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A History of Anvil & Piracy
by Horatio Gargonath and Eulius Finnus
Several hundred years ago, during the years of terror when the Camoran Usurper forced himself upon Dawn’s Beauty, the western Cyrodiilic town of Anvil was little more than a collection of uncivilized murderers, thieves and barbarians. Criminals and malcontents preyed upon helpless travelers and merchants along the western coast of Tamriel, and an important stopping point for them was the town of Anvil. While now Anvil is a town of pristine alabaster and an important trading port, as well as Cyrodiil’s only direct access to the Abecean Sea, it was at one point little more than a collection of huts, with no semblance of order.
Eventually, a façade of order sprang up, although it wasn’t controlled by the Empire. At this point Haymon Camoran was ravaging the entirety of Tamriel’s west, destroying the pristine forests of Valenwood and spilling blood upon the sands of Hammerfell, preventing the Empire from allocating the necessary resources to combat the increasing pirate threat. By this point a powerful pirate organization was formed. Known as the “Red Sabre”, they continued to terrorize the shipping lanes, bringing destruction and death to all that met them. Their leader was a provocative and vulgar man known as Torradan ap Dugal. He had the astounding ability to organize these brigands, and as a result they proved to be the greatest sea threat to the war against the Usurper. Cyrodiil could no longer bring in supplementary troops and supplies via the seas, as the menace continued to rise in the Abecean Sea. It may seem foolish for a group of rough criminals to simply assault Imperial vessels, often under the command of seasoned Altmer captains, but fighting the Usurper had stretched Imperial lines thin, and large, well defended armadas were simply unavailable. Finally, after years of exhaustive fighting and a great deal of lives lost, the Usurper was defeated. With the Imperial Navy already mobilized, the Elder Council thought it prudent to secure solid access to the Abecean Sea, should another conflict arise.
A young commodore was chosen to engage and defeat the bold criminals that plagued the western coast of Tamriel. Fasil Umbranox had shown a great deal of skill and bravery during the war with the Usurper, and since his fleet was in the best working condition he was the one chosen. The initial battles with the numerous pirate ships proved utterly disastrous for the pirates. While they had experience thieving and pillaging, they had no experience in combat. Conversely, the sailors of Fasil Umbranox had seen plenty of combat, and easily brought the criminals to justice under the prevalent waves of the Abecean. Umbranox’s ultimate goal was to retake Anvil, but he also had to protect the seaways and couldn’t pursue this goal immediately. After almost four years of chasing and destroying pirate vessels, Red Sabre or not, the commodore was able to close in on the Black Flag, the supposed ringleader's ship, in the Anvil harbor. Incredibly confident, Umbranox transferred over his entire fleet’s compliment of battlemages to his flagship. He then proceeded to enter the harbor and engage the Black Flag, alone; his fleet either landing soldiers on shore or holding out in the distant harbor, to prevent the pirates' escape. Dugal was also confident, but wise enough to know of commodore Umbranox’s exploits, and attempted to hide rather than fight. Umbranox predicted this, and used the mercurial power of his battlemages to send a large amount of rock tumbling down the hillside, crushing and destroying Dugal’s flagship. All hands were lost, but this did not satiate the self-assured young commodore, as even though the leader of the Red Sabre and most of their fleet and crews had either been destroyed or brought to trial, Anvil remained a small settlement for malcontents and the scum of society. Having already landed a small force, Umbranox gave the order and burned Anvil to the ground, killing the populace that was unable to flee into the hillsides, where they would never amass into a large enough group to plague the law-abiding people of Tamriel ever again. Umbranox was then named Count, and began the construction of a proper settlement. The lawful, orderly city of Anvil is what sits upon the remains of burned-out villainy today. In a final act of defiance to sea-faring criminals, Umbranox had his castle constructed on top of the rocks that crushed his rival, Torradan ap Dugal.
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