The Nibenay Valley,[note 1] the Niben Valley, or the Nibenean Valley is a small region situated in the eastern rainforests of the Nibenay, within the province of Cyrodiil. The Nibenay Valley has a rich history and even a beautiful landscape. It is the centerpiece of the Nibenay East, containing the Niben Bay itself.
Western Niben Valley
The Western Niben Valley is where the city-state of Bravil is located, as well as, where the entire valley meets the much larger region of the Great Forest. The West Valley is where the population is practically found here, as the only important settlement, Bravil is found. The Green Road runs through here, going around Bravil and Ayleid ruins. Interestingly, Ayleid-related history is unique in the Western Valley, as the site of Bravil contained a fully-established city that was sacked during the Alessian Slave Rebellion. The people from the city of Anutwyll were among the few that escaped the Alessians, and entering the province of Valenwood, integrating with the Wood Elves.
Central Niben Valley
The Central Niben Valley consists of the lower Niben Bay, as well as, the land east of the Green Road, and the strip coast found west of the Yellow Road. The only settlement is the Cadlew Chapel, which is of an unknown origin. The ruined city-state of Nenalata was one of the last Ayleid kingdoms as their leader, Laloriaran Dynar pledged allegiance with the Alessian Empire. But like the other Ayleid settlements, it was abandoned when the Nenalata Elves traveled to the far northwest in the region of Bangkorai. The estuaries of both the Panther River and the Silverfish River are found here and continue into towards the border.
Eastern Niben Valley
The Eastern Niben Valley is a stretch of open woodlands that eventually goes into the southern edge of the Nibenay Basin. The Panther River makes up the northern border, while banks of the Silverfish create the south. The Imperial Bridge Inn is the only settlement in the area, being found just off the Yellow Road, near the Mouth of the Panther. But because of the abundance of ruins and other anomalies, scholars tend to be found in the inn. Beyond that, the bulwark of Fort Gold-Throat is found on the Silverfish River, south of the Imperial Bridge. Other than that, there is nothing worth mentioning about the Eastern Niben Valley.
Despite the criminal activity present in Bravil, the Nibenay Valley has an immersive culture regarding sea transport and one that surrounds the Niben Bay, in general. The Mudcrab exemplifies this, due to their abundance in the Niben River. They live in clusters throughout the shore, and are either harmless or attack on sight. They seek to defend their home from anything they deem a threat. One Bear would not be able to withstand a fleet of fledgling Mudcrabs, who bubble at the sight of their foes. Their legs are commonly used in food, fried or grilled, and their chitin is used in Alchemy for medicine and potions.
Southern mainland Tamriel, for the most part, consists of dense swamps, and endless forests. Nature here is at its most primal, and dangerous. The Nibenay Valley is just the beginning of what lies south in Blackwood or the Tenmar Forest. Magical creatures such as the Will-o-the-Wisp reside in the forest and haunt the rainforests of Bravil. The Will-o-the-Wisp appear as a glowing light, swarming with magical specks of light energy. They are fast and can turn invisible when confronting prey. Unlike most creatures, the Will-o-the-Wisp cannot be harmed by normal means, only with Silver or Magical weaponry (i.e., Daedric or Enchanted weapons). They are rare in general, but one will most likely encounter one in the Nibenay, or the Great Forest.
The Troll are a common predator, as well as, a feared one throughout the provinces of Tamriel. Trolls are animals that live in isolated in caves and other areas. Trolls in Cyrodiil are notably smaller than other variants in Skyrim or Valenwood but are faster and louder. The Niben River, as well as, other riverways in the Imperial Province are the homes of River Trolls, a more orange-silver blue colored variant that are rare and almost unheard of. River Troll hide is extremely valuable, making them a prime target for hunters. Trolls, in general, have a weakness to fire. One of the speculated reasons as to why is that, Trolls regenerate very quickly, but when it comes to burns, it struggles in that field. Troll Fat is a commonly used alchemic ingredient, used in poisons and tonics.
Dreughs are aquatic beastfolk that live in the waters of Tamriel, such as the Iliac Bay in the Northwest, and the Inner Sea in Morrowind. They begin as a Dreugh Shrimp that eventually grows into a Water Dreugh, with tentacles like an Octopus, but with the upper body that people would recognize. But eventually, the Dreugh undergo a process called Karvinasim, where the Water Dreugh grows legs and becomes a Land Dreugh, who are colloquially called "Billies" in Cyrodiil. According to some myths, the Dreughs were a remnant of the previous Kalpa, which is an epoch of time. In this myth, Dreughs controlled the seas of Lyg, under the control of Molag Bal, or at least his form at the time. However, that Kalpa was destroyed by Mehrunes Dagon. The modern-day Dreugh were considered remnants of this, denounced to the mere fauna of Tamriel in the current Kalpa.
