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Not to be confused with Mournoth.
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"As the capital of Morrowind, Mournhold is the greatest city in Tamriel. Travelers bring prayers and commerce to our streets, and we are ecstatic to receive you. Please understand that with so many pilgrims gathering every day, you may occasionally encounter outlanders who seem lost, overwhelmed, or even frustrated by the bustle and the layout of the city."
―Anonymous[src]

Mournhold, Almalexia, or the City of Light and Magic is one of the eight major cities in the province of Morrowind and is the capital of the Deshaan Plains and the province of Morrowind itself. Mournhold is also the capital of the Great House Indoril, a political house that are very orthodox and conservative, have a strong connection to the religious aspect of culture in Morrowind.

DescriptionEdit

GeographyEdit

Mournhold is located within the center of the Deshaan Plains, on the shores of Lake Amaya, in the middle of the Lagomere region and it depends heavily on the trade between House Hlaalu and House Dres and the river basin around the city. Mournhold is nestled in between two mountains that lead into the Redolent Loam and the Vale of the Ghost Snake. Mournhold is a fortress city, with defense all around the city-state. It is divided into five districts, each serving a different purpose than each other. With the rise of Tiber Septim, Almalexia commenced the construction of an outer city which was named Almalexia in her honor, following the same naming scheme as Vivec City and the Clockwork City. The inner city would be named Mournhold, retaining the name it had held for many years. The farmland south of Mournhold is occupied by the Great House Dres, which uses it to grow their Saltrice. The Tribunal Temple is one of the many temples dedicated to the Tribunal, and it takes a large portion of Mournhold.

Mournhold is one of the largest cities in the continent of Tamriel, comparable to the likes of the Imperial City and the city of Alinor. Mournhold in itself is divided into five districts, each serving a different purpose. The Plaza Brindisi Dorom is the southernmost district and is the center of social commerce in the city. In the middle of the area is a statue of Almalexia and Mehrunes Dagon, depicting their fight after the Sack of Mournhold. Rivers spewing from Lake Amaya run through the Plaza and give the gardens a vibrant look of colors. The eastern district is called the Great Bazaar, housing various stalls and caravans from as far as Port Telvannis and the Nibenay. There is a theatre located in the western portion of the Bazaar. The district of the west is called Godsreach and is the home of the nobility and the west entrance of Mournhold, leading into the Obsidian Gorge. Because Mournhold is the capital of House Indoril, many Indoril nobles live in Godsreach. The central area is the Mournhold Banking District, which was converted into the Palace of Mournhold, where the Dukes of Mournhold live. The northern district is the Temple Courtyard, surrounding the Tribunal Temple of Mournhold, which is where Almalexia of the Tribunal resides.

TraditionsEdit

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  • The Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 Dark Elves of Mournhold 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 by weapons in stores since their price's drop by half. Young children foolishly buy weapons, only to stab themselves by mistake.[OOG 1]
  • The Dark Elves of Mournhold 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]

HistoryEdit

First EraEdit

The Staff of Chaos & Modern-Day MournholdEdit

Many years ago, the city-state of Mournhold was one nation, combined with the city-state of Ebonheart, under the leadership of Queen Lian, a descendant of the great Moraelyn, Witch-King of Ebonheart. When Lian passed away, her two sons were left joint thrones, and so the city of Ebonheart split into the modern-day Ebonheart and modern-day Mournhold. To ensure its safety, Moraelyn had left the Staff of Chaos underneath the city of Mournhold, supposedly the birthplace of Ephen, a God of Morrowind. The Staff remained within the confines of Mournhold for many years.[1]

