Lore:Staff of Chaos
The Staff of Chaos (also called the Staff of Unity and Chaos or the Balac-thurm) is an ancient relic of untold power. This Ebony staff was created by Loreth, a pupil of the hermetic enchanter Dalak, sometime after 1E 480, based on his own findings and skills he acquired after many years of forced seclusion deep in the forests of Colovia avoiding persecution at the hands of the Alessian Order. Having been forged from the essence of the very Land itself, it is nigh-indestructible. It has the power to open gateways into other worlds and is capable of obliterating the entire corporeal form of a living creature.
The staff played a central role in the Imperial Simulacrum. In 3E 389, the Imperial Battlemage to Uriel Septim VII, Jagar Tharn, who had stolen the staff from beneath the city of Mournhold, used it to imprison the Emperor and General Warhaft in the realm of Oblivion. He then used it to destroy his apprentice, Ria Silmane in order to prevent the Elder Council from learning of his betrayal.
To solidify his grasp over Tamriel and ensure nobody had a chance to rescue the true Emperor, Tharn knew he had to dispose of the staff. Unable to destroy it, he did the next best thing, splitting it into eight fragments and hiding each piece within the most forgotten and dangerous places throughout the provinces.
In the event the staff were reacquired, Tharn planned ahead. He drained the staff of all its magical potential, placing it within the Jewel of Fire underneath the Imperial Palace. If one were to relocate the staff and reassemble it, they would find it to be utterly useless.
When the Eternal Champion reunited the eight pieces of the staff and linked it to the Jewel of Fire, the combined energies of Tharn's lifeforce and the Staff of Chaos were released in a powerful surge of energy, culminating in the destruction of the Battlemage. The release of energy opened a gate to free Uriel Septim VII and Warhaft from their otherworldly prison, and destroyed much of the Palace interior. The pieces of the Staff were theorized to be lost to history after this. However, the Eternal Champion maintained possession over the staff following the defeat of Tharn. It is unknown what he chose to do with the staff and it has never been encountered since.
Arms of Chaos
Many centuries after the end of the Imperial Simulacrum, a descendant of Loreth attempted to recreate the Staff's magic by creating two new staves: the Arm of the Sun and the Arm of the Moon, together known as the Arms of Chaos. These staves harnessed the power of the sun and moon respectively, and recreated the Staff's ability to allow travel to other worlds. This was done through the use of Sigil Stones, the source of the staves' power; an Orange Sigil Stone was embedded in the Arm of the Sun, and a Green Sigil Stone was affixed to the Arm of the Moon. The staves served as powerful weapons in their own right, with the Arm of the Sun bearing powerful fire, frost and shock enchantments, and the Arm of the Moon having the ability to demoralize a target or drive them into a frenzy. Believing the staves to be possessed by some unknown madness, their creator ultimately dismantled the artifacts, leaving them lifeless.
A mage named Ellane subsequently came into possession of the Arms of Chaos at some point in the Fourth Era and became obsessed with restoring them. She successfully identified that Sigil Stones were the source of the staves' power, and seemingly used a Blue Sigil Stone to create a necklace known as the Warlock's Mark which allowed for travel to Oblivion and increased skill at Conjuration. However, the Sigil Stone was later removed from the necklace. After Ellane's death, her research was continued by her apprentice, Hyenril, who similarly became obsessed with restoring the two staves. Hyenril hoped to use the Sovereign Band, Ellane's ring of summoning which grants its wearer increased magicka, to summon three Guardians of the Sigil Stones and obtain the necessary Stones. However, she was killed in 4E 201 while visiting the Skeleton-infested Skytemple Ruins north of the College of Winterhold.
Later that year, the Last Dragonborn came upon Hyenril's corpse and research notes, together with the dismantled Arms of Chaos and Warlock's Mark. After tracking down Ellane's sunken coffin at the bottom of Pilgrim's Trench to obtain the Sovereign Band, the Dragonborn succeeded in summoning and defeating three Dremora to obtain the necessary Sigil Stones and reforge the artifacts.
- The staff is referred to as the "Staff of Unity and Chaos" in The Real Barenziah, which appeared in Daggerfall. However, later versions of the book refer to it simply as the "Staff of Chaos".
- The Staff of Towers is another similar artifact that was split into eight pieces and scattered across Tamriel. In early drafts of the Main Quest for The Elder Scrolls Online, the Staff of Towers played a key role in the story and was called the Balac, meaning that it was the same artifact as the Staff of Chaos.[UOL 1] Though this story was later scrapped, the Staff of Towers was mentioned in some books and appeared in the Summerset Chapter, now being an entirely separate artifact.
- For game-specific information, see the Arena article on the Staff of Chaos.
- The Final Lesson — Aegrothius Goth
- Ria Silmane's dialogue in Arena
- The Real Barenziah, Part VIII — Plitinius Mero
- Events of Arena
- Hyenril's Journal — Hyenril
- The Imperial Palace quest in Arena
- Arms of Chaos Creation for Skyrim Special Edition
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.