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Douglas Goodall's Posts

Author: 
Douglas Goodall

On the difficulty of keeping lore consistent between games (04/08/01)

You have no idea. NO idea.

Seriously, I have re-learned the necessity of GREP. I only wish Arena and Daggerfall had left more documents for me to search... Redguard and the early Morrowind stuff is all easily searchable for contradictions. Still, I fear several are inevitable.

AND I should note that I was a big fan of the series, which makes this much easier... I only THOUGHT I knew everything about Tamriel... I can't imagine coming to work here without already being something of an Elder Scrolls loremaster.

On Dwemer trivia (pre-Morrowind) (04/19/01)

"I never told you or have been told myself that House Dagoth was not *linked* to Dwarves. It's just that House Dagoth *was not* Dwarves. See the difference?"

Right. The Dwemer didn't divide themselves into "Houses" anyway.

"Actually, according to "The Songs of King Wulfharth", some dude called Dagoth Ur killed Dumac the Dwarfking during the Battle of the Red Mountain. The Songs controverse each other, so take it with a grain of salt. After all, it's a legend, and a Nordic one. Nords, after all, might not have a clue as to what was going on."

Well, the Nords *were* there... Only the combined might of the Dunmer and Dwemer could drive the foreigners out to found Resdayn. After the Battle of Red Mountain and the mysterious disappearance, the Dunmer no longer needed Dwemer technology for defense -- by then, they had the Tribunal.

"On a side note, Dunmer traditionally place family name first and given name second, as in "Indoril Nerevar" and "Hlaalu Brevur"."

Um. I suppose you're referring to the

If they place the family name first, how do you explain that the quote about Brevur the Betrayer was spoken by Paulus Hlaalu?

Your first guess was a good one, but it is not the right one. Not that it matters in the larger scheme of things.

For instance, Indoril Nerevar's full and formal name would be Serjo Indoril Nerevar Mora.

I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't just made it up.

Raptormeat: Lakene had a good point, but not many people ever thought that way. Certainly not enough to destroy a whole race... Unless, of course, a whole race can be destroyed by the actions of one person...

Xachariah II: The Dwemer did not use solar panels. Good guess, though.

"Only Boethiah can change a race's skin. Only the Dwarves can cover it in tin foil."

Carry on.

Clarifying some Khajiit information (04/19/01)

"It has got something to do with Khajiit Culture ..."

YM: Biology

Their culture came from their odd biology. They missed out on Y'ferr's decree, so Lorkhaj played a little trick on them...

"Depending on WHEN a Khajiit is born , she looks more human or feline. The most humanoid breed , looks almost like elves , but with tails and soft fur covering parts of the torso."

One of the "humanoid" breeds looks like that.

"Depending on their Khajiit Breed they have different duties to do in Khajiit society..."

This is more a practical matter than some kind of caste-system. Obviously there are jobs you cannot do without opposable thumbs, etc.

If you ever move to Tamriel, keep in mind that there is a whole province just waiting to be introduced to the tasty fishy stick.

On the mortality of gods (04/20/01)

Arkay and the King of Worms were once mortal...

And what about Tosh Raka?

On the Khajiit breeds as seen in the games (04/20/01)

The breeds of Khajiit in the various games:

Arena: Ohmes
Daggerfall: censored>
Morrowind: suthay-Raht

There are no Ohmes or in Morrowind.

The "jaguar men" are cathay-Raht... a little different from the suthay-Raht. The screenshot Khajiit (see the above link or the screenshots section) are suthay-Raht. S'rathra and Joto were also suthay-Raht.

On the meaning of "Khajiit" (04/22/01)

You'll have to wait for the game. Or later. You need to read "Ta'agra for the Unclawed."

I'll give you some hints, though.

khaj = desert

-iit (when applied to places) = "one who lives/walks in"

On what the Ta'Agra (04/22/01)

A "beta version" of it.

Back when I had time to do that sort of thing, I set up grammar rules, etc. The vocabulary is limited, and it doesn't *sound* as cool as the pseudo-english of S'rathra in Redguard. It needs more work, but I no longer have time to do that sort of thing. I'm only on the forums now while waiting for my computer to... Oh. It's done now. Excuse me.

On Khajiit phalic barbs (04/22/01)

"There's no accounting for taste."

I don't know who wrote/said that. I suspect it is a "modern" and anonymous quote. In any case, my profile will disprove this notion.

And, in the spirit of tastelessness, only some breeds of Khajiit have the... traits that Therris had in Real Barenziah. While all Terran felines have this trait (and many carnivorae have something similar), it makes no biological sense for the Khajiit to have it... unless Khajiit women are not sexually receptive year-round like human women or always ovulate during intercourse... The fiction from Daggerfall somewhat disproves that notion as well, thus the dilemna.

I thought of a couple explanations for this and eventually settled on one which I should save for later revelation.

I retroactively removed this trait from most of the Khajiit. I'm allowed to do that because I said so. So there. Therris was obviously a cathay-Raht, since he clearly wasn't a Senche, [censored], [censored], or [haven't made up a name yet]. Ohmes don't have this trait at all and suthay-Raht (like the Khajiit in Morrowind) have it only to a slight degree.

So far, this is the only "design" topic I've brought up that even Ken was unwilling to comment on...

Perhaps if I get around to writing the other volumes of Khajiit Physiology, the game itself will have a more lucid explanation.

Answering some questions about Bretons and Knights (04/26/01)

"1.What is the stereotype on the breton knights? (are they seen as the most chivalric?, mystic?, or what?)
2.Which of the eight divines is held in the most accord by the bretons?
3.Any ideas on what the breton unique ability will be for Morrowind?
4.Is the bretons penchant for magic tied in with them being a particularly relgious group of people?"

1. There's more than one order of Breton Knights... Why not make up one you like playing?
2. Like most of the Empire, Bretons worship all of the Eight Divines (and there's a strong Emperor Cult in a few places), but they are not generally devout. The Bretons used to be ruled by witch-kings and High Rock has more witch covens than many provinces... Alas, this is not relevant for a Knight. If you're looking at playing a Breton religious crusader, feel free. Each of the Divines supports a Knightly Order, in addition to the other Knightly Orders (Bretons are a Knightly people, if not a particularly religious one).
3. Yes.
4. Their talent for magic comes from their history. There's a clue in the link Raptormeat posted.

Perhaps you should read Heroic Achievements of the Bretons... That's a joke, btw.

Is that joke too obscure?

On whether "the Daedra were created by the 'intelligent races' of Tamriel" (04/28/01)

A similar argument was made by the opponents of the Allesian heresy. Might I direct the interested scholar once more to volume XI of Marobar Sul's Ancient Tales of the Dwemer... which doesn't exactly answer your question, but is quite interesting.

More on the Hist (04/30/01)

"1) i wonder, will the Hist will be modeled as an NPC??? one gets killed, and has Argonian Eggs when you search it.
2) are the Hist related to Spriggans?"

No comment on the exact relationship between the Hist and the Argonian reproductive cycle, but it's cool. As for egg-laying, this is an interesting question. While the majority of reptiles do lay eggs, there are a number that have live births (basically, the eggs hatch internally). I guess I had pictured the Argonians going more the live birth route, because they are so humanoid, but the concept of them laying eggs is an interesting one. Have to think more on that.

As for your questions:
1) Nope, no Hist NPCs to be found, although I think it's a really cool idea. Remember, we're gonna be in Morrowind this time around, and won't be delving into murky Black Marsh quite yet. The Argonians are pretty touchy when it comes to crossing their borders.

2) Nah. Hist are much cooler.

On Ebonheart(s) (05/11/01)

There is a city of Vivec and a Castle Ebonheart and a city of Ebonheart. 2 of the 3 are in the game Morrowind. The third may or may not exist, but it would help explain some gaps, etc.