The Sack of Mournhold; Enter the Second AgeEdit

In 1E 2920, the city of Mournhold was under the rule of Brindisi Dorom, the Duke-Prince of Mournhold and was an ally of the Tribunal. Dorom had an affair with a Dunmeri witch named Turala, who hailed from the Barony of Phrygias and the Skeffington Coven. When it was confirmed that Turala was pregnant, she was cast out of Mournhold and Brindisi's domain. That child was named Bosriel, who was born in the Kavas Rim Pass, in between Cyrodiil and Morrowind. Sometime later, Brindisi Dorom had paid the Morag Tong to assassinate both Juliek Cyrodiil and Reman Cyrodiil III, both of which had conquered the province of Morrowind in the aftermath of the Four Score War. Months later, the Skeffington Coven was raided, killing many witches in the group as well as the infant Bosriel. Turala believed that the assassins were sent by Brindisi Dorom, killing the bastard child he had with Turala. Because of his grudge against the Tribunal, Cassyr Whitley of Dwynnen lied to Turala, saying that it was Brindisi Dorom that sent these assassins. Believing this lie, Turala called upon Mehrunes Dagon and ordered him to destroy the city of Mournhold, like how Molag Bal destroyed the township of Gil-Var-Delle. Brindisi Dorom and many other innocents were killed in the Sack of Mournhold. Enraged by this, Almalexia battled Mehrunes Dagon, casting him into the Void for destroying her city. As time went on Juliek would be assassinated in the Dorsza Pass in Black Marsh and Reman III would be murdered by Corda of the Morag Tong in his throne room, marking the beginning of the second era.[2][3][4][5][6]

Second EraEdit

Main article: Mournhold (Online)

A Blight upon the Land; The Llodos PlagueEdit

During the Interregnum in 2E 582, the Llodos Plague had swept the entire region of Deshaan, killing off the denizens one by one. The Maulborn was the group responsible for the disease, attempting to diminish the power that the Tribunal had over their province. After the events in Narsis, many citizens from Deshaan traveled to Mournhold, to seek refuge and to avoid the plague. Almalexia of the Tribunal requested the presence of the Vestige, a warrior of the Ebonheart Pact, to help her people in these dire times. The Vestige and Naryu Virian, an agent of the Morag Tong investigated the city in search of a presence of the Maulborn. Through manipulation, the duo uncovered a Maulborn agent entering the House Dres farmstead and into the Mournhold Underground.[7]

The Plot against Mournhold; The Maulborn CultEdit

The Mournhold Underground houses the ruffians and lowlives of the city-state, as well as the entirety of the Deshaan Plains; it was perfect for the Maulborn to conceived something dangerous. To avoid detection from the Ordinators of Mournhold, the Maulborn utilized barriers created by the Morag Tong to remain hidden. It was in the central tunnel, Commander Kalara had mustered an army of Maulborn warriors to invade the surface. The Vestige and Naryu Virian were cornered by the warriors until Almalexia herself appeared before the two heroes, obliterating the Maulborn threat inside Mournhold. Some of the Maulborn had escaped, infiltrating the Mournhold Temple, attempting to steal the Judgment of Saint Veloth.[8]

Mission for Veloth's Judgement; Fall of Magistrix VoxEdit

The Maulborn retrieval group was led by a Dunmeri sorcerer named Sathram, who had taken the hammer from inside the Tribunal Inner Sanctum. The Maulborn had captured the temple, unleashing daedra to help them in their endeavor. The Vestige entered the temple, defeating the daedra and Maulborn throughout the temple. Because the Inner Sanctum was sealed, the Vestige must be granted the blessing from each aspect of the Tribunal, completing tasks that cater to the Tribunal's specialty. After gaining entrance into the Inner Sanctum, the Vestige defeated Sathram, but the hammer was long gone, in possession of Magistrix Vox, leader of the Maulborn. The Tribunal won the battle, but the war was still active. Vox would ravage the Siltreen countryside. Vox would eventually be defeated the Vestige at Eidolon's Hollow.[9]

