It has been 200 years since Martin Septim sacrificed himself to permanently seal the barriers between Nirn and Oblivion. With the death of the last Septim, the Empire lost its last legitimate leader. As each province tried to reassert its independence, it pulled itself apart. It was the dawn of the Fourth Era, but there was no Empire left to greet it.
Much has happened since then. The Mane was assasinated in Elsweyr. The Argonians, tired of chafing under Dunmer slavemasters, revolted and conquered the south of Morrowind as Red Mountain erupted in the north. The Dunmer scattered to the winds. Titus Mede seized the Imperial City and became Emperor. The Thalmor seized control in the Summerset Isle and Valenwood, reestablishing the Aldmeri Dominion. Umbriel, a floating city fueled by the souls of its victims, drew a swath of destruction across all of Tamriel.
The moons mysteriously vanished, only to reappear two years later. The Aldmeri Dominion and the Empire went to war. The Imperial City changed hands two times in just as many years. The White-Gold Concordat was signed. Hammerfell seceded from the Empire and pushed back its Elven invaders. The High King of Skyrim was murdered by one of his Jarls, plunging the land into a bloody civil war.
As the sons of Skyrim spilled their own blood, the Elder Scrolls’ final prophecy was fulfilled. The chain of events set in motion by the Eternal Champion came to a grinding halt. The Staff of Chaos, the Warp in the West, the rise of the Nerevarine, the opening of the Oblivion gates; all these events were omens that our time on this world is limited. And now our time has run out.
Amidst the chaos of war, dragons have returned to Tamriel. These ancient creatures are the heralds of our end, their message one of fire and death. Now, they sweep across Tamriel, paving the way for their master: Alduin the World Eater, who will bathe the world in flame until nothing but ashes remain.
But, there is still hope. There is one the dragons fear. In their tongue he is “Dovahkiin”… Dragonborn…
It has been exactly 200 years since the previous edition of this Pocket Guide was released. Since then, many things have changed: an Empire has fallen and been reborn, borders have been redrawn and wars have been fought. So far, the Fourth Era has been a time of great turmoil. However, we at the Imperial Geographical Society are convinced many conflicts can be avoided with some simple common sense and knowledge. After all, one who knows what the Green Pact is won’t be so eager to accept an invitation to a Bosmeri banquet! That is why, on the 200th anniversary of our previous guide, we bring you this new, updated version. This is not a simple update, but a complete rewrite, to paint an accurate picture of Tamriel as it is today. We hope this guide keeps you informed, and more importantly, safe.
Skyrim has an abundance of two things: freezing cold and ancient history. Long ago, the rugged land was inhabited by ancient elves. When humans first arrived in Tamriel from the northern continent of Atmora, they arived on Skyrim’s frozen shores. There, they came into contact with the Snow Elves. Despite their differences, the races were initially at peace with one another. As time went on, however, the elves began to feel threatened by the ever increasing human population. In an event that later came to be known as
the Night of Tears, the elves attacked, nearly wiping out all humans in the process. Only King Ysgramor and his sons escaped with their lives. They returned to Skyrim with a new Atmoran fleet and drove the elves away in a bloody war of conquest. And so, Skyrim became the first human kingdom on the continent.
Today, Skyrim is the home of the descendants of those first humans to set foot on the continent: the Nords. It is a cold land, but far from the frozen wasteland it’s sometimes made out to be: from the grassy tundra of Whiterun to the rocky badlands of the Reach, Skyrim is a province with a diverse geography. The province is divided into nine Holds, each ruled by a Jarl. Above the Jarls stands the High King, a Jarl elected to the highest seat of office by his peers. However, the land has been leaderless since Ulfric Stormcloak – the Jarl of Windhelm – assassinated the High King using his gift of The Voice. The Stormcloak Rebellion seeks to rid Skyrim of the Empire and, by killing Skyrim’s ruler, has sparked a civil war.
EPIC FANTASY REBORN
The next chapter in the highly anticipated Elder Scrolls saga arrives from the makers of the 2006 and 2008 Games of the Year, Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose.
LIVE ANOTHER LIFE, IN ANOTHER WORLD
Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling, and adventure of The Elder Scrolls is realized like never before.
ALL NEW GRAPHICS AND GAMEPLAY ENGINE
Skyrim’s new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields, and ancient dungeons.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU PLAY
Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities. The new character system allows you to play any way you want and define yourself through your actions.
Battle ancient dragons like you’ve never seen. As Dragonborn, learn their secrets and harness their power for yourself.
The Vampire Lord Harkon has returned to power. By using the Elder Scrolls, he seeks to do the unthinkable – to end the sun itself. Will you join the ancient order of the Dawnguard and stop him? Or will you become a Vampire Lord?
Purchase land and build your own home from the ground up – from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with an armory, alchemy laboratory, and more.
Journey off the coast of Morrowind, to the vast island of Solstheim. Traverse the ash wastes and glacial valleys of this new land as you become more powerful with shouts that bend the will of your enemies and even tame dragons.
Skyrim is powered by the Creation Engine. Developed in-house by Bethesda, the new engine is built upon the foundation of Gamebryo, but with significant improvements and optimizations.