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Michael Kirkbride's posts from 2006 and before

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Michael Kirkbride

On Ebonarm (04/10/99)

Gamespeak: Ebonarm, as I recall, is a Yokudan deity, or group of deities that share the same designation. Legends say that he is (they are) just another manifestation of the HoonDing, the Make Way God. Many post-apocalypse manifestations of the HoonDing have individualized (like Diagna), and Ebonarm may be one (or many) of these. He is (they are) known to be adversaries of the Daedric powers.

Designerspeak: I am aware of the tremendous amount of fan fiction devoted to Ebonarm (Dreadlord and such). I don't know what to say about these right now...

The distinction between Gods and Daedra in Tamrielic cultures (04/10/99)

Most Human (Imperial) cultures regard the Daedra as separate from the Gods of the Eight Divines, true. Elven cultures, however, do not distinguish between "Gods" and "Very Strong Ancestors". Thus, "Daedra", in this sense, which means more-or-less "Not OUR Ancestors", are of the same level of power.

In anticipation of another argument, let me say that Oblivion is not regarded by any culture as necessarily an "evil" place; neither is Aetherius a "good" one.

On the First Era, and the Empire of Skyrim (04/12/99)

Remember that the ‘first era’ is a Human demarcation of time. The Elder Races have their own divisions (and diversions) of history. Furthermore, the human eras do not conveniently begin and end with a single empire each time. The Second Empire of Reman had its genesis in the first era, too, some 2000 years after the War of Succession, and it was far more significant than the tyranny of the early Nords.

The “First Empire of Skyrim” is somewhat of a fabrication. The heirs of King Harald, while they had many holdings in foreign lands, never regarded themselves as anything more than a strong and steady line of successful war-chieftains. During the foundation of the Septim regime, certain parties thought it necessary to retrofit Skyrim’s early history into something that might legitimize Talos’ ascension to a traditionally Nedic throne (the general’s Atmoran lineage was well known). The infamous “Coronation Edition of the Pocket Guide to the Empire” is the best example of this revisionism gone mad.

If the first era must “belong” to any one nation of Tamriel, then it is, of course, Cyrodiil. The Empire of Reman lasted for approx. 600 years (long into the next era); after its passing the world suffered through dark times. Before Reman, the world had been held in thrall by the Order, which, while technically not overseen by the (then) current Cyrodilic Emperor, was tied into the first Nibenese Empress, St. Alessia (the Manifold Manifest).

Who conquers Tamriel in the Second Era? (04/12/99)

The second era begins with the assassination of the last of Reman’s heirs. Cyrodiil (and Tamriel) is thereafter under the rule of the Akaviri Potentate, until the assassination of Savirien-Chorak. Chorak’s successors never make it to the throne. The assassins, in every case, are the Morag Tong.

I think you have eras confused with Empires, but that’s understandable. The Second Empire technically ‘begins’ with the coronation of Reman. The second era, however, technically ‘ends’ with the death of Reman III, 212 years later. Tiber Septim conquers Tamriel at the end of the second era, and begins the Third Empire (and the third era).

What is the Knahaten Flu? (04/12/99)

2E560—The Knahaten Flu, called the Crimson Plague, spreads through SE Tamriel, destroying several native tribes in Black Marsh. The reptilian Argonians alone among the tribes of Black Marsh are immune to the plague, leading to speculation, not entirely discredited by modern researchers, that a genocidal Argonian mage created the plague for his people.

What is the Wild Hunt? (04/12/99)

The Wild Hunt is a manifestation of the Elder powers, practiced only by the Bosmer. After the proper sacrifices and rituals, a mass of Bosmer may transform themselves into “a pack of shifting forest demons and animal-gods, thousands strong....”

Who are the Akaviri? (04/12/99)

Akaviri are people of the continent, Akavir, which is to the east of Tamriel. They and their dragon-kin have tried to invade Tamriel many times in the past.

On the Nedes (04/12/99)

The Nedic peoples are hardly mentioned in the PGE, which tried to hide the existence of Humans in Tamriel before the coming of the Nords. I could hardly offer a better contradiction to this notion than that of my friend-in-exile, Severus Reva:

[Text of Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation follows]

"The Aedra aren't supposed to be able to change, but perhaps there is a loophole" (10/03/03)

Good, good.

And here you get delightfully close, in regards to your study, at least. Nought prececes authenticity... so, if this is true:

Which of the Aedra have done this?

What was the change?

What was the agent of change?

What mythical significance happened thereafter?

What destruction (and therefore creation) came of it?

I did and do mean Aedra, and therefore extract my question back into the timeframe we should have in mind. That is, after the first dawn and world's cooling.

I give you this as Vivec.

Lorkhan and his avatars, from a thread on the Six Walking Ways (02/14/04)

1. Wulfharth L
2. Hjalti O
3. Ysmir R
4. Talos K
5. Arctus H
6. Septim A
N

Are "Akatosh" and "Tosh Raka" etymologically related? (05/24/05)

Let us be clear that etymology in the TES lore is a risky venture. More than risky, it's asking for trouble when one considers Our Father Who Art in Oxford.

