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|“||Fool! Did you think Molag Bal, the Lord of Domination, would so easily reward you?||„|
|~ Molag Bal to the Dragonborn|
|“||Still you fight on? Do you care nothing for your own existence?||„|
|~ Molag Bal to The Vesitge|
|“||Worm! You think you can betray the Lord of Brutality and Domination without consequence? You will pay for your arrogance! You will writhe in agony for the rest of eternity! Your tortured screams will echo throughout Oblivion to serve as a warning to others!||„|
|~ Molag Bal discovering Mannimarco´s attempt to replace him as a Daedric God|
Molag Bal is an evil Daedric Prince in the Elder Scrolls series whose sphere of influence is domination and enslavement of mortals. He serves as the main antagonist of The Elder Scrolls Online. While Mehrunes Dagon is a more active threat, Molag Bal is by far the more malevolent. He is known as the "King of Rape" and his purpose is to collect mortal souls and bring them under his power, and to create suffering in the mortal realm; This would make him quite literally a Satan figure, or at least one of such figures along with Sithis the entity of The Void (primordial nothingness) and Mephala, Daedrric Prince of corruption, strife and betrayal. Molag Bal's plane of Oblivion is called "Coldharbor", and it is a warped copy of the mortal realm Nirn but in a more hellish form.
It is said that Molag Bal created the first vampire. Molag Bal has a strong hatred of the Divine of death, Arkay, who controls the flow of mortal souls, diverting the pure and righteous from Molag's grasp. To subvert Arkay's hold on mortal souls Molag Bal made the first vampire, Lamae Beolfag. Molag Bal converted Lamae Beolfag to a vampire by raping her, Lamae was pure in both heart and body and when defiled by the cruel Daedra, Lamae's purity seemed to completely invert. Once Lamae was reborn a vampire she turned from a pure-hearted, shy young lady into a blood and pain obsessed monster. After the massacre of a nomad, clan who had found her body and attempted to give her a proper funeral, she strolled off to kill, feed and sire more of her kind.
Molag Bal was very pleased with Lamae's turning and the creature he had unleashed upon the world, for Lamae would convert others, and them still others, corrupting the mortal races. Though most infected with vampirism become instinct governed savages, not all vampires are evil and many can resist their blood lust, either through sheer willpower (as feeding is not essential for vampires to live) or by finding alternate means of food; such as using bandits and outlaws as a food source instead of hapless civilians, a few vampires have even found willing volunteers to allow them to feed off of every few days, without draining all their blood. But even conscientious vampires are subject to Molag Bal and the Lord of Domination still holds title to their souls upon their deaths. Molag Bal had created vampires as a means to rob otherwise good and pure souls from Arkay, in effect being able to claim souls via a spreadable disease that rendered the otherwise all powerful and benevolent Arkay a non-sequitur.
In Morrowind, Molag Bal is the only one who can cure the player if they become a vampire and will only do this for them if they first kill his daughter, a demon called Molag Grunda, who he hates because she is in love with a Frost Atronach named Nomeg Gwai. When they are killed they are both banished to Molag Bal's realm to be punished for eternity.
In Oblivion, Molgag Bal's quest involves Melus Petilius, a man who disgusts Molag Bal because he is such a good person. Petilius was a local hero who gave up violence forever when his wife died, and Molag Bal wants the player to provoke him into killing them (he "saves" you when this happens so you don't actually die) with a cursed mace by attacking Petilius while he is praying at his wife's grave, thereby damning his soul.
His quest in Skyrim involves an abandoned building which was built over his shrine. First, his voice takes hold of both the player and another man, a Vigilant of Stendarr who is venturing into the house with them, forcing the player to kill him. Then, has the player kidnap a priest of Boethiah, a rival Daedric Prince, and force him to restore the Mace of Molag Bal, which he desecrated, before killing him. Twice.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online, the prequel to the main series, features Molag Bal as the main antagonist. In the game Molag Bal, acting through his supplicant, Mannimarco, conspires to con the rulers of Cyrodiil into destroying the Amulet of Kings, thus breaking their compact with the Divines to keep Oblivion and Nirn separate and allowing Molag Bal to begin formal conquest of the world with the theft and domination of the souls of men.
While Mannimarco plays at manipulating the Imperial Empire from behind the scenes Molag Bal is far less concerned with physical rule and far more concerned with sending souls from Nirn to Coldharbor. At the behest of his lord and as part of his basic necromantic practices, Mannimarco frequently rounds up citizens to be sacrificed, removes their souls from their bodies and pledges them to Molag Bal, sending them to Coldharbor. Once in Coldharbor the spirits of those sacrificed languish for as long as they need to until their wills are broken and eventually become Soul Shrivens, emotionless shadows of their former selves, governed either by feral madness or by the direct will of Molag Bal himself. The Elder Scrolls Online starts off on the premise that the player characters have been sacrificed and are imprisoned in Coldharbour, but will escape thanks to a Prophet, a Nord warrior named Lyris Titanborn and their own determination. While Coldharbor is soon escaped as a mere tutorial stage, the player will spend the rest of the game trying to defeat Molag Bal and reclaim possession of their soul, which while intact is still in Molag Bal's collection in Coldharbor.
Personality and Rivalries
Molag Bal is obsessed with domination of others, as befits his status as Daedric Lord of Domination. His hatred of Arkay was based on someone being able to hold souls out of his reach. Molag Bal has a rivalry with Sheogorath - Daedric Prince of Madness and Creativity, Boethiah - Daedric Prince of Insurrection and Slaughter, Meridia - Daedric Prince of Spirit and Light, and Mehrunes Dagon - Daedric Prince of Destruction and Change. His dislike Boethiah is their conflict spheres, as he/she instigates rebellion and defilement of authority; Boethiah hates domination and would see the submissive die rather than unquestionably serve, so he/she encourages mortals to murder any who would restrain them. While neither Molag Bal or Boethiah have much love for mortals, Molag Bal believes that mortals exist to be dominated and thus mortals only feel at peace when they are kept in their place, but Boethiah feels that defying authority is what gives mortal purpose. Sheogorath has outwitted each and every Daedric Prince by making bets with them, and then beating them by thinking outside the box of what the bet called for to utterly humiliate them. As of this point it is unwritten what Molag Bal's bet with Sheogorath was, but he lost it. Molag Bal hates being out-done by self-admitted fool. Though Molag Bal and Sheogorath dislike each-other, this manifests as nothing more that snipes at other's expense. Molag Bal's dislike of Meridia is far more pronounced. Meridia is the Daedric Prince of "Life's energies" AKA the flow of souls, and she sees undead as abominations, as such she HATES Molag Bal for in essence creating a spreadible disease of undeath, in vampirism. In Elder Scrolls Online, Meridia will be one of the benefactors to help the players, though it is less for their own righteous cause and more just to spite Molag Bal. Molag Bal's dislike of Mehrunes Dagon is due to a conflict of interests as Dagon wanting to destroy everything, whereas if everything is destroyed, there would be nothing for Bal to rule. In Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mehrunes Dagon is source of the Oblivion Crisis where portals to the Deadlands open up across Nirn and Dagon's daedric forces march out en-masse to overtake and destroy the world. Visiting Molag Bal's shrine shows he despises Mehrunes Dagon for this. Though Molag Bal himself had opened up rifts to Oblivion years ago that was before The Compact - a peace-accord between the Daedric Princes and the Divines, not to directly physically walk-on, attack, or invade the mortal world. Mehrunes Dagon get around this by arranging the symbol of the mortal's devotion to the Divines - The Amulet of Kings, being stolen, thus giving him leeway to invade; But Molag Bal still feels it is a violation of The Compact, and sees Mehrunes Dagon as a grasping brute just looking for an excuse to destroy even though he and the other Daedric Princes were honoring the spirit of their pact, despite how easily they could destroy the world too if they were willing to sacrifice their credibility.
Molag Bal's dislike of his other Daedric brethren pales in comparison to one, Daedric Prince, for he is the only Daedric Prince so powerful, so authoritative and so efficient that Molag Bal united with all his other brethren to defeat him - Jyggalag. Jyggalag was the Daedric Prince of Order. He had worked out formulas to essentially deconstruct the concept of individuality. He was so able to combat chaos that he was able to steal other planes of Oblivion from the other Daedric Princes piece-by-piece. Molag Bal, like all the other Daedric Princes, was outraged that his own personal chaotic hell-scape, was being pruned back for a plane of boring sterilized "order". For one single time in history, the Daedric Princes all set aside their rivalries and joined together to defeat a foe - Jyggalag. As he was immortal the other Daedric Princes overcame the issue by attacking Jyggalag on a psychological level - cursing him with madness, and turning him from Jyggalag - the boring, controlling, god of order, into Sheogorath - the insane, imaginative god of madness. Though Sheogorath now thinks of Jyggalag as a totally different being, Jyggalag still exists on a subconscious level, hence why Sheogorath is prune to spiteful bets and disgraces of his fellow Daedric Prices. Whatever other rivals Molag Bal has, he has never been willing to team-up with another Daedric Prince, let alone all of them, to take on any such rival. Indicating that Jyggalag was Molag Bal's truest enemy.
- Molag Bal has had three different actors provide his voice over the span of three games. In Oblivion, he was voiced by Jonathan Bryce. In Skyrim, he was voiced by Christopher Corey Smith. In Online, he was voiced by veteran actor Malcolm McDowell, who had previously voiced President John Henry Eden in Fallout 3, another video game published by Bethesda.
- Another factor that makes Molag Bal more dangerous and evil than Mehrunes Dagon, is that despite the fact that both desire to take over the world and merge it with Oblivion, Dagon has one redeeming quality. Change and ambition, two things society needs to survive, fall under Dagon's sphere of influence.