Lore:Molag Bal

Lore: Gods: M
Molag Bal
"Indiscriminate death. Set upon by the gnawing and the rabid. Cyrodiil's candle flickers and is snuffed. Servants and superiors -- no one is spared the sharp tooth, ridged blade, or diseased hook, barb, or beak. And Molag Bal will watch from his palace in Coldharbour where everything stares back at him with his own face, and he will gloat, and mock, and gorge on the souls of mortals."
Flaccus Terentius

Molag Bal (Stone-Fire,[1] or literally "Fire Stone" in the Aldmeri language) is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals.[2] His ultimate desire is to harvest the souls of all mortals and to bring them within his sway by spreading seeds of strife and discord in the mortal realms.[3][4] To this end, he obsessively collects a great number of soul gems,[5][6] and has even dragged pieces of Nirn into his realm to satisfy his insatiable desire for conquest.[7] The more souls he collects, the more he wants.[8]

Molag Bal values patience and cunning. He does not hesitate to deceive those he deals with, and is capable of waiting exceedingly long periods of time to carry out the schemes he prepares.[9][10] He also takes great pleasure in the suffering of mortals, and often has them tortured for his amusement.[11] Those who fall into his clutches are forced to labor ceaselessly for his benefit.[12] The Prince has a penchance for necromancy,[13][14] often employing the use of the risen dead and forcing his followers to serve beyond the grave.[15] He is intimately familiar with death, and is capable of preserving live mortals for extended periods of time to prolong their suffering.[16]

Molag Bal is acknowledged as the father of several children, though it is unclear what those relationships mean to him.[17] He has a son, Ozzozachar,[18] who is a Daedric Titan. He also has a daughter named Molag Grunda, a Winged Twilight who fell in love with the lowly Frost Atronach Nomeg Gwai. Molag Bal did not approve of the relationship and had them both banished to Oblivion, so they could be punished for eternity.[19] His enemies are Ebonarm,[20][citation needed- see discussion] Boethiah,[21] Meridia,[22] Lamae Bal[23] and Arkay, and was at one point allied with Azura.[20][citation needed- see discussion] His summoning day is during Chil'a, on the 20th of Evening Star.[24] He appears before his cultists in the guise of a mortal when invoked on other dates.[25]

Molag Bal is arrogant, calculating and cares little for the welfare of mortalkind.[26][27] He despises pacifism, which he views as repulsive. To Molag Bal, pacifism is a form of weakness.[28] He is also fond of ostentatious and macabre displays of power. As a result, he is known to occasionally hold elaborate ceremonies, an example of which was his "first Daedric Titan unveiling and Soul Shriven impalement celebration".[29] His daughter has also hosted events like dinner parties, featuring dishes like roasted Yaghra.[30] It is rumored among the kyn who serve him that his second-favorite type of weapon after the mace is the axe, as it is the tool of the headsman. However, nobody is brave enough to ask him about it.[31] He purportedly has terrible hygiene and smells of rotting flesh.[32]

TitlesEdit

Mortals have used descriptors and alternate names to refer to the Daedric Prince in conversation. Molag Bal is unique in that he is known by an exceedingly large amount of nicknames, some used by specific groups for different reasons. He is most commonly referred to as the God of Schemes,[33] the Harvester of Souls,[34][35][36] the Lord of Domination,[26] the Prince of Domination[37] and the Lord of Brutality.[38][39] These terms are comparatively neutral, and can be used by anyone to describe him, from normal citizens to his greatest enemies and his most devout worshipers. These titles are descriptive, and utilize aspects of his sphere of influence to identify him as the subject of conversation. The Dark Lord is another neutral name, used by fearful slaves in hushed whispers, and uttered by the Prince's enemies in defiance.[40] Molag Bal's minions in particular use the name in reverence.[41][42]

Several other nicknames which the mortals of Tamriel have identified Molag Bal with include the Harvester,[43] the Corrupter, the Tormentor of Men,[44] the Lord of Troubles,[45] the Sower of Strife[46] and the Scheming Lord of Coldharbour.[47] These nicknames share a common theme in that they describe Molag Bal's sphere of influence. These titles also draw from his most easily recognizable behaviors. Molag Bal is known to harvest souls, torment mortals for fun and corrupt the minds of good people with promises of power.[48] He hatches elaborate schemes to spread his influence across Tamriel. The Prince of Murder is a more vague title that has been affixed to the Prince by the servants of his enemy, Meridia.[49] The title does not frame murder as an aspect of his sphere in the way that it falls under Mephala's divine portfolio; rather, it illustrates the idea that Molag Bal is an individual of an unpleasant nature.

The King of Rape[50] is a title that has only been seen in the Living God Vivec's sermons. This moniker is drawn from the aspect of brutality that is encompassed by Molag Bal's sphere of influence. The Elder Spirit of Domination and Supreme Law is a moniker derived from the epistles of Amun-dro, an ancient Khajiit priest who committed the names of the old Khajiit deities to paper.[51] Carlovac Townway referred to Molag Bal as the Prince of Rage in his popular historical fiction novel, 2920, The Last Year of the First Era.[52] Sigillah Parate identified Molag Bal as the Schemer Princess in her work, Invocation of Azura.[25]

Molag the Slave-Lord[53] is a one-off nickname used by Phrastus of Elinhir in his lecture on the nature of Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion, Coldharbour. The name is in reference to Molag Bal's voracious desire to amass unfathomable amounts of souls, and his tendency to enslave those whose souls he comes into possession of. The Schemer,[54] the Prince of Pain[55] and the Captain of Corruption[55] are monikers written in popular bardic performances from the Interregnum. The Plane Meld was a song that described the impending doom from the then ongoing Planemeld. It likens Molag Bal to some sort of demented farmer, tilling the land of Tamriel and sowing corruption as far as he can reach.[55]

The Dark Father,[56] the Father of Vampires[57][58] and the Father of Undeath[8] are nicknames derived from Molag Bal's association with vampires and the undead. Regardless of whether or not they revere him, vampires who recognize Molag Bal as the progenitor of the first vampire may refer to him as the Dark Father. Scholars and laymen who are familiar with Molag Bal's association with vampires or his propensity for raising the dead may refer to him as either of the latter.[56] The Defiler[23] is a title of note among the scions of Lamae Bal, the first vampire. The vampires of Lamae's coven are encouraged to despise Molag Bal, and they acknowledge him as the one responsible for their matron's state of undeath.[59] The scions of Lamae have also referred to Molag Bal as the Father of Torment[59] and the King of Corruption[59][60] in lieu of the notion that Molag Bal takes great delight in the suffering of mortals, and actively seeks to corrupt anything he believes will further his goals or spread strife throughout Nirn.

The Lord of Lies[61] and the Lord of Darkness[62] are names that have been uttered by the Prince's adherents. The Dark Master[61] and the Dread Lord[63] are titles which have been explicitly used by Molag Bal's cultists and Daedric minions in the context of their service. The Daedra who serve Molag Bal refer to him as "the Dread Lord" and "the Dark Lord" in their missives. Servants both mortal and otherwise have identified their god with many variations on the words "lord" and "master", denoting the Prince's position of power above the denizens of his Plane.[61][64] An example of such a name is the Lord of Schemes.[65] The Lord of Coldharbour is a simple title that refers to his dominion over Coldharbour.[66]

Religion and CultureEdit

Bal Ur, a temple of great importance to followers of Molag Bal

Molag Bal is a Daedric power of much importance in Morrowind, where he is always the archenemy of Boethiah, the Prince of Plots.[67] He is seen as a primary obstacle to the Dunmer people (and their Chimer predecessors).[67] In the legends, Molag Bal always tries to upset the bloodlines of Houses or otherwise ruin Dunmeri "purity".[67] He is said to be the parent (along with Vivec) of a population of mutant degenerates living in the Molag Amur region of Vvardenfell.[68] He is known to the Dunmer as the third corner of the House of Troubles.[69] Dunmeri mythos cites Bal Ur as the "birthplace of Molag Bal"[70] where the Doom Drum purportedly tricked him into becoming mortal.[71] In the days of old Resdayn, Molag Bal was not worshiped so much as he was placated.[72]

Molag Bal purportedly has connections to the dreugh. According to legend, the dreugh used to be far more intelligent and civilized than they are today.[73] The dreugh were said to worship a creature known as the Ruddy Man.[73] Not much is known about this entity, but it is believed to be a manifestation of Molag Bal.[73] Dunmeri folklore alleges that Molag Bal was the chieftain of the dreugh in a time when they ruled the world.[74] During that time, Molag Bal took on a form that was spiny, armored and built for life beneath the waves.[74] The Ruddy Man from the teachings of the Tribunal Temple is said to resemble this iteration of Molag Bal, and was supposedly a product of Vivec and Molag Bal's time together.[74] The Ruddy Man from Dunmeri lore and the Ruddy Man worshiped by the dreugh are seemingly unrelated.

Molag Bal is known as Mola Gbal to the Ayleids,[75] and was the patron deity of Abagarlas.[76] Additionally, the Bretons of the Iliac Bay share stories about the "Terrible Torchbug of Molag Bal" the night before Waking Day.[77] The stories vary, but the one consistent part of every variation of the tale involves a fearsome, savage entity being in the presence of blue torchbugs.[77]

Some ancient Khajiit tribes knew him as Molagh, one of the twelve Demon Kings and the Elder Spirit of Domination and Supreme Law.[51] In some forms of Khajiiti mythos, Molagh was the first to attempt an assault on the Lunar Lattice with intent alongside Merrunz and Merid-Nunda. Boethra fought him to a standstill before the Lattice, and Azurah brought him down.[51] Amun-dro's writings specifically say that he is to be faced along the Path and overcome by the Will Against Rule, a concept associated with Boethra.[51] Molagh is not known to appear in any other Khajiiti tales or myths.

One legend claims that Molag Bal created the first vampire when he raped a Nedic virgin named Lamae Beolfag, who in turn slaughtered a group of nomads.[78] He has also made pacts with mortals and bestowed the power of vampirism upon them. One such example is Lord Harkon and his family.[79] It is implied that Lord Harkon and his family are the original Volkihar Clan of vampires, having been turned by the Daedric Prince himself.[79] Molag Bal is also rumored to have bestowed upon ancient vampire lords several powerful baubles that amplify vampiric powers.[80] Among these treasures is the Amulet of Bats, which was found in the possession of Lord Falgravn in 2E 582.[81]

WorshipEdit

"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."
Flaminius Auctor

Cults that worship Molag Bal often perform live, unwilling sacrifices to please their god.[42] A core belief among his cults is that the weak must be punished by the strong, a tenant that Molag Bal himself touts.[21] This belief is held highly by the Dremora who serve the Lord of Lies.[82] The aforementioned cults use dark magic and necromancy as a tool, profaning the dead and using them to bring Molag Bal further towards his ultimate goal.[83][84] Cunning, deception and subterfuge are just as valued by the Prince as brutality is. Thus, bribery, blackmail and extortion are common tools of the Stonefire Cult.[25][85] Some groups, such as the Fen Witches of Hjaalmarch, engage in practices such as child abduction to bolster their ranks.[86] Those unaffiliated with a cult who wish to contact the Prince may offer a lion's pelt at a shrine dedicated to Molag Bal.[28] This practice has been observed in Cyrodiil.[28]

The Order of the Black Worm served Molag Bal during the Planemeld.[87] The Order was a prime example of a group that wielded necromancy in Molag Bal's name. In addition to raising an undead army in the wake of the Planemeld, the cult participated in the Planemeld in force, carrying out many schemes in his name.[88][89] Additionally, they sacrificed thousands of souls to the Daedric Prince,[90] and were responsible for constructing and activating the dolmens where Dark Anchors were to be dropped.[91][41]

Molag Bal is known to bless his followers with undeath under certain circumstances. During the Planemeld, the Order of the Black Worm allied with the Stonetalon, Rageclaw and Boneshaper Reach clans.[92] In exchange for releasing the ancient giant Sinmur, the Order promised to bless the clans with "the touch of their dark lord".[93] The Order channeled the touch of Molag Bal throughout Vernim Woods, transforming the Reachmen and turning them into undead monstrosities known as the Graveborn.[94] The Boneshaper patriarch, Stral Blackthroat, had undergone the transformation himself within the nearby ruins, gaining immense power.[95] Those who offer themselves willingly to Molag Bal from beyond the grave may have the pleasure of being transformed into an undead abomination, be it a flaming bone colossus or some other unholy amalgamation.[96][97]

As is expected of a Daedric Prince, Molag Bal can summon his Daedric minions at will.[98] Unfortunately for those who oppose him, this means he can summon a horde of Daedric Titans.[98] In the realm of destruction magic, cold fire suits his needs when feels he should intervene in a matter of security.[99][100] Those who offend Molag Bal may find themselves suddenly missing important features, such as their skin.[101] Molag Bal is not above turning people into ravenous undead creatures.[101] The extent to which Molag Bal wields Shadow Magic is not well known, but he has shaped the darkness itself to imprison powerful servants of Meridia.[16]

Molag Bal has also been observed wielding a form of mind magic. In particular, Molag Bal has intruded upon the minds of mortals as a form of torture.[102] He is capable of forcing his way into a mortal's mind and showing them horrific visions or events.[103] He also does this to Daedra, particularly magically-gifted Xivkyn.[104] These augurs share a mental link with Molag Bal, acting as vessels to carry out his dark whims.[104] This practice has its risks, as mortal prisoners willful enough to escape Coldharbour and oppose him may use their mental connection to the Prince to see through his eyes.[102] Other less fortunate individuals have had their force of will completely sapped.[105] Such was the case with the infamous pirate, Captain Blackheart, whose entire crew was transformed into undead monstrosities.[106][107][108] He was cursed when a relic the crew had stolen spoke to him, claiming to be Molag Bal.[107] The Prince uttered a spell, transforming the crew and making them unable to disobey their Captain's orders.[107] In that moment, the Captain had fallen completely under Molag Bal's control.[105] Following the crew's enslavement, Molag Bal proceeded to kill hundreds of innocents with Captain Blackheart's hands, tormenting him with fleeting moments of independent thought.[105] Captain Blackheart never slaughtered those he plundered until he fell into the Prince's grasp.[109][105]

HistoryEdit

First EraEdit

The remains of the All Flags Navy

Some time in the First Era, Molag Bal made a pact with King Styriche of Verkarth, a powerful vampire and the leader of the Gray Host.[110] The terms of their agreement eventually brought thirteen of the Gray Host's exarchs into Coldharbour, where they were tortured for eternity by the Daedric Prince.[110] Rada al-Saran, the last known surviving leader of the Gray Host, sought to free his kin from Coldharbour in 2E 582 with the help of the Icereach Coven.[111]

He is credited with the creation of two species of Daedra, both involved in his experiments in a facility known as The Vile Laboratory.[112] The Xivkyn[6] and the Daedric Titan[64] are the products of his fascination with vestigial hybridization and the Dragons' dominion over mortalkind respectively. Both of these species were released upon the people of Tamriel for the first time during Molag Bal's invasion of Nirn.[64]

In 1E 2260, the All Flags Navy sailed to Thras and defeated the Sload.[113] The Sloads' Coral Tower was destroyed during the siege, causing it to plunge into the sea.[113] The Maelstrom of Bal[114] opened up in the wake of the tower's fall, and a large chunk of the fleet was pulled beneath the Abecean Sea and into Coldharbour.[113] Molag Bal appeared before the wreckage and struck a deal with the leader of the fallen fleet, giving the admiral complete control over his sailors with a relic known as the Crown of Bones.[113][115]

Molag Bal was responsible for the destruction of the Bosmeri settlement of Gil-Var-Delle at the end of the First Era, when he was summoned by King Dro'Zel of Senchal.[116] Molag Bal consumed the souls of all mortals present that day, leaving nothing more than the charred remains of the town's once mighty graht-oak.[117] His corrupting influence lingered into the second era.[118][119] The disaster at Gil-Var-Delle was the catalyst that sparked the conception of the Coldharbour Compact. Molag Bal was present at the meeting where Sotha Sil sealed his famed bargain with the powers of Oblivion, and agreed to the terms the Living God set.[54]

Second EraEdit

A Dark Anchor

In the 582nd year of the Second Era, Molag Bal attempted to merge Nirn with his plane of Coldharbour in an event known as the Planemeld. However, this campaign was halted by the Vestige.[120] A last-ditch effort to claim the Mundus for his own occurred not long after, while his forces occupied the Imperial City.[121] The Order of the Black Worm and an offshoot of Legion traitors dubbed Legion Zero served beneath Molag Bal's Daedric minions to invade and maintain control over the city.[122] Their orders were to locate and destroy the Sublime Brazier so the Dragonfires could never be lit again. This plot, along with a ritual known as the Planemeld Obverse which involved an Elder Scroll, were also foiled.[121][123]

Molag Bal also arranged to have biological weapons produced in the Imperial Prison.[124] The City's citizens were to be brought to the prison and delivered to the newly-appointed Daedric warden's flesh sculptor, a powerful necromancer who held mastery over flesh.[124] The sculptor would turn mortal skin and organs into carriers for plague and disease, creating flesh devices that would spew noxious clouds to contaminate the earth around them.[124] Molag Bal's generals planned to deploy a thousand of these siege engines throughout the City, ending the Alliance War quite quickly and turning the tide in Molag Bal's favor.[124][125]

