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The History of the Dunmer: v2 Religion, Part 2

  • Member
    September 23, 2014

    It is something no other race of man, mer, or betmer better suited to a life of slavery than one of contemplation, could claim with as much certainty as we Dunmer: Our gods were real and they walked amongst us. The Temple’s relationship with the Tribunal was a relationship with living, breathing gods who walked the earth, spoke in person with priests and cultists, and whose daily actions were prescribed models for the daily actions of their followers. (Reflections on Cult Worship)


    From their seat of power in Mournhold’s Tribunal Temple, Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec, collectively called the holy ALMSIVI, guided and guarded us, punished us if we sinned and shared their bounty with us all. (The Living Gods)



    The Tribunal Temple, or simply "The Temple", was now the orthodox religion of civilised Dunmer and for thousands of years the Triune Graces ruled over us in a new golden age. The truths of Red Mountain became rumor, replaced by Temple propaganda which taught the Tribunal achieved divine substance through superhuman discipline, virtue, supernatural wisdom and insight. All of which is true yet also false.


    Traditional worship of the three Good Daedra, Boethiah, Mephala and Azura became replaced by the Tribunal which relegated them to the role of Anticipations - the early ancestral anticipations of the loving patronage of ALMSIVI (The Anticipations,Fellowship of The Temple). However, these Princes were still acknowledged and venerated as being ancestor-gods.


    The Warrior




    Almalexia (Mercy), the ALM in ALMSIVI, came to be called Mother Morrowind, The Lady of Mercy and The Healing Mother thanks to the many benevolent acts accredited to her over the years (Vivec and Mephala).


    As patron to healers and teachers, her writings were aimed at nurturing the morals and providing guidance to children (Almalexia and the MudcrabHomilies of Blessed Almalexia).


    Boethiah became the Anticipation of Almalexia but male to her female. The same nurturing guidance Saint Veloth received from Boethiah for the burgeoning Chimer can be seen anew in Almalexia’s teachings.







    The Anticipation of Almalexia 2 by TheMyzel



    The Wizard






    Soth Sil (Mystery) the SI in ALMSIVI, was the Wizard-Mystic of the Tribunal and Patron to House Telvanni. Of all the Tribunal he was the most mysterious. It is said he was already a mighty wizard before his apotheosis (The Living Gods).


    It is also said he had a hidden Clockwork City from which he worked to reshape the world (Varieties of Faith).


    Azura became the Anticipation of Sotha Sil, female to his male and, fittingly, the most mysterious of the good daedra.










    The Anticipation of Sotha Sil by TheMyzel


    The Thief




    Vivec (Mastery), the VI in ALMSIVI, was the Warrior-Poet and God-King of Morrowind and also the most popular of the Triune gods for being the most public of the Tribunal and for  guarding the Gate to Hell at Red Mountain (Vivec and Mephala).


    Mephala became the Anticipation of Vivec, androgenous and manifold. Vivec is seen as heroic, a benevolent king, guardian warrior and poet-artist. So whilst the darkness of Mephala is apparent in Vivec, it is only acknowledged on a subconscious level and not part of temple doctrine.


    Compared to the more down to earth moral guidance offered by Almalexia, Vivec’s teachings are more spiritual in nature and underpinned Temple doctrine in the form of the Seven Graces, while tales of Vivec’s exploits inspired pilgrims throughout the land (Saryoni’s SermonsThe Pilgrims Path).



    Anticipation of Vivec by TheMyzel


    The Seven Graces and Temple Doctrine


    A bestselling book of priestly writings, or Hierographa, Saryoni’s Sermons is a collection of quotations and sayings from Vivec’s gospels. Amongst them are the Seven Graces which taught moral standards and acted as commandments to the masses.

    Prayers of thanks to Vivec for his valor, daring, justice, courtesy, pride, generosity and humility are said before meals by the pious.


    Vivec’s Graces see their origins in the tales of the God-King’s exploits, as described in The Pilgrim’s Path.


    Vivec by Festinius


    Aside from the Seven Graces, the Temple expected it’s priesthood to demonstrate fourfold duties to their faith, family, masters and all that is good. The faithful were expected to perform holy quests and bring glory to the Temple and obviously never transgress against their brothers or sisters or dishonor their house and ancestors. Protecting the poor, the weak and the elderly were considered holy acts, and importance was placed in honouring the clan and it’s elders (Fellowship of the Temple).

    The Saints


    In addition to worshiping the Tribunes, the Temple also revered honoured ancestors who performed deeds that exemplified the ideals of goodness upheld by the temple. These saints could be invoked to cure poison and disease as well as other blessings unique to each saint.


    Saint Nerevar the Captain, patron saint of warriors and statesmen

    Saint Veloth the Pilgrim, patron saint of outcasts and seekers

    Saint Rilms the Barefooted, patron saint of pilgrims and beggars

    Saint Aralor the Penitent, patron saint of tanners and miners

    Saint Seryn the Merciful, patron saint of brewers, bakers and distillers

    Saint Felms the Bold, patron saint of butchers and fishmongers

    Saint Roris the Martyr patron saint of furnishers and caravaners

    Saint Olms the Just, patron saint of sailors, chandlers and clerks

    Saint Delyn the Wise patron saint of potters and glassmakers

    Saint Meris the Peacemaker, patron saint of farmers and laborers

    Saint Llothis the Piou, patron saint of tailors and dyers.

    Saint Jiub the Eradicator of the Winged Menace


    After the fall of the Tribunal, the Dunmer re-organised their faith and reverted back to the traditional ancestor worship and dedication to the three good Daedra, now called the Reclamations - they “reclaimed” their status from the Tribunal.


    Not everyone was satisfied with the New Temple’s vilification of the the ALMSIVI who were blamed for misguiding the faithful and incurring the wrath of Azura, Boethiah and Mephala. who, priests claimed, visited the Red Year and Argonian invasion upon the faithless people of Morrowind (The Reclamations).


    However, to appease believers on both sides of this issue, the New Temple acknowledged Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec as honored ancestors and canonized them.


    This concludes my brief introduction to the religion of the Dunmer people. Any questions you have please submit them to Tel Molag, c/o The Steward. In Volume Three of this series I will attempt to enlighten you on Dunmeri society and traditions.


    Part 3

  • September 24, 2014

    Thank you for presenting this enlightening insight (both part 1 and 2) on Dunmer religion. It's great to hear straight from the scource instead of just another imperial scholar .

    If you would be so kind, there is one aspect of Dunmer culture I'm still largly unfamiliar with: the House of Troubles. I know it consists of Sheogorath, Merunes Dagon, Malacath/Trinimac, and Molag Bal, and that their purpose is to test the dunmer people, but that's it.

  • Member
    September 24, 2014

    Your courtesy matches your name, Master Blade, I thank you for taking the time away from your busy martial training schedule to read this humble scholar's very brief introduction to my people's culture.

    As for the missing section on the House of Troubles, I'll have my scribe flogged for forgetting to include that hugely important section. Once again you have my thanks for bringing this oversight to my attention. I'll be sure to edit it in as soon as I can.

    Your summary of these four demons is succinct. Here's what my painstakingly written manuscript says upon the matter, which I now submit for your criticism.

    When Saint Veloth (spirits bless him) received enlightenment from Boethiah, Azura and Mephala and led the Chimer to the promised land of Resdaynia, he imparted to his followers the virtues needed to overcome certain obstacles.

    In the long pilgrimage to the east the Chimer were psychologically effected. They had to leave all that they knew behind, even if it they understood their former way of life as being decadent and the knew well the need to leave, it was still hard to do and left mental scars. Once in Morrowind, these brave folk had to acclimatise to a new way of life using materials unknown to them. We needed to adapt, learn and become masters of ourselves again.

    Once the system of the Great Houses were established and we left the grubby and primitive traditions of the Ashlanders behind, there were political intrigues and betrayals to deal with. All these things became attributed to the machinations of Sheogorath, who of course, would desire to have the great Chimer people under his sway.

    It wasn't just psychological trauma the pilgrims faced. The land itself challenged them, made them stronger. The harsh climate of the ashlands, the searing heat of Vvardenfel, and the alien forests of the Emperor Parasol all tried to test the  the Changed Ones will to survive. This is Mehrunes Dagon's influence.

    Along the way we were needed to be physically strong and able to fight. Thank Boethiah and Mephala for teaching us what we needed to know in order to overcome the Nordic, Akaviri and Orcish enemies - not to mention the wild beasts - we faced. Here we can see the hand of Malacath at work.

    The dalliance of Vivec and Molag Bal spawned monsters which became a genuine threat. More than that, though, they were a warning left by Vivec to teach us how to avoid corrupting our own bloodlines. After all, the number of Chimer leaving the Isles were relatively few and our ancestors needed to avoid relationships with family members. The greatest of all corruptors, Molag Bal, would have taken great delight in seeing the noble blood of the Chimer degenerate and flow through the veins of shambling, slobbering brutes.

    So we can see why the Dunmer acknowledge these troublesome ancestor spirits, for, although their worship was forbidden by all incarnations of The Temple, the need to understand the importance the the obstacles had in shaping the Dunmer earned them the right for our respect.

    The book The Changed Ones says "Boethiah taught the Chimer how to build Houses, and what items they needed to bury in the Corners". To "build" a lasting "house" one must ensure even one's enemies are appeased.

  • Member
    October 20, 2014

    I look forward to future volumes. Your scribe either writes well or you speak very well. In any case maybe soon we will have another volume to read.

  • Member
    October 20, 2014

    Very kind of you to say Domanik, unexpected but much appreciated My scribe is useless, don't give him any credit. Why, look at all those errors! How many "the"s does one little paragraph need?

    Will there be another volume? I intended there to be a third book to the history volume going up to present day. I also intended a volume on Dunmeri society. Not sure if they'll happen yet but I appreciate your support

  • Member
    October 20, 2014

    I also want to express my support and say I am looking forward to any new volumes you might entice your scribe to write

    (this is really interesting and bring back memories from morrowind)