For tropes pertaining to an entire species, see this subpage.Note; Elder Scrolls lore is really weird; in game text can't really be trusted, as most of it is written by characters with political view points (or just wrong information). Out of game text can be somewhat trusted, except that there is a tendency for it to be left unofficial and later contradicted. As such, it would be wise to avoid definitively saying something; chances are, someone else has an equally correct source saying the complete opposite. In addition, due to time alterations which aren't explained in detail by an objective source, its entirely possible that both are actually correct.
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Most of the Gods in the Elder Scrolls series are et'Ada ("original spirits") who are split into two groups: the Aedra ("Our ancestors") and the Daedra ("Not our ancestors). The Aedra are divine beings that took part in the creation of the world, sacrificing parts of themselves and vast amounts of their powers. They have much less direct power or influence on the world than the Daedra, but still have been known to help mortals in times of need.The most powerful and important Aedra are the Eight Divines. Due to the ascension of Tiber Septim (described below) and his transformation into the god Talos, a new pantheon was created, the Nine Divines. The Divines are well recognized, respected, and worshipped throughout Tamriel.They typically come from Aetherius, the Immortal Plane, thought to be the origin of all magic. It is a commonly held belief that the souls of the deceased, assuming they aren't tied to the earth or taken by the Daedra, continue to live on in this realm as spirits. It is also believed that the sun and stars are actually portals to Aetherius, and the source of all magic.
Tropes applicable to all the Divines
Crystal Dragon Jesus: In Cyrodiil, their churches and followers often draw parallels to Christianity.
Divine Intervention: The few times they actually exert their power on Mundus are usually the last push to save the world.
God Is Inept: The creation of Mundus took most of their power, making them much less influential than the Daedric Princes.
Good Is Not Soft: After they realized that Lorkhan tricked them out of their power in order to create Nirn, they got even. How? They tore out his heart and threw it at Nirn.
Order vs. Chaos: Are Anuic (Order) aligned vs the Padomaic (Chaos) aligned Daedra.
Debatable; certain interpretations favor Aedra being made from both Padomay and Anu (explaining the Padomaic Alduin who is the God of Chaos and Destruction), while Daedra are just made from Padomay (despite there being a Prince of order and one whose sphere is referred to as "The Natural Order"). Other interpretations don't place limits on their alliance, and just say "Aedra made Nirn, Daedra didn't".
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When they realized how much Mundus took out of them, some of them took off as quickly as they could. Unfortunately, most of them died.
Most of these deaths were pre-running away; while even the most powerful (Magnus) who left lost his divinity, upon escaping into Oblivion they were more or less safe (though not from Daedra).
Akatosh, (a.k.a. Aka, Auriel, Tosh'Raka, AKHAT)
""By the Fixed Center and his hand in our lives, we are all made safe. Auri-El, grant me the stability of the Divine. Be always at my side."
The Dragon God of Time. He is also the father of the dragonsnote Whatever that actually means.
Badass: Especially as Auriel, where he's a warrior king.
God Is Good: To most races. The Argonians have no word for time and the Dunmer don't say much.
I Have Many Names: Auriel/Auri-El to most elven religions, Alduin to the Nords (if Auri-El counts...), Akatosh to many Man-ish religions, either Satakal or Ruptga "Tall Papa" to the Redguards (perhaps both) Alkosh to the Khajiit, AKHAT to the Dunmer, and Bormahunote translates to "Our Father", roughly to the Dragons, and is sometimes known as the Aka-Tusk. Tosh'Raka of Akavir is believed to be a mortal who mantled him and rules the Ka Po' Tun as their dragon god-king. May also be the All-Maker to the Skaal, unless that's Anu.
Monster Progenitor: He's the creator of the dragons, and also of the Dragonborn as seen in Skyrim. Whether they're actually his children or merely fragments of his being is highly debated in-universe.
Split Personality: Most of the Aedra, but Akatosh gets it the most. This is taken to the point where Cyrodiilic stained glass and statuary depictions of him show that he has two heads, a dragon head and a human head.
In-universe speculation is that Alduin is more akin to a fragment of Akatosh's being rather than his son. Depending on who you ask, this might also apply to all dragons, which would include the Dragonborn.
Top God: To Imperials, Bretons, Khajiit and Altmer. Also to Bosmer, but he's not the most important.
Arkay (aka Orkey, Tu'whacca, Xarxes, RKHET)
God of Life and Death. His followers are usually found in the Halls of the Dead around Skyrim or other cemeteries and crypts.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: One book claims that, much like Talos, he too ascended to godhood. Ragada myth denies this, claiming that he existed before Mundus, but was unimportant.
Due to the Dead: Arkay's Law is used on dead bodies to prevent them from being used for Necromancy. Unlike Arkay's Blessing, which can be worked around via Black Soul Gems, Arkay's Law is unmovable.
Everybody Hates Hades: Averted, due to Arkay being the God of Death and Life. Most people think of him as a compassionate god who sometimes has to do bad things so that something good will happen elsewhere, or ensuring that the world doesn't become totally static by allowing death so that new life can arise.
Played straight with his Old Nordic aspect, Orkey, the Old Knocker, who is despised by Nords for giving them shorter lifespans than mer in their mythology.
The Medic: Well, his blessing fortifies your hit points for a limited time, anyway.
Innocent Flower Girl: She's always shown holding a delicate white flower. Her followers aren't necessarily so innocent.
Love Goddess: Of a more carnal sort than Mara. However, she's also worshiped by artists.
Sex God: Literally. Even though that's not what the trope is about, it's still played straight with the "Dibellan Arts", a form of lovemaking and sexual practices which are supposedly the primary methods of worshiping the namesake. Supposedly, being versed in them makes one an exceptionally skilled sex partner.
Julianos (a.k.a. Jhunal)
God of Wisdom and Logic. The Cult of the Ancestor Moth and other orders dedicated to knowledge typically see him as their patron deity, and he is believed to govern magic in general as well.
The sacred stone reveals the flowers of her tears."
Goddess of Air, according to some myths the first et'ada to agree to Lorkhan's plans to create Mundus. Known as Tava in Yokudan tradition, Kyne to the Nords, Kaan to the Dragons, and Khenarthi to Khajiit.
Lady of War: Most notable in Old (and to a certain extent also, the Nordic interpretation of the Nine Divines) Nordic religion, she's the warrior-wife and widow of Shor. She's also the patron of hunters in that tradition.
Polyamory: She's sometimes depicted as one of Shor's wives, along with Kyne. The old Nord tradition also makes references to her being the handmaiden of Kyne, concubine of Shor.
Stendarr (a.k.a. Stuhn, THENDR)
God of Mercy and Compassion; a protector deity. He is known as Stuhn to the Nords, and S'rendarr to the Khajiit.
God Is Good: For Men, apparently. He's described as an "apologist of Men", and he'll often intervene to protect humans against supernatural threats.
Knight Templar: One sect of his worshipers, the Vigilant of Stendarr, claim that they're doing his will by wiping out any and all traces of Daedra, vampires, werewolves, or any other supernatural creatures that prey on mortals. The fact that some of these creatures may not be evil, or may be capable of redemption if shown mercy, never comes up.
"May Stendarr have mercy, for the Vigilant shall not."
Zenithar (a.k.a. Tsun, Z'en)
The God of Commerce and Trade. His province is mercantilism, bartering, labor, communication and the middle class.
Invincible Hero: According to his worshipers, he's "the god who will always win".
Reasonable Authority Figure: He's described as the most in touch with mortal affairs, due to his belief that hard work and fair play is the key to peace and prosperity.
Xanatos Gambit: His field of expertise; no matter what, he'll stand to gain from any action.
Divine beings that did not take part in the creation of the world, but are often involved in the affairs of mortals. Most tend to be seen as evil, often drawing comparisons to demons, though this varies between cultures.The most powerful and important of the Daedra are the Daedric Princes. They typically inhabit various planes of Oblivion, though they are known to journey to Mundus from time to time. Mortals who gain their favor become their champions, and are gifted with one of their artifacts, a unique and enchanted item. There are 17 known Daedric Princes following the events of Shivering Isles. 16 appear in Daggerfall; 7 appear in Morrowind, and all 17 appear again in Oblivion, but only 16 of them appear in Skyrim. Note that while they may appear as male or female, Daedric Princes are beyond any such qualification.
Tropes applicable to all Daedric Princes:
Big Bad Ensemble: Most of the Big Bads for the games have come from the ranks of the Daedric Princes. Mehrunes Dagon for Battlespire and Oblivion (and being The Man Behind the Man for Arena); Hircine for Bloodmoon; Jyggalag for Shivering Isles; Molag Bal for Online (and Bigger Bad for Dawnguard); and Hermaeus Mora as the Bigger Bad for Dragonborn.
Blue and Orange Morality: Mortals tend to see them as evil or good (mostly evil), but Daedric Princes often insist they are far beyond these petty limits. Even the "good" Daedra would point out that applying human morality to beings like the Daedra operates on certain flawed assumptions.
Complete Immortality: Princes can be battered, beaten, defeated and even fundamentally changed, but nothing in the setting has ever been able to actually kill one.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Further complicating the Blue and Orange Morality issue is that many of the princes are seen differently through different cultural lenses. Boethiah is considered a "good" daedra by the dunmer, but their culture celebrates Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Meanwhile, Malacath is considered a "bad" daedra by the dunmer, but most of the orcs consider him their hero and divine ancestor.
Evil Counterpart: Though they're usually seen as this to the Divines, most of them benefit from having Mundus and mortals exist. In fact, there was no distinction between the Divines and Princes before Mundus.
Evil Is One Big Happy Family: Completely averted. Most of the Princes mortals would call evil can't stand each other. Molag Bal and Boethiah have a particularly heated rivalry. That said, most of them don't seem to actively hate each other; then again, they don't mention each other often.
Genius Loci: One interpretation of the Princes is that their home realm or realms are the Prince, with the forms you see in the games being the personification of that realm of Oblivion.
I Know Your True Name: All Daedra have both a neonymic and a protonymic. The neonymic is their true name that they can change. It holds a certain amount of power, but is hard to use against them because they can change it at any time. However, the protonymic is their true name that they cannot change. It is heavily implied that through use of the protonymic mortals can do horrible things to even the most powerful of Daedric Princes. The player character in Battlespire managed to banish Mehrunes Dagon by using them both.
Kick the Dog/Pet the Dog: Due to their Blue and Orange Morality, above, they can do either, and probably don't see much difference between the two. For example, Sheogorath's quest in Oblivion has you convincing a village that the world is about to end, driving them to mass hysteria. But in Skyrim, you need to treat an insane emperor of his (many) psychological issues in order to convince Sheogorath to end his "vacation" and return to repair the Shivering Isles.
In Skyrim, Clavicus Vile's quest has you barge into his shrine and fight past scores of vampires. When you eventually talk to him, he mentions that the vampires were trying to rid themselves of their affliction and had made a bargain with him to do so. Clavicus gleefully points out that he considers having you slaughter them all count as upholding his side of the deal.
No Biological Sex: Being pure spirits, this applies to all of them, and several of them are known to appear as differing genders at certain times. Others will only present themselves as a single gender (Azura and Nocturnal as female, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath as male), and Hermaeus Mora forgoes even trying to resemble anything with a gender.
Order vs. Chaos: Are Padomaic aligned as opposed to Anuic aligned, though Jyggalag may be an exception since he represents Order.
Religion of Evil: Daedric worship is often hit with this in-universe, though given that most of the Daedric Princes are Jerkass Gods, this is understandable. Boethiah, Mehrunes Dagon, and Molag Bal, being the most malevolent of the Princes, invoke this more than most, as their worship frequently involves a Human Sacrifice. Taken to a new extreme in Skyrim, where after the Oblivion Crisis, Daedric worship was all but outlawed outside of the Dunmer, and groups like the Vigil of Stendarr were formed to wipe out Daedric worshipers before they could cause another Oblivion Crisis like the Mythic Dawn.
Artifacts: Azura's Star, Moon and Star Ring of Nerevar
The Daedra Prince of Dusk and Dawn, Lady of Prophecy. The fact that she actively strives to bring those prophecies to fruition is something she would rather you ignore. While often considered one of the most benevolent of the Daedra Lords, she has shown a very cruel and petty side on numerous occasions, from cursing an entire race (the Dunmer) to the betrayal of one Ezhmaar Sul. Her most common symbols are a moon and a star.In Daggerfall, she asks you to kill a priest. In Morrowind, she asks you to destroy the Daedra sent by Sheogorath to disturb her priestess and helps to guide the hero through the main quest. In Oblivion, she asks you to Mercy Kill five of her followers who were infected with Porphyric Hemophilia (vampirism). In Skyrim, she asks you to find and purge one of her artifacts, Azura's Star.
Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In Skyrim, if you choose to purify Azura's Star on your own, it becomes a re-usable black soul gem called the Black Star.
Disproportionate Retribution: Her response to the Tribunal's very existence? Curse the whole species to have dark skin and red eyes. And then raise up a reincarnation of Nerevar to kill the Tribunal while proudly displaying her symbols on a special ring and indirectly, but very knowingly cause a slight country-wide apocalypse.
Eldritch Location: The realm of Moonshadow, said to be so extremely beautiful that the viewer is half-blinded by it, where Azura resides in a Rose Palace in a city made of silver.
Evil Pays Better: The (mostly) good end of her Skyrim questline is to purify Azura's Star, receiving it as a reusable white Soul Gem and gaining Aranea Ienith as a potential follower. On the other hand, you can complete the corruption and transform it into the Black Star which can hold all types of soul including human — keep in mind Black Soul Gems are rather rare and humanoid souls are the best for enchanting.
The Daedric Prince of Plots. Has an intense love of trickery and combat. Not a nice prince, although Dunmer tradition disagrees on that. Boethiah is one of two Daedric Princes who has not chosen a definitive gender (gender being a mortal construct). Boethiah appears as a man in Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion, and appears as a woman in Skyrim.In Daggerfall, they ask you to kill a spellsword. In Morrowind, they ask you to build a statue of them. In Oblivion, they ask you to participate in his Tournament of Ten Bloods. In Skyrim, they ask you to kill all of their followers, and later kill their previous champion.
Ambiguous Gender: A few of the Daedric Princes get this, but it occurs to Boethiah the most. In Oblivion, he has a male voice and is referred to as 'he', while in Skyrim, she has a female voice and her statue is feminine but is referred to as both he and she by her cultists. Sometimes in the same sentence.
Bad Boss: If you worship them, be prepared to have to murder other people if you want to live.
They demand their followers independently follow their own desires... just as long as those desires are completely in line with their own. The minute a follower fails that balancing act, things turn ugly.
Black Knight: Their usual appearance, though this may be the original appearance of Trinimac (now Malacath) that they swallowed/corrupted and took.
Blood Knight: Their quest in Oblivion is basically a tournament on their Oblivion Plane. What's the tournament's purpose? None. They're just bored.
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Summoning Boethiah in Skyrim requires you to prove that you're treacherous enough to work for them. To do that, you need to find someone who trusts you enough to follow you, take them to Boethiah's altar, and sacrifice them.
I Have Many Names: Prince of Plots, Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, and Goddess of Destruction among them.
Villain with Good Publicity: Having read all of the above, this trope comes into effect when one learns that the Dunmer consider them one of the good Daedric Princes.
Sphere: Wishes, Pacts
Artifacts: Masque of Clavicus Vile, Umbra, Bitter Cup, The Rueful Axe
This daedric prince is notable for appearing to be a very short man or a young boy. He owns a dog named Barbas who frequently likes to contradict him.
Deal with the Devil: He has a particular liking for doing this, and making those who make the deals regret it.
Hell Hound: Subverted; Barbas may look intimidating in the statues, but he actually serves as his master's conscience. When we finally see his real body with decent graphical quality in Skyrim, he's not even scary.
Jackass Genie: Acts like this when Barbas isn't around to stop him - more specifically, Clavicus grants wishes in such a way that will kill a large number of people, including his petitioner or leaving them directly responsible and full of regret. Good thing he can't ditch Barbas without losing most of his power...
Murder Is the Best Solution: Seemingly believes that all the wishes can be granted by death. Vampires asking for a cure for vampirism? Have a hero come in and slaughter them all. A man whose daughter has been turned into a werewolf? Give him an axe to finish the job. Asking for peace in Skyrim? Do nothing and let the dragons kill everyone.
Pet the Dog: If the Dragonborn reunites him with Barbas in Skyrim, he (reluctantly) decides not to flay them in the most gruesomely manner possible for disobeying his order to kill Barbas instead, with the implication that Barbas reminded him that this allowed him to return to full strength and not be stuck in a cave anymore.
Sealed Evil in a Can: After splitting from Barbas, he found himself severely weakened and was forced to spend several decades trapped within a cave, high in the mountains of Skyrim. Oops.
Sphere: Fate, Knowledge, Destiny
Artifacts: Oghma Infinium, The Black Books
The Daedric Prince of knowledge. Unlike most, never bothers with a humanoid form, preferring a many-tentacled one in depictions and incarnation.Known as Herma-Mora, the Demon of Knowledge, to the Skaal of Solstheim, whose hidden knowledge he has long sought to steal, and in ancient legends (to traditional Nords) where he is the sworn enemy of Ysgramor.
Affably Evil: While categorizing the Aedra and Daedra of the Elder Scrolls with conventional human moralities operates on certain... flawed assumptions, Herma-Mora's basic method of seducing the Dragonborn to his service consists of, essentially, bribing him/her with gifts. Said gifts include the powerful enhancements of his Black Books and he even offers you some of the most potent Words of Power in the game, such as the final word of Bend Will. He also gives you absolute freedom to leave and enter his realm as you wish, ultimately believing the lure of the power he offers you will bring you to him itself. He's also unfailingly polite to you and even offers you free unlimited respecs at the end of the main quest.
Arch-Enemy: Of Ysgramor and the Skaal of Solstheim.
His Daedric quest in Skyrim and the plot of the Dragonborn DLC especially, set him up as one of the most dangerous and personal foes that the Dragonborn faces, as well as the only one that remains undefeated at the end.
But Thou Must: Invokes it on the player. He could give the player the third word of Bend Will any time he wants, but refuses to do it until the player finds out the secrets of the Skaal, because that's Mora's real interest. And the player has no choice in the matter, because while Mora could certainly set up a confrontation with Miraak any time he likes, this won't get him what he wants.
The Chessmaster: By the end of Dragonborn, Mora has gotten all that he wanted and more. Meanwhile, Miraak is dead and you are now the newest servant of Mora... at least, according to him.
Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: You can outright tell him to go to hell several times throughout Skyrim, especially in Dragonborn, and venomously refer to him as a 'demon'. The only time he even slightly gets back at you for it is when you tell him you don't need his help to find the last word of Bend Will from his realm, to which he politely explains that you would be searching for all eternity without his aid.
Old king Ysgramor also outwitted him regularly, according to Nordic legends.
The Ancient Skaal were able to keep their secrets safely hidden from him, leading to the whole of Dragonborn being revealed to have been part of an elaborate plot to obtain them.
Eldritch Abomination: All of the Daedra and even the Aedra probably qualify as this, but Hermaeus Mora is the only one who routinely appears as a Lovecraftian mass of tentacles, eyes and claws. As a nod to his inspiration, in Skyrim, one of his Black Books is a play named The Sallow Regent, written by Hawfip the Crafter.
Eldritch Location: Apocrypha, home to all forbidden knowledge, filled with invisible ghosts floating among endless, shadowy bookshelves. Many scholars seek it out to search the shelves and wind up remaining there forever, lost and forgotten.
Evil Is Petty: He has long desired to know the secrets of the Skaal, even though the secrets are relatively benign knowledge about how the Skaal commune with the forces of nature. And he totally wants them anyway, for as the Demon of Knowledge, it is simply in his nature to hoard secrets, regardless of their true value to him.
Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is always characterized as this. In Oblivion it is a menacing kind of deep, while in Skyrim it has a soothing, grandfatherly tone.
Verbal Tic: In Skyrim, and especially in Dragonborn, he yawns while talking regularly.
Genuine Human Hide: The Oghma Infinium appears to be bound in it, and the Skyrim version is bound in various elven hides.
Giant Enemy Crab: Frequently depicted as having giant crab-like pincers. Even Skyrim has statues that depict him like this, although his actual appearance is very different. The book Delving Pincers has this to say:
Great Big Library of Everything: Mora's Oblivion realm, Apocrypha. Mora's main motivation seems to be to collect the secrets still kept hidden from him, and in Dragonborn you help him gain the secret knowledge of the Skaal; however, since he is the Daedra of Fate and keeps books that have not yet been written, it is possible that Apocrypha already holds all the knowledge there is.
Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In the first four games, he was always a neutral entity, even if his quests tended to be a bit ruthless. Then comes Skyrim, where he orchestrates everything that happens in Dragonborn, putting millions of innocent lives at risk, just to obtain the "secrets" of the Skaal.
Some of the lore says he is/arose from knowledge that cannot exist (detritus concepts ejected from reality, that sort of thing), rendering him not only the keeper of things man was not meant to know, but also making him something man cannot know, not even if they are on Sheogorath's Golden Path.
Villain Takes an Interest: He's apparently very interested in those who are Dragonborn, leading him to offer Miraak power in exchange for serving as his champion. He later makes the same offer to the Dragonborn after Miraak's death.
At the end of both his Daedric quest and Dragonborn, he claims that he's been watching them for some time and subtly grooming them into becoming his champion. Even if you defiantly refuse both times, he tells you that you already arehis pawn, even if you don't know it yet.
We Can Rule Together: Offered the Dragon Priest, Miraak, the knowledge to control his former masters, in exchange for agreeing to serve as his Dragon. After Miraak's failed attempt at rebelling against him was thwarted by the Dragonborn, he informs them that they've just inherited the position.
Sphere: The Hunt
Artifacts: Hircine's Ring, Spear of Bitter Mercy, Saviour's Hide
He is the patron of werewolves and lives solely for the hunt.
Affably Evil: He's always very polite to those who summon him, even to his opponents when he judges them worthy, and he watches out for his followers. In Skyrim, as noted below, he will reward and compliment the Dragonborn who completes his quest regardless of which way they elect to do it.
Wild Wilderness: His realm - endless plains and forests where the inhabitants forever hunt and are hunted.
Worthy Opponent: His whole purpose for being is finding, creating, testing and watching these, whether they win or lose. Hircine generally rewards those that survive his hunts; the Savior's Hide was created for the first mortal to ever escape his hunting grounds. Although he directs the Dragonborn in Skyrim to hunt down and kill a specific werewolf, a player who decides to instead hunt the other hunters will indeed be rewarded by Hircine for completing the hunta different way.
Your Soul Is Mine: He gets the souls of all werebeasts, usually whether or not they worship other entities or want to go to other afterlives. In the case of the Dragonborn, however (who can also have a contract with Nocturnal and an invitation to Sovngarde from Shor himself), there's no word on which deity (if any) the Dragonborn belongs to.
Artifacts: Sword of Jyggalag
The Daedric Lord of Order, who grew too powerful, causing the other Princes to trap him in the form of Sheogorath, the Prince of Madness. He is the most elusive of the Daedric Princes, only appearing once for a short time every one thousand years. Thus far he has been in only one of the games in the series.
All of the Other Reindeer: The other Daedric Princes really don't like him; even Malacath, the god of pariahs and outcasts, who is considered by most of the others to not even be a true Daedra, is more highly regarded by them than Jyggalag is.
Always a Bigger Fish: The reason he was cursed into becoming Sheogorath is because he had grown so powerful, the other Princes saw him as a threat.
Creative Sterility: Sheogorath accuses him of "never having had an original thought in his existence".
Fisher King: He longs to overthrow Sheogorath and claim the madgod's plane, The Shivering Isles, as his own. Whenever he grows powerful enough to do so, life in the Isles begins to die off and crystal spires grow out of the ground, signalling the beginning of the Greymarch.
Ironically, his Aedric counterpart Alduin is the true God of Chaos and Destruction, being an aspect/son of Akatosh and the one who turned a lesser Daedra into Mehrunes Dagon, the imitation God of Destruction (since Alduin is the real God of Destruction). Jyggalag and Alduin are equally powerful, so this trope is true for both sides.
Daedric Prince of Curses and the Spurned, and patron Daedra of the Orcs.
All of the Other Reindeer: The rest of the Daedric pantheon doesn't consider him a real Prince. Given that he's the patron of pariahs, this is rather appropriate. As Sheogorath puts while talking about Jyggalag, "Malacath is more popular at parties! And Malacath is not popular at parties!"
Asskicking Equals Authority: Big believer in this. He places a curse on an Orc stronghold because their chief is a weak scheming Dirty Coward and the rest of the stronghold hasn't done anything about it.
Death World: His realm, known as the Ashpit, will kill you in minutes unless you're magically protected due to being made up entirely of choking soot (even the buildings). Flight is a requirement at all times.
Face-Heel Turn: According to an obscure text, he was once a kindly demon who attempted to protect parts of Mundus from being eaten by Alduin at the end of every kalpa, until Alduin banished and cursed him into his current state.
Ironic Hell: Imagine you were a being whose entire existence is based around destruction and change. Now imagine you were stuck in a realm where nothing can ever be killed or destroyed without eventually coming back, effectively negating your purpose. That's Dagon. No wonder he wants to take over and destroy Nirn; it would be stress relief for him. (Of course, Alduin - the original true embodiment of destruction - is the one who put Dagon in this hell in the first place.)
Unwitting Pawn: Is described by Haskill in an obscure text to be "The pawn of every Prince of true power, the dupe of every schemer in the Nineteen Voids."
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Skyrim, he tells you to kill Silus, the Mythic Dawn cultist who helped you find the pieces of Mehrunes' Razor. Once that's done, he sends some dremora to kill you.
Your Soul Is Mine: Whenever a creature is killed with the Mehrunes' Razor, their soul is delivered to Dagon's plane of Oblivion, where they become his property.
Sphere: The Unknown, Manipulation
Artifacts: Ebony Blade, Ring of Khajiit (Morrowind only)
Also known as the Webspinner and the Lady of Whispers, her true sphere is unknown to mortals.
Ambiguous Gender: Although generally depicted as female, Mephala will appear as either male or female.
Villain with Good Publicity: Possibly. In the province of Morrowind, she's considered one of the "Good Daedra", in no small part because of her association with Vivec. She has yet to demonstrate any benevolence in-game as mortals would understand it - including her association with Vivec.
Sphere: Life Energy
Artifacts: Ring of Khajiiti, Dawnbreaker
Her sphere, sometimes called the Colored Rooms, is obscured to mortals, and Meridia is often associated with the energy of living things.
Berserk Button: Undead and Necromancy seem to be the only reasons she ever interacts with mortal affairs, usually to have them wiped out. Also, don't mess with her shrines.
Heroic Willpower: She brought her realm into Mundus through the sheer power of her will.
Light is Good/Light Is Not Good: Her association with Light and life makes her one of the few Daedra not considered inherently evil. On the other hand, she, along with the Aurorans, are allies of Umaril, an Ayleid sorceror-king who wants to overthrow the Nine Divines and enslave humanity.
Red Baron: The Solar Daughter, Lady of Infinite Energy
Show Some Leg: Every depiction of Meridia gives attention to her bare legs. That is, until her appearance as "The Groundskeeper".
The Daedric Prince of Domination, Molag Bal is perhaps the most malevolent of the Daedric Princes, actively seeking and enjoying the corruption of mortals. He committed the first rape, upon a Nedenote the ancient Cyrodiils woman, from which was born the first vampire, leading to his most infamous title, the King of Rape.
Bigger Bad: He serves as this in Dawnguard, as the creator of vampirism, and thus the ultimate progenitor of all the conflict in Dawnguard's storyline. It was he who turned Lord Harkon into a pureblood vampire along with the rest of his family, thus giving rise to the Volkihar Clan in the first place. Being the progenitor of all vampires, it also makes him indirectly responsible for Arch-Curate Vyrthur's corruption, which results in him creating the Prophecy of the Tyranny of the Sun which sets the plot of Dawnguard into motion. Essentially, he is the Bigger Bad behind the Bigger Bad.
In Online, he also serves as this to Mannimarco, though you're aware of it from the start.
Bloody Bowels of Hell: Molag Bal's Daedric Plane of Coldharbour. It's a ruined parody of Tamriel, with every surface covered in bloody excrement. He is the Lord of Violation, so...
The Corrupter: One of his favourite things - seeing a good and noble person snap, fall, or break.
Creepy Monotone: His tone doesn't change much while talking. This is dropped completely when he becomes entertained, however.
Disproportionate Retribution: He perpetrated the first rape, turning the innocent woman into the first vampire, who proceeded to rape and kill the nomads who cared for her, bringing undeath into Mundus — simply as a "Screw you!" gesture to Arkay.
Drop the Hammer: The Mace of Molag Bal. He even fights you with it in the climax of Online.
God of Evil: Most of the Daedra are Jerkass Gods to some degree or another, but still have redeeming qualities. Not Molag Bal. He basically is The Devil to the Dunmer, as they see him as the creator of obstacles trying to threaten the "purity" of the Great Houses.
Never Live It Down: In-universe, he's only been recorded as having raped one person, but this does not prevent his most infamous title being that of the "King of Rape".
In Dawnguard however, it's implied that this is one of the ways that Molag Bal chooses to confer the abilities of a Vampire Lord upon his most devout followers. While his male followers are asked to perform a large human sacrifice in his name, women are subjected to a far more degrading ritual at his hands, with the implication being further reinforced by Serana refusing to elaborate further on the matter.
Obviously Evil: While morality is a highly debated topic with the Daedra, there's none with Molag Bal.
Blessed with Suck: According to the book "Beggar Prince", she did this to the beggars, by cursing them to always have diseases that made them repulsive, and to invoke pity and disregard in others. This made them the perfect spies and sources of information, because they could watch and listen to what others did, but never be noticed doing so.
Grotesque Cute: She usually associated with things most would consider disgusting or repulsive, such as slugs, spiders, or disfiguring diseases.
I'm a Humanitarian: At least in Skyrim, where she is the patron of a cult of cannibals. This makes sense given her modus operandi, since cannibalism is typically frowned upon in most civilised societies.
Deal with the Devil: The patron of thieves, and said to be the source of "scoundrel's luck" that aids them and the shadows that hide them... but it's a contract, not a blessing. Three champions known as the Nightingales swear absolute loyalty to her, pledging their souls to guard her conduit to the mortal realms even after they die. After serving their term as spectral guardians, they become the shadows and the luck that aids all living thieves. These champions receive special armour, powers, privileges and the freedom to do as they wish with all three with the condition that they always guard the conduit - fail and they will lose all their gifts, and all thieves will have a sudden run of supernaturally bad luck, until it's reconsecrated.
In the Hood: All of her appearances have her wearing a hooded cloak.
The Sacred Darkness: Kinda. The darkness that Nocturnal represents is for the most part treated as more protective than anything, and beautiful, welcoming, and awe-inspiring to those who appreciate it. However, Nocturnal is quick to withdraw her favour if she is displeased, and those who appreciate the darkness more often than not tend to be thieves and criminals.
Scam Religion: According to Karliah, the Priests of Nocturnal were merely a cult created to prey on the gullible. While their members set up shop in the Twilight Sepulcher and conducted all sorts of bogus rituals and practices to supposedly gain Nocturnal's favour, she didn't actually pay them any attention or care what they did, as long as they didn't interfere with the Nightingales or threaten the Ebonmere.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: How Karliah describes Nocturnal in Skyrim, as a mother that offers little praise but always pushes you to do better.
