The Falmer, also known as the Ice Elves, or Snow Elves, were an elven race, whose Empire held a portion of Skyrim. They were said to be a proud and united people before their downfall. Their society was considered very wealthy and prosperous, and possibly rivaled the culture of the Altmer.
The Falmer are implied to have had some affinity towards magic, the Snow Prince is recorded to have been able to make ice and snow swirl and churn around himself, as if called upon. The Falmer also taught Ahzidal their arts during his travels around Tamriel.
Other magics the Falmer held was the ability to create Wayshrines with the ability to teleport its users. The Falmer also had portals which were created through the usage of Paragons. Other Falmer magic appears to be a great affinity to ice magic.
Ancient Falmer armor was a white armor with a number of embellishments. The armor itself is similar in appearance to regular elven armor, excluding some small details.
Modern Falmer have two kinds of armor, both vastly different from their ancient armors. The first is an armor with rags, which covers part of the skin, but not all. The second is an armor which fully covers the body, and is considerably stronger. Both of these armors are made from a creature known as the Chaurus.
The following are the parts of the Chaurus used in the creation of Falmer Heavy Armor. The chest piece is made from the breastplate of a dead Chaurus, boots are made from the leg chitin of Chaurus Hunters, and the gauntlets are made from Chaurus mandibles. The helmet and shield are made from regular Chaurus Chitin.
The Falmer religion consisted of the following deities, each having their own temples.
At the Chantry of Auri-El, many dedicated Falmer used to commit themselves to a journey through the Chantry to the Inner Sanctum. These Falmer held a great desire to become one with the god Auri-El, but the trials on the way to the chantry were heavy. Pilgrims struggled against both natural elements as well as a number of tests upon both their faith and loyalty. Within the Chantry were Wayshrines. These shrines were used for meditation and transportation when the Chantry was still in use. Prelates of Auri-El would stand by the shrine, teaching the mantras of Auri-El to their Initiates.
Many could not continue on the path for long before giving up and returning, giving them great shame. Those who did make it to the Inner Sanctum, also had their share of woes. Upon arrival at the Inner Sanctum, they had been greatly weakened due to sleeplessness and starvation. The last testament of their dedication to Auri-El was carrying the Initiate's Ewer up the last steps leading to the chantry. Upon emptying the ewer, they were blessed and relieved, and were permitted to speak to the Arch-Curate of Auri-El.
The chantry itself served as the epicenter of the Falmer religion, and was constructed in the early First Era. While some other temples existed for the other deities worshipped by the Falmer, none were as grand as the one dedicated to Auri-El. The Chantry would eventually meet its end when the devolved kin of the ancient Falmer discovered the Chantry and slaughtered those who inhabited the location.
When the Falmer first settled Tamriel is unknown. The records of the Falmer that exist come from the Nords who came from Atmora. The Nords settled in Skyrim, and for a time, were said to have lived peacefully alongside the Falmer and prospered because of it. As their society grew, they built Saarthal, and the Falmer grew fearful. The Falmer were said to have been constantly at war with the Nords, who claimed the land as their ancestral home.
War with the Atmoran settlers
When the Men from Atmora started immigrating to Skyrim, one of the first cities they built was known as Saarthal, and served as their capital city. At the city, the Falmer tried to drive the Atmorans out of Skyrim, and upon doing so, razed the city to the ground. It has been suggested that the Elves of the Merethic Era held some power beyond the expectations of the time, implying something greater was at work at Saarthal, leading some to believe the war was not just about territory, or control of Skyrim, but something greater. The Men were said to have found something, and the Elves, upon learning of the item, desired it for themselves. As such, they assaulted the city to obtain the item, but not to drive the Nords out. Another theory claims that the Falmer attacked the Atmorans due to their growing culture, while their own was stagnant. A few men managed to escape the razing of Saarthal, however. Amongst them was the warrior Ysgramor and his sons, and the aspiring magician Ahzidal. Angered over what had happened, both sought out revenge against the Falmer. Ysgramor and his sons returned to Atmora and gathered an army by telling tales of the Elves' treachery, while Ahzidal went on a journey around Tamriel to seek out powerful magic that could give an edge against them.
When Ysgramor and his army, known as the Companions, returned to Skyrim, they were contacted by Ahzidal, an Atmoran who had studied with all the elven cultures and learned their magics. He offered his aid against the Falmer, who had fortified themselves at Saarthal. The steel of the Atmorans, imbued with Ahzidal's experience with magic, provided them with victory, and Ahzidal with revenge. Under Ysgramor's command, the Companions would then continue on with their battles against the Falmer, being ordered not to show any kindness towards their enemy. The Companions marched throughout the land, killing the native elves whenever they found them. They eventually arrived at a statue of an Eagle which would become the Skyforge. Their elven captives who still had their tongues, spoke in fear of the statue, stating it was older than even they themselves were, and so, the Companions started the construction of Whiterun around the statue. Another battle was fought at a pass close to Yngol Barrow, where the Falmer suffered another defeat. The Falmer captives were then forced to start construction on a city which would become Windhelm. Numerous Falmer died both during the construction of the city, as well as on their way to the building site, being killed by their captors. The invasion of the Rift would occur at a later date, being performed by new clans. Pillaging and burning Falmer villages, the Snow Elves eventually grouped up to face the Atmorans in battle. A bloody battle was fought, once again resulting in a Falmer defeat, and the Falmer losing most of their control over the Rift.
The Falmer would meet their end with the death of the Snow Prince during the Battle of the Moesring. Around this time, many Falmer had died during the great skirmishes of Solstheim, and this battle was to be their last stand. The battle was fierce, and just when the tide of battle seemed to be turning, the Snow Prince was killed. The remaining Falmer were either slain trying to hold their ground, or scattered. The Snow Prince was given an honorable burial by the Nords, as he was so loved by his kin and so honorable in war.
Upon this defeat, the Old Ones of the Falmer concluded that too many of their warriors had fallen to continue the fight, and while the young Falmer spoke out against this, their voices were ignored. The Old Ones decided, after the fall of the Snow Prince, that they would have to move to the Dwemer. The Atmorans, coming out victorious, eradicated all signs of Falmer society that they could find.
Many of the surviving Falmer fled to the Dwemer, and asked them for protection. They fled underground, to Blackreach. The Dwemer, who did not fully trust the Falmer, forced them to consume the toxic fungi native to Blackreach. This, alongside years of living underground, eventually rendered the Falmer blind. Those Falmer who did not flee to the Dwemer, fled elsewhere. Their spirits becoming lower over time, as they were forced to hide and could only think of the happy times of old. But most of these groups would, over time, either vanish, be killed, or give up and accept the bargain of the Dwemer.
The Falmer, after living underground and eating the fungi, became powerless and turned into the servants of the Dwemer, and later on, their slaves. The fungi became a major part of the Falmer diet, resulting in both the current Falmer slaves, as well as their offspring, being blind and weak. In this time of servitude, the Falmer sunk into madness.
At some point, the Falmer rebelled against their Dwemer overlords. They overthrew the Dwemer and fled deeper into Blackreach. For decades, the two sides were at war, known as the War of the Crag, a bloody conflict taking place beneath the soil of Skyrim, with the Nords, the descendants of the Atmorans, remaining blissfully unaware of the bloody conflict that raged beneath them. The war would come to an end when the Dwemer vanished as a result of Kagrenac tampering with the Heart of Lorkhan during the Battle of Red Mountain in 1E 700. With the Dwemer gone, the Falmer spread throughout Blackreach, but the War of the Crag had left the Falmer feeling a need to conquer and kill. The Falmer started to raid the surface of the land, killing cattle, travelers, and stealing babies.
While the majority of the Falmer were kept out of Skyrim's boundaries during the original onslaught of the Atmorans, they would not be entirely removed from Skyrim's surface until the ruling of King Harald, after 1E 139.
Some Falmer sightings exist during the Second Era. During the Second Era, any misfortune or disaster was attributed to the Falmer, ranging from crop failure to travelers getting lost crossing a high pass. At the time, little evidence existed of the Falmer existing at all, and they were said to have resided in remote mountain regions, or other cold and remote regions. A record of possible Falmeri boundary runes implies that the original Falmer that did exist during the Second Era, were wary and withdrawn.
In the Fourth Era, sightings of Falmer have increased, with their raids being more organized and their attacks more brutal, leading one scholar to theorize that the Falmer could be ready to reclaim their long-forgotten glory. The goal of the Falmer is to destroy the surface world, including all who dwell above. Attacks by the Falmer are not uncommon during the late-Fourth Era. Outside of Windhelm, a Khajiit caravan was ambushed by a group of Falmer, leading to its destruction. Caravans are also ambushed by the Falmer, with its merchants being torn limb from limb. On one occassion, the Falmer even took out the residents of a lighthouse.
The present day Falmer also appear to have tamed the Chaurus to do their bidding. Chaurus can often times be found in company with their Falmer masters, who breed them for both their raids as well as their chitin. Modern Falmer can be found throughout Skyrim in numerous locations, from Skyrim's Dwemer ruins to smaller caverns scattered around the province. They also attack locations inhabited by the human settlers of the province.
Being an Elven race, the Falmer originally held Black Souls, which belong to the higher creatures of Tamriel. Their elven status appears to be revoked, however, as since 4E 201, most Falmer souls are White Souls, rather than Black, with the exception of ancient Falmer, like Arch-Curate Vyrthur. A visual representation of what the Falmer looked like was created at Irkngthand, before the Falmer changed into their blinded form. This statue held the Left and Right Eye of the Falmer, which was built in secret by the Falmer during their slavery under the Dwemer. These eyes were flawlessly cut, and as big as a man's head. They were said to burn into a person, making them able to see them forever.
While the Falmer changing back into their original forms is said to be unlikely, their intellect is also said to have been increasing. Leading Knight-Paladin Gelebor to believe that perhaps one day a line of communication could be established with them, enabling them to learn that they were once a proud and prosperous race.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Markarth
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends (Heroes of Skyrim)
- The Betrayed
- Ice Elves: Fact or Fiction?
- The Falmer: A Study
- Diary of Faire Agarwen
- Dialogue with Knight-Paladin Gelebor
- Dialogue with Enthir
- Fall of the Snow Prince
- Ahzidal's Descent
- Portals in the Chantry of Auri-El
- Events of "Touching the Sky"
- Appearance of Falmer Armor
- Appearance of Falmer Hardened Armor and Falmer Heavy Armor
- Upgrade materials for Falmer Armor and Falmer Heavy Armor in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Description of Chaurus Armor
- Description of Chaurus Boots
- Description of Chaurus Gauntlets
- Crafting ingredients of Chaurus Helmet and Chaurus Shield
- Journal of Mirtil Angoth
- Touching the Sky
- Conversations between Knight-Paladin Gelebor and Serana
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
- Night of Tears
- Imperial Report on Saarthal
- Songs of the Return, Vol 7
- Songs of the Return, Vol 19
- Songs of the Return, Vol 49
- Loremaster's Archive: Archeology and Races of Tamriel
- Loading Screen in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Battle of Red Mountain
- Dwemer Inquiries Vol I
- Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal
- Dialogue with Athellor during "In Search of the Falmer"
- Ghosts in the Storm
- Torn Note
- Merchant's Journal
- Adventurer's Journal
- Events of "Frostflow Abyss"
- Events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Appearance of Falmer in Alftand, Blackreach, Irkngthand, Kagrenzel, Mzulft, Nchuand-Zel, Raldbthar, and Mzinchaleft
- Appearance of Falmer in Lost Echo Cave, Chillwind Depths, Darkwater Pass, Gloomreach, Stillborn Cave, Tolvald's Cave, Shimmermist Cave, and Sightless Pit
- Appearance of Falmer in Frostflow Lighthouse, Duskglow Crevice, and Liar's Retreat
- Souls, Black and White
- Soul size of Falmer in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Soul size of Arch-Curate Vyrthur
- Dialogue with Brynjolf during "Blindsighted"
- Thief's Last Words
- Aevar Stone-Singer