Decades ago, plague and fire ravaged the once-proud kingdom of Pellitine. Learn about the lawless wildlands of Southern Elsweyr (coming with the Dragonhold DLC) in this latest preview article.
When venturing into Dragonhold’s new zone, Southern Elsweyr, you encounter a land in recovery, beset by threats on all sides. This new zone is similar in size to other DLC story zones, such as Murkmire or Clockwork City, and it is packed full of new quests to complete, challenges to overcome, and sites to explore.
In addition to experiencing the main story questline, in this new zone, you confront dangerous world bosses, explore mysterious delves, unlock new crafting stations and gear, and uncover a host of additional side quests that give you a sense of the history and character of the region.
Devastated by a recent plague and overrun by lawlessness, Southern Elsweyr is home to many who struggle simply to survive.
Face bandits, slavers, and more in the wilds of Pellitine
“The people of the region are still trying to recover from the devastation of the Knahaten Flu along with wildfires from twenty years ago,” explains Jason Barnes, Dragonhold’s Zone Lead. “They can’t seem to catch a break either, as an abundance of pirates and slavers rule almost everything outside of the city walls of Senchal.”
Inside the coastal trade city of Senchal, you’ll find a diverse collection of races and people—not just native Khajiit. Because outlaws and brigands stalk the wildlands beyond the zone’s capital, many have fled to the city as refugees, all looking to the local garrison for protection.
The port city of Senchal
“Within the city proper an Imperial legion known as the Shields of Senchal follow their last orders given before the fall of the Empire: to provide aid and protection for the people of Southern Elsweyr,” explains Barnes. “Outside of the city walls, everyone must fend for themselves to survive.”
Just as the people fight to reclaim their homeland, the environment also battles to restore itself to its former glory. This includes plant life and unique beasts such as the lumbering-but-curious glyptodon, the dangerous mountain bristleback, and horned addax. Don’t be fooled, though. Despite its near-apocalyptic past, Southern Elsweyr still features pristine white beaches, tropical grasslands, and the dense jungles of the Tenmar Forest.
When designing the new zone, the team wanted to show that culturally, this is still the land of the Khajiit, so the architecture, geology, and atmosphere all falls in line with what you have experienced in the Elsweyr Chapter.
“The fun part was leaning into the tragic results of the Knahaten flu and the scorch that followed,” explains ESO’s Art Director, CJ Grebb. “We got to take all of that beautiful Khajiiti architecture and get it dirty, break it down, and play with the idea of a people still recovering from the traumatic events of the past. We wanted players to feel the sense of a place that had been through a period of decline and yet was clawing its way back (pun 100% intended).”
While ravaged by plague and fire, many call Pellitine home
Playing with the region’s catastrophic history allowed the team to give Southern Elsweyr a distinctive feel that sets it apart from its northern cousin, and plenty more makes this new zone stand out.
“We had tremendous amounts of fun exploring the idea of the joint governance between the long-forgotten Imperial troops and the native Khajiiti citizens in Senchal,” said Grebb “The idea that an occupation had slowly found its way to becoming a partnership was unique, and finding ways to visually mix the two cultures was really cool. And if you ever get the chance to have any part in the creation of cat-pirates, I highly recommend it!”
A New Threat
In addition to the dangers posed by slavers and pirates, the people of Southern Elsweyr also must deal with a new threat: a rage of Dragons from the north.
“While many escaped Dragons stayed in Northern Elsweyr, a number of them have come down to lay claim to the south,” said Barnes. “One of them in particular once held domain in the territory long ago and is looking to take back what he believes is his.”
Dragons threaten Senchal
This new Dragon uses a Dragon-worshiping cult, called the Order of the New Moon, to help his schemes, and he has gathered powerful allies to lay waste to the region’s defenders.
Dragonhold features the Dragon Hunt events first introduced in the Elsweyr Chapter, but also enjoys new types of Dragons: Storm and Frost. Both these Dragon types feature dangerous new abilities that you’ll have to contend with when battling them, so look out!
The Once-Proud Kingdom of Pellitine
When exploring the ruined world of Southern Elsweyr, you can discover the remnants of a great kingdom under threat. While the zone itself is reborn anew, the people of Pellitine struggle to survive the region’s infestation of outlaws. Even worse, a new threat from the northern skies, assisted by a powerful and shadowy organization, brings fire and death from above. Southern Elsweyr needs its heroes. Are you ready and willing to answer the call? Let us know on Twitter @TESOnline, Instagram, or Facebook.
The Dragonhold DLC game pack is coming October 21 for PC/Mac and November 5 for Xbox One and PlayStation®4. The Season of the Dragon ends here!