|“||Honor the earth, its creatures, and the spirits, living and dead. Guard and tend the bounties of the mortal world, and do not profane the spirits of the dead||”|
— Arkay, Ten Commandments; Nine Divines
Arkay or Ark'ay (Eurasian: Archaius), colloquially known as the God of the Cycle of Birth and Death, is a god in Novem Deos, representing the qualities of birth and death. Arkay is a popular deity amongst the Nine Divines, and is widely seen as one of the most benevolent and loving gods. Arkay is a staunch opponent of Daedra worship and necromancy, and is seen as a god of human fertility and light. He is viewed as man's god.
The origin of Arkay is widely questioned, however the Temple of the One dictates that Arkay was apotheosed. This belief states that Arkay was an ordinary shopkeeper who was granted apotheosis by Mara. However, as Mara is believed to be the wife of Akatosh, it is also entirely possible that Arkay was born a god of Mara and Akatosh and was never apotheosed. Another theory suggests that Arkay was one of the original gods to have crystallized in the Beginning Place, and that Akatosh's fatherhood of him is merely a parable. In either case, it is believed that he did not exist prior to the creation of the Earth, and as such he is viewed as the Mortal's God.