Brother Hetchfeld is an Associate Scribe at the Imperial University,
Office of Introductory Studies
Gods are commonly viewed by the evidence of
their interest in worldly matters. A central belief in the
active participation of Deities in mundane matters can be
challenged by the evidence of apathy on the part of Gods during
times of plague or famine.
From intervention in legendary quests to manifestations
in common daily life, no pattern for the Gods of Tamriel activities
is readily apparent. The concerns of Gods in many ways may
seem unrelated or at best unconcerned with the daily trials
of the mortal realm. The exceptions do exist, however.
Many historical records and legends point
to the direct intervention of one or more gods at times of
great need. Many heroic tales recount blessings of the divinity
bestowed upon heroic figures who worked or quested for the
good of a Deity or the Deity's temple. Some of the more powerful
artifacts in the known world were originally bestowed upon
their owners through such reward. It has also been reported
that priests of high ranking in their temples may on occasion
call upon their Deity for blessings or help in time of need.
The exact nature of such contact and the blessings bestowed
is given to much speculation, as the temples hold such associations
secret and holy. This direct contact gives weight to the belief
that the Gods are aware of the mortal realm. In many circumstances,
however, these same Gods will do nothing in the face of suffering
and death, seeming to feel no need to interfere. It is thus
possible to conclude that we, as mortals, may not be capable
of understanding more than a small fraction of the reasoning
and logic such beings use.
One defining characteristic of all Gods and
Goddesses is their interest in worship and deeds. Deeds in
the form of holy quests are just one of the many things that
bring the attention of a Deity. Deeds in everyday life, by
conforming to the statutes and obligations of individual temples
are commonly supposed to please a Deity. Performance of ceremony
in a temple may also bring a Deity's attention. Ceremonies
vary according to the individual Deity. The results are not
always apparent but sacrifice and offerings are usually required
to have any hope of gaining a Deity's attention.
While direct intervention in daily temple
life has been recorded, the exact nature of the presence of
a God in daily mundane life is up to great speculation. A
traditional saying of the Wood Elves goes "One mans miracle
is another mans accident." While some gods are believed
to take an active part of daily life, others are well known
for their lack of interest in temporal affairs.
It has been theorized that gods do in fact
gain strength from such things as worship through praise,
sacrifice and deed. It may even be theorized that the number
of worshippers a given Deity has may reflect on His overall
position among the other Gods. This my own conjecture, garnered
from the apparent ability of the larger temples to attain
blessings and assistance from their God with greater ease
than smaller religious institutions.
There are reports of the existence of spirits
in our world that have the same capacity to use the actions
and deeds of mortals to strengthen themselves as do the Gods.
The understanding of the exact nature of such creatures would
allow us to understand with more clarity the connection between
a Deity and the Deity's worshipers.
The implication of the existence of such spirits
leads to the speculation that these spirits may even be capable
of raising themselves to the level of a God or Goddess. Motusuo
of the Imperial Seminary has suggested that these spirits
may be the remains of Gods and Goddesses who through time
lost all or most of their following, reverting to their earliest
most basic form. Practioners of the Old Ways say that there
are no Gods, just greater and lesser spirits. Perhaps it is
possible for all three theories to be true.
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