- God of curses, hear my prayer!
Lord of the betrayed, give me strength!
Keeper of the grudge, harden my heart!
Holder of the broken promises, ignite my anguish!
Master of the sworn oath, grant me the ferocity to overcome my enemies!
Malacath, hear my prayer! — Prayer to the Furious One
Malacath, the God of Curses, Daedric Prince of the Bloody Oath, Lord of Ash and Bone, Oathbreaker, the Furious One, the Keeper of the Bloody Curse, and the Defender of the Betrayed, also known as Mauloch (or Malauch) to the Orcs, Orkey in Nordic tradition, Malooc to the Redguards, Malak to the Dunmer, and Muluk the Blue God of the Goblins, is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is "the patronage of the spurned and ostracized, the keeper of the Sworn Oath, and the Bloody Curse", as well as conflict, battle, broken promises, and anguish. Malacath has been described as a "weak but vengeful" Daedra, and he fittingly (given his sphere) is not recognized as a Daedra Lord by his peers. The Prince rules over a realm of Oblivion known as the Ashpit, and he counts the oversized but dull-witted Ogrim as his servants.
Malacath was created when Boethiah ate the Altmeri ancestor spirit, Trinimac, although Malacath himself says that this tale is far too "literal minded". Additionally, Trinimac's most devout Elven followers were transformed into the Orsimer ("Pariah Folk" in Aldmeris), or Orcs. However, some Orcs cling to the belief that Trinimac still exists and Malacath is a separate entity. Goblinkind worships the "Blue God", whom they venerate with sacred idols of Malacath, painted blue.
Malacath is considered one of the Four Corners of the House of Troubles in Morrowind, though other sources say he is an ally of Mephala, and an enemy of Ebonarm. His summoning day is the 8th of Frost Fall.
The Terrible Transformation of Trinimac
According to legend, Malacath was once Trinimac, the most powerful of the Aedra, the Altmeri ancestor spirits. During the Merethic Era, Boethiah began appearing in visions to the prophet Veloth, instructing him to create a new sect, who would eventually become the Chimer. This was blasphemous to the priests of Trinimac, who threatened to exile the dissidents.
It is unclear exactly what transpired next. In one Orcish telling, Trinimac confronted Boethiah for creating the dissident movement and challenged her to a battle. During the fight, Trinimac was about to strike down Boethiah when Mephala appeared; the Webspinner stabbed Trinimac in the back. As Trinimac kneeled helpless, Boethiah invoked a ritual to scar and twist Trinimac's appearance, then banished the Aedra to a place of ash. In a rage, Trinimac cut open his chest and "[tore] the shame from his spirit", being reborn as Mauloch.
However, the far more popular version of the tale says that Boethiah ate Trinimac. One version in particular says Boethiah appeared as a beautiful lass, and asked Trinimac for a kiss. When he obliged, Boethiah swallowed him whole. As the priests prepared to pass judgment on the Velothi dissidents, Boethiah appeared before them in Trinimac's form. "Trinimac" burped, farted, and spoke foolishly. And when the crowd grew large enough, Boethiah told them what had been whispered to Veloth and demonstrated the "lies" of Trinimac's teachings, all in Trinimac's voice. When the priests were sufficiently shamed and broken, Boethiah "squeezed out a great pile of dung" before the crowd, all that remained of the once proud knight, as proof that this was the truth. Some accounts state the followers of both Boethiah and Trinimac are said to have rubbed the dung upon themselves and "changed their skins"; others claim that the dung pile "slunk away in shame".
These tales say that after being swallowed by Boethiah, Triniamc was tortured within her bowels, twisting and transforming him. After being released, Boethiah banished Trinimac to what would become his realm of Oblivion, the Ashpit. There, Trinimac faded away and Malacath, an enraged being bent on revenge, was born. And with Trinimac's transformation, so changed his devoted followers; thus were born the Orsimer, the "Pariah Folk", who follow Malacath to this day.
