This is a page for listing tropes related to the various Daedric beings of the The Elder Scrolls.
For other Divine Beings, see The Elder Scrolls Series Divine Beings Page.
For other characters, see The Elder Scrolls Series Character Index.
Note: Elder Scrolls lore is generally not clear-cut. Reasons for this range from biased in-universe sources intentionally only giving you only one side of a story, to sources lacking critical information or working from false information, to the implication that All Myths Are True, despite the contradictions, or that at least all myths are Metaphorically True. Out-of-game developer supplemental texts (frequently referred to as "Obscure Texts" by the lore community) are more trustworthy, but are frequently left unofficial and sometimes later contradicted. Because of this, it is entirely possible for two contradictory statements in the below examples to both be true. (And due to frequent events in-universe that alter the timeline, both may literally be true in-universe.)
The Daedra are the "original spirit" divine beings that did not take part in the creation of the world. Unlike the Aedra, they did not sacrifice any of their power during creation and remain truly immortal. Most tend to be seen as evil, often drawing comparisons to demons, though this varies between cultures. The name Daedra comes from Aldmeri, meaning "not our ancestors", and opposes the Aedra, meaning "our ancestors".
The Daedric Princes
The most powerful and important of the Daedra are the Daedric Princes. There are 17 known Daedric Princes following the events of Shivering Isles (before which, there were 16). Each has a particular sphere, which they are said to govern from their planes of Oblivion which they inhabit and rule. Though most tend to appear consistently in a particular masculine or feminine form, they can change that form however they please and thus, have no inherent gender. They are always referred to as "Princes" regardless of the form the take. Mortals who gain their favor are often gifted with abilities and artifacts of great power, though may be required to pledge their soul to serve their Daedric patron after death.
General Tropes Applicable to the Daedric Princes:
- Above Good and Evil: Though most are considered "evil" by the general populace of Tamriel, scholars argue that their actions are above what mortal minds can understand, with none wholly good or evil. The "Good" ones only seem that way because what they seek to accomplish is generally beneficial or benevolent toward mortals, while the "Evil" ones are more likely to harm mortals with their actions. For instance, Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince of Destruction, but can be considered no more "evil" than a tidal wave or an earthquake.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Further complicating the Blue-and-Orange Morality issue is that many of the Princes are seen differently through different cultural lenses. For example, Boethiah is considered a "good" Daedra by the Dunmer. Meanwhile, Malacath is considered a "bad" Daedra by the Dunmer, but the Orsimer consider him their patron deity and divine ancestor.
- Angels, Devils and Squid:
- As a group, they are (loosely) the "devils" to the Aedric "angels" and Sithis "squid".
- The Princes themselves range from the angel-like, generally "good" (if not always nice) ones like Azura and Meridia to the very devil-like ones like Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal. And then there's Hermaeus Mora, who doesn't even bother to appear in a form mortals can understand and goes with the whole mishmash of tentacles and eyes look.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of the spheres over which they govern.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: They are limited in number due to the structure of the Aurbis (loosely, the universe or "totality"). Any other powerful Daedra are considered "lords" but not true Princes. However, there have been instances of "new" Princes coming into being, though each instance to date seems to be a case of Loophole Abuse, with a sphere being "split" or something similar. Examples including Alduin "cursing" Mehrunes Dagon to his role, Boethiah "eating" and corrupting Trinimac into Malacath, Meridia being cast out from Atherius and shaping her own plane of Oblivion, and Sheogorath passing that mantle onto a mortal to become Jyggalag full-time.
- Artifact of Doom: Many of the artifacts associated with the Daedric Princes qualify. Most don't have an 'air' of "doom" on their own, but the means to acquire them often gives them one. For example, a person carrying Mehrunes Razor or the Mace of Molag Bal had to do something for the Daedric Prince of Destruction or the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption to make that person worthy of receiving the artifact.
- As Long as There is Evil:
- Most are treated as "evil" and nothing has ever been able to truly destroy a Prince. Since they are manifestations of the primal forces of reality, they will always exist for as long as existence itself. Even when they take an avatar form and that avatar is vanquished, they are simply banished back to Oblivion.
- Sotha Sil believed that the Daedra could be "destroyed", but that doing so would require a complete restructuring of the Aubris from the ground up. His theory was that the Daedra were "gaps" in how the Aubris was constructed due to errors made by the Aedra when they built the world, and that by constructing his Clockwork City and using that as a basis to rebuild the Aubris, he could eliminate the "gaps" in the cosmic machinery that allowed the Daedric Princes to exist as self-aware entities.
- Big Bad: Most of the Big Bads for the games have come from the ranks of the Daedric Princes. Mehrunes Dagon for Battlespire and Oblivion (and being The Man Behind the Man for Arena); Hircine for Bloodmoon; Meridia as the Greater-Scope Villain for Knights of the Nine; Jyggalag for Shivering Isles; Molag Bal for Online (and Greater-Scope Villain for Dawnguard); and Hermaeus Mora as the Greater-Scope Villain for Dragonborn.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality:
- Mortals tend to see them as mostly evil, but scholars and the Princes themselves insist they are far beyond these limits. Even the "good" Daedra would point out that applying human morality to beings like the Daedra operates on certain flawed assumptions.
- Point in case is the Dunmer, who worship Boethiah and Mephala, two Daedric Princes who are considered evil by most of the rest of Tamriel, because of their tendencies toward scheming, treachery, and brutal violence. The Dunmer, however, view the treacherous and violent natures of these Princes as blessings and tests that keep them strong. Malacath is viewed as a brutal and ruthless god, but the Orsimer hold that his brutality is necessary and that he blesses the outcast and downtrodden with strength and endurance. Even Mehrunes Dagon can be viewed in a somewhat positive light, as part of his sphere is change and revolution, something necessary for progress and growth. The only Prince universally regarded as pure evil devoid of any redeeming qualities is Molag Bal.
- Keep in mind, however, that while they are not necessarily "evil", Daedric Princes are still incredibly dangerous, even the seemingly benevolent ones. Most of them won't hesitate to take steps to advance their power and strengthen their spheres, and with few exceptions they rarely care about individual mortals beyond their immediate utility or threat to a Prince's plans.
- Characterization Marches On: Combined with Early Installment Weirdness, the personalities of many of the Princes are very different in Daggerfall than they would go on to be depicted in later games.
- Complete Immortality: Princes can be battered, beaten, defeated and even fundamentally changed, but nothing in the setting has ever been able to actually kill one. This includes Princes that ascended to their position, like Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath, and the new Sheogorath.
- A Day in the Limelight: Usually their presence revolves around a quest, where you get one of their artifacts. But there are games and DLC's where they get more of a presence. This also often culminates in a visit to their realm. To note:
- Azura has Morrowind, while Hircine gets the Bloodmoon DLC for himself.
- Mehrunes Dagon has Oblivion and Battlespire, and Sheogorath has the Shivering Isles DLC.
- In Skyrim, the entire Thieves' Guild questline is one for Nocturnal, and the Dragonborn DLC is one for Hermaeus Mora.
- Online is this for Molag Bal and Meridia. As for the expansions, Morrowind serves as one for Clavicus Vile and Barbas, Clockwork City for Nocturnal, and Summerset Isles for Mephala and Nocturnal again. Vaermina and Sheogorath also serve as major antagonists in the Stormhaven and Mage's Guild questlines, respectively.
- Deal with the Devil: While Clavicus Vile specializes in these, any deal made with a Daedric Prince can be considered a Downplayed version of this. While you may be rewarded quite well for serving the Prince, you will often be required to perform some rather morally questionable (or worse) tasks to obtain the Prince's favor, up to and including outright murder and betrayal. In some cases, a pledge to serve the Prince in life and in death is required, though depending on the Prince and the individual, this may be an upside. Nocturnal appears to be the only exception to this, as she generally lays out the expectations — and consequences — of her deals upfront.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Subverted. Many of them reign over concepts traditionally regarded as evil (destruction, rape, betrayal, etc.), but since they are Above Good and Evil, there is virtually no distinction in thinking of them as either gods or demons.
- Demoted to Extra: Related to A Day in the Limelight above, if a Deadric Prince gets more spotlight in a game or a DLC, in the next game they only show up in their respective quests.
- Devil, but No God: How some in Tamriel view the situation. Most of the Princes are near-universally reviled as "evil", and their worshipers are considered misguided at best and dangerous lunatics at worst. They are, however, very much present in the world. They speak directly to their worshipers, sometimes even appearing in a physical form, and are perfectly willing to offer immediate, tangible rewards for those that choose to do their work. This is in contrast to the Aedra, who prefer a much lighter touch in dealing with mortal affairs.
- Dimension Lord: Each rules over one or more planes of Oblivion, inside of which they possess almost absolute power. In some interpretations, a Prince's Realm is considered an extension of that Prince themselves, as their "body". Furthering the "body" analogy is that while a Prince has absolute power in their realm, it doesn't translate into omniscience within that Realm. The player's invasion of Coldharbour in Online is compared to a virus covertly infecting a body, for example.
- Divine Date: Some Daedric Princes (and even lesser Daedra) have copulated with mortals to bear children. These most commonly take the form of Demiprinces. Other examples include Fa-Nuit-Hen, the offspring of Boethiah and a mortal, and Malacath has "blessed" Orc women with children in some of his myths.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Generally speaking, any mortals who try to screw with any of the Daedric Princes without the backing of the Aedra or any of the other Daedric Princes themselves tend to end up regretting it. And even those who are protected can still find themselves (or their descendants) on the receiving end of the offended Prince's ire in some form or another. A Prince is immortal, after all, and they have long memories.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Daedric Princes are alien beyond human understanding, though they can take any form they like, and so will often take a humanoid form to deal with mortals. They operate on Blue-and-Orange Morality above mortal understanding. How they feel about the mortal races varies from Prince to Prince; many enjoy being worshiped, some just enjoy toying with mortals' lives for their own amusement, but all of them have demonstrated a willingness to reward mortals they find particularly helpful, loyal, or amusing.
- Eldritch Location: Their planes of Oblivion. These are spaces within the infinite Oblivion surrounding the mortal realm where the Princes have total reign, and are essentially the "bodies" of these Daedric Princes. They can vary from beautiful places, like Azura's Moonshadow, which is so beautiful that it is said to "half blind" mortals who lay eyes up on it, to Fire and Brimstone Hell places like Mehrunes Dagon's Deadlands. And then there are the places that Cthulhu himself would find cozy, like Hermaeus Mora's Apocrypha.
- Enemy Mine: While most of the Princes famously do not get along with one another, they all came together at some point in the early world to curse Jyggalag into becoming Sheogorath when they feared his growing power.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: While there are a few exceptions where a particular Daedric Prince seems to favor a specific race (Malacath toward the Orcs or Azura toward the Dunmer, for example) they all accept worship from any mortal race or gender willing to give it to them.
- Evil Counterpart: Though they're usually seen as this to the Divines, most of them benefit from having Mundus and mortals exist. In fact, there was no distinction between the Divines and Princes before Mundus.
- Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Completely averted. Most of the Princes mortals would call "evil" can't stand each other. Molag Bal and Boethiah have a particularly heated rivalry, and the former doesn't get along with Mehrunes Dagon, either. According to Sheogorath, they do sometimes throw parties (at which Malacath and Jyggalag are not popular), though this is the Prince of Madness saying this.
- Fate Worse than Death: The fate of those mortals whose souls end up in the crueler Princes' realms. Mortal souls pledged to one of the Daedric Princes are believed to be claimed by that Prince upon the mortal's death. While many of these souls are voluntary servants, there are instances of souls being taken by the Princes against their will. For example, anyone killed by Mehrunes' Razor may have their soul sent to Dagon's Deadlands realm. Likewise, the souls of lycanthropes are believed to be claimed by Hircine, even if the mortal in question did not choose to become one of these creatures.
- Fisher King: The Daedric Planes are tied to (and may even be) the Daedric Princes themselves. Anything that causes the Princes to change also affects their realm. For example, there are instances in which a Prince is cut from some of their power. In these instances, the Prince's plane will literally shrink. Dramatic changes in the personality of the Prince will also change the realms, such as during the Greymarch when Sheogorath temporarily reverts to become Jyggalag. Furthermore, separating part of a Prince's realm, as what happened with Clavicus Vile and Umbriel, will weaken that Prince, and the separated part will have an entity akin to the Prince it was separated from.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The vast majority of the Princes will take more humanoid forms when dealing with mortals, with Hermaeus Mora as the main exception. In all cases, it is speculated that mortals Cannot Grasp Their True Forms, similar to the Alien Sky example of Lorkhan and the Aedra.
- Genius Loci: One interpretation of the Princes is that their home realm or realms are the Princes, with the forms they take when dealing with mortals being the personification of that realm of Oblivion. This is backed up by the events of Online's main quest, where the Vestige and their allies can invade Coldharbour, while Meridia works to keep Molag Bal from becoming aware of this in the same way a disease infiltrates and incubates inside of a living body.
- God of Chaos: Generally perceived as forces of chaos to the order-based Aedra, though Jyggalag is a big exception. Mehrunes Dagon, Sheogorath, and Boethiah are especially considered gods of chaos.
- God Was My Copilot: They are known to take seemingly inconspicuous mortal forms from time to time, to personally guide mortals to ends they desire. Specific examples can be found under the relevant Prince's entry below.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: Like the Aedra, it is possible for this to happen to the Daedric Princes. Unlike the Aedra, who sacrificed much of their divine power during creation, it usually takes another divine entity (like another Daedric Prince) to cause this. Specific examples are found in their entries below.
- Human Sacrifice: Several Daedric Princes enjoy the sacrificing of mortals to them. The Reachmen, for example, have been known to sacrifice children to Namira, and Molag Bal regularly accepts sacrifices of mortals in his name, enslaving their souls to work for him in Coldharbour.
- Iconic Sequel Character: It's pretty easy to forget that, despite being an iconic part of the series, they were first introduced in Daggerfall, the second game in the franchise. (And even then, there was plenty of Early Installment Weirdness with many of their appearances and personalities.)
- I Know Your True Name: All Daedra have both a neonymic and a protonymic. The neonymic is their name that they can change. It holds a certain amount of power, but is hard to use against them because they can change it at any time. However, the protonymic is their true name that they cannot change. It is heavily implied that through use of the protonymic, mortals can do horrible things to even the most powerful of Daedric Princes. The player character in Battlespire managed to banish Mehrunes Dagon by using them both.
- Incredibly Inconvenient Deity: Given their frequent meddling in the mortal world and the generally unsavory effects it has, they can very easily come off this way. The quests they give to their mortal follows are frequently either incredibly arduous or incredibly silly, with the Princes giving flimsy or no justification as to why they want the task accomplished. The tangible rewards they offer of legendary artifacts and greater power can still make these tasks worthwhile, however.
- Jerkass Gods: A large part of the reason that the majority of Princes are considered "evil" throughout Tamriel. Most have no compunction against toying with mortals, right up to ruining their lives, outright killing them, and/or damning their souls to an eternity of service. Even the more benevolent Princes have a major case of Good Is Not Nice, not caring if a few mortals die to accomplish greater things.
- Kick the Dog: Due to their Blue-and-Orange Morality, they can do either this or Pet the Dog, and probably don't see much difference between the two. Specific examples can be found in under the entry for the relevant Prince below.
- Legendary Weapon: Most Princes are associated with artifacts (often weapons) of great power, which they will give out as rewards to mortal agents. Many of these artifacts are also empathic, continuing to serve the will of the associated Prince, and will abandon the mortal agent if he becomes too reliant or no longer uses the artifact in a way deemed fit by the Prince.
- Mission from God: Given the restrictions on the Princes which limit them from directly influencing mortal affairs on Mundus, they often hand out tasks to mortal agents. Even the most malevolent of the Princes still typically reward these agents with artifacts and abilities of great power.
- Not So Different:
- In most tellings of the story of the creation of Mundus, there was originally no difference between the et'Ada who would go on to become the Aedra and those who would become the Daedra. Other versions of the story instead state that the the et'Ada who would become the Aedra rose from the intermingled blood of Anu and Padomay while the et'Ada who would become the Daedra specifically came from the blood of Padomay. There is still generally no difference made between them in terms of power or ability until after the creation of Mundus.
- Further muddying the whole thing is that at least two of the Daedric Princes are beings more in line with Anuic et'Ada (Jyggalag and Peryite), and others were Aedric et'Ada turned into Daedric Princes by other forces: Meridia is a banished Magna-Ge who became a Daedric Prince through reshaping light from Magnus (the Sun) to make her own realm; Mehrunes Dagon was a benevolent spirit cursed by Alduin because he meddled in the kalpic cycles; and Malacath is what resulted when the elven ancestor spirit Trinimac was eaten and excreted back out by Boethiah.
- Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Being pure spirits, this applies to all of them, and several of them are known to appear as differing genders at certain times. Others will only present themselves as a single gender (Azura and Nocturnal as female, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath as male), and Hermaeus Mora forgoes even trying to resemble anything with a gender (although generally speaks with a male voice).
- Order vs. Chaos: The Daedra generally represent the "Chaos" to the Aedra's "Order". They are Padomaic-aligned as opposed to Anuic-aligned. That said, there are "orderly" Princes who lean toward the Anuic side of things, such as Jyggalag and Peryite, though distinguished by the fact that their versions of order are too static and ordered for the world that the Aedra created.
- Our Gods Are Different: Pre-creation spirits who refused to take part in the creation of Mundus and are manifestations of the primal forces of reality. They are truly immortal, and if their avatar is slain, their spirit simply returns to their plane of Oblivion to reform.
- Put on a Bus: More than half their number do not appear in Morrowind: Clavicus Vile, Hermaeus Mora, Jyggalag, Meridia, Namira, Nocturnal, Peryite, Sanguine and Vaermina are all personally absent and do not give the hero a quest, although they are all mentioned (even if only through mentions in books) and several of their artifacts appear. This is because they are not a part of the official Dunmer religion, which consists of the "Anticipations"; Azura, Boethiah and Mephala, and the "House of Troubles"; Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal and Sheogorath.
- Physical God: Whenever a Prince physically manifests as an avatar, they are effectively one of these. They can do this quite readily within their own Realms, but have a vastly harder time doing so on other Princes' Realms (as the Prince whose Realm has been invaded will be rather cross with the intrusion) and it's nearly impossible to do so on Nirn itself due to the presence of the Divines, though if they do manage it, they are virtually invincible beings who require the direct intervention of the Divines to stop. The few cases where a mortal directly contests a Daedric Prince's avatar in open battle requires that they first obtain the power of either a Divine or another Prince to stand toe-to-toe with them, otherwise they'll be crushed out of hand... unless it's Hircine, who just wants a fair fight.
- The Power of Creation:
- They are said to lack this power within Mundus due to refusing to take part in the creation of Mundus and, as a result, can only alter what already exists. The truth is ambiguous at best, with cited examples of Daedric beings involved in creation of all sorts throughout history.
- The definitely have it within their own planes of Oblivion, where they can and do create, change, and alter at will, one exception being Sanguine's Myriad Realms of Revelry, which change to accommodate his visiting worshipers.
- Religion of Evil: Daedric worship is often hit with this in-universe, though given that most of the Daedric Princes are Jerkass Gods, this is understandable. Boethiah, Mehrunes Dagon, and Molag Bal, being the most malevolent of the Princes, invoke this more than most, as their worship frequently involves Human Sacrifice. Taken to a new extreme following the events of the Oblivion Crisis, where worship of certain Princes such as Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal was outright banned, and groups like the Vigilants of Stendarr were formed to wipe out Daedric worshipers before they could cause another Oblivion Crisis like the Mythic Dawn. Crosses over with Scary Amoral Religion for some of the less outright malevolent Princes.
- She Is the King: Even the female-identifying Daedra are still referred to as "Princes", though historically the term "prince" could be applied to rulers, regardless of sexContext .
- Time Abyss: Like the Aedra, they were pre-creation spirits who have existed since before time itself.
- Time Dissonance: They have odd perceptions of time, with it being said that they sometimes have difficulty telling "when from when". Likewise, time seems to flow strangely in their realms of Oblivion. Mortals trapped within don't seem to age a day despite years or even centuries passing on Mundus.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: They are not bound to any one physical form and can manifest in whatever form they wish.
- Weaker in the Real World: Because the Daedric Princes did not participate in the creation of Mundus, they have been left with their full divine powers intact, but are subject to metaphysical barriers which prevent them from manifesting at full power in the mortal world outside of some very specific circumstances. As such, the Princes prefer to work through mortal agents to accomplish their goals within Mundus.
- Worf Had the Flu: In the rare cases where a mortal directly contends with a Daedric Prince, said Prince is either weakened (such as manifesting on Mundus where metaphysical laws typically weaken their power), is Willfully Weak, or said mortal has been empowered by one of the Divines or another Prince.
Azura (aka Azurah)
Artifacts: Azura's Star, Moon and Star Ring of Nerevar
Servants: Winged Twilights
Azura is the Daedric Prince of Dawn and Dusk, and is heavily associated with prophecy. Her most common symbols are a moon and star, and her typical form is as a matronly woman. She is one of the more benevolent Daedric Princes as well as one of the few to be almost universally considered "good" by mortals, and has typically shown greater concern for the well-being of her mortal followers than do most Princes. Azura has a particular association with the Dunmer people dating back to the earliest eras of Tamriellic history, and she is considered one of the three "Good Daedra" in their religion.
That said, Azura has no compunction against expressing her displeasure in very nasty ways, having a cruel and often petty streak toward those who defy her in any way. While she is the "Lady of Prophecy", the fact that she actively works to ensure that her prophecies come to fruition is something she'd rather you ignore. Although she is never overtly deceitful, the way Azura always gets what she desires in the end, and how titanic events always follow her interventions, can be portrayed as disturbing. There are also some hints that she may be a sort of 'cosmic force' primarily concerned with maintaining a sort of metaphysical balance in the universe, and her perceived "benevolence" is merely the result of her actions benefiting mortals more often than not.
Azura's realm is Moonshadow, said to be so beautiful that it "half-blinds" mortals who lay eyes upon it. It features all manner of beautiful flowers, trees, and waterfalls. There is a rain that "blurs the colors" and a "Rose Palace" in a "city of silver" at its center, where Azura herself resides.
In Daggerfall, she asks you to kill a priest who has blasphemed against her. In Morrowind, she acts as a guide to the Player Character through the main quest. She also has a side quest where she asks you to slay the Daedra sent by Sheogorath to disturb her priestess. In Oblivion, she asks you to mercy kill five of her followers who were infected with Porphyric Hemophilia (vampirism). In Skyrim, she asks you to find and purge one of her artifacts, Azura's Star. She is involved with several quests in Online, mostly revolving around the Dunmer and the Tribunal.
- Absolute Cleavage: Crossing over with Barbie Doll Anatomy and Nipple and Dimed, depending on the game. Her appearance in Daggerfall is actually topless. In Morrowind and Oblivion, her statues are topless but lacking in details. Her avatar which appears in Morrowind and Tribunal is much more modestly dressed (see the entry image). Her statues in Skyrim and Online are this trope specifically.
- Benevolent Boss: If you worship her and stay loyal, she'll watch out for you. A book in Skyrim written by one of her followers notes that Azura wants the love of her followers. Regardless of the interpretation of her actions, she is this toward the Nerevarine in Morrowind, being nothing but pleasant towards and protective of the Nerevarine, just as she was to the original Nerevar who served as her champion.
- Berserk Button: Mortals criticizing her or refusing her requests. A good example comes from Daggerfall, if you summon her but do not accept her (rather petty) request:"No! You're supposed to say yes! You're supposed to say: Yes, beautiful Azura, I would gladly murder at the snap of your ivory fingers. Boor! Bigot! Barbarian! Now, I must go before I forget that I am a lady and say something that I'll regret."
- Beware the Nice Ones: She makes a point of looking after her followers and isn't interested in messing with mortal affairs unless they directly concern her. This may seem like common courtesy, but by Daedric standards, she's practically a saint. However, she's still a Daedric Prince, and she does not respond well to being crossed. Just ask the Chimer.
- Big Good: Azura seems to be a unique hybrid of Big Good and Greater-Scope Villain for Morrowind, with exactly where she falls depending on one's interpretation of her role in the events of Morrowind and its aftermath.
- Characterization Marches On: Along with Early Installment Weirdness. Her first appearance in Daggerfall is also her most malevolent and petty. She demands that you kill a priest who has spoken ill of her, and gets extremely upset if you refuse her request. She is also mentioned to be an ally of Molag Bal, something which has never been brought up in any work since then.
- The Chessmaster: She is the "Lady of Prophecy", and she actively works (mostly) behind the scenes to ensure that those prophecies come to pass, at least "in spirit" if not exactly as they are foretold.
- The Chooser of The One: She prophesied the reincarnation of Nerevar, her slain champion, as "the Nerevarine", and serves as a guide to the Nerevarine. (It is implied that it may be a Multiple-Choice Chosen situation, where she set forth criteria in her prophecy, and any individual who met those criteria could become the Nerevarine.) Fitting given her "chessmaster" reputation.
- Dark Is Not Evil: While none of the Daedric Princes are truly evil, Azura is one of the more benevolent Princes, despite her association with twilight and the night.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In her Skyrim quest, if you choose to purify Azura's Star on your own, it becomes a re-usable black soul gem called the Black Star.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Toward the Chimer/Dunmer, as a result of the actions of the Tribunal (and really, even the very existence of the Tribunal to begin with). While everyone involved has their own version of exactly what happened at Red Mountain all those years ago, we do know that Nerevar, faithful champion of Azura, ended up dead and the Tribunal (and Dagoth Ur) ascended to godhood. Neither of which Azura was happy about. She then (possibly) cursed them with the dark skin and red eyes of the modern Dunmer. Years later, she (definitely) played a prominent role in guiding the Nerevarine to unbind the Heart of Lorkhan, and with it, the Tribunal's divinity. They all end up dead or disappeared, plunging Morrowind into chaos and indirectly leading toward its destruction with the subsequent Oblivion Crisis, Red Mountain eruption, and Argonian invasion.
- Eldritch Abomination: Behind her veil of benevolence and pleasing female form, there are hints that Azura may be something much more eldritch. She may be a sort of 'cosmic force' of True Neutrality, primarily concerned with maintaining a sort of metaphysical balance in the universe.
- Eldritch Location: Her realm of Moonshadow, said to be so extremely beautiful that the viewer is half-blinded by it, where Azura resides in a Rose Palace in a city made of silver.
- Evil Pays Better: The (mostly) good ending of her Skyrim questline is to purify Azura's Star, receiving it as a reusable Grand Soul Gem and gaining Aranea Ienith as a potential follower. On the other hand, you can complete the corruption and transform it into the Black Star which can hold all types of soul including human — keep in mind Black Soul Gems are rather rare and humanoid souls are the best for enchanting.note And even just the ability to hold black souls makes it heads and shoulders better than the other version, as grand animal and monster souls can be rare, but black (aka human) souls are extremely common regardless of level.
