Mephala. Webspinner. Queen of the Eight Shadows of Murder. These are all names for the Daedric Prince of Lies. Her spheres are of sex and secret murder. She does nothing without purpose, and perceives all of the Aurbis as an interconnected system of action and consequence. Pluck one thread and the rest shall fall, this is how Mephala sees Nirn.
It is said that Mephala values arcanum above anything else. Hermaueus Mora may believe that knowledge is power, but Mephala only concerns herself with the “choicest morsels: knowledge secluded, undisclosed”. If this is true, then this would explain why Mephala is after the Isle of Artaeum, as it likely holds many secluded secrets.
Spider Daedra are the servants of Mephala, often taking the form of spider-humanoid centaurs, with a naked upper head, torso, and arms of human proportions, mounted on the eight legs and armored carapace of a giant spider. These minions are so fierce and irrational that few sorcerers are willing to summon or to bind such creatures.
Mephala is believed by the Dunmer to be one of the Three Good Daedra, alongside Azura and Boethiah, for acknowledging the divinity of the Tribunal (Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec). Even though they are likely not to be deemed good by our standards, the naming is subjective to the Dunmer, as these Daedra were considered good by them.
Meanwhile, the Daedra who tempt worshippers to heresy are known as the the Rebel Daedra, or the House of Troubles (Malacatch, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath). Acting as predecessors, or “anticipations”, to the Tribunal, the Three Good Daedra were essentially usurped by the Tribunal, who proclaimed themselves as Gods.
It is said that Mephala has many domains in Oblivion, most of them obscured. They are said to be collected together by ghostweb. That said, none of her realms are more dangerous as her realm of the Spiral Skein (Also known as Mephala’s Realm). Its inky tendrils are said to “stretch out in every direction, seducing pilgrims and prey alike--claiming them with a cold, chitinous embrace.”.
It is also understood that the realm is metaphysically constructed in a similar manner to Nirn’s Wheel. In the centre is the Pillar Palace of Mephala, the Tower of the realm. Its real name is unknown, as it is simply too awful to be uttered.
Like a web, there are eight spokes spun around the centre of the realm, the Pillar Palace. This strands are also known as the Eight Strands of the Skein. Each gap in-between the Strands are devoted to a seperate terrible sin:
The First is a: “cavern of plinths and pedestals. Each is a lie, for they pretend to hold up the sky—and the sky is the greatest lie of all.”
The Second are: “the chambers of envy, for compared to the cavern above they are cramped and confined, and therefore they hate the cavern.”
The Third is described as: “grottoes alluring and seductive, for their walls and ceilings glow like a million stars that sing a song of love. But the glowing lights are maggots, and the song they sing is decay.”
The Fourth are: “tunnels of fear, for they are eternally dark, and where there is darkness, there is dread.”
The Fifth are: “the halls where fair is foul and foul is fair, and every belief is a betrayal.”
The Sixth is: “the arena of murder, for ever shall betrayal be followed by murder.”
The Seventh are: “the arcades of avarice and appetite, for contained therein are all things mortals would kill or die for.”
The Eighth is: “the flaming skein of fury, for as death comes to all mortals, therefore all treasures are lies.”
Saying that the Spiral Skein is a nasty place is an understatement, and one thing is for certain; Mephala is an extremely dangerous enemy, and she is no doubt pulling the threads of the Daedric Triad plot behind the scenes.