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Lore:High Isle

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High Isle
Type Island
Continent Tamriel
Region The Systres
Subregions Oakenvald
Sapphire Coast
Demonym(s) High Islander
Appears in ESO
High Isle is the largest island in the Systres
High Isle

High Isle is the largest island of the Systres archipelago, which is located far to the southwest of Hammerfell and northwest of Summerset Isle.[1] High Isle serves as the center of politics and commerce for the island chain, predominantly from the port city of Gonfalon Bay and the Dufort Shipyards.[2] High Isle is the southernmost island of the archipelago as well as the most populated. It is known for its idyllic and vibrant summer landscape and its friendly population. On its southeast coast is the largest city in the region, Gonfalon Bay and deep in its interior is a basin that houses the All Flags Harbor, where the many captains of the eponymous naval fleet gathered for their incursion of Thras. High Isle, like the rest of the archipelago, is volcanic, and there are plenty of steam vents, hot springs, and other such features in the island's back country.[3] The southern half of High Isle is the Sapphire Coast, while the northern is Oakenvald.[UOL 1]

The island's name was coined by Duchess Martinne Guimard, a noblewoman who bought the Systres in 1E 2327. A year later during the region's induction ceremony, she dubbed its largest island, "High Isle", in honor of the Breton's ancestral homeland of High Rock.[4]

Harbor Island is located just south of the isle, connected via bridge to Gonfalon Bay and acting as an extension of the city's land.[5][3]


First EraEdit

Map of western Tamriel showing the Systres
The coast of High Isle, looking towards Y'ffelon

According to the druids, the archipelago has a special connection to Y'ffre.[6] The Systres were first settled by the Druids of Galen around 1E 330, fleeing the power struggles between the rising Direnni Hegemony and Alessian Order. These Breton druids supposedly followed "a song on the wind", which led them to the island of Y'ffelon, though other legends state they were guided by an Elder Scroll. The druids claim they used the power of the Earthbones to transform the volcanic Y'ffelon into a verdant paradise. After this the druids set out across the Eltheric Ocean, transforming the nearby islands as well. During this golden age the druids fractured into the Stonelore, Eldertide, and Firesong Circles.[7]

In 1E 2241 the Colovian King of Anvil, Bendu Olo, called for a fleet to sail against Thras and avenge the Thrassian Plague. Olo was soon joined by the other nations of Tamriel, and the fleet was dubbed the All Flags Navy.[8] In 1E 2243, the All Flags Navy and its founding members landed on the Systres Archipelago to begin construction of the fleet, and to prepare for war against the Sload of Thras. Colovian engineers and their Breton and Orcish laborers began work on building shipyards across the isles, with the two significant shipyards being the ones in All Flags Harbor and Gonfalon Bay.[9] After the navy's victory over Thras, their master builder, Tobin Moorcroft wanted to build a monument to the navy's leader, Baron-Admiral Bendu Olo.[10]

Although the project was initially rejected by Bendu Olo himself, it was revived years later after the monument on All Flags Islet finished construction in 1E 2274. Tobin Moorcroft spearheaded the project and chose a rocky island southeast of Gonfalon Bay as the place to build it. He created an expert team of stone-carvers and craft-mages,[10] as well as a large force of Breton workers to turn the rock into a work of art. Many of these Breton workers brought their families from High Rock to live on High Isle and built villages around the shipyards, more specifically near Gonfalon Bay. The Colossus of Gonfalon Bay was completed in 1E 2290 and an elderly Bendu Olo returned to the islands to accept this honor.[4] The statue has since stood over the island as a key attraction to the city.[10] Despite the high Breton influence the islands became a part of Colovia as one of Bendu Olo's holdings. When High Rock seceded from the Empire several decades later in 1E 2305 the Colovians refused orders from the emperor to exile its Breton population, claiming it to be too costly.[7]

Gonfalon Bay, the largest settlement on High Isle.
All-Flags Islet.

When Colovia followed High Rock's example and declared independence in 1E 2321, the War of Righteousness broke out.[11] The cost of the ensuing war forced the Colovians to put non-essential territory, leading a group of Breton coin-barons led by Duchess Martinne Guimard to purchase the Systres for an undisclosed sum in 1E 2327. When Duchess Guimard visited the Systres for the first time the following year she dubbed its largest island "High Isle" after the Breton homeland of High Rock.[7]

House Guimard ruled the Systres for one hundred and fifty years before falling into disfavor because of a jilted marriage proposal, leading the islands to fall into the hands of House Mantel. House Mantel's reign was short-lived however, as in 1E 2484 Mount Firesong erupted once more, shattering the shipyards, damaging the All Flags monument, and claiming the lives of nearly one-third of the archipelago's inhabitants, including nearly all of the nobility. Calls for aid to the mainland were ignored, and the Systreans soon found themselves facing starvation and illness, killing thousands. Systrean society was on the brink of collapse when the druids of the Stonelore Circle resurfaced, providing the people with food and fresh water. This prompted a short, but significant renaissance of druidic faith known as "the Green Years". While the druids did not reestablish their rule over the islands they did earn a place of respect and bolstered ranks.[7]

The Systrean pastoral renaissance ended on the 11th of Sun's Dusk in 1E 2704, when the emissaries of the Second Empire arrived onto Gonfalon Bay with an entourage of Breton coin-barons to re-establish the Systres as property of Cyrodiil. These coin barons brought about the immediate return of the island's feudalism, but this time under Reman and later Versidue-Shaie's banner. The Breton overseers cultivated a reputation of joyful compliance and servility as they proudly waved the Potentate's banner in Gonfalon Bay, but behind this facade, they planned their escape from his rule.[12] Several revolts broke out against Imperial rule, most prominently by the Eldertide Circle, but none were successful.[7]

Second EraEdit

Castle Navire, seat of power of House Dufort.
Gonfalon Bay after the Empire's arrival

By 2E 110, a patriarch of the Breton noble house, Mornard, was instated to be the Imperial Governor of the Systres,[13] with another House, Dufort, arriving to the archipelago in 2E 125.[14] Both houses soon established mercantile empire on the Systres, and would eventually be granted noble titles, with House Mornard becoming Dukes of the Systres as vassals of the Gardner kings of Wayrest and lieges of the Dufort Barons.[13]

The following years saw the partnership of the two houses devolve into a rivalry, attributed by some to the madness of Baron Densil Dufort,[14][15] which was only exacerbated by the start of the Interregnum in 2E 430. House Mornard and House Dufort's jockeying for power in the court of Wayrest eventually came to a head in 2E 478, when Duke Ruffe Mornard seized a full third of House Dufort's lands and exiled its leadership to Amenos, claiming sedition against the crown with a raft of forged documents and forced testimony. The Gardners viewed the coup with suspicion but were unable to interfere due to troubles with an ascendant Camlorn.[7]

In 2E 563 the Knahaten Flu reached the Systres, slaying commoner and noble alike. Duke Avrippe Mornard ordered the archipelago sealed off in 2E 565, causing trade to stagnate, which caused Duke Avrippe to fall into disfavor in Wayrest's court. When King Ranser of Shornhelm attacked Wayrest in 2E 566 Duke Avrippe allied with him, forsaking ties of vassalage, but King Emeric of Wayrest managed to bring together an alliance to defeat Ranser. Once matters on the mainland were settled and Ranser had been defeated Emeric turned his eyes to the Systres, stripping Duke Avrippe of his titles and exiling him to Cyrodiil. The duchy was granted to House Dufort, while Avrippe's son Leonard was left with a county and rule over the island of Galen and their operations in Amenos.[14][7]

In 2E 582, ships carrying leaders of the Three Banners War were set to land in Gonfalon Bay at the behest of Lord Bacaro Volorus but never arrive. The Breton noble and investigator, Lady Arabelle Davaux was hired by Lord Bacaro to investigate and met with Gonfalon Bay's dockmaster, Arnauld. Arabelle enlisted the help of a mainlander to find more clues around the city. When they went to the Gonfalon Head Lighthouse, they found it attacked by a group of lawless knights called the Ascendant Order and later retrieved the Kynareth headpiece of the lighthouse from Ascendant members.[16] The investigation eventually brought them to Castle Navire where they were confronted by the Ascendant Magus. After an attack on the castle, an earthquake ruptured all over High Isle and the seismic force was strong enough to shatter the Colossus of Gonfalon Bay.[17]

During the Interregnum, Pieron Desant of the Gleaners of Aurbis travelled there for a heist and returned to Fargrave with a valuable haul.[18]

Notable LocalesEdit

Gonfalon Bay
The largest settlement on the Systres Archipelago and its main port-of-entry.
Castle Navire
The seat of power House Dufort, located far west of Gonfalon Bay, southwest of All Flags Islet.
Dufort Shipyards
The shipyards for House Dufort located in the northeastern part of High Isle.
All-Flags Islet
An islet in the middle of the island, which served as the gathering point for the All-Flags Navy.
Stonelore Grove
A settlement of the Druids of the Stonelore Circle.
Steadfast Manor
The ancestral home of Lord Bacaro Volorus, which serves as a sanctuary ran by the Steadfast Society.
Abhain Chapel
A crypt where generations of High Isle's nobles lie buried in.
Spire of the Crimson Coin
A ruined Breton coin baron settlement.


See AlsoEdit



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.

  1. ^ [ Twitch Stream of ESO Live at Home