Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

King Ranser was a ruler of Shornhelm during the 6th century of the Second Era, crowned after the death of his father King Hurlburt of House Branquette in 2E 546. After King Emeric of Wayrest married Maraya instead of his daughter, Rayelle, he started a civil war against High Rock and Hammerfell. He died at Traitor's Tor, where his undead skeleton remains after a curse.


He was illegitimate, born to "a poor Tamrith cousin," and had to compete with his legitimate younger brother Prince Phylgeon for their father Hurlburt's throne. The fourteen-year-old Phylgeon was descended from House Montclair, and his claim was supported by the codicil to the "Bretonnick Natalitie," which declared "Howse Mount Clayre" the royal house of Shornhelm. However, the codicil was missing when the Council of the North met to discuss the two claimants. Prince Ranser presented a long-lost Direnni decree that named House Branquette their "Breton Royal Delegates" in Rivenspire, winning the crown by the vote of the Council.[1]

He had a daughter named Princess Rayelle, whom King Emeric of Wayrest courted before marrying Maraya in the spring of 2E 566. Furious, he called back his ambassador from Wayrest, staying in Shornhelm when he was invited to Emeric's wedding. In Last Seed of the year, he launched a surprise siege on Wayrest, sparking what is now called Ranser's War.[2] His army consisted of mercenaries and his own people,[3] along with the noble houses of Rivenspire that he forced to fight under his banner. House Tamrith was the first to cease its support and called for peace, followed by House Dorell, while House Ravenwatch remained neutral throughout the war. House Montclair only surrendered to Wayrest right before the Battle of Traitor's Tor.[4] Unsure if his brother's actions were righteous, Count Phylgeon offered to serve as a peace envoy to both Emeric and Ranser, but the latter angrily refused,[5] insistent on winning the war.[6] Overcome by the combined forces of BretonsRedguards and Orcs, Ranser's remaining troops were slain at Markwasten Moor, and the end of the conflict gave rise to the Greater Daggerfall Covenant.[7][8] The Crown of Shornhelm as well as the Direnni decree has not been seen since the Battle of Traitor's Tor.[1]

While Ranser himself is thought to be dead, [1] he fled from Markwasten Moor with a small troop of his most loyal soldiers. He prepared a ritual given to him by Reezal-Jul atop a then-nameless tor overlooking Hoarfrost Downs, during which he was murdered by his own general, Dathieu. Ranser's blood served as the sacrifice needed for the ritual, transforming him and his warriors into skeletal undead, and the tor from which he ruled became known as Traitor's Tor.[9]

After Scholar Cantier and the Vestige explored the ruins in 2E 582, General Dathieu took the Vestige into a vision of the past, showing what happened during the final hours of King Ranser's life. After the Vestige and Cantier collected Dathieu's bones, they reassembled his animated skeleton. Dathieu and Ranser's undead skeletons then fought, and Ranser was slain once again, lifting the curse.[10]


A Traitor's Tale[]

After Dathieu sends the Vestige into the past, Ranser can be found on the upper floor of the central tower. Once Reezal-Jul's packets have been poured into the braziers, Ranser will order the Vestige to inform Dathieu and Taern that he plans on charging towards the Orcs and taking out their ranks. Dathieu will instead order to prevent Taern from leading the charge in order to prevent any needless deaths, and will head towards the north tower. Ranser is killed by Dathieu, but rises up as an undead skeleton and kills his general. With Ranser's sacrifice, his blood powers the curse that keeps his soldiers at the Tor restless.

Once Dathieu is reassembled, he will ask the Vestige to meet with him at the north tower, where he slew the king sixteen years ago. He will then charge at Ranser. Their skeletons will duel, with Dathieu attacking Ranser with his sword and Ranser using a combination of melee and magic to attack Dathieu. Once Ranser is defeated, the curse is lifted.


A Traitor's Tale

"Get back to the fight, Lieutenant! We will win this day, one way or another."

After lighting the braziers:

"Are you ready for glory, Lieutenant? Our greatest hour is at hand. Those green-skinned beasts think they have us defeated; they'll soon realize how incredibly wrong they are. Have the contents of Reezal-Jul's packets been poured into the braziers?"

Yes, but nothing happened. "Not yet, but it will. We will charge the enemies' ranks and they will see what true determination means. I've sent orders for Captain Taern and the King's Guard to charge the breach in the north wall. Tell the general to prepare his troops as well."
You want us to prepare to charge the Orcs' ranks? "Are you daft, Lieutenant, or just a coward? Don't make me repeat myself. Tell General Dathieu to prepare his soldiers to charge against the Orcs to the south. I will retrieve my sword from the north tower and join you on the battlefield."
Yes, Your Majesty. I'll tell the general. "Rest assured. I will lead us to victory. You have my word."


A Traitor's Tale

At the north tower of the past:

King Ranser: "Stop acting like a coward, Dathieu! I am your king and I will lead you to victory today."
General Dathieu: "Your Majesty, you've clearly lost your mind. I'm sorry, but you leave me no choice."
<Stabs Ranser> "It is done. No further lives need be thrown away today."
King Ranser: "Traitor! But your feeble betrayal won't stop Reezal-Jul's magic! We shall live forever, but not you. I curse you and will scatter your bones! Die, you treacherous dog!"

At the north tower, once Dathieu's skeleton is reassembled:

General Dathieu: "Ranser! You madman! It's time to finish this!"
King Ranser: "I couldn't agree more. I'll shatter your bones this time, Dathieu."



King of Shornhelm
Hurlburt 2E 5462E 566 Andorak Septim