Lore: Mazken

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The banner of the Mazken in Shivering Isles

The Mazken[1] (also known as Seducers, Daedra Seducers, or Dark Seducers) are a Daedric race who resemble scantily-clad humanoids.[2][3][4] Some Mazken have humanesque flesh tones,[2][3] while others are marked as Daedra by more unusual shades such as blue, gray,[5] or dark purple,[4] and a few also possess large, retractable, bat-like wings.[2][3]

They are the spawn of Sheogorath, and their home is Pinnacle Rock in the Shivering Isles. Pinnacle Rock contains the Wellspring of the Mazken, which serves as a beacon to guide the souls of the seducers lost in the Void back to the Isles. Details surrounding their chaotic Creatia is a mystery, but their Wellspring flows with a green liquid fitting of them.[6] Many of the Mazken are notoriously clanless and treacherous, owing allegiance to many Daedric Princes, such as Mehrunes Dagon,[3] Molag Bal, Meridia, and Nocturnal.[7] Male Mazken are notably weaker than their female counterparts and because of this, Mazken society views all males as inferior. Unlike their counterparts, the Golden Saints, Dark Seducers are generally polite and patient when interacting with mortals.[8]

The Mazken are linked to the Madness Ore that occurs naturally in the Shivering Isles. Experimenting with Madness Ore may summon or even bind a Mazken.[9]

In combat, the Mazken wear strong but extremely revealing armor that exposes most of their skin to the elements, although this is compensated by their fast running speed and strong resistance to magical attacks. Crafting their serpentine arms and armaments is a dangerous endeavor, as one can lose their mind making it. The process requires finesse as one must balance shaping ebony with malleable quicksilver. Heat must be applied precisely, or the shape and integrity of the equipment will be ruined. Finally, a Daedra's Heart is put into the forge when the equipment is being heated, adding to its hardness.[10] The intricate artifact known as Ruin's Edge is a dark Mazken bow that belonged to Syl, the Dutchess of Dementia.

Sometimes they do not use their serpentine equipment, and have been known to wear revealing black outfits and use their alluring form to trick mortal opponents into mistaking them for harmless human women before striking down their unsuspecting adversaries with ease. However, they have sometimes exhibited a willingness to behave passively around mortals that understand the Daedric language to a certain degree.[11]

The Mazken make up one half of the Madgod's army, along with the Aureal. The two groups have a great rivalry, each believing they are Sheogorath's favored. The Mazken are charged with guarding Dementia, apparently due to a masochistic streak.[12] In times of peace, they act as guards, patrolling the realm for criminals and hostile creatures. In times of war, they favor blunt weapons and are placed under the command of the Duke of Dementia. The Mazken have a strict hierarchy, ascending in rank as follows: Kiskengo; Kiskella; Kiskedrig; Grakendo; Grakella; Grakedrig; Autkendo.

History[edit]

Second Era[edit]

Interregnum[edit]

Many Mazken were in the service of Molag Bal during the events of the Planemeld. Among the most infamous were the Dark Seducer Sisters Dylora, Vika, and Jansa, who were considered the most deadly Mazken in Molag Bal's service. They were tasked with protecting Dark Anchors, but were slain by adventurers that sought to destroy them.[13]

Many who seek refuge from the horrors of Coldharbour are lured in to the Manor of Revelry, a mansion cloaked in the illusions that mimic the familiarity of Hammerfell. There, they are greeted by the Mazken sisters, Nuzara, Rayyaima, and Shayaifa, that honeypot their guests by feeding them and providing a luxurious experience. In reality, the guests are being pampered so that they may fattened and lower their guards so that they may be consumed. All that is left is their skeletal remains, which are then reanimated and cloaked within the illusion to appear as living guests. Circa 2E 582, the Tamrielic Invasion of Coldharbour was launched, and members of expedition were scattered throughout Molag Bal's realm, and some of the guests wandered into the comforts of the Manor. An Mazken agent of Meridia, Fatahala, knew well of how her kind operated, and sought the help of the Vestige to dismantle the illusion of the Manor and save its still living inhabitants.[14]

Third Era[edit]

The Invasion of the Battlespire[edit]

During the Daedric invasion of the Battlespire, Mehrunes Dagon recruited many Mazken to his ranks. They turned on their previous mistress, Nocturnal Lieutenant Jaciel Morgen, and captured one of their (former) patron Nocturnal's realms, Shade Perilous, for Dagon. Those who willingly shifted their allegiance were rewarded by being remade in the image of Dagon's own greed and treachery—becoming not only physically stronger, but also gifted with powerful bat-winged forms.[3]

The Mazken attacked the Battlespire, each wielding a Daedric Crescent, before retiring back to Oblivion and leaving the scamps and vermai to clean up. Other Daedric clans, notably Clan Dremora and their master Imago Storm, were displeased with Dagon's acceptance of the Mazken. Dagon himself held no such prejudices, going so far as to take a Mazken as his bodyguard and lover, and gifting her with the Sword of the Moon Reiver. This bodyguard was slain by an apprentice, who then used the sword to banish Dagon, destroying the Battlespire in the process.[3]

The Warp in the West[edit]

Following the destruction of the Battlespire, winged Mazken were regularly sighted in the Iliac Bay area in the years leading up to the Warp in the West.[2]

The Daedric Prince Malacath was betrayed by a Mazken whom he had gifted with power and beauty. The Prince had a mysterious agent of the Blades track her down to a dungeon in the Iliac Bay area and slay her in return for Volendrung.[15] The agent was also tricked by an Orc warlord into taking a Daedric lodestone from a Mazken, with the promise of the artifact Chrysamere, which the warlord did not possess. The Mazken revealed the Orc's plot to the agent, providing a magical pearl to break the illusion, but the ultimate result of this conflict is unknown.[16]

Also of note, Princess Elysana of Wayrest contracted the agent to return a robe she borrowed to Lord Castellian, the senior member of Wayrest's elder council, while he was on holiday. Castellian had the ear of Elysana's father, King Eadwyre, and made no secret of his desire to wed the princess. Perhaps due in part to these facts, Elysana had the robe enchanted so that when worn, it would summon a small horde of Mazken to attack and kill the wearer. It is unknown if Lord Castellian ultimately received it or if the agent decided to try it on; regardless, the Daedra were sent back to Oblivion, taking the cursed garment with them.[17]

The Greymarch[edit]

By 3E 433, the Dark Seducer Sisters, Dylora, Vika, and Jansa, had changed their allegiance from Molag Bal into serving Sheogorath. Jansa became the Captain of the Palace Guard of New Sheoth, and Vika became interested in the conflict of Cylarne. That year, Dylora was serving as the commander of Mazken's home of Pinnacle Rock in the Shivering Isles when the Greymarch began. The forces of Order invaded Pinnacle Rock to cripple the realm's army, and Dylora was taken prisoner.nb1 She was freed by Sheogorath's Champion and aided in the liberation of the stronghold. Although she perished with the other Mazken when the Wellspring of the Mazken was frozen by Order, they were revived when the Champion destroyed the crystals stopping the flow of chaotic creatia. Dylora would then lead the Mazken to remove any remaining remnants of Order from their home, allowing them to resume their normal duties.[18]

Fourth Era[edit]

In the 2nd of First Seed, 4E 200, the Breton mage Thoron discovered a piece of Amber shaped like the Mad God Sheogorath, which upon contact, briefly transported him into Bliss in New Sheoth, the capital of the Shivering Isles. The experience left him changed, and he desired to reconnect to the isles at any means necessary. He resorted to hiring a mage from the College of Winterhold to use the college's Atronach Forge to conduct various experiments, and his investment netted him the secrets to binding both of the Aureal and Mazken.[19] In the 4th of First Seed, 4E 200, Mania responded to Thoron's call by sending the Golden Saint commander, Staada, who did not take kindly to Thoron's attempt to bind her. As Staada was no ordinary Golden Saint, Thoron was unable to control her, and he was forced to flee and took up residence in the sewers beneath Solitude.[20]

Circa 16th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 200, Thoron discovered that a manifestation of the Shivering Isles had taken shape in the form of a Root Tunnel deep within Solitude's sewer system, complete with the ecosystem emulating the Isles. Additionally, he discovered that the place was once a battlefield where a conflict between the Aureal and Mazken took place. It was here where Thoron would continue his vile experiments to connect to the isles. The remains of the battlefield's conflict contained a treasure trove of daedric armaments which were used to outfit two bandit groups under Thoron's employ. These two bandit groups were hired to collect artifacts linked to the Shivering Isles. The bandit group that took the equipment of the Golden Saints and called themselves the Saints, while the group that took the equipment of the Dark Seducers called themselves the Seducers. The groups were instructed to raid the caravans of Khajiiti merchants, and on the 15th of Midyear, 4E 201, they discovered the Sword of Jyggalag.[20] Using the sword's bloodlust, he begun breaking down the barriers between the Isles and Tamriel.[21]

After the Last Dragonborn put an end to this threat by killing Thoron, Staada wrote to the Dragonborn to arrange a meeting.[22] She requested the item Thoron used as the focus of his rituals, although the details of this proposed exchange are unknown. Indeed, it is unknown if the Dragonborn made any trade at all with Staada, or whether they instead chose to bind and summon her using powerful Conjuration magic.[23] Regardless, the hero recovered the journal containing the secrets to bind both Aureal and Mazken.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • nb1This event only occurs if the player chooses to become the Duke/Duchess of Mania during the Shivering Isles main quest. This will lead Duchess Syl to betray Sheogorath for the death of Thadon. His betrayal led the Mazken to be caught off-guard, allowing for the invasion of Pinnacle Rock. If the player instead chooses to become the Duke/Duchess of Dementia , Thadon will survive and attack the Aureal's home of Brellach in retaliation for Syl's death.
  • The term "Mazken" appeared for the first time in the Shivering Isles expansion pack for Oblivion; the Seducer enemies also appeared under slightly differing names in Daggerfall and Battlespire.
  • The wings attached to Dark Seducers, or "Daedra Seducers" as they are called in Daggerfall, appear to gradually vanish when folded, only to re-appear when fully expanded. This seems to imply that the wings are either conjured by a spell, or simply become invisible while unused. The former is consistent with most of their later appearances (barring Battlespire), where Dark Seducers completely lack any signs of wings.
  • The box art for Battlespire depicts a winged Dark Seducer wielding a Daedric Crescent.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dark Seducer's dialogue in Shivering Isles
  2. ^ a b c d Events of Daggerfall
  3. ^ a b c d e f Events of Battlespire
  4. ^ a b Events of Shivering Isles
  5. ^ Events of ESO
  6. ^ The Helpless Army quest in Shivering Isles
  7. ^ What the Heart Wants quest in ESO
  8. ^ Saints and SeducersAndoche Marie
  9. ^ Report on Atronach Forge ExperimentsThoron
  10. ^ Joften's Journal
  11. ^ The Daedric language skill in Daggerfall
  12. ^ Sheogorath's dialogue in Shivering Isles
  13. ^ Dark Seducer Sisters's appearance at Dark Anchors in ESO
  14. ^ Events of the What the Heart Wants quest in ESO
  15. ^ Malacath's Quest in Daggerfall
  16. ^ The Impostor quest in Daggerfall
  17. ^ Elysana's Robe quest in Daggerfall
  18. ^ Dylora's appearance in The Helpless Army quest in Shivering Isles
  19. ^ Report on Atronach Forge ExperimentsThoron
  20. ^ a b Thoron's Journal — Thoron
  21. ^ Saints & Seducers Creation for Skyrim Special Edition
  22. ^ A Request to MeetStaada
  23. ^ Conflicting choices during Staada's Quest in Saints & Seducers