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High Elf Or Altmer Race And Their Names In Skyrim The Elder Scrolls V

Updated on July 7, 2012

Altmer are also known as High Elves or High Folk. There are two reasons why they consider themselves higher than other folk. First, it is their physical appearance. They are indeed the tallest of all races in Skyrim. Their long legs make them excellent runners and they can jump quite high too. However, High Elves are very light in weight. An average Altmer weighs about twice less than other races. These two thing combined make them quite clumsy when it comes to melee battle. Altmer are more likely to get thrown away or stunted that's why they avoid close range fights and prefer using magicka. The second reason why Altmeri consider themselves to be higher than other races is their Aldmer (Elder Folks) ancestry from which the High Elves have inherited the most impressive talent in arcane arts of all races. Unlike humans who believe themselves to be created by gods, Altmer call themselves offsprings of Aedra - gods themselves. There is something godlike in their appearance - their pale golden skin, almond shaped amber or emerald eyes, pointed ears are considered to be aspects of divine beauty. Altmer seem to appear physically youthful even at the old age. The oldest High Elves can live for several centuries.

Altmer In Skyrim. Click to view full size image.
Altmer In Skyrim. Click to view full size image.

Altmer Skills And Racial Abilities

Altmer Starting Skill Bonuses:

+10 Illusion
+5 Conjuration
+5 Destruction
+5 Alteration
+5 Enchanting

Altmer Starting Spells:

Flames (Sets the target on fire, doing some damage over time)
Healing (Heals the caster over time)
Fury (Altmer only. Creatures till level 6 attack any nearby target)

Altmer Racial Abilities:

High Elves are born with 50 extra magicka.
Highborn : Regenerate magicka faster for 60 seconds.

Altmer History

Altmer along with Bosmer, Dunmer and even Orsimer (Orc People) are descendants of Aldmer elves. Altmer are the ones that actually have changed from their ancestors the least. Aldmeri arrived to Tamriel from the Aldmeris continent who sunk in the sea and settled to live in the South West of Tamriel in the Summerset Isle. Some ruins in the Summerset Isle predate Aldmer arrival. The most notable monument is found in Alinor - the Ceporah Tower also known as Crystal-Like-Law. Aldmeri turned this tower to become the most important center for arcane studies in all Tamriel until Imperials built the Arcane University. The geographical isolation of the isle softened the impact of the mainland Tamriel problems but Aldmeri had their inner conflicts. Social clashes between Aldmeri made the mer race to divide into Elven subraces such as Chimer, Bosmer, Ayleids, Orsimer (it is quite possible that Falmer and Dwemer are also Aldmeri offsprings). Altmeri were the ones that sticked to their old traditions and remained to live in the Summerset Isle and defend it against Sload and Maormer invasion attempts. However, Altmeri seeked to unite Elven races again. They created an alliance with their closest neighbours in the mainland Tamriel - Bosmeri of Vaslenwood, the Wood Elves. This alliance is well known as the Aldmeri Dominion. Tiber Septim crushed this Dominion and forced it to join the Empire. When Maormer once almost succeeded in taking over the Summerset isle, Altmeri were forced to ask for the help of the Empire. The High Elves remember these happenings with shame. Maybe that was the reason of Altmer uprising against the Empire when the Aldmeri Dominion got revived again by uniting Altmeri with Bosmeri. The Second Aldmeri Dominion won the Great War against the Empire and managed to spread it's influence into far lands of Tamriel, even Skyrim. This victory brought back the significance of the Crystal Tower again for it became the headquarters of the Aldmeri Dominion.

Altmer Religion And Society

The Altmer mythology is based on the myths and legends of their ancestors - Aldmer. The Altmer creation myth tells that at the beginning of time the force of order created Anuiel - the essence of existence. Anuiel gave birth to Sithis which represents the power of chaos and eternal changing. Anuiel together with Sithis created Aedra and Daedra. Both of them are Original Spirits. However, Aedra used their power to create Mundus, the earth while Daedra are Original Beings that still have their power. Aedra became bound to the Earth Bones and they became mortal as the mortal earth itself. Aldmeri believed they are direct descendants of Aedra, the Ancestor Spirits.
The Altmer had formed a social hierarchy throughout the hundreds of years they have lived in the Summerset Island. The highest echelon is know as The Wise and these were priests, mages and teachers. Crafters and fighters used to belong to the middle class. The lowest rank was never given to a mer, these were usually slaves - goblins and other beasts. As the Elven society started to divide into different classes, the lower ones in the social hierarchy refused to worship the 'lower' Aedra which was assigned to them. The low classes started to worship the higher Aedres, the Nine Divines. It is not exactly true that Altmeri culture is built around the social status but it has made some mer to abandon Summerset isle in order to follow a different lifestyle.

Altmer Names

Some Imperial propaganda materials show Altmeri in a bad way suggesting they name their children in a combinations of numbers since their racial purity 'is more significant than personal identity'. It is of course not true. Most of High Elf names sound either Germanic or Latin.

Common Altmer names start with Erra-, Est-, Ya-, Nir-, Car- etc
Common Altmer names end with -ur, -an, -il, -iel, -al, -ne, nde etc

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