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Keizaal: A Simple Modlist


Keizaal is a simple modlist that seeks to enhance and expand on Skyrim without compromising Bethesda’s original vision that we all fell in love with back in 2011. The following are the core pillars of this list:

  1. This modlist intends to maintain the Vanilla feel. I want everything to feel like it belongs in the base game. No new complicated systems or anything that requires a manual to understand. This is a simple modlist; you can experience the content as if it was always there.
  2. Immersion is paramount. I’m a lore buff, and immersion is very important to me. If a mod is not lore accurate or takes me out of the game in any way, it will be excluded. Consistency also falls into this category; if a mod has a completely different aesthetic from Vanilla or any of my other mods, then it will probably not be included.
  3. Mods must have decent longevity. This modlist wants to be somewhat relevant, in theory, forever.
  4. Stability is the most important thing. This rule basically supersedes all the above. If a mod introduces major stability concerns, it will be quickly cut.

You can find a full list of the mods included in Keizaal here. If you feel like this modlist is for you, click here to go straight to the installation guide. If you want to know more, I have included a brief overview below.


While it may not be obvious on first glance, there are a lot of fun new things that you can do in Keizaal. Many gameplay systems have been overhauled, and several quests have been given a facelift. Additionally, there are a few interesting characters that you can meet and some new mechanics you can use to interact with the world in new and exciting ways.

Speaking of the world, one of the things that I enjoy most about Skyrim is exploration. Even after ten years, I still get a lot of joy out of just walking around and seeing the world. So naturally, I want to bring more of that exciting feeling into Keizaal. I am generally pretty picky with my location mods, but I think that the ones included in Keizaal are top-notch.

There are a lot of mods that make Keizaal what it is, and every mod has a place to contribute towards that goal, but I consider the following to be “cornerstone mods” that will give you a good idea of what the list will be like.

Skyrim Extended Cut - Saints and Seducers

The Creation Club was an interesting experiment by Bethesda to continue supporting Skyrim while being able to work with popular mod authors. The program had a lot of great assets to come out of it that feel right at home in Skyrim. Unfortunately, these bits of new content suffered in the integration department. Creation Club didn’t have the budget to add new voice acting to their content, and oftentimes, you’d feel unfulfilled upon obtaining your shiny new toys. Skyrim Extended Cut - Saints and Seducers is a project I helped work on to overhaul my personal favorite piece of Creation Club content and give it the quest it always deserved. I am really proud of what this mod accomplishes and I am happy that I am finally able to use this content in a context that I am happy with.

On a Crimson Trail

On a Crimson Trail is made in the same vein as Skyrim Extended Cut - Saints and Seducers, albeit on a smaller scale. While the mod doesn’t include custom voice acting, it does do a fantastic job at tying the Alternate Armor Creations together in a sensible manner. It actually feels like there is a point to all the quests you go to obtain these sets, and the series of escalating boss battles are really fun to play through. As an added bonus, generic versions of the Alternate Armors are distributed into Skyrim’s leveled lists!

Dark Brotherhood Rising Revengeance

Skyrim generally gives you a good amount of choice in morally questionable quests. Usually there is a good route and a bad route; even the Dark Brotherhood questline gives you an optional route to destroy the faction. However, while it does give you this option, you are still required to take some morally questionable actions. The kind of things you need to do would generally be something that a lot of good characters would refuse to ever partake in. So while there was a “good” route for the Dark Brotherhood questline, it was awkward for good characters to start it, which often led to these kinds of characters just never doing the quest. This is a shame because destroying the Dark Brotherhood is a great piece of role-play that a lot of good characters would like to do. Dark Brotherhood Rising Revengeance seeks to remedy that by giving the Player an alternative path to starting the Destroy the Dark Brotherhood quest. This new path is compatible with good characters and integrated very well in a manner that feels natural with the rest of the Vanilla quest.

House of Horrors - Quest Expansion

Another quest that sorely needed a “good” path was House of Horrors. This quest is one of the worst offenders in this category because it tricks the Player into thinking they are starting a quest suited for good guys and then they are quickly blindsided into a Daedric quest where there is no alternative to being a bad guy beyond letting the quest sit in your journal forever incomplete. House of Horrors - Quest Expansion adds a new route to take that will allow you to spite the evil prince and will unlock use of a brand new follower. The same author also made The Only Cure - Quest Expansion, also featured in Keizaal, which seeks to achieve the same thing but for Peryite’s Daedric quest.


There are a lot of locations around Skyrim that are inhabited with bandits and make travel in those places dangerous. You are unable to clear these places permanently; they will always respawn with bandits, and the circle of banditry will never end. Lawbringer is a great mod that allows you to claim locations around Skyrim for a faction of your choice, ensuring that it will only respawn in the future with friendly NPCs. It is really enjoyable to claim locations and see a tangible impact on the world around you. Places like Valtheim Keep and Pine Watch Bridge are fun locations because they are bandit camps stationed on the roadway, so claiming feels very impactful. Lawbringer only covers the Skyrim worldspace itself but I have personally expanded functionality to several other worldspaces in my mods House Rule, Wyrm Tamer, and Imperial Law.

Lucien - Immersive Fully Voiced Male Follower

It is no secret that the vast majority of followers in Vanilla Skyrim are basically nothing more than a pack mule and cannon fodder. Fallout 4 rectified these problems by making every follower in that game interesting with a distinct personality and a special quest connected directly to all of them. Lucien is a mod that feels a lot more like Bethesda’s more recent attempts at followers. Lucien has a distinct personality that is often the opposite of most of the followers that you’d be used to. He is no warrior; he is a young and inexperienced scholar with next to no real-world experience. You get to adventure alongside Lucien and see how his character develops as you travel together. He really feels like a member of your party of heroes as opposed to just a lifeless thrall.

