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"From fire, life; from light, magic."
―Ayleid phrase[src]

The Ayleids, also known as the Wild Elves [1] or Heartland High Elves or Heartland Elves [2], were the first race to establish an empire in Tamriel[3], and ruled over modern-day Cyrodiil for many years before the beginning of recorded history. [4] They lived in a tribal society, with each "tribe" being different from the next. They were the establishers of the Imperial City, creating and designing the White Gold Tower, and apparently spoke a variation of Old Cyrodiilic. Throughout Cyrodiil many Ayleid ruins can be found. After the First Era, many of their cities fell into ruin; they were filled with dangerous traps, monsters, bandits and Undead. Many would-be treasure hunters have died trying to plunder these lost ruins of the Ayleids.


Merethic Era

By the middle of the Mythic Era, the Ayleids controlled a large swath of land in what is modern-day Cyrodiil. This included at least the forested areas around the Niben river basin, parts of the Valus and Jerall Mountains, and areas west into Colovia. However, they were not ruled, as is often assumed, by a single, powerful central government. By the start of the First Era, a powerful aristocracy had divided the region up into a number of small kingdoms. Modern scholars are aware of at least three, with their capital cities being Lindai, Nenalata, and Miscarcand. The White Gold Tower itself appears to have been used for some sort of central council chamber, or at least held significance over that of any one capital city, as its defeat marked the end of the Ayleid civilization.

First Era

About a century into the First Era, a slave woman was born to the humans living on Ayleid-controlled Niben. This slave, who eventually ended up at the now-sacred Ayleid site of Sancre Tor (Golden Hill), would receive divine inspiration, and direct divine help, to rouse her fellow slaves and revolt against their masters. She became known to her people as Alessia, the Slave Queen, and her army, with the help of the Nords and likely some of the more radical Ayleid nobles, defeated the Ayleid kingdoms and conquered the land in the name of the Cyrodiilic Empire (in an interesting side note, the city of Sancre Tor itself, where Alessia is said to have formulated her revolt, ended up in the neighboring kingdom of Colovia until near the end of the First Era).

Within about 400 years of their overthrow, the strongly anti-mer Alessian Order had driven out, or exterminated, most remaining Ayleid settlements. Scholars generally believe that the Ayleid immigrated en masse to Valenwood, and possibly Summerset Isles, where they were integrated into those mer races. There are persistent rumors, which cannot be rejected outright, that wild tribes of pure Ayleid still hide within the Cyrodiilic forests. In any case, the Ayleid abandoned their cities, which have fallen into ruin, though the magic and mechanical traps which were installed near the end of their history still function.

Second Era

"Indeed, one of the finest sages of the University of Gwilym was a civilized Ayleid Elf, Tjurhane Fyrre (1E2790-2E227), whose published work on Wild Elves suggests a lively, vibrant culture. Fyrre is one of the very few Ayleids to speak freely on his people and religion, and he himself said "the nature of the Ayleid tribes is multihued, their personalities often wildly different from their neighbor[ing] tribes" (Fyrre, T., Nature of Ayleidic Poesy, p. 8, University of Gwilym Press, 2E12)."
―Kier-Jo Chorvak[src]

Ayleids had lived into the Second Era, with credible sightings stating that they had lived in a reclusive tribal society.[3]

One of the members of the University of Gwylim was a civilized Ayleid, Tjurhane Fyrre, who was one of the finest sages at the University. He wrote a text on his people, called The Wild Elves.[3]

Third Era and Fourth Eras

No Ayleids have been seen or reported during the Third Era and the Fourth Era, and as of the Fourth Era, scholars presume that they are extinct.