Sphere: Pestilence, the Natural Order, Tasks
Artifacts: The Spell Breaker
Also known as The Taskmaster, Peryite keeps the lower levels of Oblivion ordered and controls plagues.
Affably Evil: Despite being referred to in-game as one of the most loathsome of the Daedric Princes, he's consistently polite to the player characters in all of his appearances, and the quest he gives the player in Oblivion is one of the least morally suspect Daedric quests, as it involves saving the lives of his followers.
Only Sane Man: One of the few Daedra in Daggerfall who takes being turned down for a quest well.
Our Dragons Are Different: He normally appears as a dragon to those who summon him. It's worth noting that he is depicted with four legs instead of two, unlike Alduin and the other Dragons in Skyrim, as he isn't really a dragon. He just likes manifesting as one. Some sources suggest he does it in order to mock Akatosh.
The Plague: He controls these, and Skyrim hints he may be preparing one to try to wipe out Tamriel, thereby also making him a...
The Alcoholic: Often seen with some form of drink in his hand. In Skyrim, his quest even begins with a drinking contest at an inn.
Big Red Devil: A common depiction of him. When revealing his true nature to the Dovahkiin, he opts for a Dremora variant.
Dark Is Not Evil: Okay, "not evil" might be a bit of a stretch since he is a Daedric Prince who enjoys causing mischief, but he isn't nearly as evil as his satanic-looking appearance would suggest, especially by Daedra standards. His quests usually don't involve killing things, causing lasting harm or spreading suffering in any way, only annoying folks. In other words, Sanguine's pretty much a demonic frat boy.
Fun Personified: Literally, being the god of hedonism in both the good and bad sense. His quest in Skyrimis to get the player drunk and lead them around the world to trick them into marrying a hagraven, and what realms of his the player visits in the series are shown to be party venues.
Gargle Blaster: The Daedric Prince's special brew will get the better of you in Skyrim.
Meaningful Name: The word "sanguine" can refer to a lively character as well as blood, which fits his patronage over both the light and dark side of pleasure.
Villains Out Shopping: When the Dragonborn finally tracks him down after their little drinking contest leaves them passed out on the other side of Skyrim, he seems to be in the middle of hosting a party with some of his followers. Then again, his job is pretty much partying and playing pranks, so maybe this would count as normal work for him.
Sphere: Madness, Creativity
Artifacts: Wabbajack, Fork of Horripulation, Staff of Everscamp, Gambolpuddy
The Daedric Prince of madness, he is one of the more prominent of the Daedric Princes and appears as a seemingly harmless well-dressed male.
Affably Evil: His domains also include creativity and music, and he always has a smile on his face. He loves his worshipers and will always reward a mortal helper... but since he's the Prince of Madness, the blessings he offers may not be entirely, ah, traditional. Or healthy.
According to legend, he gifted humanity music one day when he was travelling the mortal plane and decided it was boring, and a woman commented on the beauty of a songbird's song. Sheogorath agreed and thought it was a pity that humans couldn't make such lovely noises with their voices, so he gave them music by way of crafting them drums, flutes and lutes... from the bones, tendons and other body parts of that same woman, killing her on the spot to get the materials.
Animal Eyes: Often depicted as a human with cat's eyes. Either the inspiration for, or adopted in honor of, the Khajiit's nickname for him, "The Skooma Cat".
Artificial Daedric Prince: The original Sheogorath was created by the rest of the Daedric Princes in order to stop Jyggalag from growing any more powerful. The second Sheogorath, however, ascended to the position.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He, as Jyggalag, is ultimately killed for good and leaves joyfully to wander the streams of Oblivion, which he sees as this. This also coincides with the player character, who ascends to godhood.
Baleful Polymorph: Cats can be bats can be rats can be hats can be gnats can be thats can be thises. And doors can be boars can be snores can be floors can be roars can be spores can be yours can be mine.
Batman Gambit: Despite his status as a Mad God and his insistence that it's impossible to tell exactly what any and all beings will do, he's pretty good at them. The series 16 Accords of Madness volumes VI, IX and XII involve the humiliation of Hircine, Vaermina, and Malacath, respectively. In each of the stories, he basically has the other Princes defeat themselves. It's even brought up in volume IX, where Vaermina accuses him of doing nothing. And since there are 17 Princes, it can be assumed that the remaining 13 volumes chronicle the humiliation of the rest of the Princes.
In Shivering Isles, attacking him will cause him to teleport the Champion of Cyrodiil high above the Shivering Isles, letting gravity do the rest. Some fans have jokingly theorized that you actually remained stationary and Sheogorath hurled the planet at you.
Deity of Human Origin: At the end of Shivering Isles, the Champion of Cyrodiil takes on the mantle of Sheogorath.
Fisher King: The state of his realm, The Shivering Isles, is directly tied to both his own power, and that of his nemesis Jyggalag, who wants to rule the Isles himself. Whenever Jyggalag grows in power and Sheogorath's power wanes, the Isles become a monochrome wasteland dotted with crystal spires.
It Amused Me: Rains of flaming dogs, the heinous crime of beards, making the player flail around trying to kill a harmless airborne jellyfish with a dinner fork - none of these are really all that helpful, but they sure are funny! To him, at least.
The Muse: Creativity and the arts fall under his domain.
Noodle Implements: The ritual to summon him requires a soul gem, a head of lettuce, and a spool of yarn.
Obfuscating Insanity: He's insane, that's a given, but since he consistently seems to be ten steps ahead of everyone, it's likely that Sheogorath plays up his madness to hide the fact he's far more on the ball than he lets on.
OOC Is Serious Business: Sheogorath stops all joking, overreacting and non-sequitirs just before his transformation into Jyggalag near the end of Shivering Isles. He's not yet under the orderly influence of Jyggalag, though, meaning that his despair over the fate of the Isles and his apparent failure to save them is genuine.
The Reveal: Is revealed in The Shivering Isles to actually be the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: He's only able to become his true self during the Greymarch, once in a thousand years during which he destroys the land his mad self made and then has to witness the mad half rebuilding it.
A God Am I: Until the player becomes Sheogorath in The Shivering Isles.
Talkative Loon: "Wonderful! Time for a celebration! Cheese for everyone! Wait, scratch that! Cheese for no one! That could be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese, true?"
Took a Level in Kindness: It's vaguely suggested that in Skyrim, the second Sheogorath (the Champion of Cyrodil) may be much more benevolent then his predecessor.
Trickster Archetype: One of his favorite games is making mortals or even other daedra look like idiots. The lesson is usually "don't underestimate/bargain with/upset/stand near/shirk worship of Sheogorath", but it can be kinder ("there's always room for creativity") or more cruel ("there's madness within us all"), depending on his whims...
Troll: Sometimes, it seems he just likes to point and laugh. One story of his has him challenging fellow prince Hircine to combat-by-champion. Hircine fielded a huge, saw-toothed, dagger-clawed, vicious werebeast. Sheogorath revealed his champion to be... a songbird. The tiny bird then proceeded to goad the werebeast into tearing itself apart by perching on it, singing and then flitting away, over and over. The bird won. Sheogorath's sole reason for any of this was, apparently, that he found Hircine's fury hilarious.
Was Once a Man: In Skyrim, it's heavily implied that the being now known as Sheogorath, who looks and acts exactly like Sheogorath always has, is actually the second Sheogorath, and was once the Champion of Cyrodiil.
With This Herring: A frequent feature of his quests, probably for his own amusement. One famous implement is the Fork of Horripilation. "Horripilation" is the anatomical word for... goosebumps.
Artifacts: Skull of Corruption
The Daedric Prince of nightmares and terror.
Cute Is Evil: Her voice in Skyrim. When she finally speaks to the player at one point, it's with the sweetest, most adorable voice you could ever hear... while she orders you to murder Erandur, a priest of Mara trying to rescue a village.
Aside from the Aedra and Daedra, several lesser-known Gods are present in the Elder Scrolls universe. They are considered elder gods, more mysterious and primal than the et'Ada, and generally only worshipped by older cultures or cults.
Ebonarm (aka Reymon Ebonarm, The Black Knight)
A god of war worshiped in the Iliac Bay region as the companion and guardian of all warriors. He is the arch enemy of most of the Daedric Princes.
Arch-Enemy: To all Daedra save Sheogorath, the Temple of Stendarr, and The Cabal.
Actual Pacifist: He is a god of war, but he won't fight in any war that started for petty reasons.
Lorkhan (a.k.a. Shor, Sep, Shezarr, Lorkhaj, Sheor, the Void Ghost)
"This Heart is the heart of the world, for one was made to satisfy the other."
— Lorkhan in "The Heart of the World."
Also known as the Missing God. Despised by most elves and loved by most humans, Lorkhan is the god who (along with the Aedra) created Mundus. Why he did this depends on the culture, with men (except Redguards) typically thinking it as a good thing while elves (except Dunmer) think it was evil. He had his heart removed (who did this depends on the culture) during the Dawn Era. May or may not be considered an Aedra.
Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe: An evil, manipulative monster who tricked everyone out of being gods, or a benevolent savior who wishes to bring enlightenment and created Mundus to do so?
Is he an Aedra, for suggesting the creation of Mundus, or a Daedra, due to his Padomaic basis, and his lack of sacrifice?
Or is his nature as the demiurge that brought the Mundus into existence make him neither?
Big Bad / Big Good: Lorkhan is the creator and the protector of the Mundus, and his influence is subtly felt throughout all the games, mostly in the form of Talos. Which of these you see him as depends largely on your point of view.
Death Is Cheap: In Skyrim, the player can travel to Sovngarde, the Nordic afterlife, where the testimony of those present indicates that Shor is alive and well. The reason why he isn't physically present is because his 'mien is too bright for mortal eyes'.
Another possible explanation, given the player character's actions in Skyrim, is that you can't see Shor because there are no mirrors in Sovngarde.
Another more disturbing possible explanation is that Mankar Camoran's claim about Lorkhan kicking Dagon out of his own realm and that the story of Alduin (who happens to have Lorkhan's Sphere of influence:Chaos) kicking out Dagon and turning him into a fellow embodiment of Destruction are both correct and that Lorkhan is just another name for Alduin God of Destruction and Chaos so the Dragonborn can see him and end up killing him in his own realm.
God Couple: With Kyne or Mara, depending on the religion. Sometimes both.
God in Human Form: All the gods can do this, but Lorkhan has to do it because he is dead.
God Is Dead: Doesn't stop him from incarnating himself every once in a while, though.
God Is Evil: To the mer and if both tales of the banishment of Mehrunes Dagon are correct (in which case he's Alduin God of Chaos and Destruction) he is this to the whole world.
War God: He's described as a 'bloodthirsty warrior king'.
"Penitent, the lives of all living are touched by Magnus, He Who Abstained. Lord Magnus drew up the schematics for our world, intricately sketching the diagrams of Creation. Magnus is with us always, in the magics of Mages and the warming breath of the sun."
The God of Magic among the Altmer and Bretons. Though he participated in the creation of the Mundus, Magnus isn't normally counted among the standard Aedra; he rules the Magna-Ge, or "Star Orphans," that left midway through creation. While Lorkhan was the one who came up with the idea of Mundus, Magnus was the chief architect of Mundus. However, he soon became disgusted with creation and fled with the rest of the Magna-Ge to Aetherius.
Artifact of Doom: The Eye of Magnus. While it's unclear exactly what it does, it clearly possesses enough raw magical power to potentially destroy the entire world if mishandled.
Indirectly, the Eye of Magnus led to the downfall of the Snow Elves. Due to both the Ancient Nords and the Snow Elves vying for control of the Eye, it led to a war in which Saarthal and the Eye were lost. The Ancient Nords drove the Snow Elves underground into the arms of the Dwemer, who betrayed them and twisted them into a slave race which has since evolved into the sightless, merciless creatures known as the Falmer.
Light The Way: He was known as the god of Sight, Light and Insight among the Ayleids, and created the sun which shares his name by punching through to Aetherius.
Magic Staff: The Staff of Magnus, held to be able to absorb massive amounts of magical energy. You end up using it a lot in Skyrim if you complete the College of Winterhold questline.
The followers of Magnus, who left with him to Aetherius, creating the stars as they tore through the void of Oblivion. Meridia is believed in some circles to have been one of them before being cast down.
"All Tamrielic religions begin the same. Man or mer, things begin with the dualism of Anu and His Other. These twin forces go by many names: Anu-Padomay, Anuiel-Sithis, Ak-El, Satak-Akel, Is-Is Not. Anuiel is the Everlasting Ineffable Light, Sithis is the Corrupting Inexpressible Action. In the middle is the Gray Maybe ('Nirn' in the Ehlnofex)."
— The Monomyth
Sithis is a force that represents void, change, and limitation. Lorkhan is the closest thing to a Anthropomorphic Personification of Sithis, and Sithis is the patron "deity" of the Dark Brotherhood. Sithis is venerated by most cultures throughout Tamriel as a force of change.
The Anti-God: Sithis, the deity the Dark Brotherhood worships, is what's left of Padomay/is Padomay, who was the original Anti-God, dark twin of the progenitor God of Gods Anu and the progenitor of the Daedra.
A group of ancient Dragon hunters descended from the Akaviri, the Blades were co-opted by Reman Cyrodiil and Tiber Septim (both of whom were Dragonborn, who the Blades consider the ultimate Dragon slayer) into an elite spy agency and Imperial bodyguard for the Emperors of Tamriel. Following the demise of the Septim Dynasty, the Penitus Occulatus assumed guardianship of the Emperors, but the Blades continued to serve the Emperors as spies. Devastated by the Great War, the Blades were officially disbanded by the White-Gold Concordant, with the survivors going underground to avoid the Thalmor, waiting for a new Dragonborn to be born.
Culture Chop Suey: Although they use katanas and their buildings resemble Oriental architecture, they function as a western-styled order of knights, and their uniform resembles a mish-mash of Japanese-style lamellar and Roman lorica segmentata. The helmet is a cross between a japanese kabuto and a roman legionnaire helmet.
Hypocrite: By the time of the games many of the Blades worship Tiber Septim as Talos. After training with the Greybeards, Tiber Septim explicitly ordered the Blades to not take a shot at Paarthurnax, but their hatred for the Dragons is so strong that they're literally defying their own god.
Knight Templar: The Blades may be sworn to serve the Dragonborn, but they consider dragonslaying to be their number one priority. They thus refuse to help the Dragonborn unless the Dragonborn kills Paarthunax.
The Remnant: After the Thalmor hunted down and executed every single member of the Blades within their territory and delivered their decapitated heads to the Emperor. After the Great War, the Blades were forced to disband and the survivors were forced to go to ground until a new Dragonborn could be found.
Order Reborn: Under the guidance of Delphine and Esbern, the Dragonborn eventually reforms the Blades in Skyrim.
Praetorian Guard: To the Septim Dynasty. They are also supposed to be this to the Dragonborn, but not so much in practice.
An organization of assassins, they worship Sithis, killing to send souls to the Void and serve their Dread Father.
Always Chaotic Evil: All members of the Dark Brotherhood are at the least deeply amoral and clearly take a sadistic glee in killing, whether it be for their dark god or just because they like it.
Dark Is Evil: They're called the Dark Brotherhood, after all.
Dragon-in-Chief: Because the Night Mother is the "official" leader of the Dark Brotherhood, the Listener (the one she communicates with from the Void) is in charge of the organization but technically subordinate to the Night Mother.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: By the time of Skyrim, the Dark Brotherhood is down to one sanctuary who gets its contracts through rumors about the Black Sacrament being performed.
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: They look for those who have already committed murder to recruit into their ranks. In Skyrim, they further test potential new members by locking them in a room with three people, then telling the recruit to figure out which one has a contract on their head and kill them. Who the recruit kills is meaningless; what matters is that they're willing to kill simply because they were ordered to do so.
Laughably Evil: You may not like yourself if you join them, but however horrifying they are, the Dark Brotherhood is at times downright hilarious.
Murder, Inc.: If you want someone dead and you have the cash, you may just be able to call the Dark Brotherhood.
Professional Killers: While they may be murderous scum, the Dark Brotherhood does generally prefer killing their targets as silently as possible.
Psycho for Hire: Many of them tend to be violent psychopaths to some extent since they specifically recruit murderers. There are even those who choose to dispense with stealth entirely, such as the orc Gogron gro-Bolmog in Oblivion. They do however prefer taking a subtler approach and do offer bonuses to assassins willing to fulfill contracts in a specific manner.
A cult established by the Dragons during their rule over the ancient Nords. But the Cult's cruelty soon rivaled that of the Dragons, and the Dragon War was fought to defeat the both Cult and Dragons. After Alduin disappeared, the Dragon Cult was driven underground and eventually to extinction. With Alduin's return in the Fourth Era the Dragon Cult's followers are rising again, quite literally.
Not Using the Z Word: Those shambling undead corpses that used to be cultists aren't zombies, they're draugr. The word "draugr" exists in real life languages in northern europe, and essentially means "undead".
Remember the New Guy: They are a recent addition by Skyrim, but are stated to being around since the Merethic Era. On the other hand, since the Dragons seemed to operate out of Skyrim and frequently battled the Ancient Nords, it makes sense why the Dragon Cult was most prominent in Skyrim and hasn't been seen elsewhere in Tamriel.
Sinister Minister: The Dragon Priests were soon outdoing the Dragons in terms of cruelty. One priest, Rahgot, ordered hundreds of innocent children to commit suicide to ensure he had a ready supply of undead warriors. When one of his alchemists raised objections over this, he had her murdered to silence dissent.
A guild of warriors for hire who function throughout Tamriel, with the exception of Skyrim.
Private Military Contractors: Basically what they are. In fact, the guild was founded to keep ex-soldiers from straying into brigandry when the private armies of provincial nobles were outlawed in the second era.
The original ruling powers of Morrowind who still hold a lot of power after Morrowind joined the Empire. They consist of House Hlaalu, a bureaucratic House that has a knack for espionage and has strong ties with the Empire, House Redoran, a military-styled house with strong ties with the Tribunal Church (which unfortunately means they often share the same arrogant, xenophobic attitudes of the Church), and House Telvanni, a House made up almost entirely of powerful Dumner mages with questionable morals and sanity. Three other Houses, Indoril, Dres, and Dagoth exist, but Indoril has lost much of its power and is little more than a figurehead faction, House Dagoth has become the sinister Sixth House, and House Dres suffered a similar fate to House Indoril following King Helseth's abolition of slavery.
Break the Haughty: Out of all the Great Houses, Redoran suffered the worst from the Oblivion Crisis, having its capital city completely destroyed and much of its land razed. And that's before the Argonian occupation.
Back from the Brink: Dragonborn reveals that Redoran has recovered quite well in the 200 years since Oblivion, organizing most of the relief efforts following the Red Year, as well as raising a standing army to fight the Daedra and the Argonians after the Imperials abandoned Morrowind for Cyrodiil, to the point that they're the current leaders of the Dunmer Council and their city of Blacklight is now the capital of Morrowind following the Argonian sacking of Mournhold.
House Hlaalu. When the Empire pulled out of Morrowind during the Oblivion crisis, leaving Morrowind without an organized army, the Dunmner turned on Hlaalu, who was in power and assured the people the empire would protect them. Hlaalu is now considered traitorous. They've been kicked out of the Dunmer council (replaced by House Savras) and their position as leaders were taken over by Redoran, who organized the resistance against the Daedra, and later the Argonians. Members of House Hlaalu are regularly executed by other houses.
Church Militant: House Redoran has strong ties to the Church, and as such shares many of its intolerance and bigotry, though not nearly to the extent of the Ordinators. With the fall of the Tribunal and the rise of the "True" Tribunal in the 4th Era, this seems to have subsided.
Grey and Gray Morality: All three Houses have their ups and down. Hlaalu is the most loyal of the Houses to the Empire, but many within it are corrupt. Redoran is honorable and militarily strong, but their ties to the Tribunal Church creates a heavy air of religious intolerance. House Telvanni is (mostly) honest, but is filled to the brim with amoral and outright insane individuals.
Irony: In Morrowind, House Hlaalu was one of the strongest political factions due to their strong ties with the Empire. By the time of Dragonborn, they are now the weakest House, for exactly the same reasons.
Laser-Guided Karma: The destruction of the Great Houses by the Argonians is a result of the Dunmer's own centuries of raiding Black Marsh for slaves. Lampshaded by a member of House Telvanni in a posthumous letter to his son:
Lymdrenn Tenvanni: The irony of our demise glows brighter than Masser on the summer solstice. We brought this upon ourselves; the Argonians simply answering a rallying cry incited by a millennia of suffrage imposed by my kind.
A guild formed in the Second Era as a counterpart to the Psijic Order, the Mages Guild believed that all people of Tamriel should be able to have access to magic, instead of concentrating it in the hands of a select few. It collapsed following the Oblivion Crisis.
A Dunmer organization of assassin that worship the daedra Mephala, who taught the ancient Dunmer the techniques of stealth and assassination. Operates only in Morrowind after the assasination of Reman Cyrodiil.
