Lore:Planes of Oblivion
The Planes of Oblivion are the dimensional planes which are home to all the daedra. Each of these planes can be very extensive; Molag Bal's plane is described as being a replica of all of Nirn, and Hermaeus Mora's is infinite in size.
Each prince's plane may have a more specific name, for example: Apocrypha for Hermaeus Mora's, Coldharbour for Molag Bal's, Moonshadow for Azura's, Quagmire for Vaermina's. Each plane is supposedly very different in appearance, depending upon the nature of the prince who rules it. They can range from beautiful to desolate; some may not even resemble worlds as we think of them, containing nothing but dust and smoke, or changing constantly.
Oblivion is often associated with tales of Hellspawn and most forms of Destruction (especially fire), and is likely known as Hell, or the home to demons. This image is only accurate for the planes of Daedric princes known for destruction, such as Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal, as the Daedra are not actually demons, only sentient beings who do the bidding (often destructive) of their respective masters.
 Daedric Princes' Realms
 The Deadlands
The Deadlands are a Daedric realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon. The embodiment of its creator's sphere, the dimension is fraught with natural disasters and destructive change. The realm is covered by an ocean of lava, scattered with scorched volcanic islands and ruined structures. Many lesser Daedra roam the realm freely, but Dremora dominate the hierarchy. Very little flora grow in the realm's hostile environment. Burnt grass and dead trees dot the landscape, while Bloodgrass, aggressive Harrada Roots and poisonous Spiddal Plants grow abundantly in the charred soil.
 The Shivering Isles
The Shivering Isles, also called the Madhouse or the Asylums, is the Daedric realm of Sheogorath, Prince of Madness. The realm consists of a main land mass surrounded by a group of smaller islands, the area of which is divided in half: the northern half of these lands is called Mania, and the southern half Dementia. This divide represents Sheogorath's split personality, the "two shades of madness". The isles are inhabited by mortals as well as Daedra, but they have been driven insane.
 The Ashpit
The realm mostly consists only of dust, palaces of smoke, and vaporous creatures; anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash fill the bitter air. Few mortals manage to reach the realm, where levitation and magical breathing are necessary to survive.
However, some areas of the realm are safe for mortals. Circa 4E 40, Malacath chose to bring Sul and Prince Attrebus Mede to the Ashpit, where they found a garden of slender trees, and "vines festooned with lilylike flowers" wound about the trunks; a "multitude of spheres moved, deep in the colorless sky, as distant and pale as moons". This garden seems to have some emotional significance to Malacath, who describes it as a "shadow of a garden", and an "echo of something that once was".
Sheogorath looks down on the realm, the "backbone" of which he has claimed to be a literal spine.
 Realm of Boethia
The Realm of Boethia is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Boethia, the Daedric Prince of Deceit. The realm consists of stormy skies, volcanic islands and lava seas, similar to the Deadlands. It has also been described as a country of labyrinthine policy and betrayals, with maze gardens and twisted towers. It is sometimes referred to as Attribution's Share or Snake Mount.
Coldharbour is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination. It contains an apocalyptic version of Nirn; the sky is on fire, the ground is a barely-traversable sludge, and the realm is filled with ancient, blackened ruins. A defiled copy of the White Gold Tower exists, splattered with blood and excrement.
The realm is desolate and barren, filled with suffering. It is unnaturally cold, even with magical resistance. The air assaults the senses, changing rapidly from rancid death to sweet flowered perfume.
Sotha Sil journeyed to Coldharbour in 1E 2920 to bargain with Molag Bal. The mage Morian Zenas famously visited the realm during his voyages through Oblivion, and wept at the sight of the desolation. A female Vampire Lord of pure blood, who has been gifted vampirism directly by Molag Bal, is known as a Daughter of Coldharbour. In a speech to the Champion of Cyrodiil, Mankar Camoran incorrectly names Meridia's realm Coldharbour.
