Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions

Discussion: Was Azura Responsible for the Dunmer's Appearence?

  • Member
    April 7, 2015

    "What you have done here today is foul beyond measure and you will grow to regret it, for the lives of gods are not what mortals think and matters that weigh only years to mortals weigh on gods forever." And so that they might know forever their wicked deeds Azura changed the Chimer into Dunmer, and their skin turned ashen and their eyes into fire. "Let this mark remind you of your true selves who, like ghouls, fed on the nobility, heroism, and trust of their king." Nerevar at Red Mountain.

    The quote above represents the orthodoxy, the most commonly held belief in the appearance of the Dunmer post Battle of Red Mountain 1E 700. Vivec's account as seen in The Battle of red Mountain and the Rise and Fall of the Tribunal presents a different view:

    And then, in that moment, all Chimer were changed into Dunmer, and our skins turned ashen and our eyes into fire. Of course, we only knew at that time that this had happened to us, but Azura said, "This is not my act, but your act. You have chosen your fate, and the fate of your people, and all the Dunmer shall share your fate, from now to the end of time. You think yourselves gods, but you are blind, and all is darkness." And Azura left us alone, in darkness, and we were all afraid, but we put on brave faces, and went forth from Red Mountain to build the new world of our dreams.

    In the first account it seems Azura is the one who "marked" the Chimer, while the other asserts it was the Tribunal who are responsible. However, both those sources indicate the change happened during the final moments of the war.

    But is that true? This is the question I ask of you.

    Azura by BianryReflex

    The idea that the Tribunal caused the change to the Dunmer is backed up in the 36 Lessons of Vivec. There are numerous references, along the same lines as the one below:

    "Velothi, your skin has become the pregnant darkness. My brooding has brought this on. Remember that Boethiah asked you to become the color of bruise. How else to show yourselves people of the exodus into the vital: pain?" The Thirty six Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 32.

    The third option is that this change happened well before the battle took place, putting it at the time of the initial exodus to Resdayne:

    Boethiah ate Trinimac and voided him. The followers of Boethiah and Trinimac rubbed the soil of Trinimac upon themselves and changed their skins. The Anticipations.

    This is backed up here, too:

    Boethiah showed them the lies of the et'Ada, the Aedra, and told them Trinimac was the biggest liar of all, saying all this with Trinimac's voice! Boethiah told the mass before him the Tri-Angled Truth. He showed them, with Mephala, the rules of Psijic Endeavor. He taught them how to build Houses, and what items they needed to bury in the Corners. He demonstrated the right way to wear their skin. He performed the way to walk to achieve an Exodus. Then Boethiah relieved himself of Trinimac right there on the ground before them to prove all the things he said were the truth. It was easy then for his new people to become the Changed Ones. The Changed Ones.

    Yet ESO depicts Chimer inhabiting the land which will later become Morriwnd in which they do not look like Dunmer.

    So what do you think? Can you choose an option, or do you think they are all true - timey-whimey-Dragon-Breaky? If so, can you explain?

    There are plenty of oog sources too, such as The Trial at Hogithum Hall, an in character roleplay on the official forums, Approaching Vivec and a few other MK quotes which I can link to if you want more.

    Red Mountain by Lelek1980

  • Member
    April 7, 2015

    Does Zenimax employ TES (Bethesda) lore masters to develop the lore aspects of quests and new in-game books? If so, then ESO's explanation confirms the orthodox view until Bethesda decides to retconn the lore.

    I was always a supporter of the Tribunal view. Then again, I also leaned toward the view that the Tribunal interrupted Kagrenac and, as a consequence, possibly caused the Dwemer extinction. Maybe I put too much stock in the Tribunal. I find it fascinating, though, that Boethia is an intregal part in two out of the the three views. In fact, Boethia seems to have the proper disposition for it. 

  • April 8, 2015

    If you examine the first two accounts in the way a person would study scripture, you could find that they both point to the same thing.

    1. "what YOU have done here is foul beyond measure" ... and Azura changed the Chimer into Dunmer. 

    2. All the Chimer were changed into Dunmer... "This is not my act, but YOUR act"

    So, a literal reading would point to 1. Azura did it. ; and 2. Azura didn't do it.  However, a more metaphorical reading of 2 leaves it having the same meaning as 1. It means the following:

    In both cases Azura was the one who changed them to Dunmer, but it is their fault that it happened. It being their fault is the same as them having done it to themselves, hence the way 2 was worded.

    The final references are more difficult to deal with, because they make it sound much more as though the Tribunal were the ones who marked the Dunmer in actuality. This being the case would cause Azura to be literally saying that it was not her doing but their own. 

    If you weigh it by evidence, it would seem that the Tribunal view is correct. However, judging from 'fact' in ESO, the orthodox view is clearly correct and the other texts require a metaphorical reading.

  • Member
    April 9, 2015

    I like your reasoning. It is tempting to say that all the texts we have on the Boethiah/Trinimac/Malacath incident shouldn't be taken too literally, indeed I think there is a quote from "Boethiah" to that effect. However, it may also be mistaken to dismiss the claims of these sources due to more favourable evidence. After all, the Orsimer looked different after that event, why not the Chimer too? If we accept one part of that source, surely we should accept the other part too?

    My only complaint about the whole thing being a lack of familiarity with the ESO material. Because it is some form of time travel, it could be that the Chimer only look the way they are represented because that is what they are expected to look like.

    Anyone who has actually played and examined this and can offer insight would be most welcome.

  • Member
    April 9, 2015

    The ZOS team are different but it turns out they have done a good job of adding to existing lore and expanding upon more obscure stuff. I'm pleased with what they've done for the most part.

    Boethiah rocks!

  • Member
    April 10, 2015
    In Lord of Souls, Malacath says it is too literal
  • Member
    April 10, 2015

    It was Malacath not Boethiah who said that? My bad, thanks Chris.

  • April 11, 2015

    So are we leaning more towards the orthodox view or the tribunal view? Or perhaps something different altogether? 

  • Tom
    April 11, 2015

    Orthodox view and Tribunal are the same. Azura cursed the Chimer.

    I'm inclined to believe Azura cursed them seeing as to how she organized the entire events of Morrowind to get revenge on the Tribunal for betraying Nerevar and their oaths.

  • Member
    April 11, 2015

    I'm leaning towards the complete opposite.