This article is about the city on the mainland. For the castle on Vvardenfell, see Castle Ebonheart.
|Appears in||Arena, ESO|
Ebonheart, also known as the Black City or Old Ebonheart, is one of the eight-major cities in the province of Morrowind, specifically in the region of Stonefalls. Ebonheart has been described as the eldest city-state of Morrowind, but it is more known as the ancestral holding of the Ra'athim Clan, an ancient family of miners that have become some of the province and even the continent's greatest leaders. Their most well-known members are Moraelyn and Katariah. For an undisclosed time, Ebonheart was the capital of Morrowind, until Moraelyn's twin grandsons were left joint-heirs, resulting in the creation of modern-day Ebonheart and Mournhold.
Layout & Geography
Ebonheart is found on the north-central coast of Stonefalls, in a strategic location on the Inner Sea. Specifically, it is in the region of Zabamat, between Vivec's Antlers and Ash Mountain, both of which are noteworthy landmarks in the region. The city is a nestled in a bay between these landmarks, on an island where the city is primarily built on. In the middle of it, is the seat of power, Castle Ebonheart, also called the Town Hall. The inner city is built around this town hall and the town square, this includes the main gate, as well as, several homes and businesses. It is also built atop of a stone foundation, providing long stairs to the north, leading into the city dockyards, and an Argonian village, which even comes with its own Hist Tree. Through the village's wooden paths are Ashreeds. South of the main gate is the rest of the island, which is open-aired, commonly used for encampments and trading Ashlanders. Throughout the city's outskirts are shrines to the Tribunal, each of which forms a triangle that surrounds the city when lined up. Off the coast is Stonefang Isle, which holds a Daedric shrine, but further than that is the holy city of Vivec. Ebonheart has several neighboring settlements, such as Darnim Watch to the east, Eagle Moor and Mournhold to the southeast, Old Keep to the far southeast, Riverbridge to the southwest, and Stonefalls to the northwest.
The Ra'athim Clan & the First Era
Ebonheart has been called the eldest city-state of Morrowind, a title that its Kings have held the utmost pride for, often using the phrase, "first among equals." Since the province's earliest history, Ebonheart and Mournhold were bitter rivals, but were originally part of one nation, ruled over by the Ra'athim Clan. The clan held mining fiefdoms across their territory, as they retained the High Kingship of Morrowind. The Ra'athim Clan were members of House Mora, a minor house that has human ancestry. At an unknown time, House Mora was absorbed into the Great House Hlaalu, in turn bringing both the Ra'athim Clan and Ebonheart into the Great House.
When the First Empire of the Nords invaded Morrowind in the early First Era, the Kingdom of Ebonheart was ruled by King Kronin, who had three sons, Cruethys, S'ephen, and Moraelyn. After the Nords conquered the entire region, King Kronin and his sons turned to a life of banditry and raids, operating across eastern Skyrim and the Velothi Mountains. They were known to use guerrilla warfare as they laid waste across the Nordic countryside. Eventually, the four partook in the retaking of Morrowind in 1E 416, returning to Ebonheart after a century and a half of Nordic occupation. At some point after, Kronin's son, Cruethys was named the King of Ebonheart, and eventually passing the position to Moraelyn. S'ephen was not considered a Ra'athim, because of his heritage. So instead, King Moraelyn offered him a temple-cult in his birthplace, Mournhold, and the role of protecting the Horn of Summoning.
As time went on, King Moraelyn passed his role to his daughter, Lian, who in turn, had twin sons, both heirs-apparent to the Kingdom of Ebonheart. These two were given joint-heirs, which split the Ra'athim territory into Ebonheart and Mournhold. Although, the seat of the High King was vacant, in favor of a war leader in times of provincial emergency. At some point, both of these kingdoms disputed over the ownership of the Staff of Chaos, an ancient staff of immense power. But ultimately, Mournhold was able to claim the staff, citing that not only was it Ephen's life goal to protect the Staff, but that the city was also the god's birthplace. Eventually, Ebonheart lost its role as the capital to its rivals in Mournhold. Though the exact circumstances are unknown.
