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Loremaster’s Archive – Malacath and Maelstrom

Madam Whim, Daedric entrepreneur and resident of Fargrave, shares her knowledge of the Demiprince Fa-Nuit-Hen and the Daedric Prince Malacath in a new Loremaster’s Archive.
Home » Elder Scrolls Online » Loremaster’s Archive – Malacath and Maelstrom

Loremaster’s Archive – Malacath and Maelstrom

Madam Whim, Daedric entrepreneur and resident of Fargrave, shares her knowledge of the Demiprince Fa-Nuit-Hen and the Daedric Prince Malacath in a new Loremaster’s Archive.

Hello, sweet mortals. You have the pleasure of reading words put to parchment by Madame Whim, proprietor of the incomparable House of Whims. We trade in eccentricities, capriciousness, and opportunity from Fargrave, the Celestial Palanquin, crossroads of the Daedric realms. Perhaps you have walked through our doors and sampled our wares? If not, we always welcome fresh faces and hungry minds. You are most welcome at Madame Whim’s.

I must tell you I am unaccustomed to this type of correspondence, but Gabrielle Benele and I had a delightful conversation over a cup of tea from her homeland. Bargains were struck, eyebrows were raised, and I have been properly incentivized to answer questions submitted by you, the readers of this missive.

The focus of these questions being on two distinctly different topics, I shall take each in turn. Beginning, I believe, with the master of the Maelstrom Arena.

FA-NUIT-HEN

I should preface my answers, darlings, and ask your forbearance. Thanks to Ms. Benele, I’ve had a chance to read over the answers provided by Fa-Nuit-Hen, responding to questions from a previous entry in this lecture series. I’m but a simple information broker operating from the decaying ruin of a dead realm. Some of what I understand to be true clashes with the colorful words submitted by Fa-Nuit-Hen and their tutor. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.

To Madam Whim,

Fa-Nuit-Hen claims that they are the offspring of the Daedric Prince Boethiah. I have my doubts. Would your web of secrets know with whom Boethiah had relations to create the Demiprince of Maelstrom?

Best regards,

Count Reman IV of Cyrodiil

Appearances can be deceiving, dear count. The truth of a Daedric life can be confusing even for those of us with an origin in creatia. You sense some measure of the truth, but Aurbis is far, far stranger than mortals can imagine.

With apologies to the master of the Maelstrom, I don’t believe they were entirely truthful when they claimed to be a scion of Boethiah. I once traded the title and hereditary rights for a small chalet in Rivenspire to a minor noble in House Tamrith. I received, in exchange, a positively tawdry interpretation of Dark Elf canonical texts. This included, of course, extensive writings on the Lessons of Vivec.

These interpretations, along with other conversations I’ve had over the centuries, lead me to believe that Fa-Nuit-Hen’s origins are far older and far odder than they let on.

If you do not believe me, reread the First Lesson of Vivec. Even in the texts you have access to in the mortal realm, you may find it curious that the reference made to Boethiah prefaces Fa-Nuit-Hen’s arrival in the tale by several stanzas. Almost as if that reference and the appearance of the Demiprince are wholly unrelated.

I want to note it’s clear whatever Fa-Nuit-Hen’s origins, Boethiah supports their claim of scionship. That is not the kind of claim you make as repeatedly as the Demiprince has, and with such full-throated enthusiasm, if you’re not sure how Boethiah feels about you.

In fact, if you look back through recorded history, you’ll find several instances of Daedric Princes adopting beings as scions, even if the creatia of their own realm was not involved. By the same token, of course, we Daedra do occasionally change loyalties … though as has been said endlessly by authors far more boring than I, it is not in a Daedra’s nature to change.

I find myself digressing. The word “Daedra” in most mortal tongues translates as “not of us” or “not our ancestors” or even just “the others.” Curious how broad a brush that paints, is it not?

My dear Madam Whim,

An associate of mine once posited that Fa-Nuit-Hen’s name was a Dragon Shout, but that was before meeting the entity in question. Does their name have any special meaning?

And do come and visit me in the Isles sometime. I’ve been perfecting a lovely alocasia blend.

Eristaanwe

What a considerate offer. At times we have been known to serve alocasia jam on buttered black bread at the House of Whims, a sweet and delicious treat that occasionally leaves one feeling rather lightheaded and floaty. In Daedric clients, anyway. Mortals, I believe, are driven to the brink of insanity.

But I am distracted from your actual question, which starts from such a humorous origin. As you no doubt told your friend, the Draconic language and their art of Tongues have little to do with Fa-Nuit-Hen’s most concise name. They love to cite themselves as Demiprince of Maelstrom or Multiplier of Motions Known or (after a fashion) the numerous names of their barons, but it’s a very good question. Fa-Nuit-Hen. What does it mean? Where does it come from?

