In the waning years of the third era of Tamriel, a prisoner born on a certain day to uncertain parents was sent under guard, to Morrowind, ignorant of the role he was to play in that nation’s history…”
Morrowind focuses on the Nerevarine, the prophesied reincarnation of the great Dumner hero Lord Nerevar. We didn’t know it at the time, but on that fateful day, two great Dunmer sent foot in Morrowind, not one.
The History of Jiub
Jiub is the first NPC you encounter upon beginning your journey in Morrowind. He wakes you from your deep sleep and helps you to your feet. He comments that you were dreaming and that not enough last night’s storm could wake you. He asks you your name before the guard comes and takes you away.
We know who we are, but who is Jiub?
According to the game files, Jiub is a level 3 Thief. He bears a long scar from his forehead, through his right eye, and down to his jaw. You cannot mimic his earrings or bald head, but the rest of his facial model is one of the male Dunmer defaults you can choose during character creation. Jiub would get an enhanced appearance years later in Elder Scrolls Legends.
At first glance, players would just take him as just another prisoner with no real purpose. But his story is just beginning.
How to Pronounce Jiub
Many gamers mispronounce Jiub’s name as Jube. Think tube, but with a j instead of t. The correct pronunciation is like bib, but with a j at the beginning instead of a b.
The History of Jiub
Before encountering Jiub on that prison ship, Jiub lived many years in Morrowind as a Skooma addict. A Skooma addict costs a lot of money, so Jiub resorted to crime to feed that addiction. Specifically, Jiub engaged in the crime of murder.
One day, someone hired Jiub to kill a high-ranking official of House Redoran. Unfortunately for Jiub, the official was also the target of a Morag Tong assassin. The Morag Tong assassin did the deed before Jiub could get the chance and alerted nearby guards to throw them off his scent.
Confusing Backstory Details
Bethesda, in recent years, has developed a notorious reputation for forgetting the continuity or details of games they made. This questionable scenario of Jiub’s backstory is one example of this. The Morag Tong is a legally sanctioned assassin’s guild in Morrowind. When they carry out assassinations, they do so with honorable writs of executions.
You can join the Morag Tong in Morrowind, and when you kill a target, if you get a bounty, show your writ of execution to a guard, and they will let you go. So the idea of a Morag Tong assassin needing to throw guards off his trail is confusing. You learn the details of Jiub’s backstory in Skyrim, and by that point, Bethesda indeed was on a decline regarding being consistent in storytelling. Not a big deal, but something worth mentioning.
Jiub’s Capture and Redemption
Jiub was on his way to kill the House Redoran official, totally unaware that he was already dead and that the guards were on the scene. Jiub was captured and considered the culprit of the crime. He was found guilty and sent to the jail of Vivec City to serve his sentence.
Jiub’s story becomes confusing once again after this. In the year 427 of the Third Era, Jiub found himself on the same prison ship bound for Morrowind as the Nerevarine. The problem here is that the Nerevarine was sent to Morrowind from the Imperial City by Emperor Uriel Septim the Seventh.
The Imperial City is in Cyrodiil. Jiub’s incarceration took place in Vivec City’s jail. How did he end up on a ship from the Imperial City of Cyrodiil? Did the Emperor mistakenly believe Jiub the prophesied Nerevarine and had him delivered to the Imperial City to examine him? Was he transferred to the Imperial City prison to serve the rest of his sentence? If so, why?
In Skyrim’s beginning execution scene, Hadvar promises to return your bones to the homeland of your race (If you choose any race besides Nord). Perhaps the standard operating procedure of the Empire is to send released criminals back to their homeland? We never learn these details of his past, unfortunately.
While serving his sentence, Jiub had a lot of time to reflect on his past actions. Jiub began feeling a great deal of shame for the crimes he committed.
After his release into Morrowind alongside the Nerevarine, Jiub swore to redeem himself. He had taken life from citizens of Morrowind and felt an obligation to give back to the people of his homeland. He decided on eliminating a creature that plagues Vvardenfell: the Cliff Racers.
