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A Guide to Religions of Tamriel.

Cygemai_Hlervu
Cygemai_Hlervu
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  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    INTRODUCTION

    "All the people believe. Some believe God exists, others believe He doesn't. Either belief is indefensible."

    Under these sun and sky I greet you warmly! This guide is made to combine the lore materials in one place regarding each of the major religions of Tamriel. It will not give you a detailed description of all those deities most of you know already or can read about on the UESP - this guide will touch a bit deeper topic some may find interesting and suitable to develop their own thoughts about the surrounding tamrielic events. Pay attention that some major religions of the past like the Alessian Order or the Dragon Cults will not be given a separate section here.

    In this guide I'll try to give you answers to some questions some people asked previously, or at least help you find them yourself in case you won't be satisfied with the given ones. The lack of answers or different understanding of the same words makes people argue much with no sensible results except when they take their hammers and begin to tap heads of each other.

    This all happens when people begin to discuss something having not agreed on the basic terms, the definitions of the phenomenon they deal with - they begin to discuss it's features instead of concepts and it is the very thing that leads them to misunderstanding and quarrels. For example, when someone hears of a member of an East Tamrielic dark-skinned primitive tribal society named Ababael, he might instantly imagine a picture of the Morrowind Ashlands and a Dunmeri ashlander Ababael Timsar-Dadisun. He might be sure all those features of dark skin, corresponding name, eastern origin and tribal social structure are all unique to ashlanders only, who else can bear those features if not an ashlander? But others can argue with that, because the same features will make them think of another Ababael - a human Kothringi tribesman. These are seemingly the same features, but what a different concept can be hidden behind them! The same way some very different features can describe the very same concept. Features can change in time but the essence, the very concept of a phenomenon stays. This is why it is crucial to give proper definitions of concepts, especially when we discuss topics of true and false godhood, religion, good and evil. We have to use definitions showing us the essence of a phenomenon at any given time of it's development as a process.

    Each section below is dedicated to a certain tamrielic religious concept (a single religion or a group of cults forming a religion) it will give you the definition of god from it's own perspective, also it's main features, attitude towards other religions and a brief commentary to better understand it. Of course, all that information is based on the current lore and in-game world only, so you won't read any of my own thoughts there if only I don't mark those thoughts directly in a commentary.

    Thank you much for attention and have a good reading :)!

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    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 1:23AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    DEFINITIONS

    In order to understand the guide and have a topic to speculate on, I must give you some definitions the guide is based on. Please, read them attentively, because missing the understanding of a single word might lead you to misunderstanding of everything. Any phenomenon you deal with must correspond to a given definition entirely, otherwise that phenomenon is not what you have thought it to be, i.e. not the concept the defintion describes.
    1. Religion is a specific form of the dominant social consciousness, mindset and perception of the world supported by local church and state, and followed by a corresponding behavior and specific actions, based on the idealistic belief in existance of sacred and supernatural phenomenons.
    2. The primary function of religion is to appease, to harmonize the economically hostile social classes of the exploitative class (slavers, feudals, capitalist owners of the means of production) and the exploited one (slaves, serfs, free peasants, wage workers - all those who are bound to sell their labor in order to survive). Religion combines the diverging interests of both of the social classes and usually makes that at the expense of one of them in order to protect and maintain the dominant status of the other.
    3. Church is an extensively organized, hierarchically bureaucratic social institution of political power exercising a religious monopoly and closely allied with the state.
    The other terms used in the guide:
    GENERAL LAITY: the largest groups of people following the religion.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: based on the definition of religion and used in regard of the general laity's socio-economic classes and the historical point the religion was adopted.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: what entities are considered to be divine in the religion.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: a spiritual entity, an adversary both to the god and to the laity.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Lorkhan is the central figure of almost all the religions. The way Lorkhan is seen by a religion makes the main difference between Lorkhanic religions.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: a local creation myth, views on the universe, life and afterlife.
    MAJOR GODS: major gods.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: mortal enemies, including races, cults, sects and other such entities.
    KNOWN HERESIES: known heresies within the religious system.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: those who created the faith (faith - not religion or it's church! Though, sometimes they also become the founders of both), formulated it's major concepts or preached it to people.
    SAINTS: mortals whose lives are made examplary to the laity or who are simply praised for their great deeds in favor to a faith.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: in case you'd wish to visit them.
    HIGH PRIESTS: the ruling ranks of a religion and some of it's representatives.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: a list of virtues considered to be good.
    BURIAL RITES: the way they bury their dead.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: holy scriptures, commentaries and opinions of different Tamrielic authors. These are the primary lore sources of everything written in all other articles (with in-game world objects, character dialogues, etc. being secondary source). So check the links I give here to answer your possible questions regarding the other articles of a corresponding section.
    RITUAL OBJECTS: first I decided to make a complete list of them all to each section, but the list turned out to be huge enough to write another guide. So, I'll just give the links here only, so those interested could take a look into it themselves:
    the Ritual items, Luxury and Achievement furnishings.
    COMMENTARY: my comments on the lore and speculations to make some things clear. It also describes reasons of some things written in other articles that might seem not that obvious.

    Ok, now on to religions of Tamriel!

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 7:38PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    CODE OF MAULOCH

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    GENERAL LAITY: the Orcs only.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to unite the Orc clans to form and maintain the first Orcish feudal state.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: God is the first Orc.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Trinimac.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: None.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: An age ago, a cult of Elves left the Summerset Isles, abandoning their kin to follow Veloth, a pathetic tool of Boethiah. Trinimac confronted Boethiah for this trespass and was challenged to battle. Trinimac was about to strike a mighty blow when Mephala appeared and stabbed him in the back. As Trinimac kneeled, wounded by Mephala's treachery, Boethiah gloated and cast a terrible ritual to scar and twist his appearance, then cast him to a place of choking air and ash. Trinimac, enraged by his failure, was reborn in blood as he sliced open his own chest, tearing the shame from his spirit. Mauloch, the God of Curses, rose from the ash and cursed Boethiah for his malice. On that day, Mauloch spoke the Code to his faithful, and swore vengeance against those who would break it. And thus, the Orcs were born of blood: the Blood of Mauloch. When a faithful Orc dies, he goes to the Ashen Forge located at the center of Mauloch's own stronghold in his realm of the Ashpit. When an Orc crosses his mortal life to the next, he's thrust into the coals of a massive hearth that burns with a fire said to be hotter than the sun, so that every grudge that he or she carried into the afterlife can be heated, melted, and eventually forged into the next generation of better mortal Orcs. With the grudges of Tamriel tempered and returned to the mortal world, the immortal Orcs are now free to begin collecting a new set of grudges related to their afterlife. Since then every immortal Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need to live an everlasting life filled with endless days of warfare, endless nights of fine food and drink, and ongoing opportunities to prove their toughness and demonstrate the quality of their steel.
    MAJOR GODS: Mauloch.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: Priests of Trinimac, Vosh Rakh.
    KNOWN HERESIES: The Cult of Trinimac.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: None.
    SAINTS: None.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: Temple of Ire, Sanctuary of Malacath.
    HIGH PRIESTS: Chieftains of each Orcish clan.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: the stronghold, the grudge, and the The Code of Mauloch.
    BURIAL RITES: Incineration. The ash remains after cremation are posessed by their kin. Ashes of tribal chiefs and kings usually are used in forging of swords and shields or any other item which their relatives or successors may want to in memory of the departed ones. The ashes along with weapons and armor of the departed are also placed in the field, under a cairn, under the open sky. There, their relatives come to honor their ancestors.
    HOLIDAYS: None.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: The Code of Mauloch, Varieties of Faith: The Orcs, The Code of Malacath: A Sellsword's Guide to the Orc Strongholds, Mauloch, Orc-Father, Path of the Faithful, Malacath and Trinimac, On Orcs and the Afterlife, The Changed Ones, Varieties of Faith in Tamriel, Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Orsinium
    , The True Nature of Orcs, Strange Rituals of the Orsimer
    A Study of Death Rites of the People of Tamriel
    , Sayings of the Wise, Deep Thoughts of Chief Gloorot, Vosh Rakh A Study of a Religion Reborn, The Taking of Abamath, The Legend of Grudge-Rock Falls, The Sport of Clans.
    RITUAL OBJECTS: Ritual items.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. Well, here is an example of a "Daedric Cult" transformed into a dominant religion. Of course, Malak (I got used to my native Dunmeri way of naming him) is not a "not-ancestor" to the Orcs - he's their very father, the first Orc! Thus they don't call him a daedroth, a demon, a corner of House of Troubles, whatever. It's the matter of the point of view. Like in the other "Daedric Cults", the object of worship grants heaven to those who worship him and hell to those who opposes. Who else do you think will be among that thousand of slaves promised to each Orcish woman in her afterlife ;)?..

    2. Some of you might ask me, where's the description of the Orcish creation myth? I'd be glad to give it to you here, but the Orcs do not have it yet. Just like the Nords. Well, at least one of the best Orcish sages is currently working on it with some really deep thoughts on it already noted ;). "I pride myself on thinking deep thoughts." - he says. So do we, chief Gloorot, so do we - unlike your wife who says you're an idiot ;).. Don't listen to the woman, Gloorot! You're the Orc!

    3. The way some other Lords of Oblivion unveil some crucial information in ESO, Malak is not an exception here too:
    "You fled. You didn't stoke the flames of vengeance in your heart and cast Molag Bal into the deepest pit of his own realm. Typical mortal … no ambition." - he says during the quest.
    "Actually, I defeated Molag Bal." - we say him.
    "Yet he still remains. You should have finished the job." - he replies to our words.

    This not a theory anymore, my friends, this is a direct witness from an entity much more capable than any mortal bookwriter, whose books we usually use in our references. This new source is much more trusted - a Prince of Oblivion can be destroyed, not just banished to the Abyss. The lore changed. Still, we don't know the details of the ways to destroy a daedroth, we haven't witnessed it ourselves, but details are second to the very fact Malak said and I think we are to change our official position here.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 7:43PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
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    HEL SHEN SHE RU

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    GENERAL LAITY: the Redguard Crowns.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to prevent the dissolution of Yokuda, to harmonize it's economically hostile Na-Totambu feudals (early modern Crowns faction) and bourgeoisie (artisans and traders and their descendants - the pre-Ra Gada warrior class who later became the modern Redguard Forebears faction).
    DEFINITION OF GOD: Gods are the universal constantly self-eating Serpent who drifts in the void and also the spirits who survived the previous cycle of the Serpent.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Sep.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Sep (the local Lorkhan) tricked the spirits to create Nirn as an easier way to survive the Satakal's (the world's) self eating cycles and as an easier way to reach the Far Shores (the place to survive it). That trick killed some of the spirits, while the others became trapped in that new world to live out their lives as mortals. Sep was punished for his transgressions, but his hunger lives on as the void in the stars and it tries to upset entry into the Far Shores for all the mortals.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: The universe was a giant Serpent called Satak who flew in the Void coiling around - this process prompted the birth of spirits who rested in the glimmer of Satak's scales. Soon it became too many of them, so they had no room to exist anymore. The spirits called for help to save them and they woke Akel - Satak's hunger. Since nothing else existed in the Void, Satak began to devour himself thus destroying many of the spirits until he ate his heart and thus destroyed everything. Everything except Akel. Satak shed its skin to begin anew and as the old world died, Satak became Satakal and began devouring himself again - this is our current universe. Satakal's jaws widen every moment and at the end he will devour himself, the world, and start the process of rebirth once again. The Far Shores is the place in the Void created by the spirits who survived the Satak's circle to survive the Satakal's one. Mundus is a remote world created by Sep from the dead skin of Satak for those spirits who followed him with hopes to make their way to the Far Shores easier, without being forced to jump from one scale to another. Satakal's coils control the fate of all Mundus. Creation, destruction, chaos, order - Satakal reigns over everything. But soon those spirits on the skin-ball started to die, because they were too far from the real world of Satakal. And they found that it was too far to jump into the Far Shores now. The spirits that were left pleaded with Tall Papa to take them back. But grim Ruptga would not, and he told the spirits that they had to learn new ways to follow the stars he had created for them to guide their way to the Far Shores now. If they could not, then they must live on through their children, which was not the same as before. That's actually what the people have been doing since that time. After living out a life according to the religion's virtues a Redguard is accepted to be guided by Tu'whacca to the Far Shores where no hunger, thirst or fatigue exist, but there are enough challenges to keep a warrior spirit engaged until Satakal starts his cycle again.
    MAJOR GODS: Satakal, Ruptga, Tu'whacca, Zeht, Morwha, Tava, Malooc, Diagna, Sep, HoonDing, Leki, Onsi, Zeqqi.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: Necromancers.
    KNOWN HERESIES: the heresy of the Forebears, the heresy of the Horse-Folk of Silverhoof.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Frandar do Hunding Hel Ansei No Shira.
    SAINTS: the Ansei: Ansei Halelah, Ansei Kalam, Ra Adia, Ansei Maja, Ansei Radan, Ansei Satameh, Derik Hallin, Divad Hunding, Frandar Hunding, Ihlqub, Makela Leki, Ra Abah, Ra Hasa, Ra Huzar, Sword-Singer Navid, Yokeda Razul, Yokeda Rok'dun.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: High Temple, Tu'whacca's Throne, hhh.
    HIGH PRIESTS: Safa al-Satakalaam, High Priest Zuladr, High Priest Zuladr, Throne Keeper Farvad, etc.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES:
    1. Honor your ancestors. He who permits their words and deeds to languish breaks his own blade and casts it to the burning wind.
    2. No pity or mercy shall be afforded the wretch who stood against the Warrior Wave.
    3. Give your obedience to none save the gods of Yokuda. The Far Shores recede from he who leans upon thin-blooded shoulders, scornful of his feeble grasp.
    BURIAL RITES: Mummification. The dead, the commoners, nobility, heroes, and kings all alike, rest in huge crypts located in different Necropoli like The Motalion Necropolis or Tu'whacca's Throne, though noble families or wealthy kings also build their own tombs. Honorless criminals are left to rot in desecrated grounds, commonly out in the desert, far from towns. It is possible to retrieve the remains and consecrate them if they were later believed innocent. Striking the honored dead, called Ra-Netu, leads to a terrible curse and is considered an act of severe blasphemy. Thus the Redguard reanimated dead necromancers are usually imprisoned under magical seals that keep them trapped, instead of being destroyed. The Ash'abah tribe is an exiled tribe. They are shunned but always summoned by the Redguard society because they perform blasphemous but necessary rituals of purification for mausoleums and other places where vengeful spirits might arise and fight the undead.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: The Book of Circles, Knowing Satakal, When We Pass, A Betrayal of Our Heritage, Threat of the Baandari Pedlars, Sacrilege and Mayhem in the Alik'r, Redguards, Their History and Their Heroes, Correct Ways of Slaying Ra-Netu: 12, Chronicles of the Five Companions 6, Monomyth: Lorkhan and Satakal, Blessed, Blessed Satakalaam, The Hunger of Sep, Plea for Open Eyes, Diary of Leki, a Redguard warrior and master of Ansei, Divad the Singer, Sword-Wisdom of Saikhalar, Glinting Talons, How the Yokudans Chased the Stars, Tu'whacca and Burial Rites in Contemporary Redguard Culture, Holidays of the Iliac Bay, The Eight Steps of Mummificationy, Shrine to Frandar Hunding.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. The Keeper of the Hall of Heroes seems to be Tu'whacca himself due to 1. his dialogue lines with us and his power to bring the dead back to life at his own will and 2. due to the Redguard Creed: "You will walk through the Hall of Heroes and find your way to the eternal sands of the Far Shores. It has been this way and will be this way for all Ra Gada who walk under the watchful eye of Tu'whacca." We walk that very way - is there anyone's other watchful eye mentioned there except the Keeper's one? If you think otherwise then you are a faithless, possibly Forebear, heretic (just like me, since I'm a Dunmer there) :p.

    2. Why did I call the Yokudan religion as "Hel Shen She Ru" there, what is the approximate date of it's foundation? The first thing I'd like to point your attention at is the original faith of the Yokudan people. The research performed by Doctor Nabeth al-Gilane of the Khefrem Academy of Yokudan Heritage in his work on the Horse-Folk of Silverhoof shows us the completely heretical animistic beliefs of that Yokudan tribe he describes and dates back to the early 1E 500s when they reached the shores of Tamriel - it was nearly two centuries before the first Ra Gada came to Hammerfell. If we look into other events of the 1E 500s Yokuda's lore we shall see that the Horsemen left Yokuda when it had been suffering a 300 year feudal war of the local yokeda (warlords). The war started in 1E 376 and ended in 1E 609 when yokeda Mansel Sesnit won the war and became the first Elden Yokeda - it happened a hundred years after the Horsemen left Yokuda. Since those Horsemen were completely unaware of the traditional Yokudan religion because not a single sign of it exists in their modern animistic beliefs, we can presume that the traditional Yokudan religion was not yet invented by the time of their departure. This made me search for the first dates of when the traditional Yokudan faith we know was mentioned. After Mansel Sesnit died in 1E 617 his successor Randic Torn ruled Yokuda over 120 years and all his reign was devoted to continue the work of unifying the empire that Sesnit had begun, ruthlessly putting down any traces of insurrection. It is said he revived the old gulf between the warriors, also called the "sword singers", and the commoners by introducing restrictions on the wearing of swords - "Torn's Sword-Hunt", as it was known, meant that only the warriors were allowed to wear swords, which distinguished them from the rest of the population. I have to say it here, that the years of 1E 617 - 1E 720 are the earliest record in the lore about the sword-singers, the class of the professional warriors, so that "division" of warriors and commoners is just the period of the warrior class initial creation.

    From the work of Destri Melarg seen in TES II, TES: Redguard and ESO, we know that the warrior social class grew from the desert artisans and was initially recruited from the young sons and daughters of the high families. In 1E 720 Frandar Hunding, a sword-singer, was born. In thirty years, by 1E 750, he won 90 duels, became an Ansei and reached such a skill level, so he could produce the Shehai - the spirit sword of devastating power. With his Shehai, he traveled the land killing bands of brigands and wandering monsters - a practice later called "the Walkabout" ("surprisingly". I'll speak of it below). After it he left to a cave on Hattu Mountain to live the life of a hermit while formulating his philosophy of the "Way of the Sword". These writings eventually became the Book of Circles which he wrote over the period of 30 years until 1E 780. This was the time when the warriors are said to be the ones who built the first temple to the unknown gods of war with Frandar said to be the creator of the Way of the Sword and it's first Ansei - a martial philosophy of blade mastery with the Book of Circles as it's codified holy writing. In other words, this is not the Way of the Sword as a martial philosophy that derived from the Yokudan religion - it was the very Yokudan religion that derived from a martial philosophy with all it's virtues, maxims, saints and etc., it was the religion of the ruling class of warriors, developed by the warriors - sword-singers, - and later adopted by the rest of the population for as it is well known, the "Redguards do not throw their lives away, no matter the hardship they face. Redguards fight. They fight even when there is no hope" irrespectively of what trade they are. Don't be confused with the names for in the same Yokudan religion the "Walkabout" term means both the gods' spiritual "jumps" from scale to scale in order to survive the Satakal cycles and also the religious initiation rite in memory of the Frandar Hunding's early crusades. The same way the "Yokudan religion" and the "Way of the Sword" are all the same meaning since no other name of this religion has been present in the lore. This is the religion of warriors, the former artisans and traders, who turned back to their initial trade since Hammerfell had been conquered. And as the history books tell us, such a change in their trade is also cyclic and happens in the times of peace.

    So, why then I called it the "Hel Shen She Ru" above there? Well, since the "Hel" is for the "sword" (multiple accounts here, here and here) and the "Shen She Ru" is for the "Way of the", then the Way of the Sword we've spoken about here is exactly the Hel Shen She Ru in Yoku. And regarding the religion's age: according to the modern accounts, it is 2772 years old at most. A bit younger then the Dunmeri one, but surely much older than Riddle'Thar. Since the Horsemen tribe I mentioned in the beginning were animists, it makes me think the Yokudans were animists before Hel Shen She Ru was developed. Of course, everything I have written here depends on the further development of the lore, but until then this all is what the lore has been showing us since TES II.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 2:18AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
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    ALTMERI RELIGION

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    GENERAL LAITY: the Altmer, the Bosmer.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to unite the new state's classes of the Wise, teachers and priests, followed by Artists, Princes, Warriors, Landowners, Merchants, and Workers under a single rule.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: Gods are the ancestors called the "Aedra" who are generally benevolent ancestor spirits who contributed much into creation and building of Mundus and either departed back to Aetherius after the act of creation or sacrificed themselves into other forms so they could stay in Mundus to continue their work either as the Earth Bones or as the local mortal sentient beings.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Lorkhan and Daedra (literally, "not-ancestors"), as personalized spirits of an Oblivion realm who seek ways to prevent the Altmer to return to their godhood.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Lorkhan is the Missing Daedra who created Nirn as a prison and hinders the way to escape back to the original spirit realm.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: World (Aurbis) consists of three separate planes:
    1. Aetherius (home plane of eternal rest and pleasures);
    2. Oblivion (plane of eternal servitude and suffers);
    3. Mundus (the mortal's Prison plane).
    The Lords of Aetherius are the Aedra-ancestors, the Lords of Oblivion are the Daedra-not-ancestors.
    The primordial force of Anu, stasis or order, created Anui-El, the soul of all things. Anui-El in turn created Sithis who was the force of change and chaos and the sum up of all limitations, and their interrelation created Aurbis, where the Original Spirits, the et'Ada, emerged. They took names like Magnus, Mara, etc., with Lorkhan as the one among them. Lorkhan proposed to create a world and many agreed. Even Auri-El, when told he would become the king of the new world, agreed to help Lorkhan. But that was a trick and most of those et'Ada died, or escaped, or became the Earthbones so that the whole world might not die. Some had to marry and make children just to last. Each generation was weaker than the last, and soon there were Aldmer. Darkness caved in. Lorkhan made armies out of the weakest souls and named them Men, and they brought Sithis, the "sum of all the limitations", into every quarter. Auri-El pleaded with Anu to take them back, but he had already filled their places with something else. A great war was waged between the Aldmer and Men with Men slowly kicking out ghe Aldmer out of their territories. It all stopped for some time only when Trinimac, Auriel's greatest knight, knocked Lorkhan down in front of his army and took out his Heart from him. Lorkhan was undone. The Men dragged Lorkhan's body away and swore blood vengeance on the heirs of Auri-El for all time. After their deaths, High Elves believe their souls, now free from their body-prisons, reunite with the Aedra in Aetherius, re-ascending to their rightful place. To Altmer, mortal life is nothing more than a punishment imposed by the trickery of Lorkhan to the Eight original Divines.
    MAJOR GODS: Auri-El, Magnus, Trinimac, Y'ffre, Xarxes, Mara, Stendarr, Syrabane, Phynaster.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: Daedric Cults, Tribunal Temple, the Hist.
    KNOWN HERESIES: the Green Pact, the Imperial Cults.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: None.
    SAINTS: None.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: Monastery of Serene Harmony, Temple of the Divines, Temple of Auri-El;
    HIGH PRIESTS: Aldarchs of each city.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: I don't know :). Haven't found any of them except making the Altmer ancestors be proud of their descendants.
    BURIAL RITES: Incineration. The ash remains after cremation are buried in wall shrines. Both Altmer kinlords and kings commonly built massive mausoleums, where successive generations rest and their descendants, specially new rulers, come to present their respects and to seek guidance. Due to this, these sites also serve as temples to the Ancestors. Priests dedicated to tend the dead keep these places clean from corrupted influences, commonly bearing holy symbols, imbued with divine power to repel necromantic magic
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: Before the Ages of Man, Tu'whacca, Arkay, Xarxes, Souls, Black and White, The Talos Mistake, The Monomyth, On the Holy Symbol, On Artaeum, Letter to an Aldarch, Brief Letter to an Aldarch, Father of the Niben, The Annotated Anuad, Aedra and Daedra, Ayleid Survivals in Valenwood.

    COMMENTARY:
    According to Altmeri scholars, the hierarchy of classes began to form in the Altmeri society long ago in the times of the Aldmer. That hierarchy is still largely enforced in Summerset to this day. At the top are the Wise, teachers and priests, followed by Artists, Princes, Warriors, Landowners, Merchants, and Workers. Below Workers were the beasts, such as the enslaved goblins, who the Aldmer used to perform the jobs beneath the dignity of the very least of them. The religion of the people also changed because of this change in society: no longer did the Aldmer worship their own ancestors, but the ancestors of their "betters." Thus the traditional Aldmeri Major Eight became gods. The foundation of this new religion caused a religious schism in the Altmeri society because it was the time many of those who refused to worship the ancestors of the "betters" exiled to the mainland of Tamriel and became the Chimer, Bosmer, Ayleids. They continued to worship their own ancestors and went their own historical way. The ones who stayed behind became the Altmer.

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    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 11:24PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    THE TRIBUNAL TEMPLE

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    GENERAL LAITY:
    Canonic Temple: the Dunmer;
    Apostolic Temple: not more than 176 people of all races total in the Clockwork City by the 2E 582 (excluding you personally and other player characters).
    PRIMARY FUNCTION:
    Canonic Temple: to substantiate the personal authority of the Tribunes and unite the Great Houses under the sole rule;
    Apostolic Temple: to provide and maintain survival and suitable life conditions to all the citizens in harsh environment of the Clockwork City and to make life there better to everybody.
    DEFINITION OF GOD:
    Canonic Temple: a god is one of the three formerly mortal guardians of Morrowind who walked the earth, defeated the Dunmer's greatest enemies, the Nords and the Dwemer, and achieved divine substance through superhuman discipline and virtue and supernatural wisdom and insight thus forming ALMSIVI - the Tribunal of the Three Divine entities.
    Apostolic Temple: a god is one of the three formerly mortal guardians of Morrowind who walked the earth, defeated the Dunmer's greatest enemies, the Nords and the Dwemer, and achieved divine substance through superhuman discipline and virtue and supernatural wisdom and insight thus forming ALMSIVI - one entity, not the fractured creation. It only appears fractured in the forms of the three gods, but rather than separate deities they are all one portion of a welded whole regulated in their irregularities. Lady Almalexia and Lord Vivec, who are only consistent in their inconsistency, still create the order of the truths. They are the tock within the Lord Seht's tick, the wheel that forever goes forward but only to circle itself.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY:
    Canonic Temple: a demon - any creature posing a threat or directly opposing the Tribunal and the Dunmer; The House of Troubles.
    Apostolic Temple: the imperfection in everything, the Daedra.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN:
    Canonic Temple: Lorkhan is the Missing Daedra begat by Sithis to destroy the imperfect creations of the demons called the Aedra.
    Apostolic Temple: Lorkhan is the Great Liar who meant to sunder people from the truth of Anuic unity. He tricked the et'Ada Gears making them believe themselves to be distinct and whole. And so, many hands assembled the world, each with separate intention and selfish purpose - this resulted in gaps in the world's construction, imperfection that should be corrected through building Tamriel Final.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE:
    Canonic Temple: Before Sithis was nothing. Sithis sundered the nothing and mutated the parts, fashioning from them a myriad of possibilities. These ideas ebbed and flowed and faded away and this is how it should have been. One idea, however, became jealous and did not want to die - like the stasis, he wanted to last. This was the demon Anui-El, who made friends, and they called themselves the Aedra. They enslaved everything that Sithis had made and created realms of everlasting imperfection. Thus are the Aedra the false gods, that is, illusion. So Sithis begat Lorkhan and sent him to destroy the universe. Lorkhan found the Aedric weakness - while the rebels ruled their false dominions, Lorkhan filled the void with a myriad of new ideas. These ideas were legion. Soon it seemed that Lorkhan had a dominion of his own, with slaves and everlasting imperfections, and he seemed, for all the world, like an Aedra. Thus did he present himself as such to the Aedric demons: as a friend. So, now the universe consists of a single plane with two ends: this world (the mortal one) and the otherworld (Oblivion), the place where the spirits of both Aedra and Daedra live. Both parts are similar in their natures with no distinct borders but with many paths leading from one end to the other. Life is also called the Testing. Nirn is the testing ground for transcendence - the Psijic Endeavor, a process by which mortals are charged with transcending to the gods that created them. The spirit of a Dunmer persists after death and either stays in this world or departs to the otherworld for eternal rest.
    Apostolic Temple: Before Anu was nothing. Anu broke itself to understand it's nature. In its sundering, the values that swam in its vastness thought to know themselves. The et'Ada Gears gave themselves many names and set their will to building Nirn. The soul of Nirn has two faces. The first is known as the Nirn-Prior, or the Nirn of Many Parts - the Nirn we all know. It is the Nirn in pieces, assembled by the unsteady hand that has yet to find itself. Its faults are not in its parts, but in its assembly. Each gear is a god, each spring is a thought. Alas, they heeded the counsel of Lorkhan and forgot the face of Anu. And so, many hands assembled the world, each with separate intention and selfish purpose. The Nirn of Many Parts was the result - a broken and leaking steam-ship that lists ever wind-ward. In this clumsily built world, the et'Ada, the Gears, left gaps and crevices where Nothing, Padomay, takes root. Daedra are the results of Padomay, they are illusions, imperfections born from Lorkhan's Great Lie and the selfishness of fractured creation. They are the Anti-Gears that turn counter to the Nameless Will that makes the gears of the world turn. A mechanism built by many hands cannot know the precision of the master craftsman, so the et'Ada Gears cannot bring forth a true Nirn, because they know only its parts, they cannot see the whole. The Eye of Sotha Sil ignores such division. Where the broken gods see only pieces, Sotha Sil sees the whole. He sees the Second Nirn - the Clockwork City, the center of the wheel for Nirn-Ensuing, the Omni-Axle that shapes the world. The Second Nirn, the inchoate Nirn-Ensuing, the thought-form that anticipates the world to come: the ideal world of Tamriel Final. Only Sotha Sil knows its shape. Its nature lies forgotten in the before-time when Anu broke itself for wisdom's sake. In his wisdom, Sotha Sil seeks to reclaim the lost heritage of the children of the Tribunal. His mind is the God-Mortar where the fractured values of Anuic nature are ground and weighed - unified through His will alone. From Sotha Sil's great labor, Tamriel Final will be born. The laity prays that they see the fruit of his labor - a perfect world, without et'Ada Gears - world without the illusion of change, water-tight and everlasting. To achieve it, people must study, strive, and create, craft perfected, and use obscure. The Great Gear is a concept that illustrates the idea that all of existence can be expressed as the workings of a finely tuned machine. The Great Gear represents nature's primal engine, the source of life and power that makes Nirn thrive.
    MAJOR GODS: Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec (ALMSIVI).
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH:
    Canonic Temple: the Nerevarines and their cult, the Sharmat and the remnants of the Sixth House, various Daedric Cults.
    Apostolic Temple: None.
    KNOWN HERESIES:
    Canonic Temple: various Daedric Cults, The Dissident Priests, the End of Times cult.
    Apostolic Temple: None.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Saint Veloth the Prophet.
    SAINTS: Saint Aralor the Penitent, Saint Delyn the Wise, Saint Felms the Bold, Saint Llothis the Pious, Saint Meris the Peacemaker, Saint Nerevar the Captain, Saint Olms the Just, Saint Rilms the Barefooted, Saint Roris the Martyr, Saint Seryn the Merciful.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES:
    DESHAAN: High Fane of Mournhold, Selfora Temple;
    STONEFALLS: Iliath Temple, Temple of Ebonheart;
    VVARDENFELL: High Fane of Vivec, Balmora Tribunal Temple, Gnisis Temple, Suran Temple;
    HIGH PRIESTS:
    Canonic temple: two Archcanons residing in the High Fanes of Vivec City and Mournhold, each serving either to Vivec and to Almalexia respectively;
    Apostolic temple: the Council of The Clockwork City Apostles serving to Sotha Sil.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES:
    Canonic Temple: Valor, Daring, Justice, Courtesy, Pride, Generosity and Humility (the Seven Graces), faith, family, Masters, and "all that is good". Faithful perform holy quests and bring luster to the Temple.
    Apostolic Temple: a faithful layman should train and prepare for work for they are are the lubricants of innovation, should work hard without interruptions, should think before acting, value drudgery for it leads to inspiration, should reach for even the impossible dream, should break a problem down to its core components before attempting to solve it, should express fealty and obedience to Lord Seht above all else (the Nine Laws of Gears)
    They never transgress against their brothers or sisters, and never dishonor their house or their ancestors. They serve and protect the poor and weak, and honor their elders and clan.
    BURIAL RITES:
    Canonic Temple: Incineration. The ash remains after cremation are interred properly in a City of the Dead such as Necrom or Othrenis, ancestral tombs. As a sign of great honor and sacrifice, an ancestor may grant that part of his remains to be retained to serve as part of a ghost fence protecting the clan's shrine and family precincts. Such an arrangement is often part of the family member's will, that a bone shall be saved out of his remains and incorporated with solemn magic and ceremony into a clan ghost fence. In more exceptional cases, an entire skeleton or even a preserved corpse may be bound into a ghost fence. Each House Dunmer family has a shrine called the Waiting Door - it represents the door to Oblivion. There the family members pay their respects to their ancestors through sacrifice and prayer, through oaths sworn upon duties, and through reports on the affairs of the family. In return, the family may receive information, training, and blessings from the family's ancestors.
    Apostolic Temple: Unknown.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: Public writings called the Hierographa and the "hidden" ones called the Apographa. The Apographa contains secrets known only at the highest levels of priesthood and inquisition. On the other hand, the Hierographa has been used to build the structure of the Dunmeri society. The pillars of the faith are determined in these books: The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec; Sithis; The Changed Ones; Fellowship of the Temple;
    The Truth in Sequence; Engine of Expression; The Law of Gears; The Unseen Potential of Clockwork; Worshiping the Illogical, Saryoni's Sermons; Lives of the Saints; Saint Nerevar; The House of Troubles; Ancestors and the Dunmer; The Living Gods; The Book of Dawn and Dusk; The Coldharbour Compact; The Anticipations; Blasphemous Revenants; Nerevar at Red Mountain; The Homilies of Blessed Almalexia;The Pilgrim's Path; The Consolations of Prayer; Reflections on Cult Worship; Darkest Darkness; Ordinator Edicts; Veloth the Pilgrim; End of the Journey; Exodus from Summerset; Varieties of Faith: The Dark Elves; The Doors of the Spirit.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. Hierographa states that the Three Good Daedra recognized the divinity of the ALMSIVI, while the Four Corners of the House of Troubles did not. Boethiah became the Anticipation of Almalexia, Mephala was substitued by Vivec and Azura's place was taken by Sotha Sil. But the events of ESO for the first time showed us that none of the three "good" Daedra Lords recognized the said divinity. Boethia performed a chain of monstrous events which caused chaos in Deshaan, lots of innocents killed and the desecration of the High Fane of Mournhold - the temple of Almalexia whom Boethia was supposed to recognize as a god and whom he was supposed to "anticipate". Azura called Vivec an "arrogant impostor", a "pompous usurper" and a "murderer" saying directly that she deplores him. Finally, Mephala greeted Sotha Sil by directly naming him "the false god". A nice recognition of the Divinity by the "weaker in power" ancestor spirits, isn't it?

    2. The second remark that should be made here regards the main religious enemy of the Temple who threatened it the entire period of the Tribunal history. You might think it was Dagoth Ur, the main antagonist of TES III, but don't be too certain on that thought - he became that very evil to the whole world, but at least not before the year of 2E 882 (300 years ahead of the ESO's period). The first main quest of the ESO: Morrowind called the "Divine Conundrum" shows us the three fears of Vivec: he fears for the safety of the Heart of Lorkhan, the source of his power; he fears that his divinity simply shrivels and fades; and finally, he fears the return of some old enemy. That was someone whom the Tribunal "waited, blind, and in darkness, mere shadows, drained of our ardent vision, in shame of our folly, in fear of our judgement, and in hope of our deliverance". Since the Sharmat did not survive the battle with Nerevar physically, I'm disposed to believe in the words of the Apographa stating that since the Battle of Red Mountain Dagoth Ur was thought to be dead. The Tribunes possessed the Kagrenac's Tools, the Heart and the Numidium. The Sharmat has never been prophesized to return neither by Azura and any of the 4 known Nerevarine prophecies, nor by any of the books. Nobody expected Dagoth Ur to reawake until his initial ambush the Tribunes unexpectedly faced in 2E 882 during their annual pilgrimage to Red Mountain. So today, in 2E 582, Vivec has no reason to presume Dagoth Ur to be that "old enemy" as the UESP states it without any reference to the source grounding such a declaration. Because there's no such reference.

    So what could be the answer? When I was performing the main Morrowind DLC, one of the tasks was to depose Chodala's claims to be the Nerevarine, so I thought: "What could be easier? He does not fit the requirements of any of the 4 known prophecies I had to fit in TES III." But not even a single NPC mentioned them, the quest line forced me to speak to the fallen Incarnates and invent some other very strange way to do it. So I wondered why can't I simply take the texts of the prophecies and rub their noses in them, why do I have to go that complicated way? The quest really embarrassed by it's stupidity from it's beginning and till it's end. But later I understood it: the only answer to this question is that the four known Nerevarine Prophecies that will make us the Nerevarines in 741 years ahead are not written yet - the incident with Conoon Chodala's claim to be the Nerevarine in Morrowind DLC wouldn't have happened at all in case they existed these days. The incident could have become a good reason for Azura to create them, because without them the Ashlander Wise Woman had to tell us what she actually told in order to depose Chodala. She was either dumb or simply unaware of what we had to pass through in TES III, what an Incarnate had to pass through, to become the True Incarnate. I believe in the second option - she was unaware because the prophecies do not exist in 2E 582.

    Since Vivec is not that good at knowing of Future as it might seem in his 36 Lessons, the only serious "old enemy" he can fear in 2E 582 can be Lord Indoril Nerevar reborn only, the Nerevarines, us, who threatened the faith of Vivec's followers and thus his power from the very beginning when Azura prophesized our coming (unlike Dagoth Ur's one) and the fall of the Tribunal by our hand. This was his own confession, this is why the Nerevarine Cult in TES III is the most hated faction by the Tribunal Temple with the suprisingly almost off-scale -8 points of attitude while the Sixth House Cult is only second to it along with the vampires both with only -3 points. "Now circumstances are altered. I need you, and you need me." as Vivec said it explaining the change in that persecution policy he changed only standing on the brink of abyss. This is why the Tribunal religion publicly described Dagoth Ur as one of the enemies of a distant past only; named the Nords, the Dwemer, the rivaling Daedra and even the Akaviri Kamal folk as demons, etc. For too long the Tribunal was simply unaware of the true threat they had to face, but when they finally faced it, it was too late to change anything in their public religious scriptures after more than a 3 thousand years of reign, so that even the most of the High Priesthood of their own Temple was unaware of what was actually going on and those who knew it misunderstood it's scales.

    3. To all those fellow Dunmer who still think we can get along with our Altmeri brothers I qoute the words of the Altmeri chief propaganda officer Aicantar of Shimmerene to decide yourself the answer to that question: "Our unfortunate cousins of Morrowind are double apostates, of course, having rejected both the Aedra and the Daedra, and have been doubly punished by divine curse for their sins of hubris and heresy. However, they do have certain, shall we say, talents that have been honed by hardship, skills that will enable them to find appropriate employment in the Tamriel-wide Dominion to come. If they trust to our wisdom and guidance, they will survive, and even thrive, as citizens of the Dominion. Once they earn that status, of course."

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    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 11:27PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    IMPERIAL CULTS

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    GENERAL LAITY: the Nibenese, Bretons, the Redguard Forebears, Altmer, the Bosmeri, Dunmeri and Argonian Tamrielic diasporas.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: unite the Nords, Nedes and Elves under a single Cyrodiilic rule.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: God as a generally benevolent creator spirit who contributed much into creation and building of Mundus and either departed back to Aetherius after the act of creation or sacrificed himself into other forms so he could stay in Mundus to continue his work either as an Earth Bone or a local mortal sentient being.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Demons as strange, powerful creatures of uncertain motivation who hail from the dimensions of Oblivion who have influence in various spheres of life on Nirn.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Shezarr described a completely new thing to the Gods: to become mothers and fathers, being responsible, and making great sacrifices with no guarantee of success. Shezarr spoke beautifully to them and moved them beyond mystery and tears. Thus, the Aedra gave free birth to the world, the beasts, and the beings, making these things from parts of themselves. This free birth was very painful, and afterwards the Aedra were no longer young and strong and powerful, as they had been from the beginning of days. Some Aedra (the Aldmeri Gods) were disappointed and bitter in their loss and angry with Shezarr, and with all creation, for they felt Shezarr had lied and tricked them. The other Aedra looked upon creation and were well pleased. The Daedra mocked them all and created their own realms. To Bretons Lorkhan (they call him Sheor) is the Bad Man is the source of all strife. He seems to have started as the god of crop failure, but became the demonized version of the Nordic Shor and Aldmeri Lorkhan, mostly because of Direnni's influence. The Bretons prefer to follow the way of appeasement, thanking Sheor for the life but fearing his curses.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: World (Supermundus) consists of three separate planes:
    1. Heavens (the plane of pure magicka and the seat of the Divines and the other original spirits. Heaven energy infuses the daily existence, from highest to lowest, and gives all common purpose. Its magic "brings the rain to the fields, love to the hearts, and scientific principles to the technological industries". It gives the very Sun itself);
    2. Oblivion (surrounds Mundus every night, the realms Demons);
    3. Mundus (the plane of the mortals).
    Imperial Theosophy teaches that Mundus was born from magicka, the creative force that informs and sustains all life. The ancestral seat of the Eight Divines and the other original spirits, the sources of magic are the many and diverse heavens beyond the void, collectively known as the Aetherius. Oblivion, the most dangerous of outer realms, home to the powerful spirits of darkness called the Daedra, surrounds us every night, but it is aetherial energy that infuses our daily existence, from highest to lowest, and gives all the races of men, mer, and beast common purpose. It is magic that brings the rain to the fields, love to our hearths, and scientific principles to our technological industries. It gives us the very Sun itself.
    The Imperials tend to impersonal and formal relationships with their gods and spirits. Cults are first and foremost social and economic organizations for the Imperial laity. People typically think of the Eight Divines in the most abstract terms -- as powerful but indifferent spirits to be propitiated, and do not think of their relationships as personal. Notable exceptions include minor charismatic sub-cults of Akatosh and Dibella. The laity is casual and tolerant in religious matters, people do not consider cult affairs as serious matters, they do not speak with their gods, and do not think of their actions as under constant review and judgement by their gods. Daedra are viewed as powerful but envious spirits for the Mortal world best parts are something the Daedra could not create and wish to get into their possession. Regarding the afterlife: as the Abbot Crassius Viria says it, the Daedra Lords do not "claim" the souls of mortals - except some issues with necromancy, it is only the mortals themselves who decide the destinations of their souls by the choices they make during life.
    MAJOR GODS: Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, Julianos, Shezarr, Y'ffre.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: Daedric Cults, the Tribunal Temple.
    KNOWN HERESIES: None.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Saint Alessia, Prophet Maruhk.
    Saints: Saint Alessia, Saint Pelin, Prophet Maruhk.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES:
    CYRODIIL: Abbey of the Eight, Bruma Chapel, Gottlesfont Priory, Temple of the Ancestor Moths, Imperial City Temple, Weynon Priory, Great Chapel of Dibella, Cathedral of Akatosh, Cheydinhal Cathedral;
    SUMMERSET: Temple of the Divines.
    GRAHTWOOD: Cathedral of the Golden Path;
    GLENUMBRA: Daggerfall Cathedral;
    BANGKORAI: St. Pelin's Chapel;
    RIVENSPIRE: Shornhelm Chapel;
    STORMHAVEN: Temple of the Divines;
    GOLD COAST: Great Chapel of Dibella, Cathedral of Akatosh;
    HIGH PRIESTS: Tamrielic Emperors as the Defenders of the Faith, followed by the Primates such as Primate Artorius Ponticus, Primate Chana Mona, Primate Valandrus Abor, Primate Otius Loran, etc. along with the Grand Sermonizers like Grand Sermonizer Fithia and the Grand Chanters like Grand Chanter Surus.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: Kindness, generosity, respect of the earth, its creatures, and the spirits, living and dead, peaceful life, hard labor, truth, law, obedience to priests, the Emperor and the Eight Divines, humility, Inspiration, Piety, Work, Compassion, Justice, Ambition, Learning, and Civility.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS:
    Nine Commands of the Eight Divines, The Annotated Anuad, Monomyth: "Shezarr's Song", Shezarr and the Divines, For My Gods and Emperor, o, Reflections on Cult Worship, Varieties of Faith in the Empire, Thwarting the Daedra: Dagon's Cult, Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition/Arena Supermundus, The Martyrdom of Saint Pelin, The Illusion of Death, Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death, Artorius Ponticus Answers Your Questions, Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition/Arena Supermundus: The Tapestry of Heaven, Letter to the Grand Chanter, The Primate, Cathedral Hierarchy, Precepts of Stendarr.
    BURIAL RITES: By the Second Era, Bretons have abandoned cremation, and just like the Imperials they bury their dead, from commoners to kings, underground. Kings and high nobility are commonly buried in crypts and catacombs, usually built outside of the cities and towns. In Rivenspire ancient barrows, are used along with other common burial grounds by the local nobility. Dishonored kings and nobles are segregated from their relatives and entombed in special crypts, only to be forgotten by history and their descendants. Commoners, on the other side, most usually rest in graveyards, where their bodies are buried within a coffin in familiar or individual tombs. All these places are commonly guarded by Arkay's priests, who watch over the rest of the dead and give every laity member the Three Consecrations to protect the souls and the bodies of the deceased.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. Read the definition of an aedric god once more but this time knowing that the Eight Divines (except Kynareth) are actually the developers and beta-testers of the in-game universe. They truly created Nirn and then left Bethesda, having embeded themselves into their creation in the form of Aedric gods so they could stay in Mundus to continue their work either as Earth Bones - the ones who created the very basis and the idea of Aurbis, or an in-game alter ego - a local mortal sentient being. Thus, by following the religious ways of Aedric religion you simply give tribute to those people who created the Elder Scrolls both as a series and as the in-game items by the in-game means!

    2. The Imperial religion seems to be the most tolerating of all due to it's primary function, but we have to keep in mind it's roots derived from the ruthless theocratic monotheistic Alessian Order of the First Era. The Order existed for more than 2000 years and in spite of it's dissolution some of it's concepts will survive seemingly up to the Fourth Era. Among those concepts are the Imperial Legal Basics and the most notable is the assumption of guilt: "All are guilty until they have proven themselves innocent". This is why there are no courts in Tamriel - all the cases are taken, judged and the decisions are enforced by the local attending guards. This concept is not Imperial only, it was developed everywhere due to the specific socio-economic development levels of local societies and was based on the local systems of law. But I suppose the Empire, being the most socio-economically developed nation of all, should have changed this legal concept since capitalism finally won it's revolution against feudalism by 3E 82 when Emperor Pelagius Septim II dismissed the entire Elder Council of the Empire and allowed only those willing to pay great sums to resume their seats (read more about it in my Guide to Socio-Economic Formations of Tamriel the "Empire" section). Still that law has been effective.

    3. This is what Lady N is said to consider on what the Imperial Cults are: "Think of the Imperial Cult as the Christian Church in that it’s an overarching name for a (sort of) common set of beliefs, but includes a number of different, autonomous organizations. Let’s take two examples. The Imperial Cult of Morrowind believes in the Divines, as does the Imperial Cult of High Rock, but where Morrowind’s branch is apostolic and worships all divines equally, the High Rock branch has separate temples (and paramilitary orders) for each of their gods. While Morrowind’s Cult likely has a headquarters and central structure, the temples of the Cult in High Rock are completely autonomous."

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    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 11:06PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    THE GREEN PACT

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    GENERAL LAITY: the Bosmer.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to survive in the wilds of the Valenwood forests.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: God is a generally benevolent ancestor spirit who contributed much into creation and building of Mundus and either departed back to Aetherius after the act of creation or sacrificed himself into other forms so he could stay in Mundus to continue his work either as an Earth Bone (a law of nature) or a local mortal sentient being.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Lorkhan and the Daedra as personalized spirits of a plane of Oblivion who did not take part in the creation of Mundus, but have influence in various spheres of life on Nirn, guard and counsel their followers, punish sin and error and share their bounty among the greatest and least, according to their needs.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Lorkhan is the Missing Daedra who created Nirn as a prison and hinders the way to escape back to the original spirit realm.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE:
    World (Aurbis) consists of three separate planes:
    1. Aetherius (plane of where souls of mortals become "spirits of another sort");
    2. Oblivion (plane of eternal servitude and suffers);
    3. Mundus (the Prison plane).
    The Lords of Aetherius are the Aedra(ancestors), the Lords of Oblivion are the Daedra (not ancestors).
    All nature was in chaos, all mortals had been all plants and animals and people all at the same time, before Y'ffre crystallized and became herself, then gave all plants, animals, and people their names, which defined the permanent form each species took. When the Aldmer came to Valenwood they made the Green Pact with Y'ffre. The Green Pact is the agreement between the first Bosmer and Y'ffre that has been guiding the Bosmer's existence from the beginning of the Great Story (the Bosmer view life itself as a story). Those who disagreed became known as Oathbreakers and remained the ones known as the Changelings. Those who accepted the Pact and won the civil war were blessed by Y'ffre and dwelt in the forests. The Bosmer did not want to destroy their spirits, however, as they were their brothers and sisters and still believed that they could one day accept Y'ffre's teachings. They were instead contained and buried in the tar-pits of Ooze to be eternally trapped and eternally protected, in the hopes that they would one day rejoin their people in the time of renewal so that the Bosmer race could be whole again. The Green Pact Bosmer are raised to believe in the Ooze, a kind of purgatorial state reserved for Bosmer who violate the Pact, and still more terrifying stories of the Green unleashing all of its wild power against Bosmeri clans who harm it. The faithful Green Pact Bosmer are released from their body prisons and depart to Aetherius. To Bosmer, mortal life is more a joy than a punishment. Very few, if any, criticize the trickery of Lorkhan, because Y'ffre was the most involved in creating and "ordering" Nirn, which was shaped to shelter the Bosmer.
    MAJOR GODS: Y'ffre, Auri-El, Arkay, Xarxes, Mara, Stendarr, Z'en, Baan Dar, Herma-Mora, Jone and Jode, Hircine.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: the Daedra, the Oathbreakers.
    KNOWN HERESIES: the Apostates,
    KNOWN PROPHETS: the The Silvenar and the Green Lady.
    SAINTS: Elthonor the Barkborn, the Many-Tales Wolf, Fildunor Boughbrow, the Ghost of the Green.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: Valenwood.
    HIGH PRIESTS: The Spinners (Girnalin, Melrethel, Regring, Amariel, Caerllin, Dothriel, Einrel, Eranas, Maruin, Sandaenion, etc.).
    CARDINAL VIRTUES:
    The terms of the Green Pact consist of two sections:
    The Meat Mandate: do not harm the forest (do not chop down trees, do not consume, harm, or harvest any of Valenwood's living plants (including harvesting fruits and digging vegetables from the ground)), do not eat anything made from plant life - eat only animal source foods. Do not leave the dead to rot, do not kill wastefully.
    The Wild Hunt: do not take on the shape of beasts for the Wood Elven form is sacred.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: The Eldest: A Pilgrim's Tale, The Green Pact and the Dominion, Green Pact Bosmer: Observations, Valenwood: A Study, Visions of the Green Pact Bosmer, Why We Farm, Wood Elf Etiquette: An Imperial Perspective, War Customs of the Tribal Bosmer, Woodhearth: A Pocket Guide, The Wood Elves of Valenwood, Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree, Oathbreakers of Ouze, Oathbreakers' Rest, The Ooze: A Fable, Varieties of Faith in Tamriel, Diplomacy during the Handfasting, An Unusual Alliance, Journal of a Z'en Priest, The Spinners of Y'ffre, Tales of the Spinners, Spinning a Story, The Ghost of the Green, Ladies of Green, Crafting Motifs 3: The Wood Elves, Wood Elf Etiquette: An Imperial Perspective, The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Valenwood, Gwaering Answers Your Questions, Bone Orchard Research.
    BURIAL RITES:
    1. Funeral repast. When the meat of the deceased Bosmer is consumed, the bones are collected and buried in groves, ossuaries, places where only the local Bosmer leave their dead or in common graveyards, most usually built by other races in Valenwood. The souls of the Bosmeri Green Ladies are buried in the Treehenge. The dead Apostates, must be eaten too, but their bones must be buried in secluded and separated ossuaries.
    2. The Mourning War custom.
    3. Ritual sacrifices. In case the Green Pact is severely broken, a trial must be held and the guilty is sacrificed to the Green, commonly embodied by a holy strangler plant.
    RITUAL OBJECTS: the Ritual items, Luxury and Achievement furnishings.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. A good way to get acquainted with the Green Pact is the Pact Advocate quest. What choice do you make during this quest, who you think is guilty in breaking the Green Pact? My decision makes spinner Eranas guilty. Based on the physical evidence of a large cutting of a vibrant but wilting plant with most of the blossoms removed found on the Spinner Eranas' alchemy stand, makes no mistake here along with his own words just before execution. The flower cut by a Khajiit and picked up by Eranas was still alive when Eranas made that mixture of it. Ordering someone to harvest plants and consuming dead plants (since it was a mixture) is legal, so his wife is not guilty. The Khajiiti merchant Aranak is innocent too since he is a Khajiit and thus could not break the Pact because he's not the party of that agreement and it has no effect on him. Such individuals as he are often persecuted by the Bosmer, but not by the Green itself as it happened to Karthdar. The Bosmer also invoke wars against those who harm Valenwood, but do not harm people of other races for, say, picking or eating flowers. So, it is Eranas..

    2. You might have noticed that I haven't mentioned the Elden Root Temple in the Major temples and churches section above there, having written "Valenwood" instead. Yes, the Bosmer do not have neither temples, nor churches devoted to Y'ffre, except that very Elden Root Temple. The Temple is very interesting, indeed: at first it might seem that the Elden Root Temple is not a Green Pact temple because according to the local tourist guide Ervalir, it is said to be dedicated to the Eight (it might be a glitch, but in my copy of the game Ervalir just stands with his clients and says nothing..). On the other hand, the words of Marilrin can make you think the other way: "The Bosmer of Valenwood hold all plantlife in the highest regard. We've made a Pact with Hircine not to harm them, and to use no wood or greenery in anything we create.". The elk heads depicted on the altars inside the temple might be another witness to make you think that Y'ffre is just another name of Hircine. But the Bosmer do differ Y'ffre from Hircine quite well. Read the Gwaering's commentaries, read the The Blessings of Hircine, listen to the only Elden Root Temple priest's prayer. The Elden Root Temple is dedicated to Y'ffre, it's priest is praying to Y'ffre and the elk head symbol is an ancient symbol of Y'ffer's champion, the Graht-Elk. Hircine slew it and since that time he has been wearing its head as a trophy. Read more about it in the Amun-dro's books I've mentioned in the Riddle'Thar article.

