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The History of the Dunmer: v1, Part 1

  • Member
    September 7, 2014

    To say that understanding the Elven myths and creation is an important step in understanding their behavior as a people would be understating the matter.


    So began the noted scholar, the Fox of Pellitine, in his seminal volume Creation, The Aldmer and the Old Ways. Wise words, as applicable to the Dark Elves of Morrowind as to the blasphemous and arrogant Altmer.


    Here’s why.

    Our story begins way back in the Merethic Era when Saint Veloth the Pilgrim rejected the decadent ways of the Altmer of the Summerset Isles (Lives of the Saints) in favour of a more ascetic and pure way of life for our ancestors (Veloth the Pilgrim). Scorned and outcast, Veloth the Mystic called out to the down-trodden, the poor and the hopeless of escaping the corrupt and spiritually bankrupt society they lived in (Exodus from Summerset).

    Lore-people-Veloth.jpgEnlightened by the teachings of blessed Boethiah who, with Mephala, revealed the lies of the Altmer, taught the rules of the Psjiic Endevour (The Changed Ones) and gave us the new name and identity of The Chimer - the “Changed Ones”, the great Saint Veloth led the exodus to Resdayn, now called Morrowind.  As this is a major turning point in our history, I’ll delve into it in greater detail in my chapter dedicated to the gods and Dunmeri religion.



    Saint Veloth leading the Chimer to Resdayn

    It shames me to say that many of my ancestors doubted wise Veloth during the great pilgrimage north-eastward for we we were a small and vulnerable faction (End of the Journey). Yet, it also fills me with pride that our great leader had the strength to lead them on. For didn’t the gods Mephala and Boethiah show us how to avoid our enemies (The Anticipations) and overcome obstacles? (Varieties of Faith: The Dark Elves)

    It was during this great exodus the Four Corners of the House of Troubles started to reveal themselves. These four Daedric Princes; Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath ever sought to test and challenge the pilgrims of old. For this reason they are considered holy but they are not venerated. (The House of Troubles). I shall revisit this subject in the chapter dedicated to the Gods and Dunmeri religion.

    Thus started a golden age of what historians today call “Velothi High Culture” (Before the Ages of Man) of architecture, stonemasonry and the religious teachings (Veloth the Pilgrim) of ancestor worship, centered on the three ancestor gods who helped those early brave outcasts the most.


    Telvanni Tower by Lelek1980


    Of course, change had to happen. We Dunmer accept and embrace change as inevitable and it is for this reason we revere Lorkhan who convinced or tricked the weak and timid et’ada to create this mortal plane (Varieties of Faith: The Dark Elves). The “golden age” ended when the Chimer separated into smaller nomadic groups following their own paths. Many of these nomadic groups settled and evolved into the Great Houses we recognise today, whilst others continued following the traditional ancestor worship and nomadic existence. These groups became the Ashlander Tribes (A Pamphlet on Ashlanders).


    Telvanni Tower by Eldanaro

    There were six Great Houses of Morrowind in those days, five of which  remained largely unchanged for a long time since their formation. House Hlaalu, House Redoran, House Telvanni, House Indoril, and House Dres acted as the political parties and system of Dunmer society. (The Great Houses of Morrowind). The fortunes of these Houses have risen and fallen over the centuries so many times that they deserve an entire chapter of their own.

    The greatest house, my House Telvanni, still remains a major power in these tumultuous days. After all, we are the wisest and most skilled of all the houses.

    This seems a good point in our tale to stop and look at the place we call home. When they first arrived, my ancestor’s noted the alienness of the land with it’s choking ash and strange funguses. (End of the Journey) But we adapted and thrived, using the resources we had to build the most distinct and beautiful edifices in all of Tamriel.

    These early settlers were harassed and preyed upon by Nord sea-raiders, bullies who preyed only on weak travellers. Once we’d consolidated our strength we threw out these barbarians and have done so time and again since, proving for all the superiority and strength of the Dunmer. (A Short History of Morrowind)

    Morrowind is home to fierce beasts which my people have either tamed, such as the Guar and Silt Striders, or driven out like the once pestilent Cliff Racers thanks to the brave Saint Jiub the Eradicator. (Saint Jiub’s Opus).





    Red Mountain by Lelek1980


    In addition to these creatures, the arrival of my ancestors seemed to offend the godless Dwemer, a race of mer who’s arrival in Morrowind (which they called Dwemereth at the time) must have pre-dated ours by a long stretch of years, if indeed there is even any kinship between us at all which I highly doubt. (PGE 3Ed).

    Our early interactions with this technology-dependent people were not the most peaceful. Ideological differences and territorial disputes were the themes underpinning our battles, their gods of reason and logic (The Battle of Red Mountain and the Rise and Fall of the Tribunal) rightly offended my people, while for their part I assume they took umbrage at the truth of our religion and this doubtless angered them.

    Nevertheless, a time came when our two peoples finally achieved a fragile peace. The so-called Skyrim Conquests of the First Era in which Vrage the Butcher (King Edward Part X) invaded Resdayn in an attack which united the Chimer and Dwemer, who ousted the violent, bloodthirsty Nords (The Battle of Red Mountain and the Rise and Fall of the Tribunal).

    As the history of my people is by far the most complex and difficult for n'wah to understand, I have broken this volume on history down into three parts. In Part Two I summarise the Battle of Red Mountain and the Rise of the Tribunal as Living Gods.


    Part 2

  • October 23, 2014

    I love all these Dunmer lore blogs!

  • Member
    October 24, 2014

    We are a very charismatic yet complex people, many in the empire don't understand us. It has been my pleasure to educate the heathens of Skyrim about a few aspects of our ways.

  • Member
    October 25, 2014

    No, it's been my pleasure. You're just an Imga with a quill. And quit mixing accounts

    @ Shaun, thank you serjo.