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Cavern

One of the caverns of the Underland

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The Underland is a series of massive caverns that stretch underneath the Provinces of Cyrodiil, Valenwood, Hammerfell, and Elsweyr. Discovered in 4E 1 by Arik Morgan, it is an amazing and fantastical place. The inhabitants that lived there became changed, going from normal Races to bizarre and strange ones.

It is the largest cavern system ever to be found on Nirn, and is inhabited by a number of sentient races, including the Underelves, the Lupines, and a handful of other races that are too ancient to name.

History

The history of the Underland leading up to the time in which Arik Morgan 'discovered' it is disputed, as there is little to no written history regarding the ancient races that made their homes in those caverns. What is known is that some great battle rocked the ancient civilization down there, either destroying them completely or sending them into the deepest, undiscovered caverns of the Underland.

The ruins from that civilization provide the basis upon which the modern Underland is born, as many of the Underelven cities use the ruins as foundations upon which they are built.

In 4E 01, following the Oblivion Crisis and during the turmoil following the collapse of the Empire, Arik Morgan descended into the Underland and discovered the ruins of the ancient civilization, and some strange magic compelled him to slaughter his crew and flee.

Within a few months, however, he descended back into the Underland, bringing with him a few hundred of the poorest people from Hammerfell, Valenwood, and Southern Cyrodiil to settle and build him a kingdom.

The Underland proved itself to be one of the most inhospitable places on Tamriel, due to the sheer amount of terrible creatures and strange events that plagued the area. The 'kingdom' lost more than half of its settlers within the first month alone. The rest only survived due to Arik's skill with magic, although he quickly discovered that magic worked in a vastly different manner in the Underland than it did up above.

For the first two years in the Underland, Arik and his settlers warred against the Ancient Race and their God-King, Rha'atar. The war seemed to be going well for the settlers, until ten of his settlers, blessed with gifts by Rha'atar, turned against Arik and nearly destroyed all that he had built, calling themselves 'The Children.'

It was only when Arik finally ascended and became the Everking that he was able to beat back Rha'atar and the Ten, and even then it was a close war. Arik named the ten the 'Betrayers of Man' and expelled them from the Underland, casting a spell that kept them out of the Underland forever.

When it was just Arik and Rha'atar, their duel lasted for months, spanning the entire width and breadth of the Underland, until Arik was finally able to seal the Black One into mystical bonds that would last for many years.

Arik built a city beneath the ground, which he named "Deornum," which he ruled. He spent very little time above the ground until his son, Arinat, succeeded him as king in 4E 75. Arik spent the next five years in the city, researching how exactly magic was changed, until he finally was able to make himself biologically immortal.

At the same time, however, he accidentally initiated what has become known as the 'Great Change.' The Redguards (and a very small portion of the Imperials) were transformed into what became known as the 'Underelves,' elven creatures with dark or tan skin, pointed ears, bright purple eyes, and a high resistance to the harshest extremes. The Bosmer became the Lupines, feral, wolf-like creatures that were savage and pack-focused. Finally, the rest of the Imperials were transformed into the Under-Dragons, massive semi-intelligent reptiles that flew and breathed fire.

Arinat's first order following this change was to have the Lupines expelled from the city further into the unexplored lands of the Underland, and hundreds of battles and wars would follow over the next three hundred years.

Eventually, in 4E 302, Maria Harin was made Queen of the Underland following the death of Aratius Morgan, and her rule was long and peaceful. However, in 5E 54, goaded by a prophet, Maria, Arik, and hundreds of the Underelves fled Deorsum into the Overland. The Refugees were given the islands of Cespar and the Chain to make their new home. The Capital of 'Nova Deorsum' was rebuilt on Cespar. Of the population of 1.5 million that inhabited the Underland, only 120,000 escaped to Cespar.

Quickly, some unknown disaster struck the Underland, and all trade ceased between the Underland and the Overland. Anyone to enter the Underland since that day was never seen again, and Emperor Viseran I declared it a quarantined zone.

During the event of Heavy is the Head, it is implied that the disaster was that Rha'atar was released from his bonds and was finally able to wreak havoc on the Underland with all the strength he had amassed in his years of solitude.

Government

The Underland exists under the rule of a monarchy, although not a conventional-or hereditary-one. Only a person with Augmented blood is allowed to sit on the throne of the Underland, and, due to the presence of the Morgans, it is usually one of them. Although they claim leadership over all the Underland, the Lupines and the Ancient Races reject their claim.

