A statue of Xarxes in Shimmerene
- "The Mouth of Xarxes whispers in our ear, encouraging us to always learn, always seek, and always discover." — Excerpt from the Lesson of the Divine Body
Xarxes, also known as the Ageless One and the One Who Watches, is the god of secrets and hidden knowledge. He began as a scribe to Auri-El and has kept track of all Aldmeri accomplishments, large and small, since the beginning of time. He created his wife, Oghma, from his favorite moments in history. He is worshipped by Altmer and Bosmer, and is often equated with Arkay and Tu'whacca as the god of death. Hermaeus Mora claimed that the knowledge he gave to Xarxes was recorded in the Oghma Infinium and that Xarxes was a loyal servant to him. He was an author of the Aldmeriad, the great origin saga of the Elves and commanded the Mer to keep records of their lives in form of their personal everscriven scrolls, known as Oghmas. The scholar-priests of the divine scribe, secretive though they are, are said to preserve an ancient tongue long forgotten to any but their order.
Altmeri society is one of the most orderly and structured civilizations in Tamriel, attributed to the will of Xarxes himself. They believe he records not just the life stories of individual Elves, but all the connections of lineage and heritance that bind them together and link them to their ancestors, with the great tree of life tracing the Altmer people being kept and held close by Xarxes himself. An alternate origin myth for Xarxes asserts he was a Merethic Aldmeri priest of Auri-El who was elevated to divinity by the higher deity. The story is consistent with the High Elves' conceit that they are directly descended from the Aedra, and can, in certain miraculous circumstances, apotheosize and re-ascend to godly status. To the Bosmeri, Xarxes offers their mages opportunities to learn the magical arts that are not naturally occurring and influence each Wood Elf's being. They honor him during the annual "Rites of Xarxes' Memory" at Southpoint Cathedral.
Xarxes, as depicted in Altmeri style