"Upon my honor I do swear undying loyalty to the Emperor, and unwavering obedience to the officers of his great Empire. May those above judge me, and those below take me, if I fail in my duty. Long live the Emperor! Long live the Empire!"
―The Legion's Oath[src]

The Imperial Legion, Imperial Army,[1] or Ruby Ranks[2] is the main armed force of the Second Empire and the Third Empire of Cyrodiil, and is a large military organization in The Elder Scrolls universe. The patron deity of the Imperial Legion is Stendarr, god of Justice and Mercy.[3]

By gameEdit


Taking inspiration from the real-world ancient Roman military, the Imperial Legion similarly proclaims itself to be the most disciplined and effective military & police force in history, and that it preserves the peace and rule of law in the Empire.[4] In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Nerevarine may join the Legion, perform tasks for them, and eventually rise in rank up to the highest one, the "Knight of the Imperial Dragon." While playing heavily into the previous installment of the series, Morrowind's sequel, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, featured the Legion, yet gave the Hero of Kvatch no opportunity to sign up as a legionnaire. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dragonborn can join the Legion regardless of who they sided with in "Unbound." The Legion also captured and attempted to behead the Dragonborn upon entering Skyrim, beginning the game, because they believe that they are affiliated with the Stormcloaks, along with Lokir, Ralof, and Ulfric Stormcloak.[5]


First EraEdit

Alessian EmpireEdit

The predecessor to the Imperial Legions were the Alessian Legions.[6][7] These Legions were led by Morihaus during their siege of the White-Gold Tower against the Ayleids.[8] The Alessian Empire had slave camps, where people who had to serve as slaves were brought to.[9] During one of the cohort patrols in High Rock, some Legionnaires were killed by a band of mercenaries.[9] The mercenaries had little success, as their attacks were parried and blocked, while getting cut down.[10] In Skyrim, the Legions fought against Kjoric the White, and successfully killed the King during the Battle of Sungard. While the Pact of Chieftains was electing his successor, the Legions were also reclaiming the southern lands of Skyrim that it had lost. One of the key elements marking the end of the Alessian Empire was the failed invasion of the Colovian Estates. The Emperor Gorieus, following years of disease and the king of Skingrad being new, thought to unify Cyrodiil through the use of the Legions. He marched to Skingrad with overwhelming numbers but was ambushed. When King Rislav of Skingrad spoke to the Emperor, he let his hawk fly, a signal his archers had been waiting for. While the Legions were in the pass, they had nowhere to go and were easy targets for the Colovian archers. After a long chase by the Legions in an attempt to slay Rislav, they met the army of Kvatch, the Legions likely still outnumbered their foe, but they were exhausted and morale was low. After an hour of fighting, they fled to what is now the Imperial Reserve, and went further north and east from there.[11] Another noteworthy battle in High Rock is the Battle of Glenumbra Moors, where the Direnni and the Bretons fought against the Alessian forces.[12] Hoag Merkiller, High King of the Nords, was also slain in this battle.[13]

Reman EmpireEdit

Blackwater WarEdit

During the First Era, the Imperial Legion existed as part of the Reman Empire.[2] A notable war in the First Era called the Blackwater War erupted around 1E 2811, during which the Fourth Legion attempted to take and maintain control over Black Marsh.[14] Their Argonian opponents, however, were easily able to use the Legion's ineffective equipment and tactics in the swamps to their advantage.[15]

By 1E 2820, the forces in Black Marsh had been destroyed.[16] By 1E 2823, the Legion had adapted to Black Marsh's climate with more fitting equipment and tactics.[17] In 1E 2828, the Legion accidentally started a massive fire known as the "Great Burn," which destroyed a significant portion of the province during its three-year rampage, again forcing the Legion to retreat.[18] However, by 1E 2837 the Legion had won the war and officially claimed Black Marsh for the Empire.[19]

Second EraEdit

Three Banners WarEdit

During the Alliance War, the Imperial Legion was mostly fighting the Daedra invading the Imperial City. Despite this, the Legions were also fighting the other alliances, mainly the Daggerfall Covenant.

Daggerfall CovenantEdit

In the lands of High Rock, the Seventh Legion held the Bangkorai Garrison, effectively blocking off half of the Bangkorai region from Covenant reinforcements.[20][21] The Legion was also making headway to capturing the city of Evermore, largely through the aid of spies and its duke, Duke Renchant, being cooperative.[22] However, this attempt failed, and in a supposed parley, Septima Tharn demanded the unconditional surrender of Evermore. Queen Arzhela tried to stab Septima in her rage, but Septima was using an illusion, after this the Seventh Legion tried to kill the Queen.[23] In this same region, they raided the Knights of Saint Pelin at Martyr's Crossing, and stole their supplies. They did this due to Martyr's Crossing being an important trade route between north- and south Bangkorai.[24] The last of the Legion's known successes is the capturing of Hallin's Stand, also in Bangkorai, due to the Hall of Heroes being located close to it.[25] Their success is attributed due to them attacking at night and due to working with a spy.[26] High Rock wasn't the only province plagued by the Legion, in the province of Hammerfell, the Legion held Satakalaam, due to them being in league with the Withered Hand.[27]

Aldmeri DominionEdit

While nowhere near as significant as its victories against the Covenant, the Legion also held a bit of territory in Aldmeri lands. The Legion held the city of Arenthia[28] and the Vile Manse with Colovian Legions and were making headway to conquering Vinedusk Village.[29] Their forces used in their assault of the village were stationed in an encampment located just outside the city.[30] The Legion also held some minor territory in Malabal Tor, in the Crimson Cove.[31] These soldiers were known as Crimson Raiders, and were originally suspected to be pirates.[31] They had been raiding ships of the Dominion, sometimes up to a dozen a month.[31]

Ebonheart PactEdit

Unlike the Dominion and the Covenant, the Pact was untouched by the Legions' forces.


In the province of Cyrodiil, a lot of the Legion was in active duty. Legion forces were scattered across the wilds to keep an eye out for Pact, Covenant and Dominion movement. The Legions also engaged in combat with Covenant, Pact and Dominion units. Specifically, the Legion under the command of Captain Jena Apinia, who eventually fled the Imperial City when her Legion was on a break, due to the Planemeld starting. In their retreat they exterminated over half of Bravil's population, due to what they considered was the only way possible to prevent the people (and soldiers) from starving,[32] while others, including Queen Ayrenn, took to calling it a massacre and labeled the Captain as a war criminal.[33][32] The bulk of this Legion was eventually sent to retake the city,[32] adding more Legion soldiers to the fight on the Imperial Bridges, who were trying to kill Molag Bal's Daedra despite being unable to get over to the island through normal means.[34][35] In the Imperial City itself, the vast majority of Legion Zero had already betrayed the Empire, and sworn loyalty to Mannimarco and his Worm Cult, as well as Molag Bal,[36] except for a handful of Legion soldiers, who made an improvised garrison in the Nobles District. In the city of Cheydinhal, a rebellion broke out as a result of the Legionnaires stationed there going rogue after the Empire's collapse.[37][38] The reason as to why the rebellion broke out is not clear. One of the rebel leaders claims it is for domination over Cheydinhal and nothing else,[37] the other claims it was because the soldiers forced the townsfolk to keep them fed, and because of forceful enlistment.[38][39]

Tiber WarsEdit

Main article: Tiber Wars

After the Alliance War had ended, Tamriel was at relative peace. Tiber Septim, who had been a General of Cuhlecain in the past, became Emperor after the death of his lord.[40] The Tiber Wars were a result of Tiber Septim being set on his path to conqeur Tamriel by the Greybeards.[40][41] It started in 2E 854[42] or 2E 855[43] and lasted until 3E 0.[42]

After Tiber Septim beat the Nord-Breton alliance at Sancre Tor, he had the troops needed to conquer the Heartlands from the Imperial Battlemages.[44] After Cyrodiil had been unified, Cuhlecain died.[40][45] Talos was then crowned Emperor by Zurin Arctus, his battlemage. Septim found the initial administration of a fully united Cyrodiil a time-consuming task, as such, he sent the Underking to deal with the Imperial expansion into the provinces of High Rock and Skyrim.[40]

During the Tiber Wars, the Colovians held on to their frontier spirit, still being known for being uncomplicated, self-sufficient, hearty, and extremely loyal to one another. When Cyrodiil crumbled, the Colovians split from the rest of Cyrodiil, in the idea that they would keep the national spirit safe. Colovians accepted that the Nibenese are the heart of the Empire and its cultural center of civilization, but they are aware that only a strong Emperor can hold it together. As such, Tiber Septim was considered a strong Emperor, and many Colovians were glad to aid their Emperor, forming his legions. During the Tiber Wars, the Colovians made up the majority of the soldiers in the Imperial Legions. The Colovian nobility often became officers in the legions or the navy, and were considered humble, not caring for the great expenditure of court life as seen in the Imperial City, but instead caring more for their uniforms and standards hanging from the Imperial forts. Colovian Officers are traditionally also appointed as provincial governors to the human regions of the Empire, due to their loyalty to the Emperor.[2]

High Rock was easily conquered by the Empire, and the Bretons were largely welcoming of the new Empire.[46] The governor of High Rock, Titus Alorius, put down most rebels in the land, and resolved the feuding between kings with tact and skill, which resulted in the Empire being seen positively.[47][48] By 2E 864, High Rock was solidified by the Empire.[49]

Skyrim's conquest is largely unknown. What is known is that Hammerfell's conquest made Skyrim's look like a ballet.[50] It is also known that the Warchiefs of Danstrar fought against Septim's forces.[43] After Skyrim was conquered, the Nord Kings expected to outlast Septim's Empire, just as they had done with the previous ones.[50]

Black Marsh was the third nation to be invaded and conqeured by Tiber Septim.[51] Combat between the Legions and Argonians was recorded in 2E 861.[52] Tiber Septim invaded the coastlines of Black Marsh, but avoided the unimportant inner swamps.[53] Most of Black Marsh eventually joined through a treaty.[54]

Hammerfell was the next nation to fall to Talosian conquest.[51] The High King of Hammerfell, Thassad II, feared Imperial invasion. In order to prevent the Empire from invading Hammerfell, he signed a pact with the Forebears to ensure unity.[55] After the death of Thassad, this pact turned void, as the Crowns and Forebears both tried to claim ownership over Hammerfell.[56] The Forebears were losing the war, and when defeat was certain, they signed a pact with the Emperor, to allow his Legions to claim parts of Hammerfell in return for his aid during their Civil War.[50][56] When Baron Volag disappeared at the end of the war, these terms were rendered void, and all of Hammerfell was claimed by the Empire.[50] After a civil war on Stros M'Kai proved successful, Sentinel followed in its steps. Tiber Septim, not wanting Hammerfell to rebel against him, came to Stros M'Kai to negotiate the terms of the Treaty of Stros M'kai with Baron Volag and Iszara.[57]

With Morrowind surrounded by Imperial territory, Septim decided to launch an invasion on Morrowind. The Legions assembled at the border between Cyrodiil and Morrowind, and invasion fleets prepared in Skyrim. The Dunmer were not united in their ideas of how to act. The Telvanni remained neutral, Hlaalu proposed accommodation, while the Dres, Redoran, and Indoril wanted to fight until the death. Small border skirmishes took place between the Legions and Dunmer in Black Marsh, but the swampy terrain did not suit either for warfare. To combat the Legions near Blacklight, Kragenmoor, Cormar View, and Silgrad Tower, the Dunmer only had small militias aided by Redoran Mercenaries and House nobles, alongside Buoyant Armigers and Ordinators. This became even more troubling for the Dunmer when only the Redoran wanted to defend the western border, as the Indoril and Dres wanted to wage a guerrilla war against the Empire.[51] One of the battles that took place during these wars was the battle of Mournhold, which laid waste to the city.[58] When Vivec himself appeared to announce that Morrowind would join the Empire under gracious circumstances to the native people, he was met with an awkward silence. The Dres and Indoril still stood strong in wishing to resist to the death, while the Redoran, who now had an excuse to not lose most of their territory, joined the side of House Hlaalu in supporting accommodation. The Telvanni, seeing which way the situation was going, also joined the Hlaalu in supporting accommodation. Many of the Indoril, after being forced into joining the Empire, committed suicide, resulting in the Hlaalu gaining a lot of power in Morrowind.[51]

The next province to fall was either Elsweyr or Valenwood.

Elsweyr had a pact with the Second Aldmeri Dominion, a military alliance.[59][60] The city of Senchal was raided by the Third Legion after the city had refused to surrender.[52] When Elsweyr fell exactly is unknown.

Valenwood had joined the Dominion as a result of the Thalmor gaining power in Valenwood with the support of Camoran Anaxemes. When the Third Empire started to take shape, the Dominion tightened its grip on Valenwood, Bosmer tribes fought against Colovian forces along the Strid River, until the Empire became unified. Both sides then made up camp at their sides of the border, both waiting for the decisive battle. When the Dominion tried to fight the Empire's forces they lost a great many times, with the Colovians calling them the "Old Mary Dominion," as a reference to the weak offense the Dominion offered on the land. Contrary to the land battles, at sea the Aldmeri Navy crushed the Imperial Navy, and ruled the seas from the Cape of the Blue Divide until the Topal Bay.[60] Both Valenwood and the Summerset Isles fell to Tiber Septim when he used the Numidium to conquer the remaining provinces of Tamriel.[61][62]

Third EraEdit

The Legion fought in several wars and conflicts during the Third Era, among them the War of the Red Diamond, and they also fought in the conflict of the Camoran Usurper.[63][64]

War of the Red DiamondEdit

Main article: War of the Red Diamond

The War of the Red Diamond was a war fought between the loyal forces of Kintyra Septim II and Potema Septim as a result over a throne dispute,[65] and started in 3E 121.[66] While the forces of Kintyra were loyalists to the Empire, those of Potema were the nobility that had become disgruntled by the Empire. As most of Potema's allies were located in High Rock and Skyrim, the rebels were initially successful, and slaughtered the Legions stationed there. They also incited riots and insurrections everywhere they went.[67] Six years later, Potema saw her last victory, in the battle of Falconstar. In this fight, Potema and Lord Vhokken attacked the Argonian forces of Magnus Septim, eventually resulting in Magnus retreating.[68][69] In the same year the son of Potema, Uriel Septim III, fought in the battle of ichidag. However, the prince was outnumbered and outmatched, resulting in his army losing and the prince getting captured by Cephorus Septim.[68] While being transported to Gilane, the prince's carriage got attacked by an angry mob, resulting in his death and Cephorus proclaiming himself Emperor.[70][68] As a result of the death of the prince, many of Potema's allies decided to switch sides and support Cephorus' claim for the throne. With Potema losing allies, she started making pacts with the Daedra and necromancers, which resulted in her losing even more allies. In 3E 127 Potema's army had been pushed back to Solitude, and ten years later, this army was pushed back to the Blue Palace itself, where they were beaten.[71]

Invasion of AkavirEdit

In 3E 270, Emperor Uriel Septim V created plans of conquering Akavir.[72] Shortly after these plans were made, the Emperor would begin his conquest of the small island kingdoms between Tamriel and Akavir. The first island to be conquered was Roscrea, which was claimed in 3E 271, followed by Cathnoquey in 3E 276, Yneslea in 3E 279, and Esroniet in 3E 284.[73] Esroniet itself was not conquered in one go, Black Harbor, a port of the island, was conquered in 3E 282 and immediately renovated for the Emperor's invasion plans, at the same time, he ordered the building of the ships that would carry his Legions over to Akavir. When Prince Bashomon of Esroniet yielded Esroniet to the Emperor in 3E 284, the Emperor's full attention was focused on the invasion of Akavir. In 3E 285 and 3E 286, ships were sent out to Akavir to scout the lands, with Blades on board to find information about the land. The Tsaesci, whose kingdom lies to the southwest of Akavir, was based on the scouting forces, chosen for the initial landing of the Emperor's forces. At the same time, the Emperor was gathering his Legions and navy which was called the "Expeditionary Force." A new Far East Fleet created for the invasion, which dwarfed the rest of the Imperial Navy. Four Legions, the Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, and Fourteenth Legion were chosen for the initial landing, with the Ninth and Seventeenth Legions being chosen as reinforcements when the coastline was conquered. The reasoning for this decision was the idea that there would be little resistance, supply lines would be difficult to manage, and, most importantly, the Fleet could only transport four Legions at once.[72]