Ghosts & Wraiths
The Niben Bay houses dangerous, such as ravenous creatures and notorious pirates, resulting in several shipwrecks throughout the Niben River and other riverways. These wrecks contain Ghosts, and some having Wraiths. These spirits stay on the physical plane until they are put to rest, either completing an unfinished tasked or being defeated. The ghost of Grantham Blakeley haunted the Niben Bay, around Bawnwatch Camp, remaining a legend known as the Forlorn Watchmen. His lost ship contained Wraiths of the former crew and Gable the Traitor, the one who caused mutiny on the ship. These creatures are made out of Ectoplasm, which is used in alchemy for potions or poisons.
The Niben River and the Niben Bay are perhaps the largest water sources on the mainland, other than the Inner Sea in Morrowind or the Deep Marshes around Helstrom, and as a result, a strong variety of flora grows along the river, from Lake Rumare, all the way into the Topal Sea. Coincidentally, since the Western Niben is traditionally part of Elsweyr, throughout the river grows abundant patches of Cattails and Water Lillies, and deeper south becomes more swamp-like, but with that Cyrod-Climate. All around Bravil and the entirety of the Western Niben Valley are Mandrakes, even though they are primarily found in the Colovian Highlands.
But like other waterfronts in Tamriel, the Nibenay Valley is known to contain Nirnroots, which held little significance until 1E 668, which is known as Sun's Death. It was the first known eruption of Red Mountain. Because of a magical anomaly, the Nirnroot used the ash salt as their sole source of food, as Sun's Death caused to blot the sky in hellish clouds. They knew that this sudden natural disaster would have ended in their extinction. Nirnroot is said not to be able to grow back and even appear enormously. But around 4E 5, the Altmer alchemist, Sinderion was able to learn how to cultivate them, with his apprentice growing them somewhere in the Rift. In general, the Eastern Niben Valley is nothing but forest, with very few ruins and caverns. The waterfront of the Valley is open with low bushes and open roads. Moving away from the road would lead into open and free areas.
The city-state of Bravil is practically the largest settlement in the Nibenay Valley, and by default, the region's capital. To the rest of Cyrodiil, Bravil is unanimously the worst city in what is the heartlands of the continent. Bravil is ruled by a Count/Countess out of Castle Bravil, which overlooks the Niben Bay. The County takes up the entirety of the Nibenay Valley, and upwards towards the Heartlands, and south into Blackwood. It borders County Skingrad in the west, and County Leyawiin in the south. The criminal activity in Bravil is dangerously bad, as Skooma is prominent, and even a prime trade in Bravil. Crimelords and Kingpins operate out of Bravil and even have favor over the entire city. The City Guard is said to be paid out by these figures so that their actions can run smoothly. But despite Bravil's bad reputation, there is some nobility worth noting, such as the Imperials of House Terentius, who were royal scribes by nature, and even ruled Bravil in the late Third Era. Minor settlements under the control of County Bravil are unknown, but it can be assumed that settlements surrounding Bravil, such as Ione, the Imperial Bridge Inn, and Faregyl.
In the early years of the Alessian Empire, there were several Ayleid vassal-states that pledged their allegiance to the First Empire, some living as far as the reign of Ami-El, the third Emperor of the Alessians. The city-state of Nenalata was one of these vassal-states, as well as, the most well-known. They were forced to adopt the doctrines of the Eight Divines, the exact opposite of their Daedric worship. They remained in the Alessian Empire until the Alessian Order ordered for their extinction, to which the Nenalata Elves left for Bangkorai and the region of Mournoth. The last known leader of Nenalata, and by extension, the Ayleids was Laloriaran Dynar. The Greater Nibenay is the home of the original Imperials, which consisted of Cyro-Nordic Tribes that separated themselves from Skyrim both economically, and culturally. The early Alessian Empire began in the Nibenay Valley, eventually growing into the Imperial City. The fall of Bravil was the most well-known battle in the Alessian Slave Rebellion, as it not only resulted in Bravil's founding, but it was the first known record of Alteration magic. The First Empire had made the Nibenese people into a mercantile group, one that heavily benefits from the Niben River, using gondolas and ships to move between the Imperial City, to Bravil, and Leyawiin.