    The Green Pact Bosmer do not need any cathedrals, temples or churches - entire Valenwood itself, the Green, is their Temple. They hold their religious ceremonies in caves like those Karthdar Bosmer do, Den of the Eldest, or in the naturally built shrines like that Elden Root Temple, so, if you would like to understand their faith better, think of their land not as of land, but as of a huge temple itself: you're always welcome there, but if you start to destroy the temple for your economical needs.. well, be ready the clerics and the laity will not approve it.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 1:18AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    RIDDLE'THAR

    ksenia-kiseleva-00-bent-dance.jpg?1549139833

    GENERAL LAITY: the Khajiit.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to prevent the dissolution of Elsweyr Confederacy, to harmonize it's economically hostile northern tribes and the southern nobility.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: Gods are the three litters of the two original littermates Ahnurr and Fadomai.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Ahnurr who seeks to destroy his children of the third litter, Namiira as the Eldest Spirit who existed separately of Ahnurr and Fadomai, and her dro-m'Athra - the spirits of the dead Khajiit who do not follow Riddle'Thar during their lifetime (also called the Bent Cats) and are dragged down by Namiira into the Dark Behind the World by the end of it. There they whirl in a dance to no music but only to the beating of the Dark Heart of Lorkhaj. Sometimes they seep up through the cracks of Nirni back to the mortal world and walk among the living - these beings are feared much for they can possess the bodies of the living or make a speechless, silent copy of them after they kill them. Dro-m'Athra twist out a bent cat's soul, and send it through the cracks to the Dark Behind the World where it turns into a dro-m'Athra.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Lorkhaj is the last son of Fadomai of the Third litter and the only one born in the Great Darkness (the Void), he is the first dro-m'Athra whose heart was filled with the Great Darkness, who tricked his siblings and was severely punished for that by those spirits who survived his trickery.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: Everything in the universe is a family of Ahnurr and Fadomai and their three litters of children. People are the children of Nirni, the child of the third litter. Our world consists of three separate planes:
    1. The Sands Behind the Starsalso called as Llesw'er (plane of eternal rest and pleasures);
    2. The Dark Behind the World (plane of dro'Mathra, the place where the Lost Cats lose their former entity, dance silent horrific dances and arm themselves);
    3. Nirni (our world).
    Ahnurr, the all-father, constantly seeks for his children of the third litter to destroy them bacause "too many children will steal our happiness". The Moons (Jone and Jode) are Ahnurr's and Fadomai's children of the third litter, their motion (also called the Two Moons Dance or the Lunar Lattice) protects the third and the fourth litters from destruction because Ahnurr cannot overcome it. The Khajiit is the eldest race among those who live today, Fadomai chose them to be the fastest, cleverest, most beautiful people among all the grandchildren of Ahnurr and Fadomai, the best climbers, for if the Moons fail to hold Ahnurr, the Khajiit must climb Khenarthi's breath to set the Moons back in their courses. The Khajiit are also the best deceivers, for they must always hide their nature from the children of Ahnurr. For all this the Khajiit are promised the Path from Nirni through the Two Moons Dance to the Sands Behind the Stars and are provided with the Riddle'Thar - the divine guidance, counsel and law to reach it if heeded. Heeding the Riddle'Thar protects the Khajiit from being lost to Namiira and ensures the open entrance to the Sands Behind the Stars.
    MAJOR GODS: Alkosh, Khenarthi, Magrus, Mara, S'rendarr, Hermorah, Hircine, Merrunz, Mafala, Sangiin, Sheggorath, Azurah, Nirni, Baan Dar, Jone and Jode.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: Daedric Cults.
    KNOWN HERESIES: Moon-Bishop Azin-jo's Heresy of The return of Alkosh; Amun-dro's heresies (read the commentary article below).
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Rid-Thar-ri'Datta.
    SAINTS: Khunzar-ri, Anequina Sharp-Tongue[/url.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES:
    REAPER' MARCH:
    Rawl'kha Temple, Temple of the Dance;
    KHENARTHI'S ROOST: Temple of Two-Moons Dance, Temple of the Crescent Moons;
    ANEQUINA: Star Haven Adeptorium, Sunspire, Temple of the Purifying Moons, Two Moons at Tenmar Temple.
    PELLITINE: Khenarthi's Breath Temple, Pridehome.
    HIGH PRIESTS: Manes (Akkhuz-ri, Shazah or Khali, etc.), Moon-Bishops (Hunal, Sizenza, etc.), Clan-Mothers Hizuni, Tadali, Ahnissi, etc.), the Chief-Crier of the Twilight Cantors (the Order of Exorcists) (Adara'hai.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: Curiosity, cleverness, kindness, charity, piety and wariness.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: Secrets of the Riddle'Thar, Words of Clan Mother Ahnissi to her Favored Daughter, Trail and Tide, Khunzar-ri and the Demons, The Tale of Three Moons, The Moon Cats and their Dance, How We Came to Fly, Mantra of Redemption, Mantra of Expulsion, Moon-Bishop Hunal's Q&A, Litter-Mates of Darkness, Chronicles of Juha-ri, Khunzar-ri: Tales Volume 1 and Volume 2, By Gentle Winds, Sacred Waters of the Shining Sea, Twilight Rites and Hymns, Twilight Cantors: The Exorcists of Azurah.
    BURIAL RITES: the Khajiit bury all their dead, often in coffins, where dead rest with their most precious possessions or other relics. The Northern Khajiit are often buried with only a small cairn of stones - the desert preserves their bodies for hundreds of years without further preparation. The Southern Khajiit bury their deceased underground, marked with a gravestone and, like their northern cousins, without further rites. The humid climate of southern Elsweyr rots their bodies rapidly. The city Khajiit prefer to bury their dead in catacombs or graveyards. Certain noble or wealthy Khajiit may have a monumental tomb constructed. Khajiit show moderate indifference to graves being uncovered and corpses to be disturbed. So this is true that in the port of Senchal, one may purchase anything one desires, including the bodies of the recently deceased.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. Riddle'Thar is the youngest religion of all by 2E 582. It originated in 2E 311 when the prophet and Mane Rid-Thar-ri'Datta revealed the Riddle'Thar Epiphany: it happened just 271 years ago - a lifespan of a very old Dunmer (like Indoril Nerevar by the time of the Battle of Red Mountain ;). Of course, it's no match to 2832 years of the Tribunal Temple hegemony, but knowing of the scales of the Khajiiti lifespans equal to an ordinary human, this period seems not that short). Just like the Triune Faith in Morrowind descended from the previous Daedric religion devoted to the Three Good Daedra, the modern Khajiiti religion is the result of the transformation of the previous ancient one, considered to be heretical today. This is also the reason Rid-Thar-ri'Datta is called "the First Mane" though it is known he's even far from being in the first dozen. If you want to understand what kind of faith Riddle'Thar derived from (here, as well as in the lore, it is called the "pre-ri'Datta" religion below), read the books of Amun-dro the Silent Priest (The Adversarial Spirits, Azurah's Crossing, The Dark Spirits, The Favored Daughter of Fadomai, The Sky Spirits, The Wandering Spirits and The Worldly Spirits), and additionally the Terror from the East and the "Epistle on the Spirits of Amun-dro" Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3. Just compare Amun's teachings yourself (without the help of that book) with the ones of a certain Riddle'Thar adept Clan Mother Ahnissi's and you will see that:
    1. In Riddle'Thar the First Cat is Alkosh - in the pre-ri'Datta religion it is Akha.
    2. In Riddle'Thar Nirni (i.e. Nirn) is a living original spirit - in the pre-ri'Datta religion Nirni is an already dead original spirit.
    3. In Riddle'Thar Lorkhaj is the last son of Fadomai, the first dro-m'Athra whose heart was filled with the Great Darkness, who tricked his siblings and was severely punished for that by those spirits who survived his trickery - in the pre-ri'Datta religion Lorkhaj and the Dark Heart of Lorkhaj are viewed separately with Lorkhaj viewed as a true hero, the Fadomai's Favored Son, the beloved noble leader whose courage inspired all those he encountered so much that he united the spirits to make the World and gave his very life to do this and was highly praised for his sacrifice while his Heart, the Darkness itself, he received it because Ahnurr made his mother Fadomai flee into it to give him life. All his life Lorkhaj resisted that darkness until Azura took his dark heart away from him before he died in light, but his heart became the Moon Beast, the first dro-m'Athra.
    4. In Riddle'Thar Khenarthi carries the souls of the dead True Khajiit directly to the Sands Behind the Stars while the Bent Khajiit are dragged into the Void by Namiira - in the pre-ri'Datta religion Khenarthi carries the souls of the dead Khajiit to the Gates of the Crossing where Azurah decides either to leave them in her realm of Moonshadow or send them to the Dark Behind the World.
    Etc., etc...

    2. If you are a Khajiit and you wish to become a Clan Father or a Clan Mother (i.e. a High Priest) know that the game provides such an option through the Clan Father/Clan Mother achievement. Yes, you must be an Aldmeri Dominion Hero to get such a high religious title but.. yes, many things are traded, so you can simply buy it if you have crowns ;).

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 17, 2020 1:06PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    THE SIXTH HOUSE CULT

    LG-cardart-Hand_of_Dagoth.png

    GENERAL LAITY: Dunmer only.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to achieve power and become a religion.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: None.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: None.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: None.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: None.
    MAJOR GODS: Akulakhan.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: foreigners, the Tribunal Temple, the Daedric Lords, necromancers, vampires.
    KNOWN HERESIES: None.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Dagoth Ur.
    SAINTS: None.
    HIGH PRIESTS: Dagoth Odros, Dagoth Araynys, Dagoth Endus, Dagoth Gilvoth, Dagoth Tureynul, Dagoth Uthol, Dagoth Vemyn.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: Dagoth Ur, Endusal, Kogoruhn, Mamaea, Odrosal, Tureynulal, Vemynal.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: Honor and Duty.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: None.
    BURIAL RITES: None.
    RITUAL OBJECTS:
    ON-icon-mementos-Bell.pngDreamer's Chime, Ash Statues (the image is from TES III, but the statues in the ESO are almost identical), Totem of the Sixth House.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. Well, here is an example of what the difference a single cult bears from a religion, an example of how cults are formed before they progress into religions. The Sixth House Cult is exactly a cult, a sect, not a religion. It had all the reasons to become the one, but it's history is written, so, we'll use it just as an example of a failed to materialize religion. I have to remind it here, that this period of history (2E 582) is the very beginning of the Sixth House Cult, it is either the time of it's foundation (it's story is depicted in the Forgotten Wastes public dungeon) or the time of the very first encounters of the Morrowind authorities with this cult. In 2E 582 it's even a group of diggers than a cult. Nevertheless, no remnants of the Unmourned House are found yet except an Ancient Dagoth Brandy Snifter, an Ancient House Dagoth Goblet and a Banner of House Dagoth. The Tribunal Temple receives the very first ash statue for study as a result of excavations from a remote dig site (in ESO this statue is mentioned only, but there are plenty of them in the Forgotten Wastes depths and by the 3E 427 there will be 349 ash statues in Vvardenfell), yet absolutely unaware of what it is and what threat it poses. Nevena Nirith is among the first House Dagoth descendants to "wake from a dream". Mistress Dratha is the only person who received the vision of the events that will happen in 741 years ahead, however, it happened after our visit to the Andrano tomb and she seems to prefer to keep her visions a secret. In other words, 2E 582 is the date the Sixth House Cult made it's first steps out of the abyss it was sent to thousands of years ago. Though the cult is not defeated during our crusade in the Forgotten Wastes, the only reason it survived is it's high secrecy - you won't see any slightest cue of the cult's goal, no reference to what they are digging for, nobody even mentions Dagoth Ur - Dagoth Ur is still considered dead even by the Tribunal itself. The primary goals of the Cult at this moments of time are to retrieve the Ash statues and to wake the House's true descendants.

    2. You might have noticed that the definition of god is absent too, though we all remember Dagoth Ur called himself a god. As well as many other concepts. Unlike the Tribunal, Dagoth Ur has never proclaimed himself a god among his kin, his laity (he posed himself as the first among equals, a kind of a prophet, and his "servants" called him "Lord of the Sixth House and Savior of the Dunmer people", but not a god), he has never been prophecised to return and has never been recognized by the Daedra as a god, Azura did not care about him at all, and he truly achieved his divinity without any Kagrenac's Tools. An interesting observation: if you read the definition of a god in the Tribunal Temple's section you'll see that Dagoth Ur suits it much better than the Tribunal ;). Anyway, since Akulakhan is not yet built and thus it is not proclaimed to be a god as Dagoth Ur planned it, we do not have any concepts of gods, demons and etc. for it has never been developed due to our efforts in the Third Era.

