Wheedle was the thirteenth child of the king of Valenwood. Being so far down the progression of heirs, Wheedle’s chances of inheriting land, wealth or a crown was painfully small. Wheedle knew that the fortune and power he sought would never be found unless he did something to hasten his fortune. Wheedle left the lands of the king, and travelled through many villages and forest roads seeking prosperity. One day, he came across a beggar wrapped in filthy rags, who was on the verge of being slain by three townsmen. With an angry battle cry Wheedle charged the townsmen, who were armed with only simple farming tools. Wheedle wore armor and wielded a fine sword and the townsmen fled, knowing they were no match for the intimidating figure. The ragged beggar offered her thanks, which Wheedle accepted even though the rotten smell wafting from the figure was almost too much to bear. When he asked her name, the beggar responded simply, “I am Namira.”
Raised as the child of a king, Wheedle knew the name, and understood the situation immediately. The wretch who stood there was the Daedric Prince of decay and revulsion. To the simple townsfolk the stinking, rag wrapped figure was but a common beggar. But to Wheedle? Namira represented only one thing… opportunity. He couldn’t understand why a being so powerful had allowed mere mortals to threaten her existence. Surely, if Namira wanted, she could have turned her bullies to dust. Still, Wheedle begged Namira to take him on as her apprentice.
Namira was impassive and shambled away, for she needed no such apprentice. Wheedle was undeterred and followed Namira for thirty three days and nights, pleading the entire time to the stoic Daedric Lord to be taken on as her apprentice. After over a month of incessant begging, Wheedle’s voice was gone and all he could do was kneel before Namira, hands raised in painful, silent appeal. Wheedle’s suffering moved the wretched god, and Namira finally relented.
“It would seem you have completed your apprenticeship to me after all,” Namira declared. “I shall grant your request.”
“I grant you the power of disease. You may choose to be afflicted with any disease you choose, changing them at will, so long as it has visible symptoms. However, you must always bear at least one.
“I grant you the power of pity. You may evoke pity in anyone that sees you.”
“Finally, I grant you the power of disregard. You may cause others to disregard your presence.”
Wheedle was crushed, for these were far from the blessings envisioned when he had begged and pleaded to be taken under the wing of the Daedric Prince. They were curses! Each one more repulsive than the last, and to be burdened with all three was a fate too horrible to conceive. “How am I to make my fortune and forge a name for myself with these terrible gifts,” asked Wheedle in despair.
“As you begged at my feet for 33 days and 33 nights, so shall you now beg for your fortune in the cities of men. Your name will become legendary among the beggars of Tamriel. The story of Wheedle, the Prince of Beggars, shall be handed down throughout the generations.”
And so it was that Wheedle became a beggar so piteous and so wretched that none could look upon the lowly figure without being compelled to toss a coin at Wheedle’s feet. Wheedle soon found great power in being ignored, for people would speak of things in front of a filthy, huddled beggar that they would never speak of in front of anyone else. Soon Wheedle knew not only the secrets of those nearby but their comings and goings as well. Thus, it is said that if one wishes to know that which is not so easily known, they should ask the beggars, for they are the ones who know even the smallest secrets of those around them. It is a power granted them by she who is called the Great Darkness and the Spirit Daedra.
She is foul Namira, the Lady of Decay, and her sphere of influence is the ancient and eternal darkness.
Namira is associated with spiders, maggots, and other things mortals tend to find repulsive and disgusting. The followers of Namira show their devotion by choosing to live in the most squalid of conditions, wallowing in filth and refuse, separated from the cultural norms of society. The Cult of Namira takes their worship one ghastly step further by literally devouring the flesh of other mortals. By indulging in this most universal of taboos, Namira’s cultists further remove themselves from the customs and institutions accepted by the general populace. Appropriately, Namira’s realm of Oblivion, the Scuttling Void, is a place shrouded in darkness, and like many pockets of Oblivion, it is hidden from the eyes of all mortals.
Namira has bestowed upon the world of Nirn one artifact; the Ring of Namira, usually granted to mortals who are suitably repugnant, and who carry out her dark and foreboding orders. The ring has exhibited different properties over the millennia. It has sometimes been said to reflect ill-intent back onto an attacker, while at other times it has granted the wearer increased vigor and vitality in return for the consumption of mortal flesh.
Namira presides over the unseen things that lurk and skitter in foul, wet darkness as her followers encompass the depths of revulsion and despair. She remains the patron of beggars and the discarded remnants of society. She is the beacon for those for whom disease and festering sickness have forced out of the realm of cultural acceptance. But even as sickening as she is, she cannot be considered the most repellent of the Daedric Lords. There is another who parallels many of Namira’s distasteful qualities.
Peryite is the Daedric Prince of pestilence and Order. Like Namira, Peryite’s followers are often afflicted with diseases and it is said Peryite himself takes pleasure in bestowing sickness upon them. From his fiery realm known as the Pits, Peryite maintains the natural order among lesser daedra inhabiting the lowest planes of Oblivion. His maintenance of the lower forms of Daedra has earned him the name of “Taskmaster”. The Pits is believed to be a hellish place comprised of seas of molten rock, volcanic islands inhabited by various Daedra and crumbling, ruined structures. While the many plagues and epidemics visited among the mortals of Tamriel have been attributed to Peryite, he is considered one of the weakest of all the Daedric Lords. Despite this, Peryite is often incarnated as a four legged dragon, though he has also been depicted as a gathering of fetid, squirming skeevers. He may be considered one of the lowest among Daedric Princes, but he is still a Daedric Prince, and whenever a plague threatens to smother life on Nirn, its citizen are reminded what a Daedric Lord is capable of.
The only artifact attributed to Peryite is Spellbreaker, one of the oldest relics to be found in Tamriel. Seemingly a Dwarven tower shield, the artifact protects the wielder not only from physical harm, but magical impairment as well. It has been known to reflect magic, dispel curses, and to silence any magic users preparing to cast spells. Believed to still search for its original owner, Spellbreaker does not remain the property of any given person for long before moving on of its own accord. A common theme among so-called “gifts” the Daedra are willing to part with.
While many Daedric Princes boast power over great spheres of death and domination, Namira and Peryite hold sway over the broken, the afflicted and the rejected. Their influence and power may not possess the grandeur you’d expect, but power is power- and they use their authority to toy with the insects on Tamriel all the same.
Even as these two Daedric Princes deal in physical illness and disease, there is another Prince who brings these illnesses to the mind in horrific nightmares, the kind of which linger on, even in your waking hours.
For in the stillness of night, when men are asleep, and at their most venerable, this Daedric Prince feasts on those who dare to dream.
But that- is a story for another day.