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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Seeing as I thought Immortal_Pig’s Andothren thread was so kickass, I decided to make a similar one for Almas Thirr, about which I happen to have a lot to talk about. As most probably know, I technically finished NPCing Almas Thirr some time ago. I feel, however, that my current work on the city is inadequate for such a compelling location, and that improvements are in order. What these will look like depends on the section discussion here.

First off, I’ve included a rough “master plan” for the city, along with an updated file containing the NPC claim that covers Almas Thirr. Please feel free to comment on my plan and file and suggest ways to improve upon them.

Here are some specific issues I want to address concerning Almas Thirr.

Rumors, secrets and advice
Almas Thirr’s latest rumors and little secret topics are a mess, and will need to be largely redone to not suck. A few of them refer to old quest plans I came up with that now leave a sour taste in my mouth. The city also needs a set of little advice replies. Look at the Verarchen NPC claim in reviewing for an example of excellent rumors, secrets and advice topics. If anyone can provide fitting entries in a similar style to these, I would greatly appreciate it. When you work on something as long as I’ve worked on Almas Thirr, it becomes difficult to come up with new ideas. Five entries for each topic should do. Don’t bother coming up with different response for different factions like I did.

Canalworks
I am not a fan of Almas Thirr’s Canalworks as they currently stand. Vivec’s various Canalworks were mostly home to poor grubbers and lower-class folk. The Canalworks in Almas Thirr are occupied by a Temple-run dispensary and botanical garden. You would think the Temple would locate these places in better real estate, instead of relegating them to the rundown works.

At the same time, these interiors seem out-of-place in Almas Thirr. Botanical gardens are just boring in general, and while the idea of Temple alchemists researching cures for diseases to aid the poor is a decent enough idea, its presence here in Almas Thirr distracts from the Temple’s role regulating river traffic. It would be better to rework these interiors for somewhere in the wilderness, perhaps an isolated Velothi Dome like the St. Seryn Informatory in M3A4.

The Canalworks in Almas Thirr should be remade into an area for poor folk to live. New interiors should include a small home for a lower-class commoner family, a Temple boarding house for homeless Dunmer paupers and a Temple healer who provides free care to the poor. These kinds of interiors will be far more fitting and create the potential for an atmospheric slum location.

Indoril vs. Hlaalu
How is this conflict going to play out in Almas Thirr? At the moment, the Indoril want to maintain the city as a neutral Temple settlement that in reality favors them, and the Hlaalu want to break the Temple’s commanding control over trade on the Thirr River. Something as dramatic as an actual military conflict over the city would obviously be out of place. Instead I picture the plot being dominated by deceit, conspiracy and backdoor negotiations.



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Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:43 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Just a little heads-up: if this file is newer than the file in the M3A2 thread, then please update the M3A2 thread with a big fat link to this one. (Also, please indicate which of the bugs mentioned in that other thread are still around, which of the quest ideas can be used etc. Basically, when we are switching threads, we should ensure that all info that is still relevant ends up in the new thread.)
Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Bloodthirsty Crustacean
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2007

Location: Elsewhere

A quick additional note regarding your file, Yeti - in those rumors and advice etc. topics (possibly others too) the top response has been left without a Random filter. So players will only ever receive the first response in the list.
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Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:41 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

Something about Almas Thirr: the Lock! It's designed to both inspect and tax larger ships traveling through Almas Thirr.

It was an idea to actually use scripted ships, so as to simulate river activity. During certain quests, certain ships might be present in the lock.
Post Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:16 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Yeti wrote:

Canalworks


The gardens don't fit in there, but at least they had the merit of being somewhat new. Shouldn't have to follow the example of Vivec though, its canalworks are just plain bad - like a lot of the city they feel like an unsuccessful attempt at making it seem bigger (or were just underdeveloped).

Almas Thirr does currently lack any evidence of a truly poor population living there, it being all shops both on the outside and in the Waistworks... how many dockworkers does it really need? It's not truly a port, is it supposed to be?
More of the usual Temple healing the poor etc. technically wouldn't distract from its mercantile role much less than an alchemist hub. Also, a problem with extensive poor areas is, as far as the player's concerned... just look at any shack village: they're completely uninteresting (...unless criminal activity is heavily involved, which can't be the case here in a city supposed to be completely under Temple control)
Better to just have some communal lodgings for the city's poor workers with evidence that there used to be more/better, that was pushed away by [more relevant things that still fit in an undesirable area]. "Quarantine"/stocking area for (potential) diseased slaves?
Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:22 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'm not sure I'm quite clear on what Almas Thirr's identity actually is. Is it a city or is it a stronghold? It seems more like the latter to me. At a glance, it appears to have a population of Ordinators, Temple clergy, a few dock workers and merchants.

Going by its back-story, one would think that the settlement itself -- and certainly the shrine -- is very old. However, I don't see any signs of settlement on either bank of the Thirr.
Considering that Almas Thirr is prime real-estate -- cities commonly spring up around river crossings, let alone one of such importance -- the first thing that comes to mind is that settlement is in some way restricted, and likely has been for a while. Compare the construction contract you get from Vedam Dren.
Contributing to that impression is the close proximity of Roa Dyr. Considering the economical and spiritual importance of Almas Thirr, it seems odd for a settlement so large to exist in such close proximity. It seems a little redundant.
As two settlements do exist in such close proximity, though, the emerging question is what relation they have to each other. For instance, when Almas Thirr became a Temple stronghold, perhaps the majority of its population was displaced to Roa Dyr. The two settlements probably maintain close relations.

Almas Thirr does not appear to be self-sustaining. I'd assume Almas Thirr relies heavily on produce from surrounding plantations. In other words, Almas Thirr is likely dependent on surrounding plantations for supplies, which could potentially undermine its neutrality in the region.
The alternative is that supplies are shipped in from an outside power, like House Redoran from Ald Marak and Ald Iuval, (and House Redoran would generally take House Indoril's side in a conflict), or directly from Vivec (which probably relies economically on House Hlaalu, complicating matters). The problem there being that the supply line would be easy to cut off.
If House Indoril were the sole supplier of Almas Thirr, House Hlaalu would no doubt complain that Almas Thirr is economically reliant on House Indoril, and as such cannot be impartial. As a result, it is likely that House Hlaalu and House Indoril jointly supply Almas Thirr.
The Indoril/Hlaalu conflict in Almas Thirr could play out rather subtly. Hlaalu, knowing that it cannot gain the sympathy of Almas Thirr's leadership, would try and gain control of Almas Thirr's supply line, and wield economic power over Almas Thirr. While Hlaalu would not be able to gain control of the stronghold like that, it might be able to incapacitate it should the need arise. Outwardly, House Hlaalu would likely be supportive of Almas Thirr.

As for what to do with the Canalworks, I think they present an opportunity in the uncertainty of their purpose: the Canalworks, at least, will be able to properly reflect whatever image we go with for Almas Thirr.
Once Almas Thirr's overall image is fleshed out, I'm sure a purpose for the Canalworks will emerge.
For now, if Almas Thirr is a stronghold, giving it a larger underclass probably wouldn't be necessary. At the same time, research on dangerous diseases and housing sick people is best done far away from settlements and especially key strongholds. One of the Corprusarium's big advantages is its isolation, after all.

To summarize, some points regarding Almas Thirr I think could do with clarification are:

-What is the city's core identity?
-Why has it not expanded to the banks on either side?
-What is its relationship with Roa Dyr?
-How might that reflect on the Hlaalu/Indoril conflict?
-How is it supplied?
-How might that reflect on the Hlaalu/Indoril conflict?
Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:30 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Gnomey wrote:
Why has it not expanded to the banks on either side?

