Ethas: Embrace of Destiny is a modification for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim being developed by Justin Hardin and Elijah Houck, the team that brought you the mod Alton, Il. for Fallout 3. In Embrace of Destiny, you will explore the lands of Arelia and Virardan, two countries currently at war with each other. Your role starts you out as one of the five famous Captains of the Arelian Army. Choices will be made, and sides will be chosen. The only question that remains, is, will you become the hero, or the villain?

Ethas will bring the player to a huge new world to explore, and lets the player choose at any time whether to play Skyrim or Ethas. Whether it be the the sweeping valleys, lush forests, or harsh, volcanic wasteland, Ethas will immerse the player in an experience rare to the modding community. Ethas will of course be free for all to download, and is planned for release on both Steam and various other modding communities.

Elijah Houck and Justin Hardin, the creators of Ethas, are certainly an experienced duo. In 2009, Elijah started development on Alton, IL for Fallout 3, which took players to his hometown in a world over twice the size of Point Lookout. Elijah would continue work on Alton for almost three years, finally releasing the mod on October 27th, 2011. Alton was (and currently still is) the largest mod for Fallout 3, and won File of the Month on Fallout3Nexus for the month of October. It wasn't only Elijah that brought Alton to the masses, however. Justin Hardin was essential to the project, creating amazing trailer and in-game music and sounds, brilliant voiceovers, meshes, textures, and even finally getting the GECK to generate LOD meshes for Alton (which is usually unheard of for such a large world).

With this experience under their belt and Alton completed, Justin and Elijah looked forward to Bethesda's next title, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Having started work on Ethas's story in July of 2011, they were well prepared for the release of Skyrim's editing tools. After the Creation Kit released in February, the pair soon looked towards the future, wanting to expand the team.

They found no shortage of talented individuals, with Andreas Stavaas joining the team as a level designer and world artist, having previously worked on titles such as Black Mesa: Source and Nehrim: At Fate's Edge. Not long afterwards, Kevin Saade Eriksen, a former develoepr of Tales of Middle Earth: Siege of Skyrim, joined the team, bringing with him his impressive modeling and texturing skills.

With a team of such incredibly talented individuals working towards a common, ambitious goal, the team looks excitedly
towards the future, dedicated to creating a world, a story, and a cast that the community will come to love!

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Sailors Watch Hidden Treasure Valerian Countryside
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3 comments by jhardingame on Sep 6th, 2014

Hi everybody!

Usually by this time, we probably would have had another summer update ready for you. However, most of the time since we released our walk-through video back in February has been spent on world and level design, and creating the areas that we needed to in order to realize the world of Ethas. This includes working on new architectural models (which I plan to show off at a later date when it's all ready!), designing our different regions, and more in depth things such as leveled lists to populate said areas with enemies for you to face. Since this has been the case, there has been very little work on quest design or implementing anything regarding quests in Ethas. However, though we don't have much new things to show you just yet, I do have a few pics to share showing some of the areas we've been designing.

The first is of an old abandoned fort known as Sailors Watch, located on the western coast of Arelia:

The second shows a small cavern with hidden treasure:

You may have also seen Elijah's article recently, and know that he recently stepped down from being Ethas' main world designer. Since Eli was big part of the project, progress has been fairly slow for the past month. However, we're looking for some talented people to come help out on the project, and get the project back up to speed. Some of the things we're looking for:

  • World Level Designers – People to help shape and craft the world of Ethas, from creating interiors to large exteriors.
  • Scripters – People who know their away around Skyrim's scripting system to help implement quests, dialogue, and other features. While there isn't much going on right now concerning scripting in Ethas, this is definitely something that will be much needed further down the road, and any help will be welcomed!
  • Modelers – From forging weapons to building castles, to putting together the most exquisite armor, we need people who know their way around models and are looking for the best!

If you feel like you can help us out in any of these areas, feel free to contact us at and please link anything showcasing your abilities, such as mods you've created, pictures, or anything else you can think of! If you're unable to work on the project essentially “full-time”, and only have a few hours or so a week to help out, don't let that keep you from contacting us. Any help you're able to give will help in the long run, and will be absolutely appreciated.

Last, but not least, I just want to give a final thank you to Elijah. From helping out on your mod Alton, Illinois for Fallout 3, to our full on collaboration with Ethas, it has been a blast working with you. Sad to see you go, and you will surely be missed on the team. Though, I'm pretty sure I had already fired you a couple hundred times already.

Stay tuned for more news in the future, as we hope to show off some newer things in the next update!


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Post comment Comments  (110 - 120 of 162)
Nuvendil Feb 9 2013, 12:38am says:

Yeah, very professional trailer and awesome progress ;) . Making fine use of ztree's trees; lovin the diversity. So many big projects in the works for Skyrim...Ethas, Enderal, Andoran, Falskaar, Frontier, Issgard, and now Etkiina. Hopefully MERP will rejoin those ranks but even so, this is shaping to be the most epic Elder Scrolls modding scene yet. Can't wait :D

+5 votes     reply to comment
jhardingame Creator Online
jhardingame Feb 9 2013, 1:10am replied:

I would love to see MERP come back. Everyone on the team actually voted for it when they had the 2012 ModDB awards going on. And thanks!

+3 votes   reply to comment
ztree1 Feb 8 2013, 2:31pm says:

Awesome trailer!
With your current workflow, you seem to get the honor of being the first finished TC for Skyrim. Can't wait, you guys are doing a fantastic job for the mod community!

+3 votes     reply to comment
ElijahHouck Creator
ElijahHouck Feb 8 2013, 3:39pm replied:

Thanks for the kind words!

+1 vote   reply to comment
cire992 Jan 18 2013, 3:48am says:

Looks cool, I was wondering what you two were up to these days.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ElijahHouck Creator
ElijahHouck Jan 19 2013, 12:21pm replied:

Hey Cire, long time no see! But yeah, this has been occupying most of our time for a while now. And for a while yet. :P

+1 vote   reply to comment
Yorkman Dec 23 2012, 11:22am says:

I guess I'm confused; will this game have open world gameplay like conventional Elder Scrolls games, or will it use traditional RPG restrictions like Nehrim?

+1 vote     reply to comment
jhardingame Creator Online
jhardingame Dec 23 2012, 12:21pm replied:

Ethas will be completely open world. Also, I remember Nerhim being completely open world as well, it just had set leveling in locations.

+3 votes   reply to comment
atifresh007 Dec 23 2012, 8:37am says:

Is this mod only in english or in many language ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
jhardingame Creator Online
jhardingame Dec 23 2012, 10:43am replied:

Ethas will only have English voice acting. Initially, it will only have English subtitles as well, but we will be fully supporting different language translations for Ethas after it's release.

+3 votes   reply to comment
atifresh007 Feb 8 2013, 11:57am replied:

thanks :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
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