|Type of deity||
Obfuscation and Secrecy
|Chronological and political information|
Mephala (Daedric: ) is one of the Daedric Princes. She is known by the names Webspinner, Spinner, and Spider. Her sphere is obscured to mortals, and her only consistent theme seems to be interference in the affairs of mortals for her amusement.
Like all Daedric Princes, Mephala possesses no fixed gender. She appears as female to some and male to others. Commonly, however, Mephala prefers to present herself as female. It should be noted that in all the Elder Scroll games Mephala has been in, Mephala has always been female.
Mephala is the Webspinner, or the Spider God. In Morrowind, she was the ancestor that taught the Chimer the skills they would need to evade their enemies or to kill them with secret murder. Enemies were numerous in those days since the Chimer were a small faction. She, along with Boethiah, organized the clan systems that eventually became the basis for the Great Houses. She founded the Morag Tong. She is also called the Anticipation of Vivec.
As mentioned above, Mephala is one of the three Good Daedra of the Dunmer. The Good Daedra are Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. They were mostly worshiped by the Chimer prior to the apotheosis of the Tribunal, and their changing to Dunmer. The Dunmeri Temple acknowledges them as the anticipations of the Tribunal. Azura is the anticipation of Sotha Sil, Boethiah is the anticipation of Almalexia and Mephala is the anticipation of Vivec.
Back in the Merethic Era, Boethiah "illuminated" the Prophet Veloth and his Chimer followers to renounce all ties to the Aldmer and found a new nation based on Daedric principles (present-day Morrowind). Azura taught the Chimer the mysteries needed to be different than the Altmer. Mephala taught the Chimer the skills they would need to evade their enemies or to kill them with secret murder. Enemies were numerous in those days since the Chimer was a small faction. Mephala, along with Boethiah, organized the clan systems that eventually became the basis for the Great Houses of the Dunmer. Mephala created an assassin guild, Morag Tong.
There is a record of Mephala dealing with the Daedric Prince, Sanguine. Mephala made a deal with Sanguine for twenty-seven tokens she could give to her devoted followers. The Dark Brotherhood stole these tokens from the Morag Tong. According to Morag Tong member, Mephala eventually arranged for them to return to the guild. It was called the Thread of the Webspinner. The Nerevarine systemically killed the members of the Dark Brotherhood one by one, including the Dark Brotherhood Night Mother in the ruin of Ald Sotha, and retrieved back the tokens. It rather contradicts the information above that Night Mother is Mephala. Something for sure, these assassins guilds are not an open book, and information about them is obscured to the public.
Before this event however, the Nerevarine was rewarded by Mephala with the Ring of Kajiit after he slew a rogue assassin in Balmora. Detailed conversation of the event can be read here.
The Champion of Cyrodiil is also reported dealing with Mephala. She asked the champion to go to the settlement of Bleaker's Way, which consisted of two families. She ordered the champion to kill the leaders of the two families, and leave evidence that the murders were done by the other family. Eventually this brought chaos to the peaceful settlement, the members of the two families killed each other. Mephala was pleased seeing this and rewarded the champion with the Ebony Blade.
According to "Darkest Darkness", Spider Daedra are the servants of Mephala, taking the form of spider-humanoid centaurs, with a naked upper head, torso, and arms of human proportions, mounted on the eight legs and armored carapace of a giant spider. Unfortunately, these Daedra are so fierce and irrational that they cannot be trusted to heed the commands of the Spinner. As a consequence, few sorcerers are willing to either summon or bind such creatures in Morrowind. However before the Oblivion Crisis, some conjurers had found a way to bind and summon this chaotic Daedra. These Daedra are also found in Mehrunes Dagon's Deadlands.
Artisa Arelas, one of the Savants of Morrowind, explains "The Morag Tong is an assassins guild sanctioned by the Empire to provide three varieties of execution: public executions, private executions, and House Wars executions. Constrained by ancient traditions and rigid codes of conduct, the Morag Tong only recruits candidates of proven skill and honor. Morag Tong only accepts legally approved contracts called 'writs,' but rumor hints at the execution of secret extralegal 'grey writs.' The Morag Tong is the sworn enemy of the Dark Brotherhood."
Some members of the Morag Tong want to do more than religious assassination; they want profit. In an unknown year in the Second Era, another guild of assassins was established, the Dark Brotherhood. Morag Tong regards this new guild as a depraved perversion of the ancient law-abiding order of the Morag Tong. This makes the Dark Brotherhood to be the sworn enemy of the Morag Tong.
Although it is said that the Dark Brotherhood values coins rather than religion, they religiously worship one primordial state of chaos, Sithis. Sithis talks only to the Night Mother, then the Night Mother brings the information (usually the murderous contract) to the Listener, and continues until the information reached the murderer, the lowest member of the Dark Brotherhood who should perform the killing.
There are so many controversies about the entity called the Night Mother. Carlovac Townway in his famous historical series "2920, The Last Year of the First Era", portrays the Night Mother as an attractive dark woman who leads the Morag Tong. And this is argued by Ynir Gorming in his book titled, "Fire and Darkness: The Brotherhoods of Death." Gorming speculates that Night Mother is Mephala herself. Another account by Enric Milnes titled "Sacred Witness: A True History of the Night Mother" which says that Night Mother is just an elder female mortal. Lots of contradictions and no one knows who exactly the Night Mother is.
Aside from the "Black Hands", Mephala is worshiped mostly by Morag Tong, while other worship to the Good Daedra ceased to exist in the Dunmer society. Usually there is a shrine of Mephala in the Morag Tong base. The Nerevarine once has dealt with Mephala in the Morag Tong headquarter in Vivec city. Easily to guess, the Daedric Prince requested for someone to be eliminated for an exchange of an artifact, in this case the Ring of Khajiiti.
The Ebony Blade was also rewarded to the Hero of Daggerfall sometime after the War of Betony. The blade was around, since the time of the Eternal Champion. It is also believed that the Eternal Champion himself once wielded the blade.
The Ebony Blade is indeed dark. The legend says, "The Ebony Blade, sometimes called the Vampire or the Leech, resembles an ebony katana, and its power is very dark indeed. Every time the Ebony Blade strikes an opponent, part of the damage inflicted flows into the wielder as raw power. The Blade itself may not be any more evil than those who have used it, but at some point in its history, a charm was cast on it so it would not remain with any one bladesman for long. The wizard who cast this charm sought to save the souls of any too infatuated by the Blade, and perhaps he was right to do so."
- Mephala may be based on the Sisters of Fate from Greek Mythology since both see the lives and affairs of mortals as a tapestry or web, and cut down their lives.
- Mephala is voiced by Colleen Delany, the actress that also voices Lydia and Ria.
|Princes||Azura • Boethiah • Clavicus Vile • Hermaeus Mora • Hircine • Jyggalag • Malacath • Mehrunes Dagon|
Mephala • Meridia • Molag Bal • Namira • Nocturnal • Peryite • Sanguine • Sheogorath • Vaermina
|Related topics||Deities • Daedric Artifacts • Daedric Shrines • Daedric Quests|