The Modder's Conclave » Discussions

Event Pitch: The Lost Race - A Dwemer Overhaul

Tags: #Dwemer  #LeBlanc'sBuilds  #Mod Pitch  #Event 1 Pitch 
  • Member
    April 21

    This is a mod proposal; just an idea for a mod for the "Build-A-Mod" event in the Modder's Conclave.  I spent some time thinking about both Skyrim, Fallout and the Elder Scrolls in general to come up with ideas and set forth upon this one. 

    One of the most intriguing parts of Elder Scrolls lore, to me, is the Dwemer.  I've long had a fascination with the deep folk and dwarves are extremely popular in many gaming universes both inside and outside of TES.  While there are glorious ruins of this ancient civilization all over Tamriel and they abound in all the releases of The Elder Scrolls series, I have always found that the Dwemer are a major flaw in the Elder Scroll universe.  It is flawed by the mere fact that they don't exist at all in the world after being the dominant race in all of Tamriel.  In fact, the Wiki calls them the “lost race”.  I call them the “forgotten race” because they flat out FORGOT to add them in! And this is a travesty, an injustice and just plain WRONG!

    The Wiki tells us that the "last Dwemer" was Yagrum Bagarn (Yaggy Baggy) and he just happened to be in an unspecified "Outer Realm" at the time the dwarves disappeared from Nirn.  The wiki lore goes on to describe the disappearance of the dwemer as a "sudden event during the Battle of the Red Mountain and had tie ins to the usage of the profane tools Wraithguard, Keening and Sunder".  I love the fact that I partnered on an event build with Relycs to copy those artifacts and did not see any reference about this information in the wiki's surrounding the three artifacts.  There is some speculation that the dwemer were tied metaphysically to Morrowind in such that the machinery still operating today reacts differently at various distances from that physical location.  It's also interesting the the dark elves make somewhat of a comeback in Skyrim with the Dragonborn DLC and the Isle of Solstheim.

    For such a technologicially advanced civilization, I find it hard to believe that all we have left of the entire dwemer race is their ruins and artifacts, such as the Lexicon.  With inventions and abilities such as these, I find it highly unlikely that not a single dwemer scholar failed to find a way to extend the life of their very race; or at the very least, hide it away for a future resurrection.  After all, even the Wiki notes that they were devoted to “the secrets of science, engineering and the arcane”.  So not one found the secret to DNA replication and cloning?  Not one discovered how to become a lich and not a single one figured out eternal life? Come on!?!  Is it such a stretch to believe that the disappearance of an entire race, save one, could not have been a calculated response by this ultra-intelligent species?  Would it be any further of a stretch to see the rebirth of the dark elves on Solstheim as a precursor to the "repowering" of the dwarven kingdom?

    With that thought I come to my idea for a Skyrim Mod, The Lost Race: A Dwemer Overhaul. This mod would be fairly expansive, probably more akin to a DLC or better yet a new version of The Elder Scrolls.  Elder Scrolls VII: The Return of the Dwemer anyone?


    I've covered the background story of the Dwemer and what kind of led to my contemplation for this mod-premise above so now let's look into the workings of what the mod would be, what it would cover and how we could approach it in the world of Skyrim as our current version of The Elder Scrolls saga.  The mod description entails three Priorities, or focal points, that I believe the mod would have to make in order to be feasible. 

    Priority 1:

    As with most mods (or dlc packages), this mod will likely embark, as many other events in TES do, and that is with a quest.  It could be a rumor from an inn; more likely from a court wizard or possibly someone within the College of Winterhold. This gives you several possibilities to “unlock” the mod and embark upon the quest chain. I could see the first embarkment being after the existing quest Discerning the Transmundane and Elder Knowledge. While exploring the reaches of Blackreach you will find some strange glyphs through the 'Reach leading you to a secret area in the depths where you find an unusual item that seeps with power but that you cannot discern. I choose Blackreach for the difficulty (and time consumption that it is); anything concerning the dwemer should be laborious in nature based on the ruins left behind. When you return to Septimus Signus this opens a new dialogue option with him and he gives you a rare book that he finds within (or that you find within) the Lexicon.  This book mentions this new artifact that you have found; at least you can determine this from the artistic rendering found within. The daedric lord Hermaeus Mora, shortly thereafter,  gives you some further insight that makes no sense to you, but leads you to come full circle as you then return with the artifact and the book to the College library whence all this started. Urag gro-Shub will take several in game days to decipher the book, as best he can, and then set you off on the next part of the journey.

    I like this tie in because the items like the Lexicon just reek of daedric magic and these portals certainly seem to have ties, metaphysically, to the abyss where the daedric lords dwell. Plus it ties in with the setup already in the game and just expands on them.  Not to mention that the wiki does tell us that the "last dwemer" was possibly in a plane of Oblivion when the dwemer disappearance occured. 