- Expy: Azura shares much of her temperament and nature, if not her domain, with Athena. Like Athena, she is seen as one of the "good" deities of her setting, but shows a very cruel and petty side when slighted. The in-universe text, 'Azura and the Box' shares much with some versions of tale of Arachne, with a mortal outdoing a god, and bringing down a curse upon themselves due to the gods in question being sore losers.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Some sources state that she is a "sister" of Nocturnal, although it is unclear whether it is in a literal or metaphorical sense, as other sources also mention both having a rivalry to each other.
- Good Is Not Nice: Generally considered of the "good" Daedra, and usually one of the more benevolent Princes toward mortals. However, she has no compunction against expressing her displeasure in very nasty ways. Additionally, there is some evidence that she may be more of a True Neutral, concerned with maintaining a sort of metaphysical balance, and doing so just happens to benefit the mortal races more often than not.
- Greater-Scope Villain: One interpretation of her behavior in Morrowind. While Azura takes on a highly benevolent image in helping to free the Dunmer (and Tamriel in general) from the threat of Dagoth Ur, the primary reason why the Nerevarine is actually sent to Vvardenfell is to undermine and destroy the Tribunal (who defied her, stole her worshipers, and may have killed her previous champion, Nerevar). Actually defeating Dagoth Ur is just good PR "icing on the cake" while she actually gets what she wants when the 4000-year reign of the Dunmeri Physical Gods is brought to an end. In addition, Azura herself played a highly active role in bringing about the destruction of Morrowind in the years that followed, as she only warned a handful of her followers to leave (allowing for the rest to die horribly as punishment for turning on her). She is also the only party during and after the events of Morrowind to end up with everything she wanted (Dead or otherwise indisposed Tribunal, her former worshipers are firmly hers again, those who didn't worship her are enslaved and destroyed, amazing PR...)
- Red Baron: Lady of Prophecy, Mother of the Rose, Queen of the Night Sky.
- Slave to PR: Ultimately, the reason the goddess of vanity and egotism is considered one of the "good" Daedra is because, uniquely among all the Daedric Princes, she wants people to like her.
- Unwitting Pawn: Given her reputation as a "chess master" of sorts, just about any mortal in her service falls into this. While Azura may give that mortal a straightforward task and that mortal may accomplish it, it is almost certainly one move that is part of a bigger game. Her use of the Nerevarine is an prominent example.
- Villain with Good Publicity:
- Despite playing an active role in the events that would eventually lead to the destruction of the Dunmer homeland, the Dunmer religion still highly reveres Azura. In fact, the destruction of the Dunmer homeland has made Azura more revered in the Dunmeri religion and was what ultimately ended worship of the Tribunal, her most hated enemies.
- While listed as one of the "good" Daedra (both in Morrowind lore and by series fans), Azura is also closely tied to and allied with Molag Bal, the King of Rape. If the name didn't make it obvious, just about everyone both in and out-of-universe considers him to be a "bad" Daedra. This is possibly a case of Early Installment Weirdness, as Azura's alliance with Molag Bal is only mentioned in Daggerfall.note As mentioned above, Azura, like many other Daedric Princes, was a subject to Characterization Marches On since then.
- Xanatos Gambit: As the "Lady of Prophecy", she actively works (mostly) behind the scenes to ensure that her prophecies come to pass. Even if things don't go exactly according to her plans, they still tend to work out in ways that ultimately benefit her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her sprite in Daggerfall depicts her with azure hair, pretty much the only time where she has it. Also a rare example of this trope in the Elder Scrolls series.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Her most famous artifact is Azura's Star, a reusable Grand Soul Gem. She is not otherwise associated with the taking of souls, however, making it somewhat unusual.
Boethiah (aka Boethia)
Realm: Attribution's Share and/or Snake Mount
Artifacts: Goldbrand, Eltonbrand, Ebony Mail, Fearstruck
Boethiah is the Daedric Prince of Plots, whose sphere includes seemingly all manner of high crimes. Snakes are a common symbol of Boethiah, who has an intense love for competition and battle. Boethiah also has the greatest tendency out of the Daedric Princes to change gender with each manifestation, appearing variously as male or female. In either case, Boethiah takes a form a caped warrior wearing all black. Given all that is contained within Boethiah's sphere, Boethiah is naturally considered a "bad" Daedra near universally throughout Tamriel, with the Dunmer being one major exception. To the Dunmer, Boethiah is instead one of the three "good" Daedra.
Boethiah's sphere has some overlap with Mephalas's, and with Mephala's sphere being "obscured to mortals", it is nigh impossible to tell where the two are separated.
Boethiah's realm is variously referred to as Attribution's Share or Snake Mount, and is said to be a place generally avoided by mortals. It has been described as a country of labyrinthine policy and betrayals, with maze gardens and twisted towers.
In Daggerfall, Boethiah asks you to kill a spellsword. In Morrowind, he asks you to rebuild his destroyed statue. In Oblivion, he asks you to participate in her "Tournament of Ten Bloods". In Skyrim, she asks you to kill all of their followers, and later kill her previous champion. In Online, she is the patron deity of the Maulborn Cult, as well as the patron of the Dragonstar Arena.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Boethiah is near-universally considered one of the most outright "evil" Daedric Princes throughout most of Tamriel, with the major exception being the Dunmer. The Dunmer instead see Boethiah as a brutal but positive force, driving them to be tougher and stronger, and to be guarded against treachery and betrayal. In effect, Boethiah's harsh trials and ruthless betrayals push the the Dunmer to become greater than they think they are.
- Ambiguous Gender: While technically true of all of the Daedric Princes, Boethiah has the most Gender Bender tendencies. Boethiah appears as male in Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion, while appearing female in Skyrim and Online. The worshipers and cultists refer to Boethiah as both "he" and "she", sometimes in the same sentence.
- An Axe to Grind: Boethiah's male statue depictions have him wielding a massive battle axe.
- Arch-Enemy: To Molag Bal.
- Bad Boss: Crossing over with You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. Boethiah demands that his followers independently follow their own desires... just as long as those desires are completely in line with his own. The minute a follower fails that balancing act, things turn ugly, with betrayal and murder as legitimate options. Being considered a "champion" of Boethiah practically paints a target on your back, one that Boethiah himself is often all too happy to hit the moment he considers you unworthy or simply gets bored.
- Black Knight:
- Boethiah's usual appearance, whether male or female, is of a caped warrior wearing all black. It is theorized that this may be the corrupted appearance of Trinimac (now Malacath) who Boethiah swallowed and temporarily assumed his form.
- The Ebony Mail is an artifact associated with Boethiah and is a suit of black armor, turning its wearer into one of these (at least aesthetically).
- Blood Knight: Boethiah has an intense love for competition and battle, and is known to hold tournaments among mortals to determine the strongest. Boethiah's quest in Oblivion is the "Tournament of Ten Bloods" on his plane of Oblivion. What's the tournament's purpose? None. He's just bored.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Boethiah is very open about the fact that he represents a number of typically evil attributes and actions including assassination, betrayal, deceit, and specifically the unlawful overthrow of authority.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: One could say that Boethiah is the embodiment of this trope. He exists to cause and exacerbate this condition in mortals.
- Cool Sword: Boethiah's female statue depictions have her wielding a blade. Boethiah is also associated with Goldbrand, typically one of the best swords available in the games where it appears.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: Almost always the case to gain Boethiah's support and favor. Given that murder, deceit, and betrayal are all within Boethiah's sphere, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
- Demonic Possession: Boethiah has shown to be capable of taking over dead mortal bodies. However, Boethiah finds mortal flesh "distasteful".
- For the Evulz: Encourages and delights in getting mortals to deceive, betray, back stab, and outright murder each other. If doing so can be made to include treason, conspiracy, or the unlawful overthrow of authority as well, all the better.
- God-Eating: "Devoured" Trinimac in order to speak with his voice to convince his followers to leave the Summerset Isles for Morrowind (becoming the Chimer and later the Dunmer in the process). Later excreted Trinimac, with the remains becoming Malacath and Trinimac's remaining followers becoming the Orcs.
- God Needs Prayer Badly: In Morrowind, Boethiah's shrine has been destroyed and dunk beneath the sea. His quest to you is to build him a new shrine so that he can once again receive worship.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of the Deshaan arc in Online, being the one responsible for Magistrix Vox's fall into evil and insanity, and her patron Prince.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: According to legend, Boethiah "ate" the Aedric/Aldmeri spirit Trinimac and spoke with Trinimac's voice in order to convince the Chimer to migrate to Morrowind. Trinimac was "tortured" in Boethiah's stomach and later excreted, with these excreted remains becoming Malacath and Trinimac's remaining followers becoming the Orcs. Malacath himself implies this is true, if not entirely literal.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Summoning Boethiah in Skyrim requires you to prove that you're treacherous enough to work for her. To do that, you need to find someone who trusts you enough to follow you, take them to Boethiah's altar, and sacrifice that person.
- In the Hood: Boethiah's female form statues in Skyrim and Online depict her wearing a hood and wielding a blade.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Goldbrand, and it's upgraded version Eltonbrand, are artifacts associated with Boethiah. Both take the form of katanas.
- Manipulative Bastard: Deceit, betrayal, conspiracy, assassination, treason, unlawful overthrow of authority... all are within Boethiah's sphere. Historically, he pulled this when he "ate" Trinimac, used Trinimac's voice to deceive the group that would become the Chimer into following him, and then (along with Azura and Mephala) leading the Chimer Morrowind where they would make the worship of these three "good" Daedra their primary religion.
- Mind Screw: In the 36 Lessons of Vivec, Vivec frequently refers to Boethiah as the "House of False Thinking". By contemplating what must be "untrue", one can see into the true nature of reality.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The two colors most prominently associated with Boethiah are red and black, and he is typically considered one of the more outright malevolent Daedric Princes.
- Red Baron: Prince of Plots, Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, Goddess of Destruction.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Snakes are a common symbol of Boethiah, who is typically considered one of the more outright malevolent Daedric Princes.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Given all that is contained within Boethiah's sphere, he is near-universally considered "evil" throughout Tamriel. However, to the Dunmer, he is considered one of the "good" Daedra and the anticipation of Almalexia.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: In Boethiah's Online quest, she decides that her current Champion must fight you (and your party) in the Dragonstar Arena in order to keep his title as Boethiah's Champion. Naturally, you win. (And get to take his place.)
Realm: Fields of Regret
Artifacts: Masque of Clavicus Vile, Umbra, Bitter Cup, Rueful Axe
Clavicus Vile is the Daedric Prince of Wishes, Pacts, Bargains, and Making Deals. He typically takes the form of a horned, jovial, very short man or boy, often joined by his canine companion Barbas, who is Vile's external conscience. While not considered to be one of the inherently malevolent Daedric Princes, it is common knowledge that those who make deals with Vile very often come to regret those deals.
Clavicus Vile's realm, The Fields of Regret, appear as a tranquil countryside. The floating island Umbriel was once part of Vile's realm, but became severed when Vile was weakened and it then "invaded" Tamriel. Vile assisted in taking down Umbriel, where it came to rest in an unknown realm of Oblivion.
In Daggerfall, he asks you to slay a werewolf. In Redguard, he has acquired the soul of Cyrus' sister and must be gambled to win it back. He does not appear in Morrowind, but three of his artifacts, the Bitter Cup, Umbra, and his Masque, do appear. In Oblivion, he asks you to acquire Umbra for him. In Skyrim, he asks you, along with Barbas, to retrieve the Rueful Axe from a mage who previously made a deal with him. In Online, he is involved with the Stillrise Village quests, serves as the main antagonist of the Morrowind expansion as he tries to break into Sotha Sil's Clockwork City, and serves as one of the antagonists of the Summerset expansion.
- Affably Evil: While not truly "evil", Vile does have a mean streak to him and loves to play on the words of his bargains for laughs. However, he is also highly social and friendly (at least while Barbas is around), and his realm is a beautiful, idyllic paradise, making it one of the safest and most suitable Daedric realms for mortal life.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Barbas are the main antagonists of Online's Morrowind expansion. He also serves as one of the principal antagonists of Summerset alongside Mephala and Nocturnal.
- Canine Companion: Barbas, who is actually Vile's external conscience.
- Charm Person: The Masque of Clavicus Vile, one of Vile's most famous artifacts, is a legendary helmet enchanted to turn its wearer into one of these. It makes others infatuated with the wearer.
- Cutting Off the Branches: Skyrim reveals that the Champion of Cyrodiil ignored Barbas' warnings in Oblivion and gave Umbra to Clavicus Vile.
- Deal with the Devil: Vile is essentially the embodiment of the trope. He does hold up his end of the bargain, typically by granting great power, but almost always manages to do so in a way that the dealmaker will regret. When performing tasks directly for Vile, he tends to be much less insidious and rewards his mortal agents well. On the flipside, if you give Clavicus Vile a gift, he will be delighted and give you a gift in turn... but because you got to chose the gift you gave him, he gets to choose the gift he gives you in turn, and that gift might not be what you want....
- For the Evulz: He enjoys seeing mortals regret the deals they've made with him, and is said to collect souls simply for the sake of having them.
- Hell Hound: Subverted with Barbas, who looks quite intimidating in statue form, but is actually Vile's external conscience and quite friendly.
- Horned Humanoid: Typically depicted with small horns protruding from his head. Barbas, when taking a non-canine form in Online, is also one.
- Knights and Knaves: Poses this riddle to Cyrus in Redguard.
- Literal Genie: How his granting of wishes and fulfilling of deals typically goes, given his "deal with the devil" nature. When he is separated from Barbas, he gets much closer to Jerkass Genie territory, being much more outright malevolent. (Such as "curing" a group of vampires by having a hero come along and Mercy Kill them all...and they were only vampires in the first place because they wished to Vile for immortality.)
- Morality Chain: Barbas is his external conscience and takes the form of a Big Friendly Dog. With Barbas, Vile is much less outright malevolent. When he's with Barbas, Vile is far more affable and friendly and enjoys conversation and socializing with mortals.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: He seems to believe that most wishes can be granted by killing the wish maker. Vampires asking for a cure for vampirism? Have a hero come in and slaughter them all. A man whose daughter has been turned into a werewolf? Give him an axe to put her down. Asking for peace in Skyrim? Do nothing and let the Dragons kill everyone. A village asking for immunity from the Knahaten plague? Turn them undead.
- Pet the Dog: If the Dragonborn reunites him with Barbas in Skyrim, he (reluctantly) decides not to flay them in the most gruesomely manner possible for disobeying his order to kill Barbas instead. The implication is that the return of Barbas, and thus Vile's full divine power (and his conscience) is the better deal for Vile.
- Put on a Bus: He doesn't make an appearance in Morrowind, but he is mentioned and several of his artifacts appear. He returns for Oblivion.
- Rare Candy: His artifact, the Bitter Cup, plays with it, along with Upgrade Artifact. It automatically increases the drinker's top two attributes significantly, but also drops their lowest two attributes by the same amount. Given Vile's nature, this should not come as a shock.
- Satanic Archetype: He mostly reflects the Deal with the Devil aspects of the archetype, as well as bargaining for souls, while leaving out the truly evil and demonic aspects. Vile does like to play cruel pranks and twists on his deals, but these are typically treated like childish pranks from his perspective.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Between the events of Oblivion and Skyrim, due in no small part to the Champion of Cyrodiil's actions, Vile is severely weakened, separated from Barbas, and forced to spend spend several decades trapped within a cave, high in the mountains of Skyrim.
- Your Soul Is Mine: He is a known collector of mortal souls, though he doesn't seem to do anything with them. He simply likes having them for the sake of having them. He also commissioned the creation of Umbra, an Empathic Weapon blade which steals souls (including the soul of its wielder).
Hermaeus Mora (aka Herma-Mora)
Artifacts: Oghma Infinium, Black Books
Servants: Seekers, Lurkers
Hermaeus Mora is the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, and also associated with the tides of fate and destiny. His most common symbol is an eye and, unlike the other Daedric Princes, he does not bother with a humanoid form, preferring to appear as a grotesque assemblage seemingly endless tentacles and eyes. While not considered to be one of the inherently malevolent Daedric Princes, Hermaeus Mora has been known to commit unspeakable acts in the pursuit of knowledge. He is considered an "enemy" in the religious traditions of the Skaal of Solstheim and in the old Nordic religion, where he was an adversary of Ysgramor. Some sources state that Hermaeus Mora is a "sibling" of Mephala.
Hermaeus Mora's realm is Apocrypha, an endless library containing all knowledge in the form of tomes. The sky is an illuminating green in color and it is covered by a sea of roiling acidic waters. Some areas of Apocrypha are consumed by a darkness which kills any mortal who tries to enter it. The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge.
In Daggerfall, Mora asks you to assassinate a noble. He does not appear in Morrowind. In Oblivion, he asks you to collect a soul from every Tamriellic race. In Skyrim, he tasks you with freeing the Oghma Infinium from a sealed Dwemer lock box. In the Dragonborn DLC, he serves as an instigator behind the main plot. In Online, he seeks knowledge of the Celestials.
- Affably Evil: Like most Daedric Princes, Mora is not inherently "evil" per se, but he certainly has his episodes of malevolence. Despite this, Mora's preferred method of seducing mortal servants is to bribe them with gifts of power and knowledge. He also tends to give them absolute freedom, trusting that the lure of the gifts he offers will keep them in his service. A great example is his behavior toward the Dragonborn in Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. He offers gifts including the powerful enhancements of his Black Books and he even offers some of the most potent Words of Power there are, such as the final word of Bend Will. He's also unfailingly polite and even offers free unlimited Skill Point Resets after completing his quest.
- Arch-Enemy: Of Ysgramor and the Skaal of Solstheim. His Daedric quest in Skyrim, and the plot of the Dragonborn DLC especially, set him up as one of the most dangerous and personal foes that the Dragonborn faces, as well as the only one that remains undefeated at the end.
- Berserk Button:
Hermaeus Mora: "Did you think to escape me, Miraak?! You can hide nothing from me here!"
- As affable as he may seem, he does have one particularly big berserk button: trying to hide knowledge from him. Storn of the Skaal and Miraak find this out the hard way in Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. The latter also gets hit with one of the few instances of Mora raising his voice in anger.
- To a lesser extent, attempting to scheme behind his back and betray him, and thinking he would be none the wiser to the attempt. Miraak was not only stupid enough to do it, but did it in Apocrypha of all places. Mora not only made it plainatively clear he's known about Miraaks plans for years, and possibly ever since Miraak first came up with the idea, he ensured Miraaks death was an incredibly painful one. Both as a means to warn the Dragonborn of what could happen to them should they decide to follow Miraaks example, and to punish Miraak for his stupidity and Genre Blindness.
- The Chessmaster: He is the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, afterall. He can play whatever game he needs to in order to get exactly what he wants, and often more.
- Combat Tentacles: Which he uses in Dragonborn to kill Miraak and Storn via Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. The book Boneless Limbs has this to say:A writhing mass of heaped appendage
Slipping grasp the squirming slick
Extend the reach to touch the face
Burn the mind, reveal the quick
- Deus ex Machina: The story of the Dragonborn DLC of Skyrim reaches its climax when Mora spontaneously appears to the player in Apocrypha and offers to give them the Words of Power needed to challenge Miraak on equal footing. Justified, as Mora was the one who gave Miraak the words long ago and probably only he knows them; he just has to feel like sharing them.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:
- Mora was an enemy to the old Nordic king Ysgramor. According to Nordic legends, Ysgramor outwitted him regularly.
- The Skaal of Solstheim consider Mora their enemy, and have managed to keep their secrets safely hidden from him. The plot of Dragonborn is revealed to be an elaborate scheme by Mora to get them.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
- As affable and polite as he may come across, he can flip the switch to extreme violent anger in an instant if taunted. Doubling fitting, as Mora is easily the most eldritch out of the Daedric Princes. In Dragonborn, Miraak learns this the hard way.
- In Skyrim and Dragonborn, the Dragonborn has the option of flipping him off several times, even venomously referring to him as a "demon". The only time he even slightly gets back for these slights is when Dragonborn tells him that his help isn't needed to find the last word of Bend Will from his realm, to which he politely explains that you would be searching for all eternity without his aid.
- Eldritch Abomination: While all of the Daedric Princes (and perhaps all of the series' divine beings) qualify to a degree, Hermaeus Mora is the closest to to the true nature of the trope. He routinely appears as a Lovecraftian mass of tentacles, eyes, and claws. The "knowledge" he specializes in tends to be of the "forbidden" and "eldritch" variety. He also claims to be one of the "oldest" of a class Time Abyss beings, forming out of "discarded ideas" during creation.
- Eldritch Location: Apocrypha, along with being a Great Big Library of Everything. It is home to all forbidden knowledge, with a green sky, roiling acidic waters, and areas covered in darkness which kill any mortal who tries to enter. Mora's eyes and tentacles are known to blot out the sky, and it is stalked by Mora's servants, the Seekers and Lurkers. It's endless expanse of shadowy bookshelves is haunted by the ghosts of mortals who have become trapped there in search of knowledge.
- Evil Is Petty: He has long desired to know the secrets of the Skaal, even though the secrets are relatively benign knowledge about how the Skaal commune with the forces of nature. Mora wants them anyway, for as the Prince of Knowledge, it is simply in his nature to hoard secrets, regardless of their true value.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is always deep. In Oblivion, it is more a menacing kind of deep, while in Skyrim it has a soothing, grandfatherly tone.
- In Skyrim, particularly in the Dragonborn DLC, he has a more than passing resemblance to the Elder God, and shares his obsession with having control over the fate of mortal.
- He very closely resembles Yog-Sothoth of the Cthulhu Mythos, in both appearance and nature. Like Yog-Sothoth, Hermaeus Mora exists outside of linear time and possesses vast amounts of knowledge often sought out by mortals and cultists. Likewise in Dragonborn, Hermaeus Mora manifests as a mass of tentacles and eyes not unlike common depictions of the Outer God.
- Genuine Human Hide: The Oghma Infinium is said to be bound in it, and the Skyrim version is bound specifically in various elven hides.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Frequently depicted as having giant crab-like pincers. Even Skyrim has statues that depict him like this, although his actual appearance is very different. The book Delving Pincers has this to say:Crushing razors, hollow shells
That snap, that twitch, that cinch and rend
To hold the subject, bodily,
'Til mind blows soft and life meets end
- Great Big Book of Everything: His most famous artifact, the Oghma Infinium. Reading it grants immense knowledge, but it vanishes before one can read too much.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. His champion, Miraak, serves as the Big Bad and Evil Counterpart to the Dragonborn.
- I Gave My Word: In keeping with his preferred recruitment method of tempting potential followers with gifts of knowledge, Mora keeps just about every promise he makes and holds his end of every bargain, both in spirit as well as word. Doesn't mean he won't toss you aside when he doesn't need you anymore.
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: Hermaeus Mora is the embodiment of the trope. In addition to being the keeper, he is also the seeker, and is willing to offer knowledge to those who serve him.
- Magical Library: Apocrypha. In addition to all of the "forbidden" and supernatural knowledge, it also contains all known spell tomes in general. Aside from the acid and the tentacles, it's practically a dimension made up of nothing but books. The walls are often stacks of books (sometimes arranged to look like bones or spines). The wandering monsters all tend to drop random books, and treasure chests in Apocrypha usually contain more books.
- Mind Screw: According to Mora himself, he is/arose from detritus concepts ejected from reality during creation. Hermaeus Mora is what could not be.
- The Older Immortal: Mora claims to be one of the "oldest" of Daedric Princes, who are already Time Abyss deities who have existed since before time itself was conceived of as a concept.
- Omniscient: He claims to be this. However, it's more likely he isn't, since the whole plot of Dragonborn is him using the player character to acquire knowledge he did not have. The Elder Scrolls, which predict tell possible futures but not with certainy, are constantly changing and shiftign their contents. In addition, like the other Princes, he opposed and assisted in the curse of Jyggalag, who had a library that actually threatened to know everything. It is probably better to say that omniscience is something that Hermaeus Mora aspires to but does not currently have.
- Put on a Bus: He doesn't make an appearance in Morrowind, but he is mentioned. He returns for Oblivion.
- Red Baron: The Golden Eye, Gardener of Men, Prince of Fate, Lord of Secrets, Abyssal Cephaliarch, The Woodland Man, Old Antecedent, Scryer, Inevitable Knower, and Demon of Knowledge.
- Scary Librarian: His dimension is a giant eldritch library containing the world's "forbidden" knowledge, and Mora is a generally terrifying entity in appearance.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: When he confronts Miraak at the end of Dragonborn, he raises his voice in anger and starts yelling in disgust for Miraak's betrayal before calming down.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He speaks this way in Daggerfall. This trait has been dropped in later appearances.
- Shout-Out: As a nod to his inspiration, in Skyrim, one of his Black Books is a play named The Sallow Regent, written by Hawfip the Crafter.
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In the first four games, he was always a neutral entity, even if his quests tended to be a bit ruthless. Come Skyrim, he orchestrates everything that happens in Dragonborn, putting millions of innocent lives at risk, just to obtain the "secrets" of the Skaal.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know:
- Hermaeus Mora is the keeper of this sort of knowledge. According to Mora himself, he is/arose from knowledge that cannot exist (detritus concepts ejected from reality), rendering him not only the keeper of things man was not meant to know, but also making him something man cannot know.
- Neloth in Dragonborn is an expert in the madness people can experience if they delve too much into the forbidden secrets Hermaeus Mora offers... which is why he's willing to let you keep the Black Books. The Dragonborn is his guinea pig for "how much is too much".
- Time Master: Of a sort. In the same way that Akatosh is time, Mora exists outside of linear time, which allows him to interact with it in unusual ways. Some of his Black Books are believed to come from the future, and he has direct (but subtle) influence over fate and destiny.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: His Iconic Item, the Oghma Infinium, and in Dragonborn, the Black Books. The Infinium grants a massive boost to one-third of your skills, and the Black Books take you to a mini-dungeon with special perks and abilities at the end.
- Unwitting Pawn: He doesn't ask much of the Dragonborn as a champion, and in fact makes no requests at all of you after Dragonborn's main plot or the daedric quest...but he doesn't have to. Your status as a wandering adventurer means you will inevitably stick your nose into dungeons full of forbidden secrets and lost knowledge. All he has to do is watch you while you do it, and you're working for him.
- Verbal Tic: In Skyrim, and especially in Dragonborn, he yawns while talking regularly.
- Villain Takes an Interest: He's apparently very interested in those who are Dragonborn, leading him to offer Miraak power in exchange for serving as his champion. He later makes the same offer to the Dragonborn after Miraak's death. After his Skyrim quest and the main quest of Dragonborn, he claims that he has been watching the Dragonborn for some time and claims that he has been grooming the Dragonborn to become his champion. Even if the Dragonborn defiantly refuses Mora's offer, Mora states that the Dragonborn already is his pawn.
- We Can Rule Together: Offered the Dragon Priest, Miraak, the knowledge to control his former masters, in exchange for agreeing to serve as his Dragon. After Miraak's failed rebellion against Mora is thwarted by the Dragonborn, he informs the Dragonborn that they've just inherited the position.
- Xanatos Gambit:
- The main questline for Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC is essentially this for him. He allowed Miraak to think he could plot against him in Apocrypha, using the opportunity to secretly groom the Last Dragonborn as his replacement, and thusly allowed Miraak to become a threat the Last Dragonborn and the Skaal couldn't ignore. Simultaneously, Miraak can't be reached by normal means, and doing so requires knowing the full Bend Will shout, the words of which only Hermaus Mora himself knows. The last of which, Mora refuses to give until the Skaal give up the knowledge he is pursuing. One way or another, Mora wins.
- Additionally, in order to get the main Skyrim plot to finish, you need the "Elder Scroll (Dragon)", which you also have to get for Mora's daedric quest. One way or another, you're eventually going to be doing him a favor.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Mora has no compunctions with killing off those that are of no further use for him. However, he generally makes it quick and painless for loyal servants such as Septimus (who largely just appeared to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence), while instead treating followers that try to betray him with a hefty dose of Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
- Your Soul Is Mine: His Oblivion quest requires capturing the soul of one of every member of the Tamriellic races. Mora plans to have his followers use them in rituals to bend reality, time, and space.
Realm: The Hunting Grounds
Artifacts: Hircine's Ring, Spear of Bitter Mercy, Saviour's Hide, Spear of the Hunter
Hircine is the Daedric Prince of the Hunt and all aspects associated with it. His most common form is of a spear-wielding, antlered humanoid. While not considered to be one of the inherently malevolent Daedric Princes, those who are unwillingly drawn into his hunts may disagree. Despite this, he always gives his prey a chance to escape or turn the tables, as Hircine is the ultimate sportsman.
Hircine is the "Father of the Manbeasts", being responsible for the creation of Nirn's werecreatures. His most famous servants are the werewolves, who act as his "hunting dogs".
Hircine's realm is the Hunting Grounds, an infinite expanse of thick forests and open plains populated by Hircine's werecreatures.
In Daggerfall, Hircine asks you to hunt a rogue wereboar. In Battlespire, you take place in his hunt and win two of his artifacts. He does not appear in Morrowind itself, but serves as the instigator of the plot of Bloodmoon. In Oblivion, he tasks you with hunting a unicorn. In Skyrim, he has you hunt down a rogue werewolf. In Online, he tasks you with slaying a series of monsters as a werewolf.
- Affably Evil: Like most Daedric Princes, Hircine is not inherently "evil" per se, but he certainly has his episodes of malevolence. He's always very polite to those who summon him, as well as to his opponents when he judges them worthy, and he watches over his followers much more than the average Prince. It is noted that summoning Hircine typically invokes "Hrokkibeg", the aspect of the Mighty Bear, who brings horror and violence to those who disrespectfully interrupt his slumber, but will be delighted and friendly if the summoner is respectful and makes the appropriate offerings.
- Animal Motifs: Hircine appears in various animal forms, including wolves, bears, rats, and stags. In Skyrim he first appears to the player in the form of a large white stag and his Savior's Hide resembles deer hide and is stag themed.
- Bad Moon Rising: The event known as the Bloodmoon signals that it is time for his hunt on Mundus. The final sign of the Bloodmoon is Secunda, Nirn's smaller moon, turning blood red.
- Benevolent Boss: He values his followers, whose fealty is 'precious' to him.
- Big Bad: Of the Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion. Unlike most instances where a Daedric Prince is the Big Bad, he personally serves as the Final Boss at the end of his "hunt". In keeping with his personality, however, he imposes a Drama-Preserving Handicap upon himself, as fighting him at his full power would be, in his own words, "less than sporting".
- Blade on a Stick: His humanoid forms are almost always depicted as wielding a spear, and he is associated with two legendary artifact spears: The Spear of Bitter Mercy and the Spear of the Hunter.
- Blood Knight: The Blood Knight of the Elder Scrolls universe. The plot of Bloodmoon is him seeking the most worthy opponent for his hunt on Mundus, and he is always seeking the best prey within his realm, the Hunting Grounds.
- Combat by Champion:
- If Hircine is not participating directly in one of his hunts, he will usually appoint another Daedra (such as the Herne in Battlespire) or a great were-beast to do the hunting instead.
- According to the 16 Accords of Madness, Hircine and Sheogorath agreed to a battle in this fashion. Each would choose a champion, and the two champions would battle. Hircine infected an ancient Daedroth with lycanthropy to serve as his champion. Sheogorath chose...a songbird. Hircine's champion ends up blinding itself and tearing itself apart while struggling to hit the song bird.
- Cursed with Awesome: Or Blessed with Suck, depending on how one views his "gift". His werebeast followers are granted the ability to transform into powerful monsters, but enter a vicious hunter/hunted cycle as the are typically demonized by their fellow mortals. Additionally, Hircine claims their souls upon death to hunt and/or be hunted in his Hunting Grounds realm, regardless of what afterlife they may have preferred.
- Defeat Means Respect: He has immense respect for those who survive his hunts, or better yet, turn the tables on the hunter.
- Egomaniac Hunter: He lives for the glory of the hunt, and has no reason to do so beyond his own vanity. He hunts solely for the sport, including having his own pack of hunting dogs (read: werewolves). Somewhat unusually for the trope, he doesn't consider it a true hunt unless the prey has a sporting chance.
- Horned Humanoid: He most often appears with deer antlers, even in his humanoid form.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: In Hircine's realm, everyone is either Hunter or Prey. However, Prey and Hunter can reverse roles at any time, and for the most part, Hircine finds these role reversals to be amusing. Even if he's the one who becomes the prey. His werebeast servants are the embodiment of this trope. At night, they are dangerous monsters and hunt mortals while they have the advantage. During the day, however, they revert to their own weaker mortal forms and must flee from the very mortals they were just preying on.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: His realm, the Hunting Grounds, has this going on eternally. He is always looking for more dangerous prey to add to them. Additionally, the Bloodmoon event is when he brings his hunt to Mundus. He will gather the greatest warriors in a region and pit them against his werewolf "hunting dogs" (and each other) until only the most "dangerous" still lives, then he will personally enter the hunt. It's also part of why he likes werewolves; they hunt mortals by night, but are hunted by them during the day.
- The Marvelous Deer: He often takes the form of a white stag and even his humanoid avatar is typically depicted with deer antlers.
- Meaningful Name: The word "hircine" means "goat-like" in Latin, although Hircine's forms tend to resemble a deer more closely.
- Monster Progenitor: He is the creator and master of Nirn's were-creatures.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: He is the creator of werebeasts, which include werelions, werecrocodiles, werebears, werewolves, wereboars, and werebats. Only the last four have been seen in the games to date.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: He communicates to his werebeast followers in this fashion.
- Red Baron: The Huntsman of the Princes, the Father of Manbeasts.
- Rerouted from Heaven: He gets the souls of all werebeasts, usually whether or not they worship other entities or want to go to other afterlives. In an unusual case, one can reroute the rerouted souls via drawing out and killing the beast aspect of their soul. Doing this breaks the connection to Hircine and releases the soul.
- They Have the Scent!: Werewolves are his favored servants and serve him as hunting dogs. They are sometimes referred to specifically as his "hounds".
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Like all Daedric Princes, he is not bound to any one form, but he has several different forms which he uses to present himself to mortals, each of which represents a different aspect of his. These include "The Hunter" (also known as Guile), the "Quick Fox" (also known as Speed, and sometimes taking the form of a Savage Wolf), the "Mighty Bear" (also known as Strength), the "Manbeast", and the "Great Stag".
- War God: Of the "personal battle" variety. Hircine's hunts almost always end in a battle of some kind, and while he adores a fair contest where the prey can defeat the predator, in his darker appearances and interpretations he also frequently champions a hunt where many warriors pursue a weaker foe. As long as the prey has a chance to turn the hunt inside out and defeat their enemies, Hircine is happy.
- Warrior Heaven: The Hunting Grounds are a variation of one for his werebeast followers, who alternate between being predators and prey in an eternal, endless hunt.
- The Wild Hunt: He views the entirety of existence as an unending hunt. Events involving he or his minions hunting have been referred to by this exact name.
- Wild Wilderness: His realm, The Hunting Grounds, is an endless world of plains and forests where the inhabitants forever hunt and are hunted.
- Willfully Weak: When he personally engages mortals in his hunts, he generally does not do so at full strength. As a Daedric Prince at full power would easily crush any mortal, he does this in order to give his prey a sporting chance. If he successfully hunts the prey, he wins. If the prey turns the tables, he still wins, because what better expression of his sphere is there than that?
- Worthy Opponent: His whole purpose for being is finding, creating, testing and watching these, whether they win or lose. Hircine generally rewards those that survive his hunts; the Savior's Hide was created for the first mortal to ever escape his hunting grounds. Although he directs the Dragonborn in Skyrim to hunt down and kill a specific werewolf, a player who decides to instead hunt the other hunters will indeed be rewarded by Hircine for completing the hunt in a different way.
Realm: The Realm of Order (now the Shivering Isles)
Artifacts: Sword of Jyggalag
Servants: Knights of Order, Priests of Order
Jyggalag is the Daedric Prince of Order, specifically associated with Logical Order and Deduction. His typical form is as a knight clad fully in silver armor. He is said to have taken account of every detail of the world and of every action that has ever taken place on Mundus or Oblivion, long before they actually happened.
In a time before recorded history, Jyggalag grew too powerful, making the other Daedric Princes fearful and jealous of him. They came together and cursed him, trapping in the form of Sheogorath. However, at the end of every Era, he is allowed to return to his true form in an event known as the Greymarch. During this time, he retakes and destroys the Shivering Isles, only to return to the form of Sheogorath at the end. At the end of the 3rd Era, the Champion of Cyrodiil ended the cycle by defeating Jyggalag and assuming the mantle of Sheogorath. Jyggalag then left to "roam the voids" of Oblivion.
His realm is the Realm of Order. Little is known of it save that it contains a giant library holding the logical prediction of every action ever taken by any creature. It is believed to have been the Shivering Isles before he was cursed into becoming Sheogorath.
Jyggalag's only appearance to date in the series is in Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion.
- All of the Other Reindeer: The other Daedric Princes are fearful and jealous of his power. Even Malacath, not considered a "true" Daedra by the other Princes, is more highly regarded than Jyggalag.
- Always Someone Better: He was cursed by the other Daedric Princes, who feared his growing power.
- Awesomeness by Analysis:
- The Library of Jyggalag contained a precise and exact record of everything that any entity in Nirn or Oblivion would ever do, which Jyggalag compiled through nothing but simple but extremely thorough deductive reasoning and logic. This was one of the big reasons why the other Daedric Princes turned on him.
- His chamberlain, Dyus, also has this ability. Though he admits he is surprised when he miscalculated that the Champion could pull off Sheogorath's scheme to free Jyggalag and pass himself on to a mortal body.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Very literally, and very deliberately invoked as part of his Ironic Hell curse by the other Daedric Princes.
- BFS: His weapon of choice, the Sword of Jyggalag, is roughly the size of a claymore, and is wielded as such by any mortal fortunate enough to obtain it. Jyggalag himself is able to wield it with just one hand.
- Big Bad: Of The Shivering Isles. It turns out that he's also the Big Good of the expansion at the same time, being Sheogorath.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite The Shivering Isles ending with Jyggalag freed from the curse that forced him to become Sheogorath, he is not mentioned or referenced even once in Skyrim. It's implied in some obscure texts and interviews that he doesn't have much of an interest in Nirn and is more active in Oblivion. Nirn itself is already ordered, but the rest of Oblivion is a chaotic mess.
- Control Freak: He takes order very seriously, which is only natural, as he is Order. After the Champion of Cyrodiil separates him and Sheogorath, Jyggalag moves on to the rest of Oblivion, largely ignoring Nirn because the Aedra have made it much more ordered than the chaotic realms of Oblivion, which is a much more pressing issue for him to deal with.
- Creative Sterility: Sheogorath accuses him of "never having had an original thought in his existence". Ironically, as Sheogorath, he's actually able to come up with a plan that lets him break out of the endless cycle of destruction and rebirth.
- The Dreaded: It probably goes without saying that the concept of his return has got the other Princes pissing themselves. He has spent most of his time since the Oblivion Crisis focusing exclusively on Planes of Oblivion instead of on Nirn. Given that his main form of bringing the Shivering Isles to order was through subjugating the land to his will through conquest, this would be a reasonable fear for the other Princes. The Daedric Prince doesn't even need an army to reconquer the Shivering Isles, if he were to gain one... Furthermore, as an insane god and with the fact that he and the Champion of Cyrodil left on good terms, it's possible that they are allied now. Seeing as how Sheogorath sends the Dragonborn to cure insanity instead of cause it, this is also a reasonable assumption.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The in-game book On Oblivion mentioned a Daedric Prince named Jyggalag as early as Daggerfall.
- Eternal Recurrence: Crossed with Vicious Cycle. At the end of every Era, he is able to return to his true form in an event known as the Greymarch. During this time, he retakes and destroys the Shivering Isles, only to return to the form of Sheogorath at the end. It isn't until the events of Shivering Isles that he is able to break it.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Very deep, complete with a sub-bass rumble underneath to add to his already imposing stature.
- Fisher King: He longs to overthrow Sheogorath and reclaim the Mad God's plane, The Shivering Isles, as his own. Whenever he grows powerful enough to do so, life in the Isles begins to die off and crystal spires grow out of the ground, signalling the beginning of the Greymarch.
- God of Order: Unlike all the other Daedric Princes, Jyggalag represents order, specifically associated with Logical Order and Deduction. He was such a Control Freak the other Daedra were scared of him, leading to being cursed into an Ironic Hell in the form of Sheogorath.
- Godzilla Threshold: All of the other Daedric Princes combined their powers to prevent him from threatening them further. No small feat considering how openly hateful and hostile several of the Princes are toward each other.
- Graceful Loser: He treats the player rather politely upon defeat, especially since he is counting on the Champion of Cyrodiil defeating him so that they could both break the cycle of the Greymarch and the Champion could become Sheogorath.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: He's only able to become his true self during the Greymarch, once in a thousand years during which he destroys the land his mad self made and then has to witness the mad half rebuilding it. It's also implied that Sheogorath's plan to have a mortal champion mantle him and defeat Jyggalag is something that has been repeated many times in the past to the same result, with the Champion of Cyrodiil being the first one to break the loop by actually beating Jyggalag.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: The other Daedric Princes, fearing his growing power, came together and trapped him in the form of Sheogorath.
- Ironic Hell: His existence as Sheogorath, the Prince of Madness, is essentially this. What would be a worse Hell to a being of order than complete madness?
- One of his spheres of influence is logic and deduction, but his main approach to retaking the Shivering Isles is often through brute force.
- Despite being cursed into become a prince of pure madness, in his regular form, he was a perfect fit for the obsessive-compulsive form of madness.
- The Juggernaut: When the Greymarch comes, there's nothing to stop Jyggalag. He slowly marches through the Shivering Isles, destroying or converting everything he comes across.'Sheogorath: The Greymarch comes, and Jyggalag walks. Or runs. Never skips, sidles, or struts. Mostly, he just destroys everything around him.
- Karmic Transformation: Cursed to become Sheogorath, Prince of Madness and the antithesis of everything he stood for, by the other Princes out of fear and jealousy.
- Knight Templar: It is his driving mission to put the universe in perfect order. The Daedra under him are even called "Knights of Order".
- Light Is Not Good: Despite his associations with order, light, and his shiny metal appearance, he is a destructive deity who stops at nothing in an attempt to put the universe into his idea of "perfect order".
- Literal Split Personalities: At the end of Shivering Isles, he is freed from Sheogorath and passes that mantle onto the Champion of Cyrodiil.
- Mad God: It is suggested by Sotha Sil's priests that Jyggalag is a deity of insanity like Sheogorath, but unlike the chaotic mania and melancholy depression that Sheogorath represents, Jyggalag is the god of extreme order and obsessive organization. Further, Sotha Sil's priests present a theory is that Jyggalag knew that he was a Daedra and that he was a "flaw" in the Aubris, which drove him to madness.
- Not So Different: As noted in the above entry, his quirks make him just as insane as Sheogorath.
- Order Versus Chaos: He is the order to Sheogorath's chaos.
- Ironic, as he and Sheogorath are the same person before he managed to convince the Champion of Cyrodiil to take up Prince of Madness' mantle. He also has little interest in Nirn, because that world is very static and orderly compared to the rest of Oblivion.
- One implication of the obscure texts is that Jyggalag's extreme obsession with order is, itself, a form of insanity, and that Sheogorath is madness in the expression of manic uncertainty while Jyggalag is madness expressed in the form of an absolute Control Freak. According to "The Truth in Sequence":"Of the Daedra, only the Gray Prince of Order knew his nature, and he went mad in the knowing."
- Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: He was sealed by the other Daedric Princes in the form of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness.
- Straw Vulcan: Jyggalag is essentially this trope incarnate. Interestingly, he stands in contrast to Julianos, another god of logic who also presides over contradiction, which may well be what keeps the Divine from falling into the Jyggalag's monomania.
- Super OCD: Jyggalag obsessively orders everything in his Realm and extends that to a desire to order all of the realms of Oblivion. Sotha Sil and his priests present the theory that, as a Daedric Prince, he is a "flaw" in the structure of the Aubris, and this knowledge drove him insane with the contradiction.
- Tin Tyrant: He and his Knights of Order appear to be clad head to toe in metallic armor.
- Un-person: Though it wasn't intentional, this is effectively what happened to Jyggalag when they cursed him into his endless cycle with Sheogorath. The Greymarch cycle proved so effective at rendering Jyggalag irrelevant that virtually no one on Tamriel even knows what he is beyond passing mentions of his name.
Malacath (aka Mauloch)
Realm: The Ashpit
Artifacts: Scourge, Volendrung, Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw, Blade of the Bloody Tusk
Malacath is the Daedric Prince of the Spurned, the Ostracized, and of Pariahs. He is also associated with curses and exile, and detests physical weakness. His most common symbol is a mace, specifically one in the shape of Scourge. Malacath typically takes the form a muscular, often shirtless, male Orc wielding a two-handed sword. Malacath is near universally considered one of the "bad" Daedra throughout Tamriel, with Orcs being the main exception.
According to most religious traditions, Malacath was once the Aedric deity Trinimac. Boethiah "ate" Trinimac in order to manipulate Trinimac's followers, who would become the Chimer. After being tortured in Boethiah's stomach, the remains of Trinimac were "excreted". These remains became Malacath and his remaining followers were transformed into the Orsimer (Orcs). Due to his origins, Malacath is not technically a Daedra Lord, nor do the other Daedra recognize him as such, but this is, of course, quite fitting for his sphere. Malacath is considered the patron of the Orcs, and is also associated with other "goblin-ken", including Goblins and Ogres.
Malacath's realm is the Ashpit, with very little solid ground. Choking dust and soot clouds the air, the only structures are palaces made of smoke, and vaporous creatures lurk in the thick air. Few mortals are able to reach this realm, and those that do require magical levitation and means of breathing in order to survive. For loyal Orcs, this also serves as their afterlife. They are said to reside within the Ashen Forge, which grants immortality, abundant food and drink, and plenty of epic battles.
In Daggerfall, Malacath asks you to execute a rogue Daedra Seducer. In Morrowind, he asks you to slay a warrior who has taken credit for the achievements of an Orc. In Oblivion, he tasks you with freeing enslaved Ogres. In Skyrim, he asks you to accompany a weak Orc chieftain to slay some Giants. In Online, he asks you to light the braziers of Old Orsinium.
The below tropes are associated with Malacath. For tropes relating to Trinimac, see his entry on the Divine Beings page. (Some tropes may warrant placement on both, but please be judicious.)
- All of the Other Reindeer: The other Daedric Princes do not consider Malacath to be a "real" Prince. Given that he's the patron of pariahs, this is rather appropriate. As Sheogorath puts while talking about Jyggalag, "Malacath is more popular at parties! And Malacath is not popular at parties!"
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Malacath detests physical weakness and is a big believer in this idea. He has passed this idea onto the Orcs, who hold it as a cultural prerogative. In Skyrim he places a curse on an Orc stronghold (i.e. has it attacked by giants) because their chief is a weak, scheming Dirty Coward and the rest of the stronghold hasn't done anything about it.
- Butt-Monkey: Is subject to frequent mockery and ridicule by the other Daedric Princes, as well as most of the non-Orc mortals on Tamriel. Part of his teaching is "strength through adversity", however.
- Carry a Big Stick: The mace known as Scourge is perhaps Malacath's most famous associated artifact. Malacath dedicated it for use by mortals, and any Daedra who attempts to wield it will be vanished to the Void.
- Drop the Hammer: One of the artifact weapons associated with him is the warhammer Voldendrung. Originally crafted by the Dwemer, it is unknown how it came to be associated with Malacath.
- Eldritch Location: His realm, the Ashpit, is this crossed with a Death World. It will kill most mortals in minutes unless they have a means of magical breathing and levitation. Its air is thick with choking dust and soot and even the buildings are made of smoke. It is also said that the Ashpit stretches endlessly across the planes, extending even behind the stars to Aetherius, granting access to every worthy Orc who crosses from this life into the next.
- God-Eating: Came into being from the excreted remains after Boethiah "ate" Trinimac. There are different interpretations on how exactly this happened, as some myths suggest that Trinimac was betrayed and tortured by Boethiah, which turned him into Malacath, while others say that it was a literal example of him being eaten alive. In The Lord of Souls Malacath gets annoyed when he is told the myth, saying it is "too literal."
- Hidden Depths: Despite his many malevolent traits, he keeps a "garden of slender trees" that have "vines festooned with lilylike flowers wound about the trunks". In this garden, a "multitude of spheres moved, deep in the colorless sky, as distant and pale as moons". Malacath describes it as a "shadow of a garden", and an "echo of something that once was".
- Hijacking Cthulhu: According to most tellings, Malacath came into being when Boethiah "ate" the Aedric spirit Trinimac, twisted Trinimac in his belly, and then "excreted" him as Malacath. Malacath himself somewhat confirms this, but also complains that the story is far too "literal minded".
- Katanas Are Just Better: He is most often depicted wielding a two-handed blade, similar in appearance to a dai-katana.
- Klingon Promotion: Actively advocates this among his Orc followers. When a chieftain has grown old and weak (or is otherwise failing to perform his duties), it is the duty of the younger and more able-bodied Orcs to replace him via a Duel to the Death.
- Loser Deity: Looked down on by the other Princes as not being a "real" Daedric Prince as well as having few mortal followers outside of the Orcs and goblin-ken. For the "patron of pariahs", this is rather appropriate.
- Offing the Offspring: According to the 16 Accords of Madness, Sheogorath once tricked Malacath into killing his own son, a noble Orc who would have otherwise been destined to be a great hero.
- Our Goblins Are Different: He is associated with Tamriel's "goblin-ken", including Goblins and Ogres.
- Our Orcs Are Different: He is the patron of the Orcs, who were formerly the Aldmeri followers of Trinimac. When Trinimac was "eaten" by Boethiah, the excreted remains became Malacath and his followers were changed as well.
- Papa Wolf: He is very protective of his followers. Messing with them in any way, especially enslaving them, is a sure-fire way to get Malacath angry. Also, do not take credit for their accomplishments.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The god of them, to the point where he specifically manifests as an orc himself. Hes known to be tough but fair to his orcs, and willing to give them a shot at redemption if they make an effort, but he despises rulers who rest on their laurels.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a short, but scathing one regarding Yamarz, a weak Orc chieftain, in Skyrim."Yamarz was a coward and a weakling. His deceitful ways have cost you all greatly. Yamarz was a fool, always trying to scheme his way out of responsibility."
- Red Baron: Keeper of the Sworn Oath and Bloody Curse, God of Curses, Prince of Exile.
- Revenge Before Reason: Malacath adores vengeance and grudges, and none moreso than vengeance totally out of proportion and which causes massive collateral damage in the process. The entire reason he helps Sul in The Lord of Souls is because he knew that Sul's desire for revenge had led to the Red Year and the devastation of Morrowind, and that he still hungered for vengeance against Vuhon.
- Warrior Heaven: The "Ashen Forge" within the Ashpit is this for loyal Orcs. Entering it brings immortality, abundant food and drink, and of course, many great battles. It is said that every Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need.
- Was Once a Man: He used to be an Aedric spirit, Trinimac, until Boethiah ate him, twisted him, and excreted him. The remains became Malacath. As a result, his followers became the Orcs. Malacath himself somewhat acknowledges this, but also complains that it is far too "literal minded".
Artifacts: Mehrune's Razor, Mysterium Xarxes, Daedric Crescent
Servants: Dremora, Xivilai, Scamps, Clannfear, Vermai
Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince of Destruction, a sphere which also includes Ambition, Change, and Revolution. He is associated with natural disasters including fires, floods, and earthquakes. Dagon's typical form is that of a male, muscular, four-armed, and often horned humanoid. He is naturally considered a "bad" Daedra throughout Tamriel and is extremely malevolent in nearly all of his dealings with mortals. Dagon has made repeated takeover attempts of Mundus throughout history, including most infamously the destruction of the Imperial Battlespire and the Oblivion Crisis.
Dagon's realm is known as the Deadlands, a barren wastelands of blackened rock and seas of lava. Despite this, mortal visitors claim to feel an unearthly chill within the Deadlands.
In Daggerfall, Mehrunes Dagon asks you to slay a Frost Daedra. In Battlespire, he serves as the leader of the invasion. In Morrowind, he asks you to retrieve his dormant Razor. In Oblivion, his cult, the Mythic Dawn, works to summon Dagon's forces and later Dagon himself to Mundus to take it over. In Skyrim, he asks you to once again retrieve his disassembled Razor. In Online, he is the secret patron and backer of the Veiled Heritance.
- Above Good and Evil: Downplayed; while his sphere of influence is certainly not good from a mortal standard, and the Mythic Dawn runs the gamut of evil, he is no more actively malicious than a tidal wave or earthquake would be. He destroys because it is his very nature to do so, not because he despises the Mundus or mortals in general.
- Ambition Is Evil: Ambition is one of his spheres of influence and he is considered one of the most outright "evil" of the Daedric Princes, alongside Molag Bal.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When he manifests in Mundus, he tends to do so in this way. When he briefly took form during the 11th hour of the Oblivion Crisis, he towered over everything else in the Imperial City.
- Bad Boss: He treats everyone under his command as pawns to be sacrificed to further his goals, or simply because they displeased him. The lesser Daedra who serve him, being immortal, can take this sort of treatment. If they are slain, they simply reform in Oblivion. Any mortals who voluntarily choose to worship a deity of Omnicidal Mania should not expect any other kind of treatment.
