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Daedra are vaguely demonic extra-dimensional beings that reside in a plane called "Oblivion". The strongest Daedra are called the Daedric Princes, who have their own folder on the Divine Beings character page. The vast majority of Daedra are not Princes, but lesser races of varying levels of sapience and intelligence. Like the Princes, they can't truly die but only be "banished". Their bodies are significantly easier to ruin than a Prince's, however. Typically, lesser Daedra on a racial basis swear fealty to one particular prince, but there are exceptions.
AtronachsElementally aligned Daedra that have no particular race-wide fealty to any prince. Favored summons for Conjurers.
- Elemental Embodiment: The Flame, Frost, and Storm Atronachs appear as creatures made of fire, ice, and lightning mixed with stones respectively.
- Extra-ore-dinary: The Iron Atronachs.
- Fire/Ice/Lightning: The three most common Atronachs follow this. There are other varieties, like the Flesh Atronach and the Iron Atronarch.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Since Oblivion, Flame Atronachs appear to be feminine figures made of fire and glowing hot pieces of armor.
- No Sell: Immune to magic of their respective types.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Flesh Atronachs are notably the only type of Atronach that requires creation, since they're literally sewn together from corpses and reanimated.
Aureal (AKA Golden Saints)A gold-skinned, gold-armored race of Lesser Daedra predominantly taking feminine forms, most well-known for their service to their lord Sheogorath.
- Amazon Brigade: As a race, they're primarily this.
- Characterization Marches On: In Morrowind, the Golden Saints were essentially magical females with extremely powerful spells, weapons, and shields at their disposal, with no real depth to their history or background apart from being Daedra of Sheogorath. It's not until Shivering Isles that they're established to be a man-hating Proud Warrior Race of Amazonian warriors. Also, Morrowind makes them out to be even stronger than the Dremora, even to the point of having higher-leveled souls.
- Does Not Like Men: The male Aureal are looked down upon (literally and figuratively) by the females. This trope even extends to the males of other races. Although it could perhaps be excused by the fact that male Aureals are both physically and statistically inferior to their female counterparts.
- Dumb Blonde: To an extent. Though unlike most examples of this trope, they're portrayed as "dumb" in the Dumb Muscle or Dumb Jock sense rather than being The Ditz. Although they're still capable of speaking in coherent sentences, they don't often think things through, as shown several times in Shivering Isles, since their actions sometimes required the Hero of Kvatch to bail them out of a tight spot.
- Fantastic Slur: "Dog", for both their own race and the Mazken. This is likely due to their adamant loyalty towards Sheogorath.
- Jerkass: In Shivering Isles, they show this in spades, always turning their nose up at the Player.
- Light is Not Good: As befitting servants of Sheogorath, the Golden Saints who maintain bright, happy Mania are rather unlikable and rude.
- More Deadly Than the Male. "Male" Aureal are significantly weaker in stats than females.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The females are considerably taller than the males.
AuroranA race of Lesser Daedra in the service of Meridia. They were summoned to help Umaril the Unfeathered to fight off the Alessian Revolt.
- An Axe to Grind: Their main weapon.
- Bling of War: Wear gold armor.
- Faceless Goons: All of them wear helmets that conceal their faces.
- Light is Not Good: They dress in gold armor and serve Meridia, but were used by Umaril to try and put down the Alessian Revolt and keep the ancient Cyrodiilic people slaves to the Ayleids.
ClannfearDinosaur-like Lesser Daedra that resemble lizards with ceratopsid frills. While they are associated with Mehrunes Dagon, they are seen throughout the various planes of Oblivion. Like the Deadroth, they seem to be little more than animals.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: They have some sort of shield that reduces the damage they take.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: They're hostile reptilian Daedra.
- Stock Dinosaurs: They resemble a Dromaeosaur with a Protoceratop's head stapled on the neck.
- The Goomba: They serve as the weaker troops of Mehrunes Dagon and other Deadric Princes.
DaedrothA bestial, crocodile-like race of Daedra said to be in the service of Molag Bal, but also seen in the service of other Daedric Princes like Mehrunes Dagon. They're among the more animalistic Daedra, lacking what mortals would recognize as civilization and they may not even be sentient.
- Fireballs: While they prefer to attack with their teeth and claws, they've been known to use fireballs fired from their mouth.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: They have rows of razor sharp teeth.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: They take the appearance of humanoid crocodiles.
- Spikes of Villainy: Shown with lots of spikes in Oblivion.
- You Keep Using That Word: "Deadroth" is actually the singular form of "Daedra", and technically refers to any Daedric entity from Oblivion, but in practice, it only refers to these specific creatures. So... the plural would be "Daedroths"?
DemiprinceThe scions of Daedra and mortals, who inherit some elements of their Daedric parents but are highly eccentric and often lack certain mortal concepts such as memory, cruelty, and willfulness. Physically, they resemble humans but with some Dremora-like elements, such as short horns. The most notable example is Fa-Nuit-Hen.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Demiprinces tend to have short attention spans and get bored very easily. Fa-Nuit-Hen, for example, can barely stay focused on questions during his interviews and outright interrupts people so he can answer them before he loses track of what they're saying.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Their dual nature gives them an odd perception of the world and time itself. Fa-Nuit-Hen talks of events as happening, happened, and will-or-maybe-happening at some point, all at once.
- Half-Human Hybrid: As the children of Daedra and mortals. Fa-Nuit-Hen is the scion of Boetheiah, for example.
- Pocket Dimension: They are often given realms of Oblivion to rule over as gifts from their parents.
DremoraA type of human-like Lesser Daedra in the service of various Daedric Princes, such as Mehrunes Dagon and Sanguine. Out of all the Daedra, they seem to have the closest thing to a society on par with the inhabitants of Nirn.
- Art Evolution: The Dremora in Morrowind were no bigger than Dunmer or Imperials, and were even dwarfed by Nords and Altmer. This would be changed though in Oblivion, where they were equal in height to the Altmer race. Also, they were originally very grotesque in terms of facial features. By Skyrim, though, they've started to look more like heavily-tattooed (though still horned) Dunmer.
- Blood Knight: Dremora love combat and killing.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: They don't die when you kill them and harvest their hearts, instead they're just sent back to Oblivion.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Being immortal, they have great difficulty comprehending the mindset of mortal races. How can a creature, faced with the knowledge that its own existence will be finite, continue existing without succumbing to despair?
- Evil Sounds Deep: They all speak with deep, distorted voices.
- Facial Markings: In Morrowind and Skyrim, they have red symbols on their faces.
- Fantastic Caste System: Divided into soldiers, officers, and nobles, with each caste having at least two sub-castes.
- Horned Humanoid: Have two or four horns on their head.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Every Dremora sees himself as a huntsman, with mortals as his prey.
- Jerkass: They tend to look down on the mortal Tamrielic races, and even on the other lesser Daedra.
- Large Ham: An entire race of them, as shown in Oblivion and especially Skyrim.
- Master Race: Believe themselves to be above the other Daedra species. They even go so far as to refer to themselves as "The Kyn" (see My Name Is Not Durwood below). Seeing as most lesser Daedra aren't civilized or sentient, they do have a point. However, it is unknown what their view is on the other lesser Daedra that are sentient, such as the Dark Seducers and Golden Saints, despite interacting with both races to some extent in Battlespire and Morrowind, respectively.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Though they are commonly referred to as Dremora, they prefer to identify themselves as "The Kyn", which translates to "The People" in the Daedric language. This is because they consider themselves superior and more intelligent than the other lesser Daedra, which they see as little more than mindless beasts.
- No Sense of Direction: Surprisingly, the lore book "Summoned by a Mortal" has its Dremora author mention that as a general rule they have a poor sense of direction.
- One-Gender Race: Until The Elder Scolls Online Dremora were all male. There are rare female Dremora in Oblivion, but seeing as they only appear in one caste and don't have spoken lines, this was probably a mistake. Although it's possible that they're simply the Spear Counterpart to the Dark Seducers and Golden Saints mentioned above, and have strong Stay in the Kitchen attitudes.
- Praetorian Guard: The Valkynaz are this to Mehrunes Dagon.
- Proud Warrior Race: Dremora are constantly obsessed with honor through combat. However, some are hinted to have joined the mortals and pursued material wealth.
- Spikes of Villainy: Wear Daedric armour, which features this most prominently in Oblivion and Skyrim.
- "Uh-Oh" Eyes: Curiously, their eye color is different in each game, but it's always one of these.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: It's a series tradition that only the high-level Dremora drop the Daedric armor they wear, probably to avoid a Disk One Nuke situation, as Daedric armor is always the best regular set of heavy armor in the game. Possibly because the armor is part of their bodies, as Daedric armor can be summoned by the player, literally summoning a Daedric spirit in the form of a piece of armor.
- The Usual Adversaries: In Oblivion, except for Kathutet, anyway.
- Worthy Opponent: Typically dismissive of the mortal races, but those who perform well in battle against them can earn their respect.
HerneHorned Deadra under the service of both Mehrunes Dagon and Hircine.
HungersLesser Daedra in the service of Boethiah, they attack with claws, spells, and their tongue.
- Lean and Mean: Hungers are very thin, and extremely aggressive.
- Overly Long Tongue: One of their attacks involves the use of their extremely long tongues.
Knights of OrderLesser Daedra in the service of Jyggalag.
- Evil Is Sterile: They are said to have absolutely no original thoughts whatsoever, and show as much by tending not to use spells.
- Knight Templar: Work to bring order by destroying the Shivering Isles.
LurkersA species of Lesser Deadra in the service of Hermaeus Mora native to Apocrypha's waters, who often guard Black Books.
- Breath Weapon: Can spit acid from their mouths.
- Combat Tentacles: Both in the form of a stream of tentacles coming from their mouths and a stomp that causes poisonous tentacles to appear.
- Giant Mook: Lurkers stand at an intimidating nine-ten feet tall, roughly as tall as giants, on average.
- Fish People: They appear to based on the Deep Ones.
- Healing Factor: Can quickly regain their health after being struck.
Mazken (AKA Dark Seducers)A species of Lesser Daedra that serve Sheogorath much like the Aureals.
- Amazon Brigade: Much like the Aureals, Mazken are mostly female.
- Dark is Not Evil: Again, Sheogorath's influence shows itself; the vaguely demonic guardians of depressed, swampy Dementia are polite and sympathetic towards mortals.
- Does Not Like Men: See Aureals.
- Fantastic Slur: Like the Aureal, a common insult towards their race is "dog".
- Reasonable Authority Figure: While they're rather haughty, they're far more understanding than the Aureals.
- Stripperific: They aren't wearing much.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: See Aureals.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Like the Aureals as well.
- Winged Humanoid: In Battlespire.
- Horned Humanoid: Have horns like the Hernes, but are far more bestial in appearance.
OgrimLesser Daedra in the service of Malacath.
- Dumb Muscle: Ogrim are generally not very bright.
- Giant Mook: Are among the largest of all Lesser Deadra, with more body mass than the taller Lurkers.
- Healing Factor: Can quickly heal from most injuries.
- No Sell: Are immune to normal attacks.
ScampsSmall Lesser Daedra generally in the service of Mehrunes Dagon.
- Evil Smells Bad: Scamps are well known and hated for their terrible smell. The quest "Whom Gods Annoy" has a Leyawiin resident cursed with Sheogorath's "Staff of Everscamp" who stink up her home and annoy the hell out of her.
- The Goomba: Are the weakest of all Lesser Deadra.
- Zerg Rush: They attack in large packs to lessen their height disadvantage.
SeekersLesser Daedra in the service of Hermaeus Mora, who act as the guardians and caretakers of his realm, Apocrypha.
- Badass Bookworm: Typically found reading if there aren't any intruders in Apocrypha for them to attack.
- Cthulhumanoid: Their design evokes Cthulhu.
- Homing Projectile: They use these to flush out those who try to sneak through Apocrypha undetected.
- Scary Librarian: Squidlike ones that will attack anything that enters Apocrypha.
Spider DaedraA species of lesser Daedra that have a humanoid torso with a spider's lower body and legs. Commonly associated with Mephala, although Mephala's worshippers rarely summon them due to their unpredictability.
- Magic Knight: Equally formidable with melee attacks and destruction magic.
- Spider People: Humanoid torso, spider legs and lower body.
- Wild Card: Extremely unpredictable and just as likely to attack the summoner as they are to attack whatever they're being summoned against.
VermaiAggressive, blind Lesser Daedra in the service of Mehrunes Dagon.
- Eyeless Face: The Vermai lack eyes.
Winged TwilightLesser Daedra generally in the service of Azura.
- Winged Humanoid: Have batlike wings.
XivilaiA species of tall humanoid Daedra that generally swear allegiance to Mehrunes Dagon.
- Giant Mook: They can get even taller than Dremora.
- Horned Humanoid: Have horns like Dremora.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: They fight with weapons that a human would require two hands to wield effectively, such as claymores and warhammers. Due to their size and strength, they can treat these weapons as though they were one-handed.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: They go topless all the time.
The Races of Men
The races of Men (humans) of Nirn.
"Its various peoples are called Bretons for the sake of convenience only, as the endless multitude of city-states, principalities, baronies, duchies, and kingdoms that make up High Rock has, until recently, resisted all attempts at centralization into a single culture or government."The Bretons are the human descendants of the Aldmeri-Nedic "Manmer" and the current inhabitants of High Rock. Pale-skinned and slight of build, the Bretons may be somewhat frail compared to the other humans of Tamriel, but they do benefit greatly from the elven blood flowing in their veins; many Bretons retain faint signs of their highborn ancestry, such as high cheekbones, lean eyebrows and even slight points to their ears (especially among their nobility). Intelligent, eccentric, passionate, flamboyant, witty and resourceful, the Bretons are inventive craftsmen, shrewd merchants, creative artists, exquisite chefs, and exceptional wizards and battlemages.
— Pocket Guide to the Empire and its Environs, First Edition
- Anti-Magic: Magic runs so much in their bloodline that they have an innate resistance to it in all forms.
- Brains and Brawn: They are physically the weakest of the human races, but are the most skilled with magic.
- Breeding Slave: The Bretons' earliest human ancestors were Nedes used as concubines by the Direnni Altmer.
- Culture Chop Suey: Politically, they resemble medieval England and France turned Up to Eleven, with elements of various Celtic cultures.note Their names are mostly Anglo-Franc, with some Scottish, Irish or Welsh ones mixed in as well.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Their political intrigue is more cutthroat than is typical elsewhere in Tamriel, even after the Warp in The West.
- Deadpan Snarker: A lot of Breton NPCs fit this and either Jerkass or Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Point is, if a character that you don't know welcomes you with a smile and open arms, chances are s/he isn't a Breton.note
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Have mostly Anglo-Franc first and last names, fitting in with their various counterpart cultures.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The result of an ancient Aldmeri eugenics program which mated Nedes with elves. They are occasionally referred to as the 'Manmer', a name which acknowledges their elf/human ancestry. The word "Breton" itself is derived from the Ehlnofex word "beratu," or "half." Some more elite noble families still have a slight point to their ears.
- In-Series Nickname: Sometimes called 'Manmer' because of their mixed ancestry.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Outside of High Rock they're more known for their magical potential, but the Bretons actually have a strong chivalric tradition and most city states have their own knightly order to that end. Due to High Rock's cutthroat politics, how noble these knights actually are can vary.
- Mage Killer: Bretons are very magic-resistant, bordering on immunity with their racial power, especially against the Altmer, who bias towards Destruction Magic.
- Magic Knight: Bretons are particularly adept at being Battlemages.
- Magic Staff: Staffs are common weapons for the Bretons.
- Theme Naming: Bretons typically have names that we could consider in real life to be Anglo-Franc in etymology.
- The Order: Most of High Rock's city states have their own knightly orders. For example, Daggerfall has the Knights of the Dragon, while Wayrest has the Knights of the Rose.
- Supreme Chef: The best cooks are said to come from High Rock. If you play as a Breton in Skyrim, when you have to impersonate "the Gourmet", someone even mentions that having the Gourmet be a Breton is "too obvious". Combine this trope and the aforementioned Jerkass tendencies of Bretons and you get the Elder Scrolls equivalent of a French Jerk.
- Uneven Hybrid: Most Bretons these days are more man than mer.
- Witch Species: Probably the most powerful race of humans in magic, and on par with the Altmer in terms of natural magical talent.
"Cyrodiil, Dragon Empire, Starry Heart of Nirn, and Seat of Sundered Kings... Indeed, if the history of the Nords is the history of humans on Tamriel, then Cyrodiil is the throne from which they will decide their destiny."The human inhabitants of Cyrodiil. Split into two distinct sub-groups, the Colovians and the Nibenese. The Colovians occupy mainly in western Cyrodiil and are hearty highland folk that may have more in common culturally with Nords than the Nibenese. The Nibenese are cosmopolitan heartlanders who live mainly in central and southern Cyrodiil around the Niben River system. Imperials are renowned across the continent as diplomats, statesmen and traders, and while they don't have the same strength or prowess of the Nords or Redguards, they are still disciplined and reliable soldiers.
— Pocket Guide to the Empire and its Environs, First Edition
- Animal Motifs: Dragons, dating back to St. Alessia of the first empire who was "blessed" by Akatosh, the Dragon-God of Time. Later, Tiber Septim employed a dragon by the name of Nafaalilargus to aid in the conquest of Tamriel, further driving the connection home.
- Badass Army: Imperials make up for their lack of individual strength by having a more regimented and collective martial prowess. Cyrodiilic armies managed to conquer most or all of mainland Tamriel twice.
- Boring, but Practical: Not great at magic, not great at stealth, not great at combat, yet these guys managed to conquer all of Tamriel.
- Born Lucky: In Skyrim, the Imperial Luck trait allows them to find more gold when searching containers.
- Charm Person: Their Voice of the Emperor power lets them calm enemies for a while.
- Cool Starship: The Mothships, which were built during the Reman Dynasty in a space-race with the Altmer, and left them the Royal Imperial Mananauts. Yes, really.
- Culture Chop Suey: Earlier games gave them two cultures with different influences. The Colovians (the west) were primarily based on Rome, while the Nibenese (the Imperial City, as well as the eastern and southern portions) had Chinese, Japanese, and Mesoamerican influence, but this was all but dropped by Oblivion. Since then, they've been Medieval Europe meets Rome. By Skyrim, they're based on Rome, with a smattering of Italy.
- Cultural Posturing: Particularly prone to this in Oblivion and Skyrim, particularly towards the Nords.
- The Empire: They created four of them which spanned most or all of Tamriel at different points.
- Facial Markings: Before the late Third Era, Nibenese Cyrodiils would often tattoo themselves.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Typically have Latin sounding first and last names. As of the 4th Era, some Italian sounding names are getting mixed in, reflecting the real-life evolution of language.
- Hegemonic Empire: In the 3rd era, where they managed to unify all of Tamriel for the first time in history.
- Humans Are Leaders: Imperials have been at the epicenter of Tamrielic politics since St. Alessia, and have founded four empires (the Alessian, Cyrodiilic, Septim, and Mede) from their home of Cyrodiil.
- Humans Are Average: They fit this trope moreso than the other races of men; also see Jack-of-All-Stats below.
- Humans Are Warriors: Which makes their clash with the Nords rather ironic, seeing as they're Not So Different. They're both, for instance, responsible for the destruction of an entire race of elves (Falmer for Nords; Ayleids for Imperials).
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Shows up in how Imperials are built in the series. They are outclassed in pure Combat, Magic, and Stealth abilities by at 2-4 other races each. However, the Imperials' lack any real deficiency in these categories, making them a very diverse and accessible race to play as. Their Speechcraft bonus (prior to Skyrim, anyway) makes them a good fit for stealth, their minor armor and weapons bonuses (not as large as some of the more specialized races) makes them decent warriors, and their small boosts to destruction and restoration make them good for a fairly strong mage build. These combine to make them a strong fit for cross-class builds and are in competition with the Dunmer for the most balanced of all.
- National Weapon: Imperial Swords, modeled after the Roman Gladius. And thanks to the influence of the Akaviri, Daikatanas.
- Proud Merchant Race: They get bonuses to Speechcraft. The Nibenese were also famous for this in-lore, with the Imperial City and eastern Cyrodiil being famous for their merchant-nobility, but this died out by the end of the Septim Empire.
- Proud Warrior Race: The Colovians, who live primarily in western Cyrodiil. They make up the bulk of the Legions, and respect martial values and discipline.
- Rising Empire: In the 1st and 2nd eras, where they built the foundation for their eventual dominance of Tamriel.
- Sigil Spam: The Imperial army have a tendency to display the Red Diamond or the Imperial Dragon on most of their equipment.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: They're the soldiers to the Nord and Redguard warriors, being highly disciplined and specializing in group combat, while Nords and Redguards are individually superior warriors.
- Theme Naming: Before Skyrim, Imperials typically had Roman-sounding names. In Skyrim, some Italian-like names are thrown into the mix.
- Vestigial Empire: In the 4th era, where most of the provinces of the 3rd Era empire have been lost, and those that remain are in a very fragile place.
"Perrif's original tribe is unknown, but she grew up in Sard, anon Sardarvar Leed, where the Ayleids herded in men from across all the Niben: kothri, nede, al-gemha, men-of-'kreath (though these were later known to be imported from the North), keptu, men-of-ge (who were eventually destroyed when the Flower King Nilichi made great sacrifice to an insect god named [lost]), al-hared, men-of-ket, others; but this was Cyrod, the heart of the imperatum saliache, where men knew no freedom, even to keep family, or choice of name except in secret, and so to their alien masters all of these designations were irrelevant."According to early propaganda of the Septim Empire, the Nedes are the human ancestors of the Bretons, Imperials, and Nords. According to Septim's scholars, they hail from Atmora, though other accounts suggest that they were among Tamriel's many indigenous human tribes. The Nibenese Imperials are believed to be their closest living relatives. During the Merethic and early 1st Eras, the Nedes of Cyrodiil were enslaved by Ayleids. They would revolt and overthrow the Ayleids, establishing the First Cyrodiilic Empire of Men under the leadership of St. Alessia, the "Slave Queen."
— The Adabal-a
- Culture Chop Suey: Elements of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures along with elements of the early Chinese Empire. (These elements survived in their Nibenese Imperial descendants at least until the 3rd Era.)
- The Dog Bites Back: They ended up driving the Ayleids to extinction as a unique race. That may seem harsh, but the Ayleids were so needlessly vile in their dog kicking that it's hard to blame them.
- Have You Seen My God?: The last remaining group of Nedes in Hammerfell started to turn away from their traditional worship of the stars and Celestials due to the decline of their race.
- Horny Vikings: According to Septim propaganda. It's been suggested that their relationship to the Nords has been exaggerated in order to make the Nords supportive of the empire.
- Humans Are Special: The Divines sided with Alessia and the Nedes in their revolt against the Daedra-worshiping Ayleids. Their support was instrumental in the success of the revolt.
- Precursors: To Bretons, Imperials, and possibly Nords. Culturally, they had some influence on the Redguards after they arrived in Tamriel. (The Redguards merged some of the Nedes' religious beliefs, customs, and parts of their language into their Yokudan traditions.)
- Racial Remnant: The last group that identified as "Nedes" survived deep into the First Era in the deserts of modern day Hammerfell. They were wiped out when the Redguards invaded and claimed the land.
- Slave Race: To the Ayleids.
- Slave Revolt: Against the Ayleids under Alessia, with the support of the Divines and the Nordic Empire. They went on to found the first empire of men out of Cyrodiil, the Alessian.
- Star Power: Study and worship of the stars and constellations were a major part of their culture. They also worshiped beings known as "celestials." Exactly who or what they were is not known. (Theories posit that early forms of the Aedra, Magnus and the Magna Ge, or some other unknown set of divine beings are all possibilities.)
- Written by the Winners: Propaganda from the early Septim empire, written centuries after the Nedes went extinct as a unique race, played up their relationship to the Nords in order to make the Nords more supportive of Septim's empire.
"Nords consider themselves to be the children of the sky. They call Skyrim the Throat of the World, because it is where the sky
exhaled on the land and formed them."The Nords are a race of tall and fair-haired humans from the cold and wild province of Skyrim, known for their resistance to natural and magical frost and for being fierce warriors and unruly mercenaries. This reputation is unfortunate, as the Nords are in reality more than merely the bloodthirsty barbarians Tamriel claim them to be; the Nords are lovers of battle, true, but they are also lovers of music and mead, skilled sailors, fine weaponsmiths and armourers, and a deeply spiritual and traditional people with a strong sense of honour.
— Children of the Sky
- Aerith and Bob: While the Nords typically take their names from their Scandinavian Counterpart Culture, this comes into play with the real world time periods the names are drawn from. You can see Nords with perfectly modern names like Jon and Harold living side by side with Nords who have more classic medieval Norse names like Ulfgar and Ragnar.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Jarls and Thanes are expected to be this, but how many actually are varies as realistically as it would in any other Tamrielic culture. But Nords have had a tradition that if a their High King is challenged in combat and slain, the victorious warrior would be crowned King. This was an old tradition, however, and centuries of Imperial culture slowly filtering into Skyrim has somewhat caused it to be forgotten among the Western portion of Skyrim (where the Empire has most of its influence), to the point that actually invoking it is highly contentious by the 4th Era.
- An Axe to Grind: Popular among the Nords. If you send a Nord your axe, how he responds will determine if you have business to address.
- Braids of Barbarism: Nords do love their braids.
- Brains and Brawn: The brawniest race of Men in Tamriel.
- Badass Beard: Nords are serious about their beards.
- Badass Normal: The least magically inclined people on Tamriel, and yet these guys are basically the reason why Mankind even exists on Tamriel and established the first continent spanning empire, which was only torn apart due to a succession crisis.
- Barbarian Hero: A common depiction of Nords by their allies.
- Berserk Button: It's not a good idea to call a Nord a "milk-drinker."
- The Big Guy: Nord soldiers have filled this role in the Imperial Legion for centuries, along with the Orcs.
- Boisterous Bruiser: A staple of their culture is feasting, fighting and closeness to family.
- Blood Knight: Nords excel in all forms of combat and are some of the finest warriors in Tamriel.
- Civil War: In Skyrim.
- Culture Chop Suey: While modern Nord culture is firmly rooted in Norse with Celtic and Germanic undertones, their ancient culture is quite the blend. They believe (or at least used to, before adopting the Imperial religion) in cyclic time (called kalpas), which is loosely inspired by Hinduism. Their names and aesthetic comes from the Medieval Norse. But they used to mummify their dead much like ancient Egypt, and their religion is heavily influenced by both Norse pagan and Egyptian traditions. though this has fallen out of practice.
- Does Not Like Magic: Modern Nords, as a rule of thumb, have an inherent distrust of magic and those who practise it, though they will make an exception for practitioners of Restoration (since Skyrim could use more healers), Enchanting (using magic to make weapons and armor more useful), and Thu'um (The Magic of the Voice, of which early Nords were the first human practitioners). Averted in Ancient Nordic culture; magic was known as the "Clever Craft" and held in high regard, and several prominent Nordic heroes of legend were Magic Knights.
- Empowered Badass Normal: The Ancient Nords were the first (mortal) race in Tamriel to master the Thu'um, which they used to drive the Dragons into near-extinction and carve out an empire for themselves during the Merethic Era.
- Facial Markings: Many Nord warriors typically adorn themselves with warpaint.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: The typically have a Norse or Germanic sounding first name followed by a clan name, or sometimes a first name and a nickname. You can tell the difference by the presence or absence of the "the" article; if there is one, it's a nickname. For example "Sild the Warlock" is a nickname. If there's no "the", it's a clan name, for example "Lars Battle-Born".
- Fantastic Racism: Have been distrustful of Elves ever since the war between Ysgramor's companions and the Falmer, and the recent conflict between the Empire and the Thalmor has only made these feelings worse. Nords are stubborn to accept other races at best and nationalist bigots at worst.
- Had To Be Sharp: Part of the reason the Nords are so hardy is because Skyrim is such an unforgiving land with an unpredictable climate, filled to the brim with all manner of hostile wildlife and all manner of natural hazards. Even to claim Skyrim during the Merethic Era, the Ancient Nords who settled there had to contend with Snow Elves and Dragons; the former native to the land and the latter who maintained their base of power and cults there.
- Honour Before Reason: One of the core reasons for the Skyrim Civil War. The Stormcloaks believe that the Empire lost its honor when it accepted the Thalmor's terms and outlawed the worship of Talos. On the other hand, Imperial sympathizers among Nords accept that the Empire (which was founded by Talos) has fallen on hard times, but believe that real honor means never abandoning an ally just because the going's gotten tough.
- Horny Vikings:
- Aesthetically, they're heavily inspired by the popular Viking-image. But, unlike most other depictions of this trope, sea-born raiding was never a major part of their culture. It is present a little (Reavers and, in the past, such as their First Era raids of Morrowind,) but never prominent.
- How the rest of Tamriel, particularly the races of Mer, see the Nords. The truth is a bit more complex, however, and Skyrim is quite dedicated to Deconstructing the trope as it relates to the Nords in terms of behavior; showing them as a thoroughly civilized, proud warrior race with a strong bardic element, who greatly value honour, family and tradition.
- Humans Are Warriors: A thesis they lectured on the Falmer rather effectively. And their proficiency on it is basically why Man has come to dominate Tamriel. They're now lecturing the Altmer and Imperials on this, as well. Though unlike other examples of this trope, the Nords are actually the physical superiors of their non-human adversaries and the more skilled individual fighters. To illustrate this further, it took a mere army of 500 of their finest to conquer an entire land and wipe out an entire race.
- In-Series Nickname: In Oblivion, other races derogatorily refer to Nords as "Snow-men".
- Sons of Skyrim and Sons of the Snow are also used.
- Lightning Bruiser: Nord ability bonuses basically make them the best race to take on this role. They have the best adjustment scores for light armour and two handed weaponry. Coupled with their physical endurance, it makes them able to hit extremely hard, endure a great amount of damage and quickly move around the battlefield.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Of all the races, the Nords have the greatest average affinity to the Thu'um.
- Norse by Norsewest: Their culture and even physical appearance (facial structure, skin tones, etc) is basically fantasy northern-European.
- Not So Different: The Nords and the Altmer have some shocking similarities despite their rivalries, especially by the time of Skyrim. Both races follow the mainstream Nine Divines but there is a huge minority of their original religion as well, both of them have a very haughty attitude towards any professions they frown upon (magic in the Nord's case) as well as any other races (Mers for the Nords although Skyrim has recently shown that they are starting to look down upon their fellow men as well) to the point of showing overt racism, and finally, both believe that they are the rightful heirs to Tamriel.
- Odd Friendship: Oddly enough with the Orsimer, who the Nords get on with surprisingly well for a Mer species, as shown by the numerous Orc strongholds dotted across Skyrim. Both races apparently bond over their mutual respect for strong leaders, affinity for smithing and love of fighting.
- Pet the Dog: Despite their tempestuous relationship with Elves, when the Dunmer were driven from Morrowind after the destruction of Red Mountain, the High King of Skyrim formally offered them the island of Solstheim to resettle on. To quote from the declaration:
"Untithed to any thane or hold, and self-governed, with free worship, with no compensation to Skyrim or the Empire except as writ in the armistice of old wheresoever those might still apply, and henceforth let no man or mer say that the Sons and Daughters of Kyne are without mercy or honor."
- As a rather cynical old Dunmer once noted, Solstheim was always a barren rock that no one has ever particularly cared about outside its ebony and stalhrim deposits, and was theoretically already claimed by Morrowind even if no one there wanted it. Refugees were already pouring in after the Red Year; the Nords would have had a hard fight against desperate people on their hands if they wanted to keep the island.
- The Paragon: Talos, Ysgramor and the Dragonborn are often held up as the ultimate examples of what a Nord should aspire to be.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: They're the fiercest warriors in Tamriel. In fact, being a great fighter is even at the heart of their religion.
- Real Men Love Talos: Out of all the races of Tamriel, they were the most upset when the White Gold Concordat between the Aldmeri Dominion and the Empire outlawed the worship of Talos as a god. The Nords deeply venerate Talos as a national hero, one of the legendary Dragonborn and for founding the Empire that covered Tamriel.
- Rebellious Rebel: During the Skyrim Civil War. While there are Nords in Skyrim who genuinely support the Empire, many other Imperial-aligned Nords suggest that this is done out of a sense of tradition, a belief that independence would be disastrous for their homeland and outright distrust for the nationalistic and Humanity Is Superior attitude held by Jarl Ulfric and his Stormcloak army.
- Red Baron: The Sons of Skyrim, Sons of the Snow.
- Screaming Warrior:
- Their Battle Cry special ability causes enemies to run in fear.
- They were also the first race in Tamriel to master the tongue of Dragons, which takes this trope to its logical conclusion by having the screaming be capable of directly inflicting harm.
- Shocking Defeat Legacy: For all of their many victories, it was a Nord defeat that had perhaps the most profound impact on Tamriellic history. After centuries of domination and expansion out of Skyrim, their army, led by the Tongues (masters of the Thu'um,) was annihilated at Red Mountain in Morrowind by a coalition of Dwemer and Chimer forces. This marked the farthest expanse of the Nordic empire and led to a drop-off in the use of the Thu'um as a weapon after Jurgen Windcaller, one of the defeated Tongues, created the Way of the Voice to use the Thu'um only to honor the gods. The after effects of the loss at Red Mountain could still be felt in the storylines to both Morrowind and Skyrim.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: They and the Redguards are generally warriors to the soldier of the Imperial, being far superior individual combatants compared to the regimented nature of Imperial Legions, along with possessing a strong warrior ethos. Imperialized Nords lean more towards the Soldier side, however.
- Theme Naming: True to their northern European stylings all over elsewhere, the Nords have a Scandinavian name motif.
- Warrior Heaven: Sovngarde, the realm of Aetherius where the Nords after death, is open to any warrior who proves strong enough to best the warrior god Tsun, and thus be allowed to enter the Hall of Heroes, where they can spend eternity drinking, eating, and fighting with other warriors. Those who cannot best Tsun are condemned to walk the misty hills beyond until they are strong enough to prove worthy of entry.
- Warrior Poet: Like the medieval Norse, they have a great respect for their Skalds.
"Thus was stolen by the foreign invaders: his land, his people, his very name. In the years that followed, Red Eagle became known as the untamed spirit of the Reach, unbowed, unbroken, stained by the blood of his foes. He gathered loyal Reachmen to himself, those who clung to the old ways, who yearned for freedom, and forged a new nation. Together, they fell upon the occupiers and the traitors by night, disappearing into the cliffs and caves each morn, evading capture."Also known as "Witchmen," Reachmen inhabit the area along the border of High Rock and Skyrim known as "The Reach." Though primarily Breton in in terms of race, they do not consider themselves culturally Breton. They are a primitive and tribal people, led by shamans, who practice elements of nature and Daedra worship, primarily Hircine. They also revere Hagravens as "matrons." From the time of the Alessian Empire to the Fourth era, they've maintained an insurgency, warring against any outside conquerors attempting to claim the Reach for themselves.
— The Legend of Red Eagle
- Barbarian Tribe: A group primitive in dress and technology who practices the closest thing to a "pagan" religion in Tamriel and is violently hostile to outsiders.
- Deadly Upgrade: Their warriors may choose to become "Briarhearts." A Hagraven will remove the warrior's heart and replace it with a Briar Heart, a magical organic object which looks something like a pine cone. The Briarhearts receive a massive power upgrade at the cost of free will and thought. They also pick up the Weaksauce Weakness that if the Briar Heart is stolen (say, by a skilled pickpocket) or damaged (say, by a skilled archer), they will fall dead instantly.
- Druid: Their "hedge magic" is in this vein.
- Fantastic Racism: They specifically like to target any non-Bretons attempting to settle in the Reach.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Celts of the classical through medieval eras, with the Imperials, Bretons, and Nords in the roles of the Romans, Anglo-Normans, and Vikings toward them, respectively.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Typically have a single Celtic sounding name, in line with their counterpart culture.
- Fur Bikini: Both men and women wear relatively little clothing, and what they do wear is primarily fur or hide.
- The Mole: They have agents living among the population of major cities within or near the Reach who act as spies and assassins.
- Occupiers out of Our Country: No matter what foreign occupier attempts to claim the reach and no matter how powerful they are, the Reachmen will resist.
- Rebel Leader: Red Eagle was the first to unify the people of the Reach during the era of the Alessian Empire. Madanach is the leader of the 4th era "Forsworn" group of Reachmen.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: They have no reservations about using open warfare and public murder of civilians to get what they want. They've been known to sack caravans, leaving no survivors but also taking no loot, in order to send a message.
- Rock Beats Laser: They eschew metal in their weapons and armor, favoring wood, stone, fur, feathers, bone, and antler. Despite this, they are able fight evenly against better equipped adversaries through use of guerilla tactics and their druidic "hedge magic."
- Spark of the Rebellion: During the Third Era Septim Empire and into the early Fourth Era, they begrudgingly accepted Nord rule rather than risk the wrath of the Empire. When the Empire was devastated after Great War, the Forsworn rose up and captured the city of Markarth. Though the Nords would drive them out, they hold strong in the countryside of the Reach with their numbers swelling.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: They see themselves as fighting for the freedom of their ancestral homeland. Those they fight against see them as savages.
Redguard (a.k.a. Ra'Gada)
"To know Satakal, consider a river. As a snake sheds its skin and lives on, so a river sheds its water into the sea, yet is reborn at the source."The human inhabitants of Hammerfell. Unlike the other human races who came from Atmoranote , the Redguards came from Yokuda and have no ties to the other races of men on Tamriel. Dark-skinned and wiry-haired with gaunt frames and fine muscle tone, Redguards are athletic warriors with a particular cultural affinity for swordplay, though their fierce and independent spirits make them more suitable as free-ranging heroes and adventurers than rank-and-file soldiers. Redguards are also excellent seafarers.
— Knowing Satakal
- Atlantis: Yokuda. Once the most advanced society of its time, the entire continent sank for still mysterious reasons, although there are hints that some islands from the old continent that still remain. For example, most of Vivic's Sword-Meeting With Cyrus the Restless took place on the remains of Yokuda.
- Born Under the Sail: While Redguards are primarily known for being warriors, they are secondarily famous for being masters of sail, to the point that Hammerfell itself is referred to as "the Land of Sword and Sail".
- Both Sides Have a Point: Redguard society has traditionally been divided into two sociopolitical groups: The Crowns, descended from Redguard nobility, hold Yokudan tradition in high regard and dislike foreigners, while the Forebears, descended from the warriors who conquered Hammerfell, are more comfortable with incorporating aspects of Breton and Imperial culture into their way of life. A third political movement, the Lhotunics, emerged after the Warp in the West, who espouse both the cosmopolitan values of the Forebears and the sense of tradition and respect for the past of the Crowns, and are generally held in contempt by both sides.
- Cool Sword: The Ra'ga place a high amount of value in swords, due to their warrior culture.
- Does Not Like Magic: On two counts; since they have a Proud Warrior Race culture, they regard magic as a tool for avoiding a 'real' fight, and since many parts of Hammerfell (especially those controlled by the Crowns) are socially conservative and somewhat xenophobic, magic is seen as a dangerous foreign influence. Conjurers are especially likely to earn a Redguard's dislike, since they tamper with souls, create undead and traffick with demons.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Primarily the Middle East, particularly the Moors, their naming conventions are somewhat reminiscent of Arabic, also. However, the value they place on skill in battle and their tradition of a noble caste of warriors is similar to the samurai of feudal Japan.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Typically draw from a mix of Arabic and Persian sounding names. Through Oblivion, they also had the occasional Ghetto Name mixed in, like Trayvond, or names that have become very popular in the African-American community (Roderick, Alonzo, Rasheda, etc.) though this has been dropped by Skyrim.
- Fantastic Nuke: Using the Pankratosword, the very best of their warriors could "cut the atomos." They claim this is how Yokuda sank, and it is dangerous enough that even Vivec backed down when Cyrus threatened to use itnote . This technique is now forbidden, and quite possibly lost to history as a result.
- Humans Are Warriors: As those who stood in their way, past and present, have found out.
- Instant Expert: The old Yokudan memory-stones enabled those who used them to master complex sword techniques overnight, although many of the maneuvers required extensive physical training to actually understand the knowledge, let alone use them in battle.
- No Sell: Redguards are the most resistant to poison out of any human race.
- Master Swordsman: The Redguard hat is that they're as a whole the most skilled swordsmen in Tamriel, and in Yokuda swords were such an essential part of their lifestyle that the sword-saints conducted traditional greetings with sword-dances and performances.
- Odd Job Gods: They have a few. One particularly interesting one is Hoon Ding, the "Make Way" god. He is said to manifest himself as a great leader whenever the Redguards need to "make way" for their people. Cyrus the Restless, hero of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, is said to be one such manifestation.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Redguards have the finest warriors on Tamriel. So much so that in the late Second Era, the Old Thalmor considered Hammerfell to be the biggest threat to Tiber Septim's empire.
- Scary Black Man: How other races often regard them, particularly Cyrodiils and Nords due to their numerous wars against them.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: The Redguards who arrived in Tamriel made a conscious decision to settle the Alik'r Desert, one of the most inhospitable environments Tamriel had to offer, because in Redguard culture, anything that can be obtained without effort is not worth obtaining in the first place.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: They and the Nords are warriors to the Imperial soldier, as they tend to be the superior individual combatants, while Imperials are more disciplined.
- Theme Naming: Redguards usually have names that elicit an Arabic or North African style.
SkaalThe Skaal are a tribe related to the Nords, residing on the island of Solstheim. They worship the All-Maker and seek to live in harmony with nature.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Aside from those they share with the Nords, they have some Inuit and other Native American influences as well.
- In Harmony with Nature: The path of the All-Maker. Whatever that is taken from the All-Maker must be repaid somehow. For example, their hunters only kill when absolutely necessary as part of the cycle of life, and never for sport. They only harvest firewood from fallen trees, never cutting down live trees for it.
- Magical Native American: Including their speech patterns.
- Warrior Poet: Like their Nord cousins, but taken even farther. Epic, primarily oral poetry is a big part of their culture.
The Races of Mer (Elves)
The Elven races (or Mer in their language) of Nirn.
