|Heart of Lorkhan|
The Heart of Lorkhan as it appears The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
|Related Quests||Discerning the Transmundane|
The greatest influence the god Lorkhan had upon Nirn was his heart; taken from him by the other gods in their fury of his creation of the world. It was cast down into the depths of the earth, never meant to be found.
Unfortunately, sometime in the First Era, the Dwemer discovered the heart while digging under Red Mountain. The Dwemer High Priest Kargrenac began to experiment with it and created the profane tools Keening, Sunder, and Wraithguard to work with the heart. He would soon begin construction of the Numidium (a massive mechanical golem), hoping to use the heart as a power source and in experiments to improve the Dwemer race.
This plan was interrupted by the arrival of Indoril Nerevar, his generals (Vivec, Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Voryn Dagoth), and an army of Chimer. At length, Nerevar and Dagoth fought the Dwemer king and Kargrenac in the heart chamber beneath Red Mountain. When the Dwemer were bested in combat, Kargrenac used the tools on the heart, and the entire dwemer race vanished.
Nerevar entrusted the tools to Voryn Dagoth (who had requested that the tools be destroyed) and met with his other generals. They agreed to keep the tools but not use them. Upon returning to the heart chamber, they discovered that Voryn Dagoth had gone mad and refused to relinquish the tools, stating the Nerevar had commanded him to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. Nerevar and Dagoth fought, and Dagoth was driven away, forced to surrender the artifacts.
This turn of events concerned Nerevar, and he decided to ask the Daedric Prince Azura for guidance. However, his generals murdered him during the ritual. Azura still came and cursed the Tribunal for their crimes, claiming that she would use her powers to resurrect Nerevar. She then changed the Chimer into the Dunmer.
Then the Tribunal did use the tools on the heart and became living gods; they did many great deeds for their people. Since their deeds worked against the evil nature of the heart, they needed to return to it from time to time to rejuvenate their powers. At some later point, they discovered that Voryn Dagoth (now styling himself as Dagoth Ur) yet lived and had connected himself directly to the heart's power. He drove them away, and on subsequent attempts to recover the heart chamber for themselves, they lost control of Keening and Sunder to him (and barely escaped alive, supposedly due to the quick actions of Vivec).
Over time, the Tribunal became weaker and weaker, whilst Dagoth Ur became stronger still. They disappeared from public view, and their influence faded. Their sole attempts at restraining Dagoth Ur (the Ghostfence) consumed much of their remaining power and were largely ineffective at containing the Blight. They also could not prevent Dagoth Ur's forces from flying or tunneling past the Ghostfence.
During the Third EraEdit
Towards the end of the Third Era, Nerevar was indeed reborn, and after a great many trials, he came face to face with his old ally and broke him. However, while sustained by the heart, Dagoth Ur could not truly die. By using the profane tools on the heart again, without a proper ritual, the Nerevarine severed the powers of the heart from the mortal plane and was able to deliver a final death blow to Dagoth Ur and destroy his great weapon, Akulakhan.
It is important to note that within the game it is realistically impossible to kill the heart outright (unless using cheats). This is because the heart has a great deal of health and ridiculous regenerative powers. Only the Keening and Sunder can banish it. However, if it is destroyed through cheats, the main quest can not be completed, as the heart's power is still bound to the plane, even though it can no longer be accessed.
The Heart is briefly mentioned in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when Septimus Signus discovers a Dwemer Lockbox brought in by the sudden flood in Winterhold that he believes contains the Heart Of Lorkhan. In order to open it, the Dragonborn must find an Elder Scroll and inscribe the encryption into a Lexicon.
As part of the quest "Discerning the Transmundane", the Elder Scroll and knowledge is apparently held in Alftand. The quest may only be started by meeting Septimus Signus at his outpost north of the College of Winterhold. Upon completion of the quest the Dragonborn and Septimus Signus discover the Lockbox does not contain the Heart.
In Dragonborn, there are stones known as Heart Stones which are of unknown origin and only showed up on Solstheim after the eruption of Red Mountain, suggesting they may be somehow related to the Heart. Their exact origins, however, are unknown.