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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Quote:
The structure of the final document:

1. General Character.

What is this house like? What impression are we trying to create when we represent this house? What is its in-character history and current function? What unique elements or structures does this house have that other houses don't?

2. Settlement Spaces.

What are settlements from this house like? What is the architecture set & how should it be used in the CS? What buildings do some or all settlements of this house need to have that other settlements don't?

What are the Tier I & II settlements of this faction each like? How are they different from one another? What is their key element that gives them purpose from a game/story perspective?

3. NPCs.

What are the NPCs in this house's territory more likely to be like - including house-kin, non-house dunmer & outlanders? What portion of characters are of each type? What kinds of identities or associations can certain characters associated with this faction-trope or in its settlements be given that others can't?

What are some of the major characters of this faction, or major character-groupings, that will be important to the quest? What are they like?

4. Faction Quest Storyline.

What is this house's storyline? What are the conflicts that drive it? What end goal is it trying to achieve? How does it demonstrate the house's character?


This thread is for discussing House Telvanni as a faction, not as a specific quest line or as a territory. It is basically a lore thread, for establishing the character of House Telvanni that should be considered in developing things regarding this faction.

Obviously, a lot of work has been done on the Telvanni, but TR has an understanding that if it doesnt serve the needs of our cohesive whole, it can be retouched as necessary.

I have attached my own notes for House Telvanni to this thread. Please post any thoughts of yours.



Notes for House Telvanni.pdf
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Last edited by Sload on Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:16 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Some odds and ends, several of which i've posted before:

-The Parliament of Bugs is an extradimensional location. It's official entrance is in Port Telvannis but all the councillors have private access from their own towers. They don't send Mouths to Parliament because it's inconvenient for them to travel, they do so as a safety precaution.

-The Telvanni aren't hostile towards the Tribunal per se, as they respect powerful sorcery above all else and nobody does it better than a demigod. They acknowledge the Tribunal's divinity etc, but they have no interest in the Temple as an institution and they generally don't 'do' religion. Opinion varies of course.

-If a Telvanni Lord dies through fair means (rare) or foul, their Mouth will take on their identity and even their appearance. Both have to be killed for the wizard to truly die.

-Obviously there's no such thing as Rogue Telvanni

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Post Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:58 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



gro-dhal gets the gro-dhal award for excellence

gro-Dhal wrote:
-The Parliament of Bugs is an extradimensional location. It's official entrance is in Port Telvannis but all the councillors have private access from their own towers. They don't send Mouths to Parliament because it's inconvenient for them to travel, they do so as a safety precaution.


I definitely think the solution to the Sadrith Mora Council Hall is to make it a portal to the Parliament of Bugs. I'm not sure having one in every tower is a good idea though. A benefit is that it makes HT quests a lot less tedious. A negative is that it might take away from the magic by making it too ubiquitous.

No matter what, the fact that Mouths exist as a safety precaution is just necessarily true.

Quote:
-If a Telvanni Lord dies through fair means (rare) or foul, their Mouth will take on their identity and even their appearance. Both have to be killed for the wizard to truly die.

This may be a good idea, but it would have quest implications in that the HT questline will definitely involve killing multiple mage-lords. The alternative is to have Mouths become incoherent, babbling, messes when their master dies rather than giving them their consciousness back.

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Post Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:16 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Sload wrote:

I definitely think the solution to the Sadrith Mora Council Hall is to make it a portal to the Parliament of Bugs. I'm not sure having one in every tower is a good idea though. A benefit is that it makes HT quests a lot less tedious. A negative is that it might take away from the magic by making it too ubiquitous.


Additional security measure: the private entrances are coded to the Masters and their Mouths and are unusable by anyone else without a sample of their blood/bone/teeth etc. Leads to fun macabre quest opportunities.

And tbh if anywhere in Morrowind can get away with overdoing magical fantasy stuff, it's Telvannis surely.

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Post Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:25 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



All Telvanni are going to have spells of flight and teleportation (mark/recall, they probably don't care about the intervention spells though); they don't need a teleporter network. Plus it would seem a bit too much like the Guild Guide network of the Mages Guild, and the Telvanni ought to be a very different take on what it means to be a spellcaster from the Mages Guild.

The masters of the sadrith towers do not need to have a two-way fast travel method to the POB. Either they are on the Parliament and then they have a Mouth here, or they don't and then they have no business here until they do.

They could at most, I suppose, have a one-way teleporter from their own tower to the outskirt of the POB, and rely on Recall for the return trip.

As for what happens to the Mouths when their masters die: it's pretty much irrelevant in vanilla, where they are scripted to simply disappear. E.g., kill Dratha, and Raven Omayn is disabled.

That said, what is the incentive for Telvanni people to become Mouths? Getting your personality overwritten forever probably would not seem appealing to someone raised in a very individualistic culture. In vanilla (which we're planning on changing), it's supposed to be a step up. By becoming a mouth, you now have a patron and you will eventually get to become a spellwright, reclaiming your independence and giving you the opportunity of keeping up the climb to the ranks of wizard, master, and even eventually magister and archmagister. See some vanilla dialogue for the Mouth topic:
Raven Omayn wrote:
There is a Telvanni in Balmora who is ready for the rank of Mouth, but the other Councilors believe that he is not trustworthy. His calls himself Fast Eddie.

Enar Releth wrote:
If you are looking for a mouth of your own, you might ask Fast Eddie in Balmora.

Aryon wrote:
Each Mouth represents his or her patron, who is one of the older and more respected members of the Council. The Mouths receive messengers from their patrons and cast their patron's votes in the Council.

While other Councilors would insist that you stay in the Telvanni Council Hall day and night awaiting my decisions, I understand the insignificance of the daily business of the Council.

I have heard of a promising Telvanni in Balmora who might agree to be your Mouth, but I do not know more than this. Ask the other Telvanni if they know of someone who would agree to be your Mouth.

You have found a Mouth to represent you on the Council. As your protege, Fast Eddie will do chores for you. I am pleased to see my own protege rise so quickly to the rank of %NextPCRank in House Telvanni. Please accept this glove. It was one of my first successful enchantments.

You have a Mouth to be your voice in the Council.


Edd Theman wrote:
You want me to be your Mouth?

Well, I've waited a few years. I can wait a few more.

That's okay. I've been waiting to be a Mouth for years.

If I'm your Mouth, you'll be my patron. You'll need to give me a Silver Staff of Peace.

I've waited for years to be someone's Mouth. I won't disappoint you. I'll go to the Council Hall right away. If you want me to do any chores for you, just let me know.

I said I'd be your Mouth, and I will.

I am your Mouth. Just tell me how you want me to vote in the Council or if you want me to do chores for you.


A possibility is that being a Mouth is not a complete mindwipe and personality rewrite. Instead, it's more like getting a voice in your head. The Mouth keeps their own mind, but there is the copy of the master's mind as well, which gives orders as well. The Mouth's angle is that they hope they'll learn the secrets of their master this way, and will eventually grow their willpower enough to not let their master hold sway on their actions anymore.

Otherwise, all that dialogue about Mouths and Fast Eddie will have to be rewritten. Not necessarily a bad thing, because "Edd 'Fast Eddie' the Man" is a groaner of a name.
Post Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'd suggest that Mouths come in a variety. Some councilors favour the mind-wipe method, some favour the little-voice-in-head, while other eccentrics just leave the Mouth as-is and either assume the Mouth will try to represent them or will not care what the Mouth decides in their name in parliament.

The mind-wipe method could be a punishment; some councilors displeased with a lesser House member might 'promote' that member to Mouth, stripping away the member's identity.
On the other hand, it could be a sort of temporary personality override, either for the duration of the Mouth's tenure or for the duration of council meetings.

In Vvardenfell, where the Telvanni are quickly expanding, the full mind-wipe could be discouraged because it hinders promotion of House members through the ranks. There's not much point in having two Magisters with the same mind. An alternate possibility is that Magisters who use the mind-wipe method have a second non-Mouth Mouth, who doesn't attend the council, has their consciousness intact and will eventually get promoted.

That sort of position would obviously fit the player, as it would circumvent the whole idea of the player having to sit around in parliament all day. An alternative is the temporary mind-override, where the player is effectively put to sleep for a few hours at certain times in which he would supposedly be representing his Magister, which would be interesting from a lore standpoint but not necessarily a gameplay standpoint.

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Post Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



I for one am in favor of the full mind-swipe for the Mouths: to have them be total zombies whenever they've not been activated by their Masters. In the game talking to an inactive Mouth would result in nothing more but a blank stare. Talking to a Mouth when they're activated by their Master will make the Master forcegreet you so you can communicate directly with the Master through the Mouth.

The incentive to become a Mouth is that the mind-swiping procedure could potentially go either way. A strong-willed Mouth could resist the mind-swipe, leave their body and takeover their Master's mind, becoming the Master themself. For the more confident Telvanni this battle of the wills is a quick way to climb up the faction ladder, learning all the late Master's secrets in the process. That being said I like Gnomey's idea of having some Masters promote displeasing House members as a punishment.

Also, I'd like to see at least one Mouth be a high-ranking Dremora. Sort of like the Master's way of show off how badass they are: strong enough to bound a Daedra to stay on Nirn and serve them.

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Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:01 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Rats wrote:

The incentive to become a Mouth is that the mind-swiping procedure could potentially go either way. A strong-willed Mouth could resist the mind-swipe, leave their body and takeover their Master's mind, becoming the Master themself. For the more confident Telvanni this battle of the wills is a quick way to climb up the faction ladder, learning all the late Master's secrets in the process.


I love that

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Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:32 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Rats wrote:
I for one am in favor of the full mind-swipe for the Mouths: to have them be total zombies whenever they've not been activated by their Masters. In the game talking to an inactive Mouth would result in nothing more but a blank stare. Talking to a Mouth when they're activated by their Master will make the Master forcegreet you so you can communicate directly with the Master through the Mouth.

Would still make it completely useless for the player to have Fast Eddie (or any other character) as a Mouth. What are they going to do with it, talk to themselves? Things like this or that will also have to be entirely removed, because they're violently incompatible with your idea.

Also I think it'd fit Telvanni better if the Mage Lords have different approaches to the Mouth issue, as fit their own personality, rather than all doing the exact same thing.
Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:03 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



Rats wrote:
I for one am in favor of the full mind-swipe for the Mouths: to have them be total zombies whenever they've not been activated by their Masters. In the game talking to an inactive Mouth would result in nothing more but a blank stare. Talking to a Mouth when they're activated by their Master will make the Master forcegreet you so you can communicate directly with the Master through the Mouth.

The incentive to become a Mouth is that the mind-swiping procedure could potentially go either way. A strong-willed Mouth could resist the mind-swipe, leave their body and takeover their Master's mind, becoming the Master themself. For the more confident Telvanni this battle of the wills is a quick way to climb up the faction ladder, learning all the late Master's secrets in the process. That being said I like Gnomey's idea of having some Masters promote displeasing House members as a punishment.

How would this play out in game when the player has a Mouth though?

I agree that there's an issue of the motivation to become a mouth, and that this could be a solution in theory, but I don't think it works within our constraints.

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Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gez
Developer Emeritus
22 Jul 2005



Another thing about Mouths that means we'll have to rewrite Beth's stuff: becoming Hortator of the Telvanni. All the Mouths there tell you you have to speak directly with their master on a matter of this importance. The path of least resistance would be to make this purely a ritual formality -- it's not that the Mouth does not have the ability and power to make the decision, it's that the wannabe Hortator has to visit each mage lord separately, on their own turf.

But in any way, it's something to factor in.
Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



I agree that the individual Masters should have individual ways of handling their Mouths. I'd really like to have a few totally zombified Mouths if only to show the ruthlessness of the wizards.

On Fast Eddie: no need to remove any of his quests. Eddie simply refuses to be mind-swiped by the player and will only agree to become the Mouth if he's allowed to remain as himself. (This is why the Telvanni deem Eddie not being trustworthy - no one would trust a fully conscious, independent Mouth) Of course we could offer the player a choice between Fast Eddie and another potential Mouth--someone whom the player could mind-swipe. How a mind-swiped Mouth would work for the player in game? I honestly hadn't thought of that, but perhaps by giving the player a magical trinket of some sort with which they could first activate a telepathic connection with the Mouth and then choose with whom of the other Mouths/Masters present in the parliament they'd wish to interact with.

I don't see any reason to rewrite the Telvanni Hortator quest. The player would still have to visit each of the masters personally: the masters would just refuse to discuss the matter through their Mouth.

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rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Should hostile loner Telvanni wizards (alive or dead, their only purpose being to have cool magic dungeons in sadriths) still be namedropped now and then by other Telvanni? they'd logically have no actual connections to the faction but might make them look like they were POA otherwise.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
roerich
Developer
08 Feb 2010

Location: Sea of Ghosts

rot wrote:
Should hostile loner Telvanni wizards (alive or dead, their only purpose being to have cool magic dungeons in sadriths) still be namedropped now and then by other Telvanni? they'd logically have no actual connections to the faction but might make them look like they were POA otherwise.


Sounds good to me. Perhaps have some quests related to sending the player to one of these "deliver this to %MadWizard plz", have the player be attacked, kill everyone and then return to the questgiver who will be like "oh, %MadWizard is dead? then he won't have use of this item anyway." Just better.

Have some of them taken over by summoned Daedra too.
Post Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:59 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

An idea for a Telvanni Wizard/Master Wizard.

Celadoor. His name is a reference to the word "Cellar Door", which according to phonaesthetics is considered one of the most beautiful words in the English language. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellar_door
(Celador would probably look better, but I like Celadoor because it looks a bit weirder).

As a wizard, he concerns himself most with aesthetics and ideas of perfection. He's a big fan of phonaesthetics, the belief that certain words are intrinsically beautiful based on their sound. He has a nack for speaking poetically (in an annoying way), finding it more important to speak 'beautifully' than understandably. He's a Class A Narcissist. His tower is filled with mirrors, his own works (like books) and paintings of himself. He pays great attention to his appearance, his musk and has subjected himself to magical cosmetics. He's obsessed with symmetry and cleanliness. His tower is perfectly symmetrical and utterly clean. His followers are selected based on beauty and are given phonoaesthetically pleasant names. He refers to anything ugly or unpleasant as a "cacophon". He is more of a perfectionist then a pragmatist in the sense that he is willing to work the extra decades to perfect his creations rather than display them an age earlier at 95% completion. He takes a silent pride in his individualism, considering outside advice to be a severe insult and provocation.

In a productive sense, he concerns himself with writing tomes on beauty and creating art. He's also a big player in the Telvanni Bug Musk market. He has a small museum of unique art which he has never shared with anyone else. He has been known to buy an artists' magnum opus, then remove said artist, reasoning this is the best thing he will ever make. He has also been known to give patronage to talented artists: what this means in practice is a form of indentured servitude where the artist is forced to continuously create new art.

In Telvanni politics Celadoor would be fairly wealthy, but mostly ignored doing his own thing. Conflict might arise if he grows jealous of anothers' beauty or possessions. In terms of gameplay Celadoor would be highly proficient at enchanting and illusion.

He is an Altmer. Or would it be better if he's a Dunmer?


Last edited by immortal_pigs on Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I get a huge High Elf vibe from the description of your wizard. Not sure if this is what you intended. Regardless, I like how you connect his personality with the Bug Musk trade, but we might not want to overplay something as universally applicable as vanity when designing the personalities of our Telvanni wizards. With that said, I love a lot of the narcissistic quirks you've given your character, especially the ones in this section.

Quote:
He is more of a perfectionist then a pragmatist in the sense that he is willing to work the extra decades to perfect his creations rather than display them an age earlier at 95% completion. He takes a silent pride in his individualism, considering outside advice to be a severe insult and provocation.


I think it would be important to write this character in way that he doesn't come across as foppish, or a caricature of vanity tropes.

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Post Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:05 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



The structure of the final document:

1. General Character.

What is this house like? What impression are we trying to create when we represent this house? What is its in-character history and current function? What unique elements or structures does this house have that other houses don't?

2. Settlement Spaces.

What are settlements from this house like? What is the architecture set & how should it be used in the CS? What buildings do some or all settlements of this house need to have that other settlements don't?

What are the Tier I & II settlements of this faction each like? How are they different from one another? What is their key element that gives them purpose from a game/story perspective?

3. NPCs.

What are the NPCs in this house's territory more likely to be like - including house-kin, non-house dunmer & outlanders? What portion of characters are of each type? What kinds of identities or associations can certain characters associated with this faction-trope or in its settlements be given that others can't?

What are some of the major characters of this faction, or major character-groupings, that will be important to the quest? What are they like?

4. Faction Quest Storyline.

What is this house's storyline? What are the conflicts that drive it? What end goal is it trying to achieve? How does it demonstrate the house's character?

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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:41 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Some half-formed thoughts...

The Telvanni are the house of mages, of course, but they're also the house of individualistic, will-to-power egotists. They differ from the other houses in that they have no real ideology beyond might makes right, and they are the least unified faction in Morrowind. There's a council, but only some of the Telvanni lords bother with it.

The Telvanni are isolationists, with little interest in the worldly politics of the province. Most of the conflict the house experiences is internal, squabbles between different wizard lords over trivial or esoteric matters rather than clashes with other houses or the Empire.

In some ways this is the most straightforward faction to advance in. Do powerful people favours and get rewarded. Kill the top Telvanni to take their places. The player is drafted into one of the endless internecine feuds of the wizard lords, acquires the favour of someone powerful, and establishes themselves as a high ranking Telvanni by virtue of the construction of their own Sadrith tower. Then it's a matter of killing their way to the top.

The Telvanni faction questline is also an opportunity to indulge in the bizarre. Pocket realms, unique spells and progressively more outlandish sights and player experiences should characterise the Telvanni story.

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Post Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:25 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Telvanni NPCs are more likely to be:

-Wizards
-Bodyguards for wizards
-Servants for wizards
-Service providers for wizards (alchemists, tailors, anything)
-Peasants

There are substantial numbers of Bosmer in the vanilla Telvanni. Not sure why, or whether we want to continue this trend.

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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'll post this here, too, as it is pertinent:

Savant wrote:
As mercenaries, House Hlaalu prefers Imperials and Redguards, Redoran prefers Nords and Altmer, and Telvanni prefer Bosmer and Bretons.


