Skyrim:Elder Scrolls Historical References
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References to events in the history of The Elder Scrolls are documented separately to Easter Eggs.
If you think you have found an undocumented reference, please post your idea on this article's talk page before adding it to this article.
- The line "When misrule takes its place at the eight corners of the world" in the Prophecy of the Dragonborn refers to the eight pieces of Staff of Chaos scattered around the provinces and Jagar Tharn's rule.
- A quote from Gaiden Shinji—"The best techniques are passed on by the survivors"—which first appeared in the beginning of Arena intro, appears as one of the loading screen quotes.
- Guards will occasionally say "Let me guess... someone stole your sweetroll?" This is an ongoing joke in Bethesda games. They are featured during the character creation process of Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Fallout 3, and were also mentioned in dialogue in Oblivion.
- One of the incidental bard songs is a piece titled "Square", and originally appeared as tavern music in both Arena and Daggerfall.
- The Spell Knight Armor Creation features a faction called the Order of the Crypt, also known as the War Mages of Shornhelm. This alternate name is a reference to the name of the city's gladiatorial team from an early stage of Arena's development.
- The line "When the Brass Tower walks and Time is reshaped" in the Prophecy of the Dragonborn refers to the rise of the Numidium and the Warp in the West.
- Sheogorath refers to the ghost of King Lysandus in passing.
- One of the lines spoken by souls in the Soul Cairn is: "How dare they cast me from the Battlespire! I will make them pay dearly." This is a reference to the Soul Cairn level in Battlespire, where it's revealed that the Daedra were killing the captives from the Battlespire in the Soul Cairn in order to trap their souls there forever.
- Immediately after creating a Redguard character, Hadvar will say "You a sellsword? A sailor from Stros M'kai?" This refers to Cyrus, the protagonist of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.
- In the Prophecy of the Dragonborn on Alduin's Wall, the line "When the thrice-blessed fail and the Red Tower trembles" refers to the fall of the Tribunal and the eruption of Red Mountain.
- During the Dark Brotherhood quest The Cure For Madness, you will encounter an Udefrykte, which made its first appearance in Bloodmoon, and its mother, called the Uderfrykte Matron, appears in Oblivion.
- The book The Lusty Argonian Maid makes a return in Skyrim, with a new scene in two parts. The original play was written by Crassius Curio in Morrowind.
- In the Gray Quarter of eastern Windhelm, there's a tavern called the New Gnisis Cornerclub, apparently named for Gnisis, a town in Morrowind.
- During the Thieves Guild quest The Dainty Sload, you are tasked to acquire a rare and illegal drug named Balmora Blue. Named for its city of origin, Balmora, which is referenced by other characters as being destroyed during the eruption of Red Mountain.
- In Sovngarde, there is a familiar face of Ulfgar the Unending, together with his friends Erlendr, Hunroor, and Nikulas, who were turned into standing stones. The Nerevarine fought Ulfgar to an honorable Nord death in the quest "Betrayal at Brodir Grove".
- During the quest Ill Met By Moonlight, the Bloodmoon can be seen in the sky once entering the Grotto, which signifies that Hircine once again begins the hunt which varies from era to era on the island of Solstheim, but can be seen from other locations in Tamriel.
- During the main quest mission Elder Knowledge, you encounter a Dwemer lockbox said to contain the Heart of Lorkhan. The heart, however, is not within the lockbox.
- A bartender for The Bee and Barb in Riften named Talen-Jei offers a cocktail called the Cliff Racer. Purportedly, it's a mixture of Firebrand Wine, Cyrodiilic Brandy, Flin, and Sujamma, these last three being common fare in Vvardenfell.
- On the eastern coast close to Winterhold, there is the wreck of a ship called The Pride of Tel Vos. Tel Vos is a Telvanni stronghold in Morrowind and home to one of the Telvanni mage lords.
- If flying high enough via the
tclconsole command, Morrowind and the Vvardenfell province will be visible beyond the eastern border of Skyrim. The province is also visible from the Arch-Mage's rooftop at the College of Winterhold, and from the path that leads to the Shrine of Azura.
- Keening, a dagger required for the final quest of Morrowind's main storyline, makes a return.
