Volenfell (Dwemeris: City of the Hammer) was the capital of Hammerfell, when the Rourken Clan of Dwarves inhabited the province. Like the other Dwarven settlements, it was abandoned. Volenfell's name was lent to the province, where it would eventually alternate to Hammerfell.
Volenfell's location was unknown for a long time,[source?] being speculated to be near the city-state of Gilane. However, it was discovered to be built within the Dragontail Mountains, near the city-state of Satakalaam. The ruins of Volenfell have been eaten by the sands of the Alik'r Desert, scattered about and being inhabited by the Dunerippers of the land. Endless hills of sand dot the remains, with Dwarven pillars and remote rooms found throughout the site. Advancing northeast will lead into more ruins, where artifacts such as the Guardian's Eye are located. The waters of the Iliac Bay had spewed into the ruins, leaving small areas of water.[source?]
In 1E 420, the Rourken Clan of Dwarves had left their ancestral home of Morrowind when their leader, Dumac Dwarfking had created the First Council with Indoril Nerevar, leader of the Chimer. The Rourken opposed this, and so they took to the west, where they established cities in modern-day Hammerfell. King Rourken had decided Hammerfell when he threw his mighty hammer, Volendrung, in that direction. King Rourken's seat of power became the city-state of Volenfell, which had lent its name to the province. Eventually, the Rourken Clan had expanded their territory, to the islands of the Abecean Sea. Clans such as the Kragen Clan followed the Rourken to the west, settling in the Reach. But like many other Dwarven settlements, the city-state of Volenfell was abandoned, and the harsh desert subsequently swallowed it. Volenfell's legacy lived on, with the province having remnants of the name. Volenfell faded into obscurity and legend among the Redguards that had begun to populate the land.
During the Interregnum in 2E 582, the archaeologist couple, Tharayya and Quintus Verres sought the location of the Guardian's Eye, a powerful artifact that was carried by the Rourken Clan for many years. The couple traveled all throughout the Alik'r Desert, beginning with the ruins of Santaki and eventually ending up in Yldzuun. Finally, Tharayya learned that the final resting place for the eye was in the ruins of Volenfell, but it was lost to time. The couple had founded the Volenfell remains, but Quintus betrayed his wife, using raiders to attack their camp and to advance forward into the valley. Tharayya utilized the help of the Undaunted to delve into Volenfell, bypassing the Imperial Raiders and the Duneripper, Tremorscale. Eventually, the group was able to enter the inner sanctum, with the Guardian's Eye in sight, but the three Guardians of the Eye attacked, though they were fortunately defeated. But when Tharayya escaped with the Guardian's Eye, it vanished, with the dead being resurrected with its disappearance. From then on, Volenfell would be visited by scholars and treasure-hunters.