- "To the heavens above, we raise our eyes, our hands, and our hearts." — Sample from a Nedic prayer
The Nedes (also known as the Nedic peoples) were a human race of unknown extraction, who inhabited much of Tamriel during the Merethic and First Eras. Their society largely revolved around the study of the constellations, and worship of beings known as the Celestials. Nedic culture experienced a sharp decline over several centuries as they began to assimilate into other cultures, before being completely exterminated by the Yokudan invasion of the Deathlands.
Although the origins of the Nedic peoples are hotly debated, the most widely accepted theory is that they came from Atmora in many waves, and after arriving in what is now Skyrim they soon began to spread throughout much of Tamriel. While their beginnings are murky, the earliest known traces of human presence in Tamriel have been dated to the mid-Merethic Era circa ME 1000.
The Deathlands of Volenfell
While Nedes inhabited several of the modern provinces, it was in the sun-baked wastelands of Hammerfell which they knew as the Deathlands that Nedic civilization truly thrived. In the Deathlands the Nedes faced numerous foreign invasions, including both the Ayleids and the Dwemer, who dismissed the Nedes as backward savages to justify subjugating them. The Nedes also frequently clashed with their neighbors, the primitive stone-worshipping Iron Orcs.
Despite these frequent conflicts, Nedic culture prospered for centuries in the Deathlands. The Nedes were known to be skilled in masonry, with their bustling cities constructed largely from stone. However, little of this stonework remains, as what wasn't completely destroyed by the invading Ra Gada was often appropriated and modified beyond recognition. While the Nedes were known to be devout star worshippers, during the Yokudan invasion their prayers went unanswered, and many looked to other sources for salvation. This did them little good and the Nedes quickly fell to the Yokudan horde, vanishing from the Deathlands forever.
Under the Elves
In many lands the Nedes existed as a minority, and had no choice but to co-exist relatively peacefully alongside elves, oftentimes in a subordinate position. Those Nedes who settled in High Rock stumbled upon the highly sophisticated culture of the Direnni elves, and quickly became vassals under the rule of the elves. Under the Direnni Hegemony, the Nedes lived at the bottom of a strict feudal hierarchy with the elven nobles positioned on top. The Direnni enjoyed many privileges over their human subjects including the 'Perquisite of Coitus', the right to engage in recreational intercourse with any Nede of their choice.
Many Direnni took advantage of this and took on Nedic concubines, which often resulted in the birth of mixed-race offspring whom they referred to as Manmer, or 'Bretons'. While the Bretons were not officially recognized as members of the noble houses they descended from, they often occupied social positions above those of the Nedic peasantry. Eventually this arrangement was formalized with the creation of a new caste between the Elves and the Nedes, in which the Bretons enjoyed a comfortable position in society, but were forbidden from marrying Elves in an attempt to preserve the Elven race. Eventually after generations of interbreeding with their Nedic underlings the Bretons were completely assimilated, birthing a new culture with those of the most elven blood on top. In the late First Era the Direnni Hegemony found itself under attack by both the fanatical Alessian Order and the Kingdom of Skyrim. Although the elves managed to repel the invaders, they were left crippled and demoralized, and completely withdrew to the Isle of Balfiera, passing control over the region to the Bretons.
While relations between the Nedes and the Direnni were cordial if rather unbalanced, the Nedes suffered greatly under the tyranny of the Daedra-worshipping Ayleids. The Ayleids would commonly stage raids on Nedic lands, enslaving those whom they captured. Once in Ayleid lands the Nedes were held in bondage alongside members of various other human races, forced to work in a variety of menial jobs, such as agriculture and maintaining infrastructure. In Ayleid kingdoms under the grip of more malevolent Daedric princes, human slaves were subjected to horrific cruelties. In the year 1E 242, the Slave Queen Alessia led a rebellion against the Ayleid slave masters, resulting in the emancipation of all slaves within the Ayleidic empire. While the slaves were freed, centuries of Ayleidic suppression and intermingling with other enslaved groups had taken their toll on Nedic culture in Cyrodiil and all that remained were their mixed race descendants, the Imperials.
The Nedes also maintained a presence in Skyrim, but little is known of their relations with the native Falmer or the Atmorans who replaced them. The Nedes of Skyrim were believed to be a more primitive people than their cousins in other lands, however their skill in metallurgy was known to be quite advanced. It is recorded in Dunmeri texts that these Nedes of Skyrim waged at least one bloody war against the ancient Chimer, causing mass death and destruction before being stopped by the so-called Brothers of Strife, but at a terrible cost for the Chimer.
It is theorized that the Nedes once had a presence in Morrowind in the Merethic. It is also believed that the aboriginal tribes of men that once lived in Black Marsh (the Kothringi, Orma, Yerpest and Horwalli) may be of Nedic origin.
Disappearance and Legacy
- "If we will die, we will die together." — Fragment from a Nede's journal
Over the centuries, various events caused Tamriel's Nedic population to dwindle, 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). By the ninth century of the First Era, Nedic culture was confined to the deserts of Volenfell.
In the year 1E 808 the "warrior wave" of the Yokudans, the Ra Gada, made landfall in Tamriel. Their arrival would deal a fatal blow to the Nedes. The Ra Gada, under the leadership of the sadistic Emperor Tarish-Zi, quickly swarmed the province, killing or enslaving all that they crossed. Soon the Yokudans had displaced the Nedes everywhere but in the remote region of Craglorn. There, many Nedes embittered by the decline of their culture began to turn to sources of spiritual guidance other than the stars. This did them little good when the Ra Gada reached Craglorn, and the Nedes were dispatched as quickly as they had been elsewhere. After years of struggle, Nedic culture had finally met its end, although some accounts claim it was already fading prior to the Ra-Gada.
Though the Nedes no longer exist as a distinct people, much of their culture survives in the societies of their descendants. Even in Hammerfell much of the Nedic religion, custom, and language was adopted by their annihilators, the Redguards.
- 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.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- Before the Ages of Man by Aicantar of Shimerene — Chronicles the major events of the Dawn and Merethic Eras
- Blasius' Unfinished Manuscript by Blasius — Notes denouncing Yokudan brutality and Emperor Tarish-Zi
- The Brothers of Strife by Nili Omavel — On the ancient conflict between Nedes and Dunmer
- Defaced Nedic Prayer Book — A collection of Nedic prayers surrounding the Guardian constellations
- Fragments from a Nedic poem, title unknown — An ancient poem surrounding the Celestial guardians
- 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
- Journal of Culanwe by Culanwe — The journal of a priestess of Azura surrounding a peace treaty between the Nedes and the Ayleids
- Mysteries of the Mundus Stones by Lady Cinnabar of Taneth — Lady Cinnabar's theories on magicka
- Nedes of the Deathlands by Argus Mender — A research paper surrounding the possible presence of Nedic civilizations in Hammerfell
- Nedic Dueling Swords — A plaque describing two ancient dueling swords
- Nirncrux: A Study by Mendan Flot, Regent of Roiling Concoctions — A treatise on a primordial element discovered in Craglorn
- 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
- Saradin's Diary by Saradin
- Skyreach Explorer by Reginus Buca, Historian, University of Gwylim — Scholarly journals on the exploration of Skyreach
- Virmaril's Journal by Virmaril, Advisor to High King Durac
- Waterlogged Journal — An old journal detailing Tarish-Zi's attack on a city
- Defaced Nedic Prayer Book
- Nedes of the Deathlands — Argus Mender
- Fragments from a Nedic poem, title unknown
- Mysteries of the Mundus Stones — Lady Cinnabar of Taneth
- Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil — University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
- Orcs of Tamriel, Volume 3 — Grassius Vilco
- Castles and Coffers Volume III: Hel Ra Citadel
- The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons? — Phrastus of Elinhir
- The Adabal-a — Morihaus
- The Song of Pelinal
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Seat of Sundered Kings: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Nedic Dueling Swords
- The Brothers of Strife — Nili Omavel
- Lady Clarisse Laurent Answers Your Questions — Lady Clarisse Laurent
- Waterlogged Journal
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Holidays of the Iliac Bay — Theth-i
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864