Hello again everyone and welcome to the final installment of The Pillars of Creation. Over the last two weeks I have brought you on a journey through time; from the creation of Nirn itself, all the way through the Dawn and Merethic Eras and eventually ending up in the Fourth Era (if you haven't yet make sure to check out Part 1
and Part 2
!). We have looked at the evisceration of Lorkhan, the disappearance of the Dwemer, the morphing of the Chimer into the Dunmer as well as studied the profiles of the great Towers of Nirn. We’ve theorised about the inscrutable Dwemer and their Numidium, the Altmer and their Crystal-like-Law and heard of the legends of the death of the Left-Handed Elves along with the destruction of the Tower of Orichalc. This week it all comes to an end; we will finally be watching all of the pieces come together and will be seeing what this secret saga holds in store for Tamriel and the wider world of Nirn.
To begin we shall be taking a close look at, arguably, the most famous building of all Tamriel: The White-Gold Tower. The White-Gold Tower was created by the lost Heartland High Elves sometime in the First Era. It was the centre piece for their capital city, which still stands thousands of years later and acts as a hugely important building for the events of Oblivion
. Like Crystal-like-Law, the White-Gold Tower is of elven creation and holds a similar function to the Adamantine Tower and Red Mountain; it strengthens the barriers between Mundus and Oblivion, keeping the Daedra at bay. We see exactly what happens when this Tower is tampered with in the events of Oblivion
; the central Power Stone of the Tower, the Amulet of Kings is taken away and because of this the Tower becomes defunct. The Dragonfires in the Temple of the One burn no more and, with the Red Mountain and Direnni Tower already likely out of commission, the task of bolstering the walls between Mundus and Oblivion become too much to bare for the other Towers and the Oblivion Crisis begins.
I just realised...what if the smaller towers around the large one represented the other active
Towers at the time of its creation? Okay, I officially believe that now.
Luckily, during the events of Oblivion
the brave (and rather handsome, if I do say so myself) Hero of Kvatch restored the Septim line to a position of power within the White-Gold Tower. By the end of the game, Martin Septim has destroyed the Amulet of Kings (Chim-El-Adabal, the Power Stone of the Tower) and saved the realm of Mundus from the hordes of Oblivion...or has he? Looking at the “Trials of St.Alessia” we find the quote “So long as you and your heirs wear the Amulet of Kings, then shall this Dragonfire burn -an eternal flame- as a symbol to all men and gods of our faithfulness...”
. Now following the logic of the Towers; that each Tower needs a central Power Stone to function, surely it is useless to have a Tower without also having its Power Stone? In the case of the Red Mountain, we see that after long enough without the Heart of Lorkhan, it erupts and sends ripples of destruction out across Tamriel. So in what state is the White-Gold Tower left at the end of the Oblivion Crisis? Well, an optimist could argue that the destruction of the Amulet of Kings resulted in the creation of the statue of the Avatar of Akatosh which, in turn, became the Power Stone of the White-Gold Tower and kept it active for years after the events of Oblivion
. In that case everything is okay, right? Wrong. There was a threat brewing, and it was brewing in the Summerset Isles.
Could this statue be silently protecting Mundus? Too bad he can't move.
It must be hell when a bird poos in his eye.
What few remember is that during the Oblivion Crisis it wasn’t only Cyrodiil which was plagued by Oblivion gates. They opened all over the continent of Tamriel and in no other place did they wreak as much havoc and irreparable damage as in the Summerset Isles. It was here that the Daedric hordes took control and razed the Altmer Crystal Tower to the ground. It was in this Tower that the study of magic began in Tamriel. It was here that the ancient corpses of early Aldmeri settlers were kept in a place of honour and unifying glory. And it was here that the Altmer huddled, the fleeing masses crouched in fear as the Daedric hordes pounded on the walls outside. This building represented the hopes and the dreams, the very spirit of the High Elves and, in 3E433, it was destroyed due to the actions and failures of the human emperor line. With it died whatever good will the Altmer had left towards the other races of Tamriel and, after its destruction, began the rise of the Thalmor - and they moved quickly. They took control of the Summerset Isles by 4E22, renaming them Alinor and seven years later they also had control over Valenwood. The Thalmor waged war on Cyrodiil and, before the war was over they destroyed the White-Gold Tower. The actions of the Thalmor seem almost inscrutable, but when you dig a little deeper, you find that perhaps they have a nefarious-ulterior-motive. What made the Thalmor push forward and destroy the White-Gold Tower before forcing Emperor Titus Mede II to sign the White-Gold Concordat?
