Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

The Merethic Era (meaning "Era of Elves" in Nordic[1] and also possibly spelt Merithic[2]), also known as the Mythic Era,[3] was the period of time immediately following the Dawn Era. The Merethic Era was reckoned by early Nord scholars as a series of years numbered in reverse chronological order (beginning with ME2500 and counting down with each passing year) from the "beginning of time" to the founding of the Camoran Dynasty in the Bosmer homeland of Valenwood which was recorded as Year Zero of the First Era.[1]

Early Merethic Era[]

During the early Merethic Era, aboriginal Betmer, or beast-peoples, of Tamriel—progenitors of the Khajiit, Argonians, Sload, Dreugh, and possibly Orsimer,[4] lived in preliterate communities throughout Tamriel.[3] Sometime during this era, or possibly the previous Dawn Era, Tamriel's Runestones were created.[5]

Several groups of Aldmer left the Summerset Isles to settle across the coastlands of Tamriel, founding several tower settlements across the continent.[1] The Ayleids also moved inland and established themselves in what would become known as Cyrodiil. It is during this time period that the Crystal Tower and White-Gold Tower were built, by the Altmer and the Ayleids respectively,[1] and the Adamantine Tower was rediscovered by the Direnni clan of Aldmer.[6]

Over many years, the mer of Tamriel, or Aldmer, began to split along cultural lines according to their new environments and on how best to spread creation and their parts in it. At first the dividing was only temperamentally but then they became physically very distinct races separate from one another. The Aldmer would thus become the various merish races: the Altmer, Ayleids, Bosmer, Chimer, Dwemer, Falmer, Maormer, and Orsimer.[7]

In addition to merish migrations from Summerset, the early Merethic Era also saw steady migrations of men from the northern continent of Atmora,[8] as well as more aggressive invasions.[3] On Atmora itself, the Dragon Cult was formed during this time.[9]

Middle & Late Merethic Era[]

Following their initial colonies, the Aldmer would become further splintered, with Veloth's exodus with the Chimer, successfully establishing themselves in what would later be known as Resdayn in the late Merethic Era.[1][10] Their schism also led to the creation of the Orcs, following Trinimac's attempt to stop them leaving the Summerset Isles, resulting in his consumption by Boethiah. Following their transformation, the Orcs fled to Skyrim, settling near Saarthal for a time.[11]

A unified Velothi culture rose and fell during the Middle and Late Merethic Era. The Velothi Chimer gradually separated into a multitude of distinct and varied tribal cultures for the remainder of the era.[1] From these, both the House Dunmer and Ashlander clans would develop in later eras.

The first permanent settlements of men in Skyrim were founded at this time by Ysgramor and his family fleeing a civil war in Atmora,[12] and bringing the Dragon Cult with them.[9] Their initial clashes with the Orcs at this time have become part of Nordic legend,[13] but their initial settlement of Saarthal was destroyed by the Falmer in an event known as the Night of Tears, which only Ysgramor and two of his sons are said to have survived.[14] Some years later, Ysgramor and his Five Hundred Companions returned to Tamriel, and retook Saarthal.[15] This would mark the beginning of the First Nordic Empire,[16] but the Nords would not retake the entirety of Skyrim until the early First Era.[8] During this time period, attempts were also made by the Atmorans to expand into High Rock, but they did not remain part of the emerging empire, and instead were absorbed into the local Nedic peoples of the region, which were seemingly already the Breton race.[6] The Dragon Cult was also likely wiped out on Tamriel during this time period, although the precise timing of the Dragon War is unclear.[9]

It is during this time that Pelinal Whitestrake makes his first recorded appearance as an intermittent warlord across Tamriel. However, very little is known about his precise deeds, allegiances or location during this time.[1]

End of the era[]

The Merethic Era came to an end with the founding of the Camoran Dynasty by Eplear, which is seen as the first year of the First Era.[17] This is also seen as the "beginning of time" even by Nordic historians.[1]