This is a page for listing tropes related to the various historical figures of the The Elder Scrolls.
For other characters, see The Elder Scrolls Series Character Index.
For more information on the history of the ES universe, see the series' Timeline page.
Note: Elder Scrolls lore is generally not clear-cut. Reasons for this range from biased in-universe sources intentionally giving you only one side of a story, to sources lacking critical information or working from false information, to the implication that All Myths Are True, despite the contradictions, or that at least all myths are Metaphorically True. Out-of-game developer supplemental texts (frequently referred to as "Obscure Texts" by the lore community) are more trustworthy, but are frequently left unofficial and sometimes later contradicted. Because of this, it is entirely possible for two contradictory statements in the below examples to both be true. (And due to frequent events in-universe that alter the timeline, both may literally be true in-universe.)
Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal was the King of the Kamal, an Akaviri race of "snow demons," who led an invasion of Tamriel in the 2nd Era for mysterious reasons. He and his forces were slain by a coalition of Nord, Dunmer, and Argonian forces but not before causing significant destruction in eastern Skyrim and northern Morrowind.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Dealt one out in the siege of Windhelm immediately after arriving in Tamriel, sacking the city before it could even rally its defenses.
- Was the victim of one in their final battle in Tamriel. His forces held the line against the Nords and Dunmer initially, but were finally broken when the Argonians arrived. They were driven into the sea and died by the thousands, Ada'Soom included.
- Enemy Mine: The Nords, Dunmer, and Argonians - all ancient enemies - formed an alliance in order to defeat him.
- Outside-Context Problem: He and his forces just showed up one day out of the blue along the coast of Skyrim and immediately laid siege to the Nord city of Windhelm. According to captives taken, they were searching for someone or something called the "Ordained Receptacle."
- Vicious Cycle: Typically, the Kamal are said to "thaw out" every year and attack the Akaviri race known as the Tang Mo. For unknown reasons, Ada'Soom broke that cycle to invade Tamriel instead.
- Wutai: He and the Kamal hail from Akavir, specifically the snowy northern area known as "Snow Hell".
Sidri-Ashak, Versidue-Shaie, Savirien-Chorak
Following the failed Akaviri invasion of Tamriel in 1E 2703, the defeated Akaviri forces were adopted into the budding empire of Reman Cyrodiil I. In addition to influencing the culture and military of the Second Tamriellic Empire, the Akaviri leaders became highly valued and trusted advisors to the Reman emperors. Known as Potentates, these Akaviri advisors assisted in running the Second Empire. Potentate Sidri-Ashak served Emperor Brazollus Dor (reigning between Reman II and Reman III), who was neither skilled nor interested in running the Empire, and thus left many of the traditional duties of the Emperor to his Potentate.
Potentate Versidue-Shaie served Emperor Reman III, becoming the paranoid ruler's most trusted friend and advisor. Versidue-Shaie used this to contrive the assassination of Crown Prince Juilek, and then later Reman III himself. On 22 Evening Star 2920, Versidue-Shaie declared that he was taking over the leadership of the Empire but retaining his title of Potentate. In the same speech, he declared the end of the 1st Era and the start of the 2nd. Versidue-Shaie would rule an Empire in great turmoil for 324 years before he was assassinated by the Morag Tong. His son, Savirien-Chorak, would rule for another 106 until he and his heirs were assassinated under disputed circumstances.
The Akaviri Potentates left an indelible mark on Tamriellic history. It was under their reign that the Morag Tong was outlawed outside of Morrowind, leading to the rise of the Dark Brotherhood. Versidue-Shaie also signed the Guilds Act, which legalized the formation of trade guilds throughout the Empire. This led to the rise of, most prominently, the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild. Additionally, Potentate has become a reserve title allowed by the Elder Council Charter if no Imperial heir could be agreed upon in the event of the line of succession being disrupted, allowing the High Chancellor of the Council to take up most imperial authority as Potentate.
- Adventure Guild: Crossing over with Private Military Contractors. The Fighters Guild got it start during the reign of Potentate Versidue-Shaie, who dissolved and outlawed the private armies of nobles throughout the Empire. Given that the citizens of Tamriel still had a need for protective services beyond what the Imperial Legions could provide and that there was a need to prevent thousands of unemployed soldiers from straying into brigandry, Dinieras-Ves stepped forward with a host of Akaviri warriors to fill the void. The organization was known as the "Syffim", the Tsaesci word for "soldier". However, the entirely Akaviri Syffim lacked the knowledge of their Tamriellic foes and could not keep up with the demand for their services. Thus, they were forced to accept members from the Tamriellic races. This allowed them to find even greater and wider spread success. This success led Potentate Versidue-Shaie to announce the Guilds Act, allowing for the formation of dozens of Guilds throughout Tamriel, most prominently the Fighters (changing their name officially from the Syffim) and Mages Guilds.
- The Confidant: In their role as chief advisors to the Reman dynasty emperors.
- Death by Irony: Versidue-Shaie used the Morag Tong to betray and assassinate Reman III and his heirs. Versidue-Shaie and his son, Savirien-Chorak, were ultimately killed by the same organization.
- Dual Wielding: In line with the Tsaesci's cultural aversion to shields, Savirien-Chorak dual-wielded a katana and a wakasashi during his friendly duel with Crown Prince Juilek.
- Foreign Ruling Class: They ruled in an extension of the Second Tamriellic Empire despite being from an Akaviri race.
- The Kingslayer:
- Versidue-Shaie is believed to have played a part in the assassination of Reman III, and this is implicitly stated in the 2920 book series.
- They had this turned against them during their reign, with Versidue-Shaie and Savirien-Chorak both being assassinated.
- Long-Lived: While sources conflict greatly over whether the Tsaesci were serpentine Snake Vampires or a race of Men just like those found in Tamriel, they are apparently longer lived than that typical men of Tamriel. Versidue-Shaie and Savirien-Chorak ruled for 323 years and 106 years, respectively (and both died violent deaths).
- Manipulative Bastard: Versidue-Shaie, especially in his 2920 depiction. He contrives the assassinations of the Crown Prince and of Reman III without having to get his own hands dirty, allowing him to take over the Empire.
- Murder, Inc.: It was during their reign that the Morag Tong was outlawed throughout the Empire, leading to the rise of the Dark Brotherhood.
- Regent for Life: Versidue-Shaie (who quite possibly played a part in the assassination of Reman III, as well as the previous death of the Crown Prince) took up Imperial authority (but not the title of Emperor, instead maintaining his title of Potentate) and declared it to be the 2nd Era of Tamriellic history. Following his assassination, his son, Savirien-Chorak, then became Potentate. The two ruled for over 400 years at the start of the 2nd Era until Savirien-Chorak was also assassinated.
- Snake People: Their depiction in the 2920 historical fiction in-game book series, complete with golden scales and fully serpentine lower bodies. Other sources state, however, that the Tsaesci are men little different from those in Tamriel. Unless/until they show up in one of the games, it is likely we'll never know for sure.
Alessia (a.k.a. Al-Esh, Perrif, Paraval, Paravania, Lady of Heaven, the Slave Queen)
Alessia was the leader of the 1st Era rebellion of Cyrodiil's human population against the Daedra-worshiping Ayleids, now known as the Alessian Revolt. With the support of the Aedric beings who would become known as the original Eight Divines, the Revolt freed Cyrodiil's human population from slavery and founded the Alessian Empire, the first Cyrodiilic Empire of Men.
Alessia's soul was placed in the central stone of the Amulet of Kings, symbolizing Akatosh's covenant with men to protect Mundus from the forces of Oblivion. She took Morihaus as her lover and had Pelinal as her champion. She is credited with founding the religion of the Eight Divines, stitching together the traditional Aldmeri pantheon with the pantheon of the early Nords. She was canonized on her deathbed by either Shezarr or Akatosh (sources conflict) and is typically referred to as Saint Alessia. Both the Reman and Septim lines of emperors trace their lineage to Alessia (at least in the metaphysical sense).
- Agony of the Feet: According to Remanada, her specter appeared with mangled feet from Walking the Earth after becoming a demigod/saint.
- The Alliance: Formed one out of Cyrodiil's native humans who had been enslaved by the Ayleids, rebel Ayleid lords, and the Nordic Empire. (As well as some help from the Divines themselves.)
- Bargain with Heaven: She prayed to the Divines for the liberation of her people from the Daedra-worshipping Ayleids. With their aid, her forces drove the Ayleids to near-extinction and she created the religion of the Eight Divines to be the religion of her new Empire in return.
- Barrier Maiden: The first in the line of the Cyrodiilic emperors who could perform the ritual of lighting the "Dragonfires", which limit the power and influence of the Daedric Princes within Mundus.
- Beautiful Slave Girl: Started off as a slave and was said to be quite attractive.
- Big Good: As the leader of the anti-Ayleid forces during the Alessian Revolt. She inspired the human slaves of Cyrodiil to rise up, and made alliances with various rebel Ayleid lords and the Nordic Empire to form the first Cyrodiilic Empire.
- Born into Slavery: As nearly all of Cyrodiil's native humans were under Ayleid rule. She managed to escape it and spark the rebellion which brought the Ayleids down once and for all.
- Breeding Slave: Her birthplace, the Ayleid city of Sard, was well known as a slave breeding center. This likely would have been her fate had she not escaped.
- Claimed by the Supernatural: As part of her covenant with Aedra against the Daedra-worshiping Ayleids, Akatosh imbued Alessia with "Dragon Blood" and her soul was placed into the Amulet of Kings to seal the barriers between Mundus and Oblivion.
- Divine Date: Morihaus, frequently referred to as a demi-god, 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.
- Divine Parentage: Claims this in the metaphysical sense from Akatosh, who imbued her with "Dragon Blood" and became the patron of her Empire.
- The Empress: The first human Empress of Cyrodiil.
- Enemy Civil War: Took advantage of the warring between Ayleid city states to start her uprising and gained various rebel Ayleid lords as valuable allies in the process.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Founder of the 1st Empire of men out of Cyrodiil, now known as the "Alessian" Empire. Held in high reverence by the following empires as well.
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: Went to war with the powerful Empire of the Ayleids who had dominated Cyrodiil since time immemorial over the freedom of the enslaved humans they kept.
- High Priestess: Founded the religion of the Eight Divines as a compromise between the traditional Aldmeri pantheon (which her Cyrodiilic followers were accustomed to) and the Nordic Pantheon of her Nord allies who refused to accept any "Elven" gods.
- Non-Indicative Name: She is referred to as the "First Dragonborn." However, she wasn't a Dragonborn in the same sense as the dragon-soul-stealing instant-Thu'um-mastery Dragonborn heroes of Nordic legend (of which Miraak was the first). Alessia was the first Emperor of Cyrodiil imbued with blood from the heart of Akatosh, the Dragon God of Time and chief deity of the Imperial pantheon, as part of sealing a pact with her line to protect Mundus against incursions from Oblivion.
- Rebel Leader: She was the leader of the anti-Ayleid forces during the Alessian Revolt.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She was the calm and collected Blue to Pelinal's berserker Red during the Revolt.
- Royal Blood: As part of her Covenant with Akatosh, her recognized descendents (direct or metaphysical) are recognized by Akatosh as "Dragonborn".
- Screw You, Elves!: Delivered one of the biggest "screw you"'s to the elves, specifically the Ayleids, in Tamriellic history. Since her Revolt, Cyrodiil has not truly fallen under the rule of elven masters in the thousands of years since.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: She and her supporters certainly believed so. The Ayleids were so over the top with their cruelty towards their human slaves that even the Divines were willing to lend aid to free them. (It also didn't help the Ayleids that they were Daedra worshipers.)
- Slave Liberation: The main goal of the Alessian Revolt was to free Cyrodiil's native human population from slavery at the hands of the abusive and viciously cruel Ayleids.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The Hot Wife to Morihaus's Ugly Guy.
Dumac Dwarfking (a.k.a. Dwarf-Orc, Dumalacath)
The last King of the Dwemer, Dumac and Nerevar united their people to drive the invading Nords out of Morrowind. He became a close personal friend of Nerevar, and even attended Nerevar's wedding to Almalexia, presenting them with a pair of specially enchanted swords as a gift. He mysteriously disappeared along with the rest of the Dwemer people following the Battle of Red Mountain. (Though some accounts have him being killed by either Nerevar or Voryn Dagoth prior to the event that caused the disappearance.)
- Enemy Mine: Formed one with Nerevar and the Chimer in order to drive the invading Nords out of Morrowind.
- Evil Former Friend: Voryn Dagoth convinced Nerevar that Dumac had become evil, leading to the Battle of Red Mountain. (As with many other details surrounding those events, the truth is likely lost to history.)
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Nerevar, as they repulsed the Nords.
- Non-Indicative Name: The names "Dwarf-Orc" and "Dumalacath" would seem to indicate that he had some sort of connection with the Orcs. No such connection is evident from any established lore and may have been a Written by the Winners attempt by the Tribunal Temple to demonize Dumac (since the Dunmer people weren't exactly fond of anything relating to the Orcs).
- Poor Communication Kills: A few versions of the story of the Dwemer's final days state that Dumac did not know what Kagrenac was planning to do with the Heart, and would have stopped Kagrenac had he known.
- The Rashomon: Much like Nerevar's death, there are several variants of Dumac's death or disappearance. He may have disappeared along with the rest of the Dwemer people, he may have been killed by the Nordic King Wulfharth, he may have been struck down by Nerevar, and he may also have been killed by Dagoth who was then attacked by Nerevar.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Supported the alliance with the Chimer even when other Dwemer clans, such as the Rourken clan, exiled themselves as a result. He attended Nerevar's wedding as well as the coronation of Emperor Gorieus, showing a willingness previously unseen by the Dwemer to engage in the affairs of the other races of Tamriel.
Frandar do Hunding Hel Ansei No Shira, more commonly known as "Frandar Hunding," was a 1st Era Yokudan/Redguard warrior-prince and legendary Ansei, or "Sword Saint/Sword Singer." Frandar reluctantly led the Ansei in a rebellion against the Yokudan Emperor Hira, in which his (vastly outnumbered) forces were victorious but at great cost. Due to being considered "red with blood" by the citizens of Yokuda, he chose to self-exile to Tamriel, becoming one of the first Yokudans to settle there. Hunding also developed "The Way of the Sword," a martial philosophy on blade mastery and wrote the "Book of Circles" to pass along his insights. To this day, Hunding is revered as a great ancient hero and spiritual leader of the Redguards.
Frandar's spirit appears during one quest in The Elder Scrolls Online.
- Blood Knight: He traveled Yokuda as a Knight Errant in his youth, slaying all manner of men and monsters, while testing his skills in 90 duels. He was never once defeated, leading him to believe that he was invincible, so he retired to Mount Hattu and wrote the Book of Circles to pass along his insights.
- Civil War: After urging from his son and fellow Sword-Singers, Frandar reluctantly led the "greatly outnumbered" forces of the Ansei against the corrupt Yokudan Emperor Hira. Frandar and the Ansei were victorious, but were considered "red with blood" by the citizens and chose to self-exile to Tamriel following the conflict. (Yokuda itself would be "sunk beneath the sea" not long after.)
- Doomed Hometown: He chose to self-exile after the bloody Yokudan civil war. Not long after, his homeland of Yokuda sunk beneath the sea under mysterious circumstances.
- Duel to the Death: By the time he was 30, he had fought in over 90 such duels, killing all opponents.
- Frontline General: As most Yokudan/Redguard leaders are. He would eventually fall in battle with the giant goblins of Hammerfell while still serving as one in his 80s.
- Guile Hero: As the leader of the Ansei during the War of the Singers. Vastly outnumbered (Hira's forces outnumbered the Ansei thirty to one) and woefully unprepared to form into an organized army, Frandar devised the "Hammer and Anvil" strategy to get around the weaknesses of his army. He devised a plan of seven battles, each leading Hira's forces deeper and deeper into the Yokudan wilderness. The first six battles had no clear winner, as was Frandar's intention, but drew Hira's force further and further out. In the seventh battle, at the foot of Mount Hattu (where Frandar lived as a hermit for 30 years while writing the Book of Circles), the "hammer" struck. Frandar's Ansei killed over three-hundred thousand of Hira's men, winning the war.
- Knight Errant: Served as one throughout Yokuda after becoming an Ansei. Using only his Shehai "Spirit Sword," he traveled the land killing bands of brigands and wandering monsters.
- Lord Country:
- Both Hunding Bay in Hammerfell and Port Hunding on the island of Stros M'Kai are named after him.
- Also Inverted, as the "Hunding" part of his name refers to the region of Yokuda where he was born. Essentially, these places were named after him, who was already named after a different place.
- Master Swordsman: He was, perhaps, the greatest swordsman in all of Nirn's history. He was said to be the greatest of the Ansei, "Sword Saints," whose mastery of the sword was so great that they could form blades from their very souls, known as "Shehai". His "Way of the Sword" martial philosophy and treatise on sword mastery, the Book of Circles, are cultural treasures of the Redguard people.
- Old Soldier: He was around 60 when he led the Ansei to victory against Emperor Hira and then traveled to Tamriel. He would have pushing 90 when he fell in battle against the giant goblins of Hammerfell.
- The Order: Was said to be the greatest of the Ansei, or "Sword Saints."
- Overly Long Name: His "formal" name of Frandar do Hunding Hel Ansei No Shira. Frandar is his given name, Hunding is the region of his birth, Hel Ansei is a title recognizing him as one of the Ansei, and No Shira recognizes his noble birth.
- Parental Neglect: He was not present for much of Divad's life.
- Physical God: Insofar as he may have been a vessel for the HoonDing, the Yokudan/Redguard "make way" god who manifests any time the Yokudan people have to have living space cleared for them to settle or colonize. Considering he led the Ansei to Tamriel after the Yokudan Civil War (and Yokuda's subsequent sinking into the sea), this may have some merit (especially considering that Frandar's last name is phonetically similar to the HoonDing).
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: His army of Ansei during the War of the Singers. Despite their abilities as swordsmen, they were few in number and woefully unprepared to form into an organized army.
- Reluctant Ruler: When his son, Divad, and the Ansei came to him, he initially refused to lead them in battle against the Emperor. It was only after five hours of debate that he reluctantly agreed to become their leader, and it is said that he struggled with that decision and many others he made as leader later in life.
- Sacred Scripture: His "Book of Circles," a treatise on sword mastery. It is said to include "thirty-eight grips, seven hundred and fifty offensive and eighteen hundred defensive positions, and nearly nine thousand moves essential to sword mastery". Every Redguard household in Hammerfell contains an alcove above their hearth to store and display the book.
- You Killed My Father: After he fell in battle to the giant goblins of Hammerfell, his only son, Divad, took command of the Redguard forces and wiped the goblins out.
Gaiden Shinji was a 1st Era Redguard hero who was the leader of the Order of Diagna (a knightly order based in Hammerfell) and founded the Arena in the Imperial City, serving as its first Blademaster. Shinji was convinced by King Joile of Daggerfall to participate in the Siege of Orsinium, and was killed when Joile betrayed him. He is still revered as a near-godly figure by both the Redguards and Arena combatants thousands of years later.
- Cavalry Betrayal: He was betrayed by King Joile whose archers killed both he and his Orc opponent during their duel.
- Combat by Champion: Along with Duel to the Death. Shinji was convinced by King Joile to challenge the Orc leader, Baloth Bloodtusk, in this fashion. As the two dueled, King Joile's archers fired upon them, killing both.
- Expy: Has a good deal in common with Miyamoto Musashi, minus the part about not actually dying in battle, of course.
- Ghost Memory: Memory Stones in a particular Online quest allow one to see the events of Shinji's final days through the eyes of one of his followers.
- Gladiator Subquest: Founded the Arena in the Imperial City in order to provide these for prospective combatants.
- Irony: He was not actually one of the "survivors" he mentions in his famous quote, though he fell in battle not for his techniques failing, but due to treachery.
- Master Swordsman: As is the case for most Redguard heroes. The title of "Blademaster" wasn't just cosmetic.
- The Order: Was the leader of the Order of Diagna, a Hammerfell-based knightly order dedicated to the Yokudan/Redguard "Orichalc God of the Sideways Blade", Diagna.
- War Reenactors: Every year, new initiates to the Order of Diagna play the role of Orcs in a reenactment of the Siege of Orsinium in Shinji's honor.
Lord Indoril Nerevar (a.k.a. Saint Nerevar, Nerevar Moon-and-Star, Hortator, The Caravan Guard)
The ancient leader of the Chimer (now Dunmer) people. Rose up from humble beginnings as a caravan guard to unite the Chimer people in the nation of Resdayn, now known as Morrowind. Despite being long-time adversaries, he managed to ally the Dwemer and Chimer people to fend off an invasion by the Nords. He was aided by a council consisting of his wife Almalexia, his junior councilor (sometimes referred to as "General") Vivec, the wizard Sotha Sil, and his close friend/advisor Voryn Dagoth. When presented with evidence that the Dwemer had found the Heart of Lorkhan and were planning to use it in a way that was "blasphemous" to the Daedric Princes that the Chimer worshiped, Nerevar went to war with them and, along with Voryn Dagoth, infiltrated the Dwemer stronghold at Red Mountain which housed the Heart. Exactly what happened there is recounted differently by all those who were present, but Nerevar died and the Dwemer had disappeared. Nerevar was considered a champion of Azura, one of the Daedric Princes the Chimer people worshiped, and she was quite displeased with his death and the subsequent actions of his council, the Tribunal. She prophesied his reincarnation and the eventual demise of the Tribunal.
- An Axe to Grind: For a time his primary weapon was the Named Axe, with which he killed the Parliament of Craters.
- Compelling Voice: He reportedly had "supernatural powers of persuasion," the source of which has never been elaborated upon. Further enhanced by his Dwemer-crafted and Azura-blessed ring, Moon-And-Star.
- Enemy Mine: Arranged this with the rival Dwemer in order to drive the invading Nords out of Morrowind.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Dumac Dwarfking, leader of the Dwemer, as they repulsed the Nords.
- Folk Hero: For the Ashlanders. Also a Messianic figure, who is believed will return one day to strike down the "false gods" of the Tribunal. Vivec instead tries to claim that he was merely one of many saints to the Dunmer peoplenote .
- Founder of the Kingdom: Is treated as this by the Dunmer people as the great unificator of Morrowind. The Tribunal rule in his name (even though they very likely may be responsible for his death) and he is revered as a saint in the Tribunal Temple.
- Frontline General: According to most accounts. Most notably, he was this at the Battle of Red Mountain leading to the disputed circumstances of his death.
- Guile Hero: His greatest skills were his leadership and supernatural powers of persuasion.
- Iconic Item: In-universe, his Moon-And-Star ring. Also, True Flame to a lesser extent.
- The Leader: Type II during the Chimer's war with the Dwemer in the backstory. The rest of the band consisted of the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur.
- Long Dead Badass: He's been dead for some 4000 years, but the Tribunal still rule in his name and hold him up as an ideal for the Dunmer to aspire to be.
- The Maiden Name Debate: According to one of the game writers, Nerevar took his wife Ayem's (later the goddess Almalexia) House name, Indoril, upon marrying her. She was a high priestess belonging to one of the Great Houses, whereas he was formerly a caravan guard born to an irrelevant minor house.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: His supernatural powers of persuasion are never elaborated on or explained. Were they some sort of supernatural gift or was he simply a very persuasive person? Like many other details about him, this is one we'll likely never know.
- Mysterious Past: Very little is known of his early life, and even then, there are conflicting sources. Vivec states that Nerevar was a merchant caravan guard, and Ashlander tradition holds that he was not born in the land that would eventually become Morrowind.
- Old Soldier: Granted, the races of Mer are Long-Lived compared to the races of Men, but Nerevar was (at least) in his 300s at the time of his death and still serving as a frontline general. (Not counting those who've enhanced their lifespans with magic or divine powers, that is still quite old for a Mer.)
- Poor Communication Kills: A few of the versions of Nerevar's final days imply that his good friend Dumac did not know what Kagrenac was planning to do with the tools and heart, and would have stopped Kagrenac had he known. Thus, possibly preventing the Battle of Red Mountain, the Dwemer's disappearance, and Nerevar's death.
- Posthumous Character: Has been dead for around 4000 years by the events of Morrowind. His death, prophesied reincarnation, and the subsequent use of the Heart of Lorkhan by the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur to obtain divinity are the catalyst for the game's plot. Everything we know of his life and death comes from in-game books and Rashomon-style stories from key characters.
- The Rashomon: The accounts of his death conflict greatly. The official stance of the Tribunal Temple, the Dissident Priests, the Ashlanders, Dagoth Ur, Vivec, and Azura all recount it differently. What is known for sure is that Nerevar died at Red Mountain. Some say the Tribunal did it, others Dagoth Ur, or that he went too deep into Red Mountain seeking the Sharmat and the volcano exploded. We'll probably never know what actually happened, on the assumption that not all of them are true.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He mostly went around trying to stop people from killing each other. First he united the disjointed Chimer people, and then united them with the Dwemer in order to repulse the Nords. His time as leader of Resdayn was considered one of the most peaceful and prosperous times in the history of the Chimer/Dunmer people.
- Reincarnation: The Nerevarine is said to be him reborn.
- Shout-Out: Many to King Arthur: both were charismatic war-leaders who united their peoples against foreign invasion to great effect, both have numerous conflicting accounts of their passing, both have close groups of followers who's tales and exploits eventually begin to eclipse their own legacies, both became folk heroes to groups who have been marginalized by invasion and progress, and both have prophesies of their return which may or may not have already occurred if valid.
- Standard Hero Reward: Married Almalexia, who was already a high priestess in a noble Chimeri Great House, despite his non-royal background.
- Took a Level in Badass: Details of his early life are scant, but if Vivec's account can be believed, Nerevar was a mere merchant caravan guard prior to uniting the Chimer people.
- When It All Began : Nerevar's death at Red Mountain thousands of years ago establishes the plot of the game.
- Worthy Opponent: He and Dumac Dwarfking showed shades of this prior to their alliance, at which point they became close friends.
Jurgen Windcaller (aka Jurgen the Calm)
Considered the most powerful "Tongue," Nord warriors who were masters of the Thu'um, of the 1st Era. He was a leader of the Nord forces under King Wulfharth when they invaded Morrowind. Following their ignominious defeat at Red Mountain, he meditated for seven years and determined that the defeat was due to the displeasure of the Divines for misusing the Voice. He would inspire the "Way of the Voice" and would found the Greybeards. Upon his death, Jurgen was buried at Ustengrav, an ancient fane in the marshes of Hjaalmarch.
- Badass Pacifist: Despite the strength such a group may possess, he preached pacifism and instilled this belief in his Greybeard followers. When the other Tongues tried to "shout" he and his teachings down, he didn't fight back. Instead, he "swallowed" their words for three days to prove his mastery.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Nord army he was part of was "annihilated" at Red Mountain by a coalition of Dwemer and Chimer forces, leading to his Heroic BSoD and eventual HeelFaith Turn.
- HeelFaith Turn: He, like the other leaders of the ancient Nord army which invaded Morrowind, used the Thu'um as a weapon. Despite this advantage, the Nord army was still annihilated at Red Mountain by a coalition of Dwemer and Chimer. Afterwards, he reflected on the defeat and came to the conclusion that it was a punishment from the gods for misusing the Voice. He would use the defeat as inspiration to discover the Way of the Voice and found the Greybeards, a monastic order who espouse nonintervention and pacifism, and only use the Voice to honor the gods.
- Heroic BSoD: He spent seven years meditating on how it was possible that the strongest Tongues and the mightiest Nord army could lose so badly.
- Language of Magic: He was said to have been the most powerful Tongue of the 1st Era, extremely gifted in the use of the Thu'um.
- Technical Pacifist: He set the Greybeards' policy of non-intervention in worldly affairs, and of studying the Voice as a way to honor the gods.
- Turn the Other Cheek: When he proclaimed the Way of the Voice, seventeen other Tongues tried to shout him down. He "swallowed" their words for three days until he fell, exhausted. This caused them to acknowledge his superiority and wisdom in the Voice.
The Chief Tonal Architect of the Dwemer who was considered the foremost arcane philosopher and magecrafter of his people. Many of the Dwemer's greatest smiths and enchanters worked under him. After studying the Heart of Lorkhan, he apparently devised a way to create a new mechanical god, Anumidium, using the Heart and special tools he had created, and planned to allow his people to "transcend the limits of mortality." When the Chimer found out about his plan, they considered it a blasphemy against their gods, the Daedra, and attacked. At the climax of the Battle of Red Mountain, Kagrenac, cornered in the Heart Chamber by Dagoth's forces, apparently used the tools on the Heart and almost certainly caused the disappearance of the Dwemer.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What he reportedly planned to do for all of the Dwemer people using the Heart of Lorkhan. One theory about the disappearance of the Dwemer is that his plan actually worked, and the Dwemer are now on said higher plane.
