Developer Writings

This page contains posts and writings by developers that were published outside of the games. This section combines what were the Obscure Texts and Post Archives on previous versions of the Library.

Where possible, we’ve provided dates of publication and links for each post and text. Because these writings span decades of Elder Scrolls and real world development, it is very important to consider them in their historical context. They may no longer reflect the state of Elder Scrolls lore, or the current opinions of the writers.

Alan Nanes

Game designer at Bethesda Game Studios. He started with the company in 2002 and is currently serving as Design Director.

Alan Nanes’ Posts - A note on Tosh Raka and the history of Akavir

Brad Derrick

The Audio Director on Elder Scrolls Online. He has been with the studio since 2009.

Brad Derrick’s Posts - Information about languages and lyrics in Elder Scrolls Online

Cartogriffi

Longtime forum moderator and Community Content Manager at Bethesda Game Studios, currently focusing on Creation Club content and modding in general.

Cartogriffi’s Posts - Discusses Creation Club releases as well as the concept of canon content

Christiane H.K. Meister

Character artist at Bethesda Game Studios. She has been with the studio since 1999, and is currently a Senior Character Artist. On the official forums, she posted as Maverique.

Christiane H.K. Meister’s Posts - Information about armor and character designs in TES3: Morrowind.

Douglas Goodall

Designer at Bethesda Game Studios 2001-2002. On the official forums, he posted as Affa Mu and Jo-Basha. He returned to the Elder Scrolls community in 2023, and has since published mods and writing on his Substack.

Adventures of Carsomus Limus, Mint Surety - A tale on the reason that gold has no weight
AFFresh (TES3 Mod) - An expansive collection of quests, books, and miscellaneous notes
Decorating Guide for the Reach - Decorating tips for Reachmen
Douglas Goodall’s Posts - Many posts on many topics, but with a special focus on Khajiit
Excerpts from the Books of Sand - An excerpt of Khajiiti poetry, as well as its historical background
Fargoth Says Hello (TES 3 Mod) - A collection of dialog and books from this mod
Five New Spells to Avoid (The Fourth One Will Shock You!) - A guide for warriors when facing a wizard
Games and Pastimes of Tamriel - A collection of observations about games in the different parts of Tamriel
Minutes of the Lusty Argonian Historical Society - Very detailed, and very silly, meetings notes
Red Wisdom – An Ashlander Prophecy (TES 3 Mod) - A collection of dialog from this mod, written by Goodall
Sermon Zero of the Thirty-and-Six-and-Nine Sermons of Vivec - An additional Sermon, for Vivec but not by him, and full of riddles
Six Views of the Egg of Time - A collection of essays and theories on the meaning behind The Egg of Time book
Six Views of the Egg of Time, Volume I - Introduction to scholars who will be speaking on the topic
Skyrim In the New Era - History of changes to locations in Skyrim over the years
Sweet Shadows of the Moons - A tale about a young Bosmer who remembered the Five Year War
The Curio Folio v. VII - Another play by the famous Crassius Curio
The Fourth Book of Dust - A brief excerpt
The Mananaut’s Message (TES3 Mod) - A collection of dialog from this mod, written by Goodall
The Menagrie - A revised retelling of A Dubious Tale from TES2: Daggerfall
The Motheaters Song - Taking responsibility for all the conspiracy theories
The Soft Doctrines of Magnus Invisible (Expanded) - An expanded version of The Soft Doctrines text dealing with the esoteric concept of the Tower and Creation
Thread Archive: Masser and Secunda (05/16/01) - Talks about the nature of the moons, as well as the relationship between developers and lore
Thread Archive: Ta’Agra phrases and expressions (12/26/05) - Douglass Goodall (Jobasha) talks about Ta'Agra, the Khajiiti language
Wulfric and the Snow Elf - An epic poem about Ysgramor and his son's dealings with the Falmer leading to the sack of Saarthal

Gary GT Noonan

Animator at Bethesda Game Studios. He has been with the studio since 1997. On the official forums, he posted as Wormgod and VXSS, and roleplayed Divayth Fyr.

Gary “GT” Noonan’s Posts - Forum posts on various topics, with a focus on Khajiit, Argonians, Dwemer, and Divayth Fyr
Return of a Fellow Scholar - Divayth Fyr travels to Cyrodiil
Sotha Sil’s Last Words… - Conversation between Sotha Sil and Divayth Fyr about the nature of divinity
The Dragon’s Chilled Blood - Divayth Fyr on the death of Uriel Septim
The Trial of Vivec - Forum roleplay which starts with Vivec being put on trial for the Tribunal's crimes, and ends with Vivec usurping the proceedings and taking his revenge on Azura.
Thread Archive: Masser and Secunda (05/16/01) - Talks about the nature of the moons, as well as the relationship between developers and lore
Why were the Dwemer Considered a Great House? - A little about the relationship between the Dwemer and Chimer

Ken Rolston

Lead Designer for Bethesda Game Studios 1994-2006. In addition to his work at Bethesda, Ken is a famous designer of tabletop RPGs.

Ken Rolston’s Posts
– Covers a variety of topics, mostly about the lore of TES3-era Vvardenfell

Caius Cosades’ Letter - The spymaster writes about the situation in Morrowind imediately following the Oblivion Crisis
Caius Cosades’ Visit to Uriel VII’s Tomb - The spymaster has an earnest, if one sided, conversation with the former Emperor
The Trial of Vivec - Forum roleplay which starts with Vivec being put on trial for the Tribunal's crimes, and ends with Vivec usurping the proceedings and taking his revenge on Azura.

Kurt Kuhlmann

Designer with Bethesda Game Studios 1996-1998 and again between 2003-2023. On the official forums, he posted as Maturin and roleplayed as Hasphat Antabolis.

Kurt Kuhlmann’s Posts - A variety of posts on a variety of topics
The Trial of Vivec - Forum roleplay which starts with Vivec being put on trial for the Tribunal's crimes, and ends with Vivec usurping the proceedings and taking his revenge on Azura.
Thread Archive: Reman I (06/14/09) - a thread about the nature and origin of Reman I, in the style of a forum roleplay. Features Kurt Kuhlmann in the guise of Hasphat Antabolis.
Translation of Calcelmo’s Stone - Transcription of the Dwemeri and English on the Markarth stele

Lawrence Schick

Writer and Loremaster at Zenimax Online Studios 2009-2019. In addition to his work on Elder Scrolls Online, Lawrence is a celebrated tabletop RPG designer.

Lawrence Schick’s Posts
-Clarifications on the lore of Elder Scrolls Online

Heart’s Day Group Wedding - A mass marriage conducted inside Elder Scrolls Online

Leamon Tuttle

Designer, writer, and Loremaster for Zenimax Online Studios 2013-2022. He is currently still with Zenimax Online, but not working on Elder Scrolls.

Leamon Tuttle’s Posts - Clarifications on pronunciation, Elder Scrolls Online lore, and the relationship between lore and community interpretation

Marilyn Wasserman

Quality Assurance tester for Bethesda Game Studios, and author of several books in Daggerfall. The Aedra Mara is named after her.

Marilyn Wasserman’s Posts - Clarifications on authorship of several Daggerfall books, as well as notes on societal relations

Mark Nelson

Designer at Bethesda Game Studios 2000-2007. He posted as BlueDev on the official forums.

Mark Nelson’s Posts - Many posts about Argonians, and one about the death of Sotha Sil

Matt Grandstaff

Served in various Community Management related roles for Bethesda Game Studios 2007-2019. On the official forums, he posted as Gstaff.

