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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



So as everyone knows Morrowind has a clusterfuck political structure with 9 million different competing sources of power. I made a post about this in the admin section, a very short one, but I thought I should give you guys an idea of how I had it all structured because its fairly nuanced.

First, there are two sovereigns recognized in Morrowind - the Emperor and the Tribunal. Because of this, through the third era, two parallel governments have co-existed in the province.

Imperial Government

The Imperial government of the province is theoretically headed by the Emperor himself, who is represented by the Imperial Proconsul, who resides in Narsis. This figure is the voice of the monarch in the province, acting out his will directly; he is not supposed to make any decision for himself.

Some will notice that it is odd that the head of the Imperial government is in Narsis and not the impenetrable and enormous keep of Old Ebonheart. There are two reasons for this - first, he's mentioned as being in Narsis in lore; second, information reaches him from White-Gold much faster, which is important because his position requires frequent communication with the Emperor.

Though the Proconsul is theoretically the most powerful member of the Imperial government in Morrowind, most power resides in two persons - the Governor and the Monarch. The governor is appointed for life, unless recalled, by the Emperor, and he handles most of the day-to-day affairs of the province. The monarch is a hereditary position with little power compared to the governor.

Most of the duties of both positions, however, are delegated to the leaders of the Six Duchies, Vvardenfell, Telvannis, Narsis, Mournhold, Velothis, and Deshaan. For this reason, both the monarch and the governor must approve the appointment of each duke or duchess. The proconsul's approval is not necessary, though the Emperor can react through him and remove the governor if he opposes a decision; this lack of control over the appointment of leadership positions is what makes the proconsul so powerless a figurehead.

Also, a quick history of the monarchy: Indoril Drathyn Llethan was appointed King Drathyn, of the House of Llethan, by Tiber Septim. A friendly Indoril with many ties to House Hlaalu (his wife was the cousin of the Grandmaster at the time), he was both capable of surviving in Almalexia and a good ally of the Emperor. He was mostly ignored throughout his reign.

His successors would be Hlaalu, which would have greatly aggravated the Indorils of the city if the king had any real power. The line of Llethan would end with King Athyn (possibly Drathyn's only successor, though there could have been one between), who was succeeded through his sister, the mother of Barenziah, by the House of Raathim. In this way, Hlaalu Helseth Raathim came to the throne of Morrowind.

It should be obvious that these dynastic houses are Imperial inventions and completely unlike the Great Houses of Morrowind. They are not even the Minor Houses that were swallowed up to form the Great Houses, they're just family trees.

The last remaining Imperial power is the Legion, which is purely military. There is a Knight of the Imperial Dragon in each of the duchies, as well as an additional one who is the head of the legion in Morrowind; he bears the additional titles Lord Marshal and Lord of Ebonheart, the latter of which is a noble title. The Lord Marshal resides in Old Ebonheart, the most fortified Imperial settlement in the province; the combined presence of the Lord Marshal and the Governor make Old Ebonheart the true Imperial power center in the province, rather than Narsis or Almalexia, where the Proconsul and the Monarch reside.

Dunmer Government

The Dunmer government is an absolute theocracy. By law, the Temple owns all land and makes all laws, and the Tribunal have all the power in the Temple. In practice, the Tribunal rarely involve themselves in matters of politics, and most power in the Temple is held by the archcanons.

Also, in practice, the Temple has far less power than it does in theory. Most power resides, as all readers surely know, in the Great Houses. Their power comes from the loyalty of their members to the house, loyalty they maintain through the perks and status associated with membership in a house. They are tasked by the Temple with enforcing its laws in the areas they have power; since the Armistice, this has been synonymous with basic Imperial laws, don't kill, don't steal, don't sell skooma.

The Great Houses, however, only have power over their members. Guards are granted additional powers as agents of the Temple and the Empire, but for the vast majority of Morrowind's citizens, the Great Houses are powerless. The Temple, however, does have power over the people of Morrowind, as does the Empire. For some more public persons, it can be difficult to walk the tightrope between offending the Temple and offending the Empire, but most just keep their heads down and are not bothered by either the Legion or the Ordinators, who are the enforcers of Temple law.

I hope that makes sense to everyone. Its really not that complicated when it comes down to it, there are just a redundant number of leadership figures.

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Post Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Thanks for posting that, it's nice and clear.

Can you confirm that the seats of ducal power are:
- Deshaan: Tear (nominally, since in practice it's really dukeless)
- Kragenmoor: Kragenmoor (some people wanted it moved to Narsis)
- Mournhold: Mournhold (some people wanted it moved to OE)
- Velothis: ?
Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:58 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Bloodthirsty Crustacean
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2007

Location: Elsewhere

I think Sload's looking to rename Kragenmoor District to Narsis District, going by his post. (Although your question still stands, regardless - the Proconsul and the Duke are different people, and not necessarily in the same castle) A further question for your list would be whether the King of Morrowind is also the Duke of Mournhold.


My question on the minutiae would be how the governance at Duchy level actually goes down. In Vvardenfell, there's the 'Grand Council' in Ebonheart, where reps from the various Houses present on Vvardenfell hang out with the Duke. Do we assume there a similar system at each of the mainland Duchies in an appropriate castle (except perhaps Telvannis, where it's been 'ret-conned' that there isn't one)? Or is that a system unique to Vvardenfell?

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Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:11 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
jonarus_drakus
Developer
13 Jan 2009

Location: Watching you from behind the Blue eye...

That would SEEM to be the done thing, but methinks force of circumstances may have something to do with why they do thing like that in Vvardenfell. On the mainland, with open boarders between the Duchies (and within them for that matter) would, due to the freedom of travel, of negate the need for a 'grand council' to be entirely located in one settlement.

I suspect that while such councils would exist, they should be a background, lore thing, rather than a tangible reality. I guess what im trying to suggest is that i can see no reason why each of the minor lordling should not have thier own little domains with the duchie (opens up alot of options for rivelries between councilors and the like - fodder for quests).

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Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:50 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Chin Music
Developer
26 Aug 2008

Location: Victoria, Australia

Nicely done. Good information to know.

At Gez, I think I recall Sload mentioning that the Duke of Deshaan lives in Old Ebonheart because he enjoys the use of his limbs.

At BC, I'm not sure exactly what the case is but I would assume that Vvardenfell is a special case considering that more than one House have holdings in it as a single district. In other districts, it might be on a more individual basis, and correspondance between the House and the Duchy is probably easier. Some districts might have such councils while others might not.
Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:50 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



There would still be house + temple; and since districts are not exactly tied to House borders anyway (I think Marog is in the Mournhold district, for example) you could still have several houses.


I know the Duke of Deshaan is hosted in OE, but it'd be silly to assume the ducal seat of power for the Deshaan District is outside of it. I mean where it officially is supposed to be. I did say that in practice Deshaan is dukeless.
Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:28 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Bloodthirsty Crustacean
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2007

Location: Elsewhere

Yeah, Marog and Tel Muthada are in Mournhold (as well as some Dres holdings?), there are likely some Hlaalu settlements in Deshaan, and Kragenmoor and Velothis both have elements of both Redoran and Hlaalu.
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a man melts the sand so he
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Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:02 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Are there references in lore to a Kragenmoor district? If so, I cannot find them, though Wolf Queen mentions a Duke of Narsis.

If there are, then Velothis can be renamed Kragenmoor, but there was never a home built for a duke in kragenmoor or space for it in the fort that i believe is near there. But I have the city as part of the district in the map attached to this post.

Deshaan district has no capital identified, in that there is no building in some Dres city that is wasting space as an unoccupied office of the duke. If you want a city to say how about Silnim.



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Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:21 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Sload wrote:
Are there references in lore to a Kragenmoor district? If so, I cannot find them, though Wolf Queen mentions a Duke of Narsis.

Well then I'm sold on it. Narsis district it is.

Is that our new official district map? Well then Kemel-Ze and Marog really are in the Telvannis district.
Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



I made it because i felt like it. The specific borders don't matter; if it serves a quest or background dialog for Tel Marog to be in the Mournhold district, then it is.

Similarly, Kragenmoor can be part of the Narsis district if it wants to be.

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Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:29 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Sload wrote:
I made it because i felt like it. The specific borders don't matter; if it serves a quest or background dialog for Tel Marog to be in the Mournhold district, then it is.

Similarly, Kragenmoor can be part of the Narsis district if it wants to be.


So, would something like this be okay?



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Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:16 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Yes but not really. Narsis is intentionally a smaller district, Mournhold is intentionally huge, Deshaan is intentionally only Dres, so on and so forth.

Its not like there'll ever be a map of this, just if the situation presents itself that something near those borders needs to be on the other side, then sure, it can be on the other side.

