I’ve had quite the week in ESO since my last column. In case you missed it, you can catch up on my adventures here. This week, I side quested in Summerset, played a couple of dungeons with the Tawdry crew, and began my adventure in Murkmire! Just be warned, there may be spoilers below. And in case you missed it, my Scalebreaker preview is live. I had the chance to run through the Lair of Maarselok dungeon with some devs and learned a lot of info. You can read that here!
First up, Rigurt. Oh, Rigurt. You are an amazing character. An ambassador of sorts from the Ebonheart Pact, Rigurt the Brash arrives in Summerset to share Nord culture with the Proxy Queen as part of the Nord Cultural Exchange. Apparently, he’s a recurring character throughout ESO, and I can totally see why.
It took me some time to find a similar character to him in other games, until I remembered Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you’ve played that game, you’ll be familiar with a character called Markos. Rigurt is the Markos of ESO. He’s amazing. Rigurt is full of character, filled to the brim with joyfully ignorant innocent optimism, brimming with naivety. I instantly took a liking to him.
He asked me to help him gain an audience with the Proxy Queen in an effort to put an end to the war. The entire quest revolves around you attempting to gain him an audience by working with a corrupt official who wants favors done on the side in various other locations around Summerset in order to benefit herself.
The actual steps I took in the quest weren’t nearly as memorable as the conversations I had with Rigurt and the recipients of aforementioned side deals. Rigurt’s innocence and bountiful optimism shone through, and I once again must commend both the writing team at ZOS and Rigurt’s voice actor for absolutely nailing it. I was laughing and smiling nearly every time Rigurt opened his mouth. He genuinely believed the “gifts” he was giving to people were the most amazing things in the world, when in reality, one such gift was literally called “Depressing Stuffed Goat.”
Just knowing that he shows up in the other DLC makes me happy and excited. Rigurt is an amazing character and is instantly memorable. I cannot wait to run into him again. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the quest is called Culture Clash. You can find it by running up to the top of the Alinor Royal Palace, and speaking with Rigurt off to the right just outside the entrance.
I also finally left the shores of Summerset for the marsh of Murkmire. I thought it over for a while and determined the palette differences between Summerset and Murkmire would provide a great tonal shift and keep my adventuring fresh.
Murkmire is nothing short of amazing. The architecture features buildings raised up above the swamps on stilts. Wooden chimes hang about everywhere, adding to the soundscape as they rattle together wonderfully.
I noticed the Argonians build their structures based around circular designs, again setting this culture apart from the Khmer-inspired Khajiits, and the art nouveau-like Altmer. The Argonian ruins look almost Aztecan with their stonework primarily build around square and rectangular motifs. ZOS are masters of visual storytelling, and their craft exudes through things like architecture.
I spent a full hour doing nothing but wandering around Lilmoth and the surrounding area, taking in the buildings, the ruins, and the flora, awestruck by their combined beauty. Wrapping all this up nicely is the absolutely wonderful, magical music. My god, the music. The flute reminds me of the instrument used for the Shire theme in The Fellowship of the Ring. The atmosphere in Murkmire is absolutely stunning. I’m glad I decided to adventure here next.
Once I stopped gaping open-mouthed, I managed to begin the main quest. But, as per usual, I became sidetracked. I ended up at Bright Throat Village and completed the quest there. Once again, tremendous writing and strong characters made this quest so enjoyable. I was presented with a choice at the end, and changed my mind at the last minute. I decided to help Haxara and her daughter, something I don’t regret. The fact that the writing convinced me to change my mind at the last minute is something of which I will never tire.
For our stream, we ran two dungeons: Selene’s Web and Vaults of Madness. I absolutely loved the design of both dungeons. Both were completely different to each other, showcasing ZOS’ strength in design. From the Mirkwood-esque Selene’s Web, to the Moria-like Vaults of Madness, I was absorbed by the designs and stories.
Selene’s Web is a precursor to the Scalebreaker dungeon, Lair of Maarselok. To get the most out of Lair of Maarselok, I suggest you run Selene’s Web first. You can watch our full stream above, or a recap from guildie, Inter, below.
And that’s it for this week, fellow adventurers. I’m truly enjoying Murkmire. I can’t wait to delve more into its depths, explore the marshland, and quest around. Tune in again next week for more ESO Adventures!