The Aldmer (meaning "First Folk" or "Elder Folk") were the original Merethic Era proto-mer who settled Summerset Isle and most of mainland Tamriel. They are often said to have been the first technologically sophisticated inhabitants of Nirn, although some believe this distinction belongs to the Hist. The ancestors to the beast people, the Argonians and Khajiit, existed at the time in aboriginal, preliterate communities, and were easily displaced by the more advanced Aldmer. The Aldmer allegedly came from a lost city-continent called Aldmeris, but a number of sources, including the revered Elder Scrolls, claim that this is pure myth.[OOG 1]
As the Aldmer spread throughout Tamriel, they evolved away from one another, physically and culturally, into the various types of mer known today. Some remained in Summerset Isle and became the Altmer. The first emigrants to the mainland settled in Valenwood and became the Bosmer. Morrowind was colonized by both the Dwemer and later the Chimer (forerunners of the Dunmer). There were also the Ayleids of Cyrodiil, the Snow Elves of Skyrim, the Maormer of Pyandonea, and the Orcs or Orsimer, a group of Altmer who worshipped Trinimac and were transformed when he became Malacath. They then migrated to the province of High Rock and founded Orsinium. High Rock is also home to the Bretons, mixed-blood descendants of the native Nedes and (non-Orc) Aldmeri settlers.
The modern Altmer are believed to resemble the original Aldmer. The Altmer today hold their ancestors in great reverence and constantly strive to emulate their ways; it has even been alleged that they selectively breed for Aldmer-like features.
- Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of Shimerene
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Blessed Isle: Alinor and the Summersets — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: Valenwood — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- The True Nature of Orcs
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our History — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Prologue — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Events of Skyrim
Note: the following references are not found in game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.