The Ebonheart Pact and Foreign Incursions
Many years later in 2E 572, the Second Akaviri Invasion took place across the northeast of Tamriel. After the destruction of Windhelm in Skyrim's northeast coast, the Kamali of Akavir, under the command of Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal, advanced southeast into Morrowind, and the volcanic ashlands of Stonefalls. Dir-Kamal's forces were surrounded by the triad of armies, the Nords of Eastern Skyrim, the Dunmer of Morrowind, and the Argonians of Black Marsh. At the coral fields of Vivec's Antlers, the Akaviri were defeated and these three races gathered in Ebonheart, to create an alliance of survival and necessity, known as the Ebonheart Pact.
By the Interregnum in 2E 582, the town of Ebonheart was ruled by House Dres, through the Councilman Drathus Othral. At this time, the Daggerfall Covenant had invaded the Pact's waters, already taking Bleakrock Isle and sacking Bal Foyen. The Covenant armada landed on the shores of Vivec's Antlers, and the Councilor felt that the invasion could destroy Ebonheart. He believed that if the several races in Ebonheart had united against the armada, they will be able to survive. And so, he enlisted the help of a wandering traveler to unite the races in Ebonheart. Through sleuthing, the warrior revealed that the traitor, Rhavil Urano had sent intel to the Covenant. Urano was defeated and Ebonheart's people came together to prepare their defense.
Ebonheart in the Third Empire
Even as far as a hundred years after Tiber Septim's conquest and the establishment of the Third Empire, the Kingdom of Ebonheart was still ruled by the Ra'athim Clan. The royalty of Ebonheart were allies of Potema Septim and Uriel III, even joining their battle against the Empire, known as the War of the Red Diamond. It was no secret that Ebonheart supported the Wolf-Queen. To cement relations between the Kingdom and the Empire, Emperor Magnus Septim arranged the marriage between his son, Pelagius III and the Duchess of Vvardenfell, Katariah Ra'athim. Part of the reason was because of Katariah's talent as a diplomat, perfect to hide the true demented nature of Pelagius the Mad. Katariah ruled over the Third Empire as the Regent-Empress, following the death of Pelagius. She later passed away in 3E 200.
During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Ebonheart was an active settlement. It was ruled by King Casik, who had a reputation of extreme ruthlessness. It had a rivalry with several cities (namely Blacklight, Firewatch, Kragenmoor, and Mournhold). After acquiring the seventh piece of the Staff of Chaos, the Eternal Champion made their way to the province of Morrowind, to find the final piece. From rumors, the warrior arrived into Ebonheart and gained an audience with King Casik, on the location of Dagoth-Ur's entrance. The King had the means to open it, but they need to find the Hammer of Gharen and strike it on the Anvil of Mithas. The Dwemer artifact was hidden in Black Gate. Sometime later, the Eternal Champion returned with the anvil. The King struck the anvil, releasing a tone that paved the way for the Dagoth-Ur mines. Since the champion's victory over Jagar Tharn, Imperial-loyalists made pilgrimages across the continent to re-trace the steps of the Eternal Champion, which included Ebonheart.
- 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, Ebonheart's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Reavers".[UOL 1]
- On the concept map of Morrowind, Ebonheart was depicted as a holding of House Hlaalu, and the river on which it stood was called River Thir.[UOL 2]
- Ebonheart location and rumors in Arena
- Heirloom Ebony Ash Yam Slow Cooker contraband in ESO
- Map of Morrowind — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Real Barenziah, v 5 — Anonymous
- The Real Barenziah, v 4 — Anonymous
- King Edward, Part X
- King Edward, Part XII
- The Second Akaviri Invasion — Yngmaer Raven-Quill, Historian Royal of the Bards' College, Solitude
- Unexpected Allies
- Guide to the Ebonheart Pact
- Restoring Order quest in ESO
- The Madness of Pelagius — Tsathenes
- Brief History of the Empire v 2 — Stronach k'Thojj III
- Dagoth-Ur quest in Arena
- A Minor Maze
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.