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Hermaeus Mora is the Daedric Prince whose sphere is the scrying of the tides of Fate, of the past and future as read in the stars and heavens, and in whose dominion are the treasures of knowledge and memory. His name is also spelled Hoermius Mora, Hormaius Mora, or Herma-Mora. Also called the "Prince of Fate", "Lord of Secrets", and "Demon of Knowledge", he is vaguely related to the cult origins of the Morag Tong if only by association with his sibling, Mephala. Unlike most Princes, Hermaeus Mora does not take on a humanoid form at all, living instead as a grotesque green mass of tentacles and claws or a purple and black vortex known as the Wretched Abyss. His servants include Seekers and Lurkers. Herma-Mora was an ancient Atmoran demon who, at one time, nearly seduced the Nords into becoming Aldmer. In Atmoran myth he is known as the "Woodland Man" who catches villagers lost in the woods; the secondary set of his name, Mora, is one word for "wood", "woodland" or "tree(s)" in Elvish. Most Ysgramor myths are about escaping the wiles of old Herma-Mora.
Hermaeus Mora's shrine in Cyrodiil is located deep within the mighty Jerall Mountains, where he is said to speak only to the most worthy of mortals in a deep, frightening and almost convoluted way. He once asked the Champion of Cyrodiil to bring one soul of each race to him so his followers could use them in rituals to explore the realms of reality as well as space and time, once again offering the Oghma Infinium as a reward.
During the adventures of the Last Dragonborn, Hermaeus Mora was encountered on a quest for the College of Winterhold, where they met a champion of Hermaeus Mora, Septimus Signus. Septimus requested that the Last Dragonborn bring him a sample of the blood of each of the elven races, in order to recreate the equivalent of Dwemer blood and thereby unlock the Dwemer lockbox upon which he was working. Hermaeus Mora then confronted the Last Dragonborn directly, saying that if they fulfilled Septimus's request, they would take his place as the daedra's champion, and be well-rewarded. The Last Dragonborn did as requested, and was granted the knowledge of the Oghma Infinium, which was contained in the lockbox. Another champion would be replaced, but for Hermaeus Mora, the Oghma Infinium would be just the beginning.
It was later revealed that Miraak, the First Dragonborn, had learned his secret powers from Hermaeus Mora in exchange for a life of servitude in Apocrypha. By the return of the dragons, however, Miraak had largely abandoned his master and decided to return to Tamriel by way of Solstheim. After raising an army of cultists and attempting to kill the recently revealed Last Dragonborn, Miraak bewitched much of the populace of Solstheim and forced them to build otherworldly structures around the All-Maker Stones on the island, which would be used to increase his power and provide a conduit to return to Tamriel. The Last Dragonborn tracked Miraak's activity to his temple and inside found a Black Book, an artifact of Hermaeus Mora. The Last Dragonborn destroyed Miraak's influence on the island and entered Apocrypha through the Black Books, meeting Hermaeus Mora himself.
Mora told the Last Dragonborn that he was growing tired of using Miraak as a servant, and offered them the dragon shout he provided to Miraak, in exchange for an important piece of knowledge. This knowledge was the ancient religious traditions and powers of the Skaal, who had faithfully kept it from Mora for generations. The Last Dragonborn had to convince the spiritual leader of the Skaal, Storn Crag-Strider, to give up the knowledge, which killed him as it was removed from his body. Their end of the bargain fulfilled, the Last Dragonborn gained the new shout from Mora and went back into Apocrypha to face Miraak. Upon defeating him, Mora appeared again and expressed his disappointment with Miraak, transferring his status to the Last Dragonborn.
Apocrypha is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge and Fate. It is an endless library consisting of untitled books with black covers, where all forbidden knowledge can be found. The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge. Stacks of books form mazes and spiralling pilars that can reach as high as the illuminating green sky. Intricate ruins and monstrous carvings can be found among the stacks. The plane is covered in a sea of acidic, murky waters and roiling tentacles. Hermaeus Mora holds an omnipresence within the realm. Some areas of the realm are consumed by darkness which can kill any who enter it. Discarded pages and floating tomes fill the air.
Apocrypha is inhabited by the frightening Daedric servants of Mora. Seekers guard forbidden knowledge, banishing foes with sound attacks. Lurkers dwell within the acidic waters, arising from the depths to attack invaders. Disembodied tentacles hide in the waters and hang from the sky, whipping at any who pass.
Apart from magical teleportation, Apocrypha is usually entered by mortals through the reading of Black Books, tomes of forbidden knowledge scattered across Tamriel by Hermaeus Mora. An apparition of the reader's body remains in Mundus, tethering their life force. Most mortals who read a Black Book are driven insane, but those who successfully journey through Apocrypha are known to discover powerful knowledge. Dying in Apocrypha while reading a Black Book simply banishes the reader back to Tamriel.
After disobeying his dragon masters in the Merethic Era, Miraak became a champion of Hermaeus Mora and retreated to Apocrypha with his dragon servants, where he dwelled for many eras. The mage Morian Zenas famously disappeared in Apocrypha during his voyages through Oblivion. In 4E 201, seeking to escape Apocrypha and the control of Mora, Miraak used his knowledge of the thu'um to bend the will of the people of Solstheim and force them into building a temple for him, to harness the power of the All-Maker Stones and allow him to return to Tamriel. The Last Dragonborn entered Apocrypha on several occasions through the reading of Black Books, and confronted Miraak. The two Dragonborns battled, and, when Miraak was close to defeat, he was killed by Mora, who then accepted the Last Dragonborn as his new champion.
As seen in Daggerfall
Hermaeus' statue in Oblivion
As seen in Dragonborn
The Oghma Infinium in Oblivion
The Oghma Infinium in Skyrim
- ^ The Book of Daedra
- ^ On Oblivion — Morian Zenas
- ^ Hermaeus Mora's dialogue in Dragonborn
- ^ a b c d Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor