OOC Link! We were a proud people once. The Northern reaches of Tamriel in the lands the Atmorans would call Skyrim was once our home, our chosen domain when our ancestors split from the Aldmer and would claim our own independent identity. We were prosperous, we were wise… we were arrogant. It was us who started the war with the humans, the seemingly barbaric Atmorans who came from lands far to the North across the seas. We could not have known that in trying to rid them from our lands they would come back with a fury of such scale and ferocity we would never recover from. Never in our wildest imaginings could we have ever foreseen that a mere 500 humans would drive us into the arms of our cousins, the dwemer… and never could we have ever foreseen that it would have led to the extinction of our culture and our people. Turned into slaves, and then twisted into feral, heartless beasts, the Snow Elves disappeared from Skyrim forever more, save for us brave few who have remained hidden from the prying eyes of Tamriel to preserve what was left of our people, our culture. To the dwemer and the Atmorans, we were extinct, but in truth we have survived… for a price. Desperation makes even the wisest of us do foolish things that we will one day come to regret. One does not deal with demons and emerge from the bargain the victor, and the actions of a few who have strayed from the light of Auri-el may exact from us all a terrible price. Centuries of isolation, watching from a wary distance the chances of the wider world will have to come to an end if we hope to survive. We have no choice but to entrust our fates to the ancestors of our bitterest rivals and enemies. We reach out to any who are brave enough to hear our plight and take it upon themselves to deliver us from a fate worse than death. Phynaster preserve us. The year is 4E 208, seven years after Alduin the World Eater was slain by the Dragonborn and the Stormcloak rebellion ended with Ulfric Stormcloak’s execution in Windhelm, Tamriel sits at an uneasy peace as the Mede Emepire and the 3rd Aldmeri Dominion sit the knife’s edge of conflict, maintaining adherence to the White-Gold Concordat while quietly preparing for a war that may come sooner than anyone could expect. While the Empire’s 4th Legion defeated the Stormcloaks in a brief but brutal civil war and brought a measure of peace throughout the Empire, Emperor Titus Mede II did not live to see the conflict’s resolution as Dark Brotherhood assassins killed him aboard his flagship during a visit to Solitude to meet with General Tullius. His son, Felix Mede, a powerful man in his 40s, had ascended to the throne and is reputed to have been particularly vocal against the signing of the White-Gold Concordat. Many are fearful his leadership may lead to a war of such scale that either the Empire or Dominion will be the sole survivor. However, neither side of the border is ready for a conflict, despite the Great War having ended 33 years ago – an eternity for the short-lived memories of man. However, despite the lofty ambitions of their rulers, the common people of the Empire and the Dominion alike are enjoying an extended period of peace and prosperity, although the territories of Valenwood and the kingdoms of Pelletine and Anequina, formerly the Elsweyr Confederacy, still chafe under the rule of their Thalmor overlords. However, with the death of Alduin and Miraak in the following year, there’s an air of tranquility few are accustomed to. While bandits and cruel mages lurk in the wilds, there's a sense of security and hope that many had long gone without overall. Skyrim has rebuilt under the fair rule of Queen Elisef, and while rumours of Stormcloak sympathizers are abound, the remnants of Ulfric's army are treated like bogeymen, stories to scare disobedient children. While the Empire's presence in Skyrim is stronger than it had been in years, the Legions provide a sense of security to the citizens of the cold, hard land, as if to say that they understood what could happen if their gaze wandered from the North for too long. At it's heart, Skyrim is still a wild, untamed land with a spirit to match. The simple fact it had risen up in rebellion was sign enough of that. In an event that had shocked the Empire, Emperor Felix had been murdered two months ago by one of his newly formed Praetorian Guardsmen, an organization of unspecified function comprised entirely of skilled battlemages that seemingly only answered to the Emperor himself. His young son, Tactus Mede, an untested man who is yet to see his 20s, has inheirted one of the most powerful sovereign states in all of Nirn and is fully aware how both friend and foe alike is watching his every move to see if he will live up to his legacy, or leave a weakened Empire ripe for exploitation. Deciding to make his inaugural appearance at the 7th anniversary of the end of the Stormcloak Rebellion in Windhelm, a lavish ceremony was planned with attendance comprised of people from all walks of life across the Empire to observe the occasion. In an attempt to mend the discord his father had sown with the Dominion, the Aldmeri Dominion was invited to send a diplomat and their retainers to mark the occasion as a victory for the preservation of the terms of the White Gold Concordat, despite the Dominion's secret ambitions for Ulfric Stormcloak to emerge victorious. It was to be a celebration of peace and unity in the face of chaos and adversity. On the second day of the festival, a visitor to the ancient gates of the oldest human city in Tamriel would shake Tamriel to its core. Emerging like a wisp in the blistering cold, a pale woman in ornate white robes with hair to match approached the gates of Windhelm, asking for the Emperor by name. When the guards demanded her identity, the pale woman smiled, simply stating. "The Snow Elves are ready to open diplomacy with the Mede Empire." The snow elf, Vylewen, held an audience in a guarded chamber with Emperor Tactucs and many hours were spent behind closed doors, isolated from the increasing din of the city. The third day of the festival, Emperor Tactus held podium at the steps of Candlehearth Hall, stating that an isolated community of Snow Elves had survived in isolation for these many centuries, chosing to keep hidden from the world to preserve what little remained of their people. These survivors had come forward to the Empire to seek assistance in a matter of dire urgency, one that could mean the end of the community and what has survived of the Snow Elf people. Emperor Tactus informed the crowd that in three day's time, an expedition of volunteers in the Empire's employ would see Vylewen back safely to her people and learn of this threat first hand while acting as guards for the elven diplomat and the Imperial Ambassador. A small party had been assembled and are set to ride North the morning of the sixth day of the festival. However, not all is as it seems, as a handful of Thalmor-picked agents ride among them, for purposes of their own. What would occur in the days to come would change their lives, and Skyrim, forever.