Follow TV Tropes


Monster / The Elder Scrolls

Go To
"And the Scrolls have foretold, of black wings in the cold, That when brothers wage war come unfurled! Alduin, Bane of Kings, ancient shadow unbound, With a hunger to swallow the world!"

"Your wicked mysticism is no way to wield your power. Your studies must cease, because you only bring horror to the spirit world."
Vanus Galerion, to Mannimarco, from Mannimarco, King of Worms

Live another life, in another world. Just watch out for these villains, who aim to make that world a living hell.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

  • Franchise-Wide:
    • Mannimarco, the King of Worms, is the leader of the Order of the Black Worm, one of the most powerful necromancers to ever live, and the world's first lich. In his first chronological appearance in Online, Mannimarco instigated the Planemeld, an event intended to merge Nirn with Coldharbour, the hellish realm of his master, the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. This would kill most people on the planet and leave the few survivors as eternal slaves. Mannimarco has his followers sacrifice countless people to summon Dark Anchors to pull Nirn into Coldharbour. His ultimate plan was to betray his master and steal his power, becoming the new Daedric Prince of Schemes and ruling over both worlds as a god. Though slain, Mannimarco appears in Daggerfall, where he continued his pursuit of power and performed favors in exchange for things like souls and firstborn children. Succeeding in achieving godhood by the game's end, in Oblivion, in the Mages Guild quest, a mortal part of Mannimarco resurfaced and decided to settle a petty grudge with his long-dead nemesis by destroying the Mages Guild said enemy founded. During the war with the guild, Mannimarco created black soul gems to steal the souls of those who opposed him, tortured to death then resurrected a mage that infiltrated his cult, and personally led the slaughter of the Bruma Mages Guild chapter, leaving only one survivor.
    • Advertisement:
    • Potema Septim, the Wolf Queen of Solitude, has the dubious honor of being one of the few "unambiguously evil" figures in the history of Tamriel. Potema was responsible for the War of the Red Diamond, alleging her niece—and rightful Empress—to be a bastard, then having her executed to install her son Uriel Septim III as Emperor in her place, plunging the country into a war so brutal it nearly tore the Empire to pieces. Dabbling in necromancy and daedra-summoning toward the end of her life to the point has become a "land of death" from how bloated it is with resurrected corpses of her enemies and her own servants alike, Potema's evil was powerful enough to live on into the Fourth Age as a hateful spectre. Unspeakably petty as well, Potema once condemned a servant to the eternal torment of the Soul Cairn for an unintentional insult. Suspected to have even been responsible for the fall of her grand-nephew Pelagius the Mad into irrecoverable insanity, Potema is one of the few characters in Tamriel's inconsistent lore to be exactly as evil as she's claimed to be.
  • Oblivion:
    • Mankar Camoran, the leader of the the Mythic Dawn and a worshipper of Mehrunes Dagon, aims to summon his master into Tamriel so Dagon may destroy the world and create a new one in its place, one that coheres with Camoran's beliefs. Not only does Mankar assist Dagon's Daedra in attacking the mortal world, he also orchestrates the assassination of Emperor Uriel Septim, as well as his grown children. He even had the city of Kvatch completely destroyed in a failed attempt to kill Uriel's bastard son, Martin. While Mankar lures in his followers with promises of a paradise for their faithful service, this turns out to be a lie. Seemingly idyllic on the surface, Mankar's "paradise" is really a hell where his followers are constantly killed by monsters, only to be resurrected and killed over and over again. His promise to allow any follower who loses faith to leave his paradise also proves false, as the grotto, which is said to be an exit from the afterlife, really leads to a torture chamber where the unfaithful are made immortal, locked into gibbets, and then dumped into lava. One follower who lost faith was forced by Camoran into inflicting this punishment on his friends over and over again. Paradise is said to be Mankar's vision of how he believes the world will be once Dagon takes over.
