Lore:Witch Cults of Northern High Rock

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Witch Cults of Northern High Rock
by Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
On the beliefs and practices of Wyrd covens

Note: Another excerpt of this book can be found in the Bangkorai section of The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel

One of the dozen or so known Wyrd covens scattered across Tamriel, the Beldama Wyrd is of especial interest to Imperial researchers. The Beldama are found within the thick forests of central Glenumbra, which are problematic to the explorer due to the broken terrain and heavy vegetation. Precious few have encountered the Beldama Wyresses (another name for a group of ward-sisters, or witches), but those who have speak of dark encampments under the canopy of ancient oak trees and cavorting rituals to honor Jephre, an aspect of Y'ffre, the most venerated god of the Bosmeri deities.

The all-female Beldama Wyrd trace their origin to the time Y'ffre transformed himself into the first Ehlnofey (or "Earth Bones") and established the laws of nature. While this is obviously mere myth, the Beldama Wyrd all fiercely believe they are descendants of the Ehlnofey. It is uncertain whether the Wyresses should be considered beneficial or malefic, but all agree they are uncanny and forceful: They see themselves as wardens of the forests with an unwavering reverence for nature. Most Bretons consider them dangerous witches, to be placated rather than revered. It is no wonder, then, that the Beldama Wyrd dwells in the least populated region of High Rock.

The Beldama tend to congregate around a mysterious and reputedly gigantic Wyrd Tree, which glows with an unnatural light and looks unlike any other tree in the northern forests of Tamriel. Should the Empire consider an invasion, threats of deforestation might be a way to cow the local population, although the Beldama Wyrd may have unknown magic capable of forestalling incursions.