Lore:Beldama Wyrd

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The Beldama Wyrd Tree

The Beldama Wyrd (also known as the Beldama Coven[1] or Beldama Ward[2]) are a female-only Bretonic Wyrd coven that is attuned to nature, venerates the ancient forest, and communes with the Forest God of the Bretons, Jephre the Storyteller.[3] Membership however also extends to outsiders,[4] even those from other races.[5] These ward-sisters are found in the region of Daenia, and its political counterpart in the Third Era. The Beldama are known to congregate around the eponymous Beldama Wyrd Tree, a spirit[6] in the form of a gargantuan oak tree[7] that is located on an island surrounded by a lake. It serves as the heart of the coven's mystical crafts.[8] The symbol of the Beldama Wyrd is a stylized triskelion.[9][10]

The Beldama Coven were originally part of the Wyrd, a singular entity that later split into subgroups, such as the Beldama and the Daedra-worshipping Glenmoril Wyrd.[11][12][13][14] The Wyrd originated from the ancient people that dwelled in High Rock, who are referred to by the retroactive nomenclature, the Druids of Galen.[15][16][17][18] A religious schism brought about the Wyrd's separation from their druid brethren.[17] The Wyrd abandoned civilization in favor of living in the wilds,[17] and believe that they are nature itself: the forest, the plants and beasts within it, and even the weather.[19][17] In contrast, while ancient druids revered nature, they were not keen to isolate themselves and worship the untamed wilds.[17][15] The druids accepted what they interpreted as their "proper place" as people, and embraced the idea that civilization can coexist alongside nature.[17][15][16][11] The Druids of Galen and the Wyrd disapproved of each other's lifestyles: the druids found the ways of the Wyrd unsavory, and the Wyrd thought the druids as "barons in ivy robes" that were no better than city-dwellers.[11] Like the Wyrd, druids would much later practice self-isolation to varying degrees,[16][20][21] as a response to the historical encroachments and heartless deprivations that would await them.[17][15] When the Druids of Galen were driven into exile to the Systres, these sisterhoods of the Wyrd remained behind on the mainland to safeguard the forests of High Rock,[16] with some of the dozen or so covens even spreading throughout Tamriel.[13]

History[edit]

The Guardian of the Water

According to a myth, during Y'ffre's Naming (which gave all creatures of Nirn their shape)[22] in the Dawn Era, Y'ffre entrusted the Earthbones with the task to designate those worthy of becoming Wyrd, who were wardens of nature.[23] The Beldama Wyrd serve the purpose of safeguarding the forest, all the while guided by the Elemental Guardians (Water, Air, and the Earth) that are preserved by the Wyrd Tree and wholly protect the region.[24] They inhabit the vale that surrounds the Wyrd Tree, in the north edge of Daenia, at the base of the mountains. In this vale, they live in wooden huts draped in hanging moss, circling around the great-oak and the ring lake where the tree's roots are sprawled across.[25] The wyress are known to keep and breed Great Daenian Hounds, who often serve as their companions and guardians.[26] One of their most well-known members is Marieve, an oracle that was able to predict the death of King Folbert of Daggerfall and King Tamlien of the Summerset Isles.[27] Despite the peaceful nature that the Beldama Wyrd exudes, the local Bretons and even the Empire of Cyrodiil find them dangerous.[3]

During the Interregnum in 2E 582, the Bloodthorn Cult had invaded Glenumbra, in the hopes of conquering the land. One of their primary targets was the Wyrd Tree and the Beldama Coven, corrupting the tree to cut the connection between the guardians and the Wyrd. This caused the creatures of the forest to run rampant across Daenia, resulting in the burning of Deleyn's Mill. A group of wyress helped gather the village-folk in the mill and sought ways to quell the chaos. They garnered help from a wandering traveler, who managed to calm the beasts and save the villagers. But without their connection, the coven was completely oblivious to the tampering in the tree. Wyress Ileana began the ritual to communicate with them at the Vale of the Guardians, to learn of the true happenings and the Bloodthorn's involvement. The traveler was sent to the Wyrd Tree and was able to cleanse the corruption from within.[28]

The conflict between the Hags of Glenumbra's Hag Fen and the Beldama Wyrd is as ancient as the Hag Fen itself. The arrival of the Hagraven Mother Murk from the Reach upset the balance within the swamp, twisting the world around her. Her alliance with the Bloodthorn Cult led to an increase of abductions of women around the area to convert into hags or thralls.[29] This brought the attention of an adventurer, who with the guidance of the wandering Reach-witch Sibellec the Old, turned Mother Murk's magic against her, allowing her to be slain, and brought the Hag Fen under the control of the Beldama coven.[30]

