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Where were you when the Dragon Broke? (Kirkbride)

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For other uses, see Where were you when the Dragon Broke?.

1E1200-2208 The Dragon BreakEdit

Scholar-priests of the Alessian Order tamper with the Dragon God of Time.

A fanatical sect of the Alessian Order, the Marukhati Selective, becomes frustrated by ancient Aldmeri traditions still present within the theological system of the Eight Divines. Specifically, they hated any admission that Akatosh, the Supreme Spirit, was indisputably also Auriel, the Elven High God.

Newly invented rituals were utilized to disprove this theory, to no avail. Finally, the secret masters of the Marukhati Selective channeled the Aurbis itself to mythically remove those aspects of the Dragon God they disapproved of. A staff or tower appeared before them. The secret masters danced on it until it writhed and trembled and spoke its protonymic.

The tower split into eight pieces and Time broke. The non-linearity of the Dawn Era had returned.

Tamriel slept through the disaster, which 'lasted one thousand and eight years', until the pieces of the tower came to rest on the mortal plane.

Every culture on Tamriel remembers the Dragon Break in some fashion; to most it is a spiritual anguish that they cannot account for. Several texts survive this timeless period, all (unsurprisingly) conflicting with each other regarding events, people, and regions: wars are mentioned in some that never happen in another, the sun changes color depending on the witness, and the gods either walk among the mortals or they don't. Even the 'one thousand and eight years,' a number (some say arbitrarily) chosen by the Elder Council, is an unreliable measure.

Whether or not the secret masters of the Marukhati Selective were successful is unknown, and any records of their survival were destroyed by the War of Righteousness that ended the Alessian Order a hundred years later.

Corax, Cyrodiil, Elder CouncilEdit

“No one understands what happened when the Selectives danced on that tower. It would be easy to dismiss the whole matter as nonsense were it not for the Amulet of Kings. Even the Elder Scrolls do not mention it -- let me correct myself, the Elder Scrolls cannot mention it. When the Moth Priests attune the Scrolls to the timeless time their glyphs always disappear. The Amulet of Kings, however, with its oversoul of emperors, can speak of it at length. According to Hestra, Cyrodiil became an Empire across the stars. According to Shor-El, Cyrodiil became an egg. Most say something in a language they can only speak sideways. The Council has collected texts and accounts from all of its provinces, and they only offer stories that never coincide, save on one point: all the folk of Tamriel during the Middle Dawn in whatever 'when' they were caught in, tracked the fall of the eight stars. And that is how they counted their days.”

Mehra Nabisi, Dunmer, Triune Mistress of the New Temple:Edit

“Accounts of the Middle Dawn are the province of the Empire of Men, and proof of the deceit that call themselves the Aedra. Eight stars fell on Tamriel, one for each iniquity that Lorkhan made clear to the world. Veloth read these signs, and he told Boethiah, who confirmed them, and he told Mephala, who made wards against them, and he told Azura, who sent ALMSIVI to steer the True Folk clear of harm. Even the Four Corners of the House of Troubles rose to protect the periphery of your madness. We watched our borders and saw them shift like snakes, and saw you run around in it like the spirits of old, devoid of math, without your if-thens, succumbing to the Ever Now like slaves of the slim folly, stasis. Do not ask us where we were when the Dragon Broke, for, of all the world, only we truly know, and we might just show you how to break it again.”

R'leyt-harhr, Khajiit, Tender to the Mane:Edit

“Do you mean, where were the Khajiit when the Dragon Broke? R'leyt tells you where: recording it. 'One thousand eight years,' you've heard it. You think the Cyro-Nordics came up with that all on their own. You humans are better thieves than even Rajhin! While you were fighting wars with phantoms and giving birth to your own fathers, it was the Mane that watched the ja-Kha'jay, because the moons were the only constant, and you didn't have the sugar to see it. We'll give you credit: you broke Alkosh something fierce, and that's not easy. Just don't think you solved what you accomplished by it, or can ever solve it. You did it again with Big Walker, not once, but twice! Once at Rimmen, which we'll never learn to live with. The second time it was in Daggerfall, or was it Sentinel, or was it Wayrest, or was it in all three places at once? Get me, Cyrodiil? When will you wake up and realize what really happened to the Dwarves?”

Mannimarco, God of Worms, the Necromancers:Edit

The Three Thieves of Morrowind could tell you where they were. So could the High King of Alinor, who was the one who broke it in the first place. There are others on this earth that could, too: Ysmir, Pelinal, Arnand the Fox or should I say Arctus? (An apparently older version of this text, released before Morrowind, uses a different line here; "Hans the Fox (but, then, this is really my warning to you, Arctus; I now know who you are)")[annot 1] The Last Dwarf would talk, if they would let him. As for myself, I was here and there and here again, like the rest of the mortals during the Dragon Break. How do you think I learned my mystery? The Marukhati Selectives showed us all the glories of the Dawn so that we might learn, simply: as above, so below.”


This is a longer version of Where were you when the Dragon Broke? that was posted for the first time at the forum of The Essential Site by Michael Kirkbride.

  1. An apparently older version of this text, released before Morrowind, uses a different line here; "Hans the Fox (but, then, this is really my warning to you, Arctus; I now know who you are)". As stated in the archived Missing Lore thread, and can be seen in the old Dragon Broke thread.


TIL iconThis out-of-game text was authored by Michael Kirkbride and originally submitted to The Imperial Library. The original location of this text can be found at: