OKAY LISTEN UP
There are rumors that the sixth installment of the Elder Scrolls Series is going to take place either in Valenwood, the wooded forest lands and homeland of the Wood Elves, or Argonia, the Black Marsh and home of the Argonians.
Sounds cool as fuck, right? Of course it does. Exploring the endless reaches of the deep forests or mapping out the unexplored swamps of Black Marsh sounds fucking awesome.
But here’s the thing.
There’s one thing in particular we need to see from this game, if it ends up taking place in Valenwood or Argonia.
If you even passively played Skyrim (Specifically the Companions questline), you probably know all about lycanthropy. Lycanthropy is a condition which causes Men, Mer, and occasionally the Beast races to take on the form of an animal at certain times, gaining animalistic instinct, intent, and killing skill.
The first type of lycanthropy we ever saw in the Elder Scrolls series was way back in Daggerfall, the second Elder Scrolls game, with the introduction of Wereboars.
Wereboars are a strain of lycanthropy found only in High Rock. The wereboars appeared in Daggerfall, were generally cool and badass as fuck, then they were never seen again due to no other games taking place in High Rock afterward.
However, they weren’t the only type of lycanthropy introduced in Daggerfall. Along with these tusked motherfuckers, we also got the most common kind of Lycanthrope: Werewolves.
You can become a lycanthrope if infected by another lycanthrope during combat. A person transforms into their bestial form every full moon and must quench their thirst for blood by killing or they will suffer a massive reduction in hitpoints.
Come the next installment, TES III: Morrowind, Lycanthropes stuck around, this time in glorious early 3-D. However, there were only werewolves in the third game, and what’s worse, they only appeared in the Bloodmoon expansion back. Nonetheless, they were still awesome as anything and would shred your shit, this time with no pesky requirement to murdelize innocent peeps to avoid the hitpoint reduction. Get this: There IS no hitpoint reduction to becoming a werewolf in Morrowind. Fucking sweet. And if that’s not enough, we also got added bonus quests for the Daedric Lord Hircine. Completing the quests made you into an even stronger werewolf.
Then, come Oblivion, we got glorious, beautiful fuckall. Absolutely no lycanthropes in the fourth game. Sure, there were mentions, but you couldn’t actually see any or become one.
Luckily, when Skyrim came around, Bethesda rectified this matter and put lycanthropes back in, in the form of, you guessed it, werewolves. This time, instead of just being an added random bonus thing, there was an entire questline devoted to them. Spoiler Alert:The Companions questline is all about werewolves. There’s a bunch of story behind it that I won’t spoil, but I don’t even want to talk about it much because almost all of it is about curing your fellow werewolves. Fuck the what? Why would you ever NOT want to be an insanely badass throat-ripping beast? Because of some stupid moral about ‘more to life’ than the thrill of the hunt or whatever, apparently. Luckily, you aren’t required to cure yourself.
The werewolves in Skyrim were your standard flair. Incredibly fast, tough, and damaging. This time around you weren’t forced to become one every full moon, which was cool, and if you were sick of losing your beast form you could do a quest to get a special ring called the Ring of Hircine that gives you unlimited beast form transformations per day. No, not awesome enough for you? Hold onto your butts, then, because shit got even MORE intense when Dawnguard hit the scene.
Dawnguard was a DLC that added a bunch of new shit to vampires and werewolves. Most notably AN ENTIRE SKILL TREE.
Oh. My. God.
This was the best thing ever. You could gain skill points by feeding on enough corpses, something you already were supposed to do to extend how long your beast form lasted so you could continue wrecking shit. If you had already been a badass werewolf for a long time by the time you got the Dawnguard DLC, you basically immediately had enough perks to max out your tree and become Werewolf Prime, destroyer of all weaklings before you.
Then shit got EVEN BETTER with the Dragonborn DLC, and the addition of Werebears.
Yes, you heard me right. Werebears. For all of you out there pissing your pants and going GIMME GIMME GIMME, there’s a catch: You can’t become one. Lame. You are forced to only observe their intense, terrifying beauty, or test your lycanthrope skills against them.
Then TES: Online happened, blah blah blah, it was sort of a step down for the Elder Scrolls series, whatever. It still had werewolves, at least.
By now you’re probably sick of reading about lycanthropy. You’re wondering why I’m telling you all of this shit. Well, here’s the reason: There are other types of lycanthropes.
First, there’s Werelions. They’re found in the jungles of Elsewyr, and possibly have some kind of significant connection to the Khajiit cat folk. Then there’s the Weresharks, which have only been mentioned a few times and may or may not be a joke entirely.
Then there’s the two important ones: Werevultures, and Werecrocodiles.
Here’s the thing: Nobody has ever seen a Werevulture or a Werecrocodile. There’s no official concept art, no significant information, nothing. All we know is that only Argonians can become werecrocodiles, the tracks of a werecrocodile are indistinguishable from the tracks of a regular crocodile, and they’re found in Black Marsh. As for Werevultures, we know literally nothing aside from the fact that they’re only found in Valenwood. Aside from that, nothing, except for the extreme elusiveness of both species.
This is the Elder Scrolls. A series which prides itself on extremely long, confusing and convoluted lore. Lore on species. Lore on places. Lore on events. Lore on the very fabric of reality.
And for most lycanthropes, we get… nothing?
I won’t stand for that.
I want biology of these lycanthropes. I want culture. I want combat. I want abilities. I want to know shit about these mysterious bestial bastards. NOTHING in the Elder Scrolls series has a right to be this unknown.
I want to be able to soar like a fucking eagle when I become a bird of prey and rip people’s eyeballs out with my talons and beak. I want to be able to do a trademark crocodile death roll and crush my opponents like the weaklings they are beneath my unforgiving spiked hide.
So, that’s the main point. If you’re as curious as me about what these lycanthropes are like, let’s make it a movement. Let’s let our voices ring loud and clear. Let’s make it absolutely obvious what we want from the next Elder Scrolls game.