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"Dune stands forever. Challenge our land if you dare, for we are the best blades of the south, and we will show any who come to our door adventure..."
Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Elsweyr
Region Reaper's March
Appears in Arena, ESO
Dune ca. 2E 582
Map of Elsweyr

Dune (alternatively known as Dunei in Ta'agra)[1] is one of the eight-major cities in the province of Elsweyr,[2] serving as the largest Khajiiti settlement in the borderlands of Reaper's March. Dune is a prominent merchant town with a bustling crowd of caravans and herders. It is a city of artistry, with painted pavilions and statues that have intricate carvings of gold, red, and black.[3] Dune is also known for the abundance of tea parlors.[4] Dune was one of the original sixteen kingdoms of Elsweyr, known for their moon sages and scholars.[5]

Layout & Geography[edit]

Dune is found in the greater region of Anequina, which consists of the northern half of Elsweyr. The city lies close to the borders of both Valenwood to the west and Cyrodiil to the northeast. Near the Cyrodiil border lies Fort Sphinxmoth, which was established by the Second Empire to control the feuds between the Khajiit and Bosmer in the area, though control would pass to one or the other of the warring tribes once the Second Empire fell. Khajiit settlements are found throughout the surrounding region of Dawnmead, such as Pa'alat and the Thizzrini Arena, the latter of which uses old Imperial forts as its basis. Ruins such as Jode's Light and Fardir's Folly dot the landscape. The Crescent River, which makes up the border between Elsweyr and Valenwood, can be found west of Dune, below a hill where the Thizzrini Arena overlooks the area. Dune is neighbored by several settlements, including Cori Darglade to the east, Ein Meirvale to the southeast, Verkarth Hills to the south, and Valenwood to the west, towards Arenthia.[2][6]

Dune is a large metropolis built on the hills that lead into the rest of Anequina. Dune is heavily fortified, but not without its artistic attributes. The high walls and battlements of Dune are ornate, with crescent moons adorning the walls.[7] Despite this, Dune's walls are made of wood, with some buildings falling into disrepair. Regardless, Dune continues to stand. The doors in Dune are decorative. The streets and thoroughfare have painted pavilions and decorative statues. They are also very clean for what it is, dung-free but with constant traffic from herders. Dune is also known for teahouses, such as the Sweet Plethora teahouse.[3] Dune is also the home of the Moon Sugar Press.[7] Like the rest of Elsweyr, there is a Temple of Two-Moons Dance in Dune. Dune is split into three districts: a temple district with chantries dedicated to Jone, Jode, and Lorkhaj, a merchant district in the north for local guilds as well as various artisans, and a residential district found between the previously mentioned districts and the Temple of Two-Moons Dance. Thoroughfares run through the borders of these districts.


Ruins of Fort Sphixmoth

Since the years of the Merethic Era, to the late First Era, Dune stood as one of the ancient sixteen kingdoms of ancient Elsweyr, being known for their moon bishops and scholars.[5] The style of architecture in Dune is reminiscent to some of Tamriel's most ancient history when all of Elsweyr was ruled by an unknown Moon Emperor.[7]

Throughout the Merethic Era, the sixteen states were ruled by feudal hunt-lords and an unforgiving hunter-aristocracy, one that oppresses the lower-class peasant communities, causing the various famines and droughts in this point in Khajiiti history. But above these hunt-lords was the priesthood of the Temple of Two-Moons Dance, whose adepts and clerics attained vast cultural influence, as much as to vex, and even overthrow the hunt-lords. But their power reached a climax when the hunt-lord Takanzin the Striped Death hired mercenaries to burn down the Temple of the Dance in Rawl'kha. The remaining monks gathered their forces in retaliation, only to be quashed by Takanzin's armies. Takanzin's efforts eventually forced the remaining sages from the Kingdom of Dune. The other hunt-lords would use this opportunity to blame the fire on the monks, claiming they had treasonous reasons.[8]

Like the other sixteen kingdoms, the Kingdom of Dune dissolved following the arrival of the Thrassian Plague in 1E 2260. What remained of Dune would later be absorbed into the Kingdom of Ne Quin-al, which is modern-day Anequina.[9][10]

