Lore:Namira

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Namira, Mistress of Decay
"Excuse my informality, but I feel like I know you, I recognize your craving as if it were my own. You want to control, and the thought makes you slaver like a starving wolf. I can fill your belly, but first, I need to know. Will you kill in order to fill this void?"
Namira[1]

Namira is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is the ancient Darkness. She is also known as the Lady of Decay,[2] the Spirit Daedra[3] and the Goddess of the Dark.[4] Namira is the ruler of sundry dark and shadowy spirits, and is often associated with spiders, insects, slugs, and other repulsive creatures which inspire mortals with an instinctive revulsion.[3] The Khajiit believe that all creatures who feed on rotten flesh are her spies.[5] She is the Daedric Prince of spirits and shadows, as well as the patron of vermin and squalor.[2] Namira also appears to be associated with beggars and the beggaring gifts of disease, pity, and disregard.[6] Namira and her shadowy endeavors are often recognized to bear some association with eternity.[7] Somewhat in line with this, the Khajiit believe that she is a spirit of infinite realms.[5] Namira sees herself as the rightful ruler of all spirits.[2]

Mortals who become ensnared by this spirit are tortured until they forget who they were and know only Namiira. Ancient Khajiit knew her as an Ur-dra,[8] a term which is also used to describe both Nocturnal[9] and Azura.[8] Hermaeus Mora is similarly referred to as an Ur-Daedra.[10] Namira's followers and the priesthood of Arkay have clashed in the past.[11][12] Namira counts Azurah,[13] the Twilight Cantors,[14] Khenarthi[15] and Ebonarm among her enemies.[16] Her summoning day is Marukh's Day, the 9th of Second Seed.[17]

Religion and CultureEdit

An emblem representing Namira

The Nords know her as Naemira.[18] Several Reachmen clans pay reverence to Namira.[19] Some tribes call Namira the Children's God because she is the mistress of small pests.[4] To the Khajiit, she is known as Namiira,[20] the Great Darkness, The Eldest Spirit, and The Void.[5]

In Khajiit mythology, it is said that Fadomai fled into the Great Darkness to birth her youngest child, Lorkhaj, and the Great Darkness filled his Heart. The Great Darkness then knew its name was Namiira.[21] When Nirni approached Lorkhaj, whom she asked to create for her children a dwelling; he did so, and yet the Great Darkness in his heart influenced him to deceive his siblings so that they were trapped in the new place with Nirni. Some managed to escape death and become the stars, and those who remained punished Lorkhaj by tearing out his heart and hiding it deep within Nirni, so that he would be with her whom he had done the most harm.[21]

Texts that predate the Riddle'Thar Epiphany speak of Lorkhaj surviving this encounter, allowing him to flee to Azurah with the hole in his chest, where she saw Namiira still dwelling within his wound, keeping him alive and corrupting him by imitating his heart. Azurah cleansed Lorkhaj of the corruption and flung the Dark Heart of Lorkhaj into the Void, and Lorkhaj perished within Azurah's embrace.[22] From the Dark Heart came the twisted shade of Lorkhaj known as the Moon Beast, first of the dro-m'Athra. And so Lorkhaj represents the duality of Khajiiti souls and their susceptibility towards the Bent Dance, the spiritual corruption into dro-m'Athra.[23][5]

Namiira is considered an enemy of the living, and is placated rather than worshiped.[24] Namiira serves as the antithesis to Khenarthi's role for Khajiiti spirits, preventing them from reaching Llesw'er by corrupting them into dro-m'Athra via the Bent Dance, so that they may be dragged down into the Dark Behind the World. These spirits occasionally slip through the cracks in Nirni, and tempt Khajiit so their souls can too be sent to the Dark to serve Namiira.[25] Giant spiders and hoarvors also tend to spill out from the Dark Behind the World in places where the Great Darkness' presence is pervasive.[26][27] An unusual increase in the presence of weevils, locusts, slugs and other bugs harmful to crops is a sign that a source of Namiira's corruption is nearby.[28]

WorshipEdit

"[Khenarthi has] forsaken you. But I haven't. There's a place in the Dark for all you cast off, forgotten souls."
Namiira[29]

Namira can be worshiped in a variety of different ways depending on the cult's motive. Simply living in darkness and squalor is enough in some cases.[30] Others practice ritual murder and cannibalism to honor Namira.[12] Namira does not consider the practice of mortals eating ogres to be cannibalism, and would be offended if one of her followers did such a thing while touting it as "cannibalism".[31] Namira's worshipers are rarely open about their beliefs, as they would be viewed as dangerous and perverse by society. They often live normal lives, working standard jobs and socializing with fellow civilians as anyone else would, and organizing into secret covens to hide their unconventional appetites.[12] Namira's followers keep to themselves, some preferring to live peacefully in dark and squalid conditions. Those who devote their full time to Namira can be found congregating around her shrines or forming colonies, such as the Forgotten Ones, deep within abandoned ruins.[11] The Forgotten Ones were so accustomed to the dark, they would recoil from the light. They also reacted violently at any attempts to "save" them from their lifestyle.[32][33]

Namira's Shrine in Legends

Namira's followers tend to congregate in dark or filthy places, reveling in their misery and the darkness.[33][30] Those who are ostracized by others may be drawn to worship Namira.[34] Her worshipers are more inclined to have unsanitary habits, such as a tendency to not wash their hands before handling meat.[35] Cannibals also tend to worship Namira. A life in Namira's service is said to bring bleak and horrifying side-effects.[36]

The Crow-Wife Clan of Reachmen worships Namira. At every two-moons'-dark, the clan draws lots at random to select a child from the clan, be it kin or slave, to be sacrificed. The sacrifice is set upon the Ever-Oozing Altar, where its heart is cut out by the clan's hagraven matriarch and offered to Namira.[4] In addition to these regular sacrifices, children the matriarch deems too weak are also sacrificed to Namira.[37] The Crow-Wife Clan also practices live burnings, bathing in blood and engaging in raucous ritual dismemberment to please Namira.[37] When the tribe calls to Namira, writhing masses of centipedes, roaches and other squirming creatures form a thick carpet on the floor of the clan's ritual hut. Members of the clan sometimes pluck these creatures off the ground and eat them during worship.[37] The Hagfeather Coven of western Falkreath, a subset of the Glenmoril Wyrd, also reveres Namira.[38]

AppealEdit

Namira appeals to those who are shunned by society. Those who feel out of place, are ugly, wretched, or have been ostracized for one reason or another often flock to Namira. Some of her worshipers revile beautiful people.[39] Grief, hopelessness, and loss of faith are traits which Namira can easily take advantage of; someone who feels abandoned by the gods may be approached by Namira in their darkest hour. She seduces lonely individuals with the promise of power or a sense of belonging, drawing them into her grasp when they are most vulnerable.[29]

"Poach the blind, the sickly, and the lame. They belong with us.
Let the beat fill their ears and our venom fill their hearts.
We are outcast no longer!"

Quotes from the dro-m'Athra, servants of Namiira[40]

In Elsweyr, Namiira is revered by the jealous, angered, and maligned.[41] Those who are prideful, power-hungry or hateful may easily find themselves swayed towards the Great Darkness.[42] Those who find joy in violence or are prone to it are also susceptible to Namiira's influence.[43] This fact is very apparent in the dro-m'Athra, who tend to be cynical,[44] hateful and miserable creatures.[45]

HistoryEdit

First EraEdit

In the First Era, two Chimeri mages that worshipped Namira created a spellplague, which was to be used as a weapon against the Dwemer. It can be likened to a disease that weakens and saps one's life force. The spellplague acts quickly, and its effects are fatal. Those afflicted by the curse do not simply die; their souls return as dire apparitions.[46] When it became apparent that the spellplague was too powerful to be controlled, the Chimeri Lords sealed both the plague and its creators into a warded vault, which Heimlyn Keep would be built around. House Telvanni was responsible for watching over the reliquary which the weapon was bound in.[46] The spellplague and its creators were sealed for ages, falling into obscurity.[47]

