Daedric Princes (sometimes referred to as Daedra Lords) are the most powerful of the Daedra, and thus most commonly worshipped as gods. Each has a particular sphere, which it is said to govern. The various Daedric Princes and their spheres are listed below. Although Daedric Princes may assume a typically masculine or a typically feminine form, they have no inherent gender. They are usually referred to as Princes regardless of what gender they appear most frequently as. In all, there are 17 powerful Princes known to mortals: Azura, Boethiah,Clavicus Vile, Hermaeus Mora, Hircine, Jyggalag, Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Mephala, Meridia, Molag Bal, Namira, Nocturnal, Peryite, Sanguine, Sheogorath, and Vaermina. According to Mankar Camoran, Lorkhan is also a Daedric Prince, although this has never been confirmed.
Each Daedric Prince is said to have his own plane of Oblivion, suggesting there are seventeen such planes. However, other planes such as the Soul Cairn and the Chimera of Desolation are known to exist, and the limits on their planes, powers, and influence are not readily understood.
The Daedric Princes seem to view Men and Mer as little more than minor amusements, occasionally applauding the actions of mortals when they exceed their expectations. They do not know the mortal sense of "good" and "evil", and usually have extremist tendencies, which is why Men and Mer fear them greatly. However, several princes do seem to take genuine pleasure in tremendous acts of devastation, in particular Boethiah, Molag Bal, Vaermina, Mehrunes Dagon and Peryite.
Although the beings are considered evil by most, they are widely worshipped in the realms of Tamriel. Elaborate shrines are created to honor the Daedra as gods. They often take a keen interest in their worshippers, and it is speculated that this is either because of the obvious ego-gratification of being somebody's god, or because the Daedra like to keep an eye on potential future subjects (assuming people of demonic disposition enter Oblivion after death, that is; there are as many afterlife theories as there are religions in the world). Mainstream religious authorities discourage Daedra worship, and often mount witch-hunting expeditions to drive out Daedra worshippers from the local area. During these encounters they are often surprised at the marginal sanity that comes of worshipping the Daedric Princes. For the most part, however, dealing with the Daedra, one gets the distinct impression of being mused over as though a man peering under an upturned rock may momentarily wonder at the lives of the bugs living ignorantly there.
The Daedric Princes see themselves as a superior form of life to all others and feel generally no need for any alliance or truce with any of the mortal races of Tamriel; however, there are Daedric Princes who can be summoned. There is a popular notion that the summoned lords will then give the summoner a quest or task to fulfill and that the quest, once completed, will be richly rewarded. Mostly these tasks are merely for the entertainment of the Daedra. This, however, is not always so, and Morian Zenas, author of On Oblivion, claims that he was able to successfully summon and deal with numerous Daedra without ever being asked to complete a task or a quest. However, this is probably not true of most Daedra summons, and the summoner would do well to consider the consequences of his actions in advance.
While Aedra and Daedra are precisely defined, there are still some beings who challenge this dichotomy in some respects. Malacath, who legend holds was once the Aedra Trinimac, is particularly hostile to other Daedra; he even created Scourge, Bane of Daedra. According to Mankar Camoran, Lorkhan is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is Tamriel. However, this is uncorroborated, and little is known of the mysterious Trickster deity; while some stories suggest Lorkhan was impervious to death similar to a Daedra, he is also accredited with helping to bring about creation similar to an Aedra. Obscure stories also question the origins of Meridia and Mehrunes Dagon.