Lore:Khajiit Religion

Lore: Khajiit
Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, father of modern Khajiit theology

A monomythic society, the Khajiit are educated in their beliefs by the figures within their communities known as "Clan Mothers", whose duty it is to disseminate the cultural myths among their kind, and who maintain autonomy from the Mane and the disparate tribal leaders.[1]

The Khajiiti pantheon encompasses myriad Aedric and Daedric gods,[2] which are recognized as spirits,[3] a fraction of which are detailed below. Various gods rose and fell out of prominence over the eras due to events and cultural changes. Indeed, after the unification of Anequina and Pellitine into one kingdom, and the event known as the Riddle'Thar Epiphany, the Riddle'Thar cult would rise and scrub many of these spirits from the Khajiit pantheon,[3] and those that refused to follow the new edicts of the Ephiphany faced persecution.[4]

Prior to the Riddle'Thar replacing the ancient theology of the Khajiit, ancient texts were written by Amun-dro, the Silent Priest, who categorized the spirits as Sky, Worldly, Wandering, or Adversarial Spirits. Some that hold the modern religious beliefs of the Riddle'Thar consider these writings a blasphemy due to their deference and respect for darker spirits, such as suggesting Azurah walked the realm of Hermorah as a friend. Additionally, they were considered dangerous due to the fact that they were created during the time that Khajiit held scattered beliefs, with sixteen different faiths competing against each other, that "tumbled and scratched their way through history, competing for the souls of all Khajiit." However, this did not stop Khajiit from seeking out the knowledge of the ancient beliefs that had been displaced.[5]

Featured prominently in a Khajiit's spiritual journey is "the Path", a road they take during their journey through life, while avoiding temptations that would lead them astray so they could ultimately reach a sort of enlightment. To modern Khajiit, this would be the Riddle'Thar theology, and how each Khajiit reaches their fate or place in the universe varies per Khajiit. It can mean finally achieving the right to rule for those of royal blood, or simply perishing.[6] Amun-dro's writings detail the "Many Paths of time",[7] where ancient Khajiit looked to their various spirits as a source of guidance (or avoidance) to reach their destinations. There is many examples of how the spirits fulfill a role in the various Paths, whether by aiding or hindering Khajiit during their journey.[8] These Many Paths were created by Akha after he left behind trails as he explored the heavens, and were inherited by Alkosh, who is aided by Khenarthi, who helps him ensure the tapestry of time is mended.[9] Some believe that when the Riddle'Thar replaced the Many Paths with his one true path of the moons, he hid Khajiit from the other viable Paths.[10]

It is unsurprising that the most prominent among the spirits was Azurah, the Mother of All Khajiit. She bound the forms and unified the spirits of all Khajiit by tying them to the Lunar Lattice,[11] and thus is the reason why they are not bound to fate, and may instead forge their own futures. Forming a connection with her was the first step on the Path, her "twilight path", which is "the path to love and redemption".[12] At the end of a Khajiit's Path, they are reunited with Azurah along with the souls of all other Khajiit[11] at the Gates of the Crossing behind the Lunar Lattice, which they will cross to reach the afterlife beyond.[12]

There were other examples of helpful spirits, such as Mafala who watches over Eight of the Many Paths, and teaches to "Lust for nothing but Truth.",[9] Boethra, the patron of warriors and rebellious exiles,[3] and Hircine, who guides Khajiit back to the Path should they get lost.[13] The barrier of going through the Path are the challenges posed by many hostile spirits, a sample which are Sheggorath and his Madness,[14] Sangiin and his Lust without purpose,[13] and most notably Namiira, who is responsible for corrupting Khajiit souls.[15]

Modern Khajiit hold the virtues given to them by the Riddle'Thar as sacred, which tells how modern khajiit must live. As prophesied by the First Mane of the Epiphany, They must be curious (to avoid Lorkhan's depictions), clever (to navigate the hardships of life), kind (to "blaze a trail for the downtrodden to follow"), pious (to avoid Namiira's temptations), and wary (of the other races, as well as the dangers of Oblivion). These virtues, along with some of the spirits that are approved after the Riddle'Thar Epiphany, are detailed in the book, the Secrets of the Riddle'Thar.[16]

OriginEdit

Depiction of Alkosh, the "First Cat"

