—Zurin Arctus, the Underking
A Hero or Heroine, sometimes described as being doom-driven or referred to as a Prisoner, is a mortal blessed (and cursed, from another point of view) with a special fate and the ability to rule their own destiny. Heroes are closely related to the prophecies revealed in the Elder Scrolls, but are not bound by them. They often grow to become far more powerful than most other mortals.
The Eternal Champion, also known as Talin, was a hero born in 3E 370. They are best known for ending the Imperial Simulacrum by killing the impostor emperor Jagar Tharn in 3E 399 and rescuing the true emperor, Uriel Septim VII, and the general of the Imperial Guard, Warhaft,[nb 5] from a realm of Oblivion where they had been imprisoned for ten years. The hero was then given the title of "Eternal Champion" by the emperor himself. The Champion was also credited with obtaining several Aedric, Daedric, and mortal-made artifacts.
The Agent, born in 3E 375, was sent as an operative of the Empire to exorcise the spirit of King Lysandus, but ended up caught in the complex political battles being fought in the Iliac Bay. The Agent would eventually find himself in a power struggle between the Empire, the Orcs of Orsinium, the King of Worms Mannimarco, the various kingdoms of the region, and the mythical Underking himself, all seeking to claim the great Numidium. While it's unknown who the Agent decided to give the Numidium to, its activation would cause the Warp in the West and reshape the political landscape of Tamriel.
The Apprentice, born in 3E 372, was sent to the Battlespire in 3E 398 after placing second in a competition determining the next Imperial Guard candidates to be tested there. The Apprentice found the citadel captured by the legions of Mehrunes Dagon, and fought an army of Daedra to rescue their fellow trainee.
Cyrus the Redguard was a mercenary born in 2E 831 (or 2E 834 according to some sources). He spent the early years of his career under the pirate captain Tobias working for the Khajiit crime boss S'rathra. He returned to the island of Stros M'Kai in 2E 864 to find his missing sister, Iszara, but ended up leading his fellow Redguards in a rebellion against the Empire.
Also known as Blodskaal, Nerevar-Born-Again, Incarnate, Nerevar Reborn, Moon-and-Star Reborn, Hortator, Mourner of the Tribe Unmourned, Redeemer of the False Gods, the Nerevarine was sent to Vvardenfell as a prisoner of the Empire in 3E 427. His arrival was directly linked to a prophecy which dictated that Lord Indoril Nerevar would be reincarnated and return to Morrowind to defeat Dagoth Ur and restore the glory of Resdayn. As destiny unfolded, he battled against living gods, and then, in the frozen wastes of Solstheim, against the champions of the Daedric Prince Hircine. Rumors swirled at the end of the Third Era that the Nerevarine went on an expedition to Akavir and has not been heard from since.
Master Tunnel Rat
The Master Tunnel Rat was sent to Stormhold prison in the late Third Era circa 3E 427,[UOL 1] where they were forced to clear the underground ruins in search of crystals. They slew the Mad Warden Quintus Varus, and used the Storm Crystal to remove the evil from the mining camp.
Hero of Dawnstar
The Hero of Dawnstar arrived at the exile post of Dawnstar in the late Third Era circa 3E 427,[UOL 1] while it was besieged by the Ice Tribes and betrayed by someone from within. Unable to ferret out who of his four champions was in league with the enemy, Governor Cyril Vinticae had banished them all, tasking the Hero with singling out the traitor and saving Dawnstar. After investigating the champions, they revealed the traitor and returned to Dawnstar with the three loyal champions to defend from the ensuing assault. With the power of the Starfrost, the Hero helped slay the traitor's forces and finally emerged victorious with the defeat of the Gehenoth Thriceborn.
Soul of Conflict
The Soul of Conflict's destiny began when their home village of Azra's Crossing was attacked by bandits during the War of the Bend'r-mahk. The hero became entrenched in the war and learned of an evil incarnation being created with shadow magic and sustained by the conflict caused by the ongoing war. This Shadow of Conflict, or Umbra' Keth, was sought by Jagar Tharn and Pergan Asuul for their own ends. The Soul of Conflict gathered the seven Star Teeth and destroyed the monster.
