The Elder Scrolls
Falmer, also known as Snow Elves or Ice Elves, are a twisted race of blind subterranean Mer that live deep beneath the surface of Skyrim.
The Falmer were once a proud people with an unusually great aptitude for magic. They had a strong resistance to frost, as their skin was coated with a thin layer of blue-white ice. They inhabited Skyrim before the Nords returned from Atmora, and were responsible for the Night of Tears. They had a civilization which rivaled even the Altmer of the Summerset Isles. They had their own language, which was written in a complex and indecipherable alphabet. They were purported to use spears and archery in combat.
After the Night of Tears in the late Merethic Era, Ysgramor and his Five Hundred Companions launched a campaign to drive the elves from Skyrim. Ysgramor and his heirs succeeded, and by the second century of the First Era, during the reign of the Nordic king Harald, the last of the Falmer were driven from Skyrim to the island of Solstheim. The Falmer’s civilization was obliterated at the Battle of the Moesring with the death of their leader, the Snow Prince. The remaining snow elves were scattered or slain, and were never heard from again.
Unknown to the Nords, many Falmer sought sanctuary with the Dwemer of Skyrim. The Dwemer agreed to protect the Falmer, but did not trust them. The Dwemer forced their Falmer guests to consume a type of toxic fungus found growing deep underground which rendered them blind. The Falmer became servants of the Dwemer, and then their slaves. The Dwemer made the fungus an essential part of their diet, ensuring that all future generations would be as powerless as their current slaves. The Falmer were embittered by this betrayal, and rebelled against their dwarven masters. They constructed the Great Statue of Irkngthand, which contained the “”/campaign/the-elder-scrolls/wikis/Eyes%20of%20the%20Falmer/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Eyes of the Falmer“, two massive gems embedded in the eye sockets. The Falmer fled deep into ”/campaign/the-elder-scrolls/wikis/Blackreach/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Blackreach, a gigantic cavern inhabited by the Dwemer. Thus began the War of the Crag, a bloody war between the Falmer and the Dwemer which took place far below the surface of Skyrim. Sai, the god of luck, attempted to help the Falmer, likely around this time, but they were very hard to find and unfriendly towards him. Mara later condemned the ice elves, and considered them “gone altogether and forever”. In 1E 700, when the Dwemer disappeared, the Falmer were left to spread freely throughout Blackreach. However, centuries of subterranean slavery, combined with their permanent blindness, had left the Falmer crippled, and years of fighting the Dwemer had left the race bloodthirsty and brutal.
Feeling the need to conquer, the Falmer began launching raids on the surface world. This led to the common legends of the snow elves, whom the Nords grew to blame for every instance of misfortune. The Falmer tamed the Chaurus, a poisonous insect native to the deepest reaches of Skyrim. They learned to use chitin for all of their crafting needs, creating everything from tents to swords with the dark, brittle substance. The Falmer dwell mostly in the ruins of their masters, including the Silent City of Blackreach, although they can occasionally be found living in isolated cave systems. They have a strong hatred for all but their own race, but are known to keep their own slaves.
The Falmer seemed to have formed their own calender of sorts through the use of a brass bowl marked with etchings, said bowl was placed under a drip from an overhanging rock and as water filled it the race went by that to tell time. This device has thus been known to be a “kulniir”, one primitive timekeeping device created by the Falmer according to the Diary of Faire Agarwen.
In the third century of the Fourth Era, it came to light that a small handful of Falmer had escaped both the Nords’ wrath and the Dwemers’ betrayal. These Falmer prefered to use to the term Snow Elf to describe them in order to differentiate themselves from their less-civilized brethren whom they called “The Betrayed.”
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