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The Planemeld was a massive Daedric invasion of Tamriel in the 6th century of the Second Era, during the Interregnum. The Daedric Prince Molag Bal used his Dark Anchors, huge inter-dimensional machines, in an attempt to drag Nirn out of Mundus and into his own realm of Coldharbour.
The Hollow CityEdit
Long before the Planemeld, Meridia and Molag Bal were at war, using their Ayleid worshipers as proxies to fight. During one of their many conflicts, a city of Meridia's followers came under assault from Molag Bal. He opened many portals to Coldharbour outside the walls, and the defenders were driven back into the city. Within, the Ayleid King Laloriaran Dynar led the defense, but the situation was quickly deteriorating. Knowing that the city would eventually fall, Meridia used several of her artifacts, known as Lights of Meridia, on the city into Coldharbour, via the portals Molag Bal had opened. The city became a safe haven in which Molag Bal could not see or act. Meridia knew that, one day, this city may be a safe haven from which mortals may use to thwart her enemy. This city became known as the Hollow City. Meridia herself remained there, taking the guise of a groundskeeper, ensuring the city would remain safe.
In 2E 573, 5 years before the Soulburst event, then-Emperor Leovic of the Longhouse Emperors legalized Daedra worship throughout the crumbling Empire of Cyrodiil. After hearing of this, Varen Aquilarios of Chorrol summoned the military forces of the Colovian Highlands to depose Leovic. Varen based his rebellion out of Bruma, from where he coordinated his troops as they liberated Cyrodiil's other cities to further weaken Leovic's control. The rebellion claimed victory when Varen's forces stormed the Imperial City, and Varen personally dispatched Leovic at the foot of the Ruby Throne before proclaiming himself emperor.
The Five CompanionsEdit
After Varen claimed the throne, he wanted to legitimize his claim to the Ruby Throne and thus end the Interregnum, which could only be done by a Dragonborn. One of his Five Companions, the necromancer lord Mannimarco, convinced Varen he knew a ritual which would allow the emperor to become Dragonborn. To do this, however, they needed the Amulet of Kings.
The Five Companions able to retrieve the Amulet of Kings and begin the ritual in the year 2E 578. The Five gathered at the Temple of the One in the Imperial City, and they began to perform the ritual. At that moment, Mannimarco used his dark magic to immobilize the others and reveal his true intentions: he was an agent of Molag Bal, and the ritual in fact weakened the barriers between Nirn and Oblivion in an event known as the Soulburst.
This event allowed Molag Bal to initiate the Planemeld, a forceful merging of worlds. Once the ritual was completed, aftershocks were swept across every corner of Nirn. Mages died or went mad, Red Mountain trembled in Morrowind, earthquakes shook Skyrim and heavy storms devastated the coastlines of Elsweyr and Valenwood. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it seemed to threaten every star sign at once.
After the Soulburst, Varen mysteriously went missing. Lyris was captured by Mannimarco to be sacrificed, Abnur fled and Sai Sahan fled with the amulet, managing to hide it in Sancre Tor.
Afterwards, the Tharn family, who were the rulers of Cyrodiil through the new Empress Regent Clivia Tharn, made a pact with Mannimarco, The King of Worms, who had agreed to supplement the Imperial's forces by resurrecting their soldiers, except for Clivia's father Abnur who deeply despised Mannimarco after the Soulburst.
Varen and Lyris were sent to Coldharbour, where Varen was tortured to such an extent his appearance changed to that of a blind old man, barely able to walk.
- Main article: Vestige
The Vestige was one of many mortals sacrificed by the Worm Cult to Molag Bal, specifically by Mannimarco himself. They were sent to the Wailing Prison in Coldharbour. There, the Vestige was contacted by Varen (who chose not to identify himself as such, instead referring to himself as "The Prophet"), who informed them that they had an important part to play in foiling Molag Bal's schemes. First, the Vestige had to escape and locate a Nord named Lyris Titanborn to help free the Prophet. At that moment, the prisoners overpowered the Dremora guards and began liberating the other prisoners, including the Vestige. They fought their way through the prison, eventually finding Lyris and, with the aid of a mad Soul-Shriven knight named Cadwell, were able to locate the Prophet's cell. However, for him to be liberated, someone had to take his place in the cell. Lyris switched places with the Prophet, who vowed they would find a way to free her. The Prophet and the Vestige made their way to one of the Dark Anchors and, with the aid of the Prophet's magic, were able to return to Nirn.
