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Lore:Abnur Tharn

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Grand Chancellor Abnur Tharn
LG-cardart-Abnur Tharn.png
Grand Chancellor Abnur Tharn
Race Imperial Gender Male
Born 2E 418
Previous Ruler Pelladil Direnni
Next Ruler Zurin Arctus
Resided in Cyrodiil
Appears in ESO, Legends

Abnur Tharn was the Imperial Grand Chancellor of the Elder Council and overlord of Nibenay during the middle of the Second Era. Much like his ancestors, who were known for holding positions of power throughout Cyrodiil since the days of the Akaviri Potentate, Tharn served as advisor to various emperors and kings for over 117 years.[1] During the turbulent rise and fall of Cyrodiilic rulers during the Interregnum, Tharn was the sole constant, providing continuity and consistency to the Empire of Cyrodiil. Fiercely loyal to the Empire, Tharn became Chancellor of Elder Council in 2E 465 and has served as the Imperial Battlemage of Tamriel ever since.[1][2][3] Tharn is also the author of various texts.

House Tharn came to epitomize modern Nibenese nobility with Abnur as its patriarch. Tharn's immediate family was very large, with at least sixteen children by seven wives, one of which known as Pulasia and numerous other relatives.[4] Most notable was his sixteenth daughter,[1] Clivia Tharn, whom Abnur personally groomed from a young age for the Ruby Throne.[5] Other relatives include his daughter Septima Tharn, Magus-General of the Imperial Legion, and half-sister Euraxia Tharn, Queen of Rimmen. Eventually it was discovered that the Tharn family and Abnur himself, had dealings with the Daedric Princes—this revelation is what sparked the Daggerfall Covenant, Ebonheart Pact and Aldmeri Dominion to invade Cyrodiil, with the intended goal of disposing Abnur Tharn and his family from power. This is what started the Three Banners War between the three alliances.[6]


Longhouse EmperorsEdit

For over forty years[7] Tharn begrudgingly advised the Longhouse Emperors, from Durcorach to Leovic. A proud Nibenese, Tharn believed the Reachmen dynasty's alien nature and low heritage made them unfit to rule. In an effort to legitimize his claim to the Ruby Throne, Leovic married Tharn's sixteenth daughter, Clivia - an act which infuriated Abnur.[1]

Varen Aquilarios, the son of a Colovian duke and a powerful military leader in his own right, contacted Tharn in secret and sought his assistance to depose Emperor Leovic. Tharn eagerly agreed and provided Aquilarios with intelligence about the Imperial City, which ultimately led to Leovic's death in 2E 577. Aquilarios declared himself Emperor, and for Tharn's loyalty and assistance he agreed to take Tharn's daughter Clivia as his bride.[1]

The SoulburstEdit

Seeking to legitimize his rule further, Aquilarios embarked upon a quest with Tharn, Lyris Titanborn, Sai Sahan, and Mannimarco for the lost Amulet of Kings. Mannimarco believed it could be used in a ritual to persuade Akatosh to anoint Aquilarios as Dragonborn. After two years of searching, the Five Companions finally recovered the Amulet from Sancre Tor. Ultimately, Mannimarco betrayed Aquilarios and corrupted the ritual. An explosion of arcane energy, called the Soulburst, caused Aquilarios to vanish, and its mystical aftershocks swept across Nirn in 2E 578. In the ensuing chaos, the Daedric Prince Molag Bal deployed Dark Anchors and began pulling Nirn into his realm of Coldharbour to merge the two together, a process known as the Planemeld.[8]

After Mannimarco's betrayal, Tharn had no choice but to hand the reins of the Empire over to the King of Worms. To ensure the dominance of necromancy over all other forms of magic, Mannimarco immediately cast the Mages Guild out of the Imperial City, then had all remaining dissenters arrested as enemies of the state. To avoid execution, Tharn pledged his loyalty to Mannimarco, although some saw this move as opportunism.[9] In return, he was granted stewardship of the Imperial City. His daughter Clivia, still the Empress Regent, became the titular ruler of the Empire, but Mannimarco remained the power behind the throne. Despite his position, Tharn was marginalized and cloistered away in Coldharbour. Clivia was turned against him, lured by Mannimarco's promise to teach her the dark arts that would give her mastery over life and death.[1]

