It will be understood, contrary to what Lyris Titan announced at the very end of the Dark Heart of Skyrim, we will not go to the Colovian Estates. So that still leaves time before the release of this region and the opportunity to recall the expectations, hoping that they reach to the developers before it is too late.
1 – Politico-religious intrigue and in-depth cultural history.
Orsinium is the "developers favorite DLC" and it is true that it is the favorite DLC of many players. It will be noted that we have no direct intervention from a Daedra prince as was the case with Morrowind and Summerset or a powerful supernatural with Elsweyr and Greymoor. Blackwood will not deviate from this rule which becomes horribly basic and predictable.
Greymoor emphasized the Gray Host to the detriment of the Western Nordics. Blackwood will be interesting for the Nibenese and their "representativeness of the real Nedic culture" praised by Abnur Tharn. We will check all of this when the time comes, but I have more and more doubts that we will see all of this being developed.
The Colovian Estates have a perfect profile for a politico-religious intrigue. The elite of Colovian society are increasingly perverted by the cult of the Daedra while the population is still as devout to the Eight. Without forgetting the mysterious profile of the Count of Skingrad who wants to be antagonistic (it's an easy solution that I don't encourage).
2 – The Count of Skingrad as an enemy?
We are used to this since Elsweyr and the themes throughout the year: the main leader of the province of Q2 Chapter is an antagonist. During the English Reveal of Blackwood, we learn that the image of the Imperials will be good but I'm still afraid of the use that will be made of Chief Councilor Lovidicus or the count of Leyawiin (today, I have above all a doubt about Vandacia that I have always suspected of something).
Count Calantius of Skingrad seems to be a connoisseur or even historian of the Empire of which he seems extremely loyal. Skingrad also appears to be a major player in the Empire and has extricated himself from the main conflict of the Alliance War.
But he is also involved in the annexation of the northern Elsweyr during the Knahataine plague in 2E 565, the attempt to annex Valenwood in 2E 580 and in the campaign of Arenthia of Valenwood in 2E 582. In as the count of a major city in the Empire, it would be normal for him to take on this role without being a man to kill, but let's not forget that the Imperials were the "big bad" of the base game. His involvement in corrupting the Legions he deploys is a mystery.
3 – The colony of Skingrad, Sutch but also Sarchal.
Skingrad has been very well known and appreciated since TES IV. Others know the famous Sutch colony which was canceled from the final development of the 2006 game. Sutch is mentioned in ESO many times and we should find the Mede family there.
But who knows Sarchal mentioned in the Remanada? The colony would be perfect in the fairly deserted northeast area of the Colovian Estates (Chorrol being in the PvP area of Cyrodiil). I have also always suspected that the Reaver citadel is Sarchal. I would like to see this city as well as the various imperial constructions in the Endless Stair on Tamriel. This part of the Endless Stair could be another piece of the city represented by the citadel (this one seeming to be cut off and not entire in Coldharbour). And considering the river which crosses it, perhaps it is a part of the Brena river and thus the border with Hammerfell? Which would move Sarchal further north unless it was another colony.
There is unofficial information on Sarchal for which I cannot find any source for the assertions: Sarchal as sister city of Skingrad, with a Breton Colovian culture or even barony of Mede linked to the county of Skingrad.
4 – Diversity of architectural styles.
Blackwood is interesting: Leyawiin's medieval Tudor architecture is not limited to the town of Leyawiin. Indeed, the architecture of the known colony of TES IV also extends to Gideon and the various constructions, mostly forts … In short, throughout the Blackwood.
The architectures of the base game are gradually fading to give way to new styles … What I regret for the style of the Second Empire which has a real meaning in my eyes: like the desire to establish imagery of the Potentate in his Empire.
The colonies in TES IV each having a unique style and often influenced by other cultures have a meaning: that of the Septim Empire which allows the representativeness of each culture of its Empire within it. What differs from the Second Empire… I therefore pray that we do not have a remake of TES IV in TESO.
In the Colovian Estates we will see Kvatch, the Drad Estate, the Istirus outpost and everything around (fort and village), possibly the Moon Hunter Keep, the rear of the Linchal domain and even the Black Drake Villa. As many constructions having the imperial architectural styles of the base game.
I know that the "ancient Colovian" style of Skingrad will be dominant in the Colovian Estates, but I hope that the constructions already visible today will remain as is and visible from the outside.
5 – Skingrad will be similar to TES IV but better.
We saw it with Solitude or Morthal: They are exactly the same as in TES V but much better. The architectural style is similar or different but goes much better and makes the Nordic settlements unique. They are much more detailed and we have more buildings etc … To believe that the cities in TES V are on the decline.
TESO Leyawiin will be much better architecturally than in TES IV but slightly different especially in the placement of buildings.
What makes Skingrad so charming? Its narrow streets with corbelled buildings. I hope the treatment will be similar to Solitude but I have no doubt … Whether it is faithful in better or refurbished, ZOS will certainly do a very good job.
6 – That the mountains that make up the highlands be passable.
There will be a lot of very high mountains and the Colovian Estates will be a land of hiking. Hoping that these are not insurmountable like the mountains of Summerset. Such a situation would be embarrassing because it would drastically decrease the playable surface of the region.
7 – That we have different cohorts and Legions on site … occupied forts.
The count of Skingrad is the first loyalist of the Empire. He may have his sights set on the Ruby Throne, but that is another question. Colovia is the land of military heritage within each family. Lyris Titan seems to have been trained there as a legionnaire before joining the Five Companions.
Will we see Centurion Gavo again? As an ally? I don't know, but I hope that we will see several Imperial cohorts and that the different forts will be occupied by their respective cohorts. Yes, I didn't digest the one small garrison at Dragon Bridge for all of Western Skyrim.
In Colovia, one must feel the power and home of the Imperial Legion.
8 – The Guard of Skingrad.
The TES L "Colovian trooper" card originally called "Skingrad soldier" is a perfect illustration of what to expect from a Skingrad County Guard. And honestly, the visual of the armor is excellent (and this face… typical ambitious and hostile colovian)… It would be a remake of the modified Imperial Light style. It would be nice to see them as a kind of militia loyal to his count (a kind of Sword Thane militia of High King Svargrim but much more present and visible).
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