- "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, the Dark Warrior, Deceiver of Nations, Queen of Shadows, Goddess of Destruction, Hunger, and Fount of Inspiration, and called Boethra by the Khajiit, is a Daedric Prince who rules over deceit, conspiracy, secret plots of murder, assassination, treason, and unlawful overthrow of authority. This sphere is destructive in nature, and Boethiah's destructiveness comes from inspiring the arms of mortal warriors. The Dark Warrior has been described as "cold" and "impersonal", "cruel", and one of the more "demonic" of the Daedra lords. 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. The Prince's prized servants are a race of Daedra known as the Hunger, foul creatures that are eternally bone thin.
Boethiah sees battle as a blessing, and is frequently depicted as a great caped warrior, often in a stoic pose. While sometimes described as male, Boethiah is also commonly referred to as female, sometimes within the same text. Notably, Boethiah is usually depicted as male in Morrowind, but is also known for taking the form of a Dunmer "warrior-queen".
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.
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, and one of the Reclamations by the New Temple. The Prince of Plots is said to be an ally of Temple of Stendarr and enemy of Ebonarm, Molag Bal, and Peryite. Notably, Molag Bal, as one Corner of the House of Troubles, is considered Boethiah's "arch-enemy" in Morrowind. Boethiah can be summoned on Gauntlet, the 2nd of Sun's Dusk.
Ancestor of the Dunmer
Championed by the Prophet Veloth, Boethiah is considered by the Dark Elves to be their original god-ancestor. It was Boethiah (along with Mephala) who told them the truth of Lorkhan's test, and who defeated Auri-El's champion, Trinimac. 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. 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.
During the time of the Almsivi, Boethiah was recognized by the Tribunal Temple as the Anticipation of Almalexia, but male to her female. 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.
Boethra, the Warrior of the East and West, is a sharp-tongued Khajiiti deity, an ancestor spirit and a teacher of the old ways, and the patron of warriors and rebellious exiles. It is unknown if she remained in the Khajiiti Pantheon after the Riddle'Thar cult scrubbed and reformed many aspects of Khajiiti religion, but she is not mentioned in the Words of Clan Mother Ahnissi. Much of what is known about her comes from myths that predate the Riddle'Thar Epiphany. Ancient Khajiit did not see it necessary to pray to Boethra, honoring her instead by "walking the Path, and only hiding in order to pounce". Additionally, they would 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.
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. 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.
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. She also fought Noctra until "it knew it was not Namiira". Fighting alongside Lorkhaj, it was Boethra who pried out the first of Magrus' eyes.
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.
Early shrines to Boethra depict her wielding a Khajiiti styled katana alongside an unknown figure resembling a lynx. She appears distinct from any known furstock, though displays some similarity to an Ohmes-raht Khajiit.
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. However, the followers of Trinimac, the most powerful of the et'Ada, stridently opposed this new cult. His priests condemned the dissidents for blasphemy, threatening them with exile should they remain devoted to the teachings of Veloth. In response, it is said that Trinimac was tricked into going into Boethiah's mouth—or more literally, that Boethiah ate Trinimac.
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. 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. 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. The followers of both the Aedra and the Daedra then "rubbed the soil of Trinimac upon themselves and changed their skins". This reportedly made it easy for Boethiah's new people to become the "Changed Ones".
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. 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 Malacath. Other sources also claim that all of Trinimac's followers were changed into the Orsimer.
Towards the end of Veloth's exodus, they were approached by an aspect of Boethiah posing as a woman at Dunmeth Pass who proclaimed herself to be "Chimer-Friend", and had him swear an oath that would make him and his followers into better Mer. Veloth proclaimed on what would later become known as Veloth's Judgement, that he would never again use it nor any other tool to slay a foe, and that he would give his heart to his people and dedicate his life and soul to them. The Chimer-Friend then melted the ice blocking the pass and accompanied them into Morrowind.[nb 2]
Around 1E 1000, a tract by King Hale the Pious of Skyrim compared the schemes of his political enemies to 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). One of her artifacts, Fearstruck, was supposedly destroyed by a Wyrm's fire in the First Era.
In response to the destruction of Gilverdale at the hands of Molag Bal, the Tribunal god Sotha Sil sought out eight of the most influential Daedric Princes. Boethiah was among them, and between the 3rd and 5th of Rain's Hand in 1E 2920, a deal was made which would be known as the Coldharbour Compact. Little is known about the Compact, but it is theorized that it prevents the Princes from directly manifesting on Nirn. It is also speculated that, in order to secure the agreement of the Princes, Sotha Sil either made a credible threat to them or presented a significant offer in exchange.
In 2E 582, Boethiah manifested into an animus geode within Abamath to help keep the Exile of Mauloch sealed away. 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 to overtake Cradlecrush, the ritual arena of Malacath. When asked about who her master was, she refused to answer, simply stating that "some grudges are ancient and some answers are beyond your understanding."
Later that same year, 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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
- The Anticipations by Anonymous — Overview of the members of and the relationship between the Tribunal and the Daedra
- Boethiah's Glory — Worship book for Boethiah
- Boethiah's Proving by Anonymous — An account of a fatal summoning of Boethiah
- The Book of Daedra — Excerpts from a lengthy tome describing the nature of each of the Daedra
- The Changed Ones — Story of how Boethiah refuted Trinimac
- The Fall of Trinimac by The Faithless One — An essay on the defeat and rebirth of Trinimac
- Glorious Upheaval by Thendaramur Death-Blossom — A proposition to renounce the Divines and follow Boethiah
- The Reclamations by Thara of Rihad — An account of changes in the Dunmer religion following the end of the Tribunal
- The Rite of Boethiah's Gauntlet by Thendaramur Death-Blossom, Boethiah's Conduit of Sutch — On the competitions of Boethiah's faithful
- The Wandering Spirits by Amun-dro, the Silent Priest — A pre-ri'Datta text listing old gods
As seen in Daggerfall
Boethiah's statue in Oblivion
Boethiah's statue in Skyrim
Boethiah's statue in ESO
Shadow of Boethiah in ESO
The Ebony Mail in Skyrim
Goldbrand in Legends
- The Anticipations — Anonymous
- The Changed Ones
- Invocation of Azura — Sigillah Parate
- Boethiah's Proving — Anonymous
- The Coldharbour Compact
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Invocation — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- The Wandering Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- The Book of Daedra
- On Oblivion — Morian Zenas
- Darkest Darkness
- Boethiah's Glory
- Appearance of Boethiah's statues in Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and ESO
- Boethiah's appearance in Morrowind
- Boethia's appearance in Oblivion
- Boethiah's appearance in Daggerfall
- Boethiah's appearance in Skyrim
- Varieties of Faith: The Dark Elves — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- Glorious Upheaval — Thendaramur Death-Blossom
- Events of Morrowind
- Boethiah and Her Avatars
- The Reclamations — Thara of Rihad
- Factions in Daggerfall
- Halls of Submission loading screen in ESO
- Holidays in Daggerfall
- Mazza-Mirri's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- Shando-ri's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- Shrine of Boethra furnishing from ESO
- The Adversarial Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- The Dark Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- The Sky Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- Veloth the Pilgrim — Cascius the Proud
- The Fall of Trinimac — The Faithless One
- Father Of The Niben — Florin Jaliil
- Mauloch, Orc-Father — Ramurbak gro-Abamath
- Varieties of Faith: The Orcs — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- End of the Journey
- The Story of Lyrisius — Bresne Smythe
- 2920, Rain's Hand — Carlovac Townway
- Sotha Sil's dialogue in ESO: Clockwork City
- Events of the Arithiel quest in ESO
- Events of Strange Allies and the The Siege of Cradlecrush in ESO
- Events of ESO
- Boethiah's quest in Daggerfall
- Boethiah's quest in Morrowind
- Boethia's quest in Oblivion
- Story of Legends
- Boethiah's Calling quest in Skyrim