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Ayleid physiology and King Dynar (spoilers inside for main quest)

Aeschere3
Aeschere3
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So in the Song of Pelinial it mentions Ayleids having feathers and beaks ("both encrusted with the smashed viscera of elven faces, feathers and magic beads, which were the markings of the Ayleidoon" and "When Huna, whom Pelinal raised from grain-slave to hoplite and loved well, took death from an arrowhead made from the beak of Celethelel the Singer" for example). Umaril the Unfeathered is specified as being unfeathered, which implies that many or maybe most other Ayleids had feathers on them.

[Edit: Not to mention there was a race of bird-people that lived in and around City Isle in the even more distant past (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Bird_Men), so there has been precedent for a population of non-daedra, non-mutant people. It was a big detail I forgot to mention in my original post. I guess I was too concerned about condensing it.

Another possibility for the reason why (many or most or some) Ayleids possibly had avian features is possible interbreeding with the bird-men that lived in the area that would become Ayleid territory and later Cyrodiil (See http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Father_of_the_Niben ). Unfortunately there isn't a lot of sources about them, and some people on the r/TESlore thread were speculating that Ayleids could be a mixed race between bird-men and Aldmer. The only source that talks about them so far says that they died off, probably at the hands of the khajiit, before the Ayleids came, but the author could have been mistaken.

In the Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st edition (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Pocket_Guide_to_the_Empire,_1st_Edition/The_Elsweyr_Confederacy), it mentions Pelinial killing a bunch of khajiit because he thought they were just another kind of elf.

"Pelinal Whitestrake, Nibenay warlord of the Elven Pogrom, mistook the khajiit for another strain of Aldmeri and killed many of their number before realizing his error."

Why would he come to the conclusion that the khajiit, most of whom are very obviously beast-men, are Aldmeri, unless he was familiar with another kind of elf that he liked to kill that had bestial features? ]

I'm wondering whether or not it's true that it was common for Ayleids to have avian features like feathers. I know this isn't reflected in King Dynar's character model, or the character models of any Ayleid ghosts we encounter (I'm pretty sure) but they all are mostly covered in armor all the time. Maybe the avian features decreased over time? Dynar is a member of a very late generation of Ayleids, after all. Maybe they are supposed to have feathers but the team couldn't spend the time and money it would take to make the Ayleid character models look that different? I doubt we'll ever see King Dynar again, I have no idea whether TES 6 will have detailed Ayleid ghost character models, and ESO is probably the only and last time TES players will see a living Ayleid, so I thought this was the best place to ask.

Can anyone more knowledgeable than me or any lore team members answer this? (I'm not sure about the etiquette for tagging ZOS employees, so sorry if this is annoying @ZOS_Lawrence_Schick .)

(I was inspired to ask this by this TESlore reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/teslore/comments/97tydo/the_birdmen_of_the_heartlands_an_ayleid/?st=jkx7d434&sh=1ce1b5ac It has more sources for avian physiology speculation.)

[Also can anyone tell me whether King Dynar's body still stays out in the open forever after he dies? I haven't actually gotten to that part in the main quest yet (I was spoiled), and it seems kind of depressing to just leave him there. I don't want to resurrect that old thread about this on the forums.]
Edited by Aeschere3 on August 20, 2018 2:31AM
ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • dodgehopper_ESO
    dodgehopper_ESO
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    Its possible that like Umaril, there were other demi-daedra Ayleids out there and strange dalliances going on that would explain their bizarre daedric nature.
    US/AD - Dodge Hopper - Vet Imperial Templar | US/AD - Goj-ei-Raj - Vet Argonian Nightblade
    US/AD - Arondonimo - Vet Altmer Sorcerer | US/AD - Azumarax - Vet Dunmer Dragon Knight
    US/AD - Barkan al-Sheharesh - Vet Redguard Dragon Knight | US/AD - Aelus Vortavoriil - Vet Altmer Templar
    US/AD - Shirari Qa'Dar - Vet Khajiit Nightblade | US/AD - Ndvari Mzunchvolenthumz - Vet Bosmer Nightblade
    US/EP - Yngmar - Vet Nord Dragon Knight | US/EP - Reloth Ur Fyr - Vet Dunmer Sorcerer
    US/DC - Muiredeach - Vet Breton Sorcerer | US/DC - Nachtrabe - Vet Orc Nightblade
    EU/DC - Dragol gro-Unglak - Vet Orc Dragon Knight | EU/DC - Targan al-Barkan - Vet Redguard Templar
    EU/DC - Wuthmir - Vet Nord Sorcerer | EU/DC - Kosh Ragotoro - Vet Khajiit Nightblade
    <And plenty more>
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    Its possible that like Umaril, there were other demi-daedra Ayleids out there and strange dalliances going on that would explain their bizarre daedric nature.

    This is a possibility, but the impression I was getting from the clues was that it was only avian features (not various weird features from different kinds of daedra, since the Ayleids worshipped lots of daedric princes) and that it was a large amount of Ayleids that had them. I suppose it's possible that most of the Ayleids had daedric blood, but wouldn't Umaril be less unusual for an Ayleid if that were the case?
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    I think the original idea was that the ayleids often had magical mutations (either intentional or otherwise) that gave them these avian features.

    This was back when the lore was a bit more “magical” mind you, so elves were most definitely capable of this sort of magic “plastic surgery”. This is probably just retconned though. Pretend the book was talking about their armor. Tamriel is a “mundane” world after all.
    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.
  • dodgehopper_ESO
    dodgehopper_ESO
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    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    Its possible that like Umaril, there were other demi-daedra Ayleids out there and strange dalliances going on that would explain their bizarre daedric nature.

    This is a possibility, but the impression I was getting from the clues was that it was only avian features (not various weird features from different kinds of daedra, since the Ayleids worshipped lots of daedric princes) and that it was a large amount of Ayleids that had them. I suppose it's possible that most of the Ayleids had daedric blood, but wouldn't Umaril be less unusual for an Ayleid if that were the case?

    I have a nagging suspicion that the elves and Daedra aren't so far off from one another as we think and this might be the root of why they thi
    e1team wrote: »
    Well, their armor has avian features. Maybe that's what the author talks about? Remember the texts are ancient, much like in our history, ancients were very easily impressed by oddities. Somehow I doubt they really had beaks and feathers.

    The ancients also used colorful language for things they full well knew were metaphoric.
    US/AD - Dodge Hopper - Vet Imperial Templar | US/AD - Goj-ei-Raj - Vet Argonian Nightblade
    US/AD - Arondonimo - Vet Altmer Sorcerer | US/AD - Azumarax - Vet Dunmer Dragon Knight
    US/AD - Barkan al-Sheharesh - Vet Redguard Dragon Knight | US/AD - Aelus Vortavoriil - Vet Altmer Templar
    US/AD - Shirari Qa'Dar - Vet Khajiit Nightblade | US/AD - Ndvari Mzunchvolenthumz - Vet Bosmer Nightblade
    US/EP - Yngmar - Vet Nord Dragon Knight | US/EP - Reloth Ur Fyr - Vet Dunmer Sorcerer
    US/DC - Muiredeach - Vet Breton Sorcerer | US/DC - Nachtrabe - Vet Orc Nightblade
    EU/DC - Dragol gro-Unglak - Vet Orc Dragon Knight | EU/DC - Targan al-Barkan - Vet Redguard Templar
    EU/DC - Wuthmir - Vet Nord Sorcerer | EU/DC - Kosh Ragotoro - Vet Khajiit Nightblade
    <And plenty more>
  • MLGProPlayer
    MLGProPlayer
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    e1team wrote: »
    Well, their armor has avian features. Maybe that's what the author talks about? Remember the texts are ancient, much like in our history, ancients were very easily impressed by oddities. Somehow I doubt they really had beaks and feathers.

    This is the correct answer. Too many people take TES lorebooks at face value.

    They are almost all embellished tales written by unreliable narrators thousands of years ago. Plenty of texts in our own history describe strange people with animal characteristics. None of these are obviously true and just describe the armour/war paint/rituals of those people.
    Edited by MLGProPlayer on August 17, 2018 5:48PM
  • dodgehopper_ESO
    dodgehopper_ESO
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    e1team wrote: »
    Well, their armor has avian features. Maybe that's what the author talks about? Remember the texts are ancient, much like in our history, ancients were very easily impressed by oddities. Somehow I doubt they really had beaks and feathers.

    This is the correct answer. Too many people take TES lorebooks at face value.

    They are almost all embellished tales written by unreliable narrators thousands of years ago. Plenty of texts in our own history describe strange people with animal characteristics. None of these are obviously true and just describe the armour/war paint/rituals of those people.

