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The General Lore Thread

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Jeroic's picture
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Because it sounded like a good idea to steal.

This'll be a thread for small thoughts that you aren't sure merit their own threads and where people can direct you to references to ideas when you just can't remember what that book was.

To start us off, both Esbern and Paarthurnax reference Alduin's return as the literal end of the world, but he doesn't get down to much world-eating. Could it be that Alduin's "eating the living and the dead" and youth relative to non-timeskipped dragons mean that the Aka-Tusk is the previous Kalpa's Alduin, unknowing, and that he just splits off the soul stuff after absorbing all the souls of a kalpa cycle to create the new species of the next cycle, but the landscape itself, the physical planet, is left untouched?

Iunno, just a random thought I had.

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Perhaps by devouring the souls of the people who "shape the land", the land itself is reshaped. Also, he can and does summon frigging meteor storms so he could easily destroy large portions of Nirn if need be. Just not by directly consuming.

 

Here's a retcon idea I had for Sutch:

 

What if the angry mobs mentioned in Morrowind were based in Sutch? The Legion cleared the city out and broke down its buildings for government use. The old fort from the Interregnum was all that remained. Not really an excellent retcon because there are no signs of a previous settlement at all, especially a large one, but it suffices for game terms.

 

I wish I had Skyrim for the PC. I really want this sword. It could have a legit lore justification and everything, what with Akaviri Dragonguard actually living in Tamriel for centuries. This could be the Colovian variation of the Katana, adapted from original Akaviri designs. (I realize they were more common in the Niben, but the name Highlander suggests this if we apply it in-universe.)

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Wow. I actually had pretty much the exact same thought for Sutch just now. The actual riots mentioned in Morrowind were, I think, stated to have been in the Imperial City, but I was thinking that, perhaps, the county rose in outright rebellion/fell into anarchy shortly following/during the Nerevarine's adventures in Morrowind. Martial Law was established and, for whatever reason, the city was dismantled, the county becoming the Imperial Reserve.

Then the population of Cyrodiil had a few good beers and forgot that they were angry, or something.

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I just assumed that the riots are really old news, so no one really talked about them anymore. Oblivion was what...six years after Morrowind? People just stop talking about such things after a while. Just because they were absent in Oblivion doesn't mean that they were conspicuously absent.

At the same time, the dev attempt to explain it lore-wise was in particular a poor design, since we all know it'll move right back into Cyrodiil come TES Hammerfell.

The best explanation in my mind is that at the time of Oblivion the city was simply at a low ebb. Populations are constantly on the move, and cities appear, grow, prosper, move, and disappear just as settlements in our own world do. We've seen as much all over Skyrim, with the old majestic ruins of Saarthal and Bromjunaar, or even with the changed fortunes of Winterhold and Whiterun, which practically reversed their individual situations in the two hundred plus years since the Third Pocket Guide.

My guess is that, like Sancre Tor, Sutch found its end with the rise of the Septim dynasty. Perhaps it rebelled against Tiber, or perhaps it found its end in the War of the Red Diamond, and its lands were confiscated to form the Imperial Reserve. Whatever the case, TESO is gonna fuck this very simple explanation up pretty good, and I think I'll be feeling sore for quite a while...

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True. Checking the sources on Sutch, even the most recent mentions of it seem to be from around Tiber Septim's day. Four hundred years is plenty of time for a settlement to dwindle to nothing, though that explanation is somewhat dull, in my opinion. Actually, Mir Corrup and Artemon, from Dance in Fire, present a larger problem, assuming the author of the series did not make them up, as that series takes place some years after the events of Arena.

As far as the riots being forgotten, though, my problem there is that I would want a good reason for the riots to have stopped. The rioters claimed that the Uriel Septim VII's heirs were doppelgangers. In TES: IV, however, it appears that they were still the heirs when they got assassinated. I find it hard to believe that the population stopped caring for no reason. The Horme in Skyrim, who had similar beliefs to the rioters (the Empire's heirs are not legitimate heirs), appear to have been active about three centuries after the War of the Red Diamond.

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I assumed that Uriel simply had anyone who vocally espoused the view hanged, but I have no evidence he did that.

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Gnomey wrote:
The Horme in Skyrim, who had similar beliefs to the rioters (the Empire's heirs are not legitimate heirs), appear to have been active about three centuries after the War of the Red Diamond.

 

They dropped the ball with the Horme thing.

 

I have an alternate Stormcloak quest idea where Galmar is secretly a Horme, and is working behind Ulfric's back to resurrect Potema physically. Then, placing the Jagged Crown upon her head and sacrificing the blood of both Ulfric and Tullius would fully restore her youth and vitality into the world, and Galmar would pledge his loyalty to the legitimate claimant to the Septim lineage. The Dragonborn of course would realize this is a horrible mistake and stop this madness before it's too late, and the Stormcloaks would realize they've been played to serve an evil purpose. The Dragonborn would properly absorb Potema's soul unlike the paltry quest in the vanilla game, because lore wise that would happen.

 

This would not be the end of the questline, however, as Jsashe the Priestess of Lorkhan had secretly been manipulating these events from her hidden lair in Whiterun. She needed Potema dead so she could use her Dragon Blood to resurrect her own physical form. In the confusion of the battle with Potema and the victory celebration, Wuunferth the Unliving collects the vital essences from the marble floor and quietly exits the scene. His mummified Hagraven mistress eagerly awaits the blood of Akatosh, something she's coveted for many long years now. She and the Forsworn have plans for that...

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Jeroic wrote:

I assumed that Uriel simply had anyone who vocally espoused the view hanged, but I have no evidence he did that.

Yeah, didn't the rumors from Morrowind say that a legion was disbatched to the Imperial City? I assume there was a lot of martial law and some brutality to scare people into staying in their homes. People might not forget, but they're not going to talk about it either if the guards are gonna haul them off to the tank for disturbing the peace and lying about their emperor.

 

Pilaf The Defiler wrote:
snip

Oh you. :D

But yeah...Beth was so inspired by the First Edition that they entirely forgot about the Third. I am still disappointed there was no reference to Jsashe. I mean, look at Whiterun now. That was likely her doing. But the ungrateful bastards don't even have a statue of her. :(

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When you said "look at Whiterun now", I thought at first that you meant the walls, and wondered why they'd build a statue of her for that "service".

Though boring, as far as the Horme are concerned I just assume that, what with Martin Septim's grand deeds and the fall of the dynasty whose legitimacy they were disputing, the Horme simply lost interest, support or both. Though I would have liked references to the Horme, Jsashe and the riots.

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Gnomey wrote:

When you said "look at Whiterun now", I thought at first that you meant the walls, and wondered why they'd build a statue of her for that "service".

Haha, touché.

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I absolutely adore dealing with frustrated, simple people. (scroll down to the bottom of the page I linked.)

 

 

edit:

Here's an observation I found amusing when initially playing Skyrim. Without having high level Speech perks, the only people besides general goods merchants who will purchase Dragon Bones or Dragon Scales in Skyrim seem to be Alchemists. I find it odd that there's no Alchemeical application to any Dragon ingredient in vanilla Skyrim, but Alchemists seem to take interest in them. This is hinted at yet again in Dawnguard. Valerica has a Dragon Bone in her study, and a Dragon skull mounted on the wall. These items are close by alchemy items of various kinds. Esbern seems to know a lost Akaviri potion recipe for Dragon materials, but we sadly can't learn it from him. (That damn quest is STILL broken as of patch 1.8. Confirmed on xbox 360)

 

Notably, Blacksmiths won't but either material. Perhaps they fail to see the material's inherent value as a stout smithing material that rivals Daedric and Glass. I just think it's kinda funny that alchemists will buy them but blacksmiths won't. Talk about missing the writing on the wall. "Bone? What am I gonna do with some old bones? I'll stick with iron, thanks!"

