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https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/653550/

Healthy Loremaster's Archive Critique

OgrimTitan
OgrimTitan
✭✭✭
I'm sure the reaction recent Breton Archive widespreadly caused was uncontrollable "What the hell was that?"

Now I don't like to whine. I play the game for 7 years, lead trifectas and have grand overlord under my belt, but never ever complained to ZeniMax of balance changes or set nerfs. I was silent even with 2 previous loremaster's archives, trying to justify their blandness. But with bretons on the line and this trend going for 3 Archives in the row I can't be silent anymore.

I already expressed my thoughts on TESLore subreddit, where we together with the subreddit's lore-veteran tried to summon mr. Tuttle and even mr. Schick to no avail, so here I'll repurpose my thoughts for some reasonable Loremaster's Archive critique post.

There is literally zero new information. Nothing substantial that you can't read in the new chapter's books. Sinistral elves and yokudans? All in Systres History (great book, by the way, really great), why recite it? Druids? It repeats Wyrd and Druid. Fauns? They got a book, too, and much more detailed than Archive's response. List goes on.

Perhaps the questions were uninspired, you ask? Let's take a look at the question pool.
Eternal question about legendary breton mages from @Aliyavana that's coming out every breton discussion ever for more than 10 years now.
Dellese Isles from @OrphanStar93 . Another brilliant question of the land we know nothing about that's apparently very important to the bretons.
Breton code of laws from @BlissfulDelusions . Important and juicy.
Apocrypha Daggerfall gods from @CoolBlast3 . My personal favorite and the most important in my book.
Lastly, my own question, not that important as previous 4, but still relevant and Systres-oriented: Leviathan Ithguleor and other sea monsters, as something close and intriguing was in fact mentioned in High Isle book.
Not a single of those questions was considered to be answered. It can be countered that they are not related to the High Isle per se, but it's not true. All of the aforementioned questions could be easily linked to the Systres, you don't even need to stretch it.

Why Loremaster's Archive is even needed, if everything that is offered are bland, boring, short questions, that are ALREADY ANSWERED in the books and/or by NPCs? Surely it's not about simplifying? People who are interested in the lore will read everything and be disappointed with repeated information. People who are not into the lore won't read it in any way. Here in MMO you can clearly see the community. I know both people who zealously read all the lore sources and the ones who don't bother to check out in-game books after 5+ years of playing. There is no middle ground people when it comes to the lore, really.

Archives weren't always like this, that's why I lament it. I miss it when Loremaster's Archives provided that much information it was overwhelming, when questions were not limited by 3 lines, were smart and full of details both on questions and their authors, and you felt characters behind the words. Check out Fa-Nuit-Hen (one and two) and Abnur Tharn interviews for the reference. Those Archives.. it felt like proper roleplays with educational elements.

I want this thoughts to reach the right people, lorebuilders most of all, and all the people who care. Lore of TES universe is one it's strong points. To diminish one of the best new sources of it, that was welcomed by community with open arms, I see as big mistake. Similar observations already were expressed on other discussions here and here by other people. Share it if you can and let's try to bring attention to this problem. Something must be done.
Edited by OgrimTitan on June 19, 2022 8:02PM
  • Ratzkifal
    Ratzkifal
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    We've been talking about this a bit already in the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons" thread already and I can only agree. Very underwhelming archive. Very underwhelming chapter in terms of lore so far over all. The druids are cool but the city Bretons are left being the same old "normal" people who aren't even all that magical.

    This is exactly why I dread the day that ESO returns to Morrowind and gives us the first look at the parts of it that we have never seen before. Summerset was already a whole lot less fantastical than described, despite being advertised as "high fantasy" to us before release, so I can only see them going to every corner of Tamriel to make it the most boring version of it imaginable.

    Oh and, they still haven't fixed the spelling error I pointed out either. "No-Totambu"? What's that?
    This Bosmer was tortured to death. There is nothing left to be done.
  • OgrimTitan
    OgrimTitan
    ✭✭✭
    Ratzkifal wrote: »
    We've been talking about this a bit already in the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons" thread already and I can only agree. Very underwhelming archive. Very underwhelming chapter in terms of lore so far over all. The druids are cool but the city Bretons are left being the same old "normal" people who aren't even all that magical.

    This is exactly why I dread the day that ESO returns to Morrowind and gives us the first look at the parts of it that we have never seen before. Summerset was already a whole lot less fantastical than described, despite being advertised as "high fantasy" to us before release, so I can only see them going to every corner of Tamriel to make it the most boring version of it imaginable.

    Oh and, they still haven't fixed the spelling error I pointed out either. "No-Totambu"? What's that?

    Judging by the logic of the previous story arcs, all the important lore and action comes in 4th DLC. I'm not pessimistic about the future. Reachmen lore and representation was terrific, with no whitewashing, Rada al-Saran was a good villain and his motivation and story overall were creative and immersive. Also, the Dark Heart lore arching lore and representation is another great point of worldbuilding, making the bridge to yet another wonderful lore of khajiit. We got Fargrave and tons of quality daedra and Mehrunes Dagon lore - it was discussed in this reddit thread for example. All of this came with 4th DLCs. It's not a fool's hope or naivete. The game is a golden age of The Elder Scrolls, I wouldn't play it if I were disappointed. We've even got original design-document of Skyrim adopted into the lore - how miraculous can that be?

    Summerset is another matter, the one I'm not sure I want to discuss at all..
  • CoolBlast3
    CoolBlast3
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    Once again, I sadly have to agree with all of this.
    What annoys me the most about my question specifically though, is that I wasn't the only one to ask about Daggerfall gods! There were at least two or three other questions about them! So ZOS could clearly see that it was a topic of interest.
    I'm just disappointed and saddened really. There's zero point to loremaster archives if they continue this way, but I do adore the concept of them, and hope ZOS takes this feedback to heart.
  • Jazraena
    Jazraena
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    Fully agree, sadly.

    And I just have to reiterate - stop dancing around Three Banners involvement. This is a chapter about peace talks of that very war, so at least commit to a definite statement about how the region is involved or not. Driving the point home that it's Covenant territory to then go 'Oh but we try to act like a neutral port' without any further elaboration isn't good writing and strains immersion.

    You have proven that you can do awesome lore. Don't hold back with it. Don't shy from questions beyond what's already in lore books.
  • OgrimTitan
    OgrimTitan
    ✭✭✭
    CoolBlast3 wrote: »
    Once again, I sadly have to agree with all of this.
    What annoys me the most about my question specifically though, is that I wasn't the only one to ask about Daggerfall gods! There were at least two or three other questions about them! So ZOS could clearly see that it was a topic of interest.
    I'm just disappointed and saddened really. There's zero point to loremaster archives if they continue this way, but I do adore the concept of them, and hope ZOS takes this feedback to heart.

    Yes, my goal is to reach the right people as I speak from the heart about the things that are dear to me. Perhaps we should tag developers? Mr. Tuttle and/or mr. Zenke? I'm just not sure if that would really make them read the thread.
  • BlissfulDeluge
    BlissfulDeluge
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    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Edited by BlissfulDeluge on June 20, 2022 1:58PM
    Former completionist with all achievements unlocked up until Update 29 (Flames of Ambition). Avid RPer, writer, and former Breton lover. Then Legacy of the Bretons was released and I realized just how boring and uninspired the Bretons are according to the writers.
  • Jazraena
    Jazraena
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    Just for emphasis, so much yes. Details on how social structures, morals and law work add so much to immersion.
  • BlissfulDeluge
    BlissfulDeluge
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    Jazraena wrote: »
    Just for emphasis, so much yes. Details on how social structures, morals and law work add so much to immersion.

    If I could submit a few writings on the subject of Breton history, law, philosophy and social dynamics to the writers for consideration to be added as lorebooks, I would do it in a heartbeat, haha. There is so much potential to actually make the Breton classism MEAN SOMETHING, and to make it stand out in Tamriel.

    Bretons really need something UNIQUE that is relevant to ALL Bretons. Not just druids or other fringe groups.


    Edited by BlissfulDeluge on June 20, 2022 2:59PM
    Former completionist with all achievements unlocked up until Update 29 (Flames of Ambition). Avid RPer, writer, and former Breton lover. Then Legacy of the Bretons was released and I realized just how boring and uninspired the Bretons are according to the writers.
  • OgrimTitan
    OgrimTitan
    ✭✭✭
    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    As for writing contract books, as many lorehounds would like to, I'm positive it's not happening even if the world ends tomorrow. Not for me with real contract journalist work experience, not for you, not for anyone out of ZeniMax staff or circles connected to them, but I encourage you to try yourself in Apocrypha on TESLore Reddit. It can be quite influential. Like Uutak Mythos. Some texts posted on this subreddit are really great. In the end the more we (the community) argue about canonicity of canon, the less value this term holds.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Anyway, I don't want to stray to far from the original theme or start an argument on some lore details. Thank you for posting here again. Would be nice if we can summon here as much lorehounds who care as possible, so share this thread if you can. The only way to force the change, I wager.
  • kaushad
    kaushad
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    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    First of all, I agree that the last Q&A didn't serve the purpose that we could expect from previous. Perhaps the point now is simply promotional material to engage people with ESO lore by another medium instead of building that lore, which may only appeal to a slightly larger audience i.e. us.

