The Mace of Molag Bal is a weapon imbued with the powers of the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. This item is classed as a Daedric artifact, one of many in Skyrim. To acquire the mace, the player must complete the quest ‘The House of Horrors.’
Many things have to come together in order to birth a truly great role-playing game. Elements such as creative and well-thought-out game design must go hand in hand with the overall writing of the piece. The music must swell and hit the right notes just when appropriate as the player fights their way through some perfectly balanced and leveled monsters
These are just some of the things which go into the making of a great RPG, a term I would certainly label onto the packaging of Skyrim when Todd Howard tries to sell it again for the Xbox 3001. However, in my mind, it is not the level design or graphics which makes Skyrim such a beautiful experience to come back to again and again.
For me, it is the writing, the countless hours of painstaking work that the Bethesda writing staff went through to produce a game that not only delivered in giving the player an exciting and engaging main storyline but also interesting side quests and fascinating titbits.
With all this being said, though, their true brilliance was how they weaved through countless pages of Elder Scrolls lore throughout these main and side quests in a way that both informed new players but didn’t bore returning players of the franchise. One subset of quests that does this perfectly includes the quest that this guide will cover today, the Daedric quests, and to be more specific, the Molag Bal questline.
Yes, the day has finally come where I get to talk about one of the coolest elements of the Elder Scrolls games, their inclusion of Daedric Princes and Lords in the overall game, including their artifacts. So, with all this being said, let’s take a look at one of the coolest Daedric artifacts to be included in Skyrim, the Mace of Molag Bal, and the quest which surrounds it.
Skyrim Quest Detail Up Front
- To being the quest for The Mace of Molag Bal, find the priest Tyranus in the streets of Markarth. If you cannot find him, go to the Silver-Blood Inn, and Kleppr will direct you.
- This quest is located in an Abandoned House within Markarth but will also see the player travel to Deepwood Redoubt, located west of Solitude.
Who is Molag Bal?
Well, to put things simply, I believe that when writing the backstory for Molag Bal, the writers over at Bethesda kind of took the day off. This is not because the resultant character is boring or anything like that. It is actually because he so closely, in my eyes at least, resembled the Christian image of the Devil.
I say this because almost every trait attributed to this Daedric Prince could easily be said to match with a description of the Devil in the bible. For example, take his name; it is Daedric or Ehlnofex for ‘Fire Stone,’ therefore, he is literally the Prince of fire and brimstone. Sound like anyone you might know?
Also, when we look deeper into the lore of Molag Bal, we find that his specific realm or dominion within the world of Oblivion is named Coldharbour. And that it deals with the domination and enslavement of mortals wherein he delights in harvesting their souls and causing them strife.
In short, then, when I mention Molag Bal, just think of him as a Skyrim version of the Devil. However, he has lots of brothers just as powerful as him in this world.
Worship of Molag Bal
Much like every other Daedric Prince, Molag Bal has his fair share of devoted followers, seemingly begging for a chance to be noticed by a figure who would love nothing more than for them to crumble in on themselves. However, whilst they still operate on the mortal coil, these worshipers will routinely engage in practices one could only imagine would be ordained by a Daedra such as Molag Bal.
- Molag Bal is the Daedric Prince of damnation, enslavement, and domination. His name can be literally translated to ‘Fire Stone.’
- Molag Bal, when compared to the other Daedric Princes’, most faithfully resembles the Christian image of the Devil.
The Artifacts of Molag Bal
As like any other good Daedric Prince, Molag Bal has got some of his power stashed away in Nirn. However, some have merely been speculated about over the years and may not actually hold much useful power for a mortal to wield. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the big hitters:
The Crown of Bones
As you might imagine, this artifact has something to do with bones. Molag Bal specifically created it as a gift to the Admiral of the Lost Feet. The Daedra then tasked the commander with using the crown to resurrect the skeletons of dead sailors in order to wreak havoc across the seas and coastal towns of Nirn.
Stones of Cold Fire
These stones were created by Bal and stashed within the Daedric ruins of Vvardenfell. These ruins were solely dedicated to Bal, and therefore those who often find them are part of his cult. There are seven of these stones in total, each with the ability to summon and command lower-level Daedra of their own. A very powerful tool indeed.
The Mace of Molag Bal
The last relic we know to exist is the one that this guide has been built around, The Mace of Molag Bal. This artifact is also known as the Vampire’s Mace due to its ability to drain Stamina and Magicka from its victims into the wielder. This alternate name for the mace may also come from its ability to capture the very essence of its victims, collecting their souls into gems as the follower of Bal swings the mighty mace.
There are not many details surrounding the mace’s origin, and however, we do know that an Orcish blacksmith crafted it in the bowels of Coldharbour itself. It is rumored that as payment for the creation of this horrid implement, the Daedric Prince tuned the Orc into a Soul Shriven, trapping him in Coldharbour for eternity.
This mace is a rather rare artifact in the study of Molag Bal due to its appearance in Skyrim, thus allowing us to understand the true power behind the weapon. The stats for the mace in Skyrim are:
- Base Damage = 16
- Weight = 18
- Base Value = 1257 Gold
- Enchantment = Deals 25 damage points to Stamina and Magicka. Killing a target within 3 seconds of contact with the mace will absorb the target into a soul gem.
- The mace can only be improved via a grindstone and an ebony ingot.
Appearances in Other Elder Scrolls Games
While the most focus is placed on the mace within the events of Skyrim, the weapon also appears within the series’ other titles from Daggerfall onwards. Whit this in mind, let’s take a quick look at the mace’s inclusion in these earlier entries:
The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall
Within this title, the mace plays a much more subdued role. However, it still functions as a Daedric artifact which is commonly known as the Vampire’s Mace.
The weapon also functions similarly to its Skyrim descendant, if not a little simpler. First of all, instead of extracting Stamina and Magicka from the player, it takes spell points or strength should the player have 0 spell points.
To acquire this mace, the player must complete the quest ‘Molag Bal’s Quest.’ To do this, you must summon Molag Bal on the 20th of Evening Star. Doing this will see the Daedric Prince offer the player a quest wherein you must kill a mage who has stolen power from the great Daedra.
Molag Bal will subsequently direct the player to a dungeon where the mage is located, leaving the player the task of slaying the man. Once this is complete, you will be directed to meet up with a follower of Molag Bal in the Regional Tavern. This follower will then give the player the mace in question, thus completing the quest.
Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
The mace begins to look a lot more like its Skyrim descendant at this point, the benefit of updated graphics, I suppose. The overall abilities of the mace also come into play at this stage, with the mace draining Magicka by 1-20 points for 30 seconds and Strength by 1-15 points for 30 seconds upon striking a target.
In order to acquire this game’s version of the mace, the player must travel to the shrine of Molag Bal, situated within the ruins of Yansirramus, west of Tel Aruhn. Upon interacting with this shrine, the voice of Molag Bal will tell the player that they must kell Menta Na, located in the caves of Kora Dur.
Dialogue with the Daedric Prince informs the player that he has become dissatisfied with Menta, who serves as one of his servants. He will then give the player a key to Kora Dur, thus aiding them in their journey.
However, when you finally reach Menta Na, you find that he is no ordinary humanoid servant but a Daedroth. A creature with the form of a human but the head of something akin to a crocodile.
However, your job remains the same, and to complete this quest, the player will eventually slay Menta Na and claim the mace as a reward.
Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
We must finally discuss the inclusion of the mace within my favorite entry in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion. Now, for Skyrim fans out there, this version of the mace is most like the one you are familiar with today. This is most likely because Oblivion and Skyrim’s statistics are set out in the same way, thus giving the weapon similar properties.
Oblivion sets the stats of this weapon as thus:
- Damage = 25 points
- Health = 1500
- Weight = 45
- Value = 4900 Gold
- Enchantment = 5 points of Absorb Magicka and Strength.
With these stats in mind, the player will most likely want to add the weapon into their arsenal right away. But first, like all other Molag Bal gifts, it must be earned via a quest.
However, the player must ensure they are at level 17 or above to interact with this quest. Otherwise, nothing will happen once they find the shrine to Molag Bal. This shrine will be the first step in your mission to acquire the mace. To find it, simply head for the place on the map directly in between Chorrol, Imperial City, and Skingrad. Otherwise, simply head directly west from Imperial City.
After the player finds this location and reaches the required level, they must bring the Daedric Prince, the pelt of a lion, as an offering. Doing so will allow the Prince to speak to the player character.
Once summoned, Molag Bal will tell the player that Melus Petilius has sworn of violence. An act that has uniquely annoyed the Daedra; therefore, he wants you to go and find him and invite him to kill you—giving you a ‘Cursed Mace’ in the process. It seems this is the weapon the Daedra would like to have you die by.
Accepting this quest, the player will need to head to a location near Brindle Home, located to the southwest of the Molag Bal shrine. At this point, the player must wait until Melus leaves his home to visit his wife’s grave between 10 am and noon.
It is here, at his wife’s gravesite, that the player must confront him, dropping the cursed mace between the two of you before you do so. When this is done, and Melus is properly antagonized, he will move to attack the player with the cursed mace, picking it up off the ground. The player must then let him attack them until they die.
Upon your death, a loading screen will appear, and you will be directly teleported to the front of Molag Bal’s shrine. Apparently, you earned his favor and therefore don’t have to die just yet. Bal gifts you the actual mace you have been seeking all along, thus completing the quest as a reward for your hard work.
- There are six known artifacts of Molag Ba, and these can either be found on the plain of Nirn or within Coldharbour.
- Molag Bal only has one artifact in Skyrim that the player can interact with, The Mace of Molag Bal.
- This mace is also called the Vampire’s Mace as the enchantments placed on the mace seem to suck the life from those it strikes.
Acquiring the Mace of Molag Bal in Skyrim
As with any Daedric artifact in Skyrim, the player must first complete a quest to help out the Daedra in question somehow. Concerning the mace, the player must complete a quest entitled ‘The House of Horrors.’ Let’s take a brief walkthrough of the quest to ensure you get your hands on this weapon.
The House of Horrors
There are two main ways to begin this quest after you arrive in the city of Markarth. You can either wander around until you are confronted by a man named Tyranus, who appears to be a Vigilant of Stendarr. Otherwise, should the player wish to chase after the beginning of this quest, you can simply head to the Silver-Blood Inn and speak to the innkeeper there, a man named Kleppr.
If you ask Kleppr whether or not he has heard any interesting rumors lately, he will tell the player that Markarth has “Got a witch hunter in town, from the Priesthood of Stendarr” and that he “keeps asking questions about that old, abandoned house.” This will close dialogue with Kleppr and start a quest objective for the player to find the witch hunter in question, directing the Dragonborn right to Tyranus.
This arrow will direct the player right to Tyranus, usually standing outside of the old, abandoned house in question. He will then ask the player whether or not they know anything about the house and if they have seen anyone enter or leave recently.
When the player has to ultimately answer that they have not, he will remark that “it’s like everyone in this city has amnesia” and that he and the other Vigilantes of Stendarr believe the house is being used as a site for Daedra worship.
After this, with your powers of being the main character, Tyranus will accept your offer of help in investigating the house, even though you could quite easily be a worshiper of Daedra, who commonly frequents this house. However, this is a plot hole I will not stress over.
Entering The House
Just before you enter the house, Tyranus will warn the player to keep their eyes peeled. After all, Daedra and their worshipers are dangerous and unpredictable. With your quest book now updated, telling the player to “Search the Abandoned House,” you and your new pal must enter the location.
Upon entering, Tyranus will remark on how there is fresh food dotted about the main living room and newly lit candles. Soon after, the priest will hear a noise from the lower levels of the house, forcing him to break into a rather brisk job with the player following in right behind.
A Locked Door
Eventually, Tyranus’ little marathon will come to an end when a locked door meets him. With the pair of you standing on the wrong side of said door, he will ask the player to try and open it. However, activating the door will seem to merely anger the presence inside the house, causing numerous items inside the location to begin thrashing about the place, bouncing off walls and at times striking the pair of you.
The priest will deem this activity too much, stating that this is “no ordinary Daedra.” Soon after, he will run back the way he came, telling the player that they need to get out and bring some reinforcements.
- Tyranus can be found either wandering the streets of Markarth or outside the Abandoned house.
- Kleppr in the Silver-Blood Inn can also direct you to him.
- When the player reaches the locked door within the house, Molag Bal will begin speaking to you, telling you to kill Tyranus.
A Voice from the Shadows
As the priest begins to run away, a voice will fill the player’s head, the voice of Molag Bal. He will tell the player that the priest is weak whilst you are strong. Therefore, you must crush him. This voice urging you to kill the priest will continue until you reach the front door of the house. However, it is locked.
When you activate the locked door, Molag Bal will simply say, “No. Kill him. Crush his Bones. Tear at his flesh. The room will begin to shake more and more until Bal threatens the player, saying that you will kill him or you will die, hurting the player until they finally attack the priest.
However, should the Dragonborn still resist, the priest will somehow learn that it is either you or him, forcing him to become hostile towards the player. This will ultimately result in the player killing the priest, enacting Molag Bal’s wish.
After the priest lies dead, the Prince of Lies will tell the player that he is happy and that their reward is waiting for them down in the bowels of the home.
The Reward in Question
As you venture deeper into the home, the bowels, if you will, Bal will encourage the player to continue on, deeper and deeper. Eventually, you will be met by an alter with a rusty mace perched on its top. Activating this mace will spring Molag Bal’s trap.
Once clicked on, the player will enter a crouching animation wherein they shield their head with their hands and arms. A cage in the form of spiked tendrils will explode from the ground, trapping the player in this crouched position.
Molag Bal will mock then mock the player, “Fool! Did you think Molag Bal, the lord of domination, would so easily reward you?” He will then ask the player what they see from their “little cage.” The player has three options to choose from here, but they always resort to speaking about the mace in the end.
Bal will say that the mace is now rusted and dry, although it used to be dripped with the blood of the feeble and worthless. He states that the sorry state the mace now finds itself in is due to the actions of his rival, another Daedric Prince, Boethiah, who sent her priests to desecrate the mace.
After this, Molag Bal will give the player a quest. A way to bring the mace back to its former glory. You see, a priest of Boethiah must routinely return to the shrine to perform the sacraments that taint the mace to this day. Therefore, Bal wants this priest brought before him once again, but with you by his side in order to bring him to submission before the Daedric Prince.
There is but one issue with this priest. He has been taken captive by Forsworn, held in a location named Deepwood Redoubt. Therefore, Bal tasks you with finding and freeing the priest, bringing him back to the Abandoned House as you do so.
Saving the Priest for Damnation
Finding the priest is actually pretty straightforward. Merely head over to Deepwood Redoubt, located to the west of Solitude, and fight your way through some pretty decently equipped Forsworn. The most challenging aspect of this section of the quest is actually the dodging of the myriad traps throughout this Nordic ruin.
However, it will not take long to find the priest, Logrof the Willful, who is being held at the summit of the ruin. Then, you may free the priest when all of the Forsworn are dealt with. He will ask who sent you as nobody knew he was coming to this place. The player can either choose to either bribe, persuade or intimidate him here; however, the end result is the same as he rushed back to Markarth to complete his task at the shrine of Molag Bal.
The Final Act
When the priest finally arrives back at the Markarth home, the player will have followed him. The NPC will continue down into the bowels of the home in order to complete his duty to Boethiah. This is when Bal will spring his trap, the same which held you not long ago.
Logrof will almost laugh at the attempt by the Daedric Prince, stating that he cannot keep him trapped and that he has won this battle before. However, Bal retorts with the fact that he now has his own Champion, the player.
Molag Bal will then give the player his rusted mace and instruct you to crush the priest, making him bend to him. The game will allow the player to kill the priest once before he resurrects the priest, urging the player to continue striking him. Eventually, the priest breaks and kneels before Bal’s alter as anyone would.
As if he were rubbing salt in the wound, Bal then asks the priest to pledge his soul to him and forsake his former master, Boethiah. Of course, Logrof accepts this. Molag Bal then tells his Champion to kill the priest.
Doing so will thus complete the quest, earning the player The Mace of Molag Bal in all of its enchanted glory.
Question: How do I get The Mace of Molag Bal?
Answer: To get this mace, the player must complete the quest ‘The House of Horrors,’ found in Markarth.
Question: Is Molag Bal a vampire?
Answer: As a Daedric Prince, Molag Bal is so much more than something which could turn into a vampire. He is, however, the patron deity of the vampires and is said to have created the first of their kind. Therefore, you are not considered a pure-blooded vampire unless given directly from Bal himself.
Question: Why do Molag Bal and Boethiah hate each other?
Answer: The answer to this is quite simple; their dominions seem to rub up against one another directly. Bal controls domination, suffering, and overlordship, while Boethiah is concerned with plotting, treason, and overthrow.
Question: What is the daughter of Coldharbour?
Answer: The daughter of Coldharbour is a female vampire who has been created by Molag Bal himself via a ritual. The most well-known daughter of Coldharbour is Serana.
Mace of Molag Bal Guide: In Brief
- The player must find and bring a priest of Boethiah to Molag Bal’s alter. He is located at the peak of Deepwood Redoubt, held by Forsworn.
- The player is given the title of Champion during this quest when Bal forces you to kill the priest.
- Once the priest is dead, the player receives the mace, with Bal telling you that he will be watching over every kill you make with his weapon.
So, there you have it, a complete guide to The Mace of Molag Bal and how you can go about acquiring it. Hopefully, this guide has given you an understanding of just who Molag Bal is and why he wants the player to kill the priest in the way he does. Also, I hope you come away from this with a deeper understanding of what Daedric artifacts represent in Elder Scrolls lore.
To sum up, then, I really do love this quest. It has it all, unique game mechanics, a fantastic and singular reward, as well as the ability to flex your evil muscles for a change. After all, it’s an RPG, most people are going to play as good guys, so it’s nice to murder a couple of fictional people in cold blood from time to time. However, I wish you good luck in your following dealings with a Daedra with this in mind. Hopefully, you won’t fall into the same trap I did this time.