House Dres Brainstorming

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Resuming the brainstorming of House Dres, the original thread can be found here.

The current planning document for House Dres is here.

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I just discovered that in the 36 Lessons of Vivec, Lesson Nine, a Chimeri hero named "Dres Khizumet-e" appeared. Could be one of the old ancestors worshipped by the Dres. Or maybe not, since Chemua the Running Hunger ate him and spat him out as a spirit to assassinate Nerevar. 

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Reminder: Our next meeting is tomorrow: that is, Saturday January 23 at the usual 6pm GMT!

We will be using Discord: https://discordapp.com/channels/132891272666021888

The topic of discussion will be House Dres. The proposed Agenda is here: http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/content/2016-01-23-proposed-agenda

The current planning document, to be read and discussed tomorrow, is here: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/content/faction-house-dres

If you have opinions, please come prepared with some notes so you can present your ideas.

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VERY WIP, FORGIVE MEEEE.

 

Timeline of the Dres; which herein relays the important aspects, or turning points, of Dres Society. All dates are considered liable to change, and I will write out an explanation of each instance to better denote how important the event is for leading us to the current state of House Dres.

 

This is my juxtaposition on how I feel the Dres should be fleshed out, and this is my proposal on the way things should be. I am going to break this down into a few different sections.

 

  1. Overview.

  2. Major Ideas to Note.

  3. Characteristics of the House.

  4. Timeline.

  5. Quest Line.

 

OVERVIEW:

 

My general overview of House Dres is as such :

 

A society close in practice to the Ashlanders, the Dres have many different “camps” that have evolved over the years into cities, but still retain their hierarchical roots. The entity of these tribes can be known as a few different names, and the one people like most can be the chosen one.

 

  1. Deshaan Confederacy

  2. Junto League

  3. Axiom of Ancestors

  4. Southern Combine

  5. Augur Conference

  6. Deshaan Khomorhun (a made up word that would basically mean kingdom)

 

The capitol is Tear, or Tyr. A militia-minded and relentless people. The Dres rely on slave trade and tilling the salt fields of the Deshaan. There is very good money in it, however, so the House as a whole has a good financial standing within Morrowind. They are not closely affiliated with any particular House, except perhaps having a cryptic past that involved House Telvanni , and they of course despise any Imperial institution.

 

However hierarchical they may be, there is a governing body, known as the Deshkhan, or perhaps the Saltkhan. He is the figurehead of the Dres and is universally thought to be the defining delegate for all matters of House Dres. Only he's not. He is actually simply a rich noble, one who has the largest slave pit and it the most ruthless of the Dres, who is chosen every time the last rich noble dies or is otherwise dismantled from power. He is still a savvy businessman and tactician, but his word is not law. Even the congregation that surrounds him is unaware that the Dres Council is actually the body in power.

 

The Saltkhan must take a blood oath to never reveal this secret, and is lured into the deal with the premise of much more wealth and influence in all of Morrowind, wherein the Saltkhan becomes more or less a puppet who can make split-second decisions needed for the House, but is otherwise simply awaiting orders from the Council on any important matters.

 

The Dres Council is a group of Dunmer, between 6 and 13 of them, who are “immortal” in the sense of having been alive since the First Era. They all live as a collective in a secret hidden lair beneath a mountain, in which there is no easy way in or out of. Only once every millennia or so can a small opening into the mountain be found. Fortunately for the PC, they will be able to make their way in there near the end of the Dres quest line.

 

Other than that, there is no outsider contact and all interaction is done through a letter that is stamped with a sigil and black wax. There letters are then handed to the Saltkhan who reads off of it like he wrote it. Any correspondences are retrieved, delivered, and protected by two or three special ops members of the House. These few Dunmer would be the only others besides the Saltkhan that would know about this secret. So these spec ops Dres go every few months or weeks with a letter asking what should be done about current issues. There would be updates about any political or agricultural interactions that have happened, as well as any major requests from other Dres higher-ups, and the Council would give their advice.

