Sure, we know it’s the games title. We may know a little bit here and there about what Skyrim is. Let’s clear up the confusion and lets hit the Elder Scroll’s history books so you know exactly what you are getting into before stepping foot into the Skyrim region.
Skyrim is actually a province. For our Canadian readers this will concept will come as a simple one to understand. For our non-provincial US readers who are unfamiliar with provinces, it is kind of like a State. In all, there are nine separate provinces (states) on the continent which generally have their own native races.
The continent is called Tamriel. As mentioned above there are nine total provinces on Tamriel:
- High Rock – Home of the Orsimer and Bretons (Orcs)
- Cyrodiil – Home of the Imperials and is also the Capital. Home to the Emperor.
- Summerset Isles – Home of the Altmer (High Elves)
- Hammerfell – Home of the Redguards
- Blackmarsh – Home of the Argonians
- Valenwood – Home of the Bosmer (Wood Elves)
- Elsweyr – Home of the Khajiit (Kerra or Cat Folk)
- Morrowind – Home of the Dunmer (Dark Elves)
- Skyrim – Home of the Nords (Tall Humans / Barbarian)
So now the light bulb is starting to turn on. Skyrim is a province on Tamriel and is home to the nordic people that have sort of been referred to as Barbarians in other games or RPG’s.
Where do you usually find these kind of rough-cut fellows? That’s right. You always find them in the cold, or in the mountains, or in icy tundras.
Skyrim follows that theme. Don’t expect to be greeted by a warm tropical paradise. Skyrim is largely mountainous and is very, very cold. Expect lots of snow covered land and tough terrain. With this arctic climate you can expect to encounter lots of cold loving creatures and critters. Expect enormous mammoths, sabretooth tigers, yetis, and likely frost dragons.
The Skyrim province is about 16 miles wide and 16 miles long and is comparable with Oblivions game world/province Cyrodiil in overall size. There are five major cities within the province (larger than cities you may have encountered in Cyrodiil) along with some highly regarded geographic landmarks.
While exploring Skyrim you’ll want to be sure to stop and visit these places. Once visited in game you will be able to fast travel back and forth once you’ve visited a new marked location:
- Windhelm – a city in Northeast Skyrim
- Dawnstar – a city in North Skyrim
- Whiterun – a city in East Skyrim
- Markarth Side – a city in West Skyrim
- Falkreath – a city in South Skyrim
- Winterhold – a county of rich individuals
- Solitude – the most influential and richest county in Skyrim that competes with Winterhold
- High Hrothgar – a famous mountain where Greybeards speak and teach the dragon language.
Much of the architecture and buildings will resemble what you may have seen in Bruma. Buildings built into the terrain for insulation from the arctic weather and fortified with wood, stones, and straw.
So how does your player fit in with all of this? Well, you will start off your Skyrim adventure as a prisoner who is on the way to be executed. Along the way you’ll figure out that the civil war that has been wracking Skyrim is actually a prophecy – a prophecy that is in one of the fabled Elder Scrolls.
What did the scroll and prophecy say? Trouble.
It turns out, the Nordic God of Destruction named Alduin would return during the war. His come back wouldn’t be insignificant either. He’s coming back with a vengeance – as a giant dragon. The Scrolls say that during his return he will take over the world and enslave it’s populace with an army of black dragons called the Jills.
The good news is that your player character finds out he is actually a Dragon Born – someone who can speak the language of the dragons (Draconic) and wield the impressive power (Dragon Shouts) that comes with it. Powers like teleporting, time control, and dragon summoning.
It’s up to you to interrupt the prophecy.
What will you do????? Will you rescue Skyrim or wreak havoc on it’s people?
The choice is yours.