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"Perhaps it was Sithis who crumbled our stone hearts. Perhaps it was the Hist, who longed for our company, for the patter of our feet atop their roots."
Nisswo Uaxal

Duskfall refers to the slow decline of the old Saxhleel civilization.[1] Little is known about this time period or what provoked this change, though it is clear that the Elder Argonians still communed with and had Hist Trees of their own. Their bows were often made from the bark of Hists[2], and the Argonians of old were often able to commune directly with the Hist. [3]

Days of Stone Nests[edit]

Pre-Duskfall, its theorized ancient Argonian society was more advanced and unified. However, a competing theory has been proposed that the ancient Argonians' trade connections simply reached farther than what was previously believed. The ancient Argonians were adept at metalworking and often used volcanic glass in their weaponry. Some of their work was even possibly inspired by Dwemer designs.[2]

Ancient Argonians viewed Sithis as a destroyer and feared its destructive force. They were said to be 'less mindful of the cycle of change' and saw only the Void.[4] As a representation of this ideology, they built vast stone pyramids, known as xanmeers, to withstand the destruction. Fearing Sithis to this extent could explain why the old priests of Sithis were able to retain a power position in Argonian society and reign as kings in the pre-Duskfall period.[4] Sithis had a more central role in this old society, and the ceremonies dedicated to Sithis were also different, including blood sacrifices.[2] Not surprisingly, there was resistance to Duskfall among the Sithis priesthood, with some of them taking to extreme measures. One priestesses of Sithis named Shuxaltsei managed to return briefly in 2E 582 and attempted to reclaim her temple in Murkmire.[5].

Tsofeer cavern, Tomb of Many Spears, Xinchei-Konu monument and the Teeth of Sithis are examples of buildings from pre-Duskfall era. Xinchei-Konu was an ancient calendar that shows how the Argonians viewed time and tried to fight against the change, for example by manipulating weather. The Teeth of Sithis on the other hand is an old temple of Sithis and possibly the largest known.[6][4][7]

Duskfall and its consequences[edit]

Shuxaltsei, the last living remnant of pre-Duskfall civilization

What Duskfall was, exactly, has been left unclear. Sources largely describe it poetically, such as "The Hist led the way" and "the Hist revealed the true path", implying the Hist's were involved in some way with the event.[1][4] Interestingly, the Hists seemed to have some forewarning of the events to come prior to Duskfall, and not all were in agreement of how best to handle to approaching change. At least one Hist Tree sought to keep their tribe safe from these changes by forming a pact with Molag Bal to wait out Duskfall within Coldharbour.[8] This deal backfired, however, as the Hist Tree was soon enslaved by the Daedra and regularly harvested for its sap. This tribe assisted in the invasion of Coldharbour in 2E 582, though whether or not the Tree had finally been allowed to die is unknown. [9].

The Hists that remained ceased all communication with the Argonian people for an indeterminate amount of time following Duskfall. It wasn't until the Argonian Jaraleet rediscovered a method of communication that communication between the two parties finally resumed. [3] Unfortunately, the secrets of Duskfall remained lost even after this, with the Hist's either having lost or just refusing to share the knowledge of Argonians from that era of their history. [UOL 1]

As a result of Duskfall, Argonian culture went through a paradigm shift. Having previously viewing Sithis as a destructive force and living in fear of it, Argonians now started to recognize Sithis not only as destruction, but also change. Simultaneously, Argonians adapted a more cyclical view of time. They believe that the fear of death and impermanence, which they call Shunatei, is the reason both the ancient Argonians and the other civilizations insist on building giant stone cities. Modern Argonians believe that by building impermanent structures, they conquer Shunatei and become one with Change, or Sithis. [10]

Several relics from pre-Duskfall or Duskfall can be found in Black Marsh, some of them dangerous.[1][11] One pair of such relics is the Fangs of Sithis, which could be used for mass destruction, turning crops into ash and creating undead horrors from the living.[11] However, using the Fangs of Sithis is said to consume one's soul, driving the wielder mad.[12] In 2E 582, the Fangs of Sithis were discovered deep inside the Sunscale Strand ruins in Shadowfen, Black Marsh.[12]

The Cyrodilic Collections society aims to research and recover such relics and return them to Argonians. In 2E 582, a former member of the society travelled to the island of Norg-Tzel to pursue another of such relics – the Golden Skull of Beela Kaar, an ancient Argonian sorcerer who practiced dark arts. The relic was said to contain the power of Beela-Kaar himself, vibrating with arcane energy and carrying a terrible curse.[1][13]



  1. ^ a b c d Concordia Mercius' dialogue in ESO
  2. ^ a b c Crafting Motif 70, Elder ArgonianConcordia Mercius
  3. ^ a b The Lost Communion
  4. ^ a b c d Nisswo Xode's dialogue in ESO
  5. ^ She Who Eats the Light quest in ESO
  6. ^ Jekka-Wass Vozei's dialogue in ESO
  7. ^ Nisswo Uaxal's dialogue in ESO
  8. ^ How We Came to Coldharbour
  9. ^ Wisdom of the Ages quest in Coldharbour
  10. ^ Xukas' dialogue in ESO
  11. ^ a b Looks-Under-Rocks' dialogue in ESO
  12. ^ a b The Fangs of Sithis quest in ESO
  13. ^ Jee-Lar's dialogue in ESO

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. ^ Interview with Three Argonians in Shadowfen