Lore:Nighthollow Clan

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Lady Belain, matriarch of the clan
Banner of the Nighthollow Clan

The Nighthollow Clan, also known as the Night Lords,[1][2] was one of the first vampire clans to emerge, and thus is almost as old as the curse itself. They inhabited a section of Blackreach located beneath the Reach. They feasted on the power of the Dark Heart at the risk of being consumed by it.[3][4] Their vampiric features were masked by pallid grey skin and deep black eyes, a side-effect of their reliance on the Heart.[5] The clan had their own written language, recorded in a script known as Void Runes.[6][7]


Merethic to First Era[edit]

Sometime between the Merethic Era,[8] and the second century of the First Era,[nb 1] the curse of vampirism was first unleashed upon Tamriel by Molag Bal.[9] The first vampire clans would later emerge within the province and migrate beneath the surface to establish their own empires within Blackreach.[10][11] One of these clans was the Nighthollow, whom discovered the Dark Heart. They became reliant on its void energy for sustenance and consequently became unable to gain nourishment through blood.[12] Before they became reliant on void energy, they ruled the Reach above from the depths of Blackreach, and were dubbed the Night Lords by the ancestors of modern Reachfolk.[1]

In the years following the death of King Harald in 1E 221, the Dwemer city-states of Arkngthamz, Bthar-Zel, Mzulft, and Raldbthar,[13] (and possibly Nchuand-Zel)[14] formed an alliance to oversee the extraction, processing, and study of the arcane mineral known as Aetherium.[13][14] This alliance eventually discovered the Dark Heart, and stole it from the Nighthollow Clan.[15][12] They created various apparatuses to study and control the heart's power. They opted to create the Library of Arkthzand, a place to share knowledge among the clans,[14] and built an orrery within it to chart the Void using cosmic forces (aetheric, kinetic, and tonal), with the Dark Heart as a power source.[12] Eventually internal disputes would occur over Aetherium, and the precious material would lend its name to the Aetherium Wars, which led to the collapse of Skyrim's Dwarven city-states,[14][13] and resulted in the Library of Arkthzand's abandonment.[14] Although the Dark Heart lay dormant, empty pockets known as void portals would continue to form around the library.[16][17]

Despite its abandonment, the Library of Arkthzand remained sealed, and without its Keystone,[18] the Nighthollow were forced to utilize their thralls to dig tunnels leading from their keep to the Library.[12] They eventually broke through to the caverns underneath the orrery and reclaimed the Dark Heart.[15] Unfortunately for the Nighthollow, the Dwarves depleted most of its energy, leading to the inner circle to keep the remaining scraps for themselves. Their underlings were left to starve, or at worst devolve into husks.[19][20] Lady Belain, seeing her clan slowly reduce into a shell of its former self, eventually took it upon herself to reserve the rest of the Heart's power to herself, even from her inner circle. She believed that the remaining energy would sustain her for long enough to discover a means of restoring the Heart's power.[18] The Nighthollow Clan, in time, lost their power and influence and were reduced to mere bedtime stories for the dwellers of the Reach.[1]

Second Era[edit]

During the Interregnum, Rada al-Saran was looking to obtain the Dark Heart to sever his Gray Host's contract with Molag Bal, which sentenced them to eternal damnation to Coldharbour upon their deaths. The Gray Host encroached on the Reach looking for the Dark Heart, slaughtering any Reach clans that stood in their path. Seeking to revitalize her Nighthollow clan, Lady Belain, who had made a pact with Rada centuries before, joined al-Saran. She was planted as an advisor to Ard Caddach and convinced him to encourage the fearful Reach clans to take refuge in Markarth. This was, in actuality, a ploy to gather mortals to be sacrificed to fuel the reawakening of the Dark Heart.[21]