- Cosmic Keystone: He devised a means to tap into the divine power of the Heart of Lorkhan.
- Godzilla Threshold: One interpretation of his actions tapping into the Heart of Lorkhan and causing the disappearance of the Dwemer. The Dwemer army was losing to the Chimer and he was left with no other choice but to try his risky experiment in a last ditch effort.
- Humongous Mecha: The architect of the Numidium.
- Mad Scientist: He sought to create a new god, Anumidium, and bring divinity to all the Dwemer people. He planned to do this by tapping into the still-beating heart of a dead god and was called out by other Dwemer for the "unjustifiable" risks and potential for unpredictable side-effects.
- Magitek: His creations are combinations of Dwemer Steampunk, magical enchantments, and the bending of the laws of physics and nature.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Many Dwemer did not agree with Kagrenac's plan to tap into the power of the Heart. Not because it was blasphemous or anything like that, just because they thought it would end poorly for every Dwemer on Nirn. Which it probably did.
- Poor Communication Kills: A few versions of the story of the Dwemer's final days state that Kagrenac did not tell Dumac what he was planning to do with the Heart, and that Dumac would have stopped him had he known.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Chief Tonal Architect, Magecrafter, High Priest, High Engineer, Arcane Philosopher, and Pioneer in the field of Mythopeic Forces.
Lamae Beolfag (a.k.a. Lamae Bal, The Blood Matron)
Lamae Beolfag was a Nedic priestess of Arkay during the 1st Era who was raped by Molag Bal, becoming 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.
- Burn the Witch!: What the nomads who initially rescued her tried to do when they saw her injuries rapidly healing on their own.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rape Leads to Insanity: She became obsessed with vengeance and spreading her vampiric nature after being raped and turned into a vampire by Molag Bal, and then abandoned by Arkay.
- 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. However, Online adds more context from Lamae's perspective — their way of "saving" her was to perform a Mercy Kill via burning her alive, hoping to purify her before her corruption took hold. If accurate, Lamae wasn't so much "ungrateful" as she was vengeful.
- 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.
Morihaus (a.k.a. Mor, Breath-Of-Kyne)
Morihaus, an Aedric demi-god, referred to as the "son" of Kyne (Kynareth) and "nephew" of Pelinal, aided the Alessian Revolt against the Ayleids and became the lover of Alessia, who he called "Parvania". He is described as a "winged man-bull", and had a nose hoop to go with the moniker. He first appeared as an answered prayer of Alessia, and disappears from the historical record following Alessia's death. His child with Alessia, Belharza, is said to be the first Minotaur and served as the second emperor of the Alessian Empire.
- Angelic Abomination: One of the closest things the series has to an "angel" as an Aedric demi-god, his form was that of a "winged man-bull" and had power enough to shake the entire White-Gold Tower with his charge. He became the consort of St. Alessia and their progency became the first Minotaur.
- Annoying Arrows: The Ayleids attempted to kill him with a volley of arrows. Though wounded, Pelinal carried him to a Nedic healer who saved his life.
- Divine Date: As the lover of Alessia. Pelinal counseled him against this, for fear that they would "beget more monsters" upon the earth. Morihaus rejected the advice and their progeny would become the first Minotaur.
- Divine Intervention: Alessia prayed for him to be sent to aid against the Ayleids.
- Genius Bruiser: He was a massive and powerful bull-man fighter, but also a champion of recording histories. According to The Onus of the Oghma, he even went so far as to execute the Nonscriptionists, an Alessian sect who were hostile to the idea of recording historical events."Then Morihaus snorted, and spake fiercely against the Nonscriptionists, saying, 'Are then the deeds of the Paravant to be forgotten by the men of hence-yore? Are the crimes of the Saliache to be erased, so that the Seven Pretexts for Mayhem shall seem all unjustified? Nay, by Akatosh! Nay, by the Dragon of Duration, who gave us Time so that events could unfold in their sequence, and thus be recalled as they happed! Never shall your ilk prevent our people from recording their tales, as did the overweening Saliache in the late torment-epoch!' And he did smite their heads from their shoulders, and their gore fell as words on the stones, recording their several demises."
- Half-Human Hybrid: Was described as a "winged man-bull" and is believed to be the father of all Minotaurs.
- Horn Attack: He gored enemies with his horns as his preferred style of fighting. When Pelinal was cut to pieces after his battle with Umaril, Morihaus scared off the remaining Ayleids when he "shook the whole of the tower with mighty bashing from his horns." The tower in question iss the massive White-Gold tower.
- A Load of Bull: Most interpretations depict him of the winged-Minotaur variety. In the spirit of the trope, he was definitely a Lightning Bruiser on the battlefield.
- Our Angels Are Different: He was an Aedric demi-god and said to be the son of a Divine.
- Physical God: Frequently referred to as a demi-god. According to Pelinal, they were both "ada," an old name for the Aedra. Specifically, Morihaus was said to be Kyne's son.
- Sapient Steed: Alessia rode and flew atop him.
- Semi-Divine: Known as a demigod son of Kyne, though exactly how he came to be is uncertain.
- Talking Animal: One interpretation of him is that he simply was a talking, apparently winged bull. 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."
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Was described as a "winged bull."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He outlived Alessia, but what happened to him after is unknown.
Numidium (a.k.a. Anumidum, Walk-Brass, The Brass God, Brass Tower)
A gigantic Dwemer-crafted golem seized by the Dunmeri Tribunal following the Battle of Red Mountain. Engineered by Kagrenac to house the Heart of Lorkhan and become Anumidium, the Dwemer's new mechanical god. It sat inactive for thousands of years before Vivec gave it to Tiber Septim as part of the Armistice joining Morrowind to Septim's Empire in exchange for special privileges for the province. After finding a replacement to the Heart as a power source, Septim used it to almost single-handedly crush the forces of the Aldmeri Dominion, finalizing his empire. Due to the actions of an entity known as the "Underking", it was lost for centuries until the events of Daggerfall, and then lost again, presumably for good.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: One theory, and commentary from Michael Kirkbride supports this, is that Numidium was the personification of the Dwemer's ideas of skepticism and refutation. In this theory, much of Numidium's effects stem from it embodying the concept of "is not" and using that to literally negate things like people or physical laws from existence.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Some of the obscure texts by Kirkbride posit that Numidium is the weaponization of this, and that its main tool is the ability to look at an object or person and reveal the "lie" of their existence as a mere construct of the Aedra, who are a construct of Anu and Padomay, themselves a creation of the dream of the Godhead. Apparently, the key to countering this weapon is the opposing concept of belief and love and the affirmation of your own existence. It's unclear if Numidium actually is revealing the "lie" or if it is simply enforcing the idea of something not existing so hard that it becomes the truth. Those with the will and self-determination to define themselves as being real in the face of Numidium's overwhelming, reality-enforcing skepticism can survive and, in the case of the Underking, even destroy Numidium.
- Beat Still, My Heart: Was originally designed to be powered by the Heart of Lorkhan. (Dagoth Ur uses its blueprint to create Akulakhan, his own Heart-powered mecha, thousands of years later.)
- Big Bad: In Michael Kirkbride's "Obscure Text" C0DA, in which it is refutation incarnated, or the "Fuck it" in a world in which love is the answer. It's that kind of story.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Was used to great affect against the Altmeri forces of the Summerset Isles. Alinor, their capital city, fell in less than an hour of fighting and their army was decimated. It allowed Tiber to succeed where Reman failed: he conquered the Summerset Isles.
- The Ghost: Due to the limitations of the hardware at the time Daggerfall was released, the Numidium never appears onscreen and its only mentioned during the story. However, a copy built from its blueprints (Akulakhan) is shown onscreen in Morrowind.
- Humongous Mecha: Numidium stands at 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) tall, making it slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower. Here's a size comparison◊, with the specks being full-sized people.
- Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: A thousand-foot-tall reality warping mecha, at that.
- Mechanical Abomination: It's a giant mechanical golem that distorts reality around it merely by existing, intended to be powered by the heart of a dead god (and later it's powered by what is believed to be that god's soul), and whose mere activation caused the Warp in the West at the end of Daggerfall, where all the endings (each of which being otherwise mutually exclusive) took place at once. (Though none to the same extent they would have individually.)
- Mind Screw: Its mere existence can cause these, especially once it starts moving around and warping reality. At one point Numidium apparently refuted itself out of existence, and then refuted that fact so hard that it came right back into reality.
- Order Versus Chaos: Ironically, despite being constructed by the extremely orderly and logical Dwemer, Numidium was a personification of the idea of refutation, or "is not." In effect, this made it a Padomiac entity, as Padomay is the original entity of chaos, denial, and refutation. Its mere presence caused chaos due to how it altered time and space seemingly at random.
- Organic Technology: It's powered by the heart of Lorkhan or rough equivalent thereof, and some blueprints/drawings depict it as having a ribcage and spine. (Akulakhan, built from Numidium's blueprints, also has these organic-looking components.) It's also theorized 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. One theory is that, being a construct that embodied the Dwemer's skepticism and tendency to refute even divine beings, Numidium simply refutes things like causality and time. Its main weapon is refusing to accept that something exists, and enforcing that fact so hard that they stop existing.
- Superweapon: When active, absolutely nothing in the setting has been able to defeat it. It was notably used by Tiber Septim to crush the second Aldmeri Dominion and their armies of Magic Knights, a nation never previously conquered by force, in less than an hour of fighting.
- The Tower: Considered one of the mythic Towers, 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". Its "stone" was designed to be the Heart of Lorkhan, the stone of Red Mountain, but would later be replaced by the Mantella.
- Time Crash: Has caused several. One in Elsweyr, where Tiber Septim's mages were trying to figure out how to control it, and another known as the "Warp in the West".
- Transforming Mecha: Numidium was usually anthropomorphic, but could apparently change its shape from time to time. Considering its reality-warping abilities and how it was walking exemplification of refutation, it makes sense that Numidium would not necessarily stick to one discrete shape.
- Your Soul Is Mine: The Mantella, an unimaginably powerful soul gem filled with the soul of a Shezarrine, eventually serves as the replacement power source for the Heart.
Orgnum (a.k.a. Orghum)
Orgnum is the King of the Maormer, the Sea Elves, who live on on the island kingdom of Pyandonea which lies far to the south of Tamriel. Originally an Aldmeri noble, he and his followers were banished from Aldmeris for attempting to seize power. Said to be an "immortal wizard" with particular strength in "snake magic," he once attempted to invade Tamriel as part of an alliance with the Wolf Queen Potema. He and his forces were swallowed by the sea in a magical storm conjured by the Psijic Order and haven't been heard from since.
- Animal Motifs: Serpents, specifically Vipers.
- Arch-Enemy: The Altmer. Throughout the 1st and 2nd Eras, Maormer forces personally led by Orgnum were said to "ravage" the coastlines of the Summerset Isles.
- Cunning Linguist: When he met with Queen Potema to forge their alliance, he was said to have a translator who was fluent in all the languages of Tamriel, Pyandonea, Atmora, and Akavir.
- Fountain of Youth: According to the Altmer, he is not actually immortal and uses "foul" magics and sacrifices in order to maintain his youth.
- God in Human Form: The Redguard believe him to be an incarnation of Satakal, a god who is the fusion of the concepts of Anu and Padomay in their religion.
- Horse of a Different Color: He and his people were said to tame and use sea serpents in this fashion.
- Immortal Ruler: Said to be an "undying wizard king" who uses all manner of foul magicks to extend his life. He has been the Maomer ruler since their Merethic Era split with the Aldmer, making him perhaps the oldest non-divine being on Nirn.
- Infinite Supplies: Associated with the artifact "Orgnum's Coffer," an almost weightless chest that produces gold from naught. When he himself possessed the Coffer, the gold it produced was unlimited. In the possession of others, it would vanish after creating a certain amount of gold.
- Merlin Sickness: Not only is he said to be immortal, he supposedly appears more youthful with each passing year.
- Sex God: According to The Wolf Queen book series, Queen Potema shared her bed with Orgnum, who she stated was "one of the better lovers she had ever had".
- Weather Manipulation: His fleet was defeated when the Psijic Order summoned a storm which swallowed it whole. The annihilation was so complete that it is said the Maormer will never again be able to threaten Tamriel.
- You Can't Go Home Again: As punishment for their attempted rebellion, he and his followers were banished and forbidden from ever returning to Aldmeris. There is said to be a literal veil of mist that they cannot penetrate surrounding their former home.
Pelagius the Mad (a.k.a. Pelagius Septim III)
Born Thoriz Pelagius Septim, Pelagius "the Mad" briefly ruled the Third Tamriellic Empire from 3E 145 to 3E 153. Of Breton descent, Pelagius was Prince of Wayrest, later becoming the Jarl of Solitude and then High King of Skyrim before ascending to the Imperial throne as Emperor. Infamous for his eccentricities, he was eventually declared unfit to rule and his wife by arranged marriage, the Dunmeri former Duchess of Vvardenfell, Katariah, took over as Empress Regent. Pelagius was institutionalized and died only a few years later, but his legacy as the Mad Emperor lives on.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Exactly what caused his madness is unknown. It's been theorized to have even been something supernatural left behind in Castle Solitude by his mad aunt, the Wolf Queen Potema.
- Ax-Crazy: He wasn't just insane, he was said to be homicidally insane.
- The Caligula: He certainly lived up to his nickname. He suffered from extreme weight fluctuations and tried to hang himself at the end of a royal ball. He insisted on his palace always being kept clean and (perhaps apocryphally) was said to defecate on the floors to keep his servants busy. He would only communicate with the Argonian ambassador in grunts and squeaks, believing it to be the Argonian language. He'd frequently strip naked in public and, toward the end of his life, would attack and bite visitors.
- Cute and Psycho: Was said to be a handsome and personable young man...at least until the madness set in.
- Full-Frontal Assault: It was when he stripped naked in public and began attacking visitors that his advisors knew something was very wrong with him.
- Infectious Insanity: He did not show signs of madness as a child, being perfectly personable. However, his madness crept in when he moved to Castle Solitude, which was still said to be infected by the madness of his aunt, the Wolf Queen Potema.
- Insane Equals Violent: He was both utterly insane and, especially later in his life, prone to outbursts of violence due to his insanity.
