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There are a multitude of gods in the Elder Scrolls series, many of whom are worshipped by numerous cultures. Because of this, attributes, names, and views of the gods often change depending on the culture of the speaker. The most common gods are the et'Ada ("original spirits") who are split into two groups: the Aedra ("Our ancestors") and the Daedra ("Not our ancestors"), who are described in detail in their own sections. This section will cover the lesser known gods Anu, Padomay, and Lorkhan.
One of the two primal forces, Anu is often associated with creation and order, as well as the Aedra.
- Powers That Be: Is the primordial force of order far beyond any Aedra or Daedra.
- Order vs. Chaos: Anu's interactions with Sithis were responsible for the creation of the Aedra and Daedra as well as the formation of the Aurbis.
Padomay (a.k.a. Sithis)
One of the two primal forces, Padomay is often associated with destruction and chaos, as well as the Daedra. Despite these traits, Padomay is viewed as being responsible for Lorkhan's coming into being, and, by extension, the creation of Mundus (the dimension of Nirn). Sometimes called Sithis, he is worshipped by the Dark Brotherhood, an order of assassins.
- Powers That Be: Same as Anu, except that Padomay is the primordial force of chaos.
- Order vs. Chaos: See Anu.
Lorkhan (a.k.a. Shor, Sep, Shezarr)
Despised by most elves and loved by most humans, Lorkhan is the god who (along with the Aedra) created Mundus. Why he did this depends on the culture, with men (except Redguards) typically thinking it as a good thing while elves (except Dunmer) think it was evil. He had his heart removed (who did this depends on the culture) during the Dawn Era. May or may not be considered an Aedra.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe: An evil, manipulative monster who tricked everyone out of being gods, or a benevolent savior who wishes to bring enlightenment and created Mundus to do so?
- Is he an Aedra, for suggesting the creation of Mundus, or a Daedra, due to his Padomaic basis, and his lack of sacrifice?
- Beat Still, My Heart
- Death Is Cheap: In Skyrim, the player can travel to Sovngarde, the Nordic afterlife, where the testimony of those present indicates that Shor is alive and well. The reason why he isn't physically present is because his 'mien is too bright for mortal eyes'.
- God Couple: With Kyne or Mara, depending on the religion. Sometimes both.
- God Is Evil: To the mer.
- God Is Dead: Doesn't stop him from incarnating himself every once in a while, though.
- God Is Good: To men, especially Nords.
- God in Human Form: All the gods can do this, but Lorkhan has to do it because he is dead.
- God Is Inept: The Altmer think of him as a "limit", according to their creation myth (linked above).
- Good Is Not Nice: Shor is a bloodthirsty warrior king. However, Nords probably think of that as a good thing.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Some views of him include this.
- Top God: To the Nords.
- War God: He's described as a 'bloodthirsty warrior king'.
Divine beings that took part in the creation of the world, sacrificing parts of themselves and vast amounts of their powers. While often worshipped by mortals, the have much less power or influence on the world than the Daedra, but help in times of need.
The most powerful and important Aedra are the Eight Divines. Due to the ascension of Tiber Septim (described below) and his transformation into the god Talos, a new pantheon was created, the Nine Divines.
They typically inhabit Aetherius, the Immortal Plane, thought to be the origin of all magic. It is a commonly held belief that the souls of the deceased, assuming they aren't tied to the earth or taken by the Daedra, continue to live on in this realm as spirits. It is also believed that the sun and stars are actually portals to Aetherius, and the source of all magic.
Tropes applicable to all the Divines
- Christianity: Their churches and followers often draw parrallels to Christianity, despite a number of differences.
- Divine Intervention: The few times they actually exhert their power on Mundus are usually the last push to save the world.
- God Is Inept: The creation of Mundus took most of their power, making them much less influential than the Daedric Princes.
- Good Is Not Nice: After they realized that Lorkhan, the god who suggested the creation of Mundus, only wanted it as his own personal playground and sacrificed their power instead of his own, they got even. How? They tore out his heart and threw it at Nirn.
- Order vs. Chaos: Are Anuic (Order) aligned vs the Padomaic (Chaos) aligned Daedra.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When they realized how much Mundus took out of them, they took off as quickly as they could. Supposedly, the sun and the stars were created when they broke through the dimension.
Akatosh, (a.k.a. Aka, Auriel, Tosh'Raka)
The Dragon God of Time.
- God Is Good: To most races. The Argonians have no word for time and the Dunmer don't say much.
- Mad God: According to an obscure text, he is utterly insane.
- Split Personality: Most of the Aedra, but Akatosh gets it the most.
- Time Master: More like he is time.
- Top God: To Imperials, Bretons, and Altmer. Also to Bosmer, but he is not the most important.
Arkay (aka Orkey)
God of Life and Death. His followers are usually found in the Halls of the Dead around Skyrim or other cemeteries and crypts.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: One book claims that much like Talos he too ascended to godhood.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Averted due to Arkay being the God of Death and Life. Most people think of him as a compassionate god who sometimes has to do bad things so that something good will happen elsewhere.
- Played straight with his Old Nordic aspect, Orkey, the Old Knocker, who is despised by Nords for giving them shorter lifespans than mer in their mythology.
- The Medic: Well, his blessing fortifies your hit points for a limited time, anyway.
Goddess of Beauty. She is found primarily in Cyrodiilic and Nordic traditions.