That said, there *is* an attempt at wordplay, consistency, and clues in the lore, so my brother above is right when he says Tosh-Raka is "Dragon Dragon." (So is Akatosh, for that matter.) But he is also missing the subtlety in the title; in Tamriel, "dragon" and "time" are synonymous, they are bones of the same body-concept. That they are combined in seeming redundance should suggest an intention.

On the "marriage" between Vivec and Molag Bal (06/14/05)

Two immortals had huge amounts of divine sex and so did all the onlookers-- priests and monsters and advocates and proletariats-- around them.

And the ground broke and gave birth to monsters.

Vivec's gift of "my head for an hour" wasn't an innuendo. It was literal: Vivec's damn head took off and flew away; it had stuff to do, yo. His body, however, full of divine grace, was more than able to accomodate the hellish appetites of a dark prince of the deep.

What does the name Bouyant Arminger mean? (07/29/05)

In this context, it means 'gay samurai'. No kidding. 

Extraterrestrials in Elder Scrolls. (08/07/05)

Read the Direnni Tower section in the PGE very carefully. There's been a rocketship in High Rock since we wrote the PGE. 

Musings on Redguard porcelain armor (circa January 2006)

Porcelain armor has exactly the exoticness that seems appropriate to the stone-worshipping people of the Hammerfell. Like glass armor, its name confounds expectations, which inherently pushes it into the fantastic (and look how glass armor is accepted nowadays). *Of course* raga porcelain is enchanted and blessed by the Gods through the hands of its craftsman, and thus a viable (and beneficial because of its lightness) form of protection. "And they mixed its powder with the milk of Morwha, the mother of all sands, and it stood firm, and sounded of small music as its porcelain scales shook with the wearer, and so did they sing along their ranks as they did in Old Yokuda among the saints." I would see these same scales painted each by hand as if in a mosaic, with ocean patterns that moved like the waves of the Eltheric, confusing the enemies of the sons and daughters of the orichalc isles. Warrior wave, indeed.

On writing Mankar Camoran's final speech (06/17/06)

Apropos of nothing, I wasn't paid for Mankor's diatribe. It was in an email I sent to the friendly folks at Bethsoft when I got the "Commentaries" gig. That whole speech came from a section of said email where I attempted to get inside MC's head so I could understand how he might think, and how that thought would translate to his writing.

Turns out, MC writes like me. Ah, well.

Then Todd up and had Terrance Stamp record it at the voiceover sessions. I was pretty surprised-- I wish I'd known or I would've *really* went nuts with it-- but who could ever be mad at something like that? Terrance Freakin Stamp.

Canon or not, my two cents is that MC is completely right, and Tamriel is just another, albeit very special, realm of Oblivion. But don't quote me...I didn't write this in-character.

What the Orichalc Tower in Yokuda, and did it help sink the continent? (06/24/06)

Orichalc Tower was indeed in Yokuda. Whether or not it contributed to the sinking of the land isn't for me to say, but the Yoku and the Left-Handed Elves certainly did fight a lot, so you can be sure the Tower had a part to play in their wargames.

Orichalc the name comes from Plato's description of Atlantis, the Most Famousest of Sinking Continents. It was therefore too fun not to add some orichalc into Yokuda's background.

Plus it's just a neat-looking, neat-sounding word.

On the de-jungling of Cyrodiil (06/24/06)

Being the lovely and gracious sort that I am, I retconned my own Cyrodiil in my own MC's Commentaries-- "Witness the Red King Once Jungled." Therein lies my take on the lamentable change in geograhical featuredom, as I always side on the magical Tamriel-as-malleable-landscape-by-the-will-of-heroes rather than real-world notions of glacial drift and unstable rainforests.

Oblivion = hell? (06/29/06)

Oblivion has been synoymous with Hell in the TES 'verse for nearly ten years now (see Redguard). Same with daedra/demons (see nearly any myth about daedra or evil gods-- more than likely, it'll be referred to as a 'demon').

They are not the same, but they are useful for context, and denizens of Tamriel freely use all of the terms all of the time. When, like, talking about hell or demons, which they usually don't do at night when Oblivion is staring right over their heads.

It has nothing to do with dumbing down anything. In fact, it has more to do with widening the scope of what those concepts and beings are to the people that live outside their realms.

Story behind Alandro-Sul (09/19/06)

Hey now, I even gave him a fair shake at the Trial, so you know I'm down.

There were nice plans for Sul that never made it in the game, like the "Thousand Ringlets of Alandro Sul," where his mind was blasted into his chainmail headpiece by either A) madness or B) Tribunal-Gun. Then the ashlanders got hold of it and Sul could possess their minds when they wore it, making them see what he did, or thought he did. And then, of course, this thing got scattered and spread among the tribes, so that eventually ashlander tribesmer would all be wearing earrings made out of the chainmail ringlets, each one hearing the profane whisper of Truth.

That's where the name Sul-Matuul came from. Hardest of the hardcore.