Matt Grandstaff’s Posts - Clarifying the dates of some historical events

Michael Kirkbride

Artist, writer, and designer for Bethesda Game Studios 1996-2000. Continued to contribute to the series after his departure, including shipping TES3: Morrowind as part of the E-Nexus (Bethesda West) team and contracted writings for TES4: Oblivion and its Knights of the Nine DLC. On the forums, he posted as MK, Vehk, Merry Eyesore the Elk, Ald Cyrod, MKirkbride, and assumed roleplay accounts as needed.

A pervasive rumor is that Kirkbride wrote Morrowind lore while on drugs and was subsequently fired from Bethesda. This did not happen.

Michael Kirkbride’s Undated Posts – Posts which were archived without associated dates
Michael Kirkbride’s Posts: 1990-2006
Michael Kirkbride’s Posts: 2007-2011
Michael Kirkbride’s Posts: 2012-2014
Michael Kirkbride’s Posts: 2015-2023

A Type of Zero Still to Be Discovered’ — a traditional Dwemeri children’s rhyme - Strange text from ancient days that is supposed a traditional Dwemeri children's rhyme
Approaching Vivec - A book about one of Morrowind's gods, Vivec, and his relationship to the Daedra Mephala
Ayleid (Bosmeri) Creation Myth – The Original Anuad - The very first version of the Anuad
Cosmology - How space works in the Elder Scrolls universe
Dominion Prism Textract - A legal document from the Aldmeri Dominion
Et’Ada, Eight Aedra, Eat the Dreamer - Transcribed from a spore-dream of an unidentified, evaporating Moth Priest that reached zero sum
Fragments from “The Adabal-a” - Excerpts from the Adabal-a, published before the full text was released in Knights of the Nine
From The Many-Headed Talos - A devotional text to Talos, explaining what happened to Cyrodiil's jungles
Histories of Strange Pre-Marriage - A humorous out-of-time birthday text
How Beautiful You Are That You Do Not Join Us - A holiday greeting with easter eggs to fans and developers
Imperial Census of Daedra Lords - Descriptions of the Daedra and their realms
KINMUNE - The story of a time-traveling robot
Lament for Pelinal - A poem by Morihaus dedicated to his dead friend Pelinal
Lord Vivec’s Sword-Meeting With Cyrus the Restless - Cyrus goes to Yokuda to steam a gem, meets Vivec, and learns Sword-Singing
Loveletter From the Fifth Era, The True Purpose of Tamriel - Instructions for avoiding the apocalypse
Magne-Ge Pantheon - An enigmatic sorting of the Magna-Ge into CMYK
Nu-Hatta of the Sphinxmoth Inquiry Tree - An interview with the author of the Nu-Mantia Intercept
Nu-Mantia Intercept - Letters exchanged betwee Nu-Hatta and members of the Elder Countil, warning of an ancient threat and outlining the lore of Creation and the Towers
Shezarr and the Eight Divines - Examination of the role of Lorkhan in Cyrodiilic worship
Shor son of Shor - Nordic myth describing the Dawn Era and its war between the shifting gods
Source of Chaos - An examination of Sithis and the Dark Brotherhood
The Fall of Ald’Ruhn - Brief quote and illustration of the battle of Ald'Ruhn during the Oblivion Crisis
The Five Hundred Mighty Companions or Thereabouts of Ysgramor the Returned - A humorous list of Ysgramor's 500ish companions. More of a bar tale than a historical saga
The Nords’ Totemic Religion - A design document outlining how the Nords worship the Nine Divines
The Seven Fights of The Aldudagga - A series of humorous, semi-historical tales from Skyrim
The Shonni-etta excerpts - Excerpts of a very not-safe-for-work myth of Reman's life
The Trial of Vivec - Forum roleplay which starts with Vivec being put on trial for the Tribunal's crimes, and ends with Vivec usurping the proceedings and taking his revenge on Azura.
The Tsaesci Creation Myth: And We Ate It To Become It - Enigmatic genesis story from the perspective of the Tsaesci
The Water-getting Girl and the Inverse Tiger - Chidlren's bedtime story of a girl and a tiger
The Xal-Gosleigh Letters - Two scholars write about unrest and machinations in Morrowind and High Rock
Thread Archive: Amulet, Amulet, who put her in the amulet? (06/23/06) - Starts out wondering whether it was Akatosh or Shezarr who presented Alessia with the Amulet of Kings. Quickly moves on to cover the nature of the Akatosh/Lorkhan dichotomy and divinity in general
Thread Archive: Made Up Word Round Up (06/19/06) - collects and explains many of the most esoteric terms specific to the Elder Scrolls
Thread Archive: Masser and Secunda (05/16/01) - Talks about the nature of the moons, as well as the relationship between developers and lore
Thread Archive: Redguard Forum Madness (circa 02/01/99) - Ancient thread with information on pronounciations, the Chimer, the Marukhati, and lots of old school roleplay
Tiber Septim’s Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless - An unfinished collection of texts that tell of how Tiber Septim fought Cyrus on the moon
Vehk’s Teaching - Vivec opines on the Dragon Break, Towers, PSJJJ, and other metaphysical matters
What My Beloved Taught Me - An interview between Nerevar (as caravan captain) and Vivec (as a street urchin)
Where were you when the Dragon Broke? [Extended] - An expanded version of different cultures' views of the Middle Dawn
World-Eating 101 - Two texts exploring the idea that the end of each Kalpha is the Dawn era of the next one

