Lore:Three Banners War

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"The Imperial Throne sits empty. The Dragonfires cold; unlit. And from every corner, darkness grows. Now, ancient enemies band together. Unlikely alliances are forged. Old ambitions rekindled. And as enemies rise faster than allies, salvation cannot come from one hero alone, but from many."
A map of Tamriel showing the territories controlled by the three alliances

The Three Banners War, also called the Alliance War or the Great War,[1] and the Usurper War by Imperials, was a major conflict involving numerous races and factions that took place across Tamriel during the Interregnum.

The years leading up to the war saw a divided Tamriel witness a series of conflicts and crises that inspired the different nations of the land to band together into three distinct alliances: the greater Daggerfall Covenant in 2E 566,[2] the Ebonheart Pact in 2E 572,[3] and the first Aldmeri Dominion in 2E 580.[4][5]

The competing ideologies of these alliances set them on a course for war, which began in earnest sometime in 2E 580. Tensions between the alliances were further exacerbated by the Soulburst and subsequent military aggression of the Empire of Cyrodiil under Empress Regent Clivia Tharn.[6] Each alliance saw the opportunity to overthrow the corrupt Imperial regime by capturing the Imperial City and installing their own emperor on the Ruby Throne, but also had to deal with the other two alliances.[7][8]

The armies of the Covenant, Pact, and Dominion each invaded Cyrodiil, which served as the main theater of war, however they also launched attacks against each other’s lands. The war caused enormous damage to Cyrodiil's towns and cities, and countless civilians were displaced and resettled throughout Tamriel.[9] The war's ultimate outcome is unknown, but all three alliances, as well as the Empire of Cyrodiil, had ceased to exist by the ninth century of the Second Era.

The conflict of the Three Banners War is often symbolically represented by a three-headed ouroboros, with each head symbolizing one of the alliances: the eagle for the Aldmeri Dominion, the lion for the Daggerfall Covenant, and the dragon for the Ebonheart Pact.[10][UOL 1]

War in Cyrodiil[edit]

"The Imperial province of Cyrodiil dominates central Tamriel. With the Empire's collapse, armies of the Dominion, Covenant, and Pact have all invaded Cyrodiil, vying for the Imperial throne and control of the greatest prize in the land."
Cyrodiil loading screen in ESO
High King Emeric of the Daggerfall Covenant

All three alliances launched an invasion into Cyrodiil via adjacent territories under their control and established bases of operations across the border. Grand Warlord Dortene, leading the Daggerfall Covenant forces, invaded Cyrodiil from Craglorn via the Jerall Mountains and the Colovian Highlands in the northwest.[11] Grand Warlord Zimmeron, leading the Ebonheart Pact forces, invaded from Morrowind via the Valus Mountains in the northeast.[12] Grand Warlord Sorcalin, leading the Aldmeri Dominion forces, invaded from Reaper's March via the Nibenay Valley in the south.[13]

The three alliances established individual Transitus Networks in Cyrodiil, a form of teleportation magic. This temporary teleportation network allowed troops to instantaneously travel between keeps and outposts, although the networks seemingly had limited range and required constant maintenance by groups of mages when pushing deeper into enemy territory.[14][15][16]

During the war soldiers from each alliance discovered the whereabouts of several Elder Scrolls that were kept hidden by the Cult of the Ancestor Moth. The alliances stole the scrolls and built vast holy temples across Cyrodiil to house the scrolls they had stolen.[17] The temples were built close enough to the battlefields to bestow the scrolls' blessing onto the troops.[18]

Some soldiers also sought the Blessing of the Whitestrake - a boon that was said to imbue warriors with a "holy fervor for righteous carnage" and improve their contributions to the war. Priests of St. Alessia were found in each alliance garrison during Pelinal's Midyear Massacre offering to bestow blessings on anyone who asked for them.[19][20]

Unsatisfied with the carnage taking place in Cyrodiil, the Daedric Prince Sheogorath involved himself indirectly with the war when he sent Volendrung to the battlefields hoping the resulting chaos would bring him entertainment. The hammer was used by all three alliances against each other throughout the war, as it changed hands often.[21][22]

Siege Warfare[edit]

ON-concept-Keep walls.png

Battles between the alliances in Cyrodiil were characterized primarily through siege warfare. Great keeps and forts were fought over by the alliances and used to further their invasion deeper into Cyrodiil, with the ultimate goal of capturing the Imperial City at the center of the province. Each alliance fleetingly gained control of the Imperial City at some point at during the war, and they would crown a figurehead Emperor from among their warriors, however their reigns were extremely short-lived.[23]

One notable conflict was the Battle of Chalman Keep - a three-way battle between Pact, Dominion, and Covenant forces at the contested and strategically important Chalman Keep. The Covenant defenders held out against two enemy armies, but ultimately the keep fell to a Dominion invasion force, after which the Dominion crowned a figurehead Emperor from among their warriors.[24][25]

Cities Affected by War[edit]

While large parts of central Cyrodiil faced the horrors and destruction of open warfare, some areas around the periphery of the war zone remained relatively unscathed. The counties of Kvatch and Anvil were protected from the ongoing battles by Varen's Wall, a large edifice created to split the Gold Coast from the rest of the Colovian Estates.[26] Despite this protection from the war, Anvil was seized by the Red Sails pirates led by "Pirate Queen" Fortunata ap Dugal who overthrew Count Ephrem Benirus and declared independence.[27] This led to a state of hostility between Anvil and Kvatch and open engagements such as the Gottshaw Massacre.[28] Count Calantius of Skingrad was said to be a canny opportunist who managed to keep his city just out of the chaos of war.[UOL 2] Countess Nevenia Caro of Leyawiin ceded control and protection of the city to the Chamber of Legates and the Ivory Brigade prior to the war. Since the fall of the Empire, the Ivory Brigade doubled its efforts to replace the Imperial Legion and maintained active defenses to keep the ongoing war at bay.[29] Bruma became neutral ground during war, but was attacked by Dremora when a Dark Anchor opened above the city in an attempt to draw it into Coldharbour. Several citizens barricaded themselves within key buildings, and the survivors sent pleas to both the Daggerfall Covenant and the Ebonheart Pact for aid.[30]