Gladys and Merlin the Corgis

These are mods that I made for my own amusement that other people seem to enjoy. They are two separate mods but they do much the same thing: add a new corgi follower to the game. Both of these dogs are based on my own pet corgis complete with creature audio that was sourced from each of my dogs respectively. The two of them cover different roles. Gladys formerly belonged to a merchant and is good at carrying things in her backpack; she is also very adept at finding interesting loot in the world to bring back to you. Merlin on the other hand is a combat-focused follower; he is unable to carry anything but he makes up for it due to his effectiveness in combat. He is able to use magic in order to transform between three different primordial elemental forms based on the type of enemy he is fighting; when in this form, he will do powerful AOE damage in addition to his bites. While the main point of these followers is to be cute, they are also pretty useful in your adventures.

Cities of the North

Cities of the North is one of my favorite series of mods. For years I have been annoyed that four of the hold capitals of Skyrim used generic farmhouse architecture; it really ruined the visual identity of these holds and made these places less interesting than the other five cities. Cities of the North aims to replace all of the generic farmhouses in these cities with all-new unique models that do a lot to bring them up to the same level as the major cities. All of the new architecture added by this mod fits Skyrim really well and makes the cities really feel special. The mod doesn’t expand on the cities very much; mainly just swaps what is already there, and I really appreciate that. I am not looking to make these places larger than in Vanilla; I just want them to feel like their own place. Cities of the North does that in spades.

The Great City of Winterhold

While Cities of the North has its own Winterhold mod, I find myself preferring Archinatic’s Winterhold. It is basically the Winterhold overhaul I’ve wanted since the game’s release: an overhaul that truly embraces the grand city that Winterhold used to be before the Collapse. This mod does a great job at capturing the feel of a once sprawling capital city. I love the vibe that this mod gives off and it has easily made Winterhold, formerly one of my least favorites locations, into one of my favorite locations in the entire game.

Rodryk’s Dragon Bridge

I don’t mind the reuse of farmhouse architecture outside of the hold capitals, so I never really considered Dragon Bridge in need of an overhaul, but when I saw this mod I instantly fell in love. Rodryk has overhauled the town in much the same way that JPSteel2 did in Cities of the North: the architecture is changed but the town isn’t expanded. I really like the look of these new buildings; it straddles the a nice line between the grandness of Solitude with the rustic nature of farmhouses. It fits Dragon Bridge perfectly.

Obscure’s College of Winterhold

Obscure’s College of Winterhold is one of the best single-location overhauls I’ve used. It doesn’t do dramatically different things that change the College of Winterhold, but it does naturally expand what is there and make it feel like an actual academic campus. While the changes in some areas are extreme, they just feel right. It indirectly improves the College questline and generally just makes the place more interesting to visit and live in.


While expansions of the Vanilla worldspace are fantastic, there is something to be said about exploring a completely new land. Wyrmstooth is one of Skyrim’s oldest New Lands mods and it shows. The world is beautiful and filled with a ton of content and everything feels right at home next to Vanilla. Wyrmstooth doesn’t do anything earth-shattering; it feels a lot like More Skyrim, but that isn’t a bad thing.

Beyond Skyrim - Bruma

Beyond Skyrim is one of the most anticipated mod projects currently in development. Currently, only one piece of released content exists: Bruma. While it is definitely just a slice of a larger whole, what is there is quality. The mod adds the city of Bruma just south of the Skyrim border in Cyrodiil. Beyond the city proper, the mod also adds the rest of county Bruma open for the Player to explore and the whole space really maintains the distinct Bethesda feel. The county has a lot of interesting places to explore including a brand new type of dungeon, several new enemies unique to Cyrodiil, and a lot of quests to keep you busy. While this may just be a preview of what is to come in the full Beyond Skyrim - Cyrodiil release, it is still quality content that can be used for some interesting roleplay opportunities for your character.

CoMAP - Common Marker Addon Project

Wyrmstooth and Bruma are some fun new lands to explore, but both share a common issue: a lack of new unique map marker icons. In Skyrim, several locations get unique map markers, most noticeably hold capitals; each gets a unique shield to distinguish them as important. In base Wyrmstooth and Bruma, there are no new icons to make important places stand out. Bruma just uses a generic City marker, and Stonehollow uses a generic Town marker. CoMAP seeks to not only remedy this issue but also to expand the amount of map marker icons substantially. Not only do places like Bruma and Stonehollow get unique markers, but new types of markers exist to indicate different types of dungeons. Forsworn dungeons get a unique skull icon, warlock dungeons get a unique eye icon, and elven dungeons get a unique ruined arch icon. Other miscellaneous icons have been added to better demonstrate what each location is. Sky Haven Temple gets a new Akaviri icon, freestanding taverns like Nightgate Inn get a new icon, and various factions like the East Empire Company and Thalmor have icons to indicate areas where they exert their influence. I could go on, but you get the idea. CoMAP expands map marker icons in a big way and really helps fill out the map more in an interesting way.

Tamrielic Distribution

Tamrielic Distribution is a mod designed for Keizaal. It is basically an all-encompassing integration mod that seeks to mesh various different pieces of official and modded content together to give a better sense of a single cohesive world. A lot of my early mods were various smaller-scale and focused versions of this goal, but Tamrielic Distribution combines them all in a single package and offers support to ensure they all work together nicely. This mod is designed around his modlist and it is the glue that holds the various different worldspaces and weapon packs together and makes sure that all this new content feels natural next to one another.

I hope this overview of Keizaal was helpful to you. If you like what you’ve read, consider giving the modlist a try; click here to go to the installation guide. If you have any specific questions about the modlist, feel free to contact me (Tate Taylor) on my community Discord server to learn more.