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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), also known as the child-god of the Morningstar[OOG 1], is one of the seventeen Daedric Princes. He is best known for granting wishes and entering into pacts with mortals.[1] He is the Daedric Prince of Power, Trickery, Wishes, Serenity and Bargains.[1][OOG 1]

InvocationEdit

The summoning date of Clavicus Vile is 1st of Morning Star.[2] Clavicus most often takes the form of a small, impish man with a pair of horns.

PersonalityEdit

Clavicus' dealings with Mundus 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). He loves toying with mortals, generally for his own entertainment rather than for any particular purpose,[3] and has been said to be fond of mortals' souls.[OOG 2]

Clavicus has been known to split off portions of himself to create sentient objects or entitites. While the permanent binding of spirits into objects is the usual process of creating Daedric Artifacts and Lesser Daedra,[4][5] Vile's creations have shown more independence than that of most other Daedra's creations. These independent fragments are discussed below.

BarbasEdit

Main article: Barbas

Barbas is a shapeshifting Daedra who houses a significant proportion of Vile's power.[6] He most often takes the form of a dog, but has been known to appear as a Scamp called Creeper.[7] It is possible that Barbas has a degree of precognition, as he warned that returning the Umbra Sword to Vile would bring trouble to his realm,[7] foreshadowing Umbra's escape and the creation of the floating city Umbriel. Despite being of use to Vile, he has been known to bore or annoy the Prince, driving him to abandon him in the Fourth Era.[8]

UmbraEdit

Main article: Umbra

Originally created as the Umbra Sword, Umbra is either a part of Vile that gained its own sentience within the sword, by accident or design,[OOG 3] or a being that Vile somehow trapped within the sword.[OOG 2] It ultimately broke free of Vile's will, creating a body for itself but remaining trapped within Vile's Realm. In order to escape, it forged a pact withthe Dunmer mage Vuhon, providing the power necessary to create the floating city Umbriel.[OOG 2]

ArtifactsEdit

Thanks to his penchant for deals and gifts with mortals, Vile has a large number of Daedric Artifacts associated with him. These are listed below.

Bitter CupEdit

Main article: Bitter Cup

The Bitter Cup is an artifact associated with Clavicus Vile, and is known for being highly sacred to his followers. It was believed lost in the ruins of Ald Redaynia.[OOG 2] It is possible that it was recovered by the Nerevarine in the Third Era.

FeyfolkenEdit

Main article: Feyfolken

A piece of fiction written by Waughin Jarth tells a story of a scribe and his enchanted quill, Feyfolken. The quill was a gift from Clavicus, which 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 from it. When that finally happened, Clavicus took the quill back from the owner along with his soul.[9][10]

ClavicusVileMask

The Masque of Clavicus Vile

Masque of Clavicus VileEdit

Main article: Masque of Clavicus Vile

Originally made from a deal between Vile and a disfigured noblewoman, the Masque makes its wearer more persuasive,[11] and has been seen around Tamriel throughout the Third and Fourth Eras.

Rueful AxeEdit

Main article: Rueful Axe

The Rueful Axe was allegedly given to a wizard named Sebastian Lort, who asked Vile for a way to cure his daughter's lycanthropy.[12] It later found its way into Vile's possession as a gift for his champions.

Umbra SwordEdit

Main article: Umbra Sword

The Umbra Sword was created by Naenra Waerr to trap souls,[11] at Clavicus Vile's request. As part of the creation process, Vile embued it with part of his essence. Over time, the part of Vile within the sword became a sentient being with its own will, calling itself Umbra.[OOG 3] Eventually, Umbra broke free of the sword, creating a body for itself. A fragment of Vile may remain attached to the sword, meaning it still traps souls even in Umbra's absence.[OOG 3]

HistoryEdit

Second EraEdit

N'Gasta and CyrusEdit

Clavicus Vile - Daggerfall

Clavicus Vile and Barbas in Redguard

Circa 2E 896, Clavicus is recorded dealing with N'Gasta, the Sload Necromancer of Stros M'kai. 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 N'Gasta's Necromancy Book, he performed a ritual to transport himself to Clavicus' realm in Oblivion.[13]

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.[13]

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'. Cyrus answered him correctly and retrieved his sister's soul.

Third EraEdit

Hero of DaggerfallEdit

Daggerfall clavicus

Clavicus Vile in Daggerfall.

The masque was owned by the Agent of Daggerfall, sometime around the year 3E 410. Vile asked the hero to slay a certain werewolf. After the deed was done, the hero was rewarded with the masque.[2]

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.

ShrineofClavicusVile

Shrine of Clavicus Vile in Cyrodiil.

Clavicus claimed that the sword contains the soul of a hero he had been dealing with sometime before, and wanted to finish it. For procuring Umbra, Clavicus offered his Masque to the champion.[14]

The hound statue of Clavicus jumped into the champion's bag, and introduced itself as Barbas. It claimed 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.

VampiresEdit

The Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum notes 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.[15] The details of the contract forged between Vile and the Vampyrum Order is unknown.

Fourth EraEdit

Umbriel Edit

Some time prior to 4E 40, Umbra stole a part of Vile and negotiated with the Dunmer mage Vuhon to create Umbriel, a floating city, out of a fragment of Vile's realm. This allowed Umbra to escape Vile's grasp.[OOG 2]

The Dragon CrisisEdit

Barbas was estranged from Clavicus Vile in 4E 201, and sought the Last Dragonborn unite him with Vile. The pair then traveled to Haemar's Shame, which was occupied by worshipers of Vile who had been plagued with vampirism. After disposing of the vampires, Vile then asks the Dragonborn to retrieve the retrieve the Rueful Axe. 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.[6]

AppearancesEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Clavicus is likely based on Mephistophiles from the German tale Faust, since they both grant wishes, but twist them so they aren't exactly what the wisher desired, and tend to be dangerous and/or tragic to the wisher.

References

Notice: The following are out-of-game references. They are not found in any in-game books, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Census of Daedra Lords
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls


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