Above Good and Evil: Unlike the Dark Brotherhood, they do have a set of strict rules and a code of honour, but don't really care who's going to die as long as it follows their tradition and keeps the Houses from killing each other.
Breaking the Fellowship: According to Ravyn Imyan, a former assassin who joined the Thieves Guild in Skyrim, the Morag Tong was forced to "scatter to the nine winds" after the eruption of Red Mountain. They made a pact to reunite one day, but Imyan believes that is long in coming.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Morag Tong is more or less abhorred by others (killing of Reman Cyrodiil doesn't help), but are respected by Dunmer.
The Order: Though far more secretive than the Mages Guild, with their members operating in cells and sworn to secrecy on pain of Undeath.
An Altmer organization that rejected the change from ancestor worship to the Aedra, the Psijic Order may be the oldest magic society in Tamriel. The Psijic Order rarely intervenes in outside affairs. By the Fourth Era they have retreated to their home island, Artaeum, which disappeared around a century ago. Both the Mages Guild and the Order of the Black Worm were founded by former Psijics.
Berserk Button: The order itself is a living berserk button for the Thalmor, as they're an Altmer organization with a lot of magical knowledge but absolutely will not tow the Thalmor line.
Big Good: Despite being vague beyond comprehension, they are ultimately the closest to a force of good on Tamriel next to the Empire.
Mysterious Backer: During the College of Winterhold questline in Skyrim they take this role for the Dragonborn, offering information and clues on how they should deal with the Eye of Magnus, although this advice tends to be highly cryptic.
No True Altmer: The Thalmor frequently accuse them of this. The Psijic Order retort with exact same point.
Omniscient Order of Vagueness: In Skyrim, they don't explicitly tell the Dragonborn what (s)he needs to do to prevent disaster with the Eye of Magnus. However, it's also shown that they aren't omnipotent, as they don't know how to find the Augur of Dunlain.
Our Gods Are Greater: Preferred ancestor worship over Aedra worship. Gets a little strange when you remember that "Aedra" is Elvish for "our ancestors".
Prime Directive: They do not intervene in the affairs of other groups, preferring to watch things from afar.
Screw You, Elves!: The Psijic Order has this attitude towards the Thalmor, with both sides accusing the other side of not acting like a "true" Altmer.
Weirdness Coupon: The Psijic Order are a group of Altmer mages who can more or less tell the Thalmor to piss off whenever they want to without fear of reprisal. Being the most powerful Magical Society in Tamriel and having your home island disappear off the face of Nirn gives you major advantages.
The World Is Not Ready/You Are Not Ready: Their philosophy toward magic, initially, believing that the world must learn magic slowly, at a safe rate. They still maintain this attitude toward certain magical artifacts, such as the Eye of Magnus.
There have been many empires to claim lordship over Tamriel, but the most famous is the one founded by Tiber Septim in the final years of the Second Era, and the first to conquer all of Tamriel, which also ushered in the Third Era. The following tropes concern this Empire.
Badass Army: The Imperial Legion is perhaps the best professional army on Tamriel. It's seen considerable decline by the Fourth Era, but it's still got enough spirit left to fight off the Thalmor and keep Skyrim from fully seceding.
Cool Sword: Imperial Swords, based on the Roman gladius.
Grey and Gray Morality: Usually gets this treatment. On the one hand, Tamrielic Empire is extremely Cyrodiil-centric, constantly trying to force Cyrodiilic values and customs on its provinces. On the other hand, it brought three centuries of peace to Tamriel, and the values and customs it was getting rid of tended to include a lot of slavery and xenophobia.
The Tower: The White-Gold Tower, which serves as the palace of the Emperor, a meeting place for the Elder Council, and a repository for all known Elder Scrolls. It is also a Tower in a mythic sense, one of the nexuses of mythic power on Nirn (others being but not limited to the Throat of The World in Skyrim, Red Mountain in Morrowind, Adamantine Tower in the Iliac Bay, or Numidium)
Vestigial Empire: In Skyrim, the two centuries following the Oblivion Crisis have not been kind to the Empire.
Originally the ruling government of the Aldmeri Dominion in the Second Age, the Thalmor quietly waited out the reign of the Septims before finally reforming the Dominion after Oblivion. They are fanatical followers of the old elven religion, and their ultimate goal is to escape Lorkhan's "prison" by bringing about the end of the world.
Gentleman Thief: Something to aspire to. However, by Skyrim, their standards have loosened.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: Like the Dark Brotherhood, the Thieves Guild have suffered a strong decline over the years thanks to Guildmaster Mercer Frey's stealing of the Skeleton Key leading to Nocturnal cursing the Guild with bad luck.
Just Like Robin Hood: All incarnations are this, especially the one based in Morrowind and Oblivion. The Skyrim guild however has fallen on hard times and so been forced to resort to more unsavoury tactics such as extortion and racketeering, simply to stay afloat. They've even relaxed their rules so that murder is a last resort option, only avoided because it costs money to bribe guards, which is money they don't have to spare!
Thou Shall Not Kill: This is a major rule of the Guild, not from morality (usually), but because it just makes things more complicated. However, the Guild in Skyrim maintain business connections with the Dark Brotherhood and guild member Delvin Mallory is implied to have done some work for them in the past. note Word of God is that Brynjolf arranged for the Brotherhood to hide Delvin until the heat from a bad robbery went down.
The first king of Men in Tamriel, Ysgramor was a Atmoran (ancient Nord) hero who led his family and some like minded individuals from their homeland of Atmora to the northernmost area of Tamriel, which would be known as Skyrim, after Atmora became embroiled in a massive civil war. Ysgramor later led the Atmoran people in colonizing Skyrim from their landing point of Hsaarik Head. He also became the first historian of mankind and developed the first human language based on Atmoran and Elvish linguistic principles. After the native elves of Skyrim massacred an Atmoran city, Ysgramor and his sons gathered a group of potent warriors known as the 500 Companions and handily slaughtered the majority of the Elven population and drove the remainder underground. Ysgramor's leadership and line of succession would see the Nords establish the First Empire of Man, until it was torn apart by infighting during the Wars of Succession which started with the death of his last direct descendant, King Borgas.
An Axe to Grind: A very badass one called Wuuthrad, which you can reforge and use in Skyrim.
A Father to His Men: Literally, he's known as the father of the Nordic people and to a lesser extent, of all mankind (in Septim propaganda). And every Nordic king has claimed at least some ancestry with him.
Papa Wolf: Don't mess with his people. The Snow Elves did, and he drove them to near extinction.
Another incident is Yngol and the Sea Ghosts. Yngol was a son of Ysgramor who had run afoul of evil spirits who ensnared him and his clan. Ysgramor became aware of this and demanded the ghosts set him free; in response, the ghosts summoned a terrible storm. Ysgramor fearlessly strode into it and defeated each of the ghosts, only to find Yngol and his clan dead. Filled with grief, he vented his rage on 24 of the fiercest monsters in Skyrim, slaying them all in honor of his kin. He then ordered a great barrow to be dug for Yngol and his clansmen's resting place.
Snow Elves destroy Saarthal? Ysgramor returns home to Atmora, raises an army and returns with 500 companions to slaughter their entire race to a man, before basically erases all traces of their civilization from Skyrim.
The Sea Ghosts kill his son Yngol? He goes and kills 24 of the most dangerous beasts in Skyrim.
Weapon of X Slaying: Wuuthrad is a weapon of Elf slaying. So much so that it has the visage of a screaming elf carved onto it. Nonetheless, an elf can carry it with no ill-effect.
Worthy Opponent: Despite his hatred of the Falmer, he gave their leader, the Snow Prince, a hero's funeral as a mark of respect.
Pelinal Whitestrake (a.k.a. Pelin-El, a.k.a. The Star-Made Knight)
A legendary hero who fought alongside Alessia and saved humanity from enslavement, and a racist psychopathic berserker. He was a mysterious knight, summoned into existence by Alessia, who had an unfortunate tendency to descend into mindless rage. He wielded the Crusader's Relics, which were a suit of plate mail armor, a shield, a sword and a mace bestowed upon him by the gods.
Fantastic Racism: Essentially committed genocide on the Ayleids. They were assholes who had enslaved Cyrodiil, but that's still an entire culture wiped from the face of Tamriel. The legends about him even use the word "pogroms" to describe what he had done.
He also killed many Khajiit, simply because they didn't look human. Granted, he stopped after he learned that they weren't from Aldmerisnote The continent the Ayleids came from, but still.
God in Human Form: May have been the incarnation of Shezarr. Don't suggest this to him, however, or he may kill you. He may have also (as in, both Aka and Shezarr) been the incarnation of Akatosh, too.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Probably goes with being a potential time traveller - he was aware of the nonlinear part of the universe as well as Akatosh's dual nature, and even realized that he was a sort of indirect creator of his arch-nemesis Umaril (since if it were not for Pelinal's deeds then Umaril would not be famous).
Heroic Albino: Hence why one of his titles is "Whitestrake," and he was known to have white hair even when he was young.
Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe. His portrayal in Knights of the Nine conveniently forgets about his blatant racist views and psychopathic episodes.
I Know You Know I Know: In a bizarre, metaphysical way. Whether or not Pelinal was an incarnation of Akatosh or not, he was connected with him somehow. He also knew that Akatosh was completely aware of how insane he was. And we don't mean "aware" as in simply knowing, but as in he could feel the gaze of Akatosh upon him. And he could stare right back. "I watch you watching me watching back!"
It's Personal: He raised a grain-slave, Huna, to a hoplite. Then Huna was killed, and Pelinal lost it so badly that he almost caused the divines to leave the world out of disgust.
Literal Change of Heart: Rumours stated that he had a hole in his chest, which revealed that he had a red diamond instead of a heart. This symbolized his connection with the heartless god Lorkhan. He killed those who spoke of such rumours, though.
Man Bites Man: He ate the neck-veins of Haromir of Copper and Tea.
Meaningful Name: His name is a corruption of the Elvish term Pelin-El, which translates to Star-Made Knight.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His battle with Umaril left the latter "laid low, the angel face of his helm dented into an ugliness... [and his] unfeathered wings broken off".
"Pelinal was and is an insane collective swarmfoam war-fractal from the future, you betcha."
Alessia (a.k.a. Al-Esh, Perrif, Paraval, Paravania, Lady of Heaven)
"And this thing I have thought of, I have named it, and I call it freedom. Which I think is just another word for Shezarr Who Goes Missing."
During an age long past, when men were enslaved by Ayleids, she started a rebellion alongside Pelinal to liberate all humans. She received the Amulet of Kings and started the tradition of lighting the Dragonfires in order to maintain a strong boundary between Nirn and Oblivion. She also established the Eight Divines religion of Cyrodiil. She was the lover of Morihaus, nephew of Pelinal. Commonly believed to be the first Dragonborn, which is not true, Miraak is the first.
Divine Date: Morihaus was her consort. Pelinal disproved of their relationship, believing that they would "beget more monsters on this earth." And considering that they may have birthed the first minotaurs, he may have been right.
Name's the Same: She's often refered to as being Dragonborn. Word of God is that she isn't Dragonborn at all, at least not in the same sense that the main character of Skyrim is. She didn't have the power to absorb dragon souls; rather her power was to "dream of liberty and give it a name, and on her death bed make Covenant with Aka-Tusk." invoked
Non-Indicative Name: Her "first dragonborn" status. She wasn't a dragonborn as they are known in-game, and she wouldn't have been the first even if she were. Hell, she couldn't even use the Thu'um! Her only connection to dragons was making a covenant with Akatosh on her deathbed to protect Mundus from Oblivion, as well as allowing her descendants to transform into dragons.
Nerevar Indoril (a.k.a. Hortator, The Caravan Guard)
The leader of the Chimer people and husband of Almalexia. After unifying Morrowind, he fended off an invasion by the Nords. Then, he fought the Dwemer all the way to the heart of Red Mountain until they suddenly disappeared. He was either mortally-wounded by Dagoth Ur or murdered by the Tribunal - in either case, he died because one or more individuals lusted after the power of the Heart of Lorkhan. He also had a special ring, the Moon-and-Star, given to him by Azura.
Folk Hero: For the Ashlanders, whereas Vivec tried to claim that he was merely one of many saints.
Dagoth Ur (a.k.a. Voryn Dagoth, Sharmat, The Dreamer, The Sleeper)
He was a loyal servant of Nerevar and trusted with many things. He realized what Kagrenac was up to and effectively started the Battle of Red Mountain. Once the battle was over, he wanted Nerevar to destroy Kagrenac's Tools. Instead, Nerevar gave him the tools, which may have corrupted him - either that, or exposure to the Heart of Lorkhan. He was never quite the same after that.
Mad Dreamer: Hoooo boy... for a quick example, check out The 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 15.
Vivec (a.k.a. VEHK, V'Vehk, Vehk and Vehk)
"Love is under my will only."
His mother was the wife of a netch-herder, or netchiman. Almalexia put some kind of spell related to Vivec into the mother and threw her into the ocean, where dreughs treated her well. Sotha Sil fished Vivec's mother back out of the ocean while declaring some sort of prophecy about unborn-Vivec. Daedra also came to lend power to unborn-Vivec. After the Daedra, other spirits came to interact with unborn-Vivec, and unborn-Vivec was able to talk back to them intelligently. Vivec's mother tried to head towards the lands of House Indoril (the house of Nerevar) but was captured by the Dwemer. The Dwemer recognized Vivec's future importance and tried to get him out of his mother, but found his mother to be quite indestructible. So, unborn-Vivec lulled his mother to sleep so that the Dwemer could have an easier time extracting him. After they finally got him out of his mother, they stuck him in a robotic simulacrum of his mother. His new Dwemer-built robot mom was set loose, and more spirits came to visit and converse with unborn-Vivec. However, his robot mom did not handle the ashes of Red Mountain very well and broke down. Nerevar discovered his broken Dwemer-crafted robotic mom and tried to bring it to Almalexia, but got into a dispute with his travelling companions. So, unborn-Vivec had to intervene by psychically-compelling Nerevar to get back on track to delivering him to Almalexia, even if that meant murder. Mehrunes Dagon tried to intervene and stop Nerevar's delivery of unborn-Vivec and his Dwemer-crafted robot mom to Almalexia, but unborn-Vivec blessed Nerevar so that he could pass unharmed. Finally, Nerevar was able to reach Almalexia and Sotha Sil at Mournhold, where they talked about the coming War of the First Council and what Vivec had to do with any of that. Once this discussion finished, Vivec fused with his Dwemer-crafted robotic mom to become an enlightened all-powerful all-knowing hermaphrodite demigod. Now that Vivec was fully-formed, it was time to start the War of the First Council.He personally tutored Nerevar in all the ways of wisdom and statecraft. He found Molag Bal, of all people, to be extremely attractive and had eight of Molag's children. Sadly, he had to then track down and defeat seven of those eight children - the eighth of whom was himself.... at least, that's according to The 36 Lessons of Vivec. Alternatively, (and probably realistically,) Vivec was just a sneaky bastard who insinuated his way into Nerevar's court and betrayed him to get a hold of Kagrenac's Tools. Then he fabricated a religion, possibly by rewriting the past with said tools, revolving around the Tribunal with himself as the head.What is certain about him is that he (along with Almalexia and Sotha Sil) used Kagrenac's Tools to cause themselves to become powerful godlike beings. He is half-gold half-ashen, representing some sort of bridge between the old Chimer race and the newer Dunmer race. And Azura seriously does not like him.
The chief tonal architect of the Dwemer who spent much time figuring out the secrets of the heart of Lorkhan. He probably engineered Numidium, and is almost certainly responsible for the disappearance of the Dwemer.
Mad Scientist: He sought for the whole Dwemer race to achieve godhood, and is usually considered responsible for the Disappearance of the Dwarves.
He was a master of the Thu'um and fought under Wulfharth to secure the heart of Lorkhan in Red Mountain. After they were defeated severely, he meditated for seven years, then came out to found the Greybeards.
Badass Pacifist: Seventeen other masters of the Voice tried to shout him down. They failed.
Heroic BSOD: He spent seven years wondering how it was possible that the strongest Voice users and the best of the Nords could be defeated.
Technical Pacifist: Although he fought seventeen other masters of the Voice, he also set the Greybeards' policy of non-intervention in worldly affairs, and of studying the Voice for the sake of it.
"The best techniques are passed on by the survivors."
A mighty warrior who built the Arena in the Imperial City.
Action Survivor: Presumably, he is one of those survivors to whom the best techniques have been passed.
"I AM CYRODIIL COME."
A Dragonborn that appeared in the latter parts of the First Era, after the Dragon Break. He defeated an Akaviri invasion force under mysterious circumstances. Though he never took the title of Emperor himself, his lineage founded the second Empire, which lasted even past the end of his lineage at the end of the First Era into part of the Second Era under the leadership of the Akaviri Potentates.
Badass: He tore a rebel Colovian warlord's face off with his bare teeth, which subsequently splattered all over him at age 12.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being more than a little psychotic he turned out to be a good ruler.
The Caligula: Oh dear. According to very obscure lore bits that we have, he's scary and violently decadent. How decadent? He made Sanguine, Daedric Prince of Debauchery, leave from feeling too uncomfortable. The difference between him and most people in the entry is that he was a capable ruler and became venerated for a reason.
Defeat Means Friendship: The Akaviri turn out not to have been invading, but searching (albeit in a heavy-handed manner). For who? A Dragonborn, who they found in Reman. They then swore fealty to him.
Depraved Bisexual: From little we can find of him, he makes 36 Lessons look mild in comparison.
Expy: Has resemblances with the Yellow Emperor. Both were revered culture heroes and both were deitified emperors. Also helps that the Akaviri culture which was merged with Cyrodiil is vaguely East Asian.
Founder of the Kingdom: Founded the Cyrodiilic Empire, and the province of Cyrod was renamed Cyrodiil after him (maybe — he certainly founded the Cyrodiilic Empire, but there are other sources that suggest the name Cyrodiil for the province may be older than Reman).
Physical God: Like Tiber Septim, he possessed the soul of a Dragon in the body of a mortal.
He's also the son of Saint Alessia, Cyrodiil (yes, the land), Akatosh and King Hrol.
Cyrus the Restless
"Where's the money in that?"
A Redguard from the end of the Second Era, and accidental leader of the Hammerfell Rebellion against Tiber Septim's corrupt governor. One of the few people who faced down Vivec in single combat and lived to tell the tale.
The Trickster: Unusually for Tamriel, Cyrus is a completely normal swordsman note usually - he may have been the Hoon Ding during his fight with Richton, the Redguard "Make Way" god. Therefore, to take down the various sorcerers and dragons and monsters he faces, he has to use his mind.
Walking the Earth: Would have been named King by the Redguards, but he turned them down to do this.
"You have suffered for me to win this throne, and I see how you hate jungle. Let me show you the power of Talos Stormcrown, born of the North, where my breath is long winter. I breathe now, in royalty, and reshape this land which is mine. I do this for you, Red Legions, for I love you."
A Nord from High Rock (Alternatively, a Nede (Proto-Nord) from Atmora according to Imperial Dogma) raised in Skyrim, Tiber Septim (a.k.a. Hjalti Early-Beard, Voice of the Emperor, Talos Stormcrown, Ysmir, numerous other aliases) was the first in the Septim Imperial dynasty and harbinger of the Third Era. Deified literally and politically, he is many things to many people. Hero, conqueror, villain, god, and ultimately Emperor of the first truly pan-Tamrielic Empire. He is descended metaphysically from the Slave Queen Alessia, as well as king Reman Cyrodiil. As a Dragonborn, his dynasty was one of several supernatural barriers to keep Tamriel and Oblivion distinct. May have been born as Hjalti Early-Beard.
Anti-Hero / Broken Pedestal / Villain with Good Publicity: If we follow the interpretations of Tiber Septim portrayed in The Arcturian Heresy and The Real Barenziah series, then he was a scheming, manipulative bastard who was not above using assassination or dropping trusted allies like a rock when it helped him achieve his goals. He was also a colossal hypocrite, preaching the virtues of faith and chastity while whoring around with a young Barenziah behind the back of his own wife, then forcing a magical abortion on her once she was with child.
Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Joined the Eight Divines as Talos, turning the group into the Nine Divines. It's also possible his soul was fused with Zurin Arctus, Wulfharth, Shor, Numidium, the whole race of Imperials, and/or many other things.
Four-Star Badass: A peerless general. When he ascended to Godhood, he became the God of War.
Handicapped Badass: Survived an assassination attempt in which his throat was slit, which prevented him from using the Thu'um. For those of you unfamiliar, a Dragonborn's main source of power comes from the Thu'um, Dragon Shouts. Tiber Septim lost his most powerful weapon, so he just bought a Brass God from Vivec and later became a god himself.
Big Good: The greatest hero of mankind. His apotheosis into Talos is essentially an affirmation of the Mundus.
The Voice of the Emperor's ability to pacify people is noticeably similar to the effects of several Dragon Shouts, leaving it as a possibility that the technique was originally derived from the Thu'um, modified by Tiber Septim to allow those not trained in the Voice to use it.
Deity of Human Origin: A Nord warrior who was blessed with the soul of a Dragon and came to conquer Tamriel who then ascended to godhood possibly by the machinations of Shor but the circumstances are unclear.
The Emperor: The first Emperor of Tamriel to truly rule the entire continent.
Expy: Of Charlemagne. Both are considered the fathers of continental civilizations and were badass warrior kings.
Folkhero: Loved and worshipped by the Nords and Imperials, especially after becoming Talos as a result of the ending of Daggerfall. The banning of Talos worship by the Empire eventually lead to civil war from Skyrim.
Founder of the Kingdom: Founded the third Tamrielic Empire, and the first to truly control the entire continent.
I Have Many Names: Tiber Septim, Ysmir, Wulf, Dragonborn, Talos Stormcrown, Hjalti Early-Beard...
There's even historical debate over which of his many names were his birth name.
King Incognito: The Prophet from Knights of the Nine is thought to be Tiber Septim himself, guiding Pelinal Reborn as the Ninth Divine.
Near the end of the main quest of Morrowind, the player meets an old Imperial soldier who gives you his lucky coin. The coin really is lucky, and talking to the local high priestess about the encounter reveals his true identity.
There are some theories that the "Friend" who sends you anonymous letters in Skyrim pointing you to Word Walls is him.
Last of His Kind: Popular myth across the empire is that he was the last person to cross from Atmora to Skyrim before its weather became so cold as to no longer support life, wiping out the remaining native Nedes.
According to Heimskr, a priest from Skyrim (quoting from an out-of-game source), Talos turned Cyrodiil from a jungle into a forest with CHIM.
"From The Many-Headed Talos": You have suffered for me to win this throne, and I see how you hate jungle. Let me show you the power of Talos Stormcrown, born of the North, where my breath is long winter. I breathe now, in royaltynote CHIM, and reshape this land which is mine. I do this for you, Red Legions, for I love you.
This is supported by Mankar Camoran in the Mythic Dawn commentaries part 3:
Mankar Camoran: CHIM. Those who know it can reshape the land. Witness the home of the Red King Once Jungled.
Star-Crossed Lovers: According to The Real Barenziah series, he and Barenziah fit this trope. Part Six of the series claims that they were like-minded souls who genuinely fell in love with each other. Though, of course, their relationship ended badly because as much as Tiber Septim loved Barenziah, he loved power more.
The Trickster: How he rose to the top, brought certain provinces under his control, and dealt with some of his enemies. For example, he managed to make Morrowind an Imperial province and bought the Brass God from the Tribunal purely through his compelling voice. He is eventually made into an aspect of a Nordic Trickster-god.
The Unseen: Even in Redguard, the only game so far that takes place during the time when he was alive, he never made an appearance.
War God: He's the God of War and Good Governance; this is part of the reason his following is strong among the Nords.
Zurin Arctus (a.k.a. The Underkingnote Probably the true Underking during the time of Daggerfall])
"Centuries ago, Tiber Septim ruled the land and forged an empire with great Numidium. The secret of Numidiums's power lies in its heart, carried within the Mantella. It is the heart of Tiber Septim's battlemage. It is my heart. It is my Mantella. It is my Totem. It belongs to me, and to none other. I have won and lost an empire."
The first Imperial Battlemage, serving under Tiber Septim. He literally gave up his heart in order to create a control device for Numidium, a Dwemer automaton that aided Tiber in his conquests.
Beat Still, My Heart: His heart was removed, either willingly or not, to control Numidium. Or it was Wulfharth's heart, but then Zurin's heart merged with it. Reality and time get very weird when Numidium is involved.
Wulfharth (a.k.a. Ysmir, Dragon of the North, The Underkingnote He contends with Zurin Arctus for the title of Underking but is probably not the true one during the time of Daggerfall)
"...during the Late Merethic Era the legendary immortal hero, warrior, sorceror, and king variously known as Pelinal Whitestrake, Harrald Hairy Breeks, Ysmir, Hans the Fox, etc., wandered Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering lands, ruling, then abandoning his kingdoms to wander again."
— Before the Ages of Man
A Nordic King from the First Era, and a Dragonborn. Also known as Ysmir, the Dragon of the North. Was an incarnation of the god Shor/Lorkhan, to the point that he would often get involved in situations where the Heart of Lorkhan was in danger. He lived through many events of the first era, such as a battle with the Alessian Order and a fight with Alduin, then fighting in the War of Red Mountain, then getting himself embroiled in Tiber Septim's grand plans.
Back from the Dead: Was revived by Shor after his initial death. This essentially made him immortal.
Beat Still, My Heart: If it wasn't Zurin Arctus' heart that was torn out to control Numidium, then it was Ysmir's. Or both? As stated in the entry for Arctus, reliable levels of certainty go out the window when Numidium is involved.
Body Double: According to the The Arcturian Heresy he served as this to Hjalti, pretending to be Tiber Septim. He may have also been a body double for Shor/Lorkhan himself.
Knight Templar: Was fanatically obsessed with forcing the citizens of Skyrim to worship only the Old Nordic pantheon.
The Purge: His first new law was to order this, slaughtering the members of the Alessian Order.
Rapid Aging: After using Thu'um (also known as dragon shouts) to age up everyone in Skyrim (after Alduin and Orkey made them children) he aged himself up too fast.
Numidium (a.k.a. Anumidum, Walk-Brass, The Brass God, Brass Tower)
A gigantic Dwemer-crafted robot that is so powerful that it distorts time simply by existing. It was probably originally engineered by Kagrenac, but did not see much use until Vivec gave it to Tiber Septim in exchange for retaining special privileges for the province of Morrowind while still submitting to Imperial rule. Tiber then proceeded to crush the Aldmeri Dominion almost single-handedly with it. Afterwards, due to the actions of an entity known as the "Underking", Numidium was lost until the events of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Was used to inflict one on the Aldmeri Dominion, making Tiber succeed where Reman failed: he conquered Summerset Isles.
Organic Technology: It's powered by the heart of Lorkhan or rough equivalent thereof, and some drawings depict it as having a ribcage and spine. It's also possible that its armor or other structural components are what all the Dwemer were transformed into.
Reality Warper: Simply being activated for a short time after the end of Daggerfall caused time to split into many streams, recombining violently.
The Tower: Considered one of the mythic Towers, of which also includes White-Gold Tower, the Throat of The World, Red Mountain, and others. In esoteric lore-speak, it's known as "Walk-Brass".
Lamae Beolfag aka Lamae Bal
A Nedic woman who lived during the First Era who was raped by Molag Ball and became the first Daughter of Coldharbour and first vampire.
Anti-Villain: In Online. Were she not in direct opposition to Molag Bal, she'd probably be an antagonist instead due to her declaring open season on 'Arkay's children.'
Broken Bird: As a direct result of her becoming a Daughter of Coldharbour, while at the same time feeling as if Arkay had turned his back on her.
Faustian Rebellion: Her progeny are strictly forbidden from worshiping Molag Bal, and in fact, she wants to turn Molag Bal's 'children' against him.
Monster Progenitor: Is the many-times grandsire of all vampires who didn't receive their abilities directly from Molag Bal as well or from other pure-blooded vampires, and the Cyrodiil Bloodline of vampires in particular.
Power Floats: When she finally appears in person before the player in Online, she's floating.
The Emperor of Tamriel in Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, and the very beginning of Oblivion. Usurped by his battlemage Jagar Tharn, he was freed by the Eternal Champion after spending ten years in Oblivion (real time). He later sent the Hero of Daggerfall to investigate the death of King Lysandus, leading to the events of Daggerfall. In Morrowind, he frees the Neverarine from prison to manipulate a prophecy in Morrowind, leading to the events of Morrowind. He is assassinated by the Mythic Dawn at the beginning of Oblivion, but not before giving the Amulet of Kings to the Champion of Cyrodiil.
Big Good: In Arena, Daggerfall, and arguably Morrowind.
The Chessmaster: Shifted from an aggressive integrator to a very methodical politician after his time in Oblivion.
Regent for Life: Looked set to become one, and many nobles thought he was going to declare himself Emperor. The Thalmor killed him before the Elder Council could.
A Dunmer noblewoman who lived through just about the entire lifespan of the Empire, born before Tiber Septim and certainly lived through Martin Septim. Played a pivotal role in taking down Jagar Tharn and restoring the Empire. And, according to The Real Barenziah, she slept with just about anyone, including Tiber Septim, Jagar Tharn, a random Khajiit, and many others.
Pet the Dog: While a fairly ruthless figure in Daggerfall and Morrowind, he does care for his subjects and his nation, and idle banter in Oblivion reveals that he's abolished Morrowind's slavery system.
M'aiq the Liar
"M'aiq knows much, tells some. M'aiq knows many things others do not."
A line of Khajiit who wander the world while exposing trivia based on the game itself.
Comedic Sociopathy: Shows shades of this. Like noting "This won't hurt. But if it does, don't yell too loudly. I have very sensitive ears." and asking you to bring back an entertaining story of how the person he's sending you to kill died.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Just because you're Dragonborn doesn't mean he has to respect you. Being Archmage of the College likewise doesn't stop him from being condescending. However, the Dragonborn can impress him if they've read the Oghma Infinitum before meeting him.
Dude, Where's My Reward?: In Morrowind, he gives you a quest to get the Drake's Pride, one of the best robes in the game. His payment is 5 gold. By Dragoborn however, he is decidedly better about rewarding and will eventually promise to make you a member of House Telvanni when he returns to Vvardenfell. He then makes a note that he has no intention of returning to Vvardenfell anytime soon and, if you're not one of the longer lived races, implies that this may very well be beyond your current lifetime (and making the gesture somewhat meaningless).
Insufferable Genius: In Dragonborn, if you talk to him about the Archmage of the College of Winterhold (either you or Savos Aren), he'll be intensely condescending and offer to make them an apprentice. Similarly, his reasoning for refusing to train your Enchanting past level 90 is that he doesn't want you to potentially get better than him.
Jerkass: To say he's unpleasant is something of an understatement.
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In Dragonborn, if you visit him after ending the main questline, he will immediately examine you to ensure you don't have any remains of Hermaeus Mora's influence. When you answer him he doesn't need to worry about you, he will immediately answer he wasn't worried, just interested.
It's All About Me: His reaction to the death of his steward is to complain about how annoying things keep happening to him and demand that the Dragonborn find him a new one.
When he becomes convinced someone is out to kill him, he points out to the Dragons as one of the attempts to kill him. The Dragonborn needs to point out that the Dragons aren't just after him.
Mad Scientist: Well, magic in the Elder Scroll series is treated as a science so it still counts.