Hero of Kvatch
Some of their achievements in their life as a mortal earned them titles such as Champion of Cyrodiil, Savior of Bruma, and Divine Crusader. Released by chance from prison in the Imperial City, this hero's tale began as a courier for Uriel Septim VII and ended in the salvation of all Tamriel from the forces of Mehrunes Dagon. The hero saved Tamriel again by reuniting the Relics of the Divine Crusader and defeating Umaril the Unfeathered. This hero even visited Sheogorath's realm of insanity to battle the Daedric Prince Jyggalag, ending an eons-long cycle of order and chaos, and ascending to godhood to become the new Sheogorath, Prince of Madness.[UOL 2]
Also known as the Dragonborn, Dovahkiin or Ysmir, Dragon of the North. Attempting to cross the border into Skyrim, the Dragonborn was caught by the Imperial Legion and sent to the village of Helgen to be executed. Unexpectedly, Alduin attacked the settlement, which allowed the Dragonborn to escape. As destiny unfolded, this hero turned out to be the fabled Last Dragonborn from a prophecy inscribed into Alduin's Wall. With the help of the last Blades and the Greybeards, the Dragonborn entered Sovngarde and defeated Alduin. The Dragonborn also recovered lost Elder Scrolls related to a vampire plot to blot out the sun, and journeyed to Solstheim to stop the return of Miraak, the First Dragonborn.
The Vestige, known by a plethora of other names, was a Soul-Shriven hero of prophecy. As a mortal, they were sacrificed to Molag Bal by Mannimarco as part of a dark ritual in 2E 582.
With the aid of former emperor Varen Aquilarios, the Vestige escaped imprisonment in Coldharbour and reformed the Five Companions, as foretold by the Elder Scrolls in the omen "The soulless one will become the brightest of five stars, and they shall guide us to the coming dawn."
After participating in the Three Banners War for one of the three alliances throughout its territory and Cyrodiil, the Vestige joined an invasion of Coldharbour by the Fighters and Mages Guilds. The Vestige became instrumental to that effort, restoring Meridia's Hollow City in Coldharbour as a beachhead for the invasion. The Vestige, with Meridia's assistance, thus ended Molag Bal's Planemeld and regained their soul.
The Forgotten Hero is an individual whose adventures are told by a moth priest named Kellen. The Hero was captured by a Dremora, Reive, and managed to escape with a fellow captive, a Blade named Tyr during the Great War. They discovered that Lord Naarifin tried to bring about a prophecy known as the Culling, for which he intended to sacrifice all of the Imperial City's inhabitants. They found the Emperor, and the hero, disguised in the Emperor's armor, led an attack on the Imperial City to defeat Naarifin.
The Forgotten Hero also played a role in the fall of the Dark Brotherhood during 4E 188. The Hero was recruited by a man named Uther, who asked him to infiltrate the Dark Brotherhood and kill his daughter Alisanne. He aided the citizens of Wayrest, captured a traitor in the Falkreath Sanctuary, and was present when Alisanne was killed in Bravil.
Kellen's final tale tells about the Forgotten Hero's journey to the Clockwork City in 4E 201. Here, the Hero unfolded Mecinar's plans to achieve godhood with Sotha Sil's reconstruction of Lorkhan's Heart. Though Mecinar was defeated, the fate of the Heart, the City, and the Hero are unknown. 
Also known as the Conqueror of Madness, Talym Rend was a Dunmer spy for the Empire who journeyed to the Shivering Isles in the Fourth Era and descended into madness.
In seeking to forget the painful memories of his involvement in the Worm Cult's ritual sacrifice of his son Novos, Talym Rend struck a deal with the Daedric Prince Sheogorath, who wanted three souls driven mad in return. Sheogorath manipulated his mind for "motivation" and caused him to think he was fighting to cure his son of his madness instead. When Talym completed this task, he returned home only to realize that his son had been dead the entire time.