Molag Bal was responsible for cursing the town of Westtry at some point between between 2E 220 and 2E 582.[126] The town was invaded by Nord raiders, and a priest of Stendarr sought aid from his god.[126] He was answered by Molag Bal instead, and begged the Prince to save Westtry.[126] Molag Bal subsequently cursed Westtry with undeath.[126] The curse was lifted by the Vestige in 2E 582.[127] That same year, Abagandra—the Lightless Remnant of the Doomcrag—was given to Molag Bal and transported to his realm to prevent it from devastating Rivenspire with a plague of vampirism.[128]

Third EraEdit

Sometime around 3E 405, in exchange for power, Molag Bal tasked the agent of the Blades with eliminating a heretic mage who drew from his power without invoking his name.[129] In 3E 427, Molag Bal asked the Neravarine to banish a lazy Daedroth minion named Menta Na to the Outer Realms, where he would be punished for not wreaking havoc as he was created for.[130] During the Oblivion Crisis, Molag Bal spread corruption by having the Champion of Cyrodiil incite a local pacifist to murder.[131]

Fourth EraEdit

In 4E 201, Molag Bal's presence haunted a home within the city of Markarth, and attracted the attention of a Priest of Stendarr who came to purify the residence. The Last Dragonborn offered to assist, and when the pair entered the home, Molag Bal trapped them inside. He forced the Dragonborn and the priest to fight to the death, and the Dragonborn prevailed, proving themselves the stronger of the two. With the Dragonbirn having passed his "test", the Prince gave them a task. He offered them the Mace of Molag Bal as an incentive for capturing the soul of a priest of Boethiah who had been desecrating Molag Bal's shrine. The hero complied with the request.[132]

Relations with Other EntitiesEdit

Molag Bal is a master of all forms of domination over mortals, including the arts of illusion. As a matter of course the Lord of Brutality prefers lies to the truth—except when the truth is more cruel.[133]

The politics of Oblivion are complex, and what each Daedric Prince thinks of one another is mostly unclear. However, Molag Bal has a few clearly defined relationships with other Princes, particularly Meridia. The two aren't very fond of one another. Molag Bal revels in undeath and destruction,[13] while Meridia believes that the sanctity of life energies is not to be perverted.[134] These fundamental beliefs are the foundation for their bitter rivalry.

The two have actively antagonized each other throughout the course of Tamrielic history. Meridia's role in halting the Planemeld is a prominent example. Meridia wrested control over the Fighters Guild to turn its attention towards interfering with the Planemeld,[10] sent a city under her protection[76] into Coldharbour to host an invasion force of her own making,[135] and personally appeared in the heart of Molag Bal's stronghold to destroy the Planar Vortex.[136] Meridia plotted to oppose the Planemeld years in advance.[136]

During the same time period, Meridia foiled Molag Bal's efforts to use the Mortuum Vivicus, a relic that siphons mortal souls and is capable of unleashing a storm of undeath.[10] This would be the second time Meridia has thwarted Bal's attempts to release the Vivicus upon Tamriel, the first occurring in the First Era during the time of Abagarlas and Delodiil.[137] Molag Bal's worshipers plotted to harvest the souls of Meridia's faithful and unleash the Mortuum Vivicus's necromantic potential,[137] and the Lady of Light destroyed the Abagarlan's city in response.[138] Molag Bal became so familiar with Meridia's methods during their years of conflict, that he had a facility constructed specifically to imprison her servants.[22] Some ancient Khajiiti tales suggest that Meridia and Molag Bal once fought for a common goal during Bal's assault on the Lunar Lattice, though this cannot be confirmed by any other sources.[51] In summary, Molag Bal and Meridia have a storied history rife with conflict, and their interactions with one another have been less than friendly.

Boethiah is another Prince with whom Molag Bal isn't necessarily on good terms with. This is another case of a difference in fundamental beliefs: Molag Bal expects those who worship him to obey him without question.[139] On the other hand, Boethiah expects her followers to actively question and oppose authority, and despises it when mortals attempt to appeal to her with bent knees and words of adoration.[140] Molag Bal seeks strength for himself, while Boethiah looks for strength in others.[141] The two could not be more different. Their differences aren't the only thing setting them apart; the two Princes have some record of antagonizing one another. In the past, Boethiah has sent her followers to desecrate Molag Bal's holy sites, and Molag Bal has retaliated in kind.[21]

Molag Bal is apparently bitter rivals with Mehrunes Dagon, and the two will thwart each other at every given opportunity.[85] Malacath's relationship with Molag Bal is unclear, but the Pariah views Molag Bal's desire for adulation as unnecessary, and furthermore a weakness.[142] The servants of Molag Bal and Azura have notably tripped over each others' toes in the past.[143][36] The most noteworthy of such instances revolved around a priestess of Azura who invoked Molag Bal's ire.[143][36]

Molag Bal doesn't just have conflict with other Princes, but the Divines as well. Molag Bal has a particular distaste for Arkay, whom is invoked when the souls and bodies of deceased mortals are consecrated for burial. Molag Bal delights in the art of necromancy, and Arkay's opposition to the undead contradicts Molag Bal's belief that corpses are tools for him to use to further his goals.[67] In the legend of the first vampire's creation, Molag Bal outright invents a new form of undeath to spite Arkay's sway over the dead.[56][78][144] While Arkay and Molag Bal never engage each other personally, their servants are more likely to find themselves at odds with one another. The Order of Arkay is an organization that seeks to protect the autonomy of mortal souls and prevent their misuse by necromancers and Daedra. They oppose the necromantic energies wielded by Bal's cultists and the very existence of vampires.[145] Additionally, Arkay's blessing is capable of preventing mortal souls from being perverted by Molag Bal's dark influence.[146][147]

