French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

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French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:17 pm

Hello everyone!

I haven't exactly been active for awhile, first due to fall semester finals and then avoiding anything TES related before finishing the MQ of TES, but I plan on getting some things done before classes start up again in a little over a week.

Basically, I plan to overview each of the holds in TES V, comparing what we planned to what is in TES V and how we can incorporate elements of the later into the former without simple copy pasting.

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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:24 pm

Haafingar
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Capital: Solitude
*The seat of power in Solitude is called the Blue Palace, which is situated on a natural arch. Previous lore states that Castle Solitude is surrounded by a moat.
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However, Walking the World vol. XI states that before the consolidation of Skyrim into a somewhat unified Kingdom (restoration of the office of High King), the Blue Palace did not exist and the kings of Solitude lived in what is called in 4E201 the Emperor's Tower, part of Castle Dour. Perhaps Thian should live in a place like this? (Imperial Legion could have a small recruitment house instead).
Stepping inside Solitude's gates, you get your first view of the city itself. Rising tall and proud before you, banners waving from its crown, is the Emperor's Tower. Home to the Kings of Haafingar before the consolidation of Skyrim and the creation of the Blue Palace, the Emperor's Tower is now used exclusively as guest quarters for Emperors who come to visit the city.


* To enter the city, there are two gates, one for each of the walls: Squall Gate (outer) and the Storm Gate (inner)
Entrance to Solitude is guarded by two gates and three towers. The first of these towers, situated at the crossroads, is Sky Tower. It's mostly a lookout, although in times of war, barricades are erected across the nearby road to act as a first line of defense.
The second tower and first, smaller gate are collectively known as the Squall Gate. Here, attacking armies meet their first real resistance. Last and certainly most impressive is the Storm Gate.
While Castle Dour, found just within the city's main gate, has always been a massive walled structure, Solitude's outer walls and gates were not added until shortly after the coronation of High King Erling.
Looking up and to the left of the main gate, you can see a small hint of Erling's preference for a more rounded style of architecture that we will see later in the Castle Dour extension, as well as the interior arch and the windmill.

Erling may have come after this mod, so the primary gate leading to the south in Lestat's 2nd picture can be the Storm Gate. We might want to add the Sky Tower, though this could just be a building postdating HotN.

*Potema is interred in a catacombs system under the city (exactly as we planned)
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*Architecture feels more modern or sophisticated than the other holds

*East Empire Company has a large presence, and there is a large safe harbor built inside a cave. The gate is opened by a giant windmill
At the end of the bridge is the windmill. The tower and the windmill serve as one of Solitude's most recognizable man-made landmarks. The Windmill's power was once used to open the gates to what is now the East Empire Company Warehouse, but today that task falls to the strong backs of the dock workers.


*Bards College, where almost every bard in Skyrim has been; supposedly has been influenced by Imperials and "a heretical streak"; Callisos and Morachellis are two famous graduates. That one fire pit below is called the Flame of Callisos, named after the same bard mentioned above: "it is said that as long as the flame burns, the college will stand."
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*Major exports are lumber and salted cod

*celebrations happen in the marketplace, which is located directly in front of the Storm Gate

*Temple of the Divines is a general temple dedicated to all of the 9 Divines, but I think we ought to have SOMETHING dedicated to Shor
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*Mages Guild existed around the time of Potema, but does not by 4E201. Behind the alley near the Mages Guild is a tunnel that leads into what might be Castle Dour

*Solitude suffers from the same problems Skingrad had; too many mansions and large houses with no lower classes to flesh it out. A large residential and Breton quarters would be nice

* While the Blue Palace was problably not around in the late 3rd Era, the southwest part of the palace supposedly did, and is haunted by the ghost of Pelagius the Mad, the famous "High King of Skyrim" (I'm going to attribute this to his madness or a scribal error; the author is Imperial after all, even if he is a "world traveler". Another idea is that due to the political maneuverings of Potema, she and her son were able to beat the older holds into submission, leading to a temporary pseudo-reinstatement of the office of High King, granted by Potema to Pelagius. I like this idea the most). It is blocked off to the public.

