Molag Bal (Stone-Fire, or literally "Fire Stone" in the Aldmeri language) is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals. His ultimate desire is to harvest the souls of all mortals and to bring them within his sway by spreading seeds of strife and discord in the mortal realms. To this end, he obsessively collects soul gems, and has even dragged pieces of Nirn into his realm to satisfy his insatiable desire for conquest. The more souls he collects, the more he wants.
Molag Bal values patience and cunning. He does not hesitate to deceive those he deals with, and is capable of waiting exceedingly long periods of time to carry out the schemes he prepares. He also takes great pleasure in the suffering of mortals, and often has them tortured for his amusement. Those who fall into his clutches are forced to labor ceaselessly for his benefit. The Prince has a penchant for necromancy, often employing the use of the risen dead and forcing his followers to serve beyond the grave. He is intimately familiar with death, and is capable of preserving live mortals for extended periods of time to prolong their suffering.
Molag Bal is acknowledged as the father of several children, though it is unclear what those relationships mean to him. He has a son, Ozzozachar, who is a Daedric Titan. He also has a daughter named Molag Grunda, a Winged Twilight who fell in love with the lowly Frost Atronach Nomeg Gwai. Molag Bal did not approve of the relationship and had them both banished to Oblivion, so they could be punished for eternity. A persistent legend about Haymon Camoran claims he is the progeny of Molag Bal and a Breton woman. Molag Bal's enemies are Ebonarm, Boethiah, Meridia, Lamae Bal and Arkay, and was at one point allied with Azura. His summoning day is during Chil'a, on the 20th of Evening Star. He appears before his cultists in the guise of a mortal when invoked on other dates.
Molag Bal is arrogant, calculating and cares little for the welfare of mortalkind. He despises pacifism, which he views as repulsive. To Molag Bal, pacifism is a form of weakness. He is also fond of ostentatious and macabre displays of power. As a result, he is known to occasionally hold elaborate ceremonies, an example of which was his "first Daedric Titan unveiling and Soul Shriven impalement celebration". His daughter has also hosted events like dinner parties, featuring dishes like roasted Yaghra. It is rumored among the kyn who serve him that his second-favorite type of weapon after the mace is the axe, as it is the tool of the headsman. However, nobody is brave enough to ask him about it. He purportedly has terrible hygiene and smells of rotting flesh.
Mortals have used descriptors and alternate names to refer to the Daedric Prince in conversation. Molag Bal is unique in that he is known by an exceedingly large amount of nicknames, some used by specific groups for different reasons. He is most commonly referred to as the God of Schemes, the Harvester of Souls, the Lord of Domination, the Prince of Domination and the Lord of Brutality. These terms are comparatively neutral, and can be used by anyone to describe him, from normal citizens to his greatest enemies and his most devout worshippers. These titles are descriptive, and utilize aspects of his sphere of influence to identify him as the subject of conversation. The Dark Lord is another neutral name, used by fearful slaves in hushed whispers, and uttered by the Prince's enemies in defiance. Molag Bal's minions in particular use the name in reverence.
Several other nicknames which the mortals of Tamriel have identified Molag Bal with include the Harvester, the Corrupter, the Tormentor of Men, the Lord of Troubles, the Sower of Strife and the Scheming Lord of Coldharbour. These nicknames share a common theme in that they describe Molag Bal's sphere of influence. These titles also draw from his most easily recognizable behaviors. Molag Bal is known to harvest souls, torment mortals for fun and corrupt the minds of good people with promises of power. He hatches elaborate schemes to spread his influence across Tamriel. The Prince of Murder is a more vague title that has been affixed to the Prince by the servants of his enemy, Meridia. The title does not frame murder as an aspect of his sphere in the way that it falls under Mephala's divine portfolio; rather, it illustrates the idea that Molag Bal is an individual of an unpleasant nature.
The King of Rape is a title that has only been seen in the Living God Vivec's sermons. This moniker is drawn from the aspect of brutality that is encompassed by Molag Bal's sphere of influence. The Elder Spirit of Domination and Supreme Law is a moniker derived from the epistles of Amun-dro, an ancient Khajiit priest who committed the names of the old Khajiit deities to paper. Carlovac Townway referred to Molag Bal as the Prince of Rage in his popular historical fiction novel, 2920, The Last Year of the First Era. Sigillah Parate identified Molag Bal as the Schemer Princess in her work, Invocation of Azura.
Molag the Slave-Lord is a one-off nickname used by Phrastus of Elinhir in his lecture on the nature of Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion, Coldharbour. The name is in reference to Molag Bal's voracious desire to amass unfathomable amounts of souls, and his tendency to enslave those whose souls he comes into possession of. The Schemer, the Prince of Pain and the Captain of Corruption are monikers written in popular bardic performances from the Interregnum. The Plane Meld was a song that described the impending doom from the then-ongoing Planemeld. It likens Molag Bal to some sort of demented farmer, tilling the land of Tamriel and sowing corruption as far as he can reach.
The Dark Father, the Father of Vampires and the Father of Undeath are nicknames derived from Molag Bal's association with vampires and the undead. Regardless of whether or not they revere him, vampires who recognize Molag Bal as the progenitor of the first vampire may refer to him as the Dark Father. Scholars and laymen who are familiar with Molag Bal's association with vampires or his propensity for raising the dead may refer to him as either of the latter. The Defiler is a title of note among the scions of Lamae Bal, the first vampire. The vampires of Lamae's coven are encouraged to despise Molag Bal, and they acknowledge him as the one responsible for their matron's state of undeath. The scions of Lamae have also referred to Molag Bal as the Father of Torment and the King of Corruption in lieu of the notion that Molag Bal takes great delight in the suffering of mortals, and actively seeks to corrupt anything he believes will further his goals or spread strife throughout Nirn.
The Lord of Lies and the Lord of Darkness are names that have been uttered by the Prince's adherents. The Dark Master and the Dread Lord are titles which have been explicitly used by Molag Bal's cultists and Daedric minions in the context of their service. The Daedra who serve Molag Bal refer to him as "the Dread Lord" and "the Dark Lord" in their missives. Servants both mortal and otherwise have identified their god with many variations on the words "lord" and "master", denoting the Prince's position of power above the denizens of his Plane. An example of such a name is the Lord of Schemes. The Lord of Coldharbour is a simple title that refers to his dominion over Coldharbour.
Religion and Culture
Molag Bal is a Daedric power of much importance in Morrowind, where he is always the archenemy of Boethiah, the Prince of Plots. He is seen as a primary obstacle to the Dunmer people (and their Chimer predecessors). In the legends, Molag Bal always tries to upset the bloodlines of Houses or otherwise ruin Dunmeri "purity". He is said to be the parent (along with Vivec) of a population of mutant degenerates living in the Molag Amur region of Vvardenfell. He is known to the Dunmer as the third corner of the House of Troubles. Dunmeri mythos cites Bal Ur as the "birthplace of Molag Bal" where the Doom Drum purportedly tricked him into becoming mortal. In the days of old Resdayn, Molag Bal was not worshipped so much as he was placated.
Molag Bal purportedly has connections to the dreugh. According to legend, the dreugh used to be far more intelligent and civilized than they are today. The dreugh were said to worship a creature known as the Ruddy Man. Not much is known about this entity, but it is believed to be a manifestation of Molag Bal. Dunmeri folklore alleges that Molag Bal was the chieftain of the dreugh in a time when they ruled the world. During that time, Molag Bal took on a form that was spiny, armored and built for life beneath the waves. The Ruddy Man from the teachings of the Tribunal Temple is said to resemble this iteration of Molag Bal, and was supposedly a product of Vivec and Molag Bal's time together. The Ruddy Man from Dunmeri lore and the Ruddy Man worshipped by the dreugh are seemingly unrelated.
Molag Bal is known as Mola Gbal to the Ayleids, and was the patron deity of Abagarlas. Additionally, the Bretons of the Iliac Bay share stories about the "Terrible Torchbug of Molag Bal" the night before Waking Day. The stories vary, but the one consistent part of every variation of the tale involves a fearsome, savage entity being in the presence of blue torchbugs.
Molag Bal is venerated by some Reachman clans. The people of the Reach recognize the Lord of Lies as a schemer who enjoys his tricks. Known as the Father of Torment, the Defiler and He Who Schemes in the Shadows, Molag Bal is a spirit that represents hardship. The Reachfolk understand that hardship is inevitable, but instead of bemoaning their sorrows, they embrace the pain as wisdom. The Reachfolk look up to those who work hard, and believe that those that are plagued by troubled times are strengthened by their experiences. Molag Bal grants nothing but unexpected pain. Those of the Reach who venerate Molag Bal appreciate the lessons he teaches, and grow resilient in his shadow. The Cinder-Heart Clan reveres the Defiler, and their practices reflect the extreme horrors Molag Bal's sphere represents. They are known for their cruel treatment of captives, whom they burn alive. Their briarheart ritual is augmented with the intense pain of opening a subject's chest cavity and filling it with hot coals.
Some ancient Khajiit tribes knew him as Molagh, one of the twelve Demon Kings and the Elder Spirit of Domination and Supreme Law. In some forms of Khajiiti mythos, Molagh has a wife who freed Merrunz to weaponize his destructive nature. Molagh was the first to attempt an assault on the Lunar Lattice with intent alongside Merrunz and Merid-Nunda. Boethra fought him to a standstill before the Lattice, and Azurah brought him down. Amun-dro's writings say that he is to be faced along the Path and overcome by the Will Against Rule, a concept associated with Boethra. Molagh is not known to appear in any other Khajiiti tales or myths.
One legend claims that Molag Bal created the first vampire when he raped a Nedic virgin named Lamae Beolfag, who in turn slaughtered a group of nomads. He has also made pacts with mortals and bestowed the power of vampirism upon them. One such example is Lord Harkon and his family, who are implied to be the original Volkihar Clan of vampires, having been turned by the Daedric Prince himself. Female followers of Molag Bal are traditionally offered to him on his summoning day, and are turned into pure-blooded vampires if they survive. Molag Bal is also rumored to have bestowed upon ancient vampire lords several powerful baubles that amplify vampiric powers. Among these treasures is the Amulet of Bats, which was found in the possession of Lord Falgravn in 2E 582.
Cults that worship Molag Bal often perform live, unwilling sacrifices to please their god. A core belief among his cults is that the weak must be punished by the strong, a tenant that Molag Bal himself touts. This belief is held highly by the Dremora who serve the Lord of Lies. The aforementioned cults use dark magic and necromancy as a tool, profaning the dead and using them to bring Molag Bal further towards his ultimate goal. Cunning, deception and subterfuge are just as valued by the Prince as brutality is. Thus, bribery, blackmail and extortion are common tools of the Stonefire Cult. Some groups, such as the Fen Witches of Hjaalmarch, engage in practices such as child abduction to bolster their ranks. Those unaffiliated with a cult who wish to contact the Prince may offer a lion's pelt at a shrine dedicated to Molag Bal. This practice has been observed in Cyrodiil.
