In the Hosiric Lays, songs that date back to the Ayleid Empire, the "waving fronds of Vahtacen" are briefly mentioned. This gives credence to the belief that Cyrodiil possessed a subtropical climate during the time of the Ayleids. During the Alessian Slave Rebellion, Pelinal Whitestrake knocked down the doors of Vahtacen to free the prisoners of the Vahtache, while Alessia and Morihaus flew overhead. It was after this event that Alessia was called "Al-Esh" ("High Highness") for the first time. After the rebellion, the settlement fell into ruin and was gradually lost beneath the earth.
During the time of the Planemeld, Vahtacen's exterior was still clearly visible, although much of it had been covered by the waters of the Reed. The ruins swarmed with undead, led by a powerful Lich known as the Faceless. In 2E 582, the ruins were within the territory controlled by the invading Ebonheart Pact. An Ayleid relic was recovered from Vahtacen for Vyctoria Girien of Cheydinhal that year, and the Faceless was destroyed.
Circa 3E 433, the Mages Guild began excavating the ruins, breaking through into the top level from a natural cave. The excavation was headed by Irlav Jarol, an expert scholar of the Ayleids, although he wasn't involved in the on-site work. The excavation's progress was halted when several mages were injured by an enchanted pillar which reacted to magic. By translating several inscriptions, the mages discovered the correct order in which spells must be cast at the pillar, and in doing so revealed an entrance into the lower undead-infested level of the ruins. An ancient Ayleid helm of some significance was discovered within the ruins.
Valenwood is a densely forested, sub-tropical region that encompasses the southwestern coastal plain of Tamriel. In the words of A Pocket Guide to the Empire, Valenwood is "a sea of endless green, a maze of foliage with half-hidden cities growing like blooms from a flower, the home of the Bosmer is Tamriel's garden." One unusual feature of Valenwood is its gigantic, migratory trees, many so large that the Bosmer have built entire cities in their branches. Falinesti is one such tree, a mile-high specimen that serves as the capital of Valenwood and seat of its kings.
The Valus Mountains are a mountain range on the border between Cyrodiil and Morrowind. They meet the Jerall Mountains at the Skyrim border. They are sometimes considered an extension of the Velothi Mountains.
Vanua was an Ayleid settlement located along the southeastern shore of Lake Rumare in ancient times. It contains the Shrine of the Crusader, a shrine built to honor Pelinal Whitestrake. It is mainly of Ayleid construction, but some of the interior architecture surrounding the Shrine is built in the Imperial style. The ruins of the settlement were slowly engulfed by the lake over the centuries and it now lies on the lake bed.
Vanua was the site of Pelinal Whitestrake's last stand, when he faced off against the Ayleid demi-god Umaril the Unfeathered. In the shadow of the White-Gold Tower, armies of Aurorans were sent against Pelinal to be slain. When he was weakened, Umaril answered the Divine Crusader's summons, and the two did battle. Pelinal was successful in defeating Umaril, but his soul was protected by Meridia and fled to the Void to one day be reformed in the Fires of Oblivion. Dying, the mortally wounded Pelinal insulted the ancestry of Umaril and of all elves, and his remaining foes fell upon him in anger at his words. He was tormented and cut into eights as a final act of vengeance by the Ayleids, and his head was left in Vanua to be discovered by Morihaus.
Pelinal's followers built the Shrine of the Crusader upon the spot where he died. The Helm of the Crusader, an artifact created for Pelinal by Dibella, was placed upon the shrine. Over time, the waters of Lake Rumare began to rise and Vanua was submerged, eventually being forgotten. The ruins were haunted by all manner of undead.
In 3E 153, an elderly Sir Amiel embarked on a final quest to recover the Helm of the Crusader. He was the last Knight of the Nine, an order that had originally been established to recover the Crusader's Relics for safekeeping. He entered Vanua, but was slain by the undead monsters just in sight of the Helm, out-of-reach on a balcony above. In 3E 433, a pilgrim seeking to stop the reincarnated Umaril the Unfeathered was directed to Vanua by the ghost of Pelinal. The pilgrim entered the sunken ruins and successfully reached the helm. The skeletal remains of Sir Amiel led the pilgrim back to the abandoned Priory of the Nine, where a quest to recover the relics and defeat Umaril then began.
