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Across all of the creatures and characters featured in The Elder Scrolls, few of them are as powerful or influential as the Daedric Princes. The story of Daedric Princes begins at the start of time when the et’Ada were created by an interplay between Anu, light, and Sithis, darkness.
At the start of existence, the two forces became part of a constant interplay that gave birth to the et’Ada, or the original spirits. While each race and culture across Tamriel have their variations on this creation myth, these elements are nearly universal across all of them, making them the widely accepted explanation for the beginning of the universe.
However, the world as fans knows it did not come to be until the devious actions of an et’Ada known as Lorkhan. While his motivations are unclear, Lorkhan wanted to create a mortal realm separate from where the et’Ada existed.
To do so, he deceived many of the other et’Ada into combining their power with him to make the realm of Mundus, also known as Nirn. This tied that et’Ada to the domain permanently and drained most of their power. However, some of the et’Ada decided instead, inspired by Lorkhan, to create their realm known as Oblivion.
Within it, each of those et’Ada took a small portion to have sovereignty over and make it in their image. The et’Ada that created Mundus became known as Aedra, while the others became known as Daedra. This gave birth to the dichotomy between the Aedra and Daedra that has broadly defined the existence of Mundus, with the Daedra quickly earning the titles of Daedric Princes.
While the Daedric Princes are primarily prevented from interfering with Mundus, they frequently find ways to do so anyway, with Mehrunes Dagon having a particular penchant for trying to invade the mortal realm.
Key Info Up Front
- Sphere: Destruction, Revolution, Change
- Realm: Deadlands
- Artifacts: Mysterium Xarxes, Mehrunes Razor
- Games: Battlespire, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online
Mehrunes Dagon Overview
Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince of ambition, energy, change, revolution, and, perhaps most prevalently, destruction. While the majority of the Daedric Princes are no friends of mortals, Mehrunes Dagon is a definitive enemy of Mundus as a whole.
Other Daedric Princes will negotiate twisted deals or corrupt mortals for entertainment, but Mehrunes is bent on conquering it for himself. Because of Mundus’ creation, Mehrunes sees it as just another realm of Oblivion, although it hasn’t been claimed by a rightful leader yet.
This has motivated Mehrunes to lead invasions of the realm on numerous occasions throughout history.
His first attempt was at the end of the First Era, when Mehrunes Dagon attacked the capital city of Morrowind, Mournhold. Almalexia and Sotha Sil eventually thwarted his invasion, two eventual members of the Tribunal who had reached god-like powers.
However, Mehrunes’ attack was not entirely fruitless, as before he was defeated, he managed to not only devour every soul in the city but to destroy it outright as well. He later returned in the Third Era to try and conquer all of Mundus again but was defeated by the sorcerer Chimere Graegyn, who he then cursed.
His next attempt sought to use more subterfuge by assisting the Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn in covertly replacing the emperor Uriel Septim VII to erode the leadership of Tamriel from within slowly. However, this attempt was also stopped, leading to Mehrunes Dagon’s most successful invasion, the Oblivion Crisis, that ended the Third Era.
Mehrunes Dagon’s plane of Oblivion is known as the Deadlands. It is one of Oblivion’s planes that fans have gotten to see the most, thanks to Oblivion, which saw players frequently adventuring into the realm for unique dungeons.
The entire sphere is nearly inhospitable to any mortal race as it is almost entirely covered in lakes and rivers of flowing lava with islands made of molten rock. The realm is only inhabited by daedra like Clannafear, Scamps, and Flame Atronach’s, who can endure the unbearably high temperatures.
The islands themselves house towering spires on the brink of collapse that both act as tethers to Mundus during the invasion and houses of eternal torture for any mortals unlucky enough to get caught there. As players traverse the Deadlands, it is common to find corpses left to rot in cages, pods made of flesh with the victim’s property held inside, and even plants that strike out at passerby like sharp whips.
The sky is a constant storm characterized by red clouds illuminated by sporadic lightning bolts. It is a scary place for any mortal to tread, and most who try to do so never return.
While Mehrunes Dagon played a massive role in Oblivion, fans have had numerous other interactions with the Prince of Destruction throughout the series. He was mentioned in the very first title, Arena, and made a brief appearance in the second, Daggerfall.
Still, players were introduced to him with An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire. So far, his role in the series has either been a massive antagonist threatening the entire realm of existence or as a method to acquire his powerful Mehrunes Razor artifact.
An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire
Mehrunes Dagon is the primary antagonist of Battlespire, but players don’t see him until the game’s seventh and final mission. The mission tasks players with confronting Mehrunes Dagon at his hunting lodge to end his attack on the Battlespire.
The mission is relatively brief, and Mehrunes Dagon is only featured at the very end of it as the culminating boss fight of the game. However, it is still highly influential on his future machinations. After all, it is the fact that a mere mortal defeated him at the end of the game that caused him to start his plotting that would eventually lead to the Oblivion Crisis.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
In Morrowind, Mehrunes Dagon makes his first appearance as a Daedric Quest. To start the quest From Rust to Legend, the player has to find Mehrunes’ shrine in Yasammidan to commune with the Prince of Destruction. The player is then sent to the Alas Ancestral Tomb to uncover a rusty dagger. However, returning to Mehrunes causes the rusty dagger to be restored to his power artifact as a lesson in change.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Mehrunes Dagon’s most significant role in the series thus far has been his mastermind role in the Oblivion Crisis. The opening of Oblivion sees players creating their character as a prisoner being held in a cell within the Imperial City.
Then, the Imperial emperor comes to the players and informs them that he saw them in a future dream and will play a vital role soon. Shortly after, the emperor is assassinated by members of the Mythic Dawn cult that worship and obey Mehrunes Dagon.
The player is then given the Amulet of Kings to deliver to the emperor’s secret illegitimate son Martin Septim, the only object that prevents planes of Oblivion from invading Mundus. With the emperor dead, Mehrunes Dagon can launch his assault by having massive portals open outside of cities all across Tamriel. His forces quickly sack Cyrodiil’s city of Kvatch and ultimately destroy it.
The player then has to work to uncover the secrets of the Mythic Dawn to get ahead of Mehrunes Dagon’s plots and put a stop to the invasion. This includes closing dozens of Oblivion gates, traveling to a pocket dimension created by the leader of the Mythic Dawn with one of Mehrunes’ artifacts, and eventually facing Mehrunes himself.
Mehrunes Dagon again does not appear until the end of the game when he attacks the Imperial City itself. In the sequence, he is a towering form that looms over all of the buildings, and he quickly begins smashing the city to bits.
Interestingly, the player is not intended to fight the Daedric Prince in this sequence and instead has to escort Martin Septim to a nearby temple where he turns into a dragon by mixing the power of the Amulet of Kings with his blood and banishes Mehrunes Dagon at the cost of shifting to stone himself.
However, players can kill Mehrunes Dagon at the end of the game if they wish, although it does not affect the end of the game. If players deal a significant amount of damage to him through normal means, Mehrunes can be briefly stunned while obtaining the Staff of Sheogorath from the DLC the Shivering Isles allows them to freeze him in place as well.
However, the only way to kill him is with Sheogorath’s other staff artifact, the Wabbajack, which can strip Mehrunes of his invulnerability status, allowing you to kill him yourself.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
In Skyrim, Mehrunes Dagon is again used for just a Daedric Prince quest. The quest, Pieces of the Past, is started by agreeing to help Silus Vesuius in Dawnstar agree to obtain the shards of Mehrunes Razor to complete their Mythic Dawn museum.
