Lore: Aureal

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The banner of the Aureal in Shivering Isles

The Aureal, (or Aureals) more commonly known as Golden Saints, are a Daedric race of golden-skinned humanoids, with cat-like eyes and Elven-esque styled hair. They call themselves the Aureal, and claim to be the most loyal and honorable servants of the Daedric Prince Sheogorath.[1] The name Golden Saints was given to them by "lesser beings", and conveys an elegant and benevolent figure.[2] Furthermore, their use of golden avian-themed armor and weapons augments their angelic-like appearance. Despite their name and appearance, the Aureal are a proud, arrogant race, quick to anger and cruel in their punishment. They have little love for mortals, even those that inhabit the Shivering Isles, and make no effort to hide this in their interactions.[3][2]

They are a matriarchal society, tending to look down upon all males. Even male Golden Saints consider themselves and other males to be lesser. The Aureal have a warrior-like caste system with an eight-tier hierarchy, ascending from lowest to highest in rank as follows: Auren, Auredel, Aurmok, Aurmokel, Aurig, Malaurig, Pelaurig, and Aurmazl.[1] They make up one half of Sheogorath's army, along with the Mazken. The two groups have a great rivalry, each believing they are Sheogorath's favored. The Aureal are heavily linked to Mania, and act as its policemen. In times of war, they are placed under the command of the Duke of Mania.[1]

Their sacred home of Brellach lies in the northern part of Mania. Within it, the Wellspring of the Aureal serves as a beacon to guide the souls of the saints lost in the Void back to the Shivering Isles. Little is known of their chaotic creatia, but their Wellspring flows with a golden liquid fitting of the saints.[4] Some Golden Saints are also said to reside in the Colored Rooms.[3]

Amber that grows in the Root Systems of the Shivering Isles is linked to the Aureal, which may be used to summon or even bind them. The most powerful among the Aureal require the usage of the rare occurring Sheogorath-Shaped Amber.[5]

As a symbol of their devotion to Sheogorath, the Aureal engrave their golden teeth with the three faces of madness, a symbol of Sheogorath's office.[6]

Crafting the avian-themed arms and armaments of the Aureal is a dangerous endeavor, as one can lose their mind making it. They are also an expensive craft, as they use gold metal as a base. As gold is far too soft on its own, multiple steps are required to strengthen them to be more nimble and harder than steel. The structure of the equipment is reinforced with refined moonstone, and then the gold is hammered into place while the gold is heated just below its melting point. Finally, a Daedra's Heart is put into the forge when the equipment is being heated, allowing them to be hammered into shape, and transforming the attributes of the metal, giving it an uncanny hardness.[7][8]

History[edit]

Interregnum[edit]

Despite the Aureal's animosity towards mortals, in an unspecified time, they took a mortal in as their own. Originally summoned to take the place of a mother who died as child birth, a Golden Saint functioned as the mother figure of a young Malkur Valos. After Malkur's father died in a mage duel, the Golden Saint was no longer bound to the conjuration spell. However, believing heavily in the steadfast principles of honor and duty, the committed Golden Saint took Malkur to the Shivering Isles to continue raising him there. Malkur began training there under the saints, gaining talent, honor, and innovation which would attract the likes of even Vanus Galerion. Thanks to their guidance, Malkur proved to be a valuable asset during the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild's invasion of Coldharbour in 2E 582. He even participated in the final assault on the Endless Stair, helping bring an end to the Planemeld.[9]

Due to his boredom from the Three Banners War lacking sufficient carnage, Sheogorath stole Volendrung from Malacath and sent it onto Cyrodiil, hoping the resulting chaos would bring him entertainment.[10] Golden Saints were chosen as the artifact's guardians, preventing the weak and unworthy from claiming it as a prize. [11]

Third Era[edit]

One of the more notable golden saints is Staada, who is often sent into Tamriel to carry out important missions. In 3E 427, Sheogorath sent her to lead some of his other daedric servants to disturb a priestess of Azura on her secluded island in Sheogorad, but were banished by the Nerevarine.[12]

