Appearance and invocationEdit
Daedra are physically very diverse, ranging in form from humanoid to beast-like, and may be bound by soul to weapons or armor. Although they can be killed by the player, they are considered immortal, as their soul or animus is usually sent back to Oblivion in the event that their body is destroyed. When a Daedra's physical form is destroyed, weapons and other items may be taken, but not their armor, as it is bound to Oblivion. After being killed, a Daedra's soul will wander Oblivion and eventually re-constitute its original form; this torturous period can last centuries. The only way to completely kill a daedra is to kill his soul in the planes of Oblivion, as was done with Umaril.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, some daedra's souls can be Soul Trapped. Their souls range in size from lesser (for a Flame Atronach) to grand, (requiring the Black Star or a Black Soul Gem, for a Dremora Caitiff.)
There are several ways to summon Daedra, such as through the use of artifacts like the Sanguine Rose or the "Conjure Unbound Daedra" spell. The most commonly summoned Daedra are Dremora and the various types of Atronach. Friendly Daedra can be a large help; however, fighting enemy daedra when at low levels can be challenging. Their swords are generally powerful, (level based), and their health rating caps at the mark. Daedric armor may be forged at any forge, after taking the Daedric Smithing perk at level 90 smithing. It is also possible in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for Daedric Armor to be crafted at the Atronach Forge through master level Conjuration.
According to Elder Scrolls lore, the term "Daedra" is of Altmeric origin. Its literal translation is "not our ancestors," as opposed to Aedra - "[our] ancestors". Although the singular form of the word is technically daedroth, it has become common practice to refer to these beings in both the singular and plural simply as daedra. Daedra are frequently referred to as "demons," although such a label ignores the fact that not all Daedra are malevolent by nature. Daedra do wield tremendous destructive power, however, and are frequently associated with death, ruin and chaos.
According to the creation myth espoused by the majority of religious scholars in Tamriel, the Daedra were a product of the battle between the primordial deities Anu and Padomay. Padomay, jealous of his brother Anu and the worlds he had created, engaged his brother in combat. During the fight, Padomay's blood spilled from his body and formed into the Daedra. Just as Padomay had despised the mortal world, these Daedra were totally alien beings, with no connection to Mundus.
Scholars are quick to point out that the characterization of Daedra as "evil" is a gross oversimplification. Whereas the Aedra represent stasis, the Daedra represent fluidity, change and chaos; this causes many Daedra to be seen as destructive. However, mortal concepts of good and evil cannot be easily applied to them, and to the extent that these concepts do apply, Daedra exist at both ends of the spectrum.
Amongst the majority of Tamriel's populace, the Daedra are seen as naturally evil, as many concepts of evil are directly relative to the mortal world; for example, most Daedra cause disorder and chaos, which are generally not beneficial to mortal affairs. In many provinces where the human population dominates, (such as Cyrodiil), Daedra are considered outright evil, and Daedra worship is outlawed. This has not stopped cults of Daedra worship from popping up across Tamriel, and in some locations their worship is accepted, or at least tolerated. In particular, the Dunmer of Morrowind align themselves much more closely with the Daedric Princes, especially Azura, than with any of the Nine Divines.
An interesting fact that may explain Mehrunes Dagon's ambitions to conquer Tamriel is that, according to lore in the Elder Scrolls, Daedric spirits never really die. Simply put, Dagon cannot perform the acts that are his namesake, "The Prince of Destruction". No matter how much the Lord of Destruction destroys Oblivion, it always comes back, as described in "Spirits of the Daedra". But in Tamriel, if someone dies, they usually stay dead and rarely ever "come back".[source?]
Most of the Daedric Princes view the mortal races as little more than a curiosity, and occasionally as sources of entertainment. Sheogorath and Sanguine, for example, can often be found tormenting mortals for their own amusement, but not with the express intent of causing harm. Azura's dealings with mortals, especially her "chosen" Chimer/Dunmer, are almost entirely beneficial, making her the most "benevolent" of the Daedric Princes. Likewise, Meridia is regarded as benevolent due to her hatred of undead, and Nocturnal lends her aid to thieves. Of course, there are a few Princes, such as Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal and Boethiah , who do take pleasure from causing harm to mortals, and as such, would fit the common definition of "evil". Even Daedric Lords who appear to represent something "good", such as the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag, can cause severe harm in the mortal world when that aspect is taken to its utmost extreme.