- There is a note under Wylandriah's desk in Riften called Per Your Requests, in which Wylandriah requests a sample of the Heart of Lorkhan. The same note mentions a device capable of "magical manipulation of the clouds". A Dwemer machine that could control the weather was used during the Tribunal questline.
- During the quest Breaching Security, you have to plant an Incriminating Letter on Gaius Maro detailing a plot to assassinate the emperor. In Morrowind, you had to uncover the Talos Cult Conspiracy, and kill a traitor named Oritius Maro.
- When visiting the Soul Cairn during the Dawnguard questline, you'll meet a soul named Jiub. He is the first character that the Nerevarine meets in Morrowind.
- When speaking to the farmer Rogatus Salvius of Salvius Farm near Markarth, he occasionally says "Next thing you know there will be some kind of damn blight and undead will walk the land." This is most likely about The Blight faced in Morrowind.
- The line "When the Dragonborn Ruler loses his throne, and the White Tower falls" in the Prophecy of the Dragonborn refers to the death of Uriel Septim VII and the obliteration of the Septim Dynasty, and the sacking of the White-Gold Tower during the Great War.
- During the Dark Brotherhood questline, one of the rewards is a spell that summons a Spectral Assassin, which turns out to be the ghost of Lucien Lachance, your recruiter and, later, quest-giver in the Oblivion Dark Brotherhood.
- During the Dark Brotherhood questline, Nazir offers you a contract in which you kill a pirate named Safia aboard her ship called the Red Wave. Redwave is a cutlass given to you for completing the quest The Ghost Ship of Anvil. Also, the first contract in Oblivion (A Watery Grave) was to kill a pirate on his own ship.
- Sinderion, the alchemist from Skingrad who studied Nirnroot, apparently moved to Skyrim somewhere around 4E52 in hope of discovering more about the strange Crimson Nirnroot. He met his demise in Blackreach and his journal can be found next to his skeleton, which is riddled with Dwarven Arrows.
- During the quest The Mind of Madness, you will run into Sheogorath, who recounts all of the major adventures from Oblivion with Pelagius the Mad. It is implied that this variation of Sheogorath is the Champion of Cyrodiil, the Hero from Oblivion.
- In the quest Revealing the Unseen, a massive project led by the Synod involves the creation of a map pointing out all magical areas in Tamriel. When explained to the player, Paratus Decimius mentions the Orrery in Cyrodiil and how the project was based off of it.
- There is a book titled The Oblivion Crisis that provides an overview of the events in Oblivion.
- In the Skyrim Dark Brotherhood sanctuary, there is a friendly frostbite spider named Lis. Similarly, within the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary in Oblivion, there was a friendly rat named Schemer.
- At some point during the game, you will receive a note about a Mythic Dawn museum in Dawnstar. The museum contains a burned page of the Mysterium Xarxes (the book Martin used to gain access to Mankar Camoran's Paradise), a copy of all four parts of the Mythic Dawn Commentaries, and Mythic Dawn robes. The owner also claims his ancestor was involved in killing Uriel Septim VII.
- Shadowmere returns as a steed after completing some of the Dark Brotherhood quests. If you have the ghost of Lucien Lachance with you near the horse, his comments will confirm that it is the same horse as the one in Oblivion.
- Wylandriah, the court mage of Riften, can be spoken to regarding her magical work. When suggesting "How about using calipers?", Wylandriah responds with "Calipers? That's utterly ridiculous. Maybe long ago you could find calipers in every household across Tamriel, but not anymore." This is a reference to calipers being commonplace in random loot in Oblivion, but not appearing in Skyrim. M'aiq the Liar also makes a similar reference.
- There is a note under Wylandriah's desk in Riften called Per Your Requests in which Wylandriah requests an ingredient called greenmote from the College of Winterhold. This was a substance used in the Shivering Isles quest Ritual of Mania. In the note, Mirabelle Ervine assumes that she made a mistake and meant to request a substance called "greenspore".
- On a clear day at high elevation along Skyrim's southern border, it is possible to see the distant White-Gold Tower in Cyrodiil. It is difficult and time-consuming to see this without using console commands to remove collision and 'flying' up to an elevation high enough to see the tower.
- One line of dialogue from the Souls in the Soul CairnDG is ""Just step into the painting" he said. Yeah, sure... like it's that simple." This is a reference to the quest A Brush with Death, where you were required to "enter" a painting.
- An alchemist called Elgrim in Riften comments on the rarity of painted troll fat. The only known source of this was the Oblivion quest A Brush with Death. He asks his student Ingun Black-Briar to replace the batch by speaking with Rythe Lythandas, the illustrious artist from Cheydinhal.
- In one of Cicero's journals, he says that he killed the Grand Champion of the Arena of his time by posing as a starstruck fan. This is a reference to the Adoring Fan, who would follow the player around after becoming the Grand Champion.
- During the quest Elder Knowledge, when you ask Urag gro-Shub about the Scrolls, he asks "Do you even know what you're asking for?" Should you tell him you do and ask if he has one in the library, he will say that even if he had one there, it would be under heavy security and not even the world's greatest thief could lay a finger on it. This is an obvious reference to The Ultimate Heist.
- During the Dark Brotherhood questline, Astrid says that "no one has attempted to murder an emperor since the death of Uriel Septim VII 200 years ago".
- The Dark Brotherhood quest Where You Hang Your Enemy's Head... is referring to a quote from Gogron gro-Bolmog, who was part of the Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion: "You know what they say -- home is where you hang your enemy's head."
- During the Thieves Guild quest The Pursuit, you have an opportunity to find Chillrend, a unique one-handed sword. A sword of the same name is a possible reward for the Oblivion quest The Killing Field.
- During the Dark Brotherhood questline, Astrid will give you her Blade of Woe. In Oblivion, at the start of the Dark Brotherhood questline, Lucien Lachance also presents you with a Blade of Woe—albeit unenchanted—that you will carry with you throughout the questline.
- At the beginning of The Mind of Madness Daedric quest, you are given an odd item: Pelagius' Hip Bone. This item is also present in the Shivering Isles, found in The Howling Halls.
- After completing Scoundrel's Folly for the Thieves Guild, asking Vekel, the bartender in the Ragged Flagon, for the word around the Guild will cause him to mention Shadowbanish Wine. In Oblivion, the quest A Venerable Vintage sent you out to gather this rare beverage.
- In Riften you may find a man named Romlyn Dreth, who is a descendant of Valen Dreth, the very first character you see in Oblivion. Romlyn will often claim that Valen killed "a dozen Imperial guards" before being captured.
- After installing Hearthfire, you can find Surilie Brothers Wine and Argonian Bloodwine in your home and sold by vendors. The first appeared in the base game, while the second was added by the Fighter's Stronghold DLC.
- Several of the spell tomes added by the Arcane Accessories Creation are spells which originally appeared in the Spell Tomes DLC for Oblivion, which were themselves references to previous games.
- The Mysterious Note from the Staff of Sheogorath Creation notes that "warriors of another age might find [the quest items] familiar". This is a reference to the Symbols of Office quest from Shivering Isles, which has you gather the same items.
- There are Dunmer refugees in Windhelm who traveled from Morrowind after Red Mountain erupted. If you speak to some of the refugees and ask them why they are in Windhelm despite the discrimination they face, they will tell you that when Red Mountain erupted, they began traveling west and the first city they came to was Windhelm. It is mentioned that they would have kept on walking if they knew how they would be treated in the city.
- Just before Red Mountain erupted, those following Azura had a premonition from her of what was about to happen, giving them time to flee. It was these refugees who built the Shrine of Azura on a mountain north of Windhelm.
- The quest Distant Memories is full of references to a successful Argonian invasion of Morrowind. This is a reference to the Accession War.
- In the Sleeping Tree Camp, you can find a strange tree. After a quest for her in Whiterun, Ysolda will tell you some theories about the origin of the tree. One theory refers to the eruption of the Red Mountain, while the other theory refers to a floating island. The latter is clearly a reference to Umbriel.
- You can find a little monument at the tower Refugees' Rest, east of Windhelm. There is also a book called Decree of Monument that explains the origin of the monument. It was erected in commemoration to the Dunmer refugees fleeing from Morrowind after the eruption of Red Mountain.
- In the book On the Great Collapse, you can find a reference to many Dunmer refugees in Winterhold and the offering of Solstheim to the Dunmer as a new home as mentioned in Lord of Souls.
- M'aiq the Liar, the recurring character who's comments are references to events and features of the game (both new and removed), jokes, and Easter Eggs.