M'aiq the Liar is an inexhaustible source of bad information in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. He was introduced by the game designers as an easter egg to tell the players what they left out of the games. M'aiq has emigrated from Vvardenfell to Cyrodiil, and recently to the province of Skyrim.
In all three games, he loves to share his opinions with the player on a variety of random topics including children, Colovian Fur Helms, companions, crossbows, dragons, fighting with one's feet, fish sticks, nudity, werewolves, and more. In all three games, he always speaks in third-person when talked to.
M'aiq resides on a small island northwest of Dagon Fel, and is motionless. He lies about nearly everything, an exception being the Lost Shrine of Boethiah. His directions to it, though, are not so helpful. (Instead, try swimming west from Hla Oad, and look below you to begin your search for the lost shrine.) Another exception is the Mudcrab Merchants. (Head to the Mzahnch Ruin. Search around for a small island, and you'll find the merchant. He'll buy anything from you at full price.)
- "Greetings! M'aiq knows many things. What is your interest? You seek knowledge. M'aiq has much. Some of it verified by actual facts!"
- Liches: "You wish to become a lich? It's very easy, my friend. Simply find the heart of a lich, combine it with the tongue of a dragon, and cook it with the flesh of a well-ridden horse. This combination is certain to make you undead."
- Dragons: "Dragons? Oh, they're everywhere! You must fly very high to see most of them, though. The ones nearer the ground are very hard to see, being invisible."
- Emperor Crabs: "M'aiq sees lots of them in the ocean. M'aiq knows you'll see one too if you swim far enough."
- Horses: "Horses.... Oh, M'aiq loves horses! Especially with good cream sauce." also "You would wish to ride upon a beast? There is a way... Go to one of the many silt-strider ports and pay your fee! You wish one for personal use? Bah! Walk if you must; run if you are chased!"
- Corpses: "Moving corpses? This sounds frightening to M'aiq. The undead are nothing to be toyed with."
- Multiplayer: "M'aiq does not know this word. You wish others to help you in your quest? Coward! If you must, search for the Argonian Im-Leet, or perhaps the big Nord, Rolf the Uber. They will certainly wish to join you."
- Dwemer: "There is no mystery. M'aiq knows all. The dwarves were here, and now they are not! They were very short folks... Or perhaps they were not. It all depends on your perspective. I'm sure they thought they were about the right height."
- Naked Liches: "A horrible thing indeed. If you see one, let M'aiq know. M'aiq wants to make sure to look in the other direction."
- Nudity: "Ahh... The beauty of the naked form. These Dunmer are rather prudish, are they not? Of course, there is an island you can reach filled with wonderful, naked, glistening bodies. It only appears when the moons are full, the rain falls, the seas run red, and it's M'aiq's birthday."
- Climbing: "Climbing ropes that hang is too difficult. M'aiq prefers to climb the ones that are tied horizontally."
- Shrine of Boethiah: "You seek the shrine that is no longer there? An interesting concept. Look to the seas to the West. There lies what was once the shrine. Take a deep breath and begin your search."
- Mudcrab Merchant: "M'aiq has heard of this. They've got all the money. Mudcrabs taking over everything. They already run Pelagiad."
- Weresharks: "I have only met one, but he was afraid of the water."
In Oblivion, this time wearing Grey robes and a Grey hood, M'aiq conveys information and comparisons about the differences between Morrowind and Oblivion, as well as other topics that appeared on the game's forums. His information is no longer false, but may contain in-game jokes.
In a change from being stationary in Morrowind, he is almost constantly moving from one place to another. Beginning in the Nibenay Basin, the Khajiit moves between Leyawiin and Anvil and every so often, searches for calipers for five hours. Calipers appear in a lot of caves and ruins so there is no telling where you will find him. He will also go out of the map towards the Lirid River, but you cannot follow him. Sometimes he will chase random deer in the wild for no apparent reason. He is the fastest person in Oblivion and can outrun all purchasable horses, excluding the Black Horse of Cheydinhal.
(Listed in alphabetical order)
- "Feet are for walking. Hands are for hitting. Or shaking. Or waving. Sometimes for clapping." - This has to do with discussion about whether there should be an ability to kick in Oblivion.
- "I do not wish to fight on horseback. It is a good way to ruin a perfectly good horse... which is, to say, a perfectly good dinner." - Refers to the ability to fight on horse back being removed from the release version of Oblivion. This decision angered many expecting fans after viewing the misleading CG trailer at the time.
- "I don't know why one would want to destroy a building. It takes time to make it. Much time." - It was suggested that there be the ability to see structures get destroyed in Oblivion. It is also a reference to the old spell Passwall from The Elder Scrolls I: Arena, which would literally destroy walls in a cell, allowing free egress between them.
- "I have seen dragons. Perhaps you will see a dragon. I won't say where I saw one. Perhaps I did not." It was requested by many fans that Dragons make an appearance in Oblivion, and he answers this by stating that one DOES make an appearance.
- "It is good the people wear clothing. M'aiq wears clothing. Who would want to see M'aiq naked? Sick, sick people. Very sad." - A discussion about whether or not there should be half-naked people running around the game, like occurred in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.
