Wayrest is one of the most glorious cities
of western Tamriel: sparkling in her contemporary beauty,
lustrous by her past. She is prized above all cities in High
Rock -- no other city has contributed, and continues to contribute
so much to the culture of the Bretons. The spirits of her
genius children continue to haunt the streets; you can see
them in the gabled roofs, grand boulevards, aromatic marketplaces.
The people of Wayrest have an instictive appreciation of their
past, but are not obsessed by it, as the people of Daggerfall
seem to be. One feels that one is in a modern city when one
visits Wayrest, but there is a magic in the air that could
only come from thirty-two centuries of civilization.
It is difficult for historians to declare
a certain date for the foundation of Wayrest. A settlement
of some variety had been existence where the Bjoulsae River
feeds the Iliac Bay possibly since the 800th year of the First
Era. The traders and fishermen of Wayrest were surrounded
by hostile parties: the orc capitol Orsinium had grown like
a poison weed to the north, and the Akaviri pirates and raiders
crowded the islands to the west. There is no mystery to Wayrest's
name. After the fighting most travellers had to endure passing
through the eastern end of the Iliac Bay, the little fishing
village on the Bjoulsae was a welcome rest.
Nowhere in the much vaunted censuses of the
Skyrim Occupation is Wayrest mentioned. In the Annals of Daggerfall,
King Joile's letter to Gaiden Shinji of the Order of Diagna
contains the following reference: "The orcs have been
much plaguing the Wayresters and impeding traffic to the heart
of the land." The date given for the letter was 1E 948.
Wayrest only truly bloomed after the razing
of Orsinium in 1E 980. The hard-working traders and merchants
were instrumental in forming the Masconian Trade Way and thus
reducing the pirate activity on the Bay. At this time, Wayrest
occupied both banks of the Bjoulsae. A successful mercantile
family, the Gardners, built a walled palace on the High Rock
side of the river and, over time, allowed banks and other
businesses within its walls. It was a Gardner, Farangel, who
was proclaimed king when Wayrest accepted ambassadors from
the Camorian Empire, and was granted the right to call itself
a kingdom in the 1100th year of the 1st Era.
Although Wayrest became a kingdom under the
command of one family, the merchants continued to wield incredible
power. Many economists have alleged that Wayrest's eternal
wealth, despite all her hardships, comes from this rare relationship
between the merchants and the crown. The Gardner Dynasty fell,
followed by the Cumberland Dynasty, which was followed by
the Horley Dynasty, and finally, in the Third Era, the Septim
Dynasty. No citizen of another kingdom of comparable age can,
with one hand, name all the families who have ever ruled.
Never has a king of Wayrest been deposed by revolution or
assassination. Except for those of the Septim family, every
king of Wayrest can trace his line back to a merchant prince
of Wayrest. The merchants and king respect one another, and
this relationship strengthens both.
One need only walk down the great boulevard
of Wayrest to see physical proof of this unique alliance.
Going north to south, Wayrest Boulevard suddenly divides,
one half going west and the other going east. Both halfs end
in identical squares: one at Castle Wayrest, the original
palace of Aphren Gardner, and the other at Cumberland Square,
where the oldest and wealthiest marketplace in Wayrest. The
message here is clear: the king and the merchants are joined
Wayrest has survived blights, droughts, plagues,
piracy, invasions, and war with good humor and practicality.
In 1E 2702, the entire population of the city was forced to
move into the walled estate of the Gardners as protection
against the pirates, Akaviri raiders, and Thrassian plague.
A less resourceful community would have withered, but the
Wayresters have survived to enrich Tamriel generation after
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