Perhaps it's exploiting a legal loophole. 'The land on the west bank of the Thirr shall belong to Great House Hlaalu, the land on the east to Great House Indoril.' Therefore there was nothing to stop the Temple building on the river, but it would provoke unnecessary conflict if it expanded onto the shore.


In regards to the supply chain, if it is shared equally between Indoril and Hlaalu then part of the Hlaalu questline could be undermining Indoril plantations; messing with legal documents so the true ownership becomes disputed, spreading disease among the livestock, etc. The Indoril questline has quests trying to rectify the damage.

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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:26 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Could be the agreement with House Indoril is that they can pay the toll in supplies rather than gold, as a way to mask heavy discounts?

Gnomey wrote:

If House Indoril were the sole supplier of Almas Thirr, House Hlaalu would no doubt complain that Almas Thirr is economically reliant on House Indoril, and as such cannot be impartial. As a result, it is likely that House Hlaalu and House Indoril jointly supply Almas Thirr.


Don't think Hlaalu complaints is what makes that necessary, they're already in that position with the Temple's favoritism for Indoril being a secret to nobody. Rather, Hlaalu being (or trying to become) part of the supply is interesting in that it gives them some potential leverage in the questline.


Gnomey wrote:
At the same time, research on dangerous diseases and housing sick people is best done far away from settlements and especially key strongholds. One of the Corprusarium's big advantages is its isolation, after all.


If an outpost is especially built for it, there's also little reason to have blight research (that's what it was about I assume) on the Mainland rather than, obviously, Vvardenfell.


just requoting these very good points since I can't answer them-

Gnomey wrote:
-What is the city's core identity?
-Why has it not expanded to the banks on either side?
-What is its relationship with Roa Dyr?
-How might that reflect on the Hlaalu/Indoril conflict?
-How is it supplied?
-How might that reflect on the Hlaalu/Indoril conflict?
Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:08 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

The high density of traders in the Waistworks makes it look like a mall. Combined with the traders outside, they outnumber both the priest & commoner class combined. I don't think this sits well with the city being Temple-controlled and makes it compete with Roa Dyr (another "principle trading port along the Thirr"). There has to be something in the Waistworks, though, or it would look weird for Almas Thirr's buildings to huddle around it. Random ideas (bounced around in IRC):

1.) Build some kind of shrine in the center of the waistworks.

2.) Temple-related interiors, Indoril Barracks, other military-related interiors.

3.) Temple library centerpiece.

4.) Convert merchants into commoners (not very exciting, probably won't thoroughly solve problem)
Post Mon May 05, 2014 6:14 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to a full or at least 75% redo of the canton interior. It's the only Velothi canton on the mainland, and I'd love to do something unique with it that doesn't strictly follow the vanilla Vivec standard. Having more open space could be a place to start.

It would make sense to put all the high level Temple administration in the city's center. At the moment, a ton of it is concentrated in the overly huge monastery on the edge of town. We could cut down on that location so that it only includes the pilgrimage site (which I suggest re-purposing to mark where St. Veloth crossed the River Thirr) and then make the canton the main nucleus of Temple activity.

At the same time, we should definitely save the well-made shop interiors. Perhaps we could move them into a new canalworks? Make it an underground canal market that serves as a hub for the city's poor grubbers and working-class craftsmer, perhaps. Some of the shops could be converted to different purposes during this process.

Speaking of interiors, part of me thinks having so many fishermen filler homes in Almas Thirr flies in the face of its motif as a Temple stronghold/market-town. Most of them, however are really well-made...

Quote:
Build some kind of shrine in the center of the waistworks.


Filling empty space with a shrine feels rather bland to me, especially since we already have an awesome pilgrimage site in the city. How about a public forum for hearing religious sermons?

Quote:
Indoril Barracks, other military-related interiors.


