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molag bal

The Adversarial Spirits


by Amun-dro, the Silent Priest

Sheggorath. The Mind God. His sphere is the Mortal Mind and its stability. He tests Khajiit on the Path by making them doubt the truth of their own thoughts, beliefs, and actions. He must be faced along the Path and overcome before a Khajiit can visit Hermorah's library. Some tribes believe Sheggorath is dead and has been replaced by something Other.

Orkha. A demon that followed Boethra back through the Many Paths. It spoke in curses of affliction and knew no other words. Lorkhaj, Khenarthi, and Boethra battled the demon in the ancient songs, but Orkha could only be banished and would not die. Khajiit understand that Orkha and others of his ilk serve as tests along the Path, and nothing more.

Dagon. The Demon Cat. Also called Merrunz. Born of Fadomai's Second Litter, he quickly turned destructive and wild. Ahnurr exiled him, but he chose to explore the Great Darkness rather than the Many Paths. There he fell to the demon Molagh, who tortured him until the creation of the World. During the chaos, it is written that the wife of Molagh freed Merrunz and used his destructive nature as a weapon against the Lattice. Merrunz reveled in this and became a kinslayer, and was henceforth the demon we call Dagon. You will face him on the Path.

Molagh. One of the twelve Demon Kings. Elder Spirit of Domination and Supreme Law. This demon was the first to assault the Lattice with intent, alongside Dagon and Merid-Nunda. Boethra and Molagh fought to a standstill before the Lattice, but it was Azurah who shackled the Demon King with secrets only she knows. He will test you, and you will overcome him with the might of Boethra, the Will Against Rule.

Merid-Nunda. False Spirit of Greed. The Orphaned Glimmer. She is the daughter of Magrus, who loved only himself and his own creations. Magrus did not take a mate, but instead forged children of the aether. Merid-Nunda is a cold spirit, born of light without love. She is intellect without wisdom, knowledge without purpose. She is the consort of demons, and some songs blame her for orchestrating the death of mighty Lorkhaj. When Merid-Nunda dared assault the Lattice, Azurah struck her down before the Varliance Gate and dragged her away from it. She then cast Merid-Nunda into the Void and bound her there with mirrors. The nomads say she has since escaped.

Thwarting the Daedra Questions

Flaminius Auctor

October 13th, 2014

To many, Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal seem very similar. Can you point out the major differences between these two hated Daedric Princes? – TheHumanFloyd

Flaminius Auctor says, “To mere mortals who find themselves on the receiving end of Daedric devastation, distinctions between the worst of the Princes may seem academic at best. However, though the ends of Dagon and Bal seem similar, their means could not be more distinct. Mehrunes Dagon revels in direct destruction—his cultists will set your city on fire and burn it to the ground. Molag Bal exists to dominate and deceive—his cultists will persuade you that a plague is loose, and the only way to stop it is to burn your city down yourself.”

What of Mehrunes Dagon's claim to Tamriel? He can't have given it up, since his most vigorous attempt to enforce it is in the future. How does he feel about Molag Bal encroaching on ‘his’ property? – Vivian Unshadowed

Flaminius Auctor says, “Though your question is somewhat confusingly phrased, I’ll answer as best I can. We all must fear and beware Dagon’s future plans, for his hunger for destruction is insatiable, and there can be no doubt but that his cultists plan deep and long-burgeoning conspiracies. It’s also well known that Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal are bitter rivals, and will thwart each other’s schemes if given the opportunity. Indeed, such events may occur and never come to public knowledge!”

If the Dragonfires are not lit [during ESO], wouldn't it be free reign for Mehrunes Dagon to also attempt to invade Tamriel with Oblivion Gates? – KowalRoyale

Flaminius Auctor says, “I’m by no means a scholar of such matters, but it seems to me that the affairs of the Divines are not that simple, and there is probably a lot more involved in things like cross-planar invasions than we know—possibly even more than we CAN know. The Mundus is no flimsy tissue of conjecture; the gods wrought well when they made the world, and it is not so easily unmade.”

Daedra Dossier: The Titans

Denogorath the Dread Archivist

I have compiled this account at the request of Kkrohziz the Greater Titan, who was peeved to find that the Library of Dusk contained nothing at all related to the origins of our most imposing Coldharbour residents.

Therefore let the tale be told—and it is fitting that this be done, for in our Lord and Master's upcoming Planemeld campaign, the Titans will be released for the first time upon the hated mortals of Tamriel. And fear and doom shall follow in their footsteps.

There are, or have been, or will be a race of beings upon Nirn called Dragons, creatures of almost Daedra-like majesty. They naturally sought domination over the mortals of Nirn, and achieved a measure of success therein.

But upon a time that was and will be the ever-pernicious mortals of Tamriel betrayed these their natural masters, and those who were not slain were driven into hidden refuge. Then one such Dragon, a greater Dov named Boziikkodstrun, exerted his nigh-divine will in an attempt to fly beyond the borders of the Mundus. And though he did not succeed, his effort was valorous and remarkable, and impinged upon the attention of Molag Bal himself.

Our Lord and Master noted this feat of will-force, considered that the race of Dov had achieved dominion over much of Nirn, and thus spake unto this Boziikkodstrun, offering him a place of honor and privilege in his domain of Coldharbour. And the Dragon, his resources all but spent by his efforts, did accept and agree.

So Molag Bal opened a window between worlds to allow the Dragon to pass into our Lord's realm, where Boziikkodstrun was granted the privilege of being bound in chains of cold ebon iron, and set in a place of honor in the nethermost depths of the Tower of Lies. For our Lord and Master desired to know the secrets of the Dragons' dominance over the mortals of Nirn. Long was the Dragon tortured and interrogated. But the dragon was haughty, and indignant at his ill treatment, and no matter what torments were brought to bear, the intransigent Boziikkodstrun refused to utter so much as a single syllable in his abrasive language to reveal the secrets of the Dov.

Vexed by this obstinate defiance—and rightly so—our Lord and Master at length waxed wroth and avenged himself upon Boziikkodstrun by slow consumption of the flesh from his bones, yea, every gobbet. Then Molag Bal regarded the skeleton of the Dov and laughed. "If I cannot have the secrets of the Dragons," he thundered, "then I shall make Dragons of my own—Dragons even mightier than those of Nirn!"

He ordered the skeleton taken to the Vile Laboratory, where it was infused with the blood-of-darkness that reawakened it as a Vestige. During this process Molag Bal ordered that the skeleton be somewhat adjusted and improved to a plan of his own devising, forming a bone-frame even mightier than that of its forebears. Then it was plunged into the deepest pool in the Azure Chasm, there to absorb the blue liquescence that would give our Lord's new servant its body, brain, and brawn.

Within a nanaeon a mighty creature drew itself from the chasm plasm and shook itself free of the primordial slime. In response to the summons of our mutual Lord and Master, it ascended to the plateau and bounded nimbly up the Endless Stair. The first of the Daedric Titans was among us.

From its very first performance in the grueling Test of Fealty it was clear that this new morphotype would be a valuable addition to our Lord and Master's forces of dominion. Its strength was unparalleled, its savagery remarkable even among the war-slaves of Molag Bal, and its native intelligence was impressive (though perhaps not on the level of its forebears).

Most fearsome of all is the Titan's ability to speak a spell of flaming essence-drain that can debilitate an opponent with a single word. Theoretically, if the utterance were interrupted before completion, the spell would recoil upon its caster, but that eventuality is remote.

Ritual of Resonance


The Soul Shriven shriek and writhe in Coldharbour. The Harvester of Souls digests them, makes them mutter and despair. They whisper their secrets to the dead winds of Oblivion, and those with ears attuned will know them and use them.

Gather the implements
A steel needle, nightshade, frost salts
The crushed bone of a sacrifice
Splintered tooth of a daedroth

Inscribe the circle:
The names and the symbols. Sower of Strife. Lord of Brutality. Corner of the House of Troubles.

Create the tool:
Purify the needle over a fire of nightshade. Cool it in frost salts. Place upon it an enchantment of sharpness and one of weak shock.

Prepare the body:
Create a draught of bone and tooth and hold it in the mouth. Inscribe the names and symbols on the flesh of the palms.

Open the gate:
Place the needle in the left ear's entrance. Insert so slowly as barely to move. Worldly sounds make way for the cries and secret dreams of the slaves in Coldharbour.


Notes on the Mortuum Vivicus


Since the Dark Master's plot was revealed to me, I have attempted to learn more of this weapon he holds so dear. According to historical records, the Mortuum Vivicus was a gift from our Lord and Master to the unworthy king of a long-forgotten city.

Those unworthy servants stood on the verge of greatness! To their great loss and eternal shame, the fools were unable to accomplish the simple tasks our Master set before them, and he withdrew the Vivicus from Tamriel. It was lost to the Faithful.

If the Master's plan comes to fruition—if enough souls can be gathered to his side—the servants of the Lord of Lies would be more powerful than any mere king or queen. Truly, Tamriel would burn in the Master's fire!


The Slave Pits of Coldharbour


Kynbriefing #3 of 97:

So you survived your first two shifts in the pits without discorporation or being sentenced to the scathe-rings, and now you think you know it all. Not so, kynworm: we give you easy tasks for the first couple of shifts, jobs any idiot can do, so you won't embarrass us with your all-too-likely failure. But now it's shift three, kynworms.

Now we talk quota.

These soul-shriven weren't brought to the pits for your amusement, you know. As an overkyn, I can tell you they weren't brought for my amusement, either. They're here solely for the amusement of the Dread Lord—and he takes a lot of amusing. So pay attention. You're going to be assigned a coffle of soul-shriven, you're going to be told what they need to do, and then you're going to make sure they do it.

And you're going to be brutal about it. That's the good part, but also the tricky part—because we only get so many soul-shriven, and we have to make them last. They must suffer, of course, or you won't make your torment quota. But you can't use them up too soon, or you'll miss your toil quota. And if you miss either quota….

Well. You've seen the scathe-rings.

So that's what it's all about, kynworms: toil and torment, and maintaining the balance between the two. Some of you will fail, and suffer slow and agonizing discorporation—but others will find their inner abominance and triumph, exceeding quota and earning time in the bliss-cells. It's up to you, kynworms: cut it or scathe.

On the Nature of Coldharbour

Phrastus of Elinhir

This is Lecture Eight: On the Nature of Coldharbour. It looks to me like there are more of you here than there should be, so please check your ledger—if it says Transliminal Bridges, you're in the wrong room.

Coldharbour is the Oblivion realm ruled by Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of brutality, slavery, vampirism, and other assorted abominations. It is not, therefore, a pleasant place. Descriptions of the plane vary widely, as usual in any study of Oblivion, but all accounts agree that Coldharbour is a dismal, cold, and largely lifeless realm pervaded by a miasma of fear, where lost souls are tormented for eternity.

This emphasizes the point made in my previous lectures, that a plane of Oblivion, being made of the very stuff of chaos, takes on form and character that reflects the nature of its ruler. Coldharbour, therefore, has been molded to embody the purposes of mighty Molag Bal.

And what are those purposes? As it happens, I can speak to this subject with some authority, for I recently acquired the library and papers of the late Cardinal Belforte of the Order of Stendarr. The Cardinal devoted his life to ridding Tamriel of Daedric cultists of all persuasions. He was particularly rigorous in his persecution of the worshipers of Molag Bal, and in his time acquired a number of their repulsive tracts and treatises.

Study of these sources reveals that Molag Bal desires, above all things, the enslavement of mortals' souls. Various loathsome means are employed to this end, the ultimate goal being the diversion of a soul from its journey to the afterlife to imprisonment and slavery on the plane of Coldharbour. Upon arrival in Molag Bal's realm, the soul attracts to itself some of the loose creatia of Oblivion, forming a corporeal body with the semblance of the shape it wore in life. These sad slaves, called the soul-shriven, then toil in torment for the glory and amusement of their master, Molag the Slave-Lord.

I share these secrets of the cult, heretofore unrevealed, so that you may …. What is that confounded commotion out in the hall? How am I supposed to lecture over those bloodcurdling screams? I can't work under these conditions.

The Devouring of Gil-Var-Dale


Everyone knows what happened to Gil-Var-Delle. And at the same time, no one does.

Legend has it that Molag Bal, the dreaded Daedric Prince, set foot into that Wood Elf township—consumed it, according to the myth—whatever that actually means. Ancient tales employ metaphors like armies employ soldiers.

If Bal himself visited this plane with evil intent, why do any of us remain? The stories about him would lead one to believe he would not have stopped with the razing of a single Wood Elf town—he wouldn't have stopped until all of Tamriel was in flames. Just one common question of many regarding the Daedric Prince's so-called visit.

Some retort that perhaps someone stopped him—possibly an opposing Daedric Prince, a Divine, or an agent of the Aedra. But again, where is the evidence for this? No mage or historian—that I've spoken to, at least—has been able to reference a specific text for this information.

Many a historical fiction piece has attempted to dramatize what occurred there, but none of those stories can be confirmed, except to say that a catastrophic event struck the town. Perhaps the residents were killed, perhaps they fled. None were ever heard from again, but for all anyone knows, a large fire could have been the culprit. I can't imagine anything more catastrophic than that to a Wood Elf dwelling.

Today, Gil-Var-Delle is a maligned place, and there are not many who dare to venture near. But not because of any tangible foes—save cowardice and superstition.

To All Who Pass Through

Dutheil, Artisan of Oblivion

I am Dutheil, Artisan of Oblivion, and these are my Vaults of Madness. Look upon them and cower.

They were designed to contain my enemies, villains who lived only to inflict misery upon me. The wretches tormented me for years, jeered, prodded, taunted, before finally turning the nobles of Wayrest against me. They ruined my career as the preeminent architect in the West.

Such was my rage that I sought the Daedra, who came to me, offering a pact for my talents. They would capture my tormentors and imprison them here. In return, I would build for them. I accepted gladly.

In Wayrest, I designed inescapable prisons for law enforcement, opaline palaces for the nobles of the Gardens District. My works were heralded as a crossing of artistic perfection and architectural function. But what I've built for the planes of Oblivion are so much more. Black spires for the Scheming Lord of Coldharbour are instruments of torture as much as they are monuments to his greatness. The razor pits of Deadlands never dull, and cut flesh, bone, and spirit essence for the Prince of Destruction—in ways that even the most powerful healers can never mend.

Even so, all of these creations—from the gestating cyst-towers of Molag Bal to the sparkling Pellingare Manor in Wayrest—are but baubles compared to the Vaults. They are my Daedric Crescent, my Akaviri Warblade, the culmination of my skill, my greatest creation.

And they grow only more extraordinary with time. What was once a place of eternal anguish for the three charlatans who ruined my mortal life has grown to become a nexus of torture for all manner of Tamrielic souls. So exquisite is the work I do in these Vaults that even the Daedric Princes send souls to me to oversee.

And as for you, dear guest—know that the pain you experience here is the result of lifetimes of refinement and iteration. Embrace it, and writhe, and be awed.

Our Budding Alliance


Your Veiled Majesty,

Civility at last. I am pleased with our new agreement. Your serice to Molag Bal, despite your tawdry oath to Lord Dagon, will ensure you victory in your conflict. Across the face of Tamriel, there can be only one victor in this war.

My minions will carry orders to you when the time is right. Do not fail me. Loyal service is rewarded, but betrayal—well. The punishment would be unimaginable.

Do as I command, in the name of Molag Bal.

(And under your breath you can quietly pray to any Prince you choose.)

The King of Worms,