Skyrim is a region set in the northern part of old Tamriel. It is the home of the Nords, large and hardy men and women who have a strong resistance to frost, both natural and magical. It is bordered by Morrowind to the east, Cyrodiil to the south, Hammerfell to the southwest, and High Rock to the west; the island of Solstheim lies to the northeast of Skyrim. Many Nords from Skyrim emigrated to Bruma during the Imperial Invasion, to become citizens of Cyrodiil, in fear of being killed or imprisoned. History Skyrim, also known as the Old Kingdom or the Fatherland, is the home of the Nords and the setting for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It was the first region of Tamriel to be settled by humans, who migrated there from the land of Atmora in the far north, across the Sea of Ghosts. The date of this migration is unknown, although it was before the full flourishing of Elvish civilization. According to legend, Ysgramor landed first at Hsaarik Head, at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. It is said that he and his companions were fleeing the civil war in Atmora, which at that time had a sizable population. They named the land Mereth, after the many elves that roamed the virgin forests of Tamriel. For a long while, relations between the Snow Elves and men were relatively peaceful. However, the Snow Elves saw that the Nords, with their vastly shorter lifespans, fast rates of physical maturation and expedient reproductive cycle, would eventually overtake them if left unchecked. At the time, men were viewed by Snow Elves as being primitive and animal-like, and it was seen as no great moral remission to stop the spread of a potentially disastrous invasive species, who would destabilize the Tamrielic ecosystem. Thus, Elvish pogroms razed the city of Saarthal on what became known as the Night of Tears. Only Ysgramor and his two sons escaped back to Atmora, and, seeing the tenuous peace which had developed between the various factions, recognized the opportunity to turn their plight into a uniting force for the human race. Within a few years, Ysgramor returned to Skyrim with an army known as the "Five Hundred Companions", composed of the heroes of the Atmoran Civil War who, without much resistance, drove the Snow Elves out and were knighted in the foundations for the First Empire. Snow Elves persisted within the borders of Skyrim until the reign of the Thirteenth of the Ysgramor Dynasty, King Harald, at the beginning of the First Era. King Harald was the first to relinquish all holdings in Atmora (until that time, the Nords of Atmora and , proclaiming that the people of Skyrim were an independent people. All humans on Tamriel are descended from these Nords, although some bloodlines run thin. Vrage the Gifted started the expansion that would eventually lead to the First Empire of Men. Within fifty years of his reign, the Nords ruled all of Skyrim as well as parts of High Rock , Cyrodiil , and the Dunmer lands of Morrowind . The acquisition of Morrowind was particularly bloody, still remembered in Morrowind today (the purpose of the formation of the Chimer-Dwemer kingdom of Resdayn was to expel the Nords). The system which chose the successors to the Empire eventually proved to be its undoing. For a great while the Moot, a gathering of the lords of the many different Holds, chose the successor to the Empire. This lasted well until the death of King Borgas, when the Moot failed to nominate the popular successor. From this came the disastrous Skyrim War of Succession, during which time High Rock, Cyrodiil, and Morrowind provinces seceded with little resistance from the Nords. The war did not end until the Pact of Chieftains, when the Moot was established to convene only when there was no clear successor. Geography Skyrim features many different terrain types, including tundra plains, forests, highlands and mountainous regions. It is the most rugged region in the continent; not only containing five of the highest peaks in Tamriel, Skyrim is also very snowy and cold. Only in the western reaches are there some measure of flat land, where most of the population resides. The rest of Skyrim is vertical; mountains, cliffs, and deep valleys. A variety of crops are raised in Skyrim, from wheat to the hardy snowberry. Of note is that the particular climate of Skyrim makes it the only region in Tamriel, outside of the most northern reaches of High Rock and Morrowind, suitable for the brewing of the infamous alcoholic beverage Nordic Mead, also known simply as "Rotgut". This is because that, in addition to the local availability of certain ingredients, several times during the distillation process, the substance must be subjected to extreme cold temperatures, so that it may freeze and refreeze. The drink is noted for the distinct "cold" taste, similar to extraordinarily strong mint, which persists as a feeling of ice in the stomach, as well as for the very deleterious nature of its content. Nordic Ale is illegal throughout the Empire, but this does not stop many proprietors from stocking smuggled bottles for those brave enough to try a mug. EconomyEdit Skyrim is a wealthy and powerful province; the county of Solitude has always been one of the richest and most influential regions. Recently, Solitude has grown ever more powerful, controlling much of the northern coastline following King Thian's alliance by marriage with Macalla, the Queen of Dawnstar. It has sought to expand its influence further by annexing several former Imperial fiefs, such as the island of Roscrea, ruled directly by the Emperor since Uriel V conquered it in the 271st year. There are also influences from Morrowind because refugees from Morrowind escape there, bringing new ideas, cultures, and stimulating the economy. In some cities, a citizen becomes a part of the economy by either logging or blacksmithing. Cities Scattered across the rugged landscape of Skyrim are five massive cities, as well as minor villages and settlements. The presence of more numerous and (comparatively) smaller cities gives the land a more natural, rural feel than the somewhat urbanized Cyrodiil. Dawnstar A garrison town on the northern coast of Skyrim. It was after the destruction of a fortress in Dawnstar during that Potentate Versidue-Shaie declared martial law, leading to one of the most brutal and bloody periods in the history of Tamriel. Falkreath A town in south-western Skyrim, close to the border with both Cyrodiil and Hammerfell. Just across the border in Hammerfell lies the town of Elinhir. Markarth A city in west-central Skyrim, notable for possessing the Imperial College of the Voice, which was founded by Tiber Septim to restore the Voice to the art of warfare. Morthal A town in west-central Skyrim, close to both Dragon Bridge, and Solitude. The Mage Falion, who is needed to cure Vampirism, is located there. The current Jarl in Morthal is Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone. Riften Also known as Rifton, this town is located in south-eastern Skyrim, close to the province's borders with both Cyrodiil and Morrowind. Home to the Skyrim Thieves' Guild, it was in Riften that Barenziah joined the Guild during her return to Morrowind from exile in Skyrim. Maven Black-Briar is the most influential person in Riften, and has both the Riften Guard and the Jarl in her pocket, as well as connections in both the Thieves Guild and The Dark Brotherhood. Solitude Solitude is the center of Imperial influence within Skyrim. Castle Dour is located there, from which General Tulius runs the Imperial Legion. The royalty are housed within the Blue Palace. Solitude is located far northwest of the center of the map. The home of the famous Bards' College, Haafingar is also one of Skyrim's chief ports; ships from up and down the coast can be found at her crowded quays loading timber and salted cod for the markets of Wayrest, West Anvil, and Senchal. Founded during Skyrim's long Alessian flirtation, the Bards' College continues to flaunt a heretical streak, and its students are famous carousers, fittingly enough for their chosen trade. Students yearly invade the marketplace for a week of revelry, the climax of which is the burning of "King Olaf" in effigy, possibly a now-forgotten contender in the War of Succession. Graduates have no trouble finding employment in noble households across Tamriel, including the restored Imperial Court in Cyrodiil, but many still choose to follow in the wandering footsteps of illustrious alumni such as Callisos and Morachellis. a outside Whiterun as a pasture of sorts for their mammoth herds. Winterhold Once a wealthy and influential city and county in north-eastern Skyrim, Winterhold is heavily affected by Dunmer ways and ideas, being close to the border. It contains the Ysmir Collective and the well known College of Winterhold. Winterhold's current Jarl is Jarl Korir. Windhelm Once the capital of the First Empire, the palace of the Ysgramor dynasty still dominates the center of the Old City. Windhelm was sacked during the War of Succession, and again by the Akaviri army of Ada'Soon Dir-Kamal; the Palace of the Kings is one of the few First Empire buildings that remains. Today, Windhelm remains the only sizable city in the otherwise determinedly rural Hold of Eastmarch, and serves as a base for Imperial troops guarding the Dunmeth Pass into Morrowind.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls action role-playing video game series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was released on November 11, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Skyrim's main story revolves around the player character's efforts to defeat Alduin, the firstborn of Tamriel's primary deity Akatosh. Alduin is prophesied to destroy the world. Set two hundred years after Oblivion, the game takes place in the land of Skyrim, which is in the midst of a civil war after the assassination of the High King. The open world gameplay of the Elder Scrolls series returns in Skyrim; the player can explore the land at will and ignore or postpone the main quest indefinitely. Following its release, the game received universal acclaim from critics.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name, Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Raised in New York City, Gaga, the eldest of two sisters, primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart. She briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career and starting to perform in the rock music scene of Manhattan's Lower East Side. By the end of 2007, she was signed with Streamline Records. Employed as a songwriter for the record company, she captured the attention of recording artist Akon who, recognizing her vocal abilities, signed her to his label Kon Live Distribution. Gaga came to prominence following the release of her debut studio album The Fame in 2008, which received generally favorable reviews from critics. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", were number-one singles and the album itself reached the number-one spot on nine record charts worldwide. Gaga embarked on the Fame Ball Tour in order to promote the album. Following it in late 2009, she released an extended play, The Fame Monster, which spawned international number-one singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro". In order to promote the EP, she embarked on the eighteen-month long Monster Ball Tour, which became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Her second album Born This Way was released in 2011, topping the charts on several major markets and spawning international chart-topping singles including "Born This Way", "Judas" and "The Edge of Glory". Aside from being a recording artist, Gaga has also involved herself with humanitarian causes and LGBT activism.