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Oblivion:Hannibal Traven

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Hannibal Traven
(RefID: 00034E17)
(lore page)
Home City Imperial City, Arcane University
Location Arch-Mage's Quarters
Race Breton Gender Male
Level 50 Class Mage
RefID 00034E17 BaseID 00034E16
Other Information
Health 211 Magicka 300
Responsibility 50 Aggression 5
Essential Until Confront the King (Scripted Death)
Faction(s) Nobility 0(Knight); IC Citizens; Arcane University; Guild for Mages Arch-Mage(Arch-Mage Arch-Mage)
Hannibal Traven

Hannibal Traven, a Breton mage, is the Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild. He is a staunch opponent of Necromancy, and he will give you many quests related to stamping out the practice in Cyrodiil. He is also the author of The Black Arts on Trial and was the former head of the Anvil Mages Guild before being promoted to the Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild. He is more than willing to give his life for the protection of the guild, as you'll find out in the last Mages Guild quest, when you will find yourself dealing with his precious inheritance.

Traven sure enjoys life as boss and lives a very effortless existence; spending all of his time wandering around the official buildings in the University in the Imperial City. He wakes up early at 7am and eats his breakfast for two hours in his chambers. From 9am until 11pm he will be found wandering around the Council room of the Arch-Mage's Tower. He will spend the last two hours of his day wandering around his quarters in the pinnacle of the tower until his bedtime at 1am.

He wears the unique but unenchanted Arch-Mage's robe and a pair of rare white mage's shoes. He also carries the key to his private quarters and a sizable amount of gold. In combat, he wields a leveled staff.

While most NPCs have only one set of leveled spells, according to their class, Traven has three: the mage set, the sorcerer set, and the warlock set. This means that he can cast up to 18 (see Notes) unique spells, of which most are major leveled: six Destruction spells (of which three minor), three leveled Conjuration (only Summon or Turn Undead, of which two minor), three leveled Restoration and Illusion, two leveled Alteration and one leveled Mysticism spell (all of the highest skill level available to Hannibal). As Hannibal has a skill level of 100 in all magic schools, all major spells will be either Expert or Master level (as some spell types do not have Master-level versions). Minor spells will always be Apprentice-level.

When you first meet the Arch-Mage he will kindly introduce himself: "Hannibal Traven, Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild. Welcome to the Arcane University." Afterwards he will begin with: "Greetings, Magister. I trust you are serving the guild well." When questioned about the Imperial City he will inform you: "Before the Arcane University was founded in the second era, Crystal Tower on Summerset Isle was the source of all magical learning. Since then, the Imperial City has been Tamriel's foremost magical research center."

Related QuestsEdit

Quest-Related EventsEdit

Liberation or Apprehension?Edit

After a long fight against necromancers and after you have reached the rank of Magician in the Mages Guild, Raminus Polus will inform you that the Arch-Mage requests your assistance: "Seek out Arch-Mage Traven. He has personally requested that you see him for your next assignment." When you speak with Traven he will welcome you warmly: "Greetings. It is high time that we meet [sic] face to face, don't you think? Raminus has told me good things about you. You have advanced quickly, and show great promise. I now intend to put your talents to a more direct test. I have a difficult task that you can, perhaps, assist with." When you mention the task he will ask: "Are you prepared to begin?" If you are not yet ready, he will assure you: "Better that you should be adequately prepared. I shall await your return." When you decide you are ready, he will instruct you further: "Very good. Let me explain what is at stake. The Council of Mages has been aware of the increased Necromancer activity in Cyrodiil for some time. It had been our position to sit back and watch what unfolded, but that time has clearly passed. We cannot tolerate these attacks on the guild. Most of our information on Necromancers has come from an informant inside the cult itself, a guild member who offered to infiltrate their ranks."

Mucianus Allias. Or at least, what's left of him...

