Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
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A vampire feeds on Drevis Neloren while he is sleeping in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

For the affliction itself, see Vampirism.
"Vampires are filthy creatures. Disease-ridden, you know. They stay off to the west, they'll indiscriminately pass on their curse together with a number of other afflictions. They don't do that here so much, but still you don't want to leave their wounds untreated. I take it you know something of the spells of Restoration if one of us gets bit?"

Vampires, also spelled Vampyres,[1] are those affected by the condition of Vampirism (Also known as Sanguinare Vampiris in Skyrim and Porphyric Hemophilia in Oblivion and Morrowind). They can feed on the blood of any warm-blooded creatures,[2] but are infamous for targeting mortals.

The types of vampire present in Tamriel are said to number over a hundred, with nine variations in the Iliac Bay alone, each with its own powers and abilities.[2] Possessing various strengths relative to their age, and typically associated with undeath,[3] vampires are related by legend to the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, who is referred to as the "Kin-father" of vampires.[4] As the legend states, Bal is the father of the first vampire, which leads to all of vampirekind being considered his offspring.[5]

Considered to be a "blight of the world,"[2] Vampires are recognized as the strongest type of undead found in Tamriel,[3] and are plagued by uncontrollable thirst for blood. That causes a vampire's first kill to commonly be a friend or otherwise acquaintance of their mortal selves.[2] Along with lich and wraiths, vampires are among the few undead types that are recognized as sentient (as opposed to being bound by a necromancer's will) and capable of understandable speech.[6]

Vampires are often recognizable by the exceptional paleness of their skin and alert eyes, as well as visible signs of restlessness.[7] They are also weak to the light of the sun, as exposure burns their skin[2] and makes the recovery of wounds impossible.[8] Another debilitating condition is hunger, which also prevents healing, and causes the infamous, signature lust for blood that affects all vampires.[2]

One strain of vampirism especially prevalent during the Second EraNoxiphilic Sanguivoria—however, is known to give special abilities during the night to those whom it afflicts, such as resistance to pain and courage. Those infected with this particular strain are not burned or otherwise negatively affected by sunlight.[9]

By game[]

Behavior and distribution[]

Vampires behave differently according to the individual, but certain habits are shared by most. One of the most widespread of such habits is the tendency to sleep during the day, that comes with their nocturnal habits.[7] Feeding behavior varies, and vampires claim victims in their own way, whether by attacking conscious people,[2] silently feeding during their sleep.[7][10] or using a spell to make them their Vampire's Thrall.[10]


The most powerful vampire tribe of eastern Skyrim, the Volkihar, are known as paranoid and cruel, never venturing out of the ice-coated lakes of which they live under except to feed, which they tend to do whilst the target sleeps.[7] Other remarkable groups within the province include Movarth's Coven, led by the ex-vampire hunter[7] and ancient vampire Movarth Piquine. They inhabit Movarth's Lair in Hjaalmarch,[8] and plan to take over the city of Morthal by having the local Nord vampire Alva seduce the guards and turn them one by one into vampires; then wrangling up the townsfolk and exploiting them as cattle. The plan is stopped in the 3rd Century of the Fourth Era, when the Last Dragonborn destroys the coven.[11] In Falkreath Hold, the Nord vampire Vighar (an ancestor of Jarl Dengeir of Falkreath), leads a coven in Bloodlet Throne that is destroyed upon his descendant's request;[12] and the couple of vampires Hern and Hert run Half-Moon Mill, where they use local animals and travelers as food source.[8] The Dark Brotherhood is given a contract to kill the male, Hern, but the fate of the female, Hert, depends on the player.[13]


A single group exists in Cyrodiil, a powerful clan of vampires which ousted all competition, and are remarked as much more civilized and organized than most tribes; they are able to pass themselves off as mortal, so long as they remain well-fed (and thus, very hard to find).[4][7] Much like the Volkihar of Skyrim, they feed during their victims' sleep[7][10] and consider discretion to be the greatest of their virtues.[4] They focus most of their time on the pursuit of influence, political and otherwise, and are skillful in their manipulation of Cyrodilic society.[4]


In northern Valenwood, four tribes are known, the Telboth, Yekef, Keerilth and Bonsamu. The Telboth first prey upon children, eventually taking their place in the family and waiting for years before claiming all of them as victims;[7] while the Yekef are said to swallow men whole.[7] The Keerilth have a signature ability of temporarily disintegrating into mist (whether on land or underwater);[7] and Bonsamu are said to be indistinguishable from ordinary Bosmer except when seen by candlelight.[7]


In Morrowind, which has a violent antipathy for necromancy and vampires[14] as part of local culture, they were believed to be extinct for centuries.[3] There are three known bloodlines in the island of Vvardenfell: the Quarra, dubbed the most savage of vampire bloodlines,[15] who are known for their exceptional strength and endurance,[14] and attack in a state of ecstatic frenzy;[15][14] the Aundae, who are potent spellcasters and seek to hypnotize victims before feeding;[14] and the swift and agile Clan Berne who prefer stealth and ambush, first poisoning the victim with a bite, then withdrawing to a safe distance and returning to feed only when the prey is weakened.[14] It is also noted that the "Ash Vampire" of Ashlander legend is not undead, and has never been linked to any of the known clans of Tamrielic vampires.[3][14] It is unknown whether the vampires begun to sneak back into the province or if long-dormant ones have been awakened,[3] but by 3E 427, they had already made a significant return.[16]

Iliac Bay[]

The Montalion of the mouth of the Bjoulsae River contact new "family members" by letter, and alone have the power of inherent teleportation[2] and curing of paralysis;[17] they dominate the regions of Wayrest, Bhoriane, Gavaudon, Satakalaam, Lainlyn and Mournoth.[17] Their mentors are known to be very patient with new vampires.[2]

High Rock[]

In High Rock, a group called the Glenmoril Wyrd inhabits Breton cities;[4] and the Vraseth Clan, who are gifted with nimbleness, dominate the regions of Daggerfall, Betony, Glenpoint, Kambria, Tulune and Glenumbra.[17] The Thrafey, whose bloodline grants the ability of restoring damaged tissue, controls the regions of Daenia, Dwynnen, Ykalon and Urvaius.[17] The Garlythi are gifted with the ability to magically shield themselves from damage, and dominate the regions of Northmoor and Phrygias.[17] The Lyrezi Clan are gifted with invisibility and the ability to magically silence their enemies; and control the regions of Alcaire, Koegria, Menevia, Orsinium, the Wrothgarian Mountains and Balfiera.[17] The Haarvenu are gifted in the school of Destruction magic, and dominate the regions of Anticlere, Ilessan Hills, and Shalgora.[17]


In Hammerfell, the Selenu Clan, who are resistant to elemental attacks, dominate the regions of Abibon-Gora, Ayasofya, Pothago, Cybiades, Sentinel, Kairou and Myrkwasa in Hammerfell.[17] The Anthotis are gifted with great intellect, and dominate the regions of Alik'r, Antiphyllos, Bergama, Dak'fron and Tigonus.[17] The Khulari are gifted with the ability to paralyze their prey, and dominate the regions of Santaki, Totambu, Kozanset, Ephesus and the Dragontail Mountains.[17]

Black Marsh[]

In Black Marsh, there is the Whet-Fang sodality, whose members use of magicka to keep captives catatonic and harvest from them the "red nectar".[4] Both the Glenmoril Wyrd and the Whet-Fang are recognized as possible rivals by the Cyrodilic vampires.[4]


Vampire groups exist in Elsweyr and the Summerset Isles, but not much is known about them. There was at one point a clan of Khajiiti vampires known as the Hollowfang Clan in Elsweyr. They worshiped Sangiin, and attempted to gain power by drinking the blood of a trapped dragon in the Second Era.[7]

The bloodline of Lamae Beolfag is afflicted by the disease Noxiphilic Sanguivoria (rather than the more common Porphyric Hemophilia and Sanguinare Vampiris). As a consequence, the vampires of this group neither burn nor weaken in the sunlight, but rather become more powerful once night falls. Their abilities include invisibility. A particular way of acquiring this strand of vampirism is through the Rite of Scion, in which a mortal's blood is fully replaced by that of Lamae herself. This rite turns one afflicted by vampirism into a Scion, a stronger variety of vampire. These vampires don't worship Molag Bal, but rather hate him in accordance with Lamae's will. Having new recruits profane symbols of Bal is part of the ritual.[18] The exact name of this bloodline is unknown but they were extremely common in the Second Era, and were not limited to any particular area of Tamriel.


Most vampires trace their lineage to a distant common ancestor, an unwilling Nedic virgin called Lamae Beolfag[19][20] (commonly referred to as Bloodmatron Lamae,[4] Lamae Bal[19][20] and Blood-matron[20]), who was defiled by Molag Bal. With her, he spawned the race of monsters known as vampires, who then set upon nomads, spreading his corruption further.[5] Other species of vampires are said to be the result of other pacts and bargains with Molag Bal, who promises immortality and power, but gives the afflicted "an eternity of damnation."[5]

The Tribunal Temple's doctrine teaches a different version of the origin of vampires, but still sees Bal as their progenitor. In the legend, Molag Bal (called the "Father of Monsters") spawned the first vampire upon the corpse of a defeated foe, whose nature varies by account. In some versions, the foe is a Daedra Lord, in others a Temple Saint or a powerful beast. It is noted that such legend only appears in Morrowind's lore.[21]

Notable Vampires[]


  • Vampires recognize the difference in taste from creature to creature. An anonymous author states that Orcs have a "rich brothy blood"; saying rats are "a little sweet for the only meal of the night"; and affirming that werewolves are "a real treat, almost decadent the tincture between human and beast".[2]
  • The nine clans of the Iliac Bay make alliances and enemies among themselves, and each have special abilities linked to the particular bloodline.[2][17]


Main article: Vampirism

For Vampirism in specific games: