Lore:Boethiah

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An emblem representing Boethiah
"Look upon the face of Boethiah and wonder. Raise your arms that Boethiah may look on them and bestow a blessing. Know that battle is a blessing. Know that death is an eventuality. Know that you are dust in the eyes of Boethiah."Boethiah's Glory

Boethiah (sometimes spelled Boethia), known as the Prince of Plots,[1][2] the Dark Warrior,[3] Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, and Goddess of Destruction,[4] and called Boethra by the Khajiit,[5] is a Daedric Prince who rules over deceit, conspiracy, secret plots of murder, assassination, treason, and unlawful overthrow of authority.[6] This sphere is destructive in nature, and Boethiah's destructiveness comes from inspiring the arms of mortal warriors.[7] The Dark Warrior has been described as "cold" and "impersonal",[3] "cruel", and one of the more "demonic" of the Daedra lords.[7] Worshippers are known to hold bloody competitions in Boethiah's honor, battling—even killing—each other, for Boethiah is said to care only for their blood.[3] The Prince's prized servants are a race of Daedra known as the Hunger, foul creatures that are eternally bone thin.[8]

Boethiah sees battle as a blessing,[9] and is frequently depicted as a great caped warrior, often in a stoic pose.[10] While sometimes described as male,[11][12] Boethiah is also commonly referred to as female,[3][13][14] sometimes within the same text.[15][16] Notably, Boethiah is usually depicted as male in Morrowind,[1][17] but is also known for taking the form of a Dunmer "warrior-queen".[4][13]

Boethiah often manifests using tricky, unpredictable avatars, which can appear as a male or female of any race. These avatars become involved with important or momentous events, working behind the scenes to achieve an outcome that serves Boethiah's will. They will often challenge mortals, seeking to test the mettle of heroes and commoners alike. After a trial ends, the avatar is likey to vanish, leading to strange and mysterious stories and legends among the participants.[18]

Despite the dark undertones of Boethiah's sphere and influence on Tamriel, the Prince was considered in Morrowind to be one of the three "Good Daedra" and the Anticipation of Almalexia by the old Tribunal Temple,[1][8] and one of the Reclamations by the New Temple.[19] The Prince of Plots is said to be an ally of Temple of Stendarr and enemy of Ebonarm, Molag Bal, and Peryite.[20] Notably, Molag Bal, as one Corner of the House of Troubles, is considered Boethiah's "arch-enemy" in Morrowind.[21] Boethiah can be summoned on Gauntlet, the 2nd of Sun's Dusk.[3][22]

Worship[edit]

A Third Era statue of Boethiah in Morrowind

Ancestor of the Dunmer[edit]

Championed by the Prophet Veloth, Boethiah is considered by the Dark Elves to be their original god-ancestor.[1][15] It was Boethiah (along with Mephala) who told them the truth of Lorkhan's test, and who defeated Auri-El's champion, Trinimac.[1][2] These and other "illuminations" convinced the eventual Chimer, or Changed Folk, to renounce their ties to the Aldmer and found the nation of Resdayn based on Daedric principles.[2][15] Numerous Dark Elven cultural "advances" are attributed to Boethiah, including philosophy, magic, and "responsible" architecture. Ancient Velothi tales, allegories of Chimeri struggles, tell of Boethiah triumphing over enemies of every type.[15]

During the time of the Almsivi, Boethiah was recognized by the Tribunal Temple as the Anticipation of Almalexia, but male to her female.[1][11] With the advent of the New Temple following the disappearance of the Tribunal, worship of Boethiah was once again elevated to its old status among the Dunmer. The Prince is now revered, alongside Azura and Mephala, as one of the Reclamations.[19]

Shrine of Boethra (ESO)

Boethra[edit]

Boethra, the Warrior of the East and West,[5] is a sharp-tongued[23] Khajiiti deity, an ancestor spirit and a teacher of the old ways.[24] The Khajiit do not see it necessary to pray to Boethra, honoring her instead by "walking the Path, and only hiding in order to pounce". Additionally, Khajiit will not speak her name on nights of the Ghost Moon, nights in which it is said Boethra wears the death-shroud of Lorkhaj and "wages war beyond the Lattice". She is the mate of Mafala.[5]

Ahnurr once exiled Boethra due to her rebellious nature. During this time, Boethra walked the Many Paths, eventually returning. It is said Mafala did not forget her love for Boethra during her time away.[5] The ancient songs tell that the demon Orkha followed her back from the Many Paths, before being banished by the combined might of Boethra, Lorkhaj, and Khenarthi.[25]

Boethra fought the Demon King Molagh to a draw when he attacked the Lattice along with Dagon and Merid-Nunda. Boethra's actions allowed Azurah to shackle Molagh.[25] She also fought Noctra until "it knew it was not Namiira".[26] Fighting alongside Lorkhaj, it was Boethra who pried out the first of Magrus' eyes.[5][27]

The songs also sing of an unnamed spirit of vengeance with no will of its own, born of Azurah's grief after the deaths of Fadomai and Lorkhaj. This spirit may appear in songs as a black panther, a warrior in ebony armor, or as a hidden sword. It is said only Azurah, Boethra, and Mafala can summon this spirit, as only they know its true name.[26]

The Antiquarian Circle have uncovered Shrines of Boethra that depict her wielding a Khajiiti styled katana, and a physical form comparable to that of an Ohmes-raht, but differs from them due to her being carved with different racial facial features. She is depicted alongside a large Lynx-like companion.[28]

History[edit]

Merethic Era[edit]

In the Late-Middle Merethic Era,[nb 1] Boethiah began appearing in the dreams and visions of a young prophet, Veloth. These visions guided Veloth in the creation of a new sect of Aldmeri dissidents, with a core belief being that mortals could ascend to godhood.[29][30] However, the followers of Trinimac, the most powerful of the et'Ada, stridently opposed this new cult.[2][30] His priests condemned the dissidents for blasphemy, threatening them with exile should they remain devoted to the teachings of Veloth.[30] In response, it is said that Trinimac was tricked into going into Boethiah's mouth—or more literally, that Boethiah ate Trinimac.[1][2][30]

As the priests prepared to pass judgment on the Veloth and his cult, Boethiah appeared before them in the guise and with the voice of Trinimac.[30] He (Boethiah) gathered a crowd and began to tell them of the "lies" of the Aedra, and in particular of Trinimac; he spoke of the "Tri-Angled Truth", how to create the future Chimer culture, and with Mephala, the rules of Psijic Endeavor.[2] When he was sure the priests were shamed and broken, and as proof of the truth of his words, Boethiah relieved himself of Trinimac in front of the crowd.[1][2][30] The followers of both the Aedra and the Daedra then "rubbed the soil of Trinimac upon themselves and changed their skins".[1] This reportedly made it easy for Boethiah's new people to become the "Changed Ones".[2]

While the exact details of Boethiah's victory over Trinimac are unclear, it is said that after being swallowed, she (Boethiah) "tortured his spirit in her belly". Eventually, Boethiah grew bored and released Trinimac, later exiling him to a plane of ash. Trinimac became enraged and twisted after this torture and dishonor; he faded away and was reborn as Mauloch. The former Aedra's most devoted followers changed with him, becoming the Orsimer.[30][31] However, according to Orcish accounts of the battle, Trinimac was about to deal a terrific blow, when Mephala appeared and stabbed him in the back. As Trinimac was reeling, Boethiah cast a "terrible ritual" to scar and twist his appearance before banishing Trinimac to "a place of choking air and ash", where accounts agree that he became Mauloch.[32] Other sources also claim that all of Trinimac's followers were changed into the Orsimer.[33]

First Era[edit]

Around 1E 1000, a tract by King Hale the Pious of Skyrim compared the schemes of his political enemies to the those of several Daedric Princes, including Boethiah: "the wickedness of the demons of Oblivion... their depravity equals that of Sanguine itself, they are cruel as Boethiah, calculating as Molag Bal, and mad as Sheogorath." It is the earliest known written record of Boethiah (as well as the other three Princes).[7] One of her artifacts, Fearstruck, was supposedly destroyed by a Wyrm's fire in the First Era.[34]

Second Era[edit]

Boethiah's statue in Dragonstar Arena

In 2E 582, Boethiah manifested into an animus geode within Abamath to help keep the Exile of Mauloch sealed away.[35] Boethiah had also had a hand in the formation of the Maulborn, manipulating Urili Vox into stealing the Judgement of Veloth to avenge her son. A mysterious Chimeri spirit by the name of Aspera also appeared around this time period, seeking to help The Vestige in acquiring the power of Saint Veloth and stopping Magistrate Vox. Aspera would show up once again in Eastmarch in the form of Aspera Giant-Friend, a mysterious Dunmer who could commune with giants. She was instrumental in the Ebonheart Pact's defeat of Filgor Orcthane's army of Orsimer by helping forge an alliance with said giants.[36]

Around the same time period, Boethiah held a tournament at the Dragonstar Arena in the Dragontail Mountains. Participants from across Tamriel came to try and defeat her champion, Hiath the Battlemaster. Here, Aspera appeared once again as an observer of the event, but this time as a living Dunmer named Aspera Arena-Friend. She references her time as a Chimeri spirit and as a friend to giants, and heavily implies that she has been an aspect of Boethiah. This would mean that the Prince was responsible both for the rise of Magistrate Vox and Vox's defeat by the Tribunal.[36]

Third Era[edit]

Around 3E 405, Boethiah offered "power" to an agent of the Blades in exchange for slaying a spellsword in the Iliac Bay region. In the Prince's own words, the target of her wrath was a "perfectly charming and charitable ass" who had been "annoying the hell out [her] for years." Once the deed was done, Boethia rewarded the agent with the Ebony Mail.[37]

In 3E 427, Boethiah commanded the Nerevarine to help restore his ruined shrine off the coast of Vvardenfell. After the Nerevarine found a sculptor to restore his statue to its former glory, Boethiah granted the legendary sword Goldbrand to the hero.[38]

