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Note: Elder Scrolls lore is generally not clear-cut. Reasons for this range from biased in-universe sources intentionally only 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.)

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The Elder Scrolls - Tropes F

  • Face Death with Dignity: Numerous examples throughout the series. Specific game examples can be found on the trope page.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    Alduin: "You I curse right here and right now! I take away your ability to jump and jump and jump and doom you to [the void] where you will not be able to leave except for auspicious days long between one and another and even so only through hard, hard work. And it will be this way, my little corner cutter, until you have destroyed all that in the world which you have stolen from earlier kalpas, which is to say probably never at all!"
    • If one can count the Empire as the "face" side of things, the provinces of Black Marsh and Elsweyr (home of the Argonians and Khajiit, respectively,) pull one off between Oblivion and Skyrim. Specifically:
      • The Argonians got much stronger by the will and leadership of their deities/creators, the Hist, to resist the Oblivion Crisis. They actually managed to drive Mehrunes Dagon's armies back to Oblivion and close the portals. After Red Mountain's eruption, the Aldmeri Dominion influenced the Argonians to attack Morrowind and get revenge over centuries of slavery and to free the remaining illegal slaves there. Their profit was the further weakening of the Empire by losing two more provinces (Elseweyr was lost some time before this) in preparation for their invasion of Cyrodiil and Hammerfell.
      • Likewise, the Dominion convinces the Khajiit of Elsweyr to abandon the Empire and join their side of the conflict as a client state through some clever manipulation (and maybe some outright Blatant Lies).
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  • Faceless Goons: A trait of many helmet-wearing enemies throughout the series. This also includes some forms of lesser Daedra, including Aurorans and Knights of the Order.
  • Facial Markings:
    • Available for the Player Character in a few games in the series during character generation.
    • In universe, the Nibenese (one of the sub-races that make up the Imperial race along with the Colovians) would often apply facial tattoos. By the 3rd Era, this practice has all but died out.
    • Throughout the series, this is a common trait of the Dremora, an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell. They are known to adorn their faces with red markings and symbols.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Akaviri race known as the Kamal has this going on for their entire race. According to in-game sources, they are a race of "snow demons" who freeze every winter and then thaw out in the spring to attack the Tang Mo "monkey folk". Every year, the Tang Mo successfully defend themselves. The one time the Kamal broke this Vicious Cycle was to attack Tamriel (the continent where every game in the series to date has taken place), and that invasion failed as well.
  • The Fair Folk:
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    • Every race of Mer that is or ever has been is at least a Downplayed version of the trope. All exhibit some qualities as a race that are bizarre or plain alien to human sensibilities, and frequently clash with the races of men (and perhaps just as frequently, with each other). The extinct Dwemer are probably the best example, with contemporary sources and modern researchers alike painting them as mysterious with abilities well beyond what any other race on Tamriel could compare with. It is Downplayed in part because many of the differences come down more to culture and there are plenty of instances of My Species Doth Protest Too Much.
    • Played Straight by the Daedra, both the Daedric Princes and the lesser Daedra. All are pre-creation spirits ("et'Ada") who made no sacrifices during the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane, and thus retain their Complete Immortality. The 17 most powerful and prominent Daedric spirits are the Daedric Princes, each of whom has a particular sphere, which the are said to embody and govern from their planes of Oblivion which they inhabit and rule. While the vast majority of the Daedra are seen as wholly evil by most mortals, they are technically beings Above Good and Evil who operate on their own Blue and Orange Morality aligned with the spheres over which they govern. How they feel about the mortal races varies from Prince to Prince; many enjoy being worshiped, some just enjoy toying with mortals' lives for their own amusement, but all of them have demonstrated a willingness to reward mortals they find particularly helpful, loyal, or amusing.
    • A number of other species exist on Nirn who qualify. To note:
      • Spriggans are a race of tree spirits who typically take the basic form of tall, humanoid females made of wood. They are revered as "Nature's Guardians" and are associated with Kynareth, one of the Nine Divines and goddess of the heavens, winds, and elements. Despite this reverence, Spriggans are usually hostile toward any trespassers in their domain.
      • Nymphs are a type of nature spirit most commonly found in the Iliac Bay region. They take the form of beautiful, naked, long-haired women and attack using mystical fire spells. Though rumored to be highly sexual beings, most are rather shy and rarely approach mortals on their own.
      • The Hist are a race of ancient, sentient, giant spore-trees native to Black Marsh. They are worshiped by the Argonians who drink the sap of the Hist to grow, and can communicate with the Hist via visions transmitted in the sap. It is said that the Hist were the original inhabitants of Tamriel, and that they were originally from one of the 12 "worlds of Creation" that were shattered by Padomay and then coalesced by Anu to create Nirn.
  • Fallen Angel:
    • Meridia is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is obscured to mortals, but is associated with Life Energy, Light, and Beauty. She was originally one of the Magna-Ge, the "star orphans" who abandoned the creation of Mundus (the mortal plane) part way through along with their "father", Magnus. However, Meridia was banished from Aetherius for "consorting with illicit spectra", implied to be the Daedra. Considered a "trespasser" in Oblivion by the Daedra, Meridia, through sheer force of will, "bent and shaped" the rays of Magnus to create her own Daedric realm in Oblivion and became one of the Daedric Princes. For bonus points, she typically takes the form of a beautiful woman, sometimes with angel-like wings.
    • Daedric Titans are dragon-esque Daedra who have been created by Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, the very first being created from the skeleton of a fallen dragon. Given that standard dragons are divine, Aedric beings who may very well be fragments of Akatosh, the draconic Top God of the Aedric pantheon, it makes the Titans into fallen angels.
  • Famed In-Story: You naturally become more famous as you progress through the main quest, and often faction questlines as well, in most games in the series. By the end, many NPCs will respond to you with the awe a world-saving hero deserves. (But not always...)
  • Fame Gate: Most games in the main series have some sort of fame tracking system, either overall or within certain guilds/factions, with a high fame unlocking additional quests and/or allowing you to access certain power-granting items. A full break down by game is available on the trope page.
  • Famous Last Words: With the Loads and Loads of Characters, many of whom who die, throughout the series' main quests, faction questlines, random sidequests, and expansion/DLC questlines, there are dozens of memorable "last words". A lengthy list of examples broken down by game can be found on the trope page.
  • Fan Disservice: Female Goblins tend to show a lot of skin, including veiny green cleavage.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: In series' fanfics and roleplays, the Player Character of one game is commonly the descendant or relative of characters from previous games. A particularly popular example is having the Dragonborn of Skyrim be the descendant of Martin Septim and a female Champion of Cyrodiil from Oblivion. (This would make the Dragonborn the rightful heir of the Empire.)
  • Fanservice Pack:
    • Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Night and Darkness, has received this treatment throughout the series. Her Skyrim depiction wears a cloak that barely covers her legs, completely exposing the thighs, while the top reveals her cleavage down to her belly. This is in contrast to her Daggerfall and Oblivion appearances, which instead had her in a robe that was far less revealing.
    • Azura inverts the trope. In Daggerfall, her sprite is actually topless. In Morrowind and Oblivion, her statues are topless but lacking in details. Her avatar which appears in Morrowind and Tribunal is much more modestly dressed. Her statues in Skyrim and Online are no longer topless, featuring Absolute Cleavage instead.
  • Fantastic Caste System:
    • The Dremora, a race of intelligent lesser Daedra, have a complex multi-level caste system. They're divided into three "soldier" classes (Churls, Caitiffs, and Kynvals), two "officer" classes (Kynreeves and Kynmarchers), and two "noble" classes (Markynaz and Valkynaz). The former three represent the military ranks of lesser soldiers, with Churls being the untrained disorganized rabble that form the bulk of a clan's fighting force, Caitiffs representing shock troops, and Kynvals being soldiers that distinguished themselves in combat and displaying the potential to be future leaders of their clans, as well as being the equivalent of knights. The other four are more important, politically-oriented roles, as they respectively represent clan officers, grand dukes, lords, and princes. There are also many other ranks, such as Kyngald and Narkynaz, whose positions in the overall hierarchy is largely unknown.
    • Aureals (aka Golden Saints) are another race of intelligent lesser Daedra in service to Sheogorath. They too have a caste system with an eight-tier hierarchy, ascending from lowest to highest in rank as follows: Auren, Auredel, Aurmok, Aurmokel, Aurig, Malaurig, Pelaurig and Aurmazl. An individual's strength and discipline determines their place in this system.
    • Mazken (aka Dark Seducers) are also a race of intelligent lesser Daedra in service to Sheogorath. They have a caste system with an seven-tier hierarchy, ascending from lowest to highest in rank as follows: Kiskengo, Kiskella, Kiskedrig, Grakendo, Grakella, Grakedrig, Autkendo. Like the Aureals, an individual's strength and discipline determines their place in this system.
    • The Altmer have an extremely rigid caste system, as noted in the Third Pocket Guide to the Empire:
    "A hierarchy of classes began to form, which is still largely enforced in Summerset to this day. At the top are the Wise, teachers and priests, followed by the Artists, Princes, Warriors, Landowners, Merchants, and Workers."
  • Fantastic Drug:
    • Most prominently, there is Moon Sugar (a white crystalline powder similar to real world cocaine) and its derivative, Skooma. It can often be found in bandit and smuggler dens, and can be sold for a nice profit to less-than-scrupulous traders. A few Game Mods allow you to produce Skooma out of raw Moon Sugar, which can then be sold for even more. Most honest merchants will refuse to barter with you if you have either substance on you. The Khajiit race is seen as particularly susceptible to Moon Sugar and Skooma addiction, thanks to how prevalent the substances are in their culture, though they also supposedly have a higher tolerance for Moon Sugar than other races because they ingest it in small amounts every day; in fact, Moon Sugar is such a common ingredient in their native cuisine that non-Khajiit are advised to exercise caution when eating Khajiiti food.
