Verkarth (also called Verkarth City) was once the unholy city of the Gray Host, a legion of vampires and werewolves that reigned over the vast wastes of central Hammerfell sometime in the early-mid First Era. Previously known as the "City of the Damned," it has since been rebuilt into a modern settlement by their vanquishers, the Alessian Empire of the venerable Hestra. The city's architecture resembles that of the Alessian era with hints of its Redguard neighbors, however, older structures are reminiscent of the typical daedric ruin but much more refined.
Verkarth was founded in a time long forgotten by a cabal of ancient vampires called the Gray Council and their monarch. It started out as a underground networks of caves that existed far before it had expanded to the surface. It was theorized by the scholar, Archibald Laurent that the city began roughly a hundred years before it surfaced, and that it may have been built in abandoned caves rather then it being excavated. The Pyre Watch remember that Verkarth and the Gray Host both appeared from out of nowhere and that they soon conquered all of central Hammerfell roughly a century before their demise. Verkarth's dominion had overshadowed many smaller hamlets in its wake, most notably the city, Ska'vyn. By the time their leader, King Styriche revealed his true nature, his dominion reached as far east as the large city, Elinhir and to the west at Thorstad Place.
The Gray Host sought to expand their armies north into High Rock via the strategic Bangkorai Pass in 1E 1029. Their siege on the garrison was relentless and unyielding until a beadle of Stendarr named Pelin leaped from the walls and spewed an ocean of blood from his body in an act of divine miracle. The Gray Host was overwhelmed, but their fate was sealed when Empress Hestra and her Imperial Legion finished the rest of Styriche's armies. The Gray Host fled west to their home of Verkarth as Hestra followed suit. The Imperials burned down the entirety of Verkarth City and reconsecrated the land in the name of Saint Alessia. It was then given to the liberated people, so that they may rebuild it in her image.
Verkarth continued as an active and modern settlement since at least the Second Era. Much of the people that lived in Verkarth continued to show veneration for Saint Alessia, despite the Empire's downfall in the late First Era. Her statue is built in the center of the town square. They were generally suspicious of outsiders and were even less privy of sharing their history under the Gray Host. Much like their liberators, the people of Verkarth are righteous and religious. The local outlaws had taken refuge in the underground section of the city, since their corridors intersect with Verkarth's oldest buildings. However, it has since been mostly looted by vagrants and wide-eyed opportunists.
During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the village of Verkarth City was an active settlement. It was ruled by Lady Chez-si and it had a rivalry with Thorstad Place. It was neighbored by several settlements, including Karnver Falls to the south, Riverpoint to the southeast, Skaven to the northeast, and Thorstad Place to the west.
- Verkarth City is spelled "Verkath City" on the map of West Tamriel, but this is likely a misspelling.
- For game-specific information, see the Arena article.
- The Gray Host: A History Part 2 by Lord Archibald Laurent, Lordly Explorer — An essay on the modern city of Verkarth
- Verkarth City location and rumors in Arena
- The Gray Host: A History Part 1 — Lord Archibald Laurent, Lordly Explorer
- The Gray Host: A History Part 2 — Lord Archibald Laurent, Lordly Explorer
- Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
- Map of Hammerfell — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- Map of West Tamriel — The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard