The Elder Scrolls

The Accession War (Fan Lore)

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As part of a Legends custom card expansion, I've been expanding on the lore of the Dark Elves' Accession War with the Argonians in the Fourth Era. Read below for a detailed account of the An-Xileel's crusade across Morrowind:

The Hist's Decree (Sun's Height – Hearthfire, 4E 06)

At the behest of the Hist itself, Vaara-Shul and his An-Xileel generals began mobilising their armies for a great invasion of Morrowind, home to the tyrants that had enslaved their people for millennia. Their goal was simple: drive the Dunmer into such a dire state that they could never again threaten Black Marsh. With the calamity of Red Year and their newfound might in the wake of the Oblivion Crisis, the Argonians began their ambush of Morrowind's major cities.

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Liberation of Tear (Hearthfire, 4E 06)

Slavery may have been outlawed by the Imperial lackeys that sat on the royal throne of Morrowind, but that didn't stop the traditionalist House Dres from continuing their subjugation of the lesser races. Their reputation as the figureheads of the Argonian slave trade came back to bite them when the guerrillas of Thornmarsh emerged from the waters around Tear. By systematically liberating their enslaved kin from chains, the Argonian force practically doubled in size, allowing it to swiftly sack the city from within.

Defilement of Necrom (Hearthfire, 4E 06)

After sacking Tear, the Thornmarsh division advanced northward, dispatching of other Dres settlements along the eastern coast. Meanwhile, the division's small naval force made its way to Necrom, where temple priests still worked to consecrate the victims of Red Year. With nothing but rudimentary spells and desperate prayers to fallen gods; the city's caretakers, and its vast necropolis, were set ablaze.

Firewatch Raid (Hearthfire – Frost Fall, 4E 06)

In little under two weeks, the Thornmarsh division had successfully purged House Dres' influence from eastern Morrowind. Regrouping in the Telvanni Peninsula, they now set their sights on another House, one whose mainland settlements had already been decimated by the eruption of Red Mountain.

Intent on preventing the Telvanni from ever subjecting their people to torturous labour again, one half of the Thornmarsh division combined the salvaged armaments they took from Dres land with their own to ransack Firewatch. Forced to retreat to the better-fortified Telvanni Isles, the remaining Telvanni wizards left the An-Xileel invaders with even more armaments to restock their army.

Siege of Port Telvannis (Frost Fall, 4E 06)

The survivors of Firewatch retreated across the Padomaic Ocean to the Telvanni Isles, only to find its walls already under siege by the Argonian navy that had set sail from Necrom. Soon, they would be met by the invaders that had taken Firewatch, and urged the harbormasters of Port Telvannis to destroy the docks so that no ships could reach land. The Telvanni had of course forgotten that the Argonians could simply swim to shore, and flank their forces from every direction. Even after calling upon all the mer and powerful magics they could muster, the Telvanni of Port Telvannis were defeated, and the coastal districts were burned to the ground.

Over the remaining month, the Argonians would scour the Isles to find any remaining Telvanni wizards, who would find it particularly difficult to escape now that their docks and boats were all but destroyed.

Occupation of Narsis (Hearthfire, 4E 06)

After Hlaalu's ousting from Morrowind's Grand Council, Narsis was the only settlement their dwindling wealth could still afford them. It wouldn't remain theirs for much longer, however: while the Thornmarsh division began their assault of eastern Morrowind, the bulk of the An-Xileel forces – the Shadowfen division – advanced into Deshaan and claimed the city as a forward camp.

With no real fighting force to protect them, the merchants of Hlaalu were either executed or coerced into becoming spies and informants for the Argonians. From Narsis, the An-Xileel could coordinate their forces travelling to and from Mournhold, and form a blockade that prevented messengers from sending word through Stonefalls to western Morrowind.

The Fall of Mournhold (Hearthfire – Sun's Dusk, 4E 06)

Advancing through southern Deshaan, the Argonians began their siege of Morrowind's capital city. House Indoril and their Ordinators, who were broadly unaffected by Red Year, stood ready to face the invaders.


With the influx of refugees from their holdings in Stonefalls, House Indoril was in no shortage of conscripts when the Ordinators began to fall; but after two months of intermittent sieges, and after the militarised corpses of soldiers, civilians and ancestors alike were rendered useless by countless rounds of reanimation, the plazas and the temples were overrun, and the city was destroyed.

The Kragenmoor Massacre (Sun's Dusk, 4E 06)

With Mournhold destroyed, the Shadowfen division rallied at Stonefalls to face the forces of House Redoran, who had since been advancing into Deshaan to protect it. In a land stricken by the combined ashfalls of Red Mountain and Ash Mountain, the Argonians had little need to raid the seemingly desolate settlements of Stonefalls.

That was until they found Kragenmoor, conveniently tucked into the Valus Mountains, appearing to have fared surprisingly well following Red Year. The city, sparsely populated by Hlaalu remnants and tenacious farmers attempting to get by on the barely fertile land around them, was promptly slaughtered. Kragenmoor became nothing but another of the An-Xileel's forward camps.

Journey Through Vvardenfell (Sun's Dusk, 4E 06)

As the Shadowfen division pushed through Stonefalls into Redoran territory, the footmen of the Thornmarsh division began the long journey across Vvardenfell to meet them. Its naval force, having been returned to full strength by the shipwrights back in Black Marsh, completed its sweep of the Telvanni Isles and followed behind.

Violent storms and lava falls plagued the island, forcing even the survivalists of Black Marsh to remain close to the coasts. They were nevertheless able to wipe out what little Dunmer presence there was on the island, regrouping at Gnisis where – until now – House Redoran had been attempting to rebuild. The division would lie in wait until the Shadowfen division was ready to move on Blacklight.

The Battle of Blacklight (Evening Star, 4E 06)

The Argonians had pushed House Redoran back to its capital of Blacklight, but not without significant losses. What remained of the Shadowfen division could never hope to breach the city's defenses, yet to House Redoran's surprise, it still tried. Moments later, they would discover why the Argonians had been so bold: a force of half a dozen ships approached from the north; and not long after that, a horde of Argonian guerrillas emerged from the Inner Sea, swarming the city's east flank. The city was surrounded, but not completely without hope.

Two days passed before House Redoran was able to liberate the city. The An-Xileel were now forced to withdraw and regroup further south.

Reclamation (Evening Star, 4E 06 – Sun's Height, 4E 07)

Following their defeat at Blacklight, the An-Xileel adjusted their focus towards maintaining control over the land they had already raided. Having been spread so thinly by their crusade across the province, their remaining forces fared poorly against House Redoran. As Redoran's forces rallied south, they found settlements of all sizes empty and utterly destroyed. Whoever hadn't been killed had most certainly fled, perhaps even beyond the border.

While the bulk of Redoran's forces had managed to push the An-Xileel back into Deshaan, others scoured the land for House remnants to assist in the war effort. House Sadras, who had been accepting refugees from across Morrowind even before the Argonians invaded, assisted Redoran in assembling a fighting force to take back Deshaan.

After months of scattered conflicts, the Argonian force disintegrated into disparate pockets of resistance. The ruins of Mournhold were reclaimed, with reports of minor skirmishes continuing across the province.

The Fengate Accord (Sun's Height, 4E 07)

Knowing that the An-Xileel had already gotten what they wanted from this war, House Sadras proposed to the Grand Council that negotiations be opened with Black Marsh. The Argonians would recover far sooner than the Great Houses, so with some reluctance, the Council agreed.

After ten months of bloody conflict, the Great Houses, led by Grandmaster Ulath Sadras; along with the governors of the An-Xileel, gathered in Deshaan to sign the accord that would end the war. With the repair and reinforcement of the original wall dividing Deshaan from Shadowfen – the Fengate – the two races were once again cut off from one another. Encroachment on the borders of either race was now considered a criminal offense, and any association of the House kinsmen with Argonians was similarly deemed illegal. With the signing of the Fengate Accord, never again would the two ancient enemies threaten the lives of one another; and with that, the An-Xileel had won.

Read More

The Rise of House Sadras

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