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Dunmer (Skyrim)

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Dunmer in Skyrim

For other uses, see Dunmer.

The Dunmer, more commonly referred to as Dark Elves, are the dark skinned elven natives of the province of Morrowind. After the eruption of Red Mountain, many Dunmer fled to Skyrim, becoming refugees. They face extreme prejudices due to their elven blood. Several Dunmer have managed to make their way in Skyrim as merchants, mages or assassins for the Dark Brotherhood.


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 of 1.0, which is standard across races in Skyrim. Redguards and Bretons share the same height. They are slightly taller than Bosmer, which rank at 0.95 and shorter than Altmer, which rank 1.08.[note 1]


Migration - Red Mountain eruptionEdit

After the eruption of Red Mountain, many Dunmer fled to Skyrim. Several took up residence at the College of Winterhold, to bolster their innate magical talents.[1] Many more fled to Windhelm, the seat of the Stormcloaks' resistance against the Empire of Tamriel.

When entering Windhelm, the Dragonborn witnesses a Dunmer arguing with two Nords.

Azura's visionEdit

Before the destruction that led 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 and remained there as priests and priestesses, though they eventually left over time, until only one remained, Aranea Ienith.[2]


Strongly nationalistic, the Nords of Windhelm segregated the Dunmer from the other citizens, into what came to be known as the Gray Quarter.[3] Worse treatment, however, was given to the Argonians, who are not allowed to live in the city.[4]

Character creationEdit


A male Dunmer mage

Skill bonusesEdit

Starting spellsEdit

Special abilitiesEdit

  • Ancestor's Wrath: Once per day for 60 seconds, opponents that get too close take 8 points per second of fire damage. Ancestor's Wrath can harm neutral NPCs such as town guards.
  • Resist Fire: Your Dunmer blood gives you 50% resistance to fire.

Popular usage and unique game playEdit

The Dunmer is a versatile race that can almost fill any role, due to the racial powers and skill bonuses.

Compared with other racesEdit


A Dunmer assassin.

In terms of skills, The Dunmer is an advantageous race for thieves and assassins, as they offer a good balance of stealth and magical talent. This hints even more at the connection between the Mer species, as the Bosmer are adept at stealth and the Altmer are experts of magic. Dunmer could be considered, theoretically, as the middle ground between them. Despite this variety, the Dunmer, however, do not stand out as much in comparison to the dedicated traits of the other Mer.


The Dunmer also fits perfectly the offensive mage playstyle. With an improved resistance against fire, one could rely upon the Dunmer's superior Destruction skill bonus to deal damage and develop a strong Alteration for the purpose of protection. Restoration spells might also be useful, while Lockpicking and Sneak would remain as supporting skills.

Racial powerEdit

As a warrior, the Dunmer racial Ancestor's Wrath power adds additional usefulness to melee combat. Causing fire damage to any foe within melee range, this racial power seems to benefit most from a melee fighter playstyle, but could possibly be used as an emergency power for an assassin, or extra defense as a mage. However, a melee fighter still holds more to gain from Ancestral Wrath. The resistance against fire would also make an ideal magic tank.


Dunmer Vampire

A Dunmer Vampire.

Seeing as they have a natural resistance against fire, Dunmer could also effectively be used when playing as a Vampire with the Dawnguard add-on, as vampires at Stage IV have 50% weakness to fire, and the Dunmers' resistance will counteract the effect almost entirely.


Fire resistance allows them to be fairly effective against the fire attacks of dragons: for example, a Dunmer archer can take dragon attacks while attacking back. Additionally, Dunmer can easily level up their destruction due to their access to a wider variety of spells at the beginning of the game (notably, beginning with the additional spell Sparks[note 2]) as well as their possessing the highest starting Destruction values of any race.

Notable DunmerEdit



  • One can sometimes encounter Dunmer (usually Dunmeri women) whose skin color is almost navy blue to black. However, the scale shader in the character creation menu does not allow the player character's skin to be this dark.

See alsoEdit


  1. The getscale command shows that races all have their own unique base scale.
  2. However, this advantage is short lived, as one can find a Spell Book containing the Sparks spell in the introduction sequence.



  1. On the Great Collapse
  2. Dialogue with Aranea Ienith
  3. Dunmer of Skyrim
  4. Dialogue with Idesa Sadri upon entering Windhelm for the first time

Start a Discussion Discussions about Dunmer (Skyrim)

  • Dunmer or breton

    4 messages
    • Dunmer a more interesting character Breton for the statistical advantage of magic resitance
    • A Dunmeri Dragonborn is more suited towards those who want to fill a more sneaky role while still having access to magic. A Dunmer's natural f...
  • The Gray Quarter - really as bad as is said?

    15 messages
    • The hardships that the Dunmer have suffered, the eruption of Red Mountain...Man, it really does make you have pity for their race and feel so...
    • Dapoculos13 wrote: The hardships that the Dunmer have suffered, the eruption of Red Mountain...Man, it really does make you have pity for th...

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