After assembling the blade, the player must travel to Mehrunes Dagon’s shrine with Silus, where they are allowed to kill Silus. If they do so, Mehrunes rewards them by reassembling the blade and letting them carry it as his champion.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Mehrunes Dagon again stepped into the antagonist role for the Blackwood expansion for Elder Scrolls Online. The expansion follows Mehrunes’ mysterious plot to manipulate the political factions of the Blackwood province. Precisely what his motives for doing so take time and effort to uncover, and the player again gets to see him in his entire intimidating statue.
Every Daedric Prince uses some of their power to create artifacts that they then leave on Mundus to influence their happenings by bestowing them upon willing champions.
The artifacts have a variety of unique strengths and abilities that can make combat easier, teleport them to other worlds, or give base stat increases. Mehrunes Dagon only has two artifacts that are currently known about, but they both are mighty.
Mehrunes Razor is Mehrunes Dagon’s iconic artifact. At the same time, it is just a tiny dagger that can look unassuming to many but has extraordinary power. In Daggerfall, every enemy hit with Mehrunes Razon has to make a save check versus the player’s magic or be instantly killed.
However, the dagger’s health is decreased by the total damage dealt with by the enemy. In Morrowind, the Mehrunes Razor was nerfed pretty severely.
Instead of having a chance to kill enemies instantly, the dagger disintegrates the enemy’s armor up to 25 points, makes them weaker to poison for 20 seconds, and deals up to 20 points of poison damage to capitalize on the weakness.
The artifact was also added to Oblivion through a plug-in, where it again did not have its instant kill capability described in the lore. Instead, the dagger disintegrated 15 points of armor and banishing summoned daedra back to Oblivion.
In Skyrim, Mehrunes Razor again has a slight chance to kill any enemy that it hits instantly, but this time without them making a save against it. Finally, Mehrunes Razor is also available in the mobile title Blades. It works almost exactly like in Skyrim and has a slight chance to kill any enemy it hits instantly.
The Mysterium Xarxes is the holy book of Mehrunes Dagon and his Mythic Dawn cult. The book was written by Mehrunes Dagon himself and given to Mankar Camoran to find the Mythic Dawn.
The book is written entirely in daedric script, and most of its contents are unknown. However, the book is compelling, and in Oblivion, Martin Septim is hesitant even to touch it. Most of what is known about the book are from Mankar’s books written about its contents known as the Four Commentaries.
The book’s power also must be considered as Mankar used it in Oblivion to build an entire pocket dimension world that he could shape and control, known as Paradise.
The location itself and Mankar are thus permanently tied to the book, and the only way to access Paradise is through a ritual held within the Mysterium Xarxes. The ceremony itself requires using a Great Welkynd Stone, a Daedric Artifact, Bood of a Divine, and a Great Sigil Stone from one of Mehrunes Dagon’s towers in Deadlands.
The book is reportedly made out of human skin, with the words and diagrams being etched into it with a razor blade. At the end of Oblivion, the book is mainly destroyed, save for a single page kept in a display case by Silus Vesuius.
Interestingly, if the player unlocks that display case and hits the page, it turns into a bucket, although it is part of the book’s lore or just a fun easter egg is not clear.
With the eternal nature of Daedric Princes and their limited influence over the happenings of Mundus, it is no surprise that they often have to forge relationships with others to work towards their goals. For mortals, this usually takes the role of the Daedric Prince naming one champion, while most Daedric Princes only get along with one or two of their kin, if any at all.
However, many mortals, such as the Hero of Kvatch, have less favorable relationships with a Daedric Prince that sees them having usurped them or preventing one or two of their schemes.
As mentioned above, Mankar Camoran is the founder of Mehrunes Dagon’s Order of the Mythic Dawn cult, chosen explicitly by the Prince of Destruction. Mankar is an Altmer who was an illegitimate son of Camoran the Usurper, one of the last patriarchs of the Camoran Dynasty.
Mankar also has two children, named Ruma and Raven, that act as his right-hand mages that assist him in his service of Mehrunes Dagon. Through that service, both he and his children achieved immortality, although their magical abilities beyond that never surpassed those of a potent mage.
