Religions of Skyrim

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Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm

This is a thread to discuss the religion of the Nords, and what their practices will be, what arts will their gods be revvered for, will they have any festivites or celebrations and in some cases what will they wear?

How about titles for each respective religion, will we name each respective one 'The Temple of Shor/Alduin/blahblah' or will they named like 'The Dead God's Cult' or 'Temple of the World-Eater' etc.

From TIL the nordic pantheon is:
-Alduin (World Eater)
-Dibella (Goddess of Beauty)
-Mara (Goddess of Love)
-Stuhn (God of Ransom)
-Kyne (Kiss At the End)
-Shor (God of the Underworld)
-Ysmir (Dragon of the North)
-Orkey (Old Knocker)
-Jhunal (Rune God)
-Tsun
-Herma-Mora (The Woodland Man)
-Mauloch (Mountain Fart)


The gods in red I assume would have no temple and only be worshipped under different aliases (eg. orcs worship malacath, not mauloch)
Seeing as they aren't worshipped they don't need their own posts, but I'll post their descriptions from the old portrayel thread here for now:

Mauloch Portrayal: A cowardly crawling away defeated pose? With smoke rising from him?
Herma-Mora Portrayal: Herma-Mora with his tentacles chopped off and spewing blood.
Tsun Portrayal: A shield bearer using his shield to cover the body of Shor?
Last edited by Dirnae on Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:29 pm

Alduin

Alduin is the Nordic variation of Akatosh, and only superficially resembles his counterpart in the 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 Nordic pantheon (in fact, that pantheon has no chief; see Shor, below) but its wellspring, albeit a grim and frightening one.


Cool unnofficial text on him: http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... -aldudagga
Portrayel: Pseudo-ouroburos or Midgard Serpent depiction, representing the cyclic destruction related to the nordic Akatosh.

Notes:
-conflicting opinions of him? Wise Alduin from Aldudugga vs. the evil destroyer.
-Popular
-He eats years away? So he still controls time as in the imperial pantheon and therefore could be worshipped as such.
-Both respected and feared.

Possible Religious Activities:
-Some sort of festivity that superstitously prolongs the dragon's sleep? Maybe a festivity called 'The Dragon's Lullaby', a chant and dance believed to lull dragons to sleep?
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:29 pm

Dibella

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


A rather shallow god present in most religions, this description seems to sum it up for now, we can try and elaborate later.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:29 pm

Temple of Mara

Nearly universal goddess. Origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. In Skyrim, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne. In the Empire, she is Mother-Goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the 'Anuad', the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. Depending on the religion, she is either married to Akatosh or Lorkhan, or the concubine of both.


Portrayal: Fertility goddess brought to mind several images: wide hips, warm face, matronly. It matches well with being the Mother-Goddess. Not sure how to represent being a handmaiden to Kyne.

Notes:
-Handmaiden of Kyne, so not mother-goddess in the nordic pantheon? Kyne is known as the the 'mother of men' for the nords.
-Shor Son of Shor mentions her as a bed-wife, and she is the fertility goddess and a handmaiden. So is this the religion where she's a concubine? Or should we take bed-wife to mean literally married (so Shor would be married to both Kyne and Mara). I prefer the concubine idea myself, and it fits.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:30 pm

Temple of Stuhn

Nordic precursor to Stendarr, brother of Tsun. Shield-thane of Shor, Stuhn was a warrior god that fought against the Aldmeri pantheon. He showed Men how to take, and the benefits of taking, prisoners of war


Portrayal: Maybe another warrior type holding a chalice in one hand (Stendarr) and holding the head (still attached) of an aldmeri warrior (still alive)?

Notes:
-God of Ransom
-Surviving warrior from after Shor and Tsun was killed. Could also be a lesser known god of vengeance and grudges?
-I'm not sure how popular he would actually be. I'm think mainly worshipped in conjunction with other gods?
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:30 pm

Temple of Kyne

Nordic 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.


From imperial's kynareth:
Kynareth is a member of the Eight Divines, the strongest of the Sky spirits. In some legends, she is the first to agree to Lorkhan's plan to invent the mortal plane, and 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.


Portrayal: Shield-maiden shouting? Shedding a tear in some other depictions.

Here's what Reinhardt Red-Spear of Thirsk has to say about Kyne in relation to the fyrse hags we all know and love from solstheim:
"The fryse hags are mages dedicated to the teachings of Kyne, the widow of the god Shor. Each is a powerful sorceress skilled in the use of frost-based magicka. They're vicious lasses, and view most people as a threat to their beliefs. They've been seen out in the wild, and in a couple of the ice caves."


Fryse hags:
-Children of the Sky, elemental strong people, who don't require shelters, live in the wilderness
-They believe they are the purest of the nords. By taking a pact of seclusion and attacking all who may disturb their peace, they believe they are preserving Nordic bloodline, outside influence taints and dilutes both of these. They were created by Kyne so are preserving her gifts.
-Outsiders present a threat of further diluting the Nordic bloodline.

Notes:
-Favored God of warriors? Must be very popular then.
-She is responsable for rain, after Lorkhan's death. I think the imagery between rain and tears for her fallen husband is obvious here.
-God of Weather, prayed to by travellers and sailors.
-God of Mental Inspiration
Last edited by Dirnae on Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:30 pm

Temple of Shor

Shor (God of the Underworld) Nordic version of Lorkhan, who takes sides with Men after the creation of the world. Foreign gods (i.e., Elven ones) conspire against him and bring about his defeat, dooming him to the underworld. Atmoran myths depict him as a bloodthirsty warrior king who leads the Nords to victory over their Aldmeri oppressors time and again. Before his doom, Shor was the chief of the gods. Sometimes also called Children's God (see Orkey, above).


Portrayel:
Portrayal: Something classic barbarian? Wearing a necklace made out of elf ears? Outreached hand showing Men the way to victory?
Hole in his chest where his heart once was. Perhaps spine showing through the hole, like on the sithis statue in oblivion.

Titles:
-God of the Underworld
-Children's God (see Orkey)

Texts:
http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... ors-tongue
http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... s-ash-king
http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... d-mountain
http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... xamination
unofficial: http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... -shor-full
http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... ation-myth


Religious Practice Ideas?:
He's the God of the Underworld now, yet still worshipped, with that in mind:
-His worshippers could be charged with managing and looking after the dead. If there is a funeral/burial to be done, it shall be done under the name of Shor, by a preist of shor, if such a person is available.
-The tombs of kings and hersirs are guarded by Shor's fierce but solemn guards (name: bone-guards, ash-guards?)
-High Priests would wear something like this ceremonial trollbone? http://www.skyrim.co.uk/Images/Concepts/trollbonejh.jpg
-The feast of the 500.
-They could release those cursed by necromancy or vampirism into undeath from the curses binding them, thus sending them to the underworld.

Notes:
-Popular
-Worship is disliked or looked down upon by elven races.
-Created Sovngarde for valiant Nords to live in forever.

Possible Tenants:
-To not defile, but to protect the resting places of the dead
-To fight against, and not take part in any necromantic and vampiric activities.
-To not commit any acts of crime or treachery against others belonging to the temple, and assist higher ranking members whenever possible.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:31 pm

Temple of Ysmir

The Nordic aspect of Talos. He withstood the power of the Greybeards' voices long enough to hear their prophecy. Later, many Nords could not look on him without seeing a dragon.


Portrayal: Stylized portrait of Talos with wavy lines representing the greybeards voices moving around him?
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:31 pm

Temple of Orkey

The Nordic version of Arkay:
A loan-god of 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 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. Shor showed up, though, and, through unknown means, removed the curse, throwing most of it onto the nearby Orcs.


The third song of King Wulfharth tells of his death. Orkey, an enemy god, had always tried to ruin the Nords, even in Atmora where he stole their years away. Seeing the strength of King Wulfharth, Orkey summoned the ghost of Alduin Time-Eater again. Nearly every Nord was eaten down to six years old. Boy Wulfharth pleaded to Shor, the dead Chieftain of the Gods, to help his people. Shor's own ghost then fought the Time-Eater on the spirit plane, as he did at the beginning of time, and he won, and Orkey's folk, the Orcs, were ruined. As Boy Wulfharth watched the battle in the sky he learned a new thu'um, What Happens When You Shake the Dragon Just So. He used this new magic to change his people back to normal. In his haste to save so many, though, he shook too many years out on himself. He grew older than the Greybeards, and died. The flames of his pyre were said to have reached the hearth of Kyne itself.


Notes:
-Does loan-god mean loaned from elves? Or God of loans?
-unpopular cult if worshipped at all (contradicting texts, aldmeri god worshipped by nords or orcish god?)
-Orc God!? What about Mauloch? Is this a typo?
-God of bargaining, trickery and perhaps through this some mercantile qualities? Could also display some qualities from arkay, emphasising the life and death cycle perhaps.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:31 pm

The Imperial Cult in Skyrim

Should be pretty much the same as in Morrowind/Cyrodiil, but if we want to discuss any part of it's representation, importance and reputation in skyrim, I'll note any points here too.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:33 pm

This is from the old forum, some of it may be invalidated.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Tes96 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:00 am

By the Hoar Father! I didn't know there was a sub-subsection for Nordic religion. I've been cluttering up the political thread with all my religious talk and there was this thread the whole god damn time! Well I'll be sure to post in here from now on.

Edit:
Dirnae wrote:Temple of Orkey
Notes:
-God of bargaining, trickery...

In the context of trickery, do you think Orkey is similar to Coyote in native indian religion and stories?
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Dirnae » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:24 am

Ah, using trickery for the Nords favour?
It'd be a good way for his worshippers to view him, however the general consensus seems to be that he's an enemy of the Nords, using his trickery against them.

And I really need to update this thread with the recent discussions.
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Muspila » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:10 am

I will tell a bit from memory of things I know about Nord religion/worldview. Related to TES96 going offtopic :P


Cyclic view of the universe, Kalpas:
In the view of the Nords the world goes through a cycle of being created, running for a while, being eaten by Alduin/World Devourer and created again.
Every iteration of the cycle many things repeat (Shor spits out his heart eg.) but each time something slightly changes, so it is rather a spirale than a circle.
When an end of the Kalpa approaches the bell of the All-Makers goat jingles. This only shows up in the seven fights of Aldudagga. The All-Maker is actually a deity of the Skaal, I'm not sure, which role he plays here. Perhaps these are very old tellings that have one common origin with today Skaal-worldviews.
http://imperial-library.info/content/se ... -aldudagga

Children of the Sky
Nords consider themselves to be the children of the sky. They call Skyrim the Throat of the World, because it is where the sky exhaled on the land and formed them.[...]The breath and the voice are the vital essence of a Nord. When they defeat great enemies they take their tongues as trophies. These are woven into ropes and can hold speech like an enchantment. The power of a Nord can be articulated into a shout, like the kiai of an Akaviri swordsman. The strongest of their warriors are called "Tongues."[...]Wind is fundamental to Skyrim and the Nords; those that live in the far wastes always carry a wind with them.

http://imperial-library.info/content/mo ... ildren-sky

Past Strength of Nords
the hardy, brave, warlike Nords, whose descendants still occupy this rugged land, and, although perhaps somewhat reduced from the legendary renown of their forebears of old, the Nords of the pure blood still unquestionably surpass the mixed races in all the manly virtues.

http://imperial-library.info/content/po ... ion-skyrim

And of the Giants we speak little, even less to strangers, for their history is hidden in long loud power-shouts. At home, it is a pain in the ass to tell their stories and then clean all the things knocked down in the telling... and in a foreign hearth it is [just plain rude]. So we speak of them (for we must-- who does not honor their parents?) under the rim of the sky or, here, written on sheafs of pelt, for such is the mettle of their threat.[...]

Here is why: the Giants came from Old Atmora, up there across the Northern Ice back in the gone-to-twilight-now age of myth... and settled here in the Skyrim, and all along the mountain ranges of our coasts. (Yes, they are our true ancestors-- do not believe your aunt from the university-- and, yes, we were once as big as them-- as tall as THIS-- but that is another story)...

http://imperial-library.info/content/fi ... -911th-cow

Shamanism, Animals and Totems
The early Nords that settled in Skyrim were hunters and fishers. The branch of the Nords that developed into the Skaal follows a shamanistic/dualistic religion. Some of that could still apply to the Nords in Skyrim especially in rural areas. Such rituals in connection with the hunting of animals as you describe could be an interesting way of elaborating this native style of living (we have special barbarian ethnicities). Though in many parts of Skyrim Nords are settled people and farmers. They will probably pursue a mix-religion with such shamanistic elements but being still a religion of the 8 divines (the nord-ones).

Nudity
Nudity is something common in Skyrim. Nords usually put down their clothes as soon as it's getting warm for them, of course also when they are in one of their saunas. But nudity is nothing that would be anywhere besides the point, also in rituals.

Burial
Barrows seem to be the common form of burial. But this can be combined with different forms. For example the feeding of corpses to animals. The Skaal feed their dead to their Caenlorn Wolves or how they were called, I have been thinking when the Nords have a relation to Sky and wind they would maybe lay their corpses on the top of the highest mountains to be left to the birds of Sky. This is even more plausible when you think of them as Hunter-society in the past (we are giving something back). Apparently they were already only bones when the Nords enclosed them into Stahlrim back then.

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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Tes96 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Muspila wrote:I will tell a bit from memory of things I know about Nord religion/worldview. Related to TES96 going offtopic :P


Cyclic view of the universe, Kalpas:
In the view of the Nords the world goes through a cycle of being created, running for a while, being eaten by Alduin/World Devourer and created again.
Every iteration of the cycle many things repeat (Shor spits out his heart eg.) but each time something slightly changes, so it is rather a spirale than a circle.
When an end of the Kalpa approaches the bell of the All-Makers goat jingles. This only shows up in the seven fights of Aldudagga. The All-Maker is actually a deity of the Skaal, I'm not sure, which role he plays here. Perhaps these are very old tellings that have one common origin with today Skaal-worldviews.
http://imperial-library.info/content/se ... -aldudagga
Well if part of Nordic evolution is for the world to be eaten, recycled and recreated then I don't see why Alduin the World Eater is a bad guy. That seems like taking out the garbage and then putting in a new trash bag in your garbage can. Why would you want to stop that (in TESV storyline I mean)?



Muspila wrote:Children of the Sky
Nords consider themselves to be the children of the sky. They call Skyrim the Throat of the World, because it is where the sky exhaled on the land and formed them.[...]The breath and the voice are the vital essence of a Nord. When they defeat great enemies they take their tongues as trophies. These are woven into ropes and can hold speech like an enchantment. The power of a Nord can be articulated into a shout, like the kiai of an Akaviri swordsman. The strongest of their warriors are called "Tongues."[...]Wind is fundamental to Skyrim and the Nords; those that live in the far wastes always carry a wind with them.

http://imperial-library.info/content/mo ... ildren-sky

Past Strength of Nords
the hardy, brave, warlike Nords, whose descendants still occupy this rugged land, and, although perhaps somewhat reduced from the legendary renown of their forebears of old, the Nords of the pure blood still unquestionably surpass the mixed races in all the manly virtues.

http://imperial-library.info/content/po ... ion-skyrim

And of the Giants we speak little, even less to strangers, for their history is hidden in long loud power-shouts. At home, it is a pain in the ass to tell their stories and then clean all the things knocked down in the telling... and in a foreign hearth it is [just plain rude]. So we speak of them (for we must-- who does not honor their parents?) under the rim of the sky or, here, written on sheafs of pelt, for such is the mettle of their threat.[...]

Here is why: the Giants came from Old Atmora, up there across the Northern Ice back in the gone-to-twilight-now age of myth... and settled here in the Skyrim, and all along the mountain ranges of our coasts. (Yes, they are our true ancestors-- do not believe your aunt from the university-- and, yes, we were once as big as them-- as tall as THIS-- but that is another story)...

http://imperial-library.info/content/fi ... -911th-cow

Shamanism, Animals and Totems
The early Nords that settled in Skyrim were hunters and fishers. The branch of the Nords that developed into the Skaal follows a shamanistic/dualistic religion. Some of that could still apply to the Nords in Skyrim especially in rural areas. Such rituals in connection with the hunting of animals as you describe could be an interesting way of elaborating this native style of living (we have special barbarian ethnicities). Though in many parts of Skyrim Nords are settled people and farmers. They will probably pursue a mix-religion with such shamanistic elements but being still a religion of the 8 divines (the nord-ones).

Nudity
Nudity is something common in Skyrim. Nords usually put down their clothes as soon as it's getting warm for them, of course also when they are in one of their saunas. But nudity is nothing that would be anywhere besides the point, also in rituals.

Burial
Barrows seem to be the common form of burial. But this can be combined with different forms. For example the feeding of corpses to animals. The Skaal feed their dead to their Caenlorn Wolves or how they were called, I have been thinking when the Nords have a relation to Sky and wind they would maybe lay their corpses on the top of the highest mountains to be left to the birds of Sky. This is even more plausible when you think of them as Hunter-society in the past (we are giving something back). Apparently they were already only bones when the Nords enclosed them into Stahlrim back then.


That Children of the Sky text is fascinating; taking tongues as trophies and weaving them into ropes, which they can harness the power of the voice that the tongue held and use it as a magical shout. I've read on the TESV section over at BSF where people complain that if they play a thief, the shouts will defeat the whole purpose of being stealthy and unseen/unheard. However, I don't view the Nordic people as being the quiet and stealthy type. I view them as being warriors, tumultuous and brash in battle; not hiding in tree tops and shooting arrows at their enemies (like how I picture Wood Elves). I view a Nord as being like Conan the Barbarian in a way. Any ways, that Children of the Sky text opens windows for many opportunities of religious ceremonies and rituals that we could write.


I'm confused on the Giants text. What does the author mean "of giants we speak little, even less to strangers"? Nords speak little Giantish language or the don't talk about giants in conversation with one another or they(Nords) don't speak to giants directly...?


On shamanism, animals and totems, what do you mean by "dualistic religion"? A shaman, from the definition I've learned in class, if I remember correctly, is a man annointed by the gods to be the healer within a tribe. The difference between a shaman and a healer is that a healer heals the body while a shaman heals the soul. And how a shaman is picked within a tribe or group of people is that they can see and sense the divine aura that suffuses the individual. The god(s) pick a person and allow him to communicate at will with the gods by going into a trance and communicating with them (in Skyrim's case, the Aedra) to find out what is wrong with something or why the crops haven't grown or where the game herd as traveled to...
So when you say the Skaal come from a Shamanistic religion, that implies they came from a line of people over in Skyrim who had a shaman or spiritual leader in their group or village. That doesn't mean that they necessarily carried over that tradition once they went to Solstheim; obviously because there aren't any Nordic shamans in the Bloodmoon expansion. At least none that I've seen. Skaal village is pretty tiny in the game.
But I'm unsure of what you mean by dualistic. I skimmed a bit online and it's the concept that all creation and everything that exists manifested from two opposing forces. Does that mean that in the context you are using it, it is the Anu/Padomay Godhead theory? (Don't Nords call Anu & Padomay by some other name?)
Back to what you were saying, if the Skaal came from a line of people that had a shamanistic/dualistic religion, then there would be a chance that those types of Nords would still reside in areas of Skyrim, depending on whether those groups of people still held true to their beliefs or not.
Ah, so Nords are not a migratory people but a settled people. Well that clears things up a bit. What did you mean by "we have special barbarian ethnicities"?
Wouldn't the Aedra take part in the growing of their crops and farmland? I'm meaning in the sense that if the crops on some Nord's land weren't growing, he would believe that he had done something wrong to offend one of the gods who thus caused his crops to not grow properly. Or if crops were doing very well, the Nords would think whatever they were doing was appeasing the gods, and they would continue to do whatever it was that they thought they were doing. (If you're doing something that is pleasing someone else, you will want to continue to do that thing to keep that person happy; in this sense, between man and god(s))

I agree on your Nordic views on nudity. Greeks used to have their sports in full nude and even went to some of their battles in the nude. Nudity in the 21st century on Earth is a very taboo and shocking thing if you go outside in public naked. Nudity was a normal thing thousands of years ago.

All of us know that TESV will have no nudity and the game won't be as accurate as the lore, which is also why I'm not getting my hopes too high for TESV. Nords in real life would be very appauling to us 21st century Earthlings if we were to see how they really were. Bethesda's games take the Nords and tones them down a lot so that it's appropriate for stores to sell where kids run rampant (like Walmart, Target, Gamestop, Bestbuy...).
But we can include as much nudity as necessary in our TESIII: Skyrim. We'd have to upload it to TESNexus instead of PES because PES is a lot more regulated than Nexus. But that's way down the line. I'm not sure what you meant by "nudity is nothing that would be anywhere besides the point."
I didn't know they had saunas. The Romans had saunas. The Cyrodiils have saunas too, right?


Oooh I love your theory on burials! About the Nords who are worshippers of the sky gods (hope I worded that correctly). Placing their dead on the highest peak of the mountain would bring their dead as close to the gods as they physically could. Romans had a ritual where they had two large phallic pillars (shaped like penises) that one would climb and sit atop for days and bang bronze boxes. Sitting atop this phallic pillar would bring him as close to the gods as possible since the gods are above the earth. And banging the bronze boxes made noise which would attract the attention of the gods. That's another reason why I think lots of rituals have music and dancing and noise, it attracts the attention of the gods for whom you are doing your ritual/ceremony.














Dirnae wrote:Ah, using trickery for the Nords favour?
It'd be a good way for his worshippers to view him, however the general consensus seems to be that he's an enemy of the Nords, using his trickery against them.

And I really need to update this thread with the recent discussions.

That's what I was eluding to, that Orkey was a god of deceit and trickery and mischief (like Coyote). If Orkey was offended or displeased, he would unveil many tricks on the Nords, like tripping them in doorways, having the mammoth herd go in a direction away from the villages, putting the Nords' campfires out on very chilly nights, causing their doorlocks to break so that they are locked out of their homes, infesting their bear and wolf skins with lice and ticks so that they are all itchy when they put them on, causing their chandeliers to fall on top of their heads as they walked underneath them, causing the wooden planks on their 2nd level walk ways to become brittle and break, possessions disappearing, etc...

Would a moderator move all my religious ramble to this thread so that it's more organized please?
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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Muspila » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:06 pm

what do you mean by "dualistic religion"?

The Skaal know two different deities Thartaag, the World Devourer or Greedy Man (Greedy man refers to Lorkhan/Shor in other contexts, very confusing). The minions of Thartaag in their view are the imperials approaching in Solstheim and exploiting resources.

The other deity is the All-maker who has made everything and is considered good by them.

For the Nords of Skyrim Alduin is both World Devourer and Wellspring of the World that follows, he spits out the world afterwards if I remember right. The Nords also believe that they are Alduins favourite meal and so they do not like the prospect of his awaking (who wants to get eaten anyway?), they always live with that prospect and the fear connected to it.

obviously because there aren't any Nordic shamans in the Bloodmoon expansion.

Ok, there is a shaman among the Skaals, you probably have to look closer.
Skaal dialogue is a lot about totems and such. In some shamanistic religions (african ones, I recall) the shaman takes possesion of an animal spirit (or the way around) in his trance. Totems are ancestor spirits that happen to be animals according to the wikipedia-article about totems and I always knew of them in connection with different animals granting different blessings, a bit similar to what you already told about as regards native nordamericans.

The whole idea that Nords would pursue Shamanism has its origin in how the Skaal where presented in Bloodmoon. There is no other context that speaks of such among Nords I can remember right now except for Shor, Son of Shor by MK he speaks of Shor taking the shape of his totem to shape his displeasure. I have no clear idea what totem in that context is supposed to mean, but from what I have always thought totems are part of shamanistic beliefs.
http://imperial-library.info/content/shor-son-shor-full

From what I know shamanism generally is about ways to get into the trance in order to access that spirit plane, be it through drugs, music and dance or undertakings that lead the person near to the threshold of Death (Odins hanging on the tree is understood as such a ritual by some archeologists, the Germanic people and the vikings are believed to have had shamanistic elements in their religion aswell)

What does the author mean "of giants we speak little, even less to strangers"?

The text as such is something like an ancient text (breton-nordic skalds), therefore this text does not tell about usual nowadays-nords. The author says that it would be hard for outsiders to listen to what they would have to say about the Giants, it would sound rude and violent to a foreign ear, whereas the nords themselves are used to the harsh words.

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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:39 pm

From a magazine article about Kiev in 978 AD:
In the main square, however, you can see Volos, the great totem of their god with his gilded moustache and fierce glare - people come to place offerings at the foot of the timber pole, make deals under his gaze and even get married.

Could this be used in S:HotN?
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Muspila

Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Muspila » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:43 pm

TerrifyingDaedricFoe wrote:From a magazine article about Kiev in 978 AD:
In the main square, however, you can see Volos, the great totem of their god with his gilded moustache and fierce glare - people come to place offerings at the foot of the timber pole, make deals under his gaze and even get married.

Could this be used in S:HotN?

Sounds similar to a germanic antropomorph pole idol to me. I have used something similar to pole idols for the reachmen already, as you can see here:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22362022/pics/Trinimac.jpg

I wonder if we shouldn't rather utilize stone for the nordic deities as other religious constructions, like the menhirs and the barrows are also made from stone for the most part.
On the other hand, we have certainly all freedom we want. We could for example keep all ancient idols of stone but show newer idols made of wood or something like that.

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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:14 pm

I was thinking more about the idol being the focus of village / town life where all the important stuff happens, rather than the material it's made out of.

But if we're discussing it, I'd prefer the Nords to have stone idols. More permanent and solid. It also demonstrates the 'my god's harder than your god' mentality.
Tes96 wrote:By the Silver Caverns, what exactly is a heightmap?!

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Re: Religions of Skyrim

Postby Tes96 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:42 pm

When you make these stone statues, perhaps the feet should be weathered away from people kissing them so much for praise. I remember there is some statue somewhere (can't remember) but over centuries of people kissing the feet of this statue, the toes of the feet have been completely worn away. I'll have to ask my friend the name and location of the statue. You wouldn't think kissing stone would wear it down but it does.

Also, is there "free religion" in Skyrim? Before Thomas Jefferson came along and wrote the Declaration of Independence, states in America had their own religion and if you lived in that state, you had to be that religion and practice that religion and give money to that religion, etc.... And then of course, after the Declaration was written, people were flabbergasted that they could now pick any religion they wanted no matter which state they lived in.
So does Skyrim function like how America was or how America is now, religious-wise?
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