Author
Message Post new topic Reply to topic
Oanur
Member
01 Jun 2014



I've been reading with interest the discussions of how to represent House Indoril and the main question of who they are. I couldn't post in the actual thread and since the likelihood of me being able to knock up a showcase are nil (old computer that likes to faint when asked to play anything more taxing than breakout) I thought I'd try posting my thoughts here, to which you can respond "who the hell are you with your notions to thinking about stuff?"

My idea is to in the complete opposite of the Indoril being the all dominating feudal lords. I see the Indoril of old as pretty much dead, with barely any influence outside of Almalexia and the surrounding area. Instead towns Like Akamora (I love the look of Akamora, art it is!) are ruled by smaller vassal houses who are still loyal out of a mix of piety and political necessity, the Indoril acting as a convenient symbol to unify around to resist Telvanni and Hlaalu aggression.
The Indoril lords themselves I see as completely removed from actual ruling outside of the temple and also completely in denial at the true extent of their power, unable to adapt to the new realities. For them, for something to be done they merely order it, for their underlings, they have the stressful job of dealing with the vassals and getting it done, the edifice of Indoril supremacy crumbling with every concession.
With the bulk of Indoril power being diverted to Vvardenfell, and the nobles being deluded and disconnected from the world outside the temple, the vassals could start seeing them as a liability, and piety only goes so far.


It's a rough idea that needs a lot a finessing I know, but I thought I'd get the raw thought out there.

You're all doing an amazing job, and I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever the Indoril become.
Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:06 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Welcome, Oanur! Feel free to share your thoughts on the forums. I am not really the right person to respond to your post, but I'm sure someone else will come along soon. Again, welcome!
Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:55 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I like your approach, but I think from a storytelling perspective it is too early for House Indoril to be so deep in decline.
While astute observers would have no doubt started predicting the Tribunal's -- and as such House Indoril's -- fall long before the events of Morrowind, the final fall only happens late within the game, with the death of at least two Tribunal and more importantly the freeing of the Heart of Lorkhan. In-game dialogue then mentions that it will be a while before the effects of those developments are felt, which while partially a cop-out (Bethesda thereby mostly avoided having to present the fall-out of in-game events in-game) sort of makes sense. For most of the game, the Tribunal and Temple are still holding together, if only just.
As House Indoril most closely represents the Tribunal civilization and vision, it seems fitting for the story of House Indoril to mirror the story of the Temple. And that requires them to still be holding together, if only just.

While I like your vision of House Indoril a lot, I think it would fit better in TES: IV's timeline, if not later.

Edit: that being said, my vision of Akamora is much the same as yours, just coming from a different direction: as it is located in a mountain range bordering House Telvanni, I imagined it as having a very entrenched and almost tribal atmosphere; less coordinated than the other Indoril holdings. I saw that as a representation of House Indoril's wild past, though, rather than its present or future circumstances.
Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Oanur
Member
01 Jun 2014



I don't mean to represent the Indoril as a whole about to die off. More a re-ordering. The nobles are still traumatized by the Imperial and are basically focused on Red Mountain and temple matters. They've withdrawn from active ruling (like the Tribunal themselves), believing the system of governance in place is thrice blessed and self-perpetuating. They expect their vassals to be obedient because they are the mighty Indoril, vassals only rebel against weak leaders, and Indoril could never accept that they are weak, and so a nice little logic loop of denial.

The nobles see themselves as quasi-devine and of ancient bloodlines so don't allow themselves to be seen outside of highly elaborate religious ceremonies. They rule through their own version of mouths. It could be this rule by mystique that undermines them practically but also inspires the loyalty of the vassals.

The vassals could be seen as stepping into the vacuum of power and becoming a pseudo-Indoril, making sure the tithes are collected. The true nobles have dwindled, being like the spartans (I use the spartan comparisons spartanly, I'm not suggesting Indoril be anything like them) with no new blood allowed in. The vassals are now providing martial strength as well as material aid to the temple crusades on Vvardenfall. It's like the roman empire in 450, the emperor is at once all powerful and divine, whilst also being practically powerless and cut off. But it works damn it. Everyone's happy, the Indoril nobles, because it could never occur to them that they're becoming an isolated anachronism whose actual power has been usurped. The pseudo-Indoril get to rise in a way before now unprecedented, and the temple gets its tithes and templars and the full attention of the Indoril nobility on Red mountain.

But of course the facade could crack. Maybe a loyal vassal of Roa Dyr makes a gaffe during a ceremony and his liege lord demands he commits suicide. Maybe the demands to fund the Vvardenfall campaign hit too hard. Maybe a more aware noble sees the blasphemous usurpation for what it means and fights back.

Their could be factions in the temple on opposing sides. It could be the Indoril and the temple finally become one and the same, with either the nobles completely devoting themselves to being the temple militant, or maybe the nobles wipe away the vassals and put the temple in direct control.

It's a hotch potch of ideas I know, but it was quite fun coming up with. I enjoy the idea of the pompous Indoril and their absolute rule being a well orchestrated sham that they're completely clueless about.

Just to reiterate, when I refer to Indoril, I'm refering to the nobles rather than the power structure as a whole, I think Indoril as an institution can survive, adapt and thrive quite well. Anyway I hope that's at least one good idea in there somewhere, and I am self-conscious that I could be re-treading ground you've all already covered, so if I am I apologize.
Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Oanur wrote:
But of course the facade could crack. Maybe a loyal vassal of Roa Dyr makes a gaffe during a ceremony and his liege lord demands he commits suicide. Maybe the demands to fund the Vvardenfall campaign hit too hard. [...]


We've been moving away from suicides being an element of Indoril culture, which I consider to be a good trend. Morag Tong assassination would work as an alternative, though.
I was going to say that Indoril probably wouldn't know much about the Vvardenfell campaign, but realized that there is no reason to think that, that it would make sense for the Indoril leadership to know well about it, and that that has a lot of story potential.

Oanur wrote:
It's a hotch potch of ideas I know, but it was quite fun coming up with. I enjoy the idea of the pompous Indoril and their absolute rule being a well orchestrated sham that they're completely clueless about.


While you weren't necessarily suggesting something like it, I would like to mention that a common pitfall with characterizing Indoril appears to be to make them Altmer: pompous, proud, conservative, etc. The way I (and I think others) got around that is interpreting 'law' in a more chaotic fashion. Dunmer are by and large supposed to be a chaotic bunch, more on the Lorkhan side of things than the Auri-El side of things. They used to worship Daedra, and their current gods killed their beloved general.
It's actually the chaotic nature of your suggestion that I really like.

Oanur wrote:
Anyway I hope that's at least one good idea in there somewhere, and I am self-conscious that I could be re-treading ground you've all already covered, so if I am I apologize.


I like a lot of your ideas, and don't think you need to worry about re-treading ground already covered. House Indoril remains largely undefined, and I think you're taking the right steps in trying to define them. In the broad strokes, I think your concept for House Indoril hasn't been suggested yet, and it's certainly worth discussing.
Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:28 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Oanur
Member
01 Jun 2014



Quote:
While you weren't necessarily suggesting something like it, I would like to mention that a common pitfall with characterizing Indoril appears to be to make them Altmer: pompous, proud, conservative, etc. The way I (and I think others) got around that is interpreting 'law' in a more chaotic fashion. Dunmer are by and large supposed to be a chaotic bunch, more on the Lorkhan side of things than the Auri-El side of things. They used to worship Daedra, and their current gods killed their beloved general.
It's actually the chaotic nature of your suggestion that I really like.


I see what you mean with pompous and conservative, maybe mystical and aloof could describe them better. I have an idea of rule by divine inspiration, or more the path of righteousness and truth making itself self evident to the properly trained mind. Maybe a ceremony involving drug laced tea where after they empty their mind and meditate and literally wait for the answer to pop right into mind. It'd make for interesting trials, with the judge off of his gourd deciding that your going to have to live as a guar for a year as punishment for being a disruptive influence.

Also regards making an underling commit suicide, I suppose it wouldn't fit. The vassal would be a mere servant to be dismissed, as in go back to fields and farm. With things changing though that could be the equivalent of telling Orvas Dren to go be a netchiman, and Orvas Dren ain't being no netchiman.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Oanur
Member
01 Jun 2014



I want to build on my previous post because reading it back I feel I undermined my point by making it gimmicky.
I was trying to describe a rule by whim, but divinely inspired whim informed by having your gods actually being there and being able to study their actions and intentions more astutely so as to have a wide and theocratic knowledge to draw upon. They would live a life of ever revealing revelation, changing, testing, re-interpreting existing dogma and tradition. Their realm could be a miniature experiment in Dunmer culture, trying different theocratic approaches, trying to iron out the wrinkles of a perfect society. There doesn't have to be an actual end utopia in mind as long as they get there by their own work. The Imperials could offer peace, stability and an unending golden age but they wouldn't want it because it would be Imperial.

Adding further after reading the new thread and not wanting to triple post.

Almalexia is a philosopher's paradise. Debating is to Indoril's what combat is to Redoran's. They strive to define and improve what the Dunmer are.

There settlements are treated as extensions of their learned will, used to test their currant moral and ideological theories. Have a spy network to observe and report results. On top of that they have an equivalent of the Ancient Greek practice of xenia** where they ritually befriend a peasant so they may gauge the effects of there policies.

An idea tangentially connected. Their own unique use of mages used to surreptitiously enforce morality by punishing those who disobey. Gluttons will be inflicted with wasting diseases, gossips will be struck dumb, and so on and so forth.

**I've obviously misremembered how xenia actually worked and it doesn't really apply in this context. More a ritualized adoption then.


Last edited by Oanur on Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:41 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EsoptrosOer
Member
24 Jul 2013

Location: Walla Walla WA

Everyone seems to have this near religious idea of the Indoril institution. Honestly, that's not how I see them. To me, they are the ruling class. Nobles following the lines of the court systems [if there be any], judges, and citizens of the law. Prudent, [as been described before] haughty people who think themselves a ,Just, social class.


I've always imagined them as lawyers, judges, and masters of political, legal proceedings. [not of commerce like the Hlaalu] and not [Warriors like the Redoran] and not Religion based like the Temple or slave slash economic like the Dres, but soley and or mainly based on the practice and execution of law and justice.

_________________
"In Khem, I remain no longer, for I am forgotten there. I shall roam this world and I shall come to those who seek me."
Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:13 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Oanur
Member
01 Jun 2014



I thought I'd have a good more detailed go at this. I'm trying to refine my own theme so it might not be every bodies cup of tea but it is trying to build on what I've read in other threads.

I like the law aspect. The Indoril are controllers, rulers and molders of the Dunmer. They regulate everything right down to the correct use of speech. Their is only one way to refer to the Indoril, (our glorious masters and protectors, providers of all our needs etc) One way to refer to Almsivi.
Their law isn't orthodox or unchanging though, I go back to my ever unwinding revelation idea. They are intellectually curious, but of Dunmer ideas, most of all obviously Indoril ideas. These ideas will be formed through study and meditation and tested in debate and in practical application in their feudal settlements.
I see the high nobles being, as described by someone else, as philosopher princes.
Below them younger and more minor nobles who learn at their feet. They would be the observers* and judges, it could count as their apprenticeship.

*As observers they'd be cataloging how well their mentor's policies are working and reporting back.

They would be vassal houses. These would be built from the best of the ritually adopted peasants I mentioned in a previous post. They'd owe everything to their liege lord, if they displease him, they're back to the fields. They'd do the day to day administration, make sure new laws are implemented.

I'll reiterate the plague mages, not necessarily religious, more Pavlovian, they're there to surreptitiously train out bad habits. The Indoril's could be a lot more pragmatic about the temple, seeing it as another apparatus of control, they could have even had a quite vice like grip on its ideology until a Thomas Beckett type came along and asserted independence.

Peasants would be brain washed and docile, almost cultish.

The Indoril will be curious enough about outlanders to not be openly hostile, but at best will view them as exotic curiosities, at worst invasive vermin. An outlander taking up the culture would be seen as a puppy trying walk on its hind legs. (better analogy needed ahem) A puppy that starts talking and frying eggs though would make them take notice. (ditto on the analogy, but what a wonderful image)

Their settlements will generally be a representation of their mastery. Nature will be made to serve, oasis will be built in the ash swamps because we are Indoril and we dictate to the land not vise versa. Our people will live good lives because we dictate it. Our gods live among us here, our paradise will be here.

Now, the main quest storyline I ain't a clue. ** But I posted a really bad idea anyway which I've now deleted.

Well I'm going to end my stream of conscience babbling there, I hope it was at least interesting to read.
Post Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic Reply to topic

 
The content of this site is © by the Tamriel Rebuilt community. Morrowind, its expansions, and its content is © Bethesda Softworks.
Forums powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group