Voices of the Dragonborn Era, Part III (And a Little Headcanon)

Hey Folks! I know it’s been a while, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve published Part III in our oral history of the Dragonborn Era, as presented in a book our friend Cari Ayalu received special delivery. In this story, we learn a little more about Whiterun and the roles its citizens played in that momentous time, specifically:

  • What happened to Dragonsreach?
  • What role did the Battle-Born clan play in bringing peace to Skyrim?
  • How did Lars, the youngest Battle-Born, earn the respect of all the loyalist clans in the province?

Up to this point, I’ve tried to keep the plots of my stories separate from the plot of the Skyrim game. Since everyone plays the game a little differently, I didn’t want to make my stories dependent on choices individual players made on their playthroughs. This time, though, I needed to add some headcanon, so here goes:

A couple years ago, I found out that one of my nephews was an avid Skyrim player. He said, with great drama, “Now I have to ask you the question that could tear this family apart: Are you for the Imperials or the Stormcloaks?” Laughing, I told him I didn’t think that much of either side. Bethesda was smart enough to design good and bad into both (by the way, I won’t be debating the point here). And while the player can join the civil war on either side, the civil war subplot is not essential to finishing the game. Indeed, when I play, I ignore it altogether. Now, the basic thrust of my headcanon is this: The Civil War ended in an armistice without victory for either side.

How could this be? The Empire and the Stormcloaks were going at it hammer and tongs, egged on by the Thalmor. To reach an armistice, the Thalmor would have to be out of the picture. In my head, they were out of the picture, based on two factors.

First, was the growing Maric movement as described in the story “A Hand to Hold” on this site. In that story, the teachings of Lady Mara have taken hold in the Summerset Isles, making some portion of the ruling classes reluctant to support Thalmor plans for conquest and suppression. Since most Altmer weren’t crazy about the Thalmor to begin with, Thalmor power was threatened.

Now, the Maric movement would have been no great problem if a Thamor faction hadn’t made a monumental blunder. For that, we turn to the famous “Rigmor of Bruma” mod. In this mod, an impatient Thalmor faction called the New Order launches a military expedition to defeat the Empire once and for all. To counter the threat, Imperial and Nord join forces and rout the New Order troops. To my thinking, that event must have plunged the Aldmeri Dominion into political chaos, leaving them unable to control events in Skyrim province. As a result, the Empire is able to renounce the terms of the White Gold Concordat, creating an environment where the Stormcloaks are ready to discuss peace.

Oh, regarding Ulfric Stormcloak: The Empire, aware of Ulfric’s ego, basically kicked him upstairs. He was given an impressive title, like “Viceroy of the North.” In addition, he was allocated a grand mansion in the Imperial City and lots of cool upgrades to the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm. And what were his powers? None whatsoever.

Anyway, that’s the environment I pictured for Part III of “Voices of the Dragonborn Era.” To read about Whiterun, Dragonsreach, and the diplomatic brilliance of the Battle-Borns, CLICK HERE!

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