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Emperor's Guide to Tamriel

The first few parts of The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel are now available. The Guide tells the story of Flaccus Torentius, a painter tasked by Chancellor Abnur Tharn with traveling the provinces and updating the old Emperor's Guide. The book includes excerpts from the previous Guide, other Tamrielic books, and the journal and paintings of Flaccus. All that amounts, of course, to tons of new lore and plenty of throwbacks to the old.

Currently, the dedication, introduction, and Cyrodiil sections are online - we'll be adding more from this enormous book in the coming weeks. You can find it in our Pocket Guides section, as Emperor's Guide. 

Please note that, to keep this collector's item a collector's item, images and scans are not allowed to be republished unless they have previously appeared elsewhere. 

ESO Book Highlights: Bretons & High Rock

To follow up last week's highlight of the Reachmen, today we'll be looking at the more 'civilized' denizens of High Rock, the Bretons. In addition to the political intrigue for which the region is famous, ESO delves deeper into the lore of the Direnni elves and the ancient mysteries surrounding the Iliac Bay. Here are a few of our favorites: 

A Royal Embarrassment - a anti-Daggerfall Covenant pamphlet lambasting Emeric and his family.
The Knightly Orders of High Rock - an overview of High Rock's social classes and their origins.
The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons - discuses the dual genetic heritage of the Breton peoples.
Tower of Adamant - a history of the Adamantine Tower.
Once - a poetic history of the Direnni.

As of this post, we have just under a thousand ESO books in our library, largely due to the effort and dedication of Pilaf. Give him a big round of applause when you next see him!

Also brand new this week is TIL's Facebook page. We'll be posting news, questions, discussions, and all kinds of other things there, so if you'd like to stay up to date on TIL and on lore, be sure to head on over and give us a "like". The address is www.facebook.com/theimperiallibrary

ESO Book Highlights: Reachmen

Skyrim introduced the defeated 4th era remnants of this culture by way of the Foresworn, and now ESO is expanding on their lore on the other side of the border. Remember to keep in mind the bias 'civilized' authors have against the clans of the Reach when reading the works below. 

Clans of the Reach: A Guide - three particularly hostile clans and their rituals
A Life Barbaric and Brutal - a young Breton is abducted and held as a slave. 
Triumphs of a Monarch - King Emeric's account of Durcorach the Black Drake's raids on High Rock. 
Aspects of Lord Hircine - a Reachmen shaman's description of the Daedra prince.

This is, of course, just a small sampling of the over 750 ESO books added thus far. Take a look at the Online section of the TES Game Books menu to read them all. Have you found a cool book, dialog, or location on your travels through 2nd era Tamriel? Post it over on the Storyboard for us all to ponder and admire.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Elder Scrolls!

Two decades ago, a little game named Arena came out for MS DOS, launching a universe now beloved by millions. Todd Howard had this to say in his retrospective

As the years went by the technologies changed, we changed, you changed. But the goal remained the same – to create a game that transported you to another place. A game that fueled you with the ideal of endless possibilities. A world you could make your own.

And make it our own we did. In the twenty years since its creation, Elder Scrolls has changed hundreds (if not thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of lives - one of them my own. 

Happy Birthday, Elder Scrolls! Here's to another twenty wonderful years. 

ESO Book Highlights: Redguards & Hammerfell

Although the Redguards had featured in two earlier games - Daggerfall and the eponymous Redguard - ESO managed to walk the line between reinforcing previously established lore and introduce some of their own. Here are a few of my favorites from our growing collection:

A Betrayal of Our Heritage - Highlighting the strength of the division between Crown and Forbear
The Book of Circles - this famous series, mentioned back in Daggerfall, is a series of battle maxims.
The Lost Islands of Old Yokuda - A poem reflecting on the islands of Yokuda.
Correct Ways of Slaying Ra-Netu - How to lay the undead to rest in a proper manner.
Sentinel, Jewel of the Alik'r - a history of the city. This overwrought, flowery style seems to be the hallmark of this writer (and several Anonymous ones)
Reverence for the Dead - a bit about Redguard funerary culture

This week, I'd like to give a very special thanks to Pilaf the Defiler, our newest Assistant. He's done a great job adding many, many books to the database, and deserves a big round of applause.

For those of you who are more art minded, The Guardian has posted an excellent collection of never-before-seen concept art. 

ESO Book Highlights: Argonians & Black Marsh

The Argonians got a whole lot of new and expanded lore in ESO. Here are a few highlights from our always-growing collection.

