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The city of Luftahraan was founded in 1E2165 by a Nordic warrior named Luharaan who, tiring of the political intrigues of Skyrim, forged his own city state to the west of the country.  Establishing his rule under the title of Sovereign on 16th Sun’s Dawn 1E2167, Luharaan proved an efficient ruler, quickly establishing trade routes with neighbouring countries and fortifying his newly crafted state.

Luharaan ruled the city as Sovereign for just under 10 years, before disappearing in unknown circumstances. Rule passed to a family of prominent noblemen in the city, and thus began the long, unbroken line of Sovereigns that have ruled Luftahraan to this day. The 54th Sovereign, Karsten Otherin, rules in Luftahraan as the dragons take to the skies across Skyrim, but it is a very different city now. The power of the Sovereign has been squandered by poor decisions in the past and a host of factions vie with each other, each planning to pick clean the carcass of Luftahraan when Karsten’s power fails.

The foremost of these factions is the Kaldr. Created by Sovereigns past as a means to secretly gather information on goings on in the city, the Kaldr were later militarised and used to put down insurrections. Finely crafted into a weapon of espionage and assassination by a series of tyrannical rulers, their power increased until one Sovereign adopted the head of the Kaldr and named him his heir. Despite only ruling for four years before handing power back to the previous Sovereign’s younger brother, from this point onward the power of the Kaldr overshadowed that of the Sovereign. Despite desperate and concerted attempts to tip the balance back in the favour of the ruling family, the Kaldr remain a powerful force in Luftahraan, and not one entirely beholden to their so-called Lords.

Against this backdrop of internal strife, the people of Luftahraan are beginning to raise their voices – crying out in anger over the repression and taxation enforced by Sovereign Karsten in an attempt to secure his rule against the machinations of the Kaldr. This rebellion is small and poorly organised but, with the right allies and the right funding, the voice of the people could indeed overshadow that of their leaders.

And, towering above all of this discord, sits an ancient relic of times past; an edifice of the Dwemer. Superficially, the tower is controlled and guarded by Karsten, but in reality these guards are watching over a door that they themselves cannot open. The tower is locked, but the possibilities of what could remain inside have further fuelled the fires of conflict already sparking across the city. Whatever it may be that the tower contains, surely whoever controls the tower would control the city? Rumours abound, and, as those rumours begin to spread across the border and into Skyrim, yet more eyes turn toward Luftahraan.

The project started February 23rd 2012 on a forum called Facepunch. The early foundations of the city were developed by Oskutin, who took initial charge of the project. All Facepunch users could contribute to the project at will and it became quite fairly popular within the Facepunch community.
Over time, development of the project became more complicated and haphazard as more people contributed.

Oskutin handed over the reins to Wheeze in June 2012 and realising that this chaotic "free contribution" method of development was not going to result in a professional and cohesive product. To this end, he organised and formalised the development process, created a website and created a team that is now known as Archon Entertainment.  This team is the team developing the project today.

  • An entirely new city, around 2 or 3 times the size of Whiterun, on the northwest coast of Skyrim, including surrounding lands and villages.
  • An extensive and compelling main quest with several different routes to completion, and various endings depending on player choice.
  • A great many side and miscellaneous quests, with more becoming available as the main quest progresses.
  • Well over 100 fully voiced NPCs to fully populate the large city and neighbouring farmsteads.
  • A new joinable guild, the Marauders, with their own main questline and island base. The Marauders are primarily a group of Nordic raiders, with some Redguard corsairs mixed in.
  • A fully integrated arena, where the player can bet on fights and participate himself. The arena features in the main quest and will also be a frequent point of conversation amongst the populace.

Wheeze (the Project Lead) often streams himself working on luftahraan whilst talking to his viewers and answering any questions. You can check out his twitch.tv channel over at: Twitch.tv

Archon Entertainment also has a YouTube channel

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Heimfeigr Panorama Room from Heimfeigr, Tomb of the Sovereigns Luftahraan Lower-City (panorama)
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Luftahraan Update #12 - 17/04/2014 (Quests and Arkngzul)

1 comment by Arkaash on Apr 17th, 2014

First off, our apologies for the nearly six months since the last update.  Luftahraan is certainly not dead, and development continues apace, with more progress being made now than it has for quite some time. The majority of our team is currently working on dungeons or on quests, with the longer term objective of moving several more level designers into the questing arena.  As I'm sure any of you who have attempted to make any relatively complicated quests will know, quest making in Creation Kit is a rather thankless task, but we are at present, for the first time in Luftahraan's development, managing to make some real progress.  The main quest is now well underway and, as more developers complete their current dungeon work and become available progress will only accelerate.  We do not yet have anything by way of quests to show you, although something in that area will doubtless come your way soon enough. 

Those of you who have been following Luftahraan for a while will doubtless know of the Dwemer Tower that stands in the center of the city, and around which must of the city's history revolves.  When the city of Luftahraan was first built Arkngzul, the Dwemer Tower, was active.  It's continuous whirring and clanking of machinery could be heard all across the city, and the many attempts of the locals to delve inside the seemingly abandoned ruin were met with failure - whilst several initial levels could be explored, all would-be adventurers soon found themselves stymied by a large gateway sealed shut by a mechanism both magical and mechanical.  The stonework itself was impenetrable - any crack or blemish on the extravagant stonework was almost immediately repaired by some energy emanating from deep within the edifice.

Not one to be denied, and driven by the curiosity of youth and the thrill of adventure, Luharaan, the founder of Luftahraan, encased himself in Sovereign Hall for over a year with an emissary from the Psijic Order, leaving his brother, Korvar, to rule in his stead.  It is unknown what magics Luharaan studied, but with the departure of his tutor the city's ruler entered the Tower with his brother, and opened the seal, disappearing into the uncharted depths, leaving Korvar with orders to continue ruling in his place.

Shortly after Luharaan's disappearance, Arkngzul fell quiet- its endless whirring silent for the first time since the city was built.  The seal remained, though, and whilst it remained an endless fascination for many of the city's more educated occupants, no-one has been able to break the seal since Luharaan.

"The Tower touches all the mantles of Heaven, and by its apex one can be as he will.  More: be as he was and yet changed for all else on that path for those that walk after.  This is the secret of how mortals become makers, and makers back to mortals.  The Bones of the Wheel need their flesh, and that is mankind's heirloom." - Mankar Camoran

Whilst I am unwilling to delve too deeply into the story behind Arkngzul at this point - you will have to play through the finished mod to find out more - I would also like to talk about its presence in the main quest and how we have endeavoured to make it a unique and memorable experience for players.  A large section near the end of the main quest occurs within Arkngzul, with the player attempting to find Luharaan and figure out once and for all what is inside the Tower - the question that has been burning at the hearts of Luftahraan's citizens since the city was founded.

The dungeon itself is split into many paths, with both a main router to follow and a wide array of side areas that can be explored for both loot and the chance to learn more about the Tower itself and what the Dwemer were using it for.  Because the player will spend such a substantial amount of time in the dungeon it will be possible for the player to easily return to the surface from any point without having to backtrack too far - it is much too large for a player to complete comfortably in one sitting.

It is not just the player, though, that is interested in Arkngzul.  No matter what path through the main quest you take, there are a great many characters in the city who also wish to have the chance to explore its depths.  Some of these people will be sent down at the behest of the rulers of the city, and others will explore of their own volition.  Either way, the player will not be the only person down there, and they will encounter an ever-growing NPC presence as they complete various stages of quests down there - once the player explores far enough into the depths of Arkngzul, their leaders will ensure that a forward base is set up where the player can resupply and people essential to the exploration effort can work in a (relatively) safe area.

That is all that I have to talk about for this update, but keep your eyes out for a video update that will be released in the next few days - it will be linked in this article when it is done.  For now, though, we have several screenshots of Arkngzul, and of another Dwemer Outpost near Luftahraan, together with another piece from the Luftahraan OST by one of our composers, Stephen Webster.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 216)
Irikedownroading Mar 31 2014, 1:21am says:

..............................the mod that will never come out

-1 votes     reply to comment
Arkaash Apr 10 2014, 3:09am replied:

In response to your post that I deleted, Irikedownroading, we are very aware of the painful lag issues in the city itself. There is still a lot of optimisation work that we can do, and plan to do, once the entire city exterior has been finalised. This should eliminate the crashes that you are experiencing (which are likely due to you reaching Skyrim's memory limit). LOD also takes a long time to do, so we are just leaving it until we're almost ready for release.

As for your post, please don't post that link, here or anywhere else. As evidenced by your crashing and lag, Luftahraan clearly isn't ready to be shown to people yet, so we'd all appreciate it if you didn't spread that around, although we will remove that repository shortly since it isn't really hard to find.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Irikedownroading Apr 13 2014, 9:54am replied:

I was thinking... one way to completely get rid of all that lag would be to set the city in it's own worldspace. Make a new worldspace and you wouldn't have all the U-grids and assets loading around it which would leave memory to load all the city and not have much lag. I know this goes against the original plans for this city but I would much rather have it be in it's own worldspace rather than have the lag at all. You think this would be possible?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Arkaash Apr 17 2014, 2:43am replied:

That would certainly help eliminate much of the lag, although not all of it. However, it would require a complete redesign of the city since you can see outside of the city from almost every point, unlike most of the cities in vanilla Skyrim which are almost entirely self-contained.

We do have a solution planned, though, which involves splitting the city into small sections completely surrounded by occluder planes that are activated and dis-activated by script depending on where in the city the player is currently standing. That way, only the parts of the city that the player can see will ever be rendered. This won't be a perfect solution since some of the higher up parts of the city can see pretty much the entire thing, but it will certainly be a starting point and we can work on problem areas in different ways.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Irikedownroading Apr 10 2014, 7:15am replied:

No worries. I won't spread it, just happy I got a chance to see it in-game ;)

0 votes     reply to comment
MJAB98 Apr 1 2014, 5:13pm replied:

Just wait for it to be released, there working really hard on the project and stuff like this takes a long time

+2 votes     reply to comment
DeadStalker7 Mar 10 2014, 3:59pm says:

This mod looks awesome!

+2 votes     reply to comment
MJAB98 Mar 8 2014, 5:50pm says:

Thank you so much for making this, I can't wait till it comes out

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest Mar 5 2014, 1:51pm says:

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Irikedownroading Apr 9 2014, 8:23pm replied:

I think if you wait so long, you might lose a lot more interested parties than if you released a beta. By the time it comes out, a lot of people will have forgotten about it and completely beaten and have lost all interest in Skyrim altogether. I for one was excited and kept checking and checking for it, and now, I have sadly lost all interest and am completely done with Skyrim. Well good luck and hope you still got some people left to download it by the time it's released.

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