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The Last King Of The Ayleids Lorebook

Collection: Legends of Nirn
Location(s): Alik’r Desert, Eastmarch, Malabal Tor
Alik’r Desert
Location Notes: You can find this book in and around Leki’s Blade POI and Ragnthar POI.
Image walkthrough:

Loc 1: Found next to the large skeleton of an unknown creature.

Alik'r Desert map

Location Notes: In the area around Fort Morvunskar Wayshrine, northwestern Eastmarch.
Image walkthrough:

Loc.1 – West of Fort Morvunskar Wayshrine. Inside a tent next to a campfire and a weapon rack.

Eastmarch map

Malabal Tor
Location Notes: Can be found in vicinity of Abamath wayshrine, southern Malabal Tor.
Image walkthrough:

Loc.1 – Right next to the entrance leading into the Shael Ruins dungeon.

Malabal Tor map

Lorebook text

by Herminia Cinna

The Ayleids, or Heartland High Elves, ruled Cyrodiil in the long ages of Myth before the beginning of recorded history. One of the earliest recorded dates, in fact, is the Fall of White-Gold Tower in 1E 243, which is commonly assumed to mark the end of the Ayleids.

Although Ayleid rule over Cyrodiil was broken in 1E 243, this was only one of the most obvious stages near the end of a long decline. The first two centuries of the First Era saw increasing strife between the great Ayleid lords of Cyrodiil. Alessia appears to have taken advantage of a period of civil war to launch her uprising. Imperial historians have traditionally attributed her victory to intervention from Skyrim, but it appears she had at least as much help from rebel Ayleid lords during the siege of White-Gold Tower.

The popular image of the Ayleids as brutal slavemasters is based in fact, of course, but it is less well-known that a number of Ayleid princes continued to rule parts of Cyrodiil after 263 as vassals of the new Empress of Cyrodiil. This suggests either that Ayleid rule was not universally detested or that Alessia and her successors were more pragmatic than is traditionally believed (or perhaps some of both).

In any event, excavations at a number of Ayleid sites show continued occupation and even expansion during the so-called Late Ayleid Period (1E 243 to c. 498). At first, many Ayleid lords continued to rule as vassals of the new human regime. In some cases, Ayleid supporters of Alessia were even rewarded with new lands taken from slain enemies. It is not clear to what extent human slavery continued under the Cyrodilic Empire. Humans continued to dwell in the Ayleid-ruled areas of Cyrodiil, but there is nothing definitive to show under what terms.

This was an uneasy relationship from the beginning, and it was not destined to last long. Resentment at the continued presence of Ayleid nobles within the Empire was a contributing factor to the rise of the so-called Alessian Order founded by Maruhk. The first victims of the Alessians were the Ayleids of Cyrodiil. In the early 300s, the surviving Ayleid communities in human-ruled areas were obliterated one by one. The refugees temporarily swelled the power of the remaining Ayleid lordships.

Then in 361, the Alessians gained control of the Empire and enforced the Alessian Doctrines throughout its domain. The Ayleid lordships were abolished. Enforcement of this decree does not appear to have required much direct violence. It seems that by this point the balance of power was so overwhelmingly against them and their fate so long foreshadowed that most of the remaining Ayleids simply left Cyrodiil, eventually being absorbed into the Elven populations of Valenwood and High Rock. Indeed, the rise of the Direnni Hegemony may be linked to this exodus of Ayleids from Cyrodiil (a connection so far studied very little by historians).

Still, a remnant Ayleid population seems to have survived the rule of the Alessians, because we’ve heard of "the last king of the Ayleids" joining the battle of Glenumbria Moors, where the Dirennis decisively defeated the Alessians in 482. How this king’s people survived the preceding century is unknown. We do not even know who they were, although recent research points to Nenalata as the possible resting place of this "last king." Unfortunately, in the current state of the Empire, funds are no longer available for proper scientific investigation of such extensive ruins, so the answer to these questions will have to be left to future generations.

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