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High Elfs (Altemer) May 8, 2012
Known as "Altmer" in their homeland of Summerset Isle, the High Elves are the most gifted in the arcane arts of all the races. They can call upon their Highborn power to regenerate Magicka quickly. High Elves are one of the ten playable races.
As a race, the Altmer strive to maintain the appearance of their ancestor race, the Aldmer, primarily through highly selective traditions surrounding marriage and reproduction. They are among the tallest of the humanoid races, taller than most humans and even most other meri races. Their skin maintains a very pale gold hue, not quite the pale white of the northern human races such as Nords or Imperials, but far lighter than the Bosmer. They are slender, with prominently pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes that can be amber, green, or yellow. On average, Altmer are of smaller build than humans, and thus generally not as strong. Their tall stature also makes them less agile than their Bosmeri cousins. However, Altmer are among the most intelligent and magically-inclined races on Nirn, surpassing even the Bretons in magical aptitude. Altmer are recieved poorly amongst the Nords, Stormcloaks especially, ever since the Thalmor, the ruling political group of the Altmer, outlawed the worship of Talos in Skyrim. High Elves are well known for their noble countenance and are arrogant or disdainful more often than not when addressing humans. The Altmer (High Elves) are the tallest race in the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, perfectly standing on equal ground as The Orsimer (Orcs), both standing at a scale of 1.10, however, as with all aspects of the game, when in the First Person feature in the game, the camera height for ALL races, even via game modification with console commands, the camera height will always remain at a scale of 1.00, the height of the The Nords.
Between the Oblivion Crisis and Dragon Crisis, the Empire of Tamriel is attacked by the Aldmeri Dominion, an alliance of Elves, comprised mainly of the Altmer and their Bosmer allies. The Empire saved itself only by negotiating the White-Gold Concordat, a treaty which seems to heavily favor the Dominion. The Elves' ruling government, the Thalmor, are Elven Supremacists determined to end the dominance of man and the Empire as a whole.
White-Gold ConcordantEditThe White-Gold Concordant enables the Thalmor to move freely throughout the Empire and to suppress the worship of the Man-God Talos. Resentment toward the Altmer, and toward the Empire for surrendering to them, runs rampant in the proud Nords of Skyrim. The Thalmor are encountered several times in Skyrim, in particular in the Thalmor Embassy located to west of Solitude. Thalmor are almost always antagonistic, using veiled hostility if not outright aggression when encountered. In Skyrim there is one mere quest where the Dragonborn has interactions with the Thalmor that isn't hostile. Tasked by the Thalmor Justiciar Ondolemar, the Dragonborn must track down and unveil a Talos worshipper and present proof to the quest giving Altmer. Once this interaction is complete Ondolemar greets the Dragonborn as a friend.
Many of the Altmer encountered emigrated from the Summerset Isles to become Alchemists and Enchanters in Skyrim. Others became members of the College of Winterhold, due to their innate magical abilities. Another potential possibility is that during the rise of the Thalmor many Altmer with strong loyalty to the Empire fled the Summerset Isles to escape the new Aldmeri Dominion. Even so, the Stormcloaks still show prejudice to the Altmer, though on a much lesser scale then their Dunmeri cousins from Morrowind. The Empire, too, do not look highly towards the so-called "High Elves" and many Altmer outside of the Thalmor live as second class citizens compared to the Cyrodillic population of Altmer during the Third Era.
Highly resistant to the Thalmor in Skyrim, Stormcloaks and other Nords exude prejudices to Altmeri peoples, tending to lump them together with the Thalmor.
The Altmer are one of the oldest races on Tamriel, one of the earliest descendants of the original mer race of Aldmer, and from there, through the Ehlnofey to the divine et'Ada themselves. As a race, they are extremely proud of their Aldmeri heritage, and make a concerted effort to maintain their genetic lineage. Their name translates from the Aldmeri language as High Ones or Cultured Ones, a name which is often interpreted to mean "tall", or more often, "snobbish". For their part, the Altmer argue that they are the first true culture on Tamriel, and still the most civilized race, an argument that even human scholars find difficult to refute.
The Altmer primarily live in the province of Summerset Isle, a large island off the southwest coast of Tamriel, which shares a border with Valenwood. According to their histories, their Aldmeri ancestors arrived on Summerset Isle after fleeing the catastrophic sinking of their original home continent, Aldmeris. From here, splinter groups of Aldmer spread throughout Tamriel, but the Altmer remained on the Isles, acting as the nominal head of the empire of meri nations on Tamriel. For most of the Mythic Era, the other races of elves on Tamriel acknowledged the Altmeri king as their own ruler, a practice which persisted until the founding of the Camoran Dynasty in Valenwood marked the start of the First Era, and the beginning of the decline of Altmer-dominated Tamriel. Their influence is still felt across the continent, however, as their culture forms the basis for the religion, language, and even architecture of the Cyrodiilic Empire.
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