timeline discussion

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timeline discussion

Post  Arnier the fallen on Sat May 25, 2013 3:37 pm

so i was browsing the bethesda forums as you do and wondered into the lore section (typical) nothing mind blowing as such untill i found this

origional topic http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1460678-timeline-machinations-dragonborn-edition/


Fiore1300, on 23 May 2013 - 06:49 AM, said:
----------------------------------Introduction--------------------------------------
Dragonborn has long since been released, so it is time once again to update my "famous" timeline shenanigans thread for meticulously undated Skyrim history.

Here's a quick rundown of what's new:
I've added a lot of new information from Dragonborn, as well as a bit from A History of Daggerfall that I have until now overlooked. All of what Dragonborn had to offer concerns the Merethic, so, on that note...
I've cast aside all attempts at dating the Merethic in favor of a simple ordered chronology. Some things come first, some things come later. And on that note...
Most chronologies of the Merethic are isolated from the others; meaning we don't know how the timelines interact, given that they rarely reference each other's events. A great example of this at work is Ahzidal's Descent, the chronology of which interacts nicely with chronology of Ysgramor and his Companions. Later on, however, it is unclear where the chronology of Ahzidal's Descent lies in relation to that of Ysgramor. Did he outlive Ysgramor? Or did Ysgramor outlive him? To solve this problem, I've developed this idea of a "soft chronology", where chronologies of independent narratives are internally chronological, but which may or may not interact with other independent narratives at certain points. I've marked independent chronologies with the bold red { } symbols, and by not spacing apart the events of an independent chronology. This is meant to show that, even though I place Ahzidal's defeat/death before Ysgramor's, that is not necessarily the case. That being said, all events are approximately where they are supposed to be.
I've added an edit to the notes about the undateable Falmer after conversations with Pilaf the Defiler.
Original Introduction:
Spoiler:
Skyrim is just a big explosion of dateless events and disordered chronologies. We need to fix it. I think in particular it is helpful to begin with The Holdings of Jarl Gjalund and The Aetherium Wars, since they are among the worst offenders. Well, the Dragon War aside. Oh, and the Falmer stuff. And lets not forget Ysgramor's dateless return. And...oh, hold on.

*ratchets screw deeper into skull*

Okay. Timeline shenanigans. Here we gooooooooooo!

Link to prior thread: http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1436265-timeline-machinations-king-gellir-and-jarl-gjalund-expanded-and-updated/?hl=%2Bmachinations#entry22078565

Link to TIL thread: Pending
----------------------------------Beginning of Timeline (for now)----------------

Circa Late-Middle Merethic – Dwemer settle the Velothi Mountains separating Morrowind and Skyrim (Before the Ages of Man).

Circa Merethic 600 – Likely earliest possible date for Ysgramor’s arrival on Tamriel (Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation).

Saarthal is an important Nordic urban center.

Ahzidal is born. His magicka potential is realized and he is sent to train under elven masters (Ahzidal’s Descent).

The Night of Tears, where Falmer forces sack Nordic Saarthal, occurs. Ysgramor and his sons flee to Atmora.

Ahzidal travels Tamriel, learning from the Ayleids, Dwemer, Chimer, Falmer, and Altmer, mastering the art of enchanting (Ahzidal's Descent).

The Period of the Return begins.

Ysgramor returns to Tamriel with the legendary Five Hundred.

The First Tale of the Darumzu

Yngol Barrow is built (Yngol and the Sea-Ghosts).

Ahzidal greets the Returned and offers his services as an enchanter (Ahzidal’s Descent).

{Ahzidal is educated in the Voice and becomes a Dragon Priest (Ahzidal’s Descent).
Ahzidal makes a pact with Herma-Mora (Ahzidal’s Descent).
Ahzidal, perhaps betrayed by the other Dragon Priests, winds up on Solstheim, where he dies (or is sealed) in Kolbjorn Barrow (Ahzidal’s Descent).}

{The Tale of the Jorrvaskr
Whiterun is founded.
The Second Tale of the Ylgermet
Windhelm is founded by Ysgramor at the mouth of the White River.
The Krilot Lok invades Black Marsh. ?Why do Redguards appear in this legend?
Ysgramor adapts the Elven system of letters for use with the Nordic Language.
Ysgramor dies.
The Final Tale of the Chrion.}

The Period of the Return ends, and the Period of the Twelve Legendary Kings begins.

