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Lore:History

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History is typically divided into six eras: Dawn, Merethic, First, Second, Third, and Fourth. The Dawn Era lacks any sense of time at all and the Merethic Era has few specific dates. The term era has been used archaically to refer to both a period of time around 800 years[1]:16 and one of 1,000 years.[2]:39 Numerous details about events in Tamriel's history are debated by scholars, whose opinions are influenced by numerous biases (desire for recognition, loyalty to the realm, racial and cultural conflict, etc.) and a general lack of scientific technique.

ErasEdit

Dawn EraEdit

 
The Adamantine Tower

The Dawn Era, also known as the Beginning Times,[3] was a highly magical period during which time followed an incomprehensible, non-linear path and the very laws of nature remained unset, making a timeline an artificial fabrication. The Cosmos were created from the Aurbis and time began. The gods, known as et'Ada, formed and created the mortal plane, Nirn. Conflict was simultaneously a mere ideological difference of opinion and a manifest war. This "War of Manifest Metaphors" renders the era mostly incapable of supporting a narrative. Since fixed dates during this time are unknowable, there is no specific nomenclature for years within the Dawn Era. The Dawn Era ended with the exodus of the gods and magic from Nirn at the Adamantine Tower, at an event known as Convention.

Merethic EraEdit

ME 2500 — ME 1

The Merethic Era, also known as the Mythic Era,[4][5][6] and the Era of Myths[7], was a prehistoric period of time after the exodus of the gods and the subsequent supremacy of Elves in Tamriel. Indeed the term "Merethic" comes from the old Nordic language, literally the "Era of the Elves." The Merethic Era is numbered in reverse order, extending from ME 2500 (the date of construction of the Adamantine Tower) in the distant past to ME 1 (the year before the founding of the Camoran Dynasty).[8]

During the early Merethic Era, the aboriginal beastfolk ancestors of the Khajiit and Argonians lived in preliterate communities throughout Tamriel. The first Elves, known as the Aldmer, left their doomed and now-lost continent of Aldmeris and settled in southwestern Tamriel, before spreading across the rest of the continent and splitting into distinct racial groups. Some of these Elves later went on to establish empires and create the powerful metaphysical Towers that exist across Tamriel.

Humans from Atmora began migrating to Tamriel as early as ME 1000, and built settlements in High Rock, Hammerfell, Cyrodiil and Black Marsh. These "Nedic peoples" were a minority in a land of Elves, and had no choice but to live peacefully with the various Elven races. Towards the late Merethic Era, the Atmoran hero Ysgramor led a great colonizing fleet to Tamriel and settled in the northern lands, later known as Skyrim. Ysgramor didn't submit to the authority of the Elves and ultimately this led to a mass slaughter known as the Night of Tears. Ysgramor's retaliation changed the face of Tamriel as he waged war against the Elves, which led to the weakening of their rule.[9] Eventually Ysgramor exterminated the Elves of Skyrim and established his kingdom. Around this time the authority of the Dragon Cult took hold and Dragons terrorized Skyrim for an age, before they were eventually overthrown during the Dragon War in the closing years of the Merethic Era.

First EraEdit

The First Era, sometimes referred to as the First Age,[10][11] can be characterised by the rise and expansion of numerous human empires, and the decline of Elven authority across Tamriel. In the early years, the Nords of Skyrim established one of the first great empires under King Vrage, who initiated multiple military expansions that pushed past the borders of Skyrim and into High Rock and Morrowind.

Around the same time, the human slaves of the Ayleids rose up under the leadership of the Slave-Queen Alessia and rebelled against their Elven overlords. Alongside the heroes Pelinal Whitestrake and Morihaus, Alessia would continue to liberate slaves and fight Daedric armies, culminating in the Ayleid's defeat at the White-Gold Tower and the establishment of the Alessian Empire.[12] While the Ayleid empire fell, the Direnni elves saw a brief rise to power, becoming a formidable economic and military power in High Rock. The Direnni Hegemony also welcomed many fleeing Ayleids, who migrated to High Rock to escape persecution in an exodus known as the Ayleid Diaspora. While the Direnni Hegemony managed to conquer High Rock and even some parts of Skyrim and Hammerfell, a war with with the Alessian Empire weakened their power in High Rock. In the following years the Direnni could no longer challenge the emerging Breton nobility, who seized power throughout most of High Rock.

The First Era also saw conflict erupt between the once-allied Chimer and Dwemer of Morrowind. The war between the two Elven races concluded at the Battle of Red Mountain, where upon the entire Dwemer race mysteriously disappeared. These events paved the way for the formation of the Tribunal, which would last for centuries thereafter. After the continent of Yokuda sank into the ocean, the Yokudans survivors migrated to western Tamriel. The fearsome warrior wave drove the elves, beastfolk and Nedic peoples from Hammerfell, and claimed the deserts as their new homeland.

The early-to-middle part of the First Era became known as the "Classical Period".[13], and it was after this time a phenomenon known as a Dragon Break took place across much of Tamriel for one thousand and eight years. During this time, linear time was broken and became non-linear. When linear time resumed, one of the first recorded events was the destructive Thrassian Plague that devastated more than half of Tamriel's population. After it was discovered the plague was released by the Sload, an armada of ships known as the All Flags Navy was built and waged war upon the Sload, resulting in the destruction of their homeland.

Following years of internal strife within the Alessian Order's bloated priesthood and territorial movements to curtail or outlaw the Order's religion, the War of Righteousness broke out. Western Cyrodiil isolated itself from the Alessian Empire and establishes the Colovian Estates, and after a decade of conflict, the war concludes and the Alessian Order and Empire are dissolved. The Empire's former territories solidify their independence, and its heartland, Cyrodiil, splits into Eastern and Western halves that continue to diverge culturally over the following centuries.

Eventually, Cyrodiil was reunified when Reman I established the Second Empire after defeating an invading Akaviri army. The Reman Conquests saw Reman expand his empire to conquer almost all of Tamriel, save for Morrowind. His son, Emperor Reman II attempted to claim Morrowind during the Four-Score War, but died in battle. The war was continued by his successors Brazollus Dor and Reman III, however Reman III and his son and heir Prince Juilek were both assassinated by the Morag Tong in 1E 2920. Akaviri Potentate Versidue-Shaie assumed the Imperial Throne and ratified the Cervant Truce, which ended the disastrous Four Score War with Morrowind and ushered in the Second Era.

Second EraEdit

 
A divided Tamriel during the Interregnum

The Second Era, sometimes referred to as the Common Era,[14] was a tumultuous period of time as power shifted multiple times across numerous conflicts. The era began with the Akaviri Potentate ruling the vast Second Empire. Versidue-Shaie sat on the throne until his assassination in the fourth century and was succeeded by his son Savirien-Chorak, who suffered the same fate a century later. The death of the Akaviri Potentate brought about the Second Empire's dissolution and in turn heralded a period of conflict known as the Interregnum.

Tamriel's provinces reasserted their independence, and the remnants of the Second Empire nominally survived as the Empire of Cyrodiil, a rump state confined to Cyrodiil that was ruled by a succession of warlords. The geopolitical effects of the Interregnum were both far-reaching and varied. For example, High Rock, an area with an extensive history of factionalism, was more able to deal with the collapse of central power and fared much better than the rest of Tamriel, lapsing back into its usual structure of kingdoms and city states without difficulty.[15][16] In contrast, Skyrim was divided as never before when it split into two kingdoms, Eastern Skyrim and Western Skyrim, following the assassination of High King Logrolf and a succession dispute in 2E 431,[17] and then lost control of The Reach to the Reachmen.[18] One notable Reachman was Durcorach the Black Drake, who rose to power and conquered Cyrodiil. Naming himself emperor, he established a dynasty known as the Longhouse Emperors and reinforced his connection and commitment to the Empire by marrying into prominent Nibenese Tharn family. The Longhouse Emperors ruled for only a few decades before a Colovian duke named Varen Aquilarios of Chorrol marshaled the armies of the Colovian Estates and led them against Leovic in open rebellion.[19][20] In the end Varen killed the Emperor Leovic, the grandson of Durcorach, and declared himself Emperor.[21]

A Second Akaviri Invasion of Tamriel occurred around this time, this time under Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal, whose army made landfall in northeast Skyrim and captured Windhelm, killing Queen Mabjaarn Flame-Hair. Ultimately Dir-Kamal forces were defeated by Nordic, Dunmer and Argonian forces and the Akaviri invaders were driven into the sea. Conflicts such as the invasion led the different nations of Tamriel to band together into three distinct alliances: the greater Daggerfall Covenant,[22] the Ebonheart Pact,[23] and the first Aldmeri Dominion.[24][25]

The competing ideologies of Tamriel's alliances set them on a course for war. The Three Banners War began in earnest sometime in 2E 580 as tensions between the alliances were further exacerbated by the subsequent military aggression of the Empire of Cyrodiil and the Soulburst - an explosion of arcane energy that occurred in the Imperial City.[26] Each alliance saw the opportunity to overthrow the corrupt Imperial regime and install their own emperor on the Ruby Throne[27][28] The armies of the Covenant, Pact, and Dominion invaded Cyrodiil, which served as the main theater of war, however they also launched attacks against each other’s lands. In the ensuing chaos, the Daedric Prince Molag Bal deployed Dark Anchors and began pulling Nirn into his realm of Coldharbour to merge the two together, a process known as the Planemeld. Eventually the Planemeld was stopped when the Mages and Fighters Guilds spearheaded an assault into Molag Bal's realm. Following the Planemeld, many of Tamriel's provinces saw further conflict or hardships, including various Daedric plots in Morrowind, Summerset and Black Marsh, the return of Dragons in Elsweyr and a vampiric resurgence in Western Skyrim.

In the last days of the Second Era a petty king of the Colovian Estates named Cuhlecain came to power alongside the leader of his legions, General Talos. A year later more than half of the Cyrodilic Empire was reclaimed or consolidated, and Cuhlecain captured the Imperial City and proclaimed himself Emperor. Skyrim and High Rock, which bitterly opposed a return to Cyrodilic rule, gathered their armies for a joint invasion of the Colovian West. The Nords that had come to oppose the Empire soon joined the General's forces, for when they heard his Thu'um they believed him to be a son of Skyrim and the heir to the Empires of Men. Cuhlecain was assassinated soon after and Talos, later named Tiber Septim, rose to power and conquered all of Tamriel following the Tiber War.[29]

Third EraEdit

The Third Era was a time of consolidation and expansion of the Septim Empire, established by Tiber Septim, also known as Talos, following the Tiber War. Under the rule of the Septim Dynasty, Tamriel was united under a single banner, and the Emperor was considered the divine ruler and protector of the Empire. This era saw the continuing influence of the Septim Empire, with the Emperor ruling from the Imperial City in Cyrodiil. The Septim Emperors maintained their power and influence through the use of the Amulet of Kings, a powerful artifact with ties to the Dragonborn bloodline.

During this time, the mysterious and catastrophic event known as the Imperial Simulacrum occurred. It was a result of a magical upheaval orchestrated by the battlemage Jagar Tharn, who imprisoned Emperor Uriel Septim VII in an alternate dimension and assumed his identity. Tharn's actions led to a decade of chaos and unrest in the Empire, with multiple false Emperors vying for power. The true Emperor was eventually rescued by the hero known as the Eternal Champion, bringing an end to the Simulacrum.

One of the most significant events of the Third Era was the Warp in the West, also known as the Miracle of Peace. It was a result of the activation of the Numidium, a powerful Dwemer artifact, by various factions in the Iliac Bay region. It took a hero simply known as the Agent, later known as The Hero of Daggerfall, to stop it. The activation of the Numidium caused a dragon break, resulting in multiple timelines converging into one. The end result was the unification of several independent kingdoms and city-states in the Iliac Bay region, creating a complex political landscape.

The Blight was a devastating mystical plague orchestrated by Dagoth Ur. This catastrophic disease afflicted both people and the land, spreading fear and despair throughout Morrowind. The Nerevarine, a prophesied hero, emerged during this era to combat the Blight and confront Dagoth Ur, ultimately bringing an end to his malevolent influence and restoring hope to the Dunmer people.

The Oblivion Crisis was a catastrophic event that marked the end of the Third Era. It was triggered by the invasion of the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon's forces into Tamriel. The gates to the planes of Oblivion opened across the continent, unleashing hordes of Daedra. The Emperor Uriel Septim VII and his heirs were assassinated, leading to a search for a new Dragonborn to wear the Amulet of Kings. A hero known as the Hero of Kvatch ultimately thwarted Mehrunes Dagon's plans.

