Elder Scrolls Lore Report - The Great Anguish, the Dawn of Myth, and Mehrunes Da-Gone

(despite my doodling, this is also the Great Gate in the Imperial City, only closed by Martin Septim's final sacrifice)


Late in the 3E, a cult devoted to the belief that Nirn was and should be again part of Oblivion rose to prominence. When the last of the Dragonblood emperors to sit upon the Ruby Throne was assassinated by the Mythic Dawn in 3E 433 and the immediate theft of the Amulet of Kings, the Oblivion Crisis began. We all know this to be true, but what exactly was the Oblivion Crisis, and why did it fail?


Fortunately, my last report was on Mankar Camoran, the progenitor and founder of the Mythic Dawn, so we need not dive too far back to unravel this lesser mystery. Still, we do have to dig into Mehrunes Dagon, his connection to the Mythic Dawn, and even the nature of Oblivion itself.




The Waters of Oblivion, the rampant space between spaces where the countless realms of the various daedra exist, once was the endless Void. Where once was nothing, everything became. This is the short-short version – for a more in-depth breakdown, see my report on Anu and Padomay. Though this does little to piece together what role Nirn plays in Oblivion, we do know Creation, the birth-child of the interplay between Anu and Nir, shattered by Padomay, was fragmented into what became Nirn. Created in what would become Aetherius, before Mundus. In truth, Nirn doesn’t belong to Oblivion, it really should be considered one of the many realms – Lorkhan’s realm, to be specific, but let’s segue away from this before we dive into headcanon.


As for the Most Puissant Lord Gerent of Dagon, his specific motivation for seducing the Mythic Dawn is unclear. The Mythic Dawn seems to believe that Dagon believes Nirn was once part of his realm. Though we might never learn the truth, the most famous theory is that Dagon didn’t care about Nirn, he cared that it was united under the Septim Dynasty. Dagon is the lord of ambition, change, and revolution. If the Septims achieved a wholly unified Nirn, there would be no ambition left and nothing would change. Thus, he conceived the most brutal revolution ever known in the history of The Elder Scrolls universe. Perhaps he desired to bring about the fall of the Septims Dynasty himself – and, in a way, perhaps he did – but, in the end, Tamriel was left broken and the entire continent is revolting the idea they were ever under one banner. Also, the Septim Bloodline was entirely eradicated, which was a huge part of what he wanted, though not at the cost.


As for the Mythic Dawn, he saw the coming change and believed Camoran and his followers could realize his desire to be the supreme deity of Nirn, gifting them the Mysterium Xarxes which led to the creation of Paradise and providing them the means and intelligence by which they could assassinate the last Septim Emperor. Beyond that one overarching goal, there’s little to say what compelled Dagon to associated with the Mythic Dawn beyond their worship.



As for the event itself, it’s more or less pretty straightforward. It ultimately took place in four stages, with five major battlefields after it began. The first stage was the Emperor’s Assassination in the Imperial Prison Sewers. If you haven’t played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion yet, I’ll spare you spoilers – how dare you, by the way – but to make a long story short, the Mythic Dawn Assassins are simply too numerous for the Blades to handle. However, the Emperor does give the player character the Amulet of Kings and requests the PC to deliver it to Jauffre at the Weynon Priory.


Another part of the First Stage doesn’t actually take place directly in the game. It was the extermination of the Septim bloodline, which the Mythic Dawn carries out around the same timeframe as Emperor Uriel VII. Though they are successful in executing all of the Emperor’s legitimate heirs, a bastard son, Martin, remained, protected by he who would become the Hero of Kvatch, the first major battle of the Oblivion Crisis. However, enough of the heirs were killed that none of the Dragonblood could sit on the Ruby Throne and wear the Amulet of Kings, which led to one of the gifts of Akatosh, the Dragonfires, to be expunged, which allowed Dagon to use Sigil Stones to anchor Oblivion Gates to Mundus – not entirely dissimilar to the Planemeld when Molag Bal tethered Coldharbour to Mundus.