General Tropes applying to the races of Mer
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Altmer (and presumably the ancient Aldmer) are gold skinned, Bosmer are reddish-brown skinned, Dunmer are ash-gray skinned, Orsimer are green skinned, Falmer used to be snow-white skinned, the Dwemer were pasty off-white skinned, and Maormer are chameleon skinned.
- Atlantis: They have their own version called Aldmeris. It is said to be the continent the Precursors of the modern Mer races, the Aldmer, came from. It is said that Aldmeris came under an unknown threat in the Merethic Era and the Aldmer were forced to flee. It is said to be "lost," and whether it still exists (or ever existed at all, as other theories claim that Aldmeris was simply Tamriel before the races of Men arrived) is unknown.
- Bling of War: Most races of Mer have an iconic armor type which fits. The Altmer have the popular Elven armor, which is gold in color. The Dunmer have the high quality Glass armor, which is emerald green in color. "Dwarven" armor originally worn by the Dwemer is bronze/gold in color. The ancient Falmer wore platinum colored armor. Orcs are masters at crafting with Orichalcum, which, while a dull gray in color, they craft into intimidating looking heavy armor. The Bosmer avert it by specializing in light armor or no armor at all.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Each race of Mer has traits, beliefs, and practices which come across as very alien to a human observer. Ranges from being played completely straight with some races of Mer who are utterly alien (Dwemer, some Altmer beliefs) to downplayed with others (Dunmer, Bosmer) but is extant throughout. Specific examples for each race can be found in their entries below.
- Classical Tongue: Aldmeris, the language of the Aldmer, is the Tamriellic equivalent.
- Demi Human: While primarily humanoid in size and shape, each race of Mer shares at least a few features outside the range of normal humans including unusual skin tones, classic pointed ears, and elongated skulls of varying degrees.
- Immortality Begins at 20: Implied to be the case from a few examples in the lore. Mer children seem to age similarly to human children until they reach adulthood, at which point their aging slows down considerably.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: While longer lived than the the races of Men, Mer pairings are less likely to produce offspring. It is also implied that there may even be a cap in the total amount of children a Mer woman can have, with few ever having more than three.
- Long Lived: The races of Mer are implied to have longer natural lifespans than the races of Men, who have lifespans along the lines of real life humans. Exactly how much longer is unclear, however, and largely inconsistent. Even without counting the magically enhanced lifespans of certain specific Mer, there are examples living naturally for centuries. Barenziah is approaching 500 in her appearance in Tribunal, and though noticeably aged, she is appears no worse for the wear than a 60 or so year old human. In the backstory, Nerevar is in his 200s by the time of The Battle of Red Mountain and still acting as a Frontline General. Several Altmer and Dunmer characters in Skyrim mention having been present for events like the Red Year (200 years prior to Skyrim) or mention having served in the military for 150 years, but none look any older than middle-aged.
- Our Elves Are Better: They sure seem to think so, especially the Altmer. Overall, the races of Mer consider all Mer to certainly be "better" than the races of Men.
- Our Elves Are Different: Starting with having the endonym of Mer. Gets more specific as you get into the individual races, detailed in their entries below.
- Our Gods Are Different: The primary reason the races of Mer split apart was because of religion.
- Pointy Ears: Each race of Mer has the classic standard "Elf" variant.
- Precursors: The Aldmer, the "First Elves" who came to Tamriel from Aldmeris, are the common ancestor of all the races of Mer in Tamriel. The Altmer are their closet living relative.
- Screw You, Elves!: Virtually all races of Mer get this treatment at least some of the time from the races of Men, to the point where much of Tamriel's history can be summed up as "elves and men fighting," or sometimes "elves fighting other elves."
- Superior Species: Each race of Mer certainly believes this about themselves, toward both the other races of Mer and especially the races of Men. The truth is obviously less clear.
"As he entered every aspect of Anuiel, Lorkhan would plant an idea that was almost wholly based on limitation. He outlined a plan to create a soul for the Aurbis, a place where the aspects of aspects might even be allowed to self-reflect. He gained many followers; even Auriel, when told he would become the king of the new world, agreed to help Lorkhan. So they created the Mundus, where their own aspects might live, and became the et'Ada.
But this was a trick. As Lorkhan knew, this world contained more limitations than not and was therefore hardly a thing of Anu at all.
Mundus was the House of Sithis. As their aspects began to die off, many of the et'Ada vanished completely. Some escaped, like Magnus, and that is why there are no limitations to magic. Others, like Y'ffre, transformed themselves into the Ehlnofey, the Earthbones, so that the whole world might not die. Some had to marry and make children just to last. Each generation was weaker than the last, and soon there were Aldmer.
Darkness caved in. Lorkhan made armies out of the weakest souls and named them Men, and they brought Sithis into every quarter."The tall, golden-skinned High Elves of the Summerset Isles. They are the primary descendants of the Aldmer, the first race of Mer, and determining when Aldmer history ended and where Altmer history began is nigh impossible. Though non-Altmer scholars are loathe to admit, the truth is that Tamriel owes much of its art, science, philosophy, language and religion to the Altmer, who are also the most magically-gifted of all races. However, they are often viewed as haughty and snobbish, looking down on the other races of Mer as "degenerates" and believing the races of Men to be even worse. For centuries, they led a mighty empire known as the Aldmeri Dominion. In the late 2nd Era, their empire was crushed by Tiber Septim and the Numidium, forcing them to join an Empire of Men by conquest for the first time in history. During the reign of the Septim Empire, they quietly bode their time and rebuilt their shattered nation. When the Septim Dynasty ended as a result of the Oblivion Crisis, the Dominion rose once again, this time led by the religious extremist (and even more fantastically racist) Thalmor.
— The Monomyth
- Animal Motifs: Eagles, based off of Auri-El, the golden eagle god off whom Akatosh was based in the Imperial pantheon.
- Arch-Enemy: Several, to the point that their enemies probably look like a Rogues Gallery to the Altmer. They warred with the Sload of Thras at various points in their history, and (as the leaders of the Aldmeri Dominion) have been the main opposition to each of the Cyrodiilic Empires. They also have a long rivalry dating back to their time as the Aldmer in Aldmeris with the Maormer of Pyandonia.
- Blatant Lies: The Thalmor took credit for ending the Oblivion Crisis within their homeland, garnering them enough political support to take over the Altmeri government and reestablish the ancient Aldmeri Dominion. Later, they took credit for restoring the moons to the sky which gained them great favor with the Khajiit, getting them to join the Dominion peacefully as vassals.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Like most of the races of Mer, some of their beliefs are utterly alien to the human mind.
- A major part of their religious belief system (which traces back to the Aldmer and has passed through to some of the other races of Mer) is that the creation of the mortal world was a cruel trick which forced their divine ancestors to experience mortal suffering and death, and seeking to undo creation is a noble cause. The religious extremest Thalmor really play up this belief and are actively attempting to carry it out.
- Killing undesirable progeny is also perfectly acceptable, as they believe it releases that being's soul to potentially be reincarnated in a better form. This isn't an act of cruelty or evil to them, they see it as a mercy.
- Break the Haughty: The Altmer were delivered a massive blow to their collective ego when Tiber Septim used The Numidium to destroy their armies and sack their capital city of Alinor in less than one hour of fighting. This was the first time in their thousands of years of history that the Altmer had been conquered by an outside force.note Severely weakened, many of the most extremist Altmer groups (including the Thalmor) were content to wait out Septim's 3rd Empire and then rose again once it fell completely apart.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: With the extinction of the Dwemer, the Altmer as the most advanced and magically-gifted race in Tamriel, with Tamriel owing much of its art, science, philosophy, language, and religion to the Altmer. Their buildings are frequently made of glass or crystal (said to refract light into a rainbow "insect wing" like appearance), with tall towers, vine-like buildings, and swirling walls. Gold tends to be the primary color in the items they craft, including weapons and armor.
- Cultural Posturing: They take the cake as the haughtiest culture in Tamriel. They are indeed responsible for much of Tamriel's art, science, philosophy, language and religion, and (while there are exceptions) they have no issue letting the other races know just how superior they believe they are. They are the direct descendants of the Aldmer and consider the other races of Mer as a result of "degeneration" over the ages. (And don't even bother trying to bring up the races of Men...) Their religious beliefs state that they are the true descendants of the Aedra, and the 4th Era ascension of the Thalmor into positions of Altmeri leadership has only exacerbated their posturing.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: They were handed one by Tiber Septim's legions with the aid of The Numidium. Their army was crushed and their capital city was sacked in less than an hour, bringing the Altmer under the rule of men by conquest for the first time in history. This only exacerbated their hatred of humanity and, when the opportunity arose following the Oblivion Crisis, they struck back hard under the leadership of the Thalmor.
- The Exile: For most of Altmeri history, those who dissented with traditional Altmer beliefs simply left to resettle elsewhere and practice their unorthodox beliefs. The Dwemer, Chimer, and Ayleids are several prominent examples of this. This has left them, as a culture, rather unaccustomed to dealing with dissidents in their homeland. With most of Tamriel claimed and populated, the number of dissidents in the Summerset Isles swelled in the 3rd and 4th Eras, leading to a rise in extremism and domestic terrorism.
- Fantastic Caste System: The Altmer have an extremely rigid caste system, as noted in the Third Pocket Guide:
"A hierarchy of classes began to form, which is still largely enforced in Summerset to this day. At the top are the Wise, teachers and priests, followed by the Artists, Princes, Warriors, Landowners, Merchants, and Workers."
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Their names are heavily inspired by Tolkien's "Quenya" Conlang, tending to be very vowel heavy with lots of "-il," "-ar," and the like suffixes. Reading a list of Altmer names will sound very similar to reading The Silmarillion.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: According to Altmer religious beliefs, the creation of Mundus was seen as an act of malevolence as it forced them to experience mortal suffering, loss, and death while removing them from a place of pre-creation divinity. While most are content to toil in this mortal "prison" with "more limitations than not," some extremists, like the Thalmor, actively seek to undo creation to return to that state of pre-creation divinity. However, they believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind keeps them trapped in Mundus. (According to their beliefs, mankind were made up from the "weakest souls" by Lorkhan to spread Sithis (chaos) "into every corner," ensuring that there could never be the "stasis" of pre-creation again.) Essentially, the Altmer are oppressed not just by the existence of mankind, but the possibility of mankind's existence.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Meta. During Morrowind development, it was suggested that Altmer be written as completely incomprehensible to humans. There are theories that the Thalmor are, or want to be, and consider the fact that the Altmer are not as evidence of this trope.
- Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: While primarily known for their sorcery and magical prowess, they do employ armed-and-armored soldiers as well. However, these soldiers are openly disrespected by the mages, who are typically upper-class. In their Fantastic Caste System, "warriors" come in around the middle, just above merchants and common workers. In Skyrim, one can overhear a conversation between two Thalmor guards where one of them says that "he hopes that a dragon eats all of their wizards," showing that this dislike goes in the opposite direction as well.
- Light is Not Good: Altmer crafted items, including weapons and armor, tend to feature lots of shiny gold while their homeland is full of Shining Cities with heavy use of crystal and glass. That said, they are historically one of the greatest antagonists of the races of Men and under more extremist leadership, such as the Thalmor, they tend to be outright villainous.
- Magic Knight: While primarily known for their sorcery and magical prowess, they do employ armed-and-armored soldiers as well. Each and every one of these soldiers uses magic as a supplement in combat.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Many Non-Thalmor Altmer are disgusted by the Thalmor, especially the Psijic Order and Imperial Archmage (later Potentate) Ocato. Unsurprisingly, the Thalmor do not consider them true Altmer.
- Not So Different: The Nords and the Altmer have some shocking similarities despite their rivalries, especially by the time of Skyrim. Both races follow the mainstream Nine Divines but there is a huge minority of their original religion as well, both of them have a very haughty attitude towards any professions they frown upon (soldiers, especially those that don't practice magic in the Altmer's case) as well as any other races (Men for the Altmer although they have looked down on their Bosmer, Dunmer, and Orc cousins from time to time) to the point of showing overt racism, and finally, both believe that they are the rightful heirs to Tamriel.
- Odd Friendship: Downplayed with the Khajiit. For all their "I'm better than you" attitude towards just about every other race on Tamriel, the Altmer have historically had a more benevolent relationship with the Khajiit. Both the ancient Aldmeri Dominion and the modern version have preferred to get the Khajiit to join as vassals by aiding them to develop trust rather than through conquest. Of course, there are self-serving aspects for the Altmer with this arrangement, and in the modern version of the Dominion at least, they either exaggerated or blatantly lied about certain accomplishments in order to appeal to the Khajiit. Additionally, how much of the friendship is benevolence on the part of the Altmer and how much is the Altmer wanting to avoid the wrath of a race widely considered the Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass of Tamriel is up for reasonable debate.
- Our Elves Are Better: Something the Thalmor repeatedly emphasise, and there is some truth to it. The Altmer laid the foundation down for all of the races who followed them, they are the only people in Tamriel who come anywhere close to rivalling the ancient Dwemer in terms of advancement, and they do still take the lead in most cultural and scientific pursuits. They don't have to be dicks about it, though.
- Our Gods Are Different: The primary reasons the other Elvish races split from the Altmer were over worship, with the Altmer worshipping the Aedra. Their religious pantheon would be used as part of the basis for Nine Divines pantheon, though with some names and roles changed. (Most notably, and most disturbingly to the Altmer, the golden-eagle god Auri-El was changed into the draconic Akatosh in the Imperial pantheon.) They are also known to worship other divine beings who do not neatly fit into the categories of Aedra or Daedra, such as Trinimac, Syrabane, Phynaster, and Magnus.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: "The Beautiful", a terrorist organization comprised of young Altmer, which uses public assassinations and general mayhem as a means to promote modernity and oppose the other branch of Altmer extremism represented by the Thalmor.
- Shining City: Most of their cities within the Summerset Isles qualify, but their capital, Alinor, takes it Up to Eleven. Impossibly tall vine-line buildings with swirling architecture rise high into the sky, where their glass/crystalline structures refract light to create rainbows in a manner reminiscent of "insect wings."
- Slave Race: They are known to train and use goblins as slave labor and cannon fodder in battle.
- The Social Darwinist: They have this as an active belief, particularly when under more extremist leadership like the Thalmor. They believe that they descend from the gods, and that the diversity of all other Elven races is the result of "degeneration". They actively try to breed themselves back into their ideal, including killing undesirable progeny. And don't even try to bring up the races of men around them...
- Squishy Wizard: They are the most physically frail race on average, but also have the highest natural talents for magic.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: Non-Thalmor Altmer to the Thalmor, who are essentially an extreme walking Altmer stereotype.
- Stronger with Age: Inverted, in terms of their religious philosophy. They believe that the other "lesser" races of Mer are the result of "degeneration" over the ages, with each generation being weaker than the last as they are one more removed from their Aedric/Ehlnofey ancestors. The Altmer actively try to breed themselves back into their ideal, which includes killing undesirable progeny. (In their minds, they are releasing the soul so it has a chance to be reincarnated in a better form.) And don't even get them started on the races of Men...
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Many Altmer were always haughty, but the Thalmor take this to outright racism. Many non-Thalmor Altmer are disgusted by the Thalmor.
- The Tower: The Crystal Tower of Alinor, destroyed during the Oblivion Crisis.
- Witch Species: The most magically inclined of all the races of Mer, and arguably over most magical of any race (although the Bretons might disagree). Two of the most famous mages in history, Vanus Galerion and Mannimarco, were Altmer.
- Villainous Rescue: From their perspective, this was the case in the 3rd Era's War of the Isle. Maormer forces were overrunning the Summerset Isles, forcing the Altmer to request aid from the hated Empire.
- You Are Number 6: The Pocket Guide to The Empire (a work of debatable accuracy) suggests that Altmer in Summerset don't bother to give themselves names. When they greet, they address one another with a long combination of numbers that sounds like a name if you aren't fluent in their language.
"In the caverns of lore, ugly and obscure, shines the gold of truth."The Wild Elves of Cyrodiil (also known as the "Heartland High Elves"), who were close relatives of the Altmer. The broke away from the Aedra-worshiping leadership of the Summerset Isles to found their own kingdom in which they could worship other entities, primarily the Daedra. This led their mighty nation down dark paths, which included the enslavement and vile torture of the Nedes, precursors to most of the later races of Men. When these slaves rose up in the Alessian Revolt in the 1st Era, the Ayleid kingdom was devastated. A few Ayleid lords who sided with the revolting slaves were permitted to keep their lands, but about a century later, even they were decimated when a rabidly anti-Elven religious doctrine took over the Alessian Empire. What few Ayleids remained mixed into the other races of Mer, while their cultural identity, relics, and writings were destroyed wherever they could be found. The Ayleids are now considered extinct as a unique race, although unconfirmed sightings in the remote wilderness areas of Tamriel continued to occur into the 3rd Era. Like the Altmer, they had tall but lean frames with elongated skulls and angular facial features. They had a grayish skin tone darker than that of the Altmer, but still much lighter than that of the Dunmer.
— Ayleid Transcriptions and Their Translations
- Abusive Precursors: They kept humans as slaves, and some of their more horrific mistreatment of their slaves included forcing them all to work naked, force-feeding them hallucinogenic drugs and watching their reactions, creating sculptures out of their bones and gardens out of their entrails, and setting human children on fire and setting hungry animals on them. The humans eventually rose up against their masters, overthrew them, ruled over Cyrodiil (with a few Ayleid lords that had joined the human rebellion being left in place) and then a while later picked up crazy religion and ruthlessly hunted down all vestiges of the Ayleid civilisation, exterminating the ones who didn't flee Cyrodiil.
- Animal Motifs: Birds. Many of their writings (and writings about them) are heavy with bird metaphors. They were said to have adorned themselves with feathers. Their armor was designed with feather patterns and their helmets with "beaks." A great example is the armor of Laloriaran Dynar◊ in Online.
- Conlang: They have their own, known as "Ayleidoon."
- The Empire: They are credited with forming the first empire in Tamriel, dominating all of Cyrodiil ("Cyrod" as they called it) and founded what would later become the Imperial City.
- Folk Hero: The Last King of the Ayleids, Laloriaran Dynar, who died at the Battle of Glenumbra Moors alongside the Direnni of High Rock is considered one by many modern Mer who long for the time when Tamriel was dominated by the races of Mer.
- Ghost Memory: Like their Welkynd and Varla stones, the Ayleids possessed crystals which could release memories directly to the user. Overuse of these crystals was said to cause a "problem of capacity" for mortal minds.
- Human Sacrifice: They were known to practice it, sacrificing their human slaves to appease their various deities.
- Ignored Expert: The "moth-eyed" (Moth Priests), who study the Elder Scrolls, warned them that their hubris would "bear bitter fruit." The Ayleids ignored this, and their hubris would indeed lead to their downfall.
- Kick the Dog: Their actions toward their Nedic slaves included but were not limited to: forcing all slaves to be naked, creating sculptures out of their bones, creating gardens out of their entrails, setting their children on fire and then siccing wild animals on them (which they refer to as "Tiger Sport"), and skinning runaways alive then making their skin into blankets for their children and babies.
- Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: In their hubris, they believed that they would last forever. They tortured their human slaves in unimaginably cruel ways, leading to those slaves rising up and destroying the entire Ayleid culture. Those who weren't killed were forced to intermingle with the other races of Mer, effectively leading to their extinction as a unique race.
- Lost Technology:
- The Ayleids created many useful magical items during the golden years of their Empire, none of which have been replicated by the time of the games, forcing players to search Ayleid ruins in order to get their hands on them. Their magic items included Welkynd Stones and Wells which restore lost magicka, as well as Varla stones which can restore enchantments to weapons. The catch? The stones disappear after being used, and the wells need time to recharge. So powerful were these items, particularly those of the Varla stones (or "varliance"), that Umaril the Unfeathered "wrought" weapons from which were able to make Pelinal Whitestrake bleed.
- According to some theories, the Ayleids themselves didn't "create" these items, but preserved them from the "Dawn Era magicks of the Ehlnofey", meaning they were a form of lost technology even to the Ayleids.
- Magitek: Much of their technology fits, with their technologically advanced (relative the extant races of Tamriel) cities powered by Magicka-recharging Welkynd stones and Enchantment-recharging Varla stones.
- Malevolent Architecture: Their ruins (formerly Ayleid cities) are notorious for their death traps, many of which are implausible and seem more dangerous to the denizens of the city than any invaders. One theory states that the Ayelids didn't always have such traps in their cities, and started constructing them as defensive measures during the Alessian Revolt, potentially justifying it. They make full use of Pressure Plates and Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
- There were a number of Ayleids who refused to worship the Daedra, instead continuing to worship the Aedra. These two groups eventually went to war, but the Aedra-worshiping Ayleids were defeated and the survivors forced to flee Cyrodiil. The most famous of these groups were the Barsaebic Ayleids, who settled in Black Marsh.
- Likewise, many Ayleids were disgusted by the atrocities committed against the Nedic slaves. A number of these Ayleids sided with the slaves during the revolt, and were allowed to keep their lands as vassals of the new Cyrodiilic Empire as a result.
- Numerological Motif: They were said to be "obsessed" with the number 8, considering it divine.
- Our Elves Are Different: They're Jerkasses who enslaved and tormented humans.
- Our Gods Are Different:
- Their split with the Altmer was to get around the Aedra-worshiping Altmer's laws against Daedra worship. Many Ayleids actually worshipped both the Aedra and Daedra because both granted them powerful magic. This ended up contributing to their downfall since, unlike the Chimer, the Ayleids worship included some of the traditionally "evil" Daedric Princes. This led to some of the darker practices elsewhere on this list, which led to a loss of divine favor with the Aedra who supported the slave uprising against the Ayleids.
- While most (in)famous for their Daedra worship, the Ayleids also worshiped other beings who seem to have been forgotten in the eons since. One such example, from the Adabal-a, is a "Insect God" whose name has been lost to whom an Ayleid king sacrificed all of his human slaves.
- Racial Remnant: Possibly. It is rumored that Ayleids still live in the untamed wilds across Tamriel, but the odd unconfirmed sighting is the only evidence for it. By the Fourth Era, centuries have gone by without a reliable sighting.
- Screw You, Elves!: A combination of major political infighting, loss of divine favor, a slave revolt, and predations of their northern neighbors in collusion with the revolting slaves spelled the end of the Ayleids.
- Star Power: They believed that starlight was the most "sublime" form of magic, and venerated anything which fell from the heavens, particularly meteorite iron, which they would craft into their "Ayleid Wells" which channeled and restored magicka.
- Token Heroic Orc: Rebel Ayleid lords were amongst Alessia's most important supporters and were allowed to keep their lands as vassals of her empire. Or, at least until the monkey prophet Marukh took over and made the First Empire become rabidly anti-elven.
- Thunderbolt Iron: Their Ayleid Wells, which (though an unknown means) channel magicka from the stars and can restore it to mages, were said to be crafted from meteorite iron.
- Unperson: The Alessian Order, under the leadership of the monkey prophet Maruhk, attempted to completely erase all trace of the Ayleids from history. While they obviously weren't completely successful, they did enough damage that the Ayleids are left shrouded in the mists of history while their magics and technologies are lost.
- Utility Magic: They are credited with developing the Alteration school of magic, which includes a number of "utility" spells including levitation, water walking, night eye, light spells, and offensive paralysis.
- War Refugees: Many Ayleid clans fled the Alessian Revolt in Cyrodiil, but few found safe havens. Only two groups are known to have survived. The first were those who fled to the Direnni Altmer in High Rock, where they were welcomed and formed the "last" kingdom of the Ayleids ruled by Laloriaran Dynar, which survived for a few more centuries. The second were those clans who fled into Valenwood, where they were welcomed by the Bosmer. The Valenwood Ayleids would end up being fully absorbed by Bosmeri culture, leading to their extinction as a unique race.
- Written by the Winners: They are the "losers" in this case to Alessia and the Imperial's "winners." While there is plenty of evidence that the Ayleids committed atrocities against their human slaves, there has almost certainly been some exaggeration of the centuries since. Even though several rebel Ayleid lords supported Alessia and were permitted to keep their lands and culture after the war, even they would be demonized once the monkey prophet Maruhk came to power. In addition to the persecution of any elves within the empire, he also destroyed any records and cultural artifacts of the Ayleids that could be found. Eventually, only the (almost certainly heavily biased) Imperial records of the Alessian Revolt remained.
"Once, there was nothing but formlessness. The land held no shape, the trees did not harden into timber and bark, and the Elves themselves shifted from form to form. This formlessness was called the Ooze.
But Y'ffre took the Ooze and ordered it. First, she told of the Green, the forest and all the plant life in it. She gave the Green the
power to shape itself as it willed, for it was her first tale.
The Elves were Y'ffre's second tale. As Y'ffre spun the story, the Elves took the form they have today. Y'ffre gave them the power
to tell stories, but warned them against trying to shape themselves or the Green. Shifting and the destruction of the forest were
forbidden."The Wood Elves of Valenwood, also known as the "Boiche" or "Tree-Sap People". Their ancestors rejected the formal traditions of Aldmeri culture, splitting off to live simple lives more in tune with nature. They struck an agreement with Y'ffre, the Forest God of Valenwood and the first et'Ada to transform into the Ehlnofey, known as the Green Pact; in exchange for Y'ffre's patronage, they have sworn never to harm any plantlife in Valenwood (though they can import timber from other regions of Tamriel when necessary), and must live on an almost exclusively carnivorous diet. They are the shortest race in Tamriel and possess darker reddish/brown skin than their Altmeri cousins. They are nimble and quick as a race, making for excellent scouts, thieves, and hunters. The Bosmer are considered the finest archers in all Tamriel, with it even being said that they were inventors of the bow. They have been assimilated or subjugated by every incarnation of the Aldmeri Dominion, in which they are treated as second-class citizens (at best) to the Altmer. They are led by the "Silvenar," who is a literal representation of the Bosmer people. (Changing in both body and mind to match the current state of the Bosmeri people.)
— The Ooze: A Fable
- Alien Lunch: Various forms of insect make up a portion of their diet due to the restrictions of the Green Pact. Additionally, they are known to smoke certain insects in their bone pipes, as smoking plant matter within Valenwood would violate the Pact.
- Archer Archetype: The Bosmer are hailed as the best archers in Tamriel. By the age of 14, all Bosmer children are expected to be proficient enough with a bow to join hunting parties. Their very best archers are known as "Jaqspurs," able to snatch an arrow, draw their bow, and fire in one continuous motion. Both the Aldmeri Dominion and the Septim Empire have employed the Bosmer as specialist archer troops.
- The Beastmaster: Can calm hostile animals using their Beast Tongue ability.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Like many of the races of Mer, they have some cultural practices and beliefs which are quite alien.
- Preservation and protection of Valenwood comes above all else. The Green Pact dictates that they must consume the flesh of fallen invaders as it is not allowed to rot within Valenwood.
- The "Mourning Wars" are a Bosmeri tradition which has been practiced since their pre-history. When a member of one tribe is slain by a another tribe, he or she is replaced by a hostage-taking raid on the offending tribe. The hostage is tortured "to test their worthiness," and if they pass, they are welcomed into the new tribe. When the slain tribe member is someone very important, several hostages may be taken to make up for the victim. Traditionally, the hostage(s) is given the possessions, rank, and rights of the slain, but this is said to be rarely practiced in modern times.
- The Rite of Theft is a Bosmer tradition which states that if a person steals from another, then returns the item, the item's rightful owner must pay the thief commiserate with the item's worth. This tradition is understandably frowned upon by non-Bosmer, and has even been used against the Bosmer by outsiders.
- Enslaved Elves: While it may not be full blown slavery, the Bosmer are treated as second-class citizens to the Altmer under the Aldmeri Dominion. Things became even worse when the Thalmor rose to power, as they even treat other Altmer as beneath them if those Altmer do not subscribe to the beliefs of the Thalmor.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Their names are heavily inspired by Tolkien's "Sindarin" Conlang. They use a lot of "th" sounds, plus plenty of "d's, f's and g's" surrounded by soft vowels. The end result are a lot of names like Glarthir, Fargoth, and Enthir.
- Gargle Blaster: Since the Green Pact limits their ability to produce alcohol from fruit or grain, they've invented alternatives. Jagga is fermented pig's milk, similar to real life Mongolian Airag (replacing horses with pigs). There is also Rotmeth, created from fermented meat rubbed with the organs of Thunderbugs, which takes years to brew. It is an essential drink to have at all Bosmer weddings.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The Monomyth suggests that early in their history the Aldmer who became the Bosmer "soiled Time's line" by "taking Mannish wives", making them a more-Elven version of the Breton's Uneven Hybridization. It is worth noting that out of all the races of Mer, the Bosmer are the ones who look closest to humans and have the most human-like skin tones.
- Horned Humanoid: Online and Legends depicts some Bosmer as having deer-like antlers.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Bosmer are required by the Green Pact to consume fallen enemies, so that their bodies are not allowed to rot within Valenwood. Bosmer warriors are known to starve themselves for days before battle so that they can eat the remains of whatever enemies they kill (though, as with many other Green Pact rules, this is relaxed for Bosmer outside of Valenwood). Additionally, this practice is said to have faded during the 2nd and 3rd Eras, and is now rarely practiced outside of a few remote villages.
- Loophole Abuse: Bosmer use a range of options for getting around the restrictions of the Green Pact. For example, the Green Pact says that one cannot harm living plants, and cannot eat food made from plants. However, some Bosmer eat raw fruit that has fallen from trees and they are able to eat mushrooms, which do not count as plants. It's also acceptable to eat insects, honey, and dairy products. Additionally, while they may not harm the plant-life of Valenwood, certain outsiders are allowed to, and the Bosmer have been known to purchase lumber from outsiders who cut the trees. They are also known to import wood from other regions into Valenwood when necessary.
- The Lost Woods: Their sacred homeland of Valenwood. Massive dense forests stretch as far as the eye can see and most Bosmeri settlements are connected only by narrow footpaths. Some of the trees there are even migratory, traveling to different regions of Valenwood depending on the season.
- Noble Savage: They're seen as an extremely barbaric form of Mer, particularly in comparison to their Altmer cousins/neighbors. However, they are seen as generally good and well-meaning people.
- Our Elves Are Different: Bosmer are cannibals who live in cities composed of walking trees and, within Valenwood, are not allowed to consume plant matter.
- Really Gets Around: Out of all the races of Mer, the Bosmer are known as the most amorous. As a result, they're also the most numerous race of Mer on Tamriel.
- Rock Beats Laser: Due to the Green Pact, forges are extremely uncommon in Valenwood. As a result, metal weapons and armor have never gained popularity amongst the Bosmer. Their weaponry tends to be made of natural ingredients, such as bone for clubs and obsidian blades. They are known to make composite horn bows which are said to be some of the best in Tamriel. For armor, they either forgo it completely or use light natural materials such as leather and hide.
- Scary Teeth: Some Bosmer have been known to sharpen their teeth into points.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: All Bosmer possess the innate ability to transform into nightmarish beasts as a final desperate act of defense against invaders, known as "the Wild Hunt." However, there is no known way to reverse this transformation, leaving them permanently stuck as these monsters.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Until Skyrim, Bosmer women were a full head taller than Bosmer men. Skyrim reduced the discrepancy significantly (women are still taller, but only slightly,) Downplaying the trope.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Bosmer were originally designed◊ so that all of the women would be beautiful while all the men would be gonk. While the women were still quite attractive, the men were made less ugly in Oblivion and this has been almost completely forgotten by the time of Skyrim.
- Uneven Hybrid: It is said that the Bosmer came to be when the Aldmer who settled in Valenwood began taking "Mannish wives." In the exact opposite of the Bretons, the Bosmer are still almost entirely Mer.
- War Refugees: Over the millennia, they've been welcoming to all those who seek refuge within Valenwood so long as they agree to follow certain aspects of the Green Pact and do not harm the forest itself. In particular, they were known to take in huge numbers of Ayleids fleeing Cyrodiil during the Alessian Revolt who would eventually be fully absorbed by Bosmeri culture.
- The Wild Hunt: In Tamriel, the phrase 'Wild Hunt' refers to a ritual in which a number of Bosmer transform themselves into nightmarish beasts, and then rampage through Valenwood destroying their enemies. Because there is no known way to reverse the transformation, the ritual is considered a taboo subject by Bosmer and is sanctioned for use only in dire circumstances.
"Resdaynia was no more. It had been redeemed of all the iniquities of the foolish. The ALMSIVI drew nets from the Beginning Place
and captured the ash of Red Mountain, which they knew was the Blight of the Dwemer and that would serve only to infect the whole of the middle world, and ate it. ALTADOON DUNMERI!"The Dark Elves of Morrowind. They were originally the Chimer, close relatives of the Altmer with pale gold skin, but were led by the prophet Veloth to become the Velothi people and worship their ancestors and Daedra rather than the Divines. They were later unified under Nerevar to create the nation of Resdaynia and become known as the Resdayn people. Early in the First Era, their alliance with the Dwemer (originally formed to defeat the invading Nords) fell apart when the Chimer learned that the Dwemer had found the Heart of Lorkhan (the dead creator god) and were planning to tap into it. Seeing this as blasphemy toward their gods (the Daedra), the Chimer attacked the Dwemer stronghold at Red Mountain. Exactly what happened next is recounted differently by all those involved, but the Dwemer vanished, three of Nerevar's closest allies (as well as a former ally turned enemy) became demi-gods, Nerevar died, and the Chimer became ash-skinned with glowing red eyes, and Azura told them that it was their fault (or Vivec's fault). Thusly, they became the Dunmer people. Most rallied around the new demi-gods, the Tribunal (Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil). Several tribes clung to the old ways in the ashy barrens of Vvardenfell and became known as the Ashlanders. For 4000 years, this was the way of life for the Dunmer. When Tiber Septim came to conquer Morrowind, Vivec allowed Morrowind to become a Voluntary Vassal and traded to the Emperor the (Dwemer-crafted, Dunmer-seized) Numidium in exchange for special privileges (such as continuing to allow slavery). After the Oblivion Crisis, the Ministry of Truth crashed down and Red Mountain erupted. The Argonians then came to conquer what was left of South Morrowind. Now, the Dunmer people are scattered, with many of them settling in Solstheim and Skyrim. The Dunmer possess both strong physiques and keen intellects, which make them highly adaptable and equally skilled as warriors or sorcerers, but Dunmer tend to be grim, aloof and disdainful of other races.
— The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec
- Anti-Magic: They have an innate resistance to fire and fire-based magic.
- Badass Normal: As the Chimer. Despite lacking the magical might of the Altmer, the technological skill of the Dwemer, and pure brute force of the Nords, they managed to hold their own in conflicts against each thanks to their Jack-of-All-Stats balance. They stopped qualifying after the Battle of Red Mountain, when they became the Dunmer and gained three Physical Gods who helped to defend Morrowind from outside threats for nearly 4000 years.
- Ban on Magic: They have a strong cultural dislike for necromancy, and considered it punishable by death under the Tribunal Temple. This is rooted in their religious beliefs which include significant ancestor worship.
- Bizarrchitecture: Their traditional dwellings range from hollowed-out giant crab shells to magically grown mushroom towers. The ancient Daedric ruins built by the ancient Chimer are also designed in some truly impossible ways. One of their holy sites was the Ministry of Truth, a hollowed out moon which they turned into The Alcatraz for heretics and blasphemers.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Like many of the other races of Mer, many aspects of Dunmer culture can appear barbaric or plain alien to an outside observer. While downplayed compared to the utterly alien Dwemer and some of the more extreme Altmer beliefs, the Dunmer have no qualms about, for instance, siccing legal assassins on their opponents and have allowed the theocratic elements of their unique religion to permeate through the everyday life of their people. They consider it a sacred act to raise the bodies and spirits of their ancestors for protection (an act they consider blasphemous necromancy otherwise). Additionally, they contributed the bones and souls of their deceased to power the Ghostfence (which contained the Blight around Red Mountain) once the Tribunal were no longer powerful enough to power it on their own.
- Break the Haughty: For thousands of years, they were a highly xenophobic, arrogant, slave-holding race. Following the events of Morrowind, their culture went into a sharp decline and was dealt a devastating blow between Oblivion and Skyrim, when the Ministry of Truth crashed down causing Red Mountain to errupt which destroyed most of Vvardenfell and rendered much of Morrowind uninhabitable due to choking ash. Then, one of their former slave races (the Argonians) invaded and captured much of what was left of habitable Morrowind. The Dunmer have paid for their hubris and then some, now scattered with many of them settling on the frozen, barren island of Solstheim and in Skyrim, where they are treated as second-class citizens (at best) by the native Nords. Luckily, they seem to have learned a little well-deserved humility in the process. As one Dunmer puts it to a Dunmer Dragonborn in Skyrim: "We're all Ashlanders now."
- Church Militant: At the height of Tribunal worship, the Tribunal Temple was a powerful military force. Special mention to the Buoyant Armigers, elite special forces hand-picked by Vivec himself, often decked out in high quality glass armor, who primarily operated inside the Ghostfence.
- Church Police: The Ordinators are this for the Tribunal Temple. They serve as inquisitors, guards for Temple holdings and holy sites, and hunt down unholy threats like Daedra worshippers, vampires, necromancers, and people who wear their holy armor. Because of this, they also make for a shining example of Knights Templar. There are also the Buoyant Armigers, elite special forces hand-picked by Tribunal deity Vivec himself, often decked out in high quality Glass armor, who primarily operate inside the Ghostfence. There's also the High Ordinators, who are under the rule of Almalexia, another Tribunal deity, and then the elites of those, known as the Hands of Almalexia: Six warriors with equipment enchanted by the goddess herself. Each of whom are said to be some of the most powerful warriors in Tamriel.
- The Clan: The Great Houses. Originally family based, they are now a combination of blood relatives and adopted members. They've expanded over time to allow outsiders to join freely, though few ever rise to the highest ranks. Those with ties to the original families are considered the equivalent of Dunmer nobility, and are fast-tracked for leadership positions.
- Colony Drop: Sheogorath attempted this by hurling the rogue moon Baar Dau at Vivec City. Vivec, the Tribunal deity, froze it in place above the city. It would later be hollowed out for use by the Tribunal Temple as the Ministry of Truth. Vivec tells his followers that it is held in place by his people's love for him, and that should they stop loving him, it would fall. As a result of the Nerevarine's actions, Vivec disappears following the events of the game. The stop-gap measure implemented by the Temple to keep it in orbit is destroyed, so the moon resumes its fall as though it had never stopped. Vivec (the city) is destroyed, Red Mountain erupts, the mainland of Morrowind is devastated by tsunamis, and, even some 200 years later, the crater/bay that lies where Vivec used to be still has its waters boiling.
- Corrupt Church: What the Tribunal Temple had become around the time of Morrowind. Curiously, in the early days when the Tribunal gods consistently lived and worked among their people, it was much better. Since they retreated into their own seclusion thanks to no longer being able to replenish their divine power with the Heart of Lorkhan and instead having to conserve their power (by the time of the player's arrival, Vivec has been maintaining the entire Ghostfence on his own for centuries) to protect Tamriel from Dagoth Ur. It was only after mortals took over the running of things that everything started to go to hell. Now, most of its members are stuck-up, elitist jerkasses, especially the high ranking officials, and the Ordinators have become condescending fanatical bigots who consider even speaking of the Nerevarine or wearing their armor to be capitol offenses. It seems to have gotten better by the time of Skyrim — the dissidents who said 'aren't you guys taking things too far?' to the aforementioned excesses were validated by the events of Morrowind, and then ended up coming up on top the chaos of Vivec's disappearance and the Red Year, forming the much less corrupt "New Temple."
- Cultural Posturing: They were one of the haughtiest cultures in all of Tamriel. They were an extremely xenophobic race who hated outlanders within their homeland of Morrowind, but had no issue with raiding other provinces (particularly Black Marsh and Elsweyr) for slaves. The corrupt Tribunal Temple did nothing but reinforce the cultural superiority of the Dunmer while hypocrisy was rampant. The events of Morrowind, Tribunal, the Oblivion Crisis, the Red Year, and finally the Argonian invasion seem to have humbled them by the time of Skyrim, however.
- Culture Chop Suey: Where to start...
- Biblical Israelites/Hebrews/Jews: Led to Morrowind via mass exodus by the prophet Veloth, who shares aspects of Abraham and Moses. Practice a comparitively unusual religion for the setting (Tribunal/Ancestor worship vs. the worship of the Divines,) similar to the Israelite's monotheism vs. the polytheism popular in the region at the time. Struggling against a powerful foreign empire occupying their homeland (Cyrodiilic Empire, Roman Empire.) Had a long rivalry with the Dwemer, who have some appropriately Babylonian influences.
- Ancient Mesopotamia: Particularly the ancient Chimer. The names of many people and places sound like they're straight out of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
- Mongolia: The Ashlanders combine this with Mesopotamia mentioned above. Nomadic and "barbaric" (at least from the point of view of the Great House Dunmer.)
- Japan/China: Building aesthetics, especially House Hlaalu and Indoril styles.
- Culture Clash: Strikingly in Morrowind. They are a very alien people and culture, which does not make progressing as an outlander easy.
- Dark is Not Evil: They may have a (not undeserved) cultural reputation for being dour and suspicious, and their dark skin and red eyes are indicative of a curse, but the Dunmer are no more inclined to outright villainy than any of Tamriel's other races.
- Devil, but No God: The Dunmer have an interesting take on this. In general, they acknowledge that the Daedric Princes that they do revere - Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala - are actually ruthless, vicious and brutal entities; even Azura, the most benevolent of those Princes, still cursed the whole species for the actions of the Tribunal. At the same time, the Dunmer view everyone else, Aedra and Daedra alike, as either lying tricksters, ineffectually weak, or uselessly malicious. (By comparison, Boethiah and Mephala are usefully malicious, as they taught the Dunmer how to survive in a harsh environment through their maliciousness.) It's not really surprising that the only gods they truly revered as benevolent were ALMSIVI.
- End of an Age: The Tribunal exerted great influence over the affairs of the Dunmer for some 4000 years. That all comes to an end following the events of Morrowind, Tribunal, the Oblivion Crisis, the Red Year, and the Argonian invasion. It leaves the Dunmer way of life shattered with their people cast from their ancestral homeland and searching for their place in the world, both literally and figuratively.
- Evil Sorcerer: House Telvanni. You don't have to be evil to join, but they tend to thrive within the house as it is a Magocracy where Might Makes Right and Klingon Promotion are official policies.
