Dark Anchors were metaphysical devices comprised of ebony-alloy cold-iron which were used to weaken the barrier between Nirn and Coldharbour, allowing the two realms to be merged. They were created for the Planemeld, Molag Bal's attempted conquest of Nirn which occurred after the Soulburst. The Dark Anchors were created in the Black Forge. Singular Dark Anchors are capable of pulling portions of Nirn into Coldharbour.
Dolmen construction was interrupted in the Wrothgarian Mountains, as the Orcs of the newly-built Orsinium used the Black Worm Clan's ancient power stones to construct the city. The stones were stolen before the anchors even began to fall, forcing the cultists to start anew.
The Great Shackle
The Great Shackle is the ultimate Dark Anchor; a massive device capable of completing the Planemeld on its own accord. The flames used to forge the Great Shackle were fueled by a substance called the Charcoal of Remorse. Once cast, the device was quenched in the Blood of a Thousand Innocents.
Powering the Planemeld
It takes considerable power to form a connection to Nirn across Oblivion. Due to the considerable power required to form connections to Nirn across Oblivion, Soul Shriven are useless. Powerful mortals, especially magic-users, provide the most effective and clean source of energy, but most of the power for Dark Anchors came from elemental Atronachs. Flame and Frost Atronachs provided enough power, but volatile Storm Atronachs provided the most, and thus a great number were used to launch the Dark Anchors and the Great Shackle.
Creatures used to power the Planemeld through the Great Shackle were entrapped within a prism. Magicka conduits were used to drain the life force of imprisoned organisms. This energy was volatile; reversing the flow of energy through the magicka conduits would break the control locks and overload the prism. This destroyed the source of power, ultimately depriving the Planemeld of precious fuel.
During the joint invasion on Coldharbour by the Fighters and Mages Guilds in 2E 582, the Vestige and Vanus Galerion entered the Black Forge to destroy the Great Shackle. They succeeded, but soon learned the Shackle had created a Planar Vortex, whose existence threatened to swallow Nirn. The two guilds mustered their forces, and with the aid of the last Ayleid king, the army was able to reach the Planar Vortex. Those who survived the assault on Molag Bal's inner sanctum were joined by Meridia, who was responsible for giving the guilds a safe haven in Coldharbour. The Vestige unleashed the Light of Meridia at the Planar Vortex's core, destroying it and effectively ending the Planemeld.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- The Black Forge Inventory Report by Kyngald Nazkrixor — A report outlining the construction of the Great Shackle
- Powering the Dark Anchors — Notes on inner workings of Dark Anchors and the methods of powering them
- The Source of Power — Notes on the forging of the Great Shackle and its role in the Planemeld
- Loading screen text for The Black Forge in ESO
- Chronicles of the Five Companions 1 — Lyris Titanborn
- Powering the Dark Anchors
- Projection of Vanus Galerion's dialogue during Vanus Unleashed in ESO
- Vanus Galerion's dialogue during Breaking the Shackle in ESO
- Our Continued Labor
- The Black Forge — Kyngald Nazkrixor
- The Source of Power
- Events of Breaking the Shackle in ESO
- Cadwell's dialogue during Breaking the Shackle in ESO
- Meridia's dialogue during The Final Assault in ESO
- Events of The Final Assault in ESO