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General:Lawrence Schick's Posts

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Lawrence Schick's Posts

These are a few notable comments from Lawrence Schick on The Elder Scrolls setting. These comments were originally archived by The Imperial Library.


2014

What's the landmass northwest of Glenumbra in ESO? (11/03/14)

http://www.imperial-library.info/content/beware-glenumbra-banks

2015

Is there a difference between a Senche and a Senche-Tiger? (02/16/15)

Moon Bishop Hulan [sic] says, “Many hairless ones are confused by the term ‘senche,’ since we Khajiit use it to mean a variety of things. It is used as ‘senche’ and ‘senche-raht’ to refer to two of the seventeen distinct furstocks, or ‘breeds,’ of Khajiit. The senche-raht, in fact, are the largest of us! But we also use the term ‘senche-tiger’ to refer to our more catlike cousins of lesser sentience. Indeed, depending upon the appearance of these cousins, we might even call them ‘senche-leopards’ or ‘senche-panthers.’ So you see that the term ‘senche’ is very flexible indeed, as changeable as the Moons.”

What is a Daedrat? (03/11/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, "Daedrats are vermin from Oblivion that sometimes sneak into Nirn through Oblivion Gates or portals. Dremora think they're kind of cute, so if they catch them they kill them swiftly instead of torturing them, like they do with loose banekin."

Is it proper to drink in a "Temple of the 7 Gods", or is it considered as a desecration, or a very disrespectful behavior? (4/10/15)

Lady Cinnabar of Taneth says, “Context is everything! Drinking in a temple can be completely respectable, especially if part of the drink is poured off as a libation for the Divines. However, drunken misbehavior, unless called for in a specific ritual, should be avoided, lest it give offense to the pious, who may demand that the inebriates be punished for their disrespect.”

What race is Pharstus [sic] of Elinhir? What about Lady Cinnabar? (04/28/15)

He's a Cyrodiil; a Nibenese, in fact. Cinnabar is a Redguard.

Do the Vvardenfell vampire clans, like Berne, Aundae, and Quarra, appear on the mainland? (05/08/15)}

Divayth Fyr says, “These clans of vampiric pests are native to Vvardenfell, and are rarely encountered on the mainland—if ever.”

Does it snow in Daggerfall? If yes then what celebrations and traditions do they do?

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Thanks to warm currents to the west in the Eltheric Ocean, it rarely snows in Daggerfall, but the Bretons of that city-state nonetheless celebrate all the winter holidays of the Iliac Basin, particularly the New Life Festival at the turn of the year.”

There are cities in ESO with people and sewers. But never have I found any toilets or anyone who needs them. Where the hell do people do their business? (01/15/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Many of the urns and receptacles you see in Tamrielic houses are actually chamber pots. But of course you already knew that, so I assume your question is intended as a jest. If so, I must say I find it in questionable taste.”

Where does Cadwell originally come from? (05/28/15)

Cadwell, or as he prefers to be addressed, "Sir Cadwell" (though he is not, nor has he ever been, a knight) was once an Imperial citizen from the town of Chorrol in Cyrodiil. Like the player, he was executed by agents of Molag Bal and became a Soul Shriven slave in Coldharbour, but this happened untold ages ago. Exactly how this happened may never be known because Cadwell was cheerfully, endearingly mad long before his execution. He is almost certainly the oldest of the non-feral Soul Shriven, and he has attained almost legendary status among them. Over the years he's discovered all nooks, crannys, hidden paths, and secret ways through the access tunnels that honeycomb the cliffs of Molag Bal's realm. The Daedra gave up trying to keep him in chains long ago. His madness makes him essentially useless, his cheerful disposition makes him annoying, and his knowledge of Coldharbour makes him impossible to hold captive.

Why are you not arrested for your crimes when you enter Cyrodiil? (05/28/15)

General Nesh-Tan of the Ebonheart Pact says, “The Province of Cyrodiil is in the grip of all-out war; Imperial jurisprudence there has collapsed. Civil law enforcement cannot be the Pact military’s concern until civil order returns. I can’t speak for the other two alliances, but I’d wager they see it the same way.”

If Upper Craglorn is the "third region of Craglorn", per its promotional materials, that means Lower Craglorn is made up of two regions. Do these two regions of Lower Craglorn have names? (06/10/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Here in Craglorn, we refer to those areas as the ‘Belkarth Region’ and the ‘Elinhir Region,’ for reasons that should be obvious. Are you in the Elinhir area now? Stop in sometime and buy me a drink!”

Do Khajiit purr? (06/19/15)

Rathuni-la Dawnwhisker, Daughter of Azurah, says, “We Khajiiti come in many forms, many ‘furstocks,’ all of them wonderful—and I assure you, under the right circumstances, all of us purr! Purr-haps you haven’t been treating us as sweetly as you should? Try harder, tiger!”

Eastmarch and Skuldafn appear to be wrong, geographically, in Elder Scrolls Online. (06/19/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Our latter-day Nords are not well known for the scholarly attainments, and cartography is not one of their strongpoints. On their maps, sites of great importance—to Nords, that is—are often distorted and exaggerated. So it is with the eerie aerie of Skuldafn, which holds great significance for our superstitious northern brethren. They have never been comfortable with the fact that the Dark Elves hold the west coast of the Inner Sea all the way up to Blacklight; in some cases their maps elide that fact entirely. But it is there nonetheless.”

Is it safe for a human to take a bath in the 'waters' of Oblivion? (06/19/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “That depends entirely on where, in the infinite variety of Oblivion, one finds oneself! In Coldharbour, for example, pools of blue fluid are common, but do not mistake it for water: it is Azure Plasm, the chaotic stuff of which Daedra, and their realms, are formed. It’s probably safe to bathe in, but I would hesitate to drink it.”

Rathuni-la Dawnwhisker, Daughter of Azurah, says, "Well spoken, my bold tiger! You will look this one up next time you are in Corinthe, yes? Our tails shall dance together, and we shall make all the kittens jealous as we promenade down Sweet Street! Is it not so?"

Where is the book of the great tree? (08/20/15)

Hunt around: there are several other copies of that book scattered about the Bone Orchard. (We know some players want to collect every lore book, so we try to make sure even quest-related books aren't locked away where they're inaccessible.)

There is a post-Main Quest version of Aldimion's Journal in the ruins of the Library of Dusk.

Thanks for pointing out this quest-locked book, Papasaurus. Going forward, the "Note from Orlugash" will have a duplicate version located outside the dungeon.

There's also the "Loremaster's Archive" Q&A that appears every other week on the ESOTU website. Check it out!

What does the "Tel Var" in Tel Var Stones stand for? (08/28/15)

Beredalmo the Signifier says, “The name is adapted from the Ayleidoon for ‘silver star’—which is appropriate, as Tel Var Stones are small magically-imbued fragments of the White-Gold Tower splintered from the structure, and the Tower was built by the Ayleids.”

How tall and old is great tree Elden Root at the heart of Grahtwood? And how did it become a city? (08/28/15)

Beredalmo the Signifier says, “The greatest graht-oaks of Valenwood are older than history itself, dating back to the Merethic Era, when the Elves ruled all Tamriel. The mighty walking trees of that time were centers of mystic energy, so the Wood Elves built their settlements among their branches, and were one with the Green.”

We seen Zombie Werewolves but has there been Zombie Vampires? (08/28/15)

Beredalmo the Signifier says, “The former is a case of a lycanthrope becoming a lower sort of undead, which would seem consistent with what I know of necromancy, at least as practiced by the Ayleids, who are my specialty. I would think a Zombie Vampire would be two kinds of undead in one, which sounds impractical.”

Will we see the "rare shaggy giant centipede herdbeast that can live only at high altitudes" in Orsinium that is spoken of in the Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition/The Wild Region? (09/16/15)

Lady Honnorah af-Lahreq says, “No such beast is mentioned in either De Brazy’s ‘Steeds of Tamriel’ or Luponio’s ‘Mounts of the World,’ so it’s probably safe to regard them as mythical. (I’ve always found the Orcs to be more fanciful than most people think!)"

Who is the king in West Skyrim at the time of Elder Scrolls Online? (09/16/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Shortly after the Second Empire dissolved into chaos, High King Logrolf of Skyrim was assassinated. The succession was disputed, and the kingdom of the Nords split into East and West Skyrim, with the west being ruled by the Jarls of Solitude. King Svargrim has ruled West Skyrim since 561, and though aging, is still hale, and shows no desire to give up the throne.”

Is Daggerfall invading the west part of the Rift? (09/16/15)

Phrastus of Elinhir says, “Dear me, no—Falkreath is part of West Skyrim, and its jarl owes allegiance to King Svargrim in Solitude. As I can tell you from personal experience, the Covenant soldiers you see near Elinhir are part of that alliance’s expeditionary force to Cyrodiil, and are holding open the supply lines from Cyrodiil to High Rock.”

2016

Are Stranglers & Dryads exempt from the Green Pact if they display aggression toward a Bosmer? (01/15/16)

The Spinner Sandaerion says, “You love your child, but if he misbehaves, do you not punish him? It is even so with the Green. We love our foliage friends, but wrong behavior must be punished.”

Do mead brewers also hold the title of marriage counselors in Nordic society? (01/15/16)

Rigurt the Brash says, “Every Nord is a marriage counselor once you pour enough mead into him!”

In Jackdaw Cove, there is a Glenmoril Wyrd Breton (Wyress Rashan) who has taken wolf form (not werewolf.) Could you explain the lore behind this? (01/15/16)

Lady Cinnabar of Taneth says, “The Glenmoril Wyresses are deep in the mysteries of Hircine, and are known to have access to beast-form magic unavailable to more ‘civilized’ mages.”

Early promotional materials mentioned that Queen Ayrenn "suffered personally at the hands of Abnur Tharn," but that isn't followed up in game. What happened? (01/15/16)

Aicantar of Shimmerene says, “Since the ascension of our queen to the Throne of Alinor, it is inappropriate to delve too deeply into indignities she might have suffered before her coronation. But rest assured that all is known, and nothing is forgotten.”

What are Lustrants? (01/15/16)

Doctor Rhythandius says, “As I understand it, ‘Lustrant’ is a term used by Molag Bal’s Dremora minions to refer to the followers of Meridia—that is, when they’re not calling them ‘Glow ***.’”

Can a female Orc warchief have multiple wives and/or multiple husbands? (01/15/16)

Curator Umutha of the House of Orsimer Glories says, “The situation you describe is not unheard-of, but marriage traditions vary from clan to clan, and have even been known to change over time. Orcish cultural institutions are ancient and strong, but history is rife with occasions when powerful chiefs bent the rules to suit their own wills.”

The eight deity shrines at Torinaan suggest those Aedra were all worshipped by Ayleids. (04/12/16)

Referring to the ruins in Torinaan as "Ayleid" was an error that has since been corrected.

I really wanna quest Tamriel with my D&D group, is this game what I need? (02/03/16)

Ex-TSR D&D designers currently working on ESO include myself, Zeb Cook, Bill Slaviscek, and Ed Stark, so you be the judge!

In ESO, we meet various Crows that are almost all capable of speech; the Blackfeather Court and the Crows in Bangkorai who are possessed by Uela. Is it possible Crows are some sort of Daedra? (05/13/16)

Or maybe we just like crows. Maybe.

What's with the mention of Fort Pelagiad in spite of the wealth of evidence it doesn't exist yet? (05/15/16)

Yup. That reference is an error.

It's called the Hollow City in ESO. I think it was originally an Ayleid city that worshiped Meridia and was stolen by Molag Bal. (02/03/16)

Hop over to The Imperial Library and look up "The Whithering of Delodiil."

Why is it that Vanus and Mannimarco never interact? (08/16/16)

It's important not to let major NPCs run away with the story -- because it's not their story, it's YOURS.

(Also, Galerion and Mannimarco's final confrontation takes place after the events of ESO.)

If Rid-Thar'ri-Datta was the first mane, why are Jinninji-ri and Zebiden-jo dated as ruling decades before him? (08/26/16)

I could admit that someone at ZOS made a transcription error, but that would invalidate all these lovely theories, so I will do no such thing.

I Need Information on Resolutes of Stendarr (09/26/16)

See the lore books "Aura of the Righteous," "Stendarr's Divine Spear," and "Precepts of Stendarr" by Ptolus the Bright.

Would a character from a Direnni family playing in Daggerfal Covenant be legit? (11/07/16)

Beredalmo the Signifier, a Direnni author of lore books, reveals a bit about the Second-Era Direnni in his writings.

2017

How did Bethesda come up with the lore for the elder scrolls series? (01/19/17)

Creation of rich and believable fantasy worlds is always grounded in a study of human history.

Can we have a time travel adventure DLC for Red Diamond? One where we have to go back in time and kill the grandfather of the Breton bastard that wrote that bloody song! (02/06/17)

I must confess, the guy who wrote the lyrics for that song is a friend of mine. A close friend, in fact. REALLY REALLY close.

How would ESO explain the Imperial architecture on Vvardenfell 700 years before TES3? (02/07/17)

Hi! As you'll see, Ald'ruhn and Vivec City are in planning stages or under construction, and there's nothing where Pelagiad or Caldera will be later, but players are so attached to Seyda Neen, we felt we needed to give it to them. Our justification is that it was built by the Gold Coast Trading Company, who have a trade deal with the Hlaalu, thus the architecture's Cyrodilic influence.

Cat's Eye Quay goes right underneath a mountain I nicknamed "Mount Mistral" or "Mistral Mountain", perhaps Lawrence can give us an official name, if one already exists? (03/07/17)

That mountain is the Roost that gives Khenarthi's Roost its name.

Why can a non-vestige character (created in the ESO:Morrowind tutorial) use the wayshrine system? (04/20/17)

Here you see a symptom of a dilemma that exists for ESO that was never an issue for the single-player games. A packaged single-player game is by its nature a self-contained fire-and-forget product—it may have retcons in it, but in the end it says what it says and it’s graven in stone, no matter what devs and players may have to say about it later. An MMO is a different animal: it’s a live game that evolves over time, changing due to both player feedback and the need to issue new content to keep it fresh. Everyone on this forum loves Elder Scrolls lore, and we do too, but every Elder Scrolls title is designed first as a game, and then lore is created to support its game-ness. New lore is ideally consistent with pre-existing background, but the lore has to support the game rather than the reverse. With ESO we have the unprecedented issue of having to write lore that supports a game that can then FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE in response to player feedback and external market forces. Before One Tamriel, you could look at ESO and say, “Okay, geography equals history, and where the player is on the map is where they are in time.” That no longer applies, and lore created to support the mechanics of the game at launch is now out of step with the observable world of the ongoing game. ESO: Morrowind, with its new non-Vestige tutorial, shakes that up even further. We have some ideas about how to explain these revisions to reality within the context of existing mythic structure … but since you brought it up, we’d love to hear YOUR ideas on how ESO’s current take on Nirn “makes sense” according to pre-existing lore. All right, the Vosh Ball is in your court—have at it!

On the name of Firemoth Island in the 2nd era, prior to Imperial occupation (04/20/17)

Our assumption is that the later Imperials of the Third Empire didn’t name the island after their fort, they named their fort after the pre-existing name of the island.

Archcanon Tarvus preaches: “Long and long has the Palace stood where Lord Vivec decreed its erection. Pilgrims come to wonders, wonders come to the Poet, yea, even from the void, and yet more pilgrims come to wonder at the wonders. A Temple canton is built to receive them, visitation drives trade, trade drives construction, the Twin Saints arise in Ascadia! The Poet sees it is good, and calls for Warriors to tame the land for pilgrim protection. Redoran responds with righteous strength, plans are laid for ever-greater glories, Hlaalu comes with coin and cleverness, and greatness grows on the Inner Sea. All in the Shadow of Wonders. Do you see, O Faithful? Do you see?”

Unless it's credited to a Tamrielic source, e.g., "According to Beredalmo the Signifier...", marketing copy should not be considered to represent in-world lore. Safety first!

On Elder Scrolls Online's use of a wolf as Indoril's sigil (06/15/17)

Early in ESO's development, like nine years ago, well before we had any lore-checking processes in place, the wolf got picked for the Indoril banner based on the stylized wolf-head that appeared on Mehra Drora's gorget in TES3. This got promulgated onto some other assets, and it didn't get spotted until ESO: MW was in PTS testing. We're gradually sorting it out, but doing that kind of thing means diverting resources from the next DLC, so corrections don't always happen instantly.

[It will be changed to] Wings.

Do Genetics exist in the TES universe, based on genealogy in ESO Morrowind? (06/19/17)

Correction: the term "genetics" does not appear as such in ESO. There's a great deal of talk about genealogy and the ancestors, however.

If ESO happens in the Second Era, and Crassius Curio was alive in the Third Era, then The Lusty Argonian Maid shouldn't be in ESO. ([02/03/17])

The lore is deeper than you think.

https://www.imperial-library.info/content/argonian-maid-oral-tradition

On the appearance of Imperial currency (08/29/17)

Slander and calumny! ESO has its share of mistakes, but having septims as currency isn't one of them. As for drakes, Imperial gold coins had dragons on them long before Tiber Septim.

2018

He’s in change of the lore for ESO, but many writers work together to come up with everything (03/28/18)

Wynne McLaughlin, Bill Slaviscek, Leamon Tuttle, Randy Begel, Tori Daugherty, just to fill out the list of ESO's current writer-designers.

Kirkbride and I are actually good friends, and you should go play his Batman game RIGHT NOW.

Hist really shoulda been giant mushrooms, and Argonians little Myconids (04/26/18)

As the original inventor of the Myconids, this idea certainly makes me smile.

Lovecraftian influences on Elder Scrolls (05/21/18)

Other than the content of his writings, consider the influence of Lovecraft himself:

  • Cthulhu Mythos invented the idea of a setting that openly invited and integrated the contributions of multiple creators.
  • All Mythos lore is delivered from the POV of in-world characters.
  • “Unreliable narrator” is standard; contradictions and inconsistencies from one depiction to another are accepted, even encouraged.

Bewan on Auridon is once more referred to as an Ayleid ruin by the Oracle Marieve. (10/18/18)

The reference to Bewan as an Ayleid ruin is a mistake, and will eventually be corrected. (One good thing about ESO being an online game is that we CAN make corrections.)

Are all of the other examples of supposedly Dawn Era or Merethic Era "Ayleid" ruins found in the likes of High Rock (e.g. Enduum) and Hammerfell are actually Aldmeri/Altmeri/Direnni? Or are they truly supposed to be pre-Alessian revolution Ayleids who colonised almost all of Tamriel? (10/18/18)

In most cases those sites are from the Ayleid Diaspora after Alessia's Slave Rebellion broke their power in Cyrodiil. Their origin is usually attested somewhere in lore books or loading screen text. Hunt it down!

2019

Who specifically wrote Sotha Sil's dialogue because I think even MK would congratulate them on a job well done. (01/21/19)

Sotha Sil's dialogue in Clockwork City was written by ESO Senior Writer-Designer Leamon Tuttle.