Pete Hines

Part of Bethesda Softworks 1999-2023 in various marketing and communications roles. On forums and social media, he posted as DCDeacon.

Pete Hines’ Posts - Primarily answers on the validity of various lore texts, but also a post on Argonian reproduction

Shane Liesegang

Designer at Bethesda Game Studios 2009-2013. On the official forums, he posted as SJML.

Shane Liesegang’s Posts - Notes on TES5 Skyrim

Ted Peterson

Designer at Bethesda Game Studios 1992-1996. Continued to contribute to the series after his departure, authoring numerous books for TES3 and TES4 in a contractor capacity. On the official forums, he posted as Tedders and roleplayed as Sheogorath.

Ted Peterson’s Posts
– Huge collection of posts about a variety of topics, with a focus on early Elder Scrolls games, Ted’s contribution to lore, and the Pocket Guide the Empire 3rd edition

Bourn in Wood - Autobiography of Lord Woodborne
Mad God’s Masque and Bellicose Ball - A collection of poems posted by Sheogorath
The Trial of Vivec - Forum roleplay which starts with Vivec being put on trial for the Tribunal's crimes, and ends with Vivec usurping the proceedings and taking his revenge on Azura.
The Xal-Gosleigh Letters - Two scholars write about unrest and machinations in Morrowind and High Rock
Thread Archive: Amulet, Amulet, who put her in the amulet? (06/23/06) - Starts out wondering whether it was Akatosh or Shezarr who presented Alessia with the Amulet of Kings. Quickly moves on to cover the nature of the Akatosh/Lorkhan dichotomy and divinity in general
Thread Archive: Made Up Word Round Up (06/19/06) - collects and explains many of the most esoteric terms specific to the Elder Scrolls
Thread Archive: Masser and Secunda (05/16/01) - Talks about the nature of the moons, as well as the relationship between developers and lore
Thread Archive: The Daedric Chain of Command (07/27/04) - Clarifies the various ranks of Daedra and nobles. Apperances by both Tedders and Sheogorath
Thread Archive: Time and Place Inconsistencies (05/09/08) - clarifies the inconsistencies relating to Empress Tavia's banishment and Princess Morgiah's marriage

Todd Howard

Designer, producer, and game director at Bethesda Game Studios since 1994.

Todd Howard’s Skyrim Notes - Document outlining the design philosophy of Skyrim, and early ideas about its plot

Tori Schafer

Writer-Designer at Zenimax Online Studios 2016-2019.

Letters Between Sisters - Intimate conversation between Alchemy and Rinyde about making it in the House of Reveries, and in life
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