Ancient documents has a diverse collection of fantasy races that players can choose to play. Some of these, like the many different human variations, can sometimes feel a bit the same. That’s also a problem with the different races of elves, or Mer, in the game, although a particular Mer race is visually distinct enough to stand out from the others. The Dunmer, natives of Morrowind, are a lonely group of Mer with magical gifts who serve the Daedric prince Azura.
Players who decide to build a Dunmer in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim I should expect to play a character focused on magic. Beyond that, the Dunmers are actually quite a diverse bunch that can accommodate a decent number of setups. There are some abilities that naturally favor, but a Dunmer Dragonborn ends up being able to adapt to a wide range of different character types and settings, which fits in quite well with his mysterious past.
While the Dunmer are natives of Morrowind, they actually originally called the Summerset Islands home. They were known as the Chimer and were known as one of the few groups of elves who worshiped Daedra rather than the Nine Divines, although this worship would eventually lead to the transformation of the Chimer. The Chimer would become Dunmer as punishment for the acts of a group known as the Tribunal during the Battle of Red Mountain.
However, it is disputed what exactly the acts of the Tribunal are. Either they assassinated an important chimeric saint known as Indoril Nerevar or they tried to become full-fledged gods. Regardless of why the Tribunal was punished, Chimer’s people turned their skin the shade of ash and their eyes reddened as punishment, becoming Dunmer. The Dunmer story would not improve much after this, emphasizing how their story is underlined by tragedy.
Some time after the Dunmer’s punishment, most of Morrowind would be destroyed by the eruption of Red Mountain. Most of the Dunmer fled Morrowind to Skyrim as refugees, where they faced much racial discrimination. Still, they found an identifiable cause in the Stormcloack rebellion. Both the Norse and the Dunmer had faced a religious process and shared similarities in their backgrounds, making the groups sympathetic to each other.
As problematic as the Dunmer story is, it doesn’t exactly overshadow some of the darkest parts of their past. A subgroup of Dunmer known as the Ashlanders keep a great deal of the ancient Chimer culture alive, including capturing and keeping non-Dunmer people as slaves. In general, many Dunmer believe that other races are below them. This discrimination has been an ingrained part of their culture, although not all Dunmer still hold these beliefs.
Dunmer Racial Bonuses
On Skyrim, Dunmers receive a +10 increase to their Destruction magic stat and a +5 increase to Alchemy, Alteration Magic, Illusion Magic, Light Armor, and Sneak. There is a clear focus on the arcane with a Dunmer character, in part due to his past connections to the Daedra. This means that in statistics alone, Dunmers tend to be really fantastic casters who can perform a wide range of different spells.
There are two racial abilities and a unique starting spell for Dunmer. Ancestor’s Wrath is a once-per-day ability that allows a Dunmer to create a damaging aura around it for sixty seconds. This aura deals eight damage to any hostile or neutral entity within its range, even if it is not actively attacking the Dunmer. His second racial ability is a direct 50% resistance to fire damage, an extremely common damage type in Skyrim.
Dunmer’s unique starting spell, Sparks, isn’t really that great, as the spellbook can usually be found during the game’s opening sequence. It’s a bit more useful for players using an alternate starting mode, though Sparks is still a fairly common spellbook to find as generic loot. A Dunmer has a fairly solid skill set early in the game with its racial bonuses, although Ancestor’s Wrath tends to become less effective as players enter the game.
Dunmer Building Tips
Dunmer are naturally effective wizards, capable of using a wide range of different spells. Really, any build with magic as a focus will serve a Dunmer well, as they get some pretty good stat boosts for most of the game’s casting abilities. The light armor reinforcement is also good as it will allow a Dunmer to get more out of the tunic without having to compromise on movement. However, of all the casting builds, a battle mage tends to fit Dunmer’s skill set quite well.
Battle mages in Skyrim They are a kind of hybrid build that focuses on both melee attacks and destruction magic. While the Dunmers don’t get any significant stat increase from their one-handed ability, they do have a +10 increase to their Destruction magic ability, allowing them to deal damage early in the game. Battle mages also often benefit from the use of potions, although alchemy is something most characters will do well to focus on.
In addition to a Battlemage, a hybrid stealth / magic build is also a solid option for a Dunmer. His stealth augments, light armor, illusion magic, and alteration magic are fantastic to have as a stealth / magic caster. Illusion magic can help distract enemies, and alteration magic has tons of utility spells that can be used in various situations. The only downside to this setting is that it doesn’t really take advantage of Dunmer’s +10 destruction magic until much later in the game.
Dunmers are excellent hybrid pitchers rather than simple wizards. From the perspective of lore, the Dunmer have seen their fair share of battles in their lifetime, and their natural connection to the Daedra enhances their magical abilities. They have had a lot of experience taking the tragedy that fate throws at them and turning it into some of their greatest strengths. A well-built dunmer dragonborn carries the mysterious legacy of the dunmer on his shoulders, wielding the power of Azura and a strong sword against his many foes.
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