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Daggerfall Proper

The Bluffs encompass much of the coastline between Daggerfall and Tulune

The Bluffs are a geographical region and historical province in south-western Daggerfall, the ancestral home of the local Archducal House Paey. Encompassing most of the coastline and rocky, forested badland south and west of the capital, the Bluffs have long held a reputation as a glorified witch-den - the darkest and most destitute corner of the old western kingdom. The infamously headstrong Archdukes Paey have done little to dispell any such reservations, wearing the myths and legends shrouding their lands for a shawl in most their dealings with princes and nobles from outside the Bluffs.

Geography Edit

Grinning a craggy grin at any passing vessel, Daggerfall's western coastline is hardly an inviting sight. While not nearly as inhospitable as some of Tamriel's most treacherous waters, few captains would be foolhardy enough to brave it in search of shelter - not with Daggerfall's Riverfront, or even the moorings and trade-docks at the mouth of the River Dirne so close by. To dock here, a ship must be either a wreck or a dinghy; traffic here is all fishing boats and smugglers' cutters, and the occasional Dirnean barge, lost on its way to the rivers of Tulune.

One might find a few villages and the odd witch-coven here, nestled between the coastal cliffs and gravelly beaches. There is the occasional tower and castle, of course, but mainly further inland - many of them little more than old witches' huts, build up and around over the span of long centuries. Most of the countryside is all dirt tracks and beaten cobblestone paths, crisscrossing the woods from hamlet to ramshackle hamlet. The only true road here runs from the east, from the royal capital - winding its way through rock and forest towards the Paeys' ancient abode, their nameless seaside fortress on the Crag.

Half natural stone - standing defiant just off the shore - and half a rotting carcass of old castles now gone, the Crag is a sight to behold. Turrets and bastions jut out from the stone; some newer constructs, others - old fortifications only recently reclaimed from the ruins. A local chant claims the first witchlords had to carve their fortress three times before it finally stayed up; the state of the Crag today certainly seems to support this.

Yet even the tall spires perched on the Crag are not the most unsettling, nor the most decrepit things to stare out into the Iliac from amidst the coastal bluffs. Dozens upon dozens of statues litter the shore - an eerie gallery of lordlings proud and ancient, of rocks bent and misshapen, of faces half-carved and then forgotten; it would take the stone itself to remember their names, their purposes, or their significance. All that might still be said with any certainty is that the local witches do seem to like them - and that it is best not to trifle with anything that is to a witch's liking.

History Edit

Locating sources enough to support a coherent narrative for the earliest days of Daggerfall's royal heartland is difficult; in the forgotten mire that is the Bluffs, this is all but impossible. It is sheer necessity that all we have for this corner of the kingdom from before its inevitable shackling into the wider hierarchical clockwork is conjecture - there is simply not enough to allow for anything but.

We may presume it to have been a similar nebulous patchwork of witch-lords and Nedic chieftains as elsewhere in the West - save, perhaps, even more persistently confusing than elsewhere. This might, in turn, explain why its conquest appears to have been a matter so trivial as to warrant no mention in any contemporary source available to us - with only the Annals of Daggerfall remarking at some point after the fact that "... King Thagore, having thus bested the glenningmen in wits and in battle, and with Kyne[reth]'s winds at his back, then made haste and ... he returned to the westernmost of the towered hills [of Daggerfall], where he took oaths from all the clans and their lords: ... and the witchmen of the southern bluffs were there also ... and they all knelt before him, and hailed him as King over All Daggerfall."

Hereafter, the witchlords of the Bluffs begin to feature regularly in Daggerfall's rolls of court; many of them appear also upon the most ancient of the steel plaques that are preserved still in the Tower of Raven, recording the tributaries of the old western kings and queens. A land terrible and untamed, the Bluffs were left mostly untouched by the earliest Lords of the West. The only resource to be found here, after all, was the people - a pale and superstitious lot, too enthralled by local affairs of clan and coven to take any stock of the wider world around them; and hence, it was judged then that there was little need for further conquest or consolidation, or indeed for any manner of intervention but to let events run their course, and then bestow the royal patent for trade and lordship upon the worthiest.

It was, in the event, a judgement proved just many times over, and never once regretted by the Stewards of Daggerfall. Even the greatest western calamity of the age - the Betony Interregnum - appears to have found little purchase in this bewitched backwater, to say nothing of lesser affairs; and such remains the order of things to this day. Where all the rest of Daggerfall and the West has since marched far onwards, this one forgotten corner of the kingdom continues still according to the same primeval principles that have been kept here for eras, now; with only the equally stubborn and ancient Archdukes Paey - heads of clanheads, friends and sister-daughters to the covens - to serve as its point of contact with - and its overseers for - the royal court.

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