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Lore:House Mornard

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Castle Mornard
Sir Stefan Mornard

House Mornard is a Breton noble family that were the former rulers of the Duchy of Systres. After Ranser's War, their holdings were reduced to the islands of Amenos and Galen.[1] Their base of operation is the city of Vastyr located in the island of Galen. Due to "integrated business concerns", they share a mutual reliance with their rivals of House Dufort, with much of Mornard's trade being done on Dufort vessels.[2] House Dufort provides war ships for High Rock, and their merchant vessels House Mornard utilizes to trade at every significant port across Tamriel.[3]


Prior to their arrival in the Systres, the Mornards controlled a valuable stretch of land between Wayrest and Evermore, known for its rich veins of high-quality metals and precious stones. Mornard prospectors often crossed the Bjoulsae River to exploit the Dragontail Mountains' bounty of ore, which was said to be an underhanded practice that earned them no friends in Hammerfell. Even so, it is said the rulers of Wayrest profited from this arrangement and did little to interfere with it.[1]


When the Akaviri Potentate came to power in 1E 2920, the Mornards quickly established a closer relationship with Cyrodiil. Mornard coin-barons helped settle Reman accounts in High Rock, which amounted to thousands of gold pieces in Imperial taxes. While it is said that many noble houses resented this, they also saw the utility of closer ties with the Empire. Wayrest, in particular, indulged the Mornards' schemes and leveraged the family's connections with Versidue-Shaie's regime to secure valuable trade deals all across western Tamriel. When the Akaviri Potentate began seizing errant states and territories in High Rock and beyond, the Mornard family assisted them.[1]

By 2E 110, a patriarch of House Mornard, Phane Mornard, was instated to be the Imperial Governor of the Systres,[1] with another House, Dufort, arriving to the archipelago in 2E 125. As time passed, both families of the archipelago worked together to turn High Isle into a thriving settlement. Thanks to Dufort ships, Mornard trade flourished into a vast network with operations in every significant Tamrielic port from Northpoint to Falinesti, as well as in Summerset. As Mornard influence grew, officials back in High Rock decided that the Systres needed legitimate noble claims to truly prosper, 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.[3] Once House Mornard gained oversight of the archipelago, they increased their own wealth and power a thousandfold. Already operating mines on Amenos, the duke awarded his house exclusive mining rights to the island and also took control of the prison facilities located there.[1] House Dufort, meanwhile, provided the fast ships Mornard required to get their goods from market to market, and even secured a contract to provide warships for High Rock. The partnership turned into a rivalry between Mornard and Dufort as Mornard's power and influence grew.[3]

While the family's main concerns were the manor house on High Isle or the mining operations on Amenos, many within the house felt a strong connection to druidic culture thanks to Phane's grandmother Dorona. She was said to have deep ties to the Wyrd and the Green, and insisted the family invest in Vastyr for the good of the druids as well as for the familial line.

Mornard coin proved invaluable a few hundred years later in the wake of the Gathering Storm's siege of the city. The fall of the Empire created chaos across Tamriel. The Systreans had to weather a storm just as bad as the Tamsfolk, as would-be rulers and pretender kings assaulted the archipelago no less than six times in a hundred year span. The sacking of Vastyr in 2E 365 was one of the most violent moments in the island's history, seeing half the city destroyed and most of its citizens scattered to the wilderness.

While the later actions of Duke Ruffe Mornard would speak to a despotic manner, his ancestor was revered as the rebuilder and patron of a new Vastyr. Bernique was known as the "mother of the city" for decades after the siege, as coin and comforts from across Mornard holdings allowed the city to rebuild and refine their place in the world. The towering walls at either end of Vastyr Bay are remnants of this era, as is the expansive manor that now dominates the city's skyline.[4]

Count Leonard Mornard

As vassals of the Gardner dynasty, the dukes of House Mornard nominally owed their allegiance to the kingdom of Wayrest. However, communication between the Systres Archipelago and the mainland remained unreliable in the early years of the Interregnum. Diplomatic missions were routinely waylaid by Redguard freebooters and Sea Elf marauders. When messages did arrive, it's said that House Mornard often ignored them, claiming they were lost at sea or intercepted by Elven spies. This inconsistent diplomacy allowed House Mornard to establish total hegemony over the islands, with one notable exception—the properties of House Dufort.[4]

The following years saw the partnership of the two houses devolve into a rivalry, attributed by some to the madness of Baron Densil Dufort,[3][5] 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.[4]

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.[3][4][6]


See AlsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c d e History of House MornardDorothea Errard
  2. ^ A History of Shipbuilding, Vol. 1 of 27Edana Augier, Systres Historian
  3. ^ a b c d e History of House DufortKaera Metrick, House Historian and Chronicler
  4. ^ a b c d Systres HistoryTrilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
  5. ^ Mad Baron Densil
  6. ^ Secrets of AmenosMiramel Charascel, Chairperson of the Gonfalon Bay Historical and Social Society