Haafingar, or Haafingar Hold, is a relatively small, mountainous, coastal hold in northwestern Skyrim. Its capital is the famed city of Solitude, and the two are sometimes treated as one and the same. Solitude is perched atop a large rock outcropping known as the Great Arch, towering high above the Solitude Inlet, which is found at the end of the Karth River and the massive Karth delta. However, Haafingar is far more than just Solitude. The Karth River allows for a great deal of commerce in Solitude and the town of Dragon Bridge in the Clearpine Forest (mostly in timber and fish), and the long Giant's Coastline with the Sea of Ghosts is littered with frozen shipwrecks and treasures. Mount Kilkreath and its associated mountains take a large portion of the hold and it is filled with caves and ruins where bandits and creatures make their homes.
The hold shares borders with two other holds, the Reach to the south and Hjaalmarch to the southeast, and the province of High Rock borders it to the west, the Forgotten Vale found between the hold and Wrothgar. The mountains of Haafingar are only the tapered end of the Druadach Mountains, an enormous range of jagged mountain peaks to the south which rise up among the clouds of the Reach.
Haj Uxith (translating to "Hidden Nest" in Jel) is an Argonian city found with the depths of Coldharbour, a plane of Oblivion. Haj Uxith comes from a time in Argonian civilization that came before the events known as Duskfall. In order to escape it, the Hist had made a pact with Molag Bal, which took the settlement into his realm, where the Hist would be harvested by the Daedra. A motto that the Argonians of Haj Uxith follow is to preserve the culture that their Hist attempted to keep safe.
Hakoshae (also known as Valley Guard) is a settlement found in the region of Anequina, within the province of Elsweyr. It is one of the few villages across Northern Elsweyr that were built by the Akaviri refugees that fled to Elsweyr following the death of Emperor-Potentate Savirien-Chorak in 2E 431. Hakoshae is an isolated and quiet community that promotes their Akaviri background with pride. It is currently populated by Imperials with a very loose and distant background from the Tsaesci that were contemporary with the Potentate.
Halcyon Lake is a lake on the Bjoulsae River situated in eastern High Rock, in the Mournoth region of northern Bangkorai. The city of Evermore is not far to the southwest. There is a prominent island in the middle of the lake.
Half-submerged near the island are the ruins of Bisnensel, an Ayleid city founded by Laloriaran Dynar, the Last King of the Ayleids, in the First Era. However, he was forced out by a growing cult of Hermaeus Mora, which occupied the ruins for some time afterwards. As the desertification of Bangkorai spread north, the lake was destined to dry up. In 2E 582, a local nereid attempted to avoid this fate by stealing the memories of mortals to create a Water Stone, much to the displeasure of Hermaeus Mora. It is unknown if she succeeded in her plans.
Hallin's Stand, formerly known as Ojwambu, is a city in southwestern Bangkorai in Hammerfell. It lies in a desert region known as the Fallen Wastes. The river from Nilata Falls feed into the Sacred Springs surrounding the city. A large number of ruins are found nearby, such as the Ayleid Nilata Ruins to the north, the Yokudan Qharroa Ruins to the northeast, the Telesubi Ruins to the east, and Hall of Heroes to the southeast, and Dwarven Razak's Wheel to the south.
The Halls of Colossus
The Halls of Colossus is an ancient set of ruins found in the province of Elsweyr, deep in the reaches of the region of Pellitine. It overlooks the Great Divide, a stretch of road that runs along the Quin'rawl Peninsula. These ancient ruins have existed in the area long before recorded history, with no indication of who built them, or why. But as the eras go by, the Halls of Colossus was used to contain ancient weapons, from Numidium, to a piece of the Staff of Chaos.
Hammerfell, once known as Hegathe, the Deathland, and Volenfell, is a province in the west of Tamriel, bordering Skyrim, Cyrodiil, and High Rock. This province is dominated by the wasteland of the Alik'r desert. It is inhabited by the human race of Redguards, who fled to Tamriel after their home, Yokuda, was destroyed.
Hammerfell is predominately an urban and maritime province, with most of its population confined to the great port and trade cities. The interior is sparsely populated with small poor farms and beastherds. The Redguards' love of travel, adventure, and the high seas have dispersed them as sailors, mercenaries, and adventurers in ports of call throughout the Empire.
For more general information, see the main lore article.
Before the Red Year of 4E 5, the Harstrad river formed the eastern boundary of the Moesring Mountains on the island of Solstheim. It sprung up near the center of the island and flowed north, merging with the Isild River in the Isinfier Plains and then out into the Sea of Ghosts. The Wind Stone was located on its western shore, the Tree Stone was near its headwaters, and its banks were dotted with barrows and snow wolves.
The cataclysms of the Red Year substantially changed the landscape of Solstheim. The delta of the river has moved a little northeast, and the Wind Stone is now located on its eastern shore. The body of the river was substantially truncated, as the headwaters, now inhabited by Spriggans, emerge further north on the island. When the fungal tower of Tel Mithryn began suffering a serious malady in 4E 201, taproot soaked in the headwaters of the river was used to heal the living building.
Hattu Mountain, sometimes called Mount Hattu or "The Father of Mountains", was a mountain in the High Desert province of Yokuda. It was notable for being the place where Frandar Hunding wrote the Book of Circles. Shortly after, a bloody conflict known as the War of the Singers took place at the foot of the mountain.
Haven is one of the eight major cities in the province of Valenwood, situated in the dense marshes of southeast Grahtwood. On the stormy waters of the Long Coast, the city is a major trading post and built on a strategic location on the Southern Sea. It has shifted control between several races, from the Imperials of the Second Empire to the Altmer of the Aldmeri Dominion. Not only is it one of Valenwood's six major countries, but it is considered the gateway of Grahtwood and a key link on the Lane sea route. It acquired its name because it "seems a place of safety in an otherwise dangerous world."
The Havoc Wellhead (sometimes styled Havok Wellhead) is a realm of Oblivion controlled by many Daedric clans in the service of Mehrunes Dagon. It acts as one of Dagon's many provincial governmental centers. It was accessible from the Battlespire, but the connection was lost after its destruction during the Imperial Simulacrum.
The Heartlands is a lowland area in Cyrodiil consisting of the central areas of the province at the northern end of the River Niben. The Red Ring Road forms the border on most sides, beyond which the region merges into the greater Nibenay Basin towards Cheydinhal in the east, and the greater Nibenay Valley along the River Niben to Niben Bay in the south. On its western and northern sides, the region is bordered by the Great Forest.
Hectahame (translated as "Home of the Exiles" in Ayleidoon and also called the Heart of Valenwood) is a large and expansive Ayleid ruin found in the evergreen jungles of Greenshade, in the province of Valenwood. Built deep in the vales of Green's Marrow, it contains the Heart of the Valenwood, an ancient tree that represents the physical embodiment of the forest's soul and lifeblood. The local Wood Elves view these ruins with superstition and awe, both fearing the past and venerating the Heart for the life energy it emanates. It was built by the Ayleids, possibly for those that lived in the White-Gold Tower.
Hegathe (also called Old Hegathe) is one of the eight major cities in the province of Hammerfell, found on the western shore landings of the vast desert. Hegathe was once the capital of Hammerfell, ever since the Ra Gada landed on its shores in 1E 808, that was until it was moved to the north, to the Kingdom of Sentinel. It is known for its austere ramparts that represent the time of antiquity. The name originally referred to the wastelands that was later designated as Hammerfell, deriving from the Aldmeri word for "Deathland". There is a Morwha conservatorium in the city.
Heimlyn Keep is a fortified settlement located in the region of Stonefalls, within the province of Morrowind. Heimlyn Keep is a settlement occupied by House Telvanni, where it is used to store objects with high-levels of magical potency, too dangerous to keep in circulation around the world. Those who administrate over Heimlyn Keep are highly-skilled in magic and knowledgeable in ancient magic. It has since been this way for many lifetimes.
