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Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:16 am
by roerich
In TES V, Lake Ilinalta is the largest lake of Skyrim. The lake between Markarth Side and Mt. Draukar is a tiny bit smaller than what we have planned for Ilinalta in the Location Map Workshop, so that is fine according to plans, except that Lake Heimlich near Riften is set to be the largest lake of SHOTN. I am fine with this, especially as Riften is going to be a city partially built on the lake.

Lake Ilinalta was a mysterious and cursed place in TES V, apparently the site of an odd collapse of an Imperial fort, and home to malign spirits. This aspect is something I'd like to preserve elements of in SHOTN, but not necessarily in the same way where the entire lake is shunned. We'll have small settlements along the banks of the lake, Oakwood being the largest of them. I also think that fishing should play a large part in the local economy of these settlements.

Previously we toyed with the idea of making the lake a crater from a meteoric impact, with all the divine connotations such an event would have in an Elder Scrolls game. We also discussed if the crater was created by Pelinal White-Strake obliterating an Ayleid mining outpost in one of his frenzies of blind rage (literally creating a crater of destruction), freeing the Men-of-Kreath held as slaves there.

The new common data file gives us a good opportunity to add an Ayleid ruin somewhere close to Falkreath, and I think if we should have any such remnants, Lake Ilinalta could be a good place. It could be placed on an island in the lake, utterly collapsed an half sunken. Cursed and shunned, the local fishermen won't sail near it. We could go with the idea that Pelinal attacked it using weird futuristic time-and-space defying technology, causing some of the same radiation-like pollution effects that the Numidium caused around Halls of the Colloseus in Elsweyr. We could portray this in a number of ways; by making a mini-region for the island, covering it in almost constant fog, by making it barren with almost nothing growing there, by having weird eerie sound effects. Etc. etc. Wretched and vengeful Ayleid spirits with radiation damage are a must.

But nothing is set in stone, so please post if you have any ideas!

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:19 pm
by Luxray
Having Lake Ilinalta be the result of Pelinal going nuclear would be extremely cool.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:20 pm
by R-Zero
The Ayyleid ruin brought down by Peli sounds like a really great idea! I don't know how I feel about vengeful spirits though, it's kinda cliche. I think the ruin could be made even more creepy if it didn't have enemies at all, with all the danger coming from environmental hazards. Player could still hear subtle whispers or moans too.

Speaking of lakes, SHotN has some underwater Volkihar lairs planned, right?

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:29 pm
by roerich
All right then let's settle on that.
[And it was during] these fits of anger and nonsense that Pelinal would fall into the Madness, where whole swaths of lands were devoured in divine rampage to become Void, and Alessia would have to pray to the Gods for their succor, and they would reach down as one mind and soothe the Whitestrake until he no longer had the will to kill the earth in whole.,_v_6" onclick=";return false;

@R-0 I like your suggestion on having it empty and eerie. And Volkihar lairs haven't really been extensively discussed, but of course they go without saying.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:40 pm
by R-Zero
roerich wrote:
where whole swaths of lands were devoured in divine rampage to become Void
Okay, this sounds really cool. Maybe the interior of this ruin could feature thick black fog, so Player won't be able to see very far even with powerful light sources. Parts of corridors could be broken up, seemingly desintegrating into black Nothingness, with floating bricks and rubble.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:30 pm
by berry
It sounds fantastic, I support all that's been written here. As for the creatures, how about one unique, quest-related Welkynd Spirit? It would be a nice experience to don a water walking spell on and go hunting for it over foggy waters of Ilinalta.

Maybe the crater occupied by the lake is the one Folks of Kreath took their name after? They used to be slaves of the Mer living in Ayleid city here, but since their fall and creation of Ilinalta Kreath they became a sovereign here, making the Kreath the source of their identity and independence. I'm not sure I can sell the idea, but it feels very colo-nordic for me - proud, harsh, elf-slaying. :P


I had some thoughts and concepts for Volkihars, I'll try to post them this week. As far as I'm concerned, I'd love to have entrances to their lairs hidden under our Reach mountain peaks, accesible through ice gorges, that one can only find on the bottoms of nearly icebound lakes. Basically lots of exterior cave passages, hiding entrance to the cave proper.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:04 am
by R-Zero
berry wrote:It sounds fantastic, I support all that's been written here. As for the creatures, how about one unique, quest-related Welkynd Spirit? It would be a nice experience to don a water walking spell on and go hunting for it over foggy waters of Ilinalta.
This idea is really really good - poetic, even. A single Sky Child (welkynd) weeping the fate of its masters atop the silent waters. Love this.

The quest can even be named Sky Child or Lost Child, for extra feels.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:21 am
by berry
Thanks. It would play quite similar tones to Oblivion's Hircine quest then, wouldn't it? Not saying it's a bad thing - I absolutely loved that quests, one of the better things in TES IV - and it would be cool to capture it's feel of moral ambiguousness and sorrow involved with it. To hunt a mystical being from old days, that can be weeped over it's beauty, but that doesn't belong to mundane world and needs killing.

I don't know if this was discussed on old boards already, but the name "Ilinalta" sounds actually very similar to "Pelinal". Perhaps we might want to try our hands on deriving it's ethymology as well from the name of Divine Cyborg himself?
On Pelinal's name - The Song of Pelinal, v 2 wrote:a diamond soaked red with the blood of elves, [whose] facets could [un-sector and form] into a man whose every angle could cut her jailers and a name: PELIN-EL [which is] "The Star-Made Knight" [and he] was arrayed in armor [from the future time].
"Ilin" sounds like a sound to which a sound "Pelin" might have shortened/simplifed to over centuries, and according to Hrafnir, "alta" would be a world for "wide" in Old Altmeris, or... Dirennis, for that matter. "Ilinalta" ("Pelinalta"), ethomogicaly speaking, would stand for "Wide Pelinal's [Lake]", then.
Hrafnir's languages - Nordic wrote:Late Aldmeris/Old Altmeris
The Late Aldmeris is the language spoken in Summerset Isle in the Late Merethic, and can be called the earliest form of Altmeris. The pronunciation is very conservative, apparently because the Altmer emphasized the importance of pronouncing the language in the "classical" manner.

But preventing a language completely from changing is impossible, and even in Summerset Isle the language changed a little.

The most important sound change is the loss of the middle syllable in words with three syllables or more, just like in the Iliac Bay dialect, with a word like alata turning into alta. There are a few other minor changes in addition to this.
Hrafnir's old Ayleid vocabulary wrote:Alata (alatai) Wide (adj)
Wow, how cool is that? :P

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:35 am
by roerich
The name explanation for Ilinalta is cool indeed. Pelinal's Widths, or perhaps even Pelinal's Void. Nice find.

What I don't want to see is the Men-of-Kreath culture originating with this event, I think they predate the coming of Pelinal by a great deal. I think the -kreath suffix is used elsewhere too, like New Kreath, Kilkreath, Dunkreath etc. The kreath=crater idea was something that worsas wrote about as well, but I don't really like it that much, tbh. I think 'kreath' should translate as something far simpler, like 'fortified homestead', 'walled settlement' or 'forested hill' etc. Background lore and worldbuilding for Falkreath will be an interesting task.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:11 am
by Infragris
The men-of-kreath name probably predates the rebellion, as it is occurs in early sources along with other Nedic tribes like the Men-of-Ge and Men-of-Khet. Kreath could be a Nordic or Cyro-Nordic word, since the region was supposedly a mixed borderland between the Nordic, Nedic and Ayleid spheres of influence.

I really like the ideas in this thread. I don't have much to add, save perhaps some notes on lore: as we know it, Falkreath is the place where the Alessian forces and the Nordic mercenaries first met during the Alessian Rebellion, and enacted a "progrom" on the local Elven population. Maybe you could include some old mass burials or haunted killing fields somewhere. For the development of ald-kreath culture, perhaps this document on old Nedic culture might be useful.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:38 pm
by roerich
Thanks for the input, Infragris. The Nedic culture document will probably be very relevant, as will your timeline of the history of Cyrodiil. The idea of Elven mass graves sounds delightful, and it would probably be fine to have a few haunted dungeons inspired by this. In general Falkreath Hold (Falkrentheim?) will be a region scarred by archaic battlegrounds.

I have a crude document with all information about or relevant to Falkreath in it. It seems like the city was at the height of relevance during firstly the Alessian Rebellion and more importantly the reign of Cuhlecain. The Colovian Kingdom able to unite all the Colovian Estates has since faded into relative obscurity as a minor Nordic kingdom. The city sees trade between Nords and Colovians, as well as trade caravans passing further north and west.

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:05 pm
by berry
How about the void Pelinal launched here is still radiating to this day? The isle with wild elves' ruins would the most drastic case, being an epicenter of Pelinal's fury, but let's say it touched the area around the lake as well. Pineforests on the shores, struck in destructive impact never grow back, literally no animal lives around the lake (a 1-2 cells wide region with no creatures spawning there and no regional sounds other than a howling wind), and there are almost no sentinent beings to be found there as well.

An idea to develop this: in "One Hundred Years of Solitude" there was an episode (minor spoiler ahead), when
everyone in Macondo fell ill for "obliviousness", gradually forgetting everything about the world around them, what's an object's meaning and how to use it. In the book they eventually came up with 'solution' - every object had a small note pinned to it, naming it and describing it's function, eg. "This is a cow. You get milk from it. You can drink milk." or "This is a chair. You can sit on it" etc.
Now, how about having a small community of fishermen by the lake, suffering from that too, as a result of the Void being so close, and trying the exact same solution? It may sound quite cheesy, but if sold sensibly it can help in creating this disturbing atmosphere around the lake.

Player can be subjected to a presence of the void too, through scripts (bad dreams? drained willpower? bad dreams draining willpower?); at least when he'd enter the ruins or take too deep dive in the lake.

What say you?

Re: Lake Ilinalta

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:04 am
by roerich
I've thought about the same thing, I was especially thinking about having the westernmost edge of the lake completely dead, and the lake being the deepest here.

But honestly I think some of these concepts works better when they are just hinted at instead of fully explained or completely played out with scripted dreams and such. The Pelinal myths surrounding lake Ilinalta should play a minor part at most in the local Falkreath storyline, so I'd rather it didn't take too much away from working on a more currently relevant story.

An example: No one really knows why the Sundered Hills are so inhospitable, when archaeologic evidence shows that it was once a more thriving region. The Reachmen oral legends claim it was the work of a great witch in retaliation for losing the area to invaders. Legends of Pelinal's rage and Ayleid curses are common with the Colovian/Nordic peoples of Falkreath. The Orcish legends claim that it was once the site of a cataclysmic battle that scarred the landscape forever. And so on. We shouldn't explain which story is the closest to the truth. The truth might even be as boring as dried out rivers and drought leading to depopulation.