So we’re going to do things a little differently starting this week. Given the immense popularity and response we’ve received from Lou’s excellent lore feature on the show, aka “Loremaster on Ice”, it has been requested by fans and staff members alike to have a similar lore feature on our site. And so, I happily volunteered for this awesome opportunity. The goal is to bring you, our loyal fans, some of the rich lore from The Elder Scrolls every week. And so, without further ado, I present to you this week’s segment – Talos!
Full thanks and huge shoutout to UESP for their enormous wealth of knowledge. This author stands humbly in your presence.
Many of you have heard the name, and no doubt know exactly who he is. He is considered the greatest divine by many, myself included. In fact, to my knowledge, he is the only human to take up the mantle of a god. But, why did this happen? Who was the man who became a god?
(Source: Oblivion Power.de)
Yes, before he was a Divine, he was a man. Born a Nord in the northern, now frozen continent Atmora 2E 828, the young Talos ventured to Skyrim to begin his schooling. By allying himself with the undead Wulfharth, the Ash-King from Sovngarde, he learned the ways of the Voice and studied warfare and combat. As a young man at the age of 20, he led the attack during the invasion of Old Hrol’dan. Does that location sound familiar? Well, it should because it still exists in Skyrim today. Just start walking along the road to Markarth from Whiterun and you’ll see it just off the road (also the location of a sweet quest).
After meeting with the Greybeards and learning of his destiny, Talos traveled south to Cyrodiil. Joining the military under Emperor Cuhlecain, Talos became the General of the Colovian Estate where he took the name, Tiber Septim. As General, he marched his forces to Sancre Tor, a large fort north of Chorrol, where he was met with the combined forces from Skyrim and High Rock. However, upon hearing Talos use the mighty Thu’um, the Skyrim forces quickly sided with him.
Sancre Tor (Source: Elder Scrolls Wiki)
Things weren’t always so easy for the general. His throat was slit by a Breton assassin in 2E 854 – the same assassin who took the life of Emperor Cuhlecain. No longer able to Shout, Talos continued to command his forces in a campaign to unite Tamriel under a single empire in what became knows as the Tiber Wars.
In this bloody campaign, many lands were conquered, but nowhere did Talos face fiercer opposition than he did in Hammerfell, home of the Redguards. Already weakened internally due to the death of their ill king, the Redguards were bitterly fighting each other over the right to rule. The faction loyal to the deceased king, the Crowns, supported the king’s son’s claim to the throne. The rebellious faction, the Forebears, staunchly opposed such rule. So when Talos invaded, the Forebears signed a pact with the general conceding territory to him in exchange for support against the Crowns. As a result, the Crowns were beaten back, culminating in the Battle of Stros M’Kai in 2E 384. So fierce was this battle that General Talos had to call in aid from his dragon, Nafaalilargus. After much bloodshed, the battle was won, and Hammerfell was his.
(Source: Elder Scrolls Wiki)
Much later, Talos finally made peace with the Tribunal and accepted Numidium, the golem constructed by Dwemer priest Kagrenac. However, little did he realize that these acts were seen as a betrayal by Wulfharth, his oldest ally. With the help of battlemage Zurin Arctus, he ambushed Wulfharth and soul-trapped him, creating a replacement for the Heart of Lorkhan (necessary to activate Numidium, thus causing the disappearance of the Dwemer). In his last dying breath, Wulfharth killed Zurin Arctus, only to reanimate him as a lich much later.
At this point, you might be thinking, “What does this have to do with Tiber Septim?” Funny you should ask. Because Wulfharth was soul-trapped, and because he reanimated Zurin Arctus, this led to what is known as the Warp in the West, or the Apotheosis of Tiber Septim as a god. With this theory, all three individuals, Wulfharth, Zurin Arctus, and Tiber Septim can no longer be considered separate beings. Rather, they must now be considered as a single entity, colloquially knows as Talos the Divine.
And there you have it, Talos and Tiber Septim in a nutshell. His lineage, known as the Septim lineage, continued throughout history until Martin Septim’s death in 3E 433. Due to his 81 year rule and accomplishments, he is considered the greatest emperor in the history of Tamriel. Phillip G.
And so, that concludes the tale of the Mighty Talos, greatest of the Nine. Hope you guys enjoyed reading this new segment as much as I did writing it. Stay tuned for more next week. And remember, tune in to Elder Scrolls Off The Record to hear more great lore from Lou “The Loremaster On Ice” Olan every Thursday.
Shadow hide you.