Whether your best friend turns into a glittering golden dragon or you’re simply drinking some ale with a buddy in the local tavern, the world of Elder Scrolls can enthrall players from the very beginning of the game (assuming where not including the dragging cut scenes before the character creation menu).
The ability to do this is surely why players like me continue to play the titles decades after their initial release. There seems to be some magick in this fantasy world that I cannot get anywhere else.
For a while, I thought about what kept pulling me back to this franchise. While I quickly generated a list, one aspect of the franchise immediately rose to the top – the lore.
The lore of the Elder Scrolls franchise runs deep in my subconscious, setting down little hooks that drive me to explore these old games repeatedly in search of some cool little easter eggs or references to past titles/characters.
However, a good lore system is nothing new to games of this genre; it’s a prerequisite. Therefore, in today’s article, we will focus on the aspect of TES lore that truly helps the franchise stand out in an ever-growing industry.
While you may have already guessed it from the title, I will spell it out for the less focused readers among us – Today, we are going to be taking a look at the Daedric aspect of TES games, delving deep into the best missions these prince’s of pain have brought our way over the years. So, with all this being said, let’s get into the good stuff that comes in this Elder Scrolls Top Ten Daedric Quests guide.
As mentioned, the Daedra storylines in TES games are my favorite aspect of the world. Therefore, the times you interact with these all-powerful deities from the Oblivion hellscape are also my favorite quests.
In this article, I rank my favorite Daedric quests in order, ranging from 10-1. However, there are so many excellent Daedric quests in these games that I must use some ruleset to help me choose.
- All quests included in this list must be actual questlines one can follow, not discoverable happenings in the world. The quest being accessible in your quest log is the bar here.
- The quest must be a standalone mission to be included in this list. Not a part of a larger quest or storyline piece. For example, the quests from the Shivering Isles Oblivion DLC are exempt from this list.
- At the end of the day, this is my list; therefore, all the quests included here will ultimately be my preference.
- The fun of playing the quest is the only metric I will use to measure these stories. I will not be picking based on the best rewards or XP granted.
- The quests must be fairly bug-free. There are a couple of Daedric quests from TES games that are incredibly buggy. For this reason, they will not be included in the hopes of saving you the headache.
What Even Are Daedra?
While most of you will already know this, I’d like to do a quick lore recap for fans who have possibly only recently gotten into the franchise. Simply put, the deictic figures of TES world are divided into good and evil, Aedra and Daedra. The Daedra are evil figures, often led by princes with immense power and unique personalities/powers.
These figures mostly reside in their own plane of Oblivion, wherein their world adapts to their sphere of influence. Mostly, these princes enjoy engaging with mortals on Nirn, often accruing cults and champions to drive future goals in the mortal realm.
Now, with that little bit of admin out of the way, let’s get into our list of the Top Ten Daedric Quests in The Elder Scrolls.
10 – The House of Horrors
- Start Location: The Abandoned House in Markarth
- Daedra: Molag Bal
- Possible Reward(s): Mace of Molag Bal
- Game: Skyrim
When playing an Elder Scrolls game, players can proceed through the world however they please. Despite this, most of us play the good guy or gal, whether because you’re a goody-two-shoes in real life or because the game encourages such a playstyle via the potential rewards being nice gets you.
However, this does not mean that we all don’t enjoy a little walk on the wild side every now and then. This is why I love Daedric quests and this quest in particular. Morally speaking, it is clear what the right and wrong thing to do here is, yet we always do the evil bidding of Molag Bal by the end.
In short, this quest involves the player entering a seemingly haunted house with a Vigilant of Stendarr. As you begin searching the house, a mysterious voice begins speaking to you, eventually guiding you to kill the Vigilant while making their best poltergeist impression, flinging general household tat around the place.
After this, you must lure an old nemesis of Molag Bal, Logrolf the Willful, into the home, leading him to his eventual capture and demise. Molag Bal then rewards you for your service with the enchanted version of his mace, naming you his champion.
9 – Sheogorath’s Pointless Outing
- Start Location: Shrine of Ihinipalit in the St. Delyn Canton
- Daedra: Sheogorath
- Possible Reward(s): Spear of Bitter Mercy
- Game: Morrowind
While this may not be Sheogoraths only entry on this list, I thought it would be truly rude and a bit crazy to leave this gem off our list. After all, through this quest, we truly learn how crazy the Daedric Prince of Madness really is.
The greatness of this quest is in its random and seemingly pointless nature. When you begin communicating with the deranged prince, he will instruct the player to retrieve an item, the Fork of Horripilation, from another crazy individual near Ald Redaynia.
In this interaction, I love that Sheogorath tells the player to “take care” because “He’s not the most…stable man.” The irony is seemingly lost on Daedra.
When the fork is retrieved, the player must use the object to kill the bull Netch. Once the bull is dead and the fork is returned, you will be rewarded with the Spear of Bitter Mercy.
In summary, this quest involves the player being tasked by a Daedric Prince of Madness to use a fork to kill a creature, seemingly randomly, for no specified reason. Someone at Bethesda was coming down from something when they designed this one.
8 – Mephala’s Blood Feud
- Start Location: Mephala’s Shrine, Northeast of the Imperial City Prison
- Daedra: Mephala
- Possible Reward(s): Ebony Blade
- Game: Oblivion
While this one might not make it onto too many people’s lists, I thought I had to include it just because of how different and seemingly difficult it is.
One thing that annoys me about TES games is that you can basically steamroll your way through every quest and enemy in the game, regardless of your level or the difficulty setting. While in games such as Kingdom Come Deliverance, I couldn’t even win a fistfight with a drunkard in my first playthrough.
This quest is refreshing as there are many ways the player can fail Mephala and forfeit one of the best weapons in the entire game.
Your task here is actually pretty boring; the player must head to the settlement of Bleaker’s Way. Here, you are tasked with starting a feud between two families in the village by killing the patriarchs and implementing the other family.
Once this is done, the player can simply sit back and watch as the families go to war in the streets. I just love how this quest allows the player to manipulate the world around them so profoundly, making the game feel a lot more alive than the game design at the time could allow.
7 – Boethiah’s Calling
- Start Location: Find the book ‘Boethiah’s Proving’ at random once you surpass level 30
- Daedra: Boethiah
- Possible Reward(s): Ebony Mail
- Game: Skyrim
Here is another quest that some people forget when piecing together lists like this. While the core story of this one is a little bit lackluster, there are some great moments to be had here and one incredibly unique occurrence that I love.
In this quest, the player must fight off all the current cultists of Boethiah until there is only one person left standing – the Dragonborn. After this, Boethiah deems you worthy enough to fight her current champion at Knifepoint Ridge.
Of course, this is all standard Skyrim and Elder Scrolls stuff here. However, this quest has made it onto my list due to the price of entry. To begin this quest properly, the player must sacrifice a follower to Boethiah, killing them with their own hands.
If you play this quest organically, not knowing what you’re about to be asked to do, you could have a major decision on your hands, creating some impactful moments. Of course, most players just swap out their favorite follower and kill someone rather inconsequential like Lydia, but that’s no fun.
6 – Pieces of The Past
- Start Location: The Museum on the Mythic Dawn in Dawnstar
- Daedra: Mehrunes Dagon
- Possible Reward(s): Mehrunes Razor
- Game: Skyrim
If you played Oblivion before moving on to Skyrim, then the first mention of the Mythic Dawn and Mehrunes Dagon may have perked your ears up a little. I enjoyed this quest simply because of how it played with the lore and the player’s past experiences with Oblivion.
After all, the last time most players were in this world, they were battling the Mythic Dawn and Dagon, so to see a new museum erected to the cult and Silus’ worship of Dagon kind of put me at odds with him immediately.
The actual quest is mostly pretty boring, revolving around a simple, multi-part fetch quest in the beginning. However, in the end, when you have gotten all the required parts for the Razor, this quest gets good.
Much like the Molag Bal Skyrim quest, the player begins to hear Daedra’s voice, encouraging the player to kill Silus. Silus will beg for his life, offering you some gold to be spared. Honestly, though, I don’t think anyone picked this option. With Silus dead, the Razor is assembled by Dagon, and you become his champion.
I really enjoyed getting to actually work with Dagon, the arch-antagonist of the previous game in the series; it was a nice little surprise.
5 – The Orb of Vaermina
- Start Location: Vaermina’s Shrine, Southwest of Cheydinhal
- Daedra: Vaermina
- Possible Reward(s): Skull of Corruption
- Game: Oblivion
One of the best things about this quest is how it plays with the standard gameplay of Oblivion. There are a multitude of different environments and locations in the game. However, a lot of them feel more or less the same. This leads to countless trips down caves and crypts with your heart rate never moving more than a hair.
However, in this quest, the player must enter the desperately creepy location of Arkved’s Tower. Here, you must retrieve one of Vaemina’s orbs from the wizard Arkved.
While the tower and the wizard inhabitant are pretty harmless, the developers managed to bring the intensely creepy atmosphere into this quest more than earns it a place on this list.
4- Malacath, A Daedra who Cares
- Start Location: Malacath’s shrine, Northwest of Anvil
- Daedra: Malacath
- Possible Reward(s): Volendrung
- Game: Oblivion
Malacath is definitely an outlier when it comes to the Daedric princes. He is not just an evil deity who wants to pursue the corruption or death of all mortals.
