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Today is Sundas, 5th of Rain's Hand


Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Answering Your Questions

I wanted to wrap up our coverage of Greymoor by doing a short Q&A session to answer some of the lore related questions you may have had. This preview is a bit spoilery, so click through if you'd like to know more! 

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Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- The Bard's College

Mythical Musical Instruments

Exploring the Bard’s College

In the high school movie version of Tamriel, the Antiquarian Circle are the kids that eat lunch in the library, and the Bard’s College are the band nerds, complete with club drama that seems petty to outsiders and deadly serious to those in the know. The drama, in this case, is a big debate over whether their historical instruments should be actively played or carefully preserved, and the subsequent theft of those instruments by a now-dead former member who just wanted everyone to get along.

When the player arrives at the scene, they are quickly recruited by the College to solve a riddle embedded in a song, and return all these mythical instruments to safety.

The first loot you collect is, naturally, a lute. After that, the questline follows in the footsteps of Orsinium’s House of Orsimer Glories or Summerset’s Vault of Moawita: find relic, return relic, get a lore-filled description. Here are three of my favorites:

Jarlsbane

This tablestrings was presented to King Svargrim by a delegation from Lord Vivec of Vvardenfell. Not accustomed to Dunmer tonal structures, the court musicians declared it "grossly untunable and overly complicated." For many years the instrument sat the Jarl's hall as a curiosity until it was discovered by Master Bard Endroni Selvilo of House Redoran.

King Svargrim generously donated this instrument to the college to further the understanding of the Dunmeri arts.

("Still sounds like shrieking eels!" is scratched into the metal plaque.)

Lodestone

Revered as the tool of choice for Master Bard and Nirn-renowned musician Callisos. This instrument toured Tamriel with him for decades.

Callisos would often tell the tale of how he tricked the Mad God himself into giving him this lyre. Encountering Sheogorath, Callisos, already an skilled bard, played the most arousing love song Sheogorath had ever heard. Callisos convinced the Prince of Madness that his plain lyre had been imbued by Dibella with her raw passion.

Sheogorath wanted it, and in exchange gave Callisos an instrument he called Lodestone. A lyre that he tied to Callisos soul as he claimed it would bring him glory and fame — which it did.

After some time, Callisos' great deeds and talent became legendary among the Bards College alumni. However, one morning Lodestone was found in a practice room at the College and Callisos was never seen or heard from again. It has long been surmised that Callisos constantly toured Tamriel to escape Sheogorath's wrath, but he was finally caught.

Shriek-of-Silk

Brought by one of the few famous traveling Argonian bards, Soft-Beak, in the 3rd century to spread its teachings, it is regarded in the College as one of the most difficult instruments to master.

Over centuries, it was more often used for hazing than playing — at one point senior students would tell fledgling bards that they should take up the vossa-satl, as it was easy to learn and certain notes would make any Argonian swoon in their favor. If it didn't make the right sound, it was because they weren't blowing with enough spittle.

Bards College staff did eventually put a stop to this, and this particular vassa-satl was taken up with pride as the favorite instrument of the current Adjunct Professor of Argonian Music Theory, Twains-the-Night.

In addition to these three, and the Petraloop which you have to liberate from an auction to join the College, the collection contains more than a dozen other instruments, including a war drum from Reman’s march against the Akaviri, a Khajiiti esraj, Yokudan tanbur, and a flute made out of human bone. Each reveals a little (or a lot!) about the culture that constructed it, and gives us a little glimpse into the everyday lives of Mundus. In a world full of apocalyptic harrowstorms and vampire-werewolf-witch alliances, it’s great to take a break and focus on the mundane things every once in a while.

Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Lore & Story

I’m not a fan of vampires (or werewolves, for that matter), I’ve played a ton of TESV, and Rivenspire wasn’t my favorite part of the Daggerfall Covenant. So, when this year’s big chapter was revealed to focus on vampires in Skyrim, I wasn’t anywhere as excited as I had been for Sload and Psijics in 2018’s Summerset, or Khajiit and Blades in last year’s Elsweyr. At the same time, I’m a huge fan of Elder Scrolls in general, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for more content based solely on marketing.

So, does Greymoor hold value for someone like me? Short answer: yes.

The upcoming Chapter has plenty to offer fans of vampires, werewolves, and general gothic spookiness, but if you’re ambivalent towards all that there is also tons politicking, many references to pre-Eight Divines Nordic religion, Reachmen, Dragon cult(s), and no less than four books on cheeses. The Antiquities system (which I wrote about in detail here) and the Bard’s College offers even more for the lore-minded player and roleplayer, and, as always, Western Skyrim is full of distinctive, larger than life characters for fans to fall in love with.

