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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

In anticipation of upcoming work on Old Ebonheart, I thought it might be an idea to come up with some agreed thematic material relating to the Empire. This is along the same lines as Sload's Great House [Faction] threads, but a little different as the Empire is not a joinable organisation per se.

Attached notes are incomplete, contributions are welcome and needed.



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Last edited by gro-Dhal on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:48 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

A few random thoughts:

I like the idea that there is concern that the legions may be withdrawn to Cyrodiil.

Vanilla has a quest about the Talos Cult who conspire to kill Uriel Septim. We could expand on this heavily if we want, in several ways I have not thought about yet.

Geographically, I like your idea about the Empire trying to control the Inner Sea, however, a much larger threat to the Empire exists in the East, in the form of potential Akaviri invasions. I think 2920 mentions that the Empire wants to establish forts at the Eastern coast exactly because of that threat. Now obviously 2920 is fiction but the threat of Akaviri invasions is very real. Given this, I think the Empire either needs a very strong presence along the eastern coast - a position they currently do not have at all - or better: establish that the Telvanni, Indoril and Dres territories are deliberately used as buffer zone against Akavir. The empire saves themselves a whole lot of trouble not trying to maintain forts in the furthest regions of the territories of the Houses most hostile to them, and the Dunmer will fight tooth and nail to protect most of their eastern coast, given that this is the location of Necrom. (obviously, during an invasion, the allegiance of Telvanni and Dres could come into question because of their weaker ties to Necrom and the Temple and their hatred for the Imperials, but the idea could work).

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Last edited by Why on Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:38 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Remarks on Empire-related actual factions, obviously subject to discussion:

- The Imperial Legion is in an irregular state of disarray (corruption in some parts of the land, cowardice in others and internal power struggles in others). The Imperial Legion questline will focus (from some point on) on clearing this up. The upper end of the hierarchy is reluctant to let these problems go upstream, lest someone in Imperial City pulls the right levers and retracts Imperial forces from Morrowind altogether. There should be additional ways to help or harm the Imperial presence in particular regions (think good old Helnim gambit, but more systematically?). In the Redoran questline, the Legion will probably offer help to the Redoran, only to be roughly rejected.

- The Imperial Cult has an ambiguous role. On the one hand, it is a place for Imperials and Nords to socialize, but it also is very open to newcomers, probably hoping to spread the Imperial project this way. In reality, not many join, other than escaped slaves, which further takes away from the attractivity of the Cult to natives. (Some cynics in the Cult might even suggest barring slaves from joining for this reason.) A class of Dunmer views the IC as a mere ruse for seeding dissent and assimilating the natives, which isn't completely wrong -- but the levers made for using the Cult as a vehicle of Imperial power are mostly dysfunctional, and so the Cult is mostly just being what it pretends to be. It mostly keeps out of Dunmeri business and is rather self-involved (I imagine the "endgame" of the IC to be more about communicating with the Nine, than about politics). At some points in the IC questline, Imperials will try to get the Cult to intervene in politics on their behalf, only to be humiliatingly rejected or humiliatingly exposed. At a point in the IL questline, presumably in one of the corruption cleaning missions, the player might go to the Oracle of the IC in order to get a "blessing" for a less-than-clean operation that would otherwise have disciplinary repercussions.

- The Guild of Mages is devoted to mastering the magical arts and making them accessible to the general populace; it is probably the second-closest to embrancing Enlightenment ideals among all factions in the game (besides the Twin Lamps). It is not Imperial per se, but the Empire just happens to be the only political actor considering this a good idea, whence the Guild is headquartered there and effectively assists the Imperial project. This does not mean everyone in the Guild is pro-Imperial or all Dunmer mistrust the Guild, but the exceptions are not too many. Generally, a Dunmer joining the Guild would try to convince his native environment that he is in for the money, as "selling out" to the Imperials is much more acceptable than adopting their ideology. The Guild does not have much power, and where it does it is not very good at using it or even keeping it from slipping away. In Old Ebonheart, the basement of the Guild, containing a collection of invaluable and highly powerful artefacts, has recently been robbed by unidentified thieves.

