Elder Scrolls Lore Report - Manny the Wormy Mammoth, Empty Moons, No-Lag Bal


Mannimarco is, perhaps, the most prolific necromancer in The Elder Scrolls Cosmology. At the height of his power, he was poised to supplant Molag Bal and become the new God of Schemes, but he was ultimately thwarted. His legacy, however, remains imprinted upon the stars. But what, pray tell, is his legacy?




Thereafter the Dragon Break of the Middle Dawn, brought about by the Marukhati Selectives, a splinter sect of the Alessian Order, sometime between the 13th and 23rd centuries of the First Era, during their attempted exorcism of elements of Auriel from the Imperial Akatosh. Allegedly, according to Psijic Loremaster Celarus, it was the corrupted and abused use of the Staff of Towers that tore a “impossibly dense aurbic gyre” that resulted in the Dragon Break, though exactly whom misused the staff, he did not specify. Despite the Dragon Break of the Middle Dawn being the only universally-known Breaking, there were many civilizations who claimed to have been protected. It was during this breaking that Mannimarco perceived his mystery.


                              Where Were You When the Dragon Broke?

                                             Various accounts of the Dragon Break

               Mannimarco, God of Worms, Necromancers:

“”The three thieves of Morrowind could tell you where they were. So could the
High King of Alinor, who was the one who broke it in the first place. There are others on this earth that could, too: Ysmir, Pelinal, Arnand the Fox, or should I say Arctus? The Last Dwarf would talk, if they would let him. As for myself, I was here and there and here again, like the rest of the mortals during the Dragon Break. How do you think I learned my mystery? The Marukhati Selectives showed us all the glories of the Dawn so that we might learn, simply: as above, so below.”



(the Staff of Towers, as seen in The Elder Scolls Online: Summerset)


Though it is not revealed until much, much later in his life, the “mystery” that was revealed to Mannimarco during the Breaking of the Dawn was actually quite straightforward, for the most part. Keeping in mind that the Breaking was brought about by an attempt to separate Auriel from Akatosh, the mystery is quite simple to unravel: Mannimarco saw he was destined to bring Nirn and Oblivion together through the Amulet of Kings by which he could use its power to supplant Molag Bal and become a god. As for how exactly he determined how he might achieve this? We have the Psijic Order to thank.


Some few hundred years following the Dragon Break, in the early Second Era, Mannimarco joined the Psijic Order alongside Vanus Galerion. Mannimarco was said to be incredibly keen-minded, dutifully diligent in his studies, always yearning to learn new things, but that his heart was “dark and cold” and almost polar contrast to Galerion, who was described as “bright and warm” – if not also equally driven. Through his studies in Mysticism, which the Psijics favored above all other aspects of magic, Mannimarco began to delve into soul trapping which inevitably led to necromancy – though the manipulation of souls was not taboo to the Psijics, they not only frowned upon necromancy, they prohibited it. For a time, Mannimarco kept his nefarious studies secret, but, eventually, Galerion discovered what Mannimarco was up to and threatened to inform the Loremaster if he didn’t stop. Ultimately, Mannimarco was exiled from Artaeum and cast from the Psijic Order for his dark interests. Unfortunately, Mannimarco had already learned what he needed from the Psijics and spent the next several decades gathering a group of followers to brainwash into his mind-slaves.12344650868?profile=RESIZE_710x


As the decades passed, Mannimarco drew about himself a vast cult of necromancers, dubbing themselves the Order of the Black Worm. He was described as one of the first true, undying Liches, despite there being evidence of several immortal liches before him. His body and mind left him, his blood became acid, and he became a living, moving corpse. All manner of profane things happened about him and he was dubbed “King of Worms”.


Some three hundred years after his expulsion from the Psijic Order, in Second Era Year 578, Mannimarco joined the Five Companions, a group of adventurers who had made it their goal to recover the lost Amulet of Kings during the Interregnum. Emperor Varen Aquilarios of Cyrodiil lead the faction and desired the Amulet so he could reignite the Dragonfires and persuade Akatosh to make him Dragonborn, thus legitimizing his claim to the throne – other members were Lyris Titanborn, a Nord warrior said to possess the heart of a giant who served as the Emperor’s personal bodyguard; Sai Sahan, a Redguard and Captain of the Dragonguard; Abnur Tharn, Chancellor of the Elder Council and Varen’s advisor, as well as the Imperial Battlemage; and Mannimarco, who was unknown to most of the group but held great influence with Varen and claimed he knew how to conduct the Dragonfire Ritual.. A year later, they discovered the Amulet of Kings and Mannimarco betrayed the group and corrupted the ritual, severing the ancient bond between Akatosh and mortals. The triggering catastrophe was a massive explosion of arcane energy, sweeping across all of Nirn, setting it adrift in Mundus. This explosion, referred to by the Elder Scrolls as the Soulburst, sundered Nirn and left it vulnerable to Oblivion, allowing Molag Bal’s Coldharbour to begin to fuse with Nirn, an event known as the Planemeld.


