Pantheon and Practices of the Ayleid

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Pantheon and Practices of the Ayleid

Post by Anumaril » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:18 am

The pantheon and practices of the Ayleid altered, sometimes drastically, between city-states; however the traditional pantheon was that of White-Gold, which held to Eight Ancestor-Gods, roughly similar to that of their Alinor counterparts, and inspirational in the founding of the Alessian Pantheon. These Eight, known as the 'Edeis' included Merid-Nunda, Yfferath, Manir, Magnav, Syraath, Xagea, Syllden, and Aur-En; the defining feature of the pantheon, however, was the inclusion of two more Ancestors, 'Missing Gods', as it were, these being Auri-El and Lorkhan, who went unnamed in Ayleidoon. While unknown why they were referred to seperately from the initial Eight, it would seem these deities were recognized, though went without traditional reverence. In addition to these Ten were a number of 'Adais', seperate deities recognized often as patrons of individual city-states and bloodlines, or in a variety of cases, replacements for particular 'Edeis' held by White-Gold.

Edeis:
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Merid-Nunda: Spirit of Life, Light (In all non-magickal senses), and Energy, Merid-Nunda was the chief deity of the White-Gold pantheon, an interpretation of the Daedra known today as Meridia. According to the Ayleid, she was one of Nine Coruscations, ‘who followed the parabolas that led away from Magnus’. This passage identified her among the Magne-Ge, or ‘Star-Orphans’, entities that separated from Magnus when he fled the mortal realm. Some time after her fleeing, abandonment, or disorientation (Ayleid texts regarding the subject make this unclear), she bent the light of Magnus and carved a Daedric sphere of her own within Oblivion. Her place as chief deity likely stems from the Ayleids’ holding of Light as one of the four elements of creation, and the element many held paramount. Beyond these facts, little is known of the deity, aside from mention of her ‘stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him’, a passage obviously alluding to the time god. What this means is uncertain, though may offer insight as to Auri-El’s displacement within the Edeis as well as lend reason to the tale of the Ayleid rejecting Phynaster’s gift for that of Merid-Nunda. Regardless, some link does exist between the two, as it can be no coincidence that her sphere of light often held a second, subtle allusion to time.

Yfferath: Spirit of Law, Song, and the Now, Yfferath is the Ayleid equivalent of Jephre, and ‘sings all that is true to be true’. Of second-most reverence in the pantheon of White-Gold, the deity stands to dictate the laws of nature as they exist in the present. It is said the god represents all living things, having given them identity as they identified the god. As such, Yfferath is regarded not as male or female, but as a many-faced amalgam, a reflection of all the god’s creations. Ayleid tales state that Yfferath was the first of the Ehlnofey, the very presence of the god giving rise to natural law suitable of it’s character. Looking upon that newly principled realm of possibility, Yfferath burst into a rhapsody of inspiring song. Resonating throughout the Aurbis, the chorus called upon others to lend their limbs and with they the god composed the foundations of the world. From the straining mountains, to the bountiful forests, to the mnemonic seas, all formed as that composition dictated. It was then the creatures of the world formed, and with them formed the ‘Boiche’ (Bosmer, the prefix ‘Boi’ implying animalistic nature) and the ‘Eshahi’ (Religious terminology seemingly regarding birds). While unknown, it is highly plausible that Kynareth of the Alessian pantheon maintained characteristics of Yfferath, merging them with the Nordic Kyne.

Manir: Spirit of Love, Fertility, and Tradition, Manir is the Ayleid equivalent of Mara; and as her name suggests, is strongly associated with the mother of creation, Nir. Through her nurturing embrace is found the sense and loyalty of kin and clan, and sewed into her robes the stages of their development. Upon her bosom was held the Rites of Naming, an important practice among the majority of city-states. While some aspects of her were maintained with the introduction of Mara, the early Alessian Temple faced ridicule for their provocative images of the deity, and many Ayleid simply discounted Mara as an offense.

"Two names are bestowed upon an Ayleid within their lifetimes. One when they are but fledglings, and another upon death. It was said that Xagea, with the wisdom of ancestors and skill of the Ayleid-tongue, held close to Manir; and through their copulation were born appellations of an exclusive breed."

Magnav: Spirit of Sight, Light (In a magickal sense), and Insight, Magnav is the Ayleid equivalent of Magnus, however, scholars debate the nature of this spirit, as it may have stood more as reverence to the great tear in the firmament or the tangible magicka flowing from it than it did to Magnus himself. While little evidence stands for this theory, the rough translation of the Ayleidoon ‘Magnav’ to ‘Of Magnus’ certainly leaves the matter open to assumption. Through Magnav, the Ayleid believed to have been bestowed the gift of magick, with more conceited Ayleid holding to the belief they were literally shards of Magnus themselves. These cults, while the minority, seemed quite vocal in their beliefs; with some scholars theorizing their egotistical worship of themselves as Magnus may have inspired certain aspects of the Alessian ‘One’.

Syraath: Spirit of Mastery, Apprenticeship, and Magic of a fleeting form, Syraath is the Ayleid equivalent of Syrabane. Her worship was held most dear to Ayleid scholars, who often made pilgrimage to Gyl Ge’loim (Believed to be the origins of Gwylim), the premiere pedagogy of magickal study within the Hegemony. Her protean origins are said to lie in the stars themselves, and as such, aetherial fragments such as Varla and Welkynd stones would often be directly associated with the goddess, some considering them fragments of her very sundered being. Unfortunately for modern scholars, worship of Syraath withered away in the years after the Alessian Rebellion, her image seemingly fading alongside the understanding of the aetherial arts. Attempts by modern scholars to propitiate the spirit have been met only with profane quietus.

"The last faithful of Syraath forsook their birthright and rejected impartation; choosing instead to swallow their unfledged apprentices and indulge in a stupor of reveriel insight, the same erudition that so aroused the Simian Usurper."

Xagea: Spirit of Ancestry, Knowledge, and Tongues, Xagea is the Ayleid equivalent to Xarxes, and was known as Xerxes in later ages. Similar to the god of their relatives, Xagea is said to have inscribed every moment of Ayleid history and every moment foreseen. Through him, the Ayleid recorded their ancestors and knew their origins. Their memory of Aldmeris and their inspiration for Ayleidoon was credited to Xagea, said to be the keeper of all words and their tongues. Xagea would ultimately be removed from the pantheon and replaced by Xerxes, as it was believed the spirit’s concept had been corrupted by Hyrma-Mora, the squalid Daedroth of forbidden knowledge. Thus, ‘that form was imprisoned within the shifting cogs of Yfferath, lending inspiration for Cyrodis-speak’. Tales surrounding the corruption of Xagea persist in the form of folklore and rumors surrounding the shadowed depths of Cyrodiil.

"Those of the Serceni were tasked with the preservation of their peoples ancestry. Bearing the light of Magnav, they wandered Cyrod, seeking to cleanse their clouding bloodlines and restore the Ayleid to their once-proud pedigree."

Syllden: Spirit of Benevolence, Mercy, and Experience, Syllden is the Ayleid equivalent of Stendarr, and stands as the ‘apologist of man’. Little is known of Syllden aside from one article impossibly surviving the Alessian Order’s destruction of Malada. This tale follows the story of the god, how he turned the Ayleid aside from their early slaughtering of Nedic tribes, teaching them instead that all life holds purpose and guiding them away from their bloodied past. Despite this seemingly peaceful visage, the god was most venerated as the ‘caster-of-chains’ and credited with the first act of slavery. Among his devoted were the vile Shapers and practitioners of Ayleid flesh-magicks, who utilized the teachings of Syllden as defense for their tortured vassals, long kept from the sweet escape of death. In spite of his worship by easily the worst of the Ayleid lords, Syllden was implemented into the Alessian pantheon as Stendarr, an amalgamation of his Nede-admired characteristics and that of Stuhn, the Nordic god of ransom.

Aur-En: Spirit of Sacrifice, Investment, and Resolution, Aur-En is the Ayleid equivalent of Xen, and is regarded as the god of effort, risk, and reward. Nearly every action in one’s life may be considered to be within the sphere of Aur-En, from the simple acts of purchasing food or waking each morning to complexities of historical reverence. His worship was prevalent throughout the Hegemony, although the many separate emphases of his worship throughout the castes of the Hegemony eventually led to his separation into multiple patrons, such as Xei, the popular patron of agriculture among the lower castes of the Niben.

Auri-El and Lorkhan - Note on the 'Missing Gods': The concept of a ‘missing god’ is no revolutionary idea to Tamriel, as even Alessia had incorporated Lorkhan as a ‘missing god’ in appeasement for Shor’s absence in her newfound Imperial religion. However, the idea that Auri-El, or any god of time for that matter, would go without official reverence is a concept odd to many, and blasphemous to many more. What led to this decision is unknown, as it is one of the few religious sects in history not to devote a time-god as chief of it’s pantheon, let alone remove it altogether. Many theories have arisen around the text ‘Exgesis of Merid-Nunda’ as to the Ayleids’ concept of time; however, the most popular theory on Auri-El’s disclusion lies in the interpretation that the time god is responsible for the elven imprisonment on Mundus, binding time and space so as to introduce law and linearity. This antagonistic view of the deity could very well have been the rationale behind the time god’s support in mankind’s rebellion against the Ayleid. Their attempts at escape could have proven disastrous for Mundus and the time god’s sphere.

Adais:
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Hyrma-Mora: Squalid Daedroth of forbidden knowledge, Hyrma-Mora stood as a great enemy to a number of Ayleid, and to their deity Xagea. It's worship was the only form strictly forbidden within the Hegemony, agreed upon as common law in the earliest recorded moots. However, eventually it would be claimed that Xagea was corrupted through dark knowledge-rituals and his libraries plundered by the Daedroth. In order to preserve their ancestry, the Ayleid abruptly threw Xagea from the pantheon and replaced him with Xerxes, a more traditional form of the elven Xarxes. Those city-states that reserved worship of Xagea were said to have drunk from the goblet of unknowable things, becoming insightful thralls of Hyrma-Mora, forever cursed to toil in the deep of Cyrod for lost understanding.

Mola-Gbal: Dark Daedroth of domination and greed, Mola-Gbal stood as the greatest foe of Meridian city-states within the Hegemony. Chief of his worshippers were the inhabitants of Lost Abagarlas, said to have been destroyed when they begged Merid-Nunda's wrath upon themselves. It's unknown as to what extent the Daedra was worshipped within the Hegemony, though multiple sites are known to have existed, such as Ninendava. Interestingly enough, his worship directly ties into known city-states of the Shapers, lending credence to the theory that Syllden's worship had been forsaken by a great many flesh-mages for the superior, yet dangerous, favor of Mola-Gbal came upon them.

Tor-Pol, the Lodestar: An Aldmeri explorer and famous poet said to have charted the entirety of Tamriel's seas, Tor-Pol was most revered among the Ayleid for his discovery and acquiring of the Eight Islands, inspiring the migration of the Ayleid people to what would become White-Gold. Regarded largely along the Niben and Topal Bay, his reverence largely came as a patron of city-states and the families of fishermen, though in rare cases he would be revered as an aspect, or replacement, of Aur-En.

Xei: Among the many late interpretations of Aur-En, Xei was one of the most prominent. Generally worshipeed along the fertile floodplains of the Niben and Lake Rumare, Xei was held to be a deity of agriculture and labor. He was said to provide ease for his faithful through appeals to Yfferath, begging short winters and long, fruitful seasons of harvest.

Qaith: Among the most mysterious of the Adais, with little more than worn stonework to remember the deity. Qaith is a matter of some debate among scholars, as it cannot be surmised whether the deity represents a physical being of ruling stature or a spirit among the likes of the Edeis. What can be known is that the Adai was recognized almost exclusivly in the Meritime states of the Topal Bay, states known to lack Sorcerer-Kings of their own. Though the origins of Qaith are obscured, it's said that 'worship was shared between Marmeldi, before washing ashore in the shed blood of Thras'. While lacking any evidence of appearance, it's said Qaith was as the waves, old and still at one moment, young and restless the next.

Dagon:

Namir:

Pyr-El:

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Post by Anumaril » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:22 am

Been gone for a while, so thought I'd post what I've been working on for everyone to see. It's very much a work in progress, so I invite everyone to lend their thoughts on the Edeis and Adais. I could certainly use some opinions on which deities should be named among the known Adais; at least which should be considered important enough to dedicate the time to implement into Province: Cyrodiil.

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Post by Infragris » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:46 pm