 

How they give their advice is as such: the Skyrenders have honey in their hives that can be cultivated in such a way that, once ingested, it produces a type of trance-like stasis. The honey can also be cultivated in such a way to produce an intense mental high. The mental high form is given to Dres warriors who then go on a 'spiritual journey' and come out the other side smarter, stronger, more adept in mind. The trance-like form is ingested by the Council, who then are actually able to communicate with the ancestors in a very special way, a very deep way. It gives them almost a clairvoyance. This could perhaps involve them entering the Dreamsleeve. The important thing to remember is that ANY and ALL input was from the ancestors only. The Council themselves are simply the vessels in which the answers come through. These exact answers are what are transcribed into paper (almost like a dream journal) and signed. It should be noted that in my vision, the Council members take turns every time a letter is received. So One week councilor A takes the honey, and then transposes the guidance onto paper. No other councilor can try to detest what that councilor has experienced. Then the next week, councilor B would take the honey, etc etc.

 

In the past this has worked in favor of the House and for Morrowind as a whole. The insight was clear and untainted by personal agenda. However, in the past few years, when the Council has tried to contact the ancestors they are getting less guidance about how to lead the House or what actions to take. It is harder to take a message away, and so the purity of their ancestral clairvoyance is being slowly tainted with individual councilor's own thoughts/interpretations of the messages. This has lead to a slow downfall of the House.

 

The reason for the interference can be either:

 

  1. Not explained fully.

  2. Due to the Hist trying to interrupt their guidance.

  3. Due simply to the nature of the Elder Scrolls and the imminent downfall of Morrowind.

  4. Due to the Sload interrupting their guidance.

 

Whichever people like most. For an explanation of these reasons 2 or 4, read on.

 

Major Ideas to Note:

 

Dres use Skyrender honey in three ways:

 

  1. Selling the raw form as commerce.

  2. Refining it for a mental high that they feed to their soldiers to make them better soldiers.

  3. Refining it for a trance-like stasis; only the Council knows how to refine the honey this way. Fortunately for them, there is a large Skyrender hive below them in the mountain so they have a near limitless supply of the honey for this use.

 

Dres Council are not vampires, but have very unnatural lifespans.

 

The questline of House Dres will consist of the player eventually meeting the Council and having the choice to kill them all, or to try and help them lead the House from the outside.

 

The Dres made 3 VERY important pacts, or deals, way back in the First Era.

 

  1. The Council members made a deal with the Sload. If they would teach them how to till the salt flats, then the Sload could harness the Council's souls when they died and use them for powerful magics/experiments.

  2. The Council members made a deal with the Hist to supply them with ample Argonians for use a sslaves and in return they would give the Hist a certain number of Dunmer to use for whatever they wish.

  3. 3. The Council members made a deal with a Daedra to live for super long. I have an idea that instead of becoming Vampires from the deal, the Daedra decided to simply make the Council appear to look like Vampires to everyone else, or perhaps made them look like mutated beasts, or even more funny would be that the Daedra make them look like Argonians, just to fuck with them. The councilors can still see each other as they had looked before the deal, however.

     

The Council then used pact number 3 to kind of cheat pact number 1 out a bit, and it made the Sload pretty mad. They also killed a Dunmer that escaped from the Hist and have been killing a lot of Argonians lately without the Hist's permission, and also have not been living up to their end of the bargain and not supplying many Dunmer lately for pact number 2, which has the Hist upset as well. Pact 3 is part of the inevitable downfall of the House.. For those reasons either the Hist or the Sload may be interrupting their connection with ruling their House, as both parties are tired of feeling cheated.

 

Minor pacts made:

 

  1. In the past they made a deal with House Telvanni that involved the Telvanni teaching only the Dres how to operate Riverstriders in return for something. Perhaps they threatened war and at the time they were much mightier than the Telvanni so they agreed.

  2. They have a very weird and secretive relationship with the Telvanni. They provide them with slaves and sundries for the people who live below their towers, and the Telvanni give them more than just gold in return.

 

All in all, the major theme of the House, or the lesson to take away I suppose, is that one day, it may not be tomorrow or the next day, but one day the guar will come home to roost, and all debts must be paid. For every action there is an equal yet opposite reaction. This duality can also be presented in such a way that it may play a big part towards Boethiah.

 

Characteristics of the House:

 

The Dres are not quite Steampunk-ish, but they are more technologically advanced than any other House, and perhaps any other people in all of Tamriel. This is what has given them so much leverage in being able to strike these deals they made in the past.

 

They are ruthless to any other House, though they do conduct business in a formal manner. They ship breads to the Indoril and they supply slaves to every House. They are seen as somewhat barbaric for their worship of the Daedra, but they are never contested against it.

 

They are not entirely business-based like the Hlaalu are, they simply know they supply most of the food and the workforce for the entire province and they use it to their advantage. They hate outlanders, hate the Empire, don't care much for the Tribunal, and keep to themselves aside from hunting slaves in a near-frantic fashion.

 

Timeline:

 

The events of the House are numbered from oldest to most recent, and will have an explanation next to each event.

 

  1. All lesser clans settle in southern Morrowind.

  2. Deal with Sload made.

  3. Deal with Hist made.

  4. Deal with Daedra made.

  5. Deal with Telvanni over Riverstriders made.

  6. War of the First Council.

  7. Council reigns over the smaller clans but people become suspicious as they are getting much older now.

  8. First Saltkhan emerges and the Council goes into hiding under the mountain.

  9. Deshaan Confederacy or whatever we would like to call it forms.

  10. Sload become impatient waiting for the souls of the Council.

  11. Arnesian War.

  12. Hist become upset.

  13. Council is unable to communicate with the ancestors as they once were able to.

  14. Heart of Lorkhan sundered. (This also includes the interaction the player will have with the House. Either the slight incline and then inevitable downfall or the slaughter of the Council and the harsh downfall of the House is presumed to be within this time frame.)

  15. Fall of Morrowind.

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Yeah, I'm feeling that the Arnesian War and it's aftermath need to be highlighted a lot more. It was less than 30 years ago, and both the Dunmer and the Hist have long lives and long memories.

Saint Rorys is worth discussing as well.

EDIT: I can't get into the Discord conversation. Anybody else having issues?

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the time of the eldest fades
deep in the forest the Dreamer lies
lost to mind and space.

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Reminder: The Dres meeting is now complete. The Dres document linked in the first post will be updated within a few days to reflect the new changes. This closes the discussion of major changes to the character of House Dres, though of course there is plenty left to talk about.

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A bit of random lore to add. Perhaps Dres could have some traditional chanties: chant-like songs that are sung while a group of people do hard manual labor. The rhythm often has something to do with the work itself. It could be put in book form, maybe as a song actually sung somewhere if we have the musical talent.

A couple examples pulled from RL—

Lyrics for the Cape Cod Girls sea shanty:

Cape cod girls they have no combs,

Heave away! Heave away!

They comb their hair with cod fish bones.

We are bound for Australia!

Heave away you bully, bully boys.

Heave away, oh heave away,

Heave away and don’t you make a noise,

We are bound for Australia!

And then the Frozen Heart song (from Frozen) for an example of the rhythm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TISp0swKhkk

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Nice! That reminds me of the harvest song from seven samurai.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuTcL8A5gUc

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I like the idea of chanties, I don’t think anyone has really explored music much in Morrowind, especially music made by the people who live there.

Unrelated thought:

I was reading a fantasy book the other day that involved fairies/”fae” (in the “good neighbors” unfriendly amoral sense) and one of the comments made in the book was that the fae make bargains not just for fun or profit, but also because making bargains literally gives them power. So, I was thinking about House Dres. We put bargaining in there as an important facet of their house. House Hlaalu makes “bargains” but mainly in the mercantile or political sense, and mainly directly for wealth. House Dres could be making bargains too, but for different aims, and different types; Hlaalu facilitates the exchange of money, but Dres make bargains for the good of themselves, their family unit, the tribe, or Dunmer as a whole. They might consider the making of bargains to be an important art. Bargaining would be like barter on a larger scale. Hlaalu make contracts in the sense of money; Dres make contracts in the sense of blood.

 

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Under the council house of each clanstead is a chamber, the Hall of Covenant. It contains 'gates' to the two neighbouring clansteads. To use a gate, one must carry the corresponding key, a 'covenant link' cut from ebony and formed into the stylized shape of a bone with a hole through either end and generally worn on an amulet. (These links are represented on the Dres sigil, I may draw more detailed/less stylized concepts for them later).
These links are very rare, generally only granted to high-ranking members of the corresponding clan and designated individuals who act as messengers between clans, who possess the links of the two neighbouring clans. It is a great compliment for an outsider (ie. someone not belonging to the clan) to be gifted with a clan's covenant link; one the player will almost certainly not be on the receiving end of. For one to carry a covenant link without permission is, conversely, a serious crime worthy of the death penalty, whether the offender is a member of House Dres or not.
For great emergencies, and as a symbol of Dres union, a covenant chain hangs in each council house. The chain is naturally formed of individual covenant links and allows unrestricted use of the Dres propylon network. Outside of the aforementioned emergencies it is not to be removed from its place. The Satchem-ithil of House Dres also wears a covenant chain as a sign of office. Carrying one of these without permission is an even greater crime worthy of a proportionally harsher penalty. Don't ask.

 

Speaking of the Satchem-ithil, I’m sort of thinking that he wouldn’t have an individual place of residence, but would rather migrate from one clan territory to the next like the European concept of itinerant kingship, setting up camp near the clanstead with his honour guard. (In-game his position would be set). He would hold court under a large bug husk.

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Another thought I had on reading about the grass blades in today’s meeting—

Obsidian edges. This was actually a thing in the Americas before Columbus and metal-working came over. They would make swords and the like out of wood and put obsidian edges on the things. Sounds like a Dunmer thing to do with all the handy volcanoes around: just replace the wood with chitin or perhaps the grass idea.

 

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Morrowind glass and ebony already serve as rough analogues for obsidian, but there are no handy volcanos in or near the Deshaan from which they could get them. I do like the idea of more glass and ebony weaponry with interesting designs, though, and could certainly see high-status Dres possessing weapons and armour made of imported glass and ebony. (While Dres would generally prefer to use local materials, ebony and perhaps glass by extension could be exceptions due to the whole blood-of-a-god status).

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Obsidian was actually mentioned in the meeting. I also think that obsidian would be rare, lacking volcanoes, but trade would probably have brought daedric & glass items to some people in Dres lands.

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Here is my take on the culture of House Dres :
The elite of House Dres has power and wealth, I think interiors could represent that with indeed trading precious minerals and trading in  hallucogens/liqour derived from local flora and fauna. 
I like the idea of Bathhouses like in Ancient Rome, where members of House Dres can socialize and discuss bussiness, their technoligical advancement shows in rich areas with artificial lighting, heating and the re-using of sweet/drinking water using steam-technology they derived from the dwemer.
The poor/neglected areas almost no artificial lighting except for Dres supervisors, drinking water is scarce and crime is heavily punished. Trading in rare materials for high ranking officials is common and is often bartered for militairy, luxury products or slaves.
A variety of deadra is worshipped, primairly Namira : He who gave the council repulsive flesh that could not age.
Secondly Molag Bal, He who gave immortality to their souls, souls that would be send to his domain, freeing them from the pact of the sload, the sload have no knowledge of this.
And Hermeaus Mora, for they seek power from knowledge.

Other Deadra are also worshipped, for dunmer slaves worship in secret Boethiah, she who can overthrow authority and holds secrets.
Like The Ashlanders they hold their values strong, they are not friendly to those outside of their or neighbouring houses, if one would like to join this house they need to prove themselves usefull and resourcefull, one can only ascent to the rank grandmaster with a unanimous vote by the council, The Nerevarine will need to enter the mountain and pass tests, like in ashlander culture to be called Saltkhan of House Dres.

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There were no Dwemer in the Deshaan, and the Dres as a by-and-large semi-nomadic society has no right to be more advanced than the Indoril, Hlaalu, or Telvanni, who each have more opportunities to gather knowledge and technological advantages.

Daedra worship is one of those things I’m particularly interested in, so right off the bat I’ll say that the Dres openly worshipping the bad Daedra (or Daedra outside of the main Dunmer pantheon) is pretty out of character and shouldn’t happen on a societal stage (individually or individual cults are okay, God knows I’ve argued for a hidden shrine for Herma-Mora for ages).
Also, for the record, Molag Bal as the father of vampires is a post-Oblivion retcon (Morrowind’s dialogue makes clear that he doesn’t care about vampires), so as this is a somewhat controversial issue with the three people who care about it, it was suggested to leave this ambiguous.

The Boethiah worship seems spot-on, however. Just that the Dres nobility would view themselves as more deserving of their status, as they are willing to be more ruthless than their underlings/inferiors. “I am alive because this one is dead” and all...

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Indeed, open worship of bad deadra gives a bad reputation, but it can also be a taboo in house dres though, that only the council knows what pacts were really made with especially Namira the lord of repulsive creatures and that comes to light later in the questline.
As it was mentioned they were not truly vampires, but mutated beasts, maybe their minds got altered to think like them; territorial behaviour (Just like the tendency for house Dres members to be ruthless, in your words “I am alive because this one is dead”)
There is always a catch, when dealing with deadra, but what that catch is...

