Updated Wed, Jan 16, 2013 by gunky
Tamriel is like a second home for some of us, and with all the books and such lying around everywhere, it's possible that some of us know more about Tamriel than we know about our actual home towns.
The Elder Scrolls Online will be set mid-way through the Second Era, known as the Age of Heroes, during a time of conflict. The Imperials have fallen under the sway of the evil Daedric Prince Molag Bal, who is trying to drag all of planet Nirn into his private realm, called Coldharbour. The three competing alliances of the Aldmeri Dominion, the Ebonheart Pact and the Daggerfall Covenant all seek to claim control of the Empire for the sake of preservation, independence and peace (respectively). There's also a pandemic lizard-flu, mad wizards everywhere, demonic Daedra popping up more often than usual, and evil omens in the stars.
Much of this has been documented in in-game books. TESO gives players a chance to take part in the historic events they have read about in the other games, before the rise of Tiber Septim who united all the provinces of Tamriel, ruled for 81 years and ascended to godhood for being so awesome.
The explorable world should prove to be as gigantic as the lore behind it. The developers have promised us an enormous game world to explore, consisting of all the lands we saw in the previous three games (Morrowind, Cyrodiil and Skyrim) plus High Rock, Hammerfell, Summerset Isles, Valenwood, Elsweyr and the Black Marsh. Most of these regions haven't been featured as explorable areas in a game since Arena, the very first game in the series.