The behavior of the lesser Daedra tend to gravitate towards that of their chosen Lord; Mehrunes Dagon's Dremora have a deep-rooted hatred of men and mer, while the Golden Saints of Sheogorath's realm interact with them as not-quite-equals. Any natural tendencies of a summoned daedric creature are supplanted by the will of the conjurer, as can be seen by the Tribunal's frequent use of Dremora as guards and protectors. It should be noted, however, that a Daedra will often turn on its summoner should it be inadvertently released from their will.
Presence on TamrielEdit
Since the daedra were not part of the creation of Nirn, they are truly and completely alien to the mortal world. The daedric races inhabit the various other planes of existence, which are collectively called Oblivion, and, with a few rare exceptions, (see Oblivion Gate), cannot interact directly with the mortal plane. Instead, they normally appear only when summoned by a conjurer, and then are only present as long as the mage can sustain their presence. The daedra's projection onto the mortal world can be slain, though they are often more powerful than native fauna of Tamriel, but this merely sends the daedra's "essence" back to its home plane of Oblivion. It is believed that killing a daedric creature while on its native plane will permanently destroy it, but this hypothesis is difficult to test, as mortals have as much trouble reaching Oblivion as daedra have reaching Nirn. The oral traditions of the mer races speak of the Daedric Princes as if they were physically present on Nirn and interacting with the ancient mer, though this may be literary license. There has been only one verifiable instance in recorded history where a Daedric Prince physically walked on Nirn, when Mehrunes Dagon attacked Tamriel at the end of the Third Era. While on Nirn, he was only vulnerable to, (and defeated by), an avatar of the Aedra Akatosh. The effect this defeat had on Dagon is currently unknown.
- Main article: Daedric Quests (Skyrim)
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dragonborn can become a Nightingale, and, after returning the Skeleton Key, is greeted by the Daedric Princess Nocturnal herself. She appears as she does in Oblivion, at her shrine.
The Dragonborn can do the Septimus Signus quest and encounter Hermaeus Mora, who appears as a void of darkness (since Dragonborn, this is no longer true, as he is replaced by a grotesque mass of eyes and tentacles).
In "Ill Met By Moonlight", the Daedric Lord Hircine reveals himself after slaying his mortal form, a White Stag. He will also reward the Dragonborn the Savior's Hide after killing a werewolf named Sinding.
Daedric forms, appearances and character Edit
Daedra appear in many different forms. The most important are the Daedric Princes, powerful spirits. There are also "lesser Daedra" beings known to be in league with these greater powers. Whether all of these constitute actual Daedra or if some are simply equivalents of the mortal realm's tame animal is as yet unstated in the game series.
In the Elder Scrolls, Daedra generally seem to view mortals as little more than minor amusements, giving some applause whenever a mortal being exceeds their expectations. They do, however, take interest in their worshipers, sometimes considering them foolish, but some Daedra thinking them valued servants. The Daedra see themselves as a superior form of life and feel generally no need for any alliance or truce with any of the mortal races of Tamriel. Some Daedra may be summoned however. There is a popular notion that the summoned Daedra will then give the summoner a quest or task to fulfill and that the quest's completion will see its participant richly rewarded. Often, these tasks are merely for the entertainment of the Daedra. This is not always so, as Morian Zenas, author of On Oblivion, claims that he was able to successfully summon and speak with Daedra without ever being asked to complete a task or a quest.
- Main article: Daedric Princes
Daedric Princes are the most powerful of the Daedra, and thus the ones most commonly worshiped as gods. Each has a particular sphere (plane of oblivion), which it is said to govern. Although Daedric Princes may assume the form of a female or male, they have no inherent gender, and are all referred to as "Princes".
There are a total of seventeen known Daedric Princes and each one has a plane of Oblivion. The most commonly known princes are Azura and Mehrunes Dagon, while Hircine made an appearance in Bloodmoon, the expansion set for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and Sheogorath was prominent in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles, the expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Hermaeus Mora also makes a major appearance in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.
The Daedric Princes consist of:
- Azura - The Daedric Prince of Dawn and Dusk, Mother of Roses, Queen of Twilight.
- Boethiah - The Daedric Prince of Murder and Deceit.
- Clavicus Vile - The Daedric Prince of Wishes and Bargains.
- Hermaeus Mora - The Daedric Prince of Knowledge, Knower of the Unknown, Keeper of Knowledge, Keeper of Forbidden Secrets, Herma-Mora.
- Hircine - The Daedric Prince of The Hunt, Father of Man-beasts.
- Sheogorath - The Daedric Prince of Madness, Mad-god, Demented Duke.
- Jyggalag - The Daedric Prince of Order, Hatred of Madness, Enemy of Freedom. Jyggalag is in fact the original form of Sheogorath. The other princes cursed him into what he despises most out of jealousy. Sheogorath becomes Jyggalag again at the end of each era (see Greymarch).
- Malacath - The Daedric Prince of Curses, Keeper of the Bloody Curse, Lord of Sworn Oath, Enslaver of Mortals, Corner of the House of Trouble.
- Mehrunes Dagon - The Daedric Prince of Destruction and Change, The Changer, Corner of the House of Trouble.
- Mephala - The Daedric Prince of Spiders, Whispering Lady, Spinner.
- Meridia - The Daedric Prince of Life, Enemy of the Dead, Lady of Infinite Energies.
- Molag Bal - The Daedric Prince of Domination, the Corrupter, Creator of Corprus, Corrupted Creator, Corner of the House of Trouble, Lord of Domination, the King of Rape.
- Namira - The Daedric Prince of Ancient Darkness, the Spirit Daedra, the Eater of Children.
- Nocturnal - The Daedric Prince of Night, Mistress of Night, Mother of Thieves, Lady of Ravens, Lady Luck.
- Peryite - The Daedric Prince of Pestilence, the Taskmaster, The Lord of Lower.
- Sanguine - The Daedric Prince of Debauchery, the Lord of Sin, Master of Sins.
- Vaermina - The Daedric Prince of Nightmares, Lady of Evil Omens, the Dream-lady, The Collector of Minds.
There are many types of lesser Daedra, creatures believed to be created by the Princes as warriors, servants, playthings and worshipers. It should be noted that the descriptions of appearances given here are not necessarily always accurate, as to many Daedra, appearance is a matter of choice. Belonging to a particular grouping is, however, said to shape their bodies and minds, and thus common traits are established.
According to the Elder Scrolls, many Daedra of greater mental capacity have a humanoid shape and appearance. The Daedric Princes and their servants are usually among them. Daedra who usually have a humanoid form are:
- Dremora are generally servants of Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal and Malacath. Featured in Battlespire, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. Dremora are created as basic daedra and conjured minions.
- Golden Saints appear as golden-skinned Elves in golden armor, and serve Sheogorath as the Mania Keepers. Featured in Morrowind and Shivering Isles. They are said to be Sheogorath's favored soldiers and have a rivalry with the Dark Seducers.
- Dark Seducers are the violet-skinned servants of Sheogorath. They safeguard the land of Dementia, and have an ongoing feud with the Golden Saints for Sheogorath's favor. Featured in Battlespire, Daggerfall, and Shivering Isles.
- Knights of Order serve Jyggalag; they are humanoid crystalline creatures that use swords and are deadly enemies. They have crystal hearts, called Hearts of Order, which can be used to activate many Order objects. Featured in Shivering Isles.
- Aurorans generally serve the Daedric Princes Azura and Meridia; they appear as humanoids clad in Ayleid battle armor. They have the same hearts as the Dremora, unlike the Knights of Order hearts. Featured in Knights of the Nine, they were seen in the service of Umaril the Unfeathered.
- Xivilai are highly-intelligent creatures who serve Mehrunes Dagon and are seen in the planes of Oblivion. Xivilai often appear as blue-skinned humans. One is featured in Battlespire, (unkillable), and they are a common creature in Oblivion when the player reaches higher levels. They can also be summoned. They are great dukes and guards in the Kyn Legion. They are powerful sorcerers and often carry maces but will often only use spells in battle.
ReptiliansEditDaedra have amongst their ranks some reptilian creatures, most of which serve Mehrunes Dagon or Molag Bal. The Daedroth resembles a large, bipedal crocodile, with sharp claws and teeth. The teeth of the Daedroth can be used in potions, and are worth a fair amount to merchants. These Daedra breathe fire, and are capable of inflicting much damage in combat.
Another reptilian Daedra is the Clannfear, a bipedal creature with a beaked mouth, bony crest and small arms with extremely sharp claws, their skin is heavily scaled, with small spikes cresting their face and forehead. If slain, a Clannfear's claws can be sold for a fair price in stores. There is also a weaker version of the Clannfear: Clannfear Runts. They are visibly smaller, and have a much lower attack strength than their larger brethren. Even though Clannfear are smaller, they can be more dangerous than Daedroth due to their ability to reflect damage, a high defense and very quick attacks.
- Clannfear are featured in Battlespire, Morrowind, and Oblivion.
- Daedroth are featured in Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion.
Atronach are Daedra associated with a particular element, substance or natural phenomenon. They vary widely in shape, abilities and intelligence, although they are all more or less humanoid in appearance. Flame Atronachs resemble female humans composed almost entirely of flames (in Morrowind they were male). They use fire magic to attack their foes, and leave a trail of fire as they hover above the ground. When defeated, they often explode in a massive fireball.
Frost Atronachs are larger in build; in The Elder Scrolls IV, they dwarf humans at around 8 feet in height. Their bodies are rough-hewn masses of ice. They reflect light very strongly, which can be a problem during daylight hours as a character dazzled by reflected light can have difficulty in combat. They cannot used ranged attacks, but will pummel foes within melee range using their spiked arms.
Storm Atronachs are formed from rocks and boulders, held together by magical energy and surrounded by whirling wind and crackling electricity. Their tactics consist of hurling lightning bolts at their foes and crushing them with their rocky bodies when in close combat.
Slaying any atronach will allow one to gather elemental salts off of the atronach's remains, which can be used in alchemy or be sold. Atronach have no strong connection to any Prince, serving one or another at will. Steel and Flesh Atronachs are increasingly rare, and have not been seen on Tamriel since the events of the Warp in the West. However, in the Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion, Flesh Atronach again make an appearance.
- Flame Atronach are featured in Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
- Frost Atronach are featured in Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
- Storm Atronach are featured in Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
- Flesh Atronach are featured in Daggerfall and Shivering Isles.
- Iron Atronach are featured in Daggerfall.
- Winged Twilight are the only known Daedric creatures capable of flight, they bear some resemblance to Harpies, their skin is a blue color with their skulls being about the same size as a human's, and they also possess large tails. They share features with human females, feminine facial features and hair in a ponytail. They are servants of Azura. Featured in Morrowind.
- Spider Daedra appear as a kind of spider-centaur, a large spider with a female human's head and torso in place of the spider's head. They have the ability to summon Spiderlings and use Shock magic. They are associated with Mephala, and are so unruly and irrational that even Mephala's worshippers rarely summon them for fear that they will disobey their orders. Featured in Battlespire, Oblivion.
- Ogrim are enormous Daedra with very little intellect, but which are chiefly sent into the mortal world to menace living things for the amusement of Daedric Princes. Ogrim are associated with Malacath. Featured in Morrowind.
- Hunger are powerful and violent Daedra with great magic ability, associated with Sheogorath, Boethiah, Mephala, Namira, Molag Bal, Sanguine and Clavicus Vile. Featured in Morrowind, Shivering Isles. They have pale and skeletal bodies, with a large mouth full of spiky teeth. They hide in villages and feed on hunger and anger of people, not water or food.
- Scamps are small goblin-like creatures, skittish in nature. They are often associated with Molag Bal, Mephala, Boethiah, Periyte, Namira and Lord Dagon. Featured in Battlespire, Morrowind, Oblivion.
- Vermai appear similar to scamps, but are hardier. Featured in Battlespire, Redguard.
- Herne and Morphoid Daedra resemble horned scamps, associated with Mehrunes Dagon and Hircine. Featured in Battlespire.
- Seekers are tentacled daedra that are native to Apocrypha and are associated with Hermaeus Mora.
- Lurkers are large amphibious Daedra who are native to Apocrypha, guarding the secrets of the Black Books, but they have been seen in Tamriel. They are associated with Hermaeus Mora.
Daedric Alphabet Edit
- Main article: Daedric Alphabet
Daedra worship EditIn the Elder Scrolls, Daedra are widely worshiped in the realms of Tamriel with many shrines located throughout the Empire. Those who worship Daedra see them as gods, their conceptions of their respective Daedric gods varying widely. Mainstream religious authorities such as the Church of the Nine Divines disapprove of the practice. Thus, worshipers are often driven away from various localities in processes resembling of witchhunts, though during the process many participants are often surprised at the sane, down to earth nature of many of the Daedric worshipers (save Mehrunes Dagon's and Sheogorath's) possess, which contrasts greatly with the common perception of blood-drinking baby-eaters. Historically, Orcs and dark elves were commonly Daedra worshipers, but that has changed recently; The Orcs (Orsimer) who lived in Orsinium mostly worship Trinimac, the former Aedric [source?] incarnation of Malacath from before the Velothi exodus, while Imperial missions into Morrowind have won converts to the Church of the Nine Divines.
Towards the end of the Third Era Daedra worship became increasingly more prevalent across Tamriel, with several new shrines being established in Cyrodiil and beyond. The popularity of such worship has created some speculation and rumor amongst citizens of Cyrodiil, some expressing alarm and fear, others curiosity. It is possible for one curious of the practice of worship to visit several Daedra shrines in Cyrodiil (or any other province of Tamriel).
Daedra worshipers often relate that they felt "called" to worship the Daedra, and thus worship by choice. Most times a worshiper follows a Daedra that most closely parallels their own conscience. For example, a follower of Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Night, might feel a kinship with the darkness, whereas a follower of Mehrunes Dagon may have a great hunger for power.
Conjuring Daedra Edit
Worshipers may bind daedric servants to this plane through rituals and pacts. Such arrangements result in the Daedric servant remaining on this plane indefinitely - or at least until their bodily manifestations on this plane are destroyed, precipitating their supernatural essences back to Oblivion. Whenever daedra are encountered at Daedric ruins or in tombs, they are almost invariably long-term visitors to the mortal plane.
Most daedric servants can be summoned by spellcasters only for very brief periods, within relatively fragile frameworks of command and binding. Another way through which Daedra are summoned is by pacts made, often the Daedric artifacts are lesser daedra bound to our realm by such pacts.
Entering the realm of Oblivion EditIn the Elder Scrolls, the worshipers of Daedra have also tried to use their conjuring skills to enter their master daedra's realms but this is extremely dangerous even for high level summoners and warlocks. In the fourth entry in the video game series, deep within the Cyrodilic wilderness worshipers of the Daedra Peryite tried to enter his realm of Oblivion only to have it backfire and trap them in an eternal purgatory. The worshipers had their souls trapped on Oblivion and their bodies bound to Nirn. This results in a quest given to the player by Peryite to retrieve their souls from Oblivion. The souls could be found wandering in an eternal void without thought spouting out philosophical quotes as they wandered Oblivion.
The only safe mode of travel for worshipers of Daedra and travellers otherwise to enter Oblivion is through the stable portal of an Oblivion gate. These portals were seen at the end of the third age of Tamriel as the Daedra Prince Mehrunes Dagon and his followers planned an invasion of Tamriel. The portals ranged in size from small gates that would open in the wilderness to the large Great Gates which allowed the Daedra to attack cities directly. The portals are held open by a Sigil Stone at the top of a large tower inside of the Oblivion world that they are linked to. The stone works as an anchor for the gate between the two realms. If the Sigil Stone is taken, the portal collapses, and any beings not native to Oblivion are sent back to Tamriel. In the Shivering Isles expansion, a new gate is opened to Sheogorath's realm of the Shivering Isles. The gate differs in appearance from Mehrunes Dagon's and can remain open indefinitely as the gate poses no threat to Nirn's or Mundus' fabrics of space. A barrier had existed between Nirn and Oblivion, kept alive by the Dragonfires in the temple in the Imperial City. Part of a new emperor's coronation duties was to relight the fires, which are extinguished upon the death of the old emperor. When Emperor Uriel Septim VII died during the events of Oblivion, the Dragonfires were extinguished, allowing Mehrunes Dagon to open portals to Oblivion. The Dragonfires can only be lit by an heir to the throne wielding the Amulet of Kings, (the Amulet was stolen by Mankar Camoran in his plot to keep the Dragonfires out, thus, the way to Nirn from Oblivion remained open).
There has been one known exception to the aforementioned rule. This was when the currently deceased heir to the Septim bloodline, Martin Septim, opened a portal to Camoran's Paradise, (a small island in Mehrunes Dagon's plane of Oblivion dedicated to and controlled by Mankar Camoran), to get the Amulet of Kings. From accounts of the Blades, Martin spent days contemplating the Mysterium Xarxes, the only book to ever be written in Oblivion itself by Mehrunes Dagon in the deserts of suffering and despair. From this, Martin determined that the portal would require four items of almost unbelievable rarity: a Great Sigil Stone, a Great Welkynd Stone, the blood of a Daedra, and the blood of an Aedra. The Champion of Cyrodiil gathered these through perilous journeys to give to Martin. Martin then opened a portal to Camoran's Paradise where the Champion retrieved the Amulet of Kings from the powerful Daedric worshiper, Camoran.
The most recent method of entering Oblivion it through the Black Books, artifacts of Hermaeus Mora, scattered across Solstheim. When read, one is transported to the realm of Apocrypha, the plane of Oblivion that Hermaeus Mora commands. 
- Namira is often associated with vile creatures like: slugs, spiders (not to be confused with Mephala, the Daedric Prince of Spiders), bats, etc.
- In Hermaeus Mora's rare dealings with mortals he often favours to appear as a mass of grotesque tentacles.
- Mehrunes Dagon started the Oblivion Crisis when he attempted to enter Tamriel in his true and terrible form.
- The word "Daedra" is probably based on the word "Daemon".
- Daedra are mostly considered "the devils" of the Elder Scrolls.
- Mortals that have extreme links to Daedric lords are known to exibit physical changes, especially in the eyes. This is mentioned by Neloth after completing At the Summit of Apocrypha, where he is looking for signs that include "'black spots in the whites of the eyes." Karliah, a Nightingale of Nocturnal, is likely proof of this, as her eyes are a very rare color, one that should be impossible with Dunmer, indigo.
- Aedra and Daedra
- The Book of Daedra
- Varieties of Daedra
- The Anticipations
- Darkest Darkness
- The Waters of Oblivion
- The House of Troubles
- On Oblivion
- Spirit of the Daedra
- The Doors of Oblivion
- Liminal Bridges
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online
|Men||Atmoran • Breton • Imperial • Keptu • Kothringi • Nede • Nord • Orma • Redguard|
|Mer||Aldmer • Altmer • Ayleid • Bosmer • Chimer • Dunmer • Dwemer • Lefthanded Elf • Maormer • Orsimer • Snow Elf|
|Beastfolk||Argonian • Imga • Khajiit • Lilmothiit • Sload • Giant • Goblin • Riekling • Nymph • Hist|
|Akaviri||Ka Po' Tun • Kamal • Tang Mo • Tsaesci • Dragon|
|Et'Ada||Aedra • Daedra • Atronach|