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Popular series of computer and console RPGs produced by Bethesda Softworks. The Elder Scrolls games are set in Tamriel, a landmass roughly the size of Europe. The games are renowned for their open-ended style of gameplay, allowing the player to play as a heroic or diabolical character, to pursue the main quest with vigor or to ignore it entirely, and to gain prowess and fame through working for guilds, military legions, and the like. The games are also noted for the largeness of the game world -- Daggerfall in particular has a game world roughly the size of Great Britain, with approximately 750,000 NPCs to interact with. Though later games in the series are notably smaller, they remain much larger and more finely-detailed than the typical RPG game world.

The principal games in the Elder Scrolls series are:

  • Arena (1994). The benevolent Emperor of Tamriel, Uriel Septim VII, is secretly overthrown by his own Battlemage Jagar Tharn, who traps him in Oblivion, assumes his appearance, and reigns in his stead. However, the ghost of his late apprentice Ria Silmane teams up with a loyal Imperial guardsman (the Player Character) to fight the usurper. Together, they travel through all provinces of Tamriel to collect all pieces of the Staff of Chaos, which the PC then uses to kill Tharn and restore the rightful Emperor. The game was originally going to be about, well, arenas, but that idea was scratched in favor of adapting the developers' home-brew D&D setting, Tamriel, into a computer game. The fast-paced gladiatorial combat style remained, though, and Arena was much more action-oriented than other RPGs of the time. The game met with lackluster sales, but developed a strong enough cult fanbase to warrant a sequel.
  • Daggerfall (1996). The PC, a personal acquaintance of Uriel Septim VII, is sent to the Western province of High Rock to investigate the ghost of its former King Lysandus, who now haunts the city of Daggerfall. Cooperating with the Emperor's Blades, the PC uncovers a sinister plot to reactivate the Lost Superweapon Numidium, which was originally used to forge the Third Tamrielic Empire. Several factions in the region enter the fight for controlling the Numidium, and it depends on the PC who wins it. Also of note is the emphasis on side-quests--after seeing how much time Arena players spent on them, the designers decided to put them in the spotlight. Daggerfall featured several different factions for the player to join outside of the Main Quest, all of which will give players hundreds of hours of side-questing. It also had positively HUGE randomly generated dungeons, often "designed" in the silliest ways possible.
  • Morrowind (2002). A convict from the Imperial City Prison (the PC) is released in the North-Eastern province of Morrowind on the Emperor's direct orders. Guided by the Blades, the PC fulfills countless local prophecies and is acknowledged as the Chosen One who will save the land from the Blight (no, not that Blight). Tracing the Blight to the evil god Dagoth-Ur, the PC destroys the source of his (and other local gods') Immortality and kills him, bringing relative peace to the province. It was significantly smaller in scope than its predecessor (a "mere" 18 square miles as opposed to hundreds, and a non-infinite number of side-quests), but managed to come off as much more epic anyway due to the quality of the writing and the diverse, exotic landscapes. It's also notable for being much, much weirder than the rest of the franchise, being set in an alien landscape populated by Dunmer, dinosaurs, giant bugs, and tiny Cthulhu lookalikes.
    • Tribunal (2002). An attack by the Dark Brotherhood brings the PC to Morrowind's capital of Mournhold. After a while, the PC finds themselves at odds with the local deities and has to kill them, now that their immortality is lost.
    • Bloodmoon (2003). Arriving on a Northern island of Solstheim, the PC runs into ravaging werewolves and is soon embroiled in a ritual conducted by the Daedric Prince Hircine to determine the strongest fighter on the island. Naturally, the PC has to participate.
  • Oblivion (2006). Emperor Uriel Septim VII is assassinated by the Mythic Dawn, but not before seemingly accidentally freeing yet another convict from the Imperial City Prison (the PC). The PC then joins the Blades in their search for the last remaining heir to the Empire, Martin Septim, against the backdrop of an ongoing invasion from Oblivion by the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon, whom the Mythic Dawn worships. Eventually, the PC, Martin, and the Blades manage to repel the Daedra but... at a price. This was the first big-name RPG for the 7th generation of consoles, and made full use of the Xbox 360's and Playstation 3's technical abilities. However, some complained that it had been dumbed-down for casual gamers, what with arrows pointing to your objectives and simplified role-playing elements.
  • Skyrim (2011) Set 200 years after the Oblivion crisis when the empire Tiber Septim founded is in bad shape, being slowly picked apart by the fascistic Aldmeri Dominion through means of subterfuge, imposing treaty terms, or outright war. The PC barely survives crossing over to Skyrim after Alduin, the Nordic aspect of Akatosh, decimates a village the PC was planned to be executed at. Now with dragons appearing all over Skyrim, the PC discovers that they're the Dovahkiin (Dragonborn) and the only one able to stop Alduin from ushering The End of the World as We Know It, all in the midst of a civil war.
    • Dawnguard (2012) The Dragonborn gets involved in a conflict between an Order known as the Dawnguard and a race of vampires who wish to blot out the sun.


Bethesda has also produced several other games set in the Elder Scrolls universe which are not RPGs:

  • The Elder Scrolls Legends: Battlespire (1997), basically a long, trippy dungeon-crawl. Set during the time of Arena, and originally planned as an expansion pack for Daggerfall. A Wizarding School for Imperial Battlemages is attacked by Mehrunes Dagon, who aims to use it as a conduit for invading Tamriel. A single graduate (the PC) has to fight their way to Dagon through Oblivion, defeat him, and free their partner. It is the only game in the series to include multiplayer, though that addition proved a spectacular failure and Bethesda never tried it again. A good chunk of the information of the things known about the Daedra originate in this game.
  • The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard (1998), an action-adventure game with very few RPG elements. Some 400 years before Arena, a Redguard by the name of Cyrus travels home to find his sister missing and himself embroiled in a web of political intrigue. It was well received by critics and fans, but due to the cost of production and being built on outdated technology, it was a financial flop. The Pocket Guide to the Empire is the origin of most of the background lore on Tamriel.
  • Dawnstar (2003)
  • Stormhold (2004)
  • Shadowkey (2004)
    • These last three were released for mobile phones. Generally, only Shadowkey is considered canon.

Additionally, a "remake" of Oblivion was released for mobile phones. A PSP version was also planned and demonstrated, but is currently presumed cancelled.

There are two novels set in this universe, taking place fourty years after Oblivion. The first is entitled The Infernal City. See The Elder Scrolls Novels.

In 2004, Bethesda released the original version of Arena as a freeware download. In 2009, it was joined by Daggerfall. Bethesda refuse to provide tech support for either of these games, presumably because both of them are a bugger to get running on modern systems. And, y'know, because it's freeware that no one is actually paying for any more.

Within 2011 a rewrite of Daggerfall's game engine, known as DaggerXL, started development under an independent programmer.

Both Arena and Daggerfall run quite nicely under DOSBox, though, so grab them here (see also installation instructions) and enjoy.

Bethesda has announced a new TES MMORPG set during the Second Era, The Elder Scrolls Online.


Provides examples of: Edit

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Even when the player is famous, what he pays still largely depends on his skills. Even members of a guild a player is in will still usually charge unfair prices, though this is probably justified in that the guild has to make money somehow. But the biggest example is in the Thieves' Den DLC for Oblivion, where the player's fellow pirate underlings will give the player gold from the plunderings he didn't even participate in, but won't give up a bit of their equipment without charging more than 1.5x its value.
    • Prices are offset by disposition, though how much depends on the game.
    • Through a quirk in the coding (specifically, they lack disposition and skills, including Mercantile), creature merchants in Morrowind buy and sell items at at their base value.
    • Averted if your Personality stat and Mercentile skill are high enough: then you can buy items from a vendor, and sell them back to him for more than you bought them for. Repeatedly. Until they have no money left. Which, in later games, is impossible.
  • Affably Evil: Dagoth Ur of Morrowind. He will talk and explain all his actions before battle, and waits for the player to strike first in battle. One of his underlings will offer you a glass of fine ancient brandy and a friendly chat before the battle.
    • Most of the inhabitants in the Dark Brotherhood Cheydinhal Sanctuary in Oblivion can be quite charming.

 "Hey, I don't know who the Night Mother is, but she pays me to kill people. My own mother never loved me so much!"

  • A Homeowner Is You: Except in Arena, all games of the main series allow you to either buy or build homes. Morrowind uses them as rewards for climbing up in the hierarchy of certain factions; Daggerfall and Oblivion lets you buy them if you have enough money. Skyrim is a bit of both--Gain a good reputation with a town, and the ruler will allow you to buy a house there.
  • A God Am I: Dagoth Ur.

  What a fool you are. I'm a god! How can you kill a god?! What a grand and intoxicating innocence!

