Elder Scrolls Universalis Wiki

ESU features 24 unique advisors, many of which are flavored variations of the 21 vanilla advisors, as well as a unique government reform available called "Court of Darkness" at tier 31 which allows for an additional 12 dastardly advisors to help or haunt a player's court. Depending on the starting culture there is a diverse panoply of advisor portraits which represent the races of Tamriel for their respective nations. Advisors in Elder Scrolls Universalis may still be upgraded with the requisite DLC however they may not be promoted past skill level 3.

Administrative Advisors

Advisor Static Modifiers Skill Scaled Modifiers Description Portrait*
Steward -15% Construction Cost -5,10,15% Build Time This advisor is charged with protecting our homeland and values, keeping them to the highest standard. Additionally the steward provides minor services and management of the monarch's homestead or castle.
Imperial stewards.png
Bard -1.5% Prestige Decay +5,10,15% Prestige from Land Battles The bard is essential to providing culture and current events to the citizens of our nation. Travelling across the countryside, this advisor brings joy to our people through the power of song and story.
Imperial bard.png
Mage +15% Institution Spread -5,10,15% Institution Embracement Cost This individual advises the court in matters of magic and management, providing the ruler with invaluable information. Typically specializing in a core area of spellcraft most court-mages are required to have at least minor proficiency in all fields of magic.
Imperial mage.png
Researcher -15% Idea Cost +5,10,15% Institution Spread in True Faith Provinces The researcher is necessary for any regent aiming to stay ahead of the technological curve. While not as interactive as other advisors this member of the court only speaks when they have something worth saying.
Imperial researcher.png
Monk -1.5 National Unrest +0.5,1,1.5% Missionary Strength vs Heretics The monk is an imperative addition for anxious or unpredictable rulers in need of mental discipline and supreme calm. While religiocentric to a degree the primary goal of this advisor is achievening enlightenment of body and mind, thus emanating contentment and stability to the court.
Imperial monk.png
Priest +1.5% Missionary Strength -5,10,15% War Score Cost vs Other Religions This advisor is proficient in many matters of knowledge including tamrielic religions, daedra, history and lore. Additionally priests are known to spend significant time in study, prayer, and upkeep of temples.
Imperial priest.png
Inspector -15% Core Creation Cost -0.05,0.1,0.15 Yearly Corruption Despite not being the most well-liked advisor this member of the court will ensure matters of national security are handled with a firm resolve. The inspector is outright necessary in times of national distress.
Imperial inspector.png
Curator -15% Stability Cost Modifier -5,10,15% Reduce Inflation Cost This advisor is tasked with the uncovery and preservation of priceless cultural, scientific, and religious artifacts uncovered through expeditions or national breakthroughs. The curator is imperative in maintaining our national culture and heritage.
Imperial curator.png

Diplomatic Advisors

Advisor Modifiers Skill Scaled Modifiers Description Portrait*
Merchant +15% Trade Steering +5,10,15% Light Ship Trade Power The merchant is involved in all things trade and commerce. While crucial for rulers looking to expand their economic interests one must be weary of this advisor seeking out their own financial interests.
Imperial merchant.png
Alchemist -15% Culture Conversion Cost -5,10,15% Naval Attrition This advisor is proficient not only in potions but in the entire fields of horticulture, herbology, and the synergies of woven ingredients. Alchemists, while somewhat reserved, are masters of natural science and essential to the balance of the court.
Imperial alchemist.png
Negotiator +15% Improve Relations -5,10,15% Unjustified Demands This advisor is in charge of maintaining the complex web of diplomatic relations and the country's leading diplomats. In times of aggressive expansion or procuring a key alliance the negotiator is needed.
Imperial negotiator.png
Governor -15% Diplomatic Annexation Cost -5,10,15% Minimum Autonomy in Territories While a head regent is the sole guiding force of any country, the governor is a necessary advisor for issues of state and diplomacy. By allocating the administrative tasks of running the country among various states this advisor saves time and energy for exascerbated rulers.
Imperial govorner.png
Colonial Overseer +15% Global Tariffs +5,10,15% National Sailor Modifier This advisor is in charge of administering our foreign colonies. In order to manage the colonial presence percolating overseas a Colonial Overseer is required.
Imperial colonial overseer.png
Navarch -1.5% Naval Tradition Decay -5,10,15% Ship Cost The navarch is a master and expert of naval strategy and warfare. Whether performing an invasion on a foreign continent or migrating an entire people to new lands this advisor is essential in commanding a nation's navy.
Imperial navarch.png
Adventurer +15 Settler Growth/year +5,10,15% Native Assimilation The adventurer is excitably ambitious and may need to be reigned in by a weary ruler. However this advisor is known for its versatility in search of new lands, technologies, peoples and cultures of Nirn and may provide pivotal information required in dire times.
Imperial adventurer.png
Spy +15% Spy Network Construction +5,10,15% Spy Defense The spymaster oversees the nation's efforts of espionage and foreign sabotage. Operating in the dark this advisor is imperative in matters of national security: both our own and in the foreign sphere.
Imperial spy.png

