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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

We've been discussing the various Houses and regions within Morrowind for the past few months, but I'm not sure whether we've ever bothered to discuss Morrowind as a whole; as an Imperial province and a nation, as the setting of our game and as the story or stories we are trying to tell.
We still seem to be working with the patchwork approach TR has always favoured, except rather than patching together maps 1 through 6 and the various exterior claims, we're patching together Houses 1 through 5 and the various sections.

To get the ball rolling, I'll start with my own interpretation, which isn't really comprehensive but I don't want to be writing and you will probably not want to be reading all day:

The Morrowind we are portraying has enjoyed about 3500 years of Tribunal prosperity (I've said 4000 before, which I now see is inaccurate, but it's not much of a difference in the grand scheme of things) and over 400 years of Imperial semi-occupation. It is the furthest it has ever been in nature -- and likely ever will be -- from its chaotic tribal past.
Morrowind isn't quite at its zenith, though; the Imperials and Dagoth Ur's recent activities have already caused a lot of harm, in the former case contributing significantly to a general deterioration of House relations.
Nonetheless, to most people it is by no means clear that Morrowind is on the way out. It is simply a great nation that (many Dunmer and some outlanders would argue) has suffered greatly under the yoke of a foreign power. In fact, what with the common rumours of discord in Cyrodiil, many may be thinking that Morrowind stands a good chance of outliving the much younger and more turbulent Empire.

One of the themes of Morrowind that came up in that Skype Meeting I keep linking the summary of is the idea that the player gradually 'goes native', getting involved in local matters and perhaps House politics and eventually becoming a cultural hero of Morrowind.
At the same time, however, I'd argue that Morrowind changes as well, and the Morrowind the player will become a part of will be a very different Morrowind from the one he was presented with upon stepping foot on the deck of the prison ship.
As the player advances in a House storyline and in the mainquest, it will become increasingly clear not only to the player but also to NPCs that Morrowind's and indeed the Empire's institutions are decaying, and that something new must take its place. The Houses will become increasingly unruly and their conflicts will escalate, often if not always eventually not only crossing the line the Imperials find acceptable, but even breaking the rules the Tribunal set forth for conducting House Wars.
The wilderness will become more dangerous as the major factions of Morrowind grow more concerned with their own survival and prosperity than the safety and prosperity of the people they govern, a process that had already started before the player arrives in Morrowind, notably in the form of the Ordinators cracking down on dissidents rather than keeping Daedric ruins clear of dangerous cultists.

In short, Morrowind is a nation ruled by the Empire, the Temple and the Houses. I actually think the main story we should be trying to tell is that of the Temple and its downfall, but one of the main perspectives from which we will tell that story is from the individual Houses, as they free themselves from the restrictions laid upon them by the Empire and the Temple -- whether or not they had accepted those restrictions when they were put in place -- and attempt to forge their own future.
Putting that another way, Morrowind starts out as the Tribunal does, three bodies united as one. Morrowind explores the disintegration of, well, Morrowind both in the disintegration of the Tribunal and in the disintegration of Morrowind's complex but generally stable government(s) into several more-or-less independent unstable governments.
Post Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:07 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Biboran
Member
26 Sep 2014

Location: Russia

I think the best way to combine everything in one, to describe the basic quest lines of factions and mine quest.
If in one place to write about the main plots of these fractions without specifics, work on it as on the whole becomes more convenient, I think.
And works as if the Vanila game is unfinished part of TR.
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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I agree that that's a good approach, but I still think we need to first figure out what story we actually want to tell.
Post Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Biboran
Member
26 Sep 2014

Location: Russia

Regarding the main quest. About it have already talked.
The first part, which was the main quest of vanila game,
should not be much changed. It is quite complete and integrated story.
Only slightly modified and expanded dialogue in accordance with the fact that the game takes place is now not only the island, but also on the continent (Horator of five Houses, etc.).
After killing Dagoth Ur, when assasins of dark brotherhood attack at the exit of the dungeon, starts Second part. Here, because Tribunal removed, starts your story. The main essence remains (Almalexia killed Sotha Sil, dark brotherhood, Helest etc.), but implementation can be quite different. Story possibility to stretch and make more interesting. Extend quests of this part of mine quest across the continent. Clockwork City one of the most obvious features.
With the imperial legion more complicated. It is a complete line of quests where you start legionary and become knight of the imperial dragon. There are two ways: either to make changes in the quest line or some way to divide it. In the end, the protagonist becomes knight of the imperial dragon of vvardenfell, not morrowind. But the option to divide fractions, as it was before, I do not like.
I read your plans for a great house Hlaalu (make vanilla quests additional, not mine). With other Houses will be not difficult too.
With the temple, cult, guilds may be difficult too. Guilds had complete strories with logical end. This need to be change, I think. And need master plan.
Still have questions about the new factions. Nord separatists, twin lamps, camonna tong, dark brotherhood can be playable factions.
You must adapt and make a new one with this in mind. The second part of the main quest will be quite different (if player in dark brotherhood or in the mora tong).
The fate of the fighters guild will depend on player in thieves guild or in camonna tong. And so on.
And about the East Empire Company, too. It is possible to change quests in Bloodmoon or is it taboo?
College of Winterhold can also have some quests. Even have their own faction. But separate from Skyrim province, maybe SHotN had plan for this. Like "Expedition of Winterhold
Collegium" or something like this.
Post Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:10 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Theminimanx
Lead Developer
26 Jan 2014

Location: GMT +1

Gnomey wrote:
we need to first figure out what story we actually want to tell.

Are we talking story as in themes, or story as in plot? Because while they are both equally valid, they are very different.
I personally think that the themes discussed during that first Skype meeting are excellent, but they aren't much use if we only think about the plot in a "What would the lore allow us to do?" way.

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The death of vanilla Morrowind will end this prophecy and unite all Morrowind fans again under one mod, one faith, one rule by our divine project. The puppet Morrowind overhaul mods will lay down their arms and bow to our will. Those who do not yield will be destroyed.
Post Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:36 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tes96
Reviewer
06 Sep 2009

Location: Armun Ashlands, Morrowind

Let's pretend that the mainland had been a part of the game all along. What would the other Houses and people of the mainland be saying and doing? The blight is still just the island's problem but aren't things starting to get worse in 3E 427 after being dormant for thousands of years?

The mainland should complement the island in terms of story development. Perhaps Player hears different leaders of different factions and Houses proposing different ideas on what to do about the overall picture. Some may talk about sending people from the mainland to help those on Vvardenfell. Others may say let them sink or swim and we'll deal with it when and if it gets here. Others may talk about building their own "ghost fence" type wall so that nobody from the island can come in. Or maybe one of mainland Houses might encourage the onset of the blight onto the mainland so that it will weaken the other Houses.

After the player defeats Dagoth Ur and wipes out the blight, obviously all of their dialogue will be much different, also depending on whether you're a member of a certain House and of what rank.

I'm hoping Player won't be able to become Hortator of every House, as that seems to break lore. Aren't one or two of the Houses enemies with other Houses?

And since House Indoril and Dres are big Temple supporters, wouldn't "de-goding" Almalexia and Sothia Sil (or whatever it is that you do to them at the end) put you in bad standing with those Houses? And what about if you hadn't joined them yet? Would they still allow you to join? What if you were Hortator? And on that note, should Player be allowed to become leader and master of everything? I mean, there are already leaders in those Houses and they are probably just fine with that. That's probably a discussion for the individual House topics.




Here's another thought..... dealing with the aftermath of the ending of the game. What happens to Morrowind's government overall when Dagoth Ur is defeated? It'd be really awesome to actually see the whole island change gradually over time after you finished the main quest. Although that is probably something that will have to wait until after the entire mainland is designed, TR v1.0.0 or whatever numbering system is used.