The Hero of Kvatch, aided by the Blades and the last Septim heir, Martin Septim, embarked on a quest to close the Oblivion Gates and stop the Daedric invasion. This culminated in the Battle of Bruma and the sacrifice of Martin Septim to prevent Dagon's victory. With the destruction of the Amulet of Kings, the Septim bloodline came to an end and the Empire entered a period of decline.

The Third Era was marked by significant political, magical, and military events that shaped the fate of Tamriel. It ended with the closing of the Oblivion Gates and the dawn of a new era.

Fourth EraEdit

The Fourth Era was marked by a changing political map across Tamriel. Notably, The Empire fell under the leadership of the Mede Dynasty, after a conflict known as the Stormcrown Interregnum.

The Summerset Isles experienced a seismic shift in power dynamics during this era. The Thalmor, a radical faction within the Altmer society, took control of Valenwood and initiated the secession of the Summerset Isles from the Empire. This marked the beginning of the Third Aldmeri Dominion. The Thalmor's rise to power reshaped the region's politics and culture, and their influence extended to other provinces, setting the stage for conflicts to come.

The eruption of Red Mountain in Morrowind led to significant changes in the region, causing a massive exodus of Dunmer refugees to Skyrim and other provinces. The fall of the Tribunal Temple and the rise of the New Temple further reshaped Morrowind's religious and political landscape. Morrowind would later cease to be an Imperial territory.

Both Black Marsh and Elsweyr seceded from the Empire and like Valenwood, Elsweyr became a part of the Aldmeri Dominion, after The Thalmor took credit for ending the Void Nights.

One of the defining events of the early Fourth Era was the Great War. It erupted when the Aldmeri Dominion, launched an invasion of the Empire. The conflict had far-reaching consequences, including the Thalmor's demand for the outlawing of Talos worship, which deeply affected the Nords of Skyrim.

Meanwhile, in Hammerfell, the Redguards successfully gained independence from the Empire after the signing of the Second Treaty of Stros M'kai. This marked the end of the Empire's control over the province and allowed the Redguards to govern themselves.

The province of Skyrim became a focal point for political and cultural tensions during this era when the death of High King Torygg at the hands of Ulfric Stormcloak resulted in a civil war erupting in Skyrim. The Imperial Legion, led by General Tullius, clashed with the Stormcloaks, Ulfric's rebel army as they sought Skyrim's independence.

This era saw the return of the dragons under the leadership of Alduin, the World-Eater. The Last Dragonborn, a legendary hero with the power to absorb dragon souls and shout in the ancient Dragon Language, played a pivotal role in countering this threat and ultimately defeating Alduin.

EventsEdit

"Each Event is preceded by Prophecy. But without the Hero, there is no Event."
—Zurin Arctus, the Underking

All entries in The Elder Scrolls series depict an event in the world's history. The following is a list of each entry's in-world date and that date's event chronologically:

Date Name Release Event
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online 2014 Planemeld
Three Banners War
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Guilds and Glory Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Imperial City
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Orsinium
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Thieves Guild
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Dark Brotherhood
2015-2016
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Daedric War Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Shadows of the Hist
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Horns of the Reach
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Clockwork City
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Dragon Bones
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Summerset
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Wolfhunter
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Murkmire
2016-2018
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Season of the Dragon Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Wrathstone
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Elsweyr
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Scalebreaker
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Dragonhold
2019
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Dark Heart of Skyrim Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Harrowstorm
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Greymoor
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Stonethorn
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Markarth
2020
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Gates of Oblivion Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Flames of Ambition
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Blackwood
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Waking Flame
The Elder Scrolls: Online – The Deadlands
2021
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Legacy of the Bretons Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Ascending Tide
The Elder Scrolls: Online – High Isle
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Lost Depths
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Firesong
2022
2E 582 The Elder Scrolls: Online – Secrets of Apocrypha Arc  
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Scribes of Fate
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Necrom
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Scions of Ithelia
The Elder Scrolls: Online – Gold Road
2023-
2E 582 (ca.)[nb 1] The Elder Scrolls: Betrayal of the Second Era 2024 The World Shaking
2E 864 The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard – The Origin of Cyrus!
The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard
1998 Tiber War
Stros M'Kai Uprising
3E 3893E 399 The Elder Scrolls: Arena 1994 Imperial Simulacrum
3E 397 The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey 2004 Shadow Wars
War of the Bend'r-mahk
3E 398 An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire 1997 Invasion of the Battlespire
3E 4053E 417 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall 1996 Fractious Wars
Reactivation of Numidium
3E 427 (ca.)[nb 2] The Elder Scrolls Travels: Stormhold 2003 The Corruption
3E 427 (ca.)[nb 3] The Elder Scrolls Travels: Dawnstar 2003 Wars with the Ice Tribes
3E 427 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – Tribunal
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – Bloodmoon
2002-2003 The Blight
Fall of the Tribunal
Rise of the Bloodmoon
3E 433 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls Travels: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Knights of the Nine
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Shivering Isles
2006-2007 Oblivion Crisis
Fall of the Septim Dynasty
Return of the Unfeathered
The Greymarch
4E (ca.)[nb 4] The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Isle of Madness 2019 Match of Memories
4E 48 The Infernal City: An Elder Scrolls Novel
Lord of Souls: An Elder Scrolls Novel
2009-2011 Umbriel Crisis
4E 1754E 201 The Elder Scrolls: Legends – The Forgotten Hero
The Elder Scrolls: Legends – The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood
The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Return to Clockwork City
2017 Great War
The Culling
Fall of the Dark Brotherhood
Defeat of Mecinar
4E 1764E 201 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Adventure Game 2023 Fall of the Blades
Rise of Boethiah's Chosen
4E 180 The Elder Scrolls: Blades 2020 Return of the Light-Bringer
Thalmor Inquisition
4E 201 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dragonborn
2011 Skyrim Civil War
Return of the Dragons
Tyranny of the Sun
Return of the First Dragonborn
  • ^1  Exact date not known.
  • ^2  Exact date not known. Designer Anthony Gill has said that Stormhold takes place roughly around the time of Morrowind.
  • ^3  Exact date not known. Designer Anthony Gill has said Dawnstar takes place roughly around the time of Morrowind.
  • ^4  Exact date not known. The events must take place after the Shivering Isles expansion, based on the fact that in Shivering Isles, Dyus says that the Champion of Cyrodiil is the first creature he has seen after being imprisoned. Talym Rend meets with imprisoned Dyus in Isle of Madness, so Shivering Isles must have taken place before that.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Battlespire Athenaeum — Ronald Wartow
  2. ^ Arena Player's Guide
  3. ^ Next Crown Crate Season: The Elder Scrolls Online's Wild Hunt on the official ESO website
  4. ^ The Annotated Anuad
  5. ^ The Monomyth
  6. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our HistoryImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  7. ^ Malana's dialogue in ESO
  8. ^ Before the Ages of ManAicantar of Shimerene
  9. ^ Frontier, ConquestUniversity of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
  10. ^ Ennbjof's Nord Burial quest in Morrowind
  11. ^ Hasphat Antabolis' dialogue in Morrowind
  12. ^ The Adabal-aMorihaus
  13. ^ Honor's Rest loading screen
  14. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  15. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  16. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  17. ^ The Crown of FreydisTaleon Mythmaker
  18. ^ Orcs of SkyrimThora Far-Wanderer
  19. ^ Pirate Queen of the Gold CoastMidara Salviticus, Historian, University of Gwylim
  20. ^ Secret History of the Longhouse EmperorsCouncilor Vandacia
  21. ^ Chronicles of the Five Companions 1Lyris Titanborn
  22. ^ Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
  23. ^ Guide to the Ebonheart Pact
  24. ^ The Rise of Queen AyrennNuulehtel of Skywatch
  25. ^ Ayrenn – The Unforeseen QueenHeadmaster Tanion of the College of Aldmeri Propriety
  26. ^ The Chorrol Crier
  27. ^ Lady Carlier on the topic of the CovenantLady Carlier
  28. ^ Posted outside barracks at Windhelm
  29. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: SkyrimImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864