The legendary Atmoran leader, Ysgramor.

Atmora, also known as Altmora or Elder Wood in Ehlnofex,[1][2][3] is a frozen continent located far to the north of Tamriel, across the Sea of Ghosts. It was home to a race of men known as Atmorans around the Merethic Era.[4][5]


Expeditions to Atmora in the Third Era describe a place of permanent winter, with little life and no sign of human habitation.[5] Reports describing the climate before the freezing vary. The Songs of the Return series of books makes several mentions of "distant green summers"[6] and "chilling green shores."[7] Other reports assert it was never a temperate place, and as such the early settlers were hunters with no knowledge of agriculture.[5]

Origins of men

Legend has it that the first pre-literate humans came to Tamriel from the continent of Atmora in the late Merethic Era.[2] It was not a single invasion but a series of them over hundreds of years, giving birth to the Nords, Imperials and Bretons.[4][5] The last of the invaders was the legendary Ysgramor and his Five Hundred Companions.[2]


Pre-Return events


Ysgramor gathered those who wished to leave Atmora due to the violent civil war. They sailed south and eventually the fleet landed at Hsaarik Head at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. It was here they built there the legendary city of Saarthal.[2][8]

Upon arrival in Tamriel, the Atmorans met and befriended the local Snow Elves. The Nords called the land "Mereth," in recognition of the vast number of Mer that lived there. The elves quickly took notice to the rate at which Man's population was growing, and soon realized that these men were the first great threat to Elvish civilization on Tamriel.

The Snow Elves led raids throughout the settlements of men that had come to Tamriel. Most of the Atmorans were hunted down and the city of Saarthal was burned to the ground. These events became known as the "Night of Tears." Ysgramor and his two sons, Yngol and Ylgar, survived and fled back to Atmora.[8][2]


When Ysgramor and his sons returned to their homeland they discovered Atmora had developed into a peaceful land. They told stories of elven treachery and murders in Saarthal. This inspired men of Atmora to raise an army and avenge the fallen, claiming Mereth for themselves.

Ysgramor gathered an army known as the Five Hundred Companions and set sail from the southernmost city of Jylkurfyk to invade Tamriel, this became known as the Day of Final Passage.[9] When they arrived, they retook Saarthal[10] and hunted Snow Elves and other Mer alike, and made possible the rise of men, eventually establishing the First Empire.[11] These series of events gained the name of "The Return" and have since led to a strong hatred and prejudice between the races of Men and Mer.


Tiber Septim was the last purported immigrant from Atmora, who was said to have left the continent in his youth during the Second Era.[12] However, given the last recorded wave of migration took place in 1E 68, the veracity of this is questionable.[5]

It is unknown what exactly caused the climate to deteriorate so drastically. The Atmorans that did not manage to flee, doubtlessly succumbed to the ever-worsening climate many centuries ago.[5]

According to the 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 17, Vivec and Nerevar traveled to Atmora but found only frozen bearded kings.[13]


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