The Nine Divines are the most important religious order in Tamriel. The religion combines the eight Aedra with the founder of the Third Empire, Tiber Septim (Talos). There are 6 gods and 3 goddesses. In Cyrodiil, there is a major chapel in each major city, venerating the divines. There are also wayshrines along the roads that are devoted to the Nine Divines. These Aedra also appear in various combinations in the pantheons of other cultures.
- Akatosh - The Dragon God of Time and the chief god of the pantheon
- Arkay - God of Life & Death
- Dibella - Goddess of Beauty
- Julianos - God of Wisdom and Logic
- Kynareth - Goddess of Nature
- Mara - Mother Goddess and Goddess of Love
- Stendarr - God of Mercy and Justice
- Talos/Tiber Septim - God of War and Governance
- Zenithar - God of Work and Commerce
- Main article: Aedra
Alessia and the Eight DivinesEdit
The Eight Divines as an official religion was instituted by Alessia, the first saint upon her slave revolt against the Ayleids. She is said to have consciously chosen a mixture of Ayleid and gods, to help aid her subjects, but simultaneously appease her powerful northern allies.
Perhaps coincidentally, the eight Aedra Alessia chose are those Aedra said to have been most active in the creation of the world. When the Aedra realized what Lorkhan had done, and how their divinity was being drained to create Nirn, most of them objected or withdrew. The eight Aedra that make up the divines, however, willingly gave of themselves to complete the act of creation. In doing so, they were left weakened and confined to their own planes, which mortals on Nirn see as the planets.
Popular opinion and worshipEdit
The worship of the Divines is not universally accepted, even in Tamriel. In particular, most Dunmer reject them outright, having been turned from the path of Aedra worship during the Dawn Era by the Daedric Prince Boethiah. The other mer worship some of the same Aedra, in particular Akatosh, who appears in almost every culture's mythology. The elves choose to worship other Aedra, however, those who withdrew from creation in time to save their divinity, and who the elves believe guided them in the early years of their existence.
Communication with mortals and manifestationEdit
Prior to Alessia's pact with Akatosh, binding her soul to the Amulet of Kings, many Aedra and Daedra were able to fully interact with Nirn and its population. However, even during this period, these eight Aedra are not known to have manifested physically on the planet, but communicated through dreams and visions (as with Alessia, for example). Their interaction with the world is relegated to blessings via their altars and shrines, and in extreme circumstances, via mortal avatars infused with their divine spirits. Of particular note is that Akatosh did not appear himself to Alessia to seal his pact with her; instead, it was Lorkhan who came in person, something he was presumably able to do because of his close connection with Nirn itself.
Because Talos was not originally one of the Divines, in some religious sects they are referred to as "The Eight And One". As of 4E 200, Talos was effectively removed from the pantheon of the Gods-and The Eight Divines worshiped resumed. Thalmor agents from the Aldmeri Dominion, per the White-Gold Concordat, ensure that the worship of Talos remains an illegal activity. This is one of the causes of the Stormcloak Rebellion, who see the banning of the worship of Talos as an act against religious freedom.