Tamriel Rebuilt is a major community modding project for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which aims to add the mainland of the Morrowind province to the original game’s island of Vvardenfell, sticking closely to Bethesda’s original vision. The mod is released as a series of fully-realized expansions; currently, over half of the mainland is released to players, including thousands of interiors and NPCs and over 360 quests.
Over the last year, we have showcased our major upcoming expansions – Dominions of Dust and Embers of Empire, as well as the future ones after those. However, many of you have been asking about the few obscure bits on our planning maps that are not contiguous with any of the aforementioned expansions. In fact, we left those bits obscure on purpose, to explain them in more detail for this month’s teaser article. These upcoming additional lands (mini-expansions, if you will) are the islands of Olanar, Vounoura and Firemoth; we will examine each one in turn.
Olanar is the easternmost of the Telvanni Isles that jut out into the northwestern Padomaic Ocean. The idea and name for this island comes from our developer Taniquetil, whereas its location and shape is taken from Lady Nerevar’s famous map of the Padomaic Ocean. In our lore, the island used to be the domain of a particularly reclusive and fanatic Telvanni summoner. As she died and the tower fell to ruin, the various Daedra she summoned continued to roam the island, making it an extremely dangerous location. Today, Olanar attracts only the occasional pirate and the most reckless of looters – but few know to look for its real treasure.
The exterior of the island was implemented by Cicero in the manner of Azura’s Coast (reviewed by Chef), to fit in with the neighboring Telvanni Isles. It will include several interiors, such as the tower of Tel Inan, a grotto, shipwreck and an isolated Velothi tower. The shipwreck has already been done by christixn and reviewed by Mark, whereas others remain in-progress.
Olanar and its related quests will be the first in TR to feature the Maormer race, recently overhauled by Rats, reviewed by Aleister.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Olanar is planned to host an expansive high-level questline. Rumors in Telvannis district will guide you either to a shipwrecked Nord captain, a ruthless young Telvanni sent on a wild goose-chase by an envious council, or a shadowy band of mercenaries in the employ of the seafaring Maormer elves – all seeking a powerful artifact long thought lost. Choose your side, race against others seeking the treasure or double-cross your employers to take the prize for yourself.
Vounoura is a name known to TES lore buffs from the “2920” book series that details the events of the Four Score War during the First Era. In this book, Vounoura is described as an island two months voyage from the Black Hand Hall in Tel Aruhn. Supposedly, it is the place where Morag Tong assassins retire to – but this seems mostly an euphemism, in the same sense that old dogs are “taken to a farm.” In general, 2920 is a tricky source for TES lore. As it is a fictionalized account, it can be tough to tell which places, events and characters were meant to be borrowed from the “real” Tamriel and which are fabricated. However, we do know that the Four Score War itself, Dagon’s attack on Mournhold and the assassinations of the Potentates were real events, as was the person of Brindisi Dorom and the fortress of Black Gate – all present in the book. It is, hence, plausible that Vounoura, too, represents real location on Nirn. At least, such an interpretation is useful for TR, as it allows us to craft a new and evocative lore-based location.
In Tamriel Rebuilt, Vounoura will be found far in the unforgiving Sea of Ghosts, shrouded in perpetual mist. Its location and possible ties to Morag Tong are known only from rumor. Although it inspired the author of 2920, the place will, in reality, be far from a retirement home. Instead, the whole island is a secluded temple to Mephala – her second largest in the province. Here, her most dedicated servants worship her in secret, and have done so for thousands of years. But not only Mephala holds sway on Vounoura – a long time ago, the Daedric lady made a pact with Sanguine through a ritual that took place on the island, in the sanguine flame. Hence, it is also one of the only places in Morrowind where Sanguine is honoured. It is here, too, that the Threads of the Webspinner were made, later distributed amongst Mephala’s followers and eventually falling to the Morag Tong.
Work-in-progress statue of the lecherous Sanguine by Revenorror, modeled after art from TES II: Daggerfall.
The island’s landscapes were very recently implemented by Cicero – our resident Daedra-head – using new snowy versions of Azura’s Coast assets. The exterior is currently awaiting review, after which interiors will be started. Cicero intends for Vounoura to be the stage for several quests related to its themes. First, here you will find Eno Hlaalu, the grandmaster of Morag Tong, after you supplant him in the vanilla questline. If you didn’t manage to complete his Threads of the Webspinner quests before your promotion, you can continue to do so here. Eno Hlaalu will also have another task for you, related to his dead brother and the Balmora riots that are hinted to have occurred prior to the start of the game. Second, being Morrowind’s only Sanguine shrine, here you can take on a debauched task for the Daedra prince, with a little help from Maiq the Liar. Finally, Mephala too will have things to ask of you – wielding the fabled Ebony Blade, you shall spread her influence through wicked murder. Friends, Molag Bal worshippers, famous figures – none are safe from the spider.
The Siege of Firemoth is a free official plugin released by Bethesda in September 13th, 2002, prior to either the Tribunal or Bloodmoon expansions. The plugin revolves around a quest started at Seyda Neen, where Sellus Gravius of the Imperial Legion tasks you with recovering the priceless artifact Ward of Akavir from the abandoned Fort of Firemoth, with the help of three companions. The fort has been overrun by undead legions led by the powerful lich Grurn; you have to battle through unending hordes of skeletons to reach him.
As with other official plugins, Firemoth was primarily a demonstration of the modding possibilities offered by the Elder Scrolls Construction Set and a fun side-project for its creator, rather than a serious expansion of the game content. It is, therefore, not surprising that the author put little polish into its lore, landscape or interiors, although the quest is undoubtedly a fun romp.
Firemoth presents an issue for TR, however – the mainland coast of the Inner Sea in our upcoming Dominions of Dust expansion butts closely into the cells defined in the Firemoth plugin. Once that expansion is released, TR must include a patch to smooth over the seafloor transition, lest there be an ugly gap. On the non-technical side, the ashlands look of the archipelago is difficult to reconcile with the relatively lush environs of the bordering Bitter Coast, and especially the mainland rim of the Roth Roryn region. Of course, this issue lies mostly with TR, not Firemoth – it was our decision to make the adjoining coast lush. Still, given the above concerns and the plugin’s overall lackluster quality, TR (especially the retired lead developer Atrayonis) has for years harbored more ambitious plans for Firemoth.
As Dominions of Dust entered production in 2020, Atrayonis initiated an optional overhaul of the island to reduce its size (it was hogging all the space in the already claustrophobic inner sea), make its land textures mesh better with the surrounding regions and improve the implementation quality of its interiors and quest. Selengor quickly remade the island into a crescent shape, combining both lush areas on the rim and an ashy crater in the middle; this work was reviewed by Chef. The interiors team, including Evil Eye, Denis418 and Jackimoff Wackimoff, then recreated the interiors of the fort, eschewing the nonsensical under-detailed halls of its predecessor and replacing them with handsomely crafted keeps that complement the questline and fit their exterior shells. Currently, the interiors are being reviewed by Cicero.
Rising skeleton animation by Arcimaestro Antares. The TR version is modified by Stripes and reviewed by Wolli.
The heart of the rework will, of course, be its questline, which is yet to be worked on. We will keep true to the, admittedly, cheesy premise of the original plugin – Grurn will have invaded Firemoth by literally marching up from the sea with his skeleton legions. Building on the scant hints provided in the original, we plan for Grurn to hail from somewhere across the Padomaic Ocean, possibly being of the royal line of Esroniet, or associated with the Legion during Uriel V’s invasion of Akavir. This is done to explain his interest in the Ward of Akavir, whose name suggests it originated across the eastern seas.
As in the original, the Legion and Navy are looking to put together a task force to recover the artifact and fort. What will be different, however, is that the player will be expected to be a ranking member of the Imperial Legion or an otherwise-famous adventurer; why would the Legion give the leadership of this high-level recovery operation to a nobody? Furthermore, the quest will be divided into several distinct phases, include the possibility for additional reinforcements and a true boss-fight featuring traps and environmental puzzles. The Ward of Akavir will remain central, but instead of having a generic Dragonscale shield model, as in the original, it will feature new unique 3D work.
Two experimental versions of the Ward of Akavir by the talented Shadow_Mimicry; we are still discussing a fitting design.
In addition to this, however, we will go a step further and make Firemoth a player stronghold for the latter stages of our expanded Imperial Legion questline, in the style of the strongholds that were part of the vanilla Morrowind Great Houses questlines. A wholly new set of quests will, therefore, give you the opportunity to rebuild and refurbish Firemoth to serve as a Legion outpost under your command. For this purpose, restored versions of all interiors will be produced.
Rest assured that these changes to Firemoth will remain wholly optional. For those preferring the original, bigger Firemoth or Firemoth mods not made with the TR version in mind, we will include a minimalist patch that only fixes the undersea landscape seam with TR’s mainland.
Hopefully this satisfies your curiosity regarding the smaller blips on our planning map. As for our regular upcoming expansions, quest progress has really picked up since April, especially on Embers of Empire. All non-quest dialogue for the overhauled lands in western Telvannis has been completed and only Firewatch dialogue remains to be reviewed and merged. Of the 67 critical quests to be retouched or remade for that expansion, 35 are now done, as are 6 optional additions. All but a few of the remaining ones are under active development by a multitude of new and experienced quest developers. For more news on Dominions of Dust and Embers of Empire, look forward to next month’s detailed quarterly overview.
Keep in touch with us more closely on our Discord server, where we develop the mod in the open. And if you would like to see our next expansions come to life sooner, consider joining our development team; no prior experience needed, as the Elder Scrolls Construction Set is very easy to learn!
I love little islands, so I
I love little islands, so I love this progress report. This all seems interesting but especially Olanar. Will love to see what u guys do with the Maormer.
seriously loving the care you put into even the firemoth plugin, especially with how we can opt for the original. I seriously cant wait for embers to come out, fingers crossed for this summer?
As Always - Looking Forward to This
Both of those shields are awesome. I'd have a hard time deciding between if only one was availalbe, but I think the right stands out more in color scheme and originality. Both are awesome tho.
The glory of mortals is humility.
- Tezrel Logoth
both do not fit morrowind's
both do not fit morrowind's art style which is why they are concepts/WIPS. The black and gold one is the correct shape at least but too TES:V Skyrim looking.
With your standards so high
And your spirits so low