Bretons (from the Ehlnofex beratu meaning "half") are a hybrid[UOL 1] race of both human and elven ancestry that primarily inhabit their ancestral homeland of High Rock, and the Systres Archipelago.[nb 1] High Rock is fractious and divided politically, which is seemingly encouraged by the layout of the land itself. Warfare between kingdoms accounts for much of Breton history. Despite this, Bretons across the province share many facets of culture, including language, bardic traditions, and heroic tales. Bretons make up the peasantry, soldiery, and magical elite of the feudal kingdoms competing for power within High Rock, but the race can also found around the rest of Tamriel, often as merchants or mercenaries. Bretons are distantly related to the Reachfolk.
Bretondom originated from the Nedes of High Rock and Aldmer interbreeding for centuries as far back as the Merethic Era. This mixed ancestry gives Bretons a unique perspective of the Nirn's oldest feud: the conflict between men and mer.[UOL 1] The Bretons' Nedic ancestors are referred to as the Druids of Galen (or proto-Bretons)[UOL 2] by retroactive nomenclature, while Clan Direnni are primarily credited as being their Aldmer ancestors. Druidic spellcraft (which differs from the arcane) is said to be the first truly Breton creation. Bretons have a natural affinity for environmental manipulation, which druids believe should be utilized to enhance or perfect nature, reshaping it just as their god Y'ffre once did.
The Direnni left a significant mark on the Bretons. The race's obsession with nobility, status, and lineage can be traced back to their days as vassals of Clan Direnni. Bretons possess an inborn and instinctive bond for the magical arts, often attributed to their elven blood. They are known for their intelligence and have a quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, enchantment, and alchemy. However, It is often difficult for an individual Breton to leave a lasting impression on the greater magical community; the very same mystical aptitude that produces such widespread natural talent also makes it much harder for Breton mages to stand out. Their human lifespans put them at a disadvantage relative to their elven peers, whose naturally long lives allow them more time to study, hone their skills, and make a name for themselves. Despite this, several Bretons have managed to cement themselves among the most well-regarded mages in history,[UOL 3] with notable figures such as Voernet, Druid King Kasorayn, and Gyron Vardengroet. Despite the inherent Altmeri weakness to magical attacks, this trait did not carry over to the Bretons. Even the humblest of Bretons can boast a high resistance to destructive and dominating magical energies.
What it means to be a Breton is considered an age-old quandary by their people. To make sense of it all, some may focus on a specific aspect on their culture, or seek to blend it all together. Some Bretons hold their elven heritage in high esteem, which may influence them to worship Phynaster, the patron deity and "teacher" of the Direnni. Others attempt to seek out the druidic roots of their Nedic ancestors and reconnect with nature. Knighthood is pivotal to the Breton identity; its earliest practitioners served under Clan Direnni, but knights are credited with kickstarting High Rock's modern cultural history through tales of liberating the race from their Elven oppressors. These knights of old set the example for those that followed by going on grand quests for adventure and glory.[UOL 1] In their free time, Breton youths of all walks of life imitate knights through chivalric pursuits in their thoughts or by their actions. Indeed, the profession encapsulates the traditional chivalric principles of Breton society, and the "quest-obsession" that has become a national identity for High Rock.
If Bretons are humans or elves is a topic of debate, with most people believing that they are the former. The earliest Bretons were referred to as Manmeri, Half-Elves, and possibly Chimera (from the Altmeri word for "change"), and were more elven in appearance. Although the terms are archaic, some modern Bretons such as druids embrace this heritage and still refer to themselves as Manmer and Half-Elves. Due to their mixed heritage, Bretons have been described disparagingly as "degraded hybrids" or a "mongrel race".
Modern Bretons, by and large, are pale-skinned and slightly built, less muscular than Nords and Redguards, and possess more defined features such as high and delicate cheekbones, sensuous lips, and pronounced brow ridges. Some even display pointed ears much like elves. The Bretons' elvish physical features have waned and become more human over time, but have not vanished.
Bretondom originated from Nedes and Aldmer interbreeding for centuries as far back as the Merethic Era. Whether Man or Mer came to High Rock first is debated in scholarly circles: some believe that Nedic civilization and their Druid King were already established in the province when the Aldmer arrived, while others claim that the Nedes arrived in High Rock afterwards, and encountered the elves gradually with a variety of reactions and outcomes.[UOL 4]
The Nedic ancestors of the Bretons were a people that survived in ancient High Rock by tapping into and nurturing nature. They followed Y'ffre's True Way (later known as Druidism), in which the eponymous god took the forefront of their faith. Under it, one is to lead a life connecting with and valuing the natural world. Some reverence was also shown to the stars, especially the Ritual constellation. These Nedes are known by the retroactive nomenclature, the Druids of Galen, (or proto-Bretons)[UOL 2] and what would become their moniker is derived from a mythical "Galen", an entity or place which druids first came about. Regardless of the origin, it is agreed that the True Way was born in High Rock.
There is evidence of human settlements in High Rock dating back at least a thousand years before recorded history. Archaeological excavations have dated the ruins of Nedic habitation to as early as ME 1000, predating Ysgramor by centuries. The Nedes of Stormhaven had strained relations with the neighboring Orc clans, which regularly clashed with other Orc clans and their Nedic neighbors.
The Aldmer that settled High Rock did so sparsely and in very specific locations, the most successful being Clan Direnni, who came to the province from the Summerset Isles in the Middle Merethic Era and captured the Adamantine Tower. Some believe the Direnni were following their destiny to rule from Balfiera, while others believed that they were exiled. The Direnni didn't enslave the Nedes as the Ayleids of Cyrodiil did; instead, they ruled them as a noble caste. The elves established a system of feudal vassalage over their new subjects and took Nedic concubines. They inevitably interbred with their human subjects, producing Half-Elven children (also known as Manmer).
Clan Direnni and the DruidsEdit
The Druids of Galen led the new race when it first emerged,[UOL 5] as children begat from Elf-Nede relations were considered sub-Mer and not accepted by their Direnni parents. Instead, they were given privileged positions among the Nedes, which eventually lead to a recognizable mixed-blood human caste dubbed "Bretons", from the Ehlnofex "beratu", meaning "half". These Bretons were only allowed to marry humans, and over time, the Bretons' human features became more prominent than their elven traits. While the Aldmer maintained control of Tamriel, Clan Direnni coexisted peacefully alongside their Nedic and Half-Elven subjects. Some Manmeri devotional idols from this period depict Mara as an elven woman in a lover's embrace with a man, suggesting Aldmeri culture may have been welcomed with relatively open arms. However, their comity would not last: localized groups of Bretons displeased with Mer butted heads with their Elven overlords long before they officially came to blows.
Druids as a distinct identity emerged shortly after the Breton race first came into existence. Eventually, the Wyrd diverged from the True Way in a religious schism, ultimately driven away by what they called the "excesses of the Elves". In druidic belief, mortals were not meant to separate themselves from nature, as one can rejuvenate and enjoy Y'ffre's bounty through it. While the druids revere nature, they were not keen to isolate themselves and worship the untamed wilds. Therein lies the primary difference in culture between druids and the Wyrd: the Wyrd abandoned civilization in favor of living in the wilds, and believe that they are nature itself: the forest, the plants and beasts within it, and even the weather. In contrast, druids accepted what they interpreted as their "proper place" as people, and embraced the idea that civilization can coexist alongside nature. The Druids of Galen and the Wyrd disapproved of each other's lifestyles: the druids found the ways of the Wyrd unsavory, and the Wyrd thought the druids were no better than city-dwellers. Druids would much later practice self-isolation to varying degrees, as a response to the historical encroachments and heartless deprivations that would await them.
According to some sources, the Direnni themselves were actually Bretons rather than Aldmer. The earliest written account of the existence of a Breton was that of the sage and author Voernet during the year 1E 20, when they traveled to Artaeum to meet with Iachesis, the Ritemaster of the Psijic Order.
Written in 1E 200, the Tamrilean Tractates speak of an early encounter between a Nord hunting party and the Bretons. The Bretons were scarcely recognizable as Men, and the Nords attacked them thinking they were another strain of Aldmeri. The Nords ceased their assault when one of the Bretons spoke in broken Nordic, and the hunting party brought word of this "newly discovered" race of Men back to Windhelm. The Nords believed the Manmeri from beyond the Reach were descended from human slaves taken during the Night of Tears. King Vrage made it the First Empire of the Nords' main priority to liberate the Bretons from their elven masters. Vrage's campaign brought him as far as the Bjoulsae, but Clan Direnni's mages impeded their progress, and the elves were aided in battle by many of their Breton vassals. The Skyrim Conquests brought some of High Rock under Nordic control around 1E 246, though they would lose control around 1E 369 as a result of Skyrim's War of Succession.
During the Alessian Slave Rebellion, Alessia hired many Breton and Nordic warbands as mercenaries with promises of land and trade concessions. After the Alessian Cyrodiils achieved victory, the mercenaries that participated were assimilated into the Nibenese culture.
The Druids of Galen were considered "Meriphilic", but their tolerance for outside influence would eventually wane. Ultimately, they split from Bretondom around 1E 330, ruling over the early Bretons with fearsome magic. The Direnni Hegemony did not take kindly to the attempts for druidic governance of the province, and the Alessian Order persecuted the druids as they deviated from their religion. Following the guidance of Y'ffre's visions, a song, or an Elder Scroll, Druid King Kasorayn led somewhere between an estimated few thousand to a million druids on an exodus to The Systres. A few remained on the mainland.
When the Druids of Galen arrived to the Systres, the Draoife terraformed a barren volcanic island into a lush and verdant volcanic paradise and named it Y'ffelon. The druids then swiftly expanded across the archipelago into the three other islands, sprouting life where it was once barren. The dissolution of the Druids of Galen was brought about with the event known as the "three mornings of sail", where priest-navigators set out to sea on enchanted vessels outside the archipelago. Their outside experiences and their interactions with different races resulted in three sects developing, each with their own interpretation of Y'ffre's will; the Stonelore, Eldertide, and Firesong Circles. No longer bound to a line of druidic kings, their symbology disappeared almost overnight. Despite their separation, to symbolize their unity matters more and that they share the same goals, the druidic circles came to shaping knot-work into a triquetra, a symbol that would become adopted by civilized Bretons.
The Rise and Fall of the Direnni HegemonyEdit
After much infighting between the Mer of High Rock over who would rule the province, circa 1E 355, Clan Direnni established their Hegemony after they emerged victorious through political maneuvering and devious machinations. However, some consider the Direnni's rule in the years leading up to its establishment as part of the Direnni Hegemony as well. Ryain Direnni purchased the Isle of Balfiera in 1E 461. He also led Clan Direnni to conquer all of High Rock by 1E 477. Ryain and his Breton legions were the first to sack the Orc hold of Orsinium.
As the Direnni Hegemony expanded geographically, the elves, who were few in number, passed increasing powers of administration to the Breton caste. Clan Direnni was inspired to outlaw the religion of the Alessian Reform by Rislav Larich's victory against Emperor Gorieus, and began pushing into Imperial territory. The timeframe between 1E 480 and 1E 482 would see a coming conflict with the Alessian Order. Seeing the threat the Order posed, Aiden Direnni signed the Rights Charter out of necessity, in efforts to muster troops for the coming conflict. Aiden Direnni's army defeated the Alessians on the 8th of Sun's Dawn at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors in 1E 482 with the assistance of Breton knights and the last Ayleid king. The Bretons of the Glenumbra Moors celebrate the Day of Release to commemorate this victory. A popular song from the Second Era memorializes the Bretons' role in turning the tide against the Alessian generals, and commemorated the Direnni clansmen who were instrumental in defending High Rock.
Thoroughly spent, the Direnni withdrew to Balfiera without bloodshed, and their hegemony fell circa 1E 498.[UOL 6] With most of High Rock free from Elven control by 1E 500, the Breton kingdoms began establishing themselves around this time, The Bretons' rise to prominence in High Rock initially started through villages being founded in tactical locations, such as Wayrest, which started as a fishing hamlet on 1E 800. Nordic cities such as Camlorn became Breton due to assimilation from the growing Breton population as opposed to conquest. Over time, the emerging Bretons absorbed the remaining Nordic population in High Rock, and the land would be definitively Breton by the end of the First Era.
Though the province was in Breton hands, it was by no means a cohesive nation. Clan Direnni's retreat to Balfiera left a vacancy in the way of a united government, and High Rock was left with a hundred fiefdoms to squabble over power. The elf-blooded nobility of Greater Bretony took up the mantle Clan Direnni left behind, maintaining the feudal hierarchy their elven predecessors forged and placing their noble families, the oldest of whom the elven blood flowed strongest within, in the position of aristocracy. The new noble class, consisting of highborn Bretons, justified their ascension to aristocracy and the preservation of the peasant class by disassociating themselves from their elven heritage. The Bretons vilified the Direnni, and redefined themselves around the notion that they were not elves. The Breton nobility fabricated a history of noble resistance to Direnni rule to suit the narrative that Breton cultural identity had no elven roots. In time, a merchant class sprouted and thrived, trading around Tamriel's coasts. In addition to the conflicts over borders and crowns, the Bretons were left to deal with the encroachment of the wilds upon their settlements: the Direnni renounced their covenant with the Earthbones after their retreat, which legends claim they did out of spite. This pact protected Direnni roads and townships from the forest and the beasts that inhabited it.
During the late-fifth century, violence against the Direnni began under King Festrien Spenard I. Supported by vassals from House Aurmine, the despot king's Knights of the Pale Order slaughtered the Direnni wholesale during the latter years of their flight from High Rock. Knights of the Pale Order kept lists of Direnni warriors and magisters they slew. In spite of the vilification of the Direnni and disassociation from their elven heritage, at least some Bretons would continue to emphasize their elven blood.
Bretons on the World StageEdit
Eventually, the differences in the beliefs of the three major Systrean drudic circles nearly led to conflict. This however was stopped by the appearance of a common enemy, the Sinistral Elves, who arrived on the Systres circa 1E 660 to flee the Yokudans. Their invasion was temporarily halted when Y'ffelon's volcano of Mount Firesong erupted somewhere around 1E 668. Regardless, the Sinistral Elves took over the archipelago, and the druidic circles were forced into hiding. With the coming of the Yokudan Ra Gada in 1E 785, what remained of the Elves were purged, and the Yokudans quickly left the island to go eastward. In the end, only the druids were remained.
The Yokudans that the druids encountered on their way eastward were just part of the first "warrior wave" that sought glory in Hammerfell. The second was composed of the Tavans, who came around the time of Yokuda's sinking in 1E 792. Hammerfell was a holding of Clan Direnni during their Hegemony, and was known as by its Aldmeri name of Hegathe. The Tavans kept the Aldmeri name for the harborage they captured from the beastfolk, and used it as a staging ground during their conquests. Before their arrival, the Bretons and the Elves established an outpost at what is now Sentinel, in order to protect fisherfolk and seafaring merchants from inland Orcs and other hazards in the desert. The warrior wave that came after the capture of Hegathe was led by Grandee Yaghoub. They quickly discovered and established control over the locals' port with little if any opposition. Yaghoub conscripted the locals to serve as masons and servants in the building of his new palace, Samaruik, and the rest of the city.
Orsinium was built on the boundary between western Wrothgar and Rivenspire in the tenth century of the First Era. King Golkarr of the Orcs amassed an army and was determined to seize control of the Bjoulsae River, upon which the nomadic Breton Bjoulsae River Tribes lived. They intended to force Wayrest to pay to regularly use the river for travel and trade. In 1E 948, King Joile of Daggerfall sent a letter to Gaiden Shinji of the Order of Diagna, proposing a joint attack on Orsinium. Joile cited that the Orcs were raiding along the Bjoulsae and impeding traffic to the heart of the land as reason enough to make war against the Orcs. Agreeing to provide aid, an alliance was formed between the Order of Diagna and the armies of Daggerfall and Sentinel. The armies amassed and began a 30-year long campaign for the destruction of Orc's homeland known as the Siege of Orsinium. In that time, King Joile planned to betray the Redguards and invade Hammerfell. Joile and his Reachman general Mercedene enacted a plot to kill Gaiden Shinji and Orcish hero Baloth Bloodtusk, which succeeded, despite the efforts of Daggerfall's own Knights of the Dragon to stop the attempt and their defeat of General Mercedene. In 1E 973, Joile's invasion of Hammerfell proceeded, but he was stopped by the Ansei warrior Makela Leki at the Bangkorai Pass. The Orcs prize Mammoth tusks, and the Breton soldiers plundered ivory from Old Orsinium after they sacked the city. The Daggerfall ivory trade helped fuel the Bjoulsae economic expansion that brought High Rock to prominence in the years following the Siege of Orsinium.
The First EmpireEdit
In 1E 1029, Empress Hestra pursued the Gray Host from Verkarth to the Bangkorai Pass, where the Bretons held the line and fractured the undead forces, easing the Empire's hunt. Hestra was impressed, and offered High Rock admission into the First Empire, which they accepted. Thus, the Bretons joined the Empire of Men and accepted Alessia's Eight Divines.
Seeking vengeance for Tamriel for the Thrassian Plague that was unleashed by the Sload, the Colovian King of Anvil, Bendu Olo, was granted an Imperial fleet by the emperor of the Alessian Empire, and looked to other races to bolster the size of the fleet. The Bretons lent their sailors and warships to help in the formation of this fleet, which became known as the All Flags Navy. Sometime around 1E 2243, the Navy arrived in the Systres Archipelago, where they established a naval base and shipyard within High Isle's Gonfalon Bay, which dwarfed others created for this conflict. The local Stonelore Circle also lent a ship and druids for the coming conflict. After various skirmishes evolved into the eventual final assault on Thras in 1E 2260. The entire landmass was sunk into the ocean, with half of the fleet being caught within the giant whirlpool. The remaining influential figures returned to the Systres, where these representatives of each race signed the Concordat of Fraternity on All Flags Islet, in hopes to bring about peace and cooperation.
Angry merchants from Wayrest called their fellow Bretons to secede from the Alessian Empire circa 1E 2300, citing prejudice against elven heritage. They emphasized the increasing Imperial tithes to support their position. High Rock formally reasserted its independence in 1E 2305 in response to the Alessian Order's excesses. The Legions of Piety and Grace were sent to Bangkorai under Abbot-General Priscus Mactator to suppress the Bretons, but the Imperials fell at the Bangkorai Garrison. High Rock was independent once more, but the secession was not a clean break. The Alessian collapse struck the stubborn Bretons harder than the other races, as they had no unified governing structure. Warring fiefs would rage across the peninsula in the coming centuries, and pretender-kings attempted to assume control in place of the Alessians.
Although the Systres were claimed by Bendu Olo as an extension of Colovia after the All Flags Navy's victory over the Sload, the War of Righteousness caused the archipelago to be sold by the Colovian Estates to High Rock coin-barons Circa 1E 2327. With this acquisition, Duchess Martinne Guimard became ruler over the archipelago, and in 1E 2328, named the largest island High Isle in honor of High Rock. The true value of this purchase was that the land was "an untouched cradle of Breton history", with Druidism alive and well, and Breton culture at the forefront thanks to the Breton laborers that stayed behind after the assault on Thras. The Systres remained in Breton hands despite later changing ownership from House Guimard to House Mantel. In 1E 2484, Mount Firesong erupted once more, devastating the island and killing many of the inhabitants. What changed was a shift of political power, for those in the lower classes were most affected by the starvation and illnesses. What followed was a renaissance of Druidism, for it was the Stonelore Circle that pulled the city folk out of the brink of death, helping them in the creation sprawling pastoral and agricultural operations. This time period was referred to as the Green Years.
The Second EmpireEdit
The Second Empire was established in 1E 2703 after Reman Cyrodiil suppressed the Akaviri invasion of Tamriel at the battle of Pale Pass. With the Akaviri's number and their tactics boosting his ranks, Reman continued on to pacify the rest of Tamriel. High Rock was already weakened by the Akaviri invasion, and an alliance known as the League of Unrest was created between Daggerfall, Wayrest, and Balfiera, to stop Reman's forces. They were defeated however, and Reman formed modern-day Cyrodiil using the Colovian Estates, Nibenay and parts of High Rock. Though conquered, High Rock's virulent sectarianism would remain intact. The distant shores of the Systres were also affected, as in 1E 2704, the Reman Empire reclaimed the archipelago, ending the Green Years when they reinstalled Breton coin-barons as the rulers.
As part of the Second Empire, High Rock's soldiers participated in the 80-year Four Score War against Morrowind. In 1E 2920, the final year of the War and First Era, the Breton Storig of Farrun commanded Emperor Reman III's vanguard at the Battle of Bodrum, where the Imperial army suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Dunmer. At the same time, a Breton man named Cassyr Whitley of Dwynnen defected from the Imperial army and spied on the Dunmer's behalf. After Whitley's faulty information cost Morrowind the fortress of Ald Marak, he returned to High Rock, where he crossed paths with Dunmeri exile Turala. After Turala's coven and child were lost to an Orcish raid, Whitley falsely convinced the woman that the attack was the work of assassins in the employ of Duke Brindisi Dorom of Mournhold, prompting her to summon Mehrunes Dagon in a misguided act of revenge.
High Rock prospered under Reman in the Second Empire. The Guild Act signed by Potentate Versidue-Shaie in 2E 321 standardized regulation of trade and transactions across the Empire, and was adopted as de facto law across Tamriel, including in High Rock. King Casimir II of Wayrest formed an alliance with a Dragon named Nahfahlaar some time during the second century, which was ended by the Dragonguard in 2E 369. Circa 2E 428, High Rock was plagued by a werewolf crises that would become known as the Curse of the Crimson Moon, leading to the creation of the Order of the Silver Dawn, which is dedicated to hunting werebeasts.
The Second Empire collapsed in 2E 430, marking the start of the Interregnum. Left without a Dragonborn Emperor, the Empire of Cyrodiil was continually passed back and forth among petty warlords for centuries. High Rock fared much better than the other provinces at this time, despite being fractious in nature. Another Orsinium was accepted as a territory of the Second Empire during the reign of the Akaviri Potentate Savirien-Chorak. During that brief period, Frostbreak Fortress was built to help defend it. After the assassination of Savirien-Chorak in 2E 430, Orsinium lost its status and protection as an Imperial territory, resulting in another sacking of the city in 2E 431, an assault which was spearheaded by the Bretons of Shornhelm. The Bretons seized control of the land and scattered the Orcs across northern Tamriel.
In 2E 542, the Reachmen under Durcorach the Black Drake invaded High Rock, sacking Evermore and Camlorn. They were defeated at the gates of Daggerfall by Emeric of Cumberland, which led to the formation of the first Daggerfall Covenant, signed by the kings of Daggerfall, Camlorn, Shornhelm, Wayrest and Evermore. In 2E 563 Emeric became the king of Wayrest. Three years later, king Ranser of Shornhelm invaded Wayrest, angry at Emeric for rejecting his daughter's hand to instead wed Maraya, the daughter of King Fahara'jad. He was defeated at Markwasten Moor by the forces of the Covenant with the help of the Orcs, who were promised to have Orsinium returned for their aid. The Orcs aiding King Emeric would push Ranser over the edge, and he ordered his Spymaster to round up many Orcs in Rivenspire to be interrogated and executed. The Spymaster would end up murdering hundreds of innocent Orcs during the course of Ranser's War.