    • Almalexia is like this too (Something Vivec himself notes). Jarring in Vivec's case who is renowned to be the one least prone to those, but will give such a spiel if you confront on him on what the Tribunal has done, asking you who you are to question a god.
  • A God Is You: Specifically, at the end of Shivering Isles, Sheogorath Is You.
    • Notably averted in Morrowind. The entire plot revolves around obtaining the tools with which it's possible to achieve godhood and getting them to the source from which said godhood can be obtained. But there's no way to actually do so, the only option is to use them to release it.
    • In Skyrim you are a Dragonborn, which basically means you are born with the soul of a dragon. Dragons are the children of Akatosh, an aedra god, so you are actually one of the lower aedra. This means you are actually a demi-god in mortal form.
  • Above Good and Evil: Admittedly the series tends to Gray and Grey Morality, but special mention goes to the spirits and deities of the series, while considered variously good or evil depending on where you are and who you ask in a case of in-Universe mass Alternate Character Interpretation (see also All Myths Are True) most in-'verse scholars claim they are simply above human understanding and therefore human conceptions of moral actions. Also, see the Vivec example from the above A God Am I.
  • The Ageless: The Nerevarine becomes this, as a consequence of having Corprus but getting negative effects cured. If brought to sufficient heights of power, they can also gain enough regenerative power to leave this trope and enter another.
  • Alien Sky: Two moons and a sky full of nebulae. The two moons are the rotting corpse of a god's divinity, the nebulae are "un-stars," and the stars themselves are holes poked into the Aetherius. It may also be a case of You Cannot Grasp the True Form.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Hammerfell.
    • Well, other than some places that are desert-like but aren't what we think of deserts.
  • All Myths Are True: All myths in Tamriel's tradition, that is.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Huge, hairy three-eyed simians that regenerate remarkably quickly.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Goblins, Ogres, Minotaurs... Dremora seem to be Always Lawful Evil.
    • Falmer in Skyrim, due to a combination of the original Snow Elves being brutally driven out of Skyrim and underground by Ysgramor, and then being enslaved by the Dwemer and turned blind by being forced to eat a poisonous fungus and then being biologically altered into relying on said fungus to survive. The Falmer have since been twisted into hateful monsters who want to kill and eat anyone who isn't Falmer.
  • Always Over the Shoulder: When in third person.
  • Announcer Chatter: In the Imperial City's Arena in Oblivion.
  • Annoying Arrows: Kind of justified from a game mechanic standpoint, as everyone has health points to take damage from. Doesn't stop it from seeming odd when a particularly powerful enemy's still attacking you with 20 arrows jutting out of his chest.
  • Anachronism Stew: One of the Daedra wears a pocket watch, and Sotha Sil has an entire clockwork city thanks to the Dwemer's fascination with mechanisms.
    • Designs for architecture, fashion, armor, weapons and other items mixes elements from the Antiquity to the late Renaissance. Generally justified.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: House Dagoth, the Mythic Dawn.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: The move to full 3D for Morrowind and Oblivion allowed the player to place and move items in houses.
    • And the wonky physics system in Oblivion made it outright impossible to place more than one item anywhere in a room without knocking everything else about. Thankfully, modders came to the rescue creating mods specifically to make decorating your house easier.
    • Partially averted in Skyrim, since houses now include wall mounts and weapon racks, both of which are can be activated to display your equipped weapon- the bookcases also allow the player to stack books somewhat neatly.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Present in Oblivion. Less so in Morrowind, but still there since the AI wasn't programmed to do many specific things. Many times the wandering AI will get stuck on something or try attacking you when their friend is in their way. Can also lead to a Funny Moment or two...or three.
    • It's worth mentioning that in Morrowind, people's greetings to you would change depending on their affection to you. This sometimes leads to people breaking character.
    • Potentially justified in the Shivering Isles, where everyone's insane.
  • Artificial Stupidity:

 "I saw a mud crab the other day."

"Horrible creatures, I steer well clear of them."

"Farewell." [Turns away from other NPC and walks face-first into a wall.]

