Dremora are a species of Daedra which serve the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. As such, they are frequently encountered during attempts to close Oblivion Gates which lead to the Deadlands, Dagon's plane of Oblivion.
Dremora are humanoid beings of above average size, typically appearing as male. They are fully sentient, and most are powerful warriors or spellcasters. They are the most powerful and intelligent of the lesser daedra, to the point of governing over other daedra on behalf of their Lord. In general, the Dremora have very dark reddish-black skin, and most have horns sprouting from their forehead. Dremora are always heavily armored; even the spellcaster's robes provide heavy armor protection.
Dremora are one of the rare species of Daedra which are not only sentient, but capable of human speech. (This is one of the key features that separates Dremora from the very similar, but speechless, Xivilai.) Unlike other sentient species, such as Golden Saints or Dark Seducers, the Dremora primarily speak in their own language, and use Nibenese only for taunting human opponents. Little is known about the Dremora language, except for a few key terms. The Dremora word for "people" is Kyn, the name they use to refer to themselves (compare to mer and men.) An individual Dremora is called a kynaz, roughly one of the people. Their use of this term also encompasses their belief that all other daedric species are essentially beasts, or at best uncivilized.
The most complete source of information on Dremora comes from the reference tome, Varieties of Daedra, which can be found in most bookstores and libraries across Cyrodiil.
Dremora have developed a complex social structure, with each individual belonging to a particular caste, or subtype. (These subtypes are actually ranks of an NPC-only Dremora faction.) The castes are assigned titles in the Dremora language; these are the names by which most people refer to an individual the Dremora. Their culture is almost exclusively devoted to combat, primarily in defense of Mehrunes Dagon's plane of Oblivion, and as troops for his offensive plans.
Within Dremora culture, most members do not have a distinct identity. All members of a given caste are treated as essentially identical, and their choices of weapons, armor, and skill specialties are common amongst the entire subtype. Only a few Dremora acheive a social status high enough to be granted a unique name; these Dremora are often the highest ranking generals on Dagon's army, and are granted a great deal of independence. The highest-ranking Dremora are also more likely to engage in conversation with non-Dremora, though the tone is still one of extreme condescension.
As the player progresses in level, the types of Dremora encountered progresses up the chain of command. Most Dremora are of a fixed level, usually slightly lower than the level where the player first encounters them. However, a typical Dremora individual is roughly as strong as a human or elf two to four levels higher, so one-on-one the odds are fairly even. When faced with multiple Dremora, the player can quickly find themselves overwhelmed.
Varieties of Daedra divides the Kyn castes into three basic groups: soldiers, commanders, and nobility. In addition, there are a few specialized Dremora, which may be previously unknown subtypes, or may simply be specialized members of an existing subtype. All Dremora subtypes have certain characteristics in common. They are highly aggressive; and rogue, summoned Dremora will be attacked on sight by town guards. They are considered a race of humanoid NPCs, not a variety of creature. This means that spells which target creatures will not affect them, while spells which target humanoids will. In addition, even the weakest Dremora cannot be Soul Trapped except by use of a Black Soul Gem.
The Dremora at each rank can be further grouped by their primary attack type, into melee, ranged, and magical attackers. All Dremora have access to the full range of Destruction magic, and have an innate magical resistance. Dremora mages can conjure other daedra for assistance, and can shield themselves from both physical and magical attacks. Melee or ranged attackers, in addition to the Destruction spells, can also Dispel effects from themselves and the player.
Any given Dremora corpse is likely to generate the following drops:
- Daedra Heart
- Various potions or poisons
- Various scrolls
- Various gems
- The occasional enchanted ring or amulet
In addition, Dremora will have weapons and armor appropriate for their caste. With the exception of the Dremora Princes, or Valkynaz, all Dremora carry at least one Dremora weapon, and wear some form of Dremora armor. Dremora mages will be wearing a Dremora robe, and with the exception of the lowest ranks, have about a 50% chance of carrying a staff. Melee and missile attackers wear a matching set of heavy cuirass/greaves/boots. Missile attackers will also be equipped with a bow and about a half-dozen arrows, while certain types of melee attackers will have additional equipment, as described below.
Soldiers and ranksEdit
The soldier subtypes are the rank and file of Mehrunes Dagon's army, and are fairly numerous on his plane of Oblivion. They are roughly Apprentice level in their chosen skill set, with conjurers being able to summon scamps.
Churls are the lowest ranking foot soldiers among the Kyn, appearing from the start of the game, and will level up along with the player. Higher ranking Dremora will often use the term "churl" when hurling insults at the player, clearly indicating their status within Kyn society. All Churl carry a Dremora Mace. Fighters and mages may have enchantments on their maces, while bowmen will have a light bow and field arrows.
How to say "Ch-earl"
The Caitiff are the irregulars of the Kyn army, and begin appearing around level 6. In addition to their normal heavy armor, melee-type Caitiff will be carrying a Dremora Caitiff Shield. Like the Churl, these will be carrying a mace, though more likely to be enchanted, and the bowman will have a light bow and field arrows.
The Apprentice-level Conjuration spell Summon Dremora will summon a Caitiff armed with mace and shield. However the Caitiff frequently uses lighting attacks as well.
How to say 'Kai-Tiff'
Val is a Kyn word implying some type of leadership or nobility, making Kynval roughly equivalent to a knight. These Dremora begin appearing around level 11. In addition to their normal armor, melee warriors may be wearing a helmet. Fighter and mage Kynval are equipped with a longsword, which may be enchanted, while bowmen are equipped with a mace, normal bow, and broad headed arrows.
How to say "Kin-Val"
There are two Dremora "officer" ranks, which act as both military commanders and members of what passes for regional government among the Kyn. At these ranks, Dremora begin to reach Journeyman level in their chosen skills, particularly Destruction spells; conjurers may summon flame atronachs in addition to scamps.
A reeve is a term for a regional official roughly equivalent to a Colonel. Kynreeve are the police of the Kyn, as well as field commanders for lower-level Dremora. They begin appearing around level 14, typically replacing the Caitiff. Kynreeve melee units carry Dremora Kynreeve Shields, and possibly a Dremora Kynreeve Helmet. Bowman will carry a Dremora mace, normal bow, and broad headed arrows; fighters and magii will carry a Dremora longsword.
How to say "Kin-Reave"
The Kynmarcher is the ranking official in a typical outpost, tower, or local area. They are roughly equivalent to a minor lord, high ranking General or duke in Imperial nobility. These appear starting around level 17; apart from their tendency to conjure flame atronachs instead of scamps, they are fairly similar to Kynreeve. Fighters and mages are now carrying claymores, possibly with intermediate-level enchantments on them, though they are still Dremora weapons. Melee attackers also frequently wear a Dremora Kynmarcher Helmet. Bowman will be carrying a heavy bow and barbed arrows.
How to say "Kin-mar-Churr"
At the top of the Dremora chain of command are two noble subtypes. These Dremora are a good deal stronger than the lower ranks, for several reasons. One major difference is that, unlike most other Dremora, these types level along with the player. They also have
The term markynaz translates approximately into dremora lord, and hold a position somewhat near a grand duke or count. They are members of the Markyn, the Council of Lords which presides over the Dremora society. Markynaz magii receive a magicka boost similar to the Mage birthsign. Markynaz begin appearing around level 21. Markynaz magii and fighters carry claymores, and the fighters will almost always be wearing a Dremora Kynmarcher Helmet (though a stronger version than that worn by a Kynmarcher). The bowman are still equipped with heavy bows and barbed arrows, but now carry longswords instead of maces. As an interesting side note, the only female Dremora in the game is a Dremora Markynaz bowwoman.
The Master-level conjuration spell Summon Dremora Lord will summon a melee-type Markynaz.
How to say "Marka-Naz"
The upper echelon of Mehrunes Dagon's Dremora army are the Valkynaz, or Dremora Princes. They are all members of the Valkyn, Me runes Dagon's personal "royal guard". They begin appearing around level 19, and will eventually make up the majority of the Dremora encountered in Oblivion. They are not frequently seen on Tamriel, and prefer to stay inside the towers in the Deadlands of Oblivion. These Dremora are much better equipped than their lower ranking cousins. Melee and magic attackers wield a Daedric War Hammer, and missile attackers carry a Daedric Bow (usually with 3 - 10 barbed arrows). The melee and missile attackers have also replaced their Dremora armor with the superior Daedric armor, but show no signs of wearing a Daedric helmet, ironic for the lower-ranking Markynaz, who do.
How to say "Val-Kin-Az"
A number of other, unique types of Dremora are encountered during the invasion from Oblivion. In general, these are specialized versions of one of these seven Dremora ranks. Some of the more notable are included below:
- Dremora Feydnaz: A special type of Valkynaz, seen leading the attack on Bruma.
- Dremora Captain: Higher level Kynreeve who participate in the attacks against Bruma.
- Sigil Keeper: Valkynaz set to guard the key to the top of the Sigil Tower in the Great Gates.
- Hatred Keeper: Valkynaz who guard the Embers of Hatred caverns (one of the random Oblivion worlds)
- Siege Crawler Sentry: Higher level Caitiff archer guarding the siege crawler attacking Bruma
- Amakoas, Ranyu: Higher level Kynreeve guarding the Forbidden Grotto.
- Kathutet: Higher level Kynval (five levels above the player) who guards the exit from the Savage Garden.
- Orthe: Higher level Kynreeve (five levels above the player) in charge of the Forbidden Grotto.