After being discovered as an ally of Rada by The Vestige and House Ravenwatch, Lady Belain hurried to rally the Ghostsong Clan to enact the Prophecy of the Dark Heart. Those who deserted the clan were quickly killed, while the willing were sacrificed to the Dark Heart. Arana, a dissident of the Ghostsong clan, aided the Vestige in discovering the Ghostsong's hideout, and discovered that Nathari had primed the reawakening of the Heart. Many shades came forth, and Nathari herself was transformed into a voidmother and was slain. The victory brought the Heart to a temporary stasis.[22]

House Ravenwatch then assaulted Lady Belain's Nighthollow Keep under Blackreach, and discovered the Heart deep within the keep's depths, as well as the ongoing ritual to fully reawaken it. However, it was too late, and the Heart was reawakened, pulling the souls of Markarth's denizens into it, and resurrecting the Nighthollow clan from its ashes.[23] Lady Belain unsealed the doors of Nchuand-Zel, catching those at Understone Keep off guard and almost killing Ard Caddach. The Vestige followed Arana into Nchuand-Zel, and recovered the keystone within the ruin's depths to gain access to the Orrery of Arkthzand, which al-Saran required to harvest the Heart's power to its full potential. There, Lady Belain teleported the intruders to the Dark Heart's chambers, and bathed in its power. Despite this, Namira intervened through Arana, and gave her the strength to press on despite her wounds. Together, the duo slew Belain, striking another blow against Rada, though Arana succumbed to her wounds after the battle.[24]

Seeking revenge for their Matriarch's death, the remnants of the Nighthollow Clan sought to end the Vestige, but ultimately failed.[25] House Ravenwatch would use the Dark Heart to travel to the Gray Host's sanctuary of Grayhaven, and slay Rada. With the Dark Heart cut off from its supply of souls, and Verandis as its new guardian, the Nighthollow Clan would eventually starve and turn feral, as they would be unable to feed themselves.[11]

Subsequently after, the Wayward Guardians sought to obtain the secrets to the Nighthollow language.[26]



  1. ^  Lamae Bal's curse was given to her in Skyrim, putting the creation of Vampirism sometime after the Nedes migrated to the province, and sometime before 1E 221, which the Nighthollow existed by then, whom lost access to the Dark Heart.

See Also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Reach Bedtime StoriesIsa Truiand, Teller of Tales
  2. ^ Vampiric Stained Glass antiquity codex entry in ESO
  3. ^ Count Verandis Ravenwatch's dialogue during The End of Eternity in ESO
  4. ^ Nighthollow Clan and various other's abilities in ESO
  5. ^ The Nighthollow Clan's use of Namira's Bile in ESO
  6. ^ Tome of Void Runes quest item description in ESO
  7. ^ Events of The Language of the Night in ESO: Markarth
  8. ^ Frontier, ConquestUniversity of Gwylim Press, 3E 344
  9. ^ Opusculus Lamae Bal ta MezzamortieMabei Aywenil, Scribe
  10. ^ Gwendis's dialogue during The Dark Heart in ESO
  11. ^ a b Count Verandis Ravenwatch's dialogue in ESO
  12. ^ a b c d Count Verandis Ravenwatch's dialogue in ESO
  13. ^ a b c The Aetherium WarsTaron Dreth
  14. ^ a b c d e Legend of ArkthzandNeramo, Scholar of Extraordinary Merit
  15. ^ a b Lord Idrisin's dialogue during the events of The Dark Heart in ESO
  16. ^ The Library of ArkthzandPentarch Cievernes
  17. ^ Void PortalsPentarch Cievernes
  18. ^ a b Lady Belain's dialogue in ESO
  19. ^ Nighthollow Shade's dialogue in ESO
  20. ^ Nighthollow Husk's appearance in ESO
  21. ^ Events of The Despot of Markarth in ESO
  22. ^ Events of The Awakening Darkness in ESO
  23. ^ Events of The Dark Heart in ESO
  24. ^ Events of A Feast of Souls in ESO
  25. ^ Mortas's dialogue in ESO
  26. ^ Ardanir's dialogue in ESO