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Ard Caddach
LO-people-Despot of Markarth.jpg
Ard Caddach, the Despot of Markarth
Race Reachman Gender Male
Born 2nd Era
Reign 2E 559-
Resided in Markarth
Imperial City
Appears in ESO

Ard Caddach of the Blackdrake Clan[1] (also known as the Despot of Markarth) was an infamous Reachman who ruled the eastern part of the Reach as an independent nation during the Skyrim Schism in the mid-Second Era.[2][UOL 1] Caddach was acquainted with the Order of the Black Worm, the necromancer Javad Tharn, and the cult's leader, Mannimarco.[2]


When Caddach was a young man, he journeyed south to take service in the Reach guard of Emperor Moricar, and proved himself a warrior wise beyond his years. During his time in Cyrodiil, Caddach received an Imperial education and military training. When Moricar saw the need to establish some degree of Imperial authority over the increasingly restless clans of his homeland, he chose to appoint his relative to the task. In 2E 559, he sent Caddach back to Markarth, where he acted as the Imperial Governor of Markarth. His role was to both rule the city and to maintain peace between the local Reach Clans.[1][3]

A small, but elite group, known as Stonehands were a Reachfolk group sworn to serve Caddach. The Stonehands mainly acted as his personal guard[4] and occasionally as his spies, scouts and counselors.[5][6] It is unknown when Stonehands were formed but they pledged their loyalty to Caddach long before 2E 577 when Caddach of Blackdrake Clan took the title of Ard.[6][1] Ard Caddach was known to have frequently been accompanied by an escort of half a dozen of the Stonehands in public.[7]

After the fall of the Longhouse Emperors under his cousin Emperor Leovic in 2E 577,[8] a great number of Reachmen were cast out of the Cyrodiil.[9][10] Many of them arrived in the Reach, while others were known to launch attacks on the holds of Skyrim. When the last remaining members of Caddach's own clan attempted to take the city of Markarth, Caddach excecuted them and solidified his rule. Caddach abandonded his Imperial title and took instead the old Reach title of ard.[11][1] Reachfolk conducted raids into Western Skyrim until at least 2E 582, but they were consistently repelled by High King Svargrim of Solitude. Some point to the Despot of Markarth as the instigator of these raids, and list him alongside the Ebonheart Pact as the threats to the Kingdom of Western Skyrim.[12]

In 2E 578, Flaccus Terentius took a caravan to Wrothgar, which briefly visited the Murtag Stronghold before being set upon by Reachmen, forcing the survivors to flee towards Orsinium and abandon Terentius to the raiders. In return for a promise to paint Caddach, he was spared the fate of his fellow captives, who were released and hunted by the Reachmen to honor Hircine. Vanus Galerion subsequently raided the Dwemer ruins of Nchuand-Zel in pursuit of Mannimarco, where he swiftly killed Terentius' tormentors before teleporting them both safely away to Windhelm.[2]

Months after the disappearance of the Empress Regent Clivia Tharn, Councilor Itinia sent Helvar Tarperian to Ard Caddach with the proposal to instate him as emperor. Caddach believed her true intentions were to use him as a puppet to do her bidding and declined her offer, stating that the only situation in which he would go to Cyrodiil would be with a Reach horde.[4]

Ard Caddach was engaged in the politics with the Bretons. High King Emeric dispatched Lady Nilene Devierin, the Royal Envoy to the Reach, to address the invasion of Breton borders by the Bloodthorn Cult and Dark Witnesses, both of which were among the Reachfolk clans not yet under the jurisdiction of the Ard at that time. Seeking a peace agreement, she met with Lady Belain, advisor to the Ard. Devierin expressed frustration over the raids by some of the Reachfolk clans and implored Belain to persuade Ard to control the unruly raiding groups. However, Caddach, constrained by the need to avoid projecting weakness or servitude to Emeric and hindered by the nature of fractured clan society and the high autonomy of independent clans, couldn't rein in the factions. He was not a liege of those clans. He directed Nilene to ensure that the Bretons themselves weaken the factions, thereby enhancing Caddach's authority in the region. By assisting Ard Caddach, High King Emeric could streamline negotiations with a unified Reach under one king instead of dealing with numerous stubborn clans. Supporting Caddach was presented as an action aligning with High Rock's best interests. Upon meeting with Caddach, her concerns were dismissed, and she left to High King Emeric without a satisfactory response.[13][3]


  • The description of the Red Pit Wolf breed refers to a "Tyrant of Markarth". It is unknown whether this title is another reference to Caddach.[14]

See AlsoEdit