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The Beginning of Civilization:

The first humanoid settlers of Tamriel were the Aldmeri (Progenitor Elves), they came to Tamriel fleeing the doomed continent 'Aldmeris', their original homeland. Slowly they began to settle and build villages on the fertile coast lands, and over time they started to explore--and settle--more and more of the interior of Tamriel. As they started to settle and build more villages further inland, they eventually came in contact with the beastfolk.

Because the Aldmeri were a more developed race, they easily drove the beastfolk into hiding deep within the remote jungles, mountains and swamps.  Over time the Aldmeri people split into several different societies and cultures.  The elves of the Summerset Isles became the Altmer (High Elves) and those in Valenwood became the Bosmer (Wood Elves).  The High Elves who ruled Cyrodiil where known as the Ayleids.  The Dwemer (Deep Elves) built large fortresses in the mountainous areas of Hammerfell and Morrowind and developed a technologically advanced society which came to an abrupt end when they attempted to elevate themselves into a state of divinity, by "using" the heart of Lorkhan and in doing so, erased their civilization. Only one Dwemer survived this catastrophe, Yagrum Bagarn, though he later became infected with the corprus disease.

Morrowind was also settled by a group of elves called the Chimer who would later be cursed by the Daedric Goddess Azura and made into the Dunmer ( Dark Elves).  The cold regions in the north of Tamriel were ruled by the Falmer (Snow Elves). The only regions that remained in the hands of beast-folk were the south eastern regions of Elsweyr and Argonia. The Aldmeri went on to rule Tamriel for hundreds of years...until humans, calling themselves the "Nedic People" migrated from the continent of Atmora in the north and started to settle Tamriel. The Nords, lead by Ysgramor colonized the north. Ysgramor devoloped runic transcription, early human speech based on the Altmer principles of speech.

The Nords first settled in the northern region areas of Tamriel where they clashed with the Falmer and eventually drove them to extinction.  From there they began to explore the rest of the continent, colonizing High Rock where they would mix with the native elves and create the Breton race.  Nords were used as slaves by the Ayleids in Cyrodiil, but eventually the humans led an uprising and established their own kingdom on the ruins of the elven one.  This kingdom went on to conquer the neighboring human kingdom of Colovia and established the first empire, calling their race the Imperials.  After a cataclysm on their home continent Yokuda, another human race, the Redguards, began to migrate from the west and settled in Hammerfell, driving out the native Orsimer.

On the Orsimer( Orcs): Orsimer were of the race of mer, until their phanteon Trinimac was devoured by the Daedroth Prince Boethiah. Trinimac transformed in the foul god's insides, and the Orsimer transformed with him into the Orcs we know today. Trinimac became Malacath.
 
Eventually an Imperial known as Tiber Septim would unite all of Tamriel into Empire, and the various kingdoms became the provinces of Cyrodiil, High Rock, Hammerfell, Skyrim, Summerset Isles, Valenwood, Morrowind, Black Marsh, and Elsweyr. He would later become worshipped as a deity.

Also see: Akavir, Nirn.

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