The Order of the Silver Dawn (or simply the Silver Dawn) is a militant group of werewolf hunters that were active in the mid-Second Era. They were primarily active in the midst of the Interregnum, starting their venture in 2E 428 and operated across Tamriel in various strongholds and castles. Their main headquarters was the Argent Mine, found in the highlands of Wrothgar. The faction saw a great decline by 2E 582 as some of their great compounds were conquered by various werewolf clans.
As expected, Silver Dawn armor uses boiled and tanned werewolf hide and their weaponry uses some cases of silver. It is specifically designed to provide great defense while showing the least amount of skin for any werewolf attack or a swift and brutal kill on their target. One of their most well-known members, Sir Brancas was able to pierce an arrow through nine werewolves at once. The order is known to utilize the Great Daenian Hound and use them to locate lycanthrope lairs in the wilderness. The various temples of Divines are known to employ the Order of the Silver Dawn, whenever a werewolf is in their vicinity.
The Silver Dawn is a knightly order, much like any other in the provinces, but they have their own specialized rankings. For example, the order has "purifiers", who command units of knights in various missions. They also have "commanders" and "captains". As mentioned before, the Argent Mine is their main headquarters, but it is also their primary source of silver. In this cavern, they happen to procure a sample of liquid silver, or as it is more commonly known as mercury. It was no longer in their possession when they lost the Argent Mine, but it was eventually recovered by the House of Orsimer Glories, in the then newly-built city of Orsinium.
The Order of the Silver Dawn was founded just before the Interregnum, in the midst of a provincial-wide pandemic in High Rock called the Curse of the Crimson Moon in 2E 428. The villager, Adeliza Silver-Axe was forced to save her home by killing her son, who was afflicted with lycanthropy. To honor his memory and prove a rallying point to her cause, she had woven a banner with drops of her blood that has since become the order's symbol. Anyone that was committed to her cause had dropped their blood onto the banner to carry on that tradition. She brought her knightly order to the wilderlands of Wrothgar, where she founded their base of operations, the Argent Mine. It was a rich silver mine that Adeliza's family used to amass a grand fortune, and now one that became the source of their silver weapons and their hidden headquarters. Their banner has since been kept in the Purifier's Hall. Since then, the order had spread all throughout Tamriel and built more strongholds, such as Moon Hunter Keep in the hills of Colovia. This keep, in particular, was used as a research facility to find the cure for lycanthropy.
By 2E 582, the Order of the Silver Dawn had remained active but had start lose vast control over their territories across the provinces. Granted, they had their fair share of contracts at this time, such as one in regards to the House of Dibella in Anvil. But they were splintered across Tamriel, as the provinces were in constant turmoil. Roughly over a year prior, Moon Hunter Keep had been overrun by the wolf pack of Vykosa the Ascendant. The citadel's downfall is attributed to the folly of its former archivist, Ernarde. His long-time goal in life was to find the cure to lycanthropy and his research led him to believe that he needed to capture a werewolf lord. He eventually tracked down Vykosa in Malabal Tor and continuously pleaded for Commander Edette to take down the she-beast. However, Vykosa and her pack were too much for the Silver Dawn and their keep was overrun by werewolves. Ernarde was turned into a man-beast and was forced to focus his efforts in enhancing the Moon Hunter Pack for greater conquest. In secret, he looked for ways to escape Vykosa's grasp. Regardless, the Silver Dawn had lost their keep as they slowly lost their power.
In 2E 582, Magnar Child-Eater of the Magnar Pack in Wrothgar had hunted the Silver Dawn across the region and had even rooted them out of the Argent Mine, preparing for a great siege on the compound. Purifier Cyrus and his knights were unable to withstand the werewolves and the Argent Mine was lost to the elements. The only one to survive was the warrior, Dirdre, who later enlisted the help of an adventurer to defeat Magnar and reclaim the banner. In the end, Dirdre awaited other groups that had left for missions prior to re-group and rebuild the faction from the ground-up. The Argent Mine was later abandoned.
In the same year, Captain Abitius called for action in the Silver Dawn. Moon Hunter Keep had remained in Vykosa's control for far too long and he felt that action must be taken on them. As the pack bolstered their ranks, Commander Adonatus Varian was charged with retaking the keep he once called home. His efforts were in vain, and either his militia was killed or imprisoned. The Undaunted were sent in to free Varian and help retake the keep. Their venture brought them through the keep and eventually destroy Ernarde and Vykosa. In the battle's wake, the cure had been discovered and the heart of a werewolf lord was the main component. What became of the Silver Dawn and Moon Hunter Keep is entirely unknown, all the while, Commander Varian had been infected and whether he was cured is also unknown.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- Crafting Motif 66: Silver Dawn Style by Archivist Ernarde of the Silver Dawn — A guide to crafting armor and weapons in the Silver Dawn style
- Purifier's Journal by Purifier Cyrus — The history of the Silver Dawn and their conflict with the Magnar Pack
- Interestingly, the banner of the Silver Dawn uses letters from the Dragon Alphabet.
- From the top left of the banner going right, it reads K, Z, Q, A, UR, L, D, UU, R, N. From the top right going down reads P, S, AA (or I), L, U. The bottom reads N. From the top left going down reads L, AH, V, D, H. Finally, the middle reads Z (or AH misdrawn).
- There was a magical staff called the Staff of the Silver Dawn that was sought after by Master Neloth of Sadrith Mora in 3E 427. It was in the possession of the Mages Guild in Wolverine Hall, but whether it was related to the faction is unknown.
- A very similar faction of werewolf hunters called the Silver Hand was active in the Fourth Era in Skyrim. They were a formidable enemy of the Companions and managed to slay some of their high-ranked members like the harbinger.
- Purifier's Journal — Purifier Cyrus
- Crafting Motif 66: Silver Dawn Style — Archivist Ernarde of the Silver Dawn
- Silver Daenian Werewolf Tracker pet description in ESO
- Silver Dawn Contract — Chanter Nemus
- Meet the Character - Commander Varian — Captain Murzazir
- Liquid Silver
- Adonatus Varian's dialogue in ESO': Wolfhunter
- A Cure for Lycanthropy — Archivist Ernarde of the Silver Dawn
- Log No. 321: Unexpected Results — Archivist Ernarde of the Moon Hunter Pack
- Letter to Purifier Cyrus — Scout Avaline
- Silver Linings quest in ESO: Orsinium
- Dirdre's dialogue in ESO: Orsinium
- By Order of the Silver Dawn — Captain Abitius
- Moonlight Ascent group quest in ESO: Wolfhunter
- Staff of the Silver Dawn faction quest in Morrowind