Slave revolt outline

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Tyrant's picture
Tyrant
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Partially inspired by recent discussion, here's my rough draft of how I believe would be a good way to go about any major "slave revolt" questline for TR.

These discussions often revolve around a basic lizard-braveheart or lizard-spartacus type story where the slaves simply all rise up, presumably in some epic battle, and overthrow their opressors and free themselves (after some encouragement from the player). I think this is the wrong way to do it, for a few reasons.

1. Very predictable.

2. TES 3 can't do any sort of major battle sequence that would do this justice

3. We'd miss the opportunity to introduce actual moral dilemma / player choice, and instead just offer the player: Free the slaves: Yes or No?

4. How do we reconcile the player being involved in such a massive illegal act?

Summary of what I'd like to see

- Through some contact in the Twin Lamps, the player is directed to de-escelate a situation involving slaves on one of the primary Dres plantations. Word is that some of the slaves are getting very rowdy, and might 'try something stupid'. Interestingly, the TL want you to discourage any potential uprising, and talk them out of 'doing something stupid' that will probably backfire, since they'd rather play it safe. The TL is gaining popularity, and they are more hopefully and optimistic that freedom can be achieved peacefully without unnecessary death.

This is the root of the dilemma

When the player investigates the slaves, he'll find that there are two main factions among them.

One group is rowdy and rebellious, lead a very charismatic and bold younger Argonian who is willing to fight if he can convince enough to join him, inspired by legendary tales of his homeland.

And another group who is opposed to rebellion. The main slave opposed to rebellion is the oldest and most respected of the slaves. His argument is that he has been there a very long time, and he's seen the 'times changing' for a long while, and believes that if they are patient and peaceful, the attitude towards slavery may keep changing in their favor, as he's already seen in his lifetime conditions improve compared to what he saw as a child, and is also optimistic that the Empire may assist them soon.

Additionally, he's seen several failed uprisings, which have always backfired miserably: after the uprising is crushed, the survivors and their families are punished ruthlessly, he doesn't want to see this again.

The quest from this point will be for the player to somehow convince the handful of slaves who are undecided who they agree with.

If the player discourages rebellion, the Twin Lamps will be happy and thank you for saving lives, and say that they can now get back to their work of helping rescue slaves in secrecy.

If the player encourages rebellion, it will fail and be crushed immediately. The rebels will have decided that it was better to give their lives in the name of freedom than to live as slaves. The loudest and most charismatic rebel, after a glorious speech about freedom, will suffer a particularly un-glamorous death being killed almost immediately.

Unfortunately, the surviving slaves will indeed be ruthlessly persecuted harder than before, as predicted by the older, wiser among them. The player will be left to wonder if this was indeed the right choice...

 

But the story doesn't end here

 

Unbeknownst to the player, a legend does start to brew around this event, and snowball out of control. Soon, slaves across Morrowind are whispering stories around campfires of the "Legendary Argonian slave, who was descended from a mythic shadowscale of old, who rose up, and singlehandedly vanquished a dozen or more guards, before declaring that he'd return and save the rest of his people"

Speaking to slaves in the future, the player will learn that the actual events have been a massive inspiration for groups of slaves everywhere, and further rebellions can be institigated in the name of the now martyred Argonian. Despite the fact that the real story will be almost nothing close to the story being told around campfires.

So for a pro-liberation player, freedom will come at a heavy cost, and pay-off later on. If Freedom was easy, everyone would have it.

 

 

hammered on sujammer's picture
hammered on sujammer
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Shouldn't some Dres member offer you the job of killing the young charismatic leader? I could even see the Dres venerating the old and wise slave, perhaps even offering to memorialize him after hes gone due to the fact that his views allow House Dres to continue practicing slavery without conflict. Aside from that, it would be interesting to see khajiit and maybe even some non-beast races involved in both slave factions.

Tyrant's picture
Tyrant
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These would definitely not be openly voiced viewpoints from the slaves, and would only be known about through vague rumors obtained by secretive "back channels" of Twin Lamps informants.

 

Agree about not having a 100% argonian group of slaves, but still would like the thematic image of a mostly argonian group.

hammered on sujammer's picture
hammered on sujammer
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Surely some of those rumors would reach Dres ears as well though, right? Even if most of the Dres find the idea laughable, there must be one or two who realize the risk such a revolt could pose under the right conditions. And yea I agree that they should primarily be argonian. 

 

 

Edit: The way the Dres hear about it could even be the player

Tyrant's picture
Tyrant
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"Edit: The way the Dres hear about it could even be the player"

Damn, that's cold. Guess players gotta have evil choices too tho.

hammered on sujammer's picture
hammered on sujammer
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From what I understand most if not all player choices in favor of House Dres will be on the evil side including the entire questline. That's just what I've heard though, I might be mistaken.

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I know I'm not staff, but I think the concept's too on-the-nose? The Dres want you to kill a slave leader? What for? The Deshaan is supposed to be so inhospitable, that nobody would ever dream of escape, let alone organizing a general uprising. Then there's the "wise old slave" who sees the "times a'changin" its just got this sugary, aw shucks kind of glory, glory halleluia morality tale that doesn't jive with Deshaan's oppressive and abandon all hope, ye who enter image in my mind. I don't think the slaves in Deshaan could even lift their heads to conceive of ideas like freedom or escape. How would they all escape? Which could be the wrong image, I'm no expert. I don't think Twin Lamps should have any presence at all in that wretched place. Where the Indoril have suffered losses before Hlaalu, and settled into a reactionary malaise, Dres aristocracy would posess a vital arrogance mirroring the struggle of life in Deshaan. Given their brutal surroundings, and Vivec's brief description of House Dres in vanilla dialogue. A revolt as seen in the Redguard comic would be a colossal undertaking, something a legend like Cyrus could only do for a friend. Even a fortune wouldn't be enough compensation.

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Cicero
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It is rather dumb

You won't win
With your standards so high
And your spirits so low