After delivering the Amulet of Kings in Chorrol, the player character of Oblivion heads to Kvatch to locate the last illegitimate heir of the Emperor, Brother Martin of the Chapel of Akatosh in Kvatch. As the PC arrives, the first of the Oblivion Gates is opened, and hordes of swarm into Kvatch and break the city. Much of its population – including Count Ormellius Goldwine, the current Lord of Kvatch, and the famous Saint Jiub – were killed during the siege. However, a mysterious hero managed to breach the Sigil Keep and remove the Sigil Stone from the gate. Without its anchor to Mundus, the gate closed, and the hero became known as the Hero of Kvatch, though his identity remains a mystery.



(the Siege Crawler lays waste to Kvatch)


The Second Stage of the Oblivion Crisis begins during the Siege of Kvatch. As the first gate opens in Kvatch, numerous other gates open all across Tamriel – most of them in Cyrodiil, but others pop up in other provinces – notably, one opens in Black Marsh and is quickly closed; the Hist warned the Saxhleel of the coming invasion and the Argonians actually counter-invaded the Deadlands, forcing Dagon to close that gate or risk losing his armies.



(the gate at Bruma)


Another major battle of the Crisis occurred in Summerset. A Gate through which Daedra poured was not far from Crystal-Like-Law and, despite the efforts of powerful Altmer mages, the first bastion of all magical learning was utterly destroyed by the Deadra – or was it?



(through the Bruma Gate)


There was also the sacking of Ald’ruhn. Depending on which account you refer to, the story varies. Many original recitals claim that, when the Crisis began, the Legion simply could not defend all their territories and were spread too thin, while later accounts state that the Legion withdrew most of their forces from the other provinces to protect Cyrodiil, and this left them defenseless. Either way, the settlement of Ald’ruhn in the Ashlands near Red Mountain, built around the carcass of an ancient emperor crab named Skar, was invaded by a legion of Daedra. In an attempt to defend the city, a group of Redoran mages performed an ancient ritual to resurrect the massive crab. However, even with Skar’s assistance, the Dunmer defenders were defeated and Ald’ruhn was destroyed. It’s fate since the crisis is entirely unknown – and then, of course, five years later, Red Mountain erupted. Had any of Ald’ruhn survived the crisis, it was gone now.



(a statue erected in Bruma for the Hero of Kvatch, soon to be known as the Champion of Cyrodiil)


The Third Stage was the theft of the Amulet of Kings. Mythic Dawn Cultists manage to get their hands on the Amulet, stealing it from Jauffre before it could reach the Blades at Temple Cloud Ruler. It was stashed in Paradise and set the stage for Dagon himself to be capable of entering Mundus.



The Fourth Stage of the Oblivion Crisis was supposed to be Mehrunes Dagon’s victory in Tamriel and though he succeeded in fully invading Nirn, he was thwarted by the Hero of Kvatch and Martin Septim. Having retrieved the Amulet of Kings from Paradise, Martin Septim, the last of the Dragonblood Emperors, broke the Amulet of Kings and fused his essence with the gift of Akatosh and became an avatar of the Dragon God of Time itself and forced Mehrunes Dagon back into Oblivion. Following Dagon’s defeat, the Avatar turned to stone, killing Martin but leaving behind a solid reminder of his great sacrifice. And Dagon was da-Gone for Good.



(the Avatar of Akatosh)


I hope you weren’t expecting a lengthy article this time around. Centered just on the Oblivion Crisis, which theoretically takes place over the course of just a few days – Days Gone for Dagon.

11000154054?profile=RESIZE_710xDespite the victory against Dagon, there remained one last Oblivion Gate that could not be closed. Deep in the Velothi Mountains, the remnants of the Mythic Dawn resurged to return Dagon to Nirn, only to be thwarted by the Last Dragonborn (as seen in the events of The Cause, a Creation Club Creation for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

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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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