- Hot God: A god of beauty, so...
- Innocent Flower Girl: She is always shown holding a delicate white flower. Her followers are not necessarily so innocent.
- Love Goddess: Of a more carnal sort than Mara.
Julianos (a.k.a. Jhunal)
God of Wisdom and Logic. The Ancestor Moths and other orders dedicated to knowledge typically see him as their patron deity, and he is believed to govern magic in general as well.
- The Smart Guy: Of the Aedric pantheon.
Kynareth (a.k.a. Kyne)
Goddess of Air, according to some myths the first et'ada to agree to Lorkhan's plans to create Mundus. Known as Tava in Yokudan tradition, Kyne to the Nords, and Khenarthi in to Khajiit.
- Friend to All Living Things: All natural things, anyway. Zombies need not apply.
- Lady of War: Most notable in Nordic religion, she is the warrior-wife and widow of Shor.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Taught the Nords Thu'um, sending Paarhturnaax to do so.
Goddess of Love, Mara is found in almost all Tamrielic religions.
- Love Goddess: While Dibella focuses more on the carnal pleasures of love, Mara is more about commitment and matrimony.
- Tenchi Solution: She's sometimes depicted as one of Shor's wives, along with Kyne.
Stendarr (a.k.a. Stuhn)
God of Mercy and Compassion; a protector deity.
- God Is Good: For Men, apparently. He's described as an "apologist of Men", and he'll often intervene to protect humans against supernatural threats.
- Knight Templar: One sect of worshippers, the Vigilant of Stendarr, claim that they are doing his will by wiping out any and all traces of Daedra, vampires, werewolves, or any other supernatural creatures that prey on mortals. The fact that some of these creatures may not be evil never comes up.
Zenithar (a.k.a. Tsun)
The God of Commerce and Trade. His province is mercantile, barter, labor, communication and the middle class.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's described as the "most in touch" with mortal affairs, due to his belief that hard work and fair play is the key to peace and prosperity.
- Invincible Hero: According to his worshippers, he is "the god who will always win".
- Xanatos Gambit: This is apparently his field of expertise, as no matter what, he will stand to gain from any action.
Divine beings that did not take part in the creation of the world, but are often involved in the affairs of mortals. Most tend to be seen as evil, often drawing comparisons to demons, though this varies between cultures.
The most powerful and important of the Daedra are the Daedric Princes. They typically inhabit various planes of Oblivion, though they are known to journey to Mundus from time to time. Mortals who gain their favor become their champions, and are gifted with one of their artifacts, a unique and enchanted item. There are 17 known Daedric Princes following the events of Shivering Isles. 16 appear in Daggerfall, 7 appear in Morrowind, all 17 appear in Oblivion, but only 16 of them are appear in Skyrim. Note that while they may appear as male or female, Daedric Princes are beyond any such qualification.
Tropes applicable to all Daedric Princes:
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: All of them to some extent, except perhaps for Hermaeus Mora. Because of this, it is speculated that You Cannot Grasp the True Form.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Mortals tend to see them as evil or good (mostly evil), but Daedric Princes often insist they are far beyond these petty limits. Even the "good" Daedra would point out that applying human morality to beings like the Daedra operates on certain flawed assumptions.
- 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.
- That said, most of them don't actively hate each other. Then again, they don't mention each other often.
- Jerkass Gods: Most of them.
- Kick the Dog/Pet the Dog: Due to their Blue and Orange Morality, above, they can do either, and probably don't see much difference between the two. For example, Sheogorath's quest in Oblivion has you convincing a village that the world is about to end, driving them to mass hysteria. In Skyrim, you need to treat an insane emperor of his (many) psychological issues in order to convince Sheogorath to end his "vacation" and return to repair the Shiverine Isles.
- Order vs. Chaos: Are Padomaic aligned as opposed to Anuic aligned. (Though Jyggalag may be an exception since he represents Order.)
- Physical God
Sphere: Dawn and Dusk, Twilight
Artifacts: Azura's Star, Moon and Star Ring of Nerevar
The Daedra Prince of Dusk and Dawn, Lady of Prophecy. The fact that she actively strives to bring those prophecies to fruition is something she would rather you would ignore. While often considered one of the most benevolent of the Daedra Lords, she has shown a very cruel and petty side on numerous occasions, from cursing an entire race (the Dumner) to the betrayal of one Ezhmaar Sul. Her most common symbols are a moon and a star.
In Daggerfall, she asks you to kill a priest. In Morrowind, she asks you to destroy 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.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her statue in Skyrim. Her appearance in Daggerfall is actually topless, as are her statues in Oblivion and Morrowind (they just aren't detailed enough to show her nipples), while her appearance the two times she shows up in person in Morrowind is more modest.
- Berserk Button: Do not shirk her if you worshiped her before.
- Benevolent Boss: If you worship her and stay loyal, she will watch out for you.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In Skyrim: 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: Her response to the Tribunal's very existence? Curse the whole species to have dark skin and red eyes. And then raise up a reincarnation of Nerevar to kill the Tribunal and proudly display her symbols on a special ring.
- She may not actually have cursed the Dunmer, just pointed out the whole dark skin/red eyes thing (which, when you get down to it, isn't really a horrific curse, either). That said, she did knew that the thing in the spoiler would lead to bad consequences for Morrowind, like a small moon falling down on a city and triggering a massive volcanic eruption.
