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For other uses, see The Prophet.
Not to be confused with Varen Hloran.
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"Once the Prophet was a man of vigor and strength. Some harrowing experience has aged and diminished him, leaving him blind and almost feeble."
The Harborage loading screen[src]

Varen Aquilarios, also known as The Prophet when the Vestige first meets him, is an Imperial sorcerer, Moth Priest, and the former Emperor of Cyrodiil. He is the founding member of the Five Companions, and plays a crucial role in the main questline of The Elder Scrolls Online.

BackgroundEdit

Varen was born in 2E 536[UL 1] as the son of a Colovian Duke, and later became the Duke of Chorrol.[1] He had an unknown sibling whose son, Carolus Aquilarios, in turn being Varen's nephew, viewed him as a role model.[2] When Leovic, third of the short-lived Reachman dynasty known as the Longhouse Emperors, assumed the Ruby Throne, he legalized Daedra worship across the Empire. This outraged much of the population, and prompted Varen to spark a rebellion.[3]

He left his homefront, the Gold Coast, in the hands of his nephew Carolus. Using large amounts of stone, Varen constructed a wall spanning around the Gold Coast, later dubbed "Varen's Wall", in order to protect the region should Leovic's forces arrive.[4][5]

The Colovian RevoltEdit

Varen and Mannimarco

Varen seeking council from Mannimarco.

Varen summoned the military forces of the Colovian Highlands. Secretly, he also contacted Abnur Tharn, who would later become one of his Five Companions, for assistance to "depose those foul strangers from the north". Varen based his rebellion out of the city of Bruma, and subsequently won many victories across Cyrodiil.[3]

In 2E 576, Varen and his army stormed the Imperial City, before breaking into the White-Gold Tower and driving his sword into Leovic's heart at the foot of the Ruby Throne, thus instantly killing him, and immediately declaring himself Emperor. For Abnur's loyalty and assistance in the rebellion, Varen agreed to take Leovic's widow, Clivia Tharn, as his bride.[3] Due to the mass amount of casualties during the uprising, Varen converted the Market District of the Imperial City into the Memorial District, filling it with mass graves.[6]

The Five CompanionsEdit

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"By the lighting of the Dragonfires, I claim my rightful lineage! By the fires of creation, let me be reborn! By the will of Akatosh, I proclaim myself… Dragonborn!"
―Varen Aquilarios[src]

Varen's rule went mostly without problems, but he was constantly worrying about him being an illegitimate ruler as he was not Dragonborn.

Varen Dragonfires

Varen and Abnur attempt to light the Dragonfires.

Believing that only a Dragonborn can rightfully take the Ruby Throne, in 2E 577, he formed the Five Companions to find the Amulet of Kings after the Altmer sorcerer Mannimarco convinced him that he knew a ritual that would allow Varen to become Dragonborn. After hearing of this, he set out on a two-year quest to find the Amulet with his Five Companions: Varen himself, the half-giant warrior Lyris Titanborn, the sorcerer Mannimarco, Sai Sahan, a Redguard blademaster and the captain of his personal Dragonguard, and Elder Chancellor Abnur Tharn.

The SoulburstEdit

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"Varen Aquilarios, you are no heir to Alessia! You will pay for your sacrilege! The veil between Tamriel and Oblivion tears and splits asunder! ...My master, Molag Bal, is free to claim Tamriel for his own."
Mannimarco[src]
Soulburst Mannimarco

Mannimarco immobilizes the Five Companions and causes the Soulburst

The Five were able to recover the Amulet and begin the ritual in 2E 579. They gathered at the Temple of the One in the Imperial City and began to perform the ritual. While Tharn held the Amulet, Varen asked Akatosh to rightfully grant his claim as emperor by making him a Dragonborn. At that moment, Mannimarco immobilized everyone present and revealed his true intentions; he was an agent of Molag Bal, and the ritual did not reignite the Dragonfires, but in fact did the exact opposite, destroying the ancient barriers shielding Mundus from the forces of Oblivion and thus allowing Molag Bal to begin the Planemeld, a forceful attempt to drag Nirn out of Mundus and into his own realm of Coldharbour. This event was known as the Soulburst, and it shook every corner of Tamriel.[7]

Subsequently, Lyris was captured and brought into Coldharbour. Sai Sahan fled with the Amulet and managed to hide it in Sancre Tor before also being captured later on. Mannimarco summoned his Worm Cult and turned the Temple of the One into a sacrificial ground where dozens of souls were harvested and brought to Coldharbour, and Abnur joined him in order to gain his trust and spy on him. Varen, however, disappeared.[7]

Studying the Elder ScrollsEdit

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"The Scrolls allowed me to glimpse the very fabric of reality, but each profound insight dimmed my vision and eventually left me permanently blinded to the light of the world."
―Varen Aquilarios[src]

After the Soulburst, Varen woke up weak and near death at the Abbey of the Moth Priests, with no memory of his past life as Emperor. The Moth priests took pity on him, assuming he was a lost vagabond, and gave him shelter within their establishment.

It was there where he set his eyes on the Elder Scrolls, mysterious artifacts of immense knowledge and power. He began to study and read the scrolls in order to learn the events of Tamriel which have happened and have yet to happen, including his life as Emperor and his destiny with the Vestige. The priests were shocked to discover how quickly he managed to read the scrolls, believing it to be a prophetic sign from the Eight Divines. As a result of continuously reading the scrolls, Varen gradually lost his eyesight. He carved himself a staff which he also used as a walking stick. Blinded, Varen still continued to study the scrolls in his mind's eye, and foresaw the events to come in Tamriel's future.

CaptureEdit

Word of Varen's prophecies began spreading across the land, eventually reaching the Imperial City. When Mannimarco discovered this, he arrested the Prophet under the grounds of rumor-mongering and treason. The King of Worms had the abbey and its contents burned to the ground, and transferred Varen into the custody of Molag Bal. Bal then initiated the Planemeld upon Nirn, and had Varen imprisoned in The Wailing Prison.

The VestigeEdit

Main article: Vestige

In 2E 582, a mortal was captured and sacrificed by Mannimarco. Their soul was brought to the Wailing Prison in Coldharbour. After being transported to Coldharbour, a projection of Varen, using the pseudonym "The Prophet", appeared before them, giving the mortal the name of Vestige and telling them to find Lyris Titanborn. At the time, Lyris was unaware that The Prophet was her fellow Five Companions member Varen.

