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imperial cult

Primate Artorius

Grand Sermonizer Fithia

Were you among the crowd when the Sermon of Akatosh spoke out against the Dark Brotherhood in Kvatch? We invite you to take a close look into the Great Cathedral of Akatosh and gather some background information about its Primate, Artorius Ponticus.

Faithful of Akatosh,

As another Mid-Year Celebration approaches, this is a good time to reflect on the myriad of blessings provided by the Dragon God of Time. Of all the bountiful and numerous boons Akatosh bestows upon us, none gives us more pride and good cheer than the Primate of our Great Cathedral, the pious and righteous Artorius Ponticus.

The devotion and piety demonstrated by Primate Artorius on any given day barely hints at his humble beginnings. As the fourth son of the wealthy Ancrus family, young Artorius grew up without a clear idea of his place in the world. Service to the Divines was a natural path for Artorius to follow, but he had little interest in a life of spiritual devotion and prayer. Instead, young Artorius found himself drawn to the notorious crime boss, Vodunius Monrius. It wasn't long before he was running messages and performing errands for Vodunius and his lieutenants.

Primate Artorius never hides from his past. He tells us that he was full of “vinegar and fury" in those days, trying to find his place in the world. He was on the verge of either discovering his passion or losing his way when Akatosh intervened. Four members of the City Guard caught him collecting gold from a shop owner—the daily fee charged to protect the merchant from Vodunius's wrath. Instead of tossing Artorius in a dungeon and throwing away the key, however, the Guard sent him to spend a year and a day with the priests of the Divines as penance for his crimes.

Temple life soon became too exhausting for Artorius to maintain his rage. Study, meditation, and prayer were juxtaposed by various chores to maintain the temple and its shrines. Despite every attempt to do otherwise, the young initiate soon became fascinated with the tales and tenets of the Divines. He questioned the priests of each shrine endlessly about the Divine honored there, until Artorius eventually found his fate and pledged his service to the Dragon God of Time.

Of course, you've all heard the story of the “Miracle of the First Shrine," when Akatosh first used Artorius to reveal his will to the faithful. After that fateful event, Artorius received a post here at our Cathedral in Kvatch, where he quickly rose through the ranks and eventually took his place as our beloved Primate. Under his guidance and care, the Cathedral of Akatosh has remained a stabilizing force in our part of the world for most of the last decade. And, as we contemplate our blessings on this Mid-Year Celebration, remember that everything that's good and worthwhile in Kvatch and the Gold Coast comes from Akatosh and his chosen representative, Primate Artorius.

Do not let the pirates of Anvil disturb your tranquility. Do not fear the shadows or the cowardly assassins that hide within them. For Akatosh is the light and the power, and Primate Artorius is his good right hand.

As Akatosh wills it, so shall it be.

Grand Sermonizer Fithia

For My Gods and Emperor

Imperial Cult

A Handbook for the Imperial Cult

What is the Imperial Cult?

The missionary arm of the great faiths, the Imperial cult brings divine inspiration and consolation to the Empire's remote provinces. The cults combine the worship of the Nine Divines, the Aedra Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, and Julianos, and the Talos cult, veneration of the divine god-hero Tiber Septim, founder and patron of the Empire. Imperial cult priests provide worship and services for all these gods at Imperial shrines in settlements throughout Vvardenfell.

What is the Virtuous Life?

Our doctrines are simple. We acknowledge the divinity of the Nine Divines: Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, Julianos, and Tiber Septim. We preach the Nine Virtues: Humility, Inspiration, Piety, Work, Compassion, Justice, Ambition, Learning, and Civility. Our Emperor is the Defender of the Faith, and the Empire is the worldly working of the Divine Plan. We pledge aid and comfort to all citizens in need, and serve the Emperor and Empire at his will.

The Imperial cults look to the Nine Divines as models for living a good and virtuous life. Each of the Nine represents different aspects of life, and how it should be lived. But the simplest statement of our doctrines is -- help and protect one another. The stronger one is, the wealthier one is, the more one bears responsibility for helping and protecting others. One's first duty, of course, is to one's fellow members of the Imperial Cult. But after that, one should help and protect any needy persons.

We also say, "do not harm one another." It is forbidden to attack another person of the Imperial cult, and of course, forbidden to kill another member. It is forbidden to steal from another member, whether by open theft or by covert pickpocketing. It is forbidden to trespass upon the private property of another member. Break any one of these rules, and be expelled from the cult.

How can I join the Imperial cult?

The Imperial cult accepts all citizens of good character and earnest faith. We ask only a one-time pledge of 50 drakes to aid us in our good works. Thereafter, the only cost of membership comes when you use our health, healing, and blessing shrines -- modest fees which help us spread the blessings of the Nine to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Those who wish to join the Imperial cult in Vvardenfell will find a warm welcome from our cult greeters: Ygfa at Fort Pelagiad, Syloria Siruliulus at Buckmoth Legion Fort, Somutis Vunnis at Moonmoth Legion Fort, Ruccia Conician in the Grand Council Chambers in Ebonheart, or Lalatia Varian in the Imperial Chapels at Ebonheart.

What are the requirements for advancement in the Imperial cult?

Seekers who wish to advance in the service of the Nine must dedicate time and resources to serving the cult, and must strive for personal improvement in their attributes and skills. Only the most distinguished are worthy of advancement to the higher ranks in the Imperial cults.

To serve and glorify the Nine Divines, the faithful must cultivate a noble personality and a strong will. Respect the magical arts, especially the colleges of Restoration, Mysticism, and Conjuration. Those who swear to avoid bloodshed, to take the field unarmored to fight only with blunt weapons, are especially praiseworthy. Knowledge of enchantments and the gift of diplomatic speech are other qualities we value in our initiates.

Imperial cult services

You can find Imperial cult services in Buckmoth Legion Fort, Moonmoth Legion Fort, Pelagiad Legion Fort, Gnisis Legion Fort, Wolverine Hall in Sadrith Mora, Vivec Foreign Quarter, and Imperial chapels in Ebonheart. Seek training at Wolverine Hall, Buckmoth Fort, Moonmoth Fort, Ebonheart Imperial Chapels, Governor's Hall in Caldera, and Ald Velothi Outpost.

Many Imperial cult locations have healing altars. You may pray at Imperial cult healing altars and receive blessings which cure common and blight diseases, cure poisons, and restore damaged attributes. Non-members pay 25 drakes. Non-members pay 25 drakes. Newer members pay 10 drakes, while higher-ranking members receive blessings free. Healing altars are found in: Vivec Foreign Quarter; Wolverine Hall in Sadrith Mora; Buckmoth Legion Fort; Moonmoth Legion Fort; Pelagiad Legion Fort; Gnisis Legion Fort; and Imperial Chapels in Ebonheart.

Opportunities for service

Lay healers gather ingredients for health and healing potions, and minister to the sick and hurt in poor and isolated communities. It is difficult and sometimes dangerous work, but the spiritual rewards are great. Lay healers need only the skills of the prudent traveler, being often on the road and in the wilderness, gathering herbs and potion components. They should avoid trouble where possible, and so need not be masters of the arts of war. Those interested should speak to Synnolian Tunifus at the Imperial Chapels in Ebonheart.

Almoners gather alms from members and friends of the faith. We depend on donations to fund most of our good works. Almoners who are successful at bringing in generous donations may rise in the ranks of Imperial Cults service. Almoners must travel in town and village, and should be skilled in persuasion and mercantile matters. Also, almoners with personal wealth are in a position to better serve the cult. Those interested should speak to Iulus Truptor at the Imperial Chapels in Ebonheart.

A shrine sergeant helps keep order at the shrines, carries messages and packages, and sometimes escorts priests and lay servants on dangerous missions. This occasional service is ideal for bold, free-spirited adventurers. Shrine sergeants are called upon to serve the Nine with weapon, armor, and spell. New shrine sergeants are given the easiest tasks, but later, missions may demand higher levels of combat proficiency. Those interested should speak to Kaye at the Imperial Chapels in Ebonheart.

Oracle's Quests are the most demanding of all Imperial cult missions. Only members of the higher ranks are invited to assist the Oracle, and the challenges require the skill and courage found only in heroes of legend.

How do the Imperial cults view the other factions of Vvardenfell?

The Imperial cults have a very close relationship with the Imperial legions, and a friendly and supportive relationship with the Imperial Guilds -- especially the Fighters and Mages Guilds. We also have a friendly and supportive relationship with House Hlaalu, which strongly supports the Emperor and Imperial principles. Though we cannot condone the actions of the Thieves Guild, we praise their faithful dedication to the Emperor and to Imperial culture.

The Imperial cults have the greatest respect for the high moral principles of House Redoran and the Morag Tong, and honors their different but noble conceptions of Divine Inspiration.

We disapprove of the primitive heathen beliefs of the Ashlanders, and of the impious and inhumane practices of the Telvanni. The Imperial cult especially disapproves of the practice of slavery, and looks forward to the day when slavery is illegal in all Imperial provinces. The Imperial cult also disapproves of the lawless and greedy Camonna Tong, and their ruthless exploitation of the poor and weak.

Historically, our relationship with the Tribunal Temple is difficult and unfriendly. Though the Imperial cults acknowledges the lords and saints of the Temple pantheon as worthy inspirations, the Temple falsely insists that theirs is the One True Faith, and that the Imperial cults worship false gods.