Bretons are part-elvish and part-human beings (more human than elvish) that populate the province of High Rock, where the second game of the series, Daggerfall, takes place. They are capable mages with high magicka resistance. Other than that, they have few distinctive features. They are considered an intelligent human race in Tamriel, known for a proficiency in abstract thinking, a possible reason for their adeptness in the magical arts.
The Bretons' origin can be traced to the First Era of Elder Scrolls history, when the Aldmer attacked and destroyed the Nedic holdings in Skyrim. Many of the female Nords captured in the raids were subsequently enslaved as concubines, and gave birth to mixed Aldmer-Nord offspring, termed Manmer by the pure-blooded Nords. While the Aldmer maintained control of Tamriel, the Manmer lived as lower-class citizens, supporting their meric brethren. After the Aldmer lost their foothold, the remaining Manmer interbred with the controlling human races. The Bretons of modern-day Tamriel have a much-diluted meric ancestry, seen in their higher magical affinity.
It is assumed that Bretons are based on the Breton people of France (or Celtic people in general), just as it is assumed that Imperials are based on the Romans.