- Fantastic Honorifics: A slight variation on the gender-neutral "ser" version: The Dunmer use "sera", "muthsera" and "serjo", in increasing order of politeness. They also use (far less prominently) the honorifics of "Sedura" (which appears to be associated with wealth) and "Kena" (which appears to be associated with scholars or wizards). They can stack, too — one play refers to a character as "Sedura Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr" (Hordalf Xyr being the character's name, and Telvanni being his House) by another character pretending to be his servant.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: They typically have a first name and a last name with a characteristic "Dunmerish" sound (for example, Falanu Hlaalu, Nels Llendo, Hlireni Indavel). The Dunmer nobility also uses the name of their Houses as prefix to their names (for example, Redoran Hlaren Ramoran). The Telvanni Masters use one name only (Mistress Dratha, Master Neloth). The Ashlanders (and many ancient Chimeri names) draw heavily from ancient Mesopotamia, leading to them sounding like they're straight out of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
- Fantastic Racism: Are famously xenophopic, especially against the beast races. By Skyrim, they've had the tables turned on them, but have at least learned a little humility from the experience.
- Fantastic Slurs: They are known to use three: s'wit, fetcher, and n'wah. The first two are used similarly to "shit/idiot" and the "f" word while also being an offensive term for a slave, respectively. The last is a highly offensive word for "outlander" with similar negative connotations as the Japanese "gaijin" and/or the real life "N" word.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Lord Indoril Nerevar is treated as this by the Dunmer people as the great unificator of Morrowind. The Tribunal rule in his name (even though they very likely may be responsible for his death) and he is revered as a saint in the Tribunal Temple.
- Fungus Humongous: Tree-sized mushrooms are a common sight in Morrowind. Telvanni settlements consist almost exclusively of mushroom houses, and many homes (there and elsewhere) have potted mushrooms as decoration.
- God-Emperor: While they don't legally count themselves as the emperors, the Dunmer worship the Tribunal, a trio of living, flesh and blood gods. They exert great influence, and each has a royal title, but they aren't officially the government - there's a separate King of Morrowind, who reports to the Emperor. Additionally, the Great Houses retain much of their autonomy as a result of favorable terms in the armistice signed between Morrowind and the Empire.
- Great Offscreen War: Much of what made the Dunmer what they are can be traced back to the War of the First Council detailed on the trope page.
- Guttural Growler: Male Dunmer in Morrowind all speak in a very low and gravelly voice. In contrast to the guards in Oblivion and Skyrim, Dunmer guards in Morrowind actually sound quite intimidating.
- Hypocrite: They used to be. They were xenophobic and didn't like outlanders settling to Morrowind, but they had no problem invading other nations in order to kidnap their inhabitants as slaves. Additionally, the Tribunal Temple outlawed necromancy and made it punishable by death despite it being legal (with certain limitations) elsewhere in the empire. However, the Temple faithful would summon the spirits of their ancestors or reanimate their corpses to serve as guards for their tombs and other holy sites. This was considered a holy act in reverence of their ancestors, with any other forms of necromancy being a sacrilege.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Of the Mer races, and in competition with the Imperials for the most balanced overall. They are equally proficient in various Combat, Magic, and Stealth classes. They are highly adaptable and make for good cross-class builds as well, especially offensively oriented ones. With efficient leveling, they can reach Master of All territory.
- Living Gasbag: Netch are a giant, leathery, jellyfish-looking creature native to Morrowind that the Dunmer farm for their hides.
- The Migration:
- Originally, as the Chimer, they were led to Morrowind in a mass migration from the Summerset Isles by the prophet Veloth.
- Following the events of the Red Year, the Dunmer people were forced to flee Morrowind. Many poured into Solstheim, which by the 4th Era wasn't much more than a frozen rock and site of a failed Imperial mining colony. Others fled to mainland Skyrim, settling in the poorer areas of eastern Skyrim where they are treated as little better than second class citizens to the Nords.
- Murder, Inc.: The Morag Tong is a guild of assassins officially sanctioned by the Dunmer government. To put it lightly, the Dunmer Great Houses don't get along very well, and since open warring between the Great Houses would weaken the Dunmer overall, the Morag Tong was sanctioned as the solution. Whenever someone with a enough wealth to hire the Morag Tong wants someone dead, an "Honorable Writ of Execution" will be created for that person and a Tong assassin will be dispatched to kill them.
- Noble Savage: Played straight by the more peaceful Ashlander tribes. Averted by the Erabenimsum tribe under it's "war" leadership and the various "rogue" Ashlanders.
- Oop North: In Skyrim they tend towards Northern English accents, presumably due to the connotations of cynicism and general working-class-ness, although there are a few Cockney voice actors in there for the same reason. Taken to a surreal extreme with Raven Rock's Lancastrian guard captain.
- Our Elves Are Different: They have dark skin and red eyes. They also differ from most depictions from "dark elves," particularly the Drow, primarily by being NOT Always Chaotic Evil. They do share some elements such as Fantastic Racism, a propensity for slavery, their Great Houses as the form of government, and their appearance being the (probable) result of a divine curse, so they do have a few parallels with drow. However, they do not live under ground, aren't particularly matriarchal, and, as mentioned, aren't always evil.
- Our Gods Are Different: Part of their split with the Altmer was because they preferred ancestor and Daedra worship. Later, they come to worship the Tribunal. Following the disappearance of the Tribunal and the events of the Red Year, the "New Temple" reformed and returned to their traditional ancestor worship and veneration of the "three good Daedra:" Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. They also revere the Tribunal as saints rather than gods.
- Pardon My Klingon: They have a fondness of calling those they dislike S'wits, Fetchers or N'wahs. N'wah appears to be a highly racist way of saying "foreigner", but the others are unexplained. For all intents and purposes, those three words correlate in that they are, respectively, the S-word, F-word, and N-word of Dunmeri culture.
- Physical God: They worshiped the Tribunal, three mortals (Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil) who ascended to godhood by tapping into the Heart of Lorkhan.
- Proud Merchant Race: House Hlaalu. It is the most "imperialized" house, with strong ties to the Empire, and thus all of the trade opportunities that provides. Corrupt Corporate Executive-type leaders thrive in the house and Chronic Backstabbing is common.
- Proud Warrior Race: House Redoran. They aren't called the "Warrior House" for nothing. They are the Dunmer's first line of defense and even the Imperial Legions recognize the Redorans as a Badass Army. In the backstory, when Tiber Septim was threatening to invade Morrowind, House Redoran was preparing to defend Morrowind on their own while the other Great Houses chose to remain neutral or to accommodate the empire before the armistice was signed.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: They play with it, just like with Dark is Not Evil above. They do have bright red eyes, and they are generally seen as dour and cynical as a race, but they aren't prone to outright evil or villainy any more than members of any other race. However, they are supposedly indicative of a curse placed upon them by Azura.
- Religious Bruiser: House Indoril and the Ordinators particularly so, all of them very religious and capable of kicking your ass.
- The Remnant: Dunmer-ruled Morrowind is reduced to this following the Red Year and the subsequent Argonian invasion.
- Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The core of their conflict thousands of years ago with the Dwemer boils down to this. The Dwemer are certainly aware of the existence of the Daedra the Chimer worship, but are steadfast in their belief that the Daedra are not gods; so much so that Vivec facetiously commented that the Dwemer instead worshiped "their Gods of Reason and Logic."
- Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Inverted by the native Camonna Tong, which is essentially the Dunmer mafia. They are extremely brutal as they run Morrowind's illegal drug, slave, and smuggling industries.
- Scary Impractical Armor: Quite a few of the native Dunmer styles of armor fit such as Chitin, Glass, Bonemold, Dreugh, and Indoril. Each possess spikes and oversized shoulders.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Bonemold is an iconic armor type of the Dunmer people. Exactly what type of bones it is molded from is never made clear. Additionally, Chitin is a type of light armor crafted from the shells of Morrowind's giant insects and favored by the Ashlanders, though "civilized" Dunmer will use it as well.
- Slave Liberation: This is the goal of the Twin Lamps, an organization (led by the daughter of the Duke of Vvardenfell) dedicated to freeing slaves and returning them to their homelands. Some time after the events of Morrowind, it happens on a national scale which upsets quite a few traditionalist Dunmer. Any remaining illegal slaves are finally freed when the Argonians invade.
- The Theocracy: House Indoril and the Tribunal Temple held significant influence over the affairs of the Dunmer, even after the Empire took over. Downplayed after the Red Year, though the "New Temple" is still prominent in the lives of the surviving Dunmer.
- Values Dissonance: An In-Universe case. Most Tamriellic cultures, especially those heavily influenced by the religion of the Nine Divines, view the Daedric Princes with suspicion at best and consider them outright evil entities at worst (though acknowledge that some are more benevolent toward mortals than others). The Dunmer religion casts Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala as "good" Daedra and Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath, as "bad" Daedra. To note:
- Traditionally across Tamriel, Boethiah and Mephala are considered evil entities, but the Dunmer revere them because the belief that Mephala's deceptions and Boethiah's Might Makes Right philosophy both serve to make the Dunmer stronger. While everyone else views Mephala as a force of destructive and secret plots, the Dunmer view her plotting as a way to make them more clever and wary. Boethiah's constant tests of strength and ruthlessness make the other peoples of Tamriel view him as a brutish, treacherous killer, the Dunmer see him as pushing them to become ever stronger and better as a people.
- Malacath is viewed as an "evil" entity by the Dunmer, while the rest of Tamriel views him as more neutral force. Malacath, being an enemy of Boethiah, is naturally cast as an enemy of the Dunmer, not to mention the fact that Malacath's sphere involves the outcast, spurned, and downtrodden, so it's entirely understandable why a culture that spurns outsiders and outcasts and practices large-scale slavery wouldn't be positively inclined toward him.
- Interestingly, the Dunmer are probably the only elves who don't share the other elves' distaste for Lorkhan, instead viewing him as the god who exposed the lies and deceptions of the Aedra.
- Voluntary Vassal: How Morrowind came to join the Septim Empire. Vivec, having recently lost two of the tools Kagrenac to Dagoth Ur and thus, the ability for the Tribunal to recharge their divinity, negotiated this status with Tiber Septim when Septim's forces threatened to invade. Vivec also offered the Numidium in trade, allowing Morrowind to keep many of its pre-Imperial privileges (including slavery, which was illegal elsewhere in the Empire).
"A Dwemer of eight can create a golem, but an eight of Dwemer can become one."The Deep Elves (also known as "Dwarves") of all of North Tamriel, whose civilization ("Dwemereth") once spanned from Hammerfell across Skyrim to Morrowind, where the epicenter of their culture was built in and around Red Mountain. Unlike the other races of Mer, there is no known record of their disassociation with the Aldmer, which is believed to have happened in very early Tamriellic history. They were an industrious, highly intelligent, and extremely technologically advanced people, but were also known to be cruel, arrogant, and dogmatic. Contemporary accounts describe them as "unfathomable" and "unknowable", with truly alien belief systems unlike anyone else in Tamriel. While they mostly wanted to be left alone, they came into conflict with every other race that encountered them, usually over religious differences (the Dwemer were known to be extreme atheists, refuting that any known "divine" beings were truly "gods" worth worshiping). The entire race mysteriously vanished during the 1st Era, around the time of the Battle of Red Mountain. Only the ruins of their civilization remain, though these are still protected by deadly traps and mechanical guardians, making them very dangerous places to visit.
- Abusive Precursors: They came into conflict with just about every other race they encountered and left behind ruins filled with deathtraps and highly advanced (but often dangerous) technology. These facts alone would make them closer to Neglectful Precursors, but the Skyrim Dwemer's treatment of the Falmer puts them squarely in the "abusive" category. With their former empire decimated by the invading Nords, the Dwemer offered to take in their displaced Snow Elf cousins. The Dwemer then enslaved and mutated them, twisting them into the bestial modern Falmer.
- Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Their more massive ruins qualify. Most have various steam/enchantment powered machinery still running and mecha-mooks still on patrol despite the Dwemer having vanished thousands of years ago.
- A God Am I: Of a sort. They were Naytheists who did not believe that the known divine entities were truly "gods." In fact, it was "unfashionable" amongst the Dwemer to view their own "golden spirits" as anything less than the those of the "divine."
- A.I. is a Crapshoot: Exactly what powers and controls their various "animunculi" remains a mystery, but they must be programmed with some sort of rudimentary A.I. It is said that some of these machines are capable of interpreting the actions of people around them and responding accordingly. Various attempts to control the mechas have been made in the millennia since the Dwemer vanished, often ending with the machines going berserk.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: This is apparently what the Dwemer race was trying to do in one form or another when they disappeared. One theory for their disappearance is that their efforts to do this actually worked, and that they are now on said "higher plane."
- Badass Beard: They were known to have lengthy and sometimes elaborate beards, and were known to bend the natural laws of the world to create advanced technology, robot armies, and even Humongous Mecha, vouching for their badassery.
- Blue and Orange Morality: According to contemporary sources, the Dwemer's personality and culture were utterly alien by human and even other mer understanding. A major part of their outlook was the idea of refuting everything as real, whether it be something they sensed, something that was actually there, or even the Divines themselves. To quote former dev/writer Michael Kirkbride:
"That's why the Dwemer are the weirdest race in Tamriel and, frankly, also the scariest. They look(ed) like us, they sometimes act(ed) like us, but when you really put them under the magnifying glass you see nothing but vessels that house an intelligence and value system that is by all accounts Beyond Human Comprehension. (...) There isn't even a word to describe the Dwarven view on divinity. They were atheists on a world where gods exist."
- Cessation of Existence: Whatever happened to them, Dunmeri Physical God Vivec states that he cannot sense them on any known plane of existence.
- Conlang: Dwemeris.
- Culture Chop Suey: While the most distinctive aspect of their culture is their heavy use of Steampunk and Magitek, the Dwemer themselves dressed and wore their beards in a manner akin to Mesopotamian cultures, such as the Babylonians. In Skyrim, their armor and weaponry tend to have a very Bronze Age Mediterranean influence.
- The Dreaded: They were so alien and so advanced that they were said to be feared by the Nords, the Chimer, and even the gods themselves.
- Dug Too Deep: They discovered the still-beating heart of the dead god Lorkhan digging deep beneath Red Mountain. Whatever it is they tried to do with the heart, it would cause their entire race to disappear from all known planes of existence.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Almost all of their cities were dug deep into the ground, and some get extremely elaborate.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Even though the Dwemer were a sub-race of elves, they didn't much care for the other elven races. They were frequently at war with the Chimer, the ancestors of the Dunmer, over religious differences (though they did form an Enemy Mine alliance with them when both races were threatened by the Nords), and were distrustful of the Falmer even after the latter swore fealty to them (see Kick the Dog below).
- Enemy Mine: Formed one with their longtime rival Chimer when both races were threatened by the invading Nords. The coalition was successful as the Nord army was decimated at Red Mountain.
- Eternal Engine: Much of their machinery is still up and running even some 4000+ years after their disappearance. It helps that they were known to bend the laws of nature to Ragnark-proof their creations, Justifying the trope.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: They seem to have used to build names by mashing hard-sounding consonants together, although it's unclear whether that was actually the case or just a transliteration issue (since Dwemer language and alphabet varied wildly from Tamriel's lingua franca of the day, Aldmeris). Names known from modern sources contain vowels, such as Yagrum Bagarn (although he could've taken up the name for convenient interaction with his hosts at Tel Fyr), Kagrenac, or Dahrk Mezalf. Names mentioned in books - not necessarily (Bluthanch, Nchunak, Nblthd).
- Flat-Earth Atheist:
- Specifically, the "refusal to accept their divinity" part. The conflict with the Chimer was over religion and magic versus science and reason, with the Chimer choosing the former and the Dwemer choosing the latter. They were said to summon Daedra in order to put their divinity to the test.
- It's implied that their refusal to accept anything as real is a core element of how their technology functions. They devised technology that ignored the laws of reality or outright manipulated the tonal architecture of the Earth-Bones simply through sheer refusal to accept physical and magical limitations.
- For Science!: The Dwemer were a very science-focused race. They summoned Daedra just to test their divinity, were capable of creating complex mechanisms, and even created scientific devices to safely read Elder Scrolls. They were also ruthless, amoral and arrogant, often hostile to any other race they encountered and not at all above using living beings for experimentation and slave labor.
- Genius Bruiser: The most technologically advanced race known to have ever walked Tamriel. It's said that even the dullest of their kind was still a genius compared to a clever man, and that even a Dwemer child was capable of building a mechanical golem. The only military force in history that really challenged them was a Nord army led by masters of the Thu'um, and even then, the Dwemer crushed them after joining forces with the Chimer.
- Godzilla Threshold: According to one telling of their final days, Kagrenac only enacted his plan on the Heart of Lorkhan when the Chimer successfully infiltrated the Red Mountain stronghold.
- Great Offscreen War: They were heavily involved with the War of the First Council and the Battle of Red Mountain thousands of years ago, leading up to their disappearance. The impacts of these events are felt in the plots for Morrowind and Skyrim.
- Humongous Mecha: They seemed to enjoy creating them. The Numidium is the most famous example, and the parts of unfinished giant mechas can be found in various ruins. On the smaller end of the scale but still qualifying are their Steam Centurions, which tower over normal-sized people and pack quite the punch.
- Kick the Dog: When Falmer refugees begged the Skyrim-Dwemer to save their race from genocide, the Dwemer forced them to blind themselves, made them into servants (eventually slaves), and probably caused them to mutate into the beasts they are today.
- Last of His Kind: One surviving Dwemer is encountered during the main quest of Morrowind. He was in an undescribed "outer realm" outside of time when the calamity that that wiped out his people occurred and returned to find them gone. He caught the Corprus disease soon after and ended up in the Corprusarium. His body is badly bloated from the disease and it's clear his mind is not what it once was either.
- Light is Not Good: Their architecture, machinery, weapons, and armor typically include a lot of gold and bronze colors. It doesn't change that they were generally incomprehensible and cruel to other races.
- Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: Haughty, egotistic and very cruel at times, they made mechanical devices, metaphysical theorem and buildings using technologies and materials centuries more advanced than anything seen since. They went so far as to try and make themselves Gods, and managed to vanish completely, the whole race, every one of them. Now all that is left are their machines and ruins picked clean by centuries of looters.
- Loophole Abuse: In this case, loopholes in the laws of physics, nature, reality itself... they even devised a means to read an Elder Scroll without all of the nasty side effects (blindness, madness, etc.) Notably, the core of the Dwemer's magical technology involved machines and tools designed to manipulate "tonal architecture" or the sounds and vibrations created by the "Earth Bones," which were the parts of the Aedra that were used to create and define the laws of the world. In effect, they completely bypassed "normal" magic (which involves using the magicka that flows into the world from the sun and the stars) and instead hijacked the fundamental laws of the world and used them for their own ends.
- Lost Superweapon: The Numidium, a 1000ft tall Humongous Mecha designed by the Dwemer to be powered by the heart of a dead god, and possibly to become a new god. It fell into the hands of the Dunmer following the disappearance of the Dwemer, who considered anything of Dwemeri construction to be blasphemous, and thus never used it. Later, when Tiber Septim was threatening to invade, the Dunmeri Physical God Vivec offered it to Septim in exchange for granting Morrowind special privileges as a Voluntary Vassal to the Empire. Septim would order his mages to find a way to power and control it. Once they did, he used to crush the Aldmeri Dominion and capture their capital city in less than an hour of fighting.
- Lost Technology: Almost everything they created is now this. No other group has come even close to the technological accomplishments of the Dwemer in the thousands of years since they vanished.
- Mad Scientist: Many of their craftsmen and enchanters could quality. Most notable was Kagrenac, the Chief Tonal Architect who devised a method and created the tools needed to tap into the divine power of the Heart of Lorkhan.
- Magic Music: Of a sort. Their reality warping was done by altering the "tonal architecture" of the Earth Bones.
- Magitek: Along with Steam Punk and Clock Punk, many of their creations were made with judicious use of magical enchantments. They were said to be the most skilled enchanters in all of Tamriel during their time.
- Mecha-Mooks: Created all manner of them, known as "Animunculi", including spider centurion workers, sphere centurion soldiers (who roll around as metal balls before unfolding into blade and/or crossbow armed humanoid robots), and massive Steam Centurion golems. As these creations were made with the same Ragnarok-Proofing as their other creations and are designed to repair themselves, many are still up and running in their ruins thousands of years after their disappearance.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
- The Rourken clan of Dwemer was so opposed to an alliance with the Chimer that they chose to self-exile themselves to Hammerfell. Their chieftain is said to have thrown the Volendrung hammer across Tamriel and led his clan to "wherever the hammer fell", giving the region its name.
- In the final days of their known existence, it's said that many Dwemer didn't agree with the general idea to unmake themselves and then reforge themselves into immortal godlike beings. Not because it was blasphemous or anything like that, just because they thought it would end poorly for every Dwemer on Nirn. Which it probably did.
- Nay-Theist: There is no denying the existence of god-like beings in the Aedra and Daedra, but the Dwemer held them in no special regard. They were said to especially despise the Daedra, mocking and scorning the "foolish" rituals of their followers (primarily the Chimer). They would even summon Daedra specifically to test their divinity.
- Never Found the Body: The Dwemer vanished millennia ago. No one knows what happened to them.
