- Akatosh says: Serve and obey your Emperor. Study the Covenants. Worship the Nine, do your duty, and heed the commands of the saints and priests. — Ten Commands: Nine Divines
Akatosh, known as Auri-El (or Auriel) to the Aldmer and Bormah (Father) to the dragons, is the chief deity of the Nine Divines (the prescribed religious cults of Cyrodiil and its provinces). He is present in most Tamrielic religions. His avatar is a dragon, and he is often called the Dragon God of Time. 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 to be easier and the various pantheons of the world emerged. The Aedric spirit is the ultimate God of the Cyrodiilic Empire, where he embodies the qualities of endurance, invincibility, and everlasting legitimacy while promoting the virtues of duty, service, and obedience. Akatosh is thought to be the father of all dragons, and their leader Alduin was titled "First-Born of Akatosh". Akatosh is the patron of the Akatosh Chantry, the religious order devoted to the worship and glorification of him, who refer to him as the "Great Dragon". The Warp in the West and other Dragon Breaks are thought to result from Akatosh's temporary loss of control over the flow of time.
Most traces of Akatosh disappeared from ancient Chimer legends during their so-called 'exodus', primarily due to that god's association and esteem with the Altmeri. However, several aspects of Akatosh which seem important to the mortal races, namely immortality, historicity, and genealogy, have conveniently resurfaced in Almalexia, the most popular of Morrowind's divine Tribunal; as a mother-figure, she also embodies the idea of being a progenitor (albeit a female rather than male one). So one could say that, at least, the qualities of Akatosh are not entirely neglected among the Dunmer, even if his name is.
Akatosh was involved in the forging of the Covenant with the new Empire of humanity, and his blood was mystically joined with Alessia and her heirs. The Amulet of Kings was the primary token of this patronage, and it allowed the new Empire of Cyrodiil to benefit from the stabilizing influence of White Gold Tower, maintaining the barrier between Mundus and the Planes of Oblivion. When that barrier was threatened during the Oblivion Crisis, Martin Septim was able to summon Akatosh's spirit and transform himself into the avatar of Akatosh, which appeared in the shape of a giant dragon made of fire. This avatar dragon defeated Mehrunes Dagon, reestablishing the mystical barrier between Tamriel and the Daedric Realms. The avatar transformed into a statue, now located inside the ruined Temple of the One.
In the elven tradition, Auriel is accredited with creating Auriel's Shield and Auriel's Bow, and used the latter to fire the Heart of Lorkhan into what is today Red Mountain. However, the Cyrodiilic traditions of man do not mention these artifacts as part of their stories of Akatosh and creation, and do not provide any explanation to their existence or origins.
A symbol for the Akatosh Chantry, as seen in Daggerfall
The destroyed Chapel of Akatosh, as seen in Oblivion
A shrine of Akatosh, as seen in Skyrim
- The Monomyth
- Paarthurnax's dialogue in Skyrim
- Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor
- The Amulet of Kings — Wenegrus Monhana
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Invocation — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of Shimerene
- For My Gods and Emperor — Imperial Cult
- The Ten Commands of the Nine Divines
- Events of Skyrim
- The Warp in the West — Ulvius Tero
- Where Were You When the Dragon Broke? — Various
- Trials of St. Alessia
- Events of Oblivion