Books:Daggerfall User's Guide< Books
|Release Date||31 August, 1996|
|Time Period||3E 405|
The Daggerfall User's Guide is the manual included with The Elder Scrolls Chapter II: Daggerfall. In addition to the usual technical gameplay information, it contains short sections on "History", "Lineage", and "The World of Tamriel", including a substantial "Bestiary".
There are more than fifty varieties of adversaries that you may face in the course of your adventures.
It is important to note that while all of the creatures listed below are, by nature, antagonistic to human beings and elves, many are intelligent, and several are capable of more than just frenzied combat.
Studies of several creatures of the Iliac Bay region have shown individual languages and cultures, some rivalling our own sophistication. Learning their languages may be the first step towards understanding these wild beings. Who knows what secrets unknown to civilised Tamrielans these creatures have privy to?
Diplomacy is seldom possible with these "Monsters," perhaps due to barriers other than language. In such cases, a ready blade is the only tongue, and talk is blood.
Listed below are some of the creatures you will be seeing. These are not necessarily the least nor most powerful - merely a healthy sampling of variety.
Regular urban pests are not worth mentioning. They are usually more frightened of adventures than vice versa. There exist, however, giant varieties that are the sharks of their swamps and sewers. Their strength lies in their ferocity, the size of their packs, and the virulence of the disease transmitted by their bites. A seasoned, well-armoured adventurer can pass through swarms of the little beasts in relative safety, but underestimating their brute cunning can be the last mistake that the less experienced will ever make.
The winged Imps have mysterious origins. Some say that they are little fiends from Oblivion, servants of the great Daedra that have been sent to Tamriel as nuisances or in some darker mission. Others say that they are like the Atronachs or golems, creatures created from magicka as familiars or companions to powerful sorcerers. The truth may be that both theories are correct, or that Imps are something else entirely. Whatever their history, Imps are mischievous creatures, capable of casting minor but painful spells of pure magicka. They are certainly intelligent and speak their own language, and they are crafty enough that they know when to fight and when to flee.
Luckily for adventures, these strange woodland fairykin are shy and reclusive, for they make very dangerous enemies. The old Nordic tales tell of the immortal Spriggan, who grow larger and mightier every time they fall. While in actuality Spriggans are not immortal, they are virtually impossible to kill.
Even if they are struck down, they will regenerate and arise to fight again. And the legends of the Spriggan growing larger and more powerful each incarnation is indeed true.
These cursed creatures are men by day, completely indistinguishable from "normal" men, and savage half-beast predators when the moon is full. At least two lycanthropes are common in the Illiac Bay environs: the werewolf and the wereboar. The werewolf is only found in the woodlands of High Rock and rarely in the jungles of Hammerfell, but the wereboar is found everywhere, and is the most fearsome opponent. Neither seems to be capable of a thought beyond bloodlust, and both are impervious to common weaponry. Their claws are as razors and are somehow capable of transmitting the dreaded lycanthropy to those it strikes. While lycanthropy is a relative simple disease for most temples to treat, few who survive a wereboar attack are likely to do a more than be thankful and rest for several days. 'Tis ironic to count your blessings when you have just been cursed.
From a distance, an orc may resemble a large, squat, muscular man - before the tusks become evident, and the green skin and the piggish eyes are seen. Usually, when a viewer is that close to an orc, he or she is not taking notes about the details. Orcs are among the most common encounters around the Iliac Bay, particularly around the southern half of the Wrothgarian Mountains. They are a consistently savage group, ready for a fight no matter the odds. Some rather eccentric researchers have suggested that the Orcs have a culture as ancient and sophisticated as ours, and that their seeming mindless barbarity is somehow related to rites of passage or tests of courage. It is highly likely that these researchers have never felt the sting of an orc captain's barbed axe.
One of nature's most adaptable predators is the Slaughterfish of the Iliac Bay. Averaging six feet in length, with thousands of poisonous needlethin teeth, the Slaughterfish have infested practically every large body of water in the region. Unlucky swimmers have found that even deep inland lakes and underground rivers hide deadly schools. Slaughterfish are attracted to the taste of bloody water, so injured adventurers are advised to bathe only in small ponds of water.
Centaurs are ancient and mysterious creatures, alternatively worshipped and despised. Legends of their exploits range from the epic to the pornographic, perhaps for no better reason that they varied personalities. The Council of Artaeum have called the Centaurs "true followers of the Old Ways" of Tamriel, referring to the complex system of ancestor worship that Artaeum itself espouses. All that one can certainly say about Centaurs is that in battle, there are few who are equal.
One of the great tragic stories told in northern Hammerfell is of the group of cruel and beautiful witches who were transformed (or transformed themselves, the legend is somewhat murky) into hideous, deranged half-breed Harpies. Whatever the truth is behind the legend, the Harpies are a true threat to life and commerce along the Iliac Bay. They nest in abandoned ruins, mating with and then destroying unfortunate human males they capture. While their maniacal nature makes them somewhat less-than-brilliant tacticians, their sharp talons and frenzied behaviour [sic] often force kingdoms to abandon lands to their use. Still, some say that the Harpies have knowledge passed on to them from their human fore-mothers: knowledge they may give, but not freely.
Another of the so-called cursed races of Tamriel, the Dreughs are said to be the remnants of a once-great civilization that flourished in the Iliac Bay long before the 1st Era. Though they have some humanoid characteristics, it is hard to give them credence to the legend when one views the tentacles and claws of the misshapen beasts. There is certain evidence that the Dreughs may have amphibian qualities, for they can be found in waterways far inland from their bayside origins. It is unlikely that the creatures themselves will offer insight to their origins, for Dreughs are violently hostile to all who invade their watery domain.
The peasants have colourful terms for Daedra: fiends, unclean spirits, the evil ones, the Dark Princes, the gods of torment, the infernal ones, and, most commonly, demons. Those who wish to understand or battle these nightmarish beings, rather than live in fear, prefer the more circumspect term, Daedra. It is nearly impossible to say anything definitive about Daedra, despite thousands of years of scholarship devoted to their nature. Their reputation as cruel, amoral geniuses of destruction seems to be mostly deserved, but if they are true evil, our definition of evil may need revision to include the complexity of their natures. Daedra appear to have a well-organized hierarchy, and the ones found in our world are doubtless the weakest of the lot. Of course, the Fire Daedra, the Frost Daedra, the Seducer, or the Daedra Lord are among the most dangerous creatures in Tamriel, but there is certainly something greater out there in the world they call Oblivion. Perhaps we are already doomed to fall beneath their fire.
Cruel, cunning, and immortal predators, vampires hunt the night, sometimes singly, sometimes in packs. Their powers and strength are certainly the stuff of legends - and there are said to be creatures called Vampire Ancients who are to Vampires as Vampires are to common man. Vampires are virtually immune to physical harm and are capable of casting a variety of powerful spells, not the least of which curses the victim with the dread disease vampirism. Like lycanthropy, vampirism can be easily cured in its early stages, but there is no known cure for the undeath besides death itself. Probably, the most horrifying thing about Vampires is their normalcy: you can never tell if someone is a Vampire until you feel the fangs at your neck. To what degree they have taken advantage of this and infiltrated human society is best left unimagined.
The fairly common dragonling is a worthy opponent for any adventurer. It is capable of casting a number of powerful spells and healing itself in combat. Those who speak their language tell us that beneath a veneer of maddening riddles and non sequiturs are minds of great wisdom. Despite all their merits, dragonlings are less than grand than their lineage would suggest. Explorers, sages, and archivists have argued for centuries over whether the great dragons of legends still live, if in fact they ever existed. The people of the Alik'r Desert insist that their vast plain of sand is home to a multitude of Great Wyrms. Granting the nomads their propensity for tall tales, if there were a forsaken land where the great Dragons still fly undisturbed, it would indeed be the Alik'r Desert.
Akatosh: The God of Time, usually represented as a dragon.
Akorithi: Queen of Sentinel. She is the widow of Cameron, who was killed at the end of the War of Betony. Her two sons are Lhotun and Greklith. Her eldest child is Aubk-i, the Queen of Daggerfall.
Artifact: A very rare, very powerful, unique magical item.
Arkay: The God of the Cycle of Birth and Death.
Aubk-i: Queen of Daggerfall and consort of King Gothryd. Her parents are Queen Akorithi of Sentinel and the late King Cameron. Her brothers are Lhotun and Greklith.
Barenziah: Queen of Wayrest, and former Queen of Mournhold (a kingdom in the province of Morrowind). Currently married to Eadwyre, Barenziah has two children by a previous marriage, Helseth and Morgiah.
Blades: A legendary group of swordsmen, with unknown allegiance and power.
Bretons: The "native" people of High Rock, characterized by relatively light skin and straight or wavy hair.
Cameron: Late King of Sentinel. Cameron was killed in the Battle of Cryngaine Field by the new King of Daggerfall, Gothryd. His widow is Akorithi, Queen of Sentinel. His children are Greklith, Lhotun, and Aubk-i, the current Queen of Daggerfall.
Class: A character's occupation. There are eighteen standard classes in Daggerfall, not including the custom classes possible.
Daggerfall: A kingdom in southwestern High Rock. It is ruled by King Gothryd and Queen Aubk-i from their palace in the capitol [sic] city, also called Daggerfall.
Dark Brotherhood: An assassination guild, prohibited by law, but unofficially sanctioned by the many powers that unofficially use their services. The leader of the Dark Brotherhood is supposedly called the Night Mother.
Dibella: The Goddess of Beauty.
Eadwyre: King of Wayrest. His first wife was Carolyna, with whom he had a daughter, Elysana. After Queen Carolyna's death, Eadwyre married Barenziah, former Queen of Mournhold.