- Big Bad: For both Battlespire and Oblivion.
- Big Red Devil: His typical form plays up this aesthetic, along with being a Horned Humanoid.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He exists to destroy. Hell, he is the embodiment of Destruction. And he doesn't try to hide it at all.
- Cats Are Mean: Khajiiti religion interprets Dagon as a kitten, "for what is more destructive than a young cat?"
- Destroyer Deity: Dagon is the embodiment of the very idea of destruction. Above all else, his desire is to invade and destroy Mundus. However, as brutal and destructive as he is, he is also the god of revolution and the violent overthrow of authority, which can include tyranny and oppression, and destruction is often necessary for creation, giving him some redeeming features.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Happens to him every time he tries to invade Mundus. Almalexia does it in the backstory, then the Hero of Battlespire does it in the eponymous game. Finally, Martin/Akatosh do this to him in Oblivion.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: According to The Seven Fights of the Aldudagga, Dagon tried to do this with Alduin, saving bits and pieces of kalpas he was eating and hiding them in the new kalpas that were created. Once Alduin learned of this, he cursed Dagon into his monstrous form, and made it so that he would only ever be returned to normal if he destroyed the parts of the kalpas that he had hidden from Alduin... while also making it nearly impossible for Dagon to enter Nirn to do the destroying.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Deadlands, despite their appearance, are said to feel surprisingly and unearthly cold.
- Evil Overlord: Toward the Dremora who serve him.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Always has a deep, booming voice in his appearances.
- Excalibur in the Rust: This has happened at least twice to his Razor, and his quests in Morrowind and Skyrim are to recover and reforge it.
- Expy: He is basically a Gender Flipped, evil version of Kali.
- FaceHeel Turn: According to a Loose Canon text written by former series developer/writer Michael Kirkbride, he was once a kindly demon who attempted to protect parts of Mundus from being eaten by Alduin at the end of every kalpa, until Alduin banished and cursed him into his current state.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: His realm, the Deadlands, crossed over with Mordor.
- Forced into Evil: If the version of his creation with Alduin is true, then perhaps it's for the better if his original personality is buried so deep that he is unaware of what he is doing. Notably he seems to lack a Barbas equivalent like Clavicus Vile and Sheogorath have. That or he banished or destroyed his version (which wouldn't matter too much as Daedra can't die), but even if he does, he's clearly been ignoring it at least during the Oblivion Crisis.
- For the Evulz: He exists to destroy. It doesn't matter what it is or why, Dagon wants to destroy it.
- God of Evil: Considered as such by the people of Tamriel along with Molag Bal, though unlike Bal, Dagon actually has some redeeming qualities. For example, ideas like ambition and change that a functioning world requires fall within his sphere.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Was the Man Behind the Man who helped Jagar Tharn procure the Imperial throne in Arena.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: According to one Obscure Text, Dagon was originally a lowly and friendly demon who protected parts of the world from being eaten by Alduin at the end of every kalpa. Alduin caught on and cursed him into what he is today.
- Ironic Hell: For Dagon himself, along with And I Must Scream. To note:
Alduin: "You I curse right here and right now! I take away your ability to jump and jump and jump and doom you to [the void] where you will not be able to leave except for auspicious days long between one and another and even so only through hard, hard work. And it will be this way, my little corner cutter, until you have destroyed all that in the world which you have stolen from earlier kalpas, which is to say probably never at all!"
- Imagine you were a being whose entire existence is based around destruction and change. Now imagine you were stuck in a realm where nothing can ever be killed or destroyed without eventually coming back, effectively negating your purpose. That's Dagon. No wonder he wants to take over and destroy Mundus; it would be stress relief for him.
- Worse still, in The Seven Fights of the Aldudagga, it is implied that Alduin originally cursed him into this state in the first place as a punishment for hiding parts of earlier kalpas from him.
- Legions of Hell: He and his Dremora army whenever he tries to invade Mundus.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: His typical form has four arms.
- Multiple-Choice Past: There are differing accounts of how he came into being:
- Mankor Camaron's Commentaries suggest that he was created by the Magna-Ge, in a mythical continent called Lyg, where he was named Mehrunes the Razor and was a being of destructive revolution, and ultimately destroyed Lyg.
- The Seven Fights of the Aldudagga suggests that he was created by Alduin from the Leaper Demon King as punishment for interfering with Alduin's duties as the World-Eater, cursing him to forever try to destroy the world he had attempted to preserve from Alduin.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He's the Daedric Prince of Destruction. He exists to destroy everything.
- One-Hit Kill: His artifact, Mehrunes' Razor, can sever the link between its victim's body and their soul, killing them instantly.
- Path of Inspiration: The cult dedicated to him, the Mythic Dawn. Once their true goals are revealed, they very much become a Religion of Evil.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Being the Daedric Prince of Destruction, this comes with the territory. Whenever he manifests on Mundus, expect a minimum of city-wide destruction.
- Red Baron: Lord of Razors, Exalted and Most Puissant Lord, Gerent of Dagon.
- Red Sky, Take Warning: His Deadlands plane, as well as the areas in Mundus near the gates to his plane.
- Satanic Archetype: He is played up as such quite frequently in-universe and mistakenly so out of universe, but he actually subverts it. Despite his appearance, servants, realm, and modus operandi, he actually has some redeeming qualities that put him beyond true "evil".
- Take Over the World: He has attempted it repeatedly throughout history, but thankfully, has yet to succeed.
- Third-Person Person: He speaks this way in Daggerfall, with an added bit of Hulk Speak. This is dropped in later appearances.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Mysterium Xarxes. The Oblivion script notes actually call for Martin, the most knowledgeable major character on the subject, to react as if given "a handful of glowing plutonium" when he receives the Xarxes. It's just that sort of book.
- Unwitting Pawn: Is described by Haskill in an obscure text to be "the pawn of every Prince of true power, the dupe of every schemer in the Nineteen Voids". Essentially, whenever one of the other Powers That Be wants to accomplish something that involves destruction of some sort, they get Dagon to do the heavy lifting.
- Warrior Heaven: In a twisted and horrific way, the Deadlands can be seen as one for Dagon's followers. It's Death World nature provides plenty of opportunity for warriors to battle for eternity.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Skyrim, he tells you to kill Silus, the Mythic Dawn cultist who helped you find the pieces of Mehrunes' Razor. Once that's done, he sends some Dremora to kill you.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Whenever a creature is killed with the Mehrunes' Razor, their soul is delivered to Dagon's plane of Oblivion, where they become his property.
Realm: Spiral Skein
Artifacts: Ebony Blade, Ring of Khajiiti, The 27 Threads of the Webspinner (created by Sanguine)
Servants: Spider Daedra
Mephala is a Daedric Prince whose true sphere is obscured to mortals, but is typically associated with various forms of manipulation, lies, sex, murder, and secrets. Spiders are a common symbol of Mephala, who is commonly referred to as "the Webspinner". Mephala has been known to change gender with each manifestation, but primarily appears as a female and its technically considered a hermaphrodite (though is still referred to as "she"). While not to the same degree as a Molag Bal or Mehrunes Dagon, Mephala is typically considered as one of the more malevolent of the Daedric Princes, with the Dunmer being one major exception. To the Dunmer, Mephala is instead one of the three "good" Daedra and she serves as the patron of the Morag Tong.
Mephala's sphere has some overlap with Boethiah's, and with her sphere being "obscured to mortals", it is nigh impossible to tell where the two are separated. Mephala is said to have been one of the "strongest of the recognizable spirits" that emerged soon after Akatosh formed and time began. Some sources also state that Mephala is a "sibling" of Hermaeus Mora.
Her plane of Oblivion is known as the Spiral Skein. It is metaphysically constructed similarly to Mundus, with a "Tower" (the Pillar Palace) at the center and eight spokes forming the shape of a wheel. The area between each spoke is dedicated to one of the eight "sins". Mephala is also said to have other realms as well, collected together by "vast strands of magical ghostweb".
In Daggerfall, Mephala asks you to assassinate a minor noble. In Morrowind, she asks you to poison a Morag tong agent who has been performing illegal assassinations. In Oblivion, she asks you to turn a village of Nords and Dunmer against each other by killing the heads of their families. In Skyrim, she tasks you with freeing and powering up the Ebony Blade. In Online, you help (and later kill) her priest, as well as kill a man she had turned into a Lich. She also serves as one of the antagonists of the Summerset expansion.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Mephala is typically seen as a malevolent entity throughout most of Tamriel, but is considered one of the "good" Daedra by the Dunmer. The Dunmer believe that Mephala taught them the skills they would need to evade their enemies or to kill them with secret murder. In their early days, as the Chimer, they were few in number and surrounded by enemies (primarily the Nords and Dwemer) on all sides. She is also credited with organizing the "clan" systems that would eventually become the Dunmeri Great Houses.
- Ambiguous Gender: Mephala is stated to be a hermaphrodite, and has variously appeared as male of female (though primarily female). She is almost always referred to as a "she".
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: She is associated with spiders and webspinning, and often appears with arachnid elements. This is most obvious in her Daggerfall form.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Her sphere, though obscured, is believed to include manipulation, lies, sex, murder, secrets...and she is also associated with fashion trends.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: She is one of the three main antagonists of Online's Summerset expansion, alongside Clavicus Vile and Nocturnal.
- Black Swords Are Better: The Ebony Blade, her most famous Daedric artifact. It takes the form of a black katana-like weapon and is fueled by the blood of people trusted by the wielder, meaning she openly promotes Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
- The Chessmaster: A major part of her sphere. She is generally characterized by complex, long-reaching plans, likened to spider webs.
- The Clan: She is credited (along with Boethiah) for organizing the "clan" systems that would eventually become the Dunmeri Great Houses.
- Cloak & Dagger: Given all that is within her sphere, she could be considered the patron deity of spies and assassins. The Dunmer consider her as this directly, as she is the patron of the Morag Tong.
- The Corrupter: She loves to see how she can fray the "web" of mortal relationships, and takes a particular joy in the betrayal of trust or minor slights tearing entire towns or nations apart.
- Disc-One Final Boss: She's built up as the main antagonist throughout most of Summerset, only to have the rug pulled out from under her by Nocturnal.
- Eldritch Location: Her Daedric realm, the Spiral Skein. It is metaphysically constructed similarly to Mundus, with a "Tower" (the Pillar Palace) at the center and eight spokes forming the shape of a wheel. The area between each spoke is dedicated to one of the eight "sins". The first is a cavern devoted to lies, filled with pedestals pretending to hold up the sky. The second is made up of cramped chambers representing envy, while the third is maggot-filled grottoes filled with seductive light. The fourth contains eternally dark tunnels of fear; the fifth, a place of betrayal; the sixth, an arena of murder. The seventh space is home to arcades of avarice and appetite, containing all things mortals would kill or die for, while the eighth is a flaming skein of fury, representing the death that comes to all mortals.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-Universe example: Sexuality falls under Mephala's purview.
- Femme Fatale: Mephala is associated with manipulation, lies, sex, and murder, which makes her the the perfect patron for the Morag Tong.
- God Couple: Mephala has some associations with Sithis, and according to some sources, the Night Mother, wife of Sithis, is believed to be an aspect of Mephala.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Her Daggerfall appearance gives her bat-like "glider" wings connecting from her sides to her wrists.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: The 27 threads of the Webspinner, created for Mephala and the Morag Tong by Sanguine. They are 27 pieces of enchanted clothing and jewelry.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In the plots of at least two of the Veteran Dungeons in Online. In one, a Priestess of Mephala you helped in the non-veteran mode of the dungeon goes crazy and poses a threat, so you need to put her and her Artifact of Doom down. In the other, Mephala personally Mind Raped a man into becoming a Lich, who went on to murder his students and his wife. It turns out it was because he was being influenced by the Ebony Blade. And, as you might guess, he uses it against you during the fight.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Alongside deceit, this is the entirety of her divine sphere. For Mephala and the mortals under her influence, sex and violence are best when entwined; Morag Tong assassins are encouraged to seduce and sleep with their targets before killing them, and even loving sexual partnerships are often "enhanced" with a bit of deceit and mortal peril.
- Life Drain: Her Ebony Blade cannot be sharpened by smithing, but comes with an upgradeable Health-absorbing enchantment.
- Love Goddess: "Love" is stretching it, but sex is considered one of her spheres of influence.
- Manipulative Bastard: Practically the embodiment of the trope. She exists to "fray the web" of mortal relationships and interferes in the affairs of mortals for amusement.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Her statue in Oblivion gives her four arms.
- Not So Different: The Morag Tong, a legal Dunmeri assassin's guild, is dedicated to Mephala. The Dark Brotherhood, a criminal offshoot of the Morag Tong, is dedicated to the service of Sithis and the Night Mother. According to some sources, the Night Mother may very well be an aspect of Mephala, meaning that both groups, despite their differences, are still dedicated to the same deity.
- Paradox Person: Contained within Mephala's sphere are the themes of murder, sex, and secrets. All of these themes contain subtle aspects and violent ones (assassination/genocide, courtship/orgy, tact/poetic truths); Mephala is understood paradoxically to contain and integrate these contradictory themes.
- The Power of Friendship: Horribly twisted by her Ebony Blade. It only powers itself up if you kill a friend with it, up to ten times. There are ways of using Loophole Abuse though; anyone who considered you a friend but betrayed you or turned hostile like the named Blackblood Marauders will do, and if you kill someone resurrected with magic they count again.
- Red Baron: The Webspinner, Lady of Whispers, Teacher of the Secret Arts, Queen of the Eight Shadows of Murder.
- Ring of Power: Is associated with the Ring of Khajiit, with typically bestows the wearer with enhanced quickness, silent movement, and outright invisibility. It is said that Rajhin, the legendary Khajiit thief, stole it from Mephala herself. However, after making use of its power too freely, Rajhin was abandoned by the ring and left exposed to his enemies. The ring is also associated with Meridia, who, through unexplained means, acquired the ring and bestowed it as a reward to her agents twice in the 3rd Era.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The status of the Ebony Blade in Skyrim. Her quest has you break it out and recharge it. The "Admonition Against Ebony" book you find nearby is the Jarl saying "whoever finds this, we tried to destroy this thing and couldn't, so please, please, please leave it be". Some of its power leaks out and causes the door locking it away to become the Whispering Door, which gives the Jarl's youngest son a lot of dirty knowledge about his family and surroundings.
- Shout-Out: Her plane of Oblivion, the Spiral Skein, is described as circular, with partitions similar to the spokes of a wheel separating each individual realm, each of which represent a different sin. At the center is her citadel, with each area branching out from the center like a spider's web. Aside from a few minor differences, this is a pretty clear reference to Dante's Inferno.
- Sneaky Spider: Her domains involve manipulation, lies, sex, and secrets. Fittingly she has a spider motif, with her sobriquets including "The Webspinner" and "Lady of Whispers", her plans are likened to spiderwebs, she physically resembles a spider, and has minions called Spider Daedra.
- Spiders Are Scary: She is associated with spiders and many elements within her sphere are quite scary. The Spider Daedra are her servants and take the appearance of mutated, humanoid Giant Spiders.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Possibly. In the province of Morrowind, she's considered one of the "Good Daedra", in no small part because of her association with Vivec. She has yet to demonstrate any benevolence in-game as mortals would understand it — including her association with Vivec.
Meridia (aka Merid-Nunda)
Realm: Colored Rooms
Artifacts: Dawnbreaker, Ring of Khajiiti\\
Meridia is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is obscured to mortals, but is associated with the energy of living things as well as light and beauty. As such, she has an extreme hatred for anything undead. Rainbows are common symbols of Meridia. She typically takes the form of a beautiful woman, sometimes with angel-like wings. She is one of the more benevolent Daedric Princes as well as one of the few to be almost universally considered "good" by mortals.
That said, Meridia has been known to express her anger toward those who earn her displeasure in very nasty ways. She has no compunction against causing collateral damage in her quest to eliminate anything undead, and makes it clear that any "good" she does is purely to further her own causes.
Meridia is believed to have originally been one of the Magna-Ge, the "Star Orphans" who abandoned the creation of Mundus part way through along with Magnus. She was then cast out of Aetherius for consorting with "illicit spectra", implied to be the Daedra.
After the Daedra complained of her "trespassing" in Oblivion, Meridia, through sheer force of will, "bent and shaped" the rays of Magnus to create her own Daedric realm in Oblivion, known as the Colored Rooms. It is a colorful realm of vast floating stones, strewn about with trails of colorful dust and clouds. The "ground" between the stones looks like luminescent water, but is solid enough to walk on.
In Daggerfall, Meridia asks you to kill a sorcerer who reneged on a deal with her. She does not appear in Morrowind. In Oblivion, she asks you to wipe out a group of necromancers. In Knights of the Nine, she serves as the patron of Umaril the Unfeathered. In Skyrim, she asks you to cleanse her shrine. In Online, she works to prevent Molag Bal's Planemeld.
- Above Good and Evil: While this is technically the case for all Daedric Princes, Meridia requires a special mention. Meridia hates the undead. Since the undead and necromancy are generally a threat to the mortals of Nirn, she's viewed as a positive force by mortals, but this doesn't mean she truly cares for mortals. She supported many of the Ayleids because they worshiped her and didn't use necromancy, while still being horrific monsters that tortured and murdered countless human slaves.
- Abusive Parents: She created her vessel, Darien Gautier, but treats him as little more than one of her tools, and refers to him as it.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Meridia was originally a Magna-Ge, an et'Ada who assisted during the creation of Mundus but abandoned the project part way through along with Magnus and the rest of the Magna-Ge. However, she was banished from Aetherius for "consorting with illicit spectra". Considered a "trespasser" in Oblivion by the Daedra, Meridia proceeded to use her powers to shape the light from Magnus to create her own realm.
- All Take and No Give: Some accounts and depictions portray Meridia as an insatiably demanding goddess, constantly fishing for worshippers and admirerers, while doing as little as possible to repay those who offer.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: If Meridia offers a mortal a deal, or asks them for a "favor" of some kind, refusal is not an option. In Daggerfall, she will give a player that refuses her deal an Implied Death Threat. In Skyrim, she will tell the Last Dragonborn that if they won't fulfill her wishes, she will find someone else, but also gives yet another Implied Death Threat if they're thinking about refusing.
- Beauty = Goodness: She invokes the idea of beauty being associated with goodness or pleasantness. Meridia takes the form of a beautiful woman, often in various skimpy outfits which show off and/or enhance her bust and legs. She often refers to her abilities and divine sphere as being associated with beauty, light, and living auras.
- Berserk Button: Do not mess with her shrines. She once destroyed an Ayleid village because it was built above one of her shrines.
- Big Good: In Online, actively working to ensure that Molag Bal's Planemeld will fail.
- Compliment Fishing: Meridia is always eager to be reminded that mortals find her benevolent, wise and attractive, and is not above fishing for said compliments and being very irrate if she does not receive them.
- Cool Sword: Her artifact Dawnbreaker, a shining golden sword that glows when close to the Undead, sets them on fire, and makes them explode.
- Disproportionate Retribution: A group of Ayleids built a city above one of her shrines. She responded by destroying it with roots, burying it and all who lived there beneath the ground.
- Divinely Appearing Demons: She maintains the most "angelic" appearance out of any of the Daedric Princes.
- Eldritch Abomination: There is some indication that Meridia is something...more than what she appears behind her (intentionally chosen) pleasing female form and generally "good" actions toward mortals. According to the Magne-Ge Pantheon, the actions of the "Chrome Device" (implied to be Magnus or possibly Anu) have caused her "real" role in history to be lost. It also states "Of all of the Greater Spirits, it is Merid that we should most revere. For what if she forsakes us?" Further, she is the only one listed to have her pronouns capitalized in the work in the "God" with a capital "G" sense.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Closely associated with rainbow imagery and the color spectrum. Her sphere is even called the "Colored Rooms". One ancient Ayleid text even claims that by traveling the "rainbow road" (a reference to the prismatic refraction of light), Meridia can in some sense alter the rate at which time flows forward."... thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him ..."
- FaceHeel Revolving Door: From the perspective of mortals, at least. In one instance, she'll be acting as the Big Good in defending mortal lives from hostile takeover by supernatural forces. Then in another, she'll be giving aid to a being who seeks to overthrow the Nine Divines and enslave the races of Men.
- Fallen Angel: While not truly "angelic" in nature, she was once one of the Magna Ge, but was cast out to Oblivion for consorting with "illicit spectra". Her statue at Kilkreath Ruins in Skyrim gives her this appearance, being humanoid with a pair of large feathered wings.
- Friend to All Living Things: Though she is associated with the "energy of living things", she Subverts it. There is a heavy emphasis on the Living part, for one. If you're Undead or a Necromancer, she will destroy you. If some living things have to die as collateral damage in order for her to achieve her greater goals, she'll sacrifice them without a second thought.
- God Was My Copilot: In Online, the player is ushered into the Hollow City in Coldharbour by a seemingly normal but mysterious woman known only as the Groundskeeper. In the final act of the story, the Groundskeeper reveals herself as Meridia, acting against Molag Bal.
- Good Is Not Nice: She's generally considered one of the "good" Daedra, but she's still a Daedric Prince. If some innocent mortals have to die so that she can achieve her goals (which usually involves eliminating a supernatural or undead threat), she will sacrifice them without a second thought.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Some depictions of her give her angel-like wings.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Knights of the Nine. She is the patron of Umaril the Unfeathered and is supplying him with his forces. She also allows him to retreat to her realm of Oblivion when his physical form is slain on Mundus, allowing it to reform and thus giving him his Resurrective Immortality.
- Greed: In the Iliac Bay aera of Hammerfell, she is known as "The Daedric Lady of Greed". It's implied that this is because she has an insatiable desire for worship, and will make unending demands of said worshippers while doing as little as necessary for them in return.
- Heroic Willpower: After being cast out of the ranks of the Magna-Ge and being called a "trespasser" in Oblivion by the Daedra, she brought her realm into being through the sheer power of her will.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: A rare example in which the character is both this AND a Villain with Good Publicity. Most of Tamriel is skeptical, or cautious, toward Daedra in general (especially after the Oblivion Crisis at the end of the 3rd Era). Some groups, such as the Vigilant of Stendarr, actively oppose any and all Daedra regardless of intention. Meridia, however, still undertakes actions on behalf of mortals despite this and sometimes has to work through a proxy (like Sees-All-Colors in Online) for groups that would never collaborate with her willingly.
- I Gave My Word: While Meridia has the reputation of being All Take and No Give toward her followers, when she does offer a reward of some kind for service, she will always make good on her promise. However, there are times when what the other party gets is not exactly what they thought it would be or when the "reward" comes with strings or loopholes that only draws the person further into Meridia's service.
- Irony: In Skyrim, her shrine is found in Haafinger. Not that ironic in the vanilla game...but once the Dawnguard DLC was released, her shrine now shares a hold with the Clan Volkihar - a group of vampires, and the only pure-blooded ones in Skyrim at that.
- It's All About Me: Meridia describes herself as compassionate and merciful, but she won't hesitate to use or sacrifice her own followers for what she perceives to be a greater end. If said followers lose faith or abandon her because of her actions, her compassion disappears entirely and she will allow or even cause them to meet a terrible end.
- Knight Templar: Meridia despises the undead and any other entities of cruelty, darkness, rot, filth, or decay. Thus, she will stop at nothing to destroy them, even if it means causing collateral damage to innocent people or her own followers, bordering on being a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Undead and necromancy seem to be the only reasons she ever interacts with mortal affairs, usually to have them wiped out.
- Life Energy: Her primary association is with the "energy of living things". It is also a strong justification for her severe hatred of anything undead.
- Light Is Not Good: While her association with light and living energies seems to imply she might be a "good" Daedric Prince it's important to remember that she was the Greater-Scope Villain of Knights of the Nine. She, along with her Aurorans, allied with the Big Bad Umaril, an Ayleid sorceror-king who wanted to overthrow the Nine Divines and enslave humanity. Meridia is also prone to majorly lashing out at any mortal being that upsets her (for example, destroying an entire Ayleid city because they were located a little too close to her shrine). Ultimately, like any Daedric Prince, what good Meridia does is going to be for her benefit, not anyone else's.
- Manipulative Bitch: After revealing her true identity in Online, the Vestige will call her out for using him/her. Meridia will counter that she thinks of them as nothing but a pawn in a grand game and that's up to the Vestige themselves if they make the most of it or not.
- Narcissist: Implied in Online when, especially in her guise as the Groundskeeper, she refers to herself and her actions in the most glorifying language possible. To hear her speak, everything she does is merciful, benevolent, and wise, and she also thinks highly of her own beauty and power. She shows zero patience or tolerance for things or individuals which do not support that conclusion.
- Pet the Dog: Despite admitting that most of her benevolent acts in Online were for her own benefit, Meridia does two helpful things for the player. The first is locating and returning the Vestige's soul — although Cadwell was the one who asked her to do, she agreed regardless. The second is accepting Cadwell as her new servant, and enabling him to assist the player in various ways, such as opening the way for New Game+ content.
- The Power of the Sun: Carved her own realm out of sunlight. Being the daughter of Magnus (who has left), she is also the closest thing the set has to a solar deity.
- Proud Beauty: Meridia embodies light and life, and so takes an appearance that mortals would perceive as a beautiful woman. She is well aware of this fact, and takes pride in the fact that mortals find everything about her, even her visible form, pleasant and appealing.
- Put on a Bus: She does not appear in Morrowind, though is mentioned. She returns in Oblivion.
- Red Baron: The Solar Daughter, Lady of Infinite Energy, The Glister Witch.
- Ring of Power: Is associated with the Ring of Khajiit, with typically bestows the wearer with enhanced quickness, silent movement, and outright invisibility. It is said that Rajhin, the legendary Khajiit thief, stole it from Mephala herself. However, after making use of its power too freely, Rajhin was abandoned by the ring and left exposed to his enemies. The ring is also associated with Meridia, who, through unexplained means, acquired the ring and bestowed it as a reward to her agents twice in the 3rd Era.
- Tautological Templar: Meridia opposes creatures of cruelty and defilement, so both she and her followers categorize her as "good". However, that means that she feels any action she takes is therefore good and anyone who opposes or abandons her is evil. She will thus deal with them appropriately.
- The Tease: Downplayed Trope. Meridia's shapely, buxom (and often scantily-clad) female form was a deliberate choice to make her beautiful and appealing to mortals, as befitting her sphere of Light and Life. She has no qualms about deliberately calling attention to her attractiveness, either, but has never been shown with the slightest desire to act on or return a mortal's interest. Her typical response to any enamored mortal implies that because she is so much greater than they, their desires are both expected and beneath her concern.
- Time Master: To a degree. Through the prismatic refraction of light, it is said that Meridia can in some small way alter the forward flow of time.
