- "Long stand the Tower!" —Karthwatch motto
Karthwatch was established to defend the border against the Reach after Karthald was carved from its northern territory. The Reach was at the time an independent Reachman kingdom ruled by the Despot of Markarth. Karthald was established in 2E 577 by the kingdom of Western Skyrim, although Nordic clans had inhabited the land for generations. The location for Karthwatch was decided due to its proximity to the ancient Nordic ruins of Bleakridge Barrow, which was thought would make a good defensible position in the event of a Reachman invasion. Karthwatch was considered a spartan settlement with little hospitality to offer for travelers. The banner of Karthwatch featured a stylized tower symbol on a steel blue background.
Karthwatch was destroyed circa 2E 582 by the Icereach Coven and their Reachman allies. 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. Others were taken hostage by the witches, although a rescue was mounted by the town's survivors. 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. 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.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- Karthwatch Banner
- Guide to Western Skyrim: Karthald — Imperial Surveyor Buntara Gravius
- Travels Around the Western Holds — Inky-Claws
- Svana's dialogue in ESO
- Fenrar's dialogue in ESO
- Bleakridge Barrow loading screen in ESO
- Danger in the Holds quest in ESO
- The Blood of Old Karth quest in ESO
- Daughter of the Wolf quest in ESO
- Events of Skyrim