- Half-Human Hybrid: He is a Breton not due to being native from High Rock, but because his father was an Imperial, while his mother was a High Elf.
- Mood-Swinger: His would swing to both extremes. He'd go from fully manic to attempting suicide in virtually no time at all.
- Neat Freak: He forced the servants of his palace to continuously scrub the place at all hours of the day.
- Puppet King: He was declared unfit to rule and his wife was made Empress Regent to rule in his place. Pelagius was Emperor in name only from that point until his death.
- Reality Ensues: In defiance of the usual Mad King archetype, once his court figured out that he was batshit crazy, they stripped him of all his power and made his much more sane wife the Empress.
- Regent for Life: His wife, Katariah, was made a Justified example. Pelagius' father, Magnus (no, not the God of Magic), arranged for him to be wedded to Katariah as she was a shrewd ruler who could help hide and cover for Pelagius' madness. She would go on to have a very successful 50 year reign after taking over.
- Royally Screwed Up: According to Sheogorath, while Pelagius' behavior made him mad compared to a normal person, it wasn't all that unusual for a Septim. While history records most of the Septim line as perfectly sane and even austere, this implies that the Imperial propaganda machine has done its job in hiding the family's eccentricities.
Pelinal Whitestrake (a.k.a. Pelin-El, a.k.a. The Star-Made Knight)
Pelinal Whitestrake was a legendary hero of mankind who fought alongside Alessia and saved humanity from Ayleid enslavement. He was a mysterious knight who, like his "nephew" Morihaus, came as an answered prayer of Alessia. 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 Eight Divines. After leading Alessia's armies in the capture of most of Cyrodiil from the Ayleids, he single-handedly stormed the White-Gold tower and defeated (but could not kill) the Ayleid leader, Umaril the Unfeathered. Pelinal was slain by Umaril's servants and cut into eight pieces in mockery of the Eight Divines.
And that is the full story...at least according to Imperial historians. What their "official" histories leave out is that Pelinal was also an extremely racist, psychopathic berserker. He had the unfortunate tendency to descend into fits of mindless rage, during which he was known to slaughter any Mer he came across, and in one particularly notable incident, even damaged the very lands themselves. He seemed to rage against the very gods who sent him, and anyone suggesting that he may be a god himself often met a swift death, even though he himself is believed to be an Aedric spirit of some kind.
- Anti-Hero: He was a champion of Alessia who helped free early man from the enslavement of the Ayleids and is remembered as a great hero by mankind as a result. However, he loses the "pure" hero characterization due to being a raging psychotic, which is conveniently left out of stories about him in Imperial propaganda.
- Arch-Enemy: Elves, but especially the Ayleids. In particular, there was Umaril the Unfeathered.
- Ax-Crazy: Violently insane and insanely violent, though, luckily for mankind, his psychotic rages were mostly directed at the Ayleids.
- Badass Gay: He loved Huna (confirmed by the real life writer of The Song of Pelinal to be male), and when Huna died he went on a berserk rampage that destroyed many Ayleid cities. According to that same writer, the Song originally had many other references to Pelinal's homosexuality, but these were edited out of the final in-game version.
- Berserk Button: Suggesting that he is a god, or an aspect of a god, or divine in any way, or making any mention of what he considers "god-logic". One Nedic soldier who suggested this to him was "smothered by moths" in his sleep.
- The Berserker: Pelinal's primary fighting style was to fly into a rage, point himself at the nearest group of Ayleids, and fight until the Divines themselves had to "reach down" and "soothe him". He'd leave the fights "drenched" in blood and with little more than formerly Ayleid Ludicrous Gibs behind him.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: When he first appeared in person to Alessia, he was "drenched" in Ayleid blood. This would be far from the last time, as later tales tell of his "white hair gone brown with elfblood".
- Carry a Big Stick: The Mace of the Crusader, which scorched foes with holy fire and was particularly effective against undead.
- Cool Down Hug: When Pelinal went into fits of "the Madness," Alessia would pray to the Divines who "would reach down as one mind and soothe the Whitestrake until he no longer had the will to kill the earth in whole".
- Crazy Awesome: In-Universe, with emphasis on the crazy. Pelinal's bouts of madness were legendary and he spent half the time in a fog of homicidal rage. At the same time he was able to kick the asses of entire armies all by himself, challenged the Ayleid socerer kings to single combat (which usually ended with their brains spattered on his mace), and was powerful enough to damage the land with his battles which made him also awesome.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He was cut into eight pieces by the Ayleids to mock the Eight Divines. His head was left behind and discovered by Morihaus, with whom he had one final conversation that is now lost to history.
- Cyborg: Pelinal is heavily inspired by the Terminator. He wore full plate mail, blessed by the Divines no less, at a time when only the Dwemer could craft it and was nearly indestructible as a result. When he wanted you dead, there was very little that could stop him. Additionally, he had knowledge of future events sprinkled into his insane ramblings, with some sources suggesting that he was legitimately from the future. He also had a heart that glowed red, his hand possessed a "killing light," and after being cut apart his head was still able to converse with Morihaus. Per former developer Michael Kirkbride:"Pelinal was and is an insane collective swarmfoam war-fractal from the future, you betcha."
- Dual Wielding: Frequently wielded his mace and sword in this fashion.
- Duel to the Death: He liked to challenge Ayleid lords to individual combat and then mercilessly slaughter them.
- Confirmed by the writers to have been heavily inspired by The Terminator.
- He also has a lot in common with Achilles: a demigod champion one-man army involved in a war between two legendary nations which has become myth, known for his prowess in battle and legendary fits of anger, (according to Word of God) having a male lover whose death sent him into homicidal rage. The soldiers of his army were even described as "hoplites", further showing his Hellenistic influence.
- He is also one of the Doom Slayer, being a time-traveling, supernaturally-armored warrior blessed by heavenly forces and hellbent on wiping out a single entire species of assholes through absurdly insane ultra-violence. His insanity even furthers this similarity, since in Doom Eternal, it is revealed that the Slayer himself is mentally unstable and a flashback shows him screaming about ripping and tearing his foes' guts.
- Fantastic Racism:
Pelinal shrugged and cried, IF THE CALENDAR BE ELVISH, EVEN IT SHALL I MAKE DISJOINT, and so plied his hanger that the month was cloven....
- Essentially committed genocide on the Ayleids. Sure, they were very much Asshole Victims who had enslaved the humans of 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.
- In Volume 10 of The Song of Pelinal, apparently he hated elves so much that even the fact that the calendar was Elvish pissed him off.
- Flaming Sword: The Crusader's Sword, which was enchanted to inflict fire damage.
- Gem Heart: Had a red diamond instead of a heart, visible through a hole in his chest, symbolizing his connection with the heartless "dead" god Lorkhan.
- God in Human Form: He is believed to have been a Shezarrine, incarnations of the "dead" creator god Shezarr (the Imperial name for Lorkhan). Do not suggest this to him, however, as one soldier who was "smothered by moths" in his sleep found out the hard way. He also spat the feet of the Nords who joined Alessia when they saw him and proclaimed that "Shor had returned." 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 divine 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).
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-Universe. He is a great hero to the races of men, especially the Imperials, for helping Alessia free mankind from Ayleid enslavement. Nevermind that he was a racist berserker who would often go into psychopathic episodes, which were said to have even damaged the lands themselves. His hatred of non-human races extended even beyond the Elves to the Khajiit, whom he slew in droves mistaking them for another race of Elf. Imperial dogma (and his portrayal in Knights of the Nine) conveniently forgets about his blatant racism 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 went so berserk that he almost caused the Divines to leave the world out of disgust.
- Knight in Shining Armor: How he is characterized by the races of Men, especially the Imperials. The truth is, well, you've seen the rest of the page up until now...
- Knight Templar: As far as he was concerned, the only good Elf was a dead Elf.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: ....Eeh, Zig-zagged. On the one hand he would challenge the Ayleid sorcerer kings to single combat one on one instead of a great battle between armies. On the other hand, what he did to them could not by any definition of the word be anything remotely like what a gentleman would do.
- Literal Change of Heart: He had a hole in his chest and a red diamond instead of a heart, symbolizing his connection with the heartless god Lorkhan. He killed those who spoke of such things to him, though.
- Long Dead Badass: Even thousands of years later, he is still idealized in Imperial propaganda for his role in freeing their ancestors from Ayeleid rule, and killing countless scores of elves in the process. Books are printed, stories are told, and artwork is made of his accomplishments, usually with his racist psychopath tendencies glossed over, if mentioned at all.
- Macabre Moth Motif: Is associated with moths, just like Lorkhan. He notoriously hated being referred to as a "god" or being associated with the divine in any way. One of Alessia's soldiers who accused Whitestrake of being a god was found "smothered by moths" in his sleep.
- Man Bites Man: He "ate the neck-veins" of Haromir of Copper and Tea, an Ayleid King.
- Meaningful Name: His name is a corruption of the Aldmeri term Pelin-El, which translates to "Star-Made Knight". Fitting, as he was created/sent by the Divines. "Whitestrake" is also meaningful, given his head of flowing white hair.
- Mysterious Past: He first appeared in a vision to Alessia and later showed up in person to Alessia's camp, drenched in Ayleid blood. Nothing else about where he came from is really known.
- 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". However, he could not actually kill Umaril, who had divine protection from the Daedric Prince Meridia.
- One-Man Army:
- He slew droves of Ayleids completely on his own. When Alessia, Morihaus, and their army was too struck with fear to attack the White-Gold Tower occupied by Umaril, Pelinal charged in himself and defeated (though could not kill) Umaril before he himself was slain. At one point he went on such an extreme round of one-man slaughter that he very nearly caused the Divines to abandon Nirn altogether, before Alessia was able to regain their favor.
- In some sources, it is indicated that the Ayleid sorcerer-kings couldnt defeat Pelinal directly. Instead, they took advantage of the fact that he was a Shezzarine to create a myth-echo - a recreation of mythic events connected to the god who he is an incarnation of, in this case Lorkan. The eight Ayleid kings took the role of the Eight Divines in sundering Lorkhan in order to sunder Pelinal into eight pieces.
- Paint the Town Red: Kyne had to send her rain to "wash the blood" from Ayleid villages and forts that Pelinal passed through before they could be used by Alessia's armies.
- The Paladin: He was on a mission from the Divines and wore full plate armor blessed by them.
- Physical God: Though suggesting it to Pelinal would likely result in a quick death, he was clearly connected with divinity in some way and had abilities far beyond that of mortal men. He admitted during a conversation with his "nephew" Morihaus that "we are Ada," an old name for Aedric beings, and was able to survive and hold a conversation as only a head after his body was dismembered.
- 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!" The mere suggestion that he was an aspect of a god or divine in any way would have him trying to kill you.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The berserker Red to Alessia's calm and collected Blue during the Revolt.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Pretty much all the time, especially against Ayleids. In particular, when Huna, a grain-slave raised to a hoplite by Pelinal, was killed by the arrow of an Ayleid king, Pelinal went so berserk that he not only slew the Ayleids in the kingdom responsible, but erased their lands from the world. The Divines were so disgusted with his actions that they nearly left the world if not for Alessia making sacrifices to regain their favor.
- Robotic Psychopath: He was unquestionably a raging psychopath, and he may have been a time-traveling cyborg from the future.
- Schizo Tech: Aside from the fact that he's strongly implied to be a time-traveling cyborg, Pelinal wore a set of full plate armor in a time when the most advanced armors were leather, cloth, and bronze and the main method of warfare was more akin to Ancient Greek and Mesopotamian tactics. Needless to say, this gave Pelinal an enormous advantage in battle on top of being an et'Ada who may have been powered by a god's heart and armed with a laser cannon in one hand.
- Semi-Divine: Its unclear what exactly he was, but he clearly had abilities well beyond those of mortals and referred to himself as an Ada, an old-fashioned term for the Aedra. However, he was also quite insistent that he was not a full-on god, to the point that it was a Berserk Button.
- Sociopathic Hero: Once again, he was a raging psychotic that happened to be on Alessia's side.
- Time Travel: Implied. He wore plate armor back when only the Dwemer could make it, and in one of his psychotic episodes he mentioned Reman, an emperor who wouldn't exist until thousands of years later. Later (somewhat) confirmed in an interview with a former series writer.
- The Unfettered: To Pelinal, the only good elf was a dead elf. Men, women, children, civilians...it didn't matter. He'd slaughter them all, even if his actions risked causing the Divines to abandon the mortal world.
- Unstoppable Rage: His berserker rages were the stuff of legend. He slaughtered countless Elves and, in one particular fit of rage, damaged the lands themselves in such a way that the Divines very nearly left the world in disgust.
Potema Septim (a.k.a. Wolf Queen Potema)
A royal member of the Septim lineage who ruled as Queen of Solitude and is regarded as one of the greatest necromancers to have ever lived. She plotted to inherit the throne and rule Tamriel by any means necessary and, to this end, provoked a war of succession known as the War of the Red Diamond. Potema accused her niece, Empress Kintyra II, of being illegitimate with the intention of installing her son Uriel III on the throne. She briefly achieved this goal after capturing and executing Kintyra, which allowed Uriel to succeed her. However, following her son's capture and subsequent death, she retreated to Solitude and spent a decade resisting the Imperial forces during a protracted siege with her undead armies; refusing to concede defeat until her death.
- 0% Approval Rating: Widely regarded as "unambiguously evil" by most historians and, according to "The Wolf Queen" series, she was deserted by practically all her followers by the end of her life due to how insane she had become.
- Animal Motifs: As indicated by her title, Savage Wolves. According to tales, her parents slew a werewolf together and soul-trapped him into a gem that they made into a ring. His soul would reside inside it until Potema's birth, where it is said to have been transferred to her body. When she was presented to her grandfather (Emperor Uriel II), he said she was like "a she-wolf ready to pounce".
- Arranged Marriage: She was married to King Mantiarco of Solitude in order to solidify a political alliance. Even though he loved her and did everything he could to make her happy, Potema was displeased at being used in this manner.
- The Caligula: While she always had traces of this trope in her life, it was after Uriel's death that she fully lived up to it.
- Cain and Abel: During the War of the Red Diamond, her primary enemies were her own younger brothers Cephorus and Magnus.
- Cavalry of the Dead: After her armies and those of her allies were defeated, she held out in Solitude in a protracted siege which lasted 10 years. During that time, Potema, a powerful necromancer and practitioner of other Dark Arts, resurrected many dead bodies to bolster her dwindling forces.
