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During the second era, in a time before any previous Elder Scrolls game, the world of Tamriel descended into a four-way war. In an attempt to conquer the continent, the Imperials – natives to the province of Cyrodiil – made a deal with the Daedric prince Molag Bal. At the beginning of Elder Scrolls Online, players join one of three factions that not only oppose the Imperials and Molag Bal’s undead army, but will also battle one another for the imperial throne. Elder Scrolls Online features three different alliances, three different philosophies, and three different ways to approach the game. Which will you choose? Today we take a deeper look at the Ebonheart Pact, represented by the dragon on the ouroboros.
Zenimax Online’s Take:
“About 50 years prior to the game, an Akaviri invasion came in and basically tried to take over,” says creative director Paul Sage. “What happens now is that the Dunmer and the Nords have formed an alliance because the attack was so bad that they realized they were weak to the Imperial rise. So they form an alliance of convenience with the Argonians. They’re surrounded by all these tides of opposing forces. They feel really threatened, so the Ebonheart’s entire purpose is to band together and make sure they’re no longer in danger.”
Many gamers are familiar with Morrowind thanks to the third entry in the Elder Scrolls series. Homeland of the Dunmer, Morrowind is separated into two parts: Morrowind proper and the island of Vvardenfell. The Sea of Ghosts cuts a giant U through the middle of the province, producing a lot of swampland while mountain ranges to the west isolate Morrowind from other provinces. Vvardenfell has historically been subject to a lot of volcanic activity, and some species depend on this ashfall for survival.
Of all of the provinces, Skyrim is probably the most well known thanks to last year’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Fans of last year’s game will likely be excited to see how ZeniMax Online has recreated the area for an MMO. Home of the Nords, Skyrim is a wealthy and powerful province despite its cold and sometimes inhospitable climate. Skyrim houses four out of Tamriel’s five tallest mountains.
Black Marsh is also sometimes called Argonia as it is home to the lizard-like Argonians. As the name suggests, Black Marsh contains a vast amount of marshlands and rainforests. The Hist, a race of sentient trees, also call Black Marsh home. The province’s tropical climate has made it difficult to cultivate its plant life. In fact, much of this swampland is teeming with poisonous plants and violent predators.
Dunmer, or Dark Elves, are an ashen-skinned, red-eyed people. Dunmer are often seen as proud, ruthless, and aloof, and are rarely willing to trust other races. Their above-average intellect, strength, and agility make them both strong warriors and capable sorcerers. Many Dunmer have been able to attain a balanced mastery of sword, bow, and destruction magic.
Nords are sometimes called children of the sky, since they are a tall, fair-haired race of humans who hail from the northern realm. The Nords are a militant people with an incredible resistance to cold and magical frost. These enthusiastic warriors are also natural seamen who have prospered greatly from their nautical trade.
Argonians are called Saxhleel in their native tongue of Jel, a term that means “People of the Root.” Argonians have historically been a slave race to invading bands of Dunmer, and years of defending their borders have made the Argonians talented in the art of guerrilla warfare. Naturally immune to many diseases and poisons, these reptilians are also very agile and make excellent thieves and magicians.