House Telvanni Brainstorming

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This is where discussion will resume in regards to the brainstorming of House Telvanni. The old thread can be found here on our old forums.

We also have an (in progress) planning document here.

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As to Gnomey's point in the previous thread; I really just don't buy it. Just because they're powerful wizards doesn't mean they (or TR) should get to throw all rules out of the window. Despite your claim that the Telvanni allow complete and total anarchy in their settlements unless it infringes on them personally, this is really just not true. Who pays for all of the guards who enforce Telvanni customs and (sort of not really) Imperial Law? Who collects the taxes/tributes and decides who can operate a business in their town? It is utterly ridiculous to say that the Telvanni allow complete anarchy, when everything we see about them seems to suggest otherwise. Sure, they don't care about Temple law or lay out grid-pattern cities in the manner of the Imperials, but they certainly seem to keep their hand on the tiller of state if for no other reason than to ensure they continue to recieve taxes due and are able to procure the necessary materials for their projects. Who handles this business for the Masters so they don't have to? The Mouths. If the Masters have mind-wiped the Mouths, why even have a mouth in the first place?

The ability to command anything beyond a simple creature or weak-willed commoner for even a short duration is high level magic. If Telvanni are able to permanently 'mind-wipe' targets seemingly at will, what is to stop the Telvanni from simply dominating their rivals in the other houses or even the Imperial bureaucracy? Why would an amoral, utterly powerful sorceror restrict himself from mind-wiping everyone in reach (the length of which could be presumed to be infinite, "because wizards") if there was no drawback and it was as simple as "because I'm a wizard"? Frankly, it's just a bad idea. There's no lore to support it, it's got so many logical holes it's effectively swiss cheese and it sets the precedent of justifying any ridiculous idea "because wizards".

 

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I imagine the telvanni, as the actual wizards, don't care too much about what happens because they stay stuck in their towers all the time. They might have opinions on the rare occasions on which they emerge. Their retainers probably run things, though, including taxes, etc.

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I imagine the telvanni, as the actual wizards, don't care too much about what happens because they stay stuck in their towers all the time. They might have opinions on the rare occasions on which they emerge. Their retainers probably run things, though, including taxes, etc.

Yes, and who is chief among those retainers? Their Mouth. Who directs the activities of the retainers and makes sure they are roughly in line with the Master's wishes? The Mouth. Who doles out punishment for transgressions and reward for minor tasks? The Mouth, or someone working on their behalf. Who ultimately has to sign off on things in the Master's stead? The Mouth. Who arranges the payments from the Master's treasury to the relevant parties in order to procure guards, materials, food and other necessities? The Mouth, or someone working on behalf of the Mouth. If the Master personally oversees these things instead of the Mouth, or "as the Mouth", then why even have a Mouth in the first place? If the Master does not control any of these things directly or indirectly through a Mouth, then how does he procure these services? Are you suggesting that the residents of the town simply take a collection plate door-to-door to fund these things?

This is a nonsensical idea which flies in the face of the known purpose of a Mouth. I'm not usually so blunt, but this is something that I am absolutely, vehemently opposed to for the dozen or so reasons I have listed in this thread and it's predecessor. None of which have actually been directly addressed, I might add. Only one small part of my posts has been excised and quoted at a time, with no regard paid to any of the remainder of my posts. This idea is simply illogical, unnecessary, ill concieved and problematic on numerous levels. If there is some secret place where this has been discussed and my concerns already explaiend away, may I please have a link or a copy of that discussion? If not, would whoever is the main proponent of this idea please read my posts and explain just what exactly he or she is thinking?

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I think that the mind-wipe could just be altered a bit to make more sense. Maybe it could be explained as more of an MK-ULTRA type of mind control where the Mouth is simply ultra-brainwashed to remove any doubt from the patron's mind that there may be any meddling for the Hlaalu or any other House within the political landscape. The main caveat being that the Mouth must be willing to do this as it would take some time, so doing a large-scale mind wipe it out of the question; and in the twisted troves of the Telvanni way, the mind wipe is actualy considered to be somewhat of an honor, as it makes for a complete, loyal servant. I think it ought to be implied that Mouths can never work their way up to a patron's rank however, due to this mind-wipe. They basically see it as being a Mouth is as far as their abilites will ever take them, though it is a very high title to hold so they wear the name with honor. The player is never made a Mouth for this very reason. So once the Mouth is mind wiped, they are no longer any type of liability; while they still will hold their own personalities and will still push their own master's agendas they will do so with a type of 'super solider' mindset where they will bow to Telvanni authority and will enforce that authority to any subordinates without question. That would make a lot more sense in my mind, and it would still give a really cool/wierd touch to the way the Telvanni operate.

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I'm firmly in the camp of no mind-wipe. It makes no sense and disagrees with both the vanilla game (in which Fast Eddie mentioned training as a mouth and was blocked from the position - hardly something you would expect if being a mouth meant a complete mind-wipe, you'd think mouthes would be the most prominent former enemies of their master).

At the same time, Telvanni territory is not in complete anarchy at least at the city level (and probably beyond, otherwise why have a council at all).

 

The error is, I think, in assuming that the Telvanni spring up fully-formed with towers around them. Instead, they probably developed as every fictional magocracy does. In every magocracy, the most powerful members cannot be the ruling class, because they need the time and effort to retain their higher status.

 

Young, aspiring Telvanni become powerful enough to attract the wrong kind of attention, settle somewhere else to study in piece and get away from local politics. Since having to fend for yourself is pretty tiresome, they have retainers with them that they pay from whatever money they have (probably from selling enchantmented items or training when they were young, dumb,  and needed the money).

Building a settlement might be fun for them, or it might be a chore, but at one point their research outpost reaches critical mass and forms a settlement. This is now when the young, aspiring Telvanni has become a middle-aged, aspiring Telvanni and is dangerous enough to be squashed by the older Masters. So they send a Mouth to the council to placate them, or they are requested to send a mouth (or else). Note that only the two more powerful Telvanni Masters have no Mouthes in vanilla.

Being annoyed with all the minor details, trusted friends, students or servants take up the slack while the now-Master goes back to studying and tinkering. Some might care more about their town, some might care less, but they simply do not have the time to be both powerful and a meddler, not when there's always other young, aspiring Telvanni around who are becoming powerful enough to attract their attention. After all, that's what you have your trusted servants for.

That's when the time of the oligarchic middle managers have come: the Mouth and the Steward. The Steward (or several) takes care of the city government. The Mouth takes care of the Council and stays in constant communication with the Master, by the one known way to do this: the Dreamsleeve.

It is noted in MK's older writings that it requires the mind to be at least in partial meditation at all times (and that Imperial clerks can use it as well), which would point nicely to what a Mouth training actually is all about. It also gives a good, deeper meaning to the word: the Mouth speaks the word of their Master without having heard it before. They know of it thanks to wireless communication by Tamriel's soul-internet.

 

At no point does this make mind control necessary or desirable. Nor total anarchy.

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Works for me.

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Anonytroll

The Mouth takes care of the Council and stays in constant communication with the Master, by the one known way to do this: the Dreamsleeve.

 

If they have the Dreamsleeve, couldn't all the Masters communicate with each-other through that and cut out the middleman?

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It is noted in MK's older writings that it requires the mind to be at least in partial meditation at all times (and that Imperial clerks can use it as well), which would point nicely to what a Mouth training actually is all about. It also gives a good, deeper meaning to the word: the Mouth speaks the word of their Master without having heard it before. They know of it thanks to wireless communication by Tamriel's soul-internet.
 

This is good.

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-snip-

I really like this idea, it expands upon the original concept of a Mouth without completely tearing it apart like the mind control idea, while still being interesting and fun. I'm fairly certain no Mouths ask you to deliver anything to THEIR master, implying they can communicate instantaneously with them, just not the others. So this doesn't even break or invalidate any minor delivery boy quests in vanilla.

To the person who said why not just have all the masters communicate via dreamsleeve, I'd say it's because they don't want to. Having a connection to all other Masters would be a lot more of a pain in the arse than having a connection to their Mouth who then speaks to all other Masters through their Mouths in the council. Whether the Masters listen or care to the other Mouths is up to them. Having it be a direct link between Masters would cut out the middle man in a way the Telvanni probably don't want, which is why they wouldn't do so in my opinion. The Mouth serves as a drivel-buffer between every petty issue and foolish proposal and the Master's (often already tenuous) sanity.

Side Note: I really hope the new forums get some needed updates - I can't seem to add spaces in my posts by clicking return as I used to be able to, and I don't see a spoiler tag or the ability to double-quote anywhere. All my posts end up as incongruous walls of text.

 

 

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Maybe we should start a small list of sorts for ideas we need to incorporate. I remember there was a proposal from Sload about there being special types of Bull Netch in Port Telvannis as well, that were basically floating memory banks that held the minds of those Telvanni that were so old their physical bodies were dust by now, but they hold their collective knowledge inside of these Netch that act almost like libraries for all types of weird arcane and mythical knowledge. The best part is all it would require is a retex of the Bull Netch and possibly a slight model alteration to maybe add a type of platform to the top of the Netch where the wizards can land and 'plug in' to learn what they need to and then they can take off from there.

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Anonytroll
-snip-

 I'm fairly certain no Mouths ask you to deliver anything to THEIR master, implying they can communicate instantaneously with them, just not the others.

There's that quest where you deliver Daedra Skin to Master Aryon.

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-snip-

 I'm fairly certain no Mouths ask you to deliver anything to THEIR master, implying they can communicate instantaneously with them, just not the others.

There's that quest where you deliver Daedra Skin to Master Aryon.

That makes sense in the situation, given that going to out gather the skins and then delivering them is pretty hard. I think physical items are supposed to be delivered, but any types of missives or codes or orders are never delivered between the Mouth and their master.

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Yes, I should have been more specific. I meant to say that the Mouths do not have you deliver any MESSAGES to their Masters. Aryon's Mouth asks you to deliver a coded missive to Divayth Fyr, for instance, but he does not ask you to tell Aryon about his reply.

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Anonytroll
-snip-

I really like this idea, it expands upon the original concept of a Mouth without completely tearing it apart like the mind control idea, while still being interesting and fun. I'm fairly certain no Mouths ask you to deliver anything to THEIR master, implying they can communicate instantaneously with them, just not the others. So this doesn't even break or invalidate any minor delivery boy quests in vanilla.

Aryon specifically mentions that mouths receive messangers from their patrons. Though this is a very minor and insignificant detail compared to the mess that would be implementing the mind wipe be.

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Well I suppose I done fucked up. Aryon says sepcifically:

 

"Baladas will be joining the council, and, as we agreed, I will be your patron. Please accept this Silver Staff of Peace, the traditional patron's gift to his protege. You are now my Mouth in House Telvanni with all the duties and privileges of that rank."

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“Clan Telvani is the most xenophobic of a xenophobic race, shunning all contact with outsiders, preferring to tend their herds of giant insects amid the rocky hills and islands of the extreme northeast.”-first edition of the guide to the empire

anyone else want to see this side of the telvanni shown more? i feel like the wizards are hogging the spotlight, and that the more rural bug herding telvanni (which form a large part of house telvanni’s economy) should get more representation. why not have most of the silt striders and netch in domestic use have the insignia of house telvanni, to show that they were bred by the house and then bought. also, having more small rural bug herding towns would be awesome, rather than plantations, which are more of a dres thing. also, the telvanni have been herding for a long time, there’s no doubt they use a local based system, rather than a more company based system. 

the ending of the words is almsivi

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I very much agree. Telvanni, as fragmented and in feud as they are, must have some mode of functioning as an actual society. While it’s established that the wizards themselves view the populace as a source of revenue and retainers and not much more, not much has been shed on how commoners view wizard lords. Vanilla Vos NPCs do have some dialogue about how they consider Aryon an okay lord since he does his job of protecting them adequately and doesn’t bother them much, but I feel that for Telvanni that’s the exception instead of the norm because of the peculiary of both Aryon and how he acquired Vos. Having some settlements be in constant terror of their wizard-lord, in reverence of him or even ignoring him due to reclusiveness/weakness/outside influences would be interesting.

Also agree on bugherders. I think that on the whole the average Telvanni peasant knows more magic and is better at it because of the needs of wizard-lords and the close proximity of his retainers who might offer services to the public at large as a way of supplementing their income. Having a whole town full of vanilla-style mages wouldn’t mesh well with anything, however, and their magics are likely to be very peculiar and idiosyncratic (like Dust Adepts). So that’d be best explored through bug, ash, dust and of course fungi magic.

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I’m a little confused. Weren’t the Telvanni sections completed in the Telvannis map release? Is there still stuff left to be done for them?

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Basically, a lot of our Telvanni content has fallen behind our current standards and aim for cohesive vision. Most notably, House Telvanni is not portrayed anywhere near its full potential or the level of depth we intend to apply to the other Houses. As such, once we’re done with the rest of the province we plan to return to Telvannis and give it a funal bump up to our current standards.

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Who are the Dust Adepts? A new regime shunning towers for horizons, the Dust Adepts are a loose aggregate of wizard-strongmen. Their Order’s antecedents were alchemists and plague doctors, who gained ascendancy during the Knahaten Flu. Fivehundred years later, the Dust Adepts are in equal parts lawmen, marauders, and wizards, who now enforce the Golden Bough of the Beetle Canticle: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”  The eponymous “Dust” is concentrated from Vvardenfell’s emperor parasol spores, inhaled as their forebears had, for prescience and augmented abilities. An Adept breathes the Dust at the price of their merithic longevity – many succumb to dementia by their sixties, and those who’ve survived the generations mutate into sapient beetles.

Telvanni who’ve taken to the Dust can be described as a John Dilinger meets Judge Dredd (like a bi-polar drunk uncle who doesn’t drink), with potential beyond the Guild’s in Alteration magics. The Dust Adepts’ fabled citadel and abbey of Teleme (link is external) is a living Hive of magnificent beetles attuned to the firmament, which amass from the depths in epochs of Change. The Chaos Heart thrums, an atonal choir rings in the hollow, and the Hive awakens. Change is coming – it is written in the firmament ; for the first time in fourhundred years, the Dust Adepts will make pilgrimage to Teleme.

Port Telvannis – Conceptually, I imagine a city where “The Emperor has no eyes.” Telvannis the Padomaic is a city in constant transcience, where the kings of Tamriel wage information warfare; where the Weal of Fortune passes through hands like so much currency, and nothing can't be taken by ink and gold – and magic, of course. Her rogue skylanes ebb and flow brazenly against the Septim Emperor, as dirgibles and skylamps arrayed in effervescent clan hues pursue their sorcerer-captains’ filthy lucre. Hanging from the sprawling shroom bays beneath them, as if life is to be a sentence, are the least of mer. The grub druglord rots them of worldly bonds; dishonored and lazy sons are sold into slavery, while the hapless wake stros m’kai’d aboard strange vessels. Peddlers from the furthest west and remotest Oblivion market free of Imperial customs. There is no governance in Telvannis but the Law: Do what thou wilt.  Proxy handlers below the Telvan lord only suggest their enigmatic Master’s interest in the isle. His dirgible foundary, Sadas plantation, dreugh anglers and tanners encompass the realm's honest industries.

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Alongside a big heaping of Crowley, this frankly sounds more like something the Telvanni Isles might degenerate ìnto deep in the fourth era, or some port city in the Abecean Sea.
Not saying it’s not appreciated, but this is really pretty far from how TR has envisioned the Isles to be so far.  Both the Empire and the Tribunal have built a civilisation, and the Isles are one of the four corners of the house of shipping, especially for the East Empire Company, so an active pirate base would not be appreciated, to say nothing of the fallbacks and safeguard Dral left behind before he became an Outer Realm.

However, since the eastern coast is sort of free game as far as re-development is concerned, and since the unofficial motto is “a coast of heretics”, maybe some of these could be based in Uriel V’s abandoned naval bases, bidding their time until civil order breaks down? God knows we could use more actual heresies in Almsivi’s cracking order.

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I know, its wild... Call it a stab in the dark. I was going for Abbey of Theleme, from Gargantua and Pantagruel, but Crowley’s definitely an associate. How else should powerful wizards behave? idk

What if corprus was synthetically (alchemically) developed by some Telvanni for treating the Knahatan flu? Or what is the Dust – is it parasol spores, void salts, dust from Vvardenfell’s ash plumes? Have the team discussed it much?

As for the Abbey, I just really wanted to do something with RR’s Hive, while subtley linking the mainland with the Vvardenfell narrative. We would maybe learn ithe Hive is a living aggregate of beetles, attuned to changes in the firmament. Through some cross referencing, clues that they’ve risen before under auspicious signs and closing epochs, and the stirring troubles of Dagoth Ur, we would also learn they sense the thrums of the Heart. There’s that early concept art of two Dunmer making pilgrimage to the Hive… something like that might happen every era, when the Lady Azura of the Crimson Gate opens the Lunar Lattice and the “blood tide rises”. idk

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Powerful wizards would be less of posers than Crowley was, for sure. I mean, they have actual, visible proof of their prowress. If given enough time, they will understand exactly how the afterlife and souls work (and they will stop there, most likely, or go the route of Archmagister Dral and become their own Outer Realm, or the route of the currently missing Indoril head of house who zero-summed).

