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Arch-Mage Shalidor
ON-npc-Arch-Mage Shalidor.jpg
Arch-Mage Shalidor as he appears in ESO
Race Nord Gender Male
Born 1st Era
Resided in Skyrim
Appears in ESO

Arch-Mage Shalidor was an immensely powerful wizard in the First Era who had an understanding of magic few have ever matched, and his numerous but scattered writings are highly sought after.[1][2] There are many legends surrounding Shalidor's life, such as how he built the city of Winterhold with a whispered spell, built the great Ice Fortress of Winterhold, how he stole the secret of life from Akatosh, and how he single-handedly fought against the Dwemer legions of clan Rourken at the Battle of Rourken-Shalidor (in which he bore his Spellmirror into battle)[3] circa 1E 420.[1][4][5] Many of these stories are believed to be hyperbole or outright fabrications. Shalidor stood at the forefront of a movement to enact higher standards among mages, and to discourage spell use among the common castes. This effort is dubiously credited with the original organization and formation of the schools of magic (Vanus Galerion is more often credited with doing this[6]) and the foundation of the College of Winterhold.[1]


Statue of Shalidor at the College of Winterhold

Shalidor eventually holed himself up in Labyrinthian, where he constructed the namesake labyrinth to test new archmages, and devoted all of his time to research and study.[1][7] He became an incredibly prolific writer, and scholars have worked to track down his notes and musings for thousands of years. He oversaw the construction of the Great Maze,[3] said to hold "Glamoril" (the "secret of life" in elvish), which, as noted above, was said to have been stolen from Akatosh by Shalidor. There's some speculation that this secret of life he possessed, whatever it was, may have been the catalyst for the practically unbelievable number of writings he produced on a vast array of topics.[2] He performed a number of rituals that extended his life significantly, claiming that "life for an Arch-Mage is measured in decades, not years." Although he eventually died, he laid powerful enchantments on his final resting place that allow him to return from Aetherius whenever his legacy is threatened.[3]

Shalidor is also credited for establishing a sanctuary for all mages across the ages on the island of Eyevea, an outlier island in the Summerset archipelago which he obtained from the High Elves in exchange for some minor artifacts. He bargained the island away to Sheogorath in exchange for the Folium Discognitum, a bargain which he later came to regret. His obsession to recover Eyevea from Sheogorath occupied him so much as to cost him the love of his wife, Ulfsild.[3] He was also credited with crafting a spellstone alloy composed of crystals from various Daedric planes.[8]

In 2E 582, Shalidor returned to the affairs of mortals in order to win back Eyevea from Sheogorath so that it could serve its original purpose and act as a sanctuary for the Mages Guild.[9]

Sheogorath agreed to give Shalidor the means of reclaiming the island, if his champion agreed to complete four trials for the Prince's amusement. An adept of the Mages Guild agreed to undertake the Trial of Eyevea, and was then subjected to various inane tests. At the end of each trial, the guild was given a tome containing clues to returning Eyevea to Mundus. Valaste, the guild's Master of Incunabula, took on the burden of decrypting these books, as Shalidor himself was forbidden to read them.[10][11][12] The guild was eventually successful in restoring the island, but as a final test Sheogorath neglected to remove Eyevea's Daedric guardians before returning it. As such, it was swarming with Golden Saints and Dark Seducers, which needed to be cleared out. With that done, the adept was forced to fight Haskill to finally clear the island of Sheogorath's influence.[13]

Shalidor was the first recorded wizard to claim the title "Arch-Mage". When Vanus Galerion founded the Mages Guild in the early Second Era, he chose to name the guild's leader the Arch-Mage in Shalidor's memory.[14]



  • Shalidor's Shrouded Realm is a pocket realm of Oblivion created by Shalidor as an experiment prior to his work on Eyevea and the College of Winterhold.[15]
  • Shalidor has had numerous dealings with Divayth Fyr, many of which he relied on the fellow master wizard to perform outstanding favors for him.[16]

See Also[edit]