ZeniMax Online Studios have revealed some of the groundwork in their latest Facebook post for TES: Online. Below is a portion of the full post:
Strange things are happening all over Tamriel. The dead stir in their graves; zombies and darker creatures congregate more and more frequently in every corner of the land. Winters grow colder and crops fail. Mystics are plagued by nightmares and portents of doom.
These events began with the Soulburst, in 2E 579, four years before present. An arcane explosion in the Imperial City set off aftershocks in every corner of Nirn. Mages died or went mad. Disasters and freakish weather lashed every province of Tamriel. Red Mountain flared and trembled in Morrowind, earthquakes shook Skyrim, and massive storms devastated the coastlines of Elsweyr and Valenwood. The constellation of the Serpent reappeared in the skies and grew so large that it seemed to threaten every star sign at once...
...The Imperial City, and with it, the throne of Tamriel, is controlled by Molag Bal’s followers. Necromancy has been declared legal in the Empire, and the Arcane University – once home to the Mages Guild – has been turned over to the necromancers of the Worm Cult.
- A devastating arcane explosion in the Imperial City?
- The Imperial City is now controlled by Molag Bal’s followers?
- Necromancy declared legal in the Empire and the Arcane University turned over to the necromancers of the Worm Cult?
Some interesting background for those of us who are looking for anything relating to the lore of the game. However given that the events outlined are so drastically different from established lore, it's uncertain how this will all fit into the current timeline of events - if at all. I'm sure the loremasters out there are sobbing as I type this.
For the full post see Introduction to the Lore of Elder Scrolls Online