Military Advisors

Advisor Modifiers Skill Scaled Modifiers Description Portrait*
Blacksmith -15% Regiment Cost -5,10,15% Recruitment Speed Blacksmiths are skilled workers who create weapons, armor, and tools out of metal. They can be prized resources for a burgeoning nation in gaining power and conquest through force of arms.
Imperial blacksmith.png
Trainer -1.5% Army Tradition Decay -5,10,15% Army Drill Decay Military trainers train the troops of countries and areas, or train guards to protect their region. Training soldiers is key to creating a powerful empire, and thus these advisors are prized and sponsored in many courts.
Imperial trainer.png
Hunter +15% Reinforce Speed -5,10,15% Reinforce Cost Hunters are people with the profession of hunting wild game, animals of the wilderness. Their knowledge of the lay of the land can make them key advisors in times of war and desperation.
Imperial hunter.png
Scout -15% Land Attrition +5,10,15% Cavalry to Infantry Ratio Scouts are a variety of professional soldiers who explore enemy land during wartime, trying to find weaknesses in defences and discovering where enemy troops are located. As members of nations’ militaries, they can make or break success or defeat in war.
Imperial scout.png
Thane -15% Mercenary Cost +5,10,15% Mercenary Manpower Thanes are some of the greatest heroes in the Aurbis, awarded with nobility and title by their home country for their great deeds. They are often advisors to their home country or region's court, and can become experts in strategy during war.
Imperial thane.png
Officer +15% Fort Strength +5,10,15% Garrison Size Military officers are leaders and commanders of armies and squads within armies. As officers, they serve many duties such as organizing the armies and commanding them in battle.
Imperial officer.png
Grand Champion +15% Seige Ability +5,10,15% Army Drill Gain Modifier Grand Champions are great warriors hired to be the great warriors of nations and governments. Their military prowess in strategy, tactics, and combat is unmatched except by others of their kind, and their existence in a nation can be crucial to that country’s victory.
Imperial grand champion.png
Recruiter +15% Manpower Recovery Speed -5,10,15% Fort Maintenance Recruiters manage the pressing of citizens into the military, or in less dire times may simply promote the military life among the citizenry of a nation, calling people to their civic duty to fight in battle. Recruiters are this the very backbone of a nation’s military, and their loyalty and cunning must be secured.
Imperial recruiter.png

Court of Darkness

At government reform tier 31 there is an option to select the Court of Darkness reform, which allows -50% advisor costs and unlocks 12 unique advisors which provide a large positive effect and a skill scaled negative effect.

Court of Darkness is not available if any of the following government reforms are enabled:

  • Oligarchy
  • Human Republic (Dutch Republic mechanics)
  • Monastic Elections
  • Reason and Logic
  • Bureaucratic Tyranny
  • Divine Right
  • Subservient Bureaucracy
  • Justified Atrocity



Advisor Modifiers Skill Scaled Modifier (Positive) Skill Scaled Modifier (Negative) Description Portrait 
Psychopathic Artist +25% Governing Capacity +0.5,1,1.5 Tolerance of Heathens -0.05,0.1,0.15 Inflation Reduction While many advisors prefer to remain at court and observe the day to day affairs this advisor is konwn to spend long hours in front of a blank screen or empty canvas developing their phantasmagoria to completion. Judged for their radical ideas and ecelectic tastes a psychopath may be necessary to paint the bigger picture for more myopic individuals.
CoD psychopathic artist m.png
Occultist +2.5 Tolerance of the True Faith +0.05,0.1,0.15 Prestige per Development from Missionary -5,10,15% Religious Unity Reveling outside the realms of nature and religion the occultist dwells in all things supernatural. While not as specialized as the mage or down to earth as the alchemist this advisor is an excellent resource and knowledgeable not so much in individual fields but in their intersection.
CoD occultist f.png
Mad Scholar -25% Development Cost +0.5,1,1.5 Tolerance of Heretics +0.5,1,1.5 Interest Where a regular scholar fails a mad scholar excels, going into great depths to uncover the fundamental truth of things. One must be cautious not to ask to many questions, however, as this advisor may not provide the answer one seeks.
CoD mad scholar m.png
Torturer -25% State Maintenance -5,10,15% Native Uprising Chance +5,10,15 Years of Separatism When those pesky prisoners of war seem to have trouble talking, never fear: a torturer is near. As long as one doesn't mind the constant screaming, or has a soundproofed dungeon, this advisor is a perfect addition to any court.
CoD torturer f.png


Advisor Modifiers Skill Scaled Modifier (Positive) Skill Scaled Modifier (Negative) Description Portrait 
Hedonist -25% Liberty Desire from Subjects Development -5,10,15% Cost to reduce War Exhaustion +5,10,15% Chance Rival Cost There are those who believe that ruling requires great virtues such as patience, bravery, discipline; not the hedonist! Recommended for rulers who only live once and prefer binging bacchanalias, drinking away their oblivion, and sublimating saturnalias over administering a nation.
CoD hedonist m.png
Bandit -25% Province Warscore Cost +5,10,15% Embargo Efficiency +5,10,15% Aggressive Expansion Impact While still regarding matters of espionage, the bandit is much more hands on then a diplomatic spy, and in many cases is recruited from the highest tiers of the thieves guild. Knowledgeable in topography, extremely punctual, and deft with the slight of hand this advisor may be needed to acquire strategic information.
CoD bandit f.png
Corsair +25% Chance to Capture Enemy Ships +5,10,15% Navy Tradition from battles -5,10,15% Blockade Efficiency Whether dealing with the threat of pirates or planning a privateering expedition this advisor is an essential addition to the court. Knowledgeable in the tactical position and acquisition of foreign vessels the corsair may be the economic boost the nation needs.
CoD corsair m.png
Conquistador +25% Colonial Range -5,10,15% Sailor Recruitment Speed -5,10,15% Privateer Efficiency Upon establishing a home base for national operations now it is time to begin exploring deeper into the wilderness so as to transform it into order out of chaos. This task requires the conquistador, fearless adventurer of unknown lands, to charter the future path of the nation.
CoD conquistador f.png


Advisor Modifiers Skill Scaled Modifier (Positive) Skill Scaled Modifier (Negative) Description Portrait 
Lich +25% National Manpower +5,10,15% Possible Condottieri +5,10,15% Leader Cost Formerly a powerful wizard or necromancer the lich has discovered the ability to transcend life by cheating death, becoming undead while retaining their sentient consciousness. Although shunned in many parts of Nirn this advisor may give the country a crucial edge by allowing the resurrection of undead armies to fight in its ranks.
CoD lich m.png
Pillager +25% Looting Speed +5,10,15% Army Tradition from Battles +5,10,15% Fort Maintenance on Border with Rival Master of looting and razing alike, this advisor is ill-received by other members of the country; deemed 'unprofessional.' Despite this, in times of national chaos and prolonged warfare a pillager is the cornerstone of the court.
CoD pillager f.png
Tyrant -25% Damage taken by Reserves +5,10,15% Movement Speed -0.5,0.10,0.15% Yearly Army Professionalism While it may serve some regents to put compassion, foresight, and the good of the people first for others these ideals are naïve at best. For the country in despair and disrepair a Tyrant is required to give order to the people.
CoD tyrant m.png
Executioner -25% Harsh Treatment Cost +5,10,15% Income from Vassals -5,10,15% Vassal Forcelimit Modifier In times of national distress and unrest often what is needed is not a permanent solution but simply an example. The executioner is the perfect addition to any court looking to set a precedent for its unruly population.
CoD executioner f.png

Light vs Dark Mechanics

Additionally, if the player has Res Republica DLC enabled, this reform provides a Light Advisors vs Dark Advisors Mechanic (the same mechanic is enabled for most of the government reforms which prevent this one),

Where dominance of the dark side offers:

  • -25% Culture Conversion Cost
  • -50% Leader Cost
  • -1 Legitimacy per year

While dominance of the light side offers:

  • +25% Core Creation Cost
  • +0.5 Diplomatic Reputation
  • +1 Legitimacy per year.

Additional Information


Each of the base 24 advisors have a second scaled modifier by skill level, and scaled legitimacy modifier of -0.15 a year per level. So a level one advisor would give -0.15 legitimacy equivalent a year, a level 3 advisor -0.45 legitimacy a year and 3 level 3 advisors -1.35 legitimacy equivalent a year. These mechanics are reversed for meritocracy, such that if playing as Emperor of Akavir each advisor grants +0.25 meritocracy per skill level per year. 


The following religions offer various mechanics related to advisors:

  • Cult of the Old Gods: -25% Advisor Cost
  • Reclamations Pantheon-25% Same Culture Advisor Cost
  • Sload Faith: +1 Possible Advisors

Advisor Portraits

The advisor portraits used as examples are representatives of the Imperial Culture. Additionally, ESU features 24 unique advisors (12 male and 12 female) for the following cultures:

  • Nords
  • Bretons
  • Redguards
  • Imperials
  • Altmer (High Elves)
  • Bosmer (Wood Elves)
  • Dunmer (Dark Elves)
  • Dwemer (Dwarven Elves)
  • Snow Elvers
  • Maormer (Sea Elves)
  • Khajiit
  • Argonians
  • Kothringi
  • Lilmothiit
  • Orcs
  • Imgans
  • Minotaurs
  • Sloadians
  • Vampires
  • Akaviri
  • Tsaesci
  • Tang Moans
  • Po Tunians
  • Dremora
  • Kamalians


There are two missions within the administrative line, in positions 5 and 10, Obtain Prestige I and II, which require 25 and 50 prestige, respectively. Completing Obtain Prestige I grants one additional advisor and completing Obtain Prestige II grants -10% Administrative Advisor Cost. These effects last until end of game.

Classical Age

In the first Age, the Classical Age, between year 0 and year 190, one of the requirements is have a Natural Scientist Advisor. Additionally, an ability that can be purchased is Classical Great People, which offers -15% Advisor Cost.