Leamon Tuttle’s Posts

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Safety tip for summoning Azura (03/21/19)

Important Hogithum safety tip: check your weather app before calling on Azura today!

Just remember this easy rhyme: “Sunny day? Summon away! Looks like rain? You’ll go INSANE!”

How to pronounce Chimer (03/25/19)

KEYE-mer. Like the eye you see with.

How to pronounce Nchuleftingth (05/15/19)


Who determines how things are pronounced? (08/01/19)

One of the duties of a Loremaster is to record the “Pronunciation Guide” — a catalog of wavs that actors can reference when confronted by difficult lore-words. It’s a crazy internal database. But every word in the Pronunciation Guide exists in the game somewhere, so take a stroll in Tamriel and see what you can find!

I always respected our voice actors, but after saying some of this stuff myself. Holy shit. Our actors are amazing.

How to pronounce CHIM (08/01/19)

People in the second era commonly pronounce it “CHIM” as in chimney. But CHIM’s an ancient and powerful word, and pronunciations often change over time.

When does Elder Scrolls Online take place (12/09/19)

Yeah, we edited the body text of “Birds of Wrothgar” to reduce confusion on this point. I think there are good arguments both for and against, but remaining in 582 is the current deign decision.

What does the Loremaster job mean? (09/21/20)

I’m definitely not the loremaster for the entire series. 😛 The franchise began at BGS, and those guys worked on it long before I came along. I’m the loremaster for ZOS.

I don’t write all the plotlines. We have a large, talented staff of storytellers that craft our stories.

I do a bunch of writing and yeah, I advise different teams on issues regarding the lore.

I’m one link in a very, very long chain. Everyone in game development is. 🙂

Even more on how to pronounce CHIM, and whether Leamon was aware of Michael Kirkbride’s intended pronounciation (10/26/20)

CHIM like Cheese. The word itself is like “Chim Chimney Chim Chimney Chim Chim Charoo”

You’ll have to ask Lawrence that one. The pronunciation was in place when I donned the cowl.

Almalexia the murderer (11/03/20)

Every member of the Tribunal has taken actions that led directly to people’s death. All of them chose power against the Hortator’s wishes. Vivec and Sotha Sil both repeatedly admit as much. Almalexia just happens to be the least self-aware about it.

Does Tamriel have the equivalent of a “Geneva convention” for the rules of war? (11/03/20)

Tamrielic history is basically one long line of war crimes. See Pelinal, the Alessian Order, the Aldmeri Dominion, Ysgramor’s 500, Tiber Septim, the Ra Gada, House Dres, the An-Xileel, the Longhouse Emperors, Darloc Brae, King Joile, etc, etc, etc.

Why do the Reachmen of Markarth have Scottish accents? (11/06/20)

As an isolated culture, they’ve developed their own dialect over time. Accents develop regionally.

On fandom criticizing fan-made characters who act contrary to the average for their race (12/19/20)

I don’t often throw my weight around like this, but for those reading this who don’t know me, I am the Loremaster for Elder Scrolls Online.

Hear me on this, TES fans: Gatekeeping SUCKS. It’s not your job to stamp out perceived dissent, or preserve the sanctity of the franchise.

You can totally hold our feet to the fire If we screw up at the studio, but fans can express themselves however they want. Creativity is a GOOD thing. Letting people play inside the franchise and push the boundaries of the fiction enriches some people’s experience in Tamriel.

We confront this issue during development constantly. “Would an Altmer do thus?” In a world as vast and complicated as Tamriel, we cut against type a lot, because a world peopled entirely by snooty egotists is boring.

Character like Revus Demnevanni (slavery hating Telvanni) or Amalien (disabled Altmer who wasn’t treated as a hulkynd) exist in the lore. They are not the norm, but they exist.

There’s ABSOLUTELY a place for people who love the lore and want to debate the hard specifics (I am one of them). But policing other people’s expression with their own characters on their own time is lame.