Much like the Dwemer, what little is known about the appearance of the Ayleid comes primarily from their architecture and early writings. Most Ayleid ruins include at the very least one statue, presumably of an Ayleid warrior, usually holding a sword aloft. [5] The general appearance looks similar to that of the Altmer, which most scholars consider fairly likely given the Altmer's concerted effort to maintain a "pure" Aldmeri appearance. A brief description given in volume 5, Second Seed, of 2920 describes them as "darker than Altmer, but lighter than Dunmer", suggesting a complexion similar to that of the Bosmer. [6]


At one point the Ayleids controlled the entirety of the Imperial Province of Cyrodiil, and enslaved the Cyrodiilic and Nordic populations (which at that point were both part of the same prototypical race of men). During this time, the Ayleids made great strides in the arcane arts. The downfall of the Ayleid civilization was a combination of cultural hubris and revolution fomented amongst their slaves. With the blessing of the Aedra, a slave named Alessia led a revolt that resulted in the destruction of the Ayleid civilization. The surviving Ayleids frequently showed up as civil servants to the nobility in the Alessian empire, or fled to Valenwood and interbred with the Bosmer. The last known King of the Ayleids was the ruler of the city of Nenalata who controlled eastern Cyrodiil.

By the Second Era, the Ayleids were driven into a state many would regard as "primitive" (hence Wild Elves) and lived deep within the forests of Cyrodiil, though little is still known of modern Ayleids and their culture. Their tribes apparently possessed wildly disparate cultures, but shared a thread of xenophobia, likely remaining from the Alessian Reformation when Ayleidic culture was nearly destroyed. The last reported sighting of an Ayleid occurred nearly a thousand years before the events of the Elder Scrolls games. It is unknown whether a few Ayleids still survive in the wilds of Cyrodiil, or whether their ancient race finally expired and passed into memory.

Language and Writing System

Of the Ayleid language and writing system, much is known about it and many words, letters and ancient texts have been translated as a result of deep research and delving into Ayleid Ruins.


The Ayleid language is extremely similar to other Mer languages and writing systems, due to the fact that all Mer descend from the Aldmer, and because of this, the Ayleid language shares many terms and words with other Elven languages, such as Dunmeri, such as "Bal," which means stone. [7]

File:AyleidLanguage example.jpg
The Ayleid Reference Text, translated by Raelys Anine.


The Ayleids held a close relationship with the Daedric Princes, and even worshipped them. [8] It is implied that they used the Daedric magic to increase their strength to the point where they could conquer the Cyrodiilic and Nordic races, as mentioned above. This could have been a contributing factor to the Aedra giving their aid to the human races against the Ayleids to help destroy or otherwise cripple Daedric influence in Nirn.

There are however very strong arguments that state that the Ayleids worshipped the Aedra, rather than the Daedra. The Ayleids venerated Magnus, the Aedric God of magic [9] [10], and magic was a huge aspect of Ayleidic society. Magnus was the Ayleid God of Sight, Light and Insight. Throughout many Ayleid Ruins, there are many statues which depict an eagle lifting up a figure carrying a bow and shield from the ensnaring ground. [11] The bow and shield are the weapons asssociated with the Aedra Auri-El. Within the Altmer Pantheon, the Eagle represents the Aedra, and the Ayleids seem to have inherited the Eagle symbol as well.


"The marble benches of the central plaza faced out across the surrounding waters to tall columns and sharp arches supporting the high dome. From the central island, stately bridges spanned the still pools to narrow walkways behind the columns, with broad vaulted avenues and limpid ever-deeping gloom into darkness."
―Alexandre Hetrard, Glories and Laments
White gold tower
The White-Gold Tower, one of the most impressive and most famous structures in all of Cyrodiil.

The White Gold Tower, the central spire of the Imperial City in Cyrodiil, was the central temple of the Ayleids. It now serves as the Imperial Palace for the Tamrielic Empire. The rest of their capital city was either razed or buried beneath the Imperial City.


Magic was an extremely important aspect of the Ayleids and of their society. In terms of both science and magic, their people believed that Nirn was composed of four basic elements: earth, water, air and light. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name. While modern natural philosophy stated that Nirn was composed of four basic elements: earth, water, air and fire, the Ayleid people had a different theory; they believed that Nirn was composed of four basic elements: earth, water, air and light. To them, the most important form of light was starlight. For Nirn and its people, it was common knowledge that stars were linked to the plane of Aetherius. Aetherius is the source of all magical power and all things magical, so light from the stars is the most powerful and grand of all magical powers. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag. Tag has more than one name associated with reference.

Sometimes, objects called Aetherial fragments sometimes come from Aetherius to Mundus, specifically Nirn. There were two known types of Aetherial fragments: Meteoric Iron and Meteoric Glass. Many, if not all, of the magical devices and technology created by Ayleid engineers and architects were made of meteoric iron and meteoric glass. One of the magical devices created by the Ayleids were Ayleid Wells. These Ayleid Wells were scattered across Cyrodiil, and were not associated wih any Ayleid cities, settlements or other sites. Made from Meteoric Iron, Ayleid Wells were designed to harvest and collect magical power from starlight. The Wells were located in the meeting point of ancient lines of magical power, though this was merely theorized by modern Ayleid scholars. For mages, and even for anybody without any magical talent, he or she could draw magicka from the Wells to restore their own sources of magicka. When people worked with Ayleid Wells, no ritual, basic academic or arcane knowledge was required to harvest the magicka, and were designed to serve people who were not skilled in the magical/arcane arts. When they do finally drain, the Wells replenish at midnight when the stars were out. Once recharged, they radiate some of the magical power back into the sky. This was most likely a cultural, religious or ritualized magical significance. Another Ayleid device were Welkynd Stones. Welkynd Stones were designed and used as storage devices for magical resources and magicka reserves, and to power the magicka itself; Mages and enchanters could restore their own magicka reserves. The Ayleids had their own laws and knowledge for storing, removing and using Welkynd Stones. so currently, in the modern era, anybody, which was essentially everybody in the modern era, who did not have proper knowledge of using Welkynd Stones, would see these stones crumble to dust after they have been used. A variant of the Welkynd Stones, known as Great Welkynd Stones, were exceptionally large Ayleid devices made of enchanted Meteoric Glass. At the heart of each Ayleid city, a Great Welkynd Stone as the source of the city's power, magical resources and magical enchantments. These great, grand stones were directly connected to the lesser stones within a city, which restored and maintained their power as the stones worked together to power the city. Yet another Ayleid device were Varla Stones, which were made of Meteoric Glass and were used to enable trained and even untrained enchanters to add and restore magical energy to any enchanted items and magical artifacts. The Varla Stones were of great value and utility, and though they were quite rare, small and easily concealed, the diligent, patient, careful and focused explorers could still come across these rare Ayleid devices in any Ayleid Ruin.  [12]


The Ayleids produced many artifacts, both regular and unique, that were heavily based in magic and the arcane arts. The impact these Ayleid artifacts had in the future on the Ayleid scholar community was significant; many scholars and adventurers, both single and in groups, dared to go deep into ancient Ayleid ruins to discover these lost treasures. [13]The Ayleid Crown of Lindai and the  Ayleid Crown of Nenalata were two unique and powerful light Ayleid helmets bearing powerful enchantments. The Crown of Lindai could resist magic from 10%-35%, fortify Illusion from 5 to 15 points and fortify alteration 5 to 15 points. The Crown of Nenalata could reflect spells from 8%-25%, fortify alteration 5 to 15 points and fortify conjuration 5 to 15 points. [14]

Notable Ayleid

  • Hadhuul: Hadhuul, colloquially referred to as the Fire King, was the King of Ceyatatar in Cyrodiil. His armies were powerful and were never defeated until the Battle of Ceyatatar, when they suffered their first defeat at the hands of Pelinal Whitestrake and the Imperial slaves who were launching a rebellion against the rule of the Ayleids. Hadhuul was killed by Whitestrake during the battle. [15]
  • Celethelel: Celethelel, colloquially referred to as the Singer, was the Queen of Narlemae during the First Era. In 1E 242, during the Battle of Narlemae, the Imperial slaves revolted against their Ayleid masters, led by Pelinal Whitestrake and Huna. During the battle, there was a small skirmish between Celethelel against Pelinal and Huna. Celethelel killed Huna with an arrow, which drove Pelinal into a fierce rage, and in turn, Pelinal killed Celethelel. Pelinal Whitestrake continued to lead his fellow slaves in the rebellion against the Ayleids. [16]
  • Umaril the Unfeathered




Scholarly works


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  • Lost Races of Mer

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    • I am still waiting for the Left-Handed Elves :P
    • They should have a quest involving the Left-handed elves or something.

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