    • "Kvatch is under attack!" [Runs back in the direction of Kvatch.]
    • Non-player characters will often walk into each other, walk into walls, or walk into objects you place on the ground. In the case of the latter, they never, ever consider jumping or going around the object.
    • There's something wrong when two people are staying entirely still in one place and one of them is repeatedly saying "I don't know you, and I don't care to know you!" over and over and over. If he doesn't want to know him, why does he keep bugging him about it instead of just walking away?
    • Apparently, 99.999% of Tamriel is above the law. Guards will regularly ignore anyone who is trying to kill you and only fight back about enemies who attack them. (They do enforce assault laws in Oblivion though, gotta give them that.) Oh, and apparently, sleeping in public is a bad thing...but only if you do it.
    • Hearing "Hmm...body's still warm. Looks like there's a killer about," from a guard, in reference to the bandit/marauder/etc. That he just killed himself.
    • If you were popular enough among the masses, the citizens will rise to defend you if the guard attacks you. If the guard accepts a yield, he has a chance to attack another guard to defend the citizens.
    • In Oblivion's woods, you'll occasionally encounter two Imperial Legion Foresters attempting to kill one another and failing miserably. Lord only knows how that got started...
      • That would be because Foresters are programmed to sometimes hunt deer. Shame that deer are friendly towards soldiers, so the other sees it as an assault...
  • Artifact of Doom: Umbra, the Mantella and supposedly the Mysterium Xarxes.
  • Barrier Maiden: Martin in Oblivion is a male example . Also Vivec, Sotha Sil, and Almalexia, who power and maintain the ghost gate. Vivec (who at the time of the story is the only one actually powering the gate) is one twice, since his power also keeps the Ministry of Truth from crashing into Vvardenfall.
  • Becoming the Mask: Both played straight and inverted thanks to the act of "mantling." Not only can one become like a historical figure or god, the reverse can also happen!
  • Big Bad: According to Michael Kirkbride's C0DA, Numidium could be considered the series' final example of this in spite of its being something that doesn't believe in plans. It's because it is refutation incarnated, or the "Fuck it" in a world in which love is the answer.
  • Binding Ancient Treaty: The Bosmer and their "Green Pact".
  • Bittersweet Ending: In Oblivion Mehrunes Dagon and the Mythic Dawn cult that worships him are both defeated for good, and the gates of Oblivion are sealed forever, preventing any kind of Daedra invasion of the mortal world from ever happening again. The main hero is rejoiced across Cyrodiil as its savior and everyone rejoices. However, the disappearance of Martin Septim, Uriel Septim's bastard son, leaves the Septim line without an heir to assume the throne. Though the Elder Council may be able to keep the Empire together, it is heavily implied that the Empire is far from out of the woods. The Empire falls, Morrowind especially being mostly destroyed by Vvardenfell's eruption and wars with Skyrim and Black Marsh.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Daggerfall is quite 'black-gray'. Daggerfall's king may have helped sell-out his own father to a power-hungry lord from Wayrest, Sentinel's king and queen killed their firstborn son (by burying him alive) because he A) was constantly ill, and B) preferred scholarly pursuits over swordcraft, and Wayrest... just Wayrest. Oh, yeah, there's a quest where you kill a kid to cure yourself of Lycanthropy.
  • Blind Seer: Blindness and prophecy are two of the side effects associated with reading the titular scrolls.
  • Blood Knight: Hircine. The entire plot of Bloodmoon turns out to be a plot for him to find a worthy foe.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Aedra, Daedra, and any mortal that ascends (Tiber Septim, the Tribunal, Mannimarco, et al).
    • It's revealed in Skyrim that the Falmer, losing ground to the Nords fast, pleaded with the Dwemer for help. The Dwemer proceeded to feed them a fungus which made them blind, engineer their biology so they depended on the fungus to survive, and then keep them around as a slave race. The slaves rebelled, fighting an endless underground war against the Dwemer until they disappeared, leaving the Falmer as blind cave-dwelling beasts.
  • Bring It: The ogres in Oblivion.
  • Cain and Abel: Orvas and Vedam Dren in Morrowind.
  • Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: A metal used since Morrowind for high-quality heavy armor is called ebony, with no relation to the real-world wood.
    • Similarly, Skyrim features a solid metal called "quicksilver".
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Egregiously so in Oblivion. Morrowind was much more morally ambiguous, with even the local assassins' guild operating within legal framework and according to a strict honor code. There was also less of the trope in Skyrim -- Alduin is an example, but the secondary conflict of the civil war is much, much more ambiguous.
    • The Daedra can look like this at times -- their Blue and Orange Morality tends to focus on whatever their Sphere is... meaning Boethiah is a card-carrying betrayer, Mehrunes Dagon is a card-carrying destroyer, Molag Bal is a card-carrying enslaver/corruptor of mortals...
  • Catfolk: Khajiit.
    • Actually zigzagged at first. In Arena and Daggerfall, the playable Khajiit where a subspecies known as Ohmes-Raht Khajiit, which were basically humans with a few vague feline features. From Morrowind onwards, the dominant Khajiit sub-species has been the Suthay-Raht, which are your standard Catfolk.
  • Chaos Architecture: Geography and city layouts vary greatly between Arena and its sequels.
  • Charm Person: Several useful and valuable spells have this effect.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Averted in that the Red Mountain from Morrowind never erupts, but instead simply keeps spewing ash, which in the world serves an entirely different purpose until the book. Probably explains why the people of Morrowind have probably never seen a Pastel in their life, or anything that wasn't smeared brown.
    • By the time Skyrim rolls around, the Red Mountain has erupted, destroying most of Vvardenfell in the process, which does make the entirety of Morrowind seem like a bit of a Shaggy Dog Story. Oh, and it's implied the eruption was indirectly caused by the player's actions in Tribunal.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: "Oh, why I am just certain that Crassius Curio counts, dumpling, but it is sooooo nice to hear you say so yourself."
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Too many different combinations possible.
  • City of Canals: The city of Vivec from Morrowind.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: A side quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion concerns a Bosmer named Glarthir who is convinced that several people in town are involved in a conspiracy against him, and wants the player to help him find proof.
    • This is apparently a VERY common trait with the Dukes and Duchesses of Dementia.
  • Contemptible Cover: The promo and cover art for Arena and Daggerfall had Rob Liefeld-esque female warriors dressed in outfits that consisted solely of a few black leather straps. The modern Elder Scrolls games from Morrowind onwards have been more sensible in that regard.
  • Corrupt Church: The Tribunal Temple.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Warp of the West, most famously. Due to all of the different possible endings in Daggerfall which depended on the player's choices, the developers decided that, due to divine interference, all of the possible endings happened at once, within the same timeline. Needless to say, the world became a bit messy after that.
  • Crapsack World: Alas, what Tamriel has essentially become after the conclusion Oblivion storyline. Pretty much everyone has shared a miserable fate.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Maybe. It is possible the Khajiit have a subrace looking like common housecats. That are quite powerful spellcasters. However, the book that mentions this notes that the source of the claim is notorious for being unreliable with the truth, and that he personally doesn't believe it.
  • Cultural Posturing: the Altmer and Dunmer are particularly fond of this.
    • As of Skyrim, the Altmer have taken this up several notches. Even to other Altmer.
  • Cursed with Awesome / Blessed with Suck/ Beneficial Disease: Corprus disease renders you permanently immune to all other diseases, boosts your strength, and stops you from ever aging. On the downside, it's also The Virus, and eventually turns you into an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Vampirism. It grants players with increased speed, health, damage, etc and the ability to suck blood from people but makes them take damage it out in the sun, and so ugly that people (including quest givers) will not talk to you.
      • Morrowind and Oblivion seem to handle vampirism in different ways. While in Morrowind, you'll definitely get ostracized by virtually everybody (except the Telvanni, where you pretty much count as normal) no matter when you fed last, this is not the case in Oblivion. There, you'll just get ostracized if you haven't fed for a few days, else you usually pass for human... or at least mortal.
        • A book lampshades this, in the form of a story about a man who sought advice on how to handle vampires of different sorts; a mysteriously helpful source would educate him as to the special traits of vampires in different areas, and the man would then go destroy those vampire clans. He later gets eaten by his source, who reveals, in order, that some clans of vampires could pass for human, and then that he, himself, was one such vampire and hadn't fed in a long time.
        • The province of Morrowind has a very strong cultural bias against vampires, so no matter how human they look, they will still refuse to do anything with them.
      • Daggerfall has different vampires too. Canon justifies these discrepancies by having different types of vampires, depending on the location. There's even an in-game book on the subject, entitled Immortal Blood, and in which the plot involves surprising a vampire hunter who thought he knew enough.
    • Lycanthropy, once a night you turn into a several hundred pounds of flesh, fur, claws and teeth capable of killing even the most powerful creatures, but have to at least kill (devouring is optional depending on the game) a sentient humanoid every night or suffer crippling withdrawals when you return to normal. Skyrim also revealed that Werewolves, upon death, are kidnapped to Hircine's realm, even if they don't want to, for an eternity at Hircine's side as one of his pack hounds (which, if you're fine with all of the above, probably won't be an issue for you).
      • In addition to not receiving the well-rested bonus upon sleeping in your own bed.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Go from any installment to any other installment and you'll run into this problem, guaranteed.
    • Worst off is probably Skyrim (on the PC at least)--the Z key was the button used to pick up and move objects around in Oblivion, but was in this case remapped to trigger a shout--so there's a good chance you'll accidentally FUS RO DAH while trying to decorate your house, sending items flying every which way.
    • This was the same on the PlayStation 3 which used the R2 key to move items, also remapped to use shouts. Coupled with natural lag on the PlayStation 3 at higher levels, and the lag brought on from processing the bytes that make up the items flying around the room, this can be incredibly agonizing.
  • Darker and Edgier: Battlespire is possibly the darkest ES game, despite being only a spinoff. Unlike virtually every other game, you're utterly alone, trapped in a horrific Oblivion Realm filled with equally horrific monsters just waiting to tear you to pieces. Throughout the game, you are subjected to various nightmarish imagery, forced to fight against seemingly impossible odds as the Big Bad viciously taunts you the entire time.
  • Deader Than Dead: In Knights of the Nine, where you must kill Umaril twice, first his body and then his soul. That's after he was trapped in another dimension for centuries.
  • Dead Star Walking: Uriel Septim VII, voiced by Patrick Stewart in Oblivion.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts - Cliff Racers drove the dragons out of Morrowind despite being small annoying things that die quickly.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: The Gray Prince in Oblivion. Alduin in Skyrim.
  • Deity of Human Origin: The ALMSIVI and Talos of Atmora/Tiber Septim. Cyrodiilic legends have Arkay be one, but that probably is a misinterpretation of the actual situation.
    • Sheogorath heavily implies in Skyrim to have once been The Champion of Cyrodiil.
      • Which makes perfect sense, given the events of the Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: This is sometimes seen in the in-universe writings, as well as character interaction.
  • Deus Ex Homine - An attempt by the Dwemer to do this is how they met their end. It could also have been a success or one of the many Jerkass God in the setting killing them for their attempts.
  • Did Not Do the Research - Deliberate in-Universe use of it. In Daggerfall, many works of in-Universe fiction claim that there are negative and positive types of magic, and that the material "Ebony" is laced with the negative kind. Neither of those facts are true in-game or in-Universe, and one of the works is actually called out on it by characters.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Minor Daedra are fought and killed as regular enemies, especially in Battlespire and Oblivion. There are also several times when you get to fight and kill a physical incarnation of one of the Daedra Lords, i.e. Mehrunes Dagon in Oblivion, Hircine in the Bloodmoon expansion to Morrowind (but he is going easy on you), and Jyggalag in the Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion.
    • Averted at the end of the main storyline in Oblivion when Mehrunes Dagon himself (not an avatar, the real bloody thing) appears in the Imperial City. You can fight him, but your attacks are so utterly ineffective that he doesn't even bother countering. Cue Crowning Moment of Awesome from Martin.
    • Also averted with Sheogorath, who any attempt to attack leads to a rather spectacular and untimely death.
    • Averted again in Battlespire, where any attempt to attack Mehrunes Dagon results in instant death. Although you do banish him by striking him (once) with a sword, that's only the last of a chain of actions resulting in him getting banished (not killed).
    • Probably averted with Jyggalag, as you had the powers of Sheogorath by that point.
    • More or less played straight with Alduin in Skyrim, as he is truly supposed to be unkillable. Although by the time you fight him properly you have the heroes who banished him in the first place helping you out, so perhaps it makes sense.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the opposite direction. Azura's response to the government of a certain tribe of elves snubbing her? Give them all dark skin, strangely shaped cheekbones, and red eyes. That'll teach 'em to ignore the warnings of a Goddess. ...Weaksauce.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The fate of various characters/places from Morrowind during the Daedric invasion of Tamriel in Oblivion. Particularly annoying since it's only mentioned in a few throwaway lines from random characters.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Skooma and Greenmote. Inverted somewhat in that alcohol is worse and of negligible value, alchemic or otherwise, and the illegal drugs are very useful for alchemy.
    • In the one quest involving Felldew, it's much, much worse than alcohol. Finishing that quest renders you largely immune to it, though.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Sixth House, and also some of the Daedra, Hermaeus Mora in particular. But especially Sithis, who is the primal Is Not according to the Dark Brotherhood.
  • Elemental Crafting
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: In this universe, however, "dwarves" (Dwemer) are actually an extinct sub-species of elves (mer), the name "dwarf" being an archaeological misnomer.
  • The Empire: Played With, frequently and mercilessly. The Third Tamrielic Empire is constantly trying to centralize authority in Cyrodiil and to force Cyrodiilic law and culture on the provinces, but in many cases the "traditional customs" they're wiping away were really just an excuse for the locals to be oppressive and xenophobic. The conflict is especially played up in Morrowind and Skyrim. Oblivion presents the Empire as unambiguously good, while Redguard presents it as evil (though not entirely unambigously, given that the game ends with the main character brokering a treaty with better terms for Hammerfell's inclusion in the Empire). On the other hand, the Empire's main rival, the Aldmeri Dominion, plays the trope straight.
  • Empty Levels: In Oblivion, you can only level up three stats a level, so you'd better make sure you're getting a lot from them. That or just never go to sleep.
  • Escort Mission: A large number of them are in Morrowind. The escort usually runs about as fast as you walk, and can barely defend themselves. And the reward is usually chump change.
    • Oblivion had two of these as part of its main quest. Fortunately the escort characters were unkillable.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Although the Morag Tong in Morrowind is a guild of assassins, those assassins have very strict rules as to whom you can or cannot murder.
    • Most "evil" Guilds (such as the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood) have some sort of comradery or kinship that maintains you uphold a certain level of honor. The Big Bad of the Thieves Guild in Skyrim mocks this, as he sees no point to honor amongst thieves.
      • The Thieves Guild of Morrowind come out looking as good guys, thanks to being led by a somewhat Robin Hood-esque figure (with his own subset of 'steal this and give to this needy person' quests) and fighting against the native Camonna Tong (who are xenophobic racists as well as more murder-happy).
      • In Skyrim its revealed the Dark Brotherhood used to have standards but has degraded in that regard. The only rule they have now is if you kill a fellow guild member, you pay a 500 gold piece fine. They had even gotten in the habit of taking any jobs given to them as opposed to waiting for the Night Mother (since no one could hear her.)
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Depends on the culture. Arkay is the Cycle of Life and Death; he is one of the Divines, and rather popular in other cultures. However, the Nords vilify him as Orkey, or "Old Knocker."
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: According to the First Pocket Guide, Alinor has towers that are "designed to catch the light of the sun and break it to its component colors."
  • Evil Counterpart: The Camonna Tong to the Thieves Guild in Morrowind.
    • Amusingly, the Dark Brotherhood to the Morag Tong in the same game. Both of which are assassin guilds. Only the Morag Tong is playable, however, because the Dark Brotherhood is trying to kill you.
    • Mannimarco and his Order of the Black Worm are pretty much the Evil Counterpart for Necromancers in general. No wonder Necromancy's been banned with psychos like them around...
      • As well as to the Mages' Guild in general.
    • Also, the Aldmeri Dominion to the Cyrodillic Empire, by the time Skyrim starts.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Many, many examples. Jagar Tharn from the first game, being the most cliche example. Members of House Telvanni are encouraged to be Evil Sorcerers due to its rules about Might Makes Right and Klingon Promotion.
  • Face Heel Turn: supplemental material reveal that Black Marsh and Elsweyr, the homelands of Argonians and Khajiit, respectively, betrayed the Empire shortly after the events of Oblivion and are now openly at war with every other race.
    • Elsweyr is politically chaotic at its core (and actually fares better for it). Black Marsh's inhabitants, on the other hand, is deservedly distrustful to other races (and why not, after being enslaved). Technically, both Elsweyr and Black Marsh only seceded (the latter focusing on attacking the Dunmer), leaving the Empire open to a conflict with the Aldmeri Dominion made up by Bosmers and Altmers.
      • According to the Novels and Skyrim lore, the Argonians got much stronger by the will and leadership of their deities/creators, the Hist, to resist the Oblivion Crisis. They actually managed to drive back Mehrunes Dagon's armies back to Oblivion and close the portals. After Red Mountain's eruption the Aldmeri Dominion influenced the Argonians to attack Morrowind and get revenge over centuries of slavery and to free the remaining illegal slaves there. Their profit was the further weakening of the Empire by losing two more provinces (Elseweyr was lost some time before this) in preparation for their invasion of Cyrodiil and Hammerfall.
  • Fantastic Drug: Moon Sugar and its derivative, Skooma.
  • Fantastic Nuke: An interesting example is implied in the background lore. Apparently the Redguard's original home Yokuda was destroyed by swordsmen so good they could cut atoms using their mindblades, or the cause of Yokuda's death was natural, or the Redguards could have just been leaving a corrupt government.
  • Fantastic Racism: Practically all of the major races of Tamriel hate (or are hated by) at least one other race, usually one from a neighbouring province. During the first four games, however, they were all ruled by one big, liberal empire, which kept the worst of it at bay. The Argonians and Khajiit were among the worst victims, being enslaved by the Dunmer even though slavery in the Empire is illegal outside of Morrowind. The Empire's ongoing collapse as of Skyrim has brought it all to the fore. Now, it's the exiled Dunmer getting the short end of the stick, suffering discrimination and abuse from nationalist Nords who blame all elves for the tyranny of the Thalmor.
  • Fantastic Rank System: There's a set of ranks for each faction. The ranks for Imperial Legion and House Redoran in Morrowind are explicitly military, and they are nothing like real-world ranks, medieval or not. The Redoran ranks are, in fact, Dunmer titles of nobility, and they are also fantastic.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Changing depending on the game and/or point in history:
    • Cyrodiil, in the first Pocket Guide to the Empire and Morrowind was a mix of Rome, Japan, and possibly China, with a bit of Venice (or Tenochtitlan) added to the Imperial City. In Oblivion, they turned into a Medieval European Fantasy with only a trace amount of Latin influence remaining. In Skyrim, they are a mix of Italy (many of them having Italian names) and the Roman Empire.
    • The Nords have much Norse influence, along with a vaguely Scottish axis of politics, and some Saxon organization of nobility. Their ancient culture also has a lot of ancient Egyptian influence, with sarcophagus and mummies. Alduin destroying the kalpa for the next is loosely inspired by Hinduism.
    • High Rock, depending on the region, either has French or English influence.
    • Morrowind is Mesopotamia with a hodgepodge of other influences sprinkled in, with the Ashlanders having some Mongolian influence.
    • The Blades are an interesting cross between Japanese samurai and medieval knights. On the Japanese side, they use katanas, and Cloud Ruler Temple has some very Japanese architecture. However, their language and organization has much more in common with European knights. Their armor is based off of the Roman Lorica Segmentata, with a Greek Illyrian helm.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The Dwemer had Humongous Mecha durable enough to function after 3,000 years of neglect and the power to mess up the fabric of reality, but never invented the musket.
