Jorrvaskr, a building that houses the The Companions faction in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

A Faction, or organization, is a group of people who come together to form an organization. Factions include any organization of peoples' or beings with a common goal, ruleset, mission, or philosophy.

By game[edit | edit source]

Imperial services[edit | edit source]

Blades[edit | edit source]

Guild miscellaneous blades.png
Main article: Blades

The Blades are a group of spies and commandos of an elite Akaviri order that are dedicated to serve and protect the Dragonborn, because of his fate as a savior of the world who will stop the World Eater from destroying it, when the time will come. They are featured in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The first Emperor Tiber Septim, as well as all his descendants, were Dragonborn, and so the Blades came under the service of the Emperors of Tamriel, until the last known Dragonborn, Martin Septim, died. As the Emperor's protectors, they had secret branches all across Tamriel, which gathered intelligence on the Empire's enemies. They took orders only from the Emperor himself, and the Elder Council had no power over them.

After the death of Martin Septim, the Blades no longer had reason to continue to protect the Emperor, and so they served the Empire as spies instead. However, during the Great War, most of the Blades were slaughtered by Thalmor agents, and any further survivors were hunted and killed.

During the Dragon Crisis, surviving Blades Delphine and Esbern - with the help of the new Dragonborn - restored the order and started to fulfill their destiny as Dragonslayers and guardians of Dovahkiin. They reside in Sky Haven Temple after the quest "Alduin's Wall." From then on, followers can become members of the Blades.

However, they discover the leader of the Greybeards is Paarthurnax, who was Alduin's main ally during the Dragon War. They tell the Dragonborn that Paarthurnax must pay for his crimes and be destroyed, and refuse to give any more help to the Dragonborn until Paarthurnax is dead.

Depending on the player's choice, the relationship between the Dragonborn and the Blades will either be forever soiled or continue to be strong if the latter listens to the Blade's demands and kills Paarthurnax. Though it can be noted that by refusing to help the Dragonborn, they are breaking the sacred covenant that the Blades had made to declare undying loyalty to the Dragonborn, it can be possible that Delphine and Esbern are secretly manipulating the traditions of the Blades to their own ends.

Imperial Legion[edit | edit source]

Main article: Imperial Legion

The Imperial Legion is the main military force of the Cyrodiilic Empire. Its headquarters are in the Imperial City's Prison District.

Penitus Oculatus[edit | edit source]

Main article: Penitus Oculatus

The Penitus Oculatus is a special operations group of bodyguards dedicated to protecting the Emperor.

Imperial Geographic Society[edit | edit source]

Main article: Imperial Geographic Society

The Imperial Geographic Society was an organization notable for authoring the Pocket Guide to the Empire series.[1]

Imperial University[edit | edit source]

The Imperial University was a university and organization. Some of their faculties included the Office of Introductory Studies and the Council of Healers.[2][3]

Census and Excise[edit | edit source]

Main article: Census and Excise

The Census and Excise was an organization operated by the Empire in an attempt to manage census counting and for tax/excise purposes. Imperial taxes are based on headcounts of citizens; Census and Excise is responsible for both headcounts and tax assessment and collection. Census and Excise officers also administer many Imperial licenses, e.g. importation, mercenary company incorporation. They are typically found in many major ports across Tamriel, such as Seyda Neen in Vvardenfell.

Guilds[edit | edit source]

Fighters Guild[edit | edit source]

Main article: Fighters Guild

The Fighters Guild is a guild dedicated to the various combat arts and to the mercenary business, offering its services for a payment. It is sanctioned by the Empire and has multiple chapters throughout Tamriel. Skyrim has no Fighters Guild, but the Companions of Whiterun are similar.

Mages Guild[edit | edit source]

Main article: Mages Guild
Mages Guild.jpg

The Mages Guild was a guild dedicated to the study of magic, alchemy, and often other sciences and their links to magic. It was spread throughout Tamriel and was chartered by the Empire. The Morrowind section was headquartered in Vivec. In Cyrodiil, the Mages guild's headquarters is the Arcane University, located in the Imperial City.[4][5] By the Fourth Era, the Mages Guild had been disbanded, and was split into two new factions, the College of Whispers and The Synod.[source?]

The Companions[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Companions

The Companions are similar to the Fighters Guild. They reside in Jorrvaskr, a mead hall in Whiterun. There is no official leader, just a Harbinger whose word is highly respected. The Companions' current Harbinger is Kodlak Whitemane. The Circle, the leading members of the Companions, are werewolves. While Aela and Skjor see lycanthropy as a gift, the other members of The Circle, notably Kodlak, desperately search for a cure. The questline is centered around Kodlak's desire to go to Sovngarde instead of Hircine's realm. Hircine is the Daedric Prince of the Hunt and Father of the Manbeasts. The Dragonborn may become the Harbinger at the end of the Companions' questline.

College of Winterhold[edit | edit source]

Main article: College of Winterhold

The College of Winterhold resembles the Cyrodilic Mages Guild, but due to the lack of the Guild's presence in Skyrim, the College acts as the center for mages in Skyrim. Located on a rocky cliff, joined to the town of Winterhold by a run-down bridge, the Nords of Skyrim are suspicious towards the members of the college following the Great Collapse. The college contains mages of all specialties, and the Dragonborn can rise to become Arch-Mage by completing all the quests.

Religious organizations[edit | edit source]

Imperial Cult[edit | edit source]

Main article: Imperial Cult

The Imperial Cult is a religious organization devoted to worshipping the Eight Divines and the Emperor Tiber Septim (Talos). As the Imperials of Morrowind and their architecture are based on the Roman Empire, the Imperial Cult bears many similarities to Roman Catholicism, particularly in the architecture of their temples and their order of clergy includes titles such as Priest, Bishop, Primate, Cardinal, etc., and the Emperor of Tamriel or the Dragonborn could be considered similar to the Roman Catholic pope.

Mythic Dawn[edit | edit source]

Guild miscellaneous mythic dawn.png
Main article: Mythic Dawn

The Mythic Dawn is a daedra worshiping cult that features prominently in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Led by Mankar Camoran, these cultists attempt to destroy Tamriel and allow Mehrunes Dagon, the daedric prince of destruction, to rule it. Until the end of the Third Era Members would identify themselves to one another by code-phrases. One would say "Dawn is breaking." If the one addressed was a fellow cultist, he would respond "Greet the new day." Agents of the Septims eventually learned this code-phrase and used it to infiltrate the cult.

Tribunal Temple[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tribunal Temple

The Tribunal Temple is dedicated to the worship of the three god-kings of Morrowind, the goddess Almalexia, the god-poet Vivec, and Sotha Sil The Tinkerer. It is the dominant religion in the province of Morrowind.

Ordinators[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ordinators

The Ordinators are a highly trained group of soldier guardsmen who work for the Tribunal Temple. They feature prominently in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

Buoyant Armigers[edit | edit source]

Main article: Buoyant Armigers (Morrowind)

The Buoyant Armigers, unlike their counterparts the Ordinators, do not serve the Tribunal Temple, but answer only to Vivec himself. Unlike the Ordinators, who are uniformly grave and serious, Buoyant Armigers are typically lighthearted and jovial.

Nine Divines[edit | edit source]

Main article: Nine Divines (Faction)

The Nine Divines faction is composed of the most fervent worshipers of the Nine Divines. The faction includes all chapels and their staff.

