Hircine is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is the Hunt, the Sport of Daedra, the Great Game, the Chase, and is known as the Huntsman and the Father of Manbeasts. Hircine created the various therianthropic diseases which transform mortals into beasts and is therefore the guardian of were-creatures. They reflect his sphere admirably, hunting at night and being hunted by day. Hircine's existence appears to have been discovered later than other Daedric Princes, as he does not appear in the most ancient records and summonings of him were rare or non-existent. Hircine is a sportsman who enjoys giving his prey a chance for victory, however small. He is typically portrayed with a great spear and either the head or skull of a deer. Hircine's enemy is Ebonarm and his summoning day is 5th of Mid Year.
Hircine appeared in 16 Accords of Madness, Volume VI, where he imbued a Daedroth with the curse of lycanthropy, making a creature which became Hircine's most deadly hunter; however, the monster was tricked into committing suicide, causing the Prince of the Hunt to curse the peak where it happened.
Hircine hosts the competition known as the Great Hunt every era, pitting various prey of his choosing against one another. The exact nature of each hunt varies from era to era.
There are five known aspects of Hircine:
- Alrabeg the Hunter: He bears the Spear of Bitter Mercy when he manifests. Its purpose is to hunt new prey on Nirn, or to bring prey native to the Hunting Grounds into Nirn.
- Uricanbeg the Great Dark Stag: He comes to mate with hinds, or may transform a woman into one for the same purpose. He may also arrive to cull the herd of the weak. His hooves drum the Blood Summons that lure prey into his herd, which are then led into the Hunting Grounds where they meet their end.
- Storihbeg the Skinchanger: The wolf aspect who brings the skinshifters to hunt on Nirn. His howl is said to be capable of freezing your innards.
- Gulibeg the Quick Fox: Is an aspect that manifests to confound mortals, and rewards those he finds clever by teaching them tricks. In a tale, a medallion associated with Gulibeg makes less conventional forms of communication understandable.
- Hrokkibeg the Mighty Bear: He embodies strength and the Totem of Claw and Fang. He comes to seek solitude, peace from labors, and renewal of the Burning Spirit Within.
Ring of Hircine
The Ring of Hircine (also known as Hircine's Ring, or The Hircine Ring) is a Daedric artifact created by the Daedric Prince Hircine. In appearance, it is usually an engraved metallic ring showing the head of a wolf, although it has also been known to appear as a spiked leather buckler. The ring can temporarily give the gift of Lycanthropy to the wearer, and allows lycanthropes to control their transformations. Lycanthropes who possess the ring are not affected by the moons or by bloodlust, and can change form at will. Hircine punishes those that did not legitimately earn the ring, stripping the ring of its ability to control transformations and instead making transformations unpredictable. For non-lycanthropes, the ring is often useless, although it has been known to extend the wearer's life and allow for transformation into a werewolf. The ring is known to affect werewolves and wereboars, and likely works on other therianthropes as well.
Savior's Hide, also known as Scourge of the Oathbreaker, is a Daedric artifact commonly associated with Hircine. Savior's Hide once referred to a full set of armor, known as the Armor of the Savior's Hide (boots, cuirass, gauntlets, greaves, helmet, and pauldrons). Overtime, the term Savior's Hide would become predominately used to refer to the Cuirass of the Savior's Hide, as the rest of the armor set have not been seen since 3E 399. The cuirass makes the wearer resistant to magic.
There are three creation stories to the Hide, with two crediting Hircine and the third crediting Malacath. The more widely known tale involving Hircine holds that the Daedric Prince rewarded the first and only mortal to escape his Hunting Grounds with his peeled Hide. The mortal then had the Hide tailored into the cuirass for use in their adventures. This version of the story also claims that the cuirass gave the wearer a resistance to magic. Another version claims that it was Hircine himself who sewed the Savior’s hide from the hide of a werewolf.
The third tradition which credits Malacath is lesser known and contains some inaccuracies, such as stating that it made the wearer vulnerable to magic and invulnerable to the blow of an oathbreaker. Despite the conflict between the stories, they agree on the point that the Hide would protect the wearer from the sting of the Spear of Bitter Mercy.
Spear of Bitter Mercy
The Spear of Bitter Mercy is one of the more mysterious artifacts in Tamrielic lore. Little to nothing is known about the Spear, but it is believed to be of Daedric origin, and is most associated with the Daedric Prince Hircine.
According to Reachmen myth, Hircine was said to wield the Spear when he took on the aspect of Alrabeg the Hunter. Other legends speak of a Nord hunter named Thane Icehammer, who unknowingly killed several were-creatures while on a hunt. Angered by this, Hircine thrust the Spear into Icehammer's side, where upon the tip broke off and remained lodged inside him. Slowly, the magic of Hircine's Spear corrupted Icehammer's mind and he became bitter and angry. This eventually resulted in him murdering an acolyte of Kyne in a fit of rage, and fleeing to an ancient burial vault near Cragwallow, where upon he was sealed within as punishment.
Spear of the Hunter
The Spear of the Hunter is an artifact associated and often wielded by the Daedric Prince Hircine. Like another spear associated with Hircine, the Spear of Bitter Mercy, little is known of it, and is one of the more mysterious artifacts in Tamrielic lore.
The Hunting Grounds
Early in the Fourth Era, visitors to Hircine's plane of Oblivion, the Hunting Grounds, described it as a realm of thick forest and open plains where they were hunted by a werebear, who looked like an extremely large man similar to a pale Nord with sinewy arms, covered in blue tattoos and leading huge bears; then a herd of wild, unknown cattle. If the horn of Hircine is heard there, it announces Hircine himself and his pack of werewolves.
Hircine as seen in Daggerfall
Hircine as seen in Bloodmoon
Hircine's statue as seen in Oblivion
The Cursed Ring of Hircine in Skyrim
The Saviour's Hide as seen in Oblivion
Spear of Bitter Mercy as seen in Morrowind
Spear of the Hunter as seen in Bloodmoon
Savior's Hide as seen in Skyrim
- 16 Accords of Madness, v. VI — Hircine's Tale
- Aspects of Lord Hircine by Juno Procillus, Academy of Chorrol — Transcribed statement detailing the five aspects of the Daedric Prince Hircine
- The Blessings of Hircine — A call for Bosmer to follow the will of Hircine
- The Book of Daedra — Excerpts from a lengthy tome describing the nature of each of the Daedra
- The Glenmoril Wyrd by Lady Cinnabar of Taneth — A description of witches of the Glenmoril Wyrd
- Invocation of Hircine — Invocation to summon the Daedric Lord of the Hunt
- The Legend of Fallen Grotto — A cautionary tale surrounding the worship and summoning of Hircine
- Legend of Thane Icehammer — The tale of Thane Icehammer's corruption by the Spear of Bitter Mercy
- Living with Lycanthropy — Guidance on living productive, peaceful life while afflicted with Lycanthropy
- Note from a Glenmoril Witch by Agnes of Glenmoril — Information on a cure for lycanthropy
- Prayer to Hircine — A prayer to the Daedric Lord of the Hunt
- The Totems of Hircine — Werewolf tales regarding artifacts of Hircine
- The Werewolf's Hide by An Unknown Packleader — A werewolf's greatest asset
- The Book of Daedra
- On Oblivion — Morian Zenas
- Events of Daggerfall
- Aspects of Lord Hircine — Juno Procillus, Academy of Chorrol
- The Silver Werewolf — Hildegard
- Crafting Motif 31: Skinchanger — Uraccanach the Witchman
- Crafting Motif 65, Huntsman — Uraccanach the Witchman (as transcribed by Juno Procillus, Academy of Chorrol)
- Dialogue in the mission the mission Darkened Forest in Return to Clockwork City
- Dialogue in the mission Sightless Pit in Return to Clockwork City
- Events of Skyrim
- The Infernal City — Gregory Keyes