Exactly how or why Mankar came in contact with Mehrunes Dagon is still unknown, but it is assumed that he did so after being completely ignored and disregarded by his father. After proving his loyalty to the Prince of Destruction, Mankar worked to help organize the Oblivion Crisis by plotting the assassination of the empire to sunder the veil that separates Mundus and Oblivion.
Mankar then obtained the Amulet of Kings and hid in Paradise to keep it from Martin Septim, as Mehrunes Dagon carried out his assault on Mundus.
Chimere Graegyn, also known as Old man Chimere, is a powerful human conjurer that assists the player in Battlespire. He was always a pretty powerful conjurer and eventually thought that his abilities were significant enough for him to get away with tricking Mehrunes Dagon.
To do so, he made a deal with the Prince of Destruction that would ensure he would live forever in his hometown accompanied by the happy voices of his friends. He then equipped himself with the Savior’s Hide and attacked Mehrunes Dagon.
The Savior’s Hide worked to reflect the prince’s attacks, while he also worked to absorb Mehrunes’ power by using an incantation including his “real name.” However, just before Mehrunes was defeated, he twisted Chimere’s wish into a terrible curse that plunged his home of the Isle of Caecilly into Oblivion.
This killed everyone in the town but left Chimere alive to age continuously without ever dying. Eventually, Chimere was met by an apprentice battlemage during the events of Battlespire and helped them obtain the Spear of Bitter Mercy to finally kill Mehrunes Dagon and put an end to his invasion.
Molag Bal is another Daedric Prince that is often referred to as a brother of Mehrunes Dagon. Molag Bal is the Daedric Prince of schemes, domination, vampirism, corruption, and slavery. He has also attempted to invade Mundus, similar to Mehrunes Dagon, although his goal is to enslave the realm rather than destroy it. This attempt to conquer Mundus is the main plot of Elder Scrolls Online.
The two princes have never worked very closely together for any of their schemes, but they are two of the Daedric Princes that can be seen as universally evil. However, the in-game book Darkest Darkness states that Daedroth, daedric creatures that resemble humanoid crocodiles, are servants of Molag Bal.
They also serve as a high-level enemy in Oblivion as part of Mehrunes Dagon’s army. This could very well be a result of putting more enemy variety in the game. Still, it could also indicate that the two princes are at least helping one another to some degree, even if they don’t wholly hatch schemes together.
“Only Dagon can declare if a pawn is worth keeping. I. Have. Spoken.” – Mehrunes Dagon, Skyrim
“Spare me your pitiful pride. You are but a tool of my ambitions, mortal. Never forget that.” -Mehrunes Dagon, Skyrim
Question: What are Mehrunes Dagon’s Titles?
Answer: Mehrunes Dagon has many other titles that he can be referred to by. These include the Exalted and Most Puissant Lord, the Black Daedra Lord, Master of Razors, Sovereign of Destruction, the Flame Tyrant, Flame-Father, and the Father of Cataclysm.
Question: Who are the Enemies of Mehrunes Dagon?
Answer: Mehrunes Dagon is enemies with nearly every other entity, including the Aedra, Azura, Akatosh, Boethiah, Dibella, and the mortals he wishes to destroy.
Question: Can Mehrunes Dagon Die?
Answer: Mehrunes Dagon cannot die since he is a Daedric Prince. Daedric Princes are immortal deities that, if defeated, return to their plane of Oblivion to recuperate.
The closest that they can get to dying is through the process of mantling that sees a dead rising to replace them and take on their identity and sphere themselves, which is what happened to Sheogorath at the end of the Shivering Isles DLC for Oblivion.
Mehrunes Dagon Guide: Conclusion
With how important and powerful Mehrunes Dagon has proven to be so far in the series, fans will undoubtedly see more of him in the future.
Whether the Prince of Destruction has another plot in the works to dominate Mundus or wants to give heroes some exceptional items remains to be seen. Still, either way, his inclusion will be a treat for players familiar and new to the character.