In times of peril, the King/Queen of the Underland can elect three other leaders. In these situations, the original King/Queen is called the "High King/Queen," and the next ruler the "High Queen/King." The next two are simply called King and Queen. These new leaders are elected so that, should the High King/Queen fall, there will be no disputed succession regarding the next ruler. These other Kings and Queens serve as leaders, as well, although the final decisions always reside in the original High King/Queen.

The King(s) (or Queen(s)) of the Underland is assisted by three aides, called 'The Steward of Swords,' 'The Steward of Sunlight,' and 'The Steward of Silver.' The Steward of Swords leads the Underelven military and airforce, along with the Royal Guard. The Steward of Sunlight exists to preserve the history and culture of the Underland, as well as lead the Sunlight Guild (the Underland's version of the Mages Guild). The Steward of Silver is in charge of the economy of the Underland, as well as the farming and other aspects of trade.

Leaders of smaller settlements outside of the Capital are called "Barons," which is not a hereditary title. The citizens of that town or city elect three champions, who then fight to the death for control. They then serve for life.

When the Harins took control of the Underland and moved the capital to Cespar, the monarchy continued, although it came to be only descended through the female line of the Harins, instead of any Augment.

Magic

Magic operates differently in the Underland when compared to the magic of the Surface, and no one is truly sure as to the reason. Some claim that it is the miles of rock that separate the Underland from the Sun, the source of Magic, thus distorting it. Others claim that the magic of the Underland doesn't come from the area, but from the people. These people believe that the Great Change occurred not because of Arik Morgan, but because Daedric Princes transformed the people. Still others, belonging to the Drakian Cult, believe that Arik Morgan was so powerful that his very existence changed magic forever.

Unlike the Overlander magic, where magic is so simple, involving no difficult chanting or movements, Underlander magic much more complicated, and much more dangerous. Underlander magic involves chanting of ancient words, along with hand motions to bring spells of terrible power into existence.

Similarly, the spells of the Overland do not even work when in the Underland, giving credit to the first belief. However, spells of the Underland do work in the Overland, making it so that many of the greatest magicians in recent history have trained in the Underland.

Hyacinthos Weapons

The Weapons of the Isles of Hyacinthos, called Hyacinthine or Hyacinth Blades, are famed and rare in the Overland. Built and worked from small, blue-crystalled geodes, the weapons are infamously hard, harder than any other natural element, and light-weight. Some claim that they are enchanted as well, giving the user increased speed and strength, but this is just rumor. The crystals are blue, yet the metal taken from them turns purple as it is forged.

Before the Exodus to the Overland, Hyacinth Weapons were extremely common among the Underelves and even the Lupines. After the Underland revealed itself to the world in 5E 1, great houses across the world scrambled to purchase Hyacinth Blades of their own. Unwilling to lose her advantage of superior weapons, Maria Harin kept the blades scarce among the Overlanders, and those sold were only bought at extremely high prices.

After the Fall of the Underland in 5E 54, access to the Hyacinthos Crystals ceased, and the art of making new blades was lost, although many Underelf smiths know how to rework it. Hyacinth Blades became even more rare, although a few Great Houses hold their Hyacinth Blades with pride.

Famous Blades

  • Lightbringer- One of three pieces owned by House Harin. A gladius, designed to resemble Dawnbreaker, the sword of Meridia borne by Maria Harin. In 5E 135, the blade is owned by Kiara Harin.
  • Eveningstar- One of three pieces owned by House Harin. A hand-and-a-half longsword, meant to compliment Lightbringer. In 5E 135, the blade is held by Dane Morgan, on loan from his wife.
  • Darkheart- One of three pieces owned by House Harin. A scimitar. In 5E 108, the blade is held by Dyanna Harin.
  • Dragon's Rage- The longsword of Arik Morgan, passed down through his house. Considered the Emperor's Sword. Lost with the death of Tarin Blackfyre in 5E 108.
  • Dragon's Wroth- The longsword of Arinat Morgan, passed down through his house. Considered the sister-blade of the Emperor's Sword. Becomes the Emperor's Blade after 5E 108. In 5E 135, the blade is held by Maerys I Morgan.
  • Hearteater- The short sword of Corenna Tharn, passed down through her house.
  • Screamer- A unique Battle-axe held by the Stormcloak family through Tiren Morgan.
  • Storm's Eye- A unique glaive held by the Argon Family in Rimmen.
  • Dragontooth- A dagger held by House Daekar.
  • Durandal- A short sword held by the Camoran Family.
  • Herobane- A scimitar held by the al-Mutairi family.