- "Levitation is for fools. Why would we want to levitate? Once you are up high, there is nowhere to go but down." - This has to do with the popular Levitate spell which appeared in Morrowind being removed mid-development from Oblivion.
- "M'aiq believes the children are our future. But he doesn't want them ruining all of our fun." - A discussion about whether children should be included in this game.
- "M'aiq is glad he has a compass. Makes it easy to find things. Much better than wandering around like a fool." - Refers to the Quest Compass, a feature that did not appear in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- "M'aiq knows much, tells some. M'aiq knows many things others do not." - Refers to how he is an "easter egg" added to respond to questions from the Bethesda forums.
- "M'aiq longs for a Colovian Fur Helm. Practical, yet stylish. M'aiq is very sad he does not have one." - This is the hat that M'aiq wore in Morrowind.
- "M'aiq prefers to adventure alone. Others just get in the way. And they talk, talk, talk." - Referring to the way that Bethesda doesn't want to add Multiplayer.
- "M'aiq thinks his people are beautiful. The Argonian people are beautiful as well. They look better than ever before." - This refers to the improved leg animations of Khajiit and Argonians in Oblivion when compared to the much hated animations in Morrowind.
- "M'aiq wishes he had a stick made out of fishies to give to you. Sadly, he does not." - A reference to the Fishy Stick, given to new members to the forums. This has been utilized on this wiki in the Achievement section.
- "People always enjoy a good fable. M'aiq has yet to find one, though. Perhaps one day." - A reference to the game Fable, which was announced as being the Morrowind-killer, and the criticism that it is overrated.
- "So much easier to get around these days. Not like the old days. Too much walking. Of course, nothing stops M'aiq from walking when he wants." This is a reference to the Fast Travel system that is featured in Oblivion, replacing the Guild Guides boats and Silt Striders. The second part is a quip at people who complained that this makes travelling too easy; there is nothing stopping the player from ignoring fast travel and walking anyway.
- "Some people want special bows that take too long to load and need special arrows called bolts. M'aiq thinks they are idiots." - Reference to how there are no Crossbows in Oblivion.
- "Some people wish to throw their weapons. That seems foolish to M'aiq. If you hold your weapon, you only need one." - There are no thrown weapons in Oblivion.
- "Werewolves? Where? Wolves? Men that are wolves? Many wolves. Everywhere. Many men. That is enough for M'aiq." - A reference to the decision to not include Werewolves in Oblivion due to time shortage by Bethesda.
- "Why would one want to swing a staff? A mace hurts more. Or a sword. Can't shoot a fireball from a sword, though." - Staves were Blunt Weapons in Morrowind, instead of merely magical items in Oblivion.
In Skyrim, M'aiq continues his nomadic journey across the land and can be found in many random places in the open world. M'aiq carries three bottles of skooma that can be pickpocketed but seems to be unable to be killed.
- M'aiq's father was also called M'aiq. As was M'aiq's father's father. At least, that's what he said. (Explaining M'aiq's presence in Oblivion and Morrowind).
- M'aiq wishes you well.
- M'aiq knows much, and tells some. (M'aiq's catchphrase, returning from previous games).
- M'aiq carries two weapons, to be safe. What if one breaks? That would be most unlucky. (Talking about how weapons no longer degrade, and how dual-wielding is now possible).
- M'aiq is always in search of calipers, yet he finds none. Where could they have gone? (Reference to M'aiq's behavior in Oblivion, where he would spend his time looking for calipers when not moving between Leyawiin and Anvil, however, there are no calipers in Skyrim).
- M'aiq hears many stories of war... yet few of them are true.
- How does anyone know there was a city of Winterhold? M'aiq did not see it with his eyes. Did you? (Referencing the change to the fast-travel system, in Oblivion you could fast-travel to a city before you had walked there or "seen" it. It also references the fact in previous lore, Winterhold was a large city, while in Skyrim it is not. The quote could also refer to the fact that though the city of Winterhold allegedly fell into the sea during the Great Collapse and the College was left unharmed, there are no ruins proving there was a city.).
- Too much magic can be dangerous. M'aiq once had two spells and burned his sweetroll. (Referencing the new system of duel-wielding of spells to Skyrim. Bethesda also has referenced sweetrolls in some way in all of their games).
- What does this mean, to combine magic? Magic plus magic is still magic. (See Above. Might also be a reference to the spellmaking system in Morrowind and Oblivion, where you could add several different magic effects to the same spell).
- Some say Alduin is Akatosh, some say M'aiq is a liar. Don't believe any of these things. (Possibly referring to the fact that many Imperials believe that Alduin and Akatosh are the same deity, despite the fact that they are totally different. It may also reference how M'aiq no longer lies).
- It does not matter to M'aiq how strong or smart one is. It only matters what one can do. (Referring to removal of the stats, instead only the skills determine one's power).
- Dragons were never gone. They were just invisible and very, very quiet. (M'aiq spoke of cliff racers in Morrowind. He also claimed that dragon either flew very high, or were invisible)
- Werebears? Where? Bears? Men that are bears? (Early in the game's development, there was talk of Werebears being added; this is also similar to dialogue he speaks regarding werewolves in Oblivion).