The PlanemeldEdit

Abnur during the Planemeld

In 2E 582, Varen resurfaced as the Prophet. With the aid of the Vestige and Lyris Titanborn, they rescued Abnur from Coldharbour. In return, Abnur provided Varen with the location of Sai Sahan, who was being kept prisoner in Coldharbour. With the Five Companions reformed, they traveled to Coldharbour where Abnur performed the same ritual that was attempted on Varen. However this time one of the Companions was required to sacrifice their life in order for Akatosh to imbue the Vestige with the strength to defeat Molag Bal. Because Abnur was the only one who knew the ritual, he could not be sacrificed.[10] Ultimately, a sacrifice took place and the Planemeld was stopped.[11] After Molag Bal's defeat, Abnur took the Amulet of Kings and fled to Cyrodiil. His deepest desire was to unite the warring territories under a single banner.[12] Although it was suspected Abnur would attempt to use the amulet, possibly to further that goal, unbeknownst to him its power had been expended for at least a generation.[13]

The Rage of DragonsEdit

Abnur Tharn after the Planemeld

Some time after the Planemeld ended, Abnur Tharn sent a summons for the Vestige to meet him. He had purchased the Wrathstone, an ancient tablet that formed a map which he believed would lead him to a weapon that could end the Three Banners War once and for all. He sought to end the war, bring order and restore the Empire. The pair traveled throughout Tamriel to hear the stories of Khajiiti Moon-Singers, who told the story of Khunzar-ri, a hero whose story was passed down through oral tradition. Abnur Tharn and the Vestige used the Moon-Singers' stories to pinpoint the locations of ancient reference points that would allow Tharn to use the map and locate the weapon. During the last leg of their journey, they were joined by Khamira, an agent of the Speaker for the Mane. She revealed that Abnur's half-sister Euraxia Tharn was also looking for the weapon, and attempted to stop him before reluctantly joining him in his quest.[14]

Tharn deduced that the weapon he was searching for lay in the Halls of Colossus. Joined by the Vestige and Khamira, Tharn traveled to the Halls of Colossus to recover the weapon. The Halls did not contain a weapon; rather, they were built to imprison Dragons. When the group reached the summit, the Wrathstone reacted to the massive doors in the heart of the Halls, flinging them wide open and releasing Dragons upon the land of Elsweyr. His goal now was to fix what he'd done and help the denizens of Elsweyr fight off the Dragon threat.[15]

Abnur Tharn joined the efforts of the Northern Elsweyr Defense Force, a group formed to resist Euraxia Tharn's reign now slapped with the duty of holding off the invading Dragons. Later that year, Tharn called upon the Vestige once more to join him in Riverhold. There, they found Cadwell. Soon, Tharn learned of master necromancer Zumog Phoom's involvement with Euraxia Tharn, who was allied with the Dragons Abnur had unleashed. Abnur and the hero went to Rimmen in an attempt to parley peacefully with the Usurper Queen.[16][17] Euraxia attempted to arrest the pair, and her forces moved in on Riverhold, the capital of the Khajiiti rebellion. Tharn and the Vestige parted ways briefly.

Three Dragons, Mulaamnir, Bahlokdaan and Kaalgrontiid, attempted to raze Riverhold. Abnur Tharn and his company managed to kill Bahlokdaan, prompting his brothers to flee. Khamira then revealed herself as the daughter of Anequina's late monarchs, who Euraxia Tharn murdered in pursuit of Rimmen's throne.[18][19] Tharn and his company then decided to dispose of Euraxia Tharn. Abnur, Khamira and the Vestige. The Dragons betrayed Euraxia as soon as they arrived, and Khamira promptly slew Euraxia.[20][21]

Following his half-sister's demise, Abnur set to work poring over Rimmen's archives. He found mentions of the Cygnus Irregulars and learned that Euraxia sent one of her trusted soldiers, Captain Saulinia, out on a mission to kill the last Dragonguard as a favor for her Dragon allies. Tharn and the Vestige met at the Irregulars' base of operations, where they extracted information from the squadron's leader, Prefect Calo. Tharn sent the Vestige to rescue the Dragonguard, but he was killed in his sanctuary. However, the Vestige recovered a Dragonhorn, an ancient weapon capable of forcing Dragons out of flight.[22][23]

