The Aedra are original beings that arose from the interplay of Anu and Padomay. They are regarded as the counterparts and opposites of the Daedra, but the distinction originated after their birth, during the creation of the Mundus. The Anuic (Aedric) beings played a leading role in the creation of Mundus (and became bound to the Earth Bones) causing them to commonly be considered the creators of the mortal world. As part of the divine contract of creation, the Aedra can be killed. Aedra translated into Aldmeris means "Our ancestors." The proper singular form is "Aedroth", but the Aedra are almost never referred to in singular.
Eight of the Aedra are worshipped as the Eight Divines, namely Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Stendarr, Mara, Kynareth, and Julianos (with the addition of Talos, the human god-heroTiber Septim, they have become the Nine Divines). These eight represent those who sacrificed parts of themselves to become the founders of Nirn. Other minor spirits disappeared into the stabilizing elements known as the Earthbones, or degenerated into mortal life, after the creation of Mundus caused by Lorkhan's trickery. Since that act at Convention, the identities of the Aedra have changed greatly and become subject to disruption and even modification by the actions of mortals.