Amalien and the idea of hulkynd Altmer (12/29/20)

Amalien’s parents rejected the cultural notion of perfection and raised her with love and support regardless of the social hazards. Like many other normal people would.

I know the hulkynd thing has been grinding gears. Cultural practices (even zealously enforced ones) aren’t completely inescapable. People willing to take risks can resist this stuff – often at a price, of course.

Wound a child of Lyris Titanborn and Sai-Sahan be half giant? (04/09/21)

Their child would have giant ancestry, so it’s possible they would carry the “really big” trait, just like Lyris.

How does interbreeding work between different human races (rather than humans and elves) (04/09/21)

When people of two different human races have children, those children bear features of both races. See Aeliah Renmus

Memes on Morihaus (09/02/21)

Tired: “Morihaus was a winged man with a bull head.”

Wired: “Morihaus was a winged bull with a man head.”

Inspired: “‘Man-Bull’ was a mispronunciation of ‘Mandible’ and Morihaus was just a set of clattering mechanical teeth.”

On fans who use lore questions as an excuse to flex rather than to teach (09/08/21)

I do Elder Scrolls lore for a living. I don’t like throwing my weight around, but this issue crops up a lot and I want to be clear. Anyone who uses the lore as a cudgel to beat down people’s creativity is fundamentally misreading the lore. Don’t be that person. That person sucks.

Netch reproduction thoughts (09/17/21)

I have _a lot_ of thoughts about Bull Netch legs. Like, maybe too many. You guys are ridiculous. I was off work yesterday, but ended up researching arthropodal and cnidarian reproductive practices in my spare time … because of YOU. I hope you’re all happy!

NOTE: This is general biological theory, not established lore!

Sexual dimorphism has all sorts of evolutionary benefits. Extra appendages for a male might prove advantageous for “rut” sparring with other bulls, grasping during copulation, etc

Given the extreme sexual competition in netch herds (bull harems servicing a single betty) it makes sense that bulls would develop stronger and more numerous limbs for sparring.

On the origin of Molag Bal’s various Daedric servants (10/11/21) 

Molag Bal has a history of hybridizing different morphotypes in his vile laboratory — see Xivkyn, etc.

On fans criticizing other fan’s original characters (10/11/21)

Your OC is valid! If gatekeepers keep giving you trouble, tell them I said that’s sucky behavior and a fundamental misreading of Elder Scrolls lore.

IceFireWarden: “what exactly do you mean by misreading the lore? I feel like there’s always a time and a place for noncanon interpretation, and in a RP Guild especially, being lore friendly both makes total sense and is valid.” (10/11/21) 

Any interpretation of the lore that’s presented as “correct” a priori is a misreading of how the lore works. “Lore friendly” as a concept is a vast sliding scale with near-infinite shades of gray. It’s not an either/or.

Like I said elsewhere, if you and your buds favor strict adherence to a specific group of shared premises, that’s your business. But I’d hope that would be made crystal clear to potential applicants, and that those applicants wouldn’t be shamed for favoring different ideas.

MonoJonno: “It sounds like telling them “no” is what is considered to be an incorrect reading of lore according to this thread, rather than someone having rules for playing an extinct race.” (10/12/21) 

I think we’re conflating two related but different issues: one is this idea of freedom of association with people who share your premises. The other is ruling on the validity of specific OCs.

I think it’s possible to cobble out spaces for stricter compliance with specific lore-readings while also treating other OCs with respect, even if they’re not a great match for your particular version of Tamrielic lore.

But, just like anything else, this all starts with good will and respect. We can have discussions like this without making rulings on the validity of someone’s creation.