I do find it somewhat odd that Telvanni apparently use more magically inclined, squishier races, though. I suppose they don't hire mercenaries to make up for their short-comings, but instead to do their job for them, and as such hire mercenaries with a similar skill-set.

Edit: as you say, we naturally do not need to follow that trend.

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Sload
Developer Emeritus
06 Feb 2005



that quote sucks so hard, ignore it please
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Post Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

As near as I can tell, Telvanni guards are simply retainers of the local Telvanni wizard who keep the peace. Would their appointment rely completely on the Telvanni wizard in question/his representative, such as a guard captain?
They, like all guards, label themselves "officers of the Imperial Law". Is that an official title they receive, or do they just say it for the heck of it/for gameplay reasons?

What role, if any, do minor Houses play in House Telvanni? Advancement and, as a result, rank in House Telvanni seems completely dependent on individual merit.

Other than that, as far as NPCs are concerned, I'd think Telvanni lands would be a common refuge for outlaws and other undesirables. I'm not just talking about attack-on-sight enemies, but also among the populous there might be quite a few NPCs who have a past that might get them in trouble elsewhere in Morrowind.

Edit: as far as the Morrowind quote is concerned, noted. I find it useful to bring up Morrowind quotes, as they can provide insights as to what Bethesda was planning with Morrowind. Many quotes were already obsolete in vanilla Morrowind, though, or otherwise don't make much sense. That's something I hope we can avoid in TR...

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Post Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:31 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

2. Settlement Spaces.

All Telvanni settlements are formed around the tower of one of their wizard lords. In many cases, they will consist of the tower and nothing else. The wizard lord is the absolute ruler of the settlement and the rest of the populace represent his or her extended household.

Telvanni settlements should usually feature 3-4 'levels' that represent the importance of its residents. First level is the inner sanctum, the summit of the tower inhabited by the lord themselves, often completely alone. This area is inaccessible except by magic. The second level is the main body of the tower, in which the wizard's personal staff reside. These will be the ranking House Telvanni members of the settlement. The third level consists of fungus pods attached to the tower. These are lived in by the general populace who provide services to the wizard, and also commercial services to passing trade. The guards probably live here too. Finally the fourth level, which lies outside the tower and is not part of the fungal structure (see for example the small shack dock at Tel Branora). This area will often be inhabited by people who have chosen to live under the shadow of the wizard lord, but who have not been invited. Their situation is precarious.

The Telvanni often select isolated or inaccessible sites for their towers, demonstrating their lack of interest in worldly affairs. Others might select a particularly grandiose location to advertise their greatness, or one with some other feature of magical interest (see Marog for an example of the latter two).

The Telvanni don't farm or mine in a big way, and rely on the unaligned Velothi settlements of the region as well as trade with the Dres and Indoril for basic resources. The local Velothi are not permitted to export the goods they produce to other parts of Morrowind unless they do so through the Telvanni, so they profit from commerce without being directly involved.

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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:08 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Adanorcil
Developer Emeritus
22 Jan 2006



Quote:
What role, if any, do minor Houses play in House Telvanni? Advancement and, as a result, rank in House Telvanni seems completely dependent on individual merit.

None. The Telvanni lords (which is to say: the only ones who matter) don't care about family ties or other informal relations. They probably outlive most of their relatives and don't have time for or interest in starting families of their own.

Quote:
They, like all guards, label themselves "officers of the Imperial Law". Is that an official title they receive, or do they just say it for the heck of it/for gameplay reasons?


I think that one can mostly be chalked up to gameplay. They're probably just the same class with the same dialogue as Imperial guards. (Which is a missed opportunity, frankly.)

Quote:
The Telvanni don't farm or mine in a big way, and rely on the unaligned Velothi settlements of the region as well as trade with the Dres and Indoril for basic resources.

Let's not forget to make an exception for the bug musk trade. How does that fit into their economy?
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MoonAndStar
Developer
25 Oct 2012

Location: Spain

The PGE says this:


"Clan Telvani is the most xenophobic of a xenophobic race, shunning all contact with outsiders, preferring to tend their herds of giant insects amid the rocky hills and islands of the extreme northeast."


Perhaps the insect herding aspect could be more emphasized for economy, of course associated to the bug musk as well. I know currently there's the one place on the Port Telvannis island, but maybe the "extreme northeast" bit was taken too literally originally.
Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Adanorcil wrote:
Let's not forget to make an exception for the bug musk trade. How does that fit into their economy?

Bug musk was invented by a Telvanni Lord centuries ago who was investigating mind control drugs to stop his minions from irritating him. It didn't have the properties he was looking for, but it was rescued from the reject pile by an underling who saw the potential to make money. He found the recipe and began making the musk. To protect himself he made dozens of copies of the recipe, each of which was slightly different and wrong. These copies were stolen and disseminated across much of Telvannis within a matter of months, but the original recipe remained a closely guarded secret. Eventually it was stolen, but the thieves used the same trick to maximise the profit they could make by selling the best quality bug musk.

Today there are 5082 different recipes recorded by some sad person who counts these things, but none of them is the true recipe. Some of these recipes produce passable bug musk, many produce nothing of value and some are incredibly toxic (there's a niche market for recipes that produce the first and third effects). The true recipe is still lost, but it must be around somewhere because high quality bug musk is still being made. The individual(s) who own the true recipe operate in total secrecy. They manufacture the bug musk in hidden basements and caves, they don't reveal their identities to anyone and always act through intermediaries. The intermediaries themselves can get very rich selling bug musk and some of this wealth inevitably trickles down to everyone else. They do, however, run the risk of being kidnapped and tortured for all the information they know about the true recipe (which is usually nothing at all).

The Lords aren't publicly involved in the trade at all (although who knows for sure...). They do, however, regard as a useful distraction for the common folk, and it goes some way to stop them whining about not having enough money for food.

Any good?

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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:59 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'm somewhat concerned that adding a back-story to bug musk could detract from its role as a cultural trade commodity. Dres (slaves) till the salt fields, Hlaalu own plantations and trade networks, Telvanni herd bugs and extract musk.
I actually see Telvanni commoners as having the most traditional Dunmer lifestyle next to the Ashlanders. They, little affected by Imperialism, the Tribunal and their wizard lords, just continue doing what they've been doing for millennia.

Edit: that is not to say extracting Bug Musk can't have a back-story. I just think it should be tied to the broader Telvanni culture as opposed to one individual, or small group of individuals.

_________________
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Post Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:21 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

In my mind I was thinking that nearly everyone was involved in the trade in some way, even if it's just making up cheap knock-offs to sell to gullible outlanders.
_________________
'The strange thing about TR is that I think it is by and large accepted that we will finish. We are all the sort of crazy people that would do such a thing. We are inevitable.' ~ Thrignar Fraxix
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immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

I stumbled across this while reading the old Name Dedefecation thread.

Quote:
- Tel Naga is not named Tel Neloth
- Tel Vos is not named Tel Aryon
- Tel Mora is not named Tel Dratha
- Tel Branora is not named Tel Therana
- Tel Aruhn is not named Tel Gothren
- Tel Fyr is actually named Tel Fyr (okay, that's one)

(Gez)


What I would take from this is that there's a reason most Telvanni towers are not named after their current mage lord inhabitants. I suppose the implication would be that a Tower is generally named after the original creater/owner. But since Telvanni politics are rather cutthroat most original owners have since died and been replaced by new mage lords.

The only exceptions being:
Tel Fyr (Because Divayth Fyr is still alive)
Tel Dral* (Because Archmagister Dral is still alive)

*Tel Dral would be a name change proposal.

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Post Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:59 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'm not sure whether the towers were ever named after people, with exceptions like Tel Fyr. Tel Aruhn might really just be Tel Ruhn, or "Tower-Hall", while Tel Mora might really just be "Tower Wood(s)". Tel Vos is named after the nearby settlement, which almost certainly wasn't named after a Telvanni wizard.
Tel Uvirith is an odd case, as the cell it's in is called "Uvirith's Grave" before the tower is built, but, if the player joins another House, its resident wizard is called Uvirith. Not sure what to think on that one.

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"The "drunks" are hopefully leading the "sober" in the right direction. They're just not heading there in a straight line...." - Kovacius

"I have nothing to declare except my genius." - Oscar Wilde, border
Post Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:14 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

Concerning faction relationships, or NPC reactions towards members of other factions.

In another thread I started drawing a table to determine faction relationships with other factions, which has changed a few times since the first sketch. The table shows NPC reactions towards members of different factions. The table should be read by finding the source faction on the left hand column, and matching it with a faction from the top row. See the table in the spoiler below.
Gnomey wrote:
First of all, in those graphs, I think the vertical columns are really the most important. They show how the opinions of members of factions change upon the player joining a certain faction.
Always remember that faction relations are inherently player-centric. The player will probably never join Her Hands, for instance, so figuring out what other factions would think of Her Hands would mostly be a waste of time. Figuring out what Her Hands thinks (if anything) of other factions is, however, very important.
Truth be told, I think it might be more reasonable to just figure out the vertical columns in the individual faction threads. This would split the task into bite-sized portions, allowing for proper discussion, and it would be rather easy to then go through the faction threads and gather the results.


Per Gnomey’s advice I am now splitting this up through the faction threads. Please discuss in this thread the reactions of other factions towards Great House Telvanni to keep things organised.



I think it is clear that pretty much nobody likes of cares for House Telvanni, but this is, of course, open for discussion.
Post Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:58 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Neroon
Member
10 Jun 2011



Telvanni land, north-east of Morrowind is land which doesn't know enemy invasions. There is a peaceful place. Why is it so empty? Dunmers live very long, they like big families. So Telvanni land must be filled by towns, mines, farms. No empty places at all.
Post Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:38 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

It has probably been the landing site of an Akaviri invasion or two in the past. That aside, the most probably answer is simply that the climate and landscape of Telvannis is such that it cannot support large populations; whether due to rough, rocky ground, mountains, perhaps some blobs of ashland, dense mushroom vegetation or something else.
_________________
"The "drunks" are hopefully leading the "sober" in the right direction. They're just not heading there in a straight line...." - Kovacius

"I have nothing to declare except my genius." - Oscar Wilde, border
Post Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:52 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
st.Veloth, The Repenting
Member
28 Feb 2015

Location: toronto

house telvanni is the main source of silt striders and other arthropod-like creatures in morrowind. small isolated communities of herders, living in small villages of pods, almost outposts herd the "bugs". they are represented by the local wizard lord.

also, telvanni architecture is not limited to the original set included. i find that some aspects of the cities are somewhat un-inspired, and should branch out from the familiar design of one huge tower complex. banners and lanterns stringing from pod to pod, stuff like that.

telvanni-dres relations are strong. interbreeding of the architectural styles could be present in bordertowns.

telvanni are the empitamy of morrowind's WTF factor. they're power is almost godlike. it is said, that the wizard-lord's power is allmost equal to that of the tribunal, but they are misdirected, and do not know what to do with said power.

this is just minor critique and ideas, as always, just tell me to shut up and i will Wink

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Post Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

As far as Telvanni settlements go, one school of thinking is to scale back almost all of them and make them -- essentially -- just towers, with the exception of Port Telvannis and Sadrith Mora. (I may be forgetting one). If we go that route, most of the town settlements in Telvannis would be in the Velothi tileset.
I'm not sure myself whether I prefer going that route or, as you say, having a lot of small pod-villages.

I'm not sure about interbreeding of architecture styles; while Telvanni and Dres have strong relations, they both like to keep to themselves.

I agree with your other points.

_________________
"The "drunks" are hopefully leading the "sober" in the right direction. They're just not heading there in a straight line...." - Kovacius

"I have nothing to declare except my genius." - Oscar Wilde, border
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:09 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Telvanni wizards don't "represent" the bug herders who live on their land. They may lord over them, but for the most part the Telvanni ignore the commoners who just happen to occupy their lands.

Dres and Telvanni territories do not border one another. There are no bordertowns where their architecture would "interbleed."

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ihavefivehat
Member
20 Oct 2014



I feel like having a lot of pod villages would be out of character for the Telvanni. It seems like their tower villages are almost entirely populated by people- merchants, guards, suppliers, etc. who are directly contracted by the resident wizard lord.

I think the relationship between Telvanni lords and the Velothi/Ashland settlements on their land would be tribute-based rather than one of direct rule. The commoners would supply food or other goods in exchange for essentially just being left alone. But I guess the exact nature of that system would vary according to the particular wizard lord, since the Telvanni seem so independent from one another.

Overall, I imagine most trade and contact with the outside world as happening via Port Telvannis. The wizard towers receive slaves and supplies via strider trade with the Port rather than through direct contact. Maybe Sadrith Mora serves a similar function on Vvardenfell.

I envision Telvanni territory as being sparsely populated and mostly wilderness. There is no large-scale agricultural activity, because the Telvanni import most of their food from the Dres, and Velothi villages essentially just provide for themselves. The only roads are dusty guar-trails used by the commoners. The Imperials have probably tried to make attempts at bringing a semblance of civilization to the area, but these are largely unsuccessful.
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
EJRS
Developer
14 Aug 2013



Since there seems to be surge of activity in this thread, here are my two cents on the Telvanni:

- "Telvanni", somewhat in the same sense as "Indoril", does not refer to the common people living on Telvanni land. Rather, the term refers to people in service of or in association with the the wizard-lords. The wizards ARE the Telvanni, their associates are Telvanni by association.

- The Telvanni lands are inhospitable wastes. Seeking isolation has led the Telvanni to inhabit areas of land shunned by others. This also means that at their home-ground, the Telvanni have next to no conflicts over territory with other factions. It also means that, as the faction grows, they will be forced to expand outwards.

