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Spriggan (Skyrim)

Spriggans, often called Nature's Guardians,[1] are nature spirits[2][3]:55 that typically take the form of tree-like female humanoids. They possess moderate intelligence, but despite being revered they are usually hostile towards travelers. Spriggans have their own unique language, which can be learned by scholars and used to calm the creatures.[4] They are usually found protecting secluded glades and groves all over Tamriel, often blending in with the plant life and catching trespassers unaware. Spriggans attack with their long, sharp fingers as well as with their teeth, and have the ability to poison enemies. They have incredible regenerative abilities, resulting in adventurers often having to defeat them several times before they remain dead. If threatened, they can call nearby woodland animals to aid them in battle, and some even have the ability to magically summon black bears.

Spriggans are associated with Kynareth, and regard the Boots of the Crusader as sacred.[5] They oftentimes serve as the guardians of ancient trees, such as the Eldergleam and the First Tree. According to Skaal legend, the Spriggans of Solstheim came into being when the All-Maker breathed life into the land, and his Breath blew through the trees.[6] Witches sacrifice Spriggans and use their defiled body parts in their rituals. The artifact Nettlebane was made by witches for this purpose.[7]

There are several varieties of Spriggan. Regular Spriggans appear as female humanoids made of wood, sometimes covered in foliage or emitting magical green light. Some scholars have speculated that the color of their floral fixtures change to match the current season of the year, accounting for "the so-called spring, summer, autumn, and winter" variants found amidst Tamriel's deciduous forests.[2] Spriggan Matrons and Spriggan Earth Mothers are stronger, and emit orange and purple light respectively.

Spriggans changed to represent different elements of nature are known to exist, such as the firey Ashen Spriggans found during volcanic activity in the Systres Archipelago. After the Red Year, the Hirstaang Forest on Solstheim was scorched by the eruptions from Red Mountain, which gave rise to mysterious Burnt Spriggans. These twisted creatures glow from eternally-smouldering embers, and have the ability to attack travelers with magical fire. They wander the ashlands of southern Solstheim and are the subject of research for the Telvanni of Tel Mithryn.[8]

The bodies of Spriggans provide Taproot (also called Supple Roots), a valuable alchemical ingredient. They can also occasionally be harvested for Belladonna berries or rare Heartwood. Spriggan Sap, Spriggan Ears,[9] Spriggan Bark, Primal Sproutlings,[10] and Burnt Spriggan Wood can all be obtained from Spriggans, and some can be of alchemical use.

Once a year, Spriggans shed branches and leaves known as a Spriggan's Veil. These are prized by herbalists and wizards, and are believed to have symbolic meaning in Druidic practices.[11][12][13]

Lurchers are wooden golems of multiple origins that bear a close relationship to Spriggans. In the Valenwood, some Bosmer tribes like the Bramblebreach Clan grow lurchers as village guardians using seeds from the Shimmering Kollopi Tree. These creatures are regarded as "gifts from the Wilderking—embodiments of the raw energy of the forest."[14] Other lurchers are abominations created through dark nature magic by corrupting a Spriggan. The spriggan's tortured spirit remains trapped inside the creature until it is slain.[10] The spirits of trees have also been known to take on the appearance of a ghostly Spriggan when separated from the tree's physical form.[15]


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