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The greater of Nirn's two moons, Masser, Jode, or Mara's Tear, is acknowledged as one of the attendant spirits of the mortal plane, and, as such, is both temporal and subject to the bounds of mortality. Masser, which exists as a separate plane, has long since perished; it was Masser's death which led mortals to perceive it as having both texture and limited size, as well as a reddish hue, all of which are the results of its decay from its former investiture of pure white.[UOL 1]
Masser received its title from the Aldmer, who knew the plane as Jode ("Big Moon God" in Ehlnofex). Similarly, Masser finds itself invested with a position of authority and reverence among the Khajiiti pantheon, as its phase at the time of their birth — along with that of Secunda, the lesser of Nirn's moons — determines their form.
While regarded by various cultures as an attendant spirit of their god planet, minor god, or foreign god, Masser is not displayed within Dwemer orreries, nor does it hold a position within the pantheon of Imperial gods.
In pre-ri'Datta Khajiiti culture, Jode is known under the title of the Ever-mourned, and is one of the two stillborn twins of Fadomai. As Fadomai was dying, Khenarthi didn't want her mother to despair in knowing of her twin's fate, and kept it to herself. The twins are known as the Twin Lanterns of Jone and Jode. Jode is known as the lantern of love, whose "as hot and red as summer solstice", and its twin Jone is the lantern of mercy, who is as "cool and pale as a winter moon". These lanterns were lit to give the illusion of their eyes being bright and full of life. Khenarthi then embraced them, and rocked them in the sky until her mother passed. Azurah looks after them now and ensures their fires are kept lit, while the spirit Alkosh ensures their movement with the tapestry of time, ensuring that they are not locked in place to prevent the undesirable from slipping through the Lunar Lattice. The Twin Lantern's love for the Khajiiti people is expressed through Moonlight and Moon Sugar.
After Azurah cleansed Lorkhaj of Namiira's corruption, Azurah embraced her brother until he died. She made a funeral pyre before the Varliance gate, and lit it with the Twin Lanterns of Jone and Jode. Her tears fell upon the pyre and the ashes scattered across the Lattice. As a result, it is said Azurah can call upon the "true spirit" of Lorkhaj to appear. Sometime before the "first memory" of the Khajiiti people, Azurah used the Twin Lanterns to summon Lorkhaj's true spirit to be a sky-guardian as the third moon.
In modern Khajiit culture, walking the Path of Jode is a necessary step for a Lunar Champion seeking to become the Mane. Under the influence of moon sugar vapors, the Moon Hallowed guides the Lunar Champion through an aspect of Masser known as the Demi-Plane of Jode, which shapes itself to show visions of the future to those who walk along the path.
The Lunar Lorkhan suggests that Masser originated as one of the halves of Lorkhan's "flesh-divinity", cast within the bounds of Nirn at the time of his destruction, and thus, is a personification of the dichotomy that Lorkhan legends often rail against: ideas of good versus evil, being versus nothingness, and so on. It is believed that Masser was thus purposefully set in the night sky as Lorkhan's constant reminder to his mortal issue of their duty. The War of Manifest Metaphors contradicts this claim. Additionally, both modern and ancient Khajiiti religion places the two moons as separate entities that existed prior to Lorkhan's punishment at Convention, and only believe that the third moon, the Dark Moon, is Lorkhaj's corpse.
The story of Rajhin and the Stone Maiden tells of the Trickster God preventing a young maiden from commiting suicide. Concerned, Rajhin asked her what would drive her to do such a thing, and she explained that her greedy step-father demanded an insane bride-price, and caused the village he ran to seethe with corruption. Seeking to teach the step-father a lesson, Rajhin aided the maiden in a plan that would allow her to be with her beloved. And so the couple met with the step-father to arrange a deal, and offered something greater than the bride-price. It was a great land that can be seen from their village that has no ruler. One that "shines like a pearl in the darkness", can be claimed, but cannot be reached without their agent. The greedy step-father agreed to the terms, which then prompted Rajhin to manifest behind him. As per their agreement, Rajhin quickly siezed him and took him to the moon of Jode, far from where he could interfere with the couple's relationship. The villagers were initially shocked, but celebrated that their home was freed of the tyrant, and held a wedding ceremony for the couple. During the night, Rajhin manifested once more, for he traveled too fast which caused the step-father to be separated from his shadow, which threatened the newly-weds. Because they could not see it, from their perspective it appeared like Rajhin was reaching for air, and upon the Thief God's explanation, they were relieved and their laughter echoed across the riverbank.
A Bretic story tells of two star crossed lovers, Shandar and Mara, children from different villages at war with one another. After seeking to run away from home, they were caught by the guards, and Shandar was imprisoned, while Mara was put in house arrest. Her father arranged a marriage to prevent the pair from getting married, which was further escalated by Shandar being scheduled for execution for daring to love Mara. Learning of this, Mara escaped into the wilds in the dark of night, at a time period where the moons didn't exist, and was kidnapped by an Orc during her sleep which planned to devour her.
The village learned of Mara fleeing from her home, yet they were too frightened to seek her out and confront the Orc. Shandar begged and was given the chance to go, but the village after gaining their composure realized that it was a mistake to send a child to confront a monster. They came across a clearing, seeing the corpse of the Orc and a mourning Mara holding the severed head of Shandar. With Mara's tears flowing down at his head, Shandar prayed to his lovers' namesake, and the goddess Mara responded. She did not have dominion over the death, and thus could not resurrect Shandar, but sought to keep their love alive. The goddess Mara reached down from the heavens and placed the lovers in the sky. They are now known as the moons Mara's Tear (Masser) and Shandar's Sorrow (Secunda), illuminating the night to keep away the evils that lurk. This story complements the themes of the pre-ri'Datta Khajiit, with the moons fitting the sphere of the children's namesake, with Mara's Tear being a lantern of love, and Shandar's Sorrow being the lantern of mercy.
- Words of Clan Mother Ahnissi — Clan Mother Ahnissi
- The Tale of Three Moons
- Vastarie's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- The Sky Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- The Favored Daughter of Fadomai — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- Moon-Bishop Azin-jo's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- The Favored Daughter of Fadomai — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- Events of ESO
- The Lunar Lorkhan — Fal Droon
- Den of Lorkhaj loading screen in ESO
- Moon Bishop Hunal Answers Your Questions — Moon Bishop Hunal
- The Moon Cats and their Dance — Clan Mother Ahnissi
- Shazah's dialogue in ESO
- Rajhin and the Stone Maiden
- Crimson Torchbug pet description in ESO
- Mara's Tear — Zhen
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.