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Lore:Snake Magic

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Sea Serpent attacking a ship (ESO)
Serpent Caller Vinsha (ESO)

Snake Magic is an arcane art connected to snakes and sea serpents. A powerful form of snake magic was practiced by the Maormer. They used it to tame the sea serpents of Pyandonea for use as steeds and war beasts.[1][2][3] King Orgnum was believed to practice rituals that allow the Maormer to control sea serpents and use them to support their fleets.[4] Snake magic can be also used to warp snakes to make them more aggressive, alter their eggs,[5][6][7] and charm snakes and serpents of all sizes. Practitioners of snake magic were known as serpent-mages and snake-charmers. They were known to use instruments such as the snake-charmer's pungi and double reedpipes as tools to command serpents. Such instruments were rare in the Summerset Isles.[8]

According to the legends of the Redguards of the Hew's Bane snake magic can also be used to manipulate the minds of Men and Mer. According to their account, in the latter years of the First Era one group of Maormer used snake magic and ensorcelled locks when capturing slaves to ensure that they remained docile and compliant.[9]

Sea serpents commanded by the Maormer were used in warfare during the Interregnum of the Second Era. They were used during the Battle of Seaside Sanctuary against the First Aldmeri Dominion.[2] According to legend, the Great Sea Serpent terrorizing Serpent's Grotto was formed from the blood of a fish that pleaded for its life to the Bosmer, but was not spared. It came to terrorize the Bosmer until the clan decided to seal it away through the use of blood magic, sacrificing three of the clan's volunteers into blood wells.[10] The Maormer also attempted to break the wards binding a century old sea serpent in Greenshade.[10][11]

In 2E 582 Maormeri priestess of Satakal known as Serpent Caller Vinsha performed magical rituals on the snakes native to the hills of the High Isle east of All Flags Island. Her spells made them more aggressive and dangerous. Her activities alarmed local Druids of the Stonelore Circle who in turn requested the retainers of the House Dufort to hire adventurers to stop her from meddling with local wildlife.[5][6][7] They hoped to study the magic used to influence the eggs in order to cleanse them from the effects of Vinsha's rites.[6] Ultimately she was slain and the eggs were delivered to the House Dufort broker.[7][5][12]

In 3E 405, during the millennial celebration of the founding of the Breton Kingdom of Camlorn Redguard snake-charmers were invited to entertain the attendees of the activities.[13]

Known PractitionersEdit


  • Maormer Leviathans are created through the sorcerous coupling of Sea Elf and Sea Serpent.[15]
  • Inhabitants of the Iliac Bay,[16] Stross M'kai,[17] and Tamriel in general[18] were also known to perform snake charming, but whether their arts were magical or mundane in nature is unknown.[13]
  • Pendants named after Snake Charmers were found in Black Marsh during the Interregnum. Their connection to Maormeri Snake-Charmers is unknown.[19][20]