The Vestige journeyed through the prison with Lyris after she freed them. They struck down several of Molag Bal's minions before arriving at the courtyard and destroying a Sentinel, a minion made to stop prisoners from escaping. They find that Varen's cell is warded off, so they seek Cadwell for help, whom directed the two to the Undercroft.

Once Lyris and the Vestige reach Varen's cell, Lyris tells the Vestige that the only way to free Varen is for Lyris to take his place. Lyris then chants for her to take Varen's place in the cell, freeing Varen but imprisoning Lyris. Varen, still concealing his identity, and the Vestige journey to a portal out of Coldharbour. They strike down the Guardian of the portal, and Varen restores the Vestige's corporeal form before they both return to Tamriel in different locations.

PersonalityEdit

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"Our fallen Emperor, in the tattered robes of a Moth Priest, blind as a newborn kitten!"
―Abnur Tharn[src]

During his reign as Emperor, Varen was considered a good leader, doing what was right for his people. The fact that he was not of dragon's blood continuously pestered him, often causing him to believe he was not a legitimate ruler, and even married Leovic's widow, Clivia, in an attempt to solidify his title, just as his predecessor had done. Varen founded the Five Companions in order to find the Amulet of Kings for two long years, and during the ritual in which Varen would become a Dragonborn, he was betrayed by Mannimarco, whom he had blindingly put his trust in. Varen later remarked that his decisions were foolish and taken out of desperation.[7]

Varen later lost his memory following the Soulburst, and was found outside the Abbey of the Moth Priests. He began to study the Elder Scrolls, and slowly began to encompass their knowledge by reading them, regaining memories of his past life. However, due to his consistent readings of the Elder Scrolls, he became blind, having to rely on his cane/staff in order to be aware of surroundings.[7] The Prophet became a considerably wise man, aware of events that have occurred and events which are yet to occur. He occasionally speaks in riddles, and initially keeps his origins a secret. Inside, Varen does not consider himself to be very grand or accomplished, referring to himself as simply "a blind old man". He still does what he considers best for the people of Tamriel, ensuring that every step he takes is done to stop Molag Bal from merging Nirn with his own realm, which he considers mainly his fault.

InteractionsEdit

Coldharbor questsEdit

Soul Shriven in Coldharbour‎Edit

Varen, initially introduced as "The Prophet," contacts the Vestige at their cell in Coldharbour. Lyris Titanborn later travels with the Vestige to free him, and the Prophet speaks to them again on their way to Cadwell. Later on in his cell, Lyris takes the Prophet's place as a prisoner, so that he and the Vestige could escape. Once Varen is freed, he will say "Freedom. I remember this feeling. It will be fleeting though, if Molag Bal has his way."

You are then tasked with escorting him to the Dark Anchor Mooring. At the Mooring, Molag Bal will appear and summon the Child of Bones. Once it is defeated, he summons a Skyshard for you to absorb, then calls upon the Akatosh to open the Mooring to Tamriel:

The Prophet: "Great Akatosh, Dragon God of Time! I require your strength!
Let the way be opened! Let these wandering souls return home! Let the will of Molag Bal be denied!
Hurry, we must go now!"

After going through the anchor, you will arrive in either Stros M'Kai, Khenarthi's Roost, or Bleakrock Isle depending on your alliance. When you regain consciousness, he will say "The Vestige awakens, once again. Come here, we must speak." He will then recommend you explore your surroundings as he organizes a plan to rescue Lyris, and will contact you in time. He will then give you a Sealed Urn and answer questions you may have, before departing.

The HarborageEdit

Once you reach level 5, The Prophet will contact you at the nearest opens a portal to a realm depicting past events. He briefly explains his story, and tells the tale of the Five Companions, concealing the information that he is the then Emperor Varen Aquilarios. The visions in the realm show the events leading up to the Planemeld, known as the Soulburst, the crisis which in turn ended up costing the Vestige their soul.

Daughter of GiantsEdit

The Prophet tells the Vestige that after Lyris took his place, she was moved to The Foundry of Woe, a location of Coldharbour dedicated to torture and despair. After Lyris is returned to Tamriel, the Prophet is informed that Sai Sahan is still alive. The Prophet then begins his search for his captured friend.

Chasing ShadowsEdit

The Prophet asks the Vestige to investigate the Worm Cult's activity in the nearby city (Daggerfall, Davon's Watch, Vulkhel Guard). After speaking to Abnur Tharn in The Worm's Retreat, the Vestige must give the Orb of Discourse to Varen.

Castle of the WormEdit

Varen asks the Vestige to come to the Harborage, where Abnur Tharn would like to speak with them. He requests asylum in return for Sai Sahan's location, and Varen tasks Lyris and the Vestige with retrieving him. After Abnur comes to the Harborage, an argument will begin with him Lyris as he doesn't currently know where Sai is. Varen puts an end to the fight, and reveals the truth to the Vestige that he is Varen Aquilarios, the previous Emperor of Cyrodiil.

The Tharn SpeaksEdit

After informing Varen that Abnur has located Sai in the Halls of Torment, he will agree to help Tharn look for a safe to break him out.

Halls of TormentEdit

Upon entering the Harborage, Lyris and Varen will be found arguing about her travelling to the Halls of Torment in order to save Sai. Varen informs the Vestige that they have found the Halls, and asks the Vestige to pick either Lyris or Abnur to accompany them. Once a companion is picked, he will open a portal to the Halls and say "Go with Lyris/Abnur (Name of chosen companion appears here)! Save Sai Sahan from the Halls of Torment!"

After reaching the final location where Sai is being held prisoner, doppelgangers of Varen appear, asking Sai why he didn't trust him. Once all the enemies are defeated, Sai will be informed Varen is alive, much to his relief. A projection of Varen will appear saying "You have done it, Vestige! Bring him through the portal, quickly!" and open a portal back to the Harborage. After returning to it, Varen will reveal he knew that the Amulet of Kings is hidden in Sancre Tor.

Valley of BladesEdit

Varen will appear to the Vestige later, saying that Sai's strength has returned. At the Harborage, Varen can be spoken to regarding the key needed to access Sancre Tor. He will reveal that the key is actually a ring bearing the sigil of Stendarr. After retrieving it from the The Valley of Blades, it must be given to Varen.