There's already a small barracks at the coastguard station, but the interior is kind of underwhelming (I find its layout really weird at least) and the only part I like about it is the cool set-up with the mini-shrine. Seeing as this is a Temple stronghold, an Ordinator barracks in the canton would make sense. Not the most creative idea though.

House Indoril wouldn't have a direct military presence in Almas Thirr. They prefer exerting their influence through the Temple. Their power grip on the city is less ostentatious that way.

Quote:
Temple library centerpiece.


Libraries rarely make for interesting interiors. That and we have a ton of them on the mainland already.

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Post Mon May 05, 2014 7:48 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Frankly, I'm really not seeing the problem. Almas Thirr represents the only bridge over the river Thirr north of Lake Andaram. It sits on top of one of Morrowind's most important land trade routes as well as, arguably, Morrowind's most important ship trade route.
I think it makes a lot of sense for Almas Thirr to have a large population of independent and unaffiliated traders. In fact, I think that is another excellent quest hook for the Indoril-Hlaalu conflict: the Hlaalu want to buy the traders over to their side so that, even without officially controlling the river Thirr, they have a monopoly on the commerce that takes place there. The Indoril, probably through the Temple, are trying to crack down on Hlaalu agents within Almas Thirr. The traders and foreign entrepreneurs get caught in the middle of things, which could also make for some good misc quests.

At the same time, as more of a background situation, it might be interesting to explore the dynamic between the independent, sometimes foreign traders and entrepreneurs and the strict, centralized authority of the Temple that reluctantly condones their presence.
I think that dynamic can be better explored in Almas Thirr than in Vivec -- which also has significant House presence and is in general more compartmentalized -- or Necrom -- which does not (I hope) have a lot of traders and outlanders -- or Almalexia, which is more of an Indoril settlement.

As far as Roa Dyr is concerned, while it is also a trade town like Almas Thirr, they strike me as rather different. Almas Thirr is a chokepoint. A lot of merchants and merchandise flow through it, and a large array of wares are likely on display at any one time. Other than the provisions specifically provided to it by House Indoril and maybe House Hlaalu, Almas Thirr does not rely on those wares to keep afloat.
Roa Dyr, however, strikes me more as an export-import town. The Indoril in the area send their excess goods there to be sold up or down river, and certain, possibly contracted merchants bring desired goods to Roa Dyr from where they are dispersed over the region. While there would also be entrepreneurs, they would be fewer in number, and would generally have to put more effort into establishing themselves.
In general, I'd expect for Roa Dyr's commerce to be much more controlled and restrictive; though, of course, the Indoril are probably trying to restrict and control commerce in Almas Thirr as well.

Finally, I don't see any problem with the current number of fishermen and dock workers. Almas Thirr is probably rife with good fishing locations, fish would probably be the only local supply keeping Almas Thirr from being completely dependent on imports, and fishers leading an almost transient life in houses erected on and around the exterior of the stronghold seems like one of the few ways we can reasonably have a commoner population in Almas Thirr.

And just to be clear, I'm not particularly against reworking the waistworks to make them more unique and interesting. I would suggest going with something like an indoor bazaar, though, or doing something else with the waistworks while repopulating the canalworks with merchants.
Post Mon May 05, 2014 2:18 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I don't necessarily see the number of merchants as much of a problem either, but the canton's layout is still flat-out bland and unorganized. The aforementioned issue with the Temple having a much larger presence at the monastery on the edge of town compared to the canton, which should be the central hub for the entire settlement, remains a standout flaw.

I will say that I understand where Tondollari is coming from. With Roa Dyr a stones throw away, there is a striking overabundance of service providers concentrated in this one area. It sort of diminished the importance of each individual inn and shop when there are so many other places to go.

That aside, how should we reorganize a new Almas Thirr canton? These are only some of my suggestions below. Feel free to brainstorm more.

Plaza: High-level Temple activities. Keep the Inner Sanctum and the manors, which should belong to prominent Indoril aristocrats for when they visit the city.

