Factions in The Elder Scrolls Online consist of the main Alliances, joinable Guilds, and other groups with similar goals, causes or philosophies.
During character customization, players must choose from one of three Alliances; the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact. Players are able to join various Guilds, regardless of their Alliance, and these include the Mages Guild, the Fighters Guild, and the Undaunted. The Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood will be added in-game post-launch. Other factions offer quests, but cannot be joined at launch, such as the Great Houses of Morrowind. While certain factions can only be encountered in a particular Alliance's territory, players may experience another Alliance's content when they reach level 50.
In 2E 578 an arcane explosion in the Imperial City set off a mystical aftershock that swept across Nirn. Many mages died or went mad. As the White-Gold Tower fell into the hands of Molag Bal cultists, the border between the plane of Oblivion and Nirn was broken. The Daedra spawned all over Tamriel in greater numbers than ever before. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it dominated the night sky.
Without an Emperor sitting on the Ruby Throne, The Empire fell into disrepair. Facing a great danger, many provinces united into different factions, each seeking to reclaim the throne and fulfill their own agendas.
The main goal of the Aldmeri Dominion was to protect Tamriel from the Daedric disasters that Nirn faced, and spare the continent from the corruption of Men. To their minds, the short-lived race of Men were not worthy of ruler's role, and the only solution would be to take the throne for themselves.
The dominant race of the Daggerfall Covenant was the Breton. With the help of their merchant' skillful diplomacy, the Daggerfall Covenant manages to ally with the races of Redguard and Orsimer. The faction was led by the merchant High King Emeric.
With the fall of the Imperial City the renown trade routes of the Daggerfall Covenant races were disrupted.
With no more trade the region could not prosper. Poverty and suffering spread throughout the land. By reclaiming the Ruby Throne, the Daggerfall Covenant sought to return the Empire and, more importantly, cities of the Iliac Bay to their former wealth.
The dominant race of the Ebonheart Pact was the Nord. The Dunmer and, eventually, the Argonians joined forces along with the Nords to survive the Second Akaviri Invasion. The leader of the faction was High King Jorunn. He, however, did not have all the power over the provinces, as a Great Moot was summoned, a council of all the allied races, whom he had to hear out.
Having protected Tamriel from the Akaviri, the members of the Ebonheart Pact thought to have earned the right as the rulers. Moreover, ever since the great conquests of the Nords in the First Era, they thought themselves to be superior and the rightful rulers of Tamriel.
The Mages Guild appear in The Elder Scrolls Online. One way to increase reputation with this faction is to search Tamriel for hidden Lore books. Sufficient reputation increase will unlock additional skills, perks and abilities.
The Fighters Guild is a joinable faction in this game. One way to increase reputation in this guild is to destroy Dark Anchors of Molag Bal. With enough reputation, new skills and abilities will be unlocked.
The Undaunted is a guild involved in dungeons, and has its own unique skill line.
The Thieves Guild is dedicated to the gathering and training of those who are stealthy and shadowy in nature. Although criminal by its very definition, for untold years, local authorities in places throughout Tamriel have tolerated the existence of the guild for its role as "Crime Regulator".
The Dark Brotherhood is a guild of professional assassins which historically possessed considerable influence and power but has recently fallen on considerably harder times.
- Written several books
A bandit group located in Rivenspire.
- A Cyrodiil group of bandits.
- Group of Crows located in Crow's Wood.
- A collection if Necromancers led by Angof the Gravesinger, and involved in multiple quests in both Betnikh and Glenumbra.
- A group of assassins trying to assassinate King Casimir in Daggerfall.
A Dremora group located in the Dragonstar Arena.
- The defenders of the village (and ancient tree) known as Brackenleaf.
- The group that is responsible for attacking northern Valenwood.
- Confirmed to be in the game, and plays a role in the politics of the Aldmeri Dominion
- A collection of fierce warriors who honored the ways of the original five hundred companions that arrived in Tamriel with their leader, the legendary Ysgramor. Once spread out throughout the provinces, a fraction of the once great army is what remains in Skyrim. The Companions are a well known and respected group, who deal with threats that endanger the lives of the commoners.
- A group inhabiting Fardir's Folly.
- A clan of Reachmen dedicated to gaining control of the Reach.
- Followers of a Daedric cult, and opposed to Azura's followers. Resides in Stormhaven. Possibly led by Overdreamer Chartrand.
