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Lore:The Scarlet Judge

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The Scarlet Judge
ON-npc-The Scarlet Judge.jpg
The Scarlet Judge circa 2E 582
Race Variesnb Gender Variable
Resided in Vvardenfell
Appears in ESO

The Scarlet Judge was a vigilante hero active on the island of Vvardenfell in the Second Era, who had the heavy burden of upholding justice no matter the cost, with the figure being active for generations while cloaked in mystery and intrigue.[1] In actuality, the person that the people of Vvardenfell saw as an immortal guardian who could appear in many places was just a mantle that was passed down, with many warriors playing the role before passing the cowl to the next, becoming just one of a long chain of vigilantes.[2]


The secret lair of the Scarlet Judge

The identity of the first Scarlet Judge is unknown, nor is the time period they were active. The earliest verifiable Judge was Ervana Ules, who protected the people of Morrowind for over forty years. In her later years, Ervana fought alongside her successor, Melar Sadus, mentoring him for twelve years until she was slain by a poisoned blade. On her deathbed, she charged Melar with protecting the helpless, allowing the Judge to fight on.[2]

By the time of the Three Banners War in 2E 582, the legendary Scarlet Judge was a constant topic in the town of Suran, their identity a source of speculation. While some believed the Judge was connected to the city, most did not realize that the Judge walked among them as an ordinary citizen.[3] Though those who saw the Scarlet Judge in action, spoke highly of him and considered it an honor to speak with the vigilante.[4][5]

Concurrently, problematic activity in Suran caught the attention of the Scarlet Judge who came to investigate the town. He had suspicions that the enforcers of Suran's justice system had become corrupt, arresting and imprisoning people without cause. During these investigations, he met the Vestige who offered their assistance in gathering proof of this corruption.[6]

With proof of the Marshal Hlaren's corruption, the Vestige was asked by the vigilante to attack the nearby Iron Hounds camp, as to preempt the mercenaries in assisting their corrupt ally. During this, the Scarlet Judge was captured and brought to the town's prison, where he was tortured. Among his injuries, his kneecaps were broken, effectively ending Melar Sadus' activities as the Scarlet Judge. However, he offered to the mantle to the Vestige to take his place. While donning the regalia, the Vestige tracked down Marshal Hlaren and her co-conspirators, and either killed or captured them.[6]

As Melar Sadus was unable to continue vigilante activities, the mantle of the Judge was kept by the Vestige.[2] It is unknown if the hero continued using the mantle or if it was passed onto someone else.

Mission and ReceptionEdit

"I am called the Scarlet Judge. Vanquisher of evil and guardian of the oppressed. I am this island's protector—bound by oath to avenge injustice and safeguard the helpless."'
—The Scarlet Judge[7]

As there were several unknown Scarlet Judges over generations, it is difficult to conclude how they were perceived as a whole. By 2E 582, the Scarlet Judge of the time referred to himself as a Vanquisher of evil who was oathbound to avenge injustice and protect the helpless. He did not serve the Tribunal Temple or the Ordinators in an official capacity, seeing their laws as restrictive or unhelpful in the pursuit of justice. His only concern being the welfare and lives of those he protected.[7] One ally of the Judge justified his actions, pointing out that slavery had been legal in Morrowind until recent times, though much of Tamriel saw it as immoral.[8]

The reception of the Judge was mixed, being called a savior by some and a menace by others.[7] Some members of the Tribunal Temple saw the Judge in a positive light, seeing the Judge as an avatar of Lord Vivec, as the sermons spoke of his ability to split his mind into many bodies.[9] Rumors surrounded the Scarlet Judge, some claiming he was vampire[10], while others saw the Judge as a crazed individual running around in a fancy costume.[11]

Known Scarlet JudgesEdit


  • Generally the persona of the Scarlet Judge was thought of as male, even when the wearer of the mantle was female, such as Ervana Ules.[2]
  • The Scarlet Judge was thought to be a Mer of some kind. Most of the Scarlet Judges were Dunmer, while the Vestige's race is unknown.

See AlsoEdit