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Merethic Era

Author: 
Xan
Librarian Comment: 

The term 'Merethic' comes from the Nordic, literally, "Era of the Elves." The Merethic Era was described by early Nord scholars as a series of years numbered in reverse order backward from the first event in their recorded history -- the founding of the Camoran Dynasty, which functions as the starting point of the First Era. The prehistoric events of the Merethic Era are listed here with their traditional Nordic Merethic dates. The earliest Merethic date cited by King Harald's scholars was ME2500 -- the Nordic reckoning of the first year of time. As such, the Merethic Era extends from ME2500 in the distant past to ME1 -- the year before the founding of the Camoran Dynasty and the establishment of White-Gold Tower as an independent city-state.

Circa ME 2500

Supposed date of construction of the Adamantine Tower on Balfiera Island in High Rock, the oldest known structure of Tamriel. Earliest historical date in unpublished Elvish chronicles.

Early Merethic Era

Aboriginal beastpeoples (ancestors of the Khajiit, Argonians, Orcish (goblin-kin), and other Beastfolk) live in preliterate communities throughout Tamriel.

Middle Merethic Era

The Aldmer (Elves) leave the doomed and now-lost continent of Aldmeris (also known as 'Old Ehlnofey') and settle Tamriel. Their first colonies are distributed widely along the entire coast of Tamriel. Later inland settlements are founded primarily in fertile lowlands in southwest and central Tamriel. The sophisticated, literate, technologically advanced Aldmeri culture drives the beastfolk into the jungles, marshes, mountains, and wastelands. The Adamantine Tower is rediscovered and captured by the Direnni, a prominent and powerful Aldmeri clan. Crystal Tower is built on Summerset Isle and, later, White-Gold Tower in Cyrodiil.

During the Middle Merethic Era, Aldmeri explorers map the coasts of Vvardenfel, building the foundation of the First Era wizard towers at Ald Redaynia, Bal Fell, Tel Aruhn, and Tel Mora in Morrowind.
For more information: Before the Ages of Man.

The Ayleids flourish in the jungles surrounding White-Gold Tower (present day Cyrodiil). Wild Elves, also known as the Heartland High Elves, preserved the Dawn Era magicks and language of the Ehlnofey. Ostensibly a tribute-land to the High King of Alinor, Cyrod was often so isolated from the Summerset Isles as to be its own sovereign nation.   

Late Middle Merethic Era

The Dwemer (sometimes referred to as 'Dwarves'), a free-thinking, reclusive Aldmeri clan devoted to the secrets and exploitation of science and myth, establish underground cities and communities in the mountain range (later the Velothi Mountains) separating modern-day Skyrim and modern-day Morrowind.For more information: The Annotated Anuad.

The Chimer (ancestors of the Dunmer, or Dark Elves), dynamic, ambitious, long-lived Aldmeri clans devoted to fundamentalist ancestor worship, follow the prophet Veloth out of their ancestral Aldmeri homelands to settle in the lands now known as Morrowind. Despising the secular culture and profane practices of the Dwemer, the Chimer also covet the lands and resources of the Dwemer, and for centuries provoke them with minor raids and territorial disputes.For more information: Lives of the Saints, A Short History of Morrowind,

Trinimac (strongest of the Aldmeri ancestor spirits) and his people try to halt the Velothi dissident movement. However, the Daedric Prince Boethiah, one of the masterminds of the movement, eats Trinimac. Trinimac's body and spirit are corrupted, and he emerges as the Daedric Prince Malacath. His people are changed accordingly and become the Orsimer, or Orcs.

For more information: The True Nature of Orcs, Varieties of Faith in the Empire, The Anticipations.

Circa ME 1000

Fleeing civil war and an increasingly frigid climate, Ysgramor and his men set sail from the northern continent of Atmora and land at Hsaarik Head, the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. There the Atmorans build the legendary city of Saarthal and make first contact with the Aldmer or Elves of Tamriel.

The Atmorans and the Elves live in harmony for some time, but the relationship quickly turns hostile. In the city of Saarthal, the Atmorans find the Eye of Magnus. An unknown but powerful artifact that could endanger the world. The Elves learn this and decides to secure the artifact. The 'Night of Tears' happens, the city of Saarthal is sacked and destroyed. Ysgramor escapes to Atmora and soon returns with his legendary Five Hundred Companions and eventually takes the whole Skyrim from the Elves, laying the foundations of first human empire in Tamriel. His people would later come to be known as the Nords of Skyrim. The Dwemer in Blackreach, deep beneath Skyrim, are not affected by the war with the Nords.

Later on, Ysgramor develops a runic transcription of Nordic speech based on Elvish principles and is the first human historian.

For more information: Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil, University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344, Night of Tears.

Late Merethic Era - 1E 668.

One faction of the Elves, known as the Snow Elves are cornered in the eastern island of Solstheim. In the 'Battle of the Moesring,' the Snow Prince, the leader of the Snow Elves army is killed. The Snow Elves are scattered and seek refuge to the Dwemer in Blackreach. The Dwemer trick the Snow Elves, make them blind and enslave them. They are now known as the Falmer. In some point in time, the Falmer rebel and the 'War of the Crag' enrages in Blackreach. The war is ended when the Dwemer vanished in the 1E 668.

For more information: Fall of the Snow Prince, The Falmer: A study.

Late Merethic Era - Circa 1E139

The Nords brought with them the Atmoran worship of animal gods. It is unknown how the situation came about, but in time the dragon priests had come to rule the Nords with an iron fist. They are however unable to maintain control and a rebellion known as 'The Dragon War' starts. Initially the Nords are crushed by the priests and dragons. However a few dragons take the side of the Nords. The dragon Paarthurnax teaches the Nords the magical language of the dragons to form the Thu'um or shout. The Nords eventually overthrow the dragon priests and the dragons are scattered. Even so, hold outs of dragon cultists remain well into the First Era, believing that the dragons will return.

For more information: The Dragon War, Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal.

Late Merethic Era

Velothi high culture disappears on Vvardenfell island. The earliest Dwemer Freehold colonies date from this period. The degenerate Velothi civilization devolves into tribal cultures, which, in time, evolve into the modern Great Houses of Morrowind, or persists as the barbarian Ashlander tribes. The only surviving traces of this tribal culture are scattered Velothi towers and Ashlander nomads on Vvardenfell Island. The original First Era High Elven wizard towers along the coasts of Tamriel are also abandoned about this time.

For more information: Before the Ages of Man.

 

Meanwhile, other human tribes live scattered throughout Tamriel, often under the dominion of the culturally superior Aldmer:

"The Nedic peoples were a minority in a land of Elves, and had no choice but to live peacefully with the Elder Race. In High Rock, Hammerfell, Cyrodiil, and possibly Morrowind, they did just that, and the Nedic peoples flourished and expanded over the last centuries of the Merethic Era."
- from Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil, University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344.

Merethic Era - Circa 1E 660

An immortal hero, warrior, sorceror, and king variously known as Pelinal Whitestrake, Harrald Hairy Breeks, Ysmir, Hans the Fox, etc., wanders Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering lands, ruling, then abandoning his kingdoms to wander again.