- The ihospitability of the north-eastern lands means that travel is difficult and perilous. This is the reason why the Telvanni have developed the complicated surgical methods for controlling silt striders.

- Farming is next to impossible in these lands, forcing the inhabitants to seek sustenance for methods viable under these conditions, such as herding bugs and foraging.

- Since resources are scarce, the tower-dwellers as well as the people of the wastes depend on supplies from the outside. Telvanni caravans leave loaded with magical goods, such as enchanted items and alchemical brews, bug-products such as bug-musk, and "prepared" silt striders, and return with supplies and goods from the southern province. The sorceror-scholars of the towers also trade for rare books and curious artifacts to aid them in their esoteric research.

- Naturally, the Telvanni themselves are not geared towards trade, which is both perilous and time consuming. Instead, this function is served by a caste or society of hardened and adventurous individuals, who brave the dangers of the wastes, leading their caravans between settlements, and further south into the lands of other houses. They also serve as messengers, agents and the outward eyes and ears of the Telvanni. These are the dust-adepts. In the concept art, a dust-adepts is pictured wearing something similar to snow-shoes, which I can only assume are "ash-shoes". Also, the famous helm seems to have been developed with harsh conditions in mind. Therefore I get the feeling that the "dust" of their title refers to the volcanic ash and dust of their native lands, rather than some kind of metaphor for mortality or similar.


Just tossing out ideas, here. Personally, I feel that the inhospitability of Morrowind has been extremely downplayed in both the original game, and TR. I can see why Bethesda opted to go for a way softer version of Morrowind than depicted in art or text, seeing as they were dealing with a rather limited area within the province as the setting for an entire game, but I'd love to see more of it getting included in TR.


Last edited by EJRS on Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:24 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
DestinedToDie
Developer
22 Feb 2014



When you look at Vanilla Telvanni, there are no silt striders in any of them, everything is by boat. So which towns did? Ald-ruhn, Maar Gan, khuul, Gnisis and Molag Mar (redoran), Balmora and Suran (hlaalu), Vivec (all houses), Seyda Neen (imperial) and... nothing else comes to mind. Striders are more of a Redoran/Hlaalu thing that the empire might have adopted in a small way. This is never discussed upon, but I suspect that they are Redoran in origin.

With the exception of Vos, there are no nearby farmers. There are 2 shacks near Tel Branora which are separate from the mushroom tower. Aside from that, it's all wilderness, no one lives nearby.

You can usually find some daedric ruins not far. Also a slight possibility of vampires in tomb.
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I find it hard to disagree with any of the three posts after mine. (Thanks to Yeti in particular for pointing out two points I'd somehow missed).

I'd suggest that, rather than collecting tribute as such, Telvanni lords occasionally send their retainers to gather goods from the local settlements -- mainly bugmusk -- so that they have something to trade with the Dres. The Velothi more or less go along with it, as the Telvanni don't bother them too often and they wouldn't be able to stand up against the Telvanni wizards anyway.
Basically I'm suggesting that Telvanni (retainers) are effectively wizard-vikings the Velothi bugherds constantly buy off with musk.

On a random note, would it be annoying for Muskflies to have a DisablePlayerFighting and calm effect for a radius around them? I think it would be nice to have some sort of representation of the effect of the scent they exude.

As far as caravans are concerned, I don't think the Telvanni should sent out caravans at all. As ihavefivehat wrote, Port Telvannis (or Ga Sadrith? I frankly forgot, though I think I'd prefer Port Telvannis) and Sadrith Mora are where almost all trade is handled. As such, most Telvanni trade is probably water-based.

I personally think too much has generally been made of the Telvanni Dust Adept Helm. (Here are the original concepts, by the way, and according to the caption on the second page the helm was apparently originally intended to be Redoran).
As EJRS points out, the helm (and the rest of the armour) are designed for ashy -- or dusty -- conditions. The helm is adept at handling dust. (Specifically it appears to have dust filters and such). I really don't think there is or needs to be anything more to it.

In reply to DestinedToDie, the problem with citing the Telvanni on Vvardenfell is the terrain; a multitude of fairly barren islands. There are no other villages -- probably -- because there's no real space for them, (putting another in the Grazelands would have made the Grazelands seem too crowded), there are no siltstriders because there would be no convenient routes along which they could travel. (Bethesda seems to have actually paid some attention to that).
I do think Telvannis should have a very low population density, but it is a very large area, and I think there's more than enough room a few Velothi towns.

_________________
"The "drunks" are hopefully leading the "sober" in the right direction. They're just not heading there in a straight line...." - Kovacius

"I have nothing to declare except my genius." - Oscar Wilde, border
Post Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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