Atmora, meaning "Elder Wood" in Ehlnofex, is a continent to the north of Tamriel, and tradition holds that it was from here that the first humans came to Tamriel. The name is a corrupted form of the Aldmeris title Altmora, a designation for the northernmost landmass inhabited by mer. It was the original homeland of the proto-Nords, who called it "the land of truth". An ancient creation myth says it was separated from Tamriel as a result of war among the Ehlnofey.
Atmora is only known through its relationship with Tamriel. Ancient myths suggest Auri-El first brought the land under Elven rule, but Shor and others eventually led men to victory against their oppressors, overthrowing them. It is unknown when the proto-Nords began to migrate to Tamriel, only that they came in waves over an extended period of time. Tamriel served as a "safety valve" for people who, for whatever reason, could not stay in Atmora. The last known major migration was during the era of the Atmoran king Ysgramor and his sons, Yngol and Ylgar, who came to Tamriel fleeing civil war in Atmora in the late Merethic Era, along with many others who sought peace.
The proto-Nords became the victims of a genocidal massacre known as the Night of Tears. Ysgramor and his two sons fled back to Atmora and assembled a massive army, the Five Hundred Companions, to reclaim their lands and seek vengeance upon the elves. At the shipyards of Jylkurfyk, and possibly elsewhere, a massive navy was built to carry them across the Sea of Ghosts. Ysgramor and his Companions left Atmora and successfully established human dominance in modern-day Skyrim, which persists to this day (despite persecution by the Thalmor and the influx of many Dunmer refugees in the Fourth Era). Under the reign of High King Harald in the second and third centuries of the First Era, Skyrim was first established as an independent kingdom: all holdings in Atmora were relinquished, and Atmoran mercenaries left Skyrim and purportedly returned to their homeland. More Atmorans arrived at Tamriel over the centuries, such as Ysmir Wulfharth, an Atmoran-born High King of Skyrim in the fifth and sixth centuries of the First Era.
Atmora eventually experienced some sort of natural disaster where the once-green land was overcome by "the freezing", making it largely uninhabitable (not that it was very temperate to begin with). It began around the time of Ysgramor's migration. The last "invasion" was in 1E 68, when two Atmoran ships laden with corpses begged to make port in Tamriel. The last purported emigrant from Atmora recorded in history is Tiber Septim, who presumably traveled directly to Skyrim, where he is said to have spent his youth. There is some suggestion that, as of the early Third Era, it was still inhabited. However, expeditions there in the mid- to late- Third Era only found a place of permanent winter, with little life and no sign of human habitation. It's suspected that the land no longer supports any civilized life.
Early Nordic society is reflective of Atmoran society; many Nordic customs were inherited from Atmora, and the continent has been highly influential on Tamriel. Atmorans were a sea-faring people, much like modern-day Nords, but they purportedly had no knowledge of agriculture and survived off of hunting, a way of life which likely encouraged their purportedly ceaseless warfare. While they were considered one race, there is some suggestion of regionally distinct racial groups, such as the "sinewy long folk" whose "ruddy skin matched the dawn" that inhabited the eastern edge of Atmora.
The Atmoran settlers brought with them traditions such as naming ceremonies and their religion of animal worship. Of course, this was before the Dragon War, and the Dragon Cult still reigned. The dragon priests demanded tribute and set down laws and codes of living that kept peace between dragons and men, and they were apparently much more benevolent in Atmora than the tyrannical priest-kings that ruled in Tamriel. Ysgramor, considered the first human historian, is credited with developing a runic transcription of Nord speech based on Elvish principles, which could have a basis in Atmoran society. Ancient demons of Nordic culture such as Herma-Mora first became threats in Atmora.
- In the 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 17, Vivec wrote that he and Nerevar journeyed to Elder Wood, where they "found nothing but frozen bearded kings".
- ^ Mysterious Akavir
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Prologue — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Throat of the World: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b The Monomyth
- ^ Notes on Yngol Barrow
- ^ The Anuad Paraphrased
- ^ a b Varieties of Faith in the Empire — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor
- ^ a b c Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil — University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
- ^ a b c d Before the Ages of Man — Aicantar of Shimerene
- ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ a b Songs of the Return -Volume 2 -The First Tale of the Darumzu
- ^ Events of Skyrim.
- ^ The Five Songs of King Wulfharth
- ^ Rislav the Righteous — Sinjin
- ^ a b c d e Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other Lands — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ Songs of the Return-Volume 7-The Tale of the Jorrvaskr
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
- ^ The Wolf Queen, Book Four — Waughin Jarth
- ^ SONGS OF THE RETURN-Volume 19-The Second Tale of the Ylgermet
- ^ Songs of the Return-Volume 24-The First Tale of the Krilot Lok
- ^ The Hope of the Redoran — Turiul Nirith
- ^ a b The Dragon War — Torhal Bjorik