These events led to the formation of the Greater Daggerfall Covenant, which was an alliance between Emeric, the Redguard king Fahara'jad and the Orcish king Kurog gro-Orsinium. King Kurog demanded restitution for the ivory looted by the Bretons during the Siege of Orsinium as part of his terms for the Orcs to join the Daggerfall Covenant. Trade flourished under the alliance, making the Covenant an economic powerhouse. The Covenant later fought in the Alliance War during King Emeric's bid for the throne of Cyrodiil. The kings of the Daggerfall Covenant looked to Reman as a model Emperor, and saw themselves as the spiritual heirs to the Second Empire. Focused on "restoring the glory of Reman's legacy", the Covenant cited its focus on freedom, worship of the Divines, and primacy of trade as reasons it was meant to be the center of Cyrodiil's power.
Race relations between the Bretons and Orcs improved during the Covenant's existence, despite the persistence of anti-Orc sentiment. The Direnni elves were also accepted within the Covenant's borders.
The Third EmpireEdit
During the Tiber Wars, a Nord-Breton alliance captured Sancre Tor in 2E 852. General Talos recaptured the city and integrated the Nordic forces, impressed by his thu'um, into his own army. He executed the Breton leadership, and variously executed, enslaved, and sent the Breton forces back to High Rock. Those Bretons who remained sought to counter Talos with Reach-magic, and in 2E 854, entrusted a Reachman to assassinate Cuhlecain and his general. Talos survived the attack, and went on to found the Third Empire—though The Arcturian Heresy claims Talos himself slew Cuhlecain, and placed the blame on his enemies.
At some point in their history, the Bretons were ruled by witch-kings. Talos, now known as Tiber Septim, would easily conquer the squabbling Breton kingdoms, but would find it impossible to truly squash the sectarian conflicts between them that hampered trade and prosperity. Septim opted to entrust a governor of his choosing to end the feud between High Rock's witch-kings, which was a successful endeavor.
The Dream of Kasorayn foretold of druids retaking their place on Tamriel and a possible future where the druidic circles reestablish themselves as the Druids of Galen after uniting under the banner of a new Druid King.[UOL 7][UOL 8] Attempts to forcibly reclaim the past glory of the druids led to bloodshed during the First and Second Era, which prompted an outlook to instead look into a future where druids may not require a king or a prophecy to make the world a better place. Indeed, the Druids of Galen may not be resurrected, for Kasorayn's dream may simply be a metaphor. Druidkind should live life like it is close at hand, however. It is unknown what parts of the prophecy came true, but by the fifth century of the Third Era, druids were once again present in the regions surrounding the Iliac Bay.[UOL 9] "By the ArchDruid" is a common exclamation by Bretons of this era.
Since most Emperors in the Third Era were Bretons, or had spent their youth in High Rock, Bretons were generally supportive of Imperial rule, but were often disgruntled by its inefficacy at protecting them from violent conflicts. By the Third Era, there were eight major Breton kingdoms in the province of High Rock: Daggerfall, Camlorn, Wayrest, Shornhelm, Northpoint, Evermore, Farrun, and Jehanna.
The decentralized nature of Breton society has also given it surprising resilience during times of upheaval or chaos. One of the best examples of this was illustrated during the defeat of the Camoran Usurper, when four of the smaller Breton city-states—Dwynnen, Kambria, Phrygias, and Ykalon—led a united force of Bretons that managed to halt the Usurper's inexorable northward advance and finally defeated him in the Battle of Firewaves in 3E 267. Baron Othrok had already gained fame for his defeat of the Lich of Castle Wightmoor during the Battle of Wightmoor fourteen years prior, leading to the founding of the modern barony of Dwynnen which would eventually grow to be one of the more powerful city-states in western High Rock.
Other wars which occurred in High Rock during this Era included the War of the Bend'r-mahk in 3E 397, in which Skyrim conquered land in the east including the Kingdom of Jehanna. It later came to light that Jagar Tharn was behind Skyrim's aggression, and when Emperor Uriel Septim VII regained his throne following the Imperial Simulacrum, efforts were taken by the Empire to restore the damage caused by the war, and the Bretons presumably regained control of Jehanna at this time. At the other end of High Rock, the War of Betony was fought between Daggerfall and Sentinel over the island of Betony in 3E 405. The Battle of Cryngaine Field resulted in Daggerfall's victory, though at the cost of King Lysandus of Daggerfall's life. His son and heir Gothryd was crowned the new king of Daggerfall after the war.
On the 7th of Frostfall in 3E 417, as a consequence of actions undertaken by the Agent, the Warp in the West occurred. The roughly two dozen city-states comprising southwestern High Rock were suddenly, forcefully, and mysteriously united into two kingdoms: Daggerfall and Wayrest, with Orsinium taking control of part of the Wrothgarian Mountains in central High Rock. The Warp in the West reduced the amount of squabbling kingdoms in High Rock from "a hundred" to about five; according to Imperial sources, it was the most unified High Rock had ever been.
In the early Fourth Era, following the Oblivion Crisis and the destabilization of the Third Empire, the combined forces of Hammerfell and High Rock sacked Orsinium, leading many Orc refugees to flee east into Skyrim.
High Rock was still part of the Empire when Titus Mede II ascended the throne of Cyrodiil in 4E 168. High Rock assisted Hammerfell during the Great War. The Third Aldmeri Dominion took Hammerfell's southern coastline, leaving Hegathe the lone surviving state. Those who survived the March of Thirst joined Legion reinforcements from High Rock in northern Hammerfell in 4E 173, and the Dominion suffered losses in the province soon after. The Dominion withdrew from the Redguards' home in 4E 174. Forces comprised of Redguards, Imperials, Nords and Bretons participated in the Battle of the Red Ring in 4E 175. It was the climax of the war, and the last major conflict to occur before the signing of the White-Gold Concordat.
In 4E 188, King Barynia of Wayrest was overcome by paranoia when rumors of conspiracy reached his ears. He purposely left his city vulnerable to outside attacks, hoping his enemies would be killed in the chaos. His actions led to the sack of Wayrest by Breton corsairs. The city's nobles hired an assassin from the Dark Brotherhood amid the conflict, though Barynia's fate is ultimately unknown. The corsairs raided and destroyed the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary hidden in Wayrest, and departed the ruined city in the aftermath of their incursion.
Circa 4E 201, the Stormcloaks looked to their neighbors in High Rock for aid in the midst of the Skyrim Civil War. The Bretons, who had good relations with the Empire, refused to respond to the Stormcloaks.
Breton culture, despite its seeming homogeneity, is differentiable in each of High Rock's kingdoms due to the many subcultures of the regions of High Rock. For example, in the middle of the Second Era, the region of Glenumbra included Daenia, King's Guard and the Cambray Hills, which all have distinct elements in their culture that distinguish them from each other. In southern Glenumbra, Daenia is the home of the Bretons' quest obsession: the practice by which young serfs or peasants perform great deeds to elevate their societal standing. Thus, Daenian tales commonly include lowly individuals going on great quests to attain respect, glory and status. Consequently, the people of Daenia are reputed as having an independent spirit. Daenia is also home to the Wyrd subculture, and nature-worshipping witches reside in the region's dense forests.
The culture of Glenumbra's Cambray Hills, most prominent in Camlorn, is a mixture of different Breton cultures. Camlorn's aristocracy is comprised mainly of poets and artists, and the region is home to the famed Cambray Hills Academy of Art. The Cambray Hills are haunted, and ghost stories abound among the populace. Camlorn has served as an open market for goods coming in from the Iliac Bay and the waters west of High Rock, dealing peacefully with Daggerfall and Wayrest to its benefit. The swamp-dwellers of the eastern bogs are the Cambray Hills' largest subculture. Though apparently originally founded during the First Era, the modern iteration of the Barony of Dwynnen would be founded by the legendary Baron Othrok in 3E 253 after the Battle of Wightmoor, and would later come to be a center of culture in this region of High Rock during the Third Era.
King's Guard comprises the northernmost portion of Glenumbra. Named for the mountains that separate Glenumbra from Rivenspire and Stormhaven, the town of Crosswych is a notable center of culture. Crosswych is in the center of trade between Glenumbra and its neighboring regions, and as such it has become a melting pot of cultural aspects from different city-states. Food and dress are elements that have adapted as a result of the town's nature as a crossroads. The Red Rook bandit clan was a subgroup that originated in King's Guard as a loose group of hunters and highwaymen that targeted caravans traveling across regional borders. Kambria is another notable city in this region, renowned for its picturesque nature and many libraries. Kambria rules over the Kambrian Highlands region, which is still dotted with the fortresses that were ruined during the Tiber Wars.
The Bretons are intelligent and individualistic.[UOL 10] They value freedom, praising it in their tavern songs. The Propaganda of the Daggerfall Covenant during the Interregnum also put emphasis on freedom, and in 2E 582, the people of Evermore were allowed to freely criticize Queen Arzhela and the royal family, though many of them would later be discovered to be Imperial spies working on behalf of Septima Tharn and the Seventh Legion. In the Third Era, a prolific writer named Darius Shano is also said to have criticized nobility, commoners and the Divines alike, receiving much scorn, but only being executed after ridiculing Tiber Septim. Using excessive profanity in the presence of nobility in High Isle was grounds for being charged, however.
According to some sources, the Reachmen of eastern High Rock and western Skyrim are thought to share distant roots with the Bretons, but diverge severely in their culture and traditions. Living in close proximity with Orcish tribes, they adopted some of their customs and wild magic, mixed with ancient Aldmeri and more recent Nordic influences. Like the Bretons, Aldmeri blood runs through through the Reachfolk's veins, which stems from the Direnni Hegemony's occupation of the Western Reach in the early First Era.
Due to the innate magical ability of Bretons, children are tested for their magical potential at an early age, and those who pass enter apprenticeship programs funded by the Mages Guild or independent sponsorships. Children are known to practice illusion spells on each other in the streets of cities such as Daggerfall. In more remote regions, such as Glenpoint and the Wrothgarian Mountains, witches and medicine men, barely distinguishable from Orcish shamans, hold sway over the superstitious peasants with feats of untutored, but often impressive, magical ability.
It is a tradition for Breton parents to keep their childrens' bronzed baby teeth in a jar as remembrances. Some Breton families have retained heirlooms from their Nedic ancestors, and tea sets are a common antiquity among Breton family heirlooms.
Breton families host annual reunions during the summer, where they gather candleflies to serve as a source of natural light during dinner before releasing them into the evening sky after dessert.
Quilting and sewing circles are examples of hobby groups one might find in High Rock. A quilt of "lost hope" may be crafted by a Breton mother and daughter to work through past regrets and sorrows. Using malachite to make needles is popular among the Bretons of Eastern High Rock.
- →For more detailed information, see: Breton Death Beliefs
People of the northern regions of High Rock cremate their dead without exception, while burial remains common in the south. The Breton tradition of cremating the dead dates back to the days of High Rock's witch kings, with cremains commonly being stored in urns.
The Bretons of the south build stone cemeteries to house their dead, and the nobility has always been interred in ornate mausoleums. Many Breton cemeteries are designed to provide direct sunlight on certain graves on highly specific high holy days on the Breton calendar. The ancient cemetery of Cath Bedraud is home to the corpses of many generations of Breton royalty, constructed in a series of concentric bands atop a hill, with the oldest, most prestigious graves positioned in the high center of the graveyard. Southern Bretons also sometimes practice mummification.
