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This article is about the historical figure. For the book, see Mannimarco, King of Worms.
|Appears in||Daggerfall, Oblivion, ESO|
Mannimarco, an Altmer lich, is the leader of the Order of the Black Worm and an enemy of the Mages Guild. He is also known as The King of Worms (also styled King of the Worms), though it is unknown whether that title is specific to him or if he holds it as the leader of his cult of necromancers. Around 3E 433, he launched an all-out attack against the Mages Guild in Cyrodiil. Though his initial attacks were successful, his cult failed to destroy the Mages Guild, and Mannimarco was killed by the Mages Guild's newest Arch-Mage with the help of the previous Arch-Mage, Hannibal Traven.
He was studying among the Psijic Order around the year 2E 230. He was said to be highly intelligent, as was his fellow student Vanus Galerion, founder of the Mages Guild. Galerion had a "light and warm" heart, while Mannimarco unsurprisingly had a "dark and cold" heart. Mannimarco used necromancy and trapped souls even while studying.
Galerion eventually confronted Mannimarco about his use of necromancy. He ignored Galerion's warning, and was exiled from Artaeum by the Order as a punishment for his dark interests. He spent the next several decades gathering followers and spreading his vile practices.
Mannimarco's evil began spreading throughout Tamriel and he gathered a following of Necromancers. He is described in a poem as "world's first of the undying liches". Considering there were other humanoid liches before him (for example the Ayleid King of Miscarcand) it is possible that "first" may be simply a poetic way to indicate he was the most important or most powerful. He lost his body and mind; he became a living, moving corpse. His blood became acid, and all manner of repulsive things happened to him.
Galerion left the Mages Guild, calling it "a morass" of political infighting and tortuous bureaucracy. Galerion attacked Mannimarco in a great battle, where he called Mannimarco "The Worm King". While it appears Mannimarco had his nickname, if in an altered form, at this point, it may be extrapolation by the author.
Mannimarco began to unleash incredibly powerful death spells. However, he felt his depraved powers fail, and the battle was won by the Guild. Approximately a thousand men total died in the battle, Galerion included, and it appeared that Mannimarco had died as well.
In 2E 579, Mannimarco was one of the original Five Companions whose goal was to find the Amulet of Kings. When they found the amulet, Mannimarco tricked them into using it to cause an event known as the Soulburst. The Soulburst would allow Molag Bal to merge Nirn into his realm of Coldharbour, forever placing it under his control. Mannimarco, however, was secretly trying to take Molag Bal's place and become a god. In 2E 582, he would go on to be defeated by the Soulless One after the Five Companions had been reformed.
The Warp in the West
Due to reports just before the event known as The Warp in the West regarding Mannimarco's growing power and machinations around Iliac Bay, it is highly suspected that he was involved in whatever phenomenon took place. In fact, that event has cast so much confusion into history that it is unknown whether there has been just one Mannimarco. There's some speculation that encounters with the King of Worms since the Warp were merely with a possessed vessel or another necromancer who took the name for effect. Some even suspect that Mannimarco ascended into godhood after the Warp. It was rumored, after the correspondence of a Worm Anchorite was circulated, that the Necromancer's Moon is the God of Worms- a heavenly body that eclipses Arkay and allows soul gems to ensnare those usually protected by the Divine. It boasted that this moon is the remnant of Mannimarco's apotheosis, and his divine form.
The Attack on the Mages Guild
Whatever occurred during The Warp in the West, a powerful necromancer calling himself Mannimarco surfaced years later during the Oblivion Crisis to stage a widespread assault on the Mages Guild in Cyrodiil. It is likely he chose this time to attack because he had a strong following (after Hannibal Traven's ban on necromancy in the Mages Guild took effect) and because he believed the Oblivion invasion would weaken and distract the Mages Guild. As noted before, this threat was eliminated personally by the Mages Guild's newest Arch-Mage and the previous Arch-Mage, Hannibal Traven.
Despite Mannimarco's great age, only a few artifacts have been identified by scholars as belonging to him.
The Bloodworm Helm is an evil trollbone helmet created by Mannimarco, the King of Worms. Although beautiful to behold, many find the artifact repulsive due to its necromantic nature. The helm grants the wearer greater skill at Conjuration, as well as the ability to turn the undead, drain the essence of enemies and summon a skeletal minion from the Soul Cairn. Mannimarco left the helm behind when he ascended to godhood during the Warp in the West.
