Lore: Land Transportation

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This article documents the many modes of transportation found around the various regions of Tamriel.

Land Transportation[edit]

An Imperial bridge

Roads[edit]

In the late First Era, Empress Hestra improved the roads of her realm, and the Reman Emperors continued her policies. The last period of First Era road-building was in the reign of the last strong Akaviri Potentate, Sidri-Ashak.[1] The Second Empire built an extensive network of roads all across Tamriel (except for Morrowind). During the Interregnum, most of the roads, especially in Valenwood and Black Marsh, became overgrown and abandoned, however, they were reconstructed by the Third Empire. Travel through those roads is the most common way of land transportation.[2]

The first of those roads were built in Cyrodiil, most of them stemming from the Imperial City, the very heart of Tamriel, and then branching into the neighboring regions.[3] These roads connect all of mainland Tamriel. Many choose to travel by foot, due to poverty, their own preference or need. However, most goods and people travel in carriages, caravans, or mounted on various creatures, varying by region.[2][4]

A foyada

Foyadas[edit]

Besides its own road system, the island of Vvardenfell had foyadas, or fire-rivers in the native Ashlander language, which are deep, ash-dark ravines which run down from the Red Mountain volcano on Vvardenfell. The lava from Red Mountain is very fluid and runs almost like water. During an eruption, lava pours down the mountainside and leaves the area bare of all vegetation. Once a Foyada is created, the chance of a new one lessens, as the lava will normally run down the existing one. They are a good alternative to roads when heading towards the rugged mountain, as they have good footing, are clear of brush, and run for long distances:

  • Foyada Ashur-Dan: From the crater of Red Mountain into the Molag Amur region.
  • Foyada Bani-Dad: Starting at Red Mountain, running just north of Maar Gan to the coast north of Khuul.
  • Foyada Esannudan: Between Foyada Mamaea and Foyada Ashur-Dan, past the center of Red Mountain.
  • Foyada Ilibaal: From Molag Mar to Mount Kand, forming the rugged Molag Amur region.
  • Foyada Mamaea: From the Ghostgate past Balmora all the way to Hla Oad.
  • Foyada Nadanat: Through the Molag Amur region.
  • Foyada Zabirbael: Northeast from Lake Nabia past Mount Kand to Mount Assarnibibi, in the Molag Amur region.
  • Valley of the Wind: A J-shaped foyada leading to the Cavern of the Incarnate.[5][6]

Carriages and Caravans[edit]

In Cyrodiil, Elsweyr, Hammerfell, High Rock, Morrowind, Skyrim, and the Summerset Isles, roads are relatively safe to travel, and there are carriage and caravan services for traveling between settlements. Carriage travel services are usually located outside of main cities, which usually take the travelers to a neighboring city or town for a small fee.[7][8][9][10] Caravans, however, use to have been used for longer journeys around Tamriel, trading with goods between different regions or carrying wealthier or more important travelers than those who use mounts or travel by foot.[11][12]

Both carriages and caravans are usually drawn by horses in most of Tamriel; Cyrodiil, the Summerset Isles and Skyrim, and most of Elsweyr, Hammerfell, and High Rock. However, in certain regions, the beasts of burden differ from those of Cyrodiil. In the deserts of Hammerfell, the Redguards use camels, in Morrowind, the Dunmer use guars, and in Wrothgar, the mountain Orcs use echateres.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19] A special case is that of Black Marsh, where the terrain is too harsh for beasts and the carriages and caravans are drawn by native Argonians.[4]

Mounts[edit]

Horses[edit]

In Cyrodiil, the Summerset Isles and Skyrim; and most of Elsweyr, Hammerfell, and High Rock the most common mount, both for military and civil uses, is the horse. There are many breeds of horse by region, each with certain characteristics which make them more capable for certain tasks: from beasts of burden, to war or travel mounts.[13][20][21][22]

Senche-Cats[edit]

In the desert and savannah wastelands of Anequina, senche-lions are the most common mounts.[23][24] Baandari traders specially favors senche-panthers.[25] On the other hand, in the forests of Tenmar and in the steamy jungles of Pellitine, senche-leopards are the favorite election of locals.[26][27]

Camels[edit]

In the desert wastelands of Hammerfell, the most common mount used by the Redguards is the camel.[28] White camels are said to be sacred to Zeht, the Redguard god of food and farming. The devout folk of Hammerfell bow when one rides past.[29] The camels are used as military mounts, as civil mounts and as livestock, from which locals obtain its meat, hide, and milk.[30][31]