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Anonytroll

 

Also, for the record, Molag Bal as the father of vampires is a post-Oblivion retcon (Morrowind’s dialogue makes clear that he doesn’t care about vampires), so as this is a somewhat controversial issue with the three people who care about it, it was suggested to leave this ambiguous.

Vampires of Vvardenfell volume II explictly states “In Temple doctrine, one ancient tradition holds that, among his many other crimes, Molag Bal, the Father of Monsters, spawned the first vampire upon the corpse of a defeated foe.”

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TheDVI

Anonytroll

 

Also, for the record, Molag Bal as the father of vampires is a post-Oblivion retcon (Morrowind’s dialogue makes clear that he doesn’t care about vampires), so as this is a somewhat controversial issue with the three people who care about it, it was suggested to leave this ambiguous.

Vampires of Vvardenfell volume II explictly states “In Temple doctrine, one ancient tradition holds that, among his many other crimes, Molag Bal, the Father of Monsters, spawned the first vampire upon the corpse of a defeated foe.”
 

I have to agree on Anonytroll for this one, he may have created the first vampire, but that doesn't mean he cares about them.
Although Molag Bal is most certainly the creator of vampires, in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC the Vampires exist since the first era before there was de cyrodillic empire. 

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Two things.

Indeed, open worship of bad deadra gives a bad reputation, but it can also be a taboo in house dres though, that only the council knows what pacts were really made with especially Namira the lord of repulsive creatures and that comes to light later in the questline.
As it was mentioned they were not truly vampires, but mutated beasts, maybe their minds got altered to think like them; territorial behaviour (Just like the tendency for house Dres members to be ruthless, in your words “I am alive because this one is dead”)
There is always a catch, when dealing with deadra, but what that catch is...

This is absolutely correct – it’s a secret. Even the existance of the Dres councilors of old is a secret (they rule through puppets). And the intention behind the council is that – even if they weren’t/aren’t vampires – they are close enough to vampires in practice that it makes no difference.
They would be more blatant vampiric if there wasn’t some sort of instinctive backlash every time the idea was mentioned.

Vampires of Vvardenfell volume II explictly states “In Temple doctrine, one ancient tradition holds that, among his many other crimes, Molag Bal, the Father of Monsters, spawned the first vampire upon the corpse of a defeated foe.”

There’s that. However, it’s a book written by a fallible narrator. The Dunmer specifically attribute a whole lot of monsters and racial impurities to Molag Bal.
In-game dialogue, this looks a bit different.

Derar Hlervu speaks as following:

If the lord Molag Bal wishes to help you, he will. He has no greater love for your kind than any other.

And this:

A cure for vampirism? There are those who say that the cure resides only with our daedra princes. My lord Molag Bal has dealt before with the dark walkers, though they are not of his making. It is possible he holds the secrets to this [vampirism cure], but I would not expect him to tell you. Only those who have the disease, and are truly desperate to be rid of it, are of interest to Molag Bal.

And Molag Bal himself states, before giving the PC the cure:

I see you have done as I asked, little vampire. It was not easy for me to obtain the cure, but I was able to pry it from Vaermina after some...discussion. You have earned it. Now I have eternity to punish my daughter for her defiance. Your curse is lifted. Yet...I wonder, will you miss the taste of blood on your lips? When you sleep, will you taste the salt and copper flowing over your tongue? Go, mortal. Bask in your precious sunlight.

This, coupled with the reality of vampiric nightmares every single night, does make a subtle but strong case that vampires are either part of the “bad dreams and ill omens” that Vaernima governs over – being akin to waking nightmares both for themselves and others – or that vampires are a Daedric co-production. It’s a whole lot less clear-cut (and lazy) than later games make it out to be.
It’s one of my pet peeves admittedly, but TR design decisions state that it doesn’t matter/in unclear who created vampires. I was only intending to point out that the “vampires belong to Molag Bal” is not true or obfuscated enough that it might not be true when you design things in TR.