The invasion itself started on 23rd Rain's Hand, 3E 288, with the Expeditionary Force leaving Black Harbor. Only 6 weeks later, due to fair weather, the invasion force arrived on Akavir and claimed a Tsaesci port due to its proximity to Tamriel, as well as its location being near a fertile river, which provided easy access to the interior as well as easy foraging. When the Legions settled the town, they named it Septimia, created fortifications surrounding it, and built a port suitable for the Far East Fleet. Meanwhile, the Emperor, alongside two other Legions, advanced through Akavir, discovering rich well-watered fields in the area, as well as another abandoned settlement, which the Legions took over, and renamed to Ionith, where the Emperor put his headquarters due to its location being better suited for domination of the surrounding lands. Though no fighting had taken place, enemy forces were spotted by the Legions, who were chased away by Imperial scouts. One of the things the Emperor's army lacked was cavalry due to the limited room for transport on the Fleet, at the time, the Imperial Legion Battlemages made up for this with magical reconnaissance. Instead of the Emperor pushing onward into Akavir, he sent Imperial Legion Messengers to find out who ruled the lands in an attempt to make them yield by the mere sight of the Legions. While the messengers were being sent, the remaining forces of the four Legions started with building a road between Septimia and Ionith, including fortified guard posts along the river. Despite this, communications between the two cities was slow, as messengers were constantly attacked on the road.[72]

The two Legions that had remained on Tamriel were originally meant to travel to Akavir after the port of Septimia was fitting for the navy, but this plan was changed to instead transport colonists. This was decided to ensure that the Legions did not have to rely on the fleet for supplies, but instead create their own. Additionally unrest came to Yneslea, and the two reinforcement Legions would be better used there, due to securing the supply lines of the fleet. When the colonists arrived some cavalry was brought along as well, which resulted in the small Akaviri raids coming to an end. Additionally, Tsaesci emissaries arrived in Ionith to talk about peace negotiations. In the winter season the Expeditionary Force had limited supplies due to heavy storms on the seas to Tamriel, and any foraging or scouting unit got killed by Tsaesci raiders, who also took over some forts during blizzards, while other forts were just abandoned by the Legions.[72]

On the 5th of Sun's Dawn, a Tsaesci force marched to Ionith, claiming to offer peace from their king. This proved to be a trick, as the Tsaesci killed the Imperial guards watching over one of the city gates, allowing a great number of their allies to march in. The soldiers of the Tenth Legion spotted the Tsaesci, and sounded the alarm, after which the remaining Tsaesci inside the city were hunted down. This was also the end of the negotiations between the Tsaesci and the Empire.[72]

Since spring, the weather had turned increasingly worse, and would stay that way for months, resulting in supply fleets getting greatly weakened by storms. The Emperor decided to send his Battlemages with the fleet in order to combat the weather, as the storm had caused the fleet to shrink in size, no longer being able to transport the four Legions already on Akavir. The Elder Council urged the Emperor to sail back to Tamriel, but due to the decrease of fleet capacity, the Emperor decided not to. From this point onward, disaster became inevitable. Communications between Imperial Battlemages were bad, as the mages on Akavir stated their power was weaker than normal. Even communications between master and pupil of years of training were bad. It is unknown if Akaviri wizards played a part in this, but the Commission of the invasion did order the Imperial War college to study the magical abilities of the Tsaesci, in the event that the Empire would cross with them again.[72]

In mid-Sun's Height, the Emperor marched out of Ionith with his Legions, save for small garrisons left behind in Septimia and Ionith, as he had learned of a Tsaesci force assembling to the north of the city past a mountain. The Emperor wanted to smash this force before they could invade, and take their supplies, as the Imperial supplies were running low. Though the Emperor and his Legions successfully defeated the Tsaesci and captured one of their nobles, they were forced to retreat by Tsaesci warriors, who made the Emperor lose a large amount of forces on his way back to Ionith. When he had returned to the city, the Tsaesci besieged Ionith, as well as Septimia. The Imperial Battlemages had to use their magical powers to create water to sustain the armies, instead of harming the enemies, which was a skill that the War College, normally, did not focus on. Though the Far East Fleet arrived safely in Black Harbor, thanks to the Imperial Battlemages aboard the ship, it had gotten no chance to return due to great storms that damaged Esroniet in 289.[72]

In Frostfall, the Fleet was sent out to Akavir again, and, after a long silence between Akavir and Tamriel, communications were made between the Emperor's battlemage and the battlemages of Tamriel. The Emperor's battlemage reported that the city of Ionith still held out, and the Fleet alongside the Emperor's forces quickly made a plan to fall back from Akavir. The Emperor and his Legions would break out of Ionith and fall back to Septimia, where the fleet would meet them and sail them back to Tamriel. However, only a small force of the Emperor's army arrived at Septimia. Two days before the fleet arrived, the Emperor decided to break out of Ionith, successfully fighting through the Tsaesci's armies at first, until being surrounded by an overwhelming army on the road to Septimia. The Emperor and the Tenth Legion fought a heroic last stand to give a remnant of the Fourteenth Legion a chance to reach Septimia. Two soldiers of the Tenth Legion also managed to escape during the victory celebrations of the Tsaesci, who reported that they had seen the Emperor die by arrows as he rallied the Shield Wall of their Legion. When the Fleet arrived, Septimia's garrison was under heavy assault by the Tsaesci, and through the aid of the Imperial Battlemages aboard the Fleet, the Tsaesci were pushed back for long enough to get the survivors of the failed invasion on the ships, after which they returned to Tamriel. The Imperial Commission and Elder Council realized that the Empire, in its state at the time, had no chance against the Akaviri, and would not have a chance in the foreseeable future.[72]

3E 427, the Legions of VvardenfellEdit

During 3E 427, the Legion held a presence on Vvardenfell. Consisting of several Legions, including the Deathshead[74] and Hawkmoth Legion.[4] The entire Legion force on Vvardenfell was led by Varus Vantinius, Knight of the Imperial Dragon and member of the Order of Ebonheart.[75][76] Many Orcs came to Vvardenfell as Legion veterans after serving in the Legions, due to their Imperial service ensuring their citizenship[77] while other legion veterans constructed the town of Pelagiad.[78]

The Legion attempted to obtain territory on Gnisis to construct another port for the town, following the death of Mansilamat Vabdas.[79] It would later be found out that Vabdas had been murdered by Lugrub gro-Ogdum, a good soldier with a reputation of being easy to anger. Upon discovery, General Darius ordered the man killed. The Legion further secured the Gnisis Eggmine after its Kwama Queen had contracted the Blight, ensuring the local miners could continue their work.[80] A conspiracy had also started forming among some members of the Deathshead Legion, specifically the ones following the Talos Cult. These soldiers considered Emperor Uriel Septim a weak Emperor,[81] and wanted him replaced by a strong ruler. Their plans were ultimately stopped by the order of General Darius after he found out about the plot.[82]

In Ald'ruhn the Legion worked against the illegal trading of Dwemer artifacts,[83] as Dwemer artifacts were protected by Imperial Decree, and considered part of the Emperor's property.[84] Ald'ruhn's garrison was also tasked with saving Joncis Dalomax, a knight of the Order of Ebonheart, from his captors.[85] The garrison also prevented a Buoyant Armiger from being blackmailed, by recovering the object used for the blackmail.[86]

The Hawkmoth Legion in Ebonheart concerned itself with different matters, often related to the Tribunal. As the Legion was called out for having no courtesy by a Buoyan Armiger, Frald the White sent out a Legionnaire to prove the opposite, in order to keep favor with the Dunmer people.[87] But the Legion also had to face a traitor,[88] deal with slanders,[89] and allow a murderer to be given a fair trial.[90]

The Legion on Vvardenfell had a bad reputation among the local Ashlanders and some of the more traditional Dunmer. The Ashlanders stated that the Imperials would come and burn their yurts and kill their children.[91] The Legion also barely acted on the abolitionist movements, which were trying to end slavery, resulting in most Dunmer viewing them as hypocritical because of the Empire's procolamations regarding protection of property and preserving law and order.[92] In attempts to gain favor with the Dunmer, the Legion, despite Necromancy being legal, also dealt with Sorkvild the Raven, a Necromancer near Dagon Fel, as the Dunmer despised Necromancers.[93] The Ashlanders acknowledged that in open fields, the Legions were undefeatable, but in the ashlands they had the upper hand.[94] At the same time, Ashlanders captured and enslaved innocent civilians, resulting in the Legion being sent out to rescue the civilians,[95] sometimes resulting in the death of Ashlanders.[96] The Nerevarine was tasked with dealing with a Sixth House Base after a Legion patrol unit had been effectively wiped out by its members.[97][98][99]

Larrius Varro, the Legion Champion at Fort Moonmoth, also had business to deal with on Vvardenfell. Larrius had found out that corruption took place in the city of Balmora, where the Camonna Tong paid off magistrates to allow criminals to walk freely.[100] Varro tasked a Legionnaire with killing the Camonna Tong members, as the magistrate would have too powerful allies.[101] He further sent the Legionnaire to deal with an outlaw who had been robbing travelers near Hla Oad.[102]

Varus Vantinius, the Knight of the Imperial Dragon on Vvardenfell, had lost the Lord's Mail, a powerful artifact owned by his order. He tasked a high ranking Legionnaire with finding the cuirass and bringing it back to him.[103] The cuirass had been stolen by Furius Acilius, a Legionnaire who had been kicked out of the Legion and desired revenge.[104][105] Likewise, Chrysamere, another artifact owned by the Legion, had also been stolen and was kept by Draramu Hloran[103] until being returned to Varus Vantinius. If questioned over his position, Varus would rather die than give it up. As such, people who desired his position had to face him in a duel to the death.[106]


Fort Forsmoth

Fort Frostmoth, the Imperial Legion fort on Solstheim, 3E 427.

