Venture Though Tamriel
Hammerfell is a province in the west of Tamriel, bordering Skyrim, Cyrodiil, and High Rock. This province is dominated by the wasteland of the Alik’r desert. It is inhabited by the human race of Redguards, who fled to Tamriel after their home, Yokuda, was destroyed.
Hammerfell is predominately an urban and maritime province, with most of its population confined to the great port and trade cities. The interior is sparsely populated with small poor farms and beastherds. The Redguards love to travel, adventure, and the high seas have dispersed them as sailors, mercenaries, and adventurers in ports of call throughout the Empire.
Hammerfell’s original name was Volenfell, given to it by the Rourken Clan of Dwemer during the First Era. It is said that the leader of the clan threw his mighty hammer, Volendrung, across the continent, and followed it to their new home (This scene is depicted on many frescos in Ruins throughout the region.) The Rourken were opposed to the creation of the joint Dwemer-Chimer state of Resdayn, which prompted their move westward. It was later named Hegathe by the Aldmer and Deathland by the Nedic peoples, before the Redguards arrived and named it Hammerfell, translated from the Dwemeris.
The fate of the Volenfell Dwemer, like that of all Dwemer, remains a mystery, as they all disappeared at some time during the First Era. However, Hammerfell did not stay uninhabited for very long. A great cataclysm sank the continent of Yokuda to the west, forcing the ancestors of modern Redguards eastward, toward Tamriel. They originally landed on the isle of Herne, and the Ra Gada warriors, eventually rendered into the common tongue as ‘Redguard’, went on to Tamriel, paving a bloody trail through the native Men and Mer for the Yokudans to settle. Assimilation into the rest of Tamriel began relatively quickly, as the Yokudans, while displacing the Men, had adopted many of their customs and traditions.
Hammerfell was conquered by the Second Empire in the Second Age, during which time the Ra Gada warriors were finally granted semi-equal rights to the Na-Totambu ruling class. During the Interregnum (See Cyrodiil), however, the Na-Totambu regained control, making the Ra Gada a subservient class again. The capital was moved from Old Hegathe to the merchant power of Sentinel, capital of the province to this day.
After the death of Thassad II, the Ra Gada took Sentinel by force, resulting in the bloodiest massacre in Hammerfell history, at the hands of Crown Prince A’tor. Tiber Septim and the Third Empire were called to help, defeating A’tor’s forces at the Battle of Hunding Bay. Hammerfell then became a province of the Third Empire.
After the Oblivion Crisis, Hammerfell remained a part of the Empire during the Stormcrown Interregnum, which ended when Titus Mede seized the Imperial City and was proclaimed Emperor. During the Great War against the Thalmor-led Aldmeri Dominion, Hammerfell fought with the rest of the Empire, and was invaded by the Thalmor forces. When the war ended, Emperor Titus Mede II ceded a portion of southern Hammerfell to the Dominion and outlawed worship of Talos throughout the Empire. The Redguards, outraged, continued to defy the White-Gold Concordat, forcing Titus Mede II to release Hammerfell as its own, independent state.
The Redguards eventually forced a stalemate with the Dominion, leading to Aldmeri forces withdrawing completely from Hammerfell.