The Vestige and the Prophet were not returned to the same location on Nirn, but they eventually reunited at a place called the Harborage. There, the Prophet explained the events that led up to his capture and the Soulburst that had lead to the current crisis. After his tale was done, the Prophet informed the Vestige that he needed more time to rest and to devise a way to free Lyris from Coldharbour.
Daughter of GiantsEdit
Shortly after, the Prophet contacted the Vestige and asked them to return to the Harborage, having found out where Lyris was being held in Coldharbour. Molag Bal had moved her to the Foundry of Woe and the Prophet opened a portal to Coldharbour. Once the Vestige located her, they were forced to aid her in retrieving several aspects of herself Molag Bal had removed to torment her: settle her regret over killing her mother at birth, assuage the solitude she'd felt throughout her life, resolve her uncertainty and defeat her terror. The pair then escaped Coldharbour and returned to the Harborage.
The Prophet recalled the Vestige to him, having heard whispers of fear near the Harborage. The Vestige was tasked with locating a Worm Cult agent nearby. Locals pointed to a mysterious Imperial nosing around, leading the Vestige to a cellar infested with undead. Inside, Abnur Tharn appeared to them via the Orb of Discourse which was sewing fear in the nearby populace, thinking the Worm Cult agent was trying to contact him. Tharn was surprised to see the Vestige instead, but before they could speak further, the Worm Cult agent attacked. The Vestige defeated him, then brought the Orb to the Prophet, who believed he could use it to locate Sai Sahan. As Sai had fled with the Amulet, and the Amulet was the only way to stop Molag Bal, the Prophet desired to locate him.
Castle of the WormEdit
While using the Orb of Discourse to locate Sai Sahan, the Prophet was contacted by Abnur Tharn, who desired to speak with the Vestige. Upon arriving at the Harborage, Tharn informed them that he had no desire to continue to serve Mannimarco, but that he was imprisoned in Coldharbour's Castle of the Worm and needed to be rescued. In exchange, he offered knowledge of Sai Sahan's location. The Vestige and Lyris entered Coldharbour once more, where they were aided by Cadwell to enter the Castle undetected. Fighting their way through many Worm Cultists and undead minions, they eventually managed to locate Tharn and free him. However, Mannimarco appeared before them and attempted to slay them using several waves of summoned skeletons. After dispatching them, Tharn and Mannimarco began a magic duel, which Tharn won when the Vestige hit Mannimarco, breaking his concentration. The Prophet then opened a portal to the Harborage and the trio escaped Coldharbour. The Prophet then revealed that he was in fact Varen Aquilarios. He claimed had hesitated about revealing himself as he was not sure how the Vestige would react, since his actions ultimately lead to their death.
Tharn revealed that while he did not know Sai Sahan's exact location, he was willing to assist the Prophet in locating it. This angered Lyris, who punched Tharn so hard he fell over. Though furious with him, Varen was able to calm her, as they would need Tharn's help to locate Sai Sahan.
The Tharn SpeaksEdit
During their travels, the Vestige was contacted by a banekin bearing a message from Abnur Tharn requesting a meeting away from the Harborage, at a Mages Guildhall. The Vestige found Tharn disguised as a guild mage. Tharn explained that Mannimarco stored artifacts and occasionally information in a nearby Ruin, and it may contain Sai Sahan's whereabouts. The two entered the ruins and discovered that Sahan was being held in Coldbarbour's Halls of Torment, being tortured for the location of the Amulet of Kings.
Varen informed the Vestige he will need time to determine the Halls of Torment's exact location in Coldharbour and would contact them when he knows.
Halls of TormentEdit
When Varen determined the location of the Halls, he sent the Vestige through a portal and made them choose whether to take Tharn or Lyris along. The two entered the Halls and found Sahan being tortured by a Xivilai called the Duchess of Anguish, who was using doppelgangers of the Five Companions to torture Sahan both physically and mentally in an effort to reveal the location of the Amulet of Kings. After slaying the doppelgangers and the Duchess, the pair rescued Sahan and returned him to the Harborage. There, Sahan informed them that he had hidden the Amulet in the ruins of Sancre Tor. He requested a few days to recover from his ordeal before setting out.
