Lore:Skywatch

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Skywatch
Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Summerset Isles
Region Auridon
Subregions Calambar
Appears in Arena, ESO
Skywatch circa 2E 582
Summerset Isle

Skywatch is a city in central Auridon, just over the western cliffs of Calambar. It is located northeast of Mathiisen, east of Shattered Grove and southwest of Dawnbreak. Errinorne Isle is just off the coast.[1][2]

Layout & Geography[edit]

Natural beauty of the cliffs and isles around Skywatch is extreme. The area around the ancient city is dotted by magnificent Aldmeri ruins of both fortresses and ancient seaports.[3]

The city is a walled settlement. The walls are erected in marble well above the houses and have only one gateway on their eastern end. The docks are located to the south, facing the bay between Skywatch and Mathiisen. The Palace is located over the western cliffs, once protected by the Hightide Keep, now in ruins.[4]

Skywatch tall spires and shining towers are built to impress anybody who stare at them. Marble towers, that from afar might appear to be made of crystal, dominates the skyline of the city.[5] Such structural design stem from ancient roots, using methods tried and tested, but not to the point of becoming obsolete. The Altmer seek refinement rather than innovation, and they are conceitedly resistant to large-scale changes but are content to tinker. The results reveal highly sophisticated precision, harmony, and the selection and repetition of orthodox compositions. While the Altmer are snobbish, they never sank to Ayleid levels of perniciousness, and the more refined buildings of Skywatch reflect this.[6] Elegant fountains and manicured gardens are a common along the impolute streets of Skywatch.[7]

History[edit]

Skywatch, Errinorne Isle, and Buraniim Isle were a sea-complex constructed during the Middle Merethic Era and used both as a trading hub around the central city of Skywatch and as defense barrier against the continuous invasions of the Sloads.[3] Skywatch was founded after Firsthold,[8] and both two cities became the political centers from which Auridon was ruled, not without internal conflicts which often sparked into full war during the First and Second Eras.[9]

Ruins of Ezduiin circa 2E 582

Early in its history, Skywatch had a sister city to the north, Ezduiin, ruled by House Duure.[10] Ezduiin was once an elegant town, built as a testament to the greatness of the Ancients. Trade and travelers flowed through Ezduiin, right up until the end. Essanyon Duure, leader of a apocalyptic cult chose this town as his last stand. He spoke to the gods. And eventually began to claim they spoke to him in return. He began to preach its secret all across the Summerset Isles, and his cultists came together at the heart of Ezduiin. Essanyon began to claim Magnus himself called for the blood of the Skywatch nobles. He sent his cult to act as daggers in the night and a manor house full of royalty was slaughtered. His brother, Quaronaldil, ultimately go to Skywatch to stop the madness of Essanyon, this with the murders brought Skywatch to declare war on Ezduiin. The cult held off their blades, but just barely. In an act of desperation, Essanyon used a magical relic called the Mallari-Mora and killed every soul in the town, bounding them forever to Ezduiin.[11][10][12][13] From that moment, House Duure was erased from history, and their town became a cursed ruin.[10] Telenger the Artificer leadered an expedition to the ruins in 2E 582, where the Soulless One helped him and his assistants to reverse the curse upon the spirits and to recover the Mallari-Mora.[14][15]

Ruins of Hightide Keep circa 2E 582

Since the foundation of Skywatch during the Middle Merethic Era until the Second Era, their inhabitants were terrorized by the Sload, notorious for their necromantic mastery, conjuring sea monsters along the coasts and laying siege to Skywatch.[16] Hightide Keep was once a sprawling complex of defensive fortifications, built during the Late Merethic Era, and painstakingly maintained and manned. As a result, Skywatch was able to put up an incredible defense during the Sloads attacks on the city. However, in 1E 1301 launched an attack during which powerful magical constructs were crafted and expended and dozens of Sload warships were destroyed. The city finally fell when a Sload Warcaster filled his voluminous gullet with volatile alchemical reagents and threw himself at the base of the cliffs. The resulting explosion toppled much of the extended rock face, and plunged Hightide Keep into the sea,[17] and ultimately resulting in the infamous Sack of Skywatch by their forces, which is regarded as one of the most terrible events in Tamriel's history.[9]

Not long after the release of the Thrassian Plague around 1E 2200; both Skywatch, Errinorne, and Buraniim Isles were taken again by the Sloads and only freed by the All-Flags Navy in 1E 2260, which also sunk Thras into the sea and had almost all of Thrassian Sloads slaughtered.[18][19] However, both isles and their sea-complexes were abandoned thereafter.[3][20] The Festival of Defiance has been celebrated every year in the city as a triumphant appreciation since the day Skywatch was retaken from the Sload by the All-Flags Navy.[21] Even after Thras sunk, the city suffered the War of the Uvichil, a full-scale invasion launched by the Sloads, between 1E 2911 to 1E 2917, being the last time the slugfolk invaded Auridon.[16]

Goblins were a major slave force in Skywatch,[22] but by the mid-Second Era, most of them have been freed and no longer work in the city.[23]

Prior to the Second Era, Kinlady Entila of Clan Auralus had a vivid dream that beneath the coastal cliffs between Skywatch and Mathiisen was a fabulous fist-sized gem, the Egg of the World. Based on the directions in her vision, she hired a score of miners to dig until they found it, but the funds of Clan Auralus ran out first and the excavation was named Entilla's Folly thereafter.[24]

High Kinlady Estre, the Veiled Queen, and ruler of Skywatch

Before Ayrenn returned to the Summerset Isles to claim her throne after King Hidellith's death, her little brother, Prince Naemon of House Arana was betrothed to the ruler of Skywatch, High Kinlady Estre of House Errinorne; uniting two branches of the Aldmeri royal families. Their objectives were clear: to jointly rule Summerset.[25][26]

After the sudden and unexpected formation of the First Aldmeri Dominion and with the start of the hostilities in the mainland in 2E 580, the town increased their visitants from Valenwood and Elsweyr, some of them, immigrants who wanted or needed to establish themselves in Auridon. Although many are merely passing by travelers.[27][28] Then, some unrest Altmer began. Immigrants to Auridon were not unknown, but now they could work in equal conditions and live in the island without further restrictions. This situation eased the formation of the Veiled Heritance by Estre, the Veiled Queen.[29]

During the mid-Second Era, Mehrunes Dagon cultists were common among Skywatch Altmer nobles, under the protection of the Veiled Heritance, however even with power, they remained in hiding as Daedra worship has always been illegal in the Summerset Isles.[30]

As leader of the Veiled Heritance, Estre sought to supplant Ayrenn, dissolve the Aldmeri Dominion, and expel all non-Altmer from the Summmerset Isles.[31] To achieve this goal, Estre and her faction employed a wide variety of terrorist methods, and establishing diplomatic ties with both the Maormer and the Ebonheart Pact.[32][33] The Maormer High Command, wanted to conquest Auridon, of which Estre would become viceroy under Maormer suzerainty, although Estre had no intention of allowing this to come to pass.[34] While it was known to Ayrenn that Estre was bitter for having lost the throne to her, Estre's identity as the Veiled Queen remained a closely guarded secret among the Veiled Heritance. As such, Ayrenn sought to smooth over relations with Estre by granting her a higher position in the Thalmor to placate her, and visited Estre in Skywatch to partake in a formal ceremony for this purpose. However, the ceremony was interrupted by an Eye of the Queen who disclosed Estre's true identity to Ayrenn, after having infiltrated the secret training facilities of the Heritance in the thought abandoned Aldmeri ruins of the island of Errinorne, temporally renamed as the “Veiled Isle”. Doing so in Estre's presence, promptly made her escaped by teleportation, and began to operate more overtly.[35][36] After her escape, Estre made a bargain with Mehrunes Dagon promising her very soul in exchange for the support of his daedra to replace the now largely subdued Veiled Heritance. She reached her ultimate target: the city of Firsthold. There, she was let into the city by its ruler, High Kinlord Rilis XIII, who remained oblivious to her true nature. Once inside, she opened Oblivion Gates to the Deadlands across the city in order to besiege it with her daedric army and kidnap Rilis. Ultimately, she was killed in the attack and the Oblivion Gates were closed, but most of Firsthold was left in ruins.[37][38] Facing death, Estre turned to Mannimarco,[39] and her soul was claimed by Molag Bal after her death and came to reside in Coldharbour.[40]

Daedric Portals to the Deadlands

After the Daedric invasions of both Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal, and the subsequent destruction of most of Firsthold in 2E 582,[41][42] Skywatch turned to be the most important city and capital of Auridon until House Rilis rebuild their city and court, even without a regnant High Kinlord or Kinlady after Estre's death.[43]Skywatch remained mostly untouched by the war and the disasters that fell upon the Summerset Isles and Tamriel after the Soulburst and during the Three Banners War, causing unrest among some of Dominion citizens who did suffer the war and the Daedra.[44]

By the time of the Imperial Simulacrum, Skywatch was still a big city ruled by High Kinlord Kalalian.[45] After the marriage of Morgiah to the High Kinlord Reman Karodiil of Firsthold, by the late Third Era, Gialene, daughter of the High Kinlord of Skywatch and member of the court of Firsthold tried to replace the “Black Queen” as couple of Reman by means of a peasant rebellion, with part of the city nobles and priesthood's complicity, based upon the fact that Morgiah was a Dunmer, and thus unfit to her role in Firsthold court. However, Morgiah achieved to put down the open rebellion with unconventional tactics of battle. Thereafter, the traitors were executed, and Gialene was sent back with escort to her father's court of Skywatch.[46]

The Oblivion Crisis that ended the Third Era and weakened the Empire provided the opportunity for the Third Aldmeri Dominion to form. The Thalmor, reconverted into a political faction that espoused Elven superiority, painted themselves as the saviors of the Summerset Isles during the Crisis. In 4E 22, the Thalmor solidified their position and seized total control of the Summerset Isles, including Auridon, renaming them as Alinor, after the former royal capital. Little is known about the fate of Skywatch during the Fourth Era.[47]

Government[edit]

Skywatch Manor

Skywatch has been an integral part of the realm of the Summerset Isles since its foundation. It is one of the two High Kinlordships of the island of Auridon, ruling over the southern part of the region.[25] Since the Late Merethic Era, Skywatch has been ruled by House Errinorne,[48] whose members are also scions of royal Aldmeri blood.[25] Errinorne High Kinlords and Kinladies have always hosted a large and vibrant court in their palace and city, where murder and conspiration between members of the middle and lower nobility have been always common.[44] High Kinlord's servants, from chefs to musicians and handmaidens; are mostly Bosmer and Khajiit,[49][50][51][52][53][54][55] who work in very poor and harsh conditions.[56]

City administration is left to a Canonreeve, appointed directly by the regnant High Kinlord or Kinlady.[57]

Culture[edit]

Skywatch Docks

Skywatch docks are visited by all kind of people from across Tamriel,[21] however, sailors are discouraged to leave their ships and the very docks and make deals with the local Altmer could be difficult.[5] But its port is third in importance in Auridon after those of Vulkhel Guard and Firsthold.[58][6][59] Most of maritime transport of passengers is done with Valenwood.[60] Skywatch docks mostly import goods from the mainland to Auridon hinterland.[61] The Darkvale Costers are a prominent group of Altmer merchants who operate from Skywatch, importing and exporting goods by sea, mostly alcoholic beverages,[62] as far as Morrowind.[63] The Greenvine Traders are a competing group of Bosmer, based in Skywatch, who engange in importation from Valenwood,[64] mostly of alchemical components[65] and food.[64] They are thought to be dishonest with their clients,[65] being more similar to a criminal cartel.[7] Although they are not the only who trade with Valenwood: other traders also import hand-hewn Bosmer crafts.[66]

After the high vaulted halls of Bewan, originally built in the Merethic Era as a shrine to Trinimac were abandoned early in the First Era, the priesthood moved to the grand Trinimac Chantry outside Skywatch, which turned to be the main centre of worship of the warrior god of the elves in the Summerset Isles.[67][68]

Although other vaults and private banks exists both in other major cities of both Auridon and Summerset,[69][70] Summerset Coin House is based on Skywatch, being the financial centre of the Isles.[71][72] Brass and silver jewelry,[73][74][75] as well as other refined luxury items crafted in Skywatch are famed even outside Auridon.[76][76] Iron forging is a minor activity of the settlement, too.[22][77]

The Mercantile, main trading street of Skywatch

Perhaps due to its position and wealthiness, Skywatch is also the “capital” of skooma black market in the Summerset Isles.[78][79] Criminals prefers to stay near the docks, where its busy activity can hide them from the authorities and provide an easy escape route.[80]

The Festival of Defiance is the biggest of the Summerset Isles and one of the most crowded of all of Tamriel.[27][28] Although everyone who come the city must pass a inspection before entering through the city's gates.[81] Many outlanders come to the city during the festivities, flooding Skywatch's streets with their traditional beverages and foods; performances of jesters and bards;[27][28] and frog races.[82] During the Festival, hundreds of noble and wealthy guests are invited to the massive mansion which hosts Skywatch court to enjoy an exquisite dinner.[54][53] With so many people in the city, flirting and dating, even between different races, are a common activity during these days.[7]

Wood Elf immigrants to Auridon during the First and Second Eras introduced the locals of Skywatch to Mud Ball Merriment, a New Life festival. It consists in throwing mud balls at everyone. But each year, there is a specific target, mostly nobles, the Bosmer agree most needs to be humbled. Mud on the face reminds the participants that life is not always so self-important. With the New Life comes a bit of fun to Skywatch, for those who are not too proud to take part.[83]

Unlike Vulkhel Guard, Skywatch's native Altmer citizens are known to be grumpy and snobbish,[84] as well as unwelcoming to outsiders.[85] However, along its whitish streets, one can encounter both cafes and taverns where to relax or to get fun.[86][27][28]

After the destruction of their defenses and trading facilities back in the First Era, the calm Buraniim Isle is mostly used most often as a retreat from the city life in nearby Skywatch.[20]

Telenger the Artificer, leader of Skywatch Mages Guild

Before the dissolution of the Mages Guild following the Oblivion Crisis, Skywatch had a large Guildhall, comparable to those in Vulkhel Guard and Firsthold.[87] The famous Telenger the Artificer lead the city's Mages Guild during most of the Second Era, researching in Aldmeri, Ayleid, Dwemer and Saxhleel ruins and artifacts, having strict rules about who and how the members enter these, specially Ayleid ancient sites.[88][89][90][91] Telenger's Emporium was an exhibition space for the Mages Guild on the west side of city, where one could see relics from his travels and magical displays.[21][90][92] Despite their prestigious reputation, some of the Skywatch Guild members, including high-ranking members, are rumored to be engaged in smuggling of arcana and relics off of Auridon.[93] The expansive Aldmeri ruins under Skywatch were off-limits and guarded by the Mages Guild by orders of Telenger himself, who sealed the entrance in the royal gardens with a magical barrier.[21][94] It is unknown what happened to all of their activities after the Guild's dissolution in the Fourth Era.[95]

The Fighters Guild had an important presence in the town by the mid-Second Era too, however it is unknown if the organization survived after the formation of the Third Aldmeri Dominion.[96]

Notes[edit]

  • Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Skywatch's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Assassins".[oog 1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Map of Summerset Isle
  2. ^ Map of Calambar
  3. ^ a b c Auridon Explored, Chapter IIIFenlil the Wayfarer
  4. ^ Skywatch's architecture and layout in ESO
  5. ^ a b Nicolene's Diary (Private!) in ESO
  6. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: The Summerset Isles: AuridonFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  7. ^ a b c Raerabhi's dialogue in ESO
  8. ^ The Lay of Firsthold
  9. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Blessed Isle: Alinor and the SummersetsImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  10. ^ a b c Quaronaldil Duure's dialogue in ESO
  11. ^ Naarcaano's dialogue in ESO
  12. ^ Quaronaldil's Letter in ESO
  13. ^ Essanyon's Records in ESO
  14. ^ An Act of Kindness quest in ESO
  15. ^ The Mallari-Mora quest in ESO
  16. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other LandsImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  17. ^ Auridon Explored, Chapter VIIFenlil the Wayfarer
  18. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Wild Regions — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  19. ^ The Royal House of King EamondSeneschal Derric Andras of Castle Evermore
  20. ^ a b Auridon Explored, Chapter IVFenlil the Wayfarer
  21. ^ a b c d Guide Culast's dialogue in ESO
  22. ^ a b Goblin-Sized Weighted Shackles in ESO
  23. ^ The Toothmaul Ploy quest in ESO
  24. ^ Entila's Folly loading screen in ESO
  25. ^ a b c High Kinlady Estre's dialogue in ESO
  26. ^ Prince Naemon's dialogue in ESO
  27. ^ a b c d Anthelion's dialogue in ESO
  28. ^ a b c d Ciinderel's dialogue in ESO
  29. ^ Life in the Eagle's Shadow
  30. ^ A Discarded Missive in ESO
  31. ^ Why Don the Veil?
  32. ^ The Veiled Choice quest in ESO
  33. ^ To The Veiled Queen — Sealord Malleroth Of Pyandonea
  34. ^ To The Veiled Queen — Sealord Malleroth Of Pyandonea
  35. ^ Lifting the Veil quest in ESO
  36. ^ Wearing the Veil quest in ESO
  37. ^ Breaking the Barrier quest in ESO
  38. ^ Sever All Ties quest in ESO
  39. ^ Letter with Singed EdgesHigh Kinlady Estre
  40. ^ A Bargain With Shadows quest in ESO
  41. ^ Sever All Ties quest in ESO
  42. ^ Dark Anchors in Tamriel quest in ESO
  43. ^ Rothondothrin's dialogue in ESO
  44. ^ a b Dark Brotherhood Contracts in Auridon quest in ESO
  45. ^ Skywatch in Arena
  46. ^ The Firsthold RevoltMaveus Cie
  47. ^ The Great War — Legate Justianus Quintius
  48. ^ Errinorne Ancestry Tapestry in ESO
  49. ^ Indiir's dialogue in ESO
  50. ^ Hazad's dialogue in ESO
  51. ^ Gwinor's dialogue in ESO
  52. ^ Fadama's dialogue in ESO
  53. ^ a b Azdazi's dialogue in ESO
  54. ^ a b Mithen Callushands's dialogue in ESO
  55. ^ Nedrin's dialogue in ESO
  56. ^ Sirreth's dialogue in ESO
  57. ^ Burnt Note in ESO
  58. ^ Summerset Isles: A Visitor's GuideRunilstir the Surveyor
  59. ^ East Empire Shipping Map
  60. ^ Scout Linimondil's dialogue in ESO
  61. ^ Caranande's dialogue in ESO
  62. ^ Darkvale Coster's dialogue in ESO
  63. ^ Caalorne's dialogue in ESO
  64. ^ a b Greenvine Trader's dialogue in ESO
  65. ^ a b Calanor's dialogue in ESO
  66. ^ Dalodir's dialogue in ESO
  67. ^ Bewan's description in ESO
  68. ^ Mirnor of Auri-El's dialogue in ESO
  69. ^ Alinor Bank and Trust in ESO
  70. ^ Vulkhel Guard Manor & Treasury in ESO
  71. ^ Skywatch Coinhouse in ESO
  72. ^ Banker's Everfull Double Inkwell in ESO
  73. ^ Commemorative Skywatch Festival Dice in ESO
  74. ^ High Kinlady's Diamond-Tipped Spurs in ESO
  75. ^ Errinorne Valet's Two-Way Hand Mirror in ESO
  76. ^ a b Canonreeve's Silken Parasol in ESO
  77. ^ Indalhur's dialogue in ESO
  78. ^ Celwen's dialogue in ESO
  79. ^ Page 71: Erendette's Account in ESO
  80. ^ Barbed Hook Private Room's description in ESO
  81. ^ Constable Cebroon's dialogue in ESO
  82. ^ The Racer quest in ESO
  83. ^ Mud Ball Merriment quest in ESO
  84. ^ Springtime Flair quest in ESO
  85. ^ Valtir's dialogue in ESO
  86. ^ Tanion's dialogue in ESO
  87. ^ Mages Guild (Skywatch) in ESO
  88. ^ Telenger the Artificer's dialogue in ESO
  89. ^ Student Endannie's dialogue in ESO
  90. ^ a b Neetra's dialogue in ESO
  91. ^ Eldwen's dialogue in ESO
  92. ^ Nerassil the Bound's dialogue in ESO
  93. ^ Notes on Bewan in ESO
  94. ^ Wizard Nisira's dialogue in ESO
  95. ^ The Infernal City — Gregory Keyes
  96. ^ Fighters Guild (Skywatch) in ESO

Note: the following references are not found in-game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.

  1. ^ Original TES: Arena texts at the Imperial Library