Waistworks: Low-level Temple activities. A big open forum for pronouncing religious sermons to the masses. Make it bigger, with more tiers than the regular waistwork setups. Add housing for priests and Ordinators along the sides. Relocate Temple services here, shrines, healers, ect.

Canalworks: Create a underground bazaar built along drainage canals. Relocate shops and the Limping Scrib Cornerclub here. Perhaps add some Temple-run housing projects for the poor, the idea being that Almas Thirr acts as a magnet for aimless poor folk who come to the city in the hope of benefiting from the trade economy and Temple charity. Make it an atmospheric working-class neighborhood. Expand the public tomb into a small -perhaps partially flooded in places- catacomb connecting to the Underworks.

Underworks: Perhaps give this more of a lived-in feel? Paupers and riff raff living in the sewers is cool thematically. Keep the seediness and colorful characters but do away with the smuggling outpost. Its location is rather illogical. The only way to reach it is through lengthy underwater tunnels. Seems like a really inconvenient place to be shipping goods in and out.

The Outer City: Make significant cuts to the monastery, perhaps reusing parts of it in the waistworks area. Keep only the current inner shrine, but perhaps build a small honeycomb network of tunnels and catacomb homes for monks. Parts of the coastguard station can be repurposed for this purpose if we move the garrison location to the canton. Basically I think we should make the eastern edge of town a hub for Temple ascetics and holy men, while the bureaucratic and service-oriented Temple priests operate at the canton.

Quote:
At the same time, as more of a background situation, it might be interesting to explore the dynamic between the independent, sometimes foreign traders and entrepreneurs and the strict, centralized authority of the Temple that reluctantly condones their presence.
I think that dynamic can be better explored in Almas Thirr than in Vivec -- which also has significant House presence and is in general more compartmentalized -- or Necrom -- which does not (I hope) have a lot of traders and outlanders -- or Almalexia, which is more of an Indoril settlement.


I already had something like this in mind when designing the city, but your wording of it is better. I also like your idea for House Hlaalu taking over the city's commerce. That could be an effective way to settle the conflict over the Thirr River, seeing as Hlaalu military takeover of Almas Thirr is out of the question.

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Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

As for the smuggling base, how about having an alternate exterior exit somewhere nearby?
Post Tue May 06, 2014 1:44 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



I'm not very invested in what happens with this city, but I want to highlight this discussion as a really good example of TR's cart-before-the-horse problem. There is no firm conception of what the "Hlaalu-Indoril conflict" even entails, but you are all trying to build a city which has only one narrative function: to be a stage on which that conflict plays out. TR is building houses without laying foundations.
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Post Tue May 06, 2014 2:47 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

All of that is perfectly true, Sload, and it would be great if we were discussing such topics and ironing out complete plans for all the Great Houses and their quest lines. But at the same time we also need to continue making progress on the technical part of the mod.

If we want to jump start planning for the Hlaalu/Indoril conflict, we should. The sooner the better. Until then, however, all we can do is make the best of the building blocks we already have.

At least in part, we stimulate the discussion of larger scale concepts by discussing narrower parts of them. A good mix of top-down and bottom-up planning works best, in my opinion. That said, I thoroughly agree that TR has leaned far too heavily on the second approach over the years.

Anyway, I'm going to take Sload's advice to heart and suggest we hold off on discussing Almas Thirr until a clearer picture exists for what the Thirr River conflict is going to look like.

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Post Tue May 06, 2014 5:55 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'd like to broach this subject a little again.

People have mentioned dissatisfaction with the amount of merchants in Almas Thirr, given its status as a stronghold, and I started listing the interiors that potentially don't fit in (mostly merchants and houses). I found out two things from doing so: first, that Almas Thirr is currently a Tier II city with around 50 interiors. It has roughly 12 shops, 10 houses and three inns at a glance.
Secondly, that removing those interiors would also remove the need for any exterior structures on the canton -- which a stronghold wouldn't need -- which would render large parts of the exterior structure redundant, in my opinion.

However, the idea of making Almas Thirr a stronghold was made before the Indoril proposal, if I remember correctly. I think an alternative now exists with our new approach:
Almas Thirr is essentially two settlements. A town and a stronghold.

The town would exist mostly or completely in the exterior, at the lowest level of the canton, and would have all of the typical structures, like a hetman's house, with a temple and larger public tomb in the canalworks, replacing the interiors currently there. For this to work, the western entrance to the waistworks needs to lead to the canalworks instead, which shouldn't be too hard to switch.
Rather than serving Ilvi, though, the town is either completely independent or simply serves the Temple. It is inundated with merchants to a greater extent than any other Velothi settlement. (Mostly outdoor merchants).

The waistworks would be a sort of neutral zone connecting the town to the stronghold; I'm not really sure what should go there, if anything. I think the services there should be removed, at any rate. I'd say put dock/temple stuff there, but there's already a good saturation of those in Almas Thirr.

The plaza and right bank would then be the temple stronghold.

While a lot of interiors would need to be re-purposed, (a fancier house could become the hetman's house, a trader or pawnshop could probably become a tradehouse, etc.), I think most would only require minor adjustments to the interior, if any. Either way the particulars will have to wait until we have a clear idea of the composition of Velothi settlements.
Post Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Sounds like a solid concept to me, Gnomey. I'm sure many Velothi interiors we replace in Almas Thirr can find new homes in future Velothi settlements elsewhere, especially if we add one near Dondril.
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Swiftoak
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2005

Location: Kah-nah-duh

Like Sload, I'm not terribly invested in this town, but when I only get 2 responses to a thread that discusses the narrative foundations of the political conflict in the area, I am baffled as to why we're even talking about making changes to this town.
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Post Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:53 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Simply because the changes I discussed concern the nature of the settlement rather than how that nature would play out. I mostly avoided getting into specifics to sidestep the issue of the conflict, and I do not think the specifics I mentioned would have any bearing on the conflict or vice versa.

That being said, your nagging (Razz) has spurred me to finally reply to that thread.
Post Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:04 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
alex25
Developer
21 Jan 2010

Location: Here and There

I'm not very keen on the two settlements concept since it makes the Temple feel too detached and undermines its monolithic nature. There's little reason to have a typical Velothi village near the canton- the settlement was built by the Temple to keep control over the Thirr, mediate disputes between the Great Houses and facilitate trade.


That said here's my two cents: The Almas Thirr should primarily show the less religious role of the Temple: that of making the Great Houses work together and acting as what passes for Morrowind's central government. This means not only census and excise sort of offices but also a hospital for poor travelers and pilgrims, courtrooms for disputes between members of different houses, a place where people petition the Temple and other stuff I can't think of now.

For the rest of the place I see no problem in having lots of merchants and inns: after all the city is located at a very important crossroads. Perhaps some of the merchants would not do business with the player but act as intermediaries between large companies, shops and nobles so they only take very large orders?
Post Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:28 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Some suggested name changes for some of the current major characters:

Sandor Ormero -> Sando Mero

Raransi Silveth -> Ilvethi Raran

Dadas Blarvam -> Dadas Balam

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klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

Yeti wrote:
Some suggested name changes for some of the current major characters:

Sandor Ormero -> Sando Mero

Raransi Silveth -> Ilvethi Raran

Dadas Blarvam -> Dadas Balam


Ilvethi makes me think of Draler Ilvi, and for some reason the the full name makes me think of Tolkien's Ilúvatar. I suggest Silveth Raran for that character. The others sound good to me.
Post Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:19 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Silveth is more a Dark Elven surname than first name. Silvon Raran?
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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I think she's a woman, so I something like Selvasa Raran might work better.
Post Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

