Lore:Stonefalls

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Stonefalls
Type Region
Continent Tamriel
Province Morrowind
Subregions Daen Seeth
Varanis
Zabamat
Appears in Arena, ESO
Stonefalls circa 2E 582

The ashfall from the volcanoes of the Velothi Mountains and from great Ash Mountain itself is Stonefalls' bane and benefit, fertilizing the soil where the land isn't too arid to grow crops. It was here that the recent invading army from Akavir met its bloody end. — Loading Screen in ESO

Stonefalls during the Imperial Simulacrum

Stonefalls is a region in the center of the province of Morrowind bordered to the north by the Inner Sea, the south by Deshaan and the west by Cyrodiil and The Rift. Ashfall from the volcanoes of the Velothi mountains fertilizes the soil for agriculture. The region has a history of war and conflict, most notably with the Nedes in an undisclosed conflict, and even the Akaviri in the Second Akaviri Invasion. There was a settlement called Stonefalls (alternatively called Balfalls)[1] during the late years of the Third Era.[2] The village of Stonefalls is shown as a territory of House Hlaalu.[UOL 1]

History[edit]

Early History & Conflicts[edit]

The Brothers of Strife statues overlook Ebonheart

Sometime in the Merethic Era, the Nedes had a presence in Stonefalls.[3] The Nedes continued their conquest over Stonefalls, controlling most of the modern-day region within the span of a few short years, executing many of the population. Leading the battle against the Nedes were the Chimer brothers, General Balreth and Legate Sadal, considered the greatest warriors of their time. At first, the brothers and their Chimer armies attempted to push back the Nedes, but as they were slowly overwhelmed, their conflicts focused on defense, until they were left with remnants of their armies in a ruined Daedric temple hidden in a valley. In a last-ditch effort, Balreth and Sadal underwent a ritual to turn into what is now known as the, Brothers of Strifes, powerful entities that turned the ash red with the blood of both the Nedes and the Chimeri. Eventually, both brothers were sealed into Ash Mountain and the Tormented Spire respectively, by a group of Chimer mages from Vvardenfell led by Mavos Siloreth. The Brothers of Strife have been the source of legend and myth throughout Stonefalls ever since.[4][5]

In the First Era, Stonefalls, along with the rest of Morrowind, was invaded by the Nords of the First Empire of the Nords under the reign of Vrage the Butcher.[6] Around 1E 240, the Kingdom of Ebonheart was ruled by the dunmer king Kronin Ra'athim. The Nordic forces were able to displace King Kronin and his family from Ebonheart. Vrage ruled the city during the two-hundred years. Kronin and his clan fought against the occupation using guerrilla warfare. With the help of Indoril Nerevar and Dumac Dwarfking, Kronin's forces were able to retake Morrowind. This alliance would later become the First Council. Following King Kronin's death, his eldest son, Cruethys was named the King of Ebonheart.

In 2E 572, the Kamal invaded Tamriel under their king, Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal,[7] reportedly searching for a person or object they called the "Ordained Receptacle.”[8] The Kamal fleet landed near Windhelm in Eastern Skyrim, catching the Nords off-guard and sacking the city.[9] The Kamal army then headed south into Stonefalls through Fort Virak. There, on a beach just to the west of Ebonheart that would later be named Vivec's Antlers,[10] they were surrounded by a Dunmer army led by Almalexia and a Nord army led by Prince Jorunn.[8][9] The Kamal fought ferociously, hoping to last long enough for their fleet to arrive and evacuate them, but, at the last moment, a party of Argonians joined the fray. With the aid of a tidal wave summoned by Vivec,[10] the Kamal were obliterated by the three unlikely allies.[8][9][11]

The Covenant Invasion and the Vanguard's Plot[edit]

Tanval Indoril, at the forefront of the campaign in Stonefalls

Sometime around Sun's Dawn in 2E 582, the Daggerfall Covenant sailed across the Sea of Ghosts into territory of the Ebonheart Pact, on the outskirts of Bleakrock Isle.[12] This was the earliest account of the Covenant's invasion of Pact Territory, before it ultimately landed in Stonefalls. The villagers of Bleakrock were able to escape into Bal Foyen before the Covenant arrived, forcing them to retreat into Stonefalls. The first battle of the Daggerfall Covenant’s Stonefalls campaign occurred in the port-city of Davon's Watch. In Davon's Watch's Manor District, Tanval Indoril and Holgunn One-Eye organized a summit and had surmised a plan to break the siege. The skull of Nam Indoril was stolen from the Indoril Ancestral Tomb underneath the city and was used in the preparation of a ritual to summon one of the Brothers of Strife, Balreth.[13] While Garyn Indoril held the western shore from the Covenant, the invading force was able to bypass the defense by climbing atop the stone cliffs, entering Davon's Watch.[14] Once the ritual was complete, Balreth rained hellfire across the Covenant Armada until they retreated into Western Stonefalls.[15]

With the threat of Balreth roaming across Daen Seeth and having already ransacked the town of Senie, the Pact turned its focus to resealing Balreth back into Ash Mountain. An agent of the Pact was sent to Othrenis where they convened with the spirit of Mavos Siloreth and learned how to seal Balreth away.[16][17] In the end, the Pact was able to imprison Balreth beneath Ash Mountain, but the Covenant still maintained a presence in Stonefalls.[18]

The Stonefalls campaign continued into Zabamat, on the shores of Ebonheart. Alexandra Conele, a Covenant commander, launched an operation on the shores of Vivec's Antlers, conflicting with the nearby Pact Soldiers and the local dreughs of Vivec's Antlers. Conele used the Coral Heart from the land-coral in the effort to summon the second Brother of Strife, Sadal. After taking hostage a Dunmeri lieutenant, Alexandra Conele was able to learn that the Coral Heart was located in the inner sanctum found deep in the battlefield. Sings-With-Reed, an Argonian mage, was able to convince the dreugh the armies of the Covenant and that the Coral Heart was friendly. In the Coral Heart Chamber, Conele was defeated. To preserve the Coral Heart, Sings-With-Reed sacrificed herself.[19]

With the Coral Heart in hand, the Pact pushed the Covenant west, where the General Serien was able to take hold of Fort Virak, blocking the contact between the Rift and Stonefalls. Between Fort Virak and Ebonheart, the Daggerfall Covenant laid waste against the populace, targeting minor settlements such as Heimlyn Keep and Lukiul Uxith. General Serien resorted to necromancy, using the dead Covenant and Pact soldiers who died in battle to fight against the invading forces. The only way to enter Fort Virak's courtyard was for the agent of the Pact to consume a potion that allowed them to enter Fort Virak ethereally.[20] Once inside, Pact soldiers from each side of the Velothi Mountains fought.[21] In a grueling battle, General Serien was killed by Tanval Indoril and the Ebonheart Pact, but his spirit remained and took Tanval's son, Garyn Indoril, with him as revenge. In his grief, Tanval Indoril stole the Coral Heart from Holgunn One-Eye in order to summon Sadal to obliterate the Daggerfall Covenant.[22]

Tanval Indoril fled south into the ashlands of Varanis seeking out Grandmaster Omin Dres of House Dres at his home in Kragenmoor. In order to gain the access into the Tormented Spire, Tanval kidnapped the Grandmaster's son and imprisoned him in the House Dres crypts. The Vanguard of House Indoril followed Tanval Indoril into Varanis, taking hold of the city from the local barracks and an encampment outside the city. Under the command of Captain Dunveril, the Vanguard oppressed the people of Kragenmoor. An agent of the Pact arrived onto the city limits, freed Sen Dres from the crypts, and gained access to the Tormented Spire for the Ebonheart Pact.[23][24]

At the Caldera of the Tormented Spire, Tanval Indoril and the Vanguard fought their way against the Chimeri that originally sealed Sadal.[25] Tanval realized what he had done and rendezvoused with the Ebonheart Pact in a last-ditch effort to help the Pact. In a dramatic battle, the Ebonheart Pact, along with Mavos Siloreth and the Chimeri spirits, re-sealed Sadal into his prison. Tanval Indoril sacrificed himself for the cause.