    • The Argonians worship the Hist, a race of sentient and possibly omniscient trees native to their swampy homeland of Black Marsh. Young Argonians drink the sap of the Hist trees to grow, and the Hist can communicate with the Argonians via visions transmitted in the sap. However, if a non-Argonian drinks the sap, or if the sap is somehow tainted, it can result in extreme hallucinations and intense bloodlust.
    • A fungus known only to grow in the armpits of Giants is said to be a powerful narcotic.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: The Khajiit are said to have many forms with colorful names like Goutfang, Whispering Claw, Two-Moons-Dance, and Rawlith Khaj (translated as "Raining Sand").
  • Fantastic Honorifics: The Dunmer use a system of "Ser" honorifics. They are "sera", "muthsera" and "serjo", in increasing order of politeness. Additionally, they have the honorifics of "Sedura" (appears to be associated with wealth) and "Kena" (appears to be associated with scholars or wizards). They can stack, too — The Horror of Castle Xyr refers to a character as "Sedura Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr" (Hordalf Xyr being the character's name, and Telvanni being his House) by another character pretending to be his servant.
  • Fantastic Light Source: The series has several spells which generate temporary sources of light, typically classed in the Illusion school of magic. Depending on the specific spell and the specific game you are playing, these balls of light may stick to you, float around and follow you, or stick to a surface that you cast them at. The drawback of these spells is that using them will make it easier for enemies to detect you. Related are the Night Eye spells, which provide temporary Innate Night Vision and do not have this drawback.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention:
    • The Races of Men:
      • Imperials have a first name and a last name which both sound Latin, given their Romanesque culture. As of Skyrim, some Latin last names are changed to Italian ones, reflecting the real-life evolution of language.
      • The Nords have a Norse or Germanic sounding first name and a clan name, or sometimes a first name and a nickname (you can tell the difference by the presence or absence of the "the" article; if there is one, it's a nickname, for example "Sild the Warlock". If there's no "the", it's a clan name, for example "Lars Battle-Born".
      • The Bretons have a French-sounding name and last name (in the main Breton culture) or a single Celtic name (for the Reachmen).
      • The Redguards typically draw from a mix of Arabic and Persian sounding names. Through Oblivion, they also had the occasional Ghetto Name mixed in, like Trayvond, or names originally from other cultures that have become very popular in the African-American community (Roderick, Alonzo, Rasheda, etc.) though this has been dropped by Skyrim in favor of purely Middle Eastern/North African sounding names. In all cases, they have Only One Given Name, with a region of birth and titles sometimes (rarely) added. (For example, take Frandar do Hunding Hel Ansei No Shira. Frandar is the only "given" part of his name: "Hunding" is the name of the region of his birth; "No Shira" means person of noble birth and "Hel Ansei" is his title of Sword Sainthood in the language of Yokuda.)
    • The Races of Mer:
      • Altmer (High Elves) have names heavily inspired by Tolkien's "Quenya" Conlang, tending to be very vowel heavy with lots of "-il," "-ar," and the like suffixes. Reading a list of Altmer names will sound very similar to reading The Silmarillion. According to supplemental materials of in-universe questionable accuracy, Altmer names are actually complex strings of numbers that merely sound like a name if you aren't fluent in their language.
      • The Bosmer (Wood Elves) instead have names inspired by Tolkien's "Sindarin" Conlang. They use a lot of "th" sounds, plus plenty of "d's, f's and g's" surrounded by soft vowels. The end result are a lot of names like Glarthir, Fargoth, and Enthir.
      • The Dunmer (Dark Elves) have a first name and a last name with a characteristic "Dunmerish" sound (for example, Falanu Hlaalu, Nels Llendo, Hlireni Indavel). The Dunmer nobility also uses the name of their Houses as prefix to their names (for example, Redoran Hlaren Ramoran). The Telvanni Masters use one name only (Mistress Dratha, Master Neloth). The Ashlanders (and many ancient Chimeri names) draw heavily from ancient Mesopotamia, leading to them sounding like they're straight out of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
      • Orcs (Orsimer) have traditionally Orcish sounding first names, with specific rules of their last names. Orc family names are always prefixed depending on gender: "gro-" for males, and "gra-" for females. (In a few cases in Morrowind, there are male Orcs with the feminine "gra-" prefix, or a third prefix "gor-"; and in ESO female Orcs with the male "gro-" prefix. These are likely typos, however.) The prefix is usually followed by the father's name if male, or mother's name if female; but the child may also receive the name of the parent of the opposite gender. Other Orcs take their family name from the name of their clan or the orc stronghold where they were born.and the surname is the first name of the same-gender parent.
      • The extinct Dwemer seem to have used to build names by mashing hard-sounding consonants together, although it's unclear whether that was actually the case or just a transliteration issue (since Dwemer language and alphabet varied wildly from Tamriel's lingua franca of the day, Aldmeris). Names known from modern sources contain vowels, such as Yagrum Bagarn (although he could've taken up the name for convenient interaction with his hosts at Tel Fyr), Kagrenac or Dahrk Mezalf. Names mentioned in books - not necessarily (Bluthanch, Nchunak, Nblthd).
    • The Beast Races:
      • The Khajiit have single names with prefixes and a Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër, for example Ra'Virr, Dro'Zel. Sometimes no prefixes. (Ex. Vasha, Wadarkhu)
      • The Argonians are seemingly named (in Jel, the language of the Argonians) after unique traits they display while still hatchlings and, if they have frequent dealings with non-Argonians, get those names translated into Tamriellic. "Haj-Ei" becomes "Hides-His-Eyes," for example. In other cases, their name in Tamriellic is based on their profession. "Quill-Weave" is a writer, "Makes-One-Soup" is a chef, and "Lights-Sparks" is a mage.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The greatest warriors of the ancient Yokudans (ancestors of the modern Redguards) could use a sword technique known as the Pankratosword. Using it, these warriors (known as Ansei or "Sword Saints") could "cut the atomos." They claim this is how Yokuda sank beneath the sea, and it is dangerous enough that even the Dunmeri Tribunal deity, Vivec, backed down when Cyrus threatened to use itnote . This technique is now forbidden, and quite possibly lost to history as a result. Its use is said to be why most of Yokuda, the original homeland of the Redguard, sank into the ocean. (Though other sources state that this is unlikely, and that the Redguard people left Yokuda to escape much more standard problems, such as a corrupt government.)
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Throughout the series and in the background lore, just about every race hates (and is hated by) at least one other race, and usually several. Prominent examples include Bretons and Orcs (Orsimer), Dunmer (Dark Elves) and the "beast races," especially Argonians, Bosmer (Wood Elves) and Khajiit, Altmer (High Elves) and just about every race of Men, and Nords and just about every race of Mer (Elf). While the various incarnations of the Cyrodiilic Empire have mostly kept these tensions from exploding into outright war, all bets are off when the Empire(s) collapse.
    • One of the most prominent examples from the background lore comes from the Alessian Order, a highly influential religious sect in the First Era Alessian Empire which preached radical religious beliefs. Led by the "Monkey Prophet" Marukh, believed to be an Imga (Great Ape) from Valenwood, it was a very solemn, strict, severe, spartan, and sometimes outright cruel Theocracy. They attempted to completely Unperson the Ayleids, still harboring a significant grudge against them for their enslavement of mankind. Further, despite the status of Belharza (believed to have been the first Minotaur) as Emperor and the Minotaur race's loyalty/devotion to the Alessian Empire, the Alessian Order demonized them as well. Minotaurs were re-classified as "monsters" and driven from civilized areas, with whatever culture they had being destroyed.
    • Another backstory example is Pelinal Whitestrake, the legendary 1st Era hero of mankind/Axe-Crazy berserker. Believed to have been a Shezarrine, physical incarnations of the spirit of the "dead" creator god Lorkhan (known to the Imperials as "Shezarr"), Pelinal came to St. Alessia to serve as her divine champion in the war against the Ayleids. Pelinal 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. Additionally, he also killed many Khajiit, simply because they didn't look human. Granted, he stopped after he learned that they weren't elves, but still.
    • Similarly, the ancient King Ysgramor had an extreme hatred of all elves, but especially the Falmer (Snow Elves) after they sacked and slaughtered the city of Saarthal. Ysgramor would raise an army of 500 of Atmora's greatest warriors and would lead them into driving the Falmer into near-extinction. Ysgramor's iconic weapon, the battleaxe Wuuthrad, even has a screaming elf carved into it and deals extra damage to elves.
  • Fantastic Rank System: While the Imperial Legion does have some real-world ranks throughout the series and in the backstory (recruits, troopers, sergeants, commanders, captains, centurions, legates, generals), they also have a few fantastical ranks (knight errant, knight bachelor, Knight of the Garland, Knight of the Imperial Dragon).
  • Fantastic Slur:
    • The Dunmer are known to use at least three: s'wit, fetcher, and n'wah. The first two are used similarly to "shit/idiot" and the "f" word while also being an offensive term for a slave, respectively. The last is a highly offensive word for "outlander" with similar negative connotations as the Japanese "gaijin" and/or the real life "N" word.
    • The beast races, Argonians and Khajiit, are on the receiving end of quite a few of these. They range from fairly simple, "lizard" and "kitty" (respectively), to more elaborate. Khajiit in particular are said to get very upset if you call them unclawed or bald, even if they technically are.
    • Aureals (aka Golden Saints) and Mazken (aka Dark Seducers) liberally use the term "Dog" in this fashion. They use it toward the each other, mortals, and even lesser members of their own races.
