Online:Varieties of Faith in Tamriel

The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
Book Information
See Also Lore version
Note
This is a compilation of books assembled for easier reading.
Varieties of Faith in Tamriel
by Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
Description of the pantheons of gods in Tamriel

The Argonians

Except for a few of the most assimilated, Argonians worship neither Aedra nor Daedra. They do not have "religion" as it is known elsewhere in Tamriel. They are known to venerate the Hist trees of Black Marsh, but they do not appear to have prayers, priests, or temples.

Argonians also venerate Sithis, the primordial Shadow/Chaos that existed before the gods were born. Unlike most citizens of Tamriel, they do not regard Sithis as "evil." In fact, Argonians born under the sign of the Shadow are taken at birth and presented to the Dark Brotherhood, which in Black Marsh is considered an integral part of society.

The Bretons

The Eight:

Akatosh (Dragon God of Time):

Akatosh is the chief deity of the Eight Divines (the major religious cult of Cyrodiil and its provinces) and one of two deities found in every Tamrielic religion (the other is Lorkhan). He is generally considered to be the first of the gods to form in the Beginning Place. After his establishment, other spirits found the process of being easier, and the various pantheons of the world emerged. He embodies the qualities of endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy.

Kynareth (Goddess of Air):

Kynareth is a member of the Eight Divines, the strongest of the Sky spirits, patron of sailors and travelers. In some legends, she is the first to agree to Lorkhan's plan to invent the mortal plane, and she provides the space for its creation in the void. She is also associated with rain, a phenomenon said not to occur before the removal of Lorkhan's divine spark.

Julianos (God of Wisdom and Logic):

Often associated with Jhunal, the Nord father of language and mathematics, Julianos is the god of literature, law, history, and contradiction, and the favorite deity of most Breton mages.

Dibella (Goddess of Beauty):

Popular god of the Eight Divines, Dibella has nearly a dozen different cults, some devoted to women, some to artists and aesthetics, and others to erotic instruction.

Arkay (God of the Cycle of Life and Death):

Member of the Eight Divines pantheon and popular elsewhere, as well. Arkay is often more important in those cultures where his father, Akatosh, is either less related to time or where his time aspects are difficult to comprehend by the common folk. He is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is sometimes associated with the seasons. His priests are staunch opponents of necromancy and all forms of the undead. It is said that Arkay did not exist before the world was created by the gods under Lorkhan's supervision/urging/trickery. Therefore, he is sometimes called the Mortals' God.

Zenithar (God of Work and Commerce, Trader God):

Member of the Eight Divines, Zenithar is understandably associated with the Bosmeri Z'en. In High Rock, however, he is a far more cultivated god of merchants, artisans, and the middle nobility. His worshipers say, despite his mysterious origins, Zenithar is the god "that will always win."

Mara (Goddess of Love):

Nearly universal goddess. Her origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess; in High Rock, she is the Mother-Goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the "Anuad," the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. For the Bretons, she is married to Akatosh.

Stendarr (God of Mercy):

God of the Eight Divines, Stendarr has evolved from his Nord origins into a deity of compassion, or sometimes, righteous rule. Stendarr is the patron of magistrates, rulers, and knights errant.

Additional Deities with Significant Breton Cults:

Magnus (Magus):

The god of sorcery, Magnus withdrew from the creation of the world at the last second, though it cost him dearly. What remains of him is felt and controlled by mortals as magic. One story says that, while the idea was thought up by Lorkhan, it was Magnus who created the schematics and diagrams needed to construct the mortal plane. He is sometimes represented by a golden eye, an astrolabe, a telescope, or more commonly, a staff. Legends say he can inhabit the bodies of powerful magicians and lend them his power.

Y'ffre (God of the Forest):

While Akatosh Time Dragon might be the king of the gods, Y'ffre is revered as the spirit of "the now." According to the Elves, after the creation of the mortal plane, everything was in chaos. The first mortals were turning into plants and animals and back again. Then Y'ffre transformed himself into the first of the Ehlnofey, or "Earth Bones." After the laws of nature were established, mortals had a semblance of safety in the new world, because they could finally understand it.

Sheor (Bad Man):

In High Rock, the Bad Man is the source of all strife. He seems to have started as the god of crop failure, but most modern theologians agree that he is a demonized version of the Nordic Shor or Aldmeri Lorkhan, born during the dark years after the fall of Saarthal.

Phynaster: Hero-god who taught the Altmer how to naturally live another hundred years by using a shorter walking stride. Patron deity and "teacher" of the Direnni. Often worshiped by those Breton mages who emphasize their Elven blood.

Crown Redguards

The Forebears, who have been longest in Tamriel and had the stronger relationship with the Second Empire, worship substantially the same pantheon as the Imperials and Bretons, whereas the more conservative Crowns still revere the ancient Yokudan gods.

The Eight of the Crowns:

Satakal (The Worldskin):

Yokudan god of everything, a fusion of the concepts of Anu and Padomay. Basically, Satakal is much like the Nords' Alduin, who destroys one world to begin the next. In Yokudan mythology, Satakal had done (and still does) this many times over, a cycle which prompted the birth of spirits that could survive the transition. These spirits ultimately become the Yokudan pantheon. Popular god among the Crowns of the Alik'r nomads.

Ruptga (Tall Papa):

Chief deity of the Yokudan pantheon. Ruptga, more commonly "Tall Papa," was the first god to figure out how to survive the Hunger of Satakal. Following his lead, the other gods learned the "Walkabout," or a process by which they can persist beyond one lifetime. Tall Papa set the stars in the sky to show lesser spirits how to do this, too. When there were too many spirits to keep track of, though, Ruptga created a helper out the dead skin of past worlds. This helper is Sep (see below), who later creates the world of mortals.

Tu'whacca (Tricky God):

Yokudan god of souls. Tu'whacca, before the creation of the world, was the god of Nobody Really Cares. When Tall Papa undertook the creation of the Walkabout, Tu'whacca found a purpose; he became the caretaker of the Far Shores, and continues to help Redguards find their way into the afterlife.

Zeht (God of Farms):

Yokudan god of agriculture who renounced his father after the world was created, which is why Tall Papa makes it so hard to grow food.

Morwha (Teat God):

Yokudan fertility goddess, fundamental deity in the Yokudan pantheon, and the favorite of Tall Papa's wives. Still worshiped in various areas of Hammerfell, including Stros M'kai, Morwha is always portrayed as four-armed, so that she can "grab more husbands."

Tava (Bird God):

Yokudan spirit of the air. Tava is most famous for leading the Yokudans to the isle of Herne after the destruction of their homeland. She has since become assimilated into the mythology of Kynareth. She is still very popular in Hammerfell among sailors, and her shrines can be found in most port cities.

Onsi (War God; Boneshaver):

Notable warrior god of the Yokudan Ra Gada, Onsi taught Mankind how to pull their knives into swords.

Diagna (Orichalc God of the Sideways Blade):

Hoary thuggish cult of the Redguards that originated in Yokuda during the Twenty-Seven Snake Folk Slaughter. Diagna was an avatar of the HoonDing (the Yokudan God of Make Way, see below) that achieved permanence. He was instrumental to the defeat of the Lefthanded Elves, as he brought orichalc weapons to the Yokudan people to win the fight. In Tamriel, he led a very tight-knit group of followers against the Orcs of Orsinium during the height of their ancient power.

Additional Deities with Significant Redguard Cults:

Leki (Saint of the Spirit Sword):

Daughter of Tall Papa, Leki is the goddess of aberrant swordsmanship. The Na-Totambu of Yokuda warred to a standstill during the mythic era to decide who would lead the charge against the Lefthanded Elves. Their swordmasters, though, were so skilled in the Best Known Cuts as to be matched evenly. Leki introduced the Ephemeral Feint. Afterwards, a victor emerged and the war with the Aldmer began.

HoonDing (The Make Way God):

Yokudan spirit of "perseverance over infidels." The HoonDing has historically materialized whenever the Redguards need to "make way" for their people. In Tamrielic history this has only happened twice, in the First Era during the Ra Gada invasion.

