Lore:Reachmen

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A Reachman

The Reachmen, also known as the Reachfolk or Witchmen of High Rock, are a tribal race of humans who are native to the Reach in southwestern Skyrim[1][2] and the neighboring Western Reach in the east of High Rock.[3] They are believed to be closely related to the Bretons and some Reachmen believe that their people originally came from High Rock.[2] It's believed their ancestry also spreads across many of the known races of Tamriel.[3] At least some Reachmen are known to be descended from the Keptu clan of Nedes.[4] Although they are thought to share descent, Bretons do not consider themselves kin to the Reachmen, and the Reachmen do not see themselves as Bretons.

Their culture is tribal and they make little use of advanced technology; many clans utilize hides, bones and copper to make gear, while others use properly forged weapons and armor.[5][6] As they are shunned by most of Nord and Breton society, they typically inhabit makeshift fortresses built into caves and ruins throughout the Reach's battle-scarred landscape.[2][3] There are also some similarities in things worn by the Nedic Keptu and the Reachmen, showing that a cultural exchange might have taken place.[7]

The Reachmen are also infamous for their advanced hedge-magic. Some Reachman mages are known to wield magic with which they can poison or corrupt nature.[8] They are also said to have learned to control beastfolk magic, a wild hedge-wizardry, which is often described as primitive.[9] Some Wyrd Covens, amongst them the Hagfeather Coven, the Rimerock Wyrd and the Markarth Sisters, are known to have close relations with the Reachmen and their magic.[10]

Many clans worship Hircine, the most primal of the Daedric Princes. The top of their warrior ranks typically commune with Hircine so that they may ritualistically replace their hearts with poisoned briars, allowing them to become powerful warriors known as Briarhearts. Due to their reverence for Hircine, it is not uncommon to see lycanthropes within the Reachmen's ranks.[11][12] Some Reachmen clans are known to also dedicate ceremonies to Molag Bal, Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, and Namira.[13][14] Their shamans venerate hagraven matrons, who in turn grant them knowledge of nature magic.[9]

Following the Markarth Incident, Reachmen rebels in Skyrim became known as the Forsworn. Hagravens led splinter groups encamped in various ruins and caves across the Reach.

History[edit]

The Reachmen have long held that they are the true owners of the Reach, and for centuries have only begrudgingly accepted the rule of the Nords and the Empire.[2] Long before the conquests of Mer and Nords in the Karth region, human tribes dwelled within the caves in the Druadach Mountains.[15]

Early Society[edit]

Following the collapse of the First Empire of the Nords, the Western Reach was retaken by the Aldmeri, who slaughtered the majority of Nord colonists; as a result, the Nordic ancestry of the Reachmen is comparatively weak. The proximity of Reachmen settlements to Orcish villages meant that the Reachmen frequently traded goods and customs with their mountain neighbors, and it is partly from the Orcs that the Reachmen learned to use hedge-magic.[3] High King Olaf One-Eye later reconquered the Reach for Skyrim at some point during his reign between 1E 420 and 1E 452.[16]

During the Siege of Orsinium, Reachmen mercenaries under the command of "the Beast of the Reach" Mercedene of Clan Winterborn fought alongside Bretons and Redguards.[17]

The Legend of Red Eagle, an ancient tale from Reach folklore, suggests that during the time of the Alessian Empire, the Reach was ruled by ten kings, and that "though men were free, the people were scattered and warred amongst themselves". The legend also makes reference to the Reachmen's reverence of "the ancient and venerable Hagravens".

In 1E 2704, following the defeat of the Akaviri Invaders and the establishment of the Second Empire in 1E 2703, Emperor Reman focused on "the madmen of the Reach" and sliced the Reach in two pieces: High Rock controlled the Western Reach and Skyrim controlled the Eastern Reach. With the growth of the Second Empire, not one decade passed when armies - often sent from Evermore or Solitude - didn't have to suppress the Reachmen.[9]

The Longhouse Emperors[edit]

During the 6th century of the Second Era, the Reachmen seem to have grown particularly powerful, eventually leading to the foundation of a Reachmen dynasty in Cyrodiil known as the Longhouse Emperors.

In 2E 541, the first Longhouse Emperor, Durcorach the Black Drake, invaded High Rock and swiftly captured Bangkorai,Evermore, and Hallin's Stand. Within days, his army was across the Bjoulsae and bearing down upon Wayrest. Durcorach did not have siege engines, so after fifty-seven days of besieging Wayrest, he left part of his army around the town's walls and marched off west into Glenumbra. Taken by surprise, the newly-independent city-state of Camlorn fell and was sacked. The Reachmen were defeated near Daggerfall's city gates after being charged from behind by Emeric's Heavy Dragoons, and Durcorach was killed by Emeric himself.[18]

Nevertheless, Durcorach's dynasty continued to rule in Cyrodiil until the reign of Leovic, Durcorach's grandson. In 2E 573, Leovic was the first Emperor to commission a Guide to Tamriel, labeled 'The Emperor's Guide to Tamriel'.[19] In 2E 577, Leovic was overthrown by his erstwhile supporter Varen Aquilarios, the Duke of Chorrol, after he legalized Daedra worship within the Empire. This marked the end of the dynasty of Longhouse Emperors.