The Talosian Conquest & Almalexia CityEdit

During the waning years of the Interregnum, Tiber Septim had usurped the throne of Imperial City, becoming the Emperor of Cyrodiil. Septim desired to conquer the provinces of Tamriel, one by one until they bowed down under a single banner. The Third Empire had garnered control over Hammerfell after the Battle of Hunding Bay and the signing of the First Treaty of Stros M'Kai. Talos had set out to conquer Morrowind by order of the Underking, besieging settlements ranging from the city-state of Blacklight to the township of Kragenmoor. To protect her beautiful city, Almalexia of the Tribunal commissioned the construction of an outer city, surrounding the already established Mournhold. This more significant city was called Almalexia, following the naming scheme of the other Tribunal domains, Vivec City and Sotha Sil. However, this extension was unnecessary because Tiber Septim and Vivec had created the Treaty of the Armistice, which incorporated Morrowind into the Septim Empire. This treaty also made the sub-continent of Vvardenfell prohibited to the outsiders of Morrowind.[10][OOG 2]

Enter Barenziah, the Queen of MorrowindEdit

Tiber Septim invaded the province of Morrowind after the Great Houses decided not bend to his whim. When Septim invaded the city of Mournhold, the King and Queen had taken their daughter, Barenziah into hiding and was taken by Symmachus, a Dunmeri General in the Septim Empire to the township of Darkmoor, located in central Skyrim. There Barenziah was taken care off by Count Sven Advensen of Darkmoor. Barenziah eventually escaped Darkmoor to the city of Whiterun with the stable boy, Straw. Both had a relationship together and eventually moved to the city of Riften, where Symmachus discovered Barenziah and dealt with Straw behind Barenziah's back. Symmachus took her back to the Imperial City where she would await the day she would become the Queen of Mournhold.[11][12]

Third EraEdit

Main article: Mournhold (Arena)

The Nightingale's Legacy & Jagar TharnEdit

At the age of eighteen, Barenziah assumed the throne of Mournhold, with Symmachus as her advisor. As time went on, Barenziah and Symmachus fell in love, leading to two marrying years later. In 3E 376, Barenziah had her first child named Helseth Hlaalu, and eight years later, she had her second child, Morgiah, who was named after Symmachus' mother. Around the same time as the Staff of Chaos was stolen within the vaults of Mournhold by an illustrious stranger known as the Nightingale, this news was suppressed and was forgotten sometime later. The Nightingale supposedly had an affair with Barenziah, having a child named Dralsi Indoril who was abandoned by her mother, to hide the truth of the Nightingale's identity. The man who she claimed was the Nightingale, was Jagar Tharn, who did obtain the Staff of Chaos, by hiring the Nightingale to retrieve it. Dralsi traveled the world seeking her father and finally founding him in Shor's Stone, where he passed the mantle of Nightingale to her, she eventually passed that mantle to her daughter, Karliah, who was active in the fourth era.[13][14]

Mournhold during the Imperial SimulacrumEdit

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 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 city in their quest to recover the pieces. The city of Mournhold was under the rule of King Zirik.[15]

The Arnesian War & King Eadwyre of WayrestEdit

Relations between Mournhold and the Empire were slowly deteriorating, causing civil unrest throughout the Kingdom of Mournhold in an event known as the Arnesian War. Seeking a reason for this, Barenziah traveled to the Imperial City to seek an audience with Uriel Septim VII to learn what had happened in the Heartland of the Empire. Symmachus remained in Mournhold to deal with the revolution stirring up inside the city. However, Symmachus had unfortunately fallen in battle during the slave's revolt, bring dread to the Court of Mournhold. Learning that his friend had passed, King Eadwyre of Wayrest traveled to the city to comfort his friend's mourning wife. Eadwyre had visions of Ria Silmane appearing in his dreams and revealing the truth about Jagar Tharn. Barenziah had left a key that helped the Eternal Champion escape the Imperial Dungeons, both Eadwyre and Barenziah fled to Wayrest to escape Tharn's wrath, waiting for the time when the Eternal Champion would defeat the Imperial Battlemage. Eadwyre and Barenziah grew fond of each other and married together, remaining in Wayrest with Helseth and Morgiah. Her family member, Athyn Llethan assumed the throne in her absences.[13][16][17]

The Nerevarine Prophecy & Helseth HlaaluEdit

Main article: Mournhold (Tribunal)

In 3E 427, portions of the Nerevarine Prophecy had been fulfilled by slaying the vile Dagoth Ur atop of Red Mountain. Thus preventing the spread of the Blight onto the sub-continent of Vvardenfell and the rest of Tamriel. Around the same time, High King Athyn Llethan had passed, ending his reign as the King of Mournhold. Without any direct heirs, his great-nephew, Helseth Hlaalu assumed the throne. Many people believed that it was Helseth that poisoned Llethan, seeing how Helseth is infamous for pursuing his goals, one way or the other. To quote a Nordic Diplomat, "The new king is manipulative, ruthless, and calculating. He is exactly what Morrowind needs." In his youth as a Prince of Wayrest, he would blackmail, bribe, and assassinate nobles to grow his step-father's Kingdom further. Supposedly, because of the Nerevarine's infinite power, Helseth had sent the Dark Brotherhood to kill them, ultimately leading to end of the Mournhold Chapter of the Brotherhood by the hand of the Nerevarine. When the warrior tried to dispute this, the whole situation was swept under the rug.[17][18][19]

The Nerevarine's Exploits over Mournhold & the FabricantsEdit

As time went on, the Nerevarine ventured throughout the bustling metropolis of Mournhold, dealing with the issues that threaten the denizens of Indoril capital, among other requests straight from Almalexia herself. There have been tales of the Nerevarine's exploits, ranging from seeking a Goblin Army from deep within the catacombs of Mournhold to retrieving a Mazed Band. Which originated from Barilzar, the former apprentice of the great Sotha Sil. Almalexia grew pleased with her new champion but soon concluded, coming to realize the true identity of the Nerevarine. The Nerevarine Prophecy was instated in the aftermath of the War of the First Council, sealing the fate of the Tribunal. Not wanting to lose what she had accumulated since then, Almalexia plotted against the Nerevarine from within the shadows and slowly went mad as a result. Traversing into the Clockwork City, Almalexia killed her longtime friend, Sotha Sil and unleashed his Fabricants onto the city of Mournhold, where she quickly returned to her temple.[20][21][22]

Mission to Bamz-Amschend; Sotha Sil the TinkererEdit

Almalexia sent the Nerevarine on a mission to the ruins of Bamz-Amschend, the Dwarven Ruins housing the Clockwork City, within a celestial sphere. It was there; the Nerevarine discovered that the Dwarven Animunculi of Bamz-Amschend were fighting the Fabricants of the Clockwork City. With this news, the Nerevarine reported back to the Ordinators and Helseth Hlaalu, where they would investigate the attack on Plaza Brindisi Dorom. Knowing that this warrior was indeed the Nerevarine, Almalexia told the story of Hopesfire and Trueflame, and that the champion should reforge the weapon, Trueflame, the blade that once belonged to her lover, Indoril Nerevar. With the newly reforged Trueflame, Almalexia teleported the Nerevarine to the Clockwork City where they would confront the Fabricants and eventually Sotha Sil, the one who supposedly unleashed the Fabricants onto Mournhold. The Nerevarine discovered the deceased corpse of Sotha Sil perched on a pole as his body decomposes, he was dead long before the champion had found him.[23][24][25]

Fulfilling the Nerevarine Prophecy; Tale of Almalexia the MadEdit

Before the Nerevarine could return to Tamriel, they were encountered by Almalexia, who wielded the blade, Hopesfire. Knowing that her fate was coming to an end, Almalexia intentionally attacked her city. Almalexia unleashed the Fabricants so that she could protect them from the conflict, re-instating the love and support that she had manifested throughout the eras. Out of the three Tribunal, Almalexia did not hold remorse for her actions as much as Vivec, and Sotha Sil, living the life of a god had taken a toll on her, filling the hole where her love for Nerevar was original. Almalexia and the Nerevarine fought with the twin blades, Trueflame and Hopesfire. But as the prophecy foretold, the champion had killed Almalexia, ending the Mad God and her scheme against the Nerevarine. With Barilzar's Mazed Band, the warrior returned to Mournhold, continuing their endless journey across Tamriel and beyond.[25]

Fourth EraEdit

The Red Year & the Fall of the Tribunal's MorrowindEdit

As time went on, the Tribunal's influence had disappeared in the province of Morrowind. Rumors arose throughout the province that Almalexia had gone mad and killed Sotha Sil in his domain, where the Nerevarine would eventually kill her. All that remained of the Tribunal was Vivec, who resided in his city of Vivec until he disappeared, out of the public eye. The Nerevarine Prophecy indicates that Vivec would have died at the hands of the Nerevarine, but it is unknown whether this was the case. Vivec's magic held the Baar Dau atop of his city and now that he is gone, the magic that held the meteor faded, and it continued to fall until it was restored by a machine known as the Ingenium, being operated by Vuhon. Eventually, in 4E 5, the Ingenium had failed, and the meteor had finally destroyed Vivec City, leaving it as the Scathing Bay. This year would be known as the Red Year, since Red Mountain erupted as an after effect by the destruction of Vivec City. Mournhold was not affected by this event, but it caused an uproar in Mournhold and the Almalexia City. It was around this time, faith in the Tribunal began to dwindle. A House Redoran councilor in Mournhold created a relief effort to rebuild all the settlements destroyed in the sub-continent of Vvardenfell, which includes Balmora and Suran. To this day, Vvardenfell is continuing to be rebuilt.[17][26][27]

Terror from the Marsh; Enter the An-XileelEdit

In the aftermath of the Red Year, Morrowind was in repair and a vulnerable position. The past five or six years have been rough for all of the provinces in Tamriel, more specifically for Morrowind. The Oblivion Crisis in 3E 433 besieged several locations, most notably the city-state of Ald'ruhn. The Oblivion Crisis in Black Marsh was barely an issue with the newly-formed government, the An-Xileel. The An-Xileel were able to push back the Daedric forces into Oblivion, establishing their rule over Black Marsh. With their combined power, the Argonians invaded Morrowind. In 4E 6, Mournhold was sacked by the Argonians, leaving the city in ruins. Because of this, the capital of Morrowind was changed from Mournhold to Blacklight, the capital of House Redoran. The Accession War had left Morrowind in shambles, resulting in the destruction of Tear and many Dark Elves being relocated to Skyrim and eventually, Solstheim, which was given to Morrowind by the High King of Skyrim in 4E 16.[28][29]

After the Accession War; Modern-Day MournholdEdit

By 4E 201, the city-state of Mournhold had been fully repaired. Many of the people that had fled northwards had returned to the city. When the Dissident Priests of Holamayan established the New Temple, any remnants of Almalexia were removed from the Mournhold Temple. In its place, the Temple built a new sanctuary for the Real Tribunal, which consisted of Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. House Indoril lost a majority of their power with the loss of the Tribunal but remained a Great House after the fact. Plaza Brindisi Dorom had changed significantly when the architects of House Redoran built a new building for priests and pilgrims coming to Mournhold, to pay respects to the New Temple. Even though Mournhold is thriving once again, Blacklight has remained the capital of the province, especially since House Redoran has become the primary house of Morrowind.[30][31]

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • When Arena was going to be a Tournament based game, where each city had their own gladiatorial team. Mournhold's team was known as the Blade Dancers.[OOG 3]

By gameEdit

AppearancesEdit

References

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. Zenimax Online Writer's Reddit AMA
  3. Go Blades!