    As rich as Q4 DLC often are, the rule might not apply this year. Clockwork City, Murkmire, the Reach and Fargrave/the Deadlands were all very distinct from the chapters of their year, so there was a demand to create a lot of lore around them. Whereas I think that Northern and Southern Elsweyr were more balanced. There's a possibility that this year's DLC won't say that much more about Bretons if it's considered that a lot of it has already been covered in High Isle and even the dungeon DLC. Although as for the druids, I think Galen is current home of House Mornard, so there should be some mainstream Breton presence. Yffelon, home of the Firesong Circle, is the one that will probably be just druids.

    The Rights Charter wouldn't necessarily put Bretons socially ahead of everybody else. Other cultures don't have such as stratified class system, so maybe their freedoms don't need to be codified as much.

    I don't think it's that noteworthy that Cassynder aged specifically "like a Breton", because Brief History of the Empire was written for Daggerfall, before Imperials were written. The early Septims in TESII were Bretons. Even now, their race is ambiguous because aside from Talos and Agnorith's identities, we only know a few of their wives.
  • BlissfulDeluge
    BlissfulDeluge
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    As for writing contract books, as many lorehounds would like to, I'm positive it's not happening even if the world ends tomorrow. Not for me with real contract journalist work experience, not for you, not for anyone out of ZeniMax staff or circles connected to them, but I encourage you to try yourself in Apocrypha on TESLore Reddit. It can be quite influential. Like Uutak Mythos. Some texts posted on this subreddit are really great. In the end the more we (the community) argue about canonicity of canon, the less value this term holds.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Anyway, I don't want to stray to far from the original theme or start an argument on some lore details. Thank you for posting here again. Would be nice if we can summon here as much lorehounds who care as possible, so share this thread if you can. The only way to force the change, I wager.

    On the contrary, I would prefer if the Rights Charter was unique to the Bretons. The Bretons are desperately lacking in unique and exclusive lore. I would invite you to name one thing that is exclusive to Bretons.

    Knights? The Buoyant Armigers of Morrowind call themselves knight errant, and the Order of the Hour of Cyrodiil is a knightly order devoted to Akatosh.

    Class system and social mobility? In Morrowind you can climb from a servant to becoming a House Councilor. In Skyrim you can become a thane, and then later a jarl. The other classes (middle class, working class) do not really MEAN anything if there are no benefits to belonging to a certain caste aside from the obvious ones (wealth, influence)

    As for the "aged like a Breton" comment, why not say "aged like a man" or "aged like a human" if it is not supposed to be flattering? It evidently suggests that Bretons age slower than other human races, given how it is so oddly specific.
    Edited by BlissfulDeluge on June 21, 2022 10:20PM
    Former completionist with all achievements unlocked up until Update 29 (Flames of Ambition). Avid RPer, writer, and former Breton lover. Then Legacy of the Bretons was released and I realized just how boring and uninspired the Bretons are according to the writers.
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I remain bemused that for the last two years the 4th Quarter DLC has been consistently more interesting and narratively compelling than the Chapter we're expected to pay cash for.
  • Aliyavana
    Aliyavana
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I love the druid lore, but my issue with them is that they are very distant. I hope there is a line of dialogue or something about efforts to reintroduce druidism to mainstream breton culture to make them more relevant
  • OgrimTitan
    OgrimTitan
    ✭✭✭
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    As for writing contract books, as many lorehounds would like to, I'm positive it's not happening even if the world ends tomorrow. Not for me with real contract journalist work experience, not for you, not for anyone out of ZeniMax staff or circles connected to them, but I encourage you to try yourself in Apocrypha on TESLore Reddit. It can be quite influential. Like Uutak Mythos. Some texts posted on this subreddit are really great. In the end the more we (the community) argue about canonicity of canon, the less value this term holds.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Anyway, I don't want to stray to far from the original theme or start an argument on some lore details. Thank you for posting here again. Would be nice if we can summon here as much lorehounds who care as possible, so share this thread if you can. The only way to force the change, I wager.

    On the contrary, I would prefer if the Rights Charter was unique to the Bretons. The Bretons are desperately lacking in unique and exclusive lore. I would invite you to name one thing that is exclusive to Bretons.

    Knights? The Buoyant Armigers of Morrowind call themselves knight errant, and the Order of the Hour of Cyrodiil is a knightly order devoted to Akatosh.

    Class system and social mobility? In Morrowind you can climb from a servant to becoming a House Councilor. In Skyrim you can become a thane, and then later a jarl. The other classes (middle class, working class) do not really MEAN anything if there are no benefits to belonging to a certain caste aside from the obvious ones (wealth, influence)

    As for the "aged like a Breton" comment, why not say "aged like a man" or "aged like a human" if it is not supposed to be flattering? It evidently suggests that Bretons age slower than other human races, given how it is so oddly specific.

    Again, I would like to not stray off from the theme, but will encourage this details clarification one more time.
    Bretons are unique. They just lack the proper representation of it. You said it yourself: "A feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes." .

    Neo-feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes? "Find a new hill, become a king.", remember? That's exactly that principle of breton society, here, since 1998. Also paraphrased in TESO, too. And also plainly said again in the great book The Knightly Orders of High Rock: Second, the bestowal of a knighthood on a lower-class man or woman is a convenient way to reward outstanding contributions to society (or to the elevating lord), and confers a measure of that nobility so prized in Breton society. In Morrowind it's more like social machiavellism, and in Skyrim it's measuring of biceps and other body parts.

    As we mentioned knights, let's smoothly switch to talk about them. Yes, there are Buoyant Armigers, and Order of the Hour (which was made imperial retroactively, by the way). There are also Welkynar and redguard knights, prudently renamed gallants that thankfully function another way than your stereotypical questing knight of TES's bretons or knight romances of our world. Those are rare examples, literal exceptions that prove the rule that knighthood are immanent part of the both breton culture (questers, nobles-in-arms) and society (social class). Sources I link would be one, two, three, four.

    Constitution and rights? Again, it's all here. We don't have the plain text of it, but it's presence is evident undeniably: Master Pellingare refuses to talk without a lawyer, traitor can be brought to a trial, disgraced knight can serve penance, and, well, there are literal courts of law in TESII. The books of law would improve the lore with details, but the lore is already there.

    And another last subversion of feudal Europe would be equality of rights. Not only upward mobility works the same for knights of any gender, but even fair maidens, prize brides are usually serve as trophies only if it's profitable for them.

    Summing up: the lore and culture are all here. They just need to bloom. Partly it's already there with High Isle, and you know it.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Now, if you want to talk about real problems of High Rock, there are many, and some are really hard to fix. Proper culture representation, more magic involved - yes, let's call it number 1. Partly solved by High Isle.

    More unique landscape and architecture. Number 2. Cliff landscape, unimaginably big towers and small cozy village homes are the things that we needed from Greater Bretony. Again it's partly solved by High Isle.
    zzstuyqznofb.png
    76xt4txscp2e.jpg
    f6bj7ewwcgl6.jpg
    taqvtxeus5qq.jpg
    (first picture is mine, second is an official promo, third and fourth are from UESP, ownership sorted)
    But now we've got the whole of High Rock of dwarf castles and other outdated and half-empty artdesign that just asks to be remade. There is yet another problem with all great cities having the same architecture, but that's the problem of the whole game, not even vanilla to my grief.

    Another thing. Ayleid ruins, and breton dungeons in general. Number 3. 'Nuff said. Partly solved by High Isle, too. But the rest of High Rock, real High Rock really doesn't deserve what it got. Ayleid ruins started to be interesting only in 2018-2020, with Murkmire, Wrathstone and Blackwood. Before that it was the most uninspired type of dungeon possible, and High Rock got it all.

    Last thing. Fauna of High Rock. Number 4. I don't like to criticize, yet vanilla TESO had very weak faunas of represented countries. Almost nothing new was added, and even a lot of existing animals and creatures were not represented, like Morrowind ones, for example. Gladly, it did change drastically in DLC era. Even Skyrim became more diverse with sea giants and bristlebacks. High Rock has nothing unique. Literally. High Isle saved the day again. Fauns are great addition, fresh and not cliché. Also, very celtic. Soulrazer knights are also very, very good. Not banal enough to be just animated armor, and also very breton-fitting type of monster - magical necromantic ghost in an armored shell.
    g837dagnb2h4.png
    qoy66y2d25kt.jpg
    (second picture is not mine and made for UESP)

    But what of High Rock when it gets the redesign? The first monster I added would've been lou carcolh. It fits perfectly. Dangerous as a dragon, not overused and very unusual. It's french in origin and it can also serve as an homage to mysterious giant snails opposing knights in medieval art. On that note I'll finish this giant rant.
    a5qgutpmw8yh.jpg
    527afoaa7ycl.jpg
    (both arts are not mine and I don't own them)
    Edited by OgrimTitan on June 25, 2022 4:55PM
  • BlissfulDeluge
    BlissfulDeluge
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    As for writing contract books, as many lorehounds would like to, I'm positive it's not happening even if the world ends tomorrow. Not for me with real contract journalist work experience, not for you, not for anyone out of ZeniMax staff or circles connected to them, but I encourage you to try yourself in Apocrypha on TESLore Reddit. It can be quite influential. Like Uutak Mythos. Some texts posted on this subreddit are really great. In the end the more we (the community) argue about canonicity of canon, the less value this term holds.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Anyway, I don't want to stray to far from the original theme or start an argument on some lore details. Thank you for posting here again. Would be nice if we can summon here as much lorehounds who care as possible, so share this thread if you can. The only way to force the change, I wager.

    On the contrary, I would prefer if the Rights Charter was unique to the Bretons. The Bretons are desperately lacking in unique and exclusive lore. I would invite you to name one thing that is exclusive to Bretons.

    Knights? The Buoyant Armigers of Morrowind call themselves knight errant, and the Order of the Hour of Cyrodiil is a knightly order devoted to Akatosh.

    Class system and social mobility? In Morrowind you can climb from a servant to becoming a House Councilor. In Skyrim you can become a thane, and then later a jarl. The other classes (middle class, working class) do not really MEAN anything if there are no benefits to belonging to a certain caste aside from the obvious ones (wealth, influence)

    As for the "aged like a Breton" comment, why not say "aged like a man" or "aged like a human" if it is not supposed to be flattering? It evidently suggests that Bretons age slower than other human races, given how it is so oddly specific.

    Again, I would like to not stray off from the theme, but will encourage this details clarification one more time.
    Bretons are unique. They just lack the proper representation of it. You said it yourself: "A feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes." .

    Neo-feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes? "Find a new hill, become a king.", remember? That's exactly that principle of breton society, here, since 1998. Also paraphrased in TESO, too. And also plainly said again in the great book The Knightly Orders of High Rock: Second, the bestowal of a knighthood on a lower-class man or woman is a convenient way to reward outstanding contributions to society (or to the elevating lord), and confers a measure of that nobility so prized in Breton society. In Morrowind it's more like social machiavellism, and in Skyrim it's measuring of biceps and other body parts.

    As we mentioned knights, let's smoothly switch to talk about them. Yes, there are Buoyant Armigers, and Order of the Hour (which was made imperial retroactively, by the way). There are also Welkynar and redguard knights, prudently renamed gallants that thankfully function another way than your stereotypical questing knight of TES's bretons or knight romances of our world. Those are rare examples, literal exceptions that prove the rule that knighthood are immanent part of the both breton culture (questers, nobles-in-arms) and society (social class). Sources I link would be one, two, three, four.

    Constitution and rights? Again, it's all here. We don't have the plain text of it, but it's presence is evident undeniably: Master Pellingare refuses to talk without a lawyer, traitor can be brought to a trial, disgraced knight can serve penance, and, well, there are literal courts of law in TESII. The books of law would improve the lore with details, but the lore is already there.

    And another last subversion of feudal Europe would be equality of rights. Not only upward mobility works the same for knights of any gender, but even fair maidens, prize brides are usually serve as trophies only if it's profitable for them.

    Summing up: the lore and culture are all here. They just need to bloom. Partly it's already there with High Isle, and you know it.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Now, if you want to talk about real problems of High Rock, there are many, and some are really hard to fix. Proper culture representation, more magic involved - yes, let's call it number 1. Partly solved by High Isle.

    More unique landscape and architecture. Number 2. Cliff landscape, unimaginably big towers and small cozy village homes are the things that we needed from Greater Bretony. Again it's partly solved by High Isle.
    zzstuyqznofb.png
    76xt4txscp2e.jpg
    f6bj7ewwcgl6.jpg
    taqvtxeus5qq.jpg
    (first picture is mine, second is an official promo, third and fourth are from UESP, ownership sorted)
    But now we've got the whole of High Rock of dwarf castles and other outdated and half-empty artdesign that just asks to be remade. There is yet another problem with all great cities having the same architecture, but that's the problem of the whole game, not even vanilla to my grief.

    Another thing. Ayleid ruins, and breton dungeons in general. Number 3. 'Nuff said. Partly solved by High Isle, too. But the rest of High Rock, real High Rock really doesn't deserve what it got. Ayleid ruins started to be interesting only in 2018-2020, with Murkmire, Wrathstone and Blackwood. Before that it was the most uninspired type of dungeon possible, and High Rock got it all.

    Last thing. Fauna of High Rock. Number 4. I don't like to criticize, yet vanilla TESO had very weak faunas of represented countries. Almost nothing new was added, and even a lot of existing animals and creatures were not represented, like Morrowind ones, for example. Gladly, it did change drastically in DLC era. Even Skyrim became more diverse with sea giants and bristlebacks. High Rock has nothing unique. Literally. High Isle saved the day again. Fauns are great addition, fresh and not cliché. Also, very celtic. Soulrazer knights are also very, very good. Not banal enough to be just animated armor, and also very breton-fitting type of monster - magical necromantic ghost in an armored shell.
    g837dagnb2h4.png
    qoy66y2d25kt.jpg
    (second picture is not mine and made for UESP)

    But what of High Rock when it gets the redesign? The first monster I added would've been lou carcolh. It fits perfectly. Dangerous as a dragon, not overused and very unusual. It's french in origin and it can also serve as an homage to mysterious giant snails opposing knights in medieval art. On that note I'll finish this giant rant.
    a5qgutpmw8yh.jpg
    527afoaa7ycl.jpg
    (both arts are not mine and I don't own them)

    I know you'd rather not stray too far off-topic, but I think it's worthwhile to discuss this, because we all agree that the Q&A was lackluster, and because Bretons are in a sore spot right now due to how ZOS have opted to lean too heavily into the medieval flair and influences it is a good call to get our thoughts out here.

    As far as upward mobility goes, History of House Dufort outright called upward mobility from rags to riches a "rare case", implying that it does not happen as often as one would think. If upward mobility to nobility is rare in High Rock, then it is arguably not an outstanding feature as compared to the Great House ranks which are openly said to be purely meritocratic, or the thanedoms of Skyrim, which can be granted for doing favors for the Jarls. In Skyrim it's not necessarily about muscle, either, as you can become thane of Winterhold, The Pale (if the Jarl is Brina) Haafingar and the Reach (if the Jarl is Thongvor) without ever measuring your strength against anyone.

    Knighthood might be more central in High Rock, but making it central does not make it unique anymore than valuing strength in Breton society makes it a unique thing in Nordic or Orcish society. Redguards, Bretons and Dunmer all value strength, it's just not a central theme. Knights are not unique. Though if there were a lorebook on how knighthood had originated in Nedic society in High Rock, and that Cadwell was the first knight who traveled from High Rock to become the hero of Cyrod? Then sure, that'd be something. One could have taken that a step further by making knightly orders originate in High Rock, and then having the Order of the Hour and Buoyant Armigers be inspired from the meeting between Ryain Direnni's Breton legions, Chimer and Cyrods at the coronation of Emperor Gorieus. That would have firmly placed knights in Breton origin, and even shown Breton influence on the rest of Tamriel. Bretons have had zero influence on the world stage.

    As for constitutions and rights? No. It is not "all there." If it was, I would not have needed to ask for the Rights Charter in the Q&A. The sources you used are the VERY SAME I used to ask about the Rights Charter, and ZOS pointedly ignored it. We have off-hand mentions and circumstantial evidence which I pointed out, but without a full-fledged rights document as a lorebook, and complimentary lorebooks on how the system of law functions, it does not mean SQUAT. Heck, even Summerset has legal systems requiring proof. If ZOS would confirm with lorebooks that Bretons value both freedom and systems of law, though, making High Rock a more liberal version of Summerset? Then that would mean something. Though arguably not, since even the First Orsinium had rights and privileges set out by Torug.

    I wrote a draft of what I'd consider the ideal Rights Charter in the Fiction & Roleplaying forum, though I doubt it'll ever see the light of day.