Sometime around 2E 582, Vivec traveled to Ebonheart with his Archcanon, Tarvus. Vivec's visit to the city left such an impression on the Warrior-Poet that he commissioned a Castle Ebonheart of his own across the lake from Vivec City in Vvardenfell, which was finalized in 3E 414.[26]

The Talosian Conquest and the Katariah Ra'athim[edit]

Pelagius Septim III was a controversial figure in the Third Empire

During the Interregnum in the late Second Era, Tiber Septim invaded Morrowind during the Tiber Wars. Tiber Septim's conquest over Morrowind began after the success of his campaign in Hammerfell. Morrowind's defense developed around the western cities of Kragenmoor and Blacklight, and around minor settlements like Cormaris View and Silgrad Tower. Among Morrowind's defense were House Redoran mercenaries, as well as House Nobles, Temple Ordinators, and the Buoyant Armigers. The Indoril and Dres sought to deploy guerrilla warfare, while the Hlaalu sought to make peace and the Telvanni did not want to get involved. The battle between the Redoran and the empire went in Septim’s favor, as the dunmer slowly withdrew from the conflict and Vivec established a peace treaty with Tiber Septim.[27] This treaty is known as the Treaty of the Armistice, and as a present to Tiber Septim, the Tribunal gave him Numidium, the Brass-God of the Dwemer. Tiber Septim's possession of the Brass Tower was a key point in the Third Empire's conquest over the Second Aldmeri Dominion.[28] In the end, Morrowind, Stonefalls included, was annexed into the Third Empire.

The Kingdom of Ebonheart and the royal family Ra'athim was an ally of Potema Septim in the War of the Red Diamond; however, Potema was killed during the final battle at Solitude. Following this, Emperor Magnus I arranged the marriage of Katariah Ra'athim, the Duchess of Vvardenfell, and his son, Pelagius Septim III.[29] In 3E 141, Pelagius III, then High King of Solitude, married Katariah and eventually inherited the Ruby Throne in 3E 145.[29][30] From then on, Katariah essentially assumed the role of Empress while her husband went mad. When Pelagius the Mad died, Katariah assumed the role of Empress-Regent, bringing about the Empire's Golden Age. She became known for traveling across the Empire, more so than other Emperors. Regent-Empress Katariah I had passed away around 3E 200.[30][31]

By the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the cities of Stonefalls were still active. In 3E 433, the Oblivion Crisis occurred, ransacking the Empire and leading to the downfall of the Septim Dynasty. All that is known of the effect of the Crisis in Stonefalls is local interest in a shrine of Akatosh in Kragenmoor increased tenfold as people began to worship the Nine Divines, according to the Blades agent, Caius Cosades. .[UOL 2]

Geography[edit]

The Map of Stonefalls (c. 2E 582)
Stonefall's Thorny Cherry Blossom Trees

Stonefalls is located along the southern coast of the Inner Sea, the large body of water that separates the island of Vvardenfell from the rest of mainland Morrowind. It is bordered by Deshaan in the south, Bal Foyen in the east, and the Velothi Mountains, The Rift, and Cyrodiil to the west. Stonefalls is divided into three smaller regions: Daen Seeth in the east, Zabamat in the northwest, and Varanis in the southwest.

The six common types of lava, all of which documented in a field guide,[32] generally come from the twin volcanoes, Ash Mountain and the Tormented Spire. Resources throughout the region include deposits of flint and ebony, heart stones in the foyadas of the Brothers of Strife, and volcanic glass.[33] There are also large deposits of sulfur due west of Ebonheart.

Despite the harsh environment, flora grows abundantly. The common emperor parasol mushroom can be found throughout the ashlands, but unique flora such as Roland's Tear, which are found in sacred areas of the Tribunal, can also be found. In the area known as Vivec's Antlers are forms of bizarre, bioluminescent land coral, very uncommon in Morrowind. There is a vast network of caves called the Fungal Grotto, which are known for the abundance of emperor parasol mushrooms that have overgrown the Chimeri ruins inside and enveloped it in moss. Farming in western Stonefalls is possible due to the ashfall coming from the twin volcanoes, Ash Mountain and the Tormented Spire. Like the rest of Morrowind, Stonefalls' flora has adapted to the ashlands, resulting in unique plants that the locals cultivate, such as Ash Yams[34] and Saltrice.[35]

Animals and creatures do not differ wildly from what is found in the rest of Morrowind. Shalk and flame atronachs live near the volcanoes. Throughout the coast and the crags dreugh, netch, and nix-hounds can be found. In the farmlands, natural caves, and ruins there are spiders and skeletons.

When compared to other parts of Morrowind, there is surprisingly little Dwemer influence, with the only known Dwarven ruin being Inner Sea Armature, whose original name was lost to time. Stonefalls borders the regions of the Nibenay Basin in Cyrodiil and the Rift in Skyrim.

