Elder Scrolls Lore: Daedric Prince Meridia

She is the embodiment of life and of light, the Lady of Infinite Energies…an enemy of all things undead, and the bane of any who would dabble in the craft of necromancy. She is the Daedric Prince Meridia, and while her sphere of influence is hidden away from the eyes of mortals, Meridia is associated with the energies of all things living.

In the time before time, there was Magnus, the god of magic, and one of the Original Spirits called the et’Ada. It was the et’Ada who were convinced by the primal god Lorkhan to create Mundus, the Mortal Plane. This new plane was one of powerful magic and dangerously unstable. The divine et’Ada were burdened by their new mortality, and chose to leave Mundus rather than be bound to it. Magnus had been the architect of this realm, and wished to end this project rather than see it collapse under its own weight. Still, some of these heavenly creatures could not bear to part from this wondrous and majestic plane of existence, and chose instead to sacrifice their divine powers in the interest of securing a place among the realms for Mundus for all time.  Magnus himself chose to withdraw, and in doing so tore a hole in the space between the mortal plane of Mundus and the immortal plane of Aetherius. This light from this rift became the blazing sun; appropriately taking on the name Magnus, and it is this light that shines to this day upon the world of Nirn.

Elder Scrolls Lore Mundus Nirn

Other divine beings fled Mundus as well, to follow the architect Magnus to the heart of all magic; Aetherius. As they left they tore holes in the rift as well, and created the twinkling stars of the cosmos. These beings were called the Magna-Ge, literally translated to “Children of Magnus”. Among these so-called Star Orphans was one who would come to be called Meridia.

There is debate as to the particulars of the scandal, but it is said Meridia was cast out of Aetherius and later chose to assume the role of Daedric Prince. Meridia went on to create her realm of Oblivion – the Colored Rooms, by bending the light of the sun, using its rays to carve out her sphere from the pandemonium of the Void itself. The golden armored Daedra called Aurorans are believed to inhabit the Colored Rooms and have been referred to as the spawn of Meridia herself.

Dawnbreaker is Meridia’s foremost artifact, and a testament to the extreme hatred the Daedric Prince feels for those who traffic in death and unlife. Incarnated as an ebony longsword, Dawnbreaker features a cross guard that shines with light from within lending to its distinctive nature and name, and the imperative from Meridia, “to burn away corruption and false life”. While extremely potent against both Daedra and Werewolves, the weapon’s primary focus is the destruction of Meridia’s “foes”, namely undead creatures. With gouts of magical flame that can drive the undead back to their graves, Dawnbreaker is the ban of all things unliving.

Skyrim Dawnbreaker Daedric Artifact

There have been rumors of a connection between Meridia and the artifact known as the Ring of Khajiit, which has also been attributed to the Daedric Prince of sex and murder, Mephala. It is unclear exactly how the Ring connects these two radically different Daedric Lords, but Meridia has offered the Ring in reward for those who do her bidding on more than one occasion. The most recent record was in the middle of the Third Era when Meridia sent her chosen one to clear a cave of necromancers who had offended the Daedric Prince with their very presence, and the obscene rites they did perform.

Most likely due to her distain for the undead, Meridia is considered one of the few Daedric Lords that is not wholly evil, but this is contrasted by the vindictive rage she visited on the Ayleid city of Abagarlas.

The Ayleid Elves were among the first of the mortal races to establish an empire in Tamriel, and had ruled Cyrodiil for years without number. These elves were masters of architecture, and built astonishing cities that were unparalleled marvels of craftsmanship, including the Imperial City which still stands today. Some scholars fancy the Ayleids as “star worshippers”; many are led to believe they revered magic and the primeval element of light. Evidence suggests Magnus and Meridia were held in high esteem among their kind.

There is the tale of the one Meridia selected as her Champion to stop the heroic and murderous Pelinal Whitestrake, who stood with Saint Alessia as she led the slave rebellion of the First Era. Known as the enemy of all elf-kind, Whitestrake had garnered fame for the wholesale massacre of Ayleid settlements during the uprising of the early Cyrodiil slaves against their sadistic Heartland High Elf masters. Whitestrake slew with great relish and ferocity, and many elves fell at his hands. So it was that the remaining Ayleid sorcerer kings allied themselves with Meridia and her Aurorans to find a Champion who could stand against Whitestrake, even as he used otherworldly armor and weapons that were considered nearly unstoppable. It was the golden skinned, half elf Umaril the Unfeathered who rose to challenge Pelinal Whitestrake for the salvation of the Ayleid race.

TES Pelinal Whitestrake First Empire

The son of an Ayleid mother and a divine father, Umaril was granted immortality by the Daedric  Lord Meridia as a pact between the Ayleid sorcerer kings and the Aurorans who served her. Umaril wore Whitestrake down by sending in wave after wave of soldiers that Umaril had hoarded specifically for the purpose of giving their lives to weaken the Champion of the Alessian Slave Rebellion. Once he saw that his forces had left Whitestrake bleeding and grievously wounded, Umaril himself engaged Pelinal Whitestrake over the bodies of the elves that had died at Whitestrake’s hand. Even though he was fatigued and weak from loss of blood, a maddened Pelinal Whitestrake still managed to defeat Umaril the Unfeathered, laying low the half elven warrior and insulting the blood of the Ayleids themselves as Umaril died. But it was a fleeting victory, as Pelinal Whitestrake was torn to pieces thereafter by the other elven sorcerer kings, who had been maddened themselves at the disrespect shown by Whitestrake. Yet even though Umaril had been struck down, Meridia was true to her word and Umaril did not die. Cast adrift on the waters of Oblivion, Umaril waited thousands of years to return to the realm of mortals to take vengeance on the Divines with the Aurorans who still obeyed his commands. Desecrating chapel after chapel upon his return at the end of the Third Era, Umaril was stopped by none other than the Divine Crusader. With the Crusader Relics that Whitestrake himself had wielded so long ago, Umaril the Unfeathered was beaten on both the physical and spiritual planes and the golden hued Champion of Meridia finally met his end.

Umaril the Unfeathered Oblivion Skyrim Lore

Meridia remains the embodiment of Light and a beacon for any who seek her radiance, just as she was when her Ayleid followers knelt to her in times long past. As a so called Star Orphan, and Child of Magnus, there are many who seek the illumination this Daedric Prince offers, but where there is light, there must also be darkness, and there is a Daedric Prince whose very sphere is eternal darkness, she is the god who is associated with the cold, wet slithering things that skitter about in the places where light does not go. Where Meridia scorns and reviles all things unliving, this Prince devours them.

But that- is a story for another day…