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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

The purpose of this thread is to plan the NPC detailing of Othrensis and its surrounding wilderness, which I will soon be splitting off from Almalexia. Before I do this, I want there to be a group discussion on what themes we want to focus on with this area, and who its major characters should be.

In the past, leaving this for NPC modders to figure out by themselves has led only to confusion and patchwork implementation of dialogue and NPC ideas. For instance, I know that I started on many of my own NPC claims with no idea of what the personalities of local leaders should be. I had to constantly ask for basic background information, which hampered my productivity and confidence.

From now on, it is my intention to provide NPC modders with in-depth guidelines: a general path to follow when filling an area with NPCs and dialogue. The point of this thread is not to plan every single NPC in Othrensis, but to determine broad overarching themes for the NPC modder to work with. Who are the major players in the area? What is its history and economy? How does it fit into the political landscape of the province, especially in regards to neighboring areas?

To stat the discussion off, I will post snippets of past ideas people have had about Othrensis. After that, I will include a general synthesis of how to bring them together into a workable blueprint for the city.


Nomadic1 in his Guide to Mournhold District wrote:
Othrensis is a large town in the west of Alt Orethan. The old town is an ancient settlement built on a hill, and the new town built in splendid Mournhold style lies below it on the banks of a river. The town offers a large array of services.


Why in his Great House Indoril quest plan thread wrote:
3b: Othrensis
Aeven had a neat idea for the town, so let's see where this leads us. I'm excited about the premise of his story, it'll probably need to be adapted in places, I'll work on some details soon, for now, this is what he sent me:

Aeven wrote:
In the traditionally Velothi city of Othrensis, a fanatical priest has been causing quite a stir. The city was not too long ago “colonized” by Indoril, having been under Temple control for most of its history.

The fanatical priest named Ernethas has called upon the citizens to reject House divisions, Temple corruption and Imperial hegemony and to “restore Resdayn to the days of Veloth”, rejecting Indoril control over the town. Many have heeded his call and the Indoril guard have been expelled. Religious militia patrol the streets, and call upon the Dunmer to make Othrensis the model of New Resdayn. Items considered symbol of the Great Houses burnt in the streets, and the lady of the city has turned to serving Ernethas in his divine mission. Her son has fled to appeal to the Indoril Council in Almalexia, pleading them to take action before the fanatic actually manages to unleash havoc across the other Indoril holdings.

When the player is sent to Othrensis with the mission to end the situation of “New Resdayn”, he finds the torched corpses of some unimportant Indoril advisors. A lot of buildings bear graffiti such as “ASV” and “Resdayn Rises”. Prior to the event, they’ll have told the player of brewing unrest coming from within the local temple, and how their lady is naively sympathetic to this cause. Indoril banners lie torn in the streets (activators?) and the citizens, especially in the Velothi half of the city, have taken to wearing plain robes.

The player has been directed to a home in the Indoril half, where a man loyal to the Indoril and Temple will be able to help the player. The door will be barricaded from the outside, and when the player tries to enter, he’ll hear shouting from the inside. The man tells him he needs assurance of his safety and a sign of loyalty to the Ascendency. After this, a militiaman confronts the player and tells him to relinquish all ties to the Decadency (a term referring to House and Empire) or face the judgment of Almsivi. Obviously, the player refuses, and the militiaman will attack the player (only this one, as the rest do not witness this and remain passive.) The man behind the door will hear this struggle, and be allowed inside.

The man tells you the fanatic you seek is Ernethas, and the only way to bring him to justice is to have his heretical beliefs challenged in Almalexia. The only way to get him there is to smuggle him out of the city at night, just before the next Decadency bonfire. He’ll be alone then, and no guards will be near him.
Simply speaking to Ernethas will be enough to make him follow the player. The player will find him in the Velothi square, and as it turns out there is a young Dunmeri woman by his side, his sworn protector. She will refuse to let you kidnap him, and will put up a fight. If the player deals with her quickly, the militia will not notice.

Ernethas will reluctantly follow the player back to Almalexia, all the while badgering the player about his Decadency, how he can still relinquish his former life and build Resdayn anew. He’ll be equipped with slave bracers, which make him near impossible to kill (killing him fails the quest, as the objective to deal with his heresy, not his execution.)

Once Ernethas has been delivered at the Ordinator prison, the mission will be over for now. At some stage, when the player is councilor, he will be present at the hearing and be asked to offer evidence of said heresy. A scripted execution would be interesting to witness.


