Friday, December 12, 2014

Origin Stories Part III: The Elder Scrolls: Arena

I just finished The Elder Scrolls: Chapter I: Arena earlier in the week after I don't know how many hours.  The point of the game is to traverse across the continent of Tamriel to find eight pieces of a staff that was broken in order to defeat a battlemage masquerading as the current Emperor, Uriel Septim VII.  Think the first The Legend of Zelda set in Tolkien's Middle Earth.  There you go.

As previously stated, fast traveling between towns is a must since walking 1 km in-game will take about two hours in real time.  A lot of cities are 100+km apart (or at least the ones that you need to get to) and that's just in the same province.  I had previously gone into my method of playing the game, but that was before I seriously began collecting the pieces of the Staff of Chaos.  By about the fourth piece, I changed my tactic quite a bit as ransacking random dungeons became tedious and there was no long a point to collecting gold as I already had upwards of 200,000 at any given time.

But that's not the point of today's post.  Today, I wanted to nerd-out about the story and the lore behind the games in the Elder Scrolls series and anyone who has been reading knows that I like (have to) create origin and backstories for characters and why they're doing what it is that they're doing.  So I'm going to be doing that again.

The Elder Scrolls: Chapter I: Arena begins with your character being thrown into the dungeons underneath the Imperial Palace in Cyrodiil (then unnamed beyond "Imperial Province) and the year is 3E 389.  I figured that my female Bosmer (Wood Elf) Silandra was some kind of assistant/handmaiden to whomever the delegant from whichever city state she hailed from in Valenwood at the Imperial Court was before Jagar Tharn impersonated Uriel Septim VII and imprisoned everyone else.  That's when the game of TES: Arena takes over.  It was a simple backstory that didn't require too much thought or planning.  

I didn't have anything else for Silandra before she became a handmaiden to the court delegate.  It wasn't important, at least to me, so I went with it without any further additions.

Then the gears started moving again once I began my search for the final piece of the Staff of Chaos which turned out was located in [SPOILER] Red Mountain in Vvardenfell, Morrowind, or also known as Dagoth-Ur.  Yes, the same as that Dagoth Ur, but without the hyphen.  So here is what happened, at least in my Elder Scrolls universe:

Dagoth Ur's body/spirit was resting/building strength in the heart of Red Mountain, but still not at his full strength.  When the person later to be known as the Eternal Champion entered Red Mountain (passing under the Ghostfence and avoiding Vivec's Ordinators) and claimed the last piece of the Staff of Chaos, it emitted a surge of power that gave Dagoth Ur a renewed source of energy that allowed him to spread the blight disease beyond the Ghostfence surrounding the base of Red Mountain. 

In my game time, this happened around 3E 394 Rains Hand, (Lore time span in 389-399) and it would still be another 33 years before the events in Morrowind would take place.  It would be interesting to note that in 3E 400, members of the Sixth House would use the tunnel found/created by the Eternal Champion to re-establish themselves outside of Red Mountain in their former stronghold of Kogorhun, north of Red Mountain.   Additionally, the power from the reformed staff allowed would Dagoth Ur to reclaim Sunder and Keening (two Dwemer artifacts) when Almalexia and Sotha Sil re-entered Red Mountain to strengthen the Ghostfence in 3E 417.  This ultimately leads to Almalexia and Sotha Sil withdrawing from "public life," leading to the "downfall" of the Tribunal. [/SPOILER]

I'm sure there is more that I could integrate from the official lore of the series, but I am not entirely that knowledgable and I haven't completed all of the expansions for Morrowind (Tribunal & Bloodmoon).  And thinking about this now, once I finish with Oblivion, I'll probably go through Skyrim again with all of this completed backstory in mind but at the moment, I'm not sure how I will work in my character and the events in Daggerfall, but that might just have to be something that develops as I play the game.

Caught By Your Divine Spell

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