Lore Lesson 13: Sheogorath, Daedric Trickster
Jyggalag and the Greymarch
Long before recorded time, the Daedric Prince of Order, Jyggalag, was becoming all-powerful and influential across all realms and dimensions. The other princes began to grow fearful of Jyggalag’s immense power and collectively cursed him to become the embodiment of chaos and madness, the two things Jyggalag hated most. This was rumored to be the day that Sheogorath was born.
Sheogorath transformed Jyggalag’s domain into the Shivering Isles, a realm depicting his madness. Once during every era, Sheogorath becomes Jyggalag once more and is cursed to destroy, reclaim and rebuild his realm in the event known as The Greymarch.
The Greymarch is marked by the appearance of large crystalline obelisks that emerge from the ground and produce and power Jyggalag’s minions, the Knights and Priests of Order.
FUN FACT: As part of The Greymarch, Sheogorath summons a mortal champion to the Shivering Isles to fight back against the forces of Order. In the DLC for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, The Shivering Isles, you play as Sheogorath’s champion and assist Sheogorath in saving his realm from the devastating Greymarch, led by the dreaded Forces of Order.
After Sheogorath is transformed back into Jyggalag, he and his minions destroy the Shivering Isles. This prompts his transformation back into Sheogorath, where he is left to rebuild his realm once again.
Who is Sheogorath?
Sheogorath is the Daedric prince of madness. He is also known as the Fourth Corner of the House of Troubles, the Lord of the Never-There, the Mad Lord, the Mad Star, the Mad One and the Mad God. He is the Sovereign of the Shivering Isles. Sheogorath typically shows up on Nirn as a harmless, eccentric old man, well-dressed and carrying a cane. He has many followers and many even worship him, with followers most prevalent in Morrowind and Elsweyr.
Sheogorath was said to have originated as one of four Daedric princes first mentioned in history. He has been described as the “Sithis-shaped hole of the world” brought about when the divine spark of Lorkhan was removed. You recall that Lorkhan is the “Missing God” or the creator-trickster deity present in Tamrielic mythic tradition.
FUN FACT: Tamrielic superstition warns travelers to avoid thunderstorms, as they belong to Sheogorath. It is also said that mortals are driven mad by merely speaking with the Mad God as he offers advice and information that is beyond their capacity to know or process. To be affected by Sheogorath’s influence is known as being “Sheogorath-kissed”.
The Shivering Isles and it’s capital, New Sheoth, were founded by Sheogorath.
FUN FACT: The book, “16 Accords of Madness” tell stories of Sheogorath’s encounters and victories over other Daedric princes. One such story recounts Sheo’s victory over Hircine, in a duel of champion beasts, where Hircine’s beast ran itself to death. Another tale tells of Sheogorath overtaking the soul of an Orc who had murdered one of his followers. Malacath himself was tricked into killing the Orc, which turned out to be his own son. The common theme with Sheogorath is that he tricks his opponents into defeating themselves.
Sheogorath was revered by the Chimer in Morrowind in ancient ancestral worship. The Tribunal eventually took power in Morrowind, with Sotha Sil, Almalexia and Vivec at the helm. Rebelling against the Tribunal, the foursome of Sheogorath, Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath and a Molag Bal became known as the “Four Corners of the House of Troubles”. Because of Sheo’s rebellion of the Tribunal, worship of the Mad God became punishable by death in Morrowind. Because of this, most shrines to Sheogorath were abandoned, though many still remain today.
Sheogorath, seemingly angered by the Tribunal’s stance on his worship, rebelled against them. It is written that Sheogorath tricked the moon Baar Dau into hurling itself at the City of Vivec by convincing the moon that Vivec City was built in mockery of the heavens. Vivec subsequently froze Baar Dau during it’s decent with a mere gesture.
Vivec, in attempt to protect his followers from madness, made an agreement with Sheogorath. For this reason, Dunmer must occasionally renew the agreement by performing a pilgrimage to the Four Corners. Many Dunmer believe that Sheogorath is merely testing them for any psychological weakness.
The Wabbajack is a Daedric artifact created by Sheogorath. It appears as a simple Deadric staff engraved with angry gaping faces at the top. The artifact is known to be unpredictable and wide-ranging in its powers, including having the ability to damage, heal, instantly kill or turn an enemy to stone. But the Wabbajack’s most renowned power is its ability transform a target into a completely random creature. Even a massively fearsome opponent could be transformed into a meek, docile creature with the Wabbajack – and vice-versa!
The Fork of Horripilation
This cursed artifact was also created by Sheogorath and he affectionately refers to it as “Forky”. It appears to be a mundane iron fork, however, it harbors a powerful imbuement which excites and energizes the magicka around it. Sheogorath enjoys forcing mortals to use it as a weapon. The fork smells lightly of roast beef.
This glove can render its wearer both stronger and weaker.
Staff of Sheogorath
The Staff of Sheogorath is a powerful Daedric Artifact and the symbol of the Mad God. It contains the power of the Shivering Isles and is needed to assume the title of Mad God and sit atop the Throne of Madness. The staff appears as a simple walking stick with an eyeball affixed to the top. During each Greymarch, however, the staff’s power wanes and it becomes a useless twig, marking the beginning of Sheogorath’s transformation into Jyggalag.
This Daedric artifact created by Sheogorath is a tome of knowledge filled with insights compiled from the ramblings of madmen. The pages have nearly incomprehensible writing that actually moves to avoid your gaze when trying to read them. Apparently, the power obtained from reading these insights is the equivalent of absorbing at least six skyshards.
FUN FACT: Arch-Mage Shalidor, always hungry for more knowledge, traded his island of Eyevea for the Folium Discognitum in the First Era. He regretted making this dark deal with Sheogorath and tried valiantly to win back his island. Valaste of the Mage’s Guild aided Shalidor in his conquest but was slowly driven mad by Sheogorath. When the time came to reclaim the island, the Mad God gave an adept of the guild (the player) the choice to restore Valaste’s sanity or allow him to remain in the Shivering Isles for eternity.
In the Elder Scrolls Online, there is no other character that has quite the insanely corrupt charm as the Daedric Prince Sheogorath. Your character will encounter this larger-than-life character during the Mage’s Guild questline. You will get to travel to Uncle Sheo’s Daedric realm and experience his perfect form of madness. This is certainly one questline I wouldn’t want to miss. You will undoubtedly love the experience and be able to reference many things from this very lore lesson!