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Lost Treasures of Tamriel: The Amulet of Kings and the White-Gold Tower
by Terminus Zaire, Contributor — Category: Lore Articles
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Hidden in the shadows and buried deep within the sands of time lie the remnants of great secrets, and even greater treasure. As the release of The Elder Scrolls Online draws ever closer, I attempt to unveil the fog of war to expand our understanding of the past, present and future fate of Nirn. This series will explore people and places of legend, artifacts and weapons of extraordinary power, and the impact they’ve had on shaping the land of Tamriel.


The Amulet of Kings has always been one of the most important symbols of the power of Cyrodiil, stretching from the middle of the First Era all the way up until its destruction by Martin Septim at the end of the Third Era. It was said that the Amulet was given to the Slave Queen Alessia on her deathbed by Akatosh himself, forming the Covenant of the Dragonfires. This covenant stated that, “so long as Alessia's generations were true to the dragon blood, Akatosh would endeavor to seal tight the Gates of Oblivion, and to deny the armies of daedra and undead to their enemies, the Daedra-loving Ayleids.” There are many things that are still misunderstood about this ancient relic; why can only those of Dragon Blood wear the amulet, and what does it have to do with the Imperial City? A deeper story lies beneath the alleged origins of the Amulet of Kings, stretching far back to the beginning of time itself.

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Lore states that at the creation of the universe, the Gods met at the Adamantine Tower to determine the fate of the god Lorkhan, who tricked the other gods into creating the world. When they were unable to destroy Lorkhan, they tore out his heart and cast it into the sea, eventually becoming Red Mountain in Vvardenfell. This meeting was called the Convention, and created what is uncommonly known as The Towers, which stabilize the realm of Mundus and ensure that the universe doesn’t collapse back into Oblivion. With the universe being stable because a piece of Lorkhan stayed behind, the Gods were able to return to their home realm Aetherius, leaving behind the lesser races such as the Aldmer, the original descendants of all elves (Altmer, Bosmer, Ayleid, etc).

In an effort to reach divinity in a similar fashion to the gods, the Aldmer began to create their own Towers, each requiring a Stone to focus their power. The Adamantine Tower’s stone was the Convention, or the essential creation of time itself. The Heart of Lorkhan was the Stone for Red Mountain, the second Tower created by the Gods. The Aldmer created many Towers spread throughout the continent, but the important thing to understand is that the Ayleids chose to build the Imperial Palace in an effort to follow the transcendence of the Gods and reach divinity by any means necessary.

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The design for the Imperial City, originally known as the Temple of the Ancestors, is believed to originate directly from Daedric influences in an effort to create the most powerful Tower in existence. This is because the purpose of the White-Gold Tower was different from other towers; while other towers attempted to preserve the magic left behind by the Gods, the White-Gold Tower attempted to harvest magic from the planes of Oblivion. This was due to the design of the city itself, described as a "wheel within a wheel" (the inner wheel being the city, the outer wheel being the universe). This design gave the Ayleids unimaginable power over creation, and is what fueled their power over the continent of Tamriel.

One thing that few people understand is exactly how the Temple of the Ancestors was actually able to harvest the power of creation. One of the biggest clues is provided during a quest in the game Oblivion where the player must hunt for the Ten Ancestors, statues of power that were once held in the White-Gold Tower. Before the overthrow of the Imperial City during the Slave Rebellion, these ten relics were removed from the city for safe keeping, hidden in major Ayleid cities to keep them safe. Interestingly enough, we see a very similar design in architecture when comparing the Ten Ancestors to the various Ayleid ruins, although it’s unknown if it was the relics that influenced the architecture, or vice-versa.

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While it may have been Akatosh that created the Amulet of Kings, it was actually the Ayleids who created the red gem at the center. This great soul gem, known commonly as the Red Diamond or the Chim-El Adabal by the Ayleids themselves (pronounced “kim-el adaball”, translated it means "Divine Holy Spirit-Stone") predates the First Era, going back to the origins of the Imperial City before the ages of man. While there are no direct lore references explaining the purpose of the Chim-El Adabal, we know that it was stored in the Temple of the Ancestors with the Ayleid statues before the Slave Rebellion forced the Ayleids from power under Queen Alessia.

But how does it all fit together? My theory is that the Temple of the Ancestors was used to harness the power of creatia from planes of Oblivion, which was then focused through the Ten Ancestors onto the Chim-El Adabal. This powered soul gem allowed the Ayleids to control the energy they harvested to attempt to reach divinity while limiting the powers of the daedra, preventing them from creating their own portals from Oblivion to attack Cyrodiil. When the Slave Rebellion occurred, the Ayleids attempted to protect the source of their power by preventing the slaves from utilizing the Ten Ancestors. This left the Chim-El Adabal without power, and slowly weakened the barriers between Tamriel and Oblivion.

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Akatosh, the god of time, sensed that the world was about to be destroyed in the early First Era and appeared to Queen Alessia on her deathbed. He took the unpowered Chim-El Adabal and fashioned it into a necklace to be worn by the future rulers of Cyrodiil, and captured the soul of Queen Alessia into the amulet. A book called The Amulet of Kings claims that the queen “became” the Amulet of Kings when she died, and it makes more sense that it was her soul that became the amulet rather than her body. With the gem transformed into an amulet, it now had the ability to be powered off the souls of whoever wore it rather than the Ten Ancestors. It still takes an extremely powerful soul to power the gem, specifically one of Dragon Blood. While it was not as strong as being powered by the Ten Ancestors, it provided enough power to prevent the Daedra of Oblivion from opening Oblivion Gates throughout Tamriel. As each emperor lives and dies, they give their soul to power the Chim-El Adabal and ensure that the barrier stays strong.

But what happened when the Amulet of Kings was destroyed? When Martin Septim crushed the Amulet of Kings at the Temple of the One, the souls and power of every king before him were released, summoning the power of Akatosh to defeat the imposing daedric threat. With the stone destroyed, the White-Gold Tower no longer worked as a focal point for creatia, and was deactivated. The Temple of the Ancestors could never again be used as a tool of creatia nor a beacon to Oblivion, and the world was once again safe from its wrath.
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Comments on Lost Treasures of Tamriel: The Amulet of Kings and the White-Gold Tower
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Daggerfall Covenant (Breton)
interesting, it seem it is possible for me to understand it.
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(May 23rd 2013 12:03 PM)JVM Wrote:  interesting, it seem it is possible for me to understand it.

I tried my best to explain it in a way that even those who didn't fully understand Elder Scrolls lore would be able to get a basic grasp of it.
It's very deep stuff, thanks for reading!
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Radioactive Man
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Good work! That was nicely done!
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Elder scrolls lore is so deep i never stop learning.
Thankyou it was a good read.
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Radioactive Man
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Hey Terminius - If you ever assistance uncovering facts dont hesitate to ask, Id be glad to help. Great Article, your theory makes alot of sense.
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Radioactive Man
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I am constantly amazed at the depth Elder Scrolls delivers. I played Oblivion for 500- 700 hours at least. It has been quite a few years since, but I dont remember this ten ancestors thing at all. I am constantly surprised at the information surfacing, even to date. I thought I had a pretty good handle on lore, but every day spent on this site just goes to show that there is always something to learn.
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(May 24th 2013 07:54 PM)moosey Wrote:  I am constantly amazed at the depth Elder Scrolls delivers. I played Oblivion for 500- 700 hours at least. It has been quite a few years since, but I dont remember this ten ancestors thing at all. I am constantly surprised at the information surfacing, even to date. I thought I had a pretty good handle on lore, but every day spent on this site just goes to show that there is always something to learn.

Not entirely sure, but i believe the 'ten ancestors' refers to the ten items you gather for the collector quest, which if you complete the collector uses the relics to transform himself into an Aleyid King. It was a long, but interesting quest, and resulted in a good reward for magic users :)
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"wheel within a wheel" , lol Wheelception provides infinite power, next time when i be drawing few circle i need to be careful not to destroy the world : )
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Daggerfall Covenant (Breton)
This was a very good work i just read this for the third time :p
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