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About The Vampire Thing : wink
This comes from the planning documents, under the Faction, People, Cultures. http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/content/state-house-dres
It states the follows:
To add insult to injury, a stipulation of this bargain in particular was the fact that the Dunmer had to feed on their own kin to sustain their life force, or suffer mentally debilitating side-effects.
This is reminiscent to the Deadric Quest the Dragonborn does to obtain Namira's Ring. When equipped the wearer can cannibalise the dead for health.
This makes Namira the most prominent Deadric Lord that has had influence on the Dres Council or the entirety of House Dres with 2 leads.
(which also makes he the most likely to be worshipped).
This, has indeed also affected the mind, with the what I call a "beastly” nature of House Dres.
It strongly suggests either normal insanity or the work of Vaernima.
The previous statement of a co-production of Deadra is not likely Molag Bal is the Daedric Lord of Domination after all.
Daedric Lords stand for change, but hold their own values and perspectives strong.
The creation of vampires can be debated because of it's uncertainty, maybe their are different kinds of vampires ?
One thing is certain : If one Deadric Lord has influence it has to be Namira.
 

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Why not both? The Planning Documents said certain Daedra, which can be interpretted to be plural. Cheating death would be considered a pretty big thing in the cosmic sense, and so a lot of Daedra Lords could be insulted by it and want to put their hand in the pot, so to speak.

When it comes down to choosing a specific one or two… Messing with the mind is also Sheogorath’s realm, so you could argue for him, too.  However, I would think the Dres would go through the Three Good Daedra instead of a corner of the House of Troubles and/or Namira, who doesn’t have any significant relation to Dunmer in history yet. It can be assumed the Dres are still in part worshipping the Good Daedra in this First Era timeframe, and so it would be more natural for them to ask them for help instead of engaging with the more profane Daedra. (Though one wonders where and how the Tribunal were involved. The whole reason Dres started making deals is because they were pushed into the bad lands by Indoril, and they are also the House most similar to the Ashlanders and their beliefs. So I wouldn’t think the Tribunal would be high on their popularity list at that point in time.)

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My answer : desperate times call for desperate measures. wink   Basically they could've got the help of any deadra, but given the background they could've asked the "good” daedra but maybe the “good” Daedra didn't answer them and basically left them. 
Sidenote : approaching Sheogorath is quite counterproductive, as is Clavicus Vile.
This part has not yet been written, I am not excluding others, but Namira does has a pretty good reason to be involved.
Maybe we need to look into the factors and decide which one('s) is the most involved and I'll write story about it with you guys, deal?
 

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I’m not sure why you are quoting the design document at me. I was there when it was decided on.

The Daedra involved are kept vague on purpose, and the council are – since they are not outright vampires for reasons – close enough to TES vampires to follow the same general ruleset (made a bad deal, death does not apply under most circumstances, have to prey on the living – in this case their descendants). If you try to think out and hammer down the specific Daedra who made the bargain and make this the angle you define the Dres on, then you are frankly doing exactly what the design document was meant to prevent.

The bargain was made ages ago, and the Dres as a society are ruled by a council that the player won’t meet until very high up in their ranks (or in a Hortator quest maybe, who knows?) and that maybe a dozen living people know about. Including the current Dres councilors.  Who exactly made the deal with a specific Daedric Prince and how this works out mechanically is empathically not something that is supposed to be codified. It exists, but it’s a framing mechanic, not something that should be actively invoke storytelling.

I’m mainly arguing against the statement that Molag Bal is objectively the father of vampires and they are all beholden to him. That’s not what’s in TES III Morrowind and it should be kept vague when designing things is all I’m saying.

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Duly noted smiley

I just personally like to go into specifics, as it is something the player will encounter in their travels, albeit as a high ranking member of House Dres, even then it can still be speculation or information unshareable. I find it is easier to create something if it is known or even speculated that (in this case) certain aspects of this people/culture are influenced by certain Daedric Lords, even if they are given as subtle hints in literature, dialogue or maybe even hinted at by another Daedric Lord (like Hermaeous Mora for example who would love to obtain this secret and add it to his library).

I get why it is purposely avoided, as the state these people and their culture are in, has never been seen before or spoken about on Tamriel, maybe even Nirn, but dropping some clues or hints gives PC's a reason to do a little bit of detective work of their own, and literature or speculation activate them to do so, it adds a layer of depth.
Basically why I did my first post on the topic wink, because I am interested to know, others may be as well, giving these hints will be like fitting a piece in a puzzle.

Indeed House Dres’ vampirism don't have to be Molag Bal's creation, but whose might it be ? all Daedra stand for change after all.

Sorry if I am not as deeply embedded in the lore or not knowing what Tamriel Rebuilt's mindset is in these kind of situations.
I am here just barely 4 days after all frown.

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Well, it’s most assuredly welcome to try and insert clues to what Daedra the individual hidden Dres councilors have made deals with. Perhaps I come across as too brash (it was’t my intent to drive over your mouth after just 4 days), but you are conducting such speculation as a player would (and should, if we can manage to implement this in-game).

