The Forsworn, also known as the Reachmen, Witchmen of High Rock, and Madmen of the Reach, are a tribal group of racially-mixed (but primarily Breton) ancestry who inhabit the Reach in southwestern Skyrim. They mainly utilize primitive gear and hedge-magic, have a tribal appearance and nature, and typically inhabit makeshift fortresses built into caves and ruins throughout the Reach's battle-scarred landscape. The tribals are often considered "two septims short of a pint of ale". Despite appearing primitive in nature, the Forsworn have proven to be an aggressive political force which has an astute grasp of insurgency warfare, and even have agents living amongst the populace of Markarth in secret. They directly oppose all other major political groups in Skyrim, including the Thalmor. They wish to drive both Nords and the Empire out of the Reach and attain independence. It is important to note that not all Reachmen are aligned with the Forsworn.
The Reachmen have long held that they are the true owners of the Reach, and for centuries have only begrudgingly accepted the rule of the Nords and the Empire.
 Invasion of High Rock
In 2E 541, Durcorach the Black Drake captured Bangkorai, Evermore and Hallin's Stand. Within days, Reachmen army was across the Bjoulsae and bearing down upon Wayrest. Durcorach didn't have siege engines, so after 57 days of besieging Wayrest he left part of his army around the Wayrest's walls and marched off west into Glenumbra. Taken by surprise, the newly-independent city-state of Camlorn fell and was sacked. Reachmen were defeated near Daggerfall's city gates after being charged from behind Emeric's Heavy Dragoons.
 The Markarth Incident
During the Great War, when the Empire didn't have the resources available to suppress their rebellion, the Reachmen commenced the "Forsworn Uprising" in 4E 174, gaining control of the hold and creating what would become known as the Forsworn Kingdom. According to Arrianus Arius, they administered the kingdom relatively peacefully (only a few of the harshest Nord landowners were put to death). After two years, their experiment with independence seemed largely successful, and the leaders of the Reachmen were beginning the process of seeking recognition from the Empire. However, in 4E 176, desperate to retake the Reach, and with no Imperial Legions available due to the Great War, Skyrim enlisted the aid of a Nord militia led by Ulfric Stormcloak to retake the Reach from the Forsworn by promising them free worship of Talos. In that year, the Nord militia successfully drove the Forsworn from the city of Markarth and reclaimed the Reach on behalf of Skyrim. Although Jarl Igmund claimed that leaders of the Forsworn Uprising refused their offers of peace, according to Arrianus no such offer was ever made, as Ulfric Stormcloak not only had anyone associated with the Forsworn executed after they surrendered, but also had anyone else executed without regard to race, age or gender if they had failed to assist the Nord militia in its campaign against the Forsworn. According to one Forsworn prisoner, Braig, the Jarl had his daughter, Aethra, executed right in front of him after she pleaded to take her father's place as a prisoner. Madanach and Braig claim that there were many native families who suffered similar fates once the Nords overthrew the independent kingdom of the Reach.
 The Forsworn Emerge
The surviving Reachmen fled to the wilds of the Reach as the Forsworn. Their leader, Madanach, was secretly imprisoned by Thonar Silver-Blood in an attempt to leverage control over them. When the Imperial Legion and the Thalmor finally returned to the region, they discovered the Talos worship. Igmund was forced to arrest Ulfric and his men or risk outright war over religious conflict. The Stormcloaks were eventually allowed to leave, but Igmund's broken promise left a fissure that would eventually widen into the Stormcloak Rebellion. The Forsworn still remember the cruelty of Ulfric and seek vengeance against him, and all Nords, as a result.
Driven from Markarth, the Forsworn spread across the Reach fortifying any defensible spot they could find. They are organized as a terrorist organization composed of a series of cells which attempt to strike fear into the hearts of their Nord occupiers. The ongoing disruption is popularly known as the Forsworn Rebellion. Many sellswords in the Reach are known to make most of their living by collecting on bounties posted for reputed Forsworn leaders. Forsworn attacks generally target non-Bretons found in the Reach. They have refused all attempts at making peace, seeing the only solution as the return of their land. Forsworn equipment and weapons are made up of a distinguishing combination of fur, feathers, bones, and antlers, giving them a savage appearance. Their members sport a unique tribal garb and adopt many of the traditions depicted in the legend of the Red Eagle. The most archaic of their practices involves their reverence for Hagravens, which are treated as matriarchs in their society. The Hagravens offer leadership and access to a bizarre rite involving the removal and replacement of a person's heart and the following incantation:
- "Heart of thorn... bones of the wild... in life, Forsworn...
...rise from death, Blood of our Blood."
- Briarheart Ceremony
This ritual purportedly allows a Forsworn to become a spirit of vengeance.
 See Also
For game-specific information, see the Skyrim article.
- The Bear of Markarth by Arrianus Arius, Imperial Scholar — An account of Ulfric Stormcloak's short-lived independent reign over the Reach.
- The Legend of Red Eagle by Tredayn Dren, Archivist of Winterhold — An ancient tale about the invasion of the Reach by the First Empire.
- ^ a b c d The "Madmen" of the Reach:-A Cultural Treatise on the Forsworn — Arrianus Arius, Imperial Scholar
- ^ a b The City of Stone: A Sellsword's Guide to Markarth — Amanda Alleia
- ^ a b c d e f Events of Skyrim.
- ^ a b The Holds of Skyrim:
A Field Officer's Guide
For Use by Officers of the Imperial Legion
- ^ Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
- ^ a b c d e The Bear of Markarth-The Crimes of Ulfric Stormcloak — Arrianus Arius, Imperial Scholar
- ^ a b An Explorer's Guide to Skyrim — Marcius Carvain, Viscount Bruma
- ^ Herbane's Bestiary:-Hagravens — Herbane