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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



How do you make Indoril do to Paladins and Monks what Telvanni did to Wizards?
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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:07 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



"What Telvanni did to Wizards" largely relies on mushrooms and bugs. Spicing up Indoril can't be done in the same way anymore, so the flavour will have to transpire from dialogue (/quests)

I personally find the fanatical angle boring but no better idea.
Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:31 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Thrignar Fraxix
Developer Emeritus
06 Dec 2004

Location: Silnim

Heretics and daedric worshipers killed on sight. Perhaps public executions of these people are viewed as expected viewing for pious indoril.

Charity is common and expected, though often times the charity comes in the form of employment in near slave conditions or leads to indentured servitude.

Alternatively, the pressure for charity is so high that even those receiving it are pressured into giving most of it to the church, effectively leaving them unaided.

Perhaps some sort of ritualistic suicide that is sought after as a prestigious and respectable death.

Monks take in poor unfortunate beggars and effectively torture them, sometimes to death, in an effort to purge the evil that led them to their destitution.

Though not phrased as such, these are all obviously suggestions.

Edit: What I would say "what telvanni did to wizards" means is more related to aesthetic, attitude, and a certain degree of corruption. Telvanni are Telvanni not from their mushrooms but because they are asshole loner mad scientists who believe the ends justify the means in any case and would turn their mothers inside out if it advanced their cause.

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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Jule
Reviewer
01 May 2007

Location: Wilderness

The Indoril council doesn't just "meet". When they come together, they each start the discussion by reciting a prayer, often including the other councilors, their kin, their ancestors, their accomplishments and virtues. Before starting a discussion on any question, they ask for the blessing of the Tribunal, and if Almalexia isn't there to give them their blessing in person, then the Alma Rula has to do it in her place. (If he is not present or is unwilling to give them the blessing in Almalexia's name, the council is dismissed and will never be conveyed to discuss on that particular matter again.) This is also a great way to waste time if one does not want to discuss a particularly uncomfortable subject.
Young Indoril nobles are required to follow the Threefold Path: thirty-three years of studying (The Path of Wisdom), three years of charitable work (The Path of Mercy), three months serving in the Ordinators (albeit a distinct order of the Ordinators, created only for the nobles; not so much a fighting order - maybe the Alma Rula's personal guard; this is The Path of Strength). Only then can they choose their own way of life. However, only high Indoril nobility has enough spare time to follow this ritual, and thus it is considered exclusive to them. Because only those who have walked the Threefold Path can sit on the Council, lesser nobility is effectively excluded from holding any seats on the Council. Should a lesser noble try to walk the Path (presumably in order to claim a seat on the Council), the higher nobility will make sure he encounters a tragic accident while walking The Path of Strength. How do they explain this to themselves? They are, after all, very pious, or at least they are expected to be. It's rather simple: the Tribunal teaches them, by example as well as by word, that Wisdom and Mercy are nothing without Strength. He who fails a test of strength can surely never be expected to walk in the grace and glory of the three living gods, and his death is thus even more meaningful since it serves as a reminder to all.
The nobles compete against each other in public, never in private; an insult given under cover of privacy might as well never have happened. The best way to insult each other is to stage a comedy which is used to discredit and slander your opponents, thereby showing your opulence and your resolve, and also gathering a following of commoners (since Almalexia has stopped appearing in public and meddling with the problems of the people and nobility alike, the Indoril nobles know that he who holds the hearts of the people, holds power in the city of Almalexia).
Ritual suicide is honorable if executed in public, but it is shameful if done in private since it might be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
If shame has been brought on a family name because of the deeds or words of one of its members, honor can only be restored by a grandiose display of selflessness which is usually staged in the Theatre or in one of the numerous venues in the streets. Commoners gather, members of the family pray, give blessings to the people and absolution to the one who brought shame on the family, and then he recites religious haiku while disemboweling himself. This brings much prestige to the family in question. In religious terms: this is explained by and tolerated due to the Indoril belief that some members of society may better serve their family as ancestor spirits in the afterlife than they do now while they're living.

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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:30 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Thrignar Fraxix wrote:
Heretics and daedric worshipers killed on sight. Perhaps public executions of these people are viewed as expected viewing for pious indoril.

That's not weird. In fact it's even a bit cliché. Everybody and their dogs expect the Spanish Inquisition nowadays.