Other towns did not fare as well. The Imperial garrison amassed control over Cheydinhal and imposed themselves as tyrannical rulers.[31] Chorrol was devastated by large fissure that tore through the town years prior to the war. The town became plagued by famine and banditry and changed hands many times over the course of the war.[6][32] Bravil was subject to a mass slaughter and looting when Captain Jean Apinia and her legion took refuge in the city. Captain Apinia asked the mayor to give up their food supplies to aid her legion. When the Mayor refused Captain Apinia ordered her troops begin slaughtering the cityfolk, resulting in over half the population being killed and the town looted of valuables.[33][34] These events however pale in comparison to the destruction that was wrought upon the Imperial City.

Conquest of the Imperial City[edit]

The three alliances fight for control of the Imperial City
"At the center of Cyrodiil stands the Imperial City. There, the Three Alliances vie with Daedric overlords and each other for control of the White-Gold Tower."
Imperial City loading screen in ESO

While the war raged across the countryside of Cyrodiil, all three alliances were locked in a struggle for control of the Imperial City in an effort to overthrow the corrupt Imperial regime and install their own emperor on the Ruby Throne.

Sappers in each alliance established forward bases in the city's sewers to launch attacks on the districts above in an attempt to thin the enemy's numbers before marching on the White-Gold Tower.[35][36]

During the fighting, a new danger unexpectedly appeared when chains fell from the sky. The Planemeld began and the forces of Molag Bal swarmed the city districts and sewers and took the city. Many Imperial Legion soldiers died defending the city while others fled. Fighting alongside Molag Bal's Daedra horde were a group known as Legion Zero. These were members of the Imperial Legion that deserted when the Planemeld began and swore fealty to Molag Bal and the Worm Cult[37][38] While the entire city was tearing itself apart, a small group of Imperial Legion loyalists known as the Immortal Eight fought back against the alliances and Legion Zero and played a part in stopping Bal's plans to snuff out the Dragonfires.[39][40] As a result of the war, the city itself was devastated. Few city folk remained and the buildings in each district suffered enormous damage, some completely demolished.

Military Campaigns[edit]

Although the main theater for the war took place in the province of Cyrodiil, numerous invasions, battles and skirmishes took place within the lands of the respective powers. The Daggerfall Covenant was arguably the most aggressive in their attacks on other alliances, making multiple forays primarily into Ebonheart Pact and Dominion territory. Similarly, the Dominion also plotted mainly against the Pact through their schemes in Shadowfen. As such, the Pact spent much of the war defending their lands, with their only notable invasions being into Cyrodiil. The Empire did not sit idle as the armies of the alliances forged deep into its territory. During the war it launched its own invasions into both Covenant and Dominion territory.[41][42]

ON-concept-High King Emeric.jpg ON-concept-Queen Ayrenn.jpg ON-concept-Jorunn.jpg
"It is fortunate for our peoples — indeed, for all the peoples of Tamriel — that the true flame of the Empire of Man still burns in the Daggerfall Covenant. These are terrible times, but our destiny lies before us as straight and true as the Reman roads: we must march on Cyrodiil, overthrow the false empress and all her brood, and restore the Empire of Tamriel. Then once more peace and justice will rule the provinces, rather than blood and fire" "The Queen's connections to the noble Wood Elves and fierce Khajiit enabled us to form the mighty Dominion that now stands astride our corner of Tamriel, poised to strike at the dark heart of Cyrodiil and ward off the depredations of the warmongering alliances of the north." "The rash actions of those who sit the Ruby Throne, or who pull their strings, have brought Tamriel to the verge of irretrievable doom. They must be scoured from the face of Cyrodiil, and the decaying remains of the Empire of Men must be swept away. It shall be replaced by the Pact, which will enforce peace across the continent and strictly regulate all involvement in dangerous magical pursuits."
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Daggerfall Covenant Campaigns[edit]

Attack on Bleakrock Isle[edit]

Bleakrock Village
"We sighted a ship offshore. I've sent my troops to investigate. If it's the vanguard of an invasion ... well, we'll need to evacuate." —Captain Rana

The Daggerfall Covenant targeted Bleakrock Isle as the first step to a large-scale invasion of the Ebonheart Pact's territory. In an attempt to cause a distraction for their initial naval attack, the Covenant hired the Frostedge bandits to steal relics of power in Hozzin's Folly and cause havoc on the isle.[43][44] They also sent a necromancer to Skyshroud Barrow to raise the dead.[45][46]

Although the Ebonheart Pact had established a small garrison on the island and thwarted these plots, it was too late, and they were unable to request backup in time. Led by General Vette, the Covenant began their attack and slaughtered many of the inhabitants of Bleakrock Village. The village was razed by pyromancers but a small number of survivors were evacuated by ship to Dhalmora in mainland Morrowind.[47][48]

Attack on Bal Foyen[edit]

"Tell the soldiers there to light the signal fires along the coast. The fires will warn Davon's Watch that war is upon them." —Captain Rana

