Lore:Ruddy Man

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The Ruddy Man in battle with Vivec

The Ruddy Man was one of the eight monster children from the unholy union of Molag Bal and Vivec,[1] who battled Vivec twice according to the teachings of the Tribunal Temple. He is a carapace who gives power to those who wear him,[2] although he is sometimes considered a dreugh, or an aspect of Molag Bal worshipped by the dreughs.[3] The Ruddy Man endures as a symbol of fear in Dunmer culture.[4]

According to the Temple, the Ruddy Man was created when a Velothi child from Gnisis found a dead carapace, supposedly Molag Bal's old image from long ago when he ruled Mundus as chief of the dreugh-kings. Wanting to scare his village, the child wore the carapace, and the Ruddy Man was formed. Vivec did battle with the monster at the Koal Cave site near Gnisis, creating the West Gash region of Vvardenfell; it is said that the sounds of battle still echo in the region. Vivec was victorious, and brought the carapace to the Queen of Dreughs to guard it from the surface world. Instead, the treacherous dreughs gave it to a wayward shaman from the House of Troubles, and the Ruddy Man appeared ten years later outside Tear. After defeating him again, Vivec gave the monster's carapace to the devout and loyal mystics of the Number Room, who made "a philosopher's armor" out of it, sealing one of their own sages inside for eternal study.[2]

The Shrine of Valor was set up in the Koal Cave by the Temple and served as part of the Pilgrimage of the Seven Graces. Pilgrims were told that the Ruddy Man was the father of all dreughs, and that Vivec spared his life if he agreed to give up their tough hides as armor for the Dunmer.[5]

Circa 2E 582, a dreugh known as the Ruddy Broodmother began terrorizing the roads around Molag Mar, killing pilgrim and Buoyant Armiger alike. The Ruddy Broodmother made its lair within the Dreudurai Glass Mine, which the Erabenimsun knew as ancient dreugh spawning grounds.[6] The Vestige, with the help of a group of Ashlanders, drew it out of hiding and slew it. A pilgrim who survived the incident and fled into an ancestral tomb believed the creature to be the mythical Ruddy Man, though Ashlanders denied its existence, claiming that the Broodmother was simply a powerful and cunning dreugh. The Buoyant Armigers considered the thought of the beast being the Ruddy Man borderline heresy. The captain of the Buoyant Armigers at the time suggested that if the Ruddy Broodmother truly was related to the creature of legend, that it might be a lesser creature "cut from the same cloth" as the Ruddy Man.[7]