By 3E 427 the helm had come into the possession of a Nord necromancer named Crazy Batou, who had established a lair in an ancestral tomb in the Molag Amur region of Vvardenfell. Batou was killed by the Nerevarine, who then sold the helm to Torasa Aram. Torasa put the helm on display in the Mournhold Museum of Artifacts. It was later obtained by the Mages Guild, and transported to the Arcane University in Cyrodiil for safekeeping. In 3E 433, Mannimarco returned to the affairs of mortals and attempted to destroy the Mages Guild. The Council of Mages dissolved in the ensuing attacks on the guild, and Master-Wizard Irlav Jarol took the helm to the abandoned Fort Teleman in Blackwood with a group of researchers to study the artifact in an effort to better understand how Mannimarco could be stopped. The expedition went against the advice of Arch-Mage Hannibal Traven, who feared for the group's safety. Traven was proven correct when Irlav's experiments resulted in the summoning of many dangerous Daedra; Irlav himself was slain by a hostile Dremora. The Order of the Black Worm then launched an assault on Fort Teleman to recover the artifact for Mannimarco, but they were held at bay by the Daedra. A member of the Mages Guild was sent by Traven to recover the helm, and stumbled into the ongoing battle. The mage successfully infiltrated the ruins and took the helm from Irlav's corpse. It was then brought back to the University and returned to a secure place in the Arch-Mage's Tower.
The Necromancer's Amulet (also known as the Necromancer Amulet) is a legendary artifact created by Mannimarco. In appearance it is an exquisite amulet, often with a skull emblazoned upon it. It grants the wearer magical protection equivalent to plate armor, as well as the ability to regenerate from injury, resist mundane weapons and absorb magicka. The wearer also becomes wise beyond his years and far more capable in the School of Conjuration. This comes at a price, as the amulet can drain the wearer's strength, endurance, health and stamina. The artifact is popular among both thieves and mages. The amulet is unstable in this world, and is forever doomed to fade in and out of existence, reappearing at locations distant from that of its disappearance.
The amulet was uncovered by the Eternal Champion during the Imperial Simulacrum, in either High Rock or the Summerset Isles. In the events leading up to the Warp in the West, the amulet was recovered from an ancient lich by a knightly order in the Iliac Bay area. The amulet later fell into the hands of the Underking, who promised it as a reward for any who would return the Totem of Tiber Septim to him. Due to the Warp in the West, the fate of the amulet is unknown, although it may have been given to an unknown agent of the Blades. By 3E 427, the amulet had come to be owned by Arch-Mage Trebonius Artorius of the Vvardenfell branch of the Mages Guild. It was later claimed by the Nerevarine, although the circumstances as to how Artorius lost it are contradictory, ranging from the death of all the Telvanni councilors to the Nerevarine dueling for the title of Arch-Mage.
By 3E 433, the amulet had been transported to the Arcane University in the Imperial City for safekeeping. With the return of Mannimarco after his ascent to godhood, Caranya of the Council of Mages turned traitor and took the amulet and her supporters to the abandoned Fort Ontus, where she intended to return the amulet to its creator, making Mannimarco nigh unstoppable. The Champion of Cyrodiil uncovered Caranya's treachery and killed her, returning the amulet to Arch-Mage Hannibal Traven. By 4E 201, long after the dissolution of the Mages Guild, the amulet had been discovered, and lost again, by Calixto Corrium of Windhelm after he had been driven to madness at the death of his sister Lucilla. Attempting to bring her back to life, Calixto turned to necromancy and intended to use the amulet in his experiments. The amulet was found by the Last Dragonborn, who was investigating a string of murders in the city, attributed to a serial killer called "the Butcher". The Butcher was none other than Calixto, who was eventually discovered and brought to justice.
Staff of Worms
The third known treasured artifact of Mannimarco is the Staff of Worms, a powerful and dreadful staff which will "reanimate" a corpse for thirty seconds. This animated corpse remains mute and shows only minimal intelligence, but it unswervingly follows and defends the caster.
- Arkay the Enemy by KW — Instructions for the faithful to foil Arkay
- The Black Arts On Trial by Hannibal Traven, Archmagister of the Mages Guild — A summary of the salient points of the debate which led to the resolution of the Mages Guild on the subject of Necromancy
- Mannimarco, King of Worms — Horicles
- Where Were You When the Dragon Broke? — Various
- Galerion The Mystic — Asgrim Kolsgreg
- On Artaeum — Taurce il-Anselma
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the Mountains — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Origin of the Mages Guild — The Archmage Salarth