Skyrim, also known as the Old Kingdom, the Fatherland or Keizaal (Dovahzul: 16px16px16px Keiz-Aal, "Rebellion-May"[note 1]), is a vast region set in the northern part of Tamriel. It is home to the Nords, large and hardy men and women who have a strong resistance to frost, both natural and magical. Skyrim was originally inhabited by a race of Mer known as the Snow Elves, though after the Atmoran-Snow Elf War, the Snow Elves were destroyed and the Atmorans settled the land. It is bordered by Morrowind to the east, Cyrodiil to the south, Hammerfell to the southwest, and High Rock to the west. The island of Solstheim lies to the northeast of Skyrim.
Expedition to Skyrim
During the Merethic Era, a legendary Atmoran leader named Ysgramor, led an expedition from Atmora to the land that would later be known as Skyrim. They called the land Mereth, in recognition of the vast number of Mer that lived there. It was the first region of Tamriel to be settled by humans, who migrated there from the land of Atmora in the far north, across the Sea of Ghosts. According to legend, Ysgramor landed first at Hsaarik Head, at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. It is said that he and his companions were fleeing the civil war in Atmora, which at that time had a sizable population. However, Ysgramor and his followers were not the first to come to Tamriel, the continent that Skyrim is located in. Humans had already occupied parts of Tamriel, which included the proto-Cyrodillians, the ancestors of the Bretons, the aboriginals of Hammerfell, and a vanished Human population of Morrowind. The Nords were just one of the ancestors of the Nedic peoples, and were the only ones who failed to find a peaceful relations and accommodation with the Mer who already occupied Tamriel. New archaeological expeditions made in 3E 344 date the earliest Human settlements in Hammerfell, High Rock and Cyrodiil at ME800-1000, centuries earlier than Ysgramor.
The Atmorans settled the area that in the future would be known as Winterhold hold; they eventually built a city in the region and called it Saarthal. For a long while, relations between the Snow Elves and the Atmorans were relatively peaceful.
Night of Tears
However, the Snow Elves saw that the Nords, with their considerably shorter life expectancy, fast rates of physical maturation and expedient (by Elvish standards) reproductive cycle, would eventually overtake them if left unchecked. At the time, men were viewed by Snow Elves as being primitive and animal-like, and it was seen as no great moral remission to stop the spread of a potentially disastrous invasive species, who would destabilize the Tamrielic ecosystem. However, there was a theory which raised the possibility of the Snow Elves' attack on Saarthal for another reason. The Atmorans had discovered something deep beneath the surface, when they were building Saarthal. The Atmorans tried to keep the secret of the artifact they found, but the Snow Elves learned of it. Thus, Elvish pogroms razed the city of Saarthal on what became known as the Night of Tears. Only Ysgramor and his two sons survived, and escaped back to Atmora.
When Ysgramor and his sons returned to Atmora, they told the stories and events that happened in Skyrim. The people of Atmora cried out in sadness and anger, and for revenge against the Snow Elves; the people were united with a common cause for war against the Elves. In addition, seeing the tenuous peace which had developed between the various factions, Ysgramor recognized the opportunity to turn their plight into a uniting force for the human race. Within a few years, Ysgramor was set to return to Skyrim with an army known as the "Five Hundred Companions", composed of the heroes of the Atmoran Civil War. On the Day of Final Passage, the Five Hundred Companions left the port of Jylkurfyk to return to Skyrim.
The Atmoran-Snow Elf War took place in the late Merethic Era. One famous battle, which occurred late in the war and happened to be the turning point for the Atmorans, was the Battle of the Moesring. During the battle, the Atmorans were winning and it appeared that they would be victorious, until the arrival of the Snow Prince. He rallied and led his forces into combat, inspiring the troops of the last remaining army of Snow Elves. Several of the greatest Nord warrior-heroes fell before the Snow Prince, which included Ingjaldr White-Eye, Ulfgi Anvil-Hand, Strom the White, Freida Oaken-Wand and Heimdall the Frenzied. The tide appeared to have turned for the Snow Elves, until the Snow Prince killed Jofrior. Finna, who was only twelve years of age and daughter of Jofrior, watched as her mother was slaughtered by the Snow Prince. In her rage and sadness, Finna picked up her mother's sword and threw it at the Snow Prince, which struck him in the breast and killed him. The death of the Snow Prince shattered the morale and motivation of the remaining Snow Elf warriors. Many Snow Elves fled, and those who remained on the battlefield were killed.
The war would end shortly later with the purging of most of the Snow Elves in Skyrim and their civilization would be destroyed. The Five Hundred Companions, without much resistance, drove the Snow Elves out and were knighted in the foundations for the Ysgramor Dynasty. 
Founding of Whiterun
After the war against the Snow Elves ended, the Five Hundred Companions decided to break into separate groups to find their own way in the newly founded land. The crew of Jorrvaskr, led by Jeek of the River, journeyed around the new land until they came upon a mysterious yet wondrous sight; "a monument of a bird, whose eyes and beak were opened in flame." This monument that would soon later known be known as Skyforge, was older than the Snow Elves themselves. This great monument was about as old as Nirn and was "some remnant of the god's efforts to render a paradise in Mundus before the shattering of Lorkhan." A city was built up around Jorrvaskr, and this city was known as Whiterun, with the initial area around it later known as Whiterun Hold.
Founding of Windhelm
Ysgramor and his group traveled eastwards, heading towards Yngol Barrow, and after stopping there,
<ref>tags exist for a group named "note", but no corresponding
<references group="note"/>tag was found.
<ref>tags exist, but no
<references/>tag was found