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Alik'r Desert

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For this region in Online, see Alik'r Desert (Online).
"A sacred flame rises above the fire, The ghosts of great men and women without names, Cities long dead rise and fall in the flame, The Dioscori Song of Revelation, Bursting walls and deathless rock, Fiery sand that heals and destroys."
―On the Immortality of Dust[src]

The Alik'r Desert is a vast region in the center of the province of Hammerfell.[1] The cities of Hammerfell hug the edges of the great desert.[2]


The ruins of the Alik'r rise from the sand by one blast of the unbounded wind and are covered by the next. Nothing in the desert lasts, but nothing dies forever. The philosophy of the desert people of the Alik'r is that they are part of the Alik'r. All the principalities and boundaries the nations have placed on the land dissolve under the moving sand, and few inhabitants can say where they are in the desert.[3]


The orange-hued, shifting sands which blow beneath the dark blue sky are one of the key components of not only the desert, but of its natural magics.[4] The stones of the Alik'r burn with a heat and a light that does not comes from the sun, nor the moons Jone and Jode, but from the beat of the heart of Tamriel itself.[3] It is believed that the rocks themselves contain remnants of Magnus's gift, and this results in a breadth and diversity of magic energy unknown anywhere else in Tamriel. This gives a certain economy to the casting of a true Alik'r wizard.[4] Much as the sand learns from every grain around it, so too does the air which absorbs the sense knowledge of its carried grains.[3]

The sacred flame of the Alik'r, a vast, red mist that seems to come from the deep mystery of Tamriel, appears in the morning, and then disappears long before the noon sun.[3]


Alik'r Nomads

Alik'r nomads illustrated in the Pocket Guide to the Empire

Numerous primitive, nomadic tribes wander the Alik'r desert, with either some Nedic influences or stubbornly Yokudan, a throwback in culture even to other Redguards. Devotees of Satakal the Serpent God are strewn among them, historically causing the A'likr border-states no end of strife. These revered madmen depend entirely on the charity of the other Redguards, though sometimes they rise in perilous bands, terrorizing the countryside in old Ra Gada fashion.[1]


The Dwemer capital, Volenfell, "City of the Hammer," lies in ruins near Gilane, nearly submerged by the sands of the Alik'r during the Second Era, and buried by the Third Era.[1][5] These ruins offer no clues to the mysterious disappearance of the Dwarves from Tamriel.[1] Akaviri and Nordic pirates have plundered much of value from the Dwemer's abandoned cities, while predators from the inland desert, such as wind spirits, fire spirits, goblins, trolls, and giant scorpions, prowl the empty streets.[5]

From the twin moonrises over the Alik'r shade-temples to the austere ramparts of Old Hegathe, everywhere there is the appearance of antique splendor.[1] Some maps speak of Wind Scour Temple, a secret fortress of the Blades, under the great expanse of the Alik'r desert.[6]