|Envoy-Scholar Flaccus Terentius|
Flaccus Terentius was an Imperial painter from Bravil who served as Envoy-Scholar of the Empress Regent Clivia Tharn from 2E 578 to his death in 2E 581. He partook in an ill-fated journey across Tamriel to compile The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel, but was corrupted by the necromantic magic of Mannimarco and eventually died. His soul was subsequently trapped in Coldharbour.
Flaccus was born into the Terentius family of Bravil, a noble house that had fallen on hard times. His cousins joined the Imperial Legion, while he sought a living as a freelance painter, depicting the rolling hills of the Heartlands. Despite this, he was well-educated and received an Imperial scholarship. He was of slight build, but proficient with a bow. Discontent with painting lewd portraits for the local bawdy house, he set out for the Imperial City to make his fortune. Hoping that his talent would be recognized, he instead was forced to paint the portraits of merchants and lesser nobles to scrape by. During this time, he became smitten with a noblewoman named Honoria Lucasta, whom he hoped to court. In 2E 578, he went to the White-Gold Tower to seek the patronage of Chancellor Abnur Tharn.
Instead of commissioning a painting, Tharn instead appointed him the next Curator of Art in the Imperial Library, to replace Dame Agrippa Gallus after her retirement. This position meant that Terentius would be working for Councilor Pheomus Lucasta, the father of Honoria. While he waited for Gallus' approaching retirement, Terentius was charged with revising The Emperor's Guide to Tamriel, an outdated guide book commissioned by Emperor Leovic in 2E 573. He was appointed Envoy-Scholar to the Empress Regent, and was promised Honoria's hand in marriage should he complete the task. He began work on The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel on the 6th of Rain's Hand 2E 578, determined to bring honor and prosperity back to the family Terentius.
Journey Throughout Tamriel
Terentius first set out for the city of Wayrest aboard a Gold Coast Trading Company ship. After gaining a brief audience with High King Emeric, he traveled throughout Stormhaven, Rivenspire and Glenumbra. Along the way he encountered the Spirit Wardens of Pariah Abbey, the city of Shornhelm, the cemetery of Cath Bedraud, the witches of the Beldama Wyrd Tree, and an elderly tinker who transformed into a werewolf before giving chase. Terentius eventually arrived in the city of Daggerfall, only to be kidnapped by the necromancer Uwafa, who attempted to sacrifice him to Mannimarco on behalf of the Order of the Black Worm.
Following his escape, Terentius quickly departed the city for Sentinel, where he gained an audience with King Fahara'jad and attended the handfasting ceremony of Princess Lakana. Following the ceremony, he was confronted by Knight Agent Maximian Memmius, who was under the impression that Terentius was supposed to be gathering intelligence on the Daggerfall Covenant rather than writing a travel guide. It was as he wandered the city docks that Terentius spotted Uwafa and attempted to give chase, only to be led astray and knocked unconscious. When he awoke, Uwafa had brought him to a dark crypt for ritual sacrifice. Terentius' chest was branded with the Mark of the Worm using a cold poker, but he was rescued by the Ash'abah before he could be killed. He then journeyed deep into the Alik'r with the Ash'abah, visiting Bergama and Tu'whacca's Throne. At the Throne, Terentius accidentally disturbed the spirit of Ra Boshek, forcing the Ash'abah to retreat to nearby Leki's Blade to fight his mummy. However, his unsanctified contact with the revenant led to his exile from the tribe, and Terentius was forced to pay his way back to the coast and take a ferry to Evermore.
After disembarking early to treat his brand, Terentius wandered the wilds of northern Bangkorai before arriving at Evermore. He gained audience with King Eamond, Queen Arzhela, and the visiting King Kurog of Orsinium. Along with the young Prince Edrien, Kurog offered Terentius a place in his caravan, which duly departed for Wrothgar. The caravan briefly visited Murtag before being set upon by Reachmen, forcing the survivors to flee towards Orsinium and abandoning Terentius to the raiders. In return for a promise to paint the Despot of Markarth, he was spared the fate of his fellow captives, who were released and hunted by the Reachmen to honor Hircine. After arriving in Markarth, Terentius met Mannimarco and Javad Tharn, before being brought down into Nchuand-Zel to be sacrificed to Molag Bal. There he was tortured and harried by Daedra until the arrival of Vanus Galerion, who had entered Markarth to hunt down Mannimarco. Galerion swiftly killed Terentius' tormentors before tampering with his guide and teleporting them safely away to Windhelm.
