"This place's forbidding black towers are visible for leagues, even through Rivenspire's drifting mists. Yet the local inhabitants never mention it, behaving as if it doesn't even exist. But the Crypt of Hearts is no illusion or mirage—it is solid and all too real."
Crypt of Hearts Loading Screen[src]

The Crypt of Hearts or Agea Relle is an ancient castle located in the western mountains of Rivenspire, in the province of High Rock. Originally a school of Destruction magic, the Crypt of Hearts is a place surrounded in mystery and legend, seemingly non-existant to the populous of High Rock.

By game[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

The Crypt of Hearts is situated in the region of Rivenspire, specifically in the Westmark Moor region, in an area where Rivenspire would meet the Wrothgarian Mountains. It is entirely isolated, with the closest settlement being the minor village of Moira's Hope and the trading town of Hoarfrost Downs. The castle is rather large, looming over Westmark Moor. There are five large towers and several smaller ones around the main entrance. The castle door has a demonic skull face on top of it, which emphasizes the Crypt's otherworldly and foreboding atmosphere. After the castle was overtaken by the Daedra, the castle halls would be riddled with bookcases and Daedric caves reminiscent of Coldharbour. The beginning room was once the lobby and continuing onward would be the library. Eventually, the end of the dungeon is the balcony, looking towards the Wrothgarian Mountains and Rivenspire.

History[edit | edit source]

Second Era[edit | edit source]

Main article: Crypt of Hearts (Online)

Originally an Ayleid ruin called Agea Relle, the Crypt of Hearts was founded by an adventuring couple named Nerien'eth and Alanwe. The two converted it into a school of various skills, including destruction magic and sword-fighting. The Altmer couple were talented warriors, with expertise in magic and other forms of combat, taking on several students. At one point, Alanwe discovered the seven Star Teeth deep in the ancient caves of Agea Relle, recording the fundamentals of these crystals. As things were going fine, it would change when Nerien'eth came into possession of the Ebony Blade, a Daedric Artifact to Mephala, Daedric Prince of Sin. The Ebony Blade is powered whenever the wielder kills those they are close to and so, the possessed Nerien'eth killed the students and Alanwe. To keep her away, Nerien'eth had sealed Alanwe's soul away, splitting it into three pieces in what would later become the Crypt of Hearts. Nerien'eth disappeared, along with the Ebony Blade. As time went on, the Crypt of Hearts fell into obscurity and legend to the people of Shornhelm and Rivenspire.[1][2]

Crypt of Hearts has become a legend through High Rock, beckoning for the Undaunted, a group of dungeon explorers. A group of four adventurers traveled to the Crypt of Hearts where they encountered one of the shards of Alanwe. The adventurers fought through the Daedra inhabiting the ruins, gathering the three phylacteries needed to restore Alanwe, so that she can finally rest. When they found all three, they were encountered by the Ilambris Twins, Athor and Zaven. Eventually, Alanwe was freed, but Nerien'eth still roamed Tamriel. Knowing this, Alanwe decided to remain in Tamriel until Nerien'eth was ultimately defeated. And so enough, Nerien'eth returned, determined to deal with Alanwe and his students, but the Undaunted appeared, and four adventurers delved into the Crypt of Hearts. Eventually, confronting Nerien'eth and the Ebony Blade in what can be a pocket of the Spiral Skein. In the end, Nerien'eth was defeated, and Alanwe took the Ebony Blade, never to be seen again. The spirits of the dead students ascended into Aetherius, while Alanwe's fate is unknown. But eventually, the Ebony Blade resurfaced, one way or the other.[3][4]

Third Era[edit | edit source]

Main article: Crypt of Hearts (Arena)
Main article: Crypt of Hearts (Shadowkey)

During the Imperial Simulacrum from 3E 389 to 3E 399, Emperor Uriel Septim VII was imprisoned along with Talin Warhaft in the Deadlands by Jagar Tharn. Tharn planned for months to capture the throne, and he was able to achieve so in the span of ten years. Tharn had a powerful weapon called the Staff of Chaos, and he split it into nine pieces and scattered them across Tamriel, the staff was the only thing keeping Uriel Septim and Warhaft in Oblivion. A warrior escaped his clutches and traveled all corners of Tamriel to retrieve the missing pieces. The hero was known as the Eternal Champion, and he assembled the staff and defeated Jagar Tharn at the Imperial Palace. The Eternal Champion had at one point visited the Crypt of Hearts in their quest to recover the pieces.[5]

The Eternal Champion had retrieved the fifth piece of the staff from the Crystal Tower, continuing their quest throughout Tamriel. In their sleep, Ria Silmane came to the warrior through a dream, telling them where the next piece is, which was the Crypt of Hearts in High Rock. The Champion had then traveled to the city-state of Camlorn, to get an idea on the Crypt of Hearts' location, and was directed to Halfas Varn, the leader of the Brotherhood of Seth. Before they were given the whereabouts of the Crypt of Hearts, the priest gave the Champion a proposition, if they retrieved a parchment taken by Brother Barnabas in the Mines of Khuras; then he will give them what they need. And so, the Champion was able to get the coordinates for the Crypt of Hearts and retrieved the sixth piece of the Staff of Chaos. The Champion would then set their sites for the province of Black Marsh.[6][7]

Amidst the Imperial Simulacrum in 3E 397, the War of Bend'r-Mahk had left the Western Reach in constant warfare. Jagar Tharn and his associate, Pergan Asuul created a creature of Shadow Magic called the Umbra' Keth, deep within the Crypt of Hearts. Tharn and Asuul wanted to use the Umbra' Keth for their own purposes, using the war as fuel for the creature. The Crypt Keepers in the Crypt of Hearts fled amidst the conflict except for one, who stayed to protect the archives. With the help of Azra Nightwielder and Skelos Undriel, a hero called the Soul of Conflict gathered seven Star Teeth to destroy the creature. In the end, the Umbra' Keth and Pergan Asuul were defeated and everyone was saved, though the War of Bend'r-Mahk continued on, into the fourth era.[8]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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