Eyevea (the long-lost Sanctuary) is a small island in the Abecean Sea, far west of mainland Tamriel. Geographically it is part of the Summerset Isles archipelago, found to the northwest of the main island, although it is owned by the immortal Arch-Mage Shalidor of Skyrim, who bought it from the Altmer. It was once transported to the Shivering Isles until its return to Nirn during the Planemeld.
Eyevea was always a beautiful site, and the Altmer traded the outlier island to Shalidor for baubles and minor artifacts "of no real consequence". In the early First Era, Shalidor established the island as a retreat and sanctuary for all mages. Altmeri architecture was used in the construction of the island's facilities, which included docks, workshops, bridges and halls. However, Shalidor traded Eyevea to the Daedric Prince Sheogorath for the Folium Discognitum, a tome of knowledge which he had been obsessed with obtaining. The island was duly spirited away to Shivering Isles, where it would remain for thousands of years. It can be assumed that the island was therefore subjected to the Greymarch, possibly several times.[nb 1] Its time in the realm also seemingly resulted in the introduction of indigenous Mushroom Trees to the island.
Shalidor went on to regret trading away the island, feeling that he had been tricked by the Mad God. In 2E 582, the Mages Guild was expelled from Cyrodiil and became fractured due to the Alliance War, despite claiming neutrality in the war. Although he had had nothing to do with the guild in life, Shalidor returned to the affairs of mortals in order to win back Eyevea from Sheogorath so that it could serve its original purpose and act as a sanctuary for the guild.
Sheogorath agreed to give Shalidor the means of reclaiming the island, if his champion agreed to complete four trials for the Prince's amusement. An adept of the Mages Guild agreed to undertake the Trial of Eyevea, and was then subjected to various inane tests. At the end of each trial, the guild was given a tome containing clues to returning Eyevea to Mundus. Valaste, the guild's Master of Incunabula, took on the burden of decrypting these books, as Shalidor himself was forbidden to read them. The guild was eventually successful in restoring the island, but as a final test Sheogorath neglected to remove Eyevea's Daedric guardians before returning it. As such, it was swarming with Golden Saints and Dark Seducers, which needed to be cleared out. With that done, the adept was forced to fight Haskill to finally clear the island of Sheogorath's influence.
The island was subsequently occupied by the Mages Guild, which opened portals in every guildhall in Tamriel to allow access. As well as acting as a center of magical learning, Eyevea also became home to a guild vault, and merchants were allowed to peddle their wares as long as they paid a tithe to the guild. War-related infighting proved to be a problem due to the diverse range of guild members the island attracted, although guildmaster Vanus Galerion took measures to prevent it. The island also contained legendary crafting sites, where items crafted would obtain certain innate magical traits due to the creative echoes of the original master crafters. During the concurrent Alliance War, High King Emeric was privately highly supportive of the island, while the Crowns were seeking to ban any Guild member that studied in Eyevea from working with the military.
Bird's-eye view of Eyevea circa 2E 582
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.