Like many fans, I spent the last few minutes of Bethesda's E3 conference hootin' and hollerin' as my dreams came true when the words "The Elder Scrolls VI" came into view. I was doubly excited that the coastline featured in the teaser trailer apparently dashed those terrifying rumors of a "Skyrim 2", but then I started to wonder, "Where could this be?".
The five other main Elder Scrolls games have taken us to almost every corner of Tamriel. Arena actually encompassed most of the continent, letting you travel across the provinces, while Daggerfall encompassed parts of High Rock and Hammerfell. Morrowind was set in its namesake region, while Oblivion was centered in Cyrodiil, and finally, Skyrim in... Skyrim.
A Map of Tamriel, as seen in The Elder Scrolls Oblivion's update to the Official Codex
As much as I would love to explore the regions like Summerset Isle, Elsweyr, and Black Marsh that have been either teased or featured in The Elder Scrolls Online, the short trailer for The Elder Scrolls VI leads me to believe we'll be returning to High Rock - and possibly beyond.
The main indication of this setting comes from the topography found in the teaser - a shot of a fog-filled valley gives way to a dry and arid looking region flanked by high rocky peaks, before passing over several hills to reveal an old ruined fort with a coastline beyond, and what appears to be a city far in the distance upon the water's edge. So where does that leave us?
Many of the provinces of Tamriel border the ocean in one area or another - but few match the visions we see, and there happens to be an excellent guide to the provinces inside the Elder Scrolls games themselves. The book The Provinces of Tamriel describes the coasts of Valenwood as "dominated by mangrove swamps and tropical rain forests" while the Summerset Isles are "green and pleasant land of fertile farmlands, woodland parks, and ancient towers and manors.", and Elsweyr is often cited for its vast deserts and thick jungles.
Can you spot the city far off in the distance along the coast?
So what does The Provinces of Tamriel say about High Rock? Among other things, that "The rugged highland strongholds and isolated valley settlements have encouraged the fierce independence of the various local Breton clans". Similarly, the book Pocket Guide to the Empire mentions that High Rock, "is a land of temperate climates and soft rolling hills, split in half by the towering Wrothgarian Mountains." One could make several comparisons between these descriptions and the views scene from TES 6's teaser trailer - but there's more. High Rock is home to many coastal cities like Camlorn, Northpoint, and even Daggerfall itself - and they could easily be the one pictured far in the distance of the view in the trailer.
The towering peaks that surround High Rock's Stormhaven in The Elder Scrolls Online
We've also seen some good imagery of High Rock from The Elder Scrolls Online, where players can explore this very moment. Keep in mind that like ESO's take on Skyrim and Morrowind, things have been condensed a bit in favor a world more easily traversed, so you won't have to worry that there's nothing left to see. Quite the opposite, High Rock is home to some interesting bits of history - and there's plenty to touch on in the Elder Scrolls timeline of events. High Rock is home to the Adamantine Tower, which is said to be the oldest structure in existence, heralding the arrival of the Aldmer (aka, the First Folk that would then spread to become many of the other races we've come to know). It's also the site of "The Warp in the West", a mind-bending event taking place at the end of Daggerfall, where the landscape of High Rock was altered dramatically thanks to some crazy space-time magic, as multiple endings came to pass simultaneously and, among other things, made the Orcs in High Rock citizens of the empire.
High Rock is home to some interesting bits of history.
One of the most important things to note here is of course that the 30 seconds of footage doesn't have to be the definitive setting for the entire game. As expansive as Skyrim was, its entire region was developed for consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360 - and with Fallout 76 being four times the size of Fallout 4's Commonwealth, it's easy to imagine the setting of TES 6 letting you travel across regions to explore even more of Tamriel on an adventure with an immense scope. It's also likely that since Todd Howard described TES 6 as being "the game after" their next big game, Starfield, it may end up a product of the next generation of consoles - and might turn into the largest game we've seen yet. Wherever The Elder Scrolls 6 ends up taking place - I can't wait to start exploring.
Brendan Graeber is an Editor at IGN, and got to level 4 in A Very Special Edition of Skyrim by telling Alexa to shout at Skeevers. Follow him on Twitter @Ragga_Fragga