The All-Maker is the deity venerated by the Skaal on the island of Solstheim. Unlike the pantheons of other cultures across Tamriel, the All-Maker is the sole deity in their faith, giving the faith a unique monotheistic quality.
For the Skaal, the All-Maker is the source of all life and creation. When a creature dies, its spirit returns to the All-Maker, who shapes it into something new and returns it to Mundus. The concept of death as an ending to life is unknown to the Skaal. Rather, death is seen as simply the beginning of the next stage of an endless journey.
The Skaal believe in a metaphysical being called the Adversary who is always watching, and that he delights in tormenting the All-Maker and his chosen people. The Greedy Man is considered to be the avatar of the Adversary, a mortal who becomes possessed by the Adversary. He will steal away the gifts of the Skaal unless they can go on a pilgrimage to return the gifts.
Effects of All-Maker worship
Great respect for life is evident in one of the most important Skaal beliefs, a concept the villagers call "one-ness with the land." The Skaal try to live in harmony with their surroundings, making as small an impact on their environment as possible. When the Skaal hunt, it is only out of necessity, and not for sport. Because they hold all life in great reverence, the Skaal people will resort to violence only if it is their last option.
The Ristaag, a ritual hunt the Skaal perform in times of great need, is done to please the All-Maker, to show him gratitude for the gifts he has given the Skaal.
The All-Maker Stones are sacred to the All-Maker, and are believed by the Skaal to be the All-Maker's point of contact to the stone's respective area. There are six of them: the Tree Stone, representing plant life, the Sun Stone, representing the sun, the Water Stone, representing water, the Earth Stone, representing earth, the Wind Stone, representing the sky, and the Beast Stone, representing the animals of the wild.
The blessings of the stones have been stolen from the Skaal before by a being named the Greedy Man. When this happens, a Skaal must go on a pilgrimage to reclaim the different blessings.
- The concept of the All-Maker is unique in Tamrielic lore, seeing as almost all of the races follow a select pantheon, making this religion uniquely panentheistic.
- Skaal worship of the All-Maker bears many similarities to real-world religions, such as Christianity and Islam, in that God is seen as creator of everything, life never truly ends after death, and divine guidance is available at all times. There is an even greater semblance to Native American worship of the Great Spirit, especially in its emphasis of humanity's oneness with nature and the environment.
- Skaal religion resembles Sikhism in that it combines belief in a supreme being with the concept of reincarnation.
- It is mentioned by Storn Crag-Strider that the Nords of Skyrim once believed in the All-Maker, but switched to polytheism after interaction with the denizens and culture of the Imperials of Cyrodiil. This rumor is likely incorrect though, as the Nords of Skyrim had their own religion, the Nordic/Atmoran pantheon. The gods of the pantheon do have animal avatars, however, most of which seem to have some respect in the Skaal culture, possibly suggesting that the All-Maker may simply be an offspring religion from the pantheon or vice-versa.
- Scholars speculate that the Skaal All-Maker is based off of the ancient Nordic Alduin.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (mentioned only)