Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

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Infragris
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Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Thu May 05, 2016 7:28 pm

A quick overview of the different cults and religions of Cyrodiil: their names, spheres, patronage, and relative importance.

THE NINE GREAT FAITHS & THE IMPERIAL CULT
“By the intercession of St. Alessia, you may be so filled with grace, and the strength and wisdom that comes from grace, that through these teachings you may come to the true meaning of the Nine Divines and Their glories.”
The Imperial Cult of the Nine Divines, sometimes referred to as the Citizenship Cult, is a loose alliance of the Great Faiths who worship the common orthodoxy of the Nine (or Eight-and-One) Divines under the auspices of the Empire. These are the most popular faiths in Cyrodiil: state-sponsored, endorsed by the Emperor and his kin, and present almost everywhere. Worship of the Nine Divines is an essential aspect of the citizen identity.

Most citizens worship the Divines in the most abstract of terms - as powerful but indifferent spirits to be emulated and appeased, but never approached on personal terms. As a result, many Imperials worship a more personable saint, spirit, or god in addition to the Faiths. Imperials also do not worship each Divine in equal measure: usually, they focus on two or three preferred Divines who have special relevance to their life or profession, paying only lip-service to the others.

The Great Faith of Akatosh: worships the oldest spirit and head of the pantheon, associated with invincibility, absolute authority, and everlasting legitimacy. Imperials think of Akatosh as the protector of the Empire and shield against foreign enemies. Patron of authorities, historians, and legitimate birth. Akatosh demands absolute submission to his will, which he rewards with eternal stability and permanence. He is assisted by the Jills, feminine drake spirits considered personifications of the Hours and Minutes.

The Great Faith of Arkay: spirit of the wheel of life and death, cyclical events and the passing of time in general. Arkay is both the first-born of Akatosh and the last god to come into being. Considered a god of change, both in a negative and a positive sense. Patron of funerary workers and ferrymen. Priests invoke the Blessing and the Law of Arkay across the land, protecting the body and soul of the deceased. They provide blessings at funerals, births, weddings, harvest and spring festivals, etc. but refuse to give blessings or heal the sick outside of these holy days.

The Great Faith of Dibella: goddess of beauty and joy, associated with rapture, lust, desire, and sensuality, but also ethereal beauty and esthetic purity. A popular deity whose worship is very personal and intimate, but far removed from the public sphere. Patron of artists, lovers, and poets. Worship of Dibella is splintered in almost a dozen charismatic sub-cults, devoted to different aspects of the deity.

The Great Faith of Julianos: spirit of wisdom and logic, associated with law, literature, and contradiction. While depicted as a god-figure for the laymen, his priests consider him an exalted and impersonal symbol of learning. Patron of scholarly inquiry (magical and non-magical), scribes, tutors, and mentors. Lesser spirits under its command are seen as mathematical mantras or equations. The Cult is divided into several monastery-schools, the leading one of which is based in Skingrad. They provide higher education to the rich and talented. Julianite theology is more concerned with understanding the Divines and heir creation than their worship.

The Great Faith of Kynareth: goddess of the winds, the elements, and the heavens. Associated with the natural way of things, freedom, and wild luck. A free and unbound spirit, though often moody and melancholy. Patron of vagrants, sailors, and nomads, protector of the unjustly imprisoned and enslaved. Her retinue is known as the Chorus, the unseen spirits of the winds, the first of whom is the bull-god Morihaus. Initiates wander in pilgrimage throughout the wilderness, providing blessings and aid to communities along the way. Though Kynareth worship was very important in the First Era, it has waned under the Septims.

The Great Faith of Mara: the mother-goddess, spirit of love, fertility, community, and the bountiful earth. In Imperial thought, Mara is wedded to Akatosh, and sister to Arkay. While harvest traditions are still popular in rural areas, most Imperials think of Mara as a spirit of peace, diplomacy and understanding. She is patron to farmers, parents, midwives, and diplomats. Maran hospitals serve to aid the convalescent, the elderly, or the insane. Though any priest or cult leader can perform the old rituals of union, upper- and middle-class Imperials usually prefer to be wedded by a Maran priest.

The Great Faith of Stendarr: worship the god of mercy, charity, and well-earned luck, but also the god of justice. A double-faced spirit, patron to rulers, magistrates, judges, and the Imperial Legion, and thus representative of righteous rule and the given order, but also the protector of the weak and the small, a spirit of compassion. Priests of the Cult care deeply for the well-being of the common man, the worker, the soldier, and the beggar.

The Great Faith of Zenithar: spirit of work and commerce, the trader god. A cultivated, civilized spirit of merchants and the middle nobility, associated with wealth, labor, and communication. Though sedate, he is also a warrior god, concerned with safety and peace though oppression. Patron of traders, merchants, moneylenders, craftsmen, and all those who earn their bread through hard work. The Cult is very wealthy, involved in trade and in the defense of trade: they have their own caravans and merchant fleet, and finance a mercenary force in their defense. Their home is the temple-market of Leyawiin.

The Talos Cult: worship the eternal Emperor, protector of Mankind and the Empire, heir to Shezarr and the spark of creation, the Red Jewel of Conquest That Makes All Things Right. Born a man, Tiber Septim ascended to the ranks of the Divine through his creation of the Empire, which equals the creation of the world through sacrifice. The Empire is an expression of Divine Will on the mortal world. Patron of all Empire-related affairs, generally associated with the new and the bold, with human endeavor. The Talos Cult is very young compared to others, more dynamic and active, but less organized. Unlike the others, the Cult has its own missionary arms in Morrowind and Argonia. They have close ties to the Legion and the Heartlands.

The Imperial Cult: missionary branch of the Great Faiths, founded by Pelagius I as a means of controlling the Faiths and using them as a tool to civilize and pacify the provinces. Though the primary face of the Faiths in the east, the Imperial Cult has less influence in Cyrodiil. They operate from the Imperial Seminary in Tiberiad.


THE MAJOR CULTS
“The Nibenese find the numinous in everything around them, and their different cults are too numerous to mention...”
The Order of the Ancestor Moth
One of the oldest and most respected Orders of Cyrodiil, who find their origin in the ancient traditions of ancestor-silk making and moth worship. Though once a very widespread cult and totemic society, membership has gradually become more restrictive and now only entails the moth-monks and blind readers. They are entrusted with the caring and reading of the Elder Scrolls. Mainly present in the Imperial City, along with their monastery in the eastern Jerall Mountains.

The Cult of Heroes
Empire-sponsored temple dedicated to every saint and hero without distinction, thus guaranteeing the continued support of the numberless Saints of Cyrod. Mostly present in the Heartlands and Colovia. The cult's lasting popularity stems from the complacency of the Empire's merchants and dignitaries, who consider it more profitable to tithe to one cult representing all the saints than to a thousand lesser cults representing one saint each.

The Red Dome Templars
Extremist crusaders with close ties to the upper ranks of the Legion. They worship a supremacist interpretation of Talos in support of further military expansion and disenfranchisement of local governance in favor of an all-powerful Emperor. Based in the Ruby Dome Temples, shrines founded on places where Tiber Septim shed blood during his conquest of Cyrodiil. Their militant activities are unpopular with the Heartlands governors, and most Legion Templars are dispatched to unpopular places like Morrowind or Black Marsh.

The Emperor Zero Cult
Honors Cuhlecain, the king of Falkreath, as a prefiguration of righteous rule, exemplar of the wise general and ruler, and protector spirit of soldiers. Emperor Zero is invoked in affairs that will have lasting significance, at the start of long-lasting projects, or at the laying of a building's foundations. Esoteric cults connect him to Arkay and the Nordic Underworld, where he is said to hold court over the murdered dead. A spirit of antecedents, mentors and teachers. The cult is strong in northern Colovia, but practitioners and wayshrines can be found across Cyrodiil. The typical initiate is a warrior or mercenary.

The Al-Esha Cult
Worship of Saint Alessia, the liberator, Perrif, First of First, Mother of Cyrod. The most popular saint and god-hero of Cyrodiil. She is a universal saint, but most often invoked by the poor, the dispossessed, the downcast, the orphan and the slave. Though a symbol of he Empire, her role as patron of authority is supplanted by later Remanite and Septimite cults. In governmental affairs, she is invoked by those seeking to rule wisely and with compassion. To many, Alessia has become a symbol of popular revolt against evil and unwise rulers. Shrines to Alessia are common across Cyrodiil, but most prevalent along the Red Ring Road and in the Imperial City. Major cult centers are in Sancre Tor and in the Temple of the One, both places rumored to hold her final resting place. Circling the Temple of the One nine times is a common pilgrimage for the faithful.

Marukhati
The almost-extinct faith of the Alessian Order is still practiced by some Nibenese enclaves and jungle communities. Considered high heresy, such cults are persecuted with unusual vigor. As a result, they are very secretive and hostile towards outsiders. The theology of these groups is a far cry from the original Marukhati Edicts, most of whom are now lost. Some of the cults still hold on to scraps of holy writ in the incomprehensible Imga language, which they worship as sacred relics.

The Temple of the One
The very last of the great Alessian temples, and the only form of legal Marukhatism today. This temple, close to the heart of the Imperial City, plays an important role in the Al-Esha Cult and the various Emperor cults, being the location of both the Dragonfires and the supposed burial ground of Empress Alessia. These cults live in a state of uneasy truce with each other and with the supposedly neutral priesthood of the One, who maintain the Temple. These priests espouse the ancient semi-heresy of the One, claiming that the different gods and spirits are only facets of a single, unknowable deity.

Other forms of Marukhatism and Numidianism persist in various other corners of Cyrodiil, especially among scholars. They are also associated with the Arcturian Heresy. These forms of worship are all considered illegal, and and heavily persecuted by both the Legion and by other cults such as the Red Dome Templars.

The Order of the Triplicate Sun
Minor religion associated with the Mages Guild. Worships the Divine Magnus Trichotomos, architect of the world, who is responsible for the existence of magic. Many mages join the cult while studying in the Arcane University. The cult perceives three sub-spirits in the figure of Magnus: Magnus Architect, who designed the world, Magnus Transmittal, who sends down life-giving energies, and Magnus Warden, who guards the gates to Aetherius and prepares the final resting place.

The Temple of the Missing
Worship of the ancient Nedic spirit of Shezarr-Who-Goes-Missing, patron of magic, discovery, and human endeavor. Shezar is an unstable image, and his worship suffers for it: the Temple of the Missing in the Imperial City is one of the few lasting cults dedicated to him, in part because they focus on his absence. Shezarr worship is also popular among the marginalized deepwood tribes. Shrines for Shezarr are still found in Sancre Tor and in the deep jungle.

The Esoteric Order of Shor
The Nord-inspired leadership cult of the Colovian nobility. Worship of Shor is exclusive to those of Colo-Nordic blood, and chapels can only be found in the cliff-fortresses of the Colovian lords. Shor rites play an important part in the secret traditions of the Colovian Code of Virtue. Virtually all Colovian nobility is a member of this cult.

The Order of the Breath-of-Kyne
Worship of the Bull-god occurs across Cyrodiil, but is especially prominent along the Niben river. Son of Kynareth and father of the first Imperial dynasty, Morihaus is considered a fertility symbol by the Niben rice farmers, a symbol of authority for the antiquated eastern governors, and a master of border stones and ancient demarcations. As a symbol of previous dynasties, his importance has waned under the reign of the Septims. The priesthood of Morihaus maintains a temple-complex in the sacred city of Moridiil, known for its minotaur prophets.

The Remanati Cult
A philosophy dedicated to the example of Reman Cyrodiil, the Worldly God. Adherents follow the example of Reman in thoughts and deeds, living uncompromising lives of violence and the will. Considered antiquated and somewhat perverse, organized priesthood has all but disintegrated save for a stronghold near the mausoleums of Sancre Tor. Remanists live in continuous pilgrimage across the sacred lands of Cyrodiil, often working as sellswords or mercenaries.

The Pelinati Cult
Traditional hero-cult of the god-hero Pelinal Whitestrake. Its outdated views and rabid anti-Elven propaganda have made it unpopular in the Heartlands. Based in their monastery in Pell's Gate.

