Elder Scrolls Online Races: The Ebonheart Pact

The Ebonheart Pact is one of the least likely factions in the Elder Scrolls Online. Find out more about the Nords, Dunmer and Argonians.

Elder Scrolls Online Races: The Ebonheart Pact

Nords | Dark Elves | Argonians

History

The east coast of Tamriel is home to the Ebonheart Pact, from mountainous Skyrim in the north to the swamps of the Black Marsh in the south. By most accountings, the constituent members of the Ebonheart Pact shouldn't get along - the Argonians from the Black Marsh have historically been enslaved by the Dark Elves of Morrowind, and the Nords of Skyrim have traditionally bullied the Dark Elves (and basically everybody else). The only things these people hate more than each other is a) everyone else, and b) the idea that whoever takes control of Cyrodiil will attempt to strip them of their independence. 

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Ebonheart Pact - Jorunn the Skald-King

The Ebonheart Pact was formed out of necessity, when the foreign armies of Akavir invaded Tamriel from the north. Working together, the Nords, Dark Elves and Argonians crushed a major force of the invading Akaviri army. The Nords drove the Akaviri from their march on Riften, driving them down into Morrowind, where the Dark Elves and Argonians converged on them. This great victory forged a deep respect for one another in the three races - despite their historical acrimony, they saw each others' strength and recognized the power of their combined might. They formed the Great Moot, the governing body of the Ebonheart Pact consisting of representatives of all the races and headed by the Nord, Jorunn the Skald-King.

Goals

The people of the Ebonheart Pact are united in their desire to remain independent. They have no desire to labor under the yoke of a racist, totalitarian Altmer-run regime, and they feel that the Daggerfall Covenant is too dangerous to rule as a central government. The Ebonheart Pact is arguably the most balanced faction in the Elder Scrolls Online, but that balance is fragile and based on the ability of the three races to keep one another in-line.

Races

Elder Scrolls Races - Nords
Nords
Elder Scrolls Races - Dark Elves
Dark Elves
Elder Scrolls Races - Argonians
Argonians

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Nords

Nords

History & Lore

Elder Scrolls Online Races - NordsThe great hero Ysgramor gathered a great group of followers from the far-northern nation of Atmora, sailed south and landed on the shores of Skyrim. The new continent was already settled by elves, the native human Nedic people and some previous Atmoran immigrant groups, but the people who would become the Nords carved their new civilization into the cold, unforgiving rock.

The earliest years were more or less peaceful and harmonious, but eventually the native Snow Elves staged a brutal attack on a Nord city in order to halt the humans' expansion, or possibly to capture a source of great power buried beneath the city. The reaction to this attack was swift, furious and terrible - Ysgramor and his army, the Five Hundred Companions, who had fled back to Atmora after the attack, returned to Skyrim and exterminated the Snow Elves, driving the few survivors into underground exile where they transformed into the feral Falmer. The Five Hundred Companions went on to settle across Tamriel, and most modern humans in Tamriel are descended from these people. The Nords ruled most of Tamriel for the first few hundred years of the First Era.

The current Nords of the late Second Era have a long history of savage conflict with all of their neighbors, though they have also proven to be staunch allies during times of strife - such as during invasions from Akavir. They are infamous among their enemies - as well as their allies - for their savage battle-lust and terrifying strength, and for their hardiness against the elements.

Characteristics

Nords are usually pale-skinned and light-haired, and are the tallest humans. They are sometimes depicted with their faces painted in woad, like ancient Celts, but most Nord culture is lifted from northern Germanic cultures - Vikings, Danes, Franks, Saxons and others.

They usually have bonuses to physical stats like Strength and Endurance, with penalties to mental stats. This is usually paired with bonuses to big weapons and some kinds of armor. They don't get a "Berserker Rage" ability like the Orcs, but they still make natural berserkers and "barbarian" type characters because of their proficiency with big axes and (usually) light or medium armor. They also have resistance to cold and frost, which is situationally handy. And contrary to popular belief, they do not all suffer from a weakness to arrows in the knee area - that's specific to town guards.

Appearances in Previous Games

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Nord - Arena
Arena
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Nord - Daggerfall
Daggerfall
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Nord - Morrowind
Morrowind
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Nord - Oblivion
Oblivion
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Nord - Skyrim
Skyrim






Nords | Dark Elves | Argonians

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dark Elves

Dark Elves (Dunmer)

History & Lore

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dark ElvesThe Dark Elves, also known as Dunmer, are the ashen-skinned, red-eyed natives of the harsh, volcanic province of Morrowind. They are tough, resilient and intelligent, skilled at both physical combat and magic, but they are also sort of isolationists. They don't get on well with any other races... or the gods.

Originally, they were called the Chimer, and were physically the same as the Altmer but no longer wished to follow High Elf laws and customs. The Chimer left the Summerset Isles and headed to Morrowind, following the lead of a prophet called the Veloth who was working for the Daedric Prince Boethiah. This exodus had a profound impact on elf-kind - the followers of the Veloth eventually became the Dunmer, and the elves who opposed the exodus became the Orsimer (the Orcs). The Chimer took on their current ashen-skinned, red-eyed appearance as the result of a curse from the Daedric Princess Azura for the murder-sacrifice of their leader in order to summon the god to the Red Mountain. Azura decreed that, forever after, their eyes would be as red as volcanic ash, and their skin as black as their hearts.

