Lore:Tsaesci (race)

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This article is about the race. For the nation from which they originate, see Tsaesci (place).

A Tsaesci sword master (ESO)

The Tsaesci (/ˈs.ʃi/ (About this soundlisten) say-she, /ˈs.ə.si/ SAY-uh-see,[1] /ˈs.i/ say-chee,[UOL 1] or /ˈzi.ʃi/ zee-she)[UOL 2] which means Snake Palace, are a race originating from the continent of Akavir, east of Tamriel. Their appearance has been described differently on many occasions, with some describing them as being entirely human in appearance,[2] others attributing to the Tsaesci human upper bodies and serpentine lower bodies[citation needed], and some claiming them to be entirely snake-like. Adding to these contradictory claims, it is also claimed that the so-called serpent-folk apparently "ate" the men that lived on Akavir, although this statement can be interpreted in many ways.[3][4][Note 1] Some even say that they may be shapeshifters.[UOL 1].

Although immortality is attributed to them in literature,[3] it is also alleged that longevity is not a trait of the Tsaesci.[5]

Oddly enough, two Akaviri "Blood Drinker" swords known as Dawn/Duskfang and Bloodthirst, emulate the rumored traits of their Tsaesci creators. The Tsaesci are said to fight without shields or armor, using only swords such as the Dai-katana in combat.[6] The nature of the race is a tapestry of historical contradictions, so what little is known about them is uncertain. However, all known encounters with the Tsaesci have not only shown that they are humanoids, but that they also use armor and shields in combat.

The Tsaesci were also known for their use of magic.[5][7] Additionally, they utilize a special magic called 'kiai',[Note 2] which shares similarities with Shouts of the nordic Thu'um.[8]


The Anuad creation myth asserts that the Wandering Ehlnofey were divided onto three continents, with those on Akavir becoming the Tsaesci (and therefore related to the Yokudans and Atmorans).[2] The Tsaesci once invaded Tamriel in 1E 2703, but were driven back by the forces of Emperor Reman I.[9] Surviving Tsaesci in Cyrodiil served as mercenaries and personal guards of nobles.[10] They left many influences on Imperial institutions and culture, including the doctrines and equipment of the Imperial Legion, the creation of the Akaviri Dragonguard (a personal bodyguard organisation for the Emperor) and Fighters Guild, a reverence among the Imperial aristocracy for all things Akaviri, and the adoption of the dragon as a symbol of the Empire.[Note 3] A number of Tsaesci even served the Second Empire as Potentates, among them Sidri-Ashak, Versidue-Shaie, and Savirien-Chorak. The latter two ruled the Second Empire outright during the first half of the Second Era, a period known as the Akaviri Potentate that was brought on by the demise of the Reman Dynasty.[11]

After the fall of the Akaviri Potentate in 2E 430 most Tsaesci fled Cyrodiil, joining other Akaviri that lived in Rimmen and the surrounding area. These Akaviri would later be known as Rim-Men[12] and would help the resurfaced Dir-Kamal armies to conquer Cyrodiil.[13]


Four Tsaesci deity sigils (clockwise): Ilni (weather/air), Myn (sun/fire), Zisa (oceans/water) and Nyfa (earth).

Ancestor worship seems to be an integral part of Tsaesci culture,[14][15] although at least four deities, symbolizing different elements, are known: Ilni (weather/air), Myn (sun/fire), Nyfa (earth) and Zisa (oceans/water).[16] Z'en might also be worshipped by the Tsaesci, as origins of his mythology can be traced back to Akavir.[17]

Water occupies a special place in the Tsaesci faith, as they believe that all waterways connect the realms of the dead and the living.[18]

The Proving Festival is an important, yearly holiday of the Tsaesci to appease the ancestors and prove one's worth.[14] It consists of three proofs which a participant has to pass: The first is the Proof of Reverence by which the ancestors are invoked and invited to enter the living world as spirits. The inhabitants of Hakoshae, imperial descendants of Tsaesci, let a paper lotus be carried down a river. The lotus symbolically swims into the realm of the dead to attract the attention of the ancestors.[18] The second proof is the Proof of Strength. It serves to show the ancestors ones strength and that one can resist various dangers.[7] The last proof is the Proof of Wisdom. Traditionally it consisted of scholars drafting grand essays, writers composing ornate poems or philosophers performing lengthy debates. However in Hakoshae the inhabitants use riddles for that purpose.[19]


1.The meaning of the term "eaten" as given from what is known of the land of Akavir is not clear. Although the description of the "vampiric" Tsaesci might suggest literal meaning, it could be a metaphor for being subdued. In Mysterious Akavir by an anonymous writer, the Tsaesci are told to have "tried to eat all the Dragons. They managed to enslave the Red Dragons, but the black ones had fled to (then) Po Tun". Also, the Akaviri Diary Translation of an Akaviri messenger states that during his journey to deliver orders to Fort Pale Pass he met another Akaviri messenger, stating that his leg had been badly hurt by wolves. As the Tsaesci are described as beings with humanoid upper body and snake lower bodies, to being entirely snake-like, this statement would suggest that men indeed continued to live in Akavir, even if they were enslaved by the Tsaesci. The Akaviri-made Alduin's Wall shows members of the Dragonguard appearing to be human-looking.
2.Children of the Sky only mentions "Akaviri swordsmen". However, this probably refers to the Tsaesci, as they are said to heavily rely on swords in combat.[6]
3. The main used emblem of the Second Empire however remained the Red Diamond.
  • "Xhiado Kas" is a known Tsaesci title for The Flame Maiden, given to Luciana Pullo.[20]
  • Diagna's cult originated in Yokuda during the "Twenty Seven Snake Folk Slaughter".[17] Whether the "Snake Folk" were the same as the Tsaesci serpent-folk is unknown.



  1. ^ Grommok's JournalGrommok gro-Barak
  2. ^ a b The Annotated Anuad
  3. ^ a b Mysterious Akavir
  4. ^ Kiseravi's dialogue from Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
  5. ^ a b Avita Pitio's dialogue from Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
  6. ^ a b 2920, Morning StarCarlovac Townway
  7. ^ a b Vek-Drassi Secunia's dialogue from Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
  8. ^ Children of the Sky
  9. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other LandsImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  10. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  11. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Seat of Sundered Kings: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  12. ^ The Tonenaka Shrine — Magnate Feina-Darak
  13. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Elsweyr ConfederacyImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  14. ^ a b The Proving FestivalLaije-Palak Rulician
  15. ^ Magnate Feina-Darak's dialogue from Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
  16. ^ Tale of the ElementsNalae-Polek, Poet Laureate to Potentate Versidue-Shaie
  17. ^ a b Varieties of Faith...Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  18. ^ a b Domitia Nasica's dialogue from Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
  19. ^ Valoria Marius's dialogue from Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
  20. ^ Meet the Character - Proctor LucianaGrimrald Brassbones

Note: The following references are deemed to be unofficial sources. They are referenced to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.

  1. ^ a b ESO Live Lawrence Schick Interview - Imperial Library
  2. ^ Michael Kirkbride's PostsMichael Kirkbride