The Elder Scrolls Online

Ask Us Anything: Aldmeri Dominion (Part 1)

Welcome back to the latest episode of the ESO “Ask Us Anything” series. This time, we will take a closer look at the Aldmeri Dominion including its cultures, regions, and their related lore. Check out this first batch of questions to get an idea of things that will await you, and see if there are questions left you’d like us to answer in the second part.

How did the Aldmeri Dominion come to be formed in the first place? – By Luke Heys

It was really the brainchild of Queen Ayrenn, after assuming the throne of Alinor. Having traveled Tamriel extensively before returning to Summerset, she was aware of the dire threats menacing the world, and saw it as the proper duty of the Elves to put things right. At the same time, the Wood Elves and Khajiit were facing troubles of their own and in need of allies, so they came together to form the Dominion.

What made the Bosmers decide to join the Dominion?  - By Tamás Várfalvi

After the recent civil war between the Camorans, Valenwood was in disarray and vulnerable. The Cabal who were running the Imperial City took advantage of this by sending in Colovian troops to grab up some of the Wood Elves’ northern territory. Seeking an ally to help repulse the Colovians, King Aeradan of the Bosmer turned to Queen Ayrenn and her new Dominion.

Will Elsweyr be in TESO? - By Jacob Wilde

Yes. At launch, you will be able to explore two corners of Elsweyr: an island off the south coast, and the far northwest corner of Anequina, around the city of Dune and Fort Sphinxmoth. Most of Elsweyr is still in the grip of the Knahaten Flu, and isn’t a place you really want to go until the epidemic has run its course.

Will the Khajiit players in The Elder Scrolls Online also get a choice in sub-species, or will the default still be Suthay-raht? I know that they are the most common breed, but is there any more back-story as to why every Khajiit you meet in Vvardenfell, Cyrodiil and Skyrim are Suthay-raht? Do the others never leave Elsweyr? - By Brandy Dills

Among the Khajiit, the race of feline humanoids who originate from Elsweyr, the Suthay-raht are indeed the most common breed, and at launch, all player-character and non-player-character Khajiit in ESO will be Suthay-raht. Now, will you glimpse more Khajiit sub-species in ESO in the future? Only time will tell!

There hasn't been a ton of content in Valenwood in the past. How exciting is it for the people working on places in Tamriel that have not been prominently featured in the past? - By Chris McNamara

We know from existing lore that Valenwood is an exaggeration of our own world’s jungles and deep forests. Combine that with a bit of the look seen in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and we take it from there. The opportunity to take clues and hints from lore and turn them into living, breathing places has excited everybody in art, game design, and audio. What could be better?

I wish for more information about the cultures of the Wood and High Elves. It is the culture that really gives a people its depth, and what subconsciously governs at least my attraction to certain races. What entertainment do the elves enjoy? Do the Wood Elves enjoy poetry? Do the High Elves hunt for sport? Are there any beloved Elf vocalists? How would the Elf lords enjoy an evening off duties? What forms of art have been popular through the ages? – By Joakim Brorson

Both High Elves and Wood Elves have an abundance of rich and tremendously detailed background lore. These ancient races have had a very long time to establish their own unique cultures. We’ve made sure that this kind of lore about the Elves will be included in the game—in plenty—in all the classic ways cultural lore is delivered in the Elder Scrolls games: quest dialogue, conversations with NPCs, lore books of all kinds, music, item crafting, and so forth.

How do you intend to portray the cannibalism of the Bosmer? From what do you draw inspiration for the jungles of Valenwood and the culture of the Bosmer? Any Ayleid enclaves to run across deep in the jungles? - By James Craven

For the Wood Elves, cannibalism is a matter of ritual significance, and typically quite private within a family or tight-knit group. There’s actually a lot of background on Valenwood and the Bosmer in Elder Scrolls lore, though you may have to dig a little to find it.  After Empress Alessia’s “slave army” drove the Ayleids from Cyrodiil, many of them took refuge in Valenwood, so Ayleid ruins are actually rather common in the southern jungles.

The buildings of Alinor are said to look like they are "made from glass or insect wings." If the Summurset Isles are traversable at release will we see a design reminiscent of this? And will we see the Crystal Tower for that matter?! - By Callum Parker

When The Elder Scrolls Online launches, the playable part of the Summerset Isles will be Auridon, the big island between Summerset and the continent that includes the cities of Firsthold and Skywatch. The architecture of the High Elves is fanciful, certainly, but it’s also practical, constructed of real-world materials. Architects can’t make buildings out of poetry!

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