Hi guys, ive got some raw design of the IC as a whole. I hope it will help this discussion and the faction to take form
Though, im not a developper and not a lore expert. I am writing this because I think there is a chance of this being helpful. So whenever you notice that something I write isnt helpful at this place, say it:-))
-first of all, we have talked about the actual influence and power of the aedra and that they are very limited in their options of doing things directly - thats the practical difference between them and the daedra. Therefore I imagine a kind of subtile style of "reign" over the world and the cult. Why not a connection between the earth bones and living spirits, while a certain person is considered good and just in the eyes of the gods until he decides (or is entrapped) to do something bad - and by this action he gains the attention of the daedra? So in this first case the influence of the aedra on the world is in fact a subconscious tendency of all living spirits to be good. Thats my suggestion, to be discussed.
The second case is the direct communication to "prophets", oracles of the cult for example, but not necesserily, because I believe "chosen" people are made oracles after the cult realizes they have the talent granted.
One important point (maybe to discuss too): My opinion is that while the emperor and the government have the duty to reign over the more practical and political things, the gods reign by using the cult
in a subtile way over the "pureness of hearts", that means over the honest life in the nine virtues. Thereby they secure a certain style of government - and thats one of the ways they rule at least tamriel (see above the other one, the earth-bone-soul-connection idea). I had this idea after reading that old thread about the oracles.
So how does the cult look like? One idea of mine was, after I thought that a person can interprete a single deity in different ways, to split the cult in at least nine single shrines, each one dedicated to another deity (also interesting would be two shrines dedicated to the same deity - seen different in some special cases. The two would almost tear each other with theological argumentation
Each shrine has at least one questline. The "Headquarter" would be a huge cathedral in or near old ebonheart, dedicated to the nine (or akatosh?), with the "archbishop of morrowind" (there are archbishops - words and philosophy) and the nine shrines would discover different aspects of their deities in their questlines.
The question is how individual can a shrine in the cult be without being an entire new cult? I believe a practical solution of this problem would be to have questions that have to be answered with yes to accept a shrine as IC-shrine. Questions may be:
-Do they (only) believe in the nine divines?
-Do they accept the nine virtues as foundation of a good lifestyle?
-Do they accept the empire as divine planned and governed institution?
I did a little brainstorming of the different aspects of the deities and - at some of those - raw designs of things and suggestions. The idea of making shrines dedicated to a single deity is connected with those:
Akatosh: Since he is the god of time and the chief deity, I would do something with fate, providence, divine planning for history... Maybe here is the strongest possibility to depict the aedra operating in nirn.
Arkay: I originally considered the headman of this shrine being a friend of marcus antellius. He was a very successful hunter of necromants, until he settled down. Now he sends the player to fight some necromants. Other ideas are comforting mourning bereaved, finishing forgotten slovenly funerals, dealing with ghosts in general...
Kynareth: Why not a shrine which does church service on the roof of a hlaalu house? Then the obligatory player-go-and-safe-the-nature-quest (Oh, no, they want to uproot those trees) - or is that too much of a played out joke?
Zenithar: In his quests I would concentrate on diplomacy and communication. The ultimate goal of Zenithar is peace, and his followers reach that goal through fair trade and honest deals. So maybe his questline concentrates more than all the other aedra-questlines in pacifying conflicts between people by offering a solution that is acceptable for every party.
Mara: She cares for everyone who isnt loved. Of course her quests will be helping people, poor people with money/goods, lonely with company, misunderstood with understanding (why not giving a flyer to a daedra-worshipper?)
Stendarr: Stendarr means authority of law and government. So far so good. Maybe it is possiple here to connect the cult affairs with the ones of the government. OR this quests concentrate on the gaps, the places the worldly law cant reach and only a divine spirit can know. For example a rich and influential noble commits a crime and remains unpunished because of his overwhelming power - from stendarrs prophet/oracle the player gains the knowledge about how to get the noble to admit his crime.
Julianos: See my Marcus Antellius thing in my showcase, it contains every idea i have for this one.
Dibella: For this i had the idea of a shrine which sees its deity from a very mystic perspective, the shrine members are young, beautiful, mostly female. The church service concentrates on worship and the community, lesser on scripture reading or something like that. Even body contact plays a role, but not sexuality (though I could imagine an amour between shrine members).
Talos: I considered a shrine similar to a knight order. A community of religious mercenaries, on and off fighting together with the legion or the fighters guild - or only for themselves, sophisticatedly deciding where and for what it is worth to fight. They have a complex system of ranks and honorary titles.
Well, so far the single god questlines, further I had the idea, to include Gnomeys Daedra-vs-IC-quests in another questline which is kind of a climax of the IC-questlines. My idea was to have, as said above, an archbishop in old ebonheart. I currently work on this character. Remember saryoni, tribunal temple? He becomes available as quest giver at the very end of the temple questlines, and the IC-archbishop would be similar. His questline becomes available when all other IC questlines are finished - and because of the enormous dimensions of the tasks (a battle between gods so to speak) those anti-daedra-quests would perfectly fit into that final questline.
One last thought: I had some ideas about cults that are similar to the imperial, but too different to include them. It would be interesting to send the player to one of those, lets say as a "representative" in order to integrate it into the cult hierarchy - and confront the player with the differences^^
-Well, the idea with the connections of earth bones and living spirits - it would be an addition to existing lore as how I see it. Maybe to discuss or to neglect.
-On the idea of the necromancer-hunter, necromancy is not forbidden in the empire, the empire even supports it indirectly by giving corpses to wizards for "research". On the other hand lore (see the book "arkay the enemy" and another one which name I forget which is telling how the undead were created, by a daedra lord (molag bal? He created at least the vampires) and arkay "was sad but coudnt do anything about it", plus the dialogue of IC-mambers about arkay) sais that arkay is the enemy of all necromancy and undead. In this case there seems to be a inconsistency between two emperial institutions, government and cult.
-The "direct communication" I talked about above happens in fact in form of more or less cryptic visions and/or prophetic texts.