On the origin of their species, the Khajiit believe that life originated with two litter-mates, Ahnurr and Fadomai, who gave birth to the first cat, Alkosh.[1] To Alkosh was given the guardianship of time, and whose birth prompted Ahnurr and Fadomai to bring forth further life into the world, thus they created Khenarthi, guardian of the winds; Magrus, guardian of the sun; Mara, guardian of love; and S'rendarr, guardian of mercy.[1] In time, Ahnurr and Fadomai wished to share the happiness they felt in life with further children, and so, Fadomai gave birth to Hermorah of the tides, Hircine of hunger, Merrunz of destruction, Mafala of the Clan Mothers, Sangiin of blood and life, Sheggorath of insanity, and many others.[1]

Ahnurr decided to stop having children since further offspring would dilute their happiness. However, Fadomai was persuaded by Khenarthi - who had grown lonely in the realm of the winds - to give birth to further children, and this she did, bringing forth Nirni, the majestic sands and lush forests, and Azurah, the dusk and dawn, as well as the Moons and their Motions. It was at the time of her birthing that Fadomai was caught by Ahnurr who, angered at her trickery and disobedience, struck her. She, fearing for her life and children, fled with them to the Great Darkness and hid, giving birth to her final child, Lorkhaj. Having been born amidst the Great Darkness, the Khajiit believe that Lorkhaj's heart was filled with such, and thus was the Great Darkness made aware of itself and then known as Namiira.[1]

Amidst the darkness, surrounded by her children, Fadomai realized her death was near and set the moons, Jone and Jode, in the skies to guide her children and protect them from Ahnurr's wrath. She gave Nirni her "greatest gift", proclaiming that she would give birth to as many children as Fadomai had. Nirni was pleased because Azurah, with whom she routinely squabbled, had been left with nothing. Protected by the Lunar Lattice, the children of Fadomai left, save for Azurah. Into the silence and void their absence caused, Azurah approached her mother and was then given her gifts in the form of three secrets. She was told to take one of Nirni's children and change them, making them the fastest, cleverest, and most beautiful of creatures, naming them the Khajiit; second, that they must be fashioned as the best climbers, to climb upon the winds of Khenarthi's breath and set Masser and Secunda aright, lest they fail; lastly, that the Khajiit must be the best deceivers, able to hide their true nature from others. Then Fadomai died, and Azurah left to join her kin.[1]

The Dark Heart (ESO)

Nirni approached Lorkhaj, whom she asked to create for her children a dwelling; he did so, and yet the Great Darkness in his heart influenced him to deceive his siblings so that they were trapped in the new place with Nirni. Some managed to escape death and become the stars, and those who remained punished Lorkhaj by tearing out his heart and hiding it deep within Nirni, so that he would be with her whom he had done the most harm.[1] Texts that predate the Riddle'Thar Epiphany speak of Lorkhaj surviving this encounter, allowing him to flee to Azurah with the hole in his chest, where she saw Namiira still dwelling within his wound, keeping him alive and corrupting him by imitating his heart. Azurah cleansed Lorkhaj of the corruption and flung his Dark Heart into the Void, and Lorkhaj perished within Azurah's embrace.[17] From the Dark Heart came the twisted shade of Lorkhaj known as the Moon Beast, first of the dro-m'Athra. Thus Lorkhaj represents the duality of Khajiiti souls and their susceptibility to the Bent Dance,[18][15] which calls them to darkness through the "beating drum of the Dark Heart in [their] moments of deepest sorrow or most anguished regret."[19]

Upon the new world of Lorkhaj's creation, Nirni came to give birth to her children, who were many, but wept bitter tears for her favorite—the forest people—who did not know their proper shape. It was at this time that Azurah came forth and comforted her, promising to make new people for Nirni as a gift. She spoke Fadomai's First Secret, and the Moons parted for her, and she took some of the forest people and placed them in the deserts and forests, where she fashioned them in many forms, one for each purpose they might need, and having done so, named them the Khajiit. Azura then told them the Second Secret and made them Nirni's secret defenders, and bound them to the Lunar Lattice. And she then spoke the Third Secret, and making the light shine down upon the marshes where they became the crystallized moonlight known as Moon-Sugar,[1] a substance holy to the Khajiit.[20][1] Though some ancient traditions credit Hircine (who sphere represents skinchanging) with fathering the precursors of the Khajiit,[13] the act of a Khajiit changing their Lunar Lattice-given form for another is considered taboo in most circles.[21]