After the Soulburst in 2E 579, several Reach clans allied themselves with the Worm Cult, and remained powerful enough to launch attacks on the Ebonheart Pact and Daggerfall Covenant's territories, even attacking as far afield as the Rift and Glenumbra.[20] Concurrently, one clan of Reachmen known as the Winterborn fought a lengthy war with the Orcs for control of Wrothgar after King Kurog gro-Bagrakh reestablished Orsinium in the region. The war finally ended when the last Winterborn warlord, Urfon Ice-Heart, was slain at Frostbreak Fortress.[20]

Battle of Old Hrol'dan[edit]

In the 9th century of the Second Era, some Reachmen allied with the Second Aldmeri Dominion. As a people, the Reachmen remained largely independent – although they frequently clashed with the Nords to the east – until the arrival of Tiber Septim at the end of the Second Era.[21] In 2E 852, King Cuhlecain's general successfully broke through the Reachmen's lines, forcing them to fortify themselves at Old Hrol'dan. The next day he approached the gates of the besieged city, protected by the winds created by a storm following his trail. Reports say that the ancient Nord art of thu'um was used to shout down the walls of Old Hrol'dan, after which the army of Colovian troops and Nord berserkers took the city with relative ease.[21] Markarth and the lands of the Reach were soon occupied by the Nords,[22] while Imperial propaganda branded the Reachmen as rebellious and lawless mongrels.[3]

The Forsworn Uprising[edit]

One of the Forsworn

In 4E 174, during the Great War, when the Empire did not have the resources available to maintain the outer provinces, a group of Reachmen led by Madanach (who would become their king) commenced what would later be known as the "Forsworn Uprising", gaining control of the Reach and creating an independent kingdom.[23] According to Arrianus Arius, they administered the kingdom relatively peacefully, with only a few of the harshest Nord landowners put to death.[23] After two years, their experiment with independence seemed largely successful, and the leaders of the Reachmen were beginning the process of seeking recognition from the Empire.[23] However, in 4E 176, desperate to retake the Reach, and with no Imperial Legions available due to the Great War, Hrolfdir enlisted the aid of a Nord militia led by Ulfric Stormcloak to retake the Reach by promising them free worship of Talos. In that year, the Nord militia successfully drove the Reachmen from the city of Markarth and reclaimed the Reach.[23] The survivors of the uprising fled into the wilds of the Reach and became known as the Forsworn.

Driven from Markarth, the Forsworn spread across the Reach, fortifying any defensible spot they could find. In the wilds, the Forsworn function as a terrorist organization; they are composed of a series of cells, usually led by hagraven "matrons" or undead Briarhearts, with their main tactics being caravan raids and attacks on outlying settlements.[24] The ongoing dispute caused consternation for those Reachmen who were not allied with the Forsworn. Native landowners were frequently under duress by both the Nords and the Forsworn, each party thinking the individual was working for the other.[25] Many Reachmen also lamented that so many of their friends and loved ones were fighting and dying in service of a long lost cause.[26]

Society[edit]

The Reachfolk live in scores of fractured clans, each with their own traditions and character. There is no uniform tradition among the clans, though many of them share deities and practices. Some clans are nomadic, while others settle in one place and build villages. Some people in a clan may be related to each other, and others adopt clan names to mark their allegiance. New clans are synthesized all the time as like-minded individuals come together. Sometimes they seek to settle new land or follow herds of prey, and other form to plunder and raid neighboring lands. In this way, the clans are fluid, breaking up and reforming over the course of history. Many clans try to live in relative peace, though some, such as the Boneshaper Clan, are overtly hostile towards outsiders. Most clans are minor, consisting of small villages, bands of nomads or groups of marauders that hole up in caves or old forts. However, there are larger, more prominent clans.[27]

Each clan is lead by a chief, who may be called a chieftain, speaker, elder or king depending on the clan and who the leader is. Most Reachfolk believe that chiefs who call themselves "kings" are just putting on airs. The clans are many and don't agree on everything, thus it is impossible to unify the clans beneath a single power. Any clan-chief can call himself a king. In fact, there have been points in history where several chiefs have claimed the title of "king" for themselves simultaneously. The Reachfolk have a saying: "anyone can be a king in the Reach, but no one is King of the Reach". Durcorach the Black Drake never took up the title of king for this reason. The Reachfolk viewed the Longhouse Emperors as war-leaders they followed of their own volition as opposed to a uniting force that ruled over the Reach as a whole. From the Reachfolks' perspective, kneeling to a king, no matter what race they are or if they've claimed the throne of Cyrodiil, is something that weaker peoples do.[27]

Many clans live upon the shores of the Karth River, a place as harsh and uncaring as much of the rest of the Reach. Its fierce rapids veer around sharp stones, and it rides over steep cliffs that create powerful torrents. The people who rely upon the river live only if the river allows it, and its inhabitants respect it for its dangers and what it provides. The Reachfolk bathe in it, wash their clothes in it, drink from it and cook their food with it. They regard the Karth river with respect, and at the very least, consideration. The folk who live upon the river's banks see what the river takes from them as a small price to pay for what it provides. They take from the river, and it extracts a price in return. The people of the Karth River don't blame it when it sweeps away structures and people; they accept that life near the river has its hardships, and they endure.[28]

Culture[edit]

"Dirt is a part of life. The real discipline comes from wading through mud knowing that it'll be on you until you next find water."
Gorrof

The Reachfolk have rich oral traditions, and don't commit their stories to paper as scholars from most other provinces do.[29] Many from clans who live in the wilderness are illiterate, and do not care to learn.[30] Some Reachfolk are even opposed to the idea of learning to read and write.[28] Some Reachfolk who served the Longhouse Emperors in Cyrodiil during the Second Era encouraged their children to learn their letters. Following the fall of the Longhouse Dynasty, there was not much call for reading and writing in the Karth Valley, barring major settlements like Markarth.[31]

The Reachfolk value hard work and struggle. They hold people who regularly work with their hands or perform manual labor in high regard, and respect them more outwardly than some other cultures do.[32] The Reachfolk understand that hardship is inevitable, but instead of bemoaning their sorrows, they embrace the pain as wisdom.[33]

Rites of Passage[edit]

When children from the Spiritblood Clan grow strong enough, they perform the Vateshran's Rites to ascend to adulthood. The rites separate the strong from those too weak to live in the Reach.[34] If they survive the challenge, the child come out as a full warrior, and carries all the privileges and responsibilities that the clan offers.[35] They train their entire lives for that day, and begin their trial knowing that the Rites could kill them.[36] To complete the Rites, a child must traverse Vateshran Hollow, a cavern filled with summoned Daedra.

Reach-magic[edit]

Bloodthorn/Bloodroot Vine magic

Reachmen are often referred to as the Witchmen of High Rock, a name given to them due to their use of dark "Reach-magic". It is believed that they learned much of this magic through trading with the Orsimer, their neighbors who also occupy the Wrothgarian Mountains.[37] Another source for their magic comes from hagravens, which involves "ecstatic ceremonial heres[ies]", such as sacrifices, to acquire dark nature magic.[11] Hircine is believed to be the source of where Reach-magic is drawn from.[38] The dark magic has been outlawed within the Mages Guild, though that has not stopped the art from being widely studied.[37] The ban is for good reason, however, as one of the most notable conjurations can be devastating. Indeed, by using Reach-magic on the remains of ritual sacrifices,[39] one can create the bloodthirtsy, thorned, and giant twisting roots known as Bloodthorn/Bloodroot vines,[40][41] which can be used to corrupt the land,[42] or shaped into "rough mockeries of life".[39] An example can be found within the Huntsman's Bloodroot Forge. The Dreadhorn Clan's hagraven shaped the vines that thrived within the Forge into Nirnblooded creatures,[43] primal creatures comparable to those of the Bosmer's Wild Hunt, but infused with the power of Nirncrux.[44]

Molag Bal can grant a similar power to gravesingers. The name "gravesinger" is given to some Reachman necromancers who broker deals with Bal[42] in exchange for the power to command the loathsome dead.[11] Indeed, gravesingers can command corpses by planting the seeds of foul vines in their victims' bodies. Molag Bal's "gifts" may leave a gravesinger's body in a state of decay.[45]

Transformations[edit]

A Reachmen with a Briarheart
Gherig Bullblood, a Blood-Forged

Many of the transformations Reachmen undergo are associated with Hircine:

The briarheart ritual is reflective of the Reachfolk's need to become better to overcome hardships. It involves communing with Hircine to ritualistically replace the heart a skilled Reachfolk warrior with poisoned briars.[11] This ritual is representative of Lorkh's immortal sacrifice,[46] which is reflected by the sacrifice of ones' own life; the end result is a warrior being resurrected[47] as a living weapon with great strength and endurance known as a Briarheart.[48] These unnatural beings will bear the suffering of constant pain[49] to use their transformation's benefit to protect their clan.[48] In a similar vein to Briarhearts, lycanthropy is viewed by most Reachfolk as self-sacrifice, for it is seen as more of a useful condition rather than a gift, one which one suffers with so they can better benefit their clan.[50] Some Reach Clans however have proven to be zealous about the gift, as conflicts between them and the Viridian Wyrd coven have been reported due to them offering a cure to Lycanthropy.[10][51]

Another transformation is associated with one of Hircine's creation, the Bloodroot Forge, which is capable of turning people into Blood-Forged. These abominations are comparable to Briarhearts, but their creation instead involves a nirncrux heartstone being used in place of a briar heart,[52] resulting in a being that is an amalgamation of blood, nirncrux, and iron.[53]

There have also been instances among the Winterborn of their warriors transforming themselves into briarheart tree lurchers through incredibly powerful Hagraven rituals of "fire, vines, and blood".[54][55]

Food[edit]

Alcohol is a commodity that the more open-minded clans of the Reach are willing to trade for. Much of the Reach is unsuitable for the barley fields, vineyards, apiaries with which other cultures brew their drinks. Clans who don't have much contact with the outside world make do with what they have. Reach-made drinks are found primarily in the form of hard ciders. The flavor profile of Reach cider is varied. Dark, musty brews tend to be sweet. There are also clear, sour brews that have been described by visiting Nords as an acquired taste. The flavor depends on the variety of apple used and the time of year they're pressed. Apple orchards are uncommon in the Reach, but many apples grow in the region's forests and river valleys. Each clan that lives where the fruit grows has their own preferred method for brewing cider. The Reachfolk also have a drink known as "klef", which is brewed from fermented sheep's milk. Klef is brewed by clans who don't have access to apples. Most Reachmen don't pretend to like klef, and just drink it to get drunk.[56]

Grains and dried meat are staple foodstuffs for the Reachfolk. Feasts are rare in the Reach, as the land is unforgiving. When they do occur, the Reachfolk make a spectacle of it. Hircine's Share is the centerpiece of the feast, made up of several animals, seasoned, deboned and stuffed one into the other. A larger clan may stuff a rabbit into a grouse, which is stuffed into a goat, which is stuffed into a doe. Larger clans may start with a bull and end with a mouse.[57]

Language[edit]

Ard
"King of the Fort", the strongest clan-chief in charge, usually in the context of Markarth [58]
Camare[59]
Cidhna
Silver[60]
co[59]
Dhun
A fortified hilltop village that is common along the frontier.[61]
dunna[59]
Faolan
"Red Eagle"[62]
Fellihboh
[63]
Fir[59]
il[59]
Madoora[59]
Markarth
Literally; Above the Karth (Mar-Karth)[58]
na[59]
noch[59]
nog[59]
non[59]
non[59]
Og[59]
oh[59]
Pater[59]
Shal[59]
Shillelagh
Staff [64]
shug[59]
Tagh Droiloch
High Dark Wizards[65]
Travern[59]
Vateshran
Lore or history keeper[66]

Religion[edit]

Every clan of the Reach has slightly varied approach to the religion. They worship both various lesser spirits that are unique to each clan as well as more powerful entities called Great Spirits.[50] The Reachfolk do not worship the Daedra in the sense that people in other parts of Tamriel worship the Divines; rather, the beings they call spirits play an important role in their daily lives. They have what can be described as a give and take relationship with the Daedra, forming agreements for assistance with everyday tasks and challenges.[67]

Hircine (the Hunt-Father) Hircine is one of the most prominent spirits venerated by the Reachfolk, and plays a role in their creation myth.[46][68] He teaches the Reachmen to live "in the now",[69] and to be cunning and strong so they may survive in the Reach.[50]

Namira (The Spirit Queen / the Goddess of Death) Namira is the spirit of darkness and endings, but also a spirit of rebirth. She is considered to be a powerful force in the natural world. [67]

Malacath (The Lord of Ash and Bone) Malacath's true chosen people is the Reachfolk, according to some Reachmen tribes, and he created Orcs, Ogres, and Trolls to test them.[70]

Nocturnal (Mistress of Shadows) She is ever watchful, watching since the beginning.[71] She is the spirit of the night. The Reachfolk give her offerings in the hope that she'll send her crows to watch over them.[72]

Molag Bal (Father of Torment) The spirit of torment and trouble, he teaches Reachmen to endure their struggles.[72] The Reachfolk see Molag Bal as one who enjoys playing tricks and setting traps to ensnare or test mortals.[33]

Mehrunes Dagon (Lord of Destruction / Lord of Ambition) The spirit of ambition and destruction.[33]

Peryite (Master of Tasks / Lord of Order) is a revered spirit in the Reachmen pantheon that shares many characteristics with Akatosh, in pivotal ways such as being attributed to "time, rigid natural order, (and) draconic imagery". This has lead to scholars concluding that there was a cultural diffusion between the early ancestors of Men and Mer in the Northwestern parts of Tamriel. To describe Peryite as a necessary evil would be a misnomer, for while the Reachfolk see him as necessary, they see the good in him maintaining a balance as a force of nature. While a Reachmen may be claimed by a blight or plague, they will come out of these natural tragedies healthier. This keeps the dangers of overpopulation in check, and allows a new generation of Reachfolk to build immunities to what Peryite throws at them.[73]

Although he is not a Daedric Prince, Reachmen acknowledge Lorkh as Spirit of Man and associate him with story of creation. Despite the fact that his name is never spoken in prayers Lorkh is nevertheless revered by all Reachfolk clans.[74]

