Men as a collective term, encompasses beings of the human race in Tamrielic culture. Male humans, as a group, are referred to as "men" while female humans are "women." A combination of male and female persons are called "men."
Drastically different culturally and physiologically from mer and beastfolk, humans are genetically capable of interbreeding with the former, while rumors of interbreeding with the latter exist, but are unproven.
Humans come in an array of skin tones and pigments depending on race, with Nords and Bretons being the palest and Redguards being the darkest. Of the human race, there are four subraces currently existing on the Tamrielic continent. These include, Imperials, Nords, Bretons, and Redguards. The Nedes are an extinct human race from which the Imperials sprang.
Etymology and usage[edit | edit source]
The term "Men" originated from human language. It is used to mean "them" or "us" - group of people. The term is analogous to the word "Mer" in ancient Aldmeri tongue. Both of the racial groups have come to calling each other by the names and do not find it offensive in any way. They have been seen to be referring to their own kind by the term as well. This is probably, due to the fact that both groups share certain distrust for each other and arrogance to consider themselves better.
Origins[edit | edit source]
Unlike Mer, there is no known continent or a region in Nirn Men originated from. There are no known elven records on this subject and men invented writing relatively late, meaning that there are no early records written anywhere.
Earliest records mentioning human races date mid-Merethic Era when Atmorans, a human race native to now frozen Atmora, began migrating to northern Tamriel, a region later named Skyrim. Most of the human races now inhabiting Tamriel are known to be their descendants.
However, when Atmorans began conquering Tamriel, they found Nede and Bretons, human races well assimilated in cultures dominated by elves. During the conquest of Tamriel by the people from Atmora humans already inhabited the whole continent, though mer were those who ruled it. They were probably the descendants of humans, who escaped Atmora, looking for a new, better life.
It also seems that some humans were aboriginal inhabitants of Tamriel known as Nedes and were native to Cyrodiil and Black Marsh. The Nedes and the Akaviri could well have been the same race, but the name was perhaps changed due to differing languages.[source?]
Some Imperial scholars believe that Men could have shared the elven homeland of Ehlnofey and have evolved from Aldmer like modern elven races. However, that theory is highly unlikely since men and mer have many differences.[source?]
However, the most plausible theory on the subject of the origin of the Human race was before the First Era on a continent called Akavir, outside Tamriel. The Humans were divided into two distinct groups, the Akaviri and the Tsaesci (serpent-like men). The lesser race, the Akaviri were enslaved by the Tsaesci and taught how to farm, fight, smith and serve. After a failed revolution by the Akaviri against the Tsaesci, many did escape and to Tamriel to set up tribes and villages, free of the Tsaesci. This could be the source for the aboriginal tribes in Cyrodiil and Black Marsh , as well as Skyrim. Windhelm is the oldest city in Skyrim, and the oldest, fully-fledged human city in all of Tamriel.[source?]
Physiology[edit | edit source]
The most significant difference among men and mer is their lifespan. Unlike the centuries-old elves, human races usually live no more than one hundred years. The oldest human to be recorded was the Imperial Sirollus Saccus, who was over 274 years old during the events of Morrowind.
Men and mer also have various physical differences, as men are more muscular than most elves and have fewer shades of skin color. Another easily noticeable feature of Elven kind is their pointy ears, which men do not have. Most elves, even the women, stand at twelve inches or more over most men. Some exceptions to this rule are the Orsimer, whom are very different from other elven races. They resemble other beast-like races such as Goblins and the Bosmer (Wood Elves), who are shorter than most humans.
Both men and mer vary in terms of magical potency and attitude to magic. Among men, Bretons have particular reputation as mages, while Nords usually dislike magic.
Tamrielic human races[edit | edit source]
Nords[edit | edit source]
The Nords are a tall and fair-haired people from Skyrim who are known for their incredible resistance to cold and even magical frost. They are enthusiastic warriors, and act as soldiers and mercenaries all over Tamriel. Eager to augment their martial skills beyond the traditional methods of Skyrim, they excel in all manner of warfare. They are direct descendants of Atmorans, who migrated to Tamriel in the time period known as the Return. They lead and crew the merchant fleets of many regions, and may be found all along Tamriel's coasts.
Imperials[edit | edit source]
Natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil, the Imperials are well-educated and well-spoken. Imperials are also known for the discipline and training of their citizen armies. With this they were able to fight off the Redguard and control most of Tamriel. Imperials have proven to be shrewd diplomats and traders, and these traits, along with their remarkable skill and training as light infantry, have enabled them to subdue all the other nations and races, and to have erected the monument to peace and prosperity that comprises the glorious Empire. The Imperials control most ports in Tamriel.
Redguards[edit | edit source]
Redguards hail from the province of Hammerfell. They are a race that is known to be extremely quick and agile. They are excellent in all arts concerning blade and shield. They are descended from a long line of warriors and mystic seers.
The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel, the dark-skinned, wiry haired Redguards of Hammerfell seem born to battle, though their pride and fierce independence of spirit makes them more suitable as scouts or skirmishers, or as free ranging heroes and adventurers, than as rank and file soldiers. In addition to their cultural affinities for many weapon and armor styles, Redguards are also blessed with hardy constitutions and quickness of foot.
Redguards view use of magic unfavorably, particularly Conjuration and Illusion, because of the ability to Soul Trap and tamper with the minds of others. Generally, they consider wizards weak or cowardly. However, it is known that Redguards were fond of Destruction spells - suiting their warlike culture well.
Although Redguards are human, they do not share the same blood as Nords, Bretons, and Imperials because of their origin in Yokuda.
Bretons[edit | edit source]
Bretons are the human descendants who hail from the province of High Rock. They have descended from the people of Nede and Aldmer. The Aldmer thought of making a superior race with their own "Elder," or "Superior," blood, by mating with other races. The Bretons are sometimes called "Manmeri" because of this.
They are pure spell weavers and are advanced in all the arcane arts. While lacking in physical skill, they make up for it in their ability to resist and cast spells that overwhelm most people. They are united in culture and language, but are divided politically. Their origins can be traced to the First Era of Tamriel's history, when the Aldmer intermingled extensively with the Nedic people. This mostly happened during the period in the first Era when Mer held Men as slaves, which lead to masters impregnating their female captives. Bretons are of average height, and have either light or dark hair.. They are highly intelligent, willful, and have an outgoing personality. It is said that Bretons are weaned on magic, for it seems to infuse their very being. Intermingling with Elven blood has given Bretons an affinity for magic, though hardiness is also part of their heritage. Breton culture operates under the feudal system, and their society is agrarian and hierarchical.
Ancient human races[edit | edit source]
Atmorans[edit | edit source]
Atmorans were humans native to the frozen continent of Atmora far north of Tamriel. It is known that they resembled modern Nords, however, some of them had different features than others, depending on which region of Atmora they lived in.
Early Atmorans had not developed a system of writing, and as a result, little is known about their history. Earliest records of Atmorans date to the mid-Merethic Era when they first migrated to Tamriel. The reason early Atmorans migrated from their homeland was to escape the ongoing civil war there. Over time, more and more Atmorans migrated to Northern Tamriel, in the region now known as Skyrim.
The Snow Elves in the area were concerned about the rapid population increase of humans and organized a slaughter in the event which had came to be known as the Night of Tears. In retaliation, Ysgramor gathered an army of Five Hundred Companions and mounted an assault against the Snow Elves. This event is known as The Return. After the Return, Atmorans stopped coming into Skyrim from their homeland.
Those who stayed are believed to have died as Atmora froze and changed beyond recognition. The Atmorans that left became modern Nords, and those who went south assimilated with the Nede and became Imperials.
Nedes[edit | edit source]
The Nedes were a race of humans that were the ancient ancestors of the modern Imperials. They lived throughout Hammerfell, Skyrim, Morrowind and Cyrodiil.
The Nedes were known to have had a race with the Chimer and had eventually been confined to Hammerfell as they had died out everywhere else. Upon the arrival of the Redguards (Ra Gada) they had been slaughtered and their race extinct. All the Nedic descendants are mainly Imperial.
Other human races[edit | edit source]
Keptu[edit | edit source]
The Keptu were one of the many breeds of men back in the First and Merethic Era. Very little is known about them.
Akaviri[edit | edit source]
The Akaviri were a race of men native to the mysterious continent of Akavir. Despite their involvement in many historical events, very little is known about them. They are believed to have had an Oriental culture.
Some stories tell that the Akaviri are now extinct, that they had been "eaten" by the native vampiric race of serpent-men known as Tsaesci. Others believe that the Akaviri are actually Tsaesci and stories of serpent-men were simply fictional, the result of corruption over the years.
The last records of Akaviri/Tsaesci date back to the early First Era when they had tried to invade Tamriel, but were stopped by the army of Reman Cyrodiil.
Kothringi[edit | edit source]
A few books in the game spoke of the Kothringi, a race of men hailing from Black Marsh. They were said to look like men only with metallic skin and had been quite common in the region during the Second Era. They were eventually wiped out by the Knahaten Flu before the start of the Third Era.
The origin of the Kothringi is unknown. It has been said that they were the result of interbreeding between the Nedes and Argonians, others have said that they were simply Nedic settlers that had adapted to conditions in Black Marsh.
Orma[edit | edit source]
The Orma are a tribe dating from the First Era. They are native to Black Marsh. There exists an elevated occurrence of congenital blindness in the tribe, more specifically as a result of tribe members completely lacking eyes. Such individuals are said to be masters of their other senses. This makes them appear to be something close to elven Falmer. Which lead to speculation that the Orma's condition could have been the result of local Dwemer experiments.
They are believed to be extinct due to the outbreak of the Knahaten Flu during the Second Era, which benefited the Argonians, who had, at some point, developed an immunity to the disease.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
|Common||Bretons • Imperials • Nords • Redguards|
|Extinct/Endangered||Akaviri • Atmorans • Keptu • Kothringi • Nedes • Orma|
|Humans||Akaviri • Atmoran • Breton • Imperial • Keptu|
Kothringi • Nede • Nord • Orma • Redguard
|Mer||Aldmer • Altmer • Ayleid • Bosmer • Chimer • Dunmer|
Dwemer • Falmer • Maormer • Orsimer • Sinistral Elf • Snow Elf
|Beast||Argonian • Imga • Khajiit • Lilmothiit • Sload • Giant|
|Akaviri||Ka Po' Tun • Kamal • Tang Mo • Tsaesci • Dragon|
|Et'Ada||Aedra • Daedra|