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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Sunday; March 16, 2014 based on my notes. The topic of the discussion was the themes of Morrowind.

Some main themes suggested during the meeting:

- Immersion in an unknown land. Getting lost in an environment that gradually reveals itself to the player as they uncover secrets and information about the world, meeting bizarre, inexplicable things along the way.

- An end of an era. A general feeling of pessimism in the tone of dialogue and events. There's the feeling society is being shaken from its foundations, and that the player is boarding a ship that is sinking.

- Flawed leadership. Authority figures across the province, both Imperial and Dunmer, are not the pinnacles of virtue they are made out to be. A major part of the game, including the whole story arc of the Tribunal, is discovering their imperfections, flaws and betrayals.

- Moral ambiguity. Morrowind allows the player to take different ideological stances before forcing them to take sides. The best stories build up both sides, causing the player to grow attachments and see the pros and cons of every conflict.

- Role-Playability. The player should be able to roleplay who their characters are, and what they stand for within the framework of the game. This includes accommodating for the multiple different in-game reasons a character might join a particular faction.

- A clash between Imperial and native interests. This one is rather self-explanatory.

- Colonialism. The Imperials are occupying and exploiting the natural resources of a province they don't understand and are not suited for. At the same time, Imperial society is decaying. The Empire is falling apart, even before the opening of the Oblvion gates in the years to come.

- Hostile environment; hostile people. The Dunmer's xenophobia should be expanded on, especially in areas where Dunmer culture is unbroken, such as the Dres heartland.

- Going native. The player is becoming enveloped in Morrowind's culture and fate as they go through the game, eventually becoming a cultural hero for the entire province. In the words of Caius Cosades, the player should focus on local matters and making the situation in the province better.

- Modernity vs. Tradition. Conservative and progressive forces are in conflict across the province, a case in point being the Dissident Priest movement. Each Great House also has a more progressive councilor, for both narrative and gameplay purposes.

Some other points:

- Morrowind is made up of key players at various points in society, including God-level, King-level and Farmer-level characters.

- Each Great House represents a Dunmer stereotype played to its extremes. They represent a piecemeal sketch of deeply rooted and complex society.

- Dunmer culture should be more built up on the mainland, compared to Vvardenfell, where Imperial colonialists have a greater presence.

- The nature of the Nine Divines should be explored further in the mainlands Imperial Cult questline.

- The Imperial Archaeological Society should represent the non-magic side of the Imperial's scholarly efforts. The natives should view their antics with suspicion, thinking it best to leave well enough alone, but won't mind as long as the Society doesn't tamper with their ancestral tombs. This naturally could be a source of conflict.

- There should be a St. Veloth pilgrimage questline on the mainland. The player will go from shrine to shrine following his path eastward, discovering the story of Veloth's initial crossing of the Dunmer's new homeland.

I'd appreciate having this topic stickied for future summaries

_________________
-Head of NPCs: Skyrim: Home of the Nords
Post Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:03 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary (sort of) of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, November 29, 2014. It's been a while since the last Skype meeting, so this was mainly an orientation meeting between lead developers. We covered a lot of topics and often delved into specifics:

-We discussed the fact that various sticky threads are very much out of date. In particular, the showcase stickies need updating, especially in regards to stuff like models and sound. We've been moving away from formal claims and, for that matter, formal showcases for those kinds of assets, and that shift should be clarified in those threads.

-We discussed the topic of game versus simulation, but were pretty much in agreement anyway. Basically, it is important to distinguish between content that enhances gameplay or fleshes out the world, and 'filler' content that should perhaps logically exist, but serves no in-game purpose and does not enhance the player's experience.
As an example, the economic aspect of House Dres, in particular its heavy use of slaves, is very important to the House, as well as to the overall world of Morrowind. As such, Dres lands will probably include a lot of fields tilled by slaves, slave markets and slave pits. The economic aspect of Old Ebonheart, however, is of little to no interest, which is why we will probably not add -- for instance -- the farmlands that should no doubt logically exist outside of the city to support its inhabitants. Such distinctions are naturally fairly subjective, which is why it is all the more important to keep the difference between a game and a simulation in mind.

-We also discussed the need for an index of (in particular) House Hlaalu topics to provide an easier overview of what has been said about the House and, perhaps more importantly, which posts reflect our current plans for the House.

-We went through the various sections and discussed what work should be prioritized for each section. This has resulted in fairly specific plans:

Almalexia:
We currently have enough on our plates without Almalexia to worry about, so we will leave that section be for now. Either way it would probably be better to only work on Almalexia after Alt Orethan has been redone, which requires new assets and such, and probably won't happen soon. The same goes for Othrensis, naturally, it also being in Alt Orethan.

Othreleth Woods:
Swiftoak wanted to put together an asset kit for Othreleth Woods before opening up claims for this. He tentatively stated he might drop by again in December. I might try and get a claim map with descriptions done by then, at least as something to work off of. For the moment, though, we will focus on the remaining sections.

Andothren-Thirr South:
I will implement the buffer zone, mostly involving a long canyon with a river flowing along some or most of it. The river will either empty into the Inner Sea, the river Thirr or both, and may be partially subterranean, but those details are of secondary importance; the main focus for now will be on the buffer zone itself and the south merge, not on how the river would pass through the north merge, if at all.
While I'm at it, I'll widen a narrow stretch of road at Indal-ruhn and slightly widen the Thirr River Valley.

Andothren-Thirr North:
Arvisrend will merge in the interiors that need merging. (That is to say most of them). We'll see where to go from there, as several aspects of the section could use work, as noted in the last post of this thread. In particular, we need to figure out the status of Andothren and what work still needs to be done on it.

Indoril-Thirr:
I will prioritize getting Indoril-Thirr (except for Roa Dyr and Almas Thirr) ready for (updated) NPCing and quests. (Said preparation will involve merging interiors and opening up claims for the buildings I have added that need new interiors). The remaining exterior work can wait, as it should not get in the way of NPCing. Roa Dyr and especially Almas Thirr could use more discussion anyway. I will also open up a claim for Vul misc quests.
Some of the misc quest ideas that have been put forward in the last few days might work well for this section as well, and should be assessed in that light.

Old Ebonheart:
As before, we will mainly focus on the town for now, both in the way of NPCing and quests. We feel the concept for the castle is not quite at the point where it can properly be worked on. As far as changes to the landmass south and east of the town are concerned, they will certainly not be considered for the time being. However, a separate exterior claim to add islands to the Thirr River Delta would be a good idea, both to improve the appearance of the delta and give exterior modders other than myself (Razz) something to do. The islands should probably not go much further north than Old Ebonheart, to avoid shrinking the Inner Sea again, and should not appear easily fordable, so as not to undermine the entire purpose of Almas Thirr.
As far as the town itself is concerned, in particular, the various misc quest designs should be looked into. We managed to discuss a few of them in the Skype meeting:

-Annoying Bard - the concept behind this quest is solid, but the dialogue needs to be written well for it to be worthwhile. I might take a stab at the dialogue.
-Exploding Kwama Eggs - a very nice quest idea, but, as Tondollari noted, it might work better in Hlaalu territory.
-The Simple Life - the book can make or break this quest. I am personally not entirely convinced by the concept; I feel as though the length of Morrowind books is insufficient for what is supposed to represent years of writing. Unless whoever writes the books makes heavy use of square brackets. Or makes full use of the 10,000 (I think) character limit of Morrowind books. Or splits the book into several volumes. Either way, though, I think this quest can proceed after the book is written.
-Mundrethi Plantation - the main hitch here is that Mundrethi is a fairly important figure, at least locally, as the second largest plantation owner in the Thirr River Valley. His character and any intrigues surrounding him, such as any ties to the Camonna Tong, need to be worked out before we can really decide if this quest would fit him or not.
-Burying the Past - This quest could work very well with the questgiver living in or around Old Ebonheart. (Dondril would be another option). Perhaps the family were originally refugees from Ebonheart when it was razed at the time of Tiber Septim.
-Troublesome Guar - perhaps a worthwhile quest of the variety designed specifically to annoy the player, like the Imperial pilgrim to Ghostgate in vanilla Morrowind, but potential claimers should be warned that this quest will likely involve a lot of very troublesome scripting.
-The Undead Traitor - like Annoying Bard, this one requires solid dialogue to work. I'll take a stab at this one too.
-The Weasel - the basic concept could work very well for one of Old Ebonheart's manors, but the quest could probably be simplified somewhat without losing much of its effect.
-The Judas - the concept could perhaps be clarified a little, and on second glance I think alternative paths need to be considered, but otherwise this also seems like a good concept.

We also dedefecated a few names, as seen here.
Post Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:47 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, December 13, 2014. The meeting was very short this time around. For the most part, the participants simply stated what aspect of the project they were focusing on, to build on the overview of the current status of the project as discussed in the last meeting.

For the sake of comprehensiveness, and for those interested in minutae, the focus of the individual members is basically as follows. Most of this has already been discussed in the last meeting:

Arvisrend is working on merging in the unmerged North Andothren-Thirr interiors.
Gnomey will be prioritizing getting most of Indoril-Thirr ready for NPCing, and will then move on to work on South Andothren-Thirr.
Rats is mainly working on the Old Ebonheart file.
Seneca is working on fixing and adding models for a new TR_Data update.


We'll also be looking into resuming work on Andothren's exterior, which is unpolished and which will be slightly expanded; and Hlaalu dialogue, aspects of which were already discussed specifically in connection with Andothren in these threads.

One matter of (perhaps) broader interest that was discussed was the prospect of public Skype meetings. The result of the discussion can be read here.
Post Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:02 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, January 10, 2015. The meeting was long, and we discussed a fairly wide variety of topics.

Goal for the Next Release:
For our next TR_Mainland release, we are aiming to release the Thirr River Valley Region. To reach that goal, the Indoril-Thirr section and Andothren-Thirr south merge need to be completed. The Old Ebonheart section, aside from its southernmost row of cells, is outside of the TRV in its strictest sense, but we are aiming to include it in the release as well. Ideally the Andothren-Thirr north merge will also be ready in time for the next release, but that is unlikely, and as such is outside of our current goal. (Though work on that file will naturally continue).
Outside of the sections, we discussed opening up the Map 6 cells around and including Nav Andaram for exterior work. These will be included in the release if they are finished in time.

Roadmap for Future Releases:
We also discussed a tentative roadmap for future TR releases:
-Three main things are needed before the Othreleth Woods sections can be opened up: Swiftoak was putting together an asset kit with all of the assets needed for the Othreleth Woods region (certain assets, such as creatures and perhaps some new sort of crop, can be added later); a heightmap needs to be created for the region; and the exterior claims need to be mapped out and have descriptions written for them. If all of that is done by the time we release the Thirr River Valley, we will be able to start CS work on the Othreleth Woods next.
-Should that occur, we would probably tackle Shipal-Shin and Narsis afterwards.
-If the Othreleth Woods are not ready, however, or alternatively after Shipal-Shin and Narsis are completed, we will work on the Armun Ashlands.
-For us to start work on (the rest of) Roth Roryn, we first need to have House Redoran planned out. Preferably House Hlaalu would be finished by then, so that we can properly focus our attention on the new House. From there, we would continue northwards, finishing up with Uld Vraech.
-As far as House Indoril is concerned, work on Alt Orethan and then Almalexia can technically commence as soon as we have all of the required assets (terrain for Alt Orethan, lower class doorjambs, windows and possibly doors for Almalexia; the interiors can come later) available.
-The same goes for Inlet Bog, which still requires a concept, but we should probably only worry about when we're ready to work on Alt Orethan.
-From there, we could move east to revisit the remaining Indoril lands.
-We could also, however, start opening up Dres sections instead.
-Telvannis, as before, will be (re)done last.

Roadmap for Interior Claims:
We ran through a rough plan for opening up future interior claims, to make sure our interior modders have stuff to work on:
-Old Ebonheart Castle's interiors should be ready to go up (some of the older members might have been keeping count; is this the fourth time? Razz) by the time the current interiors run out.
-Ideally Almas Thirr and Roa Dyr would also be ready for new interiors before too long.
-Depending on how quickly my work on the buffer zone progresses, there should be several new interiors -- probably mostly if not all dungeons, of various sizes -- coming up.
-Depending on how work on Andothren progresses, some new Hlaalu interior claims may go up as well.
-Aside from that, the occasional dungeon interior or the like might go up, to fill out any remaining irregularities with dungeon distribution.

That's already a lot to work off of; hopefully by the time all of those are done a new section will have opened up.

New Positions:
We discussed a few holes in our leadership:

Head of PR - TR has always struggled with PR, so someone good with public relations is always welcome. TR has accounts for diverse social media, (such as Youtube, Tumblr, the Bethesda Forums, Great House Fliggerty...), and maintaining presence on any of them would be helpful. (Some more so than others, naturally).

Lead Cartographer - rather than setting this up as a position, we figured it might be good to have a thread in which people can request and post maps.

Sound Director - as with cartography, we figured a thread in which specific sounds can be requested and posted might be a good approach, much like the old Models needed for Morrowind thread.

Web Master - I'm frankly rather ignorant when it comes to these matters, so suffice to say that we're looking for one of these too. Razz

Recruiting:
Another subject that often comes up in TR is drawing in new members. We didn't spend too much time discussing this; the general sentiment is that the most useful work us lead developers can generally do is to simply work on the project; work visibly being done tends to do a lot of good by itself.
Otherwise, in the same vein as with the Head of PR, maintaining presence on external sites -- especially the forums -- answering questions and ensuring that feedback comes to our attention is always encouraged, and is something everyone can do to the degree they're comfortable with.

