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Constellations

Author: 
Lady Nerevar

Constellations are arrangements of stars, seemingly recognized by all of Tamriel's peoples, that hold special properties. There are three "Guardian" constellations (Mage, Thief, and Warrior) with three "Charges" each, and a thirteenth constellation made up of "un-stars," called the Serpent. The Guardian constellations are tasked with protecting their charges from the Serpent.

According to the Firmament, "when the sun rises near one of the Constellations, it is that Constellation's season. Each Constellation has a Season of approximately one month. The Serpent has no season, for it moves about in the heavens, usually threatening one of the other Constellations."

Here's what Cosmology says about constellations and the stars that compose them:

The stars are the bridges to Aetherius, the magic plane. They are perceived as holes on the inside surface of space. Because they are on the inside of a sphere, all stars are equidistant from Nirn. Larger stars, therefore, are not closer to the mortal plane, they are just larger tears in Oblivion. The largest tear in Oblivion is Magnus, the sun.

Constellations are collections of stars. Since each star is a bridge to magic, constellations are very powerful phenomena, and are revered. There are generally accepted to be thirteen constellations. Nine of these are made up completely of stars. Three others are called guardian constellations, as they are each governed by a Dominion Planet. The Dominion Planets are Akatosh (eye of the Warrior), Julianos (eye of the Sage), and Arkay (eye of the Thief). The last constellation is made up of unstars, and is called the Snake.

The Redguard version of the Firmament offers some information on the relationships between Guardians, Charges, and the Serpent that are not found in later versions of the book. In it, it says that the Guardians share quadrants of the heavens with their Charges, and seem to physically change when those Charges are threatened by the Serpent:

The Serpent threatens Different Charges during Different Seasons, and the Warrior's Very Aspect will Change according to the Times. If, for Example, His Lady is being threatened the Warrior will seem as if he is looking to His Left, Eyes blazing towards that Part of the Sky wherein she resides. Thus, to find the Serpent during the Warrior's Season, look to where he looks, for that is where the Coiled Beast is Active.

Next, let's look at the constellations themselves.

 

The Ritual

Season: Morning Star

Guardian: The Mage

Unlike other signs, there is no defined set of boons granted by the Ritual. Instead, according to The Firmament, it grants a "variety of abilities depending on the aspects of the moons and the Divines."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Ritual is represented by the B glyph (BTH, the number 2).

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. It appears to depict some sort of machine, piloted by three Dwemer at the top and one at the bottom right.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online.

   

 

 

The Lover

Season: Sun's Dawn

Guardian: The Thief

According to The Firmament, "those born under the sign of the Lover are graceful and passionate."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Lover is represented by the D glyph (ND, the number 4).

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. The right-most star, which should be located at the tip of her hair, is omitted.

   

 

The Lord

Season: First Seed

Guardian: The Warrior

According to The Firmament, the Lord "oversees all of Tamriel during the planting," and those born under this constellation are "stronger and healthier than those born under other signs."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Lord is represented by the E glyph (EH, the number 5).

From Redguard's version of The Firmament.

 

 

 

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

 

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

 

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

 

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online.

 

 

The Mage

Also known as: The Wizard, The Mechanist (Dwemeri)

Season: Rain's Hand

Charges: Apprentice, the Golem, the Ritual

According to The Firmament, the season of Rain's Hand was when "magicka was first used by men." Those born under this sign have "more magicka and talent for all kinds of spellcasting, but are often arrogant and absent-minded."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Mage is represented by the F glyph (FT, the number 6).

As seen on Arena and Daggerfall's character generation screen.

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

From Morrowind's copy of the Firmament

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. Note the slightly different star arrangement.

 

Another depiction from Elder Scrolls Online. This one is unique in showing the Mage as female. Several stars have been omitted from the arrangement.

   

 

The Shadow

Season: Second Seed

Guardian: The Thief

The Firmament states that this sign "grants those born under her sign the ability to hide in shadows."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Shadow is represented by the G glyph (NGTH, the number 7).

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online.

   

 

The Steed

Season: Mid Year

Guardian: The Warrior

The Firmament states that those born under this sign are"impatient and always hurrying from one place to another."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Steed is represented by the H glyph (AH, the number 8).

From Redguard's version of The Firmament

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. Note the slightly different star arrangement.

 

 

The Apprentice

Season: Sun's Height

Guardian: The Mage

According to The Firmament, those born under this sign have a "special affinity for magick of all kinds, but are more vulnerable to magick as well."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Apprentice is represented by I glyph (IH, the number 9).

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. Note the slightly different star arrangement.

   

 

The Warrior

Season: Last Seed

Charges: the Lady, the Steed, the Lord

The Firmament states that Last Seed is the Warrior's season because "his Strength is needed for the harvest." It also says that "those born under the sign of the Warrior are skilled with weapons of all kinds, but prone to short tempers."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Warrior is represented by the K glyph (RK).

As seen on Arena and Daggerfall's character generation screen.

From Redguard's version of The Firmament

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

From Morrowind's copy of The Firmament

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. Note the slightly different star arrangement.

   

 

 

The Lady

Season: Heathfire

Guardian: The Warrior

According to The Firmament, those born under this sign are "kind and tolerant."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Lady is represented by the M glyph (MZ).

From Redguard's version of The Firmament

 

 

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

   

 

The Tower

Season: Frostfall

Guardian: The Thief

The Firmament states that those born under this sign "have a knack for finding gold and can open locks of all kinds."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Tower is represented by the N glyph (NCH).

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. The top star is pried loose from the tile, but was originally depicted.

   

 

The Atronach

Also known as: The Golem

Season: Sun's Dusk

Guardian: The Mage

The Firmament states that those born under this sign "are natural sorcerers with deep reserves of magicka, but they cannot generate magicka of their own."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Atronach is represented by the R glyph (RD).

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. The central star appears to be missing.

   

 

The Thief

Season: Evening Star

Charges: Lover, the Shadow, and the Tower

According to The Firmament, "those born under the sign of the Thief are not typically thieves, though they take risks more often and only rarely come to harm. They will run out of luck eventually, however, and rarely live as long as those born under other signs."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Thief is represented by the A glyph (AHH, the number 1).

As seen on Arena and Daggerfall's character generation screen.

As seen in a mural in Redguard's observatory. A cropped version of this image also appears in TES3: Tribunal.

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

 

Imperial tapestry from Morrowind.

 

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

From Morrowind's copy of the Firmament

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen on Ayleid tiles in Elder Scrolls Online. The stars in his second eye and along his hand have been omitted.

 

The Serpent

This constellation is an outlier, moving erratically about the sky and praying on the other constellations. Coyle, in TESA: Redguard, says that, "the Serpent respects no master. It moves across the heavens, threatening the other Constellations in its path." The Firmament, meanwhile, says that it" wanders about in the sky and has no Season, though its motions are predictable to a degree. No characteristics are common to all who are born under the sign of the Serpent. Those born under this sign are the most blessed and the most cursed."

In the Dwemeri observatory, the Serpent is represented by a glyph not found in the Dwemeri alphabet. It looks like this:

As seen through the telescope of Redguard's observatory.

As seen on the walls of Bamz-Amschend in the TESIII expansion Tribunal. This was the only mural not to appear in Redguard.

As shown in shown in Morrowind.

As seen in TESIV: Oblivion.

This depiction was used in TESV: Skyrim's Firmament book and on standing stones scattered throughout the landscape.

 

As seen in Elder Scrolls Online.