In an effort to warn the mainland of the impending Covenant naval invasion, Pact forces lit several signal fire watchtowers across Bal Foyen.[49] In response, the Covenant launched a two-pronged attack on the region led by General Emax and General Vette. Large battles took place at both Fort Zeren and Bal Foyen's docks between Pact and Covenant forces.[50][51] While Bal Foyen suffered heavy losses, the Pact succeeded in driving off the invaders and warning the city of Davon's Watch to the west.[52]

Siege of Davon's Watch[edit]

Balreth attacking a group of Daggerfall Covenant soldiers
"The Covenant is attacking Davon's Watch. The devils bombarded the northern district. Now they're ashore, preparing to attack. This port's the key to Stonefalls. That's why these Covenant bastards are attacking. They're keen on the city, but we aren't going to let them. The Nords are here to defend the Pact." —Holgunn One-Eye

Following the attack on Bal Foyen, the city of Davon's Watch was put under siege by the invading Daggerfall Covenant. Capturing Davon's port was the Covenant's key to pushing deeper into Stonefalls. After making landfall on the western beach, the Covenant bombarded the Davon's Watch for several days.[52]

Although Pact forces managed to sabotage the Covenant siege equipment and delay their attacks, Covenant forces infiltrated Davon's Watch by scaling the cliffs, threatening take the city from within.[53] In a last ditch effort to save the city, Grandmaster Tanval Indoril performed a Daedric ritual to release Balreth, an ancient Daedra. Balreth completely destroyed the Covenant's invasion force, freeing Davon's Watch.[54]

Failed Attack on Kragenmoor[edit]

Kragenmoor
"The dogs of the Pact do not understand a contract well made. They see no profit in peace. The only thing they understand is force. Overwhelming force. If we're going to take Ebonheart, we need breaches, footholds. I've received word from a scout. She found an abandoned mine near Kragenmoor that might do nicely. Occupy it. Hold it. Use it. And do not fail me." —General Alexandra Conele

Despite their defeat at Davon's Watch, the Daggerfall Covenant remained fast in their plan to take Ebonheart. As they pushed into Stonefalls General Alexandra Conele sought to establish footholds to launch their attacks. One such place was in Softloam Cavern, an abandoned mine near Kragenmoor.[55]

Within the cavern the Ring of Daggers created a long-range portal that led straight back to Covenant lands. From here they began to amass their numbers in order to launch an attack on Kragenmoor and the rest of Stonefalls. Pact soldiers discovered their plot and were successful in destroying the portal and preventing an attack on Kragenmoor.[56][57]

Battle at Vivec's Antlers[edit]

The glowing coral at Vivec's Antlers
"I don't care how you do it. I don't care if you have to invade that mud-hut pigsty next door and enslave every Argonian there, get it done! That heart is the key, and I will not fail in my mission. And neither will you." —General Serien

Although the Covenant's attack on Kragenmoor failed, they launched another major offensive on the shores to the west of Ebonheart. The Covenant sought to retrieve an artifact known as the Coral Heart and use it to summon an ancient Daedra named Sadal, who would lay waste to Stonefalls. Led by General Alexandra Conele, the Covenant landed on the shores of Vivec's Antlers and clashed with Ebonheart Pact forces - outnumbering them five to one. In response, the Coral Heart summoned the local dreugh to defend itself, halting the Covenant's invasion.[58][59]

Alexandra Conele eventually managed to steal the Coral Heart from its subterranean chamber, however a detachment of Ebonheart Pact soldiers fought and killed Conele and recovered the heart.[60]

Battle at Fort Virak[edit]

Fort Virak
"A scout from the northwest border made it to the city, bloody and bruised. He said a force was marching on Fort Virak. If they take Virak, they're on the doorstep of Riften, up in Skyrim." —Holgunn One-Eye

After their grave loss at Vivec's Antlers, the Daggerfall Covenant moved west toward Fort Virak and laid waste to the countryside. The fort was a vital link between Stonefalls and the Rift, as it controlled the supply lines between Pact forces.[52] The Covenant managed to take the keep and quickly reinforced its walls, bracing for a massive siege from the Ebonheart Pact under the command of Garyn Indoril.[61] The Pact's siege had little effect on the keep's walls. Each day the Pact allowed Covenant troops to recover their dead out of respect, however they soon realized that General Serien was using necromancy to revive their fallen soldiers and continually send them back out to fight.[62][63] [64]

An elite group of warriors successfully infiltrated the keep and met with the Nordic forces on the Rift's side of the Fort. It was here they confronted General Serien, the architect of the entire invasion, in the main keep. The Pact fought against Serien, who had transformed into Flesh Atronach, and were successful in killing the general. Although the Covenant was defeated and the invasion halted, Grandmaster Tanval Indoril lost his son Garyn Indoril during the battle.[65]

Failed Invasion of the Rift[edit]

The Lion's Den
"I know it's been a long and hard few months, but your vigilance will pay off. Once the invasion begins, we will be able to charge down the mountains and take the enemy completely by surprise. You will be a part of history. And all you need do is hold out a bit longer. Glory is within your reach."

Although the largest Daggerfall Covenant offensive took place in Morrowind, there was smaller attempts at an invasion of the Rift in Skyrim. In a remote canyon known as Steelhead Cleft, an Ebonheart Pact scouting party discovered a hidden Lion Guard base.[66] Covenant forces had remained hidden in the mountains for months prior and were preparing for a full invasion.[67]

Ebonheart Pact scouts identified three key Lion Guard commanders within the base and sent an agent to assassinate them, hoping to serve as a distraction and call for reinforcements. The commanders were successfully assassinated and the camp was thrown into chaos. Pact reinforcements arrived shortly after were able to surround the valley and neutralize the Covenant threat.[68]

Attack on Auridon[edit]

North Beacon
"The Redguard, the Bretons—they only let my people into the Covenant to use us as slaves. We take the field first. We haul their heavy loads. And all the while they laugh at us behind our backs." —Lakhazga gro-Rimat

The Eyes of the Queen and the Battlereeve's Talons were sent on an expedition to Khefrem to smuggle out a pair of Orc defectors. Although they successfully extracted the defectors, Covenant forces followed them back to Auridon and made landfall at North Beacon on the northern coast.[69][70]

Led by Captain Bernardine, the Covenant forces took North Beacon docks and captured one of the defectors. They began preparations to bombard the lighthouse to smoke out the other, but the First Auridon Marines fought back managed to disable their trebuchets. Dominion forces successfully stormed the barracks and killed the Covenant's commander and secured the defectors before they were excecuted.[71][72][73]

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Aldmeri Dominion Campaigns[edit]

Dominion Invasion of Shadowfen[edit]

Hatching Pools
"Alchemist Ruuvitar's arguably unconventional methods will lead to a quick and humane submission of the Pact, allowing us to focus our attention elsewhere. Never forget that Cyrodiil is our true prize."

The Aldmeri Dominion sought to pacify the Argonians of the Ebonheart Pact through subversive and unconventional methods. The architect of this plan was a famed alchemist named Ruuvitar, who planned to sever the link between the Argonians and the Hist and thus cause disarray within the Pact.[74]

The Dominion began by secretly replacing key members of the Pact with impostors who not only looked like their counterparts, but possessed their memories. They orchestrated a series of murders in Stormhold using these "skins-stealers" designed to sow further discord.[75][76] Agents of the Pact discovered the Aldmeri plot and tracked the Dominion's forces to the ancient Daedric ruin of Ten-Maur-Wolk. It was here the Pact discovered one of their own Vicecanons has been replaced by a skin-stealer.[77][78] They also learned that Ruuvitar had obtained an artifact called the Mnemic Egg and had taken it to the Barsaebic Ayleid ruin of Loriasel. It was here that Ruuvitar planned to sever the link between the Hist and the eggs at the Hatching Pools, thus preventing the next generation of Argonians from hatching.[79][80][81]

The Pact sent reinforcements to wipe out the Dominion occupying the Hatching Pools while another group stormed the Ayleid ruin where Ruuvitar and his forces held the Mnemic Egg. As both sides battled, a Pact agent infiltrated the ruins and killed Ruuvitar. The Mnemic Egg was recovered thus ending the crisis.[82]

Failed Invasion of Glenumbra[edit]

Farwatch Tower
"By the Eight! The Dominion's planning a full-scale assault! These messages, they're waiting for orders to attack. We have to stop the commander from issuing that order." —Captain Gilame

The Dominion targeted Glenumbra as the first step to a full-scale invasion of the Daggerfall Covenant's territory. They began their invasion via Glenumbra's western shores with a surprise attack on Farwatch Tower. Once the tower had been taken they began using it to signal their ships and relay messages between their commanders.[83][84]

Overwhelmed, the Covenant were forced to recruit a local mercenary to infiltrate their command camp and bring back any intel. The mercenary discovered the Covenant invasion force was awaiting orders from the tower's commander to being the attack. In order to stop the Dominion, the Covenant sent the mercenary to douse Farwatch's signal fires. After defeating the Dominion commander, the mercenary successfully doused the fires, granting the Covenant crucial time to bring in reinforcements and repel the invasion before it gained a foothold.[85]

Failed Invasion of the Alik'r Desert[edit]

The Ayleid ruins of Salas En
"...it seems they're now planning a full-scale invasion, establishing a base, building siege weapons ... We need to close the portal, quickly." —Lady Clarisse Laurent

During one of her archeological expeditions, famed treasure hunter Lady Clarisse Laurent uncovered a magical portal in the Ayleid ruins of Salas En in the Alik'r Desert. While investigating where the portal led, her assistant inadvertently brought an Aldmeri Dominion army back through with him from the ruins of Ne Salas in Grahtwood. The Dominion quickly established a base within Salas En and began to prepare for a full-scale invasion.[86] With the help of an assistant, the two were able to push back the Dominion and seal the portal, thus ending the threat of invasion.[87] Seemingly, the portal didn't remain sealed for long as Covenant forces attempted to use it to launch their own invasion into Grahtwood, however their plan also failed when the portal was sealed this time from Ne Salas.[88][89]

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Imperial Campaigns[edit]

The Empire did not sit idle as the armies of the alliances forged deep into its territory. It attempted to expand its reach on two fronts: High Rock and Hammerfell to the north,[41] and Valenwood to the south.[42] The invasion of High Rock and Hammerfell was spearheaded by the infamous Magus-General Septima Tharn.[90] To the south, an Imperial Legion was mustered from Colovia to annex Valenwood's Arenthia Vale, which by decree of the Count of Skingrad and the Elder Council was renamed the South Weald.[91]

Battle for North Hook[edit]

The Battle for North Hook happened at the start of the usurper war. The Daggerfall Covenant sought North Hook as a base from which to invade the Imperial City, however the West Weald Legion led by Tribune Alea Idolus repelled the invasion.[92]

Fall of the Bangkorai Garrison[edit]

"Today, invaders from the east threaten us once again, in the form of an Imperial Legion from Cyrodiil. But these are not the legendary warriors of an Empress Hestra, or the disciplined soldiers of an Emperor Reman: these are the degraded mercenaries of the Tharn usurpers."
King Eamond's address to his troops

Magus-General Septima Tharn had long sought to take the city of Evermore in Bangkorai and sent the Seventh Legion to the region during the war, despite petitions from Ambassador Jadier Plourde to withdraw.[93][94]