Click through below to read my full first impressions of this new Chapter.

 

A quick note on spoilers: while I will discuss some of what you’ll do and who you'll encounter in Western Skyrim, I'm going to be vague about any specific plot revelations. Nonetheless, if you want to be completely surprised, you may want to skip this preview.

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Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Preview -- Antiquities

That belongs in a Museum!

Antiquities and the Antiquarian Circle

 

When Graymoor was announced in January, the Antiquities system is what had me the most excited. I’ve played a lot of Skyrim, and am pretty meh on vampires, but the potential of an endlessly extensible minigame that’s also a lore delivery vehicle? Sign this nerd right up!

After getting to play around with Graymoor last week, my enthusiasm hasn’t wavered. While the system was not complete in the preview build we were given (the UI was still very much work in progress, and there were comparatively few artifacts to excavate), it’ll be a great way to spend time doing something that isn’t just murder. And the Antiquarian Circle -- the guild introduced alongside the system -- will surely become a favorite among roleplayers and lore scholars alike.

Check out below the break for my overview of the Antiquities system and its rewards, as well as a look at some of characters you’ll encounter in the Antiquarian Circle.

 

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Update Roundup: February

In addition to the Legends storylines, there were a few smaller updates to the Library in February that I wanted to highlight. 

I've also kicked off a new series on our Facebook and Twitter: Map Morndas. Every Monday, we'll be featuring a new map of Tamriel and the lands beyond, both official and fan made. If you've made a cool map you'd like us to showcase, send me a note here or on Discord. 

Legends Storylines Complete

The storylines of Elder Scrolls Legends: Return to the Clockwork City and the Isles of Madness are now available in the Library! Big thanks to Zebendal for letting us borrow some of his screenshots for the Clockwork City chapter. 

I've also updated the entries for Fall of the Dark Brotherhood and the main quest with screenshots and fixes. 

2019 Year in Review

Happy New Life Festival, one and all! With the new year now underway, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things added to the Imperial Library in 2019. 

Of course, we've got some big things planned for 2020 as well! 

Creation Club Books

Thanks to the efforts of Benefactor, the over 150 books from Skyrim's Creation Club are now documented in the library!

Here are a few notable volumes to get you started: 

  • The Crimson Dirks (Alternative Armor) - a mostly fictional series about the exploits of a prolific bandit gang. 
  • The Restless (Dead Man's Dread) - the legend of Cyrus the Restless. 
  • Forebear's Note (Dead Man's Dread) - A bit of new Yoku, and Forebear/Crown political relations. 
  • Lost Caravan Guard's Note (Sunder & Wraithguard) - journal of a guard transporting a pair of artifacts. Contains interesting info regarding Morrowind around the time of the Red Year. 
  • Velyne's Letter (Sunder & Wraithguard) - info on how the Tools ended up in Skyrim, and a bit about their manufacture. 
  • Crafting with Netch Leather (Netch Leather Armor) - a bit on the properties and construction of netch leather armor. 
  • Crypt of the Heart - Draft (Spell Knight Armor) - the history of a Breton knightly order. 
  • To Raise the Living (Staff of Hasedoki) - a necromancer reflects on motherhood and legacy. 
  • Forgotten Seasons, V1 (Forgotten Seasons) - a mage's journey to obtain a Dwemeri artifact capable of controlling the weather.
  • Blue God's Journal (Goblins) - an orc accidentally becomes the Blue God worshiped by a tribe of goblins. 

And, finally, this adorable drawing of a Riekling hunting party going after some netch: 

Dragon Dictionary Update

Our Dragon dictionary page is complete! With over 615 words, most of them officially translated, it is our biggest dictionary to date. It includes all words from Skyrim as well as new ones added by Elder Scrolls Online's Season of the Dragon this year. 

While several other places already have big dictionaries, I wanted to make sure that ours reflected only official translations whenever possible. Official translations, here, mean ones provided by Bethesda directly and preferably out of character, such as in Creation Kit script notes or as part of the Prima official guides. This helps keep things as accurate as possible, as idiomatic translations sound good but aren't always accurate when translated back. For example: wahlaan is officially translated as create/build. However, in Dragon Language: Myth No More, wahlaan is translated back to English as "raised." While "raised this stone" has the same meaning as "created/built this stone," "raised a child" or "raised the sea" does not.