I’m absolutely sure we aren’t touching the Corprus storyline, sorry – it has been done well enough by Morrowind proper and it’s not in either TR’s place or interest to invent secret lore around a storyline already steeped in ancient and forbidden lore.

I think we had some discussion about including the Hive, except as part of the Deshaan Plains. It would be a prototype for the Skyrender hives the Dres harvest for beasts of burden. I’m not sure how your vision would be implemented – we are after all bound by having to put this in-game, in a somewhat mundane, unobscured reality.

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I’m always leery on the subject of Dust Adepts, as to me the outfit is clearly intended to represent practical adaptation to an ashy (or dusty) landscape, with dust filters and dust shoes and such, and most suggestion for them are to make them powerful wizards who, I’d think, would find it more convenient to protect themselves from the elements by purely magical means or simply in some way to immunize themselves to the elements. That being said, your suggestion, at least as stated, is a good deal less extreme than others in that regard.

If we’re going to give corprus a Telvanni origin, I’d probably make it a First Era biological weapon traded to the Second Council in the War of the First Council to explain why Dagoth Ur knows of and can control it (just realized that sounds strange; to my understanding the First Council included the Dwemer and, in some capacity, the proto-Telvanni, and was consequently dissolved with the breakdown of relations, whereas the Second Council was the Dunmer wartime council which effectively dissolved with Nerevar’s death and the ascension of the Tribunal), or similarly to Orvas Dren set up some sort of deal between at least one Telvanni and Dagoth Ur. Both alternatives wouldn’t really explain why Divayth Fyr has so much trouble curing corprus, though, and in the end I think it works better as the Divine Disease.

As it looks quite possible that we won’t find a place for the Hive in the Deshaan, Telvannis would certainly be another option, likely along or near Boethiah’s Spine. There are no shortages of possible purposes it could serve, in my eyes. Another obvious option would be for it to be a place of pilgrimage, ancestor burial or simply worship to the Ashlander tribes we may or may not add to Telvannis.

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The Hive is a great choice for Telvannis’ parliament of bugs, even the name suggests that purpose. I also like the sorcerer-Lawmen trajectory with the Dust Adepts; they're not full wizards, but they can be an unholy terror. In regions without the mageocracy, they might be the only law.

Of course, I'd like to see the Velothi get more love than yurts… All good possibilities.
 

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Concerning St.Veloth’s and Sparts’ comments – I agree! The economic and social aspects of a mageocracy isn’t that much explored in vanilla.  While I agree with you that the wizards are hogging too much attention, I do think that most aspects of Telvani society would revolve around them though. A Telvani settlement seems pretty much to be founded because of one powerful wealthy individual wanted a place to study. Usually they are placed in remote and rugged islands far away from any potential disturbance. The implication that I would think this to have for the people deciding to live close to one of these towers is that their economic future would be dependent on the needs and demands of this one individual. The ruggedness of the landscape means that the chances for any food production over and above subsistence level seems fairly slim. The remoteness means that the possibilities for trade are not directly related to the activities of the wizard and his/her retainers are next to none. A person that would be able to make a living in a Telvani settlement would therefore in almost every case be able to provide some service that is needed to keep the highly advanced research facility that is a Telvanni wizard tower going. Maybe there are some fishermen, herdsmen and hunters that provides some food for the people of the settlement itself, but the vast majority of economic activity is directed towards the economic demand of this very small group of magicians.
 

The social implications of this would be interesting to explore. The level of economic dependency between what is basically a servant class and the mages, would garner, I think a high level of deference and loyalty. An interesting question is how slavery fits into this mix. What are the kinds of jobs done by slaves, and what does that mean for the poorest of the Telvanni? How are slaves viewed by the wizards vs. how they are viewed by the merchants, craftsmen, and workers that live in the settlement? I imagine that the extreme economic inequalities associated with a mageocracy combined with a wide use of slavery in Morrowind society, could be a recipe for a strong and rather unappetizing level of racism.

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In my head, I’ve thought that the Telvanni tower communities get their food by a combination of trade and Velothi tribute.