*"Looking up from the Bards College steps, you can see that the college stands taller than the Blue Palace itself. The bards who train here can be heard throughout Skyrim, singing songs that capture the history of the ages. If you get a chance you should be sure to catch the Burning of King Olaf, an ancient festival where "King Olaf" is burned in effigy."
The reason for this is stated in The Five Hundred Mighty Companions...
By tradition, the Boat-Thanes were allowed to race for the vanguard of their High King, and Morgan the Red and his longboat Drumbeater took the foremost before crashing into the hazards of the Broken Cape in 1E68, no souls aboard surviving except for Olaf the Dog, a berserker who had been to Hsaarik’s Head a thousand times or more and knew leaping magic. He jumped from the wreckage all the way to Skyrim, landing on Olaf’s bridge. He was burnt there for his cheating by the students of Haafingar, which now happens every year


Wilderness:
*Large coniferous forests (like we have now)
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*Lighthouse
*Meridia shrine
*Dragon Bridge is a settlement built near a large ancient bridge, on border with Haafingar and Markarth
*Cascabel Hall is non-existent, perhaps it was Northwatch Keep?
*The River Karth goes from the Sea of Ghosts well into Markarth

Bethesda concept art and pictures:
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Final thoughts:
-Having the wolf head as Solitude's crest is probably not a good idea to put it nicely. Potema is reviled even well into the 4th Era, why would you put a constant reminder of the city's most hated despot everywhere you look?! This needs to change IMO.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:28 pm

Markarth Hold
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Capital: Markarth Side

Geography:
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*In TES V, the Reach is bound by the west by the Druadach Mountain chain
*The Karth river cuts the Reach in half
*previous lore states that the Reach could be mistaken for High Rock, and is full of temperate forests, flatlands, canyons and mesas. In TES V it's incredibly mountainous. Besides having somekind of short mountain chain to represent the Druadach Mountains, we ought to keep what we have already and ignore the rest.

The Reachmen:
*To my surprise and delight, the Reachmen actually made an appearance in TES V, though 90% of the time they are refered to as the Forsworn. I get the impression that while all Forsworn are Reachmen, not all Reachmen are Forsworn.
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*Reachmen are represented as bretons with face tattoos and celtic sounding names (which interestingly enough is how I started naming Reachmen even before TES V was announced). In reality, Reachmen are an amalagation of various races in and around the Reach, though I am fine with using bretons instead of a new race. However, I would advise making unique hair styles with slightly pointy ears and tattooed faces so that the player can distinguish a Reachman from a breton. Inspiration from ancient german, scythians and celts perhaps?
*According to The Bear of Markarth, nords have mistreated the Reachmen for many years and are generally hostile towards them. This is reinforced by The Snow Whale and the Dirtbird, where the speaker delights in the misfortune of Reachmen farmers.
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*The Witchmen of the Reach are most likely called Briarhearts, who are powerful somewhat undead magic users with a flower (?) called a briar heart in place of their actual heart:
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*Hagravens are revered beings that seem to be part old woman part hawk. They sacrifice goats, skeevers and spriggans on crude altars.
*Reachmen seem to worship the "Old Gods"; since Bethesda has not decided to elaborate on who these beings are, I have a theory that they are pidgen versions of aldmeri gods like Auriel and Xarxes, thus remembering the gods the aldmeri brought with them thousands of years ago which are "forgotten" by the Nords. As a result, I would like to write a Reachmen Creation Myth based on this theory of mine.
*Reachmen weapons are very primitive looking in TES V; made out of stone, bone, and wood
*Matriarchs make up the leadership of Reachmen, including witchmen and female shamans
*A hero to the Reachmen was called Faolan, Red-Eagle in the Reachman tongue. He was born in a place called the Sundered Hills, which may be the modern day location of the Sundered Towers, which is nearby his resting place at Rebel's Cairn. A reverent shrine built by Reachmen would be a great addition.
http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... -red-eagle
http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Sundered_Towers

Markarth:
*In TES V, Markarth was originally a dwemer ruin. I believe we have all pretty much agreed to disregard this, resulting in most of the city's design moot.
*In its place, Understone Keep, the seat of Markarth, will become a Direnni ruin, a culture that has barely been explored in later installments of TES
*exports of Markarth seem to be silver, meats, juniper berries, gold, and iron; HotN Markarth will problably also profit on the river trade and lumber
*Its sigil is a ram's skull with a diamond shaped hole in the center.
*Left Hand Mine is just outside the gates and is an iron mine
*Cidhna mine is within the city walls, but due to it being operated by a crime family that may not even exist at the end of the 3rd Era and that the geography is much different, it may not make sense to include it
*The Warrens are a kind of undercity, populated mostly if not entirely by Reachmen and the poor
*Markarth is the location of a Temple of Dibella and to Talos
*Though not in TES V, Markarth has the College of the Voice, an Imperial organization wishing to harness thu'um in their legions. Supposedly they are a bunch of incompetants and charlatans:
Today, the most ancient and powerful of the Tongues live secluded on the highest peaks in contemplation, and have spoken once only in living memory, to announce the destiny of the young Tiber Septim (as recounted in Cyrodiil). In gratitude, the Emperor has recently endowed a new Imperial College of the Voice in Markarth6, dedicated to returning the Way of the Voice to the ancient and honorable art of war. So it may be that the mighty deeds of the Nord heroes of old will soon be equaled or surpassed on the battlefields of the present day.

(Old) Hrol'dan:
*I was considering where to put this town before TES V, if it even should be in Skyrim, but Bethesda has gone ahead and placed its location withing the province
*A very old city in between Markarth and Falkreath. Since at least the end of the 2nd Era, it has been referenced as Old Hrol'dan.
*Oddly enough, I found zero evidence of an actual city in the area its supposed to be
*It is the site of a very famous battle for Tiber Septim, where he routed a Reachmen army while commanding the forces of Falkreath:
The Western Reach was at war. Cuhlecain, the King of Falkreath in West Cyrodiil, was in a bad situation. To make any bid at unifying the Colovian Estates, he needed to secure his northern border, where the Nords and Reachmen had been fighting for centuries. He allies with Skyrim at the Battle of Old Hrol'dan. Leading his forces was Hjalti Early-Beard. Hjalti was from the island kingdom of Alcaire, in High Rock, and would become Tiber Septim, the First Emperor of Tamriel.
Hjalti was a shrewd tactician, and his small band of Colovian troops and Nord berserkers broke the Reachman line, forcing them back beyond the gates of Old Hrol'dan. A siege seemed impossible, as Hjalti could expect no reinforcements from Falkreath. That night a storm came and visited Hjalti's camp. It spoke with him in his tent. At dawn, Hjalti went up to the gates, and the storm followed just above his head. Arrows could not penetrate the winds around him. He shouted down the walls of Old Hrol'dan, and his men poured in. After their victory, the Nords called Hjalti Talos, or Stormcrown.

*Unknown when it was founded, but it apparently was around at least since the early 1st Era, since The Holdings of Jarl Gjalund says the following about the settlement: A Spacious Wooden Hall and Pasturage, recently Seized from the Reachmen. Silver and Iron as Tribute from the Natives..
*During the Reman years, Hroldan had a jarl, so it most likely was still a city going into the 2nd Era. - Annals of the Dragonguard
*The city is surrounded by ruins, and the Inn of Old Hroldan prides itself in being the location where Talos slept after his great victory at the battle
*I would imagine that by the time HotN starts, Old Hroldan is not a real city, but a resettled walled ruin with reachmen huts springing up haphazardly.

Other settlements:
*Sky Haven Temple, a Blades fortress that has become lost; built on top of an island mountain, the Karthspire.
*Karthwasten has a nearby mine called Sanuarach Mine
*Amber Guard/Karthgad and Lainlalten are non-existant. Granite Hill is referenced as having a dragon burial site nearby but has no archaeological evidence. Snowhawk is a ruined fort. I assume HotN will be quite different :P
*There are four orc settlements in western Skyrim for HotN and there is one in the Reach (Dushnikh Yal) and one in Haafingar (Mor Khazgur). The other two we could just make up
*Shrine of Peyrite
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:30 pm

Falkreath Hold
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:32 pm

The Pale/North Shore
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Capital: Dawnstar, but since Bethesda decided to mix the holds around for no reason, I agree with the position that the middle top Hold should be renamed Northshore, with the Pale moving back down to the bottom center (with a new capital: Morthal).

We can pretty much ignore important landmarks, as Dawnstar is very boring looking.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:33 pm

Whiterun Hold
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:33 pm

Hjaalmarch Hold/The Pale
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This review is going to be a bit different. I will review the town of Morthal, but for the surrounding countryside of the Hold, I will instead review the area of south central skyrim, where the Pale used to be.
I may have found a lore reason why we should ignore TES V's moving of the Pale to northern Skyrim:
From the 911th Cow:
And he did, missing the arrival of the hosts of Hrothgar and Newkreath, and the runners of nearby [Hjaalmarch], and, of course, the thanes of Aless' own stead, which included her father, all of which saw the farm girl in her messy dress leaning against the [Bull of Heaven]

Where "Hjaalmarch" is now is nowhere near High Hrothgar, but if placed where the Pale is, it makes sense.

Again, whenever I make reference to "the Pale" it is not TES V's Pale, but the south Central Hold in the previous games

Capital: Morthal
*Morthal is built ontop of the Drajkmyr marsh
http://images.uesp.net/c/cc/SR-place-Morthal.jpg
*The Pale is commonly refered to as the poorest of the Holds
*In the 4th Era, the Jarl unenthusiastically follows the Empire. This is consistent with its status as an Old Hold, more traditionalist than say Falkreath.
*Citizens of Morthal are wary of outsiders (the town kinda reminds me of those tiny villages in gothic literature full of angry pitchfork-wielding farmers
*The King of the Pale lives in the Highmoon Hall
*similar to Dawnstar, this city is very boring and we ought to ignore how its portrayed in TES V besides the points above.


Countryside
*The ever so famous Riverwood, a tiny lumber village
*Oakwood, it's famous football rival :P
*Helgan, a town built inside ruined walls
*Ivarsted, a town built at the foot of the 7000 steps of High Hrothgar. Popular spot with pilgrims wishing to make the trek up the mountain
*The Throat of the World, the 2nd highest mountain in Tamriel. The Greybeards live at High Hrothgar in silence.
*All the way up the path to High Hrothgar, there are shrines that contain stanzas detailed the creation of Thu'um, the Dragon War, the Battle at Red Mountain, and the formation of the Greybeards.

Final thoughts:
*Perhaps the Pale could also be called Hjaalmarch?
*This hold is going to be a mess until a map is finalized and drawn up. From there, towns like Gant, Newkreath, and the Uttering Hills of Jarlmung county can be finalized and whether towns like Ivarstead should be in the Pale or the Rift.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:34 pm

Winterhold
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:34 pm

Eastmarch Hold
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*Capital: Windhelm
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*The First PGE states the following:
Once the capital of the First Empire, the palace of the Ysgramor dynasty still dominates the center of the Old City. Windhelm was sacked during the War of Succession, and again by the Akaviri army of Ada'Soon Dir-Kamal; the Palace of the Kings is one of the few First Empire buildings that remains. Today, Windhelm remains the only sizable city in the otherwise determinedly rural Hold of Eastmarch, and serves as a base for Imperial troops guarding the Dunmeth Pass into Morrowind.

*Architecture appears to be very similar to ancient nordic barrows and ruins
*Of all the cities in Skyrim, Windhelm is the last place you want to be if you're a foreigner. Most raiders going into Morrowind are problably from Windhelm
*The seat of power is the Palace of the Kings. Outside are plaques that are dedicated to famous kings of Skyrim, including Harald, Olaf One-Eye, and Wulfharth of Atmora.
*There is an interesting story detailing the founding of Windhelm in Songs of Return:
They pressed eastwards, seeking the sea, when they came upon the barrow of Yngol, the mighty of Ysgramor's son who had fallen to the whims of Kyne rather than the treachery of the elves.
Our lord had not expected to lay eyes upon it again so soon, and his grief flowed anew at the sight of it, as a reopened wound will bleed as it did when first received.

His eyes turned to the south, where a river met the sea, and decreed that there would he and the crew of the Ylgermet create a great city, in monument to the glories of mankind, and that from his palace he might always look upon the hill of his dead son's resting place, and feel that his line would know peace in this new home that was never known in Atmora.

The elven captives were set to work, bringing forth stone to build in their conqueror's fashion. As many elves died in the building of the city as had the crew of the Ylgermet slain while on way to its site, and Ysgramor drove the wretches ever more, to build higher, to lay a claim to the river so that none might pass into the interior of this land without first showing due respect to its rightful claimant.

Thus was the great bridge constructed, forever striding the river that no elf might sneak through to avenge his devious cousins. As the bridge was build long, so too was the palace built high, spires reaching the sky to show dominion even over the very winds that had brought forth such grief.

In the deep hollows beneath the city, a great tomb was prepared for the day when lord Ysgramor, harbinger of us all, would be called home to glory in Sovngarde. But as we know, he chose instead to be buried on the shore, facing towards Atmora, that though his heart lived and died in this new land, it would forever yearn for the beauties of still-green Atmora, before the freezing took it.

Thus was founding of Windhelm, the city of Kings, though her history is long and her glories did not end with her founder.

In the story, we see that Ysgramor built the Palace of the Kings in a way to defy the winds of Kyne (!). Something like this would seem very unusual for one of the greatest nord heroes, but the 1st PGE has a footnote which states:
"Ysgramor's provocations and blasphemies have, of course, been long forgotten"

One theory I really like when taking the two in mind is that Ysgramor was in fact an Alduin warrior-priest, a fact swept under the rug by nordic skalds. We could do something pretty interesting with this most certainly.

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The main religious center in Windhelm is a temple of Talos/Ysmir
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*Various nordic clans make their home in Windhelm, including Cruel-Sea, Shatter-Shields, and the infamous Storm-Cloak, who would become the jarls of Windhelm in the 4th Era

*13th of Sun's Dawn is a festival known as Feast of the Dead. Every year the names of the 500 Companions are read aloud

*Windhelm has a pretty decent sized dock that will probably be full of reavers and fishermen near the end of the 3rd Era
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*Windhelm is divided into 3 quarters:
-Stone Quarter: A plaza visitors first see when entering the city
-Snow Quarter: A residential area which may be gaining dunmeri residents (we could say they are Tribunal refugees); it will be overcome with refugees from Morrowind following the Red Year and be renamed the Gray Quarter in the 4th Era
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-Valunstrad: Literally meaning "Avenue of Valor" in the nordic language, it is where the most historic buildings are, including the Palace of the Kings

Towns:
Dragon Wood and Pagran Village are non-existent in TES V
A small settlement called Kynesgrove contains a sacred grove of Kyne

Wilderness:
*Eastmarch's most notable feature is the White River, which goes from Falkreath to Windhelm
*area around Windhelm is snowy, but as you move south, it becomes more temperate quickly
*southern Eastmarch has a large area of volcanic tundra, with hot springs popular with the locals (and you thought Vvardenfel had too many naked nords :lol: )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGBudvu2dLM
*a Shrine to Boethiah
*Mara-Eye Pond, in the center is a tiny island home to a vampire lair
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*eastwards are the Velothi Mountains
*Dunmeth Pass leads directly from Windhelm to Blacklight; separating the two is a legion fort to keep the peace between the two


Important Ruins:
*Yngol Barrow is on the banks of the White River, in view of Windhelm. Interred within is Yngol, the first casualty of the 500 Companions and Ysgramor's son.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby french ninja » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:34 pm

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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Lestat DeLioncourt » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:43 pm

Cool to see you back mate and thanks for this thread.

There are a couple of thinks that I really hate in TES5, one is that they moved a complete hold (The Pale) form south to north, bringing the dwemer to Skyrim plus making the falmer their pets and explaining that with an obscure story and a few other things they've obviously done to get casual and action gamers to play a TES game.

Do you think there will be any problems if we stick with the old positions of the holds?
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Scamp » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:19 pm

Are we going to build Solitude as it was shown in TES V? I recall me saying it looks excessively over the top and stuff. However (as I realize now), if we stuck to the original concept of Solitude, it might not look that unstable and overall weird.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Rattfink333 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:45 pm

honestly. i kinda like the natural rock arch overlooking the harbor. And i think the concept looks better than the ingame city turned out. If we were going to get close to that. I would say the city would be sprawled all the way around the harbor. But not on top of the arch. Maybe a roadway, a few very small houses, and a lighthouse carved out on the seaside. No tower. Just carved in to form a basin so the light would only be seen from the correct path into the harbor. Palaces and such up toward the arch side. look good. but i Would think it would get seamier and more run down as you get to the docks on the south side. But i am very much against putting all the city on the arch like they did. And it needs to be a bigger city. Just my opinion.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Lestat DeLioncourt » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:00 am

@ Rattfink

Actually everything (Exterior) in that area is completly done except the city...making it as in TES5 is pretty impossible since our environment is not the environment Bethesda has made, everything is build to suit the old lore with a capital who's castle is surrounded by a moat.

What I try to say is that TES5s Solitude is in the mountains with their giant arch whereas our environment is designed to have the city near the sea level (from the height) to have the original MW-Water for the moat.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Scamp » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:57 am

Sounds good, Lestat. We'll skip the rock-arch part, then. (like I said, I was never speaking for it)
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Rattfink333 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:11 am

also sounds cool. Think you could throw up a screenie. Wouldn't mind seeing how we went with it. It's still going to be a major port?
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Praedator » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:22 am

I don't see why we need to adjust to TES5 type city building, moreso as we have many more ints than in TES5, and other looks/textures in the first place.

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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Lestat DeLioncourt » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:41 pm

I havn't posted screens of the city yet, because at the moment it's nothing more than a draft. One modeler is working on a new, unique castle set and new houses for Solitude, so every castle tile or building on the screens will be replaced sooner or later.

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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Scamp » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:49 pm

Simply stunning, Lestat.
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Re: French Ninja's TES V Lore Review

Postby Rattfink333 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:44 pm

I love it. And i dunno what y'all might think of this. But i think those docks are screaming for some large warehouse type buildings. About the size of 5 or 6 of the houses put together.
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