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Lore:Rilis XII

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High Kinlord Rilis XII
ON-npc-High Kinlord Rilis.jpg
High Kinlord Rilis XII ca. 2E 582
Race Altmer Gender Male
Born 2nd Era
Died 2nd Era, 22nd of Frostfall
The Banished Cells
Previous Ruler Rilis XI
Next Ruler Rilis XIII
Resided in Firsthold
Appears in See below

Rilis XII was an Altmer noble from the early-mid Second Era. In life, he was the High Kinlord of Firsthold and ruler of the island, Auridon. Early in his reign, he was seen as a hero among his people and an instrument to bring peace to the island.[1] And one of his most recognized actions at the time was giving Vanus Galerion the opportunity to start the first Mages Guild in his city.[2] Later in life, he developed a thirst for power that would eventually bring about his downfall.[1]


Life as the High KinlordEdit

Vanus Galerion; First Mage of Firsthold

Rilis XII was born the son of High Kinlord Rilis XI and in his youth, he was revered as a hero who could bring peace to the region.[1] By the time Rilis XII became the leader of Firsthold, he was an expert in politics and in time, acquired a thirst for power that drove him toward darker pursuits and daedric pacts.[3][1]

In the early Second Era, Vanus Galerion, a Psijic from Artaeum and student of the Ritemaster, Iachesis collected magicians, students, and artificers from across the Summerset Isles, and established a group of like-minded individuals in Firsthold's urban center.[3][2] The people feared what would come from this and petitioned Kinlord Rilis XII to do something about it.[3]

In 2E 230, Rilis XII ordained the Charter Conclave, which brought Vanus Galerion before him, Iachesis, and other notable figures across the province and Psijic Order. The meeting was not recorded, much to the dismay of others, and continues to be the source of much speculation and rumors over the years. The Master of Incunabula in 2E 582, Valaste believed that Rilis XII saw Galerion's order, at the time known as "Galerion's Folly", as a chance to play mages and the common-folk against each other.[3]

Suffice to say, he approved of the order and it would soon evolve into the Mages Guild.[2] The Mages Guild Charter has stated that the guild was created by Vanus Galerion and Rilis XII[4] but Valaste wrote an essay that debunks this.[3] Sometime in 2E 235, Rilis XII asked the Varmaster of the Great Orrery in Firsthold about his future greatness. But when the Varmaster told him the Orrery could not predict the future, he dismissed the Varmaster and ordered the Orrery's deconstruction. At the time, it was a large scandal among scholars across Tamriel. Its pieces remained underneath Firsthold Castle for at least two hundred years.[5]

Rilis XII has had at least two children. One would become his successor, Rilis XIII, and the other was his bastard child, Sorondil, whose mother, Lady Elanwe was his mistress.[6] Rilis XII and his family lived in Castle Rilis, just northeast of Firsthold.[7] In his employment, he had three trusted captains; Arame, Ralimbar, and Taarulae,[8] and for entertainment, he hired an arcane, yet mad jester named Falarel.[9] At some point in time, Rilis XII became attracted to the daedra; he would commune with them and practice their magic. From the deepest parts of the castle, he committed terrible acts and according to rumors, he bargained with Vanus Galerion for access to Oblivion.[6]

Rilis XII in his daedric form

Lady Elanwe would comment after his death that Rilis XIII was less scarred by him than their child, Sorondil. She also claimed that back then, she loved him but was not sure later if it was daedric magic that made her think that way.[6] In a manifesto written while imprisoned, Rilis XII explains that he heard the voice of an entity he called "his master" and considered his life before this, "a life of blindness". He would eventually present these ideas to other nobles but in doing so, he was outright rejected and Rilis XIII sentenced him to prison in the Banished Cells.[1][10]

Imprisonment and UndeathEdit

As the sole prisoner in the dungeon, Rilis XII was initially guarded by a half-dozen guards created from the kinlord's previous personal guard. In an attempt to escape, as he was escorted down, he unleashed a potent destruction spell that killed a couple of soldiers and fended against the rest. When the second contingent of guards came, Rilis decided to stay in prison.[11]

Despite his actions, the nobles that put him away did not want to take his life, even if he begged for it. With nothing else to look forward to, Rilis looked to his master and learned magic that would bring him closer to them.[12] As the decades went on, guards came and went as the kinlord inched closer to death.[13] Believing that death would not contain him, Rilis XIII created an order of four warriors called the Keepers; champions of Auridon that were trained in magic to solely keep him contained, even after his passing.[1][13] Upon his death, Rilis XIII had his soul sealed within a binding stone and it was kept in the deepest part of the prison.[1]

Sometime in 2E 580, Rilis XII's former jester took residence in Castle Rilis' crypts and received nightly visits from the spirit of his former master. On the day of Ayrenn's return to the Summerset Isles, Falarel brought an Imperial envoy-scholar visiting the court at the time, Flaccus Terentius to see him. The spirit appeared before them and caused a commotion that collapsed the crypts, killing Falarel in the process.[14]

In 2E 582, daedra had overrun the Banished Cells and freed Rilis from his prison. The four keepers; Areldur, Cirion, Imiril, and Voranil were separated across the prison, and with their backs to the corner, they received outside help from the Undaunted. One by one, each keeper was saved and eventually, they cornered Rilis' spirit and as a means to subdue him, they split his soul into four binding stones, each kept by the four keepers.[15]

Sometime later, Rilis tempted three of the four warriors, Areldur, Imiril, and Voranil with the same daedric magic he wielded and as a way to compete with his power, they took up the same pacts as he did, only to succumb to his influence. Keeper Cirion enlisted the Undaunted once again to defeat his corrupted compatriots and slay Rilis' soul on Nirn. In order to do this, however, Cirion became the host of Rilis' spirit and through this fusion, the High Kinlord transformed into a daedra. The Undaunted defeated Rilis XII and his soul was banished from the living world. With it gone, the Keeper's Oath had been fulfilled and the last four keepers were able to rest in peace.[16]

The significance of Rilis XII allowed him to be documented within the Infinite Archive in Apocrypha. There, copies of various entities were subsequently created as maligraphies, creatures composed of vivified ink manifested by stories from books, and serve as mindless extensions of the Daedric Lord Tho'at Replicanum. A maligraphy copy of Rilis was formed, which was destroyed by an adventurer or two who were aided by augmentations directly from Hermaeus Mora. The defeated maligraphy of Rilis faded into a puddle of ink.[17][18][19]



  • Rilis XII may have been the last member of his clan to wear the Rilis Helm as his trusted guards were given the eternal mission of protecting the vault in Castle Rilis and his successor, Rilis XIII was not in possession of it.[20]

See AlsoEdit

  • For game-specific information on each appearance in Online, see the NPC article and the boss (I, II) articles.