The Wilderking (or Wilderqueen) is a god worshipped by tribal Bosmer in the pristine jungles of the Greenshade region of Valenwood. He dons a living crown made of knotted branches and leaves. The look of the crown along with his elusiveness caused him to be depicted as an Altmer with antlers. He is as much a political figurehead as a god, as these tribes answer to him rather than the King in Elden Root. The Wilderking is selective of those he appears to, which often causes outsiders to doubt his existence. He is so elusive in fact that rare sketches of him circulating were said to be extremely valuable to collectors and myth hunters. His domain is known as the Court of the Wilderking, and makes up the southeasterly region of Greenshade. His physical manifestation resides at the Throne of the Wilderking, located high above the city of Greenheart. To his followers, the Wilderking is seen as a boundless entity, encompassing both the Court and the Throne; indeed, his power over nature approaches the divine. As such, he is responsible for keeping the balance of nature.
The mantle of Wilderking is continually passed down by the Wilderking to a mortal born with an innate and powerful control over nature, who will be brought to the Throne of the Wilderking so that the previous Wilderking may die. After adopting the title, the mortal soon loses all memories of his or her previous life. The Wilderking is served by guardian lurchers and mysterious stone beings known as the Hollow. He provided husks and taught the first villagers of Bramblebreach how to bring lurcher guardians to life. His divine power over the land is stuff of legend in Valenwood he is said to have performed feats such as pulling a full grown tree out of a seed, and lifting the flat ground into a hill. He was rumored to be able to shape the forest in its entirety. Beyond his mere physical manifestation he is said to be a literal embodiment of the land. The Wilderking has a long-standing pact with the bosmer of the Shrouded Vale, in return for his protection he provides them caretaking of the fading tree which he spirits away every one hundred years or so. He also provides sustenance for the appointed caretaker of the vale.
Despite a long line of previous Wilderkings and Wilderqueens, little is known to the general populace of the various mortals who have held the position. The first Wilderking was once a powerful young boy from the Summerset Isles named Ostion, who was sent to the Valenwood to build a great city, as a test by those who sought to use his power as a means to conquer. With his power to shape the land and the builders sent with him, Ostion commanded the land to move for him, but the Valenwood was wild and angry and resisted his demands. Ostion and Valenwood fought with each other, with Ostion commanding the land again and again to move, and Valenwood refusing again and again. In their struggle they forgot everything else; Ostion forgot the builders who had been sent with him and Valenwood forgot the peoples that lived in its midst. Ostion remembered his purpose and brought forth the body of Sumiril, a builder who had once been kind to him, and asked the land to help raise him from the dead. The Valenwood obliged for the first time, creating the Hollow, and together Ostion and the Valenwood became the Wilderking.
Some time before 1E 2920, the first Wilderking made a deal with the Bosmer of the Shrouded Vale, whose village would be sent to a realm of paradise for as long as they left behind a caretaker to protect the Fading Tree. In 2E 582, during the establishment of the first Aldmeri Dominion, Ostion still held the title of Wilderking. The Dominion hoped to earn the allegiance of the Wilderking, although the Veiled Heritance was simultaneously attempting to kill him. The Wilderking welcomed the Heritance to Greenshade, as one of their agents was destined to mantle the title: the Altmer woman Aranias, the Rock Witch of Silatar. With the help of the Vestige, Aranias realized her destiny and became the new Wilderqueen, allying with the Dominion and aiding them in their fight against the Heritance. Later that year, the Wilderqueen saved the vampire hunter Mel Adrys from certain death in honor of the Vestige.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- Sumiril's Book — The story of a boy named Ostion
- The Wilderking Legend by Unknown — An ancient legend of Valenwood
- Crown of the Wilderking quest item in ESO
- Elengil's dialogue
- Wilderking Doll contraband item in ESO
- Wilderking Sketch contraband item in ESO
- The Wilderking Legend — Unknown
- Events of ESO
- Monvaras' dialogue
- Aranias' dialogue
- Doriel's dialogue
- Henodras' dialogue
- Laniriel's dialogue
- Sumiril's Book
- Sumiril's dialogue in ESO
- Wilderking's dialogue
- Mel Adrys' dialogue in Dark Brotherhood