Discussion Summaries:
We further discussed the idea of writing summaries for larger discussions, as they can be hard to follow, especially if a wide variety of ideas are developed and discarded over several pages or even threads.
It's not a new concept, of course; the intention behind the planning document threads, including the House brainstorming threads, was that the matters discussed would, in the end, be gathered into a single post or document, and among others Yeti has done a rather good job of that for Andothren, though as Andothren is still not complete his summary may require adjustment at a later date.
Klep has volunteered to provide summaries for some threads, but naturally others are encouraged to do so as well; for my own part, I'll try to provide summaries of the preceding thread more often when returning to an older topic, which is by no means a rare occurrence.

Generic Dialogue:
We shortly discussed the matter of generic dialogue, a distinction being made between flavour dialogue, such as Morrowind Lore, which is generally there to flesh out the world, and dialogue intended to directly help the player, such as a lot of scout and savant dialogue. The former is important but can be added at any time. The latter, however, should really be in place in time for releases, as its absence can inconvenience players, and as such make gameplay less enjoyable.

Other subjects touched upon -- which I'll just list with links where applicable -- are cleaning the Indoril-Thirr file, fixing placement errors in Andothren's exterior (except for the northwest, which still needs to be made), the government structure of Morrowind (focusing on the Empire), renaming Vul, the Additional Artifacts Project, and TR_Data as well as various meshes not currently in TR_Data which may or may not belong there.
Post Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:49 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

Thanks for this, Gnomey! I've been a bit out of the loop recently, but this seems like a great summary of where we're at and where we need to head. If we can achieve a great number of these things, 2015 may prove a fruitful year. Smile
Post Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:16 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Sir Dave
Developer
14 Apr 2010

Location: An Empty Molecrabshell

Nice work putting this up Gnomey!

I am happy to announce I'll be returning to exterior modding this year. I finally have more time on my hands and I mean to put it to good use. I can't wait for the new claims opening up.

Keep up the good work Smile
Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:38 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Worsas
Developer
10 Sep 2005



This all sounds quite exciting. Good luck with it all.
Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:09 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, January 24, 2015 based on my notes. The topic of the meeting was Old Ebonheart, though a few other matters were discussed on the side.
Most of the two hour meeting involved figuring out what we want to put in Old Ebonheart Castle and where it should go. Both to keep this summary short and because that information will be posted in the applicable thread anyway, I'm not going to write it all out here, and will instead focus on the periferal matters discussed in the meeting. This summary will therefore be rather eclectic:

-the Imperial Coastguard is to have a small headquarters at the Old Ebonheart docks, probably in either i3-281-Imp (Harbormaster and Census and Excise shared office) or i3-287-Imp (Imperial Navy Command Post). The Imperial Coastguard is an unimportant faction, (in that it isn't even really a faction in in-game terms), and we probably won't do much with it if anything, but it should nonetheless have a presence in Imperial ports.
-Old Ebonheart Castle will naturally contain Ducal Guards, at the very least to guard the resident Duke of Deshaan, but aside from them the possibility of a unique uniform for Old Ebonheart guards will be further explored. Part of the purpose of the unique uniform would be to contribute to the impression Old Ebonheart is supposed to give of being a slice of Cyrodil transplanted to Morrowind.
-The topic of an Imperial Navy uniform was also brought up, but not really discussed. We're still aiming to provide the Imperial Navy with its own uniform, but there's no great hurry, as such things can easily be added in post.
-The OE sewers were also shortly discussed, but I seem to have forgotten to keep notes for that topic, so you'll have to wait for updates in the applicable thread. Razz

A few random ideas that came up while discussing the castle layout and are worth noting:
- A court physician will provide alchemy services, and a smith working in the Legion headquarters will also provide the player with services. While there may be other service providers in Old Ebonheart castle, there's no great demand for them, as there will be plenty of services for the player in town.
- The Imperial Guilds will not have a presence in the castle. Again, the town already has that covered.
- Following the same line of though, while there will be some form of shrine in the castle, it will not be designed for a large congregation, as the Grand Chapel in town already has that covered.
- There will be a restaraunt near (under?) the High Rock mission, staffed by said mission, and many dignitaries and diplomats choose to eat there rather than using the castle's official kitchens, for convenience as well as -- perhaps -- quality. Some sort of rivalry might exist between the kitchens and restaraunt. The High Rock mission naturally had more than simple good-will in mind when setting up the restaraunt.
- The idea of a ghost haunting Old Ebonheart castle was discussed as well, as the castle is well-suited to such a haunting. A few ideas were discussed, such as the ghost being the former Indoril lord of Old Ebonheart who commited suicide at the time of Tiber Septim's invasion of Morrowind, and the ghost haunting Old Ebonheart Castle's gatehouse, raising and lowering the porticullus/opening and closing the gates at inconvenient times. (Which makes the ghost sound pretty petty, if it's supposed to be the Indoril lord, now that I think about it. Not really a bad thing; might make for an amusing quest, if that's where we want to go with it, and there are a lot of places we could go with it).


Last edited by Gnomey on Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:49 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Have some pity for those of us most easily confused, would you? @"Saturday, January 26, 2015"

Thanks for the minutes!
Post Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Whatever do you mean... Razz
Post Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, February 7, 2015 based on my notes. The meeting was very short, as there wasn't much to talk about. The next meeting will probably be on the topic of Imperial guilds, and will probably take place on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 6:00 PM GMT/UTC.

We touched on the topic of Almas Thirr, though we didn't really make any progress on it; namely the issue of consolidating the cross purposes of Almas Thirr as an important land and river trade and travel node; its role as a Temple stronghold mediating between the two factions in the Thirr River Conflict and its likely role as the site of Veloth crossing the Thirr. My two settlement proposal was brought up (Sept. 02 here) as a possible solution, but the matter requires further discussion.
An early assessment of the extent of work required for Almas Thirr -- especially in the way of interior work -- was also attempted, but again requires further discussion.

A few meshes were discussed; Wolli's stone ridge and peak meshes, the textures of which are too blurry when viewed from up-close and may require improving; Seneca's Imperial tileset assets, which should facilitate work on Old Ebonheart Castle and perhaps future instances of the Imperial fort tileset, though already-completed interiors will naturally not be updated to use the assets; and the creature resources recently linked here.
Of the last, concerns were raised about quality of (many of the creatures look cobbled-together) and demand for such creatures. While it is not yet clear whether Uld Vraech would benefit from creatures like the Hill Giant and Frost Monarch, for the most part we are more interested in creatures that seem more at home in Morrowind's alien landscapes, like many of the creatures drawn by Crucifigo and Nalin's Uld Vraech creature.

We also shortly discussed the current shortage of unclaimed interiors. While more interiors are coming down the pipeline, we do not feel the current shortage to be a very large concern. If no interiors within the current sections are ready to put up, none will be put up, just like no Uld Vraech exterior claims are currently up for claiming even though there are currently no unclaimed exteriors for exterior developers to pick up as a result.

The rest of the meeting was essentially discussing i3-743-Ind (the sinkhole claim) and my grumbling about the difficulties Lan Orethan will present us when we eventually return to it and the innovative nature of TR's Old Mournhold ruins.

As a side note, I apologize for taking so long to post these notes; I've been sick since the Skype meeting.


Last edited by Gnomey on Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:53 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Worsas
Developer
10 Sep 2005



Quote:
Worsas' stone ridge and peak meshes, the textures of which are too blurry when viewed from up-close and may require improving;

I don't recall having made peak or ridge meshes for TR. Do you refer to those edgy cliffs you have started to use in Uld Vraech? I haven't made those, but I could help to fix them, regardless.
Post Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:08 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I always have to make at least one mistake. I meant Wolli.
Post Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, February 21, 2015 based on my notes. The meeting was of middling length, but a disproportionate range of subjects were discussed. The next meeting will probably take place on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 6:00 PM GMT/UTC. Its topic is to be determined.

For once, I'll include the text log, as I had forgotten to bring something up during the meeting, and so it was discussed via text afterwards with the remaining participants. Good luck following the flow of conversation for the first half of the log; it should be easier to do so alongside the rest of the summary. After "*** Call ended, duration 2:09:09 ***" the conversation becomes easier to follow.

arvisrend: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/sites/default/files/images/baan%20malur%203.jpg
Yeti: http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/sites/default/files/images/SwiftShot%202014-05-25%2003.48.06.967.jpg
rot: (always easier for retired thieves to take the high ground, better back in the day etc)
seneca37: There is the Mephala valley
arvisrend: yes but rats has made good work of it already
arvisrend: here is what i would expect
arvisrend: the indoril regard mages as dangerous and heretical in a way they are not necessarily aware of
arvisrend: the redoran don't exactly fear them, but consider them low on their totem pole
arvisrend: the hlaalu look at them as people in the industry look at applicants with PhDs
rot: "as people in the industry look at applicants with PhDs" - so excentric wankers who aren't prioritising money enough?
arvisrend: yes, unless they provethemselves
Gnomey: Mages Guild chapters: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24852
Yeti: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24693
Rats: scrib
Yeti: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24492 - OE Mages Guild stuff
[...]
Rats: daggerlad
seneca37: Dunmer live a long time
Gnomey: http://www.imperial-library.info/content/what-my-beloved-taught-me
Gnomey: http://www.imperial-library.info/content/five-hundred-mighty-companions-or-thereabouts-ysgramor-returned
Gnomey: Rejnrile the Daggerlad
Gnomey: PGE 3
Gnomey: http://www.imperial-library.info/content/pocket-guide-empire-third-edition-blessed-isle-alinor-and-summersets
Gnomey: This nascent revolution in the Summerset Isle has taken many forms. Most constructive, surely, is the acceptance of new cultures and races onto its shores, some occupying positions that would have been forbidden just a century ago. The Queen of Firsthold, for example, is the Dunmer Morgiah, daughter of Barenziah and sister of the King of Morrowind, Helseth. Her children, Goranthir and Rinnala, though half-Altmer, are fully Dunmer in appearance, and stand to inherit the throne.

A darker side of this movement, however, is exhibited by a shadowy group who call themselves the Beautiful. Originally a salon for artists with the reasonable philosophy that Summerset must let go of its past in order to move forward, the Beautiful became a revolutionary gang dedicated to the destruction of the greatest monuments of Altmer civilizations. The Crystal Tower was naturally an early target, and fortunately attempts against it have failed, but many other great, ancient sculptures and emblems of the past have been vandalized. Lately, the Beautiful have turned their attention to living symbols of the Isle, the royalty of Summerset. The particularly gruesome murder of the daughter of the King of Shimmerene has horrified and outraged the public.

Finally, some of Summerset’s youth are rebelling against the present, ironically, by embracing the past. The Imperial Geographical Society is not allowed to visit Artaeum to survey and document it, but there is little doubt that the Psijic Order is increasingly popular among the young, and is willing to exploit this. Over the past thousand years, only seventeen new initiates were brought into the order. In the past two years, however, another thirty have joined. Thirty new members of an Order may not be enough to be a surprising trend in most circles, but to the tradition-bound graycloaks of Artaeum, it raises many questions. What the Psijics’ aim in this recent recruitment, however, is anyone’s guess at this time.
rot: They do need a big story to lead the PC to archmage status
[...]
rot: Because the common impression that, oh you've carried out enough chores now you can be archmage, is kinda bullshit
Rats: agreed with rot
rot: it needs to be significant, is all
arvisrend: well in the MG it will be handled by the execution/flight of the previous one
rot: not necessarily whole faction-spanning
arvisrend: and in the FG by Rats' story
Gnomey: We could have huge faction reputation bonuses for the most important, late quests,
Gnomey: so that the player can't become archmage by just doing minor questsm
Gnomey: but has to do some important stuff.
Gnomey: Huge map: http://i.imgur.com/ZQlSn1d.jpg
Gnomey: One map: http://i.imgur.com/Y58vEqY.png
Gnomey: Another map: http://i.imgur.com/LAqAPOU.png
[...]
Gnomey: http://www.imperial-library.info/content/eastern-provinces-impartially-considered
Gnomey: In fact, a greater threat to Imperial security lies in the idle legions that the taxpayer spends thousands of drakes to support. The generals of these legions, facing no enemies or opposition within the borders of their provinces, may look with ambition to the West. With their loyal veteran troops and coffers fattened by friendly monopolists, they become unpredictable political factors in the uncertainties surrounding the Imperial succession.
klep: Interesting: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Tes3Mod:Tamriel_Rebuilt/Defense_of_Morrowind_Volume_I
Yeti: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24548
Gnomey: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24327
Gnomey: http://i.imgur.com/bml7qDm.jpg
[...]
Gnomey: Rough district plan: http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g103/Gnomenator/AndothrenCityPlan01.png
[...]
*** Call ended, duration 2:09:09 ***
Gnomey: A question for anyone who's still there:
Gnomey: the player only needs to join a guild once;
Gnomey: not once for each branch, as established,
Gnomey: and the player only becomes the archmage of one branch, the first one whose quests he complete; he can't become the archmage of each branch in the same game.
Gnomey: Also as establsihed.
Gnomey: However, do only the quests he does within that branch count towards him becoming archmage of that branch?
Gnomey: That would make sense to me, but it wasn't explicitly addressed in the meeting.
arvisrend: i'd say there should be a requirement on total guildrep
Gnomey: Hm.
arvisrend: and on having to have finished this brach's questline
Theminimanx: I got the impression that promotion to archmage of a branch was as a result of some great achievement the player did
klep: An interesting question. I'd say yes, if that is possible to do in the CS
arvisrend: that's definitely doable
Gnomey: Basically, the other quests count towards becoming the archmage of the whole province,
Theminimanx: Yeah
Gnomey: as the player needs to finish more than one of the questlines,
klep: So like 80% of rep in all branches before the player can become overall-archmage?
Gnomey: but as far as becoming the branch archmage is concerned, only the local quests count.
klep: Then the player would have to finish shitloads of low-tier quests
Gnomey: For example;
Gnomey: I'm not sure what the percentages should be.
klep: which I do not oppose
Theminimanx: I prefer the idea of a few extremely high-tier quests
Theminimanx: To show that you had a major involvement in all the regions
Gnomey: Really, I think we could just go with percentage of branch questlines completed, so use the final quest as a metric,
Gnomey: rather than faction rep.
Gnomey: *final quests for each branch
Theminimanx: yep
Gnomey: But that's only one possibility.
Gnomey: So the player would need to complete a lot of low-tier quests, but only to get to the final branch quests.
klep: Note it and save it for the forums or a next meeting I'd say. I wanted to add something about the Imperial presence in Dres lands:
klep: There was mention of FG (and possibly other Imperial guilds’) presence in Tear. I’m still rather dubious about this whole Imperial presence in Dres lands thing. If they are not to have any presence or business there, why would the Dres allow them to settle in their largest and holiest city? “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” is the only thing I can think of concerning this, but as it seems the Imperials aren’t a feared threat to House Dres, why would they even?
I’d like to consider Imperial guilds trying to infiltrate (that’s the word I was looking for) Dres lands from outside the borders. It may not prove to be successful – or maybe it is, but at least they will have tried. Simply saying that the Imperials have no interest in Dres lands is a rather weak argument imo. Isn’t it all about power, and, after all, isn’t ignorance pretty much the largest opposite of power?
Theminimanx: Maybe have those branch questlines unlock by having a high National reputation
Gnomey: Tear is not a holy city,
Gnomey: at least as far as I know,
Gnomey: and the Dres are all about commerce;
klep: Improtant though
Gnomey: they trade with the Sload there.
Gnomey: If they are willing to deal with amorphous slug necromancers,
Gnomey: they might allow an Imperial or two.
Gnomey: I think for the Dres it would actually be the opposite of other Dunmer lands;
Gnomey: they'd only tolerate Imperials in Tear, and probably a specific part of Tear,
Gnomey: not in the interior.
Gnomey: (As in not in the core of their territory)
arvisrend: stupid question
arvisrend: if the Dres are so much about contracts and commerce
arvisrend: shouldn't one of the non-MW daedra take an interest with them?
Gnomey: Possibly.
arvisrend: Peryite if i remember his name
klep: Cool idea
arvisrend: not him though
Gnomey: But I see no real reason to involve non-Morrowind Daedra.
Gnomey: Clavicus Vile would be the classic choice if we go that route.
arvisrend: yes i meant him
arvisrend: the main reason i am seeing is that you guys are suggesting more daedric quests and i still just see 7 daedr
Theminimanx: Involving lots of non-Morrowind factions might be interesting though
arvisrend: and having a daedra give several quests is difficult
arvisrend: each of the vanilla daedric quests starts with the daedra treating the PC like some lowlife who has to prove himself
Gnomey: Well, I didn't advocate more Daedric quests;
Theminimanx: Dres doesn't like to admit it, but they have to rely on outside influences (sload, daedra, whatever) to keep their isolationist lifestyle viable
Theminimanx: Or something
Gnomey: I said we need to sort out Daedric ruins first.
Gnomey: I have no overview at the moment, and as such can't tell how thinly the seven Daedra are or would be stretched,
Gnomey: and as such whether we would need to bring new faces in.
Gnomey: I think we shouldn't try to shoe-horn new Daedra in, at any rate. If the Dres need another high-profile, impossible-to-fulfil deal, (they already have -- to my knowledge -- with the Hist, the Sload and possibly Molag Bal),
Gnomey: another prince might be a good way to go,
Theminimanx: Whoa
Theminimanx: I only knew of the sload
Gnomey: and, again, Clavicus Vile would be a natural pick.
Theminimanx: I wasn't trying to advocate new Daedra in particular
Gnomey: Hist was a trade: mass Argonian slaves for a small number of Dunmer.
Gnomey: Necessary to support the Dres lifestyle,
Theminimanx: I thought the sload did that?
Gnomey: but still utter blasphemy in the eyes of the Dunmer, so very much kept under wraps.
Gnomey: Sload taught the Dres how to till the salt fields;
Gnomey: related, but a different deal.
Theminimanx: oh yeah~
Theminimanx: derp
Gnomey: Molag Bal would be if we want the councillors to be vampires, and the general tendency seems to be against that,
Theminimanx: Seems a bit cliché
Gnomey: though I'm for it; I think we can pull it off without it being cheesy.
Theminimanx: Evil merchant vampires
Gnomey: That is the big concern, yeah.
Gnomey: Very much to be discussed.
Theminimanx: It'd be more interesting to have honest Dres trying to combat the decisions of their ancestors
Theminimanx: Despite their religious reverance of them
Gnomey: Well, that might come up towards the tail-end of the Dres questline,
Gnomey: but for the time being the 'honest' Dres don't know about the deals.
Gnomey: One of the advantages of the vampire idea -- as I now recall -- is that the Dres councillors -- or at least one of them -- would be the same people who made the deals in the first place;
Gnomey: perhaps they specifically became vampires to ensure their goals would be followed,
klep: On another note, would these daggerlads, or whatever the Indoril nobles who are actively opposing the Imperial are called, only be part of the OE mages guild quest line, or would they be part of the Indoril quest line as well?
Gnomey: and to continue protecting the House in the way they considered best.
Gnomey: And, more broadly, Morrowind as a whole.
arvisrend: i'd be fine with leaving them to the MG line
Theminimanx: hmmm
Gnomey: I think we can use them more broadly;
arvisrend: i mean they'll have a faction and specific unfriendly dialogue always
klep: This is all very new to me, and I haven't mentioned it at all in the Indoril document, which should definitely be if it is a big thing
Gnomey: perhaps much more broadly.
arvisrend: but you shouldn't interact with them nontrivially unless you're doing the MG
Gnomey: Yeah.
[...]
Gnomey: Basically, for the Indoril, I think such large movements are a good way of representing that the House is falling apart.
Gnomey: You have the apathetic but prohpetic End of Times cult,
Gnomey: and then you could have the 'Daggerlad's, whatever we end up calling them, who are a very overt, aggressive anti-Indoril group,
Gnomey: and then you have the more reclusive nobles who stick to their gardens,
Gnomey: etc. etc.
arvisrend: anti-indoril?
Gnomey: Oops,
Gnomey: anti-Imperial.
klep: I haven't mentioned the End of Times cult either. Where can I dinf more about them?
klep: find
Gnomey: They're in Tribunal.
arvisrend: i fear nowhere but on the tribuanl questline
arvisrend: which isnt very informative
Gnomey: A suicide cult, basically, that foresees the end of Tribunal culture,
Gnomey: and basically just gives up.
Gnomey: Sort of like the Armistice mass suicides, now that I hink about it.
klep: Not very fond of the idea of such a cult
Gnomey: Alma, who is deep in denial, naturally doesn't think much of their defeatism,
Gnomey: and tries to get the player to halt the movement.
arvisrend: "halt"
Gnomey: We could or could not keep it;
arvisrend: more like show off her power by killing some of them
Gnomey: I think they're worth keeping, though we could probably vastly improve the presentation and make it seem more Indoril.
Gnomey: Well, yes. Almalexia isn't very subtle.
klep: Will we stick to this Tribunal questline?
Gnomey: Right, the dissident priests are the other large movement worth noting.
Gnomey: Also naturally a big deal for House Indoril, as guess where most priests come from.
klep: All noted



The following subjects are not listed chronologically but, roughly, by importance:

Master Planning: While work on the Thirr River Valley will continue, we are aiming to put a greater focus on planning, especially improving and expanding our Master Plan. We have a rough idea of the context of the Thirr River Valley and what we want to do with it, but before we can work effectively on other regions we will need to have our plans in order, or we will (again) be building a house without first building the foundations.
Having established that, and to that end, as you may have noted if you read the log, we ended up covering a wide array of topics covering all of Morrowind's regions (except for Solstheim) in the rest of the meeting.

Main Quest: While the idea of a separate TR mainquest has been discarded -- or rather the Great House questlines will essentially serve as five TR mainquests of which in any individual playthrough the player must choose one -- expanding on Bethesda's questlines is another matter. We discussed the possibility of extending the Vvardenfell mainquest by linking it to the Tribunal mainquest and reworking the latter, (given our approach to Mournhold, we'd have to recreate that mainquest anyway, and doing so will cause no conflicts), thereby forging a narrative that spans the province and concludes the fates of all of Morrowind's gods save Vivec -- player permitting -- and completing Morrowind's story.

Imperial Guilds: Imperial factions are split into branches along administrative district lines. (The Thieves Guild is probably an exception; the matter wasn't explicitly discussed, but it has no real reason to pay attention to arbitrary Imperial borders). The player will only need to join a guild once; membership is shared between branches. After joining, the player will be able to do quests for any branch.
The player will only be able to become the leader of one district branch, as it would be silly for the player to lead all five/six district branches in the same game. Specifically, the player will become the leader of the branch whose quests he finishes first. This will in no way prevent the player from completing other branch questlines, however; in fact, the player will have to complete other branch questlines to become the overall leader of the Morrowind branch.
As discussed above, it is possible that only local branch questlines will count towards the player becoming archmage of a local branch, while it is possible that only major/final quests of each branch will count towards the player becoming the leader of the Morrowind branch.
The Imperial factions do not necessarily need one overarching questline that links all of the district branches and leads the player directly to the top of the faction, though it is still a possibility. Far more likely is that the individual branches would have individual problems, which would sometimes, but by no means necessarily always, connect to other branches.
Another possibility is for a larger story to be told more subtly; the Mages' Guild trying to spread its influence and monopoly over Morrowind, the Thieves' Guild trying to establish itself and survive in a hostile environment, and the Fighters' Guild often having to weigh its morals with a desire to gain local relevance and respect. While sometimes these themes would be explored via large questlines, in other places they could be referenced via side quests or dialogue or other means.
For the most part, Imperial Guilds ignore House Dres, perhaps having chapters in Tear but otherwise having little to no presence in the Deshaan district. It is possible that Dres quests would be especially challenging, the player having to roam the whole district virtually unaided. The Dres are more unified and prone to react than the Telvanni, and they're so isolationist that the guilds would have little to gain from them anyway.
Another idea that was mentioned but remains to be fully explored is the idea of the Empire, House Hlaalu, the Camonna Tong or some combination of the three using the guilds to further their own goals. The idea is not completely new, especially in the case of the Camonna Tong, considering its ties to the Fighters' Guild.

Fighters' Guild: as above, a common theme of the Fighters guild would be a conflict between ideals and -- basically -- trying to please the locals and earn their trust and, perhaps more importantly, contracts. The guild's involvement with the Camonna Tong may present the largest though not only example, and that storyline will likely span the Vvardenfell, Mournhold and Narsis districts. Another example is the Akamora guild, which tries to curry the favour of the local rival nobles.

Mages' Guild: as in Vvardenfell, individual questgivers will tend to have their own agendas and interests. However, while not necessarily presented directly through a large questline, or even necessarily via an individual branch questline, an overall theme -- again, as above -- of trying to gain influence in Morrowind and strengthening their monopoly on magickal knowledge will be present.
An example of indirect presentation would be the Old Ebonheart questline: while there may be quests that send the player to Indoril lands, which would directly show expansion into the Mournhold district, far more prominent than the Mages' Guild's expansionism will be the Indoril desire to halt the expansion.
This process will likely be well advanced in Velothis; while the Redoran still mostly would not deal with the Mages Guild, the Mages Guild has managed to establish its guildhalls in the district, making for a full guild guide network, and likely has a fairly solid monopoly on magic services, at least outside of the Temple and House Redoran itself. This could connect back to the vanilla Telvanni quest in which the player tries to convince House Redoran to stop the Mages Guild monopoly. Whether that quest would have in-game implications for Velothis guild chapters is another question entirely.
In Telvannis, the Mages Guild will likely remain restricted to Firewatch, likely Bal Oyra, and possibly Helnim as well, depending on what we do with the latter. Either way, they are far from establishing a monopoly in Telvanni lands. (And won't have a monopoly at the end of that questline either; no kill-all-the-councillors-on-the-mainland quests).
Other than that, the guild will likely have five guildhalls in Mournhold district, five in Narsis district, its five (of course) in Vvardenfell district, and the probably only the one hall in Tear for Deshaan district.

Thieves' Guild: unlike the other factions, we don't have to be terribly careful in our placement of Thieves Guild chapters, as long as we make note of their placement. They could potentially have a guildhall wherever it seems like they might get a foothold. One example would be the Dres city of Aldmar on the banks of Andaram, with access to the Thirr River. Unlike the other guilds, the Thieves Guild may have managed to establish itself there to some degree. This does not necessarily mean the Thieves Guild would be more common than the other guilds, though. They are likely to have a rather weak presence in Hlaalu lands, for instance.
For the Thieves Guild in particular the idea that the Empire might hire them as a sort of second covert arm to further their interests was forwarded. The Thieves Guild would probably not be aware of their contractors, and certainly the player would only find out about it late into the questline.
Possibly linked to the above or possibly not, the idea of high-profile Telvannis quests in which the player would be tasked with stealing from Telvanni magisters was mentioned.

