Books:Pocket Guide to the Empire: 3rd Edition

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Release Date 2006
Time Period 3E 432
Author(s) Ted Peterson
Michael Kirkbride
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Pages 112
Game Oblivion

A Pocket Guide to The Empire and its Environs (Being a Description of the Lands and the Chief Features of their Histories) (commonly shortened to Pocket Guide to the Empire: 3rd Edition or PGE3) was part of the Collector's Edition package for TES IV: Oblivion. It was a rewritten version of the Pocket Guide to the Empire: 1st Edition that had shipped eight years earlier with TESA: Redguard, but while the old version had been stridently pro-Imperial in its tone, the new version was much more even-handed and less propagandist.

The book opens with a history of the guide itself, before devoting sections to the universe, Oblivion, Aetherius, birthsigns and History. There are then detailed sections on each of the provinces of Tamriel, which take up the vast majority of the book, before a final section on Other Lands, that briefly describes Thras, Pyandonea, Akavir, Yokuda, Aldmeris, and Atmora.

The guide can be read in full here.

Behind the Scenes[edit]

  • Michael Kirkbride was originally contracted to create a new Pocket Guide for the then-upcoming Oblivion release, as he had done with previously for Redguard. In his own words, Kirkbride stated he only wrote about eighteen lines or so for the final Pocket Guide. Lore such as the Sun Birds of Alinor and the Imperial Mananauts were invented by him.[1]
  • Michael Kirkbride actually penned a section of the guide that was cut, called the Census of Daedra Lords, which was to be the Imperial Geographical Society's breakdown of the Daedric Princes and their spheres. Why it was cut is unknown, but the published Pocket Guide does make reference the Census's existence within the Arena Supermundus passage. The Census was later released on the Bethesda Forums.
  • The Pocket Guide includes a number of references to Loranna's RP, a forum based series of roleplaying campaigns, which the author of the Pocket Guide, Ted Peterson, participated in for fun.
    • The mention of Azura's realm being unreachable and "the events of Hogithum Hall" in the Census of Daedra Lords are direct references to The Trial of Vivec.
    • The Welwa mob was originated by forum user Allerleirauh as a nod to real world Romanian folklore. They were later canonized in the Summerset passage.
    • The characters of Prince Goranthir and Princess Rinnala (children of Queen Morgiah and King Karoodil of Firsthold) were invented for Morrowind Moonlight and both had major story archs throughout the remainder of the roleplay. They were both referenced in the Summerset passage.
    • The "destruction in the east" mentioned in the Skyrim passage was referencing the "Morrowind Civil War" which took place in the Playing Houses campaign. Additionally, Peterson foreshadowed and fleshed out Helseth outlawing slavery and the King's alliance with House Dres within the very same campaign.