Lore:Tonal Architecture

The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
A Dwarven resonator, capable of creating various tones

Tonal Architecture is the manipulation of sound to alter reality. The most notable of these users of Tonal Architecture were the Dwemer who had had Tonal Architects who would work with tonal architecture. They would wear protective headgear known as Dwemeri Tonal Attenuators which would protect ears and thought-organs from the harmonic feedback fluctuations of their work[1]. The Dwemer exhibited near total mastery of tonal forces and would use it in mining, medicine, architecture—even psychology. Ancient Chimeri scholarship states that the Dwemer could employ tonal forces to bend weaker minds to their will—a form of complex aural hypnosis. The Dwemer were able to create devices in a limited scale using massive devices called Tonal Resonators. They are said to be complex architectural wonders that stood taller than the most imposing giants, and filled cavernous chambers with pipes, dials, and pistons. When enabled, the resonators released a series of powerful tones that could alter the brainwaves of lesser mer and men—inducing deep calm and profound pleasure, or even paranoia and terror and they were said to have virtually limitless uses. [2]

A Dwarven Resonator was discovered in the Kwama mines of Gnisis, when miners uncovered a Dwemer ruin within. It caused madness to the kwama inside, making the kwama hostile and making them turn on their own queen and on the miners. The miners inside also became mad, becoming fixated upon the song, humming it over and over and becoming fixated on making the melody right. People afflicted by it described the experience as being able to see the melody, its shimmer, putting a tone and a color to describe it. The resonator itself was disabled by the Soulless One and the miners were able to return to normal. Theories existed of it being a mind control device. [3]

Sotha Sil drew inspiration from the Dwemer, and their influence in his work is rumored to be traceable as far back as before their disappearance[4]. Among these influences was his research on Dwemer tonal architecture, which he would utilize to perform his divine workings. He refined it further and created items based on their research, such as improving Dwemer tonal forks[5], that could function as a divining rod[6]. The Resonant Sphere is described as one of Sotha Sil's minor marvels and is theorized to be related to Tonal Architecture. It has perfect symmetry and applying magic to the sphere provokes an aural response and its chimes are described as sounding similar to the ones that ring in the Brass Fortress[7].


  1. ^ Dwemeri Tonal Attenuator hat description in ESO
  2. ^ A Guide to Dwemer Mega-StructuresVorinara Kleeve, Dwemer Scholar
  3. ^ A Melodic Mistake quest in ESO: Morrowind
  4. ^ 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 36Vivec
  5. ^ Dwarven Tonal Forks memento description in ESO
  6. ^ Divaricated Tone Fork item in ESO
  7. ^ Raynor Vanos's dialogue in ESO: Clockwork City
This Lore-related article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.