    3. Dagoth Ur was killed by Nerevar. Some people still argue on that matter by pointing at some Apographa books, ashlander oral traditions, etc. Gentlemer! We have been the Nerevarines, the Heroes from the Elder Scroll each "reading" them our own personal way, but the thing we have read it all equally is that we witnessed the things nobody else among the mortals would have ever known. We met the Sharmat personally and the victim of the murder confirmed it personally twice - Nerevar was the one to strike down Voryn Dagoth. It is unwise and unreasonable to believe any rumors and explanations written in any books of those who have never witnessed it while the victim points directly at the murderer :). Remember the Sharmat was not sure if we were the Nerevarines, but he was twice as sure of who struck him down back in the First Era.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 7:22PM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    CLUTCH OF NISSWO

    800px-ON-crown_store-Sithis_the_Dread_Father.jpg

    GENERAL LAITY: the Argonians.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to spread the word of truth and reinstate the worship of Sithis long lost after the Duskfall.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: god is the nothing between the something, the void which created all, and will one day destroy it, the will of change, the inconstant which is the only constant.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: None.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: None.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: Before creation, there was void. Nothing. But even nothing must change.
    Sithis sundered the nothing, creating the possibilities of something. These ideas bloomed and faded, as all things should. As all things shall. The void which created all, and will one day destroy it. The will of change, the inconstant which is the only constant. Sithis is not only destruction. Sithis is change. Sithis tears down the old so that the new can grow. So the Nisswo learned to flow with the river, instead of struggle to alter its course. All is created, then changed, then ultimately destroyed. That is why believers must allow all things to pass. Wealth, youth, life, joy, anger, misery - they will pass, as all things must pass one day. "Know that truth, and you shall know Sithis". Nisswo teach that people must be empty, like the void. The Aurbic "now". And from that emptiness, they shall create, like Sithis created all that is.
    MAJOR GODS: Sithis.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: None.
    KNOWN HERESIES: None. "Sithis is a being of multitude. It is the will of change, the force of chaos, the lust for bloodshed. Its words are many, and so the nisswo are many. But we all speak parts of the larger truth. Through many seasons, this village will hear many words. It is from these many words that they will create their own truth. And though these truths will be different, they will all be, in the end, true."
    KNOWN PROPHETS: None.
    SAINTS: None.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: None.
    HIGH PRIESTS: Nisswo Ajul-Jas, Nisswo Dakee-Kai, Nisswo Kahei, Nisswo Nedhellas, Nisswo Paraxeeh, Nisswo Uaxal, Nisswo Vaxeeh, Nisswo Xode.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: confidence ("Hesitation only leads to stagnation, which disregards the will of Sithis").
    BURIAL RITES: burial in graves.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: "We do not write words upon a page and request our followers to speak its unmoving words. Belief should be questioned. Doubted. Judged and finally accepted. Only then is it truth". Soms books on the topic: Children of the Root, The Call Beyond, The Last Wish of the Sun-Blessed, The Way of Shadow, In Accord With Those Sun-Blessed, Murky Time.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. The Hist is not a religion, if you have asked it yourself already :). The Hist came up in the post-Duskfall times and as Vicecanon Heita-Meen says it, the Argonians "do not 'worship' entities of a so-called divine nature, and don't understand the feelings and behavior of those who do. Since neither of us comprehends the inner mind of the other, how are we to find a mutually meaningful analogy? But I will try. We have rituals, of course, for rituals are the mud that holds together the house of society, but we do not 'pray to' the Hist, because our thoughts and desires flow together. The Hist is the river, and we Saxhleel are the standing waves where the river flows over rocks. That is clear, is it not?". Though, the Argonians do have that Clutch of Nisswo with priests and teachings. As Sithis is Change, there are naturally no standards for Sithis altars or chapels - but in Murkmire, there is certainly no larger temple to the Dread Father than the Teeth of Sithis. Read the words of Nisswo Uaxal to better understand the religion.

    2. The "Nothing-speaking", the Clutch of Nisswo, is presumably the most ancient religion on Nirn. It's modern edition is the remnant of the pre-Duskfall bloody religion and the Argonian civilization itself. It is much older then the Hist Cult. This is why they seemingly have no concepts neither of Aedra and Daedra nor of Lorkhan - the religion itself is possibly as ancient as the events of the wars of the Ehlnofey. Many players on different forums asked "Who is the author of the book Sithis?" It has no author's name on it's label, but basically Vivec is considered to the author because his Sermons and this book reconcile pretty well. But here's what I have found, just compare these words:
    * The book - "Before him was nothing .. Sithis sundered the nothing and mutated the parts, fashioning from them a myriad of possibilities. These ideas ebbed and flowed and faded away and this is how it should have been .. So Sithis begat Lorkhan and sent him to destroy the universe."
    * Nisswo Uaxal - "Before creation, there was void. Nothing. .. Sithis sundered the nothing, creating the possibilities of something. These ideas bloomed and faded, as all things should. As all things shall."
    * Nisswo Ajul-Jas - "In the beginning, there was void. That was Sithis. One day, all shall become void again."
    Do you see it? The Nisswo quote the book almost literally, moreover, their religion absolutely reconciles with the creation myth the book depicts. A very interesting topic to speculate on, though since the Nisswo did not mention all those characters the book speaks about, I wrote "None" in the respective graphs above.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 1:16AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    MONKEY TRUTH

    Mwbks_tslov_spiked_water.jpg

    GENERAL LAITY: Prisoners of Nirn.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to keep the general laity interested in the world and thus to prevent the death of the universe.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: gods are the creators of everything in this universe, they define and constantly control all aspects of life.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: None.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Lorkhan is a Missing Character.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: Reality is a perception of greater forces impressed upon the world and it's denizens for their amusement. Some say that these forces are the gods, other that they are something beyond the gods. All the population of Mundus consists of two groups: those who possess a soul and those, who don't; those, who think to be the masters of their lives and those called the Prisoners, who see the determinative walls - the chains of causality that bind them to their course, who see the door to their cell and gaze through the bars, perceive that which exists beyond causality and beyond time; those who speak with "their" voices and those, whose voices are silent. This reality is a huge story written in the Elder Scrolls which are both the objects inside this world and simultaneously the very world itself. Evil and violence exist to make a story written in an Elder Scroll thrilling, to give purpose to a Hero-prisoner to come to this world and save it, because without a Hero there is no event, no story, no Elder Scroll, no universe, no life. The purpose of life on Nirn is the amusement of it's guests and the favor they pay to the creators.
    MAJOR GODS: the Aedra.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: Orcs & Humans, Dungeon Dragons, heroes of might & magic.
    KNOWN HERESIES: taletelling.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Vivec, Sotha Sil, Sheogorath, M'aiq the Liar.
    SAINTS: Deca Dezno, Sheogorath, Peke Utchoo, Je Tee, Kar Alber and Pop Je.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: Temple Zero, The New Whirling School.
    HIGH PRIESTS: None.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: Terms of Service, Code of Conduct.
    BURIAL RITES: None. The adepts simply disappear.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: Sotha Sil and the Scribe, The Rotwood Enigma, Reality & Other Falsehoods, Chamberlain Haskill Answers Your Questions, The 36 Lessons of Vivec, The Truth in Sequence, Sotha Sil and the Scribe, Where Were You When the Dragon Broke?, The Dragon Break Reexamined, An Accounting of the Scrolls, Divining the Elder Scolls, Effects of the Elder Scrolls, An Elder Scroll, Lost Histories of Tamriel, Ruminations on the Elder Scrolls, Moth Sister Terran Arminus Answers Your Questions, Vindication for the Dragon Break, The Warp in the West, Vindication for the Dragon's Break, Lady Edwyge's Notes, The Metaphysics of Morrowind, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, Spirit of Nirn, God of Mortals, Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes, Waking Dreams of A Starless Sky, The Book of the Dragonborn, Todd Howard's interview.
    RITUAL OBJECTS: The Elder Scrolls.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. Some qoutes:
    Mwbks_tslov_spiked_water.jpg
    "They walked farther and saw the spiked waters at the edge of the map. Here the spirit of limitation gifted them with a spoke and bade them find the rest of the wheel. The Hortator said, 'The edge of the world is made of swords.' Vivec corrected him. 'They are the bottom row of the world's teeth.'"
    The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec, Sermon Seventeen.

    "'Monkey truth' is a particular aesthetic which recognizes the world's inherently fictional nature. Though the 'lore' has often been treated as if it were the record of some actually existing universe being recorded by these texts and images, a 'monkey truth' creation will above all attempt to present a world which is profoundly beautiful and magical. In such an aesthetic, internal consistency takes a backseat to marvel, which is far more important.
    A monkey truth creation therefore is one which is successful in achieving the sense of an alien and exotic universe, avoiding standard fantasy genre conventions to achieve an overall sense of alterity, while still containing a successful narrative."

    Temple Zero's definition of Monkey truth.

    "..all of us, et'Ada and mortals, are nothing but characters of a game being played by unknown entities from outside the Aurbis? Maybe then that Sheogorath is the amused voice of the game creators. And if we are nothing but characters in an elaborate game played by unknown entities, well, why aren't I having any fun?"
    Chamberlain Haskill Answers Your Questions.

    2. Yes-yes, this is the concept of Player from the in-game perspective. We are called Prisoners there by Sotha Sil, Ruling Kings by Vivec (in one of the meanings), Heroes by Zurin Arctus and the Elder Scrolls, greater forces by mages, etc. - Legion is our name. Have you ever thought what makes a video game that attractive? Some may say "Games allow us to flee from reality, to become those we are not", and they might be right. But there's also another opinion - whatever game we play, such a game is always a reflection of our own world, our reality, because whatever game you play, it's developers are unable to invent anything that would be completely new, inexistent or unimaginable in our real world. I don't mean those fireballs, elves or levitation spells literally exist IRL - I mean the world itself, it's essence and laws, it's inhabitants, characters, their relations, values, views, etc. So many of us find too many similarities between the in-game races and nations IRL - that's because we cannot imagine anything beyond our own world, so this is why we adopt the concepts of real life to the worlds we create ourselves. I believe games are just simplified models, patterns of our real world. It is an absolutely new way to research our own world we call real, to ask new questions and answer them. From this point of view, in my opinion, the Elder Scrolls and ESO especially is one of the most developed simplified models of life we have today. What do I mean? Well, I guess you have read the in-game Overview of Gods and Worship in Tamriel by Brother Hetchfield. What a familiar way of thinking of an in-game character, isn't it? Hetchfield is unaware of who he is in reality. In our reality. He thinks of his world generally the way we do of our own. He is unaware that the world he can see, touch, taste, the world so real to him, is just a video game to us. He is unaware that those Eight Divines are indeed the in-world alter egoes of the creators of his realm, he can't even imagine them drinking soda and wearing jeans because such things completely do not exist in his world just like our world lacks .. ;). The Eight Divines did their great job decades ago and left their creation - the reflection of that event IRL still exists in a metaphorical way within the in-game creation myths. Hetchfield is unaware that he is a character of a video game and cannot depict his in-world gods otherwise than those images based on the concepts already existing in his world - dragons, Men, Elves, etc. But in his speculations Hetchfield can't come to an idea that the gods, those who created him and his world, cannot be part of their creation, just the way some people do IRL. What kind of gods are the Eight who allow evil to exist on Nirn - what kind of developers are ZOS designers who allow evil to exist in the Elder Scrolls games ;)? You just change the labels you give to certain things and the answers to some sacred questions become so clear.

    Hetchfield speculates on many evils of his world - how could we ever tell him Truth? Truth that all evil exists in his world only to make that very world live, for a world without evil will not attract that many players to go there, to play that game. And any game without a player is not a game at all - it's nothing, the Void, just like "Each Event is preceded by Prophecy. But without the Hero, there is no Event" thing. No evil -> no event -> no players -> no game-> no world. Anu cannot exist without Padomay, though Padomay feels pretty good without Anu - so many games are created without a drop of Good in them, but still people play them. You take away blood, gore and violence from all those shooters we play and what will be left of those worlds? TES, on the other hand, brings us a very good balance. Just like the real world in majority of cases :). Though the end is still bitter and unexpected. Can you remember the last time you played, say, TES III or any other game of your past? I bet you didn't even thought of that play session as the last time you played that game, did you ;)? This all makes Sotha Sil the greatest evil of TES for his goal is to destroy all the Daedra - the source of evil and.. life in Tamriel, on the megaservers, etc. Ah, so many moments lacking certain dialogue lines I wished to tell Vivec of his future in the past tense, of the future of Vvardenfell; knowing of Tiber Wars, I wished to stop that pointless war in Cyrodiil, to tell them all, that the future we all are fighting for out there is already predefined and, paraphrasing Kyle Reese, the future is set - there is no fate but what the creators of this world make for us. The very concept of choice is undermined like some spell of the School of Illusion fades whent it's time is up. If only Hetchfield knew his very thoughts and speculations are not that his. But in the end I was always catch myself in a thought that the point of all the evil, of those odd ways to depose Chodala as the Nerevarine, of fighting a pointless war is to forge the future of TES we all know, to make the story of TES come true. It's a brilliantly designed time loop that urges us to believe we can change something and decide ourselves the way we choose. I wrote some thoughts on the concept of time on Nirn here. Feel free to read it if you have something I speak of there :). The Elder Scrolls, just like the world IRL, gives us all the explanations of it's world, physics, it's very nature and shape. So many truths, a variety of everything. It effectively leans on the fourth wall but never speaks the language so comprehensive to us and completely incomprehensive to it's inhabitants, it never allows us to tell those NPC Truth of their nature and purpose. Even Sotha Sil did not deserve that honor during his conversation with his creator. Is Nirn flat? Yes. Is it lore-wise? No. Was it created by the Aedra? Yes. Is it lore-wise? Yes ;), but they are not what tamrielics think of them. How many similar questions we can ask ourselves IRL? So, what if we are not the ones who we are supposed to be here, IRL, and the Game is just a simplified model of world, a so called Clockwork City within an artifical world? Though it's simplicity can be witnessed only from the beyond. Make players of any game forget they are players and they'll have the best immersion ever imaginable.

