This is a list of factions featured in The Elder Scrolls universe. Factions include any organization of peoples' or beings with a common goal, rule set, mission, or philosophy. While players may join certain factions, some cannot be joined.
- Main article: Blades
The Blades are a group of spies and commandos that are under the service of the Emperor of Tamriel. They are featured in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They have secret branches all across Tamriel, which gather intelligence on the Empire's enemies. They take orders only from the Emperor himself, yet the Elder Council has no power over them. The Blades also serve publicly as the Emperor's bodyguards. They also regard The Dovahkiin as the ultimate dragonslayer.
- Main article: Imperial Legion
The Imperial Legion is the main military force of the Cyrodiilic Empire. Its headquarters are in the Imperial City's Prison District. The Legion in Vvardenfell accepts players into its ranks in Morrowind, but players in Oblivion cannot join this organization. In Skyrim, players can once again join the Legion, but only to combat the Stormcloaks.
- Main article: Fighters Guild
The Fighters' Guild is dedicated to the various combat arts and to the mercenary business, offering its services for a payment. It is sanctioned by the Empire and has multiple chapters throughout Tamriel.
- Main article: Mages Guild
The Mages' Guild is dedicated to the study of the five schools of magic, alchemy, and often other sciences and their links to magic. It is spread throughout Tamriel and is chartered by the Empire. The Morrowind section is headquartered in Vivec. In Cyrodiil, the Mages' guild's headquarters is the Arcane University, located in the Imperial City. In the fourth era, the Mages' guild has been disbanded.
- Main article: Thieves Guild
The Thieves' Guild is an association of thieves and criminals. It has spread across Tamriel and established branches in most of the provinces. By its very nature, it is illicit and could be considered organized crime, however its brand of crime is less extensive than that of their counterparts in the Camonna Tong.
In Morrowind, the guild's primary center is in Balmora, with separate branches in various cities such as Sadrith Mora, and Ald'Ruhn, and is much more publicly talked about. One can just walk in and join, basically, and no one cares, until one actually starts stealing. At the end of the storyline, the player may become the Gray Fox.
In Oblivion, the organization is much more secretive, and one either has to have been thrown in or persuade beggars to give information and find the meeting point and then be invited to a contest to join as a member. Although there is no official guildmaster, a man known as the Gray Fox is the primary leader of the organization, and a myth who has lived through many centuries, through a mask taken from Nocturnal, one of the Daedric deities. The Hero of Kvatch can become the Gray Fox, but it is spoken of as a curse; one can never be rid of it once becoming the Gray Fox, unless the "mystical" title is passed on to someone else.
In Skyrim the Thieves' Guild has fallen on hard times. Based out of Riften and led by Mercer Frey, the Thieves Guild of the Fourth Era is a shadow of what it once was. It falls on the Dragonborn to bring them back to their former glories. They can be found by entering the Ratways.
The Companions are similiar to the Fighter's Guild. They reside in Jorrvaskr, a mead hall in Whiterun. There is no official leader, just a Harbinger whose word is highly respected. The Companions' current Harbinger is Kodlak Whitemane. The Circle, the leading members of the Companions, are werewolves. Most of the Circle views their lycanthropy as a gift, except for Kodlak. The questline is centered around Kodlak's desire to go to Sovngarde instead of Hircine's realm. Hircine is the Daedric Prince of the Hunt and Father of the Manbeasts. The Dragonborn may become the Harbinger at the end of the Companions' questline.
- Main article: Imperial Cult
The Imperial Cult is a religious organization devoted to worshipping the Eight Divines and the Emperor Tiber Septim (Talos). As the Imperials of Morrowind and their architecture are based on the Roman Empire, the Imperial Cult bears many similarities to Roman Catholicism, particularly in the architecture of their temples and their order of clergy (the Emperor of Tamriel could be considered similar to the pope)
- Main article: Mythic Dawn
The Mythic Dawn is a daedra worshiping cult that features prominently in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Led by Mankar Camoran, these cultists attempt to destroy Tamriel and allow Mehrunes Dagon, the daedric prince of destruction, to rule it. Until the end of the Third Era Members would identify themselves to one another by code-phrases. One would say "Dawn is breaking." If the one addressed was a fellow cultist, he would respond "Greet the new day." Agents of the Septims eventually learned this code-phrase and used it to infiltrate the cult.