Khenarthi depicted guiding a spirit to Llesw'er, the Khajiit afterlife

Khenarthi was a boundless and free spirit whose domain was the sky but suffered from loneliness. Prior to her death, Fadomai had given her the company of Magrus in the day, Jone and Jode at night, and Azurah in between, but each were bound by their own path and could never truly share Khenarthi's joy. Seeing her grief, Azurah shared a secret to Khenarthi, making her a psychopomp that would accompany the spirits of deceased Khajiit to the afterlife of Llesw'er, the Sands Behind the Stars.[22] Namiira is the antithesis to Khenarthi, instead dragging the spirits of Khajiit that fall victim to the Bent Dance into the Dark Behind the World, where they become part of her dark litter. Those of this litter occasionally slip through the cracks in Nirni, and tempt true cats, so their souls can too be sent to the Dark to serve Namiira as dro-m'Athra.[23] To combat Namiira's dark litter and save Khajiiti souls from corruption, from Azurah's tongue came the Dusk-Canticles, holy hymns used to exorcise dro-m'Athra.[24] And so explains the fight for the souls of Khajiit.

When Azurah was speaking the secrets, the first was heard by Nirni's mate, Y'ffer, who told Nirni of Azurah's deed. Nirni, in retribution for her changed and now lost children, made the deserts hot and sands biting, and filled the forests with water and poison. To separate her beloved children from those of Azurah, she allowed Y'ffer to change those who remained so that they would always be of the mer, and never beasts, and named them Bosmer. From that moment forth, the two were eternally separated and, as with their makers, were bound in animosity one with the other. Pre-ri'Datta texts claim that Namiira would later further escalate their hostility by corrupting Y'ffer, who would then kill Nirni. Azurah, Khenarthi, and Hircine would then avenge her and make a cairn for Nirni out of Y'ffers' bones.[13] In this fashion, the Khajiit explain not only their origins but their bond with the moons and conflict with the Bosmer.[1]

The Bosmeri creation myth does complement the Khajiiti myth, as both speak of shapeless entities. And like the Khajiiti creation myth, Y'ffer (or in their naming scheme, Y'ffre) is indeed credited with giving a shape to the Bosmer.[25]

Of the surviving letter fragments by Topal the Pilot, the following passage tells of his encounter with the ancient ancestors of Khajiit sometime during the Middle Merethic Era.

"The cat demons of four legs and two ran the river's

Length, always keeping the boat in their
Green-eyed sight, hissing, and spitting, and

Roaring with rage."[26]

The theories of Imperial scholars contradict the Khajiiti origin story. These "cat demons" reported by Topal are interpreted as evidence to Imperial scholars for their belief that Khajiit are the descendants of a race of great cats.[27][28] These great cats are said to have originally walked on four paws but eventually learned to walk on two feet and became the leading predator of Elsweyr.[29] However, the ancient ancestors that Topal encountered fit the description of both quadrupedal and bipedal furstocks, giving more credence to these cats simply being ancient Khajiit bound to the Lunar Lattice.

These origins may be furthur debated, as Pelinal Whitestrake, leader of the Elven Pogrom, slew many thousands of the Khajiit, during the same era, under the mistaken impression that they were "another strain of Aldmeri" so closely did they resemble such. There are other such reports, and they raise the possibility that the Khajiit, in general, may actually have elven ancestry.[30]

Khajiiti PantheonEdit

The Khajiiti pantheon encompasses myriad Aedric and Daedric gods,[2] which are recognized as spirits,[3] a fraction of which are detailed below. Various gods rose and fell out of prominence over the eras due to events and cultural changes. Indeed, after the unification of Anequina and Pellitine into one kingdom, and the event known as the Riddle'Thar Epiphany, the Riddle'Thar cult would rise and scrub many of these spirits from the Khajiit pantheon,[3] and those that refused to follow the new edicts of the Ephiphany faced persecution.[4]

Prior to the Riddle'Thar replacing the ancient theology of the Khajiit, ancient texts were written by Amun-dro, the Silent Priest, who categorized the spirits as Sky, Worldly, Wandering, or Adversarial Spirits. Some that hold the modern religious beliefs of the Riddle'Thar consider these writings a blasphemy due to their deference and respect for darker spirits, such as suggesting Azurah walked the realm of Hermorah as a friend. Additionally, they were considered dangerous due to the fact that they were created during the time that Khajiit held scattered beliefs, with sixteen different faiths competing against each other, that "tumbled and scratched their way through history, competing for the souls of all Khajiit." It has however not stopped Khajiit from seeking out the knowledge of these ancient beliefs that had been displaced.[5] Some believe that when Riddle'Thar guided Khajiit along his so called one true path of the moons, he hid Khajiit from other viable paths.[31]

The Sky SpiritsEdit

Depiction of Azurah, a Sky Spirit

Azurah (Mother of All Khajiit / Goddess of Dusk and Dawn / Queen of the Night Sky / Favored Daughter of Fadomai)
The Khajiit name for Azura. She is the Sister to Nirni, the plane, and goddess upon which the Khajiiti dwell, Azurah is the goddess to whom the Khajiit attribute both their current form and the mysterious tie between them and the Lunar Lattice. She makes few appearances among Khajiiti myth apart from that of their origin.[32] In some art, she is represented as a Khajiit with oversized eyes and star-like pupils.[33] In others, she depicted with three faces—of a Khajiit, a Mer, and a Human woman. Ancient Khajiit considered her an ancestor spirit and a teacher of the old ways.[11]

Khenarthi (Goddess of the Winds / Gatherer of Waters / Elder Spirit of the Heavens)
The Khajiiti name for Kynareth.[34] Little is known of the worship of Khenarthi, whom the Khajiit hold to be the Goddess of the Winds, whose breath sustains her kin, Jode and Jone, on their path through the sky. She is also credited with aiding the Khajiit with swiftness.[32] When "true cats" die, Khenarthi flies their souls to the Sands Behind the Stars.[35] She is usually represented as a great hawk, and is popular among sailors and farmers.[36] When worshiped in her agricultural aspect, she is known as the Gatherer of Waters.[37]

Jode (Big Moon God / The Ever-Mourned)
One aspect of the Lunar Lattice, Jode is revered uniquely by each sub-species of Khajiit, as regards their aspect at the time of the Khajiit's birth.[32] Ancient Khajiit knew Jode as the lantern of love.[17]

Jone (Little Moon God / The Ever-Mourned)
One aspect of the Lunar Lattice,[32] Jone is revered uniquely by each sub-species of Khajiit, as regards their aspect at the time of the Khajiit's birth. Ancient Khajiit knew Jone as the lantern of mercy.[17]

Magrus (Cat's Eye, Sun God, Third Eye of Azurah)
The Khajiit name for Magnus. Known to them as the god of the sun and sorcery, although Khajiit magicians revere Azurah more.[32]

The Worldly SpiritsEdit

Khajiiti altar to Hircine, a Wordly Spirit

Hermorah (The Watcher, Spirit of the Tides, Tide-King)
He is comparable to Hermaeus Mora and is associated with the Tides.[1] Hermorah is said to live within a vast library beneath the waves, where he records everything he has witnessed. This place also functions as collection of knowledge from Others (i.e. Non-Khajiit)[13] In some ancient stories, he is linked with Azurah as a friend, having helped her maintain the moons' paths after the world's creation.[13][38] However, more recent writings do not understate the danger of approaching Hermorah for guidance. His knowledge is likened to tearing the mind apart like the "most potent skooma".[38]

Hircine (The Hungry Cat, The Hunter, Spirit of Pursuit and Purposeful Change)
He is the god of hunting and skin-changing, revered for his fierceness and cunning.[32] Some tribes of ancient Khajiit believed Hircine to be the father of Nirni's first litter, who were "as changeable as the Moons".[13] This litter would later have their form stabilized by Azurah, who bound their forms to the Ja-Kha'jay.[18] Ancient Khajiit prayed to Hircine when they have "strayed from the Path", and believe he will guide them back upon it.[13] Modern Khajiit still worship him, and to gain his favor, the Khajiit partake in a hunt and offer their game in hopes that he will reward them by strengthening their claws and sharpening their senses.[39]

Nirni (The Green Mother / Spirit of Harmony)
Nirni is the personification of Nirn and is considered the mother of all mortal life in the Mundus.[13] She is one of the children of Fadomai's third litter, along with Jone, Jode, Azura and Lorkhaj.[1] From birth, Nirni and Azura were rivals and fought for their mother's favor which lead to one of her epithets as the Jealous Sister. This jealousy is used in some tales to explain the harshness of the Khajiit homeland, as a response to their status as Azurah's favored people.[13][1]

On Fadomai's deathbed, she gifted Nirni with knowledge that she would become the mother of numerous children. In turn, it was Nirni who asked Lorkhaj to create a place so she could birth them. This resulted in Lorkhaj's trickery of the other spirits and his subsequent punishment.[1] Various stories have romantically linked Nirni to both Y'ffer and Hircine, with some stories claiming that the latter fathered some of her children.[13] Modern Khajiit recognize Azurah's role in taking some of Nirni's children and transforming them into the first Khajiit, as per Fadomai's instructions to be the "secret defenders" of the world. In response to the changing of their shapes, Nirni punished the Khajiit by making their lands arid and barren.[40][1]

Some of the myths prior the Riddle'Thar Epiphany claim that Nirni was slain by Y'ffer in a bout of madness. Despite her diminished spirit, her presence is said to be still felt in the unsullied wilds of Nirn.[13]

Sangiin (Blood Cat / Blood God of the Second Litter / God of Death and Secret Murder)
Little is known of Sangiin, though he is comparable to the Sanguine. He is the god of Death and Secret Murder, and his worship is hidden from Magrus.[32] He is revered by some vampires, who perform blood sacrifices for him through hemo helots.[41] He is prayed to in secrecy in forbidden shrines.[42]

Y'ffer (The Elden Shaper)
Y'ffer the equivalent of Y'ffre in the Khajiit pantheon, and much like the latter is considered the creator of the Bosmer.[1] Despite his appearance in Khajiiti myth, he is not considered a figure of worship. Prior the Riddle'Thar Epiphany, he was was recognized as a bastard son of Ahnurr, though his temperament was the opposite of his father's.[13]

Of the known stories involving Y'ffer, he often linked with Nirni. In older traditions, Y'ffer became Nirni's mate after creating the first flower for her and fathered many of her children.[13] In more recent stories, such as those attributed to Clan Mother Ahnissi, this aspect of their relationship is downplayed. Y'ffer is portrayed as nosey spirit that can't keep secrets, eavesdropping on Azurah's creation of the Khajiit and promptly telling Nirni what he overheard. In gratitude, she allowed Y'ffer to alter some of her children in the same manner, which became the first Bosmer.[1] These same stories also hold Y'ffer responsible for "Fadomai's Children" (i.e. Daedric Princes) being able to cross the Lattice and enter Nirn.[1]

Sometime after the death of Lorkhaj, Y'ffer also became corrupted by the Great Darkness and killed Nirni. In response, he was destroyed by the combined efforts of Azurah, Khenarthi, and Hircine. Afterwards they used his bones to create a cairn for Nirni.[13]

The Wandering SpiritsEdit

Depiction of Boethra, a Wandering Spirit (ESO)

Akha (The First Cat / Pathfinder / One Unmourned)
A Pre-ri'Datta deity, he is one of the eldest children of Ahnurr and Fadomai. Early in his existence, Akha explored the heavens and his trails became the "Many Paths", forming myriad kingdoms. At his father's advice to find love, he mated with the Winged Serpent of the East, the Dune Queen of the West, and the Mother Mammoth of the North. He is said to have disappeared when he traveled south. In his place, Alkosh emerged to warn the others of the things Akha had created while traveling the Many Paths.

After this, Alkosh assumed the rule over Akha's kingdoms and watched over Akha's many children, "for they are both terrible and kind".[9]

Alkosh (Dragon King of Cats / The First Cat / God of Time)
A cultural hero, and one of the earliest gods among the Khajiit culture, his worship was co-opted during the establishment of the Riddle'Thar, although worship of Alkosh as a deity continues to flourish among Elsweyr's desert-blasted regions. Most commonly depicted as a fearsome dragon with feline features, the Khajiit typically describe Alkosh as "a real big cat". He repelled an early Aldmeri pogrom of Pelinal Whitestrake, leaving a time wound in its place. The Khajiiti built the temple of Sunspire where the time wound lay to honor him, and believe that without his divine intervention, Pelinal would have wiped them out.[32][43] Khajiit believe that Alkosh is their dragon-father who gave them their strength. Some interpret that link as them being both cat and Dragon.[44]

In the modern Khajiiti pantheon, Akha is absent and Alkosh instead takes his place as the First Cat.[1]

Alkhan (The Scaled Prince / Firstborn of Akha)
One of the known children of Akha, who is said to have come from a union with a demon. Alkhan was said to grow in size after consuming the souls of those he killed. Some legends state that he was slain by Lorkhaj and his companions, but other sources like Amun-dro suggest that Alkhan would eventually return from the Many Paths.