Some old information on the Indoril leader of Othrensis from back when it had a councilor wrote:
She's an old, militant Temple fanatic. She represents the aged position of the Indoril as active battlers of heresy. Her quests are about hunting heretics, slaying cultists, acquiring expensive and rare weapons for her, etc... She believes she brings House Indoril glory through the purging of religious deviants in forsaken ruins in the middle of nowhere in Map3. (So she's basically misdirecting valuable military resource in a fruitless direction that no one benefits from).

Now Othrensis being the size that it is, and possessing the resources that it does, it is capable of fielding and supporting quite a sizable force. But instead, you have a posse of witch hunters, fortune seekers, bounty hunters and other temple fanatics. The prisons are filled with locked up heathens, and Therayn's manor is filled with cursed weapons and other powerful items. While on the other hand, the Temple of Othrensis has a nice collection of religious artifacts and the likes. As a side note, the Mages Guild is interested in these collections.

Nobody really agrees with her policy, but she's popular among the locals throughout Indoril lands as the one "keeping us safe from the witches" and "purging those heretic scum.” But why does she put so much effort in these pursuits? Does she not see the futility of it all? Well, she's too old to reconsider her position. She's literally been at it for like 100 years. She's seen too much evilness by cultists to ever be able to cease pursuing them. She's even lost some offspring to fighting the cultists, so to stop the fighting would be to betray their legacy.

This chapter introduces the player to a very conservative, extremist, and reactionary side of the Indoril, one that seeks an arbitrary enemy/scapegoat as "fault" of the recent misgivings. But they believe in their own story, they haven't purposefully selected a scapegoat for the benefits it grants.


Now the question is: what parts do we want to keep from these old plans, and in what ways should we deviate from them? I have listed my own personal plan below, taking into account current lore standards and throwing my own ideas into the mix.

Everyone is, of course, free to comment on and disagree with anything I have written. But please, try to format your posts in a way that is easy to follow. There is a lot to talk about here, and I don’t want this thread to divulge into a confusing mess.

1: Why is Othrensis divided into two architecture styles?

We need an in-universe explanation for why Othrensis developed into a city that mixes Mournhold and Velothi buildings. House Indoril "colonizing" a Temple city on a whim doesn’t strike me as thematically satisfying set up. Why would the Indoril do such a thing, given their almost symbiotic relationship with the Temple?

2: Old Mournhold ruins beneath Othrensis?

For some godforsaken reason, someone thought it was a good idea to include Old Mournhold-style ruins beneath Othrensis. This is a needless repetition of a motif we already saw in the Tribunal Expansion. With this in mind, I suggest incorporating Othrensis’s OM ruins somewhere in Almalexia, where the concept of an ancient city beneath a modern one has already been established.

Othrensis really doesn’t strike me as an important enough city to deserve underground areas to begin with. Any back story we give its ruins will just come across as a bland duplication of Old Mournhold’s destruction, which will be especially jarring given the short distance between the two cities. The ruins add nothing unique or interesting to Othrensis, and any attention we spend developing them would be better spent on other areas of the city.

Feel free to disagree with me, but I have a hard time seeing how anyone could think having OM ruins beneath Othrensis is a worthwhile idea. All it does is reflect past tendencies to throw junk into the mod without coming up with a compelling reason or back story for its inclusion.

3: Who are the people of Othrensis?

I see Othrensis as an immensely conservative city in Morrowind's heartland. The population is predominately Dunmer (90% at least), who are mostly religious traditionalists, and (especially in the Velothi part of the city) isolationist when it comes to their worldviews. Outlanders are not a welcome sight in Othrensis, and even though the city’s economy is primary based on servicing travelers on their way to Almalexia, local shopkeepers and craftmers resent doing business with foreigners. This will help solve the current problem that NPCs in many Indoril settlements have: they are too friendly when interacting with the player.

4: Who is the Indoril leader of Othrensis?

One possibility we could go with is to adapt the old concept for Othrensis's axed councilor when developing the personality of the city's current leader, with some changes to lessen her importance in the grand scheme of things.

Dralysa Therayn is a militant adherent to the Tribunal faith, who seeks to weed out heresy wherever it is found. This involves exterminating cultists in the surrounding area (using both her guards and professional witch hunters), and enforcing strict religious guidelines among Othrensis’s townspeople.
Although the genuinely religious people of Othrensis appreciate Therayn for keeping them safe from witches, and purging heretics from society, many have grown tired of her increasing intolerance of even slight deviations from Tribunal teachings. Some even believe she is out of bounds, and no longer enforces the true will of ALMSIVI.

