The Imperial Legion is a joinable faction in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Led by General Tullius, they oppose the Stormcloak rebellion and their attempt to secede Skyrim from the Third Empire. The Dragonborn has the option of joining the Imperial Legion after Alduin's assault on Helgen, regardless of whom the Dragonborn followed—Ralof or Hadvar.
The Imperial Legion believes that as a province of the Empire, Skyrim must abide by its laws and customs. Though most do not approve of the White-Gold Concordat, they nevertheless allow Thalmor Justiciars to enforce the ban in order to preserve the peace between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion. If any legionaries are believers of Talos, such as Legate Rikke who is implied to be a believer, they keep their religion to themselves and pray to Talos discreetly and out of earshot.
Though the Empire has appeased the Aldmeri Dominion's demands, the Imperial Legions in Skyrim claim that the Empire has little love for the Dominion. Most Imperial supporters believe that Skyrim and the Empire must remain united in order to fend off the Aldmeri Dominion if a second war with them erupts. Some accuse Ulfric Stormcloak of orchestrating the Stormcloaks' rebellion as a selfish ploy to set himself up as Skyrim's next High King. The Imperial Legion believes that they can only restore peace to Skyrim and the Empire by killing Ulfric and quelling his rebellion.
Once the strongest fighting forces in Tamriel, the Imperial Legion has been reduced to a mere shadow of its former self by the time of the events of Skyrim. With the near annihilation of the Blades and the emergence of the Aldmeri Dominion as a military power, many view the Legion as corrupt and decaying.
The Imperial Legion in Skyrim consists of local militia and Imperial Legionnaires and is based in Solitude. The Dragonborn may join and fight to keep Skyrim in the Empire. The Legion is comprised mostly of Nord and Imperial legionnaires and Legates, though there are Breton and Redguard legionnaires, along with Altmer, Dunmer, and Breton Legates.
The Stormcloaks are at odds with the Imperial Legion, as self-proclaimed liberators of the Nordic people. Because of this, the Legion is also at odds with the influential Gray-Mane family, an old and renowned Whiterun clan, whose views oppose those of the Empire of Tamriel. However, they have the support of the influential Battle-Born clan, also in Whiterun. This has led to tensions between the clans in neutral Whiterun. Similarly, they are in good relations with the Black-Briars of Riften while the Silver-Bloods of Markarth support the Stormcloaks.
Joining the Legion
Hadvar suggests that the Dragonborn join the Legion at the end of Unbound if he is followed during the escape from Helgen. To join the Imperial Legion, the Dragonborn must travel to Solitude and find General Tullius in Castle Dour, which is found by following the path up the ramps. Castle Dour will be to the left, guarded by Imperial soldiers. Tullius will say to speak with Legate Rikke. After talking to Rikke, the quest Joining the Legion will start and, when finished, the Dragonborn will take an oath and be officially inducted into the Imperial Army. The Dragonborn will also be rewarded with a set of Imperial Armor from the blacksmith. Once the Dragonborn has joined the Imperial Legion, only one more opportunity remains to switch sides, leaving the Legion for the Stormcloaks. When the Jagged Crown has been acquired, the Dragonborn can choose to travel to Windhelm where they can give the crown to Ulfric Stormcloak instead. Jarl Ulfric will then recognize them as a Stormcloak soldier and immediately orders them to deliver an important message to Whiterun while skipping the formalities of making the Dragonborn swear the Stormcloak oath.
All new initiates to the Imperial Legion must recite the following oath:
Imperial Legion soldiers typically utilize Imperial swords and Imperial shields in battle—their gear is completely uniform with no other sorts of weapons or armor used. In this sense, Imperial gear has less damage output but has a higher defensive rating than Stormcloak gear.
The Imperial Legion almost always uses full sets of Imperial Light Armor (the armor piece of the Imperial light armor set is often replaced by Studded Imperial Armor). These are roughly equal to the light armor worn by Stormcloak soldiers.
High-ranking legionnaires generally use Imperial Heavy Armor, making them considerably tougher opponents. By default, when joining the faction, three different armor sets can be chosen (light, medium, or heavy). The Legion's armor generally has a greater defense when compared to the Stormcloaks.
After the conclusion of the civil war in favor of the Imperial Legion, the Dragonborn will be told there are still Stormcloak camps out there to destroy. However, when visiting said camps, the commanders will still be flagged as essential and cannot be killed. Furthermore, the Stormcloak soldiers at these camps will eventually respawn. Additionally, citizens still mention the war. A number of notable changes occur after completing the Imperial Legion campaign:
- All Jarls that supported the Stormcloaks are replaced with those loyal to Empire.
- Imperial Legion soldiers replace the Hold Guards in all cities that previously were under the control of the Stormcloaks.
- Jarls who have been removed from their throne due to the Imperial Legion's take over are all kept in the main hall of the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm along with their housecarls, stewards, and a few other notable persons who supported the Stormcloaks.
- Former Stormcloak forts scattered around Skyrim will be occupied by Imperial Legion Soldiers.
- Fort Hraggstad will also be garrisoned by Legion soldiers.
- Imperial Legion Soldiers aid the Dragonborn in battle if they are attacked by a foe. They do not lend assistance if the Dragonborn initiated the fight.
- Eastmarch Imperial Camp
- Falkreath Imperial Camp
- Hjaalmarch Imperial Camp
- Pale Imperial Camp
- Reach Imperial Camp
- Rift Imperial Camp
- Whiterun Imperial Camp
- Winterhold Imperial Camp
- Joining the Legion
- The Jagged Crown
- Message to Whiterun
- Battle for Whiterun
- Reunification of Skyrim
- General Tullius – Military Governor and overall Legion commander in Skyrim.
- Legate Rikke – Second-in-command and field commander of the Imperial Legion in Skyrim.
- Hadvar – Soldier and potential survivor of the Helgen dragon attack.
- General Falx Carius – Undead general stationed at Fort Frostmoth during the quest March of the Dead.DR
- Imperial Captain – Commander of the execution prior to the Helgen dragon attack.
- Legate Adventus Caesennius – Legate of Haafingar.
- Legate Constantius Tituleius – Legate of The Pale.
- Legate Emmanuel Admand – Legate of The Reach.
- Legate Fasendil – Legate of The Rift.
- Legate Hrollod – Legate of Eastmarch.
- Legate Quentin Cipius – Legate of Whiterun Hold.
- Legate Sevan Telendas – Legate of Winterhold.
- Legate Skulnar – Legate of Falkreath Hold.
- Legate Taurinus Duilis – Legate of Hjaalmarch.
- Captain Aldis – Instructor and trainer of novice soldiers in Solitude.
- Commander Caius – Captain for the Whiterun Guard.
- Adelaisa Vendicci – Soldier stationed at the East Empire Company quarters in Windhelm.
- Alethius – Found dead at the Nchuand-Zel Excavation Site.
- Torturer – He was used to extract information from prisoners at Helgen.
- Torturer's Assistant – Watches over the Torturer's needs.
- Margret – A Legion spy assigned by General Tullius in Markarth.
- Sulla Trebatius – Former Imperial Expeditioner at Alftand.
- Ghorbash the Iron Hand – Served in the Imperial Legion under the name of Ghorbash Gro-Dushnikh.
- Rexus – Amaund Motierre's bodyguard.
- Noster Eagle-Eye – A beggar who was an Imperial scout during the Great War.
- Salvianus – Ex-Imperial officer, inferring by his possessions and the quotes he keeps repeating to himself.
- Imperial Deserter – A soldier wounded in Helgen, and he can later be found in Redwater Den.
- Moth gro-Bagol – Ex-Imperial blacksmith.
- Ghorza gra-Bagol – Ex-Imperial blacksmith.
- Brunwulf Free-Winter – Ex-Imperial soldier who fought in the Great War.
- Jod – Ex-Imperial soldier who served in the Imperial Navy during the Great War.
- Ulfric Stormcloak – Ex-Imperial Soldier who fought in the Great War.
- Brina Merilis – Ex-Imperial Officer who served in the Great War.
- Horik Halfhand – Former soldier who served with Brina Merilis in the Great War.
- Galmar Stone-Fist – Ex-Imperial soldier who fought in the Great War.
- Rorik – Ex-Imperial officer who served in the Great War.
