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The Double-Headed Eagle

The double-headed eagle was introduced in Morrowind by the Nords of Skyrim during their aggressive expansion in the First Era. The Nordic conquerors associated the beast with the goddess Kyne, one of the most important deities of their pantheon. The two heads looking at opposite directions signified their dominance over both the west and the east, Skyrim and Resdayn, respectively. It was only natural that the Empire adopted the already well-known sigil for itself after conquering both provinces, placing the Imperial Dragon above the eagle. However, the use of an eagle as a symbol predates the empires of men by a millenia as it was first used by the ancient Ayleid race of elves.

Original artwork by Rats, for use in an in-game book.
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