At first the player will only hear slight grumblings about this when speaking to NPCs, but dissatisfaction against Therayn will grow as the Indoril questline develops (see # 6 below).

5: Miscellaneous Quest Ideas.

1. The player assists a witch hunter, who is facing a morality crisis after raiding a cult hideout (perhaps he orphaned a young child?). He will ask the player to deliver a letter to his old mentor (I’m thinking the retired witch hunter I placed in Dondril) asking for guidance.

2. The player helps Dralysa Therayn drive an Imperial Cult member staying at a local inn from the city. She doesn’t have the authority to do this under Imperial Law, but she wants him to leave Othrensis so bad, she’ll resort to conspiring with an outlander to get rid of him.

3. A young man living in the city keeps his elderly mother locked in his basement. He believes she’s suffering from Soul Sickness and doesn’t want the guards to find out (she’s actually just growing senile, and is showing odd behavior that morally uptight Dunmer would disapprove of). One of the mother’s relatives (a cousin or nephew) is in the city to demand her freedom. The player will try to mediate this dispute in a way that I haven’t thought of yet.

6: What role does Othrensis play in the House Indoril Questline?

For the most part, I like Aeven’s suggested Indoril questline for Othrensis. A few parts of it, however, struck me as logically questionable. As such, I’ve reworked his summary in a way that flows more naturally and incorporates religious conflicts present in the vanilla game.

In the traditional Velothi enclave of Othrensis, a fanatical priest has been causing quite a stir. The priest is named Ernethas (might want to come up with a different name). He is a militant offshoot of the Dissident Priest movement, and has come to Othrensis to campaign against Dralysa Therayn’s brand of faith, calling on its citizens to reject House divisions, Temple corruption and Imperial hegemony.

Ernethas is secretly a firm critic of the Tribunal’s claim to divinity, and blames them for allowing outlanders to settle in Morrowind. Fearing that he won’t be able to gain followers with this belief, he claims publically that House Indoril has gone against the Tribunal’s true teachings.

Despite the conservative nature of the town, many have begun heeding his call, being fed up with the local Indoril rulers meddling in their religious practices. None of this will come to the surface until a specific point in the Indoril quest line. Before then, there should only be hints of Ernethas’s activities in the city, brewing under the surface.

Eventually, Ernethas’s followers will gain enough influence to drive the Indoril guard from the Velohi part of town, turning it into an enclave, which Ernethas wants to evolve into a model of post-Tribunal worship. Religious militia wearing plain robes will patrol the streets, and most citizens will have shut themselves up in their homes. They will have already killed a handful of diehard Indoril supports. Therayn will appeal to the Indoril Council in Almalexia for help, pleading with them to take action before Erenthas manages to spread his heresy across Indoril holdings.

When the player is sent to Othrensis with the mission to end the situation, he will be directed to Dralysa Therayn, who says the only way to regain control of Othrensis’s wayward populace is to have Ernethas’s heretical beliefs challenged in Almalexia. The only way to get him there is to smuggle him out of the city.

The player will infiltrate the Velothi half of Othrensis and search for Ernethas. Many in the Velothi part of town are not followers of Ernethas, and are trying to lie low until the situation is resolved. Fearing the consequences of what will happen if House Indoril or the Ordinators launch an assault, a few will tell the player that Ernethas has holed himself up in the local Temple. Talking to militiamen walking the street will instigate threats from them, but they won’t attack the player outright until the player enters the Othrensis Temple, in which he will have to defeat a number of hostile followers before reaching Ernethas.

Simply talking to Ernethas at this point will be enough to make him follow you. He actual wants the chance to argue his case in front of the province’s highest court of religious law. He will follow the player down into the Indoril-controlled half of the city, where he will be taken into custody. Before that he will give an impassioned speech to his followers gathered in front of the Tribunal Temple (through a force greet to the player) denouncing the Tribunal. His public denouncement of ALMSIVI will shock his remaining followers into surrendering to the Indoril.

After the quest is completed, Ernethas will be delivered to the Ordinator prison in Almalexia. At some stage, when the player is councilor, he will be present at Ernethas’s trial, and will be asked to offer evidence of his heresy. During the trial, Ernethas will badger the player for clinging to the old false ways of the Tribunal. Regardless, Ernethas will be sentenced to a scripted execution somewhere in Almalexia.

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Post Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

The style mixing could come from the town suddenly growing at some point relatively recently, having previously been a sleepy village. Either new natural resources were found nearby, or perhaps a miracle occurred in the area (that would explain the attraction of religious people. Maybe the area has nothing to recommend it so only really devout types wanted to move in). The manifestation of a saint, or maybe the discovery of one of their burial sites?
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Post Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

My favorite kind of topic!

Architecture
The Velothi part of Othrensis is an acropolis. It's always been a somewhat irrelevant village in Indoril territory, but when Mehrunes Dagon sacked Almalexia, thousands of Indoril refugees fled to the safety of Othrensis. When Almalexia was rebuilt, some decided to stay, and the village expanded to where the refugee camps used to be, in the style of the new Indoril inhabitants.

I'm not really a fan of the saint burial place / miraculous events thing, not because it's a bad idea, but because we do that kind of stuff relatively often. It's not exactly breaking new ground. Then again, a good story is a good story, so I'm not vehemently against it or anything.

Ruins
I agree, we don't need them.

People
I could see some nice conflicts arising here, with the people in the Indoril part of town being their usual Indoril selves, adhering to strict Temple doctrine et cetera, and the inhabitants of the Velothi part of town being less dogmatic, normal folk, some of who still harbor old grudges towards the "refugees" below - after all, they provided them with shelter and hospitality, and it doesn't really look like they've benefited from the Indoril presence in town as much, with the Velothi part of town looking altogether poorer than the Indoril part.

Leader
Someone not too terribly important. Like I said, I like the premise of Aeven's (and now Yeti's) story. If we want to stress the duality of the town, I'm perfectly okay with having two people in charge - a lesser Indoril noble in the lower part of town, a village elder, council of elders, or priest in the upper, Velothi, part.

For the ranking Indoril, we should avoid hinging their character too much on one thing like this witch hunter business, but as long as it's just one of their traits it can still work. Maybe they're a retired high-ranking Ordinator of Inquisition. Another thing to consider is the proximity of Draler Ilvi in the West, and Almalexia and its nobles in the East. I'd expect a noble in Othrensis to be at least supportive of Ilvi's efforts at containing Hlaalu expansionism.

Misc quests
1: I like that.
2: How about we turn this one around? The player hears about an Imperial Cult missionary, and what the local boss thinks of them, through rumors. Now it's up to the player to defuse the situation, convince the local authorities that the Cultist is not to be harmed, or help him leave the town unharmed (or do nothing, stand back, and watch it escalate?).
3: I like this one a lot. A touch of personal drama mixed with established lore. Isn't there a madhouse or asylum in Almalexia somewhere?
4: If we go down the refugees route to explain the architecture, a bit of delving into the history of the town and the tensions between the two groups would be nice. Solve a murder that happened ages ago by talking to the descendants of the suspects and the family of the victim? Involve some ancestral magic to start it all off? People being haunted by an old ghost? I don't know, just throwing this out there.

Indoril story
There's a lot of practical details in your story that I, if I were to implement such a quest, would disagree with - the copious killing of militiamer, the priest being totally okay with just following you, etc, but I think it's best if we save such details for a later discussion.

Like I said, I like the premise of the story. I think all we need to decide now is if this is something we can work with as part of the Indoril story and if we do indeed want to have a clash between some Indoril noble and some religious-type maybe-dissident in the Velothi part of town. And, more importantly, if we decide that yes, this is cool, how should it influence the town now, before the quest starts?
Post Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:55 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Not wanting to go too far into the questline side of things, I have two ideas relating to the questline: first of all, I think it would be interesting if Dralysa Therayn actually advocates purging the heresy. The Indoril in Almalexia are the ones in favour of a more measured approach, and the player is sent not to help her, but instead to restrain her.
Ideally, the player would be able to make the choice between taking Ernethas into custody or allowing the purge to happen. If the purge does happen, predictably, local unrest would become more pronounced. That being said, beyond dialogue and some other details, the locals would keep quiet after that.
In a similar vein, the player could kill Ernethas, or allow him to be killed, on the way back to Almalexia. Again, with their leader gone, the restless locals would keep a low profile, but, again, the actual unrest would increase.

Naturally the player would have to try and justify himself to the questgiver, but I think including the above scenarios would allow for a certain amount of roleplaying, in which the player can set himself up as a future firebrand Indoril councilor rather than always being a moderate.

Secondly, I think this questline would be very interesting if some lines were to be included to reflect the player being Nerevarine, should that be the case. The conversations with Ernethas could get really interesting in that scenario, especially if the Tribunal are already dead.
Ernethas would probably still end up dead, much like Eno Romari and his End of Times cult, but the player would ideally feel like a brazen hypocrite for killing him.

On a more general NPC side of things, I think "the enemy" is a very important factor to consider when looking at Indoril locals. As a strongly indoctrinated society whose internal structure is crumbling, establishing a strong external threat is a basic and very important measure.
East of Mournhold, I doubt anybody at a local level would see the Hlaalu as a threat. Outlanders could be the threat, but outlanders form such a small minority there that I'm not sure whether they would be too effective in that role. The Telvanni could serve as a suitable threat in border towns, but probably not very far into the Indoril heartland.
Dralysa Therayn is not only so fanatical about chasing heretics because she's stuck in a rut, she is also getting desperate about maintaining (local) Indoril unity, and has attempted, with mixed success, to establish heretics and cultists as the threat. Ironically, among an increasing part of the populace, her actions have allowed House Indoril to be established as the threat by Ernethas, which is a large part of the reason for his (initial) success.
As long as there is no clearly defined threat that faces the region, the local populace will remain unruly. Whether the player will be able to resolve the issue or whether it will continue throughout the game is another question.
Post Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Thank you for the responses, everyone.

Why wrote:
Architecture
The Velothi part of Othrensis is an acropolis. It's always been a somewhat irrelevant village in Indoril territory, but when Mehrunes Dagon sacked Almalexia, thousands of Indoril refugees fled to the safety of Othrensis. When Almalexia was rebuilt, some decided to stay, and the village expanded to where the refugee camps used to be, in the style of the new Indoril inhabitants.


I'm in favor of this idea. Refugees often bring drastic changes to the lands they flee to (see the conflict in Syria as a recent example). My only concern is that the destruction of Mournhold is a little too far in the past for there to be any lingering animosity about the Indoril moving in. Perhaps the destruction of the Indoril version of Ebonheart by Tiber Septim before the signing of the Armistice would work better?

Why wrote:

Leader
Someone not too terribly important. Like I said, I like the premise of Aeven's (and now Yeti's) story. If we want to stress the duality of the town, I'm perfectly okay with having two people in charge - a lesser Indoril noble in the lower part of town, a village elder, council of elders, or priest in the upper, Velothi, part.

For the ranking Indoril, we should avoid hinging their character too much on one thing like this witch hunter business, but as long as it's just one of their traits it can still work. Maybe they're a retired high-ranking Ordinator of Inquisition. Another thing to consider is the proximity of Draler Ilvi in the West, and Almalexia and its nobles in the East. I'd expect a noble in Othrensis to be at least supportive of Ilvi's efforts at containing Hlaalu expansionism.


I agree the witch hunting angle shouldn't be overdone. Retired Ordinators are becoming kind of a cliche, in my opinion, but allying Othrensis's noble with Draler Ilvi is a good idea. I also agree that the Velothi part of town should have a hetman-type character.

Why wrote:

2: How about we turn this one around? The player hears about an Imperial Cult missionary, and what the local boss thinks of them, through rumors. Now it's up to the player to defuse the situation, convince the local authorities that the Cultist is not to be harmed, or help him leave the town unharmed (or do nothing, stand back, and watch it escalate?).


Why wrote:

Indoril story
There's a lot of practical details in your story that I, if I were to implement such a quest, would disagree with - the copious killing of militiamer, the priest being totally okay with just following you, etc, but I think it's best if we save such details for a later discussion.


There are indeed a lot of problems with my plan, and I mostly agree with you on where these issues lie. For now, we should come to an agreement on the basic ingredients for the story, which I see as threefold:

1. What is Ernethas's "heretical" beliefs?
2. Who will oppose and support him in Othrensis?
3. Why will he be able to gain followers in Othrensis? What conditions make a religious revolt in the city possible?

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Post Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:59 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

Nice to see my story wasn't forgotten!

At any rate, I'd personally like to see actual physical change in Othrensis during this quest, with scripted activators pulling a switcheroo when a different faction (Indoril/Ernethas) control the city. Maybe also a murder of outlanders, burning them in the streets? Morrowind often lacks a real physical indicator of dynamic changes, and I believe this is by far the best place to show we can do this.

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<Aeven> you couldn't resist Haplo?
<~TF|> wow that could be misquoted

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Post Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:00 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Aeven wrote:
Nice to see my story wasn't forgotten!

Morrowind often lacks a real physical indicator of dynamic changes,


which is why I, at least at the moment, think the kind of visual changes you are suggesting could look out-of-place, and -for lack of a better word- "moddy". I understand where you are coming from, though, and I would hope any questline we develop for Othrensis will involved noticeable consequences.

I hope you don't mind me posting my own (admittedly flawed) version of your story, Aeven. Smile

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Post Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:13 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

Of course I don't! I just think it'd be a great place to start off from with regards to visually noticeable quests.
_________________
<~TF|> I saw the meat and I could not resist haplo
<Aeven> you couldn't resist Haplo?
<~TF|> wow that could be misquoted

<Nemon> I've never understood the way of weed

<~Haplo> I like cheese. I like cheese alot. yes. truly, in fact I love the cheese

<+SamirA> butt hat is the endgame
Post Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:44 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Haplo
Lead Developer
30 Aug 2003

Location: Celibacy

I agree ruins or subterranean structures are unnecessary. I also really like the notion of assigning "sub groups" of factions to various cities for the purpose of introducing the player to the faction as a whole (old conservative Indoril in Othrensis, more industrial/aggressive Indoril in Akamora, passive but temperamental in Roa Dyr, for example). I think we should do this more often for more Great Houses.
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Post Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:30 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

How is this for a general overview?

Location & History

Othrensis is split between a Velothi acropolis built atop a low plateau and a clustering of Mournhold-style buildings along the river. For most of its history it was a sleepy village of little interest to the outside world. This changed when Morrowind’s annexation led to a gradual Hlaalu and Imperial takeover of House Indoril’s holdings west of the Thirr River. A number of Indoril families from these territories eventually resettled in Othrensis, beneath the gaze of the old Velothi village.

Leadership

Dralya Therayn is the ranking Indoril noble in Othrensis. She is a member of the House’s conservative old guard, a religious firebrand who upholds strict adherence to Tribunal doctrine. Having dedicated her life to weeding out heresy, she personifies the Indorils’ dependency on external threats to maintain unity and rationalize their decline. She isn’t terribly important and is allied with Draler Ilvi, the Councilor of the Thirr River Valley to the west. As part of House Indoril’s militant wing, she supports containing Hlaalu expansionism. Although the people of Othrensis genuinely appreciate her efforts to keep them safe from witches and heresy, her strictness has begun to alienate some of the working-class folk. These people prefer the leadership of the town hetman, who resides in the Velothi enclave.

People & Economy

Local shopkeepers and craftsmer form the bulwark of Othrensis’s economy, and provide services to travelers heading to and from the capital. Most inhabitants (at least 90%) are Dunmer. Although many of them are not as dogmatic as the town’s Indoril leadership, the majority are still very religous. Xenophobic attitudes are also common, and local traders and merchants only grudgingly do business with the outlanders who pass through town.

In general, the working-class folk of the Velothi part of town resent the local Indoril aristocrats and their retainers, who are not only visibly far wealthier, but also increasingly overbearing when preaching religious dogma. That Dralya Therayn is often more focused on stamping out heresy than seeing to the needs of the poor like a good Indorilcrat also isn’t helping things.

Miscellaneous Quest Ideas

1. A local witch hunter is facing a morality crisis after killing the mother of young child in a raid on a Daedric cult. Feeling dispirited and confused, he will ask the player to deliver a letter to his old mentor, Galoro Selvor living in Dondril, asking for guidance.

2. An Imperial Cult missionary is staying at an inn in Othrensis. Although he’s only passing through on his way to Almalexia, he’s managed to piss off the townspeople by proselytizing his faith in the Nine. The player will be able to defuse the situation by convincing the Cultist to leave voluntarily.

3. A Dunmer man living in the Indoril part of town keeps his elderly mother locked in his basement. Her odd behavior (the result of her advanced age) has led him to believe that she is suffering from Soul Sickness, which he is intent on hiding from the town’s morally uptight and superstitious citizenry. He basically doesn’t want his mother’s state of mind to reflect badly on their families’ image.

His mother’s nephew, however, has recently arrived in Othrensis to visit her, and incorrectly believes the son is keeping his mother confined for malicious reasons. After being asked by the nephew to investigate, it will be up to the player to mediate this dispute.

Indoril Questline Details

A militant Dissident Priest named Ernethas and a group of his followers are in Othrensis to secretly preach against Indoril orthodoxy, Temple corruption and Imperial hegemony. This is contributing to dissatisfaction with Indoril rule among the people of the Velothi enclave. At the moment the influence of this "heresy" is simmering beneath the surface, and should only be subtly referred to in current dialogue.

Ernethas is secretly a firm critic of the Tribunal’s claim to divinity, but so far hasn’t dared make this widely known to his followers. At some point in the Indoril questline, Ernethas will instigate some kind of religious revolt in Othrensis, and the player will be involved in bringing him to trial in Almalexia.

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Post Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Haplo
Lead Developer
30 Aug 2003

Location: Celibacy

I like all of this. Is there a reason you don't call the guy in misc. quest #3 the cousin of the son, specifically? Razz It just sounds odd to read "the nephew of the man's mother" rather than "the man's cousin".
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Post Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Haplo wrote:
I like all of this. Is there a reason you don't call the guy in misc. quest #3 the cousin of the son, specifically? Razz It just sounds odd to read "the nephew of the man's mother" rather than "the man's cousin".


I can never keep family tree relationships straight in my head. The fact that the mother's nephew is also the son's cousin never even occurred to me until now. Razz

This reminds me that we still need to chat on irc about my GM powers, Haplo. For some reason, whenever I log into #tamriel, no one ever seems to ever be around. Confused

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Post Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Haplo
Lead Developer
30 Aug 2003

Location: Celibacy

Ah... well, feel free to send me a /query or find me in another channel!
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[06/19/2012 04:15AM] +Cat table stabbing is apparently a really popular sport in morrowind

[August 29, 2014 04:05PM] <+Katze> I am writing an IRC bot! :O
[August 29, 2014 04:25PM] *** Katze has quit IRC: Z-Lined
Post Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
6plus
Developer
24 Apr 2011



Indoril Questline

Gnomey wrote:
As a strongly indoctrinated society whose internal structure is crumbling, establishing a strong external threat is a basic and very important measure.

I feel that for the Indoril it'd be more fitting if the enemy came from the inside: like Ernethas not being a dissident priest, but a simple servant/servicemer of the Temple (or the town hetman). After witnessing the failures of the Tribunal, being ruled by the empire and the rising threat of Dagoth Ur (and perhaps the return of the Nerevarine), Ernethas comes to the conclusion that his gods wouldn't allow this to happen; therefore they can't be gods.

As charismatic leader he convinces the other servants/servicemer and other commoners that the Temple and/or House Indoril have failed and are now governed by heretics trying to secure their power with iron fist (Therayn) or weaklings (the hetman). He and his followers basically take the hetman as hostage and slowly take over the executive of the Velothi part of town.

And then some small dispute or incident lead to his uprising.


Side note: IMO scripted changes should be kept as subtle as possible, like moving around NPCs. The more is changed, the more moddy it looks.
Post Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

6plus wrote:
I feel that for the Indoril it'd be more fitting if the enemy came from the inside: [...]


I was talking about Indoril propaganda geared towards maintaining House unity. The actual threats to Indoril come in both external and internal varieties, but when trying to get a bunch of people to work together it's generally better to point out a common enemy than to say "you can't trust each other".
Of course, another possibility is to turn a member of the group into an example for the others. ("This is what happens if you abandon the ways of our House"). Doing so basically acknowledges the internal instability of House Indoril, though.

6plus wrote:
Side note: IMO scripted changes should be kept as subtle as possible, like moving around NPCs. The more is changed, the more moddy it looks.


Subtle, yes, but Morrowind is by no means without scripted events. You have the dreamers popping up during the Mainquest, the fabricant attack in Plaza Brindisi Dorom as well as the ash storms in Mournhold, off the top of my head. There's also the werewolf attack on Fort Frostmoth.
Such events appear to be more common in the expansions, but I believe more scripted events were planned for Morrowind when it was still in production.

I'd argue that it's more a question of execution. As the world of Morrowind is generally very static beyond the involvement of the player, having things suddenly happen outside of the player's control can be jarring. If the quest plot does a good job of preparing the player for the changes, though, and dialogue throughout the course of events properly acknowledges the changes as they happen, and the world in general appears to acknowledge the changes occurring, I think we could make it work without it coming off as moddy.
Post Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:57 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
6plus
Developer
24 Apr 2011



Gnomey wrote:
Subtle, yes, but Morrowind is by no means without scripted events. You have the dreamers popping up during the Mainquest, the fabricant attack in Plaza Brindisi Dorom as well as the ash storms in Mournhold, off the top of my head. There's also the werewolf attack on Fort Frostmoth.

To be fair most of the scripted events consist of enemies popping up in some place. The most dynamic events (IMO) were the battle between the fabricants and the dwemer constructs, and the ashstorms you mentioned (plus the decaying trees) from the Tribunal expansion.

Translating that to our current plan I'd say we should simply:
-move civilians from the streets into their respective homes
-make some militia people pop up in the streets
-enable some kind of bonfire in a central spot (plus some militia guys nearby ready to burn some books)
and afterwards all of this is reverted of course.
Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:27 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

Maybe a switch in some sort of banner activators?
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<Aeven> you couldn't resist Haplo?
<~TF|> wow that could be misquoted

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:35 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

I very much think we should just try and see what looks good and not overly moddy once we get to the implementation stages of that questline.
Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:59 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

What Why said. Personally, I think switching banners around would be too obvious and superficial to work as a meaningful representation of dynamic change in the game world. It reminds me of multiplayer games like Star Wars Battlefront where a team captures a section of the map and a flag goes up to show what territory they now control. It feels like a very video game-y thing to do. But now isn't really the time to be worrying about such things.

I will try to get this claim up by tomorrow for anyone interested in claiming it.

I'm a little late on this, but thank you for your comments 6plus. Your suggestions for how to portray Ernethas's character are better grounded and less overly dramatized than mine. I will be taking them into account when ironing out the finalized claim description.

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:20 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

Yeti wrote:
I will try to get this claim up by tomorrow for anyone interested in claiming it.


(Hint)
Post Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Yeti: the NPCing claim? Is Othrensis ripe for this? IMHO splitting M3A6 into two now would deprive us of the possibility to fix some terrain between Othrensis and Alma any time soon (without extra troubles), so maybe it wouldn't hurt to get this through Nemon first.
Post Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:59 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Detailing the Infirmary in IP's last claim took more time than I thought it would. I haven't gotten around to preparing a file for NPCing. If Nemon or someone else has time fix the landscape between Othrensis and Alma (I wasn't aware any further work was needed) they're welcome to do it. I'd like to get some new NPC claims up in the near future, however, and Othrensis seems to be one of the few major areas ripe for it.
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Post Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:19 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Yeti: can you please tell me the coordinate along which you are planning to split the file before you actually split it, so that I can do some detailing on the border?
Post Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

By the way, A3 and A6W need matching. Not sure what a good time for this would be, but it needs doing nonetheless.
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<Aeven> you couldn't resist Haplo?
<~TF|> wow that could be misquoted

<Nemon> I've never understood the way of weed

<~Haplo> I like cheese. I like cheese alot. yes. truly, in fact I love the cheese

<+SamirA> butt hat is the endgame
Post Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:18 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Splitting Othrensis off for NPCing is now on hold until the exterior issues mentioned above are dealt with. I'll have to look and see if there are any other areas that could be turned into NPC claims instead.
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Post Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:50 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Moved to new section.
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Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:24 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



What's a city to do in the shadow of Almalexia...

The Indoril questline situation would be a major defining point for Othrensis, which is why I think this is worth discussing here: how about having it be a shared event in both the Temple and Indoril factions? (initial setup hinting at it, then can be triggered from either faction, resolving it giving credit for both)
Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

That could be fun. I'm not opposed to that idea.
Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:43 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I had something similar in mind as possibility as well.
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Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Let's look at Indoril settlements to try and figure where Othrensis fits in all this, (thanking IP's thread, reminder it shouldn't be forgotten. You have Rats' addition for visual aid)

Almalexia.
Large towns - Akamora, Othrensis, Roa Dyr
Small towns - Meralag, Sailen, Bosmora, Gorne, Enamor Dayn
Shacks, velothi,... on Indoril territory - Darnim, Hlersis, Seitur, Tahvel, Evos, player's Seyda Vano


Akamora is the Indoril node up north, let's say Roa Dyr is there to interact with Almas Thirr. The Hlaalu conflict likely happens mostly at Almas Thirr, along the thirr, and if it extended further at all at Roa Dyr. So what's the purpose of Othrensis?

Balancing Indoril wrt Hla/Telv/Red as it's not present on Vvardenfel, and yet, especially supposed to be the 'largest' House? having the town in this rather tight territory in a row inbetween Alma/Roa Dyr/Almas Thirr sort of defeats that imo, really this isn't an area where a major services node is a gameplay need

No, I think Othrensis' raison d'être really has to be the Indoril quest (tho that doesn't justify the location... yet...?). So it should be a big deal. Not just to the town but as a part of the questline. Have the local lady Indoril be a major questgiver, earlier in the questline; this way you even get to really build up the thing (let's say NPCs switch robes - the player won't notice that unless they had a reason to consistently go to and do stuff in the town before, no?)
This also allows foreshadowing, changes,... to be progressive and more subtle.
Post Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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