The Dunmer of Morrowind have been through a lot in Tamrielic history. With the eruption of Red Mountain on Vvardenfell, a good number of them were forced to move from their homeland. They’re not most well-liked elves, but they aren’t as hated as the High Elves of Summerset. They may be divided at the moment, but they have proven they are well-adapted to live anywhere.
They are just as well-versed in magic as the High Elves, can fight just as fiercely as Orcs, Nords, and Redguards, and are just as sneaky as Khajiit and Wood Elves. They are a race that has a versatile skill set that makes them deadly. What are some must-know facts about the Dark Elves?
10 They Were Once Known As Another Race
The Dark Elves weren’t always known as that. During the First Era, they were known as the Chimer. Unlike the Dark Elves who are known for their gray skin and red eyes, the Chimer were a pale gold just slightly darker than the High Elves. The Chimer were from the Aldmer group that had traveled from the mythic land of Aldmeris, the homeland of elven kind. A group broke away and became known as the Chimer.
Instead of worshipping the Divines like Auriel or Syrabane, the Chimer worshipped the Daedric Princes like Boethiah, Azura, and Mephala. After the Tribunal used the Heart of Lorkhan to become gods, Azura cursed the Chimer and turned them into the Dunmer.
9 Three Dark Elves Became Living Gods
The Tribunal ruled over Morrowind as living gods after they used the Heart of Lorkhan to increase their powers. Though the Ashlanders of Morrowind refused to acknowledge their godhood, most of the Dunmer stopped worshipping their Daedric Princes and turned to the Tribunal. Vivec was very popular among the Dark Elves and had a city built and named after him. Almalexia was known for her benevolence and motherly attitude for her subjects. Sotha Sil was known for creating Clockwork City and his prowess with magic.
They ruled over Morrowind for a long time until the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. After the Nereverine destroyed the Heart of Lorkhan, the Tribunal lost their godly powers. Almalexia went mad and killed Sotha Sil. Vivec disappeared shortly after and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
8 They Will Enslave Any Outside Race
One thing Morrowind is known for is the slave-trade. They are known for trafficking mostly Argonians or Khajiit and making them slaves. Though they will also enslave any human or elf if they are able to. In some houses, slaves are able to elevate their statuses to become a member of the house.
One known slave that was able to achieve this is the female Argonian, Sun-in-Shadow. She is the only non-Dark Elf that became a member of House Telvanni. When a member of the house saw magical potential in her, she was trained and became an Oathman.
7 They Openly Worship Three Daedric Princes
Unlike the other races of Tamriel who look down on those who openly worship Daedric Princes, the Dark Elves worship three of them. Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Deceit and Conspiracy, was the one who convinced the Chimer to break away from the Aldmer group and denounce belief of the Divines. Azura and Mephala joined Boethiah to help implement the ideas Boethiah was giving the Chimer. The three of them are known as the “good” Daedra to the Dark Elves and playing direct roles in shaping the history of the Dark Elves.
6 They Have A Poor Relationship With The Argonians
While the Dark Elves don’t have the best relationships with the other races of Tamriel, their relationship with the Argonians of Black Marsh is not good. The Dark Elves have a long history of trafficking Argonians into Morrowind and making them slaves. Though slavery is abolished in present-day Tamriel, the Dark Elves still have a great hatred for them and vice-versa.
After the eruption of Red Mountain and the Oblivion Crisis, an Argonian political group known as the An-Xileel invaded Morrowind and devastated most of the province. Though House Redoran was able to push the An-Xileel back and reclaim Morrowind, the Dark Elves suffered a great number of losses.
5 They Had An Assassins Guild That Was Legal
The Morag Tong was a guild made of assassins that was legal in Morrowind. The Empire sanctioned the Morag Tong to perform public, private, and House War executions. Backed up by the Empire and the Great Houses, the Morag Tong was a powerful threat to their enemies. Even powerful mages like Sotha Sil and Vivec were unable to stop them from assassinating Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III and his son Juilek, bringing an end to the Reman Dynasty.
They also have a bitter rivalry with another assassins guild the Dark Brotherhood. They have been rivals since their creations and continue to be rivals today.
4 The Great Houses Play A Huge Part In Morrowind’s Governance
Morrowind doesn’t have a single ruler and is governed by the Great Houses. The Great Houses are made up of five powerful families and they rule over separate areas of Morrowind. Most of the great houses tend to be more conservative in their views and will do little to no business with outsiders. While the houses will challenge each other from time to time, they remain relatively civil and united against anyone who threatens their homeland.
House Redoran is one of the largest great houses and has helped shaped history in Morrowind. They have a large army that serves as Morrowind’s de-facto military. House Telvanni is known for its powerful wizards such as Master Neloth and Divayth Fyr.
3 A Dark Elf Woman Ruled The Empire For A Short Time
For about 46 years, Katariah Septim ruled Tamriel as Empress after her husband Pelegius Septim III was unable to rule due to his declining mental health. Though her rule was met with many racists claiming that a Dark Elf woman was unfit to rule, she was loved by the majority of people versus the nobility. She was able to repair the diplomatic damage her husband had caused and was able to strengthen foreign alliances.
2 They Practice Necromancy
The Dark Elves are known for having natural magical prowess that can rival the High Elves. Using magic is considered a natural way of life for most of the Dark Elves. Necromancy is practiced by some Dark Elves, but they make sure that it’s only used on outsider races. They consider humans and Orcs to be little more than animals and have no problem practicing this magic on them. The Empire acknowledges this and allows so long as the Dark Elves don’t threaten the security of the Empire.
1 Most Dark Elves Now Live In Solstheim
Because of Red Mountain’s eruption, most of the Dark Elves were forced to flee from Vvardenfell. The island became completely uninhabitable due to the destruction of the volcano erupting. Even the part of Morrowind that was on the mainland of Tamriel had been destroyed during this. Most of the Dark Elves fled to the island of Solstheim which had belonged to Skyrim at the time. After the Dark Elves settled there, Solstheim became an official part of Morrowind with House Redoran ruling it.
Solstheim did take some damage from Red Mountain’s eruption and is slowly being covered in ash. The Dark Elves have adapted to their living situation and make the best of it. Under House Redoran’s rule, the Dark Elves of Solstheim have managed to do trading with the East Empire Company, Tamriel’s most powerful trading company.