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Aldmeris, also known as Old Aldmeris and Old Ehlnofey, is the mythical lost continent from which the Mer are said to have originated. The term Aldmeris also refers to the language spoken by the Aldmer.
Little is known of Aldmeris' history apart from the traditional legend that in the Early Merethic Era, the continent faced an unspecified threat or crisis, causing the Aldmer to leave in search of a new home across the seas. The Aldmeri refugees then became lost in a storm, and eventually landed in Tamriel, at Nine-Prow Landing on the island of Auridon in the Summerset Isles. These Aldmer were the Ancients, the ancestors of the modern-day Altmer. What befell Aldmeris after the Aldmer left it is an enduring mystery. Some claim that the angry gods of the Aldmer sank the land into the sea, others that Aldmeris has left Mundus altogether and will not return until the races of Mer are reunited.
A second legend associated with Aldmeris concerns the rise of the Maormer, the ancient rivals of the Altmer. Translations of tapestries in the Crystal Tower assert that an exceedingly wealthy Aldmer nobleman named Orgnum funded and led a rebellion against the rulers of Aldmeris. The rebellion was quashed, and Orgnum and his followers were banished to Pyandonea behind a wall of impenetrable mists that would forever prevent them from returning to Aldmeris. For their part, the Maormer believe that they are directly descended from the purest strain of Aldmer, and were wrongfully driven out of Aldmeris by the Altmer, whom they deride as a "mongrel race" that stole the Maormer's birthright, the Summerset Isles.
In the Middle Merethic Era, the Aldmer of Summerset organized the earliest known expedition to relocate Aldmeris and learn its fate. Three ships, the Niben, the Pasquiniel, and a third whose name is lost to history, were each given a crystalline ball called a waystone and directed to search in the direction to which their waystone was attuned. The Pasquiniel went south, the unnamed ship went northwest, and the Niben, captained by the famed Topal the Pilot, went northeast and discovered mainland Tamriel. Only the Niben returned to Summerset after an inadvertently lengthy tour of Tamriel's coasts and rivers; the other two ships were never heard from again. Although the expedition failed in its goal to find Aldmeris, it is assumed that the Aldmer had a compelling reason to believe their former homeland lay in one of those three directions.
Many modern scholars, most prominently the priests of the Cult of the Ancestor Moth, have contended that Aldmeris never was a physical homeland, but rather a collection of mental images left over from the chaos of the Dawn Era.[UOL 1] All elven peoples shared this tapestry of racial memory and as they diverged along cultural lines, their images of Aldmeris changed as well, and the figurative heritage was sundered and lost. The utter lack of evidence of any sort on Aldmeris' location and features corroborates this, especially as it comes from a near-infallible source—the Elder Scrolls themselves.[UOL 1]
The politics, religion, and culture of Aldmeris are mysteries. Translations of ancient tapestries and texts preserved in the Crystal Tower vaguely describe a beautiful yet alien land. Notably, representations of Aldmeris always depict it as devoid of all forms of plant and animal life with the exception of the Aldmer themselves. The land is shown as an endless city, built upon itself over and over again until no trace of nature remained. According to legend, the highest towers of Aldmeris were reserved for interring the dead, a tradition still practiced among the Altmer of Summerset.
- Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of
- Father Of The Niben — Florin Jaliil
- The Lay of Firsthold
- Ode to Auridon
- Auridon Explored — Fenlil the Wayfarer
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other Lands — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- The Chosen People of Aldmeris — Sealord Malleroth Of Pyandonea
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.