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Type Cave
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Appears in Skyrim, ESO
Blackreach (Skyrim)
Blackreach (ESO)

Blackreach, also called Fal'Zhardum Din ("Blackest Kingdom Reaches" in Dwemeris),[1] is an immense cavern located deep beneath the Pale, Winterhold, Hjaalmarch, Haafingar, the Reach, and possibly extending across all Nine Holds within Skyrim.[2] Many giant glowing mushrooms grow throughout the cavern, providing natural light. The cavern is rich in minerals, including rare geode veins, and a subterranean river flows through it. Originally settled by the first vampire clans and later the Dwemer, Blackreach once served as a highway connecting several of the Dwemeri cities found within Skyrim. Following their disappearance, Blackreach has since become home to many dangerous creatures, including Giants, Frost Trolls, Chaurus, Falmer, and Wispmothers. The caverns are the only source of Crimson Nirnroot, a unique form of the common Nirnroot native to Blackreach.[3]


Sometime between the Merethic Era[4] and the second century of the First Era, the first vampire clans would emerge and would establish their own kingdoms within Blackreach.[5][6] One of these clans was the Nighthollow, whom discovered an artifact known as the Dark Heart. They become reliant on its Void energy for sustenance, and consequently became unable to gain nourishment through blood.[6] They ruled the Reach above from the depths of Blackreach, and were dubbed the Night Lords by the ancestors of modern Reachfolk.[7]

When the Dwemer settled in Blackreach, they built Great Lifts to provide quick transport to the surface. Alftand, Mzinchaleft and Raldbthar were all connected thusly to Blackreach. Irkngthand may also have contained an entrance, but it was no longer accessible as of 4E 201.[1] The Dwemer constructed roads and buildings, culminating in the Silent City in the center of Blackreach. Dwarven Centurions were installed to guard the cavern's roads. The Dwemer farmed mushrooms in the damp environment. The Tower of Mzark, located in Blackreach, contained a device used to transfer the knowledge of an Elder Scroll onto a lexicon. Blackreach also acted as the lair of the dragon Vulthuryol.[3]

In the early First Era, the Dwemer took in the Snow Elves that were seeking refuge from the invading Nords after the Snow Prince was defeated. The Dwemer fed the Snow Elves fungi that grew in the caverns which rendered the Snow Elves blind. The Dwemer would later betray the Snow Elves by using them as slaves. The Snow Elves rebelled, overthrowing their Dwarven masters, and fleeing to the darkest corners of Blackreach. The cavern became the stage for the War of the Crag, a war fought between the Dwemer and Falmer for many decades. When the Dwemer disappeared from Tamriel in 1E 700, the devolved Falmer were free to spread throughout Blackreach.[8] Over the centuries, the Falmer came to inhabit the abandoned halls of their former masters. By taming the Chaurus, they were able to use its chitin to create primitive camps, many of which were set up in Blackreach.[3]

The cavern remained largely unknown to the surface-dwelling people of Tamriel outside of legends[2] and scholarly texts. During the Second Era, Crimson Nirnroot from Blackreach was prized for its rarity and its use in alchemy.[9] A Dominion scout named Vole fell down a shaft and ended up in Blackreach during the Alliance War. He managed to find a chaurus and ate it, but unknowingly consumed a soul gem in the process and gained an innate ability to tinker with machinery, fixing one of the great lifts and leaving the ruins.[10] The Icereach Coven would later use Blackreach to experiment on unwilling test subjects by luring them with fliers to the Grinning Horker Inn, though their plot was thwarted by agents of King Jorunn.[11]

In 4E 58, the master alchemist Sinderion arrived in Blackreach to study the Crimson Nirnroot, having been directed there by an explorer named Obeth Arnesian. The Crimson Nirnroot was a variant of the common Nirnroot found exclusively in Blackreach, where it grows symbiotically with the cavern's mushrooms.[12] Sinderion set up a field laboratory in one of the abandoned Dwemer houses, where he was eventually killed by one of the still-functional Dwemer animunculi.[13]

In 4E 201, the scholar Septimus Signus sent the Last Dragonborn to Blackreach on a quest to retrieve the Dwemer's Elder Scroll.[14] The Dragonborn also uncovered Sinderion's remains, and by collecting several samples of Crimson Nirnroot, was able to continue his research.[15] Through use of the Thu'um, the Dragonborn awoke Vulthuryol. The two did battle, and the Dragonborn absorbed the dragon's soul.[16]


Graymoor Caves


See Also[edit]

  • For game-specific information, see the Skyrim and ESO articles.



  1. ^ a b Dwemer Inquiries Vol IIIThelwe Ghelein, Scholar
  2. ^ a b Lyris Titanborn's dialogue during The Coven Conundrum in ESO
  3. ^ a b c Events of Skyrim
  4. ^ Frontier, ConquestUniversity of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
  5. ^ Gwendis's dialogue during The Dark Heart in ESO
  6. ^ a b Count Verandis Ravenwatch's dialogue in ESO
  7. ^ Reach Bedtime Stories — Isa Truiand, Teller of Tales
  8. ^ The Falmer: A StudyUrsa Uthrax
  9. ^ On the Tel Var Stones: Volume 2Herminius Sophus
  10. ^ Vole's dialogue in ESO
  11. ^ The Coven Conspiracy and The Coven Conundrum quests in ESO
  12. ^ Sinderion's Field JournalSinderion
  13. ^ The location of Sinderion's corpse in Skyrim
  14. ^ Events of Elder Knowledge in Skyrim
  15. ^ Events of A Return To Your Roots in Skyrim
  16. ^ Conditions to summon and battle Vulthuryol in Skyrim
  17. ^ Graymoor Caves in Blades
  18. ^ The Staff of Magnus quest in ESO