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Topal the Pilot Statue

Statue of Topal the Pilot, an Aldmer.

The Aldmer (meaning First Ones[citation needed], First Folk[citation needed], or Elder Folk[citation needed]) were the original race of Mer on Nirn, direct descendants of the Ehlnofey.[citation needed] Much of modern Tamrielic culture traces its roots back to the original Aldmeri civilizations.[citation needed]


As far as anyone can determine, the Aldmer vanished as a distinct race sometime during the middle Merethic Era.[citation needed] As such, clear and reliable descriptions of the race are difficult to come by. However, most scholars agree that the Aldmer likely resembled modern-day Altmer more than any other mer race.[citation needed] In particular, the Altmer consider themselves the most "pure" descendants of their progenitor race, and attempt to maintain that purity through careful breeding. In addition, all races of mer share a number of similar characteristics, which most likely derive from their ancestors.[citation needed]

It is surmised that the Aldmer were tall and lithe, probably of smaller build but more graceful than the humans of the same era.[citation needed] Their faces were likely thin, with pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes. The Aldmer skin tone was probably the same pale yellow as the Altmer, perhaps slightly more pronounced. One popular source of speculation on Aldmer appearance comes from the Tribunal,[citation needed] the three living gods of the Dunmer on Morrowind. These three mer were possibly alive during the Mythic Era, and certainly during the very early First Era, and are the last remnants of the Chimer to survive into the Third Era. Given the relatively short period of time between the appearance of the Chimer and the disappearance of the Aldmer from record, Vivec, as the last Chimer, is perhaps the closest in appearance of any living being to the Aldmer.


Altmer legendEdit

In modern lore, the history of the Aldmer is essentially the history of the Altmer. The Altmer consider themselves direct-line descendants of the Aldmer,[citation needed] and their histories sometimes blur the line between the two. According to Altmer legend, the Aldmer were one of the two direct descendants of the Ehlnofey, the other being the proto-race of man.[citation needed] Originally, the Aldmer were concentrated on the mythic continent of Aldmeris, with men populating all the remaining continents with the exception of Tamriel.[citation needed] The exact location of Aldmeris is not known, though if it exists, chances are it was somewhere off the southern or eastern coast of Tamriel. Legend claims that the Aldmer, for unknown reasons, left Aldmeris en masse, sailing to the nearest habitable region. They landed on the Summerset Isles of Tamriel, and established an elven kingdom there.

Initially, most of the Aldmer remained on the Summerset Isles, leaving the rest of Tamriel to the primitive beast tribes[citation needed] (what would become the modern Khajiit and Argonians, among others). Some, however, began to explore the continent and settle in other regions. A group of Aldmer traveled by boat up the Niben River, settled on the islands in the middle of Lake Rumare, and built the White-Gold Tower and the Ayleid Empire.[citation needed] Others travelled to the Valenwood and evolved into the Bosmer, while still others, including the Chimer, migrated as far from Summerset Isle as possible to settle on the island of Vvardenfell on Morrowind.[citation needed] According to Chimer history, the Dwemer were already settled in modern-day Morrowind when the new immigrants arrived;[citation needed] where the so-called Deep Elves came from is a source of speculation. The origin of the Falmer is also speculated.

Alternate viewsEdit

Not everyone agrees with the Altmeri view of their own history. Many scholars reject the idea that Aldmeris was a physical location at all;[citation needed] instead, it is often claimed that Aldmeris is merely an idea, a concept of a unified mer race from the early Merethic Era.[citation needed] Indeed, it's possible that the Summerset Isles themselves are Aldmeris, from a period before any mer had left to populate Tamriel.

Others believe that the mer likely inhabited all of the same continents as humans in the early Merethic, and arrived on Tamriel at multiple locations.[citation needed] These varied mer cultures had already begun to diverge, much like the human cultures were distinct before settling on Tamriel. The presence of the Dwemer on Tamriel, so far from Summerset, when the Chimer first crossed the continent lends strong credence to the idea of multiple migrations of the mer, likely from multiple source locations. The idea of Aldmeris and a unified Aldmer culture, these scholars argue, derives mostly from the Altmer's belief in their own divine destiny, and an attempt to return to the golden age of pre-human mer culture.

