Elder Council Chamber

High Chancellor Ocato in the Elder Council Chambers in the Imperial Palace, the location where the council convenes.

The Elder Council, also known as the Imperial Council,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] is the central government of the Empire of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls. The Tamrielic government is a unicameral and unelected body. The nature of its composition is not detailed but it is said that since the days of Pelagius Septim II, the Elder Council had consisted of the wealthiest men and women in the Empire, and the power they wielded was conclusive.[10]

It is however specified that the body can legislate and generate profits. The exact process of legislation within the Council itself is unclear—though it is clear that Emperors have possessed the power of veto since Uriel Septim VI's reign in the early fourth century of the Third Era.[11]

The leader at the end of the Third Era was High Chancellor Ocato, an Altmer who is said to have been virtually running the Empire for 15 years after Emperor Uriel Septim VII's murder in 3E 433. Following the Oblivion Crisis, Ocato began to recognize the threat of the Thalmor and was assassinated.[12]

His death caused the Stormcrown Interregnum which fractured the Elder Council.[12]


The following are laws and decrees either agreed upon or established by the Elder Council.

  • In 3E 246, the Elder Council, decreed that, in Skyrim, any man without a liege who occupied a castle for more than three months would be granted the rights and titles of that estate.[1]
  • If two claimants with equal titles to land are set in deadlock, a duel must be held.[3]
  • Sometime after Pelagius Septim's accession to Emperor in 3E 82, Pelagius dismissed all of the Elder Council, and allowed only those willing to pay great sums to resume their seats. He encouraged similar acts among his vassals and the kings of Tamriel.[13]


The Elder Council's task is to keep the Empire running. Their responsibilities consist of the day-to-day management of the Empire, such as the administration and overseeing provinces, advising the Emperor, and the creation of laws (over which the Emperor still holds a veto).[11] The Council's importance becomes clear when the Empire is in some emergency or struggle, such as an interregnum.

During absence of an Emperor (e.g. the period between the death of an Emperor and the crowing of a new one) the Council is supposed to rule the Empire as an interim under the leadership of the High Chancellor.[14] The Council may elect an Emperor/Empress Regent with restricted powers should the incumbent Emperor not yet reach an age of majority[11] or be incompetent (e.g. If the Emperor is mentally deranged, not allowing him to perform his task properly).[15]

They are also responsible for recognizing and crowning the next ruler after an Emperor's death. Normally this is a matter of birthright. However, on numerous occasions the members have recognized someone who isn't a direct descendant of the previous Emperor.

In unique situations, the Elder Council can be forced to take regency for a long time, thus allowing them complete control over all military forces of the Empire (e.g. when the oldest heir is still too young to be crowned Emperor).[16] The Elder Council Charter allows the High Chancellor to become Portentate.[17][source?]


The Council convenes at its chambers in the center of the Imperial Palace complex, within the Imperial City. The Council chamber is comprised of a large circular table, encircled by tall chairs. The table is in the exact center of a dome shaped room, possessed of a high ceiling. The palace is built around the ancient Ayleid White-Gold Tower which extends hundreds of feet into the air. This at least partially accounts for the design of the Council chamber.


The exact details of what makes up the council is unknown. Known members are:

Members by nameEdit