This page is a collection of different myths from the various races of Tamriel about the events of the Dawn Era.
In the beginning, Anu encompassed all things. So that he might know himself he created Anui-El, his soul and the soul of all things. Anui-El, as all souls, was given to self-reflection, and for this he needed to differentiate between his forms, attributes, and intellects. Outside of Anu was Padomay, the nothingness. His opposite in every way. Just as Anu birth his soul, so did Padomay. Thus was born Sithis, who was the sum of all the limitations Anui-El would utilize to ponder himself. Anui-El, who was the soul of all things and everlasting , therefore became many things and his interplay with Sithis was and is the Aurbis.
At first the Aurbis was turbulent and confusing, as Anui-El's ruminations went on without design. Aspects of the Aurbis then asked for a schedule to follow or procedures whereby they might enjoy themselves a little longer outside of perfect knowledge. So that he might know himself this way, too, Anu created Auri-El, the soul of his soul and first of the et'Ada. Auri-El bled through the Aurbis as a new force, called time. With time, various aspects of the Aurbis began to understand their natures and limitations. They took names, among them Trinimac, Jephre, Magnus, Mara and Xen.
One of these, Lorkhan, was more of a limit than a nature - caused by his embodiment of Sithis' role as the opposite of Auri-El, so he could never last long anywhere. As he entered every aspect of Anui-El, Lorkhan would plant an idea that was almost wholly based on limitation. He outlined a plan to create a plane in the Aurbis, a place where the aspects of aspects might even be allowed to exist and self-reflect. He gained many followers; even Auri-El, when told he would become the king of the new world, agreed to help Lorkhan. So they created the Mundus, where their own aspects might live.
But this was a trick. As Lorkhan knew, this world contained more limitations than not and was therefore hardly a thing of Anu at all. Mundus was the House of Sithis. As their aspects began to die off, many of the et'Ada vanished completely. Some escaped, like Magnus, and that is why there are no limitations to magic. Those that left with Magnus became the Magna-Ge, his Star-Orphans. Others, like Jephre, transformed themselves into the Ehlnofey, the Earthbones, so that the whole world might not die. Some had to marry and make children just to last. Each generation was weaker than the last, and soon there were Aldmer. Darkness caved in. Lorkhan made armies out of the weakest souls and named them Men, and they brought Sithis into every quarter.
Auri-El pleaded with Anu to take them back, but he had already filled their places with something else. But his soul was gentler and granted Auri-El his Bow and Shield, so that he might save the Aldmer from the hordes of Men. Auriel could not save Altmora, the Elder Wood, and it was lost to Men. They were chased south and east to Old Ehlnofey, and Lorkhan was close behind. He shattered that land into many. Finally Trinimac, Auri-El's greatest knight, knocked Lorkhan down in front of his army and reached in with more than hands to take his Heart. He was undone. The Men dragged Lorkhan's body away and swore blood vengeance on the heirs of Auri-El for all time. But when Trinimac and Auri-El tried to destroy the Heart of Lorkhan it laughed at them. It said, "This Heart is the heart of the world, for one was made to satisfy the other." So Auri-El fastened the thing to an arrow and let it fly long into the sea, where no aspect of the new world may ever find it.
The survivors of the Ehlnofey Wars retreated to Aldmeris, where they might live on. There Auri-El ascended to Aetherius in full observance of his followers so that they might learn the steps needed to escape the mortal plane. This ended the Dawn Era and bound Nirn to the sands of time.
In the Dawn the previous mortal realm was destroyed by Alduin the Dragon leaving only two realms, Ginnung (the Void) and Allgarde (Aurbis). In Allgarde the realm of the Gods, Sovngarde (Aetherius), was formed. The Chief of the Gods was Shor the Fox, born of Osomi (Sithis). It was Shor that gathered his kin to create the mortal realm of Vakngarde (Mundus). With Magnar acting as architect, Shor oversaw the contruction of the world beside other gods: his Warrior-Wife Kyne the Hawk, his Bed-Wife Dibella the Moth, his concubine Mara the Wolf, his Shield-Thanes the brothers Tsun the Bear and Stuhn the Whale, the Rune God Jhunal the Owl, the Old Knocker Orkey the Snake and the World-Eater Alduin. While Magnar was the architect, it was Dibella who created the beautiful landscape that would make up the world. After the world was formed, Kyne breathed life into the tallest peak of the new world - the Throat of the World in Skyrim - creating the first Men. She then populated the world with animals of countless forms.
Alduin betrayed Shor. The exact reason is unknown, some claim he wanted Shor's throne, to rule this mortal realm, others that he wanted to destroy the mortal realm once more and begin anew, while some claim that he was jealous of Mara's love for Shor. Orkey joined him in his plot and they rallied Alduin's children: the Drahgkone (Dragons) and the Alfar (Elves); against Shor.
Shor rallied the other gods against these traitors. However, Magnar and his children, the Midregode, refused Shor's call and fled Vakngarde. The holes that they left in the sky, the sun and stars, let in the energies of Sovngarde into the mortal realm creating magicka.
The War of the Gods sundered the land, seperating Kyne's children from their fatherland. Shor gathered the Aldafathir (ancestral humans) and waged war against the Alfar. After a brutal campaign, he slaughtered the Alfar and conquered the continent of Atmora, becoming its first High King and gifting the kingdom to Men. Orkey managed to corner Tsun and Shor and slew them both, with Tsun sacrificing himself to protect Shor. The Snake tore out Shor's heart and gave it to Alduin. Alduin tossed his heart into the sea. A grieving Kyne was able to rescue Shor's spirit before Alduin consumed it and sent him into the realm of the gods alongside Tsun's.
In Vakngarde, Alduin became the new Chief of the Gods and he took Mara, Kyne's handmaiden, as his Consort-Wfie. While the other gods bowed to Alduin, one refused to do so: the god who called Ysmir. Ysmir proclaimed himself the Champion of Shor and continued to fight Alduin's children. He rallied Men and the Titans on Atmora and tried to overthrow Alduin as High King, but was defeated. Alduin came to rule Atmora with his children the Drahgkone and shared their power of the Thu'um with human priests that would devote themselves to him. The Dragon Cult ruled the continent, while petty kings and Jarls squabbled for the table scraps. Ysmir rose many times to challenge the Dragons, but failed each time and his rage only building.
In Sovngarde, Shor's spirit created the Hall of Valor, a gigantic feasting hall where the mead flows like a waterfall. Tsun's spirit took his post at the Whalebone Bridge, created in the image of his brother Stuhn, in front of the hall to test those worthy of joining Shor's feast. There the fallen warriors gather their strength and await until the End Times where Shor will lead his army of dead men against Alduin to stop him from destroying the mortal realm.
Song of Ysmir
Ysmir the Dragon of the North is a god that appeared in Atmoran myths abruptly after the War of the Gods. Because the events of the Dawn Era weren't recorded in runestones until millennium later during the Merethic Era, there are conflicting accounts as to this god's origins.
In the dogma of the Dragon Cult, it was believed that Ysmir was an ambitious Midregod that returned to Vakngarde after the death of Shor in order usurp the newly acquired throne of Alduin. To the cult he was portrayed as opportunist and nothing more. Other accounts of his origins vary significantly from this telling.
One origin is that Ysmir was the son of Shor that discovered Alduin's traitorous plot, but was unable to warn his father as he was trapped in Ginnung by the traitors. Ysmir was only able to escape from Ginnung after the death of his father with the help of his grandfather Osomi. Upon learning of his father's fate Ysmir swore eternal vengeance against Alduin and his children. This telling explains why Ysmir hates Alduin, but does not explain his epitaph.
Another origin claims that Ysmir was a son of Alduin that turned against his father and sided with Shor during the War. After learning of his father's plot against Shor, Ysmir's honor forbade him from participating but his familial ties stopped him from warning Shor, something that he would later regret after Orkey brutally killed Shor. Feeling ashamed of his inaction, Ysmir rose up against his father and declared himself the Champion of Shor, fighting his parent and kin for eternity. This telling explains why Ysmir is considered a dragon but isn't the most accepted telling as Ysmir appears as a Man when he comes to the aid of Atmorans implying that he is not a child of Alduin.
High King Lays
Those that believe that Ysmir is Shor's heir also believe that he was the mythical second High King of Atmora. It was said that he rallied the Titans and humans of Atmora under his banner to wrestle men free from Alduin and his followers. His kingdom, however, was doomed to fail as Alduin and his Dragons were too powerful. High King Ysmir was said to be killed, but other myths claim he was never killed or that Osomi or Shor brought him back to life multiple times to continue the fight against Alduin. During the Early and Middle Mythic Eras there were many that tried to claim the title of High King to break the bonds of servitude to the dragons, but all were defeated. Some myths claim these individuals were all Ysmir. Other myths claim they were just different people with the same ambition.