The Summerset Isles


Guide to the Psijic Order
By B

Early in Tamrielic history, a group of Aldmer rebelled against the changing beliefs of Summerset and left the isles. Calling Artaeum their new home, the Psijic were able to continue the Old Ways of Aldmeris. In addition, it is believed that the Psijics' views also included the suggestion that Anu’s son, the Time Dragon, was formed in reaction to Padhome’s influence. In effect, Anu had finally done something. Similar to the age old question of what happens when an Unstoppable Force meets an Immovable Object, this inconceivable effect gave rise to an equally inconceivable cause. PSJJJJ was named, and the Order took his name. Today, the Order accepts members from all races, and they are believed to be the oldest monastic group in Tamriel.


The name PSJJJJ is designed to be unpronounceable, but the name’s influence within the Order is tremendous. It is believed that PSJJJJ might be the Aldmeris or Old Ehlnofex name for Padhome's aforementioned influence on Anu. The Psijic Order is organized to divine this mystery of change. Change is the most sacred of the Eleven Forces within the Order.

*The Eleven Forces

A complete list of the Eleven Forces is not very well known outside of the Order. The only one that has received publicity outside of Artaeum is Change. In the words of Taheritae the Sage:

In Mundus, conflict and disparity are what bring change, and change is the most sacred of the Eleven Forces. Change is the force without focus or origin. It is the duty of the disciplined Psijic ["Enlightened One"] to dilute change where it brings greed, gluttony, sloth, ignorance, prejudice, cruelty . . . and to encourage change where it brings excellence, beauty, happiness, and enlightenment. As such, the faithful counsel has but one master: His mind. If the man the Psijic counsels acts wickedly and brings oegnithr ["bad change"] and will otherwise not be counselled, it is the Psijic's duty to counterbalance the oegnithr by any means necessary [emphasis mine].

One could certainly view the aforementioned passage as a mission statement for the Psijic Order, but their beliefs go much further than that.

*Beliefs and Religion

The Psijic Order chooses its members "by a complex, ritualized method not understood by the common people". Even though the Psijics are extremely reclusive, members of the Order can be recognized by the gray cloaks they choose to wear. Members are even referred to by this distinctive garment.

In the simplest of terms, the religion of the Psijic Order can be described as ancestor worship. Just as PSJJJJ is considered divine, so are the ancestor spirits. Dating back to the time of the original Acharyai, it is believed that superior men and women have been granted significant power upon their deaths. Unseen by many, these ancestor spirits from the phantom world command great influence over our world. According to the Psijic Order, the Daedra and gods that the common people worship are nothing more than the spirits of our ancestors. The Psijic Order calls their beliefs and customs the Old Ways.

As a member of the Psijic Order, it is important to remain "faithful" to the Old Ways. Members believe that the spiritual world is always watching our world, and a loyal graycloak will perform the Rites of Moawita on the 2nd of Hearth Fire and the Vigyld on the 1st of Second Seed in order to empower the salutary spirits and debilitate the unclean spirits.

Among a trained Psijic’s duties is the task of bringing power to "good" men and making sure men with power remain "good." The Order believes that it cannot allow power to fall into the wrong hands. Loremaster Celarus, currently the head of the Psijic Order, sums it up in this fashion:

We recognize the multiple threats that a strong tyrant represents -- breeds cruelty which feeds the Daedra Boethiah and hatred which feeds the Daedra Vaernima; if he should die having performed a particularly malevolent act, he may go to rule in Oblivion; and worst of all, he inspires other villains to thirst after power and other rulers to embrace villainy. Knowing this, we have developed patience in our dealings with such despots. They should be crippled, humiliated, impoverished, imprisoned. Other counsellors may advocate assassination or warfare -- which, aside from its spiritual insignificance, is expensive and likely to inflict at least as much pain on the innocents as the brutish dictator. No, we are intelligence gatherers, dignified diplomats -- not revolutionaries.