- Villain with Good Publicity: A rare example in which the character is both this AND a Hero with Bad Publicity. Amongst her faithful and many other groups, Meridia is considered one of the most "benevolent" Daedric Princes. She, in fact, doesn't like it when her actions are painted in anything but a positive light even at her most ruthless, petty, and vindictive.
- What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?: She will sacrifice innocent lives, even those of her loyal followers, in an instant if it means achieving a greater good (at least in her opinion). In Online, she outright tells the Vestige that she used him/her to save countless other lives, and that she ultimately doesn't care about one mortal soul.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: From Meridian's point-of-view, mortals who abandon or neglect her favor have only themselves to blame. After all, she is "good" and thus anything that hinders her is "bad".to the Last Dragonborn: ""Look at my temple, lying in ruins. So much for the constancy of mortals, their crafts and their hearts. If they love me not, how can my love reach them?""
Artifacts: Mace of Molag Bal
Servants: Daedroths, Daedric Titans, Xivkyn
Molag Bal is the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, a sphere which includes Enslavement, Violation, Defilement, and Rape. His main desire is to harvest the souls of mortals and to bring them within his sway by spreading seeds of strife and discord in the mortal realms. He especially enjoys manipulating and corrupting mortals into violating and destroying one another. Molag Bal's typical form is that of a horned humanoid with various undead and/or reptilian features which vary between appearances. He is naturally considered a "bad" Daedra throughout Tamriel, and perhaps the most outright malevolent of them all. Unlike Mehrunes Dagon, who at least has some redeeming qualities, Molag Bal is not known to have any.
Molag Bal's most infamous act (and that is really saying something) was committing the first rape, upon a Nedenote woman, from which was born the first vampire, leading to his title, the King of Rape. All vampires can trace their lineage to this act, or to another similar act involving Molag Bal.
Molag Bal's realm is Coldharbour, which resembles a ruined and desecrated copy of Nirn that is filled with suffering and "spattered" with blood and excrement. It contains charnel houses full of the dead and slave pens beyond count. It is said that no mortals willingly visit this place except in error.
In Daggerfall, Molag Bal asks you to assassinate a mage. In Morrowind, he asks you to slay a lazy Daedroth servant. Additionally, to cure vampirism, he'll task you with slaying his "daughter" (a Winged Twilight) and her "lowly" Frost Atronach lover. In Oblivion, he tasks you with provoking a pacifist into killing you with a cursed mace (you survive). In Skyrim, he tasks you with killing a Vigilant of Stendarr and then corrupting a priest of Boethiah. In Online, he serves as the antagonist for the game's main plot.
- 0% Approval Rating: Molag Bal is universally despised by every culture in Tamriel. Among his servants, the only ones who genuinely like him are are those who don't know him very well and those who have become enthralled by the power he's granted them. And it's only a matter of time before he betrays the former group, or converts them into one of the latter.
- Affably Evil: On the rare occasion that somebody manages to significantly upset his plans or downright defeat him, or he finds somebody almost as evil as he himself is. At all other times, it is simply an act.
- Boethiah is his most hated rival/enemy. The two are willing to do all sorts of terrible things just to mildly annoy the other. Probably because he's the Daedric Prince of domination, while Boethiah only respects willpower.
- He and Arkay also fit, as Bal created the first vampire just to upset Arkay's balance of life and death.
- He and Meridia hate each other as well, since she finds him utterly disgusting and he considers her a nuisance.
- He is also implied to antagonize followers of Stendarr specifically. Since Stendarr is the God of Mercy and he is the God of Domination, it seems Bal enjoys seeing just how capable Stendarr is of protecting his faithful.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: His servants, both mortals and the lesser denizens of Oblivion, know better than to disobey or disrespect Molag Bal. Those who do tend to end up with a Fate Worse than Death.
- Bad Boss: Working for Molag Bal almost never ends well. Any power he offers or tempts a minion with will immediately disappear the moment that Bal realizes they're no longer useful, and sometimes even before that point.
- Big Bad: For Online.
- Bloody Bowels of Hell: Coldharbour, his Daedric Plane, is a ruined parody of Tamriel, with every surface covered in blood and excrement. He is the Lord of Violation, afterall...
- Card-Carrying Villain: He makes absolutely no attempt to hide his extreme malevolence.
- Carry a Big Stick: The Mace of Molag Bal. He even fights you with it in the climax of Online.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: He is a major fan of inflicting this. His plane, Coldharbour, is designed to torment a person as horribly and efficiently as possible.
- The Corrupter: The very embodiment of the idea. One of his favorite things is to corrupt a good and noble mortal, then seeing them snap, fall, or break. He especially loves it when mortals do this to each other.
- Creepy Monotone: His tone doesn't change much while talking. This is dropped completely when he becomes entertained, however.
- Dark World: His Daedric Plane of Coldharbour is said to be a "ruined parody" of Nirn, having endured every imaginable catastrophe while being spattered with blood and excrement.
- Defeat Means Respect: As the lord of Domination, Molag Bal relishes power and strength. Defeating his minions and lieutenants prompts him to commend the victor for their strength, but it also means you just earned the spot of the beings you defeated.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Along with Evil Is Petty. He perpetrated the first rape, turning the innocent woman into the first vampire, who proceeded to rape and kill the nomads who cared for her, bringing undeath into Mundus — simply as a "Screw you!" gesture to Arkay.
- The Dreaded: To the point where, during his quest in Skyrim, simply revealing to an NPC that Molag Bal was the one who sent you counts as an Intimidation check. In the same game, the Hold guards' dialogue towards any player wielding his mace will be full of terror.
- Eldritch Location: Coldharbour. The ground is sludge, the sky is on fire, and the air is freezing. It resembles a ruined and desecrated copy of Nirn that is filled with suffering and "spattered" with blood and excrement. It contains charnel houses full of the dead and slave pens beyond count. It is said that no mortals willingly visit this place except in error.
- Evil Is Petty: Considering that he is almost inarguably the most evil entity in the setting, his Daedric quests are all fairly small scale, mostly boiling down to simply killing one creature. While there is usually a sadistic twist, it still ends up being rather tame, all things considered. Until Online, that is
- Evil Smells Bad: Another trait of Coldharbour is the terrible smell. Given that every surface is spattered with blood and bloody excrement, one could say that this is justified.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He speeks with a deep, booming voice. He has a pretty nasty Evil Laugh as well.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: Being trapped in Coldharbour, for any reason whatsoever, counts as this. It is specifically designed to break and torment mortals as efficiently and cruelly as possible. Being a follower or faithful servant of his will not save you in any way, and in fact, may make it worse. He is also known to dole out fates like this as punishments to servants who disobey or fail him.
- Faux Affably Evil: Molag Bal can actually act pleasant and polite, but he is not nice at all.
- For the Evulz: It is the motivation for everything he does. He commits horrific, unspeakable acts simply because he can.
- Gender Bender: Mostly averted, unlike most of the other Daedric Lords; Molag Bal (to the best knowledge of scholars on the subject) appears as male to all of his followers with one exception; an all female cult known as the Witches of Molag Bal, who are extremely devoted to their Prince, even by Daedric Cult standards. The Witches commune with Molag Bal in the guise of a mortal female.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The 36 Lessons of Vivec include multiple barely-concealed allegorical descriptions of gay sex between Molag Bal and the Dunmeri Physical God, Vivec. "Biting of spears" and "piercing of the second aperture" indeed.
- Online only uses thinly-veiled inferences to rape, with his actions toward Lamae referred to interchangeably as "ravaged", "defiled" and "mutilated". Skyrim also never uses the team "rape", but conversations with Serana state that the process of becoming a Vampire Lord is a very humiliating and traumatizing act of "defilement", and also happens to be gender-targeted towards women (Those of the male persuasion are expected to commit mass sacrifices in Molag Bal's name instead).
- God of Evil: Most of the Daedra are Jerkass Gods to some degree or another, but still have redeeming qualities, even Mehrunes Dagon. Not Molag Bal. He is a being of pure malevolence, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He basically is The Devil to the Dunmer, as they see him as the creator of obstacles trying to threaten the "purity" of the Great Houses. He is not much better regarded by any other race on Tamriel, either.
- Greater-Scope Villain: He serves as this in Dawnguard, as the creator of vampirism, and thus the ultimate progenitor of all the conflict in Dawnguard's storyline. It was he who turned Lord Harkon into a pureblood vampire along with the rest of his family, thus giving rise to the Volkihar Clan in the first place. Being the progenitor of all vampires, it also makes him indirectly responsible for Arch-Curate Vyrthur's corruption, which results in him creating the Prophecy of the Tyranny of the Sun which sets the plot of Dawnguard into motion. Essentially, he is the Man Behind the Man behind the Greater-Scope Villain.
- Played with in Online. Up until the end of the main quest, Molag Bal most certainly IS the Man Behind the Man of Mannimarco, and responsible for the attempted Planemeld. But upon defeat he all but laughs at the protagonists for believing that he is the worst threat they will ever face.
- Haunted House: How he manifests in Skyrim. He's got a hidden, deceptively small shrine housing his Mace in the basement of a house in Markarth, and when the Dragonborn and a Vigilant of Stendarr show up to investigate, he locks the doors and pelts them with objects like a poltergeist until one of them kills the other.
- Horned Humanoid: While his physical appearance can vary somewhat between appearances, he is always depicted with horns.
- I Lied: Molag Bal ultimately does not keep his word with any but the worst of his minions. "Rewards" are given solely for the purpose of creating a more useful or obedient slave; remaining in his service will ultimately result in the servant only being rewarded with slavery and endless torment.
- I Shall Taunt You: Almost every sentence out of his mouth is a taunt to remind a person how insignificant they are compared to him. He is the Lord of Domination, after all.
- Large Ham: He repeatedly shows this in his quest in Skyrim. Even moreso in his appearance in Online.
- The Man Behind the Man: In Online, he also serves as this to Mannimarco, though you're aware of it from the start.
- Manipulative Bastard: Molag Bal greatly enjoys manipulating mortals into furthering his schemes. Indeed, the main difference between Molag Bal and Mehrunes Dagon is that while Dagon will invade and inflict destruction upon mortals with his Legions of Hell and cultists, Molag Bal will instead manipulate mortals into destroying themselves.
- Mind Rape: He can fragment a person's soul or memories, so that if they prove resistant to the torture, he can take away or make them completely forget what gives them strength.
- Monster Progenitor: Created the first vampire. It is believed that all Vampires descend from her, upsetting the balance of death and rebirth normally administered by the Aedric God Arkay.
- Moral Event Horizon: Molag Bal's favorite pass-time is forcing mortals to jump over the lines they would never usually cross. In fact the only servants of his that he genuinely seems to like, value, and refrain from tossing aside casually are the ones that will repeatedly jump over any moral boundaries whatsoever with relish.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Molag Bal (which itself means "Fire Stone" in old Aldmeris), the King of Rape, the Lord of Brutality, the "Hated One", and just an endless line of equally-horrific titles.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Both he and Meridia state that defeating him in Online actually works to his advantage. This is never elaborated upon. Further, at points when the player destroys his Dark Anchors, Bal will be delighted that mortals are rising to meet his challenge with greater strength, as if that were his intention.
- Obviously Evil: While morality is a highly debated topic with the Daedra, there's no debate with Molag Bal. He is the closest to a true God of Evil among the Daedric Princes, with no redeeming qualities.
- Offing the Offspring: Once issued a task to the Nerevarine to slaughter a rebellious daughter for consorting with an Atronach that he did not approve of.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten:: Downplayed in regards to his title "The King of Rape". To note:
- He's only been recorded as having raped one person, but this does not prevent his most infamous title being that of the "King of Rape". It also doesn't help that this act was stated to be the "first" rape, similar in implication to the "first murder" of the Bible.
- Dawnguard further downplays this. It's implied that this is one of the ways that Molag Bal chooses to confer the abilities of a Vampire Lord upon his most devout followers. While his male followers are asked to perform a large Human Sacrifice in his name, women are subjected to a far more degrading ritual at his hands, with the implication being further reinforced by Serana refusing to elaborate further on the matter.
- In the title's original context, personal assault wasn't even the focus. Instead the "King of Rape" was focused the corruption of racial and genealogical purity, both being Serious Business to the Dunmer.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His most infamous act was the very first rape which created vampires, and all pureblood vampire lines can trace their origins back to a Daughter of Coldharbour being raped by Molag Bal.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: He is practically the patron deity of the trope. He especially enjoys it when he can corrupt mortals into committing these against each other.
- Red Baron: The King of Corruption, Father of Vampires, Harvester of Souls, Hated One, King of Rape, Lord of Brutality, Prince of Rage.
- Red Sky, Take Warning: Coldharbour is described as having a burning sky as well as being extremely cold.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: His statues in Morrowind and Oblivion depict a reptilian humanoid.
- Satanic Archetype: He's probably the closest thing the Elder Scrolls universe has to Satan, seeing as his modus operandi is corrupting mortals into committing evil deeds so he can claim their souls. Unlike a few others on this list he lacks any redeeming qualities, to the point he comes across even worse than Mehrunes Dagon. Hell, even his name is taken from "Moloch" and "Baal", two of the most disgusting and degenerate false gods from the Bible.
- Serial Escalation: Don't ask us how, but Molag Bal gets worse with each appearance.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: He claims Domination and Enslavement as part of his spheres of influence, and is widely considered the most evil of the Daedric Princes.
- The Social Darwinist: Molag Bal believes that the strong should kill and dominate the weak. For instance in Skyrim he tries to tempt the Dragonborn into becoming his champion because he recognizes and respects the Dragonborn's power. In Online, he commends the player for defeating his armies and, ultimately, himself.
- Time of Myths: In a previous kalpa (cycle of time), it is said that the Dreugh ruled the world in service to Molag Bal. However, that world (known as "Lyg") was destroyed and the remnants were one of the 12 worlds assembled to create Nirn during the Dawn Era as described in many creation myths.
- The Undead: By siring the first vampire, he brought the idea of "undeath" into Mundus. He apparently did this just as a "Screw you!" gesture toward Arkay.
- Villainous Friendship: The only mortals Molag Bal actually likes are the ones closest to himself; people with no morals whatsoever who will commit unspeakable atrocities for the barest scrap of power, and sometimes for no reason at all.
- Worthy Opponent: After the conclusion of Online's main quest, he outright congratulates the Vestige for their skills, though he's quite quick to warn them that even worse things will be coming later on.
- You Got Spunk: Molag Bal's dialogue in Online and elsewhere implies that while he enjoys domination and enslavement, he especially enjoys it when the target of his attentions fights back. The harder the target fights back, the more he enjoys trying to break them. If that sounds creepy, well, it should be. Remember his titles.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Defeating his minions means that he now recognizes you as a worthy replacement for them.
- Your Soul Is Mine:
- He loves corrupting people and claiming their souls. The Mace of Molag Bal in Skyrim has this as ability.
- Molag Bal taking people's souls serves as the plot for Online.
- According to one obscure text, one of Molag Bal's positive (for a very, very loose definition of "positive") achievements was lending his power to the creation of the first soul gems. Knowing Bal, this act very likely had an extremely sinister motive behind it as well.
Namira (aka Namiira)
Realm: Scuttling Void
Artifacts: Namira's Ring
Namira is the Daedric Prince of the Ancient Darkness, associated with all things Grotesque, things which cause Revulsion, and with Decay. Cannibalism also falls within her sphere. She is also associated with insects, slugs, bats, rats, and other creatures which disgust mortals. This includes sapient beings such as beggars, the diseased, and the disfigured. She typically takes the form of an unkempt woman dressed in black. While not considered to be an inherently malevolent Prince, the nature of her sphere and the behaviors of her followers often cause her to be cast in a negative light. She is very protective over her followers.
In Khajiiti mythology, she is known as Namiira and is associated with Lorkhan (Lorkhaj). She is said to be a part of the Void which became self-aware after the birth of Lorkhaj.
Namira's realm is known as the Scuttling Void, but few details of it are known to mortals.
In Daggerfall, Namira asks you to slay an ancient vampire. She does not appear in Morrowind. In Oblivion, asks you to help her followers retaliate against those who wish to turn them away from her. In Skyrim, she tasks you to help her secretive group of followers acquire their next meal.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her statues depict her wearing a dress in this fashion.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: A different interpretation on her domain being described as "ancient darkness" is that she embodies humanities primal fears.
- Blessed with Suck: According to the book Beggar Prince, she "blessed" all beggars with the gift of disease. It makes them repulsive, and this invokes pity and disregard in others. This both earns them the charity of others, while also making them the perfect spies and sources of information, because they could watch and listen to what others did, but never be noticed doing so.
- Body Horror: This is practically a requirement of her followers. Disfiguring diseases are her favored form of this. She has been known to outright refuse the worship of any who are not repulsive enough.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She is associated not only with darkness, but specifically the "ancient darkness". According to Khajiiti religious tradition, she is a piece of the Void which became self-aware after the birth of Lorkhaj. However, she isn't particularly malevolent and she is very protective over her followers. Most of her other associations are perfectly natural occurrences as well.
- Eldritch Location: Her realm is called the "Scuttling Void", of which nothing is known.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: The only Daedric Prince to avert it. She hates attractive people and has outright refused the worship of people she does not find revolting enough.
- Grotesque Cute: She usually associated with things most would consider disgusting or repulsive, such as slugs, insects, or disfiguring diseases. In fact she only allows those considered ugly to summon her, and she hates attractive people.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Cannibalism falls within her sphere. This makes sense given her modus operandi, since cannibalism is typically a revolting and grotesque act which is frowned upon in most civilized societies. Of course, in Valenwood, cannibalism is the norm for Wood Elves who practice the Green Pact, so there she might instead have followers who (gasp) eat plants.
- Mama Bear: She is very protective of her followers. Mess with them at your own peril.
- Messy Hair: Most depictions of her include this. This along with her black dress, she almost crosses into Witch Classic territory.
- Nature Is Not Nice: She represents many of the darker aspects of nature, including disease and decay, as well as being represented by typically revolting creatures such as insects, slugs, bats, and rats.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She is the very embodiment of all things grotesque and revolting.
- Put on a Bus: She does not appear in Morrowind, though is mentioned. She returns for Oblivion.
- Red Baron: Lady of Decay, the Spirit Daedra, the Great Darkness.
- Ring of Power: Her primary artifact is the Ring Of Namira. In most appearances, it grants the wearer increased protection against magic attacks. In Skyrim, it instead grants the wearer a mild Cannibalism Superpower.
- Trash of the Titans: Her followers are infamous for preferring to live in dark and squalid conditions. Anyone attempting to remove them from these conditions is met with her wrath.
- Void Between the Worlds: Namira herself is associated with the "ancient darkness" of the pre-creation Void, and according to at least one religious tradition is actually a piece of the Void which became self-aware. Her realm is also called the Scuttling Void.
- We Are Everywhere: Not her, exactly, but her cannibal followers have quite a large number of members; half the vendors of Markarth work for her despite being seemingly upstanding citizens normally.
Realm: Evergloam, Shade Perilous, Crow's Wood
Artifacts: Skeleton Key, Bow of Shadows, the Gray Cowl
Nocturnal is the Daedric Prince of Night and Darkness, and is also heavily associated with Thieves and Luck. Ravens are a common symbol of Nocturnal, who most commonly appears as a hooded woman dressed all in black. While not considered to be an inherently malevolent Prince, the nature of her sphere and the behaviors of her followers often cause her to be cast in a negative light. She is regarded as the patron of the Thieves Guild, toward whom she is a distant but motherly figure.
Her primary realm is known as Evergloam, a realm of perpetual twilight and shadows. It is connected to Mundus by the Ebonmere, a conduit which allows Nocturnal's power to bring luck to thieves. The Ebonmere is protected by her mortal servants, the Nightingales, whom she grants great power in exchange for their service in life (and in death). She is also associated with several pocket realms, including Shade Perilous and Crow's Wood.
In Daggerfall, Nocturnal asks you to slay a mage. She does not appear in Morrowind, but two of her artifacts (the Bow of Shadows and the Skeleton Key) do. In Oblivion, she asks you to recover her "Eye" from thieves. In Skyrim, she is heavily involved in the Thieves' Guild questline. In Online she gets promoted to the Big Bad of the Summerset chapter, attempting to hijack the Crystal Tower and become omnipotent.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her appearance in Skyrim has her wear robes with a wide slit going from the top down to her navel.
- Always Night: Her realm, Evergloam, is said to be in a state of "perpetual twilight".
- Big Bad: She is the main villain of both the Clockwork City expansion and Summerset chapter of Online.
- Dark Is Evil: A rare moment from her occurs in Online where she tries to take over the Clockwork City and then the Crystal Tower in order to make herself the supreme God of reality.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Though her sphere does include darkness and the night, she isn't considered one of the more inherently malevolent Princes. Her association with thieves does maker her a bit morally ambiguous, but it's safe to say she's no Molag Bal.
- Deal with the Devil: The patron of thieves, and said to be the source of "scoundrel's luck" that aids them and the shadows that hide them. However, this is a contract, not a blessing. Three champions known as the Nightingales swear absolute loyalty to her, pledging their souls to guard the Ebonmere, her conduit to the mortal realms, in life and in death. In life, the Nightingales receive great power, special armor, and the freedom to do with these as they wish on the condition that they always guard the Ebonmere — fail and they will lose all their gifts, and all thieves will have a sudden run of supernaturally bad luck, until it is reconsecrated. After serving their term as spectral guardians, they join the shadows which aid all living thieves.
- The Chessmaster: In the Summerset chapter of Online she manipulates everybody, including the Psijjic Order and two other Daedric Princes who specialise in manipulation into doing her dirty work for her.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: At the time of Oblivion and Skyrim, she had the receiving end of this. Inverted however that your tasks pertaining to Nocturnal usually have you return the stuff stolen from her.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Thieves love stealing things from Nocturnal. While they may succeed in acquiring the item they are attempting to steal (the Gray Cowl, the Eye of Nocturnal, the Skeleton Key) they always pay for it in the end, usually by Nocturnal cursing the item they stole or having her servants hunt down the offender.
- God Is Displeased: At some point prior to the events of Skyrim, she cursed the Thieves Guild with a long string of bad luck, having withdrawn her protection and influence as its unknown (to all non-Nightingale members of the Guild) patron deity, due to Mercer Frey's theft of the Skeleton Key and murder of Gallus, the previous Guildmaster.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Some sources state that she is a "sister" of Azura, although it is unclear whether it is in a literal or metaphorical sense, as other sources also mention both having a rivalry to each other.
- In the Hood: All of her appearances have her wearing a hooded cloak.
- Magpies as Portents: She is associated with ravens and crows. The Crow's Wood is a pocket realm of Oblivion associated with Nocturnal, and it is ruled by the Blackfeather Court, a group of sentient crows who consider themselves as the realm's rulers.
- Meaningful Name: On several levels. Nocturnal means "active at night", and she is the very embodiment of the night. She is the patron of the thieves, who are also most active during the night.
- Put on a Bus: She doesn't make an appearance in Morrowind, but she is mentioned and the Skeleton Key does appear. She returns for Oblivion.
- Red Baron: The Mistress of Shadows, the Unfathomable, the Empress of Murk, the Daughter of Twilight, the Mistress of Mystery, Lady Luck, the Saint of Suspicion, the Night Mistress, Ur-Dra.
- The Sacred Darkness: The darkness that Nocturnal represents is treated as protective, as well as beautiful, welcoming, and awe-inspiring to those who appreciate it. However, Nocturnal is quick to withdraw her favor (and thus the protective qualities of darkness) if she is displeased, and those who appreciate the darkness more often than not tend to be thieves and criminals.
- Scam Religion: The "Priests of Nocturnal" were merely a cult created to prey on the gullible. While their members set up shop in the Twilight Sepulcher and conducted all sorts of bogus rituals and practices to supposedly gain Nocturnal's favor, Nocturnal herself didn't actually pay them any attention or care what they did, as long as they didn't interfere with the Nightingales or threaten the Ebonmere.
- Semantic Superpower: The Skeleton Key. It unlocks things. In fact, it unlocks anything. Including the limits of human potential. In the hands of the player however, it's simply a lockpick which will never fail.
- Show Some Leg: In most depictions of Nocturnal, her cloak/robe opens up at the side of the thighs, fully exposing her legs.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Her relationship with the Nightingales, and really all thieves. For the Nightingales, she grants them immense power and freedom to do with it as they wish, on the condition that they always protect the Ebonmere. Thieves in general benefit from her protective darkness and "scoundrel's luck", but she does not offer any sort of direct Divine Intervention to either group if they get in over their heads, and is quick to withdraw her blessings if she is displeased.
- Skeleton Key: Her most (in)famous artifact. In the hands of most, it serves as a lockpick which will never fail. For those who can unlock its true power, it gives them the ability to unlock anything, including the metaphorical locks on their own potential.
- Spirit Advisor: Along with allowing for Dead Person Conversations. Deceased Nightingales serve a "term" as the "spectral guardians" of the Ebonmere and Twilight Sepulcher, allowing them to communicate with the still-living Nightingales.
- Thieves' Guild: She is the (unofficial) patron of the Tamriellic Thieves Guild, and really all thieves everywhere even if they don't acknowledge it or aren't aware of it. The reason it is "unofficial", as Karliah explains in Skyrim:"Nocturnal isn't one for worship and reverence. There are no priests and no sermons, no services and no alms. She influences our luck and in return demands payment. [...] The only difference is she doesn't demand payment in the traditional sense and sometimes the cost can be quite high. Whether you know it or not, Nocturnal dictates how well we perform as rogues."
- Unperson: The curse she placed on the Gray Cowl causes this to happen to anyone who wears it. (It would take the power of an Elder Scroll to finally break the curse centuries later.)"Whosoever wears it shall be lost in the shadows. His true nature shall be unknown to all who meet him. His identity shall be struck from all records and histories. Memory will hide in the shadows, refusing to record the name of the owner to any who meet him. He shall be known by the cowl and only by the cowl."
- Void Between the Worlds: As the embodiment of the night, Nocturnal claims to be an aspect of the original Void itself. It turns out that this isn't metaphorical, either; in Online she uses this void in an attempt to consume the Clockwork City.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: One of her Nightingales describes Nocturnal as a mother that offers little praise but always pushes you to do better.
- Your Soul Is Mine: She claims the souls of the Nightingales when the die. They continue to serve her as spectral guardians of the Ebonmere and Twilight Sepulcher for a "term", then join the shadows.
Realm: The Pits
Artifacts: Spell Breaker
Peryite is the Daedric Prince of Pestilence, Tasks, and the Natural Order, and is charged with the ordering of the lowest levels of Oblivion. He is considered to be the weakest of the Princes. Peryite most commonly takes the form of a four-legged green dragon. While not considered an inherently malevolent Prince, his association with plagues and the deaths they cause tends to cast him in a negative light. He is considered particularly "loathsome" by the other Daedric Princes, who constantly look down upon him.
