Lore:Shrine of the Hunt-Father

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Shrine of the Hunt-Father circa 2E 582
Altar to the Hunt-Father
"Hircine the Hunt-Father has many names, but only five aspects—Alrabeg, Storihbeg, Gulibeg, Hrokkibeg, and Uricanbeg. A proper shrine must honor them all." —High Shaman Glynroch

The Shrine of the Hunt-Father was a Reachfolk temple based in Markarth. It was dedicated to five aspects of one of the Great Spirits of the Reach, Hircine. The shrine was active during the Interregnum in Second Era.[1]

The leader of the cult was given the title of High Shaman[1] and priests of the lower rank were called Apprentices.[2] It was a universal title among the clans of the Reach used to refer to shamans in training, including those not affiliated with the Shrine of the Hunt-Father. A Shaman usually chooses their Apprentice, but occasionally a willing candidate may petition the shaman themselves to become their pupil.[3] In 2E 582 a Reachfolk man Glynroch held the title of the High Shaman. Shamans typically offered sanctuary to the wanderers under the watchful eyes of Hircine.[1] Shamans are occasionally referred to as "Witchmen".[4]

The cult of Hunt-Father was known to keep several direwolves at their temple. As of 2E 582 at least four direwolves inhabited the shrine, including one named after Mara, the Mother Wolf.[5][6] They were known to assist the Apprentices during their tasks and protect them from dangers and their foes.[6][2]

Mysticism was common magical art among the Reachfolk mystic shamans during the Second Era.[7]


Glynroch, the High Shaman circa 2E 582
Mara, one of the Direwolves kept at the shrine grounds

The shrine was established in Markarth at some point between 2E 559 and 2E 582, during the rule of Ard Caddach. Ard bestowed the building in the center of Markarth to the priesthood to erect the new shrine to the Lord of the Arena, Hunt-Father Hircine.[1][8]

At some point in 2E 582, to properly dedicate the shrine High Shaman sought to obtain Symbols of the Five Aspects, a set of artifacts related to Hircine: Spear of Bitter Mercy, Totem of Claw and Fang and three Totems of Hircine: Totem of Fear, Totem of the Brotherhood and Totem of the Hunt. Each of the symbols represented another aspect of the Hircine recognized by the Reachfolk. He sent a group of the shrine Apprentices to retrieve the artifacts and bring them to the city.[1]

Apprentice Edola was requested to deliver the Spear of Bitter Mercy, the symbol of Alrabeg to the shrine. She was the first of the apprentices to deliver a relic to the High Shaman.[1]

High Shaman Glynroch requested Apprentice Gwerina, one of the shamans active in the Karth Valley to deliver the symbol of Hrokkibeg and join him in the temple in Markarth.[8] She died while carrying the task out, near to the camp of the Wildspear Clan.[9] The symbol of Hrokkibeg was found and then returned to the shrine by the Vestige.[10]

Apprentice Layren was tasked with the delivery of another relic, a symbol of Gulibeg. She failed that mission and was killed by a Nord raider Ansdurran on her way to the Shrine of Hunt-Father. Despite her pleas, Nord took the relic and intended to sell it to the collector but he succumbed to the wounds before he could finish the task.[11][12] His corpse and the symbol of Hrokkibeg were found by the Vestige. It is unknown whether he was found near to the Bthardamz or Druadach Redoubt, but he intended to reach the entrance of Druadach Redoubt, where usually hid his loot. The stolen relic was later returned to the shrine.[13]

The task of delivering the symbol of Storihbeg to the temple was given to Apprentice Egvarn. He was killed while carrying out the mission by an Argonian thief Kitza-Enoo.[14] The thief was hired by the mysterious man known as "V" from Gideon, who dealt in Daedric relics and cultural artifacts.[1][15][16] The Vestige found the symbol beside the deceased Argonian and delivered it to its place at the temple in Markarth.[14]

Dedication of the Shrine

After four of the five symbols were delivered to the Shrine of the Hunt-Father, High Shaman Glynroch requested the Vestige, who helped to deliver three of the artifacts to aid one of the shrine Apprentices with recovering the final relic. He previously sent one of his pupils, Apprentice Orla to find the symbol of Uricanbeg in the Lost Valley Redoubt, but after the tragic fate of his other students, he decided to request an adventurer to protect her.[1] Vestige agreed to help and found Apprentice Orla and her wolf companion Keeva in the Lost Valley Redoubt near the tower of the minotaur known as Blood-Hunter Hranach.[17] They were wounded and could not continue the mission. Apprentice accepted the help and guided the adventurer to the tower of the minotaur, who was the current owner of the Symbol of Uricanbeg.[2] The Vestige reclaimed the relic from the tower and delivered it to the temple in Markarth. Apprentice Orla and her wolf companion returned safely to the temple where High Shaman awaited their return.[18]

With all five aspects of the Hunt-Father represented in the temple, High Shaman believed that Hircine would recognize the shrine as sacred and true. Glynroch, together with his apprentice performed consecration rites and dedicated the temple as a complete house of worship. The Vestige was recognized as the friend of the temple and granted sanctuary within its halls.[1] They were also rewarded with money and various tokens of gratitude by the High Shaman, such as equipment of leather sacred for Reachfolk,[19] armor,[20] hatchet typically used by wolf handlers to cleave sturdy branches for teething wold pups,[21] and staff inhabited by calming spirits.[22]

Under the Third Empire, the temple building was repurposed and contained the local chapter of the House of Dibella.[23]

See Also[edit]