The Ayleids, also known as the Heartland High Elves, Heartland Elves, Saliache, or Wild Elves, were a race of elves who ruled over Cyrodiil in the first era. Their appearance was said to have been lighter than that of a Dunmer, but not as pale as that of the Altmer. They had varied skin tones from light tan to bronze.
The Ayleids would occupy a considerable portion of Tamriel, with their main settlements being located within Cyrodiil. The following are each of the Ayleid settlements. Their empire existed from the middle Merethic Era until 1E 243.
|Show: Ayleid cities in Cyrodiil|
|Show: Ayleid cities in High Rock|
|Show: Ayleid cities in Valenwood|
|Show: Ayleid cities in Elsweyr|
|Show: Ayleid cities in Hammerfell|
|Show: Ayleid cities in Black Marsh|
|Show: Ayleid cities in the Summerset Isles|
Ayleid architecture was similar to that of the Altmer, due to them sharing a common ancestor, though subtle changes did exist between the two. In the late-Ayleid period, cultural changes became more apparent, with certain Ayleids using practices such as flesh-sculpting.
The Ayleids believed the world was composed of four elements. These being earth, water, air, and light. This is similar to the four elements of Altmer religion, being earth, water, air, and fire. The reason for the Ayleids replacing fire with light in their elements, is because the Ayleids considered fire a weak and corrupt form of light, primarily identified with magical principles. As such, the Ayleids used lamps, globes, pools, and fountains of purest magic to light their halls. For the Ayleids, Meridia was considered the personification of Light.
Of the Ayleid elements, the most sublime form of light was considered to be star light, as their power was the most potent and exalted of all magical powers, coming directly from Aetherius. Fragments of Aetherius would fall down to Tamriel from time to time, known as 'shooting stars', often consisting of meteoric iron. While this material can be used for the forging of enchanted weapons and armor, the Ayleids also used the material as the primary component in their Ayleid Wells. These Wells are found throughout Cyrodiil, though they are not associated with any known Ayleid cities or settlements. The Ayleids Wells can be used by those with some magical talents to recover their own magicka reserves. After being drained, these Wells recharge at midnight.
Aetherial Magic is a form of magic commonly associated with the Ayleids, who were able to manipulate and store starlight in ways which are not yet fully comprehended by the rest of Tamriel. Through the usage of sky-stones and their magical arts, the Ayleids created Welkynd and Varla Stones from the glass gathered from meteors. Through these stones, the Ayleids were able to harness starlight from Aetherius. Each being used for a variety of uses. Welkynd Stones were used for purposes such as light, or simply storing magicka. Varla Stones were used for recharging enchantments. Some of these stones even held destruction spells as a means of defense. How the Ayleids made these stones is unknown, and any attempts to create new ones have failed, while research on stones which already exist results in the stones turning into dust. This magic was Dawn Magic, and was a kind of magic only preserved by the Ayleids, much like the language of the Ehlnofey. It has been speculated that just before the slave revolt, the Ayleids had started the process of creating the Welkynd Stones outside of their cities, and rather inside of Cyrodiil's natural cave systems. The Ayleids were also able to create pillars which would provide the caster with a new powerful spell when cast upon with shock magic while carrying a Welkynd Stone. Other magic related to the Welkynd Stones, was the ability to bind Daedra to a certain spot. The Ayleids would also be the first of the Stormwardens in Valenwood, where they created a sphere with powerful shock magic.
Other stone the Ayleids created were the Great Welkynd Stones, which were large pieces of enchanted meteoric glass. At the heart of the ancient Ayleid cities, a Great Welkynd Stone was used as the source of the magical enchantments of each of the cities. These stones would gradually be stolen over time, due to their great value, with only few remaining by the time of the Third Era.
The Ayleids also created pillars which responded to magical spells, and they are also said to have been the ones who created the school of Alteration. The Ayleids also knew magical powers which enabled them to alter landscapes in Rivenspire, turning the soil around the Doomcrag from a barren wilderness to a land filled with plants, and slowly becoming more lively, until its eventual corruption as a result of a battle. This kind of magic is also implied to have been in place in the White-Gold Tower, turning Cyrodiil into a warm subtropical jungle until their defeat by the Nedes. In turn, the Tower is said to have changed the landscape to a climate which was cooler and more fitting for the Nedic rulers.
The religion of the Ayleids consisted of both Aedra and Daedra worship. When the Ayleids came to Cyrodiil, it is said that some specifically went to the mainland to escape the banning of Daedra worship on Summerset. Within the last millenium of the Merethic Era, worship of the Daedra would take hold in the lands of the Ayleids and spread. A number of the Ayleids worshipped the Aedra and Magnus, known as the Barsaebic Ayleids. This difference would eventually result in the Narfinsel Schism.
In contrast to the Chimer of Resdayn, the Ayleids did not make a distinction between either good or bad Daedra with veneration of Molag Bal and Mehrunes Dagon alongside more neutral princes like Hermaeus Mora and Meridia. This veneration would only further increase as their worship was adopted, and endorsed, by the Ayleid aristocrats and the Ayleid Kings. The Ayleids are known to have worshipped Ten Ancestors, statues of which were housed in the White-Gold Tower, specifically in the Temple of the Ancestors. The Statues of these Ancestors would be moved from the Ayleid capital before it was sacked by the races of Man.
The Ayleids would come to Tamriel from Summerset, settling the region of Cyrodiil, conquering central and southwestern Tamriel. During the late-Merethic Era, the Ayleids would begin worshipping the Daedra. Because of this, they enslaved the Nedes coming down from Skyrim, and would use them for labor centered around the White-Gold Tower, but also for the Daedric-inspired arts of flesh-sculpture and gut-gardening. The Ayleids were said to have been brutal slavemasters. The Ayleid ruins across Tamriel are a testament to the might of the Ayleids, and during the middle Merethic Era, Ayleid society flourished around the White-Gold Tower. Technically serving as a tribute-land to the High King of Alinor, the long lines of communication from the Summerset Isles isolated the Ayleids from the Crystal Tower. At the height of Ayleid society, the city of Varsa Baalim was built, housing Mehrunes' Razor.
Over time, the source of the power of the Ayleids, which were pacts with Daedra, would also be the cause of the decline of the Ayleids. Pacts with the Daedra granted the Ayleids power, with the Ayleids thinking themselves in control, while their society weakened. Originally being resisted by Shezarr, the races of Man were secured, but when Shezarr vanished, these pacts would be used to provide the Ayleids with armies of Daedra, which were used to enslave or slaughter the races of Man at their whim. The Daedric cults within their Empire began bickering and backstabbing one another, causing the Ayleids to weaken in ways which would be exploited by the Nedic slaves.
The bickering and backstabbing among the Ayleids would also result in an Ayleid civil conflict known as the Narfinsel Schism. Here, the Barsaebic Ayleids, who worshipped the Aedra instead of the Daedra, were driven out of Cyrodiil by the Ayleids who worshipped the Daedra in the Scouring of Wendelbek, taking place half a century before the slave revolt of Alessia would take place, in 1E 198. King Glinferen of Atatar assaulted the Barsaebic Ayleids with an army of Daedra, forcing the Barsaebics out of the Heartland of Cyrodiil. This would bring an end to the opposition of Ayleid daedra worship.
Another conflict would take place between the Ayleid city of Delodiil, ruled by King Cenedelin, and Abagarlas, ruled by King Anumaril. Delodiil worshipped Meridia, while Abagarlas worshipped Molag Bal. The forces of Abagarlas were planning an assault against Delodiil, but the soldiers of Delodiil struck first. Fighting inside the city while their king attacked the walls. Abagarlas was entirely destroyed, and the family of King Anumaril put to the sword, but despite this victory, they could not return home, as they were followed by the minions of Molag Bal. Other minions of Molag Bal had started making their way towards Delodiil, and besieged the city, killing all those outside its city walls. King Laloriaran Dynar was visiting the city, and manned its defense, ultimately defeating the forces of Bal, after which the city was transported to Coldharbour.
Due to the Nords uniting the province of Skyrim as Nord land, the slaves of Cyrodiil under Saint Alessia were inspired, and revolted, successfully taking over the province in 1E 243. When Akatosh created the Amulet of Kings and gave it to Saint Alessia, the Daedra lost their ability to send over armies of Daedra, weakening the Ayleids. Likewise, the Alessians had the support of a number of Ayleid kings, most of which were Aedra-worshippers, which is part of the reason why the Aedra were incorporated into the Eight Divines. While traditionally the success of Alessia is attributed to the aid of the Nords, the aid she received from Ayleid Kings played equally as much a role.
The role of Pelinal Whitestrake is also not to be ignored. Pelinal was said to have been sent down by the Divines, and aided Saint Alessia in fighting against the Ayleids. When Pelinal and Morihaus were sent to aid Alessia, they marched through Cyrodiil, fighting and killing their way through the province, and quickly killing the eastern Ayleid kings of Cyrodiil. Pelinal would destroy Ayleid cities during his campaigns, following up with the eastern cities by defeating the kings of Tor, Ninendava and Ceya-Tar. When a hoplite who Pelinal held dear was killed by an Ayleid Lord, Pelinal went on his first madness, and destroyed the cities of Narlemae and Celediil. The Ayleids now made a pact with Meridia in order to gain the aid of her Aurorans at the White-Gold Tower. Umaril the Unfeathered was chosen to be their champion, and he challenged Pelinal in battle. Before Pelinal would answer his call, however, he would continue on with his campaign, now claiming all the eastern lands of Cyrodiil. He also granted the slaves of Vahtacen their freedom, and liberated a group of men captured by the Ayleids of Sedor. With this success, Pelinal called upon the Nords to aid him in battle. With Nordic aid, Pelinal would slowly take over western Cyrodiil, driving the Ayleids to the heartland of Cyrodiil. When the Nedes and Nords had come to the point of besieging the Ayleid capital, however, they were fearful. Due to this fear, Pelinal left the army of Alessia, and made for the Tower himself. He would fight his way to the Tower, where what remained of the Ayleid Kings were gathered with their Daedric minions, alongside Umaril. After having fought waves of his soldiers, Pelinal faced Umaril himself, greatly weakening the Daedric Champion, whose was struck down during the fight, his helm dented and his wings broken off. Pelinal mocked the ancestors of the Ayleids, which enraged the Ayleid kings present, who attacked Pelinal and cut him into eight pieces. The next morning, however, Pelinal had killed most kings, only sparing those who had already started to flee. The Kings had left Pelinal's head to prove their deeds the day before. When the White-Gold Tower fell to the Nedes, the Ayleids fled Cyrodiil and ran in the directions of each of the eight towers of Tamriel, while some Ayleids would flee to the north of Black Marsh, most Ayleids fled to Valenwood, and were willing to adapt to the wills of their Bosmer cousins. Especially the clans of eastern Cyrodiil would flee to Valenwood.
Before the Ayleids truly fell, King Anumaril created the Staff of Towers, segments of which would be hidden by White-Gold knights. These segements would be chased by the Ayleids fleeing Cyrodiil afterwards. Within Cyrodiil, one of the last regions to be conquered from the Ayleids would be that of County Bravil, due to the Ayleids using both levitation and waterbreathing magic to attack the Alessians in the night. These Ayleids would, however, be discovered eventually, and killed.
It has been argued that the fall of the Ayleids was a result of their worship of the Daedra and underestimation of their slaves, which became a part of the late-Ayleid culture and resulted in their weakening. Because of this, those humans who challenged the Ayleids took advantage of the situation to orchestrate the successful slave uprising. It has also been argued that such an attempt at the height of the Ayleid power would have been utterly crushed by the forces of the Ayleids. Due to bad relations between the Aedric and Daedric worshipping Ayleids, the Barsaebic Ayleids of Black Marsh refused the call to arms from King Glinferen of Atatar. By the time the slave rebellion took place, the Ayleids had been greatly weakened, while the slave rebels were inspired by Saint Alessia. When the revolt was over, many of the Daedra-worshipping Ayleids were exterminated.
The Late Ayleid Period
A number of Ayleid Lords would still be permitted to rule after the fall of their Empire, being recorded as still owning their lands as vassal kings as late as 1E 263, which would last during the Late Ayleid Period from 1E 243 until 1E 498. Some of these Lords would even be granted some territory from slain enemies. Humans would continue to dwell in these cities, though how they were treated at this time is unknown. Resentment for the Ayleid Lords of Cyrodiil would increase over time, however, and played a part in the formation of the Alessian Order of Marukh.
When the Alessian Doctrine took place, an event known as the Ayleid Diaspora would occur. Here, the Ayleids sought new homes in Tamriel. The ones fleeing to the lands of the north, which were once ruled by the Falmer, were slaughtered by the Nords led by Vrage the Butcher. The citizens of Atatar, known as Atatarics, attemped to settle with the Barsaebic Ayleids of Black Marsh, but were refused admittance. Most of the Atatarics would find their end during an expedition into Elsweyr. A number of Ayleid clans set out for the Isle of Balfiera, moving through Hammerfell and the Iliac Bay. Those who made it joined with the Direnni. One of the most prosperous clans of the Ayleids in High Rock were the Erokii, a clan which would find its demise during the infighting of the Ayleids, as their princess, known as Anurraame, had cheated on her lover.
In the early years of 1E 300, Ayleid kingdoms would be gradually obliterated, with its survivors fleeing as refugees to the other Ayleid kingdoms which managed to survive. It is also during this late period that the Ayleids would be forced to follow an economy without slaves, and be forced to adopt the Eight Divines. A growing sense of doom and futility arose among the Heartland Elves. In the year 371, only Nenalata would remain as an Ayleid Kingdom within Cyrodiil, with the other Kingdoms dwindling in numbers since the year of 332. The Nenalata Ayleids were then provided with an ultimatum, resulting in their retreat from Cyrodiil, and their settling in High Rock. Those who refused the ultimatum would later be massacred.
When the Ayleids of Nenalata were forced to relocate, they built the city of Bisnensel, within High Rock, where the Ayleids would worship Hermaeus Mora, after forcing its noble family to flee to the Direnni. Some Ayleids would survive further into the First Era, such as an Ayleid tutor of Rislav Larich.
Despite the heavy persecution of the First Era Ayleids, some managed to survive into the Second Era, with sightings stating that they had lived in a reclusive tribal society. One of the members of the University of Gwylim was a civilized Ayleid, Tjurhane Fyrre, who was one of the finest sages at the University. He wrote a text on his people, called The Wild Elves, though he died in 2E 227.
The last known surviving pure Ayleid was King Laloriaran Dynar. Dynar remained in Coldharbour after the Hollow City, known as Delodiil, was transported there. He would be rescued by the Vestige, and took command of the Fighters Guild, but died in 2E 582 after defending the city. He gave the Vestige his sword as a symbol of trust and friendship in his dying moments.
In the Third Era, Umaril the Unfeathered would return to Tamriel, alongside his Aurorans. He brought death and destruction to the followers of the Nine, killing the followers of Dibella in the Chapel of Dibella. Until he was defeated by the Hero of Kvatch, who had become the new Divine Crusader by collecting the Crusader's Relics. An Altmer by the name of Umbacano would also attempt to rebuild the Ayleid civilization through proclaiming himself the King of Nenalata, though his journey to Nenalata would result in his death.
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Shezarr and the Divines
- The Amulet of Kings
- Before the Ages of Man
- Treatise on Ayleidic Cities
- The Onus of the Oghma
- 2920, vol 05 - Second Seed
- The Last King of the Ayleids
- 2920, vol 05 - Second Seed
- Appearance of Queen Palolel in "The Prismatic Core" in The Elder Scrolls Online
- Dialogue with Umbacano during "The Collector" in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Ayleid Cities of Valenwood
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Black Marsh
- Stormhold, City of Shadowfen
- The (Improved) Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: The Summerset Isles: Auridon
- Loremaster's Archive – The Slave Rebellion
- Magic from the Sky
- Glories and Laments
- Exegesis of Merid-Nunda
- Loremaster's Archive: Mysteries Of The Mundus Stones
- Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Aetherial Fragments
- Lithnilian's Research Notes
- Earana's Notes
- Events of "Chorrol Recommendation"
- A Distracted Enemy
- Firras' Journal
- Events of "The Storm's Call"
- Dialogue with Martin Septim during "Miscarcand"
- Events of "Miscarcand"
- Events of "Vahtacen's Secret"
- Bravil: Daughter of the Niben
- Dialogue with Wynaldia during "The Lightless Remnant"
- Subtropical Cyrodiil: A Speculation
- Daedra Worship: The Ayleids
- Ayleid Survivals in Valenwood
- Curano's Journal
- Bisnensel: Our Ancient Roots
- Loremaster's Archive: Rituals of the Divines
- Meet the Character – King Narilmor
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Eras
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Cyrodiil
- Quotes of the Groundskeeper in the Hollow City during "The Hollow City"
- The Song of Pelinal, Book II
- The Song of Pelinal, Book III
- The Song of Pelinal, Book IV
- The Song of Pelinal, Book VII
- Remnants of Cyrod
- Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree
- Erokii Relics
- Tears of Anurraame
- Loading Screen of the Erokii Ruins
- A Life of Strife and Struggle
- Rislav the Righteous
- The Wild Elves
- Events of "The Army of Meridia"
- Events of "The Final Assault"
- Events of "Pilgrimage"
- Events of "Umaril the Unfeathered"
- Events of "The Collector"
|Humans||Akaviri • Atmorans • Bretons • Imperials • Keptu|
Kothringi • Nedes • Nords • Orma • Redguards
|Mer||Aldmer • Altmer • Ayleids • Bosmer • Chimer • Dunmer|
Dwemer • Falmer • Maormer • Orsimer • Sinistral Elves • Snow Elves
|Beast||Argonians • Imga • Khajiit • Lilmothiit • Sload • Giants|
|Akaviri||Ka Po' Tun • Kamal • Tang Mo • Tsaesci • Dragons|
|Et'Ada||Aedra • Daedra|