I'm working on quite a few things for TR more-or-less simultaneously, as whimsy takes me. A lot of it has been in production for a really long time, but has never quite gotten to a tidy state where I felt it was ready to be posted on the forums. Surprisingly, I've only recently caught on to the fact that that attitude is what has lead to many former developers -- especially modellers -- never uploading their work to TR.
To amend that, I've decided to basically set this thread up as a repository where I can dump everything I've been working on. Obviously, what I post here will not be in a polished state, and often you'll find really old ideas I have yet to update mixed in with very new ideas I never bothered to mention to anyone except maybe Swiftoak.
As I'm not planning to go anywhere anytime soon, I don't expect this thread to really be of any use, aside perhaps for serving as an additional backup for my files. If anyone actually feels like providing feedback on this stuff that would be welcome, but for the most part I expect people will find it easier to provide the feedback after I've applied some polish.
This is the main thing I wanted to upload. Unfortunately, the forum doesn't currently feel like uploading the original 190 MB .psd masterfile, so the above .png will have to do for the time being. (It's not like most people would be able to view the .psd anyway).
There's still a lot to be done on this, and a lot that needs revising -- I've already changed my mind on a lot of the regions, for instance.
Purpose: to quote a Bethesda developer, Dunmer Strongholds are:
GT Noonan wrote:
Best Westerns. The were basically fortified stronghold/checkpoint/hotels for travelers. There are no records of any of the strongholds ever being held under siege or used in any battles/wars, but it is quite possible that they were used for warriors as layover posts while travelling.
At least one of them (Kogoruhn) was apparently associated with a House (House Dagoth) while still in use. (I don't have any quote at hand at the moment, though).
Note that a Dunmer stronghold is also the setting for The Importance of Where, and the publisher's note provides some fairly useful information.
Purpose: aside from their purpose as described above, the strongholds on Vvardenfell also form a circular travel network via their propylon chambers. While the propylon network may have been used to quickly transport warriors to key locations, for example in the war against the Nords, each stronghold only appears to have a single associated propylon index, which would imply that only one person would be able to use any single propylon chamber at any time. (Unless there were more indexes originally and only one of each managed to survive, but that idea strikes me as silly). They may have been messenger relays.
Is there any pertinent information in Bethesda's propylon index mod? I frankly never got around to playing it.
Note that a few strongholds appear to have had unique purposes, such as the arena of Rotheran and the settlement of Valenvaryon.
The current inhabitants of the strongholds are typically either associated with Daedra or the Sixth House.
Distribution: 11 strongholds in a very crude ring around Vvardenfell. They tend to be close to water, though as the Inner Sea did not exist when they were built that can probably be chalked up to coincidence. (More on this later).
Layout: Andasreth is a good example of a typical Dunmer stronghold layout.
All strongholds have a rectangular base. Almost all of them are built on top of large platforms or 'pylons'. Two thirds of them have keeps, usually 'L'-shaped. All have an ashpit which is usually located on the roof of the keep, if there is a keep, and all of them have propylon chambers.
A hut is always located on the roof of a keep which leads to the 'Upper Level' of the keep interior. Keeps also have a 'Lower Level', which usually has one exit on the side of the keep.
Walls and domes are fairly common in the exterior. A few strongholds have sewers.
Entering the keep from the roof, a small stairway leads to an outer corridor that follows the contours of the keep walls. Alcoves (in_stronghold_corr2_06) dot the outer hall and are often grouped with shutters (in_strong_shutter00) which communicate with arrowslits in the exterior. The empty space contained within the outer corridor is filled by small, generally rectangular rooms, which typically communicate directly with the outer corridor; as well as the staircases to the lower floor and roof.
In most strongholds the Lower Level follows the same principal as the Upper Level layout, but its outer hall is often slightly larger. (Due to the slight slope of the keep's walls in the exterior). The interior often descends below the keep, sometimes connecting to an additional Underground cell. Aside from the keep, interior layouts vary widely, with the following exceptions:
The propylon chamber always looks the same, with two propylons in an otherwise fairly empty room.
Domes use a specific shell. (in_stronghold_dome00)
The huts in Valenvaryon also use a specific shell. (in_stronghold_roofext00 capped with in_stronghold_wall10)
Often, rooms are further subdivided by arches (in_stronghold_divider00 et al). Such rooms are especially common in lower levels. Hlormaren is filled to the brim with them, and as such makes for a good reference.
Very important: the narrow corridor assets in which one wall is sloped are only used for the outer corridors of the keep. The sloped wall is always on the outside, following the contours of the keep. In all other cases, only the straight-sided corridors are used.
Berandas lacks the large platform, but it looks as though its platform may just have been buried under the soil and, likely, ash. The only really unusual thing about it is that its propylon chamber is on top of its keep rather than adjacent to it.
Falensarano's keep is only one story high, so the typical Upper Level and Lower Level are merged.
Indoranyon is a major exception. It lacks a keep and its entrance "has some sort of enchantment on it". According to UESP its interior was "magically altered", and it looks unlike any other Vvardenfell stronghold. It also contains a statue of Mehrunes Dagon.
Rotheran lacks a keep. It is an arena, with a non-standard interior.
Telasero lacks a keep. Its interior is also non-standard.
Valenvaryon lacks the large platform and keep, as well as the standard interior. Instead, it has a statue of Malacath. It also appears to have been a settlement; it is the only stronghold with square huts. It is, however, on top of an unnatural rectangular plateau, so, as with Berandas, it is possible that the large platform is simply buried.
Purpose: TR's strongholds are currently not linked up to a propylon network.
Many of TR's strongholds -- such as Rift Pass -- have specific purposes in the vein of Rotheran. In general, given the scarcity and individualism of Dunmer strongholds in TR, it is hard to nail down any conventions:
TR_5-7_Red (-36, 19) - very small stronghold which mostly adheres to the Vvardenfell conventions, but with no propylon chamber, or room for one for that matter.
Velothi Mountains (-15, -5) - very small stronghold ruin buried halfway into a mountain. It has no propylon chamber, and its 'keep' has an unusual shape (half buried propylon chamber). It does, however, have an ashpit, and is otherwise similar to the Vvardenfell strongholds.
(Turen) Sacred Lands Region (40, -14) - Temple shrine with hostile warrior archaeologist(?) NPCs for some reason. It mostly follows Vvardenfell conventions, though its keep exterior and interior were sunken into the platform and the keep entry communicates with the 'Upper Level'. It has a dome on top of its keep.
(Tulesmath) Lan Orethan Region (33, -25) - lacks an interior, as such. Rather than a typical stronghold ruin, it appears to be a buried pass: it consists of a platform, a propylon building with its entrance blocked and what appears to be a sort of gateway communicating with the exterior in place of a keep. I think it might be interesting if this were a stronghold ruin under construction, work on it having been broken off, possibly by the eruption of Red Mountain or some other cataclysm.
(Baan Urlai) (Telmahre Cavern) Inlet Bog (19, -20) - a completely buried stronghold ruin complex. There's a shipwreck there which I am not entirely sure should exist, by the way. The most notable structure -- and the only one with an interior -- consists of a double platform surmounted by a small keep. The interior of the keep itself is a single large room, with stairs on either side descending into the upper of the two platforms.
The interior seems to be used by vampires, and access to it is blocked by a scripted cavern end piece by the looks of it. I am not familiar with the interior or any plans linked to it, so bear that in mind. Having said that, my proposal for Baan Urlai is that it was the capital of an early emerging House that may have rivalled Ebonheart and Almalexia in its day, but was likely buried with the creation of the Inner Sea, which also turned its once fertile territory bordering the Thirr into the Inlet Bog.
(Kogo'Bal)(Samursi) Boethian Mountains (36, 3) - another buried stronghold ruin, currently home to hostile mages (rogue Telvanni?) with (relatively) impeccably dressed slaves in a slave-pen (why?), the ruin itself consists of several buildings on top of a platform, including a low keep the interior of which is mostly caved in. This ruin could be a transitional stronghold-settlement much like Valenvaryon, perhaps the seat of a fledgeling House that never made it very far.
(Salandus) Alt Orethan Region (28, -26) - this fairly large stronghold is buried into the rockface near a Daedric ruin. Its exterior largely follows convention; like Berandas, the propylon building is on top of the keep, and the exterior also has a dome and an ashpit.
The interior, however, follows the pattern of TR strongholds, the propylon building being incorporated into the keep interior as a large room -- this one has an odd steeple-thingey going on with its ceiling -- and the interior also extending to the platform below the keep. It seems to be home to smugglers. It makes unconventional use of the slope-walled corridors, and has some odd high-ceilinged rooms. It also has a few slaves behind bars. Oddities aside, it still works as a pretty standard stronghold.
(Rift Pass) Northern Velothi Mountains (-31, 4) - a highly irregular pass structure which appears to have been built by Dunmer to protect the defeated Nords from their wrath. I have suggested removing the exterior and using the interiors as the basis for a new, more standard stronghold, possibly the former clanstead of St. Felms.
(Merihayan) Lan Orethan Region (33, -23) - a little north of Tulesmath, the exterior consists only of a bit of a platform and a propylon building sunk into a ridge. Much like Baan Urlai, the 'keep' interior is a large room, with most of the interior being in the platform. As with Baan Urlai, the sloped hallways are used for the platform interior rather than the keep interior. Aside from being close to Tulesmath, the ruins are right next to some Daedric ruins.
Bisandryon (30, -19) - unlike the other Strongholds, Bisandryon certainly looks fortified. Its keep occupies all of the visible platform space, the keep walls covered with equally spaced windows, and there is a dome and square hut on the roof. Aside from the keep, it shares some similarities with Rotheran, being built into the platform with straight-sided corridors circling a large central room in the interior, but its interior includes an indoor garden with artificial lighting and a 'war temple' with a shrine to each member of the Tribunal.
A separate keep structure leads to a separate, more ruined interior; first a large, open chamber with a broken bridge that once spanned it, and then below it another larger room with a vampire.
I think Bisandryon can be discussed later, as it is a rather high-profile location.
Distribution: taken from the book I linked earlier:
The Importance of Where wrote:
[...] few strongholds outside of sparsely-settled Vvardenfell have survived to the present.
There appear to be seven strongholds in TR_Mainland. As far as I can see, Maps 3-5 currently add three more, which includes Rift Pass. That being said, I can't speak for Uld Vraech given its incomplete and unmerged state, nor can I speak for the countless unmerged interiors. (I happen to know that the currently unused Velothi tower interior i4-414 uses some stronghold assets in its lowest levels). TR appears to have as many strongholds hidden in interiors as it has exposed strongholds. (And even the exposed strongholds are only partially exposed). That could be a good thing.
I wouldn't mind seeing a few conventional strongholds half buried or otherwise hard to access (having a sunken stronghold or two in the Inner Sea could provide some -- in my opinion -- much needed underwater exploration) with exteriors like Kogoruhn or Berandas. The total should probably stay in the single digits across the mainland, though. For the most part having small sections of stronghold hidden deep within other dungeons seems like a good way to use those assets.
I also wouldn't mind seeing two or three stronghold settlements like Valenvaryon, perhaps inhabited by Ashlanders or vagrants or critters.
Layout: of the seven strongholds in TR mainland, one (Kogo'Bal) mostly follows conventions (with the exception of its inward-facing shutters), and another (Turen) more-or-less follows conventions.
TR does tend to marginalize the keeps, often omitting them, making them very small or low or both or simply using the propylon chamber mesh instead. Instead of an outer hall with interior chambers, the keep interior often consists of one large room. Most of the interior, including the sloped outer walls which are generally only found in the keep, is instead located within the platform. Merihayan serves as a good example. We could run with that tendency and create a distinct Indoril stronghold style or something. (Most of TR's strongholds are located in traditionally Indoril land, from what I can see).
TR_6-1 "A stretch of land southwest of Kragenmar. This should be fairly hilly with few trees. It should be inhabited, either by houses or a small plantation or two or both."
TR_6-2 "This claim should contain densely packed plantations; one or two larger ones as well as as many small ones as can be fit without looking ridiculous. These plantations fed House Hlaalu before the House stole land from House Indoril. They have since lost their importance. The region should otherwise be fairly hilly with few trees."
TR_6-3 "A very dense stretch of forest, despite the mainroad passing through it; perhaps make it somewhat foreboding. This should contain a Daedric ruin."
TR_6-4 "Mostly dense Othreleth woods, becoming somewhat sparser towards the Othreleth itself. Add signs of civilization along the roads, and perhaps a plantation or two on the riverside. It should contain a Dwemer ruin in the Velothi mountains and a stronghold near or in water."
TR_6-5 "Contains the small settlement of Seryn, which is where cargo from land caravans and boats from around Kragenmar are loaded onto cargo ships bound for the Thirr. The settlement is small, but probably well-to-do with plenty of services offered, in the vein of Suran."
TR_6-6 "Very dense, almost unbroken forest rising up to the southernmost Velothi mountains, before the mountains transition into Shipal-shin rocks. This should have one Tier V settlement along the road, but should probably be otherwise uninhabited."
TR_6-7 "Very dense, almost unbroken forest. Should contain a Daedric ruin."
TR_6-8 "A stretch of forest that becomes denser to the west."
TR_6-13 "Southernmost point Contains the player stronghold of Nav Andaram."
Nord in Dwemereth (Ancient Egyptian account I'm refitting to describe Morrowind shortly before the First Council chased the Nords out. The transcription is incomplete, and I'm still not sure if the idea will work):
Amun - Shor
Amun-re - Ysmir
Tanis - Dunkreath
Byblos - Khalaan (Ebonheart)
Egypt - Skyrim
the great sea of Syria - great sea of Dwemereth (Inner Sea) - timeline doesn't work out; Inner Sea does not exist... great river of Dwemereth (Thirr)?
Syria - Dwemer
Year , [fourth] month of the summer season, day ; the day on which [Wenamun], [the elder of the portal of the estate of Shor, Lord of the thrones of the Two Lands], set forth to fetch the [timber for the great noble bark] of Ysmir, [King of the Gods], which is upon the river and is called '[Amen-usur-he]'. On the day of my arrival at [Tanis (Dunkreath?)], the place where [Nesbanebded] and [Tentamun] are, I gave them the despatches of Ysmir, [King of the Gods]. And they caused them to be read before them and they said: 'We will surely do as Ysmir, [King of the Gods], our lord has said.'
