The Elder Scrolls Online allows players to explore the world of Tamriel however they choose. I started with the Aldmeri Dominion faction as a Nightblade in this playthrough. This short exploration of the Malabal Tor zone will give an idea of what challenges players can encounter in the faction’s fifth area.
Northern Valenwood begins to give way to jungles as it approaches the coast, a region known as Malabal Tor. The area is the seat of Bosmer traditions surrounding The Silvenar and The Green Lady. Silvenar is the capital, with several small villages of Wood Elves or Wood Orcs scattered throughout the rest of the region. Travelers can find typical jungle life mixed in with some familiar forest fauna. Expect monkeys, deer, senche cats, spriggans, thunderbugs, and hoarvors. But those riding through the deeper part of this area should beware of the many stranglers that can pull a target to the ground in mere moments.
Riding down the path for the first time towards Velyn Harbor in West Malabal Tor, I met Lieutenant Ehran. Ehran confirmed that the harbor was under attack by Redguard and Wood Orcs invaders.
At first, I found the fight in and around the harbor exhilarating. Here was a straightforward invasion without all sorts of complications. But as I helped push the enemy back, it became evident that at least one of the two enemy factions involved had more of an underlying motivation. Once the situation seemed under control and I learned that The Green Lady had her own suspicions, I headed East to investigate the local Wood Orc tribe known as the Drublog clan.
As I began my journey into the deeper jungle, it became apparent that Ayleid ruins were plentiful among the sprawling roots and towering trees. The first set of such ruins I discovered just East of the Harbor and infested with Maormer Sea Vipers. The ruins housed an artifact called the Sphere of Storms, which the Sea Elves are intent on destroying. While I managed to delay their plans, others may wish to put a permanent stop to them.
A short distance to the South of the ruins, travelers will find Deepwoods Village. This community is the first Bosmer village I encountered in the area and was home to the last two Green Ladies. Speaking with the locals, those interested in Wood Elf traditions can learn more about The Silvenar and The Green Lady. Unfortunately, it seems locals have gone missing recently after attacks by werewolves and their allies, the Houndsmen.
Following the path further East, those of a scholarly nature may find interest in the Falinesti Summer Site. I didn’t seem much as I passed by, but others may have more luck and catch a glimpse of the mythical walking city.
To the Northeast of the Falinesti Summer Site, I finally arrived at the Wood Orc village of Dra’bul. To my shock, The Green Lady was waiting for me. She told me that even though these Orcs follow Mauloch, a warrior god, they had maintained peaceful relations with the Wood Elves and dominion until recently. But Chieftain Agrakh now had developed delusions of conquest. Those willing to use a disguise may be able to uncover more information than I was, but I did at least pickup whispers about someone known as The Hound, who had gained Agrakh’s ear.
East of the village is the community of Vulkwasten and the Rothmeth Brewery. I had the unfortunate pleasure of learning that the local drink, rothmeth, was made using a combination of fermented Mammoth meat and Thunderbug guts. While the thought of it made me retch, local brewers are having an issue with the Mammoths that I was able to help with. For those passing through, you may wish to check in with the Fighters and Mages guild for any news of interest.
The Wood Elf village of Tanglehaven lies Southeast of Vulkwasten. While I didn’t visit it myself, I heard reports of smoke in the distance recently from some of the locals and rumors of more werewolf sightings. One traveling merchant even gossiped that Hircine, Daedric Prince of the Hunt, was involved.
Instead, I headed Southwest from the brewery to Bloodtoil Valley and a second community of Wood Orcs. Once I arrived, I quickly became involved in a conflict between the followers of Z’en, a god of toil, and the followers of Maulock. While I extracted myself from the situation, my luck didn’t hold for long.
It appears that the various Ayleid ruins in South Malabal Tor are filled with werewolves and Houndsmen or Worm cultists trying to raise the dead. While it was tempting to deal with reported Houndsmen activity in the ruins of Jathsogur. It was the Worm Cult I ran into first in the Abamath ruins that took up most of my time. As a warning, if you come across a Khajiit named Jurak-Dar near the ruins of Belarata, be careful about what you buy from him. While most could qualify as a cheap souvenir, a rare few are dangerous.
East Malabal Tor is where some of the most interesting sites are located. Valeguard is the temple of the Spinners who protect and tell the story of The Silvenar and The Green Lady. Recently one or more of the Spinners have been acting oddly. It may be worth having others look in on the Spinners as I had to quickly pass through on my way North to the ancient burial site of Ouze. At Ouze, I found yet more cult members were trying to raise the dead and wrest control from the caretakers.
Once the Worm Cult was finally dealt with, I traveled West of Ouze to arrive in Silvenar. Named after the spiritual embodiment of the Bosmer people, the city is protected by three Spinners that oversee the past, present, and future. If the city should come under attack, a mix of guardians and wards can be called upon to repel invaders.
I did come across a couple of unusual mysteries in Northeast Malabal Tor during my investigations. While none seem to involve Wood Orcs or the Worm Cult, undead are rising around the Wilding Run grove. Thankfully, a team of Dominion researchers and scouts have been sent to deal with the issue. A bit more concerning is that Spriggans around the resting place of the former Green Ladies known as Treehenge have become aggressive recently. Someone will likely need to speak with the Hengekeeper.
For those looking to clear out more of the ruins off the beaten path, several options may be of interest. Deadman’s Drop, the Tomb of the Apostates, and the Hoarvor Pit are near Dra’Bul village. The Shael ruins are near Abamath. Black Vine Ruins is Northwest of Banndari Trading Post. The Roots of Silvenar are just south of the city. Finally, there have been reports of raiders using Crimson Cove, North of Dra’Bul, as a base of operations. While the cove may be a challenge, for the less experienced, it could be worth the time and effort.
Meanwhile, I am tempted to head for the northern coast due to more Sea Elves sightings around Jode’s Pocket and Horseshoe Island. It appears that the Maormer have run a Dominion ship aground. For those willing to drum up a few friends, there have also been reports of increased Sea Elf activity on Tempest Island that could spell disaster for the entire area if not dealt with.
But my duty to the crown calls. I am instead off to Baandari Trading Post, located Northeast of Silvenar. It is the last stop on the way to Reaper’s March. With the Forest Orcs temporarily dealt with and The Hound’s activity currently slowing, it seems something involving the Khajiit has become a priority. Hopefully, I won’t run afoul of the Gold Coast mercenaries camped nearby on my way through, and I can pick up some information from the local traders.