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.

mmorpg elder scrolls online mmorpg     Does the Ebonheart Pact Faction break The Elder Scrolls Lore?

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!

  • Jason Jenkins

    i think the whole idea they have of restricting races to these three factions is a terrible idea, every elder scrolls game that has come before it has given us free rain as to witch faction we wished to align ourselves with no matter what race we choose to be.  This, along with the lack of a proper first person mode, is just the first kinks in a game I had high hopes for.

  • Steven Diaz

    I’m somewhat interested in TESO but the pacts just seem like they were thrown in with the idea of different races rather than a logical view from lore.  All the pacts seem a bit out of place.  I’m also extremely disappointed that I can’t play as an imperial, the one race I actually love playing because of their history.  

  • Sebastian Cooper

    The Alliance is not a secure one at any bet; but they’re the three outcast Races.

    The Dunmer are into Destruction, Conjuration, and some dabble in Necromancy; not to mention they worship the Daedric Gods instead of the Divines which are at a count of 8 in the time period.

    The Argonians are distrusted because of the Shadowscale and not to mention the Hist that they sell, in this time period of Lore; Hist is more valuable than Moon Sugar.

    Lastly the Nords, not sworn adversaries of either the Dunmer or the Argonians at this time; maybe a bit of mistrust, but they need allies with two massive Factions forging together quickly.

    They made the Ebonheart Pact to combat the other two major Factions and to stop the tyranny in the Imperial Throne, nothing more. They’re not holding hands, skipping through the tulips or anything..

  • Kelly Jolliffe

    While the lore is tenuous at best, which really does bother me somewhat, being (at times) more of a Morrowind fan than an Elder Scrolls fan, I can say with all certainty that the Ebonheart Pact will still very much be my faction of choice.

  • Ravenstorm

    I can’t imagine why there should be these 3 factions. And to have Dunmer in alliance with the Nords who have conquered the Dunmer’s former empire, I mean in Skyrim it was obvious there is a lot of hate from the Dunmer towards the Nords, like barely constrained.

    I suppose the Akavir pose such a major threat it’s better to work with the devil you know, but still…

    Maybe in a future expansion, the Akavir can actually attack Tamriel, and the devs can devellop the Empire as playable race, that would be nice.

    • Sebastian Cooper

      Again, referring to my point. It isn’t that they all love each other and want to be best of friends; it’s just the fact that they’re all the outcasts and don’t want to be overthrown by the other two, or still stand while there’s a failed empire.

    • Deacon1979

       There’s a lot of bad blood between the English and Germans but we are aligned now (within less than 100 years), the English and French were at war with each other on and off for over 100 years yet we are allied now and this is in less than 1000 years (which is how far removed teso is from the other tes games). African countries have strong ties to the US even tho the US took slaves from them etc

      So yes alliances change even if the bad blood remains, the English are still prejudice against the French and Germans even tho we are allied with them. Hell Germany tried to crush Europe twice in less than 100 years yet they are now not only allied with Europe but one of the leaders of Europe.

      • Wulfhart

        Not to mention that english and germans, and even many french, are the same people

  • Thekinnay

    Actually ElderScrolls Online is based 1,000 years before Skyrim. That’s why Nords, Dunmer, and Argonians are alliance. It hasn’t happened yet.

  • brendan

    Dude you obviously haven’t read anything of the lore. Before you go on a rant next make sure you know what you are talking about.

  • sean

    I would be fine with the explanation they gave for why three races made the ebonheart pact, except that they gave no explanation as to why the nords didn’t join up with the other humans in the daggerfall covenant, or why the ebonheart pact is even fighting the other alliances since the pact was made to defend their lands, not to gain control of Tamriel. Since it’s a alliance formed for the survival of their races there isn’t a good reason why they would be fighting the other alliances for control of cyrodil.