Many more exist, including nearly one hundred daggers, thirty spears, and a dozen more swords, but these are the most famous.

Geography

Settled Lands

The Underelves of Deornum lay claim to almost all of the discovered lands of the Underland, from the Overland Entrance in Deornum in the north to the Carascean Sea to the south, from the Forest of Ewain in the east to the Weathered Hills in the West.

However, the Lupines deny the Underelves' claim to the Weathered Hills, which is mostly inhabited by the various clans of the Lupines with scattered Underelven settlements. The Khajiiti, too, deny the Underelves' claim to the Carascean Sea, due to their only surviving town existing on its shore.

The Settled Lands encompass most of the Underland that lies under Cyrodiil, and is the name of the largest continuous cavern in the Underland.

Deornian Vale

The Deornian Vale lies on the Northernmost walls of the Underland, and is the area that contains the Northern Entrance to the Underland. Originally it was a forest of Ostrum Trees that grew over the ruins of a city of the Ancient Race. However, when Arik Morgan settled the area, the trees were cleared.

The Deornian Vale is the site of Deornum, the capital city of the Underelves. It is surrounded on two sides by the steep mountains, the Twin Peaks, another side by the walls of the Underland, and the final side by the Headwaters of the Great River Aegaros.

As it is such a small area, the Deornian Vale is only home to the Underelves and their city, along with a few service animals.

Carascean Sea

The Carascean Sea is a large expanse of water that stretches far to the South of the Deornian Vale. Its northern shores make up the southernmost edge of the Settled Lands, not including the Hyacinthos Isles.

The shores are the only access that the Underelves have to get to the Undiscovered Lands, as to reach it one must sail across the Carascean Sea and down the Matrias River. Thus, it also serves as the first line of defense should the fabled Ancient Race return. Thus, a string of forts guard the shore, named after Arik's children.

Along with the fort, there stands Shannad, the second largest city in the Underland, built on Dragonshead Bay, where the Great River Aegaros meets the Carascean Sea. There also stands the last surviving Khajiiti town, San'Drenn, along with a handful of small Underelven fishing settlements.

The Hyacinthos Isles lie within the Carascean Sea.

Monsters of all shapes and sizes live within the waves, and many legends tell of how the Ancient Race interred their dead within the Sea, leading many to believe that it is haunted.

Hyacinthos Isles

The Hyacinthos Isles are a series of small islands numbering in the dozens that are spread all across the Carascean Sea. Instead of a chain of islands, any island found in the Carascean Sea is called a 'Hyacinthos Isle.'

The Hyacinthos Isles are all made of black rock, upon which nothing grows. However, they are also the only place to find the strange material "Hyacinthos," a blue crystal from which many Underlander weapons, tools, and decorative items are made.

All of the Hyacinthos Isles were uninhabited, but not all of the Hyacinthos Isles have been charted, and thus, the Stewards of Swords are unsure if they are completely safe. The largest of the Hyacinthos Isles, Westerly, is the only Isle upon which Underelves are allowed to settle.

Forest of Ewain

The Forest of Ewain is a large forest that stretches along the eastern wall of the Settled Lands Cavern. Unlike the Forest of Eaghra, the Forest of Ewain is composed mainly of large, glowing mushrooms.

Named for the Bosmeri adventurer who discovered it in the first few years after the descent into the Underland, the Forest of Ewain boasts four different Underelf settlements, all of which were built atop what appears to be ancient temples.

The four settlements each produce the highest number of mages in the Underland, possibly due to the ancient temples. According to the only Underelf to escape the disaster after it had already occurred claimed that the Forest of Ewain was the first place to fall when it happened.

Forest of Eaghra

The Forest of Eaghra once encompassed the entire Deornian Vale, along with the areas around the Twin Peaks. However, due to deforestation, it now only encompasses the eastern slopes of the Twin Peaks.

The Forest of Eaghra is composed of trees with purple leaves, the fruits of which are a great commodity across the Underland.

The Three Watchtowers stand in the Forest of Eaghra, in which mages are trained for the Underland. Besides them, only one settlement lies within the Forest, the third largest within the Underland, named Ethergrad.

Weathered Hills

The Weathered Hills are the foothills along the western walls of the Underland, with thousands of small caves dug deep into the hills. Heavy winds and storms batter the area, thus giving it its name.

The area is one of constant warfare, with dozens of Underelf ranching or farming settlements battling the Lupine tribes that hunt large mammalian creatures in the area.