Malooc (Horde King):

An enemy god of the Ra Gada who led the Goblins against the Redguards during the First Era. Fled east when the army of the HoonDing overtook his Goblin hordes.

Sep (The Snake):

Yokudan version of Lorkhan. Sep is born when Tall Papa creates someone to help him regulate the spirit trade. Sep, though, is driven crazy by the hunger of Satakal, and he convinces some of the gods to help him make an easier alternative to the Walkabout. This, of course, is the world as we know it, and the spirits who followed Sep become trapped here, to live out their lives as mortals. Sep is punished by Tall Papa for his transgressions, but his hunger lives on as a void in the stars, a "non-space" that tries to upset mortal entry into the Far Shores.

The Dark Elves

The Dunmer are descended from the Chimer, who were apostates of the Aldmeri's Aedra worship. As the Alessian Reforms never took hold in Morrowind, their pantheon bears little resemblance to the rest of Tamriel. The Dark Elves' original religion was worship of several Daedric Princes, the so-called "Good Daedra," but that has been largely superseded by reverence for the "Living Gods" of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal

Almalexia (Mother Morrowind):

Most traces of Auri-El disappeared from ancient Chimer legends during their so-called "exodus," primarily due to that god's association and esteem with the Altmeri. However, most aspects of Auri-El that seem so important to the mortal races—namely immortality, historicity, and genealogy—have conveniently resurfaced in Almalexia, the most popular of Morrowind's divine Tribunal.

Vivec (Master of Morrowind):

Warrior-poet god of the Dunmer. Vivec is the invisible keeper of the holy land, ever vigilant against the dark gods of the Volcano. He/she has saved the Dunmeri people from certain death on numerous occasions.

Sotha Sil (Mystery of Morrowind):

God of the Dunmer, Sotha Sil is the least known of the divine Tribunal. He is said to be reshaping the world from his hidden, clockwork city.

The "Good" Daedra

Boethiah (Prince of Plots):

Heralded by the Prophet Veloth, Boethiah is the original god-ancestor of the Dark Elves. Through his/her illuminations, the eventual "Chimer," or Changed Folk, renounced all ties to the Aldmer and founded a new nation based on Daedric principles. All manner of Dark Elven cultural "advances" are attributed to Boethiah, from philosophy to magic to "responsible" architecture. Ancient Velothi allegories are uniformly heroic successes of Boethiah over enemies of every type, serving as foundation stories of Chimeri struggle. Also known as the Anticipation of Almalexia.

Mephala (Androgyne):

Mephala is the Webspinner or Spider God. In Morrowind, he/she was the ancestor who taught the Chimer the skills they would need to evade their enemies or murder them in secret. Enemies were numerous in those days, since the Chimer were a small faction. He/she, along with Boethiah, organized the clan systems that eventually became the basis for the Great Houses. He/she founded the Morag Tong. Also called the Anticipation of Vivec.

Azura (Goddess of Dusk and Dawn):

Azura was the god-ancestor who taught the Chimer the mysteries needed to be different than the Altmer. Some of her more conventional teachings are sometimes attributed to Boethiah. In the stories, Azura is often more a communal cosmic force for the race as a whole than an ancestor or a god. Also known as the Anticipation of Sotha Sil.

The Missing God

Lorkhan (The Missing God):

This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. His most popular name is the Aldmeri "Lorkhan" or Doom Drum. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane. This upset the status quo, much like his father, Padomay, who introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhan is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and eventually wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the "scheme of things" is interpreted a variety of ways. In Morrowind, he is a being related to the Psijic Endeavor, a process by which mortals are charged with transcending the gods that created them.

Four Corners of the House of Troubles, "Testing Gods"

Enemy gods, more to be placated and appeased than worshiped.

Molag Bal (God of Schemes, Lord of Brutality):

Daedric power of much importance in Morrowind. There, he is always the archenemy of Boethiah, the Prince of Plots. He is the main source of the obstacles to the Dunmer (and preceding Chimer) people. In legends, Molag Bal always tries to upset the bloodlines of Great Houses or otherwise ruin Dunmeri "purity." A race of supermonsters, said to live in Molag Amur, are the result of his seduction of Vivec during the previous era.

Malacath (God of Curses):

In Dunmer myth, Boethiah swallowed Aldmer hero-god Trinimac and excreted him as Malacath. A somewhat weak but vengeful Daedra, the Dark Elves say he is also Malak, the god-king of the Orcs. He always tests the Dunmer for physical weakness.

Sheogorath (The Mad God):

The fearful obeisance of Sheogorath is widespread, and it is found in most Tamrielic quarters. Contemporary sources indicate that his roots are in Aldmeri creation stories; therein, he is "born" when Lorkhan's divine spark is removed. One crucial myth calls him the "Sithis-shaped hole" of the world. He tests the Dunmer for mental weakness and tempts the Great Houses into treachery against each other.

Mehrunes Dagon (God of Destruction):

Popular Daedric power. He is associated with natural dangers like fire, earthquakes, and floods. In some cultures, Dagon is merely a god of bloodshed and betrayal. He is an especially important deity in Morrowind, where he represents its near-inhospitable terrain.

The Forebears

The Forebears, who have been longest in Tamriel and had the stronger relationship with the Second Empire, worship substantially the same pantheon as the Imperials and Bretons, whereas the more conservative Crowns still revere the ancient Yokudan gods.

The Eight of the Forebears

Akatosh (Dragon God of Time):

Akatosh is the chief deity of the Eight Divines (the major religious cult of Cyrodiil and its provinces), and one of two deities found in every Tamrielic religion (the other is Lorkhan). He is generally considered to be the first of the Gods to form in the Beginning Place; after his establishment, other spirits found the process of being easier and the various pantheons of the world emerged. He embodies the qualities of endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy.

Tava (Bird God):

Yokudan spirit of the air. Tava is most famous for leading the Yokudans to the isle of Herne after the destruction of their homeland. She has since become assimilated into the mythology of Kynareth, and is often worshiped by the Forebears in that name. She is very popular in Hammerfell among sailors, and her shrines can be found in most port cities.

Julianos (God of Wisdom and Logic):

Often associated with Jhunal, the Nords' father of language and mathematics, Julianos is the god of literature, law, history, and contradiction, and is thus the patron of magistrates (and wizards).

Dibella (Goddess of Beauty):

Popular god of the Eight Divines. She has nearly a dozen different cults, some devoted to women, some to artists and aesthetics, and others to erotic instruction.

Tu'whacca (Tricky God):

Yokudan god of souls. Tu'whacca, before the creation of the world, was the god of Nobody Really Cares. When Tall Papa undertook the creation of the Walkabout, Tu'whacca found a purpose; he became the caretaker of the Far Shores, and continues to help Redguards find their way into the afterlife. His cult is sometimes associated with Arkay in the more cosmopolitan regions of Hammerfell, and he is often worshiped in that name by Forebears.

Zeht (God of Farms):

Yokudan god of agriculture who renounced his father after the world was created, which is why Akatosh makes it so hard to grow food. Analogous to Zenithar, and sometimes worshiped in that name.

Morwha (Teat God):

Yokudan fertility goddess. Fundamental deity in the Yokudan pantheon, and the favorite of Tall Papa's wives. Still worshiped in various areas of Hammerfell, including Stros M'kai. Morwha is always portrayed as four-armed, so that she can "grab more husbands." Analogous to Mara, and sometimes worshiped in that name by the Forebears.

Stendarr (God of Mercy):

Stendarr's sphere includes compassion, charity, justice, and righteous rule, and is the favorite god of Redguard "gallants" (knights).

Additional Deities with Significant Redguard Cults:

Leki (Saint of the Spirit Sword):

Divine daughter of Tall Papa, Leki is the goddess of aberrant swordsmanship. The Na-Totambu of Yokuda warred to a standstill during the mythic era to decide who would lead the charge against the Lefthanded Elves. Their swordmasters, though, were so skilled in the Best Known Cuts as to be matched evenly. Leki introduced the Ephemeral Feint. Afterwards, a victor emerged and the war with the Aldmer began.

HoonDing (The Make Way God):

Yokudan spirit of "perseverance over infidels." The HoonDing has historically materialized whenever the Redguards need to "make way" for their people. In Tamrielic history this has only happened twice, in the First Era during the Ra Gada invasion.

Malooc (Horde King):

An enemy god of the Ra Gada who led the Goblins against the Redguards during the First Era. Fled east when the army of the HoonDing overtook his Goblin hordes.

Sep (The Snake):

Yokudan version of Lorkhan. Sep is born when Tall Papa creates someone to help him regulate the spirit trade. Sep, though, is driven crazy by the hunger of Satakal, and he convinces some of the gods to help him make an easier alternative to the Walkabout. This, of course, is the world as we know it, and the spirits who followed Sep become trapped here, to live out their lives as mortals. Sep is punished by Tall Papa for his transgressions, but his hunger lives on as a void in the stars, a "non-space" that tries to upset mortal entry into the Far Shores.

The High Elves

The Eight

(though few Altmer outside the Empire accept the limitation of Divines to eight): Auri-El (King of the Aldmer):

The Elven Akatosh is Auri-El. Auri-El is the soul of Anui-El, who, in turn, is the soul of Anu the Everything. He is the chief of most Aldmeri pantheons. Most Altmeri and Bosmeri claim direct descent from Auri-El. In his only known moment of weakness, he agreed to take his part in the creation of the mortal plane, that act which forever sundered the Elves from the spirit worlds of eternity. To make up for it, Auri-El led the original Aldmer against the armies of Lorkhan in mythic times, vanquishing that tyrant and establishing the first kingdoms of the Altmer, Altmora and Old Ehlnofey. He then ascended to heaven in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane.

Magnus (Magus):

The god of sorcery, Magnus withdrew from the creation of the world at the last second, though it cost him dearly. What is left of him on the world is felt and controlled by mortals as magic. One story says that, while the idea was thought up by Lorkhan, it was Magnus who created the schematics and diagrams needed to construct the mortal plane. He is sometimes represented by an astrolabe, a telescope, or, more commonly, a staff.

Trinimac:

Strong god of the early Aldmer, in some places more popular than Auri-El. He was a warrior spirit of the original Elven tribes that led armies against the Men. Boethiah is said to have assumed his shape (in some stories, he even eats Trinimac) so that he could convince a throng of Aldmer to listen to him, which led to their eventual Chimeri conversion. Trinimac vanishes from the mythic stage after this, to return as the dread Malacath (Altmeri propaganda portrays this as the dangers of Dunmeri influence).

Y'ffre (God of the Forest):

While Auri-El Time Dragon might be the king of the gods, Y'ffre is revered as the spirit of "the now." According to the Elves, after the creation of the mortal plane everything was in chaos. The first mortals were turning into plants and animals and back again. Then Y'ffre transformed himself into the first of the Ehlnofey, or "Earth Bones." After these laws of nature were established, mortals had a semblance of safety in the new world, because they could finally understand it.

Xarxes:

Xarxes is the god of ancestry and secret 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.

Mara (Goddess of Love):

Nearly universal goddess. Origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the "Anuad," the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. For the Altmer, she is the wife of Auri-El.

Stendarr (God of Mercy):

God of compassion and righteous rule. In early Altmeri legends, Stendarr is the apologist of Men.

Syrabane (Warlock's God):

An Aldmeri god-ancestor of magic, Syrabane aided Bendu Olo in the Fall of the Sload. Through judicious use of his magical ring, Syrabane saved many from the scourge of the Thrassian Plague. He is also called the Apprentices' God, for he is a favorite of the younger members of the Mages Guild.

— Additional Deities with Significant Altmer Cults —

Phynaster:

Hero-god of the Summerset Isles, who taught the Altmer how to naturally live another hundred years by using a shorter walking stride.

Lorkhan (The Missing God):

This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. His most popular name is the Aldmeri "Lorkhan," or Doom Drum. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane, upsetting the status quo—much like his father Padomay had introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhan is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the "scheme of things" is interpreted a variety of ways. To the High Elves, he is the most unholy of all higher powers, as he forever broke their connection to the spirit plane. In the legends, he is almost always an enemy of the Aldmer and, therefore, a hero of early Mankind.