- Main article: Tribunal Temple
The Tribunal Temple is dedicated to the worship of the three god-kings of Morrowind, the goddess Almalexia, the god-poet Vivec, and Sotha Sil The Tinkerer. It is the dominant religion in the province of Morrowind. With their Trinitarial style, veneration of saints, and use of icons and shrines, it would probably most closely resemble Eastern Orthodoxy, if it were to be compared with a real religion.
- Main article: Ordinators
- Main article: Buoyant Armigers
The Buoyant Armigers, unlike their counterparts the Ordinators, do not serve the Tribunal Temple, but answer only to Vivec himself. Also unlike the Ordinators, who are uniformly grave and serious, Buoyant Armigers are typically lighthearted and jovial.
- Main article: Nine Divines (Faction)
- Main article: Camonna Tong
- Main article: Dark Brotherhood
The Dark Brotherhood is an assassins guild that split off from the Morag Tong. They do not follow the customs of the Morag Tong and are illegal throughout the entire empire.They worship the Death star sign: Sithis. They feature prominently in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They perform assassinations all over Tamriel, most famously killing Tiber Septim's last surviving heir, Emperor Pelagius Septim in 3E 41 and Emperor Titus Mede II during the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Alternatively, the player may chose to wipe out the Dark Brotherhood from Tamriel.
- Main article: Morag Tong
The Morag Tong is a secretive group that carries out legally sanctioned assassinations called "Writs" within the province of Morrowind.
The Order of the Dragon
- Main article: Order of the Dragon
The Order of the Dragon is a knightly order originally founded by Tiber Septim, which is mentioned and joinable in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion . The player is inducted into the order at the second highest rank possible, Champion of Cyrodiil (the highest being the Emperor himself), at the end of the Main Quest Line.
The Knights of the White Stallion
- Main article: Knights of the White Stallion (Faction)
The Knights of the White Stallion are based in and around Leyawiin, the southernmost city of Cyrodiil, and were chartered by Count Marius Caro of Leyawiin. The organization was founded to help protect the city and its residents from the dangerous Black Bow Bandits. The Count handpicks the members of the order and grants 100 gold for every Black Bow brought in as a proof of Black Bow members killed.
The player character and an Orc named Mazoga kill Black Brugo, leader of the Black Bow Bandits, during the course of the game. Both are made Knight-Errants of the Order and granted access to the White Stallion Lodge.
The Order of the Virtuous Blood
- Main article: Order of the Virtuous Blood
The Order of the Virtuous Blood is dedicated to ridding Tamriel of vampires, and compensates or hires people to hunt them. Their headquarters is in the Imperial City Temple District. The organization was founded by the vampire Seridur as a ploy to misdirect vampire hunters and to use the group as a weapon against those who might discover his true identity. One must kill him to become a member of The Virtuous Blood, along with receiving the Ring of Sunfire and 250 septims per vampire ash.
Order of Diagna
- Main article: Order of Diagna
The Order of Diagna's major achievement was leading the siege of Orsinium. In fact their initiation ceremony is reenacting that siege. The most famous member of the Order of Diagna was also the founder of the Imperial City's Arena, Gaiden Shinji who died in the siege of Orsinium.
The Knights of the Thorn
- Main article: Knights of the Thorn
The Knights of the Thorn are a group of knights that supposedly serve the needs of Cheydinhal County in Cyrodiil. In reality this Order has a reputation for doing little more than sitting in taverns and hassling the Cheydinhal Guard. There is only one known instance of The Knights of the Thorn taking part in serious combat, which was during the Oblivion crisis, Farwil Indarys led them on an expedition into an Oblivion gate. Most of the Order was killed during this mission, and unless the player manages to save Farwil and the other Knight, the only two survivors of the group, they are wiped out by the time the gate is closed. (In the expansion to Oblivion called The Shivering Isles there is another member, named Pyke, who lives in the settlement of Hale.)
