Lore:Cult of the Ancestor Moth

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The Cult's banner, depicting an Ancestor Moth
"The priests of the Ancestor Moth are devoted to veneration of those who came before us, for the wisdom of the ancestors can sing the future into the present. As such, we alone have the privilege of interpreting the Elder Scrolls." —Sister Terran Arminus

Before the Cult of the Ancestor Moth (sometime stylized as Ancestor-Moth,[1] Order of the Ancestor Moth,[2] Scrollkeepers of the Imperial City),[3] the Cyro-Nords had long exported ancestor-silks, simple but exotic shawls woven with the silks of the gypsy moth and inscribed with the genealogy of the buyer.[1] For the cult, the ancestor and moth became synonymous. The singing and hymnal spirits of one's forebears are caught in the special silk-gathering ritual. The swishing of the silk material during movement reproduces the wonderful ancestral chorus contained in the silk. It became a sacred custom among the Nibenese, which persists to this day. The higher order Monks of the cult are able to forgo the magical ritual needed to enchant the silk and instead merely wear the moths themselves.[1] They are able to attract the ancestor-moths through the application of ground bark from the moth's favorite tree, and through chanting inaudible mantras which they must constantly maintain to keep the moths in contact with them.[4]

The members of the cult are, by tradition, the only people allowed to read the Elder Scrolls, a privilege which eventually strikes them blind.[2][5] They care for the Imperial Library (also called the Elder Library) within the White-Gold Tower in the Imperial City.[6][7] The monks use special cleansing bowls to remove impurities from their fingers before, during, and after they read the Elder Scrolls. This leaves a residue in the bowls that has been suggested to be aetherial residue that could deaden their fingers like the scrolls deaden the eyes.[8] They are known to be reclusive and have hidden, or at least out of the way, sanctuaries scattered throughout Tamriel.[9]

In 4E 175, the Elder Scrolls mysteriously disappeared from the Imperial Library and were scattered across Tamriel by forces unknown.[9] Members of the Cult set out to search for them and return them to the White-Gold Tower.[10]



  • Monastic orders founded by Tiber Septim and dedicated to Julianos are the keepers of the Elder Scrolls.[11]
  • In early unofficial lore, some members of the order were known as the Libromancers. The Elder Scrolls were blank, but if a Moth Priest libromancer were to cut themselves and dribble their blood onto the Scroll, a prophecy would be revealed. The more blood a Scroll was given, the more words and letters it would spell out.[UOL 1]

See Also[edit]


Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.

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