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Via Media: A Theology of Light

So this is an essay written by my character (Katerina Malinenko) who is guildmaster of the Ebonheart Pact guild the Cult of Meridia. I was wondering what you all thought about it!

[Begin Essay!]
From the archives of the Chamber Luminous of the Cult of Meridia. Author: Oracle Katerina Malinenko, Exarch, Lightbearer.

There are many things a Daedric cultist must concern themselves with when worshiping in Nirn - those who would persecute them for their beliefs, those would would turn their beliefs to harm, and those who would betray them to another deity. However, Meridia is in a unique position amongst Daedric Princes, as she herself, strictly speaking, isn't one.

According to what can be translated of the Tract of Merid-Nunda, an archaic tome of uncertain provenance, Meridia was a Magna'Ge, a minor Aedric and Anuic spirit who fled from the creation of Nirn after Magnus called off the project. This means that her rightful abode is Aetherius, and, since she played some small part in the creation of Mundus, she is not, strictly speaking, a Daedra. But how did she come to be connected with the Daedric Princes, and even be counted among their number?

The answer is two-fold; both mortal, and immortal. I will address the immortal reasons first, if only because it is more directly related to the necessary theology and actions of this Cult. The issue for theologians everywhere hinges on one important question: Why did Meridia leave Atherius? Some say it was "consorting with illicit spectra", a phrase absent from the source material. The Tract of Merid-Nunda makes no mention of the reason; whether it is a lacuna in the source-text or a deliberate omission by some ancient author, no one can be certain. Either way, the next translatable passage of the Tract mentions that she was spurned by the Lords of Chaos, which we can assume to be the other Daedric Princes. Why should they scorn one of their own number?

We do, of course, learn why. She has no control over Oblivion. Since the other Daedric Princes resist her, she is forced to sever a portion of Oblivion off for herself, by bending the rays of the Sun itself. At this point, her domain as the Queen of Light is firmly established.

As mentioned before, the next reason she is counted among the Daedric Princes is purely mortal. The Alessian Rebellion, and subsequent (admittedly post-mortem of the good queen) implementation of the Alessian Doctrines sealed Meridia's theological fate as far as Imperial religion is concerned. Meridia, as one of the chiefs of the Ayleid pantheon and the embodiment of their element of Light, represented for the Alesssian Order a reminder of their past, and a reminder of the greatness of the Ayleids at the height of their empire. So, when the Alessian Doctrine made it theologically untenable to "traffic with daimons", Meridia was soon after included as a Daimon in this sense, and, after so long, has become (in Imperial theology) a Daedric Prince.

It can be seen that Meridia is not a Daedric Prince- she meets none of the criteria. She was born of Anu, rather than Padomay. She assisted in the creation of Mundus, and fled with Magnus when the operation was cancelled by the et'Ada council. So that would make Meridia an Aedra, no doubt. Clearly not. Whatever part she had in the creation of Mundus is small enough that it did not meaningfully affect her Divine Presence, and she no longer resides in Aetherius, where Aedra reside.

It is here that we encounter the true problem - the blind Duality of the traditional Imperial theological view. The Empire sets Aedra and Daedra apart, reducing the great divine symphony to a struggle between those-who-create and those-who-cannot-create. I believe this is an oversimplification of the true reality of the heavens and its beings - the example of Meridia is an especially striking example of a divine spirit which does not fit into the Imperial order of things.

I propose, then, that we dispense with the traditional distinctions between Aedra and Daedra, and instead adopt the phrases "Anuic" and "Padomic". I believe that "born from Order" and "born from Chaos" demonstrate the nature of the being in question far more than the evidently flawed understanding of Aedra and Daedra. I believe that Meridia walked a Middle Path between Aedra and Daedra, and even to this day operates outside of the traditional order, bringing Light to war with the Dark where ever it is needed, for better, or worse; for Aedra, or Daedra.

I am in grad school so I have to keep up on my paper-writing anyways, and this gives me a way to enjoy myself without losing my ability to write. What do you all think of it? Horrible? Revise and resubmit? What?
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