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Clavicus Vile

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For the quest of the same name, see Clavicus Vile (Quest).

Clavicus Vile (in Daedric script, Daedric CDaedric LDaedric ADaedric VDaedric IDaedric CDaedric UDaedric SDaedric VDaedric IDaedric LDaedric E) is one of the seventeen most powerful Daedra known as Daedric Princes. He is best known for granting wishes, often in ways that turn out poorly for the recipient. He is the Daedric Prince of Power, Trickery, Wishes, Serenity and Bargains.


Clavicus' sphere is of wishes and eldritch deals. His dealing with Mundus (the mortal realm) are usually with individuals who wish to have something and, by summoning him, Clavicus gives it to them. However, he is known to take back his deals at inopportune times (for the summoner, not Vile). Why he does this is unknown.[1] Clavicus is likely based on Mephistophiles from the German play Faust, since they both grant wishes, but twist them so they aren't what the wishers desired "per-se" and tend to be dangerous. He loves toying with mortals as he is often seen enjoying their pain and suffering and is seen as one of the more evil Daedric Princes.


The summoning date of Clavicus Vile is 1st of Morning Star. Clavicus can also be summoned in his shrine, if the summoner offered 500 GoldIcon. Clavicus most often takes the form of a small, impish man with a pair of horns and has a nature fitting to both his name and appearance. He enjoys toying with mortals and finds them funny, but hates being bored and often does something to relieve the boredom.


Second EraEdit

N'Gasta and the SoulsnareEdit

Circa 2E 896, Clavicus is recorded dealing with N'Gasta, the Sload Necromancer of Stros M'kai.[2] N'Gasta created "Soulsnare," which gathered lost souls. The Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile granted N'Gasta favors with every soul sent to him. Cyrus the Redguard hero, in his desperate quest to find his sister, managed to destroy N'Gasta by using the Flask of Lillandril. Using the N'Gasta's Necromancy Book, he performed a ritual to transport himself to Clavicus' realm in Oblivion.[3]

The RitualEdit

The details of the ritual is as follows: in order to make a gate to Oblivion appear, Cyrus had to mix Orc's blood with Amber (jacinth – rising sun), mix the Unicorn's horn with Hist Sap (snow – grass), mix the Daedra's heart with Ectoplasm (night - mid-day sky) and then poured the mixtures on the symbol in the center of the N'Gasta's room, in that order. Then a gate appeared. Cyrus went through the gate and was taken to Clavicus' realm.[4]

Clavicus Vile - Daggerfall

Clavicus Vile and Barbas in Redguard

The Sister and the FlaskEdit

Then he dealt with Clavicus, who was the holder of his sister's soul. Expecting to get back his sister's soul, Cyrus gave the Flask of Lillandril, but instead Clavicus returned with a riddle. If Cyrus could answer it he might get back his sister's soul, but if he failed Cyrus' own soul would be Clavicus'. Eventually, the wit of Cyrus served him well. The details of the event can be read in The Story of Redguard.

Third EraEdit

Circa 3E 430, the scholars recorded a Necromantic threat in Dagon Fel, Morrowind. A Necromancer by the name of Sorkvild the Raven terrorized the area. He somehow had acquired the Masque of Clavicus Vile after an unknown deal with the Daedric Prince. Sorkvild met his doom at the hand of an agent of the Imperial Legion, which is also the Nerevarine.[5]

About the masque, the "Tamrielic Artifacts" says:

Ever the vain one, Clavicus Vile made a masque suited to his own personality. The bearer of the masque is more likely to get a positive response from the people of Tamriel. The higher his personality, the larger the bonus. The best known story of the masque tells the tale of Avalea, a noblewoman of some renown. As a young girl, she was grossly disfigured by a spiteful servant. Avalea made a dark deal with Clavicus Vile and received the masque in return. Though the masque did not change her looks, suddenly she had the respect and admiration of everyone. A year and a day after her marriage to a well connected baron, Clavicus reclaimed his masque. Although pregnant with his child, Avalea was banished from the baron's household. Twenty one years and one day later, Avalea's daughter claimed her vengeance by slaying the baron.[6]

Hero of DaggerfallEdit

Daggerfall clavicus

Clavicus Vile in Daggerfall.

