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Type Dwemer Ruin
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Hold The Reach
Appears in Dawnguard, ESO
Arkngthamz ca. 4E 201

Arkngthamz is a Dwarven ruin located high in the hills of the Reach, in the province of Skyrim. In its prime, it was occupied by the Dwemer of Clan Kragen[1] and it led an alliance of four pocket city-states that spanned all over ancient Skyrim.[2] The purpose of the alliance was to harness a rare, blue crystal called Aetherium and Arkngthamz's role was to study its properties.[2][3] For the longest time, the ruins were well-preserved until an earthquake sundered the ruins down the middle, creating a deep, boreal chasm to the innermost chamber.[4][5]


Arkngthamz was founded sometime after Clan Rourken's exodus from Morrowind in 1E 420 since the Kragen followed their trail, and on their journey, they discovered Aetherium. Their movement eventually brought them to the Reach's southern hills, where they built the city and began to tamper with the blue material. Despite constant harassment from the local Nords, Arkngthamz flourished and inspired other clans to follow in their tracks and expand into Skyrim. Soon enough, an alliance of four city-states was created between Arkngthamz, Bthar-Zel, Mzulft, and Raldbthar, and it dominated with magical power unprecedented at the time.[2][3] Unlike most cities in Skyrim, the Dwemer of Arkngthamz used Kinetic Resonators and even sealed an Aetherium Shard with a Tonal Lock, a mechanism with several resonators.[4]

According to some Second Era sources, at the height of their age of discovery and prosperity, the neighboring clans of Arkngthamz and Bthar-Zel built a great library in Blackreach called Arkthzand. It was their neutral ground, where the clans would trade stories and share knowledge.[6] At some point in time, the Dwarves discovered a relic used by the Nighthollow Clan called the Dark Heart and stole it for themselves.[7] They constructed an orrery in Arkthzand, which was powered by the Dark Heart below it.[8] It could channel the void's energy[9] and even chart the void's expanse.[10]

At some point in time, Clan Kragen expanded beyond Arkngthamz and into the Dragon's Teeth Mountains, where they built Arkngthamz-Phng. It eventually over took Arkngthamz as the clan's seat of power.[1] Eventually, the alliance faltered as the potential Aetherium possessed became all the more apparent and the four city-states vied for control of the Aetherium Forge. Modern-day scholars such as Taron Dreth speculated that none of the cities were able to take the forge, and it was the years of conflict and the subsequent invasion led by High King Gellir that sealed the alliance's fate.[2] In the midst of their conflict, Arkthzand was destroyed and abandoned in the process.[6] Even if the Dwemer of Arkngthamz persevered years later, their race's disappearance in 1E 700 would have left their city abandoned indefinitely.[11]

By 2E 582, Arkngthamz was inaccessible from the outside and dwarven animunculi were all over the entrance. Scouts from the Gray Host surveyed the ruins from a distance.[12] Reports suggested that by the mid-Second Era, Arkngthamz was undiscovered,[6] but over time, explorers attempted to delve into the ruins for whatever reasons enticed them.[5] In the Fourth Era, the explorer Katria delved into Arkngthamz to find the location of the Aetherium Forge. She finally came across the Tonal Lock and tried her best to decipher the puzzle. She failed and triggered one of the traps; an earthquake that broke the ruins in half and sent her falling to her death.[4]

Sometime later in 4E 201, an adventurer entered the ruins and was confronted by Katria's ghost, who warned them of the ruins' dangers and advised them to turn back. Undeterred, the adventurer found the same tonal puzzle that killed Katria and retrieved the Aetherium Crest stored in it. With their first treasure and Katria's notes, the adventurer explored the ruins of the other city-states for the remaining crest pieces and eventually discovered the Aetherium Forge in the southwest Rift.[13]


See Also[edit]

  • For game-specific information, see the SkyrimDG article.