Bretons are the human descendants of the Aldmeri-Nedic Manmer of the Merethic Era and are now the inhabitants of the province of High Rock.[BK 1] They are united in culture and language, but divided politically, for High Rock is fractious.[BK 1] Bretons make up the peasantry, soldiery, and magical elite of the feudal kingdoms competing for power within High Rock.[BK 2] Bretons are known for proficiency in abstract thinking and have a quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, enchantment, and alchemy. Even the humblest of Bretons can boast a high resistance to destructive and dominating magical energies.[BK 3][BK 4][BK 5][BK 6] Bretons, by and large, are pale-skinned and slight humans, less muscular than Nords and Redguards.[BK 7] Despite their politically fractious society, the Bretons are unified by language, bardic traditions, and heroic tales.[BK 2] Due to their mixed heritage, they are sometimes disparagingly termed a "mongrel race".[BK 8]
There is evidence of human settlements in High Rock dating back at least a thousand years before recorded history.[BK 9] Archaeological excavations have dated the ruins of Nedic habitation to as early as ME 1000, predating Ysgramor by centuries.[BK 10] The Bretons' historic enemies, besides each other, include Orcs and various supernatural creatures that roam High Rock.[BK 11] The Nedes of Stormhaven had strained relations with the neighboring Orc clans, which regularly clashed with other Orc clans and their human neighbors.
According to legend, Bretons are descended from a group known as the Druids of Galen. Though who they were is not clear, modern Bretons still swear by the "ArchDruid", a possible remnant of this heritage. Before or soon after the start of the First Era, Aldmer of Clan Direnni came to High Rock from the Summerset Isles. The Direnni conquered the Nedes of High Rock, but didn't enslave them as the Ayleids of Cyrodiil did; instead, they ruled them as a noble caste. Some Nedic devotional idols from this period depict Mara as an elven woman in a lover's embrace with a man, suggesting Aldmeri culture may have been welcomed with relatively open arms. The elves established a system of feudal vassalage over the Nedes and took Nedic concubines.[BK 8][BK 12] They inevitably interbred with their human subjects, producing half-elven children. The children begat from these unions weren't adopted by their Direnni parents, as they were considered sub-mer. Instead, they were given privileged positions among the Nedes, which eventually lead to a recognizable mixed-blood human caste dubbed "Bretons", from the Ehlnofex "beratu", meaning "half". These Bretons were only allowed to marry humans. Over time, their elven blood thinned, and their human features became more prominent.[BK 8] While the Aldmer maintained control of Tamriel, the Manmer lived as lower-class citizens. Clan Direnni coexisted peacefully with their Nedic and half-elven subjects, and the Nedes of High Rock flourished alongside the elves.[BK 10]
High Rock Under Direnni RuleEdit
According to some sources, the Direnni themselves were actually Bretons rather than Aldmer.[BK 13] The earliest written account of the existence of a Breton was that of the savant Voernet, who traveled to Artaeum to meet with Iachesis, the Ritemaster of the Psijic Order. This encounter was dated to be 1E 20.[BK 14]
Written in 1E 200, the Tamrilean Tractates speak of an early encounter between a Nord hunting party and the Bretons. The Bretons were scarcely recognizable as Men, and the Nords attacked them thinking they were another strain of Aldmeri. The Nords ceased their assault when one of the Bretons spoke in broken Nordic, and the hunting party brought word of this "newly discovered" race of Men back to Windhelm. The Nords believed the Manmer from beyond the Reach were descended from human slaves taken during the Night of Tears. King Vrage made it the First Empire of the Nords' main priority to liberate the Bretons from their elven masters.[BK 1]
Vrage's campaign brought him as far as the Bjoulsae, but Clan Direnni's mages impeded their progress, and the elves were aided in battle by many of their Breton vassals.[BK 1] The Skyrim Conquests brought some of High Rock under Nordic control around 1E 246, though they would lose control around 1E 369 as a result of Skyrim's War of Succession.[BK 9] They apparently never controlled Wayrest, which likely wasn't founded until several hundred years later.[BK 15]
As the Direnni Hegemony expanded geographically, the elves, who were few in number, passed increasing powers of administration to the Breton caste.[BK 8] Clan Direnni was inspired to outlaw the religion of the Alessian Reform by Rislav's victory against Emperor Gorieus, and began pushing into Imperial territory.[BK 16] The timeframe between 1E 480 and 1E 482 would see a coming conflict with the Alessian Order. Seeing the threat the Order posed, Aiden Direnni signed the Rights Charter out of necessity, in efforts to muster troops for the coming conflict.[BK 17] Ryain Direnni and his Breton Legions were the first to sack the Orc hold of Orsinium at some point in the midst of Direnni's conflicts with the Alessians, and after these conflicts, the Direnni holdings extended as far as Markarth and Elinhir.[BK 12] Aiden Direnni's army defeated the Alessians on the 8th of Sun's Dawn at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors in 1E 482 with the assistance of Breton knights and the last Ayleid king.[BK 18] The Bretons of the Glenumbra Moors celebrate the Day of Release to commemorate this victory. A popular song from the Second Era memorializes the Bretons' role in turning the tide against the Alessian generals, and commemorated the Direnni clansmen who were instrumental in defending High Rock.[BK 19]
The End of the Direnni HegemonyEdit
Thoroughly spent, the Direnni eventually retreated to Balfiera.[BK 8] Most of High Rock would be under Breton control by 1E 498, though the elves would be accepted and allowed to remain in the province for most of the Second Era.[BK 20] The Bretons' rise to prominence in High Rock initially started through villages being founded in tactical locations, such as Wayrest, which started as a fishing hamlet. Nordic cities such as Camlorn became Breton due to assimilation from the growing Breton population as opposed to conquest. Over time, the emerging Bretons absorbed the remaining Nordic population in High Rock, and the land would be definitively Breton by the end of the First Era.[BK 21]
Though the province was in Breton hands, it was by no means a cohesive nation. Clan Direnni's retreat to Balfiera left a vacancy in the way of a united government, and High Rock was left with a hundred fiefdoms to squabble over power.[BK 21] The elf-blooded nobility of Greater Bretony took up the mantle Clan Direnni left behind, maintaining the feudal hierarchy their elven predecessors forged and placing their noble families, the oldest of whom the strongest elven blood flowed strongly within, in the position of aristocracy. The new noble class, consisting of highborn Bretons, justified their ascension to aristocracy and the preservation of the peasant class by disassociating themselves from their elven heritage. The Bretons vilified the Direnni, and redefined themselves around the notion that they were not elves. The Breton nobility fabricated a history of noble resistance to Direnni rule to suit the narrative that Breton cultural identity had no elven roots. In time, a merchant class sprouted and thrived, trading around Tamriel's coasts.[BK 8] During the late-fifth century, violence against the Direnni began under King Festrien Spenard I. Supported by vassals from House Aurmine, the despot king's Knights of the Pale Order slaughtered the Direnni wholesale during the latter years of their flight from High Rock. Knights of the Pale Order kept lists of Direnni warriors and magisters they slew.
High Rock on the World StageEdit
Orsinium was built on the boundary between western Wrothgar and Rivenspire in the tenth century of the First Era. King Golkarr of the Orcs amassed an army and was determined to seize control of the Bjoulsae River,[BK 22][BK 23] upon which the nomadic Breton Bjoulsae River Tribes lived.[BK 24] They intended to force Wayrest to pay to regularly use the river for travel and trade.[BK 23] In 1E 948, King Joile of Daggerfall sent a letter to Gaiden Shinji of the Order of Diagna, proposing a joint attack on Orsinium. Joile cited that the Orcs were raiding along the Bjoulsae and impeding traffic to the heart of the land as reason enough to make war against the Orcs. Agreeing to provide aid, an alliance was formed between the Order of Diagna and the armies of Daggerfall and Sentinel. The armies amassed and began a 30-year long campaign for the destruction of Orc's homeland known as the Siege of Orsinium.[BK 15][BK 25] In that time, King Joile planned to betray the Redguards and invade Hammerfell. Joile and his Reachman general Mercedene enacted a plot to kill Gaiden Shinji and Orcish hero Baloth Bloodtusk, which succeeded, despite the efforts of Daggerfall's own Knights of the Dragon to stop the attempt and their defeat of General Mercedene. In 1E 973, Joile's invasion of Hammerfell proceeded, but he was stopped by the Ansei warrior Makela Leki at the Bangkorai Pass.[BK 26] The Orcs prize Mammoth tusks, and the Breton soldiers plundered ivory from Old Orsinium after they sacked the city. The Daggerfall ivory trade helped fuel the Bjoulsae economic expansion that brought High Rock to prominence in the years following the Siege of Orsinium.
In 1E 1029, Empress Hestra pursued the Gray Host from Verkarth to the Bangkorai Pass, where the Bretons held the line and fractured the undead forces, easing the Empire's hunt. Hestra was impressed, and offered High Rock admission into the First Empire, which they accepted.[BK 27] Thus, the Bretons joined the Empire of Men and accepted Alessia's Eight Divines.[BK 8] The Bretons later lent their sailors and warships to form the All Flags Navy, which sailed to defeat the Sload of Thras in 1E 2260.
Angry merchants from Wayrest called their fellow Bretons to secede from the Alessian Empire circa 1E 2300, citing prejudice against elven heritage. They emphasized the increasing Imperial tithes to support their position. High Rock formally reasserted its independence in 1E 2305 in response to the Alessian Order's excesses. The Legions of Piety and Grace were sent to Bangkorai under Abbot-General Priscus Mactator to suppress the Bretons, but the Imperials fell at the Bangkorai Garrison.[BK 27] High Rock was independent once more, but the secession was not a clean break. The Alessian collapse struck the stubborn Bretons harder than the other races, as they had no unified governing structure. Warring fiefs would rage across the peninsula in the coming centuries, and pretender-kings attempted to assume control in place of the Alessians.
The Second Empire was established in 1E 2703 after Reman Cyrodiil suppressed the Akaviri invasion of Tamriel at the battle of Pale Pass. Reman formed modern-day Cyrodiil using the Colovian Estates, Nibenay and parts of High Rock.[BK 28] As part of the Second Empire, High Rock's soldiers participated in the 80-year Four Score War against Morrowind. In 1E 2920, the final year of the War and First Era, the Breton Storig of Farrun commanded Emperor Reman III's vanguard at the Battle of Bodrum, where the Imperial army suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Dunmer. At the same time, a Breton man named Cassyr Whitley of Dwynnen defected from the Imperial army and spied on the Dunmer's behalf. After Whitley's faulty information cost Morrowind the fortress of Ald Marak, he returned to High Rock, where he crossed paths with Dunmeri exile Turala. After Turala's coven and child were lost to an Orcish raid, Whitley falsely convinced the woman that the attack was the work of assassins in the employ of Duke Brindisi Dorom of Mournhold, prompting her to summon Mehrunes Dagon in a misguided act of revenge.[BK 29]
High Rock prospered under Reman in the Second Empire.[BK 8] The Guild Act signed by Potentate Versidue-Shaie in 2E 321 standardized regulation of trade and transactions across the Empire, and was adopted as de facto law across Tamriel, including in High Rock.[LA 1] King Casimir II of Wayrest formed an alliance with a Dragon named Nahfahlaar some time during the second century, which was ended by the Dragonguard in 2E 369.[BK 30]
The Second Empire collapsed in 2E 430, marking the start of the Interregnum. Left without a Dragonborn Emperor, the Empire of Cyrodiil was continually passed back and forth among petty warlords for centuries. High Rock fared much better than the other provinces at this time, despite being fractious in nature.[BK 21] Another Orsinium was accepted as a territory of the Second Empire during the reign of the Akaviri Potentate Savirien-Chorak.[BK 23][BK 31][BK 32] During that brief period, Frostbreak Fortress was built to help defend it. After the assassination of Savirien-Chorak in 2E 430, Orsinium lost its status and protection as an Imperial territory, resulting in another sacking of the city in 2E 431, an assault which was spearheaded by the Bretons of Shornhelm.[BK 33][BK 23][BK 34]The Bretons would seized control of the land and scattered the Orcs across northern Tamriel.[BK 35][BK 36]
In 2E 542, the Reachmen under Durcorach the Black Drake invaded High Rock, sacking Evermore and Camlorn. They were defeated at the gates of Daggerfall by Emeric of Cumberland, which led to the formation of the first Daggerfall Covenant, signed by the kings of Daggerfall, Camlorn, Shornhelm, Wayrest and Evermore. In 2E 563 Emeric became the king of Wayrest. Three years later, king Ranser of Shornhelm invaded Wayrest, angry at Emeric for rejecting his daughter's hand to instead wed Maraya, the daughter of King Fahara'jad. He was defeated at Markwasten Moor by the forces of the Covenant with the help of the Orcs, who were promised to have Orsinium returned for their aid.[BK 34] The Orcs aiding King Emeric would push Ranser over the edge, and he ordered his Spymaster to round up many Orcs in Rivenspire to be interrogated and executed. The Spymaster would end up murdering hundreds of innocent Orcs during the course of Ranser's War.
These events led to the formation of the Greater Daggerfall Covenant, which was an alliance between Emeric, the Redguard king Fahara'jad and the Orcish king Kurog gro-Orsinium.[BK 37] King Kurog demanded restitution for the ivory looted by the Bretons during the Siege of Orsinium as part of his terms for the Orcs to join the Daggerfall Covenant. Trade flourished under the alliance, making the Covenant an economic powerhouse.[BK 38] The Covenant later fought in the Alliance War during King Emeric's bid for the throne of Cyrodiil.[BK 37] The kings of the Daggerfall Covenant looked to Reman as a model Emperor, and saw themselves as the spiritual heirs to the Second Empire.[BK 39]
Race relations between the Bretons and Orcs improved during the Covenant's existence,[BK 40] despite the persistence of anti-Orc sentiment.[BK 41] Focused on "restoring the glory of Reman's legacy", the Covenant cited its focus on freedom, worship of the Divines, and primacy of trade as reasons it was meant to be the center of Cyrodiil's power.[BK 38]
Tiber Septim and the Witch-KingsEdit
At some point in their history, the Bretons were ruled by witch-kings.[BK 42] Tiber Septim's Empire would easily conquer the squabbling Breton kingdoms during the Tiber Wars, but would find it impossible to truly squash the sectarian conflicts between them that hampered trade and prosperity.[BK 1][BK 21] Septim opted to entrust a governor of his choosing to end the feud between High Rock's witch-kings, which was a successful endeavor.
Since most Emperors in the Third Era were Bretons, or had spent their youth in High Rock, Bretons were generally supportive of Imperial rule, but were often disgruntled by its inefficacy at protecting them from violent conflicts.[BK 43] By the Third Era, there were eight major Breton kingdoms in the province of High Rock: Daggerfall, Camlorn, Wayrest, Shornhelm, Northpoint, Evermore, Farrun, and Jehanna.[BK 44]
The decentralized nature of Breton society has also given it surprising resilience during times of upheaval or chaos.[BK 21] One of the best examples of this was illustrated during the defeat of the Camoran Usurper, when four of the smaller Breton city-states—Dwynnen, Kambria, Phrygias, and Ykalon—led a united force of Bretons that managed to halt the Usurper's inexorable northward advance and finally defeated him in the Battle of Firewaves in 3E 267.[BK 43] Baron Othrok had already gained fame for his defeat of the Lich of Castle Wightmoor during the Battle of Wightmoor fourteen years prior, leading to the founding of the modern barony of Dwynnen which would eventually grow to be one of the more powerful city-states in western High Rock.[BK 43]
Other wars which occurred in High Rock during this Era included the War of the Bend'r-Mahk in 3E 397, in which Skyrim conquered land in the east including the Kingdom of Jehanna. It later came to light that Jagar Tharn was behind Skyrim's aggression, and when Emperor Uriel Septim VII regained his throne following the Imperial Simulacrum, efforts were taken by the Empire to restore the damage caused by the war, and the Bretons presumably regained control of Jehanna at this time. At the other end of High Rock, the War of Betony was fought between Daggerfall and Sentinel over the island of Betony in 3E 405. The Battle of Cryngaine Field resulted in Daggerfall's victory, though at the cost of King Lysandus of Daggerfall's life. His son and heir Gothryd was crowned the new king of Daggerfall after the war.[BK 21]
On the 7th of Frostfall in 3E 417, as a consequence of actions undertaken by the Agent, the Warp in the West occurred. The roughly two dozen city-states comprising southwestern High Rock were suddenly, forcefully, and mysteriously united into two kingdoms: Daggerfall and Wayrest, with Orsinium taking control of part of the Wrothgarian Mountains in central High Rock.[BK 45] The Warp in the West reduced the amount of squabbling kingdoms in High Rock from "a hundred" to about five; according to Imperial sources, it was the most unified High Rock had ever been.[BK 21]
High Rock was still part of the Empire when Titus Mede II ascended the throne of Cyrodiil in 4E 168. High Rock assisted Hammerfell during the Great War. The Third Aldmeri Dominion took Hammerfell's southern coastline, leaving Hegathe the lone surviving state. Those who survived the March of Thirst joined Legion reinforcements from High Rock in northern Hammerfell in 4E 173, and the Dominion suffered losses in the province soon after. The Dominion withdrew from the Redguards' home in 4E 174. Forces comprised of Redguards, Imperials, Nords and Bretons participated in the The Battle of the Red Ring in 4E 175. It was the climax of the war, and the last major conflict to occur before the signing of the White-Gold Concordat.[BK 46]
In 4E 188, King Barynia of Wayrest was overcome by paranoia when rumors of conspiracy reached his ears. He purposely left his city vulnerable to outside attacks, hoping his enemies would be killed in the chaos. His actions led to the sack of Wayrest by Breton corsairs. The city's nobles hired an assassin from the Dark Brotherhood amid the conflict, though Barynia's fate is ultimately unknown. The corsairs raided and destroyed the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary hidden in Wayrest,[BK 47] and departed the ruined city in the aftermath of their incursion.
Circa 4E 201, the Stormcloaks looked to their neighbors in High Rock for aid in the midst of the Skyrim Civil War. The Bretons, who had good relations with the Empire, refused to respond to the Stormcloaks.
Breton culture, despite its seeming homogeneity, is differentiable in each of High Rock's kingdoms due to the many subcultures of the regions of High Rock. For example, in the middle of the Second Era, the region of Glenumbra included Daenia, King's Guard and the Cambray Hills, which all have distinct elements in their culture which distinguish them from each other. In southern Glenumbra, Daenia is the home of the Breton's quest obsession: the practice by which young serfs or peasants perform great deeds to elevate their societal standing. Thus, Daenian tales commonly include lowly individuals going on great quests to attain respect, glory and status. Consequently, the people of Daenia are reputed as having an independent spirit. Daenia is also home to the Wyrd subculture, and nature-worshipping witches reside in the region's dense forests.[BK 48]
The culture of Glenumbra's Cambray Hills, most prominent in Camlorn, is a mixture of different Breton cultures. Camlorn's aristocracy is comprised mainly of poets and artists, and the Cambray Hills are home to the famed Cambray Hills Academy of Art. The Cambray Hills are haunted, and ghost stories abound among the populace. Camlorn has served as an open market for goods coming in from the Iliac Bay and the waters west of High Rock, dealing peacefully with Daggerfall and Wayrest to its benefit. The swamp-dwellers of the eastern bogs are the Cambray Hills' largest subculture.[BK 48] Though apparently originally founded during the First Era, the modern iteration of the Barony of Dwynnen would be founded by the legendary Baron Othrok in 3E 253 after the Battle of Wightmoor, and would later come to be a center of culture in this region of High Rock during the Third Era.
King's Guard comprises the northernmost portion of Glenumbra. Named for the mountains that separate Glenumbra from Rivenspire and Stormhaven, the town of Crosswych is a notable center of culture. Crosswych is in the center of trade between Glenumbra and its neighboring regions, and as such it has become a melting pot of cultural aspects from different city-states. Food and dress are elements that have adapted as a result of the town's nature as a crossroads. The Red Rook bandit clan was a subgroup that originated in King's Guard as a loose group of hunters and highwaymen that targeted caravans traveling across regional borders.[BK 48] Kambria is another notable city in this region, renowned for its picturesque nature and many libraries. Kambria rules over the Kambrian Highlands region, which is still dotted with the fortresses that were ruined during the Tiber Wars.[BK 1][BK 43][BK 49]
Due to the innate magical ability of Bretons, children are tested for their magical potential at an early age, and those who pass enter apprenticeship programs funded by the Mages Guild or independent sponsorships. Children are known to practice illusion spells on each other in the streets of cities such as Daggerfall.[BK 50] In more remote regions, such as Glenpoint and the Wrothgarian Mountains, witches and medicine men, barely distinguishable from Orcish shamans, hold sway over the superstitious peasants with feats of untutored, but often impressive, magical ability.
It is a tradition for Breton parents to keep their childrens' bronzed baby teeth in a jar as remembrances. Some Breton families have retained heirlooms from their Nedic ancestors, and tea sets are a common antiquity among Breton family heirlooms.
Breton families host annual reunions during the summer, where they gather candleflies to serve as a source of natural light during dinner before releasing them into the evening sky after dessert.
Quilting and sewing circles are examples of hobby groups one might find in High Rock. A quilt of "lost hope" may be crafted by a Breton mother and daughter to work through past regrets and sorrows. Using malachite to make needles is popular among the Bretons of Eastern High Rock.
People of the northern regions of High Rock cremate their dead without exception, while burial remains common in the south. The Breton tradition of cremating the dead dates back to the days of High Rock's witch kings.[BK 42] Cremated remains are commonly kept in urns., while the Bretons of the south build stone cemeteries to house their dead, and the nobility have always been interred in ornate mausoleums. Many Breton cemeteries are designed to provide direct sunlight on certain graves on highly specific high holy days on the Breton calendar. The ancient cemetery of Cath Bedraud is home to the corpses of many generations of Breton royalty, constructed in a series of concentric bands atop a hill, with the oldest, most prestigious graves positioned in the high center of the graveyard.[BK 51]
The Reachmen of eastern High Rock and western Skyrim are thought to be partially descended from the Bretons, but diverge severely in their culture and traditions. Living in close proximity with Orcish tribes, they adopted some of their customs and wild magic, mixed with ancient Aldmeri and more recent Nordic influences.[BK 1] Some Reachmen have settled in towns such as Markarth and integrated into modern society, but many still violently resist any outside occupiers of their tribal lands, calling themselves the Forsworn.[BK 52]
Breton candle trees from the time of King Donel had three sticks; those crafted later have five. Earthenware is a common form of pottery in High Rock, and is used for goods such as chamber pots. Love charms are popular among Breton nobles and merchant lords who seek to improve their love lives.
The Bretons have been in Tamriel since before recorded history. Their holidays have remained almost unchanged since primitive times, though new holidays have been created to replace those which have lost popularity.[BK 4]
Scour Day is celebrated by villages in High Rock on the 2nd of Morning Star, the day after New Life. It was once a day to clean up after New Life, but has changed into a party of its own. Waking Day was invented by the people of the Yeorth Burrowland in prehistoric times to wake the spirits of nature after a long and cold winter, but has evolved into a sort of orgiastic celebration of the end of winter. The Bretons of the Burrowlands share stories about the "Terrible Torchbug of Molag Bal" the night before Waking Day which vary but share the one consistent element of a fearsome, savage entity in the presence of blue torchbugs. Perserverance Day is celebrated in Ykalon, originally a solemn memorial to those killed in battle while resisting the Camoran Usurper but now a boisterous festival. Mad Pelagius is a newer festival held in mock honor of Pelagius Septim, the mad Emperor. Pelagius was the prince of Wayrest before he became King of Solitude and later Emperor, and Bretons jokingly boast that it was his time in High Rock that drove him mad.[BK 4] Day of Release celebrates Aiden Direnni's victory over the Alessians at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors. The most cheerful celebrants don festive garb just for the occasion. The day is spent drinking, dancing, and toasting.
Flower Day is a lively, colorful[BK 54] and frivolous spring celebration observed all over High Rock which is just as old, if not older than Waking Day. Children pick new flowers, while older Bretons come out to welcome the season with dancing and singing. In Camlorn, a lavish parade called the March of Beauty precedes the Flower Festival, which occurs at dusk. During the march (which starts at the Temple of Sethiete and ends at the palace), prostitutes dance down the main street, dressed provocatively and in bright colors. A circle of twelve unlit torches and baskets full of flowers and vines are arranged around Cavilstyr Rock for the Festival. At sundown, the torches are lit, and the dancers from the parade (and soon after, the crowd) begin the event by pulling petals out of the baskets and filling the air with them. The spectacle is accompanied by music and dancing.[BK 55]
The celebration of Gardtide hearkens back to the old cult of the flower,[BK 4] as the Bretons of Tamarilyn Point hold a festival to honor Druagaa, the old goddess of flowers. Worship of the goddess is all but dead, but the celebration is always lively. The Day of the Dead is celebrated in Daggerfall on the 13th of Rain's Hand. It is a remnant of ancestor worship, which was a hallmark of the ancient Breton religion.[BK 4] The superstitious say that the dead rise on this holiday to wreak vengeance on the living. Marukh's Day is only observed by certain communities in Skeffington Wood. Celebrants compare themselves to the prophet Marukh and pray for the strength to resist temptation. The Fire Festival in Northmoor is one of the most attended celebrations in High Rock. It began as a pompous display of magic and military strength in ancient days and has become quite a festival. Fishing Day is a boisterous celebration held by the usually modest Bretons who live off the bounty of the Iliac Bay.
Dancing Day is celebrated in Daggerfall on the 23rd of Mid Year, and is a celebration of great pomp and merriment for all. Tibedetha (meaning "Tibers Day" in middle Tamrielic) is a great party held by the lorddom of Alcaire to commemorate Tiber Septim, who is perhaps the most famous person to come out of the region. The Bretons of the Wrothgarian Mountains celebrate Khurat as a day when the finest young scholars are accepted into priesthoods. Those lacking children of age pray for the wisdom and benevolence of the clergy on this holiday. Children's Day is a celebration of youth observed in Betony which began as a memorial to the dozens of children in Betony stolen from their homes by vampires one night, never to be seen again.
In the 13th of Frost Fall, Bretons along with the rest of Tamriel celebrates the Witches Festival to defy their superstitious fears. Ghosts, demons, and evil spirits are mocked and celebrated by both occult occurrences and outrageous costumes. On this day, portals between Nirn and the Daedra Lord Hollowjack's demi-plane of Detritus are opened. At night, Jaque o' the Hollow is resurrected from his hidden hollow in Rivenspire, who then proceeds to curse riders all across Tamriel to ride headless throughout the night, clutching a carved pumpkin atop their mounts. This led to his legend spreading far east past High Rock.
Broken Diamonds is observed in Glenpoint and the Glenumbra Moors on the 23rd of Frost Fall to remember the death of Kintyra Septim II, who died while imprisoned in Glenpoint's dungeons on the order of Cephorus I. The shame of Glenpoint is overwhelming; they feel the debt has not yet been repaid. The Sephavre, a song written in Old Bretic, is sung every Broken Diamonds.[BK 53]
The Moon Festival is an older holiday celebrated by the Bretons of Glenumbra Moors to honor Secunda, goddess of the moon, just as the nights are growing longer.[BK 4] Though she has no active worshippers, the holiday is a time of feasting and merriment. Bretons celebrate Saturalia, a holiday that heralds the New Life Festival. Originally a holiday held to celebrate a forgotten god of debauchery, it has transformed into a day where gifts are given, parades are held, and feasts are had.
Sovereignty Day celebrates High Rock's independence from the First Empire. Traditionally, Bretons have picnics on Sovereignty Day. Chefs and innkeepers in High Rock sell their own picnic collations for citizens to take on such picnics.
Breton cuisine is considered to be some of the very best in Tamriel, with many of Tamriel's greatest cooks having been Bretons.
It is common practice for Breton families to store and serve cows' milk in porcelain pitchers. Goat's milk is used to make cheese by the inhabitants of Stormhaven, which Bretons prize for its moistness.[BK 56] Large ornate platters are used to present and serve beef roasts prepared in wine and spices for holidays. Breton cooks may use sundials to track cooking times in complex recipes.
Examples of a light Breton meal include grilled and deboned rock pigeons, combwort chutney, ballom pudding, and syllabub (milk and cider).
- → For Breton recipes see: Breton Cuisine
Art and ArchitectureEdit
Breton villages and towns are varied depending on their location, for example, buildings in mountainous regions such as Kambria are fully stone. In southwestern High Rock, buildings are comprised of wood or stone with thatched roofs. Breton cities are described as having an austere grandeur.[BK 21][BK 49] According to Imperial sources, function is valued over form, resulting in earthen, hand-crafted dwellings free from ornament.[BK 57] In reality, Breton architecture often features patternwork, sometimes exceptionally ornate; basic patterns include common Breton motifs such as the trefoil and basic knotwork, while more ornate examples on buildings such as castles, cathedrals, and guild buildings feature detailed friezes, bas reliefs, and intricate stained glass windows. Breton architecture features heavy use of the pointed arch, evident in their walls, doors, windows, and towers. Most people in High Rock live in small cottages in the countryside or townhouses in the cities; only the nobility and their servants live in large castles. Despite efforts under Tiber Septim to demilitarize the province by demolishing defensive structures, many villages are still surrounded by high walls, and fortresses dot the landscape.[BK 1][BK 49]
Breton arms are ornate, but practical.[BK 51] The mass-produced, one-handed, double-edged heavy broadsword commonly used by the Imperial Legions of the Third Empire were inspired by elaborate, decorated Breton broadsword designs. Broadswords are commonly used with shields, and Bretons favor the heavy tower shield. Highland Bretons were the first to use the very heavy two-handed sword called the claymore, but their Redguard neighbors were quick to adapt them to their own styles of fighting. Breton bows tend to be longbows—weapons made of one piece of springy wood. Yew, elm and ash are common in Breton longbows, as the wood is dense and strong, but flexible if tillered properly.[BK 58]
Breton merchant ships are large wooden vessels rigged with square sails.[BK 51]
The Bretons' largely agrarian and hierarchical society is feudal in nature. High Rock is segmented into city-states, encouraging petty nationalism and infighting between the kingdoms that span the region. Most Breton cities are sprawling trade hubs, with society being separated into social strata. The poor peasantry lies at the bottom of the hierarchy. Above them is the middle class, comprised of merchants and artisans, while the nobility and ruling families sit above them all. Additionally, there are the many autonomous knightly orders and the small magical elite, which considers itself above the others.[BK 51] The jockeying for power among the various monarchs and powers of the Iliac Bay region is a deeply ingrained, even cherished, part of Breton culture,[BK 1] Breton society is fractious and quarrelsome, but internal conflict all but seems to disappear when their way of life is threatened by outside forces.[BK 51]
The Breton obsession with nobility, status, and lineage can be traced back to their days as vassals of Clan Direnni.[BK 59] Though Bretons of lower status have several paths to prosperity, becoming a nobleman by performing quests and services to curry favor with various rulers is considered the best way, which has created a cultural "quest obsession" among young Bretons.[BK 1][BK 60] The desire to find some great opportunity for fortune and glory has made Bretons venture all over Tamriel, even to such remote locations as Thirsk on the island of Solstheim, where one adventurous Breton once earned the position of chieftain.[BK 61][BK 62][BK 63] Many use their magical talents to earn success.[BK 1] They're often considered a friendly and humorous people, though there is little love lost between many Bretons and Redguards following the vicious War of Betony.[BK 15][BK 64][BK 65]
Bretons are said to enjoy intellectual pursuits; they often have an affinity for anything related to logic and ordered complexity.[BK 5] Their love of knowledge and affinity for commerce drives them into a host of careers, including trading, the military, sailing, medicine, textiles, manufacturing, writing, theology, philosophy, banking, all kinds of artistry, and other scholarly pursuits.[BK 15][BK 14][BK 66][BK 67][BK 68] Espionage has also proven to be one of their strong suits; Breton double agents, assassins, and spies have turned the tide of wars throughout recorded history.[BK 28][BK 69][BK 70][BK 71][BK 72]
Across High Rock, traditions of the peerage differ slightly from region to region. The base rule of the eight kingdoms is that if a woman is ruling one of these areas, she is called the Queen. The husband of a Queen and the wife of a King is not necessarily of equal rank – they may not be Kings and Queens themselves. Their children are Princes and Princesses. Their grandchildren are also Princes and Princesses. If a male ruler dies, his wife takes the title Dowager Queen, providing there is not a Dowager Queen already. In the Kingdom of Daggerfall, it is permissible for there to be two persons with the same title. If a female ruler, who does not share rank with her husband, dies, there is no male equivalent to the word Dowager. Widowers of Queens usually take another title, either a lesser family title or one given by their children. There have been few men in the history of High Rock who have fallen from being addressed as King to being addressed as Mister at the death of their wife.[BK 44]
Other regions in High Rock are ruled by Dukes and Duchesses, Marquises (or Marquesses) and Marquises (or Marchionesses), Counts and Countesses, Viscounts or Viscountesses, Barons or Baronesses, and Lords or Ladies. This is theoretically listed from highest to lowest rank, but the ruler of a territory outranks all other nobles, regardless of title. Dwynnen, for example, is a Barony, and the Baron or Baroness of Dwynnen outrank any other noble in that territory, even Dukes and Counts. In theory, (again, this may not be the case according to local custom) the eldest son or daughter of a noble takes their parent's highest family title below their parents. Thus, the Duke of Northmoor, who is also the Marquis of Calder, had a daughter who became the Marchioness of Calder.[BK 44]
Kings and Queens are always addressed as "Your Majesty" in conversation; Dukes and Duchesses, "Your Grace". All other rulers may be addressed with their title and name, or Lord or Lady and their name.[BK 44]
One way of telling who is in charge of a region is to pay some attention to the names of taverns and shops in a region. By tradition, many of these are called names such as "The Duke's Fox" or "The Lady's Provisions." This, more often than not, is the title of the ruler. If the shop's name is, for example, "Lady Annisa's Provisions" or "Lord Boxworth's Fox," that is probably the name of a local titled merchant, not the ruler. A store with an unnamed ruler's title has probably been around for some time, and does not bother to change its name with the new name of the ruler.[BK 44]
Breton society is famous for its knightly orders, with notable examples including Daggerfall's Knights of the Dragon, the Knights of the Rose of Wayrest, the Knights of the Flame of Anticlere, and Dwynnen's Order of the Raven. Militant orders of knights have existed since the Bretons became independent from Direnni elves. High Rock's cultural history is founded on tales of such noble and chivalrous knights, which supposedly fought for Breton Liberation and drove the Direnni back to Balfiera Isle. The knightly orders were founded to carry on the tradition of nobles-in-arms and to ensure the province would have defenders at the ready should invading armies come to their gates.[BK 73] The Lion Guard was one such order before the formation of the Daggerfall Covenant in the Second Era.[BK 51] Breton knights espouse the traditional chivalric principles of Breton society and are among the most prominent practitioners of High Rock's culture of questing.
