Orsinium (Aldmeris: Orc-Town), also called Nova Orsinium, is an Orcish city-state located within Tamriel. It featured prominently in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall and The Elder Scrolls Online: Orsinium as the Orcish capital city. While technically being under the sovereignty of the Empire, Orsinium has in the past not been readily accepted by the other provinces of Tamriel. However, in 3E 399, Emperor Uriel Septim VII sought to improve relationships between the Empire and Orsinium through diplomacy, increased trade, and confederacy, prior to its destruction. Orsinium has usually been located inside the province of High Rock, in the western part of Tamriel, and as such Orcs co-inhabit the region alongside Bretons. The current Orsinium lies upon the mountains between Skyrim and Hammerfell.
- Main article: Old Orsinium
The very First Orsinium, sometimes known as "Torug's Folly", was founded by Orc chieftain Torug gro-Igron, after Warlord Thulgeg led a great emigration of Orsimer and Goblins to the Wrothgarian Mountains. At first it was just a small collection of huts but as word spread to the other Orcs of Tamriel about this rising civilization high in the Wrothgarian Mountains it soon grew to house more permanent structures.
In its early stages, the other races of Tamriel deemed it a place ruled by savage law which raided its neighbors along the local river (the Bjoulsae River). It was thought by the Bretons to be little more than a desolate mountain region where Orcs scratched a meager living off rocks and secretly coveted the lands and the settled livelihood of their valley-bound neighbors. Orc historians however, claim this is simply Breton superstition and exaggeration. They claim Orsinium was always a peaceful land whose inhabitants made their way by simple agriculture and commerce. The truth though is hard to prove, as all archaeological evidence was destroyed in the Siege of Orisinium in 1E 980.
With no province to call their own, the Orsimer became little more than pests and monsters in the view of the average Tamrielic citizen. Many Orcs attempted to set-up new Orsiniums but with no luck.[source?] They were always destroyed before they could be properly established, and the succeeding Orsinium was finally established in the mid-Second Era.
- Main article: Orsinium (Online)
Following the city's destruction, the land briefly became a territory of the Akaviri Potentate, though this ended with the assassination of Savirien Chorak in 2E 430. As a result, the lands were later sacked by Baron Fulvert Guimard in 2E 431, and at some point Wrothgar later went under the control of the Daggerfall Covenant. In 2E 566, King Emeric of Wayrest sent emissaries to the Wrothgarian Mountains with the offer that if they attacked the city of Shornhelm and provided aid to annihilate King Ranser's forces at Markwasten Moor, the lands of Wrothgar would once again be theirs. They later did so under the command of Kurog gro-Bagrakh, who later became the king of Orsinium, and the Orcish representative of the Daggerfall Covenant.
The Second Orsinium existed during the Three Banners War in 2E 852, where it was undergoing construction. The city was under the control of Kurog gro-Orsinium, who united it with the Daggerfall Covenant. Kurog did not control the entirety of Wrothgar, and seeked to unite the Orc clans under one faction. This did not prove easy, as Kurog's support for the worship of Trinimac did not sit well with the other chieftains. It is unknown when it was destroyed, though in 2E 864 the Orsimer petitioned Tiber Septim to grant them the status of an Imperial Territory once more.
- Main article: Orsinium (Daggerfall)
An Orc visionary named Gortwog gro-Nagorm acquired the site of the former civilization of Orsinium and began reconstructing a new city for the Orsimer of Tamriel. As it grew, many believed it would succumb to the same fate as its predecessor. Gortwog though, proved to be a superb politician and diplomat and managed to make negotiations with Orsinium's neighbors which saw the Third Orsinium prosper.
Orsinium had asked the Imperial authorities to raise it to Provincial status, making it recognized as a fully-fledged Province of Tamriel. Its request was under review and given the likelihood of a stable future with its previous rival High Rock, many believed Orsinium had a very good chance of succeeding in its goal. It is unknown if it became a province prior to its sacking in the early Fourth Era.
There is however, a religious conflict in Orsinium which shows signs of becoming a major problem. In accordance with tradition, the Orsimer have always worshipped the Daedra lord Malacath as their deity. Orsinium's current leader, Gortwog, however, has controversially claimed that Malacath is in fact a fake and has set up a priesthood dedicated to the worship of the ancient Aedric hero, Trinimac. This had caused controversy as Trinimac was said to have been devoured by Boethiah, and afterwards became Malacath.
Some time in the early Fourth Era, Orsinium was once again sacked, though the exact date or by whom it was sacked by is unknown. Like before, it was rebuilt, but this time not in the Wrothgarian mountains like the three previous incarnations of the Orc kingdom. The Fourth Orsinium was instead built in the Western Reach mountains in between Skyrim and Hammerfell.
While little is known about Torug gro-Igron's religious beliefs, his successor King Golkarr was said to have been a zealot over Malacath, and prayed to the deity Mauloch for strength before he was killed.
King Kurog gro-Orsinium had established a temple of Trinimac within the Orcish city, which later suffered from a surprise attack. While he did not ban worship of the Malacath, he did show distaste of the practice. Due to many Orsimer still favoring Malacath, Kurog's vision to unite the Orc clans of Tamriel was affected as many chieftans did not wish to join him over this.
Gortwog's belief that Trinimac still lives and that Malacath is a mere demon was the official view taken by the majority of the leading priests in Orsinium. A handful of Orcs within Orsinium and the majority of Orcs outside of it viewed Gortwog's beliefs as heresy. Many of Gortwog's supporters grow fearful that turning their back on Malacath may prove to be a terrible mistake.
- Torug gro-Igron (1E 9?? - 1E 9??)
- Golkarr (1E 9?? - 1E 980)
- Kurog gro-Orsinium (2E 566 - 2E 582)
- Bazrag gro-Fharun (2E 582 - 2E ???)
- Gortwog gro-Nagorm (3E 399 - ?E ???)
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Mentioned only)
- An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Online (Mentioned only)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Wild Regions
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Orsinium
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Loading Screens in Skyrim
- ↑ Horn of Beasts
- ↑ Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Events of Orsinium
- ↑ The Royal House of King Eamond
- ↑ The Fury of King Ranser
- ↑ Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
- ↑ Events of "The Ashes of Our Fathers"
- ↑ The Great Siege of Orsinium