Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
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Bretons in Skyrim.

For other uses, see Bretons.

Bretons are a race of both human and elven ancestry.[1] They populate the province of High Rock. They are excellent mages[2] with high magic resistance, but have few other distinctive features. They are considered an intelligent race in Tamriel, known for a proficiency in abstract thinking,[source?] a possible reason for their adeptness in the magical arts. It is suggested that they may also carry Aldmer blood, which would further account for their magical prowess.[1][2]


Breton mage

A Breton mage.

Unlike the neighboring Redguard and Dunmer populations, the Bretons do not have many of their number in Skyrim. Some, however, do take to city life and are a minority in settlements.[source?]

The Reachmen

In the Reach reside a group of Bretons, known as the Reachmen, historically regarded as a barbaric race involved in dark and extreme practices.[3][4] Twenty years before the events of Skyrim, the Reachmen were involved in an armed uprising against the Nords that ruled Markarth.[5] They took the city by force, due to a belief that it belonged to the native population. They were soon driven out by Ulfric Stormcloak, prior to his own conflict with the Empire.[5]

The remaining insurrectionists were later known as the Forsworn.[5][6] The Dragonborn is able to assist the Forsworn during the quest "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine." This results in the normally hostile Forsworn settlement of Druadach Redoubt to become friendly.


Beyond this, Bretons often take the role of court wizard to a Jarl, or study as scholars at the College of Winterhold. Occasionally, one may also see a Breton merchant, such as Belethor.

Character creation

"In addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, even the humblest of High Rock's Bretons can boast a resistance to magic. Bretons can call upon the Dragonskin power to absorb spells."
―Racial description[src]

A Breton male.

Skill bonuses

Starting spells

Special abilities

  • Dragonskin : Absorb 50% of magicka from hostile spells for 60 seconds. (FormID 0x000aa022)
  • Magic Resistance : Breton blood grants a 25% resistance to magic. Note: In the loading screen trivia, it says the Bretons have a 50% magic resistance. 25% is the correct level. (FormID 0x000aa01f)

Unique gameplay

Delphine Innkeeper

Delphine, a Breton.

  • During gameplay, Bretons make excellent warriors, as well as mages. Although they start focused heavily on magic, switching them to a combat style is incredibly effective.
    • This is somewhat harder to do at higher difficulties, due to Bretons' lower starting combat skills and the power of enemies on the Master difficulty.
  • Magic resistance only blocks hostile spells. This differs from the magicka absorption ability, making resistance more useful for mages and Breton warriors who augment their physical durability with spells.
  • The temporary magic absorption provided by Dragonskin is rendered somewhat obsolete, due to the fact that almost any race can achieve 80% absorption as a permanent effect through the use of the Atronach Stone and the Atronach perk. They can also receive 20% from Ward Absorb. Wards can also be used an unlimited number of times per day, as opposed to just once. However, Dragonskin allows Breton characters to take advantage of spell absorption without investing in Alteration or Restoration or using the Atronach Stone.
  • Bretons can achieve the 85% magic resistance cap while wearing no armor: Racial Bonus (25%), Agent of Mara (15%), Magic Resistance 2/3 (20%) and the Lord Stone (25%).

Notable Bretons



  • Historically, Bretons are the people of Brittany, France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brittonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain, including Cornwall, in waves from the 3rd to 9th century. Brittany and its people are counted as one of the six Celtic nations. Ethnically, along with the Cornish and Welsh, the Bretons are the last vestiges of the ancient Britons.
  • Tracing their ancestry back to the Aldmer, some Bretons have slight points to their ears.