What Are Cliff Racers?
If you have yet to play Morrowind, you probably don’t know what Cliff Racers are. But trust me, you will. They are winged demon spawns from the Hells of Oblivion. One Cliff Racer almost always turns into four, five, or six. They are impossible to outrun for most of the game until you significantly increase your Speed attribute.
Even when you’ve become so strong that they pose no mortal danger to you, they are still annoying. Are you Water walking to an ancestral tomb on a lone island? They bother you. Are you levitating your way through the countryside? They bother you. They can’t kill you once you’re strong enough, but their attacks still stagger you. Over and over again. They are very annoying.
There are mods that removes Cliff Racers from the game entirely. Once you experience them for yourselves, you will know why. They are easily one of the most annoying enemies in gaming history. And for that reason, we owe gratitude to the mighty Jiub.
Two days and 76 winged demons slain
Jiub managed to get his hands on a personal Silt Strider and began his crusade to wipe out the Cliff Racer menace. One day, he came across a lone Cliff Racer, which he refers to as a lingerer (A Cliff Racer with no nest). After two hours of chasing and exhausting all his arrows, Jiub slew the creature. But he was mistaken in thinking it was a lingerer. In actually, the cliff racer led Jiub to its’ nest.
Not long after the lone Cliff Racer died, Jiub heard the flapping of over one hundred wings. Believing this to be the end, Jiub sent his Silt Strider away to avoid sharing his fate. Glass blade in hand, Jiub awaited for the Cliff Racer hoard to come at him as he made his final stand.
The battle lasted for two days, and against all odds, Jiub emerged the victor. Strewn on the ground were the corpses of 76 Cliff Racers. Exhausted and heavily wounded, Jiub collapsed into a deep sleep.
Saint Jiub – the Eradicator of the Winged Menace
After an undisclosed amount of time, Jiub awoke from his slumber. He believed himself to be dead. After several minutes of struggling, Jiub managed to get to his face and found himself face to face with Lord Vivec himself.
It turns out that Jiub wasn’t dead. Instead, he was standing in the Palace of Vivec. Vivec saved him from death and declared Jiub a saint. A former Skooma-addicted murderer became Saint Jiub the Eradicator.
Vivec canonized Jiub, and he became well-known to the people of Morrowind and followers of the Tribunal Temple. Saint Jiub even got a holiday, Saint Jiub’s Fair, to celebrate his achievements. In Oblivion, the city of Cheydinhal is hosting a Saint Jiub’s Fair, presumably due to the city’s Dunmer influence and the sitting Count, Andel Indarys being a Dunmer.
Jiub had turned his life around and became a hero.
The Fall of Saint Jiub
After an undisclosed amount of time, Jiub relocated to the city of Kvatch in Cyrodiil. He wanted to settle someplace quiet and focus on writing his memoirs. Unfortunately for Jiub, the Oblivion Crisis had begun. Mehrunes Dagon was free of Oblivion, and a portal released droves of Daedra onto the people of Kvatch.
As he was writing his Opus, a hoard of Dremora broke down Jiub’s door. He saw it as an opportunity to add to the Legend of Saint Jiub the Eradicator. But fighting Cliff Racers is nothing compared to fighting Daedra. Jiub attempted to beat them back, but a Dremora killed him.
Some players have come across a decapitated head in a ruined house in Kvatch. These players speculate if it is the head of Jiub. These suspicions only arose after Jiub’s return in Skyrim, and this exact head model is used numerous times in the ruins of Kvatch. Not only that, but the head lacks the pointed ears of the Dunmer. It’s doubtful this is Jiub.
No Honor Among Dremora?
Delving into lore makes speculating the details of Jiub’s demise more interesting. Part of The Pilgrim’s Path in Morrowind makes me wonder what happened on Jiub’s last day alive.
