Skyrim Guards: #Favorite Hold Screenshot Event

Hello! This is my first post to the Art group, per Curse's requests. Over on BrosisJK's Discord server, Skyrim Guards, the current active Q&A question is: "What is your favorite Hold?" To go along with this question, we decided to start a screenshot event where members would show off the best of their favorite holds with cool screenshots.

My personal favorite hold is Eastmarch, the oldest hold in Skyrim. Although the landscape is beautiful, the real reason I love this Hold is because of it's deep, ancient, and rich lore. Thus, I have decided to include a small paragraph explaining the lore of each location I have taken shots of. 

These screenshots are lightly edited, so you can't get these exact effects in game. Mostly however, they remain true to the original pictures. Without any further ramblings, here are the screenshots.

This first shot depicts Eastmarch's Talos shrine by a peaceful lake. This Talos shrine is of particular interest due to it's positioning on top of this a plinth. The stone construction is obviously ancient Nordic architecture, making it completely unique among all other statues to Talos in Skyrim.
This is Mara's Eye Pond, which serves as the entrance to Mara's Eye Den. Odd noises can reportedly be heard around this pond, and perhaps more creepily, the water has quite the strong current, despite not being connected to any other waterways.
This here is another creepy location. Found in a strangely out of place grassy grove smacked awkwardly in the middle of the barren volcanic tundra, Witchmist Grove is home to accomplished witch Moira. Scattered with bones and smattered with blood, this rather terrifying location had wooden spike defenses stuck with goat and spriggan heads, as well as spriggan taproots. These ward off most intruders, and even perhaps provide some protection against the giants and mammoths that roam the surrounding tundra.
This towering fortress called Mistwatch sits on the boarder of Eastmarch and the Rift is home to a group of bandits uniquely named "Mistwatch Bandits." NPCs found inside can start a rather interesting and somewhat comical quest called Forgetting Fjola. I won't spoil it here, but check it out if you like.
This giant mammoth skull is located not too far beyond Mistwatch in an unmarked location called the Sulfur Ruins, which is crawling with skeletons that will fight to defend their ancient post. Many such mammoth skulls can be found scattered around Eastmarch's volcanic plains, due to high giant activity in the area. Few have settled out this way, perhaps due to the unusual amount of massive giants and the mammoths they herd.
This is an unmarked location that's fairly low on lore, but is quite amusing to visit. Nicknamed "Hunter's Jacuzzi Camp" this is the site where several local hunters who have braved the mammoth herds settle down and relax and take a dip in the volcanic hot springs Eastmarch has to offer.
On a more serious note, this massive ancient Nordic barrow was literally sunk by the quickly rising volcanic hot springs. A group of necromancers decided to make camp here and set up an alter, likely for some ill intent. One of their number seems to have come off rather worse for the whatever ritual was being performed, since his skeleton can be found in the ruins near the alter, On the alter itself rests a draugr, likely a guardian of this long-sunken barrow. The sunken ruin is home to a number of other waterlogged draugr corpses. According to the official Skyrim game guide, this barrow is was once known as Cronvangr before it was sunk.(edited)
These hot springs appear tranquil at first, but upon closer investigation one will undoubtedly see the dozens of mammoth skeletons littered about the area. Everything from ribcages to skulls are found half-submerged in these warm waters. Not far from this location, a rather well-known giant among the Skyrim community mourns over his dead mammoth, who he seems to have brought to a watery but peaceful grave. This suggests that all these mammoth remains were brought here purposefully by the local giants.
This is a foreboding image of the Bonestrewn Crest, a massive peak located in the center of the volcanic plains. This is the lair of a dragon who hunts and kills mammoths, and even carrying them up to his the peak in what must be a feat of immense strength to feed on their corpses. This dragon guards an ancient nordic Word Wall that will show the Dragonborn a word to the Frost Breath shout. The steward of the Jarl's palace in Windhelm will reward a hefty sum to the adventurer who can slay this mighty beast
Although it may be difficult to see, in the corner sits a mighty statue of Talos, who overlooks his people in Windhelm: the faithful men and women who fight for his honor and glory.
Here are several shots taken in Eastmarch's capital city of Windhelm. This is the oldest standing city in Skyrim, and perhaps the oldest city of man on Tamriel (excluding Sarthaal, which is little more than a crumbling ruin). It's ancient stone walls still stand, and mark an imposing sight, staunchly contrasting with the surrounding snowy terrain.
Visitors to the city are greeted by Candlehearth Hall, the main inn and tavern in Windhelm. This unique triangular structure was once home to an early 4E warrior called Vundheim. Upon his death, a candle was lit by his son, Dercot, in his honor. Since that day in the mid 4E, that candle has remained lit, never flickering out, thus earning the inn it's name: Candlehearth Hall
The Grey Quarter is a much darker aspect of the city. Windhelm is not friendly to outsiders. Argonians are forced to remain on the exterior docks, and are not even allowed inside the city. The Dunmeri people have it worse, perhaps, than the Argonians. After Red Mountain erupted and decimated Morrowind, immigrants flocked to the neighboring province of Skyrim. Many refugees from the northeastern parts of Morrowind came across the boarder to Windhelm, giving the city a fairly heavy Dunmeri population. However, particularly in more recent years, the Dunmer people in Windhelm are subject to great suspicion and even cruelty. Most are forced to live in the a dreary, poverty-stricken part of the city, whose name, the Grey Quarter, is even an insult to the Dunmer people. There are a few in Windhelm that remain sympathetic to the Dunmer, but they are vastly overwhelmed by the racists in the ancient city.
The Palace of Kings is the centerpiece of Windhelm. It is a massive stone structure that houses the Jarl of the day. It is the single oldest building in Windhelm, and likely in all of Skyrim. It served as the ruling castle of Ysgramor, leader of the 500 Companions who conquered Skyrim and claimed it for the Nords, until his reign ended.
Speaking of the 500 Companions, Windhelm is home to a memorial wall to this group. On this wall is a brick with the name of each of the brave warriors that served und Ysgramor. Their names are recited at the Feast of the Dead, a holiday celebrated in Windhelm each year on the 13th of Sun's Dawn.
Windhelm is home to an ancient graveyard. It is here that the investigation of the local serial killer, colloquially named The Butcher, takes full flight.
The final shot is simply a peaceful scene depicting Windhelm's more wealthy section, homed to the city's most influential nobles, and the player home Hjerim, available after The Butcher is discovered and exposed.
The landscape of Eastmarch is beautifully diverse, riddled with cool and unique locations. This series of screenshots is only a taste of what the ancient Hold has to offer. Hopefully you enjoyed looking at them and reading through the brief lore summery I gave on each one, and got a little insight into why Windhelm is my #FavoriteHold

You need to be a member of THE SKY FORGE to add comments!


Email me when people reply –


  • Absolutely stunning!

    • Thanks a lot! I had loads of fun making these. I'll probably upload another collection at some point.

  • I agree these are amazing and the bit of lore and history attached to each image makes it even better.

    • Thanks Curse! Glad you liked the lore I added.

  • So what does the winner get?

    • Oh XD It's not really a competition, or at  least we haven't made it one yet! That could be kinda fun though . . .

This reply was deleted.