The Quaith Cult
Worship of the spirit Qaith, a somewhat obscure ocean god of presumed Elven origin. Qaith is worshiped along the southern Topal Bay: his Temple of the Wave Fracture can be found east of Leyawiin, and small wave-shrines are prominent fixtures near the mouths of mangrove waterways. While lacking any evidence of appearance, it is said that Qaith is as the waves, old and still at one moment, young and restless the next.

The Senna Cult
Minor agricultural deity of the Valley of Altars. The deity Senna is thought by some to be an offshoot of the older Kothri god Z’en. Senna is a god of labor, of the field, the mire and the mudpit, depicted as a four-armed man wielding one of his sequential hammers in each hand. Scholars associate him with Zenithar and Dagon, also deities of particular importance in this region.

The Cala Cult
Worship of the deity Cala, three-faced saint and mother-maiden-killer of the Cheydinhal area. Often understood to be a Nordic import or fracture-expression of Dibella-Mara-Kyne, the ruling triumvirate of the Nordic pantheon. The spirit of Cala was born from the flowers of the Niben to subdue the awful Dmath, demons of the jungle. To this end, she utilizes a vast arsenal of weapons forged for her by her servants, and nurtures and empowers her mortal children to fight in her name by proxy or by incarnation. The Cala cult is especially powerful around the Serican Woods, and holds considerable influence in Ato. She is also considered a patron spirit of weaponsmiths and concubines.

The Hora Cult
Worship of Hora, acroamatic many-eyed god of prophets, seers, and fortune tellers. Sometimes described as a system of prediction rather than a deity, Hora is understood to be a sentient pattern spirit of omen, prediction, and fortune-telling. Under its tutelage fall eight discrete methods of fortune-telling.

Temple Zero
Sometimes called the "anti-temple" by its enemies, Temple Zero is a shadowy fraternity of scholars and sages dedicated to the finding and publishing of arcane verities. As their publications have often been highly critical of the Imperial authorities, this philosophy is currently being suppressed. Thought to be connected to the Arcturian heretics.

THE SAINTS OF CYROD
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)...
A Saint or Hero is a mortal being who has achieved apotheosis. This state can be achieved through the making of a Covenant with a Divine, living a perfect life in accordance to the moral law of the Mundus, or simply through overwhelming force of will regardless of purpose or effect.

Most saints are considered patrons of a certain Divine, though not all Saints are associated with them: some are patrons of other deities, or even completely unassociated. Many saints are known historical figures, such as Emperors. Saints are honored with petty shrines in public and private places, often along busy paths or crossroads. There are said to be thousands upon thousands of saints, and the Imperial City even has a market dedicated to the trading in saintly relics.

Currently, some of the most popular saints are Alessia, Pelinal, Un-Sar, Agdistra, Un-Sedr, Losha, Niisa, Al-Khered, Andrea, An-Tasha, Periv, Kantus, Kuric, Venir, Sten, Infrid, Marus, Rislav, Ithelsten, Wren, Naharine, Mukraeth, Potri, Mem-Sira, Un-Ta, Un-Lith, Delial, Kyma, Nen, Julia, Ra, Hestra, Goreath, Sed-Yenna, Shonni-Et, Pella, Adri, Kaladas, Jahn, Junia, Udran, Cirrha, Daum, Rosunius, Mors, Latalia, Horuscia, Heceri, Balyna, Osla, Amiel, Aka-Din, Elkhorst, Falx, Carvanus, Kintyra, Arianus, Somutus, Nille, Avita, Kaye, Uriel, Caius, Falced.

THE TOTEM SOCIETIES
“Restrictions against certain kinds of meat-eating, coupled with the sentiments of the blossoming animal cults, soon made agriculture and husbandry nearly impossible.”


These animal spirit cults are among the most prominent religious factions in the east. They act as political parties and union organizations, representing specific social castes, cities and professions. Arising from Marukhati suppression during the First Era, the Societies have remained perennially popular in the Nibenay, and continue to define much of the social life along the river. Worship of the totems is omnipresent in the lower-to-middle echelons of Nibenese society, and as such these Societies occupy a position of great importance in the political landscape of the east.

The Bull Society
Influential faction is associated with conservative landowners, middle-management dignitaries of the civil government, and the rural middle class. Prominent everywhere in the Niben, but especially in the villages around the Imperial City.

The Viper Society
Wealthy and influential faction associated with the Nibenese Battlemages. Its roots lie in the villages on the south-east bank of the Niben, where the Hierophants of old have their bulwarks.

The Tiger Society
Illegal and reviled tiger worship, considered blasphemous by most. Infamous for their cannibalistic rituals and manhunts.

[...]


THE DAEDRIC CULTS
"It gives the Daedra Lords special pleasure to steal away from Shezarr and the Aedra the greatest and most ambitious mortals. 'Not only are you fools to mutilate yourselves,' gloat the Daedra Lords, 'But you cannot even keep the best pieces, which prefer the glory and power of the Daedra Lords to the feeble vulgarity of the mush-minded Aedra.'"


The Daedric Princes play a substantial role in the religious life of the Imperials, especially in the east. The Nedes worshiped Daedric spirits, as did the Ayleid. Most Imperials consider opposition to Daedra worship a provincial attitude, evidence of the backwards superstitions of other races. While the Imperials worship many spirits in many ways, they do not honor every Prince: like the Dunmer, their attention is mostly focused on spirits that appeal to their cultural needs. Important Princes have a major cults with territorial claims and political influence, though some Princes also have multiple minor cults.

Horned Negotiator Cult
Dedicated to Boethiah, Prince of Plots, enemy of lawful authority, and patron of betrayal. Boethite worship is discouraged by authorities, who like to cement their legitimacy by persecuting the enemy of rightful rule. Despite this, the sect is a politically influential faction with ties to the Curia and Heartlands politics. Boethites believe that treason, cruelty and the violent lie are unnatural impulses, gifts of Boethiah that allow men to attain greatness against the world's natural order as ordained by the Divines.

Little Key Cult
Clavicus, Child-God of the Morningstar, associated with the spheres of mockery, oath-breaking, and wish fulfillment. Imperials consider him a patron of merchants and traders, worshiped since the days of the early Nedes. Traditionally, marketplaces are marked with the sign of the dog. The Little Key Cult is a powerful merchant religion that exerts considerable influence over Cyrodiil's trade routes. They emphasize serenity through wealth.

Gilded Eye Cult
Hermaeus Mora, also known as the Gardener of Men, is instinctively associated with the eastern jungle. He is the hoarder of forbidden secrets, popular among mages and scholars. Hermaeotics are united in the Gilded Eye Cult, a spy network that considers the hoarding of knowledge a sacrament unto itself.

Quarter Palm Cult
Mehrunes Dagon, the Lord of Razors, is both an enemy of the Empire and the Prince of Ambition and Energy, an inspiration for the audacious and a source of power for the disenfranchised. Before the Simulacrum, Dagon was worshiped by the respectable Shattered Mirrors Cult, which is now persecuted due to Tharn associations. Since then, other cults have taken their place, vying for supremacy. The Quarter Palm Cult is a nihilistic death cult among the Niben Bay farmers, known to perform ritual strangulation.

Mythic Dawn Cult
Another Mehrunes Dagon cult in competition with the former. Esoteric and charismatic, the Mythic Dawn has made headway in replacing the Shattered Mirrors among the Empire's middle class and government agents.

Dark Brotherhood Cult
Mephala is an obscure goddess, associated with her spheres of sex and secret murder. While the Empire has officially outlawed all Mephalite cults, they are tolerated in the upper echelons of governance due to the need for assassination services. The Dark Brotherhood is mainly a business organization, with only a minority active in worship. Due to its controversial status, the Brotherhood hides behind another cult as a front: the sedate Latent Iris Cult.

Placid Drowner Cult
Imperials see little worthwhile in honoring Molag Bal, the King of Strife, and his worship is subject to a heavy stigma. Apart from vampiric ritual, the most popular Bal sect is the Placid Drowner Cult, based on the sailor folklore that claims Bal is the master of the deep ocean, and must be placated with sacrifice. Adherents maintain secret shrines in port cities and aboard ships, where the ritually drown their victims.

Black Dictates Cult
An unpopular Prince, Namira is associated with beggars, hermits, and ascetics. Her nihilistic teachings are anathema to Imperial materialism and capitalism. The Black Dictates Cult is a brotherhood of beggar-monks who proclaim existence to be a random and meaningless mutation from the primordial darkness, to which it will one day return.

Hollow Grain Cult
An offshoot of the Black Dictates Cult popular among merchants and politicians. Using ritual mantras and drugs, adherents of this cult deaden emotional response and empathy. Mainly used as a technique to advance social status in the cut-throat political and commercial spheres of Cyrodiil.

False Worm Cult
Peryite, the Taskmaster, patron of accountants, archivists, clerks, and debt-collectors. Peryite is of special importance to the barristers and lawyers of Cyrodiil, whose guild is closely allied to the False Worm Cult. Humorless and myopic, the influence of the Peryisii is felt by all those who come in contact with the Empire's legal system.

Red Dancer Cult
Patron of debauchery and hedonism, Sanguine is one of the most popular Princes in the Imperial Province: the sign of the goat is a common marking for gambling dens and whorehouses. Some of the Emperors, like Reman or Antiochus, had a particular soft spot for him, and it is said that the lower halls of the Emperor's Palace still hold a shrine in his honor. His influence is strong in the Imperial City, where the influential Red Dancer Cult organizes the annual Crendali Festivals, which are accompanied by special celebratory fights in the Arena.

Derelict Mysteries Cult
In a society based on premises of law, speechcraft, and social standing, the effects of madness have a special significance. Sheogorath, protector and instigator of insanity, is worshiped by a collective of artists, poets, drunks, wrecks, and social outcasts, a refuge for those who have lost their social status through corruption, accident or incompetence. The adherents of Sheogorath maintain good relations with the Order of Mara, and often provide donations to her asylums and hospitals. Famous for their annual Ball in the Imperial City.

Dried Lotus Cult
Vaernima, prince of Omen and Dream, considered a protector of ferrymen and gondoliers. Thought to be a fortune spirit in the Nibenay, who can be invoked to ward off ill fortune or wish it upon another. The doctors of the Dried Lotus Cult have a monopoly on the trade in legal narcotics: shops, boats and market stalls run by Vaernimites can be found in every Nibenese city, selling any kind of sacred drug imaginable.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Thu May 05, 2016 10:16 pm

Has anything been written about what the moral laws actually are? It would be boring to have them basically be a carbon copy of Western/Christian ethics, so what differences should there be? Extramarital sex being less frowned upon seems an obvious one, given Dibella (although perhaps it's more nuanced, with it being acceptable only under certain circumstances). Perhaps there's no universally agreed moral code, just a collection of disparate traditions that scholars spend their careers failing to reconcile.

Have you read this over on TR? It seems to be intended more as a Breton text, but there's plenty of inspiration for more minor Cyrodiilic cults.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Thu May 05, 2016 10:37 pm

This stuff here touches on Imperial morality. Given that the Imperials have a very splintered religious life, and that their culture is basically split in two, I would expect moral traditions to be rather varied. This stuff about Colovia also applies.

I like the Peryiton, but it's really more of a classical medieval text, which is not the direction we should take for Imperial religions.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri May 06, 2016 6:59 pm

Compiled from Morrowind Imperial Cult dialogue and Ten Commands of the Nine Divines:

Akatosh

Virtue: Humility
Commandment: Serve and obey your Emperor. Study the Covenants. Worship the Nine, do your duty, and heed the commands of the saints and priests.

Arkay

Virtue: Piety
Commandment: Honor the earth, its creatures, and the spirits, living and dead. Guard and tend the bounties of the mortal world, and do not profane the spirits of the dead.

Dibella
Virtue: Inspiration
Commandment: Open your heart to the noble secrets of art and love. Treasure the gifts of friendship. Seek joy and inspiration in the mysteries of love.

Julianos

Virtue: Learning
Commandment: Know the truth. Observe the law. When in doubt, seek wisdom from the wise.

Kynareth
Virtue: Ambition
Commandment: Use Nature's gifts wisely. Respect her power, and fear her fury.

Mara

Virtue: Compassion
Commandment: Live soberly and peacefully. Honor your parents, and preserve the peace and security of home and family.

Stendarr

Virtue: Justice
Commandment: Be kind and generous to the people of Tamriel. Protect the weak, heal the sick, and give to the needy.

Talos
Virtue: Civility
Commandment: Be strong for war. Be bold against enemies and evil, and defend the people of Tamriel.

Zenithar
Virtue: Work
Commandment: Work hard, and you will be rewarded. Spend wisely, and you will be comfortable. Never steal, or you will be punished.
From Proper-Life: Three Chants:
That is not cruel which cures,
O faith, charity, rigor.
By faith true heart endures,
O hope, clarity, vigor.
Seventy-Seven shall guide us,
O praise, honor, and duty.
Alessia lives inside us,
And truth is one with beauty.
And, from Legal Basics:
As a final note: the Tamriel legal system has its basis in the civilized, reasonable credo uttered by the prophet Marukh in the first era: "All are guilty until they have proven themselves innocent." Were truer word ever spoke?

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:45 am

I've been thinking a lot about our implementation of the Divines lately, and I've got a proposal:

The Divines are supposed to be virtually nonexistent in Nibenay, so having a solid third of our main chapels show up there wouldn't really make sense. Instead, I think the Nibenese chapels (Mara, Zenithar, and Arkay) should be assigned to the new Colovian cities. Based on what we can already paint in broad strokes, culturally I think it makes sense to assign them as follows:

Arkay- Delodiil - If there's any truth to the rumor that it's built on the ruins of a city of Meridia worshippers, it would be a strong seat of power for the enemy of Mannimarco. Plus, the riverfront real estate fits with Infragris's vision of Arkay's funeral rites.

Mara- Artemon - The northernmost of the new cities, the Nordic heritage will be strongest here, second only to Bruma - perfect place for worship of one of the Hearth Gods.

Zenithar- Sarchal - Fitting with the agrarian values of the West Weald - plus the geography makes it fertile ground for a culture war, with practitioners of the Bosmeri Z'en coming in from the south to butt heads against the Imperial priests.

Leyawiin, Bravil, and Cheydinhal would then have appropriately Nibenese cults that they would follow- either totem animals, perhaps, or venerated saints?

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:09 am

Sorry, I'm not really feeling that. I've always considered the Imperial cult as the only religion that is universally accepted among all Imperials, with the cultural split mostly manifesting in the lesser gods and deities (saints vs. totems, war-gods vs. daedra). After all, the modern pantheon was proposed by Alessia as a way to unite the Nedic and Nordic interpretation of the Divines. There's also gods like Dibella, Arkay or Zenithar, who in my estimation represent Nibenese values (if you consider Zenithar more of a merchant god than an artisan god).

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:44 am

No need to apologize for expressing your point of view :P For me, the problem with this is that almost everything about Nibenay that we want to represent from the PGE springs from the replacement of the Divines by the Alessian Order, and the fact that these hero and animal cults were compatible with worship of the One, whereas worship of the Divines wasn't. Even though the Alessian Order has been dead for several eras, reading the PGE, the codes and norms established under its rule seem to still be going strong, at least at the start of the 3rd Era. If anything, there should be cults celebrating specific avatars of the Divines, or highlighting certain aspects of their spheres; LadyN's Maran Cult of the Sheltering Hands would be a good example of this. I just don't think it will be a good fit to have big centralized chapels to the Divines in Nibenay, as the Nibenese seem to be opposed to big, centralized..... anything.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:53 am

The specific aspect/identities of the Divines is something I wanted to fold into the main Imperial Cult faction through lesser convents and small monasteries scattered across the land: the different schools of Julianos worshiping different aspects of knowledge, for example, or a Dibellan temple-complex near Mir Corrup with a more Nibenese interpretation of the Divine. We could present this as historical happenstance, or as a strategy of the Imperial Cult ("If you want to worship something that looks like one of the Nine, you gotta pay membership fees!")

Lately, I've started to doubt the efficiency of having these differently named "guises" for both the Divines and the Daedra within Imperial culture itself. First, these different aspects already exist when compared to other provinces: the Elven pantheon, the Khajiiti gods, etc. Second, it weakens the supposed variety and strangeness of the Nibenese gods if it turns out that they worship the same old spirits in twenty different guises. Third, it would be difficult to implement all of this in a meaningful fashion, especially in addition to the vast selection of cults above (which does not even include the saints and totems yet). I'd much prefer to put the focus on Cyrodiil-specific gods and spirits.

The nine big temples are part of a state religion, subsidized by the Empire. Even if the Nibenese had no interest in the Nine, the Empire would probably fund a number of these temples in the interest of propaganda, at the very least for Tiber Septim. For the Empire, the Cult is important as a means to unite the cultures of the east and the west in a common cause - after all, that's what Alessia made the cult for in the first place. Related to this, there is at least one big, centralized thing the Nibenese support, which is the Empire itself - and the Cult is a part of this.

I do think the Imperial Cult should be shown as irrelevant and removed from the affairs of the common people (in he east and west), failing in its duty to inspire the people. This distance and lack of action is what allows the lesser, more radical cults to thrive.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:42 am

I'm sorry, I'm really not trying to be difficult, but this still doesn't sit well with me. If we're still going by the PGE as a guiding document, there should be a pretty major split between Colovia and Nibenay when it comes to religion.
The pantheon of Eight Divines, therefore, survived unchecked in Western Cyrodiil, and relations with the increasingly Alessian East became strained. Ultimately, the West isolated itself from the theocratic hegemony of the Nibenay Valley, establishing an autonomous government, the Colovian Estates.
The traditional Nordic pantheon of Eight Divines was replaced by a baroque veneration of ancestor spirits and god-animals, practices encouraged by the mutable-yet-monotheistic doctrines of the Alessian faith. The doctrines eventually codified nearly every aspect of Eastern culture.
As far as Nibenese cult worship is concerned, the existing lore is that the saints and totems of Nibenay are supposed to fill the role of the Divines:
The Alessians were wise enough to realize that they had to incorporate the ancient polytheistic elements into their new religion for it to find a wide acceptance. The divine aspects worshipped by the various humans and Aldmeri were recognizable in the guise of the myriad saints and spirits of the evolving Alessian canon.
I understand what you're saying about the Empire having a state religion and I don't disagree with it theoretically, but if we give the same treatment to the gods in the East as we do to those in the West, it erases one of the key distinctions between the two cultures and brings us one step closer to just remaking Oblivion with some slight visual differences. Yes, they're all Imperials and there should definitely be continuity between the two regions. But I'm not saying they should all be Daedra worshippers or all worship Alkosh or something, just that the way that they worship the Divines should be more in line with what we know of their culture.