One of the primary goals of the Order is to distribute power as they see fit. If certain powerful people are deemed unworthy by the Order, then the Psijics will try and make a change. This change will not involve murder or any other form of assassination. In general, one could expect that type of thuggish brutality from the Morag Tong or the Dark Brotherhood but not the Psijic Order.

In distributing (and redistributing) this power, it is unclear whether the Psijics wish to become "gods" themselves or simple endow others with such gifts. Certainly, they do counsel great men and women on matters of importance and perhaps even lead them to becoming powerful in the afterworld, but unfortunately, a complete description of the endeavors and motives of the Psijic Order remains a mystery to this day.

However, it is interesting to note that the endeavors of the Psijic Order do not seem to be related to the so-called Psijic Endeavor that is prominent in the providence of Morrowind. When Vivec was asked about the relationship between the Psijic Order and the Psijic Endeavor, he replied:

Nothing but a namesake, I am sorry to say. Now we can end that mystery. The Endeavor is a method of achieving the Tower and then what to do after. The Order is not, and does not really care for the idea of the Endeavor at all, thinking it wrong-headed nearly from the start.

Master Divayth Fyr further corroborates this idea by saying, "...the Dwemer appear to have been most successful in the Endeavor than any mortal. Their Endeavor is not the shared Endeavor of the Old Way."

*Cloven Duality

Masser and Secunda therefore are the personifications of the dichotomy-- the "Cloven Duality," according to Artaeum-- that Lorkhan legends often rail against: ideas of the anima/animus, good/evil, being/nothingness, the poetry of the body, throat, and moan/silence-as-the-abortive, and so on -- set in the night sky as Lorkhan's constant reminder to his mortal issue of their duty.

*The Myth of Aurbis

"Subtitled 'The Psijic Compensation,' 'Mythic Aurbis' was an attempt by Artaeum apologists to explain the basics of Aldmeri religion to Uriel V in the early, glorious part of his reign. It quietly avoided any blame or bias against the Lorkhan-concept, which was still held in esteem by the Cyrodiils as "Shezarr", the missing sibling of the Divines. Despite this, the Psijici still give a nice summary of the Elder view, and it will serve our purposes here. This version comes from the archives of the Imperial Seminary from the handwritten notes of an unknown scribe".

Mythic Aurbis exists, and has existed from time without measure, as a fanciful Unnatural Realm.

'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.

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.

Finally, the magical beings of Mythic Aurbis told the ultimate story -- that of their own death. For some this was an artistic transfiguration into the concrete, non-magical substance of the world. For others, this was a war in which all were slain, their bodies becoming the substance of the world. For yet others, this was a romantic marriage and parenthood, with the parent spirits naturally having to die and give way to the succeeding mortal races.

The agent of this communal decision was Lorkhan, whom most early myths vilify as a trickster or deceiver. More sympathetic versions of this story point out Lorkhan as being the reason the mortal plane exists at all.

The magical beings created the races of the mortal Aurbis in their own image, either consciously as artists and craftsmen, or as the fecund rotting matter out of which the mortals sprung forth, or in a variety of other analogical senses.

The magical beings, then, having died, became the et'Ada. The et'Ada are the things perceived and revered by the mortals as gods, spirits, or geniuses of Aurbis. Through their deaths, these magical beings separated themselves in nature from the other magical beings of the Unnatural realms.

The Daedra were created at this time also, being spirits and Gods more attuned to Oblivion, or that realm closer to the Void of Padomay. This act is the dawn of the Mythic (Merethic) Era. It has been perceived by the earliest mortals many different ways, either as a joyous 'second creation', or (especially by the Elves) as a painful fracturing from the divine. The originator of the event is always Lorkhan.

*Counselors of Kings

Since the earliest written record of the Psijics (1E 20), the Order has been known as the counselors of kings:

A student of the Old Ways may indeed ally himself to a lord -- but it is a risky relationship. It cannot be stressed enough that the choice be wisely made. Should the lord refuse wise counsel and order the Psijic to perform an act contrary to the teachings of the Old Ways, there are few available options. The Psijic may obey, albeit unwillingly, and fall prey to the dark forces against which he has devoted his life. The Psijic may abandon his lord, which will bring shame on him and the Isle of Artaeum, and so may never be allowed home again. Or the Psijic may simply kill himself.

Nevertheless, the Council of the Psijic Order has had a profound influence on Tamriel politics. Several kings of Summerset have sought their counsel, as well as Emperor Uriel V and Emperor Antiochus of Cyrodiil; however, "The last four emperors, Uriel VI, Morihatha, Pelagius IV, and Uriel VII, have been suspicious of the Psijics enough to refuse ambassadors from the Isle of Artaeum within the Imperial City".

*The Isle of Artaeum

The Isle of Artaeum (ar-TAY-um) is the home of the Psijic Order. It is located in the Summerset Isle and is the third largest island in that region. "The Isle of Artaeum is difficult to chart geographically. It is said that it shifts continuously either at random or by decree of the Council". In fact, "When the Psijic Order does not wish someone to land on the island, the island and all on it become insubstantial".

Visitors to the isle are extremely rare, but Artaeum is believed to be elegant and beautiful. It is reported to contain idyllic orchards and clear pastures, still and silent lagoons, misty woodlands, and unique Psijic architecture that seems to be wondrous as well as natural to its surroundings. The Ceporah Tower, which is a relic from a civilization that predates the High Elves by several hundred years, is still used in certain rites by the Psijics. Anyone interested in meeting with the Psijics may find contacts in Potansa and Runcibae as well as many of the kingdoms of Summerset Isle.


Centaurs are ancient and mysterious creatures, alternately worshipped and despised. Legends of their exploits range from the epic to the pornographic, perhaps for no better reason than that they have varied personalities. The Council of Artaeum have called the Centaurs 'true followers of the Old Ways' of Tamriel, referring to the complex system of ancestor worship that Artaeum itself espouses. All that one can certainly say about Centaurs is that in battle there are few who are equal (Daggerfall Manual).

*The Disappearance

Sometime around 2E 230, the Isle of Artaeum literally vanished from the sea. There have been various theories published about this event but none have been proven true. One popular story even states that Iachesis, Rite Master of the Psijics at that time, knew that the Psijics were going to leave:

"No, the island will be leaving the sea," said Iachesis, his voice taking on a dreamy quality. "In a few years, the mists will move over Artaeum and we will be gone. We are counselors by nature, and there are too many counselors in Tamriel as it is. No, we will go, and return when the land needs us again, perhaps in another age".

Five hundred years passed, and the Isle of Arteaum returned just as mysteriously as it had left but with one important difference: Iachesis and the original Council of the Psijics did not return. The graycloaks who did return could not or would not offer an explanation for their disappearance. And unfortunately, they were unable to offer any explanation to the whereabouts of Iachesis and the Council. What is known is that the disappearance of Artaeum coincides with the founding of the Mages Guild.

Mysticism, the Old Way, and the Mages Guild Undoubtedly, many of us have heard of the School of Mysticism. "Mysticism involves the manipulation of magical forces and boundaries to bypass the structures and limitations of the physical world" (Morrowind Game Manual). Its power comes from conundrums and paradoxes within Magicka, and it was originally believed that Mysticism’s power came from the Aetherius Itself or else from the Daedric Beings of Oblivion. "Some even ventured that Mysticism arose from the unused elements of successfully, or even unsuccessfully, cast spells" (Lor). However, discussion from within the Psijic Order after Artaeum's reappearance has led some scholars to believe that Mysticism is much less spiritual in nature than was originally supposed, and that either the intellect or the emotional state of the believer is sufficient enough to influence its energy configuration and flow (Lor).