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Lore:Crystal Tower

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Crystal Tower
Type Tower
Continent Tamriel
Province Summerset Isles
Appears in Arena, ESO
The Crystal Tower circa 2E 582
The Tower during the Imperial Simulacrum

The Crystal Tower (also called the Crystal-Like-Law[1] or Lawful Crystal[2]) was an ancient, mystical structure located near the northern tip of Summerset Isle, northwest of Cloudrest. It was built by the early Aldmer as a monument to their ancestors, and was considered sacred to the Altmer.

Before the construction of the Arcane University, it was the pinnacle of magical learning in Tamriel. The top of the Crystal Tower was reserved for interring the dead. While describing the tower, Ria Silmane mentioned to the Eternal Champion a claim that the southernmost tips of the Dragon's Teeth Mountains of mainland Tamriel could be seen from the top parapet of the tower.[3] The interior of the tower was white and radiated light. It contained a Great Library and a treasury with many ancient tapestries and other relics,[4][5] such as Topal the Pilot's old maps.[6] The Crystal Tower was also famed for The Bestiary, a menagerie of many dangerous creatures which were tended by trolls.[7][8]

The Crystal Tower was one of the mythical Towers that stabilize the Mundus. It was present in all realms of the Aurbis simultaneously, acting as a gateway to all realities. The Tower's Stone was called Transparent Law, which was placed at the Tower's summit on Nirn. It has been theorized that control of the Crystal Tower—through Transparent Law—could grant one omnipresence in the entire Aurbis.[9] In order to prevent its misuse, the Sapiarchs created a key in the form of the two Resolute Diamonds, artifacts that required one to be attuned to both before being able to enter the Crystal Tower.[10]


During the construction of the Crystal Tower, the system of "inter-evocative hermetic harmonic resonance" was developed and persisted into the Second Era.[11] The magical Sword of the Magus-Lord was forged in the Tower, and was said to be a gift from Auriel to one of his most powerful battlemages.[12]

I'ric Harad Egun was once the Archmagister of the tower.[13] Sometime in the early-mid First Era, he inducted Moraelyn into the Crystal Tower, making him the first non-High Elf to learn from there.[14] In his time at the tower, he utilized trolls as guards, to keep festering rats away. Many years later, both I'ric and Moraelyn traveled to the Kingdom of Daggerfall, to take the eight-year-old Prince Edward from the castle, and reunite him with his mother at the distant city-state of Firsthold.[15]

Second EraEdit

Some after the founding of the Mages Guild, Gyron Vardengroet studied at the Crystal Tower. His coming was supposedly foretold by which told of the Gods sending one of their own down to Nirn to provide guidance, knowledge, and aid. Though Gyron found this hard to believe, he agreed to stay and study at the Crystal Tower for some time. Eventually Gyron surpassed even the mages of the Crystal Tower, and Esthlainder of the Council of Wizards informed him the Tower could offer nothing more for him that he did not already know. Esthlainder told Gyron that only by traveling throughout Tamriel itself could he seek further wisdom and knowledge. Though he was sad to see Gyron leave the Crystal Tower, the Elder gave him three gifts: an indigo robe trimmed with gold, a pointed wizard's hat, and an intricately carved staff, all identical to those in Esthlainder's possession. From that point on, Gyron would be known as The Sage.[16]

In the early Second Era, the three Daedric Princes Clavicus Vile, Mephala and Nocturnal conceived a plot to steal the Heart of Transparent Law, making a deal with the Sea Sload K'Tora to make Iachesis—the leader of the Psijic Order—steal it using mind magic. Iachesis, however, managed to hide the Heart within himself. Circa 2E 582 the three Princes discovered this and killed Iachesis. However, Nocturnal betrayed the other Princes by taking the Heart for herself. She attempted to take control of the Crystal Tower by herself and rewrite the multiverse with its power. Her plan was foiled by the Psijic Order and the Vestige, assisted by the two betrayed Princes and a champion of Meridia. Clavicus granted the Psijics access to the Crystal Tower's counterpart in the Fields of Regret, while Mephala permanently merged the two Resolute Diamonds together into the Resolute Anchor so that they could enter the Tower without Nocturnal destroying them. Once inside, the divine power of Meridia's Dawnbreaker was used to restore Transparent Law and end Nocturnal's plot. As a side effect of this battle, however, the merging of the Resolute Diamonds meant anyone would be able to enter the Tower at will.[10]

Third EraEdit

The Sapiarchs would find themselves needing to work alongside the Mages Guild to devise new ways to protect the Crystal Tower from the public in the wake of these changes. During the Imperial Simulacrum, the Tower itself was hidden and its location was forgotten by all, making it the perfect spot for the usurper Jagar Tharn to hide a piece of the fractured Staff of Chaos. The Eternal Champion would eventually locate the tower by recovering the Resolute Anchor from the Temple of the Mad God after it was stolen from the Mages Guild of Lillandril. Utilizing the diamond and a map specially prepared by the Guild, the Champion re-discovered the tower and recovered the piece of the Staff of Chaos after surviving yet another attack from Jagar.[7]

With the tower's location once again known, it became an early target for a radical sect of a group called The Beautiful in the years leading up to the Oblivion Crisis (known to the Altmer as the Great Anguish). Under the belief that the only way for the Altmer to move forward was to let go of the past, they attempted to destroy the Crystal Tower itself. Though these attempts would end in failure, the organization would go on to commit many other acts of terror, the most notable of which was the murder of the princess of Shimmerene.[5]

Unfortunately, the Crystal Tower's luck would end during the Crisis itself. Refugees from all across the Summerset Isles poured into the Tower, believing it to be impenetrable to the invading hordes of Daedra. When the armies of Dagon inevitably arrived, they turned their full attention onto the destruction of the monument. The Altmer attempted to hold the line against the invaders, but even they couldn't stop the Crystal Tower from collapsing from the tremors the daedra had caused.[1]


See AlsoEdit