When the East Empire Company found a source of ebony on the island of Solstheim, the Legion created Fort Frostmoth to defend the Company's employees.[107] This garrison would eventually get attacked by werewolves during the Bloodmoon Prophecy, resulting in the garrison becoming greatly weakened.[107] A few years after Raven Rock was built, the Nords of Solstheim tried to conquer the island from the Legion and the East Empire Trading Company. Though unsuccessful, the Nords did kill a lot of Imperial Soldiers on the island.[108] Later, during the Oblivion Crisis, the Nords made another attempt,[109] which ended up being equally unsuccessful, with the garrison remaining intact until being wiped out by the eruption of Red Mountain in 4E 5.[110]

Oblivion CrisisEdit

"I don't know. I hear that those Oblivion Gates are opening everywhere. They say the Legion is stretched to the limit across the Empire."
―Overheard rumors[src]

A noteworthy event for the Legions was the Oblivion Crisis. As a result of the murder of Emperor Uriel Septim VII and his three heirs, Geldall, Enman, and Ebel,[111] no new Emperor of the Dragonblood was crowned in time to relight the Dragonfires, resulting in the creation of Oblivion Gates by the Mythic Dawn.[112] The Oblivion Crisis was devastating for the Imperial provinces, originally starting at the Colovian city of Kvatch in an attempt to find Martin Septim, gates to Oblivion started to appear all across Tamriel.[112][113]

The Legions in Cyrodiil were greatly outnumbered, with soldiers only being sent to Kvatch and Sutch.[113][114] Some soldiers from southern Cyrodiil were called up north to defend the capital, but in the midst of this unit, near Pell's Gate, a Gate to Oblivion appeared, which killed off around half of its forces, including its commander.[115] After this, the Imperial Captain Tertius Ione, mustered farmers and hunters from the countryside and sacrificed himself, alongside half of his men, to close the gate. Following his death and the destruction of the gate, the town called Ione was built, named in his honor.[115] The Legions from Fort Swampmoth in Black Marsh were recalled due to the An-Xileel and other Argonians successfully beating the Daedra back,[116] the Redoran Dunmer claim that the Legions were recalled from Morrowind and Solstheim,[117][118] however the Legions in the provinces, besides Black Marsh, were not recalled according to High Chancellor Ocato.[119] According to Ocato, this was because of a mixture of the Legions already being fully committed, and the political situation of the Empire.[119] The count of Leyawiin also pointed out how the Empire focused more on the provinces rather than Cyrodiil itself, and how the Empire never provided Legion soldiers in County Leyawiin, despite heavy need for them.[120]

Whatever the case, the lack of troops in Cyrodiil resulted in the Cyrodiilic counties having to fend for themselves during the Crisis.[121][120] If the Hero of Kvatch aided the cities of Cyrodiil, they would send aid to Bruma, which would become subject to a plan of the Blades to retrieve the Amulet of Kings.[121] If the Hero did not aid the other cities, Bruma would send their own, weaker, millitia instead.[122] After the Amulet was retrieved from Paradise, Martin Septim, a bastard child of Uriel VII, made his way to the Imperial City and was crowned Emperor. His plan was to light the Dragonfires as soon as he was crowned, but only a moment after he became Emperor, an Imperial Legion Messenger arrived with the news that Oblivion Gates were created all across the city.[123]

Legion soldiers from the Imperial Legion Offices arrived at the Imperial Palace to defend the new Emperor and Ocato while they made their way to the Temple of the One. At the Temple District, three Oblivion Gates had opened, and Mehrunes Dagon himself had crossed over to Tamriel in an attempt to come out as the victor. While Legion soldiers were trying to defeat the Daedra as they came out of the gates, and tried to distract the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Martin and the Hero of Kvatch rushed into the Temple of the One. Martin had realised that Dagon had destroyed the Covenant with Akatosh by entering Tamriel, when the Hero mentioned the Amulet of Kings, which gave Martin an idea. By smashing the Amulet of Kings, Martin became an Avatar of Akatosh, and battled Dagon.[123] Upon being victorious, the Dragon turned into stone, and the Gates from Oblivion were sealed forever.[123][124][125]

The Legions had also largely stopped with their attempts to stop the skooma trade.[126] The skooma trade had become rather great in the city of Bravil,[127][128] with a number of citizens dedicating entire days consuming the drug.[129] Some action was taken to stopping a skooma dealer,[130] named Kylius Lonavo, near Leyawiin,[131] though aside from this not much action was taken.

With the Oblivion Crisis ended, the Septim dynasty was gone, but this was only the start of the Empire crumbling. Many of the provinces had become uneasy with the Empire, and after the latest crisis, most decided to abandon it.[132][119] The counties of Bravil and Leyawiin also seceded.[132]

Fourth EraEdit


A member of the Imperial Legion as seen in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

One of the noteworthy events is the Umbriel Crisis.[133] The Flying City of Umbriel appeared on Tamriel and caused havoc on Tamriel.

Despite the Emperor's original refusal to admit to Umbriel's threat to the Empire,[133] he later did send out a research unit of thirty strong to discover the flying city, which had flown towards Morrowind. It was here that one of the researchers, a Nibenese named Brennus, discovered that Umbriel was a pocket realm of Oblivion. Shortly after this discovery, the research party was attacked by an army of undead, largely consisting of undead Argonians. The Legionnaires, under the command of Captain Falcus, tried to defend the party by forming a phalanx in a hurry. The undead were organized and said to have been marching, some were also armed with various weapons, spears, swords, maces, clubs, though the majority was unarmed. To avoid the undead army, which was larger than the research unit, the phalanx slowly made their way towards the south.[134]

The unit eventually managed to escape from the undead horde, though they did lose around half their"LoSP1C6"/> They had also discovered that the undead army that attacked them was not the only undead army, as more undead were entering County Cheydinhal from Morrowind. The Legionnaires arrived at Mountain Watch, where they searched the homes of the people. Shortly afterwards, Captain Falcus commanded the townsfolk to pack items which were needed for survival, such as food, drink, weapons and horses, and regroup for a march towards Cheydinhal. The villagers gathered their most needed belongings, including six horses, one of which was given to Kuur, the Legion Battlemage, and another was given to Falcus.[135]

After a day of travel, Cheydinhal's Chapel of Arkay became visible, but the scouts of the escort discovered the undead force had been advancing and was threatening to stop their journey towards the city. In order to make it to the city in time, Captain Falcus ordered the refugees and his troops to drop anything they did not need in order to reach the city in time. The two wagons were also left behind, and the elderly were put on the four horses that used to carry the wagons forward. Though the refugees were now advancing faster, the undead army also approached them in a rough phalanx from their left flank. As the undead came closer, many of the refugees started to flee and cry, five soldiers cut off from their run to encircle the escort in order to defend it, including the Legion Battlemage, who defended their rear end. Cheydinhal had managed to prepare for the undead, and the gate the refugees were approaching, while open, was guarded by fifty of Cheydinhal's guardsmen.[135]

After safely entering the city, Captain Falcus ordered his men and refugees to eat and rest, to which his Legionnaires gladly agreed, and within an hour of arrival in the city, an encampment had been created near Castle Cheydinhal. The undead had no siege equipment, and Cheydinhal itself had its own soldiers, alongside a mixed company of Legion units, but the undead army was still a threat. It had assembled itself outside the city gates, just outside of ballista and catapult range. Meanwhile, within the city, people who had recently died came back to life and had to be put down by the City Watch.[135]

Not long afterwards, a battle would take place. The Cheydinhal Guard and Legion forces together charged the undead army, successfully breaking through their line. Unfortunately, on either side of the outer gate leading out of the city the undead had also set up lines. Breaking through the lines took hours, and the undead did not rest, waver, or regroup, instead only advancing wave after wave. When their line had been broken through, Falcus ordered his troops to regroup on the Blue Road, before being killed by a spear through the throat. Brennus and Mazgar gra Yagash got separated from the group in the chaos, though they did manage to give the refugees a head start. The following day, the two were spotted by an undead force and hid inside a building, where they got aid from the Knights of the Thorn.[136]