The masque was owned by the Hero of Daggerfall as well, sometime around the year 3E 410. Obviously after dealing with Clavicus Vile. The Prince asked the hero to slay a certain werewolf. After the deed was done, the hero was rewarded with the masque.

Feyfolken, the enchanted quillEdit

A worth-checked fiction, written by Waughin Jarth, tells a story of a scribe and his enchanted quill, "Feyfolken." In fact the quill was a gift from Clavicus. The quill gave a great benefit to the owner, but sooner or later the owner was doomed to always use the quill and could not be separated. When that finally happened, Clavicus took the quill back from the owner along with his soul.[7][8]

The Hero of Kvatch and UmbraEdit

Circa 3E 433, the Hero of Kvatch approached the Shrine of Clavicus Vile and managed to deal with the Prince. Clavicus asked the champion to procure Umbra, an evil sword that has the power to capture the soul of its victim; however, after a while, using the sword usually consumes the wielder, possessing them. The sword bears characteristics of Clavicus' artifacts.[9] The "Tamrielic Artifacts" says:

"The Umbra Sword was enchanted by the ancient witch Naenra Waerr, and its sole purpose was the entrapment of souls. Used in conjunction with a soul gem, the Sword allows the wielder the opportunity to imprison an enemy's soul in the gem. Naenra was executed for her evil creation, but not before she was able to hide the Sword. The Umbra Sword is very choosy when it comes to owners and therefore remains hidden until a worthy one is found."[6]

Shrine of Clavicus Vile in Cyrodiil.

The main purpose of Umbra is "entrapment of souls." Clavicus said that the sword contains the soul of Umbra, a hero he had been dealing with sometime before and wanted to finish it. For procuring Umbra, Clavicus offered his Masque to the champion.

The hound statue of Clavicus jumped into the champion's bag, and it introduced itself as Barbas. Furthermore, it said that it would be best if Clavicus were not to receive the sword from the champion at all. Somehow returning the Umbra Sword to Clavicus would be a mistake, likely to cause great ruin to Clavicus' domain. Barbas also states that whenever Clavicus deals with Umbra, nothing good ever comes of it.


From the "Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum," it is noted that Clavicus altered the Vampire blood of the Cyrodilic vampires, enabling them to walk in daylight, and more importantly, blend into mortal society undetected, and rule it from within—if they were well fed. This was actually a great gift for the Vampires, and quite possibly a turn against somebody wishing to fight them. The details of the contract forged between Vile and the Vampyrum Order is unknown.[10]


The Masque of Clavicus Vile

In SkyrimEdit

In Falkreath, the Dragonborn may take the quest "A Daedra's Best Friend." This leads the Dragonborn to Barbas, who then will lead them to Clavicus' temple in Haemar's Shame, a cave near Helgen. Before the statue of Clavicus can be reached, the Dragonborn must kill all of the vampires and their thralls in the cave. Clavicus then thanks the Dragonborn for killing the last of his remaining worshippers, as they had begged him to end their vampirism and he sees this as an acceptable solution. Clavicus then reveals that he is only at half power (and depending on dialogue choices will admit that him being at half power makes the Dragonborn almost as powerful as him), rendering him trapped within his shrine without Barbas.

He then sends the Dragonborn on a quest to retrieve the Rueful Axe from a wizard in Rimerock Burrow. When asked about the artifact, Barbas tells the story of a wizard named Sebastian Lort who had a daughter who worshipped Hircine. She eventually became a werewolf, and when he saw what his daughter had become, the wizard begged Clavicus to grant him something to end her curse. Clavicus gave him the Rueful Axe.

When the Dragonborn returns, Clavicus offers the axe to the Dragonborn in exchange for killing Barbas. If they do not, Clavicus will give his mask to them; if they do so, Clavicus claims Barbas should have "picked a better friend." Barbas will become part of the statue no matter which option the Dragonborn chooses.[11]



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