Shadow of Sancre TorEdit

In the Harborage, Varen will say that the Amulet of Kings was hidden in Sancre Tor, and opens a portal leading to the fortress. The Vestige will be acquainted by Lyris, Abnur, and Sai, in the quest to retrieve the amulet. Once it is obtained, it must be returned to Varen back at the Harborage.

Council of the Five CompanionsEdit

Varen confirms that Mannimarco has been defeated, and is now being punished by Molag Bal. He gives the Vestige the option of seeing it in a vision, where the King of Worms is being whipped by skeletons as Bal watches. Sai Sahan then speaks to the Vestige, offering them a place as the fifth companion, as the replacement for the traitor Mannimarco. Abnur Tharn says for the ritual required to stop the Planemeld, he requires a sacrifice. Varen, along with Lyris and Sai, offer their services for this task.

God of SchemesEdit

Varen is one the candidates eligible to be sacrificed in order to power the Amulet of Kings. They can all be chosen to be spoken to. After the ritual is completed, the Vestige will be granted with the imbued with the power of Akatosh. After Molag Bal is defeated and Meridia is spoken to, the Vestige will be returned to the Harborage.

If Varen is sacrificed, the Vestige will receive his restoration staff: The Emperor's Blessing. If Varen is spared, he will decide to leave and fades into the unknown.

Wrothgar questsEdit

Long Live the KingEdit

Regardless of whether he died or not, a vision of Varen will appear to the Vestige at the end of the Orsinium DLC if they have completed the Main questline. He will warn them that the Daedric Princes are planning another attack on Tamriel, specifically "the great deceiver, the sower of discord, and the matron of darkness." This is a hint towards the Daedric War story arc involving Clavicus Vile, Mephala and Nocturnal. He says the war will begin "when the gates of Sotha Sil's lost city are re-opened."

DialogueEdit

Show: Soul Shriven in Coldharbour
In Coldharbour:

"Slowly, now. You've been through an ordeal. Take a few moments to collect yourself."

What's happening? Who are you? "Like you, I am a prisoner in this place, yet so much more. I am the past and future both. I am despair and hope. The tapestry we weave is a complex one. You cannot hope to see its pattern in its entirety. Not yet."
What do you want from me? "You must rescue me. And I, in turn, must rescue you. You must escape this cell, take up arms and protect yourself. Then, find Lyris Titanborn."
Lyris Titanborn? Who is that? I don't understand...

After defeating the guards:

"Greetings, Vestige. Like you, I am a prisoner in this place. You must rescue me. And I, in turn, must rescue you."

After freeing the Prophet:

"Freedom. I remember this feeling. It will be fleeting though, if Molag Bal has his way."
"Thank the Divines, you are safe! There is that, at least. Lyris sacrificed everything, that we might go free. Her sacrifice must not be in vain."

Can we find a way to take her with us? "I wish that were possible. But I promise you, once we escape Coldharbour we will find a way to rescue her together, Vestige."
Vestige? "That is the name I have given you. You are but a trace of your former self. A soulless one. An empty vessel that longs to be filled. It is as the Scrolls foretold, but not exactly as I imagined."
Why does Lyris call you the Prophet? "That is what I have come to be called. My true name is lost―even to me. Years of torment have taken their tool. Quickly now, we must haste to the Anchor!"
Anchor? "The Anchors are Daedric machines of the darkest magic. Their chains bind our world and pull it towards Coldharbour. I can use one of these Anchors to return us to Tamriel, but you must lead me to it."
All right. Stay close then.

"Up the stairs, quickly! We must get to the anchor mooring!"

When approaching the Anchor Mooring:

"There it is. The Dark Anchor Mooring."
"Come, I will protect you!"

After defeating the Child of Bones:

"A moment, Vestige."
"The Dark Anchor's portal is high above us. I will prepare a spell to lift us to it. But first, you must re-attune yourself to Nirn in order to regain your physical form. To do this, you will need a skyshard."

A skyshard? "A shard of Aetherial magicka that carries the essence of Nirn. Some link them to Lorkhan, the missing god of creation. If you collect and absorb its power, it should restore your corporeal form. I will summon one of these shards for you to absorb."
I'm ready.

"Shard of Aetherius, fall upon us now and anoint us with your blessing. There. Quickly! Collect the Skyshard."

After collecting the Skyshard:

"Great Akatosh, Dragon God of Time! I require your strength! Let the way be opened! Let these wandering souls return home! Let the will of Molag Bal be denied! Hurry, we must go now!"

After arriving on Tamriel:

"As I feared, we arrived in different locations."

  • Aldmeri Dominion "I am in a city near the sea, in a land land of eternal spring. The air smells of the ocean, and of markets, and gardens."
  • Daggerfall Covenant: "I am in a city of industry, where men speak of intrigues and plots beneath layers of innuendo and pleasantry."
  • Ebonheart Pact: "I am in a place with the smell of burning ash on a hot wind and the sounds of a distant battle."

"It matters not. You have awakened once again and we must set you on your path."

How long was I unconscious? "Days? Weeks? I cannot tell. The voyage between worlds disrupted all sense of time and space. I know only that you were deposited into the sea, and some charitable soul fished you out and brought you to dry land."
What should I do now? "I'm afraid you will have to decide that for yourself. I must focus on searching for a way to repay Lyris's bold sacrifice. I cannot simply abandon her to the wrath of Molag Bal."
When will I see you again? "I cannot foresee that. Not yet. But we will meet again. There is still much we need to accomplish."

After receiving the reward:

"Be wary, Vestige. Our very plane of existence is in peril. The threat of Molag Bal looms across all Tamriel, and chaos spreads in its shadow. Danger roams the land and will assume many forms. Do not let it catch you off-guard."

Where should I go? "You must find your own path. But perhaps there is a reason for the place in which you find yourself. Explore. Search for a cause to lend your hand. Join with others. You might even seek out those who rescued you from the sea. The choice is yours."
You think there are many who need my help? "Indeed. And I sense that even now there are good people near you who face grave danger. They need your assistance should you be willing to give it. To thwart the will of Molag Bal, we must skirmish with evil wherever it rears its head."
Who would I join up with (Or "And there are others who would join me in this?" if "You think there are many who need my help?" is chosen first) "We do not face these troubled times alone. Many shall rise up to fight this tide of darkness. Wherever you go, you will encounter others who share your courage and valor. Help them if you can, and enlist their aid if you have need of it."
How do I find whoever rescued me from the sea?
  • Aldmeri Dominion: [?]
  • Daggerfall Covenant: [?]
  • Ebonheart Pact: "I know only that you washed up on a cold beach on a remote island. You have since been transported to a large city. Head toward the city docks. There, you will find someone who knows the island from whence you came and how you might return there."
Show: The Haborage
In the wilderness:

"There you are, Vestige. We must speak at once."

Hello, Prophet. "Listen well. I have located a safe harbor from which we might plan our course of action. You must meet me there."
Where is this safe harbor?
  • Aldmeri Dominion: "I awoke upon a sandy shore―a stretch of beach outside a bustling city of Elves. Vulkhel Guard. The Harborage is in a seaside cave, outside the city. It is there that you will find me."
  • Daggerfall Covenant: [?]
  • Ebonheart Pact: "I awoke to choking ash in the air and the sounds of strife. I am in Morrowind, home of the Dark Elves, in a city called Davon's Watch. The Harborage is a ruin in the cliffs, west of the city."
I'll find you there.

After entering the Harborage:

"I hear familiar footfalls. Come closer, Vestige."
"Welcome to the Harborage, Vestige. This is as comfortable a home as an old dried-up husk like myself could hope for."

How did you find it? "Despite my blindness―nay, because of it―my other sense seem to have heightened. This place had the right smell about it."
When you first appeared to me in Coldharbour, you spoke of my destiny. "Indeed. But let us not get ahead of ourselves. Without an understanding of where we are bound, every read will get us nowhere. Before we truly understand our destination, we must speak of the past."
A history lesson? "Of a sort. I invite you to enter my mind and walk with me through visions of the past, that you might understand the events that brought us to this time, this moment."

"Enter my mind, Vestige, and walk with me through the shadows of past events."

In Varen's mind:

"Follow me, Vestige, and learn of the events that precipitated our current crisis. My part in the story began when I awoke on the steps of the Abbey of the Moth Priests, with no memory of my prior life. The Moth Priests took pity upon me and brought me into their fold. I was weak and near death. It was there I first set eyes upon the Elder Scrolls and devoted my life to their study. The Scrolls allowed me to glimpse the very fabric of reality, but each profound insight dimmed my vision and eventually left me permanently blinded to the light of the world."
"The prophecies of the Elder Scrolls are a fluid, living thing. They are not fixed. At many points throughout history, the actions of heroic mortals have rewritten them."

What does that have to do with me? "I only know that you are important, Vestige. The Scrolls revealed to me that your destiny is intertwined with that of the Five Companions."
Who are the Five Companions? "The Five Companions were a band of adventurers who sought out an ancient artifact called The Amulet of Kings. They hoped to use this artifact to persuade Akatosh, the Dragon God, to accept their leader as one of the Dragonborn."
Dragonborn? "The Dragonborn are mortals destined for greatness, with the blood of the Dragons in their veins. It is said that only a true Dragonborn can ignite the Eternal Dragonfires in the Imperial City."
Who was their leader? "Varen Aquilarios―the son of a Colovian duke, who led a rebellion against the Emperor Leovic and took the crown himself."
Go on. "You have already heard enough babbling from the old, blind fool. It is time you met the Five Companions yourself, and witnessed their fate."

"The first companion, Lyris Titanborn, daughter of giants, was the mightiest warrior in the service of the Emperor. Next, Abnur Tharn, a powerful sorcerer and Grand Chancellor of the Imperial Elder Council. The Redguard swordmaster Sai Sahan, leader of the Imperial Dragonguard. The Imperial Emperor, Varen Aquilarios, who attempted to light the Dragonfires and failed. And finally, Mannimarco the traitor. The King of Worms. A powerful necromancer, and your executioner."

When approached:

"These were the Five Companions, who set out from the Imperial City on an epic quest to recover the Amulet of Kings."

How could the Amulet of Kings turn Varen into one of the Dragonborn? "Mannimarco convinced Varen that the Amulet could be used to perform a ritual that would rekindle the Dragonfires. He claimed this would please Akatosh and entice him adopt Varen as one of the Dragonborn."
Why did Varen want to be Dragonborn? "By tradition, only the Dragonborn can lay claim to the Ruby Throne and rule as the one, true Emperor by divine right. Varen conquered Cyrodiil and took the throne, but unless he became Dragonborn, he feared he'd always be thought of as a pretender."
Tell me about the other companions. "Each of the Five Companions were chosen for their skill and courage, and each was given a special role to perform in the party. Who would you like to know more about?"
Tell me about Lyris Titanborn. "You've already met Lyris. She is a Nord warrior from the frozen lands of Skyrim to the north. And it is said that her family lineage contains the blood of Giants. Varen chose her for her strength and her loyalty, to be his personal bodyguard."
Tell me about Sai Sahan. "Sai Sahan came from a long line of Redguard swordmaster nobles. He was the leader of the Dragonguard, the security detail of Varen and the Elder Council. While Lyris was Varen's bodyguard, Sai was charged with protecting the entire group."
Tell me about Abnur Tharn. "The Tharns are one of the most influential families in Cyrodiil. Abnur, their patriarch, is the leader of the Elder Council, a powerful battlemage and a shrewd politician. With his counsel, Varen was able to seize the Imperial throne, years before."
Tell me about Mannimarco. (Or "I've heard enough about these three. What about Mannimarco?" if asked about the other Companions first.) "Mannimarco the traitor. The great enemy. The most powerful necromancer this world has ever known. His Worm Cult infiltrates and corrupts every corner of Tamriel. It was he who convinced Varen to perform the ritual you are about to witness."
What happened when they performed the ritual? "Disaster. War and pestilence. A world brought to its knees. Now watch, and see how one man's arrogance brought about the greatest threat our world has ever known."

After witnessing the ritual:

"The ritual tore the veil between Nirn and Oblivion, allowing Mannimarco to begin stealing the souls his master needed to power the Dark Anchors and initiate the Planemeld."