He is considered the enemy of Alkosh, Khenarthi, and Lorkhaj.[9]

Boethra (The Warrior of the East and West)
The Khajiit name for Boethiah, little is known of her worship. She is a sharp-tongued[12] ancestor spirit and a teacher of the old ways,[11] and the patron of warriors and rebellious exiles.[3]

Mafala (Clan Mother of Dark Secrets / The Teaching Mother / Elder Spirit / Keeper of the Ancient Secrets of Fadomai)
The Khajiit name for Mephala. While she is known to be the recorder of hidden guilt and eternal shame, Mafala is also considered an ancestor spirit and a teacher of the old ways.[11] However, her worship fell out of favor after the event known as the "Sinner Suicides".[45] She is an ally of Azurah, Boethra, and Lorkhaj.[9]

The Dark SpiritsEdit

Namiira, a Dark Spirit depicted being sealed (ESO)

Namiira (The Great Darkness / The Eldest Spirit / The Void/ Ur-Dra)
The Khajiit name for Namira, Namiira is the Great Darkness found within Lorkhaj's heart and the void from which he was born. Some outsiders believe that the Khajiit entrust the souls of the dead to Namiira,[46] but this is actually Khenarthi's role. Namiira is the spirit that drags the souls of bent cats to the Dark Behind the World, where they serve her as dro-m'Athra.[23]

Noctra (The Shadow Thief / Daughter of Twilight)
The Khajiit name for Nocturnal, much that is known about her predates the Riddle'Thar Epiphany. She was born from the black blood of Lorkhaj at the steps of the Void Gate. In the songs, Boethra battled this spirit until it knew it was not Namiira. When this was done, Noctra was brought before Azurah to be judged. Azurah showed mercy and allowed Noctra to live, so long as she served Azurah and the ja-Kha'jay. But Noctra is rebellious by nature, so she stole one of Azurah's keys and fled back into the Void. It is written that Azurah sent the true spirit of Lorkhaj to find her, and ever since Noctra has aided the Khajiit when called. Tribes may whisper to Noctra for silence, shade, and luck. Do not summon her to perform vile deeds, for this will bring the Dark with her.[15]

Varmiina (Queen of Nightmares / The Lost Daughter)
The Khajiit name for Vaermina, Much that is known about her predates the Riddle'Thar Epiphany. This spirit was not of any litter but was born from Fadomai's fear of losing her children. Azurah killed this dark spirit in the Underworld, and now Varmiina only haunts Khajiit when they dream. Know she will test you and make you want to turn from the Path in fear, but she cannot truly harm the ja-Kha'jay in dreams.[15]

[?????]
A spirit of vengeance with no will of its own. Its true name is known only by Azurah, Boethra, and Mafala, and can only be summoned by them. It appears in songs as a black panther, a warrior in ebony armor, or as a hidden sword. Its existence is acknowledged in texts that predate the Riddle'Thar Epiphany. [15] He shares similarities with Ebonarm.

The Adversarial SpiritsEdit

Sheggorath, an Adversarial Spirit

Sheggorath (Skooma Cat / Mind God)
The God of Madness, Sheggorath is easily identifiable with the Imperial Sheogorath, the negative effects of Skooma and Moon Sugar being attributed to his presence among the Khajiit.[32]

Orkha
Known through texts that predate the Riddle'thar Epiphany, it is a demon sharing similarities to Malacath, it followed Boethra back through the Many Paths. It spoke in curses of affliction and knew no other words. Lorkhaj, Khenarthi, and Boethra battled the demon in the ancient songs, but Orkha could only be banished and would not die. Khajiit understand that Orkha and others of his ilk serve as tests along the Path, and nothing more.[14]

Merrunz / Mehrunnez[47] / Dagon[14] (Ja'Khajiit / Fire-Cat / Demon Cat)
Also known by his Imperial name Mehrunes Dagon, Merrunz is an eternally-young god of cat-like form; thus, as a kitten, do the Khajiit explain his natural tendency to rend and destroy the world around him.

Molagh (Elder Spirit of Domination and Supreme Law)
The Khajiit name for Molag Bal, he is one of the twelve Demon Kings. Ancient texts state that this demon was the first to assault the Lattice with intent, alongside Dagon and Merid-Nunda. Boethra and Molagh fought to a standstill before the Lattice, but it was Azurah who shackled the Demon King with secrets only she knows. He will test you, and you will overcome him with the might of Boethra, the Will Against Rule.[14]

Merid-Nunda (False Spirit of Greed / The Orphaned Glimmer)
Merid-Nunda is also known as Meridia, ancient texts claim that she is the daughter of Magrus, who loved only himself and his own creations. Magrus did not take a mate but instead forged children of the aether. Merid-Nunda is a cold spirit, born of light without love. She is intellect without wisdom, knowledge without purpose. She is the consort of demons, and some songs blame her for orchestrating the death of mighty Lorkhaj. When Merid-Nunda dared assault the Lattice, Azurah struck her down before the Varliance Gate and dragged her away from it. She then cast Merid-Nunda into the Void and bound her there with mirrors. The nomads say she has since escaped.[14]

The Sky and Dark SpiritEdit

The Dark Moon, Lorkhaj's Corpse.

Lorkhaj (The Moon Beast / Moon Prince / Fadomai's Favored Son / The First Trickster / The Missing God / The White Lion / Dark Moon / Ghost Moon)
Ancient texts interpret Lorkhaj as both a Sky and Dark Spirit, and he is easily identifiable with the tales of Lorkhan. As a Sky Spirit, Lorkhaj was the Moon Prince and was honored as the first spirit to make his own path, which led to him uniting the spirits to create Nirn.[18] Lorkhaj as the Moon Beast was considered a Dark Spirit due to Namiira corrupting him into the first dro-m'Athra. After his cleansing, the darkness that left him became separate being.[17] Modern Khajiit revile Lorkhaj, instead believing him to be an enemy of Khajiit,[48] and a hateful trickster that trapped them in mortal form.[42] His deceptions lie even in plain view, and are common enough to be accepted as truths.[16]

According to pre-ri'Datta beliefs, sometime before the "first memory" of the Khajiiti people, Azurah, knowing that the false Lorkhaj, the Moon Beast, would one day covet her children, used the Twin Lanterns of Jone and Jode to summon the true spirit of Lorkhaj[18] to be a sky-guardian.[49] As the third moon, Lorkhaj shined his light upon the Khajiit, choosing the purest of heart to be part of the "Litter of the Hidden Moon", where they would learn the way of the Moonlight Blade.[49] And from then on, on nights of the Ghost Moon, Azurah opens the Void Gate, and the Moon Beast will challenge mortals until banished.[15] Modern Khajiiti beliefs on the Dark Moon differ from ancient beliefs, with the birth of the Mane being the main purpose of its existence.[50] Furthermore, They believe that Lorkhaj's body was hurled to the moons, and forced to follow Jone and Jode forever as punishment.[21][51]

OtherEdit

One of Rajhin's Shadows

Ius (Animal God / The Extremely Agitated)
Little is known of this spirit, but was known to be a subject of worship in parts of Elsweyr sometime between 3E 405 and 3E 417, and is unknown if he was worshipped past this period. He is known as a God of Animals, and is represented by statues of a misshapen humanoid carrying a rod. The tale The Ox and The Evil Farmer tells of an Ox praying to Ius to be saved from being a farmer's dinner, to which Ius responded by eating the farmer.[52]

Baan Dar (The Pariah)
Regarded more as a manifestation than a formal god, Baan Dar is the personification of Khajiiti cleverness and the wit engendered of long-suffering on their part.[32] He is commonly attributed with that genius which lends itself to the creation of last-minute plans to foil the machinations of the Khajiit's foes, man or mer.[32]

Mara (The Mother Cat / Goddess of Love)
The Goddess of Love Mara is attributed all the passion of the Khajiit. Nothing is known of her worship among the Khajiiti.[32]

Rajhin (The Footpad / The Silent Walker)
The thief-god of the Khajiiti, legend holds that Rajhin grew up in the Black Kiergo section of Senchal. In life, Rajhin was the most infamous burglar in Elsweyr's history, said to have stolen a tattoo from the neck of the Empress Kintyra as she slept.[32][53] He is accredited with using the Ring of Khajiiti in his thievery, making the ring famous. After his death, Rajhin was inculcated among the Khajiit gods, to serve as an example to them of cleverness and adroit ability. His blessing is most often asked for before undertaking activities of a less-than-lawful nature.

Riddle'Thar (Two-Moons Dance / The Sugar God)
The cosmic order deity of the Khajiit, the Riddle'Thar was revealed to the citizens of Elsweyr by the prophet Rid-Thar-ri'Datta. The Riddle'Thar is more a set of guidelines than a single entity, although it has been known that some of his avatars appear as humble messengers of the gods to those in need.[32] Some believe that when he replaced the old ways, he usurped rich traditions with a flimsy one, and "sanded down the sharper edges of Khajiiti theology."[50]

Khunzar-ri (The Laughing Lion / Luminous Lion of Elsweyr / Lunar Champion / Jonelight Jaunter / Imprisoner of Dragons)
A mythic Khajiit hero and warrior who was active during the Merethic Era.[54] Some stories elevate him to the status of a god,[55] or him being created by one.[56] He is known for his many adventures, some examples include his meeting with the Skooma Cat, and the debaucherous Night of Seven Hundred Paramours.[57] He was most well-known for capturing the Dragons who plagued the land of Elsweyr by imprisoning them in the Halls of Colossus.[58] Long after his death, he is still worshipped for his heroric deeds within Khajiiti shrines.[59]

