Skip navigation

Marilyn Wasserman's Posts

Librarian Comment: 

Marilyn, also known as "Mara," was a beta tester on Arena and Daggerfall and the author of The Real Barenziah and King Edward. Her posts provide interesting insights into the early designs of the series. 

On King Edward, its continuation and its historical accuracy (9/29/2004)

Glad you enjoyed the King Edward books. I'm afraid you've read all there is of them. That series, like many of the Daggerfall books, was written by one of the beta testers (me, in this instance) before there was any Daggerfall to test. (I was one of a group of testers left over from the post release effort to debug Arena.) Once Daggerfall testing got underway Ted Peterson asked me to write the Queen Barenziah series. Between that and testing I was too busy to do more with Edward & co. With Daggerfall's release the books became the property of Bethesda Softworks. These books should be regarded as historical novels, not official lore or history.

Tamrielic race relations (c. 2006)

Just make everyone hate everyone else and you won't be too far wrong....

1) High elves look down on everyone else, but pity them more than hate them. Think Greeks to the Romans. The culturally superior people got conquered by louts (Cyrodiil who are a cross between Romans and the English of the Empire).

2) Dark elves think of the beast peoples (Khajiiti and Argonians) as inferior to elves and humans. They believe they know the one true way to live (and die) and view others as outsiders. Try a cross between Jews (for their history) and Indians (of British colonial India) for their present situation.

3) Wood elves think other races are good -- to eat.

4) Bretons are intelligent and individualistic. They have ancient rivalries with the other human races but I doubt they actually hate anyone except orcs.

5) Nords are well organized but really not that smart. They don't hate anyone which doesn't stop them from warring with them since they enjoy a good war. They were an aggressive and expansionist people and were prone to genocide along the lines of European colonists (and the Borg): assimilate or die.

6) Redguards are survivors who fled their old country and found themselves in a new and harsh environment. They fight with the Bretons, more or less like England and France.

7) Cyrodiils: think Roman or English empire. They don't hate anyone, they just want to exploit everyone through trade on terms favorable to themselves.

8) Khajitti: natural stealth predators with an ancient rivalry with the Bosmer (they view each other as dinner) and a fear of the slave raiding Dunmer. It's believed that they were once Bosmer but have gone even more feral than the wood elves.

9) Argonians prefer to live deep in their swamps so little is known of their native culture. However they are highly intelligent and physically strong and agile and capable of viewing the world with detachment and objectivity. Btw my personal theory is that they evolved from crocodiles, who are social and waterloving and care for their young, not lizards.

10) Orcs. Hate everyone but they respect strength. Klingons? Welcome to the Empire, guys.