Mark Nelson’s Posts

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On Argonians and their role in Morrowind (04/18/01)

The Argonians are a slave race in Morrowind, but there are certainly a good deal of free Argonians as well, living as productive members of society. Therefore, you'll find a number of them playing vital roles in your questing (unless affamu has replaced them all with his beloved khajit ). But, given their stature as slaves, don't expect their history to play a vital part in this game. That's not to say I wouldn't like to include it in various ways, which I'm working diligently on sneaking past the ever-watchful eyes of Ken. Shhhh...don't tell. Personally, I'd love for a future game to explore Black Marsh in great detail. I think there are a lot of folks out there who dig on the lizard folk, and would like to see them developed more. Same goes for the Khajit, but you'll have to ask Affa about the furry guys.

Clarifying the Hist (04/22/01)'s my attempt to clear up a little confusion (or maybe create some more, which could be more fun 🙂 ) without giving away too much:

The PGE says the Hist are an intelligent strain of Argonians. But it was written as a piece of Imperial propaganda. So, the author is writing with a bias, and, in some cases, is misinformed.

The creation myth says that the Hist were the first trees, and sentient. But, it is, above all, a myth. So, it shouldn't be taken too literally, either.

When it came time for me to flesh out the Argonian history (and you can't have Argonian history without a little "hist"), I had to try and decipher what truths could be gleaned from the various sources. So...the Hist are trees, and very special to the Argonians, for reasons I'm not gonna go into yet. Perhaps the author of the PGE got a little confused when hearing Argonians talk about the Hist. Could be that what they were saying led him to believe that they were speaking about other Argonians (read into that what you will). There has been talk about how the Hist (and Hist sap) are related to Argonian sexuality. This hasn't's still related. And, it's not a taboo topic; I just don't think it's the most interesting one out there.

Maybe that answers a couple of questions. Might raise a few, too. Rest assured, though, that our goal isn't to deviate from the established mythos of the Elder Scrolls.

Does Argonian skin provide natural protection? (08/15/01)

This is something that has been discussed a bit, but I'll touch on it again. Because of their physiology, Argonians do have some natural protections. However, their hides aren't an "armor," exactly. Sure, it's a lizardlike skin, but not all lizard skin is as tough as alligator skin. Think of the Argonian skin as more of a snake's skin (no, they're not going to be shedding it :p ). It offers some protection, but it's certainly not as thick or durable as actual armor. 

Morrowind's clothing (01/08/02)

...the tailors of Morrowind, due to the unusually harsh environments, have been forced to use unusual materials for their clothing needs. While they first experimented with a wool woven from the fur of the waste rat, this proved to be unpopular. The material, while fairly durable, stank to high heaven when wet. Additionally, the scent tended to attract other waste rats, making the garments especially unsuitable for children and the elderly.

After many years of searching the continent for a suitable material (now referred to as the Great Chafing), the intrepid craftsmen discovered the silk of the blight moth. Though not truly a blighted creature, it's coloration resembled the ash grey left by the mysterious disease infecting the land. The silk, it turned out, was incredibly resilient, pliable, and easy to work with. It also readily accepted magicks, making it a popular material for enchanters. After years of experimentation, tailors perfected the weaving of this delicate silk into thread.

Today, you'll find almost all of the clothing of Morrowind is made of this super strong blight moth silk, as it never degrades, is highly resistant to damage from the elements, and even seems to repair itself from damage. Lo, the wonders of Morrowind.

On musical Argonians (01/31/02)

We actually talked about something similar to this one day. The discussion was about Argonians and their culture, and music was mentioned. The question arose as to whether Argonians would have music based around their slave culture. Do they sing Argonian Spirituals? If so, it would be influenced by native music from Black Marsh (think deep, resounding drums, haunting woodwinds), but also by Dunmer culture. But then Argonian character was taken into account. They are very proud and very patient, and wouldn't give the Dunmer the satisfaction of hearing them sing. This really has no bearing on the game, but it was fun to talk about.

Do Argonians lay eggs? (11/07/03)

Men and Mer assume much about Argonians, but who among them has ventured deep into Black Marsh and lived to tell about it? They assume that Argonians lay eggs because they resemble the tree-dwelling lizards that scurry about on four legs. Yet they assume Argonians have live births, because the females have breasts with which they might suckle their young. Perhaps it is both, as necessity demands. All live at the whim of the Great Root.

Argonian egg-laying, again (11/10/03)

Never underestimate the adaptability of Argonians, or, more specifically, the power of the Hist to allow Argonians to adapt.

I wouldn't expect to hear an Argonian born in Skyrim (or on Solstheim, for that matter) mention being hatched. Nor would I expect to hear more transient Argonians (say, members of a small, nomadic tribe) speak about laying eggs. However, in warmer climates, in places with established, stable, and permanent communities, you would likely see a great number of eggs.

On Sotha Sil being alive (11/10/03)

I feel like I should reply to this thread, as I wrote that part of Tribunal, but I'm not sure where to start.

I designed the end scene to promote some discussion, but I didn't expect it to (a) last this long, or (b ) head in such odd directions.

There are a few things that are certainly open for interpretation in the Clockwork City. Why is the second Imperfect not active? Why is Sotha Sil rigged into machinery? Why is he missing limbs? What are the Fabricants? This is all intentionally vague. I've not yet read an explanation that has hit on exactly what it is I had in mind. I'm okay with that.

Here's what I'll say about Sotha Sil, his life, and his death:

  1. Sotha Sil was very aware that the end was coming for the Tribunal.
  2. He had a fascination with both machinery and magic.
  3. The Fabricants were an early attempt of his at a synthesis between the machine and the organic. Dwemer constructs may have been an inspiration.
  4. The Imperfects were an attempt at a different project; it failed. Hence, "Imperfect."
  5. Sotha Sil is dead. Almalexia killed him.
  6. If I really, really needed to, I could devise a story loophole to bring him back. Such is the way of fantasy worlds.
  7. I do not forsee this ever, ever happening, because it is both cheesy and unnecessary.
  8. I reserve the right to be cheesy, should it become necessary. wink.gif
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