The Barony of Abibon-Gora was a Third Era political entity that rested on the western coast of Hammerfell, in the Iliac Bay region. It shared borders with Kairou to her north and the Alik'r Desert to her east. Redguards predominated in the region, with Julianos as the favorite deity. The capital city was the city of Abibon-gora, and the locality was protected by the Knights of the Wheel.
Aetherius, the Immortal Plane, is thought to be the origin of all magic and arcane arts. The stars and the sun are thought to be holes into Aetherius left by spirits (notably Magnus) who long ago became dissatisfied with Mundus. It is a common belief that the soul of a dead person, assuming they are not earthbound for some reason, goes to Aetherius, to continue on as a spirit.
Aetherius, much like Oblivion, consists of a multitude of realms which serve different purposes, except they are all "of everlasting imperfection". For Nords, their chosen place in Aetherius is Sovngarde, the Hall of Valor. The Redguards have a different place in Aetherius, called the Far Shores, as do the Khajiit, a realm known as the Sands Behind the Stars. These locations are not necessarily exclusive to those particular races, but may depend on an individual's beliefs, choices during their lifetime and the manner of their death, including the possibility of servitude to the Daedra in Oblivion.. For instance, High King Emeric was (temporarily) killed in the Chamber of Passage in the Hall of Heroes; his soul was drawn through a nearby passage to the Far Shores, despite his being a Breton.
Aetherius is thought by many to be the home of the Aedric spirits, though very little is actually known as travel to Aetherius is extremely rare. The Magna Ge, or "Star Orphans", who fled Mundus before Convention and created the stars, reside here. The Mantellan Crux is a self-contained part of Mundus that was blasted into Aetherius by Zurin Arctus, who used it as a hiding place for the Mantella.
The Ahemmusa Camp was an Ashlander settlement located directly north of Vos on the north coast of the Grazelands of Vvardenfell. It was a point of relative stability for the Ahemmusa Ashlanders. The camp was the location of the Healer, Wise Woman, and other tribal dignitaries. Members of the tribe claimed the entire northern section of the Grazelands as their hunting and herding territory.
Akavir, also known as Dragon Land, is a continental landmass east of Tamriel. The two continents have a history of animosity towards each other, with Akavir invading Tamriel several times in the past and Tamriel invading Akavir at least once. Much of what is known about it in Tamriel is acknowledged to be incomplete or inaccurate.
For more information, see the main lore article.
Akos Kasaz is the largest island in the Yokudan group between the Azurian Sea and the Sea of Pearls, far to the west of Hammerfell. Due to its size, the island spans multiple environments, some gentle and some brutal. Northern Akos Kasaz was a fertile steppe, home to large herding clans, some of whom worshipped the Herd Mother, rather than the typical Yokudan Gods. This group left Yokuda in the sixth century of the First Era, eventually founding a colony in the Vale of Silverhoof in High Rock. The capital of the Yokudans, Totambu, was located on Akos Kasaz.
Alabaster is a city found inland from the Niben River on the Elsweyr side of the border. It is said that great white walls surround the city, hence the name. A small unnamed town is located outside the city walls, to the west.
Alcaire is a region in central High Rock, within the larger region of Stormhaven. It borders King's Guard to the west, Eyebright Feld to the north, Wrothgar to the northeast and Menevia to the east. The region contains the settlements of Alcaire Castle and Koeglin Village, Firebrand Keep, and the Ayleid ruin of Moravagarlis, known to the locals as Bonesnap Ruins. During the time of the Daggerfall Covenant in the middle of the Second Era, the region was ruled by the Duke of Alcaire from Alcaire Castle, and protected by the Knights of the Flame. The name would be used again in the Third Era to refer to a fiefdom in the same area.
Aldmeris, also known as Old Aldmeris and Old Ehlnofey, is the mythical lost continent from which the Mer are said to have originated. The term Aldmeris also refers to the language spoken by the Aldmer.
For more information, see the main lore article.