With regards to the West, I don't know how I feel about "irrelevant". I do think it's important as showing the Cult as failing (or actively ignoring) its duties to the people, but the people themselves, by and large, should be very invested in it - attitudes along the lines of "The Divines help those who help themselves", or blaming one's own (or each others') impurities/failings when the Cult and Aedra fail to come through for them in times of needs should cover for the corruption that we as the player will be able to observe in the Cult's inner workings.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:04 am

The thing with those three quotes is that they all describe the situation under the Marukhati, which was almost 4000 years ago. In the current timeframe, the Marukhati are persecuted, and the Imperial Cult is so predominant that its missionary posts are attached to Imperial Legion posts in Morrowind, and that the founder of the current Empire rewrote history to be a part of the pantheon. Regardless of the way Oblivion did it, I think it would be jarring to go from baseline Morrowind, where the Cult was shown as predominant in Imperial affairs and the Divines spoken of as Imperial gods, to a Cyrodiil where the Divines are only worshiped in the least populated area of the province.

Also, I never said that we should give the Divines the same treatment in the east and the west. In fact, I think we are pretty much saying the same things about them: that the Nibenese should worship the Divines in different, more diverse ways than the Colovians, that Divine worship is less important to them, and that they a worship a wide variety of other spirits and saints in addition to or in place of the Divines (at least 25 according to the list above).

What I am considering is that we should perhaps fold all the different convents, monasteries, sub-cults etc. that worship different interpretations of the Divines into the Imperial Cult faction, for clarity's sake. This would help simplify dialogue functions and technical issues surrounding the faction system, which would otherwise become way too complicated.

EDIT: also, I should mention that I definitely don't mind you share your doubts and opinions on things like this. I like discussing these aspects of the gameworld, and I think it's much better if everybody shares his view on what Cyrodiil should be like. Otherwise, we'd only run into problems in the execution phase.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:58 am

But only 400 years have passed since the 1st PGE was written, and the traditions that the PGE talks about as still being modern and current to Nibenese culture, arose as an immediate consequence of the absence of the Divine pantheon in the East under Marukhati rule. Considering how much the Nibenese love ceremony and tradition, it's unlikely they would have significantly changed their rituals and point of view unless by force.

I agree though, I think we're talking about roughly the same thing in different ways - in the big picture, the Nibenese still worship the Divines for all the reasons you mentioned - but, for example, if you asked an individual Nibenean about their beliefs, the answer should never be, in my opinion, just "Arkay" or "The Divines"- instead, they would follow the Order of the Fallen Leaf or the Cult of the Otter, admire Saint Magda, the midwife who never lost a mother or child in delivery, or worship the Kind Old Ferryman or Grieving Headsman if pressed to name a specific figure. These cults could still be centered around Cheydinhal, and there could even be a dusty old building named "Chapel of Arkay" somewhere in the city, but it should be either mostly deserted, or packed with Colovian transplants on state business and foreigners whose only experience is with the Imperial Cult.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by LiquidHurlant » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:05 am

Saint_Jiub wrote:if you asked an individual Nibenean about their beliefs, the answer should never be, in my opinion, just "Arkay" or "The Divines"- instead, they would follow the Order of the Fallen Leaf or the Cult of the Otter...
I've been reading into Etruscan religion, and that's exactly how they would have responded to the question. Their belief was in an immanent paganism, like the Nibenese. Individuals identified with religious societies, in which they would daily partake of their gods' sacraments and fulfill religious obligations imposed by the state. All the spirits had to be appeased, not just the big three pantheons.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:24 pm

Controversial opinion zone: should we scrap some Daedric Princes? Morrowind focused on a selection of Princes who had an affinity for Dunmer culture, enhancing their cultural identity. Should we strive to do the same, instead of trying to, Obliv-Skyrim style, give each Prince their own spotlight?

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Sssk » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:01 pm

If so, Dagon, Meridia, Bal, Vile, Sanguine and Mephala (Dark Brotherhood) would all warrant inclusion.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by worsas » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:03 am

I strongly doubt we will include the full range of daedric princes at Skyrim, either. For Cyrodiil, however, it would make sense to have most princes present in some way, even if very hidden. Cyrodiil stretches across the whole width of the continent and would have plenty of people and cults in them. So, if there would be one province with all or most daedric princes present in them, it would be Cyrodiil.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by roerich » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:34 am

What worsas said. Even if some are only represented in a minor way.

Skyrim should mainly focus on Mauloch, Herma-Mora and Hircine. Nordic sailors are aware that particularly awful storms are Kyne battling Dagon. Other princes might be featured in the tribes of the Reach, but not play a large role.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:08 pm

I thought that was already the plan to be honest - emphasizing Clavicus Vile, Sanguine, Peryite, and Hermaeus Mora as tolerated/"Good" daedra, and Meridia, Dagon, and Boethiah as forbidden (but still having their followings, of course)

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:37 pm

Related to the Talos Cult discussion over at TR, the nature of the Imperial Cult came up again on Discord. The point was raised (again) that it makes a lot more sense both in lore- and gameplay sense to treat the nine Great Faiths as independent cults who only band together in the Imperial Cult for missionary purposes in the provinces. In practical terms, that would mean that we make nine independent factions with unique rank progression and questlines, instead of shoving them all into one big faction. Most people on Discord were in favor of this.

While this may seem like more busywork at first, I would like to emphasize that this might actually make dialogue and questing easier rather than harder. Every cult was going to serve as a regional quest hub anyway, and by dividing the cult we sidestep all the problems associated with rank progression (i.e. if the player has risen to the rank of Theurgist in one quest hub, you don't have to justify why they get assigned menial tasks in another).

What are your opinions?

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:16 am

Personally I disagree with separating them out for a couple of reasons.

The first has to do with the nature of the Divines - they aren't living, active gods like what you have in, say, D&D, or even compared to the Daedra, so there's not a need to curry favor with one Divine versus another. When we get to Nibenay, we'll also have a harder time justifying the power position of the Divines chapels relative to the local cults - the cult of Arkay might not have the resources to establish itself against the local traditions of river-funeral or the Moth Cult, but the state-sponsored Imperial Cult certainly would. I also think a unified cult gels better with what we know of Imperial culture - there's less petty squabbling than in someplace like High Rock where the cults are as much political as religious centers - Colovians would rather join the Legion than some local militia or warlord, for instance.

The second has to do with asset development/gameplay - having a single Imperial Cult, much like the Tribunal Temples in Morrowind, allows us to have a unified aesthetic for all assets related to it. The chapel windows, the frescoes/mosaics, the wayshrines and saint shrines, and the statues can be used anywhere in Cyrodiil and make sense because they're indicative of "Chapel culture". If we split them into separate cults, that becomes a little harder to justify. And in terms of questing, I think it might be peculiar no matter how we slice it - even as separate cults, you would expect them to have respect for one another - it's already going to be weird for a Primate of the Vvardenfell diocese to show up at the House of Dibella and be treated like a layman.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:12 am

I have already made clear - in this thread, in fact - that I do not subscribe to this notion that the "official" cults of the Divines would struggle for relevance in the Nibenay. The nine great faiths are all sponsored by the government, and appeal to concepts that are universal to the Imperial mindset and surpassing the nibenese/colovian dichotomy. The Nibenese worship different cults, but they do so in addition to the nine. None of my points in regards to this have ever been refuted, as far as I know. Your interpretation of the Imperial Cult is far too colored by their colonial, missionary attitude in Vvardenfell: here, the cult is a native institution, and it doesn't not need to establish itself or justify its presence.

I bring this up precisely because the unified cult doesn't gel with what we know of Imperial culture: time and time again, we are told that Imperial religious life is splintered and numinous: either cold and formal, or diverse and extravagant. The single, Christianity-shaped state religion never made much sense, when the setting was obviously inspired by an ancient Rome-style variety in cults and worship practices. Making each cult a more individual organization also helps in fleshing them out more fully: for example, we can sidestep the annoying design choice of having one single important temple of a Divine per "important" city, and go to a point where one of the great faiths can have multiple points of interest of equal value across the map. Which is what we're already doing, but this makes it much easier.

As for assets, I don't see the problem. Again, look at roman or hellenistic civilizations: despite their multitude of cults, a more or less singular style of temple building and sculpting was prevalent across the culture, even between different city-states who had no political or religious association.

I am not suggesting that the cult are completely loose from each other - they do communicate, cooperate in joint ventures such as the missionary cults, and in many ways their theology and structure are complementary. NPCs and books might still talk about the Nine Great Faiths or the Imperial Cult as a monolithic cultural institution, in that they operate roughly similar and that you can expect more or less the same things from each of the popular cults. Dividing them up would solve a lot of headaches, sidestep some things that would otherwise need convoluted explanations, and adhere much closer to the lore as we know it.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Saint_Jiub » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:15 am

Infragris wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:12 am
I have already made clear - in this thread, in fact - that I do not subscribe to this notion that the "official" cults of the Divines would struggle for relevance in the Nibenay. The nine great faiths are all sponsored by the government, and appeal to concepts that are universal to the Imperial mindset and surpassing the nibenese/colovian dichotomy. The Nibenese worship different cults, but they do so in addition to the nine. None of my points in regards to this have ever been refuted, as far as I know. Your interpretation of the Imperial Cult is far too colored by their colonial, missionary attitude in Vvardenfell: here, the cult is a native institution, and it doesn't not need to establish itself or justify its presence.
I posted multiple quotes from the PGE indicating that the Divines cult had been replaced by the totems and saints of Nibenay. Your response, as I understood it, was that quite a bit of time has passed since the PGE was written so that probably isn't the case any more, even though there's nothing that I'm aware of, certainly nothing that was linked in this thread, indicating that the Divines do have a strong foothold in the East. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

As I've argued before, certainly there are aspects of the Aedra in the Nibenese cults - again, the PGE firmly establishes this, saying "The divine aspects worshipped by the various humans and Aldmeri were recognizable in the guise of the myriad saints and spirits of the evolving Alessian canon." The entire concept of saints and totems is wrapped up in Alessian mythology so if we're throwing that out, there's nothing to justify the myriad cults of Nibenay at all. Divines worship is, if not incompatible with the "everything around us is divine" mentality of the East, redundant. So I agree with you that the Ruby Throne would be eager to push Divines worship on the East as a way of unifying Cyrodiil, but it would be just that - a missionary effort. It would be the hapless Colovian priest trying to explain to a dozen rival cults that they all worship the same god.
I bring this up precisely because the unified cult doesn't gel with what we know of Imperial culture: time and time again, we are told that Imperial religious life is splintered and numinous: either cold and formal, or diverse and extravagant. The single, Christianity-shaped state religion never made much sense, when the setting was obviously inspired by an ancient Rome-style variety in cults and worship practices. Making each cult a more individual organization also helps in fleshing them out more fully: for example, we can sidestep the annoying design choice of having one single important temple of a Divine per "important" city, and go to a point where one of the great faiths can have multiple points of interest of equal value across the map. Which is what we're already doing, but this makes it much easier.
Again, I disagree here. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a *very* diverse group of gods, all of whom were like humans to the nth degree - petty, jealous, vain, and cruel. The cults of ancient Rome being very independent of each other was a natural extension of the belief that if you worship Apollo, you risk annoying Athena, depending on the whims of the gods that day. The Aedra are nothing like that. Not only is their worship not mutually exclusive, in fact none of the ideas that they represent are meaningful without the others. You can't have just Beauty in your life, or Mercy, or Industry. You need all of them in some degree. If anything the Faith of the Seven from A Song of Ice and Fire is a better analogue for how the Divines would be worshipped than either Christianity or the Roman gods.
I am not suggesting that the cult are completely loose from each other - they do communicate, cooperate in joint ventures such as the missionary cults, and in many ways their theology and structure are complementary. NPCs and books might still talk about the Nine Great Faiths or the Imperial Cult as a monolithic cultural institution, in that they operate roughly similar and that you can expect more or less the same things from each of the popular cults. Dividing them up would solve a lot of headaches, sidestep some things that would otherwise need convoluted explanations, and adhere much closer to the lore as we know it.
But to me, your way does sound like more work. If the nine cults all work together toward mutual goals, they're all sponsored by the Empire, and if the common people are going to think of them as a monolithic institution anyhow, to me it seems like it would take more explanation to explain how they're actually distinct.

