Daedric Princes (sometimes referred to as Daedra Lords) are the most powerful of the Daedra, and thus most commonly worshipped as gods. Each has a particular sphere, which it is said to govern. The various Daedric Princes and their spheres are listed below. Although Daedric Princes may assume a typically masculine or a typically feminine form, they have no inherent gender. They are usually referred to as Princes regardless of what gender they appear most frequently as. In all, there are 17 powerful Princes known to mortals: Azura, Boethiah, Clavicus Vile, Hermaeus Mora, Hircine, Jyggalag, Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Mephala, Meridia, Molag Bal, Namira, Nocturnal, Peryite, Sanguine, Sheogorath, and Vaermina. According to Mankar Camoran, Lorkhan is also a Daedric Prince, although this has never been confirmed.
Each Daedric Prince is said to have his own plane of Oblivion, suggesting there are sixteens such planes. However, other planes such as the Soul Cairn and the Chimera of Desolation are known to exist, and the limits on their planes, powers, and influence are not readily understood.
The Daedric Princes seem to view men and Elves as little more than minor amusements, occasionally applauding the actions of mortals when they exceed their expectations. They do not know the mortal sense of "good" and "evil", and usually have extremist tendencies, which is why Men and Mer fear them greatly. However, several princes do seem to take genuine pleasure in tremendous acts of devastation, in particular Boethiah, Molag Bal, Vaermina, Mehrunes Dagon and Peryite.
Although the beings are considered evil by most, they are widely worshipped in the realms of Tamriel. Elaborate shrines are created to honor the Daedra as gods. They often take a keen interest in their worshippers, and it is speculated that this is either because of the obvious ego-gratification of being somebody's god, or because the Daedra like to keep an eye on potential future subjects (assuming people of demonic disposition enter Oblivion after death, that is; there are as many afterlife theories as there are religions in the world). Mainstream religious authorities discourage Daedra worship, and often mount witch-hunting expeditions to drive out Daedra worshippers from the local area. During these encounters they are often surprised at the marginal sanity that comes of worshipping the Daedric Princes. For the most part, however, dealing with the Daedra, one gets the distinct impression of being mused over as though a man peering under an upturned rock may momentarily wonder at the lives of the bugs living ignorantly there.
The Daedric Princes see themselves as a superior form of life to all others and feel generally no need for any alliance or truce with any of the mortal races of Tamriel; however, there are Daedric Princes who can be summoned. There is a popular notion that the summoned lords will then give the summoner a quest or task to fulfill and that the quest, once completed, will be richly rewarded. Mostly these tasks are merely for the entertainment of the Daedra. This, however, is not always so, and Morian Zenas, author of On Oblivion, claims that he was able to successfully summon and deal with numerous Daedra without ever being asked to complete a task or a quest. However, this is probably not true of most Daedra summons, and the summoner would do well to consider the consequences of his actions in advance.
While Aedra and Daedra are precisely defined, there are still some beings who challenge this dichotomy in some respects. Malacath, who legend holds was once the Aedra Trinimac, is particularly hostile to other Daedra; he even created Scourge, Bane of Daedra. According to Mankar Camoran, Lorkhan is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is Tamriel. However, this is uncorroborated, and little is known of the mysterious Trickster deity; while some stories suggest Lorkhan was impervious to death similar to a Daedra, he is also accredited with helping to bring about creation similar to an Aedra. Obscure stories also question the origins of Meridia and Mehrunes Dagon.[OOG 1][OOG 2]
For more information on other daedric creatures, see the entry on Daedra.
Azura (also known as Azurah) is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is dusk and dawn, the magic in-between realms of twilight. She is also known as the Queen of Dawn and Dusk, Mother of the Rose, Queen of the Night Sky, and the Anticipation of Sotha Sil. Azura is one of the few Daedra who maintains the appearance of being "good" by mortal standards, and presumably feels more concern for the well-being of her mortal subjects than other Daedric Princes. She is one of the few Daedric Princes who constantly maintains a female image, and is perceived accordingly.
Moonshadow is Azura's plane of Oblivion, where she lives in a rose palace. It is reportedly blindingly beautiful and colorful, with flowers, waterfalls, trees, and a city of silver. The Winged Twilights are her servants.
See the full article on Azura for more information
Boethiah (also spelled Boethia) is the Daedric Prince who rules over deceit, conspiracy, secret plots of murder, assassination, treason, and unlawful overthrow of authority. Boethiah is also known as the Prince of Plots, Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, and Goddess of Destruction. Boethiah loves competition and battle, and is depicted as a great caped warrior, often in a stoic pose. Though typically depicted as male, Boethiah is occasionally referred to as female, though such distinctions are irrelevant among the Daedric princes.
He is known in the Dunmer society for his association with Almalexia; the Tribunal Temple taught that he was her anticipation, while the New Temple preaches that he was reclaimed his right position. Heralded by the Prophet Veloth, Boethiah is the original god-ancestor of the Dark Elves. Through his illuminations, the eventual Chimer, or Changed Folk, renounced all ties to the Aldmer and founded a new nation based on Daedric principles. This worship of Boethiah supposedly came about when he corrupted the Elven God Trinimac (some stories say he ate Trinimac) and took on his form, tricking Veloth and his followers into worshipping him. All manner of Dark Elven cultural 'advances' are attributed to Boethiah, from philosophy to magic to 'responsible' architecture. Ancient Velothi allegories are foundation stories of Chimeri struggle where Boethiah uniformly succeeds against enemies of every type.
For more information, see the article on Boethiah.
Clavicus Vile is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the granting of power and wishes through ritual invocations and pact. Clavicus has a companion named Barbas. While capable of selective shapeshifting, the form it assumes most of the time is that of a dog. Clavicus himself is depicted as a small jovial fellow with horns protruding from his forehead. He is aptly described as a Daedra who likes souls for the sake of having them.
For more information, see the article on Clavicus Vile.
Hermaeus Mora is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the scrying of the tides of Fate, of the past and future as read in the stars and heavens, and in whose dominion are the treasures of knowledge and memory. His name is also spelled Hoermius Mora, Hormaius Mora, or Herma-Mora. Also called the "Prince of Fate", "Lord of Secrets", and "Demon of Knowledge", he is vaguely related to the cult origins of the Morag Tong if only by association with his sibling, Mephala. Unlike most Princes, Hermaeus Mora does not take on a humanoid form at all, living instead as a grotesque green mass of tentacles and claws or a purple and black vortex known as the Wretched Abyss. His servants include Seekers and Lurkers.
Apocrypha is Hermaeus Mora's plane of Oblivion, an endless library where all forbidden knowledge can be found. The books all have black covers with no titles, and the library is haunted by ghosts forever searching for knowledge.
For more information, see the article on Hermaeus Mora.
Hircine is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the Hunt, the Sport of Daedra, the Great Game, the Chase, and is known as the Huntsman and the Father of Manbeasts. Hircine created the various therianthropic diseases which transform mortals into beasts, and is therefore the guardian of were-creatures. They reflect his sphere admirably, hunting at night and being hunted by day. Hircine's existence appears to have been discovered later than other Daedric Princes, as he doesn't appear in the most ancient records and summonings of him were rare or non-existent. Hircine is a sportsman who enjoys giving his prey a chance for victory, however small. He is typically portrayed with a great spear and either the head or skull of a deer. For more information, see the article on Hircine.
Jyggalag is the Daedric Prince of Order, but until the Third Era not much was known about him in Tamriel beyond his name. Jyggalag commands his own Daedra, the Knights of Order, which are spawned from obelisks summoned by his followers, the Priests of Order.
For more information see the main lore page.
Malacath is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the patronage of the spurned and ostracized, the keeper of the Sworn Oath, and the Bloody Curse. Malacath was created when Boethiah ate the Altmeri ancestor spirit, Trinimac, although Malacath himself says that this tale is far too "literal minded". Trinimac's devout Elven followers became the Orsimer ("Pariah Folk" in Elvish), or Orcs. Some disagree, claiming that Trinimac still exists and Malacath is a separate entity. Malacath is not recognized as a Daedric Lord by his peers, which fits his sphere perfectly. The Dunmer say he is also Malak (or Malauch), the god-king of the Orcs and one of the Four Corners of the House of Troubles that tests the Dunmer for physical weakness. Other names include "Mauloch", the "God of Curses", "Orkey", or "Old Knocker". Malacath spurns physical weakness, hence the above-average strength of the creatures associated with him. The hideous and stupid Ogrim are the servants of this "bad daedra".
