Nords, as their name implies, originated in the northern-most place in the known world, a continent known as Atmora. What little is known comes from old Elven records which are known to refer to the continent as Altmora, meaning Elder Wood. It is likely Atmora is a human corruption of this word.
Reports describing the climate before the freezing vary. Songs of the Return makes several mentions of "distant green summers" and "chilling green shores" of Atmora. Others believed it was never a temperate place, and as such the early Nedic people were hunters with no knowledge of agriculture.
It is said that during the time of the migration, a protracted and bloody civil war had gripped Atmora. A man named Ysgramor rallied those people from all sides and set sail to the south, eventually arriving in Skyrim; the extreme northern tip of the continent of Tamriel, at a place known as Hsaarik Head. They named the new land Mereth in tribute to the elves who populated the continent (having settled most of Tamriel millennia earlier). Contrary to most stories, which erroneously credit Ysgramor with the first human settlement of Tamriel, he and his colonists were simply the latest of a long line of emigrants from Atmora. Indeed, the central continent was already populated by Atmorans and indigenous humans throughout. As it goes, elves and men lived in relative peace and prosperity for a great deal of time. Racial tensions between the two species gradually rose however and it wasn't long before conflict erupted between the Nords and the Snow Elves.
The Snow Elves saw that the vital young race would soon surpass their stagnant culture if left unchecked, and fell upon the unsuspecting Nords in the infamous Night of Tears; Saarthal was burned, and only Ysgramor; and two of his sons;escaped to Atmora;It wasn't long before Ysgramor returned to Skyrim to exact his vengeance, bringing with him his famous Five Hundred Companions. Upon their return to Tamriel, they slaughtered the Elves living there and began the process by which the elven population of Skyrim would be completely eliminated.
In 1E 240, King Vrage the Gifted began the process of expansion what is now known as the Skyrim Conquests. These conquest culminated in the First Empire of the Nords. Within a span of fifty years, Skyrim ruled all of northern Tamriel, including most of present-day High Rock and the whole of Morrowind. Some ambitious Nord leaders considered attacking northern Cyrodiil, however the Jerall Mountains proved to be a too big barrier, and northern Cyrodiil too poor a prize. In the centuries that followed, Skyrim expanded and contracted as battles were won and lost.
In 1E 369, King Borgas, the last of the Ysgramor line, was killed, on the Wild Hunt starting the War of Succession in the region of Daggerfall and was the beginning of the decline of the Nordic Empire. When the ruling council or Moot was unable to choose the capable Jarl Hanse of Winterhold as the new king of Skyrim, the ensuing civil war tore the Empire apart. The war ended in 1E 420 with the Pact of Chieftains and the Empire lost all of its holdings in High Rock and Morrowind, and Skyrim was divided into several independent kingdoms. It wasn't until the second era and the Second Empire of Man under the Reman dynasty that one man effectively ruled the whole of Skyrim.
Skyrim was absorbed comparatively peacefully in the empire of Tiber Septim, the Battle of Sancre Tor and other clashes notwithstanding. Many Nords found employment in the Imperial Legion, as Tiber generally nurtured relations with the north.
In the centuries after the Empire's founding Skyrim was drawn in several major conflicts. One of these was the War of the Red Diamond. Skyrim sided with Queen Potema against the Empire. The civil war tore the Empire apart and it would take seventeen long years before Potema was finally defeated. As a result of this war there is a strong underground movement called the Horme that believes Potema and her deposed son of Uriel III to be the last of Tiber Septim's true blood and under that principle lead raids against Imperial interests in the province. Currently the kingdoms of Skyrim have started several wars to expand their territory, increasing the territory that is considered Skyrim, and allowing the Nordic counts to swallow up many miles of eastern High Rock and Hammerfell.
Society and religion
Nords consider themselves to be the children of the sky. They call Skyrim the Throat of the World, because it is where the sky exhaled on the land and formed them. They see themselves as eternal outsiders and invaders, and even when they conquer and rule another people; they feel no kinship with them. The breath and the voice are the vital essence of a Nord. When they defeat great enemies they take their tongues as trophies. These are woven into ropes and can hold speech like an enchantment. The power of a Nord can be articulated into a shout, like the kiai of an Akaviri swordsman. The strongest of their warriors are called "Tongues." When the Nords attack a city, they take no siege engines or cavalry; the Tongues form in a wedge in front of the gatehouse, and draw in breath. When the leader lets it out in a kiai, the doors are blown in, and the axemen rush into the city. Shouts can be used to sharpen blades or to strike enemies. A common effect is the shout that knocks an enemy back, or the power of command. A strong Nord can instill bravery in men with his battle-cry, or stop a charging warrior with a roar. The greatest of the Nords can call to specific people over hundreds of miles, and can move by casting a shout, appearing where it lands.
The art of Thu'um as a weapon is now lost and forbidden. Apart from the students of the discredited School of Thu'um in the Imperial City, Tiber Septim was reputedly the last man to wield this power. However, the ancient Greybeards still sit atop the many steps leading to the peak of High Hrothgar, where the Nordic race was born.
Like all Tamrielic races (Dunmer excluded), the religion of Skyrim is focused on the Aedra and their old ally, Lorkhan. Kyne is notably more assertive and warlike than the nature-loving Kynareth. Although Mara is present in her role as a mother goddess, it was Kyne who is the mother of the Nords. She is also credited with sending her son Morihaus (and perhaps Pelinal) to the aid of the Cyro-Nordic slaves in their uprising. The chief of the pantheon of Skyrim is Lorkhan, and he merits the most mention. The Nords know Shor as the king of the gods, a champion of men in their struggles against the elves. He was treacherously slain by elven devils, yet continues to bestow favor on his people by aiding them with immortal champions such as Ysmir, another member of the Nordic pantheon. Today, Ysmir is the name by which Nords recognize the divinity of Talos.
Also of note is that fact that certain Daedra, such as Hermaeus Mora, can be found in the Nordic pantheon.
The isolated tribe known as the Skaal follow a different form of faith to their mainland brethren. Instead of regular religious worship they venerate nature. They believe that certain parts of nature, such as the winds, the trees and the sun, were given to them by the All-Maker. In this regard, wolves and bears are especially sacred to the small tribe. All aspects of nature must constantly be in harmony, for this is what gives the Skaal their shamanic powers. This magic was given to them by the All-Maker, a benevolent, unknowable creator deity. Further research into their oral traditions has led to the conclusion that the All-Maker is their version of Alduin. The Skaal also tell tales of the Adversary, the enemy of mankind, and his lieutenant, the Greedy Man. As other tales show, the Greedy Man is none other than another incarnation of Lorkhan in a Nordic pantheon, yet cast in this case as a demon. In view of this, the Adversary is none other than the Padomay/Sithis of the north, which gives birth to Lorkhan in elven tales. Indeed, in this regard the faith of the Skaal is nearly the reverse of the pantheon of Skyrim. Although not worshiping them, the Skaal are also aware of the existence of the Daedric Princes.
- Nord means North in Norwegian, German, French, Romanian, Swedish, Italian and Danish, while "Noord" has the same meaning in Dutch and Afrikaans.
- Nords appear to be the Tamriel version of the real world Nordic people that inhabit Northern Europe. The Nords of Tamriel are voiced with vaguely Scandinavian accents and much of their warrior-centric culture is based on the Old Norse cultures like the Vikings. Hrothgar, for example, is also the name of a legendary Danish king. And Sovngarde is very similar to the Viking Gods' home, Valhalla. Also, a lot of Nords have Scandinavian names (for example Sven, Bjorn, (in Norway/Sweden spelled Bjørn/Björn) Arngeir,Hilde,Hakon(one-eye) (in Norway/Sweden spelled Håkon or Haakon/Håkan) and Frida are quite common Scandinavian names.).
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dragonborn used in trailers is a Nord. Additionally, the player character is, by default, a Nord. Since the Hero of Kvatch is made an Imperial in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Cyrodiil is the homeland of Imperials, this trend is appropriate.
|Humans||Atmoran • Breton • Imperial • Keptu • Kothringi • Nede • Nord • Orma • Redguard|
|Mer||Aldmer • Altmer • Ayleid • Bosmer • Chimer • Dunmer • Dwemer • Lefthanded Elf • Maormer • Orsimer • Snow Elf|
|Beast||Argonian • Imga • Khajiit • Lilmothiit • Sload|
|Akaviri||Ka Po' Tun • Kamal • Tang Mo • Tsaesci • Dragon|
|Et'Ada||Aedra • Daedra|
|Other||Atronach • Giant • Goblin|