    • Gunpowder and cannons exists canonically (or is it cannonically?) but is never seen in-game.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The Altmeri Dominion believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind, keeps the mer trapped in the normal world.
    • To the point that they're attempting to destroy the ENTIRE mortal plane.
  • Fictional Document: Hundreds of them, most all of which the player can read in-game. All of them are also written by authors of varying (non-zero) bias and knowledge levels.
  • Final Death: Apparently, Tamriel has every form of magic except resurrection.
  • Flavor Text: each games offer a lot of it, and in many forms.
  • Foreshadowing: In Morrowind, the first thing you hear, even before the main menu appears, is the deep rumble of a beating heart. The rhythm continues throughout the whole piece, and, as the music plays during regular gameplay, permeates the entire island of Vvardenfell.
  • Freeware Games: Arena and Daggerfall have been released as freeware on the Bethesda website - despite being glitchy and having the devs deny it would ever be re-released. They're still unplayable on modern systems without Dosbox (which is included in most of the file bundles), however.
  • Fungus Humongous: Vvardenfell and the Shivering Isles are covered in giant mushrooms. The Telvanni wizards live in giant mushrooms and other plants.
  • Game Mod: Literally thousands of them are available on the internet.
    • Morrowind in particular has an extremely active modding community, which has improved on every facet of the game and quintupled the content of an average copy. Up to and including fixes to the Game Engine itself.
    • Oblivion has an even larger one; there are no less then FOUR overhaul mods for the game, and there are well over 15000 mods on the net.
      • To expand this to even further ridiculous levels, there is a mod that actually combines the above four overhauls into one single mega-overhaul mod. Yes, Oblivion has mods for mods.
    • Even Daggerfall had some surprisingly large mods back in the day, and you can still find some of them floating around on some of the older Elder Scrolls sites.
    • Don't forget Skyrim. Bethesda even teamed up with Valve to create a mod distribution system on Steam.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Some of the in-game books describe situations that contradict how things work in the game. In some cases the books are "in-world" fictional, so this may simply be a case of simulated Did Not Do the Research. In other cases the books did present situations that worked as they would in-game... for the game where it was first written, even as relevant game-mechanics were changed for the sequels.
  • Gender Bender: A couple of Daedra Lords seem to have trouble having only one gender, and Physical God Vivec is both a male and a female. Once he even had kids with a rapist god. The tale of this includes a part where they compare the size of their "spears".)
    • It's Lampshaded by the Dissident Priests in Morrowind that Vivec just made most of that stuff up in order to appear more divine than "Some guy who stole his Godhood while betraying his friend". There are even some holes in his story, such as the aforementioned "Having kids with Molag Bal" as Daedra can't create life.
      • As if the story wasn't (purposefully) ambiguous enough, you can be sent on a quest by Molag Bal himself to banish a daughter of his back to his realm.
    • Also, the Argonians. They're sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they can switch genders (Supposedly. The evidence is very loose and small). The time spent as either male or female is called a "life-phase".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The first two games in the series, Arena and Daggerfall, had no censorship issue at all. Daggerfall had a surprisingly high amount of soft nudity in the game, even by 1996-97 standards and even had a biography with an extremely graphic sex scene. (The "star" of said scene has a quest for you to steal the manuscript from this particular book of the series to prevent it from being published. You will not find it anywhere else. In Morrowind, the book can be found but with the scene removed and a comment explaining it was edited at the behest of the Temple.) One of the (optional) Wayrest plotlines has you blackmail a prominent local lord with a letter showing that he's VERY CLOSE to his sister. Who's married. However, with computer games becoming more scrutinized, the supposedly libertine Dunmer, according to Daggerfall books, became very prudish in Morrowind. But censorship doesn't get everything.
    • Metaphysical mumbo-jumbo is boring, right? Nobody will ever read the obscure and confusing Lessons of Vivec. Sermon 14 of the series describe an orgy that happened when Vivec decided to teach "the ways of belly-magic" to the "King of Rape". There was much "biting of spears" and "piercing of the second aperture".
    • One alchemist in Oblivion asks you about the punishment for necrophilia in Cyrodiil. "No reason, just curious." She'll be very happy if you tell her it's just a fine, even for repeated offenses. (Note that the alchemist was a Dunmer from Vvardenfell, where religious law gives any tampering with the remains of the deceased an extremely harsh sentence.)
    • Moon Sugar and Skooma are Fantastic Drugs. 95% of Morrowind's vendors would not even deal with you if you had them in your inventory (although you could simply drop it on the floor and nobody would say anything).
    • It's quite obvious what Mirabelle Monet in Anvil gets up to behind closed doors. She even says that the beds in her inn are reserved for seamen.
    • And of course, everyone's favorite play, "The Lusty Argonian Maid".
      • And now Skyrim adds "The Lusty Argonian Maid, v2" in addition to the original still in the game.
  • Germans Love David Hasslehof: The series is huge in Japan.
  • Go Mad From the Revelation: Almalexia does not take the loss of her godhood well in Tribunal.
    • Those who are able to read the eponymous Elder Scrolls the way they were meant to be read, but lack the special mental training to keep things under control or who lack some special trait like being the Dovahkiin and thus having a soul outside time, will go quite mad. Another effect is being struck blind; training just decides when and how long it persists (and it can be permanent). It's said that even people who study the nature of the Scrolls, not the Scrolls themselves, go insane with almost monotonous regularity.
    • The Moth Priests, who do have both the reading skills and mental control, are still a little bit off. Every one of them loses their sight with time.
  • Gravity Barrier: Attempted in Oblivion, but imperfect because of all the glitches that game had. There was a back-up Invisible Wall behind the barrier.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: Every game has various factions struggling against each other, but there is almost never a "right" side in any conflict. You can usually choose a side or remain neutral.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Poor Martin. His sacrifice will be a footnote.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Ascadian Isles in Morrowind, with no real enemies other than sick animals at most; also subverted in the monster-ridden, Daedric ruin-dotted Grazelands.
  • Guarding the Portal: The Oblivion gates.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Averted. Almost all the major races descend from one ancient race from the Dawn era, so they're largely compatible with each other genetically. In fact, one race of Men, the Bretons, are descended from a host of human/elf mongrels born to Elven lords and human concubines, and eventually outpopulated the purebreds in the region.
    • Also, in most cases, it's the race of the mother that determines what the child will be.
  • Hammerspace: The Bound Item spells basically consist on pulling an Infinity+1 Sword (or axe or mace or bow or dagger or suit of armour) from Hammerspace.
    • The only real limit on what you can carry is your Strength attribute. The PC can also carry multiple heavy weapons, suits of armour, literally enough food to feed an army, a library's worth of books and magic scrolls, millions of (effectively weightless) seperate coins, hundreds of arrows, bolts, throwing knives and ammunition, dozens and dozens of sets of clothing, hundreds of potions, and many, many more items.
  • Handicapped Badass: The Moth Priests, who are blind from reading the Elder Scrolls but are all the more powerful for it.
  • Healing Shiv: The Dagger of Friendship and Truncheon of Submission.
  • Hegemonic Empire: Tamriel, while initially forged with the iron fists of Imperial Legions, is held together only through massive schemes of the last Emperor. It finally falls apart prior to the fifth game.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Martin in Oblivion.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Lynda Carter has been a regular VA since Morrowind.
  • Hide Your Children: Every installment except for Daggerfall and Skyrim. Daggerfall also provided the image on the Hide Your Children page.
  • The High Queen: Azura and Almalexia, both heavily deconstructed.
    • Even before those two, it was heavily subverted and deconstructed in Barenziah's unofficial biography.
  • Hit and Run Tactics: On the highest difficulty, this is possibly your best bet in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Screw the heavy armour and sword, normal clothes, a bow and high speed and athletics stat are your best bet for survival. Oh, and spells, for the mages out there. Of course, you then have to worry about archers and spell casters, but its better than certain death at the hands of overpowering melee opponents.
  • Humans Are Average: Averted, the three human races all are noticeably tilted to physical or magical abilities. Jack of All Stats are the Dunmer.
    • Imperials come closest to it, though. While their primary slant is social skills/swordsmanship, they don't have any particularly deficient attributes and can be perfectly functional in a nice variety of builds.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Dwemer ruins often have Steampunk mechas. There's a huge thing that serves as the sub-boss of Tribunal.
    • Numidium, the entire point of Daggerfall, though it's arguably a Physical God.
  • Hundred-Percent Heroism Rating
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: You can carry enough to supply an army.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In Morrowind, the Boots of Blinding Speed, of course!
    • In Oblivion, the Ring of Burden.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: In Morrowind, it is possible to upgrade Goldbrand - which is itself one of the hardest items to get in the game, to a superpowered version called Eltonbrand. The method of getting it is so circuitous and involved, and there are no clues to figure it out on your own - you need to look it up online. But it's DEFINITELY well worth having.
    • Then there's Trueflame and Hopesfire in Tribunal. They're fast, light, durable, capable of immense amounts of damage with minimal effort on your part, and did we mention that they're on FIRE?
  • Instant Armor: The 'Bound Armor' spells allows you to summon a full suit of Daedric Armor, to quickly de-squishify your Squishy Wizard.
    • Particularly noticeable in Oblivion, where the Daedric Cult you spend most of the main quest-line fighting, makes heavy use of Bound-spells - usually appearing as fully-armored monsters, and then disintegrating into cloaked corpses when you take them down.
  • It Got Worse: Oblivion leaves the Empire without an heir and the entire future uncertain. Between the events of Oblivion and Skyrim, the province of Morrowind is destroyed and conquered by the Argonians, the Empire collapses and a reborn unified nation of the Altmer and Bosmer ascends in opposition to what remains, a large amount of Black Marsh is ravaged by Umbriel and its undead army, the nascent nation of Orsinium is sacked by the Bretons and Redguards (AGAIN). And most of this is in the first FORTY YEARS. There's another HUNDRED AND SIXTY until Skyrim takes place. A couple of decades before Skyrim takes place, the Empire is slammed by the Great War with the Aldmerri Dominion, which ends with Hammerfell forced to secede from the Empire and the worship of Talos being banned, which leads directly to the civil war in Skyrim which threatens to shatter the entire Empire. And then in Skyrim you can weaken the Empire further (by siding with the Stormcloaks in the civil war) and/or by assassinating the current Emperor.
  • It's Probably Nothing: For something hyped so much, the AI in Oblivion is pretty stupid, dismissing arrows stuck in them as the wind.
    • This remains in Skyrim.
  • Info Dump: Morrowind has serious problems with this.
  • Just Between You and Me - Almalexia at the end of Tribunal.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas in Morrowind are only surpassed by claymores; the Orcish armour also looks very Japanese, and it's the best medium armour in the game.
    • Mostly subverted in Oblivion, though. Orcish armour now looks like stuff out of a gladiator movie, and Akaviri Katanas and Dai-Katanas are excellent starting weapons but nowhere near the cream of the crop. That said, one of the best obtainable weapons, Goldbrand, is an enchanted katana won from a Daedra Lord's quest. It's not QUITE an Infinity+1 Sword, but it's close.
  • Last of His Kind: There is one Dwemer to be found in Morrowind, but he's been horribly mutated by corprus disease and has had his lower body replaced by a mechanical spider-like contraption.
    • An Argonian in Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood is the last of the Shadowscales, Argonians born under the sign of The Shadow who are sent to the Dark Brotherhood.
  • Level Grinding: Often, skills outside of the standard combat abilities require major level grinding or obscene amounts of gold in order to increase.
    • Taken to a new extreme in Skyrim, where one can make a couple thousand "hide" items to increase their Smithing skill to 100 easily.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Imperial Guard can be outright vicious, even for minor infractions. Mostly due to AI limitations, though. The town guards of Skyrim are more lax, and will merely note "Wait, I know you" if you've committed minor crimes. Also, if you're with the Thieves Guild, you can bribe them to look the other way.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: The five major games are a shining example of this trope. Arena has a ludicrously humongous world the size of Europe, but most of the villages that are not major or plot-significant are automatically generated. Daggerfall later limted the world to only two provinces, Hammerfell and High Rock, but made the world way more detailed and less repetitive, Morrowind then scaled further down to part of the eponymous province while making every single village significant and adding all sorts of detailed features to the terrain. Oblivion, while slightly bigger by raw space than Morrowind, is less detailed, as everything is computer generated outside of towns. Skyrim is about the same size as Oblivion, but the level of detail is noticeably higher--The majority of locations, even random, out-of-the-way dungeons, will probably have some unique features or a quest.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Making a class's specialization "Combat" (and Stealth in Morrowind) wastes a good number of skills (as there is no point in multiple weapon types, making the bonus wasted), while "magic" specialization has none of the skills contradict.
  • Lizard Folk: The Argonians. Arena also had lizard men deemed too brutish to be related to the Argonians, but they have not appeared in later games.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Each game has hundreds of unique (in the loosest sense), individual characters to interact with, plus dozens more in the back story.
  • Lost Technology: Dwemer Steampunk.
  • Mad God: Sheogorath.
  • Madness Tropes: Too many of those appear in Shivering Isles (which conveniently takes place in the realm of the Mad God) to list them here individually.
  • Magic Is Mental
  • Magical Society: The Mage's Guild, which players can join. Skyrim also has the College of Winterhold.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Mehrunes Dagon, Daedra of Destruction, is usually the one ultimately behind the Big Bad's various hijinks threatening the mortal world in the various games. Specifically Arena, Battlespire and Oblivion. There's also some evidence to suggest that Man Behind The Divine Eldritch Abomination Embodiment Of Destruction Mehrunes Dagon himself is Akatosh, Chief God of the Imperial Pantheon!
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest
  • Master of None: Medium Armor in Morrowind is the worst armor type, having few obtainable sets and nothing comparable to the best options for light and heavy.
    • At least partially fixed in Tribunal, with the addition of Adamantium armor. But the sheer difficulty in obtaining a full set- you are forced to scrounge in dungeons for various 'veins' of ore surrounded by high-level monsters and then are forced to pay out the nose for each individual piece to even be MADE- means that its still not as easy to obtain as, say, Glass armor, the best light armor set. Or you could commit, you know, MURDER.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Just about any relationship between mer and man would count, but the relationship between Barenziah and Tiber Septim is a canon example (also a May-December Romance, incidentally).
  • Meaningful Name: Zurin Arctus' The Art of War Magic is, naturally, written in a style reminscient of Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
  • Metafictional Title: The series as a whole.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: Evidently Tamriel's a hybrid of Europe and America; because they not only have cacti, but nightshades growing amongst the edible ones like potatoes and tomatoes, and Corn amongst other things. See All Deserts Have Cacti.
  • The Mole: The leader of the Fighters Guild to the Camonna Tong in Morrowind.
  • Multiple Endings: Daggerfall had seven possible endings depending on your actions in the game; Morrowind takes at least five of them as Canon through some very weird retconning. The entire region Daggerfall takes place in experienced the "Warp in the West" and in the course of three days, 44 citystates become four, someone became a god, orcs joined the Empire, the Underking was laid to rest, and the Hero (you) died.
  • Murder, Inc.: A considerable number of organizations qualify, including the Morag Tong (a government-sanctioned assassin's guild in Morrowind Province) and the Dark Brotherhood (a fully criminal offshoot of the former).
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The Shivering Isles expansion.
  • Noodle Incident: The Republic of Hahd was this for the Summerset Isles and the Septim Empire.
  • Numerical Hard: Changing the difficulty slider in Oblivion only changes your damage multiplier against your enemies and your enemies' damage multiplier against you. This allows for an engine exploit on 100% difficulty, as even though you do only one-sixth base damage to your enemies and they do six times base damage to you, allies and summoned creatures do not suffer from this.
  • Obvious Beta: Daggerfall, even though several games were shipped with design flaws or glitches, Daggerfall was the worst. How bad? You could at least complete the main quest in the other games without a bug making the game unwinnable.
    • Daggerfall was also the game where one of the patches included an official tool entitled FIXSAVE.EXE which as its name implies was meant to repair errors in savegame files. Because they were too common to tell all affected players to restart the game. They also ended up publicizing some cheats, such as a dungeon teleportation spell, because the glitchy collision system in the engine tended to let people slip between the world geometry and into the void where they'd fall forever otherwise.
  • Odd Job Gods: Among the many ones in the pantheons you can find Stuhn (God of Ransom) and Malacath (Patron of the Spurned and Ostracised) and Peryite (The Daedric Taskmaster, who essentially makes sure everything that doesn't have a place in Oblivion is taken care of).
    • Malacath also happens to be the patron deity of the orcs, historically one of the most oppressed peoples in Tamriel. Additionally, as Trinimac, he was a major player in the creation of the Mundus, severing the Heart of Lorkhan. This is All In The Manual, of course.
  • Older Is Better: Ancient Elven and Dwemer gear is better than modern gear.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Mannimarco, Dagoth Ur, Mehrunes Dagon...let's just say it has its fair share and leave it at that.
  • Once an Episode: Every game except Daggerfall begins with the PC as a prisoner, and Daggerfall still has a starter dungeon.
  • Only Sane Man: Sheogorath's Chamberlain, Haskill seems to literally be the only sane man in the Shivering Isles. There is also an NPC named Uungor in Bliss who insists he is not insane, but is so obsessed with proving this and so paranoid that the other residents of the Isles are trying to drive him insane that it counts as insanity.
  • Opposite Sex Clone: Divayth Fyr's "daughters" in Morrowind.
  • Our Elves Are Better
  • Our Elves Are Different: Our Wood Elves are cannibals, our Dark Elves aren't particularly evil, our High Elves are genocidal Nazis, our Orcs are a sub-breed of Elves (Orismer) and aren't wholly evil, and see Our Dwarves Are Different below.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Daedra. Scholars in-universe don't even like the label demon, since they're really all Eldritch Abominations with Blue and Orange Morality. The things actually called demons are a race native to Akavir.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Subverted rather ingeniously. TES Dwemer actually are very dwarfy - they're reclusive, they live in underground strongholds carved into the mountains, they're superb metalsmiths and engineers, they don't get along with the (other) mer, and they have big, long beards. Bethsoft managed to keep the archetype almost completely intact, yet the way in which a simple change of the visual portrayal makes it new and unique and exciting again is quite remarkable.
    • And they're also as extinct as the dinosaurs. Despite being so much more technologically advanced than everyone else in the world, for some mysterious unexplained reason they all died out, and all the Dwemer are officially dead and gone by the time the Elder Scrolls games take place.
    • Their size is also ingeniously subverted. According to historical evidence, they were no smaller than the average Mer. The reason for their "Dwarf" name was due to giants interacting with them and viewing them as short. This eventually made it into common knowledge of all of Tamriel.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: They started out as Tolkien Orcs, but evolved into Blizzard Orcs later on.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampire characteristics vary between games, but each are consistently unique in some way.
    • More specifically, Vampire characteristics vary between region to region. To list a few, vampires in Skyrim have dens under frozen lakes, and attack their victims from under the ice (Without breaking it), vampires in Black Marsh capture victims alive and keep them in a magicka-induced coma, and vampires in Valenwood, depending on the tribe, disintegrate into mist, eat people whole, prey on children, take their place and then kill the whole family, or are indistinguishable from normal people unless seen in candlelight.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Features a variety of therianthropic creatures, including werewolves, wereboars, werecrocodiles, werelions, werebears, and even weresharks.
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: In Daggerfall, werewolves transform once a month. In Morrowind (or rather Bloodmoon), they transform every night. Both varieties have to feed (i.e. kill a sentient NPC) at least once per transformation or gradually lose health. In Skyrim, werewolves may transform once a day, and stay transformed as long as the eat NPCs. This comes at the cost of magic, healing, and the inventory system in general, while in wolf form.
  • Orwellian Editor: The name and address of the RPG Codex, one of the bigger sources of criticism of Oblivion, cannot be posted on the official forums, as the auto censor treats it as a swear word.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Sixth House.
  • Petting Zoo People: Argonians and Khajiit, Lizard Folk and Catfolk respectively. There's also a few other "animal" races in the lore, such as the ape people/Imga, monkey people/Tang Mo, fox people/lilmothiit and slugmen/Sloads, but only the Argonians and Khajiit have appeared in the main series, and the only one of the others to appear in any game are the Sloads (one can be found in Redguard, as a villain).
  • Physical God: ALMSIVI, and Dagoth Ur as well. The Daedric Lords to a certain extent. Also, the player at the end of Shivering Isle.
  • Pieta Plagiarism: A large statue in the town of Chorrol in Oblivion.
  • Plant Person: Dryads and Spriggans.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Depending on how empathic you are, normal Soul Gems can qualify for this seeing as how they use a monster's soul to power magical items. Black Soul Gems certainly fit the trope, being that they use the souls of mortal races to power magical items. Mortal souls count as Grand Souls, which can make the most powerful enchantments.
  • Powers That Be: The Daedra & The Nine Divines, Sithis may qualify too.
  • Playable Epilogue: These games do not really end until you get bored of exploring.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: With only a few exceptions, the Thieves Guild doesn't allow killing. ...It's bad for business.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Orcs/Orsimer, as well as the Redguards, although to a slightly lesser extent. Redguards usually dislike magic, with a Redguard Mage in Oblivion claiming that its common belief that "If you use magic, you're either Weak, or Wicked" in Hammerfell...There is an exception for Destruction magic though, they're a warrior culture who happens to think that more damage is a GOOD thing regardless of the source.
  • Precursors: The Ehlnofey for every race except the Argonians, which are descended from ancient sentient trees called Hist.
  • Prison Episode: These games tend to involve prison settings early on.
  • The Rashomon: The Tribunal Temple's gospels versus the Ashlanders' apocrypha versus the firsthand accounts of Vivec and Dagoth Ur...
  • Real Is Brown: Morrowind, which has a plague in the story which has robbed the countryside of all colour and replacing it with a depressing brown.
    • As with everything in Morrowind, there's a mod for that.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Response to some of the criticisms of the Argonians being plantigrade in Daggerfall, Oblivion and Skyrim. Actually...Morrowind is the most unrealistic; seeing as Reptilians and amphibians walk plantigrade in real life.
    • For those of us without a medical degree, plantigrade is walking with the foot flat against the ground as opposed to walking on the toes with the heel raised (digitgrade). The latter is used in Morrowind.
  • Reckless Sidekick, Leeroy Jenkins: The NPCs in Escort Missions, including a possible lampshading in which one of them goes charging straight into a deathtrap.
  • Recurring Riff: Starting with Morrowind, the "Elder Scrolls theme". Dun dun dun, dun dun dun, dun dun dun, da da dun dun dun...
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The Deadlands of Mehrunes Dagon (Oblivion) in Oblivion.
    • Also the skies over Red Mountain in Morrowind, especially during a particularly nasty ash storm.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Possible to avert, but difficult...Eldamil in Oblivion makes a Heel Face Turn just in time for a Mook Rush followed by a battle with The Dragon.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent:
    • Invoked to emphasize the average Tamrielic denizen's fear and hatred of the Akaviri snake-men/Tsaesci.
    • Subverted with the Argonians who, despite being long-standing victims of Fantastic Racism, are shown in-game to be no worse than the other playable races in general.
  • Running Gag: Most of the games begin with the player character imprisoned.
  • Scenery Porn: Arena not so much, but starting at Morrowind, but improving more in Oblivion, which replaces the Chocolate-stained backgrounds with lots and lots of green.
    • Daggerfall is actually pretty decent in this department by itself, using 1996-97 standards (though Morrowind and Oblivion obviously outclass it). Using the most recent versions of Dagger XL, however (which disables the distance fog and adds Bloom), you can sit on a sand dune outside of Sentinel and watch the glowing window lights of the sprawling city. It definitely gives the game an updated look.
    • Skyrim definitely ups the ante from Obivion.
  • Screw Destiny: People meant to be heroes are able to do this, up to and including out and out defying the futures predicted by the Elder Scrolls themselves.
    • The Elder Scrolls tend to write themselves as prophecied heroes left their mark on the world. Before being fixed, they're blank or ever-changing. There's also the idea that it's not so much the hero that fulfills the prophecy, but that it's the one that fulfills the prophecy that becomes the hero. Morrowind features a crypt for failed attempts.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: You are able to murder people all you want and just pay a fine for it. You can literally steal something, pay the guard to leave you alone, murder the shopkeeper, pay a fine, kill the guard (if you're lucky), pay the fine, then murder a random person on the street, pay the fine, take a nap on said street next to their corpse, then pay the fine....
    • However, you can't murder people who're important to the story: in Morrowind, you receive a message that says "You've doomed the world" and have made the game Unwinnable.
  • Screw You, Elves: Happened thousands of years before the time of the games, when an enslaved human population rebelled against their Elven masters and eventually formed their own Empire. Relations between the Human and Elven races are were better, but still somewhat strained during the Third Era. By the Fourth Era, the Altmer have taken over much of Tamriel and are doing their best to restore the pre-Empire human/elf dynamic. Needless to say, the humans are pretty pissed about this.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Daedric weapons.
  • Shoplift and Die: Any shopkeeper in the franchise fits.
    • Although with how the game is programmed and the extremely convenient locations of stealable items, it's more like "accidentally pick up a random object when trying to access the shopkeeper and die".
  • Sidequest Sidestory: The games typically have the main quest, the standalone sidequests, and major story arcs consisting of sidequests for each big faction in the setting (Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, etc.). The latter are often almost as expansive as the main quest.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Weapons made of silver are one of the few ways to hurt ghosts.
  • The Singularity: An amusing side effect of a Game Breaker in Morrowind is the ability to turn yourself into a one-man Singularity. Craft intelligence-enhancing potion. Use intelligence boost to craft better intelligence-enhancing potion. Repeat until intelligent enough to craft a weapon capable of killing the final boss in one hit.
    • Skyrim lets you do the same, though this requires two skills: alchemy and enchanting. Craft alchemy potion to improve enchanting. Use that to enchant gloves and helmet and rings and necklaces to boost alchemy. Rinse and repeat until satisfied, then use both ridiculously-boosted skills to enchant equipment to improve smithing and brew smithing-boosting potions. Go visit a blacksmith and forge an iron dagger that can one-shot the final boss.
  • Skeleton Key: The Skeleton Key artifact, an unbreakable lockpick that fortifies your "security" skill, has appeared in every main game of The Elder Scrolls series so far, as an artifact primarily associated with the Daedric Prince Nocturnal.
  • Space Compression: Averted in Arena and Daggerfall. The other games in the series, however, use this trope for good reason. (Daggerfall also has a fast travel mode...and unless you want to go crazy, you'll have to use it to get everywhere.)
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: You can use the "Bind [weapon]" spells to summon the most powerful generic equipment in the game for a while.
  • Steampunk: The Dwemer ruins.
  • Stylistic Suck: Crassius Curio's plays.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Dremora you encounter in Oblivion and Skyrim can talk in English. And they make up for their previous voicelessness with some great lines, uttered in the most over-the-top manner possible.
    • The Golden Saints also fall under this trope, since they were all silent during their debut in Morrowind, and began speaking in the Shivering Isles expansion of Oblivion.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: You can find trainers who can automatically increase your skills for money (rather than grinding). However, each skill has a trainer for each rank of experience in that skill and can only train you 5 times. If you ask for training when you're too high level then they'll say something to the effect of this trope.
  • Take That: M'aiq the Liar in Oblivion: "People always enjoy a good Fable. M'aiq has yet to find one, though. Perhaps one day."
    • M'aig returns in Skyrim, still delivering these to devs and players alike.
  • Take That, Audience!: The Daggerfall manual has this line "People who play role-playing games need more than some pretty graphics and nonstop action to whet their claymores; they want depth and character and wit and drama. They want the thickest, most involving novel that they've ever read translated to their 15" screen, with themselves as the hero. That's what I love about people who play role-playing games. They're so reasonable."
    • M'aiq, even before Oblivion was basically telling people asking for all sorts of features to implement the game to just can it.
  • Take That Us: M'aiq again, in Skyrim. "M'aiq saw a mudcrab once. Filthy things."
  • Talking Is a Free Action: In most of the games talking, lockpicking, looting and checking your inventory freezes time.
    • Lampshaded by a couple Redguard characters who say "Talk is free" in Morrowind.
    • Subverted only in Skyrim - talking does not pause the world around you. Feel free to chat about the Civil War while a dragon burns everything around you.
  • Talking to Himself: The voice actors hired have no range, and generally, two characters of the same race and gender will have the exact same voice. This can lead to something literally sounding like someone talking to himself. This can cause a pretty sharp decline in gameplay enjoyment if you're into immersion.
    • The problem was present in Morrowind, but minimized since there was so little voice acting--mostly you got sick of the same few snippets of dialogue. Things are much worse in Oblivion, as there's much more voiced dialogue, and to save money the number of voice actors for the 20 race/gender combinations was halved to ten.
      • One of the more amusing examples is an old man who asks you to find his sons and help them fight off goblins. His sons, naturally, are both males of the same race, and when you first meet them they begin holding a conversation with each other that you can listen in on. Since they're the same race and gender, they sound identical, and this is made even more strange by the fact that, unlike most NPCs (who simply have random conversations using stock greetings and responses when they run into each other), this example of an actor Talking to Himself was fully scripted.
    • As noted by Zero Punctuation, in Oblivion a single character will sometimes have two completely different voice actors. An old beggar woman on the street croaking at you for coins will switch to a far younger and less infirm woman when you actually stop to talk to her.