Guars[edit]

Dunmer and Argonians from Morrowind and Black Marsh use guars as their most common mounts, using them for every task from military to civil ones.[32][33][34][35] Argonians have a especial link with these creatures and many consider them part of their families. Even in Morrowind, Argonians slaves and freedmen always have been taking care of guars. These reptiles are also used as livestock, from which locals obtain its meat, bones and hide.[16][17] Occasionally, kagoutis are domesticated and substitute guars due to its larger size and strength, however, they are very uncommon.[36]

Beasts[edit]

Iron Orcs, in the Dragontail Mountains, use welwas as their military mounts.[37] Mountain Orcs, in Wrothgar, use echateres as their civil mounts and domesticated bears as their war mounts.[19][38] Echateres are also used as livestock, from which Orcs obtain its meat, bones, hide, and milk.[39] Bears have often been used as war mounts by Nords.

Wolves have been used as war mounts occasionally by the Imperials of the Colovian Highlands, the Nords of Hjaalmarch, the Redguards of central Hammerfell, and the Reachmen.[40][41][42][43]

Reachmen and Nords of Haafingar have domesticated great elks as war mounts. But their use is and has been very limited.[44]

Sabre cats native to Skyrim were also trained by the Nords of Falkreath. However, their numbers are low because they are very difficult to tame.[45] Bears are also a popular mount along the high passes between Bruma and Falkreath.[46]

The Redguards of the secretive Pyre Watch have domesticated and bred jackals for use as mounts.[47]

Vvardenfell[edit]

Vvardenfell House Dunmer used silt striders, huge insectoid beasts similar to fleas, for in-land routes. Travelers could hire the services of a local operator, who directly manipulated the nervous system of the creature, who could travel great distances in a fairly short amount of time.[48] In Vvardenfell, many prefer to travel from one end of the island to the other by city-hopping.[49][50][51][52][53] After the Red Year, silt striders almost went extinct, leaving only a few in Solstheim and in the mainland, but without their previous importance in travels within Morrowind.[54] Silt Hoppers, a smaller breed of silt strider, used to be used by Ashlanders as a beast of burden. Nix-oxen were first used as war mounts by the Erabenimsun Tribe, extending their use to other Vvardenfell Ashlanders.[55][56]

Desert Wastelands[edit]

In the desert wastelands of Hammerfell and Anequina, where roads are less common, nomadic groups and caravans gather at oases or settlements by way of local guides to travel across the dunes.[57][58][59][60] In the desert, getting lost is one and the same with dying, especially for outsiders.[61]

Senche-lions are the most common mount in the deserts of Anequina.[23][24] On the other hand, the camel is the only animal capable of surviving in the deserts of Hammerfell, where the Redguards use them as a mount and as livestock.[28][30][31]

Black Marsh and Valenwood[edit]

In the rainforests and bogs of Black Marsh and Valenwood travel by carriage or caravan is often not a viable option, even during the times when roads were restored, as the wilds rapidly take control of the roads. Roads here are typically overgrown, winding, and beset with hostile men and beasts. Due to this, these two regions have developed their own ways for traveling.[2][4]

By far the most interesting means of transportation in the Black Marsh is by "riding the roots". There is an underground expressway of sorts formed within the roots of the Hist trees, and strange parasitic lifeforms will transport passengers over great distances, while they are slowly digested (it takes months to finish the digestion).[4][62] Guar mounts are also used, especially by locals, due to their capability of riding through marshlands.[35] However, Argonians usually prefer travel by foot or by draft through the almost infinite inner waterways of the region, instead of marching over dry soil and overgrown roads.[4][63]