On musical Argonians (01/31/02)

I thought they should use the marsh itself as their primary musical instrument like the Baka Forest People use rivers. And play lots of odd percussion instruments like water drums and bohdans and djimbes and udus. And make slowed-down bird-call noises.

I wanted the Khajiit to be arrhythmic jazz musicians.

A sample of Ta'agra in response to an attempt to crack Morrowind's cyphers (07/17/04)

Pleased is Jobasha at your work. Very good for smooth skins and blunt ears. The Imperial and Telavanni ciphers broken? Oh, but Redoran is easiest of all! A Sermon here, a Sermon there... But so many sermons hide their secrets like naughty children. Jobasha would suggest a study of Sermon Zero if Jobasha were not so kind and wise. And the fine tapestries of my close friend your kind calls "Cherim."
 
Of course, Jobasha could ruin this game for you, but where would Jobasha be then? No, the big secrets are for the ja-Kha'jay.
 
But Jobasha is so pleased, he forgets himself. Jobasha tells you three truths, gives you three gifts, like the eighth keeper on the road to the western lands...
 
Ahziss zwinthodurrarr rabi.
"I have a yellow writing utensil.
Ahziss liter ajo'iiliten rabiba.
"My brother has a wonderful girl."
Ahziss aaliter vakasash.
"I wish I was my brother."
Is the Cherim of Sermon Zero the same Cherim as the famous tapestrist? (07/18/04)
A common misunderstanding. Cherim is Jobasha's good friend, shared much sugar, many sands. Cherim is famous tapestry maker, puts the ja'Kha'Jay in every one. White Gold is one of his best, one of the least often seen. It shows the White Tower, a dragon spirals around it, a moth priest at the top. Very famous moment, but few men remember.
 
Have you not heard of Muzariah and her death at the hands of the Three Angry Men? Muzariah was Indoril by birth and a painter by choice. Her best painting lies in the cellars of the Imperial Palace by Imperial decree. No one wishes to destroy such beauty, but no one wishes it to be seen. A dilemna.
 
But Jobasha says too much. 

 

Khajiit Physiology - Phases and Forms

Author: 
Raptormeat, Revised by Lady Nerevar

The Khajiit are the mysterious cat-like race that inhabits the deserts of Elsweyr. The 1st Pocket Guide to the Empire reports that there are  ranging from what might look like a normal tiger to what could almost be called a tailed, clawed human. The ja-Kha'jay (Lunar Lattice), which is a mysterious force related to the phases of Nirn's twin moons, determinines which form a Khajiit will take.

 

Masser - New & Secunda - Waxing
Masser: New
Secunda: Waxing

Ohmes-raht: Similar in size and shape to humans, but with light fur and a tail.

 

This was the form found in Daggerfall. 

Masser - New & Secunda - Full
Masser: New
Secunda: Full

Ohmes: This form is similar in appearance to the Bosmer, sometimes shorter. Due to their man-like appearance, the Ohmes are the most common breed of Khajiit outside of Elsweyr. They are commonly employed as diplomats and adventurers. Ohmes tattoo their faces to resemble their more feline brethren. Ohmes do not have phalic barbs. They are commonly known as "man-faced" Khajiit.

 

This was the form found in Arena. 

Masser - New & Secunda - Waning
Masser: New
Secunda: Waning

Suthay-raht: Walk upright but are more cat-like than Ohmes-raht. Suthay-raht have a slight degree of phalic barbs. Sometimes called "ja'khajiit" by other races, though this is a misnomer. 

 

This form was found in Redguard and Morrowind. 

Masser - New & Secunda - New
Masser: New
Secunda: New

Suthay: Similar to Suthay-raht but smaller and weaker.

Masser - Waxing & Secunda - Waxing
Masser: Waxing
Secunda: Waxing

Cathay-raht: Similar to the Suthay-raht, but larger and stronger. Described as looking like upright jaguars. Cathay-raht have phalic barbs. 

 

Therris, from the Real Barenziah series, was a Cathay-raht. 

Masser - Waxing & Secunda - Full
Masser: Waxing
Secunda: Full

Cathay: Larger and stronger than a Suthay-raht, but smaller than a Cathay-raht.

Masser - Waxing & Secunda - Waning
Masser: Waxing
Secunda: Waning

Tojay-raht: Nothing is known about the Tojay-raht. There is speculation that it may be a bipedal form

Masser - Waxing & Secunda - New
Masser: Waxing
Secunda: New

Tojay: Nothing is known about the Tojay except that it is probably smaller than the Tojay-raht

Masser - Full & Secunda - Waxing
Masser: Full
Secunda: Waxing

Senche-raht: At the size of a large horse, the Senche-raht is twice as tall as a Senche and can weigh as much as fifty Altmer. Has straighter legs and shorter body (relative to size) than a Senche, the Senche's other characteristics apply to the Senche-raht as well. Ridden, especially in battle. Known as "Battlecats" to Imperials.

Masser - Full & Secunda - Full
Masser: Full
Secunda: Full

Senche: A smaller version of the Senche-raht, similar to the Pahmar-raht. Its forelimbs are thick and 1.5 times longer than their hindlimbs, giving them an ape-like appearence. The Senche's coat is tawny and stripped in red-brown. Stand as tall as an Altmer and weigh as much as twenty. They are sprinters, not long distance runners, and are often used as mounts for by other Khajiit. 

Masser - Full & Secunda - Waning
Masser: Full
Secunda: Waning

Pahmar-raht: Like a Pahmar, but larger, more powerful.

Masser - Full & Secunda - New
Masser: Full
Secunda: New

Pahmar: Similar to a tiger.

Masser - Waning & Secunda - Waxing
Masser:Waning
Secunda: Waxing

Alfiq-raht: Probably like the Alfiq but larger.

Masser - Waning & Secunda - New
Masser: Waning
Secunda: New

Alfiq: Similar in appearence to domesticated cats. Can understand human speech but cannot speak it.

Masser - Waning & Secunda - Waning
Masser: Waning
Secunda: Waning

Dagi-raht: Similar in all respects to the Dagi, while somewhat larger, however not overly so as they are able to dwell in higher tree branches, like the Dagi. It can be assumed that, like their smaller cousins, they are naturally skilled in the use of magic.

Masser - Waning & Secunda - New
Masser: Waning
Secunda: New

Dagi: A less-common form of Khajiit, Dagi live in the trees of the Tenmar forrest. Due to their smaller size and light weight, they are able to dwell in the higher branches which even the Bosmer cannot reach. The Dagi have a natural affinity for magic, and are known spellcasters, a characteristic often taken advantage of in Khajiiti battle-tactics; they appear to be just as skilled as any capable magic user.

 

Mane: The Mane is a unique form of Khajiit born when a 3rd moon appears in the sky. Only one Mane exists at any one time, and Khajiiti believe that the Mane is one soul incarnating into different bodies. Traditionally, all Khajiit would shave their hair and braid it into the Mane's mane, but the large population of modern Elsweyr has made this tradition impractical. Manes may still wear the braids of their tribe and his warrior guard. Due to the weight of all this hair, the Mane cannot move and must be carried on a palaquin by his Cathay-raht servants. 

 

Sources

Douglas Goodall's posts

Interview with Three Booksellers

Minutes of the Lusty Argonian Historical Society, Frostfall 3E 432

Mixed Unit Tactics

Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st edition

Khajiit

Author: 
B

Khajiit - OblivionArena Description
Khajiit hail from the province of Elsweyr. They are a fair skinned people who are extremely hardy, intelligent, and agile. Legend has it that they descended from an intelligent feline race, for they still retain a strange cast to their features. Many khajiit have taken to painting their faces to more resemble their distant cousins, the predatory cats that hunt the great desert. Khajiit are expert climbers, able to scale chasm wall sides with speed unmatched by any other race. They are adept at all arts involving thieving and sleight of hand.

Know ye this also:Thy race is born of the desert, where life is cruel and harsh and death comes on vultures wings. Thou art feline and sleek, deadly hunters of the wastes...

Khajiit - MorrowindDaggerfall Description
Descended from the great cat warriors of the desert, the Khajiit are an agile, intelligent, and hardy people. Some choose to decorate their faces in the style of their feline ancestors, and most of all, given the inclinaton, make excellent thieves due to their climbing abilities.

Battlespire Description
No beast races present.

Morrowind Description
Khajiit hail from the province of Elsweyr and can vary in appearance from nearly Elven to the cathay-raht "jaguar men" to the great Senche-Tiger. The most common breed found in Morrowind, the suthay-raht, is intelligent, quick, and agile. Khajiit of all breeds have a weakness for sweets, especially the drug known as skooma. Many Khajiit disdain weapons in favor of their natural claws. They make excellent thieves due to their natural agility and unmatched acrobatics ability. Many Khajiit are also warriors, although this is less common among the suthay-raht.

Shadowkey Description
This agile cat race was native to Tamriel long before the arrival of the humans and elves. The Khajiit Cat Quick advantage allows them to avoid blows which would otherwise hit.

Oblivion Description
Hailing from the province of Elsweyr, they are intelligent, quick and agile. They make excellent thieves due to their natural agility and unmatched acrobatics skill. All Khajiit can see in the dark.

Skyrim Description
Hailing from the province of Elsweyr, they are intelligent, quick, and agile. They make excellent thieves due to their natural stealthiness. All Khajiit can see in the dark at will and have unarmed claw attacks.

Elder Scrolls Online Description
The population of the proud feline Khajiit has dwindled in recent years following a devastating outbreak of Knahaten Flu. They owe a great debt to Ayrenn, Queen of the High Elves, for her help in restoring order from the chaos that followed the plague. They have a wry wit and a hedonistic outlook, but they are fearsome on the field of battle. They are the strong arm of the Aldmeri Dominion.

Elder Scrolls Legends Description
Khajiit are quick and agile, making them some of the most adept thieves in Tamriel.


Khajiit Gods

Alkosh
(Dragon King of Cats)
Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anaquinine deity. Variation on the Altmeri Auri-El, and thus an Akatosh-as-culture-hero for the earliest Khajiiti. His worship was co-opted during the establishment of the Riddle-T'har, and he still enjoys immense popularity in Elsweyr's wasteland regions. He is depicted as a fearsome dragon, a creature the Khajiiti say 'is just a real big cat'. Repelled an early Aldmeri pogrom of Pelinal Whitestrake during mythic times.
Riddle'Thar
(Two-Moons Dance)
The cosmic order deity of the Khajiiti, the Riddle'Thar was revealed to Elsweyr by the prophet Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, the Mane. The Riddle'Thar is more a set of guidelines by which to live than a single entity, but some of his avatars like to appear as humble messengers of the gods. Also known as the Sugar God.
Jone
(Little Moon God)
Aldmeri god of the Little Moon. Also called Secunda or Stendarr's Sorrow. In Khajiti religion, Jone is only one aspect of the Lunar Lattice, or ja-Kha'jay.
Jode
(Big Moon God)
Aldmeri god of the Big Moon. Also called Masser or Mara's Tear. In Khajiti religion, Jode is only one aspect of the Lunar Lattice, or ja-Kha'jay.
Mara
(Goddess of Love)
Nearly universal goddess. Origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. In Skyrim, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne. In the Empire, she is Mother-Goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the 'Anuad', the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. Depending on the religion, she is either married to Akatosh or Lorkhan, or the concubine of both.
Stendarr
(God of Mercy)
God of the Eight Divines, Stendarr has evolved from his Nordic origins into a deity of compassion or, sometimes, righteous rule. He is said to have accompanied Tiber Septim in his later years. In early Altmeri legends, Stendarr is the apologist of Men.
Lorkhan
(The Missing God)
This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. His most popular name is the Aldmeri 'Lorkhan', or Doom Drum. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane, upsetting the status quo-- much like his father Padomay had introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhan is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the 'scheme of things' is interpreted a variety of ways. In Morrowind, for example, he is a being related to the Psijiic Endeavor, a process by which mortals are charged with transcending the gods that created them. To the High Elves, he is the most unholy of all higher powers, as he forever broke their connection to the spirit plane. In the legends, he is almost always an enemy of the Aldmer and, therefore, a hero of early Mankind.
Rajhin
(Footpad)
Thief god of the Khajiiti, who grew up in the Black Kiergo section of Senchal. The most famous burglar in Elsweyr's history, Rajhin is said to have stolen a tattoo from the neck of Empress Kintyra as she slept.
Baan Dar
(The Bandit God)
In most regions, Baan Dar is a marginal diety, a trickster spirit of thieves and beggars. In Elsweyr he is more important, and is regarded as the Pariah. In this aspect, Baan Dar becomes the cleverness or desperate genius of the long-suffering Khajiiti, whose last minute plans always upset the machinations of their (Elven or Human) enemies.
Azura
(Goddess of Dusk and Dawn)
Azura was the god-ancestor that taught the Chimer the mysteries needed to be different than the Altmer. Some of her more conventional teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is often more a communal cosmic force for the race as a whole than an ancestor or a god. Also known as the Anticipation of Sotha Sil. In Elsweyr, Azura is nearly a wholly separate entity, yet she is still tied into the origins of Khajiiti out of Altmeri stock.
Sheogorath
(The Mad God)
The fearful obeisance of Sheogorath is widespread, and is found in most Tamrielic quarters. Contemporary sources indicate that his roots are in Aldmeri creation stories; therein, he is 'born' when Lorkhan's divine spark is removed. One crucial myth calls him the 'Sithis-shaped hole' of the world.

 

Sugar and Blood: The Cats of the South

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

Map of Elsweyr

It is said that a hundred civilizations are buried beneath the sands of Elsweyr, and it may be unwise to assume our current Empire will forever stand above the shifting sands of the desert province. The Khajiit who occupy the southern land between Black Marsh and Valenwood have always been a restless people, and prove regularly that nothing in Tamriel is immortal.

History

Khajiit are commonly considered one of the beast folks, one of the few survivors of the original inhabitants of Tamriel before the coming of mer and man, and Elsweyr is their home. This tradition is not, of course, accepted by one and all. Alternate theories abound that their origin, based mainly around the fact that one of the breeds of Khajiit, the Ohmes-Raht, so closely resembles the elven folk that they could be cousins. Some believe that the Khajiit are simply descendant of the original Aldmer settlers in Tamriel, who evolved, like the Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, and Orsimer, because of circumstance, ito the cat-like race that walks the dunes of Elsweyr. If so, they are just one more of the alien, sentient species who have made themselves so much a part of Tamriel to be confused for natives.

Khajiit RaceThe more commonly held belief, however, is that they were not foreign intelligent creatures who became cats to survive the hostile, arid land of Elsweyr, but they were indigenous cats whose knack for change allowed them to survive while other native creatures declined and disappeared. It is strange to think that so inhospitable a land, of blistering heat and crop destroying wind, would have been the fecund womb for one of the original predators of Tamriel, but that seems to be the unlikely likelihood.

Topal the Pilot in his peregrinations around Tamriel encountered the Khajiit not in Elsweyr, but far up the Niben River, close to the Imperial City, where they preyed on the native creatures, and caused his crew much distress as they stalked the river banks. We have records too from the Merethic Bosmer that certain parts of Valenwood were to be avoided for fear of the great jungle cat men. It may be comfortably surmised that the Khajiit, though most at home in the deserts, reigned as the dominant culture across southern Tamriel in ancient days.

The Khajiit kingdoms were simply a fact when historian began to put quill to paper and record life for posterity. When the early human settlers in Tamriel were only just beginning to understand what plants grew where under what circumstance, there were already mercantile caravans in modern day Rimmen; when the transplanted natives of Atmora and Aldemeris were vying for dominance in the north, the Khajiit had already developed a sophisticated culture in the south.

In the early First Era, there were sixteen independent realms in Elsweyr. Unlike typical human and elvish kingdoms, these regions did not compete with one another for land and power. Earlier versions of this Guide spoke of tribal conflict, but the truth was quite the opposite in the earliest Khajiit society. Recognizing their own idiosyncratic characters and strengths, each territory specialized in one specific duty, supplying its neighbors with its bounty in exchange for equal measure. Ne Quin-al, where great warriors were born and trained - its Temple of Two-Moons Dance is famous even in our day - might trade its warriors to Torval in exchange for fish and other bounties of the sea. The dominance of each region was checked by the moons. It was said that when both moons were full, Ne Quin-al was in dominance; when both moons were half, Torval; when both moons were new, Senchal. The other regions too had their days of power and influence.

For thousand years this delicate astronomic and political dance was equal to facing every threat posed against the Khajiit. The Alessian Empire chose not to extend its borders too far south, and Bosmer of Valenwood likewise knew how far eastward they dared to extend their kingdom. But the terrible Thrassian Plague of 1E 2260 finally upset this balance forever. Traveling down the trade routes into the heart of Elsweyr, the plague decimated the Khajiit, forcing the survivors into roles they did not choose. Thus was the province turned from sixteen states to only two: Pa'alatiin and Ne Quin-al, more commonly known by their Cyrodilic names of Pellitine and Anequina.

ElsweyrThe two kingdoms, of course, represented the moons at their extremes, but also radically different interpretarions of Khajiit culture, which they adopted from the tribes each had absorbed. The people of Pellitine considered their neighbors in Anequina to be uncouth barbarians, while the Anequinians looked to the south, and saw only decadence and depravity. For many more centuries, the two lands fought, neither gaining appreciable ground. The South had the wealth and could hire mercenaries and withstand sieges, but the North had a warrior culture, and could never be dominated.

When the two united in 309th year of the 2nd Era with the marriage of Kiergo of Anequina and Eshita of Pellitine, the two rulers fully recognized how historic their pact was, and renamed their land accordingly, to Elsweyr. The derivation of this unusual name has perplexed scholars. One commonly held rationale hinges on a particular Khajiit proverb that "a perfect society is always found elsewhere," suggesting that the new King and Queen had that aim, and that sense of humor. Another is that it is reference to Llesw'er, a paradise promised to the Khajiit by the Riddle'Thar. Either possibility points to an optimism which was not to be matched by reality.

The following centuries into and including the Third Era have been times of intermittent strife among the Khajiit of Elsweyr. Successive spiritual leaders, known as Manes, occasionally brought tenuous peace to the land, but never for long. The Khajiit have found security in being absorbed into the Cyrodilic and then the Septim Empires, only to rebel against both. They have sought solace in their rich literary tradition, finding the tales of Rajhin the Thief to speak to their people, but they have stopped the flow of books into their land, for fear of Imperial propaganda. They have tried to enrich their pockets with drug-trafficking, only to enslave their minds to moonsugar. They have engaged in wars with Valenwood on grounds that have constantly shifted, like the sands of Elsweyr itself.

It may be fair to say that Elsweyr is in crisis. And it may further be accurate to say that such chaos is home.

Current Events

The Five Year War with Valenwood shifted the borders of Elsweyr slightly west, taking both banks of the Xylo River. At the end of the Imperial Simulacrum, a diplomatic attempt was made to return the land to Valenwood, but the Khajiit settlers who had already claimed the land refused to move. The Empire eventually found that it was best to leave the situation as it was, possibly persuaded by legal proof that the land rightly belonged to the Khajiit by ancient treaty, and to keep a dangerous situation from getting worse.

Elsweyr's overall territory, however, has not increased, due to a border arrangement which was not it that nation's favor. In the east, the long disputed border with the Cyrodilic County Leyawiin was recently resolved in Cyrodiil's favor, after an agreement between the current Mane and the Count of Leyawiin. But a group of Khajiit bandits known as the Renrijra Krin has taken up the cause of returning the land to Elsweyr, and the West Niben remains a trouble spot.

The harbor city of Senchal, long considered one of the most dangerous slums in Tamriel, has had a remarkable renaissance, from principle port of the drug trade, to coastal resort for wealthy, powerful Khajiit. That glimmer of good news belies the fact that the moonsugar trade in Elsweyr has increased multifold in the last twenty years. Ya'Tirrje, the Gold Cat, is rumored to even have a luxurious villa in Senchal, and helps pay for the abundant security that keeps the city safe and crime-free, all the while continuing his drug-smuggling business in Torval, Corinthe, and Rimmen.

The Elsweyr Confederacy

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

pge01_elsweyr.gif

Elsweyr is the youngest of the modern regions, and the only one to have established itself in the Common Era, nearly six hundred years ago. It is inhabited by a strange race of intelligent beastmen, who call themselves the khajiit in their native tongue. These khajiit are all feline in aspect, some far more than others. A particular family-tribe, or pride, might include a hunting party of males that appear like upright jaguars, a few beautiful youths who could pass for Elves were it not for their swishing tails, an uncle or two that would stalk the perimeters on all fours, and a chief who, depending on the moons of his birth, might have the form of any of the above. The khajiit attribute their improbable biology to the workings of the ja-Kha'jay (the "Moonstrings," or "Lunar Lattice"), a magical and semi-divine phenomena believed to derive from the influence of Tamriel's twin moons, Masser and Secunda. According to the native tradition, a khajiit born while Masser is full and Secunda a thin crescent will grow to be a cathay-raht, one of the aforementioned jaguar-men, while one born under the opposite conditions will be little more than an intelligent house-cat. Even the Senche-tiger, the largest great cat in existence, has proven to be just another form of the khajiit; these massive beasts can often be found serving as steeds for their more humanoid cousins. Over twenty forms have been documented among the catmen of Elsweyr, and, in their own society at least, no one of them is more important or inherently better than another (with the exception of the Mane form, to be described shortly). However, the ohmes, or "man-faced" khajiit, are those most commonly seen outside of the province, as most adventurers and diplomats come from this, the most discreet of the "breeds."

Until relatively recently, the nearly constant insurrection and tribal warfare among the catmen rarely troubled the stage of history. In CE309, however, Keirgo of Anequina and Eshita of Pellitine combined their long-feuding kingdoms to create Elsweyr, sparking a great class struggle that briefly threatened to draw in outside intervention. Power shifted from two separate kingdoms, each with its own central government and allied tribes, to a nobility besieged by those tribes, who felt that both their ruling classes had betrayed them. Chieftains forgot their ancient sugar-vendettas and signed treaties of their own (recorded, incidentally, through facial tattoos), and before long the cities of former Anequina were under constant attack. Keirgo petitioned the Empire for help, but it had just lost its own ruler, Potentate Versidue-Shaie, and was in similar disarray. When the old capital, Ne Quin-al, fell to the rebels, it seemed Elsweyr would soon burst under the weight of its own union. Peace was restored,however when the normally nonpartisan khajiit spiritual leader, the Mane Rid-T'har-ri'Datta, "bestowed to the classes equality under the bi-lunar shadow, dividing their power in accordance with two-moons-dance of the ja-Kha'jay". What this established, in a more understandable sense, was a rotational power base in which both sides of khajiit society, the city-dwellers under the nobility and the nomadic tribes of the desert chieftains, shared alternate control of the region based on the phases of Masser and Secunda; the terms of this measure, the Riddle-T'har, were overseen by the thinly-veiled dictatorship of the Mane himself. Since then, Elsweyr has withdrew itself into a secrecy that has scarcely been breached in five hundred years.

Geographically, Elsweyr is a harsh area of badlands and dry plains. Only near the southern reaches does the soil turn fertile, and the whole of this region is covered in jungle and rainforests, with sugarcane groves clustering against the two main river basins. The old kingdom of Anequina is its northern section, and has historically offered no threat to either the early Cyro-Nords or the later Cyrodiliic Empires. Indeed, Pelinal Whitestrake, Nibenay warlord of the Elven Pogrom, mistook the khajiit for another strain of Aldmeri and killed many of their number before realizing his error1.

Understandably, the ja-Kha'jay makes the culture of Elsweyr very strange and alien. It is a peculiar affliction, which seems, at first glance, to be related to lycanthropy. It is not, however, contagious or temporal in effect like the latter- a khajiit retains the form of his birth throughout his lifespan, and the moons, while they determine that form, do not affect it thereafter. There are no known shapeshifting khajiit. On the whole, the catmen of Elsweyr are a bestial lot, victims of their own preternatural anatomies. They are quick to anger, unpredictable, and dangerous, though singly no match for an Imperial legionnaire. It is also worthwhile to point out that the so-called "human" features found among many of the khajiits are, in fact, distinctly Elven in appearance, no doubt proving once and for all the baser predilections of the Elder Race.

This is not to say that Elsweyr is without some semblance of civilization. The khajiit that do walk erect dress and conduct themselves in a close approximation of a modern, human culture. Their dress is an abundant shawl, commonly of brightly patterned cloth, for defense against the harsh sun and saber-cuts. Their chief attire, the budi, or shirt, is fastened in braids down the right side, not permitting any part of the torso fur to be seen, for such is believed to be highly indecorous. Jewelry and trinkets often adorn the costume, and tattoos are very popular. In some quarters, the latter can even have religious and legal significance. A recent trend among the younger ohmes is the application of feline facial tattoos that make them resemble their more hideous and savage brethren. The obvious weapon of choice among the khajiit are their claws, naturally sharp and retractable. Others, though, have mastered the use of the saber and scimitar, the dagger and the longbow. There is no standing army in Elsweyr, and the catmen have never shown an expansionist inclination. In fact, they have lost territory in the last fifty years with the secession of their rim territories (see Rimmen)*.

 

Tamriel's two moons are inextricably linked to the society of the khajiit, who worship their different phases, and the combination of the phases, as if they were gods. Therefore, each "breed" of khajiit has its own patron deity. Earlier it was believed this practice was just another heathen system of worship common among the beastmen of Tamriel, but recent studies in comparative religion have proven that the lunar gods of Elsweyr are merely the divinities of the Imperial Pantheon (Stendarr, Mara, Kynareth, etc.) in disguise. Similar findings have revealed that the dro-m'Athra, or dark spirits of Elsweyr, which correspond to the inverse phases of Masser and Secunda, to be aspects of the more universal Daedric powers. The khajiit also believe that their gods regularly bestow blessings to their chosen people, in the form of the moon-sugar, a substance native to the Tenmar Forest in southern Elsweyr. This sugar has a variety of uses; it is alternately a seasoning and a magical ingredient, a source of communion with the holy moons and a dangerous and addictive drug. The khajiit understand it to be "crystallized moonlight," caught in the water of the Topal Sea and brought to the sugarcane groves of the Tenmar by the force of the twin tides. By partaking of the sugar, the khajiit believes they are consuming small portions of their gods' eternal souls. This drives them into fits of ecstasy and abandon, and the streets of Elsweyr's major cities are full of catmen shivering in the grip of sugar fits. A particularly hazardous derivative of the moon-sugar, known as skooma, is often smoked in raw form through a water-pipe by the more pathetic khajiit; its victims are addicted for life, and in constant, alternating states of euphoria and lethargy. Nevertheless, moon-sugar is a daily part of khajiit life, and their kingdom's chief export. The food of Elsweyr is invariably sweet; candies, cakes, puddings, and sugarmeats are the staples of the khajiit diet, and travelers to Elsweyr are cautioned against partaking of any of the native food. Humans, it seems, are even more susceptible to the effects of the moon-sugar than the catmen themselves.

Places of Note:

Senchal

This infamous city is the largest port in southern Tamriel. Its sprawl covers the easternmost tip of Elsweyr's Quin'rawl peninsula, a motley assortment of bazaars, taverns, merchant quarters, and open-air markets ringed on three sides by its crowded harbors. Senchal is a favorite stopping point for pirates and sea captains seeking to ply illegal or blackmarket goods, it being far easier to smuggle these goods into and out of the Empire by way of the Topal Sea than to use the well-guarded inland highways. Thieves abound here, as do beggars and pathetic khajiit sugar junkies. The traveler is advised to steer clear of Black Keirgo, Senchal's most squalid and dangerous quarter, when visiting the city. Illicit sugar-dens line the streets here, where beastmen and nobility alike wither away in sucrose fevers. All in all, Senchal is the ugliest city outside of Imperial jurisdiction. The air is humid and full of the chimney-smoke caught in the eddies from the surrounding coasts. Much of the city is abandoned or in ruins. In CE560, a strain of the Knahaten Flu blew across the channel from nearby Argonia and quickly infected the city's population. Whole neighborhoods were razed in some mad effort to cleanse Senchal of the Flu and have never been rebuilt. Visitors to the open-air markets can see these charred skylines on the periphery, as black and jagged as the teeth of the nearest sugar junkie, begging for cake.

Torval

Torval is the city-state of Elsweyr's spiritual and temporal ruler, the Mane. He and his tribe live here in stately and exotic palaces built from massive timbers of Valenwood oak, whose territorial borders are only a few hundred miles away. Symmetrical sugarcane gardens surround these palaces, where the Mane is often seen in day-long meditations atop his palanquin, held up by his inexhaustible cathay-raht servants. As has been said, the moon-sugar of Elsweyr is the holiest of substances to the khajiit. They speak of sugar as we might speak of the soul or the lifeforce. Therefore, humans have been traditionally forbidden to trespass on these estates, and the Warrior Guard enforce this measure as strictly as they do around the Tenmar Forest. An Imperial diplomat was not long ago chased from the premises, even though he had been promised an audience with the khajiit ruler. The panther-like Warrior Guard hissed at his approach, bared their fangs, and threatened him to leave quickly, lest they "leak his sugar" into the sand. Our Glorious Emperor, Tiber Septim, has yet to seek redress from the lawless catmen.

Rimmen*

Though ostensibly its own kingdom, Rimmen still pays tribute to the Mane of Elsweyr, from whose realm it seceded in CE812 during the Interregnum. Earlier, Akaviri refugees had fled persecution when the warlord Attrebus briefly aspired to the Imperial Throne. Attrebus, though he lasted no longer than most of the pretender kings of that period, thought he might rid Cyrodiil of the foreigners who had ruled it for the first half of the Common Era, and he drove the Akaviris past the Empire's borders into Elsweyr. The khajiit granted them asylum in the hills and steppes of northwestern Elsweyr, where they dwelt in relative seclusion until remnants of the Dir-Kamal resurfaced in Cyrodiil, seizing the Throne from Attrebus' successors. The Rimmen (literally, the "Rim Men," as the khajiit called them) joined their brothers to try to rebuild the Empire. This effort was doomed to failure, but not before the khajiit attempted to reclaim their lands in a series of bloody border wars. Currently, since the ascension of Tiber Septim, the hapless Rimmen have once again submitted to the protection of the Mane, with a renewed tribute paying for the Cat Lord's guarantee of their independence, a truly weak reed upon which to lean.


Annotations by YR:

1. Human relations have been minimal in the intervening years, but there is talk that the Elsweyr Confedracy has recently struck treaty with the Aldmeri Dominion (see Places of Note: Torval, for more supporting evidence), a situation that, if true, may force the catmen into another bloody confrontation with the Cyrodilic masters of Tamriel.*


*. This text did not exist in the final version of Pocket Guide from TESA: Redguard.
 

Varieties of Faith in the Empire

Author: 
Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College

This is my best attempt at a listing of the pantheons and associated divine spirits of Tamriel's dominant cultures. This list is by no means complete (the Imperial City of Cyrodiil alone boasts a vast host of saints and holy spirits). It only includes the most important spirits revered by native members of the culture. Other et'Ada, especially Daedra, are often familiar known to many cultures, though specific names are included here only when they possess a particular cultural significance. The omission of any reference to the worships of the Argonians of Black Marsh is a result of my complete inadequacy in reconciling the obscure and contradictory accounts available to me on that subject.

THE EIGHT PANTHEONS

CYRODIIL: Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, Julianos, Shezarr, Tiber Septim, Morihaus, Reman

SKYRIM: Alduin, Dibella, Orkey, Tsun, Mara, Stuhn, Kyne, Jhunal, Shor, Ysmir, Herma-Mora, Maloch

ALTMER: Auri-El, Trinimac, Magnus, Syrabane, Y'ffre, Xarxes, Mara, Stendarr, Lorkhan, Phynaster

BOSMER: Auri-El, Y'ffre, Arkay, Z'en, Xarxes, Baan Dar, Mara, Stendarr, Lorkhan, Herma-Mora, Jone, Jode

DUNMER: Almalexia, Vivec, Sotha Sil, Boethiah, Mephala, Azura, Lorkhan, Nerevar, Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, Mehrunes Dagon

YOKUDA: Satakal, Ruptga, Tu'whacca, Zeht, Morwha, Tava, Malooc, Diagna, Sep, HoonDing, Leki, Onsi,

BRETONY: Akatosh, Magnus, Y'ffre, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, Julianos, Sheor, Phynaster

ELSWEYR: Alkosh, Khenarthi, Riddle'Thar, ja-Kha'jay, Mara, S'rendarr, Lorkhaj, Rajhin, Baan Dar, Azurah, Sheggorath

NOTES ON THE DIVINE SPIRITS OF THE PANTHEONS

Akatosh (Dragon God of Time): Akatosh is the chief deity of the Nine Divines (the major religious cult of Cyrodiil and its provinces), and one of two deities found in every Tamrielic religion (the other is Lorkhan). He is generally considered to be the first of the Gods to form in the Beginning Place; after his establishment, other spirits found the process of being easier and the various pantheons of the world emerged. He is the ultimate God of the Cyrodilic Empire, where he embodies the qualities of endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy.

Alduin (World Eater): Alduin is the Nordic variation of Akatosh, and only superficially resembles his counterpart in the Nine Divines. For example, Alduin's sobriquet, 'the world eater', comes from myths that depict him as the horrible, ravaging firestorm that destroyed the last world to begin this one. Nords therefore see the god of time as both creator and harbinger of the apocalypse. He is not the chief of the Nordic pantheon (in fact, that pantheon has no chief; see Shor, below) but its wellspring, albeit a grim and frightening one.

Alkosh (Dragon King of Cats): Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anaquinine deity. A variation on the Altmeri Auri-El, and thus an Akatosh-as-culture-hero for the earliest Khajiiti. His worship was co-opted during the establishment of the Riddle-T'har, and he still enjoys immense popularity in Elsweyr's wasteland regions. He is depicted as a fearsome dragon, a creature the Khajiit say 'is just a real big cat'. He repelled an early Aldmeri pogrom of Pelinal Whitestrake during mythic times.

Almalexia (Mother Morrowind): Most traces of Akatosh disappeared from ancient Chimer legends during their so-called 'exodus', primarily due to that god's association and esteem with the Altmeri. However, most aspects of Akatosh which seem so important to the mortal races, namely immortality, historicity, and genealogy, have conveniently resurfaced in Almalexia, the most popular of Morrowind's divine Tribunal.

Arkay (God of the Cycle of Life and Death): Member of the Nine Divines pantheon, and popular elsewhere as well. Arkay is often more important in those cultures where his father, Akatosh, is either less related to time or where his time aspects are difficult to comprehend by the layman. He is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is sometimes associated with the seasons. His priests are staunch opponents of necromancy and all forms of the undead. It is said that Arkay did not exist before the world was created by the gods under Lorkhan's supervision/urging/trickery. Therefore, he is sometimes called the Mortals' God.

Auri-El (King of the Aldmer): The Elven Akatosh is Auri-El. Auri-El is the soul of Anui-El, who, in turn, is the soul of Anu the Everything. He is the chief of most Aldmeri pantheons. Most Altmeri and Bosmeri claim direct descent from Auri-El. In his only known moment of weakness, he agreed to take his part in the creation of the mortal plane, that act which forever sundered the Elves from the spirit worlds of eternity. To make up for it, Auri-El led the original Aldmer against the armies of Lorkhan in mythic times, vanquishing that tyrant and establishing the first kingdoms of the Altmer, Altmora and Old Ehlnofey. He then ascended to heaven in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane.

Azura (Goddess of Dusk and Dawn): Azura was the god-ancestor that taught the Chimer the mysteries needed to be different than the Altmer. Some of her more conventional teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is often more a communal cosmic force for the race as a whole than an ancestor or a god. Also known as the Anticipation of Sotha Sil. In Elsweyr, Azurah is nearly a wholly separate entity, yet she is still tied into the origins of Khajiiti out of Altmeri stock.

Baan Dar (The Bandit God): In most regions, Baan Dar is a marginal diety, a trickster spirit of thieves and beggars. In Elsweyr he is more important, and is regarded as the Pariah. In this aspect, Baan Dar becomes the cleverness or desperate genius of the long-suffering Khajiit, whose last minute plans always upset the machinations of their (Elven or Human) enemies.

Boethiah (Prince of Plots): Heralded by the Prophet Veloth, Boethiah is the original god-ancestor of the Dark Elves. Through his illuminations, the eventual 'Chimer', or Changed Folk, renounced all ties to the Aldmer and founded a new nation based on Daedric principles. All manner of Dark Elven cultural 'advances' are attributed to Boethiah, from philosophy to magic to 'responsible' architecture. Ancient Velothi allegories are uniformly heroic successes of Boethiah over enemies of every type, foundation stories of Chimeri struggle. Also known as the Anticipation of Almalexia.

Diagna (Orichalc God of the Sideways Blade): Hoary thuggish cult of the Redguards. Originated in Yokuda during the Twenty Seven Snake Folk Slaughter. Diagna was an avatar of the HoonDing (the Yokudan God of Make Way, see below) that achieved permanence. He was instrumental to the defeat of the Lefthanded Elves, as he brought orichalc weapons to the Yokudan people to win the fight. In Tamriel, he led a very tight knit group of followers against the Orcs of Orsinium during the height of their ancient power, but then faded into obscurity. He is now little more than a local power spirit of the Dragontail mountains.

Dibella (Goddess of Beauty): Popular god of the Nine Divines. In Cyrodiil, she has nearly a dozen different cults, some devoted to women, some to artists and aesthetics, and others to erotic instruction.

Herma-Mora (The Woodland Man): Ancient Atmoran demon who, at one time, nearly seduced the Nords into becoming Aldmer. Most Ysgramor myths are about escaping the wiles of old Herma-Mora. Also called the Demon of Knowledge, he is vaguely related to the cult origins of the Morag Tong ('Foresters Guild'), if only by association with his brother/sister, Mephala.

HoonDing (The Make Way God): Yokudan spirit of 'perseverance over infidels'. The HoonDing has historically materialized whenever the Redguards need to 'make way' for their people. In Tamrielic history this has only happened three times -- twice in the first era during the Ra Gada invasion and once during the Tiber War. In this last incarnation, the HoonDing was said to have been either a sword or a crown, or both.

Jhunal (Rune God): The Nordic god of hermetic orders. After falling out of favor with the rest of that pantheon, he became Julianos of the Nine Divines. He is absent in modern Skyrim mythology.

Jode (Big Moon God): Aldmeri god of the Big Moon. Also called Masser or Mara's Tear. In Khajiti religion, Jode is only one aspect of the Lunar Lattice, or ja-Kha'jay.

Jone (Little Moon God): Aldmeri god of the Little Moon. Also called Secunda or Stendarr's Sorrow. In Khajiti religion, Jone is only one aspect of the Lunar Lattice, or ja-Kha'jay.

Julianos (God of Wisdom and Logic): Often associated with Jhunal, the Nordic father of language and mathematics, Julianos is the Cyrodilic god of literature, law, history, and contradiction. Monastic orders founded by Tiber Septim and dedicated to Julianos are the keepers of the Elder Scrolls.

Kyne (Kiss At the End): Nordic Goddess of the Storm. Widow of Shor and favored god of warriors. She is often called the Mother of Men. Her daughters taught the first Nords the use of the thu'um, or Storm Voice.

Kynareth (Goddess of Air): Kynareth is a member of the Nine Divines, the strongest of the Sky spirits. In some legends, she is the first to agree to Lorkhan's plan to invent the mortal plane, and provides the space for its creation in the void. She is also associated with rain, a phenomenon said not to occur before the removal of Lorkhan's divine spark.

Leki (Saint of the Spirit Sword): Goddess daughter of Tall Papa, Leki is the goddess of aberrant swordsmanship. The Na-Totambu of Yokuda warred to a standstill during the mythic era to decide who would lead the charge against the Lefthanded Elves. Their swordmasters, though, were so skilled in the Best Known Cuts as to be matched evenly. Leki introduced the Ephemeral Feint. Afterwards, a victor emerged and the war with the Aldmer began.

Lorkhan (The Missing God): This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. His most popular name is the Aldmeri 'Lorkhan', or Doom Drum. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane, upsetting the status quo -- much like his father Padomay had introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhan is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the 'scheme of things' is interpreted a variety of ways. In Morrowind, for example, he is a being related to the Psijiic Endeavor, a process by which mortals are charged with transcending the gods that created them. To the High Elves, he is the most unholy of all higher powers, as he forever broke their connection to the spirit plane. In the legends, he is almost always an enemy of the Aldmer and, therefore, a hero of early Mankind.

Lorkhaj (Moon Beast): Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anaquinine deity, easily identified with the Missing God, Lorkhan.

Magnus (Magus): The god of sorcery, Magnus withdrew from the creation of the world at the last second, though it cost him dearly. What is left of him on the world is felt and controlled by mortals as magic. One story says that, while the idea was thought up by Lorkhan, it was Magnus who created the schematics and diagrams needed to construct the mortal plane. He is sometimes represented by an astrolabe, a telescope, or, more commonly, a staff. Cyrodilic legends say he can inhabit the bodies of powerful magicians and lend them his power. Associated with Zurin Arctus, the Underking.

Malacath (God of Curses): Malacath is the reanimated dung that was Trinimac. A somewhat weak but vengeful Daedra, the Dark Elves say he is also Malak, the god-king of the orcs. He always tests the Dunmer for physical weakness.

Malooc (Horde King): An enemy god of the Ra Gada. Led the goblins against the Redguards during the first era. Fled east when the army of the HoonDing overtook his goblin hordes.

Mauloch (Malacath): An Orcish god, Mauloch troubled the heirs of King Harald for a long time. Fled east after his defeat at the Battle of Dragon Wall, ca. 1E660. His rage was said to fill the sky with his sulphurous hatred, later called the "Year of Winter in Summer".

Mara (Goddess of Love): Nearly universal goddess. Origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. In Skyrim, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne. In the Empire, she is Mother-Goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the 'Anuad', the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. Depending on the religion, she is either married to Akatosh or Lorkhan, or the concubine of both.

Mehrunes Dagon (God of Destruction): Popular Daedric power. He is associated with natural dangers like fire, earthquakes, and floods. In some cultures, though, Dagon is merely a god of bloodshed and betrayal. He is an especially important deity in Morrowind, where he represents its near-inhospitable terrain.

Mephala (Androgyne): Mephala is the Webspinner, or the Spider God. In Morrowind, he/she was the ancestor that taught the Chimer the skills they would need to evade their enemies or to kill them with secret murder. Enemies were numerous in those days since the Chimer were a small faction. He/she, along with Boethiah, organized the clan systems that eventually became the basis for the Great Houses. He/she founded the Morag Tong. Also called the Anticipation of Vivec.

Molag Bal (God of Schemes, King of Rape): Daedric power of much importance in Morrowind. There, he is always the archenemy of Boethiah, the Prince of Plots. He is the main source of the obstacles to the Dunmer (and preceding Chimer) people. In the legends, Molag Bal always tries to upset the bloodlines of Houses or otherwise ruin Dunmeri 'purity'. A race of supermonsters, said to live in Molag Amur, are the result of his seduction of Vivec during the previous era.

Morihaus (First Breath of Man): Ancient cultural hero god of the Cyro-Nordics. Legend portrays him as the Taker of the Citadel, an act of mythic times that established Human control over the Valley Heartland. He is often associated with the Nordic powers of thu'um, and therefore with Kynareth.

Morwha (Teat God): Yokudan fertility goddess. Fundamental deity in the Yokudan pantheon, and the favorite of Tall Papa's wives. Still worshipped in various areas of Hammerfell, including Stros M'kai. Morwha is always portrayed as four-armed, so that she can 'grab more husbands'.

Nerevar (Godkiller): The Chimeri king of Resdayn, the Golden Age of old Veloth. Slain during the Battle of Red Mountain, Nerevar was the Herald of the Triune Way, and is the foremost of the saints of Dunmeri faith. He is said to have killed Dumac, the Last Dwarven King, and feasted on his heart.

Onsi (Boneshaver): Notable warrior god of the Yokudan Ra Gada, Onsi taught Mankind how to pull their knives into swords.

Orkey (Old Knocker): A loan-god of the Nords, who seem to have taken up his worship during Aldmeri rule of Atmora. Nords believe they once lived as long as Elves until Orkey appeared; through heathen trickery, he fooled them into a bargain that 'bound them to the count of winters'. At one time, legends say, Nords only had a lifespan of six years due to Orkey's foul magic. Shor showed up, though, and, through unknown means, removed the curse, throwing most of it onto the nearby Orcs.

Phynaster: Hero-god of the Summerset Isles, who taught the Altmer how to naturally live another hundred years by using a shorter walking stride.

Rajhin (Footpad): Thief god of the Khajiiti, who grew up in the Black Kiergo section of Senchal. The most famous burglar in Elsweyr's history, Rajhin is said to have stolen a tattoo from the neck of Empress Kintyra as she slept.

Reman (The Cyrodiil): Culture god-hero of the Second Empire, Reman was the greatest hero of the Akaviri Trouble. Indeed, he convinced the invaders to help him build his own empire, and conquered all of Tamriel except for Morrowind. He instituted the rites of becoming Emperor, which included the ritual geas to the Amulet of Kings, a soulgem of immense power. His Dynasty was ended by the Dunmeri Morag Tong at the end of the first era. Also called the Worldly God.