Camonna Tong: with the above, there was some discussion on the Camonna Tong; specifically, the idea that it was originally a Dres Tong more or less sent to infiltrate Hlaalu lands which the Hlaalu appropriated for their own purposes. This should not be protrayed as a bitter conflict between the Houses, which are on relatively good terms at the start of the game, but rather a result of the general scheming nature of the two Houses. (Both are secretive merchants, and Dres have their regard for the good Daedra, by all accounts a scheming bunch, on top of that).

House Indoril was also discussed in connection with the above; specifically the various groups that could be used to illustrate the instability of the House: the dissident priests, representing doubt in the Tribunal, the End of Times cult of Tribunal, if we keep it, representing abandonment of Tribunal society and life in the face of the march of time, technically smaller groups like the Syvvit Tong, though they did not come up in the meeting, and the reclusive Indoril of (prominently) Lan Orethan.
A new group was discussed, referred to as 'Daggerlads', though they should get a new name. ('Daggerlad' appears to be a general term, like 'cut-throat' or 'swashbuckler'). They are a recent and apparently spontaneous movement of -- perhaps -- predominantly young Indoril nobles who are violently anti-Imperial. They, and the other factions mentioned above, will have to be discussed further, however.

Imperial forts were shortly discussed. There would be few or none in Hlaalu lands, as Hlaalu wanted to avoid the Imperials becoming too firmly rooted in their lands. Instead, Hlaalu keep their lands mostly safe for Imperial citizens (at least within sight of the Empire) and, where necessary, allow the Imperial Legion small garrisons within their towns. As a result, should the right moment come, the Hlaalu would be able to isolate and crush the small garrisons and erase Legion presence in their lands, thereby also cutting off the main communication network between Cyrodiil and the rest of Morrowind.
There could, however, be some forts in Velothis. This would both show the relative weakness of House Redoran and could also be a good way to incorporate a nice idea from a vanilla book:
The Eastern Provinces Impartially Considered wrote:
In fact, a greater threat to Imperial security lies in the idle legions that the taxpayer spends thousands of drakes to support. The generals of these legions, facing no enemies or opposition within the borders of their provinces, may look with ambition to the West. With their loyal veteran troops and coffers fattened by friendly monopolists, they become unpredictable political factors in the uncertainties surrounding the Imperial succession.


Basically, the legion commander of Velothis could be such an individual, and could be trying to increase his powerbase in Velothis, naturally leading to friction with House Redoran, and possibly his fellow Imperials as well.

In connection with the Mages Guild and Bal Oyra, we shortly discussed Imperial presence in Telvannis and why people have suggested scrapping that settlement. Basically, Imperials shouldn't have much presence in Telvannis, and certainly shouldn't have any settlements in the interior of the district, but Bal Oyra is technically on the edge of Telvanni territory -- like Dagon Fel -- and it makes sense that there would be harbours opening to the ocean for Empire-wide Imperial trade -- like Dagon Fel -- so Bal Oyra isn't necessarily as out of line as it originally seemed.

Daedric quests were very briefly mentioned; namely concerns that the seven Daedra associated with Morrowind will be stretched too thin across our vast landmass, and discussing the possibility of pulling in other Daedra. I personally advocated first figuring out what we have in the way of Daedric content, then figuring out what we want, and whether other Daedra should have associated quests.

The Buffer Zone was shortly discussed, at first in regards to the possibility of it being a location for guild quests. The area seems especially suited for Fighters' Guild quests.
However, the idea was also discussed of placing an Ashlander camp there, the Ashlanders likely having been pushed south as the Hlaalu came into Roth Roryn and began building plantations there. This camp -- among others -- could be used to better explore Ashlander relations with various factions; in this case, in particular, House Hlaalu.
More broadly, we discussed the general topic of Ashlanders in Hlaalu land; that when the land was Redoran they may have been left alone, as the Redoran mostly just protect their lands rather than developing them, that the Hlaalu naturally did not leave the Ashlanders alone and took the choicest bits of land for themselves, and that as a result, aside from malcontent tribesmen and outcasts, a lot of Ashlanders leave their tribes and settle down in settlements, both Redoran and -- perhaps -- Hlaalu, likely including Andothren.

From there, we moved on to the topic of Andothren, specifically its planning document. It held up well, though it needs expanding in a few places. Those changes should follow shortly in the linked thread.

Baan Malur was shortly mentioned in connection with it becoming the capital of Morrowind in the Dragonborn expansion. The city is already grand enough for it, (especially if you remove most/all other Tier Is off the map, as the Red Year did), even putting the passage of two centuries aside, so even disregarding the fact that we're not overly concerned with keeping our lore compatible with Dragonborn, it checks out.

Almalexia was briefly mentioned, but only in shortly going over our proposal for it.
Post Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:16 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, March 7, 2015 based on my notes. The topic was Almas Thirr. The next meeting will probably take place on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 6:00 PM GMT/UTC. Its topic is to be determined.

A few issues have come up relating to our current version of Almas Thirr, but the topic of fixing them has been rather hard to approach, hence the meeting. The main issues that were brought up were roughly as follows:
Almas Thirr has a lot of ideas going for it, (nexus for land and river trade, pilgrimage site of some sort with monastery, Temple stronghold, town, mediation between House Hlaalu and House Indoril...), but to the extent that its core identity is unclear.
It's also effectively a Tier II city without guilds and with more than a dozen services.
Its Office of the Dispensary and Botanical Gardens, two interiors located in the canalworks, the former devoted to research into the corprus disease and the latter being a botanical garden, don't really fit any of the above concepts for Almas Thirr, the former arguably conflicting with them.
The purpose of the meeting, as such, was to establish a coherent identity for Almas Thirr and put together a rough plan on how to implement any necessary changes. Our results are as follows:

Background:
The establishing moment of Almas Thirr was the crossing of the Thirr by Veloth. That is not to say a settlement sprang up immediately, but simply that the site only gained significance through that event. While there is probably a story relating to Veloth's crossing, it need not be explored in depth; for an event so far in the past, any telling of the story we might bother to give could just as well be apocryphal in nature or tailored to suit -- for example -- Temple canon.
With that being said, the current story is as follows, and there's nothing more to it than what is written in this shrine text:
"Upon this stone, Sharai the Herder willingly gave herself to the Star-Wound, mending the path for Veloth and his followers. From her shattered womb came a thousand stars, the first seeds of our Garden. Her waters are a testament of our shared resolve, and that no force, mortal or otherwise may sunder Resdayn from her children."
All of the above does not rule out the possibility that Almalexia also did something important at Almas Thirr at some point, likely before it became a proper stronghold (more on that later): Almas Thirr currently has two shrines in its monastery complex on the eastern bank, one more prominent than the other; either one could be a Veloth shrine and the other a unique Sharai shrine, or one could be an Alma shrine and the other either a Veloth or Sharai shrine. That being said, the general sentiment in the meeting seemed to be that giving Almalexia a story relating to Almas Thirr wouldn't really add anything to the settlement, and that we can give Almalexia interesting stories in all the rest of Morrowind while Almas Thirr is a key stop on the pilgrimage of Veloth and should probably focus on that instead.

History:
Almas Thirr probably began its life as a (broadly defined) settlement as the Bloodstone shrine; either a small shrine or already as the monastery still located on the eastern bank. There may have also been some form of housing and a ferry or something providing passage across the Thirr, but nothing permanent and, as such, relevant to our Almas Thirr. The origin of the town part of the settlement is, in general, unimportant; there is no real history attached to it, and most of its current population probably moved in over the course of the third era.
As such, as far as our Almas Thirr is concerned, the next important development after the construction of the monastery is the construction of the canton stronghold. (We didn't directly discuss when the bridge spanning the Thirr itself was built; some form of bridge may have existed before the stronghold, but the current bridge was probably built alongside the stronghold). The stronghold was built early in the third era for the express purpose of keeping an eye on the newly established boundary between Houses Hlaalu and Indoril.
Concurrently with the construction of the stronghold came an influx of Dunmer refugees from Hlaalu's newly acquired territories as well as the start of a steady but small trickle of mostly transient outlanders. These two groups form the majority of the current town's population.

Layout:
A rough map for orientation:

The monastery (green) is on the east bank. Either all the rest of the east bank or, at least, the garrison (2) is technically owned by House Indoril (light blue). The east bank is the most significant location for pilgrims, housing the Bloodstone shrine in the monastery as well as the smaller shrine in the garrison, and has little else going for it. (At least for non-Indoril).
The central canton structure forms the Temple stronghold (gold); probably only really the levels above the Canalworks. The Ordinator Order of the Watch -- and perhaps to a lesser extent the Order of Doctrine and Ordination -- basically runs the place. A lot of the Ordinators would be Indoril. Aside from general prevention of open hostilities and mediation, a lot of administrative tasks would be performed in the stronghold, such as the regulation of both land and riverbourne trade. The focus of this area is, as such, on Temple politics and administration.
The town (brown) exists around the above core, both literally and figuratively. It should not be presented as the focus of Almas Thirr; it simply exists as a satellite of the core settlement. This is doubly true for its services, most of which will be outdoor services which are supposed to represent the flow of goods through Almas Thirr, rather than Almas Thirr being a market town. A lot of NPCs are only passing through, especially the sailors, pilgrims and merchants.
All of that being said, though, as far as the reality of gameplay is concerned players will probably spend most of their time in the town area due to its wealth of services and travel connections. (The latter still have to be added; the most popular plan appeared to be to add a small dock on the north side of the canton, where the water is of sufficient depth to allow both for a ship and a siltstrider. I've very roughly given an idea of how such a dock could look in the above image, though I may have drawn it too large).
The town somewhat extends into the canalworks, which should feature a temple, an expanded public tomb, and perhaps other public services such as soup kitchens for the poor and perhaps some sort of school.

Broad Themes:
As an important, centrally placed location, Almas Thirr is somewhat of a meeting place of people and ideas, and provides ripe opportunity for exploring several complex faction and faction trope interactions, notably:
-the Temple and House Indoril. House Indoril has established a garrison on the east bank of the Thirr, ostensibly as a show of support to the Temple stronghold. They also naturally provide the stronghold with much of its manpower and leadership, and likely provide for the settlement in other ways as well.
Whether well-meaning or not, however, all of that support undermines the stronghold's mission to act as impartial mediator between House Indoril and House Hlaalu. As such, between the seemingly mutually supportive factions there will be a subtle tug-of-war between cronyism and principals.
-the Temple and House Hlaalu: not explicitly discussed in the meeting, the natural interest of House Hlaalu is in gaining influence over Almas Thirr, whether through trying to make Almas Thirr economically dependent on House Hlaalu, in some way damaging the relationship between the local Indoril and Almas Thirr, etc.
-House Hlaalu and House Indoril: in this case explored more or less through a proxy war, with the Temple getting most of the flak.
-Velothi and the Temple/Ordinators: in the interactions between the town and stronghold. The town -- being on the Thirr rather than on either bank -- is probably controlled by neither House, and interacts directly with the Temple through Almas Thirr. The Temple, in turn, provides many services for the locals, especially in the canalworks, while at the same time regulating a lot of what goes on there.
-outlanders and Velothi/traditionalist Dunmer: showcasing the difficulties outlanders face in gaining a foothold -- let alone acceptance -- in eastern Morrowind.

Role in the Tribunal Temple:
Almas Thirr will probably mainly be featured in the Temple questline as a location on the pilgrimage route of Saint Veloth. The relationship between the Temple and House Indoril and, more broadly, the Temple's role in House politics may also be explored.

Role in Thirr River Conflict:
The Temple attempts to perform its role in Tribunal society of protecting the peace and stability of Morrowind and insuring civility in House relations through Almas Thirr. It will collosally fail, likely as much due to the actions of House Indoril as of House Hlaalu; rather than regulating the Houses, Almas Thirr essentially becomes a pawn in their conflict. This will demonstrate the weakening of the Temple, as well as give an idea of how House Indoril and House Hlaalu are not only contributing to their own eventual downfall, but to the downfall of Tribunal society as a whole.

Major Characters:
Majordomo of the Crossing Sandor Ormero -> leader of the local Ordinators and, effectively, of Almas Thirr. May be related to Ilvi in some way, but attempts to maintain neutrality.
Raransi Silveth -> leader of local Indoril guard; essentially acts as an Indoril lobbyist.
Avon Hlaalu -> visiting Almas Thirr over a trade disagreement to negotiate with the Temple; effectively represents House Hlaalu's interests in Almas Thirr.
Celdora -> Altmer service provider who more-or-less acts as spokesperson for the outlander minority in Almas Thirr.
Dadas Blarvam -> Dunmer ascetic located in the Bloodstone shrine.
Hetman -> elected representative of the townspeople to the Temple authorities, and effectively the leader and spokesperson of the local Velothi.
Important Temple fellow -> leader of the monastery and neither an Ordinator nor especially involved in the politics of Almas Thirr; mostly significant for Temple members.

Services:
While Almas Thirr will have a lot of merchants, the majority will either operate outdoor stalls or work in craftmer halls or tradehouses. As such, they'll have a limited selection of wares and a limited amount of barter gold.
Temple and Indoril players will probably have access to additional services of some form as well; at least beds.
Almas Thirr will have a siltstrider and boat, each with the maximum amount of destinations. (Four each). It also has a lot of shrines around the place. It does not, however, have much in the way of guilds. There will be at least one inn as well as a pilgrim's hostel, and perhaps a cornerclub or two if there's space.

Implementation:
Almas Thirr's planning document needs to be brought up to speed. We sorted out a rough plan on what needs to happen to the interiors which could use some tidying up and then implementation. The same goes for exterior adjustments, though I think only adding the small dock with siltstrider and ship access is really necessary. Once the interior and exterior have been altered to fit our vision, we can perhaps revisit NPCing. The list of interiors, for those whom it may interest:

Althrom Manor -> fine; high-ranking Indoril Temple member
Aynor Surav: Healer -> move outside or use elsewhere
Bloodstone Shrine -> St. Veloth crosses the Thirr
Botanical Gardens -> repurpose as Craftmer hall for some village dedicated to St. Meris.
Celdora's Assorted Texts and Tomes -> keep concept, move interior outside or use elsewhere.
Clepitus Mados: Cartographer -> maybe Ordinator or Temple interior?
Contraband Warehouse -> doesn't fit the exterior as well as it could, but otherwise fine.
Darane Soms: General Trader -> tradehouse
Dockyard Trade Office -> fine
Dralosa Sathram: Fine Clothier -> craftmer's hall for textiles?
Dram Badryon: Trader -> tradehouse
Emmoleth: Pawnbroker -> fine
Garrison -> Indoril guards working with the Ordinators
Garrison, Lower Quarters
Hideout -> Hlaalu smugglers; add additional access route to exterior.
Hospice of the Crossing -> fine
Ildos Badryon's Tower -> part of Dram Badryon: Trader
Ilmyna Adas: Alchemist -> repurpose if there's a place for it, otherwise use elsewhere.
Indrea Avorn: Ship Outfitter -> rename to seem less like a shop.
Ivolen Manor -> Temple + maybe Indoril official.
Jalor Indorn’s House -> keep as is.
Llandora Falavel’s House -> fine
Llevas Forothram: Clothier -> use elsewhere
Llunela Savel’s House -> fine
Merchant Warehouse -> maybe switch location with a different interior, but works in Almas Thirr.
Nalor Relvs’ House -> use elsewhere?
Northeast Lighthouse -> fine
Office of the Dispensary -> maybe use elsewhere; not in Almas Thirr
Plaza -> replace the two small buildings with grander buildings; Ordinator barracks and armoury?
Plaza Sanctum -> fine
Public Tomb -> expand
Raleth Hlasur’s House -> fine
Samsi Adranibaal’s House -> fine
Satheri Dralam: Plaza Trader -> maybe use elsewhere; rather boring, too many traders.
Shrine of St. Meris -> Representing Almas Thirr's role as mediator.
Sovos Ramalor: Pawnbroker -> maybe use elsewhere
The Glinting Moth -> fine
The Limping Scrib -> use elsewhere?
The Tipped Pitcher -> main inn; rename The Limping Scrib
Tribunal Monastery -> leave as is
Tribunal Monastery, Dome
Underworks -> do more with it?
Vavs Barayn’s House -> fine as is
Waistworks -> redo as most of the interiors will be pulled. Perhaps expand actual waistworks interior -- for instance by adding more small interior plazas -- to limit the amount of interior space we need to fill with barracks and administration stuff. Re-route lower western access to waistworks from town to instead link the town to the canalworks.

To be implemented:
-hetman
-cornerclub(s)?
-travel service ship interior
-new or expanded canalworks interiors like tomb, temple.
-new upper canton interiors such as Ordinator barracks, armoury, administrative building, perhaps higher class Ordinator dormitories, such as for certain Indoril and such...



We also found time at the end to address other issues, though not in great detail:

Thirr River Region:
A concern was mentioned in the Skype meeting that the Thirr River Region seems too much like a backwoods region, with its relatively low population density and extensive forests, and may also not stand out much as a unique region, being roughly halfway between the Ascadian Coast and Lan Orethan in appearance. The former point is notably very much counter to the population density map (attachment B) in the current Master Plan document -- though I'll be the first to point out that that document represents an early draft likely intended to get discussion going rather than being a thoroughly discussed plan we are bound to implement -- but even disregarding that I think a dissonance between our concept for TRV and its current appearance exists.
The issue has been somewhat mitigated through the addition of Vhul as well as planned settlements at the border of the TRV, namely the Hlaalu settlement of Hlan Oek to the south of Indal-ruhn and the Hlaalu town I proposed for eastern Roth Roryn, but I don't think the root problem has been fixed with those changes.

As we will have plenty of unused interiors at our disposal with our above planned changes to Almas Thirr, and have a dearth of available interior claims with plenty of capable interior developers as it is, adding new settlements wouldn't really be out of the question.

As far as the relatively untamed impression the region gets through its forests, and its lack of defining features, the possibility of replacing the trees with new models has been proposed, (here are some very rough sketch of corkbulb trees), as well as recolouring the grass to a more yellowish hue to allow transition between the Ascadian Coast and Othreleth. And, for that matter, Roth Roryn.

While both solutions are doable and would improve the region considerably, however, (while the latter requires new assets, someone did express interest in trying a hand at them), they're not really a priority. While TRV certainly isn't perfect, it's hardly broken either.

Roads, Ancestors and Veloth's Route:
Right before the Skype meeting, I messed around with the latest Indoril-Thirr file exploring various ideas relating to roads, Veloth's pilgrimage route and infrastructure.
Village Shrines:

Nothing new, actually; I have already implemented this in the St. Felms hamlet, but include it here anyway for the sake of comprehensiveness: Velothi settlements in Indoril lands too small to have a temple instead have a small, generally outdoor shrine dedicated to their patron saint. In the above case, the focus of the pictured village being farming and labour, the saint in question is Saint Meris.
Roadside Ancestor Shrines:


While it has always been Dunmer tradition to send ones dead to Necrom, especially after the establishment of Ghost Fence, many Dunmer have historically not possessed the funds or means to send their loved ones on that journey. These Dunmer would leave the bones of their dead in deposits along or near Veloth's route, and considerate pilgrims would take what bones they could carry along with them on their pilgrimage to Necrom.
Many of these deposits were later provided with aeolian gourds, which served both to draw the attention of pilgrims to the shrines, but more importantly to call out to wandering spirits who have not found their peace in Necrom or have been bereft of their chance to protect Morrowind in the afterlife through powering Ghostfence. These spirits would gather at the shrines, from where they would join the grand procession to Necrom.
Indoril Infrastructure:

To drive home the fact that Tribunal culture, the ideal of which is best presented in Indoril lands, is both very advanced and very stable, I think Indoril roads should have extensive infrastructure, with rest stops both for Indoril nobility travelling between castle estates and commoners, as well as ample lighting. Road signs still need to be discussed.
Veloth's Route:
Aside from its ancestor shrines and having many important locations along its route, such as Kragenmar, Almas Thirr, Almalexia and, of course, Necrom itself, I think Veloth's pilgrimage route should have a unique (at least for application as mainroad) texture, perhaps the texture shown in the above image. This would both set it apart from other roads, establishing its premier importance in Dunmer society, religion and history, but also to a degree could evoke the regular stream of pilgrims and processions of corpses that is supposed to flow towards Necrom but cannot be adequately featured in Morrowind's engine.

Anyway, that's it for another week. Sorry for the (ever-increasing) delay in posting -- and writing, for that matter -- the summary; someone might take over for me next week.
Post Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:03 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theminimanx
Lead Developer
26 Jan 2014

Location: GMT +1

This is a summary of the Skype meeting that took place on Saturday, March 21, 2015 based on my notes. The topic was House Indoril and its planning document. The next meeting will probably take place on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 6:00 PM GMT/UTC. Its topic is to be determined.

I took over secretary duties for this meeting. Apologies if my summary is not up to the usual standards. Also, Swiftoak has been doing some name dedefecation in his map lately. I tried to include both the old and new names, but if there's a name you don't recognise, check the map. It might be a rename of a pre-existing settlement.

As the planning document was a collection of everything written about House Indoril so far, this meeting was used to go through it topic by topic and see what needed fixing/elaborating/etc.

History:
No real conflict was found between Vanilla and TR lore. While there were a few minor discrepancies, most prominently whether the Great Houses existed before the Tribunal, all of these could be explained away by our sources for Vanilla history not being 100% accurate about things that happened thousands of years ago.
We decided that House Indoril did exist before Nerevar rose to greatness. Back then, it was an influential noble family, but not a Great House in the form it is today. Nerevar joined the family by marrying Almalexia (then Indoril Laesa).
A minor detail that we decided was best removed was the line "they weren't even able to participate in the opening of Vvardenfell". House Indoril was instead just not interested in colonising Vvardenfell.

Geography:
We decided to skip worldspace implementation for now, until we have a better idea of what we want to do with it.
We did briefly discuss Bosmora, the Mournhold town in south-east Lan Orethan. We decided to move it closer to the sea, rebuild it in the Velothi tileset, rename it Lan Murha and use the concept for Saint Llothis.

Government:
Punishment within House Indoril was briefly discussed. The most important idea here is that House Indoril will never admit that another Indoril did anything wrong. Instead of being punished for their actions, an Indoril will have to justify their interpretation of the law. They can hire (Indoril) lawyers for this. They also need to show that they're still noble, through various noble actions, such as pilgrimages, acts of charity or other work. Of course, they can order their servants to perform these actions for them. For the truly grave offenses, the Morag Tong would be hired, instead of exposing the Indoril's misdeeds in court.

The decay was briefly discussed, and the main takeaway is that any groups from this section should be used to explore certain ideas, not as full-fledged factions. Because of that, they should not be planned out too much, and only be created when we have a need/good concept for them.

We also talked a bit about the hierarchy of House Indoril, and while the ranks are far from finished, important distinctions between the ranks were briefly discussed. Oathmen, while exclusively serving House Indoril, are not Indoril themselves. They are not part of the 'family'. That honour is reserved for kinsmen and up, who get Indoril attached to their name. Creedmen are the lowest nobles.

Much like the geography, we decided to hold off on discussing the Geopolitical Distribution, other than to point out that any information is this section is to be used as guidelines, rather than strict rules. Seyda Vano/Id Vano was also talked about. Id Vano was a castle-estate long before the player builds his stronghold there, but it was destroyed during the same event that created the Inlet Bog. However, House Indoril never acknowledged that Id Vano and the family living there were destroyed. Because of this, when the player becomes lord of the estate, no new title is created. Instead, the player takes over from the family that previously ruled there.

Foreign Relations:
We decided to expand a bit on the relations between Indoril and the other major factions (Hlaalu excluded). Minor factions were not discussed. We did run into the problem of not having enough information on the other factions (Temple especially) to properly plan relations between them.

Redoran:Redoran is probably the closest ally Indoril has left. However, even this alliance was soured somewhat in the past. House Indoril holds House Redoran in very high regard, and while Redoran considers Indoril a friend, they don't trust them a lot. The reason for this is that, during Tiber Septim's invasion, House Redoran stood alone against the Empire. House Indoril decided to retreat into their own lands, and hold a stand there. While the Tribunal's intervention prevented this from ruining the relation between the Houses, it lower Redoran's regard for Indoril.

Dres: There are some theological differences between Dres and Indoril, but Indoril consider Dres too important an ally to let that form a rift between them. Indoril recognises that Dres is going to keep doing its own thing, regardless of what Indoril think, and they bend their canon to fit this. However, nothing that House Dres does is incompatible with the Indoril worldview, so they're good neighbours. Indoril has a better opinion of Dres than the other way around. Recently, there's been a bit of a tugging match between Hlaalu and Indoril over who has the most influence with Dres. Dres themselves are taking advantage of this contest of course.

Telvanni: The part of mainland Morrowind that's currently under Telvanni control was uninhabited for a long time. Nominally it was under Indoril control but in much the same way that they consider all of Morrowind under their control. They exerted no direct influence on the area, and they had no holdings there. The area only became inhabited during the Telvanni expanion, which was allowed by Indoril. These days, the border between Indoril and Telvanni is much closer, but there is no effort by either faction to take territory from the other. The Indoril don't care about the land, and any pushes by the Telvanni are the decisions of individual wizards, not the faction as a whole. Because of this, any conflict between the two factions is strictly local.

Temple: House Indoril derives their right to rule from the Temple, who derive their rights from the Tribunal, in a way similar to medieval kings. However, the Temple itself doesn't have a lot of power, because the Indoril can interpret Temple laws any way they like. Also, many of the high-ranking people in the Temple are part of House Indoril. This ruins any attempts at neutrality by the Temple.

Empire The Empire are seen as an intrustion into the Indoril system, symbolised by Old Ebonheart and Mournhold being in Indoril territory and Almalexia respectively. In the eyes of the Empire, the invasion of Morrowind is water under the bridge, but the Indoril still hold a major grudge. However, both because they refuse to acknowledge the Empire's rule, and because they simply can't, the Indoril take no direct action against the Empire. Instead, they're just very passive-aggressive.

Education:
We decided that kinsmen of House Indoril would have tutors, either private or for a group of Indoril. Inspiration for these tutors could be drawn from tutors in ancient Greece and/or Rome (Aristotle, Plato, etc.)

Economy:
The general agreement was that we really shouldn't think too hard about how exactly the economy works, other than noting that common Velothi would mostly rely on the barter system.
The jobs people would have on various levels of the hierarchy were discussed in a bit more detail.

    Slaves: Working the fields and construction. Manual labour basically.
    Commoners: Overseers and craftsmen.
    'Ordinary Indoril': Clerks, lawyers, etc. Responsible for keeping the huge Indoril bureaucracy running.
    Indoril Lords: Rulers.


