The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search

Man, meaning human, is used to refer to any of the human races of Mundus, such as the Nords, Imperials, Bretons and Redguards. While the Bretons are the result of interbreeding between Aldmeri and Nedes,[1] they are most commonly considered men, and not mer.[2] Some races of men have disappeared or otherwise died out, such as the Kothringi. Though it typically connotes the races of men, "human" is still used by various races in reference to the humanoid shape or ability, or to collectively refer to any member of a civilized race, but mainly when it comes to races who can mate with each other and produce offspring. Man, Elves and Beastfolk are classified under the definition of both men, and human by Imperial scholars.[3] Unlike with the elven races, the distinctions between mannish races are arbitrary, and many are born not quite fitting in any one box. [4]


Bretons (from the Ehlnofex beratu meaning "half") are a hybrid race of both human and elven ancestry that primarily inhabit their ancestral homeland of High Rock, and the Systres Archipelago.[nb 1] If Bretons are humans or elves is a topic of debate, with most people believing that they are the former. High Rock is fractious and divided politically, which is seemingly encouraged by the layout of the land itself. Warfare between kingdoms accounts for much of Breton history. Despite this, Bretons across the province share many facets of culture, including language, bardic traditions, and heroic tales. Bretons make up the peasantry, soldiery, and magical elite of the feudal kingdoms competing for power within High Rock. They are distantly related to the Reachfolk.

Bretondom originated from the Nedes of High Rock and Aldmer interbreeding for centuries as far back as the Merethic Era. This mixed ancestry gives Bretons a unique perspective of the Nirn's oldest feud: the conflict between men and mer. The Bretons' Nedic ancestors are referred to as the Druids of Galen by retroactive nomenclature, while Clan Direnni are primarily credited as being their Aldmer ancestors. The earliest Bretons were referred to as Manmeri, Half-Elves, and possibly Chimera (from the Altmeri word for "change"), and were more elven in appearance. Although the terms are archaic, some modern Bretons embrace this heritage and still refer to themselves as Manmer and Half-Elves. Druidic spellcraft (which differs from the arcane) is said to be the first truly Breton creation. Modern druids believe Manmer should utilize their natural affinity to enhance or perfect nature, and to strive for a world perfected, reshaping it just as their god Y'ffre once did.

The Direnni left a significant mark on the Bretons. The race's obsession with nobility, status, and lineage can be traced back to their days as vassals of Clan Direnni. Breton's natural affinity for the magical arts is often attributed to their elven blood. They are known for their intelligence and have a quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, enchantment, and alchemy. Even the humblest of Bretons can boast a high resistance to destructive and dominating magical energies. Some Bretons have notably cemented themselves among the greatest mages in history. Bretons, by and large, are pale-skinned and slight humans, less muscular than Nords and Redguards, and possess more defined features such as high cheekbones and pronounced brow ridges. Some even display pointed ears much like elves. The Bretons' elvish physical features have waned and become more human over time, but have not vanished.

What it means to be a Breton is considered an age-old quandary by their people. Some Bretons hold their elven heritage in high esteem, which may influence them to worship Phynaster, the patron deity and "teacher" of the Direnni. Others attempt to seek out the druidic roots of their Nedic ancestors and reconnect with nature. Some of the earliest Bretons served as knights under Clan Direnni, but they later became associated with tales of liberation against their Elven oppressors. These knights of old set the example for those that followed by going on grand quests for adventure and glory. Indeed, modern Breton knights encapsulate the traditional chivalric principles of Breton society, and the "quest-obsession" that has become a national identity for High Rock. There are some that do not wish to be limited to one aspect of Breton culture, and have made efforts to blend the things that define it to make a proper legacy for the race.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Illustration of a typical Imperial male

Also known as Cyrodils, Cyrodilics, Cyro-Nordics, and Imperial Cyrods, the well-educated and well-spoken Imperials are the natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil. Imperials are also known for the discipline and training of their citizen armies, and their respect for the rule of law. Imperials have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders, and these traits, along with their remarkable skill and training as infantry, have enabled them to colonize various other nations and create the Empire. Their hegemony has waxed and waned throughout the eras, and most historians refer to three distinct Empires, the ends of which each mark a new epoch in Tamrielic history.

For more information, see the main lore article.


"...human settlers occupied nearly every corner of Tamriel before Skyrim was even founded. These so-called "Nedic peoples" include the proto-Cyrodilians, the ancestors of the Bretons, the aboriginals of Hammerfell, and perhaps a now-vanished Human population of Morrowind. "Frontier, Conquest

The Nedes (also known as the Nedic peoples or rarely Nedelings) were a human race (or a group of races) of unknown extraction, who inhabited much of Tamriel during the Merethic and First Eras. The society of the Nedes who lived in Hammerfell (then called the "Deathlands") largely followed the Cult of the Stars which revolved around the worship and study of the constellations, and 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 Hammerfell.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Illustration of a typical Nord male

Nords (called Bron singular in the Language of Dragons) are the Children of the Sky, a race of tall and fair-haired humans from Skyrim who are known for their incredible resistance to cold and magical frost. They are fierce, strong and enthusiastic warriors, and many become renowned warriors, soldiers and mercenaries all over Tamriel. Eager to augment their martial skills beyond the traditional methods of Skyrim, they excel in all manner of warfare, and are known as a militant people by their neighbors. Nords were known for a time for their nautical prowess when they migrated from Atmora. Seafaring merchants or smugglers are not unheard of, as was the case with Tobias.

For more information, see the main lore article.


The Kothringi (or Lustrous Folk) are a silver-skinned tribal people indigenous to Black Marsh who are believed to be descendants of the Nedes. Once considered the only humans native to Tamriel, they are now known to have shared the continent with many other tribal groups. The race was believed to have been driven to extinction by the Knahaten Flu in the Second Era.

For more information, see the main lore article.


The Ket Keptu, or simply Keptu, were an ancient race of Men native to central Hammerfell and the hinterlands bordering Cyrod and Skyrim, such as the Jerall Mountains. They lived in Tamriel during the Merethic and early First eras, alongside many of the other early Nedic peoples. Though unpolished and barbaric, the Keptu were far from primitive, and were among the earlier pre-Alessian civilizations to discover techniques for refining ores.


The Reachmen, also known as the Reachfolk or Witchmen of High Rock, are a race of humans who are native to the Reach in southwestern Skyrim and the neighboring Western Reach in the east of High Rock. They are believed to be closely related to the Bretons and some Reachmen believe that their people originally came from High Rock. While Reachmen are distinct, they are also mixed with other races that make up Man, Mer, and even Daedra. Similarly to the Bretons, Aldmeri blood runs through their veins, which stems from the Direnni Hegemony's occupation of the Western Reach in the early First Era.

At least some Reachmen are known to be descended from the Keptu clan of Nedes. Although they are thought to share descent, Bretons do not consider themselves kin to the Reachmen, and the Reachmen do not see themselves as Bretons. This sentiment is shared by other races.

Unlike their Breton cousins, who are typically pale and of slight build, Reachfolk are more diverse in appearance, ranging from short and slight framed to taller, broader and muscular builds, more typical for Nords. Some of the Reachfolk have traits closer to typical to the inhabitants of the Cyrodil and a few bear distinctive red eye color.


Illustration of a typical Redguard male

Redguards are the most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel. The dark-skinned, coarse-haired people of Hammerfell seem born to battle, though their pride and fierce independence of spirit makes them more suitable as scouts or skirmishers, or as free-ranging heroes and adventurers, than as rank-and-file soldiers. In addition to their cultural affinities for many armor styles and weapons (particularly swords), Redguards are also physically blessed with hardy constitutions, resistance to poison, and quickness of foot. Unlike most other human races, they are not believed to have any connection with the ancestral Nordic homeland of Atmora.

For more information, see the main lore article.


  • There's some suggestion that early Bosmer were known for intermarrying with humans.[5]


Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.