The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Enderal: Forgotten Stories is out now on Steam, making it the first Skyrim mod to launch as a (mostly) standalone game with achievements, cloud save support and even its own mod workshop. Set in its own, somewhat darker and grittier fantasy universe, Enderal is a well-known total conversion mod from SureAI, with this free Steam release being an expanded and polished edition. You’ll need the original version of Skyrim, but otherwise it can be installed as a totally separate game. Sadly, if you only have Skyrim: Special Edition, you’ll need to grab the original version too.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

After some behind-the-scenes wrangling with Valve, Enderal: Forgotten Stories hits Steam next Thursday, February 14th as a free, standalone game for anyone who owns Skyrim. Originally a mere mod (set in its own world entirely separate from The Elder Scrolls), you won’t even need Skyrim installed to play this version of Enderal. Developers SureAI say the Forgotten Stories version boasts more quest-lines, new character classes, a new (hidden) ending and other upgrades – it even has its own Steam Workshop for mods. See the very dramatic new trailer below.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Photography by Silavon.

Remember Mjoll the Lioness? If you spent much time in Riften, you'll have heard her railing against the Thieves Guild and the corrupt Black-Briar family, and you might have found out she lost a magic sword called Grimsever, leading to a sidequest to recover it from a dwemer ruin.

Kirie Cosplay, who estimates she spent two months of her spare time working on the armor, wig, and makeup for her impressive Mjoll the Lioness outfit, didn't have a convenient Dragonborn around to search for Grimsever and had to craft that herself as well. 

"My Grimsever is all made from EVA foam," she explains. "I drew out all the detailing and used a Dremel tool to create the curves and ridges, and placing layers of foam where larger details were needed. The blade has been coated in a gloss and even with a glow in the dark coat!" As cool as the finished result looks, there's one downside to owning a glow-in-the-dark sword. "I keep it in a wardrobe so it doesn’t spook me too much at night," she says.

In a game where NPCs can sometimes blur together, Mjoll's a memorable standout, which explains why Kirie's still cosplaying her years after Skyrim's release. "Mjoll the Lioness is a unique character," she says. "She has strong features, while also having face markings which makes her appearance very appealing to me as I love to play with makeup."

How will you make this fabric look like it survives running through caves, snowstorms, even dragon fire?

Mjoll's practical armor, complete with fur lining, turned out to be a challenge not just to make but to hold together. "I think the hardest part of this costume was to create attachments for the armor pieces," Kirie says. "A few of them sit fine with just some strapping but I had to come up with ways for the hips and shoulders. The leather straps are slid up under the shoulder armour to meet the velcro pieces inside them. The curve along the top of the shoulder also has velcro to have it sitting just right."

Like the sword, the armor is mostly made from EVA foam, with some foam clay from Lumins Workshop. "I used contact adhesive for the foam pieces and super glue for all the tiny fiddly bits. It was fun to make the foam pieces look metal and rusted! Other pieces used fabric and fake fur. I dirtied up the fur as well to make it look not so shiny new."

That's a big part of the appeal of making a Skyrim-themed cosplay for Kirie. Being a Nord means getting to look like you've been through the wars, or at least knocked down by dwemer automatons a few times. "Making Skyrim cosplays is exciting because of how creative you can be," she says. "Almost every piece will need weathering or dirtying. How will you make this fabric look like it survives running through caves, snowstorms, even dragon fire? I would say never do a costume from this kind of environment and have it look like it's just come off the shop rack!"

You can find @KirieCos on Instagram, where she's uploaded a story showing the process of creating this cosplay step by step.

Photography by Snap Happy Ian.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® Game of the Year Edition

Imagination, not intelligence, made us human.

In his Foreword to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy, the late Sir Terry Pratchett writes, "Imagination, not intelligence, made us human."

Most people know Pratchett as the author of Discworld, the famous fantasy series about a flat planet balanced on the backs of four elephants. However, what many people don't know is that the knighted author was also a massive fan of video games - so much so that he actually worked on mods for Oblivion, most of which were spearheaded by a Morrowind modder named Emma.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There's a dragon near Bethesda - dubbed "the Dragon of Bethesda" by its creator - and it's causing a bit of bother.