The Order of the Black Worm served Molag Bal during the Planemeld. The Order was a prime example of a group that wielded necromancy in Molag Bal's name. In addition to raising an undead army in the wake of the Planemeld, the cult participated in the Planemeld in force, carrying out many schemes in his name. Additionally, they sacrificed thousands of souls to the Daedric Prince, and were responsible for constructing and activating the dolmens where Dark Anchors were to be dropped.
Molag Bal is known to bless his followers with undeath under certain circumstances. During the Planemeld, the Order of the Black Worm allied with the Stonetalon, Rageclaw and Boneshaper Reach clans. In exchange for releasing the ancient giant Sinmur, the Order promised to bless the clans with "the touch of their dark lord". The Order channeled the touch of Molag Bal throughout Vernim Woods, transforming the Reachmen and turning them into undead monstrosities known as the Graveborn. The Boneshaper patriarch, Stral Blackthroat, had undergone the transformation himself within the nearby ruins, gaining immense power. Molag Bal has also rewarded his followers with immortality in return for sacrificing innocents in his name. Those who offer themselves willingly to Molag Bal from beyond the grave may have the pleasure of being transformed into an undead abomination, be it a flaming bone colossus or some other unholy amalgamation.
As is expected of a Daedric Prince, Molag Bal can summon his Daedric minions at will. Unfortunately for those who oppose him, this means he can summon a horde of Daedric Titans. In the realm of destruction magic, cold fire suits his needs when feels he should intervene in a matter of security. Those who offend Molag Bal may find themselves suddenly missing important features, such as their skin. Molag Bal is not above turning people into ravenous undead creatures. The extent to which Molag Bal wields Shadow Magic is not well known, but he has shaped the darkness itself to imprison powerful servants of Meridia.
Molag Bal has also been observed wielding a form of mind magic. In particular, Molag Bal has intruded upon the minds of mortals as a form of torture. He is capable of forcing his way into a mortal's mind and showing them horrific visions or events. He also does this to Daedra, particularly magically-gifted Xivkyn. These augurs share a mental link with Molag Bal, acting as vessels to carry out his dark whims. This practice has its risks, as mortal prisoners willful enough to escape Coldharbour and oppose him may use their mental connection to the Prince to see through his eyes. Other less fortunate individuals have had their force of will completely sapped. Such was the case with the infamous pirate, Captain Blackheart, whose entire crew was transformed into undead monstrosities. He was cursed when a relic the crew had stolen spoke to him, claiming to be Molag Bal. The Prince uttered a spell, transforming the crew and making them unable to disobey their Captain's orders. In that moment, the Captain had fallen completely under Molag Bal's control. Following the crew's enslavement, Molag Bal proceeded to kill hundreds of innocents with Captain Blackheart's hands, tormenting him with fleeting moments of independent thought. Captain Blackheart never slaughtered those he plundered until he fell into the Prince's grasp.
Some time in the First Era, Molag Bal made a pact with King Styriche of Verkarth, a powerful vampire and the leader of the Gray Host. The terms of their agreement eventually brought thirteen of the Gray Host's exarchs into Coldharbour, where they were tortured for eternity by the Daedric Prince. Rada al-Saran, the last known surviving leader of the Gray Host, sought to free his kin from Coldharbour in 2E 582 with the help of the Icereach Coven.
He is credited with the creation of two species of Daedra, both involved in his experiments in a facility known as The Vile Laboratory. The Xivkyn and the Daedric Titan are the products of his fascination with vestigial hybridization and the Dragons' dominion over mortalkind respectively. Both of these species were released upon the people of Tamriel for the first time during Molag Bal's invasion of Nirn.
In 1E 2260, the All Flags Navy sailed to Thras and defeated the Sload. The Sloads' Coral Tower was destroyed during the siege, causing it to plunge into the sea. The Maelstrom of Bal opened up in the wake of the tower's fall, and a large chunk of the fleet was pulled beneath the Abecean Sea and into Coldharbour. Molag Bal appeared before the wreckage and struck a deal with the leader of the fallen fleet, giving the admiral complete control over his sailors with a relic known as the Crown of Bones.
Molag Bal was responsible for the destruction of the Bosmeri settlement of Gil-Var-Delle at the end of the First Era, when he was summoned by King Dro'Zel of Senchal. Molag Bal consumed the souls of all mortals present that day, leaving nothing more than the charred remains of the town's once mighty graht-oak. His corrupting influence lingered into the second era. The disaster at Gil-Var-Delle was the catalyst that sparked the conception of the Coldharbour Compact. Molag Bal was present at the meeting where Sotha Sil sealed his famed bargain with the powers of Oblivion, and agreed to the terms the Living God set.
In the 582nd year of the Second Era, Molag Bal attempted to merge Nirn with his plane of Coldharbour in an event known as the Planemeld. However, this campaign was halted by the Vestige. A last-ditch effort to claim the Mundus for his own occurred not long after, while his forces occupied the Imperial City. The Order of the Black Worm and an offshoot of Legion traitors dubbed Legion Zero served beneath Molag Bal's Daedric minions to invade and maintain control over the city. Their orders were to locate and destroy the Sublime Brazier so the Dragonfires could never be lit again. This plot, along with a ritual known as the Planemeld Obverse which involved an Elder Scroll, were also foiled.
Molag Bal also arranged to have biological weapons produced in the Imperial Prison. The City's citizens were to be brought to the prison and delivered to the newly-appointed Daedric warden's flesh sculptor, a powerful necromancer who held mastery over flesh. The sculptor would turn mortal skin and organs into carriers for plague and disease, creating flesh devices that would spew noxious clouds to contaminate the earth around them. Molag Bal's generals planned to deploy a thousand of these siege engines throughout the City, ending the Alliance War quite quickly and turning the tide in Molag Bal's favor.
