Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, or simply “Oblivion”, is the fourth installment of the critically-acclaimed series. This open world role-playing game has garnered mostly positive reviews and is a must-play for those who are still waiting for the release of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.The world of Oblivion is vast and it is up to you, the player to decide how to play. If you so desire, the main events may be delayed or postponed indefinitely. It incorporates a “sandbox” type of gameplay, wherein one may choose to simply immerse himself in the myriad of side quests readily available after the tutorial.
In terms of the cannon storyline, the events take place in Tamriel –specifically starting out in the center of the Imperial Empire: Cyrodiil. You play as one of ten races, each one with its own set of starting skills and attributes. You find yourself inside a dungeon with nothing but sack clothes and wrist irons to your name. Barely a few minutes pass and you are face-to-face with Uriel Septim VII, the emperor of Tamriel himself along with his most trusted men and personal guard, the Blades.
Surprised to find you occupying a prison cell that was supposed to be empty, the group opens a secret passage from inside your cell to serve as an escape route for the Emperor. Attributing your meeting to fate, the head of the Imperials grants you pardon and permits you to tag along with him and his entourage.
While travelling through the escape route, assassins catch up to you and Renault, Captain of the Blades, is killed in action. Now suspicious, the remaining guards cut you off from their exit in order to ensure the Emperor’s safety.
After travelling through the dark cavers, your path once again crosses with Emperor Uriel. This time he gives you the option to choose your birth sign, giving you a corresponding character bonus (such as minute of invisibility through the Shadow birth sign).
Not long after this conversation do you head down the sewers, the World Map exit closer. However, another wave of assassins comes for the Emperor and this time they succeed in killing their mark. Before his death, Uriel entrusts you with the Amulet of Kings. You are tasked to deliver this precious treasure to a monk named Jauffre –also the Grandmaster of the Blades, located at Weynon Priory. There you will learn of the truth of Uriel’s lineage, that he still has a living child. Together with the monk, you venture forth to find the Emperor’s illegitimate son and living heir to the throne.
Close Shut the Jaws of Oblivion
To the south of Chorrol, you will find Weynon Priory. You talk to Jauffre and learn about the dangers that you face. With no current Emperor to light the protective Dragonfires, Tamriel is left defenseless. This means that the Prince of Destruction Mehrunes Dagon along with other Oblivion Daedra may be able to invade the world of the living.
Finding the last heir is no easy task. You are pointed to the Chapel of Akatosh located in the besieged city of Kvatch. Upon your arrival, you will find that the refugees have retreated outside the city walls. Daedra have overrun their home due to an open Oblivion gate that serves as their way into the realm. Before trying to seal the Oblivion Gate, Uriel’s heir, Brother Martin can be found with another set of survivors barricaded inside the Chapel. Set to defend the weak, he refuses to leave despite news of his identity.
Talking to the acting captain of the guard, Savlian Matius, you will be tasked to close the portal to Oblivion and, in effect, save the people of Kvatch. Closing the gate entails entering the portal yourself and sealing it from within. Inside, you deal with hordes of Daedra and eventually find yourself atop the highest tower, Blood Feast. Removing the Sigil Stone here seals the Oblivion Gate for good and you successfully retake the city.
You head back to Weynon Priory with the Emperor’s sole surviving heir. It seems yet more trouble has come your way, as you arrive to find out that the priory is under attack by Mythic Dawn assassins. You find out that the attack was a diversion. The true intent of the mysterious faction was to take the Amulet of Kings.
Journey to Victory
In order to prevent further attacks against Martin, you take him to Cloud Ruler Temple. The temple is a formidable fortress and headquarters of the Blades. The warriors welcome Uriel’s heir and recognize his birthright.
An old acquaintance lends assistance in your task to recover the stolen amulet. Baurus, one of the Emperor’s loyal guards, reveals that the Mythic Dawn assassins are a part of a Daedric worshipping cult. These are the ones responsible for the Oblivion Gates opening up in Tamriel and assisting the Daedra. In order to recover the amulet, you must collect and decipher a hidden message written inside the cult’s collection of tomes written by Mankar Camoran, their leader. You ask the assistance of Tar-Meena, a Daedric cult expert located in the arcane University.
This hunt leads to the Green Emperor Way, located at the Imperial City’s central district. You locate the shrine and pretend to be an initiate in order to infiltrate the cult’s base. The ruse will end early if you either refuse to surrender your weapons or refuse to sacrifice an Argonian priest named Jeelius. Either way, your cover ends up blown and Camoran escapes to another realm with the amulet. You return to Cloud Ruler Temple and bring instead the cult’s tome, the Mysterium Xarxes.
Divine versus Daedra
Martin spends time studying the contents of the Mysterium Xarxes, which is said to have been written by the Daedric prince Mehrunes Dagon himself. Within its pages is the secret to opening the portal to “Paradise”, the realm where Mankar Camoran escaped to. The book instructs that the key lies within four items, one of which is the “blood of a Daedra Lord” –which refers to any one of the artifacts from the fifteen Daedric Princes. Each has its own blessing or curse (such as bestowing infinite tries when picking locks). Choosing which one to lose is simply a matter of preference.
A request for assistance is relayed to you, coming from Narina Carvain, Countess of the snow-covered province of Bruma. An Oblivion Gate has opened nearby and a battle for the city is underway. You head there to see to it that the portal is closed and you are joined by Captain Burd, leader of the Bruma Guard, as well as a few of his men.
Upon closing the portal in Bruma, you see to obtaining the last three items needed to open Paradise. This is composed of the “blood of a Divine”, a Great Welkynd Stone and a Great Sigil Stone. The last of the three is actually an anchor for an Oblivion Gate –a Great Gate, much like the one opened at Kvatch. The only way to have access to this is to allow the Mythic Dawn to open one near Bruma.
With that said, you entrust the defense of Bruma to Martin and enter the Great Gate yourself in order to obtain the stone. Once it is yours and the battle for Bruma is won, Martin opens the portal to Paradise. There, you locate Camaron in his palace and kill him to recover the precious Amulet of Kings.
Lighting the Dragonfires
With the amulet in possession, you head to the Imperial City in order to light the Dragonfires. You meet with High Chancellor Ocato, leader of the Elder Council, to obtain the council’s blessing. Unfortunately, the conversation is interrupted by a frightened messenger. An Oblivion Gate has opened inside the city and the Daedra are being lead by the Lord of Destruction.
Mehrunes Dagon proceeds to ruin the city while your party heads to the Temple of the One to relight the fires and banish the Daedra. The barriers protecting Tamriel is destroyed and Martin, in a final act of sacrifice, shatters the amulet in order to transform into the avatar of Akatosh –the Dragon God of Time. He battles with the Lord of Destruction and sends Mehrunes Dagon back to Oblivion, ridding Cyrodiil of the Daedric threat. Peace reigns in the land once again, but at what cost? After his last act, Martin has vanished, possibly to join Talos in the realm of the gods.