Essentially, what I’m trying to do is stop you from approaching this as a player would instead of approaching it as a designer should.

The point of the Dres plan we agreed so far was that we’d keep the Daedric deals vague, so the developers/designers could add little clues to the individual councilors or obscure texts, even contradictory ones, to make the player wonder exactly the same thing you are right now. Since this was not and is not supposed to be a definite collection of pacts and most of them happened long before even the Reman Empire existed, hammering out a definite version would take away more than it would add. It would be doing the players’ work for them, even, if there was a definite list of deals and powers.

As far as the Dres themselves are concerned, the Daedra in question are vague and a lot of good cases can be made for a lot of different Daedra (Clavicus Vile is the most obvious one, in my opinion), but it doesn’t really matter anymore. 
The Dres councilors at that chaotic point in history were pretty desperate to get out of paying the Sload’s price – and this initial deal with the Sload is the lynchpin that the Dres as a whole revolve around and later, Daedric deals were made by the councilors as individuals and have not the same, society-wide impact (aside from enabling them to rule as a shadow council and perhaps some odd quirks) that the Sload (and Hist) deals do.
It’s probable that nobody but the Daedric Princes even remember all of them.

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I admit, I sometimes get a bit too enthusiastic, which is good in a sense that I am as invested as a player would be. smiley
Bad in the sense of getting tunnel-vision. frown
on the side, what is the clothing style of House Dres ? I want to make some concept art of a House Dres nobleman.
 

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In many cases, I do think it’s good to have an official account of an event for planning, as a basis to expand on and obfuscate, with an emphasis on the latter. This ensures that there’s a sort of hidden internal logic to what the player is told – even if the player is never told the full truth – as opposed to the player just being bombarded with random statements.
In this case, however, having a single account turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.
Failing that, I do think it’s good for developers to figure out what version of events they like best, so that any individual accounts the player will encounter in game will at least be internally consistent. For instance, in my case, I think the Dres councillors are very clearly vampires, though effectively their own ‘clan’ not tied to any other.
Even for my personal account I don’t care about who created the first vampires, but even if Molag Bal didn’t create vampires in the first place – or create this particular strain of vampirism as could also always be the case – I do think it’s likely the Dres made the deal with Molag Bal, and that Molag Bal at the very least worked as a middle man with whoever is actually capable of turning people into vampires. That’s because the three ‘good’ and four ‘bad’ Daedra do seem to have special significance to Veloth’s people, and I think that both due to their strong sense of tradition and their familiarity with the peculiarities of those seven Daedra the Dres wisewomen would have probably preferred to deal with them.

And here I think it’s worth making a point about Daedra worship: I think most Daedra worship would fall in the category of appeasement. The Daedra are actual gods with actual power. Save for a few delusonal and generally short-lived cultists, they’re pretty universally recognized – even by their worshipers – as being flawed and fickle. You want to be sure you do not get on their bad side. For the Dres, there’s the added aspect of seeing the Daedra as ‘stronger, better ancestors’. They are worthy of the respect due to ones own elders/ancestors and the respect due to those who can crush you like a bug should they wish to do so.
That isn’t very different from the Temple, which acknowledges the Daedra in its own way. The Dres hold the three ‘good’ Daedra in highest regard as their very best and strongest ancestors, and honour the Tribunal as their earthly avatars. The Temple holds the Tribunal in its highest regard and achnowledges the three ‘good’ Daedra as their anticipations. Both regard the four ‘bad’ Daedra with a healthy amount of trepidation, the Dres are just a little more open in trying to appease them, and may even try to get on their good side, which is a big no-no for the Temple. Where the two really diverge is in dealing with the Daedra. I think the Temple should generally frown on the practice, unless there’s a really good reason (ie. unless the Tribunal do it, as Sotha Sil has), while the Dres should generally be fine with it, unless there’s a really good reason not to be, ie. the Matriarchs committing sacrilege by voluntarily becoming vampires.
Generally, I don’t think the Dres would hide the fact that they deal with Daedra, only the contents of the deals. And that goes for pretty much all deals the Dres strike, whether with Sload, other Houses or fellow clansmer.

