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Giveaway! Favorite Elder Scrolls Lore Memory

The lore community has evolved a lot over the years. From developer posts on fansite messageboards during the development of Morrowind, to the spirited debates and lengthy roleplays on the old official forums, to the rise of Reddit and social media, the ways and places we discuss and create lore are always changing.

Comment with some of your favorite Elder Scrolls lore community memories below for your chance to win one of two cool prizes. One random winner will receive one set of Elder Scrolls character pins, and another lucky person will get their choice of an Elder Scrolls game from Good Old Games! Winners will be drawn on Monday the 17th.

Here are a few of the staff’s favorite memories to get you started:

It would have to be my first lore-related memory. The first time I clicked on a book in-game and realized that it contained stories about the game world I was exploring. This was during some fetch quest to a tomb in TES III: Morrowind, I believe. The book was "Homilies of Blessed Almalexia." It hooked me. I wanted to know more about this Almalexia and the places she visited, and the things she did. When I got to meet her as an NPC much later in an expansion, it felt like meeting a famous figure one reads about in an actual book. People who skipped a lot of dialogue and never read any lore books could still enjoy Tribunal, of course. That's the beauty of the lore as it's presented. It's optional, but in my opinion it deepens the experience immensely.
- Pilaf_The_Defiler, one-time Librarian and Balmora Bandit

Linguistic work at TIL or elsewhere. There is nothing like sitting in front of your laptop screen for hours and staring at Shalidor's Insights, to feel the satisfaction of deciphering a couple of lines of the mage's bad handwriting. There is nothing like reading Altmeri letters on a promotional artwork for TESO: Summerset. Solving linguistic mysteries and being able to post them somewhere so that others can easily see what is written somewhere always brings the best kind of satisfaction.
- Stygies VIII, Assistant Librarian since 2017

In the months (years?) surrounding Morrowind, many of the devs would frequent the Lore section of the Official Fourms. There were so many great interactions, stories, and role playing experiences with MK, Ted Peterson, Gary “GT” Noonan, etc.
- B

I think by favorite lore memory would either have to be discussing the script in the Akaviri journal from Oblivion with various members of the community, or the ongoing community project of trying to read Shalidor's handwriting in Shalidor's Insights from Skyrim.
-Tailin Sero, Assistant Librarian

Happy Hist Friend's picture
Joined: 11/14/2013

One of my favorite things is environmental storytelling, and also the stories we tell ourselves in our heads while playing the Elder Scrolls games.


Example : Morrowind. First time playing. First time arriving in Balmora. Going straight to Caius Cosades. Blades' legend, probably wise, experienced, rich, famous, can't wait to meet this spy, thinks my female argonian.


Then my character entered his hut, and found herself staring at this weird dude with a balding head. The room's a mess. The guy's shirtless but mercifully wearing what looks like pajama pants. (Oddly buff, though). Moon sugar scattered on the table. A skooma pipe and a spoon under the bed.


Basically, I remember taking it all in, realizing this guy's now my boss and my lifeline in Vardenfell, and going "yup. The world's doomed".

BWS2K's picture
Joined: 09/13/2018

A Rookie enters the thread!

I was a huge follower of Morrowind in the months leading up to its release. Lots of really great exchanges with the team and community, so I definitely second B's comments above (still remember getting my first fishystick from Impy *sniff*). That said, probably my most favorite memory in that regard was Friday Updates. We'd pour over any and every detail of a video, screenshot, or skills list and I always had questions. I even remember e-mailing Pete Hines because I was using some of the material in a fanmade desktop background and didn't want to get in trouble with copyright stuff (it was fine but I wish I had saved the e-mail!).

Now may favorite in-game lore-related memory is the discovery of Boethiah's underwater ruins. As an Argonian, I was literally just cruising around and enjoying the scenery and... wow. WOW. Only one of countless awesome memories.


Raga's picture
Joined: 11/19/2016

Perhaps it's rather tame in comparison to the more profound metaphysical explorations many of us now take for granted, but I have very precious memories of being utterly enchanted by the character of Miraak after encountering the fascinating theory that his entire motivation was achieving Amaranth by means of effectively mantling Godhead. I was so inspired by the concepts brought to bear that I was moved to narrate an account of Miraak's goings-on during the Merethic Era, undertaking honestly academic approaches to research and postulation, educating myself in dovazhul and going so far as to write an elegy for Ysgramor in the Dragon Tongue. The effort never came together in its entirety, as the sheer research involved was staggering and it was easy to lose myself, but I'll never forget the overall experience and I'm thankful to the developers and the community for enriching my creative life in what was such a vivid time.

Cordate's picture
Joined: 04/15/2015

One time I got into an argument with someone over something ESO-related. In order to make my point I started reading up on all kinds of stuff regarding Skyrim's history. I lost the argument, but it was a good experience for me.

Joined: 07/09/2018

I enjoyed the discussion & atmosphere of various local and international TES lore communities from the age of 14 (around the time of Oblivion I think, even though I started with Morrowind) until now, more than a decade later. Naturally, my interest in TES has changed and faded over the years, and I also grew more and more distanced to what TES is supposed to be now. But all the memories & nostalgia remain. So in short, TES was never so much about playing a video game for me, but about Tamriel. Even the best game was just a medium to discover this world. But to read the books at UESP or TIL and to discuss all those imaginary places in the community was the Greater Game worth to be played, closely tied with learning about literature, history, cultures, myth and magic (etc), a testing ground for new perspectives and always an invitation to expand your bookshelf with the real stuff beyond Tamriel. Stepping-stone indeed! Without MK's writing, I probably would have never read Borges, so his occasional praises for the Librarian of Babel are among by fondest memories.

More great memories of the lore community are about their amazing writings. I was just an observer when the legendary monkeys of the old forums danced to (re)shape and expand Tamriel, but it was incredible to witness their efforts in style. Among my all-time favorite reads (besides of most works by MK and HQ) are Adanorcil's PGE2 Cyrodiil chapter with its haunting shezarrhic transmission or Khevsureti's Morrowind novel To The Heart There Comes A Stranger. There are many more, and I always enjoyed Tamriel literature most when it really delved into the alien, exotic, weird, contradictive aesthetic of the setting I once fell in love with: "So OF COURSE a giant bug appeared, with the greatest eastern wizard inside it."

baumgartner's picture
Joined: 12/23/2017
This is not  a LORE memory but it is a persistent fond one whenever I think about TES so I'll share it anyway  - "A  long time ago in a game store long passed away"  - I had gone to  my local Mall's  Babbages to buy the sequel to one of my favorite games of all time - Star Control 2. I had the copy of Star Control 3 in hand and headed to the cash register when I was intercepted by an enthusiastic young clerk who broke the salesman's protocol by telling me I was buying the wrong game. 
The game was Daggerfall and ... oh yeah ... the stores - endless books, real "fast fingered" shoplifting, 2nd story burglaries and trundling contraband in a flying horse drawn cart through the skies on a route of villages and cities guaranteed to yield a handsome profit, my own house and a ship, being infected and dealing with lycanthropy - these were my second greatest gaming time sinks after getting lost and eventually escaping  the ever spawning totally unique spaghetti dungeons without resorting to magic. 
Lots of hours of pure imaginative fun that stayed on my space limited hard drive almost forever.
val_hallen's picture
Joined: 01/29/2018

Favorite community memories are of quizes about TES lore and ingame stuff. I won a cool Talos amulet for the second place one time! Then I joined the "creative" team and making up the questions turned out to be even more fun than answering them. Oh, how we tortured the participants!;)