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Lore:Direnni Hegemony

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This article is about the empire that ruled High Rock. For the clan itself, see Direnni.

The Direnni Hegemony was an ancient Elven power that rose to dominance in High Rock around 1E 355. However, some consider their rule in the years leading up to its establishment as part of the Direnni Hegemony as well.[1][2][3][4] By the middle of the First Era the whole of High Rock was commonly called the Direnni Hegemony before collapsing almost completely in 1E 498. As an economic and military power, they were notable for their victories over the battle-hardened Nordic Empire of Skyrim and the nascent Alessian Empire of Cyrodiil. The Direnni clan had migrated to High Rock during the Aldmeri diaspora of the Middle Merethic Era, alongside several other families. The progenitor of Clan Direnni was Direnni Cygnus, who was said to have discovered the Isle of Balfiera and the Adamantine Tower and claimed them for her own clan. Some believe the Direnni left the Summerset Isles as they were following their destiny to rule from Balfiera, while others believed that they were exiled.[5]

During the Merethic Era[6] the Direnni came into contact with a Nedic peoples, known today as the Druids of Galen[6][7] (or proto-Bretons).[UOL 1][8] Whether these Nedes were native to High Rock or migrated is still debated in scholarly circles, but regardless Clan Direnni exerted its influence upon them and established the feudal system whereby they ruled the Nedes as a noble caste.[9][10][6][UOL 2]

Rise to PowerEdit

By the early First Era the Direnni had become an economic and military power but had to contend with the rampaging Nordic armies of Vrage and his Skyrim Conquests in 1E 222, which saw much of High Rock being annexed under the First Empire of the Nords. Indeed, Vrage's pretext for war was that he believed the enslaved Bretons were descendants of captured Nords from the Night of Tears.[11] The Direnni and the other Aldmer clans kept hold of their lands and were aided in battle by many of their Breton vassals, while Nords founded fortified towns, such as Daggerfall, along the coasts to support their pillaging parties.[12]

It is speculated that there was internal strife between the various Aldmer clans of High Rock.[UOL 3] A century later despite the infighting between the various clans over who would rule, the Direnni prospered and rose to dominance through political manoeuvring and various machinations around 1E 355, establishing the Direnni Hegemony in earnest.[13] It was during this time the First Empire of the Nords was approaching its final years, and in one of its last campaigns attacked the Western Reach with the aid of Emperor Ami-El of Cyrodiil in 1E 358. The campaign failed and Skyrim lost more and more of Greater Bretony to the Direnni.[UOL 4] With the rise of the Alessian Order in Cyrodiil in 1E 361, many fleeing Ayleids migrated to High Rock to escape persecution in an exodus known as the Ayleid Diaspora. Most notabally Laloriaran Dynar, who was welcomed by the Direnni and given lands to settle in 1E 375.[14][15] Scholars speculate that the rise of the Direnni Hegemony may be linked to influx of Ayleids into High Rock.[16]

Only fourteen year after the Nord's failed invasion of the Western Reach, the War of Succession erupted in Skyrim in 1E 369, greatly weakening them. The Direnni Hegemony took full advantage of their internal strife and pushed out the Nords, ending almost 150 years of Nordic occupation.[17][12] In 1E 461, Ryain Direnni purchased the Isle of Balfiera, strengthening the Direnni Hegemony's claim over the isle,[18] and later warred with High King Kjoric the White of Skyrim. With the aid of Laloriaran Dynar, the Direnni emerged victorious and continued their military expansion.[14]

By 1E 477, the Direnni Hegemony managed to conquer High Rock entirely, and even some parts of Skyrim and Hammerfell,[13][14][18] going as far east as Markarth and Elinhir.[10] The Direnni Hegemony had become formidable enough to pose a continued threat to its neighbors, and at the peak of their power controlled nearly a quarter of Tamriel.[12]

The FallEdit

Balfiera, home of Clan Direnni

In 1E 478, the Alessian Empire under Emperor Gorieus was bearing down on its rebellious vassals and launched an attack on the Colovian Estates. After King Rislav Larich of Skingrad routed Gorieus' army, the Direnni were inspired to outlaw the religion of the Alessian Reform throughout High Rock, and began pushing into Imperial territories.[18] Soon after, the Direnni Hegemony joined the resistance alongside High King Hoag Merkiller of Skyrim. Ryain Direnni outlawed the Alessian Reform and executed its missionaries. Direnni forces began to harass the Colovian West, pushing into the Heartlands. Following the Direnni involvement in Cyrodiil, the Alessians retaliated and began conquering territories of the Direnni Hegemony. By 1E 479 Craglorn had fallen to the Imperials.[14]

Although the Aiden Direnni pushed back in 1E 480 and led a series of minor but important victories against the Alessians in High Rock, it was clear the Direnni were in need of more troops.[19] Aiden Direnni signed the Rights Charter out of necessity, in efforts to muster troops for the coming conflict.[20] Daggerfall became a minor base of operations for the Direnni and their allies.[17]

The conflict with the Alessians came to a head at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors in 1E 482. Aiden's army defeated the Alessians on the 8th of Sun's Dawn with the assistance of Breton knights,[21][22] the last Ayleid king and Hoag Merkiller.[23][24] Although the Alessians were crushed at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors, the victory weakened Direnni power in High Rock. In the following years it became evident that the scattered and exhausted Direnni had overextended their reach. Year-after-year the Direnni could no longer challenge the emerging Breton nobility, who seized power throughout most of High Rock by 1E 498. Losings all the territory they had gained, the Direnni were forced to fall back to their original home on Balfiera. Increasingly vilified by their former vassals, the island clan became ever more insular and isolationist thereafter.[11][12][9]


  1. ^ Systres History: Volume 1Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
  2. ^ Exodus of the DruidsDruid Laurel of the Stonelore Circle
  3. ^ Druid Ryvana's dialogue in ESO
  4. ^ Druid Audrine's dialogue in ESO
  5. ^ Bailiff Erator's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  6. ^ a b c Modern Day Bretons: Man or Mer? — Vastyr Historian Filibert Beauchamp
  7. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Tamriel's DungeonsDhulef
  8. ^ Loremaster's Archive - The Druid Circles of GalenLaurel of the Stonelore
  9. ^ a b The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons?Phrastus of Elinhir
  10. ^ a b OnceBeredalmo the Signifier
  11. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  12. ^ a b c d Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  13. ^ a b The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
  14. ^ a b c d A Life of Strife and StruggleKing Laloriaran Dynar
  15. ^ Ayleid Survivals in ValenwoodCuinur of Cloudrest, 4th Tier Scholar of Tamrielic Minutiae
  16. ^ The Last King of the AyleidsHerminia Cinna
  17. ^ a b A History of DaggerfallOdiva Gallwood
  18. ^ a b c Rislav The RighteousSinjin
  19. ^ The Final LessonAegrothius Goth
  20. ^ A Life of Strife and StruggleKing Laloriaran Dynar
  21. ^ Alana Relin's dialogue during A Step Back in Time in ESO
  22. ^ Commander Parmion's dialogue during A Step Back in Time in ESO
  23. ^ The Last King of the AyleidsHerminia Cinna
  24. ^ Five Songs of King Wulfharth

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.