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The Elder Scrolls 6 Needs to Go Back to Morrowind

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  • Posted on 01st Oct, 2022 14:39 PM
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Even if The Elder Scrolls 6 takes place in Hammerfell and High Rock, Morrowind could be the perfect location for the game's DLC.

p>There’s evidence that The Elder Scrolls 6 will be returning to the Iliac Bay, the setting of The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall. Specifically, fans noticed that Starfield’s E3 trailer contained a tiny symbol etched into the player’s ship control panel which strongly resembled a map of High Rock and Hammerfell.

If The Elder Scrolls is returning to locations explored in previous Elder Scrolls game, it should also go back to Morrowind. If not in a future title, then it makes sense for players to visit the region in The Elder Scrolls 6’s DLC. Like High Rock and Hammerfell, Bethesda introduced some huge developments in Morrowind's lore between Oblivion and Skyrim. Here’s why Morrowind is well worth returning to and some of the plotlines Bethesda might have in store.

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Morrowind Between Oblivion And Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind took place in the eastern Dunmer province, but only on the island of Vvardenfell. Between Oblivion and Skyrim the eruption of Vvardenfell’s Red Mountain saw the island all but destroyed. At the same time, Bethesda laid out some huge developments in the south of the province.

37 years before the Oblivion Crisis, a revolt broke out among southern Morrowind’s Argonian slaves. It began when House Dres’ slaves overthrew their masters. Harsh reprisals ensued, and in the Arnesian War of 3E 396 the Dunmer took over large parts of Black Marsh in their retaliatory push.

During the Oblivion Crisis, the Hist – the sentient trees of Black Marsh – called upon Tamriel’s Argonians to return to their homeland and fight the forces of Mehrunes Dagon. The Argonians not only organized but began charging through Oblivion Gates, putting up a resistance so impressive that the province avoided the worst of the Oblivion Crisis and the Daedra were forced to close their gates to stop the Deadlands from being overrun.

The newly organized Argonians didn’t disperse once Merhunes Dagon has been defeated in the Imperial City. A militant Argonian faction known as the An-Xileel formed, hoping to finally fight back against the Argonians’ Dunmer oppressors. The eruption of the Red Mountain in 4E 5 opened a window of opportunity, cutting the Imperial Legion off from Morrowind and preventing the Empire from aiding the Dark Elves. One year later, the An-Xileel invaded Morrowind, and the Accession War began.

The Argonian forces sacked major Morrowind cities like Mournhold and pushed north to Tel Vos. Although House Redoran was eventually able to stop the Argonian forces, by the time Skyrim takes place the south of Morrowind was still full of Argonian tribes. In a reversal of fortune, they were able to hold much of the land where they’d once been taken as slaves.

Returning To Morrowind

Morrowind players only visited the southern part of the province in the Tribunal DLC, and even then they were limited to the city of Mournhold itself. Assuming The Elder Scrolls 6 takes place after Skyrim, Bethesda has the opportunity to show a thus far unexplored part of the province, and one that has undergone huge change.

Not only that, but the change seen in southern Morrowind reflects some of the changes that have come to Hammerfell and High Rock as well, making it a great DLC destination if The Elder Scrolls 6’s main game takes place in the west. The lore between Oblivion and Skyrim saw the Aldmeri Dominion invade southern Hammerfell, the Redguards launch a guerilla war against them, and the Empire eventually release Hammerfell as an Imperial province when the Redguard refused to stop fighting the High Elven forces.

There are those who suspect that the Aldmeri Dominion may have encouraged the Argonian invasion of Morrowind to help weaken the Empire. Even if they did not, the themes of the Empire’s decline and the proxy wars fought between the Dominion and the Empire still run throughout southern Morrowind’s recent lore just as much as they do in the west of Tamriel.

There are also contrasts between the two settings that might make southern Morrowind a great location for The Elder Scrolls 6’s DLC. Since Morrowind, the series has focused on human-dominated provinces, taking players to Cyrodiil, Skyrim, and now likely Hammerfell and High Rock. As a setting, Morrowind allowed Bethesda to explore some of the less recognizable parts of Tamriel, drawing on influences far less frequently explored in western RPGs, like Vivec’s origins in Sanskrit poetry.

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The Elder Scrolls 6's DLC Opportunities

Exploring a part of Tamriel now dominated by the Argonians would be a refreshing change of pace, offering unique roleplaying opportunities for Argonian players rarely found elsewhere in the games. It seems unlikely that a main Elder Scrolls game will take players to Black Marsh.

Even compared to Morrowind, the region risks alienating players looking for a more traditional fantasy setting. As a DLC, however, the now Argonian-dominated parts of southern Morrowind offer Bethesda the chance to finally explore some of The Elder Scrolls’ weirdest lore, like the nature or origins of the Hist, which even Black Marsh’s inclusion in The Elder Scrolls Online did little to illuminate.

Southern Morrowind also presents the opportunity to explore the cold war between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion, which will likely be felt throughout The Elder Scrolls 6’s rumored main setting, in a different theater. If the Argonians turn out to be supported by the Dominion in some way, it could add some much-needed complication to their unambiguously evil depiction in Skyrim. Bethesda could explore places where the Empire’s support allowed for the survival of slavery and aggression until the Dominion, albeit in service of its own interests, undermined them.

The Elder Scrolls 6 has the chance to breathe new life into provinces that players have already visited in the older games, exploring the full effects of the two centuries that past between Oblivion and Skyrim. Whether Bethesda will seize that opportunity remains to be seen, however.

The Elder Scrolls 6 is in development.

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