Boethiah once again rewarded a hero with Goldbrand in 3E 433. This time, the recipient was the Champion of Cyrodiil, who traveled to one of the Prince's realms in Oblivion to participate in the Tournament of Ten Bloods. After the other nine challengers were slain, Boethiah declared the Champion to be his "Chosen One".[39]

Fourth Era[edit]

Naarifin was said to have been a Boethiah worshipper who intended to bring about a prophecy known as 'The Culling', the implementation of which involved mass Daedric summoning. A large Boethiah cult operating under his orders was active during the Great War, with the Dremora blademaster Reive having been granted Goldbrand by Boethiah and working with the cult. Naarifin was defeated in battle and hanged from the White-Gold Tower for thirty-three days, with one source claiming he was carried away by a winged Daedra on the thirty-fourth.[40]

In 4E 201, Boethiah called upon the Last Dragonborn to become her new champion. True to form, this involved slaying the old champion. Once the deed was done, Boethiah bestowed the Ebony Mail upon the Dragonborn.[41]

Artifacts[edit]

Ebony Mail[edit]

The Ebony Mail is a Daedric artifact created by the Daedric Prince Boethiah. In appearance it looks like an ebony suit of armor, or often simply a cuirass. It can either be medium or heavy in weight. The artifact grants its wearer resistance to fire and magical attacks, magical protection from physical blows, quieter movements and the ability to poison enemies who get too close. The artifact was created before recorded history by Boethiah, and it is Boethiah alone who determines who should possess the Mail and for how long a time.

Fearstruck[edit]

Fearstruck was a Daedric artifact created by the Daedric Prince Boethiah. It took the form of a shield. It belonged to Lyrisius, a hero from Tamriel famous for leading his army against the Akaviri slave traders in their homeland of Akavir. The shield was utterly destroyed in the First Era by the fiery breath of a wyrm who Lyrisius encountered after his army was routed.

Despite the destruction of the artifact many centuries prior, there were known replica shields styled after Fearstruck circa 2E 582. These replicas depicted Fearstruck as an ebony shield emblazoned with Boethiah's symbol of a fist surrounded by writhing golden snakes.

Goldbrand[edit]

The Goldbrand is an ancient artifact, which takes the form of a golden katana. It was created by the dragons of the North. According to the legends of thieves, it was given to a great knight who was sworn to protect the dragons. It contains the power of the Daedric Prince Boethiah, and burns those that it strikes.

Realm of Boethia[edit]

The Realm of Boethia is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Boethia, the Daedric Prince of Deceit. The realm consists of stormy skies, volcanic islands and lava seas, similar to the Deadlands. It has also been described as a country of labyrinthine policy and betrayals, with maze gardens and twisted towers. It is sometimes referred to as Attribution's Share or Snake Mount.

See Also[edit]

Books[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • ^  Other sources state this incident occurred "before the Mythic Era", which would place the date somewhere in the Dawn Era.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Anticipations — Anonymous
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h The Changed Ones
  3. ^ a b c d e Invocation of AzuraSigillah Parate
  4. ^ a b Boethiah's Proving — Anonymous
  5. ^ a b c d e The Wandering SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  6. ^ The Book of Daedra
  7. ^ a b c On OblivionMorian Zenas
  8. ^ a b Darkest Darkness
  9. ^ Boethiah's Glory
  10. ^ Appearance of Boethiah's statues in Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and ESO
  11. ^ a b Boethiah's appearance in Morrowind
  12. ^ Boethia's appearance in Oblivion
  13. ^ a b Boethiah's appearance in Daggerfall
  14. ^ Boethiah's appearance in Skyrim
  15. ^ a b c d Varieties of Faith: The Dark ElvesBrother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  16. ^ Glorious UpheavalThendaramur Death-Blossom
  17. ^ Events of Morrowind
  18. ^ Boethiah and Her Avatars
  19. ^ a b The ReclamationsThara of Rihad
  20. ^ Factions in Daggerfall
  21. ^ Halls of Submission loading screen in ESO
  22. ^ Holidays in Daggerfall
  23. ^ Mazza-Mirri's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  24. ^ Shando-ri's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  25. ^ a b The Adversarial SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  26. ^ a b The Dark SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  27. ^ The Sky SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  28. ^ Shrine of Boethra Antiquities Codex from ESO
  29. ^ Veloth the PilgrimCascius the Proud
  30. ^ a b c d e f g The Fall of TrinimacThe Faithless One
  31. ^ Father Of The NibenFlorin Jaliil
  32. ^ Mauloch, Orc-FatherRamurbak gro-Abamath
  33. ^ Varieties of Faith: The OrcsBrother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  34. ^ The Story of LyrisiusBresne Smythe
  35. ^ Events of the Arithiel quest in ESO
  36. ^ a b Events of ESO
  37. ^ Boethiah's quest in Daggerfall
  38. ^ Boethiah's quest in Morrowind
  39. ^ Boethia's quest in Oblivion
  40. ^ Story of Legends
  41. ^ Boethiah's Calling quest in Skyrim