    • There's one Priest you can talk to who lapses into a completely different voice unlike any other found in the game for just one line, but you can still tell it's the same voice actor who does Imperial males. This gives the impression that initially, certain NPCs were supposed to have slightly different accents or pitches, but the idea was scrapped early on.
    • The entire problem was thankfully averted in Skyrim, for the most part. There are now more like four or five voice actors for each gender of each race, so you're much less likely to hear two NPCs conversing in the same voice. Nearly all of the plot-important characters also have their own voice actors whose other roles are minimal.
      • There's still a fairly limited pool (much bigger than Oblivion, but still). It's just that instead of being assigned by race and gender, they're more closely tied to age and social standing. It's also helped by the fact that there are no more random conversations, all instances of NPC chatter are scripted events that come off as more natural. Though it is noticeable that orcs, Khajiit, and Argonians are still limited to one voice actor per gender, though this is probably because they're the least common races in the game.
  • Tech Demo Game: Both Morrowind and Oblivion were the Crysis of their eras.
    • Even Arena and Daggerfall were this when they came out - both of their graphical capabilities were beyond their time. It may not seem like it since they're obviously way outdated now, but they're really great by early-mid 90's standards. (Daggerfall was a little dated; though. The developers even put in a Take That at fancy graphics in the readme.)
  • The Spymaster: Caius Cosades in Morrowind, Jauffre in Oblivion.
  • The Un-Reveal: We never find out exactly who the Night Mother really is, or what Sithis really is.
  • They Call Him "Sword": The powerful sword Umbra is cursed and tends to possess its owners, resulting in them becoming obsessed with the sword and adopting its name as their own.
  • Thieves' Guild: In Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
    • Morrowind has two, though the second one, the Cammona Tong, isn't joinable (they are a bunch of xenophobes, and you're a foreigner).
    • Mentioned by random characters in Arena, but not actually shown.
  • Third Person Person: Most of the Khajiit speak this way. Argonians also occasionally slip into this.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: The Imperial City and Vivec are each home to maybe 200 unique NPCs, while settlements like Gnaar Mok have an apparent population of about five.
    • This trope is averted in Daggerfall, where settlements are realistically sized and have appropriate populations. Of course, they're also randomly generated...with multiple citizens who are virtually clones of each other. And let's be frank - most of them aren't useful in the least bit.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The wood elves. Female bosmer are as tall as Imperials, while the males are nearly a full head-height shorter.
    • Male Golden Saints and Dark Seducers are the same height as Imperials, whereas the females are as tall as Altmer and Dremora, which are the tallest races (playable or otherwise) in Oblivion.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Mehrunes Dagon is the only Daedric Prince that can be considered evil, or at least comes the closest to being evil. Naturally, he's the main antagonist of several games, including Battelspire and Oblivion.
    • Mehrunes Dagon is one of the most malicious Daedra Princes, but not the only one. Molag Bal isn't called the King of Rape for nothing.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Mysterium Xarxes, The Oghma Infinium.
    • The eponymous Elder Scrolls themselves are these in part. Read them the right way, and you can know the future- but it will cost you your sight.
      • If you really study them closely, you'll evaporate.
  • Training Dummy: In the Fighter's Guild quarters.
  • Unique Enemy: These are liberally sprinkled throughout the games. In Oblivion there's the unicorn, the giant mudcrab, and the painted trolls who inhabit their own unique little pocket dimension that looks nothing like the rest of the game.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Most of the series lore is based on this, for several reasons.
    • The character is given a limited perspective of events before talking to the player character. An example would be someone like the Fighter's Guild Grandmaster in Oblivion, or most of the random NPCs in Morrowind.
    • The in-game book was written by a limited-perspective character. This is the most common, but also easiest to spot. For example, most accounts of Nerevar's death in Morrowind, the Commentaries in Oblivion, or also from Oblivion the "Guide to City X" books.
    • Widespread Propaganda, such as Biography of Barenziah, History of the Empire, and the Tribunal's account of what happened to Nerevar.
    • Deliberate lies and half-truths. Vivec embodies this one.
  • Unwinnable: Both forms. You could kill important NPCs and get a message saying it's unwinnable; quests could be made unwinnable due to glitches, and Daggerfall could be made completely unwinnable due to glitches that would make the main quest unwinnable.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The plot of Morrowind is possibly Azura trying to get back at the Tribunal by having the Nerevarine destroy the source of their power. Not exactly a villainous example, but still.
    • Unless, of course, you perceive what happens AFTER Morrowind as her revenge on the Dunmer for abandoning her.
    • Also pretty much the whole Main Quest of Tribunal. Though the player can be pretty aware of what he's doing, he has no choice but to go along with it.
    • Anyone who is (mis)fortunate enough to catch the attention of a Daedra, a dragon, Sithis, or any other deity. Heck, even the player character is not immune, as the Daedric Princes will typically use you to play their hands against each other and their enemies. In fact, the hero of another game series, summed it up perfectly: "What game is this, where every player on the board claims the same pawn?"
  • Useless Item: The decorative clutter which can't even be sold in unmoded Oblivion and obivously serves this purpose. Morrowind have the Feather/Burden effects, which do what they say they do (reduce/add weight carried), except that Fortify/Damage Strength is easier to obtain the basic effect for, costs the same, is more effective (5 times as much), and modifies melee damage and jumping on top of that, Oblivion tries to rectify it with premade spells being more effective in feather's favor and basing movement speed on weight carried instead of percent of encumbrance, but while no longer useless, isn't exactly useful.
  • Utility Magic: "Alteration" magic is mostly this. Spells that let you levitate, spells to make your weight limit go up, spells to open locks, provide light or walk on water; it's basically all about enhancing your mobility and your ability to explore.
  • Verbal Tic: The Argonians tend to refer to other races as 'prey', going so far as to greet you by saying things like 'the prey approaches'.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Used in-universe. In the immediate aftermath of the main quest, talking to Nords or Orcs reveals that there's already a novel chronicling you and Martin's adventure in production called The Fall of Dagon.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Tamrielic Empire, as of Skyrim.
  • Warp Whistle: Many different types in Morrowind.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: You can find dealers selling claymores, longswords and wakizashis at the same time.
    • Justified in that these weapons are actually used by a number of different cultures throughout Tamriel. Nords and Orcs tend to like Claymores, Redguards use longswords, and Wakizashi come from Akavir. There are many exceptions, but odds are SOMEONE wants to buy that Orcish Longsword and Akavir Katana.
    • Also justified in a gameplay sense, as it wouldn't make sense to program 14 different NPC's to sell each type of weapon, per city.
  • Weirdness Censor: People get stuck trying to walk through each other. Guards ignore people trying to punch you out, but when if you do it, they immediately report your crime. Guards walk away after you pay them money to go away after you murdered someone on the streets. You stick a knife into peoples' back and they just walk around like nothing happened. Guards try to murder each other and they don't mind. You wake up and there's a zombie inside your room and the person you're bunking with doesn't mind.
  • Welcome to Corneria:
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: The 36 Lessons of Vivec, from Morrowind. They are a series of 36 books, supposedly penned by the man-god himself, which are written by Michael Kirkbride. In them, he uses oodles of biblical imagery to make sure that, if you take it seriously, there is no way a person could see Vivec as anything less than the absolute god of The Elder Scrolls universe (which, of course, isn't necessarily true). Doubles with Anvilicious. Also with Tropes Are Not Bad. And don't forget Getting Crap Past the Radar since some lessons are loaded with obvious innuendo. Finally, there's a dose of In Joke too, with glitches in the Redguard engine fictionalized as natural wonders.
  • Wide Open Sandbox
  • With This Herring: One quest in Morrowind has you dispatched by Sheogorath to kill a giant bull netch using the "Fork of Horripilation", which, despite its grandiose (sounding - it means goosebumps) name, is merely a dinner fork a cursed dinner fork.
    • Mentioned again in Oblivion, in a quest where you must get the fork back from a bunch of zealots who've stolen the deified eating utensil.
  • Wizarding School: The Arcane University, The College of Winterhold, and to a lesser extent, the Mages Guild in general. The Battlespire counted too, until the events of the eponymous game.
  • Word of Dante: Bethesda Software developers have posted a number of "obscure texts" on the forums which don't appear in-game but are generally accepted as canon (or at least as canon in-universe texts).
  • Wreaking Havok: Oblivion.
  • Wutai: Though it's never shown in any of the games, Akavir, in at least architecture and art style, seems to be one with tiger people, snake people, monkey people and Ice Demons are apparently the origin of the Katana style blades in the various games. Bizarrely the Redguards (who look like Earth Humans of African decent and have a civilisation remenescent of the Middle East) had a samurai-esque class (Sword singers) that at one point had the ownership of swords restricted to them (with the really skilled even having the title "Sword Saint") on their original homeland of Yokuda (which may have been destroyed by rogue sword saints spiting an atom with their swords) .
  • Xanatos Roulette: Almalexia's plot in Tribunal.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: All the games in the main series, with the exception of Daggerfall, start with the player character as a prisoner. In Skyrim, you are about to be executed when a dragon shows up.
  • You Can't Argue with Elves and Screw You, Elves: Because of the way the story is delivered, it could go either way. Watch for Fan Dumb if you say one or the other, because the other side will come down on you.
    • Considering the actions of the Thalmor in Skyrim, many players are taking joy in attacking Altmer on sight.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: part of the enchanting system.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Some Daedra are generally seen as 'good' (for example, Azura), some are generally seen as 'bad' (for example, Mehrunes Dagon). The difference lies mainly in how compatible their specific Blue and Orange Morality is with the survival and prosperity of man and mer civilization.
    • An obvious example in Skyrim, what with the Empire viewing the Stormcloaks as vicious extremists and their leader Ulfric as a dishonorable kingslayer. The Stormcloak supporters see Ulfric as a hero, defending the Nord way of life and deserving to rule Skyrim.
      • There's also the Forsworn, who the Nords think of as wild madmen but who see themselves as fighting for the freedom of the Reach.

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