Benefactor: “When it comes to TES the overlap between official and headcanon is a patchwork tapestry that is woven together. […] Gatekeeping or accepting all headcanon is a double edged sword. Taken to the extreme either leads to the deterioration of a community. The former prevents people from expressing free thought, the latter stifles critical analysis as it strays from the source material.” (10/12/21) 

A lot of this relates to venue, right? There are places where fans grapple with the texts and engage in rigorous debate with citations, etc. That’s obviously a totally valid activity – one I personally enjoy. What I take issue with is people stamping out exercises in creativity.

Ideally, TES should provide opportunities to flex those creative muscles. And as Lawrence and I have repeatedly said, lore is (to some extent) an exercise in personal imagination.

How closely someone hews to the more popular interpretations of events is a choice they make as an individual. If that interpretation is so fundamentally at odds with your own that it causes massive dissonance, maybe it’s worth finding a group that’s more in line with that.

But regardless of that potential dissonance, there should not (within the context of RP) be an attitude of exclusion that elevates one pov over another as fundamentally “correct.”

Benefactor: “There is no correct way to interpret TES lore but there can and should be times when an attitude of exclusion should be taken.” (10/12/21) 

I think we’re mostly on the same page here. Establishing groups that gather around a series of shared premises is totally fine. But people should be completely transparent about what that means for potential applicants, etc.

And they should approach those conversations from a place of humility–discussing those differences of opinion as just that, differences of opinion. Not ruling on the validity of the applicant’s interpretations writ large and holding their own interpretation up as “correct.”

More on fans critisizing other fan’s work for not being “lore-friendly” (10/12/21) 

What I’m saying is that, in general terms, people stating that their interpretation of lore is superior to another’s is not in keeping with how TES lore works.

“Lore-friendly” and “Lore-compliant” are extremely slippery concepts within the context of TES, and that’s absolutely by design.

MonoJonno: “You have the right to associate with who you choose, but does this mean it’s okay to think someone is wrong on lore, specifically in a group lore context.” (10/12/21)

It’s _absolutely_ okay to disagree with someone’s interpretation of the text. I do it all the time. But the point I think you’re failing to see is that those disagreements are fundamentally subjective. There’s no exterior, objective rubric by which to judge who is “wrong.”

I would never say, “Don’t argue about this stuff.” I love arguing about this stuff. But those arguments need to be tempered with humility and an acknowledgement that just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that they are wrong.

Again, if a group of RPers have a mutually agreed upon interpretation of the lore and that forms the backbone of their association, that’s completely fine. But they need to be extremely clear about those expectations and treat people who disagree with respect.

You could even go the extra mile of creating a looser group in addition to the other, or helping to guide that other RPer to a group with a more expansive view.

It really comes down to respect, decency, and a desire to help people express themselves, not shut them down. Again, this is an issue that crops up in all sorts of places, not just the dynamics of rp guilds.

What if someone wanted to claim there were 13 Divines? (10/12/21)

It would certainly conflict with people’s widely accepted interpretation of the text, yes. But why not follow it through? Why not help guide them to something that encourages a shared exercise of creativity? Examples:

(1) Perhaps their OC discovered gnostic texts deep within the Imperial Library that refers to an extra set of forgotten Divines, now they’re on a quest to rediscover the rest of that historian’s work.

(2) Maybe their OC had visions from some force in Aetherius that spoke of a mysterious council of hidden ada, and now they have to decipher the message.

(3) Maybe their OC comes from a lesser known tradition of Nibenese monks who worship like 80 divines.

How to resolve conflicts between different interpritations of lore (10/12/21) 

We start from a place of respect. Say, “Hey, our group leans toward X interpretation of the lore. Let me help you either (A) sculpt your NPC to fit within the framework, or (B) find you a welcoming RP group where your OC will really flourish on her own terms.”

This has nothing to do with anyone being right or wrong. It has everything to do with helping the community stay a welcoming and helpful place.

I favor a collaborative and welcoming lore community where we’re all invested in the joy and creativity of our fellow Tamrielic explorers–even/especially when we disagree. If that’s too much of a chore, that’s a bummer.

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