Symbols representing the Druid King (top), the Beldama Wyrd (left), the Glenmoril Wyrd (right), and Frii (center)

Later that year, the Firesong Circle assaulted both the Beldama and Glenmoril Wyrd, seeking the location of Frii. They abducted elders of both covens, needing them to open the way to the spirit. This led them to the Sunken Road in Bangkorai, where Archdruid Michiel of the Firesong located Frii's sapling. The archdruid was slain, and Frii was taken to the island of Galen to be among the Stonelore Circle.[12]

The Beldama Coven continued its activities for many years, and by 3E 405, the coven was located in the north-central region of the duchy, near Greenham Manor.[31] Like other witch covens in the Iliac Bay around this time, they were capable of summoning Daedric Princes.[32]

Many years before 4E 201, a Beldama witch named Daenalla fell in love with Simon Rodayne, a member of the Breton knightly order, the Order of the Crypt. The knight willingly gave up his heart to his lover, replacing it with poisoned briars, and was ultimately converted into a briarheart[1] through a ritual that involves communing with Hircine.[33] The full story being clouded led to animosity between the Order and the Beldama, and their disapproval of the union between the lovers. The Wyrd thought Daenalla betrayed them to the knights, [34] while the Order thought that Simon was tricked into become an abomination. Knowing that they were star-crossed lovers, they fled the wrath of both their groups.[1] The Beldama Coven pursued the couple, [34] while the Order seeking revenge, extended its influence far beyond Shornhelm as they gave chase to the Coven, forcing the Wyrd to go east into the Reach. The Order had taken a vow to not just guard the Crypt of Hearts, but the “hearts entombed in all of us, lest they be replaced with the briars of the unholy.” [1] In their pursuit for vengeance, the Order slayed any Reachmen that gave the Coven refuge. Eventually, Simon died, and he was buried on a hilltop somewhere in the Reach, where Daenella mourned the loss.[1]

Sometime in 4E 201, the members of the Order of the Crypt that were tracking the Beldama were wiped out, and the coven were able to find Daenella in the Reach after several years. She was brutally killed while she watched as her husband’s heart was defiled, so that they could not be reunited in the afterlife.[34] At Karthspire, the Beldama Coven were killed by an adventurer. There, the adventurer recovered Simon’s heart, but it is unknown if they returned it to his grave tainted, damning him, or if the heart was cleansed, allowing the couple to reunite in the afterlife. [35]

Notes[edit]

  • The usage of the Beldama over the daedra worshipping Glenmoril Wyrd for the Spell Knight Armor creation is intentional.

Gallery[edit]

See Also[edit]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Crypt of the Heart - Draft — Ariana Dumas
  2. ^ Beldama Ward Mother in Spell Knight Armor Creation
  3. ^ a b Witch Cults of Northern High RockWafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
  4. ^ Wyress Gwen's dialogue in ESO
  5. ^ Initiate Lamur's dialogue in ESO
  6. ^ Wyress Helene's dialogue in ESO
  7. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High RockFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  8. ^ Beldama Wyrd Tree loading screen in ESO
  9. ^ Wyress Joslin's dialogue in ESO
  10. ^ Ancient tablet found during Sojourn of the Druid King in ESO
  11. ^ a b c Wyress Matilde's dialogue in ESO
  12. ^ a b Sojourn of the Druid King quest in ESO
  13. ^ a b Witch Cults of Northern High RockWafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
  14. ^ The Glenmoril WyrdLady Cinnabar of Taneth
  15. ^ a b c d Loremaster's Archive - Bretons & High IsleLady Arabelle
  16. ^ a b c d Druid Ryvana's dialogue in ESO
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Wyrd and Druid — Archdruid Barnabe's Discourse with Mainlanders, 2E 553
  18. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Tamriel's DungeonsDhulef
  19. ^ Wyress Demara and Wyress Linnae's dialogue in ESO
  20. ^ Druid Peeska's dialogue in ESO
  21. ^ Sir Stefan Mornard's dialogue in ESO
  22. ^ Wild Hunt Crown Crate season description in ESO
  23. ^ Wyresses: The Name-DaughtersGlargargil the Speaking Oak
  24. ^ Wyress Ileana's dialogue in ESO
  25. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High RockFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  26. ^ Great Daenian Hound description in ESO
  27. ^ Vanus Galerion's dialogue in ESO
  28. ^ Glenumbra story quests in ESO
  29. ^ Wicked Trade quest in ESO
  30. ^ Wyrd and Coven quest in ESO
  31. ^ The Beldama location in Daggerfall
  32. ^ Daedra summoning in Daggerfall
  33. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the MountainsFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  34. ^ a b c Beldama Witch's Note
  35. ^ Crypt of the Heart quest in Skyrim (Spell Knight Armor)