The Strange Case of Ja-Reet - how an Argonian is affected by not being connected to the Hist
The Lost Communion - Reawakening one's connection to the Hist using their sap.
Myths and Legends of the Hist - details on Argonian religion and life-cycle
Stormhold, City of Shadowfen - a brief history of Stormhold
A Mother's Nursery Rhyme - A nursery rhyme about losing ones nursery
Argonian Mating Ritual - thankfully PG.

The first two are particularly interesting given the recent revelation on the Hist's motives and the Argonian's many forms - namely, that one can be an "Argonian" without looking like the modern lizard man depiction, as long as one is made by the Hist.

Thanks go out to IceFireWarden for pointing out many of these great books, and to our invaluable Assistants for helping with this enormous task. 

Hero's Guides to 2nd Era Tamriel

Bethesda announced this very cool book bundle for all us lore fans today. Included are three books of all-new, in-world story and art, totaling 274 pages in all.  Here are the books included, along with some very nice PDF preview to get you started:

Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion Hardcover: bestiary bound in faux-leather, with full emboss/deboss and spot foil on cover and spine. 168 gold gilded pages with a ribbon marker and 156 original illustrations by Brynn Metheney, Roberto Gomes, and David Keen. 

Gathering Force: Arms and Armor of Tamriel: Soft touch fighter's guide with rounded spine, embossed cover, and silver foil on front and back cover. 56 deckled pages with a ribbon marker and 96 original illustrations by Caio Cacau. 

Agents and Reagents: The Bounty of Mundus: Envelope-wrapped alchemical notebook with cord closure and embossed cover. 48 deckled pages with 47 original illustrations by Brynn Metheney. 

You can read more about the collection, or preorder your copy, at the Bethesda Store.

ESO Book Highlights: Maormer & Pyandonea

This week, I'd like to showcase a race that has never before appeared in the Elder Scrolls games: the Maormer of Pyandonea. They play a significant part in Khenarthi's Roost, the starting area of the Aldmeri Dominion. 

Fang of the Sea Vipers - A report on the Maormeri navy threatening Auridon. 
The Chosen People of Aldmeris - the Maormeri's view of their split from the Aldmer.
Treaty of Khenarthi's Roost - a harsh treaty between the island and the Maormeri navy.

In other news, Lady Nerevar (me) was invited as a guest on the ESO Alliance podcast, hosted by Evarwyn of Elder Scrolls Off The Record, Kyle and Josh of Shoddycast, and Andrew of the Tamriel Foundry. We talked at length about the NDA, our predictions for ESO post-launch, and the impact/importance of add-ons. You can check it out right here on youtube.

ESO Book Highlights: Dunmer & Morrowind

Although the province of Morrowind was thoroughly explored in the eponymous game, there are several new books expanding its story. 

Legend of the Ghost Snake - redefines the Magribash, and intriduces a mythical, perhaps Lorkhanic, figure.
Mottos of the Great Dunmeri Houses - Mottos and patron saints, exactly as promised.
The Great Houses and Their Uses - Dealing with the Great Houses, from an outsider's perspective.
A Pocket Guide to Mournhold - a tourist's guide to the city, translating much of what we saw in TES3:Tribunal and will see in ESO into lore terms.
Kwama Mining for Fun and Profit - fleshes out the industry behind these little critters.

As always, make sure to check out the actual Online Books section to see works that we've added thus far. One of my favorite things about these books is the emphasis placed on author bias - if you sort the books By Author, you can see what subject each favors, and what their agenda is. The bickering between Lady Cinnabar of Taneth and Phrastus of Elinhir is particularly amusing. 

ESO Book Highlights: Bosmer & Valenwood

As we continue to add books from ESO, I'd like take a little time highlight some interesting titles the game introduces. This week's feature is all about Valenwood and the Bosmer:

Last of the Old Bones - an interesting myth (referencing the Earthbones?) and Bosmeri burrial customs.
Wood Elf Etiquette - dealing with Bosmer, and a fart joke. 
War Customs of the Tribal Bosmer - just like the title describes, this book deals with warfare among Bosmeri tribes.
Ladies of the Green - brief overview of the "Green Lady," a Bosmeri leader. 
Humor of the Wood Elves - jokes. Awful, awful jokes.

I would also like to thank RottenDeadite and our wonderful new assistants, Jeroic and Myrrlyn, for helping me to sort through and enter all these books. Give them a big round of applause!