Hi there. The question of the game's continuity is burning in my head for a few weeks. I've already made a few topics on it since I want to know the answer for my question: how can I explain the continuity errors and issues
every player encounters during any playthrough? Before One Tamriel, it was questionable, but still explainable. After it, everything seems to be messy. I can't let myself play The Elder Scrolls Online knowing that there is some broken continuity - so I prefer to create my own headcanon about them, explain them in my way.
I create this post with two goals. First goal is to share a story of my character. Second and primary goal is to give you a hint to explain the game's timeline and continuity mistakes. Since I'm very dedicated to this question, I hope my explanation will be a help to someone who, just as I do, can't stand any continuity contradictions in The Elder Scrolls Online.
My character is an Ebonheart Pact nightblade Dunmer called Erika (female).
Her background is unknown and doesn't really matter. She was probably born on Vvanderfell since she knows some territories there. The only thing that matters is that she was trained as a professional mercenary. At some point of her adventures, she meets Mannimarco and he steals her soul...Incompletely.
And this is where headcanon explanation begins. What if the process of stealing her soul wasn't performed that well as it was shown in the game? What if one part of her soul was truly captured and put into Coldharbour while there were two (or even more!) others which spread across Tamriel?
Anyway, since the moment of this soul split, there were a few weeks when all of these parts lived without any sense of consciousness. One of them was captured in Coldharbour, two others somehow got to Daggerfall Covenant's and Aldmeri Dominion's territories - mindlessly as well
, however, they found skyshards at these territories to return their physical form. Of course, at some point, consciousness returned to different parts of Erika, but without memories. The only thing they knew well enough was that they doesn't owe a soul.
Chronologically, Erika's adventures in Aldmeri Dominion and Daggerfall Covenant were first. In these territories, she.. or, better say, her aspects became alliances' champions. However, at some point (behind the scenes) she disappeared from both of these territories and most of the people who she met, who she helped suddenly forgot about her existence. I'll explain it further.
Erika's escape from Coldharbour was chronologically second - and this aspect is mostly known as The Vestige. She was released by Lyris when this adventure started. The Vestige had no soul at all: only an example of flesh. With the help of The Prophet, Erika returned a little part of her soul - enough for her to escape Coldharbour and enter Tamriel. She appeared on Ebonheart Pact territory and, of course, she started to fight for them, as well as dealing with business of The Five Companions. Her adventures attracted Meridia, and she started to investigate on Erika's past and soul problem.
!!!WARNING: HARDCORE HEADCANON FURTHER!!!
By the time of inviting other alliances' leaders to the island of Stirk for negotiations, Meridia found Erika's AD and DC parts of souls and captured them, erasing all the knowledge about Erika from these alliances
. When the time of negotiations between alliances' leaders came, Meridia sent her son, Darien Gautier, to Stirk along with guilds and alliances, providing him with some sort of "power" that provided more peaceful negotiations. She made Darien spread some of her knowledge about Erika's other aspects, making alliances' leaders believe Erika. Also, it caused a small confusing effect that some people (like Darien himself or Skordo the Knife) may have remembered her and greet her as an old friend.
The further events are known well. Thrown into Coldharbour, The Hollow City, Erika creates Meridia's Army to fight Molag Bal. After this success, she accepts the final battle with Molag Bal. Then she is contacted with Meridia who gifts her with her soul... Well, it's presented like this in the game. In my headcanon, it were just a parts of Erika's soul which were collected by Meridia from AD, DC and Coldharbour, united into one and added to The Vestige's soul, completing Erika.
Then, Erika is teleported back to the Harborage, where she is gifted with one of the Lights of Meridia (I prefer to refer it as THE Light of Meridia). This Light eventually helps her recollect not only the abilities, but the exact memories of her adventures in different alliances, giving her the experience like she "travelled the world".
It didn't really teleported her anywhere: Erika simply lost her consciousness for a few minutes to find a safe place in Davon's Watch.
Since then, she becomes an ultimate mercenary of all the Tamriel, free to war in Cyrodiil or travel across other territories, like Vvanderfell, Elsweyr or Western Skyrim.
I hope that the example of my character was good and you understood it well enough. If you feel like I'm way too into this topic and I'm better "have a life" - I completely agree with you, but on this forum (or at least at this sub-forum) we're NOT living a real life
. Anyway, I appreciate your comments and additions. Also, I decided to make a little self-F.A.Q., where I'd like to cover some questions that may have occurred during your read.
Q: How did you even come to this theory?
Well... I tried to create some other theory, but it was crushed into pieces. I have even shared it here
... And I'd really like to delete the whole topic since it was completely unpopular and wrong.
I had to find something different since I understood that my character understands herself and is understood by some other people as soulless even in times when I'd prefer her to have soul. After my little expressing of displeasure here on this forum, I came to this theory. And I hope it will last forever during my further playthrough.Q: What happens with DLC? How do they fit into your theory?
Sadly, I don't owe any DLCs. I bought the base game before it started to include Morrowind chapter, so I began the game with escaping the Coldharbour.
If I owed any of the DLCs, I'd imagine that all the adventures of the base game (alliances' storylines, Coldharbour and the Main Quest) happened before the events of the DLC. Like, you're the ultimate mercenary by the time, even though it can contradict your low-leveled progression, and you simply remember these events.
Also, if you met a character first in DLC, but then this character recognized you in the base game, well... Supposing that you used The Light of Meridia before the DLC, it may be a reason why you experienced these events in a bit confusing way.
Anyway, it's better to owe all the DLC to know it for sure. Plus, since they may have their own confusing moments, maybe some of them are memories, not present-time, too.Q: Do you REALLY think that Meridia can do such tricks with our character? Is it even canon?
Nobody knows. She's a god. How can you understand a god? I believe it, actually, because she is known to make some tricks with time and reality.Q: Was it THAT important to notice Darien and Skordo in your text?
Yes, it was since it could break the immersion. I try to notice all the strange moments in the base game, leaving no points where it can confuse me.Q: What can you say about Lyris Titanborn appearing in Fighters Guild even if she's captured?
This is a prologue quest, not a base game. I'd ignore it, pretending like she's just a strange vision... until you need it to be true. There were a lot of complains about these prologue quests anyway.
Even though TESO is a great game, it suffers from continuity issues
that may hurt narrative experience and confuse lore-caring players. If we want TESO to be a decent exemplar in The Elder Scrolls series, these problems need to be fixed. Please, acknowledge with this information more in this thread
. Thank you.