- →For more detailed information, see: Bretic
The language of the Bretons is called Bretic. It is not widely spoken anymore, but the Sephavre (sung during the observance of Broken Diamonds) is written in Old Bretic. Before High Rock's integration into the Alessian Empire circa 1E 1029, some Breton nobility were known to write in Aldmeris as a sign of their pride for their Elvish heritage.
Druids speak in their own language. Occasional Druidic words have made their way into the local language of the Bretons from the Systres Archipelago. Druidic runes are referred to as draoifoglyphs.
The Bretons have been in Tamriel since before recorded history. Their holidays have remained almost unchanged since primitive times, though new holidays have been created to replace those which have lost popularity.
- Scour Day is celebrated by villages in High Rock on the 2nd of Morning Star, the day after New Life. It was once a day to clean up after New Life, but has changed into a party of its own.
- Waking Day was invented by the people of the Yeorth Burrowland in prehistoric times to wake the spirits of nature after a long and cold winter, but has evolved into a sort of orgiastic celebration of the end of winter. The Bretons of the Burrowlands share stories about the "Terrible Torchbug of Molag Bal" the night before Waking Day which vary but share the one consistent element of a fearsome, savage entity in the presence of blue torchbugs.
- Perserverance Day is celebrated in Ykalon, originally a solemn memorial to those killed in battle while resisting the Camoran Usurper but now a boisterous festival.
- Mad Pelagius is a newer festival held in mock honor of Pelagius Septim, the mad Emperor. Pelagius was the prince of Wayrest before he became King of Solitude and later Emperor, and Bretons jokingly boast that it was his time in High Rock that drove him mad.
- Day of Release celebrates Aiden Direnni's victory over the Alessians at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors. The most cheerful celebrants don festive garb just for the occasion. The day is spent drinking, dancing, and toasting.
- Flower Day is a lively, colorful and frivolous spring celebration observed all over High Rock which is just as old, if not older than Waking Day. Children pick new flowers, while older Bretons come out to welcome the season with dancing and singing. In Camlorn, a lavish parade called the March of Beauty precedes the Flower Festival, which occurs at dusk. During the march (which starts at the Temple of Sethiete and ends at the palace), prostitutes dance down the main street, dressed provocatively and in bright colors. A circle of twelve unlit torches and baskets full of flowers and vines are arranged around Cavilstyr Rock for the Festival. At sundown, the torches are lit, and the dancers from the parade (and soon after, the crowd) begin the event by pulling petals out of the baskets and filling the air with them. The spectacle is accompanied by music and dancing.
- The celebration of Gardtide hearkens back to the old cult of the flower, as the Bretons of Tamarilyn Point hold a festival to honor Druagaa, the old goddess of flowers. Worship of the goddess is all but dead, but the celebration is always lively.
- The Day of the Dead is celebrated in Daggerfall on the 13th of Rain's Hand. It is a remnant of ancestor worship, which was a hallmark of the ancient Breton religion. The superstitious say that the dead rise on this holiday to wreak vengeance on the living.
- Marukh's Day is only observed by certain communities in Skeffington Wood. Celebrants compare themselves to the prophet Marukh and pray for the strength to resist temptation.
- The Fire Festival in Northmoor is one of the most attended celebrations in High Rock. It began as a pompous display of magic and military strength in ancient days and has become quite a festival.
- Fishing Day is a boisterous celebration held by the usually modest Bretons who live off the bounty of the Iliac Bay.
- Dancing Day is celebrated in Daggerfall on the 23rd of Mid Year, and is a celebration of great pomp and merriment for all.
- Tibedetha (meaning "Tibers Day" in middle Tamrielic) is a great party held by the lorddom of Alcaire to commemorate Tiber Septim, who is perhaps the most famous person to come out of the region.
- The Bretons of the Wrothgarian Mountains celebrate Khurat as a day when the finest young scholars are accepted into priesthoods. Those lacking children of age pray for the wisdom and benevolence of the clergy on this holiday.
- Children's Day is a celebration of youth observed in Betony which began as a memorial to the dozens of children in Betony stolen from their homes by vampires one night, never to be seen again.
- In the 13th of Frost Fall, Bretons along with the rest of Tamriel celebrates the Witches Festival to defy their superstitious fears. Ghosts, demons, and evil spirits are mocked and celebrated by both occult occurrences and outrageous costumes. On this day, portals between Nirn and the Daedra Lord Hollowjack's demi-plane of Detritus are opened. At night, Jaque o' the Hollow is resurrected from his hidden hollow in Rivenspire, who then proceeds to curse riders all across Tamriel to ride headless throughout the night, clutching a carved pumpkin atop their mounts. This led to his legend spreading far east past High Rock.
- Broken Diamonds is observed in Glenpoint and the Glenumbra Moors on the 23rd of Frost Fall to remember the death of Kintyra Septim II, who died while imprisoned in Glenpoint's dungeons on the order of Cephorus I. The shame of Glenpoint is overwhelming; they feel the debt has not yet been repaid. The Sephavre, a song written in Old Bretic, is sung every Broken Diamonds.
- The Moon Festival is an older holiday celebrated by the Bretons of Glenumbra Moors to honor Secunda, goddess of the moon, just as the nights are growing longer. Though she has no active worshippers, the holiday is a time of feasting and merriment.
- Bretons celebrate Saturalia, a holiday that heralds the New Life Festival. Originally a holiday held to celebrate a forgotten god of debauchery, it has transformed into a day where gifts are given, parades are held, and feasts are had.
- Sovereignty Day celebrates High Rock's independence from the First Empire. Traditionally, Bretons have picnics on Sovereignty Day. Chefs and innkeepers in High Rock sell their own picnic collations for citizens to take on such picnics.
- Red Parade takes place in honor of Saint Pelin's sacrifice at the Bangkorai Garrison, an annual celebration is held where the priest's sacrifice is reenacted.
- →For more detailed information, see: Breton Cuisine
Breton cuisine is considered to be some of the very best in Tamriel, with many of Tamriel's greatest cooks having been Bretons. Breton cuisine takes advantage of the effects of alchemy through cooking, with specific ingredients not mattering but the principles of composition, the balance of essences, flavors, oils, and herbs; the preparation of these meals can cause them to act as a potion might.
The complexity of certain recipes means that some Breton cooks use sundials to track cooking times.
It is common practice for Breton families to store and serve cows' milk in porcelain pitchers. Goat's milk is used to make cheese by the inhabitants of Stormhaven, which Bretons prize for its moistness. Large ornate platters are used to present and serve beef roasts prepared in wine and spices for holidays.
Examples of a light Breton meal include grilled and deboned rock pigeons, combwort chutney, ballom pudding, and syllabub (milk and cider).
Breton villages and towns are varied depending on their location, for example, buildings in mountainous regions such as Kambria are fully stone. In southwestern High Rock, buildings are comprised of wood or stone with thatched roofs. Breton cities are described as having an austere grandeur. According to Imperial sources, function is valued over form, resulting in earthen, hand-crafted dwellings free from ornament. In reality, Breton architecture often features patternwork, sometimes exceptionally ornate; basic patterns include common Breton motifs such as the trefoil and basic knotwork, while more ornate examples on buildings such as castles, cathedrals, and guild buildings feature detailed friezes, bas reliefs, and intricate stained glass windows. Breton architecture features heavy use of the pointed arch, evident in their walls, doors, windows, and towers. Most people in High Rock live in small cottages in the countryside or townhouses in the cities; only the nobility and their servants live in large castles. Despite efforts under Tiber Septim to demilitarize the province by demolishing defensive structures, many villages are still surrounded by high walls, and fortresses dot the landscape.
Influenced by constant warfare, Breton fashion is very utilitarian with various flairs. Plate armor, tabards, and heraldry is part of the Breton image.[UOL 1] Those seeking to display their wealth do so through rich fabrics and glistening ornamentation. The nobility prefers clothing that is elegant yet austere, which harkens back to High Rock's tradition of knightly orders, which are militant but chivalrous. Breton men like to look good in their everyday wear while they're at their trades, while women may add a feminine flair to their clothing.
Armor and WeaponsEdit
Breton arts and crafts are influenced by their time under the Direnni. Examples are Breton armor and weapons, which are ornate but practical. They display a sophistication reminiscent of Elven elegance. Breton arms are described as standard fare, in that when one thinks of a sword, a Breton blade will typically appear. Despite this, Breton arms and armaments are not unvaried and have can have their own flair, such as that shields may be emblazoned with lion heads, or staves can be carved and adorned with enchanted gems.
The mass-produced, one-handed, double-edged heavy broadsword commonly used by the Imperial Legions of the Third Empire were inspired by elaborate, decorated Breton broadsword designs. Broadswords are commonly used with shields, and Bretons favor the heavy tower shield. Highland Bretons were the first to use the heavy two-handed sword called the claymore, but their Redguard neighbors quickly adapted them to their own styles of fighting. Breton bows tend to be longbows—weapons made of one piece of springy wood. Yew, elm, and ash are common in Breton longbows, as the wood is dense and strong, but flexible if tillered properly.
Breton armor consists of things such as leathers, chainmail, scale mail, and plate. Bretons see tanning as a fine art. Quality pieces can use soft hides from animals such as guars and cattle strategically placed at areas such as the joints of a gorget, or a wolf's hide for vambraces. The wealthy are known to add additional materials in the forging process of their plate armor to vary the color of their armor.
Druidic armorers, best described as plant-shapers, use their magic to improve their equipment's defensive and offensive traits. Their work is essentially vegetation carved and coaxed into intricate structures with near iron-like density. The wood used remains alive, aware, and unharmed. Druids also use leather for their armor, but with a sense of loss and respect for the animal it was harvested from.
- Earthenware is a common form of pottery in High Rock, and is used for goods such as chamber pots.
- There exists a sport called "Bretonball", which is played with rackets.
- Love charms are popular among Breton nobles and merchant lords who seek to improve their love lives.
- Breton merchant ships are large wooden vessels rigged with square sails.
The Bretons' largely agrarian and hierarchical society is feudal in nature. High Rock is segmented into city-states, encouraging petty nationalism and infighting between the kingdoms that span the region. Most Breton cities are sprawling trade hubs, with society being separated into social strata. The poor peasantry lies at the bottom of the hierarchy. Above them is the middle class, comprised of merchants and artisans, while the nobility and ruling families sit above them all. Additionally, there are the many autonomous knightly orders and the small magical elite, which considers itself above the others. The jockeying for power among the various monarchs and powers of the Iliac Bay region is a deeply ingrained, even cherished, part of Breton culture, Breton society is fractious and quarrelsome, but internal conflict all but seems to disappear when their way of life is threatened by outside forces.
The Breton obsession with nobility, status, and lineage can be traced back to their days as vassals of Clan Direnni. Though Bretons of lower status have several paths to prosperity, becoming a nobleman by performing quests and services to curry favor with various rulers is considered the best way, which has created a cultural "quest obsession" among young Bretons. The desire to find some great opportunity for fortune and glory has made Bretons venture all over Tamriel, even to such remote locations as Thirsk on the island of Solstheim, where one adventurous Breton once earned the position of chieftain. Many use their magical talents to earn success, such as undertaking an ancient Breton tradition by taking on the role of a court mage. They're often considered a friendly and humorous people, though there is little love lost between many Bretons and Redguards following the vicious War of Betony.
Bretons are said to enjoy intellectual pursuits; they often have an affinity for anything related to logic and ordered complexity. Their love of knowledge and affinity for commerce drives them into a host of careers, including trading, the military, sailing, medicine, textiles, manufacturing, writing, theology, philosophy, banking, all kinds of artistry, and other scholarly pursuits. The Invisible College of Daggerfall is one of Bretic scholarly institutions. Espionage has also proven to be one of their strong suits; Breton double agents, assassins, and spies have turned the tide of wars throughout recorded history.
