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- Of all the lands in the Summerset Isles,
- Auridon, she outshines them all.
- With her marble halls and towering spires,
- Her beauty surpass'd them all. — Ode to Auridon
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, Skywatch to the east, and Vulkhel Guard to the south.
Auridon is one of fourteen islands of varying sizes that form the Summerset Isles, and is the eastern bulwark of the Summerset archipelago. The island was well defended throughout history not only by its veteran Elven warriors but also due to its unique position and natural geography. Walls of vast, craggy cliffs dotted its northern coast, and its strategic location protected mainland Summerset from numerous invasions. Auridon loans its name to the body of water that separates it from the main island, the Auridon Strait. The Diceto River flows through the city of Firsthold and empties into the Abecean Sea on the island's northern coast.
The jagged promontories of the north softened and rose even further into white granite mountains in the island's middle. Vast deciduous forests of laurel, maple, and larch trees granted the land a lush yet unkempt appearance. Auridon also contained towering escarpments, emerald woodland, and pale off-white sand dunes. While the High Elves sought to control and tame the wilds (a stark and divisive difference in ideology from their Bosmer counterparts), such efforts only extended as far as their nearest surroundings, with much of Auridon remaining a wild, untouched forest that shrouded ruins from another era. While the unspoilt wilderness was considered beautiful to those who resided here, it was not without danger. Wild boars and bears hunted in the wilderness, along with gemlike arachnids and other unmentionable entities left to forage for centuries by Altmeri mages.
Fauna varies in Auridon, with common wolves and bears being found, however stone monoliths in the woods surrounding Shattered Grove, make these normally hostile species peaceful towards villagers and travelers. Large spiders have also been known to inhabit abandoned mines in the area. Giant bats live in some of the caves in Auridon. Deer dot the forests of Auridon alongside monkeys and foxes. Imps have been known to inhabit Errinorne Isle and Calambar. Crocodiles have been sighted in Calambar as well but their numbers are very low.
According to ancient myth, Auridon was settled by Aldmer (ancient ancestors of the modern-day Altmer) hailing from Aldmeris in the Early Merethic Era. These Ancients reputedly made landfall at the northernmost tip of Auridon, later known as Nine Prows Landing, and would eventually expand and colonize the rest of the Summerset Isles. One celebrated early explorer was Torinaan, who claimed all of Auridon as a new Kinhold, fighting with his people against the native Sload and other inhabitants of the Isle. Over thousands of years, these immigrants became the Altmer, creating a robust civilization and exterminating those species they could not subjugate. The native many-eyed forest giants known as the Ilyadi, the Gheatus, and the Welwa of Auridon were all killed off in subsequent skirmishes with the Aldmer.
Through conquest and struggle, the island ultimately fell into the hands of the Elves. By the time the first stones of the Crystal Tower were laid, the early Elves farmed the land, had limited hierarchical political aspirations, and worshipped their ancestors which they believed were directly descended from the Divines. Despite sharing a common lineage, cracks would form in their pre-existing societal structure. The High Nobles carved out and ruled territories, the Wise (middle nobility) consisted of learned persons such as teachers and priests who'd studied the ancient lore and applied their knowledge to society. Following the Wise were the artisans— artists, farm holders, merchants, and soldiers. Lastly came the largest class, the workers, comprising peasants, laborers, foreigners, and Goblin slaves.
After this, the rest of Tamriel was settled in the second Aldmeri exodus, and the Chimer, Bosmer, and Ayleid staked claim to different regions. By the First Era, animosity between the city-states of the Isles was certainly evident, as internal conflicts between the cities of Skywatch and Firsthold (the oldest city on Auridon) often sparked into full-scale war during the First and Second Eras. Foreign intruders also spilled High Elven blood. For millennia, the sloads of Thras, notorious for their necromantic mastery, terrorized the Altmer, conjuring sea monsters along the coasts and laying siege to Skywatch. The horrors they have visited upon the land are still remembered today: the Sack of Skywatch in 1E 1301 and the War of the Uvichil from 1E 2911 to 1E 2917 are surely among the most terrible events in Tamriel's history. Other long-held enemies included the Maormer of Pyandonea.
By 2E 580, Auridon would be part of the First Aldmeri Dominion led by Queen Ayrenn, who was determined to see Elven rule over the entirety of Tamriel. However, long-held prejudices against the Dominion's allies, the Wood Elves and Khajiit, coupled with aggressive recruitment practices against the lower classes resulted in a popular resistance movement, the Veiled Heritance taking up arms on Auridon.
Among the many organizations on Auridon, the Trebbite Monks are known for the good they do for the peasants, as they value tradition above every other virtue. Their credo has ever been for pure Altmer bloodlines on Summerset, and among the royal families most of all. During the Third Era the Trebbite Monks worked with Lady Gialene, daughter of the King of Skywatch, to start a revolution against the Dunmer Queen of Firsthold, Morgiah. Despite the growing resentment in the countryside from peasants who called Morgiah the "Black Queen", they stopped short of insurrection, and the revolutionary army was primarily composed of the Monks themselves and a horde of mercenaries. The revolt ended in a panicked, unorganized retreat, and after Lady Gialene was tortured and confessed her treachery, she was sent back with an escort to her father's court of Skywatch.
By 4E 22, Auridon had become part of the Third Aldmeri Dominion, and the Summerset Isles were renamed Alinor. Those kings, queens, and countrymen that did not assent to the Thalmor's rise to power would be rooted out, exiled, and killed.
- Calluis Lar
- A small island off the coast where pirates have been known to attack royal barges.
- Castle Rilis
- One of the oldest Altmer settlements, found at the northern tip of Auridon.
- College of Aldmeri Propriety
- A Thalmor college specializing in social etiquette and fighting skills.
- A town in northern Auridon known for its husbandry of horses and as a trading point between Firsthold and Skywatch.
- A city of gleaming spires in the north of Auridon.
- Greenwater Cove
- A port town in northern Auridon, home to an artifact known as the Eye of the Ancients.
- Isle of Contemplation
- A small recursive island in Vafe described as one of the most beautiful places in Tamriel.
- A farming village in southern Auridon.
- A city in east-central Auridon often attacked by the Sload.
- Shattered Grove
- A town in central Auridon known for its local fauna being peaceful.
- An ancient mausoleum in the south, which holds the ashes of countless Kinlords and is an important stop on the traditional Altmer pilgrimage.
- Trebbite Monastery
- A monastery in the countryside. The Trebbite Monks value tradition and purity of Altmer bloodlines.
- Vulkhel Guard
- A bustling port at the southernmost point of Auridon.
- Auridon Explored by Fenlil the Wayfarer — A fragmented travel guidebook covering the isle of Auridon
- The Lay of Firsthold — Poem dedicated to the founding of Auridon
- Ode to Auridon — A tribute to Auridon
- Riliadir, viewing gardens in Auridon by Riliadir — Notes on the strict botanical standards of the Altmer
- Galerion the Mystic — Asgrim Kolsgreg
- Fragment: On Artaeum — Taurce il-Anselma
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: The Summerset Isles: Auridon — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- To The Veiled Queen — Sealord Malleroth Of Pyandonea
- Words and Philosophy
- Events of Silent Village in ESO
- Entila's Folly in ESO
- Errinorne Isle in ESO
- Auridon Explored — Fenlil the Wayfarer
- The Lay of Firsthold
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Blessed Isle: Alinor and the Summersets — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other Lands — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Origin of the Mages Guild — The Archmage Salarth
- Events of ESO
- The Firsthold Revolt — Maveus Cie
- Rising Threat — Lathenil of Sunhold
- Loading screen in ESO