- The Guild of Fighters is a merecenary organization which is really just that. While a system of checks and balances binds it in Cyrodiil, keeping it from degenerating to just another extortion gang, in Morrowind the only thing that keeps it at bay is the realization of its higher-ups that certain things would get them ousted from the land. [I don't know what else to say. Obviously we will have to detail this faction.]

- [I have no idea what to do with the Blades; I can't even tell if their role in the fulfillment of the Nerevarine prophecies is proof of their efficiency, a stroke of random luck, or the work of gods. Maybe this is best decided once all other factions are done, as it looks wasteful to involve the Blades in anything other than a mainquest.]

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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

I like the idea of the Legion being at the ready to leave. Perhaps show this in a way that reflects this through dialogue, and maybe parts being understaffed further east.

As for the Talos Cult, I too think we could expand on it nicely, perhaps by making some sort of underground presence in Old Ebonheart.

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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:46 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

There's so little information about the Talos Cult that we could use them for whatever we need a cult opposed to the current emperor for.
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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:49 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Good call with the buffer zone, Why.

I thought the secret secondary reason for the Empire's continuing obsession with the Inner Sea might be that the Emperor knows the danger of Dagoth Ur, and should the Ghostfence fail the Legions will be the second line of defence.

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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:30 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

Not every faction TR designs needs to be woefully incompetent and suck balls. It would make little sense to display The Empire as corrupt, weak, incompetent and cowardly, how am I as a player supposed to believe they were able to hold the province for such a long time in the first place?

And it makes no sense to assume that The Empire is ready leave at a moments notice. Have people seen how large Firewatch, Ebonheart, Old Ebonheart, Helnim (even though it might be axed) are? The sense I get is that The Empire is heavily invested in the eastern province. There are a lot of goodies to be exploited (ebony for example).

That said, having a single Imperial fort or region struck by corruption is a perfectly fine theme, it just doesn't need to be the entire theme of the legion.

I like Why's idea of using the Telvanni, Indoril and Dres as a buffer. It showcases the exploitative side of the Imperials. It's a smart thing to do. The Imperials would of course frame it as some kind of "eastern autonomy", but the strategic regions should be hinted at.

The Talos Cult is also a good idea to work with.
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:41 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Why
Lead Developer
04 Jul 2009

Location: Utrecht

Currently there's a fort in Telvanni lands that's corrupted, but honestly I don't think it's done very well or fits within our Telvanni plans. Such a theme would work way better in Hlaalu lands, especially in a border fort where Hlaalu actually gain something economically from it (evasion of import/export tax, strategic position, whatnot). I don't think it should be a core aspect of the legion though, they can be interesting in loads of ways without introducing more needless economic affairs to our mod.
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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:04 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

The stuff about the Legions possibly being pulled out is from the vanilla game. I personally find corruption and disarray far more interesting to plan stories around than stability and order.

Edit: [url=http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Morrowind:The_Eastern_Provinces...The Eastern Provinces[/url] also attests to the Empire precarious position in Morrowind.

Quote:
...and even if we overlook the dubious moral and legal justifications for hundreds of years of occupation of these two provinces, what economic or military benefits can we derive from Morrowind and Black Marsh?

Indeed, a few beneficiaries of Imperial monopolies in the provinces do profit from exploitation of their wealth and resources. But does the Empire as a whole benefit? Hardly. The vast machineries of the Imperial bureaucracies cost far more to maintain than can be recovered in duties and taxes. And the cost of establishing and maintaining the garrisons of the Imperial legion in the far-flung wilderness posts of these provinces would be cost-effective only if there were evidence of a military threat from the East. But no such evidence exits. No army of Morrowind or Black Marsh has ever threatened the security of any other Imperial province, let alone the security of Cyrodiil itself. Yeti: This obviously doesn't take into account the possibility of an invasion from Akavir. I chalk this up to the author either overlooking the possibility, not thinking its a credible threat, or assuming it wouldn't be the Empire's problem if Morrowind and Black Marsh were independent nations.

In fact, a greater threat to Imperial security lies in the idle legions that the taxpayer spends thousands of drakes to support. The generals of these legions, facing no enemies or opposition within the borders of their provinces, may look with ambition to the West. With their loyal veteran troops and coffers fattened by friendly monopolists, they become unpredictable political factors in the uncertainties surrounding the Imperial succession. Yeti: It would be great if we could implement characters like these.