Ah it's a lady. Selvasa Raran seems alright.
Post Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:01 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



To beat a dead horse a bit, as I'm not entirely sure how much work has gone into this settlement yet, I do have an idea for something in the lower waistworks that could prove to be useful/interesting. How about an introductory, open audience/learning type of sermon hall? Somewhere where people can go to learn about the Tribunal/saints but on an almost Explain Like I'm 5 level. This would give the players an actual reason to go there, as well, so they can learn more about the complex mythos that goes into the 36 Sermons and general Tribunal gods and saints, and also to try and teach the poor/paupers of the city on a basic level why stealing and killing is bad, and doing small menial jobs and giving grace and tithes to the Temple is good. I think it could possible give a unique atmosphere to the city and gives real players an actual reason to spend more time in there rather than just running in and out of a shop to sell loot. The only drawback I see is that someone who is a lore fucking GOD would have to be the one to take the bits of text and dumb them down, as we want to make sure it's canonical and accurate information, and it takes a bit of deciphering to get the meanings of some of the more obscure religious texts into a basic level. But I think it would/could prove to be worth discussing at the least. It could also have a uniquely cool shrine at the center of it, which would add flavor to the city even more.
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:53 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Saltrice
Member
14 Feb 2015

Location: Aharasaplit Camp

Hello
I'm merely a lurker in the forums, and an end-product user, adventuring in the marvellous land of mainland Morrowind, but in order to draw some positive attention to this one part of the great project going on here, I would like to provide some encouraging feedback and criticism on Almas Thirr as it seems presently.
Firstly, I would like to point out that it's a very entertaining idea of having temple priests administrate ships and commerce along Thirr river, but the city doesn't really feel like a holy temple site with a distinct personality, like Necrom or some Vivec cantons do. Perhaps Almas Thirr should be more centered around the monastery, with more temple things and people around, and less on the crowdedness and chaos seen on the western bridge. I am of course not proposing any changes, but maybe a few less lighthouses, buildings, traders and entrances on the bridge, and a few more statues, might just work wonders.
Then to some other points of notice:
- Serjo Dram Badryon's house has some of the most delightful interior design I've seen.
- Dralosa Sathrum won't sell me her wares. She has those great house warrior skirts, and is also supposed to be "champion among her fellow traders."
- Dadas Blarvam has some of the best dialogue in town, maybe he should have more.
- Clepitus Mados won't sell me any maps. How is he supposed to make gold and keep his shop running?
- Everybody seems to have that "Bloodstone Shrine" topic. Priests tell a nice story though.
- Office of the Dispensary has a bit moddy feeling to it. Besides, if it's really a secret what they are doing there, shouldn't they be doing a lot weirder things than just some alchemy. I mean, if nords for example have no souls, can they still be infected with Soul Sickness?
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Ah, I ought to have linked to the TR Skype Meeting Summaries thread; the meeting before last was about Almas Thirr, and some of the above points were addressed in that meeting. (Such as the possibility of having some form of school in the canalworks and our intention to axe the Office of the Dispensary as a place studying dangerous diseases doesn't belong in a location with as much traffic as Almas Thirr). Here's the relevant part of the summary:

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

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

Layout:
A rough map for orientation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



An idea or two for the shrine that could possibly be at the center of the purposed lower waistworks learning temple.

Bayou of the Bifurcate – A shrine that is of a divining staff splitting a river in two; to represent the banks of the river and the split of Hlaluu and Indoril as well as signaling the crossing of Velothi. The inscription could read as:

“Learning to vesiculate the waters of Faith and Grace, upon these banks Velothi traveled with the Exodus and learned to gaze and navigate the portals of Magnus to lead our peoples to a new era of self-righteousness and unparalleled tranquility.”