  • Fantasy Axis of Evil: A number of typically "evil" races throughout the series land on the axis. Specific examples can be found on the trope page.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The vast majority of the Tamriellic races and cultures seen to date in the series blend at least two real-world cultures, and are thus listed under Culture Chop Suey.
    • Though none have appeared in the flesh to date in the series, the races of Akavir mostly correspond to a real world Asian culture. The Tsaesci draw heavily from Japan, the Ka Po' Tun draw heavily from China, the Kamal draw heavily from Mongolia, and the Imga draw heavily from India.
  • Fantasy Gun Control:
    • The Dwemer built Steam Punk Humongous Mecha durable enough to function after 3,000 years of neglect and had the tech seemingly advanced enough mess with the laws of the universe, but never invented the musket. They did invent explosive devices (satchel charges) but never seemed to put together the idea of using them to launch a projectile.
    • Gunpowder and cannons exists canonically (or is it cannonically?) but have only been used in-game once, by the East Empire Company against a band of pirates in Skyrim.
    • The Tribunal deity Sotha Sil did build automatons armed with enormous hand-cannons, but as an Inexplicably Awesome, reclusive Physical God and master of Schizo Tech (he was building massive computer systems, cybernetic lifeforms, and outright artificial intelligences at a time when most are stuck stabbing at each other with swords), he wasn't too keen on sharing with the rest of the world.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink:
    • On a meta level, the series started out this way until (roughly between Daggerfall and Morrowind) it began to distinguish itself from the typical fantasy setting into it's own Constructed World. Still, much of that world is borrowed from a wide variety of real world influences, and the many of the available Game Mods send it careening headfirst right back into FKS territory.
    • In-universe, even though the different races of Nirn may have different religions and forms of worship to varying gods or representations of similar gods, it's possible to experience the divine influence of all their religions, suggesting the coexistence of these gods and divine constructs.
  • Fantasy Metals: Several forms are staples throughout the series.
    • Ebony is a dark grayish/brownish/purplish mineral with some characteristics of volcanic glass, basically the equivalent to real world Obsidian. It's extremely dense, worth more than gold when used as bullion, and forges into some of the most powerful weapons and heavy armor available in Tamriel. Lore scholars have long theorized that ebony may in fact be the petrified blood of the dead creator god Lorkhan, as it's greatest deposits are near Red Mountain where Lorkhan's heart fell from the sky. (Another theory states that his blood crystallized instead, and was collected by the Ayleids to create the Chim-el Adabal, better known as the Amulet of Kings. It too was known to have immense mystical properties.)
    • Daedric metal is a special kind of Ebony which is infused with demonic souls. It's dark gray with red veinlets, and when forged, usually comes out very "spiky." It's almost always the high-end, top of the line metal in the games.
    • Dwarven Metal is a Lost Technology alloy that looks like copper or bronze, though its exact composition (and even its proper Dwemer name) is forgotten. According to some Obscure Texts, the Dwemer would bend the laws of time, physics, and nature in order to make their creations last.
    • "Glass", like Ebony, is treated here as a metal-like mineral. It is iridescent-green in color and mined primarily in Morrowind. After most of Morrowind was rendered uninhabitable, it is since smelted artificially by melting moonstone and malachite together.
    • Stalhrim is a type of enchanted ice which can be used like a mineral to craft weapons and armor. It is found only on Solstheim, as are the only people who still know how to smith it.
    • Mithril is a lightweight, mid-level metal used to make armor. It's otherwise typical and fairly unremarkable.
    • Elven and Orcish steel are both stronger alloys of standard steel, with Moonstone added to create the former and orichalcum added to create the latter.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: While names and details vary wildly in the religions of the races of Tamriel, there are some consistent elements:
    • Anu and Padomay. "Twin brothers" who are the Anthropomorphic Personifications of the primordial forces of "stasis/order/light" and "change/chaos/darkness", respectively. The series' primary Creation Myth states that their interplay in the great "void" of pre-creation led to creation itself. Creation, sometimes anthropomorphized as the female entity "Nir", favored Anu, which angered Padomay. Padomay killed Nir and shattered the twelve worlds she gave birth to. Anu then wounded Padomay, presuming him dead. Anu salvaged the pieces of the twelve worlds to create one world: Nirn. Padomay returned and wounded Anu, seeking to destroy Nirn. Anu then pulled Padomay and himself outside of time, ending Padomay's threat to creation "forever". From the intermingling of their spilled blood came the "et'Ada", or "original spirits", who would go on to become either the Aedra or the Daedra depending on their actions during creation. (Some myths state that the Aedra come from the mixed blood of Anu and Padomay, while the Daedra come purely from the blood of Padomay).
    • Lorkhan, also known as Shezarr, Shor, Lorkhaj, and quite a few others, is the closest thing to a "creator god." Depending on the culture, he tricked/convinced the "original spirits" (et'Ada) of the creation era to help him create the mortal world, known as Mundus. This act cost those et'Ada a large portion of their divinity, binding them forever to the world they helped create. For this perceived treachery, these et'Ada "killed" Lorkhan, tore his "divine center" (heart) out of his body, and cast it down into the world he created (where it landed in modern Morrowind, forming Red Mountain.) His spirit too is forced to wander Mundus, occasionally taking form as a Shezarrine, great champions of mankind who usually show up during times of crisis, most often fighting against the races of Mer in some form.
    • The Aedra, also known as the Divines, are those et'Ada who helped Lorkhan to create Mundus. Originally eight in number, they were joined by a ninth, Talos, the ascended divine form of Tiber Septim. Because of their sacrifice during creation, they lost their Complete Immortality and can be destroyed. They are seen as unambiguously "good" by most of the mortal races. There are also lesser Aedric spirits of all sorts, most notably the Dragons.
    • The Daedra are the original spirits who did not participate in the creation of Mundus, leaving them truly immortal. (Their physical forms can be destroyed, but their spirits will always return to Oblivion where they can be reformed.) Chief among them are the 17 Daedric "Princes," who govern over "Spheres." They rule over their own planes of Oblivion and occasionally interact with mortals, usually to accomplish goals within the mortal plane where they can only manifest as avatars, though sometimes simply for their amusement as well. Depending on the culture, most are viewed as "evil" with a few typically "good" ones also in the mix. However, most in-universe scholars are quick to point out that the Daedra are really Above Good and Evil, operating under their own divine Blue and Orange Morality.
    • Additionally, there are numerous other minor gods and powerful spirits worshiped as gods in the various cultures of Tamriel. For 4000 years, the Dunmer worshiped the Tribunal, a trio of Physical Gods who tapped into the aforementioned Heart of Lorkhan to achieve divinity. The Redguard believe in Hoon Ding, the "Make Way" god who manifests as a great Redguard hero whenever their people are in need of a place to live. Cyrus the Restless, hero of the game Redguard, is believed to be one such manifestation. The Argonians worship the Hist, ancient sentient trees who grow and shape the Argonians by letting the Argonians drink their sap. Magnus and the Magna-Ge are spirits who escaped Mundus to Aetherius during creation in order to avoid being bound like the et'Ada, puncturing holes in reality as they did so. (Those holes are now the sun and stars, through which magic flows in to Mundus.) The list goes on.
  • Fantasy Video Games: The series is one of the most popular modern examples.
  • Fantasy World Map: Every game in the main series since Morrowind and their related expansion packs come with a paper map (as well as a cloth map in Redguard) of the game's setting. Each is designed to look as though it was drawn by an in-universe cartographer, including, in a few cases, an watermark and signature.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry:
    • Throughout the series, you can choose to make this the case for the Player Character by wearing mismatched armor sets. In a few cases, some armor sets are designed to look this way by default.
    • The Dunmeri Tribunal deity Vivec is asymmetrical down to his skin, which is the gold of the ancient Chimer on one side and the gray of the modern Dunmer on the other, representing the race's Marked Change thousands of years ago.
    • This tends to be a trait of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, whenever he appears. He typically wears an asymmetrical purple and gold suit, which seems to represent the two halves of madness: mania and dementia.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: The series has "wait" and "rest" options throughout, which have this effect. Each allows the player to "fast forward" through up to 24 in-game hours at a time. "Wait" can be used anywhere that enemies aren't present, while "Rest", which must be done in a bed or bed-like item (bedroll, hammock, etc.), has the added benefit of allowing you to level up (through Oblivion) or gives you bonus perks (Skyrim).
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride is the fatal flaw of the series' dragons. This flaw is often literally fatal, because a dragon who is challenged must accept, and to not do so is to call into question whether you're a true dragon in the first place.
  • Fat Bastard:
    • The Sload are a race of "slugmen" native to Thras, an archipelago to the southwest of Tamriel. As they grow, Sload become more and more corpulent, to the point that only being supported by magic or water prevents them from being crushed under their own weight. They are also believed to be The Ageless, with no limit to age or size. One story tells of an "Elder Distended One," who seems to serve as some sort of leader to the Sload. It is said to be "impressively corpulent" and regurgitates some unknown substance that other Sload then "eagerly consume." While the Sload tend to operate under their own Blue and Orange Morality (with a heavy dose of The Unfettered), the denizens of Tamriel see them as Always Chaotic Evil. (Attempting a Final Solution on Tamriel using a Mystical Plague which wipes out over half the population tends to have that effect...)
    • Ogrim are a massive form of lesser Daedra that are as dim-witted as they are strong. Ogrim are are among the largest of the lesser Daedra, with heavy set frames and huge bulbous stomachs. They are also near universally hostile to mortals.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Dying whilst under the effects of a soul trap spell will condemn the being's soul to spend eternity in the Soul Cairn, a desolate plane of Oblivion crafted by the Ideal Masters, a group of immortal beings who were once powerful mortal sorcerers. The Ideal Masters traffic in souls, especially "Black" sapient souls, and have a Horror Hunger for more. The Soul Cairn itself is a dark and gloomy place, with frequent lightning strikes, frightening rock formations, and the Ideal Masters themselves taking the form of giant crystalline soul gems feeding on souls who wander too close. Souls of sentient beings in the Cairn will remark on how they have spent countless years wandering the Soul Cairn, wishing for a proper death that will never be theirs. The Ideal Masters themselves consider this place a blessing, believing that it grants "eternal peace" away from Mundus' Vicious Cycle of death and rebirth.
    • This is likewise the case for mortal souls claimed by the more malevolent Daedric Princes upon death. While many of these souls are voluntary servants, there are instances of souls being taken by the Princes against their will. For example, anyone killed by Mehrunes Razor may have their soul sent to Mehrunes Dagon's Deadlands realm. Likewise, the souls of vampires and lycanthropes are believed to be claimed by Molag Bal and Hircine, respectively, even if the mortal in question may not have chosen to become one of these creatures. Being trapped in Molag Bal's realm, Coldharbour, for any reason whatsoever, counts as this. The ground is sludge, the sky is on fire, and the air is freezing. It resembles a ruined and desecrated copy of Nirn that is filled with suffering and "spattered" with blood and excrement. It contains charnel houses full of the dead and slave pens beyond count. The smell of the place alone is enough to break most mortals. It is specifically designed to break and torment mortals as efficiently and cruelly as possible. Being a follower or faithful servant of his will not save you in any way, and in fact, may make it worse. He is also known to dole out fates like this as punishments to servants who disobey or fail him.
  • Fat Idiot: The series has Ogrim, a massive form of lesser Daedra with heavy set frames and huge bulbous stomachs that are as dim-witted as they are strong.
  • Fat Slob: Ogrim, once again. They are also universally hostile to mortals.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Herne are a form of lesser Daedra who invoke this in appearance. They are humanoid, but have goat-like horns, tails, and cloven feet.
  • Faux Affably Evil: This is a trait of Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, and quite possibly the closest thing to a true God of Evil in the ES universe. Molag Bal can actually act pleasant and polite, but he is not nice. At all. One of his favorite things is to corrupt a good and noble mortal, then seeing them snap, fall, or break. His methods include Cold-Blooded Torture, Manipulation, and even outright Mind Rape. He especially loves it when mortals do this to each other. One of Molag Bals most infamous acts (and that is really saying something) was to perpetrate the first rape, turning the innocent woman into the first vampire, who proceeded to rape and kill the nomads who cared for her and bringing undeath into Mundus (the mortal plane).
  • Feathered Fiend: The series has Hagravens, a species of flightless harpy who were once mortal women that performed a ritual to trade in their humanity for access to powerful magic. A human sacrifice is required for the ritual to even become a Hagraven, and Hagravens serve as Evil Matriarchs to Reachmen clans as well as generally being an Enemy to All Living Things. Naturally, they have feathers, beak-like noses, and talons for fingers and toes.
  • Featureless Protagonist: In general, you are free to customize your protagonist in terms of race, sex, class, appearance, etc. Any games which reference a past game's protagonist (which most frequently occurs within in-game books) will use that character's Red Baron nickname ("The Eternal Champion", "The Emperor's Agent", "The Nerevarine", etc.) while providing as few other details about that character as they can get away with. This is justified, since the current game has no way of knowing how you chose to play the protagonists of previous games - or if you played them at all. Each game does offer its own little quirks, however, usually in terms of how this intersects with Protagonist Without a Past. Details by game are available on the trope page.
  • Feed It with Fire: Each type of Atronach is is immune to magic of their respective associated element, and in some cases, can even absorb it to increase their health/power.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The creation story of most religions of Tamriel states that, from the aftermath of the struggle between "stasis" and "chaos/change" over the idea of "creation", a number of "original spirits" (AKA "et'Ada") emerged. One of these spirits, known by many names but most prominently as Lorkhan, led a few of these spirits in creating the mortal plane, Mundus. However, these spirits who participated (the Aedra, or "our ancestors" in Aldmeris) were forced to sacrifice large portions of their power in the process. According to Altmeri religious beliefs, they are the descendants of those spirits who stayed within Mundus and populated it. Their religion teaches that the creation of Mundus was a cruel trick which forced their divine ancestors to experience mortal suffering, loss, and death. To them, Mundus is a prison, where their immortal souls are trapped in mortal flesh with "more limitations than not." Some of the more extremist Altmeri religious sects, such as the Thalmor, take this even further. They actively seek to undo creation, which they believe will return them to a state of pre-creation divinity. However, they believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind, keeps them trapped in Mundus. (According to their beliefs, mankind were made up from the "weakest souls" by Lorkhan to spread Sithis (chaos) "into every corner," ensuring that there could never be the "stasis" of pre-creation again) Officially, the Thalmor espouse the belief that Talos, a formerly mortal man (or men, depending on the version of the story) who ascended to godhood, cannot truly be a god equal to the Aedra. Thus, they have forced the Empire to ban the worship of Talos. Unofficially, the Thalmor believe that Talos may be the last thing keeping the mortal world extant. "Killing him" by depriving him of mankind's worship would, in their minds, undo creation. (And terrifyingly, there is evidence that they may be right about this...)
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • This is a recurring trend throughout the series, relating to Artificial Stupidity as well as Shoplift and Die. City Guards will call you "criminal scum" and relentlessly pursue you to the ends of Tamriel, regardless of whether you've incurred a 5 gold bounty for stealing some Vendor Trash or 5000 gold bounty for committing multiple murders. Skyrim takes steps to address this trope for the first time in the series in regards to bounties - If your bounty is low enough, they won't bother seeking you out and, should you speak to them first with a bounty, they can be convinced to let you go since you aren't worth their time. It's still far from a perfect system, however...
    • This is also a frequent issue within the series' various guilds and factions. You can be the leader of a given faction, but accidentally pick up an item belonging to another member (thus, counting as theft) or even sleep in a bed that belongs to someone else, and you can be expelled. In some cases, the other faction members will even attempt to kill you.
  • Femme Fatale: Mephala, a Daedric Prince whose sphere is "obscured to mortals", but who is associated with manipulation, lies, sex, and secrets. She could practically be considered the patron deity of spies and assassins, and to the Dunmer, she actually is, being the patron of the Morag Tong.
  • Femme Fatalons:
  • Fetch Quest: The series includes plenty of these throughout. Usually the quest giver offers a reason why they can't just fetch the item(s) themself, but not always. Specific examples are broken down by game on the trope page.
  • Fictional Currency:
    • Throughout the series, gold coins known as "Septims" (after the ruling dynasty of the Third Tamriellic Empire) are the official currency of Tamriel. They are also sometimes referred to as "drakes", due to the Imperial Dragon symbol on one side.
    • Other forms of currency have appeared in the series, such as the ancient Dwemer coins, but to date, they have been treated as Vendor Trash which can be sold for the standard gold coins.
  • Fictional Document: The series in general offers hundreds per game, dating back to Daggerfall]]. These documents range from full blown In-Game Novels like the 2920: The Last Year of the First Era series, The Real Barenziah, King Edward, A Dance in the Fire, and The Wolf Queen to religious texts such as For My Gods and Emperor and 36 Lessons of Vivec, to numerous historical works which help fill in the thousands of years of backstory, to simple notes handwritten by the world's inhabitants to make the world feel more alive (you can literally find the grocery lists of NPCs). Many of the histories presented within the series are written by authors of non-zero bias and are contradictory and at odds with each other, leaving it up to the reader to piece together the history of Tamriel for him/herself. For tropes relating to these works, see The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books page.
  • Fictional Zodiac:
    • The series has thirteen birthsigns which bestow different bonuses upon those born under them. Some offer passive stat increases while others allow for a special power to be used, typically once per day. Prior to Skyrim, the player could choose one of the signs during character creation. Skyrim instead adds 13 Standing Stones, representing each sign, which can be activated by the player to bestow their bonus. (Under normal circumstances, only one may be active at a time.) The signs and their months are: Morning Star - The Ritual, Sun's Dawn - The Lover, First Seed - The Lord, Rain's Hand- The Mage, Second Seed - The Shadow, Midyear - The Steed, Sun's Height - The Apprentice, Last Seed - The Warrior, Heartfire - The Lady, Frostfall - The Tower, Sun's Dusk - The Atronach, Evening Star - The Thief, and 13th Sign - The Serpent.
    • The Magna-Ge, aka "Star Orphans", are heavily associated with the series' constellations and birthsigns. The Magna-Ge are et'Ada ("original spirits") who, along with their "father" Magnus (the architect of Mundus, the mortal realm), fled Mundus part way through its creation after Magnus realized that creating it would severely weaken the et'Ada and forever bind them to the world. While fleeing to Aetherius, the realm of magic, they punctured holes between the realms now seen as the sun (Magnus) and the stars (Magna-Ge), through which magic and light flow into Mundus.
  • Fictionary:
    • The series in general includes a number of fictional languages. The most popular is Daedric, which is simply a substitution cipher for English. Others reach near full-blown Conlang status, such as the Classical Tongue Aldmeris, as well as Ayleidoon, Dwemeris, and Falmeris. Translating these latter three is tied into quests in several games in the series.
    • Dovahzul is the Language of Magic of the dragons. It has (variable) meanings in English and follows the basic structure of old Scandinavian.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief:
    • The series in general has always had this breakdown for Skills. Skills fit into one of three categories: Combat (Fighter), Magic (Mage), and Stealth (Thief). This skill breakdown demonstrates how this trope can be carried on through a purely skill-based character system. Though there are classes presented (prior to Skyrim), the player can arbitrarily select any skills up to the limit and define the class with any name, and that class will still be predominantly combat, magic or stealth-based. Any class's leaning is subject to change at any time regardless of the name, but because of the series' skill point leveling system, it's as a result of what the player does. For example, if you become more fighter-like it's because you're acting more fighter-like.