    In the ancient world texts would often say something a bit like: We wiped out the Assyrians.
    Later in the same text they would talk about how they *** the women, or how the Assyrians fled to Timbuktu. The point isn't that they actually completely removed a tribe from the earth, but that they had a complete victory. It is colorful language that was well understood in the ancient world whether you were Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Chinese, you name it. I think the bird features could be colorful language but I also do think there could be something to the mutant theory, with creatures such as Morihaus and Umaril in the ancient world. One also wonders about the relation of Orcs to Ogres, and Nords to Giants. Clearly something is there.
    US/AD - Dodge Hopper - Vet Imperial Templar | US/AD - Goj-ei-Raj - Vet Argonian Nightblade
    US/AD - Arondonimo - Vet Altmer Sorcerer | US/AD - Azumarax - Vet Dunmer Dragon Knight
    US/AD - Barkan al-Sheharesh - Vet Redguard Dragon Knight | US/AD - Aelus Vortavoriil - Vet Altmer Templar
    US/AD - Shirari Qa'Dar - Vet Khajiit Nightblade | US/AD - Ndvari Mzunchvolenthumz - Vet Bosmer Nightblade
    US/EP - Yngmar - Vet Nord Dragon Knight | US/EP - Reloth Ur Fyr - Vet Dunmer Sorcerer
    US/DC - Muiredeach - Vet Breton Sorcerer | US/DC - Nachtrabe - Vet Orc Nightblade
    EU/DC - Dragol gro-Unglak - Vet Orc Dragon Knight | EU/DC - Targan al-Barkan - Vet Redguard Templar
    EU/DC - Wuthmir - Vet Nord Sorcerer | EU/DC - Kosh Ragotoro - Vet Khajiit Nightblade
    <And plenty more>
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    e1team wrote: »
    Well, their armor has avian features. Maybe that's what the author talks about? Remember the texts are ancient, much like in our history, ancients were very easily impressed by oddities. Somehow I doubt they really had beaks and feathers.

    This is the correct answer. Too many people take TES lorebooks at face value.

    They are almost all embellished tales written by unreliable narrators thousands of years ago. Plenty of texts in our own history describe strange people with animal characteristics. None of these are obviously true and just describe the armour/war paint/rituals of those people.

    You could well be right, but I'm not sure if it's the correct answer. That's why I tagged ZOS! When interpreting real life ancient texts and TES ancient texts, exaggeration is a very real possibility, but in the world of TES, we also have Minotaur, a race of cat people descended from elves whose form in adulthood depends on what moon phase they were born under, the Argonians with their deep connection to the Hist, and stuff like that. Just in ESO they added lore about Scale Elves, those special big Maormer you see in the Summerset expansion who may or may not be the result of normal Maormer having sex with sea serpents (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:The_Scaled_Elves).

    Not to mention there was a race of bird-people that lived in and around City Isle in the even more distant past (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Bird_Men), so there has been precedent for a population of non-daedra, non-mutant people. It was a big detail I forgot to mention in my original post. I guess I was too concerned about condensing it.

    Another possibility for the reason why (many or most or some) Ayleids possibly had avian features is possible interbreeding with the bird-men that lived in the area that would become Ayleid territory and later Cyrodiil (See http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Father_of_the_Niben ). Unfortunately there isn't a lot of sources about them, and some people on the r/TESlore thread were speculating that Ayleids could be a mixed race between bird-men and Aldmer. The only source that talks about them so far says that they died off, probably at the hands of the khajiit, before the Ayleids came, but the author could have been mistaken.

    In the Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st edition (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Pocket_Guide_to_the_Empire,_1st_Edition/The_Elsweyr_Confederacy), it mentions Pelinial killing a bunch of khajiit because he thought they were just another kind of elf.

    "Pelinal Whitestrake, Nibenay warlord of the Elven Pogrom, mistook the khajiit for another strain of Aldmeri and killed many of their number before realizing his error."

    Why would he come to the conclusion that the khajiit, most of whom are very obviously beast-men, are Aldmeri, unless he was familiar with another kind of elf that he liked to kill that had bestial features?
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    e1team wrote: »
    Well, their armor has avian features. Maybe that's what the author talks about? Remember the texts are ancient, much like in our history, ancients were very easily impressed by oddities. Somehow I doubt they really had beaks and feathers.

    This is the correct answer. Too many people take TES lorebooks at face value.

    They are almost all embellished tales written by unreliable narrators thousands of years ago. Plenty of texts in our own history describe strange people with animal characteristics. None of these are obviously true and just describe the armour/war paint/rituals of those people.

    You could well be right, but I'm not sure if it's the correct answer. That's why I tagged ZOS! When interpreting real life ancient texts and TES ancient texts, exaggeration is a very real possibility, but in the world of TES, we also have Minotaur, a race of cat people descended from elves whose form in adulthood depends on what moon phase they were born under, the Argonians with their deep connection to the Hist, and stuff like that. Just in ESO they added lore about Scale Elves, those special big Maormer you see in the Summerset expansion who may or may not be the result of normal Maormer having sex with sea serpents (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:The_Scaled_Elves).

    Not to mention there was a race of bird-people that lived in and around City Isle in the even more distant past (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Bird_Men), so there has been precedent for a population of non-daedra, non-mutant people. It was a big detail I forgot to mention in my original post. I guess I was too concerned about condensing it.

