Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see The Reach.

The Reach is one of the nine Holds of Skyrim. Its capital is the ancient Dwemer city of Markarth, where the Empire-aligned Jarl Igmund resides and holds court in Understone Keep. The coat of arms for the Reach is a ram's head.

The Reach is infamous for harboring the Forsworn, a clan of Reachmen who are fighting a long war of independence and seek to retake Markarth from the Nords and free the Hold from Imperial authority. The Forsworn are the Reach's most common enemies and dwell in the Reach highlands. With the constant threat of Forsworn attacks looming over Markarth and its surrounding settlements, the Reach is often considered the most dangerous Hold of Skyrim, fit only for seasoned adventurers or hardened mercenaries.


The Reach covers much of the western border of Skyrim, with High Rock and Hammerfell to the west. These are the Highlands of Skyrim, a rugged environment with few flat clearings, dotted with juniper trees and rich in valuable ores, especially silver. Surrounding Holds include Whiterun to the east, Haafingar past the mountains to the north, Hjaalmarch to the north-east and Falkreath to the southeast. Forsworn have already laid claim to the Reach's main fort guarding the hold, Fort Sungard, on the border with Falkreath and Whiterun.


First Era[]

During the First Era and the emergence of the Breton race from the Direnni Hegemony, the majority of Bretons established themselves in High Rock. However, a small group of Bretons that were said to have more of the Elven blood than their brethren ventured outward and settled in the western borders of Skyrim. Over the centuries, these Bretons would establish a separate and independent culture from their kin in High Rock and interbred with the local Nords, giving rise to a unique people known as the Reachmen, or the Men and Women of the Reach. This continued until the Nordic conquests of High Rock and Morrowind during the First Era. 

Around 1E 1030, the Reach was ruled by ten warring kings. The legendary Reachman Red Eagle rose to prominence, and united the kings in his struggle against the Imperial invading forces of Empress Hestra.[1] Following the collapse of the Alessian Empire, the Reach managed to maintain its independence up until High King Olaf One-Eye expanded Skyrim's boundaries when he conquered the Reach.[2]

Second Era[]

When Tiber Septim was known as General Talos, he went about conquering the whole of Tamriel and consolidating his rule. He also defended the Reach from the Reachmen. One of his famous battles was when he led a small band of Colovian troops and Nord berserkers against the Witchmen of High Rock in the Battle of Old Hrol'dan.[3][4] Though the Reachmen lost political control of their territory, they did not lose the right to practice their religion and culture. This status quo was accepted by most Reachmen, but not by all.

Fourth Era[]

Independent Kingdom[]

In the Fourth Era, when the Mede Empire was in the midst of the Great War with the Aldmeri Dominion, troops from the Reach were called to join the war efforts in Cyrodiil. In the year of 4E 174, hardline Reachmen took this opportunity to rebel against the Empire and slaughter much of the Nord population in the city of Markarth. The uprising gained momentum, pushing the Nords out of the Hold and removing the Reach from Imperial authority for two years. Between 4E 174 and 4E 176, the Reachmen established an independent kingdom.

The Markarth Incident[]

Desperate to reclaim the Reach, Jarl Hrolfdir enlisted the aid of Ulfric Stormcloak and his militia, promising them free worship of Talos in exchange for their assistance. Ulfric accepted, and his troops reconquered Markarth from the Reachmen soon after. The returning Legion, coming back to restore order in Skyrim after the Great War, was allegedly refused entry into Markarth until they granted free Talos worship. The Empire accepted, however, agents of the Aldmeri Dominion discovered the Empire was violating the terms of the White-Gold Concordat, and demanded the arrest of Ulfric and his militia. The disillusionment of Ulfric and his men over what became known as the Markarth Incident would prove to become one of the direct causes of the Skyrim Civil War.

The Reachmen took on the name of the Forsworn after their defeat in Markarth, and those not imprisoned fled to the highlands to continue their insurrection against the Empire's control over the Reach.


Capital City[]








Nordic Ruins/Tombs[]

Dwarven Ruins[]

Daedric Shrines[]


Dragon Lairs[]

Guardian Stones[]

Points of interest[]


Orc Stronghold[]


Unmarked locations[]

See also[]