     Priority 2:

    You gain the knowledge, vague though it may be, of a lost dwemer ruin located in a rarely accessed area of Skyrim.  Now, this area could be another whole topic of discussion but in viewing a detailed map of Skyrim there are two places that jumped out at me that seemed underpopulated and remotely traveled due to the lack of roads.  One would be east of Rorikstead, towards Greenspring Hollow.  In this area I would envision a small pit-like entrance that would require a leap of faith; actually jumping into the pit based on the information gleaned from your research and the translation of the book and relic that your found, to enter and a grand “levitation like fall” that would hint of the magics and mysteries contained within. This pit would have to be well hidden in the ground and placed somewhere remote or nobody would believe it had remained hidden all these eons.  (I would wager that it would also not actually appear, even when traversing the area, until this point in your quest evolution to keep any shortcuts in the quest line.  A second place, and one I like even more, is the small island far to the north of Ysgramor's Tomb.  This could be reachable either by land; or more likely through a secret path found at the end of the Tomb dungeon, and possibly even tie in to the Companion's Quest chain that resolves here.  Possibly the Companions were guardians of this path for many generations until eventually the secret passed into legend and from there into obscurity.  However, Kodlak Whitemane is able to reveal the location to you upon setting him free because his spiritual form in Sovngarde is able to commune with his ancestors who still remember the legend and he in turn passes it on to you. 

    I like this option because it ties in another lengthy quest line (this should probably be hard to find and and gives an extention to yet another zone. It also comes back to the same map zone at Ysgramor's Tomb.  Either example would have the locked door we note below; option one would entail adding in another spirit and a quest chain to unlock the information required to progress.  Read on for the details.

     Priority 3:

    Now we set off to physically “find” the dwemer. One item of note in the lore is that the Dwemer built elaborate cities underground and beneath mountain ranges. In this regard I can envision embarking on this journey beyond Ysgramor's Tomb into the depths of the world and heretofore unexplored locations. Like many quests in Skyrim, this one is based on a puzzle formula. Instead of a puzzle door I go back to my Warcraft days and one quest inparticular where you had to open levers in a certain fashion to get a main chamber to open. In this case it's a journey of massive undertaking.

    First, the main entrance to the “dwemer land” in Ysgramor's Tomb will be sealed with five locks and will thus have to be opened.  Here, you will find an antechamber with a glyph wall showing the location of five ruins giving you five zones to clear.  As luck would have it, these five zones are already laid out in the game with the quest “Lost to the Ages” where you seek the Aetherial Crown.  Each location in that quest will have an added area that will require clearing and searching and a tonal lock to open one of the five locks on the main gate.  When you have finished this quest and also opened the new areas added into these zones, then the locked door in Ysgramor's Tomb can finally be breached; leading you into the heart of the mod itself.   It would also make more sense that they add in small expansions, hidden within those areas, that you have to go back and revisit (assuming you had already done the Lost to the Ages quest line.  Nothing should come easy with regards to the dwemer. 


    So, thusfar in the mod we've added quest entensions to three, possibly four, main quests already in Skyrim.  We've also added five new dungeon zones as extentions to the Lost to the Ages quest and now we can finally open the new dwemer chamber within Ysgramor's Tomb (or the pit).  At this point we could either call this done (say Part 1) and set up a future mod (Part 2) or keep it rolling if you prefer the DLC or TES VII option...


    Part 2:

    This is an additional proposal (in a very overview form).  This part would be an expansion of the mod and would actually delve into the new homeland of the Dwemer, deep underground.  It would have an expansive underground complex running the length and breadth of Skyrim.  There would be living dwemer here in all their glory; a dwemer King; all lying hidden.  Possibly the wrath of Alduin in the day's of yore is the reason they left their existing cities and fled deeper into the ground and sealed up all access points behind themselves.  Perhaps it was the destruction of most of Morrowind from the Battle of the Red Mountain.  This mod would allow choices and actions to resolve the events moving forward; do you tie yourselfs to the Dwemer's positive side, that of intellect and industry, as an ally or do you rail against their history and their traits; fearsome and cruel; and fight them.  One path leads to your doom, or the destruction of the Dwemer while the other allows the Dwemer to return to their cities above and influence all of Tamriel...for better or for worse.

    While completing your journey below, no matter the path you take, you would then find the sealed entrances joining into every dwemer ruin in Skyrim and also paths that lead beyond the borders of Skyrim.  In the early going of this zone I would envision a “save point”; allowing fast travel to Skyrim and back to allow for loot drops, rest and resupply runs. This would likely be a central location; allowing easier access to each of the zones in this section.

  • April 23

    Oh blast, sorry I hadn't popped over yet John. I'll mostly just repeat the same sort of stuff I said on your WiP, I really dig the idea you've got behind the mod, and just the...I don't want to repeat ideas, but the things you've come up with in regards to the Dwemer were just fascinating to read. The artwork and the titles just add ot the feeling of this being a really awesome Dwemer-mod, and I'd love it if it was a real one :D

    Thanks for your participation mate, and for posting this really enjoyable read :)