Pelinal Whitestrake, renowned as "The Divine Crusader", was an immortal hero, legendary warrior, sorcerer, king, and crusader who fought as champion of the Slave-queen, Alessia.
It is said that Pelinal emerged into Nirn like a Padomaic, carried by Sithis and all other forces of change. Described by Morihaus as an ada or spirit, Pelinal plays the same role as a long line of avatars sent by Shor to champion the cause of mankind. Pelinal, however, is an exception, as he exhibits significant bonds to Akatosh as well.
Before Alessia started her rebellion in 1E 242, Pelinal already fought against the Ayleids in the forests of ancient Cyrod. When he heard of her defiance against the Slave-masters, he came to her camp holding a mace and a sword, both encrusted with smashed Elven intestines, feathers and pearls; which were the markings of the Ayleids, and joined her cause for freedom. As such Pelinal became champion of Alessia alongside his cousin Morihaus.
In the bloody days of the Rebellion, Pelinal was the enemy of all elfkind that lived in Cyrodiil. He took it upon himself to slay the sorcerer-kings of the Ayleids in pre-arranged open combats rather than at war; the fields of rebellion he left to the growing armies of Alessia and Morihaus. Pelinal called out Haromir of Copper and Tea into a duel at the Tor, and ate his neck-veins while screaming praise to Reman, a name that no one knew yet.
Gordhaur the Shaper's head was smashed upon the goat-faced altar of Ninendava, and in his wisdom Pelinal said a small plague spell to keep that evil from reforming by welkynd-magic. Later that season, Pelinal slew Hadhuul on the granite steps of Ceya-Tar, the Fire King's spears knowing their first refute.
In one year Pelinal drove the Ayleid armies past the Niben and claimed all the eastern lands for the rebellion of Alessia. He freed the slaves of Vahtacen and took back the stolen hands of the Thousand-Strong of Sedor. Nothing could stop his march and when he claimed northern Cyrodiil, Alessia sent messengers to the Nords, asking for their aid. When they saw the Crusader standing at the bridge of Heldon, his white hair gone brown with elfblood, they said the god Shor had returned to this world. Pelinal spat at their feet for profaning that name. Nonetheless, Whitestrake lead them west to drive the Ayleids inwards Cyrodiil.
When Huna, whom Pelinal trained from slave to hoplite and cared for, was killed by Celethelel the Singer, Pelinal Whitestrake went on his first Madness. He wrought destruction from Narlemae all the way to Celediil, and devoured those lands in divine rampage. Alessia would have to pray to the Gods for their help, and they reached down as one mind and calmed the Whitestrake until he no longer had the will to kill the earth.
Fifd of New Teed said once that Whitestrake had no heart under his armor, only the rage of a mindless dragon. Pelinal cared for none of this for he would slay the ones who spoke according to the logic of the gods, except for Alessia because she "acted rather than talked, as language without effort is a dead witness". When his men heard him say these things, they went silent and angered him. He ran into the rain of Kyne, laughing and swinging his sword, while screaming "O Aka, for our shared madness I do this! I watch you watching me watching back! Umaril dares call us out, for that is how we made him!"
Garid of the Men-of-Ge once experienced Pelinal's madness from afar. When he and the Crusader had a drink together he asked what it felt like. Pelinal described it in one phrase. "Like when the dream no longer needs its dreamer."
Battle with UmarilEdit
In 1E 243, towards the end of the war, rebellion forces marched back south and east. When they came closer to White-Gold Tower, the half-elf Umaril the Unfeathered challenged Pelinal to a duel. At her War Council, the Alessian armies and all of the Nords shook with fear at the foresight of storming White Gold. Because of their hesitation Alessia herself counseled delay. Pelinal grew furious and made names of Umaril and the cowards he thought he saw around him. Outraged, he went in alone to confront Umaril, for the Crusader often acted without thought.
Upon his arrival in the city, Umaril first weakened Pelinal by sending in soldiers whom he had been saving for this moment, knowing well that they would face death. After his battle with Umaril's servants, Pelinal became surrounded by the last Ayleid sorcerer-kings and their minions (probably summoned Daedra). Bleeding for the first time, the Crusader cracked the floor with his weapon, and as they withdrew, he screamed for Umaril to reveal himself.
It was only after Whitestrake was wounded that Umaril came down to fight him. Both champions were equally matched, and they injured each other severely. Ultimately, Pelinal broke off his nemesis's unfeathered wings, thus killing him. When his enemy died, Whitestrake laughed about the ugliness of Umaril's angel-shaped helmet and recklessly insulted the ancestry of the half-elf and anyone else who took ship from Old Ehlnofey. Enraged by his words, the sorcerer-kings returned and overwhelmed the weakened Crusader.
Pelinal Whitestrake paid dearly for his victory. The Elvish kings came upon him with their weapons and cut him into eight pieces; a symbolic number. Alessia and her council were woken up by Pelinal's dying scream and ordered an immediate attack on the city the next morning. The soldiers stormed the walls, looking for more Ayleids to kill, but Whitestrake had left none except the kings and demons that had already begun to flee.
Fearing for the life of his friend, Morihaus shook the whole tower with the mighty bashing of his horns while he tried to reach Pelinal. But he was too late. In the tower, he found the still living head of Pelinal Whitestrake, which the kings had left to prove their deeds. Both friends spoke for a long time, about things of regret and things of which even Alessia herself would never hear the truth.
As if the end of the Crusader wasn't tragic enough, Pelinal realised at the last moment that Umaril survived: "Beware, Morihaus, beware! With the foresight of death I know now that my foe yet lives, bitter knowledge to take to my grave. Better that I had died believing myself the victor. Although cast beyond the doors of night, he will return. Be vigilant! I can no longer shield the host of Men from Umaril's retribution." After this last warning the famous Pelinal Whitestrake died.
Strangely it appears that Pelinal was present in 1E 266 at Empress Alessia's deathbed, although he was killed by the Elvish Kings earlier.
According to this ancient fragment, Pelinal found salvation after his death, freed of his madness and sins, and now acted as a ferryman to bring Alessia's soul to the afterlife. His ghost also appeared to the Hero of Kvatch, the Second Divine Crusader, in order to help them defeat Umaril.
Pelinal Whitestrake freed Cyrodiil from the Ayleid oppressors and ushered in a new era of peace and freedom. Because of his efforts Alessia could establish the First Empire. His reputation varies widely. Among Imperials, he is a hero who helped free Cyrodiil from oppression. Among Mer, he is the vicious warlord who led the Elven Pogrom. He is also reviled by the Khajiit, because he mistook them for another type of Aldmeri and killed many before his mistake became apparent.
In 3E 111 the Order of the Knights of the Nine was founded with the intent of recovering the lost armor of Pelinal Whitestrake, the Relics of the Crusader. Their reputation was established when the first knights defeated the Wyrm of Elynglenn to recover the Cuirass of the Crusader. The following period was the Order's zenith and three more Relics were discovered. In 3E 121 however, during the War of the Red Diamond, the order was split and the Relics were lost again.
Following Daedric attacks on clergy in 3E 433, the Hero of Kvatch was warned by a Prophet of the fact that Umaril had finally returned to Cyrodiil to unleash his vengeance on humanity. After a pilgrimage the Hero received a vision of Pelinal Whitestrake who put him on the way of reconstituting the Order of the Knights of the Nine and reuniting the Crusader's Relics, which were needed to destroy Umaril the Unfeathered forever.
Pelinal Whitestrake was referred to in many different ways. Records state that he lived under various aliases, such as Ysmir, Wulfharth, Harrald Hairy Breeks and Hans the Fox. His first name, Pelinal, is a corruption of the name Pelin-El, which means Star-Made Knight. This is strange because it is an Elvish name and Pelinal hated that race more than anything. During the Alessian Rebellion, he was known as Pelinal Insurgent, Pelinal the Bloody, Pelinal the Blamer and Pelinal the Third.
This last moniker, 'Pelinal the Third' suggests a relationship with other supernatural champions of mankind — Harrald Hairy-Breeks and Hans the Fox. Altmeri sources suggest that he is one and the same, although it is unlikely that this is the whole story, given his more alien characteristics and persona, and the fact that he cannot easily be described as a king or sorcerer. Another theory on his title of "the Third" is that it comes from him being the third vision received by Saint Alessia in her prayers to the gods for mankind's freedom from the Ayleids. Because of his rather vicious crusades against the Ayleids, Pelinal is often referred to as the Divine Crusader.
- In The Song of Pelinal, Book III, it is stated that Pelinal deeply loved Huna, whose death by Celethelel the Singer drove him to a crazed destruction spree. Michael Kirkbride said that Pelinal was homosexual, though the direct reference of their intimacy was removed from the final book as it was "a simple matter of keeping his sexuality ambiguous. Since the player was donning Pelinal's armor, completing a mission that he could not, in a sense becoming him, being so blunt about Pelinal's sexuality was too... definitive in relation to the PC's own. Given the open nature of TES PCs, I felt that it was fine to keep it open to interpretation."[OOG 1]
- Like most male Imperials, Pelinal was voiced by Wes Johnson.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Online (Mentioned only)