Elder Scrolls history: This is a re-telling of the assassination of Reman Cyrodiil III, the end of the First Era of Man, and the scattering of the Blades. This story shows the events that bring about the creation of The Guardians during the scattering of the Blades at the end of the First Era.
Official Lore sources:The Covenant of AkatoshTrials of St. AlessiaThe Rise and Fall of the BladesBlades: Lore Summary2920, Evening Star (vol 12)2920, The Last Year of the First Era
I understand the folks at Zenimax have said they have eventual plans for Akavir, so hopefully my Akaviri cultural traditions don't get stomped by official lore at some point. If so, I've built the story so that the Kisane-teth Akaviri could be considered a small sub-faction within Akavir - perhaps one just not mentioned in the history books.
Ret-conning is a long and storied tradition with the Elder Scrolls, so if this ends up going completely against official historical works later, with multiple conflicting accounts of what happened (such as the events at the end of Daggerfall), I may write up a rationale by The Guardians that keeps this version of the lore as the story of what "really happened" - with official history rewritten by the victors later. History of The Guardians, Vol 2: The Paths of Change
1E, 2920, 6 Sun’s Dusk - Evening
Azura, Queen of the Night Sky, walked the Colovian Hills, watching the day die into autumn’s shadowed embrace. Her gaze picked out ripples in the landscape, her eyes piercing their depths and reaching into the hidden secrets of the lands of Tamriel. An escort of two winged daedra waited a step behind on either side, outlining the imposing, lonely figure. Prince of the realms of Dusk and Dawn, she waited in the stillness for night to fall, her finger tracing over the distant tower at the heart of the continent - its glimmering beacon still catching the light of the setting sun.
Akatosh, in the form of a large dragon made up of many shifting shadows, coalesced beside her, “You are forbidden here, Lord of Moonshadow.”
“I was invited,” she responded simply, her eyes still fixed on the white-gold tower.
The Great Dragon snorted in amusement, “You steal the loyalty of my creations, bind them to you in ritual, and then they invite you to interfere further in my Mundus. How convenient of a happenstance.”
Azura shrugged in dismissal of his claim, “Your creations are more interesting that those my brothers and I have created.” She placed her hand comfortingly on one of the winged twilights now kneeling in silent readiness at her feet. “Yours are more curious, more unpredictable.” She smiled to herself, “They create chaos, rather than just live within it.”
“Have you ever wondered, Lady of Dusk and Dawn, why that is so?” The shadowed head in the deepening evening light seemed to turn and consider her, “Or wondered, what attracts you to them?”
Azura’s gaze flickered back at the shadowed form beside her, a cautious wariness caught briefly in her eyes. Then she returned to staring at the tower in the distance.
“Your Covenant is going to fall tonight,” she stated, focusing her attention on a small, lit window, partway up the tower. “I can feel it.”
“Not fall…” the great shadowed figure beside her corrected, “it will falter for a time.”
This time she did turn to consider the seething, swirling collection of shadows that loomed next to her. “Have you withdrawn so much from your own creation that you forget how they live? For your creations, for generations of them… the Covenant will fall. My brothers and I will walk Nirn unimpeded, and your mer, your men, all of your creations will live and die knowing that your protection and oath has been lifted. You, to whom time means nothing, have the luxury of saying ‘it will falter for a time’. They who live through it… they will not.”
There was a dry, almost amused chuckle from the shadow of the Great Dragon beside her, “You almost sound like you care, Azura. Time means nothing to me? Time is everything to me, Azura.” The great head turned to stare directly at her, and in its shadowed depths, in the place where fiercesome eyes would be on a creation of Mundus, was an eternal depth of stars and darkness, stretching into infinity.
“My creatures live in time. It is my greatest gift to them. You and your brothers spurn our sacrifice for Nirn, calling us weakened from our former glory. You criticize that we poured out our spirits into Nirn and those that spring from it, and conclude that now we are greatly diminished - bound to our creation.” His great head swung back to stare at the distant shapes walking along the tops of the outer wall of the Imperial City. The infinite gaze containing countless worlds focused now on the small figures of men, and Azura felt some small sense of relief that it was no longer directed at her. She found it slightly annoying… that such a thing bothered her.
“All of those things are true, Azura… but you miss the most important truth.” The Great Dragon spoke slowly, as if to an errant pupil. “My creations move through time. Each moment is new, and each moment is never repeated. It shapes them. And they change. Not merely in the petty squabbles over borders and influence, or the collection of power and things. You and your brothers, and all your creations, have done that for millennia uncounted.”
That great gaze swung back to pull at her again, inviting her to step into an infinity of stars. “My creations, in their fundamental being, change. Their spirits shift and change as they move through the gift I have bestowed to them. Some perform great wonders, and others great evils, with all the multitudes of chaos between. I have given them part of myself. That is why my creations live….” The shadowed gaze shifted to her winged twilights, “and yours merely exist.”
Azura paused then in reflection, a thought coming to her… a deeply disturbing thought. She petted the top of her winged twilight’s head and considered the perfection of her creation in shape, will, and strength. She finally looked back up at the Great Dragon, greatest of the et’Ada before the coming of Nirn. “Does that mean… if you have given them part of yourself; that you too… change?”
The eyes of the shrouded dragon seemed to deepen, the points of light in the endless well of his stare flaring and then fading, and something resembling sadness crept into his reply to her, “I am the Dragon of Time, Azura. How could I not? I am the beginning and end of change, and I encompass all of its permutations. I change, and yet I do not… for I remain constant beyond all else. There is always change.”
The Lord of Moonshadow frowned then, trying to shake the feeling that she had just been outplayed in a game, “That is why we, my brothers and I, resist you. We fight your change.”
Akatosh smiled then, which on a dragon made of shadows, was disturbing in every sense. “No Azura, you fight your
She turned away from him then, staring back out at the tower’s outline now lost in the deepening evening. It had fallen completely in shadow now, though light still glimmered from points within. Without looking at the great figure beside her, she spoke to the night air. “I will set a watch. Some will live to renew your oath.”
She could see, out of the corner of her eye, a pause in the shadowed head’s movement, and a considering voice in his reply, “And why, oh Lord of Oblivion, would you do this against your kin, to help me and mine?”
She glanced over at the seething shadows beside her, her gaze sharp and challenging, “Say rather that I do this to thwart my brothers; not to help you. I would spit in their faces, and deny them the prize they have schemed so much to claim.”
“Ahh… strategy, rank and influence in the realms. A worthy goal for a Daedric Lord who has a realm of their own.” The shadowed head bowed, “I will accept your aid then. You have my leave to move freely here tonight, without interference as my Covenant’s power fades. Plan your strategy well, Daedric Lord.”
After Azura stepped back into Moonshadow, the Great Dragon stayed through the deepening of twilight into night. The stars reflected in his eyes resembled nothing of the stars overhead. Finally he stirred. Shifting his massive, yet somehow insubstantial frame, he gazed at the spot where Azura had stood during their discussion, and addressed it as if she were still there.
“My gift is stronger than even I knew, Daughter of Anui-El. You love Nirn… and in that, even you now change.”
Then the shadows dispersed, and the hilltop was left alone under a multitude of stars. The grass-covered hillside, reflecting the light of the two moons on its scattering of stone, windswept trees, and heather - cared nothing for Gods, or Daedra, or the affairs of men. In the distance, a clamour of alarm started to rise from the spire at the center of the Imperial City.
The first age of man had ended.