Falinesti is the strange, walking city of the Bosmer king. It used to be found in one of four locations within Valenwood, depending on the season. In the spring, it traveled to northeastern Greenshade, in the summer, it moved north to western Malabal Tor, in autumn, it traveled to a spot in the Northern Woods, near the border with Elsweyr, and in the winter, it moved south to Grahtwood. Most maps show the city at the location of its summer site. Since the late Third Era, the walking tree is rooted and does not migrate anymore.
The city occupies the boughs and bole of a great walking Elden Tree, possibly the original Elden Tree from which all other graht-oaks are derived. The magic involved in the creation of the tree and the city were from before the dawn of recorded history.
King Eplear, a Bosmer warlord from the Camoran Dynasty, united the tribes of Valenwood under his rule, an event traditionally regarded as the beginning of Year Zero of the First Era, from his walking throne of Falinesti, located in the highest of the branches, along with many Bosmer dwellings. Then, from the very beginning of the First Era Falinesti became the capital of Valenwood and second holiest city, second only to Silvenar.
In 1E 2714, the Walking City, along with the rest of Valenwood was conquered by the Second Empire, after centuries of unrelenting warfare along the border with Cyrodiil and a plague from Thras. Although the province became occupied by the Imperial Legion, they continued to experienced resistance from some natives for several years.
During the Second Empire rule of Valenwood, each of the treethanes of Falinesti, Silvenar, Haven, Cormount, Elden Root, and Woodhearth were given a minor kingdom, rising from local to regional powers. This way, Valenwood was divided into six independent kingdoms ruled by local Bosmer nobility, but under the Second Empire banner and protection. This reorganization of Valenwood distributed Falinesti political and trading importance among other Valenwood cities.
During the early years of the Interregnum, but before the city disappeared, the Battle of Falinesti took place between Bosmer and Khajiiti forces as part of the numerous border skirmishes between Valenwood and Elsweyr in that time. Beaten at the battle of Sphynxmoth, the Khajiiti commander Eagle Eye ordered his troops into an orderly retreat to the Vale of Falinesti. The Bosmer set a trap and fell upon them from every side. The battle was short and vicious. All Khajiiti were butchered and some were even roasted alive, before the Bosmer troops ate them.
Sometime between the beginning of the Interregnum and the Three Banners War, the city of Falinesti completely disappeared. Each of the four traditional sites of the city were settled by a group known as the Falinesti Faithful, whose purposes were to find an explanation for the city's disappearance, attempt to bring about the city's return, and to safeguard the sites in preparation for the city's return. The Falinesti Faithful were divided on what had become of the city, with some proposing it was still in Tamriel, but hidden, and others that it had been taken into Oblivion. The Soulless One explored each one of the rooting places of Falinesti during 2E 582. In the Falinesti Winter Site, assisted the excavations lead by General Endare to find the Rajhin's Mantle in the Ayleid ruins which laid down under the place. In the Falinesti Spring Site, the Wood Orc Lhurgash Clan kidnapped a group of Falinesti Faithful, and the Soulless One decided to help the Bosmer. In the Falinesti Summer Site, an Altmer mage was researching about Oblivion portals and its relationship with the banishment of the city, but the inquiries ended inconclusive. Finally, the Soulless One found a Mephala-worshiper cult in the Falinesti Autumn Site named the "Arbordawn Cult". An ancient Daedric temple dedicated to the Webspinner was found behind the site and investigated by the Soulless One and Telenger the Artificer, ending with a mysterious intervention of Mephala herself. Whether she, other Daedric Princes, Rajhin or other forces were involved in the disappearance of Falinesti or not, it remained unknown. Regarding the Imga banishment from Valenwood and its relationship with that of the city, Summerset author Cirantille wrote on the subject, opining that the Imga have gone "to visit Falinesti" until the Planemeld and the Three Banners War end.
Falinesti returned to Valenwood sometime before the formation of the Second Aldmeri Dominion. Once returned, the Walking City resumed its migratory pattern between its four seasonal rooting places. During the absence of Falinesti, the Camoran kings ruled from Elden Root, making it the capital of Valenwood. Soon after the returning of Falinesti, the Camoran kings moved to it again, returning to the Walking City the title of capital of Valenwood. Elden Root continued to be a major settlement and main city of Grahtwood, but lacked the Camoran Royal Court.
In 2E 830, the city was annexed by the Second Aldmeri Dominion after the intervention of Summerset in a Camoran civil war. For the second and last time in history, Elden Root became the capital of Valenwood. The Thalmor wanted the Camoran kings to be settled in a permanent city and Falinesti lost its royal status again. However, the catastrophic use of the Numidium by Tiber Septim resulted in the conquest of both the entirely of Valenwood and the Summerset Isles in 2E 896, ending the Second Aldmeri Dominion control of the settlement, which was incorporated to the Third Empire.
Since the beginning of the Third Era, Falinesti became part of the Province of Valenwood, and the Imperials set the Walking City as the capital of the new province. The city remained in Imperial hands except for the Camoran Usurper Rebellion between 3E 249 and 3E 267. By 3E 432, Falinesti abruptly ceased migrating and rooted itself for the first time in recorded history, causing consternation among the Bosmer, who believed it was a omen coming from Y'ffre. The Oblivion Crisis that ended the Third Era and weakened the Empire provided the opportunity for the Thalmor to seize the Summerset Isles. In 4E 29, a Thalmor-backed coup overthrew Valenwood's government, routing Imperial forces and their Bosmer supporters. Alinor and Valenwood then proclaimed a union, and a new Aldmeri Dominion was formed. The city fell into Aldmeri hands for the third time in history. The "Falinesti Incident" was a major cover damaging operation carried out by the Blades in Dominion territory, in the years prior to the Great War.
The Rooting Ceremony was the most important event in the city. It consisted of the rooting and unrooting of the Elden Tree of Falinesti from one of the four seasonal sites. Its duration was variable and it could last from a few days to more than a week. The pilgrims gathered both in the site and over the tree to experience the Ceremony. As far as Falinesti ended rooted by the late Third Era, the Rooting Ceremony was not celebrated anymore.
There are magical twigs which supposedly function as a compass and always point to the Walking City, helping the pilgrims to follow the trail of Falinesti in its seasonal migrations. While its disappearance during the Second Era, they began spinning in all directions uncertainly.
Bosmer, Orcs, and Imga are its main inhabitants, with few humans having the nerve to remain in the city for long. In Falinesti, colonies of Imga apes gather Kollopi, an arboreal rodent, from the ends of the slenderest branches of the graht-oaks. The "ape men" are naturally dexterous, and are renowned for their agility. They climb beneath the Kollopi rodents then jump up to "pick" them from their perches. These Kollopi are then used to make a simple peasant dish of the same name.
The Havel Slump district observes a day of revelry every Morndas. Furthermore, the Western Cross is perilous at night due to the presence of hoarvor, which feed on the bodies of the drunks left over from the night before.
Falinesti Peepers are a species of frog found in Sacred Leap Grotto named after the holy city. If someone eats a Falinesti peeper alive, it can give them a vision quest.
- 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, Falinesti's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Wyverns".[UOL 1]
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: Valenwood — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- The description of Halls of Ichor in ESO
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- The Fall and Rise of Reman's Bluff — Praetor Aemilianus Lector
- Battle of Falinesti
- Events of ESO
- Andewen's dialogue in ESO
- Nirwaen's Diary — Nirwaen
- The Collected Theory Hypothesis
- Lady Clarisse Laurent Answers Your Questions — Lady Clarisse Laurent
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Valenwood — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Brief History of the Empire v 1 — Stronach k'Thojj III
- The Refugees — Geros Albreigh
- The Fall of the Usurper — Palaux Illthre
- The Great War — Legate Justianus Quintius
- Thalmor Dossier: Esbern
- The description of Branch of Falinesti in ESO
- The description of Falinesti Idol in ESO
- The description of Twig-Of-Falinesti Compass in ESO
- The Black Arrow, v 1 — Gorgic Guine
- The Red Kitchen Reader — Simocles Quo
- A Dance in Fire, Chapter 2 — Waughin Jarth
- The description of Falinesti Peepers 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.