Lore:Temples of the Dragon Cult
In the distant reaches of Skyrim, beyond the remote farming communities and hunter shacks, you may stumble over a broken stone, half buried and covered in moss and ivy. Look closer, in case these are effigies to animal gods, worshiped by Ysgramor's primitives. The deification of the bear, dragon, fox, moth, owl, snake, whale, and wolf have all been recorded by our field agents, and many believe these totems stand as sentinels over lost ruins. These tumbledown temples, guarded by half-woken draugr and worse, are from a time when the Dragon Cult supposedly ruled this province.
While no modern Tamrielan need believe these hopelessly fanciful fables, the Nords' simple-minded veneration for these places betokens their fear of the return of the Dragon Priests. During the worship of Akatosh (the dragon) as god-kings over men, these priests were the conduit through which dragons spoke, made laws, and were honored with grand and elaborate temples. When Alduin, Akatosh's firstborn, was defeated atop the Throat of the World during the mythical Dragon War, the cult that sprang up around these dragon guardians soon receded into the soil, buried among dragon mounds with the remains of these beasts. They were finally vanquished in the Rift mountains by High King Harald in 1E 140. The veneration of animal gods was soon replaced by the Eight Divines.