I wonder if it would be possible to expand a bit on this blurb from this in-game book:
Quote:
House Indoril and House Dres are the two Great Houses without holdings or interest in Vvardenfell. Indoril District occupies the heartland of Morrowind, comprising the lands south of the Inner Sea and the eastern coast. The city of Almalexia is located in Indoril District, and the Indoril are orthodox and conservative supporters of the Temple and Temple authority. House Indoril is openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion, and preserves many traditional Dunmer customs and practices in defiance of Imperial law. Dres District is in the south of Morrowind, bordering the swamps and marshes of Black Marsh. House Dres is an agrarian agricultural society, and its large saltrice plantations rely completely on slave labor for their economic viability. Always firm Temple supporters, House Dres is hostile to Imperial law and culture, and in particular opposed to any attempts to limit the institution of slavery.


Given that "imperial law" is only defined in-game as "don't start fights, don't steal, everything else's fair game", what traditional Dunmer customs and practices could be in defiance? The Empire already tolerates slavery (normally outlawed) and does not defend necromancy (normally tolerated, though by the time we got to see Cyrodiil the Mages Guild decided to ban it) in the province, so it's not related to slave-owning or killing necromancers.

Would this be a quest hook? What with Imperial Legion quests centered on stopping some Indorils from practicing Mysterious Tradition Unelaborated Upon #27; and in reverse you'd get Indoril quests centered on thwarting Imperial attempts at disrupting the performance of MTUU27?
Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:33 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

The last days of the Samurai innit. They should have a history of being gloriously intolerant overmighty bastards, but it's all slipping away under Imperial influence. This should somehow be a sad thing.

Big into their vows and oaths. Some don't speak to outlanders. Entering any religious space leads to a hostile challenge and possibly death. Everyone belongs to an honourable society of one sort or another, which is as important as family. Feuding happens between these societies instead of individuals or houses. Individualism is a decadent foreign concept.

The aristocracy is large as a proportion of the population. People list their titles, honorifics and tong memberships (if those aren't secret) upon introduction. Very formal.

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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Jule wrote:
In religious terms: this is explained by and tolerated due to the Indoril belief that some members of society may better serve their family as ancestor spirits in the afterlife than they do now while they're living.

Now this is potentially interesting. With all the fuss on ancestor worship, one could expect ancestor spirits to be treated better than as battery for the Ghostfence or as some low-level summon monster spell to keep the mudcrabs at bay while you're getting your tan on.

What if there are ancestral spirits in the Council, or holding similar prestigious positions? (Like scribe or something. No, not scrib. Scrib isn't a prestigious position.)

What if there are manors dedicated to the ghosts, where they go around doing pretty much diddly-squat because they're ghosts for Vehk's sake; while living nobles perform domestic chores (just keeping things clean of dust, cooking is not needed) as a show of piety? One could remark that the heathen necromancers turn the honored dead into their slaves, but the pious Indoril serve them.
Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Gez wrote:

What if there are ancestral spirits in the Council, or holding similar prestigious positions? (Like scribe or something. No, not scrib. Scrib isn't a prestigious position.)

What if there are manors dedicated to the ghosts, where they go around doing pretty much diddly-squat because they're ghosts for Vehk's sake; while living nobles perform domestic chores (just keeping things clean of dust, cooking is not needed) as a show of piety? One could remark that the heathen necromancers turn the honored dead into their slaves, but the pious Indoril serve them.


Isn't that more the Dres' shtick? Indoril are supposed to be more about the Tribunal, but they could do all those as an unspoken thing amongst high-ranking Nobles so as not to one-up the Dres. (difference being they would be fully spread, common, public practices for the Dres, whereas the Indoril would be almost ashamed)
Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:07 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
tkl7
Member
09 May 2012



Gez wrote:
Thrignar Fraxix wrote:
Heretics and daedric worshipers killed on sight. Perhaps public executions of these people are viewed as expected viewing for pious indoril.

That's not weird. In fact it's even a bit cliché. Everybody and their dogs expect the Spanish Inquisition nowadays.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

...sorry...
Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

Escalating Sload's idea of retainers fasting in their master's name, how about we take this idea of substitutes to the extreme?

In exchange for their master's protection and support, a retainer is expected to act as a substitute for their master when called upon. This can include social activities like making public appearances at the theatre or courthouse, going to Temple and praying for hours on end in place of their master, attending lectures, funerals and weddings of lower retainers, et cetera. It also includes nastier things - observing periods of mourning, or abstaining from eating, drinking and sex during times of fasting in their master's place or similar unpleasantness, in order not to burden their master so that the master can continue to work for the good of the House during such periods.

When lesser disputes among nobles are settled, either by gentlemen's agreement, social justice, or by a Temple official, or more major disputes are taken to the Courthouse(?), a noble can opt to have his punishment enacted on one, or multiple, of his subjects, instead of himself. For instance, a noble convicted of a crime may choose to pay reparations in either coin or blood. He may then volunteer one of his retainers to take the punishment for him. Since noble blood is obviously more valuable to the Indoril than that of one of lower birth, a heavy punishment for a noble can be translated to the flogging of multiple of his retainers, or the suicide of a few. This practice is regarded as normal, both among nobles and their subjects, and is seen as being "for the good of the House" since the House needs its leaders more than it needs any individual retainer.

A formal dispute or lawful punishment is not even necessary - when a noble has fucked up, made a gaffe, or disgraced his ancestors in any way, he may feel the need to send a retainer to flog himself in public as a form of apology and repentance. In fact, the most devoted retainers will volunteer, or even spontaneously punish themselves without a noble's request, to help their master and show their dedication to him and his family. Again, complex social rules apply to the value of one's blood, and the most extreme cases require not the punishment of a retainer but the punishment of several, or that of one's nephew, son, or daughter.

Weird enough for our tastes? It made me slightly uncomfortable writing this so I guess that's a good thing, right?

Edit: In response to Jule being uncomfortable by a noble judging the value of his life and the value of his subjects, I'd say it's not so much judging the value as it is knowing one's place. An Indoril commoner wants to serve his master and House, and knows roughly how much they matter compared to the nobles, and vice-versa.
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Exovian
Developer
16 Sep 2012



I think taking the substitution idea too far could be rather bad. The Indoril seem to have been portrayed up to now as having a fairly high (for nobles) amount of responsibility. Sending slaves to flog themselves in your place is something that I would think is dishonorable to them.

I'd also argue against a noble sending a son or daughter to be punished for a personal error. If anything, I would expect the noble to try to atone and shield his family from that sin.

Quote:
In fact, the most devoted retainers will volunteer, or even spontaneously punish themselves without a noble's request, to help their master and show their dedication to him and his family.


I do like this. It really seems to appeal to the sense of collective honor that they're going for.

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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:38 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

It's a matter of perspective, really. And no slaves. Nobody cares about slaves. Actual free Dunmer who are tied to a noble family through loyalty and history and so.
Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:54 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Exovian wrote:
I think taking the substitution idea too far could be rather bad. The Indoril seem to have been portrayed up to now as having a fairly high (for nobles) amount of responsibility. Sending slaves to flog themselves in your place is something that I would think is dishonorable to them.

I'd also argue against a noble sending a son or daughter to be punished for a personal error. If anything, I would expect the noble to try to atone and shield his family from that sin.


This is not weird thinking. The problem with the Indoril right now is that they conform generally to your idea of what is honorable.

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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



The majority of Indoril slaves are Dunmer



Also more generally speaking, societies big on honour naturally tend towards complete hypocrisy. Shouldn't be done to the extreme though, there's enough parallel between Indoril and Japan already.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:49 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



rot wrote:
Also more generally speaking, societies big on honour naturally tend towards complete hypocrisy.


Honor is all about image, so that's to be expected.

People tend to have a positive impression of honor. In fact, honor is horrible. To the mindset of one brought up in a law-based society, honor is evil and barbaric. Honor leads to honor killings, to vendettas, to omerta.

Honor systems are incompatible with our western understanding of truth, justice, and the Cyrodiil Way. You cannot search for the truth, because the truth might shame honorable families, which should not be done. Lies are preferable. Justice demands punishments should be proportionate to the offense (you can't go further than Lex Talionis), instead honor demands punishments that far exceed the offense: having an entire clan executed because one of them insulted your mom is perfectly acceptable. Honor also serves as a measure of one's worth (instead of their bank account, as we do in our enlightened Western World): someone very honorable is worth a lot more than someone with little honor, such as a commoner or an outlander.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theo
Developer Emeritus
16 Dec 2004

Location: PRAGUE

How about Indoril were strictly caste society. You ancestors were fletchers you have to be fletcher and your childern too and their childern until end of times. There is a very detailed code of interaction between the castes - when you are talking with a noble, you must look at his feet etc.

The noble families are so obsessed with the purity of the bloodlines, so that incest is tolerated. It is not officially approved, but everyone knows it is going on and understands it is necessary.
If a father does not find suitable husband for his daughter, he may give her his child and later be his protector. Staying childless is considered the worst fate for woman, second being staying without a husband.
Marrying someone from different caste is simply not even considered and is beyond comprehensebility of Indoril mindset.

The charity is not so much driven with real concern for the poor and drive to improve the society - it is poor peoples fate to remain poor, after all - but rather with display of virtues in the donors.

