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TESWheel
Think now on the wheel. To all things it appertains.
~ The Truth in Sequence

Introduction

Hello everyone. Hope you're doing well.

Over six months ago I set myself the endeavor of learning the Lore and Cosmology of The Elder Scrolls universe for the purposes of revising its profiles on the Wiki, which were on a truly awful state. On the very same day, I published this blog in its original state, a poorly organized collection of posts copypasted from various blogs and threads on Narutoforums.

Back then, I was vaguely aware of some of the series' high-leveled concepts and its weirder cosmology, but only on a superficial. I thought that the Elder Scrolls was simply a Mythic High Fantasy setting, and believed that understanding its universe would be a relatively simple task.

Boy, my past naivety was astounding. I couldn't have been further from the truth.

Instead, what I discovered as I began to slowly dive deeper and deeper into the Lore was a strange and bizarre universe unlike any other, with an incredibly intricate and complicated cosmology, and a complex, fascinating underlying metaphysics that often boggles the mind. The Elder Scrolls consumed my months, and now here I am again.

I was prepared to read about fantasy pantheons and magical dimensions. I ended up reading about higher-dimensions, quantum mechanics and Alesteir Crowley mysticism. I say without irony that TES is the most complex fictional setting I have ever seen.

But let's not get ahead of themselves... I am saving the truly difficult and metaphysical subjects for another blog entirely, as to make my life manageable and to give you all time to breathe. We'll cross that bridge when we'll get there. For now, we shall focus on the "basic" Cosmology of the series.

Oh, and one more thing, I dedicate huge thanks towards Ultima Reality, for his considerable (incalculable) efforts in helping with this Blog, and with my wider research on The Elder Scrolls as a whole. I wouldn't have gotten halfway where I am without him. I cannot express enough gratitude.

With that said, let's get to it!

The Nature of the Gods

Before delving into the Cosmology of the series itself, it is important to establish a solid ground explaining the nature of Divine Beings in The Elder Scrolls.

Firstly, Gods are consistently described as existing outside of Time and duration. This is a basic characteristic mentioned several times throughout the series, most notably in Morrowind, by Vivec, who even in an incredibly weakened state still describes himself as being transcendent over all of Time, and gives you a detailed explanation about the nature of Gods

the Dwemer:
"I have no idea what happened to the Dwemer. I have no sense of them in the timeless divine world outside of mortal time. And, in fact, if I did believe they existed, I would be in no hurry to make contact with them. They may, with some justice, hold the Dunmer race responsible for their fate. My intuition is that they are gone forever -- and that is perfectly fine with me."
to be a god:
"It is like being a juggler. Things are always moving, and you learn to know where they are without even thinking about it. Only there are many, many things moving. And sometimes, like any juggler, you drop something. I'm afraid it has become a lot more a matter of dropping things lately. There's too much to do, and not enough time, and I'm losing my touch. Perhaps I'm growing old."
"It is a bit like being at once awake and asleep. Awake, I am here with you, thinking and talking. Asleep, I am very, very busy. Perhaps for other gods, the completely immortal ones, it is only like that being asleep. Out of time. Me, I exist at once inside of time and outside of it."
"It's nice never being dead, too. When I die in the world of time, then I'm completely asleep. I'm very much aware that all I have to do is choose to wake. And I'm alive again. Many times I have very deliberately tried to wait patiently, a very long, long time before choosing to wake up. And no matter how long it feels like I wait, it always appears, when I wake up, that no time has passed at all. That is the god place. The place out of time, where everything is always happening, all at once."

In fact, Vivec takes you to outside of Time during his conversation with you.

business:
"Not very sensible. But very good. I was hoping for someone who would have no hesitations about making such an oath. You will now have a brief, momentary sensation of time passing. Don't be alarmed. You are being taken out of time in order to avoid the unpleasant experience of learning how to use Wraithguard. It will be over before..."
[There is a brief sensation of motion in total darkness, floating, but without a sense of weight or direction.]

Even Lower Daedra are also Higher-Dimensional Beings by nature, and exist outside of Time as Eternal beings, as Azura is described as a creature of the “Ever Now” unbound by the Dragon’s Cage (the flow of Time)

You think that, because you perceive a superficial resemblance between the outward appearance of the Nightmare Courser and the Hell Hound, that they must share a 'relationship.' Ever the mortal mind defends itself against the reality of what it cannot comprehend by the pathetic imposition of familiar patterns on entities of inconvenient hyperagonal morphology. Bah. Reflect on the fact that you have failed to understand a single word of my explanation, and burden me with no more such questions”
- Lyranth the Foolkiller
Nigedo: "Lattice-bound creature of the Ever Now, experience for yourself the inexorable progress of the Wheel, know the drumming torment of Time giving way to Time and share in the despair of souls trapped within the Dragon's Boned Cage."
- The Trial of Vivec

Now that this has already been covered, another important characteristic of Gods and Divine Beings in The Elder Scrolls is the fact that their Planes, the infinite-sized realms they govern, are completely indistinguishable from themselves. They are extensions of their Minds and Natures that are subjected to their full control.

https://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-gb/news/post/25505

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “To answer your questions, Spellwright, I shall go from the specific to the general! In common with the greater Princes, my realm of Maelstrom and myself are indistinguishable—my pocket reality is a projection of my mind, nature, and will. Indeed, reality as personal manifestation is the norm in all the highly-organized realms I have visited. Exceptional realms deviate from this norm in several ways. There are physical realms, such as Infernace, home of the flame atronachs, that exist as collective extensions of their numerous, less-powerful inhabitants. In my experience, such 'collective realms' tend to be rather mundane and uninteresting, lacking the distinctive qualities of the more personal Oblivion planes. There are regions of incomplete and half-finished demi-planes, the so-called 'inchoate realms,' that were for some reason abandoned by their projectors—dangerous places for even powerful Daedra to visit, as it's easy to become discorporated in a Roamver ambush, or by getting caught up in a realm-rip. Then there are what we call the 'sundered realms,' pocket realities that were shattered by interplanar war or Princely expungement. To answer your final question, I know of no organized Oblivion realms created or maintained by other than individual or collective will. But I haven't seen everything in Oblivion. Who could?
Haskill: "You also have the ability to affect the weather in your Realm. As it is an extension of yourself, it will often have an effect on you, as well. You also have the benefit of Sheogorath's Protection. Cast this upon yourself, and if your life is threatened, you will be returned to your castle. Many of these abilities, Lord, are rooted in the magicks of the Isles. Should you choose to leave this Realm, they will not likely function."
- Shivering Isles
"Now when the Daedra Lords heard Shezarr, they mocked him, and the other Aedra. 'Cut parts of ourselves off? And lose them? Forever? That's stupid! You'll be sorry! We are far smarter than you, for we will create a new world out of ourselves, but we will not cut it off, or let it mock us, but we will make this world within ourselves, forever ours, and under our complete control.”
"So the Daedra Lords created the Daedric Realms, and all the ranks of Lesser Daedra, great and small. And, for the most part, the Daedra Lords were well pleased with this arrangement, for they always had worshippers and servants and playthings close to hand."
- Shezzar’s Song

Also, The Realms of Oblivion can be higher-dimensional should their ruling Prince wish them to be (The quotes below also have Fa-Nuit-Hen elaborate on how Daedra are Eternal and Immutable entities who only appear to be linear beings bound by Cause and Consequence because they wish to appear as so)

Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Again I interrupt! The mighty Fa-Nuit-Hen, a servant of Hermaeus Mora? By no means! I am a scion of Boethiah, a sovereign demiprince, and I serve no will but my own! As for time, cause, and consequence, let's just say that the laws of the Dragon God do not apply to Oblivion. Oh, it's useful to adopt the trappings of duration when dealing with mortals, so you'll find Maelstrom quite familiar in that regard. We know how lost you feel away from the hand of Akatosh! Maelstrom is far easier to comprehend than Apocrypha—and much more generous in that we award victorious competitors with fabulous prizes!"

https://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-gb/news/post/25505

“Lord Fa-Nuit-Hen says, “Ah! The 'Weir Gate' leads, or will lead, to the Slipstream Realm where you mortals have or will establish your Battlespire Academy. Regarding the 'Slipstream' designation: mortals, of course, can only perceive Oblivion and the astronomical regions of the Mundus in terms of their own frames of reference. They 'see' only what they can comprehend, and often that isn't much. Furthermore, what they do comprehend often seems to drive them insane, though the rate of mental deterioration varies with individuals. Twice upon a time, the Imperial Mananauts regularly ventured beyond Nirn, and in doing so learned that the mortal mind is best acclimated to other realities by gentle degrees.
This is one of the reasons why Maelstrom seems to resemble aspects of your world—I wished it to be mortal-friendly, or at least friendly enough for mortals to experience my arenas without distorting their mentalities! Anyway, the Mananauts will learn that it's best to train for Oblivion in a transition zone, a place where differing truths can co-exist without conceptual abrasion. At certain points, transliminal forces balance in standing waves, and these regions are designated 'Slipstream Realms.' We haven't actually been to Battlespire yet, have we, my Tutor? Would you please remember forward for me to tell the Quidnunc about this 'Weir Gate'?"