Houses and Noble FamiliesEdit
- Petit (allegedly)
- Spenard (dissolved)
Across High Rock, traditions of the peerage differ slightly from region to region. The base rule of the eight kingdoms is that if a woman is ruling one of these areas, she is called the Queen. The husband of a Queen and the wife of a King is not necessarily of equal rank – they may not be Kings and Queens themselves. Their children are Princes and Princesses. Their grandchildren are also Princes and Princesses. If a male ruler dies, his wife takes the title Dowager Queen, providing there is not a Dowager Queen already. In the Kingdom of Daggerfall, it is permissible for there to be two persons with the same title. If a female ruler, who does not share rank with her husband, dies, there is no male equivalent to the word Dowager. Widowers of Queens usually take another title, either a lesser family title or one given by their children. There have been few men in the history of High Rock who have fallen from being addressed as King to being addressed as Mister at the death of their wife.
Other regions in High Rock are ruled by Dukes and Duchesses, Marquises (or Marquesses) and Marquises (or Marchionesses), Counts and Countesses, Viscounts or Viscountesses, Barons or Baronesses, and Lords or Ladies. This is theoretically listed from highest to lowest rank, but the ruler of a territory outranks all other nobles, regardless of title.
Counts usually enjoy less autonomy than dukes and duchesses, as their territories are subservient to the duchies they are part of. However, they serve as vital links to guilds, churches, and scholastic organizations that might otherwise receive less attention from the duchy's rulers. Beneath counts and countesses, peerage hierarchy flattens considerably. Barons and baronesses stand above most, but these titles rarely carry robust land rights. Instead, they serve as titles of honor, granting the noble certain privileges at court. Dignitaries should address barons and baronesses as "my lord" and "my lady" respectively.
Dwynnen, for example, is a Barony, and the Baron or Baroness of Dwynnen outrank any other noble in that territory, even Dukes and Counts. In theory, (again, this may not be the case according to local custom) the eldest son or daughter of a noble takes their parent's highest family title below their parents. Thus, the Duke of Northmoor, who is also the Marquis of Calder, had a daughter who became the Marchioness of Calder.
Kings and Queens are always addressed as "Your Majesty" in conversation; Dukes and Duchesses, "Your Grace". All other rulers may be addressed with their title and name, or Lord or Lady and their name.
One way of telling who is in charge of a region is to pay some attention to the names of taverns and shops in a region. By tradition, many of these are called names such as "The Duke's Fox" or "The Lady's Provisions." This, more often than not, is the title of the ruler. If the shop's name is, for example, "Lady Annisa's Provisions" or "Lord Boxworth's Fox," that is probably the name of a local titled merchant, not the ruler. A store with an unnamed ruler's title has probably been around for some time, and does not bother to change its name with the new name of the ruler.
- →For more detailed information, see: Breton Knightly Orders
Breton society is famous for its knightly orders, with notable examples including Daggerfall's Knights of the Dragon, the Knights of the Rose of Wayrest, the Knights of the Flame of Anticlere, and Dwynnen's Order of the Raven. Some Bretons served as knights under Clan Direnni sometime before the fall of the Direnni Hegemony. However, it is commonly accepted that Bretons established their militant orders of knights when they became independent from Direnni elves. High Rock's cultural history is founded on tales of such noble and chivalrous knights, which supposedly fought for Breton liberation and drove the Direnni back to Balfiera Isle. The knightly orders were founded to carry on the tradition of nobles-in-arms and to ensure the province would have defenders at the ready should invading armies come to their gates. The Lion Guard was one such order before the formation of the Daggerfall Covenant in the Second Era. Breton knights espouse the traditional chivalric principles of Breton society and are among the most prominent practitioners of High Rock's culture of questing.
Historically, members that made up Breton knightly orders were high-born, for they provided a place to go for excess children of the nobility. As High Rock became more prosperous, the merchant class became an acceptable alternative qualification to join. It is difficult for commoners to become knights, but having friends in high places can make becoming one easier. Knighthood is used to confer a measure of nobility, and it can be granted to people of the lower classes as a reward for significant contributions to society. If the position was not achieved through conflict, the membership is nominal only. An example are people that achieved the title through outstanding contributions to the economy. These "merchant knights" do not take up arms, but are instead expected to heavily contribute to their knightly order's finances.
Most competent knightly orders require applicants to have some degree of martial knowledge or skill before they are considered for membership. Less reliable orders may grant promotions in rank over a knight's nobility, wealth, or charisma, but generally, a knightly order will require their members to be skilled warriors so as not to tarnish the group's reputation. Etiquette, swordsmanship, archery and medical skill are factors considered when assessing potential recruits. The spell-knight is an archetype that encapsulates the Breton staples of knighthood and the arcane, while the druid-knight brings the druidic arts into the lifestyle of a knightly order.
Knights are addressed with the honor of "sir" or "dame." Knights subscribe to their own hierarchies and customs as dictated by their order. In most cases, these orders are governed by a marshal or a knight-commander. Regardless of the marshal's high station, their honorific remains the same.
One of High Rock's most notable heroes was the Breton knight Eleidon, owner of the eponymous shield. The Reachmen were inspired to breed their own hardy steeds when they saw the strength and flair of the mounted Breton knights they fought during their invasion of High Rock.
In older chivalric orders, heavy rings served as a knight's symbol of membership. Each of the Eight Divines have their own templar knightly orders as the militant arm of their respective temples.
Bjoulsae River TribesEdit
- →For more detailed information, see: Bjoulsae River Tribes
The Bjoulsae River Tribes (also known as the Horse-People of the Bjoulsae River, the River Horse Bretons, or simply the horsemen) are the indigenous groups of tribal Bretons that live in the Bjoulsae River region. While information on them is scarce, the horsemen are a nomadic, primitive folk that wear fur armor and bone necklaces, much like the Reachmen. As the name suggests, they are known for their horses. Their battle strategies and tactics are described as straight-forward, which is the "way of the horse men", in the book The Mirror.
- →For more detailed information, see: Druid
Druids (also known as vinebeards) are children of the land whose kind have their origins in ancient High Rock. They are practitioners of Y'ffre's True Way (also known as Druidism), in which one is to lead a life connecting with, valuing, and stewarding the growth of the natural world referred to as the Green. The eponymous god takes the forefront of their faith, with some reverence also being shown to the stars. The True Way is a promise made to the "groves, to the seas, to the sky", and under the Oak's Promise, druids are to "stand strong, stay true, and shelter all". Druids serve in accordance to Y'ffre's will in roles such as priests, arbiters, teachers, healers, and soothsayers. Druids have little interest in the quarrels of monarchies, often leading many to believe that they are pacifists. However, as champions of nature, they are not afraid to defend their ancient sites from the cruelty of civilization, as violence and death are natural.
Y'ffre and his Earthbones sacrificed themselves during the Dawn Era to create the Green, an act which bound Nirn to the laws of nature. Their voices are sought by druids so they may best be their advocate, and to ensure a life guided by natural principles and the willfulness of nature. Druidic spellcraft (which differs from the arcane) is said to be the first truly Breton creation, and its practitioners utilize the wellspring of primordial energy the Earthbones left behind, which flows via lines through the ground. Junctions where this resource intersects are known as "bonelines", places where druidic spells exhibit strange properties, and where prayers carry deeper emphasis. It can be harnessed by druids to overcome their physical limitations, shapeshift into various animals, terraform the environment around them, or even invoke natural disasters to consume their foes. Druids are also known animists who can call upon nature spirits to aid them.
- →For more detailed information, see: Wyrd Covens
Wyrd Covens (also known as Wyresses, Wyrd Women, Wyrd Sisters, the Wyrd, Ward-Sisters, Name-Daughters, and nature-witches), are female-only animistic witch covens that serve as wardens of the Green. They draw their power from the Earthbones, and revere nature and the elements. The leader of a coven is referred to as a "beldam".
The Wyrd originated from the ancient people that dwelled in High Rock who are referred to by retroactive nomenclature as the Druids of Galen. A religious schism brought about the Wyrd's separation from their druid brethren. The Wyrd abandoned civilization in favor of living in the wilds, and believe that they are nature itself: the forest, the plants and beasts within it, and even the weather. In contrast, while ancient druids revered nature, they were not keen to isolate themselves and worship the untamed wilds. The druids accepted what they interpreted as their "proper place" as people, and embraced the idea that civilization can coexist alongside nature.
Wyrd witches are primarily Breton, though membership also extends to outsiders, even those from other races. Once a singular entity, the Wyrd split into subgroups by the time of the last Druid King's voyage to the Systres. These sisterhoods remained behind on the mainland to safeguard the forests of High Rock, with some of the dozen or so covens even spreading throughout Tamriel.
The Bretons believe that two opposing forces have existed since before the gods were born. They are referred to as the Light and the Dark by some. They are antithetical to each other, and neither fit the mortal definition of good and evil. They are technically immortal, as they're not living beings, but they exist. The Aedra and Daedra are pale reflections of the eternal conflict between the Light and Dark. Their struggle creates energies that distort their surroundings, and those energies are so powerful that life can appear. The Light and the Dark are evenly matched, and will never resolve their conflict.
The undead and the Daedra tend to align with the Dark, as their natures are more akin to it. Mortals and the creatures of Mundus are more aligned with the Light. The evils of mortalkind are not always attuned to the Dark, but those that do are incredibly dangerous. Magic is believed to come directly from the energies swirling about both entities: the energies are impersonal intermingled. Black magic is more a matter of intent than effect. Destruction spells on their own are not black magic, but destruction spells hurled at innocent people are. The destruction of Daedra strengthens the light just a little, and the destruction of a Tamrielic creature strengthens the Dark in much the same way. The gods are believed to mostly align with the Light, save for a few who are more ambiguous. Mortals and those that reside in Aetherius can perceive traces of the Light and Dark; the Light inspires most mortals to behavior deemed good by human standards. What the denizens of Mundus can perceive of the Dark is utterly evil by human standards; those who have visions of the Dark are often driven mad. The Dark is described as an emptiness that draws the soul in to be twisted and destroyed.
Bretons are not disposed to "excessive religion", (though others claim otherwise) but most accepted the Aldmeri pantheon of gods while under elven rule, then made the transition to the Eight Divines under the First Empire. The Eight Divines are worshipped widely in mainstream Breton culture, but other traditional deities still persist nonetheless. Sheor, Phynaster, Y'ffre and Magnus have significant cults in High Rock.
The Dragon God of Time is acknowledged as the first of the gods to emerge from the Beginning Place. He embodies endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy. Akatosh is hailed by the Akatosh Chantry in the Iliac Bay, and the Order of the Hour is his sword. He is the patron deity of Wayrest and the Isle of Balfiera.
Arkay (also spelled Ark'ay) is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is associated with the seasons. According to a Breton story, Arkay was originally a mortal who ascended to godhood. As the God of the Cycle of Birth and Death, he is charged with keeping the balance of death and life in the universe. In the Iliac Bay, the Order of Arkay celebrates the Blessed Neutrality that Arkay stands for. They do not offer blessings, for to give favor or disfavor upon one would upset the eternal balance. Their libraries and sages are some of the finest in Tamriel. The Knights of the Circle are the military arm of the Order. Arkay is the patron deity of the Ilessan Hills and Shalgora. Arkay is also the patron of House Tamrith, who are devout followers of the Light. The scions of House Tamrith study the Way of the Light and obey Arkay's teachings. Their holy symbols bear the crest of House Tamrith and the symbol of the Light of Arkay. Arkay's holy relics can be used to combat the undead.
The Goddess of Beauty is very popular. She has many different cults dedicated to different aspects of her worship: some are dedicated to women, some to aesthetics and art, and others to erotic instruction. In the late Third Era, similarly to Hammerfell, the House of Dibella was responsible for the administration of temples dedicated to Dibella in the province of High Rock, and its militant branch, the Order of the Lily was also active in the province at this time. Dibella is the patron deity of the regions of Koegria and Menevia, and is venerated as a member of the Breton pantheon.
Jephre (also known as Jeh Free) is the God of the Forest and the spirit of the "now". Jephre is typically considered an elven god, and is understood to have turned himself into the Earth Bones and establishing the laws of nature. He is still revered by some Breton hunters and farmers. The Beldama Wyrd also worship him. Bretons respect the Vicars of Jephre, a group of his adherents who are known defenders of the natural world. The druids recognize Jephre as Y'ffre, the Green-King, the Slumbering Father of Nirn, and is their a primary deity.
The God of Wisdom and Logic is a favorite of Breton mages. He is the god of history, literature, law and contradiction. In the Iliac Bay, temples dedicated to him are known as Schools of Julianos. As their name implies, these temples are considered educational institutions. They are believed to have spread the term "magicka" to describe the "power associated with performing magic". The templar knightly order associated with the School of Julianos is the Knights Mentor. Julianos is the patron deity of the regions of Daenia, Dwynnen and Tulune.
The Goddess of Air is a patron to sailors and travelers. Legend holds she was the first to agree to Lorkhan's idea to invent the mortal plane, and she provided a space for its creation. Kynareth is associated with rain. The island of Betony is considered holy land of Kynareth. This was a factor for Daggerfall's involvement in the War of Betony. It was also the reason why the conflict escalated to the Battle of Cryngaine Field which ended the war. The Temple of Kynareth does her work in the Iliac Bay. In the Third Era, her Temple contained the greatest physicians in Tamriel; their ability to cure magical and mundane diseases was said to be unrivaled. The Kynaran Order is the militant arm of the Temple. Kynareth is the patron deity of Alcaire, Daggerfall and the Wrothgarian Mountains. The air spirits Amaro, Pina, and Tallatha, are acknowledged as the fingers of Kynareth by the Skeffington Coven.
Magnus is the god of sorcery, who withdrew from creation at the last second. He is represented by a golden eye, an astrolabe or a telescope, but a staff is his most common symbol. Legend holds that he can possess powerful wizards and lend them power. Breton followers of Magnus sometimes use wicker effigies as stand-ins for themselves when performing certain rituals.
One known Breton sect that worshipped Magnus is the Priory of the Golden Staff, the Priory believed in Magnus's grand design for the Mundus, and his disappointment at the flaws introduced into his creation. They also believed that some of the Magna Ge once sought a tool to unmake what had been made wrong, in order that it could be remade in accordance with the Architect's plan.
Mara is the Mother-Goddess, and is married to Akatosh in Breton lore. She is the patron deity of several regions of High Rock, such as Anticlere, Betony, Glenumbra Moors, and Northmoor. In Anticlere, the 21st of Last Seed is known as Appreciation Day, an ancient holiday of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It is considered a holy and contemplative day devoted to Mara, the goddess-protector of the region. Temples dedicated to the Divine are administered by the Benevolence of Mara, a religious organization dedicated to Mara and her teachings, and can be found in major urban centers throughout the province. The Maran Knights are a controversial knightly order dedicated to Mara and the protection of her temples.
Phynaster is an Altmer hero-god who is the patron deity and teacher of the Direnni. He is often worshipped by Breton mages who care about their elven blood.
Also known as the Bad Man, Sheor is the source of all strife. He originated as a god of crop failure, and is believed to have been introduced by the elves during their conflicts with the Nords as a demonized version of Shor. Some sculptings created by the Bretons' Nedic ancestors have been found in Glenumbra, which portray what appears to be their version of Sheor before he was villianized, paired with Mara as an Aldmer.
Stendarr (also known as Shandar) is known as the God of Mercy, and is the patron of magistrates, rulers, and knights errant. He is a god of compassion and righteous rule. Temples dedicated to the Divine can be found throughout the Iliac Bay and are administered by the Temple of Stendarr, a religious organization dedicated to Stendarr and his teachings, which offered healing and training to the population of the Iliac Bay. Some mock their compassion, calling them sentimental fools and tenderhearts; but everyone comes crawling to Stendarr when Sai, the God of Luck, abandons them. The Crusaders, also known as the Knights of Stendarr, are a knightly order dedicated to Stendarr which protect his temples against its adversaries, such as the Citadel of Ebonarm. Stendarr is the patron deity of Bhoriane, Phrygias and Urvaius.
Zenithar (often shortened to Z'en) is the God of Work and Commerce is a cultivated god of merchants, artisans, and middle nobility. His faithful tout him as a god "that will always win". He teaches Bretonkind that they will be rewarded if they work hard. He also teaches them to be wise in their spending, and to never steal from others. Many of his rewards are those of the spirit: being productive, whether farming, smithing, or creating, honors Zenithar. Zenithar wishes for his faithful to find joy in their work. In the Iliac Bay, the Resolution of Zenithar pays heed to the god. Zenithar is not merely the God of Merchants and Commerce; he is also a warrior god. The militant arm of the Resolution, the Knights of Iron, represent this part of him. Zenithar is the patron deity of Gavaudon, Kambria and Glenpoint.
Baan Dar (also known as "the Bandit") is noted to be a considerable force within the lands of High Rock by Arkan the Wise, a Second Era scribe to Daggerfall. The First Scroll of Baan Dar he transcribed goes further, by stating he manifests across Tamriel to aid people in times of need. Indeed, this aspect to his character is explored in the historical-fiction novel, King Edward, when Queen Aliera praises him along with other gods for bringing her husband Moraelyn and son Edward to her safely. He is known to be revered by the Thieves Guild branch in the Iliac Bay.
The Old Goddess of Flowers. A festival named Gardtide is still held in her honor on the 1st of Rain's Hand every year by the people of Tamarilyn Point, a coastal region of Menevia in central High Rock.
Ephen (also known as S'ephen) is the center of a temple-cult who worships him as The God of the Wild[UOL 11]. He was a Dunmer noble that was active during the early-First Era. In death, he was given the duty of safeguarding the Horn of Summoning and eventually the Staff of Chaos. Statues of Ephen depict him wielding a hammer, atop of an anvil of adamantium, and shrines dedicated to him can be found across the Iliac Bay.
The nature of Jhim Sei is unknown, although their sphere of influence may revolve around music, since they are compared to Jephre, the elven God of Song and Forest in the historical-fiction novel, King Edward. There are shrines dedicated to Jhim Sei across High Rock.
Mara's Tear and Shandar's Sorrow/Stendarr's SorrowEdit
Mara's Tear and Shandar's Sorrow are the ancient Bretonic interpretations of the moons and were originally mortal lovers in a forbidden relationship. After Shandar suffered a mortal wound defending his lover, the goddess Mara took the two mortals and placed them in the heavens so they could always be together, and the light of their love could shine upon the world as moonlight. Ancient druids had Mara's Tear and Shandar's Sorrow as a witness to sanctify rituals.
Notorgo is known as the Messenger God.[UOL 11] He is mentioned in the King Edward series of books, where Queen Aliera praises Notorgo along with other gods for bringing her husband Moraelyn and son Edward to her safely.
Little is known about this deity, except that it is associated with those in pursuit of lore.[UOL 11] Q'Olwen is worshipped in the Iliac Bay area, where shrines to him can be found.
Raen is the Breton God of Agriculture.[UOL 11] Reliquaries of Raen can be found across the Iliac Bay region.
Reymon Ebonarm is the God of War, a deity of some significance to the Bretons. He is featured in the Bretonic historical novel King Edward. He has shrines in the Alcaire, Daenia, Daggerfall, Dwynnen, Ilessan Hills, Kambria, Wayrest, and the Wrothgarian Mountain regions of High Rock.
Sai is the God of Luck. He was born a mortal and had the talent to spread luck to others, but not to himself. He became a soldier, but he was killed in his first battle just as it was won. Ebonarm appeared to him, and offered him immortality if he agreed to spread his luck around. He said the gods were overworked seeing to events, and thought that Sai's inborn talent would balance things out. He readily agreed, and he was told that he could keep his body for a time before it began to fade. Excessive worship of Sai causes the disease known as Sai's Affliction. Sufferers of the disease have been abandoned by Sai, and long for the god's presence. They are driven to incessant gambling, seeking proof of the god's favor. This usually leaves the victim in poverty or debt. Followers of Sai sometimes convert to worshipping Stendarr when Sai abandons them due to Sai's Affliction. Reliquaries dedicated to Sai can be found throughout the Iliac Bay region.
Sethiete (also called Seth) is a deity that is worshipped across Tamriel. The nature of Sethiete is unknown, but what is known is his influence. His places of worship are known as the Temples of Sethiete, and one of his temples is a landmark in the city of Camlorn that anchors the main street with the Royal Palace.
Vigryl (also called Vir Gil) is the God of the Sea[UOL 11] who is worshipped in the Iliac Bay area. People pray to Vigryl to bring them better weather conditions.[UOL 11]
The Bretons have saints that are affiliated with a god, and have usually performed great deeds.
Saint Ellenica was a priestess of Arkay. Her prayer book is a holy relic, and contains passages that can be read to put the dead to rest. She was buried in Flyleaf Catacombs with her prayer book, which was retrieved in 2E 582.
Saint Marben is a saint affiliated with Arkay. Saint Marben's Fingerbone is a holy relic of Arkay, and was buried at Sanguine Barrows until it was retrieved in 2E 582.
Saint Octavien was a Priest of Arkay who was slain with a scythe by Daedra worshippers. The broken scythe blade that killed Octavien is a holy relic of Arkay. It was buried in a tomb near Lorkrata Hills until it was retrieved by a Knight of Arkay in 2E 582.
Saint Pelin the Martyr was a Breton priest of Stendarr that ascended to the role of sainthood following his divine act in the defense of the Bangkorai Garrison in 1E 1029, which in turn, brought the province of High Rock into the First Empire of Cyrodiil. He had become a folk hero to the Bretons of Evermore and the greater region of Bretonic-Bangkorai, memorialized by the chapel of St. Pelin in Evermore, the Order of Saint Pelin, the knightly order of the Kingdom of Evermore, and the great cemetery called Pelin Graveyard.
Saint Stental slew the demon of Overlook Hill (also called "the Leaper"), rescuing the three Sisters of Kynareth from an untimely death. A statue dedicated to him was built where the demon was slain.
Saint Vitache is the Patron of Millers, Scissor-Grinders, and Bathhouse Attendants. She was honored daily by the millers of Northglen in 2E 582.
The Druid King (or Druid Queen and Archdruid) is more accurately described as a title rather than a person. It is a position for the highest authority among the druids, and a philosophical figure that is revered in High Rock. The role of Druid King is not inherited, as titles among the druids are earned.
The Druid King has the authority to bind and command the nature spirits safely, entities that are as unpredictable as nature itself. The Druid King has dominion over nature in that they can bring prosperity or make nature run amok.
Eleidon was a revered holy knight-errant that was sought after for his heroism. One of his many adventures involved him saving a baron's daughter from sure death at the hands of a warlord. The baron spent all his riches on the creation of his now legendary shield to show his gratitude.
