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Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



This point has been bugging me for a while...

It's my understanding (and if I'm wrong, please do correct me) that necromancy is outlawed in Morrowind unless it is the ancestors raised (by dunmer) to guard their family's tomb.

If I'm wrong, my idea stops there. However, if I'm right, I would imagine such a thing exists as 'ceremonial necromancers' or something like that, someone whos occupation is, in the Temple's name, to, at the request of the family, raise the spirits of the ancestors to guard the tombs (thus supplying all those tombs with all those nasty little bonewalkers/ghosts/skeletons.) I don't think there was an explanation for *who* brings in the undead, was there?

Okay, loremasters. Kill me.
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:08 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Stalker
Developer Emeritus
09 Apr 2004

Location: Ukraine

Dunno about the other but I won't kill you. To say more, I'll hug you. It's interesting. Any ideas on this ?
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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:16 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
G.M.K.
Member
02 Jul 2004

Location: Canada

Interesting idea, but we couldn't call them necromancers it'd have to be something more templish(I invented a word (sorta)).
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:21 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Túrelio
Developer
18 Apr 2004

Location: Georgia, USA

Those tasks are more then likely conducted by Temple Priests if they require much skill at all, if not then it is conducted by the family members by prayer.
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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:35 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
shandrazi
Member
22 Jun 2004

Location: Daggerfall

That brings up some more interesting questions. Since the dunmer tombs are mostly for cremated bodies, who's corpses are used to create these guardians? Are the corpses voluntary or involuntary?

It also sets up some great quest ideas.
Rogue priest of the last rites(or whatever we call him) is raising things he isn't authorized to raise.

You come across a tomb where you find an ancestral spirit who has become an involuntary tomb guardian. He wishes to be avenged and/or freed from his eternal imprisonment in the tomb.

You must guard a priest of the last rites to the tomb where he is to raise the guardians for a recently deceased noble. However, he was well known as an extravagant man and his tomb is no different. It is richly decorated and noone wishes those nasty guardians to be set up except the family and the temple.

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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



I agree that the raising is probably done by the Temple, but it seems to me that it's not every Temple priest that can conjure a deceased ancestor of a specific family. Perhaps there is a special Temple sect dedicated to this function... this could lead to some interesting encounters and quests. As long as Nazz or Gleb (or someone else) doesn't shoot me down, I might be able to design some stuff for this.

As for the voluntary-involuntary summoning thing, the Dunmer will definitely say their ancestors are willing. They claim that outlanders despoil and abuse their ancestors if they use necromancy, while they themselves call upon their ancestors to prevent their tombs from being defiled.

I don't know if the spirits are willing, but I am positive that the Dunmer aren't aware that it causes the spirits displeasure. The Dunmer race revere their ancestors above nearly all else, and if they accuse outlanders of 'enslaving' their ancestors I seriously doubt they consider it to be as such, and thus I would assume that by now they'd have learned if their ancestors mind being called upon, and they haven't stopped, so I'd say that the average ancestral ghost you encounter in a tomb is willing to be guarding it.
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:55 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
shandrazi
Member
22 Jun 2004

Location: Daggerfall

I figured that most were willing. I thought it might be a unique quest if you ran into one who wasn't. Maybe part of the quest is to convince one of these priests to come and release him from his guardianship.
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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:09 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



It's entirely possible; actually, something similar was passing my mind before I read that.
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:17 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
shandrazi
Member
22 Jun 2004

Location: Daggerfall

its a very interesting concept. So what do they look like? I think their attire would be very strict because they have such a highly ceremonial role.
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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:59 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
BalinMinister
Member
21 Aug 2003

Location: Louisiana

Quote:
Spirits do not like to visit the mortal world, and they do so only out of duty and obligation. Spirits tell us that the otherworld is more pleasant, or at least more comfortable for spirits than our real world, which is cold, bitter, and full of pain and loss.


Quote:
Each residence has a family shrine. In poorer homes, it may be no more than a hearth or alcove where family relics are displayed and venerated. In wealthy homes, a room is set aside for the use of the ancestors. This shrine is called the Waiting Door, and represents the door to Oblivion.

Here the family members pay their respects to their ancestors through sacrifice and prayer, through oaths sworn upon duties, and through reports on the affairs of the family. In return, the family may receive information, training, and blessings from the family's ancestors. The ancestors are thus the protectors of the home, and especially the precincts of the Waiting Door.

Taken from the Ancestors and the Dunmer...written by a dunmer so evidently bias is present....however judging from the portion which i bolded i think turelio is correct that the ancestors are summoned so that the family hearth is protected....a duty that the spirit does not necessairily enjoy but perhaps sees as its duty towards the family line

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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



Quote:
They claim that outlanders despoil and abuse their ancestors if they use necromancy, while they themselves call upon their ancestors to prevent their tombs from being defiled


Now, let's see what Sharn Gra-Muzgob has to say on the matter:

Quote:
In the Empire, necromancy is a legitimate discipline, though body and spirit are protected property, and may not be used without permission of the owner. But in Morrowind, the Dunmer loathe necromancers, and put them to death. That's absurd, of course, since the Dunmer summon their OWN dead to guard tombs and defend the family. Sacred necromancy is righteous, while philosophical necromancy is evil. It's primitive superstition, that's all.


It also seems to me that the Temple would be very keen to make sure the only necromancy being performed was 'righteous' necromancy, so they'd want their own agents (perhaps with, as I suggested before, a certain sect devoted to this purpose) doing the raising (at the family's request, of course.) As far as I can see, there is absolutely nothing in lore that contradicts this idea, and a fair amount that supports it.

I won't go into detail about my ideas for their appearance/demeanor/etc. just yet. I'd rather see if this idea suddenly gets blown out of the water in a surprise lore-attack.


Last edited by Garriath on Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:10 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
BalinMinister
Member
21 Aug 2003

Location: Louisiana

Bingo...both of our posts hit the crux of the matter....the dunmer summon their own ancestors for guidance and protection....against the wishes of the spirits who are disturbed from the "better" plane of Oblivion
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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



I wouldn't say 'against the wishes' so much... I took your quote to meaning they do it out of mainly duty to their families rather than personal enslavement of their spirits.
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:17 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gleb
Member
13 Aug 2004



The difference between the necromancy of the Dunmer and the necromancy of the non-Dunmer is that the non-Dunmer is usually enslaving the spirit of a stranger. Note that I said usually.


Here comes the part that prevents the Dunmeri practices regarding their dead non-hypocritical. With the Dunmer, it is asking an ancestor to do their duty to the House. I'm of the mind that the Dunmer wouldn't try to force an ancestor to become a guardian if he/she were to say "Sorry, nope." The case is probably different if the ancestor was nothing but a disgrace, in which case that just sucks for them, because something tells me the Dunmer wouldn't care about whether the ancestor said no after his/her long life of urinating on Temple shrines (Or any other act that would probably disgrace the family.).

Do you see the difference? I do. If not, then chances are that the minds of the Dunmer are much, much different from your own.[/i]
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
shandrazi
Member
22 Jun 2004

Location: Daggerfall

Yeah, thats cool. I'll flesh out my little quest a little more. The ancestral spirit is the spirit of a disgraced ancestor of whatever tomb it is. He was accused of murdering an influential cousin and disgracing the family. A body was never found but the evidence showed he did it. The PC meets said spirit and has the choice to hear the spirit's side of the story. The spirit tells the pc his horrible story of how he had not killed his cousin but it had been set up so it looked like he had. In his brief stint in the afterlife before being returned to serve his family he had discovered that the cousin was not dead after all and that the cousin and his(her) decendants live in a faraway town. The pc after visiting the town finds the cousin and it is the pc's duty to clear the spirit's name and then track down one of the priests of the last rites to free the spirit from his duty of guarding the house as reparations for his years of disgrace.

Edit: BTW I'm brainstorming not claiming.

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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:53 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



Gleb: Of course I see the difference... and yet, then again, observe Gra-Muzgob's quote: 'In the Empire, necromancy is a legitimate discipline, though body and spirit are protected property, and may not be used without permission of the owner.' Seems to me that that's just what you said before that seperates the Dunmer from other necromancers... and yet, according to Sharn, those necromancers mentioned above are put to death.
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
BalinMinister
Member
21 Aug 2003

Location: Louisiana

Hmm...i think i get you Gleb but im struck by this passage from Doors of the Spirit:

Quote:
Guard your Ancestors from beasts, from thieves, from profane priest and sorcerers. Let no creature steal your spirits, for the plundered hearth is diminished, and the plundered tomb is shamed.


What??? Lets rewind...yes the Ancestors supposed to guard the treasures and uphold the honor of the family, but who is to guard them? Surely traps could do the trick but perhaps it would make sense that pesants, slaves of the ancestors and other relatives make up the legion that one usually faces before actually meeting the ancestral ghost

Quote:
Honor the Ancestors upon your hearths, within your halls, in the community of your temples, in the solitude of your tombs.


If this quote is true, then yes Garriath perhaps the temple can raise ancestors

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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gleb
Member
13 Aug 2004



Garriath wrote:
Gleb: Of course I see the difference... and yet, then again, observe Gra-Muzgob's quote: 'In the Empire, necromancy is a legitimate discipline, though body and spirit are protected property, and may not be used without permission of the owner.' Seems to me that that's just what you said before that seperates the Dunmer from other necromancers... and yet, according to Sharn, those necromancers mentioned above are put to death.