Varanis is a barren region situated in the southwest of the region of Stonefalls, which is located in the province of Morrowind. Varanis is a largely uninhabited region, mainly used as a source of agriculture in the greater area of Stonefalls, as seen with the biggest settlement, Kragenmoor and the plot of land known as the Sathram Plantation. On the western edge of Varanis lies the Iliath Temple, the largest place of worship for the Tribunal in all of Varanis. The Ulath Tribe of Ashlanders inhabit the area, as the Cave of Memories is their ancestral burial grounds. The greatest landmark in Varanis is the Tormented Spire, which spews great clouds of ash and smoke, leading to many Dark Elves in Varanis to scramble for shelter. During the Imperial Simulacrum, there was settlement called Verarchen Hall located in the area, the name is an offshoot of the original name. It was rivals with the village of Markgran Forest.
Varsa Baalim was an Ayleidic city located in the Nibenay Basin of Cyrodiil, close to Lake Canulus on the foothills of the Valus Mountains. It was a great, ringed, labyrinthine city constructed during the height of Ayleid rule to guard the Nefarivigum, a foul construct of Mehrunes Dagon used to test pilgrims seeking Mehrunes Razor.
For years, the elves drove back the many pilgrims who came for the evil artifact. However, in the early days of the First Era, a vampire managed to slip into the city unnoticed and turn the populace. Varsa Baalim was thrown into a gathering storm of madness and ruin, until it seemed that none were left to prevent the Razor from being recovered. Suddenly, the city was gone, when the mountains of the Eastern Niben swallowed Varsa Baalim and the Nefarivigum with it. Whether it was caused by a final fallback plan of the Ayleids, a natural cataclysm, or the touch of the Divines is unknown.
For centuries the city remained hidden, entombed deep within the mountains, inhabited by the undead vampiric remnants of its populace. In 3E 433, a rogue Telvanni arch-mage named Frathen Drothan set out to use the Nefarivigum to recover Mehrunes Razor, which he could then use to overthrow the Empire. He gathered many mercenaries to his cause and formed the Drothmeri Army, which marched into Cyrodiil and captured Sundercliff Watch, an abandoned fort built during the rule of the Reman Dynasty. The fort had deep iron mines that extended far underground, and Drothan used these to excavate the entrance to Varsa Baalim. Once it was uncovered, he ventured into the ruins of the city with a large detachment of mercenaries and magically sealed the entrance to deter assassins. The vampires quickly fell upon the band, and Drothan fled, making his way to the Nefarivigum and leaving the scattered mercenaries to fight back the vampires.
The Champion of Cyrodiil, hearing rumors of Drothan's rebel army, entered Sundercliff Watch, fought through the Drothmeri Army and broke the magical barrier preventing any from entering Varsa Baalim. The Champion traversed the ruins, where battle between the Drothmeri and the vampires still raged, and entered the Nefarivigum. The Champion then defeated Drothan and claimed the Razor.
Vaults of Gemin
The vaults once belonged to the Conclave of Baal, an organization based out of Stormhold. They were used to store an ancient tablet which could be used to decipher the Elder Scrolls in order to divine the current location of Murkwood. However, the vaults sank into the ground when an associate of the organization cast a powerful spell with disastrous results. The crumbling ruins of the vault became partially flooded and infested with monsters.
The Velothi Mountains are the mountain range separating Morrowind from Skyrim. They are named after the Chimer prophet Veloth who led the Chimer to leave their ancestral homes and resettle in Morrowind.
The mountains form the eastern border of the Skyrim regions of Eastmarch and the Rift. The southernmost part of the mountains borders the Morrowind region of Stonefalls to the southeast. At the southern tip of the mountain range, where it meets the Jerall and Valus Mountains, the volcanic peak of Trolhetta can be found. The ash produced by this and other volcanoes falls upon the Stonefalls region, providing precious fertilizer in an otherwise arid landscape.
In the Late Middle Merethic Era, the Velothi Mountains were settled by the Dwemer, who created cities beneath the mountain range, such as the great city of Mzulft. Presumably most of these cities followed the fate of their counterparts in Morrowind and Hammerfell and now lie deserted, but no further information on the cities exists.
In 2E 864, a canopy tunnel provided easy travel to the mountains from Cyrodiil, but no trace of the tunnel remained by 3E 433. Some old Dwemer tunnels also existed beneath the mountains and were sometimes used by caravans and refugees from Morrowind circa 4E 201. The Dunmeth Pass leads through the mountains and into northern Morrowind. High in the mountains lies the ancient temple of Skuldafn, along the Eastmarch border.