{Ysgramor's successors battle 'Aumriel' for decades near Hjalmarch. Aumriel is likely to have been a Falmer sorceress (Lost Legends of Skyrim, The Wispmother: Two Theories).}

{Miraak, the First Dragonborn, is honored for his loyalty and wisdom (Dragon Aspect Word Walls).
Miraak plots with Hermaeus Mora. This plot is discovered by fellow Dragon Priest Vahlok, who defeats him in battle. Afterwards Miraak was either banished to Solstheim (Tomb of Vahlok) or snatched away to Apocrypha by Herma-Mora on Solstheim (The Guardian and the Traitor).}

Bromjunaar is the capital of Skyrim, and the center of power for the Dragon Priest order. Their growing oppression is cited as a cause for the outbreak of the Dragon War (A Minor Maze).

{The Dragon War breaks out, initially going quite poorly for the Nords.
Paarthurnax, Alduin’s lead lieutenant, supposedly under the command of Kyne, betrays his own and teaches the rebelling Nords the Thu’um. This turns the tide of the conflict.
However, Alduin’s immortality seems an unsurpassable wall. The great Nordic heroes Galthor, Sorri, and Birkir – all tongues – are slain in their attempts to kill Alduin.
Hoping to obtain a decisive victory against the cult, the Tongues develop a new shout called Dragonrend with which to harm Alduin. Hakon One-Eye seeks out the aid of Miraak in defeating Alduin, but is rejected. Felldir the Old seeks out an Elder Scroll as an alternative method.
In a pitched battle around the Throat of the World, Alduin is drawn into combat, but still proves unassailable to the Nords, even with Dragonrend. After slaying the Nordic hero Gormlaith Golden-Hilt and gravely injuring Hakon One-Eye, Felldir the Old banished Alduin with the Elder Scroll through time and into the Fourth Era.}

1E 1 First Era begins with the Camoran Dynasty founded by King Eplear of Valenwood (3rd Pocket Guide). White-Gold Tower, of the Ayleids, seizes the opportunity and becomes an independent city-state from the Summerset Isles (Before the Ages of Man).

{Earliest period for the construction of the Great Chantry of Auri-El (Gelebor’s dialogue).}

The Period of the Twelve Legendary Kings ends, and recorded history begins.

1E 113/143 – 221 High King Harald Hand-Free (founded Kingdom of Skyrim, defeated remnant dragon cultists at Lake Honnith, drama of Archmage Gauldur and sons, Archmage Geirmund of Windhelm) (Geirmund's Epitaph, Daynas Valen's Notes, Lost Legends of Skyrim, Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal)

1E 139 – 140 Assault on Dragon Cult stronghold Forelhost near Lake Honnith (Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal)

1. Circa post-1E 221 Dwemer discover Aetherium, an alliance between four cities is created to handle the material (The Aetherium Wars)

1E 221 – 222 High King Hjalmer reigns.

1E 222 – ??? High King Vrage the Gifted (takes part of Nibenay from Ayleids, most of High Rock from Direnni, Morrowind from Dwemer and Chimer).

1. Holdings of Jarl Gjalund is written during the reign of King Vrage.

1E 243 The Alessian Rebellion against Ayleids occurs.

1E 246 A census is carried out by the Nordic Empire, compiled in the Book of Life, keeps the first historical record of the settlement of Daggerfall in High Rock (A History of Daggerfall).

1. High King Gellir reigns and conquers Dwemer

1E 361 Alessians gained control of the Cyrodiilic Empire (Last King of the Ayleids)

1E ??? – 369 High King Borgas of Winterhold (failure of Moot to elect Jarl Hanse of Winterhold results in War of Succession)

1E 369 – 420 Skyrim is without a High King (Nords lose holdings in Morrowind, High Rock, and Cyrodiil)

1. Dwemer take back lost cities

1E 416 Nords driven from Morrowind

1E 420 – Rourken Clan in self-imposed exile from Resdayn (PGE1). Rourken splinter groups arrive and settle in Skyrim (Dwemer Inquiries Vol 1).

Circa 420 – Life of Archmage Shalidor (Battle of Rourken-Shalidor, College of Winterhold founded, Labyrinthian established as testing ground) (Tamrielic Lore, A Minor Maze)

1E 420 – 452 High King Olaf reunites Skyrim and conquers the Reach

2. Holdings of Jarl Gjalund is written during or just after Olaf's reign as High King.

1E ??? – 478/479 High King Kjoric the White

1E 478/479 – 482 High King Hoag Merkiller (Battle of Glenumbria Moors where Direnni/Nord alliance defeats Alessians)

1E 482 Battle of Glenumbria Moors (Last King of the Ayleids)

1E 480/482 – 533 High King Ysmir Wulfharth (defeated the Direeni, purges Alessian heresy, reinstates traditional pantheon)

2. The events of the Aetherium Wars, and King Gellir's reign, take place here instead.

1E 700 Dwemer disappear and the War of the Crag ends. Wulfharth supposedly plays a part.

------------------------------------End of Timeline (for now)-------------------------

The Holdings of Jarl Gjalund

1. Arguments for this placement rely on:
i: The antiquitated style of the piece suggests it lies not far from the Merethic.
ii: Hroldan is stated to have been recently acquired from the Reachmen. May refer to High King Vrage's conquests.
iii: Bromjunaar is a much reduced but still inhabited settlement.
1. Arguments against the placement include:
i: Who are the new gods the scribe is sworn to? Neither the Alessian Deity nor the Nine Divines are established pantheons yet (Supposedly, anyway. See REMAINING PROBLEMS section).
ii: Whiterun is known as AHROLSEDOVAH, or Hill of Dragons, a possible reference to Dragonsreach, which only gained its name during King Olaf's tenure.

2.Arguments for this placement rely on:
i: Hroldan is stated to have been recently acquired from the Reachmen, perhaps refering to High King Olaf's conquest of the Reach.
ii: Whiterun is known as AHROLSEDOVAH, or Hill of Dragons, a possible reference to Dragonsreach, a name it acquired after Olaf imprisoned the dragon Numinex there.
iii: The scribe swears loyalty to both the "Old Gods and the New". During Olaf's reign, the Nine Divines have already been established for some time. Also, we know the Alessian Order has a religous presence in Skyrim during this time. The "New" may refer to either of these pantheons.
2.Arguments against this placement rely on:
i: According to the document, Bromjunaar is a still inhabited place. Knowing that Archmage Shalidor lived during this same period, there is no mention of Labyrinthian. Likewise, placing this document here contradicts A Minor Maze, which claims that Bromjunaar laid abandoned for many years before Shalidor requisitioned it for his own use.

The Aetherium Wars

1. Arguments for this placement rely on:
i: This book itself places the discovery of Aetherium in the years following Herald's reign, and that the alliance quickly shattered, resulting in several decades of war, followed in turn by Gellir's conquests. This timeline fits nicely into the gap between Vrage's and Borgas' respective reigns, where we place King Gellir. The Dwemer recovery of their strongholds also fits very nicely into the period of Nordic decline that was the War of Succession. The takeback of strongholds by the Dwemer also coincides neatly with the arrival of the Rourken, an idea that carries with it that the Dwemer of Skyrim did not arrive with them, but merely received help from them to reclaim their lands.
1. Arguments against this placement rely on:
i: The idea that Dwemer inhabit Skyrim during this period is directly contradicted by Dwemer Inquiries Vol 1 series of books, which suggest that the Dwemer only arrive in Skyrim as groups that splintered from Rourken's Clan.

2. Arguments for this placement rely on:
i: There is no other place to put King Gellir's reign, as the Dwemer disappear in 1E 700.
ii: The Dwemer most definitely are present in Skyrim by this period, as it follows the Rourken exodus and their great conflict with Shalidor. The Aetherium Wars also claims that the Dwemer strongholds in Skyrim had "held fast against the Nords for over a hundred years," a statment which works well with the 420 arrival date and the opening up of the High Kingship after Wulfharth's reign ended in 533.
2. Arguments against this placement rely on:
i: Discredits the book's own suggestion of a timeline closely following Vrage's reign.

-----------------------------------Remaining Problems-------------------------

I: The Proleptical Eight Divines
One of the most discouraging things of all this is the following reference in our earliest dated material, Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal: "It seems he will be joining the Eight in Sovngarde soon," and "May the Eight protect us from Dragons and madmen."

I don't really need to explain the significance of this. What we can do is possibly explain this away as not a reference to Alessia's pantheon, but rather a reference to the Nord's own pantheon, minus the Dragon, whom was probably removed come the finale of the Dragon War. Regardless, it remains a problem to be dealt with.

