The Alessian Order was a once popular monotheistic religion created by the prophet Marukh in the early First Era. By the time of the Second Era, the religion had lost almost all of its followers.[1]


The Order began in the coastal jungles of what is now the Colovian West after a prophet in the area named Marukh, who was known to have spoken to Saint Alessia, questioned the validity of Elves ruling over men. The teachings of Marukh began to morph into a belief that there was only one God. Despite these beliefs the Alessians knew that in order for their religion to gain wide acceptance, they needed to incorporate elements of the various polytheistic religions that most people worshipped. The divine aspects worshiped by the various humans and Aldmeri were recognizable in the guise of the myriad saints and spirits of the evolving Alessian canon. Soon the Alessian Order's teachings spread across all of Tamriel and it's authority rised over every other religion, allowing them to become one of, if not the most powerful group within Tamriel at the time.[1] The Order eventually gained control of the Alessian Empire in the year 1E 361 after they performed a successful coup d'etat.[2] After they gained control of the Empire the group enforced a strict code of laws named the Alessian Doctrines, which were highly unsympathetic to elves.[3] Alessians were known to be very serious and humorless people,[4] and their reign over the Empire is remembered for it's cruelty and extreme follies.[5][6] The Alessian Order centered their power in the city that Saint Alessia started her rebellion, the city of Sancre Tor. The city would remain the center of religious worship in all of Tamriel until 1E 2321, when it moved to the Imperial City.[7]

Alessian Doctrines

The Alessian Doctrines were a set of laws created by the prophet Marukh. It was believed that the Doctrines were given to him by Saint Alessia, when she supposedly visited him and gave him the "Seventy Seven Inflexable Doctrines".The Doctrines eventually evolved into a set of religious codes in which the Alessian Order enforced upon the Empire. The Doctrines saw no difference between religious and political matters and taught that resisting the will Emperor was equal to resisting the will of the Gods.[4] This way of thinking is reflected by a certain excerpt from the doctrines, "All are guilty until they have been proven themselves innocent", which is still present in the modern Imperial Legal System.[8]

The most infamous part of the Alessian Doctrines was its extreme cruelty directed at elves, most notably the Ayleids of Cyrodiil. Before the doctrines were enforced Alessians were known to sack Ayleid communities in human controlled territories in the early fourth century of the First Era, such as the Ayleid city of Malada.[9] Not only did they attack the Elven people but the Order was also responsible for the mass destruction of Elven writings, leading to a scarcity of Elven historical scriptures.[10] When the Doctrines were put into law, all Ayleid nobility was outlawed and their feifdoms were revoked. The anti-Elven laws were so harsh that just about the entire Ayleid population of Cyrodiil left the Empire to escape them, eventually being absorbed into the Elven populations of Valenwood and the Direnni Hegemony. It is believed that this mass exodus of Ayleids into neighboring lands may have led to the subsequent rise of the Direnni Hegemony as one of the most powerful nations within Tamriel.[3]


The origin of the Alessian Order's decline is credited to the Colovian King, Rislav Larich, and the rebellion he started in the year 1E 478. Though the Alessian Order was quite used to crushing rebellions, the then Emperor, Gorieus, failed to quell the insurrection which would eventually lead to a merging of the entire Colovian Estates in an effort to resist the Empire. Larich's actions inspired many other kings, most notably Ryain Direnni of the Direnni Hegemony to defy the Empire. Ryain began outlawing the Alessian Doctrines and even invading Imperial territories. Hoag Merkiller of Skyrim, though sharing the Empire's xenophobia, was so opposed to the Alessian Order that he allied with the Direnni Hegemony in its war against the Order. While it appeared that the Order made some progress in the war, they were eventually halted at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors where they suffered a crushing defeat that the order would never recover from.[4]

Despite this the Order would still survive for almost 2000 years afterwards. During this time a secret sect of the Order known as the Marukhati Selective caused a Dragon Break which would last 1008 years. This could possibly have played a role in the downfall of the order.[11][12][6]

While many different factors contributed to the Alessian Order's downfall, the longterm factor in which indirectly led to the destruction of the Alessian Order ironically began with it's own success. The Alessian faith became so widespread that religious dissension began to appear in the order creating schisms that would eventually cause the War of Righteousness in 1E 2321 which led to the near-complete annihilation of the Order.[1]

Alessian Sects

The following are sects of the Alessian/Marukhati faith or groups that are believed to be associated with the Alessian Order.

The Temple of the One

The Temple of the One is often associated with the Alessian Order.[OOG 1] While the building itself has more recently been associated with the Dragonfires held within, and by extension, Akatosh,[13] it is known that the Temple was once the headquarters of a Nordic cult by the same name that believed in one deity, much like the Alessian Order. Tiber Septim was said to have revived this cult during his reign and was believed to be a devout follower of its teachings.[14]

The Temple Zero Society

The Temple Zero Society was a secretive Imperial cult said to dabble within the mystery of myth and legend.[OOG 2] While the cult was often associated with Lorkhan,[15] it was also heavily known to follow the teachings of the prophet Marukh and is thus associated with the Alessian Order.[OOG 3]

The Marukhati Selective

Main article: Marukhati Selective

Possibly the most infamous of the Alessian Sects, the Marukhati Selective was a very secretive cult of fanatical Alessians whose main objective was to remove the elven aspects of Auriel from the god Akatosh. In order to achieve their goal, they created the 1008 year Middle Dawn Dragon Break,[OOG 4] and event that would cause much hatred to be aimed at the group.[6] Despite the apparent disappearance of the group after the War of Righteousness,[OOG 4] the cult was known to survive into the far future.[OOG 5][OOG 6]

The Motheaters

Very little is known about the group known as the Motheaters; however, they are believed to possibly be associated with the Alessian Order, more specifically the Marukhati Selective, due to the small amount of info associated with them that connects them to the Middle Dawn.[OOG 7]


Notice: The following are unlicensed references. They are not copyrighted by a ZeniMax Media company, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.
  1. Concerning the Psijic Order and the Psijic Endeavor
  2. Librarians Note on The Monomyth
  3. The Redguard Forum Madness
  4. 4.0 4.1 Where were you when the Dragon Broke? (Kirkbride)
  5. The Xal-Gosleigh Letters
  6. Skeleton Man's Interview with Denizens of Tamriel
  7. Others: Pete Hines, Christiane Meister, Shane Liesegang, and unknown

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