 Meridia's Realm
Meridia's Realm is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Meridia, the Daedric Prince of Infinite Energies. Next to nothing is known of her realm. It is sometimes referred to as the Colored Rooms.
 Hunting Grounds
The Hunting Grounds is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Hircine, the Daedric Prince of the Hunt. It has been described as a realm of dense woodland and vast grasslands populated by werebears and wild cattle. It is full of endless mazes inhabited by vicious creatures such as bears, wolves, werecreatures, and Daedra. These creatures are generally much larger than their counterparts in the mortal realm.
Skaal folklore states that during the Bloodmoon Prophecy, Hircine and his hounds preyed upon entire tribes of men and took them to the Hunting Grounds where they would be hunted down by the inhabitants. Other tales state that a single man is taken into his realm as his prey, and if he can last through the Bloodmoon, Hircine returns to his realm for another era.
The souls of lycanthropes are claimed by Hircine and spend eternity experiencing the thrill of the hunt in his Hunting Grounds. However, it is possible for a soul to transfer to the proper afterlife (such as Sovngarde) if their lycanthropy is cured posthumously. During the daylight hours, werebears and fierce Nords stalk the land in their continual Hunt. When the sun sinks below the horizon, Hircine announces himself with a pack of werewolves to take his turn in the cycle.
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 spiraling pillars 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, while Hermaeus Mora is omnipresent over all. 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 most easily entered by mortals through the reading of Black Books, tomes of forbidden knowledge displaced from time and scattered across Tamriel. The reader's physical body remains in Mundus, tethering their life force. Most mortals who gain access to the secrets within Apocrypha are driven insane by unending revelations. Such was the fate of the mage Morian Zenas, who famously disappeared in Apocrypha during his voyages through Oblivion. However those who successfully journey through Apocrypha are known to discover powerful knowledge.
The Dragon Priest Miraak sought the knowledge of Apocrypha in the Merethic Era, and used what he learned of the Thu'um to revolt against his dragon masters. Although he slew many, their retaliation was swift and furious, and Miraak's temple was destroyed. He was taken in by Hermaeus Mora, and essentially imprisoned within Apocrypha for many centuries. By 4E 201, Miraak had in motion a plan to harness the power of the All-Maker Stones and enable his return to Tamriel. Seeing his corrupting influence on the lands and people of Solstheim, the Last Dragonborn entered Apocrypha through the Black Books and ultimately exposed Miraak's wish for independence, leading Hermaeus Mora to dispose of his ungrateful servant.
Moonshadow is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Azura, the Daedric Prince of Twilight. The realm is so beautiful that visiting mortals are half-blinded. The realm contains flowers and waterfalls, majestic trees, and a city of silver. The wind smells of perfume, and the realm is known to have rain. Azura lives in a rose palace, and is welcoming to mortal travellers.
 The Pits
The Pits is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Peryite, the Daedric Prince of Pestilence. Here, Peryite guards the lowest orders of Oblivion. The realm resembles the Deadlands, with lava seas, volcanic islands and ruined structures. The realm is usually completely inaccessible to mortals, but there have been several exceptions.
 Clavicus Vile's Realm
Clavicus Vile's Realm is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Wishes. It appears as a tranquil countryside, dotted with majestic cities of glass and ornate buildings. The city of Umbriel was once a part of the realm, but was eventually severed and came to rest in an unnamed realm of Oblivion.
Cyrus the Redguard once visited the realm in 2E 864 to bargain with Vile, who had been given the soul of his sister, Iszara, by the Sload necromancer N'Gasta. Cyrus won the Prince's game and rescued his sister's soul.
In 3E 433, one of Vile's artifacts, the Umbra Sword, was returned to the realm by the Champion of Cyrodiil at the Prince's request. However, Barbas, the Hound of Vile, knew it was a poor decision and attempted to stop its return, as the sword contained a piece of the Prince's power which had gained sentience. The being, who called himself Umbra, escaped the sword once it was brought to the realm, and stole a significant amount of the Prince's power before fleeing to the edge of the realm. To prevent Umbra leaving with his power, Vile sealed the borders of the realm, essentially sealing them all within.
In the early years of the Fourth Era, a hole was opened into the realm by the first ingenium, a device created by two Dunmer males named Sul and Vuhon. The hole leached power from the realm, which was used to prevent Baar Dau crashing into Vivec City after the disappearance of Vivec. In return, the mortals provided a steady steam of souls, so Vile permitted the hole to remain. Umbra was drawn to it, and, when the ingenium was destroyed by Sul, briefly breaking Vile's barrier, he threw the Umbra Sword to Tamriel to prevent the Prince trapping him within. Sul and Vuhon were also pulled into Vile's realm, where they were beset by Umbra. Vuhon struck a deal with him, and the two fused to become a being called Umbriel. A second ingenium was constructed, and Umbriel used it to rip a piece of Vile's realm away, which was set loose in the Void. This detached bubble of Vile's realm contained an inverted pyramid of rock, similar in appearance to a floating mountain, topped with a beautiful city and containing vast labyrinths of passages below. It also came to be called Umbriel. The pocket realm was inhabited by the Um-Hist, sentient trees related to the Hist of Tamriel, and the ingenium transformed worm-like larvae into strange humanoids of many kinds, known as Umbriellians. It was eventually severed from Vile's realm in 4E 40 by the power of the White Gold Tower.
While Umbriel invaded Tamriel, Vile's realm was left in ruin. Without access to his power, Vile's realm shrank, dissolving at the edges until it was only a few miles in radius. The Prince summoned Sul and Prince Attrebus Mede to his realm when they made contact with the unstable Umbra Sword on Solstheim, where he aided them in attempting to take down Umbra. It is unknown if his realm recovered after his stolen power was returned.
 Sanguine's Realms
Sanguine's Realms are a collection of one hundred thousand realms of Oblivion, created and ruled over by the Daedric Prince of Indulgence, Sanguine. The realms are used mainly as pleasure pockets. Very little is known about them.
The Last Dragonborn visited one of the realms in 4E 201. Named Misty Grove, it appeared as a mist-filled copse of trees crossed by burbling streams and paths with small stone bridges, lit by lanterns in an eternal early evening. Sanguine used it to host a feast for the Dragonborn, after the two had spent a night drunkenly exploring Skyrim.
Quagmire is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by the Daedric Prince of Nightmare, Vaermina. It is a realm of horrors, where reality shifts upon itself in seemingly impossible ways. Every few minutes, lightning flashes and the realm morphs into a terrifying scene, each one more frightening than the last.
It is the realm most often visited by mortals. From her citadel in the center of the realm, Vaermina reaches out into Mundus and collects the memories of sleeping mortals, leaving nothing but visions of horror and despair. These experiences, known as nightmares, involve the mind of a mortal traveling to Quagmire. Through magical teleportation, it is possible for a mortal to enter Quagmire while awake, as was done by the mage Morian Zenas.
Quagmire and Mundus have been known to partially merge where Vaermina's influence is strong, usually in the area surrounding one of her artifacts. In 3E 433, the Orb of Vaermina was stolen by the wizard Arkved, who brought it to his tower in the Nibenay Basin. The interior of the tower seemed to enter Quagmire, with reality becoming warped inside. In 4E 201, the town of Dawnstar was plagued by continuous nightmares due to the close proximity of the Skull of Corruption.
The Evergloam is a realm of Oblivion, created and ruled over by Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Shadow. It is the realm of perpetual twilight, and the cradle of shadow. The Shade Perilous is a section of the realm coveted by many daedric clans.
The Ebonmere is a portal linked to the Evergloam, which acts as Nocturnal's conduit on Tamriel. It is located in the Twilight Sepulcher, an ancient temple in Skyrim. The Ebonmere is held open by the Skeleton Key, although the artifact has often been stolen from the Sepulcher by mortals. The Nightingales are a secretive subgroup of the Thieves Guild, who pledge their souls to Nocturnal and guard both the Ebonmere and the Skeleton Key. When a Nightingale dies, it is believed that their soul becomes one with the shadows. As long as the Ebonmere remains open, the souls of dead Nightingales can "walk with the shadows" and bring luck to thieves. As Agents of Nocturnal, Nightingales are permitted to "drink" from the Ebonmere and obtain powerful abilities.
The Shade Perilous was taken by the armies of Mehrunes Dagon during his invasion of the Battlespire during the Imperial Simulacrum. Dagon's protégés, Faydra Shardai and Xivilai Moath, became overzealous, and, instead of simply obtaining passage by negotiation, they took the Shade Perilous by force. The clanless Seducers who inhabited the realm betrayed the Nocturnal Lieutenant Jaciel Morgen and the lesser Nocturnal Deyanira Katrece, claiming the area for Dagon. The Shade Perilous was left to the Fire Atronachs and Frost Atronachs, although the two enemy clans fought over ownership. An apprentice battlemage from the Battlespire, following the retreating daedric armies, helped to partially liberate the Shade Perilous, although it is unknown whether or not the Nocturnals regained control of the area. It is possible that Imago Storm relinquished Clan Dagon's hold on the realm after assuming control following Dagon's banishment.
 Realms not belonging to a specific Daedra
 Chimera of Desolation
The Chimera of Desolation is a small, lordless realm created by Mehrunes Dagon, who threw Caecilly Island (a small island off the coast of Northmoor) into the void as an act of revenge against Chimere, a mortal conjurer living there. The abandoned town of Trybador still stands on the desolate island.
 Gaiar Alata
Gaiar Alata (generally referred to as "Paradise" by its inhabitants), is a realm created by Mankar Camoran with the use of the Mysterium Xarxes, a book of evil power written by Mehrunes Dagon. Gaiar Alata contains pleasant islands with gardens and Ayleid-style buildings. Although it seems to be a paradise, its inhabitants are continually slaughtered by resident beasts after which they are resurrected. Underneath the idyllic landscape there are torturing chambers where the less faithful Mythic Dawn cultists are kept. Gaiar Alata dissolved after Mankar Camoran's death during the Oblivion Crisis.
 Havoc Wellhead
The Havoc Wellhead is a realm of Oblivion controlled by many Daedric clans in the service of Mehrunes Dagon. It was accessible from the Battlespire, but the connection was lost after its destruction during the Imperial Simulacrum.
 Soul Cairn
The Soul Cairn is a realm of Oblivion filled with the trapped souls of mortal dead. Rather than being ruled over by any Daedric Prince, it is controlled by mysterious beings that call themselves the Ideal Masters. When a soul is captured by a Black Soul Gem, it is transported to the Soul Cairn to roam for eternity. The Ideal Masters believe that, by freeing mortals from life and dooming them to eternal undeath, they are being saved from meaningless hardship and gifted with peace. The Soul Cairn is filled with all manner of undead. Some forms are unique to the realm, such as Bonemen, Mistmen, and Wrathmen. Powerful mages once summoned undead minions from the realm using conjuration magic, but these spells were forgotten over time. In their hunger for souls, the Ideal Masters often strike deals with necromancers. In return for souls, the necromancers are given the ability to summon armies of undead from the realm, although they often fall prey to the Masters and end up trapped in the realm themselves.
In order to enter the Soul Cairn, a mortal usually must be dead. This can be achieved by partial soul trapping, or by becoming undead. The realm was once accessible from the voidgate of the Battlespire, but the link was severed after the citadel was destroyed.
 See Also
- The book Tal Marog Ker's Researches for information on the Chimera of Desolation.
- The books On Oblivion and The Doors of Oblivion.
- For game-specific details, see the Daggerfall and Oblivion articles.