The Khajiit

As fits their heterodoxy of form, the Khajiit worship many gods, and few confine themselves to the Imperial Eight.

The Eight:

Alkosh (Dragon King of Cats): Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anequinine deity. A variation on the Altmeri Auri-El, and thus an Akatosh-as-culture-hero for the earliest Khajiit. His worship was co-opted during the establishment of the Riddle'Thar, and he still enjoys immense popularity in Elsweyr's wasteland regions. He is depicted as a fearsome dragon, a creature the Khajiit say "is just a real big cat." He repelled an early Aldmeri pogrom of Pelinal Whitestrake during mythic times.

Riddle'Thar (Two-Moons Dance):

The cosmic order deity of the Khajiit, the Riddle'Thar was revealed to Elsweyr by the prophet Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, the Mane. The Riddle'Thar is more a set of guidelines by which to live than a single entity, but some of his avatars like to appear as humble messengers of the gods. Also known as the Sugar God.

Jone and Jode (Little Moon God and Big Moon God):

Together, the moons represent duality, fate, and luck. In Khajiiti religion, Jone and Jode are aspects of the Lunar Lattice, or ja-Kha'jay.

Mara (Mother Cat):

Nearly universal goddess. Originally a fertility goddess, the Khajiit associate her with Nir of the "Anuad," the female principle of the cosmos. She is the lover of Alkosh.

S'rendarr (The Runt; God of Mercy):

S'rendarr's sphere includes compassion, charity, and justice. In early Aldmeri legends, S'rendarr is the apologist of Men.

Khenarthi (God of Winds):

Khenarthi is the strongest of the Sky spirits. In some legends, he is the first to agree to Lorkhaj's plan to invent the mortal plane, and provides the space for its creation in the void. He is also associated with rain, a phenomenon said not to occur before the removal of Lorkhaj's divine spark.

Baan Dar (The Bandit God):

In most regions, Baan Dar is a marginal deity, a trickster spirit of thieves and beggars. In Elsweyr he is more important, and is regarded as the Pariah. In this aspect, Baan Dar becomes the cleverness or desperate genius of the long-suffering Khajiit, whose last-minute plans always upset the machinations of their (Elven or Human) enemies. He has also lent his name to the Baandari Pedlars, the traveling Khajiiti merchant tribe.

Additional Deities with Significant Khajiiti Cults:

Magrus (Cat's Eye, Sun God):

Khajiiti version of Magnus, the god of the sun and sorcery, popular with Khajiiti magicians (though less so than Azurah).

Rajhin (The Footpad):

Thief and trickster god, the Purring Liar, much beloved of Khajiiti storytellers. Rajhin grew up in the Black Kiergo section of Senchal. The most famous burglar in Elsweyr's history, Rajhin is said to have stolen a tattoo from the neck of Empress Kintyra as she slept.

Azurah (Goddess of Dusk and Dawn): Patron of Khajiiti magicians, respected rather than feared for her sometime trickery. In myth she is tied into the origins of Khajiiti out of Aldmeri stock.

Sheggorath (Skooma Cat, the Mad God):

The King of Insanity appeals to the darker side of the Cat-Men, who chafe at the strictures of sanity and responsibility.

Hircine (Hungry Cat):

God of hunting and skinchanging, revered for his fierceness and cunning.

Sangiin (Blood Cat):

God of Death and Secret Murder, Sangiin's worship is hidden from Cat's Eye. "For who can control the urges of blood?"

Namiira (The Great Darkness):

An enemy of the living, to be placated rather than worshiped.

Lorkhaj (Moon Beast):

Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anequinine deity, easily identified with the Missing God, Lorkhan. This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane, upsetting the status quo—much like his father Padomay had introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhaj is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the "scheme of things" is interpreted a variety of ways. In the legends, he is almost always an enemy of the Aldmer and, therefore, a hero of early Mankind.

The Nords

The Eight

Kyne (Kiss at the End):
Nord Goddess of the Storm. Widow of Shor and favored god of warriors, she is often called the Mother of Men. Her daughters taught the first Nords the use of the Thu'um or "Storm Voice."
Mara (Goddess of Love):
For the Nords, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne and concubine of Shor. As the goddess of fertility and agriculture, she's sometimes associated with Nir of the "Anuad," the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation.
Dibella (Goddess of Beauty):
Popular god of the Eight Divines. She has nearly a dozen different cults, some devoted to women, some to artists and aesthetics, and others to erotic instruction.
Stuhn (God of Ransom):
Nord precursor to Stendarr, brother of Tsun, shield-thane of Shor. Stuhn was a warrior god who fought against the Aldmeri pantheon. He showed Men how to take (and the benefits of taking) prisoners of war.
Jhunal (Rune God):
God of knowledge and hermetic orders, precursor of Julianos. Never very popular among the mercurial and warlike Nords, his worship is fading.
Shor (God of the Underworld):
The Nord version of Lorkhan, Shor allied with Men after the creation of the world. Foreign gods (that is, Elven ones) conspired against him and brought about his defeat, dooming him to the afterlife, Sovngarde. Atmoran myths depict him as a bloodthirsty warrior king who led the Nords to victory over their Aldmeri oppressors time and again. Before his doom, Shor was the chief of the gods. He is sometimes called the Children's God (see "Orkey.") Considered a "dead god," Shor has no priesthood and is not actively worshiped, but he is frequently sworn by.
Orkey (Old Knocker):
God of mortality, Orkey combines aspects of Mauloch and Arkay. He is a "loan-god" for the Nords, who seem to have taken up his worship during Aldmeri rule of Atmora. Nords believe they once lived as long as Elves until Orkey appeared, through [sic] heathen trickery, he fooled them into a bargain that "bound them to the count of winters." At one time, legends say, Nords only had a lifespan of six years due to Orkey's foul magic. Then Shor showed up and, through unknown means, removed the curse, throwing most of it onto the nearby Orcs.
Alduin (The World-Eater):
Alduin is the Nord variation of Akatosh. He only superficially resembles his counterpart in the Imperial Eight Divines. For example, Alduin's sobriquet, "the World Eater," comes from myths that depict him as the horrible, ravaging firestorm that destroyed the last world to begin this one. Nords therefore see the god of time as both creator and harbinger of the apocalypse. He is not the chief of the Nord pantheon (in fact, this pantheon has no chief, see "Shor") but its wellspring, albeit a grim and frightening one.
Alduin destroyed the last world to enable the creation of this one, and he will destroy this one to enable the next. Alduin was once worshiped by the long-dead Dragon Cult, but that has been outlawed for centuries, so Alduin has no admitted worshipers.

Testing Gods

Herma-Mora (The Woodland Man):
Ancient Atmoran "Demon of Knowledge" who nearly seduced the Nords into becoming Aldmer. Most Ysgramor myths are about escaping the wiles of old Herma-Mora. Unlike his Bosmeri adherents, the Nords don't deny his Daedric nature.
Mauloch (God of Orcs, "Mountain Fart"):
Clearly identified for the Nords with the Daedric Prince Malacath, Mauloch tests them through warfare. Mauloch troubled the heirs of King Harald for a long time. Fleeing east after his defeat at the Battle of Dragon Wall, ca. 1E 660, his rage was said to fill the sky with his sulfurous hatred, earning that year the sobriquet "Year of Winter in Summer."

Dead God

Tsun:
Extinct Nord god of trials against adversity. Died defending Shor from foreign gods.

The Orcs

The Orcs acknowledge the existence of many other gods, but they worship only one:

Malacath, or Mauloch (Orc-Father, The Great Chief):

Orcs revere Mauloch as the First Orc, and live by the Code of Mauloch, which dictates such matters as honor and vengeance.

The Code of Mauloch

The Code is more often tacit than explicit, but includes the following:

— Respect for forging and blacksmithing.

— The traditional roles of a clan's chief and his wives.

— The tradition of selection of a new chief through challenge and combat.

— The custom that one who commits a crime must pay "Blood Price" to the victim (or victim's relatives).

— The requirement that insults to honor must be avenged.

— Recognition that to die in combat pleases Mauloch.

The Cult of Trinimac

Many Orcs believe in the origin myth in which the Elven god Trinimac was eaten by Boethiah, and when he was excreted he was transformed into Malacath, and all his followers into Orcs. Those who believe in this Elven origin of Orc-kind often call them "Orsimer."

Some Orcs therefore venerate Trinimac as their god-ancestor rather than Malacath. Orcs of the Trinimac cult insist that Trinimac fooled Boethiah into believing he was corrupted by his passage through Boethiah, when he in fact absorbed some of Boethiah's strength and passed it on to his followers. In this way the Orsimer can be seen as "improved Elves."

The Wood Elves

The Eight

(though few Bosmer outside the Empire accept the limitation of Divines to eight):

Auri-El (King of the Aldmer):

The Elven Akatosh is Auri-El. Auri-El is the soul of Anui-El, who, in turn, is the soul of Anu the Everything. He is the chief of most Aldmeri pantheons. Most Altmeri and Bosmeri claim direct descent from Auri-El. In his only known moment of weakness, he agreed to take his part in the creation of the mortal plane, that act which forever sundered the Elves from the spirit worlds of eternity. To make up for it, Auri-El led the original Aldmer against the armies of Lorkhan in mythic times, vanquishing that tyrant and establishing the first kingdoms of the Aldmer, Altmora and Old Ehlnofey. He then ascended to heaven in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane.

Y'ffre (God of the Forest):

Most important deity of the Bosmeri pantheon. While Auri-El the Time Dragon might be the king of the gods, the Bosmer revere Y'ffre as the spirit of "the now." According to the Wood Elves, after the creation of the mortal plane everything was in chaos. The first mortals were turning into plants and animals and back again. Then Y'ffre transformed himself into the first of the Ehlnofey, or "Earth Bones." After these laws of nature were established, mortals had a semblance of safety in the new world, because they could finally understand it. Y'ffre is sometimes called the Storyteller, for the lessons he taught the first Bosmer. Some Bosmer still possess the knowledge of the chaos times, which they can use to great effect (the Wild Hunt).

Arkay (God of the Cycle of Life and Death):

Arkay is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is sometimes associated with the seasons. His priests are staunch opponents of necromancy and all forms of the undead. It is said that Arkay did not exist before the world was created by the gods under Lorkhan's supervision/urging/trickery. Therefore, he is sometimes called the Mortals' God.

Xarxes:

Xarxes is the god of ancestry and secret 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.

Mara (Goddess of Love):

Nearly universal goddess. Origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the "Anuad," the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. For the Bosmer, she is the wife of Auri-El.

Stendarr (God of Mercy):

God of compassion and righteous rule. In early Aldmeri legends, Stendarr is the apologist of Men.

Z'en (God of Toil):

Bosmeri god of payment in kind, which includes both just remuneration and retribution. Studies indicate origins in both Argonian and Akaviri mythologies, perhaps introduced into Valenwood by Kothringi sailors. Ostensibly an agriculture deity, Z'en sometimes proves to be an entity of a much higher cosmic order.

Baan Dar (The Bandit God): Trickster spirit of thieves and beggars borrowed from the Khajiit.

Additional Deities with Significant Bosmeri Cults:

Herma-Mora (The Woodland Man):

Malicious trickster spirit (another one!) whose Bosmeri cultists say is not to be confused with the Daedra Hermaeus Mora. (Others deride this assertion.)

Jone and Jode (Little Moon God and Big Moon God):

Aldmeri gods of the Moons, they are spirits of fortune, both good and bad.

Hircine (The Huntsman, Father of Manbeasts):

Master of the Great Hunt and lord of all lycanthropes. Worshipers of Hircine are not as ruthless as those who worship other Daedra; they always give their prey at least a small chance to escape.

Lorkhan (The Missing God):

This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. His most popular name is the Aldmeri "Lorkhan," or Doom Drum. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane, upsetting the status quo—much like his father Padomay had introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhan is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the "scheme of things" is interpreted a variety of ways. To the Elves, he is the most unholy of all higher powers, as he forever broke their connection to the spirit plane. In the legends, he is almost always an enemy of the Aldmer and, therefore, a hero of early Mankind.