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Monthly Lore discussion: The Stars, Gods or Myths

Tags: #Teineeva  #Magic  #Metaphysics  #Monthly Lore Discussion  #ayleids  #Constellations  #Magna-Ge 
  • Member
    September 28

     

    Welcome back, everyone. I hope you all had fun for the event, but now that it’s finally done I would like to get back to our usual schedule and I hope that you do too.

    So, last month the poll gave you guys the following options: Dibellan Beauty and Mara’s Love. The votes were overwhelmingly in favor of Dibellan Beauty so here goes. After all, what inspires beauty more than a marvelous night sky?

    Alright, I’m sorry I threw you guys for a bit of a loop there but I’ve been wanting to discuss this stuff for a while and thought this was probably the best place to do so.

    If you guys would have voted for Mara we would have been discussing the cult of Mara and who worships her and why (there's actually a Mara shrine in castle Volkihar which is odd). I like to give you guys one option that goes a bit out of its way and may not be entirely related to the poll option and one that is focused specifically on that option. Last time the options were the Red mountain and the Blue Palace. For the Red mountain one, as you guys know, we got to discuss Heart stones, but for the blue palace option the discussion would have been about madness. This time you guys ended up with the somewhat random option. But in order to compensate for that I'll make sure that this month's poll will be very predictive.

     

     

    The stars are a bit of a strange thing in Elder Scrolls Lore. Most of us here will have heard of Magnus and the Magna-ge. The beings that by fleeing Lorkhan and his creation left scars in the tissue of the world. These scars are the sun and the stars. By this definition, the stars are inherently magic.

    As far as I’m aware there are two ways of harnessing this magic. Both of them are still very much wrapped in mystery to me. There’s the Ayleid way through mana wells and strange crystals that function almost like soul gems (they do in fact store single use magicka). But as we all know that isn’t the only way; the second being the standing stones that are dotted throughout Tamriel.

    The constellations these stones are tethered to are extremely powerful and can be used to learn the fate of those born under their influence or to grant powerful boons to the heroes of legend. But that isn’t all. During the interregnum, something strange happened in Craglorn. An area on the edge of Hammerfell and Skyrim. The Constellations themselves descended from the heavens and with them gigantic monoliths of what is assumed to be pure solid starlight. But if the stars are but holes, how could this be possible?

    So, today we are going to come together in the hopes of pooling together our knowledge on the stars and the constellations. And perhaps, if we have the Thieves’ blessing, we may just stumble onto something that makes sense. This is another one of those topics where everything can be brought to the table; magic, Magna-Ge, Ayleid, Nedes, Enantiomers, Towers, Argonians, Nords, Redguards, you name it. So, I feel like we're going to have a lot of fun with this.

  • Member
    September 29

    Alright guys, so what do you say about a few questions to get things started?

    I mentioned the Ayleid but do you guys know of any other cultures in Tamriel that worship the stars or starlight in any specific ways?

    Thinking of starlight what do you guys think the entities that appeared in Craglorn are? We have the serpent, the warrior, the thief and the mage; could they be Magna-Ge? If not, what do you think they are?

    Speaking of warriors, thieves, and mages, the three constellations have a very interesting relationship with the Serpent in Craglorn. It turns out that the ideas people have about the serpent trying to conquer the night sky and the triumvirate and their charges fighting the serpent. So my question is now, did Men and Mer get this idea from an earlier such event or did these characters start in the minds of men and mer?

  • September 30

    The stars. Hmm. I´ll try to focus on one of your question right now, 'cause kinda busy. 

    Could the Celestials be Magne-Ge? I´m not sure about that. Celestials represent constellations, and constellations are made of multiple stars, right? Each star is a hole in fabric when the Orphans tore through the reality to Aetherius. But constellations...these are basicaly man made, right? People started to believe into those things and so they become sort of real. So Celestials, the Birthsign. They could be aspects of the collective belief of mortals, mixed with the leftover magic of Magne-Ge and their "exits" aka stars. 

    We know that belief is a very powerful thing in TES, and it is not so uncommon for people to whisper a prayer to certain Constellation, right? So it could be quite possible that Celestials and Birthsigns are just a result of the belief, just like gods.

  • Member
    September 30

    The Celestial thing is way beyond me. It is almost the case that what the Celestials are is besides the point but I need to play Craglorn for real at some point and really absorb it. I think the Celestials were once Nedes who possibly mantled the stars. It could be that they took the places of what was there formerly, but man, no idea at all.

    So I'll settle for the safer question of what other cultures besides Ayleids revere the stars. Well, we know of the Nedes and their star gazing, but to bring it more down to earth I remember Uriel Septim VII's words: " I've served the Nine all my days, and I chart my course by the cycles of the heavens. The skies are marked with numberless sparks, each a fire, and every one a sign. I know these stars well, and I wonder... which sign marked your birth?"

    Gameplay mechanic aside as we saw in Morrowind that you had to record your star sign as part of the tutorial, it seems that we could use those things as evidence that on the personal level the stars had great significance in a person's life. This hints at a far more superstitious age in which bad omens could result in aborting or rejecting a child from a community, or the opposite, heralding that child as a hero to be.

    Hope of the Redoran, although not including the stars directly, sort of backs that mentality up: "The Nord nobility have a tradition of having omens read for their children. In general, these readings are of the obscure variety. One of my acquaintances told me that her parents were told, for example, that their daughter would have her life rescued by a snake, and so gave her the name Serpentkin in a special ceremony. And this young lady, Eria Valkor Serpentkin, was indeed saved by a snake many years later, when an assassin creeping on her stepped on a danswyrm viper."

    So it could be said that no one specific culture holds the stars in significance, but rather that it is all cultures. In a time when a person looks to the heavens above for answers it is not hard to imagine what they see there would provide them. Then, as Karver says, it could be mythopoeic forces giving these patterns their power. That said, I like to think there is something more to it than that. Whatever the case may be, there is real scope for stories and RP when looking at the stars from a single character's perspective.

  • Member
    October 4

     bad omens could result in aborting or rejecting a child from a community

    Phil, I'm pretty sure that in some Argonian communities that may actually still happen. The Black tongues have developed potions to ensure that all of their egg laying cycles are in sync in such a fashion that most if not all of their children are born under the sign of the Shadow (making all of them potential shadowscales).

    Speaking of different cultures, isn't it strange that most if not all of the different cultures seem to have the same interpretation of the constellations? Not to mention the fact that, as far as I know, no one has a clue as to what the standing stones exactly are and who put them there (if there are any sources on that I would love to see them).

    The only explanation I could find (and that makes any sense) to the fact that everyone seems to have the same notions associated with each constellation may actually be that the Septim Empire decided to use the things for administrative reasons (hence why you would need to fill it in for your release papers), not exactly sure why, maybe as a substitute for the day of birth or something. In any case, this would be after the Celestials appear in Craglorn so it still has some holes.

  • Member
    October 4

    See, I would have thought that the Hist would eliminate the bad omens thing in Argonian culture. For a race that puts their trust in those trees, the matter of birth date I would have thought to be considered "the will of the Hist." So it's interesting that they maybe don't, or are perhaps guaranteeing good omens, and I guess for them that means being associated with Sithis via the Shadow, or haowever that works. 

    That cultural convergence thing is fascinating. Why would so many diverse and geographically seperate cultures apply the same meanings to the star patterns? I think Karver did research into Mundus Stones and touched upon other stones too. 

    The administrative thought is good, so it could be that the Empire standardised the practice and unified cultural interpretations. Even so, I like to think there is something inherent in the patterns themselves that could help explain it. Like, maybe the abilities the Lady grants are felt by everyone born under her, and they feel a certain femininee energy from that. So when a Bosmer looks up at the night sky, and thousands of miles away a Nord does too, prhaps they both intuit a lady's presence...?

  • October 13

    Cool things here so I would like to drop in with something I came across recently while searching a few things for my current playthrough and it has a relation to the stars.

    "As all know, the stars in the heavens are perforations in the Mundus through which shines the magical light of Aetherius. Lord Corvus Direnni theorized that the locations of wayshrines on Tamriel correspond to the pattern of stars in the night sky, because our Mundus is a reflection of Aetherius. However, to test this theory we would need a comprehensive map of every wayshrine site on Tamriel, a task too daunting to contemplate, so proof of this hypothesis, if true, will have to come from another source."

    "Corvus theorized that, if one only knew how, the wayshrines could be used as a permanent portal network by which one could travel rapidly across Tamriel. He speculated that such a "fast traveler" would need to somehow attune himself to a wayshrine, which would add its "node" to the traveler's "web of sojourn."

    Also the book notes about Corvus: His work was based on the pioneering research of the Ayleid sorcerer known to history as "The Transmigrant".

    Source: Wayshrines of Tamriel

  • Member
    October 14

    Just a quick note I found interesting and maybe relevant from last night's ESO Live in which Laurence Schick answered fan questions, this one came up near the end at about the forty minute mark:

    Q: Why did Sotha Sil design his memory storage after foreign gods? (By which he means the Constellations.)

    A: Well if you think about it, it's not so much that these are referrences to the animated versions of the constellations that you meet in Craglorn, for exmple, but that the concept of constellations themselves really, a constellation is a memory device - It's a way to think about that organisation of stars and what does that represent, and how can you use that as a mnemonic. So constellations are actually in themselves a device for memory, and so using them is a naturally... Was an apllication that occurred to Sotha Sil as a method of storing his own. It's kind of similar to the medieval "memory mansion" approach to storing memories mentally by conceiving of this mansion that has different rooms and you put differemt memories in different places in these different rooms. Sotha Sil needed the entire astronomical cosmos for his memories so that's why he's chosen the star fields.