After arriving in Windhelm, Terentius met with Jorunn the Skald-King and Lawthane Mera Stormcloak. He spent several days making merry in the city, and went on a hunting trip into the Velothi Mountains with Holgunn One-Eye and his band. The hunting party visited Skuldafn and the hot springs of central Eastmarch before Terentius became separated from them in the thermal mist. He soon bumped into a group of Companions, who led him south to Fallowstone Hall. After a night in the hall, he awoke abandoned outside the gates of Riften and boarded a mead caravan headed for Mournhold. He passed through Fort Virak and Kragenmoor before finally arriving at the capital of the Ebonheart Pact.
After accidentally being led to the hidden base of a group of Imperial spies from Kvatch, Terentius was taken into custody by the Hands of Almalexia. However, he was quickly acquitted after the Hands read his journal, and was given an audience with an apologetic Almalexia. Magistrix Urili Vox was charged with acting as his guide, and traveled with him throughout Deshaan, introducing him to a tribe of Ashlanders and showing him the rich farms and kwama mines of the region. He was then escorted south towards Stormhold.
In Stormhold Terentius met with Vicecanon Heita-Meen, and was given a guide to travel with him throughout Shadowfen. However, he became separated and was taken back to Stormhold by Shadowscales. He then headed towards Blackwood, and crossed Niben Bay aboard a ferry before arriving in Riverhold. He traveled with a Khajiit caravan to the city of Dune, and accidentally ended up fighting in the Thizzrini Arena. The apologetic Khajiit subsequently invited him to a feast, where he met Telenger the Artificer and brokered passage to Auridon by way of the port at Arenthia.
Telengar's Swan Ship docked at Firsthold just before the arrival of Ayrenn, who was returning to the Summerset Isles to claim the throne following the death of her father Hidellith. Terentius took part in the festivities surrounding her return, before drunkenly following Telengar and Falarel the Jester into a crypt beneath Castle Rilis, only to encounter the angry ghost of High Kinlord Rilis XII. He was swiftly deported from Auridon on the orders of Rilis XIII for desecrating the tomb, and began to be haunted by the ghost of Falarel. He arrived in Velyn Harbor on the coast of Valenwood, just in time for Maormer raiders to attack. In return for saving the life of Treethane Serenarth, he was escorted through the jungle to Elden Root. There, the dreams of Mannimarco and Daedra that plagued him since his branding in Hammerfell began to intensify as the ghost of Falarel continued to torment him. He sought help from a Bosmer Spinner while he waited for an Imperial envoy from Haven, but to no avail.
The nightmares soon distorted his sense of reality, leading him to the ruins of Gil-Var-Delle and filling his mind with visions of Coldharbour and a post-apocalyptic Tamriel. He began to physically fade in between the two realms during these dreams, once encountering the wizard Malkur Valos briefly in Coldharbour. The Soul Shriven guided him throughout the realm, showing him the cruelties of their Dremora overlords and the imprisonment of Lyris Titanborn. In his waking hours, the cuts he received at Markarth began to reopen and bubble, and he continued to work on his notebooks to stave off the growing madness. He took accounts of the various Daedra, and of visions he received of the destruction of Gil-Var-Delle in the late First Era. His dreams prophesied the coming Alliance War, the sacking of Bravil, Dark Anchors falling all across Cyrodiil, and Daedric Titans being unleashed on Nirn for the first time in the skies above the Imperial City. Terentius eventually died in a hut in Gil-Var-Delle, his soul claimed by Molag Bal, leaving nothing behind but his notes and paintings.
His work was discovered on the 19th of Last Seed 2E 581 by Mactator Caprenius, a courier of the Fourth Legion who was sent to Elden Root to find him. It was forwarded to Abnur Tharn and the Imperial Geographic Society for publication. Later that year, a group of warriors who were traversing Tamriel encountered the ghost of Terentius in the wilderness of the Summerset Isles. One of the warriors, Ingjard Stone-Hand, recognized him from the hunting trip in the Velothi Mountains with Holgunn One-Eye. Upon learning that the group could do nothing to save him, the ghost flew into a rage, until something pulled on his manacles and dragged him back to Coldharbour.
It can be assumed that Terentius' soul was freed after Molag Bal was banished to the Void by the Vestige in 2E 582, putting an end to the Planemeld. The family Terentius went on to earn the title of Count Bravil, with Count Regulus Terentius reigning during the time of the Oblivion Crisis.
- Despite his appointment as Envoy-Scholar of the Empress Regent being dated to 2E 578, Clivia Tharn only claimed the title of Empress Regent in 2E 579.