Gyron Vardengroet (The Sage)Edit
Gyron Vardengroet is an immortal Breton wizard of legend that was born in the early years of the Second Era, and was prophesied by the Gods as a champion that would be sent down to guide others and bring wisdom. His exploits would earn him the title of The Sage, and Great Sage. Physically, he is described as a tall, bald, and bearded Breton with dark eyes, an indigo robe trimmed with gold, a pointed wizard's hat, and an intricately carved staff. He is the primary figure in the books The Sage, Feyfolken, and The Final Lesson. Gyron has monuments erected in his reverence in both High Rock and Hammerfell. He was listed alongside Voernet and Druid King Kasorayn as one of the most powerful Breton mages in history. According to Divayth Fyr, "Gyron Vardengroet" was not his real name.
I'ric Harad EgunEdit
I'ric Harad Egun (sometimes shortened to I'ric) was the Altmer archmagister of the Crystal Tower, believed to be alive sometime in the early-mid First Era. His name is widely known and is synonymous to the likes of Moraelyn, the Witch-King of Ebonheart, and Ebonarm, the God of War. According to the historical-fiction, King Edward, his name is implied to have significant weight, and so throughout the story, he is simply referred as the ArchMagister. He is worshipped at altars in High Rock and Hammerfell.
Kieran the Bard is a figure that is shrouded in mystery. He is the author of several popular stories, several of which are told in A Tale of Kieran. He has shrines called Kieran Theatres in Hammerfell and High Rock.
The Viridian SentinelEdit
The Viridian Sentinel protects the human inhabitants of northern Bangkorai from the beasts and witches that live in the forest. According to the legend of the Viridian Sentinel, long ago the Direnni forged a covenant with the Earth Bones to protect their settlements located throughout all of High Rock from the wild. The Bretons, who displaced the Direnni, had no such arrangement, and as a result their farms in Bangkorai were gradually overrun by the wilderness. The people were pushed to the brink of starvation, causing a young boy Greenward to pray to Stendarr for salvation. Stendarr taught him to forge a new pact with the forest, giving him the power to restrain the natural creatures within. He thus became the first Viridian Sentinel.
The Viridian Sentinel has great power over the forest, and can use this power to perform potent feats of magic. When the Glenmoril Wyrd became bound to the forest, they also gave some deference to the Sentinel due to that connection (though they had not been a party to the original pact). Although Viridian Sentinels were known for their longevity, over time, the Sentinel ages like other mortals, and must pass on his or her power and title to a new mortal before death. Their eyes age at a normal rate, however, and therefore a Sentinel usually requires a monocle when reading to counteract deteriorating eyesight.
- House Telvanni often prefers to hire Bosmer and Bretons as mercenaries to ensure they are left in peace.
- Bretons have a higher tolerance to alcohol but take longer to recover.
- Artist Dennis Mejillones, who created the NPC model art for Skyrim, mentioned this in regards to the aesthetic of Bretons: "I put all my [facial] features in the game, so I can make myself in the game, so I actually drew my eyebrows that's one of your options, and the facial hair -- all that stuff. So I even had screen capture somewhere of myself [as] my character the game, it was the Bretons." Jonah Lobe asks, "So basically the Bretons are Cubans?" to which Dennis responded, "Basically yeah, in my mind [laughs]!"[UOL 12]
- Julian Lefay, the game director of Daggerfall, has a thick Danish accent, and narrates the introduction and endings of Daggerfall himself. He also voices the Ghost of King Lysandus, which would mean the Bretons, at least those of Daggerfall possessed the real world Danish accent of Lefay. However, this was obviously not carried forward for later games.
- For Breton names, see here.
- For a list of notable Bretons, see here.
- For game-specific information, see the Arena, Daggerfall, Battlespire, Redguard, Morrowind, Shadowkey, Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO, Legends, and Blades articles.
- A History of Daggerfall by Odiva Gallwood — A relatively unbiased analysis of Daggerfall and the Iliac Bay
- Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death by Mymophonus the scribe — How Ark'ay was transformed from a shopkeeper into the God of Birth and Death
- Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock by King Eamond — King Eamond's Final Address to His Troops
- Banker's Bet by Porbert Lyttumly — A humorous story of what people will do for money
- Crafting Motif 5: Breton Style by Doctor Alfidia Lupus — Being notes by Doctor Alfidia Lupus for a series of pamphlets on the major cultural styles of Tamriel
- Etiquette With Rulers by Erystera Ligen — The etiquette of speaking with nobles
- Fahamal, Trader by Fahamal — A Redguard's thoughts on the Breton use of magic
- Holidays of the Iliac Bay by Theth-i — An overview of Breton and Redguard holidays commonly celebrated in the Iliac Bay region
- Legacy of the Bretons A series of musings by Stefan Mornard — A look at the cultural dual-nature of the Breton people
- Mara's Tear by Zhen — An ancient Bretonic story of the moons
- Modern Day Bretons: Man or Mer? by Vastyr Historian Filibert Beauchamp — A historian's treatise on why Bretons are more Mer than Man
- Systres History by Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim — A history of the Systres archipelago
- The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons? by Phrastus of Elinhir — A description of Bretons
- The Light and the Dark by Irek Unterge — A Breton man describes the Light and the Dark to his two grandchildren
- The Viridian Sentinel — A children's story surrounding the legend of the Viridian Sentinel
- Uncommon Taste by The Gourmet — A cook book containing recipes of a Breton origin
- Wayrest, Jewel of the Bay by Sathyr Longleat — A history of the city Wayrest
- Wyrd and Druid — The druidic origins of the Bretons, as told by a Stonelore archdruid
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons? — Phrastus of Elinhir
- ^ Systres History — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ a b c High Isle Preview—The Zone from the official ESO website
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ a b c Provinces of Tamriel
- ^ a b Daggerfall Covenant game guide on the official ESO website
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High Rock — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- ^ a b Skyrim - The Adventure Game Race descriptions
- ^ Anton Virane's dialogue in Skyrim
- ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our History — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Modern Day Bretons: Man or Mer? — Vastyr Historian Filibert Beauchamp
- ^ a b c d e f Loremaster's Archive - Tamriel's Dungeons — Dhulef
- ^ a b c d Loremaster's Archive - The Druid Circles of Galen — Laurel of the Stonelore
- ^ a b Breton Race Description in Arena
- ^ a b c d e Legacy of the Bretons — Stefan Mornard
- ^ Introduction to the Lore of The Elder Scrolls Online
- ^ a b Draoife Storystone codex entries in ESO: High Isle
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Wyrd and Druid
- ^ a b c d Crafting Motif 5: Breton Style — Doctor Alfidia Lupus
- ^ Breton Race Description in Shadowkey
- ^ a b c Breton dialogue topic in Morrowind
- ^ The Sage — Aegrothius Goth
- ^ a b c d e f Holidays of the Iliac Bay — Theth-i
- ^ a b King Edward, Part IX
- ^ Interview with a Dark Elf
- ^ The Real Barenziah, v 2 — Anonymous
- ^ a b Loremaster's Archive - House Telvanni — Divayth Fyr
- ^ High Elf racial abilities in Morrowind and Oblivion
- ^ Captain Blackheart's Log — Captain Blackheart
- ^ a b c d Meet the Character - Sir Stefan Mornard — Knight Commander Jourvel
- ^ a b c d e Sir Stefan Mornard's dialogue in ESO: Firesong
- ^ a b Count Damard Dufort's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ Varieties of Faith: The Bretons — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- ^ a b c Alana Relin and Commander Parmion's dialogue during A Step Back in Time in ESO
- ^ a b Knight of the Direnni passive during A Step Back in Time and The Nameless Soldier quests in ESO
- ^ a b c d e f The Knightly Orders of High Rock — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- ^ a b c Tamrielic Lore — Yagrum Bagarn
- ^ a b Dame Helenie's Quest — Sir Randyl of the Order of the Albatross
- ^ The Beast of Galen — Phrastus of Elinhir
- ^ Crimes of the Daggerfall Covenant — Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination
- ^ Breton Race Description in Daggerfall
- ^ The Infernal City, page 173
- ^ Illustration of a typical Breton male
- ^ Pointed Ears for Bretons during Character Creation in ESO
- ^ a b c Frontier, Conquest — University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ Druid Audrine's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ a b c d Exodus of the Druids — Druid Laurel of the Stonelore Circle
- ^ a b c d e A History of Daggerfall — Odiva Gallwood
- ^ Nedic Hex Totem codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- ^ Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of Shimerene
- ^ a b Once — Beredalmo the Signifier
- ^ Bailiff Erator's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
- ^ a b Manmer Coupled Idol codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- ^ Druid Farel's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ a b c d e f g Druid Ryvana's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ a b c d e Loremaster's Archive - Bretons & High Isle — Lady Arabelle
- ^ Wyress Demara and Wyress Linnae's dialogue in ESO
- ^ a b Wyress Matilde's dialogue during Sojourn of the Druid King in ESO: Firesong
- ^ Druid Peeska's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ a b Fragment: On Artaeum — Taurce il-Anselma
- ^ The Legendary Sancre Tor — Matera Chapel
- ^ a b c d e f Systres History: Volume 1 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ High King Emeric's dialogue in ESO: Firesong
- ^ Secrets of Amenos — Miramel Charascel, Chairperson of the Gonfalon Bay Historical and Social Society
- ^ Stonelore Circle Effigy codex entries in ESO: High Isle
- ^ Druidic Knotwork Body Tattoos body markings description in ESO
- ^ Crafting Motif 93: Ancestral Breton Style — Serge Serlyn, "Military Scholar of Much Renown"
- ^ a b c Druid King Kasorayn's dialogue in ESO: Firesong
- ^ a b c d e The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
- ^ Rislav The Righteous — Sinjin
- ^ a b c d A Life of Strife and Struggle — King Laloriaran Dynar
- ^ Tower of Adamant — Hrerm House-builder, Bards College, Solitude
- ^ a b Rislav The Righteous — Sinjin
- ^ The Last King of the Ayleids — Herminia Cinna
- ^ Day of Release information in Daggerfall
- ^ The Battle of Glenumbria Moors
- ^ Lady Clarisse Laurent Answers Your Questions — Lady Clarisse Laurent
- ^ The Horse-Folk of Silverhoof — Doctor Nabeth al-Gilane, Khefrem Academy of Yokudan Heritage
- ^ a b c d Wayrest, Jewel of the Bay — Sathyr Longleat
- ^ The Viridian Sentinel
- ^ a b Ring of the Pale Order codex entries in ESO: Markarth
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Varieties of Faith... — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- ^ a b Systres History: Volume 2 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ Redguards, Their History and Their Heroes — Destri Melarg
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other Lands — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Ra Gada: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b Sentinel, the Jewel of Alik'r — The Unveiled Azadiyeh, Songbird of Satakalaam
- ^ The Great Siege of Orsinium
- ^ a b c d Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Wild Regions — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ The Mirror — Berdier Wreans
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Orsinium — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ The Ashes of Our Fathers quest in ESO: Orsinium
- ^ From The Memory Stone of Makela Leki — Makela Leki
- ^ a b Tusks of the Orc-Father codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- ^ a b c Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