Circa 3E 433, Staada had become the stalwart commander of Brellach, but the Greymarch would lead the Aureal's home to be turned to ruin.nb1 The Wellspring of the Aureal was taken by Order, which turned the Aureal defenders to stone. Sheogorath sent his Champion to Brellach, where the hero was able to destroy the Order Crystals and rescue the Aureal. Staada would then lead the Aureal to remove any remnants of Order from their home, and would assume their normal duties afterwards.[4] The Champion earned their respect, and later their adoration when Sheogorath was freed from his curse and the Champion became the new Madgod.[4]

Fourth Era[edit]

In the 2nd of First Seed, 4E 200, the Breton mage Thoron discovered a piece of Amber shaped like the Mad God Sheogorath, which upon contact, briefly transported him into Bliss in New Sheoth, the capital of the Shivering Isles. The experience left him changed, and he desired to reconnect to the isles at any means necessary. He resorted to hiring a mage from the College of Winterhold to use the college's Atronach Forge to conduct various experiments, and his investment netted him the secrets to binding both of the Aureal and Mazken.[13] In the 4th of First Seed, 4E 200, Mania responded to Thoron's call by sending Staada, who did not take kindly to Thoron's attempt to bind her. As Staada was no ordinary Golden Saint, Thoron was unable to control her, and he was forced to flee and took up residence in the sewers beneath Solitude.[7]

Circa 16th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 200, Thoron discovered that a manifestation of the Shivering Isles had taken shape in the form of a Root Tunnel deep within Solitude's sewer system, complete with the ecosystem emulating the Isles. Additionally, he discovered that the place was once a battlefield where a conflict between the Aureal and Mazken took place. It was here where Thoron would continue his vile experiments to connect to the isles. The remains of the battlefield's conflict contained a treasure trove of daedric armaments which were used to outfit two bandit groups under Thoron's employ. These two bandit groups were hired to collect artifacts linked to the Shivering Isles. The bandit group that took the equipment of the Golden Saints and called themselves the Saints, while the group that took the equipment of the Dark Seducers called themselves the Seducers. The groups were instructed to raid the caravans of Khajiiti merchants, and on the 15th of Midyear, 4E 201, they discovered the Sword of Jyggalag.[7] Using the sword's bloodlust, he begun breaking down the barriers between the Isles and Tamriel.[14]

After the Last Dragonborn put an end to this threat by killing Thoron, Staada wrote to the Dragonborn to arrange a meeting.[15] She requested the item Thoron used as the focus of his rituals, although the details of this proposed exchange are unknown. Indeed, it is unknown if the Dragonborn made any trade at all with Staada, or whether they instead chose to bind and summon her using powerful Conjuration magic.[16] Regardless, the hero recovered the journal containing the secrets to bind both Aureal and Mazken.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • nb1If the player instead chooses to become the Duke of Mania during the Shivering Isles main quest, Syl will survive and attack the Mazken's home of Pinnacle Rock in retaliation for Thadon's death.
  • The term "Aureal" was first introduced in the Shivering Isles expansion for TES IV: Oblivion. They were referred to only as "Golden Saints" in TES III: Morrowind.
  • They are not to be confused with the Aurorans, another humanoid Daedric species with golden armor and uncommon skin tones.
  • Much like Sheogorath, Golden Saints are associated with corrupting the benevolence of the Khajiit's sacred Moon Sugar by tempting mortals to over-consume the substance.[17]

See Also[edit]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Golden Saint's information in Shivering Isles
  2. ^ a b Saints and SeducersAndoche Marie
  3. ^ a b Dialogue with Darien Gautier
  4. ^ a b c The Helpless Army quest in Shivering Isles
  5. ^ Report on Atronach Forge ExperimentsThoron
  6. ^ Golden Tooth of a Golden Saint in ESO
  7. ^ a b c Thoron's Journal — Thoron
  8. ^ Joften's Journal
  9. ^ The Nameless Mage
  10. ^ Sheogorath's dialogue in the quest Chaos Magic in ESO
  11. ^ Golden Saint's role guarding Volendrung in Cyrodiil in ESO
  12. ^ Events of Azura's Quest in Morrowind
  13. ^ Report on Atronach Forge ExperimentsThoron
  14. ^ Saints & Seducers Creation for Skyrim Special Edition
  15. ^ A Request to MeetStaada
  16. ^ Conflicting choices during Staada's Quest in Saints & Seducers
  17. ^ Pacrooti's hireling correspondence