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Silvanus the Gilded, Duke of the Niben
Silvanus Argenteus
Race Nibenese (Imperial) Allegiance Cyrodiil Aldmeri Dominion Legate Max Level 3600
Class Templar Born 10th of Sun's Height, 2E549 (The Serpent)
Hometown Leyawiin Profession Merchant, Scholar, Explorer
Professional Personal
Titles, Awards, and Honorifics
Sancrekynd From an early age, Silvanus was fascinated by the remnants of Ayleid civilization. He is a fervent collector of meteoric glass and his desire to re-enter Cyrodiil is at least partly motivated by access to Ayleid Wells for study.
Master Alchemist A title conferred to him by the Mages Guild following successful completion of their most difficult alchemical trials. He can claim an understanding of all recorded alchemical theory and actively works to further develop the practice.
Savant Defined as a person of wide learning and cosmopolitan tastes: well-traveled, educated, refined in manner, and able to converse on various topics with authority such as history, language, and customs. Silvanus is fluent in Cyrodilic, Elvish, Ta'agra, and Jel -- the outcome of a childhood lived at a cultural crossroads.
Duke Lesser noble titles already behind him, the Merchant Lord was elevated to the rarefied air of Count upon successful acquisition of Topal Island. He became even more powerful when Countess Caro pledged her fealty in exchange for naval protection, thereafter calling himself Duke of the Niben.

Duke Silvanus Argenteus, better known as Silvanus the Gilded, was an Imperial merchant lord and gifted alchemist who ruled over the Topal Sea region during the Interregnum. He achieved power peacefully through trade, but was nonetheless an accomplished soldier and aristocrat. The Duke is noted for remaining approachable and well-liked even as he rose through the ranks of both the military and nobility of Cyrodiil.


Formative Years (2E549 - 2E567)[edit]

Life began for Silvanus in the beautiful southern Cyrodilic town of Leyawiin, found within the warm and lush region of Blackwood where the province borders Black Marsh and Elsweyr. His earliest years were marked by endless hours at the library, daily worship sessions at the chapel, and fishing in the Niben alongside the local Khajiit and Argonian children. This was a carefree and comfortable life; nonetheless, he was raised with the virtues of hard work, gratitude, and reverence. Much of this can be attributed to the humble origins of his parents, who were themselves Nibenese common folk.

Sometime before Silvanus' birth, his father became an agent of the Gold Coast Trading Company. Charged with traveling the continent to buy and sell goods of all kinds on the company's behalf, his father's work as a trader elevated the family's wealth and social status considerably. From a young age he became determined to emulate the merchant lifestyle for himself, and this decision would set the course for everything that followed in his life. To that end, much of his teenage years were spent as a courier running goods between his home and Bravil via the Green Road. When he wasn't buried in his studies or delivering parcels, he could be found aboard his fishing vessel on the waters of nearby Topal Bay or stalking its shoreline for clams -- a hobby that would come to have great influence over his future.

As he came unto adulthood, his thirst for wisdom would eventually prompt him to seek out those who protect Tamriel's greatest secrets: the Order of the Ancestor Moth. Even as a teenager, he regularly made pilgrimages to their temple in the north. He did not know it then, but he would become their greatest protector and benefactor in the unstable political climate that loomed on the horizon.

Service to the Empire (2E567 - 2E574)[edit]

When it comes to life in Cyrodiil, connections are important. On his eighteenth birthday, Silvanus made the decision to enlist with the Imperial military and immediately leveraged his father's status to his advantage: he would be assigned to the gleaming white-gold walls of the Imperial City itself. As a member of the Capital Defense Garrison he did not belong to any any numbered Legion, instead reporting directly to the Palace Guard. Often referred to in jest as the "Rumare Navy" by Legionaries outside the unit, the garrison in fact did the very important job of defending the city and its Emperor by patrolling the waterways and numerous caves of the City Isle. Before his days of service were over, Silvanus would be placed in command of this unit, sending his orders from an office in the Waterfront Lighthouse.

Despite the success he was enjoying as a military man, Silvanus could not help but feel that he was destined for greater adventure and excitement, and so he retires from service having achieved the rank of Legate. Thanks to his proven record as a servant of the crown, he finds little difficulty in obtaining new employment with the Imperial Geographical Society as a cartographer. The assignments that followed would take him all over the Empire: the city of Falkreath, the islands of Sheogorad, the Tenmar Forest, and even back to the sewers of the Imperial City. Regardless of where he ended up, he enjoyed his work tremendously. In 2E573, his career as a mapmaker reaches its pinnacle when he is asked to contribute in the very first Emperor's Guide to Tamriel.

Throughout these travels, Silvanus kept his bartering skills sharp by striking deals with local traders and collectors. This began as a way of obtaining mementos from his time in each place, but without intention he became quite adept at accumulating exotic items. Before he could consider another change in his career however, world-changing events would unfold.

Ascent to Lordship (2E575 - 2E582)[edit]

With unrest now brewing across the continent, Silvanus recognized that it was the perfect time to establish himself as a trader in his own right. He would have preferred to return home, but the region of Blackwood became cut off from travel as conflict commenced. Thus he was forced to make a name for himself elsewhere: the old Imperial town of Arenthia, conveniently located where Cyrodiil, Valenwood, and Elsweyr share their borders.

An early success came in the form of clam digging on the island of Summerset, a trade to which he was introduced by an enterprising young Khajiit named Míxíe. Though he had hunted for clams on the bay in his younger years, this was only for food; the variety he found on the island homeland of the Altmer was much larger and had highly desirable alchemical properties. As a result, he developed a fondness for pearls that is reflected in the decor of his homes even today.

Building upon his achievements as a private trader, he expanded his reach through the establishment of storefronts and other businesses: an alchemy shop, a nirncrux mine, a rare book store, and a clam harvesting operation to name just a few. Around the same time, he began taking on wealthy clients who wished to utilize his vaults in Arenthia for the protection of their valuable items -- a service that became popular with Cyrodilic nobility when times became uncertain.

All of this prosperity was rewarding for a man who dreamed of being a traveling merchant, but Silvanus still found himself longing for home. Without an army of his own to retake Blackwood, returning to Leyawiin at the time would have been impossible. Rather than initiate a struggle he could never hope to win, he instead took a vast sum from his holdings and persuaded the Aldmeri Dominion to sell him the strategically important but undeveloped Topal Island. The fishing village of Driftwood, with its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, would become his seat of power in the region. Despite being forced to sign a non-interference pact, the purchase had put him close to home and back in familiar waters.

When the intensity of conflict in southern Cyrodiil softened for a time and trade re-opened with Blackwood, Silvanus ingratiates himself with the royal court of Leyawiin. Once more bartering to find advantage, his modest fleet is offered as a shield against Dominion aggression in return for control of the Niben River. Without ceremony and without the need for celebration, he declares himself Duke of the Niben, his territory described as: "The River Niben and both its banks, from Bravil to the Isle of Topal Bay."

Topal Island[edit]

This tropical paradise ruled over by Silvanus is straight out of a fairy tale. Situated in the Topal Bay south of Cyrodiil and between Elsweyr and Black Marsh, it is sparsely inhabited save for those in the employ of the Duke. Due to its location on the bay, it is the ideal environment for growing moon-sugar cane as well as the regular harvesting of clams. At the main landing, you will find a tribute to Topal the Pilot, the Aldmeri explorer who charted the waterways of Tamriel and for whom the island is named.

While its current owner may claim it for Cyrodiil, the cat-folk of Elsweyr and the lizard people of Black Marsh have both, at times, called this island home. Evidence of this can be found all over in the form of ruined stone architecture from the two cultures, some of which has been deliberately preserved or even restored by Silvanus. Further, the flora and fauna of both their homelands can be observed here.

Artifacts & Interests[edit]