Most competent knightly orders require applicants to have some degree of martial knowledge or skill before they are considered for membership. Less reliable orders may grant promotions in rank over a knight's nobility, wealth, or charisma, but generally, a knightly order will require their members to be skilled warriors so as not to tarnish the group's reputation.[BK 74] Etiquette, swordsmanship, archery and medical skill are factors considered when assessing potential recruits.
One of High Rock's most notable heroes was the Breton knight Eleidon in the First Era, owner of the eponymous shield.[BK 60] The Reachmen were inspired to breed their own hardy steeds when they saw the strength and flair of the mounted Breton knights they fought during their invasion of High Rock.
In older chivalric orders, heavy rings served as a knight's symbol of membership. Each of the Eight Divines have their own templar knightly orders as the militant arm of their respective temples.
Orders in High RockEdit
- Knights of the Dragon: Knightly Order of the Kingdom of Daggerfall.
- Knights of the White Rose: The Knights of the Rose are the protectors and warriors for the city and royal family of Wayrest.
- Knights of the Flame: Knightly order of Anticlere.
- Knights of Saint Pelin: Knightly Order of Evermore.
- Knights of the Owl: Knightly Order of Glenpoint.
- Order of the Raven: Knightly Order of Dwynnen. Originally founded by Baron Othrok, they are reputed to be one of the most legendary knightly orders in all of High Rock, with high standards for recruits and accepting only the greatest warriors.
- Order of the Crypt: Knightly Order that operates out of Shornhelm, dedicated to guarding the Crypt of Hearts.
- Order of the Cup: Knightly Order that are protectors of the Plessington Clan.
- The Lion Guard: Knightly Order that served as the elite and personal guardians of the Daggerfall Covenant's rulers. The order's tenets were to fight for the good of all High Rock and every Breton.
Templar Knightly OrdersEdit
- Order of the Hour: The Order of the Hour serves as the militant arm of the Akatosh Chantry, and are dedicated to the Great Dragon's cause. They uphold the stability and permanence that he represents. Though they have the origin as one of the oldest knightly orders in Imperial history, they have most notably cemented their presence within the Kingdom of Wayrest.
- Knights of the Circle: The Knights of the Circle serve the guardians of the Order of Arkay, and are as zealous as his priests. Members are expected to be skilled in combat, and are to swear unwavering loyalty to Ark'ay.
- Order of the Lily: As knights of the House of Dibella, they are sworn to the ideals of their patron god. While the priestesses of their temple are occupied with emanating pure beauty, the Order offers protection, and should they die in battle, they are to die gracefully.
- Knights Mentor: The Knights Mentor serve the School of Julianos. They protect their patron god's influence by protecting their temple's endeavors to expand their wealth of knowledge, which in turn combats ignorance.
- Kynaran Order: The Kynaran Order serves the Temple of Kynareth. Knights are expected to dedicate their mind, body, and sword to their patron god.
- Maran Knights: The Maran Knights serve the Benevolence of Mara, but they are seen as controversial among those they protect. Although their existence is seen as hypocrisy, they are in a necessity, as military might is needed to protect the peace and love that Mara represents.
- The Crusaders: The Crusaders (also called the Knights of Stendarr) serve the Temple of Stendarr. While their patron god represents ideals such as compassion and charity, without military strength, they cannot survive.
- Knights of Iron: The Knights of Iron serve the Resolution of Z'en. They represent the warrior aspect of the God of Merchants and Commerce, and act as a deterrence to any that may interrupt trade.
There are over a dozen Wyrd covens in High Rock. "Wyrd" is another name for a group of ward-sisters, or witches. The leader of a coven is referred to as a "beldam".
Notable witch covens include:
- Beldama Wyrd: The all-female Beldama Wyrd live beneath the Wyrd Tree in the dense forests of Daenia, in the least-populated region in High Rock. Most Bretons fear them. They believe the Beldama Wyrd are dangerous witches to be placated rather than respected. The Beldama Wyrd believe they are descendants of the Ehlnofey, and see themselves as wardens of the forest. They worship Jephre, the God of the Forest.[BK 75]
- The Daggerfall Witches
- The Daughters of Wroth: The Daughters of Wroth can be found in the Wrothgarian Mountains.
- Glenmoril Wyrd: The Glenmoril Wyrd operate out in the wilderness of the Ilessan Hills, and in Bangkorai's Viridian Woods. They also revere the natural world, though unlike the Beldama, the Glenmoril Wyrd have ties to Hircine.[BK 76]
- The Sisters of The Bluff
- Skeffington Coven: The Skeffington Coven is a notable group of witches that live in the Barony of Phrygias, within the province of High Rock. The Skeffington Coven has been active as far as the late First Era, all the way into 3E 417. The Skeffington operates at Old Barbyn's Farm, deep in the wilderness of Phrygias, somewhere near the Wrothgarian Mountains.
- The Tamarilyn Witches
- The Witches of Alcaire
The Bretons believe that two opposing forces have existed since before the gods were born. They are referred to as the Light and the Dark by some. They are antithetical to each other, and neither fit the mortal definition of good and evil. They are technically immortal, as they're not living beings, but they exist. The Aedra and Daedra are pale reflections of the eternal conflict between the Light and Dark. Their struggle creates energies that distort their surroundings, and those energies are so powerful that life can appear. The Light and the Dark are evenly matched, and will never resolve their conflict.[BK 77]
The undead and the Daedra tend to align with the Dark, as their natures are more akin to it. Mortals and the creatures of Mundus are more aligned with the Light. The evils of mortalkind are not always attuned to the Dark, but those that do are incredibly dangerous. Magic is believed to come directly from the energies swirling about both entities: the energies are impersonal intermingled. Black magic is more a matter of intent than effect. Destruction spells on their own are not black magic, but destruction spells hurled at innocent people are. The destruction of Daedra strengthens the light just a little, and the destruction of a Tamrielic creature strengthens the Dark in much the same way. The gods are believed to mostly align with the Light, save for a few who are more ambiguous. Mortals and those that reside in Aetherius can perceive traces of the Light and Dark; the Light inspires most mortals to behavior deemed good by human standards. What the denizens of Mundus can perceive of the Dark is utterly evil by human standards; those who have visions of the Dark are often driven mad. The Dark is described as an emptiness that draws the soul in to be twisted and destroyed.[BK 77]
Bretons are not disposed to "excessive religion",[BK 9] but most accepted the Aldmeri pantheon of gods while under elven rule, then made the transition to the Eight Divines under the First Empire. The Eight Divines are worshipped widely in mainstream Breton culture,[BK 51] but other traditional deities still persist nonetheless. Sheor, Phynaster, Y'ffre and Magnus have significant cults in High Rock.[BK 78]
- The Dragon God of Time is acknowledged as the first of the gods to emerge from the Beginning Place. He embodies endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy.[BK 78] Akatosh is hailed by the Akatosh Chantry in the Iliac Bay, and the Order of the Hour is his sword. He is the patron deity of Wayrest and the Isle of Balfiera.
- Arkay (also spelled Ark'ay)[BK 79] is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is associated with the seasons.[BK 78] According to a Breton story, Arkay was originally a mortal who ascended to godhood. As the God of the Cycle of Birth and Death, he is charged with keeping the balance of death and life in the universe.[BK 79] In the Iliac Bay, the Order of Arkay celebrates the Blessed Neutrality that Arkay stands for. They do not offer blessings, for to give favor or disfavor upon one would upset the eternal balance. Their libraries and sages are some of the finest in Tamriel. The Knights of the Circle are the military arm of the Order. Arkay is the patron deity of the Ilessan Hills and Shalgora. Arkay is also the patron of House Tamrith, who are devout followers of the Light. The scions of House Tamrith study the Way of the Light and obey Arkay's teachings.[BK 80] Their holy symbols bear the crest of House Tamrith and the symbol of the Light of Arkay. Arkay's holy relics can be used to combat the undead.