What went wrong? "Akatosh gave Alessia the Amulet of Kings as a symbol of his covenant with Nirn. So long as the Amulet remained in the care of Alessia's heirs, and the Dragonfires remained lit, Tamriel would be protected from the Daedra."
What happened next? "Mannimarco tricked Varen into breaking the covenant, and the veil between Oblivion and Nirn was torn. The Elder Scrolls named this event the Soulburst. It gave Molag Bal the opportunity to disconnect the souls of Nirn from their hosts."
What happened to the other Companions? "Varen was lost. In the chaos of the moment, Sai Sahan took the Amulet of Kings and fled. Lyris was captured by Mannimarco and delivered to Coldharbour, the realm of Molag Bal."
What about Abnur Tharn and Mannimarco? "Tharn remains Chancellor of the Elder Council, and his daughter Clivia rules as Empress Regent. But the true power remains in the hands of Mannimarco and his Worm Cult."
How did you end up in Coldharbour? "When I discovered the truth about the Five Companions, I made subtle inquiries. But apparently, not subtle enough. Mannimarco got word of my interest and abducted me. He took me to Coldharbour, where I remained a prisoner until you freed me."
They saw you as a threat? "The truth is always a threat to evil men. Mannimarco feared I would reveal his treachery. And if knowledge of Nirn's vulnerability were to become known, it could threaten his master's schemes. Molag Bal does not favor loose ends. Walk with me."

While walking with the Prophet:

"Long ago it was written―so long as the Amulet of Kings was borne by Alessia's heirs, Tamriel would be protected from the forces of Oblivion. But the Soulburst tore the veil between worlds, and gave Molag Bal the opportunity he desired. Molag Bal's Dark Anchors pierce the torn veil, and seek to draw Nirn into the depths of Coldharbour. These terrible engines of destruction have been appearing all throughout Tamriel. If the Lord of Brutality and Domination is successful, he will merge our worlds and his own in a terrible Planemeld. Few will survive the ordeal, and those that do will be enslaved for all eternity."

When approached:

"And so, it falls to us, Vestige. We must stop Molag Bal and his Dark Anchors, or our world is doomed. And now, history seems to have caught up with us. Shall we return to the Harborage?"

Yes. I'm ready to go back. "As you say."

Back in the Harborage:

"And so, it begins. The remainder of the story has yet to be written. It is your story, now."

You've given me a lot to think about. "And there is so much to do. But know this―you will not walk this path alone."
So, what's our next move? "We must grow in strength and in numbers. You will need more than the company of an old blind man to alter the course of history. We must assemble our own group of companions. The first, you have already met."
Lyris Titanborn? "Lyris sacrificed her own freedom to allow us to escape. She remains a prisoner in Coldharbour. I must determine her precise location if we are to mount a rescue. That will take time."
What should I do in the meantime? "Mannimarco's agents weave a web of lies and deceit. They pit the races of Tamriel against one another and divert their attention from the real threat. Seek out these agents wherever they can be found and expose their lies."
I'll do what I can. "Forgive me. Bringing you into my mind seems to have taken quite a toll on me. I must rest. I will contact you when the time is right. Until then, walk in the light Vestige."
Show: Daughter of Giants
In The Harborage:

"Tread carefully in Molag Bal's realm. You are important. The Scrolls have so named you."

What happened to Lyris after we escaped Coldharbour? "After Lyris took my place in the Wailing Prison so that we might escape, the Daedra moved her to the Foundry of Woe. It is a place of torment and despair. She toils endlessly, making weapons for the enemy."
How do you know this? "The God of Schemes invaded my mind many times during my imprisonment. It was a torturous experience. But by forcing his way into my mind, he inadvertently opened his own thoughts to me and thus created a chink in his own armor."
What do you mean? "We are connected, he and I. With concentration, I can see through his eyes. He feels my presence and it fills him with rage. When you enter the Foundry to recover Lyris, I can keep his attention focused on me. He will be blind to you, for a time."
Isn't that dangerous? "It would be a far greater danger for you to enter Coldharbour without this distraction. It is Molag Bal's realm and his power there is great. I will endeavor to distract him in this manner whenever you travel there."

After returning with Lyris:

"You've brought Lyris back! And largely intact, from the look of her."

She's been through a lot. "And she will need time to recover. One does not leave such a place unscarred."
We (Or "We also" if Abnur Tharn was chosen first) saw a projection of Sai Sahan. He spoke to us. "What did he say? Did Sai tell you where he is being held?"
He doesn't know. Mannimarco is torturing him. He wants the Amulet of Kings. "Then we must locate him before Mannimarco forces him to reveal the Amulet's hiding place."
How will the Amulet of Kings help us. "As you saw in my visions, the Amulet's misuse ripped a hole in the barrier that protects Tamriel from the forces of Oblivion. That damage must be undone, and the Amulet is the key. But, to find the Amulet, we must first locate Sai Sahan."
How can I help? "For now, you must leave me to my meditation. Must set my mind to the task of locating Sai Sahan. Until then, embrace the unknowable. The drops of water cannot know themselves to be a river, yet the river flows on."
One last thing. Why did Molag Bal leave Lyris any possibility of escape? "Perhaps it was simple arrogance. Perhaps it was all part of his grand scheme. Who can know the logic of a Daedric Prince? I will call upon you again when the time is right. Farewell, Vestige."
We (Or "We also" if Sai Sahan was chosen first) saw a projection of Abnur Tharn. He tried to help Lyris. "Did he? I thought he had firmly aligned himself with Mannimarco and his Worm Cult. Curiouser and curiouser."
Show: Chasing Shadows
In the wilderness:

"Ah, there you are Vestige. Come to the Harborage. We must speak."

After entering the Harborage:

"Good, good. You are safe. Good fortune did not abandon us entirely."

Is something wrong, Prophet? "Despite many days of meditating and scrying, Sai Sahan's whereabouts still elude me. The projection that you witnessed in the Foundry of Woe showed him to be in great peril. If we are to find him, I will need your help, Vestige."
What can I do to help? "Though Sai remains hidden from my sight, Lyris brings news that an agent of the enemy lurks in City (Daggerfall, Davon's Watch or Vulkhel Guard depending on the Vestige's alliance). Fear is on the lips of the people. Darkness walks among them. Even a blind man can sense it. It is the hand of Mannimarco."
How can that help us? "If it is truly an agent of Mannimarco's Worm Cult, it may provide us with a clue that will hasten our search. Seek this agent, but tread carefully. The Worm Cult is a cult of necromancy, and the undead are fearsome opponents."
How can I find this agent?
  • Aldmeri Dominion: "Venture to Vulkhel Guard. Speak to the fisher, Mehdir, and the jongleur, Diranor. It was on their lips that Lyris first heard of the troubles lurking in the shadows. Locate this agent of evil. Return with any personal effects they carry with them."
  • Daggerfall Covenant: "[?]."
  • Ebonheart Pact: "Venture to Davon's Watch. Speak to Feduira Llaren [sic] [Do not change this to Feduria Llaren. This misspelled word is how it appears in-game.] at the market, or Okeeh the beggar. Lyris first heard murmurs of trouble lurking in the shadows from them. Locate this agent of evil. Return with any personal effects they carry with them."
I'll find something and return.

After defeating Severinus Falco:

"You've returned. What have you found?"

The cultists use orbs like this one to communicate. I spoke to Abnur Tharn. "Abnur Tharn shows his face again. I get the sense that he might have a larger part to play in the coming events, but for good or ill I cannot say. Leave the orb with me. I shal be able to use it to locate Sai Sahan."
Good luck.
Show: Castle of the Worm
In the wilderness:

"The fog has lifted, Vestige. The path before us has been revealed. It is both dark, and twisted. Come to the Harborage. We have an unexpected guest who demands your presence."

Inside the Harborage:

"We have an unexpected guest, Vestige."

What's Tharn doing here? "My attempts to use the Orb of Discourse to locate Sai Sahan did not meet with success, so I decided to try a more direct approach. I used it as it was intended, and contacted Abnur Tharn."
Is he being cooperative? "He admits that he knows Sai Sahan's location, but he will not reveal it. He demands to speak with you, directly."
Let's hear what he has to say. "

While escaping Coldharbour:

"Quickly, I have opened another portal! Hurry!"

After the Prophet reveals being Varen Aquilarios:

"You are angry. It is to be expected."

You're the Emperor? "I was once, but no more. My name is Varen Aquilarios."
Why didn't you tell me? Why the deception? "In truth, I feared you'd kill me where I stood if you knew who I was. You certainly wouldn't have allied with us so readily. I caused this. All of this. If Molag Bal destroys this world, the blame will be mine, and mine alone."
How can I trust you now? Or Lyris? "You must not blame Lyris. She did as I instructed. She is my sworn protector, but she is also your ally. You have my solemn promise, Vestige. When this is over, if you still judge me harshly, you can end my life. I will offer no resistance."
So, what now? "We must find Sai Sahan. Everything depends on that."
What should I do? "In this matter, nothing. Abnur and I must confer. We will contact you again when we have more information. I did not foresee Abnur's defection, but I welcome it. Mannimarco fears him―and with good reason. He can help us. I feel certain of it."
Show: The Tharn Speaks
In The Harborage:

"An unexpected visit! What brings you back, Vestige?"

Tharn and I discovered where they are keeping Sai Sahan. "At last! Where can he be found?"
A prison in Coldharbour called the Halls of Torment. "Well done. I will begin searching for a safe route to the Halls of Torment immediately."
Is there anything else? "I was going to say that the river flows and we are slaves to its current, but I am done with riddles and metaphors. I don't know what awaits us. I'm not a Prophet. I'm just a foolish old man who glimpsed the wisdom of the scrolls, and survived."
But you can find a path to the Halls of Torment, can't you? "When Tharn returns, we will combine our resources. We will find a path to these Halls of Torment soon enough."
Show: Halls of Torment
In the wilderness:

"Vestige! Meet me at the Harborage. We are ready to rescue Sai Sahan."

Inside the Harborage:

"The time has come for another foray into Oblivion, Vestige. We have one last ally in need of rescue."

Sai Sahan. "Indeed. Abnur Tharn and I have been meditating, scrying, and poring over Mannimarco's notes. And at long last we've discovered the location of the Halls of Torment."
How long has Sai Sahan been a prisoner there? "Our friend has suffered unimaginable and unending torment for nearly two years. Far longer than any mortal man should endure. But Sai Sahan is something more than mortal man. He's a descendant of Leki, the Yokudan Sword-Saint. I've seen it."
Then we must find him, and quickly. "We have been able to determine the precise area of the Halls where Sai is being held. This is why we were so long about the task. I shall open a portal for you."
Am I going alone? "Lyris and Abnur have both agreed to accompany you, but I fear their mutual enmity will complicate your task. Speak with them and hear what they offer, but you must choose one or the other."

If Lyris is chosen:

"Go with Lyris! Save Sai Sahan from the Halls of Torment!"

If Abnur is chosen:

"Go with Abnur! Save Sai Sahan from the Halls of Torment!"

If approached again:

"The portal will deliver you into the Halls of Torment. Find Sai Sahan and bring him out. He is our last, best hope if we are to locate the Amulet of Kings."

After saving Sai Sahan:

"You have done it, Vestige! Bring him through the portal, quickly!"

When back in the Harborage:

"Sai Sahan lives! You've outdone yourself, Vestige."

The Daedra tortured his mind as well as his body. "The minds of some men can endure hardships far greater than anything the Daedra can concoct. The forces of loyalty, honor and friendship are powerful, indeed."
What's our next move? "We must recover the Amulet of Kings, but only when Sai Sahan has had time to recover. He is a man of great strength, but he will need to rest after such an ordeal."
Where is the Amulet of Kings? "Sai locked the amulet away in the ruins of Sancre Tor and entrusted the key to one of his close associates. But he can tell you himself. Speak with him. He's eager to meet his liberator. I'll contact you when we're ready to move forward."

If approached again:

"Sai Sahan wishes to speak with you, Vestige. Be brief. He needs to rest."

Upon completion of the quest:

"When Sai Sahan has recovered, you must accompany him on a journey to the Valley of Blades, where his mentor Kasura resides. I will contact you as soon as he is ready to travel."

Show: Valley of Blades
In the Wilderness:

"Ah, there you are. Come, we must talk."

In the Harborage:

"It is time, Vestige. Sai Sahan's strength has returned. You must accompany him to his ancestral home in the Valley of Blades."

The Valley of Blades? "An ancient trading hub, high in the mountains of Hammerfell; a place I thought lost to the ravages of time. Sai Sahan entrusted the key to Sancre Tor to one of his mentors there. It must be retrieved."
I understand. "Come quickly. Mannimarco is undoubtedly conducting his own search for the Amulet of Kings. We must not allow him to get there first."
I will leave at once.

After talking to Sai Sahan:

"I'll open a portal to hasten your journey."

After returning from the Valley of Blades:

"In my mind's eye, I witnessed your battle with the Worm Cult, and with the undead Ansei abominations. Your mission was successful, was it not?"

Here is the Ring of Stendarr's Mercy. The Abbey of Blades was destroyed. "I witnessed the Titan's assault and sensed the deaths of many innocents. It is a great and terrible loss. Sai Sahan and the others will need time to aid Kasura. I will contact you when they return and we will begin the journey to Sancre Tor."
Show: Shadow of Sancre Tor
In the wilderness:

"Vestige! Meet me at the Harborage! We are ready to reclaim the Amulet of Kings!"

In the Harborage:

"And so we've come full circle. I led the original Five Companions on a quest to reclaim the Amulet of Kings. At the time, I told myself it was for the good of all Tamriel. I was wrong and now all the world suffers for my hubris."

Now we have a chance to make things right. "Perhaps. But I wonder―will history repeat itself or rewrite itself? In truth, I fear using the amulet again. Its power is both great and terrible. Destiny can crush us by fulfilling our wishes, just as surely as it can by denying them."
Tell me about Sancre Tor. "It was a holy city in the First Era, founded by Queen Alessia herself. IT has since fallen into crumbling ruin. Before his capture, Sai Sahan hid the Amulet of Kings in the catacombs beneath the city."
Where is Sancre Tor located? "It is in the mountains of Colovia, the land of my youth. But I have little memory of that time. My exposure to the Elder Scrolls stole much of the man I once was. Speak to Sai Sahan. He can answer your questions far more accurately than I."

After retrieving the Amulet:

"It is done. The Amulet of Kings is ours once again."

And Mannimarco is defeated. "Mannimarco will pay dearly for the rest of eternity. One cannot outscheme the God of Schemes without paying a heavy price. I cannot imagine the torment that awaits him."
What do we do now? "Sai Sahan must rest, as must we all. We can sleep a little easier knowing the King of Worms has been defeated, but we cannot rest too long. Molag Bal is still a great threat, and the Planemeld must be stopped or this will all be for naught."
And my soul? "I have not forgotten, Vestige. It is another piece of the puzzle and we shall adrdress it in due time. But for now, let us rest and recover. As always, I will contact you soon. Walk in the light, Vestige."
Show: Council of the Five Companions
In the wilderness:

"The companions assemble once more. Travel to the harborage; it is time for our final preparations."

In the harborage:

"Welcome back, Vestige. News of Mannimarco's demise spreads far and wide. Like worms, his followers burrow deep into the earth to escape the searing light of the coming dawn."

Why have you summoned me, Varen? "As ever, straight to the point. You have done the impossible. The King of Worms has been consumed by the wrath of Molag Bal. The power of his Worm Cult is broken forever."
But Molag Bal is still a threat and I haven't found my soul. "That is the grim truth of the matter. But the Amulet of Kings is in our possession and there is still much to do."
How can we be sure that Mannimarco is truly gone? "In my sleep, I hear his tormented screams, and Molag Bal forces visions of his eternal torture in my mind. I can show you exactly what I see―if you wish it."
Show me these visions.
There is no need. I'll take your word for it. "As you wish. Sai Sahan has something he wanted to ask you as well. You should go to him."

During Varen's vision:

"Behold the fate of the King of Worms."
"Mannimarco's torment will be endless. The God of Schemes will use him to set an example. All who follow him will know, you cannot hope to betray the greatest of betrayers. I cannot help but pity him, despite all he has done. But this is not why you were called here, Vestige. Come. Sai Sahan would speak with your first."

After listening to the discussion:

"It appears we have come full circle, Vestige."

Does one of you truly have to die? "That millions of others may live, yes. Do not be troubled. Any one of us would gladly make such a sacrifice."
But first, the Panemeld must be stopped. "As Tharn has said, there are already plans in motion to infiltrate Coldharbour. You must be part of them. The chains that anchor us to Oblivion draw us ever closer. They must be severed, once and for all."
I'll find a way. "When the Planemeld has been thwarted and the dust has settled, the Five Companions shall gather one last time to face our destinies. The God of Schemes must be stopped, Vestige. That is the only thing that matters now."
Show: Long Live the King

"Greetings, Vestige. Though, I can hardly call you that anymore, can I? Let us say, Meridia's Champion, the Hero of Coldharbour, the Savior of Tamriel."

Varen? But, I saw you die! "So you did. And I have gone on to the next great adventure."
Why have you returned? "I bring you a warning, Champion. Oblivion stirs. Great and terrible machinations have begun. Once again, Tamriel is in danger. You have a part to play in the events to come."
What events? "A great war is coming. A war between the forces of Oblivion. The Daedric Princes are choosing sides. The great deceiver, the sower of discord, and the patron of darkness plot a great deception."
What must I do? "Be ready. Watch for signs. The war shall begin when the gates of Sotha Sil's lost city are re-opened. So the scrolls portend. So shall it be."
Will you help me? "I cannot aid you in the coming battle. My time in this world is at an end. I must take my place in the Immortal Plane. Farewell, old friend. We will not speak again."
Wait! I don't understand!

ConversationsEdit

The HarborageEdit

Varen Aquilarios: "There it is. The Dragonfire brazier. Mannimarco, you're certain this will work?"
Mannimarco: "It will work, my liege. The Amulet of Kings will rekindle the Dragonfires, and ensure your rightful place as Emperor. You have my word."
Lyris Titanborn: "It better work, Mannimarco, or you'll find your neck at the business end of my axe."
Abnur Tharn: "My Lord, I wonder if you'd muzzle your half-giant pet? She really is annoying."
Sai Sahan: "Enough, both of you! We are here to ensure My Lord's rifhtful claim to the Ruby Throne."
Varen Aquilarios: "Abnur, begin the ritual. I have a destiny to fulfill."
[The Brazier gets lit]
Varen Aquilarios: "By the lighting of the Dragonfires, I claim my rightful lineage! By the fires of creation, let me be reborn! By the will of Akatosh, I proclaim myself ... Dragonborn!"
Mannimarco: "Varen Aquilarios, you are no heir to Alessia! You will pay for your sacrilege! The veil between Tamriel and Oblivion tears and splits asunder!"
Abnur Tharn: "What's happening? The sky is opening up! This is bad! This is very bad!"
Varen Aquilarios: "This isn't supposed to happen! What's the meaning of this? Mannimarco, what have you done?"
Mannimarco: "Gullible fools! The veil between Oblivion and this world has been torn! My master, Molag Bal, is free to claim Tamriel for his own!"
Varen Aquilarios: "Akatosh! Forgive me! Have mercy on our souls!"