If the occupation of Morrowind and Black Marsh were motivated by idealistic aspirations, perhaps there might lie some justification for bearing the burden of Empire. But consider the shame of the Empire's mute acceptance to the unspeakable practice of slavery in Morrowind. Instead of using our Imperial legions to free the wretched Khajiit and Argonian slaves from their Dark Elf masters, we pay our troopers to PROTECT the indefensible institution of slavery. Within the ebony mines of Morrowind, bloated monopolists under Imperial charters exploit slave labor to harvest the outrageous profits assured by rampant graft and corruption. Yeti: Caldera on Vvardenfell is an obvious example of this. It would be interesting to have Imperial businessmen using slave labor somewhere in Hlaalu territory.

Consider the colossal arrogance of our proposition to bring Peace and Enlightenment to the East, when in fact, we have only brought our armies into lands who have never threatened us, and when we have only exploited the most shameful and evil practices we have found in Morrowind and Black Marsh simply to enrich the friends and flatterers of the Imperial family.

Impartially considered, our occupation of the Eastern provinces is morally corrupt, militarily indefensible, and economically ruinous. The only conclusion is that we should disband the Eastern legions, withdraw the Imperial bureaucracies and monopolists from the East, and give these ancient lands and peoples their freedom. Only by doing so may we hope to preserve the fragile ideals and fortunes of Western culture. Yeti: The text doesn't address what would happen to settlers if the Empire ever pulled out. I'd atribute this to the author not having a credible answer to such a difficult dilemma, or not wanting to draw attention to a ethical flaw in his proposal.

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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:15 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

arvisrend wrote:
The Guild of Mages is devoted to mastering the magical arts and making them accessible to the general populace; it is probably the second-closest to embrancing Enlightenment ideals among all factions in the game (besides the Twin Lamps).


In Morrowind, a common theme of the Mages Guild was how the ideal and the reality of the Guild were completely separate. While supposedly aiming to make magic accessible, instead the guild tries to establish a monopoly on magic and, in particular, magic research, trying to shut down non-guild-affiliated magicians. That is a large reason behind the guild's competition with House Telvanni.
In fact, the Morrowind book Origin of the Mages Guild implies that the guild had already somewhat fallen from its ideals some time in the second era.
That doesn't stop us from making the mainland guild completely above board, of course, but it is something to keep in mind.

As for the Fighter's Guild, one thing I'd like to add is that how the guild operates would depend heavily on supply and demand. Between the Great Houses which aren't House Telvanni, the Imperial Legion and the Temple, a lot of the tasks the Fighter's Guild would typically handle would already be dealt with.
The more stable the local conditions, the more likely it becomes that the guild is either left with handling various organizations' dirty work, or becomes part of one such organization, as in vanilla Morrowind. Or is concerned with clearing rats from cellars.

gro-Dhal wrote:
I thought the secret secondary reason for the Empire's continuing obsession with the Inner Sea might be that the Emperor knows the danger of Dagoth Ur, and should the Ghostfence fail the Legions will be the second line of defence.


I definitely like this idea, but how many people in the Imperial Legion would know about it? I'm not sure how well-kept a secret the increased 6th House activity in Vvardenfell is supposed to be. If the Blades feature into the mod, (and I certainly think they should in some way), they would probably be the easiest way for the player to discover the secondary motive.

On the topic of the Blades, looking at their distribution in Vvardenfell is certainly worthwhile, as far as hinting at the primary concerns of the Empire-in-Cyrodiil: they are concentrated in and around the Bitter Coast, and then inland to Ald-ruhn. Their primary concerns seem to be investigating the East Empire Company and House Hlaalu, as well as getting ready for a fight with Dagoth Ur.
Do their investigations of House Hlaalu suggest a special distrust of that House? Might they have an inkling of the big Hlaalu secret? They don't have any agents in Telvanni lands, and only one in Redoran Lands, and I'd be surprised if that was due to their not being able to establish a network there. Those Houses simply appear to be a lower priority.

As far as the Akiviri invasions go, I agree with the idea of a buffer, but the last Akaviri invasion was roughly a millennium before the events of Morrowind. Actively fearing an Akaviri invasion would be similar to the EU fearing another invasion from Mongolia, because the Huns and Mongols invaded before.

On another note, I think putting some focus on how the Imperial concept of nobility and the Dunmer concept of Houses interact might be interesting. I'm not sure whether all of the dukes of Morrowind have been planned out as characters, but going off of Duke Vedam Dren and King Hlaalu Helseth, Morrowind's nobility seems to be a mix of Imperial immigrant nobles and Dunmer.
I'd find it interesting, for example, if some random Redoran minor House traditionally provides the dukes of Velothis District. The Duke and his House would generally try and ignore the title, and whether the Duke actually has any authority within his House would vary from generation to generation because the ducal line and House hierarchy are completely separate. That would lead to situations such as visiting nobility fawning over some relatively unimportant member of the minor House while ignoring the head of the House.

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Post Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:27 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Quote:
As far as the Akiviri invasions go, I agree with the idea of a buffer, but the last Akaviri invasion was roughly a millennium before the events of Morrowind. Actively fearing an Akaviri invasion would be similar to the EU fearing another invasion from Mongolia, because the Huns and Mongols invaded before.


The difference is that Akavir remains a unpredictable and dangerous power, while Mongolia today is merely a backwater nation that is part of a globalized society. And even though Akivir hasn't invaded Tamriel in a long time, Uriel V's invasion of Akivir was only about 140 years ago. But I agree it shouldn't be a present and all-consuming fear, but something the Empire's strategists take into consideration on the off-chance it ever happens again.

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Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

As far as defending the east coast is concerned, I've been sitting on The Defense of Morrowind, Volume II for some time but I've now posted it up on the forum. Feel free to read through it and make your comments.

Quote:
Real world references for the Empire include... the Old Republic from Star Wars.

Laughing

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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Slightly expanded document.


The Empire.pdf
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Post Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

A thought I had on Imperial governance in Morrowind: to me, the Empire in Morrowind seems to actually be represented by a few separate factions.

You have the (primarily) Dunmer 'nobility', an attempt to introduce Imperial government form and structure to Morrowind. They are the government of Morrowind Province, or in other words the elements of Morrowind under jurisdiction of the Empire as defined by the Armistice.
In reality, how much of their power they want to use and are capable of using depends on place, inclination, and any other number of factors. The division of power in Morrowind is basically a tug-of-war between the nobility, the Great Houses and the Temple, and often the nobility doesn't tug very hard. King Athyn Llethan was a figurehead, while Hlaalu Helseth uses his position to further his political games. (He probably takes his position seriously in his own way, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't what the Empire was hoping for when Morrowind's nobility was established).
In my opinion the nobility should mostly be Dunmer, like King Hlaalu Helseth and Duke Vedam Dren. Their purpose is not to be an occupying force; their purpose is to be a local government in Imperial style. They are civilians. They often do not really represent the Emperor's interests.

Representing the Emperor's interests would be the job of the Imperial Proconsul, the Blades, and perhaps some other groups I am forgetting. (Perhaps the Imperial Knights? The Templars?)
The Proconsul would probably have significant emergency power over the Legions, as well as some sort of advisory role to Morrowind's nobility, or at least the king. As a result of the latter role, he may have had greater influence during King Athyn Llethan's time.
However, his main role is probably not the governance of Morrowind, but rather keeping Imperial power in Morrowind under control.

The Imperial Legion is the occupying force. They are the military. They would probably mostly be Colovians. At the same time, they are provincial Legions, and whether they really represent the Emperor depends on who you ask:

The Eastern Provinces Impartially Considered wrote:
The generals of these legions, facing no enemies or opposition within the borders of their provinces, may look with ambition to the West.


Their main task is policing the citizens of Morrowind and enforcing Imperial law in Morrowind. In practice, that translates to policing Imperial settlements and guarding key Imperial fortifications, such as passes and Legion forts.
For the most part, the Legion would be a self-governing body. The nobility might have some restricted authority over them, as might the Proconsul.