The Greybeards[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Greybeards

The Greybeards is an ancient monastic order dedicated to the attuning of "The Voice," or the Thu'um. The Greybeards live in their ancient fortress, known as High Hrothgar, which is located near the top of the Throat of the World. The Greybeards was started by Jurgen Windcaller in the First Era.[6][7] The Greybeards use the Way of the Voice to attain enlightenment, and worship and honor the gods, as decreed by the Way of the Voice.[8] The Dragonborn joins the Greybeards in the Fourth Era.[9]

Organized crime[edit | edit source]

Thieves Guild[edit | edit source]

The Thieves Guild Shadowmark from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Main article: Thieves Guild

The Thieves Guild is an association of thieves and criminals. It has spread across Tamriel and established branches in most of the provinces. By its very nature, it is illicit and could be considered organized crime, however, its brand of crime is less extensive than that of their counterparts in the Camonna Tong.

In Morrowind, the guild's primary center is in Balmora, with separate branches in various cities such as Sadrith Mora, and Ald'ruhn, and is much more publicly talked about.

In Oblivion, the organization is much more secretive, and one either has to have been thrown in prison or persuade beggars to give information and find the meeting point and then be invited to a contest to join as a member. Although there is no official guildmaster, a man known as the Gray Fox is the primary leader of the organization, and a myth who has lived through many centuries, through a mask taken from Nocturnal, one of the Daedric deities.

In Skyrim the Thieves Guild has fallen on hard times. Based out of Riften and led by Mercer Frey, the Thieves Guild of the Fourth Era is a shadow of what it once was. It falls on the Dragonborn to bring them back to their former glories. They can be found by entering the Ratways or joined by talking to Brynjolf in the market. During the Thieves Guild questline, the Dragonborn can become a Nightingale, a member of a secretive cult that serves Nocturnal and guards the Twilight Sepulcher.

Camonna Tong[edit | edit source]

Main article: Camonna Tong

The Camonna Tong is the native crime syndicate in the province of Morrowind. They play a major role in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

Dark Brotherhood[edit | edit source]

Main article: Dark Brotherhood

The Dark Brotherhood is an assassins guild that split off from the Morag Tong. They do not follow the customs of the Morag Tong and are illegal throughout the entire empire. They worship the Death star sign: Sithis. They feature prominently in Oblivion and Skyrim. They perform assassinations all over Tamriel, most famously killing Tiber Septim's last surviving heir, Emperor Pelagius Septim in 3E 41 and Emperor Titus Mede II during the events of Skyrim.

Morag Tong[edit | edit source]

Main article: Morag Tong

The Morag Tong is a secretive group that carries out legally sanctioned assassinations called "Writs" within the province of Morrowind.

Knightly Orders[edit | edit source]

The Order of the Dragon[edit | edit source]

Main article: Order of the Dragon

The Order of the Dragon is a knightly order originally founded by Tiber Septim, which is mentioned and joinable in Oblivion. The Hero of Kvatch is inducted into the order at the second-highest rank possible, Champion of Cyrodiil (the highest being the Emperor himself), at the end of the main questline.

The Knights of the White Stallion[edit | edit source]

Guild miscellaneous knights white stallion.png
Main article: Knights of the White Stallion (Faction)

The Knights of the White Stallion are based in and around Leyawiin, the southernmost city of Cyrodiil, and were chartered by Count Marius Caro of Leyawiin. The organization was founded to help protect the city and its residents from the dangerous Black Bow Bandits. The Count handpicks the members of the order and grants 100 gold for every Black Bow brought in as a proof of Black Bow members killed.

The player character and an Orc named Mazoga kill Black Brugo, leader of the Black Bow Bandits, during the course of the game. Both are made Knight-Errants of the Order and granted access to the White Stallion Lodge.

The Order of the Virtuous Blood[edit | edit source]

Guild miscellaneous order virtuous blood.png
Main article: Order of the Virtuous Blood (Faction)

The Order of the Virtuous Blood is dedicated to ridding Tamriel of vampires, and compensates or hires people to hunt them. Their headquarters is in the Imperial City, Temple District. The organization was founded by the vampire Seridur as a ploy to misdirect vampire hunters and to use the group as a weapon against those who might discover his true identity.

