One of the original Five Companions, Abnur Tharn is well known within Imperial circles as both a powerful battlemage and cunning politician. Learn about the Grand Chancellor in our latest Meet the Character!
Your exalted highness, Euraxia Tharn, Queen of Rimmen
I have been observing your brother—excuse me, half-brother—Abnur Tharn these past few weeks, just as you requested. You did not exaggerate. Everything you said about him is absolutely true.
First, a little history so you know I actually did my due diligence. Your despised half-brother was born in 2E 418, which makes him exceedingly long lived at the ripe old age of 164. Makes me wish I had taken up magic when I was setting out to find my way in the world. Ah, well.
As the aristocratic and overbearing patriarch of the Tharn family and the Imperial Overlord of Nibenay, Abnur has led a storied life. His early years remain something of a mystery, though I assume that much of his first 40 or so years on Nirn were taken up with the usual education and experiences of someone of high noble birth, as well as his training in various arcane arts. We know he excelled at battle magic, but he only really stepped onto the stage of history when he became an advisor to the succession of kings and emperors who attempted to hold the Cyrodilic Empire together in the turbulent decades following the murder of the last Akaviri Potentate. By 2E 465, he was granted the title of Grand Chancellor of the Elder Council, and for the next 117 years, Abnur provided continuity and consistency. He retained that position until the most-recent collapse of the Imperial government. He continues to demonstrate a fierce loyalty to both the Empire and the idea of the Empire, though I expect that stems more from a sense of self-importance than any real love of king and country.
As I’m sure you’re aware, your half-brother has an extensive family, consisting of at least sixteen children, seven wives, and a number of siblings, including your royal majesty. Ever a smarmy dealmaker, he even helped place Varen Aquilarios on the Ruby Throne in exchange for Varen’s agreement to marry his daughter, Clivia. As one of Varen’s most-trusted Five Companions, Abnur joined Lyris Titanborn, Sai Sahan, and Mannimarco in Varen’s quest to recover the lost Amulet of Kings. While I haven’t been able to confirm it, I suspect that Abnur and the Five Companions had a hand in the dreaded Soulburst and the subsequent disappearance of Varen Aquilarios about four years back.
Your half-brother is a wily old wizard and consummate politician. He was the de facto power behind the Ruby Throne for most of the time he served as the head of the Elder Council. His management of your family’s affairs has expanded the wealth and power of the Tharn name by leaps and bounds, though I’m sure you could do better in his stead. He speaks with a natural authority (I would say pompous) and often directs verbal jabs and barbs at those he considers to be his inferior—and that happens to be almost everybody. He believes himself to be the smartest person in the room, and he is often the most ruthless (present company notwithstanding). I admit it: Abnur Tharn isn’t someone I’d ever turn my back on. Not for even an instant.
Abnur Tharn represents the best and worst aspects of an Empire that no longer exists. He is vain, proud, and set in his ways. He thinks he knows best and goes to great lengths to make sure that everyone in his general vicinity completely understands this. He can be relentless and persuasive, alternately cajoling and threatening in equal measure. Beneath his aristocratic polish lies an ever-present undercurrent of menace. He remains a wily old tiger of a man—elegant, subtle, and dangerous. I can see why you have no love for your half-brother. I think the man would drive me to thoughts of murder in very short order. Unfortunately, as good as I am, I have no illusions about being able to stand for long against a battlemage of Abnur’s caliber. Even at his advanced age, he’s only now showing signs of slowing down, and I have no doubt that he remains a force to be reckoned with. However, therein lies the path to getting exactly what your majesty most desires.
Abnur loves having a mystery or problem to solve. Long years of devising strategies and advising emperors on all sorts of topics, I suppose. If you give him something to figure out, he will grab onto it like a dog with a bone and not release it until the situation is resolved. It’s a part of his nature. Provide a tempting mystery, point your half-brother at the problem you need dealt with, and stand back and watch him go. Add to that his burning desire to end the Three Banners War and reunite the Empire, and everything you need falls nicely into place. I have no doubt he will perform exactly as you expect and accomplish precisely what you need him to do.
Of course, if he later determines that you were the one who tricked him, well, please make sure my payment is sent with all due speed.
Arctus Cove, Imperial Spymaster-at-Large
While you may disagree with his methods (and sometimes his results), when it comes to the prestige of the Tharn family name and the glory of the Empire, Abnur’s motives are clear. Be wary when dealing with the wizened battlemage. Few Imperials are as powerful or as manipulative. Let us know if you’re excited to work with the Grand Chancellor himself in The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr on Twitter @TESOnline, Instagram, or Facebook.
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