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Refer to the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide page 147 for more information.

Many organizations active in Tamriel aren't bound by strictures of geography. These factions pursue their agendas without regard for political boundaries, and their members operate anywhere the organization deems necessary. These groups employ listeners, rumormongers, smugglers, sellswords, cache-holders (people who guard caches of wealth or magic for use by the faction's operatives), haven keepers, and message drop minders, to name a few. At the core of every faction are those who don't merely fulfill a small function for that organization, but who serve as its hands, head, and heart.

    As a prelude to your adventuring career (and in preparation for it), you served as an agent of a particular faction in Tamriel. You might have operated openly or secretly, depending on the faction and its goals, as well as how those goals mesh with your own. Becoming an adventurer doesn't necessarily require you to relinquish membership in your faction (though you can choose to do so), and it might enhance your status in the faction.


Skill Proficiencies: Insight and one Intelligence, Willpower, or Personality skill of your choice, as appropriate to your faction.

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: Badge or emblem of your faction, a copy of a seminal faction text (or a code-book for a covert faction), a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 60 septims.



Tamriel is home to many factions, however, there are a handful of groups that have made a large impression on society. If your background is as an agent of one of the main factions of Tamriel, here are some possibilities.

    The Fighters Guild. Found throughout most of Tamriel, The Fighter's Guild was founded in the 2nd era as an Akaviri-only organization, but has since opened up to all the races. The guild is a professional group, chartered by the Emperor, that regulates the hiring of mercenaries, protectors, and guards. Agents of the guild are often proficient in Athletics, and seek aid from other guild members, local guards, and members of the Imperial Legion. Operatives may find themselves ensuring other mercenary groups adhere to the law, or try to uncover corruption within the guild.

    The Mages Guild. Although the traditional guild was

dissolved in the 4th era, other groups of mages, such as the Synod and the College of Whispers have continued on the tradition of studying the mysteries and applications of magicka. Those who serve the Mages Guild are masters of Arcana, and seek assistance from scholars and sages. Operatives for the guild may be in search of powerful magical artifacts, or be watchful of wizards practicing forbidden magic.

    The Thieves Guild. Although thieves are criminals by definition, the guild is tolerated by local authorities for its role as a crime regulator. The guild prevents unregulated competition and does not allow egregious activities by its own members. Members are typically skilled at deception and other thieving skills. They seek aid from other mercenaries, wizards, and merchants allied with the Thieves Guild, and sometimes even the shadowy Dark Brotherhood.

    The Imperial Legion. Also known as the Imperial Army and the Ruby Ranks, the Legion is the main force of the Empire. Considered to be one of the best armies assembled in history, the Legion preserves peace and rule of law throughout the Empire. Members are required to be knowledgeable in Lore, and can always rely on the aid of governments that are part of the Empire, plus other leaders and groups who uphold the legions ideals.

    The Imperial Cult. Worshipers of the Eight divines, they provide missionary work of their faith and bring divine inspiration and consolation across the Empire. Agents of the cult search out necromancers and daedra worshipers, and are usually skilled in Lore or Arcana. They seek aid from law enforcement friendly to the Empire, and clergy faithful to the Eight.



As a faction agent, you have access to a secret network of supporters and operatives who can provide assistance on your adventures. You know a set of secret signs and passwords you can use to identify such operatives, who can provide you with access to a hidden safe house, free room and board, or assistance in finding information. These agents never risk their lives for you or risk revealing their true identities.


Use the tables for the acolyte background in the Player's Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations, modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your identity as a faction agent. (For instance, consider the words “faith” and “faction” to be interchangeable.)

    Your bond might be associated with other members of your faction, or a location or an object that is important to your faction. The ideal you strive for is probably in keeping with the tenets and principles of your faction, but might be more personal in nature.

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