I’m a big fan of the lore within the Elder Scrolls series. In each game, if you find a book lying around, instead of just being a prop, you can read it cover to cover. Bethesda started printing collections of their in game books, in addition to journals that you can fill with your own adventures.
Bathory the Ancient Vampyre, Nereverine, Daedric Champion, Dovah-Kiin, Arch mage, High Queen Ruler of Skyrim. Her ascent took cunning, political plotting, and an army of undead spilling out of Blackreach on her command. With Azura’s Bow, she pierced the Blood Sun over Skyrim. One by one, each city fell to their knees before her. She made a deal to rule Skyrim alongside the Aldmeri Dominion, as long as they helped the Falmer return to the former glory of the Snow Elves. But in her rise to power, Bathory found something wrong with her world. It was all just a game. Finding the greatest heights she could win in this world being too little a feat, like the Dwemer, she found CHIM, and awoke, never to be seen in Skyrim again.
I must have spent a hundred hours and more with Bathory. We tread over every square foot of Skyrim. Completed every quest. Took everything worth taking. It was a great journey. I filled two journals with maps, Draconic translations, Dwemer illustrations, recipes, and more. Skyrim was a milestone in gaming, technologies colliding to bring a masterpiece. And that was 8 years ago. I can’t wait to see what Bethesda has in store next.
If you’d like to have a gander at Bathory’s various musings, have at.
Miratar was a 3rd Era Altmer, nephew to a 2nd Era adventurer, now recluse, Illio Fyrre. Around the time of the Oblivion Crisis, Miratar joined his uncle in a scholarly hunt for Ayleid ruins. His story was to culminate in 4th Era Skyrim where his lifelong knowledge of the Ayleid language would allow him to translate Calcelmo’s stone.
I began writing his journal in a non-Bethesda licensed journal. I’m very specific with my branding, so once Bethesda came out with a “spell book” journal, I started transcribing Miramar’s journal onto the official licensed book. I’ve got quite a few pages to go, but until I’m interested in this whole process again, This will have to do. The story is still all there, for those interested in Miramar’s beginnings.
Click the link below to download a PDF of the whole journal, or enjoy the highlight gallery below.
The Unnamed Dunmer was my second venture into the Elder Scrolls Online (the first being with Illio Fyrre). The Dunmer was to uncover various languages and alphabets and log them in her journal so that at a later date in a later game I could dust off this old journal from my library and call forth ancient wisdom. The Dunmer would then go on to become a vampire, discover and take Bathory the Nerevarine as her apprentice, become a merchant in Vivec City after Bathory’s abduction by the Imperial Army, move to Skyrim after Red Mountain’s eruption, and started a nirnroot farm with a new apprentice, Aduri Sarethi. The Dunmer and Illio Fyrre were to meet at various points during the 2nd Era, and even begin a romantic relationship, possibly hinting to their being the parents of Bathory.
There are dozens upon dozens of hours of gameplay left in ESO, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to finish the Unnamed Dunker’s journal until more time becomes available in the day. But if you’d like to read her tales of Vvardenfell and the Golden Coast, feel free to download the pdf.
CHIM! One of my favorite concepts ever conceived in a video; the point at which a video game character realizes they are a character inside of a video game. Metaphysical video game concepts! Thank you Elder Scrolls for that.
I wanted to use this rare Bethesda book to tell the tale of CHIM, and along with it, the history of the Elder Scrolls universe. Oh, and I wanted to write the whole thing in Daedric font. I quickly realized writing a book would take way more effort than I was interested in giving, so I went with the much simpler option of transcribing the 36 Sermons of Vivec in Daedric, Dovah, and Dwemer. I got about a third of the way in. Not saying I don’t plan on finishing it, I just might be preoccupied with more important things for awhile. But feel free to have a look. It may all be in Daedric and Dovah, but seeing pages filled with those alphabets looks pretty cool.
Below are a series of screenshots from various points in Bathory’s story. At some point I plan to add those of her time in Morrowind and Cyrodiil, as well as lighten up these from Skyrim. Dark as they are, They do justice to Bathory’s rise to vampiric power.
Just how high are those mountains? How do they compare to the surrounding mountains? How far apart are these towns? Yes, I’ve seen the map, but what if I wanted to see Skyrim more … 3 dimensionally?
Gorahk introduced me to Skyrim for the first time. Your typical Orc, learned in the ways of heavy armor, war hammers, and smithing, he came to the north looking for a family, a home, a connection to his people.
He joined the Companions to apprentice as a smith, but instead fell under the charms of a Huntress, and took the dark gift of Lycanthropy. He slowly lost himself between feral carnivorous carnage and howling at the moon. It was only after a debaucherous interaction with Sanguine that he was able to leave the Companions Circle behind him and start anew in the Reach.
As Blood-Kin, the Orc strongholds took him in and taught him of the Orcish traditions and culture. He fought off sabre cats, worked orichalcum into armor, wielded the might of Volendrung, and found a mate in the arms of a great warrior. He and Borgakh had a daughter they named Bagrak, after her grandmother. He had finally found the peace he came to Skyrim looking for.
And then she returned. He knew her scent even before he stepped out of the longhouse. Perched atop a cliff, silhouetted by the full moon, the Huntress beckoned her mate. That morning, Bagrak found her father’s footprints leading out of the stronghold; the impression of a mer’s foot slowly transforming into the jagged gait of a wolf.
Bagrak, daughter of Gorahk gro-Ushnar, escaped the oppressive rule of a rival stronghold after her father fled. She learned the ways of the bow, grew strong in the years to come, and when the time was right, she took back her home. These watercolors represent the first few days of her journey, after having fled her stronghold.
I planned to draw a picture for every day she spent in Skyrim, training under various masters, hunting her werewolf-turned-father, using his hide as armor, and eventually her guerrilla assault on Dushnikh Yal. Her story climaxes with a dramatic chase, where the dictator, Shel, escaped to the ancient tower of Reachwind Eyrie, only to be overtaken by fear, stumbling backwards off the balcony to her death. Bagrak brought peace back to strongholds, and spends the rest of her days hunting.
Anybody who’s hit the Skyrim endgame knows of the filled bookshelves, piles of jewels, and multiple characters. In solidarity, here’s to time (well?) spent.