Illustration courtesy of the talented Monahven
It’s no secret that everyone here at the office has ESO fever. Just this morning, my buddy Brian reported on true first-person perspective for the hotly anticipated game. That news got me incredibly excited, as I’m sure it did most of you. And so, for the next couple weeks, I’ll be bringing a little bit of ESO to Middas Madness, starting off with the races of the various alliances. This week, Altmer!
So, why Altmer? Well, there are a couple reasons. First and foremost, the Altmer are the de facto leaders of the Aldmeri Dominion, composed of Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit. Secondly, as Lou and I have stated multiple times, Queen Ayrenn is our liege and my future wife. Period. With that out of the way, let’s begin
Altmer, also known as High Elves, settled on the Summerset Isles, southwest of Tamriel. Descended from the first Mer race, the Aldmer, they evolved to be what many consider to be the most direct descendants of the ancient Mer. Culturally, they see other races as below them, thus leading to the term “High Elf”. In fact, many of the other races consider them to be arrogant and self-absorbed in nature.
Phillip G’s Island (Source: UESP)
However, they are widely regarded for their knowledge and prowess with the arcane arts, specifically Destruction, Alteration, and Mysticism. Through their command of these arts, they are known throughout Tamriel as the most capable offensive mages. Unfortunately, because of their incredible arcane aptitude, they are more vulnerable to magical attacks than other races found throughout Tamriel. This vulnerability is made up for by their incredibly strong resistance to disease.
Their island home provided them with some natural protection from both the political and warring conflicts from mainland Tamriel. However, this was not to say they were completely invulnerable. They were attacked several times in the First and Second Era from the Maormer, a tropical race of Mer from the island of Pyandonea, south of Tamriel. As a result, this forced some Altmer to eventually emigrate to mainland Tamriel.
Like all things, desperate times call for desperate measures. And so, weary of coming under constant attack, the Altmer forged an alliance with the Bosmer of Valenwood called it the Aldmeri Dominion.
Queen Ayrenn – Leader of the mighty Aldmeri Dominion (Source: Elder Scrolls Online)
Alas, this alliance proved no match for Tiber Septim who was driven to create a unified Empire. In 2E 896, the Dominion and Altmer were utterly crushed by the general and his Dwemer construct, the Numidium. As a result, the proud Altmer were finally brought into the Empire – a loss they would not soon forget.
To add insult to injury, their old foe, the Maormer, continued launching assaults on the Isle. The Altmer could only hold out so long. And so, during the War on the Isle in 3E 310, with the Maormer on the cusp of claiming Summerset Isle as their own, the Altmer cried out to the Empire for aid in one last desperate measure. With their support, the elves were finally able to drive out the invaders and protect their homeland.
It must be said, however, that the Altmer do not forget very easily. They remember these losses and, in their eyes, these points of weakness. They are a very proud and independent people, taking pride on their self reliance. These momentary lapses of strength are cause for growing discontent among the Altmer’s youth – an emotion that continues to endure through the ages until today.
I hope you guys like this morsel of lore about the Altmer. Stay tuned next week for more Middas Madness! In the meantime, make sure to tune into Elder Scrolls off the Record every Thursday at 7p EST to hear more great lore from Lou “the Loremaster on Ice”.
Many thanks to Monahven for the gorgeous illustration that sits proudly atop this article. Make sure to follow her on Twitter @Monahven.
Till next time guys…
Shadow hide you