I don't know what you mean in that last sentence. The necromancers (Non-Dunmer, that is. Or rather, anybody who is raising unrelated corpses.) in Morrowind are just going around raising the dead of people they don't even know. And think on this before you declare that the Temple is biased and go by an Orcish woman's words: Sharn is a necromancer. Do you really think she would say, "Yeah, necromancy is illegal in the west," which is probably the case? I mean, I seriously doubt that most necromancers ever even know who the corpses they're raising belonged to. Do you really think that somebody would say that you could desecrate their dead body?
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Nazz
Developer Emeritus
21 Aug 2003

Location: That state that keeps screwing up the elections

Balin I think the quote you point out refers more to the ancestors ashes than their spirit whatever form it takes.

The King of Worms and his flunkies aren't exactly smiled apon in the High Rock/Hammerfell regions so it seems reasonable to think Necromancy isn't as accepted as Sharn says.

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Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:37 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



I'm sorry I didn't make myself clearer.

Gleb, Sharn in the above quote makes necromancy appear all innocent and all (which most of it isn't, obviously) but then she says that in Morrowind, even the necromancers that raise those who give their permission are put to death. If this is so, than I doubt that any of us would doubt that the Temple is biased in necromancy. If the Temple only persecutes those that raise the dead without their permission, then it is certainly a just rule. However, what I gathered from the above quotes was that (nearly) everywhere on Tamriel necromancers that raise the dead without the dead's permission are criminals. However, in Morrowind, any necromancer is a criminal, unless they perform this 'sacred necromancy' for the purpose of guarding their tombs.

But this all will come into play at a later time; what I'm getting at is (seeing as I appear to have the loremasters' attention) does this proposed sect of the Temple, that which performs the sacred necromantic rituals that the Temple condones, seem acceptable and logical with lore (at least as far as you know)?

((Not that I'm suggesting this be its own faction... I doubt there are enough fatalities in Morrowind to require more than several dozen such 'ceremonial necromancers' (if this is passed I'll come up with some better, probably dunmeri, name for them) but rather, if they're passed, they'll merely appear, perhaps have a quest or two concerning them, and perhaps a questgiver for the Temple might be such a necromancer... this'll all be decided if it's passed. Please note that I have a full belief of cooperating with lore on all accounts, and if there is a logical reason why this sect cannot be, I shall willingly give up on it.))
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gleb
Member
13 Aug 2004



Of course. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that a priest or priestess would at least need some sort of special qualifications to perform the rites needed to call upon the ancestors. I find it reasonable to assume that there would be orders within the Temple somewhat like the various monastaries/religious orders in the real world.
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:03 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



Very good of you to say Razz

Thanks!
Post Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



Comments, Nazz? Core team?
Post Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Veet
Developer Emeritus
21 Aug 2003

Location: Oregon

my my....all this conversation and no mention of Necrom....what do you think they DO in Necrom...thoes mortuaries are only partialy for creamation Wink .

The official stance on Necromancy by the Temple as I understand it is that raising as a guardian is considered both a great honor and a terrible penance. You are right in assuming that some dunmer are forced into it but usualy as a result of treason and heracy rather than embarasment. As I understand the willing subjects volenteir before death or in a will of some sort. (Though I have read that something in the way that the dunmer ashes are prepared occasionaly causes ghosts to donate time in tombs postmortis Shocked )

I would assume that the temple ban on necromancy extends to any who do not fall into thoes categories, and anyone caught raising the dead outside of temple sanctions (which is only at designated areas such as Necrom) would probably find themselves in one of the above categories (3 gueses which one) Wink

I am planing a few quests in Necrom around this issue.

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Post Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:09 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



I assume ancestral tombs fall into the catagory of 'designated areas'?

Anyway, though, as I was trying to say before, this can be discussed later. The purpose of this thread is a: to see if lore would allow, and make room for, a group of Temple priests that perform the religous necromantic rights for the Dunmer and b: if a: passes, to attempt to establish this group (with some fancy dunmeri name) as a TR-acknowledged sect of the Temple, allowing for future quests/encounters/TR-made lore oppritunities.

I think A: was completed when Gleb confirmed it. I think anyone that has browsed the elderscrolls forums has a great respect for his opinion. Veet, I think you come in in part B:. You saw what we've covered so far and there is a large gap currently in Morrowind (I mean, ships are made in shipyards, say, so we'll need to make one or two of those, but where do the undead in tombs come from? This is my proposed answer.) This isn't a faction suggestion, but rather a lore add-on. Please, speak.
Post Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:10 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Garriath
Developer Emeritus
26 May 2004



um... core?
Post Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:03 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Veet
Developer Emeritus
21 Aug 2003

Location: Oregon

Well, for anything concerning this it is realy inapropriate to call it necromancy, unless you want angry dunmer going after you Razz . Also since it deals so closely with ancestors it would be steeped in the older ancestral traditions some of these traditions have been around since Veloth and his deciples came to Morrowind. The temple would definately try to hold a monopoly on this type of thing so a faction seperate from the temple would probably be inapropriate. however I have in the past tried kicking around ideas of a group of dunmer who wish to return to Veloths teachings and the traditional ancestral worship, posibly a new faction of traditionalists. see this link for past conversation about it.

http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=1722

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