    Someone once asked me if I wanted medieval Summerset, and you know what? They were darn right I do. Liberal medieval Summerset. As for a High Rock redesign, yeah, I doubt that is even going to be considered. And besides, all of High Rock's fauna is found in other parts of Tamriel. There is nothing interesting or unique about Bretons or High Rock so long as ZOS continue to be implicit in the lore they deliver, rather than explicit.
    Former completionist with all achievements unlocked up until Update 29 (Flames of Ambition). Avid RPer, writer, and former Breton lover. Then Legacy of the Bretons was released and I realized just how boring and uninspired the Bretons are according to the writers.
  • OgrimTitan
    OgrimTitan
    ✭✭✭
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    As for writing contract books, as many lorehounds would like to, I'm positive it's not happening even if the world ends tomorrow. Not for me with real contract journalist work experience, not for you, not for anyone out of ZeniMax staff or circles connected to them, but I encourage you to try yourself in Apocrypha on TESLore Reddit. It can be quite influential. Like Uutak Mythos. Some texts posted on this subreddit are really great. In the end the more we (the community) argue about canonicity of canon, the less value this term holds.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Anyway, I don't want to stray to far from the original theme or start an argument on some lore details. Thank you for posting here again. Would be nice if we can summon here as much lorehounds who care as possible, so share this thread if you can. The only way to force the change, I wager.

    On the contrary, I would prefer if the Rights Charter was unique to the Bretons. The Bretons are desperately lacking in unique and exclusive lore. I would invite you to name one thing that is exclusive to Bretons.

    Knights? The Buoyant Armigers of Morrowind call themselves knight errant, and the Order of the Hour of Cyrodiil is a knightly order devoted to Akatosh.

    Class system and social mobility? In Morrowind you can climb from a servant to becoming a House Councilor. In Skyrim you can become a thane, and then later a jarl. The other classes (middle class, working class) do not really MEAN anything if there are no benefits to belonging to a certain caste aside from the obvious ones (wealth, influence)

    As for the "aged like a Breton" comment, why not say "aged like a man" or "aged like a human" if it is not supposed to be flattering? It evidently suggests that Bretons age slower than other human races, given how it is so oddly specific.

    Again, I would like to not stray off from the theme, but will encourage this details clarification one more time.
    Bretons are unique. They just lack the proper representation of it. You said it yourself: "A feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes." .

    Neo-feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes? "Find a new hill, become a king.", remember? That's exactly that principle of breton society, here, since 1998. Also paraphrased in TESO, too. And also plainly said again in the great book The Knightly Orders of High Rock: Second, the bestowal of a knighthood on a lower-class man or woman is a convenient way to reward outstanding contributions to society (or to the elevating lord), and confers a measure of that nobility so prized in Breton society. In Morrowind it's more like social machiavellism, and in Skyrim it's measuring of biceps and other body parts.

    As we mentioned knights, let's smoothly switch to talk about them. Yes, there are Buoyant Armigers, and Order of the Hour (which was made imperial retroactively, by the way). There are also Welkynar and redguard knights, prudently renamed gallants that thankfully function another way than your stereotypical questing knight of TES's bretons or knight romances of our world. Those are rare examples, literal exceptions that prove the rule that knighthood are immanent part of the both breton culture (questers, nobles-in-arms) and society (social class). Sources I link would be one, two, three, four.

    Constitution and rights? Again, it's all here. We don't have the plain text of it, but it's presence is evident undeniably: Master Pellingare refuses to talk without a lawyer, traitor can be brought to a trial, disgraced knight can serve penance, and, well, there are literal courts of law in TESII. The books of law would improve the lore with details, but the lore is already there.

    And another last subversion of feudal Europe would be equality of rights. Not only upward mobility works the same for knights of any gender, but even fair maidens, prize brides are usually serve as trophies only if it's profitable for them.

    Summing up: the lore and culture are all here. They just need to bloom. Partly it's already there with High Isle, and you know it.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Now, if you want to talk about real problems of High Rock, there are many, and some are really hard to fix. Proper culture representation, more magic involved - yes, let's call it number 1. Partly solved by High Isle.

    More unique landscape and architecture. Number 2. Cliff landscape, unimaginably big towers and small cozy village homes are the things that we needed from Greater Bretony. Again it's partly solved by High Isle.
    zzstuyqznofb.png
    76xt4txscp2e.jpg
    f6bj7ewwcgl6.jpg
    taqvtxeus5qq.jpg
    (first picture is mine, second is an official promo, third and fourth are from UESP, ownership sorted)
    But now we've got the whole of High Rock of dwarf castles and other outdated and half-empty artdesign that just asks to be remade. There is yet another problem with all great cities having the same architecture, but that's the problem of the whole game, not even vanilla to my grief.

    Another thing. Ayleid ruins, and breton dungeons in general. Number 3. 'Nuff said. Partly solved by High Isle, too. But the rest of High Rock, real High Rock really doesn't deserve what it got. Ayleid ruins started to be interesting only in 2018-2020, with Murkmire, Wrathstone and Blackwood. Before that it was the most uninspired type of dungeon possible, and High Rock got it all.

    Last thing. Fauna of High Rock. Number 4. I don't like to criticize, yet vanilla TESO had very weak faunas of represented countries. Almost nothing new was added, and even a lot of existing animals and creatures were not represented, like Morrowind ones, for example. Gladly, it did change drastically in DLC era. Even Skyrim became more diverse with sea giants and bristlebacks. High Rock has nothing unique. Literally. High Isle saved the day again. Fauns are great addition, fresh and not cliché. Also, very celtic. Soulrazer knights are also very, very good. Not banal enough to be just animated armor, and also very breton-fitting type of monster - magical necromantic ghost in an armored shell.
    g837dagnb2h4.png
    qoy66y2d25kt.jpg
    (second picture is not mine and made for UESP)

    But what of High Rock when it gets the redesign? The first monster I added would've been lou carcolh. It fits perfectly. Dangerous as a dragon, not overused and very unusual. It's french in origin and it can also serve as an homage to mysterious giant snails opposing knights in medieval art. On that note I'll finish this giant rant.
    a5qgutpmw8yh.jpg
    527afoaa7ycl.jpg
    (both arts are not mine and I don't own them)

    I know you'd rather not stray too far off-topic, but I think it's worthwhile to discuss this, because we all agree that the Q&A was lackluster, and because Bretons are in a sore spot right now due to how ZOS have opted to lean too heavily into the medieval flair and influences it is a good call to get our thoughts out here.

    As far as upward mobility goes, History of House Dufort outright called upward mobility from rags to riches a "rare case", implying that it does not happen as often as one would think. If upward mobility to nobility is rare in High Rock, then it is arguably not an outstanding feature as compared to the Great House ranks which are openly said to be purely meritocratic, or the thanedoms of Skyrim, which can be granted for doing favors for the Jarls. In Skyrim it's not necessarily about muscle, either, as you can become thane of Winterhold, The Pale (if the Jarl is Brina) Haafingar and the Reach (if the Jarl is Thongvor) without ever measuring your strength against anyone.

    Knighthood might be more central in High Rock, but making it central does not make it unique anymore than valuing strength in Breton society makes it a unique thing in Nordic or Orcish society. Redguards, Bretons and Dunmer all value strength, it's just not a central theme. Knights are not unique. Though if there were a lorebook on how knighthood had originated in Nedic society in High Rock, and that Cadwell was the first knight who traveled from High Rock to become the hero of Cyrod? Then sure, that'd be something. One could have taken that a step further by making knightly orders originate in High Rock, and then having the Order of the Hour and Buoyant Armigers be inspired from the meeting between Ryain Direnni's Breton legions, Chimer and Cyrods at the coronation of Emperor Gorieus. That would have firmly placed knights in Breton origin, and even shown Breton influence on the rest of Tamriel. Bretons have had zero influence on the world stage.

    As for constitutions and rights? No. It is not "all there." If it was, I would not have needed to ask for the Rights Charter in the Q&A. The sources you used are the VERY SAME I used to ask about the Rights Charter, and ZOS pointedly ignored it. We have off-hand mentions and circumstantial evidence which I pointed out, but without a full-fledged rights document as a lorebook, and complimentary lorebooks on how the system of law functions, it does not mean SQUAT. Heck, even Summerset has legal systems requiring proof. If ZOS would confirm with lorebooks that Bretons value both freedom and systems of law, though, making High Rock a more liberal version of Summerset? Then that would mean something. Though arguably not, since even the First Orsinium had rights and privileges set out by Torug.

    I wrote a draft of what I'd consider the ideal Rights Charter in the Fiction & Roleplaying forum, though I doubt it'll ever see the light of day.

    Someone once asked me if I wanted medieval Summerset, and you know what? They were darn right I do. Liberal medieval Summerset. As for a High Rock redesign, yeah, I doubt that is even going to be considered. And besides, all of High Rock's fauna is found in other parts of Tamriel. There is nothing interesting or unique about Bretons or High Rock so long as ZOS continue to be implicit in the lore they deliver, rather than explicit.

    Yes, gladly, let's continue then if you're willing.

    With House Dufort book it will be misinterpretation of words, hope you don't mind me being plain and won't consider this rude. "In this rare case, it was through loyalty, shrewd practices, and above all, patience.". This particular case is rare, because the elevation was achieved through patience and loyalty, unlike usual famous High Rock way of intrigue and scheming among nobles. Remember Helseth? After spending the youth in court intrigues of Wayrest he completely dominated Morrowind political landscape.
    The misinterpretation is the same as with "aged like a breton". Cassynder aged like a breton, because he was half-dunmer, half-breton, and he aged like a breton, to make it precise breton genes were dominating among the 2, which didn't help his poor health with his quick human aging.

    z2yotzml2yvs.jpg
    Breton intrigues are also the thing that need more shine, right. You know the book Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant? It always stroke me how very convenient it was for Emeric Cumberland that entire Gardner Dynasty just died out from Tamriel's Corona. I always had a theory that Emeric had to poison them or not curing them with the ability to do so, perhaps thinking of greater good like escaping political stagnation or seeing himself as a more suitable ruler (and perhaps being right). This is such a bretonic thing to do. I wonder if the original writer (developer) of this book had in mind this interpretation of events. Would be interesting to see if political opponents of Emeric Cumberland would accuse him of secretly killing Gardners no matter if this thing is true or not, as a way to darken his image to people. This would also make Emeric more sympathetic to me, as nothing I hate more than black/white dichotomy, and I simply don't buy "positive" characters. I'm not forcing this idea and respect another vision, although it would be nice see this at least theorized in-universe.

    Now back in the saddle. Oh yes, opportunists can say Telvanni is meritocratic, but should I remind you how many people this person who's author of those words killed and cheated to gain the high position? Should I remind you that Telvanni accept killing political opponents as absolutely normal?
    No. The only meritocracy of dunmer would be Clockwork City. Small world of mostly peaceful scientists. That can work as meritocracy.

    Same goes for Skyrim. Yes, I'm fully aware it's not necessary to be a jock to be a thane, but Skyrim's culture is undeniable heavily focused on struggle presented by harsh weather and fauna. It's very well reflected in the single best Skyrim item description - Crafted from horker leather and metal reworked from weapons, this circlet marks your lofty status among the Nords. Even their aristocratic fancy things heavily connected with death and war.

    Knighthood being central and distinguishing feature of High Rock with some cases of knights being present in other countries/cultures doesn't really steal High Rock's flair. Again, it's only strengthen the rule with all those little exceptions. There are a lot of funny examples of things becoming strongly associated with particular cultures not even being native to them. Tea, for example. 1 000+ in China yet it's 100% british thing. Or the song Sweet Home Alabama written by people who weren't even living there (weird trivia that I know). I'm saying this because there are some peculiar headcanons that knighthood originated from ayleids, and breton plumes are remnants of ayleid fascinations with bird symbols (It's not my text and ideas, I would never force my writings to others like that). I'm not fan of yet another masquerading of the Divines as cultural heroes, but some ideas are quite good.
    And yes, I'm totally up for the idea that Buoyant Armigers could be inspired by breton knights, seeing how Vivec wants to absorb every culture (He wishes to be all things at all times. Every race, every gender, every hero, both divine and finite...). I even used this idea in text RP I host for 3 years now, if you can believe it.

    Another notion I want to disprove. "Bretons have had zero influence on the world stage." Not only bretons are extremely influential, I would go as far as naming them the single most influential nation in all the Tamriel. They influenced Cyrodiil for almost a thousand years by the time of TESO only. We can stop right here, because if you influence the literal center of the world, you influence all, yet let's check another examples. They owned Septim Dynasty. They got their ways adopted even by remote Elsweyr (note that bretons mentioned first, then imperials): one, two, three. I can easily see a picture of a breton becoming the first non-dunmeri Ordinator, mirroring the story of William Adams.

    ez4j1ej8auh7.png
    As of Rights it's seems we came to circling around. In the very first message I wrote to you I said that Constitution just can't be unique to bretons. It would unnecessary diminish other counties and nations. Tamriel is not Hyboria or Middle-Earth or I don't know what other your stereotypical fantasy land. You see for yourself now that similar things were even in the first Orsinium, a land that could've been truly something Hyboria-like from the first glance. Without a doubt, sophisticated law system of High Rock is welcome. I mentioned your question among the interesting right from the start for a reason. Law system lore would work especially good if it'll be made good enough in-universe to considered the best, and the one that inspired other countries law systems through millenia. There should be a lot of laws taking to account High Rock's unique characteristics, like heavy use of magic: law considering the use of spells, and the possible loopholes those spells can create. For example, would it be considered a crime if mysticism teacher accidentally driven a pupil insane? Or this would pass on as a collateral damage? Do mysticism teachers sign up some papers so they take no responsibility for the possibility of students going loony? Do doctors study necromancy? To what extent is necromancy or blood magic use is acceptable in saving lives (like reanimating some malfunctioning organ)? What if a doctor breaks a law of allowed necromancy / blood magic appliance but saves a life? If a ghost or a skeleton of a dead person escapes from a family crypt and kills an innocent would this crime pass on living descendants, like some money debts do? What laws govern which daedra are acceptable to summon depending on the situation? Say, for people like Cabal? Like summoning an ogrim service would be available only for people who have mages diploma (we already established there are a ton of universities in High Rock in the earlier messages), but, say, summoning a havocrel would be a crime even in case of self-defense?
    nszn4p8ru45u.png

    I can cook up more questions like that, using healthy amount of logic and a bit of creativity. It's not easy, and it's equally not easy to answer them, especially minding the bigger universe behind you, but worthy nonetheless, if you want to do something unique.

    You said correct: bretons are smart and intelligent, inventive and creative. Creating smart characters and, all the more so, cultures, is extremely difficult. It's a global problem, not limited to anything, any form of art, any medium, sadly. People don't understand what being "intelligent" means for starters. Usually, intelligent character plays chess and engages in witty banter with others, creating a macguffin that saves the day in the end: bringing an army, stopping a rocket, creating a weapon, et cetera. We don't really see their smarts: suddenly they just solve everything. Fanfics and roleplay plots I saw are also uninspired in that way, full of silly, to put it lightly, boring characters who solve mudane evil-because-evil plots with sudden macguffin solutions.
    Bretons are perfect in that way. They just inspire you to be creative with roleplay. They can't catch your eye alone by their designs, like dunmeri do. They have to be interesting as characters, and the only way for that is to make them intelligent. Their law book, concerning all the spell and enchantment and alchemy crimes and limitations, could be a true creativity fest with right approach.

    It fits so much that bretons favor Julianos, god of logic, rationality and intellect. You know that Eliezer Yudkowsky, one of the leading Artificial Intelligence theorists and rationalists of our time, is into roleplay and fanfics, so to say, and wrote some extremely illuminating guides and books on how to optimize your mind, and minds of characters you create? I'm not sure how much of it can be found free on the internet, but parts are available.
  • BlissfulDeluge
    BlissfulDeluge
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    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    OgrimTitan wrote: »
    I wrote the "High Isle - What did it do for Bretons?" thread, and I want to weigh in here to say that I 100% agree with the sentiment regarding the Loremaster Q&A. Not only was it phrased in a way that made it difficult to ask questions relevant to all Bretons, or Breton history and culture in general, but few of the questions had anything to do with Bretons at all, if they were not already answered in-game.

    I have to admit I am incredibly disappointed. I requested a Q&A so that we could get a chance to ask about Bretons, not about a specific group of Bretons isolated on an island far away from High Rock. Whether the Q&A was delayed by deliberations or by merely keeping the Q&A on the backburner, the end result is the same; questions with answers that are largely irrelevant to the Bretons at large, mostly regurgitating lorebooks that are already in-game. In my sincere opinion, it is a spit in the face of the legacy of Loremaster Q&A's, as this does NOTHING to contribute to the lore. In fact, it defeats the point of hosting a Loremaster Q&A altogether. Why waste time on repeating what is already known? The Loremaster Q&A's used to be an opportunity for players to engage with the writers to get new information regarding the lore; to clear up confusion or to confirm speculation. I feel confident in saying that I think most of us lorehounds are not interested in seeing old information repeated unnecessarily for these.

