Little is known about the location or story of The Elder Scrolls 6 yet, opening up a world of possibilities. The next game has been speculated to be set in Hammerfell, High Rock, and even the lost continent of Yokuda – but it will be the game’s inhabitants, not its setting, which will truly bring the next chapter of Bethesda’s flagship franchise to life.
The Elder Scrolls 6 should bring back the series’ Jabba the Hutt-inspired slug men, the Sloads. Sloads have only appeared in The Elder Scrolls: Redguard and The Elder Scrolls Online so far, but have a fascinating place in the history of Tamriel. Their return could be an important turning point, especially when it comes to the fate of the revived Aldmeri Dominion.
Sloads are an amphibious race in The Elder Scrolls who go through several metamorphoses over the course of their lifetimes. They are usually seen in their large, bipedal adult forms, which resemble something between a ginormous slug and a toad, hence the name. Sloads begin life as a tiny grubs, before turning into something called a “polwygle,” which is said to look something like an octopus.
Both of these early stages depend on water for survival and are hermaphroditic. They can also be turned into something called “Sload Soap” by their older brethren, an alchemical ingredient which can be found in Morrowind. The Elder Scrolls Online also confirms the existence of at least one sub-species: Sea Sloads. They live in the underwater kingdom of Ul’vor Kus in the Sea of Pearls.
Adult Sloads are able to walk on land, but eventually become so large as they age that they have to return to the water, as they’re unable to support their own weights without remaining buoyant. When transitioning to the adult stage of their lifecycle, Sloads’ sexual organs are absorbed into their bodies, making it impossible for them to mate once fully matured. Adults are slow and have weak grips, making tool use difficult. Despite this, they are known for being adept necromancers. One such powerful Sload necromancer named N’Gasta can be found in The Elder Scrolls: Redguard, in the service of Clavicus Vile and the Altmer Necromancer Mannimarco.
Sloads are known to be extremely intelligent, but equally cautious. Their cultural heroes are always slow planners, while their villains act brashly and are punished for their lack of patience. The Sload word for “adventure” even translates more accurately as “tragic disaster.”
If Sloads have emotions in the same way as Nirn’s other sentient inhabitants, they are likely expressed in very different ways. Sload diplomats are known for their exaggerated attempts to emulate the emotional displays of Tamriel’s men and mer, often leading to awkward situations. The races’ strongest diplomatic relations are with the Maomer, the Sea Elves of Pyandonea. Most of the time, however, Sloads keep to themselves, leading to the perception that they are constantly scheming to their own advantage.
Sload society is known for purchasing huge amounts of slaves from the mainland which they turn into necromantic thralls. They’ve also been rumored to purchase huge amounts of dead bodies from those willing to deal with them in Tamriel. Though some Sloads are known to be in the service of Daedric princes, they are thought to have no specific cultural gods that they worship. Their primary building material is coral, and their most famous construct was the Coral Tower, a huge red coral structure with a blue light on top one of Thras’ islands.
While N’Gasta was in the service of the Altmer Mannimarco, Sload relationships with the High Elves of Tamriel were rarely so congenial. The Sloads primarily live on a partially submerged chain of islands known as the Coral Kingdom of Thras, to the South West of the Summerset Isles that the Altmer call home. Thras and Summerset have had antagonistic relations since records began.
In 1E 1301, the Sloads managed to conquer the High Elf-held Isle of Errinorne, putting the city of Skywatch to siege. The Sloads are known for using diseases, necromancy, and alchemy to their advantage in warfare. One Sload was eventually able to break the siege by consuming an unknown alchemical substance, which caused him to explode, destroying the keep from which the Altmer were launching their defensive maneuvers. Though they lost the city shortly thereafter, the Sloads would hold Errinorne for nearly a millennia.
The Sloads are also held responsible for the spread of the Thrassian Plague, which wiped out half of Tamriel‘s mainland population when it spread to the continent around 1E 2200. This led the Empire to form a huge multinational fleet known as the All Flags Navy, with the sole purpose of eradicating the Sloads. When the armada arrived at Thras, it’s claimed that the Coral Tower was collapsed, sinking the island into the sea and causing a whirlpool to form which destroyed much of the attacking fleet.
The Sloads’ second most famous construct, the Pillar of Thras, has been speculated to be a reconstructed version of the Coral Tower. It is used for sacrificial and ceremonial purposes primarily. At the bottom of the tower is a huge whirlpool known as the “Maelstrom of Bal,” and unfortunate Sloads are taken to the top of the tower and thrown off, either dying or ending up in Oblivion. How exactly this works in unknown.
However, the Sload fleet on the Isle of Errinorne was destroyed, with the Sloads having a reduced presence on Tamriel ever since, much to the relief of their neighbors to the north. With the Aldmeri Dominion on the rise once more in the Fourth Era, the return of the Sloads could be a great addition to The Elder Scrolls 6, putting the High Elves on the backfoot as they suddenly find themselves besieged from the south.
The Elder Scrolls 6 is in development.