Elder Scrolls Lore Report - Mankar Camoran, the Camoran Dynasty, and Pair o' Deez

You know the story. The Cult of the Mythic Dawn. The assassination of Emperor Uriel Septim the VII. The arrival of Mehrunes Dagon on Nirn. The gates opening during the Oblivion Crisis. The final sacrifice of Martin Septim. The victory for the Hero of Kvatch. You may even know it was Mankar Camoran who orchestrated these events in an attempt to place Nirn in Oblivion. He believed it was the protection of Akatosh through the Dragon Blood Emperors and the Amulet of Kings and the Dragonfires that kept Nirn from Oblivion, and though he succeeded in getting his hands on the Amulet of Kings and snuffing out the Dragonfires, he failed to kill the last of the Dragon Blood – Martin Septim. Before we dive any further into the Oblivion Crisis, let’s step back a bit, and talk about Mankar Camoran and his ties to the Camoran Dynasty.


First off, who was the Camoran Dynasty?


Widely regarded as the ruling caste that founded the principles of Valenwood, regaled in story to have been erected by King Eplear at the beginning of Year Zero in the First Era, the Camoran Dynasty is among the earliest known ruling dynasties in Tamriel. An aristocratic dynasty, they ruled Valenwood for much of its history. King Eplear’s success in uniting the normally feral Bosmer is still held as one of the greatest military feats in history. The Camorans would remain in power for centuries, ever resisting the growing expansion of the Alessian Empire, until they were finally conquered by the Second Empire in 1E 2714 – almost three thousand years of uncontested rule! – following the centuries of incessant war and the rampant devastation of the Thrassian Plague. Though the Camorans mostly survived, their rule was crippled when the Empire offered independence to the lesser nobles of Valenwood.


10946853281?profile=RESIZE_710x(Aeradan Camoran as see in The Elder Scrolls Online)


When the Second Empire fell, the Camorans made a bid to re-establish their rule, but ultimately failed as the regions of Valenwood had drifted too far apart to be united once more, and try though they might, none of them had the wisdom of Eplear to pull off such a feat again. During the Interregnum, the Camorans would only rule Valenwood twice, and even then only as part of the First and Second Aldmeri Dominions. In 2E 500, Aeradan Camoran was crowned king and joined the Dominion to help defend Valenwood from the Colovian Kings to the north. He would rule for some few decades and suppress two insurrections – one by his cousin, Gelthior Camoran and the Blacksap Rebellion in which Aeradan had to fight a civil war, earning disdain from other Bosmer for taking arms against kin, a violation of the Green Pact; and a second attempt by Gelthior’s sons, Gornir and Lorchon. In 2E 580, he joined the ranks of the Thalmor Inner Circle and his seat of power in Elden Root actually was named the Dominion’s Capital, hence the name Elden Accords. In 2E 582, he was present during its ratification at the Orrery, validating Queen Ayrenn’s leadership of the Dominion.


Then, in 2E 830, a dispute between Camoran heirs led to the crowning of Anaxernes Camoran, who immediately pledged his fealty to the King of Alinor, ushering the call of the Second Dominion. This time, however, the Thalmor demanded much of Valenwood, and Anaxernes was forced to relinquish most of his power to them. This proved to be mostly effective, until Tiber Septim smashed them with Numidium.


10946852885?profile=RESIZE_710x(Mankar Camoran as seen in The Elder Scrolls: Legends)


Under the Third Empire, the Camorans, though still the ruling class of Valenwood, are little more than figurehead monarchs, placed decisively by the Thalmor. However, in 3E 429, a new dispute broke out over Camoran succession that soon escalated into all out war, a war which threatened even the Empire. One claimant, Kaltos, conquered most of Valenwood in just under two years with the assistance of Haymon Camoran, who was called the Hart-King – secretly, Haymon himself had a claim to the throne, despite being Kaltos’ chief advisor and his greatest sorcerer. Haymon would declare war against the people of Colovia, despite Kaltos’ wishes against it, and Haymon marched his armies north. Kaltos followed Haymon, begging him to stop, but Haymon betrayed Kaltos and claimed the throne of Valenwood for himself, becoming known as the Camoran Usurper. It is said his armies were the stuff of legends, that he summoned hordes of daedra to do his bidding, with only a few Redguard mercenaries and Bosmer troops. It is even believed he rose the bodies of fallen soldiers to fight for him. It is often theorized he was allied with a Daedric Prince, much like Mankar Camoran – it is even alleged there was one he referred to as master, not Kaltos, with whom he slowly lost favor and that is why his invasion slowed and was eventually stopped.