    • Although normally invisible to the player, when you start modding around NPCs, especially if you are modding in partners/followers, they strictly grow in skill according to their class. Fortunately, you can custom-build classes for them as well, to cherry-pick the abilities of your companions.
    • The series also has an in-universe example of this trope in the form of the three "guardian constellations" in the in-game zodiac. Each confer benefits suited to their corresponding play styles.
    • In-universe, according to one in-game source, Talos is actually composed of three men, each of whom represent elements the archetypes and are each one of the races of Men in Tamriel. Wulfharth Ash-King (Nord, warrior), Zurin Arctus (Imperial, mage), and Hjalti Early-Beard/Tiber Septim (Breton, thief).note 
  • Fighting a Shadow:
    • The Daedric Princes possess Complete Immortality and thus, cannot truly be "killed". All you can do, even if you are a full-blown Physical God or even Akatosh himself, is slay whatever physical form they have taken and banish them back to Oblivion, where they will reform. While they have been beaten, battered, and even fundamentally changed, nothing in the setting has ever been able to actually kill one. This is also true for lesser Daedra, though they tend to be much easier to slay.
    • This is also the case for the Daedric artifacts associated with the Princes. You can destroy or otherwise unmake them, but they will always reappear somewhere else in Tamriel after a few years, usually per the will of their associated Prince.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: This has traditionally been the case for the Orcs. Unlike the other playable races, the Orcs do not have their own recognized homeland. Several times throughout history, they've attempted to establish the city-state of Orsinium as such, but each time, they've been forced by their hostile neighbors (the Bretons of High Rock and the Redguards of Hammerfell) to abandon it, in part because of the threat the Orcs pose and in part due to plain old fashioned Fantastic Racism. As of Skyrim in the 4th Era, Orsinium has again been abandoned with the Orcs forced to assimilate into High Rock as slaves in all but name. Only a few Orc tribes still live independently in destitute, scattered "strongholds", scorned by all.
  • Filth:
    • The Lusty Argonian Maid is a recurring semi-pornographic play about an Argonian maid, her human lord (who is an expy of the book's in-universe author), and his 'spear'. It was popular enough to spawn a sequel, as well as a Gender Flipped version for the ladies, The Sultry Argonian Bard.
    • Several other in-universe books also fit. For example, Halgerd's Tale is a heavy armor skill book. It's a bard's tale about a man more agile and skilled in full plate than without, and ends on an allusion to how he was better able to satisfy his wife fresh from a tournament than he was before.
  • Final Death:
    • The series has seemingly every type of magic available except for true resurrection magic. Necromancy exists, but that's not quite the same thing... In the few in-universe cases where someone has had some success with it, the person that is resurrected is typically either deranged in some way or suffers from some other issue. Also, though not quite resurrection, the various series' deities do seem to reserve the right to reincarnate someone if they see it fit.
    • In terms of gameplay, anyone who dies (whether you kill them or something else does), they will stay dead. After subscribing to the Anyone Can Die philosophy early in the series, Oblivion starts the trend of having plot relevant characters marked as "essential". They cannot be killed, only knocked out. Anyone who isn't essential can still die and will stay dead.
  • Final Solution:
    • The Falmer (Snow Elves) once had a civilization in Skyrim and Solstheim to rival even that of the Altmer. Unlike many of their Elven cousins, they were able to live peacefully alongside the races of Men for several centuries at least. However, an event known as the "Night of Tears" saw them slaughter and burn the Atmoran/Nord city of Saarthal. (Each side naturally places the blame for the event on the other.) Ysgramor, one of the Atmoran leaders, rallied an army of 500 of the greatest Atmoran warriors and launched an invasion into the Falmer's Skyrim territories. Ysgramor and his Companions, as they would come to be known, very nearly succeeded in driving the Falmer to extinction, save for those who fled to the Dwemer (where they were enslaved and mutated into debased creatures little better than Goblins) and a small population who hid at a single remote chantry.
    • The Sload, an Absolute Xenophobe race of "slugmen" native to Thras (an archipelago to the southwest of Tamriel), once attempted this to every other race in Tamriel back in the 1st Era. Unleashing the Thrassian Plague, they successfully wiped out over half of Tamriel's population, believed to be even more than the Oblivion Crisis or Red Year. It's little wonder then that, despite their own various disagreements with each other, one thing most denizens of Tamriel can agree on is that the Sload are unrepentantly evil.
  • Finders Rulers: Several items throughout the series, typically crossing over with Only the Chosen May Wield, including the Moon-And-Star ring and the Amulet of Kings.
  • Find the Cure!:
    • While it is widely believed throughout Tamriel that there is no cure for Vampirism, there are recorded cases of individuals being cured. Knowledge of how to be cured is typically suppressed for two major reasons: One, because the cure is often extremely unsavory. Two, in order to discourage wannabe Vampires from intentionally infecting themselves with the disease. In each game where the Player Character can contract the disease, the cure does indeed prove to be rather unsavory. A breakdown by game is available on the trope page.
    • This is likewise the case throughout the series for curing curing Lycanthropy. For similar reasons to the cure for Vampirism, knowledge of the cure for Lycanthropy is likewise suppressed.
  • Finger-Licking Poison: In the in-game book A Game at Dinner, Helseth implies to his assembled dinner guests that he put poison on the cutlery of someone he knows has been spying on him. It turns out to be a subversion, however, as Helseth was Bluffing the Murderer, and the real poison is the antidote he offers to the spy if they confess.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: While not Hell itself, the series has the Deadlands, the Daedric plane of Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction. Crossing over with Mordor, the Deadlands is a bleak and barren realm, containing wastelands of blackened rock, seas of lava, and partially destroyed structures. However, the Deadlands subverts the "fire" part of the trope as, despite the flowing lava all over the place, mortals who visit are said to feel an "unearthly chill" within the realm.
  • Fireballs: The most basic form of a ranged fire spell throughout the series. More powerful versions also exist (or can be created through Spellmaking), giving the fireball greater damage and/or a larger Area of Effect explosion.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The ancient Chimeri/Dunmeri hero Lord Indoril Nerevar had one of these with Dumac Dwarfking, leader of the rival Dwemer. The two formed an Enemy Mine when Morrowind was threatened by the invading Nords, and the two became close friends after. Dumac even attended Nerevar's wedding and gave True Flame as a gift to Nerevar. It wouldn't last though, as the Naytheistic Dwemer discovered and attempted to tap into the Heart of Lorkhan, which the devout Daedra-worshipping Chimer saw as a blasphemy. The two went to war and, while exactly what happened next is recounted differently by the surviving parties, the Dwemer disappeared and Nerevar was slain.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning:
    • This is present in the series' three main elemental spell types in the Destruction school of magic. While the exact effects of each type vary depending on the exact spell used and the mechanics of the specific game, they generally follow the following formula: Fire spells tend to deal the most direct damage, cost the least Magicka to use, and often have the effect of continuing to burn the target for some time after the initial impact. Frost spells tend to do the least direct damage, but typically have secondary effects of slowing the movement speed of targets after they've been hit as well as draining the target's Stamina. This makes Frost spells especially effective against enemy melee combatants. Shock spells typically deal damage somewhere in between Fire and Frost, cost the most Magicka, (if ranged) sometimes strike instantly (similar to a Hitscan attack), and sometimes drain Magicka in addition to damaging health. This makes Shock spells especially effective against enemy spellcasters.
    • Atronachs are a type of unaligned lesser Daedra which are essentially the Elemental Embodiments of the elements they represent. The most common are the Flame (also known as "Fire"), Frost, and Storm varieties. (Others include Air, Flesh, Iron, and Stone.) Atronachs typically attack with spells of the element they represent while also being immune to spells of that element.
  • First Town: A staple in the series from Morrowind onward. It's typically a smaller town or village with a few low-level quests available, some low-end gear that can often be picked up for free, and a couple of exposition-providing NPCs. Specific examples are listed by game on the trope page.
  • Fisher King: The realms of the Daedric Princes in Oblivion are part Genius Loci and part Eldritch Location. The Princes rule their own realms as Dimension Lords, inside of which they possess almost absolute power to create, change, and alter at will. Anything that causes one of the Princes to change, however, be it a Hijacking Cthulhu situation or through their own actions, also affects their realm. For example, in the 4th Era when Clavicus Vile was separated from his external conscience, Barbas, his realm of is said to have literally shrunk.
  • Fish People:
    • In addition to their many Lizard Folk traits, Argonians also possess some fish-like traits including gills which allow them to breath underwater and various forms of fin as part of their Alien Hair.
    • The Dreugh are an aquatic race of humanoid octopi with leathery hides and pincers on their primary "arms". For one year of their lives, Dreugh undergo a process known as "karvinasim," in which they emerge onto land to breed. During this period they are known as "Land Dreughs". Unlike their aquatic counterparts, the Land Dreughs show no signs of their usual intelligence and kill indiscriminately. In an early era of creation before linear time existed, the Dreugh were said to have ruled the world while serving Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Rape. However, that world (known as "Lyg") was destroyed and the remnants were one of the 12 worlds assembled to create Nirn during the Dawn Era as described in many Tamriellic creation myths. Conflicts with hunters (particularly the Dunmer) over thousands of years are believed to have contributed to the destruction of Dreugh civilization as well as their devolved intelligence.
    • Lurkers are a fish-like form of lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge. Lurkers stand much taller than even the tallest of the playable races, possess several forms of Combat Tentacles, powerful physical attacks including a Shockwave Stomp, and Acid Spit. Additionally, their faces appear to be modeled after angler fish.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Pretty much standard practice for the series, especially for beginner characters who have not yet gotten into all of the series' Money for Nothing. Steal some stuff, take it to a different merchant (or a dedicated "fence" starting with Oblivion), sell it, rinse, repeat.
