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Nedes and Reachmen

BejaProphet
BejaProphet
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So I’ve recently learned that Reachmen descend from Breton stock, and if I’m not mistaken the Nedes are of Nord lineage.

But from my uninitiated perspective their cultures seem remarkably similar. Do they share some sort of cultural roots?

Best Answer

  • tsaescishoeshiner
    tsaescishoeshiner
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    The quests of The Reach strongly suggest that some Reachmen share prominent heritage with Nedes, and it's also hinted by numerous other little artifacts and details in ESO. But the Nedes were diverse, tribal and natural in some areas, urban and grand in others, and surely a lot in between.

    Skyrim depicted Reachmen as being Bretons, and many (all? not sure) were Breton race in their game data, but they're also frequently referred to as being a more ancient race in Tamriel than the Nords and Bretons. Regardless of their origin, intermingling with Nords and Bretons would make a lot of sense based on their location.
    PC-NA
    in-game: @tsaescishoeshiner
    Answer ✓
  • Atharaon
    Atharaon
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    Leaving aside for the moment the issue with the term "Nedes", which is often applied indiscriminately to all the ancient humans regardless of origin, we can say with some confidence that the Nedes predate the Nords, not the other way around. In fact, some in-game characters, like Sorcerer Vunal, believe the Nords descend from the Nedes.

    If you look at the sources I've listed below (I'm sure there are more still, but this is from memory), you can get a general picture of human migration from Atmora to the north of Tamriel over a span of a thousand years, from c. ME 1000 - 800 onwards. These human groups differed substantially from one another but may also have shared some things in common (think of the various races of Akavir). The proto-Nords were just another one of these groups who arrived later on the scene, were particularly warlike and had some good PR in the form of TIber Septim.

    The Nedes were actually one tribe of these early humans, whose name eventually became used to cover the entire panoply of groups. It's worth noting that the humans of southern Tamriel seem to be unique from what we know of them. For example, the Kothringi had silver skin, while the Orma had no eyes. They could be related to the northern ones, or indigenous to the marshes of southern Tamriel, or even from Akavir. They're a lot more mysterious but outside the context of your question.

    Some Sources
    • Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition
    • Frontier, Conquest and Accomodation
    • Lormaster Q&A: Lady Laurent
    • Loremaster Q&A: Abnur Tharn
    • Before the Ages of Man
    • Daedra Worship: The Ayleids
  • Supreme_Atromancer
    Supreme_Atromancer
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    Bretons are descended from the Nedes, and the Reachmen are an offshoot of the Bretons.

    Its plausible that Reachmen might be a reasonably "pure" descent from nedic cultural heritage.

    There's a major, long-standing debate in the lore community about the aboriginality of the Nedes. One side argues that the Nedes were ultimately native to Tamriel, while the other says they were a very early wave from Atmora, and that differences between Nedes and Nords are due to the gulf of time between the migrations and the areas from which they migrated.

    There is evidence for both views in the lore because they are retcons, much like the whole deal with Talos's original identity. More recently, I think the retcon is framed in the "unreliable narrator" thing - they may never give us a concrete answer, but might codify both possibilities as major schools of thought of different NPCs and lorebooks.
  • ealdwin
    ealdwin
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    As others have stated, the term "Nede" is a term used to describe the large number of groups that were spread throughout North-Western and Central Tamriel. These tribes presumably had largely similar cultural practices that lead to them all being grouped under the umbrella of "Nedic". However, not enough is known about all those groups in order to determine how similar or dissimilar they were. We know that Nedes in Craglorn worshiped the Celestials and the Constellations, but did all Nedic groups? What we do know is that Nedic societies covered a decent portion of Tamriel, and their descendants are among the modern-day Imperials, Bretons, and Reachmen. It's debated whether they are native or immigrated from Atmora.

    The Bretons, have their origin in the Nedic groups living in High Rock. Legends (cough, Arena Lore, cough) state that Bretons are descendants of a group known as the "Druids of Galen". Now, nothing is known about the "Druids of Galen". Likely, that is a term for the Nedic people living in High Rock, but is Galen a place? A tribe? Who knows! When the Altmeri Direnni settled in High Rock, they set themselves up as a noble ruling class over the Nedic inhabitants, and eventually started having children with them. These children were called "Beratu", an Ehlnofex word meaning "half". As time wore on, the Altmer blood in these lines began to thin out, leaving the manmer more prominently mannish than mer.

    Something worth noting is that when early Nordic hunting parties discovered the Bretons, they at first mistook them for a new vein of elves. But, then the Bretons spoke in a broken Nordic. This may suggest a connection between the Nedes and the Nords. Once the Nords realized they were men, they thought they were Nords who had been captured from Sarthaal. At times portions of High Rock have either been settled by or under the control of Nords or Skyrim, leading to Nordic influence on bits of the culture as well some Nordic blood entering into the Breton cocktail.

    The Reachmen are the descendants of Nedic tribes living in caves in the Druadach mountains. Like the Bretons, these Nedic tribes also saw mixing with the Altmer who conquered the region (The Direnni Hedgemony at one point controlled land up to Markarth and Elinhir). It's unkown if these Nedes in the mountain were connected to the Nedes in the rest of High Rock, and how related they are to Bretons, but Reachmen and Bretons do share similar origins, despite the vast cultural differences. The big difference between the two races is that any Nord colonists in the Reach were killed or pushed out by the Altmer, meaning very little Nordic ancestry is in the Reachmen, compared to the Bretons.
    Edited by ealdwin on April 10, 2021 3:27PM
  • Aliyavana
    Aliyavana
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    ealdwin wrote: »
    As others have stated, the term "Nede" is a term used to describe the large number of groups that were spread throughout North-Western and Central Tamriel. These tribes presumably had largely similar cultural practices that lead to them all being grouped under the umbrella of "Nedic". However, not enough is known about all those groups in order to determine how similar or dissimilar they were. We know that Nedes in Craglorn worshiped the Celestials and the Constellations, but did all Nedic groups? What we do know is that Nedic societies covered a decent portion of Tamriel, and their descendants are among the modern-day Imperials, Bretons, and Reachmen. It's debated whether they are native or immigrated from Atmora.

    The Bretons, have their origin in the Nedic groups living in High Rock. Legends (cough, Arena Lore, cough) state that Bretons are descendants of a group known as the "Druids of Galen". Now, nothing is known about the "Druids of Galen". Likely, that is a term for the Nedic people living in High Rock, but is Galen a place? A tribe? Who knows! When the Altmeri Direnni settled in High Rock, they set themselves up as a noble ruling class over the Nedic inhabitants, and eventually started having children with them. These children were called "Beratu", an Ehlnofex word meaning "half". As time wore on, the Altmer blood in these lines began to thin out, leaving the manmer more prominently mannish than mer.

    Something worth noting is that when early Nordic hunting parties discovered the Bretons, they at first mistook them for a new vein of elves. But, then the Bretons spoke in a broken Nordic. This may suggest a connection between the Nedes and the Nords. Once the Nords realized they were men, they thought they were Nords who had been captured from Sarthaal. At times portions of High Rock have either been settled by or under the control of Nords or Skyrim, leading to Nordic influence on bits of the culture as well some Nordic blood entering into the Breton cocktail.

    The Reachmen are the descendants of Nedic tribes living in caves in the Druadach mountains. Like the Bretons, these Nedic tribes also saw mixing with the Altmer who conquered the region (The Direnni Hedgemony at one point controlled land up to Markarth and Elinhir). It's unkown if these Nedes in the mountain were connected to the Nedes in the rest of High Rock, and how related they are to Bretons, but Reachmen and Bretons do share similar origins, despite the vast cultural differences. The big difference between the two races is that any Nord colonists in the Reach were killed or pushed out by the Altmer, meaning very little Nordic ancestry is in the Reachmen, compared to the Bretons.

    So pretty much https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Breton.

    I wouldn't discount the Druids of Galen origin for Bretons, however, regardless of it being Arena. Older TES games treated Bretons with much more respect than in newer TES games. Additionally, though it has never been brought up again, it has yet to have been contridicted. the Druids of Galen could be Nedes if we apply newer lore to them.
    Edited by Aliyavana on April 10, 2021 10:53PM
  • Aliyavana
    Aliyavana
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    So I’ve recently learned that Reachmen descend from Breton stock, and if I’m not mistaken the Nedes are of Nord lineage.

    But from my uninitiated perspective their cultures seem remarkably similar. Do they share some sort of cultural roots?

    I recommend you give this a read https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Nede for your questions on Nedes, and https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Breton for your questions about Bretons.
  • ealdwin
    ealdwin
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    Aliyavana wrote: »
    ealdwin wrote: »
    As others have stated, the term "Nede" is a term used to describe the large number of groups that were spread throughout North-Western and Central Tamriel. These tribes presumably had largely similar cultural practices that lead to them all being grouped under the umbrella of "Nedic". However, not enough is known about all those groups in order to determine how similar or dissimilar they were. We know that Nedes in Craglorn worshiped the Celestials and the Constellations, but did all Nedic groups? What we do know is that Nedic societies covered a decent portion of Tamriel, and their descendants are among the modern-day Imperials, Bretons, and Reachmen. It's debated whether they are native or immigrated from Atmora.

    The Bretons, have their origin in the Nedic groups living in High Rock. Legends (cough, Arena Lore, cough) state that Bretons are descendants of a group known as the "Druids of Galen". Now, nothing is known about the "Druids of Galen". Likely, that is a term for the Nedic people living in High Rock, but is Galen a place? A tribe? Who knows! When the Altmeri Direnni settled in High Rock, they set themselves up as a noble ruling class over the Nedic inhabitants, and eventually started having children with them. These children were called "Beratu", an Ehlnofex word meaning "half". As time wore on, the Altmer blood in these lines began to thin out, leaving the manmer more prominently mannish than mer.

    Something worth noting is that when early Nordic hunting parties discovered the Bretons, they at first mistook them for a new vein of elves. But, then the Bretons spoke in a broken Nordic. This may suggest a connection between the Nedes and the Nords. Once the Nords realized they were men, they thought they were Nords who had been captured from Sarthaal. At times portions of High Rock have either been settled by or under the control of Nords or Skyrim, leading to Nordic influence on bits of the culture as well some Nordic blood entering into the Breton cocktail.

    The Reachmen are the descendants of Nedic tribes living in caves in the Druadach mountains. Like the Bretons, these Nedic tribes also saw mixing with the Altmer who conquered the region (The Direnni Hedgemony at one point controlled land up to Markarth and Elinhir). It's unkown if these Nedes in the mountain were connected to the Nedes in the rest of High Rock, and how related they are to Bretons, but Reachmen and Bretons do share similar origins, despite the vast cultural differences. The big difference between the two races is that any Nord colonists in the Reach were killed or pushed out by the Altmer, meaning very little Nordic ancestry is in the Reachmen, compared to the Bretons.

    So pretty much https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Breton.

    I wouldn't discount the Druids of Galen origin for Bretons, however, regardless of it being Arena. Older TES games treated Bretons with much more respect than in newer TES games. Additionally, though it has never been brought up again, it has yet to have been contridicted. the Druids of Galen could be Nedes if we apply newer lore to them.

    Yeah, pretty much a summary of the UESP page. It’s a good source for lore.

    And I don’t discount the Druids of Galen origin, just merely poking fun at the fact that UESP now lists that as a potential “legend” meaning that it was a bit of lore from the 90’s that hasn’t been touched on since.

    Personally, I think that the “Druids of Galen” were a collection of Nedic tribes living in High Rock, and Galen was the term used for their territory. And, that these Nedic groups earned the reputation as the “Druids of Galen” by being more magically inclined and venerating the Ehlnofex similar to the Beldama Wyrd as we see in ESO. They may have also had a loose collection of Divines they worshipped such as Jephre, Magnus, or even Dibella that made integration into Direnni culture easier. (I theorize Dibella due to the presence of Dibella statues among the Forsworn, who, as reachmen, do share some ancient heritage with the Bretons). Alternatively, if there is any truth to the Atmoran origin of the Nedes, they could have held an alternate form of the Totemic religion the Proto-Nords had.

    The problem is that compared to the treatment Bretons got in older games such as Daggerfall and Arena, their treatment in ESO is virtually not more than the cliffnotes of the cliffnotes version. So, any exploration that could have been done into the ancient Bretons isn’t there.
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