    • "Caught in the Hunt" quest: Kurdan gro-Dragol is a nasty Orc extortionist in Bravil who created something called the Hunter's Run at the nearby Fort Grief. In this sick game, wealthy clients pay Kurdan to hunt and kill innocent people in the underground dungeons for sport. After kidnapping a gambler named Aleron Loche, Kurdan tricks the Player Character into participating in the Hunter's Run, as he had done to many others in the past. When the player succeeds in killing all of the hunters and collecting the key apparently needed to escape the fort, they emerge to find Kurdan murdering Aleron. Kurdan tells the player that he's impressed they managed to kill all his clients, but that there will be more to replace them. He also informs them that the key they found was a fake—there was never a chance for anyone to survive his game, and Kurdan intends to keep it that way by killing the player.
  • The Infernal City & Lord of Souls'':
    • Vuhon, better known as Lord Umbriel, was a Dunmer scientist who invented the Ingenium to keep the floating meteorite known as the Ministry of Truth above Vivec City, using the souls of living beings as fuel. Vuhon, jealous over having his affections spurned years ago, tried to use his rival Sul's beloved as fuel for the Ingenium, and refused to own up to any of the subsequent destruction when Morrowind was devastated as the Ministry of Truth fell from their confrontation, torturing Sul for years when they were trapped in Oblivion. Finally escaping upon making a pledge with the Daedric entity Umbra, Vuhon became lord of the flying city of Umbriel, burning countless more souls to fuel the Ingenium that let the city fly and allowing countless Umbrielians known as "skraws" to live short, agonized lives as slaves tending to the city's sump. Vuhon destroys the city of Lilmoth upon being summoned into Tamriel and has his undead armies raze their way across the country, willing to annihilate the Imperial City if they give him trouble and saying all the lives spent to power Umbriel are worth it to emancipate himself from Oblivion and rule Umbriel forever.
    • Minister Hierem is a backstabbing, influential noble in the Imperial Empire and the second-most powerful man in the nation. Seeking even more power, Hierem attempts to overthrow the Emperor and kill any and all rivals, trying to have Prince Attrebus Mede assassinated alongside over fifty of his own men and later torturing Attrebus with Mind Rape, a violation severe enough to leave Attrebus near broken despair. Hierem orchestrates Umbriel's passage into Tamriel by ensuring the city comes through and destroys Lilmoth, actively undermining efforts to stop its path of slaughter while intending to betray Vuhon and become a god by siphoning off all the souls Vuhon has collected for himself.
  • Skyrim:
    • Alduin is the World-Eater and the firstborn of Akatosh. Responsible for the corruption of the Leaper King into the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon, Alduin ultimately decides to conquer Nirn instead of destroying it as he is meant to. Alduin erects a tyrannical reign among him and his dragon brethren, dividing up power among the Dragon Priests, human zealots who exercised wanton cruelty. After accidentally being cast forward into the fourth era by an Elder Scroll, Alduin, out of spite, decides to destroy Nirn before his allotted time, razing the town of Helgen and resurrecting other dragons to cause further havoc across Skyrim. After being defeated once by the Last Dragonborn, Alduin cowardly deserts the battle, fleeing into Sovngarde to consume the souls of fallen warriors to empower himself. Deliberately forsaking his divine duty as Eater of Worlds to instead indulge in his own limitless megalomania, Alduin is ultimately little more than an arrogant, cowardly sadist of a god in the skin of a jet-black dragon.
    • Hevnoraak is a Dragon Priest who sought godhood through Lichdom. Amassing an army by mentally dominating his followers and placing his will upon their own, Hevnoraak tortured and killed countless souls, feeding many of them to his pet Giant Spiders in the process, with a fondness for paralyzing them to be eaten alive. With the remains of many, many beings through his lair, Hevnoraak plots to revive and go on a bloody war of conquest until he rules all he can.
    • Rahgot is a Dragon Priest who, in life, managed to survive centuries after the end of the Dragon War and hid with his servants in the remote temple of Forelhost. When High King Harald's forces discovered their hideout and began to siege the temple, Rahgot came up with a plan to save himself by forcing most of his followers to commit mass suicide, including having them kill their own children and poisoning their water supply for good measure, murdering his head alchemist when she objected. Once the legion succeeded in breaking through the entrance of Forelhost only to find so many dead, followed by half their forces succumbing to the poisoned well, they retreated, allowing Rahgot to live out the rest of his life in the deepest halls of his temple.
