The Elder Scrolls – Mephala

No matter how hard I try to avoid something, it nearly always catches up with me.

Webspinner.  Spider.  Teacher of the Secret Arts.  Queen of the Eight Shadows of Murder.  Prince of Lies.  These are some of the Names of Mephala, Daedric Prince and (sometimes) sibling to Hermaeus Mora, who sees all life as a weave wherein pulling one thread will unravel the whole.  Meddling in the affairs of mortals amuses Mephala, and it appears that this Prince intends to strengthen the Web through executions.

To the Dunmer, Mephala is the Anticipation of Vivec, and is worshiped as one of the “Good Daedra”, along with Azura and Boethiah.  Unlike those two, however, Mephala has no preferred gender; while Azura almost always presents as female and Boethiah (usually) presents as male, Mephala is well known for changing gender depending on the mortal they wish to ensnare.  Most statues of Mephala present the Prince as female, however.

In honor of Mephala’s genderfluidity, I will be using the pronoun “they” throughout the rest of this post.

While the Dunmer attribute lies, sex, and murder to Mephala, their sphere encompasses more than that.  According to the lore, Mephala taught the Chimer (who became the Dunmer) to evade and slay their enemies.  They founded the Morag Tong, the Dunmer assassin’s guild that slays in Mephala’s name, and that is directly opposed to the Dark Brotherhood.  Funnily enough, some believe the Night Mother of the Dark Brotherhood is actually an aspect of Mephala…which actually makes sense to me, considering the number of plots they’ve put in place.  Why not cause tension in the ranks?  It’s fun!

Mephala’s realm of Oblivion is called the Spiral Skein, and it is made up of eight spokes called the Eight Strands of the Skein.  Each has a theme: lies, envy, seduction, fear, betrayal, murder, avarice/appetite, and fury.   At the center stands the Tower where Mephala is said to dwell, but as the Spiral Skein is obscured to mortals, this is not certain.

So, the oblique statement at the beginning of this post?  It’s because of Spider, not Mephala, but there are A LOT of similarities, right down to Name.  Spider is usually not very communicative, but over the past month she’s gotten louder and more insistent in a variety of ways.  Over the 4th of July, I saw many many eyes in the fireworks we were watching.  I’ve had to remove cobwebs from my car every morning.  And, today, a spider fell out of my hair while I was brushing it.

Oh, and did I mention that yesterday I just happened to choose to write about Mephala for my second M and noticed their epithets?

Spider is Other, which makes figuring out what she wants me to do interesting, and it took a discussion with my FlameKeeping guru this morning to figure it out.  She (my guru) reminded me that Spider doesn’t think – she does – and what I need to do it stop over-thinking and just look at where a connection can be repaired or created.  And then, I figured out what I need to do and I plan to do it this weekend.  Even though it’s something I don’t want to do.  Because, quite frankly, it’s important.

Since I work for Spider, not Mephala, I’m focusing on repairing connections and creating new ones rather than manipulating ones that already exist…and there’s a hint of truth when I say I’d rather do the latter, even if most of that statement is meant as a joke.  Not that I want to murder anyone, mind you, but manipulation and cunning are things I’m good at.  Then again, Spider does have both of those qualities so…

Right.  Not going to think about that right now; I need to focus on what I’m here to do.  I think, though, that an offering of nightshade might be in order.


One response to “The Elder Scrolls – Mephala

  1. Very interesting point on the two sides of spider. I think that a lot of cultures look at just one side: either the creator or the destroyer. I have always liked seeing both sides of a story, and I think that spider definitely has both sides within

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