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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



House "Identity"

Every house must have an identity. The function of the houses in the game is to give the game world social variegation (in forms that are both spatial-visual and character-atmospheric) and the player identity-developing path choices. It is therefore integral that they are all distinct from one another, that siding with one says something about the player character, that a character involved in the politics of one can be excepted to have some of a certain set of character traits that share a family resemblance. The houses are also monolithic socio-political organizations which encompass or lord over every kind of trade and class, so they cannot be differentiated by the simple activity-and-skill differentiation that differentiate, for example, the Imperial guilds. They must each be an complete social form and psuedo-state. This is quite the task.

For narrative reasons, each house also has its certain "hubris" (or, in the case of Hlaalu, which intentionally deviates, "secret virtue"). Morrowind is a game about an outsider entering a tragically doomed society and overcoming that society's deep flaws - in the case of the central mainquest story, the fact that it is mired in tradition and unwilling to change and shovelling harder and harder to hide its terrible "original sin" - the death of Nerevar - rather than facing it and overcoming it.
    Dres is a deeply traditional, heterodox society which is brutally unkind to outlanders, especially its slaves. It is the upholder of Morrowind's most ancient traditions and despite its irregular beliefs, it is the ne plus ultra of the Dunmer. Secretly, its leadership has made profane deals with foreign devils which are going to come back to haunt them.

    Hlaalu is the prodigal house of Morrowind. It betrayed the Dunmer during the Tiber Wars and its members constantly act to better themselves and their own position, backstabbing and lying to get to the top. It was once the lowest house, serving only as the intermediary between outlanders and the rest of Morrowind, but now it controls enormous amounts of land and major trading ports in the heart of Morrowind. Despite the hatred it receives from the other houses, Hlaalu is secretly acting toward the best interest of the Dunmer; it understands that the Tribunal and the houses are all antiquated and failing, and it is preparing the province for the future since no one else will.

    Redoran protectors Morrowind against its many enemies. Its three marches guard the western border of Morrowind. It is a backwoods house, putting no value on luxury or comfortable living, committed in austerity to its guardianship. It is also simpler, and poorer, and living in a harsher climate than the houses of Morrowind's heartland. Its honor and commitment is its greatest weakness, because its leadership has been focused on their stalemated war with Dagoth Ur, not realizing that they are losing control on the mainland.

    Telvanni is not so much a house as a loosely associated collection of autonomous, iconoclastic despots who have agreed to sometimes mediate their disputes with one another. They are strange and powerful and have no qualms about violating any rules or norms established by Morrowind's society. Their absolute commitment to self-interest and autonomy has created a situation of quietly building chaos and its about to boil over into social collapse.
Indoril Identity

From these concepts, we've been able to develop whole ways of being for each of these four houses, encompassing characters, quests, and spatial concepts. We've struggled much more with Indoril. Here is what we are given in TES III as a basis:
    Indoril is very connected to the Temple and the most committed to the Tribunal.

    Indoril was for thousands of years the ruling house of Morrowind, but has become less and less powerful since the Armistice; it was mostly supplanted by Hlaalu.
This really isn't a lot to work with and its been a problem. It also puts the Indoril in a position of heavy overlap with the Temple and even the general concept of the Dark Elves. Differentiating the Indoril from just "Dunmer" while keeping it as a house and not the Temple has proven to be a real difficulty. We've focused on a lot on ideas like "the law" with the Indoril, but it really hasn't filled out. We still don't know what Indoril cities are really like, what Indoril people are really like. We don't have the essence of spin that makes them necessarily Indoril rather than any other house or just simply "Dunmer."

Existing Content

Much of our existing content predates our even considering this question. We have dozens of small Indoril towns some of which have their function along the axis of differentiation-from-one-another. This is the port on the Thirr; that is the eggmining town; this is the last stop on the pilgrim route to Necrom; some don't even have that and are just "another town." But we have no concept differentiating them from the eggmining town or port town or whatever that would belong to another House.

We also have several Velothi settlements spread throughout Indoril territory; most often there is no evident reason why these settlements are plain-Dunmer (which is what "Velothi" means) and not Indoril. They have Indoril guards, making this occasional deviation just really peculiar as it stands now.

Then there is Almalexia, which is huge and majestic and all important. This has presented its own problems, which are not the subject of this thread.

Mainly what we've done with the Indoril is have them worship the Tribunal a bunch of not like outlanders. In other words, we've had them be Dark Elves.

The Indoril Problem

These come together to create the Indoril problem: the Indoril lack an identity. We don't have a meaningful Indoril house-concept the way we have a house-concept for the other houses. Nothing makes them Indoril rather than Dunmer except our say-so. And we have a ton of completed content that is basically Dunmer, rather than Indoril, but that we say is Indoril.

So the question is this: how do we make the Indoril something more than just "Dunmer"? Integral to this question is also: what do we do with the content we have finished to make this solution work?

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Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:29 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



I think that a very important thing to point out here is the plurality of Dunmer culture. The only way I can interpret it with the original game as the source, there is no single Dunmer culture as such: each of the five houses would likely claim that their specific culture is the TRUE culture, even the houses Telvanni and Hlaalu. They would be vying for influence much in the way that real world cultures would. From a bigger perspective, they are all equally aspects of the Dunmer identity. The haughty isolationism of the Telvanni and the manipulations and shady dealings of house Hlaalu are just as much parts of the collective Dunmer character as the characters of the Redoran, Dres and Indoril are. I feel that Dunmer culture is often perceived with too much bias towards the more easily identified Redoran and Indoril identities, while the more abstract Hlaalu and Telvanni (not to mention the Dres, which there simply isn't sufficent information about to even bring them into this) are left out of the equation, completely denying the wonderful depth and complexity of the vanilla Morrowind stuff. Even the usual portrayal of the Temple faith, which sort of represents this collective and undivided identity, suffers from this bias, which I feel goes against the religious texts of the original game.

I think that what you point out as Indoril simply being the "generic dunmer"-house is an effect of this bias.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:56 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



EJRS wrote:
I think that a very important thing to point out here is the plurality of Dunmer culture. The only way I can interpret it with the original game as the source, there is no single Dunmer culture as such: each of the five houses would likely claim that their specific culture is the TRUE culture, even the houses Telvanni and Hlaalu. They would be vying for influence much in the way that real world cultures would. From a bigger perspective, they are all equally aspects of the Dunmer identity. The haughty isolationism of the Telvanni and the manipulations and shady dealings of house Hlaalu are just as much parts of the collective Dunmer character as the characters of the Redoran, Dres and Indoril are. I feel that Dunmer culture is often perceived with too much bias towards the more easily identified Redoran and Indoril identities, while the more abstract Hlaalu and Telvanni (not to mention the Dres, which there simply isn't sufficent information about to even bring them into this) are left out of the equation, completely denying the wonderful depth and complexity of the vanilla Morrowind stuff. Even the usual portrayal of the Temple faith, which sort of represents this collective and undivided identity, suffers from this bias, which I feel goes against the religious texts of the original game.

I think that what you point out as Indoril simply being the "generic dunmer"-house is an effect of this bias.
I think there's something important in this - each house takes some attribute of the Dunmer to an extreme. Their hostility (Dres), their dishonesty (Hlaalu), their stubbornness (Redoran), their independence (Telvanni). I think the best direction to go with the Indoril is the Dunmer's haughtiness.
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Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:17 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
daedren
Developer
25 Nov 2006

Location: "City of the Strong Shield", Resdayn

As a house Indoril Noble, "top cream" of society, I would think that

1. I am naturally superior to the other creatures on Tamriel.

--- 1.1 This also means other dunmer - I secretly assume that I'm better than everyone else.

--- 1.2 But, as a noble, I need to live in a society which produces goods which I own under rightful command. As such, I see other dunmer as an authoritarian father sees his defenseless children.

--- 1.3 The other nobles are the only ones who are my equals; because they are my partners in crime.

--- 1.4 As a superior dunmer, I can only live where I rightfully belong, and that is the Centre of Morrowind, which is the Centre of Tamriel. The most important place of all places, the Capital. Almalexia. If my presence is needed elsewhere, let it be a small representative of Almalexia's richness and exuberance - let me have a manor estate. I cannot live in any other way.

--- 1.5 The only power which is above me is that from the gods, and those are the Tribunal, whose interest I represent the best. The Temple represents the hands of the Tribunal, and I (indoril) am the first supporter of the Temple, with people, money and overall influence. The Temple is, then, like my own hands: my defenseless children, who work for me, see the Temple as a guide who gives them purpose and strength to endure their lives, and that means continuing to work for me in order to support me. Given that, the Temple represents me and acts on my behalf next to the poor (who I can't stand, personally. I don't even think they deserve to come close to me, as I'm superior.)

------- 1.5.1 As such, the Temple are my hands acting upon the poor, just as I am Tribunal's hands acting on the world: and the Temple should be the central organism in the hubs of the poor people.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If we follow from 1.5.1 on, we understand the need for the settlements to be Velothi, for societal and artistic cohesion. I think it explains why there would only be one true indoril city - where the majority of the nobles live, next to one of the gods who are the only power above them - and, besides that, only manor estates. The other settlements would be almost run by the Temple, which is composed of indoril anyway. This way we could actively integrate the Temple (as faction) in the economical and pratical structure of the indoril society, not only the religious aspect of it. The temples would be the central feature of the settlements, where the hard working class would seek counsel and guidance, healing services for the mind as well as the body, and keep enduring the harsh conditions of life in order to support the extravagant Indoril.

Of course, these dunmer (as the defenseless children of the Indoril - and of the Temple) would be the "common dunmer".[/i]


EDIT: oh, and I think this is in complete accordance with the "Dunmer's hauhgtiness" that Sload refered as representing the dunmer trait that the Indoril take to the extreme.

_________________
-- "From the heart, the light; from the head, the law." - Excerpt from "Book of Dawn and Dusk"


-- The Elder Scrolls will become even better with Tamriel Rebuilt.

-- Thanks to Minttu Hynninen - creator of my avatar - who gave me permission to use it.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:20 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



My changes and additions in bold:
daedren wrote:


1. I am by birthright superior to the other creatures on Tamriel, in accordance with the divine law.

--- 1.1 Although all Dunmer are by birthright also elevated above the other creatures of Tamriel, I as a noble am born into a position above them, to guide and govern.


--- 1.3 Below the Tribunal, the other nobles are the only ones who are my terrestrial equals.

--- 1.4 As a superior dunmer, I can only live where I rightfully belong, and that is the Centre of Morrowind, which is the Centre of Tamriel. The most important place of all places, the Capital. Almalexia. If my presence is needed elsewhere, let it be a small representative of Almalexia's richness and exuberance - let me have a manor estate. I cannot live in any other way.


What daedren originally wrote might well represent how a noble would inwardly view himself and the world, while this might be more how they would portray themselves outward.

This is a rough stuff, but I would say you're onto something here. I love the harshness of it, more Morrowind:ish.

I'm not sure if I agree with the nobles positioning themselves above the temple, though. Any thoughts on that, specifically?
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
daedren
Developer
25 Nov 2006

Location: "City of the Strong Shield", Resdayn

EJRS wrote:
My changes and additions in bold:
daedren wrote:


1. I am by birthright superior to the other creatures on Tamriel, in accordance with the divine law.

--- 1.1 Although all Dunmer are by birthright also elevated above the other creatures of Tamriel, I as a noble am born into a position above them, to guide and govern.


--- 1.3 Below the Tribunal, the other nobles are the only ones who are my terrestrial equals.

--- 1.4 As a superior dunmer, I can only live where I rightfully belong, and that is the Centre of Morrowind, which is the Centre of Tamriel. The most important place of all places, the Capital. Almalexia. If my presence is needed elsewhere, let it be a small representative of Almalexia's richness and exuberance - let me have a manor estate. I cannot live in any other way.


What daedren originally wrote might well represent how a noble would inwardly view himself and the world, while this might be more how they would portray themselves outward.

This is a rough stuff, but I would say you're onto something here. I love the harshness of it, more Morrowind:ish.


I pretty much agree with this. My version would reflect the inward narcissistic view an Indoril noble would have of himself, while EJRS's version would be the outward explanation for that.

EJRS wrote:
I'm not sure if I agree with the nobles positioning themselves above the temple, though. Any thoughts on that, specifically?


Well, I was not saying exactly above; I was going more for something like it being an extension of them. This, of course, in pratical terms. Don't forget most of the dunmer who belong to the Temple are members of house Indoril. It would be natural that Indoril and Temple would remain "all in the family", so to speak.
But for the record, the Temple would be an organization "fully supported by the fervent and pious Indoril", seemingly attaining their autonomy. In velothi settlements, the most important priest of the local temple would be like the "Wise Old Man" of the ancient villages, and his immediate subordinates would form the "Counsel" who would run the burocratic and economic affairs of its people, as well as maintain order and enforce the law with the help of indoril guards. And the High Priest would respond to the Indoril council of Almalexia.[/i]

I'm not sure if I am making correct assumptions concerning the whole picture, though. What do you think of this?


EDIT: I think this thread is also worth mentioning here, as it discusses some points that, to my knowledge, haven't been discussed yet: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24567&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

_________________
-- "From the heart, the light; from the head, the law." - Excerpt from "Book of Dawn and Dusk"


-- The Elder Scrolls will become even better with Tamriel Rebuilt.

-- Thanks to Minttu Hynninen - creator of my avatar - who gave me permission to use it.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

If we're going to have this debate in a thread that isn't the Indoril Settlement thread, (which I think is a good idea), please do not bring Indoril settlements into this. Even if you think that settlement type X logically follows from your interpretation of Indoril, saying so will only serve to derail this topic into the Indoril Settlements thread, without solving the central problem this thread was made to solve. Rather than arguing why your interpretation doesn't work, people will be tempted to say why -- for various logistical and visual reasons -- settlement type X doesn't work, and that helps nobody.

Also, I feel as though we should be more careful about how we use words like 'necessary'. An Almalexia-centric interpretation of Indoril would not necessarily lead to Indoril architecture only existing in Almalexia. To illustrate:

daedren wrote:
--- 1.4 As a superior dunmer, I can only live where I rightfully belong, and that is the Centre of Morrowind, which is the Centre of Tamriel. The most important place of all places, the Capital. Almalexia. If my presence is needed elsewhere, let it be a small representative of Almalexia's richness and exuberance - let me have a manor within the turquoise sanctuary of Roa Dyr.


If a single manor can serve as a substitute, is it really impossible for several to, grouped together in a scenic location? Most Indoril cities already essentially are that or attempt to be that; Roa Dyr, Bosmora, Akamora with its waterfalls (with the bonus of the nobles living high above the rest). It appears to be the defining concept behind Merelag, more or less, which is essentially and literally a gated community.

I do not think conclusions about this sort of subject ever really are necessary, or for that matter that they should be. There are countless ways to interpret House Indoril, and more to the point there are countless ways to make a specific interpretation work or not work. If we dig ourselves into going with one 'necessary' interpretation, we'll probably just end up with a worse product. We ought to be looking for the 'best' interpretation we can come up with, not the 'only' one.

Moving on from that point, I'm not sure whether there is a tendency to make Indoril just be the Dunmer, or at least I don't perceive it as being very strong. I think the stronger tendency is to make Indoril be Altmer. And I think that is because many people seem to have a very stale interpretation of what it is to be haughty, or have a sense of supreme superiority.

I often read the assumption that Indoril nobility either avoid the poor, or can't stand the poor, or maybe even resent/are wary of the poor. I subjectively don't like this, (to a degree), and would like to ask why that should be the case. Why shouldn't House Indoril be a compassionate House?

A lot of humans consider humans to be the most 'advanced', or 'superior', or maybe 'blessed' species. I think it is safe to assume that a lot of those people also own pets. I like to think that those people did not simply get pets so as to lord over 'primitive', 'inferior', 'unfavoured' animals.
Pet owners generally have a lot of good (and a lot of bad) to say about their pets, even those who still consider humans in some way indelibly superior. They may love their pets. They may treat their pets well. But at the same time, the fewest let their pets run wild. (While incredibly unfortunate to say so due to the resulting implications, that line works just as well with the analogy of an authoritarian father and his defenseless children).
Do they still inwardly feel a sense of superiority over their pets? Probably; hard to say. But that does not need to be their defining emotion, even if it is there.

I see House Indoril as a largely harmonious society. Everyone is supposedly happy in their place. Yes, the nobles are superior to the poor, but everyone has their position in society, even if some are inferior positions, and they are all loved by the Tribunal, even if perhaps not equally. A poor person would be incapable of carrying out the weighty tasks of nobility, while it would be outrageous for a noble to do the lowly tasks of the poor. Would there actually be a lot of dissent and conflict? Naturally, but it would not directly be disenfranchised poor versus decadent, uncaring rich. Indoril society is not a pyramid, it is an anthill, and I consider there to be a difference.
I see House Indoril as a compassionate society. And here I have to make a clarification: if non-Indoril-noble Dunmer are pets, other races are vermin. Maggots, mosquitoes, whatever seems unpleasant. Some of them may have their uses; you might even want to keep some of them around. But you don't like them, and have little or no compassion towards them.
I see House Indoril as egotistical. Whatever they think is right is right, even if they change their mind about something. They were right then, and they're still right now. The Tribunal and Temple make the laws, but Indoril nobles are the ones who interpret and apply them. If the laws change, they do not discount the earlier interpretation, which was still correct then.
This is, I think, one of the most important distinctions I make between the Altmer and Indoril: the Indoril do change and adapt, they just want to feel like they are the ones in charge at all times. They want to be the ones initiating the changing and adapting, rather than being forced into it. They did not protest to the Armistice strictly because it was a foreign idea. They protested to it because they couldn't claim it was their idea, because they were unable to take a leading position in establishing it, and because they were unable to interpret it to their advantage.
And, to link with my earlier point, none of those conclusions logically result from qualities inherent to House Indoril. Other interpretations are just as --if not more -- valid, the above interpretations are just the ones I currently like best.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:40 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
daedren
Developer
25 Nov 2006

Location: "City of the Strong Shield", Resdayn

Gnomey wrote:
Snip


Your point is valid, and I think it makes some sense. While thinking of Indoril as a compassionate house (and keeping what you explain as differentiating Dunmer from Altmer in mind), it appears to justify and, as I see, support my previous idea of the position of the Temple in terms of the Indoril society.

But - would all the nobles think that way? Would they all really be compassionate of the poor? Would they all be just passive leaders, with no caprice? Using your analogy, I could say that indeed there are human beings who own pets and care for them, while there are others (with similar backgrounds - economic, educational and cultural) who are insensible to their needs. Some even mercilessly abandon their pets when they want to go on vacation, because of not having someone to take care of them.

So, while there would be nobles truly compassionate about their people (and is in these families, perhaps, that we can find the majority of indorils who decide to join the temple and be priests), there would also be nobles who inherited some kind of hatred against their tragic past, when their ancestors have been humiliated and turned to grey. These dunmer nobles, in specific, would stand apart from the Altmer only in that "they" (their people) lost their position in the old society and, as such, established one in which they would play the same role, in some kind of revenge which can only be exerted on the defenseless children. These are represented by the father who is weak and mistreats the child, while the others may be represented by a father who actually helps and guides his child by being protective enough while being authoritative.

I think this heterogeneous aspect of indoril society (and particularly, nobility) would permit us to add more depth to the quests and also the NPCs.

_________________
-- "From the heart, the light; from the head, the law." - Excerpt from "Book of Dawn and Dusk"


-- The Elder Scrolls will become even better with Tamriel Rebuilt.

-- Thanks to Minttu Hynninen - creator of my avatar - who gave me permission to use it.


Last edited by daedren on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:20 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Yes, though I'd argue that that sort of thing would fall into the 'dissent and conflict' territory I mentioned. But I think it is better to first establish a sort of stereotype for Indoril before we start making exceptions. I'll quote Sload:

Sload wrote:
[...] a character involved in the politics of one can be excepted to have some of a certain set of character traits that share a family resemblance.


First we establish what the Indoril set of character traits is, and then we decide which individuals should possess which of those traits. It would indeed be very dull if House Indoril really were a harmonious society. My point there was rather that the society is -- at least theoretically -- distinct from the one-way might-makes-right mentality of the Telvanni, in which conflict is inherent to the system. And even then, there should be exceptions in practice.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:31 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
daedren
Developer
25 Nov 2006

Location: "City of the Strong Shield", Resdayn

I see. According to that, yes, I think it would be interesting to have the self-proclaimed and overall image of Indoril society as a big family unified by their beliefs, which are materialized by religion, and nobles would like to have the image of being rightful and tolerant rulers, beloved by their people and loving their people.
_________________
-- "From the heart, the light; from the head, the law." - Excerpt from "Book of Dawn and Dusk"


-- The Elder Scrolls will become even better with Tamriel Rebuilt.

-- Thanks to Minttu Hynninen - creator of my avatar - who gave me permission to use it.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:48 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Adanorcil
Developer Emeritus
22 Jan 2006



I see where the keyword 'haughtiness' comes from, but I fear that an overly concrete interpretation of that word would lead more to caricature than to an actual identity. We can have the Indoril talk all we want about how superior they are, but in the end that just makes them Altmer and even those have an actual logic behind their treatment of what they perceive as lesser races.

Following the logic that all the Houses are exaggerated aspects of the Dunmer Volksgeist, I'd propose that their pride is actually a symptom of a bigger notion at the center of Dunmer psychology. They feel that there is a distinct directionality and purpose to history, that the Dunmer race as a whole is going somewhere. The idea has been suggested before that Veloth, when he led his people from the east, he envisioned the new society he created as an experiment to put his philosophical teachings into practice.

With the rise of the Tribunal, the Endeavor lost importance to the more mortal project designed by the Triunes, which is, in a way, also the Indoril project. I propose that the Indoril, above all other Dunmer, are believers in the Project, the Tribunal dream of a humane, glorious and everlasting Morrowind. They are, in a sense, philantropists, firmly convinced of the potential and essential goodness of the Dunmer. Nerevar is their patron because he is the embodiment of the idea that the Dunmer united can be greater than the sum of the parts.

The other Houses derive a large part of their identity from Red Mountain and the role they played in the Battle and its surrounding events, the things that Nerevar requested them to do. The Indoril, however, are the legacy of Nerevar himself. In his example, they attribute to themselves a kind of neutrality that rises above clan differences, not enforced by military power or money, but by the moral superiority that comes with a clear-cut vision for the future of all Dunmer.

In terms of their House structure, they did not truly undergo the process that created the other Great Houses, many minor clans coalescing under a single name. The very idea runs contrary to their mindset that all Dunmer, by definition, are part of a single, golden people. To them, Resdayn never ended.

More so than any other House, the Indoril are associated with a particular city. Almalexia is the one place where the idea of Resdayn was preserved and from where the Indoril kept expanding upon it for millennia. In a sense, the Indoril do not have a real interest in territory, because their primary concern is in occupying the hearts and minds of the people, keeping them firmly focused on the goal ahead. While their loss of territories to the Hlaalu means an economic loss, their biggest anxiety is losing Dunmer to the materialistic, Imperial ways of the Hlaalu.

In practice, of course, they do have sizable territories, most of which were donated or came to be considered theirs through decades of management. Most of these lands are continually redistributed among commoners, many of whom have no formal relation to the Indoril or any other House.(Obviously, these arrangements are rarely disadvantageous to the Indoril themselves, even if profit is not their first and foremost concern.)

Even though they do not have an obvious visual presence outside of Almalexia, their influence is widespread in the Heartland and beyond. While the highest echelons of the House are nobles, lawyers and priests in Almalexia, the Indoril also have a whole contingent of itinerant clerks, judges, moral advisors and spokesmen that pervade most corners of the country. (General name for these people is needed.) It is considered salutary for a young Indoril to travel to some far-flung area and engage in this kind of work for some time in order to connect with the true Dunmer spirit. They try to blend in, but always stick out anyway.

Of course, like all their other Houses, their greatest virtue can also turn to hubris. Like their ideology, the Indoril are an influential, but ultimately naive romantic concept that does not hold up against context. Their years of resolute belief in the Dunmer at large has also left them with a slightly patronizing attitude. In recent years, as the dream of Resdayn finally begins to crumble, it has made them increasingly bitter about the gap between the course of history and their view of how things were meant to be: "We, who have always believed in you", like a parent whose child doesn't want to play the violin anymore.
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



Adanorcil wrote:
Snip


This is good, but a tad rose-tinted. I'd like to infuse it with a bit of "in character, they are grim, distrusting, and disdainful of other races" as the ingame description of Dunmer goes.

Also, I'd like to point out that while I think it is a good idea to go with the Indoril believing in the "essential goodness of the dunmer", their concept of good doesn't necessarily match up with the modern, western concept of good. Their "humane, glorious and everlasting Morrowind" is a place in which slavery is legal, people are being born into enormous privilege etc.


Two interesting points of comparison from the history of the real world, simply as food for thought (note, however, that I'm not connecting any of these with the points made above, this is a separate point):

Veloth as Moses, Nerevar as Muhammed and Indoril law as Sharia law.

Another interesting paralell could be to compare house Indoril with Britain from the height of the enlightenment, with all it's pretense of fine ideals and philantrophy, through to the decline of the Brittish empire.


Last edited by EJRS on Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Adanorcil wrote:
In practice, of course, they do have sizable territories, most of which were donated or came to be considered theirs through decades of management. Most of these lands are continually redistributed among commoners, many of whom have no formal relation to the Indoril or any other House.(Obviously, these arrangements are rarely disadvantageous to the Indoril themselves, even if profit is not their first and foremost concern.)


I was mulling over something similar today- the "true" Indoril, the aristocracy of philosopher-princes who reside in an Almalexia that, as a controlled environment, can embody their ideals to the fullest. Then there are the mandarins, the bureaucrats, the Colonial Service (thanks for the British Empire analogy EJRS), a secondary caste who administer the world outside the city walls. It's almost an inversion of the Telvanni system, with scattered lords sending flunkies to the capital to speak for them.

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Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Adanorcil
Developer Emeritus
22 Jan 2006



@EJRS:After finishing that huge lump of text, I realized had indeed not talked enough about the darker sides of the Indoril worldview. For a quick and dirty analogy, I'd say that Almalexia at the end of Tribunal is an extreme of the Indoril hubris.
Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



I believe this resolves the Indoril problem. It is an expansion of what I described in the other thread. The basics:
    "House Indoril" is a house for elites only; they are Morrowind's equivalent of both nobility and lawyers.

    Most people in Indoril lands are common Dunmer, which have a sharp cultural divide from the Indoril themselves.

    The Indoril have castle-estates throughout their territory as well as in the city of Almalexia.



IndorilProposal.pdf
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Post Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:56 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



This is great stuff, Sload, I think you're really spot on here!

Something that came to mind when reading this, concerning economics. I imagine that the majority of goods produced on Indoril-controlled lands would be seen as the property of the respective lords of the area, to be distributed as they see fit, i.e. trade being rather limited. I don't really see the Indoril as being particularly supportive of small business owners. However, some resources might need to be imported from outside of Indoril territories to satisfy demands. Wouldn't it make sense to implement a sort of merchant caste or class, certain individuals sanctioned by their Indoril lords to conduct this outward trading under strict regulation, but still with a certain degree of independence?

This would help keep the Indoril identity intact, while not having to rely as much on upstart outlanders to give the player opportunities to trade while in Indoril territory. This would also be a good way of showing just how regulated life under Indoril rule is.

This is a rather vague sketch, but is it worth expanding upon?
Post Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:28 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



I think that kind of character identity would be useful, yes.
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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I'm in favor of using Sload's proposal as the framework for implementing House Indoril as a faction and cultural force in our version of Morrowind. I might put forward 1-2 exceptions to the general rule concerning settlements, but otherwise think this change will add much needed identity and structure to central Morrowind.
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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



This posts lists a set of castle-estates to be included in Tamriel Rebuilt; each is associated with a brief discussion of the changes to current content that would be necessary. This list is not exhaustive or complete, it is mainly a way to begin eating the very large meal that is implementing the above proposal.

To clarify further, I wouldn't advocate that any current town that is done in MH be kept in that tile set in the future unless its on this list. The omission of current estates/plantations(barf) is not advocacy to delete or keep them, it is a neutral silence.

Castle-Estates

Ayemar
Ayemar is a castle-estate along the coast in the Mephalain Mountains.

Adjustments:

-Almalexia is not actually called Ayem by the Dunmer, only by Vivec in the 36 Lessons. This castle is literally named "Fort A." I think this is a very poor name that is only excusable by the obscurity of its meaning.

-Currently Ayemar is a stronghold of "House Indoril" and it has a custodian, a former ordinator (there are so many retired ordinators in TR its unbelievable). This character needs to be replaced, recast as an Indoril noble, or recast as the servant of an Indoril noble who is added.



Bisandryon
Bisandryon is a castle-estate at the north end of the Lan Orethan. It is notably ancient.

Adjustments:

I know people are quite fond of Bisandryon, but I have to raise the question: does it actually make any sense for an Indoril family to live in a stronghold ruin? The int is great, I'd never suggest deleting it, but might it make more sense to do this: put a modern, MH castle-estate nearby, called "Bisandryon," rename this int Ald Bisandryon, and making Ald Bisandryon's interior a hostile dungeon as a player would expect from looking at it? It could be a quest to clear out the family's old stronghold. This is open for discussion.



Gorne
Gorne is a castle-estate on the Island of Gorne, to the east of Morrowind. There's some book that's like something something sixth house set in Gorne.

Adjustments:

Currently, Gorne is a small town. Some interior and exterior adjustments are needed to make it a castle-estate. NPC changes as well.



Roa Dyr
Roa Dyr is the castle-estate of Indoril Draler Ilvi. It is a large castle on the Thirr, made up of several keeps separated by canals.

Adjustments:

This is the biggest change on this list; Roa Dyr goes from being a town to a castle. A large castle, and still featuring the canals everyone likes. Also the Ilvi manor gets deleted, and there are other ints around the Thirr River Valley that need to be changed.

This is an attempt to reconcile what people like about Roa Dyr (the canal-look) with what we need from an MH style settlement in that location. It will continue to clearly identify this area as Indoril - more clearly, in fact, because the buildings will be big and tall - and continue to look nice, while also fitting in with the larger design goals for House Indoril.



Akamora

And as a second point: let's just do nothing to Akamora.

I think ultimately, Akamora could work as a castle-estate, or it could work in ex_v, or several things between those extreme options. However, doing a run through I found a variety of weird substandard "messy" exterior details - sections which were difficult to navigate, all the buildings merging all moddy into the rocks, et cetera. We already intend to take a much closer look at Maps 1 & 2 sometime in the future, and I think any changes to Akamora should wait until then. There were no plans to include Akamora in the House Indoril questline, so what happens to it in the end does not affect the larger question. This, I think, is the responsible decision for the time being.

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Post Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:42 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theo
Developer Emeritus
16 Dec 2004

Location: PRAGUE

I could not agree more with your decision on Akamora, Sload. I have detailed Akamora and Mephalain mountains quite a lot and I can assure you all the moddy, weird and nonstandard stuff there is left is about ten procent of the original state. This area was originally done by kebra, who had a truly great imagination when it came to combining various models, but more then often the result was quite puzzling to say the least.
While I personally like Akamora and Mephalain mountains for its original and layout, I realize that it may not be very compatible with the standards TR is trying to achieve recently and may stick out too much.
However one cannot properly address Akamora without addressing the whole area of Mephalain Mountains, which should probably happen during overall map 1&2 makeover. If you can just forget this is an Indoril territory with Indoril territory for a while in your Indoril planning, that would make things much easier.

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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Velothi & Shack Villages

Bosmora
Bosmora is the main village in the Lan Orethan region, near the fork of the Orethan where the greater and lesser Orethans merge.

Adjustments: Bosmora is currently IND and needs to be made into Velothi.

Darnim
A tiny shack town in the "Inlet Bog" region, the only civilized inhabitants of a region which has yet to find order. Will become the player's subjects.

Adjustments: Needs a new name.

Dondril
A shack town in the Thirr River Valley. The main town under the rule of Indoril Draler Ilvi. Is fortified.

Adjustments: Might it be appropriate to include a very small Velothi style component in this town? Like a town hall and a temple?

Dreynim
A shack town in the Lan Orethan near Dreynim Spa, a fancy hot spring retreat owned by [one of the Indoril nobles].

Adjustments: Might this town be more appropriate in Velothi than shack?

Enamor Dayn/Evos/Seitur
A Velothi town on the Nedothril Coast. Fishermen.

Adjustments: Combine Enamor Dayn and Evos with Seitur (in the location of Seitur) to make 1 town, all in Velothi. Name it Enamor Dayn or Evos because Seitur is too much like Sailen.

Othrensis
A large Velothi town in the Alt Orethan, west of Almalexia.

Adjustments: Delete the MH section.

Sailen
A large Velothi town, the last stop on the pilgrims' road before Necrom.

Adjustments: Convert from MH to Velothi.

Peaceful Wilderness Ints

Disperse ints from Tahvel and Selyn to make them farmers and hermits rather than named hamlets. These ints are all either shacks or Velothi building.

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Last edited by Sload on Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:41 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:39 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Theo wrote:
I could not agree more with your decision on Akamora, Sload. I have detailed Akamora and Mephalain mountains quite a lot and I can assure you all the moddy, weird and nonstandard stuff there is left is about ten procent of the original state. This area was originally done by kebra, who had a truly great imagination when it came to combining various models, but more then often the result was quite puzzling to say the least.
While I personally like Akamora and Mephalain mountains for its original and layout, I realize that it may not be very compatible with the standards TR is trying to achieve recently and may stick out too much.
However one cannot properly address Akamora without addressing the whole area of Mephalain Mountains, which should probably happen during overall map 1&2 makeover. If you can just forget this is an Indoril territory with Indoril territory for a while in your Indoril planning, that would make things much easier.

I just want to add that I also like the general layout and concept of Akamora. It could use some polish on how it is executed is the only thing. But its just too sticky to try to mess with it now.

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Post Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:40 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Ayemar

I agree on the name change and adding an Indoril noble to the place, as I think the concept of an Indoril fortress governed by a "general" doesn't fit the House's character or social structure. We definitely have too many retired Ordinators on the mainland currently. I'm not even sure the Ordinators should allow members to retire.

Ald Bisandryon

I can get behind these alterations, though how much would the interior need changing to bring it in line with the characteristics of a hostile dungeon?

Idea: We could reuse the current interior for Draler Ilvi's manor for the new Bisandryon if it ends up not fitting in Roa Dyr.

Gorne

Gorne can only benefit from transforming it into a castle-estate. Can we please get rid of the awkward Sixth House dumping ground on the island, that only exists as an ill-advised tie-in to the Poison Song books, while we're at it?

Roa Dyr

I can get behind your plan. I actually welcome the proposed change in concept. The city was in need of reorganizing anyway. I still think we should stress that Roa Dyr is "Almalexia's port on the River Thirr" to excuse its larger size compared to other manor estates.

Would you mind skimming through the thread I linked to and suggesting what specific changes (buildings to remove, where to put Draler Ilvi's castle, ect) you'd like to make to Roa Dyr, Sload? Unlike most of the settlements on this list, we can begin retooling Roa Dyr immediately as part of current sectional work.

Akamora

I still think Akamora will need significant changes in the future, as keeping an Indoril settlement of that size on the border with the Telvanni and not involve it in the Indoril quest line makes little sense, plus I think Velothi architecture fits the cliff-side design better. And I think Indoril nobles have no business fighting over egg mines. But I agree it can wait for later. Bringing it up now probably strokes tensions too much, so I'll shut up about it. Smile

Bosmora

I liked the general aesthetic feel of Bosmora in its current form and location, but I don't especially mind changing it to a Velothi village. We can keep all of its quests regardless of the architecture set used.

Darnim

Not much to say here, except to ask if you have any qualms about the current state of the Inlet Bog (besides its lackluster name, of course). In this thread people suggested it needed some revising/new models to make it interesting and define its theme as an Indoril holding.

Dondril

I don't see where we could fit a significant Velothi component into its current compact layout, unless we put it on the outskirts. We could move the Temple in Roa Dyr to some place nearby, however (perhaps at the site of Ilvi's current manor), and make it a rural Temple serving the local peasants.

We have a thread for Dondril in the Othrensis-Thirr section. Discussion of specific changes to it should take place there.

Dreynim

Not worth changing it to Velothi from shack, if you ask me. I'm glad we're keeping Dreynim Spa and working it into the larger Indoril framework by giving it a lord and involving it in the player's marriage into House Indoril. Perhaps we could change the name of the nearby shack village to remove the direct textual connection between it and the opulent bath manor nearby. I think Dreynim could work better as the family name of the Indoril lord residing at the spa.

Enamor Dayn/Evos/Seityur

I don't think it's necessary to combine the villages. Removing Enamor Dayn outright would work well enough. But I'm not directly opposed to the idea.

On a side note, should we take the opportunity of re-working Indoril settlements to remake the boring Nedothril Coast as more Lan Orethan?

According to online dictionaries, enamor is a verb meaning, "to be filled with a feeling of love for." We might not want to use it as a village name in Morrowind, no matter how obscure the word is. Incidentally, it's also apparently the name of an online lingerie store.

Othrensis

Agreed. Remove MH and keep the Velothi part.

Sailen

Agreed. Convert to Velothi. With that said, I think we should take inspiration from Gnomey's reorganization of the settlement when we eventually return to Almalexia.

Peaceful Wilderness Ints

I don't even know where Tahvel and Selyn are, but I agree we could dispersed their buildings to replace the various MH farms and wilderness buildings scattered around our map.

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Post Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:57 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

I actually like Bisandryon the way it is, though we could make it a bit less cheesy. It involves some ideas that I don't see any other good place for. It's the tradition and the pride implied by living in a refurbished ancient ruin. And, of course, seeing your House Indoril master plan, the garden makes perfect sense. We have way too many hostile dungeons already.

What do you mean by Roa Dyr going from town to castle? Does this involve axing most of the buildings, or do they get repurposed as a satellite settlement around the castle?

Agreeing that Akamora should stay as is -- that's just too big of a hornets' nest to stick our hands in right now.

About Bosmora, please keep in mind that this will be a hell of a job and only few people will be able to do it because most of our CSes crash from the foliage in the Lan... Sailen will also be annoying. This stuff basically involves redoing all the ints?

I could also imagine renaming Enamor into Emanor to get rid of the mis-connotation.
Post Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:38 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Haplo
Lead Developer
30 Aug 2003

Location: Celibacy

I agree with and fully support Sload's suggestions here. I'd prefer we combine the three smaller villages rather than just renaming Enamor to Emanor, which I think is a bad change (from not great to bad), not least of all because Emanor sounds like E-manor (like proper etiquette for E-mail) to me.

I think a Velothi temple would be a good addition to the outskirts of Dondril. Or better yet, if we can place the largest Velothi building that will fit in place of the hideous "inn" in the middle (four shacks put together) and give it a Temple interior.

I would also like to re-suggest the idea of replacing Bosmora with a fort OR adding an Indoril fort along the Orethan river.

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Post Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:03 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

What kinds of people are found on Indoril Castle Estates? Craftsmen and service providers patronized by the estate's lord? Where do slaves and servants live on the estates? Do the estates have shrines staffed by a family priest or any other specialized interiors? Purifying baths? Housing for retainers, oathmen and clerks? Would Indoril nobles ever employ outlanders on their estates to fill specific narrowly tailored roles? Does the entire extended family live on the same estate?

Food for thought:
Sload on Dunmer commoners wrote:
They trade with one another on a personal level, but they do not have merchants servicing even a regional trade network: the only major trade infrastructure is in the service of the House to move its portion. Recently, in some of the larger and more wealthy townships, shopkeepers peddling imported items and magics have set up (mostly outlanders). The influx of outlanders of the past century has reached even as far as these towns, but to a much lesser degree than in western Morrowind, and these townships represent a more “traditional” way of life.
Quote:
Some commoners also live as servants in the Indoril castle-estates,
Sload on Castle Estates wrote:
The castle-estates of the Indoril are in the Mournhold style. They are not as numerous as the townships, but because of their vertical orientation and majestic form, they are more visually prominent in the distance. They will not have services for the player unless the player is a member of House Indoril. Each that exists needs to be thought out and they should not be especially numerous (on the order of a half dozen to ten).


An unrelated question: Should members of the Tribunal Temple who come from Indoril families keep the prefix "Indoril" in front of their names?

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Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:47 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Yeti wrote:
An unrelated question: Should members of the Tribunal Temple who come from Indoril families keep the prefix "Indoril" in front of their names?


certainly not; they are not members of House Indoril

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Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:51 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

are you saying that the indoril used now for common houses in villages will be replaced with a much more accurate velothi?

also, when i was young, and i first played morrowind, i thought that cantons were citadel/temple/fortresses that lined morrowind's borders, and were guarded and garrisoned by ordinators. could we possibly implement that, and/or cantons on the mainland?

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Post Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

st.Veloth, The Repenting wrote:
are you saying that the indoril used now for common houses in villages will be replaced with a much more accurate velothi?

Yes.
Post Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Yeti wrote:
You raise many good points, Ironed Maidens. Naturally, not every dungeon needs to follow a concept mold strictly. They can vary in terms of loot and difficulty within the general range of the region.
Quote:
That's part of the reason why I hate the fact that people here are opposed to new tilesets for poor Indoril architecture, or getting new meshes for Indoril ruins, or even new meshes for barrows or Daedric ruins; WHY NOT?
Opposition to the poor Indoril architecture stems from there not being a clear use for such a set within the mod anymore. There are no "poor" Indoril. The Indoril in our mod are aristocratic lords, clerks and lawyers who rule over the commoners of their land. These commoners dwell in traditional Velothi and shack dwellings, and the lack of a poor version of the Mournhold tileset puts emphasis on the social and cultural divide between them and their lords.

No one to my knowledge is opposed outright to new meshes for existing tilesets. We simply don't have anyone around to make them. We'd gladly accept new pieces if they were provided - like the barrow pieces Worsas gave us from Skyrim: Home of the Nords.


Right, the Indoril are not poor; but throughout the province there are commoners who live under Indoril rule. Using Velothian buildings for them and having Indoril manors mixed in seems to make little sense to me, both stylistically and from a gameplay point of view. I get that new meshes are too hard to come by, but what I meant by poor Indoril is that there should still be an architectural style that fits in with the theme of the Great House, both for commoners and for slave holdings; and to be honest one could even argue for Temples. But as I had said, it was more of a tangent I was going to on bring focus to the point that not everything is cookie-cutter, there should always be a case-by-case basis and I was just raising the concerns over what I have seen thus far playing TR as well as what I think this kind of dungeon outlining can lead to. At the same time I know we need cohesion; wasn't there a ruins distribution map made up last year? Why not have the same for all types of dungeons.
Post Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Indoril and Velothi architecture will not be mixed anywhere in our mod. The Indoril live in estates that use the Mournhold tileset and the commoners they rule live in villages and towns that use the Velothi and Shack tilesets. They do not live in the same settlement spaces.
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Post Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Sorry, but can we not talk about House Indoril here? I'd appreciate it if we could keep with the original subject.
(In fact, could someone move the off-topic discussion to a new thread, so it doesn't clog this one up?)

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Post Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:14 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

@ryan.S

sorry, perhaps we could continue in the indoril concept page?

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