Does the Ebonheart Pact Faction break The Elder Scrolls Lore?
In The Elder Scrolls Online there will be three main factions: The Daggerfall Covenant, the Aldmeri Dominion, and the Ebonheart Pact. Today, we’re going to take a look at that last and most controversial one, the Ebonheart Pact.
The Ebonheart Pact faction is made up of the hearty Nords, the magically inclined Dumner, and the lizard-humanoid Argonians. The reason that this is an interesting and fragile faction is that this doesn’t seem to make sense from a lore perspective. Many fans have looked at this and are pretty angry that this entire faction is inconsistent with the historical context of those three races. The Nords and Dumner (AKA Dark Elves) have been at war for ages and have a long history of conflict. Because the Nord home of Skyrim borders the Dunmer Morrowind, there have been endless skirmishes as the borders clash. Additionally, the Dumner had enslaved the Argonians for thousands of years. The Argonians inhabit the Black Marsh to the south of Morrowind. All three areas form a coastal line on the eastern side of Tamriel.
A Fragile Alliance in The Elder Scrolls
You can see why it is misleading to say that the Pact is “fragile” at best. The Nords and Dumner have always hated each other and the Argonians have no reason to trust their former Dumner slave-masters. Nords stand by their oldest enemies, Dumner stand side by side with enemies and former slaves, and Argonians fight next to their slavers. Why would these three opposed races of Tamriel be aligned in one faction?
The real question is will these three races be able to put differences aside and co-operate in The Elder Scrolls Online? This has been the topic of much controversy: of all three factions, this one seems to be the weakest. Ruled by the High King of the Great Moot, Jorunn of Easter Skyrim, this faction may have trouble keeping itself together in times of stress. We may see a faction torn by racial divides and I would fully expect for racial issues to come up as potential quests and points of interest in the story line of the Ebonheart Pact.
The lore explanation offered up by Zenimax so far is that the Akaviri invasion formed a bond and alliance between the three races. The Akaviri come from Akavir, a continent said to be north and east of Tamriel. Because of this, the invasion attacks hit on the north and eastern coasts Tamriel including Skyrim, Morrowind, and the Black Marsh. Supposedly, these attacks diverted the previous hostilities of the three races and they bound themselves together to drive back the greater threat of the Akaviri.
Is the Akaviri Menace Enough?
Not much can be said about the history of the Akaviri, but sources say that primary invading forces are the Tsaesci, a humanoid and serpent-like race. The Akaviri invaded Tamriel three times, and each was prophesized by Lord Vivec the Poet, one of the living Gods in Morrowind and part of the Tribunal Temple. The Akaviri have a strong Asian influence and include tiger-like people (the Ka Po’ Tun) ruled by a great Tiger-Dragon, intelligent monkey warriors (the Tang Mo), and collective armies of demons (Kamal) which all seem to have correlations to Asian mythology. Additionally, the geographical positioning of Akavir, the East, and Tamriel, the West, mirrors our own Earthy geography. When not antagonizing Tamriel, the Akavir tend to fight amongst themselves and keep out of any other ‘international’ affairs. Is this a direct allegory for Asian history? I don’t know. But I do know that the aggression of the Akaviri continent is the sole reason the Ebonheart Pact exists.
The combination of the Nords, Dumner, and Argonians creates a potent force. The Nords are proud race that is boisterous and strong and excel in physical armed combat. The Dumner are skilled warriors from their former fighting with the Nords but also have a natural affinity for magic and wield their intellect as a weapon. The Argonians are well versed in stealth, sneaky tactics, and using bladed weapons. Together each race takes a position as front line fighters, backline magic-users, and sneaking scouts respectively. The races of the Ebonheart Pact make up a sort of traditional Dungeons and Dragons style party of adventurers.
More information on the Ebonheart Pact and the other main factions can be found on The Elder Scrolls Online website, here.
So, what do you think? Does the Ebonheart Pact faction break the Elder Scrolls lore? Will the Pact work without a Akaviri presence? Do you think we will we be seeing a lot of racial tension within the faction? Let us know in the comments below!