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Elder Script


Character Map:

[Symbol artwork done by Lierin Falzoni]

[Symbols found on the Elder Scroll from TES: Legends.]


The numbers assigned to each symbol are arbitrary and are not supported by any lore. The numbers are only there to assist with discussions about the symbols and should not be taken as that symbol’s translation.

These are the symbols found on the Elder Scrolls found in TESIV: Oblivion, TESV: Skyrim and TES: Legends. The symbols cannot be translated into the Latin/Roman alphabet.

The symbols on an Elder Scroll are split up into two areas: the background and the foreground. Those in the foreground are also divided into two groups: circled and uncircled.

Symbols that appear in the foreground:
18-24, 26

Symbols that appear in the background:
25, 27-33, 35-58

The symbol “34” appears in both the foreground and the background.


Some symbols are mirrored, rotated or have slight variations of other symbols:

21 and 39, 180 degree rotation
2 and 40, slightly different
27 and 28, 90 degree rotation clockwise
18 and 49, 180 degree rotation, slightly different
41 and 58, 180 degree rotation
68 and 69, different sizes

The more a Priest of the Ancestor Moth communes with the Scrolls, the more legible they become, even as our vision fails and the letters grow more obscure. In fact, the symbols and characters of a Scroll's text gradually take on the character of whichever language is most familiar to the reader. This makes the decay of our eyesight all the more mournful, as the loss of the ability to read the Scrolls feels like the death of a close friend.

-Sister Terran Arminus, Moth Sister

It is widely known among scholars that the Elder Scrolls entail a certain hazard in their very reading. The mechanism of the effects has, at present, been largely unknown -- theories of hidden knowledge and divine retribution were the subject of idle speculation with little investigation.

I, Justinius Poluhnius, have undertaken to thoroughly document the ailments afflicted by the Elder Scrolls on their readers, though a unified theory of how they manifest continues to elude me and remains a subject for future study.

I have grouped the effects into four, finding that the avenue of experience depends largely upon the mind of the reader. If this is unclear, I hope that a proper dichotomy will lay it plain.

-Justinius Poluhnius, Effect of the Elder Scroll

[The Theban script from "The Magus" by Francis Barrett, 1801.]

Some symbols of the Elder Alphabet resemble those belonging to the “Theban Alphabet” from The Magus written, in real life, by the occultist Francis Barrett. The Magus talked about “natural magic” like alchemy, magnetisme, numerology, astrology, talismanic magic, among others.

Examples of Use:

[An Elder Scroll]

“These esoteric symbols seem to be associated with the constellations at one moment, with the planets at other moments, the Daedric Princes in even more moments, and – which is the strangest in my opinion – all of the above at once!”

-Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

When compared to a Dwemer Starmap, one could assign the symbols of an Elder Scroll to those on the starmap. This could translate the symbols into Dwemer letters or even Birthsigns (e.g. Warrior, Thief, Mage, ect.).

[Dwemer Starmap from TESA: Redguard]

[A compressed Elder Scroll with the runes of a Dwemer Starmap super imposed over top. The Dwemer runes have been rotated so that the Dwemer symbol for Apprentice is equal with the most Apprentice-looking constellation (the yellow glyph closest to the y-axis in the second quadrant).]

Although, the above image is a poor fit, one could associate the Dwemer symbols with those nearest to them on the Elder Scroll. It should also be noted that the association of an Elder Scroll with a Dwemer starmap is not officially confirmed.