Adal Matar the Lost Stronghold – Fight Against the Thalmor I (that’s a really long title) is an unmarked adventure by MadFrenchie. It is part of his/her “fight against the Thalmor” series available on both Skyrim Nexus and the Steam Workshop. I say the quest is unmarked since the mod’s focus is on the journey to reach the lost Orc stronghold. Since it is unmarked, you must find the hidden Thalmor camp and reach the stronghold by yourself by your own means.
The adventure can be started by headed to the Eastmarch Imperial camp, looking around and you may find the Thalmor’s first camp and some ‘secret orders’ regarding to the lost stronghold.
I did enjoy the exploration aspect of the mod since it is in a place that most players probably would not give a second look at. It also integrates itself into the world of Skyrim seamlessly although having a stronghold up in a rather hostile environment. Especially since the mountains often has snowstorms and blizzards up there. Although the mod does have back-story to explain why it is up in a rather inhospitable place.
The combat aspect of the mod felt balanced, I was expecting to easily defeat the Thalmor agents but was quickly proven wrong when they actually gave me a challenge. Especially the higher guards, I suppose they would be more like elite guards. I don’t understand how they managed to instantly detect me when I was sneaking, proved to be a little annoying when I was trying to line up a shot with the bow and I got detected instantly before I can deliver the kill shot.
Not really sure what the purpose of the long lost ruins was, other than to give more story to the mod perhaps? I am assuming that was the purpose of the ruins, since most of the story is told through the few notes and journals found in throughout the adventure. Unless it is there to serve as a distraction for those who can’t resist checking it out (I couldn’t). Those ruins had a several traps and the number of passages in that place tested my resolve at one point….and patience.
The path leading up to the stronghold is really scenic and difficult to climb up at times. Once you reach the stronghold itself, you will see that the stronghold uses the typical default Orc stronghold setup. Now that I mention it, I should had mentioned that this mod does not add anything new to Skyrim.
The stronghold has two Orc occupants who are apparently siblings belonging to the Clear-Water clan. The male is a former legionnaire solider and the sister serves as the merchant. Both can be used as companions and I think you can also marry the Orcs. I might have remembered wrong but I think I saw the description said you could marry the Orc (or at least the female was available for marriage).
There is nothing special to note in the exterior of the stronghold. There is an abandoned mine nearby filled with frost trolls and ice wraiths, for those who are curious about the mine. However if you enter Adal Matar itself, you will find that it is designed differently from from the normal interior of the longhouse. It is a lot more spacious with various weapon plagues to display your weapons and there is a little alchemy area. In the main bedroom, there is a hidden trapdoor. Underneath the trapdoor, it seems to be the main living area since the furnishing inside suggests that. Loved the design of the area underneath the longhouse, the shrine to Malacath was a nice touch.
Shame that there isn’t much to do once you find the stronghold. It seems heavily under populated especially with only two people living there. It would be nice to have the stronghold a bit more populated. Although I suppose it makes sense for it to be so underpopulated since the journal written by one of the Orcs living at the stronghold stated the stronghold had fallen on hard times. It would be nice to have a way to help bring the stronghold back to its former glory though.