Riverwood is a minor settlement located along the White River, in a valley on the edge of the Whiterun Hold in Skyrim. Riverwood is known for its riverside location and its affinity with lumber. Riverwood is a border town near the Falkreath Hold to the south.
Riverwood is a small community on the eastern side of the White River. The river flows from the Lake Ilinalta in Central Falkreath to the Yorgrim River near the city of Windhelm in Eastmarch. Riverwood is a tiny town but manages very well; it is strategically located on a pass between Falkreath Hold and Whiterun Hold, two trading cities near the Imperial Province in the south. The nearest settlements to Riverwood are the city of Whiterun in the north and the fortified town of Helgen, located near the Pale Pass border. The ruins of Bleak Falls Barrow in the Brittleshin Mountains has also given the people of Riverwood a spooky feeling; it sits proudly on the mountain summit.
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 town of Riverwood in their quest to recover the pieces.
During the Dragon Crisis in 4E 201, the township of Riverwood was used as a hidden base for the Blades in Skyrim. Ever since the Purge against the Blades, the Blades went into hiding and had left their past behind them. One of the few Blades to remain close to the order was Delphine, a Breton who lived in Riverwood at the Sleeping Giant Inn with her coworker, Orgnar. Delphine had escaped the Third Aldmeri Dominion through unknown means and left to Riverwood. Around this time, the Last Dragonborn appeared after the destruction of Helgen, and was made widely known through the call of the Greybeards from the temple of High Hrothgar. The Blades have waited for the return of the Dragonborn, ever since Martin Septim's sacrifice against Mehrunes Dagon. To call upon their attention, Delphine took the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller and left a message for the Dragonborn to take it from her in Riverwood. It was there the Blades, and the Dragonborn began to work to put an end to Alduin, the World-Eater.