- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online
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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
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The moons and planets in the solar system of Nirn are hinted to actually be the dead forms of many Aedra that didn't escape Mundus in time (or, in some theories, the original Eight Divines, as there are exactly eight planets). As each one is an astral plane onto itself, their spherical shapes and massive sizes are essentially mortal minds struggling as best they can to comprehend their form.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe. Every culture of Tamriel worships or acknowledges the Divines in some fashion, but each mythological tradition gives them different names, personalities, and motivations.
- 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.
- Have You Seen My God?: During the Mythic Age, the Divines still had somewhat enough power to take limited manifestations on Nirn, so there are tons of legends of them directly interacting with mortals. However, by the time of the First Age, all of them had vanished except within shrines and temples, where they could perform limited actions. One source attributes this to Akatosh's pact with Alessia and the Dragonfires; this pact, designed to keep Daedra from being able to walk into Mundus with all or most of their power (as Mehrunes Dagon did at the end of Oblivion), also greatly restricts the Divines.
- I Have Many Names: All of the Divines are known by multiple names by each race.
- 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, 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 Aetherius 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 .
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of Anuiel.
- 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 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.
- Time Master: More like he is time.
- 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.
- Red Baron: Lord of the Wheel of Life.
DibellaGoddess of Beauty. She is found primarily in Cyrodiilic and Nordic traditions.
- Good Bad Girl
- Hot God: She is a goddess of beauty.
- 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.
- Ms. Fanservice: To be expected given her domain. She tends to be depicted as a voluptuous, attractive human female and appeared topless in Daggerfall.
- 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.
- Slut-Shaming: Her worshipers are sometimes subjected to this. In Skyrim, one of them has to practice the Dibellan Arts in secret out of fear of being run out of town.
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 Smart Guy: Of the Aedric pantheon.
Kynareth (a.k.a. Kyne, Khenarthi, KYNRT)
"Dark clouds gather in the sky above.
Kyne weeps for joy at the beauty of the world.
Tears warm the ground and blossoms grow.
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.
- Friend to All Living Things: All natural things, anyway. Zombies need not apply.
- 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.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Taught the Nords to use the Thu'um, sending Paarthurnax to do so.
Mara (aka Morwha)
"Fivefold blessings upon the lost and lovelorn. The Heart pumps the blood that connects us across the aurbis. May her grace always be upon me."Goddess of Love, Mara is found in almost all Tamrielic religions.
- Love Goddess: While Dibella focuses more on the carnal pleasures of love, Mara is about commitment, family, home and matrimony.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Morwha, her Yokudan aspect, has four arms so that she can grab more husbands.
- 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."Stendarr's mercy be upon you, for the Vigil has none to spare."
Zenithar (a.k.a. Tsun, Z'en)The God of Commerce and Trade. His province is mercantilism, bartering, labor, communication and the middle class.
- Honest Corporate Executive: He loves these guys, since he believes in fair play and business.
- 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 Greater Scope Villain for Dawnguard); and Hermaeus Mora as the Greater Scope Villain 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.
- Characterization Marches On: The personalities of many of the Princes are very different in Daggerfall than they would go on to be depicted in later games.
- 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. This includes Princes that ascended to their position, like Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath, and the new Sheogorath.
- 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 Orsimer consider him their hero and divine ancestor.
- Dimension Lord: Each rules over one or more realms in Oblivion.
- 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, and the former doesn't get along with Mehrunes Dagon either. That said, most of them don't seem to actively hate each other; then again, they don't mention each other often, except for Sheogorath, and only when he's trolling the rest of them.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: All of them to some extent, except perhaps for Hermaeus Mora. Because of this, it is speculated that You Cannot Grasp the True Form.
- 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.
- Jerkass Gods: Most of them spend their time screwing over mortals for flimsy reasons.
- Kick the Dog:
- Due to their Blue and Orange Morality, above, they can do either this or Pet the Dog, 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 (although generally speaks with a male voice).
- Order vs. Chaos: Are Padomaic aligned as opposed to Anuic aligned, though Jyggalag and Peryite may be exceptions since they represent Order.
- Physical God: They can physically manifest in Nirn if they so choose, though are usually content with mere projections.
- 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.
- She Is the King: Even the female-identifying Daedra are still referred to as "Princes", though historically the term "prince" could be applied to rulers, regardless of sexnote . Also, see No Biological Sex above.
- Sphere: Dawn and Dusk, TwilightArtifacts: Azura's Star, Moon and Star Ring of Nerevar
- Absolute Cleavage: Her statue in Skyrim. Her appearance in Daggerfall is actually topless, as are her statues in Oblivion and Morrowind (they just aren't detailed enough to show her nipples), while her appearance in Morrowind is more modest.
- Benevolent Boss: If you worship her and stay loyal, she'll watch out for you. A book in Skyrim written by one of her followers notes that Azura wants the love of her followers.
- Berserk Button: Don't shirk her if you worshiped her before.
- Dark Is Not Evil: None of the Daedric Princes are strictly evil, but Azura is one of the nicer Princes (for a given definition of "nice"), despite her association with darkness.
- 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.
- This is apparently a glitch. Originally the Black Star was supposed to hold only black souls and not white souls.
- Good Is Not Nice: Though not good by normal definitions, Azura's one of more benevolent Princes but has no compunction against expressing her displeasure in very nasty ways.
- Red Baron: Queen of the Night Sky, Mother of the Rose.
- Sphere: Deceit, Conspiracy, BetrayalArtifacts: Goldbrand, Eltonbrand, Ebony Mail, Fearstruck
- 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.
- Arch-Enemy: To Molag Bal.
- 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.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: They exist to cause and exacerbate the condition in mortals. In a way, they embody it.
- Demonic Possession: By way of Human Sacrifice in Skyrim. Boethiah apparently finds mortal flesh distasteful.
- For the Evulz: Delights in making mortals kill each other simply because they can.
- God Needs Prayer Badly: In Morrowind he's not getting so much worship anymore since his shrine collapsed and his statue fell into the sea. His quest to you is to build a new shrine.
- 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.
- In the Hood: Boethiah's gargantuan statue in the Dragonstar Arena appears as a woman wearing a hood, and wielding a katana of sorts.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Every. Single. Game.
- Trickster God: A very nasty version.
- 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.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: In Online, they decide that their current Champion must fight you (and your party) in the Dragonstar Arena in order to keep his title as Boethiah's Champion. Naturally, you win.
- Sphere: Wishes, PactsArtifacts: Masque of Clavicus Vile, Umbra, Bitter Cup, The Rueful Axe
- 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...
- Morality Pet: Literally; Barbas is his external conscience.
- 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. A village asking for immunity from the Knahaten plague? Turn them undead.
- 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, DestinyArtifacts: Oghma Infinium, The Black Books
- 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 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.
- Berserk Button: Don't let his politeness fool you, he DOES have one: thinking you can plot against him without him knowing it. When he finally calls Miraak out on this in Dragonborn, it's one of the few times Mora raises his voice in anger.Hermaeus Mora: "Did you think to escape me, Miraak?! You can hide nothing from me here!"
- 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.
- Combat Tentacles: Which he uses in Dragonborn to kill Miraak and Storn by impaling them . The book Boneless Limbs has this to say:A writhing mass of heaped appendageSlipping grasp the squirming slickExtend the reach to touch the faceBurn the mind, reveal the quick
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Miraak is foolish enough to learn this lesson the hard way.
- 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.
- 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:Crushing razors, hollow shellsThat snap, that twitch, that cinch and rendTo hold the subject, bodily,'Til mind blows soft and life meets end
- Great Big Book of Everything: His artifact, the Oghma Infinium. Reading it will give the Player Character a stat boost, and then it will vanish, presumably before you read too much.
- 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.
- While it is not certain, there is strong evidence to believe that Hermaeus Mora is not omniscient, or that fate is definite in TES. For one, a dragon and a powerful vampire state that the Elder Scrolls (pretty much the closest thing to absolute truthful records) only predict what may be, not what will be. Furthermore, the scrolls themselves may change until the events predicted at a given time come to pass, at which point the words are absolutely fixed forevermore. So, what does this have to do with Hermaeus Mora? It undermines his claim to know all things, a claim implicitly undermined when he needs the player's help to obtain the knowledge of the Skaal. Why would an omniscient being need help to obtain knowledge? The answer: he only wants you to think he is omniscient. Mora is capable of lying, or at the very least, misleading people. He led Septimus to think the Heart of Lorkhan was behind that locked door (it was actually holding the Oghma Infinium), so his claims to knowing all could be part of a similar deception.
- Greater Scope Villain : Of the Dragonborn DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: Hermaeus Mora trades knowledge in return for knowledge.
- Magical Library: Apocrypha counts as this as well due to the fact that it contains all manner of supernatural knowledge as well as containing spell tomes in general.
- Mind Screw / True Art Is Incomprehensible: The Black Books.
- Red Baron: The Golden Eye, Demon of Knowledge, Prince of Fate, Lord of Secrets, the Woodland-Man, and the Gardener of Men.
- Scary Librarian: Well, he rules a giant library-dimension, and he's scary...
- Suddenly Shouting: When he confronts Miraak at the end of Dragonborn, he starts yelling at Miraak in disgust for his betrayal before calming down.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: At least in Daggerfall.
- 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.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Hermaeus Mora is the keeper of all of this.
- 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.
- Time Master: Well, kinda. Just like Akatosh is time, Mora exists outside of linear time, which allows him to interact with it in unusual ways. Some of his Black Books are believed to come from the future, and he has direct (but subtle) influence over fate and destiny.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: His Iconic Item, the Oghma Infinium.
- And in Dragonborn, the Black Books.
- Verbal Tic: In Skyrim, and especially in Dragonborn, he yawns while talking regularly.
- 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.
- 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.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Mora has no compunctions with killing off those that are of no further use for him. However, he generally makes it quick and painless for loyal servants such as Septimus (who largely just appeared to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence), while instead treating followers that try to betray him with a hefty dose of Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
- Sphere: The HuntArtifacts: Hircine's Ring, Spear of Bitter Mercy, Saviour's Hide
- 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.
- Big Bad: Of the Bloodmoon expansion.
- Blood Knight: The Blood Knight of the Elder Scrolls series.
- Defeat Means Respect: To start his quest in Skyrim, you have to kill him in the form of a white stag, after which he will greet you fondly."Well met, Hunter!"
- Egomaniac Hunter: He lives for the glory of the hunt, and has no reason to do so beyond his own vanity.
- Horned Humanoid: He most often appears in this form.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: In Hircine's realm, everyone is either Hunter or Prey. However, Prey and Hunter can reverse roles at any time, and for the most part, Hircine finds these role reversals to be amusing. Unless he's the one who became the Prey.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: It's why he likes werewolves; they hunt mortals by night, but are hunted by them during the day.
- The Marvelous Deer: A white stag acts as his avatar during his quest in Skyrim.
- Meaningful Name: The word "hircine" means "goat-like" in the English language, although Hircine's forms tend to resemble a deer.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: He is the creator of werebeasts, which include werelions, werecrocodiles, werebears, werewolves, and wereboars. Only the last three have been seen in the games.
- Red Baron: The Huntsman of the Princes, the Father of Manbeasts.
- Shape Shifter: He has several different forms he uses to present himself to mortals, each of which represents a different aspect of his.
- Wild Wilderness: His realm (Hircine's Hunting Grounds, incase youe wondering what it's called) is an 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 hunt a 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 other Princes and an invitation to Sovngarde from Shor himself), there's no word on which deity (if any) the Dragonborn belongs to.
- Sphere: OrderArtifacts: Sword of Jyggalag
- 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.
- BFS: His weapon of choice, the sword of Jyggalag, is roughly the size of a claymore, and is wielded as such by any mortal fortunate enough to obtain it. Jyggalag himself is big enough to wield it as though it were a one-handed longsword.
- Big Bad: Of The Shivering Isles.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite The Shivering Isles ending with Jyggalag freed from the curse that forced him to become Sheogorath, he is not mentioned or referenced even once in Skyrim.
- Control Freak: He takes order very seriously.
- Creative Sterility: Sheogorath accuses him of "never having had an original thought in his existence".
- Early-Bird Cameo: The in game book On Oblivion mentioned a Daedric Prince named Jyggalag as early as Daggerfall.
- 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.
- Graceful Loser: He treats the player rather politely upon defeat.
- Ironic Hell: His existence as Sheogorath in the Shivering Isles was basically this.
- Karmic Transformation: Cursed to become Sheogorath, Prince of Madness and the antithesis of everything he stood for, as punishment for angering the other Daedric Princes.
- Knight Templar: The Daedra under him are even called Knights of Order.
- Light Is Not Good: He and his knights are pretty much every "holy evil crusader" stereotype seen in video games mixed together.
- One Of These Is Not Like The Others: Is very Anuic (static, orderly) in nature compared to the other generally more padomaic-inclined (chaotic, disorderly) Daedric Princes. It may be the reason why he's so powerful.
- Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: He was sealed in the form of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness.
- Tin Tyrant: He and his Knights of Order appear to be clad head to toe in metallic armour.
- Sphere: The OstracizedArtifacts: Scourge, Volendrung
- 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.
- Drop the Hammer: His signature weapon is his warhammer, Volendrung...
- Katanas Are Just Better: ... but statues of him frequently depict him wielding a dai-katana.
- Offing the Offspring: According to the 16 Accords of Madness, Sheogorath once tricked Malacath into killing his own son, a noble orc who would have otherwise been destined to be a great hero.
- Papa Wolf: Do not mess with his followers.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a short, but scathing one to Yamarz in Skyrim.
- Was Once a Man: He used to be an Aldmeri god, Trinimac, until Boethiah ate him. The remains became Malacath. As a result, his followers became the Orcs.
- Sphere: Destruction, Change, Revolution, Energy, and AmbitionArtifacts: Mehrune's Razor, Mysterium Xarxes, Daedric Crescent
- Ambition Is Evil: Ambition is one of his spheres of influence and he is the most "evil" Daedra.
- Big Bad: For Battlespire and Oblivion.
- Big Red Devil: His typical form.
- Blood Knight: To the point where he sends dremora to kill his own followers.
- Cats Are Mean: Khajiiti religion interprets Dagon as a kitten, 'for what is more destructive than a young cat?'
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Despite their appearance, the Deadlands are actually surprisingly cold. For once, an actual justification for Convection Schmonvection.
- Excalibur in the Rust: The Morrowind version of his razor is first found as "a rusty dagger".
- Expy He is basically a Gender Flipped version of Kali
- Face–Heel Turn: According to a fringe-canontext written by former designer Michael Kirkbride, 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.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: His realm, the Deadlands.
- For the Evulz: Especially in Skyrim.
- Greater Scope Villain: Was the one who helped Jagar Tharn procure the Imperial throne in Arena.
- 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.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: He's typically shown with four arms.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He's the Daedric Prince of Destruction. Kinda comes with the territory
- One-Hit Kill: His artifact, the Razor, can sever the link between its victim's body and their soul, killing them instantly.
- Path of Inspiration: The cult dedicated to him, the Mythic Dawn.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Being the Daedric Prince of Destruction. And definitely how he was in Oblivion.
- Take Over the World: So that he can then destroy it.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Mysterium Xarxes.
- 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, ManipulationArtifacts: Ebony Blade, Ring of Khajiit (Morrowind only)
- Ambiguous Gender: Although generally depicted as female, Mephala will appear as either male or female.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: At least in her Daggerfall incarnation.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Many Dunmer consider Mephala to be a "good" daedra. This is justified since in Dunmer culture, Chronic Backstabbing Disorder is the norm.
- Black Swords Are Better: The Ebony Blade, her Daedric Artifact. It's fueled by the blood of people you trust, meaning she openly promotes Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
- The Chessmaster: She's generally characterized by complex, long-reaching plans, likened to spider webs.
- The Corrupter: She loves to see how she can fray the "web" of human relationships, and takes a particular joy in the betrayal of trust or minor slights tearing entire towns apart.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-universe example: Sexuality falls under Mephala's purview.
- Greater Scope Villain: In the plots of at least two of the Veteran Dungeons in Online. In one, a Priestess of Mephala you helped in the non-veteran mode of the dungeon starts going nuts and poses a threat, so you need to put her and her Artifact of Doom down. In the other, Mephala personally Mind Raped a man into becoming a Lich, who went on to murder his students and his wife. It turns out it was because he was being influenced by the Ebony Blade. And yep, you guessed it, he uses it on you during the fight.
- It Amused Me: Why she corrupts mortals.
- Manipulative Bastard: Pretty much the trope's Patron Daedroth.
- Red Baron: The Webspinner, Lady of Whispers.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Her artifact in Skyrim.
- Shout-Out: Her plane of Oblivion, the Spiral Skein, is described as circular, with partitions similar to the spokes of a wheel separating each individual realm, each of which represent a different sin. At the center is her citadel, with each area branching out from the center like a spider's web. Aside from a few minor differences, this is a pretty clear reference to Dante's Inferno.
- Spiders Are Scary: They sure are, when it comes to her. The Spider Daedra are closely associated with her, and look like - you guessed it - mutated Giant Spiders.
- 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 EnergyArtifacts: Ring of Khajiiti, Dawnbreaker
- 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.
- Big Good: Is this in Online.
- Cool Sword: Her artifact Dawnbreaker, a shining golden sword that glows when close to the undead, sets them on fire, and makes them explode.
- Disproportionate Retribution: A group of Ayleid built a city above one of her shrines. She responded by destroying it with roots, burying it and all who lived there beneath the ground.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Closely associated with rainbow imagery and the color spectrum.
- "... thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him ...."
- Fallen Angel: While not exactly angelic in nature, some sources say that she was once one of the Magna Ge, but was cast out to Oblivion for consorting with "illicit spectra." Her statue at Kilkreath Ruins in Skyrim gives her this appearance, being humanoid with a pair of large feathered wings.
- Friend to All Living Things: Heavy emphasis on the Living part. If you're Undead or a Necromancer, she will destroy you.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's technically a good guy, but she's still a Daedric Prince. Anger her at your own peril.
- Greater Scope Villain: On the other hand, is the main Daedra behind Umaril the Unfeathered from Oblivion, and is supplying him with most of his forces.
- 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".
- Winged Humanoid: Her statue in Skyrim.
- Sphere: Enslavement, DominationArtifacts: Mace of Molag Bal
- Arch-Enemy: To Boethiah.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The lesser denizens of Oblivion usually just nod and agree with everything he says. Those that disagree tend to stop... doing anything.
- Big Bad: For The Elder Scrolls Online.
- 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.
- Eldritch Location: Coldharbour is said to look like a future Nirn devastated by centuries of warfare and filled with nothing but suffering.
- Evil Laugh: Has a pretty nasty one.
- Faux Affably Evil: Molag Bal can act pleasant and polite, but he is not nice at all.
- For the Evulz: It's the only motivation he has.
- 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.
- Greater Scope Villain: 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 Greater Scope Villain behind the Greater Scope Villain.
- Horned Humanoid: In statues and shrines.
- Large Ham: He repeatedly shows this in his quest in Skyrim. Even moreso in his appearance in Online.
- The Man Behind the Man: In Online, he also serves as this to Mannimarco, though you're aware of it from the start.
- Manipulative Bastard: Loves manipulating people so that he can take their souls.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Molag Bal, the King of Rape.
- 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.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His most infamous act was the very first rape which created vampires, and all pureblood vampire lines can trace their origins back to a Daughter of Coldharbour being raped by Molag Bal.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: He loves doing all three.
- Red Baron: The King of Corruption, Father of Vampires, the Harvester of Souls, the Hated One, the King of Rape.
- Red Sky, Take Warning: Coldharbour is described as having a burning sky as well as being extremely cold.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: His statue in Oblivion depicts a reptilian humanoid.
- Satanic Archetype: He's probably the closest thing the Elder Scrolls universe has to Satan, seeing as his modus operandi is corrupting people into doing evil deeds so he can claim their souls.
- Serial Escalation: Don't ask us how, but Molag gets worse with each game.
- The Social Darwinist: Molag Bal believes that the strong should kill and dominate the weak. For instance in Skyrim he tries to tempt the Dragonborn into becoming his champion because he recognizes and respects the Dragonborn's power.
- The Undead: By siring the first vampire he created the undead, apparently just to rub it in Arkay's face.
- Your Soul Is Mine:
- He loves corrupting people and taking their souls, and the Mace of Molag Bal has that as its specialty.
- Molag Bal taking people's souls serves as the plot for Online.
- Sphere: The Ancient Darkness, the GrotesqueArtifacts: Namira's Ring
- Absolute Cleavage: She is always depicted in statues wearing outfits showing off all of her cleavage.
- 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.
- Body Horror: She favors this, especially in the form of disfiguring diseases.
- Dark Is Evil: Her sphere encompasses the Ancient Darkness.
- Eldritch Location: Her realm is called the "Scuttling Void", of which nothing is known.
- Grotesque Cute: She usually associated with things most would consider disgusting or repulsive, such as slugs, spiders, or disfiguring diseases. In fact she only allows those considered ugly to summon her; she hates attractive people.
- 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.
- Nature Is Not Nice: Happens to also represent the nastier aspects of nature.
- Nightmare Fetishist: To put it mildly.
- Sphere: Night, Darkness, Thieves, LuckArtifacts: Skeleton Key, Eye of Nocturnal, Bow of Shadows, The Gray Cowl
- Absolute Cleavage: In Skyrim.
- Always Night: Her realm, Evergloam, if it's anything like its name.
- Dark Is Not Evil/Dark Is Evil: It depends on the game, really.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: Pretty obvious, she's associated with the night.
- Red Baron: The Night Mistress, Lady Luck.
- 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.
- Semantic Superpower: Her Daedric artifact, the Skeleton Key. It unlocks things. In fact, it unlocks anything. Including the limits of human potential. In the hands of the player however, it's simply an unbreakable lockpick. It could just be that one must have it for a fair while before they can use it as anything more, the Thieves' Guild questline implies that Mercer had it for a fair while before the Dragonborn joins up.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Her relationship with the Nightingales.
- "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, TasksArtifacts: The Spell Breaker
- 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.
- Blessed with Suck: His "blessings" seem to take the form of various diseases, complete with weaponized projectile vomiting.
- Divergent Character Evolution: His quest in Skyrim emphasises his role as Lord of Pestilence rather than his role of maintaining order, likely because the previous game's DLC questline had introduced Jyggalag as the Daedric Prince of Order, leaving the exact distinction of the "order" Peryite resides over somewhat uncertain.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: While he's supposed to be the weakest Daedric Prince, he also keeps the lower planes of Oblivion running and the lesser Daedra in line.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: His artifact, the Spell Breaker, is a Dwarven tower shield with a ward that blocks most forms of magic.
- Mystical Plague: His followers in Skyrim are afflicted with one of these.
- 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...
- Plaguemaster: Has power over all sorts of diseases.
- Red Baron: The Taskmaster.
- You Dirty Rat: In Skyrim he manifests in the form of a swarm of ghostly skeevers.
- Sphere Debauchery, HedonismArtifacts: Sanguine's Rose, The 27 Threads of the Webspinner (Created for Mephala)
- Affably Evil: While it's not a good idea to attach human morality to Daedra, he does tend to be one of the nicer Princes.
- 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. On the other hand, his personal artifact the Sanguine Rose is one of the more dangerous ones, since it summons a random Daedra that is not under the summoner's control. Martin Septim's reaction to the Rose in Oblivion implies that toying around with it in his youth got a bunch of his friends killed and soured him on Daedra worship forever.
- Fun Personified: Literally, being the god of hedonism in both the good and bad sense. His quest in Skyrim is 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.
- God in Human Form: In Skyrim.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: His 27 threads of the Webspinner, which he created for Mephala and the Morag Tong. There are 27 pieces of clothing or jewelry.
- The Hedonist: The Daedric Prince of it.
- Horned Humanoid: His preferred form in Skyrim is that of a Dremora.
- It Amused Me: The motivation for everything he does.
- Louis Cypher: Sam Guevenne 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, CreativityArtifacts: Wabbajack, Fork of Horripilation, Staff of Everscamp, Gambolpuddy
- A God Am I: Until the player becomes Sheogorath in The Shivering Isles.
- 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 Human: 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Tends to alternate between this and Cloud Cuckoolander.
- Badass Beard: In fact, beards more badass than his are outlawed in the Shivering Isles on pain of death.
- 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.
- Beware the Silly Ones: This almost goes without saying.
- 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.
- Characterization Marches On: His brief vocal appearance in Morrowind sounds and acts absolutely nothing like he does in later games. Rather than the unpredictable, unruly Large Ham he becomes in The Shivering Isles, he's quite calm, formal and collected; acting more like Haskill — and in fact, he's voiced by Jeff Baker, who would later voice Haskill.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: When he's in a good mood.
- Cool, but Inefficient: His artifacts tend to fall under this category.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Just because he's insane doesn't mean he's stupid.
- 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.
- Great Gazoo: He's a madman with incredible power.
- "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.
- Hailfire Peaks: His realm, The Shivering Isles, is split down the middle to represent the dual nature of madness. The northern half of the Isles, Mania, represents to positive aspects of madness, and is full of exotic plant life and brightly coloured monsters. The southern half, Dementia, embodies the negative aspects of madness, and consists mostly of dreary swampland.
- I'm a Humanitarian: "Mmm... brain pie... care to donate?"
- 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.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: His idea of vacation.
- Kick the Dog: Most notably in the 16 Accords of Madness. Poor Malacath...
- Large Ham: "CHEEEESE! For everyone!"
- Legacy Character/Previous Player-Character Cameo: The Sheogorath depicted in Skyrim is implied to be the former Champion of Cyrodiil.
- Mad God: It's even one of his titles.
- The Mad Hatter: He's insane and loves every moment of it.
- Madness Mantra: Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.
- Magic Staff: The Wabbajack, which transforms things into other things.
- Manipulative Bastard: Pulls shenanigans revolving around this for the lolz in Online, much to the detriment of Archmage Shalidor.
- Mood-Swinger: "Since you're standing here, I assume you've succeeded. Or you're terribly confused. OR REALLY LACKING IN GOOD JUDGMENT!"
- 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.
- Since the second Sheogorath is implied to be the Champion of Cyrodiil, it begs the question of how much of their behaviour in Skyrim is due to inheriting the mantle of Sheogorath, or if it's merely an affectation for when they deal with mortals. [invoked]
- OOC Is Serious Business: Sheogorath stops all joking, overreacting and non-sequiturs 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.
- Pet the Dog: His quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is this for Pelagius the Mad.
- Pimp Duds: Including a cane.
- Prophet Eyes: In Skyrim.
- Red Baron: The Prince of Madness.
- The Reveal: Is revealed in The Shivering Isles to actually be the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag.
- Screw Destiny: Prominent in the Shivering Isles expansion. Sheogorath attempts to avert the Greymarch. At first, it seems his attempt fails, as he turns into Jyggalag again, but then, the PC stops the Greymarch, thus breaking the cycle of fate. The fact that Jyggalag and his old chamberlain keep talking about how everything is preordained makes screwing destiny all the more satisfying. Also, while Sheogorath is a multifaceted being, a large part of what he stands for is free will and the spark of creativity. It would be utterly against the character of the lord of madness to suppose there was a preordained, predictable order.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: "Cat's out of the bag on that one, isn't it? Who puts cats in bags, anyway? Cats hate bags!"
- Shout-Out: Given his eldritch nature, Sheogorath's name is probably a reference to Shub-Niggurath of the Cthulhu Mythos. In fact, his name may be a reference to a 'Sheol-Niggurath' briefly mentioned in a story by one of Lovecraft's inspirations Lord Dunsany. Sheol-Niggurath = Sheogurath = Sheogorath.
- In the Cthulhu Mythos the Outer God Nyarlathotep is said to often walk the Earth in the form of a tall, slim, joyous man, and was described by Lovecraft himself as "horrible beyond anything you can imagine — but wonderful." In the Elder Scrolls mythology one of Sheogorath's most favored forms is "Gentleman With a Cane", and he is both reviled as the source of madness and revered as the inspiration for (and original creator of) art, literature, and music.
- 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.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese. His Daedric quest in Oblivion requires it, he constantly speaks about it, including several memorable lines involving "cheese for everyone!" quickly followed by "cheese for no one!" and in his Skyrim appearance he has cheeses set out on a banquet table before him. Given his overt madness and godlike status, this isn't a fondness for eating cheese, but more like a surreal, platonic affection for the stuff.
- 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...
- Trickster God: Well, yeah.
- 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.
- Sphere: Nightmares, FearArtifacts: Skull of Corruption
- Cool Mask: In Online, she is often depicted as wearing one of these. Indeed, her emblem consists of her mask, and a snake.
- 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.
- Dark Is Evil: She's definitely one of the more brutal Daedric Princes, to the point that she may even be worse than Dagon in some areas.
- Dream Stealer: They may be a source of power for her.
- Eldritch Location: The realm of Quagmire, which changes for the viewer every few moments in a flash of lightning to something even more horrific than before.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In Online, she is stated to actually be in love with her champion. Her reaction to his death would seem to back this up.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Either kill Erandur and keep the Skull of Corruption, or spare him and gain a companion at the loss of the artifact in Skyrim.
- Mind Rape: Can cause this.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Literally. She often kept her champion in Quagmire in Online, seeming not to care of the fact that simply being there can cause Mind Rape, or perhaps, actually seeing that as a show of affection.
- Nightmare Sequence: Pretty much her entire shtick.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Statues of her often depict her with a snake draped across her shoulders. In Online, her emblem consists of her Cool Mask with a snake wrapped around it.
- Unholy Matrimony: Her champion in Online is said to also be her lover.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Is sometimes depicted with white hair, and happens to be one of the more brutal Daedric Princes.
- Your Worst Nightmare: Her specialty.
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.
- Black Knight: His preferred form.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Has an ebony sword for an arm, hence the name.
- Cool Horse: His golden stallion War Master.
- Deity of Human Origin: He is one and can create others.
- Something About a Rose: His symbol is a red rose.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Hasn't been mentioned in any form since Daggerfall.
HoonDing (aka The Yokudan Make Way God)The Yokudan spirit of perseverance over infidels and make way god, the HoonDing has manifested whenever the Reguards needed to make way for their people.
- God in Human Form: Manifests itself using human avatars, the most famous of which being Cyrus the Restless.
- The Juggernaut: Is totally unstoppable once it gets going.
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."
- 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?
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of Sithis.
- 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.
- 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 Good: To men, especially Nords.
- God Is Inept: The Altmer think of him as a "limit", according to their creation myth.
- Good Is Not Nice: Shor is a bloodthirsty warrior king. However, Nords probably think of that as a good thing.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Most of Humanity's views of him include this.
- I Have Many Names: Lorkhan for most elven pantheons, Shor for the Nords, Sheor for the Bretons, Sep for the Redguards, Shezzar for the Cyrodiils, Lorkhaj for the Khajiit.
- No Pronunciation Guide: According to Micheal Kirkbride, it's pronounced Lore-Khan.
- Top God: To the Nords.
- Trickster Archetype: He's a trickster god.
- 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.
- The Arch Mage: As the God of Magic.
- 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.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Left Mundus due to being disgusted with Lorkhan's trickery.
- "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
- Dark Is Evil: "The Dread Father" does not sound very benevolent at all.
- Power of the Void: He represents the void.
- 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.
The Ideal MastersThe Ideal Masters rule over a portion of Oblivion known as the 'Soul Cairn,' where souls trapped in Soul Gems ultimate end up to wander its bleak, desolate plains for eternity. They view this state as peace from the torments of life, but those under their purview, obviously, don't quite see it that way. They commonly make deals with Necromancers, granting them power in exchange for souls. They rarely work out.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Despite ruling over a plane of Oblivion, they are not Daedra. Actually, nobody is quite sure what they are, though it is known that they were once mortal.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: They are stated to have been mortal at one point, though it is still currently unknown how they became what they are now.
- Eldritch Abomination: Very much so. They don't even have a true form, from what anyone knows.
- Horror Hunger: Implied. They are desperate to fill the Soul Cairn up with more souls, and as mentioned below in You Cannot Grasp the True Form, they drain the souls of anyone who gets too close to their giant Soul Gem forms.
- Jackass Genie: Their deals with Necromancers tend to invoke this. In Durnehviir's case, it was a case of You Didn't Ask and Exact Words; they ordered him to guard Valerica in the Soul Cairn until her death, while failing to mention the fact that, since she's a vampire, she'll never die, meaning he was doomed to their service forever.
- Was Once a Man: The Ideal Masters are said to all have been mortals at one point.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: They never take a 'physical' form in the Soul Cairn. The closest thing they to do taking a physical form is taking the form of a giant Soul Gem that drains the souls of anyone who gets too close.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Every soul that gets Soul Trapped ends up under their control. They also tend to do this to those who make a Deal with the Devil with them.
BladesA 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.
- The Dragonslayer: Their raison d'etre.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Samurai meet the CIA.
- 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.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Their primary weapons.
- 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 Order: An ancient order of Dragonslayers.
- 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.
- 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.
Dark BrotherhoodAn 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.
- Catch Phrase: "Hail Sithis" and "Kill well. Kill often."
- 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.
- Evil Counterpart: Of Morag Tong, whom they used to be part of.
- Evil Is One Big Happy Family: They may be assassins, but they do consider themselves family.
- 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: Members of the Dark Brotherhood tend to be sadistic psychopaths who revel in murder. 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.
- Religion of Evil: They worship Sithis, and are all killers for hire.
Dragon CultA 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.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Dragon Priests were given masks as symbols of authority.
- 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".
- Power Floats: The Dragon Priests float above the ground.
- Religion of Evil: These people were almost as bad as the Dragons.
- 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.
- Rise from Your Grave: Just like their gods.
- 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.
Fighters GuildA guild of warriors for hire who function throughout Tamriel, with the exception of Skyrim.
- Bounty Hunter: Not above this.
- 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.
- Superman Stays out of Gotham: They don't operate in Skyrim due to the presence of the Companions.
Great Houses of MorrowindThe 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Admitted to 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.
- The Remnant: House Indoril.
Mages GuildA 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.
- The Arch Mage: The Mages Guild was led by six Arch-magisters.
- Due to the Dead: Necromancy was absolutely forbidden by the Mages Guild by the time Oblivion came out.
Morag TongA 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.
- Murder, Inc.: A legal one to boot.
- Not So Different: The Tong sees the Dark Brotherhood as its Archenemy, but outsiders speculate that the Night Mother, who the Brotherhood venerates, is actually Mephala, the patron deity for the Morag Tong.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: They keep the Great Houses of Morrowind from starting an all-out war by confining the conflicts in a much smaller scale.
Order of the Black WormMannimarco's group of Necromancers.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Mages Guild.
- Necromancer: An entire order of them.
- The Order: Though far more secretive than the Mages Guild, with their members operating in cells and sworn to secrecy on pain of Undeath.
Psijic OrderAn 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.
- The Magocracy: On Artaeum.
- 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 Scotsman: The Thalmor frequently accuse them of this. The Psijic Order retort with exact same point.
- Omniscient Council 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 Different: 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 any effective 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.
Tamrielic EmpireThere 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.
- The Empire: Played with. While they enforce Cyrodiilic law on provinces that wouldn’t work well with them, and used their Imperial Legions to conquer Tamriel twice, the actual government isn’t that oppressive. The provinces are largely independent, everyone can follow their own religion (before the Thalmor outlawed Talos worship) and most of the time it was peaceful.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of The Roman Empire.
- 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.
The ThalmorOriginally 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.
- 0% Approval Rating: Widely despised by everyone else, even other Altmer. Killing them in Skyrim will generally earn you a slap on the wrist.
- Blue and Orange Morality: In the context of the High Elven religion, their actions make perfect sense. Otherwise... not so much.
- The Empire: The Aldmeri Dominion under the Thalmor is probably the single straightest example of this trope in the series.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Tamrielic Empire.
- Fantastic Racism: The Thalmor are High Elven supremacists.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Official fiction reveals that the Thalmor want to not just Kill All Humans, but to eradicate even the very possibility of humanity, since the idea of humanity inherently stabilizes the Mundus.
- A God Am I: Their traditional religion teaches that they are divine spirits trapped in mortal forms by Lorkhan.
- No True Scotsman: Towards Altmer who oppose them.
- Screw You, Elves!: Frequent recipients.
- The Usual Adversaries: Were this to Tiber Septim, and became it again after the end of the Septim dynasty.
Thieves GuildAn organization of thieves and fences who operate in Tamriel.
- Affably Evil: How they prefer to be presented. Whether they play it straight depends on how individual members act.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They may be thieves, but they're not murderers. They take it very seriously.note
- 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
YsgramorThe 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.
- Badass Army: He started and led one, the 500 Companions, from whom the current Companion guild of warriors descends.
- Badass Beard: He's a Viking expy! Of course he has a very large beard.
- Badass Bookworm: The first human historian and creator of the human tongue, all while being a badass warrior king.
- Badass Cape: In statues, anyway.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: According to the Skaal, he was known to have outsmarted Hermaeus Mora on a regular basis.
- Fantastic Racism: Against the Elves.
- 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.
- Genius Bruiser
- The Good King: He is honoured by any Nord worth his salt as the greatest leader they ever had.
- Horny Vikings: Ysgramor was so much this, that next to Talos, he is the standard for which every Nord warrior aspires.
- Large And In Charge: When you meet him in Sovngarde at the end of Skyrim, he's a good 8 or 9 feet tall.
- Manly Tears: When his son died.
- Memetic Badass: In universe. While his badassery is completely founded, the men of Skyrim adamantly believe that he could eat his soup with a fork.
- 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.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Don't piss this man off. Of note are the following:
- 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Violently insane, though luckily his psychotic rages were mostly directed at the Ayleids.
- Anti-Hero: You kinda lose the pure hero moniker when you happen to be a raging psychotic.
- Berserk Button: Using "God-Logic", such as for example saying that he was a god due to the hole in his heart.
- Carry a Big Stick: He used a mace.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He was cut into eight pieces by the Ayleids to mock the Eight Divines.
- Cyborg: Pelinal is heavily inspired by the Terminator."Pelinal was and is an insane collective swarmfoam war-fractal from the future, you betcha."
- 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 , but still.
- Flaming Sword: His sword was enchanted to inflict fire damage.
- 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.
- Knight in Shining Armor: On a good day.
- Knight Templar: As far as he was concerned the only good elf was a dead elf.
- 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".
- The Paladin: He used relics blessed by the Divines.
- Rage Against the Heavens: He had a... complex relationship with the Divines to say the least: "O Aka, for our shared madness I do this! I watch you watching me watching back!"
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Alessia's & Morihaus' blue.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Pretty much all the time, especially against Ayleids.
- Sociopathic Hero: Once again, he was a raging psychotic that happened to be on Alessia's side.
- Time Travel: Implied. He wore plate armour back when only the Dwemer could make it, and in one of his psychotic episodes he mentioned Reman, an emperor who appeared thousands of years later.
- Unstoppable Rage: His berserker rages were the stuff of legend.
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.
- Big Good: During the Alessian Revolt.
- The Empress: The first Empress of Cyrod.
- 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.
- High Priestess: Founded the religion of the Eight Divines.
- 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."
- 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.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The Hot Wife to Morihaus's Ugly Guy.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Was described as a "winged-bull."
Morihaus (a.k.a. Mor)The lover of Alessia and like a nephew to Pelinal, he was often described as a "bull-man" and had a nose hoop to go with the moniker.
- Half-Human Hybrid: One interpretation for him being a "bull-man" is that he was the father of all minotaurs.
- Physical God: He was an et'ada himself, and Kyne's son.
- Talking Animal: The other interpretation. He is still the father of minotaurs, being the consort of Alessia.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: "...for he [Morihaus] was a bull, and he felt his form too ugly for the Parvania [Alessia] at all times, especially when she disrobed for him."
- Use Your Head: He gored enemies with his horns, going with the whole "bull-man" theme.
Umaril the UnfeatheredMuch like Pelinal, he was summoned into existence. Unlike Pelinal, he was no mere mortal, but in fact a being from another age, empowered by Meridia.
- Big Bad: Of the Alessian Revolt and the Knights of the Nine DLC for Oblivion.
- Death Is Cheap: Thanks to being Meridia's champion everytime his mortal body dies his spirit is sent back to Oblivion and he gets a new one.