Accords of Madness
Many accounts paint Malacath as a Prince who is very protective of his followers, and who becomes vindictive when they are wronged. Among the tales of the Madgod Sheogorath found in the Sixteen Accords of Madness is a story about Malacath and his demiprince son, Emmeg Gro-Kayra. Sheogorath (in disguise) had given Emmeg, a warrior, a fancy sword. When drawn, the sword set off a bloodlust within Emmeg, and he murdered a young Orc girl in his frenzied haze. Sheogorath then summoned Malacath and tricked him into seeking vengeance for the victim. Before he realized the murderer's identity, Malacath had slain his beloved son. Sheogorath then stole Emmeg's head, trapping his soul in the Shivering Isles forever.
In Morrowind, Malacath is occasionally called Malak, the God-king of the Orcs. With the advent of the Tribunal around 1E 700, four Daedric Princes (Malacath, Molag Bal, Mehrunes Dagon, and Sheogorath) refused to swear loyalty and their worshippers were banished. These "Rebel Daedra" became the Four Corners of the House of Troubles. In this capacity, Malacath is said to test the Dunmer for physical weakness.
The traditional Nordic belief system contains two deities that are seen as being connected to Malacath. The first is Mauloch, who is known by the Nords as the God of Orcs and the "Mountain Fart". He is clearly identified with Malacath, and tests the Nords through warfare. 
The other is Orkey, also called Old Knocker, who is the god of mortality. Orkey is a primal Atmoran death god, a "loan-god" whose worship stems from the days when the Aldmeri ruled Atmora. He is said to be a fusion of aspects of Mauloch and Arkay, though others suggest that Arkay is a fusion of Orkey and the Aldmeri god Xarxes. Whatever the case, Orkey is also the Nordic god of the dead. His priests oversee the Halls of the Dead of Skyrim, and ensure that the remains of the departed are properly consecrated and cared for.
Numerous Nordic myths involve the Old Knocker; it is said he has attempted to "ruin" the Nords since the days of Atmora, and his battles with Ysmir Wulfharth are "legendary". The Nords believe that Orkey "stole their years away". It is said that the ancient Atmorans were once as long-lived as Elves, until Orkey, through "heathen trickery", fooled the Atmorans into a bargain that "bound them to the count of winters."
Another tale says that during the reign of King Wulfharth, Orkey summoned the ghost of Alduin, and the Nords were "eaten down to six years old" (some interpretations say their lifespans were simply reduced to six years). Wulfharth asked for Shor's help, and his ghost fought Alduin's ghost on the spirit plane. Shor defeated the Time-Eater, then removed the curse from the Nords and "[threw] most of it onto the nearby Orcs", Orkey's folk, and they were "ruined".
While the Orsimer believe many gods exist, they only venerate one. Malacath, whom they also call Mauloch, the Orc-Father the Great Chief, the First Orc. Curiously, "Mauloch" is seen by some as an Aedra like Trinimac, whereas "Malacath" is a Daedra. Orcs that live in the strongholds choose to live by the Code of Mauloch (or Malacath), a set of unwritten rules which instructs them on how to deal with matters like honor and vengeance, but also covers daily life.
However, there are some Orcs who continue to venerate Trinimac. Trinimac cultists believe the Aedra fooled Boethiah, and was not actually transformed by his ordeal. Some believe that Malacath and Trinimac are wholly separate entities. Additionally, they believe Trinimac absorbed a portion of Boethiah's power and gave it to his followers, thus making the Orsimer "improved Elves." Trinimac worship was known to be prevalent in the Second Era when it was adopted by King Kurog of Orsinium, and was also advocated by King Gortwog gro-Nagorm of Nova Orsinium following the Warp in the West in the late Third Era.
The Code of Mauloch
The Code of Mauloch contains many simple precepts, which are mostly tacit and include prohibitions on theft, murder, and assault, though ample exceptions are made to these rules. More explicitly, the Code encourages respect for forging and blacksmithing, requiring vengeance for insulted honor, and recognizing that death in combat is pleasing to Mauloch. Orcs believe if something is not worth fighting for, it is beneath the Code.