- This being the Elder Scrolls, there is an alternate theory: she showed up to curse the leaders and pointed out the Chimer had turned ashen-faced while she was at it. The fact that no explanation for why or how they were transformed was included meant she got the blame. Even then, the trope still applies: the thing we know she did back then led directly and with her foreknowledge to the devastation of Morrowind.
- Eldritch Location: The realm of Moonshadow, said to be so extremely beautiful that the viewer is half-blinded by it, and where Azura resides in a Rose Palace in a city made of silver.
- Evil Pays Better: The (mostly) good end of her Skyrim questline is to purify Azura's Star, receiving it as a reusable white 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 humans souls are the best for enchanting.
- Good Is Not Nice
Sphere: Deceit, Conspiracy, Betrayal
Artifacts: Goldbrand, Eltonbrand, Ebony Mail
The Daedric Prince of anarchy. Has an intense love of trickery and combat. Not a nice prince, although Dunmer tradition disagrees on that. Boethiah is one of two Daedric Princes who has not chosen a definitive gender (gender being a mortal construct). Boethiah appears as a man in Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion, and appears as a woman in Skyrim.
In Daggerfall, he/she asks you to kill a spellsword. In Morrowind, he/she asks you to build a statue of him/her. In Oblivion, he/she asks you to participate in his Tournament of Ten Bloods. In Skyrim, he/she asks you to kill all of his/her followers, and later kill his/her previous champion.
- Ambiguous Gender: A few of the Daedric Prince's get this, but it occurs to Boethiah the most. In Oblivion, he has a male voice and is referred to as 'he', while in Skyrim, she has a female voice but is referred to as both he and she by her cultists. Sometimes in the same sentence.
- Arch Enemy: To Molag Bal.
- Bad Boss: If you worship him/her, be prepared to have to murder other people if you want to live.
- He/She demands his/her followers independently follow their own desires... just as long as those desires are completely in line with his/her own. The minute a follower fails that balancing act, things turn ugly.
- Black Knight: His/Her usual appearance, though this may be the original appearance of Trinimac (now Malacath) that he/she swallowed/corrupted that he/she took.
- Blood Knight: His quest in Oblivion is basically a tournament in his Oblivion Plane. What's the tournament's purpose? None, he's just that bored.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He/she exists to cause and exacerbate the condition in mortals. In a way, he/she embodies it.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option
- Demonic Possession: By way of Human Sacrifice in Skyrim. Boethiah apparently finds mortal flesh distasteful.
- For the Evulz
- If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten: Summoning Boethiah in Skyrim requires you to prove you are treacherous enough to work for him/her. To do that, you need to find someone who trusts you enough to follow you, take them to Boethiah's altar, and sacrifice them.
- I Have Many Names: Prince of Plots, Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, and Goddess of Destruction among them.
- Let's You and Him Fight
- Manipulative Bastard
- Trickster God
Sphere: Wishes, Pacts
Artifacts: Masque of Clavicus Vile, Umbra, Bitter Cup, The Rueful Axe
This daedric prince is notable for appearing to be a very short man or a young boy. He owns a dog named Barbas which frequently likes to contradict him.
- Deal with the Devil: He has a particular liking for doing this, and making those who make the deals regret it.
- Hell Hound: Subverted; Barbas may look intimidating in the statues, but he actually serves as his master's conscience. When we finally see his real body in Skyrim, he's not even scary.
- Horned Humanoid
- Jackass Genie: He acts like this when Barbas isn't around to stop him-or more specifically, he grants wishes in such a way that the most death can result. Good thing he can't ditch Barbas without losing most of his power...
- Morality Pet: Literally; Barbas is his external conscience.
Sphere: Fate, Knowledge
Artifacts: Oghma Infinium
The Daedric Prince of knowledge. Unlike most, never bothers with a humanoid form, preferring a many-tentacled one in depictions and incarnation.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is always characterized as this. In Oblivion it is a menacing kind of deep, while in Skyrim it is has a soothing, grandfatherly tone.
- Eldritch Abomination: All of the Daedra and even the Aedra probably qualify as this, but Hermaeus Mora is the only one who routinely appears as a Lovecraftian mass of tentacles, eyes and claws.
- Eldritch Location: Apocrypha, home to all forbidden knowledge, filled with invisible ghosts floating among endless, shadowy bookshelves.
- Great Big Book of Everything: His artifact. Reading it will give the Player Character a stat boost, and then it will vanish, presumably before you read too much.
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge
- Library of Babel
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: At least in Daggerfall.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Hermaeus Mora is the keeper of all of this.
- Some of the lore says he is/arose from knowledge that cannot exist (detritus concepts ejected from reality, that sort of thing), rendering him not only the keeper of things man was not meant to know, but also making him something man cannot get, not even if they are on Sheogorath's Golden Path.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: His Iconic Item, the Oghma Infinium.
Sphere: The Hunt
Artifacts: Hircine's Ring, Spear of Bitter Mercy, Saviour's Hide
He is the patron of werewolves and lives solely for the hunt.
- Big Bad: Of The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind Bloodmoon expansion.
- Blood Knight: The Blood Knight of the Elder Scrolls series.
- Egomaniac Hunter
- Horned Humanoid
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: It's why he likes werewolves; they hunt mortals by night, but are hunted by them during the day.