  • Five Races: The series has this going on, loosely. Redguards, Orcs, and Nords are Stout. Bretons are Fairy. Dunmer and Imperials are Mundane. Altmer are High Men (though between the events of Oblivion and Skyrim, they, or at least their Thalmor government, are Fallen instead). Bosmer are Cute. In addition, Argonians and Khajiit are Beasts.
  • Flaming Sword: Throughout the series, you can find countless swords enchanted with fire damage (or enchant one yourself). And it's not limited to swords either, you can enchant any weapon with such an effect. Downplayed in that they won't actually be on fire, but they will have a slight red/orange sheen and will inflict fire damage upon strike.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist:
    • The extinct Dwemer were a played-deadly-serious version of this trope. While they acknowledged the existence of some of the entities that the other races considered "gods" (Aedra, Daedra, etc.), the Dwemer refused to accept their divinity. They were said to especially despise the Daedra, mocking and scorning the "foolish" rituals of their followers (primarily their greatest rivals in Morrowind, the Chimer). They would even summon Daedra specifically to test their divinity. The science and reason focused Dwemer even extended this skepticism to reality itself, refuting anything as truly "real". It is implied that this belief is a core element of how their technology functions. They devised technology that ignored the laws of reality or outright manipulated the tonal architecture of the Earth-Bones (the spirits of creation who gave their lives to set up the laws of nature and physics) simply through sheer refusal to accept physical and magical limitations. The Dwemer would all disappear entirely from any known plane of existence after discovering and tampering with the heart of the "dead" god, Lorkhan.
      • One Dwemer tale (notably written by an Unreliable Narrator) tells of a Dwemer who tricks the Daedric Prince Azura with a box containing a mirror. After she correctly guesses what the box holds, he opens the box and the mirror makes it appear as if the box was empty,note  'proving' she is fallible and so not a god. He dies that night, a smile on his face. The Dunmer tell a different story: Azura sees through the tricks and strikes him down there and then.
    • Many in Tamriel are this toward the Nine Divines, the Aedra who sacrificed themselves in the creation of Mundus (the mortal world), while acknowledging the existence of the Daedra. Basically every example of the Divines influencing the world are either ambiguous, a matter of legend, very personal incidents that only happens to special people (like Player Characters), or a combination, while the Daedric Princes influencing the world is a matter of historical record.
  • Flavor Equipment: The series has some extremely low-end gear available which most players will pass over without a second thought. (In some cases, being even worse than the Starting Equipment you get for free.) Much of it is used exclusively by NPCs to give them some flavor and to reinforce the idea of a "living world" within the Wide Open Sandbox. Specific examples by game can be found on the trope page.
  • Flavor Text: Each games includes tons of additional information about the game world in the form of NPC dialogue, Fictional Documents, and full blown In-Game Novels. Much of it is simply background details about the history of the Constructed World of Nirn, it's religions, cosmology, and peoples that have no impact on the game itself.
  • Folk Hero: Just about every race in the series has at least one, who is usually also a Long Dead Badass. These include Reman Cyrodiil, Tiber Septim, Indoril Nerevar, and many others.
  • Foreboding Architecture: Throughout the series, the architecture of a dungeon will typically give you a pretty good idea about the types of enemies you will encounter within. For example, Dwemer ruins will typically contain their famous automatons, Daedric ruins will typically contain their worshipers and lesser Daedra, tombs/crypts/catacombs will typically contain various forms of undead, etc. This isn't guaranteed, however, and if the dungeon is associated with a quest, the more important that quest is the more likely this trope will be averted.
  • Foreigners Write Backwards: The Daedric language is simply a substitution cipher for English, give or take a few letters. However, it has notably been written in various ways throughout the series, including in reverse, from top to bottom, upside down, with the first letter much larger (and in a different color), and even with the characters superimposed on top of one another.
  • Foreign Queasine:
    • The Bosmer are bound to some unusual dietary restrictions due to the Green Pact, a deal they made with their patron deity to never harm the plant life in the forests of their homeland, Valenwood. Because they cannot harm the plant life in any way, they live on an almost strictly carnivorous diet (though it also includes honey, dairy, and mushrooms which do not count as plants), essentially Inverting Veganopia. In order to get around these restrictions, they are also known to eat a variety of insects. Thunderbugs in particular are used along with rotten meat to create the alcoholic beverage "Rotmeth." Additionally, they are known to smoke insects in their bone pipes instead of the usual plant matter smoked by most races. These restrictions are significantly relaxed for Bosmer living outside of Valenwood. Another term of the Green Pact requires them to consume the bodies of fallen enemies, as they are not to be allowed to rot within Valenwood. It's been said in the lore that they fast before large battles so they can be hungry enough to eat their fallen foes. (This restriction is understandably relaxed for Bosmer outside of Valenwood, and its practice is said to be all but nonexistent as of the 4th Era.)
    • The Sload, a race of "slugmen" native to the Coral Kingdoms of Thras to the west of Tamriel, are said to serve various molds and fungi as meals. One account even mentions Sload consuming a regurgitated substance from one of their elders.
  • Foreign Ruling Class:
    • After the death of Reman Cyrodiil III, the last in the Reman dynasty, at the end of the 2nd Era, his Akavari advisor, Versidue-Shaie, took over the Empire. Following his death, his son Savirien-Chorak, would continue to rule. The Akavari Potentates were members of the Tsaesci race, supposedly Snake People right down to having scales and serpentine lower bodies (though other accounts state they were men little different than those from Tamriel with some East Asian features). Ultimately Savirien-Chorak and his heirs would die under mysterious circumstances, leading to the 400+ year Interregnum before Tiber Septim's rise to power.
    • The Septim dynasty, ruling family of the Third Tamriellic Empire during the first four games in the main series and a Vestigial Empire by the fifth, actively took steps to Downplay this trope in order to better pacify the provinces under their control. While their empire expanded to include all of Tamriel, they had a habit of appointing Puppet Rulers in the provinces drawn from Imperial loyalists of the native races. One prominent example is Queen Barenziah of Morrowind. At the onset of Tiber Septim's invasion of Morrowind, his forces sacked Morrowind's capital of Mournhold and killed all but the young Barenziah of her noble Dunmeri family. Convinced by his Dunmeri General Symmachus to spare her as a useful pawn, she would be later appointed as the Imperial-supporting Queen of Morrowind in order to make the Dunmer more supportive of the Empire. (Barenziah is considered a very successful Queen who would outlive Tiber Septim by centuries, but the ultimate result of Imperial rule in Morrowind is very mixed.) Another prominent example are the Nords of Skyrim. Dating back to the Pact of Chieftains (which was agreed to following a Succession Crisis where the last in Ysgramor's line died without an heir), the Jarls of Skyrim hold a "Moot" where a new High King of Skyrim is elected whenever the previous one dies. The High King is subservient to the Empire, with Skyrim having been one of the founding nations of the Septim Empire. (Of course, Ulfric Stormloak in the eponymous game seeks to change that...)
  • Foreshadowing: While each game obviously has plenty of foreshadowing to events that happen later within it, there are also plenty of instances of foreshadowing to the events of future games in the series. For example, each of Morrowind's expansions have quests which hint at the details of the future Oblivion Crisis.
  • Forest Ranger:
    • The Bosmer (Wood Elves) of Valenwood basically have this trope as a cultural hat. They are masterful archers and are bound by the "Green Pact", an agreement they made with their patron deity long ago to never harm or allow harm to come to the forests of Valenwood.
    • The Imperial Legion has a variation in the Imperial Foresters. During peacetime, they can be found in Cyrodiil's forests. During wartime, they serve as archers and scouts.
  • Forged by the Gods:
    • The Daedric Artifacts (crossing over with Legendary Weapons for those that are weapons) are some of the most legendary artifacts on Nirn. Each is associated with a particular Daedric Prince and passes from owner to owner according to the wishes of those deities. It is implied that these artifacts were created by these deities, or are possibly even a part of the deities themselves. Famous recurring examples include the Malacath's hammer Volendrung, the dagger Mehrunes' Razor, the Mace of Molag Bal (see the page quote), Meridia's sword Dawnbreaker, and Sheogorath's staff Wabbajack. Non-weapons include Azura's Star (a reusable Grand Soul Gem), Boethiah's Ebony Mail, and the Masque of Clavicus Vile.
    • The Aedra, deities who aided in the creation of Mundus (the mortal plane) primarily worshiped in the Nine Divines religion, have provided some legendary artifacts as well. Some of the most famous are Auri-El's Bow and Shield, Auri-El being the Aldmeri eagle version of Akatosh, the draconic God of Time. (The Bow is said to be the weapon that launched Lorkhan's Heart down into the world after he was "killed" for his perceived treachery during creation.) Similarly, the Divines each contributed to the Crusader's Relics. Originally worn by Pelinal Whitestrake during the Alessian Revolt when he defeated Umaril the Unfeathered, they would have to be collected and sanctified by "Pelinal Reborn" in Oblivion's Knights of the Nine expansion.
  • For Science!:
    • The Dwemer were said to have been, in contrast to most elves, a highly scientific race who were able to develop complex machines and other fantastic devices, including a safe means of reading the Elder Scrolls. They would also summon Daedra just to test their divinity. They were ruthless, amoral and arrogant, hostile to every other race they encountered and not above using them for experimentation and slave labour. Their scientific scepticism with Daedra and gods and reality itself eventually extended to encompass themselves, and in the 1st Era, their chief "Tonal Architect" Kagrenac attempted to make the Dwemer into immortal ascended beings by breaking them down to their base elements and then reforging them - it's possible Kagrenac succeeded or got the reforging step of the experiment wrong, but whatever the case, the entire Dwemer race simply vanished from the face of Nirn without a trace.
