Elder Scrolls Online: Ask Us Anything – Lore Edition

I know almost zero lore for the entire Elder Scrolls franchise, mainly because first-person RPGs never tripped my trigger. However, it’s great to see players who have followed it so closely that they ask some fantastic questions and I enjoy learning along with the rest of the community.

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Get some new insight into the lore of The Elder Scrolls Online in our latest round of Q&A.

Today’s group of questions, all chosen from your submissions, focuses primarily on lore. Many of you care deeply about The Elder Scrolls setting, and you always have lots of great questions for us about what you’ll get to see in ESO. Please enjoy these new answers, and don’t forget to send your questions to community@elderscrollsonline.com. We do a new Ask Us Anything every two weeks, and we may feature your question in the next article.

I read in your last article about the Daggerfall Covenant that the city of Lainlyn would be featured in the game. Does that mean we’ll learn more about the origin and the culture of the harpies?  Will we be allowed to attend Riglametha?  Will the Dragonsword of Lainlyn be featured in the game? – By Jérémy Haut

There will be adventures set in the Alik’r Desert port town of Tava’s Blessing, which is the precursor of Lainlyn. You will meet members of the Lainlyn family, for whom the town will later be renamed, and there are adventures in the desert with harpies, but that’s all we’ll reveal at present!

In the time the game takes place does Orsinium exist as a major city? Or as a kingdom? – By Alon Saban

Thanks to the treaty with the Daggerfall Covenant, Orsinium has been restored to the Orcs of Wrothgar, and they are rebuilding and reoccupying it. Southern Wrothgar is under the control of King Kurog of Orsinium, but north of the city the region is still a patchwork of strongholds.

I am a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls games and I have played a Breton since Morrowind, so I’m definitely joining the Daggerfall Covenant. My question has to deal with the Forsworn faction. Will they be implemented in the game, either as a faction or through quests? I always thought that their story was very interesting and wanted to know if it will be explored in ESO, since they have been around at least since the First Era, well within the time the game takes place. – By Jason McKinney

Though the Reachmen are related to the Bretons, they consider themselves a separate race (and so do the Bretons). The Reachmen are not a playable race, as they’re basically enemies to everyone (and like it that way), but you will see them causing trouble in High Rock, Hammerfell, Skyrim, and even Cyrodiil. The Forsworn are a Fourth-Era faction of the Reachmen that actually hearkens back to the Reach culture of ESO’s era, so they don’t appear as such, but the Reachmen of our time resemble them.

The oldest structure in Tamriel, the Adamantine Tower (or Direnni Tower) is in High Rock. Are we going to be able to visit this building, and if so, how are you going to represent it to us? – By Hampton D. Evans

From the shores of the Iliac Bay you can see the Adamantine Tower rising from the heights of Balfiera Island. Can you visit it? Time will tell.

In The Elder Scrolls V, players found that a number of Orcish Strongholds dotted the Skyrim landscape. What’s their history? Now that the Orcs and Nords are on opposite sides, how will they play a role in the storyline? – By Chris

Orcs live in strongholds in the mountains throughout northern Tamriel. Most of them keep to themselves, staying out of the wars of Men and Elves. The Orcs of Wrothgar, who are signatories to the Daggerfall Covenant, are the exception, having long had ambitions of nationhood.

Based on known lore and from previous Elder Scrolls titles, the Orcs traditionally seem to keep to themselves and to their strongholds, with the odd exception. What is the motivation for the Orcs and the Orsinium Kingdom in joining the Daggerfall Covenant? What connects these three races of unlikely allies to band together as they have? – By Wade Johnson

As mentioned above, the Orcs of Wrothgar have long been ambitious to have their own state, and these ambitions have been repeatedly crushed over the millennia. Their membership in the Covenant is one more attempt at organization and recognition.

I was wondering, besides the title Mane, is there a prefix that is attached to his name? Tied into this question is the absence of Manes. Who rules between Manes? Roughly ten to fifteen years would pass before one could be found or properly trained to take over. In days of old, they transitioned power between the many states based on the phases of the moons, but with only two states remaining, Pellitine and Anequina, it would seem more likely that they would transition with every ruler with the exception of Manes. – By Sean Dutton

The selection and accession of a new Mane is, in fact, one of the key events in which players can get involved in northern Valenwood and western Elsweyr. How is a new Mane chosen and accepted? You’ll get to see for yourself.

GW2: Message from Queen Jennah

Here’s a bit of lore added this week from the ArenaNet devs. Our favorite Queen, Queen Jennah, has a follow-up mini speech to rally her followers.

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Though my closing ceremonies speech was interrupted by Scarlet Briar, I feel I said all that needed to be said. Our collective response to that unprovoked attack demonstrates humanity’s resilience far better than any words I might have used. The time for speeches is past: it’s time for action.

For driving Scarlet and her minions out of Divinity’s Reach, I am proud of my people and grateful to our visitors from other nations. We still don’t know the motives behind Scarlet’s actions, but the watchknights have been deactivated pending a full investigation. As soon as we can guarantee they are free from outside influences, they will once again stand tall in the defense of our city and our society.

Jennah 3

I must also caution that though Scarlet was defeated, she was not apprehended. Her hostility to civilized societies is painfully clear. She is still a grave threat, and not just to Divinity’s Reach. Both the Shining Blade and the Seraph are devoting major resources to finding Scarlet and neutralizing the danger she poses, but doing so will take time. Until then, as her devastating assault on our city came without warning, preamble, or just cause, all cities and all people across the globe must prepare themselves for her return.

On behalf of Kryta, and the entire human race, I extend warm thanks to everyone who helped defend Divinity’s Reach. Humanity’s strength will never fade, but we are always stronger with good and true allies to stand and fight beside us.

May the Six Gods smile on you all,
Queen Jennah

BLESS: Class Descriptions & Lore

This is my attempt at reading Google Translate’s interpretation of the article Pmang offered this week describing all the classes and their initial lore. As many of the devs came from TERA, NCSoft, and AION, I drew comparison to the classes in those games as well. They’ve only provided images for the first four classes (sorry!), but the rest of the classes can be seen in The Siege video.

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Guardian (like Templars in AION; tank class)

“Protector of the Empire, battles in front even the death. Leads so we can return together.” -Lumen Corps Empire Gaius Kerala SARS

Armed with sword and shield, Guardians on the battlefield are always in the front lines. Their indomitable fighting spirit prevents attacks, closing the gap with their blows. Excelling at tactics, Guardians provide opportunities for their allies. They seek honor and glory, but sacrifice is the most important virtue.

Their origins are from the Imperial Heavy Infantry. Now, each winter, to symbolize the Holy Empire of the Knights, they pay homage to the tree of life, just as the original Legion Knights of the Navarra Sun did.

Berserker (like Berserkers in TERA; dps class)

“Death is like hungry wild dogs: the smell of fear brings them to the battlefield. They survive battle and send you to Hell.” – the warrior king Drake Bell Beck

Their origins are also from the Imperial Heavy Infantry. Now, each winter, to symbolize the Holy Empire of the Knights, they pay homage to the tree of life, just as the original Legion Knights of the Navarra Sun did.

Berserkers are the perfect example of a threat on the battlefield. Even the Imperial Family acknowledges their prowess.

Today, the continent’s most famous Berserker is Bran Draco, the leader of the Pantera group known as the Lupus Canine Patrol, lead by Bran Draco.

Throughout the civilized world, Berserkers are usually mercenaries and adventurers, though many do seek guilds to demonstrate their abilities and seek vendettas.

Paladin (like Clerics in AION; healer class)

“Paladins are Temple-trained, studying at the monastery for three years and then endure five additional years of hard training. Periodically, they will fast during this time. After, they are ordained, they can finally apply to become a Paladin. This is a hard road and requires many years of sacrifice.” – Coos Toss Castle Knights assistant GM Wolfgang

The Paladin combines the dance of a warrior and priest. The Paladin uses a mace and shield to defend himself and divine magic to heal and revive friends. With so many different talents, they can strengthen their family’s ability to fight. Paladins with divine power destroy the undead and fiends.

Paladins came to light immediately after the destruction of the Dark Ages. As a weapon against an invasive species, Paladins defend temples and monasteries during a time when the entire civilization was in darkness.

Today, the church is divided into two parts: the paradise of the Empire Knights where prestige is important and the Temple Brotherhood seeking to be part of the elite troops.

Ranger (like Ranger in AION; dps class)

“Protest is left arrow to come back again. Would you eventually fly into one garden. ” – Elf Gnome

Rangers track and spy, wander the wilderness, and can ambush patrols. They use bows as a primary weapon because they find their enemies first and gaining victory is a certain outcome. They can deal a major blow to enemies before they’re even aware of the Ranger.

Rangers use landmarks and terrain obstacles to maximize on favorable conditions and pitfalls, also using traps and other means to dominate their foes.

Rangers have a deep and powerful organization and excel at being archers and experienced scouts.

Assassin (like Assassin in AION; dps class)

“You can not avoid me. You can not stop me. You can not hide from me, I am your death.” – Grande primary target of the assassin sent to kill long notice

Assassins are ruthless and exist only to take an opponent’s life. They acquire considerable knowledge of poisons and anatomy, secretly appearing behind an enemy and driving home their daggers into the underbelly. One on one, they have amazing agility and are easily able to doge attacks and close gaps with deadly aim.

History tells us many nobles and princes have met their deaths under mysterious circumstances when they have opposed the Emperor.

A story handed down over generations tells of an assassin who uses a silver mask to disguise his identity. He’s known only as the Grande Guardian Assassin and he instills fear in the hearts of every ruler.

Mage (like Sorcerer in AION and TERA; dps class)

“The essence of magic and the logic of knowledge are only temporary mysteries. Magical phenomenon are the result of certain causal relationships.
Fate does not play dice.” – Archmage Sohar Mesquite

Mages across the world dedicate their lives to studying structures and relationships between them and universal laws. They acquire the knowledge to manipulate water, fire, wind, and earth, and can conjure even natural phenomena such as lightning and blizzards. Mages combine their knowledge to be formidable in combat.

