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Arch-Mage Shalidor
ON-npc-Arch-Mage Shalidor.jpg
Arch-Mage Shalidor as he appears in ESO
Race Nord Gender Male
Born 1st Era
Resided in Skyrim
Appears in ESO

Arch-Mage Shalidor was an immensely powerful wizard from the First Era who had an understanding of magic few have ever matched, and his numerous but scattered writings are highly sought after.[1][2] There are many legends surrounding Shalidor's life, such as how he built the city of Winterhold with a whispered spell, built the great Ice Fortress of Winterhold, how he stole the secret of life from Akatosh, and how he single-handedly fought against the Dwemer legions of clan Rourken at the Battle of Rourken-Shalidor (in which he bore his Spellmirror into battle).[3][1][4][5] Many of these stories are believed to be hyperbole or outright fabrications. Shalidor stood at the forefront of a movement to enact higher standards among mages, and to discourage spell use among the common castes. This effort is dubiously credited with the original organization and formation of the schools of magic (Vanus Galerion is also often credited with the creation of the schools of magic)[6] and the foundation of the College of Winterhold.[1]


Early EndeavorsEdit

Statue of Shalidor at the College of Winterhold

In his youth, Shalidor adventured across Skyrim's holds, and plundered many of the Nordic ruins left behind from the time Dragons ruled over the Nords.[3] The veracity of Shalidor whispering Winterhold into existence from a spell is unknown,[1] but the city itself had already been established by 1E 369.[7] Seeking knowledge, he also visited other provinces in Tamriel. When the Yokudans made their home on the continent, he spent some time in Hammerfell.[3] Shalidor has had numerous dealings with Divayth Fyr of Morrowind, many of which he relied on the fellow master wizard to perform outstanding favors for him. Fyr finds comparisons of himself to Shalidor to be flawed. He agrees with Shalidor's viewpoint on mages in civilized society, but believes him to be a "victim of short-sighted sentimentality".[8] Before the disappearance of their race, Shalidor battled the Dwemer legions of clan Rourken single-handedly. The artifact Spellbreaker was created during the war to be used against him under the orders of King Rourken and was lost for some time afterwards.[4][9]

Shalidor was also interested in the planes of Oblivion, and he experimented on pocket realms prior to his work on Eyevea and the College of Winterhold, and Shalidor's Shrouded Realm is one such realm that remains proving this to be the case.[10] He was also credited with crafting a spellstone alloy composed of crystals from various Daedric planes.[11] Shalidor also supposedly encountered the necromantic Crimson Book of Skulls, though his attempt to destroy it was unsuccessful.[12] He developed a spell he called Eidetic Memory that allowed him to recall any piece of writing he ever read. Using it, he survived a rhyming spirit that demanded her questions be answered with a couplet.[3]

Shalidor eventually holed himself up in Labyrinthian, where he constructed the namesake labyrinth to test new archmages, and devoted all of his time to research and study.[1][13] He became an incredibly prolific writer, and scholars have worked to track down his notes and musings for thousands of years. He oversaw the construction of the Great Maze,[3] said to hold "Glamoril" (the "secret of life" in elvish), which, as noted above, was said to have been stolen from Akatosh by Shalidor. There's some speculation that this secret of life he possessed, whatever it was, may have been the catalyst for the practically unbelievable number of writings he produced on a vast array of topics.[2] He performed a number of rituals that extended his life significantly, claiming that "life for an Arch-Mage is measured in decades, not years."[3]

Shalidor is also credited for establishing a sanctuary for all mages across the ages on the island of Eyevea, an outlier island in the Summerset archipelago which he obtained from the High Elves in exchange for some minor artifacts.[3]

Ulfsild the EvergreenEdit

"He wished to offer me eternal life so that we might spend it together. I wished to spend my single mortal life as his partner. You might ask yourself, whose wish was the greater show of the love we'd come to share?"Ulfsild
A Projection of Ulfsild

In the time period roughly around the Twenty-Third Century of the First Era,[14] Shalidor sought out three separate figures, all which turned out to be one person, Ulfsild the Evergreen. Shalidor met her when he wandered into her property through a portal he conjured and inadvertently ruined her alchemy garden. Initially angry and defensive to the strange mage's presence, Ulfsild's interest came about when Shalidor made it evident that he was several lifetimes older than she was when he mentioned the landscape of Hjaalmarch as it was before her time, a glacier and not marshlands.[15] Shalidor spent the stormy winter at Ulfsild's home, where they grew fond of each other. They exchanged information on each other's methods of magic, and Shalidor observed her perform her duties as a witch, healer, and priestess wherever she was summoned, and occasionally served as an aid.[16]

Before leaving Ulfsild, Shalidor offered her the secret to eternal life, however, this resulted in an argument. While Shalidor prolonged his life so his accomplishments were not constrained by time, Ulfsild instead saw the beauty in the passing of time, and saw it redundant that Shalidor didn't stop and enjoy the world due to his overuse of portals despite his immortality. It took several years for Ulfsild to realize what Shalidor meant to her and that she could no longer bear his absence, and so she learned portal magic to go to Shalidor's mage sanctuary of Eyevea.[17] Within Eyevea, she discovered a year's worth of writings such as unsent letters and confessions that were addressed to her. Additionally, she learned that Shalidor had gone to see her in Skyrim, traveling from boat and then from foot from High Rock, taking her advice to not take portals and instead enjoy the journey to his destination. Upon Shalidor's return, he found Ulfsild made herself at home at Eyevea. While in Skyrim, he had discovered that Ulfsild also had her own unsent letters confessing her love. Shalidor was truly in a state of bliss, his smile he shown that day Ulfsild would never forget.[18]

Shalidor was supportive of his relationship with Ulfsild, and never made her felt lesser. With a husband that was lifetimes older than her, Ulfsild was eager to prove to herself that she was an impressive mage.[19] And so, Ulfsild would spend much of her time away from Shalidor[20] and collaborated with the Luminaries of Magic to develop Scribing, the precursor to the modern Spellcrafing system.[21][UOL 1] Shalidor initially showed interest in these Luminaries, seeing their potential, but grew wary of their charity. However, he saw that these entities made his wife happy and made no complaint when she sheltered them beneath Eyevea.[22] Ulfsild chose not to involve other mortals in Scribing's development,[23] though she wished Shalidor showed as much interest in the Luminaries as she did.[24]

After accumulating so much power and knowledge over the span of his long life, Shalidor eventually slowed down and hit a roadblock and decided he wanted more.[3] In the past, he and Ulfsild made a pact to not bargain with otherworldly beings,[19] but he sought out the Daedric Prince Sheogorath, knowing the dangers the entity presented as detailed in the 16 Accords of Madness. Ultimately, Shalidor looking to get the Folium Discognitum from Sheogorath, wagered Eyevea and lost the bet, leading to the island and the inhabitants that did not escape to be taken to the Shivering Isles.[3] With it, Ulfsild lost the Scholarium that that she established beneath the island, which contained most of her life's work that was for the art of Scribing. Despite losing so much, she stayed with Shalidor for a time. However, Shalidor regretted his wager and he became obsessed with recovering Eyevea from Sheogorath. This occupied him so much as to cost him the love of his wife. During her pleads for him to snap him back to reality, Shalidor didn't even realize she was talking to him, and he did not answer when she said that she was leaving him.[3][25]

It is said that Shalidor "planned to live until the Aedra themselves wrested him from this world."[25] Although he eventually died, Shalidor laid powerful enchantments on his final resting place that allow him to return from Aetherius whenever his legacy is threatened.[3]

Second EraEdit

Shalidor battling Sheogorath

Shalidor was the first recorded wizard to claim the title "Arch-Mage". When Vanus Galerion founded the Mages Guild in the early Second Era, he chose to name the guild's leader the Arch-Mage in Shalidor's memory.[26] It is said that Shalidor's purpose for Eyevea as a sanctuary for mages was honored with the Mages Guild, which had one of its reasons for its founding being in response to how "toxic some cultures can be towards mages and magic".[27]

In 2E 582, Shalidor returned to the affairs of mortals as a spirit as he sensed that the Three Banners War that engulfed Tamriel was a potential threat to all mages. He sought to win back Eyevea from Sheogorath so that it could serve its original purpose and act as a sanctuary. Though the Mages Guild was after his time, he chose to entrust the guild with the island.[3][28]

Sheogorath agreed to give Shalidor the means of reclaiming the island, if his champion agreed to complete four trials for the Prince's amusement. An adept of the Mages Guild agreed to undertake the Trial of Eyevea, and was then subjected to various inane tests. At the end of each trial, the guild was given a tome containing clues to returning Eyevea to Mundus. Valaste, the guild's Master of Incunabula, took on the burden of decrypting these books, as Shalidor himself was forbidden to read them.[29][30][31] The guild was eventually successful in restoring the island, but as a final test Sheogorath neglected to remove Eyevea's Daedric guardians before returning it. As such, it was swarming with Golden Saints and Dark Seducers, which needed to be cleared out. With that done, the adept was forced to fight Haskill to finally clear the island of Sheogorath's influence.[32]

Shalidor himself remained on Eyevea which became populated by the Mages Guild,[33] though the island was also a home for every mage on Tamriel.[3] While there, people sought his counsel on important matters,[34] but Shalidor was sure his body would eventually fade from the mortal world.[3]



See AlsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c d e A Minor Maze
  2. ^ a b Urag gro-Shub's dialogue in Skyrim.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Arch-Mage Shalidor's dialogue in ESO
  4. ^ a b Tamrielic LoreYagrum Bagarn
  5. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Ra Gada: HammerfellImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  6. ^ The Black Arts On TrialHannibal Traven, Archmagister of the Mages Guild
  7. ^ A History of DaggerfallOdiva Gallwood
  8. ^ Loremaster's Archive - House TelvanniDivayth Fyr
  9. ^ Artifact Quest Dialogue in Arena
  10. ^ Shalidor's Shrouded Realm loading screen in ESO
  11. ^ Inert Daedric Spellstone antiquity codex entry in ESO
  12. ^ The Order of the Black WormEvoker Brucille
  13. ^ Skyrim loading screens
  14. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Scribing — Votary Nahila
  15. ^ Our Story, Part IUlfsild
  16. ^ Our Story, Part IIUlfsild
  17. ^ Our Story, Part IIIUlfsild
  18. ^ Our Story, Part IVUlfsild
  19. ^ a b Ulfsild's Log: The IndrikUlfsild
  20. ^ The Netch's dialogue in ESO
  21. ^ The Crow's dialogue in ESO
  22. ^ Fable of the Crow
  23. ^ The Indrik's dialogue in ESO
  24. ^ Ulfsild's Log: Your Discovery, My FarewellUlfsild
  25. ^ a b The Crow's dialogue in ESO
  26. ^ Glade of the Divines loading screen in ESO
  27. ^ Votary Nahlia's dialogue in ESO
  28. ^ Events of Long Lost Lore in ESO
  29. ^ Events of Simply Misplaced in ESO
  30. ^ Events of Circus of Cheerful Slaughter in ESO
  31. ^ Events of Chateau of the Ravenous Rodent in ESO
  32. ^ Events of The Mad God's Bargain in ESO
  33. ^ By Order of Guildmaster Vanus GalerionVanus Galerion
  34. ^ Warlock Vanton's Research ProposalWarlock Vanton

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.