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Type Region
Continent Tamriel
Appears in Daggerfall
Orsinium's location in High Rock circa 3E 433

Orsinium (which literally translates to "Orc-Town" in Aldmeris[1]) is the city of the Orsimer (Orcs) and the provincial seat of what was called Wrothgar, or in the late Third Era, the Orsinium Area. It has a history of being sacked and rebuilt, as Orcs are often at odds with their neighbors. In the Second Era, it was located on Black Mountain in the Wrothgar region of High Rock.[2] In the late Third Era, it was located between Wayrest, Menevia, and the Wrothgarian Mountains,[3] but it was sacked in the early Fourth Era. It reemerged in between Hammerfell and Skyrim later on in the era.[4]

The Creation of Orsinium[edit]

After the transformation of the Orsimer deity known as Trinimac into the Daedric Prince Malacath, the Orcs, who transformed as well, fled to the northern wastes near Saarthal. After hundreds of orcs, ogres, goblins, gremlins and other beastfolk were set free by the Altmer during the Camoran Dynasty, they all converged together and founded a small village and keep on an uninhabited mountain region close to Old Hroldan in High Rock, as their people were dependent on a rare, shaggy, giant centipede herd-beast that can only survive at high altitudes.[1]

The Growth of Orsinium[edit]

Orsinium continued to grow and prosper in the First Era mainly due to the Orc refugees who were fleeing Hammerfell due to the Ra Gada invasion. After a while, the Orsinium army grew determined to capture the Bjoulsae River and force the kingdom of Wayrest to provide compensation for its services. Naturally, this did not settle well with their neighboring kingdoms, especially the Kingdom of Daggerfall, who was mostly responsible for the siege and destruction of Orsinium. In 1E 948, King Joile of Daggerfall sent a letter to Gaiden Shinji of the Order of the Diagna, which proposed a joint attack on Orsinium. Agreeing to provide aid, an alliance was formed between the Order of Diagna and the armies of Daggerfall (High Rock) and Sentinel (Hammerfell). The armies amassed and began a campaign for the destruction of Orsinium.[5][6]

The province of High Rock

The Siege and Destruction of Orsinium[edit]

During the campaign, which became widely known as the Siege of Orsinium, the Breton armies of Daggerfall, the Redguard soldiers of Sentinel, and the Yokudan Order of Diagna invaded the Orc homeland. The Orcs gave much resistance and proved themselves to be fearsome and brutal warriors, just as they did in the past. Eventually however, after a 30 year siege, the allied forces breached Orsinium and overran the city, completely razing it in 1E 980. Although this marked the destruction of Orsinium, the Orsimer homeland would rise again.[5][6]

The Rebuilding of Orsinium[edit]

After the city's ruin, the land briefly became an Imperial territory under the rule of the Akaviri Potentate, but was shortly ended after the assassination of Savirien-Chorak in 2E 430.[1] At some point after that, Orsinium got under control of the first Daggerfall Covenant. When King Ranser of Shornhelm attacked Wayrest in 2E 566, King Emeric of Wayrest sent emissaries into Wrothgar and promised to return Orsinium to the Orcs in exchange for helping him defeat Ranser. The clan of Kurog gro-Bagrakh answered his call and helped annihilate Ranser's forces at Markwasten Moor. These events led to the formation of the Second Daggerfall Covenant, and Orsinium, ruled by King Kurog, became a part of it.[7][8]

The stronghold of Orsinium circa 3E 417

At some point later, the Orcs again lost control of Orsinium. The land was then won back by the orc hero Gortwog gro-Nagorm in 3E 399, who was disputing claim on the land, made by the Breton noble Lord Bowyn. Gortwog won the land by defeating Lord Bowyn in a duel.[9] The city was rebuilt on a mountainside between Menevia and Wayrest.[3] As the city harbored statues of Orc heroes such as Mauloch and Torug, and was built of iron, it was likely that Nova Orsinium would provoke the same reaction from its neighboring kingdoms as the first city did. However, the land prospered, as Gortwog proved to be a diplomatic as well as a political genius. Following the events of the Miracle of Peace, Gortwog used the Numidium to conquer substantial territory of central High Rock. Its application for elevation to Provincial status, which was proposed to Tiber Septim at the founding of the Empire, was finally beginning to be reviewed by Emperor Uriel Septim VII. Orsinium's recent alliance with its former foe Wayrest gave promise for a stable future and a lasting government.[6] Gortwog sent out many adventurers to explore the dungeons of Tamriel in search of treasure, to prove the wealth of the orcs.[10]

However, this was not to be. Orsinium was once again sacked by the combined forces of Hammerfell and High Rock in the early Fourth Era, and many Orc refugees fled east into Skyrim.[11] The kingdom reformed, but has relocated; it is now in between Skyrim and Hammerfell.[4]

See Also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Wild RegionsImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  2. ^ Events of ESO
  3. ^ a b Events of Daggerfall
  4. ^ a b Loading screen in Skyrim
  5. ^ a b Wayrest, Jewel of the BaySathyr Longleat the Elder
  6. ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: OrsiniumImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  7. ^ The Fury of King RanserWafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
  8. ^ Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
  9. ^ How Orsinium Passed to the OrcsMenyna Gsost
  10. ^ Events of Oblivion
  11. ^ Lord of SoulsGreg Keyes