No, not that Bethesda. The Bethesda in Wales, the one on the River Ogwen and the A5 road on the edge of Snowdonia, in Gwynedd.

The Draig Dderw (oak Dragon) stands 6ft tall and 12ft wide, and guards the A5, presumably from misguided Skyrim fans. It's quite the sight - perhaps too good a sight, because motorists are apparently slowing down, or even stopping, to gawk at it.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim’s NPC companions aren’t very useful, but if you still want company on your mountain hikes and dragon-slaying adventures, Skyrim Together might scratch the itch. Following the announcement earlier this month, a closed beta is now available for Patreon backers. It’s expected to run for a week or two, building up to an open beta. 

In the closed beta, players will be able to invite friends into their game and start private sessions, fight each other, travel wherever they want—separately or together—and join each other in quests. You can read the list of features on the subreddit. And here's a list of planned features.

Bethesda’s official multiplayer spin-offs have left a lot to be desired. The Elder Scrolls Online has grown into a solid if slightly bland MMO, but it was a complete mess at launch, while Fallout 76 has been a bit of a disaster. Hopefully the mod will fare better. 

A separate launcher is required to use the mod, as well as an account on the Skyrim Together site and a linked Patreon account. It’s out now for Patreon backers.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

An impressive Skyrim multiplayer mod enters closed beta soon, with an open beta to follow.

The eye-catching Skyrim Together mod is more than someone's pipedream - it's a functional mod that currently lets up to eight players play together in Bethesda's hugely popular fantasy game.

The mod is the work of a group of talented software engineers who have spent some time tinkering with Skyrim in order to get multiplayer working. The closed beta is for those who back the project on Patreon. The open beta launches immediately after the closed beta, which the modders said wouldn't last long in an announcement post on the Skyrim Together subreddit.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

You know what the problem with a horse is? It only has one horsepower. One! It's pathetic. That's why you should upgrade to a hog—by which I mean a motorcycle. This mod for Skyrim and Skyrim Special Edition adds a Dwarven motorcyle so you can cruise around the world in style, full throttle.

The mod even lets you choose how you'd like it to sound: it can make standard Dwarven machinery noises, or sound like a real motorcycle. The gif above, by the way, is made from this video by Arctic Scrolls, which is pretty funny if you watch the whole thing.

The motorcycle is 'essential', meaning it can't be destroyed. From the animation of the rider, and the fact that that the motorcycle attempts to attack hostile wolves in this video, it appears the bike still has the brains of a common horse. No matter, though! It looks cool and I'm sure some Skyrim fan out there can probably somehow make the case for it being lore-friendly.

Here's the mod's page for plain old Skyrim, and here's the one for the Special Edition. Ride safe.

For loads more mods, check out our collection of the best Skyrim mods and best Skyrim Special Edition mods.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

Here’s one to put on your Fus Ra-Dar. A Skyrim multiplayer mod is about to enter closed beta, and will soon offer you and up to seven friends the chance to explore the snowy bit of Tamriel together. The devs say the closed beta won’t last long, and an open one will be hot on its heels.

It is worth bearing in mind that they said the mod was almost ready back in 2017. You’d be forgiven for thinking it would (Duh) Neh Viir come out, but if you Lis Slen Nuz your doubts should be set to rest.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda taking the Fallout series online with Fallout 76 was met with, shall we say, mixed results. Modders, meanwhile, have been trying to take Skyrim online for years, and now it's almost a reality. Skyrim Together is a co-op mod that lets you play Skyrim with your pals, and after a few false starts it appears to finally be ready for a closed beta trial.

"Yep, it's finally happening," reads a dev post in the mod's subreddit. "Soon we'll be opening the doors for our loyal patreons for a temporary closed beta - Don't fear, this will shortly available for all."

The closed beta period will be used to test stability and make fixes, and won't last long according to the mod's developers, with an open beta available to everyone following a week or two later. The mod, when released, will feature its own launcher (Bethesda objected to the release of the mod on Steam). The current cap is set at eight players max, though it's possible this may change in the future. Servers for the mod are currently only located in Europe, but again, this may change after launch based on player demand.

The developers haven't given a specific start date for the closed beta beyond "soon", and to be fair, we first heard the mod was nearly ready to launch back in 2017. Stay optimistic, though—your next trip through Skyrim could be with friends at your side.

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