Some time later, the refugees were reunited with Brennus and Mazgar, the Legionnaires now being led by Captain Arges. The refugee force was now split in two in order to lessen the casualties in the event the undead were to attack. The Knights of the Thorn had also concluded that Cheydinhal was secure again, and a number of refugees thought it wiser to return to the city rather than continue their march to the Imperial City. However, Captain Arges insisted the Legionnaires continued on to the capital, and the refugees were unwilling to return without protection, so they stuck with the Legion soldiers. While on the road, another Legion force was encountered, commanded by Commander Prossos, who took command over the refugees and gave Mazgar a field promotion to captain. Prossos made clear that General Takar was aiming to attack the undead west of the Blue Road, and tasked Mazgar with getting the refugees out of the combat area.[137]

The General had around 5000 men with him,[137] a proper Legion.[138] His forces primarily consisted of mounted infantry and mages, and were formed up on a large field. There were also eight wagons, which were presumed siege engines. After an hour of waiting Umbriel came close to the legion, and unlike with the previous attacks, the undead were now walking directly underneath the flying city. Part of the Legionnaires charged the undead army, while over half of the legion alongside the wagons were cast levitation magic on by members of Synod to reach the flying city.[137][138] These levitating units were met with forces of Umbriel in the sky, which killed them all before they could set foot on the flying island. Only one of the wagons came close to the rim of the island, but never made it to the top.[137] The Synod tried other kinds of magic, according to some over a hundred, though to no avail,[138] and after less than an hour of fighting General Takar's men used a war horn to signal a retreat, what remained of his forces fell back. Umbriel moved on as if nothing had happened.[137]

The following two days, the refugees kept marching out of harm's way, though many retreated to Cheydinhal. Commander Prossos officially gave Mazgar the authority over the refugee group, as he intended to go to the Imperial City to reinforce it. Mazgar originally pleaded for the Commander to also take her with him, and Prossos originally agreed. However, Brennus insisted Mazgar remained with him, as the Imperial war office had assigned her as his bodyguard. Prossos acknowledged that these orders could not be countered in the field, to which Brennus insisted he had to come along too.[137]

These forces would eventually reach Lake Rumare, where they would use rowboats to row to the City Isle from the north, where they would meet a large force and push towards the northwest part of the capital, as the enemy had put most of its forces there and attempted to break through the gate to the Imperial Prison. It was also the direction from which Umbriel approached. Five hundred troops were assigned to this task. While rowing, the Legionnaires were shot at by archers, and underwater the undead tried to capsize the boats. The soldiers on Brennus' and Mazgar's boat quickly recovered and formed a Diamond Formation around Brennus while pushing toward the shore. By the time the soldiers had made it to the shore, the survivors of the first two waves of boats had formed a double line on the shore, one facing the enemy from the sea, while the other looked landward. Of the five hundred, only around two to three hundred survived the landing and had to fight against an undead army two to three times their size, though the Legionnaires did advance successfully. During the advance, the soldiers formed a wedge formation to prevent the undead from outflanking them. They then advanced in a bloody pace, and the entire cohort eventually started singing a song called "General Slaughter's Comely Daughter."[139]

The cohort was followed by a unit in a phalanx formation. The Legion forces in the Imperial City had also attempted two assaults on the flying city through levitation magic, though both were just as unsuccessful as General Takar's attempt. Some faith was put into the College of Whispers and the Synod, however, which had manned the city walls and would give the assault all they had. They had also been given plenty of time to set up defenses.[139]

A few hours from sundown, Commander Prossos' men had met up with what remained of the Twelfth Legion, after which they together pushed the undead army against the wall. They also cleared the gate and set up defenses to protect it from another siege. The western flank was originally quiet, but this would change when a large undead force rose from the west, which pushed what remained of the Legion cavalry before them. Other undead came from the east and from Lake Rumare, and all of them aimed for the Prison district, as that was where Umbriel was flying towards. In order to halt the advance, the Imperial Cavalry cut them back a small distance, but the Legion truly needed their spearmen, which were still located at the city gate where the main offense had been mere moments prior. The left flank of the Legion forces was taken down, but rather than attempt to overwhelm the remaining Legionnaires, the undead rushed towards the wall in an attempt to make a ladder from their own bodies. The undead kept doing so until Umbriel was destroyed, and the undead became dead again.[140]

The credit for stopping the flying city was granted to the Synod and the College of Whispers by Attrebus Mede, who told his father, Titus Mede I that he needed the support of the Elder Council, and that for that support he needed the support of the Syond and the College of Whispers. He also said that, where there typically was rivalry between the two factions, here they had claimed to work together. Attrebus consider it the best for the Empire, and so his father agreed to give credit to the Synod and the College of Whispers.[141]

Great WarEdit

Legends chapter14

A group of Legion deserters.

In 4E 171 Legion was greatly weakened as a result of the many wars it had to endure in a recent timeframe.[142] The Legion being in its weakened state, the Aldmeri Dominion attacked the Empire in what is known as the Great War. With the Legions in a weak state, and the Empire unprepared for the vicious Aldmeri assault, the Legion suffered heavy casualties. Initially the Legions had heavy losses, losing most of Hammerfell and nearly all of Colovia.[143] Morale in the Legions was so low that when the Emperor regrouped in Skyrim groups of Nordic deserters abandoned the Legion, thinking it was doomed.[144] In the Battle of the Red Ring, the Legion surrounded and destroyed Lord Naarifin's forces stationed in the Imperial City.[143] Though it was a prominent victory that halted the Dominion's invasion, and gave the Empire the leverage necessary to sign the White-Gold Concordat and end the war,[143] members of the Legion and Blades alike recognised that if the war had continued the Empire would likely have lost.[145][146] The Concordat was meant to buy the Empire time to recover before the next war with the Dominion takes place.[143]

Skyrim Civil WarEdit

A Land Divided Cart Art

Imperials fighting Stormcloaks.

Several years after the Great War, part of the Legion would be used to Skyrim to stop the Stormcloak Rebellion and end the Civil War.[147] As of 4E 201, the Legion holds 4 Holds (Haafingar, Hjaalmarch, Falkreath Hold and The Reach) under full Imperial control,[148] with Whiterun being marked as "Imperial" but being neutral.[149][150] When General Tullius was sent to Skyrim in 4E 201,[147] he turned things around for the Empire.[147] Under his leadership the Legion started massacring the Stormcloaks[151] and slowly pushing them back.[152] Tullius managed to capture Ulfric Stormcloak at Darkwater Crossing in an ambush, after which Ulfric was scheduled for execution at Helgen.[147] However, due to Alduin returning, Ulfric managed to escape.[153] The Legion is currently stationing soldiers in the Rift, threatening Ulfric's southern flank,[154] and (unsuccessfully) attempting to conquer Winterhold,[154] so that Ulfric's forces have to stay at Windhelm.[155] Legate Fasendil, the Imperial Legate of the Rift was put in Skyrim due to his knowledge of the Thalmor, as he was present during the Night of Green Fire. The Legate assumes the Thalmor are behind the unrest in Skyrim,[156] and is proven right by the Thalmor dossier on Ulfric Stormcloak.

Imperial Camp (Legends) card art

An Imperial Camp.


Imperial Legion Forester

Legion Forester.

Intended as the sole militaristic force behind Cyrodiil's seat of power, the Legion operates in conjunction with the Imperial City's police-force, the Imperial Watch. Their headquarters are situated in the Imperial City.[157] The duties of a Legionnaire are first to the Empire, and then to their commanding officers. Legionnaires are expected to behave with dignity and uphold the law, as they are the face of the Empire. Theft and assault are considered treason among the Legion, and result in the Legionnaire having to speak to their recruiting officer regarding their status.[76] If a Legionnaire accuses a superior officer of murder without sufficient evidence, their recruiting officer has the right to press charges of insubordination. If evidence is presented, the recruiting officer provides it to his superiors in Cyrodiil.[79]

The Legion is the primary fighting force of the Cyrodilic Empires, Cyrodilic cities and towns most often have City Guards, while Nordic cities and towns have Hold Guards, which are Legion soldiers serving the counties and Holds for police duties and law enforcement in the Imperial provinces.[158][159] Imperial Soldiers also patrol the roads of the Imperial provinces,[160][157] protect nobles,[160] collect taxes,[161] and are allowed to seize property of arrested criminals.[162] Legionnaires are normally not authorized to search homes, only being allowed to do so during wartime or at the order of the Emperor.[135] Under normal circumstances the Imperial City has at least one Legion stationed within.[163]


The Legion looks for upstanding citizens who show superior endurance, soldierly virtue, and a trustworthy personality. A Legion soldier is supposed to be a model of the duties of Imperial citizenship.[4]

To be able to join the Legion each soldier must be trained and become proficient in the skills of Long Blade, Spear, Blunt Weapon, Block, and Heavy armor. Imperial soldiers must be able to block quickly and move quickly while in heavy armor. Soldiers are also trained to be able to march long distances with heavy packs and to perform the complex maneuvers that soldiers will perform in real battle.[4]

Furthermore, knights are trained to be able to block blows with just their heavy armor, no shield.[4]

If the Nerevarine or the Last Dragonborn join the Legion neither of them have to undergo any type of training. Although, in both cases, the Legion was in desperate need of new soldiers.