- Meaningful Name: The word "hircine" means "goat-like" in the English language, although Hircine's forms tend to resemble a deer.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: He is the creator of werebeasts, which include werelions, werecrocodiles, werebears, werewolves, and wereboars. Only the last two have been seen in the games.
- Shape Shifter: He has several different forms he uses to present himself to mortals, each of which represents a different aspect of his.
- The Wild Hunt
- Wild Wilderness: His realm - endless plains and forests where the inhabitants forever hunt and are hunted.
- Worthy Opponent: His whole purpose for being is finding, creating, testing and watching these, whether they win or lose.
The Daedric Lord of Order, who grew too powerful, causing the other Princes to trap him in the form of Sheogorath, the Prince of Madness. He is the most elusive of the Daedric Princes, only appearing once for a short time every one thousand years, and only sppearing once in the entire series.
- Always a Bigger Fish: The reason he was cursed into becoming Sheogorath is because he had grown so powerful, the other Princes saw him as a threat.
- Big Bad: Of The Shivering Isles.
- Control Freak
- Creative Sterility: Sheogorath claims he is bad at coming up with original ideas.
- Ironic Hell: His existence as Sheogorath in the Shivering Isles was basically this.
- Knight Templar: The Daedra under him are even called Knights of Order.
- One of These Is Not Like the Others: Is very Anuic in nature compared to the other generally chaotic to varying degrees Daedric Princes.
- Sealed Inside a Daedric Prince Shaped Can
- Tin Tyrant
Sphere: The Ostracized
Artifacts: Scourge, Volendrung
Daedric Prince of Curses and the Spurned, and patron Daedra of the Orcs.
- All of the Other Reindeer: The rest of the Daedric pantheon doesn't consider him 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: Big believer in this.
- Death World: His realm, known as the Ashpit, will kill you in minutes unless you're magically protected due to being made up entirely of choking soot (even the buildings). Flight is a requirement at all times.
- Drop the Hammer
- Katanas Are Just Better: Despite his signature weapon being the hammer, Volendrung, staues depicting him wielding a katana are common at places where he is worshipped.
- 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.
- Papa Wolf: Do not mess with his followers.
- Was Once An Aldmeri: He used to be an Aldmeri hero named Trinimac, then Boethiah ate him. The remains became Malacath. As a result, his followers became the Orcs.
Sphere: Destruction, Change, Revolution, Energy, and Ambition
Artifacts: Mehrune's Razor, Mysterium Xarxes
He likes change, ambition and destruction, especially destruction. He spent two whole games (Battlespire and Oblivion) trying to Take Over the World.
- Ambition Is Evil
- Big Bad: For Battlespire and Oblivion
- Big Red Devil
- Blood Knight: To the point where he sends dremora to kill his own followers.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: His realm, the Deadlands.
- For the Evulz: Espically in Skyrim.
- Horned Humanoid
- Ironic Hell: Imagine you were a being who's 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 Nirn; it would be stress relief for him.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous
- Omnicidal Maniac
- Path of Inspiration: The cult dedicated to him, the Mythic Dawn.
- Take Over the World: So that he can then destroy it.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Mysterium Xarxes.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To the point where, in Skyrim, he first tells the player to kill the Mythic Dawn cultist who helped the player, then sends some dremora to kill the player.
Sphere: The Unknown, Manipulation
Artifacts: Ebony Blade
Also known as the Webspinner and the Lady of Whispers, her true sphere is unknown to mortals.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: At least in her Daggerfall incarnation.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Many consider Mephala to be a "good" daedra.
- The Chessmaster: She's generally characterized by complex, long-reaching plans, likened to spider webs.
- The Corrupter: She loves to see how she can fray the "web" of human relationships, and takes a particular joy in the betrayal of trust or minor slights tearing entire towns apart.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-universe example: Sexuality falls under Mephala's purview.
- It Amused Me: Why she corrupts mortals.
- Manipulative Bastard: Pretty much the trope's Patron Daedroth.
- 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.
Sphere: Life Energy
Artifacts: Ring of Khajiiti, Dawnbreaker
Her sphere is obscured to mortals, but Meridia is often associated with the energy of living things.
- Berserk Button: Undead and Necromancy seem to be the only reasons she ever interacts with mortal affairs, usually to have them wiped out. Also, don't mess with her shrines.
- Cool Sword: Her artifact Dawnbreaker that glows close to the undead and makes them explode.
- Disproportionate Retribution: A group of Ayleid 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.
- Friend to All Living Things: Except for the undead and those who create them.
- Good Is Not Soft
- Light Is Good / Light Is Not Good: Her association with Light and life makes her one of the few Daedra not considered inherently evil. On the other hand, she, along with her servants the Aurorans, are allies of Umaril, an Ayleid sorceror-king who wants to overthrow the Nine Divines and enslave humanity.
- Show Some Leg
- Winged Humanoid: Her statue in Skyrim.
Sphere: Enslavement, Domination
Artifacts: Mace of Molag Bal
- Arch Enemy: To Boethiah.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The lesser denizens of Oblivion usually just nod and agree with everything he says.
- Big Bad: For The Elder Scrolls Online.
- Creepy Monotone
- The Corrupter: One of his favourite things - seeing a good and noble person snap, fall or break.
- Eldritch Location: His realm is Coldharbour, said to look like a future Nirn filled with nothing but suffering.
