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I thought it was about time we started a thread for Skingrad, so we can start having ideas form.

I don't know a lot about the plans for Skingrad that are already in the works, but we can have a cetralized group discussion of everything here.

Since I'm sure that Skingrad will be keep it's lucrative wine businesses, here's some art of Tuscany from AC II.

post-3744-0-10787000-1400879211_thumb.jp

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Interesting question that was not (as far as I know) ever fully settled: is Hasildor still around?  I remember a while back that there was a suggestion that he could have faked his own death in the early 4th Era, as soon as his long life started to become suspicious, and has been secretly ruling the city from the shadows ever since, but I'm not sure if that was ever formally adopted.

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I liked the idea that was tossed around that he has ended up building a large vampire clan of his own, taking in the renegade and solitary vampires to protect the people of Cyrodiil, and now the Order is starting to consider him a major threat to their well organized and established place as the ruling clan. 

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Nothing has been formally adopted with Hasildor. He probably would have started ruling through proxies long before the Great War, so if the Thalmor deposed whoever was in charge at that time, his official link to Skingrad could have been severed. He hates other vampires, so I doubt he would be interested in creating a vampire clan. Though, he might have fallen in with other vampires due to circumstance.

Whatever we do with Hasildor, I don't think it would affect the look or tone of the city.

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There's a quest idea then. Draw Hassildor out of exile to depose the local Thalmor puppet, or kill him for the new Count, in return for Skingrads support in SoSK. Of course, the player would have to grapple with a few other issues - is it right to place what is effectively a supernatural monster in charge of a city? Perhaps the Count is doing a good job, despite being told what to do by the Elves? Why kill Hassildor for the new Count if he's living in isolation, and not hurting anyone? How exactly would you go about keeping up the charade if Janus did retake power? It could be very interesting.

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I wasn't thinking that Hassildor wanted to take on his own clan. It just kind of happened, that he tried to stop some vampires from falling to their primal urges. Perhaps he tried to stop a vampire loose in Skingrad, and it got away turning several good people that he had seen grow up in all of his years as count. Rather than killing them, he tried to make them follow his path. And overtime he amassed his own clan of vampires that simply don't want to live like other vampires. It could be an interesting questline. He has no wish to rule over this clan, but he can't just leave them to their own devices. In a way he's trapped himself into this situation. 

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I'm picturing vine yard farms around the northern half of the city, just outside the walls (think Whiterun). Maybe the central road under the city is now a small market strip? Definitely a bridge connecting the castle to the actual town. Sound good? Edit: added third part of city, I felt it fits in pretty well.

First draft

post-5363-0-64928300-1414112556_thumb.pn

Edited by EridaniNovus
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In case anyone wonders, this is what is new from oblivion in Eridani's first draft:

post-5137-0-19687700-1414114923_thumb.jp

Green - New Vineyards/farms

Blue - New structures

Red - Low area/canyon/ not new just to point it out

Also there are a few small shops in between the two original districts.

This layout will make this one of the largest cities in Cyrodiil, with at least 40 houses inside the walls. Not a bad thing just something to watch out for. Also, we'd have to look at our height map for the Eastern city district, as in Oblivion it was pretty steep. 

Looking good otherwise.

[Edit] Also the two new buildings in the southern district are in the middle of the graveyard.

Edited by Argor nash35

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In case anyone wonders, this is what is new from oblivion in Eridani's first draft:

sk4e.jpg

Green - New Vineyards/farms

Blue - New structures

Red - Low area/canyon/ not new just to point it out

Also there are a few small shops in between the two original districts.

This layout will make this one of the largest cities in Cyrodiil, with at least 40 houses inside the walls. Not a bad thing just something to watch out for. Also, we'd have to look at our height map for the Eastern city district, as in Oblivion it was pretty steep.

Looking good otherwise.

[Edit] Also the two new buildings in the southern district are in the middle of the graveyard.

Thanks for the feedback. Should I decrease the size of the new district? Definitely remove the new house in graveyard. I like to think that the east district was build before the war, it probably would have taken decades to level out that slope and devolp on it. Edited by EridaniNovus

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Can I ask.

Why not have hassildor still as the count?

People already believed he was a powerful sorcerer he could easily has manipulated people into believing he was immortal.

That and no one ever saw him to begin with.

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I like the idea for the market on the dividing street, additional farmlands, and additional homes in the old city walls (I would suggest keeping them lower class residences and maybe not more than 3-4 at that, its cramped in there, and I regularly got lost in Oblivion. That usually doesn't happen to me.), but I think the idea for the east district should be restricted either to only a couple rich noble families' estates, some sort of public building(s) like an amphitheatre or, if we go with that plan, some institutions important to a thalmor puppet government. Or a memorial to the purportedly deceased Hassildor. Make it a pleasant surprise when you find him alive and well later. :P

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Ah yes, a Thalmor Emabssy and the Hassildor memorial (whether he is still around or not) are musts for the East district. There should be no shops in the East district as well, though, maybe one of the higher class houses there could house a group of independent mages who call themselves a guild but are not recognized (similar to the order of virtuous blood in Oblivion, but mages, not vampire hunters, and they are trainers). Two houses could just be regular nobles, one of which could own part of the Surlie brother's vineyards, due to an old family deal, but now they don't contribute, they just profit and the actual Surlie family wants out (quest).

I doubt there would be an ampitheater due to the proximity to Kvatch's arena/theater and the Nirn theater. There could also be a new building for a "mercenary" group, or Ex legionaires and their "sons", in the North district who are actually a bunch of new legionaires disguised in case of a new war.

By the way, we should keep currently planning as though we are making an East district, but just be aware that the land may not work in the way we would like.

Edited by Argor nash35
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I was looking at the architecture in Skingrad, and I think we should go at this like a city that is like a gothic French Quarter/ French colonial architecture that was built in Tuscany. The way I feel about Cyrodiil is that it is the population center of Tamriel, obviously with the Imperial City being the biggest on the continent, but Colovia and the Niben both have their own city too. For the Nibenese, it's Leyawiin, for the Colovians, it's Skingrad. Each city has its own unique flavor, but these three in particular are like Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry, like a triumvirate of culture. Colovia was called the Colovian Estates, so lets make it so there are actual estates.

That new area that EridaniNovus added could be these powerful mansion homes of land owning nobles, the ones that run the vinelands of Colovia. The southern section is full of the poor, and some of the descendants of refugees of the Great War. While the northern district is the middle class and economic center of the city. Where the big business of the western half of the province is done. There could be a banking center here, that handles the estates' money (The big bosses get theirs done in the IC), a building that runs the trade routes in Colovia (Something they would have to worry about, The Nibenese have the Niben), and a Dominion Embassy that deals with inter-empire trade.

And if we do have Hassildor back, what if the puppet of the Thalmor was actually being used as a puppet by Hassildor to manipulate the Thalmor in Skingrad. With the count of Skingrad being a loyal servant to Hassildor.

Edited by Orion the Above Average
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All of this depends on whether or not people also want to go with the other popular idea from the old days, which was that the County of Skingrad is now held by one of the Medes.  Basically, everyone had their own, incompatible ideas about Skingrad, with the result that everyone remembers different aspects of proposed storylines that don't add up together into a coherent whole.

We need to get a final decision made on this before we can progress further, so here is (from what I can tell) a "menu" of our current options:

(1) Hassildor is still Count.  Nobody cares that he's a vampire.  IMO this raises too many questions that we'd be obliged to address about the status of vampires in Cyrodiil.

(2) Hassildor is officially dead and still a "shadow" Count, with the ruling council of the city paying lip service to the new Count (who may or may not be a Mede or a Thalmor sympathiser), whilst secretly following his advice, as they have been for centuries.

(3) As above, but the new Count is in on it too, (and may or may not also be a Mede or a Thalmor sympathiser)

(4) Hassildor is officially dead but still alive and no longer in power, but still hangs around the city out of nostalgia and sometimes intervenes.  The current ruler of the city is either a Mede, or a Thalmor sympathiser, or both.

And regarding the other vampires:

(1) Hassildor is now a member of the Order in good standing, and is helping in some way with their agenda.

(2) Hassildor has set up his own bloodline and is now actively contesting the Order for control of the area.

(3) Hassildor has taken in a few "lone wolf" vampires like himself, and is now lumbered with concealing their existence both from the people of Skingrad and the Order.

(4) Hassildor is still on his own and cares more for looking after his own city than vampiric politics.

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I too would be in favour of options (2) and (2). It'd make a rather nice 'hell yeah' moment, building up to the grand reveal of the true master of Skingrad - "Bitch, I'm Hassildor".

I think it'd be fun to play with Skingrad as a city where the natural and supernatural coexist, however uneasily. A place where vampires, werewolves and witches are allowed to attempt to live normal lives. A home where the locals have heard the howling of dogs, for example, may have a hidden cage in the cellar, where the owner retires during their werewolf transformations.

