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< Lore: Places: A
Type Plane
Realm Oblivion
Demonym(s) Apocryphal
Appears in Skyrim, ESO
Apocrypha (Cinematic Trailer)
"Many scholars and loremasters have been ensnared by the lure of learning the secrets that only Hermaeus Mora possesses."Neloth, Mage Lord of House Telvanni[1]

Apocrypha is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge and Fate. The geography of the realm varies, with some areas being open with fields containing odd flora, other areas are an endless library consisting of untitled books with black covers, where all forbidden knowledge can be found, and the crackling towers of learning mingle with archways of despair and confusion.[2] The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge.[3] Stacks of books form mazes and spiraling pillars that can reach as high as the illuminating green sky. Intricate ruins and monstrous carvings can be found among the stacks. The plane is covered in a sea of ink and roiling tentacles, while Hermaeus Mora is omnipresent over all, taking glee in tormenting mortals from his realm.[2] Some areas of the realm are consumed by darkness which can kill any who enter it. Discarded pages and floating tomes fill the fetid air,[4] as if pulled by invisible string.[2] Storms of notorious strength purportedly rage over Apocrypha.[5]

Apart from magical teleportation, Apocrypha is most easily entered by mortals through the reading of Black Books, tomes of forbidden knowledge displaced from time and scattered across Tamriel. An apparition of the reader's body remains in Mundus, tethering their life force. Most mortals who gain access to the secrets within Apocrypha are driven insane by unending revelations. Such was the fate of the mage Morian Zenas, who famously disappeared in Apocrypha during his voyages through Oblivion.[3] However, those who successfully journey through Apocrypha are known to discover powerful knowledge. The laws of the mortal world hold no power in this realm.[2]


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Endless LibraryEdit

The halls of Apocrypha

Hermaeus Mora's infinite library of forbidden knowledge is described as a turbulent mire, glistening against the writhing brightness of a green sky, where every tome reveals secrets damning and inhumane, catalogued in chaos. Stacks of black-covered books adorn every edifice, and the dark halls are constantly elongating and retracting. Scryes are used to navigate these structures by elongating steps, opening gates, and performing other actions. Magicka and stamina fonts are found throughout the area. It is perched atop the black churning ocean of Apocrypha, which is described as an infinite sea of black ooze and thrashing tentacles. Lurker-Summoning Chambers are circular tentacle pools filled with black ooze that lurkers arise from.[2]

Fauna and FloraEdit

A sleeping Watcher
Fauna and Flora

Servants of the Great EyeEdit

Apocrypha is inhabited by grotesque Daedric creatures malformed by Mora, who are his frightening servants and stalk the constantly elongating and retracting halls.[2] Hermaeus Mora frequently employs Watchers as messengers and recorders, tasking them with obscure clerical duties in the hidden bureaucracy that quietly administers Apocrypha.[6] Alongside bureaucracy, Watchlings and Watchers are responsible for observing all things and cataloguing all knowledge, so that they may act as his eyes.[7] Many Watchers simply organize books or valuables.[8]

Seekers guard forbidden knowledge, banishing foes with sound attacks. Lurkers dwell within the inky tide, arising from the depths to attack invaders. Disembodied tentacles hide in the waters and hang from the sky, whipping at any who pass.[4] Wisp-Lanterns float through the fetid air of the realm, acting as sources of light.[2][4]


"By Seventh Umbra and the Dismal Name, I bid thee open, Cephaliarch's fane."
—An incantation used to enter Apocrypha[9]

Mora resides "everywhere and nowhere" but takes glee in tormenting mortals from his realm in Oblivion. Apocrypha is "incomprehensible" to mortals who have been lured into its unseen and unspeakable depths. It is said that this is partially because laws of the mortal world hold no power in Apocrypha.[2] The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge.[3]

Cipher's Midden is a mortal settlement located in the center of Apocrypha. It is primarily inhabited by the Ciphers of the Eye, mortals scholars who were brought to Apocrypha by Hermaeus Mora and exist there with his blessing. No cipher has authority over another; the only law in Cipher's Midden is that of Hermaeus Mora, and he takes no interest in mortal dealings. Instead, the ciphers choose to cooperate on custom.[10]

The Hushed are the remnants of mortals who have been consumed by the Daedric knowledge of Apocrypha.[11] Most Hushed ignore mortals who encounter them. Hermaeus Mora uses these creatures to guard locations he wishes to keep private,[12] such as the Infinite Panopticon, where they wander the halls as guardians of sorts.[13][14] It is advised to not interfere with the Hushed as they attend their duties, and that they may turn on unsuspecting mortals with no warning at all.[12]


The Dragon Priest Miraak sought the knowledge of Apocrypha in the Merethic Era, and used what he learned of the Thu'um to revolt against his dragon masters. Although he slew many, their retaliation was swift and furious, and Miraak's temple was destroyed. He retreated to Apocrypha with his dragon servants, where he dwelled for many eras. [4] By 4E 201, Miraak had in motion a plan to harness the power of the All-Maker Stones of Solstheim to enable his return to Tamriel. Seeing his corrupting influence on the lands and people of Solstheim, the Last Dragonborn entered Apocrypha through the reading of Black Books, and confronted Miraak. This came at the cost of making a deal with Hermaeus Mora, the traditions and oral history of the Skaal tribe of Solstheim, that Hermaeus Mora took by killing Storn Crag-Strider, the shaman of the Skaal. The two Dragonborn battled, and, when Miraak was close to defeat, he was killed by Mora, who then accepted the Last Dragonborn as his new champion.[15]

Notable PlacesEdit

Cipher's Midden
A mortal settlement in the center of Apocrypha.
Fathoms Drift
Ship graveyard in the Chroma Incognito.
Rectory Corporea
Hermaeus Mora's library of minds.
The Feral Gallery
Menagerie of beings and items which were of interest to the Prince, or were considered too dangerous to be allowed free.
The Mythos
The heart of Apocrypha. It is said to be located beneath the Ichor Sea where Hermaeus Mora conceived the concept of knowledge.
Locus of might-have-beens and never-will-bes.

Linked RealmsEdit

Infinite ArchiveEdit

The Library tended by Destozuno

The Infinite Archive is a border realm of Apocrypha, an adjunct plane or subrealm which lies within the greater fabric of Apocrypha, created by the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora. It is an endless library consisting primarily of historical accounts, written records of events that were or could yet be. Contemplating the scope of the Archive's function was known to leave mortals, even its caretaker Master Malkhest, in a daze.

Infinite PanopticonEdit

The Infinite Panopticon is a pocket realm inside Hermaeus Mora's realm of Apocrypha. It is described as an endless library of rooms and passages inside a limitless pocket dimension situated outside the time and space of Apocrypha proper, and is said to be one of the most secure repositories of knowledge within Apocrypha. The Panopticon is said to hold infinite secrets, including some of Mora's most closely guarded ones, as the information and secrets inside are considered too precious to be known by anyone but Hermaeus Mora himself.

In order to protect the information stored within, the entrance to the Panopticon constantly changes, never appearing in the same place twice. In addition, the interior of the realm changes at random, as nothing within the extradimensional space conforms to reality as mortals understand it. The defenses which protect the secrets in the Panopticon are said to include shifting chambers and corridors, an army of Hushed, Lurkers, Seekers and other Daedric guardians which are said to "defy description" and to be too powerful and obscure to describe accurately.

The secrets within the Panopticon are housed in books and scrolls or glyphics of specific design. Some of the most dangerous secrets are hidden in fragments of Hermaeus Mora's own memory, contained within the Eyes of Mora, said to be floating eyes taken from the "orbs without end" that make up Mora himself. These eyes can be entered to view the memory within, but to do so requires a key or passphrase to open the way. Wandering the memories of a Daedric Prince in such a manner is said to be dangerous even to Daedra, and described as likely to be fatal for mortals. Should the personal recollections of Hermaeus Mora stored within one of the Eyes somehow be altered, an achievement said to require unusual ability, the event the memory depicts itself will be rewritten. Such an alteration can draw the attention of Mora himself to the memory and those within.

It is said that spending too long within the Panopticon will drive the mortal mind insane, and indeed that the very sight of the Panopticon's interior can drive a mortal to madness. Being exposed to the secrets and memories within the Panopticon that Mora values has been known to drive even Watchlings to insanity, with the overall effect taking centuries to recover from.

The Mythos, the core and foundation of Apocrypha which is situated beneath the Ichor Sea and described as the place where Hermaeus Mora "imagined the concept of knowledge" and whispered the "first secret" to create his realm, is directly connected to the Infinite Panopticon and can be reached from within.



See AlsoEdit

  • For game-specific information, see the SkyrimDB article.