- Evil Laugh
- Faux Affably Evil
- For the Evulz
- God of Evil: Most of the Daedra are Jerkass Gods to some degree or another, but still have redeeming qualities. Not Molag Bal.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Molag Bal, the King of Rape. In fact, he created the first vampire by raping a Nede woman.
- Rape, Pillage and Burn: He loves doing all three.
- Obviously Evil: Once again, King of Rape.
- Your Soul Is Mine: He loves corrupting people and taking their souls.
Sphere: The Ancient Darkness, the Grotesque
Artifacts: Namira's Ring
- Absolute Cleavage
- Blessed with Suck: According to the book "Beggar Prince", she did this to the beggars, by cursing them to always have diseases that made them repulsive, and to invoke pity and disregard in others. This made 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: She favors this.
- Grotesque Cute: She usually associated with things most would consider disgusting or repulsive, such as slugs, spiders, or disfiguring diseases.
- I'm a Humanitarian: At least in Skyrim, where she is the patron of a cult of cannibals.
- Nature Is Not Nice: Happens to also represent the nastier aspects of nature.
- Nightmare Fetishist: To put it mildly.
Sphere: Night, Darkness, Thieves, Luck
Artifacts: Skeleton Key, Eye of Nocturnal, Bow of Shadows, The Gray Cowl
Also known as "The Night Mistress" and "Lady Luck", and is regarded as the patron of the Thieves Guild.
- Absolute Cleavage: In Skyrim.
- Always Night: Her realm, Evergloam, if it's anything like its name.
- Dark Is Not Evil/Dark Is Evil: It depends on the game, really.
- 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...but it's a contract, not a blessing. Three champions known as the Nightingales swear absolute loyalty to her, pledging their souls to guard her conduit to the mortal realms even after they die. After serving their term as spectral guardians, they become the shadows and the luck that aids all living thieves. These champions receive special armour, powers, privileges and the freedom to do as they wish with all three with the condition that they always guard the conduit - fail and they will lose all their gifts, and all thieves will have a sudden run of supernaturally bad luck, until it's reconsecrated.
- In the Hood: All of her appearances have her wearing a hooded cloak.
- Meaningful Name: Pretty obvious.
- Ravens and Crows: She has two of them.
- The Sacred Darkness: Lords over Luck.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: This is how Karliah describes Nocturnal in Skyrim, as a mother that offers little praise but always pushes you to do better.
Sphere: Pestilence, the Natural Order, Tasks
Artifacts: The Spell Breaker
Also known as The Taskmaster, Peryite keeps the lower levels of Oblivion ordered and controls plagues.
- Blessed with Suck: His "blessings" seem to take the form of various diseases, complete with weaponized projectile vomiting.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: While he's supposed to be the weakest Daedric Prince, he also keeps the lower planes of Oblivion running and the lesser Daedra in line.
- Mystical Plague
- Our Dragons Are Different: He normally appears as a 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.
- The Plague: He controls these, and Skyrim hints he may be preparing one to try to wipe out Tamriel, thereby also making him a...
Sphere Debauchery, Hedonism
Artifacts: Sanguine's Rose
Daedric Prince of debauchery and hedonism.
- Affably Evil
- Big Red Devil: A common depiction of him. When revealing his true nature to the Dovahkiin, he opts for a Dremora variant.
- Fun Personified: At one point incarnates himself as a human on the mortal plane...for a drinking contest. In addition, his realms (of which he has many) exist purely as party venues of any facet.
- God in Human Form: In Skyrim.
- Gargle Blaster: The Daedric Prince's special brew will get the better of you in Skyrim.
- Horned Humanoid
- It Amused Me: The motivation for everything he does.
- Meaningful Name: The word "sanguine" can refer to a lively character as well as blood, which fits well Sanguine's patronage over both the light and dark side of pleasure.
- Sam Guevenne
Sphere: Madness, Creativity
Artifacts: Wabbajack, Fork of Horripulation, Staff of Everscamp, Gambolpuddy
The Daedric Prince of madness, he is one of the more prominent of the Daedric Princes and appears as a seemingly harmless well-dressed male.
- Affably Evil: His domains also include creativity and music, and he always has a smile on his face. He loves his worshippers 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 healthy.
- Artificial Daedric Prince: The original Sheogorath was created by the rest of the Daedric Princes in order to stop Jyggalag from growing any more powerful. The second Sheogorath, however, ascended to the position.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He, as Jyggalag is ultimately killed for good and leaves joyfully to wander the streams of oblivion, which he sees as this. This also coincides with the player character, who ascends to godhood.
- Badass Beard: In fact, beards more badass than his are outlawed in the Shivering Isles on pain of death.
- 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 Madgod, and his insistance that it is 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 volum 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.
- Cloudcuckoolander: When he is in a good mood.
- Cool but Inefficient: His artifacts tend to fall under this category.
- Crouching Madman, Hidden Badass: Just because he's insane doesn't mean he's stupid, or weak.
- Great Gazoo
- I'm a Humanitarian: "Mmm... brain pie... care to donate?"
- It Amused Me: Rains of flaming dogs, the heinous crime of beards, making the player flail around trying to kill a harmless bulbous floating thing with a tiny 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.
- Large Ham
- Mad God: So very much. This is even one of his titles.
- Madness Mantra: Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.