- Much snow in Skyrim. Enough snow. M'aiq does not want it anymore. (In reference to how Skyrim's weather is cold, compared to Cyrodiil).
- Snow falls. Why worry where it goes? M'aiq thinks the snowflakes are pretty. (Referring to the dynamic snow-fall engine in Skyrim. It's also possible that he's talking about snow going through walls, when outside).
- M'aiq once walked to High Hrothgar. So many steps, he lost count. (Describing the amount of steps you must climb to reach High Hrothgar, which was meant to be exactly 7,000).
- Once M'aiq got into trouble in Riften, and fled to Windhelm. It is good that nobody there cared. (Unlike in previous The Elder Scrolls games, crimes are localized so if you have a bounty in one hold it does not carry over to other holds).
- M'aiq can travel fast across the land. Some lazy types take carriages. It is all the same to M'aiq. (Talking about the revision to fast travel and the use of carriages to go to major cities the player hasn't been before).
- M'aiq does not understand what is so impressive about shouting. M'aiq can shout whenever he wants. (Referring to the dragon shouts or thu'um).
- M'aiq saw a mudcrab the other day. Horrible creatures. (An allude to a popular overheard phrase in Oblivion and Morrowind).
- M'aiq loves the people of Skyrim. Many interesting things they say to each other. (Referencing the repetitive nature of Oblivion's NPC to NPC conversations and voice actors, which has been improved in Skyrim).
- Nords are so serious about beards. So many beards. M'aiq thinks they wish they had glorious manes like Khajiit. (Referring to Oblivion faces, which could not have facial hair unlike Skyrim faces which can. Also, during the E3, a Bethesda employee was asked if pauldrons and similar kinds of specific armor would make a return. He answered no, but kept talking about how the game had a myriad of awesome beards, much to the community's dislike and laughter.)
- M'aiq does not remember his childhood. Perhaps he never had one. (Referencing the fact that there are no children in previous games. May also be a reference to the lack of non-human children in Skyrim).
- M'aiq is very practical. He has no need for mysticism. (Regarding the removal of Mysticism as a skill).
- Nord's armor has lots of fur. This sometimes makes M'aiq nervous. (Referencing the fact that furry creatures (like M'aiq) can be killed for their pelts and crafted into armor).
- M'aiq was soul trapped once. Not very pleasant. You should think about that once in a while. (Referencing the Soul Trap spells).
- Something strange happens to Khajiit when they arrive in Skyrim. (Probably referencing the overhaul of the Khajiit in Skyrim, whose looks are now more cat-like).
- M'aiq has heard the people in Skyrim are better-looking than the ones in Cyrodiil. He has no opinion on the matter. All people are beautiful to him. (Referring to the notoriously bad faces in Oblivion, and how character models are much better crafted in Skyrim).
- Why do soldiers bother with target practice? One learns best by hitting real people. (Referencing the fact that outside of trainers, you only level up combat skills by using them on NPCs and creatures, and 'power leveling' them by using them outside of combat like one could in Oblivion is gone).
- M'aiq knows why Falmer are blind. It has nothing to do with the Dwemer disappearing. Really. (Referring to the Snow Elves' loss of sight after the Dwemer betrayed them and forced them to eat toxic fungi).
- M'aiq has heard it is dangerous to be your friend. (Referencing the fact that if someone likes you enough, they may follow you, possibly to their death, also could be a reference to Adoring Fan from Oblivion who was a fan favourite for killing in imaginative ways).
- The people of Skyrim are more open-minded about certain things than people in other places. (Referring to the fact that same-sex marriage is possible in Skyrim. Also the fact that necromancy and the use of black soul gems were not permitted by the Mage's Guild in Oblivion).
- Some like taking friends on adventures. M'aiq thinks being alone is better. Less arguing about splitting treasure. (Possibly regarding the ability to have followers, unlike previous versions of the game or it may refer to the lack of Multiplayer and co-op, a common request during development of Skyrim. Quite possibly also another derogatory directed at the Fable series where you were forced to haggle with friends over their cut of treasure or risk adventuring alone).
- Don't try blocking if you have two weapons. You will only get confused. Much better to hit twice anyway. (Referencing how it is impossible to block if you are dual-wielding).
- M'aiq knows many things, no?
- M'aiq is tired now. Go bother somebody else. (Referring to the fact that people speak to M'aiq over and over to hear different comments.)
- M'aiq is done talking.
- Skyrim was once the land of many butterflies. Now, not so much. (Referring to the Dragonborn's ability to catch butterflies)
- You are dead! (Said after being attacked)
- Stop! Stop! I yield! I yield! (Said after being knocked unconscious or attacked)
- (Source: The Elder Scrolls V: Official Skyrim Game Guide)
- If you attempt to visit M'aiq early in the game via the console command: coc elsweyr, you teleport to a small room called "Holding Cell", In this room M'aiq will refuse to talk or say one or two phrases, you cannot fast travel out of this room. (PC)
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Template:1st
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim