2. Tamriel is Apocalypse Central
Do you know how long recorded human history dates back? Well, if you consider the Neolithic Revolution the beginning, you’re looking at a measly 8,000 years.. That’s a really long time. It’s only been nine years since Xbox 360 was released and it already feels ancient. In that time, how many recorded apocalypses have happened or almost happened? Excluding religious texts, the only near apocalypse we’ve faced on Earth came in 2005 when memes about Chuck Norris stopped being funny, a sure sign that the end is nigh.
Now, what about Tamriel? They get an apocalyptic event on a pretty regular basis. If it isn’t dragons’ it’s ancient demon-gods being reborn or cults opening the gates to hell or some other such apocalyptic silliness. How is that a world anyone could live in. Your average citizen is already under constant threat of being murdered or just dying on the inside from a life of toiling in poverty. Yet they bear their burden, knowing full well that every few generations the world might just up and end itself unless someone happens to be spending all of their time asking people around town if they need help with their side quests.
But, at least they are beginning to understand and accept the inevitability of their apocalypse with cold stoicism. The Dark Elves of Morrowind fought tooth and nail against their end of days. Sure, they only did so part time, but at least they fought. Fast forward to Martin Septim sealing the gates of Oblivion. How did the world react? Well they were concerned that demons were pouring out of hellish orifices in the immediate vicinity, but not so much that they would actually stop going about their business (walking in a circle all day, stopping only to repeat one of five stock phrases is important work.) In the most recent addition the citizens of Skyrim reacted to the news that dragons were going to rise up and subjugate all life with about the same terror that I might display upon realizing I am out of jam for my toast.
Surely, though they comfort themselves in the knowledge that the guy who murders everyone he meets and sells his victims’ possessions at the local market is going to save them….if he ever stops digging through people’s graves for long enough.