There is evidence that Peryite has a connection to the Sload, the "slug men" of Thras. He is connected to the creation of the Thrassian Plague which the Sload used to wipe out up to half the population of Tamriel in the 1st Era. There is also an ancient shrine dedicated to Peryite in the Summerset Isles which depicts the Aldmer fighting "slug-like creatures".
His realm is known as "The Pits". It somewhat resembles the Deadlands and is said to be typically inaccessible to mortals.
In Daggerfall, Peryite asks you to slay a vampire ancient. He does not appear in Morrowind, but his artifact, Spell Breaker, does. In Oblivion, he asks you to rescue the souls of some of his followers. In Skyrim, he asks you to kill a former priest of his who rebelled.
- Affably Evil: Despite being referred to as one of the most "loathsome" Princes, as well as his association with pestilence and plagues, he has been consistently polite to the player character in all of his appearances. Even Mora and Hircine will express their displeasure, albeit calmly, if their quests are turned down in Daggerfall. Peryite on the other hand, takes it in stride and benignly states that refusal indicates maturity. Literally no other Daedric Prince takes rejection this well in their first appearance. His quest in Oblivion is one of the least morally suspect Daedric quests, as it involves saving the lives of his followers.
- Almighty Janitor:
- Widely considered by Imperial scholars to be the "weakest" Daedric Prince and whose main sphere is ordering the lesser realms of Oblivion, but nonetheless, Peryite is still a Daedric Prince, making him virtually infinite in power in his own realm and able to inflict massive damage if left unchecked. The Thrassian Plague was one such instance, and was so terrible it was one of the rare instances where everyone in Tamriel banded together to destroy the Sloads who unleashed it.
- It is important to remember that while he's called the "weakest" by mortals, that measurement is based on how much observable impact Peryite has on Nirn. Because his sphere involves orderly tasks and the growth and decay in nature, Peryite has little reason to or interest in acting openly on Nirn compared with other Princes.
- This trope is also a possible explanation for his Divergent Character Evolution: Since his focus on "order" was largely gone in Skyrim, it's likely that he was "filling in" for Jyggalag because Someone Has to Do It.
- Blessed with Suck: His "blessings" to his followers seem to take the form of various diseases, complete with weaponized projectile vomiting.
- Butt-Monkey: For the other Princes, who constantly look down upon him. It may also be why earlier games emphasize the "Order" part of his sphere, as prior to the proper introduction of Jyggalag, Someone Had To Do It. Further, being associated with order would put him at odds with the other Princes, who have a generally chaotic nature.
- Divergent Character Evolution: His quest in Skyrim emphasizes his association with pestilence rather than his association with maintaining order, likely because Shivering Isles introduced Jyggalag as the Daedric Prince of Order.
- Draconic Abomination: Statues of Peryite often depict him as a four-legged dragon, and he is said to enjoy taking on this form as a mockery of Akatosh.
- Expy: In Skyrim, you may as well call him Grandpapa Nurgle and call it a day. Given that the Elder Scrolls devs are Warhammer fans, the parallels may be intentional.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: While he's supposed to be the weakest Daedric Prince, he also keeps the lower levels of Oblivion running and the lesser Daedra in line.
- Loser Deity: He is considered to be the weakest of the Princes, and is considered particularly "loathsome" by the other Daedric Princes, who constantly look down upon him. He is also the Prince with perhaps the fewest mortal worshipers, both because of his low status and because his blessings to them tend to suck, often using them to spread plagues and diseases.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His artifact, the Spell Breaker, is a Dwemer tower shield with a ward that blocks most forms of magic.
- Mystical Plague: He is associated with pestilence and plagues. Perhaps most infamously, he is associated with the Thrassian Plague, unleashed by the Sload in the 1st Era, which killed up to half of Tamriel's population. In Skyrim, his followers are afflicted with one of these as well.
- Nature Is Not Nice: While Jyggalag's take on order is inorganic stasis ("Perfect Order"), Peryite seems to represent the "Natural Order" cycle of growth and decay. Unfortunately for Tamriel, this primarily manifests as outbreaks of disease, and death in wake of those outbreaks.
- Orcus on His Throne: Compared with virtually every other Daedric Prince, Peryite doesn't really do much on Nirn beyond creating diseases, preferring to sit back and let things develop as they will. Because Nirn is mostly ordered and developing naturally, he has no reason to really intervene directly to further his interests, unless something goes wrong. His Daedric quests generally involve helping his followers or simply removing a follower misusing Peryite's gifts rather than anything malevolent.
- Order Versus Chaos: Much like Jyggalag, Peryite is a very Anuic entity, focused on order. In his case, it's the "natural" order things, like the growth and decay of life and the ordering of tasks and duties. Because of this he has very little obvious influence on Nirn, but when his impact is felt, it can be just as potent as any other Prince's.
- Our Dragons Are Different: He normally appears as a green dragon to those who summon him. It's worth noting that he is depicted with four legs instead of two, unlike Alduin and the other Dragons in Skyrim, as he isn't really a dragon. He just likes manifesting as one, which is said to be a "primordial and curious jest" toward Akatosh.
- Put on a Bus: He doesn't make an appearance in Morrowind, but he is mentioned and Spell Breaker does appear. He returns for Oblivion.
- Red Baron: The Taskmaster, Blighted Lord.
- Plaguemaster: As the Daedric Prince of pestilence, he is the embodiment of the idea of The Plague. His idea of a "blessing" toward his followers is to inflict them with disease. The ending of his Skyrim quest implies that he is preparing a new plague meant to "cover the world" with his "blessing".
- Rule of Perception: In-Universe, this is one of the reasons why he is considered "weak" by Imperial scholars. Peryite doesn't need to do much to expand his sphere of influence on Nirn, and most of his time is spent ordering parts of Oblivion. Since he's not perceived as doing much on Nirn, the people of Nirn don't consider him to be very powerful.
- You Dirty Rat!: In Skyrim, he manifests in the form of a swarm of ghostly skeevers.
Realm: Myriad Realms of Revelry
Artifacts: Sanguine's Rose, the 27 Threads of the Webspinner (created for Mephala)
Sanguine is the Daedric Prince of Debauchery, Hedonism, Revelry, and Passion, encompassing the lighter and darker aspects of each. Included within his domain are the darker natures of man, such as lust, sin, sloth, gluttony, and greed. His most common symbol is a rose, while Sanguine himself typically takes the form of a short, portly man with a horned head similar to that of a Dremora. While he is not considered an inherently malevolent Prince, and is in fact quite pleasant during most of his dealings with mortals, his associations numerous vices and tempting mortals into sin tend to cast him in a negative light.
Sanguine possesses thousands of realms within Oblivion, collectively called the Myriad Realms of Revelry. The realms are used mainly as pleasure pockets, refashioned to meet the needs and desires of their visitors. As such, Sanguine himself has very little control over them.
In Daggerfall, Sanguine asks you to kill a monk. He does not appear in Morrowind, but is mentioned as the creator of the 27 Threads of the Webspinner. In Oblivion, he asks you to crash and prank a dinner party. In Skyrim, he gets you black out drunk and leaves you to pick up the pieces of your lost night.
- Affably Evil: Although he is associated with the darker natures of man and tries to tempt mortals with various vices, he tends to be quite pleasant.
- The Alcoholic: Often seen with some form of drink in his hand, even in his statues. In Skyrim, his quest even begins with a drinking contest at an inn.
- Beware the Silly Ones: As "fun" as he might seem, it is important to remember that he represents the "darker" aspects human nature as well. For all the revelry, his actions turn someone into an alcoholic. For all the fulfilled lust, there are broken relationships and failed marriages. One fortress in Skyrim which is filled with his revelers also includes a room where prisoners were burnt to death by a sadistic mage, and another room has Noodle Implements that strongly implied to be being used on those same prisoners to defile a shrine to Dibella, showing that not all of the excess Sanguine promotes is harmless, and he's just as dangerous as other Princes.
- Big Red Devil: Or rather, a short, portly devil is his most common form. In Daggerfall, his skin is bright red.
- The Corrupter: Present, but downplayed. Sanguine loves to tempt mortal into sinful lives... but it's his sins who, while definitely not necessarily harmless, are on the less malevolent side of things from the mortal perspective.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Played with.
- He is a Daedric Prince and his sphere includes various sins, vices, and the darker natures of man, but he isn't nearly as evil as some would suggest. His quests usually don't involve killing things, causing lasting harm, or spreading suffering in any way, only annoying folks. To put it bluntly, Sanguine is basically a demonic frat boy.
- On the other hand, his personal artifact, Sanguine's Rose, is one of the more dangerous ones, since it summons a random lesser Daedra that is not under the summoner's control. Martin Septim's reaction to the Rose in Oblivion implies that toying around with it in his youth got a bunch of his friends killed and soured him on Daedra worship forever.
- His questline in Skyrim ends in Morvunskar, a fortress where Sanguine's worshippers engage in hedonistic indulgence. two rooms highlight how far this indulgence can go: a room where a sadistic mage is indulging in his fantasies by burning people to death, and another where it is implied that prisoners were being used to defile a shrine to Dibella. In the rare case that Sanguine himself actually comes through the portal, he will attack and slaughter these mages himself.
- Eldritch Location: He possesses thousands of realms of Oblivion, collectively called the Myriad Realms of Revelry. The realms are used mainly as pleasure pockets, refashioned to meet the needs and desires of their visitors. As such, Sanguine himself has very little control over them.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Sanguine was said to be a regular in the court of Reman Cyrodiil, at least until Reman's violent decadence went so far as to make Sanguine uncomfortable. This is saying something, as Sanguine's most extreme worshippers sometimes indulge in things like torture and murder... though Sanguine himself generally looks down on that kind of behavior. The general rule of thumb is that Sanguine's happy with his followers indulging themselves as much as they want... up until their indulgences start causing serious harm to others.
- Expy: Of Dionysus, the god of wine, theatre, ritual madness and religious exctasy in Classical Mythology. Much like Dionysus, Sanguine emphasizes debauchery, drunkenness, and the dangerous insanity that accompanies drugs and alcohol. He even sports horns, much like the older versions of Dionysus.
- Fun Personified: Literally, being the very embodiment of hedonism is both the good and bad senses. His thousands of realms of Oblivion reform to cater to the needs of whoever visits.
- Gargle Blaster: His special brew in Skyrim.
- God Was My Copilot: In Skyrim, the player can meet a man named Sam Guivenne. Later on, he reveals his true identity as that of Sanguine, and that the two of you went on one hell of a drunken bender across the entire province.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: His 27 threads of the Webspinner, which he created for Mephala and the Morag Tong. They are 27 pieces of enchanted clothing and jewelry.
- Great Gazoo: He mostly plays with and, at worst, annoys mortals. He is definitely one of the less serious Daedric Princes. His influence can push mortals to rather extreme ends, however, and he disapproves of going too far in one's indulgences.
- Happy Place: His Myriad Realms of Revelry constantly reform to become the pleasure paradise of whoever is visiting.
- The Hedonist: The Daedric Prince of the trope. He seems to exist to tempt others into becoming hedonists as well. This hedonism can go to amusing places... but also extremely dark ones as well, depending on the individual. One wild hedonist may just party and drink and have wild sex, but another may indulge in rape, torture, or murder.
- Horned Humanoid: His typical form is that of a short, portly man with devil-style horns.
- It Amused Me: The motivation for everything he does. His primary goal is to tempt mortals with vices and sins to get them to behave the same way.Sanguine: "Let's be honest, here. I don't always think my decisions through."
- Louis Cypher: As Sam Guevenne in Skyrim.
- Meaningful Name: The word "sanguine" can refer to a lively character as well as blood, which fits his patronage over both the light and dark side of pleasure.
- Naked People Are Funny: The point behind his Oblivion quest, which involves crashing a dinner party and casting a spell that strips everyone naked. (Including you.)
- Put on a Bus: Doesn't appear in Morrowind, but is mentioned. He returns for Oblivion.
- Royally Screwed Up: Given his sphere, he has understandably been a favorite of many of the more decadent rulers throughout Tamriellic history.
- Satanic Archetype: Though a less outright evil version than, say, Molag Bal. He "prefers to drag mortals down to sinful lifestyles by means of temptation and humiliation".
- Something About a Rose: His most common symbol is a rose and his most famous artifact is Sanguine's Rose, which can take on many forms, including that of an actual rose, a wooden staff carved like a rose, or a staff-sized rose.
- Troll: He is basically a god-level troll. He enjoys trying to tempt or trick mortals into sin using various vices, mostly because he finds it fun. Note that like real-life trolls, the "fun" is often from his perspective; for those he tricks it's not always amusing.
- Villains Out Shopping: In Skyrim, when the Dragonborn finally tracks him down after their little drinking contest leaves them passed out on the other side of Skyrim, he seems to be in the middle of hosting a party with some of his followers. Essentially, you joined him while he was "out shopping" and found him in the middle of his "day job".
Realm: The Shivering Isles
Artifacts: Wabbajack, Fork of Horripilation, Staff of Everscamp, Gambolpuddy, Folium Discognitum
Servants: Aureals (Golden Saints), Mazken (Dark Seducers)
Sheogorath is the Daedric Prince of Madness, and is also associated with Creativity, Music, and Cheese. He typically takes the form of a well-dressed man, often carrying a cane. While not inherently malevolent, the nature of his sphere and his unpredictability make him one of the most dangerous of the Daedric Princes, and thus he is near-universally considered to be one of the "bad" Daedra throughout Tamriel. Despite this, worship of Sheogorath is widespread.
In a time before recorded history, Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order, grew too powerful, making the other Daedric Princes fearful and jealous of him. They came together and cursed him, trapping in the form of Sheogorath. However, at the end of every Era, Jyggalag is allowed to return to his true form in an event known as the Greymarch. During this time, he retakes and destroys the Shivering Isles, only to return to the form of Sheogorath at the end. At the end of the 3rd Era, the Champion of Cyrodiil ended the cycle by defeating Jyggalag and assuming the mantle of Sheogorath. Jyggalag then left to "roam the voids" of Oblivion.
Sheogorath is also connected with both Sithis and Lorkhan. He is said to be a "Sithis-shaped hole" in the world, brought into being when Lorkhan's "divine spark" was removed. From this association comes Sheogorath's title, the "Void Ghost".
His realm is the Shivering Isles, which has also been known as the Madhouse and the Asylum. The realm consists of a main landmass surrounded by a group of smaller islands, and is divided in half: the northern half of these lands is called Mania, and the southern half Dementia. Only Sheogorath himself may grant the privilege of entry, and it is said that mortals who visit lose their sanity forever.
In Daggerfall, Sheogorath asks you to kill a battlemage. In Morrowind, he asks you to slay a giant bull netch with cursed dinner fork. In Oblivion, he asks you to bring the "apocalypse" to a small village. He also plays a prominent role in the main plot of the Shivering Isles expansion. In Skyrim, he asks you to help cure a former emperor of madness. In Online, he serves as the main villain behind the Mages Guild questline.
- A God Am I: Until the Champion of Cyrodiil becomes Sheogorath in the Shivering Isles, at which point A God Is You.
- Affably Evil:
- His domains also include creativity and music, and he always has a smile on his face. He loves his worshipers and will always reward a mortal helper... but since he's the Prince of Madness, the blessings he offers may not be entirely, ah, traditional. Or useful. Or healthy.
- According to legend, he gifted humanity music one day when he was travelling the mortal plane and decided it was boring, and a woman commented on the beauty of a songbird's song. Sheogorath agreed and thought it was a pity that humans couldn't make such lovely noises with their voices, so he gave them music by way of crafting them drums, flutes and lutes... from the bones, tendons and other body parts of that same woman, killing her on the spot to get the materials.
- In one myth he drove a follower of Vaermina to madness and eventually execution just to prove a point. Admittedly, he managed to do this by doing nothing at all.
- Animal Eyes: Often depicted as a human with cat's eyes. Either the inspiration for, or adopted in honor of, the Khajiiti nickname for him, "The Skooma Cat".
- Arch-Enemy: Jygalagg, who appears every era to destroy the Shivering Isles. As revealed in the Shivering Isles, this turns out to be an Arch-Enemy Within scenario instead.
- Ax-Crazy: Sheogorath is always dangerous, because just a passing whim could result in him killing someone in horrific ways ... or worse. For instance, when a woman wished that mortals could sing like birds, he agreed and plucked out her organs to create musical instruments. And if he's in a bad mood... well, then you're really screwed.
- Badass Beard: In fact, beards more badass than his are outlawed in the Shivering Isles on pain of death. The new Sheogorath seems to have done away with this rule, as he's still mostly clean-shaven 200 years later while his follower who gives you his quest in Skyrim sports a bushy beard.
- Baleful Polymorph: Cats can be bats can be rats can be hats can be gnats can be thats can be thises. And doors can be boars can be snores can be floors can be roars can be spores can be yours can be mine.
- Batman Gambit: Despite his status as a Mad God and his insistence that it's impossible to tell exactly what any and all beings will do, he's pretty good at them. The series 16 Accords of Madness volumes VI, IX and XII involve the humiliation of Hircine, Vaermina, and Malacath, respectively. In each of the stories, he basically has the other Princes defeat themselves. It's even brought up in volume IX, where Vaermina accuses him of doing nothing. And since there are 17 Princes, it can be assumed that the remaining 13 volumes chronicle the humiliation of the rest of the Princes.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As far as Daedric Princes go, Sheogorath is usually one of the nicer ones if not outright cordial and his quests typically aren't as harmful to mortals as some of his fellows. He's also the literal God of insanity who's fully willing to destroy your mind and body in a hilariously gruesome fashion.
- Beware the Silly Ones:
- Jovial as the guy can be, he's still a Daedric Prince, and a Daedric Prince with a head full of crazy for that matter. This almost goes without saying: tread carefully. In Shivering Isles, attacking him will cause him to teleport the Champion of Cyrodiil high above the Shivering Isles, letting gravity do the rest. Even God Mode won't save you from him.
- It can even be inferred that he's more powerful than most (if not all) other Daedric Princes. There's a series of myths that consist entirely of him humiliating the other Princes; Jyggalag is only able to break free at the tail end of every era; and any day that storms makes it a holy day for Sheogorath, even if it's supposed to be a different Prince's holy day.
- Big Bad: He is the primary antagonist and obstacle in the Mages Guild questline in Online.
- Big Good: He's the player's main ally, benefactor, and mentor in the Shivering Isles expansion.
- Characterization Marches On:
- His brief vocal appearance in Morrowind sounds and acts absolutely nothing like he does in later games. Rather than the unpredictable, unruly Large Ham he becomes in The Shivering Isles, he's quite calm, formal and collected; acting more like Haskill — and in fact, he's voiced by Jeff Baker, who would later voice Haskill. (Holding off on doing the Sheogorath quest in vanilla Oblivion until after completing the expansion reveals that Haskill is perfectly capable of picking up the phone in Sheogorath's stead, and the dialogue in his Morrowind quest does refer to Sheogorath in the third person. It may very well have been Haskill, or another predecessor, giving you the quest.)
- Before the release of The Shivering Isles Sheogorath had a hissing, demonic sounding voice when spoken to at his shrine in vanilla Oblivion, giving him a far more overtly sinister vibe than his later jovial, Mad Hatter-esque characterization seen in The Shivering Isles and Skyrim.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: When he's in a good mood. His chamberlain, Haskill, typically does the best he can as Sheogorath's Minder and Only Sane Man within the Shivering Isles."I've been waiting for you, or someone like you, or someone not like you."
"Well, looks like the cat's out of the bag now... who puts cats in bags, anyway? Cats hate bags."
"But enough about me. Let's talk about you. I could turn you into a goat. Or a puddle. Or a bad idea. I could make you eat your own fingers. Or fall in love with a cloud. Perhaps... I could make you into something useful."
"I once dug a pit and filled it with clouds... or was it clowns?... Come to think of it, it began to smell... must have been clowns. Clouds don't smell, they taste of butter. And tears."
- Colony Drop:
- He once attempted to destroy the Egopolis of the Dunmeri Tribunal deity Vivec by hurling the rogue moon Baar Dau at it. Vivec used his power to freeze it in place above the city. Eventually, after Vivec disappears, Sheogorath's attempt is finally successful. The moon descends with its original momentum, levels the city, and causes Red Mountain to erupt. The rest of Vvardenfell is destroyed and much of Morrowind is rendered uninhabitable for hundreds of years due to the choking ash.
- Some fans have jokingly theorized that when he kills you in Shivering Isles, you actually remained stationary and Sheogorath hurls the planet at you. He has used celestial bodies as weapons in the past...
- Cool, but Inefficient: His artifacts tend to fall under this category.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Just because he's insane doesn't mean he's stupid.
- Deity of Human Origin: At the end of Shivering Isles, the Champion of Cyrodiil takes on the mantle of Sheogorath.
- Driven to Madness: Finding inventive ways to drive mortals to madness is fully within his realm. He even considers it a blessing:"Madness is a bitter mercy, perhaps, but a mercy nonetheless. It is better to be seen as mad than hopelessly despondent."
- Eccentric Mentor: In Shivering Isles. What do you expect when you answer the summons of the Mad God?
- Expy: Sheogorath in many ways reflects older interpretations of the Greek god Dionysus, which placed a much greater emphasis on his ability to inflict madness as well as a theme of death and rebirth (reflected in the Sheogorath and Jyggalag dichotomy). Of course, drugs, music, and partying are things that Sheogorath likes too, but that generally falls under Sanguine's sphere.
- Fisher King: The state of his realm, The Shivering Isles, is directly tied to both his own power, and that of his nemesis Jyggalag, who wants to rule the Isles himself. Whenever Jyggalag grows in power and Sheogorath's power wanes, the Isles become a monochrome wasteland dotted with crystal spires.
- Great Gazoo: He's a madman with incredible power. He mostly uses it for silly reasons.
- Hailfire Peaks: His realm, The Shivering Isles, is split down the middle to represent the dual nature of madness. The northern half of the Isles, Mania, represents to positive aspects of madness, and is full of exotic plant life and brightly colored monsters. The southern half, Dementia, embodies the negative aspects of madness, and consists mostly of dreary swampland.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The other Daedra were fearful of Jyggalag's power, even though he hadn't really done anything. And when they turned him into Sheogorath, the events of the Accords of Madness ensued, in which each of the Princes was personally humiliated by the lunatic they created.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Implied in some of his remarks. "Mmm... brain pie... care to donate?"
- Insane Equals Violent: The living embodiment of the concept. His madness means he can go from friendly and helpful to savage and murderous mid-sentence. In one of his myths he "helped" a woman commenting on the beauty of bird songs by gifting humanity with music... by killing her and using instruments made from her body.
- It Amused Me: Rains of flaming dogs, the heinous crime of beards, making the player flail around trying to kill a harmless airborne jellyfish with a dinner fork — none of these are really all that helpful, but they sure are funny! To him, at least.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: His idea of vacation is to take one of these within the mind of former Emperor Pelagius the Mad.
- Kick the Dog:
- Most notably in the 16 Accords of Madness. Poor Malacath...
- An almost literal case with Barbas, Clavicus Vile's external conscience who takes the form of a Big Friendly Dog. For unexplained reasons, Sheogorath hates Barbas and seeks to poison him (he claims that Barbas chews his slippers and keeps him awake with barking, but considering who's talking this should be taken with a pinch of salt).
- Large Ham: In speech, in mannerisms...Sheogorath is the largest ham of the ES universe.
- Laughably Evil: Whether antagonistic or not, everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious.
- Mad God: The very embodiment of the trope. It's even one of his titles. Notably, Sheogorath seems to embody the ideas of manic instability as well as melancholic depression in equal measure. This is contrasted with Jyggalag, who is obsessed with ordering and controlling everything.
- The Mad Hatter: He's insane and loves every moment of it.
- Madness Mantra: "Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack!"
- Magic Staff: The Wabbajack, which randomly transforms things into other things.
- Manipulative Bastard: Pulls shenanigans revolving around this for his own amusement in Online, much to the detriment of Archmage Shalidor.
- Mood-Swinger: One of his most prominent traits."Since you're standing here, I assume you've succeeded. Or you're terribly confused. OR REALLY LACKING IN GOOD JUDGMENT!"
- Morality Pet: Haskill. Given that Haskill's origins are unknown, and Haskill himself claims to have been in the service of Sheogorath "since the beginning", this has led to the theory that Haskill is an external part of Sheogorath, similar to what Barbas is to Clavicus Vile. Haskill reigns in Sheogorath's madness just enough to keep him and the Shivering Isles functional.
- The Muse: Creativity and the arts fall under his domain. According to legend, he gifted music to the mortals.
- Noodle Implements:
- The ritual to summon him typically requires these. Included have been a soul gem, a head of lettuce, a spool of yarn, and cheese.
- Shaving a cat at the height of a storm...
- Obfuscating Insanity:
- Oh, he's definitely insane, that's a given, but since he consistently seems to be ten steps ahead of everyone else, it's likely that Sheogorath plays up his madness to hide the fact that he's far more on the ball than he lets on.
- After the Champion of Cyrodiil assumes the mantle of Sheogorath, it begs the question if his behavior in Skyrim is due to inheriting the mantle of Sheogorath, or if it's merely an affectation for when he deals with mortals.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Sheogorath stops all joking, drops the hamminess, and gets downright serious just before his transformation into Jyggalag near the end of Shivering Isles. He's not yet under the orderly influence of Jyggalag, though, meaning that his despair over the fate of the Isles and his apparent failure to save them is genuine.
- Paranoia Gambit: One of the myths surrounding Sheogorath has a wizard come to him asking for power. Sheogorath says he can have it, if Sheogorath fails to drive the wizard insane within three days. The fear drives said wizard completely bonkers even though Sheogorath hadn't actually bothered doing anything.
- Pet the Dog: His quest in Skyrim is this for Pelagius the Mad, relieving the poor deceased emperor of the madness which has long plagued him.
- Pimp Duds: His standard attire, including a pocket watch and a cane.
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: Sheogorath in Skyrim is implied to be the former Champion of Cyrodiil.
- Prophet Eyes: In Skyrim.
- Red Baron: The Mad Star, The Mad Lord, The Mad God, The Mad One, Lord of the Never-There, Gentleman With a Cane, the Void Ghost, the Skooma Cat.
- The Reveal: Is revealed in the Shivering Isles to actually be the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag, transformed into his current state as a curse.
- Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Sheogorath is the "Person Shaped Can", created by the other Daedric Princes to trap Jyggalag.
- Screw Destiny: Prominent in the Shivering Isles. Sheogorath attempts to avert the Greymarch. At first, it seems his attempt fails, as he turns into Jyggalag again, but then, the PC stops the Greymarch, thus breaking the cycle of fate. The fact that Jyggalag and his old chamberlain keep talking about how everything is preordained makes screwing destiny all the more satisfying. Also, while Sheogorath is a multifaceted being, a large part of what he stands for is free will and the spark of creativity. It would be utterly against the character of Sheogorath to suppose there was a preordained, predictable order in the first place.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: He enjoys these, and even has them with himself."Cat's out of the bag on that one, isn't it? Who puts cats in bags, anyway? Cats hate bags!"
- In the Cthulhu Mythos the Outer God Nyarlathotep is said to often walk the Earth in the form of a tall, slim, joyous man, and was described by Lovecraft himself as "horrible beyond anything you can imagine — but wonderful". In the Elder Scrolls mythology one of Sheogorath's most favored forms is "Gentleman With a Cane", and he is both reviled as the source of madness and revered as the inspiration for (and original creator of) art, literature, and music.
- Others had suggested in terms of Lovecraftian lore, Sheogorath's name may be derived from Shoggoth, a name of amorphous, shapeshifting beings in H.P. Lovecraft's writings.
- Another possibility, is that Sheogorath 's name and characterisation are a refernce to Cegorach from Warhammer 40,000, with both being trickster god, and noticed as ver similar by fans of both Warhammer and Elder Scrolls. It helps Cegorach and Sheogorath (may) be pronouced the same, or very similary, and that folks at Bethesda are self proclaimed fans of Warhammer 40,000.
- The official explanation is that Sheogorath was named after ex-developer Theodore 'Ted' Peterson, who even is active on Official Forums under Sheogorath's name. It's possible though that the name Sheogorath, was created by combining 'Theodore', with one or more of the above options.
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Technically a case of Sudden Prequel Heel Syndrome since Online takes place centuries before the main series, but he's much more malevolent and sinister than he ever was before in Online's Mages Guild arc.
- Talkative Loon: He likes to talk and is the god of madness."Wonderful! Time for a celebration! Cheese for everyone! Wait, scratch that! Cheese for no one! That could be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese, true?"
- Took a Level in Kindness: It's suggested in Skyrim that the current Sheogorath (the Champion of Cyrodil) may be much more benevolent then his predecessor. Rather than causing random chaos like in previous games, Sheogorath's Daedric quest in Skyrim has you helping to cure the late Emperor Pelagius the Mad of the madness which has long plagued him.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- Cheese. His Daedric quest in Oblivion requires it, he constantly speaks about it, including several memorable lines involving "cheese for everyone!" quickly followed by "cheese for no one!" and in his Skyrim appearance he has cheeses set out on a banquet table before him. Given his overt madness and divine status, this isn't simply a fondness for eating cheese, but more like a surreal, platonic affection for the stuff.
- Since the Princes (like the Aedra) manifest themselves as an Anthropomorphic Personification of the sphere(s) they govern, and one of Sheogorath's spheres is cheese, he is cheese. Whatever that means.
- Trickster Archetype: One of his favorite games is making mortals or even other daedra look like idiots. The lesson is usually "don't underestimate/bargain with/upset/stand near/shirk worship of Sheogorath", but it can be kinder ("there's always room for creativity") or more cruel ("there's madness within us all"), depending on his whims...
- Troll: Sometimes, it seems he just likes to point and laugh. One story of his has him challenging fellow prince Hircine to combat-by-champion. Hircine fielded a huge, saw-toothed, dagger-clawed, vicious werebeast. Sheogorath revealed his champion to be... a songbird. The tiny bird then proceeded to goad the werebeast into tearing itself apart by perching on it, singing and then flitting away, over and over. The bird won. Sheogorath's sole reason for any of this was, apparently, that he found Hircine's fury hilarious.
- Villain Protagonist: In Skyrim, his dialogue implies that the Champion of Cyrodil was a member of the Thieves' Guild and the Dark Brotherhood.
- What the Hell Is That Accent??: In Oblivion and Skyrim his voice veers wildly from Irish to Northern Irish to Scottish to British and sometimes American. Perfectly justified; would the God of Madness really be expected to speak in anything resembling a consistent tone of voice?
- Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing:
- His mythical victories over Hircine and Vaermina involved letting their champions or victims destroy themselves. In Hircine's case, Sheogorath's champion (a small bird) simply flitted around next to Hircine's champion, and the weredaedroth destroyed itself trying to attack it. In Vaermina's case, she and Sheogorath made a bargain to see whose dreams could most influence an artist devoted to her. After she infected her worshipper/victim with intense night terrors to enhance his terrifying and disgusting art, Sheogorath did nothing whatsoever when his turn came up to torment the artist, and the man went insane from believing that Vaermina had abandoned him, ending with him being executed for his enraged blasphemies against the Divines, and going on to the Shivering Isles.
- He also does this in another book when a wizard asks him to give him magical powers. Sheogorath agrees, if he cannot drive the wizard insane in three days. The wizard ends up driving himself mad, fearing Sheogorath will do something horrible to him, when in actuality Sheogorath doesnt do a thing to him.
- With This Herring: A frequent feature of his quests, probably for his own amusement. One famous implement is the Fork of Horripilation. "Horripilation" is the anatomical word for... goosebumps. It's the size of a common kitchen fork, and you're supposed to kill a giant bull netch with it. Have fun."Now, I know what you're thinking. Can I still rely on my swords and spells and sneaking and all that nonsense? Sure, sure. Or, you could use... THE WABBAJACK! Huh? Huh? Didn't see that coming, did you?"
Artifacts: Skull of Corruption
Vaermina is the Daedric Prince of Dreams and Nightmares, and is also associated with Fear, Terror, Omens, and Torture. Her most common form is that of a petite woman, typically wearing a headdress or mask, and often holding a staff. She is typically considered to be one of the more "bad" Daedric Princes, perhaps second only to Molag Bal in pure malevolence.
Vaermina's realm is Quagmire, also known the Dreamstride. It is a realm of horrors, where reality shifts upon itself in seemingly impossible ways. Every few minutes, lightning flashes and the realm morphs into a terrifying scene, each one more frightening than the last. It is the realm most commonly visited by mortals, who often slip into it unintentionally while they sleep. Quagmire and Mundus have been known to partially merge where Vaermina's influence is strong, especially in areas near the Skull of Corruption.
In Daggerfall, Vaermina asks you to slay a lich. She does not appear in Morrowind, but is mentioned. In Oblivion, she asks you to kill a wizard who stole her orb. In Skyrim, she is plaguing a town with continuous nightmares and must be dealt with. In Online, she attempts to take over Stormhaven with the help of her cultists, the Supernal Dreamers.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Torture is believed to fall within her sphere, particularly torture of the psychological kind.
- Cool Mask: In Online, she is often depicted as wearing one of these. Indeed, her emblem consists of her mask, and a snake.
- Cute Is Evil:
- Her voice in Skyrim. When she finally speaks to the player at one point, it's with the sweetest, most adorable voice you could ever hear... while she orders you to murder Erandur, a priest of Mara trying to rescue a village.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Online, where she has even more dialogue. Her voice is still adorable, and almost childlike... while gleefully describing how she is going to spend the next century or so Mind Raping you for killing her Champion, whom she was apparently in love with.
- Dark Is Evil: She's definitely one of the more brutal Daedric Princes, to the point that she may be second only to Molag Bal in some ways.
- Dream Stealer: Her most famous artifact, the Skull of Corruption, has this power. It is also theorized that she uses the dreams of mortals as some sort of source of power.
- Eldritch Location: Her realm of Quagmire, which changes for the viewer every few moments in a flash of lightning to something even more horrific than before. It is the source of all nightmares, as mortals may unintentionally enter it while they sleep. Quagmire and Mundus have been known to partially merge where Vaermina's influence is strong, especially in areas near the Skull of Corruption.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In Online, she is stated to actually be in love with her champion. Her reaction to his death would seem to back this up.
- Friend or Idol Decision: In her Skyrim quest: Either kill Erandur and keep the Skull of Corruption, or spare him and gain a companion at the loss of the artifact.
- Magic Staff: Her most (in)famous artifact is the Skull of Corruption, an unholy magic staff which steals the dreams of sleeping people for power. In various instances, it has either allowed the caster to create clones of the staff's target (who then fight for the caster) or it casts a damaging spell which gets stronger if it has stolen dreams.
- Mind Rape: She can cause this by afflicting mortals with ceaseless, horrific nightmares. For a mortal, simply being in her Quagmire can be this.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Literally. She often kept her champion in Quagmire in Online, seeming not to care of the fact that simply being there can cause Mind Rape, or perhaps, actually seeing that as a show of affection.
- Nightmare Sequence: She exists to cause these in mortals.
- Nightmare Weaver: As nightmares fall under her domain, she is this.
- Put on a Bus: She does not appear in Morrowind, but is mentioned. She returns for Oblivion.
- Red Baron: The Gifter, Weaver of the Panoply.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Statues of her often depict her with a snake draped across her shoulders. In Online, her emblem consists of her Cool Mask with a snake wrapped around it.
- Unholy Matrimony: Her champion in Online is said to also be her lover.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Is sometimes depicted with white hair, and happens to be one of the more outright malevolent Daedric Princes.
- Your Worst Nightmare: The embodiment of the trope. She exists to cause these in mortals, and may in some way draw power from them.
"Lesser Daedra" is a catch-all term for any Daedric beings who are not Daedric Princes. The lesser Daedra come in many forms and range in intelligence (and thus sentience) from animalistic to somewhat intelligent to full-on sapience. Many of these lesser Daedra are aligned to serve a specific Prince, though several species can be found in service to multiple Princes while others are unaligned. Like their Prince superiors, lesser Daedra are fully immortal as well. While they can have a physical body summoned to Mundus and that physical body can be slain, their spirit simply returns to Oblivion to coalesce in a new form. All manner of lesser Daedra can be summoned to Mundus, often in service to mortal wizards and conjurers.
General Tropes Applicable to the lesser Daedra:
- Above Good and Evil: Like the Daedric Princes, along with having their own scale of Blue-and-Orange Morality. While many look down on mortals, and are even quite hostile toward them, none are inherently "evil".
- Art Evolution: Virtually all of the lesser Daedra to have appeared in multiple games have changed appearance between those games. Specific details can be found in the relevant entries for the individual species below.
- Complete Immortality: Like the Daedric Princes, the lesser Daedra are fully immortal. If their physical form is slain, their spirit simply returns to Oblivion to coalesce into a new form.
- Death Is Cheap: To the point where it is incorrect to even call a slain Daedra "dead". The terms "banished" or "purged" are preferred. It is implied that coalescing into a new form in Oblivion isn't an instantaneous process, so being slain is at least a mild inconvenience.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: There are metaphysical "rules" in place that bar most from being able to summon Daedra, specifically to prevent this sort of thing from happening. This doesn't always work, however. One in-game book, for example, tells the story of a boy who summons a Dremora to practice his Conjuration. The Dremora says the boy will need a soul gem to advance further, and hey! He just happens to have one on him that the boy can use. The boy accepts the soul gem... and the Dremora demonstrates how to use it by tearing the kid's heart out and trapping him in the gem. The book ends with the moral that you never accept a freely given gift from a summoned Daedra, because this breaks the magical bond that keeps them from killing you.
- The Fair Folk: Despite being loosely based on traditional demons. they are much closer to this, as they are not inherently evil, but almost invariably seem completely insane and rather terrifying to mortals.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: The Daedra are intrigued and fascinated by mortals, especially by the mortal acceptance of their inevitable deaths. They find it amazing that mortals are able to carry on knowing that they will die eventually, and genuinely respect mortals for this characteristic.
- Immortals Fear Death:
- Daedra have the ability to reform themselves whenever they are killed in battle, but this "reincarnation" process is considered torturous and humiliating and they will fight fiercely to avoid being subjected to it. Furthermore, the Daedra's inability to truly die makes it impossible for them to truly understand how mortals think — mortals live finite lives and face constant reminders of this, and their ability to simply accept this and continue existing without succumbing to despair is something no Daedra can comprehend.
- Although it's unconfirmed, one researcher who interviewed Daedra noted that the Daedra rarely go to Aetherius, and their reactions indicated that they either dislike or fear those realms. Furthermore, their reactions to this question led the researcher to suspect that if a Daedra was to die in one of the Aedric planes, like Sovngarde, that death might be permanent, since the link between Oblivion and Mundus doesn't exist between Oblivion and Aetherius. This prompts the ironic observation that the only way for a Daedra to truly die is once they reach heaven.
- Mooks: Most lesser Daedra are aligned to serve one or several of the Daedric Princes, and they all may be summoned to Mundus in the service of mortal conjurers. The more powerful lesser Daedra may approach Elite Mook status.
- Our Demons Are Different: While the term "demon" itself is detested by in-universe scholars, the lesser Daedra are the closest things in the series to the real world concept of demons.
- Organ Drops: Organs or other body parts from lesser Daedra are highly sought after by mortals for their strong magical properties. Most common are Daedra Hearts which are invaluable in creating potions and can be used by extremely skilled smiths to forge Daedric Armor.
- Puny Earthlings: Despite being an extremely varied group, one thing that the lesser Daedra near-universally believe is that they are unquestionably superior to mortals. That being said, they are as fascinated by mortals as mortals are by Daedra.
Atronachs (also known collectively as "Elemental Daedra") are an intelligent, elementally aligned form of Daedra who come in many varieties. The most common are the Flame (also known as "Fire"), Frost, and Storm varieties. Others include Air, Flesh, Iron, and Stone. All varieties are at least vaguely humanoid in shape, with some much more humanoid than others. As a group, Atronachs have no particular affinity toward any Daedric Prince, though individual Atronachs may be found in their service. Atronachs are a favored summon of mortal conjurers.
The elemental Atronachs are known to hail from pocket realms of Oblivion which match their natures. For example, Flame Atronachs hail from "Infernace" and Storm Atronachs hail from "Takubar".
- Art Evolution: Each type of Atronach which has appeared more than once in the series has undergone significant art evolution. The Frost and Storm Atronachs have gotten less humanoid looking overall, appearing more like golems made of ice or lightning-rock, respectively. The Flame Atronachs have instead gotten more humanoid and feminine-looking instead.
- Elemental Absorption: Each type of Atronach is is immune to magic of their respective associated element, and in some cases, can even absorb it to increase their health/power.
- Elemental Embodiment: The Flame, Frost, and Storm Atronachs appear as creatures made of fire, ice, and lightning (typically mixed with metal or rock), respectively.
- Elemental Powers: Naturally, all Atronachs can attack with elemental powers in line with the elements they represent. To note:
- Air Atronachs, who are said to possess the combined power of Flame, Frost, and Storm Atronachs.
- The forte of Stone Atronachs is earth. The Altmeri Clan Direnni of High Rock once used an "army" of them to build a massive prison out of rubble in a single day.
- Iron Atronachs, who are made up of molten iron. They can absorb shock attacks and have strong physical attacks.
- Frost Atronachs, who appear to be golems made out of ice and naturally use ice-based attacks.
- Flame Atronachs, who are made up of fire and pieces of metal, naturally use fire-based attacks.
- Flesh Atronachs, depending on the game, emit a constant damaging aura, are immune to poison, and/or are actually healed by poison-based spells.
- Storm Atronachs, who are made up of rocks held together by electricy. They naturally use lightning-based attacks.
- Elemental Rivalry: Flame and Frost Atronachs are said to have a deep mutual hatred of one another.
- Eyeless Face: As they've become less humanoid as the series has gone on, Frost and Storm Atronachs no longer have eyes (or really any facial features). Flame Atronachs still have eye-slits or holes in their "masks", but just fire behind them, no actual eyes.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three most common Atronach varieties follow this pattern. There are other varieties, including the Air, Flesh, Iron, and Stone varieties.
- Giant Mook: Frost and Storm Atronachs are quite large and powerful foes, and are favored summons of mortal wizards. However, they subvert it by relying on magic to deal most of their damage.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Starting with Oblivion, Flame Atronachs appear to be feminine figures made of fire and glowing hot pieces of armor.
- No Ontological Inertia: Atronachs summoned by mortals will vanish or disintegrate if the mortal conjurer is killed. They will also vanish if they themselves are killed.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Flesh Atronachs are notably the only type of Atronach that requires creation, since they're literally sewn together from corpses and reanimated.
- Rock Monster: Stone Atronachs, naturally. Storm Atronachs also take this appearance, generally looking like a loosely humanoid collection of rocks held together with electricity.
- Shockwave Stomp: A common ability of Frost Atronachs, which stuns nearby enemies.
- Taking You with Me: Flame Atronachs will explode upon being slain in Skyrim and Online. Given the immortal nature of Daedra, they'll recover. Any mortals they take out with them, not so much...
Aureals, better known to mortals as "Golden Saints", are an intelligent race of Daedra most frequently found in service to Sheogorath. Their typical appearance is as gold-skinned humanoids clad in golden armor. They are a proud and arrogant race, considering mortals to be highly inferior. They have a highly matriarchal society, with females looking down on both male Aureals as well as male mortals. They typically guard the "Mania" region of the Shivering Isles, and have a significant rivalry with the Mazken (Dark Seducers) who guard the "Dementia" region.
- Amazon Brigade: Downplayed. While male Aureal do exist, they are physically inferior and less numerous, leaving the females most fit for combat roles.
- Bling of War: They are constantly outfitted in golden armor, often with golden weapons and shields as well.
- Chainmail Bikini: Downplayed but extant, in that while female Aureals wear more armor than most examples, it still tends to leave some vulnerable areas (including their upper chests) exposed.
- Characterization Marches On: In their first appearance in Morrowind, Golden Saints are powerful female Daedra with extremely potent spells, weapons, and shields at their disposal. (Given the value of their souls, its fair to say that they're the most powerful lesser Daedra in the game.) However, very little background information is given about them save that they are servants of Sheogorath. It's not until Shivering Isles that they're established to be proud, arrogant, man-hating Amazonian style warriors. They also take a step back in overall power, being more in line with Dremora.
- Cool Helmet: They wear golden helmets adorned with Mercury's Wings. The males have much smaller wings on their helmets.
- Does Not Like Men: The male Aureal are looked down upon (literally and figuratively) by the females. Arguably justified given the fact that male Aureals are both physically and statistically inferior to their female counterparts. This trope extends to males of the mortal races, though with far less justification.
- Dumb Blonde: Played straight, though unlike most examples of this trope, they're portrayed as "dumb" in the Dumb Muscle or Dumb Jock sense rather than being The Ditz. They don't always think things through and prefer to attack issues head-on, which, despite their power, isn't always the best course of action. This happens several times in the Shivering Isles, and they often need to be bailed out by the Champion of Cyrodiil.
- Fantastic Caste System: They have a caste system with an eight-tier hierarchy, ascending from lowest to highest in rank as follows: Auren, Auredel, Aurmok, Aurmokel, Aurig, Malaurig, Pelaurig and Aurmazl. An individual's strength and discipline determines their place in this system.
- Fantastic Slur: "Dog", for the Mazken, mortals, and even their own race.
- Honor Before Reason: They are proud and arrogant as a race, which often sees them getting into trouble.
- Jerkass: In Shivering Isles, they show this in spades, always turning their nose up at the Champion (and really all mortals).
- Leeroy Jenkins: They prefer to tackle problems head-on, with force. This can easily get them in over their heads.
- Light Is Not Good: As befitting servants of Sheogorath, the Golden Saints who maintain bright, happy Mania are rather unlikable and rude.
- Magic Knight: Aureals excel in both combat and in spellcasting.
- Matriarchy: Their society is extremely matriarchal, with females filling all leadership positions.
- Meaningful Name: The "Aur" in Aureals comes from Aurum, the Latin word for gold. The mortal name for an Aureal is a "Golden Saint".
- More Deadly Than the Male. "Male" Aureal are significantly weaker and physically smaller than the females.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Female Aureals possess them.
- Proud Warrior Race: They have a heavily militaristic society, thriving on conflict and warfare. They are known to engage in conflicts with the Mazken (Dark Seducers) for both the favor of Sheogorath and simply as an outlet for their aggression.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The females are considerably taller than the males.
Aurorans are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra most frequently found in service to Meridia. They typically appear as large humanoids encased in golden armor. Their favored weapons are axes and they are known to be "infused" with lightning magic, given them the ability to use Shock spells as well as resist them.
Most infamously, Aurorans served the Ayleid Lord Umaril the Unfeathered, a prominent champion of Meridia, during the Alessian Revolt and again during the events of Knights of the Nine.
- An Axe to Grind: Their favored weapons are battleaxes, which they wield one-handed.
- Bling of War: They are encased in golden armor.
- Faceless Goons: All of them wear helmets that conceal their faces.
- Giant Mook: They stand at least a full head taller than any of the playable races.
- Light Is Not Good: They dress in gold armor and serve Meridia, typically considered a "good" Daedric Prince, but served the Ayleids during the Alessian Revolt and again during Umaril the Unfeathered's return.
- Shock and Awe: They are "infused" with lightning magic, which allows them cast Shock spells while also resisting them.
Clannfear are a form of lesser Daedra possessing animalistic intelligence. They are similar in appearance to therapod dinosaurs with ceratopsid frills as well as sharp beaks and talons. Not unlike the popular perception of raptor-like dinosaurs, they possess agile movements similar to birds and hunt in packs to take down larger prey. They typically stand shorter than the average citizen of Tamriel, though larger varieties have been known to exist.
While they are associated with Mehrunes Dagon, they are frequently found in many other planes of Oblivion and have been known to serve several different Daedric Princes.
- Art Evolution: They've gotten smaller, sleeker, faster, and more dinosaur-like with each appearance in the series.
- Attack Animal: They serve in this capacity in the armies of the Daedric Princes, most prominently Mehrunes Dagon.
- Characterization Marches On: Along with some aspects of Early Installment Weirdness. In their first appearance in Battlespire, they are semi-intelligent and can even be conversed with. They are also larger, slower, and have powerful but clumsy attacks which are easy to dodge. Morrowind reduces their intelligence but keeps them as slow and somewhat clumsy. They finally settle into their unintelligent "Daedric Raptor" role in Oblivion, which gets further built upon in Online.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: They are a type of lesser Daedra that takes the form of Dromaeosaurs with a Protoceratop's head stapled on the neck for no apparent reason. As far as can be told, Nirn never had dinosaurs.
- Evolutionary Levels: There are several known varieties of Clannfear, ranging from "Runts" at the bottom, to the standard Clannfear, to the larger Dread Clannfear and Clannfear Matrons at the top.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Though not known to use magic, they possess some sort of natural shield which reduces the damage they take from physical attacks.
- Raptor Attack: While deadly on their own, they prefer to attack in packs and can bring down larger/more powerful prey when they do.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: They're hostile reptilian Daedra.
Daedroths are a form of lesser Daedra which has variously shown intelligence ranging from animalistic to primitive sapience. They typically take the form of a large, bi-pedal crocodile complete with teeth, claws, and scales. Daedroths are known to be capable of casting spells, with some varieties also able to breath fire. Some have been known to use weapons and wear primitive armor, though most attack with their natural weapons.
Daedroths are primarily associated with Molag Bal, but have known to serve other Princes as well, particularly Mehrunes Dagon.
- Characterization Marches On: In their first appearance in Daggerfall, they are shown wearing armor and using weapons, in addition to casting more complex spells such as Silence. Morrowind makes them more animalistic and took away the weapons and armor, though they're still much smaller than later appearances. Oblivion makes them massive and even more animalistic. The thing keeping it from straying into Early Installment Weirdness is that Online gives them back some intelligence and has instances of Daedroths once again wearing armor.
- Deflector Shields: They are capable of casting a Shield spell upon initiating combat, reducing the amount of physical damage they take.
- Giant Mook: The role they tend to fill when serving in Mehrunes Dagon's Legions of Hell. They're larger (and less intelligent) than all of his other troops save Xivilai.
- Mage Killer: Primarily their Daggerfall appearance, where they can cast Spell Shield and a Silence spell, making them the bane of any magic oriented players.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: They have rows of razor sharp teeth.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: They take the appearance of large humanoid crocodiles.
- Playing with Fire: Daedroths are capable of using fire based attacks, be they magical Fireballs or "natural" fire breath.
- Poisonous Person: In Morrowind, where they like to initiate combat by casting a ranged, large Area of Effect "Poisonbloom" spell.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: They're hostile reptilian Daedra.
- Shock and Awe: Some varieties of Daedroth are capable of casting Shock spells.
- Spikes of Villainy: They tend to have a very spiky appearance, are near-universally hostile to mortals, and are most commonly found in service to the "bad" Daedric Princes.
- You Keep Using That Word: "Daedroth" is the singular form of "Daedra", and technically refers to any single Daedric entity. In practice, it is almost always used to refer to these creatures, who are refered to in plural as "Daedroths".
Daedric Titans are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra created by corrupting dragons and replacing their Aedric souls with Daedric ones. Anatomically, they are similar to dragons but possess prehensile frontal limbs. Titans are also capable of using powerful Thu'um-like word magic.
The first Titan was created by Molag Bal, and he has the most Titans in his service. However, Titans have also been found in the service of Boethiah and Mehrunes Dagon. Dagon further enhanced the Titans in his service by imbuing them with fire magic, creating the more powerful Ash Titans.
- The Corruption: Molag Bal created the Daedric Titans by corrupting dragons. Titans possess similar anatomical features and abilities as dragons, but were created in mockery of true dragons and serve the Daedric Princes.
- Draconic Abomination: They're Daedra formed by corrupting dragons via twisting their physical forms and giving them Daedric souls.
- Dragons are Demonic: While even standard dragons qualify to a degree, Titans take it Up to Eleven. They were created by corrupting the already destructive and dominating dragons, giving them Daedric souls, and putting them in the service of the Daedric Princes.
- Elite Mooks: They serve Molag Bal in this capacity.
- Expy: Corrupted divine entities who serve a dark lord? They are essentially the ES equivalent of Balrogs. Ash Titans make it even clearer.
- Fallen Angel: Technically, as they are corrupted versions of standard dragons, who are divine, Aedric entities.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: While stated to be only a "crude imitation" of the "true" Thu'um, Titans possess the ability to speak a spell of flaming essence-drain that can debilitate an opponent with a single word.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Unlike standard dragons, they have four limbs (two arms and two legs) in addition to their wings.
- Playing with Fire: Ash Titans are a stronger variant created by Mehrunes Dagon and imbued with fire magic.
- Pride: After the dragon Boziikkodstrun resisted Molag Bal's Cold-Blooded Torture and Mind Rape through sheer unrelenting pride, Bal decided to bring that power to his side by corrupting Boziikkodstrun into becoming the first Titan.
- Spikes of Villainy: They are even spikier than the already very spiky standard dragons.
Demiprinces are the scions of Daedra and mortals. Although Demiprinces inherit aspects of their Daedric parent, they are often highly eccentric and often lack mortal characteristics such as foresight, memory, cruelty, or willfulness. Some Demiprinces acquire or are given pocket realms of Oblivion to rule over, and they are known to visit Mundus for the express purpose of interacting with mortals, an act which most Daedra abhor.
