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Solitude

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"Solitude, the seat of High King of Skyrim and the capital of Haafingar hold, has always welcomed the Empire with open arms. Much commerce flows along the rivers here, and you will find the folk of this hold to be among the most hospitable in Skyrim."
―Anonymous[src]

Solitude, otherwise known as Haafingar[1] or the Capital City of Western Skyrim[2], is one of the nine major cities in Skyrim and the capital of the Haafingar Hold. Solitude is a magnificent city that rivals the like of the traditional Nordic capital of Winterhold, in the fourth era, it eventually became Capital of Skyrim.

Description

Geography

Solitude is one of a unique cities in Tamriel. The city is built on a natural arch that goes over the Karth River Estuary. The city has one entrance, which is located on the southwestern side of the city. The city is divided into three districts. The market district is the first area most people see upon entering the city. The residential district is located on top of the arch that makes up the city. The Blue Palace is located on the end of the arch. Castle Dour is the Northern most district where the Temple of the Divines and the military force of Solitude is located. The docks are considered to be a part of the city, even though it is outside the city's walls.

Traditions

Cuisine

  • Spiced Wine - a famous wine made by the San family in Solitude. Spiced Wine is cherished along the Sea of Ghosts in places such as Northpoint and Dragon Bridge.
  • Solitude Salmon-Millet Soup – Made with Fish, Tomato, and Millet. The Karth River is teeming with fish, and the Haafingar vineyards grow the ripest Tomatoes, and the sweetest Millet found in the region.

History

Second Era

During the Alliance War, Skyrim was divided into two different provinces each with their own High King. Western Skyrim, which encompassed Whiterun, Falkreath, Morthal, and Solitude believed in the Moot and elected Svargrim to be High King while Eastern Skyrim, which encompassed Windhelm, Winterhold, Riften, and Dawnstar believed in what the Crown of Verity chose and had Freydis be elected High Queen. Because of this, Skyrim is divided and Western Skyrim doesn't serve the Ebonheart Pact with it's eastern brothers.[OOG 1][5]

Before becoming the leader of the Ebonheart Pact, Jorunn the Skald-King spent his youth pursuing artistic and philosophical values to cultivate a broad array of artists, artisans, and performers throughout Tamriel. Jorunn has traveled to cities including Elinhir, Mournhold, Stormhold, Sutch, and even Solitude when it was still apart from Eastern Skyrim in disguise.[2]

Third Era

Main article: Solitude (Arena)

Around 3E 80, the ruler of Solitude was King Mantiarco. He wanted to form an alliance between the Septim Empire and Solitude by marrying Princess Galana Septim However, she was planning on marrying the Duke of Narsis. Previously, Mantiarco gave Emperor Uriel Septim II millions of septims to quell the Khajiiti rebellion at the city of Torval in an exchange with Galana's hand in marriage. Uriel refused to speak of Galana's marriage. Potema Septim destroyed the documentation that said Mantiarco had to marry Galana, but he needs a replacement bride. Potema Septim, at the age of 13, was chosen by Uriel and the Nordic ambassador from Solitude to be the Queen of Solitude.[6]

In 3E 82, Emperor Uriel Septim II passed away, Pelagius Septim II was named Emperor of Tamriel, and the wedding between Potema Septim and Mantiarco commenced. The new Queen Potema of Skyrim was hit with criticism by the other Nordic houses by calling her an outsider. Her marriage was the best either, Mantiarco's son, Prince Bathorgh was two years older than Potema and didn't like her. Both the King and Queen suffered through a series of miscarriages until in 3E 97, she bore her first son, Uriel Septim III. For quite some years, Potema was given the nickname, "The Wolf-Queen of Solitude" for her very vicious attitude.[4]

At the time, the war chief of Solitude was Lord Thone. However after rumors of treason sprang up, Mantiarco had people investigate the issue and had Lord Vhokken be named war chief of Solitude for the time being. Vhokken was one of the few people that weren't intimidated by Potema's ruthlessness. A tournament known as the Tournament of Stamina was held, and Bathorgh was the annual champion. During this time, the Blue Palace was in the middle of construction and was made for Potema. It has been later revealed that Bathorgh wasn't Mantiarco's son but was, in fact, Thone and former Queen Amodetha. After learning of this, Bathorgh had been banished from Solitude.[4]

In 3E 109, Antiochus Septim was named Emperor of Tamriel although hasn't been politically involved, and Uriel Septim III was ruling Solitude with Potema Septim as his regent nine years after Mantiarco's death. The Solitude court had been very fashionable to rulers, especially those against the Emperor. Kings from Skyrim, Morrowind, High Rock and even further have come to Castle Solitude.[7]

In 3E 110, Potema met with King Orgnum of Pyandonea and Master Iachesis at Solitude to discuss a possible war. In the end, however, the War of the Isle had between the Maormer and the alliance between Antiochus' Empire and the Kings of the Summerset Isles commenced, but it ended when a storm from Artaeum annihilated the Maormer fleet.[7]

In 3E 119, Antiochus had suffered from a coma and had been balancing between life and death. His daughter, Kintyra Septim II was preparing to be ascended to Empress of Tamriel. Both Uriel III and Potema toyed with the idea of Uriel marrying Kintyra, but he amusingly declined. At Antiochus' funeral, Potema gave a speech praising Antiochus, shaming Gysilla who was Antiochus' wife, questioning Kintyra's legitimacy to the Ruby Throne and proposing that Uriel III should take the throne. After the speech, Kintyra spoke with Potema and formally uninvited her to her Coronation as Empress. After this, the War of the Red Diamond had begun.[8]

In 3E 120, Kintyra Septim II's Coronation had begun. Cephorus Septim of Gilane and Magnus Septim of Lilmoth were present at the ceremony, but Potema Septim was at Solitude. She had accumulated an army consisting of her loyal subjects in Solitude and the many allied cities she made over the years. Potema's army had swept northern Tamriel like a plague by causing riots and insurgencies. The Duke of Glenpoint had called for reinforcements from the Imperial Army that was led by Kintyra herself. At the Barony of Dwynnen, she was captured by Potema. Kintyra's fate is unknown after this.[9]

With Kintyra's disappearance, in 3E 125, Uriel Septim III had been named Emperor of Tamriel and continued the War of the Red Diamond with his mother against his two uncles. Potema's army had to face two fronts, to the west was Emperor Cephorus' army at the Ichidag countryside and to the south was King Magnus' army at Falconstar. At the Battle of Ichidag in 3E 127, Uriel III had to fight against Cephorus' army of Redguard warriors. In the end, Uriel was captured by Cephorus and had to be put on trial at Gilane However, an angry mob tore down the carriage delivering him and subsequently killed him.[10]

Meanwhile, at the Battle of Falconstar, Potema's forces were fighting with Magnus' forces who were positioned at the ruins of Kogmenthist Castle. Vhokken and Potema were planning a way to assault Kogmenthist. The battle was one by Potema, but by then, Uriel had died, and Cephorus Septim was proclaimed Emperor of Tamriel.[10]

As time went on, Potema Septim was losing the war and her influence among the northern realms where only Solitude stays loyal to her. She began to conjure daedra to fight for her and used necromancers to reanimate fallen warriors to fight for her. As she descends into madness, her allies leave her. Haafingar became a land of death and gloom with all sorts of ghouls.[11]

In the final battle commenced with the Siege of Solitude, the fight lasted for a month, and the castle was besieged. An elderly woman gave a young Pelagius Septim III a necklace with a soul gem embedded with a great demon Werewolf that had a charm spell. Young Pelagius got rid of the spell and mistakenly put a curse on the gem that would make the wearer slowly descend into madness. The old women were the wicked Potema Septim who would later die with a grin on her face. After Potema's death, Pelagius III was named king of Solitude in 3E 137. Cephorus died after falling off his horse and called his brother Emperor Magnus Septim in 3E 140.[11]