One of the key battles that shaped the conflict was when Septima's Seventh Legion clashed with King Eamond of Evermore's forces at the Bangkorai Garrison. King Eamond himself delivered a final address his troops, consisting of over two hundred Knights of Saint Pelin, the Evermore Guard and freeborn militias of Mournoth and Ephesus.[90] Events of the battle itself were unclear, but eyewitness rumors included giant Daedra scaling the walls, the dead rising from the crypts and one account claiming Septima herself snuck into the garrison posing as a refugee, and then unleashed Oblivion the next night. Ultimately the garrison fell to the Legion and only a handful of knights escaped alive.[95] The events surrounding King Eamond demise were disputed. Some accounts believed the King to have survived the battle and later died fighting Reachmen outside Northglen.[96] Other accounts claim he had already died and was about to be entombed in the garrison before it was attacked.[95]

Failed Occupation of Evermore[edit]

"It is imperative that the capture of Evermore be conducted with great care. The duke and his guards will help you unload your weapons and armor in sealed crates and place them at a strategic point in the city." —Septima Tharn

After the death of King Eamond of Evermore his brother Duke Renchant was appointed regent in Queen Arzhela's stead. During this time the city faced great hardship, with Reachmen bearing down on the city from the north and the Seventh Legion attacking in the south.[97]

Duke Renchant was afraid that if the Reachmen took the city they would slaughter every man, woman, and child. His decided that the lesser of two evils was to secretly surrender the city to Imperial authority and in return they would agree to repel the Reachmen attacks.[98] After colluding with Imperial diplomats, the duke arranged for crates of weapons and armor to be placed at strategic points in the city. Imperial spies infiltrated the city and attempted to recruit as many citizens as possible to aid in the takeover. Then at a predetermined time the Imperials would meet at the weapons cache, arm themselves, and take control of the city.[99]

Queen Arzhela discovered the plot and sent her agents to root out the Imperial spies throughout the city. Once the spies had been neutralized, Duke Renchant was removed from power and Queen Arzhela took control of the throne.[100]

Battle at Bangkorai Garrison[edit]

Bangkorai Garrison
"With chains, they sought to bind this place in darkness and death ... but the chains are broken! The garrison is ours! Mark my words—this victory will go down in the history books! This is the day the Empire began to crumble!" —High King Emeric

After Septima Tharn's plot to take Evermore was foiled, King Emeric and the Lion Guard came to Bangkorai to aid Queen Arzhela in reconquering the Bangkorai Garrison.[101]

The Imperials had been preparing for something significant involving Daedra deep within the garrison's crypts for several weeks. Emeric and his men were greatly outnumbered, so they sent a small detachment into a sewer entrance unbeknownst to the Imperial forces in order to infiltrate the garrison and open the main gate. Meanwhile Queen Arzhela, King Emeric and the Lion Guard assaulted the main gate to create distraction.[102][95]

Emeric's detachment was successful in infiltrating the sewers, storming the barracks and killing the garrison's commander. It was then discovered the Septima Tharn was in the service of Molag Bal and her legion was performing a dark ritual in the royal crypt. Emeric's forces cleansed the royal crypt of Daedra, but Imperial Battlemage Papus was able to complete his dark ritual and summoned a Dark Anchor directly above the garrison. Emeric's forces and the Knights of Saint Pelin clashed with Xivilai Moath. Although many lives were lost, they were able to destroy the Dark Anchor and reclaim the garrison.[101]

Liberation of Hallin's Stand[edit]

The Resistance of Hallin's Stand
"Let the people know the time has come. Light the two watchtowers. We must rise up against the Imperials!" —Grandeya Nuwarrah

While Septima Tharn's forces suffered heavy losses at the Bangkorai Garrison, the Seventh Legion was still in control of Hallin's Stand. The legion had swiftly taken control of the town under the cover of night some weeks prior. Rumors swirled that a traitor from within the city opened the gates to their army.[103]

During the occupation a resistance formed under the leadership of Ufa the Red Asp and they carried out various attacks against the legion. When the legion planned to publicly execute Grandeya Nuwarrah the resistance worked with the city guard to storm the palace and save her. Once Grandeya Nuwarrah was freed, the revolution began in earnest as she ordered the lighting of the palace watchtowers. This signaled to the entire town to rise up against the legion.[104]

After much fighting in the streets, the resistance eventually fought and killed Sadas Secundus, the commander of the Seventh Legion's forces in Hallin's Stand. Without their leader, the remaining Seventh Legion soldiers fell swiftly and Hallin's Stand was liberated.[105]

Septima Tharn's Last Stand[edit]

"No one is allowed to die until they've taken down at least a dozen enemies. Kill as many as you can. The only exception is the Magus-General - she's mine, and mine alone" —High King Emeric
"We've found it: the legendary "Hall of Heroes." It took weeks but my scouts report finding an ancient temple nearly buried in the mountains southeast of Hallin's Stand. If it contains what the ancient mystics believed it to contain, it's the perfect place to remove the pest that has been plaguing our efforts against the Daggerfall Covenant." —Septima Tharn

With crushing defeats at Hallin's Stand and the Bangkorai Garrison, Septima Tharn and the Seventh Legion retreated south to make their last stand at the ancient temple known as the Hall of Heroes. Some weeks prior, Septima had ordered her legions to delve deeper into the temple's catacombs and find a way to unseal the doors to the Chamber of Passage - the supposed gateway to the Far Shores. The legion successfully breached the seals on the Chamber of Passage and Septima discovered a way to control the ancient spirits of Hel Shira.[106][107][108]

High King Emeric arrived at the temple with his forces and was preparing to attack when Septima suddenly appeared. She summoned a dark cloud of magic which engulfed the Lion Guard and killed them, then took the incapacitated King Emeric captive.[109]

