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 towering high above 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 (mostly in timber and fish), and the long coastline with the Sea of Ghosts is littered with frozen shipwrecks and treasures. The mountain ranges are 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 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.
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.
The Halls of Colossus
The Halls of Colossus is an ancient structure in the Quin'rawl Peninsula of southern Elsweyr. The complex, perched on a cliff overlooking the Great Divide, is on annexed land, much of which is now magically polluted. The Halls themselves are made up of three levels which become progressively smaller with each ascending level.
Sources speak different about who built the Halls. Some say it was built to honor a race of giants or by giants themselves. The architect of the ruins was someone named Theodorus. Dro'Mhakij, a skooma addict, claimed that it was built by the Tiber Septim as testing ground for his new weapon, the Numidium.
What is known for sure though is that the Halls already existed during the Second Era, long before Tiber Septim existed.
Jagar Tharn used it as a hiding place for the fourth of piece of the Staff of Chaos during the Imperial Simulacrum. The Eternal Champion retrieved this piece on his quest to save Emperor Uriel Septim VII.
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, 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.
The Havoc Wellhead (sometimes styled Havok Wellhead) is a realm of Oblivion controlled by many Daedric clans in the service of Mehrunes Dagon. It was accessible from the Battlespire, but the connection was lost after its destruction during the Imperial Simulacrum. The forces of Mehrunes Dagon used the realm as a headquarters during the invasion of the Battlespire.
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 (meaning "Home of the Exiles" in Ayleidoon) is a large Ayleid ruin located in the region of Greenshade, within the province of Valenwood. Hectahame is the home of the Heart of Valenwood, the physical embodiment of the soul of Valenwood, despite the name. Because it contains this tree, the ruins of Hectahame are also called the Heart of Valenwood, once being an illustrious Ayleid city before it was made into a prison for a Necromancer attempting to harness the power of the Heart.
Hegathe (also called Old Hegathe) is a city in southwestern Hammerfell. It lies along the Abecean coast, south of Sentinel. The name is an Aldmeris word roughly translating to "Deathland". The Aldmer had originally given the name to the entire region of modern-day Hammerfell.
When the Ra Gada first arrived, they landed at modern-day Hegathe. The area was inhabited by beastfolk, whom they drove off. They gave the area the name Hegathe, and made it the capital of their new realm. It remained the capital of their territory until the Interregnum, when the capital was moved to Sentinel as the result of a power struggle between the Crowns and the Forebears (Hegathe has historically been a Crown city). The austere ramparts of the city are renowned for their antique splendor.
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.
Helgen was a "backwater hovel" called the "Gateway to the North" due to the many travelers who visited while going to or from nearby Cyrodiil. It lay northeast of the town of Falkreath and southwest of the Throat of the World. In 4E 201 during the Stormcloak Rebellion, Ulfric Stormcloak was captured nearby and transported to Helgen to be executed, only to be spared in the chaos following the surprise reappearance and attack by Alduin. Helgen was devastated, and its ruins were abandoned to bandits.
Helstrom is one of the eight-major cities in the province of Black Marsh, being known as the impenetrable center of the province, where non-Argonians were able to enter. The city is also known for having such a negative reputation, such as having dangerous, yet wonderful alleyways, as well as, the guards having a dangerous reputation.
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.
Hew's Bane, originally known as Khefrem's Boot, is a peninsula in southern Khefrem on the south coast of Hammerfell. The region is named after Prince Hubalajad, or "Prince Hew", who attempted to bring civilization to this corner of Hammerfell 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. Despite his best efforts, Prince Hew was foiled at every turn, and nearly all his endeavors resulted in failure.
The extreme climate of Hew's Bane leads to a landscape of scorched rocks and sand dunes alternating with bubbling streams and lush desert foliage. The peninsula is home to exotic species such as the kotu gava and haj mota, as well as more mundane creatures like lions, lamia, and assassin beetles.
It was during Prince Hew's rule that the city of Abah's Landing was founded. Located beside a natural protected harbor on the east side of the peninsula, what started as a simple soldier's camp and shantytown soon grew into a sprawling walled city which dominates the region. Hubalajad himself constructed a lavish palace within the city, from which his descendants would rule for several generations. The prince also raised the imposing No Shira Citadel to the south of the city, although the fortification was quickly undermined by seasonal flooding and had to be abandoned. The impressive Princes Gate established northern passage to other Ra Gada holdings. Hubalajad's uncle, Magnifico Bahraha, was magically sealed within the royal tomb along with his followers when he was discovered to be a necromancer, something completely repugnant to devout Yokudans. The crypt became known as Bahraha's Gloom, although the nature of its inhabitants was kept secret from the locals. The prince himself was buried in a shuttered tomb beneath a great rock formation in the southern deserts.
At the end of the First Era, the peninsula began to go by the name of "Hew's Bane" rather than Khefrem's Boot. Popular myth had transformed Prince Hew into a comic figure, replacing his tenacity with a perceived thick-headedness. In time the city of Abah's Landing came to be ruled by self-styled "merchant lords", powerful families and conglomerates who profited immensely from the rampant piracy and banditry in the region. The Thazahrr Cartel is one such organization. The hinterlands of Hew's Bane were populated almost exclusively by pirate crews and Maormer slavers. The local outlaws in Abah's Landing formed a highly structured criminal organization called the Thieves Guild, which profited from playing the merchant lords against each other. The free city of Abah's Landing thus developed a deep rivalry with the opulent kingdom of Taneth to the north, whose traders usually bore the brunt of this thievery.
Rivalry with Taneth came to a head circa 2E 583, when the Thieves Guild broke into the royal al-Danobia Tomb and stole Magnifica Falorah's dowry. Falorah, whose influence in Taneth was thought to trump even the queen's, was not only desperate to recover her dowry, but sought to avenge the desecration of Danobia's corpse. Seeing it as an opportunity to cripple Abah's Landing, she contracted a militaristic order of bailiffs called the Iron Wheel to hunt down and imprison the Thieves Guild in its entirety. Their leader, Chief Inspector Rhanbiq, quickly realized that they had been used for political purposes as an occupying force and withdrew the Iron Wheel to the ruins of No Shira. Unbeknownst to the Guild, the guildmaster Nicolas used the dowry to establish himself as a merchant lord under the pseudonym of "Cosh". Cosh quickly proposed to Magnifica Falorah, seeking to exploit her lack of suitors in order to establish himself in Taneth. Falorah accepted, believing that the marriage would turn Abah's Landing into a puppet city and cripple the merchant lords. However, the remaining elements of the Thieves Guild discovered Nicolas' treachery and exposed his true identity. The Guild then infiltrated No Shira, freeing the guild members who had been captured by the Iron Wheel. Grateful for their assistance, Falorah established direct contact with the restored Guild, which in turn re-established the status quo by keeping a handle on the merchant lords on behalf of Taneth.
Following this, the Thieves Guild began making contact with other groups of outlaws throughout the cities of Tamriel, and quickly established a reputation. By the Third Era, the guild of Abah's Landing had spread to become the modern Tamriel-wide Thieves Guild.
High 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 in 1E 416 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 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 Betony, the Deselle 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 is constituted by 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 southern and eastern mountains near its borders further isolate the area.
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.
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.
During a Greymarch, a mortal woman named Ciirta came to Sheogorath's throne room for aid, only to find it empty. Deciding that Sheogorath was a false god, Ciirta made it her goal to slay the Madgod. Along with a group of supporters, she attempted to conquer the Shivering Isles and slay Sheogorath by leading a revolution of sorts during the Greymarch. She was the only survivor of the assault. Ciirta then founded the Apostles of Light and plotted to dethrone Sheogorath. Ciirta operated out of the Howling Halls, fooling her Apostles with visions of light to convince them to support her, until she was betrayed in 3E 433 by a splinter group of her Apostles and slain by Sheogorath's Champion. The pelvis bone of Pelagius was also recovered from the ruins.
Like all natural caves, these tunnels once served as the capillaries of Nirn, pulsing with the divine essence of the Aedra. The cave appears to have been volcanic, with black igneous rock walls and extensive stalagma.
Circa 2E 583, 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 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 full of endless mazes 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.
Skaal folklore states that during the Bloodmoon Prophecy, Hircine and his hounds preyed upon entire tribes of men and took them to the Hunting Grounds where they would be hunted down by the inhabitants. Other tales state that a single man is taken into his realm as his prey, and if he can last through the Bloodmoon, Hircine returns to his realm for another era.
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.