- Noisy Robots: Their various animunculi are all quite noisy, with steam powered gears and clanking metal sounds as they move.
- Nonindicative Name: They weren't any smaller than other races. The term "dwarf" was given to them by the giants of the Velothi Mountains and stuck as an archeological misnomer after it was picked up by the Nords and other races of Men.
- Not So Different: According to former writer/developer Gary Noonan, the Dwemer were originally one of the clans of the Chimer. This has seemingly been RetConned and has not appeared in any in-game source since.
- Older Is Better: Despite its age, their weapons and armor are still better than the majority of modern equivalents. Justified given the Ragnarok-Proofing and Reality Warping that went into the items' creation.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: Played with. To note:
- Playing the trope straight, the Dwemer did build technologically advanced cities, typically deep into the ground, complete with gold/bronze architecture.. They warred with just about every other race they came into contact with, particularly other races of Mer, in classic Elves vs. Dwarves fashion. They were known to have glorious beards and were master craftsmen, with their equipment still being among the best and most sought after in Tamriel even thousands of years after their mysterious disappearance, in some way related to them digging too deep, a classic fantasy Dwarf problem.
- On the "aversion" side, the Dwemer were as sub-race of Mer (Elves), with their name meaning the "Deep Elves" or "Deep Ones," referring to their philosophical depth. They were of average size compared to the other races of Tamriel and the term "dwarf" is an archeological misnomer. They were the first "normal sized" race to encounter the Giants of the Velothi Mountains, who referred to them as "dwarves" in size comparison to themselves. Later, the Nords (and through them, the other races of Men) picked up the term and it stuck. They weren't known to have any stereotypical "Dwarvish" accents, with the only Dwemer spoken to in the series to date having a nasally, nerdy voice of all things. While the Dwemer did create all manner of extremely advanced technology, much of it was magically derived in one form or another, with it being said that they were also master enchanters.
- Our Gods Are Different: They did not consider any known divine beings to truly be "gods." This obviously put them into frequent conflict with the other, more religious races around them.
- Poor Communication Kills: According to some tellings of their final days, Dumac, the Dwemer king, did not know what Kagrenac was planning to do with the Heart of Lorkhan, and had he known, would have stopped Kagrenac.
- Ragnarok-Proofing: Dwemer artifacts are still up and running thousands of years later. They were known to alter the "Earth Bones", essentially the laws of physics and nature, in order to ensure that their creations would last. Additionally, their Mecha-Mooks are designed to repair their constructs (and each other).
- Riddle for the Ages:
- No one has definitively figured out what happened to the Dwemer. Their fate is one of the largest running mysteries in the entire series, alongside the various mysteries of the Elder Scrolls themselves.
- In-Universe, the mystery deepened by the time of Skyrim since much of what was known about the Dwemer was again lost in the 200 years following the Oblivion Crisis and the eruption of Red Mountain (which wiped away a great number of Dwemeri ruins in Vvardenfell, the epicenter of Dwemer culture prior to their disappearance). Even one of the greatest experts on the Dwemer, Calcelmo, knows less about the Dwemer than some amateur archeologists in Vvardenfell during the time of Morrowind.
- Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The core of their conflict thousands of years ago with the Chimer boils down to this. The Dwemer are certainly aware of the existence of the Daedra the Chimer worship, but are steadfast in their belief that the Daedra are not gods; so much so that Vivec facetiously commented that the Dwemer instead worshiped "their Gods of Reason and Logic."
- Schizo Tech: One of Marobar Sul's "Ancient Tales of the Dwemer" claims that the Dwemer invented their famous automatons, and perfected them as weapons of war, before they had the idea to dress their flesh-and-blood soldiers in platemail armor. (The Publisher's Note says that this was possibly a misunderstanding by the Chimer, who wouldn't have been used to seeing full platemail armor as it was rare among the races of Mer, and may have mistaken armored Dwemer soldiers for machines all the long.)
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: They are the fantasy equivalent. The tools and technologies they left behind are still used by the more clever denizens of Tamriel to accomplish feats that conventional technologies and magics cannot match. Some examples include creating the tools necessary to tap into the divine powers of the heart of a dead god, machinery capable of safely reading an Elder Scroll without the nasty side effects, a reality-warping Humongous Mecha in working order, and a fully-functional Weather-Control Machine.
- Technicolor Blade: Their weapons all have a goldish/bronze appearance.
- Telepathy: The Dwemer were said to have an ability known as "The Calling" which allowed them a "silent and magickal" means of communicating with one another, even over vast distances.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Or rather, mer. One theory about the vanishing of the Dwemer states that they started trying to elevate themselves to a higher plane, up to becoming gods. It backfired, causing the entire Dwemer race to just vanish, across Tamriel, all in one day. They were also evidently capable of creating technological devices capable of reading Elder Scrolls, which are practically a form of Tome of Eldritch Lore.
- Time Abyss: Likely not the individual Dwemer themselves (though with their abilities, it isn't out of the realm of possibility), but for the Dwemer as a whole. It is said that, during the Dawn Era (an era before linear time existed while the mortal plane was still settling post-creation), they studied the "death of the Earth Bones" to find ways to manipulate them.
- Transhuman: Another possible theory is that, rather than ascending successfully, the Dwemer instead attempted to manipulate the "Earthbones", the fallen remnants of the Aedra, to break themselves down into the base elements and then reforge themselves. Naturally they got the reforging step of the process wrong.
- Underground City: Famous for building these. Their ruins in modern Tamriel were all formerly these.
- Volcano Lair: The heart of their ancient civilization was set up in and around the Red Mountain volcano. Many of their other cites famously tapped into lava underground for geothermal power.
- Weather-Control Machine: They built one (known as the Karstangz-Beharn) in their city of Bamz-Amschend, now buried beneath modern-day Mournhold. As shown in Tribunal, it's still fully functional given a proper power source.
- Written by the Winners: Following their disappearance, the only groups in positions to know much about the Dwemer were the Dunmer (having been turned from the Chimer) and the Nords, both of whom warred with the Dwemer and wouldn't have had any reason to say anything good about them. In the years that followed, the Dwemer would be demonized by the Dunmer and popularized by ahistorical tales like Marobar Sul's Ancient Tales of the Dwemer series. Not helping matters is that their language was quickly lost after their disappearance, making it impossible for anyone to read the Dwemer's own records. (A means of translation was discovered around the time of Morrowind, but was apparently lost again by the time of Skyrim 200 years later.)
Torn from their home of ice and frost,The Snow Elves, whose Merethic Era empire spanned throughout Skyrim and Solstheim, and who once had a civilization rivaling that of the Altmer. Unlike the other races of Mer elsewhere in Tamriel, they lived peacefully along side the races of Men for at least several centuries. However, an event known as the "Night of Tears" saw them slaughter and burn the Atmoran/Nord city of Saarthal. In revenge, Ysgramor recruited an army of 500 Atmorans and invaded Skyrim, nearly driving the Falmer to extinction. The survivors were taken in by their Dwemeri cousins, who enslaved and mutated them into blind, debased, and feral creatures little better than Goblins who dwell underground. Physically, the pre-mutation Falmer resembled the Altmer, being tall with lean frames, angular facial features, and elongated skulls. However, they had pale white skin and hair. Following the mutation, the Falmer appear as hunched-over grayish-skinned humanoids without noses (instead having long nostril slits) and skin having grown over their blind eyes.
Thrown into the pitch black dread of night.
Living in fear as their minds become lost,
As their eyes begin dimming the light.
Chained and enslaved,
What once was light turned to blackness.
Alone and betrayed,
Sinking deeper into madness.
Thrown into the pitch black dread of night.
Living in fear as their minds become lost,
As their eyes begin dimming the light.
Chained and enslaved,
What once was light turned to blackness.
Alone and betrayed,
Sinking deeper into madness.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Exactly one Falmer has been seen in the entire series who isn't a barbaric scrounger. And that's only because he wasn't affected by the corruption that afflicts the rest of the race. He says there were more like him before, but his brother, a Vampire, destroyed their order. They are also showing signs of moving away from this. According to the last surviving non-mutated Snow Elf, they are slowly (over hundreds of years) regaining their sentience and may be able to communicate in several hundred more years.
- Artificial Script: They have their own. Like Daedric, it is a simply cypher for the Latin alphabet.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Those ancient Falmer who survived the journey and trials of the Chantry of Auri-El could "become one with" Auri-El, their chief deity. After succeeding, they "ascended, bathed in light, a look of relief and contentment on their face."
- Beneath the Earth: They are now almost exclusively a subterranean race, having taken over many Dwemer ruins in Skyrim as well as many natural caves.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They are known to farm Chaurus, a large insectoid species protected by hard chitin and who can spew corrosive acid. They use the Chaurus chitin to craft their weapons and armor, and use Chaurus eggs as a food source and in their potion-making.
- Body Horror: They've been twisted from this◊ to this◊, now possessing claws, fangs, nostril slits instead of noses, and have skin grown over their blind eyes.
- Born Unlucky: According to one story, the ancient Falmer were visited by Sai, the God of Luck in the Iliac Bay, but they treated him poorly. He never returned to them, depriving them of his ability to bring supernatural good luck.
- Conlang: They have their own "forgotten" one, Falmeris. Finding a translator for it is a side quest plot point in Skyrim.
- Create Your Own Villain: To the Nords, with a bit of Laser-Guided Karma. Their ancestors once nearly drove the Falmer to extinction, and in their desperation, the surviving Falmer fled to their Dwemer cousins, who twisted and mutated them into goblin-esque monsters. The Falmer of the 4th era are now growing more bold, venturing above ground to kidnap surface dwellers while their numbers swell beneath ground. They also seem to be regaining some of their lost sentience, forging better weapons and armor from farmed Chaurus chitin and practicing crude alchemy to create poisons from the plentiful mushrooms that grow in their underground lairs. The author of one in-game book in Skyrim even believes that the Falmer may be preparing to wage war on their surface dwelling ancestral enemies, which would be bad news for the already war-torn Skyrim.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: At one point, they had a society on par with the Altmer.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Despite being shown to create armor and clothing, very few Falmer are seen wearing anything on their feet. Possibly justified, as it is speculated that, due to their blindness, the Falmer use other means of detecting threats. This may include feeling vibrations in the ground with their feet.
- Enslaved Elves: To the Dwemer after nearly being driven to extinction. Taking it to another level, the Dwemer forced the Falmer to blind themselves and twisted them into barely-sapient creatures along the lines of Goblins.
- Elaborate Underground Base: While they've taken over many Dwemer ruins, they've also been shown to be capable of constructing elaborate networks of suspended bridges and platforms.
- Eyeless Face: Though they still technically have eyes, the Falmer now have a layer of skin covering their eyes after centuries of living underground. This has gameplay connotations as well: They are completely incapable of light-based detection against sneakers, but have keen sound-based detection. You could walk right in front of them if silent enough.
- Final Solution: How Ysgramor chose to deal with them. He very nearly succeeded in wiping all of them out, save for those who fled to the Dwemer and a small population who hid at a single remote chantry.
- Freudian Excuse: Being betrayed by the Dwemer and abused for years has instilled the Falmer with a xenophobic hatred of all civilized races. However, in Dawnguard Knight-Paladin Gelebor, one of the few pure Snow Elves, explains that the Falmer chose to blind themselves to avoid extinction and submitted to the Dwemer by their own volition, and that how they devolved into the Falmer of today didn't happen because of that but for other reasons.
- Future Primitive: The Falmer have degenerated from graceful Snow Elves with a culture rivaling the Altmer into a race of blind, subterranean Morlock-like beasts with a primitive, xenophobic tribal culture. The Dwemer, who took the surviving Falmer in after their annihilation by the Nords, forced the Falmer to blind themselves with poisonous mushrooms in exchange. The Dwemer used them as servants and slaves, and may have performed experiments on them that caused them to further mutate into their present form.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Some modern Falmer outfit themselves in full suits of Chaurus-chitin armor.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: They are quite skilled with their bows despite being completely blind.
- Insistent Terminology: In Dawnguard, Knight-Paladin Gelebor prefers to be called a Snow-Elf, since the name Falmer has become stigmatised due to the actions of their debased kin, who he refers to as "The Betrayed".
- It Can Think: Though they give the impression of mindless monsters, they clearly have some semblance of intelligence. They corral and breed chaurus, craft weapons and armor, brew crude poisons from fungi, and in Dawnguard they've built impressive networks of bridges and ledges throughout the Forgotten Vale to host their settlements on. According to some scholars and Knight-Paladin Gelebor, they're beginning to venture above ground, and demonstrate cunning and deductive reasoning in their battle tactics.
- Last of His Kind: One unmutated Snow Elf yet lives in the 4th Era, Knight-Paladin Gelebor. He survived along with a small population of other unmutated Snow Elves at a remote chantry. However, his brother, who became a vampire, wiped out every other surviving Snow Elf, leaving only him.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Their lairs tend to be very dimly lit and claustrophobic, leading to this.
- The Morlocks: Formerly a graceful and advanced race of Mer, they were nearly exterminated and most of the survivors were forced to be blinded and corrupted by the Dwemer in exchange for their shelter. They now live as creatures little better than goblins beneath the earth, attacking any surface dwellers on sight. They also are known to torture their captives, and feed them to their pet Chaurus, judging by the number of human remains in Chaurus pens. If Alftand is anything to go by, they also skin surface dwellers and make leather from them. About the only Morlock trait they don't have confirmed is eating the surface dwellers...but sometimes, when you kill one, you find 'Human Flesh' in its inventory... and human remains in their refuse heaps...
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: In Dawnguard, there is one still uncorrupted Falmer. He pities the Falmer (referring to them as "the Betrayed") and uses the above Insistent Terminology to distinguish himself from them.
- Our Elves Are Different: Formerly had a civilization to rival the Altmer, with snow-white skin and hair, and they preferred to leave in Tamriel's coldest climates. They've been corrupted to the point that they are not even sentient anymore. In a lot of ways, they're closer to Tolkien's original orcs.
- Our Gods Are Different: While their pantheon overlaps significantly with the Altmer, the ancient Falmer had a desire to "become one with" Auri-El, their chief deity, in a way the Altmer do not demonstrate.
- Organic Technology: Almost everything they create is made from Chaurus chitin, the hard shells of the giant insectoid Chaurus creatures they farm.
- Really 700 Years Old: Knight-Paladin Gelebor, the last surviving uncorrupted Snow Elf, has been alive since the fall of the Falmer civilization some 4000+ years prior. Though the races of Mer are known to be naturally Long Lived, this is extreme. (Gelebor heavily implies that he believes Auriel (Akatosh) himself is keeping him alive.)
- Sadistic Choice: Either die at the hands of Nords and face extinction, or blind yourselves and become subservient to the Dwemer.
- Slave Race: Became one to the Dwemer after Ysgramor and his companions slaughtered the majority of their population.
- Spikes of Villainy: Their weapons, armor, chests, and huts are all very spiky. Justified in that they are made with Chaurus chitin, which is spiky to begin with.
- Take a Third Option: The Chantry of Auri-El was isolated enough that its presence remained unknown to the Nords, so the Snow Elves living there were able to survive without the Dwemer's "aid".
- Was Once a Man: Whatever happened to the Falmer, it caused them to possess white souls. In other words souls of animals. That's right, the Falmer are no longer even sentient.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Whatever the Dwemer did to them, it changed their very souls from (sapient) black souls to white "creature" souls.
- Witch Species: Like the Altmer, the pre-mutation Falmer had exceptional natural aptitudes for magic.
- Worthy Opponent: Despite nearly driving the Falmer to extinction, Ysgramor and the Atmorans/Nords respected their leader, the Snow Prince, so they gave him a proper burial and guarded his tomb from grave robbers.
- Written by the Winners: They are losers to Ysgramor and the Nords. As part of destroying all traces of the Falmer culture in Skyrim that he could find, he also destroyed any evidence of anything that happened other than what his official histories record. For instance, he claims that the Falmer attack on Saarthal was unprovoked. However, surviving records of the Elves claim that the attack was in response to repeated "provocations and blasphemies" committed by the early Nords.
"We speak no more of the Left-Handed Elves (may curses follow them into the Eight Abysses), for to recall their abominations but darkens our days..."The elven inhabitants of Yokuda, also known as the Sinistral Mer, who fought a devastating war against the Yokudans that rendered them extinct. It is suggested that they may have some sort of connection to the Maormer.
— The Unveiled Azadiyeh
- Arch-Enemy: To the Yokudans, who rendered them extinct.
- Our Elves Are Different: Their hat was that at least the majority, if not all, of their species was left-handed.
- Meaningful Name: As the Sinistral Mer. "Sinistra" is Latin for "left."
- The Southpaw: Their entire race was left-handed.
- Unperson: The Redguards do not speak about them for talking about them tends to "darken their days."
"Suffice to say that the arch-mage known as "King" Orgnum has long led the outcasts of the shrouded isle. He uses foul spells, rituals and sacrifices to continually renew his youth and vigor. Other rumors you have heard are true, as well. The rituals of Orgnum allow the Maormer to control sea serpents. Some have mastered the art of riding the beasts among the waves, while larger and less docile beasts swim in support of their largest fleets."The Sea Elves of Pyandonea, a jungle continent to the south of Tamriel. They have battled with the Altmer for centuries, control sea serpents, and are said to be led by the "undying wizard king," Orgnum.
— Fang of the Sea Vipers
- Animal Motif: Serpents, particularly vipers.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Altmer, and one of their oldest. Throughout the 1st and 2nd Eras, Maormer forces personally led by Orgnum were said to "ravage" the coastlines of the Summerset Isles.
- The Beastmaster: They practice a powerful form of "snake magic," which allows them to command and ride sea beasts.
- Chameleon Camouflage: They are said to possess this ability. It is so powerful that they can disappear by walking into the shade of a single tree.
- Cunning Linguist: When Orgnum met with Queen Potema to forge their alliance in the 3rd Era, he was said to have a translator who was fluent in all the languages of Tamriel, Pyandonea, Atmora, and Akavir.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: After thousands of years of raiding the coasts of southern Tamriel, especially the Summerset Isles, they allied with the "Wolf Queen" Potema in her bid to usurp the throne of the Septim Empire. The Maormer brought a massive fleet, but it was swallowed whole when the Psijic Order created a magical storm. The Maormer were so devastated that it is said they will never again be able to serious threaten Tamriel.
- Immortality: Their leader Orgnum is known as an "undying wizard king", though the exact kind he has is unknown. The Altmer claim that he is not immortal at all, but uses all sorts of foul magics to remain youthful.
- Our Elves Are Different: According to lore they have blank eyes and chameleon-like skin, can tame sea serpents, and are lead by an undying wizard.
- The Unseen: They have not yet appeared in a main series game. (They do make an appearance in Online.)
- You Can't Go Home Again: Altmeri legend holds that they were banished from and forbidden to return to Aldmeris after they attempted a rebellion. There is said to be a literal veil of mist that they cannot penetrate surrounding their former home.
"We know not how Trinimac had been defeated, but it is said that after his defeat Boethiah had consumed him and tortured his spirit in her belly. When Boethiah grew bored of Trinimac's torture, she released him from his prison and later exiled him to a plane of choking ash. This torture and dishonor left Trinimac twisted and enraged. Trinimac faded and was reborn as Mauloch, the God of Curses. With his mind bent on revenge, his most devout followers changed to match him and became the Orsimer, cursed to wander in exile, a people without a place.The Pariah Elves of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail mountains on the border of High Rock and Hammerfell, commonly known as Orcs. They possess strong, muscular builds and green skin. They are known for their ferocity and courage in battle, as well as their skill as armorers and smiths (especially with the rare metal Orichalcum), making them some of the finest heavy infantry on all of Nirn. The first Orcs were created when the Daedric Prince Boethiah devoured and later excreted the Aldmeri spirit Trinimac. Trinimac's remains became the Daedric Prince Malacath, while his Aldmeri followers were transformed into the Orcs. Malacath is the central figure and patron deity in Orcish religion. Most outsiders see Orcs as savages; that their lives are short and filled with violence and misery. Several times, they've attempted to form their own city/state, Orsinium, literally "Orc Town". However, Orsinium has been razed and rebuilt several times - having been razed once again in the 4th Era - leaving many Orcs to eke out a living in destitute, dilapidated "strongholds" on the edges of society.
— The Fall of Trinimac
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Malacath encourages tribal behavior within Orc communities, ensuring that the best warriors within a tribe are acting as chieftains. As shown by his quest in Skyrim, Malacath isn't above taking a more hands on approach when a weak Orc chieftain goes unchallenged by his tribe. (He sends Giants to attack their stronghold. Either the weak chief mans up and defeats them, another warrior steps up to overthrow the weak chief, or the tribe gets wiped out.)
- Beastess: While technically a sub-race of Mer, Orc females fit.
- The Blacksmith: From a young age they are taught to mine and smith, and are masters of the craft. Their heavy armors are some of the most sought after in Tamriel.
- The Berserker: Orcs are natural berserkers, with an innate ability to trigger an Unstoppable Rage that significantly increases their abilities in melee combat.