No, he wishes to do this while preserving the lives of as many loyal Orcs as possible. In fact, as I explore more and more about Malacath while playing these games, he actually serves much more like a guardian angel to this historically mistreated race in TES, who he actually refers to as his “little brothers.”
The quest itself is very simple. When you finally earn an audience with Malacath, you will learn about the captured Orcs being held as slaves. You must find them and free them from bondage.
Located at Bleak Mine, you will have to pick many locks and kill just as many guards to earn the Orcs their much-needed freedom before returning to Malacath for a job well done and a great Warhammer as a reward.
3 – The Black Star
- Start Location: Shrine of Azure, South of Winterhold
- Daedra: Azura
- Possible Reward(s): Azura’s Star
- Game: Skyrim
While all of the quests included on this list involve plenty of lore implications and greater world effects, this quest is probably the best at doing this in the entire franchise.
Once you find out about the elven mage who sits at the center of this quest from Aranea Lenith at the shrine, you will go on a little discovery mission throughout Winterhold, including the College of Winterhold, hearing rumors and stories as you progress.
In the end, you will strive to cleanse the star from the corruption that currently inhabits it by finding this mage. Once you find Nelacar, you will learn that he was the apprentice of this evil mage some time ago and that his soul is currently residing in the star.
With this knowledge and Nelacar’s help, you will enter the star, killing Malyn Varen and cleansing the star of his soul and corruption.
The final battle within the star is really different and interesting compared to the rest of the gameplay. I also enjoy how many twists and turns this quest has, forcing you to pay attention to the exposition given to you.
2 – The Mind of Madness
- Start Location: Find Dervenin in Solitude
- Daedra: Sheogorath
- Possible Reward(s): Wabbajack
- Game: Skyrim
Once again, Sheogorath makes his way onto our list in the penultimate place. As you might imagine, this quest is just as crazy as Sheogorath, involving the player accepting a random hip bone of a formerly made emperor before exploring the deserted wing of a palace.
This quest then ends with the player entering Sheogorath’s realm, wherein he is having an Alice in Wonderland-style tea party.
Once in this realm, the Dragonborn must help Pelagius the Mad fight against his various mental ailments, allowing Sheogorath to have a nice and bizarre chat with the player wherein he gives you the Wabbajack for your efforts.
1 – A Night To Remember
- Start Location: Any random inn around the map
- Daedra: Sanguine
- Possible Reward(s): Sanguine’s Rose
- Game: Skyrim
Well, no prizes for correctly guessing this one’s place at the top of our list. I think it is pretty well accepted at this point that ‘A Night To Remember’ is by far and away the best Daedric quest across the franchise.
This quest starts off perfectly, having the player randomly stumble upon it when traveling through the inns scattered around the map.
The quest giver, Sam Guevenee, who is actually Sanguine in disguise, will challenge the player to a drinking game. Once you accept, you will wake the next morning after terrorizing Skyrim with your drunken escapades, creating a lot of funny moments along the way.
When you find Sam’s true identity for the first time, the reveal is amazingly unexpected and such a different take on the standard Elder Scrolls Daedric questline.
Elder Scrolls Top Ten Daedric Quests: FAQs
Question: Who is the weakest Daedric Prince?
Answer: While it is very hard to actually rank these deities in terms of combat or magical strength, it is pretty much unanimously decided that Clavicus Vile is either amongst or is the weakest of the Daedric Princes. It seems that his ability to grant wishes can only be used for mortals rather than himself.
Question: How many Daedric Princes are there in The Elder Scrolls?
Answer: At the moment, there are only 17 known Daedric princes who collectively rule over the plane of Oblivion. Together, they are known as the Daedric Pantheon, even though many of these princes do not get on at al.
Question: Can a Dragonborn kill a Daedric Prince?
Answer: Whether the Dragonbron can kill a Daedric Prince is an interesting question. As Daedric Princes are technically Gods, they cannot be killed by anyone.
However, the Dragonborn is indeed powerful enough to beat these princes in battle. This happened multiple times in the franchise, the most well-known of which was Martin Septim when he delivered the final blow to Mehrunes Dagon in Oblivion.
The Daedra, A Great Bunch of Guys
From comprising this list, I realized just how many great Daedra quests there are across the franchise and it seems like these quests are only getting better and better with the developers truly getting to grips with the character profilers of the princes.
I think these quests are the perfect way to break up the sometimes monotonous gameplay in TES games, especially after a long stint of cave diving. With this being said, I hope you enjoyed my list of the top ten Daedric quests in The Elder Scrolls franchise, and I hope to see you again soon.