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This will be like a sort of 'feature concept art thingy' that will be released every couple of days, letting me vent my active imagination by brainstorming guilds and faction to make Shadow of Morrowind seem more alive, yet retain the feeling a desolate, empty, depressing landscape, while making it as lore-friendly as possible. They are, of course ideas that may or may not be put in to plan and made real. Enjoy reading :)
Who are the Shardscales?
They are a group of Argonian raiders, who plunder and loot the coasts of the inner sea. The Argonians may not want to settle in the ashen wastes of Northern Morrowind, but that doesn't stop them burning and pillaging Morrowind's villages. They wear the sign of the Shardscale; the sign of the Moon and Star, with a traditional Argonian serpent wrapped around it. Some believe this is to mock the Dunmer, by encasing their legendary icon with a snake.
The Shardscales are under the emploiment of Lord Hxutha Yxvahnd, the leader of the Dres and Indoril parts of the Morrowind Mainland. They're mercanaries at heart, and will do absolutely anything for riches; whether they be in the form of gold, spices, jewellery, prisoners, and everything in between. The only parts of Morrowind safe from the Shardscales is the centre of Vvardenfell, the foothills of the Velothi Mountains, and the heavily guarded capital of Blacklight.
History of the Shardscales:
The Shardscales originated in the early years of the fourth era, not long after the Red Year. They were originally led by the Hist Trees, but began practicing in Dark Arts and magic, corrupting the once honourable group of fighters into a hateful band of raiders and pirates. They did not play any part in the Argonian Invasion, but rather, took advantage of the time afterward, where they began to plunder the remains of the destroyed cities of southern Vvardenfell. They found many treasures in the ancient Velothi Towers they ransacked, and discovered the secrets of an ancient forest in the south-east. This place was known as the Ashless Cape, where they planted seeds from their homeland, and some stolen from the Rainforests of Valenwood.
These plants flourished here, in the fertile soil, sheltered by a high wall of cliffs to the North-West, so that little more ash blew in from Red Mountain. They planned to set up a settlement on the coastline of this cape, as the flora obviously suited their scales and gills. However, they were driven off by the Guars, Ash-Hoppers and Ash-Spawn, as well as Spriggans that had risen from the newly grown trees. This forest may only be just over a hundred and fifty years old, but is littered with ancient secrets, and heavily guarded by the creatures of Morrowind.
They are now holed up in various forts across the coastlands of Northern Morrowind, ready to pounce upon increasingly unsuspecting targets. The Shardscales have truly made their evil mark on an already ruined country, and it will take a lot to stop them.
The name 'Shardscale' comes from the armour that they wear; a cuirass similar to those of Nordic scale-armour design, but instead of scales of leather or iron, they are scales of crocodiles, or similar reptiles from their homeland. In recent times, plate armour has also become customary amongst the senior members.
Quests: I have a few experimental quest ideas in mind that could possibly feature the Shardscales in many ways. I believe that, if implemented, the Shardscales would be about as common as Forsworn (as they aren’t absolutely everywhere.) This doesn’t mean they don’t have a firm grip on the land
Generic Bounty Quest: Just your generic, kind of fun bounty quest, involving a leader of a city or other settlement offering a bounty to capture or defeat the chief of a fort, camp or ruin.
Join the Shardscales: A whole quest-line involving joining the Shardscales, and slowly making your way up the ranks. Whether it be leading the Shardscales to glory, or sabotaging them, and eventually defeating the vile group in an act of treachery!
Veranis Hall: Seeing as Veranis Hall lies on the mouth of River Silgrad, the Shardscales could potentially see this southerly Redoran town as victims. Why not help Veranis Hall, and drive out the Shardscales from the unspoilt beauty of the River Sligrad once and for all?
Again, these I just my ideas, if you don’t like them, feel free to just disregard them.