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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

TR Skype Meeting Summaries wrote:
The Imperial Archaeological Society should represent the non-magic side of the Imperial's scholarly efforts. The natives should view their antics with suspicion, thinking it best to leave well enough alone, but won't mind as long as the Society doesn't tamper with their ancestral tombs. This naturally could be a source of conflict.


Kemel-Ze way off in Telvannis is obviously the most extensive IAS operation, but I think they can be used as a useful lens through which to view the rest of Morrowind and local conflicts as well. Perhaps the IAS is taking advantage of Hlaalu's acquiring the Indoril lands west of the Thirr to investigate some interesting Ancestral Tombs, causing quite a bit of offense, but at the same time argue that the tombs have been opened up to grave-robbers anyway, and compared to the IAS their looting would be much worse. Perhaps they want to investigate an old Ashlander burial. And perhaps they could engage in other activities less likely to incense the locals.

Edit: perhaps they are also investigating one or two Nordic barrows, which the Redoran likely approve of, but could lead to some interesting interaction with the local Nords.

_________________
"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 Jan 13, 2015 6:44 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



I would say they should not tamper with any tombs, as that would be a violation of the Armistice since the Dunmer were allowed to continue their ancestral worship as they did before. Maybe one or two rogue IAS members decide to poke around in one of the bigger tombs and they can be found there, but I do not think there should be any quest related directly towards them; the player should just so happen to be able to bump into them in a deep part of an interesting tomb, or maybe a tomb that interacts with a dwemer ruin.
Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'm not sure whether that would have been a term of the Armistice, as such:

Sload wrote:
The Temple and kingdom are co-sovereign over the territory of Morrowind. The kingdom and the imperial apparatus which supports it enforce the Basic Laws of the Empire (don't kill, don't steal), whereas the Temple enforce traditional laws - House right, ban on profane magicks, etc. The ban on slavery is not a part of the Basic Laws and it is not enforced in Morrowind.


As such, as I see it, it's the Temple's job to stop that sort of thing, not the Empire's. Naturally, the Empire wishes to avoid a deterioration of diplomatic relations, and would probably ask the IAS to stop if a loud enough complaint were to reach their ears, but it's unclear how much direct control the Empire actually has over the IAS; the Mages Guild no doubt gets involved in a lot of nonsense, but is fairly powerful and independent of the Imperial apparatus, for instance, so if a dispute were to arise the Empire's hands would be -- if not tied -- heavily restricted.
In the end, the faction in the best position to actually stop the IAS would be House Hlaalu, and while it wouldn't necessarily condone the IAS messing about in Indoril ancestral tombs it wouldn't necessarily try to restrain the IAS either.
That being said, I certainly don't think the IAS would be able to study an ancestral tomb without causing conflict; that's sort of the point.

_________________
"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 Jan 13, 2015 8:37 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Understandable, but as I said, I think the best way to go about it would be to have maybe one or two bigger ancestral tombs located near Dwemer ruins have a group of to or so IAS members who are there "on the hush-hush". It doesn't have to have any kind of buildup or quest arc or anything like that. Sometimes it's best to not overdo theatrics or else everything starts to look soap opera-esque.
Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:50 am 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 the IAS to keep things organised.



The IAS seems to have been quite forgotten over the years, as have they been forgotten in the initial faction relationships table. The role of the IAS is yet to be determined, so their relationships as well. Something to think about. Smile

Personally I am hugely in favour of the IAS going into ancestral tombs. Archaeologists and scientists in general see their (life’s) work as the most important thing on Nirn. They don’t give a rats ass about law, especially that of the Dunmer. Archaeologists have to delve into ancestral tombs for their research and they will, no matter what. Of course this is bound to cause conflict, which makes it even more interesting. I want to see archaeologists dig deep. Those who go beyond approval by the Empire in terms of respecting Dunmer law won’t get protection by the Legion, but they might get it from necromancers who also have interests in ancestral tomb tunnelling.
Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Necromancy is outlawed by the Empire, so the IAS getting necromancers to help them plunder tombs is dumb. And illegal. And dumb. Don't get me wrong I'd love to see stuff done with the IAS just as much as everyone else. But care needs to be taken to set the proper scene for Morrowind and how the factions thrive. Just placing IAS people in tombs because YOLO LOL FUQQ DA DUNMER SWAQQ is bad design, and as I stated there is no reason for there to be more conflict just for the sake of conflict. This is an Empirical guild we're talking about here. They want to know about the past, sure, but that doesn't mean they're going to dig up every single nook and cranny of every single tomb or ruin.

So for the sake of consistency, I'm going to repeat myself one more time so it may make more sense to you:

I think the best way to go about it would be to have maybe one or two bigger ancestral tombs located near Dwemer ruins have a group of two or so IAS members who are there "on the hush-hush". It doesn't have to have any kind of buildup or quest arc or anything like that.

For if not, then fuck it, let's have the IAS going into every place where an artifact is located. Why not have them just chilling in the cave in Ebonheart where the Lord's Mail is, or in Tel Fyr; because, to quote you,

Quote:
Archaeologists and scientists in general see their (life’s) work as the most important thing on Nirn. They don’t give a rats ass about law, especially that of the Dunmer. Archaeologists have to delve into ancestral tombs for their research and they will, no matter what.


Because that makes so much sense...
Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

My love for corruption and conflict (in video games) must have gotten the better of me. I do agree with your views Ironed Maidens. But, I would find it hard to believe that an archaeologist interested in excavating AT's -- or other places that could cause conflict -- would simply back off because of possible conflict. These people are usually extremely determined and would go very far to get to study the things they are interested in.
I'm not saying that archaeologists should be turning every and any ancestral stone. But, quests concerning archaeologists who intend to excavate tricky sites, and are persistent in taking -- or making the player take -- drastic measures to (try to) reach their goals, could certainly have a place in the IAS.
Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

It might be interesting to take a more subtle route with this, actually. Have the IAS try to get legitimate permission to excavate an Ancestral Tomb. That might actually make for a really fun IAS quest; the player would have several options of who to ask for permission, and a few ways to convince some of those people to give that permission.
For instance perhaps the local Hlaalu in charge is initially unwilling, but states a price for giving permission. If the player delivers the price, whatever it is, he will hold up his end of the bargain. The player reports back to the questgiver and gets a reward, but when he asks about the quest again later will be told that the Temple found out about it and vetoed it, and that all that came out of it was the Temple being a little angrier at House Hlaalu and the IAS.

I think that also would illustrate one of the major differences between the IAS and the Mages Guild; how they interact with other factions. The Mages Guild, while having many more-or-less decent members, tends to be aggressive, selfish and unscrupulous in its over-all behaviour. It has basically become too powerful and influential within the Empire, with nobody to effectively check it, and is apt to act like a spoiled child as a result.
The IAS, however, I see as being a fairly responsible and relatively powerless organization full of well-meaning scholars and bureaucrats who generally try to act above-board but draw hostility through their ignorance.
The Mages Guild gets embroiled in conflicts because it wants to come out on top. The IAS gets embroiled in conflicts because its members are in over their heads and have no idea what they're dealing with.

_________________
"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 Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

Sorry if these are elementary questions:

Where does the idea for the IAS come from? I can't find any mention of it in TES lore, only the Geographical Society.

Why is Cyrodiil so academically interested in Morrowind that it warrants two in-game factions studying it? (The Mages Guild seems to do Archaeological/"non-magic" work on the side)

Who funds the IAS? Is there a very prominent benefactor with lots of money and a keen interest in Tamrielic history/archaeology? On that note, is the IAS active in all other provinces? (or, as active as in Morrowind?)

Would Mages possibly steer clear of the IAS in favor of the Mages Guild? If this were the case, a lack of magical expertise might be interesting to explore.

What might be some key academic pursuits of the IAS in Morrowind? The "Mystery of the Dwarves" was covered reasonably well in Vvardenfell's Mages Guild questline, so rehashing that might be dull.

Does the Legion help the IAS, perhaps assigning troops for escort on dangerous missions?
Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:35 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
alex25
Developer
21 Jan 2010

Location: Here and There

Tondollari wrote:
Sorry if these are elementary questions:

Why is Cyrodiil so academically interested in Morrowind that it warrants two in-game factions studying it? (The Mages Guild seems to do Archaeological/"non-magic" work on the side)


The Dwemer. Everyone is interested in them because they were a mysterious nation of geniuses that mysteriously vanished. Also not all their magic is understood by people in the current age which explains why the Mage Guild is so heavily involved.

The IAS probably focuses more on the non-Dwemer side of things when compared to the Mage Guild.
Tondollari wrote:

Who funds the IAS? Is there a very prominent benefactor with lots of money and a keen interest in Tamrielic history/archaeology? On that note, is the IAS active in all other provinces? (or, as active as in Morrowind?)


The Imperial Archeological Society seems like an official imperial institution to me.

Tondollari wrote:

What might be some key academic pursuits of the IAS in Morrowind? The "Mystery of the Dwarves" was covered reasonably well in Vvardenfell's Mages Guild questline, so rehashing that might be dull.



Ancestral Tombs and other such Dunmer structures. They'd probably get into conflict with the Temple over it.

Can't think of anything else- Daedric shrines are a bit too dangerous for Archeological study and more recent dwellings are well recent.
Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

Dunmer structures and culture are explored by the player by joining the Great Houses and Temple. What new things are learned by exploring these from an Imperial POV?
Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:46 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
alex25
Developer
21 Jan 2010

Location: Here and There

Tondollari wrote:
Dunmer structures and culture are explored by the player by joining the Great Houses and Temple. What new things are learned by exploring these from an Imperial POV?


More focus on the past compared to the Great Houses and getting an outsiders view on Morrowind's history can be utterly awesome if done right. After all a big part of Morrowind's charm is the whole ignorant n'wah feeling you get.
Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:16 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



On the topic of Kemel-Ze and Dwarven mysteries, see this Quest Design thread. It's a long read, but the most recent stuff from 2013 onwards is very relevant.
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klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

In this 10 year old thread about the IAS the first few posts (don't bother reading all of it as it's mostly discussion about which should be their favoured skills) mention that they are mostly interested in Kemel-Ze. Kemel-Ze being significantly decreased in size since then, the IAS should have at least some other interests. Previously mentioned in this thread, they should not be pushing too much towards ancestral tombs just for the sake of conflict. Too much focus on Dwemer history also seems boring to me though.

What do we know about the races of Akavir?

The Tsaesci are a vampiric serpent race who were once the strongest power on the continent of Akavir, east of Tamriel. (Mysterious Akavir) In 1E 2703 they invaded Tamriel (Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st Edition) and left many influences behind, even serving as Potentate, acting in place of the Emperor when the Reman dynasty ended. (Pocket Guide to the Empire 3rd Edition)

The Kamal are a race of snow demons who once invaded Tamriel and conquered parts of Skyrim in 2E 572 ([url=http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Jorunn_the_Skald-King_(book)]Jorunn the Skald-King[/url]), but were defeated by the forces of Almalexia and the Nord Underking, who were joined by Argonian forces. (The Arcturian Heresy)

The Tang Mo, a race of monkey-people and the Ka Po' Tun, a tiger-like folk have allied together but never invaded Tamriel, but are planning to, after the ultimate defeat of the Tsaesci. (Mysterious Akavir)

It is probable that their landing(s) on Tamriel have been on the eastern shores of Morrowind, probably on Telvanni lands (mentioned by Gnomey in this thread) which makes excavating these lands very interesting for the Empire. We still don't know much about these races and if anything about them could be learned through archaeological excavations, for the sake of the safety of the Empire, I'd say it definitely worth investing in. The Legion and/or the Imperial Knights most definitely assign troops to aid the archaeologists by securing their safety against whichever enemies they may find.
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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Tondollari wrote:
Where does the idea for the IAS come from? I can't find any mention of it in TES lore, only the Geographical Society.


I assume the society was taken from the Ruins of Kemel-Ze; while the IAS is not mentioned in name the book seems to imply the existence of such an organization. It's rather thin ice to go on, but TR used to be a lot more focused on incorporating even the slightest off-hand reference in a book into the project, and this particular one seems to have taken off.

Tondollari wrote:
Why is Cyrodiil so academically interested in Morrowind that it warrants two in-game factions studying it? (The Mages Guild seems to do Archaeological/"non-magic" work on the side)


The Mages Guild is a guild of magicians, established to pool their power, influence and expertise. The common trait of its members is that they study magic, but many of them have particular interests beyond that. And for many, the interest lies in studying the Dwemer, who hold a lot of mysteries and were incredibly advanced in their use of magic.
As such, the Mages Guild's study of ruins is a mixture of the personal interest of its members and, no doubt, an insatiable lust for power among its higher-ups. For the most part, their expeditions involve them clearing through all of the trash to find the interesting bits.

The IAS is technically competing with the Mages Guild; it is an Imperial organization serving the Emperor. The reason it was created and is funded is no doubt similar to the above; to research the Dwemer and learn their technology. After all, the Numidium allowed Tiber Septim to conquer the rest of Tamriel, and while it is the crowning achievement of the Dwemer it isn't their only achievement. (Not to mention that its plans still lie at Dagoth Ur).
As such, the IAS represents Imperial interests in Morrowind, while the Mages Guild represents the interests of (mostly outlander) mages in Morrowind.
The stated goal of the IAS is probably just to study ancient ruins, though.

Tondollari wrote:
Who funds the IAS? Is there a very prominent benefactor with lots of money and a keen interest in Tamrielic history/archaeology? On that note, is the IAS active in all other provinces? (or, as active as in Morrowind?)


The Empire, as above, and probably some private investors as well. The IAS is probably active in other provinces, especially Hammerfell and Skyrim, which have Dwemer presence, though they might also investigate the Ayleids and any other ancient groups that may have knowledge of interest to the Empire. Morrowind is likely the province they are most interested in, though.

Tondollari wrote:
Would Mages possibly steer clear of the IAS in favor of the Mages Guild? If this were the case, a lack of magical expertise might be interesting to explore.


They're fundamentally different organizations; while the IAS would no doubt contain a lot of private scholars, by and large I'd imagine its members would essentially be civil servants. Putting it simply, people with ambition, whether they seek knowledge, power or influence, would probably join the Mages Guild. People lacking in ambition would probably join the IAS. Though there would naturally be many exceptions.
Putting it differently, though, the Mages Guild only recruits those interested in -- and with a certain base talent for -- magic, while the IAS has no such restrictions. The Mages Guild is also very large, and holds a lot of sway over the magickal community. As such, mages would make up a relatively small percentage of the IAS, and a lot of its members who are mages would also be members of the Mages Guild. The IAS probably often hires either the Mages Guild or the Fighters Guild for protection; whichever seems more suited to a particular situation.

Tondollari wrote:
What might be some key academic pursuits of the IAS in Morrowind? The "Mystery of the Dwarves" was covered reasonably well in Vvardenfell's Mages Guild questline, so rehashing that might be dull.


I'm not sure whether they would be trying to answer any big questions like that; I'd rather imagine that their work would be a lot more grounded than the Mages Guild; stuff like trying to find the source for a bunch of Dwemer wares that have recently been flooding the market, trying to secure access to certain ruins, trying to stifle looting, acquiring any schematics discovered by any means necessary, perhaps a bit of industrial espionage on the Mages Guild to see if they've found anything of interest in their studies... there are a lot of ways missions could go.
Their quests would probably draw in local sentiment more than the Mages Guild did as well, the Mages Guild generally not caring about local sentiment as they're mages who are able to take care of themselves and they're also generally selfish, as opposed to the IAS who can't take care of themselves and probably have a lot of naïve, well-meaning members who just want everyone to get along.

Tondollari wrote:
Does the Legion help the IAS, perhaps assigning troops for escort on dangerous missions?


That's also possible, but probably they're left to their own devices most of the time. (Which, as above, would generally mean hiring protection). The Legion has other things to worry about, especially in Morrowind.

_________________
"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 Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:46 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Gnomey wrote:
The Mages Guild is a guild of magicians, established to pool their power, influence and expertise. The common trait of its members is that they study magic, but many of them have particular interests beyond that. And for many, the interest lies in studying the Dwemer, who hold a lot of mysteries and were incredibly advanced in their use of magic.
As such, the Mages Guild's study of ruins is a mixture of the personal interest of its members and, no doubt, an insatiable lust for power among its higher-ups. For the most part, their expeditions involve them clearing through all of the trash to find the interesting bits.

The IAS is technically competing with the Mages Guild; it is an Imperial organization serving the Emperor. The reason it was created and is funded is no doubt similar to the above; to research the Dwemer and learn their technology. After all, the Numidium allowed Tiber Septim to conquer the rest of Tamriel, and while it is the crowning achievement of the Dwemer it isn't their only achievement. (Not to mention that its plans still lie at Dagoth Ur).
As such, the IAS represents Imperial interests in Morrowind, while the Mages Guild represents the interests of (mostly outlander) mages in Morrowind.
The stated goal of the IAS is probably just to study ancient ruins, though.


The description of the MG here strikes me as somewhat one-sided. I want the MG to be more diverse: I'd expect some genuinely scholar-type people in there who really want to know how the world goes round (particularly, but not only, outlanders); a lot of mages who just see magic as their means of income; some power-hungry types with varying success in gaining said power; and a few positions filled essentially by the Blades to garner access to whatever knowledge is necessary. The Empire probably thinks of the MG as a means to its goals, but the MG has its own opinion and the Empire doesn't have much leverage under the current Emperor. I refuse to accept that the MG is all about "pooling power". To me, this appears to describe, if anything, then House Telvanni (but is also vague enough to not really describe anything).

As for the IAS, on the other hand, I'm fine with seeing the Empire's interest in the Numidium as its main objective if it is really all about Dwemer ruins. If not, we need something wider and more over-arching.

I agree on the distinction between the MG and the IAS as one between scholars and bureaucrats, but this should be a rule with exceptions. For one, the IAS questline shouldn't be boring as much of the EEC is.

I like the idea that the IAS hires protection -- that gives some neat opportunities for betrayal :)

_________________
[22:07] Haplo: pffft this is TR
[22:07] Haplo: ETAs are strictly prohibited by the Department of Mysteries
[22:12] TF|Laptop: Just as long as we don't let the department of mysteries plan any more cities
Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:12 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Yeah, I was fairly simplistic in my description. That being said, I do think the Mages Guild as a body acts power-hungry. Its many a-political members keep to themselves, while the political members create an unfriendly facade. The guild is basically trying to monopolize magic, which is the main reason for their competing with House Telvanni. As far as its individuals are concerned, I'd agree that many are not power-hungry, but -- at least in Morrowind -- most of its members did strike me as incredibly self-interested.
_________________
"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 Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:37 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
klep
Lead Developer
23 Nov 2014

Location: Europe

If Imperial resources are scarce for the IAS, are they only scarce in the form of protection, or also financially?

I once read the book Das Jesus Video (unfortunately never translated to English) which evolved around an interesting archaeologic finding:

Wikipedia wrote:
During an archaeological dig in Israel, American college student Stephen Cornelius Foxx discovers the remains of a man who seemingly died about two thousand years ago. Among the dead man's belongings is a small linen bag that holds the user manual for a digital video camera. Foxx and his mentor, Professor Wilford-Smith, later find out that this particular model will not be released by its producer, Sony, for another three years. Soon they begin to speculate that the dead man may have been a time traveller from the future, who went back in time to film a significant event two millennia ago—and of course, the most significant thing to film during that era was Jesus Christ.
Media magnate John Kaun, the financier of the dig, initiates a search for the camera, which seems to be hidden at an unknown location. Stephen, however, wants to find it on his own, with help from fellow student Judith Menez and her brother, Yehoshuah. A race for the Jesus Video begins, and soon becomes more dangerous than anyone imagined, as the Roman Catholic Church is doing all in its power to keep the video from going public.


A search, funded by an investor with high stakes in the project, for a long lost (possibly Akaviri) artifact could result in a race between different factions or archaeologists, all with different motivations, to find this artifact.
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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

That is essentially the plot of Daggerfall, revolving round the totem which controls Numidium, but that doesn't necessarily stop us from using the idea.

As far as financial aid is concerned, I'd assume they have as much funding as they need, but wouldn't be rolling in it. I'd assume they largely try to coast on Imperial authority to get their ends, but are given about enough funds to be able to bribe locals where it counts.

_________________
"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
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Telvayn
Member
28 Jan 2014



Tondollari wrote:
Where does the idea for the IAS come from? I can't find any mention of it in TES lore, only the Geographical Society.

You didn't look deep enough - it is mentioned in Redguard

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Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

I had a few random ideas for possible quests/questlines:


1.) Tracking down evidence of a theorized "lost tribe" of Nedes that settled west of the Thirr to escape Ayleidic tyranny. (Possibly true? Could this have happened before the Velothi exodus?)
2.) An IAS scholar theorizes that a certain ashlander tribe is the product of Dwemer/Dunmer interbreeding, as evidenced by certain physical characteristics (Phrenological?) and the use of Dwemer tools and weapons. (Turns out to be false, the Dwemer items were merely looted)
3.) Finding an undisturbed Dwemer site (or particular room of a site) to sample the ashes left behind by the vanished Dwemer.
4.) Excavating for ancient cadavers in the ash swamp. The swamp preserves tissue very well and is outside the scope of Temple authority.
5.) The Temple might not care about ashlander ancestral tombs. The player, while investigating one, contracts an ancient disease. It would act like Corpus, only curable by IAS story events.
Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:19 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Hemitheon
Reviewer
11 Aug 2006

Location: Necrom, Ra'athim Manor

Perhaps the IAS is in search of fragmentary artifacts of something that doesn't destroy but protect. It could be armor, it could be a device, it could be clothes (from a robe to a crown). The Emperor would need something to protect him just as much as he would need weapons.

Reading Tondollari's last comment reminded me of the Ayleid tomb in the Velothi mountains. After reading "Ayleid Survivals in Valenwood" and "The Last King of the Ayleids," perhaps due to the Alessian Revolt or due to the so-called Narfinsel Schism, some of the last Aedraphile Ayleids fled over the Valus Mountains carrying with them a relic of Magnus or Merid-Nunda (Meridia) which they divided up. Perhaps it channels starlight. There seems to be some connection between Meridia and time, perhaps the relic can control time. The pieces were kept in secret among a series of secret Ayleid installations along the mountains.
-That would require more Ayleid ruins (built using the Necrom building set)
- and special mesh/texture for whatever the object turns out to be.

Another thing could be about the enigmatic Cantemir Ashland Tribe (referred to in ESO)a strange group of ultra-conservative dunmer who continue the traditions of Veloth. In Dragonborn, upon first reaching Skaal Village we learn that the Skaal have sacred knowledge as seen in the storm surrounding the town. Perhaps before their extinction, the Cantemir tribe still remained in touch with some sacred knowledge taught to them by Veloth during the Exodus. Maybe it's a kind of ritual or a tome of magic, maybe even divided into pages lost or buried throughout the Argon Jungle.

Another possibility is that the IAS has actually been infiltrated by a group working for their own gain, perhaps members of the Order of the Worm; the IAS thinks it's searching for useful artifacts for the Emperor when in fact it is searching out relics for Mannimarco, perhaps the grimoire "Crimson Book of Skulls." The player is used right up to the end to retrieve or aid in the retrieval of fragments or necessary materials to perform a ritual, etc.
Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:31 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Tondollari wrote:
I had a few random ideas for possible quests/questlines:


Very nice, thank you!

Tondollari wrote:
1.) Tracking down evidence of a theorized "lost tribe" of Nedes that settled west of the Thirr to escape Ayleidic tyranny. (Possibly true? Could this have happened before the Velothi exodus?)


How would you see this implemented? Should they currently be ashlanders in the Armun Ashes?

Tondollari wrote:
2.) An IAS scholar theorizes that a certain ashlander tribe is the product of Dwemer/Dunmer interbreeding, as evidenced by certain physical characteristics (Phrenological?) and the use of Dwemer tools and weapons. (Turns out to be false, the Dwemer items were merely looted)


This will be fun!

Tondollari wrote:
3.) Finding an undisturbed Dwemer site (or particular room of a site) to sample the ashes left behind by the vanished Dwemer.
4.) Excavating for ancient cadavers in the ash swamp. The swamp preserves tissue very well and is outside the scope of Temple authority.
5.) The Temple might not care about ashlander ancestral tombs. The player, while investigating one, contracts an ancient disease. It would act like Corpus, only curable by IAS story events.


The last one looks like a Mages Guild quest -- how would a society of (essentially) clerical workers be able to cure an ancient disease beyond the abilities of regular healers? But it does look like a good Mages Guild quest, which is also a step forward.

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Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:39 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tondollari
Developer
02 Dec 2013

Location: Louisiana

arvisrend wrote:

Tondollari wrote:
1.) Tracking down evidence of a theorized "lost tribe" of Nedes that settled west of the Thirr to escape Ayleidic tyranny. (Possibly true? Could this have happened before the Velothi exodus?)


How would you see this implemented? Should they currently be ashlanders in the Armun Ashes?


I don't think they would have left behind any living relatives. Finding Nedic bones/tools out in the wastes might be all there is to it.
Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:55 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Hemitheon wrote:

-That would require more Ayleid ruins (built using the Necrom building set)


WAT.


Quote:
Another possibility is that the IAS has actually been infiltrated by a group working for their own gain, perhaps members of the Order of the Worm; the IAS thinks it's searching for useful artifacts for the Emperor when in fact it is searching out relics for Mannimarco, perhaps the grimoire "Crimson Book of Skulls." The player is used right up to the end to retrieve or aid in the retrieval of fragments or necessary materials to perform a ritual, etc.


This is something interesting to go off of, and honestly I think that the border regions with Cyrodiil could even house a couple of lairs with high-ranking officials within the Order of Worms/Carapace of Bones.
Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:09 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

We have an Ayleid ruin made with a rather unique application of the Necrom tileset, but it's been a while since I've seen it.

Tondollari wrote:
[...] product of Dwemer/Dunmer interbreeding, [...] sample the ashes left behind by the vanished Dwemer.
4.) Excavating for ancient cadavers in the ash swamp. The swamp preserves tissue very well [...]


These bits strike me as a little odd; certainly, through the right application of alchemy, they might be able to get something from tissue samples and the like, but why would they be interested in essentially searching for Chimer and Dwemer DNA? A lot of Dunmer may very well have Dwemer blood in them, to a greater or lesser extent, but I'm not sure why that would interest the IAS; I don't think the race has any inherent magical properties worth reproducing or anything. They were interesting for their knowledge and works, not their physiology. When it comes to stuff like phrenology and tissue samples in the context of TES, I frankly think more of Necromancers than anything else.

I'm also frankly rather hesitant when it comes to including groups like the Nedes and Ayleids, as in a broader context I'm not sure what they would contribute to an IAS questline; I'm worried they would come off more as disjointed filler.
Going with my earlier posts, if the sort of defining foci of the IAS are gathering practical knowledge that could aid the Empire and interacting with Dunmer culture from the point of view of ignorant outlanders, Nedes, Ayleids and Akaviri don't seem to provide much in the way of either.
Which is not to say they can't be used, but rather that I'd like to see the ideas developed a little more so as to have value in a broader context, as opposed to essentially being there for the novelty of it.

On an unrelated note, now that I come to think of it, the 'calling' mentioned in the Chimarvamidium might be worth exploring; it seems as though it could be of great interest to the Empire.

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Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:01 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Hemitheon
Reviewer
11 Aug 2006

Location: Necrom, Ra'athim Manor

The first part of the player's role in the IAS is doing smaller jobs, focusing on Dwemer devices, native tribes, Nedes and Ayleids, ancient Nords, eventually one of the leaders of the society takes notice of the promising member and offers him to take part in a top secret project for the Emperor (this idea being mentioned by members of the society prior [that the order serves the Emperor and they protect his interests {Could explain why possession of Dwemer artifacts is prohibited}]). The uppers reveal to the player intel that suggests that necromancers are attempting to find a relic of Mannimarco, and that it would be safer if the IAS got them before the necromancers did. The relics are being held in secret locations throughout Morrowind. Player told to try this one location, finds a letter from official explaining where the artifacts are. The player goes about finding the artifacts and returning them to the IAS. One by one the player kills the keepers of the artifacts thinking he's killing necromancers. In reality, these people are a part of a necro-hunter order that was charged by a previous Emperor to keep these items secret. This is revealed by the last Keeper who is super strong, in the course of being attacked, he accuses the player of being a necromancer. They stop fighting for a moment and the Keeper proves to the player that he is a servant of the Emperor and NOT a necromancer (maybe with documentation or he uses an Imperial shield or maybe he has Imperial decor). The player and this last keeper go to Old Ebonheart to confront the IAS leader. Everyone in the place is dead (killed and absorbed by black soul gems which we find out later). One clue, the leader of the IAS and his closest have fled just across the border to Cyrodiil to Fort Teleman. Player suggests they take a border crossing but Keeper explains that he and his order are persona non grata under the current Emperor OR that he has a record and can't be caught. Keeper suggests a secret tunnel used by Reman during his invasion of Morrowind. It leads to an open part of Cyrodiil which is a short distance from Fort Teleman (created as interior as exterior). They get there. The Keeper goes first and hits a trap, a gate comes down separating the player from the Keeper. Keeper is confronted by the IAS leader, who kills him. The IAS leader flees to a lower level. The player tends to the keeper who is dying, keeper gives him the staff of Vanus Galerion and tells him to defeat the IAS leader before it's too late. In the lowest level, the IAS leader is summoning Mannimarco. The player kills him and retrieves the artifact.

(At this point, the storyline can end, OR Mannimarco shows up, which would mean the player has to defeat Mannimarco using Vanus Galerion's staff, something that stings Mannimarco. He is defeated and vanishes.)

For a fun twist, at the end of all of this, an Imperial official shows up at the IAS headquarters(now that the player is the leader) and asks for the necromantic artifact, showing him a letter from the Emperor. The player is assured that the item is being taken for protection. When he gives it to him, the official hits the player with a spell that freezes him to the spot; the official laughs and reveals himself to be a Necromancer who disappears, presumably to offer the artifact to Mannimarco.
Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:21 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Some "individuals" in the IAS can certainly be interested and involved in unsanctioned desacration of Dunmer tombs; could be uncomfortable with regard to how many tombs already are desacrated by bandits or vampires... or not, could serve as a pretext?

Tondollari wrote:

2.) An IAS scholar theorizes that a certain ashlander tribe is the product of Dwemer/Dunmer interbreeding


I like how this pokes into the "audacity over common sense" direction sometimes found in academia.

Agree on "incurable disease" being MG territory if anything (the "divine disease" being the only instance of that, another one's better presented as a curse, no?), but how about contracting some benign but forgotten ancient disease during IAS for fun...
Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:22 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I like the idea of an equivalent of the mummy's curse. Might even be fun if they player accumulates several curses towards the end of the questline that he has to try and shake off.

I'm rather dubious about making the whole questline about necromancers; that doesn't really have anything to do with anything else that's going on in Morrowind.

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Post Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Eh, I'd say there are better resources out there for Ayleid ruins. Also the general direction this seems to be going is that we're really needing an identity of what exactly the IAS is/is not/is doing/is not doing/wants/needs in/with Morrowind. So from what we can gather we have this:

Imperial sanctioned "guild-like" collection of people.

They like artifacts of all kinds.

They seem to like Dwemer stuff most.

They want to learn about the past of Tamriel.

They are excavators and anthropologists.

NOW FOR THE POSSIBILITIES:

They will search for stuff in ancestral tombs. (I still reaaaally think this is a bad idea, even if it's used sparingly. Like, really...there'd be just too much going on in tombs at once, and from what I can gather no one can give a good reason as to why they would do this other than either "It would be cool." or "Drama with the Dunmer is good." which I really don't think is the case.)

The head of the AIS is a necromancer...but not...but he is? IDEK man, sorry Hemitheon; but no.

The lower-ranked members may just be doing scholarly research but the higher-ups may actually be in Morrowind by decree of the Emperor himself so they can get some powerful Dwemer artifacts.

The AIS may have some kind of beef/connection to necromancers and the King of Worms.

They may want to see about any races that have traveled through Morrowind or tried to invade it. I.E.: Finding traces of Akaviri/Nede/Nedic/Ancient Ashlander culture.



Now from all that which has been gathered I think we can agree on a few key points:

1. Kelme-Ze should be left as-is, as should the standing with the IAS within it, until whoever wants to touch up Telvannis at whatever time.

2. There is currently an IAS HQ in OE, which is awesome.

3. The IAS needs to be fleshed out more.



Now for my own personal inputs on what we could look at next:

1. I think the OE HQ and the Kelme-Ze base should be the only 2 LARGE/NOTICEABLE bases of operations for the IAS.

2. I think that the IAS quest line could really not have to be very large.

3. Keep the IAS subtle. They aren't nor do they have to be as large and loud and proud as an actual guild or House.

4. Keep the twists to a minimum; with the way the Indoral and Hlaalu quest lines are being fleshed out, another wild twist is just one too many. Instead the quest line for the AIS can be intriguing, open-ended, mystic, ambiguous, and it can even paint a bit of a picture of how future relations in Tamriel will look.

5. I think having a tie-in with the King of Worms may actually be a really good bet for the IAS. It makes sense also, since they like to dig stuff up and KoW likes to bury them again (you know what I mean). There is potential for the fleshing out of a darker occultist side of the world of Tamriel, and we can do it way better than Bethesda did in Oblivion. Like seriously, was I the only one who was like "....THE FUCK....?" playing through the MQ quests in Oblivion? God it was horrible. There is a lot more we can do, and it would be a cool way to have 2 new types of factions (IAS and KoWC) woven into Morrowind.
Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:15 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Hemitheon
Reviewer
11 Aug 2006

Location: Necrom, Ra'athim Manor

There used to be the plan for the Molag Bal Cult. I don't think that went anywhere. It may even be defunct now. Maybe that can be tweaked to a necromantic coven.
Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:23 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

The IAS should be a close Bloodmoon EEC equivalent for Kemel-ze. It was created to tell the story of Kemel-ze, not serve as a major guild faction that sends you to all corners of the province like the MG, TG and FG. It's a minor faction that already has a tailored purpose. Any ideas posted here could naturally become side quests for IAS members. But the main bulk of the questline should focus on discovering Kemel-ze's (currently undefined) secrets.
Sload wrote:
Minor Factions: Minor factions tell a single story which is mostly focused on one part of the game world we wish to highlight. They exist to provide the player with additional, varied stories other than the main plot story. These stories may or may not contain elements which mirror the core themes of the main quest. They may conflict with Type A major factions or one another, but the Type A major factions will always take precedence. Minor factions play a major role in adding local character, a moderate role in developing the game's core themes and defining the player's character, and a minor role in exploring the game world.

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Company, Imperial Cult, Nail-Knock Reavers, Tribunal Temple, Twin
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Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:57 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Right, I agree that they should have a tailored and specific purpose, which is why I said I think that any quest line they have doesn't have to be massive; but even Bloodmoon started off one way and then went in a totally different direction, plus TR is about, what... nearly 29 times the size of Bloodmoon? So having them mainly based in Kemel-Ze is fine, and like I said it makes the most sense to only let them have two HQs, OE and Kemel-Ze. But I don't see the problem in there being another story arc; and I don't see what the issue would be to have CoWC brought into light; I believe it opens itself up to a lot of cool unique lore, it serves a defined purpose, and I think the IAS's love for old artifacts could play in well with the whole 'rise of the ancient necro-god' theme.

One proposal I have as well is to give them a small (read; 3-4 man team) presence in somewhere near the Argon Jungle borders, but that is still some time away.
Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Ironed Maidens wrote:
[...]
1. I think the OE HQ and the Kelme-Ze base should be the only 2 LARGE/NOTICEABLE bases of operations for the IAS.

2. I think that the IAS quest line could really not have to be very large.

3. Keep the IAS subtle. They aren't nor do they have to be as large and loud and proud as an actual guild or House.

4. Keep the twists to a minimum; with the way the Indoral and Hlaalu quest lines are being fleshed out, another wild twist is just one too many. Instead the quest line for the AIS can be intriguing, open-ended, mystic, ambiguous, and it can even paint a bit of a picture of how future relations in Tamriel will look.

5. I think having a tie-in with the King of Worms may actually be a really good bet for the IAS. It makes sense also, since they like to dig stuff up and KoW likes to bury them again (you know what I mean). There is potential for the fleshing out of a darker occultist side of the world of Tamriel, and we can do it way better than Bethesda did in Oblivion. Like seriously, was I the only one who was like "....THE FUCK....?" playing through the MQ quests in Oblivion? God it was horrible. There is a lot more we can do, and it would be a cool way to have 2 new types of factions (IAS and KoWC) woven into Morrowind.


Excellent post, Ironed Maidens. I agree with pretty much all of you points, though I'm still not entirely convinced by the last one. I do think that, aside from Kemel-Ze, a few miscellaneous quests would be good, but I don't think we necessarily need a second questline, as such.

I do know that I made a Dwemer Ruin near Ildrim with the IAS in mind, but more geared towards a Thieves Guild quest. Basically, the player was supposed to sneak through the dungeon past the IAS to its lowest levels to grab an artifact from under their noses. I still rather like the idea.

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Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I personally don't see how necromancy relates thematically with the IAS. Sounds more Mages Guild to me.
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Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:48 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Because necromancy itself does not permit association with the King of Worms. The mages guild is fine as it is; sometimes they are infiltrated by a necromancer, sometimes by a tong agent, or what have you. Having a direct conflict between the mages guild and KoWC is just...I don't know...boring? Too predictable?

Thematically it makes sense for the IAS to have a conflict with the King of Worms because they are archeologists to an extent, and archeologists tend to sometimes dig up stuff that is cursed/haunted/ill-omened, whatever. So it just makes sense and it is less of a predictable match-up for the two to intertwine. And like I said, these two factions are not in the vanilla game, and are not very largely fleshed out, so there's a lot of cool stuff we can do with them. I feel like there's more to just the black and whiteness of the King of Worms Cult than Oblivion painted it as, and I don't thin it would hurt to explore that 'grey area', if you will.

And Gnomey, like I said it would be fine for there to be smaller operations out there of IAS members, just nothing too huge and so long as they don't run around in ancestral tombs doing stuff, I personally don't really mind. Just don't want it to be too overdone.
Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
chiron
Member
05 Jun 2014

Location: atlanta

Ironed Maidens wrote:
Because necromancy itself does not permit association with the King of Worms. The mages guild is fine as it is; sometimes they are infiltrated by a necromancer, sometimes by a tong agent, or what have you. Having a direct conflict between the mages guild and KoWC is just...I don't know...boring? Too predictable?

Thematically it makes sense for the IAS to have a conflict with the King of Worms because they are archeologists to an extent, and archeologists tend to sometimes dig up stuff that is cursed/haunted/ill-omened, whatever. So it just makes sense and it is less of a predictable match-up for the two to intertwine. And like I said, these two factions are not in the vanilla game, and are not very largely fleshed out, so there's a lot of cool stuff we can do with them. I feel like there's more to just the black and whiteness of the King of Worms Cult than Oblivion painted it as, and I don't thin it would hurt to explore that 'grey area', if you will.

And Gnomey, like I said it would be fine for there to be smaller operations out there of IAS members, just nothing too huge and so long as they don't run around in ancestral tombs doing stuff, I personally don't really mind. Just don't want it to be too overdone.


a somewhat random addition, or +1 to this... there is a place here for political discourse between the IAS and Mages Guild, which is to say, it gives them a common foe with the Worms Cult, but they are at the same time in conflict concerning Imperial goals. This could lead to exploration of Imperial 'order' (or the illusion of it), power-rifts, and the threat of 'chaos', with thematic exchanges in character turns (without the twists).
Post Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:55 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I personally don't see the appeal of a King of Worms plot. Mannimarco has virtually nothing to do with Morrowind or its history. Artificially stitching him into the IAS questline makes little sense to me. He doesn't have an innate connection to the province we're building, much like the Daedric princes who don't appear in the Dunmer's pantheon. As such, Mannimarco's inclusion would result in only a glorified cameo of little relevance.
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Post Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:27 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



But if done correctly it wouldn't feel shoe-horned in or stitched in. There is a large border region with Cyrodiil that I believe could lend itself to such a stage; necromancy in Morrowind is not really a huge thing, but it is in the Imperial capitol and some fusing of ethnic identities, and thus certain plights that each region can be associated with, seems pretty natural. I'm not saying there has to be an all-out war with Mannimarco and a giant evil citadel just plopped out into the wilderness for no reason, but there are nearly endless cool things we can expand upon as far as what we know about the King of Worms Cult and I think going an eerie and occult route with it would be pretty awesome.

I think one of the main complaints Oblivion got was that it was too "pretty and bright and high-fantasy" compared to Morrowind; which this game certainly has it's own unique sense of impending doom and a macabre/foreboding atmosphere. So this is just a chance to show the really grim side of that "too pretty and shiny" side of Cyrodiil we got in Oblivion; and like I said before, there mages guild quests that dealt with Mannimarco sucked really badly in Oblivion. I think one of Bethesda's own developers even made a mod that made the fight with Mannimarco suck a lot less. We can go along with fleshing everything out to make sure a quest arc with the IAS and KoWC isn't ham-handed and ugly; but this is just spit-balling ideas as of right now. I am in favor of the idea because I believe it can be done subtly, naturally, and interestingly. Otherwise I would not have even purposed the idea; I want to make sure TR is as beautiful and accurate as everyone else Yeti, I just also think there's ways to do things what would have been deemed unconventional in the older days of TR that may want to be re-evaluated since the new mission statement has been born.
Post Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



Agree that the goal of the IAS *as a structured player faction* is the Kemel-Ze questline, but that doesn't preclude using the IAS and its, OE was it? chapter as questgivers for other freelance quests, since the guild and its scholarly goals make for perfect excuses to send the PC digging. King of worms and the like feel like a stretch, though, they're better left to P:Cyrodiil.

Also mind that the Kemel-Ze questline is self-contained in its interiors, so any Telvannis area redux has no bearing on it - no need to wait.
Post Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:27 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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