The Jewel of the Rumare The Jewel of the Rumare
A ring forged by Ayleid craftsmen whose centerpiece stone was imbued with a powerful waterbreathing spell. After spotting a blueish-green glow in the water near Fanacasecul, Silvanus diverted from his official duties to dive into Lake Rumare and obtain the ring for himself. For many years, he kept the knowledge of its existence a secret and took joy in using it to dive for clams.
Ayleid Wells Ayleid Wells
Sources of aetherial power found throughout Cyrodiil and beyond, left behind by the Ayleids. Silvanus researches them with great interest alongside a colleague from the Weynon Priory. He is delighted to discover that there are still active wells in Blackwood upon his return to the region.
Vein from the Heart of Lorkhan Vein from the Heart of Lorkhan
Just a small fragment of the original Heart, sold to Silvanus by a clueless peddler in Belkarth and embedded in the chest piece of his gilded armor. It imbues him with practical abilities from the school of Alteration like shielding, levitation, transmutation, and light. He can release locks with the wave of his hand, breath underwater for long periods, and move with blinding speed.
Artaeum Takeaway Broth Artaeum Takeaway Broth
One of Silvanus' most favorite food dishes. After learning how to prepare it under the tutelage of a Psijic provisioner, he makes some small tweaks to the recipe in order to enhance its underlying alchemical effects. Thanks to the clam operations he oversees, he is afforded the rare privilege of consuming a meal of the decadent broth whenever he pleases.
Coda Flower Coda Flower
The Duke's merchant company imports these flowers from the Bitter Coast region of Vvardenfell, and he has a particular fondness for them due to their natural glow. Additionally, these flowers make the perfect alchemical compliment to a talented user of Alteration such as himself.
Candleflies Candleflies
Ever since he was a small child, Silvanus has delighted in the simple tradition of capturing candleflies and using them as a temporary light source. Hundreds of these insects were imported to Topal Island when he learned there was not a native population already established.
Linguistics Linguistics
Included in the private literary collection of the merchant lord are texts documenting virtually every known language on Nirn. Among these books are a number of volumes on Ayleidoon -- priceless to a scholar of the Wells, and centuries in the making.
Kothringi History Kothringi History
Always the scholar, Silvanus has taken a particular interest in this lost race of Men. He studies all of the extinct species that once walked Tamriel, but there is something particularly fascinating and tragic about those most similar to himself.


Extending beyond the practice of alchemy, Silvanus' love for plants makes itself known in the kitchen as well as the garden. Though he rarely has time to personally tend the plants he keeps all over Tamriel, he sees to it that his staff follow strict guidelines in fostering some of the rare and vulnerable flora in his care. Many of the plants to which he dedicates resources are in danger of being wiped out through war in Cyrodiil, and so he harbors them such that they might one day flourish again. Unique and unusually beautiful Cyrodilic flowers dot his many properties, but he also works to preserve vegetables and other important consumables which are a boon to every meal served.

Tobacco Tobacco
Once commonly found on every farm and estate in Cyrodiil, this plant is seldom grown or consumed in the other provinces. Silvanus' mother grew this crop in the family garden when he was a child, curing it for sale to patrons at the local tavern. As a result, he grew fond of the smell of tobacco in all its stages from freshly-picked to well-aged. Whether chewed or smoked, it has a relaxing effect on the user.
Lavender Lavender
More widely available in Skyrim where it thrives best, lavender is the most important ingredient in Silvanus' favorite dessert: Lavender Dumplings. Every kitchen in every home is stocked with the dried flower for exactly this reason.
Onion Onion
Overlooked in much of Tamrielic cuisine, the humble onion is a wonderful addition to many a dish. Roasts, stews, and even salads can be improved with the inclusion of this unassuming root vegetable. Its place in Cyrodilic cooking is secure, but Silvanus would like to see it embraced more widely.
Watermelon Watermelon
A fruit that is not unique to Cyrodiil, but perhaps appreciated by the Imperials more than anyone else. Sweet, juicy, and ideally just a little bit cold, fresh watermelon is unlike anything else in Tamriel. You will find one in the cellar of many a home in the Heartland each warm season.
Strawberry Strawberry
It is tradition for Imperial children to pick strawberries as part of the Midyear Celebration. Citizens in every corner of Cyrodiil participate, and the fruit is found on the menu at many inns and taverns during the height of the season. This red berry also happens to be an effective counter to many common poisons, reason alone to see it preserved for future generations.
Sacred Lotus Seeds Sacred Lotus Seeds
The Sacred Lotus is a plant found on nearly every pond and lake in Cyrodiil. Seeds harvested from this plant can be dried and consumed much like nuts from a tree, and have a similar calming effect to Tobacco but with the addition of making the user feel light in their step, as if walking on air. Silvanus keeps a pouch of these seeds on his belt when traveling, as a means of counteracting fatigue and providing a snack.
Lettuce Lettuce
A staple in nearly every part of Tamriel, but best grown in the temperate climate of Cyrodiil. With the central province difficult to occupy, this common crop has become very uncommon. The average person is far more likely to encounter its cousin, Cabbage.
Ironwood Ironwood
Most texts refer to Ironwood as being native to Skyrim, but these infamous trees can be found in Cyrodiil as well. Their hardy nature makes them less likely to be wiped out by war, but conflict nonetheless makes it difficult to gather Ironwood Nuts. A small store of them is kept at the vaults in Arenthia should they be needed to renew the population, including a rare Black Ironwood Nut that Silvanus studies for its alchemical secrets.