|Appears in||Morrowind, Legends|
Crassius Curio, who called himself "Uncle Crassius", was an eccentric and lecherous Imperial noble who operated as a Councilor of the Great House Hlaalu. He was best known for his erotic play, The Lusty Argonian Maid.
Influence In House Hlaalu
- "Come on, dumpling, don't be shy. Just do this one little favor for Uncle Crassius."
Prior to his ascent through House Hlaalu's ranks, Curio was near destitution. He eventually petitioned the Arano family seeking shelter, expecting to be turned away. Instead, he was offered a place to stay within their home. He would eventually work his way up the ranks of the Great House, and by 3E 427, Crassius Curio had become a Councilor.
As a councilor, he used his position to indulge his sexuality, calling himself "Uncle Crassius" and others dumplings. During the Nerevarine's quest to be named Hortator, he demanded a kiss to be convinced to name them Hortator. Despite his immoral sexual behavior, he was one of two councilors of House Hlaalu who did not associate with the criminal organization the Camonna Tong, who were associated with the four other councilors.
The Lusty Argonian Maid
- "It's going to be fabulous, my little sweetroll. "The Lusty Argonian Maid" will stir the soul, touch the heart, and rouse the...masses from their slumber."
In his spare time, he pursued his love of the arts, which he was considered a great patron of, and would commission some artists to do murals for him. Curio was also a writer, having written the plays such as the well received The Dance Of The Three-Legged Guar. In 3E 427, Crassius was working on a raunchy play known as The Lusty Argonian Maid, centering around an Argonian maid named Lifts-Her-Tail and her Imperial master Crantius Colto—who shared many characteristics with his author. Due to its sexual nature, Curio had trouble finding actors for the play. He finally selected Marcel Maurard, a horrible actor who was on down his luck and agreed to do the work. Despite its lead, the play did well, and it would eventually become popular. It had captured a Tamriel-wide audience ranging from men and mer all the way to goblin-ken. Curio gave an autographed first-edition version of the book to the Arano family as thanks for their generosity. Eventually that copy would make its way into the hands of the First Edition bookstore in the Imperial City, before it would be reclaimed by the Arano family in 4E 201, who had moved to the city of Raven Rock in Solstheim.
Crassius may have plagiarized his play from earlier works. During the Interregnum of the Second Era, Telenger the Artificer investigated The Lusty Argonian Maid, which he found may have originated in tales told by traveling bards, each with slightly differing titles and premises, but the same structure and plot: a female innocent succumbs to the charms of a dominant, married male character. Telenger listed variants across Tamriel included the Bosmeric The Lusty Bosmeri, the Khajiiti variant may Two Moons for Sugar, the Bretonic Shornhelm's Lusty Orifice, the Redguard work The Sandy Spear of Alik'r, and the Nordic The Maiden's Tight Hold. Telenger credited the Khajiiti bard Tale-Singer with coming up with the format of a maiden with a loaf of bread who helps the male with a spear. The story would be revised over time, with certain elements added, such as the spear actually being Hircine's Spear of the Hunter. However, there is also reason to believe that the play may actually be Crassius's original work; by 2E 582, many anachronistic books had appeared across Tamriel, and Crassius's The Lusty Argonian Maid books were among the various books that were found. Thus, it is unknown if these anachronistic volumes of The Lusty Argonian Maid came first and inspired the oral traditions during the Interregnum, or if the oral traditions inspired the play.
- Aside from the ones mentioned in Telenger's book, other stories similar to Crassius' play include:
- Lifts-Her-Tail is referenced in the Argonian Crafting Motif.
- Lusty Argonian Maid Folio — Crassius Curio
- Events of the An Admiring Sponsor quest in Morrowind
- Events of the Hlaalu Hortator quest in Morrowind
- Crassius Curio's appearance in Morrowind
- Events of The Bad Actor quest in Morrowind
- Prominence of The Lusty Argonian Maid across various The Elder Scrolls games
- Events of First Edition quest in Dragonborn
- The Argonian Maid—An Oral Tradition — Telenger the Artificer
- Anachronistic Books from Shalidor's Library in ESO