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Just a few quick things:

When I was reading the PGE1, I noticed that the anonymous Mer (obviously an Altmer) commented that the pro-Imperial author was categorizing "dangerous racialism" to the Altmer for believing that they were above everyone else. That seems to be on the contrary to what most other Altmer believe, though. Also, I noticed that this anonymous Altmer mentioned seeing Falmer totem markers in Skyrim to his uncle. This automatically made me think of Aicantar and Calcelmo. Is it really them or is it just coincidental?

I'm a little confused on the difference between Anu and Anuiel. Anuiel is supposed to be the spirit of Anu's spirit, but they are often described in same terms (that is, Anuiel being Anu), yet Anuiel is said to be his own being. Is Anuiel his own being, created from Anu, or is he just something of a reflection for Anu to study, as is said about Anu creating Anuiel: "so that he could know himself." I'm not sure what that is implying, though. Are they one and the same, yet also apart? Or are they together?

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Tauryon wrote:

Just a few quick things:

When I was reading the PGE1, I noticed that the anonymous Mer (obviously an Altmer) commented that the pro-Imperial author was categorizing "dangerous racialism" to the Altmer for believing that they were above everyone else. That seems to be on the contrary to what most other Altmer believe, though. Also, I noticed that this anonymous Altmer mentioned seeing Falmer totem markers in Skyrim to his uncle. This automatically made me think of Aicantar and Calcelmo. Is it really them or is it just coincidental?

 

The Altmer was referring to the Men being racist. They used the term "pedigree" in a disparaging manner and suggested the Altmer practiced barbaric things to maintain blood purity. The Thalmor scribe was mentioning how Reman never stooped so low and the Thalmor should not accomodate this new Empire.

 

Keep in mind that the First PGE was written hundreds of years before Skyrim. Gelebor mentions that there may have been other isolated groups of Falmer left uncorrupted somewhere in Skyrim. It's possible that at the time the PGE was written, the Thalmor scribe found some of their boundary markings but by 4E202 those markings and the ones who left them were long gone. The blinded Betrayed would certainly have no need to leave markings for one another for obvious reasons.

Quote:
I'm a little confused on the difference between Anu and Anuiel. Anuiel is supposed to be the spirit of Anu's spirit, but they are often described in same terms (that is, Anuiel being Anu), yet Anuiel is said to be his own being. Is Anuiel his own being, created from Anu, or is he just something of a reflection for Anu to study, as is said about Anu creating Anuiel: "so that he could know himself." I'm not sure what that is implying, though. Are they one and the same, yet also apart? Or are they together?

Anuiel is supposed to be one sub-gradient below Anu, and one sub-gradient above Auriel.

 

To be honest this is one of those areas of TES we're not given a ton of concrete information on. Remember that Anu and Anuiel literally predate Time so who can say what they were really like? It's hard enough to figure out if Akatosh and Alduin are the same without having to worry about a vague pantheistic life force that represents Stasis in the Aurbis. Know what I mean? This stuff doesn't come up very often in Tamriel or in discussions of it.

My interpretation is that sub-gradients are a form of self reflection. Sort of like having children but not really. Isolating a piece of one's consciousness and removing it so that one can look at it from the outside. Anu didn't really understand what he was until he created Anu-iel. Anu-iel didn't really understand what he was until he created Auri-el. And so forth down the line. It's probably a metaphor for how people discover themselves through their children, or through their worldly labors.

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On another note, is there any reason given for the Aurora Borealis existing in Skyrim? I like to think of it as a sign of Mundus' increasing instability; that magic from Aetherius is bleeding through uncontrolled, or that the magic of Tamriel is bleeding out to Aetherius/Oblivion, and as such as a fairly recent phenomenon. (Perhaps having started at around the time of the Oblivion Crisis, gradually as the towers fell, so that by the time of Skyrim people are used to it, more or less). It could also have some connection with High Hrothgar as the "Throat of the World" and, to come to think of it, Skyrim as the "Sky's Rim", though.