When asked that there is an informant he will reply: "Yes, and we have for quite some time. Though the information he has provided is limited, it has given us a sense of their scope and power. The Council was initially reluctant to believe the information was reliable, but with recent events, they have little choice but to trust it. I fear that our informant is in danger, and that is why I have called you here." Traven will mention the identity of the informant: "Mucianus Allias. He is not a Council member, but has long served the guild here at the Arcane University. Aware in the growing interest in the guild after the band of Necromancy was put into place, he offered to help the Council track the cult's actions. With my blessing, he infiltrated the group, and has fed us information for quite some time, until recently. I have not heard from him, and I fear for his safety." He will continue: "The lack of reports from Mucianus has disturbed the Council, and they are now concerned about the legitimacy of his information. A group of Battlemages were dispatched to Mucianus's last know location, with the intent on bringing him in for questioning. I argued against it, but eventually agreed to maintain order in the Council. I regret that decision, and that is why I wish to send you there. I fear the Battlemages may mistreat Mucianus, if they do not mistake him for one of the many Necromancers no doubt present in the ruins. I wish for you to find Mucianus, and ensure his safe return to the Arcane University. I do not want anything to go wrong. Please, hurry. The Battlemages will arrive there soon, if they have not already, and time is of the essence. If for any reason they are unsuccessful, Mucianus' life will be forfeit. You must make sure he is safe. Go now, and bring word to me as soon as he has been escorted to safety." Traven will inform you of Mucianus' location: "Mucianus last reported being sent to the ruins of Nenyond Twyll, south of the Imperial City. That is where the Battlemages went. South of the White Rose River, nearly halfway to the border of Elsweyr. I'm afraid I know nothing more about the location, or what you may expect to find once you arrive." When he has finished briefing, he will be appreciative: "Thank you. Know that I would not ask such a thing of you if I did not feel it was urgent, or that it was beyond your capabilities. I shall await your return." If pursued on the topic he will repeat: "Nenyond Twyll awaits you. Return with Mucianus as quickly as possible, so I may settle the Council's fears." When exiting conversation he will sound urgent: "Make haste. Mucianus is in danger." Once you have returned, Traven will know straight away something went wrong: "What news of your task? Your face looks grim." When you inform him of Mucianus' fate, he will be devastated: "What? By the Nine! And there was nothing you could do for him? What a horrible fate. I cannot imagine how they could do that to him. So many lives lost... I thank you for trying to save him." Traven will request you speak with Raminus Polus before you continue your duties: "Before we continue, you should speak to Raminus Polus about your advancement within the guild."

After completing the quest, guild mages may be heard saying: "Something has gone seriously wrong at the Arcane University. I heard that a high-ranking member was killed in some sort of ambush." or "The Mages Guild has been attacked by Necromancers. This proves they can't be trusted!" or "The Council seems very interested in this new group of Necromancers that has sprung up. I wonder how things will play out." or "I think the rumors about Necromancers are completely untrue. I've heard some crazy things, and I don't believe any of them."

Information At A PriceEdit

Following the previous quest, Raminus Polus will grant you the rank of Wizard. Arch-Mage Traven has further need of your services and assures that it must be you: "There is an urgent matter which requires your personal attention. This task falls to you, and only you." When asked about this special task he will reply: "Are you prepared to begin?" If you are not yet ready for the task, he will urge you to report back soon: "Please, prepare yourself as quickly as possible." When you are ready to begin the task, Traven will mention an old friend: "Count Hassildor of Skingrad has contacted the Council. He claims to have information that is vital to us. He has requested that you personally travel to Skingrad to obtain this information. I cannot stress how important it is that our relationship with Hassildor be preserved. I expect you to visit him immediately." He will inform you that it was the Count's idea for you to visit him: "I am unsure as to why he has requested that you, of all people, should be the one to visit him. I have no wish to put you in harm's way." Traven will urge you to be swift in your trip: "Please, travel there as soon as possible. The Count is waiting for you." If you are still uncertain on what to do, he will repeat his instructions: "Please pay a visit to Count Hassildor in Skingrad. If his information is as vital as he claims, we need it as soon as possible." He will offer no more information and request that you depart: "You have your task. Return as soon as you have the information." When leaving he will call after you: "Count Hassildor awaits your arrival." After the long task of eliminating the vampire threat from Skingrad, Traven will be eager for information: "What news from Skingrad? I assume you've spoken to Count Hassildor." When you mention Mannimarco he will be in shock: "What? Is that possible? This is grave news indeed.I had, perhaps foolishly, believed that Necromancy was all but stamped out in Cyrodiil. It seems I couldn't have been more mistaken. I shall need to consult with the Council as to how to proceed with this situation. Thank you for your information. It may save many lives." He will refuse to speak with you for a few days, until the Council has concluded its plan of action: "My attention is focused on the Council right now. I will need you soon enough; I need more time." Unlike most quests, you will not be eligible for promotion after completion. It is advised that you finish all business you have with the Bruma Guildhall before beginning the next quest.

After completing this quest some mages may be heard saying: "I've heard rumors about the Council of Mages consorting with outside sources. Why are outsiders interfering with our guild?"