The poor receive only as much aid as to survive and keep their miserable lives. The poverty is omnipresent as the pious Indoril consider suffering as something sacred and uplifting and revere misery as a sort of blessing.

The social status can be achieved by performing some kind of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potlach

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Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



On the other hand, one should remember that the Indoril being a joinable faction means that the player will inevitably go through the ranks from simple foreign retainer to head of the House. So emphasizing too much on social immobility of the Indoril is going to create a sort of plothole. If raising above your station is unthinkable, how come the player gets to become leader of a clan he was not born into? Sure, he is considered Nerevar Reborn if he goes through the Morrowind main quest, but given that the player very well might be some Argonian lady from the Thieves Guild, or Cyrodiil Legionnaire, who never became bothered to become Hortator and Nerevarine, you cannot use this as the trump-card. Even if the player is inherently exceptional, it has to be an exception allowed to by the Indoril mindset.

For the Telvanni, the explanation is power. They respect sheer personal power above everything else, so a n'wah who is a very powerful n'wah gets to not be a n'wah anymore. Similarly, something other than birth is needed for Indoril. (And for Dres, but that's for later.)

Answer: basically, honor. The closest thing there is in-game to a "face" statistics is reputation. We could also have the player straight up murder (through ritualized duels in an arena) anybody who objects to his rise to power. The problem with reputation is that it's usually tied to main quests or to faction quests, so if you require high reputation values for promotion it means House Indoril requires you to work for other factions first, which doesn't make much sense. (Also, I think reputation was completely overlooked by Bloodmoon/Tribunal and I'm not sure our own quests give any.)
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:31 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theo
Developer Emeritus
16 Dec 2004

Location: PRAGUE

Well, what I wrote obviously applies mostly to someone who is already born to an Indoril society, not to an outlander, who wants to join the house from outside.

Perhaps the system should not be that rigid and anyone can have a chance to improve his social status by servitude to the house.
Most of the lowborn Indoril, however, are not expected to even attempt to do so and often do not even think of it and accept their role in society with humble piety.
The quests should, later at some stage, expect you to spend a lot of fortune. You will be required to become famous and reputable by accumulating a lot of wealth and giving it away, as is the idea of the Potlach.

This is a different concept that power being a result of you having this wealth at your disposition.

I do not see your suggestions incompaible with mine, Gez, I think they supplement each other quite well.

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arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Do we want to go down this medieval-feudalism road? I'm not against it, but this isn't what I'd consider weird fantasy...

Also, it's probably relevant to know that existing quest NPCs in Akamora, Bosmora and Bisandryon tend to be relatively friendly towards the player ("relatively" as in: they rant about too many outlanders being around, but they aren't unfair towards the player, and give relevant information at around 30-40 disposition like most other NPCs). One might argue that these quests should have been done after, not before, the design of Indoril customs and lore, but truth is, noone was around to discuss Indoril a year ago when these quests were conceptualized. Changing this would require a lot of other changes for consistency. I think we need to give the Indoril a tradition of hospitality (which in no way conflicts with bellicism, feudalism and honor/shame, as history amply shows) so as to not have these quests appear like a tourist village in the middle of Mordor.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:20 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theo
Developer Emeritus
16 Dec 2004

Location: PRAGUE

More like ancient east (India), then european feudalism, I would say. Possession of lands has no role in Dunmer whatsoever. But it is truly difficult to come with some truly original concept of society, which is not too visibly fabricated and holds together.

Again, I would say most of these suggestions I have read in this thread deal with the ways Indoril interact with another. The outlander has no business interfering in them or even knowing about them, but that does not mean he is an enemy.

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Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:45 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

Actually land ownership is supposed to be a big thing among the Indoril. I'm not really a fan of strict castes, mostly from a gameplay perspective, nor the other weird social norms like the only-look-at-their-feet thing - while this definitely is the kind of weird I can appreciate and that could potentially do the faction good, it simply won't work in-engine.

Anyway, besides the notion that their social structure has some pretty fucked up characteristics, being the substitution idea or the castes or their weird sense of honor or whatever, do we have any ideas for how to incorporate more mysticism and ritualism into the faction? Like Adanorcil asked when we talked about it earlier, "what does a Dunmer religious experience look like", and how can we use that?
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:54 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Unspoken custom, in lawman dialogue, or something for the margins of a law book...

Should an Indoril do the unthinkable and disparage/try to sow dissent in their own family - or worse, the Tribunal - (or even just refuse to keep face / laud it all)
Someone vests a ritual garb and mask (something green and faceless to go with the architecture?)
and takes a ritual stick to the offender, leaving them bruised and naked in a public place. All done in silence.

That someone can be a non-Indoril hired hand (quest hook!), Indoril member, member of the family, or Tribunal priest, according to the gravity of the offence.

The ritual is considered as the most merciful way to restore the family's honour in that case, and only applied to an unanimously beloved member of the family (head's favourite daughter, that sort). Maybe because it also implies a huge donation or special vow of subservience to the Temple, in order for the offence to be ignored - this is too merciful and in no way a true substitution to the actual punishment, the slight is just wiped away, never happened.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:18 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Jule
Reviewer
01 May 2007

Location: Wilderness

In my opinion, that would be too mundane. The Indoril should be utter zealots, at least the nobility, as at the later stages the player is mostly going to have business with them. They should be pious, zealous, and a bit crazy. They should value service over individuality, honor over justice, self-sacrifice and self-punishment over punishment inflicted by others, prayer over thought. They should judge themselves and always consider whether they have strayed from the path of the Tribunal. Before doing anything, they should think: what would my Gods do were they in my place? As the Aedra were anticipations of Almsivi, so are the Almsivi a beacon for the Indoril nobility. They are still mortal, of course, so they make mistakes. Any mistake is swiftly punished, any dishonor is cleared as soon as possible, but I would always imagine themselves to be judge, jury and executioner, not others, certainly not other members of the nobility. The Indoril nobility is more or less indifferent towards commoners, since in their eyes, commoners are so very far away from the truth that is Almsivi that they couldn't possibly be expected to follow the path of the righteous. Even the wealthiest commoner is just a delusional, lowly creature, that should be guided towards the true path of Almsivi. And when there isn't a priest around that could preach to these poor souls, it is the nobleman's duty to do so, sometimes enforcing his arguments with some well-measured educative violence. When one noble tries to ruin another, whether by covert actions or by public humiliation, it is only because he considers him a lesser being in the service of Almsivi, and all weakness should be purged from the ranks of the servants of the Tribunal.
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Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lady Nerevar
Developer Emeritus
08 Jun 2004

Location: New Orleans, LA

Gez wrote:
On the other hand, one should remember that the Indoril being a joinable faction means that the player will inevitably go through the ranks from simple foreign retainer to head of the House. So emphasizing too much on social immobility of the Indoril is going to create a sort of plothole. If raising above your station is unthinkable, how come the player gets to become leader of a clan he was not born into?

Could this perhaps be circumvented for the sake of keeping things fresh? For example, having you not be an official part of Indoril at all for the first third of the quest line, or having the topmost rank be Majordomo for the actual Grandmaster of House Indoril? That way, the player's rise isn't as sudden or as dramatic, which makes any emphasis on social immobility, the importance of one's bloodline, and being a True Dunmer not be totally incongruous. The idea of minor (client) houses with the Great House is something that wasn't emphasized much, maybe focus the quest line more on them than on the institution of Indoril?

No actual wierdness ideas from me right now, but a little visual inspiration:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vb96mx6pxragud8/Scan-130521-0024.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/sjrwej7gyplod54/Morrowind08.jpg (though the architecture is Redoran, the descriptions weren't really evident in game, and would be good details to emphasize clan loyalty and the worth of one's blood)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p69vbkoqn778kpa/Morrowind15.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/phfhie17uaukiql/Morrowind32.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qrw3tnqfkhp8zod/Morrowind36.jpg

P.S. Holy shit Sload is back.

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Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:24 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Getting a bit abstract here, but on religion as pretext vs. cause:
"Religion as pretext", meaning people will use religion to justify doing what they want/society wants/makes them want/ to do, is what most examples of fanatical IRL religions behaviour I can think of would fall in - going with this for the Indoril would be realistic, though mundane.
Religion "as cause" is not so irrealistic in a world where the gods actually walk the earth. Hoping there are more subtle ways to go about this than simply having people doing things they logically wouldn't want to, but that could be a start: the Shabbat pushing-buttons thing (have them require the help of non-Indoril for ridiculous things they can't do)

Are there more interesting ways to show that the Indoril are doing their thing (persecution, whatever) out of true belief, and not just because it justifies killing "the others"?
Show that they feel genuine horror at the thought of heresy? Fear, even, not just the usual agression (killing parties) or sheepish passivity (prayer).
Have them raise lightning rod buildings to canalise sins/the influence of the Bad Daedra/... away from places where people live... I dunno.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Hells
Developer
14 Jun 2007

Location: Poznan

Quote:
Could this perhaps be circumvented for the sake of keeping things fresh? For example, having you not be an official part of Indoril at all for the first third of the quest line, or having the topmost rank be Majordomo for the actual Grandmaster of House Indoril? That way, the player's rise isn't as sudden or as dramatic, which makes any emphasis on social immobility, the importance of one's bloodline, and being a True Dunmer not be totally incongruous.

This.

It would really be something new in Morrowind and made sense lore-wise. Outlanders should never have any real power in House Indoril, no matter how strong, smart and pious they are - they never had any power, they never will. At least officially.

After the death of the current Grand Ascendant player could ally with some pure-blooded Indoril noble aiding him (or her) in his struggle for power - player would become essentially a kingmaker in this story. He could choose someone intelligent and wise for the sake of the House, or someone incompetent as a front, while he (the player) would be pulling strings from behind.

After the end of the questline, and if the player is officially acknowledged as Nerevarine, he could ask his guy for a nice honorary title. Everyone is happy.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

I briefly mentioned a while ago the idea of having a bureaucratic class of slaves (maybe eunuchs) who were educated, mostly Dunmer or Altmer and who handled a lot of the administration of government. Despite being slaves they would be a distinct class and a powerful group in their own right.

This could be repurposed to them being a monastic order of some kind* (a nice double meaning for the word 'clerical') who attend to the minutiae of government as a bridge between the religious authorities and the vaguely secular leadership. They're to the civil service what the Ordinators are to law enforcement.

This is maybe more of an Almalexia idea than an Indoril one.

*dedicated to Sotha Sil? Attending to Morrowind's administration as though it were a machine being maintained?

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Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

Lady Nerevar wrote:
Could this perhaps be circumvented for the sake of keeping things fresh? For example, having you not be an official part of Indoril at all for the first third of the quest line, or having the topmost rank be Majordomo for the actual Grandmaster of House Indoril?

Not being an official part of House Indoril at first -> yes, we're definitely going to make hireling mean hireling and make actual membership of the House a significant event within the storyline
having the topmost rank be Majordomo -> I hate to be that guy but no. Grand Ascendant or bust.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:29 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This post ended up rather long, so bear with me. (Or don't.)

One idea I want to toss out to explain why the Indoril could be friendly to the player while, for example, being openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion, as quoted by Gez above:
What if the Indoril take disregarding the individual to an extreme, in that they only really deal with people as a part of a group?
Basically, if someone, such as a certain ex-convict freelancer born to uncertain parents, comes up to an Indoril and talks with him, the Indoril doesn't quite know where to place him, and as such just answers his questions, perhaps politely, perhaps not, and maybe hoping for the player to go away.
If, however, the player establishes that he belongs to a group, for example that he is there as a member of House Telvanni, the Indoril in question will treat the player as House Telvanni. Not a member of it, but as being representative of the House as a whole.

-'face'
If the player's behaviour then deviates from what the Indoril would expect of House Telvanni, it serves less to remove the player from generalization than to very slightly change the image of House Telvanni: "House Telvanni sounded pious there. Maybe it is not completely deaf to the glory of The Three."
That is why face is such an important aspect for Indoril nobles: not for the sake of their own reputation, which they don't have, but for the sake of their (minor) House and station and whatever other group they belong to.
Basically, if an Indoril noble does something dishonourable, Indorils will see it as "House such-and-such is dishonourable". The noble's House then has to internally sort the issue out to restore their reputation, an extreme solution being expelling the offender from the House. "The offense was not carried out by House so-and-so, but by some random individual. House so-and-so is not dishonourable; that individual is."
On that note, viewing the player as a representative would only work if the player is not part of the same group. If the player is Indoril, and the NPC is Indoril, the NPC will not treat the player as representative of House Indoril, but either as an individual or, if available, as part of a sub-group, such as House Sandil, which would include retainers of Alveth Sandil.

-caste
Putting that another way, the player's promotion through the ranks would not involve him actively getting promoted, but instead would occur through a recognition of the player's self-promotion. If the player acts like an observant Lawman, and has gotten those around him to treat him as an observant Lawman, he must be an observant Lawman.
Basically, if the player is able to convince those of importance that he is part of x group, they will accept him as part of x group, no matter what group that is, which is how the player as an outlander can achieve a high rank in House Indoril.
As far as the Indoril are concerned, it would be a process of assimilation: "this individual acts like a councilor. Everybody treats him as a councilor. Outlanders do not act like councilors. Clearly, he is no outlander."
This would not be seen as somebody rising through the ranks; promotion of the player would rather be treated as correcting an error in the player's placement. Servants would not be able to rise above their status. A servant who becomes, say, a House Father was never a servant in the first place.

-promotion
How could that concretely be handled in-game? Basically, a questgiver, say Alveth Sandil, could help a protégé along in three ways. Either the questgiver could adopt the player into their group, for example Alveth Sandil could make the player part of House Sandil by adopting him as a retainer; or the questgiver can act as adviser to the player, telling him how he needs to act to become part of a certain group.
An example: "House Fathers must be show observance to the well-being of their lessers. By performing acts of charity, you might be able to get the councilors to accept you as a House Father."
The third way would be if, for example in completing a quest, the player happens of his own accord to act in a way befitting a higher rank.
The important point being that the player's rank is recognized by either a significant authority - House Sandil would probably carry a lot of weight - or a significant majority, or ideally both.
This is obviously a risk for the player's patron as well. If House Sandil accepts just anyone into its ranks, it will lose face. It will become a House of n'wahs. The player's patron would as such be very cautious in helping the player get a higher rank.

-demotion and expulsion
There are certain additional quirks that could result that affect gameplay: in other Houses and factions, somebody with the authority to do so declares that the player now belongs to a certain rank. That declaration is, as a result, rather hard for other faction members to argue with.
The exception would be House Telvanni, where anyone can theoretically contest the player's rank, as long as they do so through actions rather than words.
House Indoril might be somewhere in the middle: if enough people, or influential enough people, remain unconvinced of the player's new station, they can contest it. The player then has to prove them wrong. However, unlike House Telvanni, the player needs to disprove the claim, and not remove the detractor: killing the detractor will not remove any statements he has already made.
This would especially hold true for expulsion from House Indoril: first, the player will not always necessarily be removed from the House as a whole; that would depend on the player's rank and the nature of the offense. Similarly, the way the player can regain the rank could be dependent on the rank and offense.
For example, if the player breaks an oath he took as a member of House Indoril, he might be shot down in rank to Retainer. (Which I believe is directly below Oathman). If the offense was large enough to get Sandil to boot him out of his position as Retainer, the player might end up as a Hireling or be kicked out completely.
The player would then need to take action by showing his observance to the oaths, until the majority are convinced that the player is actually an observant Oathman.
Obviously, if the player keeps breaking his oaths, he will find it rather hard to convince others that he is an observant Oathman, so the process isn't necessarily as forgiving as it might seem.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:07 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
6plus
Developer
24 Apr 2011



Gnomey wrote:
One idea I want to toss out to explain why the Indoril could be friendly to the player while, for example, being openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion

Simple explanation: hospitality. Treating guests badly would mean to lose one's face, hence Indoril have to treat everyone friendly & politely, even outlanders. If, however, these guests don't behave polite themselves (e.g. by usurping the duties and privileges of the Indoril nobility), then they are no longer honorable guests.

Why wrote:
having the topmost rank be Majordomo -> I hate to be that guy but no. Grand Ascendant or bust.

I see two ways to make this possible: a) the player marries into a respected Indoril family and b) the player is adopted as son/daughter by (one of the) most influential Indoril nobles (after doing something really extraordinary).
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Jule
Reviewer
01 May 2007

Location: Wilderness

6plus wrote:
the player is adopted as son/daughter by (one of the) most influential Indoril nobles (after doing something really extraordinary).


I agree completely on this one. Adoption by a high-ranking member of House Indoril makes all previous attachments null and void, at least in the eyes of the Indoril. Adoption trumps race, sex and status.

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Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lady Nerevar
Developer Emeritus
08 Jun 2004

Location: New Orleans, LA

6plus wrote:
Gnomey wrote:
One idea I want to toss out to explain why the Indoril could be friendly to the player while, for example, being openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion

Simple explanation: hospitality. Treating guests badly would mean to lose one's face, hence Indoril have to treat everyone friendly & politely, even outlanders.

"We're watching you, scum."

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Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:36 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

6plus wrote:
Simple explanation: hospitality.


Yeah, my idea is hardly the simplest explanation for that, that aspect of it is more of a bonus. The main purpose of my idea, of course, is to make House Indoril weird. There are plenty of simpler explanations for some of its members being oddly friendly.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:51 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



6plus wrote:
I see two ways to make this possible: a) the player marries into a respected Indoril family and b) the player is adopted as son/daughter by (one of the) most influential Indoril nobles (after doing something really extraordinary).

Having promotion go through an arranged marriage ceremony would be memorable, even if not really weird outside of the Morrowind context.

Lady Nerevar wrote:
6plus wrote:
Gnomey wrote:
One idea I want to toss out to explain why the Indoril could be friendly to the player while, for example, being openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion

Simple explanation: hospitality. Treating guests badly would mean to lose one's face, hence Indoril have to treat everyone friendly & politely, even outlanders.