S'rendarr (The Runt / God of Mercy)
S'rendarr is revered by the Khajiit as a god of mercy, whose spheres include compassion, charity, and justice.[60] In some Khajiit traditions he is portrayed as a runt and was birthed last in the first litter of Fadomai and Ahnurr.[1] At least one of his cults fell afoul of the followers of Riddle'Thar during the time of the Epiphany when they refused to follow its edicts.[4] In Elsweyr, the adeptoriums which devoted to S'rendarr are known as houses of healing.[61] In day-to-day lives, many will invoke S'rendarr for protection.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Words of Clan Mother AhnissiClan Mother Ahnissi
  2. ^ a b Chamberlain Haskill Answers Your Questions — Chamberlain Haskill
  3. ^ a b c d e f Shrine of Boethra furnishing codex from ESO
  4. ^ a b c Claw's Strike Loading Screen Text
  5. ^ a b Epistle on the Spirits of Amun-droThava-ko
  6. ^ Inisashu-jo's dialogue in ESO
  7. ^ Ja'darri's dialogue during The Dragonguard in ESO
  8. ^ Spirits of Amun-droAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  9. ^ a b c d e The Wandering SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  10. ^ Moongrave Fane loading screen description in ESO: Elsweyr
  11. ^ a b c d e Shando-ri's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  12. ^ a b c Mazza-Mirri's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o The Worldly SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  14. ^ a b c d e The Adversarial SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  15. ^ a b c d e f The Dark SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  16. ^ a b Secrets of the Riddle'TharRid-Thar-ri'Datta, First Mane of the Epiphany
  17. ^ a b c d The Favored Daughter of FadomaiAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  18. ^ a b c d The Sky SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  19. ^ Epistle on the Spirits of Amun-dro Vol 1Thava-ko
  20. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Elsweyr ConfederacyImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  21. ^ a b Moon Bishop Hunal Answers Your QuestionsMoon Bishop Hunal
  22. ^ How We Came to Fly
  23. ^ a b Litter-Mates of DarknessMoon-Bishop Hunal
  24. ^ Twilight Rites and Hymns
  25. ^ The Ooze: A Fable
  26. ^ Father Of The NibenFlorin Jaliil
  27. ^ Race Description of Khajiit in TES:Arena
  28. ^ Race Description of Khajiit in TES II: Daggerfall
  29. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: ElsweyrFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  30. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Sugar and Blood: the Cats of the SouthImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  31. ^ Moongrave Fane loading screen description in ESO: Elsweyr
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Varieties of Faith: The KhajiitBrother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  33. ^ Description of Golden Azurah Icon
  34. ^ Sweet Khenarthi's Song furnishing codex from ESO
  35. ^ Litter-Mates of DarknessMoon-Bishop Hunal
  36. ^ Khenarthi's Roost Loading screen in ESO
  37. ^ Mane-of-Many-Rivers description
  38. ^ a b Epistle on the Spirits of Amun-dro Vol 2Thava-ko
  39. ^ Nisuzi's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  40. ^ Adept Lakjo's Dialogue in ESO
  41. ^ The Sanguine Successor quest
  42. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: ElsweyrFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  43. ^ Moon-Bishop Azin-jo's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  44. ^ Crafting Motif 75: Sunspire StyleAzin-jo, Esteemed Bishop of Sunspire
  45. ^ Abode of Ignominy's Loading screen in ESO
  46. ^ Persistence of Daedric VenerationLady Cinnabar of Taneth
  47. ^ Champion of Mehrunnez
  48. ^ Shazah's dialogue in ESO
  49. ^ a b The Tale of Three Moons
  50. ^ a b Vastarie's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  51. ^ The Moon Cats and their Dance — Clan Mother Ahnissi
  52. ^ Ius, Animal GodBuljursoma
  53. ^ Famed Artifacts of TamrielYagrum Bagarn
  54. ^ Dialogue with Abnur Tharn
  55. ^ The Song of Khunzar-ri
  56. ^ Khunzar-ri: OriginAneshi, Keeper of Legends for the 16 Kingdoms
  57. ^ Khunzar-ri's dialogue in ESO
  58. ^ Khunzar-ri and the Demons
  59. ^ Aneshi the Shrine Keeper's dialogue in ESO
  60. ^ Varieties of Faith: The KhajiitBrother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  61. ^ Silhu-jo's dialogue in ESO