The world of the Elder Scrolls is known for its attention to detail, attempted realism, and the vast number of names, dates, and places that constitute its history and the interconnected structure of its various societies, cultures, and religions. There is no one compilation of all information pertaining to the Elder Scrolls world, and, within the games, historical references are often vague or unclear. Players are encouraged to draw their own conclusions about situations and events for which the records are sparse, contradictory, or incomplete.
The Elder Scrolls take place on the fantasy world of Nirn in the continent of Tamriel, a large landmass divided into nine provinces. The exceptions are The Elder Scrolls Legends: Battlespire and parts of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion that take place between the realm of Oblivion (one of several alternate dimensions ruled by immortal god-like beings known as Daedra Princes) and the mortal realm of Mundus. There are other continents besides Tamriel on Nirn (such as Akavir or Yokuda), but there has yet to be an official game that takes place in one.
Tamriel itself is an empire divided into nine provinces, each with its own native race. Those provinces are as follows: Cyrodiil, Morrowind, High Rock, The Summerset Isles, Hammerfell, Black Marsh, Skyrim, Valenwood, and Elsweyr. The native races of the provinces are as follows: Imperials in Cyrodiil, Dunmer (also known as Dark Elves) in Morrowind, Bretons and Orsimer (also known as Orcs) in High Rock, Altmer (also known as High Elves) in The Summerset Isles, Redguards in Hammerfell, Argonians in Black Marsh, Nords in Skyrim, Bosmer (also known as Wood Elves) in Valenwood, and Khajiit in Elsweyr. The emperor resides in the capital of Cyrodiil. The ruling dynasty throughout the third era was entirely of the descendants of Tiber Septim. His line, frequently called the Dragonborn, ended at the conclusion of the third era with the death of Martin Septim, the last living heir of Uriel Septim.