The Code sets rules for how to select a stronghold's chief through challenge and combat, and the "traditional roles" of the chief and his wives. The Chief is normally the strongest male, and it is he who makes decisions for the clan and decides when the Code of Mauloch has been satisfied. Nearly all the women of the stronghold are the Chief's wives or daughters; the exception being the stronghold's wise woman, who handles healing and spiritual matters. Disputes are settled through short, violent fights. Orcs who displease the Chief are normally banished from the stronghold, being forced to live amongst the other races.
Orc strongholds have no jails. If someone commits a crime, the penalty is the "Blood Price", to be paid to the victim or their surviving relatives. This involves payment in goods as restitution, or bleeding "enough" to satisfy the victim that punishment has been met.
Malooc, the Horde King, is an enemy god of the Redguards. Some scholars believe Malooc is merely Malacath in disguise, as they appear "similarly boorish" and share many "graceless aspects". These beliefs caused tensions within Hammerfell in the Second Era, as some clerics began to question their alliance with the Orcs as part of the Daggerfall Covenant.
Malooc was first encountered by the Ra Gada in the First Era. The Warrior Wave reportedly encountered an immense horde of goblins who revered Malooc as their deity. It is said that Malooc retreated to the east when the army of the HoonDing routed the horde. Hammerfell celebrates the Festival of Blades on the 26th of First Seed to commemorate this victory.
Lending some credence to a connection between Malooc and Malacath, goblins in Fourth Era Skyrim have been observed to worship a "Blue God", thought to possibly be an aspect of Malacath. Totems of this Blue God are simply statues of Malacath painted blue.
During the First Era, Mauloch was long a thorn in the side of High King Harald's descendants in Skyrim. Mauloch reportedly fled east after being defeated at the Battle of Dragon Wall, believed to have been fought around 660. It is said that Mauloch's rage "fill[ed] the sky with his sulphurous hatred". This event later came to be known as the Year of Winter in Summer, a result of the eruption of Red Mountain in 1E 668.
Around 3E 405, Malacath was summoned by an agent of the Blades. The Prince told of a Daedra Seducer, a "little panikosa" to whom Malacath had given the beauty she always wanted. The Seducer had then betrayed him and fled to a nearby dungeon. Malacath wanted her dead. The agent obliged, and once the deed was done discovered the Seducer's part in a local murder. This evidence was brought before the local ruler, thus solving the case and boosting the agent's fame. Malacath rewarded the hero with Volendrung.
The Nerevarine also summoned Malacath, in Morrowind in 3E 427. Malacath asked the hero to seek revenge on behalf of an Orc adventurer, Kharag gro-Khar, who was denied his rightful fame and glory. After vanquishing a great threat, Kharag's Dunmer partner, Oreyn Bearclaw, took all the credit. Though both the Kharag and Oreyn were long dead, Malacath's ire was so great that he requested the Nerevarine slay the Dunmer's last remaining descendant, Farvyn Oreyn.[nb1] When confronted, Farvyn admitted the whole story was a lie, and attacked. The Nerevarine prevailed, and received the Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw as a reward. The Nerevarine later sold the Helm to the Museum of Artifacts in Mournhold.
In 3E 433, Malacath commanded the Champion of Cyrodiil to free a group of ogres from enslavement in the mines of a noble on the Gold Coast of Cyrodiil. Once the Prince's "little brothers" were released from their bonds, the Champion was given Volendrung as a reward.
Around 4E 40, a gravely wounded Prince Attrebus Mede and his companion Sul found themselves in the Ashpit while on a quest to stop the floating city of Umbriel. Attrebus's wounds were tended to by an Altmer woman with pale skin, rosy gold hair, and green eyes named Silhansa, who soon revealed herself to be Malacath in disguise. Malacath agreed to help the pair after hearing their story, as Sul's motivation was revenge, which delighted the Prince.
