"We bid you welcome to the City-State which greets the sun as it begins its journey, Dawnstar..."
―Description in Arena[src]

Dawnstar or Danstrar is one of the nine-major cities in the province of Skyrim, being the capital of the region of the Pale. Dawnstar is a bustling trading town that produces all sorts of produce, ranging from fish to smithing materials. It is where the sun greets you as it begins its journey, hence the name.

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Dawnstar is situated along the Sea of Ghosts, making it a prominent trading stop between the city-states of Windhelm and Solitude, both located on the edge of Skyrim. Dawnstar's ports give ships coming from abroad to send their produce to the wilds of Central Skyrim. Dawnstar, on the mainland, is situated in a frozen sea of snow, with a stretch of road to the boreal forests of the southern Pale, though Dawnstar's geography caters to the harsh environment. Dawnstar city is built within an opening situated on the Sea of Ghosts, where the northern mountains begin and continue onto Winterhold. This pocket in the mountain range is where Dawnstar is situated, with a path to the coast. The people of the city have established several watchtowers along this area. South of the city, overlooking the entire domain is Nightcaller Temple, formerly called the Tower of Dawn. To the east, the Dawnstar Lighthouse guides passing ships to Dawnstar, though it is not anything to write home about. One of Dawnstar's trades is mining, and so the city host two mineshafts, both of which produce Iron and Quicksilver, which are commonly used materials in weapons.

Dawnstar city is split into an upper and lower level. The Upper Level contains the main gate, leading into the Skyrim wilderness, eventually taking travelers to nearby townships such as Bardmont and Dunstad Grove. Around the main gate are several points of interest. On certain occasions, the Khajiiti Caravan or other traveling merchants would settle outside the gate. Hidden behind some stone is a hidden entrance to the long-forgotten Dawnstar Sanctuary, which was initially used by the Dark Brotherhood as their headquarters in the Pale. But upon entering the gate, you are greeted to the Dawnster Upper Level, which contains a view of the Dawnstar Bay and the Lower Level. A path north of the entrance leads into the harbor, and the road to the east leads to the rest of the Upper Level. Along the way are several Dawnstar businesses including the Windpeak Inn and the Iron-Breaker Mine, the source of Dawnstar's Iron deposit. In the middle of the Upper Level is the White Hall, which is the seat of power in Dawnstar, home to the local Jarl. The path eventually revolves around to the Lower Level, where many of the residents have inhabited. Houses surround the bay, as people move to and fro with the trade. To the west is Quicksilver Mine, which is the home of Dawnstar's Quicksilver deposit. Continuing onto the beach in the Lower East will lead you out of the city, where you can eventually discover the main entrance to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary and a path to the Lighthouse. Between the White Hall and the Dawnstar Barracks is a faded path that leads to the main road and the Tower of Dawn.


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  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the New Life Festival on the 1st of Morning Star. It is a day of celebration where the drinks are free and people party in the streets all day. It truly is, a day of merriment.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the South Wind's Prayer on the 15th of Morning Star. It is a day to pray to the Gods for a bountiful harvest, and it is for citizens who cannot afford to heal from the local temple to get healed from an ailment.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate Heart's Day on the 16th of Sun's Dawn. It is in honor of a legend passed down from generation to generation about a couple named Polydor and Eloisa. Every Inn in Tamriel become free for visitors arriving into town.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the First Planting on the 7th of First Seed. It is the day that begins the harvest, where neighbors reconcile their difference, bad habits are dropped, and the clerics heal people for free.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the Second Planting on the 7th of Second Seed. The holiday is ideally the same holiday as First Planting, to improve one’s soul, and to improve relationships with others.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the Mid Year Celebration on the 16th of Mid Year. A day to distract everyone from the increased taxes. It is a day celebrating the halfway mark in the year, where many warriors feel blessed and venture to dungeons they normally cannot defeat.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the Merchant's Festival on the 10th of Sun's Height. It is a day that benefits the consumer in the market. Traders and Gypsies drop the prices on their stock. The only place that does not celebrate it is the Mages Guild. This is the same day as the Summoning of Boethiah.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate Sun's Rest on the 20th of Sun's Height. It is a day when the workers of Tamriel take a day to relax, businesses across town are closed in observance of this day. Some people have to have to leave the province to actually buy something.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate Harvest's End on the 27th of Last Seed. It is the final day of the harvest, and it is where the people eat the crops they have grown since the First Planting. Travelers are given the option to join a farmer’s family for a feast.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate Tales and Tallows on the 3rd of Hearthfire. It is the day of superstition where the elderly do not speak for an entire day, in fear of evil spirits entering their body. The Mages of Tamriel favor this day since it is a day to study the oldest forms of magic.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the Witches' Festival on the 13th of Frostfall. A day where the creepy ghouls and creatures of the night gather to terrorize the denizens of Tamriel. Many have not dared to wander the streets at night, in fear of being nabbed by a creature.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the Warriors Festival on the 20th of Sun's Dusk. It is a day where many warriors gather to practice their fighting prowess. Travelers buy weapons in stores since their price's drop by half. Young children foolishly buy weapons, only to stab themselves by mistake.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the North Wind's Prayer on the 15th of Evening Star. It serves as a thanksgiving to the Gods for the year's harvest. It is a day when the local temples heal and bless anyone for a lower price.[OOG 1]
  • The Nords of Dawnstar celebrate the Old Life Festival on the 31st of Evening Star. It is a day of rest, where many leave the events of the passing year behind and to reflect their past. They rest for the New Life Festival.[OOG 1]


Second Era

Years later in 1E 2920, Reman Cyrodiil III was assassinated by a member of the Morag Tong causing the end of the Reman Dynasty and subsequently the Second Empire. Versidue Shaie took the obligation in ruling in his place until a new person comes as Emperor. Shaie also marked that day as the beginning of the Second Era/Common Era, the era of bloodshed and a neverending conflict. Shaie's rule was very ruthless for the people of the Empire; kingdoms of Tamriel began to rebel against Shaie's rule. The final straw was in the city of Dawnstar when the locals destroyed his fortress in Dawnstar. In the nearby town of Bardmont, Versidue Shaie gathered the Imperial Council for the Council of Bardmont to deal with these uprisings. This resulted in Shaie declaring martial and universal law that ended with 37 years of bloody warfare.[1][2]

During the Alliance War, Skyrim was divided into two different provinces each with their own High King. Western Skyrim, which encompassed Whiterun, Falkreath, Morthal, and Solitude believed in the Moot and elected Svargrim to be High King while Eastern Skyrim, which encompassed Windhelm, Winterhold, Riften, and Dawnstar believed in what the Crown of Verity chose and had Freydis be elected High Queen. Because of this, Skyrim was divided and Eastern Skyrim served the Ebonheart Pact under the leadership of Jorunn the Skald-King.[OOG 2][3]

Third Era

Main article: Dawnstar (Arena)

During the Imperial Simulacrum, the city of Dawnstar was one of the eight major kingdoms in Skyrim, and it was under the rule of King Ulrarne. Dawnstar was connected to the townships of Stonehills and Helarchen Creek. At one point, the Eternal Champion had visited the city in their quest for a piece of the Staff of Chaos to defeat Jagar Tharn at the Imperial Palace.[4]

Sometime before the Oblivion Crisis, the city of Dawnstar was under the rule of Queen Macalla who had influence throughout the Pale. King Thian of Solitude took her hand in marriage under the sustain an important relationship on the northern trade in the Sea of Ghosts. Thian would do similar things throughout his reign making Skyrim a united kingdom under a single banner. He had gained territories such as the fiefdom of Roscrea from the Septim Empire.[5]

Fourth Era

Main article: Dawnstar (Skyrim)

In 4E 201, the city of Dawnstar was under the leadership of Jarl Skald the Elder who was a man living in the past and had a very arrogant attitude towards the Mede Empire and the Imperial Legion. He had a very firm belief in Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak's plan for a revolution and wished his people followed his ideology. However, many do not. Speaking of Ulfric, at the same time, he defeated High King Torygg with the power of the Thu'um resulting in the Skyrim Civil War between the Old Holds and the Imperial Holds. The city of Dawnstar joined Windhelm in its fight against the Imperial Holds of Skyrim.[6]

Dawnstar had suffered through a series of nightmares that brought suffering among the people. Many believed a witch left a curse on Dawnstar for whatever reason while some thought otherwise. The Last Dragonborn arrived into town and was tasked with helping the cause. They met a Dunmeri man named Erandur who believed these nightmares are because of Nightcaller Temple, which overlooks Dawnstar on a cliff. Both travelers entered the Temple and learned about Vaermina's influence. Both of them were able to stop the nightmares from affecting Dawnstar.[7]

Unknown Era



  • In an earlier stage of development, Arena was going to be a tournament-based game, each city was going to have their own gladiatorial team that would fight other groups. Dawnstar's team was known as "the Avengers".[OOG 3]

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Notice: The following are out-of-game references. They are not found in any in-game books, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Holidays in Arena
  2. ESO-RP Interviews Phrastus of Elinhir
  3. Go Blades!