Sheogorath denied Talym another audience with him when he returned to his realm, causing his unanswered questions to eat away at his sanity as he wandered endlessly around the Shivering Isles. Eventually, he regained a semblance of composure and journeyed to Knifepoint Hollow. There, Talym was informed by Dyus, the librarian of Jyggalag, that he might gain an audience with Sheogorath if he retrieved an artifact of Jyggalag. Sheogorath granted Talym an audience when he retrieved the Sword of Jyggalag, and used the Memory Wand on him to reveal Talym's original intent and memories. Sheogorath then proceeded to mock Talym, angering him and causing them to duel. The daedric prince of madness was defeated when Talym turned the memory wand against him and forced him to recall his memories of his previous life as the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag, and pleaded for him to stop the madness. He fulfilled Talym's wishes and would leave him and his companions free from his grasp. Talym returned home and was last seen making preparations for getting revenge on the Worm Cult for his son's death.
The Warrior was born in the small town of Rivercrest in Cyrodiil, part of a kingdom ruled by the Bloodfall Queen. Trained in combat by Henrik Seven-Swords since a young age, the Warrior left to become a member of the Blades, but was forced to go into hiding after the end of the Great War in 4E 175 when the organization was formally disbanded and its members systematically hunted down by the Thalmor. The Warrior returned to Rivercrest circa 4E 180 only to find it ablaze and reduced to rubble. The destruction of the town's Elder Statue caused an undead Ayleid Sorcerer-King named Celemaril Light-Bringer to be released from his ancient bindings in the Abyss, and the Warrior undertook to rebuild the town and save all of Tamriel from the reawakened Ayleid Lich.
- Following mentions of Talin in Arena, it later became a policy of Bethesda to avoid canonizing the identities of player characters (including the Eternal Champion), so as to not cheapen the player's own personal experiences in the games.[UOL 3]
- ^ Heaven Stones in Oblivion
- ^ Tsun's dialogue in Skyrim
- ^ Paarthurnax's dialogue in Skyrim
- ^ Sotha Sil's dialogue in ESO: Clockwork City
- ^ Sotha Sil and the Scribe — Andrunal, Seer of Verse
- ^ Messages given by Doomstones in Oblivion
- ^ Remarks by Dyus and Jyggalag state that the fate of the Hero of Kvatch is blurred and uncertain, as the Hero defies all their logical formulae.
- ^ a b c d Elderscrolls.com Timeline
- ^ The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
- ^ Events of Daggerfall
- ^ The Warp in the West — Ulvius Tero
- ^ Events of Battlespire
- ^ Cyrus' biography on Redguard's official website
- ^ Events of Redguard
- ^ Generic Dialogue G in Morrowind
- ^ Peakstar's dialogue during The Path of the Incarnate in Morrowind
- ^ Events of Morrowind
- ^ Neloth's dialogue in Skyrim: Dragonborn
- ^ Events of Morrowind: Tribunal: Morrowind
- ^ Events of Morrowind: Bloodmoon: Morrowind
- ^ Radiant Conversations in Oblivion
- ^ Events of Stormhold
- ^ Events of Dawnstar
- ^ Events of Shadowkey
- ^ Events of Oblivion
- ^ The Oblivion Crisis — Praxis Sarcorum, Imperial Historian
- ^ Events of Oblivion: Shivering Isles
- ^ Sheogorath's dialogue in Oblivion: Shivering Isles
- ^ Arngeir's dialogue in Skyrim
- ^ The Book of the Dragonborn — Prior Emelene Madrine
- ^ Events of Skyrim
- ^ Events of Skyrim: Dawnguard
- ^ Events of Skyrim: Dragonborn
- ^ Events of the The Forgotten Hero story
- ^ Events of the Fall of the Dark Brotherhood story
- ^ Events of the Return to Clockwork City story
- ^ Sheogorath's dialogue in the mission The Final Battle in Isle of Madness
- ^ Events of Isle of Madness
- ^ Name used in dialogue by Jena Matius, Saashi, and other NPCs throughout Blades
- ^ Default Town name in Blades
- ^ Destane's dialogue in Blades
- ^ Bloodfall Banner item in Blades
- ^ Henrik Seven-Swords' dialogue in Blades
- ^ The Rise and Fall of the Blades — Anonymous
- ^ Junius the Elder's dialogue in Blades
- ^ Saashi's dialogue in Blades
Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.
- ^ a b Anthony Gill Interview
- ^ Kurt Kuhlmann's comments on Decrypting The Elder Scrolls Game Informer article
- ^ Douglas Goodall interview