- Jouane Manette – Ex-Imperial soldier who served alongside Rorik in the Great War.
- Mralki – Ex-Imperial soldier who fought in the Great War.
- Madena – Ex-Imperial Battlemage who fought in the Great War.
- Skjor – Ex-Imperial Soldier who fought in the Great War and later joined the Companions.
- Jergen – Member of the Companions who died fighting in the Great War.
There are five ranks that can be earned by the Dragonborn if the Legion is joined during the Civil War questline. Progress in rank occurs at the completion of key battles during the war.
- Auxiliary – Complete "Joining the Legion."
- Quaestor – Complete "Battle for Whiterun."
- Praefect – Complete "The Battle for Fort Dunstad."
- Tribune – Complete "The Battle for Fort Greenwall."
- Legate – Complete "Rescue from Fort Kastav."
These ranks cannot be earned by the Dragonborn, but are still encountered in the game.
- Private – A rank mentioned by Captain Aldis.
- Captain – The commanding officer of a garrison or a town guard.
- General – The commanding officer of an Imperial field army or a small legion.
- General/military governor – The commanding officer of an entire legion in a region and reports to the Emperor himself, this rank is only held by General Tullius.
- Imperial Archer
- Imperial Soldier
- Imperial Quartermaster
- Imperial Fort Commander
- Imperial General
- Imperial Field Legate
- Imperial Wizard
- Imperial Mage
- Imperial Courier
- The Legates reveal that Cyrodiil has sent very few reinforcements to Skyrim and that this forced the Legion to recruit locally. In other words, most of the legionnaires fighting in the Civil War are locally recruited Nords.
- Additionally, General Tullius explains why Skyrim has got few reinforcements in one of his dialogue options during Season Unending: should the Dragonborn convince him to come to the peace council by saying that the best time to negotiate is from a position of strength, the general will say that the Emperor has not sent the reinforcements he requested. If he is asked why the Emperor did not send these, Tullius will say that the Emperor keeps most of the Legion gathered at the southern border with the Aldmeri Dominion to keep Cyrodiil prepared for the next Great War. He will also state that, from the Imperial City, Skyrim's Civil War is nothing more than a side show for the future war against the Dominion.
- Non-main female legionnaires are not present in Skyrim, with the exception of Legate Rikke, an archer killing Lokir as he attempts to flee Helgen, the Imperial Captain, a corpse of a female soldier at Dragontooth Crater, a corpse of a female soldier in Nchuand-Zel, and an Imperial Mage using the Firebolt spell on Alduin. If the Imperial Legion has conquered The Rift, a dead female legionnaire can be found at Shor's Watchtower.
- If the Dragonborn joins the Legion, Stormcloak-leaning characters will call them a "milk drinker."
- The ranks are all of Roman origin. However, a Quaestor was a government rank in real Roman times. Tribunes can be both government or military. Auxiliaries, in Roman times, were foreign soldiers/allies of Rome that served alongside the Legion and bolstered its forces; traditionally, the cavalry of the Legion was mostly Auxiliary. A Roman Legate was equivalent to a modern-day general officer, but a Cyrodilic legate reports to a superior general which probably makes them more equivalent to a deputy/adjutant-general, i.e. a Brigadier General or Major General (NATO reference code: OF-6 and OF-7).
- If the Emperor is killed during the Dark Brotherhood questline, General Tullius will not mention Titus Mede II in the oath for the Imperial Legion.
- How many legions are in Skyrim is still up to interpretation. Some sources state that there are multiple "Legions" in Skyrim, such as General Tullius or The Holds of Skyrim. However, the use of the word "Legion" in the Guard's Orders located in the Abandoned Prison suggests that the term "Legion" is also used for individual soldiers.
- Additionally, Jarl Balgruuf says that he will hand the Dragonborn back to his Legion during the Imperial battle for Whiterun, while the Dragonborn was recruited by Legate Rikke, further implying that there is only one Legion in Skyrim.
- Occasionally when promoted to Praefect, members of the legion will refer to the Dragonborn as "Tribune" instead.
|Join the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Legion|
|Capture Fort Sungard or Fort Greenwall|
|Hero of Skyrim||30|
|Capture Solitude or Windhelm|
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online