- Mood Swinger: "Since you're standing here, I assume you've succeeded. Or you're terribly confused. OR REALLY LACKING IN GOOD JUDGMENT!"
- The Reveal: Is revealed in The Shivering Isles to actually be the Daedric Prince of order, Jygallag
- Noodle Implements: The ritual to summon him requires a soul gem, a head of lettuce, and a spool of yarn.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Sheogorath stops all joking, overreacting and non- equiturs 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.
- Pet the Dog: His quest in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim is this for Pelagius the Mad.
- Pimp Duds: Including a cane.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: "Cat's out of the bag on that one, isn't it? Who puts cats in bags, anyway? Cats hate bags!"
- Talkative Loon: "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?"
- 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: ...Although sometimes it seems he just likes to point and laugh. One story of his has him challenging Hircine to combat-by-champion. Hircine fielded a huge, saw-toothed, dagger-clawed, vicious werebeast. Sheogorath revealed his champion was 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.
- Was Once a Man: In Skyrim, it's heavily implied that the being now known as Sheogorath, who looks and acts exactly like Sheogorath always has, is actually the second Sheogorath, and was once the hero of Cyrodil.
- With This Herring: A frequent feature of his quests, probably for his own amusement.
Artifacts: Skull of Corruption
The Daedric Prince of nightmares and terror.
- 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 the guy standing next to you, a priest of Mara trying to rescue a village.
- Dark Is Evil: She is definitely one of the more brutal Daedric Princes, to the point that she may even be worse than Dagon in some areas.
- Dream Stealer: They may be a source of power for her.
- Eldritch Location: The realm of Quagmire, which changes for the viewer every few moments in a flash of lightning to something even more horrific than before.
- "Friend or Idol?" Decision: Either kill Erandur and keep the Skull of Corruption, or spare him and gain a companion at the loss of the artifact in Skyrim.
- Mind Rape
- Nightmare Fetishist
- Nightmare Dreams: Pretty much her entire shtick.
- Your Worst Nightmare: Her specialty.
Historical Figures of the Migration of Men to Tamriel
The first king of Men in Tamriel, Ysgramor was a Atmoran (ancient Nord) hero who lead his family and some like minded individuals from theit homeland of Atmora to the northernmost area of Tamriel, which would be known as Skyrim, after Atmora became embroiled in a massive civil war. Ysgramor later led the Atmoran people in colonizing Skyrim from their landing point of Hsaarik Head. He also became the first historian of mankind and developed the first human language based on Atmoran and Elvish linguistic principles. After the native elves of Skyrim massacred an Atmoran city, Ysgramor and his sons gathered a group of potent warriors known as the 500 Companions and handily slaughtered the majority of the Elven population and drove the remainder underground. Ysgramor's leadership and line of succession would see the Nords establish the First Empire of Man, until it was torn apart by infighting during the Wars of Succession which started with the death of his last direct descendant, King Borgas.
- A Father to His Men: Literally, he's known as the father of the Nordic people and to a lesser extent, of all mankind (in Septim propaganda) And every Nordic king has claimed at least some ancestry with him.
- An Axe to Grind: A very badass one called Wuuthrad, which you can reforged and use in Skyrim.
- Badass: Oh so much.
- Badass Army: Led one.
- Badass Beard: He's a Viking expy! Of course he has a very large beard.
- Badass Bookworm: The first human historian and creator of the human tongue, all while being a badass warrior king.
- Badass Army: He started and led one, the 500 Companions, from whom the current Companion guild of warriors descends.
- Memetic Badass: In universe. While his badassery is completed and utterly founded, the men of Skyrim adamantly believe that he could eat his soup with a fork.
- Fantastic Racism: Against the Elves. Fully justified however, given their general douchebaggery.
- The Good King: He is honoured by any Nord worth his salt as the greatest leader they ever had.
- Horny Viking
- Large and In Charge: When you meet him in Sovngarde at the end of Skyrim, he's a good 8 or 9 feet tall.
- Manly Tears: When his son died.
- Papa Wolf: Do not mess with his people. The Snow Elves did, and he drove them to near extinction.
- Another incident is Yngol and the Sea Ghosts. Yngol was a son of Ysgramor would had run afoul of evil spirits who ensnared him and his clan. Ysgramor became aware of this and demanded the ghosts set him free, in response the ghosts summoned a terrible storm. Ysgramor fearlessly strode into it and defeated each of the ghosts, only to find Yngol and his clan dead. Filled with grief, he vented his rage on 24 of the fiercest monsters in Skyrim, slaying them all in honour of his kin. He then ordered a great barrow to be dug for Yngol and his clansmen's resting place.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Snow Elves destroy Saarthal? Ysgramor raises an army and slaughters their race to a man and basically erases all traces of their civilization from Skyrim.
- Weapon of X-Slaying: Wuuthrad is a weapon of Elf slaying. So much so that it has the visage of a screaming elf carved onto it.
Historical Figures during the age of the Rise of Men
Pelinal Whitestrake (a.k.a. Pelin-El, a.k.a. The Star-Made Knight)
A legendary hero who fought alongside Alessia and saved humanity from enslavement, and a racist psychopathic berserker. He was a mysterious knight who had an unfortunate tendency to descend into mindless rage. He wielded the Crusader's Relics, which were a suit of plate mail armor, a shield, a sword and a mace bestowed upon him by the gods.
- Ax Crazy
- Berserk Button: Using "God-Logic", such as for example saying that he was god due to the hole in his heart.
- Carry a Big Stick: He used a mace.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He was cut into eight pieces by the Ayleids to mock the Eight Divines.
- Fantastic Racism: Essentially committed genocide on the Ayleids. They were assholes who had enslaved Cyrodiil, but that's still an entire culture wiped from the face of Tamriel. The legends about him even use the word "pogroms" to describe what he had done.
- He also killed many Khajiit, simply because they didn't look human. Granted, he stopped after he learned that they weren't from Aldmeris, but still.
- Flaming Sword: His sword was enchanted to inflict fire damage.
- Go Mad From the Revelation: Probably goes with being a potential time traveller - he was aware the nonlinear part of the universe as well as Akatosh's dual nature, and even realized that he was a sort of indirect creator of his arch-nemesis Umaril (since if it were not for Pelinal's deeds then Umaril would not be famous).
- Heroic Albino: Hence why one of his titles is "Whitestrake," and he was known to have white hair even when he was young.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe. His portrayal in Knights of the Nine conveniently forgets about his blatant racist views and psychopathic episodes.
- It's Personal: He raised a grain-slave, Huna, to a hoplite. Then Huna was killed, and Pelinal lost it so badly that he almost caused the divines to leave the world out of disgust.
- Man Bites Man: He ate the neck-veins of Haromir of Copper and Tea.
- Meaningful Name: His name is a corruption of the Elvish term Pelin-El, which translates to Star-Made Knight.
- Knight in Shining Armor: On a good day.
- Knight Templar
- Literal Change of Heart: Rumours stated that he had a hole in his chest, which revealed that he had a red diamond instead of a heart. This symbolized his connection with the heartless god Lorkhan. He killed those who spoke of such rumours, though.
- The Paladin: He used relics blessed by the Divines.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Alessia's & Morihaus' blue.
- Sociopathic Hero
- Time Travel: Implied. He wore plate armour back when only the Dwemer could make it, and in one of his psychotic episodes he mentioned Reman, an emperor who appeared thousands of years later.
- Unstoppable Rage
Alessia (a.k.a. Al-Esh, Perrif, Paraval, Paravania, Lady of Heaven)
During an age long past, when men were enslaved by elves, she started a rebellion alongside Pelinal to liberate all humans. She received the Amulet of Kings and started the tradition of lighting the Dragonfires in order to maintain a strong boundary between Nirn and Oblivion. She was the lover of Morihaus, nephew of Pelinal.
The lover of Alessia and like a nephew to Pelinal, he was often described as a "bull-man" and had a nose hoop to go with the moniker.
Historical Figures from the First War Against Dragons
The first High King of Skyrim. He gained glory by imprisoning the dragon Numinex at Dragonsreach, which is the palace of Whiterun. Those of Solitude, particularly the bards, view him rather differently.
A bard who opposed Olaf One-Eye and the writer of King Olaf's Verse.
- Unfinished Business: "Olaf! Let us finish this!"
Know that it was Gormlaith Golden-Hilt who sent you down to your death.
Hakon: Have you no thought beyond the blooding of your blade?
Gormlaith: What else is there?
- An Axe to Grind: "Feel the bite of my axe!"
- Brother-Sister Team: Gormlaith Golden-Hilt's sibling.
- Make Me Wanna Shout
- Tribal Face Paint
Felldir the Old
- Cool Old Guy
- Make Me Wanna Shout
- My God, What Have I Done?: "May the spirits have mercy on our souls."
- Punctuated for Emphasis: "YOU! ARE! BANISHED!"
The War of the First Council and Red Mountain
Historical Figures surrounding the Rise of Tiber Septim
Cyrus the Restless
A Redguard from the end of the Second Era, and accidental leader of the Hammerfell Rebellion against Tiber Septim's corrupt governor. One of the few people who faced down Vivec in single combat and lived to tell the tale.
- Badass Normal: Usually.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Convinced Vivec that he knew the "pankratosword" technique and was willing to use it, in order to get Vivec to cough up a valuable treasure.
- Not in This For Your Revolution: Came back to Hammerfell to find his missing sister, but wound up starting and leading their rebellion.
- The Trickster: Unusually for Tamriel, Cyrus is a completely normal swordsman . Therefore, to take down the various sorcerers and dragons and monsters he faces, he has to use his mind.
- Walking the Earth: Would have been named King by the Redguards, but he turned them down to do this.
Tiber Septim, AKA Talos, AKA Ysmir, AKA Numerous Other Aliases
The first in the Septim Imperial dynasty and harbinger of the Third Era. Deified literally and politically, he is many things to many people. Hero, conqueror, villain, god, and ultimately Emperor. He is descended metaphysically from the Slave Queen Alessia, as well as king Reman Cyrodiil. As a Dragonborn, his dynasty was one of several supernatural barriers to keep Tamriel and Oblivion distinct. May have been born as Hjalti Early-Beard.
- Ascended to A Higher Plane of Existence: Joined the Eight Divines as Talos, turning the group into the Nine Divines.
- Badass: He survived a slit throat and literally made himself a god.
- Big Good: The greatest hero of mankind.
- Big Bad: To the Thalmor.
- Canis Latinicus: His Imperial name of Tiber Septim.
