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|Type||Body of Water|
|Appears in||Arena, Daggerfall, ESO|
The Iliac Bay (also spelled Illiac Bay, sometimes called Starfall Bay) is the large bay separating the southern coast of High Rock from the northern coast of Hammerfell. Southwestern High Rock and northern Hammerfell are often referred to collectively as the Iliac Bay region. The Imperial Navy's Northwest Fleet is charged with its protection.
There is evidence of human settlements around Iliac Bay dating back at least a thousand years before recorded history. Before or soon after the start of the First Era, Aldmer came to High Rock from the Summerset Isles and intermarried with Nedes, eventually creating the Breton race. The Skyrim Conquests brought most if not all of the High Rock portion of the Iliac Bay region under the control of the Nords around 1E 246, though they would lose control around 1E 369 because of internal squabbles. They apparently never controlled Wayrest, which likely wasn't founded until several hundred years later. Over time, the emerging Bretons peacefully supplanted the remaining Nordic population.
Before 1E 808, northern Hammerfell was populated by beastfolk and Nedic people. But then Yokudan warrior fleets, called the Ra Gada, brought refugees fleeing a natural disaster. They drove away the natives, and since they were no longer Yokudans, they came to be called Redguards, a corruption of "Ra Gada". They disliked outsiders of any sort, and this isolationism was the primary reason why the Alessian Doctrines failed to gain a foothold here, and why traditional beliefs among the Redguard are still strong today. Although an offshoot of the Dwemer settled here in 1E 420, they did not settle near the Iliac Bay region and disappeared before the Ra Gada arrived. Many Redguards dislike outsiders (although most Redguards around the Iliac Bay are relatively tolerant), and Hammerfell did not join the Septim Empire until 2E 864.
The First Era was generally a difficult time to live in the Iliac Bay region. Half the population of the region died several times: once because of the Thrassian Plague, once because of the War of Righteousness, and again because of an Akaviri invasion. The general history of the Iliac Bay is said to be one of insurrections, wars, and plagues as the many provincial powers in Hammerfell and High Rock maneuvered for power.
The Third Era began relatively peacefully as the reigns of Tiber Septim and Pelagius I brought about a golden age. However, the Iliac Bay region became heavily involved in the War of the Red Diamond, when a disagreement over the succession of the Imperial throne led to seven years of war. Years later, many kingdoms in the region managed to set aside their squabbles and unite against the Camoran Usurper, whose bid for power had brought strife and war throughout the region and beyond. He was decisively defeated in a massive land and naval battle known as the Battle of Firewaves in 3E 267.
Relative peace existed for over a hundred years, until the War of the Bend'r-mahk in 3E 396, when Skyrim defeated the forces of High Rock and Hammerfell and expanded into their territory. In 3E 402, a land dispute between Daggerfall and Sentinel erupted into the short War of Betony. It was described as typical of Iliac Bay warfare: "sincere, frighteningly violent, and peaceably resolved". However, a lot of bad blood remained between the citizenry of each province due to the viciousness of the war.
The Warp in the West
In 3E 417, events stemming from the death of King Lysandus of Daggerfall set in motion an upheaval in Hammerfell and High Rock. This event is called the Warp in the West, the Miracle of Peace, or the Second Numidian Effect. An unknown hero, who is believed to have been an agent of the Blades, gained control of a mighty artifact known as the Totem of Tiber Septim. While unable to use it themselves, it is believed that the major factions of the Iliac region engaged in a bidding war, attempting to purchase the artifact. In the end, Sentinel, Wayrest, Daggerfall, Orsinium, and the Emperor all gained control of this artifact and used it to control Numidium and thus consolidate their political powers, somehow at the same exact time. On the 9th of Frostfall, there were forty-four city-states. On the 11th, after a number of mysterious cataclysms and anomalies, there were only four—Sentinel, Wayrest, Daggerfall, and Orsinium—all swearing loyalty to the Emperor.
Following this Miracle of Peace, Sentinel grew to encompass the entirety of the Iliac Bay's southeast shore, from Abibon-Gora to Satakalaam, and Daggerfall and Wayrest took over large tracts of territory in southern High Rock. The peace between Daggerfall and Sentinel is apparently holding. While some minor border skirmishes still occur occasionally, and emerging alliances may threaten to break the peace, no human kingdoms seem willing to reignite conflicts. At least, not against each other.
Orcs have been present around the Iliac Bay since time immemorial and have been a relatively constant security concern to their neighbors, whether or not they control territory of their own. Redguard and Breton kingdoms united to annihilate the Orc province in eastern High Rock, Orsinium, in the First Era. A new iteration, sometimes called Nova Orsinium, emerged and prospered in the Third Era, and rose to become a major power in the Iliac Bay region following the Miracle of Peace. However, the peace for them did not last long, as early in the Fourth Era, Breton and Redguard kingdoms once again put aside their differences to attack the Orcs, eliminating Orsinium once again, and many Orc refugees were escorted from the chaos into western Skyrim.
The waters of the Iliac Bay are known for being relatively tranquil. The great rolling waves which characterize the Abecean Sea and the oceans disappear upon entering the bay. From there, the bay stretches northeast into the continent, to the mouth of the Bjoulsae River. Together, the bay and the river roughly separate High Rock and Hammerfell. The area of High Rock near the Iliac Bay primarily has a temperate climate and rolling hills, while Hammerfell's portion tends to be more arid, rocky, and inhospitable. The Wrothgarian Mountains of High Rock cap the Iliac Bay region to the north, while the Dragontail Mountains of Hammerfell form most of the eastern border, along with the Alik'r Desert. Many islands dot the Bay itself, notably Betony, Cybiades, and the Isle of Balfiera.
Redguards and Bretons predominantly populate the modern-day Iliac Bay. They worship a wide variety of deities and the rich history of the Iliac Bay has imbued the region with diverse cultures, traditions, and numerous unique holidays. There are modern professions of all kinds across the Iliac Bay; besides the typical soldiers, priests, traders, and thieves, there are artists, writers, weavers, scholars, even bankers. Vampires have always been a significant concern; numerous clans of them pervade the area. Fears of Akaviri pirates and invasions have also been with the people of the Iliac Bay since the First Era, although they haven't been seen for quite a while. A great variety of interesting creatures roam Iliac Bay, such as Dragonlings, large flying lizards which physically resemble the even larger, unrelated race of dragons.
- Adamantine Tower: Found on a small island in the Isle of Balfiera, it is considered the oldest structure in all of Tamriel, and a neutral meeting place for negotiating provinces.
- Cryngaine Field: A field on the island of Betony where the decisive battle of the eponymous war occurred in 3E 403.
- The City of Daggerfall: One of the oldest and largest cities of High Rock, it has long considered itself the capital of High Rock, by virtue of its antiquity, prominence, and prosperity.
- Sentinel: One of the biggest tourist destinations in all of Hammerfell.
- For game-specific information, see the Daggerfall article.
- Arena Sentinel description
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- A History of Daggerfall — Odiva Gallwood
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Wayrest, Jewel of the Bay — Sathyr Longleat
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Ra Gada: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- A Brief History of the Empire — Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian
- The Fall of the Usurper — Palaux Illthre
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: Valenwood — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- The War of Betony — Fav'te
- The War of Betony — Vulper Newgate
- The Warp in the West — Ulvius Tero
- The Pig Children — Tyston Bane
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Orsinium — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Lord of Souls — Gregory Keyes
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High Rock — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Holidays of the Iliac Bay — Theth-i
- Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor
- Sacred Witness - A True History of the Night Mother — Enric Milres
- Banker's Bet — Porbert Lyttumly
- Vampires of the Iliac Bay
- There Be Dragons — Torhal Bjorik