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A female and male Breton in Skyrim.

Bretons (from the Ehlnofex "beratu," or "half")[1] are the human descendants who hail from the province of High Rock. According to the Third Pocket Guide to the Empire, they are descended from the Nedic and Aldmeri, while other sources claimed they were the mix of Atmoran and Aldmeri blood. The Altmer thought of making a new race with their own 'elder' or 'superior' blood, by mating with other races.[2][3] The Bretons are sometimes called 'Manmeri' because of this.[3]

By gameEdit

High RockEdit

Main article: High Rock

High Rock is a western region of the Empire of Tamriel. It borders Hammerfell to the south-east and Skyrim to the north-east. It is mainly populated by Bretons. High Rock and the Summerset Isles are the only provinces of Tamriel that do not share a land-border with Cyrodiil. This region is known for its many small villages and towns and for the many grim fortifications that dot the hills and crags around them. In the past, these castles were the domains of many petty kings and lords that ruled the massive patchwork of small nations that used to make up High Rock.[citation needed]


Bretons are the descendants of either an Aldmeri-Nedic or Aldmeri-Atmoran hybrid race of the First Era and are consequently termed as 'the mongrel race of Tamriel.' Their elven blood is heavily diluted, due to their ancestors intermingling with the Nordic population in Skyrim and High Rock. Bretons are sometimes called "Manmeri" as a result of the interbreeding, literally translating to 'man-elf.'[citation needed] Although their Aldmeri ancestry is shadowed by their appearance, they still inherit the magical affinity of their elven blood. Their physical features resemble their Nedic ancestors, including their pale skin tone and the obvious physical resemblance to Imperials/Nords, but some still inherit the frail, sharp appearance of the elves, along with the arrogance, and some do have slight points in their ears.

History, culture, and talentsEdit


Breton architecture as it is seen in The Elder Scrolls Online

They are pure spell weavers and are advanced in all the Arcane arts. While lacking in physical skill, they make up for it in their ability to resist and cast spells that overwhelm most people. They are united in culture and language, but are divided politically. Descendants of the Druids of Galen, their origins can be traced to the 1st Era of Tamriel's history, when the Aldmer intermingled extensively with the Nedic people. This mostly happened during the period in the First Era when Mer held Men as slaves, which lead to masters impregnating their female captives. Bretons are of medium height, with fair or medium hair.[citation needed] They are highly intelligent, willful, and have an outgoing personality. It is said that Bretons are weaned on magic, for it seems to infuse their very being. Intermingling with elven blood has given Bretons an affinity for magic, though hardiness is also part of their heritage. Breton culture operates under the feudal system, and their society is agrarian and hierarchical.[citation needed]


Passionate, eccentric, poetic, flamboyant, intelligent, willful, and excellent cooks,[citation needed] the Bretons feel an inborn, instinctive bond with the mercurial forces of magic and the supernatural world. Many great sorcerers have come out of their home province of High Rock, and in addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, enchantment, and alchemy, even the humblest and least prominent Breton can boast a high resistance to destructive and dominating magical attacks they encounter.


The main religion in High Rock is the worship of the Eight Divines, along with three Elven deities, Magnus, Y'ffre, and Phynaster, and Sheor, who is unique to the Bretons, although most scholars agree that he is an offshoot of the Nordic deity Shor.[4] A History of Daggerfall notes that Bretons in general are "hardly ever given to excessive religion."[5]


Notable BretonsEdit

Real-world connectionsEdit

The fictional 'Breton' race are based on the 'Celtic Britons' of Northwestern Europe who live all over the British Isles (UK & Ireland), Northern France and Belgium. In fact much of the real modern day Bretons from Brittany (France) are descendants of migratory Celtic Britons (as late as 900 A.D.). This is reflected in the Elder Scrolls Universe by the English sounding surnames that the majority of Bretons living in High Rock possess, fictional Bretons also have many Gaelic, Gallic, French and Celtic sounding surnames. The fictional Breton culture of magic & Sorcery, Mer & Man is based on the paganism, druidism and mysticism prevalent throughout the Celtic Briton cultures.

Despite the simplistic logic of some who say that the fictional Bretons are based solely on people from Brittany in France, it still adheres to the above statement as the Bretons from Brittany are descendants of Celtic Britons. Celtic Britons are still large in number making up the majority ethnicity across the British Isles (UK & Ireland) despite all the previous invasions by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Danes and the Vikings through Millennia past. Invasion forces were usually victorious and then went on to share their technological, political, and societal advances as well as resources and culture with the Celtic Britons. Despite their strength the invaders would usually themselves become assimilated into Celtic-Briton society and would themselves become a Briton. The modern day English language evolved from a mix of Old French, Latin, Angle and Saxon languages (invading peoples) which in turn made it a very accessible and flexible language, which is a major contributor to the worldwide popularity of the English language today (and why English-speaking people use many Latin and/or French words in their day-to-day vocabularies).

The word "Brittany", along with its French, Breton and Gallo equivalents "Bretagne", "Breizh" and "Bertaèyn", derive from the Latin Britannia which means "Britons' land". This word had been used by the Romans since the 1st century to refer to Great Britain, and more specifically the Roman province of Britain. This word derives from a Greek word, Πρεττανικη (Prettanike) or Βρεττανίαι (Brettaniai), used by Pytheas, an explorer from Massalia who visited the British Islands around 320 BC. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, many Britons settled in western Armorica, and the region started to be called Britannia, although this name only replaced Armorica in the sixth century or perhaps by the end of the fifth.[11] Later, authors like Geoffrey of Monmouth used the terms Britannia minor and Britannia major to distinguish Brittany from Britain.

It should also be noted that Forsworn characters have Pictish names; The Picts were a Celtic people native to modern day Scotland (most modern day Scots are almost genetically identical to the Picts) resistant to the Roman forces in Britannia south of Hadrian's Wall. The plight of the forsworn to reclaim 'The Reach' is reminiscent of the struggle between the Picts and the Romans.


  • In The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, Bretons are described as a tall people, but they are the smallest human race since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
  • During the character creation in The Elder Scrolls: Arena the following is shown when a Breton character is chosen: "Know ye this also: Thy race is descended from the ancient Druids of Galen, quick witted and strong in the mystical arts. Thy folk are crafty and intelligent, a learned people who use their gifts to guide others to enlightenment..."
  • In Daggerfall, Bretons also worshiped a god named Ebon Arm.



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