My answer to Bleakrock Isle

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Cicero's picture
2016-01-25 21:01
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3 weeks 4 days ago

I have been working on a mod that adds Bleakrock Isle from ESO. Although I have issues with this island in the game, it is something that unfortunetly cannot really be ignored now as it is canon. My spin on it is that it will not share a lot of the same things as it is in eso. I'm going to dump everything here for people to check out and discuss. It is a mod I will release on my own, but I will be incorporating TR town names into the mod, etc. You will know what I mean by reading the following:

The Masterplan:

The Villagers of Halmaera trade with Winterhold, as well as Askareth and Dunkreath. They trade hides of the local animals and fish, as well as Corundum which is a mineral found in high volumn on the island, which is used in making nordic Iron Armor and Weapons in Skyrim. Their economy mainly comes from treasures from the many shipwreck that are scattered across the island (about 25 shipwrecks, 5 are accessible). Background Lore is the island has been somewhat isolated for a long time. No one really bothers the residents from the outside apart from some reavers that have taken refuge on the eastern coast from Solsthiem. Skyshroud Barrow is a temple for Kyne and is where the dead are burried to become part of the natural world once decayed. The burrial rituals are different on Bleakrock compared to nordic tradition. The bodies are burried outside, and the barrow is used for holding the ceremony for the fallen, and only the highest of the warriors/leaders/priests are burried in the barrows catacombs itself, which is crawling with draugr. The island was founded by Haaldrin, a priest of ancient times and a devote follower of kyne. The old settlement of Kjornn (Kay-Yawn) is long in ruins, just like Skyshroud Barrow. The ruins of the old settlement can be seen near the enterance of the mountains leading to the barrow itself. Halmaeara is only a few centuries old, named after the old watch tower that fell into the sea. The island now only attracts a few vistors and merchants, but was at one point a place of conflict between old factions, long before tiber septim even entered the picture.
8 quests for the island.
-Guard Captain. There are some Ice Wolves that are terrorizing travellers between the village and Skyshroud Barrow, where the villagers go to honour their dead (ritual). Kill  the wolves to be rewarded 100 gold. There are 5 ice wolves.

-A Breton and his freind. Escort breton from Frostmans's caverns to his friend outside for 200 gold and 1 piece of corundum.

-Guard captain sends you to Kill reavers that are terrorizing the east coastline. Reward is nordic steel claymore with poison enchantment. You need to kill the three leaders. The Nord woman, and the two orc barbarians.

-Find treasures in the 5 shipwrecks for a merchant to trade with some traders from skyrim. Specifically named generic treasures. Special dwemer shortsword,  emerald, dwemer coin, chintin cuirass, nordic helmet. Reward is 300 gold.

-The priest sends you to Skyshroud Barrow's alter to Haaldrin, because it has become unattended recently due to the wolf problem, but now that the wolf problem  is dealt with, there is some incense that needs to be offered to the alter, so that haaldrin can continue to protect the dead from any evil spirits, and allow  them to be in peace with Kyne (kynareth). Reward is an enchanted wooden staff of turn undead.

-Nord Female Merchant Clother wants you to secretly bribe the merchants at the docks to send the next shipment of cloth and shirts to her, instead of the other  merchant (competition).

-A guard heard a rumour of Orkey's Hollow hauntings (Necromancer turned into a lich when believed to had been killed many years ago). You must speak to the captain to Kill the lich and report  to the captain to gain 500 gold and Haaldrin's Cuirass. This quest is only active once you have finished helping the priest with the alter. There is ice blocking the way to the caverns until this quest is given. Another reward is you are known on the island as Kynareth's chosen, savior of bleakrock isle. People will greet you as so afterwards.

-Altmer mage lives in a tower on a cliffside. His home has dremora servants that won't attack you walking around. He will ask you to soul trap him with a special scroll and place his soul into a soul gem as a minor quest, he wishes to explorer the soul gem realm inside of it. Because he is killed in the process, you will recieve a grand soul gem with the altmer name as the soul inside of it, and the normal grand soul gem is removed. You can recharge your weapons with this soul gem. Because the altmer is killed, the new place shall become a player home for any mage, with daedric servants walking around. Lots of storage and tables with minor artifacts laying around. The scroll  soul traps for 10 seconds and health damage for 300 pts for 10 seconds.

There are 30 named NPC's.
Nord Male: Civilian named Hefadm the Unworthy
Nord Male: Civilian named Balfhe the Red
Nord Male: Miner named Mendre the Absent-Minded
Nord Male: Miner named Hjolfrin Elf-Hewer
Nord Make: Miner named Alfhedil
Nord Male: Guard named Hlard
Nord Male: Guard named Sjard
Nord Male: Guard Captain named Hodlin
Nord Male: Miner Overseer named Fjolfr
Nord Male: Priest named Hidar the Black
Nord Male: Sailor named Frakig Bare Legs
Nord Male: Sailor named Snadmund
Nord Female: Merchant clother named Greir
Nord Female: Merchant named Ringel
Nord Female: Guard named Hreir
Nord Female: Civilian named Joldima
Nord Female: Civilian named Imsine
Nord Female: Miner named Ingokn
Nord Female: Reaver Leader named Valinna
Breton Male: Adventurer named Jeande
Breton Male: Adventurer named Simine
Argonian Male: Boatman named Gah-Ju
Dunmer Male: Merchant Blacksmith named Nibani Verethi
Dunmer Male: Enchanter named Madras Arendus
Dunmer Female: Civilian named Idresa Verethi
Imperial Male: Sailor captain named Aproni Mido
Reguard Male: Sailor Civilian named Sadean
Altmer Male: Merchant Mage named Mirkra
Orc Male: Reaver Barbarian named Ghamul Durug
Orc Male: Reaver Barbarian named Bugdul Atumph

Quest Givers:

Hidar the Black

Travel NPC:

Argoninan Boatman - Fort Frostmoth


New Items:
Cuirass: Haaldrin's Cuirass
Ring: Ring of the North
Shield: Targe of the Blooded
Ingredient: Corundum
Ingredient: Frost Lichen


Ice Wolves
Snow Bears
Frost atronachs


Skyshroud Barrow
Orkey's Hollow
Bleakrock Mines
Frostman's Caverns
Frozen Voyage
Forgotten Voyage
Snowbound Shipwreck
Splintered Shipwreck
Drowned Wreckage
Mirkra's Tower


Shrine to Kynareth. On the cliffside on the west coast.
Alter to Haaldrin. Skyshroud Barrow exterior.
3 pillars for Kjornn (Earth, Air and Water, nature reclaimed the village of old). Over top of the ruined village.

It should be a fun place with all of this in mind. I have a solid idea what I want to do with it. I even drew a map as a concept, and replicated its shape and heightmap in the CS. Due to it being an "all snow island". I have placed it northwest of Solsthiem, where it should be by lore if it was to now be canon, as it belongs to skyrim, and it well out the way of any mod that I am aware of.

Concept Map

Where island in on map

The island is actually more northwest than in the picture, it is just limited by the picture frame and didn't edit it bigger sorry.


Binary Data bleakrock_isle.esp1003.47 KB2017-07-24 08:08
Kevaar's picture
Lead DeveloperQuest DeveloperReviewer
2016-01-19 19:35
Last seen:
12 hours 14 min ago

So, first off, I don't want to discount the work you put into this, as you are obviously very passionate about this. TL;DR, my answer is that Bleakrock carries a lot of issues that conflict with our lore and the lore of TES3 that would make it almost impossible to incorporate in TR. Your map placement fixes some of these issues, but it also puts it outside of our scope. You may want to consider pitching it to Skyrim: Home of the Nords instead, which works with the Skyrim landmass and Nordic lore. They are our sister mod and you can find them here:

Alternatively, if you are interested in working on Morrowind and Dunmer, we could consider this your showcase, and see about getting it reviewed so we can you set up with dev roles to do stuff for TR. You let me know what you want to do!

And if you are interested in the rest of the TL;DR story about why we can't do much with Bleakrock, here I go...

Bleakrock was meant as a starter zone. That is it's primary purpose. If you have played other MMOs, starter zones means the zone is small, artificially cut off from the rest of the world, everything is safe, and it tends to showcase some bits and pieces of the culture and story the player is about to be thrown into.

Most of the time this is hard to pull off in a universe stressing its intricate inter-province conflicts, which TES is, and which further relies heavily on this worldbuilding to set it apart from your generic high fantasy setting. Bleakrock manages this okay, but it is clearly a Nordic-only island. And this is weird, being so close to Morrowind. It has no connection with the climate and politics of Morrowind (except the Ebonheart Pact story, which I will address below), despite supposedly being closer to Morrowind than Solstheim was. In the Red Year, Solstheim was caught in Red Mountain's blast and settled halfway by Dunmer. Meaning Bleakrock should really have some Dunmer settlements or even Ashlands on it, but it doesn't.

With this in mind and from it's location, to me, Bleakrock was pretty obviously supposed to be ESO's Solstheim-Lite-as-it-would-be-if-it-were-a-starter-zone. Instead of creating a full Solstheim, they created Bleakrock and put it in the same area. This screws up the map quite a lot, not just because it displaces Solstheim, but because ESO's map also put Windhelm to the far north and on the coast, leaving no room for Redoran lands like we have them (and like they are in all other lore, even TES5).  In TR, if you were to put Bleakrock where it was supposed to go according to the ESO map, it'd be a couple cells across, not enough room to do anything with, and with buzz-killing closeness to all the other landmasses in the area. And Blacklight (Baan Malur) would be at the bottom of the sea.

And getting around to the Ebonheart Pact issue, that I said I would address from earlier... In ESO's story, Bleakrock served as the forewarning outpost for one of the other Alliances invading Morrowind's heartland. Let's work within that for a moment, starting with the Ebonheart Pact.

There is no conciliatory way of saying it--Three-Banners War and the Ebonheart Pact flies in the face of all we have been told about these races and their history in other games. Nords, Dunmer, and Argonians hate each other and have been at each others' throats for centuries. None of them except maybe the Nords would care about taking control of Cyrodiil--they are quite happy in their alien Ashlands and alien Black Marsh, both of which even Tiber Septim, one of two figures in Tamriel's history that achieved the god-like CHIM, could not fully conquer. They would not form a Pact with their most hated enemies, they would not NEED to, and Akavir's invasion was thrown in there because the devs themselves could not think of another way around this, so that they could still have their PvP.

Moving on to the warning plotline, this by itself is weird. They let their enemies go all the way down the Inner Sea to attack Davon's Watch (TR's Ildrim) before anyone fought back or even noticed. This is the area settled by Nords and Redorans, two of the most warlike--and competently so--factions in TES. They were also attacking Morrowind, which could not be conquered while the Tribunal were at the peak of their powers (again, even the god-like Septim had trouble with them). Which in the Second Era, the Tribunal are. It's just bad writing. You could maybe argue Morrowind is reeling from the Akaviri invasion, but the Pact was made to shore up that weakness, and yet they were still caught out worse than England during the London Blitz? Some Pact.

ESO is canon, technically, yes...however, ESO threw a lot of curveballs at us like this and many outright retcons, and most of them we just can't fit in without undoing the work of the past 15 years. I've tried, and have been an advocate for most of the lore coming from ESO. But it's gotten to the point even from me where you cannot call many of the things in ESO canon, unless you call it a Dragonbreak, or you retcon the majority of TES lore and atmosphere that came before it. People are not just being sour-grapes when they complain about ESO, there is a lot of places they simply screwed up. Bleakrock is one of those places...and imo, it is probably better for TES fans to recognize this instead of doing contortions to make way for bad MMO writing.

Cicero's picture
2016-01-25 21:01
Last seen:
3 weeks 4 days ago

Thank you for the reply Keevar. I thought as much that it would cause problems. I didn't want to have anything mention the ebonheart pact or anything, just that there has been conflicts in the past just as a reference. I am going to release this as a standalone mod on the nexus. I wanted to reference a few places in TR to keep it consitent with people that have TR and if they download this mod when I finish. I would love to use it as my showcase for sure. It will be covering every catagory I suppose. Exteriors, Interiors, Quests, NPC's. I could go either way with this I suppose lol. Thank you again.

Atrayonis's picture
Lead DeveloperDeveloperInterior Developer
2015-09-28 20:13
Last seen:
2 hours 42 min ago

Looks certainly ambitious. Good luck!

I take issues with this part here, however:

Although I have issues with this island in the game, it is something that unfortunetly cannot really be ignored now as it is canon.

There is really absolutely no need to accomodate bad lore of later games. If we went that direction, then our Tamriel would look radically different, we'd be reworking everything all the time to catch up with the newest ESO revelation, and we wouldn't have an official position on the lores.
I think you're making a mistake if you create a mod for something that you don't like but feel you have. You don't have to, you can just throw up your arms and bitch about it. It's healthy, I do it all the time. cheeky

However, you might be interested in this topic here, which has a more fitting placement of a smaller version of the island (you'd need Anthology Solstheim for this, though).

Cicero's picture
2016-01-25 21:01
Last seen:
3 weeks 4 days ago

Oh no I wasn't making it based on hating on eso for adding that island. Its the whole ebonheart pact thing I dislike. I'm actually having fun making the mod and its nice to get back into using the cs. Thank you for the link though :) 

Kevaar's picture
Lead DeveloperQuest DeveloperReviewer
2016-01-19 19:35
Last seen:
12 hours 14 min ago

I'll go ahead and move it into the showcase area then, and hopefully someone will come by and give you a review!

Sorry for the wall of text. I'm afraid ESO: M hit in a sore spot. cheeky

Cicero's picture
2016-01-25 21:01
Last seen:
3 weeks 4 days ago

I'm the same way about eso too lol. The lore got botched in that game. I wouldn't move it to review just yet. I want to finish it first :D

Kevaar's picture
Lead DeveloperQuest DeveloperReviewer
2016-01-19 19:35
Last seen:
12 hours 14 min ago

Sure thing! Just let us know when you're ready for us to take a look.