- The Goddess of Beauty is very popular. She has many different cults dedicated to different aspects of her worship: some are dedicated to women, some to aesthetics and art, and others to erotic instruction.[BK 78] In the late Third Era, similarly to Hammerfell, the House of Dibella was responsible for the administration of temples dedicated to Dibella in the province of High Rock, and its militant branch, the Order of the Lily was also active in the province at this time. Dibella is the patron deity of the regions of Koegria and Menevia, and is venerated as a member of the Breton pantheon.[BK 78]
- Jephre (also known as Jeh Free)[BK 81] is the God of the Forest and the spirit of the "now". Jephre is typically considered an elven god, and is understood to have turned himself into the Earth Bones and establishing the laws of nature.[BK 78] He is still revered by some Breton hunters and farmers.[BK 51] The Beldama Wyrd also worship him.[BK 75] Bretons respect the Vicars of Jephre, a group of his adherents who are known defenders of the natural world.
- The God of Wisdom and Logic is a favorite of Breton mages. He is the god of history, literature, law and contradiction.[BK 78] In the Iliac Bay, temples dedicated to him are known as Schools of Julianos. As their name implies, these temples are considered educational institutions.[BK 82] They are believed to have spread the term "magicka" to describe the "power associated with performing magic".[BK 83] The templar knightly order associated with the School of Julianos is the Knights Mentor. Julianos is the patron deity of the regions of Lainlyn, Daenia, Dwynnen and Tulune.
- The Goddess of Air is a patron to sailors and travelers. Legend holds she was the first to agree to Lorkhan's idea to invent the mortal plane, and she provided a space for its creation. Kynareth is associated with rain.[BK 78] The island of Betony is considered holy land of Kynareth. This was a factor for Daggerfall's involvement in the War of Betony. It was also the reason why the conflict escalated to the Battle of Cryngaine Field which ended the war.[BK 84] The Temple of Kynareth does her work in the Iliac Bay. In the Third Era, her Temple contained the greatest physicians in Tamriel; their ability to cure magical and mundane diseases was said to be unrivaled. The Kynaran Order is the militant arm of the Temple. Kynareth is the patron deity of Alcaire, Daggerfall and the Wrothgarian Mountains.
- Magnus is the god of sorcery, who withdrew from creation at the last second. He is represented by a golden eye, an astrolabe or a telescope, but a staff is his most common symbol. Legend holds that he can possess powerful wizards and lend them power.[BK 78] Breton followers of Magnus sometimes use wicker effigies as stand-ins for themselves when performing certain rituals.
- Mara is the Mother-Goddess, and is married to Akatosh in Breton lore.[BK 78] She is the patron deity of several regions of High Rock, such as Anticlere, Betony, Glenumbra Moors, and Northmoor. In Anticlere, the 21st of Last Seed is known as Appreciation Day, an ancient holiday of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It is considered a holy and contemplative day devoted to Mara, the goddess-protector of the region. Temples dedicated to the Divine are administered by the Benevolence of Mara, a religious organization dedicated to Mara and her teachings, and can be found in major urban centers throughout the province. The Maran Knights are a controversial knightly order dedicated to Mara and the protection of her temples.
- Phynaster is an Altmer hero-god who is the patron deity and teacher of the Direnni. He is often worshipped by Breton mages who care about their elven blood.[BK 78]
- Also known as the Bad Man, Sheor is the source of all strife. He originated as a god of crop failure, and is believed to have been introduced by the elves during their conflicts with the Nords as a demonized version of Shor.[BK 78] Some sculptings created by the Breton's Nedic ancestors have been found in Glenumbra, which portray what appears to be their version of Sheor before he was villianized, paired with Mara as an Aldmer.
- Stendarr (also known as Shandar) is known as the God of Mercy, and is the patron of magistrates, rulers, and knights errant. He is a god of compassion and righteous rule.[BK 78] Temples dedicated to the Divine can be found throughout the Iliac Bay and are administered by the Temple of Stendarr, a religious organization dedicated to Stendarr and his teachings, which offered healing and training to the population of the Iliac Bay. Some mock their compassion, calling them sentimental fools and tenderhearts; but everyone comes crawling to Stendarr when Sai, the God of Luck, abandons them. The Crusaders, also known as the Knights of Stendarr, are a knightly order dedicated to Stendarr which protect his temples against its adversaries, such as the Citadel of Ebonarm. Stendarr is the patron deity of Bhoriane, Phrygias and Urvaius.
- Zenithar (often shortened to Z'en) is the God of Work and Commerce is a cultivated god of merchants, artisans, and middle nobility. His faithful tout him as a god "that will always win".[BK 78] He teaches Bretonkind that they will be rewarded if they work hard. He also teaches them to be wise in their spending, and to never steal from others. Many of his rewards are those of the spirit: being productive, whether farming, smithing, or creating, honors Zenithar. Zenithar wishes for his faithful to find joy in their work.[BK 85] In the Iliac Bay, the Resolution of Zenithar pays heed to the god. Zenithar is not merely the God of Merchants and Commerce; he is also a warrior god. The militant arm of the Resolution, the Knights of Iron, represent this part of him. Zenithar is the patron deity of Gavaudon, Kambria and Glenpoint.
- Baan Dar
- Baan Dar (also known as "the Bandit")[BK 81] is noted to be a considerable force within the lands of High Rock by Arkan the Wise, a Second Era scribe to Daggerfall. The First Scroll of Baan Dar he transcribed goes further, by stating he manifests across Tamriel to aid people in times of need.[BK 86] Indeed, this aspect to his character is explored in the historical-fiction novel, King Edward, when Queen Aliera praises him along with other gods for bringing her husband Moraelyn and son Edward to her safely.[BK 81] He is known to be revered by the Thieves Guild branch in the Iliac Bay.
- The Old Goddess of Flowers. A festival named Gardtide is still held in her honor on the 1st of Rain's Hand every year by the people of Tamarilyn Point, a coastal region of Menevia in central High Rock.
- Ephen (also known as S'ephen)[BK 83] is the center of a temple-cult who worships him as The God of the Wild[UOL 2]. He was a Dunmer noble that was active during the early-First Era. In death, he was given the duty of safeguarding the Horn of Summoning and eventually the Staff of Chaos. Statues of Ephen depict him wielding a hammer, atop of an anvil of adamantium, and shrines dedicated to him can be found across the Iliac Bay.
- Jhim Sei
- The nature of Jhim Sei is unknown, although their sphere of influence may revolve around music, since they are compared to Jephre, the elven God of Song and Forest in the historical-fiction novel, King Edward.[BK 81] There are shrines dedicated to Jhim Sei across High Rock.
- Mara's Tear and Shandar's Sorrow/Stendarr's Sorrow
- A Bretonic story tells of two star crossed lovers, Shandar and Mara, children from different villages at war with one another. After seeking to run away from home, they were caught by the guards, and Shandar was imprisoned, while Mara was put under house arrest. Her father arranged a marriage to prevent the pair from getting married, which was further escalated by Shandar being scheduled for execution for daring to love Mara. Learning of this, Mara escaped into the wilds in the dark of night, at a time period where the moons didn't exist, and was kidnapped by an Orc during her sleep which planned to devour her.
The village learned of Mara fleeing from her home, yet they were too frightened to seek her out and confront the Orc. Shandar begged and was given the chance to go, but the village after gaining their composure realized that it was a mistake to send a child to confront a monster. They came across a clearing, seeing the corpse of the Orc and a mourning Mara holding the severed head of Shandar. With Mara's tears flowing down at his head, Shandar prayed to his lovers' namesake, and the goddess Mara responded. She did not have dominion over the death, and thus could not resurrect Shandar, but sought to keep their love alive. The goddess Mara reached down from the heavens and placed the lovers in the sky. They are now known as the moons Mara's Tear (Masser) and Shandar's Sorrow (Secunda), illuminating the night to keep away evil that lurks in the dark.[BK 87]
- Notorgo is known as the Messenger God.[UOL 2] He is mentioned in the King Edward series of books, where Queen Aliera praises Notorgo along with other gods for bringing her husband Moraelyn and son Edward to her safely.[BK 81]
- Little is known about this deity, except that it is associated with those in pursuit of lore.[UOL 2] Q'Olwen is worshipped in the Iliac Bay area, where shrines to him can be found.
- Raen is the Breton God of Agriculture.[UOL 2] Reliquaries of Raen can be found across the Iliac Bay region.
- Reymon Ebonarm
- Reymon Ebonarm is the God of War, a deity of some significance to the Bretons.[BK 88] He is featured in the Bretonic historical novel King Edward. He has shrines in the Alcaire, Daenia, Daggerfall, Dwynnen, Ilessan Hills, Kambria, Wayrest, and the Wrothgarian Mountain regions of High Rock.
