Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Not to be confused with Mantiarco.

Mannimarco, also known as the King of Worms or the Worm King[3] was an Altmer necromancer notable for founding the Order of the Black Worm. He began his magical studies as a student of the Psijic Order, and went on to manipulate the political powers of Tamriel throughout later parts of his life. He went as far as to control the Cyrodiilic Empire as his puppet state during the Interregnum, and put forward the events that led to Molag Bal's invasion of Tamriel called the Planemeld. Mannimarco went on to become a Lich, later ascending to godhood as the "Necromancer's Moon" in his undeath,[4] and left a legacy that would last for ages to come.

By game[]


Early life[]

It is said that Mannimarco was born to royal blood, but to which line is uncertain.[4] He was said to be present during the Middle Dawn, which lasted between 1E 1200 and 1E 2208, where the Marukhati Selectives taught him "his mystery."[5] At some point, he joined the Psijic Order on Artaeum, an island of the Summerset Isles, and gained a reputation for being one of the greatest students who ever joined the order. His skill in magic was rivaled only by Vanus Galerion.

Founding the Worm Cult[]

At some point, Mannimarco began to study Necromancy, and was fascinated by the secrets of necromancers. Eventually, he was seduced into trapping and enslaving souls. After one of his spells caught the notice of Vanus, the latter confronted Mannimarco under the Ceporah Tower, where he told his fellow student to cease his dark ways:

"Your wicked mysticism is no way to wield your power. Your studies must cease, because you only bring horror to the spirit world."
Vanus Galerion[src]

But Mannimarco hated the ways of life and peace and continued his research. When the leaders of the order found out about Mannimarco's experiments, they exiled him to the mainland. Once there, he began to spread his influence throughout the continent, as dark wizards and witches made their way to him. They gave him magical artifacts from which he absorbed their dark energy, turning him into a living corpse but expanding his life because of it. The Order of the Black Worm began and soon grew a large following.[3]

The Planemeld[]

Mannimarco causes the Soulburst.

Mannimarco eventually came under the service of the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, who tasked him with tricking the Five Companions into performing a ritual that would weaken the barriers between Nirn and Oblivion, thus allowing Molag Bal's forces to invade Tamriel. Using the Dark Anchors, Molag Bal hoped to merge Nirn with his own plane of Coldharbour. In reality, Mannimarco had no loyalty to the prince and planned to trap him, where over time he would absorb his essence, transforming him into the new lord of domination. To do this, Mannimarco required the Amulet of Kings, and the help of Abnur Tharn, the chancellor of the Elder Council who would later betray Mannimarco.

During this time, Mannimarco sacrificed an individual who would later be known as the Vestige to Molag Bal, stealing their soul along with many others. Eventually, the Vestige would escape Coldharbour and continually ruin Mannimarco's plan of obtaining the Amulet of Kings. The Vestige would later fight and kill Mannimarco, but his spirit remained, telling the Vestige that death would not slow him down. Just then, Molag Bal appeared, revealing that he had known of Mannimarco's intentions all along and dragged his spirit down to Coldharbour, where he would be tortured by the undead. Later, when the Vestige, along with the Five Companions, arrived in Coldharbour to finally end the invasion, they found Mannimarco shackled to a table. The Vestige had a choice; leave Mannimarco to his fate, or free him. Either way, he eventually escapes Coldharbour and returns to Tamriel.[1]

The Great Battle[]

"Before my last breath, face I must the tyranny of worms, and kill at last, undeath."
Vanus Galerion[src]

Vanus Galerion never forgot about Mannimarco, and when the latter resurfaced, Vanus, along with an army of mages and Lamp Knights, prepared to attack Mannimarco's army of necromancers. When Galerion and Mannimarco at last met again, Galerion gave his former classmate the chance to surrender, saying, "Worm King, surrender your artifacts and their power to me, and you shall live as befits the dead," to which Mannimarco allegedly replied, with a hollow laugh, "You die first."[3]

An epic battle ensued, with "waves of fire and frost" and "lightning arching forth." During the battle, Mannimarco turned himself into one of the first-ever Liches,[3] preceded only by liches from the time of the Dragon Cult.[6] Galerion's army won the battle, but he was killed in the process, while Mannimarco went into hiding.[3]

The King of Worms would continue to manipulate the political infrastructure of the province, granting the necromancer N'Gasta domain over an island in Stros M'kai during Thassad II's reign.[7]

Warp in the West and Godhood[]

Mannimarco in Daggerfall.

Around 3E 405, Mannimarco had come to possess a vast knowledge of things that most others did not. The Hero of Daggerfall often sought out Mannimarco to complete tasks or quests for him.[4]

In 3E 417, what is known as the Warp in the West (the most recent Dragon Break) occurred, where the region of Iliac Bay was split into several separate but simultaneous timelines. Mannimarco, by this time an immensely powerful lich, gained control of the Totem of Tiber Septim and the Mantella, turning himself into a plane(t)[8] called the "Necromancer's Moon" or the "Revenant" in one of the timelines.[9][10]

Oblivion Crisis[]

Mannimarco in Oblivion.

By 3E 433, Mannimarco's divine celestial form, the Revenant, became the patron god of necromancers, shading Arkay and helping with black soul gem creation.[9] However, during the Oblivion Crisis, a powerful Altmer necromancer calling himself Mannimarco surfaced to overthrow the Mages Guild and re-establish the Worm Cult.

Mannimarco and his Worm Cult gained a large following, partially due to the Guild Arch-Mage Hannibal Traven's ban against necromancy. He led attacks on the Mages Guild and all of Cyrodiil, and is said to have resurrected his arch-rival Vanus Galerion's corpse as a thrall. Eventually, Mannimarco's plans were foiled by the Hero of Kvatch, who would go on to kill him.[2]


  • The book Mannimarco, King of Worms claims that Mannimarco was the first lich ever in the events of the Great Battle against Galerion. However, during the events of the Planemeld in the Second Era, some time before the Great Battle, there were already several liches under Molag Bal's command and also independent creatures. An example of this contradiction is the Shade of Prince Naemon.[11]
    • During the Planemeld, Mannimarco was defeated by the Vestige, but escaped death as his spirit walked away from his body. As the King of Worms' spirit escaped, he mentioned his death was only a transition, and was actually his first step for true immortality. He started a ritual to rise from the grave and become a lich, but could not complete this process due to Molag Bal taking his soul into Coldharbour.[12]
    • During the final clash against Molag Bal, the Vestige encountered Mannimarco being tortured in his own body. This is despite Mannimarco having died by their hand and his soul captured by Molag Bal.[13]
    • If released from Molag Bal's torture, Mannimarco vows to torment future generations, as an omen to what canonically would happen.[13]
  • In all appearances of the King of Worms he carries a staff with a skull on top of it, but only in Oblivion it is named as the Staff of Worms.
  • Julius Primus, an Imperial necromancer self-proclaimed himself to be the new King of Worms. He was killed by the Penitus Oculatus.[14]