The thick forests of Valenwood are both the problem and the solution to land transportation in the region. The Green Pact prohibits the Bosmer from harming any plant life, but Y'ffre also gave them the power to magically modify their woods. The roads and cities of the Bosmer are shaped from the very trees. Their intertwined branches make bridges, walls, houses, temples, and palaces. The forest architecture is not only applied to the magnificent graht-oak, which are the center of their main cities, but to the entire Valenwood.[64][65][66] However, sometimes the bridges, stairs and roads made from these branches are too risky to climb and walk for outsiders. Only the native Bosmer and the Imga feel comfortable in the high tops of the trees of Valenwood. Despite of it, falls are common, especially among drunks.[2][67] Due to the forest architecture and the Green Pact, the locals do not use mounts in their travels, and the Bosmer usually travel by foot (and hand). A certain unique form of traveling in Valenwood was through a Graht-oak, which were massive ambulatory trees. Falinesti was one such Graht-oak, which migrated all across the region following a stationary pattern.[2] However, the walking city rooted at the end of the Third Era.[68] Another unique example of traveling in Valenwood takes place beneath the region of Greenshade, where there exists extensive underground tunnels which allows travel across the region without being noticed by the local authorities.[62]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oblivion:University Lectures
  2. ^ a b c d e A Dance in FireWaughin Jarth
  3. ^ Official map of Cyrodiil in Oblivion
  4. ^ a b c d e The Argonian AccountWaughin Jarth
  5. ^ Overland map of Vvardenfell in Morrowind
  6. ^ Overland map of Tamriel in ESO
  7. ^ Selandilwen's dialogue in ESO
  8. ^ Falvis Raram's dialogue in ESO
  9. ^ Azoufah's dialogue in ESO
  10. ^ Bjorlam's dialogue in Skyrim
  11. ^ The Real BarenziahPlitinius Mero
  12. ^ Biography of Queen BarenziahStern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe
  13. ^ a b Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq Answers Your QuestionsLady Honnorah af-Lahreq
  14. ^ Horse packs in ESO
  15. ^ Camel packs in ESO
  16. ^ a b Esqoo of Dhalmora Answers Your QuestionsEsqoo of Dhalmora
  17. ^ a b Guar herds in ESO
  18. ^ Guar packs in ESO
  19. ^ a b Echatere packs in ESO
  20. ^ The description of Brown Paint Horse in ESO
  21. ^ The description of Bay Dun Horse in ESO
  22. ^ The description of Palomino Horse in ESO
  23. ^ a b The description of Pride-King Lion in ESO
  24. ^ a b The description of Senche-Lioness in ESO
  25. ^ The description of Black Senche-Panther in ESO
  26. ^ The description of Clouded Senche-Leopard in ESO
  27. ^ The description of Senche-Leopard in ESO
  28. ^ a b The description of Hammerfell Camel in ESO
  29. ^ The description of Zeht's Cloud Camel in ESO
  30. ^ a b The description of Looted Redguard Battle Flag in ESO
  31. ^ a b Camel herds in ESO
  32. ^ The description of Green Narsis Guar in ESO
  33. ^ The description of Hist Guar in ESO
  34. ^ The description of Pale Velothi Guar in ESO
  35. ^ a b The description of Tessellated Guar in ESO
  36. ^ The description of Kagouti Mount in ESO
  37. ^ Welwa mounts by Iron Orcs in ESO
  38. ^ The description of Royal Orsinium Cavalry Bugle in ESO
  39. ^ Echatere herds in ESO
  40. ^ The description of Highland Wolf Mount in ESO
  41. ^ The description of Ice Wolf in ESO
  42. ^ The description of Painted Wolf in ESO
  43. ^ The description of Red Pit Wolf in ESO
  44. ^ The description of Great Elk Mount in ESO
  45. ^ The description of Sabre Cat Mount in ESO
  46. ^ The description of Masked Bear in ESO
  47. ^ Pyre Watch Jackal in ESO
  48. ^ Silt Strider caravans in Morrowind
  49. ^ Guide to Vvardenfell
  50. ^ Guide to Balmora
  51. ^ Guide to Vivec
  52. ^ Guide to Sadrith Mora
  53. ^ Guide to Ald'ruhn
  54. ^ Events of Skyrim
  55. ^ Silt Hopper packs in ESO
  56. ^ The description of Nix-Ox War Steed in ESO
  57. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: HammerfellImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  58. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Ra Gada: HammerfellImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  59. ^ Provinces of Tamriel
  60. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Sugar and Blood: the Cats of the SouthImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  61. ^ Inscription found in ruins of an ancient shelter for travelers
  62. ^ a b The description of Greenshade Tunnel Map in ESO
  63. ^ Green-Venom-Tongue's dialogue in ESO
  64. ^ Arboreal ArchitectureCirantille
  65. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: ValenwoodFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  66. ^ Pact Magic Examined
  67. ^ Elden Root Safety Precautions
  68. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: ValenwoodImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432