From what I remember of Morrowind's night sky it was also fairly colourful, though in a more subdued manner. I don't think Oblivion's was, though, which would speak against my theory.

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I think reason 1 is because it's pretty. 

 

Reason 2 is my new headcanon, come up with just now: It's a duo between the placement of the Eye of Magnus warping how magic filters down through the stars and because when Lorkhan's heart got tossed over it it ripped streaks in the sky and magic falls out of it in shiny ragged lines rather than the efficient, clean light of stars or the sun.

 

But I did just make that up.

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The Auroras are going to be there in TESO too, Gnomey, from what I've seen. So Bethesda is apparently fine with Zenimax implying they've been there for at least one thousand years.

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I agree with "it's pretty" being the main reason, and a good one. I just feel like expanding on it.

But I forgot to look at TESO screenshots. Those could be explained away as TESO also taking place at a time of instability: the magicka might be bleeding out to Molag Bal's realm and, well, I have no idea what state the towers, especially the White Gold, are in. Will lighting the Dragonfires be part of becoming emperor in the game?

The Aurorae being related to Skyrim seems like the likelier explanation, though, after taking a quick peek at the TESO screenshots again. Or, of course, the Aurorae are just there when they feel like it.

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I think mainly because it's a far northern area and in Scandinavia, one can see the Aurorae.

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Magicka from Magnus hitting the atmosphere of Nirn at weird angles?  I don't see why the explanation needs to be drastically different from the real-world one.

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Because magicka hits Nirn from all angles I suppose.

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Well, it's a little harder to explain things in real-world terms. For example, in Morrowind you can go further North (in Bloodmoon) than Skyrim and further South than Skyrim, but you never see a single proper Aurora, though that could just be for gameplay reasons. Or the North pole is actually located in or slightly above Skyrim.

And as for Magicka hitting Nirn from all angles, then you would have seen Aurorae in Cyrodiil's and Vvardenfell's skies too. Unless Aurorae are visible in Nirn periodically, sometimes years at a time, with stretches without Aurorae in between.

It naturally isn't a big deal, either way. Aurorae are just background prettiness in Skyrim and TESO, after all, and there's no reason why the cause of them can't be similar to the real world cause. Though an explanation that gets past Occam's razor in our world wouldn't necessarily fare so well in the ES universe, which is shown as being built very differently. An explanation which is scientific in our world may be highly unscientific in TES's.

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Those aurorae may be in there only as background, boilerplate Scandinavian prettiness, but that won't stop anyone from speculating on what could be causing aurorae in some northern areas but not others in a world with Aristotelian cosmology. I seem to be getting them more in the northmost parts of Skyrim, so my guess would be proximity to Atmora. Any idea what may have happened in Atmora that could cause this sort of magickal phenomena?

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stille wrote:

Those aurorae may be in there only as background, boilerplate Scandinavian prettiness, but that won't stop anyone from speculating on what could be causing aurorae in some northern areas but not others in a world with Aristotelian cosmology. I seem to be getting them more in the northmost parts of Skyrim, so my guess would be proximity to Atmora. Any idea what may have happened in Atmora that could cause this sort of magickal phenomena?

 

Suns were riven as your red legions moved from Lyg to the hinterlands of chill, a legion for each Get, and Kuri was thrown down and Djaf was thrown down and Horma-Gile was crushed with coldsalt and forevermore called Hor and so shall it be again under the time of Gates.

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I think Sutch probably got flattened by the Camoran Usurper.