Molag Bal was responsible for cursing the town of Westtry at some point between 2E 220 and 2E 582. The town was invaded by Nord raiders, and a priest of Stendarr sought aid from his god. He was answered by Molag Bal instead, and begged the Prince to save Westtry. Molag Bal subsequently cursed Westtry with undeath. The curse was lifted by the Vestige in 2E 582. That same year, Abagandra—the Lightless Remnant of the Doomcrag—was given to Molag Bal and transported to his realm to prevent it from devastating Rivenspire with a plague of vampirism.
Sometime around 3E 405, in exchange for power, Molag Bal tasked the agent of the Blades with eliminating a heretic mage who drew from his power without invoking his name. In 3E 427, Molag Bal asked the Nerevarine to banish a lazy Daedroth minion named Menta Na to the Outer Realms, where he would be punished for not wreaking havoc as he was created for. During the Oblivion Crisis, Molag Bal spread corruption by having the Champion of Cyrodiil incite a local pacifist to murder.
In 4E 201, Molag Bal's presence haunted a home within the city of Markarth, and attracted the attention of a Priest of Stendarr who came to purify the residence. The Last Dragonborn offered to assist, and when the pair entered the home, Molag Bal trapped them inside. He forced the Dragonborn and the priest to fight to the death, and the Dragonborn prevailed, proving themselves the stronger of the two. With the Dragonborn having passed his "test", the Prince gave them a task. He offered them the Mace of Molag Bal as an incentive for capturing the soul of a priest of Boethiah who had been desecrating Molag Bal's shrine. The hero complied with the request.
Relations with Other Entities
The politics of Oblivion are complex, and what each Daedric Prince thinks of one another is mostly unclear. However, Molag Bal has a few clearly defined relationships with other Princes, particularly Meridia. The two aren't very fond of one another. Molag Bal revels in undeath and destruction, while Meridia believes that the sanctity of life energies is not to be perverted. These fundamental beliefs are the foundation for their bitter rivalry.
The two have actively antagonized each other throughout the course of Tamrielic history. Meridia's role in halting the Planemeld is a prominent example. Meridia wrested control over the Fighters Guild to turn its attention towards interfering with the Planemeld, sent a city under her protection into Coldharbour to host an invasion force of her own making, and personally appeared in the heart of Molag Bal's stronghold to destroy the Planar Vortex. Meridia plotted to oppose the Planemeld years in advance.
During the same time period, Meridia foiled Molag Bal's efforts to use the Mortuum Vivicus, a relic that siphons mortal souls and is capable of unleashing a storm of undeath. This would be the second time Meridia has thwarted Bal's attempts to release the Vivicus upon Tamriel, the first occurring in the First Era during the time of Abagarlas and Delodiil. Molag Bal's worshippers plotted to harvest the souls of Meridia's faithful and unleash the Mortuum Vivicus's necromantic potential, and the Lady of Light destroyed the Abagarlan's city in response. Molag Bal became so familiar with Meridia's methods during their years of conflict, that he had a facility constructed specifically to imprison her servants. Some ancient Khajiiti tales suggest that Meridia and Molag Bal once fought for a common goal during Bal's assault on the Lunar Lattice, though this cannot be confirmed by any other sources. In summary, Molag Bal and Meridia have a storied history rife with conflict, and their interactions with one another have been less than friendly.
Boethiah is another Prince with whom Molag Bal isn't necessarily on good terms. This is another case of a difference in fundamental beliefs: Molag Bal expects those who worship him to obey him without question. On the other hand, Boethiah expects her followers to actively question and oppose authority, and despises it when mortals attempt to appeal to her with bent knees and words of adoration. Molag Bal seeks strength for himself, while Boethiah looks for strength in others. The two could not be more different. Their differences aren't the only thing setting them apart; the two Princes have some record of antagonizing one another. In the past, Boethiah has sent her followers to desecrate Molag Bal's holy sites, and Molag Bal has retaliated in kind.
Molag Bal is apparently bitter rivals with Mehrunes Dagon, and the two will thwart each other at every given opportunity. Malacath's relationship with Molag Bal is unclear, but the Pariah views Molag Bal's desire for adulation as unnecessary, and furthermore a weakness. The servants of Molag Bal and Azura have notably tripped over each others' toes in the past. The most noteworthy of such instances revolved around a priestess of Azura who invoked Molag Bal's ire. The priestess brokered peace between two groups in Valenwood whom Molag Bal's minions were sent to divide, foiling his plan.
Molag Bal doesn't just have conflict with other Princes, but the Divines as well. Molag Bal has a particular distaste for Arkay, who is invoked when the souls and bodies of deceased mortals are consecrated for burial. Molag Bal delights in the art of necromancy, and Arkay's opposition to the undead contradicts Molag Bal's belief that corpses are tools for him to use to further his goals. In the legend of the first vampire's creation, Molag Bal outright invents a new form of undeath to spite Arkay's sway over the dead. While Arkay and Molag Bal never engage each other personally, their servants are more likely to find themselves at odds with one another. The Order of Arkay is an organization that seeks to protect the autonomy of mortal souls and prevent their misuse by necromancers and Daedra. They oppose the necromantic energies wielded by Bal's cultists and the very existence of vampires. Additionally, Arkay's blessing is capable of preventing mortal souls from being perverted by Molag Bal's dark influence.
The followers of Stendarr have also opposed Molag Bal. Cardinal Belforte of the Order of Stendarr devoted his life to ridding Tamriel of Daedric corruption, and he was especially thorough in his persecution of Molag Bal's faithful. He acquired numerous tracts from the cults his order persecuted, which furthered scholars' understanding of Molag Bal's motivations.
