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Night Mother

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NightMother Skyrim
Night Mother
Biographical information
Physical description
Race

Dunmer[1][note 1]

Gender

Female

Hair color

White

Eye color

Red

Chronological and political information
Affiliation
Quotebg.png
"Adamus Phillida is dead! I could feel my heart swell in the Night Mother's love the moment that Imperial pig issued his last breath!"
Ocheeva[src]

The Night Mother (also known as the Blood Flower or the Lady Death) is the bride of Sithis, the Dread Father of the Dark Brotherhood. Those who wish to have someone assassinated pray to the Night Mother by performing the black sacrament, and she extends their requests to her Listener, who in turn passes the task on to the Speakers. It is debatable whether she was a real person or if she is the Lucky Old Lady of Bravil.

Identity

According to Dark Brotherhood beliefs, she is the mother of Airdrie Stronach, a being of divine and frightening power, but the Night Mother was told by Sithis to kill her five young children in his name. After the deed was done Sithis gave her the honor of being his wife and being the head of the Dark Brotherhood.

Origin

The Night Mother is likely to have lived during the Second Era, as indicated in the in-game book The Brothers of Darkness. In oblivion, her tomb is located underneath the Lucky Old Lady statue in Bravil. There are skeletal remains of one adult and five children in her tomb. This takes into account her children in Dark Brotherhood beliefs. The Night Mother might also be the same person as the Lucky Old Lady.

One indication of this is that the Lucky Old Lady is surrounded by five children. However, the woman depicted by the statue was said to have lived in the First Era. [2] The Night Mother has also been credited as an incarnation of Daedric Prince Mephala,[3] whereas she is also identified as Severa Magia in Morrowind during the Third Era[4]. Before this, in Daggerfall, the Night Mother is identified simply as an immortal spirit with the likeness of a Redguard woman.[5]

While the Night Mother has certainly had relations to Morag Tong, it is questionable if she has even been the same person all along. The Brothers of Darkness suggests that The Night Mother is merely a title for the leaders of Morag Tong. She has most definitively made business in the first era, as suggested by 2920, vol 07 - Sun's Height, with Sotha Sil, a member of the Psijic Order. Literature of the same year, but in Evening Star, says " the Night Mother stroking her daughter's hair" the daughter being Corda, a Redguard. This suggests the Night Mother was either a Redguard herself, or has had affections with one. 

At one point in history, when working with the Thieves Guild to gain popularity for the dark brotherhood, she has been described as "a little old lady with fluffy white hair, cheeks like wrinkled apples that still carried the flush of youth, friendly eyes, blue as the Iliac Bay." by a witness. This suggests a human race, most likely Imperial, Nord, Breton or the like.

It is however, confirmed that she, the one that sacrificed her children to Sithis, lived some time in the second era and was a Dunmer. This is revealed in The Night Mother's Truth.

Guild affiliation

TheLuckyOldLady

The Lucky Old Lady statue in Bravil hides the Night Mother's remains.

According to Sacred Witness, she was a member of the Thieves Guild, around the time when it was just beginning. She was one of many at the time that found it easier to just strangle the occupant of the house, rather than go through the bother of sneaking the entire time.

She suggested the Guild have a special group of those who specialized in such a task, just as there were for pickpocketing, lock-picking, fencing, etc., but they decided encouraging murder would be bad for business and refused. However, realizing the possible profits from killing for hire, the Night Mother began performing assassinations, and left a calling card of two stones, one white and one black, in each eye. The following she developed did not become the Morag Tong, however. It was at this point that the dark brotherhood was born.

According to her supposed words, the Morag Tong existed long before her time, and she merely took on those members that split from the group after the murder of the last Potentate, as she was "the only other murder syndicate of any note". According to the editor's note at the end of the book, the book was originally published anonymously, but that anyone can recognize the familiar writing and cadence of Enric Milres. It goes on to say that shortly after the publishing of this book, Milres was found "strangled, and two stones, a black one and a white one, crushed into his eye-sockets. Very brutally."

Ritual

The Black Sacrament

The proper Black Sacrament effigy.

Main article: The Black Sacrament

For prospective clients to contact the Dark Brotherhood, they would carry out a ritual called The Black Sacrament. This ritual would inform the Night Mother of their intentions to have someone killed. When the Listener of the Black Hand prays to the Lucky Old Lady Statue in Bravil, Night Mother will inform the Listener about location of those prospective clients. The Listener would then relay this information to Speakers of the Black Hand.

Quoting Black Horse Courier on the Night Mother Rituals!:

As documented in the rare and taboo work "A Kiss, Sweet Mother," the Black Sacrament involves an effigy of the intended victim -- created from actual body parts, including a heart, skeleton and flesh -- within a circle of candles. To proceed with the ritual, one must stab the effigy repeatedly with a dagger rubbed with the petals of a Nightshade plant, while whispering the plea, "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear." As gruesome as this ritual may be, even more frightening is its intention -- the summoning of a mysterious assassin (who some witnesses claim is always clad in a black hooded robe) who will then receive money to kill an innocent victim. No remorse. No regret. It is, as the merchant's say, simply business. And that's what worries Adamus Phillida.

Role in history

Cyrodiil

Night Mother's Crypt

Inside the Night Mother's crypt.

During the Third Era, the Night Mother appears to the Black Hand in ethereal form after the brotherhood was desecrated by one its Speakers. Mathieu Bellamont attempted to attack her to no avail during this quest. The Hero of Kvatch might have been present during the event, serving as Silencer to Lucien Lachance up until his death and being the sole agent behind the systematic murder of the other Silencers, and the Listener, Ungolim.

Although the Hero may have been responsible for the death of so many guild members, the Night Mother knew the Hero's loyalty lay with her and forgave them, allowing them to remove whatever treasures they wanted from her tomb.

Great War

The Thalmor destroyed the Night Mother's tomb in Bravil during the Great War. Listener Alisanne Dupre and the Speakers were burned to death. The Night Mother's corpse remained intact. The fate of her children's bodies is unknown.

Skyrim

TESV The Night Mother
During the Dragon Crisis, the Night Mother is delivered to the sanctuary by Cicero, an enthusiastic jester who can be seen before joining the Dark Brotherhood. After the death of the last Listener, Cicero brought the Night Mother to Falkreath, where Astrid's Dark Brotherhood existed.

If the Dragonborn became a member of the Brotherhood, he or she was spoken to by the Night Mother, thus becoming her Listener. Cicero becomes enraged that he was not chosen as Listener. Threatened by the Night Mother's authority, Astrid discourages the Dragonborn from fulfilling a contract imparted on them by the Night Mother. Cicero attacked Astrid for defying the Night Mother's wishes and fled the Sanctuary for the Dawnstar sanctuary.

While the dragonborn is attempting to kill the emperors decoy, Astrid betrayed the brotherhood by sending Penitus Oculatus agents to the Falkreath Sanctuary. During the raid, the Night Mother protected the Dragonborn Listener by enclosing them in her coffin. Once the ordeal passed, the Night Mother was moved to the Dawnstar Sanctuary, where she gave the Dragonborn contracts.

Attributes by game

Night Mother Oblivion

The Night Mother in Oblivion.

Oblivion

Morrowind

Trivia

  • As noted in a quest for the Morag Tong in Vvardenfell, Grandmaster Eno Hlaalu refers to a target named Severa Magia as the "Night Mother" of the Dark Brotherhood. It is unknown if this is the same Night Mother, or whether it was simply a title given to the head of the Brotherhood family in Vvardenfell.
  • The Night Mother appears in Oblivion and Skyrim. However, in Morrowind, Severa Magia is the local Night Mother of the Dark Brotherhood. Despite this, the Night Mother in Oblivion identifies herself as the only Night Mother.
  • When hitting the corpse of the Night Mother in Skyrim with a weapon, blood may burst out similar to other NPCs.
  • If the Night Mother's metal coffin (but not the corpse) is shot with a bow enchanted with Soul Trap, the coffin will give off a purple glow likewise as if you had successfully hit any other living entity with the Soul Trap spell.
  • In Skyrim, the Night Mother is voiced by Lani Minella. Minella also voices Nocturnal and several female Dunmer.
  • Despite her being known as a Dunmer, her preserved corpse, mostly her ears and skin color, appear completely human.

Footnotes

  1. Using the Console command "GetIsRace" in conjunction with the RaceID for Dunmers (000191c1), the results return as "1", meaning she is listed as a Dunmer in the game files for Oblivion.

References

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