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The Aedra are a race of divine creatures from The Elder Scrolls universe. The singular term for one of these beings is an "Aedroth". The Aedra are the product of the blood of both Padomay and his ancient antithesis, Anu. In Altmeri (High-Elven), Aedra means "Ancestors", because they were believed by the Elves to be the ancestors of the Mer, and the creators of the world of Nirn.

In creation, it is told that the Aedra were to have given their power to create the world; thus weakening them and allowing them to die. More specifically it is primarily held to be the doing of a being known as Lorkhan, "The Missing God". Unlike the Daedra, who represent change, the Aedra are said to represent continuity and stasis, and are more like abstract concepts than persons in the mortal sense of the word. This is what caused them to die when giving their essence to create the world.

Creation accounts vary greatly, especially between men and Elves, due to the disparity between the views of these two species on the Aedra. Men call the Aedra "gods", and believe them to be powerful spirits of creation. They say it was an act of mercy that the gods created the mortal world, allowing mortal creatures to exist and experience full and enriching lives. As such, men view the creation of the mortal world as an enlightened act of divine altruism. Consequently the Aedroth Lorkhan is viewed by early man as a hero, whereas he is almost always an enemy to the Aldmer.

Conversely to humans, the Elves believe that they are in fact descended from the Aedra. The difference between these two belief systems likely originated simply enough, with a differing interpretation of the word "conception" by elven and human scholars. The breach is wide, though, as the difference have lead to seemingly irreconcilable grievances between the two cultures. Elves, with the exception of the Dunmer, see the creation of the world not as an act of mercy or compassion, but as a condemnation. In their cosmologies, Lorkhan (The Missing God) convinced or contrived the Aedra to bring about the creation of the mortal plane. The act of this creation meant the transformation from what once was, and this transformation was said to have injured the Aedra, due to their nature as beings of continuity and infinitude. Ergo, Elves see the creation of the mortal plane as the Aedra being stricken blind by Lorkhan's trickery. Allegedly, it was then, in this state of misguidance, that the Aedra, giving of their own divine and perfect natures, were to have created the mundane and imperfect world. To the Elves, the physical world is called the Ehlnofey, meaning, "Earth-bones", as it is essentially thought to be the dead husks of the Aedra which provide the foundation for physical existence. These beliefs have also lead to a great deal of supremacy, as Elves view themselves as being the purest and most untainted direct descendants of the Aedra, and as such, the only beings in physical existence with the divine power to transcend death and the material, mortal plane.

In either case, both men and Elves worship the Aedra equally, though both species are generally convinced of the inherent wrong-headedness of the opposing theology. Men tend to believe that Elves are far too high-minded in their spirituality, viewing life through a lens of cynicism and disdain; while Elves typically believe that men are far too spiritually mundane, accepting all facets of existence as divinely inspired and enriching, even when things tend to be unappealing and bleak.

Some mortals, usually those unhappy with life or those whose views on philosophy tend to be somewhat more nihilistic, turn to worship of the Daedra, alien spirits of chaos and change, immortal unlike the gods and keen to play an active role in the affairs of mortals. Oftentimes, Daedra worshippers follow their creed simply due to the perceived ineffectual nature of the Aedra who unlike the Daedra can no longer physically manifest themselves in the mortal plane as they did during the 'Dawn Era' when the Aedra led armies of elves against Lorkhan and his human followers.

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