    I know I am speaking harshly,, but I am not sure how else I can convey how much of a wasted opportunity this was. If Zenke would be willing to do so, I would welcome either a part two of the Q&A that answers all our questions, or an all-new Q&A that is more relevant to Breton lore in general. In fact, I vehemently encourage it! I, like others in this thread, want to see the Bretons live up to their potential as a mercantile, inventive, intelligent and creative race that happens to have some medieval flair.

    I loved the questions asked by @CoolBlast3 and @Aliyavana and was looking forward to seeing the answers to them, as Bretons are sorely lacking both in revitalization of their creation myth as well as important mages on the levels of Shalidor, though I will admit I am biased about my own question, given how much setup ZOS have done for it. The Rights Charter is not a figment of my imagination, it is actually mentioned in the lore. Bretons openly praise freedom in their tavern songs, singing "Rise, rise, to freedom rise / Arise, ye Breton sons and daughters!" Working class people on High Isle boast about openly insulting nobles and getting away with it. Self-proclaimed citizens in Evermore wrote open letters denouncing the crown, signed with their own names, and spread them around like candy. Darius Shano humiliated nobility, clergy, and even the king of Daenia, and they could only sit on their hands until he insulted TIBER SEPTIM. He was executed for breaking Imperial law, NOT local law. The Order of the Silver Rose hunted down Daedra worshipers who espoused venerations in public, yet remained chummy with Daedra worshipers who kept their faith quiet. Not to mention that there is an ABBEY dedicated to Azura in Menevia in Stormhaven, which is known to be allowed to operate by in-universe scholars. Baron Sorick goes to trial if you don't leave him to be lynched by a mob. Medya Zurric, a lower-class Reachman who let the Dark Witnesses clan raid Murcien's Hamlet and who blatantly admits to feeling justified in doing so, gets to go to trial if you choose to not be a vigilante. And if there is one thing I will absolutely praise High Isle for? It is how Sergeant Dupertuis repeatedly speaks of being unable to secure a conviction of a skooma dealer without incriminating evidence.

    I already hyperlinked all the canon descriptions speaking about how Bretons are regarded as intelligent in the thread expressing my disappointment with ZOS' portrayal of Bretons in High Isle. Bretons currently have NOTHING reflecting their supposed intelligence other than the potential confirmation of the Rights Charter. What better way to illustrate their intelligence than to make them more socially enlightened than the rest of Tamriel by giving them a constitution granting them rights in a similar vein to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or the Bill of Rights? The Rights Charter can even coexist with Amenos, given how a certain constitutional republic operates an inhumane overseas prison to this day.

    Heck, @ZOS_LeamonTuttle even referred to Breton society as neo-feudalism in an interview. The writers need to understand that boiling Bretons down to the stereotypically bland and boring generic medieval fantasy is what drives the average player away from them. But a feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes? That's a complete subversion of historical feudalism, and it is INTERESTING. I would LOVE to read lorebooks on the relationship between freedom and honor as Breton values, and how one needs to balance the two with respect to one's duties and who one is beholden to, and what is morally right and just. Like how one could write that just because you are FREE TO insult your liege, that it would be dishonorable to do so if they are providing for you, or how one could write that if a lord has shamed himself by not providing the necessary help, then one is free to abandon them.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with The School of Athens, right?

    school-of-athens-raphael-thumbnail.jpg

    It's a beautiful painting, and probably my favorite. But you take those famous philosophers, you give them the de jure mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, you slap some medieval armor on them and paint them flinging magic just to show off, THAT is the kind of Bretons I want to see.

    Oh, and I also asked about Breton lifespans, given that we have a canonical mention of "aged like a Breton." For one, it is an oddly specific thing to say, and second of all, if having .001% Elven blood makes one a natural spellcaster, then who is to say it does not also give one an extra 50 years? Emeric is kicking bum in ESO, both in base game and in the chapter, and in 2E 582 he's like 60. How many people are in that good shape at that age IRL?

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    Thank you for contributing to the thread. The more the merrier. More rich the discussion becomes - the more is a chance my letter, and all our wishes, will be noticed.

    Again, first of all I'll encourage to have a rational hope for the 4th DLC. No reason the current approach will be changed now: most of the valuable lore is presented in those. The only thing that we should be afraid of is the possibility this DLC will be 80% about druids, since it's bound to be Galen.

    Now, about some things that need clarifications, I think. Rights Charter is a great theme. The sophisticated and just law system would be nice to be be attributed to bretons, but it would be sad indeed to be attributed ONLY to bretons. That exclusiveness will do bad for the other countries, creating the image of some kind of Wild West. There is a huge tumor-sized misconception that The Elder Scrolls takes place in medieval world, although even in Daggerfall there were sophisticated banking and law systems, and even periodic scholarly journals were mentioned casually. ESO has mentions of veterinarians and Ministries of Finance. Quite the medieval world alright. So to talk about Rights Charter not only not strange, it's strange not to. In any way the book you mentioned is talking about Direnny Hegemony time, not High Rock per se and de jure. Another thing I want to point out - "Aged like a breton" really is not a flattering term judging by the context. Re-read it carefully.

    On the other side I absolutely love emphasis on neo-feudalism by mr. Tuttle, too. To add to the pile there are mentions of so many breton universities that people don't even want to keep track on the closed ones. Those world facts seem obvious to me, and, I'm sure, to many other people. The reason I mention this is that I met people who fiercely defended their idea of Conan-like or LotR-like TES despite all the counter-arguments.

    As for writing contract books, as many lorehounds would like to, I'm positive it's not happening even if the world ends tomorrow. Not for me with real contract journalist work experience, not for you, not for anyone out of ZeniMax staff or circles connected to them, but I encourage you to try yourself in Apocrypha on TESLore Reddit. It can be quite influential. Like Uutak Mythos. Some texts posted on this subreddit are really great. In the end the more we (the community) argue about canonicity of canon, the less value this term holds.
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    Anyway, I don't want to stray to far from the original theme or start an argument on some lore details. Thank you for posting here again. Would be nice if we can summon here as much lorehounds who care as possible, so share this thread if you can. The only way to force the change, I wager.

    On the contrary, I would prefer if the Rights Charter was unique to the Bretons. The Bretons are desperately lacking in unique and exclusive lore. I would invite you to name one thing that is exclusive to Bretons.

    Knights? The Buoyant Armigers of Morrowind call themselves knight errant, and the Order of the Hour of Cyrodiil is a knightly order devoted to Akatosh.

    Class system and social mobility? In Morrowind you can climb from a servant to becoming a House Councilor. In Skyrim you can become a thane, and then later a jarl. The other classes (middle class, working class) do not really MEAN anything if there are no benefits to belonging to a certain caste aside from the obvious ones (wealth, influence)

    As for the "aged like a Breton" comment, why not say "aged like a man" or "aged like a human" if it is not supposed to be flattering? It evidently suggests that Bretons age slower than other human races, given how it is so oddly specific.

    Again, I would like to not stray off from the theme, but will encourage this details clarification one more time.
    Bretons are unique. They just lack the proper representation of it. You said it yourself: "A feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes, with a constitution, rights, and distinct privileges for belonging to certain castes." .

    Neo-feudal society that encourages upward mobility between classes? "Find a new hill, become a king.", remember? That's exactly that principle of breton society, here, since 1998. Also paraphrased in TESO, too. And also plainly said again in the great book The Knightly Orders of High Rock: Second, the bestowal of a knighthood on a lower-class man or woman is a convenient way to reward outstanding contributions to society (or to the elevating lord), and confers a measure of that nobility so prized in Breton society. In Morrowind it's more like social machiavellism, and in Skyrim it's measuring of biceps and other body parts.

    As we mentioned knights, let's smoothly switch to talk about them. Yes, there are Buoyant Armigers, and Order of the Hour (which was made imperial retroactively, by the way). There are also Welkynar and redguard knights, prudently renamed gallants that thankfully function another way than your stereotypical questing knight of TES's bretons or knight romances of our world. Those are rare examples, literal exceptions that prove the rule that knighthood are immanent part of the both breton culture (questers, nobles-in-arms) and society (social class). Sources I link would be one, two, three, four.

    Constitution and rights? Again, it's all here. We don't have the plain text of it, but it's presence is evident undeniably: Master Pellingare refuses to talk without a lawyer, traitor can be brought to a trial, disgraced knight can serve penance, and, well, there are literal courts of law in TESII. The books of law would improve the lore with details, but the lore is already there.

    And another last subversion of feudal Europe would be equality of rights. Not only upward mobility works the same for knights of any gender, but even fair maidens, prize brides are usually serve as trophies only if it's profitable for them.

    Summing up: the lore and culture are all here. They just need to bloom. Partly it's already there with High Isle, and you know it.
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    Now, if you want to talk about real problems of High Rock, there are many, and some are really hard to fix. Proper culture representation, more magic involved - yes, let's call it number 1. Partly solved by High Isle.