Humans and MerEdit

Regardless of how the mer arrived on Tamriel, they were present when humans began to arrive.[citation needed] Humans melded with the Aldmer and their descendant cultures over the ensuing centuries. Some cross-breeding occurred (leading to the Breton race), but moreso was the blending of cultures. The language of the Aldmer, often called High Elvish in the Imperial Tongue,[citation needed] was integrated into human speech. Though few speak the Aldmeri language anymore, many common words and word fragments (such as the names of the mer races themselves) survive to modern day, and snippets of it are occasionally found in books (such as in Florin Jaliil's Father of the Niben: Udhendra Nibenu).

By the time of recorded human history, in the first Era, the Aldmer as a race were no longer present on Tamriel.[citation needed] The start of the First Era is marked by the rise of a true kingdom in Valenwood, considered a fully distinct Bosmer race by this time. The Chimer and Dwemer were established in Resdayn, and even the Orsimer had changed to the Orcs of modern eras.[citation needed]


Most information known about Aldmeri culture comes from excavated ruins on the Summerset Isles, and the artwork of private Altmeri collectors.[citation needed] The Aldmeri society was primarily agricultural,[citation needed] with a fully egalitarian government.[citation needed] Indeed, the idea of a centralized government was a key factor that separated the Chimer from the Aldmer;[citation needed] the first true kingdom on Tamriel did not appear until the reign of the Bosmeri King that heralded the start of the First Era.[citation needed]

Aldmeri architecture is a wide variety of styles and materials, most of it naturally occurring.[citation needed] The Aldmer were not above quarrying materials, however, as evidenced by vast coral structures sitting high atop Summerset Isle's tallest mountains.[citation needed] They were also capable of impressive feats of engineering, as seen by the giant Crystal Tower that houses the graves of many early Aldmer settlers.[citation needed] Early Aldmer did not build structures for worship of gods,[citation needed] in the way that humans did; rather, they worshipped their own people's spirits, living and dead, in practices which they apparently brought with them wholesale from Aldmeris.[citation needed]

On Tamriel, their culture began to evolve, with various mer specializing into social classes and careers,[citation needed] including teachers, workers, artists, and others. At the same time, their religion began to focus more specifically on the most powerful of their ancestors: the Aedra, especially Trinimac, Auriel, and Phynaster.[citation needed] This shift in religious focus was the trigger which ultimately led the prophet Veloth to take his people away from Summerset Isle, now calling themselves Chimer,[citation needed] and return to an ancestral religious society across the continent. Another group of Aldmeri elders broke away from the new religion, claiming to be the only true followers of the Aldmeri old ways, and named themselves the Psijics.[citation needed] This group would spread across Tamriel, teaching magic to the various races, and seeking always to bridge the gap between mortality and divinity. What was left of the Aldmeri society would evolve, over thousands of years, into modern day Altmeri culture.

Modern AldmerEdit

While no known Aldmer remain, the concept of a single, unified elven race has persisted through the eras. The Altmer and Bosmer formed what is termed the Aldmeri Dominion during the second era, uniting the disparate races against a common enemy. Many Imperial historical sources use the term Aldmeri as a synonym for elven, a practice that is certainly not discouraged by the mer themselves.[1] Current upheavals in the Summerset Isles and Morrowind, particularly against human rule of the continent, may lead to a revival of Aldmeri culture in the near future.

Known AldmerEdit

  • High Lord Torinaan – A sailor who led the settlement of the Summerset Isles
  • Topal the Pilot – An explorer who traveled through mainland Tamriel
  • Phynaster – An Aldmeri hero-god who taught his kin how to live for hundreds of years
  • Syrabane – An Aldmeri hero-god who assisted Bendu Olo in defeating the Sload
  • Orgnum (formerly) – An Aldmer who became a Maormer and leads as the king of Pyandonea. He is said to be immortal, and getting younger rather than older as time goes on.



Start a Discussion Discussions about Aldmer

  • Aldmeris

    26 messages
    • Platinum Luffy wrote:Sothas wrote:Platinum Luffy wrote:Dovahsebrom wrote:Platinum Luffy wrote: So if all land began on Tamriel, does that incl...
    • Sothas wrote:Platinum Luffy wrote:Sothas wrote:Platinum Luffy wrote:Dovahsebrom wrote:Platinum Luffy wrote: So if all land began on Tamriel, d...
  • Aldmeri Dominion or Altmeri Dominion?

    6 messages
    • Harold Burned-Mane wrote:The Khajiit '''were''' Mer. They are no longer considered Mer after Azura allegedly chan...
    • Thier religion is an offshoot of Aldmer, but they were around before the elves arived on Tamriel.