Ysgramor was an Atmoran warrior and leader of the Five Hundred Companions. He is one of the most legendary heroes of Men, and played a major role during the time period known as the Return in the late Merethic Era.
Ysgramor is also considered the first human historian as he developed a runic transcription of Nord speech based on Elvish principles.
Many Atmoran settlers followed Ysgramor's example and came here to escape the war. Soon the human population on Tamriel was enough to build cities, thus Saarthal was made. However, due to the huge population boom of humans, the Mer felt endangered and decided to raid human settlements in order to decrease their population. Almost all of the men were slain in a single night; only Ysgramor and his sons are known to have escaped. They took the last longboat and sailed back to Atmora. This night later became known as the Night of Tears.
After Ysgramor reached Atmora, he had found that the civil war had ended. He told stories of the treacherous elves and all the brothers and sisters who had fallen in their raid. Soon enough, there was a whole army ready to fight and avenge the victims of the elves. This army became known as the Five Hundred Companions. Thus began a period of time known as the Return.
On the day known as the Day of Final Passage Ysgramor and his Five Hundred Companions set sail for Mereth from the massive shipyards of Jylkurfyk. Ysgramor himself commanded a longboat by the name of Ylgermet. Both of his sons had earned their places as renowned warriors and had taken two longboats under their command as well, Harakk and Darumzu.
However during their voyage to Hsaarik, the head fleet was hit by the Storm of Separation. Both of his sons were separated from the rest of the fleet and only the youngest,Ylgar, sailed out of it alive. It is said that Ysgramor was enraged by this. He went out in the storm alone to seek Yngol, but failed. By the time Ysgramor found the shipwreck of Harakk, Yngol and his crew were already slain by the sea-ghosts. Ysgramor is said to have hunted and burned them in their honor afterwards. Ysgramor buried his son by the Atmorian traditions and dug him a barrow. The barrow became known by the name of Yngol Barrow and played a role in further events.
After the Five Hundred had reached Hsaarik Head, they sought to reclaim Saarthal from elven kind. Many of their shield-brothers fell, but the army kept the name in honor of the fallen warriors. After reclaiming Saarthal, the Circle of Captains was assembled, where it was decided that every captain and his crew should make their own paths and separate. Thus began the great expansion of Men on Tamriel and genocidal slaughter of elves. Five Hundred were known to have spread from mountainous Skyrim to far southern marshes of Black Marsh and even to the isle of Solstheim.
Ysgramor with his crew and help of Kaal Kaaz and Sadon Reyth fought elves in the area later named Eastmarch. Ysgramor stumbled on his recently dead son's grave and in grief decided to build a great city where the nearby river met the sea. It was to serve as a monument of the mankind. The city was built by elven captives in Atmorian fashion. It was made as an impenetrable fortress. Ysgramor commanded for a great bridge to be built over the White River, so no elf could attempt to sneak over and avenge his kin. A great palace was built that served as a seat of kings for many generations after Ysgramor himself. It is said that deep under Windhelm, a huge crypt was built worthy of legendary Ysgramor himself.
News of Ysgramor's final breath went over Tamriel as a huge dark cloud. It is said that even the fiercest of warriors put down their mighty axes in grief never to pick them up again. With the death of Ysgramor ended the period of the Return. Most of the Five Hundred settled. It is them, whom the most modern Tamrielic human races had evolved from.
Despite the crypt that had been already built for him in Windhelm, Ysgramor chose to be buried on the coast of the Sea of Ghosts , looking into direction of his birthplace, Atmora. Ysgramor's Tomb was located north-west of Winterhold.
Due to the actions of Ysgramor, the race of Snow Elves were banished underground to emerge only thousands of years later as beastfolk known as Falmer. Some believe that Falmer still hold a grudge against humanity and the day will come when they will attempt to reconquer land that once belonged to them.
It is said that the Dragonborn may have met legendary Ysgramor when he/she entered the Hall of Valor in search of help defeating Alduin, as he delved into the realm of Sovngarde in his pursuit of Alduin.
- While Ysgramor has been mentioned since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, his first in-game appearance is in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- Ysgramor's armor (the statue version) is very alike to the Nordic Carved Armor which appears in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Skyrim
- Frontier, Conquest
- Before the Ages of Man
- Five Songs of King Wulfharth
- The Annotated Anuad
- Fall of the Snow Prince
- Varieties of Faith in the Empire
- Vernaccus and Bourlor
- Songs of the Return, Vol 56
- Songs of the Return, Vol 2
- Songs of the Return, Vol 19
- Songs of the Return, Vol 7
- Scourge of the Gray Quarter
- Lost Legends
- A Dream of Sovngarde
- Dunmer of Skyrim