The Imperial Battlemages are a group of well trained war mages serving in the Imperial Legion. They had close ties to the Mages Guild before the Guild's dissolution. While the Guild had the authority to send battlemages onto the field, often to deal with violent rogue mages, the battlemages ultimately obeyed the orders of their superiors in the Legion.
The original Imperial Battlemages were an elite unit separate from the Legions, founded during the early days of the Alessian Empire when the distinction between mage and warrior was more pronounced. In time, the idea of a "battlemage" became less novel, and Imperial Battlemages began to serve alongside the regular Legions as spellcasters. Regulus Tharn was paramount in reviving the tradition of the Battlemage during the Reman Dynasty. During this time, the Imperial Battlemages were further exalted with the creation of the "Imperial Battlemage" title, a prestigious position traditionally granted to a unit's leader.
The Battlespire, a structure located in a Slipstream Realm within Aetherius, served as a war college for the training of Imperial Battlemages. The school was administered by five Battlemages of great skill. These select few served as the pool from which The Imperial Battlemage, advisor to the Emperor, was chosen. The facility also served as a testing ground for those candidates considered for the Imperial Guard. During the Imperial Simulacrum, the Battlespire was invaded by the forces of Mehrunes Dagon, who killed nearly all battlemages stationed there. The Daedra blocked access to the Battlespire through the use of a Daedric Sigil, which prevented the Legion from entering and reclaiming the academy. Two apprentices sent to test in the Battlespire fought their way into Oblivion and followed the retreating army, eventually banishing Dagon to the Void and causing the destruction of the Battlespire.
Despite the destruction of their training facility, the Imperial Battlemages continued to exist decades later. They had a presence in the Imperial City, where they were assigned to guard the Arcane University. There they patrolled the university grounds and occupied an Imperial watchtower. In 3E 433, Watch Captain Hieronymus Lex briefly commandeered the Battlemages, along with many other members of the Imperial Guard, to search the Imperial City Waterfront for the Gray Fox, a notorious thief. In reality, the Gray Fox's appearance was a lie circulated by the Thieves Guild, who used the opportunity to pull off several major heists around the unguarded city; the absence of the Imperial Battlemages allowed for the theft of Hrormir's Icestaff from the Arch-Mage's Tower, which was later returned by the Thieves Guild. The theft enraged the Mages Guild, who demanded that Lex call off his search and return the battlemages to the university grounds. That same year, the Imperial Battlemages helped the Mages Guild to catch a rogue mage along the Gold Road, and helped fight against the Order of the Black Worm.
In the Fourth Era, after the destruction of the Battlespire and the dissolution of the Mages Guild, it is not known where the Battlemages of the Legion were trained, but the Battlemages were still known to be active.
Imperial Battlemage of Tamriel
Imperial Battlemages whom serve in the Imperial Legion are not to be confused with The Imperial Battlemage of Tamriel, a title sometimes stylized as The Imperial Battlemage of the Elder Council, The Imperial Battlemage of the Empire, or simply: The Imperial Battlemage.
The Imperial Battlemage of Tamriel was an aristocrat who serves as head of the Elder Council (typically under an addendum title such as: Grand Chancellor, Grand Vizier, or High Chancellor), while also performing as chief advisor to the Tamrielic Emperors on varying matters (such as: politics, warfare, occult sciences, ect.) By the reign of Uriel Septim VII, it was customary for future Imperial Battlemages to be plucked from the Administers of Battlespire, who were themselves battlemage classmen.
Several historic figures have held The Imperial Battlemage title, including:
- Pelladil Direnni
- Abnur Tharn
- Zurin Arctus
- Jovron Direnni[nb 1]
- Jagar Tharn
- Ria Silmane
- Ocato of Firsthold
- Battlespire — The citadel and training grounds of the Imperial Battlemages
- Meet the Character - Lucilla Caprenia by Martus Tullius — A request for deployment of an apprentice Imperial Battlemage
- Starlover's Log by Samar Starlover — Entries from the journal of a Battlemage seeking escape from Battlespire
- Battlespire opening cutscene
- Clarentavious Valisious's dialogue in Battlespire
- Misdirection quest in Oblivion
- Anvil Recommendation quest in Oblivion
- House Tharn of Nibenay — Count Opius Voteporix
- Chancellor Abnur Tharn Answers Your Questions 2 — Chancellor Abnur Tharn
- ESO Loremaster's Archive — Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen and Tutor Riparius Answer Your Questions
- Battlespire Athenaeum
- Events of Battlespire
- Note from Raminus Polus — Raminus Polus
- Events of Oblivion
- Imperial Mages in Skyrim
- Ria Silmane's dialogue in the Escape From Prison quest in Arena
- Letter 3's text in The Mantella Revealed quest Daggerfall
- Herald Vitelia's dialogue in ESO
- Introduction Sequence of Arena
- Meet the Character - Abnur Tharn — Arctus Cove
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- High Chancellor Ocato's name in Oblivion
- French version of Arena's Manual Intro Story
- De Rerum Dirennis — Vorian Direnni
- Chronicles of the Five Companions 4 — Abnur Tharn
- Brief History of the Empire, v 4 — Stronach k'Thojj III
- Response to Bero's Speech — Malviser, Battlemage
- A Life of Uriel Septim VII — Rufus Hayn
- Daggerfall User's Guide