- ^ a b Systres History: Volume 3 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ Journal of Tsona-Ei — Tsona-Ei
- ^ The Sea Stone
- ^ Secession Stamp Block codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- ^ Noble Knight's Rest codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- ^ Systres History: Volume 4 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ Systres History: Volume 5 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ a b c d e f Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ Legacy of the Dragonguard — Kiasa-Veda, the Chronicler of Blades
- ^ Maiko K'Elmar's dialogue in Redguard
- ^ Systres History: Volume 6 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- ^ 2920, The Last Year of the First Era — Carlovac Townway
- ^ a b High King Emeric Answers Your Questions — High King Emeric
- ^ Atlas of Dragons — Brother Mathnan
- ^ Purifier's Journal — Purifier Cyrus
- ^ Crafting Motif 8: Orc Style — Doctor Alfidia Lupus
- ^ Frostbreak Fortress loading screen in ESO: Orsinium
- ^ The Royal House of King Eamond — Seneschal Derric Andras of Castle Evermore
- ^ a b The Fury of King Ranser — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- ^ Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
- ^ Orcs of Skyrim — Thora Far-Wanderer
- ^ Marisette's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Gerard Althen's dialogue in ESO
- ^ a b Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
- ^ a b True Heirs of the Empire — Erystera Ligen
- ^ Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
- ^ Orcs? Could Be Worse
- ^ Orcs: The Vermin Among Us — Absolon Sorick
- ^ A Warning to the Aldmeri Dominion — Erystera Ligen
- ^ Battle of Sancre Tor
- ^ The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
- ^ a b Corpse Preparation
- ^ Krisandra's dialogue in Redguard
- ^ a b Death cutscene in Daggerfall
- ^ a b Archdruid Orlaith's dialogue in ESO: Firesong
- ^ a b Druid Laurel's dialogue in ESO: Firesong
- ^ Breton exclamations in Arena
- ^ Breton exclamations in Daggerfall
- ^ a b c d The Fall of the Usurper — Palaux Illthre
- ^ a b c d e Etiquette With Rulers — Erystera Ligen
- ^ Map of Iliac Bay
- ^ The Warp in the West — Ulvius Tero
- ^ Lord of Souls
- ^ The Great War — Legate Justianus Quintius
- ^ a b Episode 2: The Corsair Conspiracy quest in The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood in Legends
- ^ Cicero's Journal - Volume 2 — Cicero
- ^ Dialogue between Ulfric Stormcloak and Galmar Stone-Fist in Skyrim
- ^ a b c Glenumbra's People — Aldous Brousseau
- ^ Cambray Hills Academy of Art Sketchbook item description in ESO
- ^ a b c Charwich-Koniinge, Volume 1 — Charwich
- ^ The Battle of Glenumbria Moors
- ^ True Heirs of the Empire — Erystera Ligen
- ^ Garel Green-Garters's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Usquebald Emax's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Moumou Edier's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Sextus Denter's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Marcius Cipius's dialogue in ESO
- ^ Nari Buteo's dialogue in ESO
- ^ A Royal Embarrassment — Aemilianus Falto, "A Concerned Citizen"
- ^ 16 Accords of Madness, v. IX
- ^ Timeo Dubroc's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the Mountains — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- ^ Fahamal, Trader — Fahamal
- ^ Bronzed Baby Teeth item description in ESO
- ^ Nedic Sword Pommel item description in ESO
- ^ First Era Rivenspire Tea Service item description in ESO
- ^ Temporary Candlefly Lantern memento description in ESO
- ^ Lovelorn Comforter item description in ESO
- ^ Lovelorn Quilt item description in ESO
- ^ Lost Hope Quilt item description in ESO
- ^ Malachite Needle item description in ESO
- ^ Breton Funeral Urn item description in ESO
- ^ Mummies in Daggerfall
- ^ Defiler Spirit in ESO
- ^ King Edward, Part I
- ^ a b Broken Diamonds — Ryston Baylor
- ^ House Tamrith Official Seal codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- ^ Isobel Veloise's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ Oakensoul Ring codex entries in ESO: High Isle
- ^ Scour Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ Waking Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ Blue Torchbug pet description in ESO
- ^ Perserverance Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ Day of Release Roisterer costume description in ESO
- ^ Travels in High Rock
- ^ Flower Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ a b Mystery of Talara, v 1 — Mera Llykith
- ^ Gardtide information in Daggerfall
- ^ Day of the Dead information in Daggerfall
- ^ Marukh's Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ Fire Festival information in Daggerfall
- ^ Fishing Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ Dancing Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ Tibedetha information in Daggerfall
- ^ Khurat information in Daggerfall
- ^ Children's Day information in Daggerfall
- ^ The Witches Festival Returns on the official ESO website
- ^ Elder Scrolls Online - Crown Crate Season Announcement
- ^ Hollowjack Rider Horse mount description in ESO
- ^ Hollowjack Rider Guar mount description in ESO
- ^ Broken Diamonds information in Daggerfall
- ^ Moon Festival information in Daggerfall
- ^ Saturalia Tree Decoration in Blades
- ^ Saturalia information in Daggerfall
- ^ a b Picnic at Pelin (A Horror Story) — DeWitte Bourbois
- ^ The Gray Host: A History Part 1 — Lord Archibald Laurent, Lordly Explorer
- ^ Gianna's dialogue during To Kill an Empire in Skyrim
- ^ The Infernal City, page 28
- ^ Bronze Windowsill Sundial item description in ESO
- ^ Porcelain Milk Pitcher item description in ESO
- ^ Cheeses of Skyrim: Riften, Falkreath — B.
- ^ Spiced Brewet Serving Platter item description in ESO
- ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High Rock — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- ^ Appearance of Breton settlements in ESO
- ^ High-Collared Coin Ball Gown costume description in ESO
- ^ Soiree in Camlorn Evening Suit costume description in ESO
- ^ Wayrest Suede Doublet Ensemble costume description in ESO
- ^ Corseted Riding Outfit costume description in ESO
- ^ a b c Arms and Armor of the Breton Champion, Vignac Antieve of Evermore
- ^ Garothmuk gro-Muzgub's dialogue in Morrowind
- ^ Bowyer and Fletcher — Hoary Durotzel, the Wood Butcher of Ska'vyn
- ^ Armored Knights Pack various costume descriptions in ESO
- ^ Y'ffre's Will Style motif description in January 2023 Crown Store Showcase
- ^ a b Crafting Motif 115: Y'ffre's Will Style — Nauriel Elaia, Head Arborist of the Systres Horticultural Society
- ^ Ceramic Shornhelm Chamber Pot item description in ESO
- ^ Bretonball Victory Plaque item description in ESO
- ^ Breton Love Charm item description in ESO
- ^ a b Famed Artifacts of Tamriel — Yagrum Bagarn
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ The Cake and the Diamond — Athyn Muendil
- ^ Thirsk, a History -- Revised — Bereditte Jastal
- ^ The War of Betony — Fav'te
- ^ The War of Betony — Vulper Newgate
- ^ Banker's Bet — Porbert Lyttumly
- ^ 16 Accords of Madness
- ^ The Refugees — Geros Albreigh
- ^ Crafting Motif 71: Coldsnap Style — Landal Gevont, Scholar of Goblins, Invisible College of Daggerfall
- ^ Battle of Sancre Tor
- ^ 2920, First Seed — Carlovac Townway
- ^ Words and Philosophy
- ^ Chance's Folly — Zylmoc Golge
- ^ Abah's Landing Merchant Lords — Tamonir, Master of Secrets for the Queen of Taneth
- ^ a b Noble Ranks and Titles — Hercian, Steward at Castle Navire
- ^ Albense Varin's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
- ^ Traditions of the Lion Guard
- ^ List of required skills for all Knightly Orders in Daggerfall
- ^ Crypt of the Heart - Draft — Ariana Dumas
- ^ Systres Knightly Orders — Edana Augier, Knight Chronicler
- ^ Witch Knight Charger mount description in ESO
- ^ Temples and Templar Knightly Orders in Daggerfall
- ^ a b The Light and the Dark — Irek Unterge
- ^ Akatosh Chantry faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Order of the Hour faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities for Wayrest and the Isle of Balfiera in Daggerfall
- ^ a b Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death — Mymophonus the scribe
- ^ Order of Arkay faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Knights of the Circle faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities for Shalgora and the Ilessan Hills in Daggerfall
- ^ House Tamrith Prayer Shawl item description in ESO
- ^ Inspirational Illuminations of the Light item description in ESO
- ^ House Tamrith: A Recent History — Chancellor Regina Troivois, the Department of Interior Affairs
- ^ House Tamrith Holy Symbol item description in ESO
- ^ a b c Alvaren Garoutte's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- ^ House of Dibella and the Order of the Lily faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities for Koegria and Menevia in Daggerfall
- ^ a b c d e f King Edward, Part II
- ^ Witch Cults of Northern High Rock — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- ^ Priest of the Green costume description in ESO
- ^ School of Julianos faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ The Ransom of Zarek — Marobar Sul
- ^ a b King Edward, Part XII
- ^ Knights Mentor faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities of Daenia, Dwynnen and Tulune in Daggerfall
- ^ The Daggerfall Chronicles/Narrative
- ^ Temple of Kynareth faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Kynaran Order faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities of Alcaire, Daggerfall and the Wrothgarian Mountains in Daggerfall
- ^ 2920, Hearth Fire — Carlovac Townway
- ^ Magnus Cult Wicker Effigy item description and appearance as a common contraband item from Glenumbra in ESO
- ^ Doombringer Celdina's Testament — Doombringer Celdina
- ^ Patron deities of Anticlere, Betony, Glenumbra Moors and Northmoor in Daggerfall
- ^ Appreciation Day in Daggerfall
- ^ Benevolence of Mara faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Maran Knights faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Temple of Stendarr faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Crusaders faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities of Urvaius, Bhoriane and Phrygias in Daggerfall
- ^ Mysteries of the Divines
- ^ Resolution of Zenithar faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Knights of Iron faction information in Daggerfall
- ^ Patron deities of Gavaudon, Kambria and Glenpoint in Daggerfall
- ^ The First Scroll of Baan Dar — Arkan
- ^ Parchment mentioning him during A Noble's Debts in Daggerfall
- ^ The Real Barenziah, v 4 — Anonymous
- ^ a b c d e f g h Associated shrine locations in Daggerfall
- ^ Mara's Tear — Zhen
- ^ Elder Verline's dialogue in ESO: Firesong
- ^ The Ebon Arm — The Imperial Library
- ^ a b King Edward, Part IX
- ^ Follower of Stendarr dialogue in Daggerfall
- ^ Gideon location and rumors in Arena
- ^ Saint Ellenica's Prayer Book quest item description in ESO
- ^ Matthiaume's Journal — Matthiaume
- ^ Edweg's Resignation Note — Edweg
- ^ Edweg's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- ^ Saint Marben's Fingerbone quest item description in ESO
- ^ Talisman of Saint Octavien item description in ESO
- ^ Cesabelle's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- ^ Saint Stental
- ^ The Statue of Saint Stental's location near Dreughside in ESO
- ^ Northglen Farm Opportunities — Marge Gaercroft
- ^ Map of Tamriel – Morrowind Codex
- ^ Races dialogue topic in Morrowind
- ^ Alcohol stats for Bretons in Arena
- ^ Daggerfall Cinematics
Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.
- ^ a b c d ESO 2022 Global Reveal
- ^ a b Leamon Tuttle's Posts — Leamon Tuttle
- ^ The Elder Scrolls Online lore interview – we won’t “step anywhere near” the Dwemer
- ^ Lawrence Schick and Phrastus on Altmer Culture
- ^ How Druids tie into the Breton Legacy section in Firesong DLC & Update 36 Preview
- ^ Xanathar's Library Archive/History
- ^ Twitch Stream of ESO Live Legacy of the Bretons Autumn Event, time stamp 59:10-59:26
- ^ Youtube Stream of Firesong DLC Guided Tour with the Developers, time stamp 25:33-26:08
- ^ The Dragon's Eyrie/Daggerfall
- ^ Marilyn Wasserman's Posts — Marilyn Wasserman
- ^ a b c d e f Daggerfall Preview
- ^ You're Finally Awake: Nine Developers Recount the Making of Skyrim