The lands that the Telvanni live in are extremely undeveloped outside of the isolated towers, but there are a good amount of Velothi living off the land in small communities centered around fishing, herding, farming, hunting, etc. I don’t imagine that the Telvanni mages would want to concern themselves with the Velothi at all in terms of keeping the peace or providing services, but there must be some relationship between them.

I think Velothi living near Telvanni towers would be so isolated from higher level magic that they would treat the mages almost like powerful, dangerous deities. Like a lot of cultures in the real world with similar beliefs, they could have a tradition of offering food and other supplies as tribute to the mages. This would sort of function on a superstitions level, where they believed that giving tribute might increase their harvests, etc. But it would also function on a practical level, because the Telvanni would be very inclined to protect villages & peoples that were effectively feeding them.

I think it’s a good solution, because I can’t imagine the Telvanni wanting to get involved in mundane things like taxing agriculture. It would also provide a bit of color to the world, and could provide the basis for more than a few quests. What if Indoril priests are moving into the Velothi villages in Telvanni territory, ostensibly to spread the faith but also conveniently spreading Indoril influence and teaching the villagers that offering tribute is blasphemous. What if one of the villages was unable to pay tribute to the local mage lord, and the player is sent to deal with them. I can also envision small shrines on the outskirts of Telvanni towns where the Velothi leave offerings to appease the mage lords. I think there’s a lot of good stuff that can come out of this idea.

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I guess I have always thought of the Velothi as too aware of their place in the world to worship the wizards like Gods. They are aware that there is magick after all, and have their own magical and religious traditons. I imagined them thinking of them more in the way European folk lore treat wizards and whiches: mysterious, most likely up to no good, but might provide a powerful ally – the thing scary bed time stories are made of. I don’t think they would be the main supplier of food to any Telvani settelement for one reason. Any Telvani settlement would be dependent of some level of trade with the outside world. The things needed for maintaining such a fascility is simply to specific to be found all in close vicinity of the settlement. But if there already is trade expeditions coming to the settlement or supply expeditions sent to larger Telvani settlements, then they have access to many more varieties of food than can be gathered by the Velothi.

I am not saying there is no trade going on between Velothi and Telvani. There might be craftsmen and local Merchants that live close to the tower that depend on the Velothi to buy them food. I can also see a Wizard making use of their knowledge of the land to provide rare ingredients found in the local area, but they play a marginal part of the economy as a whole, and nothing like a tribute. 

Processus Vitellius's picture
Processus Vitellius
Joined:
2016-07-07 09:41
Last seen:
2 years 5 days ago

-- Concerning the question of how wizards communicate with their mouths –

So not to be a buzzkill, but what is wrong with a simple teleport spell? Since mouths probably do not speak with their masters too often, why cant they have a teleport spell marked at the counsil chamber, an one at their master’s settlement. To me this whole talk of Dreamsleeve and mind wipes seems to me to be an overly complicated sollution to a very simple problem. People send people to advocate for them all the time. They just give them instructions beforehand. 

Here is how I imagine a day in the life of a mouth. 

Morning: Get up, get dressed, and teleport to your master and discuss issues up for discussion at the counsil. That is if there are any, and if the master even can be bothered. Then head back to counsil business. 

Noon: Lunch. 

Aftenoon: Then head back to counsil business. 

Evening: Dinner; Report back to master if necessery, then go to bed. 

DMKW's picture
DMKW
Joined:
2016-01-17 19:59
Last seen:
1 year 10 months ago

I always figured the mouths were in place to conduct busines, so the wizards don’t have to deal with it.  They aren’t vessels for the wizards to speak through because the wizards really don't care and haven’t cared for hundreds or throusands of years.  Although they might have at one time, when these hierarchies were established or maybe the lower members of the guild established these positions despite the wizards for their own sake so they wouldn’t have to live in anarchy or to create a vessel for their own gain.
Some mouths may genuinly “speak for” what they believe their masters might want to achieve, but many in the Parliament of Bugs simply speak for themselves, and maybe a few mouths might actually care about the good of the people or the good of the house, like a Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders, but most are just out for themselves.  
Also a true business is set up in a system where a true business owner doesn’t have to be around for it to work.  If they get sick or travel the world for a year or confine themselves to a 1000 years of study, the area runs without them.  Mouths and others in the hierarchy deal with the mundain day to day things like taxes and governing so the wizards can do their thing.  Thats if we even think that the wizards care or ever have.  I don’t believe they do care if their town/village/city thrives or dies, its just another hive populated by so many bugs.

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