- Divine Intervention: The only way to kill him for good is to have The Blessing of Talos.
- Divine Parentage: Has a Divine Father.
- High-Altitude Battle: You fight his spirit in Meridia's plane of Oblivion, which is apparently a few hundred feet up in the air above Cyrodiil.
- Large And In Charge: Noticeably taller than other Aurorans, who themselves were already a bit tall.
- Meaningful Name: His wings don't have feathers. May cross into Punny Name.
- Orcus on His Throne: Favored a "ruin-from-afar" approach by sending his minions to do his dirty work.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Doesn't like the fact that the Divines were the reason for his downfall. Churches to their worship were his first targets for his return.
- Spikes of Villainy: A side effect due to his namesake.
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.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Dumac, as they repulsed the Nords.
- Folk Hero: For the Ashlanders, whereas Vivec tried to claim that he was merely one of many saints.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In-game accounts mostly feature him running around trying to stop people killing each other.
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.
- Bad Dreams: He gave these to his sleepers.
- Big Bad: Of Morrowind.
- 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.
- Arc Words: "The ending of the words is ALMSIVI."
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He claims to have achieved CHIM.
- Biggus Dickus: One possible interpretation of his spear MUATRA.
- It's been outright stated by Word Of God.
- Blatant Lies: He stated that some of his sermons were false. He also mixed in lies with truths. And, of course, there's the fact that the Ministry of Truth is built into a rock that he named Lie Rock.
- Compelling Voice: He often claimed he had this sort of power, especially over Nerevar.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: He claimed that the Ministry of Truth, which was also his seventh monster-son Lie Rock, was held up by his peoples' love for him.
- Talking the Monster to Death: He did this to his first mother as well as to one of his monster-sons, GULGA MOR JIL.
- The Trickster: Goes with being an anticipation of Mephala, by his own admission.
Dumac (a.k.a. Dwarfking, Dwarf-Orc)The last king of the Dwemer and a personal friend of Nerevar. Unfortunately, a few things happened, leading to him being the last king of the Dwemer.
- Evil Former Friend: Dagoth Ur convinced Nerevar that Dumac had become evil.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Nerevar, as they repulsed the Nords.
KagrenacThe 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.
Jurgen WindcallerHe 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.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Supposedly, he was 13 when coronated.
- 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.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He was killed by the Morag Tong.
- 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. He's basically a mixture of Alexander the Great and Caligula.
- God Emperor: He wasn't called "The Worldly God" for nothing. His descendants tend to be more regular mortals.
- Folk Hero: of Cyrodiil.
- 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).
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Or rather, Historical Decency Upgrade.
- 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.
- Badass Normal: Usually.
- Deadpan Snarker: Every 2nd or 3rd sentence he says.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Convinced Vivec that he knew the "pankratosword" technique and was willing to use it, in order to get Vivec to cough up a valuable treasure.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Came back to Hammerfell to find his missing sister, but wound up starting and leading their rebellion.
- The Trickster: Unusually for Tamriel, Cyrus is a completely normal swordsman note . 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.
- A Father to His Men: He WARPED REALITY so his soldiers would be happy."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 , and reshape this land which is mine. I do this for you, Red Legions, for I love you.
- 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.
- Awesome McCool Name
- Badass: He survived a slit throat, founded an empire, and literally made himself a god.
- Badass Beard: Most depictions of him have a beard. Especially the Nordic one, where he's a fierce warrior with a BFS, killing a dragon.
- Badass Cape: Is seen wearing a cape in his Talos statues in Skyrim.
- Badass In Charge: As Emperor of Tamriel.
- Barrier Maiden: Love him or hate him, he is currently keeping Mundus from collapsing back into non-existance. Problem is that the Thalmor want this to happen and have banned his worship to depower him.
- Big Bad: To the Thalmor. Not that anyone is listening to their side of the story, for obvious reasons.
- Big Good: The greatest hero of mankind. His apotheosis into Talos is essentially an affirmation of the Mundus.
- Canis Latinicus: His Imperial name of Tiber Septim.
- Compelling Voice: He invented the Voice of the Emperor ability.
- 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.
- Four-Star Badass: A peerless general. When he ascended to Godhood, he became the God of War.
- The Good King: Was one in life (according to the Imperials and Nords), ascended to become the God of War and Good Governance essentially making him the god of this trope.
- 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.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Seen with a sword impaled within a dragon in statues. The symbols of his shrine even look like a sword hilt.
- Horny Vikings: Most historians agree that he was Nord.
- 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.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Was he born in Atmora as Talos Stormcrown, or in High Rock as Hjalti Early-Beard? Or was the latter true at first, and upon his apotheosis he used his powers to make the former true instead?
- Posthumous Character: The only game during which he was alive was Redguard.
- Physical God: As a Dragonborn.
- Reality Warper: As a Dragonborn, he was capable of using the Thu'um.
"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 , and reshape this land which is mine. I do this for you, Red Legions, for I love you.
- 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.
Mankar Camoran: CHIM. Those who know it can reshape the land. Witness the home of the Red King Once Jungled.
- This is supported by Mankar Camoran in the Mythic Dawn commentaries part 3:
- Red Baron: The Dragon of the North.
- Spiritual Successor: To Shor/Shezarr
- 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 )
"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 )
"...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."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.
— Before the Ages of Man
- 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.
- Physical God: Like all Dragonborn.
- 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.
- Humongous Mecha: Numidium stands at 1,000 feet or 304.8 meters tall, making it slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower. Here's a size comparison◊, with the specks being full sized people.
- 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 BalA 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.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A humble priestess of Arkay to the Monster Progenitor of vampires, to be exact.
- Hair Decoration: She wears a white flower in her hair.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Considering that it's Molag Bal, and considering how she became one, this trope is a major understatement.
- 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.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Hates Arkay for, in her eyes, abandoning her in her time of need.
- Rape as Drama: Was raped by Molag Bal and became the first vampire as a result.
- Red Baron: The Blood Matron.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Is revealed to still be alive in Online, and her and her progeny are in direct opposition to Molag Bal. Her opinion of Arkay isn't much better.
- Ungrateful Bitch: Upon turning, she slaughtered the nomads who tried to bring her back to health.
- Vampire Vords: She has a similar accent, though she can at least pronounce the 'w' sound.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Considering her backstory and motivations? Yes.
Uriel Septim VII
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.
- Apparently Powerless Puppetmaster: He may count. While he is still The Emperor, his Cyrodiil legions are nowhere near the fighting force they once were and only his elaborate schemes keep his empire from disintegrating into many local kingdoms until his death in part four.
- 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.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Gained prophetic dreams as a result of his time in Oblivion.
- The Good Emperor
- Happily Married: Subverted. His wife was an absolute nightmare. Fortunately for the rest of Nirn, his seeking comfort in an adulterous relationship would result in the birth of Martin Septim.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Well, about to be assassinated, but still applies.
- Large Ham: In Daggerfall.
- You Don't Look Like You: Uriel changed appearance with each game.
OcatoThe High Chancellor of the Elder Council under Emperor Uriel Septim VII. After the demise of the Septim Dynasty he became Regent of the Empire until he was assassinated by the Thalmor.
- Badass In Charge: He's a very powerful sorcerer, and he holds his own during Mehrunes Dagon's attack on the Imperial City. Justified, since his original post was as the Imperial Battlemage.
- Bald of Awesome: His Daggerfall appearance shows him with a shiny bald head.
- The Creon: As his quick recognition of Martin Septim as new Emperor showed, he preferred serving the Septim Dynasty to ruling the Empire as regent.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Mentioned to have been assassinated by the Thalmor in Skyrim.
- The Good Chancellor: Managed to keep the Empire going for several years before the Thalmor killed him.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: An Altmer who utterly opposes the Aldmeri Dominion to the point where they have him killed for his efforts.
- Number Two: To Uriel Septim.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He might not seem to be one at first, but once the main quest of Oblivion draws to a close it becomes apparent just how loyal to the Empire he is.
- Redeeming Replacement: To Jagar Tharn, Emperor Uriel's Evil Chancellor who served as the Big Bad of Arena.
- 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.
- You Don't Look Like You: Like Emperor Uriel, Ocato's looks change drastically between Daggerfall and Oblivion, from a bald, goateed man to a beardless Altmer with a full hair of head.
Queen BarenziahA 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.
- Cool Crown: Right here.◊ It grants the bearer increased thieving abilities when restored, which in Skyrim translate into you finding more gems.
- Really Gets Around: If The Real Barenziah is to be believed. According to her, it is.
- The Chessmaster: Just like his mother, perhaps even more so.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: If you kill Barenziah in Tribunal, he'll know it and won't be pleased.
- 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.
- Artifact Title: In Morrowind, many of M'aiq's quotes involved game tips that were blatantly false and hints to secrets that didn't actually exist. Now that his role has shifted to making fun of the fanbase, the "Liar" sobriquet doesn't make much sense.
- Referenced in one of his Skyrim quotes - "Some say Alduin is Akatosh. Some say M'aiq is a liar. Don't you believe either of those things."
- Catch Phrase: "M'aiq knows much, tells some. M'aiq knows many things others do not."
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Every one in a while M'aiq will have at least one nugget of truth to offer, buried under all the nonsense. In Morrowind he informed the player of Boethiah's sunken statue (which leads you to the subsequent quest) and in Skyrim drops hints that the Falmer's blindness has something to do with the Dwemer.
- Generation Xerox: Apparently the M'aiqs from Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim are all related (and judging by the comment, all untrustworthy)."M'aiq's father was also called M'aiq. As was M'aiq's father's father. At least, that's what his father said."
- Legacy Character: According to the M'aiq of Skyrim, M'aiq is a name passed down amongst his family.
- Self-Deprecation: He's not above taking jabs at Bethesda for previous games.
- Take That: Exists pretty much to serve as an Author Avatar commenting on the series' Unpleasable Fanbase.
MannimarcoAn Altmer necromancer who became the first lich, also known as the King of Worms. He led the Order of the Black Worm.
- Appropriated Appellation: King of Worms was meant as an insult by his enemy Galerion.
- Arch-Enemy: Vanus Galerion, founder of the Mages Guild.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In one of Daggerfall's endings, he uses the power of Numidium to become a god, his plane orbiting Arkay's as the Necromancer's Moon.
- Big Bad: Of Oblivon's Mages Guild quest.
- Deceptive Disciple: Was once a member of the Psijic Order, though even before leaving, he was described as having "a dark and cold heart" and used necromancy even when studying.
- The Dragon: To Molag Bal in Online.
- The Dreaded: Is one of the most feared beings in Tamriel.
- Immortality: Incomplete immortality without the Necromancer's Amulet, since he's a lich.
- Monster Progenitor: As the first lich.
- Necromancer: Of both the zombie raising and ghost summoning kind.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: While wearing the Necromancer's Amulet he's more or less invincible.
- Our Liches Are Different: Except in a certain Mod.
- Really 700 Years Old: Was 1,130 years old by the beginning of the Oblivion Crisis.
- The Starscream: Wishes to usurp Molag Bal in Online.
- The Undead: He's a lich, natch.
- Your Soul Is Mine: His power turns Grand Soul Gems into the Black Soul Gems capable of ensnaring the souls of man, mer, and beastfolk.
Saint Jiub, Eradicator of the Winged Menace
"Wake up, we're here. Why are you shaking? Are you okay? Wake up."A prisoner who was on the same ship as the Nerevarine, he became legendary for killing off the Cliff Racers in Morrowind. He was later killed in Kvatch during the Oblivion Crisis.
- Ascended Extra: He was originally just an NPC on a prison ship. His role expanded greatly since then.
- The Atoner: Atoning for his past life as an assassin and skooma addict.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He wiped out the Cliff Racers who plagued Vvardenfell. The Tribunal was so impressed they declared him a Saint.
- Ghostly Goals: Finishing his opus.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a big one going through one of his eyes.
- Guttural Growler: His Skyrim appearance uses the same, raspy dunmer voice from Morrowind.
- Hero of Another Story: His story began in a dank cell on a prison boat, which he shared with the Nerevarine.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In his first appearance.
A Telvanni mage-lord, from Tel Naga in Morrowind and who grew Tel Mithryn in Dragonborn after Tel Naga withered following the eruption of Red Mountain.
- The Archmage: Come Skyrim, he's considered the most powerful mage of House Telvanni and possibly Morrowind.
- Badass Bookworm: In Dragonborn, he's capable of casting fairly powerful spells such as Incinerate, Thunderbolt and Summon Storm Atronach as well as buffs such as Ebonyflesh.
- When you encounter the dragon Krosulhah that Miraak sent after you, Neloth is there also, and at high levels, he has a good chance of being able to incapacitate the dragon without help.
- Bad Boss: Treats all of his employees horribly, often threatening to fire them for little reason. Needless to say, few people in Raven Rock are willing to be his steward.
- The Collector: He collects the staves of Azra Nightwielder.
- 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 Dragonborn 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).
- For Science!: Seems to be his primary motivation.
- Fungus Humongous: As is typical for Telvanni mage-lords, their keeps are giant mushrooms tailored to the purpose. In Morrowind, he lived in Tel Naga. In Dragonborn, his new home is Tel Mithryn.
- I Have Your Wife: He would kidnap the daughters of nobles of other houses to influence them.
- 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.
- Really 700 Years Old: Like all Telvanni master, he's extended his lifespan through magic. Being a mer helps — both in the sense that he's a member of a long-lived race to begin with, as well as being naturally adept at magic.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Dragonborn, especially when he accompanies you to some Dwemer Ruins to get one of the Black Books. He's certainly a lot more hands-on than he was 200 years ago...