Daedric Princes can also rule over more than one Plane of Oblivion. An example of this is Sanguine, who rules over 100,000 Daedric Realms.

"Sanguine, Prince of Hedonism, lords over no less than ten times ten thousand pleasure pockets of the Void. As revelry and drunken stupor fall under this Prince’s influence, he has been a favorite of many Emperors since the first foundation. Records even indicate that he resided in White-Gold Tower during the reign of Reman Cyrodiil and helped in the somewhat dubious draftsmanship of the Crendali Festivals, whose vulgarities did little to help Imperial expansion into Alinor and the other Summersets."
- Imperial Census of the Daedra Lords

Now moving on to the Cosmology proper…

The Basic Cosmology

https://www.imperial-library.info/content/cosmology

What are planets?
The planets are the gods and the planes of the gods, which is the same thing. That they appear as spherical heavenly bodies is a visual phenomena caused by mortal mental stress. Since each plane(t) is an infinite mass of infinite size, as yet surrounded by the Void of Oblivion, the mortal eye registers them as bubbles within a space. Planets are magical and impossible. The eight planets correspond to the Eight Divines. They are all present on the Dwarven Orrery, along with the mortal planet, Nirn.
What is Nirn?
Nirn (Ehlnofex for 'Arena') is a finite ball of matter and magic made from all of the god planets at the beginning of time, when Lorkhan tricked/convinced/forced the gods to create the mortal plane. Nirn is the mortal plane and the mortal planet, which is the same thing. Its creation upset the cosmic balance; now all souls (especially the Aedra-Daedra/Gods-Demons) have a vested interest in Nirn (especially its starry heart, Tamriel).
What are moons?
Small planets, insofar as one infinite mass of infinite size can be smaller than another. Planets do have orbits, or at least lunar orbits are perceived to happen by mortals. Moons are regarded by various cultures as attendant spirits of their god planet, or minor gods, or foreign gods. The moons of Nirn are Masser and Secunda. Moons are not represented in the Dwarven Orrery.
What are Masser and Secunda?
Masser and Secunda ("Jone" and "Jode" in the Ehlnofex), the moons of Nirn, are the attendant spirits of the mortal plane. They are like the mortal plane in that they are temporal and subject to the bounds of mortality; in fact of this, the moons are dead and died long ago. The moons used to be pure white and featureless, but today their 'skin' is decaying and withering away. Their planes are likewise dying. Mortals perceive this as the moons being spheres with patches of their "surfaces" completely eaten away; as the moons spin, they seem to become slivers or ragged crescents. These are not caused by shadows, because you can see stars through the black patches of the lunar spheres.
What is space?
Space is the interpretation of Oblivion, which is black and empty and surrounds the mortal plane. Space is infinite, but it acts just like a planet, in that Oblivion is 'surrounded' by Aetherius. You can see Aetherius by the stars.
What are stars?
The stars are the bridges to Aetherius, the magic plane. They are perceived as holes on the inside surface of space. Because they are on the inside of a sphere, all stars are equidistant from Nirn. Larger stars, therefore, are not closer to the mortal plane, they are just larger tears in Oblivion. The largest tear in Oblivion is Magnus, the sun.
What are shooting stars, then?
A misnomer. Shooting stars are bits of matter and magic, either from Oblivion or Aetherius, that sometimes move through the cosmos. The largest shooting stars are really planets with independent orbits, like Baan Dar the Rogue Plane.
What are constellations?
Constellations are collections of stars. Since each star is a bridge to magic, constellations are very powerful phenomena, and are revered. There are generally accepted to be thirteen constellations. Nine of these are made up completely of stars. Three others are called guardian constellations, as they are each governed by a Dominion Planet. The Dominion Planets are Akatosh (eye of the Warrior), Julianos (eye of the Sage), and Arkay (eye of the Thief). The last constellation is made up of unstars, and is called the Snake.
What is the sun?
Magnus is the sun, the largest hole in Oblivion, and the gateway to magic. Magnus was present at the creation of the mortal plane, and, in fact, was its architect (Lorkhan was its advocate and inspiration). Prehistoric (before ME2500, startyear) Nirn was a magical place, and highly unstable to the first mortals. Magnus then left, some say in disgust, and Oblivion filled in the void with the Void. His escape was not easy, and tatters of Magnus remain in the firmament as stars.
What is the sky?
The sky is another visual phenomenon caused by mortal mental stress, the night sky in particular. The sky is as impossible as planets; in essence, when you look into the sky, "you look outside the material plane". At night, Nirn is surrounded by Oblivion. The day sky is the multicolored elemental cloak of Magnus the sun. It changes colors as elemental influences rise and fall. Thus, when one looks at the day sky, they see into the raiments of Aetherius, and stare at magic.
How was the universe created?
Those phenomena of the spirit realm that inhabitants of Nirn interpret as a universe came into being during the Dawn Era. It was created through magic and myth, and this process is interpreted in a variety of ways too numerous to mention here. These myths can be accessed elsewhere.

Everyone should have seen this already. An Out-of-Game Text attributed to the In-Universe Organization Temple Zero Society. Basically the official description of the Series' superficial Cosmology which explains the basic of the basic about it. If you want a visual depiction of the superficial cosmology, you can watch this video:

The Elder Scrolls' Cosmology

The Elder Scrolls' Cosmology

In the following sections we will dissect and explain it in more detail, starting with the Mortal Plane: Nirn.

Nirn

Before we start talking about Nirn, it is extremely important to note that in its Original State, in the Dawn Era, it was a formless and ever-changing place in which Time itself unfolded unlinearly and no event preceded or succeeded the other. During that “Time”, everything was Infinite and Eternal, and there was no difference between Mortal and Divine, with deeds and entities existing as manifest metaphors – It only became linear and narratively possible to record after some of the Gods sacrificed themselves and became the Earthbones, existing as eternal Laws of Nature that would stabilize Nirn and Mundus as a whole, through the power of Ada-Mantia, the Original Tower

In fact, the non-linear and ever-changing nature of the Dawn Era is said to be the very reason there are so many variations of the same Creation Myth across Tamriel. The “Dragon”, Time, was eternally broken and destabilized, and every single possibility and answer was real. Essentially, if Linear Time is a river undergoing a linear path which sometimes diverges and converges, the Dawn Era was like a pool, where every moment was unseparated and united

So basically, you can consider every Creation Myth as being valid, as they are echoes and reflections that show different aspects of the same history

Aldmeris split during the Dawn, but as in all things then, these fractures enjoyed quasi-temporal amendments. Sometimes the Island of Start was with us, othertimes not or not of a whole, close as it was to spirit actual.
The Jills did not have their full powers; rather, I should say, all the mundex spirits had every power at every time amendment at every ordering, which is to say none of them could ever fully express; our world was young and so were its architect gods.
The next is known to all of us in ways, and the impossibility of the Dawn lends all of these memories credence. I speak of the Ur-Tower, Adamantine, anon Direnni, and of its creation and purpose.
-Nu-Mantia Intercept

Now, moving on to Nirn itself:

Though commonly called a Planet, and a finite ball of matter, this is a misnomer that in no way expresses the nature of Nirn. It is a Plane of Reality, like all other Plane(t)s of Mundus, as previously mentioned in the basic Cosmology Text. The fact that Mundus is explicitly called a Multiverse gives more credence to this.

Unbeknownst to all but a few, Nirn has come unmoored from the fabric of the multiverse, as the mortal realm is drawn ever closer to Coldharbour, the twisted Oblivion realm of the Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement, Molag Bal.
- Elder Scrolls Online

In fact, The Oceans of Nirn are said to be Higher-Dimensional and incomprehensible for those who perceive and view reality in Three Dimensions by Augur of the Obscure, a projection of a Higher Being who perceives all of Time simultaneously and describes himself as a Higher-Dimensional entity, perceiving reality in more than Three Dimensions.

Augur Of The Obscure: A breach near the sea! I do love the ocean. It's a shame you can only see in three dimensions. All the quasi-tones and inverse number-forms .... Actually, I take it back?your meat-brain would explode if you saw this.
- Summerset Online

This actually fits perfectly with the notion of Water being made of the memories of everything in Nirn and with the Text Exegesis of Merid-Nunda, which associates the Light of the Sun, that is filtered and manipulated by Meridia's Realm and in turn projected in the Ocean, with the "Dragon", a synonym with Time.

"...thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him...."
- Exegesis of Merid-Nunda

With that in mind, it is not hard to decipher that the Ocean is Time itself on the Plane of Nirn, as memories are essentially a being's perception of the Flow of Time, which in turn can be associated with a River, a current of Water that crosses a linear path, as you saw earlier in this section.

This is even further supported by the very fact that Nirn had no Oceans during the Dawn Era, which, as explained above, was a period where Time was unstabilized and took a non-linear path, and was, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent, before the Ehlnofey Y'ffre "interpreted" the concept of Time created in the Aurbis by Auri-El and established it within a linear narrative with unfolding possibilities.

What stories can you tell me about the skies?
The sky mirrors the sea, and the sea also reflects its mirror. Day, night, and the places between are the realm of the sky, as Y'ffre interpreted the time-law Anui-el established within Nirn. Thus, the sky bridges time and nature, and measures both.
What does that mean?
Within each half of the sphere of reflection lies half of the potentialities of Nirn's way in any given moment. Each instant is a sea-state or a sky-state. Each individual sees one or its other as weal or woe, and each moment can be turned on its side.
What does turning a moment on its side achieve?
Each moment so turned becomes an island in your path. For example, the Dwemer, united, had their way in Dwemeris. But one clan - Rourken, the wayward clan - struck anchor and sailed across the sky. Why do this? Mired in a sea, they sought the sky.
- Dialogue with Spinner Girnalin in Elder Scrolls Online.

This is further reinforced by the Fable of the Ooze, which states that before Y'ffre stabilized the world, the land was formless and shapeless:

Once, there was nothing but formlessness. The land held no shape, the trees did not harden into timber and bark, and the Elves themselves shifted from form to form. This formlessness was called the Ooze.
But Y'ffre took the Ooze and ordered it. First, she told of the Green, the forest and all the plant life in it. She gave the Green the power to shape itself as it willed, for it was her first tale.
- The Ooze: A Fable

Now, why all of this is consistent with the Lore you ask? Because it supports the fact that the Continents of Nirn are different points in Time, and that by sailing through the Padomaic Ocean, you are actually travelling through Time itself to reach a different point of the Timeline

Tamriel is the present. It is literally the center of time.
Akavir is the East and it is in the future.
Yokuda is to the West and is in the past.
Traveling from west to east means more than taking time to sail, it means sailing across time.
Atmora to the North is frozen in time. As such, it didn't really exist at all.
Aldmeris to the South is outside of time. As such, it didn't really exist at all.
The moons? Now they're really weird when it comes to time.
It's linear. It follows a line.
The Line, if you get me.
- Michael Kirkbride

Reference to Yokuda being in the past and to the fact you travel through Time when sailing in the Ocean, using previously mentioned Line of the moons as a guide:

At twilight on the 12th day out of Jabbur, Coyle, long-learned in the navigations, took sighting of the non-constellation of Sep and abruptly Cyrus changed course to the north. The old hands explained to the new that they had crossed the Line that day and it was now safe to bear up for Old Yokuda.
- Lord Vivec's Sword-Meeting With Cyrus the Restless

Michael Kirkbride also references this a second time, saying that to the dwellers of Akavir, all the events of The Elder Scrolls Online already happened, and as such the Planesmeld initiated by Molag Bal is old news to them.

The attack on Tamriel's past is just that to Akavir: in the past.
Even at the time of ESO, Akaviri scribes have already written down how it all played out.
-Michael Kirkbride

There are also even more references to Nirn possessing more than Three Dimensions, again by Augur of the Obscure:

Augur of the Obscure: "There's a breach here, mate. I'm seeing a bridge … or maybe a flat sideways tower people can walk on? I guess they're kind of the same thing. Only having three dimensions does make things simpler."

And to the True Extension of Nirn being unseen by the vision of Mortals. Matter of fact, Summerset Online establishes that Nirn is completely animistic in nature, as Augur mentions that everything has a Soul and a Mind, even things such as Mountains and rocks and snow-men

Augur of the Obscure: "Definitely a breach nearby. And ooh, it's a rowdy one! This place is tense, eh? Might have something to do with the mountains strangling each other. Who's to say?"
Augur of the Obscure: "Snow! Can we make a snow-thing? Snow-person? Whatever? You know, if you make it right, it develops a sad little soul! 'Course it melts later. Bit of a shame, that. But we can name it and everything!"
Augur of the Obscure: "More ruins. Hmm. You know, every stone tells a story. I mean that literally, by the way. That wall over there won't shut up about how much it hates rain. Let's find this breach and get out of here, eh?"
Vestige: Those are just titles, though. Do you have a real name?
Augur of the Obscure: Of course I do. Everything has a name. Names give a thing its shape. Birds, snowflakes, tea kettles ... you get the idea. I'd tell you mine, but you'd need about six more tongues and a pair of cymbals to pronounce it correctly, so let's not bother."

So, to sum into up: Nirn itself is a Plane of Reality, a Timeline if you will.

However, the Multiverse of Mundus also contains a multitude of Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities that exist alongside Nirn, sometimes referred to as “Adjacent Places”. Lyg is one such place:

Do not go to the realm of apology for absolution. Beyond articulation, there is no fault. The Adjacent Place, where the Grabbers live, is the illusion of the vocal or the middle realms of thought, by which I mean the constructed.
- The 36 Lessons of Vivec
Ha-Note moved sideways into the Adjacent Place, growing and unbeknownst. Above the vocal, it trembled with new emotions, immortal ones, absorbing more than the thirty known to exist in the middle world. When Ha-Note became gravely homesick, the Grabbers took it.
- The 36 Lessons of Vivec
Lyg is a backwards coffee stain of Tamriel, I already told you that. One time Nirn got folded up, folded space-style ala Dune Spice Navigators. Lyg is the result.
- Michael Kirkbride
Lyg: it's one of the Adjacent Places. It's still there. I wouldn't call it a different kalpa so much as a parallel version of Tamriel.
- Michael Kirkbride
Vestige: Why are you stuck in a crystal skull?
Augur of the Obscure: I'm not in the skull. I am the skull—at least here on Nirn. Over in the Adjacent Place, I'm shaped like a throw-pillow. Imagine that! You look confused. It's just a trick of the light, mate. The skull's what you might call a manifestation.

Shadows in The Elder Scrolls are not merely the absence of Light, but reflections and recordings of Alternate Worlds, and of individual existences and possibilities throughout Past and Future, created by different forces in conflict. It is also worthy to note how the texts reference all possible worlds being real, and how powerful Shadow Masters can merge themselves with all of their alternate versions simultaneously, though at great risk.

First Scroll of Shadow
"... chosen to explore this relation of world to shadow, Azra was the first to realize that shadows were not a mere absence of light but a reflection of possible worlds created by forces in conflict. A light strikes a rock, and the shadow is a record of their clash, past, present and future.
Other conflicting forces produced less obvious shadows, fire and water, wind and rock, or nations at war.
"With skill and patience, the shadows of all could be read, and patterns teased out, emphasized or eradicated.
Manipulating a shadow could, through contagion, manipulate the object or force which cast it."
Second Scroll of Shadow
"... Azra attempted what had never been done before, manipulating his own shadow to such an extent that he instantiated and melded all possible Azras at the same time, crossing over from this singular existence to all the existences in shadow.
Ignorant Redguard soldiers, fearing the power of Azra should he succeed, trapped and confronted Azra.
The battle did not go well for the wizard.
The hole blasted when he lost control of his magics can still be seen at the village that bears his name, Azra's Crossing.
The science of shadow lost a great man that day, although others, such as Pergan Asuul, strive to take his place."

Dragonbreaks are what is created when linear time is split into many smaller fragments of events happening simultaneously, before being overlapped and merged together again. This happened so the player could canonically get multiple endings to the game. It also makes the work of Tamriel historians a nightmare.

Do you mean, where were the Khajiit when the Dragon Broke? R'leyt tells you where: recording it. 'One thousand eight years,' you've heard it. You think the Cyro-Nordics came up with that all on their own. You humans are better thieves than even Rajhin! While you were fighting wars with phantoms and giving birth to your own fathers, it was the Mane that watched the ja-Kha'jay, because the moons were the only constant, and you didn't have the sugar to see it
- Where Were You When The Dragon Broke?

The Moons being the only constant during a Dragonbreak also helps to further reinforce the idea that Nirn is a Plane of Existence and not an ordinary Planet, as the entire Timeline is split into fragments during a Dragonbreak, and one would have to exist outside of Linear Time to be unaffected by it, as seen with the ALMSIVI not being affected by the Dragonbreak of Middle Dawn, which was described as a return of the non-linearity of the Dawn Era.

"The Three Thieves of Morrowind could tell you where they were. So could the High King of Alinor, who was the one who broke it in the first place. There are others on this earth that could, too: Ysmir, Pelinal, Arnand the Fox or should I say Arctus? The Last Dwarf would talk, if they would let him. As for myself, I was here and there and here again, like the rest of the mortals during the Dragon Break.
- Mannimarco, King of Worms

Mundus and Oblivion

Nirn and its Parallel Worlds are themselves contained in Mundus, which, as explained above, is explicitly described as a Multiverse. It is comprised by the Moons, which are the Planes of Minor Gods and higher infinities than Nirn, as well as the Planets, even bigger Infinities and the Planes of Important Gods such as Akatosh and Arkay

Mundus itself is contained by Oblivion, an Infinite Void which itself contains an infinite number of infinite-sized realms, which themselves manifest all Possibility, as Daedra are Padomaic Spirits by nature

I have a question for his awfulness Lyranth, but I think it concerns more the relationship between some kinds of lesser Daedra than the ranks topic treated here. I hope it will be worth the attenction of your lordship. We all recognize the fierce reptile daedroth, but I've also heard of another unspecified so-called “fire daemon", that appears to be physically related to the daedroth, but it seems to be more intelligent. I've once seen something similar when I came across into the dreaded “Haunter of the Cliffs". An analogous doubt arises about the nasty banekin and the “homunculi" whereof we can read in the “A Hypothetical Treachery" script. Are they the same creatures? And is there a relationship between the dire Nightmare Courser, whereof is said to be the breed of Mehrunes Dagon, and the legendary fire-spitting Hell Hound?
With your grace, I'd want to finally acknowledge what connection there's between all those creatures, that certainly share a common origin in the planes of Oblivion."
- Shanke-Naar Righthorn
Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Your problem, mortal, is exemplified by your words, 'share a common origin in the planes of Oblivion.' There is nothing 'common' about, between, or across the planes of Oblivion—’’’they are the very definition of change and variation, manifesting all possibilities, and validating all understanding and misunderstanding. You seek similarities where there are only differences, a classification of chaos’’’. You think that, because you perceive a superficial resemblance between the outward appearance of the Nightmare Courser and the Hell Hound, that they must share a 'relationship.' Ever the mortal mind defends itself against the reality of what it cannot comprehend by the pathetic imposition of familiar patterns on entities of inconvenient hyperagonal morphology. Bah. Reflect on the fact that you have failed to understand a single word of my explanation, and burden me with no more such questions."
"Ah, I see my memospore transmission was a success. You understand why I choose not to appear before a being such as yourself in the flesh. I'm no fool, as was I assume the one who earned you your title. To the questions, then.
Firstly, just how common is it for one of the Kyn to receive a field promotion, as it were? I understand your people operate off a strict military hierarchy, and that constant wars are being fought in Oblivion. This must surely mean that rapid promotions and demotions occur, presumably when a commanding officer is temporarily separated from his body through shameful defeat. Can you enlighten me on that, fearful warrior?
One other thing - your rowdy "cousins" the Xivilai. What are your opinions on them? I've heard they're physically imposing, but are difficult to train as soldiers, and only operate as mercenaries and Auxiliaries of the Princes they serve. Is there any truth to that? Also, who would win in a fight between you and a Xivilai, if you don't mind me asking? I can't resist that question, especially since I'm in a different dimension from yourself currently."
- Legate Cyclenophus of the Bretonic Imperial Restoration Society
Lyranth the Foolkiller says, “Though you are a lowly worm, I shall answer both your questions, in hopes that it will infuriate Eis Vuur Warden, so that he will seek you out 'in the flesh' to enact revenge for my blatant favoritism. (It is, after all, what I would do.) Regarding promotions and demotions: a rigid hierarchy such as we Dremora glory in defines the relationship between ranks, but does not dictate what rank an individual must fill. (Except, of course, when it does, but explaining further exceeds the scope of my willingness to answer.) In the service of a great and warlike Master, discorporation of individuals is frequent, but the hierarchy must persist! In such cases change of rank is necessary, that the web of command be maintained.
“Ah, the Xivilai. Are there any Daedra, in all the infinite worlds of Oblivion, more pompous and filled with unwarranted conceit than those impertinent and unruly louts? It is true that their combination of brute strength and low cunning makes them effective agents in certain rare situations, but for most purposes they are sadly unreliable. As you may be aware, our Master's personal guard, the Xivkyn, are the result of experiments with vestigial hybridization in the Vile Laboratory. At first blush they seem acceptable allies, but before we Dremora can fully trust them, we need to see an archaeon or two pass to give us some track record."

The Realms of Oblivion being infinite-sized is also communicated in proper english throughout the series.

Hermaeus Mora’s realm of Apocrypha is stated to be Infinite multiple times (There are other examples as well):

’’’Morian Zenas described to me an endless library, shelves stretching on in every direction, stacks on top of stacks’’’. Pages floated on a mystical wind that he could not feel. Every book had a black cover with no title. He could see no one, but felt the presence of ghosts moving through the stacks, rifling through books, ever searching.
‘’’It was Apocrypha. The home of Hermaeus-Mora, where all forbidden knowledge can be found’’’. I felt a shudder in my mind, but I could not tell if it was my master's or mine.
- The Doors of Oblivion
’’’The infinite archives of Hermaeus Mora are the ultimate treasure. Its innumerable shelves and countless books carry the weight of all knowledge’’’. Therein, the diligent reader can find all that was, all that is, and all that will be.​
Followers of the Divines, content in their dark cloisters of ignorance, preach hatred of the Golden Eye. Daedra, they call him: unclean, monstrous, wicked.
We have seen the truth. Knowledge is only as wicked as the one who wields it. Forsaking learning in fear of its misuse is the ultimate sin. It is an unforgivable folly. As a result, mortals have suffered countless centuries of loss.
In Apocrypha, the Golden Eye weeps cold tears at this plague of ignorance. ‘’’Those who walk his halls are truly blessed. Even as their flesh falls away, they are permitted to browse the infinite tomes and scrolls, privy to all mysteries that have ever and will ever exist’’’. It is the most blessed of fates.
We give you praise, Hermaeus Mora. We seek enlightenment, illumination, and a place at your side.
- Apocrypha

Various realms of Oblivion are also described as Infinite-sized in the novel The Infernal City:

”Stay together!” Sul shouted. He took a step, and again the unimaginable sensation, and now they were in utter darkness—but not silence, for all around them were chittering sounds and the staccato scurrying of hundreds of feet.
They were in an infinite palace of colored glass.
They were on an icy plane with a burning sky.
They were standing by a dark red river, and the smell of blood was nearly suffocating.
They were in the deepest forest Attrebus had ever seen.
He was braced for the next transition, but Sul was suddenly swearing.
“What?” Attrebus said. “Where are we? Is this still Oblivion?”
“Yes,” he said “We‟ve been interrupted. He must have sniffed out my spoor and laid a trap.”

Azura's Star is shown to contain an entire reality inside it, and is described as infinite. Azura's Star is merely her artifact, not her realm. This gives an idea to the true scale of the Daedric Planes:

"I have cleansed Azura's Star, the infinite Soul Gem. It is mine to do with as I see fit."
- Dovahkiin's Journal

A Dremora summoned to Nirn also explicitly describes Oblivion as an endless black void containing many infinities.

I grew dizzy as the plane spun around me, nearly fell into a pool of blue plasm, ‘’’and then suddenly felt myself hurled into an endless black void.’’’
‘’’I wasn't alarmed at first, because who hasn't been hurled into an endless black void?’’’ It wasn't until I began to materialize at my destination and got a taste of the air that I had my first misgivings. "I smell ... weakness," I said to myself—and I couldn't have been more right. It was then that I first heard the voice of my Conjurer as he said, "Ah, this one looks fairly robust," and the full horror of my situation broke upon me. For I had been summoned to do the bidding ... of a mortal.
‘’’I turned, aghast, to see who had dared summon me across the infinities to Nirn’’’, and found myself faced with a tall Elf of Summerset
- I was Summoned by a Mortal

However, though impressive, these statements can be said to be misleading, and are nowhere near the true scale of Oblivion. In fact, the Void of Oblivion itself is described as having Infinite Dimensions:

Know that there are places beyond Tamriel where the cunning and the wary can go to learn forgotten spells. I speak of the planes of Oblivion. The sea of limitless dimensions contains an endless series of islands. Some are controlled by the mighty Daedric Princes; others are loosely connected to one minor Daedra Lord or another. On these islands, creatures dwell who possess secrets out of time. Some are there of their own volition, but others are banished there for crimes either heinous or imagined.
- Rulantaril’s Notes

This statement is most certainly referring to Spatial Dimensions, as it is used to indicate a characteristic of Oblivion itself, rather than something contained by it. There is also the fact that this text calls the Planes of Oblivion “Islands”, and not Dimensions or any other term, so trying to dismiss the text as referring to Universes is out of question here.

There are also other examples of Oblivion being a Higher-Dimensional Expanse, such as the text Liminal Bridges, which states that “Hyperagonal” media is necessary to travel through Mundus and Oblivion, and to open portals between both realms that last more than an infinitesimally-small amount of time

Transliminal passage of quickened objects or entities without the persistent agency of hyperagonal media is not possible, and even if possible, would result in instantaneous retromission of the transported referents. Only a transpontine circumpenetration of the limen will result in transits of greater than infinitesimal duration.
Though other hyperagonal media may exist in theory, the only known transliminal artifact capable of sustained transpontine circumpenetration is the sigil stone. A sigil stone is a specimen of pre-Mythic quasi-crystalline morpholith that has been transformed into an extra-dimensional artifact through the arcane inscription of a daedric sigil. Though some common morpholiths like soul gems may be found in nature, the exotic morpholiths used to make sigil stones occur only in pocket voids of Oblivion, and cannot be prospected or harvested without daedric assistance.
Therefore, since both the morpholiths and the daedric sigils required for hyperagonal media cannot be obtained without traffic and commerce with Daedra Lords, it is necessary that a transliminal mechanic cultivate a working knowledge of conjuration -- though purpose-built enchantments may be substituted if the mechanic has sufficient invocatory skill. Traffic and commerce with Daedra Lords is an esoteric but well-established practice, and lies outside the compass of this treatise.
- Liminal Bridges

The Augur of the Obscure also makes references to higher-angles in his dialogue. As he also speaks about perceiving higher-dimensional space, there's no doubt what he's referring to:

Vestige: Did you enjoy our travels?
Augur of the Obscure: "Did I? Does an oblate cogni-form have infinite angles? Please don't hurt yourself. The answer is yes. It was great. The sights, the smells, the incessant jangle of all your gear on my face. Dream come true, mate!"
Augur of the Obscure: "I've got to admit, I'm a little thrown off by the aesthetic, mate. No un-paintings, less than a thousand angles, hardly any transliminal spheroids…. I don't know. I'd give it a soft "adequate." "

Travelling to a Daedric Plane is also described as falling through all directions at once:

The sensation of traveling to a daedric real is “like falling – not down, but in all directions at once. The moons were gone, and in their place a ceiling of smoke and ash. Stifling heat surrounded them and the air stank with sulfur and hot iron. They stood on black lava, and lakes of fire stretched off before them.”
- The Infernal City

The Towers

In the Dawn Era, upon discovering the intentions of Lorkhan behind the creation of the Mortal Plane, the Gods united themselves in a meeting that would take place outside of Aurbic Time, known as the Convention, where Lorkhan’s punishment would be properly discussed before the Gods left Nirn

For the Convention to be made, Akatosh’s vessel struck the Earth and became fixed in it as a Tower. And through the Convention, it would define the Earthbones and structure their nature inside of Nirn’s narrative, effectively making it the first speck of solid and unassailable reality in the non-linearity of the Dawn Era, thus earning it the name of Ur-Tower, or Ada-Mantia.

One persistent story that is accepted by many cultures is that as the world congealed into reality, the Gods made a great tower to discuss how best to proceed with the making of Mundus. The physical, temporal, spiritual, and magical elements of Nirn were set at this Convention, and the tower itself remained behind even as some of the Gods disappeared into Aetherius
- Pocket Guide to The Empire, Third Edition
The spike of Ada-Mantia, and its Zero Stone, dictated the structure of reality in its Aurbic vicinity, defining for the Earth Bones their story or nature within the unfolding of the Dragon's (timebound) Tale. The Aldmeri or Merethic Elves were singular of purpose only so long as it took them to realize that other Towers, with their own Stones, could tell different stories, each following rules inscribed by Variorum Architects. And so the Mer self-refracted, each to their own creation, the Chimer following Red-Heart, the Bosmer burgeoning Green-Sap, the Altmer erecting Crystal-Like-Law, et alia.
- Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree
Auriel-that-is-Akatosh returned to Mundex Arena from his dominion planet, signaling all Aedra to convene at a static meeting that would last outside of aurbic time. His sleek and silver vessel became a spike into the changing earth and the glimmerwinds of its impact warned any spirit that entered aura with it would become recorded-- that by consent of presence their actions here would last of a period unassailable, and would be so whatever might come later to these spirits, even if they rejoined the aether or succumbed willingly or by treachery to a sithite erasure. Thus could the Aedra and their cohorts truly covene in realness.
Our forebears saw the erection of Ada-mantia, Ur-Tower, and the Zero Stone. Let the Elders acknowledge this truth: every Tower bears its Stone. The impossipoint of the Convention was the first, though another bears the true title of First Stone.
(…)
The outcome of the Convention was to leave the terrestrial sphere in their excess, for its own good, but that it should last after their departure as in the semblance of the Ada-mantia. Mundus was given its second Tower, the Red, whose First Stone was the Heart of the World, "as in the image."
Time began to last in stepped-fashion. Those spirits that remained, lesser and greater, involuntary or eventual earthbone, surrendered all definite hold on divinity.
- Nu-Mantia Intercept

Thus, after Lorkhan’s punishment was decided, Akatosh separated him from his Divine Center, ripping out his Heart and hurling it across Tamriel, and where it landed formed a great volcano that would the Heart itself as its center. Then was formed the Second Tower, Red Mountain, that gave Nirn a Divine Spark that would allow it to exist without the presence of the Gods.

Essentially, the Towers are metaphysical constructs which act as echoes of Ada-Mantia, powered by “Stones” (Not literal stones) which act as the source of their power, with a Tower becoming inactive if something severs its connection to their respective Stone.

’’’What are the Towers?’’’
They are magical and physical echoes of the Ur-Tower, Ada-mantia. Ada-mantia was the first spike of unassailable reality in the Dawn, otherwise called the Zero Stone. The powers at Ada-mantia were able to determine through this Stone the spread of creation and their parts in it.
The powers also created Red Tower and the First Stone. This allowed the Mundus to exist without the full presence of the divine. In this way, the powers of Ada-mantia granted the Mundus a special kind of divinity, which is called NIRN, the consequence of variable fate.
- Nu-Mantia Intercept

The Towers and their respective Stones are as follows:

  • The Adamantine Tower / Ada-Mantia (the Zero Stone / The Convention)
  • The Red Tower / Red Mountain (The Heart of Lorkhan)
  • The Crystal Tower / Crystal-Like Law (The Heart of Transparent Law)
  • The White-Gold Tower (The Amulet of Kings / Chim-El Adabal)
  • The Snow Tower / Snow-Throat (Unknown, said to be "a cave")
  • The Green Tower / Green-Sap (The Perchance Acorn)
  • The Orichalc Tower (Unknown, said to be "a sword")
  • The Brass Tower / Walk-Brass (The Heart of Lorkhan / The Mantella)

Although constructed with different purposes at first, the Towers are axes of creation responsible for holding back the Void of Oblivion from dissolving Mundus into its vastness

"Well, some thing that the White-Gold Tower - and some other towers around Tamriel - help, well hold the world up, or something like that. Others believe that before the Dragon broke, the tower helped protect us from invasion from Oblivion"
"It holds up the world?"
I'm not saying it right," he replied, realizing he couldn't actually remember the details of that tutorial. "They help keep Mundus - the World - from dissolving back into Oblivion. Or something like that. Anyway, everyone seems to agree it has power, but no one knows exactly what kind.
- The Infernal City
It’s the tower. It’s the key. I didn’t get it until Colin remembered one of the symbols meant ‘echo’. The White-Gold Tower is an echo of the ur-tower, the first object of our reality the gods created. It’s one of the axes of creation.
- Arese, The Infernal City

To accomplish this, their collective power constantly harnesses Mythical Energy - “Creatia” - from Aetherius to erect a barrier between both realms. Should all Towers become inactive, The Multiverse of Mundus as a whole would cease to be

’’’What are the Stones?’’’
The Stones are magical and physical echoes of the Zero Stone, by which a Tower might focus its energy to mold creation. Oftentimes, the Stones borrowed surplus creation from Oblivion, grafting it to the terrestrial domain of its anointed Tower.
It was and is difficult to bypass Oblivion to go directly to creation's source, the Aetherius. It has been done, but not without great expenditure, mundane and otherwise. However, access to Oblivion, the Void that surrounds Mundex Arena, which we might touch every night, was child's play in comparison.
Cultivating creatia that washed into the Void from Aetherius became the rule among Stones.
- Nu-Mantia Intercept

Aside from that, the most primary example of the power of a Tower is Crystal-Like Law, which is a metaphysical structure anchored to every reality and plane of Mundus, pervading all of Time and Space. Sotha Sil even described it as a doorway to everywhere in the Multiverse, and the key to Omnipresence.

Vestige: "We need your help to stop Nocturnal. Tell me what you were going to tell the Ritemaster."
Sotha Sil: "A demand? Interesting.
Then hear my words. Nocturnal stole a secret I thought well hidden. I developed a technique for utilizing life energy as a source of power. I suspect she will use that technique to amplify the Crystal Tower."
Vestige: "What will amplifying the Crystal Tower do?"
Sotha Sil: "The Crystal Tower exists on multiple planes of reality simultaneously and possesses capabilities we do not fully understand. We must assume that Nocturnal's options are infinite.
I suggest you find Valsirenn and inform her of this development."
Vestige: "Nocturnal's no longer working with the other Daedric Princes."
Sotha Sil: "I find it hard to believe that Nocturnal, Mephala, and Vile worked together for as long as they did. Daedric Princes aren't known for their willingness to share.
With the Heart, Nocturnal moves one step closer to gaining control of the tower."
Vestige: "Why is the Heart so special?"
Sotha Sil: "Transparent Law, the crystal at the top of the Crystal Tower, anchors its metaphysical structure to all realities. With the Heart, she can restore the crystal, utilize its capabilities, and make herself master of the tower."
Vestige: "How can the Crystal Tower exist on multiple planes at the same time?"
Sotha Sil: "The tower straddles every reality. Its true purpose remains lost to time, but I theorize it was created as a watchtower of sorts. A doorway to everywhere.
It stands to reason, then, that the tower is the key to omnipresence."
Vestige: "How does that help Nocturnal?"
Sotha Sil: "Imagine a Daedric Prince who can exert influence throughout the multiverse at the exact same moment in time. Nocturnal could become infinite.
If she accomplishes that, then her power would multiply accordingly. She would be... without limits."

The White-Gold Tower is also described as being adjacent to, and existing in all planes of Mundus simultaneously:

"The Imperial Throne Room at the base of White-Gold Tower is one of the most important metaphysical foci in all the Mundus, so much so that it can almost be said to exist adjacent to all time and space in Aedric Creation."
- Summerset Online

Aetherius and the Aurbis

Aetherius is an endless realm of Pure Magicka beyond Space and Time which encompasses both Oblivion and Mundus. Being an even higher infinity than both realms, and the source of all Magic, which washes over Nirn through the Sun, a hole in the fabric of Oblivion created by the God of Magic, Magnus, and the Stars, which are smaller holes created by the Magne-Ge, lesser spirits who followed Magnus in his escape from Mundus

I want to hear a story about Aetherius.
"Aetherius is the sea of light, the Immortal Plane, the origin of magic. Y'ffre sings not of Aetherius, but to it, weaving a song so beautiful that stars were compelled to dance and sway. They still wink and blink in memory of that song."
How do stars relate to Aetherius?
"They are Aetherius. Rather, the sun and stars are holes pierced in the wall of night by Magnus - and other spirits - seeking to escape Nirn."
"These holes permit Aetherius' light to enter our world. From theirs to ours does Magicka trickle."
How do they twinkle and move across the sky, then?
"Well, consider this. As Oblivion is a realm composed of realms, so, too, is Aetherius a bright sea with many realms within. Each of these stars is a window into these realms, and as these realms move, so too do they move. Or close, like doors."
What Realms do you mean?
"Now, that is an enormous question that I cannot answer. Many souls of mortals become spirits of another sort in that place - and that is all I can say with any certainty. As difficult as it is to travel to Oblivion, it is far more to go to Aetherius."
- Spinner Girnalin’s Dialogue

Aetherius is also the source of all magic, and is described as an infinite sea:

The ancient Ayleids believed that Nirn was composed of four basic elements -- earth, water, air, and light -- and of these four elements, they believed the most sublime form of light was star light. The stars are our links to the plane of Aetherius, the source of all magical power, and therefore, light from the stars is the most potent and exalted of all magical powers.
- Magic from the Stars
"Aetherius is a deep, dark, and endless sea. Endless, too are the secrets of magic and its myriad forms and expressions. Consider me a tutor, provided you merit my tutelage."
- Connalenwe

Now, remember that you need Hyperagonal media to travel between Mundus and Oblivion? Well, going to Aetherius is far harder that, to the point where travelling to Oblivion is said to be difficult, but child’s play compared to travelling to Aetherius and actually affecting it.

The Stones are magical and physical echoes of the Zero Stone, by which a Tower might focus its energy to mold creation. Oftentimes, the Stones borrowed surplus creation from Oblivion, grafting it to the terrestrial domain of its anointed Tower.
It was and is difficult to bypass Oblivion to go directly to creation's source, the Aetherius. It has been done, but not without great expenditure, mundane and otherwise. However, access to Oblivion, the Void that surrounds Mundex Arena, which we might touch every night, was child's play in comparison.
- Nu-Mantia Intercept

The “Multiverse” that contains Mundus, Oblivion and Aetherius is called the Aurbis, “Arena” in Ehlnofex. However, these three realms are not the only ones contained within the Aurbis, in fact, it is heavily implied there are endless realms that stretch far beyond Aetherius:

https://www.imperial-library.info/content/eso-alinor-and-ayarene

"The Aetherius is simply the first layer. I have seen outside the Aetherius."

http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Lilatha

Vestige: "Could I meet him?"
Lilatha: "Someday, perhaps. The Psijic Order's isle of Artaeum is no longer here. It may return in time, but for now you'd probably have an easier time reaching Aetherius or realms beyond.
The order values solitude, much like Sotha Sil."

Furthermore, The Aurbis has been described as containing an Infinite Numbers of Angles, with Linear Time being simply the first of them. This implies Infinite Temporal Dimensions, and is consistent with the Lore about Higher Dimensions and Higher Angles we’ve seen so far in TES.

"Think now on the wheel. To all things it appertains.
Is there anything so sacred as the wheel? Like Tamriel Final, the wheel both moves and does not move. Anuvanna'si. The axle sleeps, while the spokes make haste—round and round in reflective circles. Now, here dwells a Nameless secret, child of the Tribunal: does a thing move when it moves in circles?
Motion lies at the heart of the Nirn Ensuing, but not all motion is Nameless. Not all movement earns His blessing.
The Divine Metronome calls the first motion "The Motion of Lines." Line-motion is the motion of simple minds—the motion of weak wills and scholars' vanity. "Forward!" it cries! Forward to the fruits of cheap ambition. Forward to the promise of everlasting kingdoms. Forward to the mirage that the sages call "progress." These misguided pioneers venture out into their wild tomorrows, and the tomorrows after that, certain of their worth—their virtue. But what profits a man or mer to gaze deep into a single future? The aims of mortals are narrow, far too narrow! To move forward is to ignore infinite angles in favor of one. It is the act of a beast or a child. The Clockwork God spurns vanity in the guise of courage. These explorers' travels only lead them farther from Tamriel Final. Anuvanna'si.
Seht speaks of the second motion only in whispers. "The Pendulum" or "Named Oscillation" is the tic-tock motion—the motion of entropy and false hope. None but the Clockwork God may claim its dark power. With each wide swing it shouts Lorkhan's lie. "Hail, intentions divided! Hail, cursed multitudes!" Do not stand in the Pendulum's path, ash-child. Only the Mainspring Ever-Wound may bear its weight.
Last is the reciprocating motion. "The Sublime Piston." The lover's embrace. Like the Father of Mystery, it gives and takes in equal measure. As the bow upon the strings, it calls forth the sublime. As the carpenter's saw, it wrenches back and forth, sundering the Named pursuits of lesser mer. Only a Nameless heart may harness its strength. The artist, the star-counter, and the engineer call it "muse." The truth-blind multitudes call it "destroyer." "
- The Truth in Sequence - Volume 7

The Clockwork City of Sotha Sil, itself an endless mechanical reality that replicates the entirety of the corporeal plane of Mundus, is based on the structure of the Aurbis, i.e. Endless Worlds within Worlds, and Wheels within Wheels.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/181958467

Gina Bruno: "Somebody was asking if...if the Clockwork City is some sort of parallel universe and if it's endless."
Lawrence Schick: "Kind of. Both those questions is kind of. In fact it's a deliberate parallel universe, in that it deliberately parallels Tamriel above. And...what was the second part?"
Gina Bruno & Leamon Tuttle: "Is it endless?"
Lawrence Schick: "Is it endless? You don't see nearly all of it from what you can see of it in the game. It has layers, and only Sotha Sil knows the full extent of those layers and what the functions of some of the other areas are... Samantha, could you please just lean back and look up at the sky for a moment there? Look up there, look at those whirling rings spinning around the world of the Clockwork City. That is the outside of the Clockwork City...or maybe not. That's just what you can see from the Brass Fortress, and you can see that Sotha Sil has taken the concept of wheels within wheels and worlds within worlds and has made it manifest right over your head. So you're constantly contemplating the fact that the world is a built thing and therefore it can be reverse engineered, reengineered and improved! Look, there's the proof right above your head! So yeah, it's profound as hell! Goddamn this stuff is deep!"

Case in point, the Aurbis is described as a Wheel, a Circle, in the 36 Lessons of Vivec:

The Scripture of the Wheel, First:
"The Spokes are the eight components of chaos, as yet solidified by the law of time: static change, if you will, something the lizard gods refer to as the Striking. That is the reptile wheel, coiled potential, ever-preamble to the never-action.
Second:
They are the lent bones of the Aedra, the Eight gift-limbs to SITHISIT, the wet earth of the new star our home. Outside them is the Aurbis, and not within. Like most things inexplicable, it is a circle. Circles are confused serpents, striking and striking and never given leave to bite. The Aedra would have you believe different, but they were givers before liars. Lies have turned them into biters. Their teeth are the proselytizers; to convert is to place oneself in the mouth of falsehood; even to propitiate is to be swallowed.
Third:
The enlightened are those uneaten by the world.
Fourth:
The spaces between the gift-limbs number sixteen, the signal shapes of the Demon Princedoms. It is the key and the lock, series and manticore.
Fifth:
Look at the majesty sideways and all you see is the Tower, which our ancestors made idols from. Look at its center and all you see is the begotten hole, second serpent, womb-ready for the Right Reaching, exact and without enchantment.
- The 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 21

Circles (Wheels) are associated with Serpents biting themselves, and the Wheel itself is described as reptilian and containing coiled potential (AKA AE MAGNUS AE LHKAN). This is a direct reference to the concept of Ouroboros, Infinity and Eternity represented by a Serpent eating its own Tail. Basically: Circles represent Infinities

This lines up well with the fact that the Aurbis has been shown to contain Infinities encompassed by bigger Infinities, Wheels within Wheels, Circles within Circles, Spheres within Spheres, with this process endlessly repeating itself.

Case in point? The Wheel of the Aurbis is itself contained by an infinity of other Wheels, stretching like a telescope to the eye of Anui-El, the Soul of Stasis, of Anu.

https://www.imperial-library.info/content/forum-archives-michael-kirkbride

"A single Wheel? More like a Telescope that stretches all the way back to the Eye of the Anui-El, with Padomaics innumerable along its infinite walls."
- Michael Kirkbride, In-Character

Anu and Padomay

Anu and Padomay are the absolute, disembodied concepts of Stasis and Change respectively. In a simplified form, they created the Aurbis through their active interplay, although the process was far more intricate and complicated than that:

What created the Wheel?
Anu and Padhome, stasis and change, both vast realms sitting in the void, they created it. Not vast, infinite, as the void was infinite. Imagine an infinity enclosed by another; you come away with a bubble. Now watch as the two bubbles touch. Their intersection is a perfect circle of pattern and possibility that we shall call the Aurbis. The Aurbis is the foundation of the Wheel.
- Vehk’s Teaching
"Aurbis" is used to connote the imperceptible Penumbra, the Gray Center between the IS/IS NOT of Anu and Padomay. It contains the multitude realms of Aetherius and Oblivion, as well as other, less structured forms.
- Monomyth: Myth of the Aurbis

To give a sense of Logic to the explanation below, look at this quote by Mannimarco, the King of Worms:

"Power, my dear friend. I seek power, and so I acquire and study those who have some degree of it. We are after the same things, your guild and I. Yet you worry about 'good' and 'evil' and do not accept they are manifestations of the same thing. So you brand me a villain, and make vain attempts to destroy me. I watch, and I wait, and I collect you when you come for me. Instead of drawing Traven out, I have received you instead. Perhaps I shall personally go and collect him when we are done here."

Simply, Good and Evil are manifestations of the same thing, reflections of one another, as are all Dual Concepts. This will be explained in further detail in the Blog about Metaphysics, which will discuss the Higher-End concepts of the Verse. So I am trying to omit the most details as possible about this and leave only the bulk of the explanation.

