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The afterlife in ESO

Can someone please explain the afterlife in ESO to me? My understanding was that the souls of most mortal races go to different planes of Aetherius (something like the paradise?). That's a one-way trip. If they are involved with Daedra however, they are sent to different planes of Oblivion (something like hell?). However, they can come back to Mundus if they find a portal? I don't really get this.

Also, why do we see so many souls and ghosts walking around Nirn? Where do they go when you help them out? How can they linger in Nirn forever?

I don't really understand how Aetherius fits with all this. I've read the wiki entries but it's still confusing (maybe deliberately unclear by game design?). Any explanation would be appreciated.
Athan Atticus Imperial Templar of Shezarr
  • EyelessCZ
    If person in Tamriel is related to some daedra or ascendented individual by its religion, its soul goes to plane related to that deity. There it serves as lesser daedra, companion etc etc.

    When soul is soultrapped in soulgem its fate is related on what kind of soulgem is that. Normal soulgem, when is used for example for charging a weapon, simply transfers soul as fuel for that spell. Than, when that soul related charges are depleted, it continues to Aetherius. It also depends on what kind of magic is used for, because:

    If soulgem is black, soul is doomed to soulcairn, somekind of purgatory. It can be pulled back to any plane by higher power, as we have seen in Sai Sahan or Lyris, as you sacrificed them to the Amulet of Kings and than meet them again at Dragonguard and Greymoor. Its BTW impossible because IDK if I learned that in Daggerfall or later in Morrowind, Soulcairn existence is simply mandatory to any magic possible in any plane same as Aetherius. So that gives me reason to think that soul tranferred there is conected to somekind of unibody soul like Gaia, fueling magic, for example, and can be separated only as new entity.

    Curses and other pullbacks of souls, which wondering Tamriel, are related to similar mechanics but you have to think out soulgems as tools to it. Other tools can be necromancy, namely botched attempts, Curses, Magicaly enhanced individuals deaths etc etc.

    Unfortunately nothing I wrote is related to any written in game text, because there are differences in books of Daggerfall from books of Oblivion, or dawnguard content. Its simply mess and noone really thought this right when these dogmatic mechanics was inplemented into elder scrolls universe.
    Edited by EyelessCZ on August 7, 2020 2:53AM
  • Vevvev
    I always thought of it as Mortals going to the afterlife they believed in even if they are technically the same. So like Sovengard and the Far Shores are both still Aetherius but the different cultures have made them different. Kind of like how the human and elf versions of Akatosh/Auri'el are different yet the same entity.

    Then there are parts where things get wacky....

    As EyelessCZ pointed out black soul gems go to the Soul Cairn after they've been offered to the Ideal Masters for power. That's typically the worst way to go in TES as the plane is a desolate wasteland filled with suffering souls and powerful undead. Moving on we know for a fact Lycanthropy has a very powerful spiritual element to it which is how the shapeshifting occurs. The spirit animal attached to the mortal's soul drags them to the hunting grounds upon death so that they might hunt in Hircine's hunting grounds for all of eternity. Vampires on the other hand are theorized to go to Coldharbour upon death but this only seems to be true if a Mortal lets Molag Bol claim their soul. This can happen when they give themselves to him in order to get the gift/curse of vampirisim, but not all vampires seem to be Coldharbour bound. Several examples show vampires dedicated to other princes being freed of their curse and heading to their dedicated prince's realm like what happened with Azura and her followers in Oblivion.

    As for the ghosts and stuff.... usually them being trapped on Nirn seems linked to a curse of some kind. Their souls fuel the curse and thus seem to lock them to that place till the curse is lifted. Some "curses" can also be vows like wanting to defend a place even in death and a few other exceptions like that. The lore of what makes a ghost is very gray.
    PC NA - Ceyanna Ashton - Breton Vampire MagDK
  • Aigym_Hlervu
    Hello, @Athan1. Check my Guide to Religions of Tamriel I've written recently. It also touches the topic of views on afterlife within each of the existing religions of TES (not only the ESO), so you might find the answers there. I gathered and structured all the information based on official sources with all the links included and also everything regarding each religion and it's views on afterlife. I tried to make it easy to read, having made a certain navigation system within the thread, so it might help you to understand everything you need having read just one post on each religion there. There are also some of personal speculations written in a certain part of each article there, so, I guess you'll have something interesting to read. Have a good read :)!
  • Inyhel
    Oblivion is hell, and Aetherius is heaven.That's how I see it.

    Mortals who've made pacts with Daedric Princes go to the respective realms in Oblivion (the Deadlands, Coldharbour, the Coloured Rooms etc.)
    Those who worship the Aedra go to the realms of Aetherius (the Far Shores, Sovengard, the Sand beyond the Stars etc). We know for certain that these are distinct realms like the Daedric planes because we visit Sovengard in Skyrim.

    The ghosts stick around because they have unfinished business on Nirn. I've seen this in quests where the player helps the ghost who then feel at peace and leave for whichever plane of Aetherius they belong to. They pretty much do this at will. But some ghosts are trapped by trauma/ necromancy/ curses/ etc.

    There are also pockets of timespace between Nirn and Oblivion which are like alternate realities (I've only ever come across this in the Summerset DLC quest).
  • Eporem
    vestahls wrote: »

    To look at it in a more structured form, there's several states of being for a soul: alive / dead; awake / dreaming ; on Mundus / in the Dreamsleeve.

    So a normal living mortal is: alive, awake, on Mundus.
    A normal sleeping mortal is: alive, dreaming, in the Dreamsleeve.
    A mortal who has died is: dead, dreaming, in the Dreamsleeve.
    An undead mortal is: dead, awake, on Mundus.

    There's lots of exceptions though, like Argonians for example, whose souls are recycled directly by the Hist (I think) so they don't really experience the Dreamsleeve.
    Then there's the Dunmer ancestors who form the ghostfence (not sure this exists in ESO yet, probably not), whose souls volunteered to stay on Mundus to make a magical barrier and therefore also avoided the Dreamsleeve.

    I am wondering which of these states would Vaemina have had access to with her potion of Dreamstride that allows another to enter the dreams of others.


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