Prologue: How the World Fell Under Darkness
“We are alone under this sun”
9th Era. Year 343. The death of Emperor Cyrius D’Corvo has the world in ruins. The last emperor has fallen due to cataclysmic and impossible circumstances, the gates to Oblivion have opened once again, causing the city-state of Cyrodiil to enter into an age of war, shattering the unspoken pact between the world of Nirn and the planes of Oblivion – the dead lands were ruthless demons known as Daedra dwell, sundering vast realms as they tore their way back to the mortal world. The Emperor was regrettably caught in the crossfire as the war breached its way into the city, tearing the streets apart and killing numerous citizens, city defence units and bullet-witches.
His death came as a shock; D’Corvo was the first half-blooded Emperor in 3 eras, controller of magicka and blades. A dedicated fighter; a dedicated king and loved by his subjects. Even more shocking were the circumstances of his death, he was known as a ruthless warrior and examples of this were well documented; he once bested the Tyrant-King of Snow-Throat in a duel, beheading the King in one sweep and annihilating his entire battalion with his lieutenant and advisor Marias Icecrown, the fabled and feared bullet-witch. So the fact that he was so easily stuck down by the Daedric siege was a surprise, his corpse was found – warped, he no longer looked like himself, instead a disease stricken wretch. But most disastrous was the sun’s exile. In this world, the sun is not what it seems, not a gaseous ball but a rip in the fabric of space. On the day of his death, this void sealed, the flow of magic in the world halted and a rain of ice and fire began.
This has become known as the Ebony Solstice, and this is how the world fell under darkness.
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I: Shadows Whisper
The gleaming city streets were stained with the slaughter. Refugees were beginning to emerge from the darkness and find their way back to their homes; the Imperial Battle-Squadron was deployed to perform a ‘clean-sweep’, a purging ritual whereupon the last fragments of the demonic scourge were wiped out and cast back to their realm. The fighting raged for another week, there were few casualties for the Imperials. “This was an impossible war. The gates to that infernal realm were sealed five eras ago.” A voice spoke from the darkness, stepping forward towards a perplexing, shadowy figure. The speaker moved into the light, revealing a golden complexion, his angular features looked dead; there was no sign of life in him. Eyes that once burned with a fire for his land and family had died out, leaving a husk of a person. “We know that, but this also the first time the source of magicka has sealed, and you’ve heard the whispers from the Isles, the Psijics. I know you have’ the figure replied, the phosphorescent light gleaming on his armour, creating a pirouette of shining blades and sleek curves. “I have. But all I’ve discerned from them is gibberish, talks of the End, speaking of the God-Dreamer’s delusion – it’s all nonsense.” “That’s what you think; do you remember the ancient scrolls? The ones that disappeared from the Library in the fourth era?” this seemed to peak his interest. “Yes, of course, the Elder Scrolls. Why?” The shadow-lurker stepped from his shroud of darkness, revealing a lean figure clad in leather and steel armour, stylized with streaks of crimson, adorned with a handprint as dark as night on his chest. He spoke “One has returned, they tell of its hiding place in the Dustland of Elsweyr; they tell of its prophecy, Arkan, the Landfall.” Arkan recoiled as the leather-clad enigma pushed past him onto the streets, the rain beating down on him. “It’s real?” Arkan asked in shock, his golden skin paling to a dull yellow. “Yes, very real indeed.” He slumped to his knees, unable to stand, his demeanour shaken. The shadow disappeared into the crowd of refugees.