    More unique landscape and architecture. Number 2. Cliff landscape, unimaginably big towers and small cozy village homes are the things that we needed from Greater Bretony. Again it's partly solved by High Isle.
    zzstuyqznofb.png
    76xt4txscp2e.jpg
    f6bj7ewwcgl6.jpg
    taqvtxeus5qq.jpg
    (first picture is mine, second is an official promo, third and fourth are from UESP, ownership sorted)
    But now we've got the whole of High Rock of dwarf castles and other outdated and half-empty artdesign that just asks to be remade. There is yet another problem with all great cities having the same architecture, but that's the problem of the whole game, not even vanilla to my grief.

    Another thing. Ayleid ruins, and breton dungeons in general. Number 3. 'Nuff said. Partly solved by High Isle, too. But the rest of High Rock, real High Rock really doesn't deserve what it got. Ayleid ruins started to be interesting only in 2018-2020, with Murkmire, Wrathstone and Blackwood. Before that it was the most uninspired type of dungeon possible, and High Rock got it all.

    Last thing. Fauna of High Rock. Number 4. I don't like to criticize, yet vanilla TESO had very weak faunas of represented countries. Almost nothing new was added, and even a lot of existing animals and creatures were not represented, like Morrowind ones, for example. Gladly, it did change drastically in DLC era. Even Skyrim became more diverse with sea giants and bristlebacks. High Rock has nothing unique. Literally. High Isle saved the day again. Fauns are great addition, fresh and not cliché. Also, very celtic. Soulrazer knights are also very, very good. Not banal enough to be just animated armor, and also very breton-fitting type of monster - magical necromantic ghost in an armored shell.
    g837dagnb2h4.png
    qoy66y2d25kt.jpg
    (second picture is not mine and made for UESP)

    But what of High Rock when it gets the redesign? The first monster I added would've been lou carcolh. It fits perfectly. Dangerous as a dragon, not overused and very unusual. It's french in origin and it can also serve as an homage to mysterious giant snails opposing knights in medieval art. On that note I'll finish this giant rant.
    a5qgutpmw8yh.jpg
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    (both arts are not mine and I don't own them)

    I know you'd rather not stray too far off-topic, but I think it's worthwhile to discuss this, because we all agree that the Q&A was lackluster, and because Bretons are in a sore spot right now due to how ZOS have opted to lean too heavily into the medieval flair and influences it is a good call to get our thoughts out here.

    As far as upward mobility goes, History of House Dufort outright called upward mobility from rags to riches a "rare case", implying that it does not happen as often as one would think. If upward mobility to nobility is rare in High Rock, then it is arguably not an outstanding feature as compared to the Great House ranks which are openly said to be purely meritocratic, or the thanedoms of Skyrim, which can be granted for doing favors for the Jarls. In Skyrim it's not necessarily about muscle, either, as you can become thane of Winterhold, The Pale (if the Jarl is Brina) Haafingar and the Reach (if the Jarl is Thongvor) without ever measuring your strength against anyone.

    Knighthood might be more central in High Rock, but making it central does not make it unique anymore than valuing strength in Breton society makes it a unique thing in Nordic or Orcish society. Redguards, Bretons and Dunmer all value strength, it's just not a central theme. Knights are not unique. Though if there were a lorebook on how knighthood had originated in Nedic society in High Rock, and that Cadwell was the first knight who traveled from High Rock to become the hero of Cyrod? Then sure, that'd be something. One could have taken that a step further by making knightly orders originate in High Rock, and then having the Order of the Hour and Buoyant Armigers be inspired from the meeting between Ryain Direnni's Breton legions, Chimer and Cyrods at the coronation of Emperor Gorieus. That would have firmly placed knights in Breton origin, and even shown Breton influence on the rest of Tamriel. Bretons have had zero influence on the world stage.

    As for constitutions and rights? No. It is not "all there." If it was, I would not have needed to ask for the Rights Charter in the Q&A. The sources you used are the VERY SAME I used to ask about the Rights Charter, and ZOS pointedly ignored it. We have off-hand mentions and circumstantial evidence which I pointed out, but without a full-fledged rights document as a lorebook, and complimentary lorebooks on how the system of law functions, it does not mean SQUAT. Heck, even Summerset has legal systems requiring proof. If ZOS would confirm with lorebooks that Bretons value both freedom and systems of law, though, making High Rock a more liberal version of Summerset? Then that would mean something. Though arguably not, since even the First Orsinium had rights and privileges set out by Torug.

    I wrote a draft of what I'd consider the ideal Rights Charter in the Fiction & Roleplaying forum, though I doubt it'll ever see the light of day.

    Someone once asked me if I wanted medieval Summerset, and you know what? They were darn right I do. Liberal medieval Summerset. As for a High Rock redesign, yeah, I doubt that is even going to be considered. And besides, all of High Rock's fauna is found in other parts of Tamriel. There is nothing interesting or unique about Bretons or High Rock so long as ZOS continue to be implicit in the lore they deliver, rather than explicit.

    Yes, gladly, let's continue then if you're willing.

    With House Dufort book it will be misinterpretation of words, hope you don't mind me being plain and won't consider this rude. "In this rare case, it was through loyalty, shrewd practices, and above all, patience.". This particular case is rare, because the elevation was achieved through patience and loyalty, unlike usual famous High Rock way of intrigue and scheming among nobles. Remember Helseth? After spending the youth in court intrigues of Wayrest he completely dominated Morrowind political landscape.
    The misinterpretation is the same as with "aged like a breton". Cassynder aged like a breton, because he was half-dunmer, half-breton, and he aged like a breton, to make it precise breton genes were dominating among the 2, which didn't help his poor health with his quick human aging.

    z2yotzml2yvs.jpg
    Breton intrigues are also the thing that need more shine, right. You know the book Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant? It always stroke me how very convenient it was for Emeric Cumberland that entire Gardner Dynasty just died out from Tamriel's Corona. I always had a theory that Emeric had to poison them or not curing them with the ability to do so, perhaps thinking of greater good like escaping political stagnation or seeing himself as a more suitable ruler (and perhaps being right). This is such a bretonic thing to do. I wonder if the original writer (developer) of this book had in mind this interpretation of events. Would be interesting to see if political opponents of Emeric Cumberland would accuse him of secretly killing Gardners no matter if this thing is true or not, as a way to darken his image to people. This would also make Emeric more sympathetic to me, as nothing I hate more than black/white dichotomy, and I simply don't buy "positive" characters. I'm not forcing this idea and respect another vision, although it would be nice see this at least theorized in-universe.

    Now back in the saddle. Oh yes, opportunists can say Telvanni is meritocratic, but should I remind you how many people this person who's author of those words killed and cheated to gain the high position? Should I remind you that Telvanni accept killing political opponents as absolutely normal?
    No. The only meritocracy of dunmer would be Clockwork City. Small world of mostly peaceful scientists. That can work as meritocracy.

    Same goes for Skyrim. Yes, I'm fully aware it's not necessary to be a jock to be a thane, but Skyrim's culture is undeniable heavily focused on struggle presented by harsh weather and fauna. It's very well reflected in the single best Skyrim item description - Crafted from horker leather and metal reworked from weapons, this circlet marks your lofty status among the Nords. Even their aristocratic fancy things heavily connected with death and war.

    Knighthood being central and distinguishing feature of High Rock with some cases of knights being present in other countries/cultures doesn't really steal High Rock's flair. Again, it's only strengthen the rule with all those little exceptions. There are a lot of funny examples of things becoming strongly associated with particular cultures not even being native to them. Tea, for example. 1 000+ in China yet it's 100% british thing. Or the song Sweet Home Alabama written by people who weren't even living there (weird trivia that I know). I'm saying this because there are some peculiar headcanons that knighthood originated from ayleids, and breton plumes are remnants of ayleid fascinations with bird symbols (It's not my text and ideas, I would never force my writings to others like that). I'm not fan of yet another masquerading of the Divines as cultural heroes, but some ideas are quite good.
    And yes, I'm totally up for the idea that Buoyant Armigers could be inspired by breton knights, seeing how Vivec wants to absorb every culture (He wishes to be all things at all times. Every race, every gender, every hero, both divine and finite...). I even used this idea in text RP I host for 3 years now, if you can believe it.