Valley of the BladesEdit
Sai Sahan informed the Vestige that they required an item to unlock the chamber in which the Amulet was being kept: the Ring of Stendarr's Mercy. Sahan had left the Ring in the care of Kasura, a Redguard Blademaster and his old mentor. Varen opened a portal in the Abbey of Blades in Hammerfell and the Vestige, Tharn, Lyris and Sahan entered. Upon arriving, they discovered Molag Bal had sent a Daedric Titan to destroy the Abbey. They were able to slay it, but it had already destroyed most of the Abbey and killed most of the students before they arrived. Kasura thanked her rescuers and led them to where she had stored the Ring: the ancestral crypt of Sai's ancestors. Within, a vision of Mannimarco appeared and raised the dead within the crypt in an attempt to stop them from retrieving the Ring, but they were stopped and the Ring was recovered. Sahan, Lyris and Tharn stayed behind to assist Kasura and her remaining students in burying the dead while the Vestige returned to the Harborage.
Shadow of Sancre TorEdit
After their Lyris, Sahan and Tharn returned from the Abbey of Blades, they joined the Vestige in venturing to Sancre Tor. As they entered the ruins, they encountered yet another vision of Mannimarco. This time, the King of Worms explained that he had placed a spell on Sahan to track his every movement. More importantly, he revealed that he planned to use the Amulet of Kings to trap Molag Bal and absorb his essence, turning himself into the next Daedric Prince of Domination. The wards of Stendarr that Sai Sahan had placed on the chamber containing the Amulet would conceal him from Molag Bal until he was ready to strike. The Vestige and their companions fought their way through the ruins before confronting Mannimarco himself in the Amulet chamber after removing the wards. After killing him, Molag Bal himself appeared and dragged Mannimarco's soul into Coldharbour, having known of his betrayal all along. The Vestige recovered the Amulet of Kings and returned to the Harborage.
Council of the Five CompanionsEdit
Varen asked the Vestige to join them at the Harborage once more. There, Sahan gave the Vestige the choice of joining the Five Companions or not. Afterwards, Tharn explained his plan for the Amulet: he believed that the Divine power of the Amulet could harm Molag Bal sufficiently to force him to relinquish all the souls he had stolen, including that of the Vestige. However, there was a price: the ritual needed to imbue the power would require a soul. Obviously the Vestige could not do this, neither could Tharn who would need to perform the ritual. Lyris, Sahan or Varen would need to sacrifice themselves to imbue the Vestige with the power of the Divines, and each of them volunteered to be the sacrifice when the time came. Varen then explained that forces would soon launch an assault on Coldharbour, and that the Vestige would need to join them.
Planning the assault on ColdharbourEdit
The Vestige was contacted by Vanus Galerion of the Mages Guild. Vanus told them that he and Countess Hakruba of the Fighters Guild had a plan to attack Molag Bal's realm and end the Planemeld. To do so, they needed the cooperation of the Ebonheart Pact, Daggerfall Covenant, and Aldmeri Dominion in order to maintain the Guilds' neutrality. Vanus and the Vestige visited Jorunn the Skald-King, High King Emeric and Queen Ayrenn and convinced them to meet for a council on the island of Stirk, off the western coast of Cyrodiil.
The negotiations quickly broke down as the leaders began to argue and insult each other. As Vanus and the Vestige attempted to restore order, Molag Bal appeared before them and opened portals to Coldharbour on the island and Daedra poured forth. The enemy was repelled, but Vanus and Hakruba realized that neither alliance leader would agree to send forces into Coldharbour for fear that the other two would take the opportunity to seize the Imperial City. The Guilds would need to do it on their own. They assembled all available Guild members on Stirk and entered Coldharbour.
The Army of MeridiaEdit
The plan quickly fell apart as the force became scattered all over Coldharbour due to Molag Bal's defenses. The Vestige appeared alone and entered an intact, pristine yet abandoned city. They encountered Meridia, who kept her identity hidden from them, referring to herself simply as the Groundskeeper. She told them the history of the Hollow City, and how it would be a safe haven from which to gather their forces.
The Vestige then set out to gather the Guilds' assault force and rescued King Dynar, who had been kept alive by Molag Bal in order to torture him. They all assembled in the Hollow City and planned the assault, with King Dynar taking command of the Fighters Guild since their commander had died shortly after arriving. The Vestige also encountered and assisted several villages and settlements that had been sent to Coldharbour for various reasons over the centuries. In exchange, these damned souls agreed to join the force gathering at the Hollow City.
