- "Few families in Tamriel can boast so many famous figures, wielding so much power over the fate of so many. Our warriors and kings are stuff of legend, and it is not to dismiss their honor and their achievements to say you have heard quite enough about them." — Vorian Direnni, De Rerum Dirennis
The Direnni were an aristocratic clan of Altmer merchants who became a powerful dynasty ruling over High Rock for hundreds of years. They formed the Direnni Hegemony, a loose area of influence around the Isle of Balfiera. The height of their power came during the Aldmeri Dominion.
Clan Direnni originated from the small farming village of Tyrigel which sat on the banks of the river Caomus (then called the river Diren hence the family's name) on Summerset Isle. Using his knowledge of alchemy, Asliel Direnni poisoned a barbarian tribe called the Locvar that were continuously raiding Tyrigel. With this external threat dealt with, the way was paved for the future prosperity of the Direnni farms, and generations later they would leave Summerset and travel to mainland Tamriel which would further increase their power and influence.
Clan Direnni rose in power on the mainland through political maneuvering and devious machinations in 1E 355. In 1E 358, the joint army of Cyrodiilic Emperor Ami-El and Skyrim attacked the Clan Direnni in the Western Reach of High Rock. With the rise of the Alessian Order in Cyrodiil in 1E 361, many Ayleids fleeing Cyrodiil migrated to High Rock to escape the order, and this exodus may have strengthened Clan Direnni as these immigrants were absorbed into their hegemony. Clan Direnni managed to conquer High Rock, some parts of Skyrim and Hammerfell in 1E 477. The Kings of the Colovian West joined with Kvatch and Skingrad to resist the Alessian Hegemony. Soon Skyrim under King Hoag Merkiller and Ryain Direnni of High Rock joined the resistance. Ryain Direnni outlawed the Alessian Reform and put its major advocates to death. Direnni forces began to harass the Colovian West, pushing for the Heartland.
Daggerfall became a minor base of operations for the Dirennis and their allies in 1E 480-1E 482. The last king of Ayleids - the King of Nenalata - is reported as one of these allies. Raven Direnni was one of the earliest occupants of Castle Daggerfall. Aiden Direnni led the Dirennis against the Alessians in the final Battle of Glenumbria Moors. Raven Direnni's magic helped secured the final victory. The Alessian Order was finally destroyed.
Although the Direnni Clan won the Battle of Glenumbria Moors, they could not regain the power they once had. One by one, control fell to the emerging nobility of Greater Bretony, who seized power throughout most of High Rock within two decades of the Alessian defeat. In the end, only the Isle of Balfiera was left in their hold. Around 1E 500, almost all of High Rock was freed from the Dirennis. Clan Direnni are the only known Altmer ruling family that still remains in human lands.
 Influential Figures
Lysandus, the King of Daggerfall, was able to conquer his ancient enemies of Sentinel in part thanks to his court sorceress, Medora Direnni. Her grandfather Jovron Direnni was Imperial Battlemage to the court of the Dunmer Empress of Tamriel, Katariah I., assisting her in creating peace in a time of turmoil. His great great grandfather Pelladil Direnni had a similar role with the first ruling Potentate, Versidue-Shaie, and encouraged the Guild Act without which we would not have all the professional organizations we have today. His ancestor, many times back, was the witch Raven Direnni, who with her better known cousins Aiden and Ryain, brought an end to the tyranny of the latter Alessian Empire. Before the Psijics of Artaeum, it is said, she created the art of enchantment, learning how to bind a soul into a gem and use that to enchant all manners of weaponry.
The Direnni Tower, which was used as a fortress, prison, and palace by the Direnni Hegemony, still bears their name. The mysterious Agent released Medora Direnni, the last Castellan, from a curse placed by the insane Nulfaga using a Great Unicorn Horn. Later, Medora had the hero retrieve some Lich Dust to soothe the soul of the dead King Lysandus. The hero also retrieved a strange box from the Tower for a renegade mage.
- ^ a b De Rerum Dirennis — Vorian Direnni
- ^ Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil — University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
- ^ The Last King of the Ayleids — Herminia Cinna
- ^ A History of Daggerfall — Odiva Gallwood
- ^ The Final Lesson — Aegrothius Goth
- ^ The Five Songs of King Wulfharth
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire