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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Basics

The castle-estates should be regarded as very large, self-sufficient houses. There should be minimal individualized, private spaces - such as homes and shops. Everything should be oriented around service to the Indoril lords: public squares should be the courtyards and entry-plazas of the Indoril's castle; work spaces should be situated in relation to the Indoril's castle, not the worker's abode. Above all, these are not towns.

Each castle-estate has a name which is unrelated to the name of the family which holds it.

Visual/Spatial Design

The castle-estates should be fortified and imposing. They should have walls and gates, they should tower over the landscape, if possible. They should visually and geographically represent the rule of the lord over the surrounding territory.

They should not be open. If a castle-estate is located at a crossroads, it is above, overlooking, controlling the crossroad, not directly at it, allowing the traders and pilgrims and what not to pass through the heart of the castle-estate. While they may have more than one entrance, it should not be the logical route along a road to pass through the gates of the castle-estate.

NPCs

The NPCs in each castle-estate must all have a clear relation to the Indoril lord who rules it.
  • They might be the Indoril themselves, each castle-estate must have a small number of Indoril who rule.
  • They might be their sworn guards, who protect the castle walls and establish order within the castle.
  • They might be their servants, either their house servants who wait on the Indoril, or those who do some craft in the Indoril's service.
  • They might be their Apologists (name open to change), members of the Temple order which serves the religious need of this particular Indoril family. Each castle-estate has an order like this.
Services

Castle-estates should offer no services to non-Indoril players. No one who would offer services should have the presentation of a "shop," their activities should be presented as being done, for free, for the Indoril lord. Once players are full members of House Indoril, they can use their services (which will be barter just like any other service, let's not overdo it).

The castle-estates should not generally have fast travel, and if they do, they should not be central nodes, but rather off-shoots. It should be a decision the player makes to visit a castle-estate, whereas they are more likely to pass through the Velothi villages as they cross Indoril lands. Some castle-estates will have to have fast travel (in Gorne, for example, it is necessary), but this should be done with intentionality and caution.

Number and location

Every castle-estate is ruled by an Indoril Lay Elder (or Illuminated Elder, if that elder serves in the Serene Assembly). Each castle-estate should be said to rule a certain extent of territory around it. There may be a few castle-estates that are very small (essentially large manors) and that rule only a small area, but these should be few.

The placement of castle-estates should be preplanned across all Indoril territory.

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Post Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:35 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Now this is what I've been hoping to see. Smile

I can't comment at length now (at work at the moment), but I largely agree with the need to distinguish Indoril Castle Estates from towns and your suggestions for accomplishing this.

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Post Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Bero
Reviewer
26 Sep 2007

Location: Slovakia

Will player get his own castle/estate or will it be just manor in some town?
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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



seyda vano
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Post Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:02 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

How often would Indoril Elders employ outlander hirelings or craftsmen on the grounds of their castle estates? I assume very infrequently, but if the player can work for the Indoril as a low-ranking courier, I also assume others can too.

In general, should we house estate slaves in MH buildings or shacks?

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Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:19 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



propose an answer
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Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:38 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Outlanders should show up sparingly. The Great Houses on Vvardenfell employed them in noticeable numbers, but they weren't as socially cloistered as the Indoril are. But since the Indoril are fine with putting the player to work, they shouldn't be completely against employing other outlanders as well. I assume they'd end up working the menial courier jobs, or filling in a specific craftsmen niche.

Using the MH set and the Shack set to house slaves both poise problems. With MH, we have the old problem of using super fancy buildings to house the dregs of society. Shacks, however, might take away from the grandeur of the castle estates. Using shacks could also make the estates look like plantations, which we obliviously want to avoid with the Indoril, so I guess I favor using the MH set in this case.

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Last edited by Yeti on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:24 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



I agree with both of those. Its important to use some outlanders to avoid monotony, but they should be a minority. Slaves make good outlanders, of course. Slaves could be housed generally at a basement level, below the level of the entrance, in interiors attempting to mimic cellars.
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Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:33 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
roerich
Developer
08 Feb 2010

Location: Sea of Ghosts

Another solution could be to house the slaves in caves with MH stairs and hallways leading to them.
Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:05 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

For slaves, I think either housing them in MH basements, in Velothi caves in or near the castle or maybe in LC Indoril tileset interiors built into the castle's foundations, like the poor housing we are planning for Almalexia, would be ways to go. They could also be kept in oversized cages probably located in one of those interior types, or maybe under lean-tos along the inside of a castle wall or something.

I might make one or two interior and exterior mock-ups in the CS, both of slave quarters and of the castle estates in general, to serve as rough concepts. Maybe some sketches too, though I won't promise anything there.

As far as slaves go, by the way, I think non-beast-race slaves should be rare, and when present should probably not do the most menial tasks. This is part of the larger topic of how different Houses handle slavery, though, which Yeti opened up in the Establishing Background Lore thread and which I still haven't gotten around to addressing.
Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

What about hostelries for pilgrims/travelling merchants? A holdover from ancient guest right traditions. Maybe visitors get a free night's board- except outlanders obvs
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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

How many buildings can a castle estate afford to have before it becomes too big? I imagine a cut-off at around 10 for the truly illustrious Indoril Lords, though most compounds should end up smaller than this. Then again, I'd probably place a little more importance on the roles the buildings serve, rather than their number.
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Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:45 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



gro-Dhal wrote:
What about hostelries for pilgrims/travelling merchants? A holdover from ancient guest right traditions. Maybe visitors get a free night's board- except outlanders obvs
I don't think we should give the Dunmer a hospitality ethics. They already veer toward semitic/mesopotamian cultures in a lot of ways, and it runs against the general theme of them being assbags.

Yeti wrote:
How many buildings can a castle estate afford to have before it becomes too big? I imagine a cut-off at around 10 for the truly illustrious Indoril Lords, though most compounds should end up smaller than this. Then again, I'd probably place a little more importance on the roles the buildings serve, rather than their number.
Yeah I don't know, but they should not be very large. Roa Dyr will be the largest unless Akamora becomes one.
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Osiren
Member
19 Jun 2014



Would there be council chambers in the Indoril estates? I am trying to imagine that Indoril lords/nobles would be the type to visit other castle-estates to mingle with their counterparts to oversee regional affairs. This may also play into some of the dynamics of quests in the area, where House Hlallu may want you to eavesdrop on a meeting at an estate between a few Inordil nobles. Just as an idea.

Would the estates have any kind of dedicated section or area with a table and chairs and documents spread about, possible with some religious symbols hanging on the wall?
Post Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:55 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Swiftoak
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2005

Location: Kah-nah-duh

I think we need to make a distinction between number of buildings and interiors.

For worldspace design, I very much think keeping the building count on the low end (I would go even less than 10) will emphasize the uniqueness of MH architecture. That's not to say the estate can have more sections than structures, but I prefer something more consolidated and integrated. These are estates, not castles with a few buildings around them. I don't think this is the most important issue atm though.

Slaves could live in little cave hovels carved beneath the basement foundations of the castles that are accessible somehow from the castle interior. Or at basement-level I suppose.

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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:55 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Xui'al
Developer Emeritus
29 Mar 2005

Location: Wastelands of Canada.

Swiftoak Woodwarrior wrote:

Slaves could live in little cave hovels carved beneath the basement foundations of the castles that are accessible somehow from the castle interior. Or at basement-level I suppose.


I am wondering if varying levels of accommodation provided by Indoril lords for their subjects could be used in an attempt to disguise one reality while trumpeting another. Throw the beast race slaves in some filthy cave, but give Dunmer agrarian workers, who naturally are vastly inferior to their Indoril lords in piety and virtue, some squalid, suffocating basement basement where they are packed in. Perhaps link the basement to the manor, but have that door locked and guarded, to make sure no one actually can enter the manor. This link between the manor and basement is effectively symbolic: the Dunmer are one, they receive physical and spiritual care from their lords, whereas the beast and other non-Dunmer slaves are kept apart. Functionally, however, the slaves and poorest of the workers are the same, but the Dunmer receive some semblance of "charity" from the lords who own them.

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:27 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Swiftoak
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2005

Location: Kah-nah-duh

Hey Xui'al! Good to see you around Smile

As for your proposal, I don't think it really works with what we came up with Indoril (though I'm possibly the last person to comment on story things, so I'll defer to someone else more knowledgable). Facades seem to be more of a Hlaalu thing, as for adding peasants in the castle proper, I don't think that's absolutely necessary as the visual/spatial relationship between these castle-estates and the surrounding worldpsace already fulfills the function of differentiating the high-class Indoril with the Velothi below.

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Post Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:01 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Swiftoak
Developer Emeritus
02 Feb 2005

Location: Kah-nah-duh

Super rough proposal detailing the various aspects of a typical Indoril estate. Obviously this can be flexible as to avoid being monontous/formulaic. This also does not necessarily mean number of buildings. Actual layout can vary between a few structures and a single structure. These are just typical sections.

Edit for clarification: The following is just a specific example of how this could play out. What I want to emphasize is not any particular forumla or layout, but what (generally) composes of a (typical) castle estate, and their function.

Main Keep/Manor/Residence: This is pretty self-explanatory. This is the residence of the local Elder, and their immediate family. Fortified and well-guarded. For the most part, this should be the most isolated, inaccessible aspect of the castle.
NPCs: Illuminated/Lay Elder, Family members, servants (possibly service NPCs too) and slaves.

Services: Elders usually have personal services. These services should not be merchants, and the services should be tailored explicitly to the needs of the Elder and his family. These can be housed in a seperate building or attached to the main keep (perhaps in smaller estates). I don't think these should be "shops" either, or have a very merchantile nature to them. (IE the blacksmith maintains the needs of the elder and their garrison, the alchemist would tend to the needs of the family (the goods they offer should be tailored accordingly) etc.) No general-purpose merchants.
NPCs: Service people, apprentices, possibly also servants themselves if not in the main keep.

Hall of Delyn's Creed: This is basically the audience chamber of the estate, and perhaps the only part of the estate where local serfs can bring forth their grievances. However, the Illuminated Elder does not hold audience here, prefering to entrust such affairs to a subordinate (probably a relative of lesser stock). This sub-ordinate should be a Keeper of Delyn's Creed, upholding both the laws Ordained and Determined in the name of the Triunes and the local soverign. This should be placed at the periphery of the estate at a location which is accessible. Probably a low key structure, or the entrance hall of a smaller estate.
NPCs: Keeper of Delyn's Creed (could be any rank between Creedman and Concordant Minister), their clerks and stewards.

Sanctum of the Apologists: Basically the place of worship for the local Elders. This could be a seperate chapel or basically a room in the main structure. Also houses residences for temple servants.
NPCs: Temple clergy.

Barracks: Pretty self-explanatory. The castle garrison. I would assume the local prison would also be here.
NPCs: Guards, blacksmith possibly, prisoners, an accorder or partisan to head the local garrison.


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Post Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:45 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

That sounds good to me. I want to lay special stress on the idea that Indoril castle estates can consist of one large building or several smaller buildings.

I'm currently working on a mock-up castle estate; the file should be done soon.

As to the earlier slave discussion, I'm actually currently leaning towards using Velothi caves to hold slaves. I will still include examples of each type proposed (Velothi cave, Indoril LC, basement). The Indoril LC exterior will naturally look silly due to the lack of proper models. I'll have to cobble something together.

I personally think Indoril castle estates should serve as prisons in Indoril lands, as Imperial forts will be understandably lacking in the area. They should as such all have jails. I'm assuming that Almalexia will also have a prison. I'm thinking that Indoril castle estates should generally not serve as Almsivi Intervention locations; temples in the Velothi towns and Almalexia would probably suffice.
Post Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:22 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Seems fine. I would add a cloistered garden or similar meditative environment where the lord spends a lot of their time in seclusion and study.
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Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

That sounds good. Smile
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Post Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:18 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

The plugin is taking a little longer than planned, (mostly due to procrastination), so I'll already post my thoughts based on it:

First of all, Ayemar, while rather small, basically gets every point right in my opinion, so it can be used as a reference in lieu of my plugin.

1. I think Indoril Castle Estates should always be monolithic structures. Everything should be a visual extension of the central residence. I think curtain walls should be avoided when possible, and when present should generally be rather low, so as not to distract from the residence.
This would also set the castle estates apart from Imperial forts, which are little bubbles of Imperialism in a hostile land. For castle estates, the surrounding lands are basically the garden.

Estates in Lan Orethan could be a bit of an exception, often having walled-off courtyards. (They really would be closed-off bubbles, like Imperial forts). The surrounding walls would not so much be for protection from siege as for blocking out the outside world, though.

When discussing Indoril Castle Estates a long while back on IRC (specifically Akamora) Sload mentioned Pyke from Game of Thrones, which I think illustrates this point rather well. Japanese castles also tend to do a better job of illustrating this point than European castles. Tibetan fortresses might provide the best examples, though.

2. related to the above, Indoril Castle Estates should be imposing and intimidating structures, but I don't think they need to necessarily be very fortified. Indoril lands are probably the safest in Morrowind, especially for Indoril nobles. I think Indoril Castle Estates should be palaces first, fortresses second.

Estates in the Mephalain mountains could be a bit of an exception, being more fortified and martial in nature. Roa Dyr could also be an exception, in which case it was probably more recently fortified due to Hlaalu gaining the land on the other side of the Thirr.

3. Indoril Castle Estates should not be square or rectangular. The Mournhold tileset seems prone next only to the Imperial tileset to make developers forget to ever turn off grid and angle-snap. I object to the practice for the sophisticated reason of thinking that the resulting structures tend to look boring. When using symmetry, I'd prefer if triangles (which nicely illustrate the Indoril noble's piety), circles (which nicely illustrate the Indoril noble's ego-centrism) and other shapes (like Ayemar's pentagonal courtyard, or a star fort for all I care) were used. I think organic shapes work best, though, as seen in Roa Dyr.

As for interiors, the following seem sensible to me. Not all need to be present in every castle estate, even partially, and they should probably never all be present as individual structures. The names are naturally open to change. There can also be other interiors, if additional interiors makes sense for the specific castle estate. (Like a dock house if the estate is on the waterside).

Residence: obviously where the noble lives.
Barracks: often a guard tower. Where the guards sleep.
Jail: usually included in the barracks. Very important, as this is where the player gets sent when he commits a crime in Indoril lands.
Hall of Craftsmer: where the craftsmen of the castle, such as the blacksmith, work, though the blacksmith's forge could equally well be located in the barracks.
Hall of Toilmer: where all of the servants (as opposed to slaves) sleep and eat. Often merged with the Hall of Craftsmer.
Hall of Tollmer: the offices of the court bureaucrats who oversee things like regional trade.
Hall of Delyn's Creed: as Swiftoak described it. This should always be on the periphery of the estate, whether it's a separate structure (as I think it usually should be) or not.
Council-hall: this is the audience chamber for people the noble actually wants to meet personally, generally peers. When not the residence's main entry, this would be located in a nice spot such as a garden. I personally think this could also often be an outdoors thing, for example under an EX_MH_bazaar_booth_01. Pagodas are also rather good for this purpose, though too small for larger meetings.
Sanctum of the Apologists: just as Swiftoak described.
Shrine: where the noble performs any religious rights personally. Often either a room in the manor or connected to the Sanctum of the Apologists. (Or, naturally, both). Not having a personal shrine would be frowned upon. Not using it at all, leaving that to the apologists, would be general practice, at least in some places.
Slave's quarters: I think these are best located in Velothi cave-dwellings just outside of the manor but within easy view of the barracks, if not necessarily the main manor. (Out of sight, out of mind, after all).

Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:51 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Great write-up as usual, Gnomey.

Is the estate you're working on something we can eventually use in the mod?

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Post Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:42 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Not really no; it was just intended as a mock-up, so if we did want to include it in the mod I'd prefer to make it from scratch. I'd also actually know what I'm doing the second time around, and would lay out the plans accordingly.
Post Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:13 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

This is a very, very rough and early proposal for the Indoril Castle Estates and their rough territories. I mainly tossed this together because my grasp on who the current leaders of House Indoril are and where their estates would be is rather lacking, and I think this could serve as a useful reference for discussion.
This sort of information should eventually find its way into the White Book and, in certain places, dialogue, (a Dunmer living in Sailen should be able to tell the player who the ruling Indoril is in those lands, for instance); however, a lot of changes will probably be made to the landscape, which may lead to the borders changing significantly, and the amount and positions of castle estates might also change, so this map and list is pretty much bound to end up terribly outdated.
As a result, I'm not really concerned about setting this stuff in stone. My main goal is to establish a sort of working consensus until we actually get around to tackling these regions.



Akamora (Castle Estate?) - Illuminated Elder Ienen Tomaril, Master of the Northern Mephalain Mountains and All Lands to the North ; if Akamora is not a Castle Estate, its territory could be split between Ayemar and Bisandryon. There could also be a lot of smaller but very fortified castle estates in the Mephalain Mountains belonging to families that are often at odds. The territory around Erethan is disputed; further east the border is impartially maintained by Fort Windmoth, to neither side's satisfaction.
Almalexia - Illuminated Elder Ereveri Thalotheran(?), Master(?) of Alt Orethan ; should this act like a standard territory? Or perhaps Alt Orethan could be a patchwork of non-hereditary territories owned by Lay Elders living in the smallest of castle estates? (Probably 4-6 of them).
Ayemar - Concordant Minister(?) Tavrene Indalas(?), Master of the Eastern Shore of the Inner Sea ; the southern boundary is especially murky (no pun intended), depending as it does on how we handle Inlet Bog.
Bisandryon (Nethril Plantation) - Illuminated Elder Ienen Salvu, Master of the Southern Mephalain Mountains and the Lands to the East ; if we're keeping the current Bisandryon as a dungeon, I think the neighbouring Nethril Plantation would be a natural place for the castle estate.
Denaven (Denaven Plantation?) - Illuminated Elder Meris Denevan, Master of Lan Orethan ; this territory would encompass the current Lan Orethan region as well as the mouth of the Orethan which -- I believe -- is going to be relocated to southeast of Bosmora. While the Denaven Plantation would be the obvious location for a castle estate, probably placing the estate at the mouth of the Orethan would be better. Its main role is to stop enemy fleets from sailing up the Orethan to Almalexia, after all.
Gorne - Lay Elder(?) Alveth Sandil(?), Master of the Nedothril Coast and Lands across the Water ; this would encompass the parts of (what I believe will later be) the Lan Orethan Region that are not directly flanking the river. I was thinking that 'Lands across the Water', while overtly referencing Gorne, would also be a sort of claim on Akavir after the failed Akaviri invasion, or on any Imperial-controlled islands to the east that Uriel V may have captured, or both.
Roa Dyr - Illuminated Elder Draler Ilvi, Master of the Thirr River Valley and All Lands to the West ; the Thirr River Valley was originally split between three or four castle estates; Roa Dyr, Ebonheart, Foyendas (now Andothren) and possibly a fourth somewhere around Indal-ruhn, probably in the adjacent mountain range. As all castle estates except for Roa Dyr were lost around the time of the Armistice, Roa Dyr's territory and importance has significantly increased, the castle estate originally probably being very unimportant. While the Indoril more-or-less acknowledge the loss of the other castle estates, they certainly do not recognize the loss of territory. As such, Roa Dyr's nominal territory is very large, while its de facto territory is logistically vital due to being the only Indoril territory providing access to the Thirr, save perhaps a corner of Alt Orethan that might extend to Lake Andaram.
Seyda Vano - %PCName, Master of the Southern Shore of the Inner Sea ; encompassing most or all of Inlet Bog, which has historically been considered really unimportant and whose settlements were mostly just ruled by semi-autonomous hetmen, like eastern Vvardenfell (Vos) before the Telvanni popped up. The claim technically extends westward all the way to Redoran lands.

As you might notice from the titles, a lot of them lay claim to lands House Indoril does not technically own. A lot of these are due to House Indoril not recognizing the loss of its territories, but some of them, notably Seyda Vano, probably came about more as a result of bravado, as acts of aggression rather than mere passive denial.

I'm also attaching my mock-up Indoril Castle Estate file, as I probably won't work on it anymore. (I did want to do a bit more fiddling around with it, but by this point it is a matter of diminishing returns). The file is in a rather rough state, but it is a mock-up after all.



TR_Gnomey_IndorilCastleEstateTest5.ESP
 Description:
I picked the Denaven Plantation (TRGnomeyDenManor). This should not be loaded with TR_Mainland.

Download
 Filename:  TR_Gnomey_IndorilCastleEstateTest5.ESP
 Filesize:  312.01 KB
 Downloaded:  158 Time(s)

Post Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



Nice map Gnomey.
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Post Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:37 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

First of all, a note: the above map is outdated. As far as extant Indoril castle-estates are concerned, Swiftoak's map is probably the best source for the time being. The Skype Meeting Summary of March 28 has information about the castle-estates around Akamora, and the preceding summary has a short paragraph about the player stronghold of Id Vano. Or just read the latest version of the Indoril planning document.

Along with designing the Indoril lower-class set, I've been putting some more thought into the MH tileset and castle-estates. My priorities are twofold: to establish a basic look and (very broadly) layout for castle-estates, and, as I've always been rather leery of the set, to find a place for it in the jigsaw of Dunmer architectural styles. To squeeze the square peg into the round hole, in other words.

As far as the first is concerned, as Roa Dyr was getting a little too crowded for me to be able to play around with it comfortably, I set up a new prototype estate. I chose the location of Bet Yhdas near Fort Windmoth to that end. I have attached the .esp below. Here are some images of my current progress:



As far as the second is concerned, I've made a bit of headway there as well: the first thing that bothered me with the set is that it is primarily stone, while Dunmer tend to prefer organic materials like adobe. Then I remembered that Dunmer strongholds and Daedric ruins are also constructed from stone. These are pretty ideal sets to draw parallels with; I've already been exploring similarities between the OM and Daedric tilesets in the Andothren-Thirr south merge, and there is a certain functional overlap between castle-estates and Dunmer strongholds.
I plan to capitalize on both of those parallels.

This isn't only a matter of visual links, though that's always important; the question I want to answer is why Dunmer would come to build structures in the MH style, and thereby to link the MH set more strongly to the identity of House Indoril. And I'll have more on that later; this will be a three part series at least. To close the first part, here's an excerpt from a conversation I had with Swiftoak on Skype yesterday:

Gnomey: Hm. I'm sort of working on a metaphor of the Indoril castle-estate as Morrowind;
Gnomey: sounds a little cheesy putting it briefly, but the stone is the rock, of course,
Gnomey: and the green -- especially of the interiors -- is the glass;
Gnomey: the interiors are essentially the organs and arteries of Morrowind.
Gnomey: Having gotten that far, however, I feel as though something is missing: the Ebony heart.
Gnomey: Which makes me think of two things: the exploded soulgems that form the core of Telvanni towers,
Gnomey: and the waiting door or a similar ancestor shrine.
Swiftoak: now you're talking
Swiftoak: and just so happens, you're in luck
Swiftoak: i was trying to figure out what the makeup of the core aspects of the chapels are
Swiftoak: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8q1w295xlwnoyo3/chapels.txt?dl=0
Gnomey: I am in luck.
Gnomey: Hm.
Swiftoak: its old stuff so idk how good it is
Gnomey: Yeah, I'm currently thinking two cores, which is pretty much what you have:
Gnomey: there's the deep one under the castle-estate,
Gnomey: which is of the ancestors,
Gnomey: and represents the heart of the estate, and the soul of Morrowind,
Gnomey: then there is the Dome of Illumination, at the top of the estate,
Gnomey: which is the seat from which the noble governs Morrowind.
Gnomey: Which is to say his estate, of course.
Gnomey: The lower core would have probably originally been some sort of variant of the waiting door,
Gnomey: but that has changed with the ghostfence.
Gnomey: The lower core of most if not all castle estates is now essentially -- pun intended -- just a skeleton.
Swiftoak: hah
Swiftoak: i have "the registry"
Swiftoak: some sort of family tomb
Gnomey: Exactly.
Swiftoak: but that's kinda boring
Swiftoak: unless we make it interesting
Gnomey: I'm still not quite sure what to do with it;
Swiftoak: i think the main structure of the castle estate should be new assets
Swiftoak: yeah
Swiftoak: like the dome of illumination for example
Gnomey: as I say, the basic idea is similar to a waiting door, or to a soulgem.
Gnomey: Either would work.
Gnomey: Either way, the spirits of the past lords of the estate are in that waiting door/soulgem.
Gnomey: And I mean exploded spectacular soulgem, of course, not just a little misc. item on some altar.
Swiftoak: yeah
Swiftoak: cool this is the kind of brainstorming i want to see on the forum more
Gnomey: Yeah.
Gnomey: What about the Redoran, with the Skar,
Gnomey: and how the raised it to fight the hordes of Oblivion;
Gnomey: what if the husks of the Indoril lords line the room,
Gnomey: so that when danger comes, the spirits can repossess their bodies and march out to face the threat?
Gnomey: Or is that too legions-of-the-dead-y?
Gnomey: A pretty close parallel to the Heart of Lorkhan, anyway, and maybe too close for comfort.




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Post Fri May 22, 2015 3:18 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

To an extent, I feel the Mournhold set is supposed to feel out of place alongside the other building styles, and that this dissonance is actually beneficial.

If we go off the in-universe lore that says Sotha Sil helped redesign Almalexia (the city) after its destruction by Mehrunes Dagon, it makes sense to assume he either had a direct hand in designing the Mournhold style's aesthetic, or that architects based its design off interpretations of Tribunal teachings (some Dunmer believe their building methods were influenced by religious themes, according to Interview with a Dunmer. This would give the Mournhold set an artificial origin. It didn't evolve naturally like other architectural styles in the province, hence the discrepancy between them.

It also makes sense thematically for the Indoril House set to look somewhat unnatural within the province's environment. After all, the Indoril themselves are moving away from Morrowind's original identity as a land that adheres to the chaotic influence of Daedra. Instead, they worship the "artificial" religion that the Tribunal have imposed on the Dunmer. By extension, it's understandable that their buildings would also represent a reinterpretation of what Morrowind should look like.

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Post Fri May 22, 2015 9:51 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Hm. I certainly think MH architecture should be consciously reactionary in nature, rather than having evolved naturally, but I personally wouldn't go so far as to divorce it from Morrowind's broader cultural context. I have some reservations about leaving the MH set a more-or-less foreign element imposed on the landscape of Morrowind, but now that you mention it that would be another way of handling things. I'll probably continue with my original approach, but when it comes down to it I'd be perfectly satisfied if we ended up doing things your way.
Post Fri May 22, 2015 11:50 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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