The tower was built by the Firstmages in ancient times and predates the nearby towers in Elinhir. According to local legend, the three towers at Elinhir were constructed in homage to the Archive. It served as the home of the Firstmages, a group of elven mages completely dedicated to studying Aetherius and achieving magical power. The mages assembled a great library in order to study magic and Aetherius, before casting impenetrable wards to eternally seal themselves inside. The mages found a magicka-infused anomaly called the Great Source in the Archive during the First Era. It was the source of their magic, and granted the Firstmages long lifespans. This allowed them to study indefinitely.
The Archive remained sealed for several thousand years. In 2E 582, the constellations fell from the sky above Craglorn and took on tangible forms. The Mage Celestial was then targeted by the Serpent, who corrupted her Apex Stone and split her Celestial into many aspects. This allowed the Serpent to take control of the aspects one by one, although this process was stopped by the Thief, who guided the Vestige in gathering the remaining aspects before they could be corrupted. After weakening the corrupted Lost One, the aspects joined themselves to her in an attempt to resist the Serpent's corruption, and the confused Celestial Mage subsequently fled to the Aetherian Archive, shattering the wards to enter the tower.
Once inside the tower, the Mage's uncontrolled power caused the interior to warp, transforming it into an impossible landscape of floating islands. Her entry shattered the Great Source. She sequestered herself away in the tower's gardens, summoning powerful atronachs to keep intruders from interfering in her work. Many of the Firstmages entered her service as guardians, although a small minority avoided the upper floors in fear of their lives. The Undaunted were then quickly made aware of the opening of the Archive, and flocked to the tower in an attempt to be the first to scale it. The Undaunted ascended the tower and fought through the Mage's guardians before defeating the Celestial herself in battle. Freed from the Serpent's influence, the Mage departed the Archive to help the Thief contain the Serpent's growing influence.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- Coming of the Learned One Vol. I
- Mighty Mordra's dialogue during The Mage's Tower in The Elder Scrolls Online
- Firstmage Earil's dialogue in ESO
- Firstmage Anirwen's dialogue in ESO
- Firstmage Arnure's dialogue in ESO
- Events of The Shattered and the Lost during ESO
- Coming of the Learned One, Vol. II
- The Mage's dialogue during The Mage's Tower in ESO
- Events of The Mage's Tower in ESO