- Sai is the God of Luck. He was born a mortal and had the talent to spread luck to others, but not to himself. He became a soldier, but he was killed in his first battle just as it was won. Ebonarm appeared to him, and offered him immortality if he agreed to spread his luck around. He said the gods were overworked seeing to events, and thought that Sai's inborn talent would balance things out. He readily agreed, and he was told that he could keep his body for a time before it began to fade.[BK 89] Excessive worship of Sai causes the disease known as Sai's Affliction. Sufferers of the disease have been abandoned by Sai, and long for the god's presence. They are driven to incessant gambling, seeking proof of the god's favor. This usually leaves the victim in poverty or debt.[BK 89] Followers of Sai sometimes convert to worshipping Stendarr when Sai abandons them due to Sai's Affliction. Reliquaries dedicated to Sai can be found throughout the Iliac Bay region.
- Sethiete (also called Seth) is a deity that is worshipped across Tamriel. The nature of Sethiete is unknown, but what is known is his influence. His places of worship are known as the Temples of Sethiete, and one of his temples is a landmark in the city of Camlorn that anchors the main street with the Royal Palace.[BK 55]
SaintsEditThe Bretons have saints that are affiliated with a god, and have usually performed great deeds.
- Saint Ellenica was a priestess of Arkay. Her prayer book is a holy relic, and contains passages that can be read to put the dead to rest. She was buried in Flyleaf Catacombs with her prayer book, which was retrieved in 2E 582.[BK 90]
- Saint Marben is a saint affiliated with Arkay.[BK 91] Saint Marben's Fingerbone is a holy relic of Arkay, and was buried at Sanguine Barrows until it was retrieved in 2E 582.
- Saint Octavien was a Priest of Arkay who was slain with a scythe by Daedra-worshipers. The broken scythe blade that killed Octavien is a holy relic of Arkay. It was buried in a tomb near Lorkrata Hills until it was retrieved by a Knight of Arkay in 2E 582.
- Saint Pelin the Martyr was a priest of Stendarr that ascended to the role of sainthood following his divine act in the defense of the Bangkorai Garrison in 1E 1029, which in turn, brought the province of High Rock into the First Empire of Cyrodiil. He had become a folk hero to the Bretons of Evermore and the greater region of Bretonic-Bangkorai, memorialized by the chapel of St. Pelin in Evermore, the Order of Saint Pelin, the knightly order of the Kingdom of Evermore, and the great cemetery called Pelin Graveyard.
- Saint Stental slew the demon of Overlook Hill (also called "the Leaper"), rescuing the three Sisters of Kynareth from an untimely death.[BK 92] A statue dedicated to him was built where the demon was slain.
There are a few figures who don't qualify as gods or saints, but are revered by Bretons nonetheless:
- Gyron Vardengroet (The Sage)
- Gyron Vardengroet is an immortal Breton wizard of legend, prophesied by the Gods as a champion that would be sent down to guide others and bring wisdom. His exploits would earn him the title of The Sage, and Great Sage. Physically, he is described as a tall, bald, and bearded Breton with dark eyes, an indigo robe trimmed with gold, a pointed wizard's hat, and an intricately carved staff. He is the primary figure in the books The Sage, Feyfolken, and The Final Lesson. Gyron has monuments erected in his reverence in both High Rock and Hammerfell.
- I'ric Harad Egun
- I'ric Harad Egun (sometimes shortened to I'ric) was the Altmer archmagister of the Crystal Tower, believed to be alive sometime in the early-mid First Era. His name is widely known and is synonymous to the likes of Moraelyn, the Witch-King of Ebonheart, and Ebonarm, the God of War. According to the historical-fiction, King Edward, his name is implied to have significant weight, and so throughout the story, he is simply referred as the ArchMagister. He is worshipped at altars in High Rock and Hammerfell.
- Kieran the Bard is a figure that is shrouded in mystery. He is the author of several popular stories, several of which are told in A Tale of Kieran. He has shrines called Kieran Theatres in Hammerfell and High Rock.
- The Viridian Sentinel
The Viridian Sentinel protects the human inhabitants of northern Bangkorai from the beasts and witches that live in the forest. According to the legend of the Viridian Sentinel, long ago the Direnni forged a covenant with the Earth Bones to protect their settlements from the wild. The Bretons, who displaced the Direnni, had no such arrangement, and as a result their farms in Bangkorai were gradually overrun by the wilderness. The people were pushed to the brink of starvation, causing a young boy to pray to Stendarr for salvation. Stendarr taught him to forge a new pact with the forest, giving him the power to restrain the natural creatures within. He thus became the first Viridian Sentinel.
The Viridian Sentinel has great power over the forest, and can use this power to perform potent feats of magic. When the Glenmoril Wyrd became bound to the forest, they also gave some deference to the Sentinel due to that connection (though they had not been a party to the original pact). But over time, the Sentinel ages like any other human, and must pass on his or her power and title to a new mortal before death.
- There exists a sport called "Bretonball", though nothing is known about it aside from the fact it is played with rackets.
- Several additional knightly orders existed in earlier versions of Daggerfall that did not appear in the final version of the game, though their strings remain in the final version's data. They are noted in the Daggerfall Preview, and these include:
- The Gryphon Knights.
- The Knights of the Isle.
- The Order of the Lance.
- The Order of Nyeraad.
- The Border Knights.
- The Dreadknights.
- Additional templar orders appeared to be tied to several minor gods, including:
- The Knights of the Field, dedicated to Raen.
- The Order of the Wings, dedicated to Notorgo.
- The Wildlords, dedicated to Ephen.
- The Tide, dedicated to Vigryl.
- The Encyclics, dedicated to Jeh Free.
- The Order of the Key, dedicated to Q'Olwen.
- For Breton names, see here.
- For a list of notable Bretons, see here.
- For game-specific information, see the Arena, Daggerfall, Battlespire, Redguard, Morrowind, Shadowkey, Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO, Legends, and Blades articles.
- A History of Daggerfall by Odiva Gallwood — A relatively unbiased analysis of Daggerfall and the Iliac Bay
- Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death by Mymophonus the scribe — How Ark'ay was transformed from a shopkeeper into the God of Birth and Death
- Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock by King Eamond — King Eamond's Final Address to His Troops
- Banker's Bet by Porbert Lyttumly — A humorous story of what people will do for money
- The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons? by Phrastus of Elinhir — A description of Bretons
- Crafting Motif 5: Breton Style by Doctor Alfidia Lupus — Being notes by Doctor Alfidia Lupus for a series of pamphlets on the major cultural styles of Tamriel
- Etiquette With Rulers by Erystera Ligen — The etiquette of speaking with nobles
- Fahamal, Trader by Fahamal — A Redguard's thoughts on the Breton use of magic
- Holidays of the Iliac Bay by Theth-i — An overview of Breton and Redguard holidays commonly celebrated in the Iliac Bay region
- The Light and the Dark by Irek Unterge — A Breton man describes the Light and the Dark to his two grandchildren
- Mara's Tear by Zhen — The story of Mara's Tear and Shandar's Sorrow
- Oelander's Hammer by Krowle — The story of Oelander's magical hammer
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Uncommon Taste by The Gourmet — A recipe book, containing recipes of a Breton origin
- The Viridian Sentinel — A children's story surrounding the legend of the Viridian Sentinel
- Wayrest, Jewel Of The Bay by Sathyr Longleat — A history of the city Wayrest
- Breton dialogue topic in Morrowind
- Vika's dialogue in Shivering Isles
- Nedic Hex Totem Antiquity codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- Race Description of Breton in TES:Arena
- Exclamations — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- Manmer Coupled Idol Antiquity codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- Alana Relin's dialogue during A Step Back in Time in ESO
- Commander Parmion's dialogue during A Step Back in Time in ESO
- Day of Release information in Daggerfall
- Ring of the Pale Order Antiquity codex entries in ESO
- Events of The Ashes of Our Fathers in ESO: Orsinium
- Tusks of the Orc-Father antiquity codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- Secession Stamp Block Antiquities codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- Noble Knight's Rest Antiquities codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- Loading Screen in ESO
- Marisette's dialogue in ESO
- Gerard Althen's dialogue in ESO
- Krisandra's dialogue in Redguard
- Map of Iliac Bay
- Events of Episode 2: The Corsair Conspiracy in The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood
- Dialogue between Ulfric Stormcloak and Galmar Stone-Fist in Skyrim
- Cambray Hills Academy of Art Sketchbook item description in ESO
- Bronzed Baby Teeth item description in ESO
- Nedic Sword Pommel item description in ESO