Despite being separated and arriving alone, Vanus Galerion had set off on his own to destroy The Black Forge, where Dark Anchors were built, and the Great Shackle, which was powering the Planemeld. He failed and was captured, but was rescued by the Vestige who was then able to destroy both objectives. Cadwell assisted and revealed to them they were too late: the Great Shackle had already created a Planar Vortex which was quickly drawing Nirn into Coldharbour faster than ever before. They would need to reach the Planar Vortex and activate the Lights of Meridia within to destroy it.
The Final AssaultEdit
To reach the Planar Vortex, the Guild force would need to cross The Chasm, a narrow and heavily defend strip of land, and capture the Reaver Citadel. The Vestige leads the charge, closing Daedric reinforcement portals and eventually defeating Molag Grunda, the commander of The Chasm's forces. Upon capturing the Reaver Citadel and the Endless Stair, they then entered the Planar Vortex, where the Groundskeeper revealed herself to be the Daedric Prince Meridia. She assisted the Guild force in closing the Dark Anchors inside the Vortex, but was confronted by Molag Bal at the final Anchor. The two fought one another as Vanus prepared the Lights of Meridia. The Vestige and the remaining Guild forces fought wave after wave of Daedra and Dremora until Vanus finally activated the Lights. The Planar Vortex then collapsed.
God of SchemesEdit
The Vestige awoke back in the Hollow City's Chapel. Meridia congratulated them on their victory, but informed them that King Dynar had been mortally wounded in the final battle in the Planar Vortex. The Vestige heard the Ayleid King's last words and exited the Chapel, only to find Varen waiting outside informing them the time to reclaim their soul had come. The Five Companions assembled at the Harborage one last time and entered Heart's Grief, the seat of Molag Bal's power in Coldharbour. Within, they found Mannimarco being tortured by undead. After speaking with them, the Vestige was given the choice of freeing the King of Worms or leaving him to his fate. Regardless of their choice, the Five Companions approached the Seat of Tyranny and prepared the ritual. The Vestige then had to choose whether to sacrifice Lyris, Sahan, or Varen. Tharn performed the ritual and imbued the Vestige with the power of the Divines. After the ritual, the Vestige glowed with divine golden light and carved a path through countless Daedra and Dremora. Finally, they reached Molag Bal and engaged in combat with the God of Schemes, finally cutting him in half with a blade of golden light.
The Vestige was transported to the Colored Rooms, Meridia's realm of Oblivion. The Vestige is reunited with their soul and is told by Meridia that whichever companion they had sacrificed is now part of their soul as well. Molag Bal appeared and spoke with them, calmly explaining that he was impressed with their prowess but that the Vestige had attracted the attention of the other Daedric Princes and that they could not comprehend the politics of Oblivion. Meridia then materialized and told Molag Bal to leave her realm, which he did after one last mockery. Meridia then congratulated the Vestige on their success but that the journey was far from over. She explained that Tharn fled after the ritual with the Amulet of Kings, that he would never be able to use it's power for himself but that he would spend many frustrating years trying nonetheless.
With the destruction of the Planar Vortex and the release of all the souls held by Molag Bal, the Planemeld was over. Though several Dark Anchors remained open across Tamriel, the continent itself was no longer in danger of being pulled into Coldharbour. The largest Dark Anchor, which was open above White-Gold Tower in the Imperial City, remained open. The city itself still remained under the control of Molag Bal's forces.
- ↑ "Soul Shriven in Coldharbour" main quest
- ↑ "The Harborage" main quest
- ↑ "Daughter of Giants" main quest
- ↑ "Chasing Shadows" main quest
- ↑ "Castle of the Worm" main quest
- ↑ "The Tharn Speaks" main quest
- ↑ "Halls of Torment" main quest
- ↑ "Valley of the Blades" main quest
- ↑ "Shadow of Sancre Tor" main quest
- ↑ "Council of the Five Companions" main quest
- ↑ "Messages Across Tamriel" main quest
- ↑ "The Weight of Three Crowns" main quest
- ↑ "The Hollow City" main quest
- ↑ "Breaking the Shackle" main quest
- ↑ "The Final Assault" main quest
- ↑ "God of Schemes" main quest