Velothis Haven (otherwise known as Glen Haven) is a town located deep within the territory of the Great House Telvanni, within the province of Morrowind. During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the town of Glen Haven was active, having a rivalry with Dragon Glade. In 3E 427, according to Falura Llervu, a slave kept at Tel Aruhn, the leader of Velothis Haven was her father Andrano Llervu, a noble from Tel Llervu. The settlement was either named after Veloth, the father of the Dunmer race, or the Velothi, another name for the Chimeri people.
In the mid-First Era, Verkarth was ruled by King Styriche, a vampire who commanded an army of werewolves and other vampires known as the Gray Host. Styriche was deposed by Alessian legions under Empress Hestra in 1E 1029, forcing him and the Gray Host to flee westward into High Rock, where they were halted and routed by the Bangkorai Garrison.
Vernim Woods is a forest located within the region known as the Rift, in the province of Skyrim. The Vernim Woods is an expansive forest of sparsely-leaved trees and dried creeks that run into the center, which contains the ruins known as the Vaults of Vernim. The forest has lent its name to the township called Vernim Wood which was active in the Third Era.
The Vile Laboratory
The Vile Laboratory is a location in the Black Garrison region of Coldharbour, used by Molag Bal for his many horrific experiments. The building itself is an emulation of a Dwarven ruin, although the complex is crawling with undead and Daedric guardians. It appears to be run by a Xivilai named Overseer Xvarik.
The laboratory has seemingly been in existence since the Merethic Era, as it is where the skeleton of the dragon Boziikkodstrun was brought after his flesh was consumed by Bal. Here the skeleton was infused with "blood-of-darkness", which re-awakened it as a Vestige. The skeleton was also modified according to Bal's own design, before being plunged into the Azure Chasm to create the first Daedric Titan. Indeed, experiments concerning vestiges and souls appear to be the norm in the Vile Laboratory. The Xivkyn are the result of experiments with vestigial hybridization in the laboratory between Dremora and Xivilai.
At some point, a Light of Meridia was taken to the laboratory for safekeeping, in an attempt to keep the artifact out of Meridia's clutches. In 2E 582, two Mages Guild members were imprisoned within the Vile Laboratory after being separated from the rest of the Tamrielic invasion force. The mages, a Dunmer named Gadris and a Khajiit named Zur, underwent an experimental soul-meld process, and were subsequently cast out of the laboratory to die. Confined to a single body and desperate to separate their souls, the weakened pair began work on a transmutation potion to sneak back into the ruins. With help from the Soulless One, the "Soul-Meld Mage" managed to overpower Xvarik and reach the catalyst needed for the separation procedure, although only one of the mages survived. The Soulless One also recovered the Light of Meridia from the ruins.
In the late Merethic Era, the Ayleids of Vilverin were among those clans who turned to Daedra worship, known as the Daedraphiles. During the Alessian Slave Rebellion, Vilverin became home to one of the Ten Ancestors, Ayleid statues originally held in the White-Gold Tower which were dispersed to cities across Cyrodiil for safekeeping. When the Tower fell to the Nedic rebels in 1E 243, the Rulanyil clan of Vilverin was forced to migrate out of Cyrodiil to avoid slaughter. They traveled to Valenwood, where they built a new city in Greenshade named Rulanyil's Fall. Vilverin subsequently fell into ruin.
In 2E 582, the ruins were inhabited by a group of trolls led by the Lake Mist Fiend. Circa 3E 433, a Redguard necromancer named Jalbert moved into the ruins after being forced to flee from Daggerfall. He subsequently began to resurrect the bodies of the long-dead Ayleids in the crypts beneath the ruins. A group of bandits also inhabited the ruins, where they ambushed merchants along the Red Ring Road and collected Welkynd Stones to sell to the Mages Guild. However, the bandits soon began to fall victim to the undead when Jalbert needed fresh corpses for his experiments. The Champion of Cyrodiil then entered the ruins, slaying Jalbert and the bandits. The Champion also retrieved the ancient Ayleid statue, which was later sold to Umbacano.
Vindasel is a small Ayleid ruin in the Great Forest of Cyrodiil. However, it was once a settlement infamous for brutalizing slaves; legend speaks of "the wailing wheels of Vindasel", where the Ayleids derived strange pleasure by subjecting them to this "art-torture". In 3E 433, Clavicus Vile sent the Champion of Cyrodiil to the ruin to collect the legendary sword Umbra.