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Good point. After taking a look at Brief History of the Empire again recently, I was surprised at how rarely the Empire really seemed to be prosperous. The weak emperors were plagued by internal and external conflicts, while the strong rulers spent their reigns trying to rebuild from the disasterous reigns of their predecessors. And often also had to deal with internal and external conflicts. Really, Sutch could have reasonably been laid low during the reigns of any number of Emperors, or could have dwindled to nothing in stages.

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I feel like writing "Sutch: The Rise and Fall of a Colovian State" now.

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I never understood people's obsession with the "beast legs" for Argonians and Khajiit.

 

Especially Argonians. Very few modern reptiles if any actually have legs that bend that way. Birds do, and certain species of non avian dinosaurs who were closely related to birds. But the Argonians aren't meant to be that kind of creature, I don't think. They're supposed to be tree lizards and amphibians who were nurtured on Hist-Milk. Giving them T-Rex legs doesn't really accurately convey their essential biology.

Who knows, though? I may be wrong. The stuff Keyes introduced supports the above theory, but it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility they have some relation to the supposedly extinct bird-men of the Niben. I doubt that. The Hist could have memorized such a body form and lent it to certain Argonians, though. Their powers apparently are quite impressive and they can remember many different things and produce them with their sap, if the Ur-Hist are closely related to them and their abilities are any indication that is.

You could make an argument for certain breeds of Khajiit looking that way, but IMO it's less practical for the bipedal forms and it makes more sense for them to propel themselves similarly to their Elven cousins. It also makes more sense for them to blend in better with Human and Elven society, which a more humanoid appearance would do. Perhaps the "beast legs" breeds are encountered rarely outside their home lands in the lore and only are prevalent in Morrowind due to the slave trade.

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I dunno. I stopped looking at those threads shortly after Oblivion, but at the time it boiled down to "it's not how Morrowind did it."

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Jeroic wrote:

I dunno. I stopped looking at those threads shortly after Oblivion, but at the time it boiled down to "it's not how Morrowind did it."

 

Morrowind was a really great game, and it got a lot of stuff right, but lizards and dinosaurs are two different things. Related, but distinct. Not even as closely related as people assume. So from a purely realism-based approach to character design, I'd skip the dino legs for Argonians. Those might be cool for some future depiction of bird people. They worked well for the Hagravens in Skyrim after all. I wouldn't be strongly against some breeds of Khajiit being depicted that way. But Saxheel? Nah. They're Tree-Lizard-People, not Dinosaur-People. That's just how I see it.

 

COUNTER ARGUMENT: "But Pilaf. They clearly have some traits of both dinosaurs and mammal-like reptiles, such as solar absorbing fins and feathers. How do you explain that?"

REBUTTAL: "Yeah, well, lizards don't talk or polish spears either do they? You think too much and it's bad for you. Do your chores!"

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I understand where you're coming from, Pilaf. But as you say, Argonians also have many characteristics that are alien to the clade of Squamates (lizards and snakes). Real-world biology (and phylogenetics specifically, in this case) aren't always applicable in TES. So yeah, avian (and saurian and mammalian-type) digititrade legs popping up in an organism that is presumed to be in something like the Squamate group is silly to us (same thing with feathers, which are highly ordered, complex structures), but I think one must chant the motto of mouth-breathing creationists - "Fuck biology!".

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What interested me about the beast legs was that they made the beast races look more alien. It made me imagine them as having a different body structure from other races, as opposed to being humans with furry/scaly skin, funny faces and a tail. That being said, I don't have much of a problem with Argonians being plantigrade.

As for the Khajiit, I just put their being plantigrade down to the Khajiit in Skyrim and Oblivion being Suthay, as opposed to Suthay-Raht. In my opinion, digitigrade Khajiit ought to be present on some level: at latest when you get to the quadrupedal Khajiit forms, which are often described as resembling real world big cats, it would be awkward to have them be plantigrade, and it would be odd if all bipedal Khajiit were plantigrade while all quadrupeds weren't.

After all, digitigrades tend to move more quickly and quietly than plantigrades; both Khajiiti traits.