This man wants YOU to be banished to a realm of eternal torment just so he can live forever.
Well, the theory goes that with the rise of the Thalmor came the rise of the old hatred of the Elves for their mortal coil. Both the Dwemer and the Chimer are known to have attempted to reach some type of immortality (arguably with some success) and the Altmer have the same wish. This wish stems from the belief that the origin of the Aldmer, and hence all Tamrielic elves, is directly from the Aedra. They believe themselves to be the descendants of those that were trapped by Lorkhan in the realm of Mundus, only to have mortality forced upon them. Their answer to this is to destroy the realm of Mundus, to get rid of the very plane of existence in which they live and to destroy any remnants of the power of Lorkhan. This can be achieved by doing two things. The first is to destroy the Towers that hold the realm together. By doing this, they weaken even further the boundaries between Mundus and Oblivion. The second is to outlaw the worship of Lorkhan which gives him power to keep the realm in one piece. And who worships Lorkhan you may ask? No temples are built in his name. No cults worship his work. No, it is Talos that stands in their way.
Boromir obviously didn't know that the Thalmor were trying to wipe out all of existence
just to get their revenge.
You see, the ascension of Tiber Septim, the first Emperor of Tamriel, is a hotly debated topic. Many arguments focus on how the ascension took place, or whether or not the emperor ascended at all. Many argue that it was solely by the worship of his followers and their insistence that Tiber Septim became Talos that people believed he became immortal. However, the texts of the Imperial Library argue differently. They say that during his life Tiber Septim walked as one with Ysmir. Ysmir was a being that manifested in Tamriel and was an apparition of sorts of Lorkhan himself. Hence it was by this route, through the influence of Ysmir, that Tiber Septim became the god Talos and also, perhaps, how Lorkhan finally became a worshipped god in Tamriel-by hiding under the guise of another. Thus it is easy to see why the Thalmor, who wage war on the realm (and by extension Lorkhan himself), wish to outlaw the worship of Talos. Yes, because he was once human, but more importantly because the worship of him gives power and stability to the realm. During the events of Skyrim, it is entirely possible that all of the Towers remain dysfunctional. Why then has the realm not vanished under a wave of Daedric hordes? Because the ordinary, lay-people of Skyrim still keep Talos in their hearts and by their hearths. Whether the future of Skyrim results in the complete eradication of Talos worship or not remains to be seen, but I think you’ll agree, the future of Nirn is dire without the assistance of Lorkhan.
What kind of anarchist would disagree?
So, how safe do you feel now as you wander across Nirn? I urge you, as you adventure throughout the continent of Tamriel in ESO try to seed the worship of Talos as much as you can. The future of Tamriel looks bleak and without our assistance, attacks like those from Molag Bal may become more frequent. It is with this threat that I leave the theorycrafting for the week and take a well deserved break. Over the last few weeks I’ve done some extensive research all over the internet in places like the Elder Scrolls Wiki
and the Imperial Library
, all of which are great sources if you know where to look. I would also like to thank all my readers for watching as I ramble about how the ‘End is Nigh’ for the last three weeks. Next week I’ll write something more fluffy and fun...I hope.
P.S. If anybody who read last week’s article is still wondering what I meant about the Skyrim Bug Jars, then take a look at this Reddit post
. I stumbled across this a month ago and, though I believe it’s just a bunch of nonsense, it did get me interested in the Towers (as one of the theories behind the Jars' meaning is the foretelling of the Thalmor plot) and ultimately resulted in the writing of these articles, so you should check it out.
"...and the Butterfly whispered 'They are coming'..."
Are you having nightmares of the Daedric Princes stealing your soul as well? Tell us about them in the comments below and don’t forget to like us on Facebook. Don’t worry, we all have the same fear. The sad part is, there’s no cure. No way to stop the nightmares. You just have to live with them. Like I do.
Have a nice day!!