- Deity of Human Origin: A Nord warrior who was blessed with the soul of a Dragon and came to conquer Tamriel who then ascended to godhood possibly by the machinations of Shor but the circumstances are unclear.
- Expy: Of Charlemagne. Both are considered the fathers of continental civilizations and were badass warrior kings.
- Folk Hero: Loved and worshipped by the Nords, especially after becoming Talos. The banning of Talos worship by the Empire eventually lead to civil war from Skyrim.
- The Good King: Was one in life (according to the human races), ascended to become the God of War and Good Governance essentially making him the god of this trope.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Sort of. As a Dragonborn, he had a dragon's soul in a Nord's body.
- Handicapped Badass: Survived an assassination attempt in which his throat was slit, which prevented him from using the Thu'um. For those of you unfamiliar, a Dragonborn's main source of power comes from the Thu'um, Dragon Shouts, which function as his main source of magic. Tiber Septim lost his most powerful weapon, yet still kicked ass and became a god.
- Horny Viking: Most historians agree that he was Nord.
- I Have Many Names: Tiber Septim, Ysmir, Wulf, Dragonborn, Talos Stormcrown, Hjalti Early-Beard...
- There's even historical debate over which of his many names were his birth name.
- As of Skyrim, the verdict is; 'Hjalti'.
- There's even historical debate over which of his many names were his birth name.
- King Incognito: The Prophet from Knights of the Nine is thought to be Tiber Septim himself, guiding Pelinal Reborn as the Ninth Divine.
- Near the end of the main quest of Morrowind, the player meets an old Imperial soldier who gives you his lucky coin. The coin really is lucky, and talking to the local high priestess about the encounter reveals his true identity.
- Posthumous Character: The only game during which he was alive was Redguard.
- Reality Warper: He turned Cyrodiil from a jungle into a forest. "You have suffered for me to win this throne, and I see how you hate jungle. Let me show you the power of Talos Stormcrown, born of the North, where my breath is long winter. I breathe now, in royalty, and reshape this land which is mine. I do this for you, Red Legions, for I LOVE YOU!"
- Spiritual Successor: To Shor/Shezarr
- The Trickster: He is eventually made into an aspect of a Nordic Trickster-god.
- The Unseen: Even in Redguard, he never made an appearance.
- War God: He's the God of War and Good Governance; this is part of the reason his following is strongest among the Nords.
Zurin Arctus (a.k.a. The Underking)
The first Imperial Battlemage, serving under Tiber Septim. He literally gave up his heart in order to create a control device for Numidium, a big stompy Dwemer robot that aided Tiber in his conquests.
Wulfharth (a.k.a. Ysmir, The Underking)
A Nordic King from the First Era. Also known as Ysmir, the Dragon of the North. Was an incarnation of the god Shor. He lived through many events of the first era, such as a battle with the Alessian Order and a fight with Alduin, then fighting in the War of Red Mountain, then getting himself embroiled in Tiber Septim's grand plans.
- Back From the Dead: Was revived by Shor after his initial death. This essentially made him immortal.
- Body Double: According to the The Arcturian Heresy he served as this to Hjalti, pretending to be Tiber Septim.
- Rapid Aging: After using Thu'um (also known as dragon shouts) to age up everyone in Skyrim (after Alduin and Orkey made them children) he aged himself up too fast.
- The Purge: His first new law was to order this, slaughtering the members of the Alessian Order.
Numidium (a.k.a. Anumidum, Walk-Brass, The Brass God, Brass Tower)
A gigantic Dwemer-crafted robot that is so powerful that it distorts time simply by existing. It was probably originally engineered by Kagrenac, but did not see much use until Vivec gave it to Tiber Septim in exchange for special privileges for the province of Morrowind. It then proceeded to crush the Aldmeri Dominion almost single-handedly.
- Big Bad: In Michael Kirkbride's C0DA, in which it is refutation incarnated, or the "Fuck it" in a world in which love is the answer. It's that kind of story.
- Humongous Mecha: Numidium stands at 1,000 feet or 304.8 meters tall, making it slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower.
- Organic Technology: It is powered by the heart of Lorkhan or rough equivalent thereof, and some drawings depict it as having a ribcage and spine. It's also possible that its armor or other structural components are what all the Dwemer were transformed into.
- Reality Warper: Simply being activated for a short time after the end of Daggerfall caused time to split into many streams, recombining violently.
- The Chessmaster: Just like his mother, perhaps even more so.
- Pet the Dog: While a fairly ruthless figure in Daggerfall and Morrowind, he does care for his subjects and his nation, and idle banter in Oblivion reveals that he's abolished Morrowind's slavery system.
M'aiq the Liar
A line of Khajiit who wander the world while expousing trivia based on the game itself.
- Easter Egg
- Fourth Wall Observer
- Legacy Character: According to the M'aiq of Skyrim, M'aiq is a name passed down amongst his family
- ↑ With the events of Morrowind
- ↑ the alternate explanation for why noting that messing around with the Heart had just shown a clear ability to change an entire race despite the actual action being done by a single individual
- ↑ The continent the Ayleids came from.
- ↑ usually - he may have been the Hoon Ding during his fight with Richton, the Redguard "Make Way" god
- ↑ Probably the true Underking during the time of Daggerfall
- ↑ He contends with Zurin Arctus for the title of Underking but is probably not the true one during the time of Daggerfall