You could also add the Imperial Cult to the mix, depending on where we end up going with them.

These different factions would often be at odds with each other -- and often themselves -- and would have very different backgrounds and interests.[/quote]

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:55 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Infragris
Developer
10 Mar 2013



Gnomey wrote:

gro-Dhal wrote:
I thought the secret secondary reason for the Empire's continuing obsession with the Inner Sea might be that the Emperor knows the danger of Dagoth Ur, and should the Ghostfence fail the Legions will be the second line of defence.


I definitely like this idea, but how many people in the Imperial Legion would know about it? I'm not sure how well-kept a secret the increased 6th House activity in Vvardenfell is supposed to be. If the Blades feature into the mod, (and I certainly think they should in some way), they would probably be the easiest way for the player to discover the secondary motive.


One of the Balmora Blades members, Nine-Toes, all but confirms this. He says he was tasked with making a map for the Bitter Coast, and believes it will be used when/if the Legions move through.
Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:08 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Yes, I was wondering how many people in the Imperial Legion know about it. The lower ranks would probably be kept in the dark, but would the higher-ups be informed? If the Imperial Legion as a whole is kept ignorant, then, for them, defense against Dagoth Ur would not be a motive for securing the Inner Sea. To them, the reason for building fortifications along the Inner Sea would probably be more along the lines of being in a position to seize Vivec, the faction capitals in Vvardenfell district and blockade the Inner Sea and the major rivers that feed into it in case of rebellion.
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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

I think that is the sort of thing that would only be known to the Emperor and the Elder Council, and anyone in their inner circles. This may or may not include senior officers.
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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

New version uploaded, with a completely rewritten "General Structure of the Empire-in-Morrowind" section. To save unnecessary downloads, here it is:

Quote:
Morrowind is to a great extent an autonomous nation, but it pays homage to the Empire as its suzerain master. A suzerain is defined by Merriam-Webster as the following:

1: a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due : overlord
2: a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs

Morrowind is a sovereign state with its own native government (albeit one imposed by the Empire) represented by the King. Within Morrowind the Dunmer make the rules, which is why slavery is still practised and necromancy is outlawed despite the reverse being true in territories directly administered by the Empire. There are really only two areas in which the Empire exerts true control over the province: external relations and military defence. Morrowind’s foreign affairs are subject to imperial control, which means for example that they can no longer declare war on Skyrim, or colonise Solstheim without permission. It also means that the Empire oversees all foreign trade and is able to prohibit the export of Dwemer artefacts (but not their trade within the province).

Militarily, the Imperial Legion is the official standing army of Morrowind. The Dunmer are technically prohibited from forming their own military, although the great houses and temple are allowed to operate an armed police force, maintain personal retinues and hire mercenaries.

These two functions, foreign relations/trade and defence, are the preserve of the EEC and the IL/Navy respectively. Both organisations answer to the Dukes of Morrowind, who are the key political representatives of the Empire. All imperial settlements were founded as military or commercial outposts, and some have grown over time into substantial towns and cities.

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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Mostly nitpicking:


Quote:
Within Morrowind the Dunmer make the rules, which is why slavery is still practised and necromancy is outlawed despite the reverse being true in territories directly administered by the Empire.



I actually get the impression that Morrowind is subject to Imperial laws. Slavery is a big exception, and that is because the Armistice specifically makes it an exception. Morrowind is probably allowed to have its own additional provincial and maybe even House laws, though, such as the ban on necromancy, though I'd assume that the Empire would have the power to veto those laws, except in the case of slavery because Armistice.
Of course, whether Dunmer, or even Dunmer guards, pay much attention to Imperial law is a different question.


Quote:
It also means that the Empire oversees all foreign trade and is able to prohibit the export of Dwemer artefacts (but not their trade within the province).



Here I think it's rather a case that Dunmer don't care about internal trade of Dwemer artifacts while the Imperial Legion is nowhere near sufficiently equipped or interested in monitoring it.


Quote:
These two functions, foreign relations/trade and defence, are the preserve of the EEC and the IL/Navy respectively.



I would doubt that the EEC in any way represents Imperial government or, indeed, the Empire. It is naturally subject to Imperial laws and regulations, and likely has very strong ties to the Empire, but from my understanding it is not an arm of the Empire in any official capacity.


