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|Imperial Battlemage Zurin Arctus|
Zurin Arctus was the Imperial Battlemage of Tiber Septim. He was responsible for resurrecting the Numidium, a powerful golem that helped Tiber Septim to conquer Tamriel. Upon the destruction of the Numidium, Arctus was either killed by or transformed into the Underking, according to different accounts.
The Numidium was powered by the Mantella, a powerful gem infused with the heart (life force) of a person. According to one account, Zurin Arctus sacrificed his own heart to the Mantella. After using the Numidium to conquer Tamriel, Zurin and Tiber Septim disagreed over how to continue using the Numidium. When Zurin tried to reclaim his heart, it was blown into Aetherius, destroying both the Numidium and Zurin. Zurin was left in a semi-slumber in a subterranean vault, waiting for an opportunity to reclaim his heart. In his undead shape, Zurin Arctus became known as the Underking, and from time to time he sent out his forces to find the Mantella throughout Tamriel. During the events of The Warp in the West, the Underking was able to retrieve his heart, and finally passed into true death.
However, in another account (see The Arcturian Heresy), it is written that the Underking was, in fact, King Wulfharth of Skyrim, a powerful undead being from the First Era. He was tricked by Tiber Septim and Zurin Arctus, and his soul was trapped into the Mantella to fuel the Numidium. Zurin Arctus himself was killed in the process. To prevent some political unrest, Tiber Septim stated that Zurin Arctus tried to assassinate him.
It is rumored that the Underking assisted Almalexia in destroying Kamal's king Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal at Red Mountain, when he attempted to conquer Morrowind. It is also speculated in the West that Zurin Arctus brokered the agreement between Tiber Septim and Vivec over the fate of Morrowind, and enchanted the famous Dragonbone cuirass.
He is mentioned by one of four former Blades, Rielus (who was sent to the catacombs of Sancre Tor by Tiber Septim to discover the source of the evil infestation), as his captor who made him haunt the catacombs after death, and the one who sealed off the room containing Septim's armor and populated the site with undead minions. Mannimarco, the King of Worms, also claims that he had a long, ineffective conflict with the Underking.
Underking appeared on the Box Cover of Daggerfall
Underking pictured in the book in the end of Daggerfall
 See Also
- The Arcturian Heresy by The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker — A brief, undated, early historical document covering the Underking and Tiber Septim
- The Art of War Magic by Zurin Arctus, with Commentary By Other Learned Masters — Mastering the art of winning
- Mysterious Akavir — Information about the continent Akavir
- Night Falls on Sentinel by Boali — How a knight weeds out an enemy of the king
- On Morrowind by Erramanwe of Sunhold — A historical synopsis of the Imperial conquest of Morrowind
- Response to Bero's Speech by Malviser, Battlemage — Commentaries of "Bero's Speech to the Battlemages" book
Centuries ago, Tiber Septim ruled the land and forged an empire with great Numidium. The secret of Numidiums's power lies in its heart, carried within the Mantella. It is the heart of Tiber Septim's battlemage. It is my heart. It is my Mantella. It is my Totem. It belongs to me, and to none other. I have won and lost an empire.
I have no desire to tamper further with mortal affairs. I have in my possession Necromancer's Amulet, one of the world's greatest artifact. You may have it in exchange for the Totem.
My most loyal agent will await your arrival in Graywold of Wayrest, in an Order of the Hour.