People and Transportation[edit]

Traditional Kagesh Ashlander Armor

Much like the rest of Morrowind, the region of Stonefalls is mainly-populated by the Dark Elves. There are two dominant cultures: the stationary House dunmer and the nomadic Ashlanders. Tensions run high between these two subsets of dunmer. Examples of this can be found in the Iliath Temple, overheard in gossip from people in Davon’s Watch, and by talking to Shaali Kulun outside of Ebonheart.

Most people in Stonefalls live in one of the three main cities, Davon's Watch, Ebonheart, and Kragenmoor. Davon's Watch and Ebonheart provide port access to Stonefalls from the Inner Sea, while Kragenmoor is a gateway to the rural farmlands of southern Stonefalls. Throughout the countryside are small towns such as Senie and Lukiul Uxith, and private farmsteads and mining colonies like Sathram Plantation and the Sulfur Pools. In addition to farming, mining is an important economic staple of Stonefalls. The Emberflint Mine in the outskirts of Ebonheart is a prime source of Flint. Beyond the walls of Davon's Watch lies the Strifeswarn Kwama Mine. Ebony, in particular, has significance in the region. Not only does the Iliath Temple have a significant amount of ebony beneath it, but the royal house of Ebonheart, the Ra'athim Clan are miners by heart and have lucrative mines across their domain.[36][37]

There are two known tribes of Ashlanders who call Stonefalls home: the Kagesh Tribe and the Ulath Tribe. The Kagesh live in southwestern Stonefalls, near the Iliath Temple. They are hostile and aggressive, much like other Ashlander tribes. The Ulath are found in the areas surrounding the sacred burial grounds of the Cave of Memories on the edge of Varanis.

There are two prominent tribes of Goblins, the Shadowsilk Tribe, who ransack the northern farmlands, and the Murkwater Tribe, who live in the Valus Mountains around the Fungal Grotto.

Travelers often use Guar to carry goods throughout the land. A practice that is used not only by the House dunmer, but the Ashlanders and Argonian caravaneers as well.

Government and Religion[edit]

A banner of House Dres
"House Dres, one of the Great Houses of the Dunmer, prized agrarian pursuits above all else. The House built its fortune on saltrice plantations and slave labor while maintaining a persistent tradition of Daedra worship and ancestor reverence. Dres controlled the southeastern region of Morrowind, even extending its influence into parts of central Morrowind. — Salomar Dres, Understanding House Dres"

The province of Morrowind is governed by five ancient clans known as the Great Houses, each of whom represents a different aspect of civilization. The two that govern over Stonefalls are the Great House Dres, and the Great House Indoril. House Dres' sphere of influence revolves around agriculture and overall agrarian society. They were at the forefront of the slave industry.[38] Traditionally, House Dres occupies the southeast, near the port-city of Tear. But it has been known to have certain areas across central Morrowind, such as Kragenmoor and Ebonheart during the mid-Second Era.[39] The city of Kragenmoor is the Dres' seat of power in Stonefalls. Not only is the Grandmaster's Palace located in the center of Kragenmoor, but the House Dres Crypts are found just west of the Palace. The city of Ebonheart found in central Stonefalls has traditionally been ruled by the Ra'athim Clan, who were subsequently absorbed into House Hlaalu.[37] Though in 2E 582, Ebonheart was controlled by House Dres, through Drathus Othral. House Dres is also known for their persistence in maintaining ancestral traditions, such as Daedra-worship and ancestral reverence, and because of this, they have gone through various lengths to keep Dunmeri society away from foreign influence, they are proud isolationists.[39] But as time went on, House Dres slowly became accustomed to foreign interest, specifically in the Third Empire. In 3E 432, the High King at the time, Helseth Hlaalu had abolished slavery in Morrowind, and with it, both the Dres and Hlaalu had begun to evolve with the times.[40]

House Indoril occupies the southern Inner Sea and the central east coast. This would encompass the city of Davon's Watch, the port-town on easternmost Stonefalls. House Indoril's sphere of influence revolves around religion and the preservation of various Dark Elf customs.[38] House Indoril were orthodox supporters of the Tribunal Temple, the main religion of Morrowind that revolved around the three living-gods known as the Tribunal. The Tribunal's reign over Morrowind had lost for most of the province's history until in 3E 427, when the Nerevarine had appeared and fulfilled the Nerevarine Prophecy, which led to the deaths of Almalexia and Sotha Sil, as well as, Dagoth Ur. With the subsequent disappearance of Vivec and the events of Red Year in 4E 5, the Tribunal religion had a large decline. With the death of the Tribunal, came the New Temple. The Dissident Priests of Holamayan arrived onto the weakened House Indoril, bringing back the original religion revolving around the Good Daedra (Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala).[41] Underneath Davon's Watch is an abandoned Tribunal Temple which now serves as the Outlaws Refuge, and on the cliffs around Davon's Watch are one of the House Indoril Crypts. As many know, throughout Morrowind are Ancestral Tombs created for various families throughout the province, to inter, or even commune with their dead. The only known tombs are the Dres and Indoril, but in Daen Seeth lies Othrenis, a necropolis found just south of Ebonheart. Othrenis dates back to the time of the Chimeri, with one of their most well-known occupants was Mavos Siloreth, who sealed the Brothers of Strife at the end of their onslaught. There are many battlefields throughout Stonefalls, filled with the dead soldiers that perished there.

Notable Locations[edit]

Ash Mountain
One of the twin volcanoes of Stonefalls. It is where Balreth, the Brother of Strife, is sealed.
Brothers of Strife
A sprawling Daedric ruin that sits underneath two stone statues of the namesake.
Davon's Watch
An important port city that is controlled by House Indoril. It is their main holding in Stonefalls.
Ebonheart
The former capital of Morrowind. It is a port town that was the home of the Ra'athim.
Kragenmoor
The central farming hub of Stonefalls that feeds the entire region.
Tormented Spire
One of the twin volcanoes of Stonefalls. It is where Sadal, the Brother of Strife, is sealed.
Vivec's Antlers
A large battlefield consisting of bizarre Land Coral that is uncommon in Morrowind.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Letter HomeArmor Apprentice
  2. ^ Stonefalls location and rumors in Arena
  3. ^ Frontier, ConquestUniversity of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
  4. ^ The Brothers of StrifeNili Omavel
  5. ^ Events of The Brothers Will Rise in ESO
  6. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: SkyrimImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  7. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: SkyrimImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  8. ^ a b c The Second Akaviri InvasionYngmaer Raven-Quill, Historian Royal of the Bards' College, Solitude
  9. ^ a b c Jorunn the Skald-KingHelgreir Lute-Voice, Bard of Windhelm
  10. ^ a b Events of ESO
  11. ^ Guide to the Ebonheart Pact
  12. ^ Rana's LogCaptain Rana
  13. ^ Legacy of the Ancestors quest in ESO
  14. ^ Delaying the Daggers quest in ESO
  15. ^ City Under Siege quest in ESO
  16. ^ Wake the Dead quest in ESO
  17. ^ Rending Flames quest in ESO
  18. ^ The Death of Balreth quest in ESO
  19. ^ The Coral Heart quest in ESO
  20. ^ Breaking Fort Virak quest in ESO
  21. ^ Evening the Odds quest in ESO
  22. ^ The General's Demise quest in ESO
  23. ^ Aggressive Negotiations quest in ESO
  24. ^ Saving the Son quest in ESO
  25. ^ Climbing the Spire quest in ESO
  26. ^ On Moving EbonheartArchcanon Tarvus
  27. ^ On MorrowindErramanwe of Sunhold
  28. ^ The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
  29. ^ a b The Madness of PelagiusTsathenes
  30. ^ a b Brief History of the Empire, Part 2Stronach k'Thojj III
  31. ^ The Third Era TimelineJaspus Ignateous
  32. ^ The description of "Field Guide to Lava" Pumice Cube in ESO
  33. ^ The description of Volcanic Glass Vase in ESO
  34. ^ The description of Heirloom Ebony Ash Yam Slow Cooker in ESO
  35. ^ The description of Copper Saltrice Steamer in ESO.
  36. ^ King Edward, Part VIII
  37. ^ a b The Real Barenziah, v 5 — Anonymous
  38. ^ a b Great Houses of Morrowind
  39. ^ a b Understanding House DresSolamar Dres, Grand Historian for the House
  40. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Temple: MorrowindImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  41. ^ The ReclamationsThara of Rihad

Note: The following references are deemed to be unofficial sources. They are referenced to round off the information in this article and may not consist of definitive lore.

  1. ^ Concept Map of Morrowind — The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  2. ^ Caius Cosades' Letter — The Imperial Library