    3. The psych of the Daedra is thought to be incomprehensive to the mortal denizens of Nirn - this belief somehow lives in the minds of so many players. I'll try to show that understanding the Daedra is very simple - it only appears hard, because the words describing some certain things are changed and that makes bd confused. Have you ever thought that the definition of the Daedra and their features resemble the player's ones too much? I don't mean to say we are the Daedra there - we are not, of course, or, at least, the lore does not say it directly. But read, say, this article and this in-game book and mentally change the word "Daedra" and it's forms into "Players" and you'll see how brilliantly it fits in. Indeed, just like the Daedra, we were not born in that universe, we did not help the Eight Aedra (who are actually the first TES devs and beta-testers IRL who also greatly share the aedric features) take part in the creation of Mundus, we have a very real impact on the mortal realm, we personally cannot die there - we can be banished only to "reform" our "body"; we see those mortals (i.e. NPC) as prey, though it is often impossible to accurately label us as "good" or "evil"; we are beyond the NPCs (mortal's) comprehension; we come in many forms, "physical" form can be ruined, but it cannot be truly killed; the soul (more specifically known as the animus or vestige) of a slain Player returns to the place called the Void from the in-game perspective (well, in the single-player ES games. How else should those mortals have named our reality?) until it manages to coalesce into a physical form again. We are also great imitators, and our creations are described as mimicking things found on Nirn in an outlandish or even corrupted way (oh, those outfits :D!..), because just like the Daedra the players cannot create anything non-existent in Aurbis - this is the right of the Aedra, those et'Ada, the developers, who created Nirn. Moreover, some of us really became the Daedra Lords in one of the Elder Scrolls ;). We are the Daedra literally - i.e. not ancestors to those mortals of Nirn. Some of us are like those silent dro'Mathra who can possess or mimic the mortal bodies (characters) - they call themselves the "roleplayers".. And.. Just like the Daedra, we never oppose the Aedra ;). But sometimes we fight each other in PvP too ;). Because the Aedra created this world with all it's inhabitants to our Daedric amusement :). Of course, there are those Daedric characters, there are so many types of lesser daedra (with some of them resembling some player types greatly ;)), but this concept simply shows the essence of the Daedric nature, the similarities between the Aedra, Daedra and mortals and the Developers, Players and NPCs.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 1:29AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    SOME REMARKS ON DAEDRIC CULTS AND ATHEISM

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    MAJOR DAEDRIC SHRINES:
    AURIDON: Heretic's Summons, Mehrunes' Spite.
    BANGKORAI: Arlimahera's Sanctum.
    DESHAAN: The Apothecarium, Eidolon's Hollow, Knife Ear Grotto.
    SHADOWFEN: Broken Tusk, Cold-Blood Cavern, Sanguine's Demesne, Ten-Maur-Wolk.
    STONEFALLS: Ash Mountain, Mephala's Nest,
    Sheogorath's Tongue, Shivering Shrine, Stonefang Isle.
    RIFT: Blessed Crucible.
    VVARDENFELL: Addadshashanammu, Ald Sotha,
    Almurbalarammi, Anudnabia, Ashalmawia, Ashalmimilkala, Ashunartes,
    Ashurnabitashpi, Ashurnibibi, Assarnatamat, Bal Fell, Bal Ur,
    Dushariran, Ebernanit, Esutanamus, Kaushtarari, Kushtashpi,
    Maelkashishi, Ramimilk, Shashpilamat, Tusenend, Yansirramus,
    Yasammidan, Zaintiraris, Zergonipal.
    SACRED AND CULTIST WRITINGS: The Blessings of Sheogorath, 16 Accords of Madness, Folium Discognitum, Zealotry, Invocation of Azura, The Five Points of the Star, Boethiah's Glory, Boethiah's Proving, Secrets Overheard in Apocrypha, Black Books, Oghma Infinium, Bisnensel: Our Ancient Roots, Mauloch, Orc-Father, The Code of Mauloch, Mysterium Xarxes, Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes, The Nightingales, In Dreams We Awaken, Invocation of Hircine, The Omen of Deception, To Dream Beyond Dreams, Varieties of Daedra, Persistence of Daedric Veneration, Thwarting the Daedra: Mehrunes Dagon, Daedra Worship: The Ayleids, Daedra Worship: The Chimer, Exegesis of Merid-Nunda, On Oblivion, Secrets Overheard in Apocrypha, The Doors of Oblivion.

    COMMENTARY:

    1. Atheism. Atheists of Nirn are the subordinates of.. Sheogorath :). Yes - mad men ;)! Always militant and always denying like Darius Shano and all those Heretics of the Shivering Isles.

    2. Who are the Daedra Lords? In Daedric cults the Daedra Princes are treated as gods, but how to construct the definition within the concept from the perspective of the Daedric worship? The very distinction between Daedra and Aedra seems to be artificially invented by Aedra worshippers. According to them Meridia's original nature is aedric, though she is a Daedra Lady and this fact contradicts the aedric idea that Daedra were created from the blood of Padomay. Other accounts describe the Daedric Princes as those et'Ada, who refused to take part in the creation of Nirn - but at this point the Malacath's very existence discredits it, as he was once Trinimac, one of the Aedra and is neither technically a Daedra Lord, nor do the other Daedra recognize him as such. But still he is worshipped and acts as a Daedra Lord. Sheogorath himself is considered to be a mortal (though a changed one) both by us, players (or Heroes and Prisoners as some locals see us), and even by his own laity even before some of us became the Madgods themselves in our respective versions of the Elder Scrolls. But the same time Sheogorath is still considered to be a god by the other part of his laity. Yes, this is a good riddle..

    So the only way to form the definition is to look into the essence of the Daedra and name it: a Daedra Lord is the most powerful personalized spirit of a plane of Oblivion who controls various spheres of life on Nirn, guards and counsels his followers, punishes sin and error and shares his bounty among the greatest and least, according to their needs. "Like loving ancestors, they guard and counsel their followers. Like stern parents, they punish sin and error. Like generous relatives, they share their bounty among the greatest and least, according to their needs." - this qoute taken from the Tribunal Temple Hierographa fits very well to the definition of the Daedric gods. The Temple of ALMSIVI likely took much from it's previous Daedric religion and this defenition suits both the ALMSIVI and it's anticipations. Since the Velothi faith is just another Daedric cult devoted to the Three Good Daedra, we have no reasons not to expand it on other cults of, say, "One Good Daedra" like the ones devoted to Malacath or Hircine.

    3. Aetherius does not exist. Actually, it exists :). The original concept of this topic was edited - thanks to the wise remarks of @PrayingSeraph he shared with me. We have discussed this topic long before the guide was published, but finally his thoughts and ideas made me ask myself some questions that showed me that the phenomenon of Aetherius is not that well defined to make that certain conclusion I made originally. I was wrong in my original opinion, Aetherius does exist in the lore, indeed, in spite of some features that made me originally think otherwise. The current lore does not give us reasons to doubt it like we doubt, say, the existance of Lyg. Perhaps, I was indeed the only one who has ever doubted it's existance "in the screen" in spite of those lore books and character dialogues. @PrayingSeraph, thank you!

    4. Who actually controls life on Nirn? As we know it from the pro-aedric books, a group of et'Ada were the spirits who, along with the Hist, decided not to abandon Mundus, and instead worked to keep it viable. They remained in the mortal realm and populated it, becoming the progenitors of the modern races. Many followed the example of Y'ffre and sacrificed themselves to form the laws of nature known as "Earth Bones". But is that true for the daedric cults?

    From the daedric cults' point of view, the laws of nature, everything that happens to a mortal, are controlled or influenced by the Daedra. Nobody doubts the Daedra do exist. But none of us even among the players has ever seen more than one of the Eight Divines in thrir true form. Since they do not influence the mortal world, since they make no display - they do not exist in it's scientific meaning of that word. Moreover, none of the Aedra are considered to be an enemy to any of the Daedric Princes! The Daedra have enemies among their own kin, they don't like Ebonarm, but none of the Eight has been ever mentioned as an enemy to a Daedra. Then who actually controls the traditional spheres of mortal life?
    1. Is it Azura, who controls dawn and dusk, mystery and magic (yes, magic - the domain of Magnus and Aetherius), fate and prophecy or is it Arkay, who likewise is in charge for cyclical occasions, such as the seasons and life/death, burials and funeral rites?
    2. Would it be Clavicus Vile's blessing you'd wish to receive when you enter into a contract to gain some benefits or would it be Zenithar whom you'd ask for wealth, productive labor, commerce and communication?
    3. Who guides our knowledge and memory if not Hermaeus Mora, or is it Julianos who gave us wisdom, logic, literature, law and history?
    4. Would it be Hircine whom you would ask for a good hunt and safety while traveling in the wilds or would it be Kynareth, the goddess of all the travellers, of heavens, the winds, the elements, and the unseen spirits of the air?
    5. Dibella's Beauty, Love and Affection are just the other side of lies, sex and murder controlled by Mephala, the webspinner of mortals' lives; Dibella is known to be the Lady of arts and music.. well-well.. there are accounts those spheres are in the domain of Sheogorath.
    6. Who grants energy to all the living things if not Meridia, who's light itself? Or is it Mara the goddess of Love, Fertility, Agriculture, and Compassion?
    7. All Akatosh tells us is to follow the duty, to endure, to obey and serve, but.. aren't those spheres in command of Molag Bal?
    8. Would you ask for compassion and mercy the Daedra Prince of tasks, natural order and pestilence Peryite or would it be Stendarr to become the object of prayer, the Aedric deity of compassion, mercy, righteous rule?
    These are the choices everyone has to make individually, but keep in mind, that spirits of those who acknowledged the Daedra tell us that Oblivion is more pleasant, or at least more comfortable for them than our real world, which is cold, bitter, and full of pain and loss. They tell us that Oblivion is the place of rest rather than suffering. But who usually say the opposite? Those, who opposed the Daedra. Just look at those Soul Shriven.

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 18, 2020 2:18AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    NORDIC RELIGION
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    GENERAL LAITY: the Nords, Colovians.
    PRIMARY FUNCTION: to continue the resistance to the First Empire, to cast off the Alessian Doctrines and the very Empire's power, and finally win the independence to Skyrim; to negate the aftermath of the civil War of Succession by uniting the Nords in their struggle to reclaim the long lost lands of the shattered First Empire of the Nords.
    DEFINITION OF GOD: Gods are the ancestors and war companions.
    SPIRITUAL ADVERSARY: Herma-Mora, Mauloch, Alduin, Orkey.
    CONCEPT OF LORKHAN: Shor is both the Missing God of creation and the King of the Dead. He takes sides with Men after the creation of the world. Elven gods conspire against him and bring about his defeat, dooming him to the underworld. He is the warrior king who leads the Nords to victory over their Aldmeri oppressors time and again. The Nords believe the chief of the gods had been killed by elven giants in ancient times, and those giants ripped out Shor's Heart and used it as a standard to strike fear into the Nords. This worked until Ysgramor "Shouted Some Sense" and the Nords fought back again. Knowing that they were going to lose eventually, the Elven giants hid the Heart of Shor so that the Nords might never have their god back. Before his doom, Shor created Sovngarde for all the Nords fallen in battle.
    CONCEPT OF LIFE: World consists of three separate planes:
    1. Aetherius (the plane of pure magicka and the seat of the Divines and the other original spirits. Heaven energy infuses the daily existence, from highest to lowest, and gives all common purpose. Its magic "brings the rain to the fields, love to the hearts, and scientific principles to the technological industries". It gives the very Sun energy itself);
    2. Oblivion (surrounds Mundus every night, the realms of Demons);
    3. Mundus (the plane of the mortals).
    Alduin destroyed the last world to enable the creation of this one, and he will destroy this one to enable the next. The Nords were created on the Throat of the World (Skyrim) when Kyne, the Mother of Nords breathed onto the land. This is why the Nords call themselves the Sons and Daughters of Kyne. Though Kyne watches over the cycle of the world along with the other Hearth Gods (Mara, Dibella, Stuhn, and Jhunal), a Nord is judged not by the manner in which he lived, but by the manner in which he died. If a Nord dies in battle, he is taken by Kyne to Sovngarde, the Hall of Valor. Spirits trapped in the mortal world know torment, emptiness, and endless suffering, obsessing over lost battles, fallen kingdoms, and unresolved lives - pain and illness vanish within the Hall of Valor, revelry is never-ending, mead flows freely, and the greatest Nords of all time compete in tests of strength and prowess. The Hall can only be accessed by crossing the huge Whale Bone bridge which is guarded by Tsun, the shield-thane of Shor. The Hall can only be entered by defeating him in a challenge or unless granted permission. The souls of those Nords who die peacefully, executed or murdered will pass to Aetherius, in company of the other Divines, instead of traveling to Sovngarde. Through all the suffering and adversity in the mortal world, true Nord warriors endure, for Sovngarde is promised and awaits them.
    MAJOR GODS: Shor, Dibella, Tsun, Stuhn, Kyne, Mara, Jhunal.
    ENEMIES TO THE FAITH: the Altmer, the Orcs, the Dunmer.
    KNOWN HERESIES: None.
    KNOWN PROPHETS: Shor's Tongue, High King Wulfharth.
    SAINTS: Heroes as Saints: Ysgramor, Yngol, Ylgar, Jurgen Windcaller, Hakon One-Eye, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, Felldir the Old.
    MAJOR TEMPLES AND CHURCHES: High Hrothgar as the center devoted to the Way of the Voice; no churches - personal shrines at homes only.
    HIGH PRIESTS: the Greybeards, High Priests of the Halls of the Dead like High Priest Ingurt.
    CARDINAL VIRTUES: Courage. "Remember this always, son of the north - a Nord is judged not by the manner in which he lived, but the manner in which he died".
    BURIAL RITES: Most Nord cities have a Hall of the Dead, the way the Nords call their mausoleums, and where bodies are interred, overseen by a priest who ensures that corpses are properly consecrated and cared for. Smaller Nord settlements and some cities may have graveyards where their dead are buried with the same rites as those from the Hall of the Dead. Noble Nord clans may also have their own barrows outside of cities. These tombs are watched by their own relatives, keeping out intruders and tending to their dead. Some Nords may choose a Fire Burial, instead of interring themselves. Reasons may differ, but they are an uncommon choice, but not despised at all. This ritual involves the cremation of the body of the deceased and the consecration of the ashes by a priest, to secure their souls to depart to the afterlife.
    SACRED AND RELIGIOUS WRITINGS: The Five Songs of King Wulfharth, A Dream of Sovngarde, Sovngarde, a Reexamination, Varieties of Faith in Tamriel, The Dragon War, Shezarr and the Divines, Children of the Sky, Akatosh Dichotomy, Alduin is Real, and He Ent Akatosh, The Anuad Paraphrased, The Art of War Magic, Etched Tablets of High Hrothgar, The Arcturian Heresy, Songs of Skyrim: Revised, The Book of the Dragonborn, The Road to Sovngarde, An Explorer's Guide to Skyrim, Song of the Askelde Men, Lost Legends of Skyrim, Goddess of Storm, Mother of Nords, Hymn to Kyne, Kyne's Tears, The Dragon War, Songs of the Return, The Onus of the Oghma, Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal, Divines and the Nords, The Song of Gods.