The Puzzle Canal: The Shrine of Courtesy
“In a battle with Mehrunes Dagon, Vivec gave his own silver longsword to the Daedra Lord rather than dishonor himself by fighting an unarmed foe. This so impressed the Dremora, the most honorable and chivalrous of Mehrunes Dagon’s Daedric servants, that they now share a bond of respect and courtesy with the followers of the Tribunal, though we must never forget that they are our enemies.
Jiub was a Saint of the Tribunal Temple. As such, you can expect the Dremora to have extended the battlefield courtesy set by Lord Vivec. If Jiub settled down in Kvatch to focus on writing his Opus, one could assume he was unarmed at the time. Did the Dremora give Jiub a weapon with which to defend himself? Or did they forgo battlefield courtesy and slaughter the unarmed Tribunal Saint?
Saint Jiub the Wandering Soul
Though slain in battle, the attack on Kvatch is not the last we hear of Jiub. If you have the installed, the Dragonborn can run into Jiub in the .
Jiub was not simply killed by the Dremora back in the Oblivion Crisis. The Dremora who slew him used a Soul Trap spell when Jiub died and trapped him in a black soul gem. Jiub’s soul went to the Soul Cairn to wander for all eternity.
By beginning the main quest of Dawnguard, the Dragonborn can enter the Soul Cairn and run into Saint Jiub’s ethereal form. You can hear him mumbling to himself about how he should write passages in his book.
Speak to him, and it’s clear that Jiub somehow has no idea of his unfortunate circumstances. He has lost all sense of time and has no idea how long it’s been since that Dremora killed him. Clue him in on the fact that he’s dead, and Jiub will become mortified. He’s spent so much time writing his Opus, and no one will read it. After all, a trapped soul can’t make his way to the local publisher.
Impatience of a Saint
After coming to terms with his current predicament, Saint Jiub begs the Dragonborn to retrieve the lost pages of his Opus. Scattered across the Soul Cairn lie ten pages of Jiub’s book. You can collect them before speaking to Jiub or after initiating the quest.
Return to Jiub with the ten pages, and he will reward you with a copy of Saint Jiub’s Opus and the Locket of Saint Jiub. Saint Jiub’s Opus is the single most expensive non-Spell Tome in Skyrim and the first volume of his 26 volume biography.
The Locket of Saint Jiub is a Light Armor necklace, one of only two in the game. Along with providing an Armor Rating of 5, it has two effects: Fortify Carry Weight by 50, and Fortify Stamina by 50. It’s a great necklace for almost any character build.
Farewell Saint Jiub
Before you leave the Soul Cairn, be sure to ask Jiub about his backstory. After completing the Impatience of a Saint, you can ask Jiub what he plans to do now. He responds by stating he will begin working on the second volume of his Opus. There’s nothing more to speak of with Jiub, so say your farewells and get back to your adventures in Skyrim.
Thus ends the story of Saint Jiub the Eradicator.
Question: Did Jiub wipe out all of the Cliff Racers?
Answer: No. Jiub killed nearly every Cliff Racer in Vvardenfell. Vvardenfell is in Morrowind but is not the entirety of Morrowind. Nevertheless, Jiub all but eliminated the Winged Menace threat for many people in Morrowind.
Question: Do we know how many Cliff Racers that Jiub killed?
Answer: No. We know that Jiub killed 77 Cliff Racers when he ran into their nest, but that’s it. He spent years killing them, but there are no specifics regarding how many he killed in total.
Question: Can you run into Jiub while playing Morrowind after leaving the prison ship?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. Once you enter the Census and Excise Offices, Jiub disappears from the game.
Jiub Guide: Conclusion
Saint Jiub the Eradicator is one of many great heroes of Elder Scrolls lore. It can be easy to gloss over the lore in video games, as you’re busy, you know, playing the game, but a lot of this stuff is worth looking into. Jiub has many volumes left to write to complete his biography, and it would be awesome if Bethseda included more volumes of his Opus in the next Elder Scrolls game. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Until then, thank you, Saint Jiub, for eradicating one of the worst creatures in existence.