The Vigilants of Stendarr wouldn't be allowed to operate in the city, but curiously the vampire problem is virtually non existent in Skingrad. Sure, a rich farmer loses a sheep or cow every now and then, but he seems strangely unconcerned...

Sorry, getting carried away. I just think a city where many of the locals live double lives under the protection and guidance of a Shadow Count would be awesome.

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I want to keep this thread primarily for discussion about the architecture, layout, and development of the city. There is a thread in the lore subforum about Hasildor and what may have happened to him. Whether he is alive, dead, or secretly a wizard, it's not going to have a major affect on the architecture or layout of the city. I know he's a fan favorite, threads on him pop up about as often as threads asking if we'll allow the player to become emperor. It is something we're going to eventually need to address, but building the city is a lot more important.

Eridani - you're not technically a member yet but it seems like you want to sign up. Can you PM me with a bit of what you've done in the past/would like to do and I can get you added? Please sign up at redmine.darkcreations.org and, if you have Creation Kit experience, gitlab.darkcreations.org. I can make sure you have up to date overhead screens of Skingrad's landscape so any concepts or maps you put together are to scale.

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I am in favor of the Colonial French Architecture but I feel that Castle Skingrad should have a slightly Romanian-esque design. Not just because of Hassildor. It would provide some great symbolism for how the Castle was not connected to the city in Oblivion. Any thoughts?

Edited by EridaniNovus

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I did a rough sketch of a middle class house in Skingrad, I felt that the middle class is closer to Oblivion due to the fact that's where most people spent their time in Oblivion. The lower class houses should look much more like the French quarter, where the buildings house one or two families. 

post-3744-0-23304600-1414190403_thumb.jp

Also found this too, might be useful.

manastierabarsana04.jpg

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I did a rough sketch of a middle class house in Skingrad, I felt that the middle class is closer to Oblivion due to the fact that's where most people spent their time in Oblivion. The lower class houses should look much more like the French quarter, where the buildings house one or two families.

20141024_183201.jpg

Also found this too, might be useful.

manastierabarsana04.jpg

Working on lower-class apartments. Designed after French Quarter. Great work on the house.

WIP

post-5363-0-44855200-1414265641_thumb.pn

Edited by EridaniNovus
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Thats actually a really cool idea to design tilesets, what you're doing with the pixelart Eridani. With modular pieces like that its easy to try different combinations. Doesn't take that long since its pixel art but you can still get the idea.

Edited by Megol
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That kind of modularity is very inefficient when designing a city, you sacrifise unique and well design structures for improvised level design. Architecture is rarely build that way unless it's a dungeon tileset.

That aside, the artwork is looking great Eridani and Orion, can't wait to see what more you guys can come up with.

Edited by Markus liberty
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Markus I know what you mean. I didn't mean for the structure to be built out of modular pieces, its just easy to try different things in the art-stage.

Although, if you make enough pieces, you'll eventually get so many possibilities that nobody will know it was built from those pieces.

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That kind of modularity is very inefficient when designing a city, you sarficise unique and well design structures for improvised level design. Architecture is rarely build that way unless it's a dungeon tileset.

That aside, the artwork is looking great Eridani and Orion, can't wait to see what more you guys can come up with.

I used the tile set to try and keep it somewhat uniformed with Orion's design. I used pixelization because its easy and quick. As for the modularity, its a place holder until I can design it to be more unique. lStill its just a WIP.

Edited by EridaniNovus

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I'm currently working on region generation of the West Weald - at least that part of it east of Skingrad. At this stage I'm not necessarily continuing round to the north of the city, so the plan is to stop at the eastern edge of the city.
 
For comparison, here are views of Skingrad from the east - the Strid is visible to the left of each picture.

First in TES4:


gallery_82_4_277946.png


and in BSTamriel:


gallery_82_4_132187.png


 

In the Skyrim picture, the selected tree is in cell (-2, 11). The equivalent TES4 cell is (13, 1) - give or take a bit.

Interestingly, it looks like some of the original heightmap actually survived the transition from TES4 to TES5 - I really tried to stop this happening by rebuilding Cyrodiil from scratch but Skingrad probably survived at the very edge of the blending between this new version and my original prototype for Elsweyr and Valenwood.
 
You should be able to make out the path from the Skingrad East Gate up the hill to the bridge over to the castle. You will certainly need to rework the heightmap to make the new city anyway but this should make a handy a reference point.

Another point to note - the dirt road leaving to the left of the picture just leads to Silorn where the Strid ends in TES4. In BSTamriel I have continued the Strid all the way past Riverhold in Elsweyr. I've picked out a nice flat spot on the south bank of the river for Silorn - but this does beg the question of whether to increase the importance of this dirt road as a logical highway to both Elsweyr and Valenwood.

edit:

Regarding Eridani's draft - I wouldn't put a bridge in directly between the castle and the town. The reason there isn't one in the first place is that the castle is very much higher than the town, so the long ramp from the east side of the city actually makes a lot of sense - both practically and strategically. Just reviewing the area in the CS now, it really doesn't look to me like altering the east side of the city will make an improvement to the original design and might well lose a lot of its character.

Whilst we are absolutely not making a slavish reconstruction of Oblivion, I think you should study the TES4 layout in the CS or in-game: if you were making those changes in Oblivion it would be quite drastic and I suspect not very popular with players.

I would suggest adjusting the heightmap just enough to restore the original layout of the east side of the city then add any required expansion to the north and west - where it would be vastly easier in real life.

Edited by morcroft
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Just some more ideas I'm playing around with. I like the idea of having Cyrodiil's dense population centers being reflected in the architecture. Having a single building be made  into two separate houses is pretty cool for a corner house. 

post-3744-0-92580400-1414393464_thumb.jp

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There's a quest idea then. Draw Hassildor out of exile to depose the local Thalmor puppet, or kill him for the new Count, in return for Skingrads support in SoSK. Of course, the player would have to grapple with a few other issues - is it right to place what is effectively a supernatural monster in charge of a city? Perhaps the Count is doing a good job, despite being told what to do by the Elves? Why kill Hassildor for the new Count if he's living in isolation, and not hurting anyone? How exactly would you go about keeping up the charade if Janus did retake power? It could be very interesting.

I think Thalmor influence is a little overdone in places. I'm not keen on the idea of local rulers simply being their puppets, but then I don't know how this all fits in with all the over-arching storylines here.

 

Would Skingrad have a huge legion presents? It is on the border.

It seems sensible to me that Colovia would be much more heavily garrisoned than in Oblivion. But perhaps that could take the form of forts along the border itself, and mounted patrols moving between those locations and the cities. The lore I've read suggests that the Colovians are used to relying on mobility in the face of large numbers, and perhaps that sort of system could reflect that. There could also be one or two senior guards who served during the Great War, and after Skingrad fell spent months waging a hit-and-run campaign on the Thalmor army throughout Colovia.

Edited by bluntblade
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The Thalmor occupied the city during the war, but there's no evidence in the lore that they're still there. Considering the atrocities committed during the invasion and the Battle of Red Ring, they wouldn't have a major presence In most cities. Bruma was an exception due to its proximity to Skyrim.

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Yeah I realized now that being a Thalmor in Cyrodiil is really close to a death sentence. Everyone knows that there is going to be a second war, and when it hits, wouldn't all the Thalmor in Cyrodiil get slaughtered. All those years of rage and anger coming out all at once, hell, Thalmor are even at risk of being murdered during this peacetime by the resistance and other citizens of Cyrodiil.

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I actually really do like how you posted pictures of Tuscany from ACII, I honestly think it represents what could/should be outside of Skingrad's walls.

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I think Thalmor influence is a little overdone in places. I'm not keen on the idea of local rulers simply being their puppets, but then I don't know how this all fits in with all the over-arching storylines here.

But perhaps that could take the form of forts along the border itself,

OT but,I would like to see a border like the Limes Germanicus:

Limes1.png

The empire in  during the Great War was taken by surprise, so it would make sense for them to stack up their long neglected

border defences.

The Thalmor occupied the city during the war, but there's no evidence in the lore that they're still there. Considering the atrocities committed during the invasion and the Battle of Red Ring, they wouldn't have a major presence In most cities. Bruma was an exception due to its proximity to Skyrim.

It like to add this quote on how the citizen think about the Thalmor:

Lord Naarifin was kept alive for thirty-three days, hanging from the White-Gold tower. It is not recorded where his body was buried, if it was buried at all. Once [sic] source claims he was carried off by a winged daedra on the thirty-fourth day.

I don't know why everyone seems to think that the Empire is just a Thalmor puppet.They only came to Sykrim AFTER the Markath incident.

Edited by Synthoras
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I dont mind if this gets completely rejected but I thought I'd throw in a suggestion (not sure if lurkers are even allowed to do that :P )

Basically I've been thinking for ages about what happened to skingrad seeing as I think it was mentioned somewhere that Hassildor was no longer ruling (I'm not 100% on that or whether it was just that there is no mention of it). This coupeld with the fact it is was one of the closest cities to thalmor controlled territory, and one of the biggest in cyrodil (and so an apt war prize).

I always thought that maybe with the 'disappearance' of the count following the seige, the thalmor argued that with no apparent heir to the seat they could provide a count, in the form of the pompous general (by birth not skill) that commanded the thalmor seige of skingrad. 

Developmentally I could see this panning out through several changes to skingrad

1) due to the preference to a certain brand of wine (either tamika or syrille brothers) the preferred brand was given access to a large amount of the new vinyards (which have been suggested as additions) outside of skingrad, moreover he has allowed the wine industry to flourish, maybe add some altmer vinyard owners?

2) The front gate was completely wrecked during the seige and has not since been repaired (why would he repair it, he doesn't care about the city and who is he defending against?) In order to maintain the realism of the city being in a different cell, the gates could remain and the walls could be completely damaged, with rubble piles blocking players from walking through

3) A thalmor HQ has been built in a new quarter on the east side of the castle (chosen due to a convenient hole in the southern quarter's wall making a nice entrance)

4) A slum has built up in this new quarter (potential thieves guild locations)

5) In the corner of this slum is a big drugs operation, run by the former captain of the guards who was dismissed by the new count after being injured during the seige

6) Rather than the usual mere removal of the Talos shrine, that entire section of the church was ripped down.

I drew a city plan ages ago, but I'm not at home until saturday, so on the off chance that this is considered I can post a picture then

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I guess its more that with no clear line of succession and all the nobility of cyrodil in no fit state to start a feudal war over a war-ravaged city it seemed like the easiest way to avoid conflict. The count is still for all intents and purposes under the 'jurisdiction' of the Emperor. 

If the issue is that he is a thalmor general, it could even be a aldmer/other form of -meri noblemen from Skingrad that knew he would be first in line should something happen to the count (he could have helped the thalmor forces into castle skingrad to distract the city guard from defending the main city

With regards to the citizens, they are split: Due to his liking of luxury, those that could afford actually benefitted to some extent from being under his rule, in so much as nothing had really changed except for there being more wine. The others were displaced during the battle (and so now live in the slum) I was thinking of there being a questline involving the 'drug lord' about getting Hassildor to come back (which could tie in to his vampire clan thing, as in he has other responsibilities now but will help you find a replacement)

Edited by Ben42

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I really cannot get behind this, there's no way a known Thalmor could survive as count. How many people lost family, loved ones, and property to the Thalmor? Someone would have killed him very quickly if he assumed power.

Edited by Orion the Above Average
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Nobility are ALWAYS eager to start a war - that is how they gain wealth and power. An open succession is a huge opportunity, particularly for a prize like Skingrad.

Did Hassildor continue as count for 170 more years until the Great War? When did he actually lose his throne?

I think it is more likely that Skingrad is ruled by an Imperial general, as it is near the Valenwood/Elsweyr front lines. The border would have been fortified, and probably those new forts are supplied out of Skingrad. The rest of the province would have been stripped of resources to fortify the borders. Everyone knows a new war is coming. If there is a count he is dominated by the military, as Elisif is by Tullius.

EDIT: On the other hand, I can see the possibilities of a Valenwood city being controlled by such a Thalmor general who is more concerned with his own luxuries (such as those imported Skingrad wines) and running his drug operation than he is about managing his city. Might be an interesting character.

Edited by WoodsDweller

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Well my logic was that as the thalmor came out of the war in a better state than the empire, and so would have enough forces available to maintain the occupation of skingrad (ie replace the city watch with thalmor soldiers) if you want a real life example of this just think of soviet-controlled east germany. The citizens most certainly were not happy with the circumstance but they were in no state to do anything about it, and due to the political climate no one else interfered for far too long.

In the same way the imperial, I may be wrong here, most likely lost a lot of men during the battle of the red ring (yes less than the thalmor but still significant) and were in no state to mount a seige, let alone piss of the thalmor again. It would also perhaps explain why the imperials were so fervently trying to follow the terms of the white-gold concordant, while the thalmor were also not in any position to be starting an all war again, they would essentially have a 'knife' pressed against the emperor's throat in the form of a city with easy access to central cyrodil. 

