Luftahraan itself is a large city that was once one of the richest trading ports on Tamriel, but those days are long gone – lost in the wake of a series of tyrannical and incompetent rulers. Its current ruler, Sovereign Karsten Otherin – a man who tries to rule fairly, but whom many of his subjects would call a tyrant – is locked in an ongoing struggle on two fronts. He fights publicly with a rebellion known as the Soltinn, or the Hungry, but also in the shadows with the Kaldr, a shadowy organisation that is supposed to be his own secret police.
The Soltinn fight for the rights of the many destitute citizens of Luftahraan – they are trying to overthrow the reign of the Sovereigns and install a democracy. The Kaldr fight for their own, more sinister motives, although what these are is unknown to all, even their own members. All three parties, though, have an interest in Arkngzul, the colossal Dwemer Tower that looms over the city, and what may be contained inside of it.
An extensive and compelling main quest line with an emphasis on player choice. The player can experience the same events from two different perspectives with only a couple of repeated quests.
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.
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.
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.
NOTE: The following is NOT part of the regular update series and has no effect on the regular Luftahraan updates. This article series is simply a set of supplementary information detailing decisions and steps in the writing process of Luftahraan.
Hi guys! I’m vizard38, the previous Head of the Writing Department for Archon Entertainment from April 2012 to sometime in early 2013. Due to school commitments and some inexperience with Elder Scrolls lore, the reigns of the project were handed over to Arkaash, who leads the writing team to this day.
This is the first part to a several part series that dissects and analyzes the thoughts, influences, and decisions behind several areas of the the Luftahraan lore and storyline. These pieces will show the writing process and highlight the many steps and processes in writing implementation.
The writing process is one with many layers. Engaging storylines are built off of entertaining quests, which are in turn built off of backgrounds, characters, and other key aspects; all of which are built off of the lore behind Luftahraan. The backstories and legends, histories and tragedies, are all necessary in order to build a setting that not only is realistic and fitting to the Elder Scrolls lore, but also differentiates from the basic cookie cutter city structure Bethesda uses.
Writers come and go but each has left his or her own mark onto the city. The overall sum of all of their efforts has led to a city rich in its lore. However, the early formative years of the project in early 2012 were marked and marred by a lack of centralization. The development was being facilitated through the online forums of Facepunch, employing a contribution system; people would contribute to the city in whatever aspect he or she wanted. Some chose interiors, others chose voice acting, while others wanted to write. These early writers offered numerous ideas, many of which have been worked into modern iterations, but a good amount of these ideas were implemented in a very disjointed fashion back then. Many characters were written as jokes and the vast array of wildly different personalities and backstories simply did not make sense for a city in the region of Skyrim.
However, in this disorganised mire, several key writers would appear; these individuals would play significant roles in the writing department, and would have major influences on the modern version of Luftahraan. More mature and more complete ideas were being developed.
Eventually, in the later days of the 2012 development era, a consensus was held that all of these ideas and concepts for stories and characters needed to be centralized and kept appropriate in terms of Skyrim lore. The first meeting was held on April 14, 2012 and had a whole host of individuals. Topics discussed at the first Luftahraan team meeting included concerns over NPC connections and their roles in the city, implementation of radical side quests, and most importantly, ideas regarding the main quest. With the advent of this meeting, the writing team was established, and many familiar faces were born out of the cosmic chaos.
Sometime in June 2012, Orvar “Wheeze,” having taken reigns of the mod from the city’s founder Oskutin, began a wave of centralization over the project. The workplace of the developers would migrate away from the Facepunch Forums, and instead the project would be discussed and progressed via the Luftahraan Forums (at this point Archon Entertainment had yet to exist). The olden days of Luftahraan’s development, one of contribution and idea implementation had died, and instead a more orderly, team based development system was born.
However it would be wrong to say that the ideas from the Facepunch Forums was forgotten. Indeed much of the writing, whether it be lore, books, or quests, owes much of its influence from the ideas of those on the Facepunch Forums. In the following articles, we will explore the emergence of key writers, their influences, and ultimately witness the evolution of the lore, characters, and city from the ground up. These articles will focus on concepts and ideas that shaped the current iteration of Luftahraan, as well as point out motifs and other literary elements that were molded into the city. This is the tale of not two, but just one city, and the people behind its birth and evolution. Let’s meet the writers (note: not ALL writers could be included, but those that I deemed most prominent will appear in these articles).
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