The Heroes of High Rock
By Soran de Tulune, Cleric of the School of Julianos
Unlike the heroes of Skyrim and Cyrodiil, High Rock’s legendary figures are not widely known, and many are totally unknown outside their ancestral home. It is a shame, for like the other provinces of the Empire, High Rock boasts an impressive array of individuals whose exploits shaped the course of history. This book, then, serves as a guide to the most famous Breton heroes, in the hopes that their names might become more widely known, and that a new generation of Bretons will come to understand the mark our people have left on history, and be inspired to make their own marks as well.
The oldest Breton hero, Voernet the Sage, is one who little is known about, and most of what we do know comes from secondhand reports. His history and lineage is lost to us, and only a few of his exploits have made it down through recorded history. What is known is that, in 1E 20, he visited the isle Artaeum, home of the Psijic Order. They invited him into their ranks, and his book on the Psijics offered the first, and arguably best, look at the mysterious order and the “Elder Way” that they follow. Though unconfirmed by any source, oral history states Voernet was a member of a mysterious group himself, the Druids of Galen, also followers of the “Old Ways,” and the knowledge shared between he and the Psijics allowed him access few since have achieved. Tales also say the Psijics gifted him a staff as a parting gift, and though rumors appear every so often of someone wielding this Staff of the Sage, it has never come to the attention of High Rock’s scholarly bodies.
Arguably the most well known Breton hero is Sir Eleidon, the pinnacle of Breton chivalry and knighthood. Though like Voernet, little personal information has made it through the tides of time. We do know that he was contemporary with the Alessian Order and the Direnni Hegemony, and various tales tell of him fighting against one side or the other, but there is no consensus on what battles he might have participated in. Given his chivalrous nature, it is entirely possible he fought against both groups. We do know that he was a holy knight, probably of Stendarr, and undertook many a heroic quest. His most famous exploit was to free a kidnapped baron’s daughter from a murderous warlord. Some speculate he rescued the maiden from Warlord Thulgeg, who led an army of Orcs and goblins against the Bangkorai Garrison in 1E 874, but given the number of tales of his fighting for or against the Direnni and Alessians, most scholars place his life closer to 1E 480. For rescuing the maiden Sir Eleidon was awarded a large tower shield known as Eleidon’s Ward, an artifact last seen in Morrowind in 3E 427 that heals wounds almost as soon as they appear.
Captain Yric Flowdys was a grand adventurer, explorer, and sailor who mapped the inlets and bays of High Rock’s northern coastline and founded the city of Northpoint in 1E 800. Eventually, he took the name Dorell in honor of the Dore Elard heights on which he built a keep, as he settled in his newly founded city and became one of the first merchant princes in High Rock. Within his lifetime, the enterprising captain saw Northpoint go from a few docks to the bustling port it is today, all under his wise and steady hand. He is also thought to have seen the far shores of what is left of Yokuda and visited the Coral Kingdoms of Thras and the continent of Pyandonea, home of the Maormer. Though it is thought to be impossible to sail to Pyandonea due to a magical protective mist, legend says Captain Flowdys possessed an enchanted spyglass, and only the future was ever obscured to him.
Saint Pelin was a humble beadle of Stendarr at the Bangkorai Garrison when, in 1E 1029, King Styriche’s Gray Host of vampires and werewolves sought to invade High Rock. First he prayed to Stendarr for aid, and then he tended the wounded soldiers. Finally, when hope seemed lost and the gates of the garrison were about to give way, he threw himself from the battlements and into the hungry maws of the vampires. The bloodsuckers halted their assault to drink the seemingly never ending blood of the martyr, allowing Breton forces enough time to reinforce the gates and hold back the foul forces. He is one of the great saints of Stendarr, and the most selfless of High Rock’s heroes.
When the Bangkorai Garrison still stood, Baroness Falinne Guimard defended it against the Alessian Empire in 1E 2305. That victory over the Alessian Empire is still celebrated to this day as ‘Sovereignty Day’ in High Rock. A member of the now defunct but then thriving Guimard family, Baroness Falinne was a fierce warrior, an inspiring leader, and a skillful commander. In 1E 2321, when the War of Righteousness broke out and the Alessian Order tried to retake High Rock, she commanded Evermor’s armies, until finally the Alessian Order was dissolved in 1E 2331. She wielded the Hammer of Bangkorai, inspiring fear in her enemies and destroying the vilest of foes with ease. Though traditionally only those who were commanding the Bangkorai Garrison used the weapon, she took it up once again to face the Alessian Order during the war.
Though she lived almost a thousand years after Baroness Falinne, comparatively little is know about the bard Asirel. For a time, there was even some dispute about whether or not Asirel was a man or a woman, though most scholars have now come to believe it was her penchant for illusions and disguises that caused this confusion. However, Asirel is not a complete mystery, as we know she was one of the founding members of the Scenarist Guild in 2E 381, and that she composed songs and ballads still performed to this day, such as “The Three Lovers” and “The Willow Tree.” We also now believe she was the author of the famous King Edward series of books. It is rumored that she even came to possess the legendary Horn of Summoning, which rallied together the Breton people and ended Nordic control of High Rock. Though the stories we have of Asirel using the horn generally involve charming fierce beasts and causing brutish sellswords to flee.
Arch Paladin Helese Jeanard was not so playful a figure. Following the tumultuous Sixth Century of the Second Era, then Dame Jeanard sought to rid High Rock of pernicious influences. She rid the land of unbound daedra and daedra worshippers, slaughtered vampire clans, hunted werewolves, and purged witch covens. She gained a sizable following of likeminded adventurers, but rather than start a mercenary company to extract pay for doing good deeds as many others would have, in 2E 658 she instead established the Knights Mentor, the martial arm of the School of Julianos. She continued to seek out and destroy evil while also promoting knowledge and driving out ignorance wherever she went. Legend has it that Julianos himself was so impressed that he gifted her a pair of gauntlets, the Hands of Julianos, which allowed her to master Destruction magic and further her goal of wiping out evil in High Rock.
Giraud Callyn is a controversial figure in Breton history, for more than one reason. Either famous or infamous, he was nonetheless a master nightblade and assassin who killed, among many others, Admiral Vasi Hadrach, Tiber Septim’s trusted naval commander, in 2E 859. Then, in 2E 866, Callyn proceeded to assassinate the Provisional Governor of the Western Reach Titus Alorius. Those two assassinations led many to believe he was the man responsible for King Cuhlecain’s assassination in 2E 854, though there is no confirmation of that. Possibly the most controversial aspect of the man is his heritage. The Empire claims, as do many Reachmen, that Giraud Callyn was Goiridh Caellein, a worshipper of Mehrunes Dagon who wielded a dagger made from an ebony shard, cursed (from the Empire’s point of view) or enchanted (from the Reachmen’s) by Hagravens, so that the wounds it caused resisted restorative magics. Most Bretons see these tales as nothing more than Imperial propaganda that seeks to slander a freedom fighter and true Breton.
Reliana Moret is a much less controversial figure, and in many ways the opposite of Callyn. Rather than sowing discord between people, she sought to bridge it, by traveling throughout High Rock and recording the languages of Centaurs, Spriggans, Nymphs, Harpies, the Giants of High Rock (who speak a slightly different dialect than their Nordic brethren), and Imps. She also produced translated guides for those languages, along with Old Bretic and Old Orcish. She wrote that she was inspired by the publishing of the Encyclopedia Tamrielica in 3E 12 when she was young, and after that spent the rest of her life traveling High Rock and documenting all she could on the various races within, seeing it as a chance to bring some peace and kindness to the land. She was helped in that endeavor when the Centaurs presented her with a cloak spun from the silk of the Gauvadon caterpillars, which she claims protected her from the elements and elemental magics. She called it her Refuge, and many claimed that once she had it, spells could not touch her.
And so I come to the end of this book, hoping that now High Rock’s heroes will take their place alongside those from Skyrim and Cyrodiil in the pantheon of great men and women. This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, and I would be remiss if I did not mention such figures as King Emeric, leader of the Daggerfall Covenant, Baron Othrok, who commanded the navy that threw back Camoran Usurper’s forces, or Baron-Captain Olsein Guy Mard, who led the Breton detachment of the All Flags Navy. And I might be turned into a toad if I did not also mention the witch Nulfaga, the most recent figure and a venerated saint among the various witch covens in High Rock. I have heard some claim her cursing of the sorceress Medora Direnni is one of the great feats of witchery. If true, it is indeed a great feat, considering Medora Direnni’s lineage and her own skill, evidenced many times over when she served as King Lysandus’s court sorceress. But I hesitate to mention a witch among these hallowed Breton figures, especially when rumors say her dragon familiar Skakmat was, in fact, an aspect of Peryite.
All of these heroic figures, from Voernet in the First Era to Reliana in the Third, spent their lives serving High Rock and its people. We see their influence to this very day when we travel to a city they founded, listen to a ballad they wrote, or believe in the ideals the embodied. For the heroes of High Rock were noble and remarkable figures, and they should not be forgotten when so much of our history hinged on the choices they made and the lives they changed.