Order of Diagna[edit | edit source]

Main article: Order of Diagna

The Order of Diagna's major achievement was leading the siege of Orsinium. In fact their initiation ceremony is reenacting that siege. The most famous member of the Order of Diagna was also the founder of the Imperial City's Arena, Gaiden Shinji who died in the siege of Orsinium.

The Knights of the Thorn[edit | edit source]

Guild miscellaneous knights thorn.png
Main article: Knights of the Thorn

The Knights of the Thorn are a group of knights that supposedly serve the needs of Cheydinhal County in Cyrodiil. In reality, this Order has a reputation for doing little more than sitting in taverns and hassling the Cheydinhal Guard. During the Oblivion crisis, Farwil Indarys led the Order on an expedition into an Oblivion gate, however, most of them were killed during this mission.

Knights of the Nine[edit | edit source]

Main article: Knights of the Nine (Faction)

The Knights of the Nine are a group of nine knights in Cyrodiil introduced with Knights of the Nine who have dedicated their lives to retrieve and protect the "Relics of the Crusader" powerful armor and weapons wielded by the Divine Crusader, Pelinal Whitestrake, who defeated the evil Umaril the Unfeathered, who was the last Ayleid king to survive the human revolt instigated by St. Alessia in 1E 242.

Knights of Stendarr[edit | edit source]

Main article: Knights of Stendarr

The Knights of Stendarr are, as the name implies, an order of knights who serve in the name of Stendaar. They are often referred to as Paladins of Stendaar. They have many bases, most in temples, in the provinces of High Rock and Hammerfell. In Skyrim, they are referred to as Vigilants of Stendarr; They are committed to the elimination of Daedra from the mortal realms, and are primarily located in the Hall of the Vigilant or at Stendarr's Beacon.

Shrine of Stendarr.

Houses of Morrowind[edit | edit source]

Main article: Great Houses

House Dagoth[edit | edit source]

Main article: House Dagoth

House Dagoth, also known as the Sixth House, was one of the six Great Houses of Morrowind.

House Dres[edit | edit source]

Main article: House Dres

House Dres is one of the Great Houses of Morrowind. The house concentrates on agriculture and the slave trade and is located in the south-eastern part of Morrowind. Its influence on Morrowind politics has weakened considerably since Morrowind's surrender to the Tamrielic Empire. As it uses slave labor to keep its farms going and is particularly opposed to Imperial power and other races of Tamriel, it is greatly at odds with the values of the Empire (which forbids slave trade).

House Dres is the most conservative of Morrowind’s Great Houses, to the extent that the Daedra worship of the Chimer is still commonly practiced by its members. During the war in which Morrowind became a province of the Empire of Tiber Septim, it was one of the Houses, along with House Indoril and House Redoran, to resist Imperial forces.

More recently, after the events of Morrowind, House Dres has apparently undergone some significant changes. Since then, King Hlaalu Helseth has outlawed slavery in Morrowind, but Dres has allied with Helseth and is apparently finally accepting Imperial rule. Currently, the reasons and motivations for this change, as well as the effect of the outlaw of slavery on House Dres, are unknown.

House Dres holds no territory on the island Vvardenfell. Its territory is all located on the mainland of Morrowind, along the southern border with Black Marsh. The capital of House Dres is Tear.

House Hlaalu[edit | edit source]

Main article: House Hlaalu

House Hlaalu is one of the six Great Houses and a joinable faction in the game Morrowind.

House Indoril[edit | edit source]

Main article: House Indoril

House Indoril is one of the Great Houses of Vvardenfell. The great Chimer hero Nerevar was the head of this House during the early First Era. House Indoril is a staunch supporter of the Tribunal Temple, many of the Temple Ordinators and other Temple heroes are members of this House. This connection has given it a big influence on all political decisions in Morrowind.

Prior to Imperial conquest, House Indoril had been the dominant Great House throughout Morrowind's history. During the war with Tiber Septim's Empire, House Indoril was strongly against Imperial occupation. When Septim incorporated Morrowind into his Empire, Indoril refused to submit to Imperial rule. At the time the Lord High Councilor of the Grand Council, a council comprised of the heads of the Great Houses, was an Indoril and would not accept the treaty or step down, so he was assassinated and replaced with a member of House Hlaalu. More power struggles went on between the two Great Houses, with House Hlaalu, in support of Imperial accommodation, coming out the victor. Still unwilling to accept membership within the Empire, many Indoril nobles committed suicide, weakening the House.

In the game Oblivion, citizens of Cyrodiil speak of House Indoril being in ruins as the result of machinations of the new king, Hlaalu Helseth, and his House Hlaalu and House Dres allies.

After the Third Era, House Indoril had no territorial holdings on the island of Vvardenfell, all of its territory being located on mainland Morrowind. Its capital is Mournhold, also the capital of Morrowind itself. The city of Necrom, in eastern Morrowind, is one of their major cities.

House Redoran[edit | edit source]

Main article: House Redoran

House Redoran, is one of the six Great Houses of Morrowind. It is a joinable faction in the game Morrowind.

House Sotha[edit | edit source]

House Sotha was one of the minor Houses of Vvardenfell until its destruction by Mehrunes Dagon in the times of Indoril Nerevar.

House Sotha supposedly had ties to the Great House of Indoril since their main stronghold, Ald Sotha, was located not far from Vivec, the largest holding of Indoril. The only one who survived the destruction of the House by Dagon was Sotha Sil, who was rescued by Indoril Nerevar and later became one of his most trusted advisors.

House Telvanni[edit | edit source]

Main article: House Telvanni

House Telvanni is one of the six Great Houses of Morrowind Province. It is a joinable faction in Morrowind and Dragonborn.

Other[edit | edit source]

Court of Madness[edit | edit source]

TESIV Faction Courtofmadness.png
Main article: Court of Madness

The Court of Madness consists of the nobility and servants of Sheogorath. It is featured in Shivering Isles, where the player joins and works his way up through the court, to becoming Sheogorath. Its ranks are: Tourist, Aspirant, Citizen, Madman/Madwoman, Honored Madman/Madwoman, Duke/Duchess of Mania/Dementia, Regent, Defender of the Realm, Madgod.

Blackwood Company[edit | edit source]

Guild miscellaneous blackwood company.png
Main article: Blackwood Company

The Blackwood Company is a mercenary organization featured in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was founded by Argonians who were sent back to Black Marsh on an Imperial contract. After unsuccessfully ending the contract, they decided to set up shop in the City of Leyawiin in Cyrodiil. Their headquarters in Leyawiin is located on Guild Plaza, directly opposite of the local Fighters Guild chapter, further annoying the heads of this ancient Imperial organization. The Company has established itself as the primary competitor to the Fighters Guild regarding mercenary services, as they are known to take on any contract, even those that the Fighters Guild refuses.

Twin Lamps[edit | edit source]

Main article: Twin Lamps

The Twin Lamps are an abolitionist group in Morrowind. The terms of the treaty by which Morrowind was annexed into the Tamrielic empire allowed Morrowind to maintain its laws and culture which includes the legality of slavery. While the Imperials frown upon slavery, they are forced by the terms of the treaty to tolerate it within Morrowind. The Twin Lamps, which existed before the Imperials' rule of Morrowind, found aid in the form of the Imperial Thieves Guild and specifically their leader, Gentleman Jim Stacey.

East Empire Company[edit | edit source]

Main article: East Empire Company

The East Empire Company, abbreviated as the EEC, is a massive monopolistic mercantilist trading company with holdings in many eastern territories of the Cyrodilic Empire, such as Morrowind or Solstheim. It has a monopoly over trade in the Eastern Provinces. The company is chartered (and probably funded) by the Emperor of Tamriel.

