This article is about the faction. For the book, see The Glenmoril Wyrd.
The Glenmoril Wyrd (also known as the Glenmoril Coven, the Wyrd Sisters or the Glenmoril Witches) is a loose association of female witch covens who revere nature and the natural world. Their ranks consisting primarily of humans, though some covens include beastfolk such as hagravens and lamias. When present, lamias and hagravens usually take on leadership roles within their respective coven.
They admit no males members into their covens and enforce laws of nature which only they recognize. Additionally, the Glenmoril Wyrd have a propensity for living in the wilderness, away from more "civilized" settlements. This fact alone has lead to a lack of understanding regarding their ways, and they are usually described by laymen as reclusive, uncanny, evil or dangerous. They have had a presence in High Rock, Solstheim, Cyrodiil and Skyrim. Some sects of the Glenmoril Wyrd are notable for possessing secrets for curing lycanthropy and vampirism. The witches of the Glenmoril Wyrd are also known for their ability to transform into creatures such as wolves and enormous ravens. This beast-form magic is attributed to their knowledge of the mysteries of Hircine's domain.[UOL 1]
The Wyrd Covens separated from the two other sides of Bretondom, city-folk Bretons and the Druids, to escape the rising Direnni Hegemony. The Glenmoril Wyrd are not to be confused with other covens, such as the Beldama Coven which commune with Jephre, the Forest God of the Bretons.
Geography and Beliefs
The Glenmoril Wyrd are few in numbers, but their several covens are spread all across Tamriel. There are around eight known Glenmoril Wyrd covens. The Greenspring Coven is the easternmost coven, residing in central Skyrim. The westernmost of these covens resides in the Ilessan Hills of High Rock. The Hagfeather Coven resides in western Falkreath, and the Markarth Sisters predictably live in Markarth. The Markarth Sisters are the only urban Glenmoril Wyrd coven, and the only coven that lives even remotely near a city. The Viridian Wyrd live in Bangkorai's Viridian Woods. The Fen Witches of Hjaalmarch make their home in the swamps of western Skyrim. There is also the Rimerock Wyrd, whose location is unspecified, but likely practice near Haafingar, if Rimerock Burrow has anything to do with their namesake.
Each of these covens follow similar principles, but differ somewhat in their religious beliefs. They are inclined towards Daedra-worship, and most of the covens worship Hircine. The Fen Witches are adherents of Molag Bal, the Hagfeather Coven worships Namira and the Markarth Sisters revere Mehrunes Dagon. Relations with the Reachmen also vary from coven to coven. The Hagfeather Coven, the Rimerock Wyrd, and the Markarth Sisters all have cordial relations with their neighbors from the Reach, but the Ilessan and Viridian Wyrd have clashed with the Reachmen for thousands of years. This can be chalked up to a difference in their reverence for Hircine. The Ilessan and Viridian Wyrd venerate the less-feral aspects of Hircine, and even provide cures for lycanthropy. The Reachmen, on the other hand, prefer the vicious side of Hircine's sphere, and celebrate lycanthropy as a blessing rather than a curse. Despite their many similarities, the Reachmen and Wyrd view each other as distinct groups.
Due to their reclusive nature and refusal to accept men within their ranks, rumors have spread about the Glenmoril Wyrd replenishing their ranks by stealing young girls from neighboring farms. This is untrue, except in the case of the Fen Witches of Hjaalmarch, who engage in practices far more objectionable practices than mere child abduction. Most covens gain new members when unwanted young girls are brought to the Wyrd by distressed parents. The Glenmoril Wyrd also bolster their ranks by adopting orphaned girls. The Wyrd also accept women who have been cast out by their families into the fold. The Viridian Wyrd are accompanied by wolf guardians, some of which are their fellow sisters who have taken the shape of the wolf. These powers allow the wyresses to enter the Nature Realm as wolf spirits, allowing them to bypass obstacles in the physical realm.
The Glenmoril Wyrd believe in balance. For each life taken, a new one is given, in one form or another. They take only what they need, they ask before taking it, and they do not waste what they acquire. The Wyrd live simple lives with what the land provides. They do not command the forest, nor does the forest command them. The Glenmoril Wyrd draw upon the power of nature for their magicka.
Religious idols comprised of tree roots shaped by wyrd magic have been unearthed by scholars. They depict female humanoid-animal hybrids, such as a woman with stag horns and cloven feet, a scaled woman, and a six breasted wolf woman. One researcher initially theorized they were representations of Hircine, but later concluded they may represent totemic Divines, like those of the Atmorans.
Before the Warp in the West, the witches maintained a hidden coven in the wilderness of the Ilessan Hills in High Rock, as well as many covens in several towns and cities within the Iliac Bay area. Some city-dwelling members of the coven are vampires. This tribe of vampires grew so powerful as to gain the attention of the Cyrodiil Vampyrum Order, who considered them to be "Rivals".
The witches occasionally visited the island of Solstheim, which they did in 3E 427, during the Bloodmoon Prophecy. Ettiene, Fallaise and Isobel, three Breton witches, set up camp in Gloomy Cave, an ice cave on the Isinfier Plains. The witches offered to cure werewolves who came to the Altar of Thrond of their Lycanthropy. This was achieved through a ritual in which the life of an innocent was taken. However, the witches also possessed an enchanted a scroll capable of curing Lycanthropy. This trio of witches took on the form of hagravens by 4E 201, and crossed paths with the Last Dragonborn at the Altar of Thrond.
Although there were once covens located in Cyrodiil, none existed within its borders by 3E 433. A retired Breton member of the coven lived in Drakelowe by the Nibenay Basin at this time. She was persuaded to create a potion to cure Countess Rona Hassildor of Skingrad of vampirism.
Some time before 4E 201, an offshoot of the coven located in Skyrim made a pact with the Companions, an ancient mercenary guild based in Whiterun. It is unknown when exactly this transaction took place, but the Companions have existed for five thousand years, and the beast blood has only been afflicting the companions for a few hundred. The pact made with the witches turned high-ranking members into werewolves, and since that time, partaking in the beast blood became a tradition within the Companions' inner circle. Although many members embraced the affliction, it prevented the Harbingers of the guild from entering Sovngarde after they had died, instead becoming trapped in Hircine's Hunting Grounds.
By 4E 201, this coven, located in western Falkreath Hold, had become the last haven for the Glenmoril Witches in Skyrim. All of the members present in the cave were hagravens. Kodlak Whitemane, the Harbinger of the Companions, wanted to find a cure to his Lycanthropy before he died. He sent a new recruit to wipe out the witches and retrieve their decapitated heads, which is where their magic is contained. Kodlak was killed before he could be cured, but his ghost was freed when the recruit burned one of the witches' heads in a ritual brazier and killed Kodlak's wolf spirit in the Tomb of Ysgramor. Several other Companions followed his lead and cured themselves in the same manner.
- For game-specific information, see the Daggerfall, Bloodmoon, Oblivion, Skyrim, Dragonborn and ESO articles.
- The Glenmoril Wyrd — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- Appearance of the Glenmoril Witches in Skyrim
- Locations of The Glenmoril Witches in Daggerfall
- Rite of the Wolf Giver quest in Bloodmoon
- Appearance of Ettiene, Fallaise and Isobel (the Glenmoril witches who first appeared in Bloodmoon) at the Altar of Thrond in Skyrim
- Janus Hassildor's dialogue during Vampire Cure in Oblivion
- Appearance of Glenmoril Witches at the Glenmoril Coven in Skyrim
- Wyress Rashan's dialogue and her appearance as a Wolf Guardian in ESO
- Heart of Evil quest in ESO
- Appearance of Ettiene of Glenmoril Wyrd in Bloodmoon
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the Mountains — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Druid Ryvana's dialogue in ESO
- Wyrd and Druid — Archdruid Barnabe's Discourse with Mainlanders, 2E 553
- Witch Cults of Northern High Rock — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- The Heart of the Beast quest in ESO
- Sibellec the Old's dialogue in ESO
- Wyress Linnae's dialogue in ESO, regarding the adoption of Wyress Nyronie
- Wyress Rafelen's dialogue in ESO
- Wyress Reinette's dialogue in ESO
- Wyrd Root Figure antiquity codex entries in ESO: Greymoor
- Events of Beyond the Call in ESO
- Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum
- Melisande's dialogue and role during Vampire Cure in Oblivion
- Kodlak Whitemane's dialogue during Blood's Honor in Skyrim
- Skjor's dialogue during The Silver Hand in Skyrim, when you have the option of becoming a werewolf
- Blood's Honor quest in Skyrim
- Glory of the Dead quest in Skyrim
- Purity quest in Skyrim
Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.
- Lawrence Schick's Posts discussing Glenmoril Wyrd shapeshifting