Elder Scrolls Lore Report - Boethiah's Trini-Mac & Cheese

Welcome back! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week. Jumping right back into lore posting with the history of the greatest Aedra that existed. Of course, this also means we’ll cover Malacath, but let’s start with the Golden Champion himself.


In the early days of Mundus, there was one of the original et’Ada that was more prominently worshipped than even Auri-El himself. Legend holds there was one spirit, known as the Shape-Taker, who was their greatest warrior and led the early Aldmeric armies against those of man. The Paragon, the Warrior, known as Trinimac. Even as far as the Second Era, though Trinimac is thought to have vanished from the mythos, he is still worshipped as the pinnacle of strength, honor, and unity – ideals the Orsimer hold above all others.




Aldmer first began to worship Trinimac as their society began to evolve and they began to venerate individuals as gods. Trinimac was one such individual. Believed to be Auri-El’s greatest champion and often considered champion to the entire pantheon, Trinimac was a mighty warrior, who favored strength and honor above all else. He particularly detested Lorkhan, who seemed to favor cunning and trickery – not to say Trinimac was against elusive intelligence, just he considered Lorkhan’s schemes to be shameful. Most heinous of all was the creation of Mundus. In their conflict, Trinimac was always on the front lines, leading the combat. Legend holds that, after Lorkhan’s forces drove the Aldmer from Atmora and sundered Old Ehlnofey, Trinimac finally cast down Lorkhan in front of his own army and ripped out Lorkhan’s heart with “more than hands”. However, the God of Mortals had one final ploy up his sleeve. Trinimac and Auri-El found themselves unable to destroy the Heart, which laughed at their attempts and revealed to them that it was the “…heart of the world, for one was made to satisfy the other” and they were forced to hide it instead.


As a causality of his disdain for Lorkhan’s schemes, when the spirits realized they had been tricked – or believed they had been tricked – Trinimac was the first to tout Lorkhan as a villain. He encouraged hatred of Lorkhan and even was said to be the first to instigate war against the Missing God. He said “tears are the best response to the Sundering”. Thus came the conflict with the dissidents of Veloth.


Trinimac was the Great Protector, the Champion of the et’Ada, and he defended the Aldmer from enemies both without and within. Sometime in either the Merethic or possibly the Dawn Era, he and his followers and worshippers took arms against the Velothi dissident movements. It was during this that Trinimac and his followers slowly began to spread their word against Lorkhan.


Angered by the “lies” spread by Trinimac, it is said Boethiah convinced Veloth and his sect to adopt a new doctrine, dedicated to the belief that mortals could ascend and become gods – the apparent lesson Lorkhan was trying to teach all along, if you read my report about the Psijic Endeavor, CHIM, and the Godhead. Trinimac and his followers considered this blasphemy of the highest offense and attempted to pass judgment on Veloth. However, Boethiah deceived Trinimac, devoured him, and assumed his form and used the Golden Champion’s own voice to spread the word of Veloth, shaming his own priests. As further insult, legend says, right then and there, Boethiah relieved herself of Trinimac in front of the entire assembly.


10925603061?profile=RESIZE_710x(Paragon's Remembrance, a ruined temple to Trinimac found in Wrothgar, as seen in The Elder Scrolls Online) 


As for how exactly Trinimac, the greatest warrior the et’Ada had ever seen and the strongest of those who walked Nirn, was actually defeated, the legends don’t agree entirely on one specific scenario. The most popular theory is that as Trinimac arrived to pass judgment on Veloth, he was surprised to find Boethiah instead, and in his shock, Mephala appeared and stabbed him in the back. Trinimac fell to his knees, where Boethiah mocked and gloated before cursing, twisting, and finally consuming the spirit. In her belly, Boethiah tortured Trinimac. Eventually, she grew bored and exiled Trinimac to a plane of choking ash. His body broken and his pride tarnished, the torture and dishonor left Trinimac misshapen and enraged. His body withered away, but his spirit fashioned a new one to represent his anger and he was reborn as Mauloch, known more commonly as Malacath. It is believed his new body was built from Boethiah’s dung after she excreted him.



 It is also said the followers of both Boethiah and Trinimac rubbed her excrement on themselves, altering their appearances. Aldmeri propaganda charges that this as a lesson against the dangers of Velothi influence, while Velothi propaganda claims this was Trinimac’s punishment for attempting to thwart their exodus. Whatever the truth, Malacath himself claims the whole tale as “too literal-minded” which implies some truth to the story.


