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Detail of Land Dreugh Concept Art

Detail of the concept art for the Land Dreugh in The Elder Scrolls Online.

The Dreugh or Dreughs[1] are a Tamrielic race of powerful aquatic creatures[2] observed primarily in Morrowind (especially the Inner Sea), the Illiac Bay, the Abecean Sea, Black Marsh and Cyrodiil. They are often hunted for their wax and hide.[2][3]

Once common throughout Vvardenfell, Ebonheart, and the surrounding waters, they have been driven into isolated pockets in more recent times.[4] There is some doubt on whether they shouldn't be classified along with Argonians, for their semi-aquatic nature and "troglophiliac" humanoid form.[5]

According to legend, the Dreugh devolved from a much more intelligent and civilized race due to conflict with the Dunmer (who used their hides and wax), and powerful, tyrannic Dreugh kingdoms are reported by Mankar Camoran in his Mythic Dawn Commentaries, even going as far as to state they once ruled the world.[3][OOG 1] That notion is explored in Vivec's lessons, where it is stated that, "when the dreughs ruled the world, the Daedroth Prince Molag Bal had been their chief". The sermon gives details of the form Bal took at the time, describing it as "spiny and armored and made for the sea".[1]

Additionally, tales of civilized Land Dreugh colonies (purported to have built stone cairn houses and structures) exist, which affirm that the species raised mudcrabs for sustenance, but no evidence of such behavior exists today.[4]


Land Dreugh Oblivion transparent

Land Dreugh, as seen in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Dreugh are a race of creatures with claw-like limbs, pincers and scuttling feet "protruding from a human-torso-sized skeletal frame", who secrete a particularly valuable shell wax from their bodies.[6] The Land Dreugh's naturally sturdy carapace is known to deflect most attacks from common weapons.[4]

Fronto Maecilius states that the race migrates from the Abecean Sea into the Iliac Bay, and notes a particularity known as the Karvinasim, a period of transformation in which the Dreugh walk on land, "favoring shoreline marshes and rivers close to the open water".[6] He also suggests that the Karvinasim heightens the individual's martial instincts, especially speed and hostility (which led to the evisceration of the writer's lead geographer, Pulcherius Pomptinus, by a territorial broodmother).[6]

Dreugh Morrowind transparent

Water Dreugh, as seen in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

At the end of the Karvinasim (after about a year of land walking), the Dreugh return to their underwater environment, undergoing a final transformation called Meff or Meffing (noting that "to meff" is considered a verb[7]). During Meff, the Dreugh submerge, devouring their land skin and air organs in a self-cannibalistic manner, as those become unneeded. After eating, they vomit the congealed remains as small fibrous balls known as Grom, that are approximately a foot in diameter.[6][7] The spheres are described as foul-smelling, are found in clusters around lakes, and have no known "virtues".[6]

An unknown researcher, albeit based on his own observations, reports in his findings that Land and Water Dreugh could belong to two distinct species, as opposed to life cycles.[4] The same source also refers to some accounts that seem to explain a difference between two types of Land Dreugh as sexual dimorphism.[4] Dreugh appear to have an omnivorous diet, and have even been observed consuming mer flesh.[4] They can channel a form of shock energy through their bodies as a natural adaptation (instead of magical ability), the way most scholars see it.[4]

Behavior and cultural importanceEdit

Ruddy Man fight Vivec

Vivec fights the Ruddy Man.

Dreugh have no known language nor advanced communicative capabilities, and lay their egg broods in muddy areas. The eggs are often stolen by fisherfolk[4], to which the broodmothers who guard them react extremely violently.[6] The dreugh were also said to worship a creature known as the Ruddy Man, the "Father of Dreugh", which is believed to be either a manifestation of the Daedric Prince of Domination, Molag Bal,[OOG 1] or one of the monsters born from the union of Vivec and Bal (in this case described as "a dead carapace of memory", that wouldn't have been a monster if a Velothi child hadn't worn it).[1] A legend involving Vivec and the Ruddy Man explains the pact between the two. Within this myth, Vivec defeats the Father of Dreugh, sparing his life with the condition that his descendants gave the Dunmer their hides for making armor.[8]

Dreugh Wax (Morrowind)

Dreugh Wax, as seen in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

A certain bloodstained recipe found in The Elder Scrolls Online lists "1 dozen dreugh eggs" and "2 unbroken dreugh legs" as ingredients for a dish.[9] Dreughside is likely named after its proximity to Dreugh nests,[10] and was taken over by the creatures at least once due to Baron Sorick's actions, who had ordered Dreugh eggs to be harvested and spread around the settlement.[11][10] Dreugh Wax is used in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as an alchemical ingredient. In The Elder Scrolls Online, however, it is sought after by Clothiers, who use it to improve Light and Medium Armor. The hide's only known use is the making of Dreugh Armor, while the eggs, as well as legs, have (rarely encountered) culinary uses.

By gameEdit

See alsoEdit



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 Creating ESO: The Dreugh