The Elder Scrolls Online: Alliances at War

Uploaded by ZenimaxOnlineStudios on 18.01.2013

So the situation in Tamriel is that you've got three young, muscular alliances
around the periphery of the continent and in the
center is Cyrodiil, and there's a power vacuum there.
Now, Cyrodiil is a big prize—a fertile heartland
of the continent—and it's also the symbol of power
over Tamriel in the White Gold Tower that is
the center of the Empire for millennia now.
So the three alliances all have their own reasons
why they feel like they should be ruling Cyrodiil,
but the fundamental reason is that the
Empire and Cyrodiil and the family of nobles
- the Tharns - that are ruling it are weak, and the alliances are strong.
So the Empire is weak, but their leaders are
are cunning. The current occupant of the Ruby Throne
in the Imperial City is Empress Regent: Clivia
Tharn, and her father is actually the Chancellor
of the Elder Council - his name is Abnur Tharn - and he's
a very old but powerful and really wily Battlemage,
and his family have been secret Daedra worshippers for generations.
So when he sees the threat of the three alliances around the periphery
their inevitable interest Cyrodiil, he turns to his family's old allies:
the Daedra, and Molag Bal's main agent on Tamriel, the Necromancer Lord Mannimarco.
As the alliances become aware of Abnur Tharn's Daedric connections,
that becomes just one more powerful incentive
to go into Cyrodiil and take him out.
So the alliances are very different and they have
different reasons and they have different justifications
for why they are going to be marching in the center of the continent,
and this goes back to the individual leadership
of the three alliances and their motivations
for why they're doing this, in many ways,
reflects the values of the alliances themselves.
The Daggerfall Covenant, the reason why they feel they must
prosecute this war, really goes back to history for them.
The leader of the Daggerfall Covenant is High King
Emeric, a Breton. He is a sort of amateur historian
of Imperial history and it's clear to him, when the Empire is strong,
that's when things are peaceful and good for the people Tamriel.
And the Empire is fundamentally a human endeavor
and, at the moment, the humans and Tamriel are failing,
and it's up to the Daggerfall Covenant to take up
the torch and keep the Elves for mucking things up.
Now the Ebonheart Pact is more attuned to the mystical side of things.
When they become aware that there's a great threat to Nirn,
they decide that they're going to have to mobilize to confront it.
Almalexia, one of the living gods of the Tribunal
and one of the leaders of the Ebonheart Pact,
she takes notice. The Scryers and the Priests and the
Wizards tell her that Molag Bal has got some kind
of great magical existential threat to Nirn. Now, having
the Empire working with Molag Bal and Mannimarco
absolutely cannot be tolerated, so the Ebonheart Pact decides
they are going to have to muster their forces and march on Cyrodiil.
The third alliance, the Aldmeri Dominion, is led by Queen Ayrenn of the High Elves,
and her reasons for pushing this war into Tamriel are geopolitical and also personal.
Before she'd assumed the throne, Ayrenn had been an adventurer in Tamriel,
and she had suffered personally at the hands of Abnur Tharn in the Imperial City.
Ayrenn has seen the rot at the heart of Tamriel,
and she believes that it's time for the Elves
to resume their responsibility to rule, to retake
the White Gold Tower which they built in the first place,
and to get rid of the bloody and warmongering humans who,
in Empire after Empire, have been drenching the continent in oceans of blood.
It's time for the Elves to go in, kick the humans out, and put things back to rights.
What's great about this from a gameplay standpoint
is that it gives each Alliance a distinctive feel and ambiance
that each have their own methods and goals,
and the player gets to experience this difference from inside each Alliance;
they get to take up these methods and try to achieve these goals
as they're playing through the story of the Alliance War.
It's a hallmark of the Elder Scrolls series;
there is no single truth about the world,
that everybody sees things from their own vantage point.
And it's that legacy, of a rich and nuanced world,
that we've taken up and expanded upon for Elder Scrolls Online.