- Civil War: Potema is responsible for triggering the War of the Red Diamond to replace the Empress with her son, Uriel III. This was the most devastating conflict in Tamriel since the start of the Third Era, and would remain as such until the Oblivion Crisis.
- Corrupt Politician: She used whatever means were at her disposal to get what she wanted, no matter how underhanded. Her favorite tactic seems to be "exposing" people as illegitimate bastards, though. Since she used it to get her husband to disinherit her stepson and tried to use it on her own niece.
- The Dreaded: Her resurrection in the Fourth Era is treated as a matter of complete and frightening danger, not only due to the havoc that she would wreck if she came back to life (consider that she nearly destroyed the Empire by herself, something that a Daedric invasion, the Thalmor. and 200 years of decline didn't manage to do) but also due to her status as a Septim, which would make her the legitimate heir to the Imperial Throne.
- Evil Aunt: To Kintyra II, whom she tried to undermine her rule and ended up ordering her execution. She also may have driven her nephew Pelagius to madness by gifting him with a cursed wolf gem.
- Evil Old Folks: She was in her seventies by the time of her death, and was at her most cruel and deranged.
- Evil Overlord: During her lifetime, that is. Despite being of royal blood, she plotted to usurp the Imperial throne and used necromancy to achieve her own ends. By the time of her death, her entire court was comprised of nothing but skeletons, vampires, draugr, and Daedra.
- Evil Matriarch: Used her son as a pawn to gain more power and control. Its unclear if she ever legitimately loved Uriel, but it's said that after his death she lost whatever positive qualities she had.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Possibly the most shining example the franchise has to offer.
- Go Out with a Smile: According to "The Wolf Queen" final volume, Potema had a "toothless grin growing on her face as she breathed her last".
- Human Resources: Its reported that she increased her undead armies by taking the enemies' corpses, raising them and adding more numbers into the fold.
- The Necrocracy: She pretty much turned Solitude into one when her entire force was comprised of nothing but undead minions she raised (and Daedra she summoned) following most of her supporters ditching her due to how much of a nutcase she was.
- Necromancer: Considered one of the greatest to have ever lived.
- Never Mess with Granny: Potema was a feared necromancer that lived into her seventies, and was fully capable of raising legions of undead to replace her armies that abandoned her following her descent into madness.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Her armies were comprised of zombies, skeletons, draugr, and vampires bound to serve her. By the end, these made up pretty much all of her remaining forces.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Uriel was taken captive and burned alive by an angry mob, taking whatever sanity she had left.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: Even though she ultimately lost the war, her opponents suffered negative consequences in the long run as well. Her brother Cephorus spent most of his reign fighting to bring Potema down even after the war was over. He died three years later, unmarried and childless, and was succeeded by their other brother Magnus, who had an even shorter rule and was succeeded by his son Pelagius III, who ended up becoming insane (quite possibly because of his contact with Potema). Pelagius' son Cassynder took over after his mother's, Empress Katariah, sudden death but was already elderly and in ill health. (He said to have aged like his Breton father rather than his Dunmer mother.) Some Imperial historians consider his death the end of the "true" Septim bloodline. Cassynder adopted his half-brother, Uriel Lariat, who had no Septim blood, as his heir. The Elder Council reluctantly recognized Uriel Lariat as Uriel IV, but after his death, passed over his son Andorak for a cousin more closely related to the original Septim bloodline - Cephorus II. Essentially, Potema ended up killing the closest lineage of the bloodline of Tiber Septimnote simply because she couldn't control it.
- Royal Brat: As a little girl, she had the habit of sneaking around the Imperial Palace to pick locks and steal documents which she used to blackmail members of her family.
- Royally Screwed Up: Just look at all the family-related tropes in her folder. Having a dysfunctional relationship with her relatives doesn't even begin to describe it.
- Sanity Slippage: With Uriel's death, the war was over and there was nothing else left for her side but to lose. Driven insane—either by grief or her easy pawn to the Ruby Throne being taken from her—Potema wouldn't hear it and kept the fighting going, raising as many undead she could against Cephorus' Imperial forces. She lost any supporters she had as time went on, because fighting for her against the Empire wasn't really worth it and there is nothing she could have offered anymore after Uriel died. Her insanity also didn't help either, since she also had tendency to kill any of her servants and turn them into zombies too.
- Succession Crisis: Accused her niece Kintyra II of being a bastard and therefore illegitimate while proposing her son Uriel III (nephew of the former Emperor) as the rightful heir. This resulted in the War of the Red Diamond, the most devastating war of the 3rd Era until the Oblivion Crisis.
- The Vamp: It's said that sex was just one of the many weapons she used to manipulate people such as her husband or gain political allies like Orgnum.
- Villainous Legacy: According to some, she may have been responsible for driving her nephew Pelagius to madness. In "The Wolf Queen", during her last moments, she gave him a cursed medallion that would slowly corrupt its wearer.
- Wicked Stepmother: She convinced Mantiarco to disinherit his firstborn with his previous wife by convincing him he was a bastard and had Uriel proclaimed as his heir.
Rajhin, (a.k.a Rajhin's Shadow, Footpad)
Rajhin was the most legendary thief in Khajiiti history. Rajhin stole the Ring of Khajiiti, a legendary Deadric artifact, off of the arm of the Daedric Prince Mephala. Rajhin was able to use it to make himself invisible and as quick as the wind. According to legend, the Ring rebelled against such constant use and disappeared, leaving Rajhin helpless before his enemies, who killed him. He is still considered a folk hero, and possibly a demigod, to his people even hundreds of years after his death.
- Abhorrent Admirer: He stalked Nairume, a High Elf woman, bewitching both her and her husband in the hopes of seducing her. When that didn't work, he locked her in a frozen vault for eternity, where she'd suffer until relenting to him.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: When a High Elf named Nairume rejected him, Rajhin's "Shadow" locked her in a frozen vault. She would remain there for eternity until she put on Rajhin's Mantle, which was enchanted to then make her fall hopelessly in love with him and be his forever. Whether or not she eventually does, or is freed from the vault, is up to the player in Online.
- Artifact of Doom: Rajhin's Mantle, which drives anyone who wears it for an extended length of time insane.
- Consummate Liar: He was known to be duplicitous and deceitful, as befits a legendary thief.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Stole the Ring of Khajiiti from the arm of the Daedric Prince Mephala.
- Gentleman Thief: He saw himself as such, and has this reputation amongst his people to this day.
- A Hero to His Hometown: Khajiit, and some Bosmer, absolutely love him and see him as a folk hero to this day.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Tried to pull this on Nairume. When she refused, he locked her up in a vault.
- If I Can't Have You...: His Shadow put a High Elf woman's husband to sleep, locked her in a vault, and even "stole" her entire city just because she refused to sleep with him.
- Impossible Thief:
- He stole the Ring of Khajiiti from the arm of the Daedric Prince Mephala.
- One legend states that he stole a tattoo from the neck of the sleeping Empress Kintrya.
- His Shadow also stole a woman's "sleep" and then gave it to her husband, making her unable to sleep and him unable to wake up. Said Shadow then ALSO stole the entire city of Falinesti, which remained missing for several years before mysteriously returning on its own.
- Jerkass: Possible, given that Rajhin's "Shadow" might be a reflection of the original. However, it's also possible that he (like others) was driven mad by his Mantle.
- Long Dead Badass: To the Khajiit, who now consider him their God of Thieves.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He bewitched Nairume and her husband so that she could never sleep and he could never wake up. He initially promised to undo the curse if Nairume slept with him, but when she still refused, he just allowed her husband to stay asleep forever.
- Mysterious Past: Most tales of Rajhin have reached the point of legend, which obscure the facts of his life. The place of his birth is known, but not the year. He was apparently already deceased prior to the events of the Planemeld in 2E 582, however, Empress Kintrya (from whom Rajhin stole a neck tattoo according to legend) began rule in 3E 48, hundreds of years later. With Khajiiti legend holding that Rajhin became a demigod, and given other examples of how achieving godhood can alter the universe's timeline (Talos, the Tribunal, etc.), it could possibly explain some of the conflicting tales and timelines.
- Ring of Power: While already a legendary thief, the Ring of Khajiiti boosted his abilities Up to Eleven, including enhanced quickness, silent movement, and outright invisibility.
- Self-Duplication: Rajhin's Mantle allows a person to split themselves into multiple "shadows". But it will also drive them mad. Rajhin himself had at least one such Shadow.
Reman Cyrodiil (a.k.a Reman I, The Worldly God, The Light of Man)
Reman Cyrodiil was the Dragonborn founder of the Reman Dynasty, the Second Empire of Men out of Cyrodiil. Born during the late 1st Era, after the Middle Dawn (the first and longest Dragon Break), supposedly in a union of the spirit of Alessia (in the form of the earth itself), Akatosh, and the petty King Hrol (who died as a result). Reman was found born atop a mound of mud the size of a small mountain near Sancre Tor with the Amulet of Kings, long since lost, in hand. He was coronated as a child and rose to the height of his power after defeating the Akaviri invaders. 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 1st Era into part of the 2nd Era under the leadership of the Akaviri Potentates. Contrary to popular belief, the province of Cyrodiil was probably not named after him. Rather, it is believed he took its name for himself (which came from the old Ayleid name for it, Cyrod).
- A Child Shall Lead Them: He was no older than 13 when coronated. According to Remanada, he was still an infant. This proved to be well-justified, as Reman was a Child Prodigy who, along with his status as The Chosen One (having been born possessing the Amulet of Kings), quickly brought both halves of Cyrodiil back together (Colovia and Nibenay) and then the other kingdoms of Men, High Rock and Skyrim.
- Animal Motif: Snakes, even before his birth. His mortal father (King Hrol) was questing for a way to defeat the "snakes to come" he saw in a vision, when he impregnated the spirit of Alessia. Makes sense later when Reman defeats the Akaviri "snake men" and absorbs them into his fledgling proto-empire.
- Born of Magic: According to official Imperial history, he was born of the union of the spirit of Saint Alessia (in the form of the earth itself), Akatosh, and the petty King Hrol (who died as a result). Reman was found born atop a mound of mud the size of a small mountain near Sancre Tor (a fortress/tomb resting place for deceased emperors) with the Amulet of Kings, long since lost, in hand. (There is evidence, however, that his "divine" origins were fabricated in order to legitimize his rule.) The truth is likely lost to history (as well as buried under Imperial propaganda).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his psychoses, as well as his propensity toward violence and decadence, he is (justifiably) remembered as one of the greatest rulers in Cyrodiilic history.
- Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: After defeating the Akaviri, he absorbed them into his armies and their elite Dragonguard became his personal bodyguard. This group would go on to inspire and spawn the Blades.
- The Caligula: History records him as a scary, at times psychotic, and violently decadent ruler. How decadent? He made Sanguine, Daedric Prince of Debauchery, so uncomfortable that he left Reman. The difference between him and most examples in the entry is that he was a capable ruler and became venerated for a reason.
- The Conqueror: His military conquests saw him first unite a divided Cyrodiil and then defeat the Akaviri invaders. The Empire he founded would conquer all of Tamriel but Morrowind and the Summerset Isles. (Though the Isles did join his Empire peacefully via a treaty heavily favorable to the Altmer.)
- Defeat Means Friendship: The Akaviri turn out not to have been invading, but searching (albeit in a heavy-handed manner mistaken for an invasion). For who? A Dragonborn, who they found in Reman after he used the Thu'um against them in the Battle of Pale Pass. They then swore fealty to him.
- Depraved Bisexual: From little we know of him, he makes Vivec's 36 Lessons look mild in comparison.
- Divine Parentage: According to myth, he is the son of St. Alessia, Cyrodiil (yes, as in the land itself), and Akatosh along with the mortal King Hrol.
- Expy: Has resemblances with the Yellow Emperor. Both were revered culture heroes and both were deified 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.
- Folk Hero: Considered a "cultural god-hero" of Cyrodiil. Held right up there with Alessia and Tiber Septim as the greatest Imperial leaders in history.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Founded the Second Cyrodiilic Empire, which would go on to rule all of Tamriel other than Morrowind (though the Summerset Isles were not conquered by force, but through a treaty with extremely favorable terms to the Altmer).
- Frontline General: Along with Risking the King. Justified, given that he was a Dragonborn and could use the Thu'um, making him a very powerful asset in battle. His use of the Thu'um at the Battle of Pale Pass ended the war with the Akaviri, who recognized him as Dragonborn and swore fealty to him.
- God-Emperor: He wasn't called "The Worldly God" for nothing. His descendants were more regular mortals.
- God in Human Form: He was a Dragonborn, possessing the soul of a Dragon in the body of a mortal.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-Universe. There is evidence that his "divine" origins were fabricated in order to legitimize his rule. Further, modern Imperial propaganda has covered up most of his debauchery and psychoses.
- Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It: The 1st Era ended when the last of his line, Reman III, was assassinated. His line had ruled Tamriel for over 200 years by that point. In an extension of it, the Akaviri Potentates would rule for a combined 400 years at the start of the 2nd Era.
- Long Dead Badass: Still held up as one of the greatest rulers in the history of the empires of men.
- Lord Country: There is in-universe debate over whether Cyrodiil is named after him or if he took the name of the country as his surname when he was crowned. It is likely that he took the name of the province, which was originally "Cyrod" in the language of the Ayleids.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: As user of the Thu'um. When he used it against the Akaviri at the Battle of Pale Pass, they recognized him as Dragonborn and swore fealty to him.
The Snow Prince
The Snow Prince was a leader of the Falmer, or Snow Elves, during the late Merethic Era, who fought at the Battle of the Moesring, the Last Stand of Solstheim's Falmer population. His presence singlehandly turned the tide of the battle, before he was unexpectedly killed by a 12 year old girl named Finna, who threw her mother Jofrior's sword at his chest after the Prince slew her in front of her daughter. His death was what convinced many Falmer to turn to the Dwemer for help against the Nords.
- An Ice Person: Was a master of ice magic to the point that Lokeim described him as being surrounded by snow and ice as he cut a bloody swath through the Nords.
- Blade on a Stick: His personal weapon was the Spear of the Snow Prince, which not only weakened armor but had ice powers of its own.
- Due to the Dead: Unlike the remains of his fellow Snow Elves, which were burned as per Nord tradition, he was buried with full honors befitting any Nord warriors, with guards even stationed at his tomb, which would one day become Jolgeirr Barrow.
