The Dunmer, more commonly referred to as Dark Elves, are the dark skinned elves originally from the province of Morrowind. They are known to be strong, intelligent, and very quick, grim, aloof, and reserved, keeping to themselves as much as possible, but are said to be ill-favored by fate. They are just as distrusting and disdainful of other races as they are to other Dark Elves. The Dunmer and their national character embrace these various connotations with enthusiastic behaviors. Several Dunmer have managed to make their way in other provinces as merchants, mages, or assassins for the Dark Brotherhood. Many of the Dunmer belong to one of the seven Great Houses. They also tend to live a very long time, even when compared to other races of mer.
- Dunmer (Arena)
- Dunmer (Daggerfall)
- Dunmer (Morrowind)
- Dunmer (Oblivion)
- Dunmer (Skyrim)
- Dunmer (Online)
- Main article: Morrowind
The province of Morrowind, formerly known as Resdayn, is in the northeastern corner of Tamriel. It is divided into two main parts: the mainland of the same name, and the island of Vvardenfell, separated by the Sea of Ghosts. Although the Tribunal are a great influence in politics, Morrowind is ruled by King Hlaalu Helseth from the city of Mournhold. Its larger cities include: Vivec, Mournhold, Balmora, Sadrith Mora, Ald'ruhn, Blacklight, Necrom, Narsis, Tear, and Port Telvannis.
They have red, glowing eyes and their skin tones vary from green to gray, and even light blue. They are known to be extremely strong, intelligent, and very quick, but are said to be ill favored by fate. Both male and female Dunmer have a height similar to most of the human races, though they are normally slightly taller than their Bosmer cousins, and shorter than Altmer.
The Dunmer were once the Chimer (Changed Folk, or Changed Ones), who were a people of the Altmeri who had abandoned the ways, customs and laws of the Summerset Isles, and embarked on a great exodus to Morrowind. They followed the Veloth, who spoke to them on behalf of Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Plots. These teachings spawned a new culture on Tamriel and a new people, even though the Chimer were physically indistinguishable from Altmer. At the time of exodus and until their change, the exiles were known as the Velothi. The term can be used in a general sense for the Dunmer as well, though it carries a specific meaning referring to ex-Ashlanders who abandoned their nomadic societies.
At the time of the Velothi's mass exodus, Morrowind was known as Dwemereth, after the enigmatic Dwemer who already inhabited the region. The exiles settled there and flourished, developing what is now known as Velothi High Culture, based on worship of the three Good Daedra and respect for the House of Troubles and the new customs. The ruins of Velothi Towers that now dot Morrowind are attributed to this period and are only common to tell-tale stories made up of legendary proportion.
Sometime around the rise of the First Empire of the Nords in Skyrim, the Velothi civilization broke down into a relatively primitive collection of clans and tribal warfare. Because of the slave revolt, many Strongholds went into opposition to hide and protect Vvardenfell's borders from the Early Nord Skirmish squads. The so-called Dunmer Strongholds of Morrowind were most likely built at this time, for defense against Nordic raiders and other Chimer too, who did not seek exile with the rest at the time of exodus. Such disunity allowed Skyrim to conquer Morrowind. The Nords ruled Morrowind, now called Resdayn, under the reign of semi-corrupt Nord Tyrants for many years, until fighting of their own (the War of Succession) allowed the Chimer and Dwemer to form an alliance against the vulnerable and rebellious Nords, and oust the occupiers.
Azura's Curse and the Chimer's TransformationEdit
This was the era of the First Council, when the modern Great House system was in productions form but already developing, with Indoril Nerevar Moon-and-Star and his three advisors (the Tribunal; Almsivi) at the fore. This included Almalexia, Vivec the warrior-poet, and Sotha Sil. As every student of eastern history knows, the union did not last long. After a supposed summoning of Azura at Red Mountain, where the Dwemer and Chimer fought the last of the opposing forces, Azura laid her curse upon the already-exiled Chimer. The supposed murder of Indoril Nerevar Moon-and-Star by the summoning ritual made by the Tribunal, Azura appeared, with Indoril dead, and her words hissed: ' May the eyes of the Changed Ones be turned as red as this volcanic ash, and may their skin be as blackened as their hearts. The accursed drawn, blood from the master spilled, and a curse shown in the race of these folk, forever-more'. This led to the hiding of Vivec in the Ministry of Truth and the recession of the cultures of the now accursed Chimer. Azura withdrew from the mountain, and there upon the now-Dunmer lay with ashen souls, and would reflect change in the Eras to come.
Migration - Red Mountain eruptionEdit
After the eruption of Red Mountain, many Dunmer fled to Skyrim as refugees. Many eventually settled on the island of Solstheim, which was given to them by the High King of Skyrim at the time. A few took up residence at The College of Winterhold, but many more fled to Windhelm, the seat of the Stormcloaks resistance against the Empire of Tamriel.
Before the cataclysm that lead to the mass exodus of Dunmer, several of the faithful of Azura received visions of the eruption of Red Mountain. Setting out for Winterhold, these Dunmer built the Shrine of Azura in Skyrim. The only remaining member of this group is Aranea Ienith. Many Dunmer are returning home to rebuild their homeland.
Three major cultural groupings have settled Morrowind, Great House group, the Ashlanders, and the Imperials. The smallest settlements are the Ashlander nomadic camps, comprised of small, portable huts. Recent Imperial colonies like Pelagiad display the same half timbered homes and stone castles as might be found in Daggerfall or any other Western province. But the dominant culture is the Dunmer Great House culture.
They are grim, aloof, and reserved, keeping to themselves as much as possible. They are just as distrusting and disdainful of other races as they are to other Dark Elves. The Dunmer and their national character embrace these various connotations with enthusiastic behaviors. In the Empire, 'Dark Elf' is the common used term used by any humanoid race, but in their homeland, Morrowind, and among their Aldmeri brethren, they are known as Dunmer.
The Tribunal templeEdit
The strange heathen religion of the House Dark Elves deserves special note. They worship three gods known as "the Tribunal", and believe these gods walk the earth and rule Morrowind directly. To an outsider, the priesthood of the Tribunal seems to be the true power in Morrowind. Each Tribune, who go by the names of Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec, has an eponymous city dedicated to its worship, and a palace/temple within each city where the god supposedly resides. The priests of the Tribunal Temple are omnipotent in Morrowind; strange processions of fantastically garbed priests roam the land, selecting new candidates to serve the Tribunal, who are seized without resistance and never seen again.
Only the highest of the Tribunal priests, or persons of spiritual greatness chosen by a Tribunal themselves, come into contact with these revered figures. Tribunal temples are in every native Morrowind city, generally in circular shaped buildings, and the Tribunal religion is often referred to as just the Temple. The Temple is spread to all Great Houses and is the religion practiced by all native Dunmer, excluding the Ashlanders which the Temple looks down upon.
Worshipers must go on a quest to many pilgrimages to become full, respected members of the Temple, many of these involving offerings to shrines. The Tribunal and the Dunmer saints of the religion are worshiped at three-sided shrines which offer healing and blessings to the followers with the proper offerings as necessary. The Temple has strict rules and is a formidable power in Morrowind, and it is dangerous to attack it in anyway, verbally or physically. The Temple makes strong campaigns against Vampires, Daedra worship, and Necromancy, and is at all times trying to diminish their numbers.
Each god is a distinct figure to temple members. Vivec the Poet is known for his generosity and skill in battle, and a patron for rogues and artists. Almalexia is known for her kindness and healing nature. Sotha Sil is best known for his skill in wizardry and mechanics. A book series has been written about the events of these gods and is called 2920, The Last Year of the First Era and also a book in a religious series entitled 36 Lessons of Vivec. The Tribunal has allied with three Daedric Lords (Azura, Mephala, and Boethiah) who are referred to as the "anticipations".
Daedra worship, or the Daedra cult, is thought of as the antithesis of the Tribunal. The religion is comprised of members who serve and worship divine figures known as "Daedric Princes" or "Daedra Lords". Outsiders, particularly Tribunal or Nine Divine worshippers, generally view Daedra cultists as barbaric and sinister, which is in part justified by many hostile groups. People of all races are known to worship Daedra.
Hostility from human Daedra worshippers is directly related to the cruel nature of the Daedra Lords. Recognizable Daedra Lords include: Mephala, Azura, Boethiah, Clavicus Vile, Nocturnal, Vaermina, Sheogorath, Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath, and Molag Bal. Daedric Lords in Morrowind are worshiped at giant, easily recognizable citadels that are dedicated to specific Lords. A Daedroth is a demon-like creature that serves a Daedra Lord; they come in many forms and are immortal, to a degree.
The Ashlanders' beliefs are very different from other religions in Morrowind. They believe in an ancient prophecy involving the Nerevarine, that is meant to save the native Dunmer from outlanders, or the Empire. The Temple believes them to be savages and kill anyone who would claim to be part of the prophecy.
The commoners ban their behaviors with harsh distrust. Gods worshiped by the Dunmer folk of Morrowind include:
- Mehrunes Dagon
- Molag Bal
- Sotha Sil
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
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|Humans||Akavir • Atmoran • Breton • Imperial • Keptu • Kothringi • Nede • Nord • Orma • Redguard|
|Mer||Aldmer • Altmer • Ayleid • Bosmer • Chimer • Dunmer • Dwemer • Falmer |
Lefthanded Elf • Maormer • Orsimer • Snow Elf
|Beast||Argonian • Imga • Khajiit • Lilmothiit • Sload • Giant|
|Akaviri||Ka Po' Tun • Kamal • Tang Mo • Tsaesci • Dragon|
|Et'Ada||Aedra • Daedra|