The Amulet of KingsEdit

The Prophet: "Lyris, child. Are you all right?"
Lyris Titanborn: "Yes, Prophet. I'm fine. The Vestige freed my mind from the Daedra's control."
The Prophet: "Thank the Divines. Your loss would have thrown all into chaos."
Lyris Titanborn: "They won't take me again. Not alive, at least. Prophet, Mannimarco captured Sai Sahan! He's torturing him to find out where the Amulet of Kings is hidden. We have to rescue him!"

Castle of the WormEdit

The Prophet: "Tharn is quite correct. We have little choice in the matter."
Lyris Titanborn: "You can't be serious! How can we possibly trust him?"
The Prophet: "As our visitor so eloquently pointed out, we cannot. But if we are to locate Sai Sahan, we must do this. Go with the Vestige, Lyris. Rescue Tharn. Give him a chance to redeem himself. He may surprise you."

Sai Sahan's LocationEdit

Lyris Titanborn: "What? You son of a bitch!"
Abnur Tharn: "Gah! Are you insane? Get away from me, you brutish she-troll!"
The Prophet: "Lyris! Stand down!"
Lyris Titanborn: "He's done nothing but lie to us from the beginning! I don't care what he says, he'll always be Mannimarco's toady!"
Abnur Tharn: "Please. Mannimarco wants me dead! Did I pretend to capitulate to him? Yes, I did. Do you have any idea how many lives I saved by doing so?"
Lyris Titanborn: "The only thing you saved was your holdings and your own hide, you pompous ass!"
The Prophet: "Enough! Abnur had no choice, Lyris. And we are guilty of our own deceit, are we not? The time has come for the Vestige to know the truth!"
Abnur Tharn: "What's this? The Vestige doesn't know? Oh, this is rich!"
Lyris Titanborn: "Sire, don't ...!"
The Prophet: "Vestige. Until now, you have only known me as the Prophet. But that is not my true name. I ... am Varen Aquilarios!"
Abnur Tharn: "Our fallen Emperor, in the tattered robes of a Moth Priest, blind as a newborn kitten!"
Varen Aquilarios: "I am sorry I deceived you, Vestige."

The Five CompanionsEdit

Sai Sahan: "My lord, with your permission."
Varen Aquilarios: "You needn't call me that anymore, Sai Sahan. We are equals now."
Sai Sahan: "All those years ago, when we fought beneath our lord's banner to free the Empire from the Longhouse Emperors, we did so with a dream of freedom and peace in mind―not just for the Empire, but for all of Tamriel. Together we forged a fellowship stronger than any blade, only to see it shattered upon the rocks of deceit by one of our own. That fellowship is no more, yet we four have assembled here, united by a single purpose. It is not vengeance that drives us, but truth and loyalty and justice. I, Sai Sahan, steward of the Abbey of Blades, call for the Five Companions to be reforged this day. By the light of Stendarr, and the heart of Lorkhan, may our blade fellowship be forged anew. And may the Vestige, our mutual friend and ally, become its tip, that we may thrust it straigt into the heart of a Daedric Prince."
Lyris Titanborn: "Sai Sahan is right. You are the member that we should have had all those years ago."
Varen Aquilarios: "It is as the Scrolls foretold. The soulless one will become the brightest of five stars, and they shall guide us to the coming dawn."
Abnur Tharn: "Oh, please. You melodramatic sots! Fine, fine. If seeing one of your foolish prophecies come true will help to ensure the safety of the Empire, I'll play along."
Sai Sahan: "We stand united once more―the Five Companions are reforged, and together we will strike down the God of Schemes!"
Lyris Titanborn: "Come here, my friend. I've got a few things I want to say before you go."

The Price of Divine PowerEdit

Abnur Tharn: "Of course it is. The fact of the matter stands, however. One of the Five will need to give their life to fuel this attack, when the time comes."
Lyris Titanborn: "So you said before the Vestige arrived. And I've already thought over it. I'll do it."
Sai Sahan: "Snow Lily, no! You should not need to give your life this way. This is my duty―penance for my numerous failures. This is my chance to make things right."
Varen Aquilarios: "The Scrolls said nothing of this moment, and so I am not bound to their dictates. Vestige, I ask that you let me do this one thing. All that has happened was because of my hubris. I shall be the one."
Lyris Titanborn: "Sire, you've done enough. This was Mannimarco's doing, not yours."
Abnur Tharn: "As the one who will fight the Daedric Prince, the Vestige should decide."
Lyris Titanborn: "I don't see you leaping to volunteer, Tharn. Saving your own backside again?"
Abnur Tharn: "Hard as it may be, Lyris, don't be an idiot. I am the only one who knows the ritual and we don't have time to teach anyone else."
Varen Aquilarios: "That's enough. It won't be decided here and now. Vestige, come here. I have some final words for you."

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Varen has a nephew, Count Carolus Aquilarios, who viewed him as a role model and wrote Count's Correspondence directed towards him. He does not know of Varen's fate, implying that Varen hasn't contacted him despite already remembering his identity.
  • Out of all 15,000+ NPCs, Varen's character ID is 1.
  • The Prophet is currently the only character from the main quest to appear in a DLC.
  • Varen is voiced by Michael Gambon, best known for playing the role of Professor Dumbledore in the 3rd - 8th Harry Potter films.
  • When the Vestige escapes Coldharbour and talks to Varen, he is voiced by Jim Cummings (only for that conversation). This is likely a placeholder as Zenimax had to edit the dialogue at the last minute before the game launched to fit in with the redesigned tutorial.
    • As of Update 7, this conversation is now voiced by Michael Gambon.

AppearancesEdit

References

Notice: The following are unlicensed references. They are not copyrighted by a ZeniMax Media company, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.
  1. Special ZOS Loremaster Interview with Lawrence Schick ― ESO-RP Podcast, OP-Cast
Emperor of Cyrodiil
Leovic 2E 5762E 579 Clivia Tharn