- For the joinable factions in Elder Scrolls Online, see Factions (Online).
The Alliances are the three major factions of the Alliance War, also called the Three Banners War. They are as follows:
- The Aldmeri Dominion, situated in the provinces of the Summerset Isles, Valenwood, and Elsweyr.
- The Daggerfall Covenant, situated in the provinces of Hammerfell, High Rock, and Orsinium.
- The Ebonheart Pact, situated in the provinces of Skyrim, Morrowind, and Black Marsh.
The province of Cyrodiil remains disputed, and is a constant battleground between the three alliances.
In 2E 579, an arcane explosion in the Imperial City known as the Soulburst set off a mystical aftershock that swept across Nirn, resulting in Emperor Varen Aquilarios' disappearance. His consort Clivia Tharn succeeded him as Empress regent, though was unknowingly manipulated by Mannimarco, whom became the true power controlling the Imperial City. As Dark Anchors opened up across Tamriel, the White-Gold Tower fell into the hands of Molag Bal and the Worm Cult, with Clivia Tharn missing and the Elder Council disbanding. The border between the plane of Oblivion and Nirn was broken, and Molag Bal began his attempt to bring Tamriel into his realm of Coldharbour, in an event known as the Planemeld. The Daedra spawned all over Tamriel in greater numbers than ever before. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it dominated the night sky.
Without an Emperor sitting on the Ruby Throne, the Empire fell into disrepair. Facing a great danger, many provinces united into different factions, each seeking to reclaim the throne and fulfill their own agendas.
The main goal of the Aldmeri Dominion was to protect Tamriel from the Daedric disasters that Nirn faced, and spare the continent from the corruption of Men. To their minds, the short-lived race of Men were not worthy of ruler's role, and the only solution would be to take the throne for themselves.
The dominant race of the Daggerfall Covenant was the Breton. With the help of their merchant' skillful diplomacy, the Daggerfall Covenant manages to ally with the races of Redguard and Orsimer. The faction was led by the merchant High King Emeric.
With the fall of the Imperial City the renown trade routes of the Daggerfall Covenant races were disrupted.
With no more trade the region could not prosper. Poverty and suffering spread throughout the land. By reclaiming the Ruby Throne, the Daggerfall Covenant sought to return the Empire and, more importantly, cities of the Iliac Bay to their former wealth.
The dominant race of the Ebonheart Pact was the Nord. The Dunmer and, eventually, the Argonians joined forces along with the Nords to survive the Second Akaviri Invasion. The leader of the faction was High King Jorunn. He, however, did not have all the power over the provinces, as a Great Moot was summoned, a council of all the allied races, whom he had to hear out.
Having protected Tamriel from the Akaviri, the members of the Ebonheart Pact thought to have earned the right as the rulers. Moreover, ever since the great conquests of the Nords in the First Era, they thought themselves to be superior and the rightful rulers of Tamriel.
- Imperial Legion - what remains of Varen Aquilarios' empire
- Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, and Undaunted - Neutral factions operating in all alliance zones