Dunmer culture in Morrowind is dominated by the Great Houses  and the Ashlanders. The Great Houses are the ruling class of Morrowind, and the six of them jointly run the province. The Ashlanders are nomadic primitives who live in small tent-camps and wander the volcanic wastes. Slavery is a big industry in Morrowind, especially Argonian and Khajiit slaves, and Dunmer religion is markedly different from the Divine-worship religions of the other people. The Dark Elves worship their ancestors, and believe that the three ancestor-gods known as the Tribunal walk the earth and take part in Morrowind politics. Ashlander Dunmer worship the Tribunal plus some Daedra. 

Not all Dunmer are on-board for the alliance with the Nords and Argonians. House Telvanni still raids the Black Marsh for Argonian slaves - an action which threatens to unravel the already shaky alliance of the Ebonheart Pact.

Characteristics

Dark Elves are average height, with typically thin builds. Their skin ranges in tone from dark, dusky grey to deep shades of ashy-green, and their eyes are red. Hair is often dark or red, and males occasionally wear beards.

Dunmer can do well in any class role. They usually have bonuses to bladed weapons, Destruction magic (and a couple of other schools), and some thieving abilities. They are jacks-of-all-trades, the middle-ground that can excel at whatever they put their minds to. Their volcanic homeland gives them a natural resistance to fire, and their ancestor worship gives them special ties to the spirit world - since Morrowind, Dunmer have had an ability to summon an ancestor's spirit to protect them or damage their enemies.

Appearances in Previous Games

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dunmer - Arena
Arena
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dunmer - Daggerfall
Daggerfall
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dunmer - Morrowind
Morrowind
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dark Elf - Oblivion
Oblivion
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Dark Elf - Skyrim
Skyrim






Nords | Dark Elves | Argonians

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Argonians

Argonians

History & Lore

Elder Scrolls Online Races - ArgoniansThe Black Marsh, also known as Argonia, is home to some really strange stuff, not least of which are the Argonians themselves. The intelligent lizard-people live mysterious lives in their ancient, impenetrable swamps, worshiping sentient trees and training as secret assassins. Most other peoples of Tamriel consider them "Beastfolk," regarding them as inferior beings and often keeping them as slaves. 

Argonians are shaped by the extremes of their native environment. The abundance of great inland waterways, still pools and ponds and other bodies of water means the Argonians need to be able to do a lot of swimming. Coupled with their gills, which enable them to breathe underwater, and their powerful tails, this affinity with the water makes Argonians nearly as speedy in the water as they are on the land. Some parts of the Black Marsh are inaccessible to any but Argonians, and Argonian armies are known to bivouac deep underwater. They are natural guerilla fighters, assassins and skirmishers, able to make swift, brutal attacks followed by quick, untrackable escapes underwater. Furthermore, their constant exposure to swamp-born pathogens has strengthened their immune systems considerably, making them resistant to even virulent infections like the Knahaten Flu, which they may or may not have created to infect the invaders that enter the swamps to enslave them. They are not, however, immune to lycanthropy... but they have a special kind of lycanthropy. No other race turns into were-crocodiles.

Very little is known of their culture or lifestyle outside of the Black Marsh. It is known that they hold a close, quasi-religious relationship with the bizarre Hist tree, which grows abundantly there and may possess an intelligent and psychic hive-mind. Argonians drink the sap of the Hist at birth and infancy, and believe that this is how an Argonian earns his soul. It also enables them to speak telepathically to the Hist from which they drank. They are also known to revere Sithis, believing this god to be the creator of all, and any Argonian born under the sign of the Shadow is given to the Dark Brotherhood to be trained in the arts of stealth and contract murder. These Argonians are known as Shadowscales, and their order serves the government of the Black Marsh as royal assassins and problem-solvers.

Characteristics

Argonians have appeared in every Elder Scrolls game so far. They are usually of average height and thin build, with scaly skin in a wide range of colors. Their appearance has changed significantly from game to game - in Morrowind, for example, they had long, bestial feet and walked funky, but in Oblivion they had normal, human-style feet and walked like everyone else. They have had long tails since Daggerfall, and a broad assortment of fins and horns and scale patterns since Morrowind.

In all games with swimming, Argonians have had the ability to breathe underwater, and strong resistance to disease. In Morrowind and Oblivion, they were immune to poison, but in Skyrim, this ability was replaced with the Histskin ability, which recovered health at 10 times the normal rate for 60 seconds. They have also been historically blessed with assassin, thieving or skirmisher type skills. They also come bundled with a handful of magic skills and can excel as wizards.

Appearances in Previous Games

Elder Scrolls Online Races - Argonian - Arena
Arena
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Argonian - Daggerfall
Daggerfall
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Argonian - Morrowind
Morrowind
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Argonian - Oblivion
Oblivion
Elder Scrolls Online Races - Argonian - Skyrim
Skyrim






Nords | Dark Elves | Argonians

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