It was discovered Septima had taken King Emeric to the Chamber of Passage. Emeric's forces fought their way to the chamber but when they arrived Septima excecuted King Emeric and fled into the Far Shores. Septima was pursued by the Vestige and eventually killed in battle. Miraclously, Emeric's soul was retrieved from the Far Shores and used to ressurect King Emeric. With the Seventh Legion defeated and Septima Tharn dead, Bangkorai was liberated from Imperial control.[110]

Colovian Occupation of Arenthia[edit]

General Lavinia delivers her propaganda speeches to Arenthia
"The Legion of the West Weald, under command of General Lavinia Axius, has been given the Honor of Annexing the South Weald and Securing its new Borders. Be It Further Known that, upon Cessation of Hostilities in the South Weald, members of the Occupying Legion will be Mustered Out and Granted Land." —Catonius Libo

During the war, the Count Calantius of Skingrad took advantage of the power vacuum and re-designated the Arenthia Vale region of Valenwood as the South Weald of the Colovian Estates. This edict was supposedly ratified by the Elder Council and gave the Legion of the West Weald the authority to annex its newly acquired lands and secure its borders. Previous ownership of all lands in Arenthia Vale were declared null and void and its previous inhabitants were deported or taken as slaves.

Javad Tharn was one of the leading figures in the campaign to capture the region. Although the pretext of the invasion was meant for its annexation, Javad Tharn had an ulterior motive that related to the downfall of Elsweyr and the Aldmeri Dominion.[111] General Lavinia Axius took command of the actual occupation and urged Colovians to join the Legion of the West Weald, granting numerous incentives such as farms for soldiers and estates for officers.[91][UOL 2]

General Lavinia orchestrated a sneak attack on Arenthia with a large force. Although the city guard fought back, most died in the fighting and the city was subdued. During the occupation General Lavinia herself delivered propaganda speeches via magical projections in the town square to further cow the city folk.[112][113][114]

The Khajiit of Arenthia Vale fought back and, with aid from the Aldmeri Dominion, formed a resistance against the invading Colovians. They learned that the Colovians themselves were being deceived by General Lavinia and Javad Tharn, who were both working with the Stonefire Daedric cult. The resistance believed that if the Colovians were to discover their general was consorting with a Daedric cult, their resolve would break and the legion would desert.[114]

The resistance kidnapped a Colovian centurion and forced a confession from him detailing General Lavinia's relationship with the Stonefire cult and their plans to construct a Dark Anchor in the Temple District of Arenthia. Using the same method General Lavinia used to deliver her propaganda speeches, the resistance broadcasted the confession to the Legion of the West Weald. As expected, the Legion abandoned the city and in the chaos the resistance stormed General Lavinia's base and killed her, thus ending the occupation.[112][111]

Battle at Senalana[edit]

Senalana
"We came for the circlet. General Lavinia has great plans. We've ... we've started with Arenthia. With the circlet, we'll take the Dominion apart piece ... by ... piece." —Gratidia Arius

While the main Colovian force was based in Arenthia, General Lavinia sent detachments to various locations in Reaper's March, including Fort Grimwatch, Vinedusk and the Ayleid ruins of Senalana in Reaper's March. Dominion scouts spread throughout the Northern Wood spotted the Colovians and responded immedietely.[113]

At Senalana the Colovians sought a powerful artifact known as the Grand Circlet of Elven Authority. According to legend, the circlet's wearer would have complete domination over Elves. Every descendant of Aldmer blood would bend the knee to its wearer. General Lavinia coveted the circlet and with it would have the power to defeat the Aldmeri Dominion.[115]

Razum-dar, leader of Queen Ayrenn's personal intelligence network, led Dominion troops to battle with the Colovians to ensure the circlet didn't fall into their hands. After battling though Colovians and the numerous Ayleid traps within the ruin, the circlet was recovered by Dominion forces. It remains unknown if the circlet was destroyed or removed from the ruins and hidden elsewhere, but regardless the Colovians retreated from battle.[116]

Attack on Vinedusk[edit]

Headquarters of the Vinedusk Rangers
"The Rangers are spread thin across the Dominion and into Cyrodiil. Damned Colovians wouldn't have been able to take us at all if we were at full strength." —Captain Odreth

Furthering General Lavinia's plans in the invasion of Reaper's March, she sent an elite division of the Colovian army, known as the Vlastarus Cohort, to the military settlement of Vinedusk and took it by surprise. The Vlastarus Cohort splintered off from the main attacking force at Arenthia with the mission to specifically take out the Vinedusk Rangers. The rangers were able to hold back the invaders, despite many of their numbers spread across the Dominion territory and Cyrodiil.[117]

The commander of the rangers planned a two-pronged counterattack. First to burn the Colovians out of the village, then take them by surprise in their camp. With the aid of a Dominion agent the first stage of the rangers' plan was a success, but both sides suffered heavy losses.[118][119]

With the Colovians removed from the village, the Vinedusk Rangers planned a counterattack. They used a secret tunnel to gain access to the Colovian camp that was built atop a nearby ruin. Once they were behind their front lines, the rangers destroyed the Colovian siege weapons, tents, and cargo before going after the commander of the Colovian army. The rangers were successful in killing the commander and ending the Colovian attack on Vinedusk.[120]

Siege of Dune[edit]

Javad Tharn opens a Dark Anchor above Dune
"You cannot stop the inevitable. The city is ours. Soon I will hold your "Mane" in my hand, and my Dark Mane will walk the Path. The soul of the Khajiit will be lost to darkness!" —Javad Tharn

After the defeat at Arenthia, Javad Tharn grew tired of waiting and launched an attack on the city of Dune. Queen Ayrenn and the Lunar Champion were on their way to the Temple of Two Moons Path to anoint the new Mane when their advance team reported smoke over Dune and Stonefire cultists in the streets. Javad Tharn opened portals across Dune, allowing Daedra into the streets. His plan was to enslave the Lunar Champion and anoint his own Dark Mane, thus corrupting the spiritual soul of the Khajiit.[121][122]

With the aid of the Moon Hallowed, the Lunar Champion was able to seal the portals and cleanse the desecrated shrines but this did not stop Javad Tharn opening a Dark Anchor above the city. The Moon Hallowed stormed the Shrine of Lorkhaj and attempted to stop Tharn, but he escaped into the demi-plane of Jode. Regardless, the siege was lifted and Dune was saved from the Daedric threat.[123]

The Three Banners Truce[edit]

Three alliance leaders meet on Stirk

While the Three Banners War raged, the Planemeld was also taking place across Tamriel. Vanus Galerion sought to bring the three alliances together and mount an assault on Coldharbour in order to end the threat of the Planemeld. The war in Cyrodiil had been long and bloody, and all three alliances were spread thinly, unable to commit resources to lead an assault without making themselves vulnerable.[124]

In order to broker a peace treaty, Vanus and the Vestige first contacted the spy networks of each alliance and arranged meetings with each leader. The Vestige acted as the perfect diplomat given their unique position and reputation, and convinced each of the leaders to meet at a neutral, undisputed location to discuss a ceasefire.[125][124]

The alliance leaders met on the island of Stirk and were about to begin negotiations when Molag Bal interupted the conclave. He sent his hordes of Daedra to kill the three alliance leaders in one fell swoop, but the leaders fought back and defeated the Daedra. The alliance leaders realized the true threat was the Planemeld and committed a number of their troops to the assault on Coldharbour. The assault was a success and the Vestige helped to end the Planemeld, but as a result the ceasefire had served its purpose and hostilities between the alliances resumed.[126]

There were other attempts at peace between the alliances after the Planemeld. Abnur Tharn also sought to end the war by acquiring a mythical "demon weapon" and using its existence to force all sides to cease their aggressive behavior. His plan failed when it turned out the weapon was in fact an uncontrollable rage of dragons.[127]

The Society of the Steadfast was a philanthropic organization that provided aid to those displaced or wounded by the war in Cyrodiil, among other charitable works.[128] During the war they sponsored peace talks with the alliance leaders on High Isle, but they were disrupted by the Ascendant Order. Ultimately, the Ascendant Order threat was neutralized and the peace talks went ahead, but their outcome remains unknown.[129][130]

ON-icon-heraldry-Alliance Daggerfall 02.png
ON-icon-heraldry-Alliance Aldmeri 02.png
ON-icon-heraldry-Alliance Ebonheart 02.png

Notes[edit]

  • During the war, the three alliances fought with armored cavalries and were said to compete with each other to breed the strongest and most majestic chargers.[131] War dogs were also used, mainly in the capacity of aides to the military police.[132]
  • The alliances issued "alliance points" as a form of scrip to those who participated in the war. This was treated as currency along the front.[133]

Gallery[edit]