Circa 2E 582, the Eagleseer and Six-Ford clans were to hold a handfasting upon an altar of Mara at Hroldan Ring to unite the two clans, but it is unknown if they actually worship Mara herself.[75] In the Fourth Era, Markarth, the capital of the Reach, was the site of the great Temple of Dibella.[76] There is also a Shrine of Dibella present at Broken Tower Redoubt, which has been occupied by the Forsworn. It is unclear if the shrine is being worshiped at or if it has been desecrated. Reachchmen celebrate their version of New Life Festival, a holiday originally dedicated to Magnus and pray for Hrokkibeg, the aspect of Hircine to protect the sun.[UOL 1]

Origin[edit]

The Reachfolk believe in the existence of only two worlds; the worlds of flesh and spirit.[68] However, the world of flesh didn't always exist. Legends speak of Lorkh having an epiphany when he visited the darkness; that what is perceived as nothingness is ripe for possibility, for he saw the potential for there being more than just the realm of spirit.[77] And so, Lorkh approached Namira, the queen of the spirit world,[68] seeking a place within her infinite void that he could create a realm for wayward spirits. But it was not without a cost. Lorkh sacrificed himself to create a harsh realm, one that is unforgiving and intended to teach through suffering.[46] As a result, the Reachfolk look to less conventional gods for worship, who serve as lessons rather than beliefs.[68]

What ensured is shrouded in the allegory "And unto the mountains they fled, for the world grew dark with shadows which sprung from the heart of Lorkh, who though greatly sundered still believed in the light of Man",[78] which is meant to symbolize the Magna Ge retreating to Aetherius following Nirn's creation. After the fall of Lorkh, Hircine became the Lord of the Arena,[79] and took the mantle of Lorkh's creation, becoming the sovereign of the realm of flesh.[68] He became the most prominent deity to the Reachfolk, as he took an active leadership role, and shaped them to become survivors in the harshness of Nirn.[50]

Celebrations[edit]

Reachmen celebrate end of the old year and beginning of the new year. They believe that with the coming of the New Life Festival, two of Hircine's aspects come to conflict with each other. New Life marks the winter solstice, when the days begin to lengthen due to the return of the sun. Storihbeg the Man-Beast thus pursues the sun in an attempt to eat it, an effort to keep the nights longer. To prevent this, Reachmen summon Hrokkibeg the Mighty Bear to keep Storihbeg constrained and protect Magnus.[UOL 1]

Namira's Dance is a ceremony perfromed by Reachfolk of the Boldclaw claw. All clansmen unite together to pay respects to Namira, goddess of death and rebirth. Some are dressed in dark colors, with black facial paint, others arrive naked, to symbolize the beginning of life. Those who are able dance together in unison. During the celebrations human blood is spilled for Namira, yet no violence is involved. Members of the clan do various things with the collected blood. Some sweep the blood under their eyes, others press bloody hand prints to the ground. Despite presence of blood celebrations have joyful nature.[67]

Known Reachfolk Groups[edit]

Clans[edit]

