werewolf-witch alliances, it’s great to take a break and focus on the mundane things every once in a while.

Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Lore & Story

I’m not a fan of vampires (or werewolves, for that matter), I’ve played a ton of TESV, and Rivenspire wasn’t my favorite part of the Daggerfall Covenant. So, when this year’s big chapter was revealed to focus on vampires in Skyrim, I wasn’t anywhere as excited as I had been for Sload and Psijics in 2018’s Summerset, or Khajiit and Blades in last year’s Elsweyr. At the same time, I’m a huge fan of Elder Scrolls in general, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for more content based solely on marketing.

So, does Greymoor hold value for someone like me? Short answer: yes.

The upcoming Chapter has plenty to offer fans of vampires, werewolves, and general gothic spookiness, but if you’re ambivalent towards all that there is also tons politicking, many references to pre-Eight Divines Nordic religion, Reachmen, Dragon cult(s), and no less than four books on cheeses. The Antiquities system (which I wrote about in detail here) and the Bard’s College offers even more for the lore-minded player and roleplayer, and, as always, Western Skyrim is full of distinctive, larger than life characters for fans to fall in love with.

Click through below to read my full first impressions of this new Chapter.


A quick note on spoilers: while I will discuss some of what you’ll do and who you'll encounter in Western Skyrim, I'm going to be vague about any specific plot revelations. Nonetheless, if you want to be completely surprised, you may want to skip this preview.

Click here to read more!