- Blood Knight: Due to their strong warrior culture, Orcs generally live for battle. To them, if something isn't worth fighting for, it isn't worthy anything at all.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Downplayed. Like most races of Mer, they have practices and beliefs which, while not completely alien to normal human morality, are certainly within a different system of values. For example, when an Orc is becoming old and weak, he is encouraged to seek out a worthy foe to end his life. Likewise, if one sees that his chieftain is no longer fit to lead, it is considered his responsibility to challenge and defeat the chieftain in combat for his position, ensuring that the strongest Orc in a tribe serves as the leader.
- Butt Monkey: The Orcs have long suffered this as a race. Their bestial appearance and "barbaric" culture (as it is perceived by the other races of Tamriel) make them frequent victims of Fantastic Racism. Several times the Orcs have tried to unite and create their own city-state known as Orsinium, but each time, their neighboring nations (the Bretons of High Rock and Redguards of Hammerfell) have forced them to abandon it. By the 4th Era, the Orcs were forced at swordpoint by the Bretons to officially renounce the kingdom of Orsinium and assimilate into High Rock as slaves in all but name. Only a few Orc tribes still live independently in destitute, scattered "strongholds", scorned by all.
- Iron Butt Monkey: They do take all their trials in stride, though, as Malacath teaches "strength through adversity".
- Characterization Marches On: Originally, the Orcs were simple "hurr durr smash hoomies" Tolkein-style Orcs with nothing particularly noteworthy about them (they weren't even playable in Arena or Daggerfall). Beginning with Morrowind, however, their characterization has shifted massively. Rather than just being dumb, they'd been severely marginalized for ages - even their god reflected this. The Imperial Legion of Uriel VII's time, among other things, however, helped them to begin to properly integrate into the Empire better - thus making them playable.
- Culture Chop Suey: They have a culture reminiscent of the Mongols, with a social structure reminiscent of Slavic tribes (small non-nomadic strongholds that are run by a single large family with the patriarch at the head). As of the 4th Era, they seem to have become fantasy counterpart Native Americans. A once tribal people, who had their land stolen from them under threats of violence, and now live on compounds remarkably similar to reservations.
- Death Seeker: Similar to the Nords, Orc culture sees glory in dying in battle. Unlike Nord culture though, dying in battle isn't just seen as a nice thing to have happen, but something an Orc is actively encouraged to seek out. Once an Orc elder feels that he is starting to weaken with age, they will often seek out someone (either within the tribe or outside of it) worthy enough to kill them in combat. Most Orc chieftains hope to die by the hands of a stronger successor, rather than old age (see Klingon Promotion below).
- Face-Design Shield: Along with Rage Helm, this is the case for Orcish armor in Morrowind.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: They have traditionally Orcish sounding first names and surnames, and the surname gets the prefix "gro-" for male orcs, "gra-" for females. E.g. Yadba gro-Khash, Borba gra-Uzgash.
- Fantastic Racism: While they've been canonically established as a subrace of Mer, non-Orcs would rather believe they're one of the beastman races due to their perceived savagery. Strangely, this attitude has worked out in the Orc's favor; the rise of the Thalmor has led to an increase in general anti-Mer prejudice throughout Tamriel, but Orcs are generally exempt from it and no worse off than they would be otherwise.
- Fighting for a Homeland: Unlike other playable races, they don't have a lasting homeland. Orsinium was destroyed twice by Bretons and Redguards.
- I Am X, Son of Y: Traditional Orc names follow this structure, with the prefixes "gro" and "gra" meaning "son of" and "daughter of", respectively; when referring to a parent, a male orc will use his father's name as his last name, and a female will use her mother's. However it's not uncommon for them to use their place of birth as a last name in place of a parent's.
- Klingon Promotion: A Orc becomes chieftain by killing the current chieftain in ritual combat. This isn't primarily due to evil ambition, though. Orcs are encouraged to kill their chieftain if he is too old or too weak to continue to lead, thus ensuring that whoever leads is stronger than the leader he replaces and strong enough to lead the tribe.
- Martyrdom Culture: Many Orcs actively look for ways to die in battle. They feel that it pleases their patron deity, Malacath, for them to die in battle.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Leans toward the Blizzard Orc archetype since they are still a subrace of Mer. Due to their Mer heritage despite their brutish appearance and tribal customs, in term of brute strength the Nords are still physically stronger than Orcs (Though Orcs are more durable and can enter a berserker rage, doubling their strength). However, the Orcs make up for it with being an incredibly skilled weapon/armor crafter (they gain bonuses for Smithing and Enchanting skills).
- Pig Man: The Orcs are derogatorily referred to as "Pig Children" by the other races. Aside from their bestial features and tusks, they have no relation to actual pigs.
- Promoted to Playable: In Morrowind. Before that, they were generic enemies in Arena and, while they got some characterization that pushed them toward "Blizzard Orcs" in Daggerfall, they were not yet playable.
- Proud Warrior Race: Something that makes them Not So Different from Nords and Redguards. Falling in combat to a superior opponent to end one's life is not only encouraged, but expected.
- Stone Wall: Not as physically strong as the Nords or as skilled with large weapons, but the Orcs are without doubt the best users of heavy armor in the setting and get the highest bonuses to their heavy armor skill. Thus, they are able to endure a level of punishment that would have killed anyone else dozens of times over. The Septim Empire specifically recruited Orcs to serve as elite heavy infantry in their Legions, and their success in this role helped them to become more accepted throughout the empire.
- Unstoppable Rage: They have an innate ability to trigger a berserker rage, increasing their skill in melee combat.
The beast races (collectively known as Betmer) of Nirn that are neither Men or Mer.
"The Hist were many, and they were one. Their roots buried deep beneath the black soul and soft white stone of Black Marsh, connecting them all, and thus connecting all Saxhleel, all Argonians. The Hist gave his people life, form, purpose."The reptilian race of Black Marsh (which they call Argonia). They are known in their own tongue as the 'Saxhleel', 'the people of the root', a name which reflects the bond they feel with the Hist trees that grow in their native lands. Argonians are resistant to disease and capable of breathing underwater through small gills, slow to trust and hard to know, but incredibly loyal to those they call friends, as well as cunning and resourceful fighters - Black Marsh has never been wholly occupied by an invading force, as the Argonians are masters of exploiting the swampy terrain of their home and they are famous for the Shadowscales, Argonians taken at birth by the Dark Brotherhood to be trained in the arts of stealth and assassination. They are also unfortunately (perhaps along with the Orcs) the most vilified and misunderstood of all the races, and for much of their history the Argonians were slaves to the Dunmer.
— The Infernal City
- Alien Hair: Being the most "alien" playable race, the Argonians have just about everything but hair treated like hair. Horns, spikes (both flexible and rigid), scales, fins, feathers (particularly females), etc.
- Art Evolution: In the first game Argonians looked very different, most character models resembled closer to zombies than lizards. Since Skyrim, they now resemble crocodiles and some dinosaurs than they do lizards.
- Badass Army: Between their formidable appearance in Online, their vital role in defeating the Akaviri, The Assault of Oblivion, and the Invasion of Morrowind, the Argonians are gradually proving themselves to be one of the strongest fighting forces on Nirn.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Comes with the territory of being a humanoid tree-worshipping lizard, although this does vary wildly depending on the individual and how long they've been living out of Black Marsh.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Usually depicted as being at the very least marginally Cloud Cuckoolander in their tendencies. Seemingly named after unique traits they display while still hatchlings, so you get Argonians walking around called things like Hides-His-Eyes, Scouts-Many-Marshes, and Nine-Toes. Offscreen events recorded in the in-game books make it clear they're masters of Viet Cong style guerilla warfare, and their invasion of Morrowind (and, therefore, its rich ebony deposits) is speculated to have made them one of the only nations still capable of standing against the Aldmeri Dominion. They were also the only force in all of Tamriel that not only held off the Dremora in the Oblivion Crisis, but actually forced the Dremora to close their gates because the Argonians were invading Oblivion!
- The Dog Bites Back: In Arena, the Argonians were slaves to the Dunmer. Fast forward to Skyrim, the Argonians have conquered southern Morrowind and turned the tables on the Dunmer.
- Fantastic Drug: If an Argonian licks the sap of Hist trees, the Hist can communicate with them through visions. If a non-Argonian tries this, or if the sap is somehow tainted, it can result in extreme hallucinations and intense bloodlust.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: The Argonians are seemingly named (in Jel, the language of the Argonians) after unique traits they display while still hatchlings and, if they have frequent dealings with non-Argonians, get those names translated into Tamriellic. "Haj-Ei" becomes "Hides-His-Eyes," for example.
- Healing Factor: Their Histskin ability allows them to improve their restoration spells. And they have a much stronger resistance to diseases than most other races.
- Lizard Folk:
- They are a species of humanoid reptilians with scales, elongated snouts, claws, and tails. They are known to reproduce via laying eggs and are said to be cold-blooded (but can survive in colder climates as adults thanks to "concentrated magicka" within the Hist sap that they drink). They also have some traits in common with some amphibians, including the ability to breathe in and out of water, and they are said to go through "life phases" in which their physical forms can change drastically, including, per some sources, changing sexes.
- In Arena, there is an enemy type called Lizard Men, hostile reptilian troglodytes described as "once thought to be distant cousins of the argonians [...] whose use of language stretches only far enough to communicate the location of their prey to the rest of their hunting party, which then move to attack and feed". Interestingly, it resembles the modern Argonian design much more than Arena's version.
- No Sell: Extremely resistant to disease, and sometimes poison depending on the game. This makes a lot of sense, considering their native home is a seemingly endless swamp full of venomous and disease-carrying predators.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The An-Xileel, who rule Argonia by the time of Skyrim appear to be this.
- The Rival: Species-wide example with the Khajiit.
- The Stoic: Subverted. Everyone thinks they're this, since they lack the facial muscles for most expressions. Anybody who pays attention to their voices can quickly deduce this is simply not true. Even those who barely understand the languages of Men and Mer can have strong emotion in their voices.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Argonians can breathe water just as easily as air. They are known to use this as a guerrilla tactic, dragging their foes underwater and drowning them.
- Took a Level in Badass: The entire race following the Oblivion Crisis. The Hist, whose sap the Argonians drink to grow, began to change the Argonians, making them stronger and more aggressive to prepare for the coming chaos and wars following the crisis. It also serves to justify their changing appearance throughout the series. Further, it has been implied that the new An-Xileel regime in charge of Argonia at the time of Skyrim is one of the only two remaining factions that are capable of fending off a Dominion invasion (the other faction being Hammerfell).
- Tyke Bomb: Shadowscales, who are Argonians born under the Shadow Sign and trained from childhood in assassination by the Dark Brotherhood. By Skyrim, only one remains.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Landstrider" to non-Argonian races.
- Zany Scheme: Argonians have a knack for coming up with these. Likely linked to their less-than average thought processes.
"The Great Apes, or Imga, are native beastfolk of Valenwood. They see the High Elves as their lords and masters, and as a portrait of an ideal, civilized society."The Great Apes of Valenwood. They are known for their reverence of the Altmer.
— Pocket Guide to the Empire and its Environs, First Edition
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They're ape people.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Consider humans to be beneath them and pretend to find their smell offensive.
- Though ironically, the most famous Imga was Marukh, the founder of the Alessian Order—a human-supremacist theocratic order that took over the First Empire via coup and carried out the genocide of all the remaining elves in Cyrodiil.
- Guttural Growler: The Imga are described as speaking with very gravelly, baritone voices.
- Pimped-Out Cape: Wear fancy capes in an attempt to ape the Altmer.
- The Unseen: Haven't actually appeared in any of the games.
"And Fadomai said, "When Nirni is filled with her children, take one of them and change them. Make the fastest, cleverest, most
beautiful people, and call them Khajiit."The feline race of Elsweyr. There are 17 different sub-species of Khajiit, and what sub-species a Khajiit cub will grow into is decided by the alignment of Tamriel's moons at the time of its birth. Most of these species are humanoid with feline features, but they can vary wildly, from the Alfiq, which are almost indistinguishable from housecats but possess great intelligence and are rumoured to be formidable spellcasters, to the Pahmar, which are similar in size and appearance to a tiger. The variety most commonly seen in the games, the Suthay-raht, are excellent thieves and acrobats, but their attraction to piracy and skooma often see them becoming sailors. Khajiit are fond of cakes, puddings and candies of all kinds, stemming from their love of the highly addictive Moon Sugar. Khajiit are also deadly in unarmed combat due to their excellent reflexes and retractable claws. Their foreign appearance and unusual behaviour makes them common targets for racism.
— Words of Clan Mother Ahnissi to Her Favored Daughter
- Acquired Poison Immunity: Khajiit as a whole are far less susceptible to the effects of moon sugar thanks to the fact that nearly all of their food uses it in some form or another, hardening their bodies to it. Still, overeating the sweetest of Khajiit foods can overwhelm even their resistance.
- Ambiguous Situation: While Masser and Secunda's two year abscence (aka: the "Void Nights") has been stated to have caused understandable unrest and panic among the Khajiit, nothing has been said as to whether or not the Khajiit reproductive cycle was affected, and if so, in what way. This has been subject to some Wild Mass Guessing, and caused a few Epileptic Trees to take root.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Khajiit typically come across as incredibly self-confident in their abilities.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Their claws give them an edge over the other races in bare-handed martial arts.
- Beast of Battle: Member of the Senche and Senche-raht subspecies will allow their kinsmen to use them as steeds in times of war. This has led to Imperial soldiers who have faced them in battle giving them the nickname 'battlecats.'
- Catch Phrase: "May your road lead you to warm sands."
- Cat Folk: To different degrees in each game. Justified by the phases of the moons deciding which subrace a Khajiit grows up to be, from resembling tigers (Pahmar) to almost looking like a Bosmer (Ohmes). There are even Khajiit known as Alfiq who are very similar to house cats, but are capable of understanding language and casting spells.
- Cat Ninja: Khajiit are naturally inclined toward stealth, and can often be found as assassins, spies, and thieves in other provinces.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Khajiit don't even have a word for "rules"; the closest concept is "foolish thoughts." Unsurprisingly, this extends to their methods in battle. They have no qualms with deception, trickery, and even outright fleeing battle if things don't go their way. They are more than willing to abandon their allies (after all, a smart ally would do the same!) or flee a fight if it means that they can turn around and come back later to stab their enemies in the back, raid their vulnerable supplies, or cut their throats while they sleep. As long as you win, anything goes.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Khajiit have a reputation for being simple, but are very effective warriors.
- This could be a case of the series' famous intentionally contradictory lore. Most sources indicate that Khajiit are no less intelligent than any other race. To support this, most Khajiit you meet in most of the games or literature are actually quite clever, just more... morally ambiguous and, as Most Writers Are Human, don’t get as much characterization as the more human-looking races in-universe. Much of the “dim-witted” stereotype comes from their drug use, fantastic racism regarding their bestial appearance, and being third-person people. There are several high ranking Khajiit in the Mages Guild and the (Morrowind) Thieves Guild.
- Culture Clash: Khajiit culture has a somewhat loose view of what constitutes personal property. Naturally, this leads to conflicts outside of Elsweyr where this behavior constitutes "theft."
- Deadpan Snarker: Name one Khajiit you ever meet without his\her moments.
- Exotic Equipment: The genitals of male Suthay-Raht and Cathay-Raht Khajiit are covered in tiny barbs, similar to those of real-life cats.
- Fantastic Drug: Moon Sugar, which is a key ingredient to Skooma, is a prized delicacy in Elsweyr.
- Fantastic Fightingstyle: Are said to have many forms with colorful names like Goutfang, Whispering Claw, Two-Moons-Dance, and Rawlith Khaj (translated as "Raining Sand").
- Fantastic Naming Convention: They have single names with prefixes and a Punctuation Shaker, for example Ra'Virr, Dro'Zel. Sometimes no prefixes.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Their caravans, nomadic lifestyle, and propensity for stealth recall medieval views of the Roma. Like the Redguard, they also take a lot of cues from various north African and Middle-Eastern cultures.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Each of their 17 different subspecies is implied to be able to breed with one another. To review, they can supposedly range in size from house cats, through a number of variations of humanoid Cat Folk, to outright tigers large enough to be ridden as steeds in battle. Additionally, the offspring any pairing produces has nothing to do with the parent subspecies, but rather, the phases of the moons under which they are born.
- Impossible Theft: Rajhin, a thief-God of Khajiit culture, was said to have stolen a tattoo clean off the neck of the Empress Kintyra and used his knife to cut off a merchant's shadow.
- Language Equals Thought: Ta'agra, the language of the Khajiit, has no word for "rules". The closest equivalent translates to "foolish concepts".
- Little Bit Beastly: The Ohmes and Ohmes-Raht subspecies have light fur and a tail, but are otherwise completely humanoid. So much so that they're often mistaken for Bosmer.
- Motifs: Moons. Specifically, the two moons Masser and Secunda which will, depending on their phases, affect what subspecies a Khajiit will be when they are born, and are an integral part of the Khajiit religion. While Khajiit culture is scratched at in the main games compared to some of the other playable races, The Elder Scrolls Online shows that a lot of Khajiit style armor is adorned with symbols of the moons in different phasesnote , as well as the Khajiit style weapons,Example to the point where an armory filled with high-end Khajiit style gear would border on Sigil Spam. In addition to the above, their biggest export is moonsugar, which has religious and cultural significance to the Khajiit, who believe it to be "crystallized moonlight", the Temples of Two-Moons Dance are places for philosophical study and martial training, etc.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: They seem stupid and simple at first glance, but once you meet enough, they are clearly a very intelligent species. Makes you wonder why they fell for the Thalmor's tricks and joined them...
- Proud Merchant Race: The Khajiit are well known for their cross-continental traveling caravans.
- The Rival: Species-wide example with the Argonians.
- Sweet Tooth: Somewhat amusingly, the entire species has a known sweet tooth, even though Real Life felines can't taste sugar at all.
- Third-Person Person: When speaking in Tamrielic.
LilmothiitAn extinct race of fox people that once inhabited the Black Marsh. They may have a relation with the ancient city of Lilmoth.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Argonians, possibly. They are rumored to have been driven out of Black Marsh by the Argonians, but it is far from confirmed.
- Noble Savage: Not much is known about them, but we do know that they were a primitive, tribal society. If they were more "noble" or more "savage" remains unknown, however.
- Petting Zoo People: Just like the Khajiit and, to a lesser degree, the Argonians.
- The Unseen: They are mentioned a couple times in the games, but you never actually see them. Justified, as they are heavily implied to have been driven into extinction either by the Argonians or by a deadly disease known as the Knahaten Flu during the Second Era.
"Cautious. They have no word in their language for adventure. The closest equivalent means 'tragic disaster'. All their heroic myths
are about individuals who sit around and think for years and years, consulting cautiously with wise Sload, until finally they act -
always deliberately, always successfully. All their mythic villains act quickly, and always fail."The slugmen of Thras, the coral kingdom off the coast of Summerset Isle in the Abecean Sea. They are ancient enemies of the Altmer, though their attacks on the Altmer have sometimes spread to all of Tamriel.
— Pocket Guide to the Empire and its Environs, First Edition
- Always Chaotic Evil: Always described as evil, and the only Sload to have appeared within a TES game was a villain.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Altmer, and to all Tamriel in general, to the point that Sload are often killed on sight.
- The Chessmaster: Sload culture holds those representing this trope in high regard. All Sload heroes spend years planning and consulting with other Sload before acting against their adversaries, whereas their villains are rash and always fail as a result.
- Escape Rope: All adult Sload have knowledge of the Recall spell in order to get themselves back home.
- Fat Bastard: As they grow, Sload become more and more corpulent, to the point that only being supported by magic or water prevents them from being crushed under their own weight.
- Graceful Loser: Sload are known to express cheerful affinity toward anyone that does manage to defeat or outwit them.
- Lack of Empathy: Sload are described as not feeling the same emotions other races do, but are capable of acting like they do.
- Nay-Theist: Are generally non-religious, though they have no problem making pacts with Daedric Princes if it suits them.
- Necromancer: The Sload are well known for their knowledge of necromancy.
- Photographic Memory: They have perfect recall of everything they see or hear.
- The Unfettered: Are utterly ruthless in the pursuit of their goals, with even genocide being on the table if it helps them achieve their ends.
A collective name for the races that hail from the land of Akavir, also known as "Dragon Land", far to the east of Tamriel.
Akaviri Races in General
- Named After Their Planet: Or region, in this case. Each race is simply named after their homeland and whatever they may call themselves is unknown. (Notable because this isn't the case for any of the races of Tamriel.note )
- Unreliable Expositor: Much of what is known about the races other than the Tsaesci comes from Mysterious Akavir, a book that, even if it were accurate when written (which is not a given), is over two-hundred years out of date by the time of Skyrim.
- The Unseen: To date, none of the Akaviri races have made an appearance in-the-flesh in the series.
- Wutai: Akavir itself has considerable Asian influences, and seems to play the role of Asia to Tamriel's Europe.
- Yellow Peril: Given that Akavir is rooted in East Asian cultures, most of their interaction with Tamriel in the west has been as deadly, mysterious, and frightening invaders. A few Akaviri have settled in the West, but even they are often mysterious and crafty antagonists.
KamalThe Kamal (meaning "Snow Hell") are a race of "snow demons" hailing from the frigid northern part of Akavir. Every year, they freeze during the winter and fall out in the spring, at which point they attack the Tang Mo (and one time, Tamriel).
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: They are referred to as "snow demons", freeze every winter, and their home is referred to as "Snow Hell."