- A clan of Wood Orcs located in the region of Malabal Tor.
- Part of the Dominion's guards.
- The Hands of Almalexia are servants of the Tribunal member, Almalexia. They can be found primarily in Mournhold, around and inside the Tribunal Temple.
- Hircine worshippers.
- House Redoran is one of the Great Houses of Morrowind that have joined the Ebonheart Pact.
- A Rivenspire faction of Bretons.
- House Telvanni is one of the six Great Houses of Morrowind. They are known as the wizard-lords who prefer to pursue wisdom and mastery in solitude. House Telvanni refused to join the Ebonheart Pact, causing inner conflict in the province of Morrowind.
- A group of Orcs residing in Craglorn.
- A group of pirates that have overtaken Haven.
- Led by Endarwe in Rulanyil's Fall, this faction are collectors of lost relics, particularly those "of aesthetic or historic significance."
- Stormhaven smugglers and bandits.
- Led by Lleraya Montclair, a family at war with the ruling family of Rivenspire. Is involved in turning citizens of towns such as Moira's Hope into Bloodfiends.
- Located primarily in Malak's Maw
- The "Ra Gada" of Malabal Tor are a faction that appears in Velyn Harbor.
- A Clan of Reachmen.'
- Similar to the Forsworn group that exists in the Fourth Era. However at this point in time, they have allied themselves with Molag Bal's forces. They are hostile to both Nords and Bretons.
- A group of bandits in Glenumbra.
- Khajiiti Privateers in Morrowind and Argonia.
- Daggerfall Covenant intelligence network.
- A band of pirates that control the town of Saintsport in Stros M'Kai and are lead by Captain Helane.
- A Betnikh Clan of Orsimer.
- A collection of Maormer that are allied with the Veiled Heritance to try and overthrow the Aldmeri Dominion.
- This faction makes multiple appearances in numerous quests and locations in the Aldmeri Dominion Storyline.
- The group of Shadowscales as a group.
- A faction of worriors located in Dragonstar Arena.
- A faction residing in Craglorn.
- A Redguard faction located in Fuller's Break.
- Group of Molag Bal worshippers in Reaper's March.
- A clan of Reachmen.
- Also known as the Stormfist Brigade. This group is located in Eastmarch.
- Faction of Guards throughout Tamriel.
- They have continued animosity towards the Forebears, but are temporarily working together.
- They have continued animosity towards the Crowns, but are temporarily working together.
- A group that resides in Sentinel.
- A faction that is also involved in the Dominion's politics. Unlike in Skyrim though, this faction contains members from all three races.
- A subset of the Thalmor, this group is charged with maintaining diplomatic relations.
- The current ruling family in Cyrodiil. Members include Clivia Tharn, the Empress Regent of Tamriel, and also her father, Elder Council member and Battlemage, Abnur Tharn.
- A group of Altmeri Supremacists, dedicated to the overthrow of Queen Ayrenn's rule.
- A faction of dedicated Bosmeri. Originating from Vinedusk, and involved in a number of missions throughout the Aldmeri Dominion. Azarath is a member of this faction.
- Necromancer group in Alik'r Desert.
- Located in Rootwater Grove, Orthenir is the only known member of this clan. They exist to keep Greenshade protected from Daedra.
- Collective name for several clans of Orsimer in Valenwood, such as the Drublog Clan and the Llurgash.
For factions in other games in The Elder Scrolls universe, see:
- Factions (Arena)
- Factions (Daggerfall)
- Factions (Morrowind)
- Factions (Oblivion)
- Factions (Skyrim)
- ↑ Sacrilege and Mayhem in the Alik'r
- ↑ Curnard's Journal
- ↑ Bjoulsae Boys Charter
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Lleraya's Orders
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Clans of the Reach: A Guide
- ↑ Clans of Eastmarch: The Direfrost
- ↑ Overdreamer Chartrand's Orders
- ↑ Events of "Enemy of My Enemy"
- ↑ Contract with House Diel
- ↑ Notes on Elven Architecture
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls Online: Dialogue with Orthuna.
- ↑ Treaty of Three Clans
- ↑ Founding of the Spirit Wardens
- ↑ Cover Every Approach
- ↑ Several books in "Tribes of Murkmire" series
- ↑ Bone Orchard Research Log 1