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Lore:Systres

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The Systres
Type Archipelago
Continent Tamriel
Region Abecean Sea
Subregions Amenos
Galen
High Isle
Y'ffelon
Demonym(s) Systrean
Appears in ESO
The Systres Archipelago, encompassing High Isle, Amenos, Galen, and Y'ffelon

The Systres (also the called the Systres Archipelago, Systres Isles,[1] Systres Islands,[2] and formally the Duchy of Systres)[3] are a group of islands in the Abecean Sea, far to the southwest of Hammerfell and northwest of Summerset Isle.[4] It is one of Tamriel's westernmost regions.[5] The largest island is named High Isle, where House Dufort rules the archipelago from their seat of power in Castle Navire; the jungled prison colony of Amenos lies to the north.[6] The third largest island is Galen to the northwest, where House Mornard operates from the city of Vastyr.[7] The fourth largest island, Y'ffelon, is north of High Isle and northwest of Amenos. It contains a semi-dormant volcano.[8] The nearest islands are Pankor to the northwest and Eyevea to the southeast; another group of three smaller islands are found directly west, southwest of Pankor.

The Bretons of the Systres Archipelago export many raw materials and trade goods,[9] accomplished through logging, mining, and shipbuilding.[1] Especially important is Eltheric Ammonite which washes up in the archipelago's shore. Collectors covet their beauty, while mages use them as an ethical alternative to soul gems for a raw source of magicka.[9] Larimar is another important trade good, a milky-blue gemstone exclusive to the Systres, making it extremely rare and expensive.[10][1] Though it has become a highly coveted rarity overtime,[1] shipments of Frog-Metal from the Systres isle of Amenos are still exported.[11] Druid-crafted volcanic jewelry has also been found exported outside the Systres.[10] As the Systres is an established neutral ground, the Bretons of High Isle greatly profit from their neutrality in conflicts that would otherwise affect the Bretons back in High Rock.[12][13]

HistoryEdit

 
Map of western Tamriel showing the Systres

According to legend Sorrows of the Wind, the Systres was first home to ancient nature spirits of that were either Man or Mer in appearance. When the mortal races started to settle on the archipelago, they remained but stayed hidden.[14] The hermit crabs were the chief inhabitants before humans arrived.[15]

First EraEdit

According to the druids, the archipelago has a special connection to Y'ffre.[16] 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.[1]

Around 1E 660 the Systres were invaded by the Lefthanded Elves, who set out to conquer the Systres.[17] The Elves constructed a fortress on the isle of Amenos and set out to conquer the other island from there, but the war ended prematurely with the eruption of Mount Firesong on Y'ffelon in 1E 676, which devastated the Elves and seemingly wiped out the druids.[17][1] It is suspected this was a disastrous result of a miscalculated spell spiraling out of control.[18] It was comparable to the Sun's Death disaster of 1E 668, and may have even been related given the corresponding dates.[1]

The remnants of the Lefthanded Elves continued to inhabit the Systres until the Ra Gada arrived in 1E 785, wiping out the Elves before continuing on to Hammerfell.[1]

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.[19] The largest shipyards for this new navy could be found on the Systres, centered around Gonfalon Bay and All Flags Islet.[1] Maps from this period were notable for including ports on High Isle that have since become unfamiliar, such as Rockroost and Castle Notte.[20] After the destruction of Thras by the Navy in 1E 2260 a group of Breton and Colovian engineers and laborers remained behind on the Systres, as they had been ordered to construct a monument to the All Flags Navy. This grand edifice would not be completed until more than twenty years later, by which time the laborers had brought over their families and founded villages around the shipyards. 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.[1]

When Colovia followed High Rock's example and declared independence in 1E 2321, the War of Righteousness broke out.[21] 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.[1]

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.[1]

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. Several revolts broke out against Imperial rule, most prominently by the Eldertide Circle, but none were successful.[1]

Second EraEdit

In 2E 11 Akaviri Potentate Versidue-Shaie converted the isle of Amenos into a penal colony for Reman-aligned political prisoners, who would be forced to work in the larimar and ammonite mines.[1] By 2E 110, a patriarch of the Breton noble house, Mornard, was instated to be the Imperial Governor of the Systres,[7] 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.[22] 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.[7] 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.[22]

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.[1]

The following years saw the partnership of the two houses devolve into a rivalry, attributed by some to the madness of Baron Densil Dufort,[22][23] 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.[1]

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.[22][1][17]

In 2E 582 peace talks were held on the islands by the main participants in the Three Banners War, which came under attack by the Ascendant Order.[24]

Third EraEdit

The islands were considered by the Empire to be Hammerfell's territory in 2E 864.[25] By the fifth century of the Third Era, druids once again had a presence in the mainland, specifically in the regions surrounding the Iliac Bay.[26][UOL 1] "By the ArchDruid" is a common exclamation by Bretons of this era.[27][28]

GeographyEdit

The Systres Archipelago is a volcanic island chain home to plenty of steam vents, hot springs, and other such features in the islands.[3] The Druids claim to have harnessed the power of the Earthbones to transform the islands, kindling life on every barren rock and bleached coral they came upon.[1] It is said that they have done so on every island on the archipelago, but that their magic never took hold on Amenos.[17] The four biggest islands in the archipelago are High Isle, Amenos, Galen, and Y'ffelon.

High IsleEdit

 
The coast of High Isle, looking towards Y'ffelon
 
High Isle

High Isle is the largest island of the Systres archipelago. 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.[29] 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 2]

AmenosEdit

 
Amenos
 
An island near Amenos

Amenos is the second-largest island in the Systres Archipelago, an island region in the western part of the Abecean Sea. The island is characterized by a dense, hostile jungle and a hazardous coastline riddled with jagged rocks, unrelenting storms, and dangerous currents. Historically, Amenos has been governed by the Bretons of House Mornard and it has hosted a prison facility since the early years of the Common Era.[17]

Amenos Station, the main settlement on the island is not only the administrative center of the region but also the only safe place in Amenos. Prisoners are sometimes processed and banished into the jungle, where they fend for themselves against other prisoners and the wildlife. Some sort of magic or alchemy prevents convicts from escaping the island so their only choice is to survive the wilderness or die trying.[17][30] Amenos also has protections in place to discourage scrying and portal spells, although it is possible to teleport within the confines of the island with more effort.[31] The Eldertide Circle of druids live throughout Amenos, in places such as the Coral Cliffs[32][33] and whatever magic the druids used to balance nature in the Systres never quite took off in Amenos.[17]

GalenEdit

 
Galen
 
Vastyr

Galen is the westernmost island of the Systres archipelago, which is located northwest of High Isle and west of Y'ffelon.[34] Its main hub is the city of Vastyr, which was controlled by House Mornard during the Interregnum.[35] Druidic ruins on were discovered on Galen, fixing the idea of its Breton history into collective imagination.[1] The Druids of Galen were able to instill magic on Y'ffelon to balance nature and bring life to the land.[1][17] There are a variety of remote parts of the island.[36] Galen has three distinct biomes, from the colonized plains to the south, forests dotted with ruins to the wests, and dark dense jungles of the north.[37] Like the rest of the archipelago, it is volcanic,[3] and this is primarily seen in the area around Embervine, Ivyhame, and Llanshara near Y'ffelon.

Y'ffelonEdit

 
Y'ffelon
 
Mount Firesong

Y'ffelon is a volcanic island of the Systres archipelago, which is located north of High Isle and east of Galen.[34] Amenos is found to the east, separated by the Amenos Passage.[38] Y'ffelon is found in the center of the archipelago, and is dominated by the sacred volcano of Mount Firesong,[1] whose roots run all through the Systres.[39] The entire archipelago is volcanic, and tapping into the earth-energies of the island can lend immense magical power.[18] The Druids of Galen were able to instill magic on Y'ffelon to balance nature and bring life to the land.[1][17]

Minor IslandsEdit

All Flags Islet
An island surrounded by High Isle's great basin and where the All Flags Navy assembled their fleets.
The Colossus of Gonfalon Bay
A giant edifice of Baron-Admiral Bendu Olo built south of Gonfalon Bay.
Dreadsail Reef
A far-off islet surrounded by jagged rocks and inhabited by deadly predators. It was previously untouched for years until it was occupied by the Dreadsail pirates.
Earthen Root Enclave
An island southeast of High Isle. It is a spiritual sanctuary for the druids of the Systres.
Feywatch Isle
A small island lake in the northern parts of the High Isle.
Fogbreak Lighthouse Island
A small island north of High Isle, southeast of Galen, and southwest of Y'ffelon. It houses Fogbreak Lighthouse.
Harbor Island
A very small island connected to the city of Gonfalon Bay by bridge. It holds Gonfalon Gaming Hall.
Molmor Islet
An islet located west of Galen, created by Eldertide Druid Belaigh during the conflict between the Sloads of Thras and All Flags Navy.
Shipwreck Shoals
A small mountain surrounded by shoals. It is known for its dangerous waters and shipwrecks that gave it its namesake.
Spire of the Crimson Coin
A Breton coin-barron fortress on a large island south of Amenos and northeast of Loch Abhain.
Whalefall
A jungle-covered island south of Y'ffelon. It has been mainly used by the jailors on Amenos Station.

PoliticsEdit

The Systres Archipelago has changed hands many times, from the Colovian Estates, to House Guimard, from various versions of the Empire to Bretonic Coin-Lords, and from House Mornard and House Dufort under the Daggerfall Covenant,[1] to the Kingdom of Hammerfell.[25]

ArchitectureEdit

The Systres is home to many beautiful ruins and castles to view, and they are all said to be of old Bretonic style.[40] Gonfalon Bay is described to be a charming port city of pleasant squares and quaint alleyways.[3] Excavation beneath the crowded cobblestones of the modern city of Vastyr have revealed examples of druid tunnels and ancient hovels, Draoife ritual sites, Sinestral war camps, Sword-Singer performance rings, and even the tell-tale signs of Sload slime-warrens.[1] The archipelago is also home to various Druid settlements and ruins.

FloraEdit

The Archipelago is home to a variety of flora, such as sunflowers, butterweed, daylilies, Systres pine, cypresses[41], Galen sea daffodils, Galen dogwoods, Galen agave, Galen palm, Galen beech, and Galen pine.[42]

FaunaEdit

The Systres archipelago is inhabited by creatures such as ornaugs, fauns, hadolids, vulk'esh, chimeras, coral crabs, spriggans, forest wraiths, coral haj motas, and critters such as deer, rabbits, hermit crabs, and foxes.

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 High Isle, which served as the gathering point for the All-Flags Navy.
Stonelore Grove
A settlement of the Druids of the Stonelore Circle in High Isle.
Amenos Station
A fort town on Amenos' southern coast, across from High Isle. It is Amenos' main settlement and home of the stockade.
Brokerock Mine
An ammonite mine deep in the Amenos jungles, sanctioned by House Mornard.
Vastyr
The largest settlement on the island of Galen.
Glimmertarn
The main Stonelore Circle settlement found on Galen.
Mount Firesong
An active volcano that towers above Y'ffelon.

GalleryEdit

See AlsoEdit

BooksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Systres HistoryTrilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
  2. ^ Coral Haj Mota pet description
  3. ^ a b c d e Visitor's Guide to High Isle — Dame Emisse Fairwind
  4. ^ Map of West Tamriel
  5. ^ Map of Tamriel – Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition
  6. ^ Announcing the Legacy of the Bretons Year-Long Saga & High Isle Chapter
  7. ^ a b c History of House MornardDorothea Errard
  8. ^ High Isle Preview—The Zone
  9. ^ a b Mysteries of the Eltheric AmmoniteKaladiran, Arcane Naturalist
  10. ^ a b Oakensoul Ring codex entries in ESO: High Isle
  11. ^ Captured by the Dreadsails — Sailor Lerisa Bruhl
  12. ^ High Isle Preview—The Zone from the official ESO website
  13. ^ Comments of Maxence, bankerMaxence
  14. ^ Sorrows of the WindBastibien Marolles, Historian
  15. ^ Mulberry Hermit Crab pet description
  16. ^ Druid Audrine's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Secrets of AmenosMiramel Charascel, Chairperson of the Gonfalon Bay Historical and Social Society
  18. ^ a b Burned Research NotesThe Ascendant Magus
  19. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Wild RegionsImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  20. ^ Antique Map of High Isle antiquity codex entry in ESO: High Isle
  21. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  22. ^ a b c d History of House DufortKaera Metrick, House Historian and Chronicler
  23. ^ Mad Baron Densil
  24. ^ Events of Online
  25. ^ a b Map of TamrielMorrowind Codex
  26. ^ Death cutscene in Daggerfall
  27. ^ Breton exclamations in Arena
  28. ^ Breton exclamations in Daggerfall
  29. ^ High Isle loading screen text in ESO: High Isle
  30. ^ Marcelle Dantaine's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
  31. ^ Queen Ayrenn's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
  32. ^ Coral Cliffs loading screen text in ESO: High Isle
  33. ^ Nivathil's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
  34. ^ a b Map of West Tamriel – The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard
  35. ^ History of House MornardDorothea Errard
  36. ^ The Sea Elf ThreatHercian Stalo, Steward at Castle Navire
  37. ^ Elder Scrolls Online Official Twitter account on Biomes of Galen
  38. ^ Captain Tsuzo's LogCaptain Tsuzo
  39. ^ Orbiana Octavianus's dialogue in ESO: High Isle
  40. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Bretons & High IsleLady Arabelle
  41. ^ High Isle Furnishings
  42. ^ Galen Furnishings

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.