    • Members of the Mages Guild have a habit of putting themselves and others in danger through the reckless research and testing methods they use to study their fields of Functional Magic. Summoning creatures and then losing control of them is a common example. Ironically, one of the reasons Galerion founded the Guild was to provide a safe place for magical experimentation.
    • The Dunmeri Great House Telvanni is a Magocracy whose lax rules create a breeding ground for Evil Sorcerer types. With the ES universe treating magic as a science, much of what they do crosses into Mad Scientist territory. Many of their Mage-Lords use foul magics to extend their lives and enjoy summoning lesser Daedra and/or practicing Necromancy to create guards and test subjects. Master Neloth, a Telvanni Councilor who appears in both Morrowind and Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, has a number of comments showing that he fits the trope:
    ""I wonder if a dragon could be captured alive? It would make a fascinating test subject."
    "The ash from Red Mountain holds secrets. Secrets I mean to uncover."
    "How do you like my new laboratory? I use it to dissect spriggans. I've learned so much from them."
    "It was fascinating to watch those tentacles grow out of your eyes."
  • For the Evulz: This is a very common trait among the more outright malevolent Daedric Princes, including Boethiah, Mehrunes Dagon, and Molag Bal. Getting mortals to betray, destroy, dominate, etc. one another are essentially their reasons for existing. None of them attempt to hide this fact. Though not as outright malevolent, Clavicus Vile likes making deals with mortals that they will alter regret, and enjoys granting their wishes in a Literal Genie fashion. Vile also collects souls simply for the sake of having them.
  • Founder of the Kingdom:
    • Ysgramor created the earliest empire of men in Tamriel, after he and his 500 companions traveled to Skyrim from Atmora. They slaughtered the native Falmer and expanded into High Rock and Morrowind at the height of the empire. The Nords of Skyrim still revere him to this day.
    • Lord Indoril Nerevar is treated as this by the Dunmer (Dark Elf) 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.
    • St. Alessia, the "Slave Queen," led an uprising of Cyrodiil's native human population against their Ayleid masters with the aid of the Nordic Empire, rebel Ayleid lords, and the gods themselves. She would found the Alessian Empire, the first Empire of Men out of Cyrodiil. All recognized Cyrodiilic Emperors who have followed claim metaphysical descent from Alessia.
    • Reman Cyrodiil founded the Second Cyrodiilic Empire. According to legend, Reman was conceived in a union between the mortal petty King Hrol, the spirit of St. Alessia, Akatosh, and the land of Cyrodiil itself. He was found born atop a mountain of mud with the Amulet of Kings, long since lost, in hand. Coronated as a child, he would reunite the two halves of Cyrodiil (Colovia and Nibenay), then bring the other kingdoms of Men under his rule (High Rock and Skyrim). Later, he would defeat the Akaviri invaders and absorbed them into his fledgling proto-empire after they recognized him as "Dragonborn" and swore fealty to him. His dynasty would go on to conquer most of Tamriel, failing only to conquer the Dunmer (protected by their Physical Gods) and the Altmer (protected by their powerful magics), though they did get the Altmer to join his empire peacefully by offering a treaty with exceptionally favorable terms to the Altmer.
    • Tiber Septim founded the Third Cyrodiilic Empire, and became the first to conquer all of Tamriel. He ascended (possibly with others) to godhood after his death, becoming Talos, the Ninth Divine.
  • Four-Star Badass: Tiber Septim, the founder of the Third Tamriellic Empire who ascended after his death as Talos, the Ninth Divine, was a peerless General. He commanded the Imperial Legions into forging the first truly pan-Tamriellic Empire. He crossed over with Frontline General (and Risking the King, naturally), at least early in his campaigns, though this was justified as he could use the Thu'um, a very powerful weapon.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: The series (since Morrowind) has M'aiq the Lair, a recurring Easter Egg Legacy Character who has appeared in every game since Morrowind. M'aiq is a known a Fourth Wall Observer (and Leaner and Breaker) who voices the opinions of the series' creators and developers, largely in the form of Take Thats, to both the audience (given the ES Unpleasable Fanbase) and isn't above above taking some at Bethesda itself. His "meta" dialogue understandably doesn't make any sense from an in-universe perspective and justifiably makes him seem very detached from the game world.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Redguards fit this role out of the races of Men. Of the races of Men, they typically have the greatest natural athleticism and a preference for lighter armors which allow them to keep this advantage (and are simply more practical in their desert homeland). They are, however, typically more "fragile" physically than Imperials or Nords and are certainly more "fragile" magically than the Bretons. Those who excel exceptionally in swordsmanship, their favored cultural weapon, can add the punch of a Glass Cannon as well, essentially making them 2/3 of a physical Lightning Bruiser.
  • Free Rotating Camera: Following the series' 3D Leap in Morrowind, 1st Person and 3rd Person (in the Always Over the Shoulder fashion) are both options. The games have the "Rotate and Zoom" version when standing still in 3rd Person view, which lets you admire your character customization and gear, but if you move or draw your weapons the camera will snap right back over the shoulder.
  • Freeware Games: Arena and Daggerfall have been released as freeware on the Bethesda website - despite being glitchy and having the devs deny they would ever be re-released. They're still unplayable on modern systems without DOSBox, though it is thankfully included in the file bundles.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the intro of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard spin-off game, the camera pans over a library. There is a set of five books where, if you pause, you can see that the books have the following titles: The Elder Scrolls Arena, The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls Morrowind (which was in pre-production), The Elder Scrolls Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls Romanelli (this is simply a meaningless placeholder name since Bethesda hadn't settled on "Skyrim" yet). The amazing thing is that Bethesda had already decided on "Oblivion" for a title as far back as 1998 (Oblivion being released eight years later) and they had decided on making a fifth game down the line.
  • Freudian Excuse: A number of examples throughout the series. They are listed by game on the trope page.
  • Freudian Trio:

  • Friends with Benefits: The Lost Orphaned Royalty and future Queen of Morrowind, Barenziah, had such a relationship with the Nord stableboy, Straw, who helped her to escape from her foster family. Straw wanted it to be more, but Barenziah had no interest.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
    • Kynareth, the Aedric Divine Goddess of the Air and Heavens, also has a significant association with nature and living things. Her Commandment states that one should "respect nature" and "use Nature's gifts wisely". She is a friend to all natural living things, anyway... Undead need not apply.
    • Meridia is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is obscured to mortals, but is associated with Life Energy, Light, and Beauty. Though she is associated with the "energy of living things", she technically Subverts it. There is a heavy emphasis on the Living part, for one. If you're Undead or a Necromancer, she will destroy you. If some living things have to die as collateral damage in order for her to achieve her greater goals, she'll sacrifice them without a second thought.
  • From Bad to Worse: For the Empire, following the Oblivion Crisis. The Oblivion Crisis was an utter disaster for Tamriel, no question. Cities were leveled, thousands of people killed, and, following a Heroic Sacrifice to end it, the Third Empire of Tamriel was left without a Septim heir to the throne for the first time in nearly 500 years. Then, the Thalmor, an Altmeri radical and militarized political party of religious extremists, use the chaos following the Crisis to claim credit for ending it. This brings them massive populist support in their homeland and allows them to rise to the highest levels of the Altmeri government. Ten years later, they assassinate Potentate Ocato, who was doing well at holding the fractured Empire together. Petty infighting erupts among the Elder Council, and the Summerset Isles, the Altmeri homeland, use the ensuing chaos to secede from the Empire under the leadership of the Thalmor. They annex neighboring Valenwood (homeland of the Bosmer) and announce the reformation of the Aldmeri Dominion of old, an ancient Arch-Enemy to the various Cyrodiilic Empires. Through further manipulation, they convince the Khajiit of Elsweyr to join the Dominion as a vassal nation and then convince the Argonians to secede and then invade the Red Year weakened Morrowind in retaliation for thousands of years of their race's slavery at the hands of the Dunmer. Their actions essentially rob the Vestigial Third Empire of five former provinces. Titus Mede, a Colovian warlord, manages to capture the vacant Ruby Throne and declares himself to be the new Emperor, bringing some stability to the Empire for a time. However, the Dominion isn't satisfied. After building their nation back up, they attack the Empire in what becomes known as the "Great War". Dominion forces capture the Imperial City, but Emperor Titus Mede II (grandson of Titus Mede I) pulls his legions out and regroups with his forces from Skyrim. Together, they re-capture the Imperial City and push the Dominion out of Cyrodiil. The remaining strength of the Empire is greater than the Dominion anticipated, but they have a fallback: the White-Gold Concordat. With Mede II sensing that his forces are too weak to further pursue the Dominion, he reluctantly agrees. The Concordat, among other things, cedes large tracts of Hammerfell to the Dominion, bans the worship of Talos, and allows Dominion agents to patrol the Empire to enforce these terms. Mede II's acceptance of the Concordat essentially wins the war but loses the peace. Hammerfell secedes and continues the war with the Dominion on their own. Civil War erupts in Skyrim as the Nords attempt to do the same... This all leads up to the events of Skyrim.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Each Player Character in the series, especially the ones who start out as prisoners, starts off about as close to a "nobody" as one can get. By the end of the game, they acquire skills, equipment, and abilities that make them one of the most powerful beings in all of Tamriel, and, in a few cases, Semi-Divine or outright Physical Gods capable of foiling the plans of truly god-like beings.