Vault of Temporal Contemporaneity – A shrine that is a black box or possibly a box made of stone that has swords/daggers being thrust into it; to represent the sacrifice of Sharai and the gaze-wound of wonder. The inscription could read as:

“The fate of mortals is ever uncertain, the life-flow always ebbing and pulsing like the waters of the Thirr River. From sacrifice comes progression and from dedication comes enlightenment. From this spot all transgressions of life evolve into a Learning Path put before us, for those seeking the counsel of the Three and the Spirit of Centrality earn their catharsis through strife and divine stipulation.”
Post Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:48 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Would anyone object to me to sorting out a final plan for Almas Thirr's interiors (basing it on the Skype discussion) and maybe putting up some new interior claims for the canton?
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Post Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:08 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Absolutely no objections!
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Post Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:49 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Not
Lead Developer
01 Mar 2012

Location: Elsewhere

Omg! Where did all the quest claims go! D:

Anyways, yes put up more int claims, that'd be awesome and seriously, whoever is in charge of quests (or however it's run these days, idk lol) please tell me, because I would be interesting on taking on a quest or two pending work lol.

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Post Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

No objections at all; glad to see movement on this front again! Smile
Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Sounds good. I'll see what I can come up with over the weekend.

Nice to see you around Not. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how we are handling quests at the moment, but I'll look around and see if anything is ready to be worked on.

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Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:03 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

having temple like structures included at the centre of every velothi village, would be sweet. also, more cantons on the mainland would be cool.
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Post Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:00 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Not
Lead Developer
01 Mar 2012

Location: Elsewhere

Yeti wrote:
Sounds good. I'll see what I can come up with over the weekend.

Nice to see you around Not. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how we are handling quests at the moment, but I'll look around and see if anything is ready to be worked on.


yayy! \o/

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Post Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:22 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Not wrote:
whoever is in charge of quests (or however it's run these days, idk lol) please tell me, because I would be interesting on taking on a quest or two pending work lol.


The great Structure Overhaul of January 2014 did leave the Quest Department somewhat inactive: in the sense that while stuff has since been planned more thoroughly than ever (I dare say) there have been hardly any new quests added to the game. I think this largely due to the fact that the areas we're now working on have been WIP for a long time and are just now being NPC'ed.

Old Ebonheart is still lacking a finished Castle, but the town is more or less done interior and NPC -wise. To the best of my knowledge the lower Thirr River Valley is also quite finished on the NPC front, with the expections of the cities of Almas Thirr, Andothren, the newly-created Vhul and the Buffer Zone next to Armun Ashlands. Once they get their shiny new interiors and NPCs there will be a whole Thirr River Valley region to fill with quests.

Here's to a good questing year!

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Post Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:15 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Not
Lead Developer
01 Mar 2012

Location: Elsewhere

Rats wrote:
Once they get their shiny new interiors and NPCs there will be a whole Thirr River Valley region to fill with quests.

Here's to a good questing year!


That's like telling me Christmas has come early this year! <3<3<3

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Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:19 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I've been trying to figure out the layout of Almas Thirr, and so tossed together a quick plugin. I named the cell "TR_Almas Thirr Canton". In future, I think starting out from such a basic shell and then dividing it into separate interiors as required may be more convenient and easier for developers to work with; I hadn't thought about the approach when the interior proposals were first made.
My basic conclusions are that the waistworks are a little too expansive but have a lot of empty space to work with as well, the canalworks are mostly accurate, though they could perhaps use some slight adjustment if we want to be completely accurate, the public tomb has more space to work with than I had expected, and the temple is spot on, though it may need slight adjustments if the canalworks get their adjustments.

The file uses the special Velothi tiles from the canalworks claim, but can be viewed pretty much just as well without them.



TR_Gnomey_Almas Thirr02.esp
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  TR_Gnomey_Almas Thirr02.esp
 Filesize:  45.92 KB
 Downloaded:  104 Time(s)

Post Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Seneca37
Lead Developer
10 Feb 2014



What is the significance of all the extra in_v_l_int_center_01 pieces?
And how does one get to the bottom level?
Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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