Questline:
The Indoril questline was discussed very briefly, though the general consensus was that we should wait a bit before planning it fully. Still, a few ideas were talked about. Firstly, that the House War should not be the sole focus of the questline. Secondly, the idea was raised that Hlaalu and Indoril would seek aid from their respective allies. Indoril would try to form a coalition with Dres and Redoran, which would be a good opportunity to explore some of the issues between Indoril and its allies. The Empire would try to subtly help Hlaalu in their own lands, but for the most part their hands are tied.

The tone of the House Questlines was also discussed. Much like in the Vanilla Main Quest, you'd be the savior of your faction by dealing with a certain crisis. While doing this, you uncover the underlying issues that lead to the current crisis, but by the end of the questline, they're still not resolved. At some point in the near future, those issues will need to be dealt with, and that's going to be messy and unpleasant for everyone involved.

We also had a very short look at Swiftoak's Indoril Document. It mainly contains name dedefecations, but the italic text under each important character could be used in the White Book.

After that, the discussion turned to Akamora, where I was so out of my depth, I left the discussion. Someone else took over summary duties for the last half-hour.

Two off-topic things also discussed:
The Legion and Temple shouldn't conflict with any of the Houses, and quests should be written to accomodate this.
The Velothi towers were proposed to have belonged to the proto-Telvanni. They abandoned them when they moved to the Telvanni Isles around the Battle of Red Mountain.

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Post Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:52 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Very late as usual; my apologies.
After Theminimanx bowed out of the meeting, we only discussed a few topics:

First, Akamora. Specifically how to bring it in line with our current concept for House Indoril.
It is our intention to preserve the excellent quests that have already been made for the settlement. The following changes were decided on to limit the necessary adjustments to them required.

Akamora will essentially become four settlements. The town itself will be remade in the Velothi tileset further east by the town's eggmines, and will be renamed Umul. Its manors, however, will not be moved over, as Velothi do not have nobles or manors.
Instead, the manors of the most important nobles questwise will be transformed into castle-estates which will remain in the area, and any other nobles that need to be kept will probably be relocated to Almalexia along with as many of Akamora's MH interiors as can be crammed in.
Here's a map:


The largest of the castle-estates -- Dun Senim -- will be located where Akamora currently is and should preserve the overall aesthetic of the settlement. It will be home to Indoril Ienen Tomaril.
The Tomaril Manor to the south will be kept as a smaller castle-estate, but renamed Bis Indaryn. It will be home to Indoril Ivis Oryalen.
The last castle-estate will be a new one, also small, to the east of Dun Senim, which will be called Bet Ydhas. It will be home to Indoril Eras Andil.

The core of the conflict between the above nobles -- and perhaps others in Almalexia -- will essentially be over Dun Akafell, which will be renamed Dun Aamul. Dun Aamul was once a prestigious castle-estate which has long laid in ruin. Its domain has essentially been swallowed by Dun Senim, but now Dun Senim's lord Indoril Ienen Tomaril is old and heirless, and various claimants are angling to ensure that they will be the next to inherit the domain.
If we're going to keep the conflict over the egg mines, the reason for the conflict won't have anything to do with the profits of the mines, but instead the egg mines are simply part of Dun Aamul's garden, and the nobles attempt to show that they are lord of the area by tending it as they would any other part of the garden. Similarly, some of the lords might try and stop the southward spread of House Telvanni as a way of weeding 'their' garden and showing that they are in control.

The Imperial guilds will still be located in Umul. They basically took advantage of the confusion to establish themselves, and have been trying to ingratiate themselves with the locals, and especially the Indoril nobles, since.

Next, Mournhold. What does the name refer to, and where does it come from?
In Sload's Almalexia Proposal, it refers only to the king's palace. In Tribunal, it naturally referred to the inner city of Almalexia, which will not exist as such in our version. It has often also been used to refer to the whole city.
As far as the origin of the name is concerned, now that I come to think of it the obvious reason for the 'mourning', which didn't come up in the meeting, would be the destruction of Almalexia at the end of the first era. (Though the city is called Mournhold in the 2920 books right before the cataclysm, those books are written from an Imperial perspective long after the events took place, and as such are probably highly inaccurate).
The reason that was mentioned in the meeting, however, was the Armistice, and with it the loss of Morrowind's (full) independence, of Indoril's unchallenged preeminence, and the mass suicide of many of its members. Why Almalexia or the king's palace in particular would be singled out in particular as the 'mourning hold' instead of Indoril lands in general is another question.
With the signing of the Armistice came the establishment of Morrowind's royal family, and an area within Almalexia was set aside to house their palace. The local Dunmer -- especially the Indoril -- gravitated away from the foreign presence of the palace, while Imperials were given permission to set up shop. This naturally led to Kingsreach becoming a sort of foreign quarter.

We shortly discussed Roa Dyr, namely its overall appearance and how it matches our vision for castle-estates. The original plan was for Roa Dyr to be "made up of several keeps separated by canals". Instead, there is only one keep which takes up a fairly small amount of space, and the rest of the estate essentially consists of ground-level courtyards.
I do not think this should be a trend for the larger castle-estates, but nobody (myself included) expressed a desire for the castle-estate to be redone. (Again). Instead, Roa Dyr's appearance could represent its unusual situation, originally having been a small castle-estate, (its keep is roughly the right size for one), but with the Armistice having gained extensive territory.

We also shortly discussed the land around Old Ebonheart, specifically the idea of extending the Thirr River Delta eastwards. (The changes would be made around Old Ebonheart, and not to the settlement itself). While the mouth of the Thirr as currently planned does fall rather short of the typical fan-like deltas one associates with alluvial plains, that is largely because the land suddenly rises up to a fairly high elevation around the mouth of the Thirr, (I have no idea why that was done), and cutting a Nile-like river delta into what is essentially a plateau wouldn't make much sense or look very natural, while lowering the land would require rather extensive work.
As such, the general consensus appeared to be not to bother. As the current mouth of the Thirr only became a river mouth when the Inner Sea was created, it's not entirely unreasonable that no proper delta would have formed, anyway.
Post Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:32 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Gnomey wrote:
... we only discussed a few topics:

First, Akamora.


Whoa. That's pretty important a topic. This definitely needs its own Forum Section.

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Post Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:35 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Haplo
Lead Developer
30 Aug 2003

Location: Celibacy

Gnomey wrote:
It is our intention to preserve the excellent quests that have already been made for the settlement.

But not the excellent worldbuilding, I see Crying That is a big change.

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[06/19/2012 04:15AM] +Cat table stabbing is apparently a really popular sport in morrowind

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Post Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:57 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I have no idea when this meeting took place. Sometime in April, maybe. I'll start with Gnomey's part of the summary.

At the start of the meeting we discussed a variety of fairly minor topics:

First of all, I brought up the idea of the Hlaalu embedding glass shards in their foreheads, as in the by now oft-linked reddit thread.
Before my concern was that that could make House Hlaalu's nobles look too alien and unrelatable, but then I remembered that Dunmer fashion sense is strange in the first place, and if properly incorporated the shard might not look too out of place. (I've since managed to photoshop a quick example of what I mean). To most players it would just be an odd cosmetic feature shared by many -- though how many is another question -- Hlaalu nobles. Inquisitive players would probably be able to get the full story.

The issue then came up of Hlaalu faith, and the House's relations with the Temple, but we didn't really go into the subject too deeply. In the current document, the Hlaalu respect the Tribunal, but the Tribunal do not really figure in to the activities of the House in any way. The problem may exist on both ends; we could be portraying House Hlaalu as too secular, making it seem unnatural for them to concern themselves with the Temple and Tribunal faith, and at the same time we may be making the Temple too dogmatic, which makes it seem unnatural for a House that tries to forge its own path like House Hlaalu to follow its lead. In reality, suppression of dissidents and heretics aside, the Temple does not necessarily demand much of its adherents. That's House Indoril's job. In the same vein, House Hlaalu's mercantile and conspiratory pursuits do not necessarily preclude a certain reverence among its members towards the Tribunal faith.
Another question is whether House Hlaalu should have any special regard for Veloth, and if so what the nature of that regard should be.

We shortly discussed Kragenmoor, and what role it would play in-game. It is relatively far from Teyn and Seyda Neen, where the player would start the game, and as such it wouldn't be a starting city, as such. The player should also not necessarily be directed there, as the player would be to Balmora and -- possibly -- Andothren. It may also not play much of a role in the Hlaalu mainquest, though that remains to be seen. As the city is relatively far from the game starting area, and is next to both mountains and ashlands, one would expect its surroundings to be fairly dangerous.
On the other hand, it is supposed to be very outlander-friendly; the first stop of many outlanders visiting Morrowind. It would not make much sense for its surroundings to be too hostile. The settlement space itself would naturally be safe, though its merchants could be somewhat more high-end and expensive both to reflect the city's flourishing trade and for pacing reasons. The exterior outside should also probably not be too dangerous, even for new players, at least on the Othreleth Woods side. (The Armun Ashlands can be more dangerous, as most outlanders would go around it rather than go through it anyway). Rather, the difficulty of the region (which should probably be moderate rather than hard) can probably best be explored in dungeons as opposed to in the exterior.

Another question that came up was the niche Hlaalu fills, as opposed to the other Houses. As it stands, the House is Morrowind's gate, while House Redoran is Morrowind's wall. However, Morrowind generally appears to be very isolated and self-sufficient, so does it really need a gate?
One explanation would be that, pre-Armistice, the Khajiit slave-trade would have had great importance. While it was then outlawed with the Armistice, the Armistice at the same time assured greater trade relations between Morrowind and the other provinces. Another would be that House Hlaalu also keeps an eye on what is going on beyond Morrowind's walls, which allows both it and Morrowind as a whole to recognize the way the wind is blowing and react accordingly. An ability House Indoril notably lacks.
To a large extent, though, it is likely that House Hlaalu got the short end of the stick and, while recognized as necessary, its dealing with outlanders would have been looked down upon, making it the least of the Great Houses. House Hlaalu simply made the most of its lot, culminating in the perceived betrayal that lead to the Armistice which started House Hlaalu's rise to the top.

A few other minor points:
-Hlaalu is both the name of a Great House formed through the confederation of several Houses as well as the name of the most important of those Houses. House Indoril, by contrast, is the name of a major House which absorbed various other Houses and important figures and such to become a monolithic whole.
-the term castle-estate should probably not be used in-game. It's a development term. Chapel of the Garden or simply palace, or some variant of those, would work better in-game.
-As far as the question of Mournhold/Almalexia is concerned, another way we could handle things would be for the Dunmer to refer to the city as 'Almalexia' and 'the Mourning Hold', and Imperials picked up on the latter and have taken to calling the city 'Mournhold'. That usage may then have spread. The city is, as such, called Almalexia, but could often be referred to as either 'the Mourning Hold' or 'Mournhold' in dialogue.

Here's where I took over. Some of this might overlap with what Gnomey wrote.

Near the start of the meeting, there was a sentiment shared that the Hlaalu are too secular and the Temple too control freakish. Neither should be the case. The Tribunal themselves are known to play loosely with the rules and bend them to suit their interests, which fits the Hlaalu. Individual members can have more faithful and spiritual aspects to their characters, though obviously the House as a whole can’t be unified on religion, due to a large cultural mix that includes outlanders and former Ashlanders.

Before it became a Great House, the Hlaalu were a collection of influential merchant families living in Morrowind’s south, of which the Hlaalu family was the most important. The House formed when these families came together — not from one central family absorbing them as was the case with the Indoril. By banding together, they were able to maintain their coveted independence from the Indoril, who in part didn’t see these families as worthy or noteworthy enough to take over directly, since the Hlaalu didn’t become part of the Tribunal Project quickly enough, and lived in a backwoods corner of the nation at the time.

After the Battle of Red Mountain, the proto-Hlaalu houses assisted with rebuilding the province by trading with outlanders for goods the Dunmer needed after years of war. As merchants, it made sense that they could help Morrowind’s economy stabilize. The Indoril still took the credit for the nation’s recovery, of course, and for the longest time the Hlaalu had the shortest end of the stick, so to speak. They took on a job no other Dunmer wanted -- interacting with foreigners and keeping an eye on the outside world. They were in the position to do it, and as opportunists, they could take advantage of international resources. During the First Era and Second Era, this included trading for Khajiit slaves, who weren’t considered citizens or people of the empire at the time.

Like the Redoran, the Hlaalu created their own identity as a Great House to maintain their independence and avoid being swallowed up by House Indoril, who the Hlaalu disagree with on several points. The Indoril think they’re putting the Temple’s vision for Morrowind into action and the Hlaalu don’t agree. The Hlaalu basically want to escape the current hierarchy that has the Indoril on top, believing it’s harmful for the Dunmer and leading them in a mistaken direction. They see it as too limiting. Their brand of selfish entrepreneurship can’t flourish under the Indoril’s self-righteous rigidity. In a sense, the Hlaalu believe there should be no hierarchy other than having the Tribunal on top and then the Dunmer people beneath them.

While the Indoril were establishing Morrowind’s current hierarchy, the Hlaalu built up from the rubble in their corner of the land and then sought the face of Veloth to legitimatize their position. Their ideal vision for the Dunmer is one that adheres closer to the original reason Veloth led his exodus in the first place -- to exchange the unchanging order of the Altmer for the chaotic influence of the Daedra. The Hlaalu follow Veloth’s example in the sense that they see the need to change, (whether they truly believe in his message or just use it as a cover depends on who you talk to) and invest themselves in plotting.

The Indoril’s weakens was that they didn’t look outward. Even Vivec saw how much of a threat the Cyrodiilic Empire was from the wars with Reman centuries ago, and thus he was more careful when Tiber Septim came along. The Hlaalu were willing to work with the Imperials, so long as it was too their advantage. If needed, they’re willing to abandon the Empire, though a few members might have more sympathies for its ideals. Ultimately, if working with the Empire makes the House rich, then it makes sense to follow it – for now. At the same time, the higher echelons of the House leadership are preparing for the Septim dynasty’s fall, which they see as inevitable.

“As Morrowind's interface with outlanders, the Hlaalu became skilled in just the skills that the conspiracy required: risk assessment, deceitfulness, foresight and diplomacy. They were keenest observers as Dagoth Ur returned to Red Mountain and Tiber Septim gathered his armies on the border, and they secretly manipulated events to bring about the Armistice which maintained Morrowind's exceptional autonomy. They continue to prepare for the future seeing that the Tribunal Temple is on its way out.” — Swiftoak

Even though the Hlaalu are currently making all the right moves, they are far from infallible. House Hlaalu is not powerful enough to go against everyone, and in the post TES III history Bethesda concocted, they end up blamed for betraying the nation to foreigners. During the course of their quest line, they patch up their relationship with House Dres, but when the Dres is wrecked by the Argonian invasion and the Empire pulls back from Morrowind, the Hlaalu are left without allies. They end up over expanding and rely too much on relations with the Empire. When they ended up on their own, they weren’t able to explain how their dealings with the Empire were for the good of Morrowind, because of the secretive nature of their plot.

We don’t necessarily have to allude to this future in the Hlaalu’s quest line directly, but we should leave the possibility that it can happen open.

Andothren

Andothren is like Vvardenfell in that many different people are vying for power. The player will rise as a lackey of someone in the city and eventually become a minor House Peer. Andothren represents the external face of the Hlaalu — their outward identity as selfish, greedy merchants.

From there, the player will go over to Narsis. The Hlaalu capital will feature the most masques and intrigue during the Hlaalu questline. It’s where the conspiracy is guided by whoever is in charge, who control its current direction. It is here that the player will begin to get a sense of the Hlaalu’s larger plans.

After gaining influence on the council, the construction of the stronghold settlement at Nav Andaram will lead to the House War with the Indoril. At some point the Hlaalu will offend the Dres, and for a while it will look like the Dres will side with the Indoril. But then Hlaalu and Dres will patch things up and become allies. The dealings with the Dres should be in the background for the early part of the questline, until it suddenly becomes important later on.

The vanilla questline can be separated out as a miscellaneous questline for Hlaalu players. They can take them on if they want, but they won’t be sent explicitly to do them, unless they need more rank to continue in the main questline.

Raathim

Before Tiber Septim’s invasion, there was an Indoril chapel at Old Ebonheart — one of the most important chapels at that time. The Indoril lost the chapel following the Armistice, and the Empire coopted the local Raathim nobles as Morrowind’s ruling family, essentially making up a royal house.

Nowadays, the Raathim are essentially affiliated with the Hlaalu (because of some sort of mutually beneficial family tie), though the Great House and royal family don’t necessarily work in tandem. The current king, Helseth, has his own vision for Morrowind as an Imperial province with him in charge. He wants to give the monarchy real power and undermine Morrowind’s traditional power structure.

He is not aware of the Hlaalu conspiracy, but there likely will be opportunities to interact with him during the questline, when the house will be looking for allies. For instance, the player might end up asking him for permission to build Nav Andaram on the east bank of the Thirr, since that stronghold would require expanding into new territory (compared to House Indoril not needing permission to construct Id Vano within its borders). The Hlaalu might also want to exert influence over Helseth, like they did with the old king Llethan.

Trade

“Merchants and traders in a land that despises outsiders, the Hlaalu nevertheless maintain a limited commerce with the Empire, trading stout Imperial broadcloth and Cyrodilic brandy for the elegant trinkets produced by the admittedly skilled craftsmer of Morrowind”

Ranks

House Peers are generally just rich people with manors who are not Council Electors. There doesn’t need to be a set number for them. Gnostic Officers are essentially secret agents who are given a greater degree of independence on how they operate. The council directs plans to these officers. While the player starts working for the council directly when they gain the rank of Bonded Agent, the council will still keep many of its secrets from him or her. Bonded Agents are bossed around, but don’t really know what’s going on, while Gnostic Officers know what going on to at least some extent, and are trusted to carry out important tasks.

Council Electors

Council Elector Fethas Hlaalu (Narsis) - established family; could be a go-between with Helseth
Council Elector Ivul Hleryn (Ud Hleryn) - established family
Council Elector Llaasa Indarys (Kragenmar) - established family with Redoran branch. (House Indarys may have been a minor house in the Waters March which, much like the march itself, got partially incorporated into House Hlaalu).
Council Elector Eoli Freixaal (Kragenmar) - outlander
Council Elector Atran Oran (Oran Plantation) - upstart family? (Along with Avon Oran in Suran).
Council Elector Tholer Andas (Andothren) - family status unimportant
Council Elector Vedam Dren (Ebonheart) - established family; Duke of Vvardenfell District
Council Elector Dram Bero (Vivec) - family status unimportant
Council Elector %PCName/some outlander House Peer (Nav Andaram) - upstart; replaces Tholer Andas.

Other Important Characters

Crassius Curio (Vivec) - outlander
Yngling Half-troll (Vivec) - outlander
Velanda Omani (Ascadian Coast) - family status unimportant; probably moved there with Orvas Dren. Not sure if she needs to be a House Peer.
Nevena Ules (Suran-ish) - established family? Possibly from the family that originally controlled Suran before Oran took the position. Note that this does not automatically signify resentment of the Oran family, though it could. Not sure if she needs to be a House Peer.
(Orvas Dren (Dren Plantation) - established family; boss of the Camonna Tong)
Raynasa Rethan (Odai Plateau) - established if fairly minor family; gets Rethan manor, is possibly pawn of player.
Ralen Hlaalo (Balmora) - established family and very dead
Nolus Atrius ('Balmora'/Andothren) - outlander
Avrar Narsuaes (Othreleth Woods) - established family; the Narsuaes family generally hold at least one seat on the council, but Avrar generally tries to keep out of intrigues. He would be another candidate for Duke of Narsis District, in which case he would be an ineffectual duke whose sole purpose is keeping himself and his family out of trouble, not caring whether he actually does his job well or not.
Edayn Sadras (Shipal-sharai?) - upstart
Tharsa Omayn (Narsis) - established family
Ivasu Raran (Narsis) - a relative of Llananu Raran of Indal-ruhn, the Raran family being fairly important. Family may have gained power doing business in Seryn before moving to Narsis to (try to) take a place in Hlaalu politics.

Vvardenfell

The Hlaalu’s project to gain more control of Vvardenfell could be represented by establishing the person who takes over Rethan Manor (Raynasa Rethan) as the player’s puppet.

Nolus Atrius — a NPC mentioned in the original game who wasn’t actually present — is Balmora’s (corrupt) magistrate, and lives in Andothren.

Orvas Dren will remain the head of the Camonna Tong and won’t have a seat on the Hlaalu council. He’s still a member of House Hlaalu, though he won’t be listed as one in the Construction Set. Like in vanilla, he will have power over other councilors, both on Vvardenfell and the mainland, and will manipulate them through his wealth and networking.

Other Notes

Indoril

We want to move away from calling the homes of high-ranking Indoril “Castle Estates” in-game. They should be referred to either as so-and-so’s estate offhandedly, or as “Chapels of the Garden” as their official title.

Am Mar’s name should become just Ammar. We also settled on Sundered Scar as the Inlet Bog region’s final name.

For the Vales of Mephala (Mephalan Mountains) region, the main points of interest are the Indoril vying for power, the outlander guilds trying to establish themselves and Mephala playing with everyone. On the surface, the Indoril seem to be in control, but the area is actually much more wild and dangerous. While the Thirr River Valley and Lan Orethan show the benefits of stable Indoril governance and the Sundered Scar represents their absence, the Vales of Mephala shows the Indoril falling apart, undermining each other with their competing claims of authority.

Smuggling dens

We should place most smuggling caves with slave pens along the Inner Sea’s coast and avoid putting too many inland. It’s not illegal to transport slaves overland, so smugglers aren’t needed for that part of the slave trade.

Gnomey edit: added hyperlinks for clarity's sake, don't mind me.

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-Head of NPCs: Skyrim: Home of the Nords
Post Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



I assume that Chancellor Falesa Narusa is omitted from the Hlaalu VIP list by mistake? Other than that this is good stuff. The glass shards are a nice touch.
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Post Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:03 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

now i need to get in on this stuff, when's the next meeting?
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almsivi bless, to create one must first destroy, the nature of all, is in equilibrium
- sotha sil
Post Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

That's one massive summary. Haven't had time to read it yet, but I am eager to do so, and also looking forward to Gnomey's summary of the last meeting. Unfortunately I once again won't be able to attend to the upcoming one. Travelling a lot during weekends.
Post Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:58 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

one thing i'm looking forward to is seeing what goes where in the sense of vvardenfel, like the redistribution of territory, so that most of it is ashland and so on, the conflict between expansionist telvanni and indoril, and house hlaalu and dres conflicts. one thing that confuses me still, is why there is so much imperial influence in morrowind. you'd think there would only be a few outposts, in a practically independant state, but there's a whole freaking city inhabited by imperials, in the "isolationist" country. hell, skyrim has less imperial influence.
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almsivi bless, to create one must first destroy, the nature of all, is in equilibrium
- sotha sil
Post Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:52 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Biboran
Member
26 Sep 2014

Location: Russia

Skyrim in the third era is "Friend" of Empire. Skyrim don't need occupation, he voluntarily.
But in current SHotN concepts Markarth has Imperial quarter and Skyrim had a lot of Imperial forts.

The Empire is afraid of losing Morrowind. So they want to influence him.
Russian Empire wanted to Russify Finland, for example. With the same objectives: to gain control over almost independent province.
Post Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:11 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Also, you have to take into account that Morrowind is in a very volatile state; at any point a giant House war can break out and a lot of innocent people would die. That's why the Baldes are in Morrowind in the first place, to scout it out and keep an eye on the more “grimy” level of House politics, and also so they can map out the fastest route from Cyrodil through mainland Morrowind and through the Inner Sea to Vvardenfell; in case shit really goes down and the Legion needs to invade.

Also, keep in mind that Tiber Septim knows what Morrowind, specifically Vvardenfell, has. Ebony, and Numidium. And he wants both. So the Empire is covertly trying to discover where Numidium is exactly so they can go in there, obtain it, and Brass Walk Stomp all over the world.
Post Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

well if you put it that way it makes more sense, but imperials in TELVANNI territory? now that's bonkers. they would all be killed or put on display like in tel vos.
_________________
almsivi bless, to create one must first destroy, the nature of all, is in equilibrium
- sotha sil
Post Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:15 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Marandahir
Member
09 Dec 2008



Firewatch is a sort of Imperial guard on whatever happens on Vvardenfell. Close enough to be a base of action from which the Imperials can launch a campaign to stop Dagoth/capture the Heart of Lorkhan/Anumidium, but far enough way that if New Ebonheart and their other holdings on Vvardenfell fall to an eruption or wars or the blight, Firewatch is a place of strength to rise back from.

Without Firewatch, the Imperials lack their ability to ship around the north side of Vvardenfell through the Sea of Ghosts; and indeed, they lack the ability to control the north of Morrowind. It's an important stronghold, and was almost certainly an old, Tiber-based Imperial sanction as part of the Armistice.

Now, Helnim is a bit odder, but remember, places like Tel Vos exist – that's an old imperial fort rebuilt in Telvanni works. And tiny villages like Dagon Fel or Bal Oyra are arguably within Telvanni territory, despite being Imperial towns. These are let live by the Telvanni because they're not a real threat. But Firewatch almost certainly has an intense game of chicken and chess going on with Port Telvannis, Sadrith Mora, and Ga Sadrith.

So yes, the Telvanni almost certainly WANT to destroy Firewatch. But Firewatch is a major Imperial stronghold, and destroying it would be a real sign of Imperial loss of influence. It would be an interesting plot line for House Telvanni and the Empire for a war of cloak and dagger sabotage culminating in an blatant attempt at taking-over Firewatch. It would show that the Empire really has lost its umph, foreshadowing the events of Oblivion and the Red Year.
Post Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:46 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

It may be wise to quote parts from summaries in their corresponding threads to get the discussions goinf in the right place and keep this for summaries only. We're all familiar with how much of a pain scattered information can be in these parts.
Post Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Marandahir wrote:
Firewatch is a sort of Imperial guard on whatever happens on Vvardenfell. Close enough to be a base of action from which the Imperials can launch a campaign to stop Dagoth/capture the Heart of Lorkhan/Anumidium, but far enough way that if New Ebonheart and their other holdings on Vvardenfell fall to an eruption or wars or the blight, Firewatch is a place of strength to rise back from.

Without Firewatch, the Imperials lack their ability to ship around the north side of Vvardenfell through the Sea of Ghosts; and indeed, they lack the ability to control the north of Morrowind. It's an important stronghold, and was almost certainly an old, Tiber-based Imperial sanction as part of the Armistice.

Now, Helnim is a bit odder, but remember, places like Tel Vos exist – that's an old imperial fort rebuilt in Telvanni works. And tiny villages like Dagon Fel or Bal Oyra are arguably within Telvanni territory, despite being Imperial towns. These are let live by the Telvanni because they're not a real threat. But Firewatch almost certainly has an intense game of chicken and chess going on with Port Telvannis, Sadrith Mora, and Ga Sadrith.