The ruins were once an ancient site of Daedric worship, containing statues dedicated to Azura, Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath. Like many of the Daedric ruins of Vvardenfell, they were sealed off by the Ordinators of the Tribunal Temple to prevent worship of the Daedra Lords. The Temple occasionally made pilgrimages to Sheogorath's shrine. In hard times, the nomadic Ahemmusa Ashlanders of the northern Grazelands would take shelter in the ruins.
As the threat from Dagoth Ur began to grow in the late Third Era, the Ordinators were no longer able to guard the isolated Daedric ruins. Led by Hlireni Indavel, worshippers of Sheogorath flocked to Ald Daedroth. In 3E 427, a contingent of Ordinators were sent to the ruins to clear out the worshippers and their Daedric servants. The insane worshippers viewed this assault as a dance and resisted violently. Amid this chaos, the Nerevarine arrived at the ruins, having been sent by the wise woman of the Ahemmusa to make the ruins safe for her tribe. It is unknown how the worshippers and Ordinators were subdued, but Ald Daedroth was secured for the tribe. That same year, the Temple made a pilgrimage to Sheogorath's shrine and left the Gambolpuddy as an offering to the Mad God. Several artifacts of Sanguine were also liberated from the ruins by the Morag Tong.
The settlement of Ald'ruhn (sometimes spelled Ald-ruhn) was originally a sacred Ashlander meeting ground, built around the hollowed out shell of Skar, an Emperor Crab which in ages past had been defeated by the early Ashlander tribes. Around 2E 583 the Redoran noble Drelyth Hleran discovered that his family had a deep connection to Ald'ruhn, as his ancestor was the one who dealt the killing blow to Skar. After finding out the truth about his ancestor, and earning the respect of the Ashlander tribes, Drelyth Hleran promised to allow them to continue practicing their culture there in peace. The promise was clearly not kept by Drelyth's descendants, however, as by 3E 427, Ald'ruhn had become the seat of House Redoran's council, and all of the councilors had expansive mansions in Under-Skar, the manor district built in the hollowed shell of Skar. There were many smaller houses clustered about the giant shell, including both the Fighters Guild and Mages Guild. Representatives of the Thieves Guild were to be found in "The Rat In The Pot" inn, and on the east side of town was a large Tribunal Temple. The Morag Tong guildhall was located in a mansion in Under-Skar. Close to the south was the Imperial Legion fort, Buckmoth Legion Fort.
Originally, the location was the home of House Sotha, a minor house of the settled Chimer in the early First Era. It was the birthplace of Sotha Sil, who would later achieve godhood through the power of the Heart of Lorkhan and become a member of the Tribunal. The city was destroyed by Mehrunes Dagon; Sotha Sil was the sole survivor, having been saved by Vivec.
A shrine to Mehrunes Dagon was later built at the location, likely in remembrance of the Prince's destruction of the original city. The shrine fell into ruin, although it continued to be populated by Daedra. The Tribunal Temple occasionally made pilgrimages to Dagon's shrine deep within the ruins, and the Ordinators were charged with keeping away Daedra worshippers.
Roland's Tear, a rare variation of the common gold kanet flower, grew only around the ruins. It was sacred to the Tribunal, and is prized by alchemists for its wondrous powers when used in potion making.
By 3E 427, the Dark Brotherhood had taken over the ruins, and it became the headquarters of the Brotherhood in Vvardenfell. This attempt at expansion was viciously repelled by the native Morag Tong, the ancient enemies of the Brotherhood. The Tong infiltrated the ruins and executed the local Night Mother, Severa Magia, which helped to put an end to the Dark Brotherhood's activities on Vvardenfell. The Tong also liberated several artifacts of Sanguine from the ruins, which rightfully belonged to their patron, Mephala. The Tribunal Temple also made a pilgrimage to Dagon's shrine that year, and recovered the shoes of St. Rilms from the ruins.
The ruins were likely destroyed in 4E 5, when Baar Dau crashed into Vivec City. This impact devastated the surrounding area, creating Scathing Bay, a large crater filled with boiling water from the Inner Sea.
Ald Velothi was a small harbor north of Gnisis. Around 2E 583, the site featured a public pier and a modest Redoran-style private estate called Ald Velothi Harbor House. By 3E 427, House Redoran had taken possession of the harbor and converted it into a military outpost. There were few services, apart from some poor traders and a smith, and no means of fast transport to reach it. The settlement's principal structure was a Redoran watch-tower, and there was an outcast Ashlander camp directly south of the post, atop a hill. A large Daedric Shrine of Ashalmawia was directly east and visible from the village.
The Alik'r, best known as the Alik'r Desert, is a large region which forms the heart of Hammerfell. In truth, the distinction between the Alik'r's shifting sands and the kingdoms of Hammerfell is hazy; travelers in the vast desert report never being entirely sure which kingdom they may be in. An enormous red mist seems to rise up from the sand in the mornings, though it disappears again well before noon. Major cities of the region include Sentinel in the northwest, the port city of Tava's Blessing in the north, Satakalaam and Kozanset in the east, as well as Bergama in the south.
In the late Third Era, before the Warp in the West, the name was used specifically to refer to the unconquered territory in the desert centered around the city of Alik'ra. This region bordered almost every other region in northwestern Hammerfell, from Abibon-Gora to the Dragontail Mountains, and completely surrounded the province of Bergama. The Anthotis clan was the predominant vampire bloodline in the region.
The constant battle for survival in the Alik'r has been called a "holy war" for the Redguards. Satakal, the Yokudan god of everything, is a popular deity among the desert's nomads. The winds and sands of the Alik'r are said to possess a magic all their own.
Many Dwemer ruins lie under its sand, as does a stronghold of the Blades, Wind Scour Temple. The Lost City of the Na-Totambu is also hidden somewhere in the wastes. During the Warp in the West, there were reports of a large, spontaneous sandstorm, and the region ultimately came under the rule of Sentinel. At the beginning of the Great War in 4E 171, the Imperial legions in southern Hammerfell, overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of the Aldmeri Dominion, were forced to retreat across the Alik'r in the now-famous March of Thirst.
It was a forbidden city for almost 50 years in the late Second Era, humans only being allowed in the ports at that time. These traders described the city as made from glass or insect wings, which gives the city a beauty that, by any account, would easily rival that of any found on the mainland. Imperial emissaries of the Reman Dynasty described the city as straight and glimmering, a hypnotic swirl of ramparts and impossibly high towers, designed to catch the light of the sun and break it to its component colors, which lies draped across its stones until you are thankful for nightfall.
Throughout the long history of Alinor, it has often been at odds with the nearby city-state of Lillandril. Because of this internal strife, the Summerset Isles were quite isolated from the rest of Tamriel until Tiber Septim conquered the Isles in 2E 896, which was his final conquest on Tamriel. The golem Numidium, recently acquired as tribute from the Tribunal of Morrowind, attacked the city and captured it in mere minutes.
When the Aldmeri Dominion was reformed in the early Fourth Era, the city of Alinor lent its name to the entirety of the Summerset Isle.
Lake Amaya (Deshaan)
Lake Amaya is a large lake in the center of the Deshaan region of Morrowind. It surrounds the city of Mournhold. Local Ashlander tribes use the waters of the lake for primitive irrigation, allowing the fertile black soil of the Lake Amaya basin to sustain both plants and animals.
Lake Amaya (Vvardenfell)
Lake Amaya is a large lake in the Ascadian Isles region of Vvardenfell. It is located north of the village of Pelagiad and south of the Moonmoth Legion Fort. The Tribunal Temple pilgrimage site, the Fields of Kummu, were near the middle of the north shore.