A Plot RevealedEdit

After a few days have passed, Traven will have finished conversing with the Council. When you return to him, he will say: "The Council is in complete disarray at the news of Mannimarco's presence in Cyrodiil. The King of Worms has obviously targeted the guild, but we have no idea why. No demands have been made. All of my attention is devoted to the Council. We must discern the reason for this sudden attack, and stop Mannimarco before he destroys us all. I am unable to look into something that has been brought to my attention. Are you capable of going on my behalf?" If you are not yet ready for your next task then Traven will urge you to return quickly: "Please, hurry. The division in the Council will be difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile." When you are ready for your task, simply speak with Traven where he will brief you on your mission: "Good. Please go to Bruma; I have not heard from Jeanne Frasoric for a few days now, which is unusual for her. While I welcome the break from correspondence with her, I worry that something may be amiss, given recent developments. Find out if Jeanne is all right, and let me know if she needs anything." On the topic of Jeanne he will repeat: "Make sure she's all right, will you? It's not like her to avoid contact with the University for so long." Upon exiting conversation he will ask: "Come see me when you've spoken to Jeanne. Speaking to him again will yield the following response: "Speak with Jeanne Frasoric in Bruma, and see that she is all right." Unfortunately, Jeanne won't need anything where she's going. You will soon find that the Bruma guildhall has been obliterated by Mannimarco and that J'skar is the only survivor. Upon reporting back to Traven he will ask "Any word from Jeanne in Bruma?" When you explain what has transpired and mentioned J'skar's survival, Traven will be in shock: "He was the only one left? This is worse than I thought. From what he's told you, Mannimarco -- the King of Worms -- is here in Cyrodiil, and preying on our guild. This is something I'd never have dreamed. We'll need a few days to digest this new information. Should J'skar arrive here, we'll need to see to it that he's well taken care of. Thank you." He will say this even if J'skar has already arrived. You should go and speak to Raminus Polus about a promotion whenever you're ready to continue.

After completing this quest, Mages Guild members may be heard saying "The Bruma guild hall has been decimated. Our hall could be next!" or "Necromancers have attacked our very homes. What could be next?"

The Necromancer's Amulet and the Bloodworm HelmEdit

The Necromancer's Amulet

After speaking with Raminus and being promoted to the rank of Wizard, Traven will have two tasks for you to fulfill which may be completed in any order. Irlav Jarol and Caranya have left the Council with two dangerous artifacts; meanwhile, they have not been in contact, and Traven needs your help recovering the artifacts: "At the worst possible time, the Council is in ruins. A course of action could not be agreed upon. Some felt that we are in danger of being exterminated, and that it is time to fight back. Others felt it appropriate to fight fire with fire, as it were. The Council has shattered, and artifacts have been lost. The Necromancer's Amulet and the Bloodworm Helm have been taken." You may proceed to do the two quests in any order you choose.

Upon completion of both tasks, you will once-again be eligible for a promotion. Seek out Raminus Polus to attain the rank of Master-Wizard.

In addition, after the completion of both the Bloodworm Helm and the Necromancer's Amulet quests, the following rumors may be heard: "The Council has turned on Traven. Things couldn't possibly get any worse for the guild." or "Without the Council of Mages to guide us, how will we stand up to the King of Worms?" or "The Council of Mages has been dissolved. Arch-Mage Traven has been deserted. He's all we have left." or "Mannimarco himself is in Cyrodiil, hunting us down. None of us are safe!"

The Necromancer's AmuletEdit

The first artifact taken was the Necromancer's Amulet; he will tell you: "Caranya insisted on removing it from the University. She said it posed a threat to the safety of the Imperial City. While I do not doubt that she was right, I question whether her motives were genuine. She seemed all too eager to explore its power. I fear she is not safe from the minions of the King of Worms. She is at Fort Ontus; please, go there and return with the Amulet. Help her to see that she should not use the weapons of the enemy, especially out of fear." If you speak to him again he will ask: "Have you recovered either the Bloodworm Helm, or the Necromancer's Amulet?" After leaving conversation with him he will say: "Secure those artifacts before it's to late."

After learning of Caranya's defection to the necromancers, you must return the amulet to Traven where he will react with extreme disappointment: "Caranya turned on the Guild? I... I don't understand. She was one of my most trusted advisors. The situation grows more dire with each passing day, it seems. I fear where this will end. The amulet is safe, however, and that must be enough for now. Thank you for returning it." He will then remove the amulet from your inventory where it will no longer be accessible in the game.

