The Races of The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online has a long and rich lore system in place thanks to the previous games in the Elder Scrolls series. Each game has brought more lore and more depth to the continent of Tamriel. It can be a little overwhelming for someone just getting their feet wet. To help alleviate some of the stress of working out the various playable races that are available in The Elder Scrolls Online we’ve put together this article. With each of the nine playable races in all three factions there is a little something for everyone. From those covered in fur to those covered in scales and all the varieties of Humans and Elves a person could want along the way.
The Altmer are the High Elves of Elder Scrolls Online. They arrived in Tamriel thousands of years ago from Old Aldmeris. They see themselves as the ruling race of Tamriel. In fact they think so highly of themselves they believe they are descended from the Gods themselves. The ruling family especially believes that they are a direct line from the Gods. They have a rich culture with massive libraries, amazing architecture and a love of arts. The Altmer are the race responsible for creating the common tongue which is used throughout the continent. For the most part they are a race of isolationists and stay on Summerset Isle. They place a great deal of value in the behaving properly and following rules. Proper table manners are expected. Though outsides aren’t expected to know what Altmer consider proper manners as impressions mean everything. They’re naturally proficient in magic and make powerful mages and warriors. They’re part of the Aldmeri Dominion, and seen as the de facto leaders.
Argonians are a race of lizard like beings who were once slaves owned by the Dunmer. They were granted their freedom as part of the Ebonheart Pact. They come from the dangerous, dark swamps of Black Marsh where they became skilled survivors. On a whole they excel at guerrilla warfare, making them a fierce ally in the Ebonheart Pact. Argonians are also well versed in magical arts, stealth, and the use of blades.
The Bosmer are the most gifted archers in Tamriel. They’re excellent hunters and masters of sneaking and thievery. It is in their homelands that the capital of the Aldmiri Dominion lies. It has become a center of politics and power thanks to it’s location in the battle for control for Tamriel. Bosmer are considered odd for Elves as they seem to be the only ones with a sense of humor and are mischievous, curious people. They have a deep love and respect for plant life. Due to what they call the Green Pact Bosmer do not eat any plants and cannot harm plants. As a result they are strict carnivores. They also have cannibalistic practices which are ritualistic and typically private within a family or tight-knit group. It will be up to each player how strictly they follow the Green Pact as a Bosmer.
Humans with Elven Blood
The Breton are the pretty boys of all the Humans. They are a poetic and passionate people who have a touch of Elven blood in them. This comes from a time when they were ruled over by High Elves. They take easily to swordsplay and spellcraft alike and are gifted with magic and diplomacy. Though much of their history revolves around deadly wars they are not a warlike race. They value prosperity over glory but are also a proud, sometimes troublemaking race. They formed the Daggerfall Covenant with an alliance through marriage with the Redguards and a treaty to end the war with the Orsimer.
The Dunmer are the Dark Elves of Tamriel. They keep slaves, once even owning their now allies the Argonians. Today most of the slaves they keep are Khajiit. They are skillful sorcerers with a natural affinity towards magic and vast intellects. All Dunmer have joined the Pact except one house. The House of Telvanni have separated themselves from the other Great Houses and refuse to join the Ebonheart Pact.
Khajiit proudly stand at the front of battles. They are fearsome warriors who are experts with blades. The population of the feline race has been dwindling in recent years due to a devastating outbreak of Knahaten Flu. It is only thanks to the Altmer that they were able to recover as a people and bring order to chaos after the devastation. They are witty and hedonistic people who are considered the strong arm of the Aldmeri Dominion. They hold Nirn’s two moons in reverence. In addition to being known for changing moods quickly they have a weakness for anything sweet. And a love of decadent lifestyles, enjoying several leisurely pursuits in sugar-dens and taverns.
Humans of the North
The Nord are a race of Humans who come from the snowy peaks of Skyrim. Once in their history they had conquered most of Tamriel. This bred in them a sense of entitlement to rule over the continent of Tamriel. It is the Nords of the Eastern regions of Skyrim that have joined the Ebonheart Pact. Most Nord prefer simplicity over sophistication in art, design, and everyday life. They prefer close combat to staying a safe distance and are a brash and boisterous people who are just as quick to laugh as they are to fight.
In a somewhat refreshing change of pace for the fantasy genre there is a playable race of Orcs. These noble warriors have an ancient culture and live by a code of honor despite the other races often considering them barbarians and sometimes even beasts. They are the greatest smiths in Tamriel and their weapons and armors are highly sought after by warriors around Tamriel. Orsirmer are fierce warriors who are one part of the fearsome Daggerfall Covenant.
Desert Dwelling Humans
It is said that the Redguard are raised to be warriors from the moment they’re born. They are an incredibly athletic race of Humans with a high sense of honor and dignity. Their ancestors migrated to Tamriel from the now lost continent of Yokuda. They’ve survived and even thrived in the harsh environments of the desert while preserving the traditions of their ancestors. This includes a strong distrust of anything magical. Redguard who are on their way to becoming adults undergo a rite of passage in which they walk into the Alik’r Desert to test their discipline and strength. They’re expert swordsmen, something they are very proud of. Together with the Breton and Orsimer they make the Daggerfall Covenant a fearsome force.
It may seem like The Elder Scrolls is still a long ways off but many are already working on building their characters for launch. April will be here before you know it. Ask yourself, who are you going to play? Who will your allies be?
To find out more about The Elder Scrolls Online, visit the game page.