ARCTURIANISM FOR BEGINNERS
The Empire's most Enduring Conspiracy Theory
by Claude Telling
So-called arcturianists are believers in the Arcturian Heresy, a conspiracy theory which, at its core, claims that Tiber Septim -- or Talos -- is not a God, but a fabricated identity used by a secret cabal who now rule over Tamriel through lies and deceit.
The memory of the living Talos is curiously uncertain -- few can agree on whether he was an Atmoran king, a Nord from High Rock, a Colovian warlord, the incarnation of an ancient hero-god, or an amalgamation of such things in a Divine whole.
Faiths like the Talos Cult or the Red Dome Templars, who proclaim the divinity of Tiber Septim, believe that Talos contains a multitude of aspects and identities, similar to the other Divines. These cults are important tools in the hands of the Empire -- an avenue for spreading Imperial culture in the provinces, and an affirmation of the Empire's divine mandate aimed at both the military and the citizenry.
Arcturianists deny the veracity of the Talosian narrative. Their core pamphlet, a lurid conspiracy theory based, it is said, on testimony from the Underking, is prohibited literature, but broadly available in those provinces where anti-Imperial sentiments are prevalent.
Arcturianism itself is considered a radical wing of the wider historical theory of numidianism. In the most general sense, numidianists defend the historical existence of the Numidium construct and its importance to the Tiber Wars. However, most people associate numidianism with fringe conspiracies and airy, baseless theories about the disappearance of the Dwarves, the Psijjic Endeavor, and other sundry metaphysics which are of little value to mainstream philosophy and theosophy. It is no surprise that many members of the controversial Temple Zero Society espouse numidianism in some form.
Until recently, traditional scholars denied the existence of Numidium - at best, some admitted that Tiber Septim may have employed a Dwemer animunculus given in tribute by the Dunmer, but this war-machine was surely just an inconsequential novelty. Other, more fervent believers claim that the great golden figure spoken of in legend was in fact none other than Talos himself.
The Warp in the West has all but vindicated historical numidianism, upending centuries of traditional scholarship. With it, arcturianism has also been revitalized. But where it was once an obscure fringe conspiracy, it is now spreading like wildfire among the uneducated populace of the provinces.
While the core argument of arcturianism is quite simple, the political affiliations of its believers are anything but. Many "arcturianists'' are simply provincial firebrands for whom the theory is a means to discredit the Empire and its founder. Few have a deeper understanding of its philosophy other than sordid surface-level political implications.
For the implications of arcturianist thought go much deeper than mere politics. For example, what to think of those arcturianists who go mad with brass-fever, collecting, even consuming the metal out of some inscrutable compulsion?
One thing is sure. Talos, the God, does indeed exist -- his presence is felt upon the world. So if the arcturianists are right, and Talos is a fraudulent spirit concocted by swindlers -- what does that mean for our world and the gods that rule over it?
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This book is intended to frame the discourse around the *Arcturian Heresy* for our purposes. A rather dry and informative text with only a bit of bias. This is aimed at players who may not be super-knowledgeable about the background lore of Arctus and the Numidium, or they might be confused about how much this knowledge is commonplace in Tamrielic society.