Hel Ra Citadel
Hel Ra Citadel (or Citadel of Hel Ra) is a Yokudan fortress found in the Dragontail Mountains of southwest Craglorn, in the province of Hammerfell. Originally a Nedic fort captured by Yokudans, Hel Ra was one of the easternmost of the Ra Gada domains, and one of the few to survive into modernity. Built atop a mountain to oversee a nearby Yokudan city, the town of Heldorn Mount would later be founded there. Sealed by ancient methods for thousands of years, Hel Ra Citadel long remained a revered remnant of "old Yokuda" in Hammerfell. It was briefly re-opened occupied by the Celestial Warrior and the re-awakened Anka Ra during the Interregnum, until they were vanquished by the Undaunted.
Helgen, referred to as the "Gateway to the North" due to the many travelers who visited whilst coming from Cyrodiil to the south, was a fortified hamlet located east-northeast of the city of Falkreath, south of Riverwood, and north of Pale Pass.
The rather small "backwater hovel" was guarded by a wooden wall and the slopes of the mountains it was nestled in, and surrounded a large fort known as Helgen Keep. The Keep held a barracks for Imperial troops, a torture room, and led into a series of caves that traveled north into the wilderness.
Heljarchen (also called Helarchen Creek) is a historical settlement located in the region known as the Pale, within the province of Skyrim. It is found on the edge of the Pale, where the mountains descend into the great plains of Whiterun Hold. By the Fourth Era the original settlement had been abandoned and a private homestead known as Heljarchen Hall was constructed on the land.
During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the village of Helarchen Creek was an active settlement, being ruled by Lady Ingte. It had a rivalry with Laintar Dale and Dunpar Wall. It was neighbored by several settlements, including Dawnstar to the northwest, Dunpar Wall to the southwest, and Winterhold to the northeast.
By 4E 201, the area had become entirely abandoned. The jarl of Dawnstar offered to sell the land to the Last Dragonborn as a private estate for the purpose of constructing a homestead and wheat mill known as Heljarchen Hall.
They have a unique breed of wolf known as the Helkarn Wolf. Their young are more sociable than the typical wolf. For a time, they were used as watchdogs, until they were considered unsuitable, so instead, they were bred to be rideable mounts. Helkarn was one of the original sixteen kingdoms of Elsweyr, even back then, they were known for breeders and shepherds.
Helstrom is one of the eight major cities in the province of Black Marsh, located in the impenetrable center called Middle Argonia. Helstrom's position in the province makes it impossible to reach for anyone that is not an Argonian. Even so, the city is notorious for its perilous reputation; the city's guard is reportedly dangerous.
Layout & Geography
The marsh of Helstrom is very dense and heavily consumed by Heart-Mud, which is reportedly very dark in color. There are some creatures in the region that have their names attributed to the city, such as the Helstrom Ancestor Lizard, which some scholars speculated to be the progenitors of the Argonian race, as well as the Helstrom Crocodile, an incredibly large variant that went extinct during the Great Burn of 1E 2828 in the Blackwater War. Their skulls were used by the Dead-Water Tribe as a trap for either animals or people. Not much is known about the city at large, but its alleys are considered both wonderful and dangerous. Helstrom is neighbored by several settlements, including Alten Markmont to the southeast, Greenspring to the southwest, and Tenmar Wall to the north.
- Helstrom Palace
Helstrom as a city has been reportedly active since at least the late First Era, concurrent to the Second Empire's invasion of Argonia, known as the Blackwater War. The Battle of Argonia in 1E 2811 was a one-sided conflict between the Imperial Legion, who barely broke wind and the Argonians, who suffered severe casualties. The defending forces retreated to the interior of Black Marsh toward Helstrom, where the Empire were unable to follow, nor intended to lay siege. The Empire was content to the border and coastal regions, rather than the interior. What followed after was the Blackwater War proper, where the Empire continued to press forward with their invasion by taking everything else before the Argonians could re-group. By 1E 2837, the entire region was conquered by the Empire and formally founded as the Imperial Province of Black Marsh.
Even though the interior region is inhospitable for non-Argonians, information about the city has escaped Middle Argonia and spread throughout the continent. This can be seen with the book called The Alik'r, which was written by the western scribe, Enric Milres in the Second Era. Despite the fact that the Empire was more content with taking Black Marsh from across the borders and the coast, Helstrom later became a fully incorporated city-state of the Third Empire and settlements were built deep in the interior by the fourth century of the Third Era. During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Helstrom was an active settlement. It was ruled by King Germanus and had a rivalry with Stormhold.
- Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Helstrom's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Pit Daemons".
- The Pit Daemons is one three factions employed in the gladiatorial guild called the Circle of Champions. They were active all throughout Tamriel in the Second Era, in various major cities and landmarks across the provinces.
- Throne Keeper Farvad's dialogue in ESO
- Redguards, Their History and Their Heroes — Destri Melarg
- Divad the Singer — Destri Melarg
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.
Herne is an island off the west coast of Hammerfell, north of Cespar. It is most notable for acting as the temporary refuge for the Yokudan nobility, known as the Na-Totambu, during the Ra Gada exodus to Tamriel in the early First Era.
Although some sources claim Herne was uninhabited before their arrival, others claim that it was inhabited by a tribe of Nedes, led by a warchief named Haakon. The Nedes had successfully repulsed many attacks by elves prior to the arrival of the Yokudans, but the Ra Gada ultimately exterminated them.
The region is named after Prince Hubalajad, or "Prince Hew", who was the first to attempt to settle the Peninsula, in the early days of the Ra Gada. He discovered a barren peninsula hostile to most life; scorching heat and seasonal flooding led to brackish water and ground which was unsuitable for crops. His struggles during the founding of Abah's Landing gave Hew's Bane its name.
Hew's Bay (formerly known as Hubalajad's Bay) is the body of water that encompasses south-central Hammerfell, around the eastern coast of Hew's Bane and the cities of Abah's Landing and Taneth. It is named after Prince Hubalajad, the Yokudan noble that founded the aforementioned region of Hew's Bane, but his efforts throughout the years ended in failure and tarnished his name.
High Hrothgar (or simply Hrothgar) is a secluded monastery, perched atop the highest peak in Skyrim, the Throat of the World. Here reside the few members of the ancient order of the Greybeards, who endeavor to become more attuned to the voice of the sky. Jurgen Windcaller, after his defeat at Red Mountain and subsequent meditation, built his home at High Hrothgar and founded the order to study the Thu'um in peace. The Nords believe that they were created by Kyne when the sky breathed onto the peak of this mountain, and many journey up the seven thousand steps on pilgrimages. Few are granted access to its halls as they must be deemed worthy by the Greybeards first (notable examples including Grundwulf, Jorunn, Tiber Septim, Ulfric Stormcloak, and the Last Dragonborn). Most who are accepted are then trained in the Way of the Voice.
High Rock is a province in the northwest section of Tamriel. Most of the province is inhabited by the Bretons, who have divided the province into multiple Breton city states and minor kingdoms. The northern tip of central High Rock also contains Orsinium, the City-State of the Orcs. High Rock encompasses the many lands and clans of Greater Bretony, the Dellese Isles, the Bjoulsae River tribes, and, by tradition, the Western Reach. The rugged highland strongholds and isolated valley settlements have encouraged the fierce independence of the various local Breton clans, resisting integration into a formal province or Imperial identity. Nonetheless, their language, bardic traditions, and heroic legends are a unifying legacy.
The Hirstaang Forest covered most of the southern half of Solstheim, south of the Isinfier Plains. Bloodskal Barrow and Brodir Grove formed the northern border. The west, south and eastern borders ended at the northern waters of the Inner Sea. The forest was destroyed following the eruption of Red Mountain in the Red Year of 4E 5, leaving only ash wastes in the southern half of Solstheim.
The Hirstaang Forest was home to numerous barrows and ice caves. There were only two Imperial settlements on the island, both located within the forest: Fort Frostmoth and the mining town of Raven Rock. Barrows like Bloodskal Barrow, Himmelhost Barrow, Frosselmane Barrow, Kolbjorn Barrow, Skogsdrake Barrow and Valbrandr Barrow made the Hirstaang Forest home to the largest concentration of barrows anywhere on Solstheim. The few ice caves in the region, like the Halls of Penumbra, Ulfgar the Unending's Dwelling and Kolfinna's Dwelling, made the Hirstaang Forest as extensive underground as it was above ground.
The River Hjaal is the main river that flows through the center of Hjaalmarch in Skyrim. Its headwaters are located in northwestern Whiterun Hold, in the highlands south of Morthal. After dropping down a series of waterfalls and entering Hjaalmarch, the river passes northeast through Morthal, then spreads out and drains into the Karth delta, the marshy area where the River Hjaal and the larger Karth River empty into the icy Sea of Ghosts through a variety of intricate channels.
Hjaalmarch, or Hjaalmarch Hold, is a lowland coastal hold in Skyrim. Roughly half the hold consists of the Drajkmyr marsh, south of which is the capital and only settlement Morthal (although some farms dot the tundra). The region is veined with waterways that empty into the Sea of Ghosts, and the Skyborn Range further isolates the area from the east and southern border.
Hjaalmarch is home to the Karth delta, also called the Mouths of the Karth, where the mighty Karth River and the smaller River Hjaal empty into the Sea of Ghosts through a variety of intricate channels. The Deathbell flower is known to be abundant throughout the swamps. Many ruins dot the hold, including the legendary Labyrinthian. Combined with the fog that surrounds the marshes and the creatures that stalk the land (Wispmothers purportedly originated here), Hjaalmarch is considered one of the more mysterious holds in Skyrim.
Hjaalmarch has the lowest taxes of the nine holds, but it is also the poorest hold.
Hla Oad was a tiny fishing village at the southern end of the Bitter Coast region, southwest of Balmora on Vvardenfell. It offered few services, and was rumored to be a major stopover for smugglers. Circa 2E 582, Hla Oad was not yet a town, though the Sarandas Shack was found at the site of the future settlement. Like most of Vvardenfell, it was likely destroyed during the Red Year.
Holamayan is a monastery and sacred temple of Azura, located on an isolated island off the eastern coast of Vvardenfell. It lies along Azura's Coast, south of Sadrith Mora and east of Mount Assarnibibi. The monastery has been a pilgrimage site for thousands of years, with ferries coming from as far away as Ebonheart. Secretly, Holamayan became the home of the Dissident Priests, who disputed the doctrines of the Tribunal Temple. Thus, the monastery became a repository for the Apographa, the hidden writings the Temple had suppressed. The monastery itself is built underneath the surface of the island, with its entrance hidden by hills and brush. It is further protected by a magical stone hood that raises only during the times of Azura, dawn and dusk. Within, the monks pay homage to Azura and the saints of the Dunmer (not including the Tribunal).
The Hollow City
The Hollow City is an abandoned city found in the depths of Molag Bal's realm of Coldharbour. It is protected from Molag Bal's influence and minions by his enemy, Meridia, who despises undeath. It is thus a unique oasis of light and life in one of the darkest and most dangerous realms of Oblivion.
The Hollow City was once a city in Tamriel, likely in Cyrodiil, at which point it was called by another name. It is likely that the Hollow City was once the Ayleid city of Delodiil, as the city has many things in common with how Delodiil was described and as both cities are associated with Meridia, as well as have disappeared from Nirn.
Emperor Pelagius Septim III died on the 2nd of Sun's Dawn, 3E 153 in the Temple of Kynareth on the Isle of Betony. This Temple was destroyed promptly after the Emperor's death. Not long after, residents of the Shivering Isles came to Tamriel, stole the stones of the ruined Temple, brought them to the Isles, and rebuilt the Temple in exact detail. This structure became known as the Howling Halls, as it was said that one could still hear Pelagius' screams.
Circa 2E 582, the cave was home to an evil spirit, a wispmother named Exulus. She spawned other lesser wispmothers, and used her wisps to reanimate the corpses of the countless warriors sent against her. The Temple of Arkay lost several holy warriors to the monster, and offered a bounty through the Dragonstar Caravan Company to whoever could destroy Exulus and recover the pauldrons of the fallen warriors. This contract was duly completed, and the evil was driven from Hrota Cave. However, the cave had also become the lair of a vampire lord named Zalar-do, whose presence threatened the whole of Anvil. The famed vampire hunter Mel Adrys tracked the vampire to the cave, killing her and the few victims she had turned.
