The Divines are the gods worshipped in the Imperial cult, the official religion of the Cyrodiilic Empire and its provinces. There used to be nine – the Eight Aedra, combined with the god-hero Tiber Septim (Talos). Following the signing of the White-Gold Concordat with the Aldmeri Dominion, worship of Talos was banned and the Thalmor were allowed free reign to stamp out worship of the god-king. Below is a list of the Aedra and what they represent.
Akatosh, the Dragon God of TimeEdit
Akatosh is the chief deity of the Eight Divines, and one of the two deities (the other being Lorkhan) found in every Tamrielic religion. 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. Akatosh is the most constant of gods, for his sphere is time itself. He is the ultimate god of the Cyrodiilic Empire, where he embodies the qualities of endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy.
Akatosh is the father of all dragons. He is the patron of the Akatosh Chantry, the religious order devoted to worship and glorification of him, who refer to him as the “Great Dragon.” Akatosh was involved in the forging of the Covenant with the new Empire of humanity, and his blood was joined mystically with Alessia and her heirs.
Arkay, the God of the Cycle of Life and DeathEdit
Not only a member of the Eight Divines, Arkay is popular in cultures where his father, Akatosh, is either less related to time or where his time aspects are difficult to comprehend by the layman. He is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is sometimes associated with the seasons. It is believed that all people – regardless of race – are brought into this world by him. Arkay is fertility and blight, joy and sorrow. 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.
Dibella, the Goddess of BeautyEdit
A popular goddess of the Eight Divines. She is referred to as the embodiment of beauty. In Cyrodiil, she has nearly a dozen different cults, some devoted to women, some to artists and aesthetics, and others to erotic instruction.
Julianos, the God of Wisdom and LogicEdit
Julianos is the Cyrodiilic god of literature, law, history, and contradiction. He is a symbol of learning, logic, philosophy, and wisdom. Monastic orders founded by Tiber Septim and dedicated to Julianos are the keepers of the Elder Scrolls. He is often associated with Jhunal, the Nordic father of language and mathematics.
Kynareth, the Goddess of AirEdit
Kynareth (called Kyne by the Nords) is the strongest of the Sky spirits and is the deity of the heavens, the winds, the elements, and the unseen spirits of the air. She is a patron of sailors and travelers, and is invoked for auspicious stars at birth and for good fortune in daily life. 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. Kynareth is also a goddess of healing.
Mara, the Goddess of LoveEdit
Mara is a nearly universal goddess, appearing in most religions in Tamriel. Her origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. In Skyrim, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne, and in the Empire 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. Depending on the religion, she is either married to Akatosh or Lorkhan, or the concubine of both. Temples devoted to her are called Benevolences.
Stendarr, the God of MercyEdit
Stendarr is the God of Righteous Might and Merciful Forbearance. He is the inspiration of magistrates and rulers, the patron of the Imperial Legions, and the comfort of the law-abiding citizen. He is said to have accompanied Tiber Septim in his later years. He evolved from his Nordic origins into a deity of compassion or, sometimes, righteous rule. In early Altmeri legends, Stendarr is the apologist of men. In Skyrim, the fanatical Vigilantes of Stendarr wander the countryside, looking to distribute justice. Their order was formed after the Oblivion Crisis, and their objective is to eradicate certain undesirables, namely necromancers, conjurers, and especially Daedra.
Zenithar, the Trader God of Work and CommerceEdit
Zenithar is the god of wealth, labor, commerce, and communication. While associated with Z’en – a Bosmeri god of payment in kind – in the Empire he is seen as the god of merchants and middle nobility. His worshippers say that, despite his mysterious origins, Zenithar is “the god that will always win,” and his priests seek to show the way to peace and prosperity through earnest work and honest profit rather than war and bloodshed.
Talos, the God-King Tiber Septim the DragonbornEdit
Talos was once known as Tiber Septim and is referred to as the Heir to the Seat of Sundered Kings and the Dragonborn, and is regarded as the greatest god-hero of humankind. Tiber Septim conquered all of Tamriel and ushered in the Third Era and the Third Empire. At his death he ascended to godhood as the God of War and Governance of the Nine Divines. Less prominent sects, such as the Talos Cult have been inspired by his apotheosis. He was worshipped as the protector and patron of just rulership and civil society. He is referred to as the One in the phrase "The Eight and the One", as there were originally only Eight Divines before Tiber Septim Ascended to godhood.
To Nords he is referred to as Ysmir the “Dragon of the North” and is invoked as the patron of questing heroes. Once a member of the Divines, worship of Talos has been banned as per the terms of the White-Gold Concordat with the Aldmeri Dominion, and it is this ban which has sparked the civil war in Skyrim as Talos is an important aspect in Nord religion. The Thalmor Justiciars of the Aldmeri Dominion have per the terms of the Concordat been given free rein to stamp out Talos worship.