Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions


  • January 7, 2016

    I was just studying some Orc lore again and stumbled on this. It actually reminded me of Phil's recent discussion where he talked about gods, among other things. You know him.

    But let's take a look at Mauloch, Orc King.



    Know Mauloch, spurned of Boethiah and King of Curses.

    An age ago, a cult of Elves left the Summerset Isles, abandoning their kin to follow Veloth, a pathetic tool of Boethiah. Trinimac confronted Boethiah for this trespass and was challenged to battle. Trinimac was about to strike a mighty blow when Mephala appeared and stabbed him in the back. As Trinimac kneeled, wounded by Mephala's treachery, Boethiah gloated and cast a terrible ritual to scar and twist his appearance, then cast him to a place of choking air and ash.

    Trinimac, enraged by his failure, was reborn in blood as he sliced open his own chest, tearing the shame from his spirit. Mauloch, the God of Curses, rose from the ash and cursed Boethiah for his malice.

    On that day, Mauloch spoke the Code to his faithful, and swore vengeance against those who would break it.

    "Do not steal.

    Do not kill your kin.

    Do not attack without cause.

    Those who break these rules must pay the Blood Price."

    And thus, the Orcs were born of blood: the Blood of Mauloch.

    This is from ESO, so kinda new and interesting to me. Why the change of the story when Boethia ate Trinimac and that excrement that came out was Malacath?

    The story most of us know might be only one point of view. I mean, that story isn't in Orc lore, it is in Dunmer lore. This piece, Mauloch, Orc King by Ramurbak gro-Abamath, might actually be the Orc lore. I imagine that this is something Orcs would believe, rather than to something that implies their god is literally "piece of shit" (Though Malacath himself said that that story is far too "literal minded".

    So what's the difference between Mauloch and Malacath? Is there any?


    This is what Varieties of Faith says about Mauloch.

    Mauloch (Orc-Father, The Great Chief):

    An aspect of Malacath, Orcs revere Mauloch as the First Orc, and live by the Code of Mauloch, which dictates such matters as honor and vengeance.

    The Code of Mauloch

    The Code is more often tacit than explicit, but includes the following:

    — Respect for forging and blacksmithing.

    — The traditional roles of a clan's chief and his wives.

    — The tradition of selection of a new chief through challenge and combat.

    — The custom that one who commits a crime must pay "Blood Price" to the victim (or victim's relatives).

    — The requirement that insults to honor must be avenged.

    — Recognition that to die in combat pleases Mauloch.

    I've read some letter about Orcs of Orsinium during Kurog's rule on Imperial Library (trust me, I would like to link, but I can't find it) where the Orc said something like this. "Humans scorn at us because we worship Malacath. But we worship Mauloch, Orc King. It's those other Orcs who worship Malacath, Daedric Prince."

    Most of the Tamriel considers Malacath a Daedric Prince, but other Deadric Princes don't aknowledge him as one, which perfectly fits his sphere as a patron of outcasts.

    So are Mauloch and Malacath two different entities? Parts of one oversoul? Or was it just smart political move to win more acceptance from other races, just like Gortwog did the same thing with Trinimac in Third Era?

    Do most of Orcs worship Mauloch or Malacath? Or is it just two names for one god to them? For example, humans might think about Daedra when they hear "Malacath" but Orcs don't think about him that way.

    And that raises another question. Can Trinimac still be considered "alive" enough to be worshipped? Can he answer the prayers?



    There is an interesting theory about how Trinimac became Malacath.

    The idea of Boethiah eating and then defecating Trinimac makes little sense, therefore it must be taken metaphorically. Take into account Trinimac was the strongest of the Et'Ada to walk Nirn. He was the knight of the king of gods himself, the God of Time Auriel, or Akatosh as he is known by men. Trinimac was the very leader of the Orsimer. Then, he is filled with shame with the verbal thrashing of Boethiah. All his teachings and truths were splayed out as lies, and he is filled with dishonor. to the mortal witnesses, Trinimac was not what he was before, and it is widely known the beliefs of mortals is an extremely powerful force in the Aurbis. What happened here was not digestion, but a shifting of sphere. The same being, with a different personality.

