Source: Elder Scrolls Wiki
This tiny little amulet caused me great pain while I was playing Oblivion. In fact, in my first play-through, I hadn’t even given the amulet to Jauffre in Weynon Priory after more than 110 hours into the game. As soon as I returned it, well, you know the rest. Daedra come out, pillage Cyrodiil, and Martin Septim saves the day. But, during all that time, I always wondered, what exactly was this little amulet I was tasked to deliver? Why was it so important? What is the story behind the curious Amulet of Kings?
So what exactly is this thing? The Amulet of Kings, or Chim-el Adabal as it’s also known, was an amulet traditionally worn by the emperors of Cyrodiil. It is recognized by its large red diamond adorning the center, surrounded by eight smaller gems, each signifying one of the Eight Divines. In fact, the red diamond became the symbol for the Tamrielic Empire and was also a royal seal for the Septim Dynasty.
(Source: Elder Scrolls Wiki)
Where exactly did this thing come from? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but like all things of legend, there are many theories. I tend to believe the Alessian origin because it’s pretty awesome. Long ago in 1E, the Ayleids, an ancient Mer race who worshipped Daedra, enslaved humans in Cyrodiil. Naturally, the slaves, tired of their subjugation, rose up in revolt. Led by a woman named Alessia, they rebelled in an attempt to overthrow their oppressors.
Now, unlike the Ayleids, Alessia worshiped the Aedra, specifically Akatosh. Legend goes that when Akatosh saw what Alessia was doing, he bestowed her with his own blood, forging a covenant with her. Obviously, her rebellion was successful as she began the Alessian Empire. When she died, Shezzar (or Lorkhan) placed her soul into one of the gems of the amulet. With this theory, only blood-relatives of Alessia can wear the pendant.
The Province of Cyrodiil – Named after Reman Cyrodiil
(Source: Imperial Library)
However things weren’t always so rosy for the Amulet of Kings. It was lost briefly after the Alessian Empire broke apart. King Hrol, who we know little about, eventually tracked its whereabouts to the Spirit of Saint Alessia who was actually wearing the amulet. They talked and, um – for the sake of keeping this PG – “played scrabble”. According to legend, a hill rose on the spot of their “scrabbling”, and soon a child was born wearing the amulet. Just who was this child, you ask? Reman Cyrodiil. Yeah, that Reman Cyrodiil.
As he grew into adulthood, he introduced the now traditional Dragonfires ritual for the coronation of any new emperor. As part of the ritual, the soul of each emperor is spiritually tied to the Amulet of Kings. The newly coronated emperor then travels to the Temple of the One and lights the Dragonfires which burn until his death.
Temple of the One (Source: Oblivion Nexus)
This brings us neatly to the Oblivion Crisis. During this crisis, the Champion of Cyrodiil recovered the amulet from Uriel Septim moments before his demise at the hands of the Mythic Dawn. Just before he was slain, Emperor Septim told the Champion to seek out Jauffre and “close shut the jaws of Oblivion”.
After bring the amulet to Jauffre, the Champion was told to find Martin. Upon finding him and escorting him back to Jauffre, the amulet was stolen by the Mythic Dawn. Thus began the wild goose chase to recover the amulet. After much ado, the amulet was recovered and Martin’s Dragonfires ritual was set to begin.
Alas, word of Mehrunes Dagon’s attack on the Imperial City was heard and so all rushed to attempt rescue. The Champion and Martin fought their way to the Temple of the One where Martin smashed the Amulet of Kings, thus releasing the power of the Aedra and turning him into a dragon in the process. Bravely, he fought and defeated Dagon before succumbing to his wounds.
And with that, the Amulet of Kings was no more. Nearly four thousand years of existence came to a valiant end on that day, but what an end! As I said, it’s a curious little amulet that has a pretty intriguing history. I never wanted to give it up when playing Oblivion, even though I knew it wasn’t mine by birth right.
I hope you guys enjoyed this piece of lore. As always, stay tuned to Elder Scrolls off the Record every Thursday to hear more great lore from Lou “the Loremaster on Ice” Olan.
Shadow hide you.