In 4E 201, the Last Dragonborn arrived at the Orc stronghold of Largashbur in Skyrim while it was under attack by giants. According to Atub, the wise woman, the tribe was cursed by Malacath. The Dragonborn helped Atub summon the Prince, who proceeded to berate the Chief, Yamarz, for for being so weak that giants would openly attack Largashbur. Malacath demanded Yamarz kill the leader of the giants and return with his warhammer as an offering.
Yamarz was perturbed by this development, and demanded the Dragonborn "assist" him in getting to the giants' lair. Once there, Yamarz asked the Dragonborn to kill the giant and let him take the credit. It is not clear what happened next, but the Dragonborn killed the giant and Yamarz was slain—either by the giant or at the hands of the Dragonborn. Regardless, the Dragonborn returned to the stronghold with the warhammer, and Malacath appeared once more. The Prince named a new chief and transformed the warhammer into Volendrung, which he gave to the Last Dragonborn as a reward.
Around the same time, goblins from Cyrodiil began appearing near Riften, not far from Largashbur. Troublingly, it was rumored they were being led by the Blue God himself. The Last Dragonborn investigated the matter and found that the "Blue God" was a mere Orc, covered in blue mushroom paste, whom the goblins mistook for their deity.
Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw
The Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw or the Helm of Kharag gro-Khar is a prized artifact which once belonged to the legendary Valenwood hunter, Oreyn Bearclaw. Although legends claim that Bearclaw performed many great deeds, these were falsely credited and were actually performed by his friend, an orc named Kharag gro-Khar. After Bearclaw's demise, caused by the Knahaten Flu, his helm stood as a monument of his stature, although it was eventually lost after his clan split. The helm itself is an enchanted skull, which is said to improve the wearer's agility and endurance.
Scourge (also known as Mackkan's Hammer, Bane of Daedra, the Daedric Scourge, or Scourge, Blessed of Malacath) is a legendary Daedric artifact. It was forged from sacred ebony in the Fires (or Fountains) of Fickledire, and is associated with Malacath. It is a fierce weapon, and takes the form of a steel or ebony mace. Malacath dedicated it to mortals, and any Daedra who attempts to invoke its power will be banished to the Void. It also has the ability to banish them to the Void with a single blow, and can conjure Daedra such as Dremora and Scamps from Oblivion to do the wielder's bidding. It has been described as a "bold defender of the friendless", which could be related to Malacath's role as the Daedric Prince of outcasts.
Volendrung, also known as the Hammer of Might, is an ancient artifact created by the Dwarven Rourken clan. In appearance, it is a large ebony warhammer, although it may sometimes take the shape of a blade. For unknown reasons, Volendrung became a Daedric artifact of Malacath. It earns its name with its capability to demolish the walls of enemy keeps with ease. It is enchanted with the power to paralyze foes and drain them of their strength, conferring it to the wielder. The hammer is prone to disappearing like its Dwarven creators, sometimes resurfacing in days, sometimes in eons.
The hammer originally belonged to the chieftain of the Rourken clan. When his clan refused to join the other Dwemer in the First Council, the chieftain threw his hammer across Tamriel, promising to settle where ever it landed. The hammer landed in western Tamriel, and the Rourken called the land Volenfell, literally "City of the Hammer". This area later came to be called Hammerfell. The Rourken's journey across Tamriel is depicted in many of the ruins of the region, Volendrung appearing as a shining star showing the way.
Ashpit is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Malacath, the Daedric Prince of Outcasts. It is unknown if the realm existed before Trinimac was transformed into Malacath. Orcish spellwrights call for boons from the Ashpit and rarely any other realms.
The realm mostly consists only of dust, palaces of smoke, and vaporous creatures; anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash fill the bitter air. Few mortals manage to reach the realm, where levitation and magical breathing are necessary to survive. The Mages Guild have been known to bottle this thick, roiling vapor.
