|Appears in||Arena, Dawnstar, Skyrim, Legends|
Dawnstar (also known as Danstrar) is a settlement on the northern coast of Skyrim, and the hold capital of the Pale. It was once a garrison town, which served as an exile post due to the cold harsh climate and notorious gales. The settlement seemingly got its name due to its reputation for "greeting the sun as it begins its journey".
The city has two mines, Iron-Breaker Mine and Quicksilver Mine, which supply iron and quicksilver respectively. It is home to many fishermen and is an important port. An ancient Dark Brotherhood sanctuary is located beneath the city. A small, isolated ice cave once connected into this sanctuary after its abandonment, and served as the lair of an Udefrykte. The White Hall, a large longhouse located in Dawnstar, is the seat of the Jarl of the Pale. The Tower of Dawn, also called Nightcaller Temple, is a ruined military fort often used as a place of worship which sits upon a cliff top overlooking the town. A small lighthouse sits atop a hill just east of town.
The date of Dawnstar's construction is unknown, but it has been in existence since at least 1E 2920. It was after the destruction of his fortress in Dawnstar during 2E 283 that Potentate Versidue-Shaie declared martial law, leading to one of the most brutal and bloody periods in the history of Tamriel. At some point during the Interregnum, Aelfrydda of Dawnstar found a shipwreck locked in ice with its crew all frozen and frostbitten and presumed dead. They then rose, frost-crusted and icy with an "arctic rime" appearance, and picked up their weapons. At the end of the Third Era, Dawnstar's Queen Macalla married Thian, king of Solitude, as part of an expansion of Solitude's power in northern Skyrim, leading to an alliance between the two city-states.
During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Dawnstar was an active settlement, being ruled by King Ulrarne. It had a rivalry with Whiterun and Winterhold. Dawnstar was neighbored by several settlements, including Helarchen Creek to the southeast, Stonehills to the southwest, and Winterhold to the east.
In the late Third Era circa 3E 427,[UOL 1] Dawnstar was a garrison town and exile post under Governor Cyril Vinticae. The Ice Tribes held a raid against the town and the Governor's four champions lead forces defending the assault. However, Vinticae rightfully suspected one of his champions of setting the Ice Tribes upon the town. Not knowing which among them was the traitor, he banished them all. He then sent for the soon-to-be Hero of Dawnstar to interrogate the champions and expose the traitor. Local healer Eustacia was ordered to assist in healing the Hero, and her oracular visions would prove crucial in the Hero's attempts to cut through the lies. The Hero braved beyond Dawnstar, gaining the banished champions' aid, questioning them about the battle, and cross-referencing their responses with Eustacia's fragmentary visions. Finally, the Hero revealed the true traitor, returning to Dawnstar with the three loyal champions. The Governor awarded the Hero the Starfrost, a magical frost that channels the prayers of Dawnstar and elemental winter through its user. The Ice Tribes and their forces then began their final attack, overwhelming the town's outer defenses, allowing some to slip through Dawnstar's walls. The hero defended the town, slaying the Ice Tribes and concluding the assault with the defeat of the Gehenoth Thriceborn.
In 4E 201, the Jarl of Dawnstar was Skald the Elder, who led the city in the support of the Stormcloaks. Skald's subjects suffered from chronic nightmares due to a curse put upon them by Vaermina's Skull of Corruption from within Nightcaller Temple, a curse which was lifted by the Last Dragonborn and a former priest of Vaermina. In the same year, the abandoned Dark Brotherhood sanctuary became inhabited once again, and was the last refuge of the now-crippled guild of assassins after all other sanctuaries were sacked or abandoned. The connecting ice cave was resealed and the Udefrykte within was slain. The city was susceptible to dragon attacks, as all of its structures were made of wood and the town walls had long since fallen.
- A dish known as "Dawnstar Sun's Dusk Chowder" is named after the city.
- Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Dawnstar's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Avengers".[UOL 2]
- The Daedric artifact Dawnbreaker features a glowing crystal in its cross-guard known as the Dawnstar Gem. This gem has no apparent connection with the city of Dawnstar.
- Ice and Chitin — Pletius Spatec
- Map of Skyrim
- Events of Skyrim
- Events and Message Boxes throughout the quest in Dawnstar
- Foreman Lathdar's dialogue in ESO
- Dawnstar location and rumors in Arena
- 2920, Frostfall — Carlovac Townway
- History of the Fighters Guild
- Arctic Rime skin description
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Throat of the World: Skyrim — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- Map of Skyrim — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- Dawnstar promotional text
- Eustacia's Dialogue in Dawnstar
- Dawnstar Sun's Dusk Chowder
- The Golden Knight's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.