I'm really short on time/consciousness here, but I'll try to run through this and give my general thoughts. Apologies for the brusque rambling, I'm a bit tired.
  • The 8/10 thing: This doesn't really add anything. The Ayleid obsession with 8 is clearly spelled out in the source material, while the emphasis on 10 in new material is almost entirely due to the "Ten Ancestors" fetch quest in Oblivion, in which no special significance is given to their number, and no powers, identity or significance are attributed to them. It is my opinion that the 10 ancestor statues referred simply to ten actual ancestors, possibly the progenitors of great Ayleid sorceror-kings, or ten leaders in the Ayleid exodus from Alinor (in the reality framework which assumes the Ayleid are split off from larger elven culture, not magic birds). It should also be noted that, the way the Oblivion quest is written, it is implied that there used to be more than ten statues before the Rebellion/schism of the barsaebics.
  • tl;dr: I would prefer a solid eight Ancestor-gods, with the possibility of a subcategory of venerated ancestor-progenitors.
  • The difference between magical and non-magical light (or Merid-Nunda and Magnav): this feels like a really un-Ayleid distinction. The Ayleid worshiped light and understood it far better than any other, which is why they were capable of shaping it into stones, tools, and even servants (the Welkynd spirit). The importance of starlight especially means that they wouldn't see Magnus as sole proprietor of magical light. Imho it just doesn't feel correct that the ayleid would make this distinction, especially since they already discriminate between light and the more profane element of fire, which they considered a degraded substance. In my opinion, it would be better to make Merid-Nunda the sole source of magic/light and associate her with Magnus as his wayward daughter and as a kind of Promethean figure, stealing the light/the knowledge of how to wield it and giving it to the elves.
  • I like Yfferath.
  • Manir: I would just use the name Mara here; central to her nature is that she appears in every pantheon and is in certain ways universal in her appeal and role. I also don't see the association with Nirn bearing fruit in any way: it would place Mara much more central in the Ayleid cosmology, while they always struck me as more removed from her concerns: the appeal to purity, their longing to escape the mortal plane, the focus on the far exterior of the world as represented by the stars and Meridia, etc. Also, given Ayleid attitudes towards immortality and prolonging some vestige of life, the importance of fertility might have been lost on them.
  • Magnav:following on what I said about light above, might be better to typecast Magnus as an artificer god, a creator of devices, tools and (arcane or common) techniques of craft. An ambiguous figure, whose knowledge is not freely shared. Alternatively, it might be better to drop Magnus from the lineup and focus on the eight gods who would later inform the Eight Divines. After all, Magnus is first and foremost non-active, remote and indifferent to the world.
  • As an aside, I would not, under any circumstances, associate Magnus or any of the Elven gods with the Alessian One. Given Marukhati attitudes towards the Elves, it is extremely unlikely that these cults would inform each other. Also, an important aspect of the marukhati is that their faith is very strange, different and somewhat hostile towards local culture/reality. There should be no associations possible between marukhati and elven concepts of the world; if anything, they should be directly opposed in methods and conceits.
  • Syraath: sounds good, but Gwylim is a Breton institution, so would have been part of the Direnni sphere of influence. I would prefer there to be as little interference between the early Elven civilizations possible, if only because their mentalities are so radically different. Again, no mention of Marukh or his dealings should be made.
  • Syllden: very cool. One small remark is that "caster-of-chains" is a bit much, and doesn't really showcase what the Ayleid wanted to accomplish with their slaves. Something like Redeemer-of-unworthy-matter or Uplifter might be more appropriate.
  • Auri-El: should definitely be returned to his top place in the pantheon. Auri-El is key to the entire Ayleid "becoming/returning to be a bird" theme, as one of the ancestor spirits who did in fact retro-ascend to his origin glory. This interpretation is a bit too far into revisionism: while we have a lot of liberty in filling in the holes Bethesda left all over the place, we can't start overwriting the basic lore without a solid reason.
  • Lorkhan: just drop him. The human god should have no place in any of the Elven pantheon, apart from being a doomed trickster or distant historical abberation.
  • Mola-Gbal: very cool concept, but the name has to change. It's a very transparent change, not helped by the fact that "Molag" and "Bal" are common words across all elven languages. Imho better to just keep the name Molag Bal, otherwise it makes no sense that the Imperials would later start referring to him under his "correct" elven name. Not every spirit needs an ingenious nom de plume.
  • Tor-Pol: same as above. The concept is good, but the name-change isn't neccesary. Topal is already the Imperialized version of the older name Torval: in this case, Torval should thus be the original Elven name.
  • Maybe I'm too tired, but: who is Quaith supposed to be?

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Post by Anumaril » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:40 am

Thanks for your thoughts, and no apologies necessary, this was a little lengthy. Most name changes were to tack some 'flavor culture' onto the Ayleid practices, and some more lazy ones like Mola-Gbal came from ESO; I imagined common NPC knowledge and reading material of the pantheon would use Imperialised names, while texts in Ayleidoon or direct translations might use the older Ayleid names for scholarly accuracy. I mean, they had an entirely different language, don't see why they wouldn't have different names for the gods as well; though perhaps if we implement name changes for older and scholarly texts, it may be beneficial to rely more on MK's Magne-Ge pantheon for even more separated-from-man naming conventions.

As for the 8/10 thing, that was based less on the fetch quest and more on some ESO lorebooks as well as some works by and conversation with IceFireWarden from reddit. It does betray original source material though, so I'll drop it.

Proposed Revised List of Eight:

Merid-Nunda
Auri-El
Yfferath
Syraath
Syllden
Daubella
Xagea
Aur-En

Ge Worship: This is going to be a separate post, but the gist is that the White-Gold pantheon inspired the Alessian Pantheon; they as well as Nedic and Nordic gods were blended by Alessia to create a pantheon that satisfied each group equally, though city-states on the frontier had their faiths largely ignored, and Merid was cast down and counted among the Daedra. Ge worship would be a VERY old faith that more-or-less died out before the Ayleid reached their zenith; though inspired the majority of their cultural and religious values. The oddest of the Ayleid city-states and more mystical ruins I would think should be Ge worshipers.

Auri-El: Will instate as a key figure in the pantheon, however, I would insist on Merid maintaining her position as their chief deity. Her apparent role in the more Ge-focused look at convention and the fact she's important enough as to introduce an entirely different element of creation to the Ayleid, lends credence to the idea of her being among the most popular deities, and therefore likely prime in the central pantheon of White-Gold.

Mara and Daubella: Removed Mara, as on second thought, she's far too based in Nordic faith to be of the Ayleid. Daubella, however, clearly likens to Dibella and counts among the Magne-Ge. Not to mention, as you said, fertility would likely be lost on them, as opposed to the physical pleasures throughout their long lives that Dibella's sphere provides.

Syraath: Having achieved Dracochrysalis, Syrabane retroactively became a god, so cultures would likely have different origins and explanations for his/her ascendance. Will remove the Gwylim bit, misremembered it for a college in Cyrodiil.

Syllden: Perhaps something like "Father of the Wretched" and giving him a shepherd-like persona; Nedes saw him as somewhat of a savior, a Good Father, but they were still locked within an oppressive Ayleid fence.

Magnus: I certainly see your point. Magnus seems more of a means than an end. Apparently Merid followed the parabolas that led from Magnus along with the other Ge, so he seems a progenitor-type of deity, a 'big bang' of sorts. He would, however, have a central position in more Magne-Ge focused city-states; As for the base pantheon, I'll include him only in flavor text about Merid, and hopefully we can utilize him to culturally distinguish Ge-focused city-states.

Lorkhan: Will drop entirely from the pantheon; his place in the Alessian pantheon will then be determined by attributes of the Nordic Shor and some Nedic interpretations.

Qaith: Just a bullshit name for a deity along the lines of Zeqqi and Orgnum. I figure nearly (obviously not mortal gods like Talos or the Tribunal) all deities would be recognized somewhere in the Hegemony, considering the Ayleid could watch creation play out through bending light and time; and water gods seem far too absent in Tamriel. This, like many of the Adais, would be a small, localized deity with evidence of worship in only a few ruins or mentions in books.

Maruhkati: I agree with your concerns, I'll ax any connection of them to the Ayleid pantheon.

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Post by Infragris » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:14 pm

This all sounds very good. In general, I've found ESO lore to be more trouble that it's worth. When they have good texts, we should definitely incorporate them, but I don't think we should bother trying to redeem the scraps. Ge worship would be nice to reference, especially since there's a prefiguration of Morihaus in there if I remember correct. The absence of Kyne in the Yfferath shape could be used to prefigure her antagonistic role during the Rebellion.

I would like to represent Alessia's synthesis of the Imperial pantheon in a more positive light where possible. In Morrowind, the player's experience in the Temple faction is mostly played straight, even though the actual divinity of the Tribunal are questioned elsewhere. Likewise, a player involved in the Imperial Cult shouldn't be confronted with a blanket statement that Alessia created the pantheon for socio-political reasons; the truth should be negotiable. In the Imperial worldview, the synthesized Divines are closer to the unknowable truth of the Nine because they combine aspects of their human and elven interpretations, not despite of it.

I like Quaith. We might be able to make use of him (her? it?) to bulk out the number of "miscellaneous cults" worshiped in the Niben delta (gods not associated with any of the known aedra or daedra).

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Post by Anumaril » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:48 pm

With you on ESO, I'll fight to the death for us to keep texts like 'Exgesis of Merid-Nunda', but there's a lot of trash filler-lore in that game. Those gods that aligned with man must be given some motivation to do so; Kyne's motivations may be explained in drawing natural comparisons between her and Yfferath/Yffre, but I'll have to take a closer look at Auri-El. Exgesis states "...thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him....", so perhaps we can draw some interplay and competition between Merid and Auri-El; considering light being so closely associated with time, and the direction I've already gone with the long life of the Ayleid being credited toward Merid rather than Phynaster. Perhaps some line was crossed in Merid's manipulation of time; or the Akatosh idea was retroactively planted in Auri-El somehow, causing the god some crisis of self-identity.

The Imperial Pantheon should certainly be viewed more positively by the faithful and in Imperial histories, but of course the socio-political details would be given more credence in works by characters less biased and disconnected from the Cult and other Imperial institutions.

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Post by Infragris » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:40 pm

I believe Kyne's hostility towards the Ayleid is a part of her deal with Lorkhan - she appears to be a big supporter of the Endeavor, and caused the first rains to fall due to her grief over his death. My guess is that she backed the Rebellion and dispatched her son due to a prescience over the way the Empire would revive the Lorkhanic ideal. Or something.

Alternatively, the fact that she is the chief deity in the Nordic pantheon might have something to do with it. Maybe Kyne worship took root among the enslaved Nedes from contacts in Falkreath. There's definitely something important in the way Kyne's domain of the open sky and wild nature interacts with the slavery of the Nedes and the Ayleidic "constructed birds" aesthetic.

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Post by Anumaril » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:46 am

Been insanely busy for a few months, but came together with ideas to fill out the pantheon. So far we have Merid-Nunda, Yfferath, Syraath, Syllden, Xagea, and Aur-En for the central White-Gold pantheon. Below I've my general ideas for the inclusion of Auri-El and Meyra (Mara). Let me know what you think!

Auri-El

Spirit of Time, Sight (in a spiritual sense), and Energy, Auri-El stood as the chief deity from which the Ayleid claimed their descent, as catalogued by Xagea. Prior to Auri-El's ascent, it is said that all was in chaos, forces and concepts and energies bounding against one another with no clear discernment of shape nor motive save that of their natural affinities within this primordial disparity. Amongst this chaos, Auri-El came into contact with the Magne-Ge Merid-Nunda, and with this spirit came to understand the nature of light, and through great conflict with the Thermal Spirit (whose very presence elicited discernment amongst the pigments) worked to bring order to the wild spectrum of the Dawn. By his direction, Auri-El presented identity to the wild, young spirits at play, the first being Yfferath, who gave form to identity. Prior to his flight from our realm, he gave one final gift through copulation with Meyra, ten 'greater spirits' in the form of young Ayleid, who would become the first Sorcerer-Kings and from whom all Ayleid are descended. After the establishment of White-Gold, the Ayleid would become obsessed with following the path of Auri-El, believing that through his ascension he laid a path for all his children to follow. Their manipulation of light and efforts to chart the chaotic events of convention were all produced in effort to achieve this goal. The infamous 'Umaril the Unfeathered' may have been the victim of some form of political/spiritual marring (by name, and rumor of his relation to Molag Bal) due to his denouncing of these efforts, believing Auri-El had not delineated reality for his children to reflect upon chaotic forces, but rather the forces of reality which they had separated themselves from.

Meyra

Spirit of Purity, Prolongment, and Restitution, Meyra was the Ayleid equivalent of Mara, and whose worship was considered a necessary evil in prolonging the infinite Ayleid efforts of ascension. It was said that her copulation with Auri-El birthed ten 'greater spirits' from which all Ayleid lords are descended. Her sphere guided the Ayleid in procreation, an act for which they had great disdain, and her sites of worship functioned more as extreme-selective breeding grounds than conventional sites of worship. Handmaids of Meyra were exclusively female, and served as the primary breeding stock of the Hegemony. It's unknown whether this spiritual female role or some other cultural factor led Ayleid society toward patriarchal systems of governance in the way of Sorcerer-Kings. Prestigious Ayleid scholars were known to have had such little time nor concern for the act of reproduction that had they not ignored it, were known to visit these grounds once in a lifetime and take dozens of partners for the sake of eventual restitution.

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Post by Infragris » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:29 pm

I like everything about Auri-El, although the step from his ten ancestors to the alternate/competing myth of the bird people and Torval is confusing. What I am mostly missing is the fall from grace which is essential in Elven myth: how the Elves lost their immortal, divine nature. The essential quality of the Ayleid is how, unlike the Altmer, they seek to regain their station and ascend by any means necessary ("Where the Altmer sought to focus on dracochrysalis, or keeping elder magic bound before it could change into something lesser (and act which ironically required aetherial surplus), the Ayleids harvested castaway creatia from Oblivion by entering a pact with the masters of the Void, the Princes of Misrule.").

Traditionally there is also the part where the Lorkhan or men is to blame, but in the case of the Ayleids I believe more and more it is appropriate to neglect mentioning him entirely. I have a working theory that the Ayleids tried to erase Shezarr from the mythos, similar to contemporary efforts vis a vis Talos.

Hmm, weird breeding cults. Auri-El/Meyra mirrors vulgar notions of Akatosh and Mara in some Nibenese religions, which is good. I'm not sure if the disdain Ayleids felt for procreation should not be class-based: as Nu-Hatta reminds us, "it should be noted here that it is always foolish to think of whole races sharing like minds. "Ayleid" is as much a metaphysical designation as it is a cultural one. Just like the earliest Chimer who orphaned themselves from the Velothi Exodites, but remain Chimer today, large numbers of Ayleids showed more interest in the immediate earthly needs of agriculture rather than the magical needs of concept-farming."

In other words, Meyra worship might have been genuine and heartfelt among the lower castes of Ayleids (who we never hear about anyway, and who left little earthly traces), but disdained by their almighty sorceror-kings. In fact, thinking about it the ability to procreate may have been one of those parts of their mortality the sorceror-kings routinely sacrificed to the Daedra in their quest for conditional immortality. So maybe their worship of Meyra focused more on her aspects of purity and prolongment (in the most literal sense)? Just thinking out loud here.

Have you checked Tristior's work on the Nordic religions? Might be interesting in terms of comparative theology.

Also I had this draft for a minority cult in the southern Nibenay, possibly based around the town of Moricta:
The Qaith 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. Little is understood of the Qaithite inner mysteries, though some claim the cultists consider him exempt from Akatosh’ temporal dictates -- and, as such, a path to immortality. The sailors and fishermen of the Bay honor Qaith with perfunctory sacrifices of freshly butchered fish near his shrines.

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Post by Anumaril » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Inspired and finally with some time on my hands, I'm back to update my posts and share some lore I've had on the back-burner. I believe I've addressed most of your prior concerns @Infragris and have expanded upon all of the 'Edeis', particularly Merid-Nunda and her relationship with Auri-El and Magnus (who will be further detailed when I finish updating the 'Adais'). I've also touched briefly on Qaith in Aur-En's description based on your application of the spirit as among the minority-cults. Like always, let me know here or on Discord what you think of the changes.

Brief Preface:Show

The pantheon and practices of the Ayleid altered, sometimes drastically, between city-states; however the most influential of religious institutions was that of White-Gold, the 'Temple of the Ancestors' as it was known. This central temple initially held to Eight Ancestor-Gods, roughly similar to those of their Alinor counterparts, and would come to be inspirational in the founding of the Alessian Pantheon. These Eight, known as the 'Edeis', included Merid-Nunda, Auri-El, Yfferath, Meyra, Syraath, Syllden, Xagea, and Aur-En. Each of these deities, while comparable with many contemporary spirits, notably manifested both Aedric and Daedric qualities. Over time various states of the Ayleid would form distinct relationships with spirits outside or derived from this pantheon, which would collectively be referred to as 'Adais'. Whether by some form of intellectual drift, subversion by Oblivion, or mere cultural stagnation the latter years of the Ayleid Hegemony would see a great deal of religious drift among their already splintered belief systems and a massive expansion in the number of Daedraphilic states, whose Daedric gods would be referred to as 'Moradais'. While relations with Daedra was not a foreign concept to the Ayleid, the Sorcerer-Kings enjoying the privilege of invoking them since their arrival in Cyrod, these powers had been utilized responsibly and checked by neighboring states for abuse. As more direct reverence of Daedra became normalized in the Heartland, this practice would be entirely reversed, with the Sorcerer-Kings in open competition for Daedric power and those Kings adamant on reversing this trend being branded as enemies, such as the Auri-El faithful 'Heretic of Lindai'. In addition to this, geopolitical tensions ultimately led to portions of the Hegemony distancing themselves or outright revolting against their spiritually divergent brothers in the Heartland, the Adonacyrean Ayleid, who took most strongly to Daedraphilia. Despite these estrangements among their kin, the old ways of the Edeis would be preserved by few states, the majority of which being among the Lipsaculleic Ayleid. While the Barsaebics would cite their dedication to Ayleid tradition among their causes for revolt, they too had strayed from the Edeis by embracing the Aedric qualities of the pantheon, this Aedraphilia likely having been caused by their closer relations with Summerset and other centers of Merish power. Ultimately this pantheon would survive only in its application by other races and prior-mentioned Merish powers, with Alessia incorporating Nede-admired aspects of it into the Imperial Pantheon and Ayleid emigrants influencing the regions they fled to by varying degree. Thanks in part to being embraced largely by lower-castes and slaves, as well as recognized on a much smaller scale, many of the 'Adais' would survive to influence minority cults across the Empire, despite Marukhati efforts to root out these supposedly heretical faiths. Likewise, though few dare to collect evidence in its favor, the various Daedric cults of Cyrodiil may very well contain modes of reverence, practices, and relics that date back to the Daedraphiles.
The Edeis:Show

Stemming largely from the complex studies by the Ayleid into the nature of light, which they considered to be the most sacred of elements and particular to Merid-Nunda, the Ayleid 'Edeis' were among the more unique adaptations of the Altmeri deities. Whether out of some malevolent influence on the part of the spirit we now know as the Daedra Meridia, or true and divine revelation, the Ayleid had always balanced between the spheres of the Aedra and Daedra in their efforts to delineate the bright path taken by Auri-El and refined in subtractive secret by Merid-Nunda in the Colored Rooms, or Great Refractory as it was known. This inspired a pantheon of spirits whose characters reflected both Aedric and Daedric qualities, though consequently leaving these deities vulnerable to misinterpretation and influence both mortal and immortal.


Merid-Nunda:


Spirit of Life, Light, and Magic, Merid-Nunda was the chief deity of the White-Gold pantheon and was well-regarded even amongst the Aedraphilic Ayleid, despite her having been an interpretation of the Daedra known today as Meridia. According to the Ayleid, she was counted amongst the Magne-Ge, or 'Star-Orphans', entities that separated from Magnus when he fled the mortal realm. Her place as chief deity stems from her gift of Light to the Ayleid, an element they held as paramount, believing it to have held the key to their ascension. This revelation may very well be the cause for their persecution and subsequent flight from Summerset, although few records remain of Ayleid history prior to the establishment of White-Gold. Various mentions of Merid-Nunda's interactions with Auri-El make allusions to some relationship between her sphere of Light and his of Time, in one instance lending reason to the tale of the Ayleid rejecting Phynaster's gift for that of Merid-Nunda. Ultimately she would become separated from the Time-God when he ascended, choosing instead to remain behind as a means to guide her people along the same path. However this choice led her father Magnus to cast her from the station she once held, separating the constituent elements of Merid and Auri-El, causing their people to become disoriented and stray from the path set before them. Set adrift in Oblivion, she bent the light of Magnus and carved a Daedric sphere of her own out of Oblivion, slighting many Daedra while impressing her strength upon others. Those Mer with sufficient agency discovered Merid again in her new form, and while greatly obscured to them, they looked to the Great Refractory for enlightenment.

This more esoteric and culturally relevant tale of Merid-Nunda's relationship with the Ayleid would grow increasingly shrouded over time, with her character subject to Alessian revision and worship of the spirit banned alongside other Daedric entities. Known pockets of her worship remained in Cyrodiil primarily among the Lipsaculleic states, with her shrine at Miscarcand being among the few pieces of physical evidence in regards to her worship. Those Ayleid who fled their homeland no doubt carried with them the Meridian faith, but this appears to have declined rapidly upon their absorption by foreign cultures, the last strong Ayleid clans outside Cyrod recognizing the spirit merely as 'Meridia'.


Auri-El:


Spirit of Time, Sight, and Energy, Auri-El stood as the deity from which the Ayleid lords claimed their descent, as catalogued by Xagea. Prior to Auri-El's ascent, it is said that all was in chaos, forces and concepts and energies bounding against one another with no clear discernment of shape nor motive save that of their natural affinities within this primordial disparity. Amongst the chaos, Auri-El came into contact with the Magne-Ge Merid-Nunda, and with this spirit came to understand the nature of Light, and through great conflict with the Thermal Spirit (whose very presence elicited discernment amongst the pigments) worked to bring order to the wild spectrum of the Dawn. By his direction, identity was presented unto the wild, young spirits at play, the first being Yfferath, who gave form to identity. Enamored by her most beautiful of forms, Auri-El copulated with Meyra, who would give birth to the first lords of the Ayleid. After the establishment of White-Gold, the Ayleid would become obsessed with following the path of Auri-El, believing that through his ascension he laid a path for all his children to follow. Assisted by Merid-Nunda, their manipulation of light and efforts to chart the chaotic events of convention were all produced in effort to achieve this goal.

The infamous 'Umaril the Unfeathered' may have been the victim of some form of political/spiritual marring (by name, and rumor of his relation to Molag Bal) due to his denouncing of these efforts, believing Auri-El had not delineated reality for his children to reflect upon chaotic forces, but rather the forces of reality which they had separated themselves from.