Quote:
All imperial settlements were founded as military or commercial outposts, and some have grown over time into substantial towns and cities.



Arguably Pelagiad is an exception.

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Post Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:09 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Quote:
I actually get the impression that Morrowind is subject to Imperial laws. Slavery is a big exception, and that is because the Armistice specifically makes it an exception. Morrowind is probably allowed to have its own additional provincial and maybe even House laws, though, such as the ban on necromancy, though I'd assume that the Empire would have the power to veto those laws, except in the case of slavery because Armistice.
Of course, whether Dunmer, or even Dunmer guards, pay much attention to Imperial law is a different question.


Successive kings of Morrowind have 'chosen' to adopt large parts of imperial law, particularly relating to basic law & order. In theory they're free to change their minds about this at any time. And in practice there are no real checks to ensure that imperial law is properly enforced.

Quote:
I would doubt that the EEC in any way represents Imperial government or, indeed, the Empire. It is naturally subject to Imperial laws and regulations, and likely has very strong ties to the Empire, but from my understanding it is not an arm of the Empire in any official capacity.


Not officially, no. It's a private company, but it's been granted a charter and a monopoly on trade by the Emperor. Its leaders reap vast profits in exchange for serving the Empire's needs, and as imperial subjects they answer to the Dukes.

Quote:
Arguably Pelagiad is an exception.


The Vvardenfell land grab has led to rules being bent, but Pelagiad still has a fort and can be justified as a military base if need be.

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Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

gro-Dhal wrote:
Successive kings of Morrowind have 'chosen' to adopt large parts of imperial law, particularly relating to basic law & order. In theory they're free to change their minds about this at any time. And in practice there are no real checks to ensure that imperial law is properly enforced.

I thought Morrowind had only had three monarchs since the Armistice: Barenziah, Llethan and Helseth?

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rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Everything in vanilla suggests that Imperial Law itself is what's, officially, supposed to be enforced on Vvardenfel. Goes beyond just the guards' standard I am an officer of ~, move along - iirc all law-related dialogue (Cammona Tong, the fact that slavery / necromancy are exceptions...) implies it.
Not to say that it makes more or less sense, but all that stuff can't just be handwaived. In practice though (outside of dialogue), probably makes no difference
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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

rot wrote:
Everything in vanilla suggests that Imperial Law itself is what's, officially, supposed to be enforced on Vvardenfel. Goes beyond just the guards' standard I am an officer of ~, move along - iirc all law-related dialogue (Cammona Tong, the fact that slavery / necromancy are exceptions...) implies it.
Not to say that it makes more or less sense, but all that stuff can't just be handwaived. In practice though (outside of dialogue), probably makes no difference


As I say, parts of Imperial law have been adopted in Morrowind by agreement of the king (and the Temple, presumably). The key point is that this was voluntary and not something directly enforced upon Morrowind by the Empire.

The difference is largely academic and not something most citizens would understand or give much thought to.

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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

One thing we need to pin down is the relative powers and responsibilities of the King, the Governor and the Proconsul. I'm happy for the role of governor to be combined with either of the other two, for simplicity's sake. The way I see it the King represents the native government and the Proconsul represents the Empire, almost like an ambassador with extra powers.

We also need to decide whether the Proconsul is based in Narsis (the current plan, supported in lore), Old Ebonheart (which makes more sense to me), or some compromise of the two.

My idea was that the game begins with the Proconsul based in the castle at OE, and player driven events over the course of the Hlaalu or Indoril storyline will trigger a move to Narsis. Best of both worlds or unrealistic to implement?

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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I prefer keeping the Proconsul in Narsis. I like the idea of him not actually having any power himself, and putting him in Narsis would be a good way to reflect this while reinforcing the close ties between the Hlaalu and the Empire.

Concerning your idea of moving him from OE to Narsis at some point in the Hlaalu quest line, I don't think even House Hlaalu has the clout to convince a high-ranking Imperial official to suddenly change their seat of governance, especially within such a short time frame. That seems like something the Emperor himself would have to sign off on anyway.

----

I'd go with axing the governor and combining his current role with the head of the Legion, who will be the new big cheese in Old Ebonheart. Under this plan, the Empire's provincial government will fall neatly into three branches.

The Emperor: Represented by the Pro-Consul and civilian institutions like the Imperial Cult and the Census and Excise.

The Legion: Headed by the Lord Marshall of Ebonheart, or whatever we end up calling him. Serves the Emperor

The Nobility: The King and the Dukes. Supposed to represent the natives. Sworn vassals of the Emperor.

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Last edited by Yeti on Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Infragris
Developer
10 Mar 2013



Any final decisions should probably be communicated to the Province: Cyrodiil team. They have a need of these kinds of hierarchies.
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Hells
Developer
14 Jun 2007

Location: Poznan

Yeti wrote:
I prefer keeping the Proconsul in Narsis. I like the idea of him not actually having any power himself, and putting him in Narsis would be a good way to reflect this while showing that the close ties between the Hlaalu and the Empire.

Concerning your idea of moving him from OE to Narsis at some point in the Hlaalu quest line, I don't think even House Hlaalu has the clout to convince a high-ranking Imperial official to suddenly change their seat of governance, especially within such a short time frame. That seems like something the Emperor himself would have to sign off on anyway.

----

I'd go with axing the governor and combining his current role with the head of the Legion, who will be the new big cheese in Old Ebonheart. Under this plan, the Empire's provincial government will fall neatly into three branches.

The Emperor: Represented by the Pro-Consul and civilian institutions like the Imperial Cult and the Census and Excise.

The Legion: Headed by the Lord Marshall of Ebonheart, or whatever we end up calling him. Serves the Emperor

The Nobility: The King and the Dukes. Supposed to represent the natives. Sworn vassals of the Emperor.

That sounds good. Proconsul being in Narsis is in established lore and having an Imperial that important (at least on paper) in a Hlaalu city could create some interesting opportunities when it comes to making quests and NPCing Narsis.

How about our Governor is not a governor of the whole province, but only the city of Ebonheart? Something similar to the Counts in Oblivion.
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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I see little point in keeping a governor of any kind. I think OE having a major military leader is enough. Adding a local magistrate to represent the civilian side of government would be as far as I go otherwise.
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MoonAndStar
Developer
25 Oct 2012

Location: Spain

In Ebonheart (Vvardenfell) there is a guy named Rufinus Alleius identified as "the Imperial magistrate" in the castle. There's even a dialog topic for him, but he must have been cut from a planned quest or something. Maybe this should be reflected in all duchies, and in OE, there could be a more important version of the simple magistrate. I think This character can be the proconsul himself, even if he resides in Narsis. His absence could be a point of criticism among the military elite of OE.

Also, In the same source where the whole idea for a Proconsul comes from (Skeleton Man's interview) there are some more words on the subject of government that might be interesting:

Quote:
Let me tell you who it's not. It's not the Imperial Proconsul here in Narsis. See, he's so unimportant I don't even remember his name. He may think he runs the province, but he's out of touch with what's really going on. Must be. Morrowind's too big and strange and secretive for any one man to really control it. Maybe one of the Governors? Or, better, a military officer, the commander of the legions perhaps? Nah. First, the Army is divided. Supposedly the local commander reports to the governor, right? But the Army has never liked being under a civilian, and lately its gotten worse. Much worse. You'd be surprised what's going on out in the districts. Then add the Red Templars to the mix. Theoretically tied into the chain of command, right? But they don't really take orders from anybody but themselves.
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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

^ In that passage, i'd be inclined to read 'governors' as 'dukes'.

The Red Templars might be interesting as a minor faction akin to the Telvanni Dust Adepts. There's already a Templar armour set, but there seems to be no rationale for who wears it in vanilla.

I don't know what they would do exactly. Black ops/wetwork types maybe. Or a militant Nibenean cult half-absorbed into the Legion power structure.

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Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



I do this for you, Red Legions, for I love you.

Red Templars == Talos Cult?

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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Imperial fort commanders wear Templar armour, as well as Knights (referring to the Imperial Legion ranks). I'm guessing the player implicitly joins the Red Templars upon becoming a Knight Errant in the Imperial Legion, (note the meaning of the rank), but it is equally possible that all high-ranking Legion members have a large degree of autonomy or that the Red Templars and Templar armour are unrelated. The Red Legions are a general term for the Imperial Legion, not the Templars in particular.
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immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

Quote:
Concerning your idea of moving him from OE to Narsis at some point in the Hlaalu quest line, I don't think even House Hlaalu has the clout to convince a high-ranking Imperial official to suddenly change their seat of governance, especially within such a short time frame. That seems like something the Emperor himself would have to sign off on anyway.


At first the Camonna Tong incidents seemed only minor, though they had increased in frequency: a kidnapping in Seyda Neen, a robbery in Dagon Fel, a Skooma operation in Pelagiad. Sadly, this had proven to be just the beginning.

No one expected what would happen next: a poisoned well in the village of Teyn, the sinking of ships in the docks of Old Ebonheart and finally, the succesful assassination of Frald the White, Knigh Protector of the Imperial Legion in Ebonheart.

The Tong had proven to be far more resourceful and far more lethal than anticipated. Even the Proconsul seemed at risk. Thankfully, in times of despair the Empire could rely on their allies in the province, the industrious and open minded House Hlaalu.

In return for certain temporary trade agreements, such as an increased stake in the trade of Old Ebonheart, the Hlaalu opened the gates of their capital city, Narsis, to welcome the Proconsul and his entourage. Seated in a new palatial residence, protected by chainmail legionnaires and bonemold-clad guards alike, the Imperial leadership was safe once more...

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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Are you quoting that from a specific source, immortal_pigs, or did you come up with it yourself?
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immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

sorry I figured it would be obvious that it was made up Razz

Rather than say: "maybe the Proconsul moves to Narsis because of Camonna Tong threats, thinking he's safe in Narsis while in fact he's just walking into the claws of the Hlaalu", I tried to make it more story like.

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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

It's definitely well-written, though I honestly don't see the Commona Tong ever being able to make such a wide-ranging assault on high-ranking Imperial leaders and interests directly. They can't even weed out the Thieves Guild; much less threaten the Empire itself.
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Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

I'm not sure why the Imperials would regard Narsis as safer than OE. Surely there is a greater risk of being attacked by a Dunmer crime agency in a Dunmer city?
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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

My thinking was rather more prosaic- OE is expensive for the Empire to run, and the Hlaalu offered a more economical arrangement if operations were based in Narsis. This is something that would already be agreed as of the beginning of the game, but the Proconsul is (wisely) dragging their heels so you would have to persuade them to take the final step.
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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

But the Empire would still have to maintain Old Ebonheart anyway as the bastion of their military influence in the province.
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Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Already posted this on the OE planning forum and instead of linking it I'm copy-and-pasting it all here. Here's what I think the Imperial government should look like in OE (the Proconsul - in this proposed plan - is in Narsis):

Rats wrote:
A suggestion for the VIPs of the Imperial Government in OE Castle.

    The Legion
    *Head of the Legion aka Lord Marshall/Lord General/General/Legate/whatever sounds the coolest
    *Head of the Navy aka Lord Admiral/Baron Admiral/whatever sounds the coolest
    *Knight of the Imperial Dragon every Duchy/District has one
    The Provincial Government
    *Provincial Governor leads the provincial government in Morrowind, acts as the superior for the Dukes (except the Duke of Mournhold, the King) and the Ministers in OE.
    *Minister of Provincial Affairs handles stuff related to the Great Houses and their Councils as well as the Imperial Guilds
    *Minister of House N Affairs x 5 (a designated one for each House)
    *Minister of Treasury and Trade handles the Imperial treasury and trade and stuff
    *Duke of Deshaan - in exile
    The Municipal Government
    *Mayor of OE - come up with a title, other than a Duke since there already is a Duke in Mournhold District
    *Lord Chamberlain - manages the castle
    *Captain of the Townsguard


As you can see, in this plan I've kept the 'Governor' title. This plan tries to combine what I believe are the best parts of TF's original OE NPCs concept and Sload's notes on the Imperial government in MW. Here's a graph I dug up (by Sload) to illustrate the situation in the whole province."


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