New recruits must take the oath binding them to the service of the Emperor and the Legion:

"Upon my honor I do swear undying loyalty to the Emperor...
and unwavering obedience to the officers of his great Empire.
May those above judge me, and those below take me, if I fail in my duty.
Long live the Emperor! Long live the Empire!"

Battle organization and rankingEdit

Imperial Reinforcements card art

Imperial Reinforcements, leaving the Imperial City, as seen on card art from Legends.

During the time of the Reman Empire, the Legions became restructured as a result of Akaviri influences. The Akaviri slaves, following their failed invasion, played a major role in the training of the Imperial Army. Under Akaviri guidance, the Legions learned an unparalleled measure of coherence, logistics, and discipline, with which they easily overwhelmed the other armies of Tamriel. Daikatanas and Dragonscale Armor were high crafts from Akavir, much like the banners and military gear of the Third Empire's shock troops, the Blades. The Red Dragons which represent the Empire and the Imperial City were inspired by the Red Dragons which the Akaviri used as war mounts.[2]

The Legion fights only on land. Aquatic operations are carried out by their counterpart, the Imperial Navy. To better defend against magic-using foes, the Empire employed the use of Imperial Battlemages, these battlemages form the Shadow Legion. The Legion also makes use of the Phalanx formation,[165] Diamond Formation,[166] Wedge Formation[167] and Shield Walls.[168] The Legions also make use of wardogs, known as Mastiffs.[169] They further are mighty warriors, no one can defeat them when they march in rows in open fields, however, in the Ashlands and the wilderness, the Dunmer are able to defeat them.[170] While at war, the Legions do not listen to politicians in regards to battle tactics, instead listening to their own council to win wars.[171]

Some sources suggest the fighting strength of the Imperial Legion: The Infernal City mentions that a Legion numbers 5,000 Legionnaires,[168] and given the highest Legion mentioned is the 18th Legion, then the Imperial Legion has at least 115,000 troops when at full strength. Each Legion is further subdivided into cohorts, which are given orders by centurions, and maniples, which are given orders by legates.[17]

Due to the Legion's limited supplies in the field, legion soldiers are tasked to requisition anything they can find. Imperial soldiers have the right to search containers for provisioning items or equipment, but are advised to use discretion and limit what they take, as taking too much would be able to leave a mark on the people who have their food items taken. Soldiers are also advised to pick up on local recipes, so long as they are simple, while gathering supplies. The needs of the Legionnaires differs on their duty, scouts and skirmishers being best fed with roast goat, mages being best fed capon noodle soup, and infantry being best fed with trotter pie. Legion soldiers are also advised to never keep more than one flask of a fine brew with them. Often before a battle or a parade review, Legion soldiers need a bit of courage, which is often provided through alcohol.[172]

Ranks (Morrowind)Edit


General Darius, commander of the Deathshead Legion as seen in Morrowind.

  • Recruit
  • Spearman
  • Trooper
  • Agent
  • Champion
  • Knight Errant
  • Knight Bachelor
  • Knight Protector
  • Knight of the Garland
  • Knight of the Imperial Dragon

Ranks (Skyrim)Edit


Rikke, a female Legate in Skyrim.

  • Auxiliary
  • Private (mentioned by Captain Aldis)
  • Quaestor
  • Praefect
  • Tribune
  • Commander
  • Legate
  • Captain
  • General

Ranks (Online)Edit

  • Auxiliary
  • Private
  • Sentinel
  • Legionary
  • Knight
  • Praefect
  • Dreadnaught
  • Sergeant
  • Centurion
  • Major
  • Tribune
  • Lieutenant
  • Legate
  • Captain
  • General

Ranks with unknown statusEdit

Highest RankEdit

  • Commander of the Imperial Legion

Legion Ranking StatureEdit

  • Commander of the Imperial Legion
  • General
  • Legate
  • Centurion
  • Captain
  • Major
  • Lieutenant
  • Tribune
  • Sergeant
  • Dreadnaught
Legion Praefect card art

A Legion Praefect holding the banner of the Reman Empire.

  • Praefect
  • Knight
  • Quaestor
  • Evocatus
  • Legionary
  • Sentinel
  • Private
  • Auxiliary

Types of soldiers in the LegionEdit

Imperial Siege Engine card art

An Imperial Siege Engine.

Siege Catapult card art

An Imperial Siege Catapult.

The Legion uses a variety of soldiers, which consist of the following units, light and heavy cavalry, heavily armored knights, berserkers, skirmishers, archers, scouts, pikemen, troopers and foot knights.[176][177][4] The Legion also uses Battlemages, artillery, and levies.[72][178][179][180][181][182][183] As well as rams.[184] During the Third Era, Imperial Battlemages also used Dragons, but it is unknown if the Legion still has any Dragons remaining.[185]

Officers of the Imperial LegionEdit

Commander of the Imperial LegionEdit

The highest achievable rank, appointed by the Emperor/Empress. This rank commands every officer and legionnaire in the Imperial legion.[186] They take orders directly from the Emperor. There can only be one Commander at a time.[187]


One of the highest achieveable ranks in the legion. Generals carry out the duties assigned to them by stated ranks. Under normal circumstances, a General commands one Legion,[188][189][190][191][192][52] however, a General is also able to command several Legions at a time.[193][143]


Captains are the commanding officers of town garrisons,[194] and train recruits.[195] They are superiors to Legion Lieutenants,[196] and answer to Legion Centurions.[195]


Legates are the right hand to the Captains of the Imperial Legion, carrying out tasks and duties presented by the generals. As well as acting as an extra set of hands. They also command maniples of a Legion.[17]


Lieutenants are tasked with commanding larger groups of soldiers[197] and answer to Legion captains.[196]

Field OfficersEdit


Imperial Centurions are in charge of the Palace Guard in the Imperial City.[198] They also command Imperial Cohorts of a Legion.[199][17]

Palace GuardsEdit

Palace Guards are an honor guard and an elite unit of the Imperial Legion. They are tasked with defending the Imperial Palace.[200]

Types of arms and armor in the LegionEdit

The Legion uses a variety of materials. Light armor is used for scouts, skirmishers, archers and light cavalry. The most common materials for light armor are fur, leather and chainmail armor, which are readily available throughout the Empire. Mithril, elven and glass are considered rare.[177]

Heavy armor is used for the frontline infantry, heavy cavalry, foot knights, pikemen, troopers and officers.[4] The most common materials for heavy armor are iron and steel, with dwarven, orcish, ebony and daedric being rare.[177] The Legion uses many materials for their arms, which are listed from cheapest and least desirable, to most expensive and most desirable: iron, steel, silver, dwarven, elven, glass and daedric.[176] Enchanted weapons and armor are also used by the Legion, but since the Mages Guild was used to enchant armor, it is unknown if the Legion still uses enchanted armor.[177][176] In the event of a crisis behind enemy lines, Legion Soldiers may sell excess materials to noncombatants. These materials must not have a significant military application. The gold required in this manner must be used to secure swift passage back to the Legion that the soldier belongs to.[201]


Legion Shield card art

Arms and armor used by the Legion.

The armor used by the Legion is different in between many timelines:

  • In Redguard the Legion made use of leather, chain/steel and bronze/gold/dwarven armor.
  • In Online the Legion made use of iron, steel, orcish and higher tier heavy armors, most of the Legion made use of Orcish-Imperial armor. They also made use of various light and medium armors. The type of armor usually depended on the rank, location and mission the soldiers were on.
  • In Morrowind the Legion made use of a lot of steel and chain armor, while also making use of studded, dragonscale, newtscale, Templar, boiled Netch leather and Silver armors. In Morrowind the Legion's armor looks very similar to that of the Roman Legions.
  • In Oblivion the Legion made use of steel plate armor. The armor looked like a combination of medieval armor and Roman armor, though the Imperial Watchmen made use of the Imperial Horseman Helmet, which looked more like a hoplite helmet. The palace guards also had more decorative armor than the normal Legion soldiers.
  • In Legends the Legion made use of steel plate armor, more similar to the armor in The Elder Scrolls Online than the plate armor in Oblivion.
  • In Skyrim the Legions makes use of leather, studded and steel armor. The appearances of the light armors is similar to that of the Roman auxiliaries in border provinces of the Roman Empire. Most of the Legion in Skyrim makes use of the light armors instead of the heavy armor. The soldiers in Skyrim are mostly a militia,[142] as they largely consist of scouts and skirmishers instead of soldiers meant for full-on combat.[202]

Upon retiring from the Imperial Legion, soldiers are allowed to keep their Legion armor.[203][204]

Types of weapons in the LegionEdit


An Imperial Shortsword.

The Imperial Legion mainly uses the Imperial Sword[205][206][207] or Steel Swords[208][209] for its army, however the Legion also makes use of some other weapons, such as pikes,[176][210] the Imperial Broadsword, the Imperial Shortsword,[211] spears,[212][213][211] claymores[209][176] and the Imperial Bow.[205] In The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn, another Imperial styled weapon is wielded by General Falx Carius. This weapon is Champion's Cudgel, a warhammer which has the symbol of the Empire engraved onto its side. Other Imperial styled weapons also exist in The Elder Scrolls Online. These weapons are axes, maces, great swords, battle axes, mauls, daggers, and staffs.[206]

The designs for many of the weapons used by the Legion are quite advanced compared to the Roman Military, which is what the Imperial Legion is based on. The Imperial Sword and the Imperial Shortsword both have similar designs. Both swords start off thinner than the end of the blade is. This gives the broadswords greater hacking strength, while the Imperial Shortswords have a greater thrust damage due to how light the blade is. All three Imperial swords possess wooden handles. An advanced design feature that is possessed by all three swords is that on both sides of the weapon a thin strip of metal has been removed. This decreases the weight of the sword while taking away very little durability to the blade. Finally, the Imperial Broadswords and Shortswords have unique blade guards. Instead of having a traditional blade guard that stops a blade upon hitting it, these swords have curved blade guards that cause other blades to slide off and away from the sword and its owner. These technological advantages could very well be a major contributing factor to why the Imperial Legion remained the best fighting force on Tamriel for centuries.

Types of siege engines in the LegionEdit


A Legion Zero trebuchet and catapult, as seen in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City

The Imperial Legion is known to use four siege machines, the catapult,[214][215][216] battering ram,[217] trebuchet[218] and ballista.[219][220][221]

The Imperial Siege Engine is a card in Legends that has the image of a battering ram. It is manned by an unknown amount of Imperial soldiers, but it has two heavily armored soldiers manning the front of it. Furthermore, it appears to have an armored roof, and its ram consists of a log with a metal spike attached to the end of it.[217]

During the events of the Skyrim Civil War, the Legion made use of simple wooden catapults. The catapults appeared at the Battle of Windhelm, and were at the Imperial camp to the east of the city. The catapult could be manned by one person.[222] When the catapult is activated, it will fire a projectile. Upon activating it again, a small crank will begin to move and the catapult will be brought back to the firing position to be loaded. The Legion generally uses firepots for their catapults,[223] as well as their trebuchets,[218] though normal boulders are also used as ammunition for catapults.[216]


As of the Fourth Era, average fighting strength of each Legion is comprised of 5,000 Legionnaires.[168]

Forts and BasesEdit

The Imperial Legion has secured many strategic locations for their forts to control the vast amounts of land in the Empire. During the events of Online the Legion made use of many different kinds of bases. In Morrowind, the Legion made us of many large forts that were in prime condition. Oddly, the Imperial Legion in Oblivion makes no use of any forts. In the Skyrim Civil War during the events of Skyrim the Legion occupied old forts, many of which were falling apart and had to be repaired using wood defenses.

Forts and Bases in Elder Scrolls OnlineEdit

The Legion also had a strong presence in the following cities, Arenthia, Cheydinhal, Dune, Elden Root, Imperial City, Rawl'kha, Satakalaam, Vinedusk Village, and Wayrest.

Forts and Bases in MorrowindEdit

The Legion in Morrowind also had a strong presence in the cities of Pelagiad, Gnisis, and Mournhold.

Forts and Bases in OblivionEdit

The Legion in Cyrodiil had only one base during the events of Oblivion, the Prison District of the Imperial City. The old forts that dot Cyrodiil seem to have no value to the Imperial Legion and they are instead occupied by various bandits and necromancers.

Forts and Bases in SkyrimEdit

The following forts are only under Imperial control if the Last Dragonborn sides with the Legion during the Skyrim Civil War.


The Imperial Legion has several artifacts, this is a list of the known artifacts.

Commanding ranks for a LegionEdit

The Imperial Legion has had multiple different ranks commanding a Legion, the most common one being a General.

Normal CommandersEdit


  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind General Darius commanded the Deathshead Legion.
  • In The Elder Scrolls Online the Legion of the West Weald was commanded by a General.
  • The Second Legion was commanded by a General.
  • The Third Legion was commanded by a General.
  • The Legion under the command of General Takar tried to invade Umbriel.
  • During the Blackwater War, the Fourth Legion was commanded by a General.
  • In The Eastern Provinces the Legions of Black Marsh and Morrowind are recorded to have been led by Generals.
  • The Seventh Legion's Captain was led by the Magus General Septima Tharn.


  • During the Alliance War a Captain commanded a Legion.


  • During the Great War a Legate commanded the Tenth Legion.


The following are books related to the Imperial Legion:



  1. Imperial Legates state that the Legions have garrisons throughout each of the provinces of the Empire. However, since Morrowind's status to the Empire is currently unconfirmed, it is possible that Morrowind does not have a garrison and is independent.



  1. The Wolf Queen, Book VI
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Cyrodiil
  3. "Stendarr" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Ordo Legionis
  5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  6. Picnic at Pelin (A Horror Story)
  7. The Royal House of King Eamond
  8. Cherim's Heart of Anequina
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Ivory Lord: A Hero Born, V. 1
  10. The Ivory Lord: A Hero Born, V. 3
  11. Rislav the Righteous
  12. Events of "Ripple Effect"
  13. Five Songs of King Wulfharth
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Blackwater War, Volume I
  15. The Blackwater War, Volume II
  16. The Blackwater War, Volume IV
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 The Blackwater War, Volume V
  18. The Blackwater War, Volume VI
  19. 19.0 19.1 The Blackwater War, Volume VII
  20. Dialogue with Septima Tharn during "The Parley"
  21. Appearance of Bangkorai Garrison in The Elder Scrolls Online
  22. Events of "Imperial Infiltration"
  23. Events of "The Parley"
  24. Raiders at the Crossing
  25. Regarding the Hall
  26. Dialogue with Yarah
  27. Imperial Incursion
  28. Events of "The Colovian Occupation"
  29. Events of "Oath of Excision"
  30. Events of "Down the Skeever Hole"
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Dialogue with Glanir during "Naval Intelligence"
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 The Butcher of Bravil
  33. Dialogue with Razum-dar during "Debts of War"
  34. Dialogue with Captain Priscus
  35. 35.0 35.1 Events of The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  36. Dialogue of Legion Zero soldiers
  37. 37.0 37.1 Dialogue with Sylvian Herius
  38. 38.0 38.1 Dialogue with Vyctoria Girien
  39. Dialogue with Donus Falto
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 The Arcturian Heresy
  41. Etched tablets on the Throat of the World
  42. 42.0 42.1 Brief History of the Empire, Book I
  43. 43.0 43.1 Ice and Chitin
  44. Battle of Sancre Tor
  45. Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
  46. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: High Rock
  47. Dialogue with Krisandra
  48. Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: High Rock
  49. S'rathra's Page on the Official Archived Redguard website
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 Dialogue with Tobias
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 On Morrowind
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 Attrebus' page on the Official Archived Redguard Website
  53. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Black Marsh
  54. A Short History of Morrowind
  55. The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard: The Origin of Cyrus!
  56. 56.0 56.1 Intro of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard
  57. Outro of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard
  58. Biography of Barenziah, v 1
  59. Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Elsweyr Confederacy
  60. 60.0 60.1 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Aldmeri Dominion
  61. Anonymous Letters
  62. Letter from the Underking
  63. Brief History of the Empire, v 3
  64. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Eras
  65. The Wolf Queen, Book V
  66. The Knights of the Nine
  67. The Wolf Queen, Book VI
  68. 68.0 68.1 68.2 The Wolf Queen, Book VII
  69. Biography of the Wolf Queen
  70. The Madness of Pelagius
  71. The Wolf Queen, Book VIII
  72. 72.00 72.01 72.02 72.03 72.04 72.05 72.06 72.07 72.08 72.09 72.10 72.11 72.12 72.13 Report: Disaster at Ionith
  73. Brief History of the Empire, Book III
  74. 74.0 74.1 "Join the Imperial Legion" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  75. Dialogue with Varus Vantinius
  76. 76.0 76.1 Dialogue with Darius
  77. Orc dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  78. Pelagiad dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  79. 79.0 79.1 Dialogue with Darius during Widow Vabdas' Deed
  80. Events of "Gnisis Eggmine"
  81. Note from Oritius Maro
  82. Events of "Talos Cult Conspiracy"
  83. Events of "Drinar Varyon's Dwemer Artifacts"
  84. "Dwemer ruins" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  85. Events of "Rescue Joncis Dalomax"
  86. Events of "Maiden's Token"
  87. Events of "Courtesy"
  88. Events of "Honthjolf the Traitor"
  89. Events of "Suryn Athones' Slanders"
  90. Events of "Saprius Entius"
  91. "Imperial" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  92. "Latest rumors" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  93. Dialogue wtih Radd Hard-Heart during "Sorkvild the Raven"
  94. "Morrowind lore" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  95. Events of "Rescue Jocien Ancois"
  96. Events of "Rescue Madura Seran"
  97. Dialogue with Caius Cosades during "Sixth House Base"
  98. Dialogue with Raesa Pullia during "Sixth House Base"
  99. Events of "Sixth House Base"
  100. Dialogue with Larrius Varro during "Larrius Varro Tells a Little Story"
  101. Events of "Larrius Varro Tells a Little Story"
  102. Events of "Fjol the Outlaw"
  103. 103.0 103.1 Dialogue with Varus Vantinius during "Lord's Mail"
  104. Events of "Lord's Mail"
  105. Dialogue with Furius Acilius
  106. Events of "Grandmaster Duel"
  107. 107.0 107.1 Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon
  108. Dialogue with Neville
  109. Overheard rumors about Skyrim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  110. A Letter to Selina IV
  111. Assassination!
  112. 112.0 112.1 The Oblivion Crisis
  113. 113.0 113.1 Events of "Breaking the Siege of Kvatch"
  114. Events of "Attack on Fort Sutch"
  115. 115.0 115.1 An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City, part 2, chapter 3
  116. Rumors in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  117. Dialogue with Adril Arano
  118. History of Raven Rock, Vol. I
  119. 119.0 119.1 119.2 Dialogue with Ocato during "Allies for Bruma"
  120. 120.0 120.1 Dialogue with Marius Caro
  121. 121.0 121.1 Events of "Allies for Bruma"
  122. Events of "Great Gate" if none of the Cyrodiilic counties are aided
  123. 123.0 123.1 123.2 Events of "Light the Dragonfires"
  124. Dialogue with Jauffre
  125. Outro of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  126. Conversations about Elsweyrs in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  127. Guide to Bravil
  128. Events of "The Lonely Wanderer"
  129. Residetns of Bravil Skooma Den
  130. Dialogue with Lerexus Callidus
  131. Events of "Raid on Greyland"
  132. 132.0 132.1 An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City
  133. 133.0 133.1 133.2 An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City
  134. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Prologue
  135. 135.0 135.1 135.2 135.3 An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Part 1, Chapter Six
  136. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Part 2, Chapter 12
  137. 137.0 137.1 137.2 137.3 137.4 137.5 An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Part 3, Chapter 4
  138. 138.0 138.1 138.2 An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Part 3, Chapter 5
  139. 139.0 139.1 An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Part 3, Chapter 7
  140. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Part 3, Chapter 9
  141. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls, Epilogue
  142. 142.0 142.1 Dialogue with Legate Rikke
  143. 143.0 143.1 143.2 143.3 143.4 143.5 143.6 The Great War
  144. Events of "Chapter 14 - A Fractured Legion", Legends
  145. Dialogue with Hadvar
  146. Dialogue with Delphine
  147. 147.0 147.1 147.2 147.3 Dialogue with Hadvar
  148. Civil War Map in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  149. Dialogue with Balgruuf the Greater
  150. Dialogue between Irileth, Balgruuf the Greater and Proventus Avenicci
  151. Dialogue between Galmar Stone-Fist and Ulfric Stormcloak
  152. Dialogue with General Tullius during "Season Unending"
  153. Events of "Unbound"
  154. 154.0 154.1 Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak
  155. Dialogue with General Tullius after Winterhold is captured by the Legion.
  156. Dialogue with Legate Fasendil
  157. 157.0 157.1 Events and dialogue in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  158. Dialogue of the Skingrad Patroller in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  159. Combat dialogue with Whiterun Guards
  160. 160.0 160.1 Random Encounters in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  161. Dialogue with Ragash gra-Shuzgub
  162. Public Notice (Oblivion)
  163. Appearance of Legion Zero in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  164. Events of Joining the Legion
  165. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls P18
  166. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls P313
  167. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls P314
  168. 168.0 168.1 168.2 168.3 168.4 An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls
  169. Description of Imperial War Mastiff
  170. Dialogue with Esar-Don Dunsamsi
  171. Dialogue with Athyn Sarethi
  172. Basic Provisioning Guide
  173. Palace Break-In?
  174. Appearance in Imperial Forts in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  175. Imperial Condolences
  176. 176.0 176.1 176.2 176.3 176.4 Manual of Arms
  177. 177.0 177.1 177.2 177.3 Manual of Armor
  178. Intro of An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire
  179. The Doors of Oblivion
  180. Catapults seen during the Skyrim Civil War
  181. The appearance of Siege Catapults in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  182. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls P91
  183. Dialogue with Rorik
  184. The appearance of Siege Engines in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  185. Starlover's Log
  186. Gray Fox, Man or Myth?
  187. Adamus Phillida Slain!
  188. The Deathshead Legion was commanded by General Darius
  189. The Blackwater War
  190. Minutes of the Elder Council
  191. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls
  192. Yours for the Taking!
  193. The Blackwater War, Volume VII
  194. Events of "Unbound"
  195. 195.0 195.1 Report: Quality of Recruits
  196. 196.0 196.1 Dialogue with Captain Wardush
  197. Events of Scavenging for a Scarab
  198. Assassination!
  199. An Ancient Love Letter
  200. Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  201. Dialogue with Antonia Gratas
  202. Dialogue with Beirand
  203. Dialogue with Neville
  204. Dialogue between Skald the Elder and Brina Merilis about Horik Halfhand
  205. 205.0 205.1 Equipment of Imperial Legion Soldiers in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  206. 206.0 206.1 Equipment of Imperial Legion Soldiers in The Elder Scrolls Online and The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  207. Imperial soldier card art in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  208. Equipment of Legate Rikke
  209. 209.0 209.1 Equipment of Imperial Legion Soldiers in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  210. The final cutscene of "A Knife in the Dark" in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  211. 211.0 211.1 Equipment of Imperial Legion Soldiers in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  212. Septim Guardsman card art in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  213. Renowned Legate card art in The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  214. Events of "Battle for Whiterun (Imperial)"
  215. Catapulets seen at the improvised garrison in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  216. 216.0 216.1 Card art for Siege Catapult
  217. 217.0 217.1 Card art of Imperial Siege Engine
  218. 218.0 218.1 Trebuchets used by Legion Zero in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  219. Ballistae used by Legion Zero in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  220. Ballistae seen at the improvised garrison in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  221. The ballista seen at the Dragonfire Cathedral
  222. Catapults seen at the Windhelm Military Camp
  223. Ammunition seen at Imperial Catapults during the Skyrim Civil War
  224. Sanctuary: Weapons Report
  225. "Ebonheart" dialogue option in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  226. Yours for the Taking!
  227. Eulogy for Emperor Varen
  228. Intro of An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire
  229. "Imperial Guard" dialogue option in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

External linksEdit

Start a Discussion Discussions about Imperial Legion

  • Legion ranks

    • I want to speculate what exactly is the ranking order in the Legion. Here's what I think so far. -Private (self explanatory, regu...
  • Imperial Ranks & Age?

    • I was curious, what are your guys thoughts about the average ages for higher up Imperials, like Generals and Captains? How many years of serv...