The Mace of Molag Bal
The Mace of Molag Bal, also known as the Vampire's Mace, is a Daedric artifact attributed to Molag Bal, the Lord of Domination and Enslavement. Its enchantment drains the stamina and magicka of its victims and transfers them to the bearer. It also has been known to have the ability to transfer an enemy's strength to its wielder or trap their soul. It has been said to be a good weapon of choice for vanquishing wizards.
The Mortuum Vivicus
The Mortuum Vivicus was a powerful weapon created by the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. It was a massive spell that was capable of holding and harnessing thousands of souls, and could destroy all of Tamriel if it were released. It had no physical form, instead appearing as a large orb of cold light. It was originally given as a gift to the Ayleid King Anumaril of Abagarlas, a Daedraphile settlement on City Isle that was dedicated to Bal.
Harvest Hearts are artifacts that Molag Bal uses to enslave large communities and empower specific parts of his divine portfolio.
During the Planemeld, the Vestige destroyed a Heart within a portion of Coldharbour known as the Orchard, a large graveyard full of vampires. That particular heart greatly increased the rate at which vampirism spreads, and turned a few of the Coldharbour invasion force's own into bloodfiends. While that Heart was intact, the vampires in the Orchard were completely under Molag Bal's control, unable to disobey their orders to protect the area.
Stones of Cold Fire
The seven Stones of Cold Fire are artifacts that were gifted directly from Molag Bal and distributed throughout Daedric ruins on Vvardenfell that were dedicated to the Lord of Lies. These stones hold the power to summon and compel Daedra. They were used during the Interregnum by Mistress Dratha to make a deal with a Dremora named Xykenaz to prolong her life. The stones were located at Ashalmawia, Bal Ur, Esutanamus, Kushtashpi, Ramimilk, Yansirramus, and Tusenend.
Coldharbour is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination. As befits his sphere, Bal's realm is a desolate, apocalyptic image of Nirn, which is achieved by both mocking imitation and outright theft of parts of the mortal realm. It is inhabited by Daedra and the eternally-tormented husks of mortals called Soul Shriven. Mortals who made deals with Molag Bal can also be found living in Coldharbour. The souls of vampires are sent to Coldharbour when they die. Coldharbour has been described as a manifestation of fear and exploitation. Descriptions of the plane vary widely, but all accounts agree that Coldharbour is a dismal, cold, and largely lifeless realm.
Coldharbour is full of innumerable facilities, all built to further Molag Bal's dark schemes. Among these facilities is the Library of Dusk, a library filled with propaganda that serves as a trap for scholars. It is available for use by Molag Bal's minions. There is another library in Coldharbour that is slightly less accessible. It is Molag Bal's personal collection, located in his stronghold. The shelves in Molag Bal's library span entire cliffs and run deep into a chasm. Unsurprisingly, plenty of the books on his shelves are very disturbing.
The realm possesses several qualities that function as security measures. Mages who attempt to enter Coldharbour by the way of portals will find themselves in a location they did not intend to land. Magical constructs known as Coldharbour Sentinels are used by Molag Bal to guide his vision in Coldharbour. With their aid, he can see into whatever prison they're anchored in. These Sentinels are magically connected, so destroying one will blind the other Sentinels it was bound to.
Coldharbour mostly consists of prisons, but other facilities include those where research is conducted. He is fascinated by the metamagical technology of Soul Gems, and often has a mystical research project or two in the works to develop new and more efficient methods of stealing and imprisoning the souls of mortals. Not every part of Coldharbour serves a practical use; there are a lot of graveyards in Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion for no other reason than because he likes them.
Molag Bal maintains a strong military within his realm. He expects complete loyalty from his servants, and does not tolerate weakness among his ranks. Daedra most commonly seen in his service include Dremora, Clannfear, Daedroth, Grievous Twilights, Daedric Titans, Cold-Flame Atronachs, Banekin and Harvesters. Ogrim, Scamps, Watchers, Winged Twilights, Xivilai, Spider Daedra and Dark Seducers are also found in his service. The Xivkyn are a Daedric race that is exclusively loyal to Molag Bal, and serve as his personal guard. Molag Bal forbade ordinary Flame Atronachs from being summoned in his realm after a subordinate conjured one in his palace, and it damaged his favorite ice sculpture. Their presence within Coldharbour was eventually replaced by Cold-Flame Atronachs. That is not to say his servants cannot summon them on Nirn; Molag Bal simply does not allow them within the confines of his realm.
The Dremora among his servants are divided into two clans, the Deathbringers and the Foolkillers, who struggle against each other for prominence within Molag Bal's ranks. During the Interregnum, the Deathbringers were at the forefront of this struggle. Their Valkynaz was a trusted servant of Molag Bal who was tasked with guarding the key to the Prince's inner sanctum and had access to the Daedric Prince himself. Three other Dremora are known to have been part of Molag Bal's inner council. Aside from playing a role in Coldharbour's politics, they fill Molag Bal's ranks as soldiers, couriers, guards and torturers among other roles.
It is a fairly simple task to discern a minion of Molag Bal from those in service to another Prince. The easiest way to figure this out is by looking at their eyes. The eyes of Daedra within Molag Bal's service tend to be icy blue, just like their masters', and many of the servants of Molag Bal have blue or blue-grey skin. Stonefire Scamps are particularly easy to discern as servants of Molag Bal, as their flesh and fur are a rich blue-grey, their eyes are the same tone as their master's and they have deep black horns. Slate-Skinned Daedrats are a breed whose distinct markings and blue eyes stem from their diet of corpses that have been touched by the Lord of Brutality. While not brazen servants of Molag Bal, they bear characteristics common in his servants and are often studied by those interested in researching or thwarting the Prince.
