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Type Region
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Appears in ESO

Karthald is a historical hold in Skyrim that existed during the Interregnum.[1] It was established as a defensive border against the Reach after being carved from its northern territory of the upper Karth Valley named Reachwater Pass,[2][3][4] along with parts of the Karth River Forest. The Reach was at the time an independent Reachman kingdom ruled by the Despot of Markarth. Karthald was established in 2E 577[5] by the kingdom of Western Skyrim, although Nordic clans had inhabited the land for generations.[1][6] The fortified village of Karthwatch was established in as the new hold's capital.[1][6] Karthald's borders also encompassed the Orc stronghold of Mor Khazgur, though the Orcs were keen to insist that Mor Khazgur was a sovereign outpost of Wrothgar.[1] While the roads of Karthald were safe enough for travelers, Karthwatch was a spartan settlement with little hospitality to offer.[1]

Karthald ceased to exist as a separate hold after the destruction of Karthwatch at the hands of the Icereach Coven circa 2E 582. The Reachmen created a Harrowstorm above the town in order to drain the life energy of its inhabitants, using their souls to fill ancient reliquaries containing the mortal remains of members of the Gray Host. Many of the residents of Karthwatch were transformed into vampiric monstrosities known as Harrowfiends, including Jarl Olfwenn herself.[7] Others were taken hostage by the witches, although a rescue was mounted by the town's survivors.[8] The sole survivor of the jarl's court was the court wizard, Magister Fridelja, who went on to represent the hold politically in the turmoil that followed.[7] She and the other survivors sought refuge in Solitude. However, the rest of the hold was similarly laid to waste, its people left dead or scattered. With the Nords driven out and the hold's capital destroyed, Karthald was no more, allowing the territory to be reclaimed by the Reach.[9][10]

In 2E 852, the Reach was conquered by Tiber Septim and annexed by Skyrim as a Nord hold.[11][12] By the Fourth Era, no traces of Karthald's time as a hold remained, and a ruined fortress called Broken Tower Redoubt sat on the approximate site of Karthwatch.[13]

See Also[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b c d e Guide to Western Skyrim: KarthaldImperial Surveyor Buntara Gravius
  2. ^ Svana's dialogue in ESO
  3. ^ Nightfall Sabre Cat mount description
  4. ^ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide — David Hodgson
  5. ^ Fenrar's dialogue in ESO
  6. ^ a b Travels Around the Western HoldsInky-Claws
  7. ^ a b Danger in the Holds quest in ESO
  8. ^ The Blood of Old Karth quest in ESO
  9. ^ Bjora's dialogue during Daughter of the Wolf quest in ESO
  10. ^ Magister Fridelja's dialogue during Daughter of the Wolf quest in ESO
  11. ^ The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
  12. ^ Kibell's dialogue in Skyrim
  13. ^ Events of Skyrim