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Hircine

Author: 
Xan

Hircine, whose sphere is the hunt, the sports of Daedra, the greatest game, the chase and sacrifice of mortals; known by the names The Huntsman of The Princes, and The Father of Manbeasts.

The summoning date of Hircine is 5th of Mid Year. Hircine can also be summoned in his shrine, if the summoner has offered a wolf or bear pelt. Hircine always accepts summon from the witches of the Glenmoril Wyrd Coven of High Rock, at anytime.

Hircine in DaggerfallHircine in Morrowind

Hircine's statue in Oblivion

Circa 3E 430, Daedric Prince Hircine showed up in Solstheim, a disputed island between Morrowind and Skyrim. Roughly every a thousand years, Hircine comes to the island to perform a hunting game, known as Bloodmoon among the Skaal (a local Nordic tribe). His coming is always preceded by three signs: "Fire From the Eye of Glass", "Tide of Woe" and "Bloodmoon", when the young moon itself runs red.

As written above, Hircine is also known as the Father of Manbeasts, the Lycanthropes. The most common types of the Lycanthropes are Werewolf and Wereboar. The book authored by Varnard Karessen titled "On Lycanthropy" says:

In Black Marsh and southern Morrowind, werecrocodiles stalk the swamps. Black Marsh also shares with the Imperial Province and the wetter parts of Elsweyr the vile presence of werelions. Valenwood's werevultures are not found in any other province. The wereboar has found both the climates of High Rock and Hammerfell amenable. As I mentioned before, the werebear is the most common lycanthrope in Skyrim, and is also found in the northern parts of High Rock, the Imperial Province, and Morrowind. The werewolf can be found in every province. The seventh lycanthrope, which I have never seen but my trusted peers have assured me exists, is a wereshark that roams the oceans around Tamriel.

The hunger or the Bloodlust of the Lycanthropes is legendary. Unlike Vampires, who can survive without blood for a period of time, the Lycanthropes cannot. They have to kill once they have turned to beast form otherwise they would die. Certain artifact can suppress this Bloodlust, but the artifact is very rare and difficult to retrieve.

Lycanthropy is a disease but it starts with another disease, a minor one, called "Sanies Lupinus" that usually transferred by another Lycanthrope. At this point, a standard cure-disease potion will remove the disease easily. The disease only drains a small number of fatigue, and is hardly recognized. After three days without a cure, the disease evolves to Lycanthropy, the people turned to beast form and starts the Bloodlust.

When in beast form, the person's attributes (like strength, speed and endurance) are increased and his/her claws are deadly. The person also has total resistance to disease whether in human form or in beast form. In Iliac Bay, the Lycanthropes turn to beast form once per month, meaning they have to kill once per month. But in Solstheim, during the Bloodmoon, the transformation daily, perhaps due to the presence of Hircine himself.

During the Bloodmoon, Werewolves known as Hircine's Hounds acted as the hunters, while the inhabitants of the Solstheim were their prey. The most powerful person that can defeat the hounds is honored and would receive favors from the Prince himself, eventually being granted the right to face Hircine's aspect in one-on-one battle. Being honored to be the prey of the Prince himself. Very few survived this battle.

The Ring of Hircine is a unique artifact that grants a person - lycan or not - the power to control lycanthropy. Sometime before the Warp of the West, this ring was reported resurfaced in the Iliac Bay. The ring makes the Lycanthrope wielder to turn to beast form or vice versa at will, while being able to suppress the hunger. During the Bloodmoon in Solstheim, the enchantment was altered somewhat. The ring can make any person to turn to beast form at will but does not eliminate the blood lust in lycanthropes.

The witches of the witches of the Glenmoril Wyrd Coven of High Rock and Soltheim are known as Hircine worshipers, and can perform a summoning for anyone that can pay the price. The witches are also able to cure anyone of Lycanthropy.

The infected person, with the assistance of the witches, must perform a ritual called The Rite of the Wolf Giver. It is a complex ritual of dark magicka, requiring the sacrifice of both flesh and innocence. Petals of a wolfsbane flower and one bunch of ripened belladonna berries are needed by the witches to concoct a potion for the rite. Next, the infected must kill an innocent at a special altar, take her heart, and give it to the assisting witch. The witch then pours the potion on the heart, and with a long, shrieking series of arcane words the heart starts to pulse. The infected person must put back the heart into the innocent. The innocent will turn to Lycanthrope and the person must once again kill her. When the innocent dies in a second time, the infected person is infected no more. For more information please read The Story of Morrowind - Bloodmoon subsection.

There is a secret guarded heavily by the witches, a secret to cure Lycanthropy without the Rite of Wolf Giver. It uses a certain scroll or potion. But the witches will never offer this curing method to anyone. Most likely this brings Hircine's disfavor.

Another famous artifact of Hircine is the Armor of Saviour Hide. Legend has it that Hircine rewarded his peeled hide to the first mortal to have ever escaped his hunting grounds. This unknown mortal had the hide tailored into this magical armor for his future adventures. The armor was resurfaced in the Battlespire, during Mehrunes Dagon's invasion. One must wear a full set of the armor in order to wield the Spear of Bitter Mercy, a special spear that is needed to slay a certain Daedric leader. After the event, the armor pieces were scattered, leaving only the cuirass in the hands of mortals.

Divayth Fyr, an ancient Telvanni wizard and artifact collector, was the owner of the Cuirass of Saviour's Hide in the late 3E 420s. As with all his artifacts, he offered it freely to any adventurer brave enough to take it. 

Some time during Oblivion Crisis, Hircine was summoned by the Champion of Cyrodiil. He desired the horn of the only Unicorn in Cyrodiil. According some records, the champion finally brought the horn to Hircine, and Hircine rewarded the champion with the Cuirass of Saviour Hide. Detail conversation of the event can be read here.