    Another notion I want to disprove. "Bretons have had zero influence on the world stage." Not only bretons are extremely influential, I would go as far as naming them the single most influential nation in all the Tamriel. They influenced Cyrodiil for almost a thousand years by the time of TESO only. We can stop right here, because if you influence the literal center of the world, you influence all, yet let's check another examples. They owned Septim Dynasty. They got their ways adopted even by remote Elsweyr (note that bretons mentioned first, then imperials): one, two, three. I can easily see a picture of a breton becoming the first non-dunmeri Ordinator, mirroring the story of William Adams.

    ez4j1ej8auh7.png
    As of Rights it's seems we came to circling around. In the very first message I wrote to you I said that Constitution just can't be unique to bretons. It would unnecessary diminish other counties and nations. Tamriel is not Hyboria or Middle-Earth or I don't know what other your stereotypical fantasy land. You see for yourself now that similar things were even in the first Orsinium, a land that could've been truly something Hyboria-like from the first glance. Without a doubt, sophisticated law system of High Rock is welcome. I mentioned your question among the interesting right from the start for a reason. Law system lore would work especially good if it'll be made good enough in-universe to considered the best, and the one that inspired other countries law systems through millenia. There should be a lot of laws taking to account High Rock's unique characteristics, like heavy use of magic: law considering the use of spells, and the possible loopholes those spells can create. For example, would it be considered a crime if mysticism teacher accidentally driven a pupil insane? Or this would pass on as a collateral damage? Do mysticism teachers sign up some papers so they take no responsibility for the possibility of students going loony? Do doctors study necromancy? To what extent is necromancy or blood magic use is acceptable in saving lives (like reanimating some malfunctioning organ)? What if a doctor breaks a law of allowed necromancy / blood magic appliance but saves a life? If a ghost or a skeleton of a dead person escapes from a family crypt and kills an innocent would this crime pass on living descendants, like some money debts do? What laws govern which daedra are acceptable to summon depending on the situation? Say, for people like Cabal? Like summoning an ogrim service would be available only for people who have mages diploma (we already established there are a ton of universities in High Rock in the earlier messages), but, say, summoning a havocrel would be a crime even in case of self-defense?
    nszn4p8ru45u.png

    I can cook up more questions like that, using healthy amount of logic and a bit of creativity. It's not easy, and it's equally not easy to answer them, especially minding the bigger universe behind you, but worthy nonetheless, if you want to do something unique.

    You said correct: bretons are smart and intelligent, inventive and creative. Creating smart characters and, all the more so, cultures, is extremely difficult. It's a global problem, not limited to anything, any form of art, any medium, sadly. People don't understand what being "intelligent" means for starters. Usually, intelligent character plays chess and engages in witty banter with others, creating a macguffin that saves the day in the end: bringing an army, stopping a rocket, creating a weapon, et cetera. We don't really see their smarts: suddenly they just solve everything. Fanfics and roleplay plots I saw are also uninspired in that way, full of silly, to put it lightly, boring characters who solve mudane evil-because-evil plots with sudden macguffin solutions.
    Bretons are perfect in that way. They just inspire you to be creative with roleplay. They can't catch your eye alone by their designs, like dunmeri do. They have to be interesting as characters, and the only way for that is to make them intelligent. Their law book, concerning all the spell and enchantment and alchemy crimes and limitations, could be a true creativity fest with right approach.

    It fits so much that bretons favor Julianos, god of logic, rationality and intellect. You know that Eliezer Yudkowsky, one of the leading Artificial Intelligence theorists and rationalists of our time, is into roleplay and fanfics, so to say, and wrote some extremely illuminating guides and books on how to optimize your mind, and minds of characters you create? I'm not sure how much of it can be found free on the internet, but parts are available.

    Yes, we are talking in circles at this point. I see you have no interest in seeing the Bretons' reputation of being intelligent be justified by allowing something unique such as their constitution to make them stand out from the other races. You seemingly want Bretons to be "just the same as everyone else." Since we are beating a dead horse at this point, we can respectfully agree to disagree.

    And before you go and bellyache about how Tamriel just "can't" be like Middle-Earth, allow me to remind you, "In typical Colovian fashion, there was no trial, no accusations of treason, no jury, no judge. Only an executioner." and "All are guilty until they have proven themselves innocent."

    Denying Bretons something that makes them stand out as intelligent compared to the rest of Tamriel is the opposite of making them unqiue. That is my final point. With that, I will respectfully bow out of this thread.




    Edited by BlissfulDeluge on June 30, 2022 1:13AM
    Former completionist with all achievements unlocked up until Update 29 (Flames of Ambition). Avid RPer, writer, and former Breton lover. Then Legacy of the Bretons was released and I realized just how boring and uninspired the Bretons are according to the writers.
  • Ratzkifal
    Ratzkifal
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    OgrimTitan wrote: »

    [...]
    Now back in the saddle. Oh yes, opportunists can say Telvanni is meritocratic, but should I remind you how many people this person who's author of those words killed and cheated to gain the high position? Should I remind you that Telvanni accept killing political opponents as absolutely normal?
    No. The only meritocracy of dunmer would be Clockwork City. Small world of mostly peaceful scientists. That can work as meritocracy.

    [...]

    Just gonna interject here that the Telvanni are a perfect meritocracy, except that their standards for that are different from those of the real world. The Telvanni meritocracy does not serve the benefit of all, but rather defines merit as power and serves the selfish desires of the individual. Even if you are not as rich or influential as others, you can simply use your magic and take what you want by might of greater magic alone. Magic is the great equalizer to them and power in its purest form. The Telvanni think that if you have successfully taken something (be that a possession or a position or something), you clearly deserve it more than the person you took it from. People who are more capable, go higher in the hierarchy, simply because they can and if "morals" limit you then clearly you do not possess the necessary merit, and if your ambitions exceed your merit (i.e. power), you will not get your way. This basically ensures that the Telvanni remain a strong faction because nobody incompetent can hold down power inside their society for long, and anyone, even a slave, can rise up in their ranks. Of course not everyone has to overcome the same difficulties trying to rise in the ranks, but this is mainly due to their value system. If an Argonian slave wanted to become a council member for House Telvanni, they could do so "very easily" if they kill another council member and then successfully defend their new possessions and avoid assassination attempts (including those of the Morag Tong) until the other council members and upstarts are forced to recognize this new council member. Since this is exactly the kind of merit the Telvanni are looking for, they would eventuallly treat this Argonian councilor like any other councilor and recognize them - only that this has never happened, because forcing the Telvanni to abandon their beliefs takes more merit/power than it takes for someone who is matching their beliefs to become councilor the "normal way". This is also why the Telvanni think they have a right to keep Argonian slaves - because nobody can stop them.

    By our real world standards this is very messed up, but it is a meritocracy in the truest sense as you cannot be promoted into incompetency and the path up cannot be blocked by those above you - the two biggest flaws of implementing meritocracies. Killing those in your way is just the natural, albeit messed-up and immoral consequence of having a meritocracy with power at its core virtue.

    Clockwork City on the other hand is a meritocracy where merit is measured in terms of your greater purpose in reaching Nirn Ensuing. But since even the Clockwork Apostles do not have a concrete understanding of Sotha Sil's plans, all they can do is guess, immitate and emulate what their clockwork god is doing. So their meritocracy is sort of working, but not necessarily towards what it is they want to be working towards. At least they seem to have overcome the issue of being promoted into incompetency, but higher ups can still block your path and keep you digging through the junk even if you would be more qualified for a position. This is something the Telvanni cannot, because if you have greater merit than those above you, you have greater power and that means they literally cannot stop you.

    But back on the Breton topic. I am not sure a meritocracy is a good fit for the Bretons, because we do want to keep typical medival aspects in their society, like nobles and social hierarchy. But if we lower the standard for being a noble, by simply declaring anyone who owns land a noble, then we can definitely achieve this upward mobility without necessarily needing a meritocracy. Besides, promotions into incompetency are fun, because you will have these rulers who did something completely unrelated to ruling and were granted some land to rule over and are now helplessly struggling to make it all work because that wasn't what they signed up for when they killed that monster/took that castle.
    Maybe meritocracy was only thrown into this discussion because in modern times capitalism equates upward mobility with meritocracy but these things don't have to go hand in hand, especially in a medieval context, because I think upward mobility is the more important part of Breton identity.
    Edited by Ratzkifal on June 30, 2022 4:57AM
    This Bosmer was tortured to death. There is nothing left to be done.
  • psychotrip
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    Bro, as long as they keep making money they have no reason to listen to us, ESPECIALLY when it comes to story because they clearly dont think its a profitable priority.

    It's really that simple. Sorry.
    CoolBlast3 wrote: »
    There's zero point to loremaster archives if they continue this way, but I do adore the concept of them, and hope ZOS takes this feedback to heart.

    Why would they, though? What is their incentive to do so? How many times have we had this hope before?
    CoolBlast3 wrote: »

    If the writers read this, and I hope they do, then give Bretons some unique and interesting lore, PLEASE.


    I'm 100% sure the writers wish they could do more, but writers aren't in charge of this game. They have much less agency than we like to think they do. They're not the ones making the decisions here.


    Edited by psychotrip on July 24, 2022 6:24PM
    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.
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