Elder Scrolls Lore: Daedric Prince Molag Bal

She was young the night she was ravaged. She was innocent and guileless with a simple, honest beauty that would have served her well over the course of her life. She was taken brutally…defiled without mercy and left dying by the side of the road with the only evidence being a single drop of blood upon her forehead. So savage was her violation, her agonized screams are said to resonate still as the Shrieking Winds that can be heard when the moon hangs just right over the land of Skyrim.

Found by nomads, she was brought to their village, and her terrible injuries tended to for nearly two weeks, but to no avail.  Once life had left her, the wise women of the village wrapped her in the vestments of the dead, and a bonfire was lit to cremate her broken body in the ancient way of the nomad.

As the flames touched her, she awoke and set upon those who had tried and failed to rescue her. In life she had been gentle, in death she was monstrous. The violence of her own assault paled in contrast to the carnage she unleashed upon the nomad camp. She ripped out the throats of the women with her teeth, and gorged on their steaming blood with hungry, animalistic snarls. She laughed murderously as she plucked out the eyes of their terrified, wailing children and ate them whole, before finally turning her attention to the men. She violated them as mercilessly as she herself had been violated and their tortured cries lasted long into the night. No life remained in the village as she strode soundless into the dark, drenched in blood and lit by the lurid glow of her own funeral pyre.

Where she walked…death would follow. In the millennia to come her name would be spoken only in terrified whispers. Lamae Beolfag, she who is the brood mother of the vampire, and matron of the undead.

Who had the power to turn this innocent lamb into an abomination and taker of life? Whose thirst for blood and dominance is so great? The woman’s defiler was the Daedric Prince Molag Bal…the God of Schemes, Harvester of Souls and Father of Vampires.

TES Lore Series Daedric Prince Molag Bal

Molag Bal is the Daedric Lord of enslavement and domination, whose sole purpose is to spread conflict and contention among mortals. His defilement of Lamae Beolfag and the subsequent creation of the vampire menace was directly intended to spite the god Arkay of the Nine Divines, who Molag Bal resented for holding sway over the eventual deaths of all things that lived. Through the centuries, vampire bloodlines split and acquired characteristics unique to each clan, but all originate in that first defilement of Lamae Beolfag. Molag Bal enjoys not only the sadness Arkay feels for the foul and perverse imitations of life but also the chaos and misery the immortal creatures bring to the existence of Man and Mer. This is but one of the ways Molag Bal incites suffering among living beings in his never ending quest to subvert and collect the souls of mortals. He has at times murdered mortals directly, as he did to all those in the Bosmeri town of Gilverdale, wiping it away in a red mist for the sake of an insane king. It has been written that as the rolling crimson fog erased everything and everyone in its path, Molag Bal strode along in front of it, a red skinned giant that laughed heartily amid the screams of the doomed.

Although Molag Bal appears to revel in the destruction of mortals, he much prefers to warp them into his own twisted image. One of Molag Bal’s most inhuman moments was the breaking of the good and honorable Melus Petilius, an Imperial Champion. Petilius had sworn to never again raise a weapon after the tragic death of his wife Vena. His unshakable valor, deep conviction and life of courageous selflessness was most offensive to Molag Bal who thrived on the degradation and corruption of the mortal spirit. Rather than see this righteous man dead, Molag Bal wished to see him damned. The Daedric Lord assigned a mortal the task of goading Melus Pelitius to the point of murder.

Molag Bal knew that the man could never tolerate disrespect at the gravesite of his beloved wife, and made sure there was a cursed mace near the guilt ridden widower when the mortal fulfilled his charge and drove Petilius to raise the weapon against him. Broken of both oath and spirit, Melus Petilius lived the rest of his days in anguish, as a haunted and broken man. Ruining a mortal life by taking away their very faith is Molag Bal’s greatest pleasure.

Of particular interest to the Dark Elves, Molag Bal has come to be considered one of the four corners of the House of Troubles to the Dunmer, particularly in the land of Morrowind. They believe Molag Bal and the three other Daedric Lords; cunning Malacath, infernal Mehrunes Dagon and the demented Sheogorath exist, each in their own way to test the mettle of the Dunmer and as such the Dark Elves choose to endure their malice.

Molag Bal Shrine Morrowind 1

Molag Bal’s disregard for life extends even to his own flesh and blood. From his union with Vivec, the Daedric Prince created a daughter named Molag Grunga, a Winged Twilight who dared to fall in love with a relatively unimportant Frost Atronach. Due to his contempt of the Atronach and displeasure at their union, Molag Bal attempted to have them both murdered. It would be much easier to torture his child’s spirit once it was forcibly removed from her body and returned to the realm of Coldharbor. The status of Molag Grunda and her lover are unknown as of the time of this writing.

Like each Daedra Lord, Molag Bal has procured a Daedric artifact that serves as a conduit for his will on Nirn. At some point, he created an artifact known as the Mace of Molag Bal or simply, the Vampire’s Mace. Apparently designed after the nature of his minions, the Mace is enchanted with a spell that drains the life energy of an opponent and transfers it to the wielder. Molag Bal has been exceedingly free with the weapon, and it has been possessed and used many times over the years, including during the events of the Warp in the West where it was used to slay a powerful wizard. No matter where the Mace finds itself, it has represented its master well.

Molag Bal’s plane of Oblivion is known as Coldharbor, and it is a perfect reflection of the Daedric Prince himself. It is a frightening place of slag, burning skies and freezing air; but, the truly eerie thing about Coldharbor is the fact that it surrounds a mirror-version of Nirn including Tamriel and the Imperial Palace. The only difference between this Nirn and the real one is that it is a desecrated, decaying place washed in blood and smeared with excrement. Daedroths roam freely, and are counted as servants to Molag Bal, along with the legions of anguished souls he’s gathered.

Elder Scrolls Online ESO Moalg Bal

Bal’s thirst to defile everything good and fair on Nirn is unquenchable. There came a turbulent time in Tamriel’s history when Molag Bal attempted to merge his realm with the mortal realm. A time when the races of Men and Mer slaughtered each other over a crumbling kingdom. Many a hero would be forged during this time of adversity, and be called upon to stop Molag Bal’s threat against the world of the living, but that story has yet to be written…

Molag Bal continues to be a force of strife and misery in a world already mired in suffering. He revels in corruption and death and encourages the behavior of his vampiric minions in their obscene rituals and horrific acts of rape, mutilation and murder. He is the Prince of Domination and Enslavement, and as such he often comes into conflict with another Daedric Prince; a Prince whose very nature is to encourage treason and revolt against authority. Such discord is familiar ground to the Daedric Prince of treachery, and the Lord of Plots.

Like Molag Bal, Boethiah revels in the suffering of mortals and has for millennia tormented Mer and Men alike. Boethiah’s violent and tumultuous influence has changed history, and has determined the destiny of Empires.

But that- is a story for another day…