An Altmer mage watches his surroundings

The Altmer, or self-titled "Cultured People", are a tall, golden-skinned race, hailing from Summerset Isle. They are also known as High Elves by the denizens of Tamriel. In the Empire, "High" is often understood to mean proud or snobbish, and as the Altmer generally personify these characteristics, the "lesser races" generally resent them. Altmer live two to three times as long as humans; with a 200-year-old Altmer being old and a 300-year-old Altmer being very, very old. Altmer consider themselves to be the most civilized culture of Tamriel; the common tongue of the continent is based on Altmer speech and writing, and most of the Empire's arts, crafts, laws, and sciences are derived from Altmer traditions.

The Altmer are the most strongly gifted in the arcane arts of all the races. They are among the longest living and intelligent races of Tamriel, and they often become powerful magic users due to both their magical affinity and the many years they may devote to their studies.

Their skin maintains a very pale golden hue, not quite the pale white of the northern human races such as Nords or Imperials, but far lighter than the Bosmer. They are slender, with prominently pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes.

On average, Altmer are of smaller build than humans, and thus generally not as strong. Their tall stature also makes them less agile than their Bosmeri cousins. However, Altmer are among the most intelligent and magically-inclined races on Nirn, surpassing even the Bretons in magical aptitude.

Slender and Graceful

With their elegant stature and beauty, high elves typically have healthy gaunt features. They are the tallest of all the races, usually well over 6 feet tall and sometimes above 7 feet. They are more slender than humans, weighing between 140 and 180 pounds. Males and females are about the same height, and males are only marginally heavier than females.

Altmer have physical colorations that are very homogeneous in their nature. Their golden skin ranges from pale yellow tones to bronze, while their hair and eyes comes in similar shades, which sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish from long distances. Their hair color ranges from nearly white to blonde, to golden brown, while their almond shaped eyes are like pools of liquid gold. Altmer rarely have facial hair, either from genetics or from their favored cultured aesthetic. They favor elegant clothing and jewelry, usually in fabrics and materials that compliment their natural appearance.

A Timeless Perceptive

Altmer, much like the other elves, can live for exceptional lengths of time, usually of spans two to three times as long as humans. An elf is considered old at 300 years of age, and typically reaches 400 years. Their natural resistance to disease allows them to live longer than the other races. It is even rumored that there are elves well over 4,000 year old, extending their lifespans by avoiding violence or mastering powerful restorative magic.

Their extended lifespan allows Altmer to consider time as a luxury, mastering skills over long periods of research that their human counterparts would never be able to fathom. Societies of Altmer have been known to avoid war and violence, choosing to study their enemies, confident that they can easily wait for the most opportune time to strike quickly, or simply just outlive their nuisance.

Divine Decendents

Altmer consider themselves to be the most direct descendants of the original Aldmer elves, the first elves of the Merethic Era. The Altmer believe that they resemble their Aldmer ancestors and take great pride in keeping a pure lineage, striving to emulate their ways with great reverence.

Most Altmer live in beautifully appointed cities and towns that are populated mostly with other Altmer. Their architecture is strong and graceful, with pointed steeples to emphasize height, proudly reaching upwards towards the heavens. Truly, an visual echo to the High Elves themselves. Altmer are talented artisans, utilizing their long lifespans and mythic ancestry to hone their sophisticated crafts.

Their societies are strongly regimented with deep discipline and are separated by a rigid hierarchy of classes. Teachers and priests are regarded as the highest rank, followed by artists, princes, warriors, landowners, merchants, workers, and finally their slaves.

Outside of the Summerset Isles, the homeland of the Altmer, they are commonly scholars, artists, or sages. Human nobles compete for the services of Altmer to become court wizards, or as instructors of magic.

Exploration and Adventure

Altmer that take up a life of adventure usually do so for the sake of discovery and exploration. Always curious and passionate for a deeper understanding of their interests, Altmer will commonly seek out careers that allow them to travel and study at their own pace. Naturally the most magically-inclined races of Tamriel, they enjoy gaining greater power, which adventuring allows them to do. Some might join with rebels fighting for social reform, while others might join militant groups that champion their moral cause.

Altmer Names

The Altmer have only a single given name. They choose names that have the same elegance and nobility they see fit for their kind.

Male Names

Aesmer, Arondil, Calanor, Cinnar, Cornor, Dandos, Eanor, Earran, Elikar, Erymil, Falion, Heldil, Iramo, Lermion, Miratar, Naarwe, Naemon, Ocando, Pircalmo, Quaranon, Rolancano, Sanyon, Tholbor, Valtir, Yancol

Female Names

Alwaen, Areldur, Astorne, Cariel, Curwe, Earrona, Elanwe, Erille, Falen, Fistalle, Gathewen, Hildara, Inare, Karinnarre, Kirstar, Lamoline, Linwin, Malanie, Minique, Naire, Quen, Ruma, Sorcalin, Telandil, Valla, Vilva

Common Traits

Every character will have traits to choose that are not dependent on their Heritage, relying more on the background or story of the character prior to becoming an adventurer. These are often influenced by their Heritage or their class, but is entirely up to the player.

Attribute Score Increases. When determining your attribute scores, increase one of those scores by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. Follow this rule regardless of the method you use to determine the scores, such as rolling or point buy.

The “Quick Build” section for your character’s class offers suggestions on which scores to increase. You’re free to follow those suggestions or to ignore them. Whichever scores you decide to increase, none of the scores can be raised above 20.

A classic depiction of an Altmer would suggest that your Intelligence score increases by 2 and Willpower scores increase by 1.

Alignment. Each ancestry has stereotypes about what they believe, but these are broad strokes that might only apply to a group, rather than to an individual. Each player character’s alignment is entirely under the purview of the player.

Altmer society often sets themselves on a higher standard and tend to be lawful neutral. They can be very orderly and follow the traditions of their ancestors, while having a less generous attitude towards other ancestries.

Languages. Your character can speak, read, and write Tamrielic (sometimes referred to as Cyrodiilic or Common) and one other language that you and your GM agree is appropriate for the character.

Altmer Ancestral Traits

Your Altmer character has a variety of natural abilities, the result of thousands of years of elven refinement.

Age. The average Altmer can live for over 400 years, although they are known to be able to live for thousands of years. It is rumored that some Altmer on the Summerset Isles are over 4000 years old. They reach puberty at 18 years old and are considered an adult at 30. They mature similar to humans, but their advanced age means that they are still considered young until the age of 60.

Size. High Elves are the tallest of the races of Tamriel, sometimes as tall as 7 feet, but they often have slender, thin builds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Altmeri Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws to resist diseases.

Highborn. You have an innate well of magicka within you. You have 2 magicka points that you can use to cast spells. Additionally, you know one cantrip and one 1st level spell from the mage spell list.

You gain an additional magicka point when you reach 3rd level (3), 6th level (4), and 10th level (5). Additionally, when you reach 3rd level, you learn a 2nd level spell of your choice from the mage spell list. You regain all expended magicka when you finish a long rest.

Intelligence, Willpower, or Personality is your spellcasting ability for these spells (your choice when you choose this ancestry), you must expend magicka to cast them.

Altmer Cultural Traits

Altmer society values academic knowledge and puts a lot of pride in artisanal skill.

Studious Nature. You gain proficiency with two skills of your choice from Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion.

Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with one artisan's tools of your choice from alchemist's supplies, calligrapher's supplies, or the jeweler's tools.

Bonus Language. You learn one additional common or uncommon language of your choice.