It is unknown if the story of the Beggar Prince is fact or fiction, but it takes place sometime in the First Era. It speaks of a person by the name of Wheedle who was the distant 13th child of a king in Valenwood, and thus was not entitled to any riches. Wheedle sought to carve their own fortune and glory and set out to distant lands. After a few days, they encountered a group of three men about to slay a diseased beggar, and Wheedle confronted the men and "saved" her. The beggar revealed herself to be Namira, and Wheedle, knowing her name saw an opportunity. For 33 days and nights, the adventurer pleaded with the Prince for an apprenticeship until they physically could no longer do so. Unbeknowst to Wheedle, Namira was testing them, and they passed. The Daedric Prince bestowed upon Wheedle the gift of pity. To benefit from it, Wheedle was requires to always have at least one physically visible disease that could be changed at will. And so Wheedle became known as the Prince of Beggars, irresistible for charity, and often disregarded by people who would talk about important secrets within hearing distance. Upon the story's conclusion, the author insists that beggars are said to know all the secrets and the daily routines of their cities' citizens.[6]

Second EraEdit

The seals in the Temple of Seven Riddles' High Lunarium

The curse of the spellplague resurfaced in 2E 582. The Daggerfall Covenant, thinking Heimlyn Keep a military base, opened the reliquary and set the spellplague free. Its mystical corruption emanated from the Telvanni reliquary, killing soldier, mage and civilian alike, and flooding the keep's grounds with angry spirits.[46][48] The curse was broken before it could spread past Heimlyn Keep.[49]

That same year, Namira attempted to extend her influence over the Argonian village of Xal-Ithix, a community of scavengers.[2] Xal Ithix lies downstream from other communities. Refuse, garbage and scraps often float downstream. The village's general philosophy was to repurpose anything they could find a use for, including the armor found on corpses that float downstream.[50] In this fetid yet peaceful corner of the swamp, Namira's servants placed a relic called the Hand of Namira at the base of Xal-Ithix's Hist tree. The relic poisoned the swamp, aggravating the hoarvors and stranglers which usually left the Argonians well alone. Namira's goal was to attack the Hist tree, the heart, soul and memories of the local Argonian community.[2] Namira was determined to show the locals that the spirits of their Hist are "pale shadows" compared to her, believing that she is the rightful ruler of their spirits.[51] As the Hand weakened the Hist tree, Namira's servants performed a ritual to corrupt Xal-Ithix and claim it for Namira. The Vestige aided the village's tree-minder by using the Hand to stop the ritual and end Namira's plot.[52]

Namiira has a history with the Temple of Seven Riddles in Reaper's March. The temple was purportedly built too tall—as the Clan Mothers say, "Khajiit aren't meant to stand so close to the Ja-Kha'jay before the dead-climb".[53] The dro-m'Athra have emerged at the Temple of Seven Riddles in part because of this factor,[53] but there is also a story told among the Doubting Monks which recounts the first instance of dro-m'Athra invading the Temple.

Long ago, a Moon-Bishop referred to as the Stone-Tapper resided within the Temple of Seven Riddles. He carried a magic stick that told him secrets when he tapped it on the floor.[54] Day and night, the Bishop tapped the floor, learning all of Nirni's secrets. Eventually, the magic stick ran out of Nirni secrets, so it started telling him darker secrets: Namiira's secrets. The Tapper listened, growing old and crazy. The temple's monks went mad as well because the tapping never stopped. It was a loud and steady sound, like a heartbeat. Eventually, the monks plotted to kill the Stone-Tapper. They lured him to the High Lunarium and stabbed him. All the blood and secrets drained out of the Tapper's body and broke the Temple asunder, revealing the Maw of Lorkhaj.[54]

The next part of the story varies depending on who's telling the tale; in some versions, the Tapper awakens when his blood is drained and kills the monks with lightning. In another variation of the tale, a great winged beast bursts out of Lorkhaj's throat and eviscerates the monks.[54] Either way, the dro-m'Athra were unleashed upon the Temple. However the Stone Tapper's murderers were killed, the hole between Nirni and the Dark Behind the World was eventually closed. Seals were erected within the temple to keep the dro-m'Athra at bay, depicting the Moon-Bishop flanked by monks, summoning bent spirits.[54] These seals did not hold forever.[53]

