High Rock:Religion:Orcish Pantheon
Orcish Pantheon (WIP) This is lifted from the Orcish pantheon v5 Document, made in February 2018
- 1 External religious views
- 2 Umbrella spirits
- 3 Pantheon Structure
- 4 Spirits and their Meaning
- 5 Constellations
External religious views
View of Aedra
The basic principal is that Orcs used to (as Aldmer) worship the whole pantheon of Aedra and ancestor spirits, though favouring Trinimac in particular. With the transformation of Trinimac into Malacath, however, the Orcs felt (and arguably were) locked out of their old worship, leaving only Malahk as a familiar figure. The Aedra and pre-transformation ancestor spirits came to represent all the things the Orcs had lost through their transformation, and as such, from the point of view of a Malacath worshiper, the things the Orcs no longer have a need for. Their existence is as such acknowledged, and they are still recognized as interacting with the other races, but they are simply seen as irrelevant to Orcs. "They are no longer our gods".
View of Daedra
To fill the gap, Orcs began interacting more heavily with Daedra, though not worshiping them. They have kept their Elven distrust of the Daedra (Malacath being the exception, of course), but unlike the Aedra, Orcs see the Daedra as being potentially useful to them as well as potentially dangerous. Basically, the Daedra are seen as relevant to the Orcs, whereas the Aedra are not. Over time this major shift, from at first worshiping the Aedra and shunning the Daedra to ignoring the Aedra and interacting with Daedra, was rationalized as an extension of the transformation of Trinimac and the Orcs. Just as the Aedra came to represent all the things they had lost, the Orcs began to see the Daedra as representing the new possibilities that lay before them. Orcs began associating individual Aedra with individual Daedra as two sides of the same coin, just like Malacath/Trinimac. Whereas most races can interact with both sides of the coin, the Orcs believe they are cursed only to see the Daedric/corrupted side.
The Orcs now recognize five chief groups of spirits (basically oversouls): that of the Old Adversary, representing the traditional enemies of all Elves; The Betrayer, representing those who betrayed the Orcs by transforming them; the Warrior Spirit, representing the gods and ancestor spirits that took the side of the Orcs; the Shaman Spirit, that offers (often unreliable) guidance to the Orcs; and the Dark Spirit, a foreboding presence the Orcs try to steer clear of.
What follows is the primary pantheon, remembering that the only one the Orcs really worship of the bunch is Malacath/Malahk, or at most the Warrior Spirit as a whole. Any gods and ancestor spirits not listed are generally grouped under whichever of these spirits seems most fitting for them.
The Orcish pantheon structure and their closest resembling figures.
The Warrior Spirit
Trinimac/Trinimach ⇌ Malacath/Malahk Kyne/Krin ⇌ Hircine/Irsin(e) Stendarr/Mogohk ⇌ Molag Bal/Molog Zenithar/Zhanat ⇌ Torug
Auri-El/Urvash Y’ffre/Ughrun/Yafarn* ⇌ Mephala/Murgdulah Syrabane/Kharaban/Yafarn* ⇌ Boethiah/Bidesha → Veloth/Vel-Uth
The Old Adversary
Lorkhan/Mogosh ⇌ Talos Lorkhan's Heart/Shurzk ⇌ Sanguine/Sanhk Jyggalag/Jyg-Galath ⇌ Sheogorath/She-Galath Leaper-Demon-King/Unknown ⇌ Mehrunes Dagon/Muragh-Dim
The Shaman Spirit
Julianos/Ghulan ⇌ Vaermina/Urnamu → Elder Scrolls/Kul Convention/Mukhagal ⇌ Clavicus Vile/Khlavil → Barbas/Barkhash Mara/Magrhan ⇌ Azura/Azug → Jone/Gurna → Jode/Ghodba Xarxes/Sharsh/Yafarn* ⇌ Herma-mora/Hurma
The Dark Spirit
Phynaster/Fimbazdur/Yafarn* ⇌ Peryite/Hul Mogoi Magnus/Maghurz ⇌ Nocturnal/Ghurnakhul → Meridia/Murda Arkay/Urkhai ⇌ Umaril/Umarul. Dibella/Durbolaz ⇌ Namira/Namaraz
'*' = Consists of four Aldmeri gods, the four faced god, Yafarn, generally regarded as The Spirit of Wisdom, Legacy and Magic. Yafarn is regarded as a remnant from the Aldmeri pantheon, many Orcs still debate if this spirit is its own umbrella spirit; The Spirit of Ancestory. Yafarn was once four gods: Y’ffre, also known as Ughrun. Phynaster, also known as Fimbazdur. Syrabane, also known as Kharaban. Xarxes, also known as Sharsh.
Spirits and their Meaning
Trinimach – Represented as Boar, or Boar-Tiger hybrid made by ThomasRuz Malahk -
Leaper-Demon-King - Unknown, possibly associated with charity, exuberance, abandon, accounts have been dubious. - The Leaper-Demon-King is unknown to the Orcs, but some very few of them may either correctly assume (from their two-sides-of-the-same-coin outlook) or retain a vague memory that Mehrunes Dagon was not always as he is now. Does not have a representation in the pantheon. Muragh-Dim - Spirit of plunder, the unstoppable rage, the Berserk, seen as a strong, but flawed and misguided rage. Depicted as a colossal Orc with many horns and burning eyes. – Depiction is basically an altered version of Mehrunes Dagon in Oblivion.
Zhanat - The Forgemaster’s father – The spirit of Invention. Inventor of the anvil, the forge, armor and weaponry. Depicted as an altmer hammering on an anvil. - Zhanat is largely a product of social amnesia and exchange with neighbours who worship Trinimac in an unrecognizable form (Zenithar, Tsun, Zeht, etc.) An awkward duplicate on the pantheon, Zhanat ended up being associated with the Orc ancestor spirit Torug both by way of establishing a place for the former and legitimizing the latter. The result is that any Orcish attempts to 'regain' Zhanat are doomed to fail.
Torug - Spirit of Emulation. Also known as King under Kings, or the Khan spirit, Torug is the creator of the first Orsinium, through battle and hardship did this Orsimer claims his side by Malacath/Trinimac as a worthy companion. Depicted as how he was remembered.
Krin - Is the Spirit of preservation. Irsin(e) - Is the Spirit of the Hunt, depicted as a female centaur hunter with white fur, Irsin(e) is known to bring plentiful food and bounty to those that are blessed by her, but also obsesses the blessed with the Hunt, if this wildness goes on for too long the Orsimer are turned into Irsin(e)’s servants. Irsin(e) is known to give favours to those that hunt and battle.
Mogohk - Spirit of Loyalty - Is the Spirit of Fair Exchange. Mogohk means ‘Shield of the Serpent’, generally depicted as a man only holding a shield depicting a snake in the infinite, eating his own tail. Molog - Spirit of Domination - Is the Spirit of Greed, Molog resembles slavery and a chief that has kept power for too long and covets more. Depicted as a aristocratic elf, holding a barbed ebony whip, that has Orsimer and Goblinken on chains.
Urvash - Spirit of Time - Is the Spirit of Mastery and Jealousy.
Kharaban - Side of the The Four Faced God - Is the Spirit of Tutelage. Bidesha - Spirit of Torment - Is the Spirit of Treachery. Vel-Uth - Is the Spirit of Misdirection.
Ughrun - Side of the The Four Faced God - Is the Spirit of Purity. Murgdulah - Is the Spirit of Rebirth.
Mogosh - Spirit of Lies - Is the Spirit of Mischief. Generally seen as half-serpent, half-man. The battles between Malacath and Mogosh are legendary. Talos - Spirit of the Mogoi - Is the Spirit of Curses.
Shurzk - Is Lorkhan's Heart. Sanhk - Spirit of Bloodshed - Is the Spirit of Dark Intent.
Jyg-Galath - Is the Spirit of the Ruly. - Jyg-Galath is a vague memory retained by few Orcs. Does not have a representation in the pantheon. She-Galath - Is the Spirit of the Unruly. She-Galath is sometimes represented as the impatience and eagerness for battle. Portrayed as a woman like figure, cloaked by vibrant robes and a silver mask.
Ghulan - Is the Spirit of (Fore)knowledge. “I would try to flip over that representation; an Aldmer with resplendent robes and shining face, perhaps with symbols representing useful knowledge at his hands and feet. Maybe some kind of radiant effect.” Urnamu - Shapeshifter - Is the Spirit of Delusion. (Urnamu’s appearance is deceptive, he is all matter of things at once, but never gives his appearance away, his face(and depending on form the body) is always the inky darkness that is Urnamu. One can see him as a hooded figure, or a plant, or a pot, or a sword, or a house.) “Urnamu I'd imagine would be depicted as a cloaked figure, with a face filled with darkness And black, torn clothing”
Kul - Moth Spirit - Is the Spirit of Counsel.
Mukhagal - Is the Spirit of Bonds. Khlavil - Desire Spirit - Is the Spirit of Pacts. Has the appearance of an overly pompous Breton lord with Khlavil’s mask, with a single horn protruding out of his forehead. Barkhash - Is the Spirit of Servility.
Magrhan - Is the Nurturing Spirit. Azug - Moon spirit - Spirit of Deprevation. depicted as a meditating elf in blue silks, holding up the moon(s), appears before those whom are in senses with their higher self. An intervention of Azug is essentially a test of foolishness or wisdom. - Azug is basically seen as close-fisted; while he offers guidance, he keeps the one being guided in the dark, so that the one being guided cannot judge the merit of the guidance. In day-to-day terms, Azug might act through a parent who lays down a platitude without explaining its purpose. ("Eat your vegetables, Shaghur gra-Bulag!") As with parents laying down platitudes, sometimes it is wise to let oneself be led by Azug. ("Don't play with fire!"). Gurna - Is the Spirit of Neglect. Fisher – The fisher resides on ‘the other side’, when the heart of an Orc falls short, the fisher casts his line and reels the spirit back into the Mundus. Ghodba - Is the Spirit of Sacrifice. Spirit-Snatcher (Star-Hunter) -
Sharsh - Side of the The Four Faced God - Is the Spirit of Truth. Hurma - Is the Spirit of Secrets. Is not associated with a figure, his embodiment is rather an audible hush, a whisper that speaks in the ears of those he wants to entice with his knowledge.
Fimbazdur - Side of the The Four Faced God - Is the Spirit of Aspiration. Hul Mogoi - The Fallen Serpent - Is the Spirit of Toil. Has the appearance of a wyrm
Maghurz - Spirit of Elements - Is the Spirit of Light. Seen as the origin of raw elemental power - another confused memory, Orcs (like most of Tamriel's inhabitants) having failed to recognize that Magnus and Mehrunes Dagon are one and the same. Ghurnakhul - Is the Spirit of the Night. Murda - False Light - Is the Spirit of Reflection. 'broke off' of Magnus; a descendant spirit who, among other things, represents wishful thinking.
Urkhai - The Gatekeeper - Is the Spirit of Passing. - Urkhai was a companion of Trinimach, who could not or did not follow him into exile, and now serves as a gatekeeper to Orc souls attempting to exit the cycle of rebirth. Umarul - Is the Torn Spirit. Umarul is the flip side of Urkhai; an unfaithful figure who split ways from Trinimach and was killed and quartered, his corpse split between worlds.
Durbolaz - Is the Spirit of Beauty. Hm. I think Durbolaz is pretty straightfoward; beautiful sparkly Aldmer woman. Could be a man for a change as well. I sort of imagine tall stature and looking a bit like a heavenly maiden:
Namaraz – Spirit of The Wicked - Is the Spirit of Revulsion. I think all of the ugly traits of Orcs dialled up. Not necessarily an Orc in appearance; The beauty of Durbolaz is locked away, leaving a heap of ugly. cover in long straggly fur, add some other ugly traits, (horns sticking out in random places), and you've just about got it. Not sure about the fur, but you get the idea. pig-like traits to Namaraz. Yafarn - Consists of four Aldmeri gods, the four faced god, Yafarn, generally regarded as The Spirit of Wisdom, Legacy and Magic. Yafarn is regarded as a remnant from the Aldmeri pantheon, many Orcs still debate if this spirit is its own umbrella spirit; The Spirit of Ancestory.
The Warrior and his charges are The Betrayer, associated with fire, which acts through destruction. The Warrior is Uri-El, the Lady is Murgdulah, the Lord is Bidesha and the Steed is Vel-Uth.
The Thief and his charges are the Warrior Spirit, associated with metal, which is malleable but reliable. The Thief is Malahk, the Lover is Irsin, the Shadow is Molog and the Tower is Torug
The Mage and his charges are the Shaman Spirit, associated with the sky, which links Nirn with the heavens. The Mage is Urnamu, the Apprentice is Azug, the Atronach is Hurma and the Ritual is Khlavil.
The Un-Stars are the Old Adversary, associated with the ocean, whose depths are as deep and deadly as they are unknowable. Talos is the Serpent, with Muragh-Dim, Sanhk and She-Galath in tow.
The Void is the Dark Spirit are associated with the soil, which the Orcs can never escape and whose secrets they will never fully know. Murda, Namaraz, Umarul and Hul Mogoi are recognized as nebula constellations in the night sky. Beliefs and Traditions Shrines
The Orc test to exit the cycle of rebirth involves the Orc soul tearing out its 'heart' and attempting to fire it through one of the stars (the sun naturally being the most common target). Shots that fall short (most of them) are caught by the dreamsleave and recycled. Urkhai is the spirit that binds the 'heart' to the 'arrow'. Tower Orsinium is the Orc attempt to build a Tower. Unlike the other Towers, which tend to try and maintain or create links outside of the Mundus (Crystal-Like-Law, White-Gold, the Lunar Lattice), or which are or contain foreign objects to Mundus (Ur Tower, Red Tower), Orsinium is a shell that tries to shut everything else out. It is wholly of the Mundus, clad in iron, built to ensure the Orcs' survival until the prison is shattered. Its stone is the iron shell itself.
ThomasRuz’ version Auri-El, also known as Urvash, or Urvash’al in old Orcish, Spirit of Time, normally mentioned as The Betrayer. Most if not all Orsimer know the story of The Betrayer, Urvash’al, brother to Trinimac and leader of most known pantheons to date, but this was not always the case. Trinimac was the champion of his people, sometimes revered more than Urvash’al. Urvash’al grew jealous, jealous that his brother was more liked than he, this consumed Urvash’al. When the time came, when Trinimac was consumed by the evil Bidesha, tortured and beaten, Urvash’al ignored Trinimac, neglected Trinimac, and watched his own brother transform in the spawn that is called Mauloch. He betrayed Trinimac and thus the Orsimer, granting him the title of Betrayer.
(Gnomey’s version - discontinued Kharaban, who represents the dutiful study and adoption of the wisdom of ancestors, became warped by the wayward influences of one of his students, the ancestor spirit Vel-Uth. He began to mislead his fellow Aldmer as the malevolent Bidesha, inciting them against stalwart Trinimach. The mastery of Uri-El proved not to be above their influence, unwisely heeding the words of the strangers Vel-Uth and Bidesha over those of loyal Trinimach and renouncing him. With that, the very purity and rightness of Ughrun overturned itself into the heedless degradation and loss of Murgdulakh, and the familiar faces of their ancestors were lost to the Orcs, leaving only the harsh words and unpleasant glances of strangers.)
Urvash and his connection to Alduin
In Orcish culture there is no distinction between Urvash and Alduin, they are one and the same. Urvash has quite a broad and, to the Orcs, probably useful additional role as the one who will end the world and break the prison. The Alduin role existing between the lines in the Adventures of Urvash and Trinimach. Perhaps the Orcs even accuse Urvash of perpetuating the current kalpa/prison rather than working to destroy it like back in the old days, as a sort of betrayal of his role and duty. After all, the function of the towers of stabilizing and, in the case of Crystal-like-Law, freezing the world in place, do seem to run counter to the elven desire to destroy the world. Which is really where the Thalmor and the destruction of Crystal-like-Law come in. Urvash will perpetually attempt to destroy Orsinium in their eyes.
Adventures of Urvash and Trinimach
Before The Betrayal, Urvash and Trinimach were brothers and divine beings of equal power. They had adventures together, similar like the adventures of Gilgamesh and Enkidu.