In the early Second Era, the Second Empire had established Fort Sphinxmoth in Reaper's March, created to maintain peace in the area so that it would not interfere with trade in the north, around Skingrad. But as the Empire had fallen into disrepair, so did the Border Scouts that protected the land, and Dawnmead returned to its natural state. The Vinedusk tribe and the Dakarn clan waged war against each other in Reaper's March, taking refuge in the ruins of Sphinxmoth and ransacking merchant caravans. As time went on, both factions had subsided. The Vinedusk had staged a raid at Arenthia but overreached, and the Dakarn took to organized at Dune and Thizzrini Arena. Brigandry had ended in Reaper's March as people on both sides of the region formed militias and swept the hills clean of bandits. The Vinedusk reformed into the Vinedusk Rangers and the remaining Dakarn turned into the Duneguard Outwalkers. Reaper's March would return to peace.[11]

In 2E 560, the Knahaten Flu had begun to spread across southern Tamriel and into Elsweyr. It had begun at the docks in Alabaster, and it eventually made its way into Dune. As time went on, various figures in the province were slowly able to defeat the disease, and save the people from nigh extinction.[12] One such person was Ubraz, who was considered one of the best alchemist in Dune. His entourage was sent to Orcrest in 2E 565, but the disease was too potent, and so the group was claimed by the flu. At the time, the Lunar Champions, Khali and Shazah were cubs, with the latter being present in Orcrest with her father.[13]

The city-state of Dune was made a part of the First Aldmeri Dominion when it formed in 2E 580. In 2E 581, on the 21st of Sun's Height, Dune was one of the first settlements to be attacked by the Daedric forces of Molag Bal, when a Dark Anchor had formed outside of town. Daedric Titans had razed Dune in hellfire, and legions of Dro-m'Athra had swarmed the streets. The settlement was successfully able to defend against the Daedra, with the help of a group of hunters that worked for the merchant-lord Zagun-ra of Dune.[7]

During the Interregnum in 2E 582, the city-state of Dune was attacked once again by the Daedra. This time, under the command of Javad Tharn and the Stonefire Cult. Queen Ayrenn's forces were attempting to retake the city, until both the Lunar Champion and the Moon Hallowed had arrived in Dune. Once they had, the two were able to drive out the Daedra, using the Sacred Khajiit Fang to close portals across the city. Both the merchant and temple districts were liberated by the Daedra. Dune was reclaimed by the Aldmeri Dominion.[14] Finally, both the Lunar Champion and the Moon Hallowed would walk the Two Moons Path, to complete the final trial and ultimately, confront Javad Tharn.[15] At the end of the path, the two approached Javad Tharn and the Dark Mane in the Den of Lorkhaj. In the end, the two prevailed and the Colovian invasion of Reaper's March was over. The Lunar Champion was named the new Mane.[16]

During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Dune was an active settlement, being ruled by King Ab'ir. It had a rivalry with Riverhold.[17] The land surrounding Dune and Fort Sphinxmoth was where the northern skirmishes of the Five Year War, between Valenwood and Elsweyr, took place.[18]



  • 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, Dune's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Blades".[UOL 1] The name "the Blades" was later reused and became the current Blades.

See Also[edit]



  1. ^ Rajhin's Shadow's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  2. ^ a b Map of Elsweyr — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
  3. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: ElsweyrFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  4. ^ Teahouse Comfort Fan contraband in ESO
  5. ^ a b The Sixteen Kingdoms
  6. ^ Map of Valenwood — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
  7. ^ a b c d Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion — David S. J. Hodgson
  8. ^ Origins of the Khajiiti Martial TraditionTendwuayne, Sapiarch of Foreign Customs
  9. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Sugar and Blood: the Cats of the SouthImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  10. ^ Anequina and Pellitine: An IntroductionSulema, Initiate Scholar of the Pa'alatiin
  11. ^ A Looter's Paradisethe Silver-Haired Shadow
  12. ^ The Eagle and the CatLord Gharesh-ri, Speaker for the Mane
  13. ^ Shazah's dialogue in ESO
  14. ^ The Fires of Dune quest in ESO
  15. ^ The Moonlit Path quest in ESO
  16. ^ The Den of Lorkhaj quest in ESO
  17. ^ Dune location and rumors in Arena
  18. ^ Mixed Unit TacticsCodus Callonus

Note: the following references are not from official sources. 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