The Alessian Slave Rebellion; The Battle for Ancient Bravil
Like the other elven races, the Ayleids migrated out of their home of the Summerset Isles, settling on the mainland of Tamriel. In this case, the province of Cyrodiil. The land surrounding Bravil was the heart of trade, as the Niben River runs to the White-Gold Tower, into the waves of the ocean. While the city-state of Ceyatatar was the main trading post of the west, Ancient Bravil was the eastern equivalent. The Ayleid city that existed where Bravil now stands was a juggernaut, with minor cities such as Bawn and Morahame surrounding it. The name that original settlement held translates to "Home," meaning it was called "Hame." But considering that the faraway settlement of Hame exists, it was either called the former, or "Math," which also means "Home". But like the rest of the Ayleid kingdoms, Ancient Bravil practiced Slavery on the Nedes. In 1E 242, Alessia rebels against the Ayleid settlements, for a whole year with the Fall of White-Gold Tower. Ancient Bravil was one of the last settlements to fall to the Alessians, withstanding roughly four attacks, with each attack leading slowly to its demise.
After every battle, all of the Imperial Centurions would be killed, and the Ayleid people would re-populate the city. On the second invasion, escape tunnels were discovered, prompting to be buried and closed in, ultimately, the same scenario occurred. After the third one, the Imperials secured the roads and walls, but their corpses would later be tossed out of the wall. Teo Bravillius Tasus was the leader of the invasion force, after the fourth invasion, Tasus speculated that the Ayleids were hiding somewhere, killing the centurions at night. And so, the Imperial Legion was forced to investigate every nook and cranny until they discovered that Ayleid sorcerers using Alteration magic to teleport into the city. Then it became easy, as the Imperials were able to root out the Ayleids from all of their hiding places, and adequately destroy the town. Many scholars attribute this event to the earliest forms of Alteration, as at the time, the school of magic was not recognized. The site would later become the foundation of the modern-day city-state of Bravil.
The Rebellion Aftermath; Nenalata & the Ayleid Diaspora
The fall of White-Gold Tower had created the Ayleid Diaspora, where the remaining clans of Ayleids were forced to evacuate Cyrodiil before they were slaughtered by the Ayleids. The city-state of Ancient Bravil was among the last standing ones until it was ultimately sacked. But the other Ayleid settlements around it were not as unfortunate. The Ayleids of the Nibenay Valley were the ones to escape the wrath of the Alessians efficiently. The Elves of both Anutwyll and Bawn were able to escape into Valenwood, as did a couple of other clans, while the city-state of Nenalata had sworn allegiance into the First Empire. The Ayleids that escaped into Valenwood would eventually integrate themselves into Bosmeri customs until they were assimilated and absorbed into their people, but Nenalata would continue their Ayleid culture, to a minimum at the very least. These events that transpired are known as the Late Ayleid Period, which continues until the death of Laloriaran Dynar. King Dynar became the leader of Nenalata sometime after 1E 263, but before 1E 331. His father was forced to make Nenalata a vassal-kingdom, all the while transition to a slave-less economy and the worship of the Eight Divines. As time went on, animosity towards Nenalata had grown when a coup d'etat occurs in the Imperial City, and the vassal-states began to dwindle, with Nenalata being the remaining few. Ultimately, the Imperials were at Nenalata's doorstep, telling them to get out of Cyrodiil or face the consequences, and so they did. The Nenalata Elves traveled to the northwest, to the region of Bangkorai in High Rock, where they founded the city-state of Bisnensel. But even then, the Primeval Seekers forced the royal family out of Bisnensel, and into the Isle of Balfiera. One day, King Laloriaran Dynar returns to Nenalata alone, only to be imprisoned into the depths of Coldharbour, for the rest of eternity. And as history repeated itself, Bisnensel was abandoned, and the Dynar family integrated into the Direnni Clan.
The Anchors of Coldharbour; the Planemeld
With the death of Reman Cyrodiil III, the Interregnum had occurred, with various warlords and champions seeking claim over the Ruby Throne. Among them was Varen Aquilarios, the Duke of Chorrol, who amassed a rebellion against the Longhouse Emperors for ownership of the Throne. In 2E 577, Aquilarios had taken over the Imperial City and would have likely ended the Interregnum at that, but he was not Dragonborn. Only the Dragonborn can lit the Dragonfires that protects the barrier between Nirn and Oblivion, prompting him and his Five Companions to search for the Amulet of Kings. But things would turn for the worst when the Soulburst occurred, and Emperor Varen had disappeared. Mannimarco, the King of Worms, had unleashed the dark anchors of Coldharbour onto the Imperial City, thus beginning the Planemeld, Molag Bal's invasion over Tamriel. Bravil was one of the first targets of the Daedric Invasion, with the town burned to the ground by Daedra and undead creatures. Survivors took refuge in places like a Warlock's Luck, but they were not saved from the destruction. The Imperial City was basically a pocket of Oblivion, as the Dark Anchors surrounded the city walls, and the bridges are floating in mid-air. Daedric Titans were flying around the countryside, and Dremora were burning villages. This state has left Cyrodiil war-torn, to which the surrounding provinces decided to take advantage of. Clivia Tharn of the Nibenay was left as the Regent-Empress, forcing to take refuge in the Imperial City Prison.
The War-Torn Province; the Three-Banners War
By 2E 580, things had not changed, while the cities of Cyrodiil were slowly attempting to rebuild and making ends meet on their own. The Empress-Regent was still in hiding as the wretches of Coldharbour still took control over the Imperial City. However, a war was in the air as alliances from the three corners of the world attempt to claim the Ruby Throne. The First Aldmeri Dominion of the southwest was the youngest of the three, having hold of the Summerset Isles, Valenwood, and Elsweyr. The Nibenay Valley, as well as, the city-state of Bravil was situated in what was considered Territory of the Aldmeri Dominion, which consists of the Western Niben River, to the southern outskirts of Chorrol. The Eastern Elsweyr Gate was located just south of the Larsius River, rather close to the Green Road of Bravil. All the while, various bandit groups took advantage of the Alliance War, sacking and raiding settlements all throughout Central Cyrodiil, with groups such as the Shadowed Path and the Gray Vipers were active in the Nibenay Valley. Notoriously, Captain Jena Apinia, of the Imperial Legion was left astray with her legion, asking for help from the Mayor of Bravil, but when he refused to help, she ordered her soldiers to attack, killing half of the population. She thought it would help, but the Bravilian people rose up in anger, forcing her to leave. She would become known as the "Butcher of Bravil" and she lived in infamy, even taking items of importance from Bravil. In 2E 583, she was defeated by the Eyes of the Queen, in the ruins of Garlas Agea in the Gold Coast. This era of constant feuding would continue, as it did in the Interregnum.
From the Deadlands; the Gates of Oblivion
On Harvest's End in 3E 433 marked the beginning of the Oblivion Crisis, as the Emperor, Uriel Septim VII was assassinated deep within the Imperial City Prison, en route to escaping the capital. Both the Emperor, as well as, his three children were killed by the group known as the Mythic Dawn, a cult of Mehrunes Dagon. Ever since then, gates of Oblivion opened all throughout the continent, laying waste to the illustrious Empire, with the city-state of Kvatch being one of the more well-known attacks. At the time, the County of Bravil was ruled by Regulus Terentius, a former champion of the Imperial City Arena, hailing from the esteemed House Terentius, but is now just a drunken ne'er-do-well. The Oblivion Gate that threatened Bravil appeared in the ruined tower of Beriel's Lament, which held little significance in the first place. But the Hero of Kvatch, traveled to all the Counties of Cyrodiil, to build an army to fight a greater Daedra force heading for Bruma. The Hero destroyed the Gate in Bravil, which gave Count Terentius the ability to send soldiers. In the end, the Hero of Kvatch, and Martin Septim were able to defeat Mehrunes Dagon and end the Oblivion Crisis.
The Great War & Lord Naarifin's Campaign
On the 30th of Frostfall, 4E 171, the Third Aldmeri Dominion waged war against the weakened Third Empire in the event known as the Great War. While the Colovian West suffered greatly at the hands of Lady Arannelya, the Nibenay was fighting the Dominion under the command of Lord Naarifin, a powerful Magus-General that began his campaign in the northern Elsweyr hills, laying waste to the Niben River and besieging both Bravil and Leyawiin. Naarifin was able to cut off the Imperial Legion from Bravil, which ultimately led to the fall of the city. Naarifin's success in the Nibenay had left the Thalmor thinking the Empire was weaker than realized, and so the full-scale battle had begun. In 4E 172, Lord Naarifin had surrounded the Imperial City, large-scale water battles occurred throughout Lake Rumare and the Niben Bay. In 4E 174, Lord Naarifin had taken control of the Imperial City and Titus Mede II was forced to evacuate into the north. But by 4E 175, Lord Naarifin was defeated, and the Empire recovered the Imperial City. Bravil and Leyawiin were rebuilt sometime afterward.