Ultimately the Ayleid aspect of Auri-El would be wed with Nordic and Nedic conceptions of the time-god to form Akatosh. However, even less is known of this early marriage of concepts than of the Ayleid's own time god, as any elven influence on the Alessian time-god would be scrubbed away by the actions of Marukh and his Selectives, either by metaphysical tampering or radical reform and censorship.


Yfferath:


Spirit of Law, Song, and the Now, Yfferath is the Ayleid equivalent of Jephre, and ‘sings all that is true to be true’. Of high reverence in the pantheon of White-Gold, the deity stands to dictate the laws of nature as they exist in the present. It is said the god represents all living things, having given them identity as they identified the god. As such, Yfferath is regarded not as male or female, but as a many-faced amalgam, a reflection of all the god’s creations. Ayleid tales state that Yfferath was the first of the Ehlnofey, the very presence of the god giving rise to natural law suitable of it’s character. Looking upon that newly principled realm of possibility, Yfferath burst into a rhapsody of inspiring song. Resonating throughout the Aurbis, the chorus called upon others to lend their limbs and with they the god composed the foundations of the world. From the straining mountains, to the bountiful forests, to the mnemonic seas, all formed as that composition dictated. It was first the goddess Meyra who formed, copulating with Auri-El to produce suitable leaders for the Ayleid, then the creatures of the world formed, and with them formed the ‘Boiche’ (Bosmer, the prefix ‘Boi’ implying animalistic nature) and the ‘Eshahi’ (Religious terminology seemingly regarding birds). While unknown, it is highly plausible that Kynareth of the Alessian pantheon maintained characteristics of Yfferath, merging them with the Nordic Kyne.

While the name of Yfferath went largely unmarred to the Nedic tribes, legend exists of Ayleid who opposed the mono-form introduced by Yfferath and pledged themselves to Hircine in exchange for a second skin. These Sorcerer-Kings allegedly thrilled in the hunt of Nedic slaves from the sky as a kind of were-eagle, though all that stands to substantiate these claims are Nibenese and Falkreath folktales, not to mention the occasional sighting of perching winged elves in the trees.


Meyra:


Spirit of Purity, Prolongment, and Restitution, Meyra was the Ayleid equivalent of Mara, whose worship was considered a necessary evil to the Ayleid lordship in prolonging the infinite Ayleid efforts of ascension. Lower castes of their kind held her in high regard, with many associating the deity with Aur-En rather than Auri-El, particularly due to the efforts and rewards pertaining to the raising of children. It was said that her copulation with Auri-El birthed the first of the Ayleid lords, from whom all Kings were descended. Her sphere guided the lords of the Ayleid in procreation, an act for which they had great disdain, and her sites of worship functioned more as exotic selective breeding grounds than conventional sites of worship. Focusing on her spheres of Purity and Prolongment, the lords believed that release of their libidinous energies on another brought strength to themselves, and made room for less carnal energies to be gathered within. Handmaids of Meyra were exclusively female, and served as the primary breeding stock for the lords of the Hegemony. Evidence exists that her veneration by the lower castes was by far the more traditional mode of reverence for the deity, her association with Auri-El and the opening of the Breeding Grounds being introduced to secure the lineage of otherwise-distracted Sorcerer Kings. Even granted such privileges, some lords were known to have had such little time nor concern for the act of reproduction that had they not ignored it, were known to visit these grounds once in a lifetime and take dozens of partners.

As the Decadent Period approached, more taboo Daedra would be embraced by the devotees of Meyra such as Sanguine and Mephala, transforming the Breeding Grounds from places of spiritual sanctity to sites of all manner of depravity and debauchery. The annual celebration of Meyranal became more degenerate as the years went on, ultimately corrupting the very nature of the deity, and would rage without end. Of notable corruption is the Sorcerer-King Nirasryn of Silk, who imposed himself over the women of the lost Breeding Ground of Meldrielle and surrounding lands, demanding from his servants a tithe of daughters and sacrifice of sons to be given for the sake of realizing the Lord of Purity's ambitions. His city would disappear upon the outbreak of the Alessian Rebellion, supposedly finding itself within the Myriad Realms of Revelry lorded over by Sanguine. Whether this was Nirasryn's intention or he was driven for something greater, the pocket-realm of Meldrielle is but one example of the darker side of Sanguine's innocent and amusing exterior.


Syraath:


Spirit of Mastery, Apprenticeship, and Magic of a Fleeting Form, Syraath is the Ayleid equivalent of Syrabane. Her worship was held most dear to Ayleid scholars, who engaged in biennial pilgrimage across the Hegemony in search of differing techniques of practical magicks and means of teaching. Her protean origins are said to lie in the stars themselves, and as such, Aetherial fragments such as Varla and Welkynd stones would often be directly associated with the goddess, some considering them fragments of her very sundered being. Fallen fragments would be sought across the Hegemony by the light-obsessed Ayleid, with armed clashes between city-states having been fairly common over particularly valuable shards. Among the lower castes, the discovery of these fragments were believed to bring good fortune, though Nedic slaves regarded them as little more than oppressive and cold, incapable of providing the warmth a fire might to their slave pens. She was believed to work under the shelter of the Great Refractory, obscured to the pure light of Magnus so as to prevent another sundering. Collecting the fractured portions of her form, she travelled across the realms of Oblivion and beyond, leaving these shards of herself in the protection of her faithful Ayleid.

In the latter years of the Hegemony, Syraath would be thrown aside by much of the Daedraphile Ayleid, who regarded direct pacts with the Daedra as more expedient means by which to gather this castaway creatia than offering reverence for whatever shards may chance to fall upon them. Unfortunately for modern scholars, this led to the worship of Syraath withering away in the years after the Alessian Rebellion, her image seemingly fading alongside the understanding of the Aetherial Arts. Attempts by modern scholars to propitiate the spirit have been met only with profane quietus.


Syllden:


Spirit of Benevolence, Mercy, and Experience; Syllden is the Ayleid equivalent of Stendarr, and stands as the 'Apologist of Man'. Little is known of Syllden aside from one article impossibly surviving the Alessian Order's destruction of Malada. This tale follows the story of the god, how he turned the Ayleid aside from their early slaughtering of Nedic tribes, teaching them instead that all life holds purpose and guiding them away from their bloodied past. Despite this seemingly peaceful visage, the god was most venerated as the 'Uplifter-of-the-Lesser' and credited with the first act of slavery. Among his devoted were the vile Shapers and practitioners of Ayleid flesh-magicks, who utilized the teachings of Syllden as defense for their tortured vassals, long kept from the sweet escape of death. In spite of worship by easily the worst of the Ayleid lords, Syllden was implemented into the Alessian pantheon as Stendarr, an amalgamation of his Nede-admired characteristics and that of Stuhn, the Nordic god of ransom.

By the Decadent Period, the practices of the Shapers and the worst slave-masters had exceeded the tolerances granted under Syllden, with many of these vile Ayleid abandoning the deity in favor of Daedra such as Molag Bal and Vaermina. In the worst cases, a slave might have found their way into the ownership of one brand of cultist after the other, experiencing the worst tortures of the body and of the mind that Oblivion had to offer. Having lost their initial inspiration, the Shapers abandoned their cause for contorting the flesh, instead indulging their curiosities and decorating their keeps in macabre living symbols of their power.


Xagea:


Spirit of Ancestry, Knowledge, and Tongues, Xagea is the Ayleid equivalent of Xarxes, and was known as Xerxes in later ages. Similar to the god of their relatives, Xagea is said to have inscribed every moment of Ayleid history and every moment foreseen. Through him, the Ayleid recorded their lineage and knew their origins. Their memory of lost magics from Aldmeris and their inspiration for Ayleidoon was credited to Xagea, said to be the keeper of all words, spells, and tongues. Xagea would ultimately be removed from the pantheon and replaced by Xerxes, as it was believed the spirit's concept had been corrupted by Hyrma-Mora, the squalid Daedroth of forbidden knowledge. Tales surrounding the corruption of Xagea persist in the form of folklore and rumors regarding the shadowed depths of Cyrodiil.

While Xerxes would overtake the worship of Xagea, the latter would continue to be served by those either lacking knowledge of his corruption or utilizing the fallen deity as a proxy for the worship of Hyrma-Mora. Those who continued to worship Xagea out of ignorance would have their knowledge and memories slowly consumed into the libraries of Apocrypha, all recollection of their lineage having been lost. Similar tragedies would befall those Nedic tribes given over to Xagea by the Ayleid in exchange for lost knowledge. While unlike the fates that befell other tribes subjected to Daedric oblation, these Nedes would survive either for labor or to be sold to another city, however they'd suffer on with little to no recollection of where they came from or who they are. As opposed to the wholesale slaughter of other tribes, the rich culture of these Nedic peoples would merely be forgotten, the only evidence of their existence lying beneath the dirt or entombed within Oblivion.


Aur-En:


Spirit of Sacrifice, Investment, and resolution, Aur-En is the Ayleid equivalent of Xen, and is regarded as the god of effort, risk, and reward. Nearly every action in one's life may be considered to be within the sphere of Aur-En, from the simple acts of purchasing food or waking each morning to complexities of historical relevance. His worhsip was prevalent throughout the Hegemony, although the many separate emphases of his worship throughout the castes eventually led to his separation into multiple patron-deities regarded as emanations of his wide sphere of influence, such as Xei, the popular emanation of agriculture among the lower castes of the Niben. Among warriors, the emanation Adavar was honored to bring decisive victory, protection, and great spoils. Additionally, the figure of Qaith revered within the Topal Bay is presumed to have its origins as an emanation of Aur-En, with a number of its initiatic mystery-cults possibly having been established prior to the Alessian Rebellion.

This wide division of Aur-En's spheres into greater and greater particulars would leave the spirit vulnerable to mortal interpretation and debasement. Various emanations derived from Aur-En would have their character corrupted by Daedraphile imposition and in some cases be wholesale sacrificed to Daedra inhabiting similar spheres to those the emanations were associated with. In the case of Adavar, the deity would become associated with Mehrunes Dagon, whose followers were in large fanatics and considered dangerous even to other Ayleid. To these faithful Mehrunes represented total victory over man and weak elements of Ayleid society. Devotees of the Daedra were known to purge all forms of decadence, weakness, and waste from their societies. Unlike most city-states, those in service to Mehrunes were staunchly against slavery, believing reliance on lesser races weakened the Ayleid themselves, and so they took to slaughtering the Nedes they encountered instead. Mehrunes worship was largely centered around the hardened far-eastern states along the Valus Mountains, the most prominent being the lost Varsa Baalim, said to have been consumed by the Valus after its Sorcerer-King challenged the might of Mehrunes himself.

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Infragris
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Post by Infragris » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:23 pm

Wonderful work. Can you format the Preface with some paragraphs? First now it's a big block of text.
Likewise, though few dare to collect evidence in its favor, the various Daedric cults of Cyrodiil may very well contain modes of reverence, practices, and relics that date back to the Daedraphiles.
Remember, Daedra worship is legal and kind of blasé in Cyrodiil, so it's not (always) needed to treat it with a sense of dread.

I'm a little unsure about the outright mixing Daedric and Aedric elements in the main pantheon, mostly because these groups are the most strongly distinguished within the Elven sphere of thought ("our ancestors" vs. "not our ancestors.") Following on what you say about light and Merid-Nunda, it might be better to describe the Daedric qualities as color filters or prismatic affections, rather than outright aspects of the core deity - which gives the later decadent era a driven storyline as the sorcerer-kings begin to worship the color instead of the light, enamored by the personal power the Daedra grant them. In fact, color filter/daedric infection of a core light individual works also as a metaphor for the Ayleid sorcerer-kings themselves, who basically got sidetracked in their quest for ascension by mutating themselves with Daedric essence.
This revelation may very well be the cause for their persecution and subsequent flight from Summerset, although few records remain of Ayleid history prior to the establishment of White-Gold
Personally, I have always interpreted the Ayleids as a voluntary population movement, without a (strong) aspect of persecution. It should be noted that Elven colonization of the mainland was rather common in this era, with vassal-states springing up in Valenwood, High Rock, and along the shorelines of Tamriel.

The Ayleid were unique in this movement only because they penetrated the wild heart of the continent, fighting off the beastmen and nedes that held it previously. My personal take is that the Ayleids were a magically adept caste who left Summerset because they objected to restrictions on daedra association, dawn magic research, and their subservient role in the caste system (beneath the high nobility), leading to their own society with its focus on sorcerer-kings whose right to rule derives directly from their power/Daedric affiliation.

From this, we can assume that the further restrictions on the caste system and the taboo on leaving Summerset only developed after this era of migration movements, when the rulers of Summerset became aware of the danger the growing Camoran Empire and the Ayleid Hegemony posed. Which in turn leads to the failed attempt to stop Veloth's exodus.
After the establishment of White-Gold, the Ayleid would become obsessed with following the path of Auri-El, believing that through his ascension he laid a path for all his children to follow
This seems in conflict with what is said in the Nu-Mantia Intercept:
White-Gold Tower was made by the Ayleids, the Heartland High Elves that would have none to do with their isle-kind. Where the Altmer sought to focus on dracochrysalis, or keeping elder magic bound before it could change into something lesser (and act which ironically required aetherial surplus), the Ayleids harvested castaway creatia from Oblivion by entering a pact with the masters of the Void, the Princes of Misrule.
IMO the path of Auri-El is strictly an Aldmerish preoccupation, while the Ayleids seemingly sought to ascend by their own means and path. No doubt they took cues from Auri-El, but their methods (starlight harvest, experimenting on Nedic slaves to try and uplift them) are very different, almost scientific.

Maybe better to avoid Umaril here. His origins are about as out there as those of Pelinal, and tying them too closely to this mythos diminishes his status as a weird, out-of-context force.

I would suggest a more poetic term for Meyra's temples than "breeding grounds". It seems out of character for the Ayleids to be so clinical about this, regardless of their disdain for the carnal act, and current Ayleidophiles or scholars would also choose a more indirect term. Maybe something like a Nascency Temple or a Hatchery (to keep it birds).

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Post by Anumaril » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

Rough draft of the Ayleid account of Convention, and the basis for a lot of the Edeis. I've taken your critiques into account and believe I've fixed up most of the issues with the pantheon when relevant here. If the direction I've went with this story looks good I'll start touching up the pantheon to be more reflective of it and your suggestions.
Ayleid Creation StoryShow

Prior to Convention, Merid-Nunda lived happily within the creative unified radiance of Aetherius alongside other spirits of light, including her twin brother Auri-El. Filled with love for the bright force she dwelt within, Merid could not help but join in the curiosity of her fellow spirits that investigated their reflections in the Dark Waters beneath them. Here the surface of the Dark Waters began to fade, and when Magnus the Great came to examine the fuss, it became illuminated enough that the spirits could make out reflective objects beneath the surface. Curious, they entered the waters and some took hold of these objects, save for Merid-Nunda, who remained skeptical alongside her father Magnus and a number of her siblings. Her brothers and sisters who grasped the objects would come to manifest within them, forming the World-Eggs, their concepts and identities congealing as they dwelt within them. However, the light these spirits took with them into the World-Eggs became saturated with the Dark Waters that filled them. Their shells having closed the spirits to the purifying light of Magnus, their crystallizing spiritual identities became corrupted with foreign, material concepts distinctive of the Dark Waters.

As the World-Eggs cracked open, the first of the Aedra appeared, Auri-El, whose presence introduced Time and linearity to the space around them. Yfferath was next, whose presence applied law to the space and inspired, he would build the foundations of Mundus from the broken World-Eggs the Aedra sprang from, a place between the Dark Waters and Aetherius. It was then that Meyra was birthed, who gave physical form to the space about her, a sight so beautiful as to attract the attention of Auri-El, who copulated with the newborn Aedra to birth the Ehlnofey, who populated the creation of Yfferath. Syraath would then appear, teaching the Ehlnofey to harness the power of Magnus, creating magicks of the Dawn and principles of hierarchy. However, the Ehlnofey came to be lethargic and ignorant to the creative powers and principles taught by Syraath, but the appearance of Aur-En next inspired sacrifice and effort on their part, unpredictably breeding bloody conflict between them and splitting the Ehlnofey between their breed, the spiritual Aldmer and material Man. Thus came Xagea, who gave to the differing breeds two languages so as to prevent their mixing, and presented a conception of linearity to them, that they might chart their histories and lineage. When lastly Syllden appeared, the higher achievements of the Aldmer had become apparent, and in desiring peace upon Mundus and Man's capabilities be attained, the spirit introduced the servitude and thralldom of Man as an alternative to their slaughter.

In these formative actions within Mundus, the Aedra had spent the creative light that dwelt within, and now walked upon the surface of Nirn as material shells of their former selves. As a result, the fiercely independent Men would revolt against the laws presented to them, while the noble Aldmer would unite under the banners of the Aedra against them. Facing tremendous challenge, Auri-El begged return to Aetherius, but discovered his corrupted form unwelcome in the pure light above Mundus. Terrified a similar fate might befall the still-pure Magne-Ge should they remain, Magnus fled the Mundus alongside the uncorrupted brothers and sisters of the Aedra, ripping holes in its walls as they left. Syraath attempted to follow, but would be shattered into numerous pieces by the light of the newly-formed sun. While these apertures allowed some influx of Light into Mundus, it paled in comparison to that afforded by Magnus' presence within, and the Dark Waters began flooding in, consuming unhatched World-Eggs and corrupting countless remaining spirits. Amid this chaos, the fleeing Merid-Nunda worried for her twin Auri-El, and tore a piece from Magnus before shooting toward Nirn. However, the flooding Dark Waters surrounded her, its multitude of forms grasping for the light she had stolen while having their way with her. Bending the stolen light, a great radiance would emit from the Dark Waters, her having created within them a reflective prism that enhanced the Light entering from Aetherius and introducing Color to the whole of Mundus.

While this excess of Light would bring victory to the Aedra and Aldmer upon Nirn, the introduction of Color would sunder the Aldmeri forces amongst their various hues, representative of their character. From these various hues would come the Altmer, Chimer, Bosmer, Falmer, and Dwemer. Many of these hues would then separate again from their constituent shades, resulting in the Ayleid birth from the Altmer and other divorces, with the Ayleid finding their shade to be the closest of mortals to that of Magnus' pure light. Color would not only separate mortals, however, as while their shifting nature still made it difficult to discern, the Dark Waters trapped within Mundus were presented with identity, in many cases a result of the fleeing Magne-Ge they consumed or World-Eggs within them, creating the realms of Oblivion and their Daedra.

Constructing the Tower of Ada-Mantia, the Aedra would convene to apply their formative laws to the world in consideration of the revelation of Color. Utilizing the Tower as a convergence point for her Light, Merid-Nunda would purify the stations of the Aedra, allowing them to return once again to their home in Aetherius. Only Syraath remained, her shards spread across Mundus and Oblivion. Merid wishes now to purify all spirits trapped within Mundus, however, only the Ayleid divined her role in Convention and set out to accept her promise. Unlike the Altmer, who seek only to replicate Auri-El's actions, the Ayleid sought to return alongside Merid, purifying the spirit of her corrupted essence and redeeming her in the eye of Magnus. They believed her union with Auri-El would bring a transcendence to Aetherius that would banish the Dark Waters entirely and forever, purifying creation and preventing another catastrophic mixing of forces. Having identified with Auri-El and utilizing this spiritual bond as justification for their positions of power, the Ayleid kings would consider themselves siblings and consorts of Merid-Nunda, willing to stop at nothing to redeem her. Despite their efforts, the Ayleid would trail from this path, increasingly focused on prismatic affections of the Aedra and giving in to hubris, abandoning Merid's Light for other sources of power.

Note:

With the Ayleid Kings I went the direction of their relationship with Merid being one similar to how Egyptian Pharoes identified with Horus and viewed Isis as their mythological mother and wife, Auri-El obviously being the stand-in for Horus and Merid as Isis. However, with Meyra being their 'mother' in this story, their identifying themselves with Auri-El as the twin force of Time with Merid's Light would change this up a bit. I was inspired by Gnostic myth surrounding Sophia as well, where some of her character comes from.

As far as Aurorans and Umaril go, while you're right that the latter should go largely unmentioned, I do want to present a mythical origin for Meridia's servants. I was thinking either as Ayleid who've done their part in service to Merid and await redemption in the Colored Rooms, but not sure.

Those unhatched World-Eggs represent the Worlds of Creation that were mysteriously lost, and I plan on playing with them when I write out the Ayleid's conceptions of the various Daedra. One thought I had was that Jyggalag was supposed to be hatched after Syllden, possibly bringing much-desired Order to the Mundus, this being stopped short by Magnus' chickening out and the Egg's subsequent consumption by the Dark Waters. Daedra shake the egg up, afraid of the emerging Prince inside, and give Jyggalag a serious case of shaken-baby-syndrome resulting in Sheogorath.

With the whole 'Aetherius Above, Dark Waters Below' thing, the Ayleid naturally had a different idea of what the Aurbis looks like, and this could be reflected in their ruins. This also inspired the identification of the Aedra (not just Auri-El) with birds, having risen up to Aetherius, and most of the Daedra considered to dwell in the depths, such as the tale regarding Hyrma-Mora and Xagea.

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