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Post Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sirrah
Developer
20 Feb 2012



I'd prefer that the player only be named (or at least, only need to be named) Hortator of three houses; there might have only been three houses present in-game in Vanilla, but the other two were still very much present in the background, so it's not like the Nerevarine prophecy can totally ignore their existence for gamey purposes. Hortator of three houses means a majority, wouldn't that be enough to justify collective action against Dagoth Ur?
Plus, it seems kind of senseless to break the symbolism of the Tribunal/House of Troubles/Seven Trials with 3 Houses and the 4 Vvardenfell Ashlander tribes declaring you Hortator and Nerevarine. And it wouldn't require the editing of Azura's speech.
Post Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Biboran
Member
26 Sep 2014

Location: Russia

All the houses are not compatible with each other. A limit of three was purely technical, not a plot. Like "quarantine on island". As already discussed, one of the options was that you can become a Horator of any three houses you can.
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Wolfrad
Developer
28 Feb 2015



Tes96 wrote:
And since House Indoril and Dres are big Temple supporters, wouldn't "de-goding" Almalexia and Sothia Sil (or whatever it is that you do to them at the end) put you in bad standing with those Houses? And what about if you hadn't joined them yet? Would they still allow you to join? What if you were Hortator? And on that note, should Player be allowed to become leader and master of everything? I mean, there are already leaders in those Houses and they are probably just fine with that. That's probably a discussion for the individual House topics.


No one really believes you did in Almalexia even if you tell them to their face in vanilla MW, save a few people like Vivec. I don't think the ending events of Tribunal would have any real impact on how the houses take you on. If anything, Indoril and Dres would be the least likely to be against you because of Tribunal. After all, Almalexia and Sotha Sil are the eternal gods of the Tribunal that your crazy outlander self both does not understand, and could never act against. You must just have caught something from pearl diving around diseased slaughterfish to be speaking such heresies.

Also, Hortator isn't really "leader and master of everything". You're merely a war-leader in times of some sort of conflict (Like the on-going one with Dagoth Ur) and the individual houses are still maintained by the councils and arch-'s etc. Even then, you don't really get much power out of your position, it's mostly a formal one that shows their support for you as the Nereverine in your quest to end the Blight. I see no reason why you couldn't convince every house to do this for you in some fashion or another, though the mainland ones should be harder than the ones on Vvardenfell to convince solely because of the direct threat or lack thereof posed to them by Dagoth Ur at the moment due to the distance between the two of them. Were it that the mainland was in vanilla, I personally believe that Bethesda would have most likely had you run off and convince them in the same fashion as the original 3 houses.

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Tes96
Reviewer
06 Sep 2009

Location: Armun Ashlands, Morrowind

@ Sirrah
A majority of Hortator votes being suitable sounds fine. And since the blight is only on the island, it doesn't seem all that necessary to get permission from the two mainland houses any ways. Once we get further along, we could design the dialogue of the guys in charge of Dres and Indoril to address such issues if asked by Player. i.e. saying it isn't necessary for you to be hortator since the blight is Vvardenfell's problems so go bother telvanni, hlaalu and redoran...

The main island should be integrated with the story of vvardenfell. Major things that are happening on Vvardenfell should be known and gossiped about on the mainland, like with the Dreamers and the blight, etc... and once you've defeated Dagoth Ur, we could have comments on how nice the skies and weather is.



@ Wolfrad
Someone would eventually find Almalexia's corpse and it would be known throughout the land. But that could just be an external mod for when TR is finished.
Does Nerevarine unbecome Hortator after main quest is completed? Seems unnecessary to have Player still be a warhero title when the "war" is over.

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Post Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:58 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Tes96 wrote:
The main island should be integrated with the story of vvardenfell. Major things that are happening on Vvardenfell should be known and gossiped about on the mainland, like with the Dreamers and the blight, etc... and once you've defeated Dagoth Ur, we could have comments on how nice the skies and weather is.

Agreed.

Tes96 wrote:
Someone would eventually find Almalexia's corpse and it would be known throughout the land. But that could just be an external mod for when TR is finished.

With Almalexia ending up dead inside one of the most inaccessible places in the entire game, I doubt anyone besides the Nerevarine would be capable of finding her. I would guess that eventually, the people of Morrowind just assume that Almalexia left them or was killed off.

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Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



As far as more general themes or problems Morrowind addresses two things come to my mind.

First is the idea that the more you know and understand, the more you suffer. Harkening back to Gnomey's post the world of Morrowind is alien, formidable and seemingly impenetrable to an outsider. However when the player character slowly breaks through and begins to understand the social hierarchies and superstitions and institutions there will also be the disillusioning realization that it's all changing and it's all going to end soon (and largely thank to the player's actions). There's an interesting dilemma there that should be present in all the stories we're aiming to tell: advancing in the world of Morrowind comes at the cost of simultaneously ending the world of Morrowind.

Second there's the conflict/symbiosis between free will and predetermined fate. The player character has free will yet all the choices the character makes adds up to fulfilling a prophecy. This is most painfully obvious in the main quest, but I think that's something that should apply to other questlines too. Different choices the player makes should still feel like they matter but they should also leave room for a doubt that the choices were also anticipated by some cosmic force, determined by fate. Am I causing these events or am I just bearing witness (to my own actions)?

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Theminimanx
Lead Developer
26 Jan 2014

Location: GMT +1

I'm not sure if I agree with your second point, Rats. Getting Wraithguard from Yagrun Bagarn allows you to complete the main quest without coming anywhere near the prophecies. There's also this: "With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created." Yes, the gods/fate clearly have a plan for the player, but that doesn't mean he has to follow it.
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The death of vanilla Morrowind will end this prophecy and unite all Morrowind fans again under one mod, one faith, one rule by our divine project. The puppet Morrowind overhaul mods will lay down their arms and bow to our will. Those who do not yield will be destroyed.
Post Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:04 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Yeah, that could be argued for sure. Though it could be said that even going all rogue on the main quest(s of Morrowind, Tribunal, and Bloodmoon) will eventually help the player character--in its own way--fulfill the role of the Nerevarine, or a Nerevarine. Even those player characters that never finish the main quest could be interpreted as being among the incarnates that "failed".

Edit: so what I meant to say in the second point was not to deny that there's free will in Morrowind but that since the player character is(?) a prophesied hero all the free-willed choices the player makes are viewed within the context of prophecy and fate. That's where the interesting intersection of fate and free will lies that Morrowind explores, at least the way I interprete the game.

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Post Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:35 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Theminimanx
Lead Developer
26 Jan 2014

Location: GMT +1

If the Back Door also falls under prophecy and fate, you could easily make the argument that everything is fated, since it only happens because we, the game designers, allow it. Though that's probably getting a bit too meta for this thread.

Either way, I don't really care if we expand on this idea or not, so long as we keep it very subtle. The main quest should be the only place where it's spelled out for the player.

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The death of vanilla Morrowind will end this prophecy and unite all Morrowind fans again under one mod, one faith, one rule by our divine project. The puppet Morrowind overhaul mods will lay down their arms and bow to our will. Those who do not yield will be destroyed.
Post Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

There is no such thing as too meta for this thread. This thread is literally to discuss what Morrowind is. Morrowind as in the world; whether its themes or geography or culture or government or whatever. This thread is for us to figure out what we are actually trying to create, specifically without going into detail.

I think the meta aspect is actually very important for Morrowind and often overlooked. Vivec's dialogue arguably implies that the Tribunal, through achieving godhood, became players: when they die, they have to reload the last save. They can drop the game for as long as they like, but whenever they go back into it, no time will have passed. Certain figures such as Vivec achieved CHIM, which arguably means control of the construction set. Tiber Septim made the humid jungles of Cyrodiil into forests more familiar to his Nordic soldiers, and I'm not sure if I'll ever entirely forgive him for it.
Fate as opposed free will is already explored in the vanilla mainquest, but we could do more with it; there's a lot of room for interpretation: is the player the Nerevarine from the start, does the player become the Nerevarine during the game, is there even ever a Nerevarine or was that just a false prophecy from the start the Emperor jumped on and the player can jump on as well?
I think Theminimanx hit the nail on the head: you could easily make the argument that everything is fated, since it only happens because we, the game designers, allow it. And perhaps we should make that argument, while simultaneously providing the player with the alternate interpretation that he is creating something new from our creation. And so on and so forth.
Here's a pretty good article on the topic of Morrownd's meta I read a while back.
Post Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

A question popped up in a thread about the current mainland Telvanni quest line. This question was answered and then another question was asked, which put my mind to work. I have copied the questions in the spoiler below.

quote="Vicano" As far as I can see (on UESP, anyway) there is no way to become Archmagister of the Mainland Telvanni, or to join the Parliament of Bugs. Have I missed something?

quote=" Terrifying Daedric Foe"Nope, those parts haven't been created yet. They won't be for some time, it is likely that improving Telvanni lands and finishing off the Telvanni questline will be one of the last things to be done.

quote="Vicano" That sucks :/ Hopefully, though, when it is eventually implemented, being on the Parliament of Bugs will actually mean you can participate in house politics this time.



The question which came to my mind was: will there by any 'end-game' content? Will the blunt end of becoming Archmagister just be the same in TR as it was in MW? I found this rather disappointing in the original game and would love to see more things happen and more things to do other than misc quests/questlines. Once one is at the head of a faction, this should have concequences and there should be plenty of game to play in such a role imo. What are your thoughts on this?
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NathanJ
Member
30 Aug 2015



Hi there, I just had some thoughts about that god/player-thing. Im some new member to this forum, registered a few days ago Wink, hope I can contribute something to TR^^

I find interesting in the interpretation of a god as a player who exists in time and outside of time (as vivec tells the player) and can "load/save", the question if the god we are talking about is an aedra or a daedra. The tribunal and dagoth ur have to be aedra, for the reason that they were mortals (means still living ancestor spirits = aedra, elvish for ancestor) and they used the heart of another aedra (Lorkhan) to become gods (The difference between the divines the Empire worships, the ancestor spirits and the earth bones seems to be only a matter of power). The differences between aedra and daedra are that aedra stand for stasis, daedra for change, aedra can be killed, daedra cant. daedra can gain and loose power (Jyggalag gained a large amount of power and got cursed by the other daedric princes, clavicus vile tells the player in skyrim, he is now almost as powerful as clavicus himself, because he lost power).

We see in the the elder scrolls series that in most cases a god who is also an aedra can defeat a daedric prince (vivec and mehrunes Dagon, Akatosh and Mehrunes Dagon in oblivion).
So, question, doesnt have a daedric prince the power to exist outside of time and "load" if he doesnt like the present? If he has, why did he loose the fight against an aedra?

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DestinedToDie
Developer
22 Feb 2014



klep wrote:

The question which came to my mind was: will there by any 'end-game' content? Will the blunt end of becoming Archmagister just be the same in TR as it was in MW? I found this rather disappointing in the original game and would love to see more things happen and more things to do other than misc quests/questlines. Once one is at the head of a faction, this should have concequences and there should be plenty of game to play in such a role imo. What are your thoughts on this?


In vanilla Morag Tong there were some Grandmaster quests. These also required you to have finished the game, as I think some of the writ targets were essential to the main questline.

In Oblivion, Bethesda made endgame quests. These involved picking up the 100 gold from the thieves guild (lolwut???), listening to the nightmother (but killing no one???) and such. The interesting questline was reserved for before you hit the highest rank (and guildmaster conveniently dies or you kill him or he chooses not to die by your hand and steps back).

I wouldn't mind endgame, it's just that you need to do the interesting questline 2x if you want the path to guildmaster and guildmaster's questline to have good quality. Or have the guildmaster die mid-way and have you branded as guildmaster. But isn't the point where you achieve highest ranking arbitrary if you only have 10 quests planned either way?

I think in the Imperial Cult you can reach Oracle rank (can't go higher) before you even touch the Oracle quests. So in a way that's 1 example of this situation. The oracle quests are quite high in difficulty and very rewarding, considering you get an artifact for each quest you finish. Now, what if Bethesda hadn't made it possible to reach Oracle without finishing all of the Oracle quests? Not much of a difference.

On the other hand, we don't really have an example of Bethesda ever doing a guildmaster questline where the player calls the shots. Sure, there's the Dark Brotherhood Oblivion thing where the player basically tells genericassassin to accompany him. But a questline where the player makes the first move, has real choices and can instruct guild members - that I haven't seen yet. Probably because it's too complicated for Bethsoft to bother with. Razz


Last edited by DestinedToDie on Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:59 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I have a few ideas both as far as 'end-game' content is concerned which I hope I'll have time to note down soon; basically, I think we may need to consider another story structure to the current pattern of: player does random errands; the errands are slowly revealed to be interconnected, building up a storyline; the storyline reaches a climax, the old guildmaster is removed and the player installed in place. That structure specifically reaches the climax and then ties up the story as the player becomes the head of the guild, which sort of consigns any end-game content to basically being filler. (I feel like I've been using that word a lot lately...)

In reply to NathanJ, the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur are not Aedra. The Aedra died and became the earthbones, though it gets a little more complicated than that. Tiber Septim was only able to become an Aedra via mantling; in other words he became an Aedra because he was an Aedra. This is something else I want to expand on a bit soon, (though I don't want to delve too deeply into metaphysics), but basically, I think the Aedra are essentially game mechanics while the Daedra are player choice. Figures like the Tribunal are neither, but are heavily associated with elements of both. They're the players. Or in in-game terms, the Aedra are the laws of nature, the Daedra subversive urges, and NPCs can either tow the line or become agents of change and take fate into their own hands.
Post Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Marandahir
Member
09 Dec 2008



If that's the case, why does Tiber seem to have player choice in the same way the Tribunal do? Tiber caused a Dragon Break and remade Cyrodiil from hot, steaming jungles into fantasy England version 1004x.

One could argue that Lorkhan acts quite a bit differently from the other Elnofey ancestors.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:08 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Anonytroll
Website Administrator
12 Aug 2005



This will probably come across as a bit rambling and I haven't read all the tread but my jimmies were rustled, so...

Tiber Septim causing TESIV:Oblivion's Cyrodiil to exist is a handwave on out-of-game developements. Namely, Bethesda cashing in on the Lord of the Rings craze going on at the time.

Hell, I was around when MK posted the thread which contained the handwave (canonizsed by Skyrim and the Many-Headed Talos). It was a nice gesture and a backpat. It shouldn't be overthought, it was a nod and a wink to a very specific in-group at the time.

But I disgress: Talos, as he is another incarnation of Shezarr/Shor/Lorkhaj/Lorkhan shouldn't be considered an ancestor. Ancestors are the mice which were caught in the trap, with Not-Our-Ancestors being the mice who evaded the trap. Lorkhan is the man who made the trap with Magnus' blueprints in the first place.

That is similar to the Tribunal (who claim to have Not-Our-Ancestors as ancestors). To be an Aedra, one has to be dead, ie an Earthbone ie a Law of Physics. Neither Talos(Lorkhan) nor the Tribunal really qualify.

That said, the post-main quest Morrowind quest were pretty blatant easter eggs. They ususally involved killing off main quest-related NPCs by the dozen.
Actual post-main quest developement was largely done by modders even then, and there is no reason why TR shouldn't do it.
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