  • The Blackdrake Clan — Few in number. They rose to prominence under the warlord Durcorach, who rallied the Reach beneath his banner and conquered Cyrodiil, forming the Longhouse Dynasty. Durcorach's closest relatives and friends in the Reach took his apellation, "the Black Drake", as their own clan name. Other clans show the Blackdrakes a degree of respect for Durcorach's legacy, which is more respect than a clan that small would otherwise command.[27]
  • The Bear-Heart Clan - Little is known of them except that their clan is named after the blessing of Hrokkibeg, the Bear aspect of Hircine.[13] They craft necklaces made of bear teeth and claws.[80]
  • The Black-Moon Clan - They wear armor resembling that of minotaurs. They worship Namira.
  • The Bloodthorn Cult — A group of necromancers that attempted to take over Glenumbra in 2E 582.
  • The Boldclaw Clan — A clan that fosters deep respect for Namira.[67]
  • The Boneshaper Clan — A border clan that allied with the Cult of the Black Worm and invaded The Rift in 2E 582. They have a number of unusual rites involving thorny vines and plants. Their name originated from their tradition of lacing thorny vines through the skeletons of their ritual sacrifices. The vines they grow do not appear to be native to the reach, but they cultivate the plants expertly. When going on a raid or into battle, they create effigies out of vines. Some of their rituals made use of corpses, although the clan forbade necromancy.[39]
  • The Crow-Eye Clan - A spiritual clan which controlled the settlement of Karthwasten during the Second Era. Their patron spirit was Nocturnal.
  • The Crow-Wife Clan, a nomadic hunting clan that were found in the mountains north of Bangkorai before 2E 582.[81]
  • The Cinder-Heart Clan — A warlike clan found near Markarth. They are known for burning their captives alive. They prepare Briarhearts by filling the victim's empty chest cavity with hot coals. [27] They worship Molag Bal.
  • The Dark Witness Clan — A clan led by a hagraven that attempted to reclaim Mournoth in 2E 582.
  • The Deathwings — A clan that reveres the cycle of life and death.[82]
  • The Dragonclaw Clan — A clan that participated in the Dragonstar Arena.
  • The Doomfang Clan — A clan that occupied the Dwarven ruin of Bthardamz in the early 4th Era.
  • The Dreadhorn Clan — A clan that attempted and failed to conquer Falkreath Hold in 2E 582. They are descendants of the Nedic Keptu.[4] They worship Hircine.
  • The Eagleseer Clan — A proud and warlike clan that fosters feuds as carefully as some clans nurture their children. They are very friendly and open to those they have no quarrel with, and believe that visitors from other lands are "simply not worth a good Reach feud".[27]
  • The Ghostsong Clan — A reclusive clan from the eastern Reach that holds great reverence for Namira. They are best known for their powerful witches and loyal werewolves.[27]
  • The Grimfang Clan — An ancient clan of Reachmen who tamed and trained Druadach Mountain Bears to ride on.[83]
  • The Hearteaters — A group of Reachmen that raided Cyrodiil during the Three Banners War.
  • The Hillhunter Clan — A clan of nomadic hunters based in the mountains south of Markarth. Known for their woodcraft, they are reputed by other clans to be impossible to track unless they wish to be tracked.[27]
  • The Icereach Coven — A coven full of Reachmen, most prominently witches. Originally, the coven served as advisors and mages to the Longhouse Emperors.[84] They were driven from Cyrodiil along with the other Reachmen after Varen's Rebellion.[85] They re-emerged in 2E 582 and allied with the Gray Host. They are responsible for creating tempestuousc rituals known as Harrowstorms, which they used to resurrect members of the Gray Host that died and were sent to Coldharbour in the First Era.[86][87] They reside on Icereach, a frozen island in the Sea of Ghosts.[88] Wicker is a common component in their rituals;[89] they use it to create many of their ritual fetishes, and it is not uncommon for them to craft sacred wicker effigies.[90] Their emblem, a blood-red wicker spiral, represents their hunger for power, no matter the cost. The coven marks its territory with totems bearing that emblem.[91] Wicker, string, bone shards, animal hide and tree bark are all materials the coven used in forging weapons and armor.[92] The Icereach Coven breeds durzogs to be used as mounts. The witches used magic to alter the pups in-utero to achieve a rideable size. These durzogs were quite aggressive, and those who sought to transfer ownership of a durzog to another rider required the prospective owner to sleep with the durzog's saddle before attempting to ride them.[93]
    • The Kairian Coven — A witch coven that split and lost members to the Icereach Coven in the Second Era. Every year, the coven's seedswoman would grow a coronal to crown their leader. After wearing it for a year and a day, the coven's leader would gift the object to a champion who performed dark deeds. The Kairian Coven was evil by all accounts.[94]
  • The Rageclaw Clan — A clan that domesticated a stout breed of bears for battle. Their bears are trained as cubs, bound to specific clansmen or clan families. The Rageclaws were matriarchal society, and had an extreme affinity for their young, going to war over the slightest threat to their children. The Rageclaws were known to absorb smaller clans, causing friction between them and other groups of Reachfolk. They convert those who join them to the way of the claw. Women who are new to the clan may find that they have tremendous newfound freedom, and might enjoy their transition. In stark contrast, male warriors set to assimilate into the clan were pitted against a grown bear in combat, and earned their place in the clan by wrestling the bear into submission. The Rageclaw Clan allied with the Cult of the Black Worm and invaded The Rift in 2E 582.[39]
  • The River-Elk Clan — The River-Elks live in many semi-permanent camps across the Karth Valley, and are strong in number. They are distrustful of foreign ways, though they willingly engage in trade with those who prove themselves friends of the clan.[39]
  • The Shadefeather Clan — A clan that is few in number and led by a strong coven of Hagravens. They waylay travelers and murder their captives in dark rituals. They kill indiscriminately, taking foreigners and Reachfolk alike. The Shadefeathers frequently move camps and kill anyone who crosses their path.[39] They worship Nocturnal and Namira.
  • The Shadowbloom Clan — Nothing is known of them except their name.[95]
  • The Shunned Ones — Are a clan consisting of outcasts of other Reachmen clans, "their preferred currency is tales told of mistakes and lessons."[96]
  • The Skyweaver Clan — They are known for their weatherworking skills.[97] One of their dances involves a lot of fire.[98]
  • The Spiritblood Clan — The Spiritblood clan was formed when Carinar the Sharp slew his father, sundering the Quicktalon clan. Carinar chose to move his people south, and the clan's first vateshran, Aydolan, sang of Carinar's glories the whole way there. Aydolan would go on to create the Vateshran's Rites, the clan's coming of age trials.[33]
  • The Spirit-Tale Clan — Mentioned in the mystery novel, Investigator Vale in the Reach. Might be fictional.[99]
  • The Starsinger Clan — Once stationed in Cyrodiil in the days of Emperor Moricar. Spilling blood on a feast day is taboo among them.[100]
  • The Stag-Heart Clan — They worship one of Hircine's aspects known as Uricanbeg, the Great Dark Stag.[101]
  • The Stonetalon Clan — A clan that allied with the Cult of the Black Worm and invaded The Rift in 2E 582. The Stonetalon Clan were not as aggressive as the Rageclaws or the Boneshapers, but exhibited combative behaviors nonetheless. They were a matriarchal clan as the Rageclaws were; however, most of the women in the clan were Hagravens. Those who were not Hagravens were covered in heavy cloaks made of bird feathers, and struggled through a series of trials to become one. The cloaked women of the Stonetalon Clan were powerful spellcasters.[39]
  • The Thornroot Clan — Generally camped within the vicinity of Briar Rock, the Thornroots are fierce and powerful. They are led by Hagravens, but maintain peaceable relationships with other clans. They usually reserve their wrath for foreigners. Many of their warriors choose to become Briarhearts.[39] They resided within Briar Rock Ruins in 2E 582.[102] That same year, their hagraven matron pushed the Thornroots to kidnap members of other clans to turn them into briarhearts against their will, with the goal of creating a sizeable force to defend the clan from the Gray Host.[citation needed]
  • The Timberclaw Clan — Little is known about them. They favor the Druadach Mountain Dog, which was bred by them.[103]
  • The Treeshade Clan — Little is known about them, other than that they existed in 2E 582, while the Gray Host was active in the Reach. The Treeshade Clan was part of a concerted effort by several clans to drive back the Gray Host. The Treeshade way of war is to "hunt the hunters". The Treeshade clan believes that being smart about how they approach their enemy, but fighting nonetheless, is the only way to combat an enemy like the Gray Host.[104]
  • The Wildspear Clan — A clan that is settled near Markarth. They dedicate themselves to Hircine, whom they honor with ritual hunts. They believe that humans, especially enemies who are strong and clever, make the best quarry for their rituals.[39]
  • The Winterborn Clan — An ancient clan that was native to Wrothgar before being driven off by the Orcs of the Daggerfall Covenant. They worship Malacath.[70]

Factions[edit]

  • The Forsworn — A faction of Reachmen formed following the Markarth Incident in 4E 176.
  • Tagh Droiloch — A coven of Reachfolk composed exclusively of witch-men specialized in Daedra conjuration. They exerted power over Reach in secret during the Interregnum and were responsible for Durcorach's rise to power.[65]

See Also[edit]

  • For Reachman names, see here.
  • For a list of notable Reachmen, see here.
  • For game-specific information, see the Skyrim, ESO, and Legends articles.

Books[edit]

Politics and History
Culture
Clans
Religion
Foreign accounts

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holdings of Jarl GjalundSlafknir the Scribe
  2. ^ a b c d The "Madmen" of the ReachArrianus Arius, Imperial Scholar
  3. ^ a b c d e Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  4. ^ a b Meet the Character - Domihaus the Bloody-HornedGherig Bullblood
  5. ^ Crafting Motif 54: Bloodforge StyleStoneheart the Heartstone
  6. ^ Crafting Motif 55: Dreadhorn StyleGherig Bullblood of the Dreadhorn Clan [Notes by Rena Hammerhands]
  7. ^ Description of the Keptu-Horn Skull Sallet
  8. ^ Schemes of the ReachmageGabrielle Benele, Wizard
  9. ^ a b c The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the MountainsFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  10. ^ a b The Glenmoril WyrdLady Cinnabar of Taneth
  11. ^ a b c d The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the MountainsFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  12. ^ Berinodh's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  13. ^ a b Aspects of Lord HircineJuno Procillus, Academy of Chorrol
  14. ^ Loading screen in ESO
  15. ^ Lost Valley Redoubt's loading screen in ESO
  16. ^ The plaque commemorating Olaf outside the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm
  17. ^ Dialogue with Lord Trystan in ESO
  18. ^ Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
  19. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Author ForewordFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  20. ^ a b Events of Elder Scrolls Online
  21. ^ a b The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
  22. ^ Kibell's dialogue in Skyrim
  23. ^ a b c d The Bear of MarkarthArrianus Arius, Imperial Scholar
  24. ^ An Explorer's Guide to SkyrimMarcius Carvain, Viscount Bruma
  25. ^ Ainethach's dialogue in Skyrim
  26. ^ Bothela's dialogue in Skyrim
  27. ^ a b c d e f g On the Clans of the ReachTheopho Harvian, Imperial Scribe
  28. ^ a b Living on the Karth RiverAodhsil
  29. ^ The Battle of Karthspire LeaVateshran Barth
  30. ^ An Imperial in Markarth — Consul Cardea, Ard's Administrator
  31. ^ Arloakh's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  32. ^ Hereline's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  33. ^ a b c d Aydolan's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  34. ^ The Rites Matron's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  35. ^ Angair's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  36. ^ Caddgarn's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  37. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  38. ^ Vernim Woods's loading screen in ESO
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clans of the Reach: A GuideEhcelmo
  40. ^ Bloodthorn Vines, Small
  41. ^ Vine, Bloodroot Grasper
  42. ^ a b Zhagush gro-Korlag's dialogue in ESO
  43. ^ Caillaoife's dialogue in ESO
  44. ^ Horns of the Reach - Bloodroot Forge Preview on the official ESO website
  45. ^ Angof the Undying's dialogue in ESO
  46. ^ a b c Great Spirits of the Reach: Volume 5Vashu gra-Morga, Chief Daedrotheologist at the University of Gwylim
  47. ^ Faorin's dialogue in ESO
  48. ^ a b Medone's dialogue in ESO
  49. ^ Kyrtos's dialogue in ESO
  50. ^ a b c d Great Spirits of the Reach: Volume 2Vashu gra-Morga, Chief Daedrotheologist at the University of Gwylim
  51. ^ The Heart of the Beast quest in ESO
  52. ^ Filand's dialogue in ESO
  53. ^ Blood-Forged skin description in ESO
  54. ^ Fight and dialogue with Corintthac the Abomination
  55. ^ Ushang the Untamed's dialogue in Nature's Bounty
  56. ^ Drinks of the ReachFjoridda of Voljar's Meadery
  57. ^ The Reach Food Letters
  58. ^ a b History of Markarth: A Story in StoneConsul Cardea, the Ard's Administrator
  59. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Shadowgreen Reachmen Ambient Dialogue
  60. ^ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide — David Hodgson
  61. ^ A Year Among the Eagleseer ClanGlabrian Tuliel, University of Gwylim
  62. ^ The Legend of Red EagleTredayn Dren
  63. ^ Crafting Motif 54: Bloodforge StyleStoneheart the Heartstone
  64. ^ Madearn's dialogue in ESO: Markarth
  65. ^ a b High Chancellor's Papers: The Tagh DroilochAbnur Tharn
  66. ^ Scary Tales of the Deep Folk, Book 1Cassia Volcatia, Traveling Scribe
  67. ^ a b c d Namira's DanceGemma Pamphelius, Cultural Scribe
  68. ^ a b c d e Great Spirits of the Reach: Volume 3Vashu gra-Morga, Chief Daedrotheologist at the University of Gwylim
  69. ^ Ardanir's dialogue in ESO
  70. ^ a b Malacath and the ReachKyrtos
  71. ^ Markarth Outlaws Refuge's dialogue in ESO
  72. ^ a b Apprentice Fialyn's dialogue in Online
  73. ^ Great Spirits of the Reach: Volume 4Vashu gra-Morga, Chief Daedrotheologist at the University of Gwylim
  74. ^ Ardanir's dialogue in ESO
  75. ^ Vows and Oaths quest in ESO
  76. ^ Fjorta's dialogue in Skyrim
  77. ^ The Dark Descent's loading screen in ESO
  78. ^ Nchuand-Zel's loading screen in ESO
  79. ^ Letter to Apprentice GwerinaHigh Shaman Glynroch
  80. ^ Bear-Heart Clan Necklace item description in ESO
  81. ^ A Life Barbaric and BrutalArthenice Belloq
  82. ^ Fynennel's dialogue in ESO
  83. ^ Druadach Mountain Bear mount description in ESO
  84. ^ Meet the Character - Mother CiannaitOptio Cornelia Midara
  85. ^ Arvnir's dialogue during The Frozen Isle in ESO
  86. ^ Letter to the Icereach CovenR
  87. ^ On HarrowstormsFennorian of House Ravenwatch
  88. ^ Icereach loading screen text in ESO
  89. ^ Witch Pike construction in ESO
  90. ^ Urgarlag Chief-bane's dialogue dueing Pledge: Icereach
  91. ^ Icereach Coven Totem, Emblem furnishing description in ESO
  92. ^ Crafting Motif 82: Icereach Coven StyleSvarrid Snow-Seer, Guard of Windhelm
  93. ^ Frostborn Durzog Mangler mount description in ESO
  94. ^ Crone's Wicker Coronal item description in ESO
  95. ^ Berinodh's dialogue in ESO
  96. ^ Achdazan's dialogue in ESO
  97. ^ Deanbroogha's dialogue in ESO
  98. ^ J'ghanor's dialogue in ESO
  99. ^ Investigator Vale in the Reach
  100. ^ Medresi Guvron's dialogue in ESO
  101. ^ Stag-Heart Skull Sallet hat description in ESO
  102. ^ The Thornroot Clan's presence within Briar Rock Ruins in ESO
  103. ^ Druadach Mountain Dog pet description in ESO
  104. ^ Desola's dialogue in ESO

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.

  1. ^ a b New Life Festival Interview