There is sufficient archaeological evidence
for the modern historian to believe that there has been some
variety of human settlement in the city-state of Daggerfall
starting at least a thousand years before recorded history.
The first use of the name Daggerfall to refer to the area
around the current capitol was most probably in the 246th
year of the 1st Era. The north half of the Iliac Bay, in fact
all of the current province of High Rock, was conquered by
invading Nords who brought a rough sort of civilization with
them. One of the first civilized acts the Nords performed
was a census -- the so-called Book of Life. Listed on page
933 of the Book is this entry:
"North of the Highest bluffs, south of
the moors, west of the hills, and east of the sea is called
DAGGERFALL. 110 men, 93 women, 13 children under 8 years of
age, 58 cows, 7 bulls, 63 chickens, 11 cocks, 38 hogs live
Nearly four thousand years after this census
was taken, we can see that these two hundred and sixteen people
have multiplied heartily. The last census, in the year 3E
401, lists the population at over 110,000. It is always difficult
to find an exact number, but the capitol city of Daggerfall
certainly outnumbers her rivals, Sentinel and Wayrest.
It has been a consistant, if not actually
helpful amusement of historians to find the origin of placenames.
Daggerfall, by tradition, is said to refer to the knife the
first chieftain threw to form the borders of his lands. But
there are other legends that may have equal validity.
The Daggerfall entry from the Book of Life
actually supports one theory about the reason for Daggerfall's
longevity. The people were coastal fishermen, but they also
found the land itself sufficiently rich to support raising
livestock. This inclination of the early citizenry toward
reinforcing their principal products brought stability to
a fickle land.
Daggerfall thrived during the years of the
Skyrim occupancy. When the Wild Hunt killed King Borgas of
Winterhold in 1E 369, the northlands engaged in the War of
Succession and Skyrim, greatly weakened, lost her holdings
in High Rock and Morrowind. The Iliac Bay had become important
strategically, and Daggerfall began to expand her military.
There were multiple opportunities for her
to exercise this army and navy during the Direnni conflicts
with the force of the Alessian Reform. The Dirennis were native
Bretons, and Bretons are hardly ever given to excessive religion.
Daggerfall became a minor base of operations for the Dirennis
and their allies. Raven Direnni, the enchantress whose magic
helped secure the final victory over the Alessians in the
Glenumbria Moors, was one of the earliest occupants of Castle
Over the centuries that followed, the Dirennis
felt into obscurity, but Daggerfall continued her growth.
In 1E 609, King Thagore of Daggerfall defeated the army of
Glenpoint and became the preeminant economic, cultural, and
military force in southern High Rock. A position the kingdom
has precariously kept ever since.
Ironically, it was another successful military
exercise three hundred and seventy years later that ended
Daggerfall's monopoly of Bay trade: the annihilation of the
orcish capitol Orsinium by a joint effort of Daggerfall, the
new kingdom of Sentinel, and the now extinct Order of Diagna.
The scattering of the orcs from southeastern High Rock made
the river route to the Bay more accessible. The tiny village
of Wayrest grew like a flower that no longer feared the mow.
In twenty years, Wayrest's trade profits equalled Daggerfall's.
In forty years, Wayrest was the acknowledged master of Iliac
Bay trade. In one hundred and twenty years, Wayrest became
the Kingdom of Wayrest.
The Kingdom of Sentinel did not exhibit Wayrest's
aggrandizement during the First Era. The Redguards were warriors
learning the ways of the merchants, and their land was enemy
enough to keep their population checked. Indeed, the number
of people in all areas of the Iliac Bay was halved once in
the First Era by the Thrassian Plague, once again by the War
of Righteousness, and a third time by the invading Akavari.
If Daggerfall had not spent its first thousand years preparing
for the battles of the next thousand years, it is indeed conceivable
that the Iliac Bay today might be Akavarian.
The Second Era, like the latter part of the
First Era, is a tapestry of wars, insurrections, and plagues.
Daggerfall, Sentinel, and Wayrest continued to expand and
improve their military and economic positions in the Bay.
Daggerfall and Wayrest would transpose positions as major
trading center of the Bay, and Daggerfall and Sentinel likewise
bandied over which was the superior military power.
The Iliac Bay has continued to hold an important
position in the Imperial government of the Third Era. Rarely
allies (though the combined armies in opposition to the Camoran
Usurper in the 3rd century of the 3rd Era is a notable exception),
but not always enemies, Daggerfall, Sentinel, and Wayrest
have weathered the storms of contention, plague, famine, and
pestilence. The recent War of Betony was typical of Iliac
Bay warfare: sincere, frighteningly violent, and peaceably
to book index