- Arkay says: Honor the earth, its creatures, and the spirits, living and dead. Guard and tend the bounties of the mortal world, and do not profane the spirits of the dead. — Ten Commands: Nine Divines
Arkay (or Ark'ay), known as the Lord of the Wheel of Life,, God of the Cycle of Birth and Death,, Light of Lights, and the Bringer of Light is a member of the Divines, and also a popular god in other cultures. Arkay is often more important in those cultures where his father, Akatosh, is either less related to time or where his time aspects are difficult to comprehend by the layman. He is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is generally associated with cyclical occasions, such as the seasons and life/death. His priests are staunch opponents of necromancy and all forms of the undead, and are empowered to bestow Arkay's blessings which prevent the forceful misuse of a mortal soul. Thus, any body properly buried by a priest observing the proper rituals is protected by Arkay's Law from being raised as undead. Therefore, necromancers view Arkay as their ultimate enemy, and make covert efforts to undermine his worship throughout Tamriel. Because of this association with, and protection of, mortality, he is sometimes called the Mortals' God.
Followers of Arkay are known as Arkayns.
One legend of Arkay's origins told by the Bretons is written in the book Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death. It states that Arkay was once a mortal shopkeeper with a passion for knowledge. He found a book written in a strange language and spent years upon years attempting to decipher it, slowly ignoring everything and everyone else around him. Eventually Arkay realized the book explained life and death itself, but by this time was at death's door with an incurable plague. Praying to Mara as a last resort, Arkay asked for more time to interpret the book. Mara gave him a choice: die now or become a god for eternity, charged with keeping the balance of death and life in the universe.
Small stone talismans resembling eyes shut in eternal rest, known as closed eyes of Arkay are often given to mourning families.
Shrines to Arkay can be found in Halls of the Dead across Skyrim, it is his shrine Nords pray to when they visit the Hall. That his divinity will watch over their ancestors on the way to the next life.
Nordic priests of Arkay perform rites for the dead and sometimes console the bereaved, they also keep a constant vigil against those who practice the vile arts of necromancy.
After imperialization and the loss of independence, some Reachmen embraced the worship of the Eight Divines, including Arkay, believing that certain aspects of their traditional practices were best left in the past.
In Hammerfell, where worship of Arkay is strongest, the dead are almost always subject to Arkay's Law. There are exceptions after large battles or in remote areas where death occurs far from priests. Redguard followers of Arkay see him as the shepherd of the soul, who watches through lives and deaths, and guides one between them in the heavenly interim.
Some sources connect Arkay with Tu'whacca through the early Nedic precursor To-Arcka. Indeed, symbolism strikingly similar to Arkay's wreath appears on many ancient Yokudan tombs. Tu'whacca's cult is sometimes associated with Arkay in the more cosmopolitan regions of Hammerfell, and he is often worshiped in that name by Forebears.
Lady Garick's Sacred ShieldEdit
Lady Joslin Garick was a premier Breton captain for the All Flags Navy. Aside from her exploits, she was known for what she referred to as her "Sacred Shield". She claimed her eponymous ward was blessed by a saint of Arkay, though long after her passing, legends would paint it as Arkay himself that endowed his power into it. The shield was said to preserve the wielder's life, in that no injury would befall them. The legends seemed to have some merit, for her crew would always return safely. However, the one instance she left her shield behind for safe keeping was her last voyage, as she and her crew met their demise during the All Flags Navy's assault on Thras.
The Sword of the Crusader was created by Arkay. Those it strikes are burnt by holy flames, and their magicka reserves depleted. It was discovered by Sir Berich Vlindrel of the original Knights, who brought it to the War of the Red Diamond. When he died, it was buried with him in his family tomb in Underpall Cave; in undeath, Lord Vlindrel dragged the sword down into evil, cursing it so that a righteous wielder would have stunted magicka. His wraith, infamous for haunting the Orange Road, wielded the weapon. It was recovered by the pilgrim who, after freeing Lord Vlindrel's soul, reconsecrated it on the altar in the Great Chapel of Arkay in Cheydinhal.
Saints of ArkayEdit
Saint Ellenica was a Breton priestess of Arkay. Her prayer book is a holy relic, and contains passages that can be read to put the dead to rest. She was buried in Flyleaf Catacombs with her prayer book, which was retrieved in 2E 582.
Saint Errandil was a High Elf saint affiliated with Arkay. He was the Great Chapel of Arkay's chief crusader against the practice of necromancy in the Mages Guild and the Imperial Battle College, he was killed by Umaril the Unfeathered's Aurorans in 3E 433.
Saint Octavien was a Breton priest of Arkay who was slain with a scythe by Daedra worshippers. The broken scythe blade that killed Octavien is a holy relic of Arkay. It was buried in a tomb near Lorkrata Hills until it was retrieved by a Knight of Arkay in 2E 582.
The planet Arkay, sometimes called RKHET, is one of the Dominion Planets in the skies of Mundus, and according to the Warrior-Poet, Vivec, it is one of the eight worlds known to the Dwemer. No other planet orbits Arkay. Arkay marks the eye of the Thief constellation. The planet is simultaneously Arkay and the plane of Arkay, just like the other planets and their eponymous patrons. Though scholars largely agree no mortal beings live on Arkay or Akatosh, Azandar al-Cybiades theorized that the power Ayleid Wells reroute back towards the heavens was being collected by someone.
- The Illusion of Death suggests that the cycle of life and death is also called the "Arkayn Cycle".
- Arkay's lash, a cactus with a bright pink flower that has great medicinal properties, is named after Arkay.
- Arkay was named after one of the original Daggerfall beta testers, R. K. Deutsch, who died in 1998.
- The word for "relating to Arkay" is "Arkayn".
- Arkay the Enemy by KW — Instructions for the faithful to foil Arkay
- Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death by Mymophonus the scribe — How Ark'ay was transformed from a shopkeeper into the God of Birth and Death
- Tu'whacca, Arkay, Xarxes by Lady Cinnabar of Taneth — A discussion on the similarity of gods
- The Consecrations of Arkay by Punctilius Tyrus — The beliefs and practices of the Order of Arkay
- The Consecrations of Arkay — Punctilius Tyrus
- The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
- Priest of Arkay's dialogue in Oblivion
- Opusculus Lamae Bal ta Mezzamortie — Mabei Aywenil, Scribe
- Corpse Preparation v I
- Arkay the Enemy — KW
- Nidal's dialogue in Redguard
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Valenwood — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Varieties of Faith: The Wood Elves — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death — Mymophonus the scribe
- Varieties of Faith... — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- The Closed Eye of Arkay item description in ESO: High Isle
- The Monomyth
- Brother Verulus' dialogue in Skyrim
- Andurs' dialogue in Skyrim
- Belchimac's dialogue in Skyrim
- Cedran's dialogue in Skyrim
- Degaine's dialogue in Skyrim
- Tu'whacca, Arkay, Xarxes — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- The Redguard Companion
- The Sword of the Crusader quest in Knights of the Nine
- Alvaren Garoutte's dialogue in ESO
- Saint Ellenica's Prayer Book quest item description in ESO
- Matthiaume's Journal —Matthiaume
- Guide to Cheydinhal — Alessia Ottus
- Errandil in Oblivion
- Edweg's Resignation Note —Edweg
- Edweg's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- Saint Marben's Fingerbone quest item description in ESO
- Talisman of Saint Octavien item description in ESO
- Cesabelle's dialogue during Archaic Relics in ESO
- Iokkas's dialogue in ESO
- The Illusion of Death
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.