Lore:Time Magic

The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
A time breach created by the Staff of Towers in northern Glenumbra

Time Magic also known as time travel magic,[1] time alteration, and chronomancy,[2] is a type of magic which involves the manipulation and perversion of time. Manipulating time is notoriously difficult, with most known successes being entirely accidental or full of unintended, and very dangerous, consequences. This could lead to various outcomes, such as the birth of individuals who did not exist in another timeline, or the lives of different people taking unexpected turns.[3][4]

Saresea in multichronal state

Another potential consequence of mages attempting to contain temporal distortion is the possibility of becoming subject to multichronal existence—a state in which one experiences existence at multiple points in time simultaneously. One such individual was Saresea, a member of the Psijic Order who intervened at the settlement of Bal Sunnar.[5][6]

The most notable and most devastating examples of time manipulation in history are known as Dragon Breaks, the most prominent of which being the Middle Dawn.[7] This disaster was caused when the Marukhati Selective attempted to remove elven aspects from the Dragon God of Time, Akatosh,[8] but instead wound up destroying linear time entirely for the equivalent of one thousand and eight years. Observers described it as a time of chaos and confusions, where all laws of reality were broken and causality did not matter.[9] As such, most tried to steer away from causing such events going forward. The Psijic Order in particular took an active role in attempting to prevent future Dragon Breaks, regularly interfering when it seemed that time was fracturing.[10]

Others, however, are unswayed by the dangers and have continued to attempt manipulating time, typically at a smaller scale than a Dragon Break. Sorcerers throughout history have often used powerful Tower-based artifacts such as the Numidium or the Staff of Towers to, either intentionally or unintentionally, alter the current timeline.[11][10] Some have traveled through time through simpler and relatively safer means, such as entering and exiting Oblivion, where causality is not always concurrent with Nirn. The downside with this tactic is the unpredictability and unreliability of when you might end up.[12][13] Others have relied on the power of Daedric Princes to corrupt time, such was the case with Hermaeus Mora's library of time-traveling books in Shadowfen.[14] Tonal Architecture has also been used repeatedly to send people and objects across space and time, both by Dwemer devices[15] and Elhnofex inscriptions.[16] During the Dragon War, the Nords used an Elder Scroll to fling Alduin thousands of years forward in time.[17][18]

Worshippers of Alkosh are known to create hourglasses capable of time manipulation via sacred ritual. Focusing on the time-lost sands within such an hourglass causes local perception of time to shift, making it seem as if time is standing still.[19][20]

Some inhabitants of the Shivering Isles were known to practice chronomancy. They could use this ability to slow one's heart rate, breathing, movements, and even thoughts.[2]