Beyond Skyrim – the modding community keeping Elder Scrolls alive

“Thank God for mods” should be Bethesda’s tagline at this point. The last Elder Scrolls game was released in 2011, and the countless re-releases and special editions did little to add something new. There’s Elder Scrolls Online, which is constantly updated and releasing new DLCs, but if you aren’t interested in online gaming or spending hundreds of dollars for an experience, there won’t be much for you. Without modding communities such as Nexus Mods, the game certainly wouldn’t be as relevant as it is today. New NPCs, better quests, more natural dialogue, better lighting, better graphics, better towns, better followers and better fighting moves. If there’s anything you don’t like about the game, chances are: a mod has changed it. There’s also a whole catalog of weird satire mods, which I won’t get into.

Enter Beyond Skyrim; an entire community of modders who took it a step further by creating games within the game, adding other Tamriel provinces beyond the borders of Skyrim, with entirely new NPCs, quests, world design, and even original concept art, music and voice acting. They also respect the current Elder Scrolls lore, which is a nice plus. Founded November 2011, Beyond Skyrim started as a forum dedicated to avoiding any incompatibilities between fundamentally separate mods, and sharing resources and expertise between modders.

Released in 2017, Bruma was their first province. The northernmost county in Cyrodiil received its latest update this month on November 1st, proving that the game is still being upkept. The mod is larger than the Dragonborn DLC and presents the following features:

  • The city of Bruma, reimagined and recreated from scratch in exhaustive detail, containing over 70 residents, each with their own unique dialogue, stories and routines
  • A fully-explorable County, packed to the brim with new dungeons, points of interest and secrets 
  • All-new Cyrodilic weapons and armor
  • Seamless integration with the base game, meaning you can cross the border with your existing character on foot
  • All-new quests and storylines
  • High-quality voiceover from a professional and semi-professional cast whose combined credits include Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Apotheon and Heroes of Newerth
  • Over three hours of original music

It’s free to play, so if you have Skyrim: SE, I highly suggest checking out the Nexus webpage. Additionally, their team is working on NINE entirely new projects: Black Marsh, the Argonian homeland; Atmora, the frozen wasteland north to Tamriel; Cyrodiil, the main setting for ES4, home for the Imperials; Iliac Bay, a bay that is adjacent to Hammerfell and High Rock, and houses the kingdom of Daggerfall; Morrowind, the main setting for fan-favorite ES3, Dunmer homeland; and Roscrea, an archipelago located in the Sea of Ghosts.

You can see these projects and their development on their YouTube channel, where they constantly post new updates, development journals, trailers, and teasers. Every single one of these projects is a labor of love, and it’s noticeable by the amount of dedication and care they put into it. By now, check out some pictures of their outstanding work below:

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