Malacath is allied with Mephala and his enemy is Ebonarm. His summoning day is 8th of Frost Fall. His plane of Oblivion is Ashpit, which is described as consisting only of dust, palaces of smoke, and vaporous creatures: "anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash filled the bitter air". Levitation and magical breathing are necessary to survive there. Malacath's shrine in Cyrodiil, where he is depicted as a muscular Orc ready to strike with a heavy weapon, is patronized entirely by Orcs who hate "beautiful people".
For more information, see the article on Malacath.
Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Change, Revolution, Energy, and Ambition. He is associated with natural dangers like fire, earthquakes, and floods. He is an especially important deity in Morrowind, where he represents its near-inhospitable terrain as one of the Four Corners of the House of Troubles. In most cultures, though, Dagon is merely a god of bloodshed and betrayal. Dagon's plane of Oblivion is known as Deadlands. As the name suggests, they are barren wastelands, consisting of blackened isles in a sea of lava. The Dremora, Clannfear and Scamps are among his servants.
For more information, see the Lore article on Mehrunes Dagon.
Mephala is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is obscured to mortals, also known by the names Webspinner, Spinner, Spider, and the Anticipation of Vivec. Unlike many other Daedric Princes, who almost always appear as the same gender (e.g. Azura is always female, Sheogorath is always male), Mephala appears as either male or female depending on whom the Daedric Prince wishes to ensnare (though she's typically female). Mephala's only consistent theme seems to be interference in the affairs of mortals for amusement. Mephala's sphere seems to indicate a careful plan carried out through executions, each life a portion of a massive web. It is little wonder that Hermaeus Mora, the "Demon of Knowledge", is considered Mephala's sibling. Mephala sees the affairs of mortals as a weave; pull but one thread and the whole thing unravels. The Dunmer associate Mephala with more simple concepts—lies, sex, and murder. Mephala directly helped to found the infamous cult/society of the Morag Tong, and they claim to murder for the daedra's glory. Some scholars also argue that when the Morag Tong was banished from the rest of Tamriel, they were allowed to continue to operate in Morrowind when they replaced their worship of Mephala with that of Vivec. As a reaction to this, the Dark Brotherhood was formed, being led by the mysterious Night Mother, who some insist is just another form of Mephala.
For more information, see the main lore page.
Meridia, Lady of Infinite Energies, is an obscure Daedric Prince, and very little is known about her by mortals except that she is associated with the energies of living things. Meridia has a great and everlasting hatred for the undead and will greatly reward any who eliminate them from the world. Some Daedra Seducers are also in her service. Her realm is inhabited by the Aurorans. Mankar Camoran (incorrectly) attributed Coldharbour to her, which is the realm of Molag Bal, one of her enemies (along with Ebonarm). She was responsible for the destruction of the Ayleid city of Abagarlas. Her day of summoning is the 13th of Morningstar. It is stated that Meridia is one of the few Daedric Princes that are considered to be not wholly evil. She granted immortality to her champion, Umaril the Unfeathered, the ancient Ayleid enemy of Pelinal Whitestrake. Her Aurorans and Umaril returned during the time of the Oblivion Crisis to seek vengeance on the Divines. To the Ayleids, she represented their fourth element, light.
Molag Bal is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals. He is known as the King of Rape and the Harvester of Souls. 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. One legend claims that Molag Bal created the first vampire when he raped a Nedic virgin, who in turn slaughtered a group of nomads. He also made pacts with other mortals and turned them into vampires such as Lord Harkon and his family. Thus it is implied Lord Harkon and his family are the original Volkihar Clan of vampires being directly turned by the Daedric Prince himself. He is a Daedric power of much importance in Morrowind, where he is always the archenemy of Boethiah, the Prince of Plots. Other enemies are Ebonarm and Mephala. His summoning day is Chil'a. In Aldmeris, his name means Fire Stone.
Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion is Coldharbour. The book The Doors of Oblivion says that his plane resembles a copy of Nirn, including the Imperial Palace, but all desecrated and ruined. The ground is sludge, the sky is on fire, and the air is freezing. The Daedroths are typically counted among his servants.
For more information, see the article on Molag Bal.
Namira, or Namiira, the Lady of Decay, is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the ancient darkness. She is known as the Spirit Daedra, ruler of sundry dark and shadowy spirits, and is often associated with spiders, insects, slugs, and other repulsive creatures which inspire mortals with an instinctive revulsion. Namira also appears to be associated with beggars and the beggaring gifts of disease, pity and disregard.
Nocturnal, who is also known as the Night Mistress, the Mistress of Shadows, The Unknowable, Daughter of Twilight, The Mistress of Mystery and The Saint of Suspicion is the "Daedric Princess" whose sphere is the night and darkness.
Nocturnal possesses several realms throughout Oblivion. One such realm, Shade Perilous was once accessible through the Battlespire, but the realm has been isolated since the Battlespire's destruction. The Twilight Sepulcher is the temple to Nocturnal which houses the Ebonmere, a conduit to the Evergloam, which is guarded by the Nightingale Sentinels. For more information, see the main lore page.
Peryite, also known as the Taskmaster, is the Daedric Prince whose spheres are order and pestilence. Peryite is depicted as a four legged dragon and is considered one of the weakest Daedric Princes. He appears to take pleasure in "blessing" his worshippers with diseases, and is considered one of the more destructive daedra. Peryite's enemies are Ebonarm, Vaermina, and Mephala. His summoning day is the Ninth of Rain's Hand. Peryite's plane of Oblivion is known as The Pits. It consists of the lowest reaches of Oblivion, resembling a fiery and gloomy hell similar to the Deadlands. Despite being one of the weaker Princes, Peryite often takes the form of a dragon. He has also been known to appear as ghostly apparitions of vermin, such as skeevers.
Sanguine is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is hedonistic revelry, debauchery, and passionate indulgences of darker natures. Fittingly, he often appears on the seals and signs of brothels and whorehouses. Sanguine is depicted as a portly man with a dremora-like head with horns, always with a bottle in his hand or a whore under his thumb. He is thought to control thousands of realms, and his enemies are Ebonarm and the Benevolence of Mara. His summoning day is Heart's Day.
The term sanguine can mean either "cheerfully optimistic" or "bloody"; the double meaning is appropriate for a prince whose realm encompasses both the light and dark sides of passion.
Sheogorath is the Daedric Prince of Madness, whose motives are said to be unknowable. His realm is known as the Shivering Isles, the Madhouse, or the Asylums. The Golden Saints, or Aureals, and Dark Seducers, or Mazken, are his servants. For more information, see the Lore article.
Vaermina (also spelled Vaernima) is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is the realm of dreams and nightmares, and from whose realm evil omens issue forth. She is known as "Vaernima the Gifter" and "Weaver of the Panoply". She is seen as one of the "demonic" Daedra, and some have also claimed her sphere ties somehow to torture. Vaermina's plane of Oblivion is Quagmire. It is described as a nightmare realm, where every few minutes reality shifts and becomes ever more horrifying. "A dark castle one moment, a den of ravening beasts the next, a moonlit swamp, a coffin where he was buried alive."
For more information, see the main lore article.
- ^ Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor
- ^ Modern Heretics — Haderus of Gottlesfont
- ^ The Anticipations — Anonymous
- ^ a b The Book of Daedra
- ^ On Oblivion — Morian Zenas
- ^ The Doors of Oblivion — Seif-ij Hidja
- ^ The True Nature of Orcs
- ^ Mankar Camoran's dialogue in Skyrim.
- ^ The Monomyth
- ^ Spirit of Nirn, God of Mortals
Note: the following references are not found in game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.
- ^ The Seven Fights of The Aldudagga, The Imperial Library
- ^ Imperial Census of Daedra Lords, The Imperial Library