12344650689?profile=RESIZE_710xAs Molag Bal began to invade Nirn, Mannimarco invaded Coldharbour, desiring to use the Amulet of Kings to siphon away Bal’s power and become a god. However, as he infiltrated Coldharbour, he lost the Amulet of Kings. It was recovered by Sai Sahan, who brought it back to Sancre Tor and protected it behind a Ward of Stendarr. When Mannimarco uncovered its location three years later, he went to retrieve it, only to be confronted by the Five Companions – Varen Aquilarios, Lyris Titanborn, Sai Sahan, Abnur Tharn, and the Vestige. A short but brutal battle led to Mannimarco’s defeat and his soul was captured by Molag Bal, who tortured Mannimarco for betraying him – similar to how Mannimarco had promised the Five Companions he could reignite the Dragonfires, he promised Molag Bal he would bring him to Nirn and let it become one with Coldharbour. However, Mannimarco managed to escape and returned to Nirn. Sometime during this, the Vestige and the rest of the Five Companions ended the Planemeld, returning Coldharbour to Oblivion and Nirn to Mundus.


Mannimarco wouldn’t return with a new scheme until Third Era Year 405, when he began searching for the Totem of Tiber Septim, which would allow him to revive and control Numidium, buried deep in the Scourge Barrow crypts in the Dragontail Mountains. His goal was to use the Totem to cause the Mantella to fall from Aetherius and capture it before it could reach Numidium. Using its power, he intended to ascend his mortal frame – to what end is uncertain, the likely theory to join the ranks of the Daedric Lords in Oblivion. In order to locate the Totem, he involved himself in the affairs surrounding the Iliac Bay, coming into contact with an agent of Uriel Septim VII. It is known that this agent – whether with the aid of Mannimarco or despite him – did retrieve the Totem and returned the Mantella to Nirn, but the events directly following are unknown because of the Warp in the West.


12344651062?profile=RESIZE_710x (the Iliac Bay region prior to the events of the Warp in the West, as seen in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall; the fate of the Isle of Balfiera remains unknown)


The Warp in the West – known as the Miracle of Peace or the Second Numidium – was a bizarre phenomenon that took place during the 9th and 11th of Frostfall in Third Era Year 417, when events stemmed from King Lysandus of Daggerfall’s death surged an upheaval in Hammerfall and High Rock. The effects caused by the Warp in the West lead many to compare it to a Dragon Break – specifically the Breaking of the Dawn – though it was localized to the Iliac Bay region. All that is known is that the agent of Uriel Septim accidentally – or, perhaps, intentionally – activated Numidium. Though the agent itself was unable to use Numidium, somehow, simultaneously, Sentinel, Wayrest, Daggerfal, Orsinium, and the Emperor all took command of Numidium and used it to consolidate their power. This synchronized abuse of Numidium’s power caused a surge of mysterious cataclysmic events and anomalies that not only reshaped the landscapes but rewrote history itself. Before the Totem was recovered, there were 44 city-states warring in the Iliac Bay region and when the dust settled only four remained – Sentinel, Wayrest, Daggerfall, and Orsinium, the same four that commanded Numidium at the exact same time, minus the Emperor, of course.


12344651263?profile=RESIZE_710x(the Iliac Bay region after the events of the Warp in the West as seen in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall) 


The alterations to the Iliac Bay weren’t the only ramifications of the Warp, however. It is said the Underking used the power of the Mantella and Numidium’s awakening to reclaim his missing “heart”, allowing him to finally die. The Agent of Uriel Septim, revealed as a member of the Blades, supposedly died. Mannimarco, the King of Worms, disappeared from Nirn entirely. Finally, a new celestial body appeared in the night sky – the Revenant or the Necromancer’s Moon. Somehow, Mannimarco had manipulated the power of Numidium to cast away the shell of his mortal body and fully transcended his apotheosis, becoming the God of Worms.


Every eight days, Mannimarco’s new divine body would eclipse Arkay, an event known as the Shade of the Revenant, which would cast an eerie purple light across certain locations in Tamriel, foiling the power of the god Arkay. During this time, the Revenant commanded life and death. Though the purpose of this eclipse is, as of yet, not known in full, the Cult of the Black Worm built altars at these locations and used the power of the Shade of the Revenant to create Black Soul Gems.12344651290?profile=RESIZE_710x


Sometime around Third Era Year 433, Mannimarco returned to mortal affairs when he began capturing the souls of prolific mages for use in his studies. He attempted to capture the soul of Arch-Mage Hannibal Traven, Head of the Mage’s Guild who had recently outlawed necromancy, which brought a lot of new followers into the Worm Cult. However, Traven was crafty, and instead he managed to thwart Mannimarco by sacrificing his soul to the Hero of Kvatch, saving his life. This enable the Hero of Kvatch to kill Mannimarco.


Despite the God of Worms having been killed by the Hero of Kvatch, the Revenant maintains its place in the cosmos and the Shade of the Revenant still shines down on Nirn and necromancers across Tamriel still worship the Necromancer’s Moon and forge Black Soul Gems with its light well into the Fourth Era.


Mannimarco may have failed to achieve his mystery in earnest, but perhaps he did. He has ascended as the God of Worms, eclipsing Arkay’s lordship over life and death every eight days, allowing necromancers everywhere to become just that much more dangerous. Whether the God of Schemes, an immortal Lich, or the Patron of Necromancers, Mannimarco has, at the very least, cemented himself as the most powerful necromancer to have ever walked upon Nirn.


12344651081?profile=RESIZE_710x(four of the Five Companions; from left to right: Emperor Varen Aquilarios, Captain Sai Sahan, Lady Lyris Titanborn, High Chancellor Abnur Tharn)

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Fimvul is the current master of the Skyforge Library. Interested in the Elder Scrolls from a young age, he has been diving headfirst into the richer aspects of the lore of the series for over a decade. With years of experience and research under his belt, he hopes to enlighten his readers with the wondrous mystery that surrounds the Elder Scrolls universe.

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