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Aldmeri Dominion

Response To Citizen Inquiries

Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination

Esteemed Citizen of the Aldmeri Dominion,

Thank you for expressing your interest in the critical functions performed by the Presidium of Aldmeri Cultural Illumination and Dissemination to further solidify the inter-cultural bonds of our magnificent alliance. We strive to give our ear to any citizen with suggestions, questions, or concerns relating to our tireless efforts to provide the Dominion with education to promote cooperation and understanding between Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit.

Your two (2) requests and one (1) inquiry have been received and processed, and it is our sincere hope that you find the determinations reached by the Presidium satisfactory. Please note that any additional queries related to your submission, which has been assigned the Citizen Inquiry Identifier 3278B-P, must be accompanied by a completed Additional Inquiry Form approved by your district’s Thalmor Representative of Civil Concerns.

Request One (1)

Regarding the inclusion of a broader survey of Khajiiti heroes in a new edition of “Combined History of the Aldmeri Dominion, Vol. 4, Historical Persons of Note”:  Your opinion is valued and important. Though we must limit the number of highlighted historical figures described in this already-significant tome by necessity, your feedback will be taken into consideration. We have noted your observation about the preponderance of Altmeri individuals in the book, and will take it under advisement in the event that a new edition is issued.

Request Two (2)

Regarding celebration of the Khajiiti Festival of Sugar-Singing: Our greatest ambition is to be sensitive to the needs and desires of all citizens. It is, therefore, with the utmost regret that we must inform you that the Sugar-Singing will continue to be prohibited in most major cities due to the disruption of business and domestic peace that has been reported in municipalities where the festival has been provisionally allowed. As with any Thalmor ruling, you may continue to raise specific concerns by visiting your local representative (accompanied, of course, by the proper forms, which may vary depending on the nature of the additional request or complaint).

Inquiry One (1)

Regarding becoming more involved in your local governing body: The Thalmor is always pleased to accommodate and encourage citizens who wish to become more active in promoting cooperation and understanding throughout the Dominion. All Thalmor positions and offices are confirmed by the Illustrious Queen Ayrenn’s own hand, ensuring only individuals with true dedication to the goals of a productive, prosperous, and victorious Dominion reach any office. By undertaking every possible effort to be an outstanding citizen, even you may one day be recognized by Her Majesty!

The Presidium of Aldmeri Cultural Illumination and Dissemination thanks you again for your interest. If you find any of our carefully considered responses to be inadequate, do not hesitate to submit an approved Additional Inquiry Form.

Glory to the Dominion!

These responses endorsed by:

Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination

An Unusual Alliance

Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination

Three allies whose people rarely agree on anything. Three races as diverse as any within the world. Three states at war for their very lives, but unable to reconcile their differences in moments of piece. More than allies, but less than friends.

And that must change.

Our Dominion is beset on many sides. The Ebonheart Pact and the Daggerfall Covenant attack us from the outside, but we have other enemies more deadly and more dangerous to our alliance than those external foes.

If our wartime bonds are to remain strong, we must forge relationships and alliances in peace. Our Bosmeri hunters must provide food for our civilians as well as our soldiers. Our Khajiiti traders must provide goods as well as weapons. And our Altmeri wizards must spend their magicka wisely to win the peace as well as the war.

Our first step is to join together in celebration as one of our alliance members, the Bosmer, renews their divine pact with a joining between their two spiritual leaders, the Silvenar and the Green Lady. Let all members of the Aldmeri Dominion recognize this wedding and participate in the revels that follow.

Our best wishes to the Silvenar, the Green Lady, and the Bosmeri people. May this new generation know a strength in peace as well as war.

Thalmor Diplomatic Corps Notice


Regarding our friends, the Khajiit:

Do NOT refer to them as "Cats."
Do NOT serve them food intended for pet cats.
If you own a pet cat, do NOT call Khajiiti by your cat's name.
Do NOT attempt to grab their tails unless permission is granted.

Regarding our friends, the Bosmer:

Do NOT ask the Bosmer about adding vegetables to their recipes.
Do NOT cut down a tree in front of a Bosmer.
Do NOT ask how Bosmeri flesh tastes.
Do NOT ask how to cook a Khajiit.

Our newfound friends in the Dominion stand beside you as comrades and they deserve a measure of respect. Please speak to your local Thalmor representative if further clarification is required.

The Green Pact and the Dominion


Just like trees grow toward the sun and you can hear different birds singing when the moons are out than when they are not, every Wood Elf born in Valenwood (and indeed, nearly every one born outside of it), knows of the Green Pact.

The Green Pact is the agreement between the Wood Elves and Y'ffre that has guided our existence from the beginning of the great story.

Its rules are clear. Do not harm the forest. Do not eat anything made from plant life. Eat only meat. When you conquer your enemies, eat their flesh. Do not leave them to rot. Do not kill wastefully. Do not take on the shape of beasts. You are Wood Elves. Your form is sacred.

This is the Green Pact. In exchange for keeping to this Pact, the forest, which we call the Green, has provided us with ample food and shelter. Y'ffre has given us the limited gift to ask the forest to shape itself to our needs. We have been amply blessed.

But now, we find ourselves in a new situation. Our new allies—the High Elves and the Khajiit—do not hold to the Green Pact. They live in houses made of thatch and timber. They eat all manner of fruits and berries and drink wine made from grapes. They find the devouring of one's enemies barbaric.

How are the Wood Elves of Valenwood to accommodate these new allies, while keeping to the Green Pact? It is a question that perplexes many Wood Elves today, especially in the newly-erected city of Marbruk. In the past, we have fought wars over lesser defilement of the Green.

At the same time, we recognize that at the time of the Dominion's founding, the Green Lady and the Silvenar spoke on behalf of the Wood Elves and the Green Pact. We remember that we have a powerful mouthpiece in the Thalmor, Woodhearth's own Treethane Fariel.

These are the leaders we should look to in this uncertain time. They have shown us through their actions an example which we can all follow. We must welcome these allies with true Wood Elf hospitality. We must not pick fights with them. We must try not to steal from them (many of them do not appreciate the rite of theft, but that is a subject for another essay). But at the same time, we should not shy away from speaking out in our own interests, and in that of the Green.

Because of Treethane Fariel's powerful voice, much of the timber and all of the thatch for Marbruk was brought into Valenwood from other parts. For many the fact that so many trees had to be felled to clear space for the city is unforgiveable, but Fariel saw that accommodating our allies is the first step to a strong defense of Valenwood against those who would surely destroy it.

Queen Ayrenn's willingness to listen is a sign of her wisdom and respect for the Wood Elf people. We should repay her by being willing to trust her leadership.

Life in the Eagle's Shadow


1st Morning Star:

A new year, and a new start. Sirune agreed to be my betrothed last night! I'm the luckiest mer in Mathiisen. I've already made arrangements with Yondin to use the forge. I'm going to melt down my father's old blade and use it as the base for a Ring of Mara. Mathiisen steel is good enough for the troops, right? It will be good enough for my true heart.

3rd Sun's Dawn:

The Heralds are shouting in every square across the island. There's a new Queen! And we're now part of some kind of Alliance—with the Wood Elves and the Khajiit, of all people. "The Aldmeri Dominion", they're calling it. I couldn't be prouder, but father has done nothing but grumble. He says letting "those kind of folk" onto the island will be bad for business.

10th Sun's Dawn:

Sirune and I sneaked out in the middle of the night and made for Skywatch. It was so exciting, bedding down by the side of the road. Like we're in the Fighters Guild! The handbills telling of the parade have been all over the island, and we decided we couldn't let something like this pass us by. I'll be thrice-cursed by the old mer, I know it. But damn him for a fool. Miss a chance to see the Queen, the Mane, and the Bosmer Treethanes? Not on your life.

11th Sun's Dawn:

If today was any indication, Father was right. The parade was amazing, with Her Majesty leading a phalanx of Marines up the path to the gates. Then came the Treethanes, with their wily jungle rangers. Vinedusk, I think someone said? And then the Mane, with those braids! Amazing to see the Khajiiti warriors on display.

Much more pleasing than the furry sneak-thief I caught with his hand in my coin-purse. I tried to catch him before he made off, but he dove between some of those damned dock workers who were so obsessed with their frog races they didn't even look up. And then he was gone. Sirune said it was all right, that we'd just leave earlier than we'd planned. Damn it. Just hate to let her down.

17th Sun's Dawn:

Damn them all! Everything has been a mess since Sirune and I came back from Skywatch. Father was furious that we'd left, and when I told him how many coins that cat took … old bastard hasn't beaten me like that I was learning the forge.

Then, a few days ago, they pulled all of us into the forgemaster's office. Condalin had gotten word that, with the new alliance, tradesmer can start hiring some of "those folk." Tossing a certain number of jobs to "them" would net you extra coin from the Thalmor.

And so he dropped father's contract! Been with the forge for decades, and now cat-men and cannibals are doing the job. All because of this damned alliance. Father's beside himself, about the steel more than anything. Says they won't know how to cure it right. Stars above, what's happening?

2nd First Seed:

My life is ruined. I'm on the run, and everyone I knew and loved hates me. Damn the "Dominion" and our smiling Queen to boot!

It all started when that recruiter for the Battlereeve came to town. He was looking for volunteers for the Dominion military. When no one came forward, he said he'd been empowered to take conscripts. He tapped me and Sirune's brother. He also grabbed the twins, Taleril and Tanaril. Shoved us into a line with a gang of others and started us down the road.

We weren't a mile before Tanaril snapped. Went crazy, screaming about how he couldn't fight Dark Elves, that they use your body to hatch spiders in. He made a break for it, and a bunch of us used the chance to run as well.

I'm holed up in a cave near Silsailen. My father is penniless. My bride-to-be will soon think me a traitor. The damned cats and runty Elves are taking over the island, and the military is putting children on the front lines. This isn't the homeland I grew up in!

5th First Seed:

I was reduced to trying to steal something for my evening meal, and—of course—I was caught. I slipped into Silsailen after dusk, the smell of some delicious whitefish wafting on the breeze. I hadn't eaten anything worthwhile since the morning the recruiter came into town, when I had that delicious spiced bread Sirune's mother made.

I slipped into town and tracked the smell to the local inn. I was trying to figure out how to get into the kitchen when a big beefy hand fell on my shoulder. One of the Canonreeve's men. He knew exactly what I was doing, almost like he'd been watching me since I got into town. Now I'm sitting in a cell underneath the reeve's manse, waiting his justice. At least they let me keep the journal here.

Damn you, Ayrenn! Damn you, Dominion!

10th First Seed:

My old life is over. And my new life under the Veil has begun. It turns out the Canonreeve himself, an honorable man named Valano, has experienced his own doubts about his future under the Dominion. He used to be a good friend to the Queen, even, but worries now the years have changed her.

Valano is a member of a group called the Veiled Heritance. They're a group of freedom fighters, willing to do what has to be done. They're willing to make the hard choices, and stop the spread of foreign influence on our soil.

I was brought up out of that cellar below Silsailen thinking I was going to do hard labor. Instead, I found a new family. Valano said he knew all about my problems, even knew that I'd been taken by a Dominion recruiter. Said that he was willing to help, and help me help myself.

And I will.

The Aldmeri Dominion

Imperial Geographical Society


The Aldmeri Dominion is a relatively recent creation.1 Formerly divided into the two realms of the Summerset Isles and Valenwood, the Aldmeri Dominion has its origins in CE830, when the heirs of the Camoran Dynasty began to fight over the Valenwood throne. When a faction of the Bosmer (Wood Elves) made overtures of peace to their longtime enemies in West Cyrodiil - territorial concessions in return for Colovian support for the faction's claimant - the Altmer (High Elves) of Summerset invaded the Valenwood Nations. Citing a stewardship clause in a treaty from a thousand years before, the High Elves quickly established a provisional government, the Thalmor, on behalf of their own claimant, Camoran Anaxemes, whose bloodline had struck the pact with the Aldmeri Council in the first place. As the Cyrodilic Empire was still in the shambles of the Interregnum, the Colovians were quickly driven back by the Aldmeri army. The other heirs of the throne were silenced, the Wood Elves thanked their cousins for bringing back stability, and the High Elves reminded Anaxemes the price of Summerset's aid: fifty years' fealty to the King of Alinor. The Aldmeri Dominion was born.2

The Thalmor strengthened its hold on the Valenwood Nations during the foundation of the Third Empire. Savage Bosmer tribes skirmished with the Estates along the River Strid, whipped to a frenzy by their High Elven masters. With the Empire now reunified under Tiber Septim, these attacks have subsided; but encampments wait on either side of the Valenwood border, awaiting a decisive battle. On the occasions when the Elves probe the Empire's defenses, the Legions have sent them back in tatters. Indeed, the Colovians have taken to calling their enemy the "Old Mary" Dominion, for the womanly offensives of its Elven soldiers. The situation at sea, however, is another story, and the Dominion terrorizes the southern waters from the Cape of the Blue Divide to the Topal Bay.3 Their sorcery has made allies of a few Reachmen, the Maormer of Pyandonea, and, as of this writing, perhaps even the Elsweyr Confederacy. Though no formal declaration of war has been made, Tamriel is divided between the Empire and the Elder Races, and Tiber Septim has made it known to the Thalmor that he is the True Emperor of Cyrodiil, and heir to all of its former holdings. The Elves of Tamriel have yet to answer.

Considering we have endured their offenses for two thousand years, we know surprisingly little about the Aldmeri. (Only Morrowind, under Skyrim domination during the First Empire, and open to travel and trade during most of the Common Era, is somewhat better known.). The Elves of High Rock and Cyrodiil were either wiped out long ago or displaced into obscurity. As for the Elves of the Dominion, our knowledge of their regions is limited to brief Imperial occupations, or to the translations we have of their literature (see "The Scarcity of Elven Writings").

Of particular scarcity is information about either the High Elves or the Summerset Isles. During the Second Empire4 ambassadors were allowed only in the capital of Alinor, and thus any description of the Altmeri homeland is confined to that city alone, and elsewhere (see Places of Note- Alinor). Furthermore, we can offer only this brief but reliable account of the High Elven people. It comes from the journals of Eric of Guis5, Reman's emissary to the Altmer, who lived among them ca. 1E2820:

"High elves consider themselves to be the only perfect race. Over hundreds of generations they have bred themselves into a racially pure line, and are now almost identical to one another in appearance. The theory that the High Elves do not reproduce as quickly or as often as humans is false. Rather, and to my horror, they kill nine out of ten babies born to them in their obsession for purity.

"The Altmer despise other Elves as unsophisticated churls and barely consider the non-Aldmeri races at all. They pay their Imperial tithes, I'm sure, not for fear of war with the humans but rather to keep an invasion from "infecting" their islands.

"Breeding outside the pure line is a terrible, unthinkable crime, and taken as prima facia evidence of the tainted blood of the individual in question- if they were, they wouldn't have the impulse to do it. Exile to the mainland is regarded as equivalent to a death sentence, since there is no purpose in living outside their ideal society.

"They have a high regard for order and gravitate naturally towards wearing uniforms and speaking in formal patterns. Their trees and their livestock have been bred to be as standard and ideal as they are. They have no real names of their own, only combinations of numbers that, when spoken aloud, sound to human ears as such. They feel no real tenderness for one another and have no concept of compassion.

"They are decadent and self-obsessed, and prize form and their own brand of manners or style as their main value. Aware of their aristocratic position, they surround themselves with riches and treasures, the works of great artists and the finest of everything, but have no real appreciation for any of these things. Each of them is concerned solely with himself, and as a result they do no real socializing; they meet and hold courts only to demonstrate their importance and power to each other. Rarely do they speak to the human ambassadors of Cyrodiil; when they do, their speech is full of riddles, or spell-words that enchant one to a satisfied madness."

Valenwood was claimed as a wasteland province of the Second Empire, and its geography is partially described in several Imperial surveys. Valenwood is noteworthy in that it has no cities or townships built by the Wood Elves themselves. Their strict "Green Pact" prohibits the use of wood or other vegetable derivatives as building materials, and they are too improvident to learn the use of stone. The Wood Elves permitted a few roads to be built by the Second Empire, but neglect their maintenance, as the Bosmer do not need roads to move easily through the thickest forest; these roads would be now overgrown were it not for the High Elves of the Thalmor, who have repaired and widened them for rapid passage of their arms to and from the coast. Much of the region is impenetrable mangrove and coastal rain forest, with few grasslands or glade areas until further north near the Strident Coast. Many of the human trading posts established by the Second Empire have been abandoned or claimed by the beastfolk - Centaurs, Orcs, and Imga - that share the forests with the Bosmer tribes. Humans, in general, have learned not to intrude in the forests of Valenwood. While they once depended entirely on the annual Stridmeet caravans of the Colovian West, the Wood Elves now rely entirely on the sea piracy of the Dominion for whatever they require from the outside world.

Concerning the Wood Elves as a people, we must again turn to the prolific Eric of Guis. After a grateful dismissal from the Court of Alinor, he stayed with the Bosmer for a time at the capital city of Falinesti, during its summer migration. As the city strode along the coastal region of the Cape, Eric of Guis recorded much about Valenwood culture:

"No less abhorrent are the Bosmer than their kin at Summerset, but they are far more cooperative. The Wood Elves love the current human activity because it makes them feel important.

"They are exclusively and religiously carnivorous. They cannot, or will not, eat anything that is plant-based. They eat game, beastfolk, each other, or meats imported from other regions. This part of the Green Pact is known as the Meat Mandate, and, among its other rules, it requires that a fallen enemy must be eaten completely before three days pass. The family members of the warrior that slew the enemy may help him with his meal. Needless to say, the Wood Elves do not like to engage in large battles if they have not undergone a suitable starvation period.

"Though they are excellent archers, the Green Pact forces their bowyers and fletchers to use bone or similar materials, or to buy bows and arrows from other cultures. The use of woodcrafts created by another race is not forbidden, nor is the sale of their own Valenwood timber as long as it is collected by a non-Bosmeri.

"The Wood Elves, of course, cannot smoke anything of a vegetable nature. Bone pipes are common, however, and are filled with caterpillars or tree grubs.

"For a brief time the Colovian armies used Wood Elf archers, as in the War of Rihad two years past. The Bosmer proved to be too undisciplined and prone to desertion for further use. They would sometimes walk into the shade of a single tree and vanish. Their forest-coupling skills are remarkable. The title of their most famous poem, the Meh Ayleidion, means "The One Thousand Benefits of Hiding."

"At the trading posts of the Empire, the Wood Elves become very happy. Some creations of carpentry delight them to no end. Most of it has never occurred to them. They bring their own trade items: hides, river pearls, finger-bone charms made from the still-magically-charged hands of their dead wizards. They often buy woodcrafts that they have no use for or whose use they never bother to find out. Some of the bravest Wood Elven warriors use wagon wheels as shields, or as (they think) impressive headgear.

"While sometimes amusing, the Bosmer have a bestial side. They can resort to animal shapes if they need to, or water. Their most dreaded transformation is the Wild Hunt, which killed King Borgas6 for the "iniquities" of his Alessian faith. The Wild Hunt is a pack of shifting forest-demons and animal-gods, thousands strong, which sweeps through the countryside killing everything its path. The Wood Elves do not like to talk about the Hunt, and I gather they do not feel proud of this power at all-Gomini, my Bosmer companion of late, tells me that the Hunt is used for justice, but that also, "every monster in the world that has ever been comes from a previous Hunt. Those Bosmer that go Wild, they do not return.""

The traveler is advised to avoid the lands of the Aldmeri Dominion. Though the Thalmor have representatives at the Imperial City, and the Cyrodilic Grand Vizier Zurin Arctus is meeting with the King of Alinor, contact with the Bosmer and Altmer are often disagreeable to the common Imperial citizen. Avoid their books and magic. Wear the permitted weaponry when near their borders. If you are manly and able, apply for service in the Legions.


The Scarcity of Elven Writings

Much of the blame for this can be laid on the Alessian Order, which was tireless in ferreting out and destroying Elven writings during its long dominance. Today, we are left with the beautiful heresies of the Anuad, surviving only by virtue of their popularity and proliferation, and perhaps a dozen more works of lesser reknown. This, though, does not explain fully the scarcity of Elven letters. We might turn to Dylxexes, an early human scholar, for another answer. After studying the financial records of the Direnni Hegemony, a High Elven merchant family that exploited the human kingdoms of its day, he had this to say: "These [records] may help to explain why so much of Aldmeri literature is forbidden, scorned, or untranslated, for I have seen [their] like before. The Direnni were either exceedingly paranoid or their system of economy so inextricably linked with dangerous theosophist numeral-symbolism that much of what is recorded here requires... sorcerous precautions on the part of the reader. [Hidden magic] is everywhere incorporated in their writings... signs and preternatural runes and [correspondences]... in expenditure columns, even, or margins [that] can be fatal to the uninitiated. Crucial pages were covered with the spittle of the previous translator, who had babbled idiotically over the text for days before catching fire."

The Great Apes of Valenwood

The Great Apes, or Imga, are native beastfolk of Valenwood. They see the High Elves as their lords and masters, and as a portrait of an ideal, civilized society. Great Apes go to desperate measures to emulate the High Elves: they wear capes, practice with the dueling sword, and attempt to speak with perfect enunciation and courtly manners despite their gravelly, baritone voices. Each Imga bears some kind of title, be it Baron, Duke, Earl, or the like, which they use when addressing the members of the Thalmor (needless to say, there are no landowning Great Apes). More extreme Great Apes shave their bodies and powder their skin white to seem more like the High Elves. They often cut themselves in the process, creating the truly pathetic picture of a naked white Ape, skin dotted pink with blood, strutting around the trading posts of Valenwood with mock nobility. The Imga feel that humans are beneath them as lesser beastfolk, and pretend to find their smell exceedingly offensive - a Great Ape holds a perfumed corner of his cape to his nose when Men are around.


A forbidden city for nearly fifty years, Alinor is both capital of the Summerset Isles and the heart of the Aldmeri Dominion. Human traders were only allowed at its ports, and they described the city as "made from glass or insect wings." Less fantastic accounts come from the Imperial emissaries of the Reman Dynasty, which describe the city as straight and glimmering, "a hypnotic swirl of ramparts and impossibly high towers, designed to catch the light of the sun and break it to its component colors, which lies draped across its stones until you are thankful for nightfall."


The walking city of the Bosmer king, Falinesti is south in the summer and north come Hearth Fire. It is the largest of Valenwood graht-oaks, whose magic was invoked at the dawn of recorded history. The Camaron throne is somewhere in the highest branches, as are numerous other natural dwellings. Wood Elves climb about its surface like termites, or carefully swing from level to level by means of thorny vines. Humans have generally been too unsettled by the city to stay there long, though Great Apes and Orcs are common. The Thalmor has decided to change the capital of Valenwood from Falinesti to Elden Root for the duration of the Aldmeri Dominion.

Annotations by YR:

1. "of this pamphlet, this regime, this lunacy"
2. "I don't know where to begin pointing out the lies"
3. "!!!"
4. "My bones chill thinking of such rampant human trespass"
5. "Eric of Guis - does Grandfather remember this fool?"