"We're watching you, scum."

Ordinators aren't your hosts, though. They're here to keep order. They don't have to be polite.

Now if an Ordinator, for any reason, invited you in their home, they'd remove the armor (it'd be sacrilegious to wear it outside of duty) and treat you politely. Then once you take your leave, you're a scum again. Makes perfect sense.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:08 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lady Nerevar
Developer Emeritus
08 Jun 2004

Location: New Orleans, LA

It still seems to go against the general attitude of the Dunmer in general. And Indoril in particular, if they are intended to be more traditional than most.

Now, hospitality could mean something else than what we think it means - the obligation to offer a prayer of meeting, a cot that must be set aside for traveling ascetics, not being allowed to murder anyone while they are on your turf - but I don't think that it should mean being 'nice,' since 'nice' is just about the last adjective you'd use to describe a Dunmer.

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Post Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:49 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Lady Nerevar wrote:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qrw3tnqfkhp8zod/Morrowind36.jpg


If only we could get Dunmer warriors to look this badass in the game. All those ornament and armor pieces hanging off his robe are freaking cool.

Did you draw this guy, Lady N? You have some damn fine drawing skills if you did.

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Post Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:45 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Even if the bulk will have to come from text, we still need stuff that can either be seen or done by the PC, or shed new light ("oh shit" / "I see what you did there") on what the PC sees or does / saw / did.



- shrines (or anything triolithic for that matter) are never in a corner or against a wall, must always be in a central position - so as not to give lesser consideration to any of the 3 faces.
- any typically dual concept becomes trilogic. There are always three solutions to a problem; if there must be any rhyming, a verse will have to rhyme with two others.



- Indoril magic wrt ancestral worship: souls don't hang around to be called on as is usual for Dunmer; they get absorbed by the city's spin. What remains of ancestor souls whirls in an interwoven tri-wheel of neverending geometric prayer, which really powers Temple magic and the Almsivi network when AlmSiVi can't be bothered anymore.
Hinting at that, you can't summon ghosts in the vicinity of Almalexia. Those powerful enough refuse to come, or otherwise go poof. Civilised Indoril don't notice/mind/refuse to think about it, having abandoned the more archaic forms of ancestor worship anyway.



- Forbidden City. Most Indoril bar themselves from entering Mournhold, imagining the inner city to be much more sacred a deal than what it actually is.
People who come and go out of Mournhold are almost exclusively Temple bigwigs, Ordinators, few outlanders, and a holy group of Dunmer/Altmer slaves.
No one is actually forbidden from entering or leaving Mournhold through the doors, barely discouraged - the guards just warn that the Indoril may react in various unpredictable ways to someone coming from the city and that they won't protect the PC.

Also means you can pull whatever crap you want in Alma without having to justify behaviours not being the same in Mournhold.
Somewhat softens the absurdity of that bullshit about Almalexia not liking levitation too. Hell, even roll with it:
- there's a (secret?) sub-section of the Temple dedicaced to disabling levitation around Mournhold. A cabal of priests permanently hovering in the air, absorbing any coming levitation magic like a focused magic black hole. A levitating building? (inside another building if secret)

- another cabal of faithful (not well-kept secret) plotting to disrupt teleportations around Mournhold. Hints that the Temple/ mages under the king's orders /Almalexia herself are the ones subtly thwarting them without explicitly disapproving their efforts
Post Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:16 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lady Nerevar
Developer Emeritus
08 Jun 2004

Location: New Orleans, LA

Yeti wrote:

Did you draw this guy, Lady N? You have some damn fine drawing skills if you did.

It's all Michael's stuff from when Morrowind was in development. A couple of those pictures were in the art book, I think, but I figured high-res is better.

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Post Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:15 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
6plus
Developer
24 Apr 2011



Lady Nerevar wrote:
Now, hospitality could mean something else than what we think it means - the obligation to offer a prayer of meeting, a cot that must be set aside for traveling ascetics, not being allowed to murder anyone while they are on your turf - but I don't think that it should mean being 'nice,' since 'nice' is just about the last adjective you'd use to describe a Dunmer.

Yes, 'nice' would be too much to ask for, but being polite, answering questions and not refusing any help should not be.

And regarding Ordinators, IMHO of all great houses the Indoril should most clearly distinguish between Ordinator and the individual inside the helmet. So, once someone is on duty he won't speak for himself, but rather for the law.
Post Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

What, so Ordinators are actually polite people but are acting rude because it's their job? I like that.
Post Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:38 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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