See Also[edit]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fasaran's DiaryFasaran
  2. ^ Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
  3. ^ Guide to the Ebonheart Pact — anonymous ethnology (~2E 580)
  4. ^ The Rise of Queen AyrennNuulehtel of Skywatch
  5. ^ Ayrenn – The Unforeseen QueenHeadmaster Tanion of the College of Aldmeri Propriety
  6. ^ a b The Chorrol Crier
  7. ^ Lady Carlier on the topic of the CovenantLady Carlier
  8. ^ Posted outside barracks at Windhelm
  9. ^ Imperial Charity Writs quest in ESO
  10. ^ Alliance War card back in Legends
  11. ^ Cyrodiil Gate Garrison in ESO
  12. ^ Cyrodiil map in ESO
  13. ^ Reaper's March Border Crossings in ESO
  14. ^ Vother Herendas' dialogue in ESO
  15. ^ Felycie Canis' dialogue in ESO
  16. ^ Viriniel's dialogue in ESO
  17. ^ Sandana Axius's dialogue in ESO
  18. ^ Protector Arfire's dialogue in ESO
  19. ^ Predicant Maera's dialogue in ESO
  20. ^ Pelinal Predicant's dialogue in ESO
  21. ^ Chaos Comes to Cyrodiil with Artifact Weapons on the official ESO website
  22. ^ Sheogorath's dialogue in the quest Chaos Magic in ESO
  23. ^ Chancellor Abnur Tharn Answers Your Questions 2Chancellor Abnur Tharn
  24. ^ Those Who Stood at Chalman Keep
  25. ^ Battle of Chalman Keep card in Legends
  26. ^ Varen's WallMidara Salviticus, Historian, University of Gwylim
  27. ^ Pirate Queen of the Gold CoastMidara Salviticus, Historian, University of Gwylim
  28. ^ The Wolf and the Pirate QueenMidara Salviticus, Historian, University of Gwylim
  29. ^ Captain Rian Liore's dialogue in ESO
  30. ^ Bruma Pleads for Aid — Grigerda
  31. ^ Vyctoria Girien's dialogue in ESO
  32. ^ Chorrol in ESO
  33. ^ The Butcher of BravilCaptain Jena Apinia
  34. ^ Razum-dar's dialogue during Debts of War in ESO
  35. ^ Captain Rythe's dialogue in ESO
  36. ^ General Nedras's dialogue in ESO
  37. ^ Naryu's Journal/Imperial CityNaryu Virian
  38. ^ The Drake of Blades Answers Your Questions — The Drake of Blades
  39. ^ The Sublime Brazier quest in ESO
  40. ^ Meet the Character - Captain CaudexLieutenant Gavo Haderus
  41. ^ a b Bangkorai questline in Elder Scrolls Online
  42. ^ a b Reaper's March questline in Elder Scrolls Online
  43. ^ Hozzin's Folly quest in ESO
  44. ^ Contract Scroll — General Serien
  45. ^ What Waits Beneath quest in ESO
  46. ^ Scroll of Banishment — Lord General Averos
  47. ^ Escape from Bleakrock quest in ESO
  48. ^ Captain Rana's dialogue in ESO
  49. ^ If By Sea quest in ESO
  50. ^ Breaking the Tide quest in ESO
  51. ^ Zeren in Peril quest in ESO
  52. ^ a b c Holgunn One-Eye's dialogue in ESO
  53. ^ Delaying the Daggers quest in ESO
  54. ^ City Under Siege quest in ESO
  55. ^ General Conele's Orders — General Alexandra Conele
  56. ^ Dathlyn's dialogue in ESO
  57. ^ Stem the Tide quest in ESO
  58. ^ Captain Noris' dialogue in ESO
  59. ^ Get it Done, Conele — General Serien
  60. ^ The Coral Heart quest in ESO
  61. ^ Sergeant Gjorring's dialogue in ESO
  62. ^ Garyn Indoril's dialogue in ESO
  63. ^ Gugnar's dialogue in ESO
  64. ^ Breaking Fort Virak quest in ESO
  65. ^ The General's Demise quest in ESO
  66. ^ Brea Snowrider's dialogue in ESO
  67. ^ Note to Lt. Stenric
  68. ^ A Valuable Distraction quest in ESO
  69. ^ Scout Arfanel's dialogue in ESO
  70. ^ Scout Endetuile's dialogue in ESO
  71. ^ Lakhazga gro-Rimat's dialogue in ESO
  72. ^ Eye Spy quest in ESO
  73. ^ The Wayward Dagger quest in ESO
  74. ^ Request Denied
  75. ^ Eyes of the Queen Only
  76. ^ Three Tender Souls quest in ESO
  77. ^ The Skin-Stealer's Lair quest in ESO
  78. ^ Vicecanon Hrondar's dialogue in ESO
  79. ^ Lyranth's dialogue in ESO
  80. ^ Vicecanon Servyna's dialogue in ESO
  81. ^ The Mnemic Egg quest in ESO
  82. ^ The Dream of the Hist quest in ESO
  83. ^ Sergeant Muzbar's dialogue in ESO
  84. ^ Captain Gilame's dialogue in ESO
  85. ^ Signals of Dominion quest in ESO
  86. ^ Lady Clarisse Laurent's dialogue in ESO
  87. ^ Thwarting the Aldmeri Dominion quest in ESO
  88. ^ Passage Denied quest in ESO
  89. ^ Ne Salas: Need Reinforcements — Thaendil
  90. ^ a b Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
  91. ^ a b Yours for the Taking!Catonius Libo, Aide-de-Camp to General Lavinia Axius
  92. ^ Tribune Alea Idolus' dialogue in ESO
  93. ^ Cipius' OrdersSeptima Tharn
  94. ^ Minutes of the Elder Council
  95. ^ a b c High King Emeric's dialogue in ESO
  96. ^ Prince Adrien's dialogue in ESO
  97. ^ A City in Black quest in ESO
  98. ^ Duke Renchant's dialogue in ESO
  99. ^ A Royal EmbarrassmentAemilianus Falto, "A Concerned Citizen"
  100. ^ Imperial Infiltration quest in ESO
  101. ^ a b Storming the Garrison quest in ESO
  102. ^ Scout Nadira's dialogue in ESO
  103. ^ Yarah's dialogue in ESO
  104. ^ A Thirst for Revolution quest in ESO
  105. ^ The Shifting Sands of Fate quest in ESO
  106. ^ On the Spirits of the Hel Shira — Pampinto Scivio
  107. ^ Directive to Centurion BodeniusSeptima Tharn
  108. ^ Regarding the HallSeptima Tharn
  109. ^ Trials and Tribulations quest in ESO
  110. ^ To Walk on Far Shores quest in ESO
  111. ^ a b Centurion Gavo's dialogue in ESO
  112. ^ a b The Colovian Occupation quest in ESO
  113. ^ a b Centurion Burri's dialogue in ESO
  114. ^ a b Kazirra's dialogue in ESO
  115. ^ Gratidia Arius's dialogue in ESO
  116. ^ Gates of Fire quest in ESO
  117. ^ Scout Mengaer's dialogue in ESO
  118. ^ Oath of Excision quest in ESO
  119. ^ Captain Odreth's dialogue in ESO
  120. ^ Down the Skeever Hole quest in ESO
  121. ^ Queen Ayrenn's dialogue in ESO
  122. ^ Javad Tharn's dialogue in ESO
  123. ^ The Fires of Dune quest in ESO
  124. ^ a b Vanus Galerion's dialogue in ESO
  125. ^ Messages Across Tamriel quest in ESO
  126. ^ The Weight of Three Crowns quest in ESO
  127. ^ Abnur Tharn's dialogue in ESO
  128. ^ Jakarn's dialogue in ESO
  129. ^ Lady Arabelle Davaux's dialogue in ESO
  130. ^ And Now, Perhaps, Peace quest in ESO
  131. ^ Alliance War Horse description in ESO
  132. ^ Alliance War Dog pet description in ESO
  133. ^ Alliance Points Daily Rewards description in ESO

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.