Edit: Earlier discussion has proved this is easily circumvented by suggesting the Eight Totem deities, rather than the Eight Divines, are what was being referred to.

II: Dwemer Here, Dwemer There
One of the great contradictions here is the question of how long the Dwemer have inhabited Skyirm. The only texts we can put anywhere near a timeline contradict one another. Dwemer Inquiries Vol 1 suggests that the Dwemer only arrived in Skyrim with the Rourken Clan's appearance in the region (1E 420), while The Aetherium Wars implies they've been around since at least Harald's reign. The thing is, Dwemer are absent from most of Nordic lore (save Shalidor) and the Falmer texts we have refering to them are undateable.

Edit: Thanks to Gnomey on TIL for pointing out the reference to the Dwemer as settling the Velothis from Before the Ages of Man. So it appears the Dwemer were at the very least present in the farthest eastern regions of Skyrim during the Merethic. However, this still doesn't account for an earlier placement of the Aetherium Wars, since it describes the Dwemer as living all across Skyrim.

III: Placing the Falmer
Everything we know about the Falmer, save Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal and the dialogue of Knight Paladin Gelebor, is absolutely undatable. Despite this, we can fairly confidently place most important texts and events solidly in the First Era. For example, we know from Gelebor that the shrine to Auriel that we visit in Dawnguard was built in the early First Era. Gelebor and the texts also suggest that the Snow Prince fell while the shrine was in operation. We can also the identify the blinding of the Falmer to after this period, given what the texts report. This perhaps happened in Gelebor's own lifetime, given the way he talks about it, but we can't be sure.

Ultimately, any greater understanding of where these events fall on the timeline would come with a greater understanding of where the Dwemer do. If the Dwemer only first arrived in the region in 420 of the First Era, then we can solidly place the blinding of the Falmer to sometime after 420 yet (of course) well before 700. If not, then much of the First Era is open for game. Snow-Strider's journal, however, would suggest that Falmer groups still controlled the southern regions of Skyrim during Herald's reign, so both the blinding and the Battle of Moestring would have likely occured after or during Harald's reign.

Edit/Update: Thanks to Pilaf the Defiler (in glorious exile) for helping me definitively place the original Nord/Falmer conflict as occurring before the Dragon War. I also thank his aid in helping me realize that the Falmer texts present in the Great Chantry of Auri-El were later brought by the Betrayed. This is important, since it allows us to move back the date of the Battle of Moestring Mountains into the Merethic again, if need be. Previously I believed that the Battle of Moestring had to have occurred during the early 1st Era, given their presence in the Great Chantry. This doesn’t look like the case anymore.

-----------------------------------In Conclusion-----------------------------
Beth, as a little hint from me to you, it'd be nice if you gave us more dates every once in a while.


Fiore1300, on 23 May 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:
A couple of additional quick comments:

What do you guys think of Ahzidal actually being a mentor to Miraak? That's possibly quite a timegap, but considering the timelessness of Oblivion and their magickal prowess, it might be negligible. They sure do have similar stories.

Another interesting bit is the reference from Varieties of Faith in the Empire that many of the Ysgramor myths have Ysgramor "escaping the wiles of old Herma-Mora". Perhaps this is a reference to a conflict between Ahzidal and Ysgramor?

I like to think that Solitude was founded following Aumriel's defeat. What say you?

Despite my discussions with Pilaf, I find the Battle of Moestring still both undateable and un-chronological. Any serious thoughts on where it might go?

What do you think of the reference to Redguards in The First Tale of the Krilot Lok?

Should I finally go to bed?


Left, on 23 May 2013 - 08:20 AM, said:
I think Miraak didn't want to or try to associate himself with either the dragon cults or the companions much after he first gained power from them. He seems like a lone wolf type character to me. Fewer challengers that way.


Fiore1300, on 23 May 2013 - 4:54 PM, said:
Well sure. But I'm wondering whether Ahzidal may have had a formative role in teaching/influencing Miraak? And I draw this question from the fact that both have similar stories: Both were trained as Dragon Priests, both were considered traitors of that order, and both were either exiled to Solstheim or killed on that very island. Not to mention the fact that both maintained an insatiable lust for power, and that both ultimately turned to Hermaeus Mora to reveal the secrets that would grant them more.

This is pure speculation of course, and I'm not saying its a Sith Master & Apprentice thing. But it could be a Sith Master & Apprentice thing. Hell, maybe Miraak was the one to eventually kill Ahzidal?


