A Snow Elf statue of Auri-El
An Ayleid statue of Auri-El
A High Elf statue of Auri-El
- "Anuiel, who was the soul [of Anu and] of all things, therefore became many things, and this interplay was and is the Aurbis. At first the Aurbis was turbulent and confusing, as Anuiel's ruminations went on without design. Aspects of the Aurbis then asked for a schedule to follow or procedures whereby they might enjoy themselves a little longer outside of perfect knowledge. So that he might know himself this way, too, Anu created Auriel, the soul of his soul. Auriel bled through the Aurbis as a new force, called time." — The Monomyth, "The Heart of the World"
Auri-El (or Auriel), King of the Aldmer, is the elven analogue to Akatosh and the chief deity of most Aldmeri pantheons. He is the soul of Anui-El, who is the soul of Anu the Everything, and it is said time began with his existence.
Most Altmeri and Bosmeri claim to be direct descendants of Auri-El. In Valenwood, he is known as Auri-El Time Dragon, king of the gods. However, early, socially stratified Aldmeri society thought Auri-El to be an ancestor spirit of the upper castes, and his worship was adopted by other Aldmer to better emulate their social "betters". While generally represented as a dragon, most Altmeri societies also depict him as or alongside an eagle. Snow Elves and Ayleids also worshipped Auri-El.[nb 1] However, the Alessian Order cursed him and held his pride responsible for the sullied Middle Dawn. All but the most dogmatic of theologians tend to agree that the Imperial Akatosh and the Elven Auri-El are one and the same.
- "[E]ven Auriel, when told he would become the king of the new world, agreed to help Lorkhan." — The Heart of the World
In his only known moment of weakness, Auri-El agreed to take his part in the creation of the mortal plane, that act which forever sundered the elves from the spirit worlds of eternity. Auri-El and the other gods of the Aldmer were disgusted by their enfeebled selves and what they had created, and insisted that everything was permanently spoiled, and all they would be able to do would be to teach the elves to suffer with dignity.
To make up for his error, Auri-El led the original Aldmer against the armies of Lorkhan in mythic times, vanquishing him and establishing the first kingdoms of the Aldmer, Atmora and Old Ehlnofey. Auriel's Bow and Auriel's Shield were allegedly created by Anuiel to be used by Auri-El against Lorkhan's hordes. Though Atmora was retaken by men and Old Ehlnofey was sundered, Auri-El's greatest knight, Trinimac (who, in some places, was even more popular than Auri-El), succeeded in defeating Lorkhan, and Auri-El hid his Heart by attaching it to an arrow and sending it far into the sea. Later, Auri-El ascended to heaven in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane.
Many Snow Elves had one great desire: to become one with Auri-El. They built the Chantry of Auri-El in the western mountains of modern-day Skyrim so that they could pursue a pilgrimage of spiritual discovery and ascend into the heavens. They would recite the mantras of Auri-El at several wayshrines, meditating on their lessons, before journeying to the Inner Sanctum to ostensibly become one with their god.
A ruined Ayleid statue of Auri-El (Oblivion)
Shrine of Auriel (Skyrim)
Altmeri depiction of Auri-El
Shrine of Auriel (Online)
Aurielic Quasigriff (Online)
||Auri-El was evidently a prominent figure in the Ayleid religion. In the Oblivion quest Secrets of the Ayleids, the Altmer Umbacano gains access to an Ayleid throne by reciting "Av Auri-El ye Tamri-El dellevoy an Arpen Aran tarnabye!", which means "By Auriel and Tamriel, grant [imperative] [the] Noble [ie, True] King passage."
- In the Dawnguard add-on for Skyrim, Serana notes that the statue of Auri-El outside the Inner Sanctum of the Chantry of Auri-El incorporates the "older signs" of his power.
- To the Snow Elves, Auri-El was strongly associated with the sun, and the Chantry of Auri-El features sun-shaped decorations throughout. The sun is described by Snow Elves as how Auri-El influences the world and the channel through which Auriel's Bow draws its power from Aetherius.
- Legends say Auri-El despises Orcs, and that his scribe was Xarxes.
- Saint Alessia is sometimes referred to as Auri-El's wife.
- Auri-El's divinity has been understated in some cases. He is sometimes described as a quasi-mythical deity or even a demi-god of the elves.
- Aurielic Quasigriffs are considered sacred by some worshipers of Auri-El.