The Underelves have never controlled all the hills at once, but the Lupines have built kingdoms there on three separate occasions, which has always caused great political turmoil and famine within Deornum.

Destarac

Destarac is the great barrier of badlands that separates the northern areas (The Forests, Deornian Vale) from the Southern ones (Carascean Sea, Weathered Hills, etc.). It is completely uninhabited, except for the small settlements that dot the Aegarean River Valley.

The Great River Aegaros

The Great River Aegaros is a mile-wide river that stretches from the Deornian Vale in the north all the way down to the Carascean Sea, and is the only pathway from the north to the south. Multiple fishing settlements dot its shores, and it is known to contain great veins of gold, silver, and gems along its bed.

Matrias River

The Matrias River is a much smaller river that is essentially just a pitfall of rapids and waterfalls. It connects the Carascean Sea, and it is off-limits to Underelves.

Undiscovered Lands

The Undiscovered Lands are forbidden to all races of the Underland, and not much is known about them at all. All that is known is that it is another great cavern, akin to the size of the Settled Lands.

In an act of horrible cruelty, Aratius Morgan, during his reign, sent rebel prisoners into the Undiscovered Lands. Only one survived to return to Deornum, driven insane by what he saw. He blabbered on an on about great jungles, massive beasts, and many other horrifying images.

Races

Underelves

The Underelves are the most numerous and the most powerful of the New Races of the Underland. They dominate the Settled Lands, their highly trained and efficient armies and battlemages beating back anyone who dare to challenge them.

Deornian

A Deornian male, with gauntlets of Hyacinthos

The Underelves' appearance varies slightly from region to region, a few common denominators exist among all of the various types. Large eyes of a purple shade, pointed ears, and above-average height exist among all of them, along with an unearthly beauty.

The Underelves of Deornum are by far the most common breed of Underelves, call "Deornian." They have the darkest skin of all of the Underelves, akin to Redguards. Their eyes are the deepest shades of Purple, sometimes almost black. Their hair, however, is generally very light. They have a special skill with weapons of all sorts, leading to them forming the backbone of the Underland's army. The Deornians, due to their love of war, are known to ritually scar themselves to prove their hardness in battle. Due to their lives in the most important city of the Underland, they generally populate more of the aristocracy than the other two breeds. Captain Arro, Maria Harin's right-hand man, was of this type.

Shannath

A Shannath female

The Underelves of Shannad, called Shannaths, are the second most common breed of Underelves. Their skin is tanned, akin to Imperials, and they are the tallest of the Underelves. Their eyes are usually of a magenta color, and their hair is brown. They have a special skill with using their hands, and are master craftsmen. They are also given charge over the mines on the Hyacinthos Isles. Shannaths are known to adorn themselves in jewelry they made themselves, a symbol of pride. Damian Harin, Maria Harin's husband, was of this type of Underelf, and thus this was the first strain of Underelven blood to be joined to the Harin bloodline.

Earan

An Earan female, garbed for war with a white tattoo on her forehead

The Underelves of Eaghra, called Earans, are the least common breed of Underelves. Their skin is excessively pale, sometimes to the point at which veins can be seen underneath the skin. Their eyes are a soft lilac, and their hair is a raven-black. Earans typically tattoo themselves in strange rituals, and these tattoos are known to give them special powers. They have a special skill with magic, even moreso than High Elves, due to the complexity of their magic. Kiara Harin, Queen of Cespar in 5E 134, is considered an Earan.

Lupines

The Lupines are a savage, cruel race. According to their own legends, they are the successors of the Ancient Race, and thus they lay claim to all of the Underland, as the Underelves do. Expectedly, this puts the two races in frequent conflict. However, the Lupines do not have the necessary structure to dominate the Underland.

The Lupines are built like Khajiit, in a sense, with cat-like features that enable them to be far more flexible than an average elf. Also, they are extremely strong, even moreso than Orsimer. They are covered in thick, coarse hair, and possess sharp claws that are able to stop blades.

They live in tribal societies, with a Chieftain at the head, their generals right below, and any captive slaves at the very bottom of their society. Only on three occasions have all of their tribes been united, and in each they came close to conquering the Underland. The second occasion involved them nearly eradicating the San'Drenn race, and raping and pillaging Shannar.

San'Drenn

The San'Drenn are the race of Khajiit that live in the Underland. They are extremely close to the races of Khajiit in the Overland, except they have purple fur and purple eyes. However, due to the lack of a visible moon in the Underland, their breeds are instead determined by seasons.