Riddle'Thar (Two-Moons Dance): The cosmic order deity of the Khajiiti, the Riddle'Thar was revealed to Elsweyr by the prophet Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, the Mane. The Riddle'Thar is more a set of guidelines by which to live than a single entity, but some of his avatars like to appear as humble messengers of the gods. Also known as the Sugar God.

Ruptga (Tall Papa): Chief deity of the Yokudan pantheon. Ruptga, more commonly 'Tall Papa', was the first god to figure out how to survive the Hunger of Satakal. Following his lead, the other gods learned the 'Walkabout', or a process by which they can persist beyond one lifetime. Tall Papa set the stars in the sky to show lesser spirits how to do this, too. When there were too many spirits to keep track of, though, Ruptga created a helper out the dead skin of past worlds. This helper is Sep (see below), who later creates the world of mortals.

Satakal (The Worldskin): Yokudan god of everything. A fusion of the concepts of Anu and Padomay. Basically, Satakal is much like the Nordic Alduin, who destroys one world to begin the next. In Yokudan mythology, Satakal had done (and still does) this many times over, a cycle which prompted the birth of spirits that could survive the transition. These spirits ultimately become the Yokudan pantheon. Popular god of the Alik'r nomads.

Sheogorath (The Mad God): The fearful obeisance of Sheogorath is widespread, and is found in most Tamrielic quarters. Contemporary sources indicate that his roots are in Aldmeri creation stories; therein, he is 'born' when Lorkhan's divine spark is removed. One crucial myth calls him the 'Sithis-shaped hole' of the world.

Sheor (Bad Man): In Bretony, the Bad Man is the source of all strife. He seems to have started as the god of crop failure, but most modern theologians agree that he is a demonized version of the Nordic Shor, born during the dark years after the fall of Saarthal.

Sep (The Snake): Yokudan version of Lorkhan. Sep is born when Tall Papa creates someone to help him regulate the spirit trade. Sep, though, is driven crazy by the hunger of Satakal, and he convinces some of the gods to help him make an easier alternative to the Walkabout. This, of course, is the world as we know it, and the spirits who followed Sep become trapped here, to live out their lives as mortals. Sep is punished by Tall Papa for his transgressions, but his hunger lives on as a void in the stars, a 'non-space' that tries to upset mortal entry into the Far Shores.

Shezarr (God of Man): Cyrodilic version of Lorkhan, whose importance suffers when Akatosh comes to the fore of Imperial (really, Alessian) religion. Shezarr was the spirit behind all human undertaking, especially against Aldmeri aggression. He is sometimes associated with the founding of the first Cyrodilic battlemages. In the present age of racial tolerance, Shezarr is all but forgotten.

Shor (God of the Underworld): Nordic version of Lorkhan, who takes sides with Men after the creation of the world. Foreign gods (i.e., Elven ones) conspire against him and bring about his defeat, dooming him to the underworld. Atmoran myths depict him as a bloodthirsty warrior king who leads the Nords to victory over their Aldmeri oppressors time and again. Before his doom, Shor was the chief of the gods. Sometimes also called Children's God (see Orkey, above).

Sotha Sil (Mystery of Morrowind): God of the Dunmer, Sotha Sil is the least known of the divine Tribunal. He is said to be reshaping the world from his hidden, clockwork city.

Stendarr (God of Mercy): God of the Nine Divines, Stendarr has evolved from his Nordic origins into a deity of compassion or, sometimes, righteous rule. He is said to have accompanied Tiber Septim in his later years. In early Altmeri legends, Stendarr is the apologist of Men.

Stuhn (God of Ransom): Nordic precursor to Stendarr, brother of Tsun. Shield-thane of Shor, Stuhn was a warrior god that fought against the Aldmeri pantheon. He showed Men how to take, and the benefits of taking, prisoners of war.

Syrabane (Warlock's God): An Aldmeri god-ancestor of magic, Syrabane aided Bendu Olo in the Fall of the Sload. Through judicious use of his magical ring, Syrabane saved many from the scourge of the Thrassian Plague. He is also called the Apprentices' God, for he is a favorite of the younger members of the Mages Guild.

Tava (Bird God): Yokudan spirit of the air. Tava is most famous for leading the Yokudans to the isle of Herne after the destruction of their homeland. She has since become assimilated into the mythology of Kynareth. She is still very popular in Hammerfell among sailors, and her shrines can be found in most port cities.

Tiber Septim (Talos, the Dragonborn): Heir to the Seat of Sundered Kings, Tiber Septim is the most important hero-god of Mankind. He conquered all of Tamriel and ushered in the Third Era (and the Third Empire). Also called Ysmir, 'Dragon of the North'.

Trinimac: Strong god of the early Aldmer, in some places more popular than Auri-El. He was a warrior spirit of the original Elven tribes that led armies against the Men. Boethiah is said to have assumed his shape (in some stories, he even eats Trinimac) so that he could convince a throng of Aldmer to listen to him, which led to their eventual Chimeri conversion. He vanishes from the mythic stage after this, to return as the dread Malacath (Altmeri propaganda portrays this as the dangers of Dunmeri influence).

Tsun: Extinct Nordic god of trials against adversity. Died defending Shor from foreign gods.

Tu'whacca (Tricky God): Yokudan god of souls. Tu'whacca, before the creation of the world, was the god of Nobody Really Cares. When Tall Papa undertook the creation of the Walkabout, Tu'whacca found a purpose; he became the caretaker of the Far Shores, and continues to help Redguards find their way into the afterlife. His cult is sometimes associated with Arkay in the more cosmopolitan regions of Hammerfell.

Vivec (Master of Morrowind): Warrior-poet god of the Dunmer. Vivec is the invisible keeper of the holy land, ever vigilant against the dark gods of the Volcano. He/she has saved the Dunmeri people from certain death on numerous occasions, most notably when he/she taught them how to breathe water for a day so that he/she could flood Morrowind and kill the Akaviri invaders, ca. 2E572.

Xarxes: Xarxes is the god of ancestry and secret knowledge. He began as a scribe to Auri-El, and has kept track of all Aldmeri accomplishments, large and small, since the beginning of time. He created his wife, Oghma, from his favorite moments in history.

Y'ffre (God of the Forest): Most important deity of the Bosmeri pantheon. While Auri-El Time Dragon might be the king of the gods, the Bosmer revere Y'ffre as the spirit of 'the now'. According to the Wood Elves, after the creation of the mortal plane everything was in chaos. The first mortals were turning into plants and animals and back again. Then Y'ffre transformed himself into the first of the Ehlnofey, or 'Earth Bones'. After these laws of nature were established, mortals had a semblance of safety in the new world, because they could finally understand it. Y'ffre is sometimes called the Storyteller, for the lessons he taught the first Bosmer. Some Bosmer still possess the knowledge of the chaos times, which they can use to great effect (the Wild Hunt).

Ysmir (Dragon of the North): The Nordic aspect of Talos. He withstood the power of the Greybeards' voices long enough to hear their prophecy. Later, many Nords could not look on him without seeing a dragon.

Z'en (God of Toil): Bosmeri god of payment in kind. Studies indicate origins in both Argonian and Akaviri mythologies, perhaps introduced into Valenwood by Kothringi sailors. Ostensibly an agriculture deity, Z'en sometimes proves to be an entity of a much higher cosmic order. His worship died out shortly after the Knhaten Flu.

Zeht (God of Farms): Yokudan god of agriculture. Renounced his father after the world was created, which is why Tall Papa makes it so hard to grow food.

Zenithar (God of Work and Commerce, Trader God): Member of the Nine Divines, Zenithar is understandably associated with Z'en. In the Empire, however, he is a far more cultivated god of merchants and middle nobility. His worshippers say, despite his mysterious origins, Zenithar is the god 'that will always win'.