Barbas is the Hound of Clavicus Vile. He is a shapeshifting daedra, although he most commonly takes on the form of a dog. Barbas acts as a repository for half of Vile's power. According to Vile, he likes being a dog—as well as many other things—on sunny days. "When he's like this, I think he's somewhere else. It's all quite significant, of course... But who knows what it means."
Although Vile is always depicted along with Barbas, the Prince often grows tired of him and abandons him. While Barbas seems to be subservient to Clavicus Vile, he also often warns people against Vile's plots, suggesting he has some discretion and free will. When Cyrus visited Vile's realm in 2E 864, Barbas showed a fondness for the Redguard and shapeshifted his face to imitate Cyrus'. Circa 3E 427, Barbas took the form of a musically talented scamp merchant named Creeper. Creeper lived and traded with a group of orcs in Caldera, Morrowind. In 3E 433, Vile tasked the Champion of Cyrodiil with recovering the Umbra Sword. Barbas foresaw the ruin that the sword would bring to Vile's realm of Oblivion, and left Vile's side to manifest himself as a dog statuette. Through the statuette, Barbas communicated with the Champion in an attempt to dissuade the Champion from bringing Vile the sword, although this attempt proved futile. Umbra later stole much of Vile's power and created Umbriel, leaving the Prince's realm crippled. When Sul and Prince Attrebus Mede visited Vile's realm to bargain with the Prince, Barbas helped in negotiations.
By 4E 201, Vile had forsaken Barbas out of annoyance. Barbas, in the form of a dog, was left wandering the Pine Forest of Skyrim. This limited the Prince's power, making it so that he could only manifest in Tamriel close to one of his shrines. Residents of Falkreath took notice of the stray mutt, and when the Last Dragonborn approached him, Barbas revealed his identity and asked the Dragonborn to help him reconcile with Clavicus. The two journeyed to the Prince's shrine in Haemar's Shame. After killing off the vampire worshippers, Vile had the Dragonborn retrieve the Rueful Axe, an artifact of the Prince. Vile then presented the Dragonborn with a choice: keep the axe and kill Barbas in his mortal form, banishing him for a few centuries and allowing Vile to use his full power; or continue with the original deal, forcing the Prince to take both the axe and Barbas back. It is unknown which option the Dragonborn chose.
- Clavicus Vile has been depicted with a hound in both TES II: Daggerfall and TES Adventures: Redguard. Creeper appeared in TES III: Morrowind. Barbas has been featured in TES IV: Oblivion and TES V: Skyrim.
As seen in Daggerfall
As seen in Redguard
As Creeper in Morrowind
As seen in Oblivion
As seen in Skyrim