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< General: Unofficial Lore
Book Information
Source: TES Forums
Archived Link: The Imperial Library
Writer(s): Michael Kirkbride
Publication Date: 17 August 1999
An overview of the cosmological features of Mundus

This text was originally posted on the official forums by The Temple Zero Society. Interestingly, in Morrowind the book A Less Rude Song uses the id bk_istunondescosmology, suggesting that A Less Rude Song replaced Istunondë's Cosmology in the final game. In Oblivion, A Less Rude Song uses editor id Book2CommonIstunondsCosmology, suggesting the same thing has happened there. Additionally, one of the radiant dialogue lines in Oblivion references Istunondë's Cosmology. Whether or not Istunondë's Cosmology is meant to be this text is unknown.

What are planets?

The planets are the gods and the planes of the gods, which is the same thing. That they appear as spherical heavenly bodies is a visual phenomena caused by mortal mental stress. Since each plane(t) is an infinite mass of infinite size, as yet surrounded by the Void of Oblivion, the mortal eye registers them as bubbles within a space. Planets are magical and impossible. The eight planets correspond to the Eight Divines. They are all present on the Dwarven Orrery, along with the mortal planet, Nirn.

What is Nirn?

Nirn (Ehnofex for 'Arena') is a finite ball of matter and magic made from all of the god planets at the beginning of time, when Lorkhan tricked/convinced/forced the gods to create the mortal plane. Nirn is the mortal plane and the mortal planet, which is the same thing. Its creation upset the cosmic balance; now all souls (especially the Aedra-Daedra/Gods-Demons) have a vested interest in Nirn (especially its starry heart, Tamriel).

What are moons?

Small planets, insofar as one infinite mass of infinite size can be smaller than another. Planets do have orbits, or at least lunar orbits are perceived to happen by mortals. Moons are regarded by various cultures as attendant spirits of their god planet, or minor gods, or foreign gods. The moons of Nirn are Masser and Secunda. Moons are not represented in the Dwarven Orrery.

What are Masser and Secunda?

Masser and Secunda ('Jone' and 'Jode' in the Ehlnofex), the moons of Nirn, are the attendant spirits of the mortal plane. They are like the mortal plane in that they are temporal and subject to the bounds of mortality; in fact of this, the moons are dead and died long ago. The moons used to be pure white and featureless, but today their 'skin' is decaying and withering away. Their planes are likewise dying. Mortals perceive this as the moons being spheres with patches of their 'surfaces' completely eaten away; as the moons spin, they seem to become slivers or ragged crescents. These are not caused by shadows, because you can see stars through the black patches of the lunar spheres.

What is space?

Space is the interpretation of Oblivion, which is black and empty and surrounds the mortal plane. Space is infinite, but it acts just like a planet, in that Oblivion is 'surrounded' by Aetherius. You can see Aetherius by the stars.

What are stars?

The stars are the bridges to Aetherius, the magic plane. They are perceived as holes on the inside surface of space. Because they are on the inside of a sphere, all stars are equidistant from Nirn. Larger stars, therefore, are not closer to the mortal plane, they are just larger tears in Oblivion. The largest tear in Oblivion is Magnus, the sun.

What are shooting stars, then?

A misnomer. Shooting stars are bits of matter and magic, either from Oblivion or Aetherius, that sometimes move through the cosmos. The largest shooting stars are really planets with independent orbits, like Baan Dar the Rogue Plane.

What are constellations?

Constellations are collections of stars. Since each star is a bridge to magic, constellations are very powerful phenomena, and are revered. There are generally accepted to be thirteen constellations. Nine of these are made up completely of stars. Three others are called guardian constellations, as they are each governed by a Dominion Planet. The Dominion Planets are Akatosh (eye of the Warrior), Julianos (eye of the Sage), and Arkay (eye of the Thief). The last constellation is made up of unstars, and is called the Snake.

What is the sun?

Magnus is the sun, the largest hole in Oblivion, and the gateway to magic. Magnus was present at the creation of the mortal plane, and, in fact, was its architect (Lorkhan was its advocate and inspiration). Prehistoric (before ME2500, startyear) Nirn was a magical place, and highly unstable to the first mortals. Magnus then left, some say in disgust, and Oblivion filled in the void with the Void. His escape was not easy, and tatters of Magnus remain in the firmament as stars.

What is the sky?

The sky is another visual phenomenon caused by mortal mental stress, the night sky in particular. The sky is as impossible as planets; in essence, when you look into the sky, 'you look outside the material plane'. At night, Nirn is surrounded by Oblivion. The day sky is the multicolored elemental cloak of Magnus the sun. It changes colors as elemental influences rise and fall. Thus, when one looks at the day sky, they see into the raiments of Aetherius, and stare at magic.

How was the universe created?

Those phenomena of the spirit realm that inhabitants of Nirn interpret as a universe came into being during the Dawn Era. It was created through magic and myth, and this process is interpreted in a variety of ways too numerous to mention here. These myths can be accessed elsewhere.