Meeting topic: Great House Dres
Discussion Leaders: Gnomey and Not
Held on Discord
Great House Dres
Starting with the House Dres document posted on the main website.
Change “nomadic” to semi-nomadic
Reminder that Dres, while they worship the tribunal, the daedra are the originals and consider the daedra primary.
They are not in a bad relationship with the temple, but the necrom-> ghostfence thing would be a sticking point.
History of House Dres
Saint Roryn (sp?)
The guy who escaped the Hist in the Arnesian War: the majority of House Dres, the people, would probably revere him. The leadership would be annoyed with his existence.
Dres would consider “saints” to be champions, or heroes, or crusaders, exceptionally good, but not literally holy.
House Dres is very tribal, so individual people would probably associate more as a particular clan than as a house. So, individual clans may have varying views on the particulars, one saint over another for instance.
Major cities are really just big trading posts, the real power is in the smaller strongholds, where the Dres really are.
Dres are the past, and are like pre-tribunal dunmer. Drawing similarities to Ashlanders.
Dres are about making bargains; they consider trying to get the better end of a deal or the bigger half a standard and normal thing to do. (This ties into the Daedra, who are the “better more effective ancestors” but “not in a moral way”; in other words, making bargains with the Daedra is not too unusual in their consequences).
Why was the set of bargains a good idea at the time?
Morrowind was laid to waste by the battle of red mountain. Morrowind needs food.
House Indoril is new, they are powerful, we need to band together to stand against them.
Their culture is being swallowed up by the Great Houses, and they must maintain their traditions.
Self sacrifice to pay a price to keep the traditions
Hotheadedness may be in making decisions quickly, not necessarily a lack of foresight
Made the deal because they were backed into a corner
Made one deal because “it was a good idea at the time”
Came down from that, realised “oh shit” and made another deal to get out of that one
Rinse and repeat
Maybe the player becomes another “deal” representing a way out of their current predicament. Old, wise councilors can maybe see that the player is the nerevarine regardless of the progress in the main quest.
Sload deal. Then, a councilor dies or something, and they realise “oh shit!” and make the immortality deal.
They late on realise they don’t have enough slaves to make good use of the land, so they make the hist deal.
A never ending cycle of buying themselves out of one deal-debt with another.
Character Tropes + Structure
Dres may not be secret for secret’s sake, they may actually be more direct, but it’s more that the player is not worth lying to, or that it’s not worth it to tell you something.
Plain dialogue, direct
Councilors do not need to meet, it’s a long and inconvenient journey and they use messengers (mundane or magical) instead.
House dres is a confederation: meaning, the different areas have different clans and differing cultures, still clearly dres but also different. Individual people would identify with their clan rather than the Dres as a whole, even the councilors. (especially since the land is so very big, we need variety)
nomarch to matriarch like ashkhan to wise women
House dres: fairly equal; you’re a tribesmember or not, or a leader/elder. Basically there is no upper or lower class, everyone is fairly equal. Saltwalkers are Dres, they are basically the parts of Dres that still do herding, they may have some extra status because of this.
Transportation is done across the surface mainly, the cave network is for barges and industrial things and is not really useful aside from mining&transportation
The rice paddies are owned by clans, and “independent” dres are the saltwalkers. The rice paddies and slaves are a “community effort”
Any clans that did not agree with the original deal decisions may have been swayed to join the houses after they saw the success of slave labor, or saw more threats like the Indoril.
Outlanders are also found and used as slaves, it’s just that the majority are argonian.
Outlanders would probably be found almost entirely in the trade ports. The dres there would be willing to sell services to outlanders, but mainly bartering and sleeping.
Tiered strongholds: the outer rings are for nonaffiliated dres who would sell services in the trade ports.
Dres do trade exclusively in the trade ports, you’ll also see sload and other “unsavory characters” there.
You might get stopped places as an outlander where a random dres would impose a “tax” on you for daring to be an outlander in wherever you are. Like they say “pay me if you want to enter this inn”
As a throwaway possibility, the player, if he is an outlander and particularly a beast race may have to endure assassination attempts or even outright hostility as they try to play through the faction questline. May even end with the player being thrown out of the house!
The main “big cities” are literal trade posts; most dres are in their own scattered homesteads/strongholds busy overseeing slaves or wandering around herding bugs.
Horak is for saltrice and such. Tyr is for slaves.
For naming, everyone seems roughly okay with the current names, though having “Dres” in front of everything is so-so.
The leader is a puppet role, which may with the advent of the player become real again
Dres councilors (each of which is also the leader of their respective clan council)
Clan councilors (matriarchs give advice at this rank)
Nomarchs get direction from the clan council and do the day to day stuff, each clan has one or a few as necessary
Chap thil is bug herder now, a special rank, since rice paddies are communal property
change kinsman to bondsman
[adjourned for break]
Beginning discussion of Gnomey’s vampire proposal. (At some point before the break we lost IM.)
Reminder that the vampire deal probably happened shortly after one of the original councilors died and bad things happened.
Mainly discussing the features of vampirism.
We are together with that a: they are not the exact same as the vampires as on vvardenfell, b: they are their own thing, because they personally made a pact, a c: that in game we won’t disclose lots of details of exactly what they are. And, d: that on the whole, if the people found out then they would cry vampire.
If they are blood vampires:
They were cursed to drink the blood of their descendants (?). They try instead to drink the blood of slaves-- but it doesn’t work nearly so well.
If they do not drink the blood of their descendants, they get migraine-aura-visions and nightmares, and possibly a loss of their immortality. In this way, every day when they get up, they constantly have to re-make the decision to drink the blood and continue the pact.
Councilors are not “evil,” instead, they are nobly resisting the blood lure in order to continue with their noble leadership of House Dres.
The player does not know that the council is “vampires” until very late in the main quest, short before they make the reveal it or go with it decision. You will also see small clues scattered about.
Also, if you do talk to the councilors about it, they will vehemently deny that they are vampires, that despite their noble sacrifices of course they are not vampires that’s ridiculous.
In particular being vampires is a tailor made punishment for the Dres, who hate vampires. Part of the price is the sadistic punishment of making the Dres voluntarily become that which they hate and despise in order to save their people. One of a few Daedra could have set this up, or several collectively.
Beginning going over IM’s document.
Instead of having house-wide guards, would have local clan guards.
Skyrenders, would have a somewhat symbiotic relationship with the Dres. They fly around, and are meat eaters, they eat carrion or live animals, and would attack you.
They do produce honey but not much and is dangerous to get to. The honey is bitter or possibly hallucinogenic but while it does have a few special uses it is not widely used.
Dres don’t use money internally much, more like favors and bargains (there isn’t really a sense of rich or poor), but there is some measure of status for things like owning a large bug herd. Clan rank. Taking slaves. Age. Being a good hunter, but in general the ranks are close to each other; there isn’t too far to go. Becoming an elder is a combination of age and influence.
Dres technology: they have a lot of machinery, but it is relatively simple, powered by slaves, and includes simple machines (inclined planes, pulleys, rope, bearings, etc). Much like the Ancient Egyptians building pyramids. The original knowledge for this probably came from the sload. Sload probably thought up the machines and definitely the whole network, machinery, feed all of morrowind.
Dres would consider slavery fine because the slaves are naturally inferior.
Dres probably find keeping slaves to “be a chore” without realizing how hypocritical that is.
Dres probably trade fancy salt to the Telvanni.
Hist are not people; remembering that the Hist are probably not “annoyed” by the arnesian war, they’re probably indifferent. Similarly to the sload; the sload are probably not “annoyed” by the Dres not paying them back. Instead, they probably enjoy being in a position to blackmail or even have fun toying with the councilors.
Sload asked for souls, possibly of “all dunmer” or of the descendants of the councilors.
Keeping the Hist behind the scenes; the trade with them is more of “we’ll give you a few dunmer” and in exchange the hist stop interfering with the slave raid parties.
Part of the Dres councilors may be wearing masks or using other trickery like screens to conceal their immortality.