A few other points in reply to the last few posts:
-the Dres are not technologically advanced, what is advanced is the scale of their infrastructure. They have a massive irrigation system, they have pumps, they may have mills of some description, and so on. Really basic stuff, but a lot of it.
-I do not think Dres should descriminate much based on class, at least within their own clan. Individuals within a clan have greater or lesser status, but they mostly earned that status in their lifetme through their service, and any member of the clan would, theoretically, be able to gain the same status and position as well. Remember, the Dres share a lot of similarities with the Ashlanders.
-I think the Dres as a whole should be very utilitarian. For clothing in particular, I think military uniforms are a good source of inspiration, more for design philosophy than for actual appearance: high-ranking Dres might be covered in glittery bling, but beneath the bling they wear a functional outfit not far removed in design from that worn by the Chap-thil.
-I think the Dres would probably prefer rather severe and – at least in cut and material if not in pattern – simple designs. Dark, subdued colours and the like, though not necessarily completely monotone.
-the above two points are directly in contrast to the Indoril, (the point about class discrimination is a bit more complicated), and to a degree I think we could get some (limited) mileage playing off the contrast between House Dres and House Indoril as a sort of mirror image of the contrast between Colovians and Nibenese, respectively.

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Some misc ideas:

Dres will be using protective gear for when they go outside into the harsh Deshaan environment. This environment would wear on their clothes and boots, especially, since salt tends to be corrosive. And the salt in the Deshaan seems to be at least partially hostile.

So, their shoes would get worn. Being outside makes them worn more; being Chap-thil where they are essentially ashlanders would mean they are worn even more. So, perhaphs the more worn and dirty your boots are would reflect on your status, where clean boots and clothes would mean you’re a city-dweller, and dirtier or more worn would mean you’re more traditional, out with the bug herds.

If this seems reasonable, we can go places with this for flavor:
- Maybe the Dres would have a tradition of not wearing outdoor shoes inside, as that would track corrosive salts into the home. They might have slippers or normal shoes for inside instead.
- Given that being chap-thil is high (ish) status, if shoes are a visible indicator, insults/compliments could be featured around them: “Your shoes are well worn” (good) “your boots are clean enough to wear indoors” (bad)

It may also be worth considering how the Dres view the salt (is it good, bad? Something to be overcome, a test? Something that makes them stronger? Does it separate them from other dunmer? Is it mystical? Is it just dirt?)

Dres also probably value age and tradition, so their house decorations are probably well-worn, hand-me-downs, heirlooms. They may not consider getting “new” equipment in of itself to be good, though having good quality items will be valuable. “Shiny newness” itself wouldn’t be good, but having reliable equipment is good (as survival depends on it).

Their values may also be lifted from the time back when they were all bug-herders. They may consider themselves to still be that, just temporarily also making clansteads. So they might have relatively spartan decorations, like the chap-thil do, or they might have relatively shiny decorations on the inside. Possibly clanstead dres aspire to be like the chap-thil in their decorations, clothes, attitudes? If so, the dres may have a smallish divide on who is more traditional. For instance, the chap-thil might look down on the other dres, or alternately, it could be an honored and respected divide of jobs.

It would be pretty funny if the xenophobic and slavery-using dres turned out to be fairly egalitarian internally, though I don’t know how well this meshes with our current view of them.

And last random thought: where do the Dres get their cloth, and what soft things do they use to make cushions and pillow stuffing?
 

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable. Still active. Find me on Discord.

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I had previously posted the idea of bathhouses like in ancient rome, I like the idea that de Deshaan use the different variety of salts as a perfum (maybe Telvanni Bug Musk like item?) or bathsalts which also compliments the status, the better quality of salts you use, is seen as having power and wealth. As the Dres hold their tradition very strongly, the salt maybe gives them the experience that it makes them one with the land or makes them able to commune with their ancestors.

I don't exactly know where they get soft material from, I was maybe thinking in the direction of skyrender wings or plantfibre, they could also import soft material making it scarce and expensive.

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Random thought I need to look into further—

In Oblivion dialogue, it’s stated that House Hlaalu and House Dres banded together to pick apart Indoril, but most importantly, freed all their slaves and abolished slavery.

Which is a WTF, because Dres economy is dependant on slavery.

I’d like to have each Great House faction questline support what was said in Oblivion, but I’m stumped on this one. I need to think about more how this would logically pan out, but have to run to work now, so...leaving this as an note-to-self.

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Quick reply,

Maybe as an more advanced Twin Lamps like quest, or a choice made within the higher ranks of dres questline ?

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