Again I would certainly not say this would however mean that it was a stable rule, in fact part of the reason I suggested it is because it would be interesting to have almost a mini civil war questline to overthrow/defend the governing thalmor due to the reemergence of Hassildor or another suitable heir. 

Concerning the length of Hassildor's rule yeah I would say (for this suggestion) he lost it during the early stages of the invasion of cyrodil (assuming that Skingrad was one of the first cities to fall). He was supposedly well loved by his people and as a powerful ruler I imagine some deals may have been struck during the mede succession so it wouldnt be too far fetched to believe he stayed in power until then, plus everyone knew he was a powerful wizard at the least so people may not have even suspected vampirism (at least the lower classes) and the nobility had more pressing matters on their plate.

Additionally this could open up potential for an imperial-controlled thalmor city. Logically the thalmor could have pressed to keep skingrad by 'exchanging' it for another city (like in the civil war diplomacy quest) in which case their could be some back-end city in valenwood or elsweyr which could be interesting. Maybe it could become a safe haven for elves or khajit that opose thalmor rule.

But again if the consensus is that this idea is not appealing then I wont mind, I just want to get all the infomation across first

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I don't know where you're getting that reference saying Hassildor had lost his throne, because, as far as I know, when this issue was raised before the main consensus was that Janus Hassildor was indeed still alive. Nowadays he'd be ruling from the shadows instead, a series of puppet rulers having been installed after he "died". Even if we don't go with that, I think it would be very, very unlikely that the Thalmor would be left to rule the city, and even more unlikely that said Thalmor would still be in power 30-odd years after the Great War. 

It's an interesting notion, but I just don't see it as working. 

Edited by Yonderly
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If Skingrad was occupied there would have been something said. As far as I'm concerned, there are three jewels in Cyrodiil, Skingrad is the jewel of Colovia, Leyawiin is the jewel of the Niben, and the Imperial City is the Jewel of Tamriel.

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And they lost the war, I cant believe that the Thalmor left the empire with all of their territory

Ok but even if its not an official thalmor servant, what about the other suggestion of a meri nobleman from skingrad, someone who for all intents and purposes would be the most logical person to take the seat but would also be heavily influenced by the thalmor?

I do feel like skingrad in particular should have some heavy thalmor influence, being so close to the border

Edited by Ben42

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Perhaps not the best place to post this, but after flicking through The Infernal City, I came across a group of head hunters terrorising the West Weald called 'The Natives'. Possibility for a unique bandit group around Skingrad? They could either be tribal Colovians, or raiding Bosmer. (Page 138).

I'd say Bosmer. Tribal Colovians just doesn't sit right with me, it'd be like having tribes in mediaeval Germany.

I quite like the idea of having a mer authority figure (military or civilian) somewhere in Cyrodiil, who is vehemently anti-Thalmor.

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I am wanting to take the claim for the middle class houses unless someone else alredly wants it so Ill post some real life pictures of buildings I found that I thought would work.

Here is a victorian gothic style house I think might work, and its the style of the two sketches so far. 

9_bedroom_detached_house_for_sale_home_f

There is also Holly Village in the UK, which is a group of houses that I think would fit the overall style well.

20060605103504_holly_village_hdr.jpg

Holly_Village,_Highgate,_London_-_geogra

6.jpg

38316_WNKHIG000203_IMG_01_0001.jpg

16015925.jpg

Edit: There's also a gate there too. It might be useful for something:

holly+village2.JPG

What do you think? Is is a good style to use? I think that Holly Village would work well.

Edited by Menorius
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Why reimagine it?

Skingrad was one of the few citifies which nailed the astheitc it was going for.

The building loomed over you and the way there bunched close together combined to make the city feel moody and mysterious.

These buildings are to highly detailed for that.

These building would look fine in a village (as they do) but in a city like Skingrad?

No.

*edit*

Just realised this was for inspiration for concept art.

My mind failed to properly register the difference between "concept art" and "desgin concept"

Sorry.

Edited by Impaler
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For further inspiration, has anyone considered Hunedoara Castle?

5.jpg

I was just looking into this topic again and I felt that we should just make Skingrad Castle a recreation of this castle, but I also discovered a castle that looks just like this called Bran Castle. It's obvious that this is what Bethesda was going for, between the two castles we could make an excellent recreation of Romanian castle building. For anything really fancy, we could look into Peles Castle

Peles-Castle-1.jpg

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It's worth noting that Skingrad's architectural style is apparently heavily influenced by Breton styles.

In fact, the similarities between Skingrad's architecture and the Breton architecture in ESO are quite striking.

