Greetings, sera. Blackblood here with yet another guide to help bolster your roleplay experience. This time, we'll be taking a look at one of the more powerful beings within the Elder Scrolls verse: The Daedric Princes. Feared by many and revered by few, there are some who worship these powerful deities for one reason or another: Be it power or beliefs. However not many have a good idea of how to serve and worship these mighty beings. The goal of this guide it to give a an idea of what you can be doing to serve your chosen Daedric Prince, whilst allowing a little bit of wiggle room for Roleplay sake. This means that, while this is a basic guide, these are merely tips and you don't have to follow EVERY one of them. So with all that out of the way let's get into it shall we?
Why Worship the Daedric Princes?
"But we both know this has little to do with honor and oaths and loyalty. It's about the reward; the prize. Fear not. You'll have your trinkets, your desire for power, your hunger for wealth."
Let's face it: Chances are, you've decided to worship whichever Prince you desire for one thing - Power. Power from Princes like Molag Bal and Hircine, whose gifts turn you into Vampires or Werebeasts respectively. Or perhaps you seek to become worthy of the Daedric Artifacts that each prince is known for, whose potentials are so great as to turn the tide in just about any battle. Maybe knowledge from Hermaeus Mora, with which you can better cripple your enemies, or advance your own forces.
Or perhaps that is not your true goal. Perhaps you have true faith towards the Daedric Princes, or towards Daedra in general. You believe not in the power you could gain from them, but the power they wield themselves. Or do you believe in their sphere of influences? Perhaps you despise the undead as much as Meridia, and will gladly obliterate the plague of undeath in her name. Or, would you be so wicked as to seek the destruction and demonization of Tamriel itself as you subjugate all while under Mehrunes Dagon's watchful eye?
There are many reasons why one would choose to serve these beings; many more than I care to mention. At the end of the day, your reasons are your own - You need only prove your faith to your chosen Prince. Serve them well, and you may find yourself fortunate enough to come into possession of their Daedric Artifact. These artifacts grant the wielder great power, and serve as a symbol of the champions of the Daedra. However chances are that it will not remain in their possession for too long, as the champions and worshippers of the Princes come and go at their whim.
Perceptions: The Daedra and The World
"But the Daedra are the worst. Their callous disregard for our lives is abhorrent in the eyes of the God of Mercy. They are profane creatures with no hope of redemption. They lure innocents to their deaths and corrupt the souls of all they touch. And their heretical artifacts grant powers to mortals that wreak havoc across Tamriel."
There exist two things you must be constantly aware of when worshipping Daedric Princes. The first is that, although you may fervently serve them, the Daedra more often than not see you as nothing more than momentary entertainment. A collection of bugs under a turned rock that warrants interest from the one that turned it. Thus, our worshipping of them is little more than another fragment of amusement in their eternal and incomprehensible lives. Our purpose in revering them is not just for them (mostly), but for us; we can gain much with the blessing of a Prince. Just remember your place when dealing with them, and you may be richly rewarded for your services.
The second fact is that, despite being Gods of their own rite, the Daedra and the Princes are all treated as wicked and evil beings, even if certain Daedric Princes are not wholly so. Thus, even the worship of Azura or Meridia can be shunned upon in common lands, especially if they are Imperial-controlled. Thus it is unwise to actively show your faith in them while you are in public (unless you don't give a Horker's ass who knows). This includes wearing pieces of apparel that reveals your faith, or wielding daedric weapons or artifacts in towns and holds. While you may faithfully serve your chosen Prince, the other, weaker-minded people of this world are fearful, and may end up hindering your efforts, so the less they know the better.
WHO and HOW Should You Worship?
"Not many would walk blindly into a crypt, smelling of steel and blood, but not fear. I feel the hunger inside of you. Gnawing at you. You see the dead and your mouth grows wet. Your stomach growls. ...It's all right. I will not shun you for what you are. Stay. I will tell you everything you have forgotten."
There are quite a few Daedric Princes (almost twice the number of Divines), and it may be difficult for some to choose which ones to follow. Then others wonder just how they could possibly serve beings whose power dwarfs the entire mortal race. Below are links to information regarding each of the 16 Daedric Princes, as well as a number of suggestions on how to serve whichever Daedric Prince you so deem. HOWEVER, I only recommend serving but 1 Prince, as they are often hostile with each other - many of them even have specific enemies or allies. You have been warned.
Azura is a very basic one, and perhaps one of the few Princes that is truest to what it means to be a God. All she truly requires from her subjects is love, With your truest, purest emotion, worship her with love, as if she were the mother of your faith, and she shall respond with her own caring. She is one of, if not the only, Princes who actually care for her worshippers. But beware her wrath, which is just as swift as any other Daedra.
To best worship Boethiah is to worship her not as a mere mindless servant, for each worshipper is dust to his eyes. No, you seek his graces for your own purposes, for he has no need of mindless worshippers without ambition. Whatever your desire, let your strength be great. Boethiah is a mighty warrior, and such you shall be one as well. Prove yourself to be a warrior of high caliber and you may be fortunate enough to be chosen for one of his tournaments with his realm. Other than that, fight and kill often, for he enjoys the bloodshed of mortals.
But being a warrior is not all of Boethiah's being; deceit and conspiracy are of his spheres of influence. In his name you take down governments, factions and many forms of authority through violent means, regardless of any laws that would prohibit you otherwise. Those who seek to overthrow the government of their lands, for whatever reason, may find support from Boethiah, if they prove themselves.
Serving Vile is a bit more difficult than some of the other Daedric Princes. By his very nature he is self-serving, and delights in making deals with mortals. These deals, however, often end up turning sour for those on the receiving end of such deals, either because of Vile's malicious nature or his simple desire for entertainment. Still, it is very much possible to worship him and be properly rewarded.
One method of worshipping him is to act as his agent upon Tamriel: Grant others their wishes in one-sided exchanges. Or simply make deals with others that weigh well in your (or Clavicus Vile's) favor. Alternatively, you can commit to jobs for him when he needs them. He has been known to properly reward mortals who do this through artifacts like the Masque of Clavicus Vile. However, make sure that his hound, Barbas, remains at his side, as he is the Prince's morality and can keep you from experiencing the worst of his malice.
Knowledge is to be hoarded. Show your dedication to Mora's sphere of influence by hoarding away any and all knowledge you possibly can. Maintain a large selection of literature and writing, anything from large volumes of books to small notes left by bandits. Even if it is not written, seek the world for as much hidden knowledge as possible. For example, beginning the Dawnguard questline just to learn of the existence of Auriel's Bow and such.
One option to commit to is to take as many forms of knowledge (from regular books to scrolls to spell tomes etc.) and lay them in their proper domain of Apocrypha. If you have the DLC "Dragonborn", you can enter Solstheim and access the plane via the many Black Books located throughout the island. You can also make periodic trips through this realm in search for knowledge that you can put to use. Survive the dangers of Apocrypha and unlock secrets long since lost to Tamriel.
The Hunt calls you, whether you are the Hunter or the Hunted, or both. If you are the hunter, then seek your prey. They can be anything from the Elk that wander the forests to the Kings and Queens of lands. Whatever satisfies your desire to hunt and kill, seek it. But remember that you are not some mere assassin in the night; you are a hunter. Give your prey a sporting chance before you commence.
If you are the hunted, chances are you are one of Hircine's many blessed with the power of the Beast Form. The lands of civilization are no longer your home, and your prey is a bit more diverse. By night you are the hunter, and by day you are fated to be the hunted. Do not be afraid to embrace your beastial nature if this is such your desire. Also, be on the lookout for the Companions in Whiterun, for they contain the secret of the Werewolves within their ranks, and have ways of bolstering your hunt.
Seek to put an end to chaos wherever you see it. You will not have to look far; this land of Tamriel is full of chaotic instances which require cleansing from a worshipper of Jyggalag. Live your life for the sake of perfect order, where things fit into place. There is not much more you can do for this Prince, as opposed to Sheogorath, Jyggalag's desires are incredibly simplistic: Perfect order.
Most Orcs will have no need for this, for the worship of Malacath is built into their very culture. Even so, there are some ignorant few who need guidance. The first thing to know is that Malacath spurns physical weakness, so those with weak constitutions should turn back now. Warriors, seek out strong opponents as often as possible, and don't miss a chance to sharpen your skills and increase your strength. If you are being watched over by this Prince, he will be able to see whether or not your strength has faltered.
As Malacath is the Prince of the ostracized, You must remember to give to the less fortunate. Spare some coin for the beggars of the street, whom have been rejected by society. Fight for those who suffer under tyranny of the powerful. An example is the Dunmer and Argonians of Windhelm, who continue to suffer under racism from the Nords there. In the world of Tamriel, there will always be those who are forced to live through the disdain of others simply for existing, and as a follower of Malacath you are their ally, and their enemies are yours as well.
Considerably one of the most dangerous Daedric Princes, Mehrunes Dagon's worshippers have more destructive methods of worship. Those who worship him will most likely have their own desires; mortals who desire power, either by overthrowing an authority figure or otherwise. They seek to obtain power to achieve their goals and desires, and do not care who, or what, they must destroy in order to achieve them. These types of worshippers will have to prove themselves to him in order to obtain the power to do just this.
Or maybe you are more destructive in your desires, like Dagon. Perhaps you wish to become the agent of his; to be a living natural disaster brought about by the Prince's whims. By your hand, empires will fall and societies will crumble apart. Kings and Queens will taste the cold steel of your blade, and anarchy will reign. Let your strength be the change that alters the fate of Tamriel, if only for a time, so that the chaos you ensue will assist Dagon in his eventual re attempt to take Nirn.
Despite what is said above, Mephala's true sphere of influence is much more intricate. To her, the lives of mortals are threads within a greater web of fate, with each one holding the fate of a different host in its intricacies. But one thing that is consistent within her influence is murder and secrets. Commit to gossip and ensuing strife. Cause chaos within the lives of mortals through sharp silver tongue,and manipulate others for the sake of severing bonds. And treat the lives and futures of mortals as your plaything, that Mephala may gain amusement from the games you play with them.
Speaking of lives, take them as often as necessary, and insure that you do so under her name. There are many degrees of murder you can adhere to, from simple assassinations to full-blown genocides. As long as they die in the name of Mephala, they are worthy killings. The best ones, however, are killings done through betrayal. Backstab those closest to you, and revel in their twisted faces of despair, for your lady is watching you.
There is but one word that best describes how you may serve this Prince: Undead. Destroy them. Abhore them. Obliterate them with extreme prejudice. Meridia is the lord of life, and such creature are an abomination in their eyes. Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to commit to this, and you may find yourself in good graces with them. However note that, even though you seek to destroy undead, those who worship Arkay or Stendarr are NOT your allies. Thus, you'll most likely undertake this task alone, or with fellow worshippers of Meridia.
"...whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals; whose desire is to harvest the souls of mortals and to bring mortals' souls within his sway by spreading seeds of strife and discord in the mortal realms."
Domination. Destruction. You will take your enemies by the balls as you ravage and obliterate the weak masses. Beat your enemies to a bloody pulp, and when they try to crawl away and beg for mercy, when they stagger back on their feet, kill them brutally to show them and their allies that their second wind was but a small breeze within Coldharbour.
But that's only the beginning. You see Molag Bal desires souls, the souls of mortals, and as his servant you shall give them to him. Collect as many Black Soul Gems as you can carry, then find yourself some worthy ones to kill. Once you've collected souls that you feel will be worthy of finding their place in Molag Bal's Coldharbour, return to any one of his shrines and place them there.
"...whose sphere is the ancient Darkness; known as the Spirit Daedra, ruler of sundry dark and shadowy spirits; associated with spiders, insects, slugs, and other repulsive creatures which inspire mortals with an instinctive revulsion."
Your typical home of choice will be somewhere dark, dirty, and far away from society. Such places include ruins, caves and homes that have been abandoned for years. Wherever you decide to call home, live your existence for the sake of misery and filth, like vermin within the sewers. Reject all attempts to "save" you from your destitute lifestyle, violently if need be. Your foods of choice will include any edible thing that normal mortals would find revolting. Cannibalism is recommended, as it has recently become yet another means of worshipping Namira through ritualistic means, and serves as a very effective way of pleasing her.
Nocturnal is the patron to thieves, and one of her many names is "Lady Luck", for she manipulates the odds of success for many would-be thieves and such. Examples include a lockpick breaking when it should not have, or a ray of light shining at the exact spot to reveal your location within the darkness. To serve her is much like a business contract; She may give you a task that you must complete, and then you will receive your reward.
Thus far, the highest rank of service to Nocturnal is to become one of the Nightingale Trinity. As the name suggests, there are only 3 members, and they exist in myth among the many Thieves Guilds across Tamriel. The Trinity will only accept the best of thieves, so you must hone your abilities as a rogue in order to hope for an opportunity to become one of Nocturnal's greatest.
Your greatest means of serving Peryite is to contract a disease. It does not completely matter which one, but I find that the ones you can spread are the most effective. But perhaps you already have some sort of disease, and seek Peryite's protection to save yourself from the plague that may kill you in the end. If you have been "blessed" with a disease by Peryite, you have become one of the Afflicted. Thus, your eventual duty is to help spread this "blessing" along with the other Afflicted, through any means. Other than this, be ready to accept any tasks he places upon you.
Embrace your dark mortal desires. Drink to your heart's content, uncaring of any who would suggest otherwise. Eat not with the purpose of survival, but for the taste of the food you gorge upon. Drown in lust with as many of the opposite sex as you can obtain, with little regard for consequence. Sate your greed in any way possible, or throw your Septims away for the sake of pleasure. Pursue violence whenever the feeling arises within you. Sanguine represents the darker side of us all, and to worship him is to accept that darker side as being your true self.
There is no single way of servicing Sheogorath, no method of worshipping him except to embrace madness and insanity. Sheogorath is the Mad God of the Princes, and his actions have no real rhyme or reason to them. Thus madness is the only thing that awaits those that follow him. But if you've chosen to follow Sheogorath, then perhaps you already know of madness...
Seek out the dreamscapes of mortals everywhere... and fill them with the most horrifying nightmares possible. In any way possible, infect the dreams of mortals with the most nightmarish realities possible, in Vaermina's name. Spread fear wherever possible, that they may appear again in the nightmares of the mortals. Another way of showing your devotion is through torture, as it seems to be another factor that involves the Prince. Whether torturing through the awake or the sleeping, the suffering of mortals seem to be one of Vaermina's main focuses.
Well that's all I have at the moment for my guide. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something here and there... I hope you've enjoyed. As a vampire enthusiast I had one hell of a time writing this guide. And please, do post your constructive criticisms here. I'm always looking for suggestions so that I can make this build as great as possible for others to read. Take care, own the night, and thanks for giving this a read!