    Trinimac went from a glorious knight, to a being filled with shame. An outcast, a pariah, the essence of Malacath. He is Malacath. Thus, he is no longer a proud knight. This is easily the most efficient way of destroying a god, yet not entirely. Gortwog and his priests are entirely false. Trinimac does not exist as a separate entity than Malacath, but that doesn't mean he is to be that way forever. Trinimac/Malacath is obviously connected with the Orsimer, as they changed along with him. Notice that not only is Malacath "patron of the spurned and ostracized," but he is also intent on keeping them this way. This is why I believe he fears something. That something is changing back into Trinimac. Taking this into account as well as the connection between the god(s) and the Orsimer, if the Orcs were to become more accepted in society, if Orsinium were to gain provincial status, Trinimac may be reborn.

    As such, the words spewn by Boethiah were biased and ignorant. The Changed Ones actually claims "It was easy then for his new people to become the Changed Ones (The Chimer,) suggesting his motive was recruiting for the Velothi movement. In fact, Faith in the Empire outright states this as his motive. So in theory, showing Trinimac's views and teachings could redeem him, yet the will of Malacath could be frightful to overcome.

    So what does this make Trinimac? In my book, it means Trinimac is a small spark inside the Malacath's oversoul, and this oversoul doesn't want to revert to it's first phorm. So as long as there are Orcs who worship Malacath, he stays that way. But what if they stared worshiping Trinimac again, like they did in Gortwog's Orsinium?

    I would like to mention Ogres and Ogrims, who seems to be somehow associated with Malacath. Malacath calls the former “little brothers” and Ogrims are considered his servants.

    One interesting thing is that Goblins most likely worship him too, as Sacred Rites of the Stonechewers show.

    At particularly important rituals the shaman would touch they symbol to his heart, then his head, then point it to the sky and call out, "Muluk!" At first I found this confusing, given the similarity of "muluk" to the Goblin words "muulk," which they use when chastising their durzogs or children, or "mluku," the term for fecal matter. But gradually I learned to differentiate, and one day I realized that by crying "Muluk!" the shaman must be invoking the god of the Goblins.

    And then it struck me: "Muluk" is not really much different from "Mauloch." Could the god of the Goblins and the god of the Orcs be one and the same?

    Malacath is "patron of the spurned and ostracized" and all these can be considered that. They are outcasts of the civilization and society, being mosly tribal and savage, which seems to please Malacath.

    So what is the difference between Mauloch, Malacath, Malak and Trinimac? Are they separate entities or one oversoul?

  • January 7, 2016

    Things can happen to a person that would change them forever. But is that changed person still themselves?

    I think Trinimac is still himself, even changed, he is like a person who has psychological problems after a trauma. It seems unlikely that if the Orcs are no more pariahs and if they worship Trinimac again he will be the same as he was before. More probably he'd be somehing yet other, not the Trinimac of the past, but wholly new version of himself. Like a person who has overcome his trauma rather than one who never experienced it.

    Or he could change through something not tied to the Orcs at all.

  • January 7, 2016

    There is the undeniable truth that you can´t go back, only forward.

    I´m not really sure if Malacath/Trinimac is really dependant on Orcs though. Think about that this way: Orcs are tied to Malacath, but that doesn´t mean it works both ways. If Malacath changed, Orcs who worship him would probably change with him. But if Orcs changed on their own (which is hardly possible) Malacath wouldn´t change with them.

    The only possibility for change is new faith, belief or kind of worship. If they changed their worship from "Lord of curses, keeper of bloodoaths, patron of ostracized and outcasts" to something else, Trinimac the Hero-God for example, that would change him. And with him, his followers might change too.

    But the truth is I don´t truly understand the bond between Trinimac/Malacath and his followers.

  • January 7, 2016

    I suspect that the reason why the Orcs changed in the first place (i.e. a group of Aldmer became the Orcs) is that the same thing that happened to Trinimac happened to them as well in a way.

    I suspect that even if they change their worship, it won't be enough. Something more drastic must happen for Malacath to really change, and if that happens, then the Orcs might change their worship from 'Lord of curses' to 'the Hero who overcame the curse', and that would change them. On the other hand if the Orcs would change by themselves somehow, they'd probably stop worshipping Malacath.

  • Member
    January 7, 2016

    Karves Regrow that beard, loring suits you!  It's interesting that the "Code of Malacth" has been changed to "The Code of Mauloch in ESO. Varieties of Faith ESO edition declares that Mauloch is an aspect of Malacath. VoF has been known to make mistakes. From time to time.

  • January 7, 2016

    I think they all are just one and the same)) Sometimes people tend to overcomplicate things)))

  • January 7, 2016

    Heh, thanks, Phil. Well, I can say that I surely won´t be able to do Lore Article like you, but this was quite...interesting. I´m better at asking questions than answering them and this reflects that. I just felt that this group needs more Orc love 

    Well, it´s kinda difficult to decide which one is aspect of the other. Orcs in Skyrim and Oblivion worship Malacath, I´m not sure about Morrowind, but Daggerfall had Mauloch. 

    I was kinda freaking out, to be honest. I builded my Cursed Tribe story on Stronhold Orcs worshiping Malcath, being fully away he´s Daedric Prince and being familiar with the concept of Ashpit as both Plane of Oblivion and afterlife in the same time. 

    But I´m really fascinated by Trinimac, especially his worship after he turned into Malacath. It certainly raises many questions. 

  • January 7, 2016

    There is nothing to suggest that worship doesn't evolve over the course of centuries, Karver. What the Orcs worshiped in 2e 582 may not be what 4e 201 Orcs worship. Take also into account that your talking Stronghold Orcs versus Orcs from Orsinium.

    For example, take Christianity. Even the Catholic church, really the most stable of the churches with regard to ideology, of 1000 is nothing like the Catholic church of 2016. The language is different and some of the key concepts have undergone huge transitions. Look at the evolution of the Bible as a text alone! Same with Judaic and Islamic practices. I highly, highly doubt that a society would remain that static over the course of 800 years to the extent that practices wouldn't change at least a little bit. Lord, and how many wars have been fought in that region alone, plus with the Oblivion Crisis and Tiber Septim's conquest. Really, things should not be static.  

    I wouldn't worry. This is a really neat peace of information that you've posted here. 

    Haha, you freaked out too. Hello? Me and Altmeri funeral practices, how Summerset Isles looks? Yeah, I completely understand you. 

  • Member
    January 8, 2016

    Nonsense Karver. If I can do it then anyone can. In fact, you're rapidly becoming the site's most savvy Orsimer spokesman. You realise we only need one more Daedra Dossier to complete all the corners of the House of Troubles, right?

    One of the interesting things about Mauloch being an aspect of Malacath is that it could indicate something quite unique. In our discussions about mythopoeia we normally only talk about the Eight. This is because those spokes on the wheel are tied to Mundus etc - you know that bit. However, we normally leave the Daedra out of the topic because they aren't bones of the earth - mythopoeia shouldn't effect them unless you staunchly believe the Psijic philosophy in which case it would.

    The thing is, while we can point out mythopoeia at work with the gods, the demons tend to remain pretty much the same no matter what cultural lens you view them from. Yet if Mauloch actually has a distinct personality or sphere to Malacath rather than just a different name, then it could answer a lot of questions.

  • January 8, 2016

    Yeah, I´m talking mainly Orsinium vs Stronghold Orcs, because City Orcs...well, let´s say that their faith can be as various as humans. City Orcs are part of society, and we all know that society is made by individuals. There´s just too many variables regarding City Orcs to say for certain who they worship.

    I stumbled on a small reference that Mauloch is the Orcish God of Velothi Mountains. I don´t give much credibility to that, but still, it kinda makes sense. It´s probably the place where Trinimac tried to stop Chimer.

    So for the time passage...that´s not a bad thought actually. I just looked up Daggerfall and he´s called Malacath there. So it looks like that in Third Era he´s commonly known and called Malacath, while in Second Era, he´s reffered to as Mauloch.

    But there are few references here and there in Third and Fourth Era about Mauloch too.