But I guess what you're trying to do is get a nice variety of houses in each district so there can be a council like apparently there is on vvardenfell? Let me tell you how much that council matters - I for one didn't know it existed. Like the cell is called grand council's chambers but its not like they matter or do anything.

My opinion on how actual districts are governed? You got the Duke there. And he (or she) says "Yo, I'm the Duke!" and then the person who made the Dukes makes other NPCs standing around him who are the people the Duke talks to about whatever.

Vvardenfell is a politically active area with a huge headache of land rights and colonization. Other Dukes would have people dealing with particular issues there; for example, Narsis would have a representative from the two houses there arguing about piracy on Lake Coronathi.

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Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:19 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Not so much getting a nice variety as getting the borders to not correspond neatly to Great House territory boundaries. Mournhold is still pretty huge, though yes now Narsis is about the equal of Velothis.
Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:40 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



i think there's a sweet spot between "totally not based on house borders at all" and "identical to the house borders." i call it "similar but not identical to the house borders."
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Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:01 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Bloodthirsty Crustacean
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2007

Location: Elsewhere

I prefer Gez's Telvannis border, because it makes the Telvanni look like they've been expanding rather than just lurking and politely obeying the border ever since its establishment, and also keeps the district suitably smaller for something purportedly named after those northern isles.

I think I prefer Sload's other borders though, although Narsis could perhaps do with a teensy bit of expansion (maybe not as much as Gez suggested). Although again, as Sload said, these maps aren't ultimately going to be in-game so it don't really matter. (Although it might be fun to get another mapestry going)

Also, is there a Duke of Mournhold District as well as the King and Governor, or is the King effectively Duke also?

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a man builds a city
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Banks and Cathedrals
a man melts the sand so he
can see the world outside


"They destroyed Morrowind? Fiddlesticks! Now we're going to have to rebuild it again!"
Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:47 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



ive been meaning to post that - its called mournhold because one of the titles listed with Athyn's name was "Duke of Mournhold," so he at least was also duke, and helseth probably too.

if the duke needs to be involved helseth can have an assistant in not-mournhold who handles the affairs of the duchy while he's busy handling the affairs of destroying morrowind's historic governments and replacing them with an autocratic central monarchy.

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Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:33 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
blackbird
Reviewer
01 Mar 2007

Location: Brugge (bruges), Flanders, Belgium

Map note: isn't gah ruhn renamed to othrensis?
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Haplo
Lead Developer
30 Aug 2003

Location: Celibacy

Yes
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Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



That's a much better name.
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Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Wind0fChange_
Member
11 Jan 2010

Location: Russia, Moscow

Small but interesting book about Great Houses from TES Online:
http://elderscrolls.net/temp/The%20Great%20Houses%20and%20Their%20Uses.txt

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Hlaalu66
Member
11 Sep 2012

Location: Holy City of Necrom

Is this information supposed to be lore canon, or just fictional for the mod ?

If the former, there are some things that currently upset me while reading this. First i would like to know the sources of this information of yours. Mainly about the Governor and the Monarchy system.

And about the monarchy, i do not know i have ever heard that Tiber Septim appointed any other ruler Besides Barenziah herself.

Second i want to know what happened to Old Ebonheart. All known account suggest it to be an ancient dunmeri settlement run by the Raáthim family, not a fortified imperial town.

I mean no disrespect of course. Your information could be valuable in many different ocations. But i want canon. Or at least as close as it can get.

Thank you

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Post Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:11 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Old Ebonheart was burnt to the ground when Morrowind became part of the Empire.

Whether it was done by Tiber Septim's legions or by fanatical Indoril unwilling to let their great city be despoiled by outlanders depends on who you ask...

Either way, House Indoril was in such chaos that they were unable to stop the Empire claiming the valuable strategic location and rebuilding the city Colovian-style.

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Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:09 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

It should also be stated that there is very little "lore canon" concerning what the mainland of Morrowind looks like during the time period of our mod. Much of the time, we simply go with what we think makes logical sense and is cool.
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Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:13 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
otaku4242
Member
29 Apr 2014



don't forget about slavery in morrowind ^_^
Post Sun May 11, 2014 6:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Uh... we're not. Where did you get the impression that we were forgetting it? Slavery doesn't have much to do with the topic of Morrowind's government structure.

Incidentally, we should update the above information sometime down the road. We're no longer including a Governor in Old Ebonheart, for instance.

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