- First Era Rivenspire Tea Service item description in ESO
- Temporary Candlefly Lantern Memento description in ESO
- Lovelorn Comforter item description in ESO
- Lovelorn Quilt item description in ESO
- Lost Hope Quilt item description in ESO
- Malachite Needle item description in ESO
- Breton Funeral Urn item description in ESO
- King Donel Candle Tree item description in ESO
- Ceramic Shornhelm Chamber Pot item description in ESO
- Breton Love Charm item description in ESO
- Scour Day information in Daggerfall
- Waking Day information in Daggerfall
- Blue Torchbug pet description in ESO
- Perserverance Day information in Daggerfall
- Day of Release Roisterer costume description in ESO
- Flower Day information in Daggerfall
- Gardtide information in Daggerfall
- Day of the Dead information in Daggerfall
- Marukh's Day information in Daggerfall
- Fire Festival information in Daggerfall
- Fishing Day information in Daggerfall
- Dancing Day information in Daggerfall
- Tibedetha information in Daggerfall
- Khurat information in Daggerfall
- Children's Day information in Daggerfall
- The Witches Festival Returns on the official ESO website
- Elder Scrolls Online - Crown Crate Season Announcement
- Flavor text for Hollowjack Rider Horse
- Flavor text for Hollowjack Rider Guar
- Broken Diamonds information in Daggerfall
- Moon Festival information in Daggerfall
- Saturalia Tree Decoration in Blades
- Saturalia information in Daggerfall
- Picnic at Pelin (A Horror Story) — DeWitte Bourbois
- Gianna's dialogue during To Kill an Empire in Skyrim
- Porcelain Milk Pitcher item description in ESO
- Spiced Brewet Serving Platter item description in ESO
- Bronze Windowsill Sundial item description in ESO
- Appearance of Breton settlements in ESO
- Garothmuk gro-Muzgub's dialogue in Morrowind
- List of required skills for all Knightly Orders in Daggerfall
- Witch Knight Charger mount description in ESO
- Temples and Templar Knightly Orders in Daggerfall
- Faction information for the Order of the Raven in Daggerfall
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High Rock — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Order of the Hour faction information in Daggerfall
- Paladin's Mail description in Blades
- Events that occur in the mission Kastus Thorn's House, Order of the Hour Barracks, and Temple of Akatosh in The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood
- Knights of the Circle faction information in Daggerfall
- Faction information for the House of Dibella and the Order of the Lily in Daggerfall
- Generic Dialogue on the Order of the Lily in Daggerfall
- Faction information on the Knights Mentor in Daggerfall
- Kynaran Order faction information in Daggerfall
- Faction information for the Maran Knights in Daggerfall
- Faction information for the Crusaders in Daggerfall
- Resolution of Zenithar faction information in Daggerfall
- Information on covens in Daggerfall
- Akatosh Chantry faction information in Daggerfall
- Patron deities for Wayrest and the Isle of Balfiera in Daggerfall
- The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
- Order of Arkay faction information in Daggerfall
- Patron deities for Shalgora and the Ilessan Hills in Daggerfall
- House Tamrith Prayer Shawl item description in ESO
- Inspirational Illuminations of the Light item description in ESO
- House Tamrith Holy Symbol item description in ESO
- Alvaren Garoutte's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- Patron deities for Koegria and Menevia in Daggerfall
- Priest of the Green costume description in ESO
- Faction information on the School of Julianos in Daggerfall
- Patron deities of Lainlyn, Daenia, Dwynnen and Tulune in Daggerfall
- Temple of Kynareth faction information in Daggerfall
- Patron deities of Alcaire, Daggerfall and the Wrothgarian Mountains in Daggerfall
- Magnus Cult Wicker Effigy item description and appearance as a common contraband item from Glenumbra in ESO
- Patron deities of Anticlere, Betony, Glenumbra Moors and Northmoor in Daggerfall
- Appreciation Day in Daggerfall
- Faction information for the Benevolence of Mara in Daggerfall
- Faction information for the Temple of Stendarr in Daggerfall
- Patron deities of Urvaius, Bhoriane and Phrygias in Daggerfall
- Knights of Iron faction information in Daggerfall
- Patron deities of Gavaudon, Kambria and Glenpoint in Daggerfall
- Parchment mentioning him during A Noble's Debts in Daggerfall
- The Real Barenziah, v 4 — Anonymous
- Associated shrine locations in Daggerfall
- Follower of Stendarr dialogue in Daggerfall
- Gideon location and rumors in Arena
- Saint Ellenica's Prayer Book quest item description in ESO
- Edweg's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- Saint Marben's Fingerbone quest item description in ESO
- Talisman of Saint Octavien item description in ESO
- Cesabelle's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- The Statue of Saint Stental's location near Dreughside in ESO
- Bretonball Victory Plaque item description in ESO
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Provinces of Tamriel
- The Sage — Aegrothius Goth
- Holidays of the Iliac Bay — Theth-i
- King Edward, Part IX
- Captain Blackheart's Log — Captain Blackheart
- How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs — Menyna Gsost
- The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons? — Phrastus of Elinhir
- A History of Daggerfall — Odiva Gallwood
- Frontier, Conquest — University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our History — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Once — Beredalmo the Signifier
- A History of Daggerfall — Odiva Gallwood
- Fragment: On Artaeum — Taurce il-Anselma
- Wayrest, Jewel Of The Bay — Sathyr Longleat
- Rislav The Righteous — Sinjin
- A Life of Strife and Struggle — King Laloriaran Dynar
- The Last King of the Ayleids — Herminia Cinna
- The Battle of Glenumbria Moors
- A Warning to the Aldmeri Dominion — Erystera Ligen
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- The Great Siege of Orsinium
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Wild Regions — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- The Mirror — Berdier Wreans
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Orsinium — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- From The Memory Stone of Makela Leki — Makela Leki
- Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- 2920, The Last Year of the First Era — Carlovac Townway
- Atlas of Dragons — Brother Mathnan
- Crafting Motif 8: Orc Style — Doctor Alfidia Lupus
- High King Emeric Answers Your Questions — High King Emeric
- The Royal House of King Eamond — Seneschal Derric Andras of Castle Evermore
- The Fury of King Ranser — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
- Orcs of Skyrim — Thora Far-Wanderer
- Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
- True Heirs of the Empire — Erystera Ligen
- Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
- Orcs? Could Be Worse
- Orcs: The Vermin Among Us — Absolon Sorick
- Corpse Preparation
- The Fall of the Usurper — Palaux Illthre
- Etiquette With Rulers — Erystera Ligen
- The Warp in the West — Ulvius Tero
- The Great War — Legate Justianus Quintius
- Cicero's Journal - Volume 2 — Cicero
- Glenumbra's People — Aldous Brousseau
- Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 1 — Charwich
- Fahamal, Trader — Fahamal
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High Rock — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- The "Madmen" of the Reach — Arrianus Arius, Imperial Scholar
- Broken Diamonds — Ryston Baylor
- Travels in High Rock
- Mystery of Talara, v 1 — Mera Llykith
- Cheeses of Skyrim: Riften, Falkreath — B.
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High Rock — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Bowyer and Fletcher — Hoary Durotzel, the Wood Butcher of Ska'vyn
- Crafting Motif 5: Breton Style — Doctor Alfidia Lupus
- Famed Artifacts of Tamriel — Yagrum Bagarn
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- The Cake and the Diamond — Athyn Muendil
- Thirsk, a History -- Revised — Bereditte Jastal
- Fav'te's War Of Betony — Fav'te
- Newgate's War Of Betony — Vulper Newgate
- Banker's Bet — Porbert Lyttumly
- 16 Accords of Madness
- The Refugees — Geros Albreigh
- Battle of Sancre Tor
- 2920, First Seed — Carlovac Townway
- Words and Philosophy
- Chance's Folly — Zylmoc Golge
- The Knightly Orders of High Rock — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- Traditions of the Lion Guard
- Witch Cults of Northern High Rock — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- The Glenmoril Wyrd — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- The Light and the Dark — Irek Unterge
- Varieties of Faith... — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death — Mymophonus the scribe
- House Tamrith: A Recent History — Chancellor Regina Troivois, the Department of Interior Affairs
- King Edward, Part II
- The Ransom of Zarek — Marobar Sul
- King Edward, Part XII
- The Daggerfall Chronicles/Narrative
- Mysteries of the Divines
- The First Scroll of Baan Dar — Arkan
- Mara's Tear — Zhen
- The Ebon Arm — The Imperial Library
- King Edward, Part IX
- Matthiaume's Journal — Matthiaume
- Edweg's Resignation Note — Edweg
- Saint Stental
- Northglen Farm Opportunities — Marge Gaercroft
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.