Lore:The Hollow City
|The Hollow City|
The Hollow City is an abandoned city found in the depths of Molag Bal's realm of Coldharbour. It is protected from Molag Bal's influence and minions by his enemy, Meridia, who despises undeath. It is thus a unique oasis of light and life in one of the darkest and most dangerous realms of Oblivion.
The Hollow City was once a city in Tamriel, likely in Cyrodiil, at which point it was called by another name. It is likely that the Hollow City was once the Ayleid city of Delodiil, as the city has many things in common with how Delodiil was described and as both cities are associated with Meridia, as well as have disappeared from Nirn.
When it was on Nirn, the Hollow City was populated by men and Ayleids. They worshiped Meridia at a glorious cathedral, and their city's prosperity was ensured by magical crystals called the Lights of Meridia.
At some point, the Hollow City was besieged by the minions of Molag Bal, who poured out of portals from Coldharbour. While everyone outside the gates was slain, they managed to hold the city. One of their chief defenders was the last Ayleid king, Laloriaran Dynar, who happened to be present during the attack.
It soon became clear that the forces of Molag Bal were too great, and that the city would eventually fall. However, Meridia saw an opportunity to both save the city and fight back. Using the portals Molag Bal had opened, she transported the entire city, with all its inhabitants, into Coldharbour. Due to the enchantments protecting Coldharbour, the inhabitants of the city were scattered all across the realm. However, the city itself arrived largely intact, and served as a shelter for many of those who remained. Meridia had thus succeeded in inserting a portion of her own power into Coldharbour, creating a space there that was safe even from Molag Bal himself.
Many of the original inhabitants of the Hollow City were killed shortly after the city was transported, having arrived in other parts of Coldharbour, far from the city. Nearly all of the remainder fled or died over the next few centuries. Even King Dynar was captured by Molag Bal. However, the enchantments protecting the Hollow City were maintained by Meridia, who disguised herself as a woman known as the Groundskeeper.
In 2E 582, a force of Fighters Guild and Mages Guild members invaded Coldharbour from Tamriel to stop the Planemeld. They rescued Laloriaran Dynar and used the Hollow City as their base of operations, opening portals within it to transport reinforcements and supplies from Nirn. They were ultimately successful in preventing the Planemeld, vindicating Meridia's strategic decision to create the Hollow City centuries beforehand.