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Comments on the Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle (SPOILERS)

The new High Isle chapter was released on 2022-06-06. The chapter takes place on the Systres archipelago, which is located in Eltheric Ocean, north of Summerset Isles and west of Stros M'Kai. The Systres archipelago consists of three islands: High Isle, Amenos, and Y'ffelon.

The Systres Archipelago

  • High Isle: Most of the civilization resides here. The vibes I get are like a cross between High Rock and Summerset with a sort of Pacific volcanic landscape. The main city on High Isle is Gonfalon Bay. Most of the residents on High Isle are Breton nobles, but there are also tribes of Druids out in the surrounding wilderness.

  • Amenos: North-east of High Isle. It's a tropical jungle. The main town is Amenos Station, which consists of a stockade where prisoners are sent. The surrounding jungle is inhospitable and people aren't expected to survive among the beasts and carnivorous plants. When the prisoners of Amenos Station go through "processing", they are released from the stockade and sent out to the jungle, and there are magical enchantments placed on them that prevent them from leaving the island. Some of these prisoners have formed a band called the Green Serpents, and are hostile to anyone who encounters them.

  • Y'ffelon: A smaller island to the north, consisting of a semi-dormant volcano called Firesong mountain. This may be part of the zone in the next Q4 DLC.

Noble houses

The Systres are led by two noble Breton houses: House Dufort and House Mornard.

  • House Dufort: Led by Duchess Elea Dufort, they control most of Systres. Before their rise to nobility, the Duforts were a prosperous merchant family and reknown shipbuilders. Dufort and Mornard worked together to make High Isle a prosperous settlement, and eventually High Rock decided to elevate both families to nobility. Dufort were previously subordinate to House Mornard, but when Mornard lent support to Ranser in Ranser's War, they fell out of favor in Wayrest, and High King Emeric then seized many of Mornard's holdings and gave control of the Systres to House Dufort.

  • House Mornard: Like the Duforts, the Mornards were a mercantile family when they settled on High Isle. As they worked with the Duforts to make High Isle prosperous, both houses were elevated to nobility, with Mornard granted a dukedom and Dufort granted a barony. Duke Mornard gave his house exclusive control over the mines and prison facilities on Amenos, which sparked a rivalry between the two families. Duke Avrippe Mornard's response to the Knahaten Flu in 2E 562 weakened the house's influence, and his support for Ranser in 2E 566 prompted the end to their reign as dukes. High King Emeric reduced their rank to count and, led by the Count Leonard Mornard, they now control only the mines and prisons on Amenos.

New companions

The chapter introduces two new companions, Isobel and Ember. When you first meet Isobel, she is a Knight Aspirant, and her introduction quest involves winning a tournament held by the Knight Commander Jourvel. The Knight Commander offers her daughter Aurelia's hand in marriage to the winner of the Sapphire Tourney. Isobel and Aurelia are childhood friends, but some rumors around Castle Navire indicate that they may have been more than friends at one point. Isobel wishes to win the tournament in order to free her friend Aurelia from an unhappy marriage to any of the other Aspirants. You help Isobel on a quest to gain the favor of the three main Knightly Orders of High Isle: The Oaken Order, the Order of the Albatross, and the Order of the Iron Knot. Upon winning the tournament, Isobel is granted a favor from the Knight Commander, which she uses to free Aurelia from betrothal to allow her to make her own decisions. Isobel is then awarded a full Knighthood from Knight Commander Jourvel, and from this point the player is allowed to call on Isobel as a companion. Isobel's personality is similar to what one might expect from a Knight trope: honor, courage, and justice are her core values. Her moral alignment is more 'lawful good', and the player's rapport with Isobel will depend on whether the player makes 'lawful good' decisions.

Ember is introduced during the quest Tower Full of Trouble at Tor Draioch. A spell she was using went awry, and now she needs help cleaning up the mess before Magister Irin returns. Ember is a protege of Master Irin, and due to her impulsivity, Magister Irin has forbidden her from entering his Arcane Library. What I find refreshing to see is Ember's mixed skill set and her personality. She is very adept with magic, but is hyperactive and learns better by doing rather than by studying books. Consequently, she often finds herself cleaning up messes she makes from not thinking things through. She is also very adept at lockpicking, a skill she learned out of necessity from growing up on the streets. When you complete Ember's quest, Magister Irin returns and explains that he is not a suitable mentor for Ember, because her personality makes it difficult for her to take instruction in a traditional academic style. He hopes the player will allow Ember to accompany them so that she can develop her skills more efficiently. Ember is more of a 'chaotic good' alignment and does not mind the player getting their hands dirty.

New creatures

As far as I've encountered, there are several new creatures introduced in this chapter:

  • Fauns: Humanoids with the head and hooves of a deer. They are hostile, territorial, and live in tribes. They have an intelligence similar to goblins.

  • Hadolids: Humanoids with crustacean-like features. Their upper body is reminiscent of dreughs. Also hostile and territorial. One quest on Amenos involves quelling a hadolid takeover of a House Mornard-run mine.

  • Vulk'esh: Wamasu-like creatures that emerge from the volcanic vents scattered across the isles. They have a molten rock exterior and spew fire from their mouths.

  • Coral haj mota: These are effectively the same as the haj mota you encounter elsewhere in Tamriel (e.g., in Blackmarsh, Hew's Bane, and some parts of Elseweyr), except the main difference is that their exterior is made of coral.

  • Soulrazer knights: Undead knights about the size of frost atronachs. The Sable Knight world boss is a soulrazer knight and is said to be the first of its kind.

  • Ornaugs: UESP Wiki describes them as fish-like canines. They are caninoid and have scales and fins. They are kind of similar to durzogs.

  • Coraldrift bear: These are bears with coral exteriors. I've only encountered these in the Coral Cliffs delve located at the topmost point of Amenos.

Druids

Druids are introduced in this chapter. They live in druidic circles out in the wilderness of the Systres. Their philosophy and nature magic is similar to that of the Wyrd covens of Glenumbra and Bangkorai. They worship Y'ffre and practice the True Way, which involves living a life connecting with and valuing the natural world. Unlike the Wyrd, they accept male members into their circles. The foremost philosophical difference between Druid and Wyrd is that Druids believe in living in harmony with non-Druid civilization while the Wyrd seek isolation from it. Each druidic circle interprets Y'ffre's will differently, and they also vary amongst one in other in their attitudes toward non-druids.

There are three known druidic circles in the Systres:

  • Stonelore: Welcoming and cooperative with non-druids. They help investigate and soothe volcanic fissures throughout the Systres.

  • Eldertide: Hostile to non-druids and even other druidic circles. They were involved in the capture of High King Emeric and Prince Irnskar, seeking to turn them over to the Ascendent Order. One group of Eldertide druids were responsible for raising coral out of the sea to wreck a ship carrying Maormer prisoners to Amenos Station.

  • Firesong: Not much is known about these druids apart from the fact that they live primarily on the island of Y'ffelon and tend to the volcano called Firesong mountain.

END

Last updated: 2022-07-15