Among the Aldmer who believed Boethiah and followed Veloth, they became the Chimer, and Boethiah taught them the ways of the Psijic Endeavor. Those who stayed loyal to Trinimac and chose to follow Mauloch became the Orsimer, and their bodies and minds twisted with the same rage Trinimac himself experienced as he became Mauloch. The Orsimer became outcasts, just like their new god. Oddly enough, though Malacath is technically an entirely separate entity – though perhaps entwined, not dissimilar to the relationship between Jyggalag and Sheogorath prior to the Champion of Cyrodiil – he seemed to inherit all of Trinimac’s enemies. Despite his new status as a Daedra, the other Princes consider him foul and disgusting and make points to stand against his entire will. As Malacath began to spread his influence across the Orsimer and began terrorizing the world of men and the Dunmer – the descendants of the Chimer – he became one of the Four Corners of the House of Troubles.









Whatever the truth of the story, Vivec supports a lot of the fiction in his writings. In Sermon 8, he writes “…Boethiah … wore the skin of Trinimac to cleanse the faults of Veloth.” This seems to imply Veloth and his priests had a hard time converting people to the truth of Lorkhan before Boethiath intervened. And in Sermon 10, he makes a comparison between Boethiah’s eating of Trinimac to that of the Walking Ways, both as references to achieving divinity. Sermon 8 and Sermon 10 both seem to corroborate the possibility that Boethiah did, indeed, eat Trinimac. However, there are some inconsistencies. The fact that worship of Trinimac continued to exist, even if mostly among Orsimer, into the Second Era suggests that Trinimac didn’t disappear. In Third Era 399, King Gotwog gro-Nagorm developed a new religion centered around the worship of Trinimac, with its primary teaching claiming Trinimac still lived and that Malacath is an unrelated demon trying to trick them – much the same as it was said Boethiah tricked the Aldmer by taking Trinimac’s skin. Though many Orcs found this to be heresy, there still exist some clans even into the Fourth Era that believe Malacath is a demon who has imprisoned Trinimac.









Finally, Topal the Pilot claims in Father of the Niben that he encountered Orcs long before the clash between Trinimac and Boethiah ever occurred. Though this doesn’t counter the possibility of it happening, it does completely change how Orcs were created.  Orcs today still revere Trinimac, particularly those of Wrothgar. They still believe that because Trinimac sacrificed some of his essence to create Nirn that he still exists out there, somewhere.


10925604858?profile=RESIZE_710x(a statue of Topal the Pilot)


Regardless, Trinimac has, for all intents and purposes, disappeared from the mythos and, in his place, Malacath reigns.


Then we have Malacath, the God of Curses, the Keeper of Bones, He Who Speaks Sideways. According to Malacath’s own word, he was once Trinimac, most powerful of the Aedra, before Boethiah tricked him, cursed him, consumed him, and excreted him, twisting his form with her dung to be reborn as Malacath.




 Orc legend claims Trinimac confronted Boethiah for the dissidence of Veloth and was about to strike her down when the Webspinner herself stabbed him in the back. Boethiah then cursed him and scarred his body and twisted his form before banishing him to a plane of choked ash. There, enraged, Trinimac cut open his own chest and tore the shame from his own spirit, being reborn as Malacath.



As stated above, however, the more popular theory claims Boethiah simply tricked him. One version says she appeared as a beautiful lass, begging for a kiss. When he bent to kiss her, she swallowed him. She appeared before the assembly in Trinimac’s form, burping and farting and speaking nonsense. When the crowd grew large enough, she told them what had been whispered to Veloth, in Trinimac’s voice, and when the priests were shamed, she excreted a large pile of dung and Malacath rose from within before being banished to the Ashpits, that would be his plane of Oblivion. In both theories, at least they agree the plane of choking ash would become his plane of Oblivion.



Regardless of his origin, Malacath is said to be very protective of his followers and becomes vindictive should they be wronged. In the Sixteen Accords of Madness that herald the tales of the Madgod, there is a story about Malacath and his demiprince son, Emmeg gro-Kayra. Before the founding of Orsinium, Sheogorath – in disguise – gifted Emmeg the Neb-Crescen, a supposedly all-powerful sword, in honor of the great power of the mighty warrior who had proven himself in many battles after being born a bastard son. However, the first time Emmeg drew the sword, he learned it was cursed and drove him into a wild, blood lusted frenzy. In his rampage, he murdered a young Orc girl and then ran away. Sheogorath summoned Malacath and demanded he make good on his claim to protect all his followers, but proposed that Malacath’s revenge come at the tip of a weapon of the Madgod’s own choosing and requested the murderer be banished to the Shivering Isles. Malacath agreed and manifested himself in the direction of the murderer. He drew the weapon Sheogorath had given him and was similarly driven into a wild frenzy. Without even pausing to see who would murder a young, innocent Orc girl, he lopped off the head of Emmeg and it was then he realized what he had done. He had not only killed his son but had also damned him to the realm of the Madgod. Adding insult to injury, Sheogorath arrived at the scene of the infanticide and claimed the still sentient head of Emmeg as well as the Neb-Crescen. Malacath remained behind and mourned as he heard the please of his son being carried away.


Nevertheless, do not discount these two separate entities as anything less than a different face of a similar coin. Unlike the relationship between Sheogorath and Jyggalag prior to the Champion of Cyrodiil, who were like either face of the same coin, Trinimac and Malacath are more like the same coin reprinted with a new face. It has the same face value, but the older one – Trinimac – is more highly regarded while the newer, shiny one – Malacath – is considered dull. Do not take this euphemism to heart, even among the other Daedra, Malacath is not considered an equal.


Though Trinimac is still highly regarded in Orsimer cultures, they only venerate one deity: Malacath. He is their God-King, the Outcast Prince. They see him as they see themselves. They also consider him the Orc-Father and call him the Great Chief. Orcs in strongholds follow the Code of Mauloch, which are an unrecorded set of rules that govern their honor and their daily lives. Many of its laws are tacit and include prohibitions on things like murder and theft, though there are probably far too many exceptions. Most auspiciously, the code seems to hover more on things that demand individual strength, like blacksmithing, and how to deal with vengeance against insulted honor, and, most important, that death in combat is the greatest honor. At its base, Orcs believe that if something is not worth fighting for, then it is beneath the Code. The Code also deals with how to establish and run a stronghold, raise a chief through challenge and trial, and the role of the chief and his wives. Further beyond is recompense for a crime – the normal punishment is called the “Blood Price” and normally involves the perpetrator bleeding until the victim feels satisfied that the crime has been repaid – though they are also willing to accept physical payment by way of goods or other valuables.



(a bust of Malacath in Wrothgar)


Nords probably have the most interesting beliefs about the Orcish deities. They actually believe in two ancestors to the Orsimer. Mauloch, known to them as the “God of Mountain Farts” is considered to be a testing god, engaging Nords through warfare. The other is called Orkey, or Old Knocker. Orkey is an Atmoran deity and is the god of mortality. He is believed to be a fusion of Mauloch and Arkay, though his worship stems from Atmoran beliefs, not the Nordic pantheon of today, thus he is sometimes considered a “loan god”. The implication here is wild when you consider the Statue of Talos, but that is perhaps a discussion for another report.


The Dunmer revere Malacath as the one of the Four Corners of the House of Troubles and they believe Malacath is their test of physical weakness. Redguards see Malooc as a great enemy and believe he is boorish and without courage. The Khajiit believe the demon Orkha is Malacath and that he followed Boethra – Boethiah – through the Many Paths and spoke only in curses, but Lorkhaj, Khenarthi, and Boethra failed to destroy the demon and instead banished it. The Reachmen believe the Lord of Ash and Bone created orcs, ogres, and trolls as tests for the people of the Reach to prove themselves. Much of the Reach view him as a test of hardship, those in Markarth despise him, and the Winterborn clan actually worships him.


Almost without pause, Orsimer excepting, Malacath is believed by almost all mortals to be a god of hardships. He is seen as a steppingstone to prove your worth and considering Malacath praises individual strength and honor, this seems fitting for his will. Despite this similarity, other than Orcs, most mortals avoid anything to do with Malacath.


Irrespective of the truth, Trinimac and Malacath are separate beings potentially wrought from the same body, and, despite their vast differences, they seem to venerate the same ideals of individual strength and honor. This might even corroborate that Trinimac tore himself apart and was reborn as Malacath. He believed he had lost his honor and would never get it back, so he destroyed himself and Malacath serves as a reminder of what happens to those who lose their honor – in fact, one of the Codes of Mauloch suggests that suffering defeat but surviving is worse than death. However, there are too many inaccuracies in the legends to be sure, and many of them support that Malacath and Trinimac may not actually be related.


And that is the story of Malacath’s Trini-Mac & Cheese.

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Fimvul is the current master of the Skyforge Library. Interested in the Elder Scrolls from a young age, he has been diving headfirst into the richer aspects of the lore of the series for over a decade. With years of experience and research under his belt, he hopes to enlighten his readers with the wondrous mystery that surrounds the Elder Scrolls universe.

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