The corrupted Wall of Life

In 2E 582, Namiira's gaze was fixed upon the temple. The Temple's abbot, Kulan-dro, heard the beating of Lorkhaj's Heart. He was driven to defile the protective seals, allowing Namiira's brood to assault the Temple and the monks within to be corrupted by the Bent Dance.[53] With the aid of the Undaunted, the Twilight Cantors drove back the dro-m'Athra and confronted the temple's abbot.[55] Reminiscent of one of the endings to the Stone-Tapper's story, a large winged dro-m'Athra named Rakkhat tore free from the Maw of Lorkhaj and attacked those who sought to close the breach. Rakkhat was put down by the Undaunted, and the Twilight Cantors resealed the Temple.[55]

Namiira struck again later that year in Black Heights. The Wall of Life, an ancient mural that is part of the village's death rite, was tainted by the dark magic of Namiira. Years prior, the Dagi painter, Dak'radhi, became vulnerable to Namiira's advances when the death of his wife shook his faith in Khenarthi. Namiira convinced the painter that Khenarthi had abandoned Dak'radhi, his wife, and their terminally ill son, whom Dak'radhi was left alone to care for. Namiira commanded him to mix a special paint using ritual components of her choosing, which he would use to leave his mark on the Wall of Life when his time came to pass from Nirni. Upon his death, Dak'radhi was transformed into a dro-m'Athra. Many years later, his influence began to seep into the Wall of Life, allowing the Great Darkness to rise from the paint he laid.[15] From then on, villagers who came to leave their mark upon the wall of life were taken by Namiira instead of Khenarthi.[45] A Twilight Cantor visited Black Heights, purging Dak'radhi's influence from the Wall of Life with the Vestige's aid.[15]

Third EraEdit

In 3E 405, Namira tasked an agent of the Blades with slaying a vampire ancient that had fallen out of favor with the Prince.[56] In 3E 433, the Champion of Cyrodiil was tasked by Namira to kill a group of Arkay priests who were attempting to convert a group of her followers which resided in the ancient Ayleid ruin of Anga.[33] In 4E 201, the Last Dragonborn was tasked by Namira's cult with bringing a priest of Arkay to Namira's shrine in Reachcliff Cave, then killing and eating him.[57] In each of these instances, the Prince awarded her champion with the Ring of Namira.

ArtifactsEdit

Ring of NamiraEdit

The Ring of Namira is a Daedric artifact bestowed by Namira upon those who do her bidding. The ring has been known to, at times, reflect damage back onto an attacker, while at other times being able to increase a person's stamina and restore their health if the wearer cannibalizes a corpse.

Hand of NamiraEdit

The Hand of Namira is the Prince's rotting hand that corrupts everything in its general vicinity. The Dremora who serve Namira are terrified of the relic, as its energies can be turned against them to destroy their physical forms.[2] Under the Hand's influence, creatures act irrationally, and may go out of their way to attack villagers.[58]

The Scuttling VoidEdit

The Scuttling Void is a realm of Oblivion ruled over by the Daedric Prince Namira. It is also called the Dark Behind the World (which is sometimes shortened to the Dark) by the Khajiit. When a particularly large rift opens between the Dark Behind the World and Nirni, the breach is referred to to as the Maw of Lorkhaj. Very little is known of the realm of this shadowy Daedra.

ServantsEdit

A dro-m'Athra

Dremora have been seen serving Namira.[52] Among Namira's servants, the dro-m'Athra are the most unique. The Dro-m'Athra are a very dangerous and seductive reflection of the Khajiit. They are Khajiiti individuals who become corrupted in life, resulting in their souls being claimed by Namiira. Upon death these souls are ultimately lost to the Daedric Prince.

The dro-m'Athra speak of anguish and despair. They seek to cause pain and drag others into the Great Darkness so they may share in the dro-m'Athra's suffering.[59][60] The darkness within the dro-m'Athra drives them to harm others; to unleash their hatred and pain upon True Cats, and force them to hear Namiira's will.[45]

Some of Namiira's most dangerous servants are liars: those who sow the seeds of doubt and attempt to turn mortals against each other.[53] Even more dangerous are those who do not know that they are Bent. These are the souls whom Namiira tricks into joining her in the Darkness by playing on their fears, grief and doubts. If Namiira promises sanctuary to one who is hurt, and that individual is convinced that dragging their loved one to the Great Darkness would end their loved one's suffering, nothing would stop them from trying to bring that person into Namiira's grasp.[45][61]

See AlsoEdit

BooksEdit

NotesEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Namira's dialogue during Namira's Quest in Daggerfall
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tree-Minder Nexith's dialogue during Deep Disturbance in ESO
  3. ^ a b The Book of Daedra
  4. ^ a b c A Life Barbaric and BrutalArthenice Belloq
  5. ^ a b c d The Dark SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  6. ^ a b Beggar Prince
  7. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: InvocationImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  8. ^ a b The Favored Daughter of FadomaiAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  9. ^ Aios's dialogue in ESO: Clockwork City
  10. ^ Secrets Overheard in ApocryphaMorian Zenas
  11. ^ a b Events of Namira's quest in Oblivion
  12. ^ a b c The Taste of Death quest in Skyrim
  13. ^ Azurah's CrossingAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  14. ^ Twilight Rites and Hymns
  15. ^ a b c Events of Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO: Dragonhold
  16. ^ Oblivion Faction data in Daggerfall
  17. ^ Holidays in Daggerfall
  18. ^ Hydrik Deep-Delve's Wit and WisdomHydrik Deep-Delve
  19. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the MountainsFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  20. ^ Vastarie's dialogue in ESO
  21. ^ a b Words of Clan Mother AhnissiClan Mother Ahnissi
  22. ^ The Favored Daughter of FadomaiAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  23. ^ The Sky SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  24. ^ Varieties of Faith in TamrielBrother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  25. ^ Litter-Mates of DarknessMoon-Bishop Hunal
  26. ^ Hurzarr's dialogue in ESO
  27. ^ The presence of hoarvors and spiders on the path to the Wall of Life prior to completion of Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO
  28. ^ Fa'zin's dialogue in ESO: Dragonhold
  29. ^ a b The Shadow of Namiira's dialogue during Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO: Dragonhold
  30. ^ a b Namira's dialogue during Namira's quest in Oblivion
  31. ^ Orzorga's dialogue during Thicker Than Water in ESO
  32. ^ The Forgotten Ones' dialogue and behavior towards torchlight in Oblivion
  33. ^ a b c Events of Namira's quest in Oblivion
  34. ^ Hogni Red-Arm's Markarth market conversations in Skyrim
  35. ^ Hogni Red-Arm's dialogue in Skyrim
  36. ^ Namira's Bile collectible description in ESO
  37. ^ a b c On the Nature of ReachmenArthenice Belloq
  38. ^ The Glenmoril WyrdLady Cinnabar of Taneth
  39. ^ Hjolfrodi the Harrier's dialogue in Oblivion
  40. ^ Dro-m'Athra Ambient Dialogue in ESO: Dragonhold
  41. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: ElsweyrFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  42. ^ Mazza-Mirri's dialogue during Path of the Hidden Moon in ESO: Elsweyr
  43. ^ Shando-ri's dialogue during Path of the Hidden Moon in ESO: Elsweyr
  44. ^ Kulan-dro's dialogue during Into the Maw in ESO
  45. ^ a b c d Adara'hai's dialogue during Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO: Dragonhold
  46. ^ a b c Beron Telvanni's dialogue during The Curse of Heimlyn Keep in ESO
  47. ^ Keeper Vildras' dialogue in ESO
  48. ^ Events of The Curse of Heimlyn Keep in ESO
  49. ^ Events of What Was Done Must Be Undone in ESO
  50. ^ What Flows Downstream
  51. ^ The Aspect of Namira's dialogue during Deep Disturbance in ESO
  52. ^ a b Events of Deep Disturbance in ESO
  53. ^ a b c d e Adara'hai's dialogue during Into the Maw in ESO
  54. ^ a b c d Vazshara's Journal — Vazshara
  55. ^ a b Events of Into the Maw in ESO
  56. ^ Events of Namira's Quest in Daggerfall
  57. ^ Events of The Taste of Death in Skyrim
  58. ^ Sharp-Eye's dialogue during Deep Disturbance in ESO
  59. ^ Vashai and S'kinrai's dialogue during Into the Maw in ESO
  60. ^ Rakkhat's dialogue in ESO
  61. ^ Dak'radhi's dialogue during Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO: Dragonhold