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Reachmen, the Dragon Cult and Peryite

BrightflameMDV
Hi all. I have a theory on the recently revealed worship of Peryite practiced by the Reachmen and I would love some feedback from the lore community.

As it is known, Reachmen are, on some level, descended from one of the earliest tribes of Atmorans who settled Tamriel. This is evidenced in the Pocket Guides to the Empire, more specifically in the Pocket Guide to the Empire and its Environs, First Edition, High Rock and in the Emperor's Guide, Northern Bangkorai and the Mountains. Another piece of evidence is the fact that Faolan, the Red Eagle, an ancient Reachman whom we fight in Skyrim, was buried according to Atmoran customs and is using classic Atmoran garments (be it as a Draugr or as a Dragon Priest). Yes, you could say this is due to lazy game design, but I think it is more fun to rationalize it into the lore, since it is in the game and it is canon. Therefore, one could argue that ancient Reachmen burial customs are similar, or rather, identical to those from their Atmorans ancestors.

Well, at some point in history, the Reachmen intermingled with several other races and developed an unique tribal culture. As for their religious customs, they adopted Daedric worship focused on Hircine, among others.

Now, with the Markarth DLC, we had access to several books and documents that shed some light on Reachmen customs, including the book series Great Spirits of the Reach, which provided a lot of detail on their religious beliefs.

Volume 4 of this series is the one that is particularly interesting to me. It explains the nature of Peryite worship among the Reachmen. They focus on Peryite's domain of Natural Order, as a keeper of balance. The book explains that, for the Reachmen, blight and disease are used by Peryite as means of population control and to build up resistance among the tribesmen. As such, Peryite destroys to bring balance, to bring order.

The in-game author of the book, which is an outside observer of the Reachmen culture, associates Peryite's role to a mimicry of Akatosh's role in Aedric religions. As it happens, an aspect of Akatosh also embodies the concept of destruction to bring balance and order in its ultimate, purest form. In the form of a new kalpa. It is Alduin, the central deity of the Dragon Cult, the ancient religion of the Atmorans, which, as demonstrated above, are the ancestors of the Reachmen. So you see, it all ties back together. If the Reachmen originally were followers of the old Atmoran ways, that is, followers of the Dragon Cult, one could argue that at some point dragon worship gave way to Peryite worship. In this sense, Peryite usurped Alduin's place in the Reachmen pantheon, retaining associations with draconic imagery, natural order and time, as explained in the book.

Sounds familiar? Indeed, it is not the first time we hear that Peryite usurped a Dragon Cult. He also did it with the Scalecaller Cult, when he took the place of Thurvokun as their god. It seems that Peryite is quite fond of mimicking dragons, effectively replacing them and taking over their followers. And he seems to have done that on a larger scale with the Reachmen.

So, what do you guys think? Let me know any thoughts you might have on this. Thanks.

(Edited for grammar)
Edited by BrightflameMDV on November 7, 2020 4:49PM
  • Eporem
    Eporem
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    For me I am new to the lore of the Reach and Reachmen, though I think this theory sounds interesting and insightful.
  • Iccotak
    Iccotak
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    I REALLY Hope we get a Peryite themed Chapter

    it seems we keep getting hints from Dragon Bones & Elsweyr that Peryite is in store for later

    ideally we'd get Peryite and Argonians (explore the Knahaten Flu that we saw in Elsweyr which originated in Black Marsh)

    for 2022 that is. I'm certain that 2021 is Imerpial themed
  • AllegraLionheart
    YES! The Volume 4 quote stood out to me, as well. It's a tantalizing theory, and I'd love to see more of Reach culture demystified, along with more of its history. ES lore sometimes throws out tidbits of canon speculation just for kicks, but other times it's got a kernel of truth.
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  • Ratzkifal
    Ratzkifal
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    We don't know a whole lot about Atmora. It's entirely possible that the first Atmoran settlers who became the Keptu, Cothringi and Reachmen came to Tamriel from a different place on Atmora than the Nords did. Their culture and religion could have been wildly different from them.

    But your theory is interesting. There certainly is a story to be told about Peryite and his dragon appearance.
    This Bosmer was tortured to death. There is nothing left to be done.
  • BrightflameMDV
    Ratzkifal wrote: »
    We don't know a whole lot about Atmora. It's entirely possible that the first Atmoran settlers who became the Keptu, Cothringi and Reachmen came to Tamriel from a different place on Atmora than the Nords did. Their culture and religion could have been wildly different from them.

    But your theory is interesting. There certainly is a story to be told about Peryite and his dragon appearance.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I have always pictured the Atmorans as an equivalent to the early Germanic peoples before their migration period, more or less. A bunch of different tribes with different customs, but with a strong foundation on the same belief system and "macro" culture (Germanic paganism, Wotan/Woden/Odin worship). Naturally, over the course of history they migrated, intermingled and became very different peoples, stretching from the Hispanic Visigoths to the Scandinavian Norse. However different their mainstream customs and beliefs were in the early middle ages, they did share the same ancient roots.

    Same thing with Atmorans becoming Nords and Reachmen, for example. Despite their cultural differences in the Second Era, they may have had the same roots. Do we know for a fact that there even exists a mannish Atmoran culture that is fundamentally different to the animist belief system revolving around animal worship (especially dragon worship) that we are familiar with?
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