The Wild Hunt is a ritual performed by the Bosmer of Valenwood, part of the oath known as the Green Pact, and thus associated to Y'ffre, the main god of the Bosmeri pantheon. A historical example of the Hunt was the one that killed High King Borgas of Winterhold in 1E 369 (thus setting the events of the War of Succession in motion) for the "iniquities" of his Alessian faith whilst he traveled to Cyrodiil to urge a joint war against the Bosmer. This event was also the last confirmed wearing of the Jagged Crown until the Fourth Era.
Bosmeri lore holds that after the creation of the mortal plane, everything was in chaos, with the first mortals "turning into plants and animals and back again". Then Y'ffre established the laws of nature, becoming the first of the Earth Bones and giving mortals a semblance of safety in the new world, as they could now understand it. For this event Y'ffre is sometimes referred to as "the Storyteller", and it is believed that the Wild Hunt can be performed due to some of the Bosmer still holding knowledge of the "chaos times". Although the Bosmer are said to be able to resort to animal shapes if needed, their "most dreaded transformation" is the Wild Hunt. Described as "a flood of horrific beasts, tentacled toads, insects of armor and spine, gelatinous serpents, vaporous beings with the face of gods, blind in fury," or "a pack of shifting forest-demons and animal-gods, thousands strong, which sweeps through the countryside killing everything in its path."
Breton writer Waughin Jarth describes the Hunt in great detail in his novel A Dance in Fire, through the eyes of his fictitious (although allegedly based on a real person) character Decumus Scotti. In the novel, it is stated that, pouring forth from a great hollow tree, the Hunt "tore the Khajiiti in front of the temple to pieces", consuming the village of Vindisi within seconds. When sealed within the location by fleeing Khajiiti, the apparitions of the Great Hunt then turned on one another as there was no enemy to be reached anymore, ensuing in what Jarth describes as a "cannibalistic orgy". It is said that the Bosmer do not like to talk about the Hunt nor feel any pride in having such a power, and that although the ritual is used for achieving justice, the Bosmer Gomini says that "every monster in the world that has ever been comes from a previous Hunt. Those Bosmer that go Wild, they do not return". The voracity of the Hunt in such that the beasts are said to devour other creatures to the bone in the span of a few moments. It is said that when the Wood Elves invoke the Wild Hunt, creatures forget their Y'ffre-taught shapes and shift into unnatural forms, such as those that occupy a space between flora and fauna.
- ↑ Valenwood: A Study
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Varieties of Faith in the Empire
- ↑ A History of Daggerfall
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Aldmeri Dominion
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Valenwood
- ↑ Dialogue with Galmar Stone-Fist
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Events of The Elder Scrolls Online
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Dance in Fire, Chapter 4