The followers of Stendarr have also opposed Molag Bal.[53] Cardinal Belforte of the Order of Stendarr devoted his life to ridding Tamriel of Daedric corruption, and he was especially thorough in his persecution of Molag Bal's faithful.[53] He acquired numerous tracts from the cults his order persecuted, which furthered scholars' understanding of Molag Bal's motivations.[53]

ArtifactsEdit

The Mace of Molag BalEdit

The Mortuum Vivicus

The Mace of Molag Bal, also known as the Vampire's Mace, is a Daedric artifact attributed to Molag Bal, the Lord of Domination and Enslavement. Its enchantment drains the stamina and magicka of its victims and transfers them to the bearer. It also has been known to have the ability to transfer an enemy's strength to its wielder or trap their soul. It has been said to be a good weapon of choice for vanquishing wizards.

Many legends surround the mace, but its origins can be traced back to when Molag Bal deceived an Orcish blacksmith and enslaved him in pits of Coldharbour. The blacksmith was turned into a Soul Shriven and forced to forge the mace.

Due to Molag Bal's penchant for meddling in mortal affairs, he grants the mace to those he deems worthy but has also been quite free with his artifact. Molag Bal assumes that when such a powerful artifact falls into mortal hands, a trail of death and destruction is sure to follow. Some believe the mace to be an object of Daedra worship.

The Mortuum VivicusEdit

The Mortuum Vivicus was a powerful weapon created by the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. It had no physical form, instead appearing as a large orb of cold light. It was originally given as a gift to the Ayleid King Anumaril of Abagarlas, a Daedraphile settlement on City Isle that was dedicated to Bal.

Harvest HeartsEdit

One of the Stones of Cold Fire

Harvest Hearts are artifacts that Molag Bal uses to enslave large communities and empower specific parts of his divine portfolio.[148]

During the Planemeld, the Vestige destroyed a Heart within a portion of Coldharbour known as the Orchard, a large graveyard full of vampires. That particular heart greatly increased the rate at which vampirism spreads, and turned a few of the Coldharbour invasion force's own into bloodfiends. While that Heart was intact, the vampires in the Orchard were completely under Molag Bal's control, unable to disobey their orders to protect the area.[149]

Stones of Cold FireEdit

The seven Stones of Cold Fire are artifacts that were gifted directly from Molag Bal and distributed throughout Daedric ruins on Vvardenfell that were dedicated to the Lord of Lies. These stones hold the power to summon and compel Daedra. They were used during the Interregnum by Mistress Dratha to make a deal with a Dremora named Xykenaz to prolong her life. The stones were located at Ashalmawia, Bal Ur, Esutanamus, Kushtashpi, Ramimilk, Yansirramus, and Tusenend.[150]

ColdharbourEdit

Heart's Grief's vestibule, where the most wretched of failures are tormented

Coldharbour is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination. As befits his sphere, Bal's realm is a desolate, apocalyptic image of Nirn, which is achieved by both mocking imitation and outright theft of parts of the mortal realm. It is inhabited by Daedra and the eternally-tormented souls of mortals called Soul Shriven. Descriptions of the plane vary widely, but all accounts agree that Coldharbour is a dismal, cold, and largely lifeless realm. Coldharbour has been described as a manifestation of fear and exploitation.

Coldharbour is full of innumerable facilities, all built to further Molag Bal's dark schemes. Among these facilities is the Library of Dusk, a library filled with propaganda that serves as a trap for scholars.[151] It is available for use by Molag Bal's minions.[152] There is another library in Coldharbour that is slightly less accessible. It is Molag Bal's personal collection, located in his stronghold. The shelves in Molag Bal's library span entire cliffs and run deep into a chasm. Unsurprisingly, plenty of the books on his shelves are very disturbing.[153]

Molag Bal's citadel

The realm possesses several qualities that function as security measures. Mages who attempt to enter Coldharbour by the way of portals will find themselves in a location they did not intend to land.[154] Magical constructs known as Coldharbour Sentinels are used by Molag Bal to guide his vision in Coldharbour. With their aid, he can see into whatever prison they're anchored in. These Sentinels are magically connected, so destroying one will blind the other Sentinels it was bound to.[155]

Coldharbour mostly consists of prisons, but other facilities include those where research is conducted. He is fascinated by the metamagical technology of Soul Gems, and often has a mystical research project or two in the works to develop new and more efficient methods of stealing and imprisoning the souls of mortals.[156] Not every part of Coldharbour serves a practical use; there are a lot of graveyards in Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion for no other reason than because he likes them.[157]

ServantsEdit

One of the Xivkyn

Molag Bal maintains a strong military within his realm. He expects complete loyalty from his servants, and does not tolerate weakness among his ranks.[158][159][139] Daedra most commonly seen in his service include Dremora, Clannfear, Daedroth, Grievous Twilights, Daedric Titans, Cold-Flame Atronachs, Banekin and Harvesters. Ogrim, Scamps, Watchers, Winged Twilights, Xivilai, Spider Daedra and Dark Seducers are also found in his service. The Xivkyn are a Daedric race that is exclusively loyal to Molag Bal, and serve as his personal guard.[6][160] Molag Bal forbade ordinary Flame Atronachs from being summoned in his realm after a subordinate conjured one in his palace, and it damaged his favorite ice sculpture. Their presence within Coldharbour was eventually replaced by Cold-Flame Atronachs.[161] That is not to say his servants cannot summon them on Nirn; Molag Bal simply does not allow them within the confines of his realm.

The Dremora among his servants are divided into two clans, the Deathbringers and the Foolkillers, who struggle against each other for prominence within Molag Bal's ranks.[162] During the Interregnum, the Deathbringers were at the forefront of this struggle.[163] Their Valkynaz was a trusted servant of Molag Bal whom was tasked with guarding the key to the Prince's inner sanctum and had access to the Daedric Prince himself.[164] Three other Dremora are known to have been part of Molag Bal's inner council.[165] Aside from playing a role in Coldharbour's politics, they fill Molag Bal's ranks as soldiers, couriers, guards and torturers among other roles.[166][167]

It is a fairly simple task to discern a minion of Molag Bal from those in service to another Prince.[168] The easiest way to figure this out is by looking at their eyes.[168] The eyes of Daedra within Molag Bal's service tend to be icy blue, just like their masters', and many of the servants of Molag Bal have blue or blue-grey skin.[168][169] Stonefire Scamps are particularly easy to discern as servants of Molag Bal, as their flesh and fur are a rich blue-grey, their eyes are the same tone as their master's and they have deep black horns.[170] Slate-Skinned Daedrats are a breed whose distinct markings and blue eyes stem from their diet of corpses that have been touched by the Lord of Brutality. While not brazen servants of Molag Bal, they bear characteristics common in his servants and are often studied by those interested in researching or thwarting the Prince.[171]

A Watcher that serves Molag Bal

The rules that govern Molag Bal's minions are outlined in two known doctrines: the Seven-Hundred-and-One Edicts is the primary set of rules, and the Mandatory Codicils cover special cases.[172] Breaking one of these rules lands one a sentence to a facility known as the Scathe Rings, where those imprisoned can be sentenced to many excruciating punishments.[172] One such punishment is "Second-Degree Gradual Discorporation".[22] Strict uniform codes are among the guidelines that govern Bal's servants.[173][63] If one of Molag Bal's servants is "put on trial" for their transgressions, they are tried in a facility known as the Court of Contempt, where they are entitled to a counsel of Scamps outfitted in puffy wigs.[174] Scamps are not allowed to speak in the Court of Contempt, and the Court has a one-hundred-percent conviction rate of defendants, otherwise known as "the Guilty".[174] These trials are mostly for show and never end fairly.[174] One notable instance of a minion incurring the Daedric Prince's wrath is an incident known as "The Seat of Tyranny Rude Cushion Incident", wherein a Dremora named Xykenaz was imprisoned in a nanoplane for putting a whoopie-cushion on Molag Bal's throne.[175]

Molag Bal has appointed quite a few powerful servants to serve as generals or other high-ranking officers. Among these servants are spies, agents of chaos, brutal prison wardens, and gifted mages.[176][177] Molag Bal values cunning as well as strength, and seems to grant power to those he finds interesting or strong... even if their claim to fame is upsetting the balance of power amongst the other Daedra within his service. Though he would prefer his military hierarchy remains stable, he has rewarded servants of his for displays of guile in the past.[177][84][178] Molag Bal has also employed a scribe named Denogorath, whose full title is "Dread Archivist and Promulgator of Mandatory Doctrine".[179]

Mortals also play a role in serving the Prince. Apart from the cultists that worship him on Nirn, Molag Bal has the Soul-Shriven and Mind-Shriven as slaves, with the Dremora as their common overseers.[180] Vampires may also be found serving the Daedric Prince.[181][182]

The extent that the Seven-Hundred-and-One Edicts applies to mortals is not known, but there are consequences for mortals who displease Molag Bal nonetheless. Mortals who disappoint the Daedric Prince badly enough are pitted against each other in an endless war at the Cliffs of Failure. The basic premise of the "game" at the Cliffs is for the participants to fight to win back the Dark Lord's favor.[183] However, there is no end to the "game", and these individuals are doomed to fight for Molag Bal's amusement forever.[184] Mortals and Daedra who anger the Prince severely are tormented in the vestibule of Heart's Grief.[185] These individuals have usually failed Molag Bal terribly[186] or committed treason of the highest degree.[187]

See AlsoEdit

BooksEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Meridia's dialogue in ESO
  2. ^ The Book of Daedra
  3. ^ The Requisite Book of Daedra
  4. ^ The Spawn of Molag Bal
  5. ^ Appearance of The Wailing Maw, the Castle of the Worm, the Foundry of Woe and several other locations where soul gems are piled high in ESO
  6. ^ a b c On the XivkynPelagius Habor, Council Daedrologist-in-Residence
  7. ^ Appearance of Haj Uxith, The Moonless Walk and the Reaver Citadel in ESO
  8. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Dreams of CyrodiilFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  9. ^ Haj Uxith's appearance in Coldharbour and Faraniel's dialogue during The Shadow's Embrace in ESO
  10. ^ a b c Events of the Fighters Guild questline in ESO
  11. ^ The Slave Pits of Coldharbour
  12. ^ The Halls of Torment Loading Screen text in ESO
  13. ^ a b Valasha's JournalValasha
  14. ^ Unhallowed LegionsPhrastus of Elinhir
  15. ^ Molag Bal's dialogue during The Prismatic Core
  16. ^ a b King Laloriaran Dynar's dialogue during Light from the Darkness in ESO
  17. ^ Grunda's Gatehouse loading screen text in ESO
  18. ^ Ozzozachar's appearance in ESO
  19. ^ Events of A Cure for Vampirism in Morrowind
  20. ^ a b Oblivion Faction data in Daggerfall
  21. ^ a b c Events of The House of Horrors and Molag Bal's dialogue during the quest in Skyrim
  22. ^ a b c The Lightless Oubliette
  23. ^ a b Lamae Bal's dialogue during Scion of the Blood Matron in The Elder Scrolls Online
  24. ^ Holidays in Daggerfall
  25. ^ a b c Invocation of AzuraSigillah Parate
  26. ^ a b Molag Bal's dialogue during God of Schemes in ESO
  27. ^ On OblivionMorian Zenas
  28. ^ a b c Molag Bal's quest in Oblivion
  29. ^ Cadwell's dialogue during The Heir of Anequina in ESO
  30. ^ Cadwell's dialogue during Moon Gate of Anequina in ESO
  31. ^ Crafting Motif 63: DremoraLyranth the Foolkiller
  32. ^ Irrai's dialogue during Eyes of Azura in ESO
  33. ^ Chronicles of the Five Companions 1Lyris Titanborn
  34. ^ Yushi's dialogue in Oblivion
  35. ^ Closing the Octal Cage
  36. ^ a b c Journal of CulanweCulanwe
  37. ^ Mace of Molag Bal Artifact Style flavor text in ESO
  38. ^ Afneer Cold-Moon's dialogue in ESO
  39. ^ Stonefire Ritual Tome
  40. ^ Jurisa Denter's dialogue during Vanus Unleashed and Meridia's dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
  41. ^ a b Our Continued Labor
  42. ^ a b Ambient Dialogue from Dremora in the Imperial City in ESO
  43. ^ Abnab's 29th, 30th and 31st hireling correspondence mails from ESO
  44. ^ Amir's dialogue in Oblivion
  45. ^ Ongoing Journal of Galur RithariGalur Rithari
  46. ^ Ritual of Resonance
  47. ^ To All Who Pass ThroughDutheil
  48. ^ Hadmal Lastblood's JournalHadmal Lastblood
  49. ^ The Groundskeeper's dialogue during The Hollow City in ESO
  50. ^ The House of Troubles
  51. ^ a b c d e The Adversarial SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  52. ^ 2920, Rain's HandCarlovac Townway
  53. ^ a b c d On the Nature of ColdharbourPhrastus of Elinhir
  54. ^ a b The Coldharbour Compact
  55. ^ a b c Bardic Performances in ESO
  56. ^ a b c Rahaja's dialogue during Scion of the Blood Matron in ESO
  57. ^ Noryon's dialogue in ESO
  58. ^ The Freed Soul's dialogue in ESO
  59. ^ a b c Rite of the Scion
  60. ^ Logrolf the Willful's dialogue during The House of Horrors in Skyrim
  61. ^ a b c Notes on the Mortuum Vivicus
  62. ^ Letter to Diabolist Volcatia — Dreadlord Naucratius
  63. ^ a b Crafting Motif 17: XivkynDenogorath, Dread Archivist and Promulgator of Mandatory Doctrine
  64. ^ a b c Daedra Dossier: The TitansDenogorath the Dread Archivist
  65. ^ Powering the Dark Anchors
  66. ^ The Cursed Skull's dialogue during Curse of Skulls in ESO
  67. ^ a b c d Varieties of Faith in TamrielBrother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  68. ^ 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 14Vivec
  69. ^ Events of Molag Bal of the House of Troubles in Morrowind, and the spells rewarded during the quest: Command of the Third Corner and Blessings of the Third Corner
  70. ^ Vampires of Vvardenfell
  71. ^ Tholer Saryoni’s dialogue in Morrowind
  72. ^ Bal Ur loading screen text in ESO
  73. ^ a b c Creating ESO: The Dreugh
  74. ^ a b c 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 28Vivec
  75. ^ Halls of Submission loading screen text in ESO
  76. ^ a b The Whithering of Delodiil — Unknown
  77. ^ a b Blue Torchbug pet description in ESO
  78. ^ a b Opusculus Lamae Bal ta MezzamortieMabei Aywenil, Scribe
  79. ^ a b Lord Harkon's dialogue in Dawnguard
  80. ^ Feran Sadri's dialogue during Amulets of Night Power and Rings of Blood Magic in Dawnguard
  81. ^ Amulet of Bats quest starter, which is associated with The Fight for Kyne's Aegis, and drops off of Lord Falgravn's corpse in ESO: Greymoor
  82. ^ The Will of DrulshasaDrulshasa
  83. ^ Unhallowed LegionsPhrastus of Elinhir
  84. ^ a b Lord Warden Dusk's dialogue during Summary Execution in ESO
  85. ^ a b Flaminius Auctor Answers Your Questions
  86. ^ The Glenmoril WyrdLady Cinnabar of Taneth
  87. ^ The Order of the Black WormEvoker Brucille
  88. ^ Events of The Rift's zone story quests in ESO
  89. ^ The Worm Cult's presence at Ashalmawia and the rituals they performed there in ESO
  90. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel/Bangkorai
  91. ^ Worm Cultists' presence at Dark Anchors and their role in activating them in ESO
  92. ^ Events of Raise the Colors and Dangerous Union in ESO
  93. ^ Worm Nightfrenzy's dialogue during Dangerous Union in ESO
  94. ^ Events of Gift of the Worm in ESO
  95. ^ Stral Blackthroat's dialogue, actions and abilities during Through the Shroud in ESO
  96. ^ Sonya Lastblood's dialogue and The Lastblood's emergence during Torn Asunder in ESO
  97. ^ Aelif's transformation during Will of the Council in ESO
  98. ^ a b Events of God of Schemes in ESO
  99. ^ Molag Bal's actions and dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
  100. ^ Molag Bal's abilities during God of Schemes in ESO
  101. ^ a b Aelif's transformation into a Bloody Skeleton during God of Schemes in ESO
  102. ^ a b The Prophet's dialogue during Daughter of Giants in ESO
  103. ^ Varen Aquilarios's dialogue during Council of the Five Companions in ESO
  104. ^ a b Xivkyn Augur Polymorph description in ESO
  105. ^ a b c d Captain Blackheart's LogCaptain Blackheart
  106. ^ Events of Jumping Ship in ESO
  107. ^ a b c Shifty Tom's dialogue during Jumping Ship in ESO
  108. ^ Deckhand's Log
  109. ^ Martha's JournalMartha the Wench
  110. ^ a b My Beloved Siblings, the ExarchsRada al-Saran
  111. ^ Gray Host OrdersRada al-Saran
  112. ^ Lyranth the Foolkiller Answers Your QuestionsLyranth the Foolkiller
  113. ^ a b c d Journal of Tsona-Ei — Tsona-Ei
  114. ^ The Doors of OblivionSeif-ij Hidja
  115. ^ Events of Between Blood and Bone in ESO
  116. ^ History of Senchal: An OverviewSulema, Initiate Scholar of the Pa'alatiin
  117. ^ Appearance of Gil-Var-Delle in ESO
  118. ^ High Ordinator Danys' dialogue during The Wakening Dark in ESO
  119. ^ From the notes of Culalanwe, Sapiarch of Oblivion StudiesCulalanwe
  120. ^ Events of the main story of the base game in The Elder Scrolls Online
  121. ^ a b Events of the Imperial City DLC in ESO
  122. ^ The Worm Cult's presence in the Memorial District and the Legion Zero traitors' presence in the Elven Gardens and Nobles Districts
  123. ^ Events of Planemeld Obverse in ESO
  124. ^ a b c d The Prison Must Fall
  125. ^ Necromancer's Journal
  126. ^ a b c d Leon Milielle's dialogue during The Ghosts of Westtry in ESO
  127. ^ Events of Memento Mori in ESO
  128. ^ Count Verandis Ravenwatch's dialogue during The Lightless Remnant in ESO
  129. ^ Events of Molag Bal's Quest in Daggerfall
  130. ^ Events of Molag Bal's Quest in Morrowind
  131. ^ Events of Molag Bal's quest in Oblivion
  132. ^ Events of The House of Horrors in Skyrim
  133. ^ The Manor of Revelry loading screen text in ESO
  134. ^ Meridia-related Loading screen text in Skyrim
  135. ^ Events of The Hollow City and The War Council in ESO
  136. ^ a b Meridia's dialogue and actions during The Final Assault in ESO
  137. ^ a b By the Master's Mace
  138. ^ Curano's JournalCurano
  139. ^ a b Molag Bal's dialogue at Dark Anchors in ESO
  140. ^ Boethiah's Proving — Anonymous
  141. ^ Thendaramur Death-Blossom Answers Your Questions
  142. ^ Malacath's dialogue during Flames of Forge and Fallen in ESO
  143. ^ a b Events of Eyes of Azura, and Azura's dialogue during the quest
  144. ^ Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum
  145. ^ The Consecrations of ArkayPunctilius Tyrus
  146. ^ Events of Will of the Broken in ESO
  147. ^ Mallius Falto's dialogue during Will of the Broken in ESO
  148. ^ Vanus Galerion's dialogue during The Harvest Heart in ESO
  149. ^ Virgar the Red's dialogue during The Harvest Heart in ESO
  150. ^ Events of At Any Cost, and Mistress Dratha's dialogue during the quest in ESO
  151. ^ Loading screen text for the Library of Dusk in ESO
  152. ^ The Library of Dusk: Rare Books
  153. ^ Kireth Vanos' dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
  154. ^ Malkur Valos's dialogue during Hall of Judgment in ESO
  155. ^ Lyris Titanborn's dialogue during Soul Shriven in Coldharbour in ESO
  156. ^ Loading Screen text for the Wailing Maw in ESO
  157. ^ Loading Screen text for Mal Sorra's Tomb in ESO
  158. ^ The The Duchess of Anguish's appearance at Heart's Grief in ESO
  159. ^ Events of The Endless War and subsequent quests at the Cliffs of Failure in ESO
  160. ^ Appearance of the Coldharbour Elite Guard in ESO
  161. ^ Daedra Dossier: Cold-Flame AtronachDenogorath the Dread Archivist
  162. ^ Oath of a Dishonored ClanLyranth
  163. ^ Events of The Citadel Must Fall in ESO
  164. ^ Vanus Galerion's dialogue during The Citadel Must Fall in ESO
  165. ^ Clorsatari, Kehothar and Verkynvayl's appearance and role during The Final Assault in ESO
  166. ^ I was Summoned by a MortalKynval Zzedenkathik of Clan Deathbringer
  167. ^ The Dremora's role in the Wailing Prison in ESO
  168. ^ a b c Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion; Ogrim and Scamp, Winged Twilight
  169. ^ Appearance of Daedra found in Coldharbour (such as blue Ogrim and black Spider Daedra) and those that are sent to Mundus from Coldharbour (such as grey Clannfear)
  170. ^ Appearance of Stonefire Scamps during Molag Bal's occupation of the Imperial City in ESO
  171. ^ Slate-Skinned Daedrat pet description in ESO
  172. ^ a b Loading screen text for the Lightless Cell in ESO
  173. ^ Crafting Motif 63: DremoraLyranth the Foolkiller
  174. ^ a b c Protocols of the Court of ContemptJudge Xiven
  175. ^ Prison of Xykenaz loading screen text in ESO
  176. ^ Yggmanei's appearance in ESO
  177. ^ a b Molag Bal's dialogue during world events in ESO
  178. ^ The fact that Lyranth is still breathing after the events of The Citadel Must Fall and Summary Execution in ESO
  179. ^ Denogorath's name, title and purpose as entailed by his three available publications, which can be found in ESO
  180. ^ Appearance of the Soul-Shriven and Mind-Shriven, and their Dremora, overseers in ESO
  181. ^ Appearance of the vampire guards in The Orchard and the working vampires in The Black Forge in ESO
  182. ^ Lanath's JournalLanath
  183. ^ The Observer's dialogue in ESO
  184. ^ Angof the Undying's dialogue in ESO
  185. ^ The Prophet's dialogue as you enter Heart's Grief Vestibule in ESO
  186. ^ Aelif's presence in Heart's Grief during God of Schemes in ESO
  187. ^ Mannimarco's presence in Heart's Grief during God of Schemes in ESO