Vitharn was a ruin in the Shivering Isles in the Third Era. The ruin was once a thriving city and fortress, founded by fanatics in southern Dementia. Four generations of Counts ruled over the city, planning to usurp the Isles from the Madgod, Sheogorath. Ultimately, the incompetence of Vitharn's late ruler, Count Cirion, and his mother's Manic heritage, caused the Vassal Fanatics of Dementia to invade the city and slaughter all therein, forgetting their sworn allegiance to the city of Vitharn.
- "Finally the bones of Horde Mountain landed and became the foundation stones for the City of Swords, which Vivec named after his own sigil, and the net fell across it all and between, or became as bridges between bones, and since its segments had been touched by his holy wisdom they became the most perfect of all city streets in the known worlds." — 36 Lessons of Vivec
Vivec City (often shortened to simply Vivec), named after the god of the same name, was the largest city in Vvardenfell, once situated on its southern coast in a large lagoon with Baar Dau floating above. The city was a collection of nine artificial islands; each island was a separate district or canton and was made up of a large multi-tiered building the size of a small town. The many bridges and walkways between these cantons created a maze that could be intimidating for new arrivals. Water was the dominant element in the architecture, present even inside. The entire city of Vivec was considered a holy place, as it was home to the Living God Vivec himself. The city was policed by special guards drawn from the militant order of the Temple, the Ordinators.
Most cantons were generally built of four tiers. The lowest, only accessible from drainage grates or trapdoors, was the Underworks, or the canton's sewer. The Underworks were located on the water-line, and were a nest for criminals, rats, and other undesirables, as Ordinators never ventured into them. Above the Underworks, at the level of the main walkways and canals, were the Canalworks, where tombs, homeless paupers, storage rooms, and a few small shops could occasionally be found. The Canalworks of a canton were generally only accessible from the upper levels, or via trapdoor from the Underworks. Above the Canalworks were the Waistworks, filled with shops, clubs, temples, and residences. The top of a canton contained a large domed courtyard known as the Plaza, with standalone buildings rather than doors built into corridor walls. Canton plazas were filled with manor-houses and fine shops, and could usually only be accessed through large doors from the exterior. All of the space within a canton had to be leased from the Temple, and the only Guards allowed to police the area were Ordinators.
During the Alliance War of 2E 582, Vlastarus was a bustling town. It was largely untouched by the war, attracting refugees from all over Cyrodiil. However, the town was threatened by an increase in the number of undead, Daedra, and bandits in the surrounding countryside, and the nearby ruins of Vlastarus Towers were occupied by a bandit gang known as the Gray Vipers led by a hag named Fegra. Vlastarus was initially located within the territory held by the Aldmeri Dominion, although the town and the nearby Castle Brindle changed hands many times over the course of the war.
The Imperial Legion later built a fort at Vlastarus, but it was abandoned by the Legion during the relatively peaceful Third Era. By 3E 433, nothing remained of the town other than the vampire-infested ruins of Fort Vlastarus.
The Void (also called the Darkness) is the name applied to the dimensions outside of the known realms (e.g. Aetherius, Oblivion, and Mundus) of the Aurbis. It is also occasionally used in a more limited capacity to refer directly to Oblivion. The brothers Anu and Padomay came from the Void, as well as Sithis, who originally caused change in the world. According to the Dark Brotherhood, when Sithis wishes someone killed, their soul comes here after death. Legends say that deities wishing to create a new plane of existence must initially create a space for it in the Void. The "Second Void" and the "Nineteen Voids" are unknown terms which may be related to this dimension.
Vos was an ancient Velothi farming village on the eastern coast of Vvardenfell, near Tel Mora. A harbor lay downhill from the town, where there were ships to Tel Aruhn, Sadrith Mora and nearby Tel Mora. The large and friendly Varo Tradehouse was located near the wharves, and was a good alternative to Tel Mora for travelers seeking accommodation.
Vulkwasten (otherwise called Vulkwasten Wood) is a brewery town located in the region of Malabal Tor, within the province of Valenwood. Vulkwasten is known for brewing Rotmeth, made from a long-line of Bosmeri brewers whose craft is legendary among the people.
Vvardenfell is a large island located inside the bay-like Inner Sea, and is surrounded by mainland Morrowind with the exception of its northern coast, which meets the Sea of Ghosts. The island is dominated by the great volcano, Red Mountain. The island itself is named after the original Dwemeri name of Red Mountain, literally translating to "City of the Strong Shield". It is characterized by arid wastes, rocky highlands and coastal wetlands filled with unusual and unique flora and fauna.