- Hero Killer: Killed many famous Nord warriors of the era, including Ulfgi Anvil-Hand, Strom the White, Freida Oaken-Wand, and Heimdall the Frenzied.
- Hope Bringer: His very presence brought hope to the Snow Elves fighting the Nords.
- One-Man Army: Up until he was killed, the Snow Prince was slaughtering his way through the Nord ranks, and was turning the tide from what was originally a rout before his death.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The Snow Prince was only known by his epithet.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Finna, daughter of Jofrior, threw her mother's sword at him in a fit of rage after watching Jorfrior get cut down by the Prince, which impaled him through the chest.
- Worthy Opponent: The Nords thought so, to the point that he had honors befitting any Nord warrior in death.
Tiber Septim (a.k.a Talos Stormcrown, Hjalti Early-Beard, Ysmir, the Dragon of the North, Wulf)
Born: 2E 828 (Disputed - Possibly Atmora or Alclaire, High Rock)
Died: 3E 38 (Cyrodiil)
The Dragonborn founder of the Third Tamriellic Empire, Tiber Septim was the first person to unite all of Tamriel under one empire. He has several highly-conflicting origin stories with the truth likely lost forever to history, as well as buried under centuries of Imperial propaganda, and possibly even retroactively changed following his apotheosis.
According to official Imperial orthodoxynote , Septim was born as Talos in Atmora. Of Nordic descent, Talos spent his youth in Skyrim before rising to prominence when he, at the age of 20, used the Thu'um to defeat the Witchmen at Old Hroldan. He was declared "Ysmir, Dragon of the North" by the Greybeards and then came into the service of the Colovian Petty King Cuhlecain as a General. When an assassin from High Rock killed Cuhlecain, Septim took over Cuhlecain's young empire. Due to injures suffered in that same assassination attempt, Septim was no longer able to use the Thu'um, but still lead his empire in taking over most of Tamriel. After the peaceful vassalization of Morrowind, the Dunmeri Tribunal gave Septim the Dwemer-constructed Numidium in tribute. Despite an attempted betrayal by his Imperial Battlemage, Zurin Arctus, Septim used the Numidium to complete his conquest, unifying all of Tamriel.
According to tales considered heresy by Empirenote , Septim was born as Hjalti Early-Beard on the island of Alclaire in High Rock, and was of Breton descent. Septim rose to prominence under Cuhlecain, but had a secret ally known only as the Underking (who may and may not have been an immortal person, who's true name was Ysmir Wulfharth). A mysterious storm of the Underking's doing protected Septim at Old Hroldan, and later, Septim would murder Cuhlecain to usurp his throne. The Underking would continue to aid Septim in his conquests, until Septim agreed to the peaceful vassalization of Morrowind. The Underking considered this a betrayal that legitimized the Dunmeri Tribunal, so he left Septim. As part of the Armistice with Morrowind, Septim acquired the Dwemer-constructed Numidium. Requiring an immensely powerful power source, Septim's Imperial Battlemage, Zurin Arctus, lured the Underking into a trap. Arctus was able to soul-trap the Underking, but not before the Underking killed him and all of his men. Septim used the immensely powerful filled soul gem, known as the Mantella, to power the Numidium and complete his conquest of Tamriel. Septim then began using the Numidium to destroy the neutral royal families of Tamriel so that he could enthrone persons he knew to be loyal. The Underking, now an undead entity merger of the original and Zurin Arctus, disagreed with this use of Numidium, and tried to reclaim the Mantella. However, the process devastated both the Numidium and the Underking.
In either case, Septim would become many things from there — hero, conqueror, villain — and ultimately, the Emperor of the first truly pan-Tamrielic Empire. Septim ruled for an unprecedented 81 years (38 after unifying Tamriel), after which his grandson, Pelagius I, took over. Although nothing is known of his mortal parents, Septim had one known brother, Agnorith, and is said to be descended metaphysically from St. Alessia, as well as Reman Cyrodiil. As a Dragonborn (in both senses of the word), his dynasty was one of several supernatural barriers to keep Tamriel and Oblivion distinct.
The below tropes are associated with Tiber Septim, the mortal. For tropes relating to Talos the diety, see his entry on the Divine Beings page. (Some tropes may warrant placement on both, but please be judicious.)
- 100% Adoration Rating: Among the Imperials and Nords, for founding the Third Empire and just generally being a hero of mankind.
- Ambition Is Evil: According to the heretical tales, Septim's lust for power led him to do some incredibly evil and underhanded things, such as betraying his allies and forcing Barenziah to have a magical abortion because the child would've been inconvenient.
- Anti-Hero: According to the heretical tales, Septim was a scheming, manipulative bastard who was not above using assassination or betraying allies 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 (among others) behind the back of his own wife, then forcing a magical abortion on her once she was with child.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Joined the Eight Divines after his death as Talos, turning the group into the Nine Divines. This has been variously explained by either him "mantling" Lorkhan (by fusing his soul with Zurin Arctus/Wulfharth/Numidium), fusing his soul with the entirety of the Imperial race, and/or many other wild explanations.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Talos, meaning "Stormcrown" in Ehlnofex. Virtually all of his Red Barons as well.
- Badass Army: Septim reformed the Imperial Legions, who were the main fighting force in his conquests.
- Badass in Charge: As Emperor of Tamriel. He could use the Thu'um early in his campaigns, controlled the Numidium later, and throughout was a masterful scheming manipulator.
- Big Good: Is remembered as the greatest hero of mankind. Even the more negative historical accounts still paint him as someone genuinely interested in making Tamriel a better place by uniting its peoples.
- Bling of War: The Armor of Tiber Septim, said to have been worn by Septim during his conquest of Tamriel, is an extremely blingy gold and silver armor set loosely resembling Roman armor.
- Compelling Voice: The Voice of the Emperor ability, inherent in all Imperials and attributed to him, allows the user to pacify others. (This ability to pacify people is noticeably similar to the effects of several Dragon Shouts, with it theorized 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.)
- The Conqueror: He founded the Third Empire of men out of Cyrodiil. He initially matched the Reman Dynasty conquests, then got Morrowind to join his empire via armistice, and then used the Numidium he received as part of that armistice to become the first man to conquer the Summerset Isles by military force, uniting all of Tamriel under one empire for the first time in history.
- Cue the Rain: Following his death, it rained throughout Tamriel for an entire fortnight "as if the land itself was weeping".
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Brought the Summerset Isles into his empire in this fashion, using the Numidium to sack their capital and decimate their army in less than an hour.
- Deity of Human Origin: Became the deity Talos, the Ninth Divine, following his death under unclear (and hotly debated to this day) circumstances.
- Divine Parentage: Claims this, as do all the legitimate Cyrodiilic Emperors, from Akatosh (metaphysically through St. Alessia's "Dragon Blood").
- The Emperor: The first Emperor of Tamriel to truly rule the entire continent. Considered the greatest in the history of the empires of men for this and many other reasons.
- A Father to His Men: He was a great leader who truly cared for the well-being of the men serving in his legions.
- Folkhero: To the Imperials and Nords as the founder of the first truly pan-Tamriellic empire and simply in general as a great hero of mankind.
- Forced Miscarriage: According to the (debatably authentic) account of The Real Barenziah, After Barenziah became pregnant by him as a result of their affair, he ordered his healer to terminate the pregnancy against her wishes because of the threat that it posed to his legitimate heirs.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Founded the Third Tamrielic Empire, and was 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 in the pantheon of the Divines.
- Frontline General: Along with Risking the King, at least early in his campaigns. Justified as a user of the Thu'um, which is a powerful weapon.
- God-Emperor: The "God" part came after his death, but he is still considered this by the Imperials and Nords.
- God in Human Form: As a Dragonborn, with the immortal spirit of a Dragon in a mortal body.
- God Job: Ascended to Godhood as Talos following his death. Exactly how this occurred has been debated by lore scholars (in-universe and out) ever since.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: He forced this upon Barenziah after she became pregnant by him. Barenziah wanted to keep the child, but since a bastard child from a Dunmer mistress would be very inconvenient for the Emperor, he basically forced his healer to magically abort it against her will.
- The Good King: Was one in life, at least (according to the Imperials and Nords); he then ascended to become the God of War and Good Governance, essentially making him the god of this trope.
- Great Offscreen War: The Tiber Wars of the late 2nd Era, during which he became the first person to conquer all of Tamriel.
- Guile Hero: According to the orthodox tales, whenever overwhelming force wasn't enough to accomplish his goals, he'd find creative alternatives. The heretical tales instead paint him as a Manipulative Bastard, who wasn't above betrayal and using assassination get what he desired."If you are of no use to Tiber Septim, he will see to it that you are of no use to his enemies either..."
- Gratuitous Latin: His Imperial name of Tiber Septim. "Tiber" is the name of the river that runs through Rome, and Septim comes from "Septem", Latin for "seven".
- Handicapped Badass: Early in his campaigns, he could use the power of the Thu'um. However, a failed assassination attempt left him with his throat slashed and unable to speak in more than whisper. He still completed his conquest of Tamriel (with the help of the Numidium at the end). He would later ascend to Godhood.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Was stated to be, and is frequently depicted as, a sword user. According to the heretical tales of his life, he studied with "the sword masters of Alcaire", the supposed place of his birth in High Rock.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-Universe. He was the first emperor to unite all of Tamriel and is held up as a paragon of mankind, especially by the Imperials and Nords. Following his death, he did become the god Talos and even took the top spot as the chief deity on the Nordic pantheon. However, elements of his past are almost certainly embellished and/or outright fabricated as part of Imperial propaganda to appeal to the Nords, whose support he badly needed in order to forge his empire. He may have had a hand in the assassination of King Cuhlecain so that he could usurp the position. Many of his best known exploits can quite possibly be attributed to others (the Underking, Zurin Arctus) or, at the very least, his role in them was highly embellished. His legions were brutal in conquering Tamriel, committing many atrocities along the way (such as slaughtering Barenziah's family). He almost certainly betrayed and killed one of his closest advisors (Zurin Arctus) in order to power the Numidium to complete his conquests, then declared that it was Arctus who betrayed him. Of course, the worship of him isn't entirely unfounded, as there is evidence that he really did ascend to Godhood... and may be one of the last things holding Mundus together.
- Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It: Proclaimed the beginning of the 3rd Era after he had completed his conquest of all of Tamriel.
- Horny Vikings:
- Orthodox histories state that he was Nord. However, it is highly likely that his iconography as such (and even his claim of being born in Atmora) was fabricated to make the Nords more accepting of his rule.
- Other sources imply that he may have been a Breton (or at least half-Breton). According to The Arcturian Heresy he was born on an island in the Iliac Bay region of High Rock, and in C0DA, Kyne calls Talos a "manmer" (a common term for Bretons). The ghost of a man who fought alongside Septim at Old Hroldan in Skyrim also refers to Septim as "Hjalti".
- Humongous Mecha: Acquired the Dwemer-crafted Numidium as part of the Armistice with Morrowind and used it to complete his conquests to great effect.
- 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 was his birth name.
- Jumped at the Call: Visited the Greybeards when they called for him, accepted their title, studied to hone his Thu'um, and ventured south to Cyrodiil to forge an empire on their word.
- The Kingslayer: According to the heretical stories, he had a hand in the assassination of King Cuhlecain and may have even performed the deed himself.
- Last of His Kind:
- Popular myth across the Empire (especially among the Nords) 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 Atmorans. According to other sources however, Atmora had been a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland for thousands of years by the time of his birth. A different historical figure, Wulfharth Ash-King (who may also be part of Talos the god, according to The Arcturian Heresy), likely was the last Atmoran.
- He was also the last person to be summoned by the Greybeards (and possibly the last Dragonborn overall) until the Dragonborn of Skyrim.
- Long Dead Badass: He has been dead for hundreds of years before the first game in the main series even takes place. Still, he is held up and revered as the greatest ruler in Tamriellic history. (At least to the races of men...)
- Long-Lived: Was about 106 years old when he died. It is rumored that he had his mages use spells to extend his life.
- MayDecember Romance: His affair with Barenziah, as he was many decades her senior. Ironically, a MayflyDecember Romance in the other direction, as Barenziah was a Dunmer who would outlive Septim by centuries.
- 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 or as well? The Merger of Souls theory behind Talos also opens up the possibilities of Septim's personal history combining with those of Wulfharth and Arctus, making several or all of the choices true, regardless of the conflicts.
- Mysterious Backer: The Underking served him as one, according to the heretical tales.
- Necessarily Evil: His many betrayals and evil things he did allowed him to ascend to godhood and hold Mundus and Nirn together. Perhaps as penitence, when he combined with his former allies to become Talos, he retroactively made them parts of himself. This essentially means that he betrayed and forced himself to suffer in order to create himself and keep Mundus from falling apart. Figure that one out.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Recovers the Amulet of Kings from the tomb of Reman III and proves capable of wearing it.
- Posthumous Character: Has been dead for over 300 years by the time of the main series. The only game during which he was alive is the spin-off "Adventures" game Redguard, and he doesn't make an appearance there either.
- Puppet King: Was convinced by his General Symmachus to spare the young Barenziah, the sole survivor of her influential Dunmeri family after the Imperial Legion sacked Mournhold, for this reason. She would be placed in foster care until she came of age and then would be installed Queen of Morrowind, a figurehead ruler who would appease the Dunmer and look out for Imperial interests.
- Reality Warper:
- As a Dragonborn, he was capable of this using the Thu'um.
- Late in his campaigns, he used the Numidium, which was known to have this effect merely by being activated.
- Red Baron: The Dragon of the North, a title bestowed upon him by the Greybeards.
- Rising Empire: The rare monarch whose rule covered the entire "rising" action of the Empire right into Hegemonic Empire status.
- Royal "We": Was known to speak in this fashion, albeit inconsistently. He tended to do it when giving a command that he personally disliked but was for the betterment of the Empire, such as ordering Barenziah's child by him to be magically aborted:"This must not be!" he said. "Undo it. We command you..." "It is our express wish that you do so.""You promised us she would not bear to us. We've little faith in your prognostications."
- Star-Crossed Lovers: According to The Real Barenziah series, he and Barenziah fit this trope, as 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.
- Time Crash: After he received the Numidium, his mages accidentally created a temporal anomaly in Elsweyr where they tried to figure out how to control it.
- 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 (except on one of the stills in the hand-drawn opening cutscene).
