Arkay (also known as Ark'ay) is a member of the Nine Divines pantheon, and is also a popular god in other cultures. Arkay is often more important in those cultures where his father, Akatosh, is either less related to time or where his time aspects are difficult to comprehend by the layman. He is the god of burials and funeral rites, and is sometimes associated with the seasons. His priests are staunch opponents of necromancy and all forms of the undead. It is presumed that Arkay did not exist before the world was created by the gods under Lorkhan's supervision/urging/trickery. Therefore, he is sometimes called the Mortals' God.
There are two contradictory legends about Arkay's origin. The book Ark'ay the God of Birth and Death has it that Arkay was once a regular shopkeeper with a passion for knowledge. He found a book written in a strange language and spent years upon years attempting to decipher it, slowly ignoring everything and everyone else around him. Eventually Arkay realized the book explained life and death itself, but by this time was at death's door with an incurable plague. Praying to Mara as a last resort, Arkay asked for more time to interpret the book. Mara gave him a choice: die now or become a god for eternity, charged with keeping the balance of death and life in the universe. The alternative is contained in The Monomyth, which suggests that Arkay was one of the very first spirits to "crystallize" after the start of time.
Comparing Arkay to Tu'whacca, Yokudan God of Souls, shows this story is allegorical, framing the sequence of events by which an anonymous Aedra found new purpose in the constructs of the mortal plane and took up the mantle of life and death. Arkay created the Sword of the Crusader for Pelinal Whitestrake, to help him defeat Umaril the Unfeathered.
- ^ Ark'ay, the God of Birth and Death — Mymophonus the scribe
- ^ Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor
- ^ Arkay the Enemy — KW
- ^ The Monomyth