I don’t believe the Demiprince originated from Boethiah, but let’s cast our eye in that direction to gain some insights here. If I was a being of liminal power, an adopted scion who desired respectability in association with my Daedric parent, where might I turn?

Readers, I have traded whole libraries of study on the Deadric Princes to and fro across Aurbis, and by volume I can assure you no culture wrote more about Boethiah than the Chimer. The Daedra-worshiping expatriates of Old Aldmeris sought solace in the dictates of Boethiah, and to this day you’ll see remnants of their language in some of the most common Boethian chants and prayers.

Consider, if you would, the name Fa-Nuit-Hen through the language of the Chimer née Dunmer? If I were to name myself in a manner that would ingratiate me with the chosen people of my adoptive father, what might I call myself to ensure a warm welcome?

 

To esteemed Madame Whim,

I write with a question of pure academic interest, and nothing more, I assure you. We know that Fa-Nuit-Hen is a Demiprince, but herein lies the question: what makes a Demiprince a Demiprince?

From purely academic interest and no uncertainties regarding my own bloodline,

Taren Velas

Darling Taren, these kinds of questions and concerns are dealt with at the House of Whims every day. If you want a real answer to your question, perhaps there’s a bargain to be struck in private?

In public, I’m happy to discuss the vagaries of Demiprincedom. They are, for lack of a better term, a passing fancy on the part of a Daedric Prince or Lord. It’s amusing, from my point of view, that mortals can enter into an act of creation accidentally. Not so a Demiprince, whether the Prince in question is conjoining with a mortal, a Daedra, or something else entirely. I spoke at length with a consultant from Apocrypha once on the subject, and they described a Demiprince as a unique conjoining of purest creatia and “something more.”

In the case of a Prince or Lord and a mortal, that something more is of course the illustrious soul you short-lived beings are so fond of talking about. In other cases it gets more esoteric and, frankly, more confusing to discuss. Suffice it to say Demiprinces are around because their Daedric parent wants them to be.

That’s likely why the number known to mortals is so small. Even among our own kind, the type of power and prestige such parentage can attract can be a double-edged blade. Ask yourself, is having a blisteringly powerful being as progenitor really something you’d want?

To the beautiful Madam Whim,

Fa-Nuit-Hen seems like they care about the Barons and misses them. But they can’t possibly care in the same sense that a mortal would care about a loved one, could they? I was under the impression that Daedra are not capable of this. 

Any insights?

Sincerely,

A Wanderer

Like the layers of a slag eel pie, I see so much to pick at and savor in this question, Wanderer. Thank you! To take the second layer first, divest yourself of the idea Daedra are incapable of anything, darling. So often, I find, your short lifespans push you to extremes as a survival strategy. “That beast is colored green and almost killed me. Therefore all green-hued beasts are dangerous.”

That kind of thinking may serve you well on Nirn, but exceptions to the rule abound across the realms. As a general rule, yes, Daedra are what we are. Our Princes form us from creatia and set us on our path. And thus ever does our nature, set at the time of our making, dictate our path. But while we Daedra are unchangeable that does not mean we are unchanging. We are thinking, living beings. And what is not the nature of life but some measure of change?

I don’t mean to boast, darlings, but I myself am an excellent example. Madam Whim, entrepreneurial Mazken, has worn other names and appearances many times over the centuries. And while I’m a deep disappointment to my progenitor Prince, I find my life and choices deeply satisfying.

Back to the first layer of your question, regarding Fa-Nuit-Hen’s capacity to care for the Barons. The emotions of a Daedra are not for mortal minds to understand, but that does not mean we are unfeeling monsters. We simply experience life and the Aurbis differently than you do. 

In the case of the Demiprince and their Barons, that’s no doubt an especially challenging arrangement for you to understand. The Barons are Fa-Nuit-Hen, and the Demiprince is them. The Motions Known they mention in their title are the Baron themselves, personified within the Demiprince and given internal and (eventually) external life. So when the Demiprince jokes about dicing with Morihaus, or Dueling the Hinged Ones, or any of the other half-truths they’ve uttered over the centuries, that is they/them/all together as many beings in one body.

With all this context in place, I hope, I can answer your question in as direct a fashion as I am able. Yes, absolutely, Fa-Nuit-Hen cares deeply for the Barons Who Move Like This. After all, who does Fa-Nuit-Hen care more for than themself?

MALACATH AND THE OATHSWORN PIT

Dear Madam Whim,

It is said that the Ashpit stretches even into Aetherius. Fa-Nuit-Hen has said a Prince’s realm is an extension of their mind, nature, and will. Does that mean Malacath, and by extension the other Princes, are capable of exerting their will and very being in the realm of Magnus and his Children?

C.E.Nex

I always know when the word “Aetherius” is scrawled on a piece of paper that a delicious bit of trade is sure to follow. I myself bargained several ancient Dwemer Tonal Scrolls all up and down the harmonic scale for a treatise written by one of my more scholarly Mazken sisters. She had acted as an attendant to a particularly well-traveled mage who insisted on attempting to explore the length and breadth of Aetherius beyond Nirn and the Daedric Realms.

A fascinating read. But not information given freely, I’m afraid.

What I can say, to paraphrase from that lengthy tome, is that in this case Fa-Nuit-Hen spoke true. The Prince is the realm, the realm is the Prince, and any notion of separating the two is a farce. You need merely observe the ruin that is Fargrave to see what occurs when a Daedric power is removed from the Aetherial equation. It is a rare event indeed, but it does happen.

As for the other piece of your question, I’m not sure I or any other living being can truly claim to understand how the Princes and the Aedra relate to one another. I have lived for many, many mortal lifetimes, my dear. And nothing I’ve bargained, purchased, or traded in all my years indicates that the Aedra are more than a lovely story you mortals tell yourselves to make you feel safer in your beds at night.

To the esteemed Madam Whim,

Statues of Malacath are seen wielding a longsword, which we have heard little about in comparison to his other weapons, such as Scourge or Volendrung. In ancient times, the warrior Trinimac was said to have wielded the sword Penitent, the Blade of Courage, before he was transformed into Malacath. What can you tell us of Malacath’s greatsword, and if it has any relation to the ancient blade of Penitent?

Thank you for your time,

Sir Cyandor F. of Seyda Neen

Ah yes. The tale of the courageous warrior god consumed by the vile Daedric Prince only to return as a cruel Prince of a depraved people.

Mortals, I find it fascinating that an eons-old being wholly divested from the day-to-day experiences of Nirn, such as myself, might have perspective on this that scholars and priests apparently lack. One of the easiest bargains I’ve ever made was for the soul of an Orc monk seeking almost these exact same answers. He scoured the texts I delivered to him for a decade before I finally had to call in his marker and pass him along to his eventual fate.

I could have told him everything he needed to know well before he cracked the seal on a single Malacath rite or flipped the pages of a First Era Trinimac prayer book.

We Daedra are unlike you mortals in many, many ways. But that does not mean we are wholly unlike you either. That goes doubly so for a Daedric Prince. A backwater village bully might fall in with a bandit army so they can swagger around the inn on Fredas brandishing their shiny badge. A Daedric Prince might go out of their way to avoid answering questions or quashing rumors claiming they were once an all-powerful Aedra. As above, so below.

I know not why Malacath wields a sword in statues, Cyandor of Seyda Neen, but I do know that the written histories of Nirn treat the Orsimer with a peculiar and particular cruelty. And so I must ask myself a simple question: Which is more likely? That an all-powerful Aedra found itself consumed by a Daedric Prince and recast in the mold of a pale shadow of itself in a far-flung realm of Oblivion? Or that mortal scholars with a bias would eagerly leap on the metaphor that the Daedric Prince most associated with the Orc people was quite literally the excreted remains of a once-great god?

This last question is unrelated to either Oathsworn Pit or the Maelstrom incident, but I felt this preposterous question deserved attention, if only for the titters of amusement it gave me.

Dear Madam Whim,

I have it on good authority that one of your employees, a scamp named Mikget, was murdered. This particular scamp had (apparently) the capacity to eventually amass so much knowledge as to rival that of Hermaeus Mora. Can a lesser Daedra eventually rival or even become a Daedric Prince?

Kardimor Endekius, Researcher of the Iridian aspects of Magnus

I will address the two ideas in your question separately, Researcher Endekius. Mikget’s death was not, I can assure you, because anyone believed that a scamp would grow to rival the One Who Knows in power. You should have heard the peals of laughter that echoed through my chambers when I first read this text. Further, I’m curious about how you came to such a conclusion. I encourage you to seek me out at the House of Whims. Perhaps we can draw up a bargain to follow up on this curious claim.

As for your thought-provoking follow-up notion, I will offer you a strongly conditional no. As far as I am aware, the raw power of a Daedric Prince is unmatchable by even the mightiest Daedric Lord or Demiprince. My no is conditional because truthfully, I am not sure it’s out of the question. It certainly has never happened before, but strange things happen every day on Nirn and beyond that challenge what we all “thought we knew” the day before.

To ground my question in something you might understand, mortal, consider a river. Its flow can ebb and shift. It can dry up, or swell to furious size. If a great flood were to occur, and a riverbed came to sit at the bottom of a great sea, is that still a river? Or is the river the sea?

That will have to do for now, I think. Business calls. There are clients waiting to be attended to—so many intoxicating possibilities to explore. Perhaps one day we can do this again.

Until then, darling mortals. And I hope I see you at the House of Whims before too long.

A resounding round of thanks to the ESO Community for their questions on these topics. If there’s anything else you still want to know about these Daedric mysteries, you can ask members of the community in our official forums!

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