    COMMENTARY:
    1. You might have read my commentary on the Orcish creation myth in it's respective section here and you might think the reason the Nords do not have one within their own religion is the same ;). Not this time, mates :). I don't think I can say something more than MK did 10 years ago here, though I do have some other lore-wise explanation.

    2. Why have I mentioned Wulfharth as the prophet and founder of the modern Nordic religion up there? Well, it is mainly the matter of the existing chronology (official, the one developed by Aicantar of Shimmerene and the Imperial Geographical Society, not that huge New Elven Chronology theory and it's list of dates I developed recently):
    Late Merethic Era (more than 3500 years ago) - Ysgramor and the Atmorans bring the worship of 9 animal gods to Tamriel: the hawk (some might remember the words of Felldir's prayer "Sister Hawk, grant us your sacred breath to make this contract heard!"), she-wolf, snake, moth, owl, whale, bear, fox, and most importantly the dragon. That was the famous Dragon Cult. The dragon priests of Tamriel, appointed by the dragons, began to rule with an iron fist, making virtual slaves of the rest of the population. Thus the Dragon War began.
    1E 140 (3362 years ago) - the last of the Dragon Cult holdout, the Forelhost monastery, is besieged and conquered. The Nords ultimately overthrow their dragon masters. The journal of the assault team member Skorm Snow-Strider I referenced here, mentions only the words "Eight", "Sovngarde", "Gods" and "Oblivion", but this is not the evidence to the Nord's worship of their modern gods as it might seem, say, after reading this UESP article (I suppose the editors should check again the references they attached to the general information there and the chronology. If you read it and won't find that reference, then the article was changed after this guide was published). I will explain why in the third article below.
    1E 243 - the Nedes ultimately overthrew their elven masters. The Empress Alessia creates the new religion of the Eight Divines, fusing the pantheons of the Nords and Cyrodiilic tribes, who followed Altmeri deities.
    1E 361 - The Alessian Order becomes the dominant political and religious factor in the Alessian Empire, and their doctrines are enforced throughout Cyrodiil and northern Tamriel.
    1E 361 - 1E 369 - High King Borgas, mentioned here as "one of Marukh's chief supporters", bans, according to this source the "traditional Nordic pantheon". And on the basis of only these two sources the people somehow decided that this "traditional Nordic pantheon" was the one of Shor, Kyne, etc. Gentlemen, it is a lie - there are no such words in those sources, so if you read the opposite somewhere except the new upcoming lore, know this to be a pure theory, not the lore! High King Borgas banned the Dragon Cult with it's animal deities pantheon because the first historical lore-wise reference of the modern Lorkhanic pantheon is way ahead!
    ~1E 420 - Numinex, the last known dragon account in Skyrim until the present days, was hunted.
    1E 480 - now this is the date the very first High King Wulfharth's law began the "reinstatement of the traditional Nordic pantheon" and for "his zealotry, King Wulfharth was called Shor's Tongue, and Ysmir, Dragon of the North". The other Songs glorify his deeds in the eyes of the rest of the "Old" Gods. So, ask yourself, if he wasn't the first to bring the new religion to the Nords, then why was it he, who was named Ysmir, Dragon of the North, Breath of Kyne, Shor's Tongue, the Grey Wind, the Storm of Kyne, but not the man who actually brought the new faith to the people during those Dragon Cults period before Wulfharth? Too much honor to the one who simply "reinstated" a religion and full silence about the man who established it, isn't it? Wulfharth banned the Alessian Doctrines (but not the Alessian Gods brought by Borgas!), but used their pantheon to establish the new religion we know today, this is what is written in the First Song of him here: "The Edicts were outlawed, their priests put to the stake, and their halls set ablaze. The shadow of King Borgas had ended for a span." Anyway, if Shor and other aedric gods would be present from the beginning, the Skaal legends would have surely told us about it, but they keep grave silence on that. Until the opposite is directly referenced in the official lore, the current lore depicts Wulfharth as the man who actually established the new Nordic religion by certain words and deeds, he is exactly the prophet who brought this aedric religion to the Nords in 1E 480.

    3. Regarding the Skorm Snow-Strider's journal of the 1E 140 I've mentioned above in article 2: since we have cleared out the situation in the articles above, the "Eight" and the "Gods" mentioned in the journal, are the eight animal totems of the Dragon Cult: the hawk, wolf, snake, moth, owl, whale (do you remember that Whalebone bridge in Sovngarde?), bear and the fox. The ninth, the dragon, is obviously excluded in that soldier's journal. Well, it also could be the Eight Dragon Priests, though this is a pure speculation, because the events of the lore contradict it. "Oblivion" has been known to the Atmorans at least since they had communications with the ancient Atmoran Demon of Knowledge. Moreover, Oblivion realms and their inhabitants are acknowledged by all nations of Tamriel irrespectively of their individual beliefs and social religions - the Dragon Cult is not excluded here. "Sovngarde" - this might be the most interesting thing to some of you here. According to the common belief derived from this and this sources, Shor created the realm of Sovngarde with his clever magic long ago to honor those Nords who have proven their mettle in war and that Nords had access there at least since the Late Merethic Era. I.e. ... since the times of the Dragon Cult. What else did you expect from a modern scholar?.. Well, I mean, yes, that's all true, except that the builder of Sovngarde and it's Hall was Shor: it was Nahkriin the dragon priest who could open the portal located at the Alduin's personal temple at Skuldafn full of animalist symbols, it was Alduin who also had free "official" access there to devour the souls of the dead to regain his strength and according to our Dragon friend, that thing is considered to be his privilege. Who could ever grant this privilege to him? Was it Shor or Sovngarde is simply a dragon realm with Shor existing there just as a modern belief?.. So this is the questions of pure faith: it is either you believe the books written in the Second Era, thousands of years after the actual events or you believe the actual event participants and their actions, material evidence, i.e. world objects, and events you witness personally. Personally, I don't believe Sovngarde to be the realm of Shor because of the reasons I've marked - I believe it to be a Dragon realm created by or for Alduin with the purpose he showed us all in the game. Later on, when Wulfharth either created or re-established the pre-Dragon Cults Shor's Pantheon, Sovngarde became the realm of Shor. I suppose the Nords, unlike the Redguards in their Far Shores, shouldn't be that confident in their beliefs of eternal pleasures in Sovngarde - they all end with the invasion of Alduin in the end of each kalpa. Anyway, the lore grants us these options, so it's up to you to decide what to believe - I'm not a Nord in that world of Nirn, so the question of the Nords' beliefs is actually irrelevant to me ;). Krif voth ahkrin, kaal gron nunon vahzah sahvot!

    Back to contents.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 16, 2020 9:53AM
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    CONCLUSION. SOME REMARKS ON DEFINITIONS

    Religion I speak of in this guide shares the fates of the social consciousness and it's views are characterized as the "orthodox", i.e. canon. Those views are considered canon because they are backed by a social class currently ruling the social policy and economics. But social religious views are not only orthodox: along with the birth of a new economic base in the depths of a socio-economic formation, a new type of religion arises. When a new socio-economic formation wins the struggle, a new type of religion becomes orthodox or canon as well, while the previous one becomes a heresy. With the victory of Feudalism over the chattel slavery, Christianity, being the ideological element of the more progressive feudalism, ceased to be the persecuted heretic cult and became the dominant, orthodox one - it became a religion. Later on the social antagonists of the dominant Christianity were different heresies backed by the more progressive bourgeois relations existing within the dominant feudal society. As soon as the Capitalist revolutions won their struggle against the obsolete feudal socio-economic formation, the former heresies became the new legal bourgeois types of Christianity. In all cases the economical and political spheres have always prevailed the religious ones. They defined them and this approach also works in TES.

    But the sphere of religion has never been passive either - it gave an extra power to political and economical claims. Religion has many other functions, but whatever type of religion is present, whatever questions you have to it's articles of faith - see it's definition and the primary function above and think further yourself.
    This is it's main difference from a cult or a sect. The type of church you have depends on the socio-economic formation you have. If it is an ancient slavery state based on slaves as the primary means of production, then be ready to witness the church calling some groups of people lords, gods, demigods, etc. and the other group as their slaves with the church's primary objective interest to claim as many souls as possible. A feudalist church becomes a feudal itself since the primary means of production changes from slaves to land, territory - such church claims land with everything on it. Now it denies the concept of a living god, but picks up one of the deceased former rulers, names him a god, names living rulers the conductors of divine will, a deity's satraps in the world of mortals, while the rest of the laity are still called slaves, though they are no more the ones. Capitalist church has no interest in slaves and territories - it is a commercial enterprise and trade, capital, money, is what they need. Thus this type of church supports the idea of social equality of all the people: men, women, children, rulers and citizens, etc. - something unacceptable previously. Soon it turns out the church cannot perform it's primary function on the same level it did earlier, so the primary function slowly transfers to science - a new "religion" for the educated people who know much, but understand little, with it's own "churches", "prophets" and "preachers".

    Now you see that an individual faith can have nothing equal neither with religion nor with church, as well as vice versa - a church defines a social religion and the latter can define individual beliefs. The more the society develops, the more develops the church and it's religion. The most primitive communal tribes' beliefs in Tamriel are predominantly Daedric (with some exceptions like the Kothringi) if we use the Elven terms here. Some of them are unique, like the Hist Argonian and Skaal faiths (faiths, not religions - they do not correspond to the definitions of religion mentioned above). The most developed feudal absolutist states such as Elsweyr and Morrowind developed it's own religions based on their previous beliefs. The most developed Dwemeri society of Tamriel "worshiped" Reason and Logic - in other words, science. We all remember the disagreements within the Dwemeri society on different matters, but read again the primary function of any religion I've written above. That primary function just travelled from religious sphere to science just like it did IRL. How does it work?
    Science gives us too many devices to improve and save our lives, too many things that undoubtly prove it's rightfulness in comparison to religion, so nobody would think science can lie - it doesn't, it just.. corrects it's calculations. Those devices and inventions the science provides are also the reason of why we believe in everything science tells us beyond certain things we can see or touch. Why did Tarhiel fell from the sky? Some would say gravitation caused it, the other would point at the difference of Tarhiel's and the local atmosphere's weight and solidity, the third would say it was defined by the attributes of the video game objects and the script the devs created. So many truths.

    Science as a concept acts absolutely the same way religion did it, when it improved and saved people's lives through teaching them to live in families, to wash hands before meal, what meal to eat and how to cook it, how to read and write, it preserved all the knowledge the people had at that time and explained everything in simple and comprehensive way through the teachings of the divine will and command, it also was the center of all the science itself - religion was right in it's practice the same way science is right in it's practice today, but.. it also governs the people's beliefs about our world, about themselves. The same way we are supposed to believe whatever some certain "prophets" of science tell us - just because science works, we see it's results and it surely makes our lives better. If you believe in and use microwaves everyday, then you must believe, say, that the dinosaurs died 65 million years ago and their corpses, found much higher then the levels they should be below earth, should not confuse you. It's just an example with no intent to speculate on it. Those who do not believe are considered less educated people just like.. modern heretics :). Science is not religion, of course, but since the progress goes on, religion loses the ability to perform it's primary function (new means of production require more and more educated exploited class) and thus it is exactly science to perform that function. Science and religion never make any dramatic breakthroughs in calm and steady societies (they just don't have to - see the primary function above again) and.. they never really oppose each other because they perform the very same primary function. And that function is far away from making all the people be happy and live better. Both phenomenons would have never existed were that function of no use to the dominant class at a given historical period. Keep that in mind whatever concept you stick to because it explains many things in Tamrielic history.

    Thank you for reading and have a good day!

    Back to contents.
  • ZOS_Adrikoth
    ZOS_Adrikoth
    admin
    Wow what a detailed write up, great job putting this together!
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  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Thank you much, @ZOS_Adrikoth! Unlike my previous guides, this one took really much time and efforts to recall everything I knew on the topic, to check all those new and old books for they could have been updated, changed; to travel in the game in order to see how those NPC live, to talk to them; to check various in-game world objects like temples and shrines and compare those things I saw in the screen with the in-game books, and finally to develop the system of the guide and write it all here, to make navigation easy, etc. It took less efforts to develop that New Elven Chronology. A Theory and the corresponding List of Dates - another as boring thing as any other to read in bed before going to sleep :). I hope you and other readers would find something new to them there, something that will make them look deeper into the world of the Elder Scrolls games we like so much.

    Thanks to you and all your colleagues for such a fantastic universe you create for us!
  • Elwendryll
    Elwendryll
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    Really interesting thread. Thanks for your work. I'll take time to read everything at some point :)
    PC - EU - France - AD
    Main character: Qojikrin (Previously Jah'Kar) : Khajiit Stamina Sorcerer - since March 25, 2015.
    Guildmaster of Oriflamme: Focus on 4 players endgame content.
    Member of Brave Cat Trade and Scions of Dawn.

  • Elwendryll
    Elwendryll
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    Well. That escalated quickly.
    PC - EU - France - AD
    Main character: Qojikrin (Previously Jah'Kar) : Khajiit Stamina Sorcerer - since March 25, 2015.
    Guildmaster of Oriflamme: Focus on 4 players endgame content.
    Member of Brave Cat Trade and Scions of Dawn.

  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Elwendryll wrote: »
    Well. That escalated quickly.

    No, that was just our long term arguement with Seraph on that lonely thing in the lore - an old discussion of two players who both like TES much :). I thank you for reading, Elwendryll, I'm very glad you find the guide interesting, thank you!
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on July 17, 2020 6:41PM
  • Elwendryll
    Elwendryll
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    Yes, the amount of work is really impressive. I'm mainly interested in khajiit culture, and that was definitely a new perspective.

    PC - EU - France - AD
    Main character: Qojikrin (Previously Jah'Kar) : Khajiit Stamina Sorcerer - since March 25, 2015.
    Guildmaster of Oriflamme: Focus on 4 players endgame content.
    Member of Brave Cat Trade and Scions of Dawn.

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