    • Arondil is a reclusive Altmer hiding in Yngvild who was chased out of Dawnstar for his lustful behavior and his unspeakable necromancy. Finding his mind constantly chasing back to the subject of the milkmaids he used to pursue, Arondil uses his magic to resurrect Yngvild's buried women as his enslaved draugr harem to satisfy his wants. Arondil eventually graduates to murdering one of the old milkmaids he used to lust after, resurrecting her spirit as his servile slave and repeating the process with many more innocent women from Dawnstar, keeping their souls enslaved to his every whim and pleasure.
    • Sild the Warlock is a sadistic mage defined by his love of torture. Hiding out in the ruins of Rannveig's Fast, Sild lures adventurers into his clutches with tales of treasure within the crypt, before dumping them down a long pit into his clutches, whereupon Sild proceeds to torture them to death. Not content with merely killing them, Sild enslaves the souls of his victims and forces them to kill anyone who stumbles upon the ruins, leaving them conscious and begging for forgiveness as they do so. Dissatisfied with the number of people who simply die from the fall, Sild is always experimenting with new ways to torture his victims to death, with a passion eclipsing most other evil sorcerers in Skyrim, even casually murdering his own assistant for a chuckle.
    • Dawnguard DLC: Lord Harkon is the Vampire Monarch ruling over Clan Volkihar, and the father of Serana. Harkon is a pure-blooded vampire, a distinction he gained through a zealous devotion to Molag Bal, which included turning over his own daughter to be violated by the Daedric Prince in a ritual to make her a vampire. Harkon even thinks nothing later of sacrificing Serana's life to fulfill a dark prophecy to blot out Nirn's sun, allowing vampirekind to overwhelm the mortal races. His arrogant lunacy turning away even his wife, who takes Serana far away from Harkon's clutches, Harkon satiates himself for centuries afterward feeding on the blood of innocents as he works to fulfill the prophecy, allowing his vampires to feed on a menagerie of suffering, still-living slaves and even ordering the culling of other "lesser" vampires should the Dragonborn elect to join him.
  • Online:
    • The deceitful, silver-tongued High Kinlady Estre is secretly the Veiled Queen, the leader of an Altmeri terrorist group, the Veiled Heritance, intending to assassinate Estre's sister-in-law and expand Estre's xenophobic rule across Tamriel. Estre orders massacres, corrupts the souls of her own ancestors, goads a promising recruit into killing a captured innocent Bosmer and even uses the Maormer to wreak swathes of bloody havoc while falsely promising them a place in her ideal Tamriel. Estre even deals with Mehrunes Dagon, having Daedra cause horrific slaughter merely as a diversion to her true plan to arrive at Firsthold and have her Daedra burn the entire city to the ground in revenge for being exposed.
    • Ruuvitar, who leads the Dominion forces in Shadowfen, engages in skin-stealing, deals with Daedra, and cruelly experiments on Argonian prisoners to learn how a powerful artifact can be used to sever the Argonians' connection to the Hist. With the artifact, he attacks the Hatching Pools, where Argonian young are born. As the babies require the Hist to hatch, Ruuvitar's experiment causes the hatchlings to die en masse in their shells, bursting apart in bloody chunks. As if that were not enough of an atrocity, Ruuvitar plans to do the same thing to all future generations of Argonians, dooming their entire race to extinction. While the game has numerous quests in which the player character must fend off villainous schemes by one of the other alliances, Ruuvitar stands out for literally murdering babies onscreen, and for having the only plot that is explicitly and unrepentantly genocidal in nature.
  • Legends' Return to Clockwork City: Mecinar was once one of the Clockwork Apostles of the "tinkerer god" Sotha Sil, and his ambitious intellect brought him to intellectual depths that horrified even Sotha. Mecinar turned many unwilling innocents into abominations, fused by steel and flesh, causing Sotha to exile Mecinar. Biding his time until after Sotha had died, Mecinar manipulates a wandering party into letting him regain access to the Clockwork City, before seizing the New Heart of Lorkhan that powered the city to make himself into a god. Mecinar attempts to reduce the entire population of the Clockwork City into mindless grotesqueries to serve him forevermore, and resurrects one of the hero's fallen companions to force them to fight their former friend out of nothing but spite and dark scientific curiosity.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: