The Nedes (also known as the Nedic peoples) were the "proto-men" who lived in Tamriel during the earliest years of creation. They were eventually absorbed into the bloodlines of the various human races. It is believed they came from Atmora in many waves, and different groups of Nedes evolved differently. The original Nedes of Skyrim are now known as the Nords. Those who crossed west to High Rock interbred with the Aldmer there to create the Bretons, who are most commonly considered men, not mer. The Nedes who crossed south to modern-day Cyrodiil would become the prisoners and slaves of the Ayleids around the White Gold Tower, along with the other racial groups of men in the region, but they eventually consolidated into the modern Imperial race.
It was in the Late Merethic Era that the pre-literate Nedic peoples are thought to have migrated from Atmora across the Sea of Ghosts to northern Tamriel, spreading from there. They included the proto-Imperials, the ancestors of the Bretons, the aboriginals of Hammerfell, and perhaps a now-vanished human population of Morrowind. They were hunters with no knowledge of agriculture, but it is speculated that the harsh environment of Atmora left them well-prepared for the rigors of survival in Tamriel.
Their migration was not a single invasion, but a series of them over hundreds of years, and this created many different Nedic cultures. The new arrivals invariably clashed with the generations that had already established themselves. Besides fighting one another, they faced off against a new enemy, the Aldmer. The struggles between the two - prototypical men and prototypical elves - continues in some form or another to this very day, as the Nedic people became the Nords, Imperials, and Bretons, and the Aldmer became the Ayleids, Altmer, Dwemer, Chimer (then Dunmer), and Bosmer.
There are many labels for early human groups which appear alongside the Nedic peoples, such as the kothri, al-gemha, men-of-'kreath (presumably proto-Nords from the area around modern-day Falkreath), keptu, men-of-ge (who were eventually destroyed when the Flower King Nilichi made great sacrifice to an "insect god"), al-hared, men-of-ket, and Cyro-Nords, among others. Whatever distinction these early human groups had earned from what were considered the Nedic peoples is frequently unclear. It is possible that when some sources refer generally to the Nedes or the Nedic peoples, they may mean to encompass some or all of these other early groups of humans.
 The Nedes of Skyrim
The Nedic peoples flourished and expanded over the last centuries of the Merethic Era. Strictly speaking, the Nords are simply another of these Nedic peoples; migrants from Atmora who stayed in Skyrim are called proto-Nords, Atmorans, and Nedes interchangeably. Skyrim became the only place where, for whatever reason, the resident Nedes failed to find a relatively peaceful accommodation with the elves who already occupied Tamriel.
It's speculated that the proto-Nords did not feel it necessary to submit to the authority of the Skyrim elves due to their proximity to reinforcements in Atmora. Indeed, the early Nord chronicles note that under King Harald, the first historical Nord ruler (born 1E 113), “the Atmoran mercenaries returned to their homeland” following the consolidation of Skyrim as a centralized kingdom. Whatever the case, the pattern was set - in Skyrim, expansion would proceed militarily, with human settlement following the frontier of conquest, and the line between human territory and elven territory was relatively clear.
 Under the Elves
In elven lands, beyond this "zone of conflict" in modern-day Skyrim, the other Nedic peoples were a minority, and most had no choice but to live relatively peacefully with elves, either as slaves or neighbors. Over time, the Nedic peoples were absorbed or replaced by other modern human ancestors, such as when the Cyro-Nords captured Nedic ports along the Strident coast (a somewhat unknown region presumably around the Gold Coast of Cyrodiil and the southern coastline of Hammerfell). In 1E 808, the Nedic villagers in Hammerfell (which they called "Deathland") were killed or enslaved by the "warrior wave" of the Ra Gada, and the more advanced agricultural practices and societal structure the Redguards brought with them from Yokuda is accredited for the eventual displacement of the Nedic peoples from the province altogether. However, much of the Nedic religion, custom, and language in the region was absorbed into the Redguard culture in the process.
The early Nedic people who arrived in High Rock were stumbling upon a highly sophisticated culture the elves had already developed, and were quickly overwhelmed and absorbed. One of the earliest tales of Khosey describes a Nord raiding party attacking a group of what they presumed to be Aldmer, but who were, on closer inspection, a mongrel race between elf and human, the remnants of the earlier lost Nedic tribe. They were initially called "Manmeri", but are known today as Bretons.
When the Nord armies of the First Empire of the Nords finally entered High Rock and Cyrodiil, they found Bretons and proto-Cyrodiils already living there among the elves. The arrival of the Nord armies upset the balance of power between the Nedic peoples and the elves. Although the Nords' expansion into High Rock and Cyrodiil was relatively brief (less than two centuries), the result was decisive; from then on, power in those regions shifted from the elves to the emerging human races as we know them today.
 Notable Nedes
- The Song of Pelinal, v 4 mentions "Zuathas the Clever-Cutting Man", a Nedic healer with a keptu name who treated Morihaus when he was wounded.
- According to Opusculus Lamae Bal ta Mezzamortie, Lamae Beolfag was a Nedic woman who begat abominations, from which came the vampires, after she was raped by Molag Bal.
 See Also
- Before the Ages of Man by Aicantar of Shimerene — Chronicles the major events of the Dawn and Merethic Eras
- Frontier, Conquest by University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344 — Details the presence of humans in Tamriel prior to the original Nordic conquests thought to bring humans to Tamriel
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition/Hammerfell by the Imperial Geographical Society
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition/All the Eras of Man by the Imperial Geographical Society
- ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our History — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b The Adabal-a
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Seat of Sundered Kings: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of Shimerene
- ^ a b c d e f g Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil — University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other Lands — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Throat of the World: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ Holidays of the Iliac Bay — Theth-i
- ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Ra Gada: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432