The most famous Demiprince is Fa-Nuit-Hen, a scion of Boethiah, also known as the "Multiplier of Motions Known". He rules over the pocket realm of Maelstrom and is said to haunt the warriors who fell and still wonder why. Physically, he resembles a human with some Dremora features, including small horns.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Demiprinces tend to have short attention spans and get bored very easily. Fa-Nuit-Hen, for example, can barely stay focused on questions during his interviews and outright interrupts people so he can answer them before he loses track of what they're saying.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Their dual nature gives them an odd perception of the world and time itself. Fa-Nuit-Hen talks of events as happening, happened, and will-or-maybe-happening at some point, all at once. They are even considered "eccentric" by the standards of other Daedra.
- Divine Parentage: As the children of Daedra and mortals. Fa-Nuit-Hen is the scion of Boetheiah, for example.
- Idiot Savant: In addition to their eccentricities, Demiprinces have an extremely difficult time maintaining knowledge which lies outside their spheres of influence. However, they are the undisputed masters of whatever lies within their spheres. (For Fa-Nuit-Hen, for example, that would be sword techniques.)
- Pocket Dimension: They are often given realms of Oblivion to rule over as gifts from their parents. These realms are said to be "bizarre" and "eccentric", even by the standards of the other realms of Oblivion.
->The clan-form is strong. It shapes body and thought.
->In the clan-form is strength and purpose.
->We serve by choice. We serve the strong, so that their strength might shield us.
->Clans serve by long-practice, but practice may change.
->Dremora have long served Dagon but not always so.
Dremora, who refer to themselves as "the Kyn", are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra most frequently found in service to Mehrunes Dagon, though they've been known to serve other Princes as well. Their typical appearance is as tall, dark-skinned humanoids with dark hair and often horns. They are a proud, clan-based race which upholds values of oaths, pride, honor, and loyalty. They detest mortals as beneath them and honor Mehrunes Dagon as a god. They primarily hail from Dagon's Deadlands realm, but can be found throughout many realms of Oblivion.
- Always Chaotic Evil: As a race, they come across as Always Lawful Evil.
- Art Evolution: The Dremora in Morrowind are no bigger than Dunmer or Imperials, and are even dwarfed by Nords and Altmer. This is changed in Oblivion, where they are equal in height to the Altmer race. Also, they were originally very grotesque in terms of facial features. By Skyrim, they've started to look more like heavily-tattooed (though still horned) Dunmer.
- Blood Knight: Dremora exist for combat and killing.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: It can be difficult to tell different ranks of Dremora apart at a distance. It often only becomes apparent when they fire off a stronger than expected spell or whip out a higher quality weapon than the lower level Dremora possess.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Dremora in Oblivion (and too a lesser extent Battlespire) are significantly weaker than in other games until you reach at least the rank of Kynmarcher. That said, there are also way more of them in this game owing to their status as antagonists.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dremora who become chummy with mortals (whether via forced servitude or voluntarily because the mortal has proven worthy) tend to speak like this.
- Defeat Means Respect: The Dremora in Oblivion consider the Hero of Kvatch one of the few mortals worthy of their attention, due to the hero's role in breaking their sieges of the Imperial cities and the retribution meted against them.
- Enemy Summoner: Some Dremora are known to summon other lesser Daedra to aid them in battle. Most commonly they summon Scamps, but they've been known to summon Atronachs, Clannfear, Daedroths, and Spider Daedra as well.
- Evil Is Hammy: They are an entire race of Large Hams.
- Evil Sounds Deep: They speak with deep, distorted voices.
- Facial Markings: They are known to adorn their faces with red markings and symbols.
- Fantastic Caste System: They're divided into three "soldier" classes (Churls, Caitiffs, and Kynvals), two "officer" classes (Kynreeves and Kynmarchers), and two "noble" classes (Markynaz and Valkynaz). The former three represent the military ranks of lesser soldiers, with Churls being the untrained disorganized rabble that form the bulk of a clan's fighting force, Caitiffs representing shock troops, and Kynvals being soldiers that distinguished themselves in combat and displaying the potential to be future leaders of their clans, as well as being the equivalent of knights. The other four are more important, politically-oriented roles, as they respectively represent clan officers, grand dukes, lords, and princes. There are also many other ranks, such as Feydnaz, Kyngald and Narkynaz, whose positions in the overall hierarchy is largely unknown.
- Horned Humanoid: Variously have two or four horns on their head. The horns tend to get larger and more pronounced among the higher-ranking Dremora.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Dremora consider the relationship between themselves and mortals akin to the relationship between a huntsman and his prey, with other lesser daedra assisting the hunt as a trained bird of prey or a pack of dogs would assist a mortal hunter.
- Insistent Terminology: Though they are commonly referred to as Dremora, they prefer to identify themselves as "The Kyn", which translates to "The People" in the Daedric language. This is because they consider themselves superior and more intelligent than the other lesser Daedra, which they see as little more than mindless beasts.
- Legions of Hell: Their primary service to Mehrunes Dagon is in this fashion. They are his primary troops while other forms of lesser Daedra serve in other roles.
- Magic Knight: They are capable spell casters in addition to excelling as warriors. They primarily favor Destruction spells and defensive Shield spells.
- Master Race: Dremora believe themselves to be superior to other lesser Daedra, even go so far as to refer to themselves as "The Kyn". Seeing as most lesser Daedra aren't civilized or sentient, they do have a point. However, it is unknown what their view is on the other lesser Daedra that are sentient, such as the Mazken and Aureal, despite interacting with both races to some extent in Battlespire and Morrowind, respectively.
- Monster Lord: Dremora Lords. They have much more health than a standard Dremora, do more damage, have a stronger magical barrier, and almost always come with a higher quality weapon.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Female Dremora possess them.
- No Sense of Direction: As a general rule, they have a poor sense of direction.
- One-Gender Race: Mistakenly believed to be the case by both mortals in-universe and players. There are rare female Dremora in Oblivion, but seeing as they only appear in one caste and don't have spoken lines, this was probably a mistake. Online properly introduces female Dremora and gives them some characterization. (Dremora have a male dominated society and strong Stay in the Kitchen attitudes, with females only serving in combat roles as support troop mages or skirmishers.)
- Playing with Fire: Though have been known to use other spells from the Destruction school of magic, Dremora most frequently use fire-based magic attacks.
- Praetorian Guard: The Valkynaz caste are this to Mehrunes Dagon.
- Proud Warrior Race: Dremora are constantly obsessed with honor through combat. However, some are hinted to have joined the mortals and pursued material wealth.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: They have dark skin tones and hair, sometimes outright black, and will adorn themselves with red markings. They also wear the red and black (and spiky) Daedric armor. As for the "evil", they are most often found in service of Mehrunes Dagon and detest mortals as beneath them.
- Spikes of Villainy: They craft and wear Daedric armor, which features spikes in abundance.
- "Uh-Oh" Eyes: Curiously, their eye color is different in each game, but it's always one of these.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: It's a series tradition that only the high-level Dremora drop the Daedric armor they wear, probably to avoid a Disk One Nuke situation, as Daedric armor is always the best regular set of heavy armor in the game. Possibly because the armor is part of their bodies, as Daedric armor can be summoned by the player, literally summoning a Daedric spirit in the form of a piece of armor. In Oblivion, their weapons can be looted, but they are nowhere close to the power of regular Daedric weapons.
- The Usual Adversaries: In Oblivion, where they are the primary Mooks of Mehrunes Dagon.
- Worthy Opponent: They are typically dismissive of the mortal races, but those who perform well in battle against them can earn their respect.
- Your Soul Is Mine: They have been known to capture mortal souls in this fashion. Most infamously, a Dremora captured the soul of St. Jiub the Eradicator during the Oblivion Crisis.
The Forces of Order are intelligent lesser Daedra in the service of Jyggalag and come in two known forms: Knights and Priests. The Knights wear a full set of metallic armor and are oriented toward melee combat. The Priests wear black robes with metallic armor trim and are oriented toward magical/skirmish combat.
Unlike most forms of lesser Daedra, there are known instances of mortals becoming Priests of Order.
- Animated Armor: Implied to be the case for the Knights. Their armor is their body and it cannot be looted.
- Eternal Recurrence: Their appearance in the Shivering Isles heralds the beginning of the Greymarch.
- Evil Is Sterile: Like Jyggalag, they are said to have absolutely no original thoughts whatsoever.
- Knight Templar: They work for their master Jygglag to put the universe into "perfect order", usually by destroying parts of the Shivering Isles and slaying its inhabitants to make way for his return during the Greymarch.
- Magic Staff: Priests of Order are known to wield Crystal Staves which deal magical Shock damage.
- Keystone Army: They are connected to Jyggalag's Obelisks of Order. Priests can activate the Obelisks and will resurrect if they are killed as long as the Obelisk remains active. Knights spawn from the Obelisks while active. The only way to deactivate an Obelisk is to overload it (by placing the hearts of the Knights into it).
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Though classed as Daedra, according to Dyus there's a distinction between the two sorts of beings.Dyus: The limited imaginations of Mundus inhabitants are very amusing. There are as many types of servants as stars in the sky. Daedra, as you call them, are but one of the more useful. The Knights of Order are yet another. My Lord Jyggalag is partial to their lack of creativity and independence.
- Light Is Not Good: Despite their associations with order and their shiny metal appearances, they serve a destructive deity who stops at nothing in an attempt to put the universe into his idea of "perfect order".
- Order Versus Chaos: They serve the Daedric Prince of Order to destroy the Shivering Isles, home of the chaotic Mad God Sheogorath.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Priests of Order possess a spell which allows them to temporarily summon an Ebony dagger and will use it if they are engaged in close quarters combat.
- Tin Tyrant: Knights of Order are fully encased in metallic armor.
Herne are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra found in service to both Mehrunes Dagon and Hircine. Physically, they are humanoid but possess horns, tails, and cloven feet.
The most famous Herne, Egahirn, was placed in charge of one of Hircine's hunts during the events of Battlespire.
- Combat by Champion: Hircine has been known to put Herne in charge of his hunts when he does not personally participate.
- Fauns and Satyrs: Their design evokes this.
- The Goomba: They are little better than Scamps, having low health, dealing low damage, and lacking the ability to cast spells.
- Horned Humanoid: They have goat-like horns on their heads.
Hungers are a powerful animalistic form of lesser Daedra in service to Boethiah. Sheogorath is also known to keep Hungers as free-ranging "pets" within the Shivering Isles. Physically, they possess long, thin humanoid frames with very little mass. They attack with their weaponized tongue, their razor sharp claws, and by using their sucker-like mouth to drain the stamina of their prey. Some varieties are known to be able to paralyze their prey and disintegrate their armor and weapons.
- Chupacabra: Hungers are very similar in appearance to the "alien-style" Chupacabra, complete with claws, spikes, and a "sucker" mouth.
- Lean and Mean: Hungers are very thin, and extremely aggressive.
- Overly Long Tongue: They have extremely long, weaponized tongues.
- Spikes of Villainy: Their backs are lined with a row of razor sharp spikes.
- Took a Level in Badass: Inverted. In Morrowind, Hungers are one of the toughest Daedric foes around. In addition to their standard strong attack and fatigue drain, they are immune to all forms of Destruction magic and can use Disintigrate Armor/Weapon spells. Later appearances drop these latter two abilities completely.
- Vampiric Draining: Hungers are capable of draining the Fatigue of their prey. In game, this tends to take the form of a spell, but given their appearance (and the fact that the "spell" is immune to Silence), it can be implied that they are really using their sucker-like mouths.
Lurkers are a species of lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora and are native to Apocrypha's waters. Their appearance is as giant humanoids with various amphibious and fish-like features. They attack with their powerful limbs, as well as their mouth tentacles and can spray acid.
- Anti-Magic: They have resistances to every type of Destruction magic except for Shock spells.
- Combat Tentacles: Both in the form of a stream of tentacles coming from their mouths and a stomp that causes poisonous tentacles to appear.
- Giant Mook: Lurkers stand much taller than even the tallest of the playable races, roughly as tall as giants, on average.
- Expy: They are based on the Deep Ones.
- Fish People: They have numerous fish-like traits, including spiny fins, and their faces appear to be modeled after angler fish.
- Healing Factor: They quickly regenerate lost health.
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: They are often found in close proximity to Hermaeus Mora's Black Books and act as their guardians.
- Shockwave Stomp: They can use one which damages and staggers nearby enemies, as well as summons tentacles from the ground which deal additional damage.
- Super Spit: Lurkers can spray acid from their mouths as a form of attack. The acid continues to damage targets for several seconds after initial impact.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Lurkers are an immensely powerful foe, but have no resistance against Paralysis. A simple Paralysis spell or poison can leave them a sitting duck.
Mazken, better known as Dark (or Daedric) Seducers, are an intelligent race of Daedra most frequently found in service to Sheogorath. Their typical appearance is humanoid with skin tones ranging from human-like to shades of blue and purple. Despite their name, they are a humble and introspective race, more willing to deal with mortals than most Daedra. They should still be approached with caution, however, as they are known to be treacherous and deceptive. Mazken typically guard the "Dementia" region of the Shivering Isles, and have a significant rivalry with the Aureal (Golden Saints) who guard the "Mania" region.
- Amazon Brigade: Downplayed. While male Mazken do exist, they are physically inferior and less numerous, leaving the females most fit for combat roles.
- Carry a Big Stick: They primarily use maces and the occassional axe as their favored weapons.
- Chainmail Bikini: Female Mazken wear skimpy, Stripperific armor.
- Characterization Marches On: In Daggerfall, Daedra Seducers are a medium-level spellcaster with no other real distinguishing traits. In Battlespire, they get a major power up (though justified for plot reasons). They (or at least the group present in the game) are stated to have formerly been servants of an agent of Nocturnal before joining Mehrunes Dagon. Come the Shivering Isles, they lose their wings, become more sympathetic, and are stated to be servants of Sheogorath.
- Dark Is Not Evil: As befitting servants of Sheogorath, the Dark Seducers who maintain the dark and dreary Dementia are mostly are polite and sympathetic.
- Does Not Like Men: The male Mazken are looked down upon (literally and figuratively) by the females. Arguably justified given the fact that male Mazken are both physically and statistically inferior to their female counterparts. This trope extends to males of the mortal races, though to a lesser degree than with the Aureal.
- Fantastic Caste System: Similar to the Aureal, they have a caste system with an seven-tier hierarchy, ascending from lowest to highest in rank as follows: Kiskengo, Kiskella, Kiskedrig, Grakendo, Grakella, Grakedrig, Autkendo. An individual's strength and discipline determines their place in this system.
- Fantastic Slur: Like the Aureal, a favored insult of theirs is "dog".
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: Mazken are said to be a treacherous race that will quickly switch allegiances if it becomes beneficial to them. The group of Dark Seducers fought in Battlespire betrayed their former master (a lieutenant of Nocturnal) to side with Mehrunes Dagon when he promised them greater power. Because of this, it's difficult to tell if they've always been servants of Sheogorath or if he is simply their race's most recent master of convenience.
- Magic Knight: Mazken excel in both combat and in spellcasting.
- Matriarchy: Their society is extremely matriarchal, with females filling all leadership positions.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Female Mazken possess them. It is somewhat more justified for them than for other "female" Daedra, as they are known to use their female forms to trick and seduce mortals. (Hence their name.)
- Reasonable Authority Figure: While still a bit haughty, they are far more sympathetic and understanding when dealing with mortals than are the Aureal.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The females are considerably taller than the males.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Male Mazken are significantly weaker and physically smaller than the females.
- Proud Warrior Race: They have a heavily militaristic society, thriving on conflict and warfare. They are known to engage in conflicts with the Aureal (Golden Saints) for both the favor of Sheogorath and simply as an outlet for their aggression.
- Superpowered Evil Side: The Dark Seducers in Battlespire are said to be a group who willingly shifted their allegiance to Mehrunes Dagon, and were rewarded by being remade in the image of Dagon's own greed and treachery — becoming not only physically stronger, but also gifted with powerful bat-winged forms.
- Winged Humanoid: In their Daggerfall and Battlespire appearances. In Battlespire, this is specifically stated to be part of a Super Mode granted to them by Mehrunes Dagon.
Morphoid Daedra are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra found in service to Mehrunes Dagon. Physically, they are humanoid but possess horns, tails, and cloven feet.
- Big Red Devil: Or rather, big orange devils. Their aesthetic plays the trope completely straight.
- Horned Humanoid: Have horns like the Hernes, but are far more demonic in appearance.
- I Want Them Alive: Conversing with one in Battlespire reveals that they were ordered by their Xivilai commander to take the Hero of Battlespire alive.
- Spikes of Villainy: They have large spikes on each shoulder and are known to serve Mehrunes Dagon, one of the more malevolent Daedric Princes.
Ogrim are a brutish form of lesser Daedra with low intelligence, but which possess immense strength. They typically take the form of massive, vaguely reptilian humanoids with large, bulbous stomachs as well as scales, horns, and spikes. Ogrim Titans are an even more powerful type of Ogrim.
Ogrim are primarily associated with Malacath, though they have been known to serve other princes, primarily Molag Bal.
- Dumb Muscle: Ogrim possess monstrous strength, but are said to be extremely dim-witted.
- Expy: Ogrims are essentially Mancubi, minus the cybernetics and arm-cannons. Their design in Online makes them look even more like the Mancubus from Doom II.
- Fat Bastard: Along with elements of Fat Slob and Fat Idiot. Ogrim are are among the largest of the lesser Daedra, with heavy set frames and huge bulbous stomachs. They are also extremely dim-witted and near universally hostile to mortals.
- Giant Mook: Are among the largest of all lesser Deadra, with more body mass than the taller Lurkers and Xivilai. They border on being Smash Mooks, with no other means of attack than their strong physical attacks.
- Healing Factor: Ogrim have strong regenerative abilities.
- Horned Humanoid: They have pronounced horns on their heads.
- Kung Fu-Proof Mook: In Morrowind, Ogrim are completely immune to physical attacks.
- Primal Chest-Pound: In Online, this is how they activate their rapid healing factor. If interrupted, it temporarily stuns them.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: They are hostile reptilian Daedra. Online gives them facial features that cross over with Pig Man.
- Spikes of Villainy: They tend to have a very spiky appearance, are near-universally hostile to mortals, and are most commonly found in service to the "bad" Daedric Princes.
Scamps are a form of sentient lesser Daedra, though with low intelligence. They are also cowardly, and are the weakest known Daedric being, having been known to flee combat when overmatched, and prefer to attack in large numbers to increase their odds. Physically, they are humanoid, smaller than average humans (roughly the size of goblins), with gray skin, long ears, fangs, claws, and tails. Their Morrowind concept art mentions they were the result of a bored Daedric Prince attempting to create his own Mer to play around with and failing miserably.
Scamps are primarily associated with Mehrunes Dagon, and are a favored Daedric summon of even the most novice mortal conjurers.
- Anti-Magic: Scamps have a resistance to fire, both magical and natural. It is said that they are not bothered by heat.
- Cannon Fodder: Their combat role in the armies of Mehrunes Dagon. Often, they can be found in non-combat roles, such as messengers and servants to perform mundane tasks. Mortals are known to use Scamps in these latter roles as well.
- Creepy Long Fingers: Complete with with claws at the end which act as their primary weapon.
- Evil Smells Bad: Scamps are well known and despised for their terrible smell.
- Fun Size: They stand much smaller than the average man and are the smallest known Daedric being.
- The Goomba: Scamps are the weakest of all known lesser Deadra. This is particularly the case in Battlespire, where they are some of the weakest and most easily dispatched enemies in the game.
- Looks Like Orlok: Checks every box saved for the hooked nose (Scamps have nostril slits instead) and the trenchcoat (Scamps don't wear clothes).
- Playing with Fire: Some Scamps are capable of casting minor fire-based spells.
- Pointy Ears: Of the extremely long, triangular variety.
- Primal Stance: While they stop short of walking on all fours, Scamps have very hunched over postures. They're also among the less intelligent of the sentient Daedra.
- Servant Race: While almost every variety of lesser Daedra is one toward one or more of the Daedric Princes, Scamps are especially well known for their roles as servants.
- Token Heroic Orc: In almost every game where they've made an appearance, there is typically at least one non-hostile Scamp who can be conversed with. The Scamp merchant Creeper who appears in Morrowind and Online is one prominent example, although he's hinted to be Barbas in disguise, and thus not a real Scamp.
- "Uh-Oh" Eyes:
- You No Take Candle: Scamps who are able to speak Tamriellic tend to do so in this fashion, sometimes crossing over with Hulk Speak.
- Zerg Rush: They prefer to attack in large numbers to improve their odds.
Seekers are a species of lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora. Their appearance is as betentacled squid-like creatures with four humanoid arms. They can move as smoky shadows, allowing them to cover distance quickly, and possess a variety of strong magical attacks. Seekers typically act as the guardians and caretakers of Apocrypha, especially over the tomes of forbidden knowledge within.
- Badass Bookworm: Typically found reading if there aren't any intruders in Apocrypha for them to attack.
- Cthulhumanoid: Their design evokes Cthulhu.
- Enemy Summoner: Seekers can summon a weaker clone of themselves to aid them in battle. The clone will disintegrate if the Seeker is killed first.
- Homing Projectile: Their spells can home-in on their targets, even if they haven't actually detected the target.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: In addition to their many tentacles, Seekers have four vaguely humanoid arms as well.
- Scary Librarian: Squid-like ones that will attack anything that enters Apocrypha.
- Super Smoke: Seekers can turn into a cloud of "smoky shadows" which allows them to cover distance very quickly and move into close range with enemies. However, they can still be attacked in this state.
- Vampiric Draining: All of their spells drain or absorb the health, magicka, and/or fatigue of their targets.
- The Worf Effect: On a meta level, Seekers are practically designed as a to counter the "stealth archer" build which is well-known for its dominance in Skyrim. A stealth archer attempting to take out a Seeker will find its physical damage resistance absorb most of the damage of the initial stealth shot, while the Seeker then either quickly moves in for a close range fight or fires off powerful spells which home-in on the target even if undetected.
Skaafin are an intelligent form of lesser Daedra in service to Clavicus Vile. Physically, they are humanoid with yellow skin and long, curved goat-like horns on their heads. They are known to vary in size rather drastically, from quite small to larger than an average man. They can often be found with weapons and armor that have a bronze-like appearance.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Skaafin Tyrants are fully encased head to toe in thick, heavy armor.
- Horned Humanoid: They possess long, curved goat-like horns on their heads.
- Legions of Hell: When Clavicus Vile attempts to invade Sotha Sil's Clockwork City in Online, the Skaafin serve as his main fighting force.
Spider Daedra, also sometimes referred to as "Perthan", are intelligent lesser Daedra in service to Mephala. Physically, they appear as a naked humanoid torso attached below the waist to the abdomen, thorax, and legs of a giant spider. Due to their unpredictability, few mortals, including Mephala's own worshipers, are willing to summon them for fear that they will disobey orders.
- Enemy Summoner: They can summon Spiderlings to aid them in battle.
- Magic Knight: Spider Daedra are equally formidable with melee attacks and destruction magic, particularly ranged Poison and Shock spells.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Female Spider Daedra have them.
- Spiders Are Scary: They are powerful and unpredictable lesser Daedra, typically found in service to Mephala, who is one of the more malevolent of the Daedric Princes.
- Spider People: Humanoid torso, Giant Spider legs and lower body.
- Wild Card: Extremely unpredictable and just as likely to attack the summoner as they are to attack whatever they're being summoned against.
Vermai are a blind and aggressive form of lesser Daedra with minimal intelligence, commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon. Physically, they have elongated eyeless faces with humanoid but alien yellowish-green bodies. According to the Dremora, Vermai "have no thoughts". While they can speak, they generally do not do so in any intelligible fashion.
Winged Twilights are an intelligent form of lesser Daedra in service to Azura, whom they often serve as messengers. Physically, they are humanoids with purplish-blue skin, wings attached to their arms, weaponized tails, and bird-like feet complete with sharp talons. Winged Twilights are capable of flight.
- Anti-Magic: They are highly resistant (though not immune) to every form of Destruction magic.
- Attack Reflector: They have the ability to reflect magical attacks back at the caster.
- Bat Out of Hell: They resemble large humanoid bats.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Their primary method of attack is to fly slightly above their target and whip around their sharp, hooked tail. Otherwise, they kick with their taloned feet.
- The Corruption: Grievous Twilights are Winged Twilights which have been corrupted by Molag Bal. They are much more bestial looking and use Teleport Spam when attacking.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Though they serve the typically "good" Azura, they possess traditionally "evil" bat-like wings.
- Harping on About Harpies: They resemble standard harpies, though are more bat-like than bird-like, and are unrelated to Tamriel's actual harpies.
- Mage Killer: Between their strong physical attacks and their ability to reflect/resist magical attacks, Winged Twilights are extremely tough foes for magic oriented individuals to defeat.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: They have the ability to stun opponents with their shrill, high-pitched shrieks.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: They possess them.
- One-Gender Race: All Winged Twilights encountered by mortals to date have been female.
- Winged Humanoid: They have bat-like wings and are capable of flight.
Xivilai are an intelligent and powerful form of lesser Daedra, typically found in service to Mehrunes Dagon but have been known to serve Molag Bal as well. Physically, they are tall and massive humanoids with gray skin and horns. They have a strong dislike of subordination and have a strong tendency toward betrayal.
Xivkyn are a hybrid of Xivilai and Dremora ("Kyn") created by Molag Bal during the events of the Planemeld.
- Anti-Magic: Xivilai possess the ability to absorb incoming spells, negating the spell while increasing their own Magicka reserves.
- Badass Army: The Xivkyn under Molag Bal. Being an unholy hybrid of elite but unruly Xivilai and Proud Warrior Race Dremora is a good justification. They very nearly succeeded in taking over Mundus during the Planemeld while being an implacable fighting force.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Xivilai are noted for their strong tendency toward betrayal.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Xivilai are noted to be skilled torturers who revel in the act, particularly when torturing mortals.
- Elite Mooks: The role of Xivilai in Mehrunes Dagon's Legions of Hell. They also happen to be gigantic.
- Enemy Summoner: Xivilai have the ability to summon Clannfear to aid them in battle.
- Fantastic Caste System:
- Averted for Xivilai. While culturally similar in many ways to the Dremora, Xivilai have no castes stemming from their hatred of subordination and tendency for betrayal.
- Played straight for Xivkyn, which have a caste system like the Dremora.
- Gender Is No Object: Online shows that there are both male and female Xivilai, both of which have similar combat prowess, spellcasting abilities, and status.
- Horned Humanoid: Both Xivilai and Xivkyn have horns similar to Dremora.
- Magic Knight: Xivilai are powerful physical combatants, but also possess the ability to use a variety of damaging magic attacks, including Fire and Shock spells.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Female Xivilai have them.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: Xivilai typically wield weapons that smaller beings require two hands to wield effectively, such as claymores and warhammers. Due to their size and strength, they can wield these weapons one-handed.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Male Xivilai are typically bare-chested.