So yes, the Telvanni almost certainly WANT to destroy Firewatch. But Firewatch is a major Imperial stronghold, and destroying it would be a real sign of Imperial loss of influence. It would be an interesting plot line for House Telvanni and the Empire for a war of cloak and dagger sabotage culminating in an blatant attempt at taking-over Firewatch. It would show that the Empire really has lost its umph, foreshadowing the events of Oblivion and the Red Year.


I just find this funny because I literally wrote out a quest line last year that would basically portray this exact scenario. And it has received no reception at all.
Post Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:29 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

that sounds like tons of RP fun!, once you've shown your allegiance to the house, you get a telvanni tower where firewatch used to be, even having the option to enslave some of the legion guards. infiltrating the legion, finding it's weak points, wreaking their whole treasury, creating a false threat, then totally bombing the place. it would also be a great way to show the telvanni's magical prowess. it has been stated, that the highest of telvanni lords have powers that challenge even the tribunal, but they horde this power to themselves, experimenting. it would be nice to see the wrath of a REAL telvanni lord. like an oblivion gate or smth...
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almsivi bless, to create one must first destroy, the nature of all, is in equilibrium
- sotha sil
Post Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:27 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This meeting (Saturday, June 13, 2015) was relatively unfocused and mainly revolved around organizational stuff. If people like I can provide a more complete summary, (though half the summary would just be posting the chat log, as the second half of the meeting was all typing no talking anyway), but I think the following are the important points:

We shortly discussed House Hlaalu, as an extension of Yeti's Skype Meeting summary above. The only real headway we made beyond summarizing the summary:
-as discussed, Gnostic Officers are to some degree acquainted with the Hlaalu secret or at least elements of the internal workings of the Hlaalu Council Company, allowing them to take informed and independent action for the sake of the company as opposed to Bonded Agents who, while directly serving the company, are kept in the dark as to its intentions.
The same does not necessarily apply for House Peers, however, who are one rank above Gnostic Officers. On one hand, members of influential Hlaalu families are probably born into the rank of House Peer, and as such can 'skip' initiation as Gnostic Officers. On the other, 'Gnostic Officer' is probably not a necessary rank for a member of House Hlaalu to reach to rise up in the House, but instead is only necessary for those members the Hlaalu Council Company wishes to initiate into (some of) its secrets.
This allows House Hlaalu to promote members it doesn't necessarily trust with its secrets -- such as outlanders -- to high positions, without completely opening up to those members. Yngling Half-Troll and Nolus Atrius are probably not trusted with Hlaalu Council Company secrets, for example.

On House Dres:
-Dres faith is naturally something we still need to explore. We seem to be in general agreement that it shouldn't be too similar to Ashlander faith, whatever that is. Their relative acceptance of the Tribunal is naturally an example; one suggestion was that House Dres recognize the Tribunal as champions of their respective Daedra, as opposed to being false gods (as the Ashlanders believe) or supplanting them (as most other House Dunmer believe). Perhaps similar to how in Islam Jesus is recognized as a prophet without being the son of god/god incarnate.

On the Temple:
-we shortly discussed the problems of the Temple, and how many of its problems are caused by outside forces (such as House Indoril trying to act through the Temple) as opposed to internal forces. (Corrupt and self-interested Temple higher-ups, for instance). Certainly the lack of direction the Temple faces with the Tribunal withdrawing from the public eye should be explored.

Other things that were discussed were the handling of promotions, (not too much said aside from that we could perhaps promote a little more freely, but we've made most of the important stuff visible to all members anyway and there isn't too much lead -- and certainly senior -- developers can do that other developers can't); how obfuscated some of the tools that are available to admins are; whether we're too picky with item placement, which mostly retread ground already tread by this thread and others before it; our hopes and plans for automated item-rotation, for example with OpenCS; the fact that Skype is silly; what to do with the Old Ebonheart East Merge (as I wrote there I'll pick it up and apply the few fixes it requires, then it will be linked with the Indoril-Thirr file); updating the readme link here, (now that I look this link is also in dire need of updating); and here and there we discussed Cleaning Up the Forums, though the only real progress that has been made for the time being is finally deleting the now-emptied Internal Discussion sub-forum, may it rest in piece.
Post Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

i feel so bad about missing this... i had to do a bunch of studying today, i WILL make it to next meeting.
_________________
almsivi bless, to create one must first destroy, the nature of all, is in equilibrium
- sotha sil
Post Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:52 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This summary -- of the Skype Meeting that took place on Saturday, July 18, 2015 -- is somewhat haphazard, as I wanted to toss it out before the next meeting, which will be on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The topic of the meeting was characterizing Morrowind, but naturally a subject so broad and important can't be tackled in a single Skype meeting, so the intention was simply to make a start on which we could expand in future meetings.
Which is an important point: nothing below is final; the intention is for people to discuss the ideas and provide critique or counter suggestions.

In the next meeting, I'll be experimenting with recording the audio of the meeting. One of the benefits would be that I could toss up the recording and maybe chat log in this thread right after the meeting to tide people with enough time to peruse them over until a proper summary is posted. (There should still be proper summaries either way). The other is that nobody would have to take notes during the meeting, and the summary could instead be written from the recording. I certainly expect that approach will work better for me, as I have trouble keeping proper notes during the meetings, which is why I end up taking so long on summaries.

---

"It’s about the challenges the nations of Morrowind face during this tumultuous time period, and how the Dunmer must find a way to adapt to the changing fabric of their society. Everything they’ve known and grown accustomed to is crashing down around them. All the events that happen in the game portray this in different ways. The Sixth House conflict is only one of them. And that’s what makes this game so compelling: the fact that after so many years, there are so many stories yet to be told. It’s a tale that’s so layered, you couldn’t possibly experience it all in a lifetime. You are simply a lens that witnesses this epic tale, influenced by your own choices and perspectives."

Morrowind is not a unified nation; conditions vary from House territory to House territory.
It does however have a unified border and a common religion; it is a state rather than simply a region.
The Temple and Empire are trying to act as glue to hold Morrowind together, but even in the Temple's best days it only managed to a certain extent.

One question that came up that I'd forgotten to note down is what differentiates an average Dunmer of Morrowind from the average Imperial citizen; or that was the gist of the question anyway. I don't think we came up with a clear answer for that one, aside from Seneca's comment that "life is tough for the velothi - not alot of time to sit around."

There was some question of player activity, especially in tamer regions. Basically, Indoril lands and the Deshaan are where the Dunmer really prosper, so it wouldn't make sense for the land to be too hazardous in general. It can, however, be made hazardous to outlanders in particular. One idea was to have thugs in Dres and maybe Indoril cities who attack the player on sight, similarly to how Ashlander outlaws are handled.
In the harsher areas of Morrowind, while the Dunmer would hardly be friendly to the player, the population would tend to be more focused on just getting by, and would generally just let outlanders be. In the extremest cases, the Dunmer populace might even work together with outlanders. Where the Dunmer prosper, however, they have more time to be idle and get bored, and in short more freedom and inclination to act on their xenophobia. Not to mention the fact that Imperial law enforcement would generally have trouble protecting citizens deep in Indoril and Dres territory, whereas local law enforcement would generally lack the inclination to do so.
Post Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:34 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

Thanks for the summary Gnomey. I do have a comment on the following:
Gnomey wrote:
In the next meeting, I'll be experimenting with recording the audio of the meeting. One of the benefits would be that I could toss up the recording and maybe chat log in this thread

I think some people, including myself, would not appreciate their recordings to be posted on a public website.
Post Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:20 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I figured that might be the case. I will bring up the topic in the Skype meeting. This could be the sort of thing we establish at the start of each meeting, rather than following a general rule, but I don't feel too strongly about posting the audio either way.
Post Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



klep wrote:
Thanks for the summary Gnomey. I do have a comment on the following:
Gnomey wrote:
In the next meeting, I'll be experimenting with recording the audio of the meeting. One of the benefits would be that I could toss up the recording and maybe chat log in this thread

I think some people, including myself, would not appreciate their recordings to be posted on a public website.


FWIW, a basic WhoIs search of this very website will bring up public information on ONE of the people here, not sure who it is exactly, but either way, having your voice here is really the least intrusive thing that could happen. Plus you could upload the video to YouTube and /r/Morrowind and get more publicity that way...
Post Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:59 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

There are various inhibitions people could have and often do have about having recordings of their voice posted on a public forum, and I don't really have any interest or inclination in trying to convince them otherwise. If everyone taking part in the meeting expresses their consent to having the recording uploaded, I'll upload the recording. If anyone is reluctant, I won't. Whether their inhibitions are reasonable or not, my primary concern is that people feel comfortable taking part in the meetings, and new people feel comfortable in joining the meetings. I think pressing the issue of uploading the audio could hinder that.
Using the Skype meetings more-or-less for PR is something we could discuss, but, while perhaps a fairly compelling medium, I'm not sure if audio recordings are the best suited for that purpose; a lot of people type in Skype chat, so the audio itself would probably not provide the full picture, and Skype meetings do often last something like three hours, which may be a bit intimidating for some people.
Post Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:04 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
10Kaziem
Lead Developer
03 Apr 2015



The actual skype meeting is unlikely to be interesting to outsiders; no one watches c-span.

But a verbal summary might be.
Post Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:29 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theminimanx
Lead Developer
26 Jan 2014

Location: GMT +1

The meeting of Saturday, August 1, 2015 could best be described as rambly. In short, St. Veloth hijacked the meeting to share his ideas on a variety of subjects, which were then discussed in TR's trademark 'let's go completely off-topic' fashion. There was also some discussion on TR's accounts on various sites, but since that's both confidential and not very interesting, I won't go into further detail.

As for the new ideas, we didn't reach any kind of decision on any of them, so I'll just leave them hear for other members to think about.

House Dres (and possibly all of Morrowind) could have similarities to Edo period Japan.
House disputes happen at night, except for Morag Tong activities and duels.
Enemies still attend each others' parties to show they're not afraid.
The Indoril could be like the Shoguns. Their castle-estates overlook Velothi towns.
A very strong tie between religion (Temple) and government (Indoril) could be shown. Alternatively, we could strongly showcase the division of power (Morrowind split between the Temple/Houses/Empire)
The player should be allowed to create their own story.
Showcase the self-importance of noblemen by having them cut down commoners in the street. No commoners complain because they fear/are in awe of their rulers.
There was some brief discussion on this Telvanni architecture. The sprawling nature and the underground pods were Veloth's favorites.
http://www.imperial-library.info/content/page-16
http://www.imperial-library.info/content/page-17
Telvanni are self-sufficient.
Commoners are in awe of, possibly even worshipping, the Telvanni.
The wizards are variable in how much they enjoy governing. Some are showoffs, so they like having people nearby they can impress.
The Telvanni don't expand with the goal to get more territory, but rather they're trying to get away from each other.
The wizards see commoners as resources.
The commoners and wizards have very different personalities. The commoners form a very close-knit community (though they still don't like outsiders.) The (prospective) wizards are very back-stab happy. The commoners have a 'you were born here, you'll die here' attitude.
The Telvanni and Indoril have some parralels in how they like to lord over people from on high. The Telvanni have a lot of individualism, whereas the Indoril have unity.
There could be a community of Deadra worshippers among the Telvanni. Telvanni make use of Daedra, which is already a heresy. Gnomey thinks Telvanni aren't the worshipping type.
Some Telvanni can rival the power of the Tribunal.
The Telvanni Arch-magister has retreated into his own pocket realm; he's the extreme of Telvanni individualism.
Telvanni characters could be insufferable but also charming. Current arch-magister doesn't have much of a presence.
The leader of House Telvanni only has his power. No rules anywhere that state that his word is law, but since he's the most powerful, no-one has a choice.
It could be satisfying to have the player force the Telvanni to work together for a while. The player should (to a certain degree) be able to fix the problems of the house.

The Dres display as much wealth as possible, to make it seem they're not about to fail thanks to their deals.
Veloth is frustrated with Hlaalu's loyalty to the Empire.
House Sadris could be an offshoot of Hlaalu. They're constantly trying to become new fifth house. They're able to fit the Hlaalu spot post-Red Year because they're similar. Alternatively, the Red Year left a huge power vacuum which Sadris filled. Could make reference to house Sadris by just having a single noble ruling a village.
There could be a presence of other Houses in Almalexia, possibly in the form of embassies.
If you can afford a holding in Almalexia, you are powerful enough to be a Great House.
Gnomey disagreed because of the Houses having a theological basis.
Multiple Houses in the same city could be a sign of cooperation and seperation at the same time. Stories could be told of various assassins at work in Almalexia.
Telvanni and Dres would be in Almalexia for trade, prestige, and to annoy the other Houses by being there despite being unwanted. Alternatively, them having holdings there could be seen as conforming to traditions. Or they have holdings, but they're never there because they don't give a damn.
Instead of mixing architecture styles for the embassies, the Indoril set could be used, but with heavy influence of the Houses' respective styles.
An old Velothi tower could be the traditional seat of power in Port Telannis. Possibly it's now overgrown because the Telvanni don't care about tradition.
The Redoran tileset lends itself very well to deserts. While that's not likely, there should be no fertile Redoran lands, instead they should be very arid and dry.
The Velothi mountains shouldn't have snow, but maybe volcanoes and ash instead.
Some Redoran concept art was also shared.
http://www.imperial-library.info/content/page-6
http://www.imperial-library.info/content/page-12
http://www.imperial-library.info/content/page-14\
http://36.media.tumblr.com/405127e2af96b3fb845b37039e32841d/tumblr_mz1n1pMvGN1t3fruoo6_r1_400.jpg
Veloth is a huge fan of the purple look of the third image.

Once again, no decisions were made on any of these topics, and they should be seen as food for thought.

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Post Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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