Lore:Zurin Arctus

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Imperial Battlemage Zurin Arctus
DF-npc-The Underking (face).png
Imperial Battlemage Zurin Arctus as the Underking
Race and Gender Unknown Male
Died 2E 896
Resided in High Rock

Zurin Arctus (also called Arnand the Fox[1] and the Underking) was a spellcaster in the late Second Era, and Imperial Battlemage under Emperor Tiber Septim.[2][3] He was responsible for activating Numidium, a powerful construct used by the Emperor in his conquest of Tamriel, by placing his "heart" (life force) in a soul gem. Arctus later regretted his actions and destroyed the automaton, but was killed in the process before being able to reclaim his heart. He reappeared later as an undead entirely known as the Underking (though some sources[4] dispute this claim).[2][5]

History[edit]

Numidium
The Mantella
The Totem of Tiber Septim

Zurin Arctus was a battlemage and master tactician[6] who served General Talos in the forces of King Cuhlecain during the Tiber Wars. He is said to have crowned the general as Emperor Tiber Septim after the assassination of Cuhlecain[4] and was instrumental in their victory at the Battle of Five Bridges.[6] Arctus became the first to hold the title of Imperial Battlemage,[7] and was one of the Emperor's trusted advisors; it was popularly rumored that Arctus had helped broker the Armistice with Morrowind, in which the Empire received Numidium.[8]

Numidium was a colossal Dwemer automaton, designed to be powered by the Heart of Lorkhan.[9][4] This was not available, but Arctus was able to devise an alternative power source, the Mantella—a gigantic gem infused with the battlemage's own "heart" (life force).[2] Arctus also crafted the Totem of Tiber Septim, a magical artifact that allowed a bearer of royal lineage to control the golem. At the close of the Second Era, Tiber Septim used Numidium to conquer all of Tamriel.[2]

With the conquest of Tamriel complete, Tiber Septim began using Numidium to crush neutral royal families within the Empire, aiming to enthrone Imperial loyalists in their place. Zurin Arctus was horrified at this abuse of power, and attempted to put a stop to it by reclaiming his heart. However, both Arctus and Numidium were destroyed in the attempt. The Mantella was blown into Aetherius, his heart still trapped within it. Without his heart, the battlemage couldn't truly die. He was left in a semi-slumber in a subterranean vault, waiting for an opportunity to reclaim his heart. In this undead incarnation, Zurin Arctus became known as the Underking, and from time to time sent out his forces to search for the Mantella.

See Also[edit]

  • For more information about the Underking in the late Third Era, see his Lore Page.
  • An alternate version of events is given in The Arcturian Heresy. This account claims that the Underking was really High King Wulfharth of Skyrim, a powerful undead being from the First Era. He was tricked by Tiber Septim and Zurin Arctus, and it was his heart that was trapped within the Mantella. Zurin Arctus was killed in the process, and to prevent political unrest the Emperor claimed that his Battlemage tried to assassinate him.[4]
  • The Art of War Magic by Zurin Arctus, with Commentary By Other Learned Masters — Mastering the art of winning
  • On Morrowind by Erramanwe of Sunhold — A historical synopsis of the Imperial conquest of Morrowind
  • Response to Bero's Speech by Malviser, Battlemage — Commentaries of "Bero's Speech to the Battlemages" book

Notes[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Where Were You ... Dragon Broke — Various
  2. ^ a b c d Events of Daggerfall
  3. ^ Response to Bero's SpeechMalviser, Battlemage
  4. ^ a b c d The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
  5. ^ Mannimarco's dialogue in Daggerfall
  6. ^ a b The Art of War MagicZurin Arctus, with Commentary By Other Learned Masters
  7. ^ Brief History of the Empire, v 4Stronach k'Thojj III
  8. ^ On MorrowindErramanwe of Sunhold
  9. ^ Baladas Demnevanni's dialogue in Morrowind
  10. ^ Tamrielic LoreYagrum Bagarn