They have extremely low birth rates, and thus have been unable to recover from their genocide at the hands of the Lupines.

Ancient Race

The Ancient Race is an extremely mysterious race of beings who inhabited the Underland for millennia before Arik Morgan moved in, and, as such, very little is known of them. However, what is known is that they were extremely talented with magic and craft.

They built extremely grand cities, capable of not only defense, but culture, and beauty. Due to the war between Arik and Rha'atar, the Ancient Race is believed to have been extinguished. Legends state that they now inhabit the Undiscovered Lands, but this is mere speculation.

The 'Deep Ones' of Hackdirt were actually members of the Ancient Race who had been able to escape Arik's onslaught to live in caves just below the surface, influencing men and mer.

Fauna

Many of the creatures of the Underland may have some relation to the beasts of the Overland, although they have adapted to suit their environment. Others, however, appear to have existed below the earth for much longer than the most recent civilization has.

Shadowcat

The Shadowcat is a large, predatory beast that inhabits the forests, deserts, and mountains of the Underland. It may possess some relation to the Sabercats of Skyrim and High Rock, due to the feline nature and tremendous size of both.

Shadowcats are black-furred, with razor sharp teeth and claws and eyes that can see inside the darkest caves and the densest forests. The cats hunt in packs, and are capable of tearing apart a man in armor.

Bruta

The Bruta serves as both the herd animal and the beast of burden for the Underland, similar to cattle. They appear as scaled creatures the size of horses, with eyes the size of dinner plates and six legs.

They are extremely strong, and can sometimes drag siege weapons behind them, in teams.

Wraith

They are among the most dangerous creatures in the Underland, and by themselves they have been known to destroy entire squads of trained soldiers. Unfortunately, very little is actually known about them.

Daimon

The Daimon is a bipedal creature, much like a goblin in so far that they are intelligent to form clans and have a very primitive society. Their lower halves appear to be like those of a goat, if a goat had bright red fur. Their upper halves appear to be like those of an imp, with large, curled horns like those of a ram curling around their ears.

They have been known to use tools and weapons to get what they want, and sometimes raid settlements.

Blackfish

The Blackfish is an extremely large sea creature that inhabits the Carascean Sea, appearing to be a cousin to the Sea Serpents of the Overland. However, the Blackfishes are more violent and unable to be tamed.

Unlike Sea Serpents, which serve as troop transport for the Maormer, the Blackfish are known to swim at tremendous speeds at boats, ramming them with the horns on their foreheads to sink the boats and gobble up the surviving sailors.

Under-Dragon

The Under-Dragons are the progenitors of the Morgannic Dragons, and are much smaller and much more fertile than their younger cousins. They are much more intelligent, as well, and telepaths are able to communicate with them.

They come in a variety of colors, and are capable of breathing fire.

Adstrus

The Adstri are a faerie race in the Underland, cousins to Dryads and Nymphs of the Upperland. They appear as beautiful women, usually without clothes, but they glow with a blue inner light, usually much brighter than anything else under Nirn.

Their smaller cousins, called Fae, are about the size of children, and glow with a red light. They are known to carry off children for their twisted magics.

Both Adstrus and Fae are worshiped by the Shamans, an Underelf group that bases its religion on texts from the Ancient Race.

Wester

The Wester is the most important animal for transportation in the Underland, besides the Under-Dragon. They appear as large, flightless birds, around the size of horses, covered in feathers that can come in a variety of colors. Their talons are razor-sharp, and they are thus much more capable in battle than horses.

Their cousins, the Raptors, are the wild breed of the bird. They are approximately 1.5 times the size of the Westers, and are ruthless killers.

Leopard

The Leopard is an animal that is slightly smaller than the Senche Tigers of Elsweyr and Valenwood. They have tan fur, and are covered in black spots. They are domesticated creatures, and are kept as pets and hunting creatures by the Underelves.

Ester

The Esters are wild, undomesticated large bats that are both predators and scavengers, taken to carrying off small children. Their wingspan can grow up to 20 feet, and they are common prey for the Under-dragons.

Giant Mouse

The Giant Mice are massive rodents that closely resemble the tiny rodents in the Overland. They stand at about five feet tall at the shoulder, on average, and are common prey animals.

Trivia

  • The spouse of a King or Queen is never given a royal title; instead, they are regarded with the respectful "Augustus/Augusta" (Example: Dane Morgan, husband of Kiara Harin, was called "Augustus Dane, Prince of the Topal" when in Cespar)

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