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Ald'ruhn

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Ald'ruhn is a town found in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

Description

It is a large Dunmer settlement located in the Ashlands region in Morrowind's province of Vvardenfell. Ald'ruhn is the district seat of House Redoran, one of the Dunmer great houses. The Redoran Council Hall is located inside Ald'ruhn-under-Skar, the shell of an ancient giant dead crab. Imperial-constructed roads lead north to the villages of Maar Gan and Gnisis, and south to the major city known as Balmora, the district seat of House Hlaalu. Ald'ruhn is one of the largest settlements in Vvardenfell.

The three principal districts were Ald'ruhn town, Ald'ruhn-under-Skar, and Fort Buckmoth. Ald'ruhn town was a large settlement in the Redoran village style, built of local materials, with organic curves and undecorated exteriors inspired by the landscape and by the shells of giant, native insects. Most guildhalls, cornerclubs, and merchants were sited in the southwest corner of the city, conveniently close to the West Gate and the Silt Strider port, while the Temple was located on high ground to the east, and was surrounded by a residential section. Ald'ruhn-under-Skar was the most distinctive architectural feature of Ald'ruhn, a manor and council district sheltered beneath the shell of an ancient, extinct giant crab. The large carapace enclosed a central dome, from which radiated the entrances to the Redoran Council Chambers, the manors of the Redoran Councillors, and the shops of a few upscale merchants. Buckmoth Fort was the Imperial Legion garrison for the district. The strong walls and towers of this Imperial fortress were located a short distance to the south of the Ald'ruhn town, through the South Gate and behind the Mages Guild.

Ald'ruhn was the site of a massive battle between the Dunmer forces of House Redoran, assisted by the Imperial Legion and the other great houses, and the Daedric Forces of Destruction. The Dunmer were defeated as the majority of their forces were away fighting against the Nords of Skyrim. The great siege crawler destroyed Ald'ruhn, but the fate of the Redoran Councilors and Fort Buckmoth remains unknown.

History

Led by the legendary prophet Veloth, the ancestors of the Dunmer, exiles from Altmer cultures in the Summerset Isles, came to the region of Morrowind. In the earliest times, the Dunmer were harassed and dominated by Nordic sea raiders. When the scattered Dunmer tribes consolidated into the predecessors of the Great House clans, they threw out their Nordic oppressors and successfully resisted further incursions led by the Great House of warriors, House Redoran.

As a reward for their bravery in fighting against the Nords, House Redoran was awarded a huge swathe of land in central and western Vvardenfell. The Dunmer tribes were originally nomadic, wandering the wastelands and grassy plains of Morrowind. Eventually; however, the Dunmer, led by House Indoril and House Dres, settled down and began the process of constructing cities. House Redoran decided to build their capital city in between the wastelands and the mountain chain surrounding Red Mountain. They believed that surviving and living in the harsh wastelands and ash storms would help them to become better warriors and be able to withstand hardship necessary in war.

Using the colossal, hollowed-out shell of an extinct, giant dead emperor crab as a nexus for the city, the Redoran began to construct Ald'ruhn using a variation of the High Velothi style that emphasized the use of local materials in the building process, and using organic curves and undecorated exteriors inspired by the landscape and by the shells of giant native insects. The Redoran designed their new capital city around their temple which was originally devoted to the worship of the Daedric Princes and a series of stone courtyards with huts and tradehouses gathered around a central plaza. With the construction of the city complete, colonists left from Ald'ruhn to create other Redoran-controlled settlements such as Blacklight, Khuul, Maar Gan, Ald Velothi, and other, more smaller towns. Ald'ruhn prospered and grew as trade with the other Redoran settlements and the other Great Houses grew.

However, this prosperity would not last. Another race of mer known as the Dwemer also inhabited Morrowind, and came into conflict with the First Council, the first pan-Dunmer governing body that consisted of representatives from all of the Great Houses. Tensions became so stressed that the Dwemer and the Dunmer collapsed into a full-scale war, with the majority of the houses, including House Redoran, rallying under the First Council. There is no doubt that, as the capital of the Redoran, Ald'ruhn was not attacked by the Dwemer and their allies at some point during the war, but eventually the Dwemer were beaten back by the combined Dunmer armies, and were eventually defeated at the Battle of Red Mountain. Following the conclusion of the War of the First Council, Indoril Nerevar, the Dunmer general who had led the First Council to victory, died and his generals, Vivec the Poet, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil used the Numidium to make themselves gods. House Redoran was one of the first Great Houses to decide to worship the Tribunal Temple as gods, and the daedric temple was reconsecrated into a Tribunal temple.

In the following eras, Ald'ruhn continued to grow and expand, becoming one of the more wealthier cities in Vvardenfell, and Morrowind as a whole. The various wars fought between Morrowind and its neighbors left Ald'ruhn relatively unscathed due to its isolated position in the wastelands of Vvardenfell. It also managed to avoid being attacked during the religious wars.

Fallofaldruhn

Drawing of the Fall of Aldruhn by Michael Kirkbride

During the Oblivion Crisis, an Oblivion Gate opened in front of the city walls. The Daedra succeeded in overcoming the Redoran defense, and overran the city. In a last ditch effort to defend the city, Dunmer mages made use of ancient, arcane rituals to awaken the dread emperor crab. The whole city literally rose up to fight the invaders. The fate of the House Councillors, as well as the Buckmoth Imperial Legion Fort, is unknown.

At the time of this battle, House Redoran was already involved in military operations against the Nords of Skyrim. It is unknown how the destruction of Redoran's capital affected that war. With their warrior house decimated, the Dunmer of Vvardenfell fell back as the Daedra moved towards a siege of the Ghost Gate. Messengers sent to locate the Tribunal Gods Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil, as well as the savior of Morrowind, the Nerevarine, were unsuccessful, and the Dunmer began to fall back into the hinterlands of Vvardenfell to defend themselves against the Daedra.


Sublocations and districts

Main article: Ald'ruhn Locations

Ald'ruhn Town

Ald'ruhn

Shops and homes inside the walls of Ald'ruhn.

Ald'ruhn town was the largest residential section of Ald'ruhn, and was a large settlement in the Redoran village style, built of local materials, with organic curves and undecorated exteriors inspired by the landscape and by the shells of giant native insects. Most guildhalls, cornerclubs, and merchants were sited in the southwest corner of the town, conveniently located next to the West Gate and the Silt Strider port, while the Temple was located on high ground to the east, and surrounded by the main part of the residential section. In the northern section of Ald'ruhn town, clustered around the giant dread emperor crab shell that contained the Ald'ruhn-under-Skar district, were a few traders, a bookseller, and a rugged outdoor smithy. To the west lied the council club of the Camonna Tong, an infamous criminal syndicate native to Morrowind, and the Ald Skar Inn. Inside the Ald Skar Inn, more traders, including the Ashlander merchant Hassour Zainsubani, have set up shop and hawk their wares to the residents of the inn. On the eastern-most side of Ald'ruhn town was a large Tribunal temple with shrines to Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil within. Tribunal priests would bless parishioners and pilgrims who visited the temple. Surrounding the temple, was a large residential section that contained many of the residential houses of the middle and lower classes, as well as the Morvayn Manor.

Just within the West Gate, and centered around a dust-swept plaza, were the Fighters Guild, and the Mages Guild. Also facing guild square was the The Rat in the Pot Inn, a local Thieves Guild hangout, and the site of their dealings in Ald'ruhn. Many high-ranking representatives of the Morrowind branch of the Thieves Guild could be found here. The Silt Strider port was located just along the wall that protected the city from Ashlander and beast incursions, as well as shielding the city from the frequent Ash Storms that descended upon the city from Red Mountain. Ald'ruhn suffered a brief scare when the Morvayn Manor was assaulted and occupied by Ash Vampires, but was saved by the timely intervention of the Nerevarine.

Ald'ruhn-under-Skar

Ald'ruhn-under-Skar

Exterior view of Ald'ruhn-under-skar

Ald'ruhn-under-Skar, also known as the Manor District or just Under-Skar, was the most distinctive architectural feature of Ald'ruhn, and was a manor and council district sheltered beneath the shell of an ancient, extinct giant dead emperor crab. The crab's large carapace enclosed a central dome, from which radiated the entrances to the Redoran Council chambers, the manors of the House Redoran councilors, and the shops of a few upscale merchants who offer their services to the House Redoran Councilors and their families and servants. Most of the services provided by the Dunmer Great House Redoran were located in the Council House and Councilors' manors of Ald'ruhn-under-Skar. All six Redoran councilors, including Brara Morvayn, Hlaren Ramoran, Athyn Sarethi, Garisa Llethri, Miner Arobar, and Bolvyn Venim, have manor residences in Ald'ruhn-under-Skar.

Ald'Ruhn-Under-Skar Interior Morrowind

Interior of Ald'ruhn-under-skar.

The mansions of most Redoran councilors could be found on the upper portion of the Manor District. On the bottom portion of the giant dread emperor crab shell, several upscale merchants including a clothier, an alchemist, and an enchanter, had set up shop and sold their goods and services to the members of the Great House Redoran. The enchanter located here was one of the most renowned in Vvardenfell, a region in Morrowind, and provided the Redoran mages with a wide array of spells and incantations, as well as useful magickal items. The Redoran Council chamber held training facilities where their warriors were trained before being sent off to fight against the Nordic, Ashlander, and Sixth House incursions that became normal during the Third Era. The Council chambers also provided guest rooms and services for traveling members of House Redoran, and was the temporary home of the Redoran Councilor, Brara Morvayn.

Also in Ald'ruhn-under-Skar, the Morag Tong, an infamous assassination guild responsible for the murders of the Akaviri Potentates of the Reman Empire, had set up a base of operations from which to serve House Redoran. Goren Andarys headed up this section of the guild, and actively recruited members from the local Dunmer population in and around Ald'ruhn-under-Skar. Even though Ald'ruhn-under-Skar was the most actively patrolled region of Ald'ruhn by the House Redoran warriors, the Manor District experienced the most crime as the wealthy manors of the Redoran councilors attracted many thieves interested in the money, jewelry, and extravagant clothing held within the manors.

Fort Buckmoth

Buckmoth Legion Fort

Buckmoth Legion Fort

Buckmoth Fort, also known as Fort Buckmoth, was the Imperial Legion garrison for the district under the control of the Dunmer Great House Redoran. The strong walls and towers of this Imperial-constructed fortress lied a short distance to the south of the main district of Ald'ruhn, Ald'ruhn Town, through the South Gate behind the Mages Guild. Located due south of the main sections of Ald'ruhn and west of the Ramimilk Shrine, a Daedric shrine devoted to the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, and on the road to the Ghostgate, Fort Buckmoth served as the first line of defense of Ald'ruhn if it were to come under attack, and guarded it from any attacks coming from Dagoth Ur's forces based around Red Mountain.

Many Imperial sponsored merchants had taken up offices within Fort Buckmoth, making their services and goods available to the Imperial Legion for reasonable prices. These merchants included an enchanter, general goods merchant, apothecary, healer, drillmaster, battlemage, and smith. Fort Buckmoth was also home to an Imperial Cult shrine which contained an altar where the Nine Divines could be worshiped. Imsin the Dreamer, a Nord Knight-Protector and commander of the Imperial occupation of House Redoran's district, commanded the Imperial Legion forces in the area from here. Shardie, a Redguard Crusader who had mastered the skill of blocking, could also be found here, and trained Imperial recruits and legionaries at Fort Buckmoth.

The Imperial Legion protected the Redoran-controlled districts of Morrowind from Fort Buckmoth, and led the fight against injustice, banditry, and theft from here. Imperial Legion forces, under the command of Imsin the Dreamer, assaulted the caverns of Ilunibi searching for smugglers, but instead discovered a Sixth House Cult base. The survival of one of the Imperial legionaries allowed the Nerevarine to assault the Ilunibi, and wipe out the Sixth House cultists. Imperial Legion soldiers from Fort Buckmoth also arrested a citizen of Ald'ruhn for smuggling Dwemer artifacts, rescued a soldier from Fort Moonmoth from Ashurnibibi, and defeated a rogue House Telvanni wizard in Assumanu and restored an embroidered gauntlet to a lady in Ald'ruhn.

Services

House Redoran services were in the Council House and Councilor's Manors of Ald'ruhn-under-Skar. The Ald'ruhn Tribunal Temple on the eastern side of the city provided services for Tribunal Temple worshippers and pilgrims. The Buckmoth Legion Fort offered services to the Imperial Legion and devotees of the Imperial Cult, the official religious cult of the Cyrodiilic Empires, including an Imperial cult altar dedicated to the worship of the Nine Divines. The guildhalls of the Fighters Guild and Mages Guild were located near the South Gate, and also provided many services to their members. Pricey, but high-quality clothier, alchemist, and enchanter shops could also be found in Ald'ruhn-under-Skar. Commodities at reasonable prices, but with smaller selections, were available from the smith, clothier, trader, pawnbroker, and bookseller in Ald'ruhn's upper district, surrounding the shell of the extinct exporer crab that housed Ald'ruhn-under-Skar.

Ald Skar Inn

Ald Skar Inn

The Ald Skar Inn and the Council Club cornerclub were found in the western regions of Ald'ruhn, near the West Gate and the Silt Strider port. The Rat in the Pot cornerclub was found in the southern area of Ald'ruhn, near the guildhalls of the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild, and faced the guild square. The Tribunal Temple in Ald'ruhn, which was located in the northern section of Ald'ruhn, offered a wide range of services, though most were restricted to the higher members of the hierarchy of the Tribunal Temple. The Tribunal priests blessed parishioners and pilgrims to the temple for a small price, though pilgrims were allowed to pray at the shrines to Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil, as well as the shrines to St. Roris and St. Meris, free of charge.

The Ald Skar Inn, Council Club cornerclub, and Rat in the Pot cornerclub were well-stocked with local and foreign drinks to serve to their patrons. Rooms could also be rented for use by travelers at the Ald Skar Inn. The Thieves Guild also provided services through their representatives and members who could be found in the local Thieves Guild hangout on the guild square, the Rat in the Pot cornerclub. The local Mages Guild could teleport people willing to pay the price to any other Mages Guild guildhall in Vvardenfell as well as sell useful magickal spells and items to its members and prospective members.

Notable Characters

Brara Morvayn

Brara Morvayn

The following is a list of notable, and high-profile people who resided in or around the Great House Redoran district capital of Ald'ruhn during the Vvardenfell Crisis and Oblivion Crisis:

  • Brara Morvayn - House Redoran councilor who temporarily resided in the Redoran Council Chamber; manor in Ald'ruhn Town was assaulted and occupied by Ash Vampires under the command of Dagoth Ur during the Vvardenfell Crisis.
  • Hlaren Ramoran - House Redoran councilor who supported the Telvanni proposal to allow them to compete with the Mages Guild and was in charge of collecting taxes in the outlying regions.
  • Tuls Valen - Master of the Ald'ruhn Temple, he gives several quests to fellow Tribunal Temple members.
  • Athyn Sarethi - House Redoran councilor who was against Bolvyn Venim becoming the archmaster; Bolvyn Venim attempted to have him assassinated and had his son kidnapped; Sarethi was in charge of the hunting of smugglers in the areas around Ald'ruhn.
  • Garisa Llethri - House Redoran councilor who supported the Telvanni proposal to allow them to compete with the Mages Guild and acquired proof of Hlaalu corruption at the Caldera Mine and; subsequently, had the mine shut down.
  • Miner Arobar - House Redoran councilor whose daughter was kidnapped by House Telvanni who used her to force him to oppose any decision made by the Redoran Council that they deemed unsuitable
  • Bolvyn Venim - House Redoran archmaster who kidnapped Athyn Sarethi's son, Varvur Sarethi to force him to accept his policies and was killed in a duel by an unknown member of House Redoran who had challenged his right to rule the Great House.
  • Edwinna Elbert - Mages Guild steward and chapter head of the Mages Guild guildhall located in Ald'ruhn around the guild square; a dedicated Dwemer scholar and researcher who sent the members of her chapter to recover Dwemer artifacts.
  • Percius Mercius - Fighters Guild steward and chapter head of the Fighters Guild guildhall located in Ald'ruhn around the guild square; a Blades contact who was responsible for the purging of Camonna Tong-corrupted members of the Fighters Guild.
  • Methal Seran - An eminent Tribunal Temple priest and scholar who was in charge of the administration of the Tribunal Temple and its holdings in and around Ald'ruhn.
  • Raesa Pullia - Imperial Legion commandant of Buckmoth Legion Fort; instigated the Battle of Ilunibi, and commanded the Imperial Legion forces in Buckmoth Legion Fort during the Vvardenfell Crisis and Oblivion Crisis.
  • Imsin the Dreamer - Imperial Legion Buckmoth Legion Fort chapter steward who led Imperial forces in the crackdown on smuggling, and planned the rescue of an Imperial legionnarie from Ashurnibibi.
  • Hean - Imperial Cult priest and scholar who was in charge of the administration of the Imperial Cult and its holdings in and around Ald'ruhn.
  • Goren Andarys - The guild steward of the Morag Tong who was in charge of their guildhall which was located in Ald'ruhn-under-Skar.
  • Louis Beauchamp - man standing outside of the Mages Guild.

Travel and Transportation

Imperial-constructed roads led northwest to the villages of Maar Gan and Gnisis, and by a circuitous western route to Caldera, Balmora, and other cities in the south of Vvardenfell. The road to Balmora swung northwest to avoid passing through the barren wastes inhabited by the Ashlanders, and curved around towards the west until it headed south again towards Caldera. Between Ald'ruhn and Caldera were many side roads and paths. The Imperial Legion planted fenceposts along the roads to help keep travelers and pilgrims from getting lost during their journeys. The Silt Strider port was located along the western town wall, north of the West Gate. The Silt Strider service went from Ald'ruhn to Balmora, Gnisis, Khuul, and Maar Gan.

Mages Guild guides at the local Ald'ruhn guildhall along guild square teleported travelers who did not want to travel long distances using the Imperial road system or the Silt Strider service to the Mages Guild guildhall in Balmora, Vivec City, Caldera, and Sadrith Mora for a modest fee. Gnaar Mok was a long and exceptionally unpleasant walk west to the coast and then south which was complicated by the fact that there were no roads, trails, or marked routes leading there from Ald'ruhn. Casual travelers ill-equipped for the attacks of wild beasts, brigands, bandits, and Ashlanders were warned by the Imperial Legion and the government of Morrowind that they should keep to the roads and travel services instead of attempting to eke their way through the wilderness in an attempt to discover a shortcut to their destination.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Ald'ruhn translates into "Old Home," in the Dunmeri language.
  • Ald'ruhn and Old Run may be the same city. Both are located on Vvardenfell, and have similar names.

Appearances

References

  1. Dialogue with Neloth

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