An Elder Scrolls Lore Primer for Noobs

Posted Tue, Jan 22, 2013 by gunky

An Elder Scrolls Online Lore Primer for Noobs

Previous Games | Place Names | Aedra & Daedra | Timeline

The Elder Scrolls series of games has built a massive pool of lore, all of which will serve as a resource for the forthcoming MMO, the Elder Scrolls Online. This is the first time the Elder Scrolls universe will be presented in MMO form, and the gigantic backstory built up over the previous five single-player games may be overwhelming to newcomers who will be experiencing the world for the first time.

Previous Games

Elder Scrolls Online Lore Primer - LibrarySince so much of the lore can be gleaned from the vast library of books in all of the single-player games, the easiest and most fun way to bone up on Elder Scrolls history and lore is to spend some time in those games. Starting with TES II: Daggerfall, there are readable books everywhere, and they all contain some kind of accounting of the events in history. Of particular interest will be books dealing with the various creation myths, First and Second Era history, nature and the supernatural. Some prime places to hunt for relevant books:

  • the library in Vivec (Morrowind)
  • any Mages Guild guildhall
  • chapels, temples, castles
  • fully upgraded player houses (Oblivion and Skyrim)

It's also possible to learn a lot about Tamriel's rich history by paying close attention to the quests. The Daedric shrine quests in Oblivion, for example, give a profound insight into the alien natures of the Daedric Princes - they are neither wholly evil nor wholly good, but can be as capricious and cruel as the gods of the Greeks. Joining the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim gives the player a glimpse at the very foundations of the universe - it's not just murder-for-sale, but serving a much greater purpose and following the laws of the universe itself.

Even the character creation process of the single-player games gives a glimpse of the lore: the player is asked to pick an astrological sign to represent the month of his birth. All of these astrological signs represent constellations which can be seen in the in-game sky at night. In the Elder Scrolls Online, the Serpent constellation (representing the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, who has a distinctly-serpentine appearance) dominates the night sky, reflecting Molag Bal's influence on events of that setting.

Heads-up: TES II: Daggerfall featured High Rock as well as Hammerfell. Matter of fact, Daggerfall is a major city in High Rock.

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