Wyrd Covens (also known as Wyresses, Wyrd Women, Wyrd Sisters, the Wyrd, Ward-Sisters, or Name-Daughters), are female-only witch covens that are Bretonic in origin, though membership also extends to outsiders, even those from other races. These covens stem from the ancient people that lived in High Rock, but the Wyrd developed in response to the rising Direnni Hegemony, and separated from the city-folk Bretons and the druids to escape into isolation. Once a singular entity, the Wyrd split into subgroups by the time of the last Druid King's voyage to the Systres. These sisterhoods remained behind on the mainland to safeguard the forests of High Rock, with some of the dozen or so covens even spreading throughout Tamriel. The Wyrd's way is to turn away from civilization altogether, and to live in nature as beasts do, and they used the Earthbones to do so.
The leader of a coven is referred to as a "beldam".
Some myths place the creation of the Wyrd in the Dawn Era, when Y'ffre's Naming (which gave all creatures of Nirn their shape) and his transformation to the first of the Earthbones occurred. The Wyrd were to be wardens of nature, descended from the Ehlnofey themselves. Historical records place the creation of the Wyrd as happening by the Fourth Century of the First Era, however. In the modern day, beliefs among the various Wyrd Covens vary. The Beldama Coven for example still reveres Jephre and their Elnofey heritage, while the various branches of the Glenmoril Wyrd lean towards worshipping the Daedra.
The various Wyrd covens are seen as dangerous and to be placated, with contributing factors such as but not limited to their reclusiveness, moral codes, and lack of men to replenish their ranks. They are known to face persecution, a major example being the kingdom of Shornhelm initiating the Purge of the Wyrd-Hags, which saw local Wyresses imprisoned and slain. Prompted to action by the event known as Sun's Death, they believed this slaughter restored Magnus to the sky. In the Fourth Era, due to a misunderstanding, purges were carried out by Shornhelm's Order of the Crypt against the Beldama Wyrd, their wrath extending beyond their borders.
The two major Wyrd Covens include:
- Beldama Wyrd: The all-female Beldama Wyrd live beneath the Wyrd Tree in the dense forests of Daenia, in the least-populated region in High Rock. The Beldama Wyrd believe they are descendants of the Ehlnofey, and see themselves as wardens of the forest. They worship Jephre, the God of the Forest.
- Glenmoril Wyrd: The Glenmoril Wyrd operate out in the wilderness of the Ilessan Hills, and in Bangkorai's Viridian Woods. They also revere the natural world, though unlike the Beldama, the Glenmoril Wyrd have ties to Hircine.
Other witch covens of unknown origins exist in High Rock:
- The Daggerfall Witches: The Daggerfall Witches were active in Shalgora circa 3E 405.
- The Daughters of Wroth: The Daughters of Wroth were active in the Wrothgarian Mountains circa 3E 405.
- The Sisters of The Bluff: The Sisters of The Bluff were active in the kingdom of Daggerfall circa 3E 405.
- Skeffington Coven: The Skeffington Coven is a notable group of witches that live in the Barony of Phrygias, within the province of High Rock. The Skeffington Coven has been active as far as the late First Era, all the way into 3E 417. The Skeffington operates at Old Barbyn's Farm, deep in the wilderness of Phrygias, somewhere near the Wrothgarian Mountains.
- The Tamarilyn Witches: The Tamarilyn Witches were active in the county of Menevia circa 3E 405.
- The Witches of Alcaire: The Witches of Alcaire were active in Alcaire circa 3E 405.
- Witch covens of non-Breton origins such as the Icereach Coven or Fryse Hags were active in the Reach and Solstheim.
- Several witch covens of unknown origins were active in Hammerfell. Those groups were known as the Dust Witches, the Tide Witches, the Witches of the Marsh, the Witches of Devilrock, the Mountain Witches, and the Sisters of Kykos.
- Witchmothers are a coven active across all of Tamriel.
- Witch Cults of Northern High Rock — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- Wyresses: The Name-Daughters — Glargargil the Speaking Oak
- The Glenmoril Wyrd — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- Druid Ryvana's dialogue in ESO
- Wyress Gwen's dialogue in ESO
- Wyress Rafelen's dialogue in ESO
- Initiate Lamur's dialogue in ESO
- Loremaster's Archive - Bretons & High Isle
- Wyrd and Druid — Archdruid Barnabe's Discourse with Mainlanders, 2E 553
- Wyress Matilde's dialogue in ESO
- Sojourn of the Druid King quest in ESO
- Information on covens in Daggerfall
- Wild Hunt Crown Crate season description in ESO
- Systres History: Volume 1 — Trilam Heladren, Associate Dean of Eltheric History, University of Gwylim
- Wyrd Root Tattoos Body Marking description in ESO
- Lorkrata Hills's loading screen in ESO
- Shornhelm, Crown City of the North — Lord Wylon, 39th Baron
- Crypt of the Heart - Draft — Ariana Dumas
- Witch Covens in Daggerfall
- Witchmother Taerma's dialogue in ESO