You know, one aspect of the Alliance War I've never FULLY understood is the motives of the Ebonheart Pact.
The Covenant see themselves as the successors of the Reman Empire.
The Dominion have seen Tamriel left in ruins from failed Cyrodiilic rulers who were not Mer, and seek to correct the course of Tamriellic history by bringing the stability of Alinor to the wider world.
But the Pact kinda formed out of necessity - a defensive alliance. I wonder if they'd be better served using their resources to safeguard their own borders rather than waste them trying to claim a Cyrodiilic throne that is essentially irrelevant to them.
Alla Llaleth, a propagandist for the Pact, offers some insight in "The Time of the Ebonheart Pact".
"Time and again Men have shown that without proper guidance, their meddling with External Powers leads to disaster. Men's reckless dabbling with beings beyond Nirn must stop forever. Now it is the time of the Ebonheart Pact, which shall and must become the Tamriel Pact. Within the Pact, the Aedra, Daedra, and Hist are all revered … from an appropriate distance. Within the Pact is the Tribunal, three Living Gods who abide among us here on Nirn and whose interest therefore coincides with that of all residents of Nirn. Only they have shown how to treat successfully with powers beyond Nirn.
The rash actions of those who sit the Ruby Throne, or who pull their strings, have brought Tamriel to the verge of irretrievable doom. They must be scoured from the face of Cyrodiil, and the decaying remains of the Empire of Men must be swept away. It shall be replaced by the Pact, which will enforce peace across the continent and strictly regulate all involvement in dangerous magical pursuits.
Onward, warriors of the Pact! We will never know peace and freedom until we occupy White-Gold Tower!"
In one sense, the Ebonheart Pact has some of the same ideas as the Dominion. "Humans caused the Planemeld so clearly they don't know what they're doing. The Altmer Tribunal should be in charge!" There's a new element in that while Ayrenn seems more focused on ruling Cyrodiil, Alla Llaleth hints that the Pact is more focused on outside threats to all of Nirn like the Daedra.
Which does sort of shine a whole new light on the events of Deshaan, Vvardenfell, and Clockwork City. The Tribunal wants the Pact to be in charge of Tamriel, regulating magic in order to protect Nirn, apparently. Well, they certainly are right that numerous Daedric Princes are an existential threat to Nirn! Yet they are 0 for 3 when it comes to defeating daedric plots during ESO without the help of the Vestige? Hmmm.
Not that Ayrenn or Emeric are particularly more competent without the Vestige's help, but it goes to show that all three sides struggle to live up to their propaganda.
Must be damn akward for the nords.
Possibly. I cut off the first paragraph of the book because it wasn't precisely pertinent to the Alliance War, but it goes like this:
"The Wheel of Time turns: in the dawn, it was the day of the Aldmeri, and then came the time of Men—but now, as the decay and chaos in the Empire makes clear, the time of Men has passed. Of the Men of Tamriel, only the Eastern Nords had the strength of character to join Dunmeri and Argonians in repelling the recent invasion of Snake-Men from Akavir, thereby showing that of all Men, only they may be trusted."
Now, it's important to note that this is a work of propaganda. As such, it plays with the chronology a little. Technically, the Nords and Dunmer allied to fight the Akaviri, then the Argonians brought in reinforcements to defeat them. So far from it being a matter of "these Nords helped out - they're okay", the Nords of Eastern Skyrim are an integral part of the original Pact. Alla Llaleth is selling them short to make her point.
Stripped of the author's views on the failure of men in general, its likely that the average Nord agrees with the idea of regulating magic to prevent reoccurences of disasters like the Planemeld. After all, their old Reachmen enemies use magic and appeal to the Daedra. Between the Iceheart Coven, the invasion of the Rift, knowledge of Noctural's attempt to take the Crystal Tower, and several assassination attempts on Jorunn, magic looks pretty iffy. And when your Dunmer allies are of the opinion that "if it's human, necromancy is a-okay", and their own wizard-lords aren't part of the Pact, I expect most Nords think the Tribunal has a point about the dangers of magic and dealing with outside forces.
Side note #1: I never liked the questline in the Pact mage academy at Shad Astula, but now it makes more sense to me. If the Pact intends to regulate magical pursuits, they'll need their own officer corps who can do it.
Side note #2: the idea that the Pact will "strictly regulate all involvement in dangerous magical pursuits" adds an extra layer to the Telvanni decision to not join the Pact. Sure, they're a bunch of isolationist, slaving Wizard-lords, but in this case they are also a bunch of isolationist, slaving Wizard-lords giving the proverbial middle finger to the Tribunal's attempt to regulate what they do in their own mushroom towers.
The Tribunal wants the Pact to be in charge of Tamriel, regulating magic in order to protect Nirn, apparently. Well, they certainly are right that numerous Daedric Princes are an existential threat to Nirn! Yet they are 0 for 3 when it comes to defeating daedric plots during ESO without the help of the Vestige? Hmmm.
(emphasis mine)The Tribunal wants the Pact to be in charge of Tamriel, regulating magic in order to protect Nirn, apparently. Well, they certainly are right that numerous Daedric Princes are an existential threat to Nirn! Yet they are 0 for 3 when it comes to defeating daedric plots during ESO without the help of the Vestige? Hmmm.
And if we look into the future, Tribunal will lose his power and Baar Dau will crush the island. Almalexia will kill Sotha Sil. Vivek will go away.
The problem with the prequels is that you've already seen all the spoilers.