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Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Morrowind
Region Deshaan
Appears in Arena, Tribunal, ESO
The High Chapel circa 3E 427
Map of Morrowind

Mournhold, the "city of light and magic", is the temple-city within the city of Almalexia, located in the Deshaan region of Morrowind's southern mainland, in the district of House Indoril.

The Royal Palace forms the center of the city and is home to the new King, Hlaalu Helseth, his mother Barenziah and a Royal Guard garrison, as well as Imperial Cult services. The Temple to the north houses the High Chapel, home to Almalexia, one of the living gods of the Tribunal Temple. The chapel also includes the offices of the Archcanon, an infirmary and the personal guard of the goddess, the Hands of Almalexia.

The city has five primary sections: Godsreach, the Great Bazaar, Plaza Brindisi Dorom, Royal Palace, and the Temple Courtyard. Old Mournhold is now an expansive ruin on which present-day Mournhold has been built.


Mournhold circa 2E 582
Map of Mournhold in the late Third Era

The rivalry between Ebonheart and Mournhold dates back nearly to the dawn of history. At one time, the two city-states had been one, ruled over by Clan R'Aathim, whose royal house held the High Kingship of Morrowind. Ebonheart later split into two separate city states, Ebonheart and Mournhold.[1]

The Royal city of Old Mournhold was destroyed at the end of First Era by the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. Almalexia and Sotha Sil came too late to prevent this destruction, but they managed to banish Mehrunes Dagon back to Oblivion.[2]

In 2E 582, Mournhold was infiltrated by the Maulborn, a secretive Daedric cult posing as a charity organization. Because of this, the city was on high alert and no one could enter without being registered. Part of the Maulborn force managed to enter the Tribunal Temple through the sewers and opened portals to Oblivion inside. They were eventually defeated by the Vestige, who worked with Almalexia to eradicate the Maulborn threat. However, the cult was able to steal the artifact The Judgment of Saint Veloth from the temple. During the Alliance War, it served as the capital of the Ebonheart Pact.[3]

During the Tiber Wars, the city was sacked by the Imperial legions,[4] and was subsequently placed under military rule for a dozen years. Following its conquest by Tiber Septim and General Symmachus, it was gradually returned to civilian government and Queen Barenziah later ruled the Imperial Province of Morrowind from here. Over this time, due to the rise of Septim's empire, Almalexia commissioned an expansion effort and Mournhold was rebuilt. As a whole, the city then became known as Almalexia in her honor.[oog 1]

During the Arnesian War, Mournhold came under attack in the revolt and Symmachus was slain. Barenziah fled and abdicated her throne to her uncle, King Llethan. Llethan eventually died (amid rumors of being poisoned), and Helseth took the throne.

In the late Third Era, Mournhold suffered a series of cataclysms. Fabricants, creatures created by the reclusive god Sotha Sil, suddenly appeared in the city and began attacking all who lived there. The creatures were defeated, but then the living god Almalexia disappeared amid rumors that she had gone mad, killed her long-time friend Sotha Sil, unleashed his creatures on the city, and was slain by the Nerevarine. Following the aftermath of the Red Year, Mournhold was the center of relief efforts to Vvardenfell led by House Redoran.[5] Around a year later, Mournhold was sacked by the invading Argonians of Black Marsh and Morrowind's capital was moved to Blacklight.[6] Mournhold was still being rebuilt in 4E 201, a shadow of its former self. Mournhold Temple was renovated and the last traces of Almalexia were removed.[7] Plaza Brindisi Dorom now houses a large building House Indoril uses to accommodate the new priests and pilgrims who come to pay their respects at the temple.[7]


  • Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Mournhold's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Blade Dancers".[oog 2]


  1. ^ The Real BarenziahPlitinius Mero
  2. ^ 2920, The Last Year of the First EraCarlovac Townway
  3. ^ Events of ESO.
  4. ^ Biography of Queen BarenziahStern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe
  5. ^ The Red YearMelis Ravel
  6. ^ Adril Arano's dialogue in Dragonborn
  7. ^ a b To Milore from NilaraNilara

Note: the following references are not found in-game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.

  1. ^ Zenimax Online Writer's Reddit AMA
  2. ^ Original TES: Arena texts at the Imperial Library