Daedra are creatures and sentient beings that can be found across the vast expanses of Oblivion. Only two of these types of Daedra appear in Skyrim, however: the atronachs and Dremora. Despite the lasting ramifications of the Oblivion Crisis, conjurers across Tamriel could not resist the allure and power associated with summoning Daedra and attempting to command them. Many of these summonings are successful and those Daedra serve their masters without fail, but even more summonings go wrong and result in unbound beings turning on their masters.
There are far fewer unbound "wild" Daedra in Skyrim than there were in the previous two Elder Scrolls games, Morrowind and Oblivion. Narratively this makes sense - Daedra-worship was always part of the Dunmer culture and was thus comparatively common in Morrowind, even during the reign of the Tribunal, and there were still many Daedric ruins there where unbound Daedra of all levels from Scamp to Golden Saint could be found: but there are no such ruins and no such cults in Skyrim at all. And since the Oblivion Crisis (and the closure of the Oblivion Gates which seems to have mostly shut unbound Daedra out of the mortal plane), the world has largely - and probably justifiably - turned away from Daedra-worship, with the exception of those still revered by the Dunmer. Even among them, only Azura retains her open popularity - even Boethiah and Mephala, also revered by the Dunmer, have suffered by comparison: and the Orcish cult of Malacath still persists in their strongholds, though not so much among Orcs who live in the wider world. Other Daedra Lords seem to have faded away to a last few cultists meeting in secret - some of them diseased (Peryite) or no longer even alive (Clavicus Vile's dozen or so vampire cultists). Molag Bal has fared perhaps worst, having no remaining actual worshippers, and being kept in the memory of Skyrim only by a Boethiah cultist who comes to mock him with a hatred so strong that it actually sustains him by acknowledging him.
Even summoned Daedra are not what they used to be: a caster can no longer soul-trap his own summoned Atronachs or Dremora to fill soul gems, although he can soul-trap the summoned beings of another caster.
Atronachs are intelligent elemental Daedra that can be called forth from Oblivion to serve a conjurer in battle against his or her foes. Atronachs are all immune to paralysis, cannot be reanimated, and cannot be made invisible by any means. Dremora are manlike beings that are treated as NPCs in-game rather than as creatures, and therefore have stats, resistances, and perks more suited to that, as detailed on their page.
Some quests that require fighting or interacting with Daedra to complete include:
- Hitting the Books: Find the books needed to identify the artifact found in Saarthal.
- Pieces of the Past: Retrieve the scattered pieces of Mehrunes' Razor and reforge this deadly blade.
- Restoring OrderCC: Put an end to the melding of planes under Solitude.
- Staada QuestCC: Meet with a mysterious figure regarding a mad wizard's failed ritual.
- The Arms of ChaosCC: Complete a mage's quest to reassemble two powerful staves.
- The ConsequencesCC: Enter the Deadlands to face Dagon's champions.
- The Mind of Madness: Gain access to and solve the mystery of the Pelagius Wing.
- Touching the SkyDG: Find and retrieve Auriel's Bow.
A few world interactions involve Daedra.
- Lore:Daedra — A page documenting all that is known about the vast number of species encompassed by the term Daedra.
- Lore:Daedric Princes — A list of all of the Daedric princes, their styles, and any other information known about them.
- Lore:Dremora — A description of the Dremora, their castes, and their roles in different periods of time in Tamriel's history.
- Lore:Elemental Daedra — An article specifically describing atronachs and the types found in the different Elder Scrolls games.
- Lore:Aureal — A description of the Golden Saints and their roles in different periods of time in Tamriel's history.
- Lore:Mazken — A description of the Dark Seducers and their roles in different periods of time in Tamriel's history.
- Lore:Planes of Oblivion — A list of all of the known planes of Oblivion that Daedra can inhabit.
- Skyrim:Atronach Forge — A page on the Atronach Forge, a location in the Midden that can create Daedra and items.
- Skyrim:Dremora — A detailed page on the specific variants of Dremora found in Skyrim.
The following books contain direct discussion on the different types of Daedra that can be encountered.
- Aedra and Daedra — Overview of the basic differences between Gods, Demons, Aedra, and Daedra
- Darkest Darkness — A description of various Daedra
- On Oblivion by Morian Zenas — A guide to Oblivion and the Daedra
- The Book of Daedra — Excerpts from a lengthy tome describing the nature of each of the Daedra
- Varieties of Daedra by Aranea Drethan — An analysis of Daedra forms, focusing primarily on the Dremora