Labyrinthian (Dovahzul: ) is an ancient Nordic ruin located in the region of Hjaalmarch, in the province of Skyrim. The Labyrinthian was formerly known as Bromjunaar, which was once the capital of Skyrim during the reign of the Dragon Cult.
The Labyrinthian, formerly known as Bromjunaar, was once the capital of Skyrim during the height of power for the Dragon Cult. As a result, the Labyrinthian is perhaps the largest Nordic ruin in Tamriel. The ruins are enclosed within a mountain pass in the Nordic Hold of Hjaalmarch. The Northern Wall overlooks the rest of Hjaalmarch, with a view of the city-state of Morthal and the Drajkmyr Marsh. The southern end is an isolated road leading to the grasslands in Whiterun Hold. The Labyrinthian holds various elements to the pass, as well as memorabilia to the Dragon Cult. The center of Labyrinthian is a traditional circular ruin called the Bromjunaar Sanctuary, which has a statue that can hold Dragon Priest Masks on display. The western portion of the ruins holds the inner ruins, which houses a lot of the ruin's infrastructure and natural caverns. The only way into the inner ruins is with the Torc of Labyrinthian, which is a prized artifact of the College of Winterhold. The Inner Sanctum of the Labyrinthian contains untold numbers of skeletal warriors and even a Skeletal Dragon. Deeper into the ruins are various Draugrs, ranging in power. The deepest part of the Labyrinthian is the Tribune, where Morokei the Deathless resides, as well as the Staff of Magnus. Eventually, the inner ruins end, leading to a cave to the outside.
The eastern portion of the ruins are called the Lost Valkygg which are not particularly noteworthy, though it was rumored to be the location of Kahvozein's Fang. A dagger that is sharp enough to carve individual Dragon Scales, making it a collectible among Dragon Priests. South of the Lost Valkygg is Shalidor's Maze, an extensive labyrinth that had given the Labyrinthian's namesake, as well as bringing it into modern-day myth. Shalidor's Maze can only be traversed by using the four out of the five schools of magic. Deep into the maze are several secrets such as Glamoril, which supposedly gives the consumer immortality, having belonged to Akatosh before being in the maze. Beyond all of that, there is nothing else to the Labyrinthian nor the former city-state of Bromjunaar. What is also noteworthy is that trading caravans tend to use the Labyrinthian to move between Morthal and Whiterun, though they tend to avoid not to be attacked by Frost Trolls.
Bromjunaar was established as a grand temple to the Dragons when the Dragon Cult had reigned across the province, but it was not called Bromjunaar by then. Eventually, the temple settlement had grown into a city-state under the command of the Dragon Cult, called Bromjunaar. Bromjunaar became the capital of Skyrim, where the Dragon Priests would convene over matters throughout the domain. The Dragon Cult had a wide-range that grew beyond the traditional borders of Skyrim. But when Men rebelled against the Dragons, commencing the Dragon War, the Dragon Cult had begun to lose power and dissolve. It was here in Bromjunaar, the high-ranking Dragon Priests of the land had stored away Konahrik, a powerful Dragon Priest mask of unknown origins, as of now. Bromjunaar had begun to crumble when the Dragon Cult was destroyed; the city ruins became a reminder of the Dragon Cult's totalitarian rule over Skyrim and the Nords.
Sometime in the first era, the city-state of Whiterun was under the rule of Jarl Gjalund. During his rule, the Whiterun Hold's borders were much larger, encompassing areas of the neighboring holds in West Skyrim (i.e., Falkreath Hold and The Pale). One of the settlements that were under Gjalund's control was Bromjunaar, which indicates that it lived out the days after the Dragon War. At this point, Bromjunaar was but a humble village amidst the ruins, producing Lumber and Stone for Whiterun. Though soon enough, Bromjunaar was ultimately abandoned, leaving nothing to its original name. Nobody was able to take Konahrik's Mask and the inner ruins of Bromjunaar were left untouched. But the ruins would garner new popularity when Shalidor, the Arch-Mage of Winterhold, would visit Bromjunaar, using it as his playground.
Shalidor has many legends under his name which includes creating Winterhold with a single whisper spell and battling the Rourken Clan in the Battle of Rourken-Shalidor. In an opening amidst the mountains, Shalidor created Shalidor's Maze, which is an extensive labyrinth that is used for training Arch-Mages. Shalidor valued both academic knowledge and practical skills, and so, many candidates were unable to survive the maze. The maze is modeled after an hourglass and from face value, there is no way to leave the maze, unless you have knowledge on four of the five schools of magic. As time went on, the Labyrinthian was no longer being used by Shalidor and it was ultimately abandoned. At one point in time, Shalidor had come across Glamoril, which is supposedly the secret of life. According to myth, he had stolen it from Akatosh and hid it deep in the Labyrinthian. This myth would eventually spread throughout the province, prompting to adventurers to explore it. Kanen the Elder and Mogrus the Dim delved into the Labyrinthian to find Glamoril but died in the process. Both of their spirits were kept to guard Glamoril and have remained since then.
During the Imperial Simulacrum from 3E 389 to 3E 399, Emperor Uriel Septim VII was imprisoned along with Talin Warhaft in the Deadlands by Jagar Tharn. Tharn planned for months to capture the throne, and he was able to achieve so in the span of ten years. Tharn had a powerful weapon called the Staff of Chaos, and he split it into nine pieces and scattered them across Tamriel, the staff was the only thing keeping Uriel Septim and Warhaft in Oblivion. A warrior escaped his clutches and traveled all corners of Tamriel to retrieve the missing pieces. The hero was known as the Eternal Champion, and he assembled the staff and defeated Jagar Tharn at the Imperial Palace. The Eternal Champion had at one point visited the ruins of the Labyrinthian in their quest to recover the pieces.
The Eternal Champion had retrieved the first piece of the staff from the ruins of Fang Lair, continuing their quest throughout Tamriel. In their sleep, Ria Silmane came to the warrior through a dream, telling them where the next piece is, which was the ruins of the Labyrinthian in Skyrim. The Champion had then traveled to the city-state of Winterhold, to get an idea on the Labyrinthian's location, and was directed to Thelen Kaarn, a wizard of the Mages Guild. Before they were given the whereabouts of the Labyrinthian, the wizard gave the Champion a proposition, if they retrieved a tablet from defeating the Fortress of Ice; then he will give them what they need. And so, the Champion was able to get the coordinates for the Labyrinthian and retrieve the second piece of the Staff of Chaos. The Champion would then set their sites for the province of Valenwood. Because of the Eternal Champion's exploits, the Imperial loyalists would travel to the Labyrinthian, using it as a memorial for the hero and to re-trace their steps.
During the Skyrim Civil War in 4E 201, the Labyrinthian was said to be the location of the Staff of Magnus, a powerful stuff. At the College of Winterhold, an agent of the Thalmor, Ancano had taken control of the Eye of Magnus, killing Arch-Mage Savos Aren in the process. The Master Wizard of the College, Mirabelle Ervine had sent an esteemed student to find the Staff of Magnus in the Labyrinthian. The student delved into the Labyrinthian, experiencing afterimages of the late Arch-Mage, who had traversed the ruins many years ago. As they continue, Morokei himself would commune with the student, draining their magic as they go deeper into the Labyrinthian. The afterimages of Savos' group were eventually dwindling as each of the ghostly students had passed away. At the end of the dungeon, Savos had left the two remaining mages to guard Morokei. The student was able to defeat the two ghostly guardians and Morokei the Deathless, obtaining the Staff of Magnus from the Dragon Priest. Before leaving, the student was encountered by Estormo, who was an Agent of the Thalmor for Ancano. He was dealt with, and the student used the Staff to ultimately defeat Ancano.
|Lore Skyrim Locations|
|Cities||Dawnstar • Falkreath • Markarth • Morthal • Riften • Solitude • Whiterun • Windhelm • Winterhold|
|Landmarks||Alduin's Wall • College of Winterhold • High Hrothgar • Labyrinthian • Old Hroldan • Snowhawk • Throat of the World|