I’m going to get right into it, because this is pretty frickin’ exciting: a benign screenshot from Morrowind might foreshadow the central plot of Elder Scrolls 6 (opens in new tab). Forget dragons; this time around you’re single-handedly trying stop an invasion of long-forgotten vampiric race. Who are half-snake. After you’ve been put in charge of hundreds of elves (maybe an entire Elven country). No pressure.
Seriously. An Imgur (opens in new tab) user noticed that when you chat to the priest Lloros Sarano in the Ald’ruhn Temple, the dunmer says “I’ve heard rumours that Akivari is making preparations to invade us again. They are apparently only waiting for the Empire to collapse in Civil War or some other crisis. We’d certainly need a Hortator then - if we had one, maybe they could travel to Akaviri before the invasion and weaken or stop it”. Yeah. I’ll just give you a moment to read that again.
The first part of Lloros’ rumour has already come true. Skyrim Special Edition (opens in new tab) is centered around the Civil War between the Stormcloaks and the Imperial Empire. Rebelling against the White-Gold Concordat (the peace treaty signed between the Third Aldmeri Dominion and the Tamrielic Empire), the Stormcloaks want the Empire out of Skyrim and honor Talos (otherwise known as Tiber Septim), the Emperor-turned-god whose worship is forbidden in the White-Gold Concordat. At their head was Ulfric Stormcloak, who killed/murdered (depending on which side you take) the former High King Torygg in a duel. On the other side you had the Empire, who want to continue ruling Skyrim and are supported (or, ahem, monitored) by the Thalmor, powerful representatives of the Third Aldmeri Dominion.
Right. So, all that mess basically adds up to one giant Civil War. With the Empire focused on regaining control of Skyrim, their already-vulnerable position certainly isn’t helped by the fact that the culmination of the Dark Brotherhood questline has you assassinate the current Emperor, Titus Mede II himself. The Empire is about as weak as it’s ever going to get, making it the perfect time for the Akaviri to strike.
Who are the Akaviri?
The Akaviri are a race shrouded in mystery. They hail from Akavir, a continent to the East of Tamriel. Depending on which sources you believe, they either resemble normal humans or are half-serpent, after being assimilated into the snake-like, vampiric Tsaesci race. Whatever they look like, the Akaviri have been in Skyrim before: it was they who started the organisation that became the Blades, who gave the Empire its trademark dragon sigil, and found the dragonborn Reman Cyrodiil, who they then attempted to make Emperor. Considering their historic influence over the Empire, it’s no surprise that they probably feel like they want to try their hand at ruling over an entire continent. Namely, Tamriel.
However, were this prediction to actually come around, the Akaviri would have been waiting a grand total of 207 years. Skyrim takes place in 4E 201, with the events of Morrowind happening waaaay back in 3E 427 (the Third Era ended in 3E 433). Patient lot, aren’t they?
What in Oblivion's name is a Hortator?
Lloros mentions that the elves - or House Redoran of the Dunmer, at the very least - would need a Hortator if the Akaviri were to invade. A Hortator is a special title taken by the leader of a Great House as a sign that they’re going to lead them through a period of great danger. It’s similar to a general or commander, but with a lot more weight. If this foreshadowing ends up coming true (fingers crossed), it points to you becoming a Hortator in Elder Scrolls 6, about to embark on a journey to Akavir to stop the invasion.
Yeah, right. You're talking a load of rot.
Before you start scoffing and calling me all the names under the sun for getting your hopes up, know that these hints have come true in the past: Oblivion is foreshadowed in the Tribunal expansion of Morrowind, as spotted by an Imgur (opens in new tab) user. No, seriously: Eno Romari in Godsreach says “we believe that the gates to Oblivion will open, and a multitude of Daedra wil roam this world freely”. Don’t believe me? Take a gander below.
I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for Elder Scrolls 6 to be set in Akavir, mainly because if you’re bored with Elder Scrolls, its secret races could be exactly what you’ve been waiting for (opens in new tab). They’re unlike anything you’ve seen before, trust me.
Thirsting for the next instalment in Bethesda’s fantasy saga? We’ve summed up all every rumour about Elder Scrolls 6 (opens in new tab): Release date, location, races, and everything we know can be found right here.