- Failure Is the Only Option: Not even once have they succeeded in defeating Tang Mo. The one time they broke that cycle was to attack Tamriel, and that also failed.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Implied to be of the Mongols. "Savage" invaders from the north who attempt to raid and pillage their more peaceful neighbors.
- Grim Up North: Their home is literally called "Snow Hell" and it is located in the north of Akavir.
- Human Popsicle: They freeze and thaw every year.
- Vicious Cycle: Freeze, thaw out, attack the Tang Mo, freeze, thaw out... The one time it was broken was to attack Tamriel instead, and it also failed.
Ka Po' TunThe Ka Po' Tun (meaning "Tiger-Dragon's Empire", originally just Po' Tun) are a race of "tiger-folk" and are said to be the most powerful empire in Akavir. They highly revere dragons and it is the goal of their race to become dragons.
- Achilles' Heel: While they have become the strongest empire in Akavir, their greatest weakness is sea warfare.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Tsaesci, who attempted to "eat" the dragons which the Ka Po' Tun highly revere. Tosh Raka intends to exterminate them.
- Cat Folk: They're purely tiger-folk.
- Enemy Mine: They have recently (relative to when Mysterious Akavir was written) allied with the Tang Mo, who were former enemies.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Implied to be of China. Tosh Raka has a number of similarities to Mao Zedong especially.
- God-Emperor: Tosh Raka, the Tiger-Dragon. He has become the largest dragon on Nirn and is covered with orange and black scales. (Other sources claim this story to be metaphorical at best.)
- Pyrrhic Victory: Their war with the Tsaesci left them as the strongest empire on Akavir, but the war was very costly to both sides and left all of Akavir's dragons dead.
- Scaled Up: To become a dragon is the ultimate goal of the Ka Po' Tun. The current emperor, Tosh Raka the Tiger-Dragon, is the only one known to have attained this goal.
Men of AkavirThe Men of Akavir (also known as the Akaviri) were a race of mysterious humans who lived in Akavir. They died out millennia ago, but what happened to them is a mystery (theories that they intermingled with other men, were eaten by the Tsaesci, or may have been the ancestors of the Tsaesci).
- Katanas Are Just Better: Their katanas came with them when they invaded Tamriel, and are still in use by their modern descendants, the Blades.
- Precursors: If the theory that they were culturally absorbed by the Tsaesci, rather than literally devoured, is the case. Given that there is evidence of the Tsaesci having offspring with the Tamriellic races, it's quite possible they also interbred with the Men of Akavir, leaving their imprint on the modern Tsaesci.
- Metaphorically True: One theory on their ultimate fate is that saying they were "eaten by the Tsaesci" is just a colorful way of saying that they were culturally absorbed into Tsaesci (as opposed to literally devoured, which is a different theory). The former theory is backed up by some texts indicating that the Tsaesci "devoured" the red dragons, which turned out to mean that the dragons were enslaved, and a diary from an Akaviri soldier confirming that the troops who had invaded Tamriel had legs.
- Wutai: Like the Tsaesci.
Tang MoThe Tang Mo (meaning "Thousand Monkey Isles") are a race of "monkey-folk" consisting of many breeds. Described as kind and brave, but also simple and mad, they are bitter enemies of the Kamal and Tsaesci, but have allied themselves with their former enemy in the Ka Po' Tun.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Though described as simple and mad, they've successfully defended themselves time after time against all of the neighboring races.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Described as very simple and mad, but have successfully defended themselves from their neighbor races, particularly the Kamal.
- Enemy Mine: They have recently (relative to when Mysterious Akavir was written) allied with the Ka Po' Tun, who were former enemies.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They're monkeyfolk.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Possibly of Korea and/or India, facing constant attacks from their aggressive neighbors.
- Idiot Hero: They are kind and brave, but also very simple.
- Underdogs Never Lose: They always come up on top against their far more powerful enemies.
TsaesciThe Tsaesci (meaning "Snake Palace") are a race of vampiric "snake-folk" (though conflicting sources state that they are men little different from those in Tamriel). They were formerly the most powerful empire of Akavir and notably influenced the Cyrodiilic Empire after their failed invasion of Tamriel in the late 1st Era, particularly the creation of the Blades.
- Anti-Magic: The Imperial Battlemages who accompanied Uriel V during his failed invasion of Akavir claim to have been "abnormally weak" while there. It is speculated that the Tsaesci had something to do with it.
- Arch-Enemy: Dragons, which also leads to the Ka Po' Tun. Their hatred for dragons has led to them attempting wipe all dragons from the face of Nirn (which at least partially motivated their 1st Era invasion of Tamriel). The Ka Po' Tun revere the dragons and are attempting to wipe out the Tsaesci in return.
- Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: Their Dragonguard served as this initially to Reman Cyrodiil and his descendants. They inspired the Blades who came after them.
- Defeat Means Friendship: After Reman Cyrodiil used the Thu'um against them in battle during their invasion of Tamriel, they recognized him as Dragonborn, who the Tsaesci believe to be the ultimate dragon slayers. He incorporated the surviving Tsaesci into his armies, where they served him as bodyguards, dragon hunters, and would be the precursors to the Blades. They also became a great cultural influence within the empire.
- Dual Wielding: As they have a cultural aversion to shields (detailed below), they are known to wield a katana in their dominant hand and a wakizashi in their off-hand as a favored fighting style.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Possibly of Japan, where the weapons and armor attributed to them are very Japanese in design. Their Dragonguard (which would inspire the Blades) also has elements of Samurai culture.
- I'm a Humanitarian: If the theory that they literally ate the Men of Akavir is true. (As opposed to "devoured" simply being a metaphor for enslavement and/or cultural absorption.)
- Katanas Are Just Better: They have a number of Japanese-style weapons associated with them, particularly the katana. They introduced it to Tamriel when they invaded, and it became the iconic weapon of the Blades who drew inspiration from their Dragonguard.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Sources radically conflict over whether the Tsaesci are serpentine at all.
- On the "human-like" side: Several in-game books outright state that they are humans little different from those in Tamriel. One account specifically mentions a Tsaesci soldier with an injured leg. The most recent (and probably most reliable) account, Uriel V's campaign report from the 3rd Era, does not describe them as snake-like at all. It also mentions them having "mounted raiders," which would be a difficult task for a species without legs. The Akaviri ghosts and skeletons who appear at a few points in the series are completely humanoid in appearance.
- On the "serpentine" side: Mysterious Akavir, a work of admittedly dubious accuracy, supports this side. Additionally, the in-universe historical fiction (loosely based on in-universe historical events) 2920, The Last Year of the First Era also describes them as having serpentine lower bodies. Other chronicles, such as "History of the Fighter's Guild" indicate that the Tsaesci couldn't wear human armor at all, indicating a non-humanoid shape. Online has an item, an Akaviri Silver Mask, which depicts a reptilian-looking appearance.
- The Take a Third Option-option: Since the "races" of Akavir share their names with the name of their nation, it's possible that they aren't one single "race," but multiple races living within those nations. The "Tsaesci" could include serpentine snake vampires as well as the former Men of Akavir and/or their cross bred descendants.
- Long Lived: While descriptions vary from "men just like those found in Tamriel" to "snake vampires," they are apparently longer lived than that typical men of Tamriel. The two Akaviri Potentates, who ruled Tamriel in a continuation of the Reman Empire early in the 2nd Era, ruled for 323 years and 106 years, respectively.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They are serpentine for one.
- Precursors: Their Dragonguard spawned and heavily influenced the Blades.
- Shields Are Useless: Tsaesci have a cultural aversion to shields, and are confused by human warriors who rely on a 'sword-and-board' fighting style. In Tsaesci martial arts, if you don't want your opponent to hit you, you get out of the way.
- Slave Race: They are known to keep the goblins of Akavir as slaves. They are used for labor, food, and as Cannon Fodder in battle. They also at one point enslaved Akavir's red dragons and possibly the Men of Akavir as well.
- Snake People: They are supposedly very snake-like, right down to having serpentine lower bodies, but some accounts suggest a more humanoid appearance.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Along with You Sexy Beast. Serpentine or not, they did leave descendants who are considered "beautiful, if frightening". Best not to delve too much into that.
- Weather Manipulation: Uriel V's invasion of Akavir was absolutely plagued by seemingly supernatural bad weather. The Akaviri winter was far longer and more intense than his intelligence reports indicated it would be. Further, it was plagued by a sudden and mysterious drought. Finally, severe storms along the oceanic supply lines sank many of his ships traveling between Akavir and Tamriel. Magical manipulation by the Tsaesci is speculated to be the cause in all cases.
Those races who do not belong to Men, Mer, Beast, Daedra or Akaviri.
DragonsThe Dov (singular Dovah) are beasts originally hailing from Akavir (though other sources point to Atmora as well) and are descended from Akatosh. They have mastery over the Thu'um, the ability to channel magical energy into words.
- The Ageless: Though their physical forms still experience wear and tear (as can be seen with Paarthurnax), they never effectively die of old age, and in most cases, get Stronger with Age.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Within each Dragon is the desire to dominate and destroy others.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Dragons strongly believe this. If there's a question of pecking order, a fight ensues until one dragon either wins, submits, or dies.
- Breath Weapon: Subverted. While it might look like they have the ability to breathe fire and ice, they're actually using Thu'um to conjure fire and ice into existence.
- Deader Than Dead: To fully kill a dragon, you must first destroy its body and then absorb its soul. While anyone of sufficient ability can do the former, only another dragon (or a dragonborn) is capable of the latter.
- Death Is Cheap: If a Dragon is killed by a mortal, it is entirely possible for another Dragon to resurrect it at a later point. The only way to permanently kill a dragon is to absorb its soul. Akatosh created the Dovahkiin to serve as a natural predator for the Dragons.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Historically, Dragons never had much of a presence in Morrowind. Why? Because they were driven away by Cliff Racers - small, weak and hideously annoying native creatures - through sheer numbers and persistence.
- Dragons Are Demonic: Dragons are creatures of aggression and domination, and it's in their blood to be cruel and contemptuous. Even the protagonist, the Dragonborn, is a mortal with a dragon's soul and is no exception. However, they can fight against their baser nature as seen by Paarthurnax.
- Dragons Are Divine: Since they descend from Akatosh, they are considered lesser Aedra and therefore divine by default.
- Heel–Face Turn: They can however suppress their desire and ally themselves with mortals, like Nafaalilargus and Paarthurnax.
- Honor Before Reason: Dragons have a strong sense of honor which influences the actions they take. For example, when in a fight and faced with overwhelming odds, a dragon is expected to Face Death with Dignity and will almost never consider retreat.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: When they attack the Dovahkiin.
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: A staple of Dragon culture.
- I Know Your True Name: Downplayed. Shouting a dragon's true name does not place it under your control, but it will treat it as a challenge and will usually seek out whoever made the shout, due to a combination of curiosity and honor.
- Language Equals Thought: In the Draconic language, no distinction is made between "debating" and "fighting" - two dragons breathing fire at each other are just having a particularly heated argument. Furthermore, dragons' thoughts when voiced are able to alter reality, so when they Shout they are not merely casting a spell, but willing fire into existence with a word. Language equals Thought Equals Being, in other words.
- Language of Magic: Draconic, when spoken by a Dragon or one trained in the Thu'um, allows forces and elements to be willed into existence.
- Luke Nounverber: Their names, when translated from Draconic, sound this way.
- Might Makes Right: To the draconic way of thinking, being right and being powerful are one and the same.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Language is so intrinsic to the Dragons that a fight between two Dov... is actually a deadly verbal debate.
- No True Dovah: Dialogue with certain Dragons imply they view the Dragonborn as an abomination for their ability to devour Dragon-souls and are deeply insulted that the Dragonborn has the audacity to call itself a "Dovah".
- Odahviing expresses this opinion of Alduin after he flees from a battle with the Dragonborn. Even if they know they are outmatched, a real Dragon would continue fighting until the bitter end!
- So much so that when Alduin runs away after being defeated other dragons realize he is no longer fit to lead. There is no respect lost if you submit to your better, but to turn tail and flee shows you are no true dov.
- Our Dov Are Different: In this case, quasi-angelic beings with immortal Aedric souls who use their language, the Thu'um, to warp reality.
- Poirot Speak: Dragons frequently slip back into Draconic when talking.
- Pride: Repeatedly demonstrated to be their Fatal Flaw.
- Reality Warper: Due to the Thu'um, which they can use to literally command things into existence.
- Rise from Your Grave: The Dragons aren't just coming back to Skyrim. They're coming back to life.
- Soul Eating: Dragons and those with dragon souls can consume other dragon souls to a) boost their own souls' power and b) destroy the other soul permanently (the only way to destroy the otherwise immortal dragons).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The Dragons and their Dragon Cult originated in Atmora, homeland of the proto-Nords. There, the men worshipped the Dragons, and the priests demanded tribute, as well as set down laws so Dragons and men could live together peacefully. The Cult in Tamriel was not nearly as benevolent, ruling men with an iron fist, eventually enslaving them. No one really knows why the Cult changed, though it is hinted that is was the result of Alduin's desire to rule the world instead of end it.
- A Wizard Did It: How are they able to fly in spite of their bulk and unaerodynamic shape? How are they able to speak despite not having lips? Magic.
GiantsThe Giants of Skyrim and High Rock. They tend to the colder regions, and are known to herd mammoths. According to Online, they can breed with humans.
- Carry a Big Stick: That can send you into low orbit with one hit.
- Enemy Mine: In Skyrim, Giants can join the Dragonborn in fighting errant Dragons if their herd's been threatened. Or potentially escalate into a Mêlée à Trois between some of Skyrim's heaviest hitters.
- Gentle Giant: So long as you keep your distance, and don't touch their mammoths, they're perfectly content to leave you be. Wandering giants kick it up a notch in Skyrim, and will only fight if attacked first; you can get within arm's length and they'll keep walking. Usually.
- Heroic Neutral: On the whole, if you leave them alone, they leave you alone. If you attack them or their mammoths, well, be prepared to fight it out. Though exceptions do exist; in the Rift, Giants are seen attacking an orc stronghold without provocation, and they likewise overran the local shrine to Malacath, driving the orcs out there. However, this is heavily implied to be due to divine intervention — Malacath considered the current chieftan a coward and the crisis would either wipe out the tribe or force him to man up and protect his people.
- Kill It with Fire: At some of their camps you can see the charred remains of a humanoid tied to a spit over the campfire. Whether this was just their method of killing the poor sod or dinner preparations is unclear.
- Off Screen Villainy: We're told they raid farms and apparently they're enough of a threat for the Jarls to put bounties out on them at times. Aside from their attacks on the orc stronghold of Largashbur and one attacking a farm defended by the Companions outside Whiterun, we don't see any overt hostilities from them so long as they're allowed respectable breathing space.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: And stand at ten feet on average.
GoblinsA type of green-skinned, primitive, and violent humanoid found across Tamriel and Akavir. They have a primitive language and social system, and worship a god called "Muluk," who is theorized to be Malacath.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Unless they're being controlled by more intelligent masters.
- Domesticated Dinosaurs: They train Durzogs, a sort of reptilian dog, for combat and protection.
- Giant Mook: Giant Goblins inhabited Hammerfell before the Redguards came to the area and drove them to extinction.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Pretty much follow the standard fantasy version to a "T."
- Reduced to Ratburgers: They are known to farm Tamriel's Rodents of Unusual Size as a food source.
- Slave Mook: Various cultures in Tamriel have enslaved Goblins from time to time throughout history. The Tsaesci of Akavir reportedly brought goblins along during their invasion of Tamriel as servants and Cannon Fodder. The Altmer similarly employ Goblins in this fashion.
- You No Take Candle: Those that do speak words in Tamriellic tend to do so in this fashion.
- Zerg Rush: Most are not adept fighters on their own, but they make up for it by attacking in greater numbers.
HagravensA group of bestial, bird like witches. Formerly mortal women, they became Hagravens to gain great power. Where ever that magic comes from, it is the same source that is worshiped by the Forsworn, and the two are frequently allied with each other.
- Arch-Enemy: Spriggans, given that their lairs are frequently dotted with Spriggan heads.
- Deal with the Devil:
- They'll occasionally make a deal with a Forsworn warrior by replacing their heart with a briar heart, making the warrior much stronger but basically destroying his free will.
- A coven of Hagravens called the Glenmoril Witches were also responsible for forming a pact between the Daedra Prince Hircine and The Companions of Whiterun, giving the latter the ability to voluntarily shapeshift into werewolves in exchange for Hircine claiming their souls after death.
- Enemy to All Living Things: Except the Forsworn.
- Evil Matriarch: Forsworn camps will often refer to a Hagraven as their Matriarch.
- Evil Mentor: To Witches, who eventually become Hagravens themselves.
- Feathered Fiend: Hagravens are villainous bird people.
- Femme Fatalons: Have literal bird talons for fingers.
- Harping on About Harpies: A flightless varient of this trope.
- Human Sacrifice: Part of the ritual of becoming a Hagraven requires sacrificing someone, though they're not so picky as demanding an actual human (Elves or Beast folk will suffice).
- Was Once A Woman
"The Hist tree is the main form of worship among the scaled peoples of these dark swales. Others have hypothesized that the trees are apperceptive, with a deep knowledge and unfathomable secrets from the times before all the races of Man and Mer."The Hist are a race of ancient, sentient, giant spore-trees native to Black Marsh. They are worshiped by the Argonians who drink the sap of the Hist to grow, and can communicate with the Hist via visions transmitted in the sap.
Myths and Legends of the Hist
- The Omniscient: Through an unknown means, they are able to see into the future. Sensing the upcoming Oblivion Crisis and the trials that would follow, they recalled most of the Argonians in Tamriel to the Black Marsh to combat these threats and, through their sap, changed the Argonians physically to better prepare them as weapons of war.
- Power of the Void: They are said to "acknowledge" Sithis as the original creator of the universe. This would also help explain the Shadowscales, Argonians born under the sign of the Shadow who are given to the Dark Brotherhood to train as assassins, since the Brotherhood operates in direct service to Sithis.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: They are believed to possess "unfathomable" knowledge from the Dawn Era, before the time of Men and Mer.
- Time Abyss: Said to be the oldest beings on Tamriel, older than any Man or Mer, and were around to see the wars of the Ehlnofey during the Dawn Era, before linear time had even been conceived of as a concept.
- When Trees Attack: Subverted. Though sentient and capable of communicating with each other and the Argonians, they are otherwise entirely tree-like - stationary and defenseless on their own. However, they can incite the Argonians to attack on their behalf.
- Wise Tree: They are believed to have some sort of prophetic knowledge of things to come, and communicate with each other via connected roots and with the Argonians by having them drink their sap. The An-Xileel are a chamber of the government in Argonia who hold almost absolute power simply because they consult with the Hist; through the visions of the Hist, they managed to recall almost all Argonians in Tamriel because the Hist foresaw the events of the Oblivion Crisis, and managed to force Mehrunes Dagon into a retreat from Black Marsh, and then to entirely wipe out the Empire's presence in the province as they declared independence.
NymphsA type of nature spirit that appears in the form of a beautiful naked, long-haired young woman. They're capable of draining stamina and can only be harmed by silver and other magical weaponry.
- Anything That Moves: Subverted, while nymphs are often stereotyped in-universe as being little more than "beautiful, naked women who skip along tra-la-la and like to have indisciminate sex", they are actually quite shy.
- Full-Frontal Assault: They attack while stark naked.
- Nipple and Dimed: Averted, nymph sprites have very distinct nipples.
RieklingsA species of blue-skinned humanoid creatures native to Solstheim, somewhat resembling ice goblins.
- Art Evolution: A major case from Bloodmoon, where they more closely resemble small blue humans to Dragonborn, where they are much more primitive and bestial looking.
- Blade on a Stick: Spears are a favored weapon of theirs.
- Cargo Cult: They can be seen worshipping some of their detritus in Dragonborn.
- Horse of a Different Color: They ride Tusked Bristlebacks (wild boars) as mounts.
- Trash of the Titans: They are known to hoard random items, from useless Vendor Trash to weapons and armor.
- You No Take Candle: They have a primitive language and those who speak do so in this fashion. The Riekling Chief is one exception.
- Zerg Rush: They are rarely found alone and tend to attack in groups.
SpriggansA mysterious, plant like race which is found in secluded groves, and will attack any who trespass on their domain.
- Arch-Enemy: Hagravens, given that the Hagravens will frequently dot their lairs with Spriggan heads.
- The Beastmaster: Spriggans can control animals to attack you with.
- Bee Afraid: Some Spriggans will attack you with a swarm of bees.
- Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": Spriggans are a type of goblin with Size Shifter powers in Cornish folklore. These Spriggans are more akin to violent Dryads.
- Extra Lives:
- In earlier games, they would have to be killed three times before they stopped coming back to fight you some more. They haven't done this since Bloodmoon, however.
- In Skyrim, Spriggans instead have a rapid Healing Factor when their health drops to critically low levels.
- Gaia's Vengeance: They're frequently referred to as "Nature's Guardian".
- Kill It with Fire: They're very vulnerable to fire.
- Nature Is Not Nice: Spriggans are generally an unfriendly group of nature spirits.
- Plant People: Particularly in Skyrim, where they have an even more tree-like appearance than previous depictions.