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Type Ruin
Continent Tamriel
Province Hammerfell
Region Craglorn
(Upper Craglorn)
Appears in Online
The ruins of Skyreach in the Second Era

Skyreach was a Duraki Nede City of the First Era hidden high into the mountains of Upper Craglorn, in the Hammerfell portion of the Western Reach[1]. It was one of last remaining bastion of the Nedes of the region during the Yokudan invasion.[2]

Layout and GeographyEdit

Skyreach is located high in the Dragontail Mountains, east of Dragonstar close to Skyrim's border. It is composed of high towers built on the top of the mountain, halls carved deep in the rock and open courtyards.

The highest tower is called the Pinnacle and houses a great laboratory, where nirncrux was used to harness the power of the stars and create weak Celestials that mimicked mundane animals and Daedra. [3]

The Catacombs of Skyreach

The ancient Nedes buried the dead of Skyreach, both commoners and nobles alike, within massive chambers and passages carved in the rock. They created a large network of catacombs beneath the city.

Several temples to the Celestials where built by the ancient Nedes outside the city, including the temple of the Loth'Na Caverns and the Sanctum Ophidia dedicated to the Serpent.

Notable LocalesEdit

  • Atelier of the Twice-Born Star
  • Skyreach Catacombs
  • Skyreach Hold
  • Skyreach Pass
  • Skyreach Pinnacle
  • Skyreach Overlook


Foundation and early HistoryEdit

Skyreach was founded by the Duraki, a Nedic tribe. The Duraki were among the Nedic peoples conquered by the Dwemer in the Merethic and early First Era. Several Dwemer cities, such as Mtharnaz, utilized Nedic slavery.[4] It is during their time of servitude that they acquired from the Dwemer the building techniques they later used for themselves to build the Apex Towers of Elinhir and ultimately the city of Skyreach.

It is theorized that Skyreach was originally built as a private estate for the Duraki's High Kings. By the time of Durac's reign, it had become a city that housed some of the Duraki populace.[2][5]

Aetherion in the laboratory of Skyreach Pinnacle

The Cult of the Stars experimented to create Celestial beings in Skyreach. The kings of Skyreach constructed a great laboratory at Skyreach Pinnacle, where they used nirncrux to harness the power of the stars. At first, they created only weak Celestials that mimicked mundane animals and Daedra. These ranged in power from the lowly Celestial Spiders to the fearsome entity known as Aetherion. All of these volatile creatures were bound within the Pinnacle by Nedic wards.

Fall of the City during the Yokudan InvasionEdit

High King Durac in his undead form in the 2nd Era

Some time later, Durac, possibly the namesake of the Duraki,[nb 2] was known as the High King of Craglorn and the Duraki people.[2][5] He and the royal family, including his daughter, Saradin, resided in the massive complex of Skyreach. Durac maintained a council with eight other Nedic kings that swore to him, including those of Blood, Flame, Forest, Frost, Shadow, Spirit, Storm, and Sun.[2] Additionally, he had the counsel of the Altmer Virmaril, a close friend of his who advised him for years.[6]

Unbeknownst to High King Durac, Virmaril and Princess Saradin had garnered romantic interest for each other. Upon Virmaril asking Durac for Saradin's hand in marriage, the High King was furious. He said that Saradin could not possibly marry an elf, and instead arranged for her to marry King Kestic of the northern forest tribes.[5] Though Saradin was hurt, she took it in stride and accepted her duty as princess.[5] In contrast, Virmaril went into a rage, feeling betrayed by Durac, whom he had faithfully advised for years. [7] Though he tried to escape Durac's ruling by running away with Saradin, he was rejected, and became cold and distant.[5]

Following the third Yokudan warrior wave of 1E 808, a following known as the Anka-Ra arose within the ranks of the invaders. Led by self-proclaimed emperor Tarish-Zi, the wave cut through southern Hammerfell and approached Craglorn.[8] The Nedic kings convened at Skyreach at the behest of High King Durac to hear out Advisor Virmaril's ritualistc plan to repel the invasion. Though they believed that Virmaril's incantation would beat back the Yokudan army, he instead turned it on the kings in bloody vengeance. He subjugated the council of kings, Durac among them, becoming a lich and raising the dead of Skyreach.[7][9][10]

Virmaril in his lich form

Virmaril's betrayal did not go unnoticed by the Duraki, as soon after his regicide an extermination force was sent into the catacombs to destroy him. Virmaril soundly defeated the team, benefited by his undead state,[9] and was furious that the Nedes dared to attack him.[7] One of the members of the force, Shavmar of the Perena tribe,[11] managed to escape the catacombs. He gathered two other Perena soul mages, Garalan and Armok, and entered the catacombs once more in an attempt to bind the Betrayer where killing him failed.[11][9] The trio were successful in weakening Virmaril, pushing back to the deep chambers of the catacombs and sealing him behind a soul ward and placing him in a sleep-like state.[9][7]

Despite the defeat of Virmaril, the Duraki, and their seat of power, Skyreach, met their end at the hands of the Yokudan armada.[12][13] Among the defensive tactics used to combat the Yokudans was the release of the previously sealed Celestials, beings imbued with magical energy.[2][14] The most fearsome of the beasts, Aetherion, was a great winged terror with near immortality.[14][15] The Yokudans contained the released creatures by restoring the old Nedic wards in the uppermost tower of Skyreach.[14][16]

Activity in the ruins during the Second EraEdit

In 2E 582, the Scaled Court have taken control of the ruins in search of nirncrux. They excavated the catacombs in an attempt to control the powerful undead within, but were slain after awakening a lich named Virmaril the Betrayer. According to Skyreach Explorer, Volume Four, Reginus Buca and Verita Numida of the Antiquarian Circle are somewhat responsible for allowing Virmaril the Betrayer to awaken. The court also accidentally released Celestial creatures from the magical wards the Nedes set up long ago in Skyreach's Pinnacle.


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