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Tamriel, also known as the Arena, is a continent on the world of Nirn in the plane of Mundus. The name "Tamriel" means "Dawn's Beauty" in Aldmeris and "Starry Heart" in Ehlnofex; in the Dragon Language the continent is called Taazokaan. Tamriel is home to various races, and is divided into nine distinct geographic regions or provinces:
- Cyrodiil is the center and capital of the Empire, and home of the Imperial race.
- Black Marsh is the swampland to the southeast of Cyrodiil, home to the Argonians.
- Elsweyr is composed of the deserts and jungles to the south of Cyrodiil and is home to the Khajiit.
- Hammerfell, a sunbaked region to the northwest of Cyrodiil, is home to the Redguards.
- High Rock, a feudal patchwork of small baronies and large city-states to the north of Hammerfell, is home to the Bretons.
- Morrowind, a varied region to the northeast of Cyrodiil, is dominated by the island of Vvardenfell and its volcano. The Dunmer call this province home.
- Skyrim, a snowy province of mountain ranges and river valleys to the north of Cyrodiil, is home to the Nords.
- Summerset Isles actually refers to several islands to the southwest of Cyrodiil across the Abecean Sea. It is home to the Altmer.
- Valenwood, a densely forested area to the south of Cyrodiil, is home to the Bosmer.
Additionally, the city-state of Orsinium is home to the Orcs. Formerly found in High Rock, Orsinium has never been officially recognized as a full-fledged province and was razed twice by armies of the other races. Its third incarnation is located in the mountains between Skyrim and Hammerfell.
While all of Tamriel was once united under the Empire, at the beginning of the third century of the Fourth Era the Empire comprises only Cyrodiil, High Rock, and Skyrim—and Skyrim's continued loyalty is questioned.