I stayed until the [fourth] month of the summer season in [Tanis]. And [Nesbanebded] and [Tentamun] sent me forth with the ship's captain [Mengebet], and I went down upon the great sea of Dwemereth in the first month of the summer season. And I arrived at [Dor], a [Tjekker] town, and [Beder] its [prince] caused to be brought to me fifty loaves, one flagon of wine, and one haunch of a guar. And a man of my ship fled after stealing one vessel of gold worth five [deben], four jars of silver worth twenty [deben], and a bag of silver, eleven [deben]; total of what he stole, gold five [deben], silver thirty-one [deben]. And I arose in the morning and went to the place where the [prince] was and said to him: 'I have been robbed in your harbour. But you are the prince of this land and you are its controller. Search for my money, for indeed the money belongs to Ysmir, [King of the Gods], the lord of the lands, it belongs to [Nesbanebded], it belongs to [Hrihor] my lord and to the other great ones of Skyrim; it belongs to you, it belongs to [Waret], it belongs to [Mekamar], it belongs to [Tjikarba'al] the [prince] of Khalaan.' He said to me: 'Are you in earnest or are you inventing? For indeed I know nothing of this tale that you have told me. If it had been a thief belonging to my land who had gone down into your ship and had stolen your money, I would have replaced it for you from my storehouse, until your thief had been found, whoever he may be. But in fact the thief who robbed you, he is yours, he belongs to your ship. Spend a few days here with me, that I may search for him.'
[There follows a much broken passage the gist of which may be guessed to be as follows. Wenamun expresses the wish to depart with some ship's captains about to put to sea, but the prince urges him to refrain, suggesting that he should seize the good belonging to the suspected persons until they have gone to search for the thief. Wenamun, however, prefers to continue his journey and after touching at Tyre leaves that port at daybreak. He is soon at Khalaan, where Tjikarba'al is the prince. There he comes across a ship that contains thirty deben of silver, which he annexes saying that the money shall remain with him until those whom he addresses have found the thief.]
They departed, and I celebrated in a tent on the shore of the sea in the harbor of of Khalaan. And I found a hiding-place for Shor of the Road and placed his possessions within it. And the [prince] of Khalaan sent to me saying: 'Remove yourself from my harbor.' And I sent to him saying: 'Where shall I go? ... If you can find a ship to carry me, let me be taken back to Skyrim.' And I spent twenty-nine days in his harbor and he spent time sending to me daily to say: 'Remove yourself from my harbor.'
Now whilst he was offering to his gods, the god seized a young man of his young men and put him in a frenzy and said to him: 'Bring the god up and bring up the envoy who is carrying him. It is Shor who sent him, it is he who caused him to come.' And the frenzied one was in a frenzy during this night, when I had found a ship with its face set towards Skyrim and had loaded all my belongings on to it and was watching for the darkness saying: 'When it descends, I will put the god aboard so that no other eye shall see him.' And the harbor-master came to me saying: 'Wait here until tomorrow, so says the [prince].' And I said to him: 'Was it not you who spent time coming to me daily saying: "Remove yourself from my harbor", and have you not said: "Wait here this night", in order to let the ship which I have found depart, and then you will come again and tell me to go?' And he went and told it to the [prince]. And the [prince] sent to the captain of the ship saying: 'Wait until the morning - so says the prince.'
And when the morning came, he sent and brought me up, while the god was reposing in the tent where he was on the shore of the sea. And I found him seated in his upper chamber with his back against a window, while the waves of the great sea of Morrowind beat behind his head. And I said to him: 'Shor me merciful(?).' And he said to me: 'How long until today is it since you came from the place where Shor is?' And I said to him: 'Five whole months until now.' And he said to me: 'Supposing you are right, where is the despatch of Shor which is in your hand, and where is the letter of the first prophet [foremost priest] of Shor which is in your hand?' And I said to him: 'I gave them to [Nesbanebded] and [Tentamun].' Then he was very angry and said to me: 'Well now, despatch or letter there is none in your hand, but where is the ship of [pinewood] which [Nesbanebded] gave you and where is its Dwemer crew? Did he not entrust you to this [barbarian] ship's captain to cause him to kill you and that they should throw you into the sea? From whom then would the god have been sought for, and you too, from whom would you too have been sought for?' So he said to me. But I said to him: 'Is it not a Nordic ship and a Nordic crew which carry [Nesbanebded]? He has no Dwemer crews.' And he said to me: 'Are there not twenty vessels here in my harbor which do business with [Nesbanebded], and as for that [Sidon], that other place by which you passed, are there not fifty more ships there which do business with [Waraktir], and which toil to his house?'
I kept silence at that great moment.
Then he proceeded to say to me: 'On what commission have you come?' And I said to him: 'I have come in the quest of [timber for the great noble bark of Ysmir, King of the Gods. What your father did and what the father of your father did, you too will do it.' So I said to him. And he said to me: 'They did it in truth. You shall pay me for doing it, and I will do it. Certainly my people performed this commission, but only after [Pharaoh; Ysgramor/Wulfharth/Ysmir?] had caused to be brought six ships laden with Nordic goods and they had unloaded them into their storehouses. But you - what have you brought to me myself?' And he caused the daybook rolls of his fathers to be brought and he caused them to be read before me. And they found entered on his roll a thousand [deben] of silver, things of all sorts. And he said to me: 'If the ruler of Skyrim had been the possessor of mine own and I too his servant, he would not have caused silver and gold to be brought when he said: "Perform the commission of Shor"; it was no gratuitous gift they used to make for my father. And as for me too, I myself, I am not your servant, and I am not the servant of him who sent you either. When I cry aloud to the [Lebanon (place where timber comes from)], the [heaven] opens and the [timber] lies here on the shore of the sea. Give me the sails that you brought to carry your ships which are to bear your [timber] to Skyrim. Give me the ropes that you have brought to lash together the [cedars] which I am to [fell] for you in order to make them for you ... which I am to make for you for the sails of your ships and the yards may be too heavy and may break and you may perish in the midst of the sea. Behold, Shor will give voice in the [heaven] having placed [Sutekh; Kyne?] beside himself. True, Shor fitted out all the lands. He fitted them out after having earlier fitted out the land of Skyrim whence you have come. And craftsmanship came forth from it reaching to the place where I am. And learning came forth from it reaching to the place where I am. What then are these foolish journeyings which you have been caused to make?' But I said to him: ' False! No foolish journeyings are these on which I am now engaged. There are no boats on the river which do not belong to Shor. His is the sea, and his is the [Lebanon] about which you say: "It is mine." It is the [growing-place] for [Amen-user-he the lord of all ships]. Truly it was Ysmir, King of the Gods, who said to [Hrihor] my master: "Send him", and he caused me to come with this great god. But now see, you have let this great god spend these twenty-nine days moored in your harbor without your knowing. Is he not here, is he not what he was? And you stand chaffering over the [Lebanon] with Shor its lord. As for what you say that the former kings have caused silver and gold to be brought, if they had possessed life and health, they would not have caused the goods to be brought; it was in place of life and health that they caused the goods to be brought to your fathers. But Ysmir, the King of the Gods, he is the lord of this life and health, and he was the lord of your fathers. They passed their lifetime offering to Shor, and you too, you are the servant of Shor. If you say: "Yes, I will do it" to Shor, and you complete his commission you will live, will be prosperous, will be in health, and will be good for your entire land and your people. Do not covet aught belonging to Ysmir, King of the Gods - truly a [lion] loves his property. Let your scribe be brought to me that I may send him to [Nesbanebded] and [Tentamun], the officers whom Shor has given to the [north/east] of his land, and they will cause to be brought to you the wherewithal. I will send to them saying: "Let it be brought until I have gone to the [south/west]", and I will cause to be brought to you all your deficit as well.' So I said to him.
Miscellany (various snippets of ideas I gather in a text file for future use):
The home of an Indoril is his garden.
A traveler asks: why are the walls of sloping stone, so naked and severe?
So are the stones of Resdayn, kissed by ash and withering winds.
A traveler asks: why do the green halls and chambers pentrate so deep into the cold dark of the stone?
So do the veins of glass flow towards the ebony heart of Resdayn.
A traveler asks: where is the heart of this home?
There are two, and neither shall be known to him.
Only an Indoril can commune with the heart of Resdayn. Only an Indoril can commune from the heart.
The Indoril looks upon his garden and sees Resdayn. The traveler looks upon the home and sees Resdayn.
The home of an Indoril is Resdayn.
* * *
Smuggler networks in Andothren-Thirr: logistics, intrigues, associations. (Hlaalu Council Company, Camonna Tong, Oran, Romalen, local kingpin in the nearby Hlaalu outpost; search Andothren-Thirr section board and chat logs.
* * *
-Hlaalu plot to exploit and undermine House Indoril through a very aggressive moonsugar operation, trying to flood the lower-class of Almalexia with the stuff. Their main goal is to divert Indoril attention from the river Thirr inland, but ideally they also wish to deliver a blow to Indoril society and make a profit on the side.
-the plot is being arranged through Savyani Romalen of Indal-ruhn. She has come into contact with local moonsugar smugglers and has convinced them to divert their wares to the project, promising to open up a lucrative market. Evidence of the deal can be found in a chest behind her manor; probably a copy of the contract, a sample of the moonsugar, some money and anything else that fits and seems incriminating.
-perhaps a quest in which the player is tasked with hooking up with Indoril smugglers and convincing them to pitch in, the main goal being to secure a reliable route through which the goods can flow. This might involve the player snooping around, talking to people to get an idea of the Indoril smuggling network while trying not to arouse suspicion. Perhaps if the player blabs to the wrong/too many people he could be incriminated later.
This quest would naturally not be available to members of House Indoril, or if so only if they have very high disposition with the questgiver, or have otherwise convinced the questgiver that they are not loyal to House Indoril.
-on the Indoril side, either a quest to uncover evidence of such a deal, or the player can just present a ranking Indoril with the contract and get a reward. If a quest, the player may need to ask around with local smugglers first and follow the trail back to Savyani Romalen, though the player would also be able to bypass all of that if they already know where to find the evidence.
These could be a group of quests, not necessarily requiring the player to be a member of House Indoril:
1. the questgiver mentions the inflow of moonsugar and suspects that there is a source, and encourages the player to ask around and see if the locals know anything, leading to the first smuggler cave, which the player may or may not clear out.
2. the questgiver suspects that the operation is larger than that smuggler camp, leading to the player's investigation of local smuggler groups, and the discovery that Savyani Romalen.
3. the player can either choose to reveal the evidence against Savyani Romalen, or might figure out that she is also just a cog in the wheel. This would lead to a deeper investigation into Hosue Hlaalu.
-back on the Hlaalu side, and this would probably be a faction quest if it is implemented at all, the Indoril (rightly) suspect House Hlaalu of being the source of the moonsugar inflow. The player is tasked with covering House Hlaalu's trail, in the worst case using the aforementioned evidence against Savyani Romalen to establish her as a scapegoat, which leads to her dishonourable discharge from her position in the Hlaalu Council Company.
Hlaalu might also try and send the moonsugar through Old Ebonheart, and in general take advantage of the unwitting Old Ebonheart in the conflict with House Indoril.
* * *
? Aralor - (Tanners) and Miners - mining towns in Mephalain Mountains; blacksmith? junk?
? Seryn - Brewers, (Bakers) and Distillers - wherever Velk are found; alchemist service (Velk nectar)
Felms - Butchers and Fishmongers - mostly coastal villages; alchemist service (rare Dreugh stuff?)
? Roris - Furnishers and Caravaners - mostly Lan Orethan? TRV?; misc. items... (furniture, wooden instruments)
Delyn - Potters and Glassmakers - generic towns; misc. items (culdems, glass instruments...)
Meris - Farmers and Labourers - places near fields with no services; misc. items
Llothis - Tailors and Dyers - mostly near fields; clothier (technically also tapestries and such)
* * *
Telvanni Bamboo forest:
fairly monochrome (straw coloured? Turquoise? Maroon?) mix of very large bamboo and equally tall, spindly, white-capped mushroom trees. Otherwise lots of fairly low grasses and such; perhaps marshy with marshmerrow?
Savant dialogue on "geography of Morrowind": "The southeast is a warm coastal plain with broad cultivated areas and marshes and swamps similar to those found in Black Marsh."
* * *
Three notes on the last part of that document: first of all, on 6th House cultists, apparently they assassinated "prominent Imperial citizens and Hlaalu Imperial sympathizers." If we're going to portray the assassination of Hlaalu Imperial sympathizers anywhere in this mod, it would be in Andothren, due to its proximity to Vvardenfell. It should definitely come up in dialogue, at least, such as in "Latest Rumors".
We could also include trade of Ash Statues, at least among smugglers. While they probably haven't really spread to the mainland, Andothren, as one of the most (if not the most) important ports on the Inner Sea, might still have a few pass through its port, especially as the Camonna Tong have a deal with Dagoth Ur.
* * *
Player's TR Telvanni stronghold is a realm in the void?
On Dral and his realm: you need to destroy the anchors to destabilize Dral, then kill him personally to make sure he's dead while the realm gets destroyed around you. Or He just quits.
Or for another realm: realm "lent" by Daedra. Convince Daedra to implode realm/not stop player/take realm back/...
Velothis Duke actually Velothi? Or Hlaalu?
Cormaris has "mercenaries" or "militia" who are Hlaalu retainers, wearing non-House-affiliated bonemold?
Skype Meeting Summaries (in which you get to see how horrible I am at taking notes):
As planned, we started the Skype meeting with a run-through of Morrowind's major factions, their characterization, how that might reflect on their landscape, and how that might reflect on gameplay within that landscape. All of this was naturally very preliminary and needs to be expanded upon or altered as needed.
Starting with Indoril, the overall impression seems to be the crumbling facade.
House Indoril - Generally religious, but a lot of variation; player first led through open regions displaying strength of the house, more off the beaten track the player gets to below the surface, where the House is decaying. Solid roads; Veloth's pilgrimage, bridges, shrines, fields etc. in prosperous regions, a lot of wilderness, bad roads, rough bridges, etc. in wilder regions deeper in. Prosperity v. Decay.
House Dres - Kwama Mine principal; natives get by just fine, really hostile to the player.
House Hlaalu - scaling: exteriors safer, but not necessarily interiors?
House Redoran - nature v. everyone; more settlement spaces than Telvannis ?
House Telvanni - hostile but rewarding
Temple - ...? hallowed ground Necrom; minor factions like Bouyant Armigers... they're being undermined by all sides. Alternate (not necessarily mutually exclusive) reading: they are being swallowed by House Indoril;
Discuss travel network; possible interim network incorporating current Telvannis...
* * *
Who are the Ashlanders? - vestiges of Chimer pre-/proto-House culture which survived into the present. Joined First and Second Council, but at some point, or from the start, rejected the Tribunal and the Third Council.
What role does Alandro Sul play for the Ashlanders? - primarily rejection of the Tribunal and his version of the events around the Battle of Red Mountain. The Nerevarine prophecies and such are mostly associated with the Nerevarine Cult, not Ashlanders as a whole.
What role does Veloth play for the Ashlanders? - led them to Morrowind, the 'promised land'; may inspire their nomadic ways.
Where do they live? - from Armun Ashlands to Grey Meadows, everywhere east and north of Sundered Scar, non-Hlaalu Vvardenfell, Deshaan?
How do they live? - in tribal camps, camps, outcasts, Mabrigash...
-Tribal camps have a banner/'sigil', an ashkhan, generally at least one gulakhan and a wise woman.
-smaller camps usually consist of a single yurt, and its inhabitants are often not hostile to the player, though many rob caravans, kidnap people for ransom, etc.
-outcasts usually do not have a yurt, just an outside campfire. They often attack on sight.
-Mabrigash occupy a single yurt (of the larger wise woman type?) and are generally not aggressive?
This would be a good place to discuss various groups within the Ashlanders, like the Mabrigash, specific tribal camps, the role of cults...
We could discuss the mainquest here, though I'm not sure if there's too much point for the time being.
To start the meeting we mapped the divisions of the Velothi people by linking them to figures from their history, and shortly discussed the causes of the divisions. The first figure is naturally Veloth; he split the Chimer from the Aldmer. He does not, however, appear to be linked to the later split of Dunmer from the Chimer. There are mentions of Chimer tribes unaffected by Azura's curse; not all the descendents of Veloth's followers were affected by the curse.
The Ashlanders, however, were affected by the curse, even though they did not follow the Tribunal. The curse seemsto have fallen before they were given a choice, really. As such, whatever the criteria for the curse was, it does not appear to have been following the Tribunal. Rather, the curse seems to have been directed at the society the Tribunal were a part of and proposed to rule; in other words, the alliance of Chimer established by Nerevar. So as the followers of Veloth became he Chimer, it appears that the followers of Nerevar became the Dunmer, if only posthumously.
The final split is between the Ashlanders and Great House Dunmer. To a degree the split is cultural, of course; even before the First Council the distinction appearsto have existed, though one could argue that those texts are innacurate and -- just as in our lore there were not six Houses that formed the Second Council and five that formed the Third but instead that several of the modern Houses only formed later on -- the split between the Ashlanders and Great House Dunmers only became pronounced after the Tribunal came to power.
Be that as it may, as the above texts indicate, while the Chimer tribes united with the Chimer Houses at the time of Nerevar, the tribes-turned-Ashlanders split from that alliance after Nerevar's death.
We started talking about what set the Ashlanders apart from other Dunmer. Historical figures proved a pretty good reference to that end: first is Veloth, who created the split between the Aldmer and the Chimer by (eventually) leading the latter out of Aldmeris. As such he's not only associated with Dunmer, but all descendents of those exiles; there are a few vague mentions of Chimer populations that split from the exodus before reaching Morrowind and were unaffected by Azura's curse and remained Chimer, as well as obscure texts referencing Chimer who continued the exodus past Morrowind and -- again -- remained Chimer. So not only does Veloth not have an exclusive relationship with the Ashlanders, he doesn't even have one with Dunmer in general.
The next figure that was mentioned is Nerevar, who united not only the Great Houses but also the Ashlander clans. In short, seemingly everyone who would go on to become Dunmer. He had no known association with the other groups that would remain Chimer. As such, Nerevar appears to have an exclusive relationship with the Dunmer, but, again, not the Ashlanders in particular.
The last figure is Alandro Sul, Nerevar's shield-bearer. He h
Veloth is a defining character for Chimer and Dunmer in general; Nerevar for Dunmer in general. The characters that establish the modern split between Ashlanders and Great House culture are Alandro Sul for the former and the Tribunal for the latter.
The rise of the Tribunal established a new order for Morrowind; the Tribunal attempted to carry out their vision for Dunmer people, with the various Houses going along with it to a greater or lesser extent.
Alandro Sul - rejection of Tribunal, not prophecy; wraithmail.
Veloth - exists more in the background
open camps - aggressive outlanders
single yurt - more liberal distribution
tribal camps - generally incomplete on the mainland, with one or two exceptions.
Stronghold-Ashlander link; Valenvaryon. Either living in a Dunmer Stronghold, or building their yurts near/on top of one.
Mabrigash - rogue wisewomen
Ashlanders should be explored aside from mainquest
difficulties of having ashlander camps requires; maybe making it optional?
Armun camp -> returned to the Ashlander burial for a reason? Ashkhan died, burial was attacked, seeking refuge?
-keep to one type of Ashlanders; not really enough room to create separate cultures
Not too much to expand on. TR tends to attract a lot of perfectionists who do excellent work, but generally seem uncomfortable with posting that work unless it is in a presentable state. (And while it half sounds like tooting my own horn, I count myself among them). The issue mainly comes up if their work gets lost or corrupted -- which has happened quite often -- or they are suddenly no longer able to devote time to TR, or something else comes up which makes it so that they never post their work.
Sometimes we manage to get a hold of their work later down the line by various means, but sometimes contact to the developer is completely cut off, and sometimes whatever they were working on is gone for good.
Another manifestation of this attitude is, for instance, people who grab claims, take a long time with them, but are reluctant to drop them again. Or to upload the latest version. (Again, this applies to me as well).
Everyone has their approach to modding and their own habits, whether they like them or not. Nobody is perfect, and their contributions are valued all the same. Nonetheless, on the project's side there's much to be gained by having an awareness of the peculiarities of developers and finding ways to counterbalance less desirable habits.
While I feel like we've moved away from it again recently -- once again this very much applies to me -- for a while we managed to run the section files in a way where people would pick them up to do a specific task and then quickly drop them again once they finished that task, for example, which hindered people from bogging themselves down with a particular task and simultaneously stopping other people from working on the file.
I also created the Model Apocrypha and this thread to provide people (in the latter case, again, me) with a place to dump their files, no matter how old and irrelevant they might appear.
So the moral here is more or less: upload your work early and often, and don't hesitate to drop it if you no longer feel like or are no longer able to work on it. Something doesn't need to be finished to move the project forward, and while the ideal is naturally that people finish what they start, sometimes such an approach is simply not practical or realistic, and can in fact prove counterproductive.
A rather unexpected addition to this thread: yesterday I had a few ideas for Helnim, and, as I didn't want to forget them in the stretch of time before Helnim becomes relevant, I decided to sketch them down. And then I wanted to check if the visuals I was aiming for would be achievable in the CS, so I spent the night creating a new Helnim north of Dagon Fel. It's not done, but I did make quite a bit of headway:
A random and minor question that came up as I was working on the file is whether we intend to put any significance behind the colour variations of the Imperial tapestry that are in TR_Data; I remembered reading about such an idea a while ago and did manage to find the source again (the post from July 18), but as the source is so old and pretty obscure I assume the idea was dropped/forgotten.
For my purposes I decided to attach significance to the tapestries but switched them around a little:
Blue: Civilian areas and civil servants
Purple: Governor and High Ranking Officials
Green: Garrison (Training, mess, beds, etc.)
Red: Classified or Restricted areas
I'm of two minds about those tapestries anyway, though, so I'd be interested in hearing the perspectives -- especially -- of people working on Old Ebonheart.
Aside from that, I got a few ideas on roads and navigation I'll probably post tomorrow. (I've already got most of it written out, but want to sleep on it before posting it. Not this though; this I toss out unceremoniously).
The cell is called Helnim and it's noth of Dagon Fel. I've added some rudimentary interiors as can be seen in the above screenshot. Fun fact: the town is facing south when it should be facing west.
It's great that you started to work on already prepared landscape. Older releases is clearly not up to the level of new ones.
But where Helnim Hall? It was a wonderful structure, even a little bit reminiscent of what was here during arena.
It will be very sad to lose it.
This isn't replacing the current Helnim. As I said I created this one north of Dagon Fel as I wanted to try out a few ideas. More-or-less me messing about over the weekend. (I actually started work on that on Saturday; I ended up staying up two nights in a row, so I'd pretty much lost track of time when I posted that).
The town has a nice cramped feeling to it. Love the house-tower hybrid you've created. With the waterfall it would be really cool to have a large rotating water wheel harnessing its power for whatever Imperial contraption there might be. Edit: a decent com_ water wheel can be found here.
As for color coding the Imperial tapestries: I think though there are worthwhile ideas there (purple being a noble color, white being associated with something 'pure' and 'holy'), but that's something we shouldn't overthink. In Old Ebonheart the color of the banners used is often based on what fits in with rest of the interior (and often it somewhat does follow TF's proposed scheme). I don't think having every training barracks decorated with green, every cult chapel with white, and every guildhall with yellow is the kind of visual storytelling that has the best impact-versus-effort ratio.
_________________ stars are out tonight.
Uploaded a new file mostly containing fixes, as I hadn't tested my work in-game. For instance the water of the stream is now flowing the right way. I've also added some detailing around the town, and am trying out a few ideas with the Imperial Cult Chapel:
(Yes, there are nine windows at the top).
Not pictured is the front of the chapel, which includes a sort of symbol for the Imperial Cult I cobbled together: a wheel with eight spokes with the Imperial Dragon at its center. Originally I wanted nine spokes for the nine divines, but unfortunately there were no nine-spoked wheels in TR_Data, and I realized eight worked better to mirror the Imperial Navy banner: one spoke for each province except for Cyrodiil, represented by the dragon in the center. As the Imperial Cult is the missionary arm of the Imperial faith, that arrangement made more sense than putting all divines and provinces on a level.
Which brings me to another point I noticed: that we're lacking in Imperial religious paraphernalia, aside from the tapestries and altar mesh. Sure, an anvil can be used to represent Zenithar, but beyond that everything is pretty shaky. This is complicated by the fact that the Nine Divines do not appear to be an organized religion as we might understand it, but a collection of cults only really brought together in the form of the Imperial Cult, which is stated to exist primarily/solely outside of Cyrodiil.
Which sort of returns me to the topic of the banners, where I think I agree with Rats. While I think there could be merit in loosely using such colour coding, mostly as a subtle aid for players, I don't think we should be too strict about it, and certainly not too uniform.
As for the now-overdue ideas on roads and navigation, I think I'll wait on them a little, as with current discussions I feel people have enough to read and discuss as it is, and it's probably better (certainly for me) to focus on the matters at hand before I go off on wild brainstorming adventures. Again.