In Skyrim, a common battle cry many Nords have is: "Skyrim belongs to the Nords!" Everybody from Galmar Stone-Fist to Vilkas to Lydia says it. The Stormcloak Rebellion was set up to reconquer the homeland of the Nords. But Skyrim wasn't always the home of the Nords. This article will attempt to explain what happened.
To the north of Skyrim there is a continent known as Atmora. It is currently uninhabitable as it's climate deteriorated drastically some time after Tiber Septim left for Tamriel. However, in the early Merethic Era (the just era after the creation of Nirn, the planet Tamriel exists on) a human race called the Atmorans lived there. At the time violent civil war was happening across the continent so the Ancient Nordic hero Ysgramor gathered those who wished to leave Atmora. They sailed down the Hsaarik Head, which is near Winterhold, and founded Saarthal.
The Night of TearsEdit
Soon after the Atmorans settled in Saarthal they met and befriended the Snow Elves, who also inhabited Skyrim at the time. However, the Snow Elves later sacked Saarthal and killed everyone they could find. The only survivors were Ysgramor and his two sons, Yngol and Ylgar. This event later became known as the Night of Tears.
It is unknown what caused this attack. The main theories are that the Elves noticed the rate at which the Atmoran civilisation was growing and realised it could become a threat or that the Elves feared that the culture of Saarthal could surprass their own. Another theory is that the Atmorans found a great source of power under Saarthaland buried it, which caused the Snow Elves to covet it. This source of power could be the Eye of Magnus, which is found during the College of Winterhold questline underneath the ruins of Saarthal in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Other reports state that Ysgramor committed unspecified 'provocations and blasphemies' against the elves.
The 500 CompanionsEdit
When Ysgramor got back to Atmora he gathered an army of warriors to take revenge against the Snow Elves. They built ships at the city of Jylkurfyk and sailed back to Skyrim. On the way there, Yngol and his men were killed by the Sea-Ghosts in the Storm of Seperation. They retook and rebuilt Saarthal, then hunted all of the Snow Elves across Skyrim and drove them to near-extinction. The Ysgramor Dynasty then started, which ruled large areas of Skyrim, Cyrodiil, High Rock and Morrowind, the capital of which was situated in Windhelm at the Palace of the Kings. This created a bitter feud between the Elves and Men which still exists in the Fourth Era.
The conquest of Morrowind was the most violent of all. Morrowind already had inhabitants, the Dwemer and the Chimer. After the Nords invaded, the Dwemer and Chimer had to unite to repel the Nords from the land. They set up Chimer forts across the Dwemer borders to keep the Nords out.