Crafting Motif 104: Ancient Daedric Style

Author: Tirdos Renam

By Tirdos Renam, Smith of the Arcane

Mad! Mad, they call me! These flat-headed smiths with their smoldering forges no larger than tea kettles. Should we not heed the challenge of Boethiah? Should we cower in the face of the Testing Gods? These sour-hearted cowards may be content to hammer out nails and nixshoes, but not I. I look to grander things. Distant realms! Mighty tools! Designs that exceed mortal handiwork in every conceivable respect! Compared to Daedric craft, even the keenest Nirn-blade is no sharper than a butter knife. The sturdiest Dunmeri shield affords less protection than a sheet of Daedric parchment. I will pry these secrets from the blazing corner of the House of Troubles by sweat and blood.

This journal shall serve as a fulsome account of what I find wandering the Destroyer-God's realm. With these designs committed to the page, I shall return to Morrowind not as a simple smith, but as a master of the Daedric forge!

Dremora favor heavy axes with keen, crescent edges. No great surprise, given their predilection for using weighty materials. The two-handed version features a broad double-head that can hew stone without losing its sharpness. Their hand axes are no less deadly—trading the second head for a pair of dagger-like prongs.

I acquired a Daedric belt and even now, weeks on, I cannot identify the source of the leather. Many hulking beasts wander the Deadlands. Any one of them could have supplied the hide. If I were forced to compare it to something on Nirn, I'd compare it to an elder alit—one scarred and battered by years in the ash. The buckle features sharp edges and spikes, making cinching a dangerous task. But once secured, nothing short of a Daedroth's bite could break this belt's hold.

A Dremora's boots—even those worn by scholars and spies—feature heavy, sharpened toes and serrated polyenes. This allows the warrior to strike from unexpected angles, well-beneath their adversary's sight-line. When battling a kynreeve clad in this armor, a swift kick or knee-lunge can prove fatal.

Daedric bows are unique in that they seem effective in both ranged and melee combat. Both of the bow's limbs feature sharp metal cladding that can deflect enemy arrows and inflict grievous wounds to any who stray too close.

The cuirasses and gambesons I've observed here in the Deadlands all share one vital feature: sharpness. The Daedric smiths create ornate interlocking and overlaying metallic patterns that accentuate the brutal edges of the plates. This allows for a startling degree of flexibility without sacrificing protection. Leather of mysterious origin serves as the foundation for the piece, shielding more exposed regions from lighter blows.

Daedric daggers resemble the Destroyer's Razor in several respects. The leaf-shaped blade and fang-like cross guard give it a threatening silhouette. Beneath the handle, a clawed pommel affords the wielder the opportunity to strike from unexpected angles. The perfect weapon for a quiet ash-hunter.

Much like their boots, the Dremora's gloves feature clawed tips. This allows for brutal scratches if no weapon is near to hand. Even light gauntlets provide ample protection at the wrists; spiked, interlocking bracers keep the forearms protected while also adding heft to blows.

All Daedric helms and hoods provide total cover to the wearer's face. This grants both protection and anonymity—vital features for Dremora assassins. Like all other elements of the Daedric panoply, the helms often include horn-like crests and adornments. Perfect for creating a horrifying silhouette.

Daedric greaves and breeches are rugged and heavy—a far cry from the bare legs our warriors seem to favor. While the lighter armor relies on layers of thick leather for protection, the heavier panoply protects the thighs with wide metal plates. Multiple layers of sharpened metal allow for greater flexibility on the battlefield.

Daedric warriors utilize a brutal crossbreed of a maul and a warhammer. The weighted heads of the weapon feature broad prongs that can puncture the thickest cuirasses. Even light blows from this bludgeon can crush a skull as easily as a kwama egg.

While Dremora seem vastly more interested in offense, some of their cannier warriors do carry shields into battle. These imposing heater shields are adorned with rows of blade-like ridges and reinforced with sharpened, interlocking plates. In the realm of the Destroyer, even that which affords protection can kill.

Daedric smiths sharpen all their pauldrons and arm cops to a razor's edge. While simple intimidation might be the chief reason for this technique, the prongs also excel at breaking weapons and warding off foolish grapplers.

Unsurprisingly, Daedric staves are wrought from metal, not wood. Like many of their other weapons, they feature a clawed bottom for gouging. But the true marvel is the headpiece. These imposing caps distill the Daedric aesthetic to its most basic and brutal elements—broad, interlocking spikes that fan out like the splayed claws of a beast.

Dremora favor the sword above all other weapons. Unlike Daedric axes, their swords seem designed for piecing and gouging rather than cleaving. This compliments the Kyn's martial style which focuses on brutal stabs and relentless forward momentum.

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