Of Men and Mer
Beliefs and Religion
The beginning of Nirn is told in many ways and often reflects the bias of the people who tell it. It is therefore common for one such story to contradict another or even to bear such little resemblance to any other as to seem from another world.
In the Beginning Place there was Anu(is) and Padomay(is not) and between them the Aurbis (“the gray center”? or “the gray maybe”?). Many beings entered into the center between is and is not. They flickered from being into not being and back again but none lasted. Then a spirit came to be whose being was very close to Anu. This new spirit came to be known by the elves as Auri-El for he was near to Anu, who they call Anui-El. Men call him Akatosh the dragon god of time and permanence. As more spirits came into being they found it easier to persist by finding a place close to Akatosh and near to Anu. These spirits who in the Beginning Place first learned to be are called by the elves the Et-Ada and by men the First-Ones. One of the First-Ones came to be in a place not close to Akatosh, but even so he persisted and did not cease to be. He is known to the elves as Lorkhan and to men as Shor. Though he was different from the other Et-Ada he was friendly to them and they counted him among themselves.
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Lorkhan then dreamed of a new thing that had not been and so he spoke. He described a world which they could together make that would yield fruits that none of them alone could conceive. There was then division among the Et-Ada. Some endeavoured together to build this new world. Others thought it better to make worlds each unto themselves over which they could have full control. The elves call the first Aedra, meaning ancestors and the second Daedra, meaning not our ancestors. Men called the Aedra gods or divines and those Daedra which they met were often called demons. When the new plane was finished the Aedra realized that in bringing them to himself, Lorkhan had brought them closer to Padomay (Sithis as the elves call it). Being further from Anu, many of the lesser beings began to lose their permanence and all was chaos for a time. Then these lesser spirits one by one bound themselves to Mundus, the world, and became the Earth Bones, the ancestors of men, mer, the beast peoples, and the very plants and animals. Magnus the spirit of magic, who was the first to realize their fate, retreated from Mundus (this is why magic is still unlimited by natural laws today) and created the planes of Aetherius.
The remaining spirits were again divided. Some called Lorkhan liar and betrayer while a few were in awe of what they had made and stood in his defense. Some took no side at all. A great war was fought over this division in which the some of the Aedra with the Aldmer (elves) stood against Lorkhan and mankind. The war of the Dawn era, as it was known, left the land broken and divided by great oceans. It ended when Trinimac the mightest of the Aedra in battle broke Lorkhan and cut out his heart. Even so, Lorkhan then spoke saying, “This Heart is the heart of the world, for one was made to satisfy the other” and they could not destroy it. So the Aedra cast the heart of Lorkhan deep into the earth. The moons Masser and Secunda are said to be the broken body of Lorkhan.
The division of men and mer over these events is revealed in their pantheons which include some of the same spirits by different names and certainly with differing reverence.