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Re: Cults and Religions of Cyrodiil

Post by Infragris » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:04 am

I do not consider the quotes from the PGE relevant because, as I said before, the specific parts talking about this are a history lesson. They talk about the situation during the Marukhati theocracy, nearly four thousand years ago. There is no reason to believe the situation has not changed drastically, especially given the vast social and political differences of the three Empires.

Also consider the entire reason why the Divines were ousted from the Nibenay: their worship was made illegal and persecuted. Even in those conditions, Divine worship reappeared in a thousand different guises as saints, cults, etc. precisely because the Nibenese couldn't exist without their archetype spirits. As such, it makes perfect sense that, following the fall of this regime, the more complete versions of the cults would be reintroduced and find broad appeal in the east - after all, the minor deities and saints are watered down, illicit versions of the Divines, not the complete archetypes.

Every bit of dialogue and every text that touches on the Divines depicts them as Cyrodiilic, Imperial deities - not Colovian ones. If it were so that the Nibenese do not worship the main Divines, this would be an important split in their culture and certainly worth mentioning. At best, what the PGE says is that Nibenese worship if more fractured and diverse, which is exactly what I am hoping to depict by making the Imperial Cult a more loose confederacy of cults, which also includes some of the notable minority convents of the east. The notion that the Empire would actually send missionaries from Colovia to the Nibenay is also completely unfounded in any of these sources, and would be out of character for all three participants.

Morrowind dialogue also explicitly refers to the Imperial Cult as "The missionary arm of the great faiths, the Imperial cult brings divine inspiration and consolation to the Empire's remote provinces." It also states that "The Imperial cult brings divine inspiration and consolation to the Empire's remote provinces. The cult combines the worship of the Nine Divines -- the Aedra Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, and Julianos -- and the Talos cult, dedicated to the divine god-hero Tiber Septim, founder and patron of the Empire." Here, we see that the Imperial Cult cooperation includes the Talos Cult, which is a separate faction even in Morrowind.

Another quote specific to one Divine: "Dibella, the Goddess of Beauty, is the most 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." In the framework that I am proposing, there would not be one Imperial Cult in Cyrodiil plus a bunch of lesser cults, but the provincial Imperial Cult would come forth from these and many other cults who act in tenuous concert. Within a framework that supposes many lesser cults being active in Cyrodiil, the centralized Imperial Cult is utterly superfluous - after all, besides proclaiming the Divinity of the Nine and proposing them as role models for a virtuous life, the Imperial Cult in the base game has next to no doctrine. As long as the minor cults in Cyrodiil adhere to these principles, there is no reason for this intervention.

As far as i can tell, the notion that the Nibenese would not worship the Divines comes from one source: the PGE's depiction of the Alessian Empire, which, as I've argued above, was a suppressive theocracy that existed a long time ago, is now considered a heresy, and was never that successful in suppressing the Divines in the first place. Consider some of the other sources. For My God and Emperor pretty much repeats what I've said above: it speaks of the Imperial Cult as the missionary arm of the great faiths, and refers to the Talos Cult as both a part and apart of the Cult. A telling sentence at the end of the text: "Though the Imperial cults acknowledges the lords and saints of the Temple pantheon as worthy inspirations, the Temple falsely insists that theirs is the One True Faith, and ..." This, I think, should be the basis for how the orthodoxy of the Nine interacts with the numberless interpretations and sub-cults of the Divines: as long as a given saint or pseudo-deity is a worthy inspiration and model, there should be no problem. Another important source is Varieties of Faith in the Empire: an actual up-to-date investigation of the different pantheons, it does not actually speak of the Imperial Cult, nor does it mention differing attitudes between Colovians and Nibenese. It does, however, repeatedly speak of the Cyrodiilic pantheon and the Cyrodiilic gods.

Saint_Jiub wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:15 am
The entire concept of saints and totems is wrapped up in Alessian mythology so if we're throwing that out, there's nothing to justify the myriad cults of Nibenay at all.
The connection between the myriad cults of the Nibenay and the Alessians is made exactly once, at their genesis in the First Era. There are plenty of other mentions of the cults since then: the PGE itself describes them when it speaks about the present day ("their different cults are too numerous to mention (the most famous are the Cult of the Ancestor-Moth, the Cult of Heroes, the Cult of Tiber Septim, and the Cult of Emperor Zero)" - again, no actual mention of the Imperial Cult, nor do any of the mentioned cults have explicit relations to the Alessian Order. Varieties of Faith, too, speaks of the vast host of saints and holy spirits, specifically those in the Imperial City. There is also a fairly interesting mention in the Wolf Queen books, where it is stated that Potema "is a devotee of the conqueror gods Reman and Talos, not the love goddess Dibella." Which implies that Imperials do select their cult affiliations based on their immediate needs, and might worship certain Divines only perfunctory or at all if they do not fit their needs.

In general, much like what happened with the Talos Cult at TR, I believe that our assumptions concerning the Imperial Cult have drifted away from how the faction was depicted in the base game. We must return to the source material, and draw our conclusions from there.

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