The Usuper’s thirteen year war in Tamriel saw him conquer Valenwood, most of Hammerfell, and a swath of High Rock before his defeat. Sympathy for the Emperor was low and the Usurper was seen as a liberator, so it was easy, initially, for civilians to rally to his side. However, reports would soon spread about Haymon’s abhorrent cruelty towards captives and his abuse of conquered lands, thus spawning the Principality of Dwynnen – an alliance of Ykalon, Phrygias, Kambria, and Dwynnen, led by Baron Othrok. During the Battle of Firewaves the same year – 3E 267 – the combined forces of High Rock and Kaltos Camoran, the greatest navy and an unheard of size of land forces, finally put an end to the Usurper’s war. The Usurper himself was felled in the battle. The same day, Mankar Camoran was born to Kaalys, a former mistress of Haymon Camoran. Despite the claims that Haymon is of Bosmeri Camoran lineage, there is a legend that says he was born of a Daedric Prince – most often Molag Bal – and a Breton woman, which would make him Breton and demi-Prince. As for Mankar Camoran, despite being born to Haymon – a Bosmer – and Kaalys – almost assuredly also a Bosmer – Mankar himself is an Altmer, claiming Altmeric and Bosmeric heritage. Thus, it is entirely possible Haymon is not Mankar’s biological father, though it might more likely mean Mankar discovered a way to change his race, likely alluded to in the Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes. These same Commentaries are said to be contemporary with Tiber Septim, placing them around the beginning of the Third Era, despite Mankar’s birth year being 3E 267, which would mean he was born before Haymon Camoran.



10946854894?profile=RESIZE_400xAnd now we swing back into Mankar Camoran. Knowing some of the history of Camoran and the Usurper himself, we can understand a bit more about Mankar. His philosophy was similar to that of both the Camorans and the Thalmor, that Tamriel – and Nirn – was the property of the ancestors. However, where they differ was the Camorans believed they had a right to rule and the Thalmor believed only Altmer should rule, but Mankar believed Nirn belonged to Lorkhan. Whatever happened during his time post-birth in High Rock to his reappearance in 3E 433, though entirely unknown, put him into the graces of Mehrunes Dagon. He came back wielding the Mysterium Xarxes and with two children – Raven and Ruma. And he firmly believed the Nine Divines were traitors, that they had deceived Lorkhan from his throne. He believed Lorkhan was a Daedric Prince and that his plane of Oblivion was, what he called, Dawn’s Beauty – by which, of course, he meant Tamriel. Thus, he wrote the Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes and founded the Mythic Dawn. Using the Mysterium Xarxes, he opened a portal to a bubble of Oblivion called Gaiar Alata, or Paradise. This would serve as the center of his cult. He rewarded his followers with eternal life in Paradise, though they were haunted by Daedra, so the existence was less than heavenly.





In less than a year, the Mythic Dawn grew so powerful that they already enacted their plans to return Tamriel to Oblivion. They believed it was the blessings of Akatosh that

 anchored Tamriel to Mundus. Thus, they needed to assassinate the last of the Dragon Emperors – Uriel the VII and his heirs – snuff out the Dragonfires, and claim the Amulet of Kings. The Dragonfires were snuffed and Mankar got his hands on the Amulet of Kings after assassinating Uriel Septim VII, but there was a piece of the puzzle missing. A bastard son named Martin was discovered and, though the Mythic Dawn tried long and hard to kill him, he was protected by the Hero of Kvatch. Waiting in Gaiar Alata for the barrier between Nirn and Oblivion to fade, he was hunted down by the Hero of Kvatch and slain.



The Mysterium Xarxes was a tome written by Mehrunes Dagon. It was said to contain great and evil power, with a vile corrupting influence that even simply opening the book, a reader needed powerful magical protection from it. Mehrunes Dagon gave the Xarxes to Mankar Camoran as part of a plot to allow Dagon to invade Nirn. Through the prophecies in the Xarxes, the Mythic Dawn cult formed their religion, centered around the Xarxes. Using the book, Mankar Camoran created Paradise – Gaiar Alata – where slain Mythic Dawn cultists were sent. After Uriel the VII and his legitimate heirs were slain, the Blades infiltrated the cult and stole the Xarxes. Bringing it back to Temple Cloud Ruler, an illegitimate heir – Martin Septim – translated the Xarxes and opened a portal to Paradise, through which the Hero of Kvatch entered and slew Mankar Camoran, reclaiming the Amulet of Kings. The Xarxes was supposedly destroyed in the process. A single page remained, which came into the possession of the Vesuius family where, in 4E 201, Silus Vesuius would put it on display in his Mythic Dawn Museum in Dawnstar of Skyrim.


As for Gaiar Alata itself, it was a pocket dimension either within or adjacent to the Deadlands, the realm of Mehrunes Dagon. Despite its name, it was only Paradise for Mankar and his children. For his followers, it was prison and torture, as they were subjugated by the Daedra within. When the Mysterium Xarxes was destroyed during the Oblivion Crisis and with Mankar Camoran’s death, Gaiar Alata faded from existence.



Basically, with the story of Mankar Camoran, nothing was ever as it seemed. Mankar was an Altmer who was really a Bosmer. The Mysterium Xarxes – which has no known connection to the Aedra known as Xarxes – was a fancy book that ultimately held nothing but lies. And Paradise? A living hell.

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Fimvul is the current master of the Skyforge Library. Interested in the Elder Scrolls from a young age, he has been diving headfirst into the richer aspects of the lore of the series for over a decade. With years of experience and research under his belt, he hopes to enlighten his readers with the wondrous mystery that surrounds the Elder Scrolls universe.

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