Nihilee, on 23 May 2013 - 4:58 PM, said:
What interests me is that there were at least three different "Dragon" Priests besides Miraak dwelling in Solstheim, all of whom were Herma Mora's servants so called, and Ahzidal was only one of them. Also, consider the facts that the Battle of Moestring, the battle of the last Falmer ruler, took place in Solstheim, and the Skaal, who believed the Guardian with more features as the Dragon God rather than Shor who is more Serpentine, lived in Solstheim. This makes me wonder, why Solstheim.

If we look deeper into the description of Herma Mora, in the Imperial Census of Daedra Lords:

It gives me the impression that maybe those who got their way into Solstheim were in fact "thrown-away ideas", as the Dragon Priests bent to Herma Mora, the Falmer rulers, and the belief of the Guardian, all of these existence no longer have their places in modern Nordic Skyrim, or should we say, the Shorish-Wulfharthan-Ysmirian Skyrim. It seems logical that as they became "thrown away", they got themselves into the grasp of Herma Mora.

This might mean whatever happened in Solstheim should not be seen simply as a brick that can be insert directly into the timeline. They need to be processed.

And regarding Ysgramor, PGE 1st ed. has provided us some interesting insights:

This might be the reason that one of the Black Books was "The Other Lives of Ysgramor", as what implies here is about the stories "no longer suitable" for the character with the name of Ysgramor. Ysgramor is in fact several people merged together, from the one with 500 companions from Atmora to the following 12 Kings, or even with other ancestors whose true names had already lost but deeds inserted as legends of "Ysgramor". By this the conflict between Ysgramor and Herma Mora might be more as the conflict of different Nordic histories, with the histories more pleasant to the Nords then defeating those less pleasant, even if they were true, and these less pleasant histories got "thrown away" into Mora and no longer troubled the "Ysgramor established more suitable to the Nords", aka "Ysgramor escaping the wiies of old Herma-Mora".

So I won't be surprised if in future we get to know the name "Solstheim" means something related to woods in ancient Nord languages.

And along this line of logic maybe we can say Ahzidal the person had nothing to do with Miraak, at least not in life. I'd rather link Ahzidal going to Soltheim to the event that the Nords banishing Jhunal from their active pantheon.


Fiore1300, on 23 May 2013 - 6:43 PM, said:
Yes, I've admitted before that the timeline is predicated on the idea of one Ysgramor, ala we meet an Ysgramor in Sovngarde. But the evidence for Ysgramor being a fictitious character, or an amalgamation of many different characters, seems to be building. In addition to the 1st PGE, we now have developer comments (such as from Hasphat Antabolis) as well as The Many Lives of Ysgramor.

The idea of Solstheim being the realm of tossed-away ideas is an intriguing one, and it has a lot to say symbolically about the Skaal and the (now Dunmer) city of Ravenrock. I do think that, politically, Solstheim was effected as a place of political exile. Like you said, the last free Falmer government was maintained on that island, and certain sources claim that both Miraak and Ahzidal were exiled there (although in-game evidence generally contradicts this idea). Assuming the exile stories are true, however, was it Hermaeus Mora that drew them to Solstheim, or was it living in Solstheim that drew them into Hermaeus Mora?


On a rather unrelated note, this may bulster my theory that Hermaeus Mora taught Miraak on how to become Dragonborn.


A really neat idea. I'd like to combine this with the emphasis with Ysgramor's title as "the Father of History" for his introduction of the writing system based on elven principles, as well as DreamKing's recent theory that Skyrim moving to the Camoran calendar system may have been intimately connected to the Dragon War. Perhaps a result, perhaps a provocation. And speaking of provocations, let's look at Nordic blasphemies:


-Defying Kyne


-Banishing of Jhunal


-Tampering with the the Eye of Magnus (Mnemoli?)


-Nearly seduced into becoming Aldmer


This last one seems especially significant to me now, with my thoughts lingering on the Nords as adopting Elven calendars and methods of writing. Jhunal, god of runes, being banished, now appears awfully related as well.

I'm not sure how I want to press this further at the present moment. But the events of Skyrim's Merethic Era certainly seems to suggest that there were deeper currents running beneath the events we hear about.




tldr; suggestions of Ysgramor being more than one man and herma mora slightly succeeding into turning the Atmorans into Aldmer
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Arnier the fallen
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