The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road Preview!

The Elder Scrolls Online is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! The UESP was lucky enough to be invited to a preview event in Amsterdam where we learned about its latest Chapter, Gold Road. Travel was paid for by Bethesda.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road official logo.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road is the eighth and newest Chapter of ESO, bringing back locations not seen since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It continues the story of Ithelia, the Forgotten Prince – a new Daedric Prince in Elder Scrolls Lore, discovered by players at the end of the Necrom Chapter.

Rich Lambert, ESO’s Creative Director, introduced Gold Road to us. He explained that like previous Chapters, it will offer 30+ hours of content. Rich assured us that there is an additional 8-10 hours of questing from the new Scribing system alone! (Scribing will be covered in detail in another article, to be posted later.)

Rich Lambert standing onstage with the Gold Road keyart on two screens behind him.
Rich Lambert introduces the Gold Road Chapter on 4th April 2024. You can tell that this wasn’t the stream since Rich is wearing shorts!


The West Weald zone has three principal biomes. Rich laughed when he mentioned how ZOS has learned a lot since the design of much earlier zones. “If you’ve gone through Coldharbour recently, it’s fifteen hours of blue.”

The Gold Road biome is a temperate environment similar to the Gold Coast and home to the region’s capital city,

The Gold Road biome features many gold and red-coloured plants. It is extremely reminiscent of the Gold Road area in TES IV: Oblivion.
The Gold Road biome.

The Colovian Highlands is a mountainous region, home to an Imperial settlement and numerous ruins. It is populated with classic Colovian architecture and many Ayleid ruins, which show off Ayleid culture that we have never seen before.

The Valenwood Annexation is a new part of Valenwood, SPRUNG UP (seemingly) OVERNIGHT within Southern Cyrodiil! It contains areas such as Dawnwood, home to the encroaching jungles, dense wilderness, and the Wood Elf settlement of Vashabar.

Dawnwood resembles Valenwood itself, with lush vegetation and thick-trunked trees. The plants have sprung up through buildings and other inorganic features.
Dawnwood – the Valenwood Annexation, sprung up seemingly overnight.

Dawnwood is separated from the Colovian Highlands and Gold Road by Wildburn – a dangerous area comprised of sickened, magically twisted land and even more warped beasts.

Wildburn has sick-looking ground and beasts with blue glows and black "smoke" coming out of them.
Wildburn – a dangerous area with twisted beasts.

The Chapter features a heavy focus on Wood Elves and the Bosmer culture.

Main Quest

In the Prologue – which is available to play now! – players will investigate several locations and eventually discover the location of the Forgotten Prince’s prison. But they arrive too late – Ithelia has already escaped.

ESO keyart showing the West Weald and the new forest that has sprung up.
ESO: Gold Road keyart showing the adventurers arriving in the West Weald.

In the Chapter itself, players will arrive in the West Weald to chaos – a jungle has sprung up seemingly overnight. This is Dawnwood, a new part of Valenwood, moving into Southern Cyrodill. Upon investigation, players will find a splinter group of Bosmer working with a Daedric cult called the Recollection.

The Bosmer are simply looking for a place to build their nation. However, the Recollection are desperately looking for Ithelia. As devoted followers, they want to restore her Daedric powers.

Meanwhile, Ithelia is wandering aimlessly in the zone. She has no memory of who she is, but is drawn to powerful artifacts. These artifacts unlock more of her memory and provide the players with more story of what happened between her and the other Princes.

ESO: Gold Road keyart featuring many characters from past and future, including the Prophet, Mephala, Ithelia, Molag Bal, Mehrunes Dagon and many more.
ESO: Gold Road keyart showing important characters in the plot of ESO to date.

I highly recommend completing the Prologue since you can earn a very cool Mirrormoor Mudcrab Pet by doing so!

Lucent Citadel – Trial

ESO: Gold Road’s new 12-player Trial brings players to an ancient and long-forgotten Daedric Vault. Located in Fargrave, it’s recently been discovered and is rumoured to house a dangerous energy source, Reanimating Crux. Players work with Keshargo (last seen in Scrivener’s Hall) to learn about this energy source and why it must be removed.

Rich described Lucent Citadel as “Similar in scale and scope to Sanity’s Edge.” He also said that it “may have some Ithelia themes if you look closely”, and that it features “interesting traversal mechanics”.

Our Impressions of the West Weald

The part of the article you’ve been waiting for – what we experienced as we playtested the new Chapter! Please note that we only had a little over an hour on a build that is around a month old, which was barely time to even scrape the surface.

I chose the Scribing questline template to begin and spent around 15 minutes on this area. We will talk about this in much more depth later, but for now: be aware that the Scribing Altar is in the Scholarium ON EYEVEA! This is an excellent re-use of an existing zone which desperately needed more content.

I went to Skingrad City and was immediately impressed by its fidelity to Skingrad as it appears in TES IV: Oblivion. The same basic shape of the city was visible, with its pair of bridges connecting two districts. In TES IV, the northern district primarily featured businesses and guild halls, while the southern district featured private homes and the Great Chapel of Julianos. I did not have enough time to see whether this division also applies in ESO: Gold Road.

An orc player character looks towards one of the bridges which separates the two "halves" of Skingrad.
A bridge in Skingrad, with the Great Chapel of Julianos visible on the right.

Skingrad features two wayshrines to get between the two halves quickly. Just like in TES IV, the city is surrounded by vineyards.

A shot of Skingrad featuring the city logo on banners, and a small fraction of the vineyards towards the front of the frame.

Castle Skingrad is outside the city walls, on a hilltop overlooking the city. I must confess that I had forgotten this fact and was confused to climb the hill only to find a locked portcullis.

Continuing northwards, I came to the first World Boss at Lake Olo. The boss is named Oakenclaw and looked for all the world like a nereid, but as a wood sprite rather than a water sprite. I also found Gray’s Hollow – a place of interest full of goblins

Then I reached Elenglynn, an Ayleid ruin memorable from TES IV for its beautiful statue. This feature is even more impressive in 2024 than it was in 2006!

Elenglynn, statue of a warrior with an eagle (?) on his back. Surrounded by broken Ayleid arches.
Elenglynn, an Ayleid ruin.

Continuing northwest, I came to Rock Bottom Caverns – another place of interest familiar from TES IV. I did not have time to check whether it is still inhabited by goblins! A nearby delve, Legion’s Rest, could either be a brand-new area or a TES IV cavern like Wind Cave repurposed.

The Trial, Lucent Citadel, is located in the far north of the zone map. Of course, we did not have the opportunity to try it during our hour or so preview of the game, but we look forward to seeing it on the Public Test Server on May 15th!

I reached another wayshrine, North Hook, and came to Wendir! This Ayleid ruin was also rendered in glorious 2024 modern graphics. I will be curious to see whether it’s also inhabited by necromancers as it was in TES IV!

I came to a delve named Fort Colovia, which I can’t match up with any particular feature in TES IV at this time, and a World Boss in Broken Path Cave.

As I headed further east, I must have entered the Wildburn, since I saw twisted enemies and a strange, green-and-blue root-like pattern covering the ground.

A strange blue-green root-like formation is all over the ground here.

Continuing southeast, I came to Valente Vineyards and met an ESO fan-favourite character. I feel it could be a spoiler to mention which particular member of House Ravenwatch it was…

Then I found one of the new World Events. Each Chapter has had its own version of these, including Dolmens, Harrowstorms, Volcanic Vents etc. The ESO: Gold Road World Event appears to be called Mirrormoor Mosaic, but it was sadly not up at the time I passed it and I did not want to waste valuable playtest time waiting for it!

Mirrormoor Mosaic. A circular area of ground with an interesting pattern on it features shiny crystals and beams of light coming from each one. They connect to a mirrored monster of a type I do not recognise!
Mirrormoor Mosaic – the new Gold Road World Event.

Finally, I walked past Broken Promises Cave before reaching Ontus town and its accompanying wayshrine. This must be the location of Fort Ontus in TES IV: Oblivion. Then it was time for a Roundtable discussion about Scribing, which I shall write up for you when I get a chance.


All in all, I had a lot of fun exploring, yet I barely covered a third of the zone. As a UESP Lore nerd who loved TES IV, I found the West Weald to be pleasantly reminiscent of Oblivion, rather than oppressively so. I feel that ZOS have learned a lot about how to revisit locations found in earlier TES games, from their versions of Morrowind, Western Skyrim, and other DLC zones.

Don’t forget, the ESO 10th Anniversary Jubilee event will continue until April 23rd. The new Chapter, Gold Road, launches on 3rd June 2024 for PC and Mac, and 18th June 2024 for Xbox and PlayStation. You can order the Chapter here!

The UESP would once again like to thank Bethesda Softworks, the Publisher, and ZeniMax Online Studios, the Developer, for paying for @baratron’s travel to the Netherlands to take part in this Preview event and the rest of the ESO 10th Anniversary Celebration.

baratron has been using and occasionally editing the UESP wiki since early 2012. Having played Skyrim and Oblivion, she became addicted to Elder Scrolls Online in 2014. She is the Guildmaster of the UESP Guild on the PC-NA server and also plays over at PC-EU occasionally. She is also an admin on the official UESP Discord server and a regular on the UESP Podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *