Paratus Decimius

Paratus Decimius, as encountered in Mzulft in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The Synod is an officially recognized institute of magic based in Cyrodiil. They were a group of mages that was formed following the disbandment of the Mages Guild in Cyrodiil. They were rivaled by the College of Whispers,[1] another Imperially recognized faction of magic.

The Synod scavenge magical relics from all over Tamriel, hoping to consolidate their power and use it as an element of political clout in the Empire and to curry favor from the Emperor. The organization also fancies themselves the Imperial authority on magic. They are known to oppose the study of Conjuration and Necromancy.[1][2]

The organization is headed by the Grand Council, much like the Council of Mages of the Mages Guild, although it is unknown whether there is an individual leader or not.


Fourth EraEdit

Dissolution of the Mages GuildEdit

At the beginning of the Fourth Era shortly after the Oblivion Crisis, the Mages Guild was dismantled. The remaining members split into two organizations: the Synod, and its counterpart the College of Whispers. Thus the Synod began as an officially recognized faction of magic.

Expedition to MzulftEdit

Eye of Magnus

The Eye of Magnus, as seen in the College of Winterhold.

Upon joining the College of Winterhold, the Dragonborn must travel with Tolfdir to the nearby ancient ruin of the legendary city of Saarthal, once the capital of the Nords in Skyrim, where the College has set up a camp and a research site. During the expedition through the ruined city, the Eye of Magnus is discovered at the ancient ruined city. It is taken back to the College, and placed at the center of the Hall of the Elements.[3] After finding it, the Dragonborn speaks with the Augur of Dunlain in the Midden at the College. The Augur reveals that the key to harnessing the power from the Eye is to use the Staff of Magnus. At the Dragonborn's return to Mirabelle Ervine, she informs him or her that the Synod has recently visited and asked about the ruins at Mzulft.[4]

The ruins are actually a very complex set of Dwemer machinery. In the deepest part of the ruins sits the Oculory, which the Synod were experimenting with.

According to Paratus Decimius, the mage found there, when the Synod originally arrived, they brought a Focusing Crystal that they had spent months enchanting to get the Oculory working properly, yet while they traveled through Skyrim, the cold had warped the crystal. So they sent one man back to Cyrodiil to get a new crystal and left the rest waiting in the ruins, fighting off the Falmer and other monsters that inhabit the ruins.


Mzulft Oculory after placing the crystal.

On return, Gavros Plinius dies and loses the new crystal, which can be found in the ruins. When the Dragonborn returns to Paratus, he brings them to the Oculory and asks them to align the pieces so the light shines through. Using a frostbite or flames spell on the focusing crystal when in the device suffices to align the light rays with the lenses.

Inspired by the Orrery at the Arcane University, the device projects a map of Tamriel, its sources of great magical power illuminated on the map. Only two spots appear on this map. One being the College of Winterhold where the Eye is and the other being in Labyrinthian, the presumed location of the Staff of Magnus. After this discovery, Paratus leaves, reporting back to Cyrodiil. His departure is followed by a vision of the Psijic Order operative, Quaranir, who asks that the Dragonborn return to the College immediately.



  • Religiously, synod denotes a council of spiritual authorities who collect to decide on policies, issues of dogma, and other matters within their respective church body. The word "synod" often notes that the governing body is not always uniform and does always "meet" in a physical or political sense, but instead represents a large class of people who loosely represent certain interests within a church. For example, the Holy Synod in Orthodox Christianity. In regards to The Elder Scrolls universe, the Synod oppose the study of Conjuration and necromancy,[1] for the same reasons the Mages Guild prohibited it in 3E 431,[6] the same way religious councils have prohibited the practice of witchcraft in the biblical sense.




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