The Orcs may never have taken the spotlight in an Elder Scrolls game, but that could change thanks to the rumored setting of The Elder Scrolls 6.
The Elder Scrolls 6 is rumored to be set in the provinces of High Rock, home of the Bretons; Hammerfell, home of the Redguards; and the once-thought lost continent of Yokuda, where the Redguards originated. Although fans might guess that this choice of setting would place the Bretons and Redguards in the spotlight, the lore of the region hints that it could mean big things are in store for the Orcs of Tamriel.
Assuming that The Elder Scrolls 6 takes place at some point in the 4th Era, Hammerfell is in a bit of a political pickle. Still reeling from the Aldmeri Dominion’s occupation in the south of the province and the subsequent guerrilla campaign to drive the High Elves out, the region could be under more pressure than ever in the next game, and that could give the Orcs a unique role in the story.
The History Of The Orcs
If Yokuda is part of the setting, not only could the Redguards face problems from the Altmer to the south, but it is possible that the game will see the return of the Redguard’s ancient enemies from their homeland, the Lefthanded Elves. This would suggest that true elves could play a huge role, but that means overlooking one key fact: the orc's political stance in recent years.
It was not a threat from elves of any kind, however, that led Hammerfell to join forces with High Rock in the past. The establishment of the Orsimer nation of Orsinium in the First Era was the first time that the two provinces collaborated in an attempt to take the new city. Their effort ultimately failed, and it is possible that if the military dominance of Hammerfell has been weakened by recent events in the lore, the Orcs will take the opportunity to expand their territory.
Not only that, but Orcs across Tamriel found greater acceptance in mainstream society because of their use in the Imperial Legion as warriors and blacksmiths. With the Empire under the thumb of the Aldmeri Dominion throughout the events of Skyrim thanks to the White-Gold Concordat, there are two possible reasons for increased Orcish aggression in the next game.
First, the Orcs could find that collaboration with the Aldmeri Dominion serves their interests if they’re technically an ally of the Empire. Second, the fracturing of the Empire under the Mede Dynasty could rob the Orcs of their pathway into mainstream society, causing them to focus on expanding their own territory instead.
Orsinium has been sacked and rebuilt many times in its history, and it has been established that Breton and Redguard forces sacked the city once again during the early Fourth Era. Afterwards, it was rebuilt in the Dragontail Mountains, which provides Bethesda a great opportunity to present players with a completely different Orsinium to the one seen in The Elder Scrolls Online and to make the plight of the Orcs against their human neighbors far more sympathetic.
Indeed, the Orcs could prove to be a great twist in the story of The Elder Scrolls 6. With the Redguards and Bretons naturally sympathetic when compared to the god-banning inquisition-forming Aldmeri Dominion, the Orcs and their nation's suffering under Redguard and Breton domination could add nuance to the political landscape of the game and any related player choices.
Not only that, but if the Bretons, Redguards, Orcs and Elves all feeling essential to the setting, players could find a great breadth of roleplaying opportunities in The Elder Scrolls 6. Playing a Redguard, a High Elf, or an Orc might feel more natural in the next game than it did in Skyrim, where the focus was more heavily on the province as the Nord homeland in both the marketing and game itself. Without news from Bethesda fans can only speculate, but many will be hoping to see more of the Orcs in The Elder Scrolls 6.
The Elder Scrolls 6 is currently in development.
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