Boethiah or Boethia (in Daedric script, ) is the Daedric Prince of deceit, conspiracy, treachery, and sedition who rules over the realm of Attribution's Share [UL 1] and whose sphere is the unlawful overthrow of authority. A violent Daedric Prince, Boethiah is known for their enjoyment in the suffering of mortals.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
Like all Daedric Princes, Boethiah has no absolute gender, and, as such, choose to appear as male at some times and female at other times. According to their followers, Boethiah acts the most overtly out of all the Daedric Princes. They appear to enjoy battle and conflict, and their cults often stage huge tournaments to the death to win the Prince's favor.
Even among scholars, who frequently reject the common notion that Daedra are all demons, Boethiah is one of the Daedric Princes consistently viewed as evil in most of Tamriel. The Prince uses their followers for bloodsport, even turning on their champion seemingly without reason at times. Like Molag Bal or Mehrunes Dagon, Boethiah delights in visiting death and destruction upon mortals, whom they actively strive to torment. Yet despite being feared and vilified by most mortals, a markedly different perception is popularly held by the Dunmer who, while acknowledging Molag Bal and Mehrunes Dagon to be members of the House of Troubles, worship Boethiah as a good Daedroth: one whom they credit with guiding and advancing Dunmeri civilization.
Relation to the Dunmer[edit | edit source]
Cultural development[edit | edit source]
During the Merethic Era, some of the Aldmer worshipped the Aedroth known as Trinimac as their chief god. These early mer generally lamented their mortal existence as being caused by the trickery of Lorkhan, who manipulated the gods into giving up their immortality to create Nirn. Boethiah approached a group of Trinimac's followers and began preaching to them an alternative viewpoint: the Aldmer were weak and unworthy of their immortality, and their mortal existence was a trial which all mer had to endure. (The Dunmer often refer to their mortal lifetime as The Testing.)
Trinimac attempted to stop Boethiah, but Boethiah, being the Prince of Plots, 'tricked Trinimac into going into [their] mouth.' Boethiah then took on the form of Trinimac himself and spoke with Trinimac's own voice. Thus, the Prince was able to convince a group of mer, who took the name Chimer (Changed Ones), and these mer followed their leader Veloth to make a new home in Morrowind. As for the fallen Aedroth, 'the reanimated dung that was Trinimac' became the Daedric Prince Malacath, a member of the House of Troubles, infamous as the keeper of the Sworn Oath and the Bloody Curse. Trinimac's remaining followers were consequently changed and became the Orcs.
Boethiah taught the Chimer many ways to be different from the Aldmer. The source of all manner of cultural advances by the Chimer is credited to Boethiah, ranging from philosophy and magic to their architecture, as well as their current clan-based political system. In most versions of the legend, Azura and Mephala merely aided the Chimer in implementing Boethiah's ideas.
Roles in religion[edit | edit source]
Boethiah continued to play a key role in the religious practices of the Chimer, even after they became the Dunmer. Along with Azura and Mephala, Boethiah is worshipped as one of the three "good" Daedra, in opposition to the four "bad" Daedra of the House of Troubles. According to Tribunal dogma, Boethiah was the Anticipation of Almalexia, and submitted to Tribunal rule. However, given Azura's attitudes towards the Tribunal, who make the same claim about her, this is most likely more propaganda than history.
By the Fourth Era following the eruption of the Red Mountain, a new religious movement for the Dunmer people arose, dubbed the Reclamations. This new doctrine declared the downfall of the Tribunal and the rise of their previously named Anticipations as the objects for worship. These Reclamations included Azura, Mephala, and Boethiah, who were "reclaiming their status from the Tribunal." Boethiah's role as a Reclamation is to show the Dunmer people the "true way" from the Old Tribunal's "misguided teachings." However, it is as yet unknown what this entails exactly.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Like many of the Daedric Princes, Boethiah's name appears in numerous variations across many eras and cultures. Their shrine in Cyrodiil (in the Valus Mountains near the border into Morrowind) is called Boethia's Shrine, and the spelling Boethia occasionally appears in writings. This spelling appears most often associated with the Daedra's feminine form; though the shrine in Cyrodiil speaks with a masculine voice. Most scholarly texts, such as On Oblivion or The Book of Daedra, use the form Boethiah.
Associations[edit | edit source]
Daedric Artifacts[edit | edit source]
Other than Goldbrand, Boethiah is associated with the artifacts Ebony Mail and Fearstruck. The Ebony Mail can still be found to this day, though it is difficult to obtain. The last known wearer could have been the Last Dragonborn. Fearstruck on the other hand, according to The Story of Lyrisius, was destroyed in the Akaviri invasion, around 1E 2703.
Ebony Mail[edit | edit source]
Ebony Mail is one of the most powerful armor pieces known on Tamriel. If judged worthy, its power grants the wearer invulnerability to most common magical attacks and a form of drain health.
The Eternal Champion was said to be one of the owners of the mail.[UL 2] It was hidden in Black Marsh after the previous owner, a warrior named Helath Stormbinder, lost Boethiah's favor. Following a strange map, the Eternal Champion eventually found the resting place of the mail and retrieved it for their battle against Jagar Tharn.
During the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Nerevarine was said to have obtained the Ebony Mail after completing a Temple quest for Tholer Saryoni, during which the Mail was found atop Mount Assarnibibi.
The Ebony Mail appeared once again during the Fourth Era, this time at the hands of the Dragonborn. Boethiah requested that the Dragonborn kill the former Champion of Boethiah, who used the armor for personal gain, rather than in the name of Boethiah. After killing the Champion, the Dragonborn was rewarded with the Ebony Mail.
Goldbrand[edit | edit source]
After the Apotheosis of the Tribunal, Boethiah's shrine in Morrowind lay forgotten and unused in the northwest of Hla Oad, Vvardenfell, left in disrepair underwater. Boethiah tasked the Nerevarine with making a new shrine for worshippers to visit. The Nerevarine asked Duma gro-Lag, a famous sculptor of Caldera, for assistance. Using the sketch in the book Boethiah's Glory, the Orcish sculptor built a new shrine for Boethiah over at Khartag Point in Vvardenfell. After the new shrine was finished, the Nerevarine was rewarded with Goldbrand.
The Champion of Cyrodiil was also rewarded with this Goldbrand after they finished Boethiah's test—The Tournament of Ten Bloods—a test of combat skill, where the Champion of Cyrodiil had to defeat nine of Boethiah's champions, with the "Tenth Blood" being the Champion.
Other Daedra[edit | edit source]
Azura and Mephala[edit | edit source]
Boethiah, along with Azura and Mephala, was responsible for directly influencing the direction of the Dunmer people. Boethiah convinced the Chimer to change from the Aldmer and adopt a new style of life. Azura taught the Chimer the mysteries to be different, while Mephala taught them how to evade their enemies or to kill secretly. Mephala also worked with Boethiah to establish the Dunmer clan-based system.
Their positions changed with the new Reclamations dogma. The former Anticipations became known as the Reclamations in the face of the new Dunmer religion.
Boethiah and Molag Bal have developed a sort of rivalry between each other. The cause is unknown, although it could be because Molag Bal is the Prince of domination and enslavement, whereas Boethiah encourages treason and deceit against authority.
The rivalry takes place between Molag Bal and Boethiah, and the two may use their followers to mock the other, which is evident in Skyrim when Molag Bal requests revenge against a priest of Boethiah who desecrated Molag Bal's shrine in the name of Boethiah. However, the extent of their rivalry is unknown.
The Hunger is a violent Lesser Daedra associated with Boethiah. It has paralyzing powers and is known to even disintegrate armor.
The Hunger also appears in the Dementia part of the Shivering Isles, the realm of Sheogorath. The reason for it being found in the Shivering Isles could allude to Sheogorath’s chaotic nature, thus having another Daedric Prince's lesser Daedra could be normal to him.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Boethiah is first described as a "Dark Elven goddess" in Arena, in dialogue related to the Ebony Mail artifact. This makes Boethiah the first Daedric Prince in The Elder Scrolls series to be mentioned by name.
- Boethiah is traditionally summoned on the 2nd of Sun's Dusk, on the Gauntlet Holiday.
- Mehra Nabisi speaks to Boethiah in Where Were You When the Dragon Broke?, who confirms that the Aedra had indeed appeared and re-written history.
- Boethiah is invoked in the book Withershins.
- Sotha Sil met with Boethiah on the 3rd of Rain's Hand, 1E 2920.
- Boethiah is portrayed as a female in Arena, Daggerfall, and Skyrim, and as a male in Morrowind and Oblivion.
- In the Japanese version of Skyrim, Boethiah uses "ware" (我), an old-fashioned formal pronoun once used by both men and women, to refer to themselves.
- Boethiah in Skyrim is voiced by Jean Gilpin, who also lends her voice to Elenwen, Meridia, and Meredith in Dragon Age 2.[UL 4]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn (mentioned only)
References[edit | edit source]
- The Book of Daedra
- On Oblivion
- The Reclamations
- Varieties of Faith in the Empire
- Boethiah's appearance in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Boethiah's appearance The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Events of "Boethiah's Calling"
- Boethiah's Glory
- Boethiah's Proving
- The House of Troubles
- The Anticipations
- The Reclamations
- The Changed Ones
- The True Nature of Orcs
- Tamrielic Lore
- The Story of Lyrisius
- Events of "Ebony Mail"
- Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Great War
- Dialogue with Molag Bal in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Events of "The House of Horrors"
- Darkest Darkness
- Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
- Ebony Mail (Arena) description
- Julian "LeFay" Jensen Reddit AMA
- Invocation of Azura
- Where Were You When the Dragon Broke?
- 2920, vol 04 - Rain's Hand
|Princes||Azura • Boethiah • Clavicus Vile • Hermaeus Mora • Hircine • Jyggalag • Malacath • Mehrunes Dagon|
Mephala • Meridia • Molag Bal • Namira • Nocturnal • Peryite • Sanguine • Sheogorath • Vaermina
|Related topics||Deities • Demiprince • Daedric Artifact • Daedric Shrines • Daedric Quests|