Many senior ranking officers in the company are seen as corrupt and resented by some people in the provinces who see the businessmen as Imperial fatcats who rob the local natural resources. Otherwise, the East Empire Company does what it can to provide employment and financial stability for the Empire. House Hlaalu has ties with the Caldera Mining Company (an offshoot of the East Empire Company) in the ebony mining town of Caldera due to Hlaalu's acceptance of the Empire.

The East Empire Company has offices in Ebonheart, Caldera, Fort Frostmoth and the new ebony mining colony on Solstheim, Raven Rock. It is headquartered in the Imperial City in Cyrodiil and has large warehouses in the Waterfront District of the city. The East Empire Company may also control the trade of kwama, Telvanni bug musk, mazte, sujamma and other local products of Morrowind as well as imports like flin and Cyrodilic Brandy. The high price of imports like flin may be attributed to the East Empire Company's complete control on price, due to lack of major competition.

Every company chapter is headed by a Factor who directs and controls the affairs of the company in his area of influence. As a high-ranking official of the company, he has the right to construct an estate on the company premises. For instance, there is a large Factor Estate adjacent to the company's ebony mine in Raven Rock, Solstheim.

Summerset Shadows[edit | edit source]

Main article: Summerset Shadows (Faction)

The Summerset Shadows are a group of Altmer thieves, led by Linwe, that cannot be joined by the player. They are involved in the Thieves Guild quest "Summerset Shadows" in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a city influence job in Windhelm for Delvin Mallory. The rival thieves guild is making a name for itself, however, it is rumored that the group is murdering their contacts after doing business. Delvin sends the Dragonborn to Windhelm to find out more about the rival thieves gang and ultimately, through the help of Niranye, finds and purges their camp, wiping out the rival guild.

Bards College[edit | edit source]

Main article: Bards College (Faction)

The Bards College is a group of bards, poets, and public speakers. The college is located in Solitude, just South of the Blue Palace. The college was founded during the Second Era and exists until at least the Fourth Era.

Psijic Order[edit | edit source]

Main article: Psijic Order

The Psijic Order was an ancient, monastic order of mages based on the island of Artaeum. It was initially founded by Aldmer who considered themselves keepers of the Old Ways, and didn't wish to worship the gods the Altmer chose when they settled in the Summerset Isles.[10][11]

Stormcloaks[edit | edit source]

Main article: Stormcloaks

The Stormcloaks is a collective of Nords from Eastern Skyrim, lead by Ulfric Stormcloak, attempting to rid Skyrim of all Imperials and Thalmor. The uprising began when the White-Gold Concordat was signed, and the worship of Talos was outlawed. The Jarls of Eastmarch, The Rift, Winterhold, and The Pale believe their Nord lifestyle is in threat, and unite to form a militaristic force to fight the Empire. This opposition results in the Skyrim Civil War.

Dawnguard[edit | edit source]

Main article: Dawnguard (Faction)

The Dawnguard is a group of Vampire Hunters lead Isran revived in 4E 201. The ancient order now operates for the complete eradication of vampires in Skyrim. Their stronghold, Fort Dawnguard is located in the Velothi Mountains, and dates back to the Second Era.

Volkihar Clan[edit | edit source]

Main article: Volkihar Clan

The Volkihar Clan is a faction of Vampires led by Lord Harkon found in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard. The headquarters, Castle Volkihar, is situated on an island in the Sea of Ghosts, where the Dragonborn can become a Vampire Lord. Little is known about the history of the Clan itself.

Tribal Orcs[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tribal Orcs

The Tribal Orcs of Skyrim are groups of Orsimer in strongholds. The four strongholds, Largashbur, Mor Khazgur, Dushnikh Yal, and Narzulbur, each have a chief, and all but Largashbur have a mine.

Blackblood Marauders[edit | edit source]

Main article: Blackblood Marauders

The Blackblood Marauders are a group of bandits that work mainly around Solitude and its docks.

Black Bow Bandits[edit | edit source]

Main article: Black Bow Bandit

The Black Bow Bandits are a group of bandits that work mainly around Leyawiin.

References[edit | edit source]

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