During Pelagius' rule, he was known to have a very eccentric behavior. Many diplomats have made critiques in his way of ruling. A diplomat from Ebonheart said he has "a hale and hearty soul with a heart so big, it widens his waist", and the princess of Firsthold said that "the king's gripped my hand and it felt like I was being clutched by a skeleton". There was also many stories and legends about his rule. One story is that Pelagius would lock up prince and princesses in his room and would release them with an unsigned Declaration of War. Throughout his rule as King of Solitude and future Emperor of Tamriel, he would be known as "Pelagius the Mad".[12]

By order of Emperor Magnus, Pelagius III was married to Katariah of House Ra'athim in Ebonheart in a view to establishing a relationship between the two cities since Ebonheart had a poorly kept secret of aiding Potema during the War of the Red Diamond. In 3E 145, Magnus died in his sleep, and Pelagius III would be promoted as Emperor. Jolethe Direnni who take his place as Jarl of Solitude. Pelagius would later be sent to asylum and die of a fever.[12]

Advisors from Solitude went to Elsweyr to aid the Khajiit in the Five Year War. At the Battle of Zelinin, the Nords gave the Khajiit Heavy Armor to combat the Wood Elves. However, the Khajiit were incredibly slowed downed and lost the Battle of Zelinin. The Khajiit returned to the traditional Medium Armor at the Heart of Anequina.[13]

During the Imperial Simulacrum, the Eternal Champion had at one point visited the city in their quest for a piece of the Staff of Chaos.

Solitude has always been one of the wealthiest and powerful cities in Skyrim. In the late third era, Solitude's ruler, King Thian married Queen Macalla of Dawnstar to form an alliance for the northern coastline in the Sea of Ghosts. Many Imperial fiefdoms had been reconquered by the Solitude including Roscrea. Many of the fiefdoms were once ruled by Uriel Septim V in 3E 271. He sought to conquer as much territory as possible beyond Tamriel.[14]

Fourth Era

Main article: Solitude (Skyrim)

In the second century of the fourth era, the High King of Skyrim was Istlod who ruled for nearly twenty-five years. After his death, his son, Torygg was made High King of Skyrim by the Moot. Torygg had a close relationship with the Mede Empire and praised them. Torygg was also sympathetic to Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak of Windhelm's ideas of independence even if they sound like treason. In 4E 201, Ulfric Stormcloak defeated High King Torygg at the Blue Palace with his Thu'um. This event caused quite the controversy and divided Skyrim similarly in 2E 582 creating the Skyrim Civil War between the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloak Rebellion. Elisif the Fair, Torygg's widowed wife took his place as Jarl of Solitude.[15][16]

Varnius Junius of nearby Dragon Bridge visited Elisif the Fair and her court to discuss the strange occurrences in Wolfskull Cave. Elisif asked the Last Dragonborn into investigating the cavern. The traveler learned that a group of necromancers had tried to resurrect Potema Septim, the Wolf Queen of Solitude and stopped their plans. Falk Firebeard had brought the Dragonborn to Solitude and told them about how Potema escaped Wolfskull and is an impending threat to Solitude. The Dragonborn entered the Solitude Catacombs and defeated the spirit of Potema Septim.[17][18]

Jaree-Ra of the Blackblood Marauders planned a heist in Solitude by putting out the Solitude Lighthouse to have The Icerunner crash and looted. Jaree-Ra found the Dragonborn to turn out the lights in the Lighthouse, and the Icerunner hit on the eastern coast of the Karth River. The Dragonborn was tricked, and the loot was sent to the Marauders hideout at Broken Oar Grotto. After slaying Deeja, Jaree's sister, the Dragonborn murdered Jaree and the Blackblood Marauders and took the loot for themselves.[19]

Gallery

Trivia

  • When Arena was going to be a Tournament based game, Solitude's team was known as the Ravagers.[OOG 2]
  • Solitude's Wolf Insignia may be inspired by the Wolf-Queen Potema Septim.

By Game

Appearances

References

Notice: The following are out-of-game references. They are not found in any in-game books, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.
  1. ESO-RP Interviews Phrastus of Elinhir
  2. Go Blades