Elysana: Princess of Wayrest. Elysana is the only child of King Eadwyre and his late wife Queen Carolyna.
Gortwog: King of Orsinium and leader of the orcs.
Gothryd: King of Daggerfall. His father, Lysandus, was killed at the end of the War of Betony. His wife is Aubk-i, former Princess of Sentinel. His mother is Mynisera and his grandmother is Nulfaga.
Greklith: Prince of Sentinel. Greklith is the second child of Queen Akorithi and the late King Cameron, and is the heir to the kingdom.
Helseth: Prince of Wayrest. First child of Queen Barenziah and the late King Symmachus. He has since been adopted by his stepfather, Eadwyre.
Hammerfell: One of the nine provinces of the Empire of Tamriel, traditionally the home of the Redguard people. Among the kingdoms that make up the province of Hammerfell is the kingdom of Sentinel.
High Rock: One of the nine provinces of the Empire of Tamriel, traditionally the home of the Breton people. Among the kingdoms that make up the province of High Rock are the kingdoms of Daggerfall and Wayrest.
Iliac Bay: Central body of water separating the provinces of High Rock and Hammerfell.
ItemMaker: A system available to members of the Mages' Guild (and other guilds) by which items may be enchanted.
Julianos: The God of Wisdom.
Lhotun: Prince of Sentinel. Lhotun is the third child of Queen Akorithi and the late King Cameron.
Lysandus: Late King of Daggerfall. Lysandus was killed under mysterious circumstances at the beginning of the Battle of Cryngaine Field, at the end of the War of Betony. His widow is Mynisera, the Dowager Queen of Daggerfall. His son and successor is Gothryd, current King of Daggerfall. Lysandus' mother is Nulfaga, the so-called Mad Witch.
Mages' Guild: An alliance of spellcasters. Guildhalls are found in most every capitol [sic] city in Tamriel.
Magicka: The raw energy from which mages and others fashion spells. Magicka is usually measured in "spell points" in sentient creatures, and "enchantment points" in nonsentient creatures. Most humans have a limited amount of magicka (l/2 Intelligence in "spell points") which continuously regenerates itself. True Mages have 2x their Intelligence in spell points, and Sorcerers have 3x their Intelligence in spell points (though they are unable to regenerate magicka naturally).
Mara: The Mother Goddess and Goddess of Love.
Morgiah: Princess of Wayrest. Morgiah is the second child of Queen Barenziah and the late King Symmachus. She has since been adopted by Eadwyre, her stepfather.
Mynisera: Dowager Queen of Daggerfall. Mynisera is the widow of King Lysandus and mother of King Gothryd.
Necromancers: A group of renegade spell casters, notorious in Tamriel for their evil deeds. Their supposed leader is called the King of Worms.
Nulfaga: Dowager Queen of Daggerfall, sometimes called the Mad Witch. Nulfaga is the grandmother of the current king of Daggerfall, but apparently went mad at the time of her son Lysandus' death and retired to the Wrothgarian Mountains.
Orsinium: The legendary homeland of the orcs. The original Orsinium was destroyed four thousand years ago, but King Gortwog is attempting to rebuild it.
PotionMaker: A system available at the Mages' Guild (and some other guilds) which allows members to create custom potions.
Redguards: The "native" people of Hammerfell, who arrived in Tamriel in the middle of the 1st Era, more than three thousand years ago. Redguards are characterized by relatively dark skin, and wavy or curly hair.
Schools of Magicka: The six major avenues of magical research: alteration, restoration, thaumaturgy, illusion, destruction, and mysticism. For a description of each, see the Skills section.
Sentinel: A kingdom in northern Hammerfell, on a peninsula in the Iliac Bay. Queen Akorithi, the widow of the late king Cameron, rules from the capitol [sic] city, also called Sentinel. Akorithi's daughter is the Queen of Daggerfall, Aubk-i.
SpellMaker: The system that allows members of the Mages' Guild to create custom spells.
Stendarr: The God of Mercy and Compassion.
Thieves' Guild: A hierarchical arrangement of thieves, fences, procurement specialists, planners, and enforcers. Though officially an illegal organization, the Guild is generally tolerated by the kings and queens of Tamriel.
Underking: A possibly mythical entity who has been the subject of horror stories for hundreds of years. A group of mages and undead creatures wander the land, claiming to be Agents of the Underking.
Uriel Septim VII: The Emperor of Tamriel, and liege lord of all of the kings and queens of the land. His forebearer, Tiber Septim, conquered the continent more than four hundred years ago, ushering in the 3rd era of history.
Wayrest: A kingdom at the mouth of the Bjoulsae River in High Rock. King Eadwyre and Queen Barenziah rule the land from their capitol [sic], also called Wayrest. Eadwyre has one child, Elysana, from a previous marriage. Barenziah has two children, Helseth and Morgiah, from her previous marriage.
Zen (sometimes Zenithar or Z'en): The God of Work and Commerce.