History of Skyrim
Skyrim is the northern province of Tamriel. It is home to the Nords, large and hardy men and women with a strong resistance to frost and frost magic. It is bordered by Morrowind to the east, Cyrodiil to the south, Hammerfell to the southwest, and High Rock to the west. The island of Solstheim lies to the northeast. Skyrim has nine holds, each governed by a Jarl, who are mostly independent, but swear fealty to skyrim’s High King.
The collected province of Skyrim is ruled by the High King (or Queen) and their consort. Each hold is ruled by a Jarl. Until the Stormcloak Rebellion and Skyrim Civil War, the province was included in the Empire of Tamriel. While under this banner, Skyrim enjoyed military aid from the Emperor’s army and inclusion in world affairs, as part of the Elder Council. The High King and each Jarl held a seat on the council.
During the Merethic Era, Nedes called the land Mereth, in recognition of the vast number of Mer that lived there. It was the first region of Tamriel to be settled by humans, who migrated there from the land of Atmora in the far north, across the Sea of Ghosts. The date of this migration is unknown, although it was before the full flourishing of Elvish civilization. According to legend, Ysgramor landed first at Hsaarik Head, at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim’s Broken Cape. It is said that he and his companions were fleeing the civil war in Atmora, which at that time had a sizable population. They named the land Mereth, after the many elves that roamed the virgin forests of Tamriel2.
For a long while, relations between the Snow Elves and men were relatively peaceful. However, the Snow Elves saw that the Nords, with their considerably shorter life expectancy, fast rates of physical maturation and expedient (by Elvish standards) reproductive cycle, would eventually overtake them if left unchecked. At the time, men were viewed by Snow Elves as being primitive and animal-like, and it was seen as no great moral remission to stop the spread of a potentially disastrous invasive species, who would destabilize the Tamrielic ecosystem. Thus, Elvish pogroms razed the city of Saarthal on what became known as the Night of Tears. Only Ysgramor and his two sons escaped back to Atmora, and, seeing the tenuous peace which had developed between the various factions, recognized the opportunity to turn their plight into a uniting force for the human race. Within a few years, Ysgramor returned to Skyrim with an army known as the “Five Hundred Companions”, composed of the heroes of the Atmoran Civil War who, without much resistance, drove the Snow Elves out and were knighted in the foundations for the First Empire.
Snow Elves persisted within the borders of Skyrim until the reign of the Thirteenth of the Ysgramor Dynasty, King Harald, at the beginning of the First Era. King Harald was the first to relinquish all holdings in Atmora (until that time, the Nords of Atmora and Skyrim had been considered the same group), proclaiming that the people of Skyrim were an independent people.
Vrage the Gifted started the expansion that would eventually lead to the First Empire of Men. Within fifty years of his reign, the Nords ruled all of Skyrim as well as parts of High Rock, Cyrodiil, and the Dunmer lands of Morrowind. The acquisition of Morrowind was particularly bloody, still remembered in Morrowind. The purpose of the formation of the Chimer-Dwemer kingdom of Resdayn was to expel the Nords.
The system which chose the successors to the Empire eventually proved to be its undoing. For a great while the Moot, a gathering of the lords of the many different Holds, chose the successor to the Empire. This lasted well until the death of King Borgas.