Originally, only the Elves had discovered magic and it became their exclusive property. The most powerful Elven mage was named Yamalo. However, after the fall of the Elves over a millenia ago, magic spread to other powerful species – even including Humans.

Today, the most profound library of knowledge can be found in the El Llano El Gras. It is there the Guardians of the Ancient Order seek to research and create new spells.

Warlock (like Spiritmaster in AION; dps pet class)

“Betray anyone but the Devil.” – Gatekeeper Herodion

Warlocks summon demons from other dimensions as an extension of their arms. For many, it’s akin to dogs moving freely like one person. Warlocks then become a small but powerful army. Summoning demons from a hell dimension brings fear to the mundane.

Warlocks also apply technology to control and guide their pets, allowing their pets to psychologically attack the Warlock’s enemies. Warlocks are shunned from many species because of the transmitting that occurs and are often exiled from their own races.

To this day, the “Devil” stories about Warlocks drift even to children, bringing horror and fear.

Mystic (like Mystic in TERA; healer class)

“Mystics do not stand in a forest alone. The blue forest stands together.” – Sylvan Elf sayings

The origins of spirit summoning Mystics is still a mystery.

Mystics are able to temporarily summon spirits of various properties, harnessing the pure energy of nature. The spirits can attack, defend, heal, and offers balance in all things. Since they require a focus, each spirit can only do one thing at a time. In this way, Mystics require strategic judgement to know which spirit to summon and when.

Mystic traditions pre-exist academic knowledge, but are found primarily among the older species. The systemic evolution of Mystics came out with Elven technology, though communication with spirits is something native to the Pantera. Even Sirens can commune with nature spirits as part of their faith.

GW2: Short Story – The Trek of the Zephyrites

Angel McCoy has written a short story for ArenaNet. It’s a bit “late”, but I’m hoping GW2 lore continues to expand like this. I miss how TERA’s lore was shared extensively with dozens of exclusive articles, lore stories, and even a Twitter follow-along for one character. The original article is over here.

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Scribe’s Note: The following journal page was retrieved, undoubtedly without permission, from the Zephyr Sanctum, and in 1326 it came into the hands of the Durmand Priory. The author remains unidentified, and the veracity and authenticity of this account has not been verified. Believe at your own risk.

09 Season of the Scion 1320

Exhaustion and heat may kill us before we get out of here, if the minor irritations don’t get us first. The desert winds blow sand into everything. The grains are like tiny biting mites that get between your skin and your clothes, cling to your scalp, and grind between your toes.

My companions have remained taciturn throughout our journey, and as we approach the battlegrounds, we’ve stopped conversing about anything nonessential to our survival. We’re too exhausted to do anything but plod onward.

It’s as if the wind, sun, and weather were conspiring to slow our progress. I’m beginning to understand why someone keen on security would make this the location of her lair.

10 Season of the Scion 1320

Our trek into the Crystal Desert has taken weeks longer than expected. The weather has proven unpredictable, but we have finally arrived at our destination.

I write this now from a hill overlooking the battlefield. An air of solemnity rises from the sand in waves like the shimmer of heat, making it difficult to breath.  This is where Destiny’s Edge confronted the crystal dragon, and where our protector died defending us from her Elder kin. I imagine I can see the crystalline remains of her corpse from here. Tomorrow, we will know.

11 Season of the Scion 1320

Our predecessors, the dwarven Brotherhood, knew she was different. They forged an alliance with her and let her into their minds. They guarded her legacy for as long as they could, but sadly, their race was not to live forever. Destiny decided otherwise, and thus the torch was passed to my ancestors. We hid ourselves away for hundreds of years, helping her as we could and keeping her secrets. It breaks my heart that we did not witness her final moments. She’d lived for millennia, and yet was gone in the blink of an eye.

We’re coming here to retrieve whatever remains of her magical corpus, so that her sacred bones won’t fall into the wrong hands. Dragons consume magic, but they do not destroy it. They hold it within themselves like a sponge holds water. I only hope we’re faster than the scavengers and power-mongers who would use her body to advance their own evil or selfish plots.

I know now what great value there is in her crystal remains. Holding a portion of her in my hand, I was able to walk on the wind, ride the lightning, and channel the sun to my will. We will take her back with us and build a new sanctum where we can rise above the mundane violence of the world. There, we will foster peace and seed the crystals we make with touches of her magic, so that others too can experience her legacy.

I write with some confidence that once we leave this forsaken desert landscape, I will never return. It’s everything we are not: inhospitable, lifeless, and cruel. We’ll take her to a resting place with fresh breezes and gentle sunshine. She deserves nothing less.

She was as old as the Shiverpeaks, older than the gods. None will ever hear her true name spoken properly. And so we will remember her only as Glint, the one and only dragon who fought the destruction of our world. While we live, she will never be forgotten.

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