    Another possibility for the reason why (many or most or some) Ayleids possibly had avian features is possible interbreeding with the bird-men that lived in the area that would become Ayleid territory and later Cyrodiil (See http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Father_of_the_Niben ). Unfortunately there isn't a lot of sources about them, and some people on the r/TESlore thread were speculating that Ayleids could be a mixed race between bird-men and Aldmer. The only source that talks about them so far says that they died off, probably at the hands of the khajiit, before the Ayleids came, but the author could have been mistaken.

    In the Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st edition (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Pocket_Guide_to_the_Empire,_1st_Edition/The_Elsweyr_Confederacy), it mentions Pelinial killing a bunch of khajiit because he thought they were just another kind of elf.

    "Pelinal Whitestrake, Nibenay warlord of the Elven Pogrom, mistook the khajiit for another strain of Aldmeri and killed many of their number before realizing his error."

    Why would he come to the conclusion that the khajiit, most of whom are very obviously beast-men, are Aldmeri, unless he was familiar with another kind of elf that he liked to kill that had bestial features?

    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.
    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.
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    psychotrip wrote: »
    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.

    It's been retconned? Why do you think that? Also, what do you think of the speculation based on the other lore sources I quoted?
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.

    It's been retconned? Why do you think that? Also, what do you think of the speculation based on the other lore sources I quoted?

    Because everything in it has turned out to be "transcription errors" and "exaggerations". Read their descriptions of Cyrodiil and Summerset for example. It's all objectively "wrong" according to Zenimax and Bethesda. We're far past the point of assuming the "unreliable narrator" trope applies to all of this.

    How could the writer of the pocket guide not know what Cyrodiil looked like? Or anything about Imperial culture? All he had to do was look out the window.

    It's all been retconned. Assume it's untrue unless another source says the same thing.
    Edited by psychotrip on August 19, 2018 1:31PM
    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.
  • dodgehopper_ESO
    dodgehopper_ESO
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    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    e1team wrote: »
    Well, their armor has avian features. Maybe that's what the author talks about? Remember the texts are ancient, much like in our history, ancients were very easily impressed by oddities. Somehow I doubt they really had beaks and feathers.

    This is the correct answer. Too many people take TES lorebooks at face value.

    They are almost all embellished tales written by unreliable narrators thousands of years ago. Plenty of texts in our own history describe strange people with animal characteristics. None of these are obviously true and just describe the armour/war paint/rituals of those people.

    You could well be right, but I'm not sure if it's the correct answer. That's why I tagged ZOS! When interpreting real life ancient texts and TES ancient texts, exaggeration is a very real possibility, but in the world of TES, we also have Minotaur, a race of cat people descended from elves whose form in adulthood depends on what moon phase they were born under, the Argonians with their deep connection to the Hist, and stuff like that. Just in ESO they added lore about Scale Elves, those special big Maormer you see in the Summerset expansion who may or may not be the result of normal Maormer having sex with sea serpents (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:The_Scaled_Elves).

    Not to mention there was a race of bird-people that lived in and around City Isle in the even more distant past (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Bird_Men), so there has been precedent for a population of non-daedra, non-mutant people. It was a big detail I forgot to mention in my original post. I guess I was too concerned about condensing it.

    Another possibility for the reason why (many or most or some) Ayleids possibly had avian features is possible interbreeding with the bird-men that lived in the area that would become Ayleid territory and later Cyrodiil (See http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Father_of_the_Niben ). Unfortunately there isn't a lot of sources about them, and some people on the r/TESlore thread were speculating that Ayleids could be a mixed race between bird-men and Aldmer. The only source that talks about them so far says that they died off, probably at the hands of the khajiit, before the Ayleids came, but the author could have been mistaken.

    In the Pocket Guide to the Empire 1st edition (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Pocket_Guide_to_the_Empire,_1st_Edition/The_Elsweyr_Confederacy), it mentions Pelinial killing a bunch of khajiit because he thought they were just another kind of elf.

    "Pelinal Whitestrake, Nibenay warlord of the Elven Pogrom, mistook the khajiit for another strain of Aldmeri and killed many of their number before realizing his error."

    Why would he come to the conclusion that the khajiit, most of whom are very obviously beast-men, are Aldmeri, unless he was familiar with another kind of elf that he liked to kill that had bestial features?

    There's another point of view here. The Khajiit probably are ex-elves and since Pelinal was closer to Dawn Era it might make sense that he view them this way. Additionally, Khajiit have many different forms, a few of which look more like Bosmer than cats. The Khajiit 'mutation' if you want to call it that has to do with Azura in much the way Dunmer black skin has to do with Azura. Depending on when a Khajiit is born (moon) will determine what kind of Khajiit it will be, whether it is a magical housecat, a hulking sabertooth, a gorilla like saber-tooth man, a bosmer-like dude with a tail, and even a bosmer like variety with no tail. In other words there is such a variety in Khajiit manifestation it is not outside the realm of possibility that Pelinal continued the war against elves there. Bear in mind the Anti-Elf war was started because much of the Ayleids were necromancers and slavers no better than the Sload. Redguards fell prey to them when they landed on Tamriel which started the Red Wave (the Ra Gada aka Redguard) that headed south and didn't really calm down til they go to the southern tip of Tamriel. The nords had enough of it, the Bretons had enough of it. Essentially everyone did. Pelinal, Morihaus (Minotaur guy), and Alessia were contemporaries who worked together to push out this daedric/ayleid influence from their world. In that context I'm pretty sure the Khajiit faced a lot of pressure as well.

    Does this mean the bird men might possibly have been Mer? What does it mean to be Bet-mer? I think the series leaves things open-ended on purpose.
    US/AD - Dodge Hopper - Vet Imperial Templar | US/AD - Goj-ei-Raj - Vet Argonian Nightblade
    US/AD - Arondonimo - Vet Altmer Sorcerer | US/AD - Azumarax - Vet Dunmer Dragon Knight
    US/AD - Barkan al-Sheharesh - Vet Redguard Dragon Knight | US/AD - Aelus Vortavoriil - Vet Altmer Templar
    US/AD - Shirari Qa'Dar - Vet Khajiit Nightblade | US/AD - Ndvari Mzunchvolenthumz - Vet Bosmer Nightblade
    US/EP - Yngmar - Vet Nord Dragon Knight | US/EP - Reloth Ur Fyr - Vet Dunmer Sorcerer
    US/DC - Muiredeach - Vet Breton Sorcerer | US/DC - Nachtrabe - Vet Orc Nightblade
    EU/DC - Dragol gro-Unglak - Vet Orc Dragon Knight | EU/DC - Targan al-Barkan - Vet Redguard Templar
    EU/DC - Wuthmir - Vet Nord Sorcerer | EU/DC - Kosh Ragotoro - Vet Khajiit Nightblade
    <And plenty more>
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    There's another point of view here. The Khajiit probably are ex-elves and since Pelinal was closer to Dawn Era it might make sense that he view them this way. Additionally, Khajiit have many different forms, a few of which look more like Bosmer than cats. The Khajiit 'mutation' if you want to call it that has to do with Azura in much the way Dunmer black skin has to do with Azura. Depending on when a Khajiit is born (moon) will determine what kind of Khajiit it will be, whether it is a magical housecat, a hulking sabertooth, a gorilla like saber-tooth man, a bosmer-like dude with a tail, and even a bosmer like variety with no tail. In other words there is such a variety in Khajiit manifestation it is not outside the realm of possibility that Pelinal continued the war against elves there. Bear in mind the Anti-Elf war was started because much of the Ayleids were necromancers and slavers no better than the Sload. Redguards fell prey to them when they landed on Tamriel which started the Red Wave (the Ra Gada aka Redguard) that headed south and didn't really calm down til they go to the southern tip of Tamriel. The nords had enough of it, the Bretons had enough of it. Essentially everyone did. Pelinal, Morihaus (Minotaur guy), and Alessia were contemporaries who worked together to push out this daedric/ayleid influence from their world. In that context I'm pretty sure the Khajiit faced a lot of pressure as well.

    Does this mean the bird men might possibly have been Mer? What does it mean to be Bet-mer? I think the series leaves things open-ended on purpose.

    Yeah, the Ohmes and the other khajiit forms that don't show up much are pretty interesting. I think I may have even seen an Ohmes in Khenarthi's roost.

    Yeah, it is pretty open-ended in regards to the bird people and whether the Ayleids were related to them or interbred with them. I kinda want an official answer, but they may not have actually decided.
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    psychotrip wrote: »
    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.

    It's been retconned? Why do you think that? Also, what do you think of the speculation based on the other lore sources I quoted?

    Because everything in it has turned out to be "transcription errors" and "exaggerations". Read their descriptions of Cyrodiil and Summerset for example. It's all objectively "wrong" according to Zenimax and Bethesda. We're far past the point of assuming the "unreliable narrator" trope applies to all of this.

    How could the writer of the pocket guide not know what Cyrodiil looked like? Or anything about Imperial culture? All he had to do was look out the window.

    It's all been retconned. Assume it's untrue unless another source says the same thing.

    The most important thing to say about the incident I cited is that it was mentioned in another source, the Varieties of Faith lorebook in the Alkosh section. Plus, it sounds like something Pelinial would do, right?

    The PGE 1st ed description of Cyrodiil being a jungle is explained by Talos changing it into grasslands when Tiber Septim attained godhood, even extending back into the past. So the author of PGE 1st ed was right about it being a jungle at the time. I think. I'm not sure how some people remembering it being jungle works, really.
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.

    It's been retconned? Why do you think that? Also, what do you think of the speculation based on the other lore sources I quoted?

    Because everything in it has turned out to be "transcription errors" and "exaggerations". Read their descriptions of Cyrodiil and Summerset for example. It's all objectively "wrong" according to Zenimax and Bethesda. We're far past the point of assuming the "unreliable narrator" trope applies to all of this.

    How could the writer of the pocket guide not know what Cyrodiil looked like? Or anything about Imperial culture? All he had to do was look out the window.

    It's all been retconned. Assume it's untrue unless another source says the same thing.

    The most important thing to say about the incident I cited is that it was mentioned in another source, the Varieties of Faith lorebook in the Alkosh section. Plus, it sounds like something Pelinial would do, right?

    The PGE 1st ed description of Cyrodiil being a jungle is explained by Talos changing it into grasslands when Tiber Septim attained godhood, even extending back into the past. So the author of PGE 1st ed was right about it being a jungle at the time. I think. I'm not sure how some people remembering it being jungle works, really.

    Morrowind takes place in the third era. People in Morrowind describe Cyrodiil as a jungle. Even people from Cyrodiil. These are retcons. Simple. Even the latter explanations have been contradicted time and again. Just ignore the first pocket guide unless there's another source confirming the contents. This series isn't exactly known for its consistency anymore.
    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.
  • PrinceShroob
    PrinceShroob
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    The "2920, The Last Year of the First Era" series describes Ayleids as follows:

    "...a naked Elf man stood, not as dark as a Dunmer, but not as pale as the Altmer. She knew at once it was an Ayleid, a Wild Elf..."

    "The Wild Elves" describes Ayleid culture and does not mention any physical differences from other mer. In the Knights of the Nine expansion for Oblivion, we see some frescoes and stained glass windows that depict Pelinal fighting Umaril; Umaril appears similar to how he later appears in Garlas Malatar. Given that Umaril is only half-Ayleid and resembles an Auroran, I would say that he's an atypical Ayleid, to say the least.

    Ayleid statues in Oblivion show the Ayleids as comparatively normal-looking mer, and the crowns of Nenalata and Lindai fit contemporary heads quite comfortably.
  • ghastley
    ghastley
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    There's also the "blind men and the elephant" effect. An observer reports only what they experience. If someone sees a force of mercenaries, they may not know they're not the main army. If someone only visits part of a country, they assume it's all the same.

    And then there's language. Does the term "jungle" to a Dunmer mean "where fungi aren't the dominant vegetation"?



  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    ghastley wrote: »
    There's also the "blind men and the elephant" effect. An observer reports only what they experience. If someone sees a force of mercenaries, they may not know they're not the main army. If someone only visits part of a country, they assume it's all the same.

    And then there's language. Does the term "jungle" to a Dunmer mean "where fungi aren't the dominant vegetation"?



    Imperials in the third era described Cyrodiil as a jungle. People living in Cyrodiil at the time described it as one. Can we please stop trying to explain every retcon in-universe? As though every developer decision can seamlessly fit into the lore? Really guys, take a step back. Don't you see how silly this is?
    Edited by psychotrip on August 29, 2018 5:16PM
    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.
  • Bruccius
    Bruccius
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    psychotrip wrote: »
    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.

    It's been retconned? Why do you think that? Also, what do you think of the speculation based on the other lore sources I quoted?

    Because everything in it has turned out to be "transcription errors" and "exaggerations". Read their descriptions of Cyrodiil and Summerset for example. It's all objectively "wrong" according to Zenimax and Bethesda. We're far past the point of assuming the "unreliable narrator" trope applies to all of this.

    How could the writer of the pocket guide not know what Cyrodiil looked like? Or anything about Imperial culture? All he had to do was look out the window.

    It's all been retconned. Assume it's untrue unless another source says the same thing.

    The most important thing to say about the incident I cited is that it was mentioned in another source, the Varieties of Faith lorebook in the Alkosh section. Plus, it sounds like something Pelinial would do, right?

    The PGE 1st ed description of Cyrodiil being a jungle is explained by Talos changing it into grasslands when Tiber Septim attained godhood, even extending back into the past. So the author of PGE 1st ed was right about it being a jungle at the time. I think. I'm not sure how some people remembering it being jungle works, really.

    Morrowind takes place in the third era. People in Morrowind describe Cyrodiil as a jungle. Even people from Cyrodiil. These are retcons. Simple. Even the latter explanations have been contradicted time and again. Just ignore the first pocket guide unless there's another source confirming the contents. This series isn't exactly known for its consistency anymore.

    Just because lorebreaks are common in TES doesn't mean everything is. Dismissing the entirety of the First Pocket Guide is arrogance and ignorance.
  • PrinceShroob
    PrinceShroob
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    With regard to Cyrodiil as a jungle: the dialogue in Morrowind is taken verbatim from "Provinces of Tamriel," which is a paraphrase of the Pocket Guide. Bethesda hardly ever revises old books -- you'll find the same typos in the same books in Morrowind and in Skyrim. The first Pocket Guide was written contemporaneously with Redguard, and it's not even correct with regard to Morrowind:

    "To an outsider, the priesthood of the Tribunal seems to be the true power in Morrowind - these Tribunes, if they ever existed, have not been seen in centuries..." -- this is directly contradicted by Mehra Helas' dialogue in Tribunal: "Almalexia...walked the streets of Mournhold Herself...The same with Lord Vivec. Then, ten years ago, about the time of the Ghostfence, They stopped appearing in public..." (emphasis mine)

    The section on the Telvanni doesn't even mention their mage-lords: "Clan Telvani [sic] is the most xenophobic of a xenophobic race, shunning all contact with outsiders, preferring to tend their herds of giant insects amid the rocky hills and islands of the extreme northeast."

    I haven't played Redguard, but from watching some cutscenes, and looking at this piece of artwork of Tiber Septim and Admiral Richton, I'd say that any plans of Cyrodiil being a jungle and not "merely" a Roman analogue fell by the wayside quickly, before Oblivion.

    In fact, the Imperial City we see in Oblivion largely matches the description given in "The Real Barenziah" -- right down to the approximate location of the Arcane University (called a Mages Guildhall there):

    "They came to the great bridge that crossed into the Imperial City at sunset. The rosy glow turned the stark white marble edifices of the metropolis a delicate pink. It all looked very new and grand and immaculate. A broad avenue led north toward the Palace. A crowd of people of all sorts and races filled the wide concourse. Lights winked out in the shops and on in the inns as dusk fell and stars came out singly then by twos and threes. Even the side streets were broad and brightly illuminated. Near the Palace the towers of an immense Mages Guildhall reared toward the east, while westward the stained glass windows of a huge tabernacle glittered in the dying light."
    Edited by PrinceShroob on September 2, 2018 11:08PM
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    The "2920, The Last Year of the First Era" series describes Ayleids as follows:

    "...a naked Elf man stood, not as dark as a Dunmer, but not as pale as the Altmer. She knew at once it was an Ayleid, a Wild Elf..."

    "The Wild Elves" describes Ayleid culture and does not mention any physical differences from other mer. In the Knights of the Nine expansion for Oblivion, we see some frescoes and stained glass windows that depict Pelinal fighting Umaril; Umaril appears similar to how he later appears in Garlas Malatar. Given that Umaril is only half-Ayleid and resembles an Auroran, I would say that he's an atypical Ayleid, to say the least.

    Ayleid statues in Oblivion show the Ayleids as comparatively normal-looking mer, and the crowns of Nenalata and Lindai fit contemporary heads quite comfortably.

    "The Wild Elves" is about their culture, as you said, so it doesn't bring up their appearance. That source didn't even mention the undisputed fact that they have darker skin than an Altmer but lighter skin than a Dunmer.

    The 2920 The Last Year of the First Era quote is pretty significant. You have to look at the context of that excerpt, which is that the Ayleid was a shapeshifter who had been following a lone pregnant human woman in the wilderness of Cyrodiil, and the woman went into labor. He transformed out of bird form and into the form you described, and the woman panicked and started screaming and presumably flailing around. The Ayleid held her down and she fainted, but when she woke up, the baby was delivered and cleaned.

    Since he was a shapeshifter and his intentions were to help a scared woman in labor in the middle of nowhere, he could have made his form purely mer, without any avian features, to make himself slightly less scary. Not that it seems to have worked that well.

    If that Ayleid did actually turn back into his true form to help the woman, maybe by that time, if there had been any avian features, they were uncommon? Or maybe that particular guy didn't have avian features.

    As for the crown size and shape, it rules out more strong bird-man features for noble Ayleids in the later generations, if some or most or all Ayleids actually did have avian features. King Dynar doesn't have a weirdly shaped head anyway, and the Nenalata crown was his.

    I have to say it would be pretty boring if their only distinguishing features were slightly darker skin than Altmer...
    Edited by Aeschere3 on September 4, 2018 4:30AM
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    psychotrip wrote: »
    Imperials in the third era described Cyrodiil as a jungle. People living in Cyrodiil at the time described it as one. Can we please stop trying to explain every retcon in-universe? As though every developer decision can seamlessly fit into the lore? Really guys, take a step back. Don't you see how silly this is?

    TES lore is pretty wacky, and this is the lore section of the forums. And besides, it doesn't technically matter if they way devs try to integrate changes is seamless or not, since they can still change things whenever they want. If they say that Cyrodiil used to be a jungle that had bird men in it but a god retroactively changed it into grasslands, it really did happen.

    But I think at this point, really the only way to resolve my question is with a dev answer.
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
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    [I accidentally made a comment twice, but I can't delete my own comments]

    Edited by Aeschere3 on September 4, 2018 4:27AM
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • Eporem
    Eporem
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    Since the Aldmer, Almeri know of skin stealing, as seen in the quest concerning Uldor and in some of the Argonian quests could it be possible that the Ayleids of the Merethic era (during a time maybe when shapeshifting was still occurring) were experimenting with this ability with the Gryphons, wearing their skins and so appearing as BirdMen.

    Edited by Eporem on September 4, 2018 3:15PM
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    Bruccius wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    DIsregard the first pocket guide. It's all been retconned by this point.

    What you're saying may have been 100% true a decade ago, but it's likely not the case anymore. The ayleids don't have bird features. They were just slightly darker altmer.

    It's been retconned? Why do you think that? Also, what do you think of the speculation based on the other lore sources I quoted?

    Because everything in it has turned out to be "transcription errors" and "exaggerations". Read their descriptions of Cyrodiil and Summerset for example. It's all objectively "wrong" according to Zenimax and Bethesda. We're far past the point of assuming the "unreliable narrator" trope applies to all of this.

    How could the writer of the pocket guide not know what Cyrodiil looked like? Or anything about Imperial culture? All he had to do was look out the window.

    It's all been retconned. Assume it's untrue unless another source says the same thing.

    The most important thing to say about the incident I cited is that it was mentioned in another source, the Varieties of Faith lorebook in the Alkosh section. Plus, it sounds like something Pelinial would do, right?

    The PGE 1st ed description of Cyrodiil being a jungle is explained by Talos changing it into grasslands when Tiber Septim attained godhood, even extending back into the past. So the author of PGE 1st ed was right about it being a jungle at the time. I think. I'm not sure how some people remembering it being jungle works, really.

    Morrowind takes place in the third era. People in Morrowind describe Cyrodiil as a jungle. Even people from Cyrodiil. These are retcons. Simple. Even the latter explanations have been contradicted time and again. Just ignore the first pocket guide unless there's another source confirming the contents. This series isn't exactly known for its consistency anymore.

    Just because lorebreaks are common in TES doesn't mean everything is. Dismissing the entirety of the First Pocket Guide is arrogance and ignorance.

    Not sure why you need to resort to personal attacks here.

    My point was that, if something in the newer lore seems to conflict with the pocket guide, or if an obscure factoid from it hasn’t ever been referenced in a game, you should probably just trust what the newer lore says.

    If we look at this from an in-universe perspective, then the pocket guide is just a shoddy piece of wildly inaccurate propaganda made by bureaucrats who had never been to the regions they were writing about.

    Like I said, it’s best to just assume it’s untrue unless another source says otherwise.
    Edited by psychotrip on September 16, 2018 11:54PM
    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.
  • Aeschere3
    Aeschere3
    ✭✭✭
    Bruccius wrote: »

    Just because lorebreaks are common in TES doesn't mean everything is. Dismissing the entirety of the First Pocket Guide is arrogance and ignorance.

    Thanks for your input! I will agree with psychotrip below in saying that calling them arrogant and ignorant (indirectly) is escalating the discussion more than it needs to, though.
    ZOS please give Maormer skin
  • Bruccius
    Bruccius
    ✭✭✭✭

    Aeschere3 wrote: »
    Bruccius wrote: »

    Just because lorebreaks are common in TES doesn't mean everything is. Dismissing the entirety of the First Pocket Guide is arrogance and ignorance.

    Thanks for your input! I will agree with psychotrip below in saying that calling them arrogant and ignorant (indirectly) is escalating the discussion more than it needs to, though.

    I think that dismissing such a large work, all of which was written by one person, mind you, is incredibely disrespectful towards the developers of the franchise. And as someone who is dedicated to this franchise, I'm not tolerant of that. Who knows how many hours were put into writing the Pocket Guide? Only for someone to dismiss them entirely? Because of ''all of it'' (a very great exaggeration) being retconned?

    Just saying ''it's not true unless shown in later lore'' is very shallow. Using that logic, we can assume everything we read ingame is not true unless we see it with our own eyes. TES is a lot more like real life in that regard, there are myths, there are falsehoods, there are possibilities, and there are tales. You cannot take everything at face value, but neither should you disregard it ''just because part of it has been proven wrong.''

    Saying the entire Pocket Guide has been retconned is just false.
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