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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5 comments by ElijahHouck on Aug 11th, 2014

Hi all,

This is an article that I had never expected to have to post, but unfortunately it is necessary. It is with great sadness that I announce that I will be stepping down from my position as co-creator and lead level designer of Ethas. It has recently become impossible to balance Ethas alongside my other responsibilities, so it is best that I say goodbye to the mod, to my team, and to our amazing fanbase in order to focus on other aspects of my life.

Two and a half years ago Justin and I started Ethas. We were extremely ambitious, setting out to create a world full of interesting characters, compelling quests, and plenty of places to get lost in along the way. But we set out to do so with experience on our belt, and throughout the years we have built up a small team of extremely talented folks. I am overjoyed to have worked with these individuals over the years, and wish them the best.

With that out of the way, we will be one or more individuals to take over my responsibilities. It is a lot to ask of someone, this is a big responsibility. Therefore, we are looking for the best. We'll be posting an opening here on ModDB, or you can email us at if you are ready for that responsibility. Please include pictures of past level design work that you have done, or if you're a scripter, include code snippets and a description of its use for context. Experience in the Creation Kit or past Bethesda editor is a must.

Thank you, everyone, for making these past few years some of the best of my life. I wouldn't be where I am today without your support. Farewell, everybody.

Elijah Houck

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 158)
ArkantosArcane May 3 2014, 6:29pm says:

A world big like Skyrim??? This project is fantastic! And the story sounds interesting too. Keep work guys and good luck! All the best :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest Apr 29 2014, 8:36pm says:

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ElijahHouck Apr 29 2014, 9:19pm replied:

I do not. Progress has been a bit slow the past couple of months due to a variety of factors, but we're about to start getting back into the swing of things. Glad you're excited!

+1 vote     reply to comment
ElijahHouck Feb 12 2014, 3:26pm replied:

Sorry, not gonna happen! See my explanation here as to why:

As far as expansions go, no. Ethas requires Dawnguard and Dragonborn (but not Hearthfire). Skyrim requires Steam, so unless you have a cracked copy or are otherwise blocking Steam, Ethas by extension requires Steam as well. We won't support cracked copies of the game, obviously. :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
ThegnAnsgar Feb 16 2014, 5:48pm replied:

Glad you're not requiring Hearthfire. That's the only DLC I don't have for Skyrim, and I couldn't justify purchasing it, even for a mod that looks as spectacular as this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ElijahHouck Feb 16 2014, 5:58pm replied:

Indeed. The only reason we're requiring DG/DB is because of the resources they add (Dawnguard's forts, Dragonborn's ash resources). Hearthfire merely adds a few house pieces, which isn't something we could justify adding as a requirement.

+2 votes     reply to comment
dankeekong Feb 15 2014, 10:15pm replied:

but what about copies of skyrim from gamestop or other stores

0 votes     reply to comment
ElijahHouck Feb 16 2014, 5:08pm replied:

I purchased Skyrim from Gamestop, it still required a Steam install. We don't specifically check for Steam when you start Ethas, but if you have Skyrim there's a good chance you have Steam as well, with the exception of those running a cracked copy (which we do not support).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zeidra May 13 2014, 5:30am replied:

I have an legal (physical, cd ) copy of Skyrim Platinum, but I don't have Steam, because I hate their policy, and fortunately there's a patch, consisting in 2 little files, that allows me to play without Steam.

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Guest Jul 17 2014, 5:52pm replied:

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