The Bravilian Drug War; the Eclipse & the Claw
County of Bravil, and by extension, the Nibenay Valley is the Skooma capital of the Imperial Province, for not only being a prime port along the Niben River but for its proximity to the crime city of Senchal. Skooma runs freely throughout Bravil, and so many drug lords and kingpins take refuge in the walls of Bravil. The two most prevalent groups to appear in recent times are the Eclipse and the Claws. The Eclipse are a group primarily of Dark Elves, while the Claws consist of Khajiit. Both were feuding clans that eventually took to arms in 4E 188, resulting in the Bravilian Drug War. Amidst the riots, the Lucky Old Lady statue was wrecked, leaving the Crypt of the Night Mother exposed to the destruction, albeit hidden amidst the fires. The Dark Brotherhood had been sent to eliminate the Baroness of the Eclipse, and the Kingpin of the Claws, to which both were exterminated. Turmoil between both factions intensified and so Alisanne Dupre, Listener of the Brotherhood rushed to the Night Mother's crypt to protect her. Ultimately, Dupre was killed in action, but the Night Mother was saved. Garnag the Dark Adherent had successfully brought the Night Mother to Cheydinhal. But eventually, the conflict in Bravil had subsided.
- Bawnwatch Camp
- Eastern Elsweyr Gate
- Cadlew Chapel
- Castle Bloodmayne
- Gate of Mnem
- Imperial Bridge Inn
- Lunar Fang Docks
- Beriel's Lament
- Crypt of the Night Mother
- Fathis Aren's Tower
- Fort Flecia
- Fort Gold-Throat
- Fort Irony
- Variela's Watchtower
- Green Road
- Larsius River
- Moffka's Lament
- Niben Bay
- Niben River
- Panther River
- Peryite's Shrine
- Silverfish River
- The Lover Stone
- Yellow Road
- ↑ The original context (in the Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition) for the Nibenay Valley refers to it in a grander sense, much more akin to what the Nibenay in general means. The Heartlands around the Imperial City is referred as a part of the Nibenay Valley, while maps show the Valley stretching along the Niben River, near County Leyawiin. Even the minor regions, the Northern Niben Valley and Southern Niben Valley in ESO are located far than what is shown in Oblivion.
- ↑ Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion/Valenwood
- ↑ The Fickle Nature of Mudcrabs
- ↑ Troll Slaying
- ↑ Field Guide to River Trolls
- ↑ Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion/High Rock
- ↑ Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion/Summerset Isles
- ↑ Nirnroot Missive
- ↑ Sinderion's Field Journal
- ↑ Guide to Bravil
- ↑ The (Improved) Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Cyrodiil
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Daughter of the Niben
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 A Life of Strife and Struggle
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Cyrodiil
- ↑ Ayleid Cities of Valenwood
- ↑ The Last King of the Ayleids
- ↑ Ayleid Survivals in Valenwood
- ↑ Chronicles of the Five Companions 1
- ↑ The (Improved) Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Dreams of Cyrodiil
- ↑ Anchorite's Log
- ↑ Events of The Elder Scrolls Online
- ↑ The Butcher of Bravil
- ↑ The Oblivion Crisis
- ↑ Guide to Bravil
- ↑ Events of "Allies for Bruma"
- ↑ The Great War
- ↑ Cicero's Journal - Volume 2
- ↑ Events of "Bravil" in The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood
|Cyrodiil Locations in Lore|
|Cities||Anvil • Bravil • Bruma • Cheydinhal • Chorrol • Imperial City • Kvatch • Leyawiin • Skingrad|
|Regions||Blackwood • Colovian Highlands • Gold Coast • Great Forest • Heartlands (City Isle) • Jerall Mountains • Nibenay Basin • Nibenay Valley • Valus Mountains • West Weald|
|Landmarks||Abagarlas • Arcane University • Cloud Ruler Temple • Delodiil • Garlas Malatar • Imperial Reserve • Lake Rumare • Niben Bay • Pale Pass • Priory of the Nine • Sancre Tor • Sutch • Temple of the One • Weynon Priory • White-Gold Tower|