Magnus, also known as the god of magic, was a prominent et'Ada, one of the Original Spirits. During the Dawn Era, Lorkhan persuaded Magnus and several other et'Ada to help create the mortal plane, Mundus. Magnus was said to have been the architect of Mundus, as he created the schematics and diagrams needed to construct it.
As Mundus began to form, it became evident that many of the et'Ada would be required to sacrifice much of their power in order to form the mortal plane. As their aspects began to die off, many of the et'Ada vanished completely. Magnus decided to terminate the project. He fled to Aetherius in the last of Mundus' birth-pains, and his departure tore a hole which became Nirn's sun, itself known as Magnus.
The et'Ada who chose to stay became the Ehlnofey. Many other et'Ada, who became known as the Magna Ge, followed Magnus, tearing smaller holes in the sky, which became the stars.[OOG 1][OOG 2] After Magnus' departure, the et'Ada convened at the Adamantine Tower at an event known as Convention and decided to punish Lorkhan for his trickery.[OOG 3]
In the eras that followed, many Altmer and Bretons venerated Magnus as a god and he became a part of their respective pantheons. The Ayleids, masters of the arcane arts, worshiped him as the god of Sight, Light, and Insight and were known to dedicate temples in his name.
Cyrodiilic legends say Magnus can inhabit the bodies of powerful mages and lend them his power. He is also associated with Zurin Arctus, the Underking and is sometimes represented by an astrolabe, a telescope, or, more commonly, a staff. The New Life Festival, which takes place across Tamriel, was originally in celebration of Magnus.
He supposedly created and used the Staff of Magnus, one of the elder artifacts of Tamriel. Legend tells that it's the only artifact capable of containing his immense power. In time, the staff will abandon the mage who wields it before he or she becomes too powerful and upsets the mystical balance it is sworn to protect. Another artifact attributed to him is the Eye of Magnus, an ancient relic of immense power that was found buried under the Nordic city of Saarthal in the Merethic Era and later rediscovered in 4E 201.
In Cyrodiil, a magical stone, supposedly associated with a long-forgotten cult, can be found southeast of Bravil. Known as the Magnus Stone by the populace, it is said to grant a powerful blessing that bolsters the magical abilities of certain individuals.
- The Monomyth
- Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor
- Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of Shimerene
- The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec, Sermon Thirty-Three — Vivec
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our History — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Glories and Laments — Alexandre Hetrard
- Breda's dialogue in ESO
- Mirabelle Ervine's dialogue in Skyrim.
- Tamrielic Lore — Yagrum Bagarn
- Night of Tears — Dranor Seleth
- Events of Skyrim
- QUILL-WEAVE PLANS NEW 'DOOMSTONES' CYCLE - "Doomstones not Magical" Says Noted Argonian Writer
- Events of Oblivion
Note: the following references are not found in-game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.
- Cosmology, The Imperial Library
- Vehk's Book of Hours, concerning the Dragon Break.
- Nu-Mantia Intercept, Letter #4, The Imperial Library