Knights of the Nine
- Main article: Knights of the Nine
The Knights of the Nine are a group of nine knights in Cyrodiil introduced with Knights of the Nine who have dedicated their lives to retrieve and protect the "Relics of the Crusader" powerful armor and weapons wielded by the Divine Crusader, Pelinal Whitestrake, who defeated the evil Umaril the Unfeathered, who was the last Ayelid king to survive the human revolution instigated by St. Alessia in 1E 242. However, in the beginning of the quest, it becomes apparent that Umaril has returned and will create chaos unless he is stopped. It is up to the player to retrieve the relics and stop Umaril once and for all.
Knights of Stendarr
- Main article: Knights of Stendarr
Houses of Morrowind
- Main article: Houses of Morrowind
- Main article: House Dagoth
House Dagoth, also known as the Sixth House, was one of the six Great Houses of Morrowind.
- Main article: House Dres
House Dres is one of the Great Houses of Morrowind. The house concentrates on agriculture and the slave trade and is located in the south-eastern part of Morrowind. Its influence on Morrowind politics has weakened considerably since Morrowind's surrender to the Tamrielic Empire. As it uses slave labor to keep its farms going and is particularly opposed to Imperial power and other races of Tamriel, it is greatly at odds with the values of the Empire (which forbids slave trade).
House Dres is the most conservative of Morrowind’s Great Houses, to the extent that the Daedra worship of the Chimer is still commonly practiced by its members. During the war in which Morrowind became a province of the Empire of Tiber Septim, it was one of the Houses, along with House Indoril and House Redoran, to resist Imperial forces.
More recently, after the events of Morrowind, House Dres has apparently undergone some significant changes. Since then, King Hlaalu Helseth has outlawed slavery in Morrowind, but Dres has allied with Helseth and is apparently finally accepting Imperial rule. Currently, the reasons and motivations for this change, as well as the effect of the outlaw of slavery on House Dres, are unknown.
- Main article: House Hlaalu
House Hlaalu is one of the six Great Houses and a joinable faction in the game Morrowind.
- Main article: House Indoril
House Indoril is one of the Great Houses of Vvardenfell. The great Chimer hero Nerevar was the head of this House during the early First Era. House Indoril is a staunch supporter of the Tribunal Temple, many of the Temple Ordinators and other Temple heroes are members of this House. This connection has given it a big influence on all political decisions in Morrowind.
Prior to Imperial conquest, House Indoril had been the dominant Great House throughout Morrowind’s history. During the war with Tiber Septim’s Empire, House Indoril was strongly against Imperial occupation. When Septim incorporated Morrowind into his Empire, Indoril refused to submit to Imperial rule. At the time the Lord High Councilor of the Grand Council, a council comprised of the heads of the Great Houses, was an Indoril and would not accept the treaty or step down, so he was assassinated and replaced with a member of House Hlaalu. More power struggles went on between the two Great Houses, with House Hlaalu, in support of Imperial accommodation, coming out the victor. Still unwilling to accept membership within the Empire, many Indoril nobles committed suicide, weakening the House.
Currently, House Indoril has no territorial holdings on the island of Vvardenfell, all of its territory is located on mainland Morrowind. Its capital is Mournhold, also the capital of Morrowind itself. Also, the city of Necrom, in eastern Morrowind, is one of their major cities.
- Main article: House Redoran
Apparently House Sotha had ties to the Great House of Indoril since their main stronghold, Ald Sotha, was located not far from Vivec, the largest holding of Indoril. The only one who survived the destruction of the House by Dagon was Sotha Sil, who was rescued by Indoril Nerevar and later became one of his most trusted advisers.
- Main article: House Telvanni
Court Of Madness
- Main article: Court of Madness
The Court of Madness consists of the nobility and servants of Sheogorath. It is featured in Shivering Isles, where the player joins and works his way up through the court, to becoming Sheogarath. Its ranks are: Tourist, Aspirant, Citizen, Madman/Madwoman, Honored Madman/Madwoman, Duke/Duchess of Mania/Dementia, Regent, Defender of the Realm, Madgod.
- Main article: Blackwood Company
The Blackwood Company is a mercenary organization featured in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was founded by Argonians who where sent back to Black Marsh on an Imperial contract. After unsuccessfully ending the contract, they decided to set up shop in the City of Leyawiin in Cyrodiil. Their headquarters in Leyawiin is located on Guild Plaza, directly opposite of the local Fighters' Guild chapter, further annoying the heads of this ancient Imperial organization. The Company has established itself as the primary competitor to the Fighters' Guild regarding mercenary services, as they are known to take on any contract, even those that the Fighters' Guild refuses. This leads to a hot rivalry that develops between the Fighters' Guild and the Blackwood Company that will expand during the protagonist's journey through the Fighters' Guild questline. The name is most likely derived from the Blackwood; the name of the wooded area around Leyawiin.
- Main article: Twin Lamps
The Twin Lamps are an abolitionist group in Morrowind. The terms of the treaty by which Morrowind was annexed into the tamrielic empire allowed Morrowind to maintain its laws and culture which includes the legality of slavery. While the Imperials frown upon slavery, they are forced by the terms of the treaty to tolerate it within Morrowind. The Twin Lamps, which existed before the Imperials' rule of Morrowind, found aid in the form of the Imperial Thieves' Guild and specifically their leader, Gentleman Jim Stacey, who will often give players missions that aid the Lamps' goals. In addition, if players gain the keys to the slaves' bracers, they can free them, aiding the Twin Lamps significantly.
The player is not directly able to join the faction, but players may stumble across the opportunity to do several free-form quests for members of the guild as they progress through the game. To discover this opportunity the player has to have freed a certain number of slaves from custody.
East Empire Trading Company
- Main article: East Empire Trading Company
The East Empire Trading Company is a massive "monopolistic mercantilist" trading company with holdings in many eastern territories of the Cyrodillic Empire, such as Morrowind or Solstheim. It is likely inspired by the real world 'East India Company '. It has a monopoly over trade in the Eastern Provinces, this is primarily due to the fact that the company is chartered (and probably funded) by the Emperor of Tamriel.
A chance to join the Company is provided in Fort Frostmoth on the frozen island of Solstheim in the Bloodmoon expansion of Morrowind. Numerous decisions and challenges await a player who decides to take up the East Empire Trading Company quest.
Many senior ranking officers in the company are seen as corrupt and resented by some people in the provinces who see the businessmen as Imperial fatcats who rob the local natural resources. Otherwise, the East Empire Trading Company does what it can to provide employment and financial stability for the Empire. House Hlaalu has ties with the Caldera Mining Company (an offshoot of the East Empire Trading Company) in the ebony mining town of Caldera due to Hlaalu's acceptance of the Empire.
The East Empire Trading Company has offices in Ebonheart, Caldera, Fort Frostmoth and the new ebony mining colony on Solstheim, Raven Rock. It is headquartered in the Imperial City in Cyrodiil and has large warehouses in the Waterfront District of the city. The East Empire Trading Company may also control the trade of kwama, Telvanni bug musk, mazte, sujamma and other local products of Morrowind as well as imports like flin and Cyrodiilic Brandy. The high price of imports like flin may be attributed to the East Empire Trading Company's complete control on price, due to lack of major competition.
One of the possible reasons the East Empire Trading Company flourishes in Morrowind is the legality of slavery in the mines and plantations in the province.
Every company chapter is headed by a Factor who directs and controls the affairs of the company in his area of influence. As a high-ranking official of the company, he has the right to construct an estate on the company premises. For instance, there is a large Factor Estate adjacent to the company's ebony mine in Raven Rock, Solstheim.
During the events of Skyrim, East Empire ships are being attacked by pirates. It's up to the player to stop these attacks.
Census and Excise
- Main article: Census and Excise
The Census and Excise is an organization operated by the Empire in an attempt to manage census counting and for tax/excise purposes. Imperial taxes are based on head counts of citizens; Census and Excise is responsible for both head counts and tax assessment and collection. Census and Excise officers also administer many Imperial licenses, e.g. importation, mercenary company incorporation.
They are typically found in many major ports across Tamriel, such as Seyda Neen in Vvardenfell. This faction is not join-able and has very little representation.
- Main article: Summerset Shadows (Faction)
The Summerset Shadows are a group of Altmer thieves, led by Linwe, that cannot be joined by the player. They are involved in the Thieves Guild quest "Summerset Shadows" in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a city influence job in Windhelm for Delvin Mallory. The rival thieves guild is making a name for itself, however it is rumored that the group is murdering their contacts after doing business. Delvin sends the Dragonborn to Windhelm to find out more about the rival thieves gang and ultimately, through the help of Niranye, finds and purges their camp, wiping out the rival guild.