The rules that govern Molag Bal's minions are outlined in two known doctrines: the Seven-Hundred-and-One Edicts is the primary set of rules, and the Mandatory Codicils cover special cases. Breaking one of these rules lands one a sentence to a facility known as the Scathe Rings, where those imprisoned can be sentenced to many excruciating punishments. One such punishment is "Second-Degree Gradual Discorporation". Strict uniform codes are among the guidelines that govern Bal's servants. If one of Molag Bal's servants is "put on trial" for their transgressions, they are tried in a facility known as the Court of Contempt, where they are entitled to a counsel of Scamps outfitted in puffy wigs. Scamps are not allowed to speak in the Court of Contempt, and the Court has a one-hundred-percent conviction rate of defendants, otherwise known as "the Guilty". These trials are mostly for show and never end fairly. One notable instance of a minion incurring the Daedric Prince's wrath is an incident known as "The Seat of Tyranny Rude Cushion Incident", wherein a Dremora named Xykenaz was imprisoned in a nanoplane for putting a whoopie-cushion on Molag Bal's throne.
Molag Bal has appointed quite a few powerful servants to serve as generals or other high-ranking officers. Among these servants are spies, agents of chaos, brutal prison wardens, and gifted mages. Molag Bal values cunning as well as strength, and seems to grant power to those he finds interesting or strong... even if their claim to fame is upsetting the balance of power amongst the other Daedra within his service. Though he would prefer his military hierarchy remains stable, he has rewarded servants of his for displays of guile in the past. Molag Bal has also employed a scribe named Denogorath, whose full title is "Dread Archivist and Promulgator of Mandatory Doctrine".
Mortals also play a role in serving the Prince. Apart from the cultists that worship him on Nirn, Molag Bal has the Soul-Shriven and Mind-Shriven as slaves, with the Dremora as their common overseers. Vampires may also be found serving the Daedric Prince.
The extent that the Seven-Hundred-and-One Edicts applies to mortals is not known, but there are consequences for mortals who displease Molag Bal nonetheless. Mortals who disappoint the Daedric Prince badly enough are pitted against each other in an endless war at the Cliffs of Failure. The basic premise of the "game" at the Cliffs is for the participants to fight to win back the Dark Lord's favor. However, there is no end to the "game", and these individuals are doomed to fight for Molag Bal's amusement forever. Mortals and Daedra who anger the Prince severely are tormented in the vestibule of Heart's Grief. These individuals have usually failed Molag Bal terribly or committed treason of the highest degree.
- The Coldharbour Compact — A poem on Sotha Sil's mysterious First Era agreement with the Daedric Princes
- Crafting Motif 17: Xivkyn Style by Denogorath, Dread Archivist and Promulgator of Mandatory Doctrine — A guide to crafting armor and weapons in the Xivkyn style
- Crafting Motif 63: Dremora Style by Lyranth the Foolkiller — A guide to crafting armor and weapons in the Dremora style
- Daedra Dossier: Cold-Flame Atronach by Denogorath the Dread Archivist — Notes on the discovery of Cold-Flame Atronachs
- Daedra Dossier: The Titans by Denogorath the Dread Archivist — Notes on the origin of Daedric Titans
- Dream Journal of Firilanya by Madam Firilanya — A clothier's dream journal
- Exiled from Exile, Volume 7 by Yasra al-Ash'abah — The tale of a man and his daughter's encounter with a cult of Daedra worshippers
- Hadmal Lastblood's Journal by Hadmal Lastblood — The journal of a father lamenting the actions he took against his family
- How We Came to Coldharbour — A history of the Argonian village of Haj Uxith, and the Hist's pact with Molag Bal
- The House of Troubles — Chronicle of the Daedra who decided not to submit to the Tribunal
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Dreams of Cyrodiil by Flaccus Terentius
- Legend of Haman Forgefire Retold by Rogar Cliffside, Talespinner — Tale of the legendary Nordic blacksmith, Haman Forgefire
- Naryu's Journal/Imperial City by Naryu Virian — The illustrated diary of a Morag Tong assassin
- On the Matter of the Prisoners — A letter regarding a Daedric trial of Mages Guild members
- On the Nature of Coldharbour by Phrastus of Elinhir — A lecture on Coldharbour
- Opusculus Lamae Bal ta Mezzamortie by Mabei Aywenil, Scribe — A brief account of Lamae Bal and the Restless Death
- Protocols of the Court of Contempt by Judge Xiven — Protocols for a Daedric court
- The Slave Pits of Coldharbour — Instructions for Dremora taskmasters in the service of Molag Bal
- The Spawn of Molag Bal — Brief description of Molag Bal and his relationship to Vampires
- Stonefire Ritual Tome — A Stonefire cult text praising Molag Bal
- The Unholy Temple — Ancient text regarding growing hostility between two Ayleid city-states
As seen in Daggerfall
Molag Bal's shrine in Morrowind
Molag Bal's shrine in Oblivion
A shrine to Molag Bal, as seen in Skyrim
A statue of Molag Bal, as seen in ESO
Concept art of the Ruddy Man
- Meridia's dialogue during God of Schemes in ESO
- The Book of Daedra
- The Requisite Book of Daedra
- The Spawn of Molag Bal
- Appearance of The Wailing Maw, the Castle of the Worm, the Foundry of Woe and several other locations where soul gems are piled high in ESO
- On the Xivkyn — Pelagius Habor, Council Daedrologist-in-Residence
- Appearance of Haj Uxith, The Moonless Walk and the Reaver Citadel in ESO
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Dreams of Cyrodiil — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Haj Uxith's appearance in Coldharbour and Faraniel's dialogue during The Shadow's Embrace in ESO
- Events of the Fighters Guild questline in ESO
- The Slave Pits of Coldharbour
- The Halls of Torment Loading Screen text in ESO
- Valasha's Journal — Valasha
- Unhallowed Legions — Phrastus of Elinhir
- Molag Bal's dialogue during The Prismatic Core
- King Laloriaran Dynar's dialogue during Light from the Darkness in ESO
- Grunda's Gatehouse loading screen text in ESO
- Ozzozachar's appearance in ESO
- Events of A Cure for Vampirism in Morrowind
- The Daggerfall Chronicles, pg.8
- Oblivion Faction data in Daggerfall
- Events of The House of Horrors and Molag Bal's dialogue during the quest in Skyrim
- The Lightless Oubliette
- Lamae Bal's dialogue during Scion of the Blood Matron in The Elder Scrolls Online
- Holidays in Daggerfall
- Invocation of Azura — Sigillah Parate
- Molag Bal's dialogue during God of Schemes in ESO
- On Oblivion — Morian Zenas
- Molag Bal's quest in Oblivion
- Cadwell's dialogue during The Heir of Anequina in ESO
- Cadwell's dialogue at the Moon Gate of Anequina during Jode's Core in ESO: Elsweyr
- Crafting Motif 63: Dremora Style — Lyranth the Foolkiller
- Irrai's dialogue during Eyes of Azura in ESO
- Chronicles of the Five Companions 1 — Lyris Titanborn
- Yushi's dialogue in Oblivion
- Closing the Octal Cage
- Journal of Culanwe — Culanwe
- Mace of Molag Bal Artifact Style flavor text in ESO
- Afneer Cold-Moon's dialogue in ESO
- Stonefire Ritual Tome
- Jurisa Denter's dialogue during Vanus Unleashed and Meridia's dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
- Our Continued Labor
- Ambient Dialogue from Dremora in the Imperial City in ESO
- Abnab's 29th, 30th and 31st hireling correspondence mails from ESO
- Amir's dialogue in Oblivion
- Ongoing Journal of Galur Rithari — Galur Rithari
- Ritual of Resonance
- To All Who Pass Through — Dutheil
- Hadmal Lastblood's Journal — Hadmal Lastblood
- The Groundskeeper's dialogue during The Hollow City in ESO
- The House of Troubles
- The Adversarial Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- 2920, Rain's Hand — Carlovac Townway
- On the Nature of Coldharbour — Phrastus of Elinhir
- The Coldharbour Compact
- Bardic Performances in ESO
- Rahaja's dialogue during Scion of the Blood Matron in ESO
- Noryon's dialogue in ESO
- The Freed Soul's dialogue in ESO
- Rite of the Scion
- Logrolf the Willful's dialogue during The House of Horrors in Skyrim
- Notes on the Mortuum Vivicus
- Letter to Diabolist Volcatia — Dreadlord Naucratius
- Crafting Motif 17: Xivkyn Style — Denogorath, Dread Archivist and Promulgator of Mandatory Doctrine
- Daedra Dossier: The Titans — Denogorath the Dread Archivist
- Powering the Dark Anchors
- The Cursed Skull's dialogue during Curse of Skulls in ESO
- Varieties of Faith in Tamriel — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 14 — Vivec
- Events of Molag Bal of the House of Troubles in Morrowind, and the spells rewarded during the quest: Command of the Third Corner and Blessings of the Third Corner
- Vampires of Vvardenfell
- Tholer Saryoni’s dialogue in Morrowind
- Bal Ur loading screen text in ESO
- Creating ESO: The Dreugh
- 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 28 — Vivec
- Halls of Submission loading screen text in ESO
- The Whithering of Delodiil — Unknown
- Blue Torchbug pet description in ESO
- Aydolan's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
- Hereline's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
- Cinder-Heart Clan Camp's shrine to Molag Bal in ESO
- On the Clans of the Reach — Theopho Harvian, Imperial Scribe
- Opusculus Lamae Bal ta Mezzamortie — Mabei Aywenil, Scribe
- Lord Harkon's dialogue in Dawnguard
- Valerica's dialogue in Dawnguard
- Feran Sadri's dialogue during Amulets of Night Power and Rings of Blood Magic in Dawnguard
- Amulet of Bats quest starter, which is associated with The Fight for Kyne's Aegis, and drops off of Lord Falgravn's corpse in ESO: Greymoor
- The Will of Drulshasa — Drulshasa
- Unhallowed Legions — Phrastus of Elinhir
- Lord Warden Dusk's dialogue during Summary Execution in ESO
- Flaminius Auctor Answers Your Questions
- The Glenmoril Wyrd — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- The Order of the Black Worm — Evoker Brucille
- Events of The Rift's zone story quests in ESO
- The Worm Cult's presence at Ashalmawia and the rituals they performed there in ESO
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel/Bangkorai
- Worm Cultists' presence at Dark Anchors and their role in activating them in ESO
- Events of Raise the Colors and Dangerous Union in ESO
- Worm Nightfrenzy's dialogue during Dangerous Union in ESO
- Events of Gift of the Worm in ESO
- Stral Blackthroat's dialogue, actions and abilities during Through the Shroud in ESO
- Sonya Lastblood's dialogue and The Lastblood's emergence during Torn Asunder in ESO
- Aelif's transformation during Will of the Council in ESO
- Events of God of Schemes in ESO
- Molag Bal's actions and dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
- Molag Bal's abilities during God of Schemes in ESO