At this time, Cadwell had been experiencing visions projected to him from his disembodied head. He teleported off somewhere, forcing Tharn and his company to look for him. The necromancer Zumog Phoom sought to resurrect Cadwell the Betrayer, and he needed Cadwell the Soul-Shriven to finish the job. By rushing off like he did, Cadwell was giving the necromancer what he needed. The Vestige killed Zumog Phoom, but failed to stop the Betrayer from being resurrected, and he took off for Shadow Dance Temple. Khamira and the Vestige managed to defeat him, but the Dragons still remained[24] The Dragons were congregating around Anequina's Moon Gate, so Tharn and the Defense Force moved to stop them. Kaalgrontiid and Mulaamnir used the Moon Gate to transport themselves to the Plane of Jode. Khamira, Abnur Tharn and the Vestige followed in an attempt to stop them. Kaalgrontiid was attempting to absorb energy from the moon's core. With Tharn's magic and the power of the Dragonhorn, the Vestige was able to kill Mulaamnir and expel Kaalgrontiid from the Plane of Jode.[25] Queen Khamira was crowned the queen of Rimmen, and Abnur Tharn left to answer a summons from the Mane.[26]

Later that year, Sai Sahan reformed the Dragonguard southwards in Pellitine. Tharn and Sai had been sending letters back and forth throughout the year since Kaalgrontiid was expelled from the Plane of Jode. Tharn spent the months between Kaalgrontiid's defeat and the Dragonguard's reformation researching Kaalgrontiid. He decided to enlist Sai's help after some concerning finds. Tharn deduced that Kaalgrontiid sought to become a god, and the cult Sahan and his Dragonguard faced during their rise to prominence was involved in Kaalgrontiid's asperations. An island called Dragonhold served as Kaalgrontiid's base of operation in ancient times, and Tharn couldn't even scry it to attempt to figure out what was on it. Moreover, the mysterious green Aeonstone was the key to Kaalgrontiid's ascension.[27][28]

Tharn, Sai and the Vestige traveled to the Dragon cult's base of operations in the Tenmar Forest, where they saw Kaalgrontiid use the Aeonstone to teleport his followers off somewhere. He used his dwindling strength to channel his magic into the aeonstone to bring himself and the Vestige to Dragonhold, while Sai Sahan rallied the Dragonguard in defense of the land. Abnur and the hero explored the ruins beneath Dragonhold, disrupted the Dragon cult's rituals and learned that Kaalgrontiid intended to use the aeonstone to become a god. They destroyed the ward protecting Dragonhold from outside interference, causing it to rise into the sky. Abnur Tharn used what little strength he had left to send the Vestige to the mainland to find Sai Sahan and warn him about Kaalgrontiid's plans.[27][28]

The Vestige later returned to Dragonhold with Sai Sahan, Khamira, and the Dragon Nahfahlaar. They reunited with Abnur Tharn after destroying several key clusters of aeonstone, which Kaalgrontiid was using to empower himself. Tharn and his companions managed to kill Kaalgrontiid. Unfortunately, the large aeonstone formation the Dragon was drawing off of in his push for godhood was overloaded with magicka and threatening to explode. Such a blast would have destroyed all of Elsweyr. Tharn used the last of his energy to place a ward around the cluster, and sacrificed himself to contain the explosion with Nahfahlaar's assistance. Because of his efforts, only the island of Dragonhold was destroyed by the cluster's collapse. It is unclear if Tharn survived the catastrophe,[29][30] though Meridia predicted that he would spend the years following in a frustrated attempt to unify Tamriel under the Amulet of Kings.[31]



  • One of Lawrence Schick's plans for Abnur Tharn was to have him eventually become Zurin Arctus after centuries of prolonged contact with the Amulet of Kings, but it did not come to pass.[UOL 1]
  • In early summaries, it was said Ayrenn suffered personally at the hands of Abnur Tharn in the Imperial City.[6] Though this was not followed up on, Aicantar of Shimmerene says, "Since the ascension of our queen to the Throne of Alinor, it is inappropriate to delve too deeply into indignities she might have suffered before her coronation. But rest assured that all is known, and nothing is forgotten."[UOL 2]

See AlsoEdit

  • For game-specific information, see the ESO and Legends article.



Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.