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Summerset DLC Hopes and Speculation Thread!

psychotrip
psychotrip
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Hi there guys. As you may know from my angry ramblings over the past few weeks, I sort of have an unhealthy obsession with the altmer. Because the last thread I made got a little heated (and I take the blame for that), I thought I'd bring up something a bit more fun.

Many of you know there's some buzz about the next expansion being set in the Summerset Isles. Well, let's have a discussion about it! What do you hope to see in a theoretical Summerset dlc? I thought this through a lot, and here are some of my hopes and wishes:

Society
As many of you know, a ton of information was datamined about Summerset shortly after ESO released. Apparently Alinor and the surrounding environs were going to be their own zone at launch, and entire questlines are described in detail. Here's a link to the datamine: https://www.imperial-library.info/content/eso-alinor-and-ayarene

Now a lot of this has been retconned by what we see and learn on Auridon (particularly when it comes to the altmer's view on daedra) but there's still a ton of crazy cool stuff in here. Here's some highlights:

-The altmer organize themselves into tribal factions known as kinships. Similar to dunmer houses, these are the literal extended families of the altmer. Every altmer belongs to one of these giant families, and they each have territory in the form of a "kinhouse". The most famous kinship is, obviously, the direnni clan of High Rock, but the datamine makes mention of Isque (led by High Kinlord Maldawaro), Felballin (led by High Kinlord Langdruun) and several others.

-Each kinship is ruled by a Kinlord or Kinlady, and they make up the minor kings and queens beneath the high queen, Ayrenn. "High Kinlords" seem to be particularly important kings.

-Summerset Isle is completely "powered" by something called "The Varlines". There's no clear description of these, but they're made from meteoric glass and act as magical power-lines. They run through the entire island like a circuit-board. They can be used for instant transport, communication, and provide power to the cities and kinhouses. You know why altmer are so obsessed with their homeland, and think it's better than yours? It's because they seemingly have a real, tangible psychological connection to Summerset through the varlines. Some altmer literally go insane when the varlines malfunction, and their family members need to calm them down until things are fixed.

-The varlines are maintained by vartisans, who siphon the magic from the varlines into varla-lenses that are used sort of like giant batteries throughout the isle. The power is used for defense, transportation, and seemingly every facet of altmer life. One piece of dialogue in the datamine mentions an altmer "catching up on the latest court gossip" now that the varlines are fixed. Does it also function as some sort of magical radio?

-The Varlines seem to be centered around a giant orrery. In a way, the island of Summerset is a giant orrery. The plane(t)s that float around mimic, and in some manner control the way they move in space. The entire plotline of this datamine revolves around the maormer throwing one of the planes out of orbit and replacing it with a plane that represents their king, "Orgnum". Since all the aedra have a planet in the sky, this is somehow solidifying his godhood, much to the chagrin of the altmer.

-The altmer don't use their own people for petty labor and menial tasks. They literally enslave daedra to aid them in building and farmwork. Discarnates maintain altmer creations above ground, while aquiferi seemingly manipulate the ground-water, making it flow wherever it's needed most and ensuring the soil is eternally fertile. Again, these daedra are kept perpetually enslaved by the varlines, and go rogue when they malfunction.

-Battlereeves are altmer soldiers who have served for at least 400 years. You may think this conflicts with ESO's own statement that elves tend to live for only 300 years, but remember this datamine is before release so this may have changed. Alternatively, there are countless examples of elves living longer than 300, so perhaps these are just incredibly healthy, physically perfect altmer.

-The altmer are under near-constant assault by the sload and the maormer. Ever wonder why altmer are so xenophobic? It's because they've been fighting a 3-sided war against foreigners since the dawn of time. Granted, this was already known, but reading about it firsthand was as interesting as it was bizarre. The maormer apparently use sea-to-land vehicles that tear through the earth and defile the land. They use "infernal machines", possibly granted by the sload, to fling diseased corpses onto shore. This is how the altmer live.

-Some altmer are masters of sound-magic (tonal architecture?). The Isquer Kinship can apparently create music that targets specific races. They more or less created a dog-whistle to ward off maormer.

-Ever wonder whose making all that elven and glass weaponry? It's probably the Scintilla Kinship from Dusk. They're apparently some of the greatest smiths in Tamriel. They infuse their great forge with the magic of the stars.

Visuals
Now personally, I really want to see a return to the older descriptions of the Altmer and Summerset. I really loved the idea of this super-advanced, magical race living in a beautiful, alien landscape with a slightly dark edge to it. Since the time of TES III: Morrowind, people have been drawing artwork on how they imagine The Summerset Isles, and the native altmer, to look. Some of the following images include official concept art, more recent works by former developers, and pure fan-art that I think captures the heart of altmer culture:

Official artwork on altmer clothing. Note the organic shapes. Sort of like what we eventually got for the dunmer.
races_mw_altmer.gif
Some relatively recent artwork from one of the old writers. This is how he designed the altmer to be.
500px-Kinmune01.jpg
910px-Kinmune05.jpg
4c80206343892fa21b8955c95552e845--elder-scrolls-tes.jpg
citiesofgold2.jpg
Altmer and Sload Ruins
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tumblr_ohszi6ETWy1rml4zno1_500.jpg
tumblr_nkch3kOIGm1tyntzzo1_500.png
910px-Kinmune04.jpg
3c89bc030958c880b6b14bd11cd7dd35.jpg
7b7307669d77feba210b78d4c52eaf42--the-elder-scrolls-oblivion.jpg
tumblr_nnp6qbOVuL1rml4zno1_1280.jpg
ON-concept-Auridon_flowery_trees.png
7954652.jpg?919

1387506228735.jpg

These are actually concept art for New Sheoth, but I'd love to see an altmer city take inspiration from it.
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tumblr_mckwy6xshj1qgb1o5o2_1280.jpg


So, let's speculate on an upcoming Summerset expansion. What do you guys want to see?

Edit: Throw it all in the garbage with the rest of the transcription errors. I tried, folks.
Edited by psychotrip on March 24, 2018 4:21AM
No one is saying there aren't multiple interpretations of the lore, and we're not arguing that ESO did it "wrong".

We're arguing that they decided to go for the most boring, mundane, seen-before interpretation possible. Like they almost always do, unless they can ride on the coat-tails of past games.
  • EvilAutoTech
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    Gonna hack the varlines. Gonna hack 'em good.
  • Inhuman003
    Inhuman003
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    I hope there is a Summerset expansion, just so I can do a Evil Quest that it wouldn't matter if it was on the side of good or the side of bad.
  • FluffyReachWitch
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    High Kinlord is basically the elven equivalent of King. Here's a mention of Rilis XII, as early as Daggerfall.
    Galerion was brought before Iachesis and the King of Firsthold, Rilis XII, and made to state the intentions of the guild he was forming.

    - Origin of the Mages Guild

    The 300 year lifespan thing seems to be dubiously canon at best. The only source that I can find was a single line in developer blogs before the game was published, and it probably stems from the 300 years comment waaaaay back in Morrowind interviews, pertaining specifically to Dunmer.

    The lore on battlereeves made it so far that it appeared in the data, despite it not appearing in a playable zone in the final product. This was probably intended to be canon, since in-game we see more mentions of other things explained at length in the datamine: the importance of family in Altmeri culture (a strong theme in Auridon), that mer banished from their kinhouses are called ousters (see Cyrodiil gates on the AD side) to name a couple. Plus, there are other examples of Altmer living much longer than 300, including Vanus Galerion (nearly 600 according to a mage in Eyevea).

    I'm kind of wondering what they'd do with the Summerset Isles now though. After reading the datamine, it looks like the major plot revolving around the cosmos was instead reworked for Craglorn, and the plot revolving around proving Ayrenn's worthiness was heavily adapted for Grahtwood, where we have an Ayleid orrery instead.

    I also wonder how they're going to make the entire isle "neutral" territory, since it is definitely Dominion land, having the Throne of Alinor right there and all. But maybe that's where the hints about daedric threats come into play.
  • crjs1
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    I'm kind of wondering what they'd do with the Summerset Isles now though. After reading the datamine, it looks like the major plot revolving around the cosmos was instead reworked for Craglorn, and the plot revolving around proving Ayrenn's worthiness was heavily adapted for Grahtwood, where we have an Ayleid orrery instead.

    I also wonder how they're going to make the entire isle "neutral" territory, since it is definitely Dominion land, having the Throne of Alinor right there and all. But maybe that's where the hints about daedric threats come into play.

    This is the main reason i think we probably won’t het Summerset proper but Artaeum.
  • Enslaved
    Enslaved
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    Voxicity wrote: »
    I hate Altmer

    Yeah, this. Not really hyped about new chapter being on SS island (pun intended) but I guess that would have to happen once. Oh, well.
    Against Aldmeri Doorminion
  • TheNuminous1
    TheNuminous1
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    i just love


    I also wonder how they're going to make the entire isle "neutral" territory, since it is definitely Dominion land, having the Throne of Alinor right there and all. But maybe that's where the hints about daedric threats come into play.


    in the datamine the queen invites The Numinous to the island. with the idea that altmer on summerset are aware that we are all multiple people with different faces that have all completed the same accomplishments.
    "oh your one of those numinous fellows"

    they are also aware of our ability to die and resurrect. even going as far as to ask us to kill ourselves "for research"

    it gets around the whole no one is allowed on the island thing.

    she only invites one person. the numinous or vestige. there just happens to be a ton of us.
  • FluffyReachWitch
    FluffyReachWitch
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    i just love


    I also wonder how they're going to make the entire isle "neutral" territory, since it is definitely Dominion land, having the Throne of Alinor right there and all. But maybe that's where the hints about daedric threats come into play.


    in the datamine the queen invites The Numinous to the island. with the idea that altmer on summerset are aware that we are all multiple people with different faces that have all completed the same accomplishments.
    "oh your one of those numinous fellows"

    they are also aware of our ability to die and resurrect. even going as far as to ask us to kill ourselves "for research"

    it gets around the whole no one is allowed on the island thing.

    she only invites one person. the numinous or vestige. there just happens to be a ton of us.

    Hahaha oh god I remember that. Supposing that happens, I wonder if we'll still be sort-of kind-of nobility by virtue of being Numinous. On the same level as... was it Exultants or Optimates? Can't remember which, need to re-read.
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    So, I disagree with the idea that ESO bashes Altmer, and the idea that the Altmer are just evil scumbags. I think ESO is the first installment to examine the Altmer fairly and thoughtfully, especially after TESV.

    TESV depicted the Thalmor, a totalitarian government that rose to prominence in the aftermath of the Oblivion Crisis. They're objectively evil and bad for the Dominion as a whole, being suspected of causing massive problems and known to purge dissidents, hunting refugees across Tamriel.

    But the Thalmor of TESV do not actually represent the Altmer as a whole. They represent what happens when reactionary racists achieve political power, and what they will do to hold onto their power. That is a nasty scenario that can occur anywhere in Tamriel, and historically has.

    ESO shows us a different time period. Remember, the Thalmor Council in ESO were part of the government established by Queen Ayrenn and her allies in Valenwood and Elsweyr. This Thalmor Council is allied with the Queen and serves the people of the Dominion. They are not at all the Thalmor that appear in TESV.

    The Veiled Heritance that appears in ESO does not represent the will of the Thalmor or people of the Dominion. It's a reactionary expression of racism and xenophobia, much like the Fourth Era Thalmor. The difference is this time, they are stopped before it's too late.

    The fact that the Veiled Heritance appears in ESO is important. It shows us that the Summerset Isles and their people are not just jerks by nature, and that like anyone else they're capable of falling prey to reactionary rhetoric. The Dominion plot also shows us that like anyone else, the Isles and Altmer are capable of getting over themselves and considering other people their equals. And it's important that Queen Ayrenn chooses that stance and strives for that kind of future, regardless of the politics of other nobles.

    Okay yeah I'll definitely concede the ESO makes an effort to show that not all altmer are evil, but I'll still say I feel like Zenimax has little interest in truly developing them. I mean, look at their racial clothing for example. Why do they have those ugly stitches all over the place like a toddler made them? Their architecture is incredibly uninspired as well, and Auridon in general just felt way too "humans with pointy ears" as opposed to the "basically aliens who eat bugs and rotten milk and aren't based on any real life human culture" that I think Elder Scrolls elves are supposed to be. I mean, it's just super jarring when you really take a step back, look at all the elven races, and compare them to the altmer. For a race that's supposed to be the closest to the aldmer and the furthest from humans, I really feel like Zenimax phoned it in.
    No one is saying there aren't multiple interpretations of the lore, and we're not arguing that ESO did it "wrong".

    We're arguing that they decided to go for the most boring, mundane, seen-before interpretation possible. Like they almost always do, unless they can ride on the coat-tails of past games.
  • grannas211
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    I really hope it's the next chapter. Altmer are my favorite race. Also that would mean hopefully a bunch of costumes and housing items High Elf in nature. And of course seeing the Isles would be awesome.
  • SirAxen
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    Great thread OP. Threads like this are a breath of fresh air in the General Discussion forum. Though, this could also be in the Lore section. Make a duplicate for the Lore forum, I bet many that post there would love to talk about this stuff too!
  • Sigtric
    Sigtric
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    An Altmer chapter or DLC would have to include something pretty awesome and unrelated to trashelves to get me to pay for it.
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  • WhiteCoatSyndrome
    WhiteCoatSyndrome
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    Hahaha oh god I remember that. Supposing that happens, I wonder if we'll still be sort-of kind-of nobility by virtue of being Numinous. On the same level as... was it Exultants or Optimates? Can't remember which, need to re-read.

    *digs* Here you go!
    "Title and social status are of supreme importance to the Altmer! The Queen has granted all Numinous the noble title of "Optimate" - an honor indeed! You need defer to no one of lower status than a Kinlord."

    Though since we become a member of her personal spy network as part of the Dominion questline, she might just call us there in that capacity.
    #proud2BAStarObsessedLoony
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