The Rourken were a clan of Dwemer who migrated from Morrowind to Hammerfell during the First Era, in a self-imposed exile. They left after refusing to join the First Council due to a longstanding animosity with the Chimer, led by Indoril Nerevar at the time. According to legend, their leader hurled the great hammer Volendrung towards the setting sun and vowed to settle wherever it landed. After a long journey through the forests of Cyrodiil, they arrived in the southern Alik'r Desert near Gilane in 1E 420. There, they founded Volenfell ("City of the Hammer"), which later gave its name to the entire province as well. Establishing trading relationships with neighboring Bretons and elves, the Rourken prospered and spread across the province, exploiting the harsh landscape's plentiful mineral resources with massive mines and workshops.
Despite the physical separation from their brethren in Morrowind, the Rourken shared the fate of all Dwemer, mysteriously disappearing overnight. Their cities, now abandoned, fell prey to pirates, raiders, and the ravages of time. The ruins of their civilization can still be found, half-buried in sand, all across Hammerfell, including in Rkundzelft, Santaki, and Stros M'Kai. It would be over a hundred years before another civilization, the Ra Gada, would arrive to occupy the southern deserts.