Now. As the process of Subcreation started, Anu gave birth to his own Soul, Anui-El, the Soul and Embodiment of All Things. And as a necessary consequence, so did Padomay gave birth to his own Soul, SITHIS, the void beyond what would be the Aurbis

Thus the Interplay between Stasis and Change, the IS of Anui-El and IS NOT of SITHIS, created the Aurbis:

"Anu encompassed, and encompasses, all things. So that he might know himself he created Anuiel, his soul and the soul of all things. Anuiel, as all souls, was given to self-reflection, and for this he needed to differentiate between his forms, attributes, and intellects. Thus was born Sithis, who was the sum of all the limitations Anuiel would utilize to ponder himself. Anuiel, who was the soul of all things, therefore became many things, and this interplay was and is the Aurbis
- Monomyth: The Heart of the World

However, the Aurbis was an empty and destabilized Universe. The Et’ada, the Original Spirits, were Infinite and Eternal, and with no distinction or separation between each other. So Anui-El spun his own Soul, too, and with that came the Dragon God Aka, who would mutilate himself, and bleed through the Aurbis as as the Concept of Time:

"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. With time, various aspects of the Aurbis began to understand their natures and limitations. They took names, like Magnus or Mara or Xen. One of these, Lorkhan, was more of a limit than a nature, so he could never last long anywhere."
- Monomyth: The Heart of the World
The magical beings of Mythic Aurbis live for a long time and have complex narrative lives, creating the patterns of myth.
These are spirits made from bits of the immortal polarity. The first of these was Akatosh the Time Dragon, whose formation made it easier for other spirits to structure themselves. Gods and demons form and reform and procreate.
- Monomyth: Myth of the Aurbis

Thus, the Et’ada became limited by Time, allowing them to recognize themselves as individual beings with a Past and a Future, who then started shaping the emptiness that was the Aurbis.

As the process of subcreation continued, both Anu and Padhome awakened. For to see your antithesis is to finally awaken. Each gave birth to their souls, Auriel and Sithis, and these souls regarded the Aurbis each in their own part, and from this came the etada, the original patterns. These etada eventually congealed.
Anu’s firstborn, for he mostly desired order, was time, anon Akatosh. Padhome’s firstborn went wandering from the start, changing as he went, and wanted no name but was branded with Lorkhan. As time allowed more and more patterns to individualize, Lorkhan watched the Aurbis shape itself and grew equally delighted and tired with each new shaping. As the gods and demons of the Aurbis erupted, the get of Padhome tried to leave it all behind for he wanted all of it and none of it all at once. It was then that he came to the border of the Aurbis.
- Vehk’s Teaching

The Elder Scrolls

Of course we couldn’t do a Blog on the Cosmology of The Elder Scrolls series without talking about its namesake.

The Elder Scrolls are extremely powerful metaphysical artifacts of Divine Nature, used as divination tools which give the proper reader deeper and deeper insight into the nature of reality, at the cost of their sight. However, displaying prophecies is but a small part of their power, and a side-effect of their intrinsic nature as metaphysical artifacts woven and connected into the Space and Time of the entire Multiverse of Mundus.

Sister Terran Arminus: "The Scrolls are often described as tools of prophecy—indeed, 'the Aedric Prophecies' is another name for them in some quarters—but the fact that the Scrolls speak of future events is merely a side-effect of their intrinsic nature. The Scrolls tell of our future because they are woven into that future—as well the present, and the past, and every other aspect of this reality we call the Mundus. It is a mistake to think that events prophesized in the Scrolls are fixed and unchangeable; again and again we in the Order of the Ancestor Moth have seen the prophecies alter as the future changes in response to the acts of mortals. Future events foretold in the Scrolls may be deemed likely to occur, so likely as to seem almost certain—but no event is fixed in the Scrolls until it actually happens.
(…)
Though the great events of history garner the most attention, think not that the Scrolls solely commemorate acts of lasting significance. The Elder Scrolls are bound by threads of time to the warp and weft of the entire Mundus, and every soul, 'great' or otherwise, has a place therein. Many speak of 'heroes' as if they were born great and the key roles of history were fated to be enacted by them. But is that so? A careful study of the Scrolls leads me to believe that no mortal is 'born great,' but that a person becomes a Hero by making choices and taking actions other mortals refuse. The Scrolls do not select such people, but they do record and reflect their actions, and note the difference made thereby."

Paarthurnax also states that they are fragments of creation from outside of Time, which have always existed.

Dovahkiin: "An Elder Scroll? What's that?"
Paarthurnax: "Hmm. How to explain in your tongue? The dov have words for such things that joorre do not. It is… an artifact from outside time. It does not exist, but it has always existed. Rah wahlaan. They are… hmm… fragments of creation. The Kelle… Elder Scrolls, as you name them, they have often been used for prophecy. Yes, your prophecy comes from an Elder Scroll. But this is only a small part of their power. Zofaas suleyk."

The Elder Scrolls can give visions of possible futures, with all being equally true, and reading one is described as catching a glimpse of Infinity. As such, various rigorous mental preparations are required so an individual doesn’t go insane and is instantly robbed of their sight upon reading an Elder Scroll.

Dovahkiin: "Who wrote the Elder Scrolls?"
Urag gro-Shub: "It would take a month to explain to you how that very question doesn't even make sense. The Scrolls exist here, with us, but also beyond and beneath. Before and after. They are bits of Divine made substance so we could know them. Sorry. Talking about the scrolls, you usually end up in irritating and vague metaphors like that. Some people who study them devoutly go mad."
(...
Urag gro-Shub: "I knew it. Everyone comes in here, expecting my help, but they don't even have the proper questions. An Elder Scroll is an instrument of immense knowledge and power. To read an Elder Scroll, a person most have the most rigorously trained mind, or else risk madness. Even so, the Divines usually take the reader's sight as a price."
Dovahkiin: "A price for what?"
Urag gro-Shub: "The simplest way to put it is "knowledge," but there's nothing simple about an Elder Scroll. It's a reflection of all possible features and all possible pasts. Each reader sees different reflections through different lenses, and may come away with a very different reading. But at the same time, all of it is true. Even the falsehoods. Especially the falsehoods."
It is this second group that realizes the greatest danger from attempting to read the scrolls. These are subjects who have an understanding of the nature of the Elder Scrolls and possess sufficient knowledge to actually read what is inscribed there. They have not, however, developed adequate discipline to stave off the mind-shattering effect of having a glimpse of infinity. These unfortunate souls are struck immediately, irrevocably, and completely blind. Such is the price for overreaching one's faculties. It bears mentioning, though, that with the blindness also comes a fragment of that hidden knowledge -- whether the future, the past, or the deep natures of being is dependent on the individual and their place in the greater spheres. But the knowledge does come.
Alone in Tamriel, it would appear that only the Cult of the Ancestor Moth has discovered the discipline to properly guard one's mind when reading the scrolls. Their novitiates must undergo the most rigorous mental cultivation, and they often spend a decade or more at the monastery before being allowed to read their first Elder Scroll.
- Effects of The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls are created by the Magne-Ge, who collect the underlying Musics and Tones which comprise the reality of Mundus (The Aurbis as a whole, actually, but we’ll talk about this later) and manifest them as metaphysical artifacts woven into all of Time.

"Tamriel. Starry Heart. That whole f****** thing is a song. It was made either out of 12 planets, or from two brothers that split in the womb. Either way, it's the primal wail and those that grew up on it - they can't help but hear it, and add to it, or try to control it, or run from it. The reason there IS music on Tamriel at ALL is because it exists. It was and is and it will not stop.
There are repeats in it; plays on a tune. Variations. And most likely Magnus? (He's the one that made the f*****, and now that's why he looks back on it, every single day, that's his promise.
"When you wake up, I will still listen. I'm sorry I left, but hey, I'm still right up here. And my mnemoli? They show up every now and then, and collect all the songs you've made since the last time around. The last real moment."
The Mnemoli? They're the keepers of the Elder Scrolls. They cannot be fixed until seen. And they cannot be seen until a moment. And you, your hero, makes that moment."
- Michael Kirkbride