Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Imperial Legion.
"Long live the Emperor! Long live the Empire!"
―Part of the Imperial Oath[src]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]


The Imperial Legion in Skyrim consists of local militia and Imperial Legionnaires[4] 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. Imperial Soldiers and Legates will also suggest joining the Legion if encountered. 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 Beirand. 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:

"Upon my honor I do swear undying loyalty to the Emperor, Titus Mede II (or simply "The Emperor" if Mede has been killed in the Dark Brotherhood questline), and unwavering obedience to the officers of his great Empire. May those above judge me, and those below take me, if I fail in my duty. Long live the Emperor! Long live the Empire!"


Imperial Sword and Shield

Imperial Sword and Imperial Shield concept art.

Imperial Soldiers in Skyrim largely make use of light armor and swords for their troops, which are typically used for scouting detail or small combat.[5] The Legion utilizes ambushes, such as the ambush at Darkwater Crossing where they captured Ulfric,[6] the ambush at Giant's Gap,[7] or the ambush on a Stormcloak caravan.[8] They are also said to be massacring the Stormcloaks in the field.[9]


Imperial Soldier 1

An Imperial in typical Legion light armor.

The Imperial Legion almost always uses full sets of Imperial Light Armor, often also making use of 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.

Post-Civil War[]

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:

Imperial camps[]


An Imperial camp in The Rift.

For other uses, see Imperial Camp.

Imperial camps serve as outposts for the Legion and are instrumental in the ongoing civil war. They are located in Holds that are controlled by the Stormcloaks. If the Legion takes over a hold, its camp in said hold disappears; and vice versa. The exception is Haafingar, which will not get an Imperial camp even if it falls to the Stormcloaks.

They are normally commanded by a Legate who can be found in their tent, and also have an Imperial Quartermaster working at a forge who will also serve as a merchant.


Notable members[]

Legion veterans[]


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.

Unobtainable ranks[]

These ranks cannot be earned by the Dragonborn, but are still encountered in the game.

  • Private – A rank mentioned by Captain Aldis.
  • Lieutenant - A rank used by some guardsmen officers.[source?]
  • 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.


Main article: Imperial Soldier (Skyrim)
  • 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.


This section contains bugs related to Imperial Legion (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • Occasionally when promoted to Praefect, members of the Legion will refer to the Dragonborn as "Tribune" instead.


Image Name Points Trophy
Taking Sides (Achievement) Taking Sides 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy
Join the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Legion
War Hero (Achievement) War Hero 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy
Capture Fort Sungard or Fort Greenwall
Hero of Skyrim (Achievement) Hero of Skyrim 30 Gamer points
Silver trophy
Capture Solitude or Windhelm



  1. Loading screens in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  2. The Talos Mistake
  3. Dialogue with Legate Rikke during "Battle for Solitude"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dialogue with Legate Rikke
  5. Dialogue with Beirand
  6. Conversations between Ralof and Gerdur
  7. Dialogue with a Stormcloak Soldier during "Sovngarde"
  8. Events of "Compelling Tribute"
  9. Conversations between Galmar Stone-Fist and Ulfric Stormcloak