    • Vivec, the Dunmeri Tibunal deity, in the most reliable version of his past, started off as the son of a poor Netch herder before rising up the ranks to become the Number Two to Lord Nerevar as leader of the Chimer. Then, after probably having something to do with Nerevar's death, tapped into a forbidden power source to become a god. In supplementary works, Vivec also claims to have achieved "CHIM", a god-like state of being even beyond that of deities like the Aedra and the Daedric Princes.
  • Frontline General: With Nirn being quite the World of Badass, most military leaders seen throughout the series and in the Backstory are this. To note some specific examples:
    • Lord Indoril Nerevar, revered ancient hero of the Dunmer people, was one of these. Most accounts have him personally leading forces into the Dwemer stronghold at Red Mountain. It also helped lead to his death, either from wounds suffered there or by the betrayal of his allies within. (Again, depending on the version of the story you are reading.) His death and prophesied Reincarnation are major plot points in Morrowind.
    • Any leader of any of the Proud Warrior Races (Orcs, Nords, Redguards) qualifies. For the Nords in particular, Asskicking Equals Authority and any leader is expected to be able to hold his or her own in battle, if not be the most outright badass figure on the battlefield. Ysgramor, Wulfharth Ash-King, and Talos Stormcrown (aka Tiber Septim) gained great renown as both warriors and generals. Should the player side with the Stormcloaks in Skyrim, Ulfric will lead the charge in the final battle.
    • The ancient Yokudan (Precursors of the Redguards) hero Frandar Hunding was one. One of the legendary Ansei, or "Sword Saints", Frandar was quite possibly the greatest Master Swordsman in the history of Nirn. 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. 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. There, he would eventually fall in battle with the giant goblins of Hammerfell while still serving as one in his 80s.
    • Uriel Septim V's reputation as a warrior-emperor is considered second only to Tiber himself among the Septim dynasty. 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. Over a span of 13 years, he conquered several island nations in the Padomaic Sea to the east of Tamriel. Then, he invaded Akavir itself. Despite initial successes, he would fail to conquer Akavir as he had hoped, and would fall there in battle himself, making a Heroic Sacrifice to cover the retreat of his legions.
  • Full-Boar Action:
    • Various types of boar (sometimes under fantastical names, such as the "tusked bristlebacks" of Solstheim) are found throughout Tamriel. Most are quite aggressive and will attack on sight.
    • Wereboars are one type of lycanthrope in service to Hircine. (The player character can become on in Daggerfall.)
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • This is an option for the Player Character throughout the series, and it will spark witty remarks from NPCs who witness. It doesn't confer much of an advantage in combat, save for making you less encumbered if you actually drop your clothing and armor. The vanilla games include default underwear on non-Khajiit and Argonian characters, but there are plenty of Game Mods that remove even those, allowing it to be played entirely straight.
    • In-universe, Emperor Pelagius the Mad certainly lived up to his nickname with Axe-Crazy outbursts and other extreme eccentricities. It was when he stripped naked in public and began attacking visitors that his advisors knew something was very wrong with him, and that he needed to be removed from the throne. He was institutionalized and died only a few years later, but his legacy as the Mad Emperor lives on.
  • Functional Magic:
    • Most magic in series is a mix of Rule, Force, and to some extent (with enchanted magical artifacts) Device magic. In terms of gameplay, casting spells is simply Rule magic. You learn spells and then, if you have sufficient Magicka, you can cast them. In-universe, magic is explained to exist as Force magic, thanks to a Background Magic Field. During the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane, Magnus, an "et'Ada" (original spirit), discovered that by creating Mundus, he and his fellow et'Ada would be forever bound to it and significantly weakened as a result. He and his followers, the "Magna-Ge" (star orphans), bailed out on creation and fled to Aetherius, the realm of magic. As they fled, they punctured holes between Mundus and Aetherius which we see as the sun and stars. Magic flows through them into Mundus, visible as nebulae.
    • After its founding, the Mages Guild first codified and popularized the idea of the "Eight Schools" of magic (though by the 4th Era, Thaumaturgy and Mysticism would be absorbed by the other schools, and many of the individual spells would be re-classified between schools even before then). To note:
      • Alchemy, the study of the magical virtues of different forms of matter, their effects, combinations, and recombinations. To include the concoction of potions, elixirs, and magical draughts.
      • Alteration, the distortion of local reality through direct imposition of the mage's will. To include spells of paralysis, levitation, jumping, water breathing, water walking, locking, lock opening, feather, burden, and personal elemental shields such as flame cloaks.
      • Conjuration, the summoning and binding of spirits from Oblivion or Aetherius. To include soul trapping, spells that conjure Daedra or other creatures, spells to banish same, summoning of bound weapons and armor, as well as (for classification purposes) the forbidden necromantic arts of reanimation, conjuration, and manipulation of the undead.
      • Destruction, the splintering of material bonds by the direct application of force, typically elemental in nature. To include damaging spells of flame, frost, shock, and disintegration, as well as magic that drains essence or personal attributes.
      • Illusion, the altering of perception in oneself or others. To include spells of light, invisibility, fear, frenzy, and silence, as well as magic that affects morale and obedience.
      • Mysticism, the class of spells used to alter the nature of magic itself. To include effects that dispel or absorb both spells and the magicka that feeds them, teleportation, as well as telekinesis (which fits here as well as anywhere).
      • Restoration, the opposite of destruction, magic that resists damage or restores wholeness by reknitting the damaged material. To include wards, healing, curing of disease and poison, physical fortification, and the turning of undead (a forced purification effect).
      • Thaumaturgy, the magic that affects the will and personal state of mind. To include spells that calm or charm others.
    • Still other types of magic exist, which don't fit neatly into the "schools" at all. One example is the Thu'um, the draconic Language of Magic which allows for small scale Reality Warping. The Thu'um crosses over Force magic with Divine magic, since ES dragons are divine Aedric beings. Another example is the magic channeled from the Heart of Lorkhan, the "dead" creator god of Mundus. It too is similar to Divine magic, but with a much more eldritch twist. It's power has been used to turn mortals into Physical Gods, as well as create a Mystical Plague which warps and twists the affected into terrifying Humanoid Abominations.
  • Fungus Humongous:
    • Vvardenfell, the central island of Morrowind, has giant tree-sized mushrooms growing throughout the island. Great House Telvanni settlements consist almost exclusively of magically-grown mushroom houses, while the Telvanni magisters themselves live in gigantic mushroom Mage Towers. The Dunmer really like their giant mushrooms. They even transplant some (along with a Telvanni tower) to Solstheim when they are forced to move there following the Red Year.
    • The Shivering Isles, the Daedric Plane of Sheogorath, is home to some impressively large mushrooms.
    • Deep beneath Skyrim, there is a gigantic underground Dwemer city named Blackreach that is lit up partially by giant, glowing mushooms.
  • Fun Personified: Sanguine, the Daedric Prince of Debauchery and Hedonism. Given the nature of most deities in the ES universe, Sanguine is literally this trope. His sphere includes both the good and bad aspects of debauchery, hedonism, revelry, and passion. He can most commonly be found trying to tempt mortals into sin using various vices. Additionally, his thousands of realms of Oblivion reform to cater to the needs of whoever visits.
  • Fun Size:
    • Scamps are the weakest known form of lesser Daedra, and also the smallest, standing just over half the height of an average man. Appearances earlier in the series, particularly the Scamp merchant Creeper in Morrowind, gained Scamps some fans for their "cuteness", though their Looks Like Orlok appearance in The Elder Scrolls Online is much more ugly and demonic.
    • Rieklings (a blue-skinned race of humanoids native to Solstheim) stand only about half the height of an average man. While their exact appearance has changed with each entry in the series, their diminutive size and gibberish language tends to get them the Ugly Cute treatment.
  • Fun with Autocensors: Around the time of Oblivion's release, the official Bethesda Forums replaced the word "ass" with "spotted owl" and "asshole" with "spotted owl habitat". They had other odd replacements for various swear words, but the "spotted owl" became so popular that people still typed it in even after the forums switched to just using [CENSORED] for everything. They even have a spotted owl emoticon. Other examples include typing "4chan" will give you a [CENSORED] tag, typing "In Soviet Russia" will give you "I am not funny", and "Oblivion sucks" will turn into "The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is the best game in the universe".
  • Fur Against Fang: The series generally averts this trope. Outside of a very few specific examples, vampires and werewolves don't really care about each other. Interestingly, both have similar origins: Both are creations of Daedric Princes - Molag Bal, Prince of Domination and Corruption created the vampires, while Hircine, Prince of the Hunt, created the Werewolves. Both are diseases which can be spread through any wound inflicted by an infected individual. Both offer Ideal Illness Immunity, making them mutually exclusive to one another canonically (barring exploits or Game Mods).
  • Fur Bikini: Sometimes worn by members of the series' Barbarian Tribe type groups, often taking the form of skimpy fur "armor".
  • Future Primitive:
    • The Falmer have degenerated from graceful Snow Elves with a culture rivaling the Altmer into a race of blind, subterranean, Morlock-like beasts with a primitive, xenophobic tribal culture. The Dwemer, who took the surviving Falmer in after their near-extinction at the hands of the ancient Atmorans/Nords, forced the Falmer to blind themselves with poisonous mushrooms in exchange. The Dwemer used them as servants and slaves, and may have performed experiments on them that caused them to further mutate into their present form. So significant was the de-evolution of the Falmer that it affected their very souls, turning them from "black" sapient souls into the "white" souls of creatures.
    • The Dreugh, a race of aquatic humanoid octopi, once ruled the world in a previous kalpa, or cycle of time. However, that was one of the 12 worlds which were destroyed and the remnants pieced together to create Nirn. The Dreugh of early Nirn were still intelligent, but that diminished over time as their civilization fell and their intelligence devolved. Now, like the Falmer, their de-evolution from an intelligent, sapient race with their own civilization has included their souls becoming white, like those of animals.


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