- Young Conqueror: Septim was 26 when he claimed the long-vacant Ruby Throne of Cyrodiil following the death of the King Cuhlecain. He would go on to become the first person to conquer all of Tamriel.
- Written by the Winners: Everything regarding Septim's life save for the official orthodoxy has been denied, covered up, and/or suppressed by the Empire in the centuries since Septim's death. Additionally, Septim himself commissioned the first Pocket Guide to the Empire, a notoriously biased work toward the Empire.
Topal the Pilot was an Aldmeri explorer and poet who was the first to discover and explore Tamriel during the Merethic Era, encountering primitive versions of the Khajiit and Argonians, as well as a now extinct race of bird people. His story was compiled into an epic known as Father of the Niben, but most of it was lost over the centuries.
- Bold Explorer: The first Aldmer to explore Tamriel, he was also the first to navigate deep into Cyrodiil's interior.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: The details of large portions of his trip are missing from the historical record. Most notable is an 80 month period between landing in modern day High Rock and being on the north-east coast of Morrowind.
- Here There Be Dragons: Topal, a skilled cartographer, was on an in-universe Cartography Sidequest from the Aldmer to explore and document Tamriel's inland regions, which were very mysterious to them at the time. While he didn't encounter actual dragons (that we know of), he did encounter "cat demons", "human lizards", "bat lizards", and "bird people".
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In addition to his other skills, Topal was said to be a "master of archery", and was skilled enough archer to strike the head of a "bat lizard" (believed to be an ancestor of the Cliff Racers, if not the actual creature itself) in the head from a distance.
- Irony: Topal actually explored the Topal Bay and Niben River system by mistake. After exiting Black Marsh, while trying to get back home to Firsthold, he mistook the "jutting peninsula" of Elsweyr as the mainland and sailed north into the Bay and River. Had he known that was a peninsula and sailed around it, he would have gotten home much sooner and never would have explored central Cyrodiil, his most famous accomplishment.
- Lord Country: The Topal Bay of southern Cyrodiil, Elsweyr, and Black Marsh is named after him. Cyrodiil's Niben River system and Nibenay Valley are named after his boat, the Niben.
- Magic Compass: Possessed a "waystone", crystalline balls of Aldmeri make that rotate on their axis toward a specific direction. Topal's waystone was "north-east pointing".
- Mighty Whitey: He and the other Aldmer taught the Bird Men how to read and write in return for what would later become the Isle of Imperial City.
- Warrior Poet: Among the many skills Topal was said to possess "prowess" in was as a survivalist, archer, and raconteur.
Umaril the Unfeathered
- "[Presently] the half-Elf [showed himself] bathed in [Meridian light] ... and he listed his bloodline in the Ayleidoon and spoke of his father, a god of the [previous kalpa's] World-River and taking great delight in the heavy-breathing of Pelinal who had finally bled... "- The Song of PelinalRace: Ayleid/DemigodBorn: ?? (sometime prior to the 1st Era, ??)Died: 1E 243 (initial banishment, Cyrodiil), 3E 433 (actual death)
Umaril the Unfeathered was an Ayleid sorcerer-king who ruled the Ayleid Empire from the White-Gold Tower at the time of the Alessian Revolt. He was a "half-Elf," born to an Ayleid mother and divine father, claimed to be the "God of the World-River" from the previous kalpa. He was defeated in combat by Pelinal, but had been granted immortality by the Daedric Prince Meridia, so did not die. Instead, he was cast adrift in Oblivion for thousands of years until the end of the 3rd Era, when he returned to Mundus seeking revenge and was defeated (and finally killed) by the Divine Crusader.
- Arch-Enemy: Pelinal Whitestrake.
- Big Bad: Of the Alessian Revolt and the Knights of the Nine DLC for Oblivion.
- Bling of War: Is outfitted entirely in golden armor.
- Deader Than Dead: In order to fully kill him, his body must first be killed and then his soul destroyed in Oblivion. Pelinal was only able to accomplish the former during their battle.
- Divine Intervention: He was originally banished by Pelinal Whitestrake, himself a form of divine intervention sent by the Divines to aid Alessia. When he returns, the Divine Crusader is only able to kill him for good thanks to The Blessing of Talos.
- Divine Parentage: He claims that his father was the "God of the World-River" from the previous kalpa, or cycle of time. His mother was an Ayleid, making him a Half-Human Hybrid.
- Elite Mooks: He had them armed with special weapons he "wrought" but held them back until Pelinal charged the White-Gold tower on his own. Armed with these weapons, they were able to make Pelinal bleed for the first time. When he returned, he had Meridia's Aurorans in this role.
- High-Altitude Battle: The Divine Crusader defeats his spirit in the "spirit world", which is apparently a few hundred feet up in the air above Cyrodiil.
- Large and in Charge: He was the ruler of the Ayleid Empire and depictions have him at nearly twice the height of Pelinal during their battle. When he returns, he is noticeably taller than other Aurorans, who themselves were already quite tall.
- Light Is Not Good: Outfitted entirely in golden armor and has the patronage of Meridia, a Daedric Prince generally considered benevolent and associated with light. Make no mistake, he is not good.
- Meaningful Name: His wings don't have feathers. May cross into Punny Name.
- No Holds Barred Beat Down: Was on the receiving end of one from Pelinal. However, he could not be killed and his minions cut Pelinal to pieces afterward."[And] Umaril was laid low, the angel face of his helm dented into an ugliness which made Pelinal laugh, [and his] unfeathered wings broken off with sword strokes delivered while Pelinal stood [frothing]..."
- One-Handed Zweihänder: Wields his BFS is this fashion.
- Orcus on His Throne: Favored a "ruin-from-afar" approach by sending his minions to do his dirty work.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Hates the Divines, as they were the reason for his downfall. Churches to their worship were his first targets when he returned.
- Resurrective Immortality: Thanks to being Meridia's champion, every time his mortal body dies, his spirit is sent back to Oblivion to re-form. (Not all that unlike an actual Daedric being.)
- Spikes of Villainy: His "wings" come across looking more like spikes due to their lack of feathers.
- Winged Humanoid: Descriptions of him state that he had "unfeathered" angelic wings, hence his name.
Uriel Septim V
Inheriting an Empire wracked with internal strife and floundering support in the provinces, Uriel V would lead the Third Empire back to greatness by launching a series of invasions outside of Tamriel. Despite initial successes, he would fail to conquer Akavir as he had hoped, and would fall there in battle himself. Despite his failure, he was a well-liked ruler and his reputation as a warrior-emperor is considered second only to Tiber himself among the Septim dynasty.
- Anti-Magic: His Battlemages reported being "abnormally weak" while in Akavir, and it is suspected that the Tsaesci had something to do with it.
- The Conqueror: In an attempt to turn attention away from the Empire's internal strife, he launched a series of invasions outside of Tamriel leading all the way to Akavir, which he hoped to turn into a new province.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Inverted with the forces he first took to Akavir. Due to space restrictions on his fleet, his forces were underspecialized except for the Battlemages. The lack of cavalry was one of the biggest issues, as it left his infantry and settlements vulnerable to quick-strike attacks by mounted Tsaesci raiders.
- Death by a Thousand Cuts: In nearly every direct confrontation with the Tsaesci forces, Uriel's legions routed them easily. However, he could not replace his losses and his army tended to suffer the heaviest losses to Tsaesci mounted raiders while they traveled or made camp.
- Expy: Draws parallels to Alexander the Great, a conquering European emperor who drove his armies far past the edge of the "known world" at the time. Uriel V is what Alexander would have been if Alexander had died fighting in India.
- Frontline General: Considered a great "warrior-emperor" in the vein of Tiber Septim. He died covering the retreat of one of his legions.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Died covering the retreat of one of his legions.
- Ignored Expert: The Psijic Order reportedly advised him against an invasion of Akavir, but he ignored them. Future Septim emperors would distance themselves from the Order, leading to a sharp decline in its influence on the Empire.
- Long Dead Badass: Despite his eventual defeat in Akavir, he is considered second only to Tiber Septim himself as a warrior-emperor and general in the Septim dynasty.
- Outside-Context Problem: To the Tsaesci of Akavir, who were apparently quite surprised by the invasion. Unfortunately, instead of capitalizing on their surprise and confusion, Uriel wasted time sending messengers in an attempt to contact whoever it was that ruled the Tsaesci in order to negotiate terms of their surrender.
- Weather Manipulation: The Akaviri winter was far longer and more intense than his intelligence reports indicated it would be. Further, it was plagued by a sudden and mysterious drought. Additionally, severe storms along the oceanic supply lines sank many of his ships traveling between Akavir and Tamriel. Magical manipulation by the Tsaesci is speculated to be the cause in all cases.
- Wutai: Akavir plays the role of Asia to Tamriel's Europe, and he tried to conquer it.
One of the most legendary mages in Tamriel's history and the founder of the Mages Guild. Vanus was initially a member of the Psijic Order alongside Mannimarco, and was the one responsible for the latter's expulsion from the Order after his work in necromancy was discovered. He would eventually leave the Order to create a new society where mages from all across Tamriel could come together and study their craft, which became known as the Mages Guild.
During the Interregnum, Vanus was one of the key leaders of the fight against Molag Bal's invasion of Nirn, directing the Mages Guild against the Lord of Lies and serving as one of the commanders of the united Fighters Guild and Mages Guild forces in Coldharbour.
- Arch-Enemy: Mannimarco. The two were arch rivals even before Vanus discovered his nercomancy, and the hatred has only gotten worse since then. In the Third Era, the complete destruction of the Mages Guild and Vanus' legacy is the Worm Cult's top priority.
- The Arch Mage: The original Arch-Mage of Tamriel, sort of. Despite being the one who first coined the term, he insisted that the legendary First Era mage Shalidor be recognized as an Arch-Mage due to his legendary contributions to the magic arts.
- Big Good: Becomes this for the last act of Online's main quest, serving as the de facto leader of the united Fighters and Mages Guild forces set against Molag Bal.
- Insufferable Genius: He has a bad habit of dipping into this in Online.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He often makes disparaging comments towards those he considers less intelligent than him (which is pretty much everyone) and reacts poorly when asked about topics he feels are obvious, but during the course of Online he proves to be a stalwart ally and friend of the Vestige, even if he does talk down to them now and then.
Saint Veloth the Pilgrim
St. Veloth was a Chimer mystic who led his people away from the decadent, Aedra-worshipping Summerset Isles to their "promised land" of Morrowind, where he espoused worship of their ancestors and the "Good Daedra" (Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala) while also teaching his people how to negotiate with the "Bad Daedra" (Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath). He is considered to be one of the greatest heroes of the Dunmer and was a greater saint of the Tribunal Temple.
- Body to Jewel: When Veloth first laid eyes upon the new homeland of the Chimer, a single tear fell down his face and crystallized. Known as Veloth's Tear, this crystallized tear has immense restorative powers.
- Bonsai Forest: He was said to have brought the seeds of trees with him from the Summerset Isle and planted them in Vvardenfell. With ashy, volcanic soil not being the best supporter of vegetation, the trees that took were sparse and remained quite small.
- Defector from Decadence: Veloth was born into a noble Aldmeri family, but viewed his homeland with disdain as he believed Aldmeri society was founded on ambition, greed, and decadence. This, added to the visions he received from the "Good" Daedra, led to the Velothi dissident movement and eventually, their exodus to Morrowind.
- Deity of Human Origin: Preached the "Psijic Endeavor," which was a process taught to him by the Good Daedra that supposedly allowed mortals to ascend to divinity. Vivec would later build upon Veloth's teachings on the subject.
- Draws many parallels with the biblical Moses. His leading the Chimer people to Morrowind is even referred to as an exodus.
- Similarly, he parallels Tenoch, the tribal leader who led the Aztec people to Lake Texcoco after receiving a vision.
- Healing Hands: Was known to be a remarkable healer and many Tribunal Temple healing spells bear his name.
- Lord Country: The mountain range separating Morrowind from Skyrim is known as the Velothi Mountains in his honor.
- Mage Tower: The various ancient towers of Morrowind are known as "Velothi Towers" and frequently serve in this role.
- The Migration: Led the Chimer people in an exodus from the Summerset Isles to modern day Morrowind in order to freely practice Daedra worship and to escape the disdainful decadence of mainstream Aldmeri culture.
- Mission from God: The Good Daedra sent him visions to influence him to reject the Aedra. Boethiah even "ate" the Aedric being Trinimac and took his form to convince Veloth to lead the exodus.
- Religious Bruiser: Very religious and carried an enchanted Daedric warhammer (known as "Veloth's Judgement") to smite his foes. He would eventually throw down his hammer and become a pacifist after reaching Morrowind.
- Unwitting Pawn: He may have been deceived by the very Good Daedra he would later worship in order to lead his people on their exodus.
Wulfharth Ash-King (a.k.a. Ysmir, Dragon of the North, Shor's Tongue, Storm of Kyne, the Kingmaker, The Underkingnote )
Wulfharth was an Atmoran-born High King of Skyrim during the 1st Era. He is believed to have been a Dragonborn and a Shezarrine, one of the few beings connected to both. According to legend, he died and came back to life at least three times. He was involved with many significant historical events of the 1st Era, including the battle against the Alessian Order at Glenumbria Moors, the banishment of Alduin, and the Battle of Red Mountain (which resulted in one of his deaths). Later, after one of his revivals, he became embroiled in Tiber Septim's grand plans which eventually led to his third (and presumably final) death. Wulfharth seems to have a particular connection to the Heart of Lorkhan, as he tends to appear whenever it is threatened (such as by the Dwemer and the Kamal).
- Arch-Enemy: He despises the Dunmeri Tribunal of Morrowind and wants to see them destroyed due to reasons such as the Tribunal tampering with the Heart of Lorkhan (mind you, this guy is an avatar of the said god) and being defeated by them. After initially aiding Tiber Septim in his conquests, he feels betrayed when Septim agrees to the Armistice with Morrowind, seeing it as a validation of the Tribunal religion, and leaves Septim for a time.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His Thu'um was so powerful that he couldn't be sworn into office as High King of Skyrim verbally. Scribes had to draw up his oaths as a result.
- Back from the Dead: Has died and come back to life at least three times. He first died while reversing the curse of Orkey and Alduin, one that turned he and all of the Nords into children, but made himself too old by mistake and died. He was brought back to life when Shor's ghost needed a general to lead the Nordic invasion of Morrowind, but was killed by a coalition of Dwemer and Chimer forces at Red Mountain. He was again brought back to life by the Jorunn Skald-King, who summoned him from Sovngarde with a shout that Greybeards taught him, which was possibly the Call of Valor shout that you get to use in Skyrim, to aid in the fight against the Kamal invaders from Akavir. (Others say it was Almalexia of all people who summoned him back for this reason.) He was finally killed a third time by Zurin Arctus who trapped Wulfharth's soul within the Mantella, but not before killing Arctus with his dying breath. (And possibly merging the two into one being as the undead Underking as a result.)
- Body Double: According to the "heretical" tales of Tiber Septim's life, he served as this to Hjalti, pretending to be Tiber Septim so that they could conquer and govern in two places at once.
- Dragged Off to Hell:
- After defeating a troublesome tribe of Orcs, Wulfharth "shouted their chief into Hell".
- This later happened to Wulfharth himself following his death at Red Mountain. He was, however, rescued by Kyne.
- Eternal Hero: As a Shezarrine. He is probably the best example out of them since he has returned at least three times.
- Frontline General: Like most leaders of the Nords. Justified due to the strength of his Thu'um, an immensely powerful weapon best deployed in the thick of combat. He was notably serving as one during the Battle of Red Mountain, where he died one of his deaths.
- God in Human Form: As a Shezarrine and Dragonborn. While not quite Complete Immortality, he possessed abilities far beyond those of typical mortals and is directly connected at least two divine beings.
- Kill 'Em All:
- According to "The Secret Song of King Wulfharth," this was the fate of nearly all of the leaders at the Battle of Red Mountain. Wulfharth blinded Alandro Sul with a shout, but was himself struck down. Meanwhile, Nerevar, Dagoth, Dumac, and Shor who had been reunited with his Heart all killed each other but not before Nerevar was able to cut out Shor's heart once again.
- This was the result of the fight that ensued when Zurin Arctus attempted to trap Wulfharth's soul. Wulfharth killed all of Arctus' soldiers and then killed Arctus himself with his dying breath. However, Arctus' soul-trap spell succeeded. The two were apparently left merged into one undying being known as the Underking. (A title that Wulfharth possibly went by even before this event.)
- Knight Templar:
- Was fanatically obsessed with forcing the citizens of Skyrim to worship only the Old Nordic pantheon. His first act as High King of Skyrim was to outlaw the Alessian Order, slaughter their members, and burn their temples to the ground.
- He hated the Dunmeri Tribunal and wanted them destroyed above all else. When Tiber Septim made a deal with them, Wulfharth saw it as a validation of the Tribunal religion and abandoned Septim as a result.
- Long Dead Badass: At least, in between his resurrections. He's considered one of the greatest heroes in Nordic history, which is really saying something.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: A noted user of the Thu'um himself, many Nord "Tongues" served him as generals, including Jurgen Wind-Caller.
- Mundane Utility: Well, at least as "mundane" as something like the Thu'um can be. He once used it to "swallow a thundercloud" to protect his army from "catching cold". Considering that such a Shout exists in Skyrim, it's possible that this was simply him using Clear Skies to make the storm vanish.
- Mysterious Backer: As the Underking to Tiber Septim, in the more heretical tales of Septim's life.
- Prophecy Twist: When he tries to answer the Greybeards call for The Chosen One, he is blasted to ash and told that he is not the one. The Greybeards do leave him with a message though: "remember the color of betrayal." When Tiber Septim makes an Armistice with Morrowind, validating the rule of the Tribunal that Wulfharth hates so much, Wulfharth believes this to be the "betrayal" and leaves Septim. It turns out that this is not the case. Septim later contacts Wulfharth and agrees that the Tribunal must be destroyed. However, when Wulfharth arrives, he is ambushed by Zurin Arctus and Imperial soldiers. Arctus soul-traps Wulfharth within the Mantella, but not before Wulfharth kills Arctus with his dying breath. This was the betrayal the Greybeards spoke of.
- The Purge: His first new law as High King of Skyrim was to order this against the Alessian Order, slaughtering the members within Skyrim's borders and burning their temples to the ground.
- Reality Warper: As a Dragonborn and user of the Thu'um.
- Rapid Aging: After using Thu'um to age up everyone in Skyrim (after Alduin and Orkey made them children), he aged himself up too fast and died for the first time.
- Red Baron: Shor's Tongue, which he earned when (violently) reinstated the Old Nordic pantheon in Skyrim. Breath of Kyne, which he earned when he swallowed a storm cloud to protect his army. The Dragon of the North, bestowed on him by the Greybeards. Ash-King refers to either Shor's ghost remaking Wulfharth from his ashes, or him having been "blasted to ash" by the Greybeards.
- Refused by the Call: When the Greybeards summoned The Chosen One who will restore the Empire and conquer the elves, Wulfharth goes to them believing that he is the one. Instead, he is "blasted to ash" by the Greybeards who declare Hjalti of High Rock (a young Tiber Septim) to be the one instead.
- Soul Jar: If it wasn't Zurin Arctus' soul that was placed into the Mantella to control Numidium, then it was Wulfharth's. Or both? As stated in the entry for Arctus, reliable levels of certainty go out the window in this case.
- Taking You with Me: When Zurin Arctus ambushed and soul-trapped him in order to power the Mantella, Wulfharth killed Arctus with his "dying breath" and as a result of his final actions, possibly merged the two into the same "Underking" being.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Had his taken by Zurin Arctus who trapped it within the Mantella in order to power Numidium.
The first king of Men in Tamriel, Ysgramor was a Atmoran (ancient proto-Nord) hero who led his family and some like minded individuals from their homeland of Atmora to the northernmost area of Tamriel, now 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 written human language based on Atmoran and Elvish linguistic principles. After the Falmer, native "snow elves" of Skyrim, massacred an Atmoran city, Ysgramor and his sons returned to Atmora. There, they gathered a group of potent warriors known as the 500 Companions, and handily slaughtered the majority of the Falmer population and drove the remainder underground. Ysgramor's leadership and line of succession would see the Nords establish the First Empire of Men in Tamriel, reaching from High Rock to Morrowind, before 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: His iconic weapon, Wuuthrad, was a battleaxe which dealt extra damage to elves. You can reforge and use it in Skyrim.
- Badass Army: He formed and led one, the 500 Companions, from whom the current Companions organization of warriors descends. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they annihilated the Falmer population of Skyrim and drove the survivors underground.
- Badass Beard: As an expy of old Viking kings, of course he had a very large beard. (It is even larger in his statues than when his spirit is met in Sovngarde.)
- Badass Bookworm: The first human historian and creator of the first human written language, all while being a badass warrior king.
- Badass Cape: Is always depicted with one in his statues.
- Canon Immigrant: Ysgramor and his 500 Companions were first mentioned in an "Obscure Text" written by former developer Michael Kirkbride years before they showed up in Skyrim to make them an indisputable part of the series' lore.
- The Conqueror: Though originally a peaceful migrant from Atmora, Ysgramor returned to Skyrim with his 500 Companions after the Falmer destroyed the city of Saarthal and nearly drove the Falmer to extinction, conquering Skyrim for the Nords ever after.
- Cunning Linguist: Is credited with creating the old Nordic Runic writing system, said to be the first written language of Men in Tamriel based on Atmoran and Aldmeri (Elven) linguistic principles.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: According to the Skaal, he was known to have outsmarted Hermaeus Mora on a regular basis.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Falmer destroyed Saarthal, so he nearly drove them to extinction.
- Fantastic Racism: Against the races of Elves, especially the Falmer.
- A Father to His Men: Literally and figuratively. He's known as the father of the Nordic people and to a lesser extent, of all mankind (in Septim propaganda). Every Nordic king has claimed at least some ancestry with him.
- Final Solution: He and his followers killed any Snow Elf they could, be it men, women or children, eventually forcing the remnants to seek refuge with the Dwemer.
- Founder of the Kingdom: He established the first Empire of Men in Tamriel which would extend across all of northern Tamriel from High Rock to Morrowind at its height, only falling due to a succession crisis. He is still revered as the ultimate example of a Nordic King to this day.
- Genius Bruiser: Wise enough to outsmart Hermaeus Mora, become the first human historian, and invented a written language all while being a badass warrior king.
- God Was My Copilot: Hans the Fox, one of Ysgramor's 500 Companions, is believed to be have been a Shezarrine.
- The Good King: He is honored by any Nord worth his salt as the greatest leader they ever had.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: In Online, Ysgramor is the force behind the The Vestige and Skald-King Jorunn.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-Universe. Some scholars suggest that the accomplishments credited to Ysgramor were actually performed by several early Nordic kings. Additionally, his claim that the Falmer attack on Saarthal was "unprovoked" is disputed by numerous records of the Elves who say that the attack was in response to repeated "provocations and blasphemies" committed by the Atmoran immigrants.
- Horny Vikings: Ysgramor was so much this, aesthetic and all, that he (along with Talos) is the standard for which every Nord warrior aspires.
- Large and in Charge: When met in Sovngarde at the end of Skyrim, he stands much taller than anyone else.
- Long Dead Badass: To the Nords, who consider him one of their greatest cultural heroes. He and 500 of his men toppled the empire of the Falmer and established the first homeland of free men in Tamriel. Even thousands of years later, he's revered as a warrior and a leader, especially by the Companions.
- Manly Tears: Shed some when his son died.
- Memetic Badass: In-universe. While his badassery is completely founded, the Nords of Skyrim adamantly believe that he could eat his soup with a fork.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's never truly established, but it's implied he brought the Dragon Cult to Skyrim from Atmora, bringing many years of terror and slavery to the Nords. It's also speculated that he had dragons helping him against the Snow Elves, which would also explain why only 500 men were able to destroy a long established civilization and drive their race to near extinction.
- Papa Wolf: Don't mess with his people. The Snow Elves did, and he drove them to near extinction. Another example is with 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 goes home to Atmora, raises an army of 500 companions, and returns to nearly slaughter the entire Snow Elf race, before basically erasing all traces of their civilization from Skyrim.
- The Sea Ghosts kill his son Yngol? He goes and kills each of the ghosts, then 24 of the most dangerous beasts in Skyrim, in honor of his slain kin.
- 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.
- Written by the Winners: As part of destroying all traces of the Falmer culture in Skyrim that he could find, he also destroyed any evidence of anything that happened other than what his official histories record. For instance, he claims that the Falmer attack on Saarthal was unprovoked. However, surviving records of the Elves claim that the attack was in response to repeated "provocations and blasphemies" committed by the early Nords.
Zurin Arctus (a.k.a. The Underkingnote )
Born: Sometime prior to 2E 852 (the beginning of the Tiber Wars)
Died: 2E 896 (as Arctus, Imperial City, Cyrodiil), 3E 417 (as the Underking, Wayrest, High Rock)
Zurin Arctus was the first Imperial Battlemage of the Third Empire, serving under Tiber Septim. He brokered the Armistice between Septim and Vivec, and was then tasked by Septim to find a way to reactivate and control the Numidium. In order to accomplish this, he either took the heart (soul) of Wulfharth, a Shezarrine, or gave up his own heart (soul) in order to create the Mantella, the new power source of the Numidium. (Or possibly both, as he was killed by Wulfharth after soul-trapping him, and it is possible that they merged into the same undead entity.) In any case, he would become The Underking, an undead wizard bound to the Mantella. He created the Totem of Tiber Septim to control the Numidium, so that only someone of royal lineage or a supernatural connection could use it. When Septim began to use the Numidium in a way that Arctus/the Underking did not intend, he tried to reclaim the Mantella. However, the process devastated both the Numidium and Arctus/the Underking, while blasting the Mantella into Aetherius. As a result of the Warp in the West, Arctus/The Underking was reunited with the Mantella and was finally able to die.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: One theory about how the deity Talos came into being is that Arctus and Wulfharth (merged as the Underking) and Tiber Septim merged to become the "enantiomorphic Oversoul" that is Talos. Conversely, it is theorized that all three were part of the same "Oversoul" from the start, and/or that Talos rewrote history to make this latter theory true.
- Big Book of War: Arctus authored "The Art of War Magic", an in-game book written in a similar style to The Art of War.
- Court Mage: Arctus served as the first Imperial Battlemage of the Third Empire.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Imperial propaganda demonized Arctus as having betrayed Tiber Septim. This probably isn't the case, and if anything, it was Septim who betrayed Arctus.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Downplayed in official Imperial dogma toward Tiber Septim, but played straight in some apocryphal works. Septim likely would not have been able to conquer Tamriel without the aid of Arctus.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: As the Underking, he very much wanted to die, but could not as long as the Mantella existed. As a result of the Warp in the West, he was finally able to die (or maybe ascent to godhood as a a part of Talos).
- Illegal Religion: "Arcturianism" is an obscure religious movement which gained popularity in the late 3rd Era. It focuses on the more "heretical" version of Tiber Septim's life (Arcturian Heresy) and attacks the legitimacy of the Septim Empire. While the normally religiously tolerant empire prefers not to put wholesale bans on religions (as a lingering reaction to the extremism of the Marukhati period), Arcturianism was an exception.
- Merger of Souls: A prominent theory about the identity of the Underking is that he is the merged souls of Arctus and Wulfarth. When Arctus soul-trapped and killed Wulfharth, Wulfharth caused this with his dying breath.
- Multiple-Choice Past: More The Underking rather than Arctus. He may have been Wulfharth, who aided Tiber Septim in his early conquests, and was a separate entity from Arctus altogether. Or The Underking came into being when Arctus soul-trapped Wulfharth in order to create the Mantella, but the two were merged into one being as a result of Wulfharth's final actions. Or, those two along with Tiber Septim were part of the same "Oversoul" from the start, and ascended as the deity Talos.
- Resurrective Immortality: It is implied that he is not immortal, per se, but rather had the ability to come back to life after dying (although unwillingly), and had done so several times throughout history.
- Soul Jar: The Mantella served as the Underking's. Unlike many examples, he wanted it destroyed so that he could finally die.
- This Is Unforgivable!: After conquering Tamriel, Tiber Septim started using the Numidium in underhanded, backstabbing ways that were not originally intended, such as to destroy the neutral royal families of Tamriel so that he could enthrone persons he knew to be loyal. The Underking hated this and attacked, blowing the Numidium to pieces and sending the Mantella to Aetherius.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Ambushed and soul-trapped Wulfharth, a Shezarrine, in order to create the Mantella to serve as a replacement power source for the Numidium. Backfired when Wulfharth killed Arctus with his dying breath, and it's possible the two were then merged into the same entity as a result, creating the Underking.