If you have not yet retrieved the Bloodworm Helm, he will ask: "Have you recovered the Bloodworm Helm?"

The Bloodworm HelmEdit

When asked about the Helm after you have decided to search for it, Traven will say: "A group of mages led by Irlav Jarol took the Helm, and have retreated to Fort Teleman, in an effort to study it further. They hope to learn enough from it to find some sort of way to fight Mannimarco. I tried to dissuade them, but it was no use. I would like the helm to be returned, so that it may be kept safe here in the University. I fear Irlav has made himself a target for the Necromancers."

The Bloodworm Helm

He will continue: "It was last seen in the possession of Irlav Jarol. He was taking it to Fort Teleman. I can only assume he is still there. Please, return the helm here before any harm comes to it, or those who are using it." You will find it on the corpse of Master-Wizard, Irlav Jarol in the depths of Fort Teleman. Unfortunately he was unable to contain the power of the helm and was hunted and murdered by Necromancers. Although Traven tells you that Irlav Jarol fled to Fort Teleman with a group of mages, they are nowhere to be seen. Once you have collected the helm and arrived back at the university, Traven will be grim upon hearing the news: "Irlav is dead? I tried to warn him. I tried to tell him it was a mistake to leave with the Helm. I shall return the Helm to a secure place in the tower. It's the least I can do for Irlav. Thank you." He will then remove the Bloodworm Helm from your inventory, where it can never be reclaimed.

If you have not yet recovered the Necromancer's Amulet, he will ask: "Have you recovered the Necromancer's Amulet?"


Now that you are a Master-Wizard, you become Traven's only adviser. He has yet another task that requires your assistance: "Time is against us, and our enemies grow stronger. There is much to do, and little time in which to do it. Your next task is essential." He will continue: "Word has been sent that the Necromancers have been quite busy, creating black soul gems for their master. In particular, a unique Black Soul Gem has been crafted in the south of Cyrodiil, in the ruins of Silorn. This gem needs to be confiscated and brought here, before it can be delivered to the King of Worms and used against us." It turns out that Traven does not wish to destroy the gem: "No... I have need of it. I believe it may be instrumental in saving our guild. I will explain once you have returned with it. Until then, discussion is useless." Traven will however explain where he gathered this information: "I have spoken with several individuals I cannot name at this time. Count Hassildor has also provided valuable information, as you well know." Once you have finished asking questions he will say: "A contingent of Battlemages has been sent to the site. I would like you to oversee their actions on my behalf. The only thing that matters is that gem. Do you understand? Once you have it safely in your possession, return here immediately. Know that you have my complete confidence. I would not entrust this job to you if I did not feel you were prepared for it. Now, go." He will mark Silorn's location on your map. When further questioned about the soul gem he will reply: "You must make sure the gem does not reach Mannimarco. We are doomed if it does." He will also comment on tasks: "There is only one task with which you should be concerned. Intercept that soul gem before it reaches Mannimarco's hands." If spoken to again he will order you to find the gem: "Go. Find Thalfin and the other Battlemages. Stop the gem from reaching Mannimarco." Once you have obtained the Colossal Black Soul Gem from the traitor Falcar, Traven will express his appreciation: "Dedicated to the last! I cannot thank you enough for bringing the gem here. I have need of it immediately. We have much to speak of, and very little time. A new task awaits you, and it is by far the most important you have been entrusted with." He will then remove the soul gem from your inventory.

After completing this quest, Mages Guild members may be heard saying: "I don't know what it was, but something important was taken away from Mannimarco. Maybe there is a chance he can be defeated." or "Traven might get us through this yet. I hear that the Necromancers were handed a significant defeat at Silorn."

Confront the KingEdit

When you are ready, speak with Traven about tasks, he will say: "Are you truly prepared for this task? I cannot be certain what awaits you, but I am sure we will not speak again after you begin." If you change your mind about starting yet, he will urge you to hurry: "There is little time. Please prepare yourself as quickly as possible. The entire guild depends on you." When you are ready to begin, speak with Traven again. He will give you instructions: "Then hear me, and hear me well. Mannimarco will have what he seeks, but it will be his undoing at your hands. With this gem in your possession, you will be impervious to his attempt to enthrall you. When he fails, that is when you shall strike. When we are done speaking, you will take this gem, you will then seek out Mannimarco, and destroy him. Get to him anyway you can. It is your only hope for defeating him. I have full confidence in you, and so I leave the guild in your care. When I am gone, you will be recognized as Arch-Mage and leader of the Guild. Lead your fellow mages, and lead them well. The future rests on your shoulders.

The King of Worms

Farewell, my friend." He will mark Mannimarco's location at Echo Cave on your map then commit suicide by casting a soul trap and fire damage spell upon himself. You may then loot his corpse for anything you want, including the Filled Black Soul Gem. You must then proceed to deal with Mannimarco. See bugs for potential problems with this sequence.

Once you have slain Mannimarco, should you return to the university, Raminus Polus will greet you upon your triumphant return: "Arch-Mage! You have returned! Mannimarco has been defeated? I can hardly believe it! The King of Worms is no more! I... I received a note from Arch-Mage Traven. I know what he did for us, and that he selected you to take his place. I will mourn for him during my own, private time. For now, I cannot help but rejoice. You have brought safety to the guild, and I thank you. I have already sent word to all the local guild halls that you are now in charge. Congratulations, Arch-Mage." You are now the head of the guild and may take advantage of some perks, including access to the top room in the tower, which can now be used as a house.


The members of the Mages Guild have more than their fair share of rumors about the way the Arch-Mage runs things. Guild Mages may be heard saying:

  • "Things in the guild have been different since Traven was named Arch-Mage. They're more structured, but everyone seems tense."
  • "Half of the Council of Mages resigned when Traven took over the position of Arch-Mage."
  • "Arch-Mage Traven is the first to take such a hard stance on Necromancy. It upset more than a few people."
  • "The Mages Guild runs more or less like it always did, but we lost quite a few members when the practice of Necromancy was banned."
  • "Necromancy may be legal in Cyrodiil, but few will openly admit to practicing it now that the Mages Guild has banned it."
  • "Some say that Traven is mis-using the power of the Arch-Mage's position to further his personal agendas."
  • "I don't know what Arch-Mage Traven has against Necromancy, but the first thing he did after taking over the Mages Guild was to ban its practice."
  • "Not only has Necromancy been banned from practice in the Mages Guild, but the Guild won't deal with anyone who openly uses it."
  • "The Mages Guild has made more than a few enemies since Necromancy was banned."
  • "I've not always been happy with the standards of conduct in the Mages Guild, but Hannibal Traven's reforms are quite encouraging."

Carahil, one of Traven's biggest supporters will tell you:

  • "The Anvil Mages guild is proud to follow the example Hannibal Traven sets for us: mastery and scholarship free of the dark arts."
  • "Arch-Mage Traven was right to ban Necromancy, and place restrictions on the addition of new members to the guild. He's served us well."
  • "Arch-Mage Traven has closed the doors of the University to all who are not qualified to enter. A wise decision, in my opinion. It's in the Imperial City; perhaps some day you may be able to visit him there. He's done wonderful things for this guild."

Thaurron will tell you: "Carahil supported Arch-Mage Traven's appointment from the beginning, and I don't believe the rumors that she just wanted his job at this hall." Marc Gulitte will also have a thing or two to say about her: "Carahil inherited the Anvil Mages Guild chapter from Hannibal Traven, the Archmage [sic]. She runs a clean hall, just like Traven did." and "Carahil's a good leader. She's been a staunch supporter of the Council of Mages for as long as I've known her."


  • Because Hannibal's three class-based leveled spell lists themselves contain many of the same magical school-based leveled spell lists, it is possible that some of the spells returned by the lists are duplicates and that he therefore does not know 18 different spells. The only unique spells are his major Mysticism and Conjuration ones, while his major Alteration and minor Conjuration spells are included in two lists. All other spells are included in all three lists. As a result, Hannibal may know anywhere from 8 to 18 unique spells.
  • Hannibal Traven also appears in the Jaws of Oblivion card expansion for Legends.


  • It is possible to interrupt Traven's soul trap spell in the final quest, in which case he will walk around as normal. You will have to pickpocket the items from him, as he will be flagged as essential and assaulting him will get you suspended (although it is worth noting that these items are not actually needed to complete the quest). When you return from killing Mannimarco he will have vanished. This can affect whether or not you receive the Arch-Mage achievement for Xbox 360 players.
  • If you ask Hannibal Traven about rumors, it's possible he may say "I've not always been happy with the standards of the conduct in the Mages Guild, but Hannibal Traven's reforms are quite encouraging." which is an odd thing for him to say, as Traven is talking in third person, as well as somewhat insulting the Mages Guild conduct.