Volendrung, also known as the Hammer of Might, is an ancient artifact created by the Dwarven Rourken clan. It is known to manifest as either a warhammer of Dwarven Metal, or ebony. For unknown reasons, Volendrung became a Daedric artifact of Malacath. It earns its name with its capability to demolish even the walls of enemy keeps with ease. It is enchanted with the ability to paralyze foes to an extent that is comparable to that of a Medusa's gaze. It is also known for draining those it strikes of their strength, conferring it to the wielder. The hammer is prone to disappearing like its Dwarven creators, sometimes resurfacing in days, sometimes in eons.
The hammer originally belonged to the chieftain of the Rourken clan. When his clan refused to join the other Dwemer in the First Council, the chieftain threw his hammer across Tamriel, promising to settle where ever it landed. The hammer landed in western Tamriel, and the Rourken called the land Volenfell, literally "City of the Hammer". This area later came to be called Hammerfell. The Rourken's journey across Tamriel is depicted in many of the ruins of the region, Volendrung appearing as a shining star showing the way.
Circa 2E 582, pieces of Volendrung's handle were found in circulation in various shady markets and sold for a hefty sum. Later that year Volendrung made an appearance in its full glory. Unsatisfied with the carnage taking place in Cyrodiil as a result of the Three Banners War, the Daedric Prince Sheogorath decided that to best mend his boredom, he would steal the some of the Daedric Artifacts belonging to his various Daedric siblings. He then sent them onto Cyrodiil, hoping the resulting chaos would bring him entertainment. Messing with his Daedric siblings for the fun of keeping them on their guard was a bonus benefit to this act. Volendrung was the first of many daedric artifacts kept as part of Sheogorath's collection within Cheesemonger's Hollow, a secluded daedric ruin located within the Shivering Isles. He would occasionally invite the insane to the hollow to test out the power of the various artifacts. Of course, being Sheogorath, for fun he cursed the artifacts. The curses were active while the artifacts were in Cyrodiil. In the hammer's case, if it didn't consume souls in a certain timespan, it would instead consume the soul of the user. The hammer would also eventually return to the Shivering Isles, only to reappear in Cyrodiil once again on Sheogorath's whim. Throughout the Three Banners War, the hammer was used by all three alliances against each other, as it changed hands often. Among one of the many wielders was the Vestige, but reports conflict on which alliance they wielded the hammer for. The alliances commissioned elaborate replicas of Volendrung for those who had shed blood with it, and those who had managed to slay its wielder.
The hammer was later uncovered during the Imperial Simulacrum by the Eternal Champion in either Morrowind or Hammerfell (reports vary). In the events leading up the Warp in the West, an agent of the Blades summoned Malacath seeking power, and a worshipper of the Prince gave the agent Volendrung in return for slaying a Daedra Seducer who had betrayed him.
Volendrung later came into the possession of Divayth Fyr of Tel Fyr, Vvardenfell. He kept it in a locked chest in his Corprusarium, near Yagrum Bagarn's living area. A hobby of his was to invite thieves to steal from his chests to amuse him, as they would often fail. In 3E 427, the Nerevarine succeeded in unlocking the chest and liberating Volendrung.
Sometime after the end of the Great War, circa 4E 180, the Warrior came across Volendrung in their journey. The method of its acquisition is conflicted, however; some claim that it was obtained from the plane of Oblivion known as the Abyss, while others believe it was looted from a chest.
Circa 4E 201, the Orcish settlement of Largashbur began to be openly attacked by the giants in the area. The giants had desecrated a shrine to Malacath and taken possession of Shagrol's Warhammer, a mundane hammer. Malacath cursed the tribe for its weakness, and the Orcs asked how they could obtain forgiveness. Chief Yamarz was tasked with clearing the giants from Malacath's shrine by the Prince. He was accompanied by the Last Dragonborn, but he was a weak leader and was slain when he turned on the Dragonborn. Malacath praised the Dragonborn for killing Yamarz. He then ordered the Dragonborn to return Shagrol's Hammer to Largashbur. Malacath transformed the hammer into Volendrung and gave it to the Dragonborn, while naming Gularzob as the new chief of the tribe.
- For game-specific information, see the Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO, Legends, and Blades articles.
- Arena/Daggerfall in-game descriptions
- Skyrim In-game characteristics
- Martin's dialogue in Oblivion
- Volendrung's abilities in ESO
- Artifact Dialog — The Imperial Library
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Piece of Volendrung's Handle in ESO
- Chaos Comes to Cyrodiil with Artifact Weapons on the official ESO website
- Sheogorath's dialogue in the quest Chaos Magic in ESO
- Volendrung Replica description in ESO
- Malacath's Quest in Daggerfall
- Divayth Fyr's dialogue in Morrowind
- Malacath quest in Oblivion
- Events of Blades
- The Cursed Tribe quest in Skyrim