I would still try to throw in a few Greco-Roman elements, though, to keep it from looking too similar to the stuff over in High Rock.  Unless you're just going to recreate the TES4 set, that is.

Edited by Sage of Ice

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We are definitely not going to recreate TES IV, I feel we can do better. But there is definitely a feeling of gothic in that Skingrad. We should strive to bring out some lighter tones in ours. Tuscany is defintely a place to look at throughout development. I talked about the French quarter and such, as they'd be good place to look at too.

Sometimes I don't know whether or not to trust ESO, a project of that scale will cut corners in the worst ways, and then justify it through newly cooked up lore. The only thing that is supposed to matter in Cyrodiil is the IC, and then there is probably going to be a city for each faction to call as dibs. The Ebonheart Pact got Bruma, as you can see ith its Nordification.

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I just went to google images and searched for "tuscany castle". It is not the TES4 vision of the Skingrad castle, but it would be stunning and unique. I would love, love, love to see Skingrad re-imagined as a Tuscan city. Save the Hunedoara Castle work for High Rock.

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Sometimes I don't know whether or not to trust ESO, a project of that scale will cut corners in the worst ways, and then justify it through newly cooked up lore. The only thing that is supposed to matter in Cyrodiil is the IC, and then there is probably going to be a city for each faction to call as dibs. The Ebonheart Pact got Bruma, as you can see ith its Nordification.

Er...have you played ESO's Cyrodiil?

Besides, what does it matter if ESO made a connection between Skingrad's architecture and Breton architecture?  TES4 already made a clear connection between the two, it's not is though the fact that Zenimax's use of that similarity suddenly nullifies its validity.

Also, when I say Gothic I'm referring to High Gothic architecture, not the genre of literature.  There's not anything "dark" about High Gothic stuff.  Unless you mean "lighter tones" in some other way that I'm not understanding.

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When I think of gothic architecture I always think of Oxford university, which is actually really light honey coloured stone (Headington stone which is the local limestone).

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=oxford+university+gothic+architecture&biw=1097&bih=532&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=5sfsVOvlFM_jaryPgNAK&ved=0CDgQsAQ&dpr=1.75

The houses above are Victorian which I think is gothic revival, but also look very Breton like (to my eye).

In the UK the architectural style of a particular era may not vary that much from region to region, but the materials it's made out of do. So here in Cambridge, the Victorian gothic houses tend to be yellow clay brick, in Oxford they'd be limestone and Cheshire it's either bright red sandstone or red bricks etc....so you could have the building textured to match the local stone?

Edited by Bellatrix

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I haven't played ESO in Cyrodiil no, but I feel that they are making cities to be considered the home bases for each faction, I'm sure that Leyawiin will end up being just like a Khajiit city. I love some of the stuff that ESO has done, and I say that a lot of things can be taken from it, it's just Cyrodiil is a hard place for me to believe they're doing a good job with, first off it's still not a jungle, and then the position it plays is meant to be a more of a backdrop to PVP rather than a lot of fleshing out of the province. 

And when I think gothic I think of the gothic churches, which are very dark and morbid in my opinion, and don't feel like they would set a cheerful mood.

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Well then, you should probably know that's not how the Cyrodiil cities are handled in ESO.  Yes, they occasionally borrow from elements from other provinces, but they still have their own identities, architectural styles included.  There's a particular Imperial style that shows up in other provinces as well (e.g. Southpoint in Valenwood).  I'm of the opinion that architectural assets were one of the best things Zenimax did, with the major flaw being the use of one asset for each province.

Also, I'm sorry, but from that description, I don't think you know what a Gothic church is:

the-interior-of-a-gothic-cathedral-of-sa

The entire point of Gothic architecture is to allow as much light to enter the building's interior as possible.  It may be austere or impressive, yes - most architecture isn't supposed to be "cheerful," after all -  but there's nothing "dark or morbid" about Gothic architecture at all.  Gothic horror only got its name because the "first piece" of gothic literature had the word "Gothic" in the title.

Edited by Sage of Ice

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I understand the difference between the literature and architecture. But you have to admit the exteriors are morbid to an extent. Gothic architecture has been used countless times to relay a dark atmosphere, from Gotham city to both Warhammer fantasy and 40k. It is the go to architectural style of the grim and dark.

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No, I don't agree.  In the cases you describe, a caricature of Gothic architecture is used which has been hugely colored by Victorian-era gothic literature, and thus I would argue that calling it "Gothic architecture" is incorrect.  I'm also confused as to how the exteriors are morbid - they've no less an emphasis on light and grandeur than the interiors.

I get the feeling I'm not going to convince you, however, so I'd encourage you to do an image search of a variety of High Gothic buildings to see for yourself.

In any event, I think we can at least all agree that Skingrad displayed some Breton elements in TES4 and leave it at that?

Edited by Sage of Ice
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Isn't it sort of ironic using Gothic styled architecture to a people based on the Romans? Yeah the style of architecture didn't appear until later part of medieval period but it's still funny.

Also a lot of Oblivion's architecture is similar style to the one used for High Rock in TESO. What makes Skingrad no more special than say Chorrol? Cheydinhal too, but the Dunmer have taken that city.

Edited by 4theonewithoutaname

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Is it sort of ironic using Italian influence for a city with an eastern name?

And was clearly meant to be a referance to Transylvania? Or at least a romticsed view of it?

Edited by Impaler

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Isn't it sort of ironic using Gothic styled architecture to a people based on the Romans? Yeah the style of architecture didn't appear until later part of medieval period but it's still funny.

Also a lot of Oblivion's architecture is similar style to the one used for High Rock in TESO. What makes Skingrad no more special than say Chorrol? Cheydinhal too, but the Dunmer have taken that city.

Well, the Colovians always had less of a Roman look than the Nibeneans.

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Isn't it sort of ironic using Gothic styled architecture to a people based on the Romans? Yeah the style of architecture didn't appear until later part of medieval period but it's still funny.

Also a lot of Oblivion's architecture is similar style to the one used for High Rock in TESO. What makes Skingrad no more special than say Chorrol? Cheydinhal too, but the Dunmer have taken that city.

Well, the Colovians always had less of a Roman look than the Nibeneans.

Yet it is the Colovians who make up the vast bulk of the Imperial Legion, and are often depicted by many as the more Roman because of it.

Is it sort of ironic using Italian influence for a city with an eastern name?

And was clearly meant to be a referance to Transylvania? Or at least a romticsed view of it?

I think the joke just fell way over of your head... and Impaler, Gothic architecture is originates from 12th Century France not Italy.

Edited by 4theonewithoutaname

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The main difference between Gothic and Roman architecture is the shape of the arches, which is what classifies a building as Gothic:

round-and-pointed-arches.jpg

That being said the original buildings in Skingrad in TESIV were Gothic with Victorian style Mansard roofs:

799px-OB-place-Skingrad_Mages_Guild.jpg

There are also different subsets of Gothic Architecture. Italian gothic in particular has more color contrast than more traditional gothic architecture. Traditional gothic architecture, like Skingrads original building tends to use a single color of stone while Italian gothic tends to use a brighter color along with a contrasting darker color.

There are exceptions to the general rules though.

Edit: many of the pictures in the Italian Gothic lin above are actually romanesque, it it the shape of  the arches that would determine which style it would belong to,

My idea for the houses in my last post would just be to use the overall window styles, massing and proportions. I would omit details, such as the decorations underneath the roof, and add some other details if needed. I would also change the type of windows  to fit more with the technology of the ES world to be leaded windows instead of wood frame windows.

Edited by Menorius
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Sorry for the double post, but I found this nice example of Romanesque architecture. If the more gothic look I suggested in the other post did not work as well, this style might:

deutschlandreise22-2_big.jpg

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It is Maria Laach Abbey, a Romanesque building in the Rhineland region of Germany. It is decidedly more Roman and would fit the Lore better than the Gothic style. It would also be easier to model. 

Here is a nearby city.

8145365ce4bb003b97f1b62414573430.jpg

Also these buildings fits the combined Gothic/Romanesque styles fairly well which would also fit the lore.

b4ee975c0b0fa571df9f51a88f607b19.jpg

621bdb2dc80954910eaff12d7b7f3345.jpg

Edited by Menorius
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gallery_3108_202_761532.png

This was posted in the High Rock section, but someone pointed out that it reminded them too much of Skingrad, and I do see their point. Those walls would suit Skingrad perfectly, more specifically the spires and the more 'whitewashed' nature of the stones. I dont want to say this should be done as I can understand the amount of work that a wall set like this would take but its food for thought ;)

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Well, no, if you do actually see the architecture in-game it doesn't look too much like Skingrad at all, apart from the shape of the towers.

As it stands, we're very likely going to be using those walls for the High Rock project, since they incorporate several important parts of Breton architecture that even Skingrad doesn't have.

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