Lore: Gods: L
The Dark Heart (ESO)

Lorkh, who is known as the Spirit of Man, the Mortal Spirit, the Sower of Flesh, and the Lord of Mortals, is the Reachmen interpretation[1][2] of Lorkhan, the Creator-Trickster-Tester deity present in some form in every Tamrielic mythic tradition.[3] Other names for other versions or aspects of him include Lorkhaj in Elsweyr, Sep in Hammerfell, Sheor in High Rock, Shor in Skyrim, and Shezarr in Cyrodiil.[3][4][5][6]

Lorkh a revered spirit in the Reachmen pantheon. Their creation story speaks of Lorkh having an ephihany when he visited the darkness; that what is perceived as nothingness is ripe for possibility.[7] And so, Lorkh approached Namira, who ruled the world of spirit, and convinced her to grant him a place in the infinite void to create a realm for wayward spirits. But it was not a cost. To make this a possibility, Lorkh sacrificed himself to create a harsh realm, one that is unforgiving and intended to teach through suffering.[8] Despite his sundering, Lorkh "still believed in the light of Man", whose ancestors fled into the mountains, away from the darkness emitted from Lorkh's heart.[9][10] Sometime after, Hircine became the Lord of the Arena[11] from taking the mantle of Lorkh's creation, becoming the sovereign of the world of flesh.[1]

The briarheart ritual is reflective of the Reachmen's need to become better, and involves communing with Hircine to ritualistically replace the heart a skilled Reachfolk warrior with poisoned briars.[12] This ritual is representative of Lorkh's immortal sacrifice,[8] which is reflected by the sacrifice of ones' own life; the end result is a warrior being resurrected[13] as a living weapon with great strength and endurance known as a Briarheart.[14] These unnatural beings will bear the suffering of constant pain[15] to use their transformation's benefit to protect their clan.[14]

The symbol of one of Hircine's aspects, Gulibeg the Quick fox, is the Wand of Bone, which was fashioned from a shard from Lorkh's ribs, and has the ability to confound any mortal.[16] Gulibeg is said to reward those he finds clever by teaching them tricks and secrets,[17] which the Reachmen claim helped them survive the fall of Lorkh.[16]

Lorkh is revered by the Reachfolk, but his name is never uttered in prayer, for his part in their story has long passed. While Hircine teaches the Reachmen how to survive, Lorkh is the reason that "no matter the struggle, (they) should not go quietly into death".