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The History of the Dunmer: v2 Religion, Part 1

  • Member
    September 10, 2014

    One thing n’wah have difficulty understanding about the sublimely subtle ways of the Dunmer mind is how we could accept the Tribunal as gods and abandon traditional ancestor worship despite the mysterious and controversial circumstances of the Tribunal’s ascension. That, and how could we worship Daedra in the first place.


    In the words of legendary Divayth Fyr:


    "Good” is an ill-suited descriptor for any Daedric being, and it is unfortunate it has come into casual use. As absolute expressions of their respective spheres, the Daedric Princes do not share our moral categorizations for behavior. The Daedra simply are. Mephala, Boethiah, and Azura have done much for the interests of the Dunmer, and in that sense they may appear to be good, but their motivations and goals (and the consequences of achieving them) are not known to us.(Inexplicable Patron: Mephala).

    In this section it is my hope to enlighten dull minds from the other provinces and demonstrate the simple truth on how their view of the three Daedra is the incorrect one.


    The Shrines to the Reclamations in Raven Rock's Temple.

    It was Veloth the Mystic who taught us the difference between the Good and Bad Daedra before leading us to the promised land of Morrowind. He received the aid of Boethiah, Mephala and Azura and taught us how to carefully negotiate with the Bad Daedra (Lives of the Saints). Indeed, Veloth almost single-handedly began the god-cult worship of the Good Daedra prior to the coming of the Tribunal (Veloth the Pilgrim).

    However, for all this to occur there needed to be a catalyst. The Altmer, weak and effeminate, spent their days in The Summerset Isles crying about the lost land of Aldmeris and the paradise which Lorkhan tricked them out of at the Sundering. It never occurred to them that all this wasn’t the literal truth. Vix, The Fox-Sage of Pellitine, summarises this succinctly in his treatise on Altmer:


    The Altmeri legend itself is a paradox, it occurs at a time suggesting that the Bosmer and Chimer left Aldmeris, but this in itself couldn't be as that happened after the elves were established on the Isles some time later. However, there are two groups that are widely thought to have split off here where there is little record of them. The Dwemer, who abandoned the Ancestors and and searched for 'gods of logic' while the other is the Maormer. Understanding elves also means understanding that there was this dual betrayal early in their history. Creation, The Aldmer and the Old Ways  

    Boethiah by Ljuton



    Boethiah taught us thatt the arrogance of the Altmer, who believed themselves directly descended from their so-called “Aedra”, was such that even through prayer they couldn’t get a response from the gods who forsook them. Saint Veloth and his followers proved the power of the Daedra, the usefulness of their influence and passed on these truths taught to us (Daedra Worship: The Chimer)


    Trinimac, Auriel’s “greatest knight” had many followers in those days called the Orsimer. Yet they were weak for thinking that the creation of Mundus should be met with tears rather than action. For this misrepresentation of Lorkhan, Mephala and Boethiah tricked him into entering Boethiah’s mouth who proceeded to walk and talk like Trinimac to convince others of the lies of the et’ada (The Changed OnesThe State of Trinimac).


    Auriel, the Altmer believe, ascended to heaven in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane. Yet no mer has done this since because it is a lie. The true way is through the Psjiic Endeavour as taught by Boethiah and Mephala (Varieties of FaithThe Changed Ones).


    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, serving as foundation stories of Chimeri struggle (Varieties of Faith). I need not dwell any more upon Boethiah because the Scholar Vix has said all that needs to be in his Daedra Dossier: Boethiah.




    Mephala is a hard deity for outlanders to understand because to them she is the demon of murder, sex, and secrets. To them these are negative words but to us they are the embodiments of that Padhomaic concept of change. That is not to say our society is lawless and debased, as a later look at the seven graces will reveal, instead these are subtle concepts to us.


    The Greatest of Houses, House Telvanni for example, has a long standing (if rightly kept quiiet) tradition of rivalry amongst apprentices through survival of the strongest or smartest. Sex and murder in such competition is not only easily understandable but quite right and correct. Here again we can see the influences of both Mephala and Boethiah on our society from whom we learned meticulous plotting, how to lie, ways to lure and trap our foes, how to manage complexity and predict outcomes (Inexplicable Patron: Mephala).




    Mephala The Webspinner by MarkoTheSketchGuy

    Mephala is credited with either being directly responsible, or the inspiration for, that infamous sect of assassins the Morag Tong. The Morag Tong fill a vital role in our society by preventing all-out war between the Great Houses. Following  Mephala's advice to "kill them with secret murder" , Tong assassin’s fulfill political goals in a strict policy of impartiality, accepting any job provided it is proposed in the correct manner with appropriate payment.


    The 36 Lessons of Vivec make mention of The Codes of Mephala, intricate philosophies which are still debated today. However, it's easy to see how Mephala's gifts of sex and murder are transformative, but the Lessons' subtler interpretations suggest these concepts are also metaphors for creation. As such it is through the arts taught by Mephala that true change and happen and the Dunmer people evolve.


    As we have seen, Mephala was also the shadowy implementer of Boethiah’s method to deceive Trinimac (Vivec and Mephala). She is the ancestor who taught the Chimer the skills they would need to evade their enemies or murder them in secret. Enemies of the Chimer were numerous in those days, since we were a small faction. She, along with Boethiah, organized the clan systems that eventually became the basis for the Great Houses.


    Azura by Ljuton



    Azura is a harder deity to explain to outlanders. Tribunal doctrine says:



    “she was the ancestor who taught the Chimer how to be different from the Altmer. Her teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is often encountered more as a communal progenitor of the race as a whole rather than as an individual ancestor. She is associated with Dusk and Dawn, Azura is associated with mystery and magic, fate and prophecy” (The Anticipations).


    Not a very satisfying answer when more solid information can be given about Boethiah and Mephala. However, a search of your own poorly stocked libraries will reveal your information about her tells you all you need to know.



    Her sphere is dusk and dawn and the magic in-between realms of twilight (The Book of Daedra). Dusk and dawn are sacred times to the Dunmer because the fiery sky of both is hugely symbolic. The wrong-headed Ayleids viewed fire as corrupt form of magic-that-is-light and viewed starlight as the purest form of light/magic (Glories and LamentsMagic from the Sky). We Dunmer see fire as the most sacred element, a force of change, a force of renewal and something greater.


    Vivec’s prayer for his mother echoes Veloth’s prayer for the Chimer people:

    The fire is mine:

    let it consume thee,

    and make a secret door,

    at the altar of Padhome,

    in the House of Boet-hi-Ah,

    where we become safe, and looked after

    The 36 Lessons of Vivec

    An examination of The 36 Lessons and it’s references to fire quickly show that this element is also a metaphor for love, which is itself an essential part of the Psijic Endeavour. As the Lessons are a subject of much debate and interpretation, I recommend you head to the New Whirling School if you wish to know more.









    "I am Vehk, your protector and the protector of Red Mountain until the end of days, which are numbered 3333. Below me is the savage, which we needed to remove ourselves from the Altmer. Above me is a challenge, which bathes itself in fire and the essence of a god. Through me you are desired, unlike the prophets that have borne your name before. Six are the walking ways, from enigma to enemy to teacher. Boethiah and Azura are the principles of the universal plot, which is begetting, which is creation, and Mephala makes of it an art form."







    Azura, Daedric Prince of Dusk and Dawn by BinaryReflex


    It is said actions speak louder than words so with this in mind let’s examine the actions of Azura and see what conclusions can be drawn:


    During the Second Era and the events of the Planemeld, it was Azura's love for her trapped priestess Culanwe who was tortured in Coldharbour, which prompted Azura to send The Soulless One to rescue her.


    During the Oblivion Crisis of the Third Era it was Azura's love for her followers, who had sealed themselves in a cave when they were infected with vampirism, which made the goddess appoint a new Champion.


    The book, Invocation of Azura, reveals that the love of her followers is what is most important to her, along with a kink to the Psijic Endeavour in the sentence "and our love must also be directed inward. If we love her and hate ourselves, she feels our pain".


    In some myths of Red Mountain it is her love of Nerevar and her anguish at the Tribunal's betrayal that causes her curse the Chimer.


    Gathering all these subtle metaphors and hidden meanings together, it is my hope that the description she receives in Varieties of Faith: "Azura is often more a communal cosmic force for the race as a whole than an ancestor or a god", is now clearer to you.


    In Part Two I will attempt to enlighten your feeble, n'wah minds on the Tribunal and the doctrines of the Temple.


    Part 2 --- Part 4

  • September 18, 2014

    You dare call me feeble minded? I'm just touched that's all

  • Member
    September 20, 2014

    I blame you not for your condition, the origins of which I ascribe to both your unfortunate heritage and your failure of passing Sheogorath's tests.

  • October 23, 2014

    Another great blog

  • Member
    October 24, 2014

    Very kind of you to say so, master Higgins. I appreciate your support.

  • October 24, 2014

    I wasn't born with the 'Red Gift'! I'm not surprised if you don't know what a Havkin is. We're elusive. Besides, isn't everyone a little crazy?

  • Member
    October 25, 2014

    Very kind of you to say so, master Higgins. I appreciate your support If my scribe starts responding in future, please let me know in future so that I may have him flogged.

  • October 25, 2014

    Haha will do. Can't have no uppity scribes.

  • Member
    October 25, 2014

    Very true sera.