- Aelif's transformation into a Bloody Skeleton during God of Schemes in ESO
- The Prophet's dialogue during Daughter of Giants in ESO
- Varen Aquilarios's dialogue during Council of the Five Companions in ESO
- Xivkyn Augur Polymorph description in ESO
- Captain Blackheart's Log — Captain Blackheart
- Events of Jumping Ship in ESO
- Shifty Tom's dialogue during Jumping Ship in ESO
- Deckhand's Log
- Martha's Journal — Martha the Wench
- My Beloved Siblings, the Exarchs — Rada al-Saran
- Gray Host Orders — Rada al-Saran
- Lyranth the Foolkiller Answers Your Questions — Lyranth the Foolkiller
- Journal of Tsona-Ei — Tsona-Ei
- The Doors of Oblivion — Seif-ij Hidja
- Events of Between Blood and Bone in ESO
- History of Senchal: An Overview — Sulema, Initiate Scholar of the Pa'alatiin
- Appearance of Gil-Var-Delle in ESO
- High Ordinator Danys' dialogue during The Wakening Dark in ESO
- From the notes of Culalanwe, Sapiarch of Oblivion Studies — Culalanwe
- Events of the main story of the base game in The Elder Scrolls Online
- Events of the Imperial City DLC in ESO
- The Worm Cult's presence in the Memorial District and the Legion Zero traitors' presence in the Elven Gardens and Nobles Districts
- Events of Planemeld Obverse in ESO
- The Prison Must Fall
- Necromancer's Journal
- Leon Milielle's dialogue during The Ghosts of Westtry in ESO
- Events of Memento Mori in ESO
- Count Verandis Ravenwatch's dialogue during The Lightless Remnant in ESO
- Events of Molag Bal's Quest in Daggerfall
- Events of Molag Bal's Quest in Morrowind
- Events of Molag Bal's quest in Oblivion
- Events of The House of Horrors in Skyrim
- The Manor of Revelry loading screen text in ESO
- Meridia-related Loading screen text in Skyrim
- Events of The Hollow City and The War Council in ESO
- Meridia's dialogue and actions during The Final Assault in ESO
- By the Master's Mace
- Curano's Journal — Curano
- Molag Bal's dialogue at Dark Anchors in ESO
- Boethiah's Proving — Anonymous
- Thendaramur Death-Blossom Answers Your Questions
- Malacath's dialogue during Flames of Forge and Fallen in ESO
- Events of Eyes of Azura, and Azura's dialogue during the quest
- Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum
- The Consecrations of Arkay — Punctilius Tyrus
- Events of Will of the Broken in ESO
- Mallius Falto's dialogue during Will of the Broken in ESO
- Tamrielic Lore — Yagrum Bagarn
- Events of Skyrim
- Guildmaster Sees-All-Colors's dialogue during The Prismatic Core in ESO
- Vanus Galerion's dialogue during The Harvest Heart in ESO
- Virgar the Red's dialogue during The Harvest Heart in ESO
- Events of At Any Cost, and Mistress Dratha's dialogue during the quest in ESO
- On the Nature of Coldharbour — Phrastus of Elinhir
- How We Came to Coldharbour
- Faraniel dialogue in ESO
- Yushiha's dialogue during Blood and Tears in ESO: Elsweyr
- A Daedric Proposal — Galdrus Salobar, Sanguimancer Supreme
- Gwendis's dialogue in ESO
- Daedric Pillar of Torment codex entries in ESO
- Loading screen text for the Library of Dusk in ESO
- The Library of Dusk: Rare Books
- Kireth Vanos' dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
- Malkur Valos's dialogue during Hall of Judgment in ESO
- Lyris Titanborn's dialogue during Soul Shriven in Coldharbour in ESO
- Loading Screen text for the Wailing Maw in ESO
- Loading Screen text for Mal Sorra's Tomb in ESO
- The Duchess of Anguish's appearance at Heart's Grief in ESO
- Events of The Endless War and subsequent quests at the Cliffs of Failure in ESO
- Appearance of the Coldharbour Elite Guard in ESO
- Daedra Dossier: Cold-Flame Atronach — Denogorath the Dread Archivist
- Oath of a Dishonored Clan — Lyranth
- Events of The Citadel Must Fall in ESO
- Vanus Galerion's dialogue during The Citadel Must Fall in ESO
- Clorsatari, Kehothar and Verkynvayl's appearance and role during The Final Assault in ESO
- I was Summoned by a Mortal — Kynval Zzedenkathik of Clan Deathbringer
- The Dremora's role in the Wailing Prison in ESO
- Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion; Ogrim and Scamp, Winged Twilight
- Appearance of Daedra found in Coldharbour (such as blue Ogrim and black Spider Daedra) and those that are sent to Mundus from Coldharbour (such as grey Clannfear)
- Appearance of Stonefire Scamps during Molag Bal's occupation of the Imperial City in ESO
- Slate-Skinned Daedrat pet description in ESO
- Loading screen text for the Lightless Cell in ESO
- Crafting Motif 63: Dremora Style — Lyranth the Foolkiller
- Protocols of the Court of Contempt — Judge Xiven
- Prison of Xykenaz loading screen text in ESO
- Yggmanei's appearance in ESO
- Molag Bal's dialogue during world events in ESO
- The fact that Lyranth is still breathing after the events of The Citadel Must Fall and Summary Execution in ESO
- Denogorath's name, title and purpose as entailed by his three available publications, which can be found in ESO
- Appearance of the Soul-Shriven and Mind-Shriven, and their Dremora, overseers in ESO
- Appearance of the vampire guards in The Orchard and the working vampires in The Black Forge in ESO
- Lanath's Journal — Lanath
- The Observer's dialogue in ESO
- Angof the Undying's dialogue in ESO
- The Prophet's dialogue as you enter Heart's Grief Vestibule in ESO
- Aelif's presence in Heart's Grief during God of Schemes in ESO
- Mannimarco's presence in Heart's Grief during God of Schemes in ESO