However, some areas of the realm are safe for mortals. Circa 4E 40, Malacath chose to bring Sul and Prince Attrebus Mede to the Ashpit, where they found a garden of slender trees, and "vines festooned with lilylike flowers" wound about the trunks; a "multitude of spheres moved, deep in the colorless sky, as distant and pale as moons". This garden seems to have some emotional significance to Malacath, who describes it as a "shadow of a garden", and an "echo of something that once was".
The Ashen Forge sits at the center of Malacath's own stronghold in the Ashpit. For the Orcs that revere Malacath, the afterlife promises rewards of immortality, abundant food and drink, and constant battle deep within the Ashen Forge. It is also said that The Ashpit bastion stretches endlessly across the planes, extending even behind the stars to Aetherius, granting access to every worthy Orc who crosses from this life into the next. In Malacath's stronghold, every Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need. The stronghold's walls rise one hundred feet into the smoky sky, constructed of polished steel and worked iron. Inside the walls, stone keeps, iron towers, and massive longhouses surround the central square that houses the Ashen Forge.
The Spine of Ashpit is a surprisingly light skeletal spine found in the realm. It is made from a grey dust, and fragments of bone have been known to be taken from it and brought to Tamriel. Sheogorath claims that the spine is the metaphorical "backbone" of the realm, which he looks down upon.
- The Code of Malacath by Amanda Alleia, Mercenary — A description of life in an average Orc Stronghold
- The Fall of Trinimac by The Faithless One — An essay on the defeat and rebirth of Trinimac
- Malacath and Trinimac A Discourse on Faith by Ugdorga, the King's Scribe — A discussion on Malacath and Trinimac
- Mauloch, Orc-Father by Ramurbak gro-Abamath — The origins of Mauloch and his laws
- The True Nature of Orcs — Book detailing the Orsimer race and their origin
- Varieties of Faith: The Orcs by Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College — A summary of the religion of Orcs
As seen in Daggerfall
A statue of Malacath in Morrowind
A statue of Malacath in Oblivion
A statue of Malacath in Skyrim
A statue of Malacath in ESO
- Varieties of Faith... — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- 2920, Rain's Hand — Carlovac Townway
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Orsinium — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Malacath and the Reach
- Seryn's dialogue in ESO
- Path of the Faithful
- Varieties of Faith: The Orcs — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- The True Nature of Orcs
- The Code of Malacath — Amanda Alleia, Mercenary
- Discussion with Abal at-Inzil, priest of Tava — Abal at-Inzil
- The House of Troubles
- Sacred Rites of the Stonechewers — Nellic Sterone
- The Blue God item appearance in Blades
- Letter to Clexius — Avanessa Calladius
- Blue God's Journal — Blue God
- The Book of Daedra
- Malacath and Trinimac — Ugdorga, the King's Scribe
- On Orcs and the Afterlife — Erisa Moorcroft, Scholar, Comparative Religious Studies
- Darkest Darkness
- The Changed Ones
- Lord of Souls — Gregory Keyes
- The Fall of Trinimac — The Faithless One
- The Anticipations — Anonymous
- Factions in Daggerfall
- Holidays in Daggerfall
- Mauloch, Orc-Father — Ramurbak gro-Abamath
- Lord of Souls Lore Notes, The Imperial Library
- 16 Accords of Madness, v. XII
- Varieties of Faith: The Nords — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- Tu'whacca, Arkay, Xarxes — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- Hall of the Dead loading screens in ESO
- Five Songs of King Wulfharth
- Obsidian Scar loading screen in ESO
- Shrine of Mauloch loading screen in ESO
- Events of ESO
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Elsweyr — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- The 26th of First Seed is Upon Us!
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Morrowind — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Events of the Foul Deeds in the Deep quest in ESO
- Malacath's quest in Daggerfall
- Malacath's dialogue in Morrowind
- Events of Malacath's quest in Morrowind
- Events of The Museum quest in Tribunal
- Events of Malacath's quest in Oblivion
- Events of The Cursed Tribe quest in Skyrim
- Events of Blue in the Face in Skyrim
- Tal Marog Ker's Researches — Tal Marog Ker
- Sheogorath's dialogue during the Oblivion Crisis