Anequina (also known as Anaquina and Ne Quin-al) was a kingdom in southern Tamriel that merged with its rival Pellitine in 2E 309 to form the province of Elsweyr. It occupied the northern part of the province, around the city of Dune. Only two of the rulers of the kingdom are known. Keirgo married Pellitine's ruler Eshita to seal the merger of the two kingdoms in 2E 309. Darloc Brae, known as The Beast of Anequina was ruler in 1E 461 when he attended the coronation of the Emperor Gorieus. It is unclear whether Beast was a title always given to the ruler, or a specific appellation for Darloc Brae.
The kingdom is best remembered as the scene of a battle between Elsweyr and Valenwood called the Heart of Anequina, immortalized in a tapestry by renowned artist Cherim and described in a book of the same name.
Anticlere, formerly known as Reich Gradkeep, was a Third Era fiefdom on the southern coast of High Rock, the Iliac Bay region. It was bordered by Shalgora to the west, Daenia and Urvaius to the northwest, and Dwynnen to the northeast. The provincial seat was the city of Anticlere.
The region had a long history of conflict, its inhabitants having fought on both sides of the great wars of the continent. In memory of one of these, the Battle of Duncreigh Bridge against the neighboring hamlet of Sensford in 1E 1427, the citizens of Anticlere noisily marched down Sensford's main street, a progress that results in numerous injuries on both sides.
Prior to the War of Betony in 3E 403, Anticlere was known as Reich Gradkeep. It was originally a neutral party in the war between Daggerfall and Sentinel over the Island of Betony. Reich Gradkeep's ruler, Lord Graddock, tried to negotiate a peace treaty to end the war. The Treaty of Reich Gradkeep was drafted and nearly signed, but at the last minute King Camaron of Sentinel rejected the treaty, feeling he had been betrayed. Enraged, Camaron turned against Reich Gradkeep. In the ensuing bloodbath, Lord Graddock and his entire family were killed, except for one sickly infant. One week later, Daggerfall won the Battle of Cryngaine Field, ending the War of Betony.
The councilors invited Graddock's cousin, Lord Auberon Flyte, to rule Reich Gradkeep as regent. Flyte and his wife, Doryanna, were strong, nearly dictatorial, rulers who restored much-needed order to the province. When the infant heir died, Flyte was elevated from regent to ruler and Reich Gradkeep was renamed Anticlere, after Flyte's ancestral home.
The County of Antiphyllos was a political entity within western Hammerfell in the Iliac Bay. King Fahara'jad, who ruled the kingdom of Sentinel in the Second Era, used to be a prince of Antiphyllos before he ascended to the throne. In the late Third Era, Antiphyllos shared its northwestern border with Sentinel and Ayasofya. Its capital was the city of Antyphyllos. The immense Alik'r Desert surrounded the rest of the region, although even the local residents seem to have trouble establishing those borders with any certainty. In 3E 417, the Anthotis bloodline predominated among vampires in the region. After the Warp in the West, the county became a part of the kingdom of Sentinel.
Anvil is a prosperous harbor city on the Gold Coast by the Abecean Sea at the very southwest end of Cyrodiil. It is the seat of County Anvil and it is located at the end of the Gold Road, west of Skingrad and Kvatch.
Anvil consists of five districts: Castle Anvil, Chapelgate, Westgate, Guildgate and Harborside. The Redguards have had a notable influence on local architecture, which is of a similar style to that of nearby Hammerfell. The city's graveyard is located across the street from the Chapel of Dibella. North of the graveyard lies Benirus Manor, one of Anvil's many stately manors. The city also houses chapters of the Fighters Guild and Mages Guild, the latter of which specializes in Restoration.
Apocrypha is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge and Fate. It is an endless library consisting of untitled books with black covers, where all forbidden knowledge can be found. The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge. Stacks of books form mazes and spiraling pillars that can reach as high as the illuminating green sky. Intricate ruins and monstrous carvings can be found among the stacks. The plane is covered in a sea of ink and roiling tentacles, while Hermaeus Mora is omnipresent over all. Some areas of the realm are consumed by darkness which can kill any who enter it. Discarded pages and floating tomes fill the air.
Apocrypha is inhabited by the frightening Daedric servants of Mora. Seekers guard forbidden knowledge, banishing foes with sound attacks. Lurkers dwell within the inky tide, arising from the depths to attack invaders. Disembodied tentacles hide in the waters and hang from the sky, whipping at any who pass.
Apart from magical teleportation, Apocrypha is most easily entered by mortals through the reading of Black Books, tomes of forbidden knowledge displaced from time and scattered across Tamriel. An apparition of the reader's body remains in Mundus, tethering their life force. Most mortals who gain access to the secrets within Apocrypha are driven insane by unending revelations. Such was the fate of the mage Morian Zenas, who famously disappeared in Apocrypha during his voyages through Oblivion. However those who successfully journey through Apocrypha are known to discover powerful knowledge.
The Applewatch Inn was opened in the mid-Second Era by Leono and Rasala Draconis. However, Applewatch's secluded location ensured that the inn received few visitors, and the couple were forced to consider farming instead. During the Alliance War of 2E 582, the settlement's position was put into jeopardy when Bruma was sacked by the forces of Molag Bal, cutting off supplies. During the Planemeld, a Dark Anchor was also opened south of the settlement, in the Applewatch Wood region.
The inn was later closed and seemingly deconstructed, and by the late Third Era the Draconis family had built a small farmhouse at Applewatch. In 3E 433, the Dark Brotherhood received a contract to eliminate the entire Draconis family, which at the time consisted of an elderly Perennia Draconis and her four adult children. Perennia was murdered at Applewatch after she revealed the location of her children, who were located all across Cyrodiil. The family were reunited in death when the assassinated children were buried beside their mother at Applewatch, although Perennia's vengeful ghost began to haunt the graves.
Later that year, a Speaker for the Brotherhood named Lucien Lachance was framed as a traitor and was forced to go into hiding. He chose to stay at the abandoned farmstead at Applewatch while his Silencer worked to clear his name, but the surviving members of the Black Hand tracked him down and mutilated him before he could prove his innocence. Applewatch was then briefly occupied by the Black Hand while they plotted their next move. During the Oblivion Crisis, an Oblivion Gate to the Deadlands was opened just up the hill from the settlement.
The Arcane University (also called the Imperial University) is a walled complex located on City Isle in Cyrodiil. It is a district of the Imperial City, and is connected by bridge to the Arboretum District. It was founded in the Second Era and replaced the Crystal Tower of Summerset Isle as the center of magical learning in Tamriel. The Arcane University acted as the headquarters of the Mages Guild, and was the seat of the Council of Mages. The university was Tamriel's foremost magical research center and was the home of many powerful guild mages, scholars and apprentices.
The university grounds are guarded by Imperial Battlemages of the Shadow Legion, a magic-using legion who were once trained in the Battlespire. In the center of the district is the Arch-Mage's Tower. The tower contained the Council Chamber, the Arch-Mage's living quarters, and a ground floor open to the public. The chambers were linked by magical teleportation pads. Accessible from the tower was the Imperial Orrery, a reconstructed Dwarven machine used to chart the heavens. The university grounds were divided by a wall; one half of the grounds were reserved for members of the Mages Guild. The university contained a Chironasium for enchanting, a Lustratorium for alchemy, a Praxographical Center for spell making, and quarters and practice rooms for permanent residents. The Mystic Archives had a large collection of books and notes. The grounds also contained an alchemical garden, an outdoors lecture area, and an Imperial watchtower for the Battlemages.
Following the Soulburst of 2E 578 and the disappearance of Emperor Varen Aquilarios, the Mages Guild's legal standing under the Guild Act was revoked and stewardship of the Arcane University was temporarily awarded to Mannimarco's Order of the Black Worm under the name "Fellowship of Anchorites". In 2E 582 the exiled Mages Guild re-established a central headquarters on the isle of Eyevea. Following Molag Bal's invasion of the Imperial City and the Worm Cult's fall from power that year, the university was plundered and occupied by Daedra. Remnants of the Dragonguard succeeded in securing the university's most important treasures deep underground. Many of the thousands of Dwarven artifacts (including vamidium constructs) stored in the vaults below the university were smuggled out after the university was sacked, and later appeared on the open market.
With a large hole in the outer wall, the Worm Cult-cursed ruins of the Arcane University were eventually abandoned by the occupying Daedra. The Circle of Champions then began using the district to host dangerous gladiator battles to the death. Fighters from all three sides of the Alliance War came to the Arcane University battleground to fight for the glory of the Fire Drakes, Pit Daemons, and Storm Lords arena teams. At some point after the end of the Planemeld, the Mages Guild regained ownership of the university.
Access to the Arcane University underwent a change of policy at the end of the Third Era when Hannibal Traven became Arch-Mage. To gain entry, initiates of the Mages Guild needed a recommendation from all the guildhalls of Cyrodiil. In 3E 433, the Orrery was repaired with Dwemer artifacts imported from Morrowind. The university was not directly affected by the attacks on the Mages Guild from the Order of the Black Worm, although the attendants of Wellspring Cave were slain by the necromancers, cutting off the supply of special wood needed for the creation of magical staffs, and several members of the council of mages based at the university including the Arch-Mage died during the crisis. The Arcane University survived the dissolution of the Mages Guild following the Oblivion Crisis, and was still a center of magical study in 4E 201.
Archon is an Argonian settlement near the eastern coast of Black Marsh. It once housed the Shadowscale training facility, a secret facility run by the Dark Brotherhood with the aim of training Shadowscales, elite Argonian assassins who work for the king of Black Marsh.
The location actually consists of several separate ruins. The most notable element is the double arch in the center of the valley. To the north is a ruined structure and a tower. To the southeast, a barrow, another ruin, and a few more arches can be found. A Word Wall stands just near the main arch.
In 2E 582, the ruin was overrun by the Worm Cultists. Thallik Wormfather, the leader of the cult in the Rift, performed a necromantic ritual on the ghost of the giant Sinmur in the barrow. The ritual was interrupted by the Soulless One, who killed Thallik, but that didn't stop him from merging his soul with Sinmur's, making the giant stronger.
Lake Arrius is a lake north of Cheydinhal. It can be found right where the Nibenay Basin region meets the Jerall Mountains. A small community of worshippers lives around a shrine to Azura northwest of the lake. In the Second Era, it was the site of Arrius Keep, a fort in the center of the Ebonheart Pact's claimed territory. In 3E 433, the Hero of Kvatch famously infiltrated a Mythic Dawn lair near the lake and took the Mysterium Xarxes as part of the effort to end the Oblivion Crisis.
The Isle of Artaeum is the third largest island in the Summerset archipelago, located south of the Moridunon village of Potansa and west of the mainland village of Runcibae. Artaeum is the home of the Psijic Order, the oldest monastic group of Tamriel.
The Isle of Artaeum has idyllic orchards and clear pastures, still and silent lagoons, misty woodlands, and the unique Psijic architecture that seems to be as natural as its surroundings. The Ceporah Tower is a relic from a civilization that predates the High Elves by several hundred years. It is the location of the Dreaming Cavern, which Sotha Sil once used as some sort of portal into the realms of Oblivion, but which has since been sealed off by the Psijics. The Isle of Artaeum was once removed from the world in a similar fashion to Umbriel, but reappeared about 500 years later. The Isle of Artaeum once again disappeared around 100 years before the civil war in Skyrim, and has not been seen since.
The Ascadian Isles were fertile, lush agricultural lowlands mainly under House Hlaalu control in Vvardenfell's southwestern area. The climate was temperate and comfortable, with moderate rainfall. The region encompassed land as far south as Ebonheart, west to the Foyada Mamaea, north to the central Ashlands just past the Fields of Kummu shrine, and east to the large Daedric shrine of Ald Sotha. The land was rich in nutrients, and therefore littered with small farms and plantations. The islands themselves, while scattered, were close enough for easy transportation, the only main obstacle being Lake Amaya. Notable vegetation included large mushroom-like plants not unlike trees, cork bulb, marshmerrow and muck sponges.