By the end of the Third Era, the cave was uninhabited. This changed in 3E 433 when a gang of Bosmer thieves moved in and started plaguing Anvil. One of their victims was the Anvil harbormaster, Newheim the Portly, whose heirloom flagon was stolen. The local Fighters Guild was hired to take care of the thieves, and subsequently wiped out the gang and recovered the missing flagon. Wild beasts and monsters then began to occupy the vacated cave.
The barrow is the resting place of Hrothmund the Red, a Skaal who left Skaal Village and founded Thirsk in 3E 326 (or, according to some, in the late Second Era). He ruled over Thirsk for twenty-one years, but was slain and devoured by Ondjage, the Fell Wolf, in 3E 347. He was buried in the barrow with two of his prized possessions: Hrothmund's Axe, which became a conduit for speaking with his spirit, and the Amulet of Infectious Charm, a famous magical trinket which he had used in life to woo women despite his great ugliness. A body encased in stalhrim was placed in the barrow, although it's unknown if it was the remains of Hrothmund. The barrow was guarded by draugr, bonewolves and undead skeletons, and the entrance was magically sealed. To gain entrance, one needed to speak the correct password ("Ondjage"), or the barrow would be sealed forever. The main chamber was flooded with water, which would recede when approached. A geoglyph called Hrothmund's Bane was assembled around the barrow to resemble the head of a wolf, with the entrance as its eye.
Following Hrothmund's death, the inhabitants of Thirsk began the tradition of sending their new chieftains to the barrow to receive Hrothmund's blessing. It was during one of these visits, in 3E 427, that the Nerevarine entered the barrow, seeking to become chieftain following the death of the Udyrfrykte. The Nerevarine also looted the stalhrim, and took the Amulet of Infectious Charm for Louis Beauchamp, a Breton mage from Ald'ruhn who had sent a failed expedition to the barrow earlier that year in a patchwork airship. By 4E 201, the seal on the entrance was no longer in place and the barrow's undead guardians were gone. After Thirsk had been taken by rieklings earlier that year, the warriors of Thirsk had fallen out of Hrothmund's favor, and it's unknown if the tradition continued.
Hsaarik Head is a headland located at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape, near the city of Winterhold. According to tradition, it is where the last fleet from Atmora, under the command of Ysgramor, made landfall in Tamriel during the late Merethic Era. Some believed that the resting place of Yngol, the son of Ysgramor, was located far below the rocky face of Hsaarik Head.[nb 1]
Hunding Bay, named after the famed Redguard hero, is a body of water in the Abecean Sea, near the isle of Stros M'Kai, south of Hammerfell. It is well-known as the site of the famous Battle of Hunding Bay.
The Hunting Grounds, also known as The Great Hunt, is a realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Hircine, the Daedric Prince of the Hunt. It has been described as a realm of dense woodland and vast grasslands populated by werebears, wild cattle and unicorns. It is a savage land inhabited by vicious creatures such as bears, wolves, werecreatures, and Daedra. These creatures are generally much larger than their counterparts in the mortal realm. The Hunting Grounds are also populated with the spirits of small animals that may be hunted. All whom die within the Hunting Grounds are doomed to remain within the realm after death.
Followers of Hircine are promised an afterlife within the Hunting Grounds, where they can indulge in spectacular hunts, as well as experience an endless cycle of violence as well as death and rebirth. Its inhabitants reside in the many hunting lodges dotting the landscape. The forests of the Hunting Grounds are teeming with powerful beasts, which allow Hircine's followers to engage in the most spectacular hunts. For the devoted, it is a paradise. The souls of lycanthropes are claimed by Hircine and spend eternity experiencing the thrill of the hunt in his Hunting Grounds. However, it is possible for a soul to transfer to the proper afterlife (such as Sovngarde) if their lycanthropy is cured posthumously. During the daylight hours, werebears and fierce Nords stalk the land in their continual Hunt. When the sun sinks below the horizon, Hircine announces himself with a pack of werewolves to take his turn in the cycle.