Elder Scrolls lorebites

I’ve decided to start writing some short posts about the lore of the Elder Scrolls (with links for further information) as I’ve realised that in all this time, a lot of the lore hasn’t actually sunk in 😛   Seriously, I’ve been playing a Bosmer (wood elf) since 1996 and I only found out a few weeks ago they are carnivorous and cannibals…   So I’ll be attempting to answer such questions as: What exactly is an Elder Scroll?  Why does M’aiq the Liar keep popping up?  Why did I grin when I found a Nirnroot in ESO?   I’m keeping the entries short as there is already a wealth of information out there (particularly the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages), so hopefully these short introductory bites of lore will be interesting reading and helpful to you as well 🙂

(see also ESO: Lore Tidbits for New Players by Gaming Couples)

Why do I start as a prisoner?

Well the Elder Scrolls series is all about freedom, so it is a simple way of allowing you to choose who you are and what capabilities you possess (along with low skills and no money or gear). It also allows you to develop your own back story and your own rationale as to why your character has ended up in prison.  (click for full screen and captions)  See also comments below by Rakuno regarding Arena and tradition.

Daggerfall beginning quest
Morrowind beginning quest
Oblivion beginning quest
Skyrim beginning quest
Elder Scrolls Online beginning quest

*in that shot in Daggerfall, I was shortly after killed by a bat (I don’t remember the controls being that bad!) and in Morrowind I had a close escape from some slaughterfish and a mudcrab  😛

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6 Comments

  1. Although that is part of the reason, the truth is a lot more simple. It is just a trope of the Elder Scrolls games that started way back in the first game, Arena.

    In Arena it sort of made sense with the flimsy plot of the game. The plot was basically the Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn sent the emperor to another dimension then impersonated him. The player character was the emperor’s BFF and so noticed the farce and tried to do something about it. Jagar instead of doing something practical like killing the player character decides to send him/her to the prison. So the first quest of the game is to escape the prison so the player can go on a world-hopping quest to get a mcguffin to defeate Jagar and save the emperor. 🙂

    1. Oh, yeah, forgot to say. After that every Elder Scrolls game (at least the RPGs, on the PC, I can’t say for sure about the offshoots) have been having the character starting as a prisoner of some sort. The day it stops being like that is the day that the Elder Scrolls become something completely different than what we know. 🙂

      1. oh ok – I’ve never played Arena (clearly!)- great info thanks 🙂 and I completely agree about if I do not start as a prisoner, it won’t be Elder Scrolls for me 🙂

    1. I can only speak for myself but I like that it makes the world feel more ‘realised’ and has depth. For me, it helps hide the bones of the game mechanics and aids immersion.

      And…. It feels like I’m actually blogging rather than just posting pretty pictures 😛

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