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Dark Elf Or Dunmer Race And Their Names In Skyrim The Elder Scrolls V

Updated on September 7, 2012

The Dunmer are one of the darkest and most mysterious of all races in Skyrim. Dunmer are commonly called 'Dark elves' in The Empire both because of their appearance and traits of character. Dunmer skin is ash grey and their eyes are red. They have the stature of an elf yet their cunning and gloomy natures draws deceitful lines in their faces. The mer blood in Dunmers have gifted them with superior intellect and they naturally excel in arcane arts. But their grim, proud and distrusting character have notoriously made them prefer destruction magick over other schools. Dunmers might seem distrusting and often even cruel in the eyes of an outsider and young females are well known for their lust. The ill reputation of the Dunmer race, age old conflicts and the vengeful nature have given them plenty of disadvantages when it comes to spreading influence to other races.

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

Dunmer Skills And Racial Abilities

Dunmer Starting Skill Bonuses:

+10 Destruction
+5 Alchemy
+5 Alteration
+5 Illusion
+5 Light Armor
+5 Sneak

Dunmer Starting Spells:

Flames (Sets the target on fire, doing some damage over time)
Healing (Heals the caster over time)
Sparks (Dunmer only. Summons lightning that does shock damage to Health and Magicka over time)

Dunmer Racial Abilities:

Dunmers are 50% resistant to fire.
Ancestor’s Wrath : For 60 seconds, opponents that get too close take 8 points per second of fire damage

Dunmer Culture And Society

Dunmer are notorious for looking down on other races, especially enslaving 'beast races' such as Argonians and Khajiiti. When they still occupied Morrowind, they even disrespected other dark elves who were born outside Morrowind. The racism is rooted in Chimer tradition to structure society by classes: Great Houses which are governed by the Ruling Councils and rest are 'nomadic, barbaric' groups. The Dunmer were following Tribunal Temple which worshiped their ancestral gods Almsivi (Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil) and after the defeat of Dagoth Ur they also paid respect to the 'Good Daedra'. The ones who refused to worship Tribunal where sentenced to death. When Tiber Septim banned slavery, only Dunmer were allowed to keep their sacred laws. However, in the end slavery was completely abolished by King Helseth. Tribunal temple as a religion encourages necromantic practices. Different corpse parts were commonly used to ward off bad spirits. However, Dunmer never used the corpses of other Dunmer. They burried their dead in tombs and it was a death crime to even enter a tomb of another family.
The Dunmer were also known for the most unique architecture in all Tamriel. Redoran town, for example, is famous for being built around a dead Emperor crab. Some eccentric Dunmer use magic to grow giant plants and mushrooms in their houses.

Dunmer History

The Dunmer used to be Chimer (Changed Ones or Changed People). Chimer looked exactly like Altmer - elves with pale gold skin. But their culture was completely different. The ancestors of Dunmer were Chimer who turned their backs to Daedra Azura (the Goddess of Dusk and Dawn) to follow prophet Veloth who was the messenger of Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Plots. Soon these Chimer got exiled and known as Velothi (Veloth followers). Veloth lead his people to Resdayn which later got named Morrowind. Velothi settled there and developed what is now known as Velothi High Culture based on their religion. Another culture, Dwemer where already living there and both cultures got along very well and when the Nords of Skyrim started to skirmish the lands of current Morrowind they formed an alliance to protect their lands. Velothi built defenses known as the Dunmer Strongholds of Morrowind against Nordic raiders and other Chimers who were opposing their religion. However one of the battles, the Battle of Red Mountain lead to the disappearance of Dwemer and permanent change of Velothi. Indoril Neravar, the Velothi leader had set his eyes on some of the the Dwemer artifacts which had divine powers. Neravar betrayed his friendship with Dumac Dwarf-Orc, the Dwemer leader and forced a battle at Dwemer stronghold at Red Mountain. Some sources suggest Indoril Neravar died because of a deadly wound in a duel with Dumac Dwarf-Orc (which he won), others say he was betrayed by his advisors who also wanted to possess the divine Dwemer treasures. His death had summoned Azuras who was angry and cursed Velothi. She made their eyes as red as the volcanic ash and their skin as black as their hearts. This curse along with natural disasters devastated Morrowind. As a result of that the Argonian slaves rebelled against them and invaded the land. Most of Dunmer that managed to survive fled to a small island of Solstheim, the rest are now scattered all over Tamriel.

Indoril Guard
Indoril Guard

Dunmer Names

Most of Dunmer names tend to be quite short - two or three syllables. They tend to use the letters L, V and R a lot. However, if a person has a last name, it is quite likely to be longer - three or four syllables.

Common Dunmer names start with Gar-, Mel-, Fad, Lla-, Ral-, Vol- etc.
Common Dunmer names end with -ith, -ir, -en, -is, -yn etc.


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    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Europe

      Oh, yeah, that might seem misleading. The Great Houses do preach faith for the Tribunal and worship of the Almsivi (Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec) but after the defeat of Dagoth Ur Dunmer also paid respect for the "good daedra" exactly because of what Azura did. For example, Dunmer invoke Azura for guidance and support on Hogithum, a special holiday.

      I'll edit that part to clarify. Thank you. :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      "The Great Houses were following Tribunal Temple, a sacred building for the 'Good Daedra'" this is copied directly.

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Europe

      I reread this and I haven't claimed anywhere that Tribunal was built around Daedra. What you wrote was true, the same as what I wrote.

      Thank you for your suggestion, it did make me look at the facts again. :) Cheers!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      First: The Tribunal wasn't build around any of the daedra. It was build around the worship of the Almsivi (Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec) three of the Chimer who were Indoril Nerevar's lover, adviser and friend. When Nerevar fought Dumac at red mountain and the Dwemer suddenly disappeared, Nerevar wanted to rid the world of Kagrenac's tools, which the Dwemer used to experiment on the heart of the god Lorkhan, but was betrayed by the Tribunal because they themselves wanted to use the heart to become gods. for their betrayal, azura cursed the chimer with skin as dark as ash and fiery red eyes. afterwards the tribunal temple was created and all worship revolved around Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec who had now become gods.

      This means that this whole section about dunmer history and culture is completely misleading and doesn't even scratch the surface of the truth.

      Actually i would strongly advise that this site be either deleted or redone.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Slight corrections, the Dwemer disappeared and nobody knows how, see books such as Ancestors and the Dwemer (I think that's what it's called) for reference. Also it was the Altmer/Ayleids/Ancient High Elves who inhabited Cyrodiil, not the Dunmer, who inhabited Morrowind. Nevertheless, nice Lore knowledge :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am not sure that the nords invaded Cyrodiil because in the game history it is known as the Imperials came along and fought the Dunmer. I've heard of some Dwemer still staying in Cyrodiil but then they moved to Markarth (A Town Built by Dwemer in Skyrim) Then at the ancient times the Nords came and the dwemer mechanisms were unable to battle versus the ancient Th'uums. So they decided to create 'Blackreach' an underground city beneath Skyrim to hide from Nords. Then when the dwemer were there and the falmer race came and tried to live there but dwemer were too cruel so they named them as 'Outlanders' and tortured them. When they died the falmer occupied blackreach but still the dwemer machines stayed with no problems :)


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