Emperor Uriel Septim VII knew he was going to die, yet still he ran. First, it had been his three sons, methodically brought down by assassins one after the other. Then came the attack on the Emperor himself, killers dawning red robes who had infiltrated the White Gold Tower with murder in their eyes. Uriel continued to run, with his bodyguards; the fiercely loyal Blades surrounding him, though he knew it was to no avail. The Emperor was strangely calm, for he had dreamt of this moment, and knew this was his time. Death was coming for the Emperor of Cyrodiil.
Soon only one of his bodyguards remained, Baurus, and Uriel would be cut off from him as well, as he met his end at the point of an executioner’s dagger. The Septim bloodline was ending and a new day was dawning thanks to the assassins who summoned this chaos. These killers would greet the new day with open arms, for they are the Mythic Dawn, devoted followers of the Daedric Prince, Mehrunes Dagon.
To best understand the Prince of Destruction and his Oblivion Crisis one needs to go back to the beginning of this story. In times long past, the human races were suffering greatly under the iron will of the Ayleids. The fledgling mortals were dominated and enslaved by the elves who worshiped the Daedric Princes. It was Saint Alessia, the first queen of the Cyrodiils, who knelt alone and begged the great and mighty Akatosh for help. Akatosh was the Dragon God of Time and the leader of the Aedra, they who were the offspring of the two primal forces of existence. Noble Akatosh looked down with pity on the misery of these tiny creatures. The Dragon God drew blood from his own heart, and used it to anoint this remarkable woman, she who was called Paravant…the First. Thus a holy Covenant was sealed.
The Dragonfires were the symbol of that Covenant, and could only be lit by the mystical Amulet of Kings. According to legend, the enchanted Amulet could not be used, or even worn by anyone not descended of Alessia. With Uriel Septim dead, the bloodline of the Cyrodiilic Empire was severed, and the Amulet of Kings could not be used to relight the Dragonfires. The veil separating Oblivion and Mundus would now be torn asunder, and the monstrous jaws of Oblivion would open wide.
Mankar Cameron, leader of the cult of the Mythic Dawn knew this. He intended to open those hellish Gates and offer all of Nirn to his infernal Lord, Mehrunes Dagon. As the Dragonfires grew cold, the barrier between Oblivion and Mundus grew thin. Soon Great Gates would open, and Nirn would be taken by Daedric forces. Wholesale slaughter in the name of Dagon would finally commence.
Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince of Destruction and Change and his spheres of influence are revolution, energy and ambition. It is no surprise he would seek to bring Nirn to its knees; it is in his very nature. In fact, he has on several occasions attempted to conquer Nirn, to claim it as his own.
Mehrunes Dagon is also associated with dangerous natural phenomena, which marks him as part of the Dunmer House of Troubles. His connection to flood, fire and earthquakes are seen by the Dunmer as important elements at work in Morrowind. As such, Dagon is a vitally important deity to the Dark Elves. For all others however, he is simply the Prince of bloodshed and betrayal; his name means death for any who hear it.
One of Mehrunes Dagon’s most memorable acts of devastation came when a resentful spymaster of Vivec summoned Dagon for the sake of taking vengeance upon the Duke of Morrowind. By the time the Tribunal gods Almalexia and Sotha Sil managed to drive Dagon back to his realm of Oblivion, the Duke of Morrowind was dead, and the capital city of Mournhold was leveled.
Dagon’s realm of Oblivion is appropriately named the Deadlands, and is a terrible place of fiery red skies, seas of lava and immense grinding engines of torture and death. Mutilated corpses hang from crumbling bridges and the stench of sulfur and blood fills the air. Towers loom overhead with even more ruined bodies bound to them. Lurking Clannfear and vicious Scamps prowl amidst lethal Spiddal Plants and Harrada Roots while the Kyn oversee all, looking for mortal lives to take. The Kyn or Dremora, as they are more commonly known are monstrous humanoid knights. With horrific horned faces and bearing the strongest of Daedric armor and weapons, these crimson fiends exist solely to serve Dagon…and to kill all others.
Mehrunes Dagon has given three artifacts to the world of Nirn, and each one is increasingly more potent and dangerous than the last.
The Daedric Crescent Blade was designed by Mehrunes Dagon and is a fearsome double bladed weapon that can paralyze its target and corrode the heaviest armor. It was designed for Dagon’s Daedric forces, which used them as they sacked the Battlespire. There were once a great many Crescent Blades, but when Imperial armies retook the Battlemage academy, the blades were gathered up and destroyed. One of the weapons managed to survive however, and was rumored to be possessed by the Nerevarine of the Third Era. What ultimately became of this unique and powerful blade is at this time unknown.
Mehrunes’ Razor is an ebony dagger crafted by Dagon and capable of killing with a single blow. The souls of those killed by the Daedric artifact are often claimed by Mehrunes Dagon himself. Also called the Bane of the Righteous and Kingslayer, the weapon has been present at times of horrific murder and betrayal. It is believed the Razor played a role in the near destruction of the Dark Brotherhood. Once the Oblivion Crisis ran its course, a group pledged to the dismantling of the Mythic Dawn cult happened upon Mehrunes Razor in a way not clearly known. The group broke the deadly weapon into three fragments, and distributed them between the three highest among the group’s inner circle. The pieces were to be handed down from descendant to descendant to ensure that the dagger could never be reassembled.
In the Fourth Era, a man named Silus Vesuius tried to collect the pieces for a museum devoted to the Mythic Dawn cult. He had already acquired the Razor’s sheath and would have seen all the pieces displayed together, disregarding the profound threat they implied. It is unknown at this time if Vesuius was successful in his attempt to reunite the pieces of Mehrunes Razor. It is possible that Vesuius, like so many others, met his doom in a vain attempt to avoid the evil influence of the Dagger.
The Mysterium Xarxes is a book written by Dagon himself, and is an artifact of profound strength…and immense evil. The malevolence of the book is so powerful in fact; even opening it requires magical shielding for the good of the reader. Mehrunes Dagon gave the book to Mankar Camoran, his most ardent and loyal worshipper. Upon reading it, Mankar was able to open a portal to a new plane of Oblivion he called Gaiar Alata, or Paradise.
Paradise was believed to be a place of rapture and utopia for those true to Mehrunes Dagon. To die serving the Prince meant your soul would find rest there. This was true for Mankar Camoran only. For all others, Paradise was a place of endless, horrific torment. Those souls who had followed Camoran found they were nothing more than the prey and the playthings of Dagon’s Daedric servants.
The Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon nearly took all of Nirn for his own. His artifacts, even the single scorched page of the Mysterium Xarxes that remains, still hold power enough to kill any who would dare to divine their secrets. If Mehrunes Dagon represents the infernal chaos of Oblivion, there is another who represents its order. Where Dagon seeks to rein death and destruction, this Prince seeks to assimilate through logic and directive.