Major cities in the Ascadian Isles included the Imperial stronghold of Ebonheart, the Temple city of Vivec, the market town of Suran, and Pelagiad. The architecture was a mix of Hlaalu, Velothi and Imperial. Additionally, many of the councilors of Great House Hlaalu maintained plantations in the Isles to exploit the region's good growing soil, and to breed netch for their leather.
Ash Mountain is a volcano in southeastern Stonefalls, in the Daen Seeth region, west of the town of Senie and east of Ebonheart. The mountain is surrounded by the Daedric ruins of the Great Temple of Boethiah, constructed by the Chimer prior to the ascension of the Tribunal. Large numbers of scamps and clannfear can be found here, along with shalk near the lava flows.
The volcano served as a prison for Balreth, one of the Brothers of Strife. In 2E 582, Tanval Indoril, the grandmaster of House Indoril, summoned Balreth and ordered him to destroy the Daggerfall Covenant army attacking the city of Davon's Watch. Balreth routed the invading army before they entered the city, but he was deemed too dangerous to remain unbound. With the help of the Vestige and the spirit of Mavos Siloreth, a Chimer who had originally bound Balreth in the First Era, Balreth was defeated beneath the Ash Mountain and his spirit was bound again.
The Ashlands region was the largest contiguous geographical region on Vvardenfell—a dry, inhospitable wasteland characterized by clusters of stone obelisks; minimal, highly-adapted vegetation; and bubbling ash mires. It encompassed land from the Urshilaku Camp on the northern shore of the Sea of Ghosts, west to the Redoran Council seat Ald'ruhn, then south to where the slopes of Red Mountain leveled off into the lava fields of Molag Amur. The southern border ran on an approximate line from Foyada Mamaea, near Balmora, to the southern border of the Grazelands.
The mountainous region to the southeast of Molag Amur was sometimes considered part of the Ashlands because of the similarity of its ecology, but was generally flatter, with open lava flows. Also, the slopes of Red Mountain itself were a separate region, bound by the Ghostfence. Frequent ash storms limited visibility and spread the Blight, affecting almost every creature found in the region.
Only the western part of the Ashlands was under permanent control of House Redoran. The shrine in Maar Gan was an important Temple pilgrimage site, and the village's houses volunteered militia for the fight against the forces of Dagoth Ur. The nomadic Ashlander tribe of the Urshilaku hunted for game, foraged, and their herds found sparse grazing around ragged tent villages in the far northwest, but there were small Ashlander camps throughout the area outside the Ghostfence. The rest of the region was embattled with infractions of rogue Telvanni, bandits, and even vampires trying to gain a foothold. The interior of the Ashlands was thus largely devoid of permanent, occupied settlements, with the citadel of Ghostgate being the major exception. This was due to the lack of water and vegetation in the area, as it rarely ever rained. Scattered throughout the land were various caves, eggmines, Daedric and Dwemer ruins, and wizards' towers.
The realm mostly consists only of dust, palaces of smoke, and vaporous creatures; anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash fill the bitter air. Few mortals manage to reach the realm, where levitation and magical breathing are necessary to survive. The Mages Guild have been known to bottle this thick, roiling vapor.
However, some areas of the realm are safe for mortals. Circa 4E 40, Malacath chose to bring Sul and Prince Attrebus Mede to the Ashpit, where they found a garden of slender trees, and "vines festooned with lilylike flowers" wound about the trunks; a "multitude of spheres moved, deep in the colorless sky, as distant and pale as moons". This garden seems to have some emotional significance to Malacath, who describes it as a "shadow of a garden", and an "echo of something that once was".
The Ashen Forge sits at the center of Malacath's own stronghold in the Ashpit. For the Orcs that revere Malacath, the afterlife promises rewards of immortality, abundant food and drink, and constant battle deep within the Ashen Forge. It is also said that The Ashpit bastion stretches endlessly across the planes, extending even behind the stars to Aetherius, granting access to every worthy Orc who crosses from this life into the next. In Malacath's stronghold, every Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need. The stronghold's walls rise one hundred feet into the smoky sky, constructed of polished steel and worked iron. Inside the walls, stone keeps, iron towers, and massive longhouses surround the central square that houses the Ashen Forge.
The Spine of Ashpit is a surprisingly light skeletal spine found in the realm. It is made from a grey dust, and fragments of bone have been known to be taken from it and brought to Tamriel. Sheogorath claims that the spine is the metaphorical "backbone" of the realm, and looks down upon it.
Atmora (meaning Elder Wood in Ehlnofex) is a continent to the north of Tamriel, and tradition holds that it was from here that the first humans came to Tamriel. The name is a corrupted form of the Aldmeris title "Altmora", a designation for the northernmost landmass inhabited by mer. The ancient Nords called Atmora "the land of truth". It was the homeland of the Nedic peoples, who were the ancestors of the modern Nords, Imperials, and Bretons.
The Aurbis is the name given to the chaos, or totality, from which the cosmos was formed by Anu and Padomay. For all intents and purposes, it is the universe, encompassing the Void and all Planes of Existence from Oblivion and the lands of Aetherius to Mundus and the Outer Realms.
The structure of the Aurbis is known as the Wheel – Mundus is the hub, the empty spaces within it are the planes of Oblivion, the emptiness beyond it is the Void, and the rim encompasses the realms of Aetherius. The eight spokes connecting the rim to the hub represent the Eight Divines that played a major part in Creation. These Eight Divines are also depicted as planets, orbiting Nirn and its moons at the center of the Aurbis. The sun, Magnus, was created when the god Magnus fled Mundus to Aetherius, and the stars were formed by the Magna Ge who followed.
Auridon is the second largest island in the Summerset Isles, located off the far eastern coast of Summerset, and north of Artaeum, between the main island and the continent of Tamriel. The main cities on the island are Firsthold to the north and Skywatch to the east.
The County of Ayasofya was a region on the western coast of Hammerfell, in the Iliac Bay. It was bordered by Tigonus to the north, the Alik'r Desert to the east, Antiphyllos to the south, and Sentinel to the west. Its capital was the city of Ayasofya. On the 2nd of Last Seed, the residents of the area celebrated a holiday known as Maiden Katrica in honor of a warrior who saved them during a previous war.
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The Azura's Coast region consisted mainly of the numerous islands to the south and east of Vvardenfell. It included all of the southern islands east of the Daedric ruin of Ald Sotha, extended north to include the islands up the eastern coast and Zafirbel Bay, and three small peninsulas on the southeastern corner of Vvardenfell where a Shrine of Azura could be found.
The area was fairly desolate, and most of the territory was claimed by House Telvanni. It included the towns and towers of Tel Mora, Tel Aruhn, Sadrith Mora, Tel Fyr, and Tel Branora. It was also home to numerous wizards, sorcerers, necromancers, and Ashlander Mabrigashes. Many of these were based in old Velothi remnants or caves, rather than wizard towers. By no means were all magic-workers in the area Telvanni, but the dominance of the Telvanni did mean that there was little objection to their activities.
As the area was dominated by the Telvanni, it was one of the least subject to the power of either the Empire or the Tribunal, though both had enclaves in the House capital, Sadrith Mora. Since Telvanni lords were usually over a thousand years old and very powerful, they tended to see the "gods" of the Tribunal as peers rather than supreme beings.
Although the area received regular rain, the rocky terrain limited the region's agriculture. However, there were Ashlander camps scattered throughout the region. The area was full of ancestral tombs, and there were several significant Daedric Shrines on the islands. Many bandits preyed on unwary travelers.